As a Carmelite Belén embraced daily work, such as assembling metal tables and working the loom. “A session at the loom is like playing two games of tennis,” she joked with her family.
According to Pery, Belén never stopped maintaining her friendships and kept in contact with everyone. After her death, Estanislao and María received copies of letters that her daughter had sent to many people. Some were even laminated.
“She didn’t use high-sounding words, but she had ‘something.’ I believe that people don’t realize the value of simple things until you no longer have them,” he said. Pery added that those who knew Sister Belén personally would understand this firsthand.
In April 2017 Belén was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She never denied her illness and even went so far as to write that “the cross is a blessing and that, when God sends it, he also gives the strength necessary to bear it.”
In the end, her father explained, for Sister Belén the illness was an opportunity for spiritual growth. She passed away on April 5, 2018, surrounded by her family, the mother prioress, and Mother Clara.
What purpose does a cloistered nun ‘serve’ today?
Estanislao Pery stressed that his daughter’s life was based on doing good to others out of simplicity and noted that those who got close to Belén were “disarmed” by someone who emanated peace and tranquility.
He also highlighted the heroic prayer life of the contemplative nuns, a prayer “that goes beyond the walls of the convent.” For her father, this is a nun’s reason for being.
The book, which is now in its third edition, also includes letters and writings from Sister Belén, which is why Pery commented that, even today, she continues to do good to many people. “This is truly gratifying for us,” he said.
Regarding the possibility of a formal canonization process being opened by the Holy See, he said that although he is certain that his daughter is in heaven, “the rest is in the hands of the Church and in the hands of God.”
The book’s dedication was written by Carlota Pery, Belén’s sister. “It’s her simplicity and at the same time it’s her depth,” she wrote. “How always from the shadow there was light, and how by choosing to isolate herself, she became the center of everything.”
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The book is available from Amazon in Spanish.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.