A religious congregation of blind sisters contemplates the face of Christ

Sisters of Jesus King The Daughters of Jesus the King. Courtesy photo.

In Turin, Italy, the Daughters of Jesus the King is a religious community of  blind and visually impaired sisters who aim for holiness, and to be a sign that in Christ, there are no barriers that cannot be overcome.

Sister Lorena Logrono, superior of the Daughters of Jesus the King, told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language news partner, that the origin of the congregation traces back to the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan, which was founded by Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo 135 years ago.

"When Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo became ill, he left the Congregation of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan  in the hands of his brother Luigi, who was also appointed head of the institutes for blind girls in Turin," she explained.

"There a young woman asked Fr. Boccardo about becoming a religious, but she couldn't be admitted because she was blind. Some time later, he received the inspiration to found a congregation for blind people, which would have the charism of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan but be dedicated to contemplation."

"And then, in 1932, the contemplative branch, the Daughters of Jesus the King, began," the sister said.

Sister Lorena, who does see, belongs to the Congregation of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan and is the superior of the Daughters of Jesus the King in Turin, Italy.  

"The Daughters of Jesus the King have always had the assistance of a sister who does see, more for practical matters like, when they have to go to see the doctor, but inside the convent everything is adapted and they are completely independent," Logrono said.

There are eight members of the Daughters of Jesus the King, and they are between 38 and 100 years of age.

Sister Maria Patrizia Speculato, 69 entered the congregation at 21.

"I had studied physical therapy in Florence at the institute for the blind and there I got to know the congregation. I had felt since I was a little girl the Lord's call and although I pulled back from that for a while, when I finished studying I saw that the Lord was calling me again. And the desire to consecrate myself to Him rose up again. That enabled me to overcome all of the difficulties for entering, such as leaving my family which is from Naples and go to live in Turin. When you have a vocation you do everything necessary to follow it," she told ACI Prensa.

Sister Maria Patrizia explained that her charism is to "offer the life of prayer and sacrifice for the Holy Father, for the priests and their sanctification, and for preserving and spreading the faith."

They pray the complete Liturgy of the Hours because they have it translated into Braille, as well as many other books on spirituality. They also do an hour of Euchastic Adoration every day; they meditate an hour in the morning and a half an hour in the afternoon; they pray the rosary after Holy Mass.

"Our life is to grow in intimacy with Christ," Sister Maria Patrizia explained.

A version of this story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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