A story of Love that calls to love
I was born in Rome, Italy. Right after my birth, my mother was dying and was saved through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina. Surely Padre Pio didn’t want me to be orphaned because God Himself already had special designs planned for my life: the call of a vocation to the consecrated life, the call for undivided and eternal love for the High King and God. My parents often brought me to church together with my other siblings. I was enchanted by the sacred celebrations: Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, etc., which usually left me in deep and lofty thoughts. It seemed to me that I understood the infinite love of God for all His creatures and His unfathomable mercy. I prayed often, and united to those prayers produced tears of deep and tender feelings.
But all of this does not mean that my life could be compared to the lives of the saints because I was full of defects. I was naughty and loved adventures, and sometimes found myself in trouble because of these adventures. But also in these cases, I did not cease to reflect on heavenly things. In fact, on the numerous and frequent excursions with my family in which we were more united and happier than ever, I would suddenly slip away from the merrymaking, and enter into the “woods.” It was there, going from one stream to another that I prayed to Jesus and St. Francis; I felt myself completely immersed in the surrounding nature, but also in God. At first, I felt the urge to offer “little flowers,” that is, little sacrifices and acts of virtue, perfumed with childlike innocence.
As a young girl, Our Lady also had an important key role in my life and in my religious formation. I had a filial love for my Heavenly Mother, which led me to imitate Her. That which I understood at that time I was not able to express in words, but only with my silence. Very often, when everyone would be sleeping, I used to go into the living room, curl up on my father’s big armchair and there I would pray to Our Lady, whose statue was illumined by a little crown of twelve stars.
By the time I was eighteen years old, I began to pray less than usual, due to the powerful influence of philosophical ideas, which were very fascinating, but not so sanctifying. So, at this point in my life, the ideal of a religious vocation began to dwindle and fade and almost disappear completely from my heart. In my heart I thought that life was real activity, which was in continual growth and evolution, and the religious life seemed to me to be the denial of all this. I did not take into consideration that God gives us talents in order to put them at His service. In fact, it is from Him that every activity has it’s beginning: God is the Creator.
Without realizing it, I was swayed by the mentality of the majority of the other students. I started to think that it was better to get married, giving up what seemed, in my opinion, to already be impossible: consecrating myself to God (it is really true that man is not a good judge of himself); therefore, I got engaged. It didn’t take much to see that I, too, had been struck with the grave sickness of ideological conformism.
Then, I came to my senses and rediscovered the fundamental values of life, and in particular the call to the state of religious perfection. I understood, then, that God is the One Who chooses and that His choice is irrevocable. My vocation could not have been an illusion that lasted for all those years. Every person on this earth carries his precious vocation in a very fragile vessel, and I, too, had my own. I understood that one must fulfill their own duties, not conforming oneself to the mentality of the time, but living according to God. I understood that true religious life is nothing other than a life of love with Love. Thus, I rediscovered my religious vocation.
When I finished high school, I came to a fork in the road; I had to choose: either go to college or enter the convent. I had to choose between success, studies and my own affirmation or, humanly speaking, a life of unforeseen uncertainty so as not to have any consolation. It was then that I only saw Love, and so I chose Love.
But in the meantime, what was I to do? Where was I to find the strength of such a radical detachment? At that time, everything was loathsome to me: friends, studies, music; but at the same time, I didn’t know how to decide. “Take it or leave it” was the insistent interior voice that was urging me to make a decision as soon as possible. It was almost already the end of summer vacation and the month of August had just begun. Well then, on August 2, feast of St. Mary of the Angels, Our Lady performed a “miracle” because it was the day I entered the convent; it was the day in which I knew clearly (by divine grace) that if I had not promptly corresponded to that singular grace, I would almost certainly have lost myself “in the ways of the world” and thus be damned.
I received from the Sorrowful Mother at the Foot of the Cross the strength to correspond to the call; I, Her daughter, received new strength from my Mother. So it was that everything that at first seemed to me to be an unsurpassable obstacle had passed (thanks to Mary) and was overcome; it was changed into “beauty and great joy” before the bewildered eyes of all the worldlings. Christ triumphs! Christ reigns!
Thus I gathered the gentle and intact flower of my long-desired religious vocation: to be for all eternity, like Mary, a Spouse of Christ…behold the greatest love story.