Record for the longest time living in cloistered life.
This nun holds the world record for the longest time living in cloistered life. Her name is Sister Teresita, she's 103 years old and has lived 84 of them in the convent of Buenafuente de Sistal, in Guadalajara, Spain. At 19 she entered the convent of the Cistercian order in 1927, the same day that Benedict XVI was born.
“I arrived a bit ignorant because I didn't know much about nuns. I was a normal village girl, I use to go to Mass each week, and pray the rosary in May, but I knew nothing about nuns. I came because the Lord called me. I heard His call and I came to respond to His calling, coming here without knowing where it came from or where it was taking me.”
For this time period in Spain, she was a little late into entering the monastery because she says she didn’t like the nuns. As the eldest of seven siblings, it was her father that one day suggested she go to the convent.
“My father said 'The nuns are very good'. I didn't know what this had in store for me. I was thinking that the nuns didn't do any work. And one day my mother scolded me and my father said, 'why don't you stop being a nuisance and join the nuns'? And I said with all my heart: 'Lord, help me to please my father, give me a religious vocation.'”
Sister Teresita was named Valeria. She dedicates her life to prayer for others and her work within the convent. She leads a life without envy and she says that this way of life has made her very happy, calling her work a gift from God.
“Happy? How could I not be happy? If I were not happy, I wouldn't be here. Could someone be here for 84 years without being happy? It's not possible! It never occurred to me to come here without a calling.”
This contemplative veteran of the monastery says her most important treasure of over 100 years of life is prayer, which she says brings strength to everyone.
“Prayer is the most important thing because without prayer you can't go on. The first thing I say is 'I want to see with your eyes, speak with your mouth, hear with your ears, to love with your heart. It's not me who lives but it's you who lives in me. Despite this prayer, I would get distracted and I would go back to it again'. I always have to say: 'Lord thank you, forgive me, thank you and forgive me'. That's my prayer.”
She has become an expert in cooking Spanish omelets, making them every day while reading the newspaper. She says she still has many things left to do. One of which is a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI during the meeting of young nuns in El Escorial during the World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid.
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