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I will make a great people out of you and bless you,  I will make your name great  and you will become a blessing.


My vocation began without my noticing

Attraction of the missionary vocation

I will briefly describe my vocation. AND  started, without my noticing, at age  15 years old when I went to service  with a noble and very religious family,  who resided in Porto, the second most important city  of Portugal. I stayed in that family  seven years, during which I came  always considered not as a waitress,  but like a daughter.

One of mine also lived in that same city  aunt and godmother of baptism, that a paralysis  he had bedridden and that often, when  I had some free time, especially there  Sunday, I went to visit. With this aunt  I met a very charitable widowed lady,  who had a priest son.  Every time I listened to it, my heart did  it filled us with joy, because he told me about the missions and wonders that God had  done and continued to do for us his children. Me  he also spoke of the beauty of religious, consecrated life.

A fruitful reading

This lady, Dona Rosinha, was a season ticket holder  to the missionary magazine «Eco das Missões». There  he received every month from our sisters in Lisbon.  Once, during a conversation,  he said to me: «I advised a young lady of  enter the Congregation of the Sisters of San  Pietro Claver and I know that with them he is very happy and  she feels fully realized ».

I later learned that that young lady  it was Sister Celina da Cruz Pires. Every time that  I went to my aunt and met her, Signora me  gave the "Eco" and other publications to read  religious. Thus it was that, living and knowing  people of such greatness of soul, the seed  of God began to gradually descend into more  deep of my being, making me want  to consecrate my whole life to him.

Discharge from the family

I thought and begged the Lord to make me  understand how and when I should  communicate this news to my mother.  It was, in fact, a very delicate communication,  because my dad had been dead for three  years and I had to provide for the maintenance  of the family.

Inside I felt I had to wait  until I was 21, the age I would have been  free to announce my purpose and enter  in the convent. Mom didn't expect  a similar news and it was for his heart a  real shot, but acquiesced and, not without a  veil of sadness, he said to me: «You are old!». Do not  I have never forgotten these two words and the circumstances  in which they were pronounced!

Entry to Lisbon in our community, I have  deeply felt the distance of mine  family members. For a whole year I have never received  a letter from them; the first came to me during  the novitiate in Monte Mario (Rome).

I recognize that my vocational path  it was not easy for my family either  for me, but when it is God who calls, He  it also gives the strength to continue on the road  undertaken. After 13 years I was able to embrace the  mother and brothers: I did not recognize the sister  younger, she had grown so much, and in reality I thought  that she was one of my nieces!

Recognition for the gift of a vocation

I thank the Lord for all he has  done and ago in my life through many and different  intermediaries, which he always uses for  carry out his divine plans. It may seem  singular to live at the service of people who there  they really love, and then suddenly  abandon everything and everyone, because a  another stronger love, that of God, calls us  and he takes it exclusively for himself! For the world  it is foolishness ... for me a gain.

Great is my gratitude to God for the  gift of vocation and towards those people  who, with tenderness and understanding, have me  helped to be who I am: a person  accomplished by serving brothers and sisters in the  dear Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of  San Pietro Claver, where I live striving to  follow the example of St. Peter Claver and of  blessed Maria Teresa Ledóchowska, ours  Founder.


Sister Lorenza dos Santos SSPC

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