I come from a Catholic family, I had an uncle who was a priest and three religious aunts, who have since passed away. I have lived in an environment with figures consecrated to God. I remember that when I was three years old I wanted to be a nun, I wanted to stay with one of my aunts whom I went to visit.

But when I was fourteen, when I expressed my desire to enter a convent, they were against it, saying that I was too young, that I did not know what life was, that I did not know what love was, according to them. So, I was forgotten until I was sixteen years old, when I got my hands on a weekly magazine about the Missionaries of Jesus, Word and Victim. At that time, I did not catch the name. I was struck by the image of a Mother on horseback and the title that read: “The Gaucho Nuns”. I read the life, the charisma, and I loved it very much. I told my mother “if God calls me, I want to be a member of this congregation”. Then with the hustle and bustle of life and friendships, I began to move away from my desire.

I started studying medicine in college. But I began to have health problems. That doctors could not cure because they were spiritual problems that manifested themselves in the physical. I always clung to prayer, confession, communion and Holy Mass. God was beginning to call me again. The doctors recommended rest, rest. I knew it was something else but I did not want to accept it. At the age of 19, I got worse. One of my cousins advised my mother to take me to a healer. He made me kneel down, put a white cloth on my head, looked at me and said to my mother: “Your daughter’s problem is her vocation. You cling to it too much, and that’s why she gets physically ill”. We left in silence, we did not comment any more.

In May, I resumed my studies. One Sunday I went to Mass at 7 am. and I stayed all day crying, I did not know what was happening to me, actually I did know, God was calling me and it was hard for me to leave the life I was leading, my career, my illusions, everything. Then I called my mother and told her what was happening to me. She knew my desire, and I returned to my homeland. My mother helped me to look for the Mothers, but it seemed impossible, because nobody knew about “gaucho nuns”. I went to the bishopric of Catamarca, Monsignor and nobody knew. I went to the diocese of La Rioja, Monsignor helped me by contacting a priest who knew the Mothers. They gave me several numbers of different Congregations, and at the end, a number with no name. That was it. Mother Cristófora answered, very kind and enthusiastic about a vocation. I got to know the Congregation, and I knew its name: Missionaries of Jesus, Word and Victim. When I saw them, I said “this is my Congregation, this is my vocation”.  I arrived in San Rafael, at the “Nazareth” Convent, where I was welcomed by the Mothers on July 15, 1996.

Madre Ayelén MJVV, Argentina

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