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An Extraordinary Sign

At the beginning of my six months of experience in the religious Community of the Little Friars and Little Nuns of Jesus and Mary, I received an extraordinary sign which further confirmed my vocation…


During my first pilgrimage of total reliance on divine providence, I and the two religious brothers on pilgrimage with me stopped in Ispica (Sicily), where the community was founded, and went to pray in a certain cave: the place where Friar Volantino, our founder, had initially made a solitary retreat for some time (a little as St. Francis of Assisi did) in order to begin following the path God had indicated to him.

The cave is a very silent place, well adapted to making retreats and concentrating on prayer.I chose a place where I could sit and pray, and, turning my mind and heart to the Lord, I asked him to speak to me in that almost sepulchral silence. It was a beautiful day; the sun was shining, and there was not so much as a breath of wind. I had the open Bible resting on my lap, when – as if a mysterious angel had intervened – the pages of the Bible turned by themselves before my eyes and opened to chapter fifty-four of the book of the prophet Isaiah:

Raise a cry, you barren one who never bore a child, break forth in jubilant song, you who have never been in labor, for more numerous are the children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a husband, says the Lord…For your husband is your maker; the Lord of hosts is his name, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, called God of all the earth…All your children shall be taught by the Lord; great shall be the peace of your children…”

Naturally, I was very surprised, both because of the extraordinary event and because this chapter from the prophet Isaiah had accompanied me throughout my journey of vocational discernment. During a vocational retreat the year before, in fact, while in adoration before Jesus in the Eucharist, I had asked the Lord to reveal my vocation to me and He had given me this exact passage. That moment brought me to tears, as I was certain He was calling me to be His bride, but at that point I was not certain as to which religious family I should join.

The sign I received that day in the cave was almost irrefutable proof that the Lord was calling me to this religious family: a sign which would later be followed by many others, giving me absolute certainty of my calling.

--Sr. LMV


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