Cloistered Nun: 86 Years Of Monastery Living A World Record

    June 12, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

A cloistered nun with 86 years of service to her monastery has died.

The AP reports that Sister Teresita Barajuen has died at the age of 105. She is believed to hold the world record for years of being cloistered in a monastery. She entered the Buenafuente del Sistal monastery at the age of 19 and only left a few times during her time there.

So, when did she leave the monastery? It’s reported that Barajuen left the monastery for the first time in over 40 years when former Pope Benedict XVI visited Madrid in 2011. To put things into perspective, she began serving at the monastery on the same day that Pope Benedict XVI was born.

To fully understand Barajuen’s devotion, you must understand what nuns must go through to remain committed to their lives. Those who choose to be nuns can rarely ever leave the cloister in which they have committed themselves, and must renounce all of their worldly possessions. From there, they must observe the religious practices of their particular convent while also working to support the convent with the sale of baked goods or liturgical items.

Doing the above would be too much for most people. Barajuen did it for 86 years. She didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter at first as she told interviewers that her family pressured into the life of a nun. She seems to have made the most of it, however, as there seemed to be no ill will towards the church in her many decades of service.

No matter the reason, having the dedication to serve a cause for over 80 years is commendable. Barajuen will surely receive a blessing from the Pope for her many years of service. It’s only fair he does after offering a blessing to atheists.

If you can speak Spanish (or use YouTube translated captions), you might want to check out this short TV special on the life of Barajuen:

  • http://www.webpronews.com nonbeliever

    what a waste

    • http://Yahoo Juanita

      To feel the nearness of Christ for even one moment would be worth a lifetime of service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
      God bless our sister in Christ. No, I am not catholic.

      • GodHater

        She’s a sweet lady, but she wasted her life. There is no God. If there is, he’s an asshole. People will say “How could god not exist? Just look around you! Look at all the beauty in the world”. Tell that to a little somalian child who sees his whole family executed in front of him and then dies of hunger. Do you think he cares about God? Where was god for this child? Or was he busy deciding the winners of the Oscars or making sure the Ravens won the superbowl for Ray Lewis?

        Once people realize religion is nonsense, the world will be a better place. Or else people will continue killing each other over “holy land” or massacring an entire race of people because they believed in a different religion.

        I’m sick and tired of people killing each other over a fucking fairy tale. Hate on me all you want, but it’s astonishing to me that grown adults think believing in Santa Claus is silly (which it is) but a omnipresent being in the sky dictating everything that happens is totally reasonable… it’s not! Wake up!

        There are countless religions out there, everyone thinks they’re right but no one is. If there is a god, he/she doesn’t pertain to a certain religion, he/she would be a power beyond our understanding. For fuck’s sake, when the bible was written people believed the world was flat, wouldn’t God have mentioned that???

        Go ahead and bash me religious people, i know i’ve offended you but i’m sick and tired of the nonsense. Life is too short to think that some magical being has anything to do with you.

        • BigG

          Not offended at all. The only way to seek the truth is to always question. You speak as if we are all puppets of God and he is controlling things. I don’t know a single religion that believes this, but enlighten me if there is one. I am seeking the truth myself. I also don’t know of a single relationship involving love where one who loves controls the loved one and makes everything okay. That does not sound like a happy relationship to me. Keep seeking the truth even if you think you have found it.

        • nic

          Why are you blaming an omnipresent being for all the bad things if you do not believe in such a being? What is there to hate or lay blame? For all those that are suffering in this world is our fault and our responsibility to try and end it and go out and take care of one another. We are all to blame for the state of things in this world.

  • http://SisterTeresitaBarajuen mary

    i wish it was in english

  • KB

    It is commendable for anyone to achieve 80 years of commitment to anything, let alone a difficult way of life. The only thing in the article that saddened me was the fact that she felt her family pressured her into the choice of becoming a nun.

  • my name

    As usual, the Catholic Church is involved in human trafficking where a young girl was forced into involuntary human servitude. Nobody should praise this situation. People should criticize the church for being involved in this involuntary servitude.

    • mastenawba

      your an idiot! familys pressure kids into a great many things… talent contests, sports, the PEACE CORPS, politics… etc. the fact that she stayed in Faith means she found something substantial (most nuns leave the order becuase they dont have a true desire to serve). a nun can renounce her vows at any time so the “involuntary servitude” you mention is more a sign of your ignorance than any real (or imagined) stain against the church.

      • Dara

        Mastenawba, You need to go on and renounce your vows today and get on with life. Don’t waste your life the way this woman did. A lot of time people get confused about how things are supposed to be in this world. There is a man out there for you. Go get him.

    • wanda

      people who nothing about the Catholic Church tend to criticize everything about the Catholic Church….it’s so far beyond most people’s understanding….in this sewer of a society that we live in, it’s good that someone would serve God in such a committed way….perhaps her parents knew more about her than she knew herself and she came to love her apostolate just as they predicted……

      • Hairy

        Wanda- you are stupid. Sorry, but you know nothing about what you speak of. These people are sick. God put us here to live as man and wife. If catholics are so great then why are all of the priests staying unwed and humping little boys instead of finding them a real mate in life. Think for a change.

        • BigG

          Facts please: Pedophilia (the sexual abuse of a prepubescent child) among priests is extremely rare, affecting only 0.3% of the entire population of clergy. This figure, cited in the book Pedophiles and Priests by NON-CATHOLIC scholar, Philip Jenkins, is from the most comprehensive study to date, which found that only one out of 2,252 priests considered over a thirty-year period was afflicted with pedophilia. Now, the exact rate in the general population is difficult to nail down because not all pedophiles act on their desires, but is estimated to be slightly lower than 5% among adult men. 5% > 0.3% But I’m sure you’ll choose to believe whatever you want.

        • nic

          This is a another uneducated response. it is an attack in hate against a religious group and those who took vows that are united in Christ. Not all priests are unmarried in the Catholic church and not all priests are homosexual. First we all must remember that we are human and born to the nature of sin. If a priest engages in an act which is not united with doctorine then they are not Catholic and are a heretic. The Catholic church does not hate homosexuals but is opposed to the act. Has this happened in the Catholic church or any other organization – yes! What organiztion is going to be in the light when this is something that is brought to attention ? Probably any large religious organization or any other group for that matter. The previous response is is full of hate and uneducated. Nice to see this person Hairy mentions God who is love. Agree God made man and woman to be soulmates. Love the sinner not the sin!

    • Donna

      Idiott!!! It is obvious that you do not understand everything.

    • nic

      The response about human trafficking shows this person’s complete ignorance.This person was not forced into this nor does any religious take such vows unless they feel that calling. Normally, a person then goes through a process before accepting their final vows being a nun, monk, or priest. It is the person who accepts this vocation to commit to this life. Not one is forced into accepting this life. What this individual did in accepting this way of life is quite difficult in spending time in prayer especially for individuals that would make such comments that are ignorant and have no idea how someone goes about this type of commitment. They spend a great deal of time praying and also serving their local community by farming or some type of service that helps support the local community in which the cloister is living and also helps sustain their own community with the very basics. I would like to see the person that made such a statement place themselves in a cloister or monastery for a year and live that same life. Doing everything that this individual as well as other monks, brothers or religious that live a cloistered life. I would like to know how after 1 year living this way and compare to their current way of living and see who has the “cushier” life. I wonder if this person even spends time with the poor or the less fortunate on a regular basis to appreciate the life they may be living now. I would like to know if they feel they are currently living a life that is truly meaningful.

    • Beth

      She chose to stay so that is NOT human trafficking! Also, given her advanced age, I look back to the year she was born. She was pressured into joining the convent at age 19, possibly because her family could not afford to support her, and she had no “courters” who were asking her hand in marriage.

      Be that the case her family may have pressured her to enter the convent as a way to ensure her future. She found something there that fulfilled her but no one forced her to stay, she always had the freedom to leave if that was her choice as she got older.

    • TK 85

      Do you make up your own facts? Just asking. In deeply Catholic countries, families with many children often send a son and daughter off to become Priest and Nuns. Normally these are not the First born, but later children. The children have no voice in the matter nor do they contest it, as it happens in all large families and appears to be the way life is.
      The First Born son gets the family farm or business. The First Born daughter is married to man with Social Status to maintain the family social status. The descending children get less until the Priest and Nun.
      Remember the Nun and the Priest normally do not Starve or want for Shelter as the older ones might.

  • pete

    It is a wonderful accomplishment. I have a dear friend, ( who is one of five nuns from the same family who all are in the same Order), and between the all of her sisters ( 3 of whom are still alive) have served for over 375 years in combined service to the Church.

  • http://yahoo Cathee

    Of course she lived to 105. She never had kids! Wouldn’t trade mine for the world but they do take yrs off your life.

  • mastenawba

    “there seems to be no ill will towards the church”… she devoted 86 years to something she could have left at any time by renouncing her vows. Obviously she found something that gave her life substance (maybe God… probably God).
    its nice that whoever wrote this aknowledges that her Voluntary service of at least 85 years left no “ill will towards the church”. its not like she was forced to be a Democrate for 86 years, or a Somalian Pirate, or an Athiest… she found purpose and meaning in serving the church, and by extension, mankind.

  • Buck

    Talk about a pissed away life!

  • Buck

    Here’s a woman who took a vow to be disobedient to the first command that God gave to all of mankind which is to be fruitful and multiply. Don’t congratulate this old bitch. She, being a simple minded female, allowed herself to be conned into being a woman who would never be obedient to God and have children. Don’t congratulate such persons but rather pity them knowing that bleak state to which they will be assigned in the afterlife… the following is from ‘The Divine Pymander of Hermes’

    77. Therefore, it hath been the greatest and most Religious care in this life, to them that are Wise, and well-minded, to beget children.

    78. As likewise it is the greatest misfortune and impiety, for any to be separated from men, without children; and this man is punished after Death by the Demons, and the punishment is this: To have the Soul of this childless man, adjudged and condemned, to a Body that neither hath the nature of a man, nor of a woman, which is an accursed thing under the Sun.

    79. Therefore, O Asclepius, never congratulate any man that is childless; but on the contrary pity his misfortune, knowing what punishment abides, and is prepared for him.

    You understand don’t you that God’s first blessing to mankind was: “Genesis 1:28* And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    The only thing that the Catholic Church preaches that was right was for a woman to be a virgin when she married, that she cannot be divorced, and that she should have children and that homosexuality is an abomination. All that false crap about Mary.. and worshipping and praying to saints is strictly forbidden by Christ who even commanded that we “Matthew 23:9* And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

    • nic

      just to correct on a statement about worshipping saints is inaccurate. Catholics do not worship saints.

      • nic

        just to correct on a statement about worshipping saints is inaccurate. Catholics do not worship saints. Sorry, also, Catholics do not worship Mary. Wish you would research what Jesus said about Mary, the woman that said yes to God in order to fulfill what God stated and became flesh to dwell among us. This allowed Jesus the Son of God to be man and show how greatly God loves all of us and died on the cross to allow us to be forgiven of our sins.

    • nic

      Sounds your info is coming from the study of gnosticism:
      Gnosticism (after gnôsis, the Greek word for “knowledge” or “insight”) is the name given to a loosely organized religious and philosophical movement that flourished in the first and second centuries CE. The exact origin(s) of this school of thought cannot be traced, although it is possible to locate influences or sources as far back as the second and first centuries BCE, such as the early treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum, the Jewish Apocalyptic writings, and especially Platonic philosophy and the Hebrew Scriptures themselves.

      In spite of the diverse nature of the various Gnostic sects and teachers, certain fundamental elements serve to bind these groups together under the loose heading of “Gnosticism” or “Gnosis.” Chief among these elements is a certain manner of “anti-cosmic world rejection” that has often been mistaken for mere dualism. According to the Gnostics, this world, the material cosmos, is the result of a primordial error on the part of a supra-cosmic, supremely divine being, usually called Sophia (Wisdom) or simply the Logos. This being is described as the final emanation of a divine hierarchy, called the Plêrôma or “Fullness,” at the head of which resides the supreme God, the One beyond Being. The error of Sophia, which is usually identified as a reckless desire to know the transcendent God, leads to the hypostatization of her desire in the form of a semi-divine and essentially ignorant creature known as the Demiurge (Greek: dêmiourgos, “craftsman”), or Ialdabaoth, who is responsible for the formation of the material cosmos. This act of craftsmanship is actually an imitation of the realm of the Pleroma, but the Demiurge is ignorant of this, and hubristically declares himself the only existing God. At this point, the Gnostic revisionary critique of the Hebrew Scriptures begins, as well as the general rejection of this world as a product of error and ignorance, and the positing of a higher world, to which the human soul will eventually return. However, when all is said and done, one finds that the error of Sophia and the begetting of the inferior cosmos are occurrences that follow a certain law of necessity, and that the so-called “dualism” of the divine and the earthly is really a reflection and expression of the defining tension that constitutes the being of humanity—the human being.

    • Online Commenter

      1 Corinthians 7:27, 28, “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that.”

    • Levi

      Hahahaha what an idiot.

  • http://alanandbruce@yahoo.com Alberto Rohatsch

    She was unique as in “None of the Above”!

  • sandy larsen

    A quick question. In 84 years what did she give to humanity? Did she give anything at all to the world? Anything? Did she help the poor? Did she work to save children? Did she do any good at all? Housed up in a monastery living off of church goers is not my idea of “doing good”. Think about it……

    • Dara

      Sandy, theere are some stupid people in this world. You and this woman are two of them. Now piss off.

    • neo

      Hey Larsen , what did you give to the world?
      typical materialist

      when have you done anything for anyone?

      we spend $1,000,000,000,000 on our war budget every year

      billions for defense but not one cent for the poor

    • BigG

      Two things she offered, off the top of my head. 1. Prayer, she prayed for the world, she prayed for the poor, she prayed for children. I get it, many will scoff and still say she gave nothing and wasted her time. Others will believe that she was doing a powerful thing. 2. Living an example. I don’t know about you, but I wish I could incorporate the kind of discipline she showed into my life. I’d be a lot more successful in all areas. Finally, ponder this: A racecar driver dies and “he died doing what he loved and we should all be so lucky”, but a cloistered nun dies and she wasted her time? It couldn’t possibly what she loved, right?

      • Williard

        That is a beautiful illustration. But wrong. Race car drivers do die sometimes while doing what they love, and while making lots of money doing it. I do not remember hearing any stories about them talking about the sacrifice they made during their lives to do this thing they love. I do not hear their loved ones talking about trying to canonize them for the sacrifices they made to do what they love. If this woman loved doing what she did, then she received her reward while she was here on this earth. God knows the regrets it now. Sad. You are gay.

        • BigG

          People don’t talk about the sacrifices sports figures make? Time on the road, away from family, etc. What reward is anyone asking for this woman. Canonization is not a reward. She get nothing from it. It’s a recognition. We don’t recognize people in other walks of life? Families don’t lobby for their loved ones to get in Halls of Fame, receive posthumous awards, etc.?

  • Debbie

    Let the GOOD woman rest in peace…….all of you

  • Debbie

    Let the GOOD woman rest in peace…………..ALL OF YOU

  • rich

    the attacks on religion, this woman, and each other are the point. this woman spent a life in prayer, meditation and service. to the best of her ability she lived in a place to help who she could how she could. we all have our place, her decision to stay where she was, was hers. others who would not choose this path have a close minded perspective and a misguided sense of truth and value. her, or my, value is not achieved by others approval. our value comes from a place of keeping right with the spirit that is within us, whatever that may look like. it seems to me she loved without condition or compromise. what else do we have to give? not much else that truly matters. perhaps some kindness instead of derision might make for a better day. just sayin. peace

    • Dara

      Just saying lay down rich. Nobody wants to hear that crap. This woman just got into a bad habit and stuck with it. She could not have been nearly as happy as someone who experienced true love in this world the way God meant things to be. You must be gay.

      • BigG

        How do you know what God meant for anyone but yourself? Also, how do you know she did not experience true love? True love does not have to be sexual. Many people have sexual relationships outside of love. It would stand to reason then that love can be experienced outside of a sexual relationship. I like how you make a definitive statement about how someone else could not be happy. Because you have experienced all lifestyles, right?

        • Dara

          Okay then. You are gay.

          • BigG

            That makes a lot of sense. If I was gay wouldn’t I agree with you and say she should have had homosexual relations instead of being a nun?

  • Troy

    This is an interesting article to say the least. I wonder if this woman will be canonized. It seems that after a lifetime of servitude such as this, it would only be fitting under the Catholic faith to venerate her for this sort of commitment.

    • Thomas

      Them nines are available to you too if you would like to be a Catholic. Then maybe you could be canonized when you die as well. Them nines.

  • Christine

    She was stuck in her habit.

    You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors in a convent. She was never bored because there were plenty of priests available. They can hide their pregnancies under their big black tents (garments).

    Priests and their pediphilic activities. They are never bored. If they paid off every victim the church still would not get broke. Wake up people. Your blindness lets them get away with their sick behavior.

    • Roxanne

      I think Christine has some unfulfilled sexual fantasies

      • Dara

        I like everything you said, too. You are exactly right. Have a great day.

    • Dara

      I like everything you said. You are exactly right. Have a great day.

    • Conrad

      Christine, Do you feel as if this woman had any children?