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: