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Pope visits cloistered nuns for feast of Presentation

November 21, 2013

Pope Francis traveled across Rome to the convent of Sant’Antonio Abate on November 21, to celebrate the feast of the Presentation with the cloistered religious there.

At a solemn Vespers service, the Pope said that the Virgin Mary is the “Mother of Hope.” He urged the nuns to be “women of hope,” saying that their spiritual lives should be “nourished by listening, contemplation, patience.”

During his short stay at the convent, Pope Francis visited the cell of an American woman who had lived an austere life as a hermit there. Sister Nazarena of Jesus, who was born in Connecticut as Julia Crotta, lived at Sant’Antonio Abate from 1945 until her death in 1990. During their time there she lived in isolation, following a rigorous plan of fasting and mortifications, speaking only with her confessor and superior.


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