The last thing on earth I ever thought of doing with my life was becoming a nun. Coming from a wonderful and very Catholic family, I always dreamt about one day having a family like the one I grew up in. My parents set for us an example of a real Christian marriage. Christ was the center of their relationship and of our family. Holiness was the only goal of my parents and “their love for each other grew daily warmer and deeper” (Gregory the Great).
One day, my father fell sick with cancer. His joy, peace and serenity through all of this suffering struck me a lot. He had a secret. God was his strength. He was always praying. It was on my father’s lap that I started to be fascinated by the beauty and actuality of the Gospel.
It was during this period that I also began a friendship with Susan, who became the first of the community, and also Father Salvatore, our founder. I started to pray with Scriptures every day since I was thirteen years old. When I was fourteen years old, my father died. After his death, I decided to go to Mass every day. I wanted to be closer to Jesus, and closer to my dad. I fell deeper in love with prayer. However, I remember that at a certain point, I was scared to death of praying more. This was because I was afraid that God would call me to be a sister. My natural sister, Tiziana, decided to join Susan in beginning the community of the Apostles of the Interior Life. I thought that Tiziana was crazy. Why do you want to renounce marriage if marriage is a path for sanctity?
A retreat that I attended when I was 17 years old changed my perspective. A girl that happened to be in my tent shared with me her desire to be a nun in a cloister. I didn’t want to talk with her, but just to be polite, I started asking her many questions. A few days later, I found myself fascinated by the idea of giving one’s life totally to God. I knew that whatever God wants for us, marriage or consecrated life, is for our good and that is what will make us happiest. I wanted to pray more to discover God’s will for me. I told Jesus “I want to be open to your Will, whatever you want to do with me, do it.” I thought I was ready to surrender myself to Him, but I wasn’t.
A few months later, I got to know a very Catholic, gifted and handsome young man by the name of Nicholas. I fell head over heels in love with him. I knew that it wasn’t the time to date him because I wasn’t sure yet about my vocation. For one and a half years, we were just friends. Afterwards, a series of circumstances that I wanted to read as signs from God lead me to a dating relationship. It was a very healthy relationship. Before going out together, we used to spend half an hour in prayer in a Church. Time went by and a growing sense of restlessness invaded me. On one hand, I was very happy because I felt truly loved and I sincerely wanted to love him; on the other hand though, something was missing, I couldn’t understand what it was. I asked Nicholas for a time of reflection.
It was during this precious time that God gave me the grace to discover my vocation to the consecrated life. I really wanted to be Jesus’ spouse. My only desire was to pray and to love God and all the people that God puts in my path with a completely undivided heart. I could not keep for myself the treasure that I had found.