DAILY CATHOLIC MONDAY December 13, 1999 vol. 10, no. 236
NEWS & VIEWS
STRENGTH OF A NUN TO COPE WITH RAPE
Prayer Helps to Understand the Violence against Women during Wars
MILAN, DEC 9 (ZENIT).- The quiet days of reflection and adoration in a Laveno, Italy, convent were jarred by the intrusion of cruel and senseless violence. While the Benedictine nuns of Perpetual Adoration were eating dinner, six youths boke into the hose and raped the Prioress, the youngest of the six nuns in the community.
"They wanted money to buy drugs. But later they reacted violently, perhaps resentful of having found persons who are pure of heart," the Prioress said.
The Laveno monastery is destined to disappear, according to the reorganization plans of the Federation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to which it belongs. In spite of the terrible experience, the Mother Prioress did not want to leave the community at this time of trial, preferring to stay with her Sisters, who have been profoundly affected by what happened.
On the contrary, she has the strength to analyze the event with a dimension of hope: "How can we fail to understand the women of Bosnia now, or those who are victims of rape during wars, who have seen their dignity trampled... I am living this painful experience with serenity, trying to resolve it in prayer."
According to Mother Giovanna, first adviser of the Presidential Council
of the Federation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, in
speaking to the Sisters about the crime in the monastery of Laveno, she
said: "We realize the commitment exacted from us by our cloistered
consecration in face of the great confusion that men and women of our
time are living in." She added, "We are like everyone else. The
convent's grating does not protect us against the lack of values and the
snares of evil. On the contrary, it make us companions on the way of
wounded humanity, at this time of strong human and spiritual fragility."
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NEWS & VIEWS