A 105-year-old nun, who has been living in a monastery for 86 years, has died in Spain. Sister Teresita Barajuen, who belonged to the Buenafuente del Sistal monastery northeast of Madrid, is believed to be the world’s “longest-serving” cloistered nun.
Barajuen entered the monastery when she was 19-years-old – she said she never wanted to be a nun but yielded because of family pressure, AP reports. In 2011, she left the monastery for the first time in 40 years to meet retired Pope Benedict XVI, when he came to Madrid. She entered the order on his birthday, AP reports.
“I pray for you every day,” Barajuen told Benedict XVI, who took her by the hand and made the sign of the cross on her forehead, the Global Catholic Network reports. Their meeting took place on World Youth Day.
She received a white rosary from the pope, and in exchange she gave him a copy of a book that includes a testimony of her life, “What’s a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?”
On Barajuen’s birthday, the pope sent the elderly nun a birthday message that was shared with the press.
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“The Pope, who treasures that wonderful moment in his heart, encourages you to remain rooted in the Heart of Christ, in order to continue being an ardent lamp of faith, hope and charity, and thus to show the world that fullness of life consists in joyfully following the will of God,” Msgr. Peter B. Wells, an advisor to the Vatican Secretary of State, wrote on behalf of the retired pontiff.
At the time, Father Angel Moreno, the chaplain of Barajuen’s monastery, said the 103-year-old “follows the daily rhythm of prayer, from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and she continues giving thanks to God for the grace of having met the Pope.”