A 105-year-old woman who spent 86 years as a cloistered nun died overnight Wednesday in Spain.
Sister Teresita Barajuen, who belonged to the Buenafuente del Sistal monastery northeast of Madrid, is believed to hold the world record for living within the confines of a monastery.
The Spanish nun entered the monastery in 1927 at the age of just 19. Her days "follow[ed] the daily rhythm of prayer and work, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.," according to Father Angel Moreno, chaplain of Barajuen’s monastery.
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She left the cloister in 2011 for the first time in 40 years to meet Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during a papal trip to Madrid. Later that year, he sent Barajuen a personal birthday message.
"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 Benedict.
Barajuen reportedly received a white rosary from the Pope and, in turn, offered him a copy of the book that has made her known throughout the world, "What’s a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?" The book was written by Jesus Garcia and contains a collection of 10 testimonies from women who have devoted their lives to God.
Barajuen reportedly never wanted to be a nun but was pressured into it by her family. Still, she always claimed she was happy with her life.
"Even if I had married a prince, I would not be happier than I am now
," she told the Global Catholic Network in January.
Below is a video of Barajuen's 2011 meeting with the Pope Emeritus.
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