Despite Struggles and Obstacles, the Church Welcomes Late Vocations
A sister to St. Therese of the Lisieux, Leonie Martin decided at the age of twelve to enter the Poor Clares.
Leonie’s family saw her difficult temperament as an obstacle to religious life, but in 1889, at the age of twenty-three, she entered the Poor Clares. Due to poor health, she stayed with them only two months before she was forced to leave.
However, she wrote “my soul’s deepest wish is the desire for intimate union with Jesus”, and a year later, entered the Visitation of Holy Mary. Yet after only six months, Leonie returned home, unable to bear the sacrifices. Soon after, her younger sister Therese was accepted to the Carmelites.
Again in 1893, Leonie asked permission to return to the novitiate, and stayed with the Visitandines for two years before the trials and struggles overwhelmed her. At last, in 1899, at the age of thirty-five, Leonie received the grace to live out her religious vocation. For the third time, she entered the Visitation convent – and this time, remained there until her death four decades later.
Many women experience similar obstacles and frustrations towards entering religious life. While the requirements vary from community to community, the Visitation Order welcomes both young and mature candidates.
To prepare for Sunday’s chat, please read our article, “Visitation Vocations: Early and Late.”
In our Living Jesus Chat Room this Sunday, we will discuss these points:
- What are some struggles of women who discover a vocation later in life? From personal experience, do you have advice can you give?
- Despite the many setbacks, Leonie never saw her “failures” as a sign that she did not have a religious vocation. Why do you think she felt this way?
- Not all religious orders accept mature women with later vocations. Why might this be?
Sign up for our Chat Room Come to our Living Jesus Chat Room, 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time U.S. this Sunday. Sign up here and get your own username, or just come on Sunday and sign in as a guest. Seats are limited so, come on time