God's calling comes in mysterious ways, and sometimes it comes to people who are unexpected to become one of the vessels of the church to spread Jesus' teachings. María Gorete dos Santos, María de Lourdes dos Santos, and María Aparecida dos Santos are triplets who belong to the Franciscan Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The three nuns, who are 57 years old, were born and raised in a Catholic family of 17 siblings in rural Bahia state in Brazil. They felt a calling to become nuns since childhood without fully understanding what it meant. According to María Gorete, their vocation was something that only God could explain.
Triplets Answers Divine Calling and Become Nun of The Same Religious Order
According to the article in Catholic News Agency, María Gorete, María de Lourdes, and María Aparecida, who are triplets from the town of Itamira in the Aporá district of Brazil, were inspired to become nuns after meeting Sister Ricarda, an Italian nun who visited their community when they were children. Sister Ricarda taught the children while the parish priest ministered to the adults during holy Mass.
María Gorete remembered that María de Lourdes wanted to be like Sister Ricarda when she grew up, strengthening their resolve to become nuns. Their mother, Josefa Mendes de Souza, supported her daughters' decision to enter religious life, stating that she would only allow them to leave the house to marry or become nuns. However, the family did not know how to help the triplets achieve their dream.
After a priest who celebrated Mass in the triplets' region learned about their desire to become nuns, he contacted the superior of a convent in Salvador, Bahía state. The superior agreed to take the young women, and María de Lourdes was the first to follow her calling to become a nun in 1984.
María Gorete remembered that María Aparecida also wanted to join. Still, their mother asked her to stay behind and help with the younger siblings and assist the elderly people in their community. The National Catholic Register shared that they needed help to do basic tasks such as collecting firewood and washing clothes in the river because there was no gas or electricity.
A year later, María Aparecida joined her sister at the convent, and a year after, it was María Gorete's turn to enter the convent and become a nun. Currently, María Gorete works at Asilo Santo Antônio in São José dos Campos, São Paulo. María de Lourdes is in the convent of Santa Clara do Desterro in Salvador. María Aparecida cares for their 85-year-old mother at home, and they take turns caring for her while still following their religious vocation.
According to Medium, the concept of God's calling or divine call in Christianity differs from personal ambitions or dreams. It is something that God places within the people for a specific purpose. According to the Bible, every Christian is called to a specific purpose: to follow and obey Christ. This is made clear in the passage in Luke 9:23, where Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me."