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Cristina Sanz, the story of a vocation that began on the internet



Matilde Latorre - published on 02/05/23

The monastery's newest novice came into contact with these Benedictine nuns thanks to the internet!

The Monastery of Santa María de Carbajal of the Benedictine Nuns of León (Spain) has experienced the effectiveness of evangelization through social networks. Their latest novice, Cristina Sanz, came into contact with them thanks to the internet.

Cristina is a 35-year-old woman from Guadalajara (Spain), a developmental psychologist by training who has worked as a teacher and social worker. She became interested in the School of Religious Experience that these Benedictine nuns offer on the internet. 

The experience helped her so much that she decided to take the in-person course. “I came to the monastery a little over a year ago and I did it without any intention of staying,” recalls Sister Cristina.


A vocation is born

“I simply wanted to spend a few days of retreat because for some time I had been experiencing a personal situation of vocational restlessness. After returning home, I asked to go back for a more leisurely period of vocational discernment, without thinking at any time about the option of monastic life, of which I had no knowledge or experience,” she continues. 

“God communicated to me what he had prepared for me before he created me, his plan of fulfillment for me: the Benedictine vocation in this community of sisters,” she acknowledges.

Cristina has finished her period of vocational discernment or postulancy, which lasted a year. As a novice, she is now preparing to profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, following the Rule of St. Benedict.


“I was very surprised and disconcerted,” she admits as he recalls the moment she understood her vocation. “Amazingly, I embraced this invitation from my Father with promptness and immense gratitude; and in a free and joyful way. Now, I seem to realize that it was the way I walked hopefully through life that helped me to react in such a way. 

“If God has planned this path for me, it’s because it’s the best for me. He’s my Father, the one who knows me best and loves me most,” she says.


An evangelizing community

Although Cristina has embraced the contemplative life to follow God, her community is far from living in a parallel world. 

The Benedictine Sisters of Leon are connected to social networks to spread the energy that the world lacks. 

Apart from the daily contact with pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, coming from all over the world, these nuns are present with their Facebook profiles (Monasterio de Monjas Benedictinas de León), Twitter (@benedictinas), and Instagram (@monjasbenedictinasleon).

“I don’t miss anything because I feel fulfilled”

The community, whose abbess is Sr. Ernestina Álvarez, now has 13 sisters between the ages of 35 and 90. “Each one contributes according to her abilities and interests,” says the mother abbess.

Cristina’s days are now based on three pillars: “Our rhythm of life is based on work, prayer, and fraternity, the pillars of our charism,” explains Cristina. “I don’t miss anything because I feel fulfilled”.

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