Sister Teresita, the world’s oldest contemplative nun at age 103, came out of the cloister for the first time in 84 years to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his recent visit to Madrid.
“I pray for you every day,” the Spanish, Cistercian nun told Benedict XVI, who took her by the hand and made the sign of the cross on her forehead.
The two met at Madrid's apostolic nunciature on Aug. 20.
“Saturday was a special day for Sr. Teresita,” reported ReligionenLibertad.com. “She climbed into the back of Father Angel Moreno’s car—he serves as the chaplain for her religious community—together with her superior, Sr. Maria, and they headed to Madrid for the most important meeting of her life.”
“Waiting for her at the nunciature was none other than the Pope, intrigued at meeting the nun who has spent the most time in a cloister in the world, 84 years.” According to the report, Sr. Teresita entered the convent on the same day the Pope was born.
She “has turned 103 and maintains the same look of innocence she had on that day in 1927 when she entered the walls of the convent never to leave again (except to escape during the Spanish Civil War to seek out safety in a nearby home) until this past Aug. 20, 2011.”
Sr. Maria said Sr. Teresita was “very excited and overjoyed” over all the attention she received, because not only the Pope, but also from various cardinals and staff members of the nunciature who wanted to meet and honor her. The Pope lit up when he saw her, Sr. Maria said, and was “especially tender” to her.
Sr. Teresita 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 is a collection of 10 testimonies of women who have given themselves completely to God in the religious life.
A video of the meeting can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Moabddf1f6o