Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 21, 2017 / 06:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Sister Crucita has been a member of the Josephine Sisters in Mexico for 70 years. At nearly 100 years old, she says she is happy with her vocation and would not change her decision to give her life to God.
In an interview with CNA, Sister Crucita – whose full religious name is Sister Maria of the Royal Cross – said that the secret of her perseverance has always been her trust in the mercy of God and the support of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“I say to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 'Take care of me, you already know I'm yours. Deliver me from the snares of the devil.' The Blessed Virgin has taken great care of me,” she said.
Through the Holy Rosary she was able to persevere in face of the temptation to abandon the religious life on many occasions, she said.
“One of the strongest temptations was to want to leave the religious life, because there were a lot of difficulties at the hospital where I was. The doctors encouraged me to leave, but I trusted in God and the Blessed Virgin. And here I am, thanks to them,” she said.
Sister Crucita was born Nov. 23, 1917 in the El Oro municipality in Mexico State. From a very young age, she had a love for Christ and the Church, thanks to the devotion of her parents who took her to Mass.
“I always liked going to Mass. I had an uncle who was a sacristan and I liked to spend time with him. So I was always drawn to the things of the Lord,” she said.
She began thinking about a religious vocation after a group of religious sisters came to her home town. She even discerned with a cloistered convent, but was forced to return home after two years, due to an illness.
Sister Crucita was introduced to the Josephine Sisters by a priest. She worked alongside the sisters at a local hospital for a few months, and then entered the novitiate.
On Aug. 15, 1947, Sister Crucita made her final vows as a Josephine sister, at 30 years of age. Currently she goes to confession about every two weeks, prays the Holy Rosary three or four times a day, and attends Mass daily.
She said her religious vocation was always tied to her profession as a nurse.
At the start of the 1950s, Sister Crucita was sent to her congregation's hospital in Cuba. Later, in 1952, she arrived in Guadalajara and was assigned as a nurse to the Civil Hospital. For many years she was the supervisor of the pediatrics department.
Sister María de la Cruz said that one of her secrets to keep on going has always been to feel welcomed by the mercy of God: “I know that He loves me much more than I love him. I have always thought that He seeks me, he calls me, that he is always with me. If something happens to me, He watches over me.”
She encouraged young people to trust “completely in God, in the love that He has for us” because “He helps us and gives us peace.”
On Nov. 23, at Our Lady of Bethlehem and Saint Michael the Archangel church, a Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated for Sister Crucita’s 100th birthday.
Sister Beatriz Escamilla, a 44-year-old Josephine sister, said that at nearly 100 years old, Sister Crucita is still very independent.
“She begins her routine at 5:00 am, because she moves at a slower pace, and then she comes to the chapel at 7:00 am. She is one of the most punctual sisters, and sometimes she beats us all there. Sometimes she's the one who opens up the chapel,” Sister Beatriz said.
She also highlighted Sister Crucita's fervent prayer for “vocations and for those of us still working in the apostolate.”
“She has an hour dedicated to prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament to especially ask for these needs,” she said.
Whenever things at the hospital get difficult, Sister Beatriz said, she can always count on Sister Crucita for encouragement.
“She's a person you're drawn to, through the peace she conveys. She offers a lesson in joy, perseverance, dedication and sacrifice,” she concluded.