For the Sister that trained me to pray in Latin

“Dear Sister, I don’t even know if you are still alive or not. You may not remember me, I was that altar boy that you have trained, 30 years ago”.

This is how I would start a letter for the Sister that thought me to pray in Latin. She was quite aged already at the time and I was so young and full energy. I served as altar boy in my Parish and she was in charge of our formation. One day she told us that she would teach us to pray in Latin. Latin? I was surprised Latin can still be spoken by someone but I did not mention to her. So I started to memorize Ave Maria, gratia plena….and after this Pater noster, qui es in coelis…

If I could meet her again I would thank her deeply. With Latin she gave me a connection with my roots, she has made me a friend of Julius Caesar, Cicero, Seneca, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine and countless others. She made me pray in the same language with many other people with whom normally I would not share a single word in our vernacular languages. She gave me a sense of belonging and the strange feeling of being the part of a whole whose boundaries and stems I could never dare to touch.



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