“Oh God, we give ourselves entirely to you”. St Vincent
I come from Belarus. I met the sisters for the first time when I was about 10 years old. They were the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. We lived in Szumilino, located in the north-east part of the country, where there was no church at all. The nearest Orthodox temple was in the neighboring town. I was baptized there, but we did not attend to the church. When a Catholic priest arrived in Szumilino, the Daughters of Charity soon arrived too. The Mass was celebrated at first in a private home. Most often, I attended it with my dad. I remember my first impression when I saw the sisters: they were happy and open. Soon, I began to go to them for catechesis. I do not remember much from their teaching, but I really liked coming to the them.
After some time, our family moved to Mińsk, that is the central-western part of Belarus, so I lost contact with the sisters.
Once, when I came to Szumulino for my holidays, I signed up for a walking pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Budsławska. This first pilgrimage was a turning point in my life. During that pilgrimage I got a bad infection in my leg, but I did not realize it was serious. One of the Daughters of Charity, who went on that pilgrimage as a medical aid, learned that I wasnˊt well. She took care of me immediately. She was looking after me till the end of the pilgrimage. I was like a small sheep who had an injured leg and could not walk. It was necessary for the Shepherd to carry it. That is how I felt under the care of that Sister. Although there was a moment when they literally carried me on their shoulders.
After this event, I clung to the Sisters so much (and through them to Jesus) that I stayed in Szumilino for the whole summer and helped them working with children. After returning to Mińsk, I often rang them. From then on, I began to think about joining the Daughters of Charity. I still had a lot of time.
I thought more than once that maybe I would have my own family, but the desire to devote my life to God did not leave me. Sometimes it seemed that this road wasn’t for me, but later again that thirst for devoting myself to God came back with greater power.
With the coming matriculation exam I became more and more confident about my decision. Immediately after passing the exams, I went to the sisters to express my desire to become a Daughter of Charity. It did not take long for an answer. I was accepted for initial formation.
I am happy that I responded to Jesus’ call, although to this day I ask myself: why me? Sometimes, when I think about it, I am completely astonished and grateful at the same time; and that is what Jesus captivates me with…
Sr. Julia, Warsaw Province, Brest, Belarus