13 cloistered Catholic nuns pray for the world from the island of Santorini


A group of Catholic nuns living on the beautiful Greek island of Santorini have devoted their lives to praying for visitors and for the world writes Giovanna Dell'Orto for Associated Press.

The 13 cloistered Catholic nuns from the Monastery of St. Catherine, steps from Santorini’s world-famous volcanic cliffs are a minority amongst the predominantly Christian Orthodox country,  but their 'presence speaks to desired unity with other Christians, the sisters say. They exchange holiday greetings with the island’s Orthodox monks and nuns, and recall enthusiastically one visit when they sang hymns together.

“Despite being cloistered, nuns have always been an important element in the life of a place,” said Fermín Labarga, professor of church history at the University of Navarra in Spain.

“In such a touristy island, the last thing one thinks about is praying — so we are the ones who do it,” Sister Lucía María de Fátima, the prioress, said on a recent morning.

“After going beyond the grille, we miss nothing. When God gave us the vocation to being cloistered, he gave us the complete package,” said Sister María Esclava, who’s originally from Puerto Rico.

“For these women, they find God in a dedicated life of prayer or contemplation,” said Margaret McGuinness, professor emerita of religion at La Salle University in Philadelphia.


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