Mumbai Carmelite nun: Leaving everything and following Jesus, we receive a hundred times more
by Nirmala Carvalho

Today the liturgical memory of the Presentation of Mary at the Temple and the day dedicated to the contemplative life of women. Sr. Radha, of a noble Hindu family of Brahmins, converted to Christianity. In this period the sisters are in charge of preparing the hosts for Advent and Christmas.


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - In leaving everything and following Jesus, "we receive a hundred times more, we are blessed with everything”, SAYS sr. Radha, 71, an enclosed Carmelite from the monastery of Andheri East, a district of Mumbai, on the day dedicated to the contemplative life.

The nun comes from a Hindu family of Brahmini, the highest caste of the Indian social system. She converted to Christianity and left the comforts of the family home. But she is not worried, because "Jesus said that whoever left everything to follow him would receive a hundred times more".

Today the liturgical memory of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple occurs. On this day, in 1953 Pope Pius XII wanted to establish the "Pro Orantibus Day" which the Church dedicates to giving thanks for the gift of cloistered communities. A special prayer and festive breakfast was held this morning in the Carmelite convent near Mumbai. The celebrating priest focused his preaching on the Virgin Mary and her call to holiness.

Then, like any other day, the nuns went back to work. "In this period – says Sr. Radha - we are very busy in preparing the hosts. From December 13 to 19 we will be in retreat and given that the demand for the hosts for the period of Advent and Christmas is increasing, we must work every day ”.

Given her high caste origin, Sr. Radha knows the painful condition of the poor and the oppression of the caste system. "The poor - she says - are alone and in need. We are grateful to Pope Francis who pays attention to the poor, and to our beloved Card. Oswald Gracias who is a friend of the poor and takes care of their needs in the Archdiocese of Mumbai ".

As for the Dalits (formerly "untouchables"), "in some areas of our monastery we host 30-35 Christian Dalit families. Card Gracias shows towards them pastoral sensitivity and compassion, pays attention to health care, so that they receive an education and is always eager to include them in the life of the Church and in society. The cardinal is also a friend of the cloistered Carmelites and when he comes to visit us he brings gifts in his hands ”.