This is the beautiful vocation of story of Sr. Elisea L. Delacion, O.P., who was inspired to enter the religious life after receiving a scapular from a stranger.
I was born on 15 September 1970 in Nagsaulay, San Juan, Batangas, the youngest of ten children. I belonged to a poor but happy family. We lived far from the church. Even as a child, I often wondered how the religious sisters lived their lives.
A year after my high school graduation, I had the opportunity to work abroad as a nanny to two Greek children. I worked in Athens, Greece and was blessed with a good, generous and compassionate employer who treated me as a member of the family. There I became active in the church where I would spend my free time or help the Missionaries of Charity (Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta). God used me also as an instrument to start the Legion of Mary for young people in the parish of St. Denis in Athens.
One day, I was praying before the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of St. Denis when a man knelt down beside me, took my hand, and put something in my palm. He said it was from the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a brown scapular, and that day was Vocation Day in Greece! Tears flowed down my cheeks. I became convinced that God was really calling me and I could not say no to Him.
Since then, I became more strongly convinced of my religious vocation. I developed close friendships with religious sisters, like Sr. Evangeline Yap, O.P. who told me about the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena in the Philippines. After working in Greece for almost five years, I returned to the Philippines and joined the OP-Siena Congregation.
In God’s providence and with His unfailing help, indeed, all things are possible. My vocation journey has consistently challenged me to go forward in trust and surrender. Mary has been my constant companion and guide, and her example has strengthened me to say “Yes” even when my path seemed so uncertain. Praise Him!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 2: 4-5)
Sister Elisea Delacion is the Director-Principal of the Notre Dame Hospital School of Midwifery in Cotabato City.