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Introducing the members of Daughters of St. Paul

Sr. Rosamaria Munari (1)

Sr. Rosamaria Munari

The missionary Sister Rosamaria Munari came back to Japan for the Italian Fair. The missionary Sister Rosamaria who had returned to Italy 10 years ago came back to Japan for the Italian Fair at the "Big Site" in Tokyo.

This time, I wish to introduce her and her mission in Japan.

Sister was born in Casto village of Lombardia in Northern Italy. When she was a child, a missionary sister who had lived in Africa came back home, and she could hear her speak about her life over there. Until that time, missionaries usually could not come back, so people never had this kind of opportunity.

Listening to her, 12 young girls went into the convent in two years, from this small village of 500 inhabitants.

Sister Rosamaria was one of them. And when she entered the congregation of Daughters of Saint Paul, she was 15 years old.

She had been telling the Pastor of the village her wish to enter the convent. The Pastor was a kind priest and eager for the mission, he used to visit the Daughters of St. Paul, and to buy books there.

In her village, there was no convent of the Daughters of St. Paul. And also, she wanted to become a nurse, and enter a congregation where she could work as a nurse. But she could not study to become a nurse because the family was poor, and also because her aunt was against the idea that she would go to a city to study.

Around that time, the Pastor told her that there was going to be a retreat in June. He even paid for her trip to Alba where was the Mother House of the Daughters of St. Paul. It was in Piemont in Northern Italy.

That was the retreat given by the Daughters of St. Paul. On June 30, the feast of Saint Paul, she could attend the ceremony where young Sisters received their costume. She could also see the film "Metropoli".

Statue of Mary, the queen of disciples

At the interview, she was asked: "I hear that you are thinking of becoming a nun. Do you think you would like to enter this congregation ?" Thinking that she rather go into another convent, she answered "no". But the Sister said " You don't have to give your answer right away. Go and pray in front of the statue of Mary, the queen of disciples". (In the Saint Paul family, it is specially considered that the Holy Mary is the Queen of disciples).

At the instant she stood in front of the statue, she could not resist any longer. This statue she saw for the first time, she had already seen in her dream before she came to this retreat !

With the decision of entering this order, she went home, but her father was against her: "You are not yet even 16 years old". By the persuasion of the Pastor, she finally got her father's permission.

Sister Rosamaria came to Japan 49 years ago, on May 2, 1952. She was then only 19, and did not know anything about Japan.

As she was not yet 20, she needed permission of her parents to get the passport. So, earlier than others, she had been told about the mission from the Postulant Mistress, Maestra Nazalena.

She is telling about that time as follows:

When I was told about Japan, I was happier more than anything else, to be able to make my first vow. Going to Japan meant surely the permission for the first vow. And I had no apprehension. Making my vow and going to mission were a double happiness for me.

Surprisingly enough, my father who was against the idea when I became a nun, was quite happy. My father who had trouble in hearing, used to read a lot, especially he was interested in the world history. He had read the Japanese Christian history and even knew that Father Organo, S.J. who went to Japan at the beginning of propagation of Christianity, was from Casto village.

He has been very proud that 500 years later, his own daughter goes to Japan as a missionary from Casto village.

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