In this book, Thomas Matus tells the true story of one woman's struggle to live her extraordinary vocation to a life of total silence, solitude and hiddenness. A gifted musician and ordinary Sunday Catholic, Nazarena, nee Julia Crotta, had a vision of Jesus calling her to the desert while in college in Connecticut. After much searching and numerous attempts to have her unique vocation recognized by the church, she eventually found her "desert" in a small room at the monastery of the Camaldolese Benedictine nuns in Rome. She lived there as an anchoress for forty-five years until her death in 1990. Radical yet traditional, exceptional yet simple, Sister Nazarena had a long and spiritually fruitful ascetic life. Nazarena, an American Anchoress uses excerpts from her own letters of spiritual counseling and material taken from interviews with those who knew her to tell the remarkable story of her life of silence and prayer.
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A curious, interesting, and spiritually enlightening work. -- The Catholic Historical Review
Delightfully written. -- Sisters Today
It is a well-written study that raises issues of general importance about the vocation of hermit and anchoress. -- Catholic Library World
[Matus] is a 'micro-historian' with an eye for hidden events whose significance reaches far and goes deep. -- David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine Monk, author of Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer
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