As only a Mother could love

Lucy Vetruse was a novice in a Croatian convent when the leaders of neighboring Serbia began their “purge” of her people.
by Peter Mullan, LC | Source:
Somewhere in Croatia there lives an eleven-year-old child, blissfully innocent of the atrocities his mother underwent. Not only did Lucy Vetruse exhibit the virtue of trust in God, even more than that, she showed a mother’s love for her child, planned or not.

War brings out the best and the worst of humanity. Usually the worst is told, and the best is left forgotten. The heroic example of a young Croatian woman is certainly worth remembering.

Lucy Vetruse was a novice in a Croatian convent when the leaders of neighboring Serbia began their “purge” of her people. As the tragedy unfolded, she and two other novices attended the hundreds of refugees in flight before the oncoming militia.

When the invaders reached her convent, they took no regard for the young women’s human dignity, religious consecration, or their vow of chastity.

Sr. Lucy was soon left with a heart-breaking decision: She could either give up her child for adoption, a child forced upon her, so as to be able to continue her religious life; or she could leave her convent and raise the child on her own.

The second option would require a step into the dark, leaving behind her own plans and trusting almost blindly in God’s Providence.

When her Mother Superior inquired about the choice she had made, Lucy fought back the stifling darkness of doubt and uncertainty for the future with her child, and showed the courage of a mother’s love.

“This child has a right to my love as a mother, even if he was neither planned nor wanted. I will go with my child. I don’t know where, but God, who has suddenly dashed my greatest happiness, will show me the way to follow to fulfill his will.”

This young novice had chosen to follow God in the religious life. When God suddenly changed her plans, she did not shrink away from his invitation. Lucy accepted these changes joyfully and courageously.

Not only did she exhibit the virtue of trust in God, even more than that, she showed a mother’s love for her child, planned or not.

“I will do the impossible in order to break the chain of hate that destroys our country. I am going to show only love to the child I bear within me. My child, born out of violence, will be a witness by my side that the only greatness that does credit to the human person is forgiveness.”

Her words speak for themselves: Somewhere in Croatia there lives an eleven-year-old child, blissfully innocent of the atrocities his mother underwent. Thanks to the heroic decision of a young novice, one more flower has blossomed in the garden of love and forgiveness.

-Information taken from a letter written in 1995 by Lucy Vetruse to her Mother Superior, as published in Secretos del Amor by Juan Ramón de Andrés, LC


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