One of our nuns here is Mother Dilecta. Many years ago we had a young man from the
come and spend summers with us while he was at school in the . USA
When I was able to go to
a few years later he was my guide, taking me to many of the wonderful monuments
of his homeland. He had always been fascinated by Mother Dilecta’s name and
wondered if it was related to a nun from Prague
who lived in the 17th century named Elekta.
He took me to her convent where I was able to meet her as well as one of
the nuns. Prague
One of them sits in a chair in the
Church of St. Benedict at Hradčanské Square in and exalts sacred respect not only
among the faithful, but also among experts. The body of the VENERABLE ABBESS MARIE ELECTA (1605-1663) is miraculously preserved even 350 years after
Mother Marie Elekta died in 1663, seven years after establishing a new order of Carmelites in
. This Italian-born nun, Caterina
Tramazzoli, was greatly respected as a superior by the other nuns for her devotional and
humble nature. After her death the nuns often went to her grave
in St. Elijah's Chapel to pray, and then things started to happen. Prague
One of the sisters always smelled violets, and another would see a heavenly glow. Others, when touching their heads on the gravestone were relieved of headaches. In 1666 the grave was opened and according to the original reports, the cavity of the tomb and the coffin itself were flooded with black, smelly water. The body of Mother Marie Electa remained intact, which those present considered a miracle. When they washed it with vinegar and a mixture of herbs (which is why her body is dark today), they found it still flexible. So they tried to sit her down in a chair. At first it did not work, but then she began to bend. Her neck had been broken when they stuffed her into a too small coffin, but she raised her head in obedience to her nuns.
|Inside the Church|
A similar conclusion was reached by a panel of leading experts from the same faculty more than 300 years later when they wrote in their 2003 report: "The Commission regards the survival of the intact body as remarkable and extremely rare.”
Venerable Marie Electa miraculously survived during the period of Communism, when the nuns had to leave their monastery in 1950, being sent to either factories or internment camps. At first they did not want to leave without the abbess, but the the Archbishop of Prague told them: "Leave her here if she is holy, she will take care of herself and her monastery."
And so she stayed all through the years the Communist regime, while the monastery was converted into a hotel, sitting in her niche waiting the return of the Carmelites in 1992. When I saw her in 1998 she was behind the glass and grate in the niche to the right of the altar of the church. She has slightly open eyes and she looks as if like she is still smiling, letting us know she has seen things we can only dream of.