Faith, Hope, and Love
I now pronounce you… sister and sister?
Love can be found in the most unexpected places; these two women are proof of that. Meet Federica and Isabel, two former nuns, who are finally wed years after meeting on a religious retreat, falling in love, and making the decision to leave the Church together.
Isabel, from South America, and Federica, from Italy, were brought together by faith. The two met in their mid-forties, performing religious acts of caritas and working at a drug rehabilitation center. While doing humane work for the Church together, the two nuns swiftly fell in love.
While it was the beginning of their happy story, it was also the start of numerous hurdles for the two women.
The Franciscan nuns had to overcome two major obstacles, before they could officially have their happily ever after.
First, there was their vows and commitment to the church. In essence, they were already married to God.
Renouncing their vocation was no easy task, and certainly not a popular one. Nevertheless, they withdrew from the convent to be together.
In spite of leaving the church, Isabel told the Italian newspaper La Stampa, “God wants people to be happy, wants them to live their love out in broad daylight.” Federica agreed, saying, “We call upon our church to welcome all people who love each other.”
While leaving the Church may have been the hardest decision they had to make, it was only the first step in affirming their love for each other. Unfortunately, making their love official through marriage was even more difficult.
The former nuns had to wait three years, but luckily for them, Italy officially recognized same-sex civil unions in June, 2016, becoming one of the last countries in Western Europe to do so.
Even as they prepared for a civil union ceremony, Federica and Isabel still dreamed of getting married in the Church.
Here’s what happened next…