CARF Foundation

1 March, 23

Life testimonies

"I walked away from the Lord, but He never walked away from me."

"My priority was pleasure. I had money for my vices and freedom of movement, but there was something that left me unsatisfied and would not leave me alone. One April 11, Divine Mercy Day, he decided to open his heart to Jesus and his conversion to Him." He is now a novice of the Servants of the Home of the Mother and is preparing to become a priest while studying thanks to the CARF Foundation.

A testimony of conversion in a quiet childhood in a Christian family

Davide tells his conversion testimony: he was born in Brescia, northern Italy, in 1999. His parents educated him in the faith from childhood and frequented Catholic environments. He has fond memories of his childhood: "catechesis, Sunday Mass where he helped out as an altar boy and the many soccer games on the parish field. Thanks be to God I can say that I had a good childhood".

In 2013, his mother began attending weekly meetings offered by the Servants of the Home of the Mother -who had come to the parish in 2010 - and where there were many testimonies of conversion. From these meetings the spiritual climate in the house began to grow. That same year, the first meeting with the Handmaids, open to young people, was organized. It was the first of many that followed over the years.

The bitterness of turning away from God

At the age of fifteen he began to drift away from the life of grace, which led him to make unwise decisions. In addition, the immaturity typical of his age did not help. Led astray by some of her classmates, she began to hate God and Our Mother: "I started blaspheming and not going to Mass on Sundays without my parents knowing about it.". His school performance began to drop. "I arrived in mid-March with 6 out of 11 subjects failed. I went from being a happy and carefree boy to experiencing deep sadness and bitterness, which easily turned into anger. An anger that I often took out on the people who loved me the most: my parents." However, the closeness of his parents was decisive. They offered him an opportunity that would influence his future forever.

Touched by grace: a testimony of conversion

In 2015 his parents invited him to spend a season in Las Presillas (Spain) with the Servants of the Home of the Mother. He accepted the proposal as a better alternative to having to spend the summer studying. "I found myself living in a house with 7 religious, And I can assure you that it was not easy: I was in a foreign country, whose language I did not know, alien to their way of life, I did not appreciate the food and in my prayer times I used to fall asleep or think about shrews".

Suddenly, God's grace touched his heart. She began to see how beautiful it was to live in this community, to appreciate the daily Mass and holy hours, to pray the rosary for Our Lady with gusto and love, and to enjoy the joy of community life. By returning to living in grace, "peace, serenity and enthusiasm returned to my heart. Etymologically, enthusiasm means "to live in God". Opening myself to the Lord and to Our Mother, I began to feel more and more attracted to this way of living. The price of what I had to give up seemed less important than what I was acquiring".

After four months he returned to Italy convinced that he had discovered what he really wanted to do in life. However, his testimony of conversion does not end there. "I made the mistake of believing that I could live as the Lord wanted, but without the Lord. I didn't understand what Jesus reminds us in the Gospel, that Without Him we can do nothing. That's how I set out on a path that led me away from God again".

My priority was pleasure

Gradually he gave up prayer and allowed himself to be absorbed by the world's proposals. At the age of 17 he started smoking hashish and marijuana. The effect of these substances unleashed in him the joy he had always wanted to experience. But soon it went from being a way to have fun at parties to a necessity. By the time he turned 18, he could drink in bars without any problems. "I lived waiting for the weekend so I could have fun with my friends." In spite of everything, she never stopped attending the meetings of the Servants of the Mother's Home. Although she didn't want to admit it, his soul longed to rest in the Lord.

With this lifestyle, "my priority was pleasure". Studying took a back seat. He failed again and his parents again took matters into their own hands. He was sent to work for most of the summer in a factory as a laborer, hoping that the experience would help him mature. In September he returned to school and finally graduated on June 17, 2020. By July 6, he was already working. "I liked the work and there was a good atmosphere among the co-workers. I had everything I had wanted for years: money for my vices and freedom of movement and schedules. However, there was something that left me unsatisfied. I constantly had the feeling that I was missing something, and this thought became more and more annoying. It wouldn't leave me alone.

The help of Divine Mercy

On April 11, 2021, Divine Mercy Day, tired of this inner situation that had been dragging on for months, "I made the most important decision of my life: to open my heart to Jesus. Thus I began a journey of discernment with a priest I had known for years. My priority then became getting back in touch with God and Our Mother: I resumed daily Mass, personal prayer - especially the Rosary - and reading books that could help me to grow spiritually".

"However, the text that helped me the most was. The Treatise on True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Monfort. The life and vocation of Sister Clare Crocket, of the Servants, and the vocational and youth videos on our television also had a great influence on my conversion. HM TVof the EUK Mamie Foundation. This change enabled me to describe what God wanted for my life: to be Servant of the Mother's Household".

On October 2, 2021, at the age of twenty-one, Davide entered the Servants as a postulant.

A life without God is a life not worth living.

"Now every day I experience immeasurable joy and exultation in the Spirit. It is almost impossible to find the right words. This is my testimony of conversion. It is not an easy path, but it is a happy one, as St. Paul VI would say. I can only advise everyone never to leave God out of their plans. Only in Him there is joy and hope. A life without God is a life not worth living".

Gerardo Ferrara
BA in History and Political Science, specializing in the Middle East.
Head of the student body at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

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