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The Nuns and the Indigenous People

Posted By Austen Le On April 30, 2017 @ 9:40 pm In Legends,Narrative | Comments Disabled

Informant is a sophomore at USC majoring in Computer Science. He attended Catholic school from Kindergarten to 8th grade. This is a story that he heard during this time.

“This is a story that I heard from a priest when I went to Catholic school in elementary school. So two of the most faithful nuns were sent from the Vatican to a foreign country to spread the word of God, and when they arrive, they got lost. These nuns had brought nothing but their Bibles and the clothes on their backs, and had no food and water. They couldn’t find the village that they were looking to convert, so they wandered around lost and hungry for three days. Finally they ran into an indigenous person, who asked them why they are there. They said that they were there to spread the word of God to the villagers, to which the person said that he would help lead them to the village. So, they started walking to the village, which was multiple days away, and as they’re walking, the indigenous person showed them plants that they could eat and the plants that were poisonous. After the first day of travelling, they take a rest. The next day, the person tells them that they are only one day away, but that they must trek through wetlands in which there are no edible plants. And, um, the nuns say to gather all the food in the area, to which the indigenous person responds that if people before had taken everything, then they wouldn’t be alive today. They all argue over taking some or all of the food, and the nuns decide to go with their plan. One of the nuns reaches to a bush to grab a berry, when suddenly lightning comes down and strikes the bush, killing all the food on it. At this point, the nuns realize that the indigenous person was being more Christian than they were. Basically, the point of the story is that by coming to the indigenous land, the nuns had brought Christianity to these people without even trying.”

Do you remember how you and your classmates reacted to the story?

“Well I had to hear it basically every year, so I got real tired of it by the end. Plus, it seems super unbelievable, but apparently it’s a true story and a miracle. Either way, it’s something that they told a lot in my Catholic school.”

 

Collector’s Comments:

“This is a story that is supposedly true, but is within a religious context so its validity is questionable at best. It is very interesting in that it shows Catholicism in the context of indigenous conversion, although it is very watered down in that it omits much of the violence that went into the conversion of indigenous populations. However, this story is very much geared towards believers of the Catholic faith, as it would be most believable if the audience believed in the miracles of God.


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URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=37065