Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis

Sr. M. Leone

Story of Sister Leone,

I was born in 1948, in Hokkaido, Japan, and have three sisters.  I was told that when I was one or two years old, my mother took me on her back to the church, but I don’t remember.  I met Jesus, when I was in the third grade of elementary school.  At that time we lived in a coal mining city named Yubari.  We children received Christmas gifts from the coal mine company, the men who were dressed to appear as Santa Clause told us “This is from Jesus!”  I simply assumed that it was from Jesus and said “Thank you Jesus!”  One time, my oldest sister, who was a high school student, invited me to go to “Sunday School” of a catholic church with her and in the summer we went to summer camp.  I felt close a relationship to Jesus.  In the fifth grade I wrote in my diary that when I grow up I want to be a religious Sister.  Actually I forgot what I written in the diary until my entrance.  I had prayed: “May God provide me a church not so far away from my house.”  Somehow God answered this prayer for me.  I was so surprised and I believed Jesus was present there.

My father was baptized at his deathbed and mother was baptized one year before her death.  We three sisters were baptized when we were in high school.  

When I was studying at a nursing school, I sometimes could not go to Sunday Mass.  I asked Jesus to let me have seven Masses instead of Sunday Mass, so I attended daily Mass.  Even I went out at night for pleasure, I went to early morning Mass, as I promised.

God used my mishearing to draw me to Him.  One time I went to confession and the priest said as a penance to pray “Rosary.”  I was not sure if the “Rosary” meant one decade or the whole Rosary, once or everyday?  So I prayed the Rosary everyday for a while.  At the end of my studies to become a mid-wife, in a church close to the hospital, I met a priest who taught me about the prayers of the hour.  Since then I prayed them. The year I graduated from the mid-wifery school; I attend a retreat guided by a Trappist priest.  One Friday after that retreat, while I prayed Psalm 50, God’s love deeply touched me.  Some time after that experience I was invited to enter the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, whose mission in Japan started the year I was born.

I was sent to St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki and now I have the responsibility as the Nursing Director.  There are not many Catholic employees, nor Catholic patients, but I am experiencing God's works of wonder.  I think “The difference between a believer and a non believer is knowing or not that we are loved by God.”

I believe that God heals people through people who are involved in nursing or all medical services, and my belief in this is strengthened year after year.