It was 1929. Julia was working for the industrialist Adriaen De Clerck and his wife in Kortrijk, not far from Geluwe. “I was alone, preparing the house for the newly weds. On her arrival the young bride handed me responsibility for the running of the household. Thus, I had complete freedom as to how I went about my duties”. Julia soon earned the respect of the young couple. Because she performed her work so well, she was granted permission to go to Holy Mass regularly. At this time she thought seriously about God’s plan for her life.
One day, as a sign of appreciation, Mrs. De Clerck gave her a movie ticket. She was invited to see “The King of Kings” which portrayed the life of Jesus. Even though she did not feel right about going to the movies during Lent, Julia accepted the ticket out of love. This film, made in the USA in 1927, was considered a masterpiece. The Lord used it to enter powerfully once more into her life.
Julia wrote about this event: “It was during Lent in 1929. The film, ‘King of Kings’ was showing. It was a good film. I was in a cinema, but had gone reluctantly. I was doing it just to please Mme De Clerck. It was then that I received the grace of my conversion. How profoundly my soul was touched. I will never forget it: Jesus’ look and His words as he took leave of his mother, His words to Mary Magdalene, to Peter, the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, His testament, His apostles, and then the drama of His suffering! I left before the end of the film. Above me the sky was beautiful, full of stars, and around me a pleasant evening stillness. Everything appeared to be in harmony and drew me irresistibly to Him, and yet I felt ashamed of myself. I understood and felt that the Lord was calling me to something - clearly and without any reservation. A penetrating light had overwhelmed me. God’s merciful love had taken possession of my soul and of my whole being with an attraction that was both strong and gentle. At that moment I gave myself totally to God, just as I was. In so far as my conscience could grasp that evening what it involved, I committed myself to fighting the good fight, to a life of more profound self-renunciation and denial”.
The spiritual enlightenment proved to be a decisive turning point in Julia’s life, who was then eighteen years old. She considered this intervention of God as the call to a deeper conversion and to a more complete dedication. Immediately on her return from the cinema she made drastic changes to her way of life. Already for many years she had aimed to live a life of faith, but in the light of this new experience she was touched more deeply than ever by the sanctity of God and by the greatness of His merciful and just love.