Are there saints who chose the wrong vocation—i.e., entered into a certain state of life without having any attraction to it?

  • VOCATION A call from God to a distinctive state of life, in which the person can reach holiness. The Second Vatican Council made it plain that there is a "Universal call [vocatio] to holiness in the Church" (Lumen Gentium, 39). (Etym. Latin vocatio, a calling, summoning; from vocare, to call.) catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/… Commented Jan 9 at 16:45

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According to St. Alphonsus of Liguori, the "Doctor of Vocations", there is no such thing as "the wrong vocation", though resisting the inspirations of the Holy Ghost can make one's salvation more difficult:

To enter into any state of life, a divine vocation is necessary; for without such a vocation it is, if not impossible, at least most difficult to fulfill the obligation of our state, and obtain salvation. The reason of this is evident; for it is God Who in the order of His Providence assigns to each one of us his state of life, and afterwards provides us with the graces and the help suitable to the state to which He calls us.
Vocation to the Religious State

At the end of The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, St. Alphonsus gives some examples:

But how can I be content if I have not been called to religion? But what does it matter that you have not had a vocation from the beginning? Although you have not become a nun in obedience to a divine call, it is certain that God has permitted your profession for your welfare: and if he did not call you then, he certainly calls you now to be his without reserve.

St. Paul, the first hermit, went into the desert, not to remain in it, but to fly from the persecution that was then carried on against the Church; but he was afterwards called by God to remain in the desert: he remained, and became a saint.

When St. Teresa first entered a monastery she entered not without reluctance; she said that in leaving her father’s house the pain that she felt was so great that she thought it equal to the pain that she should suffer at death; and in her life it is related that she took the habit, as it were, by force. But after all she became a great saint, and the reformer of the Carmelite Order.

Blessed Hyacintha Marescotti, a religious of the convent of St. Clare, in Viterbo, was also induced to take the sacred veil against her inclination, and for ten years led a very imperfect life. But being one day illumined with a divine light, she gave herself entirely to God, and persevered till death, for the space of twenty—four years, in a life of holiness, so that she has deserved to be venerated on the altar.

Likewise Sister Mary Bonaventure, a nun in the convent of the Torre Dei Specchi, entered against her will; but after a life of tepidity and dissipation she went, during the first meditation of the spiritual exercises, and threw herself at the feet of Father Lancicio, of the Society of Jesus, and courageously said to him: “Father, I have learned what God wishes from me. I wish to be a saint, and a great saint, and I wish to be one immediately.” And by the divine aid she executed her purpose; so abundant were her tears that she could say no more; but she went to her cell, and at the foot of the crucifix wrote the following protestation: I, Mary Bonaventure, this day, in the beginning of the spiritual exercises, offer myself entirely to Thee, O my God. I promise to love nothing but Thee, O my Jesus! Accept, O most loving Redeemer! This paper, bathed in my tears, which I consecrate to Thee as the pledge of my love. I leave it in the wound of Thy side, that through the merits of Thy blood Thou mayest pardon my sins, and establish me in Thy love, so that I may be no longer mine, and may be all Thine.

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