Visit to the cemetery on Valeria's birthday, in Manabí (Ecuador), May 14, 2017.
On Sunday, May 14th, at 6:00 a.m., with the cool morning air, we went on a pilgrimage to the cemetery of Pueblo Nuevo, Manabí, Ecuador, where the remains of Valeria rest, a young aspirant to the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, who died in the earthquake of April 16, 2016, at only 15 years of age.
Her own family members were the first ones to get excited about the idea of a walking pilgrimage to the cemetery. Even Valeria's grandmother, whose health is very delicate, was the first one to go at a pace that not even the youngest and healthiest could keep up with. She said: “This is how quickly I used to walk with my daughter when 17 years ago she gave birth to my Valeria.”
Yes, we would have celebrated Valeria’s 15th birthday. After we prayed the rosary together we spent some time remembering things about Valeria. One of her aunts, who shared many important moments in the life of Valeria after the death of her mother, told us in detail how Valeria lived her life and how she acted under certain circumstances. Seeing such a simple life, so deeply surrendered to the will of God, to all that is good, to the truth, to the fulfillment of duty, to fidelity in the smallest things, the only thing we could do was look to heaven and smile. We also experienced that, from there, she was looking down and was smiling at us, because if on this earth this was her expression par excellence: how much more would she be smiling now in the life of the blessed?
Let's give thanks to God for having known her. For her great heart, and for this great gift that God has given to his Church.