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Perpetual vows of the Servant Brothers and Sisters of the Home of the Mother in Alcalá de Henares, September 8, 2017.

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On September 8th, feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ten Servant Sisters and two Servant Brothers from the Home of the Mother offered their whole life to the Lord until their death, professing perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and a fourth vow to defend in and with their lives the honor of Our Mother and the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist.

The ceremony took place in the Cathedral of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). On that day, we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the perpetual vows of the first three Servant Sisters, Mother Ana, Sister Reme and Sister Conchi, as well as the 27th anniversary of the founding of the Servant Brothers. What a beautiful gift for Our Mother's birthday! It was a day filled with joy and the presence of the Lord.

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Las celebraciones empezaron la noche anterior en el Monasterio de Loeches (Madrid), con una vigilia en honor a Nuestra Madre, que sirvió de preparación para los Siervos y Siervas que iban a hacer sus votos al día siguiente. Como regalo a las tres primeras Siervas, se realizó una preciosa custodia de madera que tiene en su centro a la Virgen mirando y adorando al Señor en el Santísimo Sacramento. En la parte delantera, está escrito “Jesús, te amo” y, detrás, “Permaneced en mi amor”. Estas dos frases fueron las que inspiraron los puntos de meditación que dio el P. Rafael en la Hora Santa, animando a todos a profundizar en el conocimiento del amor que el Señor nos tiene, para poder amarle cada vez más.The celebrations began the previous night in the Monastery of Loeches (Madrid), with a vigil in honor of Our Mother, which served as a preparation for the Servant Brothers and Servant Sisters who were to make their vows the following day. As a gift to the first three Servant Sisters, a beautiful monstrance made out of wood was built, which in the center had the Virgin Mary looking at and adoring the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. On the front is written 'Jesus, I love you' and, on the back, 'Abide in my love'. These two phrases were the inspiration behind the points of meditation given by Fr. Rafael in the Holy Hour, encouraging all to deepen in the knowledge of the love that the Lord has for us, in order to be able to love Him more and more.

September the 8th began in the way that Our Mother most likes, with the adoration of the Lord in the Eucharist. Father Rafael again gave points of meditation to help us to penetrate deeper into the readings that would later be proclaimed at Mass. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed until noon, and there the Lord offered another gift to his Mother, the entrance of a new candidate to the Servant sisters, an Italian girl, Ilaria Marchetti, who made the step to give her life to the Lord in religious life and begin the process of formation to become a Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother. On this important day for her, she was accompanied by her family, as well as by her parish priest and several people from her parish in Brignano (Italy), city where the Servant Sisters reside since 2011. After her entrance, we had Benediction and the repose of the Blessed Sacrament, then we all left to congratulate Ilaria and to welcome her to the community.

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We ate together in Loeches: the Servant Brothers and the Servant Sisters, the laity and the relatives of those who would soon make their perpetual vows. After lunch, we began to prepare for the mass, which began at 6:00 p.m. in the Cathedral. Mass was celebrated by Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Plá, Bishop of Alcalá de Henares. The sanctuary and altar was filled with concelebrant priests of various nations, among them Servant Priests and some others who had come to share this great day with us. The whole liturgy was very solemn and filled with joy. The Lord showed his love with these children of His, because a wedding had been held in the Cathedral right before, and everything was decorated with flowers, even with some rose petals decorating the center aisle, through which they entered in procession behind the cross. It was a small outward manifestation of the reality that was captured in the interior of these young people: the spiritual marriage of their souls to God. During the ceremony, the Lord was very present to the Servant Brothers and Servant Sisters who made their vows, very palpable as they prostrated before the altar to invoke the intercession of the entire heavenly Church, as they pronounced the formula of the vows 'to the end of their lives', as well as when they signed their vows on the altar and received the cross of the perpetual vows. In this sense, the climax was Holy Communion, when the Lord made Himself really present and entered in the soul of each one of them to take possession of their hearts.

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At the end of the mass, the Bishop directed a few words to the families of the Servant Brothers and the Servant Sisters to remind them that God had entered their homes on that day, and thanked them for the sacrifice of having a son/daughter consecrated to God. The celebration continued later in Loeches with hors d'oeuvres for the more than 300 people who attended the ceremony. Then we enjoyed a show presented by two Servant Sisters, in which we shared the graces received during that day, we sang, congratulated the Servant Brothers and Servant Sisters for their respective anniversaries, and showed some videos made by the community, filled with love, as a gift for the newly professed. We are sure that Our Mother was very happy with her birthday gift. May we all be like Her. Although we strive to give her the best gift possible, Her heart is so generous that the one that ends up giving us a much better gift is her, who gives us her own Son, and her maternal love for each one of us.

We ask that you join the Home in giving thanks to the Lord and Our Mother for the work they are doing in this humble plant of the Church, and that you entrust those who have just professed their perpetual vows to God, so that they may be good and faithful Servant Brothers and Sisters, and that at the end of their lives they may enter into the joy of their Lord.

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