A Mother's Spiritual Diary

 My Marriage

Her life as a young girl passed without ado, awaiting future happiness.

"The day finally came when I received a formal proposal of marriage. My mother wept. My father asked me: 'What do you think?' I answered him that I accepted Pancho's proposal because I loved him. Though he was not rich, I preferred him to all the others. He was so good! I say again to him, never did my love for him, so full of tenderness, hinder me from loving God.  I loved him with a great simplicity, as wholly enveloped in my love for Jesus. I did not see there was any other pathway for me to come to God...

"The eve of my wedding, I was given a white dress. I cannot express how fearful I felt on seeing it.  It was very expensive, very elegant and along with it I was given a complete trousseau: magnificent earrings with gleaming pearls, a cross studded with diamonds (which later on became the stance of the monstrance of the cloister), a necklace, some jewels, (which did not impress me much for l have always been quite indifferent toward jewelry) and finally, a great number of gifts, and a lot of clothing... And I, what did I feel? I felt great sorrow, a strange fear and an indescribable suffering.  I married Francisco Armida on November 8.

From midnight of November 7, until 8 a.m., I prayed with all my heart.  I recited fifteen decades of the rosary, up to the moment when I was to make a contract with obligations. I was still unsure about many things. At about 6 a.m., Pancho and I received Communion at the Church of St. John of God. Right after, both of us returned home, to get everything ready.  I prayed to Jesus to help me be a good wife and make happy the man he was giving me as a companion.  I put on my white wedding dress embroidered with orange blossoms.  Later I offered up part of my dress to the Immaculate Virgin and the rest I used to decorate the prie-Dieu of my future children on their First Communion and to fashion pillows for the poor on Christmas Eve.  They placed a veil and a crown on me.  Thus garbed, I knelt down to ask for my parents' blessing.  They gave it to me whole heartedly but in tears.  We left in a carriage for the church of Carmel, which was magnificently decorated with white flowers.

"The ceremony was performed at 8 a.m., presided over by my uncle, Canon Luis Arias, my mother's brother. I attended Mass with great devotion, then I returned to my parents' home for the customary greetings and for the civil ceremony. Somewhat later we went to get our pictures taken. Finally, we went to the Quinta de San Jose where there was a banquet and a dance up to midnight (Aut., l, 104-108).

"I remember that at the wedding banquet, when toasts were being made, I got the idea to ask him, who was now my husband, to promise he would do two things for me: allow me to receive Communion every day and never to be jealous. Poor soul! He was so good that many a year later, he stayed home with the children waiting for me to come back from church, during his last illness, he asked me whether I had gone to receive Our Lord. God must have rewarded him for this favor which made up my whole life.

"When evening came my brother Octaviano called me. He wanted me to leave with Pancho right away, without my mother being aware we were leaving. I felt terribly uneasy. Silently and in tears, awfully confused I left. Pancho consoled me but I was very upset on going off alone with him. We finally arrived at our house, brilliantly lighted and filled with white roses (Aut., 1, 110).

"My husband was always a perfect model of respect and tenderness. Many priests assured me that God had chosen him for me as all exceptional favor. It was a model of a husband and of virtue (Aut., 1, 111).

"One month after my, marriage, December 8, I celebrated my twenty-second birthday but I was already not well, not knowing how long the illness would last and unable to receive Communion. How many things happen in one's life! I had come into this house, filled with flowers and brilliantly lit and nine months later, I left it in the middle of the night, fleeing in terror from a fire, never to come back" (Aut., 1, 112).