A Mother's Spiritual Diary

Teacher of her Children

The voyage to the Holy land and to Rome has assured the future of the Works of the Cross. Conchita did not forget her duties as a mother, for in her eyes, they were her primary concern. She addressed to her director, Father Bernardo (Msgr. Maximo Ruiz), this capital statement one day: "It is a point about which I do not speak, I might say never, in my Spiritual Diary, namely about my children, when actually my concern to raise them occupies the greatest part of my life. I bear them constantly in my heart, and more so their souls than their bodies. Here is, pretty much the same prayer I make for each of them, many times a day:

 "Lord, preserve Pancho's righteousness, his balanced judgment with which You have endowed him. May he ever be as honest a man as his father. Grant him what is necessary for marriage, if that is for him, but free him from any relationships which are counter to Your divine will.

Lord, Ignacio worries me. He is so young and subject to danger… Keep him in that purity of conscience which You have given him.

Lord, may Pablo be all Yours. Develop his humility and obedience.

Lord, may Salvador use his vivaciousness for his good and Your glory.

Lord, may this Lupe who is so lively, so well disposed to virtue, never fail to do what she should.

Lord, as to Manuel and Concha, those two souls so pure and so crucified for You, whom You have chosen from their youth, to adopt the better path, grant them perseverance, sustain them in their vocation. Make use of them for Your greater glory.

Lord, my two angels who are in heaven, Carlos and Pedro, may they ever attend You on Your throne.

Oh Mary, Mother of my soul, protectress of orphans, make Pancho's devotion to You ever  grow. May it grow, too, in all my children. I give them to You as Your own. Cover them with Your mantle, keep them ever pure, keep them in Your Son's Heart, grant them good  inclinations and love of the Cross.  You know, I do not know how to educate them, I do not know how to be a mother, You know, Oh Mary.  Shelter them in Your bosom, keep them pure for Jesus, Oh Mary, for Him alone" (Diary, Oct. 30, 1908).

Her life in union with God never estranged her from her family. On the contrary, never was a mother so mindful of her children as was Conchita.

The death of her first child, at the age of six, her little Carlos, left her crushed and bruised forever.

After she became a widow, the tragic death of her youngest child drowned in a pool in the garden on his home, cause her inconsolable anguish.

Pedrito's Corpse

"Tuesday of April seventh, a heart-breaking day for me.

"During Mass I was uneasy, interiorly urged, without knowing why, to go home.  After a few household tasks were done, I started to sew.  While I was sewing, suddenly I heard a voice which said to me: 'Pedrito is in the pool in the garden.'  I ran, flew and the children who heard me, cried out to me: 'Yes, mama, he is here!'  I did not see anything, for several instants I did not know what was happening to me.  I took him in my arms, soaking wet, stiff… a corpse.

"A few minutes before, he had been at my side. The other children told me that on leaving the room, he told them that he was going to fetch some water for the pigeons. There were three servants near the pool, but no one saw him fall in… I almost went out of my mind, trying as much as I could to resuscitate him, but in vain.  His heart had stopped beating, and there was no pulse.  His eyes had their pupils dilated and they were lifeless.  My God! I felt my soul torn and, my son in my arms, I offered him to the Lord, in sorrow, bitterness, remorse, believing it was due to my negligence he was now dead.  And I remembered how, at the moment of his death, that his father had left him in my care.

"Police officers came to make out an official report.  Also a doctor and his assistant came, but all their efforts were in vain.  I wrote my mother and Father Felix about what had happened, but the Lord willed I remain alone.  My mother could come only five hours later and Father Felix only at night because he had not received my letter.

"I placed myself at the foot of my large Crucifix and there, bathing His feet in tears, prostrate, I offered Him the sacrifice of my son, asking Him that there be fulfilled in me His divine will.  I spent the night, watching over the corpse of my son.  At midnight I laid him in his little coffin. As I held him in my arms, he felt frozen.  It was a terrible feeling" (Diary, April 7, 1903).

The Death of Pablo

Later on, it was Pablo who died in his mother's arms. He was a fine young man of eighteen, most pure, of whom she was especially fond.

"June 21, on the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga: Today Pablo received the last sacraments. This morning he wanted Father Pedro Jimenez to be called to whom he made quite willingly a general confession.  When he had finished, his confessor told me: 'Do not ask that Pablo become well.  He knows no evil, he is a pure soul.  Let him go to heaven.  He is a child, for in a few minutes he finished his general confession.

"At half past three in the afternoon he received Holy Communion, Viaticum and with fervor answering all the prayers.  So as not to tire him, I had him make an act of thanksgiving somewhat later.  He had a terrible headache, the result, it seemed, of typhoid fever.

"Two or three days before he fell ill, after supper, he said to me: 'My little mama, very soon, you are going to see a dead man here.'  I do not know what I felt then, but very early in the morning I got up to see whether he was dead.  These days I frequently had a presentiment he would die and spoke to him while he was resting in bed, to see if he was alive.  My God! Is it possible? Let this chalice pass from me!  Nonetheless Thy will be done not mine!

"June 25.  He no longer recognized me. I stayed close by him. He cried out: 'I want my mama! Call my mama!'  I do not know how I felt.  I began to cry.  His whole desire is to go and I, I sense death is coming.  He never closed his beautiful blue eyes.  For a few moments he fixed them on me.  That look I keep in my heart.

"June 27.  With a great effort, which was not my own, I helped him die a good death.  I saw him agonize and expire, then, right after I had kissed his forehead, I began to pray.  As soon as he died I put in his hands the crucifix I always wear over my heart.  I took it away after I had laid him in his coffin.  I opened his eyes, the color of the sky.  I kissed his forehead and bade him farewell.  Now he is no longer mine" (Diary, June 1913).

"Oh Mother of sorrows, Mother who understands a mother who has just lost her beloved son, at Your hands, through Your stainless heart, offer my own son to the Most Holy Trinity that in my name and as something God had given me, it may be glorified" (Diary, June 30, 1913).