I met Maria Augusta in the National “Amazon” School where we studied together. We didn’t become friends until she entered the Home. She was very joyful and she loved her friends from school very much; she was very close to them. When we became closer friends she would ask me to pray for them when they weren’t doing well or when they started getting into trouble.
Maria Augusta entered the Home in a summer camp. It was a very important step in her life because she started getting closer to God and Our Lady. I remember in that summer camp she opened herself up to God and at the end of the camp she won an award for her positive spirit. After that, she started visiting the Sisters’ house more frequently. She did prayer and made an effort to practice the virtues. She was a very warm and welcoming person. I remember when we were in school together – she was one year ahead of me – sometimes I would ask her questions about things I didn’t understand, especially chemistry problems.
Maria Augusta went to study medicine in Portoviejo because she loved it. She was one of the first girls that lived in the Home of the Mother’s residence for students. They decided to start it because they understood that the residence was going to help protect their faith. Our Lady makes her presence felt in a very special way in that house. Every girl that lives there makes an effort to live together as true sisters. Our Lady is their model and mother. When I went to live in the “Resi”, the girls were an example for me and Maria Augusta was one of them. I remember her teaching me how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, because that’s what the girls pray there.
She was like a sister to me, I can honestly say that she was always doing what she had to do even though her studies were difficult and for that reason she had to dedicate a lot of time to them. She never had her studies in the first place; she always found a way to get to Mass, do prayer, get to the meetings of the Home etc. etc. Each of us had chores in the “Resi” and she never neglected hers. When it was her turn to cook (she loved to cook!), she would do it with a lot of joy and on certain occasions she would even sing; she also liked to maintain everything clean.
I remember one night I stayed up studying with her. As I wasn’t used to staying up late to study, I started falling asleep. Maria Augusta very kindly and at the same time laughing at me, made me a cup of strong coffee. It was really good and it helped me to continue studying.
Another memory I have of her is when I was about to enter as a candidate. I went to go tell her, so that she could share in my joy and also because I imagined that she had a vocation too. She was really happy for me. She asked me if I had the right clothing to enter and I told her that I didn’t, so she gave me one of her shirts, one that was like the ones the candidates used and she told me to let her know if I needed anything else. I gave her a hug.
Maria Augusta was a very generous girl. I remember all the camps where she was a counselor, she helped out the girls a lot even though there were things that were difficult for her, like getting dirty (I know this because I knew her well), or when she taught the girls that they had to eat everything that was on their plate. She did everything for the love of God and the souls.
On different occasions she gave talks to the students of the Technical University of Manabi. We would invite them to the talks to do apostolate with them, so they could get to know God. Whenever she spoke, people were very attracted to what she said because they saw that she lived in her own life everything she spoke of.
When I lived with her in the “Resi” you could see her love for Our Lady. She loved to go to the Marian Shrine called “Cajas”, because there she felt closer to her there. She told me that she loved the song “Tomad Virgen Pura” (a song to Our Lady in Spanish), because in that song we tell Our Lady that we want to be with her and the angels. Her favorite part of the song was when it said, “A thousand beautiful cherubs, I desire to be with them…” Even though she had her fights, her heart belonged to God and Our Lady and her joy came from her surrender.
It was hard for her to respond to her vocation, but in the end she gave her generous “yes” to God and that day she was filled with a great joy and that you could tell in her big smile.