Erika Tuárez, Ecuador:
She was the one who tried the hardest to be pleasing the Lord.
A group of us girls had strong conversion experience after a Spiritual Exercises Retreat led by Father Rafael in Ecuador in 2013. We knew that our life could not be the same any more. We decided – upon hearing the story of CAMAFUS (a group of friends formed at the beginning of the Home in Spain) – to begin our own group (inside the Home) in order to help each other, pray together, and support each other on our path towards heaven. That is how the HM YPEP (letters standing for HM I prefer paradise in Spanish) was born.
Valeria was so young that she didn’t go to the Spiritual Exercises Retreat. She would just come to the retreat Masses. We felt that Our Lady really loved this group and Valeria was part of it. Almost all of us were sixteen except Valeria who was only thirteen. However, she was the one who tried the hardest to be pleasing the Lord. When she saw any of us not doing well, being selfish… there she was to help us and to “scold” us.
She had such a magnanimous soul! She didn’t understand how someone could fail God. She couldn’t imagine it! She would often say, “God is so good. How can we fail Him?”
The HM YPEP began in Our Lady’s Heart at Cajas (Cuenca, Ecuador) the last time we went to that beloved place in November. Valeria offered her studies up to Our Lady, because she had a hard time with them, although she always studied with a smile and offered up everything to save souls.
We fondly remember planning her fifteenth birthday celebration. She didn’t know anything about it. When she saw the habit (because instead of a typical pink dress, the Sisters made her a pink habit), she was so excited that she began to cry. As soon as she had put on the habit, her face was more radiant than before. She was the most beautiful 15-year-old that I had ever seen!
I remember one night when she came to my house to study. She said to me, “Please, teach me. Teach me a lot because the Servant Sisters are intelligent and I want to be like them.”