Sr. Ruth María O’Callaghan, Ireland: From the moment I met her, her desire was always “to belong completely to the Lord and to Our Lady.”
The truth is that after reading all that is being published about Valeria, I was filled with joy and holy pride for having known her. I was Valeria’s religion and English teacher. I was already in the community when her grandmother and her aunt came to talk to us about Valeria and her sister. Our worry was whether or not they were going to be too affected by all that they had suffered during their childhood. However, to our surprise, Valeria was completely intact. It was as if Our Lady had kept her in her Heart and had protected her from everything.
I was always impressed by the way she looked at us during class, with those big eyes of hers. She had eyes of someone who is in love. She was very beautiful because she transmitted the peace she had within. She had a very special joy that really stood out. One day, I asked her why she liked to watch the sisters so much, and she told me that it was because “she loved us a lot.” Her heart was so grateful for being able to attend our school and for what she had received from Our Lady through the Home of the Mother. From the start, she saw very clearly that it had been Our Lady who had brought her to our school… and so did we!
The sisters frequently mentioned how much her serenity and peace impressed us, after the very difficult things that she had lived when she was a small child. When we see photos of Valeria, and we see the gorgeous smile she had… it’s not that she was posing for a picture: she was always like that, always. It was a joy to be with her.
I never saw her upset with anyone, nor angry… Not even when she had a hard time with studies. She would simply tell me, “Alright, sister, I’ll give it a try.” During exams, she never asked for hints, nor sought privileges for being a member of the Home of the Mother or any type of special attention… She truly put forth every necessary effort.
Sometimes, speaking about her with the other sisters, we used to say that surely the Lord was going to take her away soon, because she was too good for us… She was in love with Jesus, but He was even more in love with her. She would tell us, “I’m staying with you, always.”
Whenever Valeria asked permission to go somewhere, her grandmother’s answer was always “yes” if it was with the sisters. She was very grateful for all the help she had received from us.
I remember that we went to visit the Sanctuary of the Virgin de Cajas, in Cuenca, Ecuador. On the way back on the bus, Valeria told us that she had experienced that Our Lady was asking her to go to Mass every day. From that moment on, she never missed daily Mass. She went with us every day. At times, she had to face certain difficulties when leaving her house. Nonetheless, she was always faithful. She had made that commitment with Our Lady, and she could not break her promise.
Also, one time in religion class, the students were assigned a project in which they had to explain how they imagined themselves in a few years. Everything Valeria mentioned was related to the Servant Sisters. Her life was the Lord and the Servant Sisters. From the moment I met her, her desire was always “to belong completely to the Lord and to Our Lady.”
She was a very simple girl; she never drew attention to herself. Her way of being, her way of dressing, everything transmitted purity and simplicity. She did what she had to do, because it was what Our Lady asked of her.