Valeria with her pink "habit" and Sr. Megan
There is a tradition in Ecuador to celebrate on a large scale a girls' 15th birthday (In America, similar to “sweet 16”). On this day, the birthday girl usually wears a pink dress, is officially presented to society, has a dinner where everyone toasts to her, etc. Valeria was not at all interested in this kind of parties. That's why the sisters, the girls, and other members of the Home of the Mother, threw her another type of party for her 15th birthday. Some ladies of the Home made her a pink "habit" just like the sisters'. It was a complete habit with the tunic, scapular, veil, belt and a cross that looked like the ones that the sisters receive when they make their perpetual vows. Some of the candidates and girls took her aside and helped her put on her habit. She entered into the room, nervous but happy, with a smile from ear to ear; she was so happy. Her escort for the night was the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and He and Valeria presided the head table. Valeria was a little sad because one of her best friends, whom she had met at the HM camp and had shared many moments with, wasn't able to come to the party. But her friend surprised her and was able to come. Her friend hid inside a huge box and Valeria had to open the box. When she opened it she was so surprised to see her friend there. Both Valeria and her friend were very moved, and Valeria said that it had been the best birthday of her life.
Valeria was a person in love with the Lord. When you saw Valeria, the first thing you noticed about her were her eyes, but you immediately realized that she did not have just an exterior beauty, but that her gaze conveyed life, light, and joy. She had a spark in her eyes that came from having her heart united to our Lord and always doing His will. Sr. Estela said that Valeria was always where she had to be, doing what she had to do, and always with a smile.