I met Valeria when I visited Ecuador last summer. I remember her as someone who was filled with a love for Jesus and Mary and a great care for others. Although she was soft-spoken, and there was a slight language barrier between us, that didn’t stop her from asking me many questions about my life. I remember one afternoon when we were sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game she had asked me the names, ages, and interests of each of my five siblings. She asked about my plans for the future, my faith, and my experiences in Ecuador. She was such a patient listener, as I knew very little Spanish, but by her smile and warmth, I could tell she really cared about what I had to say.
Girls from the missionary trip with girls from Ecuador
I heard about the many hardships that Valeria had faced in her young life, but you could never tell this by the joy she radiated when you saw her in person.
One afternoon when I saw Valeria at school, she came up to me and told me she had something to say to me. She seemed very excited. At first, when I couldn’t understand what she was telling me, I asked if I could get an Hermana to translate. She asked me not to get anyone else, and simplified what she was saying so I could understand. She told me that she had decided that she wanted to become a Sister. I will always remember this precious moment.
Valeria’s confidence in knowing Jesus and her true humility showed in each one of her loving actions. Valeria will be greatly missed. And although her life was short here on earth, I have peace in knowing that she is with Jesus in heaven.