At the end of May 1970, the day for our marriage finally arrived after a long engagement. Since Alejandro and I were members of the Work, we were excited about celebrating it now when the Father [Saint Josemaria] was so near to us; we had to find a way to invite him personally.
The vocation to the Work that we had both received a year ago had provided us with a new sense of our courtship and now of the marriage we were about to enter.
We asked Quico, a cousin of mine and a friend of Alejandro, who was the director of the center where the Father was staying, to try to find an opportunity for us to see him. After a number of attempts, he arranged a meeting on Saturday the 23rd in the morning. We were told we could greet the Father without delaying him, and give him the invitation and ask for his blessing, when he was setting out for the Villa to pray close to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the last day of his novena,
Before going, we went to Sanborns to buy a silver rose to give to the Father together with the invitation. On reaching the center, Quico told us to wait in the corridor, where the Father would pass by on his way to the car.
Suddenly we saw him walking quickly towards us, accompanied by several people. When he saw us he stopped and we handed him the invitation saying: Father, we are to going to be married in a week. Right away, leaving aside the others who were walking with him, he led us to a guest room and closed the door while saying, “Come with me. But let’s close the door so I can speak with you more freely.”
Without wasting a moment, he sat down and asked me: “Do you love this son of mine, even with his defects? Because otherwise you don’t truly love him. And you too will have some defects.”
And he continued: “I bless the love of husband and wife with my two hands, because I don’t have more, just as I bless the marvelous love of my parents. Even if you have all the money in the world, don’t sleep in twin beds, is that clear? Because in that way, after some small friction during the day, just a caress and everything is set right. Your father is speaking to you, your grandfather, in God’s presence.”
Then he said to Alejandro: “Don’t neglect the small details that show your affection: some flowers, something that she likes… And you too,” he said to me, “in the meals, in the home environment, look after the little things that make life pleasant for him.”
Once again he said: “It is your father, your grandfather, who is speaking to you in God’s presence.” And in a more serious tone he insisted: “Never close off the sources of life, is that clear?”
We showed him photos of our families, both quite large (I have fourteen siblings and Alejandro nine), thinking naively that he was going to congratulate us. After blessing the photos he said: “Very nice.” Once again he looked at us and said forcefully: “I am referring to you! And if there is any problem, go to see a son of mine who will help you.”
Then, in a milder tone, he told us: “May God give you a crown of children, I will be happy, because you will let me know.” And he asked us: “When is the wedding? I will have you very much present that day at Mass.”
Then he gave us a medal with our Lady’s image and an inscription that said: Santa Maria Regina Operis Dei ora pro nobis.
“It’s not made of gold, because I have no gold. And now, kneel down to receive the blessing for a journey. Life is a journey and we will meet each other at the end of the road.” Before leaving, he said: “Feel the greatest freedom to kiss each other." And taking hold of Alejandro, he gave him two kisses on the cheek, and said to me: “I am stealing these from you.”
He opened the door and wanted us to accompany him to the entrance. But seeing that there was no railing on the staircase, he said to those who were with him: “Why is there no railing here to provide support when going downstairs?”
I suspect that the people there put up a railing right away. What is certain is that we left very happy, knowing we had been with someone who loved us, someone who truly showed us his affection of a father, of a grandfather, in God’s presence.