It is already a month now since we found ourselves amidst a joyful crowd, celebrating the beatification of Guadalupe Ortiz de Landazuri. Seven of us from Kintore College, a student residence for women in Toronto attended her beatification on May 18, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. We were definitely aware of how special this was since only a dozen tickets were given to Canada.
To prepare for this big event, we had preparatory sessions that included learning about Madrid, St. Josemaria’s and Guadalupe’s lives, and we even had a guest speaker share her testimonial when she met Guadalupe in Mexico in the 1950s. In addition, we watched videos posted on her website; we also read books on her life.
We found her way of being “so cool”.
The more the girls got to know Guadalupe, the more they found her way of being “so cool”. I found it impressive that a bunch of 18 and 19 year-old girls in 2019 can relate to her in a way that is intimate, especially after reading her letters to St. Josemaria. A few of them were able to identify with her and her struggles and her desire to become a saint. She truly was a pioneer with a humongous heart and we were thrilled to be able to attend her beatification.
Our friends in Canada put us in touch with their family and friends in Spain, most of whom we had not met prior to the trip. We were all deeply touched with how hospitable the Madrileños were with us. Once we landed in Madrid, so many people offered their help: Ana picked us up from the airport, Angela took a couple days off of work and drove us to Segovia and then went on a day trip with us to Burgos, Vicky drove us to the airport on the last day. Moreover, Marianne and Teresa met up with us on our first evening in Madrid and took us to El Prado museum and then accompanied us for dinner. They spent hours giving us tours of Madrid in order for us to see first-hand numerous places that are linked to St. Josemaria’s and Guadalupe’s lives. We truly could not have asked for anything more.
Four different families invited us to their homes for dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed this experience as it allowed us to get a glimpse of Spanish families, Spanish customs and foods. We dialogued about everything under the sun and learned so much from each other. One evening our host played a song in the piano that St. Josemaria really liked. Another evening our host performed a Sevillana dance with her sister, then she and her children sang Spanish songs, which we tried to sing with them. These are memories that we will always treasure.
Each of us truly experienced an authentic family ambience
Each of us truly experienced an authentic family ambience with the way the people in Madrid took care of us. They went above and beyond our expectations. We may not have been able to meet Guadalupe when she was alive, but her spirit is something we encountered in the people we met in Madrid.
Guadalupe, thank you for living your life as a gift. May we also be able to live life generously with our family and friends here in Canada.