Transcript: Well, I am Mónica Ruiz Taile, Chilean. I have known the Work for many years. For me, Saint Josemaría is above all a father and a role model. Since the moment I met him, I realized that he had a very special virtue and embodied the spirit of the Work that I had received without ever having met him. I always wanted to imitate that model.

I didn't know him; I hadn't had the opportunity to meet him until I went to Rome to study. Even when I arrived in Rome to study, I didn't meet him in the first days I was there. I arrived in late September and met him on December 13th. We had a get together with him, and it was a very impressive encounter for all of us who hadn't met him before. There were many of us. We South Americans knew him only from photos. 

Photos are static; we hadn't heard his voice or seen his gestures. The Father had a very beautiful way of using his hands. We didn't know all that.

The first thing we knew was his voice, because we were waiting for him in the living room, and we heard his voice coming down a hallway to meet us until he appeared. We knew his features from photos, but not the rest. How he addressed people, very affectionately. He arrived asking us how we were, if we were happy.

Then he sat down to have a get together with us, like any get together with him, with questions and answers, very charming, very familiar. It was really impressive from the first moment. He sat down to have this get together like a father with his daughters, a wide-ranging conversation based on the questions we asked.

The Father liked music and singing a lot. We had prepared a couple of songs. There was a Brazilian girl who sang beautifully and played the tambourine very well and had a spectacular guitar that sounded fantastic. I took the second guitar, which I barely knew how to play. It was an old guitar that sounded pretty bad, but it was the one the Father noticed most when we sang. We sang him a couple of songs, one Brazilian and another Chilean tune called "My love for you is unconditional." The Father really liked it; he was enthusiastic about us singing that song, which he said was about human love made divine. He told us he liked us looking for songs that talked about human love, which we could sing to God.

He noticed we had only one guitar, the old one I was using, that didn't sound so good. Elo raised hers, and said, "No, Father, we have this one too." 

"But don't you want more instruments? Would you like me to give you one?" We said yes, and the conversation ended there. The Father always kept his word, so we were sure the instruments would come.

One day, Carmen Ramos, the director of the Roman College, told me, "Look, Monica, the Father called us to Rome, and knowing him, since it's been a few weeks since he was here, and he mentioned the instruments then, I think it might be about the instruments. Would you like to go?" And of course I did. Three of us who sang and played went.

He greeted us warmly and then told us there was something for us. Suddenly a door opened, a door I hadn't even noticed, and Don Francisco Vives and Don Javier brought in some large packages. The Father was delighted when he saw them and he went straight to the packages they'd left on this big table in the sacristy. They left them, and he started opening them, tearing off the paper and opening it like... "Ohhhhhh! Here!" He took out one guitar, and then another, and he looked at us, very playfully, as he was. And so he opened all the packages: two guitars, a bongo, a tambourine, and maracas. He was happy. He showed them to us, and put them there on the table. It was very nice, truly. I'll never forget it.

Well, he always asked, "What can you tell me?" He liked us to talk to him. And Elo, the Brazilian, told him, "Father, one of my cousins came to visit me," and he was waiting for what she'd tell him. "Father, he has long hair," and she showed what long hair he had.

"And what of it, my daughter? That's fine, let him have long hair. What matters is the soul." He said something like that, the moral, the soul. And it was very nice. Because really, it was a trend that was just starting. Very few people had long hair. Well, the point was clear to us. What does it matter? What matters is something else. It's what happens in the soul.