Juanita's first communion


Juanita made her first communion in Santiago on September 11, 1910. This event was a landmark of her spiritual life. From that day on she beagan to hear Jesus' voice in her heart. She will try to receive holy communion as often as possible, experiencing how much the Eucharist help her to become better.


My First Communion was a cloudless day.


My general confession. I remember that afterward, when I had left the confessional, they put a white veil on me. In the evening I asked for everyone's forgiveness. I remember the impression it made on my father. I went to ask his forgiveness and he kissed me. Then afterward I knelt down and, shedding tears, I begged him to pardon me for all the pain I had caused him by my conduct. Tears streamed down from my father's eyes as he picked me up and, kissing me, said there was nothing I had to beg his pardon for because I had never displeased him, and he was happy to see me be so good. Oh, yes, dear father, it was because you were so indulgent and good to me. I begged pardon of my mother who was crying. I did the same to all my brothers and, finally, my mamita and the rest of the servants. All were deeply touched when they answered me. And, since I was on retreat, I stayed apart and so did not eat at the family table.


The 11th of September, 1910, the centenary year of my country, was a year of happiness and one of the purest recollections I shall have in my whole life.


That was a happy day for me, and a beautiful day for nature as well. The sun gave off its rays and filled my soul with happiness and thanksgiving for the Creator.


I got up early. My mother helped me put on my dress. She combed my hair. She did everything for me, but I wasn't thinking of anything. I was completely indifferent to everything, except to my soul and God...


The moment finally arrived. Two by two we made our entrance into the Chapel... We all entered the chapel with our eyes downcast, without looking at anyone. We knelt down on the kneelers which were covered with a very fine white cloth, with a white lily and a candle on each side...


While we were approaching the altar they were singing that beautiful hymn, "Happy the Soul", which I shall never forget.


It's impossible to describe what took place between my soul and Jesus. I asked him a thousand times that He would take me, and I experienced His dear voice for the first time. "Oh Jesus I love You, I adore You!" I prayed to Him for everybody. And I felt the Virgin near me. Oh, how my heart expanded! For the first I experienced a delicious peace. After making our thanksgiving we went to the patio to share things with the poor, and each girl went to embrace her family. My Daddy kept kissing me and, being so happy, lifting me up in his arms. Many little girls came to the house that day. What can I say of the gifts they gave me? The bureau and my bed were filled.


That very happy day ended, which will be the unique day of my life. Shortly after that time we moved from that house. Since that first embrace, Jesus did not let me go but took me for Himself.


Everyday I went to Communion and talked with Jesus for a long time, but my special devotion was the Virgin. I told her everything. From that day on the earth no longer held any attraction for me...


(Diary, §6, trans. Michael D. Griffin, Teresian Charism Press, 1989).


Photo : A notebook of Juanita's Diary



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