Rome, Italy, Sep 10, 2016 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Among the thousands of people who came to Rome to participate in the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, were Lourdes and Chema: two Spaniards who have always been close to the saint and the Missionaries of Charity, whom they dedicated their honeymoon to help serve.
“We spent four summers helping the Missionaries of Charity. The first summer we went to a home for the mentally ill in Romania. Chema was in one house and I was in the other,” Lourdes told CNA. “We lived their daily life with the sisters, their life of prayer and their outside work in the homes.
Every Saturday, for example, they went to a psychiatrist to get help for the patients,” she recalled. “The next year we went to Ethiopia to a home they have in the capital with a thousand sick and dying people where they had different sections: adults, children, women.”
“We went to participate in their spirituality and also to help those children with a childhood development program they taught us prior in Madrid” and “the truth is it was a very special summer,” the young mother of four emphasized, who was in Rome with her eldest son who is four.
“Every day we had Mass early in the morning and then each person went to their place of work, then we gave them (the children) their food until it was time for then to take their nap and then we went to lunch ourselves. Then we gave them their therapy again, played with them and we went to the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament they had every day,” Chema said.
Lourdes could not keep from smiling remembering that “it was very funny because at nine in the evening the sisters let out several watch dogs for security and we all had to be in our place.” “Daily life was very hard, but the first year has the greatest impact on you. In Romania we helped with seriously ill adults, and in Ethiopia with the children, which was easier. We saw terrible illnesses and a lot of suffering.”
Chema noted that “the missionaries always had a smile on their faces, they never complained and they were constantly working. We never saw them idle. They were very affectionate with us.”
But perhaps what most stands out in their story is that the devoted several days of their honeymoon after getting hitched to help the Missionaries of Charity instead of continuing to travel. “We got married in 2009, that summer we were also in Ethiopia, we decided to also spend our honeymoon helping the Missionaries of Charity and we spent five days together with them of the fifteen we traveled. They were very grateful because we also brought them a very nice donation from the school where I work in Madrid.”
Chema said that “what gets a lot of people's attention is that we spent five days of our honeymoon doing that because that's not normal.” “We did it as an expression of gratitude and because we knew that when had children it would be really hard to go back there. We had spent several very wonderful summers such that we wanted to do it again,” Lourdes said, at which she was moved to tears.