SIGN OF LIGHTS
It was in the old chapel that the signs began on a date which I do not recall; possibly at the end of March. On entering the sacristy I found a light was on. I then blamed Mrs. Auxiliadora Martinez because I believed that she had left it on. On another date that I do not remember, I again entered the chapel and found another light turned on; possibly around the first few days of April. I then blamed Mrs. Socorro Barea. I did not think that these signs were coming from heaven and for that reason I should quarrel with these ladies, because of the cost of electricity. I wanted to tell them to be more careful with the lights because we have very little money. The keys had been given to me ... and always the one in the charge of the keys of a house also is the one who needs to be the most careful. And that was my concern.
But when I tried to go and scold them and went to their home to do so ... I could not say anything. I saw them as being innocent -- inwardly I could see that -- I saw that I was blaming them without their being to blame. I then thought I would say nothing, and if anything over the minimum was spent, I would pay it myself.
On April 15, 1980, I saw the statue all illuminated. I thought it was the boys playing in the plaza who had broken the roof tiles ad that was how the light entered over the statue. I also thought I would be charging them for the roof tiles and cost of repair, because I had charged them before for this; since then I had not again done so. But my thought was that they had entered intrusively because I live at a distance and thought, "Now that I was not there, they played and broke the tiles." I got closer to see, and saw that there was not one hole in the roof; I went out to see if it was the rough the windows that outside light was coming in and could see nothing; I returned close to the statue to see if someone had placed on her a phosphorescent rosary. I saw the hands, the feet, the neck ... it was nothing like that. The light was not coming out of anything, the light came from her. That was a great mystery for me, with the light that came from her one could walk without tripping. And it was nighttime, almost eight o'clock at night, as I had arrived late. I then understood that it was a strange thing ... and that it no longer was an ordinary thing well ... for me ... I thought: "The Holy Virgin, the quarreling with the people." I decided to ask their forgiveness because I was so moved at seeing her so illuminated ... I saw her beautiful ... the statue ... now ... I do not see her as much.
I went to ring the church bell because I arrived an hour late, and with the incident of the illumination it had become even later for the praying of the Rosary. All that I had seen was engraved on my mind and I thought: "I am the one who is to blame."
As these thoughts were going through my mind, I remembered something that my grandmother used to tell me when I was a child: "Never be a lamp in the street and a darkness at home." I understood my sin: I wanted others to make peace, but I was quarreling in my own house. I say this because I had helped to solve a problem in the town of Cuapa. There was division among the people because many opposed the arrival of Cubans for the literacy program. The chief opponents were the young men who were to teach. They said we could do it all ourselves: professors, students from the scholastic center and individual volunteers from town. The young men were so violent about it that they said: "If the Father wants Cubans to come here, its better that he go back to Italy." But , little by little, by talking with the priest we settled everything without violence. I say that we settled it because no Cubans ever arrived in Cuapa for the literacy program.
But in Comarca del Silencio there was a problem with a young man who became ill, and they had to bring a Cuban in to replace him. It turned out that the Cuban, at seeing that the peasants gave thanks to God for their food, would tell them ... "Don't say that ... say as we say, 'Thanks to Fidel that I have eaten.' " This came to be as proof that we had good reason for not wanting to have Cubans in Cuapa because this young man had been taught to put man in the place of God.
I thought about all this and returned to the thought that I was able to help bring peace there, but in my own house I was not doing this. And in this way I decided to ask for their forgiveness in front of all the people. I did that. They forgave me.
After the public apology, I told all the people who were there praying the Rosary, what I had seen: the illuminated statue. But I asked them to keep it secret. It was not so. The secret spread throughout all of Cuapa and I suffered due to this because some of them ridiculed me.
One of the sisters in the community went to Juigalpa and told it to the priest whoa also is our rector. Whenever he arrived at Cuapa he would say to me: "What news do you have?" I would say there was no news and he would insist: "You do have something."
One day I arrived at the home of Mrs. Consuelo Marin and she asked me. I told her everything that had occurred, and she in turn told me that she believed it and to tell the Virgin that she wanted to see her illuminated. She made me promise that I would let her know if I again saw her.
The priest, our pastor, on another day
again asked me and related to me all that had been told to him. I told him yes,
that it was true. He told me to tell it all again to him. I related it to him.
He asked me what it was that I prayed. I told him the Rosary and three Hail
Mary's to the Holy Virgin ever since I was little. And that my grandmother had
taught me to call upon Her always when I had any tribulations, saying:
"Don't leave me, my Mother." She also taught me to say:
"It is Mary our Helper, sweet lighthouse of the sea.
Since I first learned to love, the love of my soul is She.
She each of my childhood steps did guide,
And for that, since childhood my love for Her did abide."
She taught me this from memory because she did not know how to read. The pastor then told me to pray and to ask the Blessed Virgin if there was anything that she wanted from us, and to more clearly manifest Herself. I did so, but I prayed like this: "Blessed Mother, please do not request anything of me. I have many problems in the church. Make your request known to some other person because I want to avoid any more problems. I have a great many now. I don't want any more." That is what I would say to the Holy Virgin.
As the days passed, the people began to forget about the illumination of the statue. I, for my part, continued with my prayer as the priest ordered.
Now I understand that is how the Holy Virgin wanted to prepare me, the same as a farmer would prepare the soil. With that public confession I made before my brothers ... with which I asked for forgiveness ... I was the place wherein a change took place. I was changed; by this she prepared me.