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On a Snowy Day

Progressively her body was declining and her mind as well. Through the windows of her eyes, one could see that her heart continued burning until the end. It was possible to feel then that she had really been and still was an extraordinary instrument of transmission of graces in hands of the Lord. Thousands the pilgrims continued coming, without order or notice. They were waiting joyfully and patiently. They were happy to see her for a moment, to hear her voice, to know that she was still vivacious. Toward midday, she used to come to the window for a moment. After a few words of greeting and of encouragement, she would promise prayers once again …, as long as she could.

Mother Esperanza spent the last years of her life in a continuous attitude of self-offering. She used to say that she wanted to be like a potato that disappears under the earth to give life to new sprouts. One winter day, when the land was sleeping in wait of the Resurrection, the Good Jesus, whom she had stolen when she was a small child, came also like a thief on his tiptoes, over the snow covering the rolling hills of Umbria, and took away to the earth the body of his “Hope,” tired and worn out in the service of mercy: it was 8 o’clock in the morning, on 8 February, 1983.

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