‘She looked down on me’ until she saw the bishop
Argüello also told how Hernández didn’t have a high opinion of him when they met in the 1980s in the poor neighborhoods on the outskirts of Madrid.
He had felt a call from the Lord to live with the poor and social outcasts in the shantytowns of Palomeras Altas near Madrid.
“The providential presence of the archbishop of Madrid [Casimiro García Morcillo] who went to the shantytowns was what made Carmen definitively collaborate with me,” he recalled. “Until she saw the bishop in my shack, Carmen looked down on me.”
“When she saw the bishop in my shack, from that moment on, she changed, as if to say: ‘The Church accepts Kiko.’ How difficult!” he exclaimed wryly.
“Carmen saw the presence of the Church in the archbishop and completely changed her attitude towards me. With the presence of Morcillo, she saw the promises that God had made to her in Israel come true,” he stressed.
Argüello recalled that the presence of Hernández in that place “was like a farm field that God had prepared to place within the Church. What God made us experience in the midst of a world of poverty, the Holy Spirit had already prepared for his entire Church.”
‘Thank you, Carmen’
Argüello concluded his reflection by saying that he hoped the canonization process serves to thoroughly examine the life of Hernández, “which was often a crucified, silent, and suffering life, like a dark night.”
So that “her virtues come to light, many of them hidden, many to a heroic degree,” he added.
Argüello said he was grateful “to have known her” and to have “been able to work with her in the hard work of the Gospel.”
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“Carmen, what a great woman, with exceptional faith! What a great love you have had for Christ and his Church! Thank you, Carmen!” he concluded.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.