Mater at Rosales College in Madrid

Rituals are necessary. It is what makes a day different from other days, an hour, different from other hours... So, when you arrive, I will discover the price of happiness.  But if you arrive at any time, I'll never know at what hour to prepare my heart.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You can feel it in the corridors, smell the flowers... The school is preparing for its big day.

History repeats itself year after year. Always the same. Like that fine and infinite thread that she weaves with patience.

Our dear Mater Admirabilis begins to be visited and observed in detail and, little by little, she begins to step out of the picture. The little ones manage to reproduce to perfection that first aspect of the image of garish colors, inconceivable for the cloister of the Trinity of the Mount but alive, happy and perfect, so that on the 20th the children’s walls are really festive.

As we go up the stairs it seems as if that serene image has exploded into a thousand pieces filling every corner...her gaze, her hands, her basket and the book...petitions, prayers and thanksgiving. Flowers with messages, wishes to be better...700 different visions of the same image and the same feeling: We love you, thank you for always taking care of us!

Because the Blessed Mother is like this...she always looks the same but each one of us sees different things in her.

And before we realize it, the big day dawns. Everyone looks prettier, the uniforms are impeccable, the ribbons are bigger and the shoes shine brighter.

The choir prepares in the large chapel or in the courtyard, the altar is overflowing with flowers. Sometimes a student, sometimes a teacher or catechist gives an introduction that could well be this very one:

Today, the day of our beloved Mater Admirabilis, we gather here to remember once again that Virgin who is like a mother to us....

How many times we have prayed to her or simply visited her...how much she knows our secrets, thoughts, memories and hopes....

Our Blessed Mother. Serenity and strength. Always attentive. Unhurried. Close...whom we love more and more as the years go by.

Accompany us and help us to be a little more like You...

The hands in the freshly sewn seam, the humble look, presenting ourselves before God saying "this is my work and this is my life, Your will be done".

Ana Ysasi Ysasmendi RSCJ - 2010

At the end of the Eucharist, each one returns to his or her class. While the visits to "her chapel" take place, in each classroom the story of Mater is heard, the class delegates are elected and the donuts are distributed.

The students of 4th ESO go down to give their "godchildren" from kindergarten the medallions that they have made with so much love and care so that they will never forget this day.

The high school students prepare for their big moment because they are the ones in charge of giving life to the history of the Blessed Mother. At 12:00, the curtains of the assembly hall will open and we begin our journey into the past: the high school students will see Jaquine trying to teach a small and restless Pauline to spin, the postulant Perdreau on a scaffold with a bricklayer and some tiny assistants giving the first brushstrokes, before the horrified gaze of Mother Mère, the first of the students to see the story of the Blessed Mother, before the horrified gaze of Mother Corolis and some nuns, of a blurred silhouette in strong colors that contrasts with the white wall of the Cloister and, finally, when they let the sheet fall, they contemplate "the most beautiful image of Mary....a Virgin full of serenity and strength, always attentive, unhurried, close..."

The feast is coming to an end. There is not a single student, teacher or school personnel who has not come to kiss her, to tell her that they love her, to leave their heart and their life in her hands for a moment. A part of us remains there, in that place.

The day is coming to an end for the students and, just when it seems that our little Virgin is going to be able to rest after so much hustle and bustle, it is the turn of the former students. They also want to visit that Mother who accompanied their sleepless academic nights, their hours of study, their years of youth. That same youth that is reflected in her face and that they more or less left behind some time ago. And yet, as if by magic, when they are in front of her, they recover it instantly.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow will be another day, the school will go back to its normal rhythm of life, and we will once again show our heads as we pass in front of the Chapel. And then, we will blow her a kiss and ask her to take care of us.

Pilar Rubín - Rosales School teacher (Madrid)

 

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