Isabel Garcia de Vinuesa was born on November 30, 1966 in Madrid, Spain, into a large, and Catholic family. She is the youngest of 8 siblings (Sonia, Almudena, Jose, Carlos, Guillermo, Carmen (+), Gabriel and Isabel). In 1981, the family went to live in Mexico City, and Isabel was a student at the Rosedal Lomas School, where she learned about Regnum Christi. “There I found a meaning and happiness that I had never found before, and that I wanted to communicate to others: it was Jesus. (…) I found him in a different way, in a way that captivated me. And all my life has been and continues to be a response to this love,” Isabel said in a testimony. She also explained that, over time, “you discover that happiness often comes with tears, but it is still authentic and profound. My life has been and continues to be a continuous search. The important thing is to trust in the fidelity of God, who will never fail. He has always acted in silence and in the hidden”.
When her parents returned to Spain, Isabel was 17 years old and wanted to stay in Mexico “to finish her studies and see if God would call me to the consecrated life”.
On September 1, 1985, she entered the Pre Candidacy in Mexico City and on September 16, 1986, she consecrated herself to God in Regnum Christi at the Cultural Center in Cotija, Michoacán. She moved to Rome to begin her formation, where she spent three and a half years.
Her first apostolate was in Santiago, Chile, where she worked as an ECYD Assistant and as a formation instructor at Colegio Cumbres de Santiago (1990-1993).
Later, she spent a year as administrator of the CECVAC School in Monterrey (1993-1994), and in 1994 she went to Spain to work as a vocational promoter. ” A vocation is a love story, but not a romantic one. Rather, it is passionate because God is passionate and you never know how he is going to conquer your heart,” said Isabel.
From 1996 to 2001, she worked as territorial secretary for Consecrated Women in Spain, and from 2001 to 2014, on the General Secretariat team in Rome.
She lived for 10 months in the Holy Land, and returned to Madrid in 2015, where she studied a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute in Madrid, and was director until 2019 of the Mirasierra community, her current community. In 2016 she was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent three surgeries.
Since March 2020, when she was operated on for the third time, Isabel began to send a daily note by WhatsApp that became a type of blog. For 14 months, through that daily message almost 300 people were able to accompany her every day in her daily life, in her relationship with the disease, the pain, heaven, her community, her family and God.
Another characteristic of Isabel was her love for her family and her relationship with them, whom she shared special moments with in her last months, when all those living in Mexico were able to visit her in Spain.Isabel died on May 15, 2021, surrounded by the Consecrated Women of the Mirasierra community, her mother and most of her siblings who live in Mexico and Madrid and who were able to spend her last days with her as well: her ‘two families’, as she liked to say.
“The most important and wonderful thing is what we discover there.”
In 2020, when Isabel’s cancer returned, she underwent surgery. Then she began to share daily a little note by WhatsApp to share how she was doing. The first message was on March 4: “I have started a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe with my family, asking for healing (…) We just left the room, and we are still waiting for the report. But the main thing was already said. It is a malignant tumor and I have to have chemo. (…) Before sending more news I wanted, first of all, to thank you for your affection and closeness. And of course your prayers that accompany and support me at this time. As there are many of you who are following me, I have created a distribution list to be able to send news more easily and not to leave anyone out”.
Over time, this note became a real ” one-to-one” blog. Isabel continued to send her message every day to “be close” and because she thought “it could help,” she explained. The almost 300 people who received it were able to accompany her in this way for 14 months, and follow in first person the daily and extraordinary aspects of her journey: her last travels with her family, her recovery from the latest operation, how the palliative care began, her desire to continue living, her gradual acceptance of what was to come, the affection of her family and community, what she was afraid of, what she desired….
“How wonderful to meet a God who loves you so madly! And we can all find that, it is what He wants the most. And that is what I wish for you…”
“Another gift I had today was to be able to go to confession again, after a couple of weeks. The encounter with God’s mercy is always an immense gift. And in this time of Advent even more so.”
“Today was a very special day. We had a family meal at home, prepared with great love. My community was there and also my mother and two of my brothers. (…) If this is how affection is in this world and we enjoy so much with the people we love and with gestures of affection, what will heaven be like?”
“I am facing more and more my weakness, in the reality of the disease. Although it is accepted, loved and offered, making these three verbs come alive is not easy.”
” He does not leave me alone. In one way or another he makes himself present, consoles and sustains me. Not without taking me down from the cross”
“Yesterday at dawn I had a little scare, because at one point I could not breathe, or I could hardly breathe “.
“On the one hand it is a mystery how God speaks, on the other hand, it is very clear. I continue to trust him. I know where he is taking me and, for fear of pain, I want to leave as soon as possible.”
“We have been looking at my last will and testament (…) how I want to be cared for when I am no longer conscious, if I need to be cared for at home, if I should be cremated or not, the mortuary to choose, priests to celebrate the funeral mass, songs for the mass, remembrance. How many things, my God! Really like a bride getting dressed up for the groom (…). The bridegroom does not take long to arrive. We go out every day.”
“I find it hard to leave my mother”.
“The important and wonderful thing is what we will discover there. We will be amazed. May we all make it there”
“It was a moment when we thought it was time to leave. (…) To be so close to death is something very moving. Really, as Jesus says, it will come like a thief in the night. We do not know how or when. Surely it will be quiet. That is why we must be prepared every day. Because it is so easy! Even if you believe and have death just a step away, you become attached to this life and believe that you will live much longer. It is clear that we are created for eternity.”
Falling in love with reality, which is the best dream.
Isabel did not like to “talk about wounds” because she felt it was perceived as something negative. However, she said that “as time goes by you realize that they are part of life and that we all have wounds”, and that the last stage of her life was doing just that: “Recognizing those wounds, naming them, healing what we can, accepting them and wanting the story of my life that God has wanted for me and not the one I would have dreamed of”. Isabel professed herself in love with reality: “Many times we dream beautiful things, but reality does not always coincide with our dreams and it is important to fall in love with that reality which is the best dream you can have because it is your personal story”.
Talking to Jesus with simplicity
Another of Isabel’s characteristics was a simple and close relationship with Jesus: “He speaks to me a lot through Scripture, and also through events and people,” she explained in December 2020. “My prayer is usually the liturgy of the day, staying on some phrase or passage of the Gospel. Other times it is to review with Him what I have been living to give thanks, to petition, to place myself in His hands…”, she explained. “I trust Him completely and I trust that everything I have to go through is for my good and for the good of others. And during the day there are many glances, thoughts, offerings, prayers… that unite me to Him spontaneously. Many times in an imperceptible and insignificant way, but very real. The truth is that it is something very simple. And he is patient with me because I would like to be much more tender with him and many times I am a complete disaster. I ask him for forgiveness and also for help to keep improving. And maybe every day I have to ask for forgiveness for the same thing, but I don’t get tired… or I try not to get tired”.
She participated in the recording of the songs NET, in the album Cantando Mi Fe Católica, Vol. 1 by Marcela de Maria y Campos, being the soloist voice of “Hoy me he portado mal” and “Quiero tener un amigo”.
Getting ready: A very strong moment of grace that I hope to embrace.
“I don’t know if I want to die. I don’t resist dying, but humanly I find it hard to believe that I have to die now. If I act on faith, then I realize that I am privileged and that he is helping me prepare for this moment and trusting in his infinite mercy to meet him for eternity. It is a very strong moment of grace that I hope to embrace”.
In December 2020, she also said that silence was “essential” in her life and something she always sought “for the interior life, to better listen to the voice of God and not to listen too much to one’ s own fears and sorrows that can arise naturally… And, logically, to be at peace”.
The last note in Isabel’s daily message was on May 10, when Mother’s Day is celebrated in several countries, Mexico among them:
“Very happy Mother’s Day to the Mexican mothers… Today I have remembered you very much. Thank you for everything you do for your children, both spiritually and humanly. How important is the presence, affection, dedication, devotion, example… of a mother! You can never repay what you receive from her and I am sure that God will repay you with more than enough”.
She also commented on her last medical visit, the joy she felt at experiencing the unconditional closeness of her sisters in Christ and how this love helps to find meaning in pain. And she warned that she would no longer be able to answer messages:
“This is going to be part of loving my reality, but I hope you still know that I am close to you and that I am not forgetting you”.
This article was translated from: https://regnumchristi.es/isabel-garcia-de-vinuesa-lo-importante-y-maravilloso-es-lo-que-encontremos-alla-alucinaremos/