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Maria Antonietta Berriozábal

as written by Maria Antonietta Berriozábal and delivered by family and Buena gente of the Esperanza on Friday, July 2, 2021 at the rosary/vigil that took place at the Esperanza’s Casa de Cuentos, 816 S. Colorado St.

  1. The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary:  Mary is chosen to be the mother of Jesus.

    An angel appeared to Mary and told her she would have a child. Recorded as Mary’s reply is simply that she said, yes.

    A woman born in the 1920’s when women’s roles were changing, Isabel said yes, many times in her life, including having positive and courageous responses to societal prejudices at a time when her culture and language were not only not valued but they were attacked. She responded with patience, but Isabel also knew how to stand on her own and set an example of bravery even under difficult circumstances. Isabel said yes to raising a wonderful family and giving them all the direction, example and love a child could receive. Isabel said Yes to serving her community throughout her life.
  2. The Visitation of Mary to Her Cousin Elizabeth: Mary visits her cousin, Elizabeth.

    Both women accompany and support each other at a special time in their lives as both were expecting a child.

    Isabel was a devoted wife and mother, but she also extended her care, love and reach to others in the community accompanying them in their joys and sorrows. She was outspoken in demanding justice for herself and others.  Throughout her life she had a special commitment to education, not only for her own children, but for young people in the community who needed support.
  3. The Nativity of Jesus: Mary’s son, Jesus, is born in a manger.

    Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem because there was a decree that all should go to their ancestral town to be registered. As her time arrived, they could find no room for them to lodge. A kind soul offered the manger that he used for his animals and that is where Mary gave birth to her son.

    Isabel knew life was not always fair. But she never let that stop her from doing what she needed to do to make things right, especially for the most vulnerable. Just like the man who offered shelter to Mary and Joseph, Isabel helped people not only in practical ways when they needed help but with her patient and gentle demeanor, she let people know that they were loved. Whether with an encouraging word, an act of kindness or one of her original hand-crafted mementos she sustained, encouraged, and loved countless people. 
  4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

    The Law of Moses dictated that a child be presented at the Temple 40 days after their birth. Mary and Joseph followed this teaching.  At the Temple they found the elder, Simeon, who told Mary that there would be pain in her life because of rejection of her Son. Mary carried this in her heart not knowing how this would be.

    Isabel led her children in the path of service and justice, encouraging them to be active members of society in this quest. She set an example of involvement in community life. She knew, however, that there would be disappointments, disillusionments, and pain in their lives. In her wisdom she understood that good is not always reciprocated. But to her last days she was the strong woman providing a listening ear, wise advice and above all the message that they were loved to all with whom she crossed paths.
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Jesus is found discussing God’s laws in the temple.

    Mary and Joseph were visiting the Temple in Jerusalem when they could not find Jesus. Jesus was lost. It took 2 days for them to find Him and when they did, he was teaching the elders in the Temple. When Mary explained her sorrow, Jesus remarked that He had to be about His Father’s business, foretelling the mission that was in his future.

    Eventually, as an Elder in her community, Isabel took plenty of people under her wing. She was mother, sister, comadre, and friend to many. Isabel knew that her children and all her friends had gifts that they had to share. She could not cling to those she loved. She made it part of her life to listen, support, encourage, inspire, and celebrate joys and accompany people in their difficult times. Her joy was in the giving and not expecting anything in return.