I came to NY to learn English right after I graduated from college in my home country. It took me about a year to find the church where I could feel the connection with the Lord. This search was very hard for me because I didn’t know much English, so the masses where very hard for me to understand, but I was determined to find that special place for the Lord and me to share. I finally found Holy Family Church (which by the way, was the closest church to my house, and the last one I discovered) and I start going there every Sunday, but mostly at different masses hours.
I must say that an important part of meeting my husband I have to give it to my mom, she always told me to pray to God so He could prepare my heart for the man who was going to be my husband, and to prepare my future husband’s heart for me. To which I was always saying to myself… -I don’t even think about getting married yet, why do I am supposed to pray for that now? – Although I wasn’t sure about it, I still did it just because my mom was always reminding me of that special prayer I was supposed to say. Along with praying for this intention, she also mention to me the Novena to St Joseph which I started doing while having a hard time with someone I met. Just by the time I stated this novena, in October of 2014, I saw Antonio for the first time in mass at The Holy Family Church. I remember turning around at the moment of the peace and seen a handsome guy a couple of benches behind me. This happened probably 3 or 4 Sundays one after the other. My first thought was… uhmmmm, cute guy. My second thought a week later was…. Is kind of weird seen a cute guy in church by himself… a week later, my third thought came!!!! He is probably becoming a priest and that is why he is in mass. I had it solved in my mind until November 16th when I was praying before the mass started and this guy came up to me and with a lot of comfort just asked me to sit next to me… all I was thinking was, well, the church is empty, can not you sit somewhere else? Off course I didn’t say that, but the truth is that from that moment I was very uncomfortable. As he sat next to me, a list of questions came out of his mouth. I didn’t even have the time to process all what he was asking. He gave me a book called Praying the truth, which made me think one more time… Oh he must be a seminarian, but that thought lasted 2 second until he said, and my number is inside. Finally he stop asking questions by that time mass was already started. That mass was probably the longest ever to me, all I wanted was to leave. As soon as the mass finished I grab my purse. I do remember he saying to me “I hope you call me”.
After that I went home and I told my host mom what just had happened and if I was supposed to text this guy or not. She said right away: “Yes! And your mom will love him because he goes to church!” When I told my mom the story, she said to me not to text him… so there I was. I guess Antonio’s prayers were really heard because two days later I couldn’t resist anymore so I finally texted him.
From that moment on, we kept in touch by texts and seen each other at mass every Sunday for a couple of weeks. To be honest, I was vey skeptical about dating someone since I had just 7 months left in the US before returning back home.
Finally we agreed on going out for dinner, which I did not want to call a date, in my mind I was thinking… ok, I will go out, make a friend and that is it. If I like him, he will just stop liking me for any reason and I can go back sitting in church by myself and without Antonio making me feel uncomfortable with his presence. The best part was to think that I would not have to be dealing with any of the dating – falling in love deal.
After all, what ever I had in mind was nothing like God’s plans. I fell in love for Antonio, and with more deeply prayers and with the help of our spiritual mentors we found the clarity and strength to commit ourselves in front of the Lord two years later.
God is always there and sometimes he wants you to take chances. Two three years before I met my all around loving wife, I wrote a letter to myself where I wanted to be and with whom. In my life I could not find the “Mrs. Right” until October 2014. I had a routine of going to Holy Family church in New Rochelle where one day, in front of me was a young beautiful lady. It didn’t make much of it until giving peace. Right then I fell in love. The way Lina pray and how I was searching for a true woman with faith, for me after all those years of searching, it was the beginning of Eternity. I wanted her to be my soul mate. So, I like a silly person, sat around her for three masses waiting for the right time to approach her. I didn’t know how or where to start, but that passion was burning like fire that burns more than a clear thought, meaning, my heart was thinking for my brain clearly.
Like a gift, everything became clear, so I got the book that my spiritual mentor had given me years before, “Praying the Truth” and decided to give to Lina with my number inside. Well, two-three days later Lina called. The clouds parted and I saw a new star with a match that God gave me. It wasn’t easy because Lina, I must say, showed to be a tough lady that her guard was up in every word I said, but luckily I had the gift of showing her my heart and every beat growing towards trust and commitment.
I was a little nervous due to her education and how she is skilled with more than what a man can think about a woman. Pretty much what I am trying to say, she had many extra surprises in what she knew like trying something new and being good at it from the start. Well, I can write till the present time but I wont do that. Long story short, she fell for me and with her parents’ approval, I proposed to her and we got married in December 30th 2016. From there, Lina and I are letting our path of our faith bring us closer to God’s hands. God knows best and I believe He paired me with Lina to show me how incredible a woman of faith is.
Lina & Antonio (NY)