I was born on January 17th, 1963 in Havana, Cuba. My parents, Luis
Carlos Acosta and Julia Dolores Acosta, had three children of which
I was the eldest. On March of 1969, my entire family (father,
mother, brother and sister) immigrated to the United States, as did
many Cubans due to the communism that lashed the island. We arrived
in Florida and, a week later, we went to New Jersey because there
were more work possibilities for my parents and because some
relatives already lived there. I was six years old, my brother was
five, and my sister was barely one year old. My brother and I were
baptized in Cuba and my sister was baptized in New Jersey.
We lived in New Jersey many years; all of my elementary and
secondary education was in public school. I have fond memories of
these years during childhood and part of my adolescence in that
familial and friendly environment.
My paternal grandparents, Nicolas and Lucila Garcia raised me until
I was six years old when we left for the United States. They lived a
block from my parents’ house in Cuba. My grandparents offered to
help my mom who had stayed by herself with my little brother and me
when the communist government sent my father by force to work in the
land. This was very common in the communist government, especially
when it pertained to families that had asked to leave the country.
My maternal grandparents were very special to me. They loved me very
much and I remember the special love they had for me. Also, I
learned much from them. One very special memory I recall is when my
grandmother would visit the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays, and she
would always take me with her. I do not remember much, but I do
remember her presence next to me, sitting in church before Jesus in
the Blessed Sacrament.
My family was catholic, but didn’t practice it very much upon
arriving to the United States. I remember that we spoke about God,
of having faith in God, of invoking the Virgin of Charity. It was a
familial environment, religious, but a religion, I would say, “in
our own way,” with many confusions about the faith. We would visit
the church from time to time.
Since I was a little girl, I always felt that I was going to live a
life different from the rest, and I did not understand why I had
that feeling. I always thought that I would get married and have a
family with many children; but, at the same time, something inside
me told me that there was something else, something about which I
still did not know, something that would come.
Anything related to God always caught my attention. For instance, I
liked having religious images in my room: a cross or an image of the
Virgin. Also, I would be aware when something was not from God. This
was evident from a strong physical discomfort I experienced which
made me get away from the area or the person and this I realize now.
I do not recall having met with any religious sister or any priest
during my childhood and youth; I remember seeing them only in
movies. I think that if I had met a religious as a little girl, I
would have found out about my religious vocation at an earlier age.
On July 1st of 1980, all of my family moved to the city of Miami.
All were happy with the change except for me since I did not want to
leave my grandparents and my friends who lived in New Jersey.
However, all proceeded according to the marvelous plan of God in His
divine providence. My life changed for ever with this move.
During this time of adolescence, I sought God without knowing it.
Nothing would satisfy. When I was 18, I graduated from high school
and I felt a deep interior emptiness. A friend from school invited
me to a Protestant Church. I felt the presence of God since they
praise the Lord with the heart and with joy, but at the same time I
knew that it was not a place for me.
Jesus was calling me; it was like a delicate and soft voice, and I
did not perceive it. I felt that I needed to start going to church,
but to my church, that is, the Catholic Church.
During this time (1981-1982), I started to work in a well-known
department store in Miami meanwhile I attended college. At work, I
met a very special person who the Lord used to change my entire
life. I never imagined that this encounter would mark my life for
ever, in reality, for all eternity. This very special person was
God’s instrument that made me return to the Church and receive the
sacraments. It was the instrument that God used so that I met Jesus
and Mary, and, in that way, my first conversion would take place.
Also, it was the door the Lord opened so that I met and responded to
the call of the beloved. Life is full of life-giving encounters.
This very special person would talk to me extensively about God and
of the Blessed Virgin. Also, she would share the experiences of the
power and love of Jesus, of life in the Spirit, of the gifts and
charisms. My heart would expand with aspirations to hear more.
Every time this person spoke, I would be marveled by her spiritual
knowledge; her love and zeal for Jesus, Mary, and souls; and by her
gift for leadership. I would be impressed by her determined nature
and gift of spiritual strength to seek the will of God and fulfill
it. I paid particular attention to her love for the Virgin Mary.
I would decide for myself: this person is someone very special to
God and God needs her. I would say: “I want to feel the same, know
Jesus and His Blessed Mother in the same way, love Him as she did.”
This special person invited me to a Charismatic prayer group that
would meet every Tuesday evening in the parish close to my house.
God was calling me to it and I did not realize it.
The first time I went I was impressed by the number of people who
would praise and sing to God with all their heart and they were
Catholic! That same night I recall that a group of brethren prayed
for me (by imposing their hands over me). It was an unexplainable
experience that would mark by entire life. I cried from feeling the
love from God, His love that would embrace and heal my heart.
That same night, I experienced, or perhaps saw within me the Face of
Jesus. His merciful look captured my heart. I only felt love and
forgiveness from Jesus, but at the same time, I felt that Jesus was
telling me something with His look, he was asking me for something,
and in that moment I did not know what it was. What great love from
Jesus! What an experience of love from his heart! I only wanted to
cry and that is what happened. I cried considerably and shed tears
of love, sorrow and regret.
From that moment on, I did not stop attending the prayer group which
gave birth to a very special spiritual family. I would participate
in every possible activity with the group; for example, retreats. My
desire of being with Jesus grew and what had previously attracted my
attention began to disappear. I only wanted to be in the Church
close to the Eucharist.
I began to attend daily the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Every time I
would participate in the Mass, my heart would ache from not being
able to partake of Him since I still had not received my First Holy
As a result, I promptly prepared myself and I was able to receive
the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.
I also attended a seminary of Life in the Spirit and I received the
baptism of the Holy Spirit. All was within a time frame of less than
six months. What a wealth of graces from the Merciful Heart of Jesus
and of the Blessed Mother.
I think that after this prayer I received a special grace, an
infused knowledge of the truths of the Catholic faith. I realized
that I had knowledge of the faith that was not obtained from reading
or from any classes. It was a very particular grace from the Lord.
The Lenten season of 1983, proclaimed by His Holiness John Paul II
“Year of the Redemption,” was a time of many spiritual graces. I was
attracted to the meditations of the passion that were unknown to me
then. I felt inclined to understand more the sufferings of Jesus and
of His passion. I perceived that Jesus wanted me to do something
additional for Him, something that would help alleviate his pain and
I did not know how to do it.
During this Lent, I began to pray the Holy Rosary and I committed
myself to pray it daily. The Virgin would lead me to know more about
Jesus. Although the encounter with Jesus changed my life, I knew
that it was not sufficient: Jesus was asking more of something.
Our prayer group helped and was a patron to many poor kids in a
neighborhood in the Dominican Republic. During the summer of 1984, a
small group and I gathered to go on a mission to the poor
neighborhood that we helped in the Dominican Republic. A priest and
the special person went.
Having been in contact with so much human suffering, both physical
and spiritual, moved my heart and what I felt was that God asked me
to help his people, those who suffer. As days during the mission
passed the more my heart would get filled with wishes of leaving
everything for Jesus and to help the poor and the needy.
During this trip, we visited the Sanctuary of the Virgin of
Schoenstatt, located in the town of Victoria, D.R. After the
missions, the priest and the special person decided that it would be
important to use some days for a retreat in this sanctuary of the
We had meditations said by the priest and afterwards we prepared for
the Holy Mass and the consecration of our being, our heart, to the
Blessed Virgin. The idea of consecrating myself to the Virgin really
moved my heart even though I did not understand what it meant, and
much less its consequences or its spiritual fruits.
While inside the chapel, the sisters of the sanctuary approached us
and they explained to us the meaning of the consecration to Mary in
the chapels of Schoenstatt. What happens is that there is an
exchange of hearts: we give the Virgin our heart and the Virgin
gives us her sorrowful and pierced heart.
The consecration and exchange of hearts with our Blessed Mother
began my walk towards my religious vocation. My religious vocation
is fruit of this consecration, of the exchange of hearts with Mary.
This is the foundation for our spirituality: “Servants of the
Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.” The Virgin was showing me her
I received many graces from the Lord through the intercession of the
Virgin Mary that I cannot explain. Jesus was calling me to be
completely His, his spouse, and the Virgin was informing me of this.
I realized it, but how, when and where?
In the years 1984-1985, the Lord spoke to me in many ways,
confirming my calling through the brethren of the group and
readings, but particularly in the most intimate part of my heart.
Biblical readings that I treasure as a confirmation of the calling
from the Lord are Galatians 2:9-21 and Galatians 6:14.
The year of 1985 was an unforgettable year. We returned to the
missions in the Dominican Republic and we received numerous
blessings and graces from the Lord. The very special person also
went: she is Mother Adela Galindo, Foundress of our community,
“Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.”
I consider it to be an immense blessing to have met her during those
times before the foundation and, in that way, to witness the power
and grace of God taking place in a soul and in her work. Being a
witness the moment when it is said “Yes” to the Lord, as the Virgin
did, everything gets maximized and blossoms.
Few people exist who have had such a precious gift of having lived
with the foundress in so many stages and in different periods of her
life. It is a very precious gift, and that is how I treasure it in
my heart since I have lived through different irreplaceable stages.
In this trip, we went to renew our consecration to the Blessed
Mother in the same precious chapel of Schoenstatt. The Hearts of
Jesus and Mary had great designs of mercy, and they revealed them to
our Mother Foundress since only she and God knew it.
In this year of 1985, in the chapel of the Virgin of Schoenstatt,
our dear Mother Adela renewed her consecration to Mary, but she
offered her entire life to the Lord, with the vows of chastity,
poverty and obedience.
When Mother pronounced this commitment, my heart was beating rapidly
and it seemed like it would burst. I felt an interior voice that
told me “follow her wherever she goes!” I understood the call from
God: he was calling me to be all his, walking along steps of faith
and trust in his Pierced Heart of Love; I understood that he was
calling me to do this by following Mother Adela.
In this same year, a few months later, I offered my life to the
Lord, in chastity, obedience, and poverty, along with Sister Carmen
Maria. I know that our history continues to be written.
for the Heart of Jesus through the heart of Mary.”
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