Biography of Marta
- Extended biography
Marta was born in La Coruña on March 1, 1969 and is baptized shortly after with the name of Marta María de los Ángeles. Due to his professional activity, the family settled in Burgos in December 1970.
He attended primary school with good grades at the Colegio de Jesús María. With 8 years receives the First Communion, on June 19, 1977. He enjoyed great vitality and developed some sports hobbies, such as roller skating, athletics, swimming, emphasizing primarily in tennis, in which he won some trophies. At age 14 it is confirmed in the current parish of San José. He begins to go with his older sister to Club Arlanza ( Explanatory note: when it is said Club, we refer to a study and prayer center.) Marta went to study and pray, every day from 4 in the afternoon to 9:30 in the afternoon. Here, in Spain, to the centers of Opus Dei, they are familiarly called the Opus Dei Club),where a priest of Opus Dei takes the spiritual direction. In it he participates in recreational and formative activities, learning to play the guitar.
At the end of elementary school, he asks his parents to go to a public institute of Castilla, where in coeducation system begins (1983) the Unified Polyvalent Baccalaureate (BUP), as a bridge between the school and the university. It is open to the rest of the classmates, mostly of humble class. As in the previous stage, he gets good grades. From 2nd grade of BUP, he also attends classes at the Language School.
According to his mother, Marta was spontaneous, very affectionate and attentive. Her closest friend affirms that she was very noble, full of illusions and willing to help and encourage others. At age 17, both leave the Arlanza Club. In his youthful thoughts he believed that a Work Center guided him in a very preventive attitude and he wanted to learn from life on his own. She began to descend in religious practices, although she maintained a concern that, afterwards, led her to seek and yearn for God in a different way, but not without first going through a crisis.
In the winter of 1988, for three or four months, he began to go out with a third-year veterinary student, a nice young man with a good presence, a relationship that he cut off due to the experience of weakness in a sporadic event, which he greatly regretted. It is said that the second conversion is that of affections. At that time he finished the difficult fourth year of English at the Language School and, in the summer, he went to a coastal town in England to perfect himself in the language, getting to speak it fluently.
In October he enrolled in the Complutense University of Madrid, in the field of journalism, image and sound. The above indicated a reflection, but she wanted to make her career free and become a famous journalist. In the Capital of Spain he adapts and takes his studies with ease and during the first two years he tries not to point out, although his faith was not asleep. She surrounds herself with a group of friends who know how to appreciate her frankness, cheerfulness and strong personality.
During the summer holidays of the second year (1990), he learns in his parish, which goes on Sundays to Mass, that he has scheduled a trip to Taizé. He consults his parents and, guitar on his shoulder, participates in the meeting. Marta discovered new aspects and, according to her mother, from there she returned irremissibly touched by the Lord. In fact, that touch of grace we know from a letter to one of his colleagues from the residence in Madrid: "When you discover something important in your life, and you fall into account of fundamental things, which until then passed unnoticed by your side, you are quite good, in peace ... "
The truth is that Marta wanted to make a confession in depth. Returned to her city, she went to a nearby parish and, without our knowing why, did not receive the absolution. In his spontaneity, did he find any prevention regarding Taizé? Was there any other disagreement of nuances and did the priest not be in an attitude of compliance? This is going to produce a very hard conflict of conscience, because what he most wanted was peace and in his character he suffered tremendously when he was not reciprocated in sincerity and affection.
Shortly after, playing in the house of some friends to the table tennis, she told them her situation, shedding tears, because she thought that God had abandoned her. One of those companions said "God loves you, you have done what you have done" and she presented her own experience with her parents, telling her that God is even better than the fathers of the earth. A few days later that family had a visit from a priest from the Neocatechumenal Way and the sisters invited her to their country house, near Burgos.
After the meal, the priest returns to the City and offers Marta the possibility of returning soon. When she saw herself before the priest, she began, in her usual frankness, to manifest to him what oppressed her from within. Listening attentively, he did not want his suffering to last longer, and asked him if he had any sin or lack to add, to prepare to receive forgiveness. When she gets out of the car, she runs again in search of her friends and asks them to present her in the Neocatechumenal Communities, because she also wanted to know the "Way", because "she wanted to give everything to God in gratitude".
From this moment begins a decidedly Christian life. Now she does not want to be a famous journalist so much anymore, as to do good. Their spontaneity is transformed into parrhesia (testimonial courage).
In September of 1990 the wedding of his older sister is celebrated. Among the guests there is a group of young people, who all relate to the esteemed Jesuit Fr. Carlos Conde in the youth apostolate tasks of the Catholic Circle of Workers. With one of those boys he initiates an exemplary love in which, we intuit, God was involved.
Facing the new course returns to Madrid excited and full of faith. With so much energy that, during the school year 1990-1991, he does with good grades 3 and 4. There he gets in touch with the Neocatechumenal Communities in the parish of Santa María de Monte Carmelo. An older compañera, who met her in them, says that a comment from Marta marked her when she saw how a 21-year-old girl said that she was saddened to see at Christmas that people were carrying bags, without discovering the true meaning of the Fiesta. In January and February they attended the catechesis, on Mondays and Thursdays, from 8.30 to 9.30 in the afternoon. When they finished they went back together running and laughing.
Marta initiates a true secular militancy. Now he does not mind expressing his convictions in his environment. The bunch of professors who teach him the teachings are of mixed ideology. In the frequent phone conversations with the parents he told them of moments lived in the classrooms in which, gathering rare courage, publicly showed the teacher his disagreement in vulgar phrases or comments, political suggestions or ideas contrary to Christian thought , which had nothing to do with the subject as such. On one occasion, he even found himself in the uncomfortable need to appeal to the rector with his complaint. The studies were easy for him, so he shortened by one year and advanced 5th subjects.
Marta, according to her friends, was a happy, happy, nice, dynamic, strong, communicative and good communicator girl. His slenderness attracted attention and his voice resembled that of Barbara Streisand, so a radio announcer offered him the best instruments to record some tapes, with a view to the practices of the Faculty. But that man is in love with her, which deeply disappointed her, returning what was done, feeling that appearance in her environment.
He decides to move to Burgos. Given that she had advanced subjects she would be close to her boyfriend, cultural animator, and save costs. Marta tried not to be inactive. Within his field of journalism continued his intellectual preparation and practical work: One of the things he did was cover the Tour of Burgos with the sports broadcaster Radio Popular.
From this time there are some articles by Marta in the press defending life, supporting peace, or against drugs, and always highlighting Christian values. It was also chosen to present a fashion show, aimed at positively influencing the field of women's fashion. To his parish he went especially on Saturday afternoons to listen to the Word in the Neocatechumenal Community and to accompany the songs with the guitar in the Eucharist.
Her boyfriend wrote in the editorial of his magazine, days after the murder: "Marta triumphed where she stepped: everyone wanted to be with her, talk to her, know about her, and she, although she deeply loved her family and those who We wanted, I had my eyes on God. The last notes, his articles ("if at least we were aware of what really matters in our life"), they are only the tip of the iceberg, of the greatness of his soul ".
He was not in the Neocatechumenate, but she took him to the celebrations, because "I was very attracted to the life I saw there." When asked why she had stopped dating her in October, she replies that she has no logical explanation. "Maybe in a moment I was overwhelmed by other things. Possibly it was Providence. I spent a state of mind, as if someone had withdrawn my affection so I could better bear what came. "
Marta was disciplined and, in the last months, after working in the morning (until December), from four to eight thirty in the afternoon she went to study at Club Arlanza, as a silent place. The next half hour was spent in prayer, almost always on her knees, in the little oratory, before the Tabernacle. Finishing this time, I used to talk to the Club manager, making her a participant in her ideas, goals and concerns. She told her how in her conversation with the Lord she urged him to make her see his will, since in the Communities she had risen in a cohabitation Eucharist to offer herself as "itinerant".
She was very attentive and affectionate, as indicated by the fact that, on New Year's Eve 1991, Marta arrived at the Club dressed in tails and was making the girls laugh for three quarters of an hour, and then she went with her friends. For the last feast of the Magi he had bought a guitar for his 11-year-old sister with great enthusiasm. As I was always willing to accompany and, on the afternoon of the same day 6, the manager of the Club was to remain there, came to be with her. They watched a video about the meeting of John Paul II with the university students and was impressed, proposing to go to Rome to the next meeting for Holy Week.
She began to prepare intensely for the February exams, but in recent days she had noticed that someone was following her, expressing her fears. On January 21, the day of St. Agnes, he prolonged his conversation with his confidant until 9.40, "I sensed something, I dismissed it" with an anecdote in the life of St. Teresa. Before leaving home, they went to the oratory to say goodbye to the Lord, "we genuflected before the Blessed Sacrament and left". When he left, he told him not to remove the books and notes from the table, because the next morning, after hearing the Holy Mass and receiving communion there, he planned to continue studying.
He missed the parents who, at ten o'clock at night, would not have returned home. It was snowing and a young man, known to the whole family, invited Marta to get into his car, he left her in front of his portal. The lock was broken and at around 10:00 p.m. the neighbor on the second floor heard a piercing scream. Five days it took to find Marta's body, about five kilometers from the City.
According to the forensic report, he died in the early hours of January 22, 1992. He had various erosions and bruises, strong hand pressures on his neck and, above all, 14 stab wounds to the left side of his chest, one of them in the center of the heart. The report and the sentence repeat that that happened for trying to evade the aggression. The accused of the crime had already been tried four times for abuses and violations, but without reaching homicide, when he ceded his victims to his pretensions.
The facts suggest that the young student of the fifth journalism, Marta Maria de los Angeles left a beautiful example, both in his life grateful to the love and mercy of God, and in the testimony of his courageous death to defend virtue.
Saturnino López Santidrián
- Brushstrokes of your life
Marta was always, as her mother describes her, “the joy of the household”. Her cheerful and affectionate character made her company enjoyable. She seemed to live quickly, because she was very active, impulsive and impatient.
Marta always stood out for her many gifts in the different aspects and moments of her life. She was aware of this, but it never became an obstacle for her naturally simple soul.
When she began her studies of journalism, her dream, as she herself said, was to be “rich and famous.” However, it seems that God had reserved another type of “fame” for her, very different from what she had previously desired.
Ever since she was little, she knew what she wanted and tried to obtain it, no matter what. In spite of this, those who really knew her describe her as reserved and generous.
- A young woman today
As a teenager Marta had a strong personality. When her parents warned her about their fears, with respect to her projects and decisions, she always responded that they should let her make her own mistakes.
Young Marta was pretty, slim, and elegant. On one occasion she participated in a fashion show but she boasted about it. She was modern and liked to go with the latest fashion, although at the same time she picked her own cloths and didn’t care what others thought. Boys were attracted to her for her good looks and pleasant character. She had two boyfriends, the first when she was a teenager. No one could be sad in her presence. She was joyful, clever and at times “a clown”.
After her experience in Taize, Marta began to mention to her friends and family that she wanted to change the world. She felt a strong urge to do so through the mass media.
She wanted to pass through life, leaving behind a world better then what she had found. Child of her time and conscious of the strength and power of the mass media, she desired to influence others through the technology of image and sound. For that reason she chose to study journalism.
- Lights and shadows
Marta had always received a Christian education and example within her family; she also lived in this type of atmosphere. During a stay in England for reason of studies, she was attracted by “another way of life”, a life without Christ. She began to live a life of parties, discos…the nightlife. She was living a “modern and up-to-date” life in the worldly sense of the terms.
This time was the darkeststage of her life. She wandered so far away from Christ that when she decided to change her life, after passing a few days in Taize, she was denied the absolution in the sacrament of reconciliation. This made her very angry with God because she thought that He did not want to forgive her.
What happened in Taize? We do not know, but her search for God began there. Her life was turned upside down in such a way that it was evident that she had received a very great grace that profoundly marked her existence.
Marta was always very joyful, in sufferings great and small and in front of other people.
- Encounter with Mercy
Nothing has so much strength as one's own personal experience. Marta had the custom to sometimes go with her friends to her parent's open air bar, situated in a little village on the outskirts of Burgos. One of those days God permitted her to meet a priest there, who later offered to take her home in his car.
During the trip he heard Marta’s confession and, on receiving the absolution, her soul was filled with profound joy and serene peace. She was bursting with happiness and, literally jumping for joy she ran to her friends' house to tell them that she now knew that God had not forgotten her.
On discovering the mercy of God and on feeling herself forgiven and loved by Him, she fell profoundly in love with Christ. She only asked Him what He wanted from her because her only wish was to follow Him.
"He made me see on successive occasions his glory. He cradled me, He protected me from previous temptations".
"Lord, never let go of my hand! Lord, hold on to me tight!"
"Support and love me, my God. You are the only one. You are my center. May I never forget this, Lord.".
- Hope for youth
Marta is a “witness of hope” for the youth who are bored, empty and fed up. Marta is a special grace for your children. She is a mirror where you can look and recognize in Jesus their authentic identity.
In Marta you can find a young woman who lived like most youth today: "looking for happiness outside of God", in environments where she is not found. She found true happiness in God, fell in love with him and followed him to the end. Our young people deserve true happiness and Marta can help them find it.
He painted in my mind that this world is a pure stage. That everything ends, that there is only one thing: He, who is Life.
- Witness of Jesus
When Marta experienced the mercy of Jesus she felt saved and she fell profoundly in love with Him. Her soul found peace and her life fell into order. She was faithful to her time of prayer and received the Eucharist every day. She knew how to be discreet while being generous. She did everything quietly, so as to be hardly noticed.
God is the most important in my life. My Love. And as I have managed to discover this great truth, I would never want to loose it. (I only want to follow you Jesus).
You have a story of love kept for me, Lord I know. And I discover it little by little.
She felt freer when she abandoned herself and trusted in Him, up to the point where she would exclaim:
The more I trust and abandon myself to Him, the freer I feel.
Passionate and persistent, she knew how to defend the faith at any time and before anyone. She stood up for her faith when it was attacked or ridiculed by professors in the university. As well as this, she would write letters to the mass media denouncing the lack of moral and ethic values.
My lack of patience in seeing His will. If only I could give an example with my life!
Oh, God, help me right now please. There is no time… Life is much shorter then what we poor fools think…
Marta consciously wanted to give an example with her life. She always talked about God and with impatience would ask the Lord to tell her His will because she was in a hurry to accomplish it. She had an intuition that she did not have much time.
- Ethical values
Throughout this account, we have touched upon many of the qualities, values and virtues that most stand out in Marta. They help us to recognize how God works “with us, not without us”, helping us to see His will and giving us the necessary graces to fulfill it. In her freedom, Marta made seeking and fulfilling the will of God the object of her life.
In the measure that I get to know Him, the more the Lord asks of me…and it’s hard, but I love it!
We have talked about a Marta who is joyful, simple and generous. Although she is persistent and determined, she profoundly trusts and abandons herself to God.
Strong and brave in her Christian commitment, she is passionate with the divine impatience of those souls who seek only God.
- Yes to God
Oh, God, help me right now please. There is no time… Life is much shorter then what we poor fools think...
That when you want you may come and get us and take us from this land where we have had to live. Help me to find you. Open wide my eyes and my heart.
In the end the only thing in her head was God and knowing how to fulfill His will.
I don’t know, and I don’t want to know the plans that you have for me, your will in me. But I only ask you one thing: that whatever it may be, you give me the necessary strength to accept it and fulfill it. May it never cause me to apart myself from you. But may the ropes that tie me to you grow stronger and stronger. I only let you be the one who guides me. Only you, my God.
Effectively, Marta was stripped of everything: studies, boyfriend… she was left alone…with God. She had an intuition that her end was near and that did not have much time to fulfill the will of God in her life.
That night, feast day of St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, God in His inscrutable designs permitted Marta to be approached by the heartless wretch who would take her life. With her last breath she resisted heroically and fought to defend her chastity. This is what motivated the brutal assassination.
A few days later her body was found. The news appeared in the newspaper. Fr. José, cannon of the cathedral, when he read the news, left his breakfast still on the table and made his way to the morgue. When he entered, Marta’s mother asked him if he had come to pray for Marta, but the priest replied that he hadn’t, that he had come to ask for her intercession.
Her placid and serene face surprised people after the violent way that she had died. On her sweet countenance a bruise could be seen similiar to and on the same side as the one on Jesus’ face in the Holy Shroud.
A few days before, Marta had talked with a friend about the songs that she would like to be sung in her funeral. Among them was the song “Ven del Líbano, esposa” . The words of this song are from the book of the Song of Songs (chapter 4 and on). As it is in fact a wedding song, the person who was in charge of playing the guitar for the funeral, did not feel capable of doing it. However when she played it, she commented that any other song would not have been suitable.
Above the resting place of Marta’s body the following phrase is written: “Because we are all just passing through this world.”