The 2016 presidential election season is particularly vicious and vile.
Do you feel disgusted and soiled when a Hillary Clinton political ad pops up on TV? Do you feel you need, not only a bath, but a soul-cleansing?
Here’s a reminder of purity.
Maria del Carmen Gonzales-Valerio was born in Madrid, Spain, on March 14, 1930 into a noble, militantly Catholic and Spanish Nationalist family and lived during the turbulent Spanish Civil War.
Soon after her birth, baby Maria was baptized after she became very ill. She was confirmed at the age of two, and made her first communion when she was only six years old.
As a child, Maria was known for her deep piety and compassion for the poor. At the age of five, she would give the little money she had when a poor person came to the door.
In 1936, Maria’s father, Julio González-Valerio, became a martyr of the Spanish Civil War when he was taken away by Communist militiamen and executed. As he was led away, Julio told his wife, Carmen, to tell their children that “their father gave up his life for God and for Spain, so that our children may be raised in a Catholic Spain, where the crucifix reigns over in schools.”
Knowing that their lives were in danger for being Catholic, Carmen and her children sought refuge at the Belgian Embassy, where they were granted asylum when the Belgian ambassador learned that Spanish Communists planned to abduct the children and send them to Russia to be raised as Marxists. The family later sought safety in San Sebastian.
When Maria was nine, she contracted scarlet fever. She offered her sufferings and later her death for the conversion of those who had killed her father, and for the conversion of then-president of the socialist Republic of Spain, Manuel Azaña.
Maria predicted she would die on July 16, 1939, the feast day of her patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. When she learned that her aunt would be married on that day, Maria predicted she would die on the next day instead.
Maria told a nurse in the hospital: “My father died as a martyr. Poor mommy! And I am dying as a victim.” On July 17, 1939, at around 1 p.m., Maria began to pray. She said she heard Angels sing. Her last words were:
“I die as a martyr. Please, doctor, let me go now. Don’t you see that the Blessed Virgin has come with the Angels to get me? Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul with you.”
Witnesses at her death bed said her body emitted a sweet fragrance — the distinctive scent of sanctity.
On November 3, 1940, 15½ months after Maria’s death, Manuel Azaña converted to Catholicism on his death bed.
On January 16, 1996, Pope John Paul II declared Maria del Carmen Gonzales-Valerio venerable, a step before canonization.