This sermonette in honor of Bl. Eusebia Palomino is penned by Cl. John Quincy Caballo, SDB.
I am pretty sure that many FMAs, if not all, will disagree with me if I say that Blessed Eusebia Palomino Yenes FMA is the ONE and ONLY PARKING QUEEN of the Salesian Family, if not of the whole Church. She has been, as far as my experience is concerned, the most effective intercessor when it comes to parking and other transportation needs. Believe me.
I recall how one Salesian would keep a stampita (or a little picture) of Blessed Eusebia in his car, on the visor which shows the stampita when he pulls it down. Something like a ready-to-open altarina in the “time of greatest need.” I recall how we would recite three Hail Mary’s or a complete set of Pater, Ave, and Gloria until an available parking space all of a sudden pops-up. And her intercession is certainly without fail.
But isn’t this a kind of degradation: we have just made a holy Daughter of Mary Help of Christians into our unlimited supplier of parking spaces and taxis?
Well, since her birth on the 15th of December 1899 in Cantalpino, Salamanca, Spain, her most humble origins has allowed her only so little yet so much to do in her religious life: she was often entrusted with the care of the house. She was often asked to cook, to take care of the smallest children at the oratory, and at some point, she was even appointed the porter of the house: a kind-of security guard slash receptionist slash luggage carrier. She was an all-around home-maker.
As I have mentioned, given her most humble origins, that is, her financially poor family, she did not have much education to boast of. But certainly, her family’s spiritual wealth is not at all embarrassing. Her Christian formation in the family has made her very generous and especially sensitive to God’s presence and guidance in her life. Her burning desire since her childhood was to be able to offer her life to God—to become a saint. In spite of the fact that they had barely anything to get by, she only had this in mind. No amount of poverty was ever going to quell her desire for God who is leading her to commit herself to His service and to the service of His people.
As a novice, she spent much of her time in the kitchen. She was not given “big” tasks, so to say. But after some time, she was asked to teach the smallest children, perhaps because they were least demanding intellectually. Eventually, her candor and charm attracted not only the little girls of the oratory, even the young ladies and the older ones were attracted to her. Again, no amount of wealth nor education was able to do that. It was her love for God and a kind of connectedness with Him—somehow a similitude with Him that attracted even the more “complicated” ones to this simple yet holy young sister.
She was a devotee of our Blessed Mother and endeavored to be “Her slave”—something she learned from the writings of St Luigi Marie Grignon de Montfort. She was to offer herself as a slave and later on—as a victim for her brothers and sisters in Spain and the world over especially in the most trying time of the revolution of 1931 in Spain. The Lord accepted her offering. And so she suffered for the next three years the most grueling pains. Finally, on the 10th of February 1935 the Lord finally took her to Himself and was eternally joined to her Spouse in Paradise.
As students of theology, Blessed Eusebia’s life is an invitation to study Christ—should I say, learn about, if not LEARN from Him. Such familiarity, such LOVE, and hopefully IMITATION can transform us and make us less of ourselves and more of Christ. Isn’t this what humble and blessed Eusebia is showing us?
While our studies demand serious application to it, we are asked to stay close, really close to the heart of Christ. Just like Mama Mary, more than any achievement or acumen, our attachment to Christ and our similitude to Him would probably be the greatest honor we can achieve in our years of study.
Blessed Eusebia, teach us to navigate the way of Christian life with your help and encouragement. Help us to be closer to Christ so that we can become like Him. And in becoming likened to Him, we may be able to drive others closer to Him—not further away. So that all of us gathered around Him and assisted by Mama Mary Help of Christians and Saint John Bosco, we may forever park in the eternal establishment of heaven. Amen.
Blessed Eusebia Palomino Yenes, pray for us!