Sister María de los Ángeles Salvador Palenzuela, abbess of the Immaculate Conception monastery, in Garachico, passed away yesterday, at the age of 80, after almost 59 years of religious life. The person in charge of the only cloistered convent of the Franciscan Conceptionist Order in the Canary Islands was born in La Laguna, but she managed to win the appreciation and respect of her neighbors in the Villa and Puerto. The bishop of the Nivariense Diocese, Bernardo Álvarez, will preside over the funeral mass today at 12:30 pm, with limited capacity. The monastery church will be open from 11:00 to 12:00 hours for the farewell of Sister Ángeles.
In an interview with the journalist Naima Pérez in February 2011, Sister Ángeles recounted the beginning of her vocation: «As a child I remember standing in front of a mirror with a towel on my head because I wanted to be a nun and she looked at me to see if she hit me and if she was a pretty nun (laughs). Girlish things! Later, at the age of 13 I went to speak with the abbess of a convent from The lagoon because he wanted to enter, even without knowing what it meant to be in a convent. I wanted to be like those nuns, praying for others. He told me he was very young, to keep visiting them, but I didn’t go there anymore. Over time, after finishing Teaching and Piano, at the age of 18, she was dating a boy and of course, she no longer wanted to be a nun, but she still felt that inclination. I call it little light or inner strength. I felt that the Lord wanted me to be his, to marry him, to give myself to that life. Then I would get angry with the Lord and say to him: Why do you insist that I get into a convent and not get married like my friends? But I kept feeling that call. When I told the boy I was dating how I felt about God, he told me: If it were to go with someone else, he would scratch your face, but since it is with the Lord, I can’t get involved with that one. I told him I would ask for him.
“As a child I remember standing in front of a mirror with a towel on my head because I wanted to be a nun”
«At age 20 I was already more certain that the Lord kept calling me, that he was going to get away with it. I felt happy because I had a lot of peace, even in the midst of that internal struggle that I had. So I entered this convent in Garachico », he explained. A monastery that he chose “because it was dedicated to honoring the Immaculate Conception of Mary. I was from La Laguna, I had been baptized and confirmed in the Church of La Concepción and for the Immaculate I felt great devotion. So knowing this and that the convent was opposite, almost on the seashore, I loved it, because I’m crazy about the sea. So I said: this is my convent, without even knowing the nuns».
She defended the life of the cloistered nuns and clarified that their condition “does not mean that we are isolated or have fled from the world, as some people believe, but rather that it is a response of love to God and, through him, to God. our brothers”. Nor did she always live locked within the walls of the monastery, she traveled to Venezuela and the peninsula, and went out to do the shopping, renew the DNI, vote, visit sick relatives, go to the bank or to the doctor. “For what is necessary, we have no obstacles,” he said.
Despite the decline in vocationsHe was optimistic and believed that the world would change for the better: «Thank God, I believe that things will change and it will not be too late. We know many young Christians, who are very good, and others who are not Christians but who have values, which is the main thing ».
The Mayor of Garachico, José Heriberto González (CC), shared his regret for the death of the abbess through Facebook: «The news we received this morning is very sad for many. I think for all of us who knew her well. The death of the sister superior of the Conceptionist Franciscan convent of Garachico shocks us. For me, Sister Angeles has been a great religious; a great diffuser of the stories and patrimonial riches of the convent; a great fighter to achieve its restoration and conservation, and with me, personally, an extraordinary person, loving and always attentive. Rest in peace!”.
Juan Alejandro Lorenzo Lima, from the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of the Canary Islands Government, recalls that “Sister Ángeles was a close religious, with great sensitivity to the heritage of Garachico in general and of his convent in particular. He let us publish several pieces of it, always facilitating our investigation with documents and assets that they kept in closure. It is a pity that he does not inaugurate or enjoy the future exhibition rooms of the convent, which he promoted and encouraged so much in his project under the patronage of the Cultural Heritage of the Canary Islands ».