Anno Domini 1011.
I look out of the window at the triumph of this sunset on my land of Catalonia: beautiful in color and warmth, fragrant and intoxicating. And I cry.
My husband and I will never have an heir: the many possessions and coffers full of gold were not enough for the benevolent eye of the Most High to grant us the greatest grace. My belly is dry. As sometimes in summer, when the rain gives rare refreshment ...
There was a time when I wondered, God forgive me, if not having children depended on me or my husband and wife. I was young, I was desperate and blamed this cruel inability to myself and my sins. Then I began to look around: I had attentive eyes, and where I could not reach, there were other eyes, faithful to me, who told me what they saw ... My husband loved women: he often lay with females certainly not linked to him by the sacred bond, like me. Noble and peasant women, courtesans or gypsies, let's say that I shared my better half with all the female universe that surrounded us. Yet, never, ever from his betrayals was a child born.
We women know how to count and we have feelings that men do not have. Now that I am no longer young, I am sure my lord cannot procreate. I do. But doing it would have been like declaring myself an adulteress. I turned my love to God and in a last attempt, to please my husband, I made a vow to obtain a grace: I would have made a long pilgrimage, touching the most famous known monasteries. In Catalonia and throughout Spain, monasteries had recently lost the splendor of a deeply rooted faith, so I would have gone beyond borders and horizons, and if that didn't work either… Fiat voluntas tua, amen.
I left with a small entourage, on the back of a mule: you don't go on pilgrimage waving wealth and power. I prayed on my knees in I don't know how many churches, monasteries, cathedrals, kissing the cold stones of the floor. But above all I saw, and loved, incomparable landscapes, seascapes that seemed to come out of a painter's brush, steep mountains, expanses of grass and flowers that truly enlarged my heart, filling it with an unexpected serenity.
When I was in Albenga and I was able to pray in the monastery on the Gallinaria Island, dedicated to Santa Maria and San Martino, who lived here in 357, it seems, I felt reborn, like being at home, finally full of sweetness and tranquility. long you look for. I had read Gregory of Tours, who in his The Miracles of San Martino had opened a world of faith and love to me. Being there, where the holy ascetic had lived, made me feel privileged, truly rich. I fell madly in love with the Abbey, with the Island, with that sea.
Back in Catalonia, and aware that nothing could have made me a mother by now (I was certainly not the biblical Sarah and perhaps my faith, which I thought was great, was not great enough), with a great ceremony in the Cathedral I thanked God for what he had granted me, especially the awareness of what I was and what my life had been, of the great fortune granted me on this earth and the possibility of doing something for others, if not for a child of mine.
That's why I'm here today. I dry my tears and wait. We await, my husband and I, the notary, who will draw up a document: today a large part of our assets will be donated to the Monastery of Santi Maria e Martino on the Gallinaria Island of the Diocese of Albenga of the Order of San Benedetto, place sacred with recognized value and great importance for all believers.
And I thank God with the song of my heart that his will be done now and always.