María Martínez Gómez is a former abortion nurse in Bilbao who used to go by the name “Amaya.” An unexpected experience in the most unexpected of places prompted Gomez to change not only her name, but also her entire outlook on life.
Gomez shared her testimony and conversion story in late May at a conference in San Sebastian. There, she explained what convicted an abortion nurse who hated everything for which the Catholic Church stood, to become a devout Catholic revert.
Although Gomez was baptized Catholic, she did not practice the faith and describes herself as “about to apostate.” She had worked in an abortion clinic as a nurse, where she would prepare women for surgical abortions. Working in the clinic, she said, would require her to lie to herself about what she was doing. One time, she asked a colleague if what she was looking at was in fact a fetal foot--and she managed to convince herself that it was simply a blood clot.
The stress of the job caused her hair to fall out.
Gomez said the abortion clinic purposely took steps to ensure that women would not change their minds prior to their abortions. Women would be isolated from their partners, to “remove them from reality,” before their surgeries, and it would be Gomez’s job to hold their hands and keep them calm while the abortion was happening.
Afterwards, she said that sometimes the women were so traumatized by what they had experienced, they thought they had not yet undergone an abortion and begged her to stop it from happening. It was Gomez’s job to inform them that they had in fact already had an abortion.
She described the environment as one that was motivated entirely by money and greed.
Gomez eventually left the abortion industry, and went to school for physiotherapy.
Eventually, Gomez’s marriage collapsed, and she moved to Nepal to assist with the recovery efforts from the 2017 earthquake. It was there, in a country that is over 80 percent Hindu and less than one percent Christian, where she encountered Christ.
In Kathmandu, Gomez encountered the Missionaries of Charity. Initially, she was not pleased to meet these women, and she said that she did not want to talk with them as she hated Mother Teresa. A chance encounter on the street, where one of the sisters grabbed her arm and said “come with me” struck Gomez. She eventually realized she was to go to their convent.
At first, the sisters turned her away, because their only sister who spoke Spanish was not around. They told her to come back at 6 a.m. for Mass. After some protest, she returned for morning Mass, fully intending to mock the affair.
The Mass was said in English, a language Gomez did not speak well, and she was not paying attention. Then said she heard a voice, in Spanish, saying “welcome home.” At first, Gomez said she was confused, and then heard the voice again, when it said, “Welcome home. How long it took you to love me.”
“It was the cross of Christ talking to me,” she explained.
At that moment, she said she felt as though “The Good Shepherd, in his infinite mercy, decided to call the lost sheep, the most miserable, which was me.”
She said that she instantly felt forgiven for all of her sins, and laid on the floor, sobbing – for three hours. The experience left her feeling blessed, loved, and brought back to life. The sisters, who were praying alongside her for the entire time, told her that she was, from that point on, to be called Mary.
The sisters went on to explain to her that they had been praying for the entire year for a physiotherapist volunteer to come to Kathmandu, and that the sister who grabbed her on the street that day had received a message from the Holy Spirit that Gomez was “the one” for whom they had been waiting.
“What they did not know was that Mother Teresa was playing a two-sided game,” said Gomez. “She granted them a physiotherapist, and in return, they helped me to change and heal my heart. They didn’t know they were going to witness a meeting between a prodigal son and his father.”
Gomez stayed with the Missionaries of Charity for four months, helping a sister with a hurt back and another with an injured wrist to recover. She also taught the children cared for by the sisters how to do basic rehabilitation and physical therapy for the sisters.
In time, Gomez’s visa expired and she returned to Spain, after much prayer. She found herself among the Poor Clares on St. Clare’s Day, and underwent spiritual direction from one of the sisters.
“I was a dry bone in that valley, that He decided to revive,” said Gomez. “That is the Mercy of God.”