Amparo Portilla Crespo, the oldest of four children, was born in Valencia (Spain) on May 26 th 1925. The loss of her father, killed in the Spanish Civil War when she was just twelve years old, led her to mature at an early age and to come to terms with a more austere way of life.
She followed her Secondary Education at the School of the Sacred Heart in Godella (Valencia) where on May 25th 1943 she was awarded the medallion of the Daughters of Mary. For the ocassion she chose the motto "Feep, Mother, away from me that wich may keep me away from Thee" and remained faithful to it all throughout her life. She never lost contact with the nuns from the School and always felt deep affection and gratitude towards them for the love and the goog education she had received at their hands. The month of May -the month of the Virgin Mary- was linked to certain significant events in her life: in that month she was born, baptised, made her First Holy Communion, celebrate her Saint´s Day and also in that month, she passed away.
Amparo studied Education and Child Care and worked with great fervour in the catechism of the Paris of the Holy Cross, a poor district in Valencia, devoting herself mostly to poverty-stricken children.
In 1950 she married Federico Romero and moved with him to Madrid. The marriage was a truly happy one and brought forth eleven children for whom Amparo was always a loving and devoted mother. Patient, forebearing, hard-working, consistently cheerful and generous, she set a constant example of what a good Christian life should be. She thanked the Lord daily for his blessings, of wich she felt unworthy, and offered up whatever adversity came her way for those who might find themselves in worse situation.
She was always watchful not to miss an opportunity of helping others, particularly, the homeless, the needy, the sick and those who had fallen away from God. She never failed to respect the latter as people and, although never complying with sin, invariably found a way to highlight their good qualities and minimise their faults. Nor did she harbour animosity towards anyone irrespective of whatever harm they might ever have done her. Instead, she was unfailingly forgiving and even found ways of showing them her affection.
In February 1994 Amparo accepted with Christian serenity a diagnosis of cancer of the lung and regarded her illness as a means of bringing both herself and those around her closer to the Lord. She faced up to her condition with courage and felt that it generated an explosion of love in those closest to her. Her concern for the problems of others as well as about political and social events at large never faded.
She endured long periods of medical treatment with great fortitude and with never a word of complaint, offering up her pain to God with joy and giving support and love to those who took care of her. She passed away finally at her home in Madrid in the early hours of the morning on 10th May 1996. During the last days of her life she frequently gazed at an image of Our Blessed Mother: "Our Lady of the Forsaken", the Patron Saint of Valencia and left in all those who had known her a deep impression of her profound and genuine Christian life.