4 February 2013
Patria Mercedes Mirabal
On February 27, 1924 Patria Mirabal, the oldest of the four butterflies, was born “coming out, hands first, as if reaching up for something.” (p.44) Early on in Patrias life, she realized she was being called into a religious life. Patria would freely bequeath any and all of her belongings, to anyone that would ask. The children and their parents who lived nearby, began to “send their kids over to ask [Patria] for a cup of rice or jar of cooking oil. [She] had no sense of holding onto things.” (p.45)
Patria, Sor Mercedes, as she liked to call herself, would walk around the halls of her childhood home with a plain white sheet wrapped around her head, clutching an imaginary rosary to her heart. At fourteen, Patria received her wish and was sent to Immaculada Concepcion, in order to further her knowledge of His word. Many people viewed this as a “pity” (p.45). Patria was “such a pretty girl” (p.45), with her “high firm breasts and sweet oval face.” She did not let the words of others stray her from the path of the Lord, and put all of her energy into bettering herself through Him.
At the age of sixteen, though, Patria began to notice when “the hands woke with a life of their own.” (p.47) and even after she had been able to quiet them, the other hungering parts of her body woke. In the fall after her sixteenth birthday, she did not return to Immaculada Concepcion with her two sisters, and instead, she waited for her future husband to visit. His name was Pedrito Gonzalez, and with his “strong body, his thick hands,[and] his shapely mouth” (p.50) he won Patrias heart, body and soul, and stole her off the path that she swore she would devote to the Lord.
Even though Patria began to stray away from her godly lifestyle, she lived very innocently, and when her younger sister, Minerva, began to speak out more freely against their government, Patria shied away from any conflict concerning it....