She died only in 1996, after a life filled with the daily joys and sacrifices of family life.
Amparo Portilla Crespo was born in Valencia, Spain, on May 26, 1925. She was the oldest of four siblings and would grow up to be the mother of 11 children. She would also become a national leader in apostolic work. Along with her husband, Frederick Romero, she developed and helped implement programs to help families in parishes, schools, and other institutions throughout Spain.
During 1937, when the Spanish Civil War was raging, Amparo’s father was put in prison and executed. She was only 12, and this loss was a traumatic experience in her young life. She summoned from her deep faith and special love for the Blessed Virgin the strength she needed to get through this time of heartache. When the Civil War ended, Amparo returned to school, earned the necessary credentials, and became a catechist.