The Question and Answer section for Bless Me, Ultima is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Tony is afraid of change. He is afraid that all the things he identified with would be gone one day and he would feel alone and confused.
The Virgin Mary is Antonio’s favorite Saint. She is his favorite because of her beauty and forgiving nature.
The presence Tony speaks of is the river, and he is frightened. Ultima calms his fears, and he is no longer afraid.