WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 45).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 45)

“Mari Cruz didn’t want anyone to see her.”

There is abundant evidence that the visionaries were not attached to exhibitionism or spectacularism. Nor did the ecstasies depend on whether or not there was a crowd, although the events came of course for the common good.

Aniceta recalls one night when the weather was
very bad — «a horrible night» as she put it —during which she had to accompany her daughter in ecstasy to the cemetery. The good woman admitted that she was afraid, and for nothing in the world would she walk alone at night, and much less take the path that led to the graveyard. This fear disappeared when she went with one of the girls in ecstasy; then she felt different. Now this night she and Conchita, completely alone, went through those solitary, dark, and muddy paths. They stayed for a long time praying for the departed at the gates of the cemetery.

Then coming back to the village, still walking
alone in ecstasy, Conchita started to run down the streets and alleys, singing the rosary to which her mother responded the best she could. (She has said that Conchita ordinary sang very badly, «almost as badly as Father Valentín», but while in ecstasy she changed and sang magnificently.) Finally, some people came out of their homes and joined them.

«There is another very interesting point»
— continues Father Ramón — «with regard to the visionaries: the concordance of their answers. Many times tricky questions were put to them in order to lead them into contradictions. To evaluate their answers better, the following should be taken into account:

A) The children, when speaking in the normal
state, could have all the weaknesses proper to their condition, their situation, etc.; thus they could have memory lapses, inaccuracies of speech, weariness, even going to the extent of telling a lie.

B) Since all four did not have the same visions,
it is natural that some of the girls gave information and details that the others did not know.

When it consists of describing things that they
have seen, I have noticed that they were all in agreement, provided that they were speaking about things that they had all four seen. On the contrary, there were little hesitations when it concerned naming the dates on which certain events had occurred. It was on this score, more than anything else, that some of them did not agree exactly with some of the others.»

__________


Continuing on, Father Ramón quotes some texts
from masters of mystical theology in order to shed light on these experiences, and he ends the discussion with an interesting fact:«Talking on one occasion with the children, I asked them if they remembered what they had seen in their visions. And changing the words of my question a little, one answered this way: What the Virgin said to us I remember well; concerning what I myself said—not so well.

In order to explain some of the phenomena
that took place in them, the visionaries were accustomed to using negative expressions. Thus, for example, speaking of the Virgin’s voice: There is no voice like hers. Or in wishing to describe what the calls were or what they felt during the marches: Well, the thing is something like this, or I don’t know.With regard to the marches, they told me: We go as though we are in the air, as if we are lying down. I don’t know, like in another world; but in the daytime, and with the sun. Compare this with St. Theresa.» (Interior Castle, Chapter 5)

The Phenomena


The visions of the children of Garabandal could
not be counted by days. Beginning from July they began to increase so that they frequently occurred several times each day. The time of the ecstasies varied greatly. Sometimes they occurred at the first ray of dawn, sometimes after dinner. For a long period the usual time for the ecstasies to take place was between seven and nine in the evening. Later they began to occur during the night, ending at times at five o’clock in the morning. This should not surprise us, notes Father Royo Marín(9) with regard to the frequency of the ecstasies and the visions. “In some saints these have occurred on a grand scale. For St. Mary Magdalena of Pazzis, St. Michael of the Saints and St. Joseph of Cupertino, some years of their lives were a continual series of ecstasies.” (Theology of Christian Perfection No 465)

There also was much variation in the duration of
the ecstasies. Sometimes they lasted only a short time, from two to five minutes. This occurred on few occasions, and always with the purpose of some advice or information with regard to the visions themselves, as: Today I will not come, since they are singing so much, or I will come to see you at such an hour. But ordinarily they lasted a half hour or more. Sometimes (recalling the time when Loli was
in ecstasy from nine at night until five in the morning) the ecstasies were interrupted for a time, as a pause for resting between visions. And the duration of these interludes varied, as in the case just mentioned, when there were two intermissions lasting about an hour and a half.

When the children were in ecstasy, they had the impression that time was standing still. Thus, very frequently after an hour or more in ecstasy, they would exclaim: Don’t go. Why do you go so soon? You haven’t been here more than a minute. What? So long? I thought that it was only a minute . . .

9. A celebrated Dominican priest renowned as a preacher, professor, and writer. Born in Morella (Castellón) in 1913, he lived for many years at San Esteban in the province of Salamanca. He will be mentioned again later on.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 44).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 44)

“They play and converse like the other children.”

«With the arrival of the events, the only ones who suffered healthwise, because of worries and troubles, were the families. The children themselves, on the contrary, after three long months of ecstasies and almost daily occurrences, while being awake so many hours of the night, have remained completely normal. They play and converse like the other children, make the long walks to the pastures (some of them five or more kilometers), do the household chores, and act, to put it briefly, just as any other young girl of their age and environment.»

__________

Continuing on, Father Ramón mentions a letter written to him on August 24th, 1961 by a pediatrician, Doctor Celestino Ortiz Pérez of Santander. This letter attests to the absolute normality and good health of the visionaries and refutes certain points of view of a Doctor “X”(6) who was trying to give a naturalistic explanation of the unusual occurrences at Garabandal. He ended with this revealing episode:
«One day, in the village, a young girl suffered an attack of nerves (showing itself in gestures and mannerisms of great excitation), pretending that the Virgin had already given her a call. They brought me without delay to the home of Ceferino, where we were together with Loli, Jacinta, a doctor and several other persons. She was given a sedative, and the doctor and all those present could see the tremendous difference there was between the agitated and most nervous aspect both in speech and appearance of the young girl who was suffering the attack and the customary calmness of Loli and Jacinta, who then were smiling and helping to calm down the young girl. After being taken aside and put to bed, she slowly came to herself. A little later, in a vision, the two girls were heard to say: So she pretended that the Virgin had called her! Ah, that is because she is sick. How she frightened us!»

__________

Concerning his observation of the children, he wrote down the following:

«1. They have no desire to be spectacular. On
the contrary, they prefer to get away from the people who come to see them. One day Loli and Jacinta, coming down from the pasture, on arriving on a hill from which they could look down on the village, said to one another: What a pain. How nice it would be for us to be by ourselves. So now once again with the crowd.

They said that the Virgin told them to remain in
their homes and not go out more than to do their shopping, that is to say, that they were not to walk in the streets during the night hours when the crowds gathered. The Virgin didn’t tell them this every day; nevertheless, they carried it out well.

2. On the contrary, the children were pleased
that the crowds came, so that they might believe. However, they did not seek after them when they came.

3. One thing that could not be denied was the
fact that the majority of the visions took place in public, where a superior force led them out and brought them. But it is certain that as soon as they came out of their ecstasies, they hurried to get back in their homes.

4. They were not disturbed at all when there
was no ecstasy even though many people had arrived, and the visitors went away disillusioned and dissatisfied.»

__________

These opinions of Father Ramón are confirmed by the following article written by Miguel González- Gay in the weekly Que Pasa? on the fifth of April, 1969:
«On the afternoon of July 25th, 1964, feast of St. James the Apostle,(7) there was a fiesta in the village of Garabandal. From afar one could hear loud voices that were partly drowning out the thundering of a storm. It was nightfall and gathered together in the kitchen of Mari Cruz’ home were her family, a woman lawyer from Madrid and a man from Santander. The kitchen being almost dark, the man from Santander easily placed a tape recorder under the table and led the conversation toward the happenings experienced by the girls. Mari Cruz’ mother revealed many confidential things. Among other matters she said:

She, Mari Cruz didn’t want anyone to see her. Don’t think that Mari Cruz sought to be seen by the people; she wanted to be left alone. Look, one time it happened that the child went to gather nuts with a girl named Pili, the daughter of Mingo and Nati. They were in a field on the mountain, farther away than from here to Cossío. The young girl was calmly gathering nuts, when all of a sudden she started saying that she had to go to the Pines. She began to run and the others were not able to follow her. And she said to them: “Look, if there are no people there at the Pines, you can leave me alone. But if there are people, tell my parents.”

_____

Escolástico, the father of Mari Cruz, interrupted to say that his daughter’s comrades had asked how she had been able to run like that, since they were not able to follow her. She answered them, “At the time it seemed to me I was sitting down.”

_____

She arrived at the Pines and Matutano was there; she fell into ecstasy. When they arrived, the other young girls said that they were exhausted from running, while she was as if nothing . . .(8)
And see if she did this to be seen. One day she was in Torrelavega. Her cousin came home and found her alone there in the kitchen in ecstasy; and God knows the time she was held like that. On another day Nisia, coming from eating at the La Cuenca, found her alone like that at the Pines. And she was happy; she preferred to be alone.»

_____________

 

6. This refers to Doctor Morales, a well-known psychiatrist from Santander, who, as we will mention later, was named to be a member of the Commission appointed by Bishop Doroteo Fernández to study Garabandal.

7. A holy day of obligation in Spain.

8. According to Fr. Valentín’s notes, this episode took place on the 20th of September, 1961.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 43).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 43)

The Scene of the Action

«The isolation gave the village and its inhabitants a feeling of tranquility and peace, that now has changed because of the influence of the pilgrims and the curiosity-seekers. At nightfall the mother of Jacinta walks through the streets ringing a bell, according to an ancient tradition, to call the townspeople to pray for the souls in purgatory. The rosary is said in the church every evening.

bellmaria

The patience of the girls’ parents has undergone a real test because of the events. Being very simple and humble people, they have suddenly found out that their daughters have become the subject of phenomena that constantly leave them exposed to the whims of the people surrounding them. This has created a situation that they are not able to control, for the public is not always aware of what is proper in its words and actions. And so they have slapped the children, insulted their parents, and created many disagreeable situations. Because of the absence of police in the village, it came about that the girls’ parents and the local youth had to take it upon themselves to protect their daughters and sisters, even to the point of shoving. The parents desired to know more than anyone else what was going on; and they found themselves unaided before happenings that they did not end up understanding.

During the three months that this situation continued, with so many arrivals and such crowds, with so many and such diversified personalities coming, the fact that nothing happened that had to be regretted could be interpreted as evidence that an invisible hand was watching over the visionaries and protecting them carefully.
The villagers neither affirm nor deny anything. They do not tell about anything more than what they have seen. But all of them, knowing the sincerity and the normalness of the children, hold the conviction that what the girls say is true.

In attempting to act in a scientific manner, it is
not possible to keep for investigation more facts than those that are given by eye-witnesses. Actual facts can be changed into fantastic rumors when news passes from mouth to mouth . . . The facts to which I attest in this writing have been observed directly by me except in those things where another source is explicitly mentioned.»(5)

The Protagonists


«As has already been indicated, the four
children in their ordinary state, that is to say, outside of their ecstasies or trances, show themselves to be completely normal. So they appear to the doctors, especially to those who have shown themselves most careful in their examination. The four children are completely normal to any other observer, just as they are to their immediate families, to the parish priest, and to all those who have known them for some time.

5. I wanted to document this book on the scene and first hand with the witnesses who lived these events, but Bishop Cirarda of Santander always refused to give me permission.

Consequently, I had to procure the necessary documentation for this work by more labor and less detailed background information.

Did the Bishop of Santander really want the case of Garabandal brought out into the open?

In October of 1968, a French layman F. Corteville, publisher of the bi-monthly periodical L’Impartial, passed through Santander and sought an audience with Bishop Cirarda. This was given and in it he spoke about Garabandal . . . Mr. Corteville tried to suggest the formation of an international association of the type which he directs with regard to the Virgin of LaSalette to produce an in-depth study on the occurrences in the celebrated little mountain town.

Will you permit me, then, Your Excellency, he asked, to
examine the evidence and documents that are kept in the chancery? Bishop Cirarda (Mr. Corteville himself told me this) gave a mute response, but very expressive, of . . . refusal.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 42).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 42)

Fr. Ramón

Because of this I consider it extremely useful to insert at this point in our history what Father Ramón Andreu wrote down as the fruit of his experiences in Garabandal during the summer of 1961.
His writing starts like this:
«With the special authorization of His Excellency Bishop Doroteo Fernández, Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Santander, and with the blessing of my superiors, Right Reverend Fathers Conrado Pérez Picón, vice provincial of Western Castille and Cipriano Arana, rector of the professional school of Christ the King at Valladolid.
I visited the location of San Sebastián de Garabandal, near Cossío, of the district of Puente Nansa, in the province of Santander, because of events that were taking place there concerning four young girls who were affirming that they were seeing and hearing the Virgin. And I obtained the following information, which I now place at the disposition of the ecclesiastical authorities, with the aim of simplifying the work that will have to be done because of such events.»

__________

These notes were written by Father Ramón during September and October of 1961, although his observations and experiences had already begun in July. Because of this they hold great importance in the understanding of what Garabandal was in that first summer, in those weeks of our story when the extraordinary began to be for those people there were no more than an unusual normal.
Among the entries that this report contains on its first page, I would like to point out the following, which I consider to be important:
«A miracle can come as a confirmation of a supernatural happening; but a miracle does not make a happening supernatural, nor in any case does it confirm it. From this the error and the mistake of those who examine Garabandal with the idea of witnessing a miracle at all costs.»

__________

With regard to the young girls, he says:

«The psychological age of the so-called visionaries during the first month was equivalent to eight or nine year old schoolgirls from the city.(2)

Their conduct was good from the moment the occurrences
we are relating began, according to the judgment of the pastor, the schoolteacher, and their own parents. Also they appeared normal before the visions started and they continued to be normal when out of the visions.

Why young girls for such things? The Mystical
Evolution by P. Artinero(3) explains this: “Because the very young, the feminine, the virgin souls hold a heart more pure, or more generously do violence to the passions. Thus the Holy Spirit can make His light shine in them. The words of the sixth Beatitude, Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God, find fulfillment in their life. Men and the highly gifted thus have no reason to reproach women. It is not so much a privilege of little ones and women to see better the supernatural things, as much as it is a punishment for men and the learned in order to humiliate them. St. Theresa one day was requesting from Our Lord that instead of heaping so many favors on her, He should give them to the learned men, the priests, the religious, the theologians. And He answered her: Those do not have the time or the desire to enter into confidential relations with Me; and, since they always disdain Me, I have to direct Myself to simple women, though I desire to discuss My affairs with men.”»
After this Father Andreu spoke about the spectators:

«The visitor who comes to Garabandal, seeing
the young girls speaking to the Virgin, usually passes through the following stages:

—When hearing about the matter for the first
time, the visitor would usually take it for a joke; and thus, when deciding to go up to the village, it was as much for curiosity as for what he had been told.(4)
—The visit to the village ordinarily made a good impression because of its total simplicity and the absolute lack of any preconditioning.
—The first thing that would occur to someone during the phenomena was to think it was a comedy or an attack of hysteria. Since he would not see a miracle, he would pass initially to a feeling of disillusion. (An ecstasy is not a miracle.)

—Observing the actions of the young girls
usually made an impression when — overcoming the obstacles of the large crowd — the visitor would come to see and hear close up in a more thorough fashion.

—The majority of those who came to Garabandal
did not understand the events which were happening there; but they came to have an intuition that something important was happening.

—Then follows a state of waiting that seemed
to lead them to continuing reflection about their observations in Garabandal.»

2. Apart from Father Ramón’s personal experiences with the children’s psychology, there is an interesting statement in Father Valentín’s notations, written on July 17th:
«Conchita said to the Virgin that she was going to sleep in her room, that she was going to the barn . . . Conchita asked where was the father of the Child (whom the Virgin held in her arms) . . . We don’t know the answer; but the girl began to jump with joy . . . The girls said frequently: Don’t go away. A little while longer! Oh, don’t go away! Do you want us to sing or pray more? What do you want us to do so that you won’t go away? And at this time they began to pray a litany in jest saying, St. Conchita . . . St. Loli . . . I could not describe the exceptional happiness of the girls.»

3. The renowned Dominican professor, Father Juan González
de Arintero, was born in a little mountain city of Valdelugueros in Léon in 1860 and died in Salamanca in 1928. Among his many achievements was the restoration of the study of mystical theology in Spain. His venerable remains are kept in Cantalapiedra, Salamanca, in the chapel of a cloistered convent of Poor Clares to whose foundation he contributed.

4. As Father Valentín wrote for the 17th of July:
«Eight priests, two doctors, and some 600 people from afar were present; but there have been days, on Sunday, when there were about 3,000. Many came out of curiosity; after having seen the girls, they changed; I have seen men cry.»

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 41).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 41)


CHAPTER FIVETHE EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENS
EVERY DAY

Up to this point we have followed step by step, day by day, the progression of this amazing story. From now on it will not be possible to continue in this way since it is not possible to contain in one book all the things known on the events of Garabandal. Besides neither can the facts be related to the dates with precision, nor can the dates be associated accurately with many of the facts. Conchita herself in her diary relates the first sixteen days one after the other.
Then, from the 4th of July, as we are going to see, she does not hold strictly to the calendar and mixes many things in her narration, relating only what seemed most important to her estimation or what stuck the most in her memory.(1)Furthermore I do not believe that it is necessary to minutely recount everything about Garabandal. What I would like to do is to present a good indepth picture of the thing as a whole, in a way that will aid in evaluating all the signs of this extraordinary work of God and the Virgin on our behalf.

Theological
Study in Action

The month of July 1961 saw these marvels become commonplace. Each day had its session:

More or less in the same manner,

More or less at the same time,

More or less in the same places.

The privileged children went in and out of the ecstasies with an extreme naturalness, and spoke of the marvels in the same way they spoke of other everyday occurrences. The villagers became accustomed to seeing these things without surprise, encountering the intermingling of another world at the turn of each corner, down every street. Only the daily newcomers—the pilgrims who came from areas increasingly more distant—were astonished to behold with their own eyes and touch with their own hands things completely extra-real, things they could never have even dreamed.

All that came were influenced by curiosity; but besides this easily understandable curiosity, there were many different attitudes and motives for coming. Almost no one wanted to remain simply an observer in the moving and beautiful spectacle. The observer pondered over what was happening, trying to size it up to determine exactly what was going on, of possible. First, observe; then try to understand what it meant.

This happened especially with the doctors and priests. The names of some of these will remain forever linked to the history of Garabandal; some pro and some contra; some for what they have done for the manifestation of Garabandal, and some for what they have done for its condemnation.

Among those who contributed to make Garabandal known by his observation and opinions, a priest by the name of Ramón María Andreu Rodamilans merits special mention. He was not one of the first to come; however he was the first to put in writing a serious study of the things that were happening in the remote Montaña village.

 

1. Sometime after having written this chapter, there came into my hands some notes from the many taken by the parish priest, Father Valentín, during the time that we are recounting. His notes are brief and somewhat confusing. This is not unexpected since he had many things to attend to each day and he had to write down in a hurry what might be called the daily official report.

From these notes, I perceive that the Angel, who had visited
the girls so often during the last fortnight of June, did not return to the children for almost a week (from Sunday the 2nd of July, the day of the first apparition of the Virgin, until Saturday, July 8th). But on July 8th and the following day, he showed himself more familiar than ever with them: «he kissed us on the cheeks and on the forehead . . . and he kissed us as though we were in a line.»

And so began a new and astounding page in the heavenly
communications.

During those days (Tuesday, July 11th, in all probability) began something that for many would be a cause of difficulty: the girls’ Mystical Communions, as they came to be called. I say that this probably began on July 11th, because in writings of Father Valentín is found this short reference: «They said they had received Communion on the 11th, 12th and 13th.» This is the first time that he speaks of this.

These Communions always occurred at the time and place
that the Angel advised on the previous day. It is important to mark here the general observation made by Father Valentín: «Whenever the girls said something in advance, it always happened.»
Before beginning these Communions, the Angel gave the usual catechism class . . . in all probability during the apparitions of July 8th, 9th, and 10th.
The first time that the girls talked to Father Valentín about the Angel giving them Communion, he questioned them, then later wrote down, «They said that the Angel does the same as I do when I give Communion.»

These Communions always, or almost always, had a prayer
of thanksgiving recommended by the Angel: Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ . . . (Anima Christi of St. Ignatius)

The persons who were present did not see either the Angel
or the Sacred Host; but they did see perfectly the gestures and movements that the girls made in receiving Communion; and there are numerous photographic proofs of this in circulation.
This is significant: it is a proven fact that the Angel came to give Communion only when a priest who could do so was not in the village. This is the style of Divine Providence: to come to our aid with extraordinary means (if God so desires) only when it cannot be accomplished with ordinary means.
From Father Valentín’s notes it is seen that on all or almost all of the days during July, the girls had an apparition either with the Virgin, or with the Angel, or with the two at the same time. But it seems to me that to dwell longer on Father Valentín’s brief resumés would be both boring and tiring, since they contain no more than external details, which are the least important, and besides are mostly the same from day to day.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 40).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 40)

 

“Tell it to the people on the 18th of October”

Serious Words

This apparition of Tuesday, July 4th, 1961 was very important because of the statements of the Celestial Apparition.

The Virgin was smiling as usual.
And the first thing that she said to us was,
Do you know the meaning of the writing that the Angel carried beneath him?
We spoke out together, No, we don’t know.
It gives a message that I am going to explain to you so that you can tell it to the people on the 18th of October.
And she told it to us.


The message, brief in words, extended in content,
was the girls’ secret until the 18th of October. I would like to speak about this now; however, when the story arrives at that date, the message will be revealed and commented on.

Once again I must manifest my admiration for
the divine teaching in the events at Garabandal.
Heaven accommodates itself to the capacity of young girls lacking in education, but not lacking in intelligence. Little by little they are first introduced to what they will learn and experience. Then later on they are made to learn and experience many more advanced things.

It begins with the visual and the imaginative: the
brilliant figure of an angel, suggesting so much to the visionaries even though he appears without speaking; an angel surrounded with signs very appropriate for drawing attention toward what he wants to say. To this is added the even more beautiful image of Mary with the two angels and Mysterious Eye. Then it goes on to words: a few important words that ought to remain engraved in the souls of the girls, although they did not understand them. Conchita testifies to this with a brief addition that she puts in her diary, showing the Virgin told her the message on July 2nd, but that only later, on Tuesday, July 4th would she begin to understand the message. She told us on the first day, but we didn’t understand.
They heard the words without being able to comprehend
either their significance or their content. Finally the explanations and illustrations begin.(8)

To the young village girls it was necessary to
explain the significance of terms that seem selfexplanatory to us. The girls, for example, did not know the meaning of sacrifices or what it meant to make sacrifices, something that was repeated very much in the conversations with the Virgin.
After her smiling condescension, the marvelous teacher comes forth with serious things. But she has such grace in her words! And how she accommodates herself to her little disciples. With a love and a patience without limits, she comes to instruct them first, and through them the rest of us . . .
*By giving small and progressive lessons that they are able to assimilate,
*By accompanying the lessons with kisses, smiles and condescension, even to the point of playing with them,
*By placing herself in the daily existence of the four girls, even listening to some of their conversations that appeared banal and unimportant, something to waste the time of one so great as the Mother of God.(9)

· · ·


Yes, she lowered herself to our level, and among us she established her dwelling. In everything she acts as a mother who is in no haste when it comes to things concerning her children, since her haste is to wait for them: that they might believe and improve, that they might enter into the right way, and go forward beyond their childishness, frailty, and pathetic lack of correspondence.

It is the Seat of Wisdom speaking to everyone
from her cathedral at Garabandal:

Oh, children how long you love childishness,
And fools covet what is harmful to themselves;
And the unwise hate knowledge.
Turn to my reproof:
Behold I will utter my spirit to you,
And show you my words.
(Proverbs 1:22-23)


8. We know that on the 28th and 29th of July, there was an intensive course on the contents of the message. We will speak about the 29th of July in Chapter 8. With regard to the 28th, I put down here the testimony of the Police Chief Juan Alvarez Seco who was an eye-witness of what he reported:

«The visionaries were in ecstasy in the cuadro, very
serious, and totally absorbed in what the Virgin had to be teaching and advising them. Big tears flowed from some . . . Emotion also held many of those present. When the ecstasy was finished, the girls spoke a little with Father Valentín and he said later, breaking the intense silence of all those who were there: The Virgin has given the girls a message that they cannot reveal at present, either to the parish priest, their parents, or the bishop.»

9. Fourteen years after the events, Jacinta confirmed many
things for me.
«—Did the Virgin begin immediately to explain what you had seen in the Angel’s inscription?
—Yes, from the first days.
—And did she spend some time giving instructions during all her visits?
—Yes, whenever she spoke it was always to teach us something.
—We know that you told her a multitude of affairs and trivia that could only have interest for you yourselves . . . How did she react to that?
—She heard us with an attention, a patience, and a goodness that I can understand only now.
—Did she take what you said as a basis to instruct and counsel you?
—Many times!
—And what was, in your opinion, the principal usefulness of all the conversations with the Mother of Heaven? . . . saying it in another way, what did you get out of these conversations?
—I don’t know about the others. But for myself, what struck me the most was the necessity of submission and obedience to our parents and superiors, like priests, rulers, and so on . . .
—In all these visits, did she come for you, or rather for the Church and the world?
—For the Church and the world, no doubt about that!
—It seems that she revealed “secrets.” Were they about your personal future?
—When we asked her about that, she never answered.
—At the time she predicted to you things about the future, referring to the Church and the world . . . Besides the Warning and Chastisement that we know already, can you tell me some others?
—No, I can’t say anything, since we have to keep it secret.
—All right. How do you interpret, “They will believe.
They will believe” that she responded to your repeated requests for her to perform a great miracle so that everyone would be convinced?
—I don’t know . . . All that I can testify is that she told us this many times.»

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 39).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 39)

“Cases of hierognosis have been observed in
connection with the stones kissed by the Virgin.”

Among the numerous episodes that have been recorded with complete guarantee of accuracy, this one is particularly striking:

One day Conchita was in the kitchen of her house surrounded by persons who were waiting for the moment of the apparition. On the simple table that served for the family meals, the objects that she was going to give to be kissed were being gathered. Together with these, someone had put there a stylish woman’s powder case. The child and those present wanted this removed. How could the Virgin come to kiss an object so profane and used only for the service of vanity? Nevertheless, the powder case remained there.
The ecstasy began and those present saw with astonishment that the visionary’s hand, without her looking at it, before going to any other object, went first of all toward the previously discussed powder case. The child raised it toward the invisible Virgin and then set it down with great respect on the table. Among those present, surprise must have been mingled with doubt. Was it really the Virgin who was appearing? It didn’t seem that she would kiss such an object . . .
As soon as the ecstasy was finished, Conchita was asked for an explanation. And she declared that the Virgin had asked immediately for the powder case in order to kiss it, saying that it was something «belonging to her Son.» The girl did not know anything more. But the person who had put the powder case there did know more and revealed the secret. During the terrible Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) in the Red Zone when priests were being executed and had to be hidden, the powder case had been used to bring Communion Hosts to various locations and especially to prisoners whom the Reds held captive in order to execute. Thus it had served as a pyx.(6)
Besides religious articles, the objects that probably were the most kissed at Garabandal were wedding rings. Concerning this we have innumerable stories, some of which will be mentioned later.
If there is anything mysterious as to why the Virgin kissed these objects, it is not difficult to figure out. This is the hour of great crisis in family life. Among non-Catholics the breaking up of married life has been advancing during the past few years in an alarming degree. But even in Catholic families this evil is becoming more and more prominent. Certainly in Spain it is noticeably less than in other countries, and certainly the people of Garabandal have remained in this respect unchanged; but the Virgin did not come only for Garabandal, nor only for Spain. She came for all her children and if some ought to reform for the evil done, others should be warned so that they do not fall into the same evil. With her kiss the Virgin here indicated in advance what the Church, united in the Council, wanted to remedy and declare later with its Pastoral Document Gaudium et Spes (Part II, Chapter I).
With regard to the Virgin’s kisses, I would like to inscribe here two interesting things.
The first is an affirmation. It is certain that Conchita has said more than once on behalf of the Virgin:
«Jesus will perform prodigies by means of the objects kissed by her, before and after the miracle. And the persons who use these objects with faith will undergo purgatory in this life.»
The second is an anecdote which helps us understand that these kisses belonged strictly to Mary’s maternal role. It happened several years later on June 18th, 1965, an important date in the history of Garabandal. On that day the village was swarming with strangers who had come to be present at a special apparition announced in December of the previous year. One of these strangers, undoubtedly not possessing a kissed object and wishing to have one, offered a rosary to Conchita. The young girl, sure that on that day only St. Michael was coming, would not accept it, saying to the surprised man:
—The Angel doesn’t kiss.

—Why is that?


Conchita smiled and said, Only the Virgin
kisses. The Angel is not the person for that.

Now let us return to those first days in July of
1961. The apparition of Monday, July 3rd, started at 7:30 at night and ended at 8:00.

When she said to us, Stay with God and with me also, that made us sad. (Her departure)
And we said, Goodbye, goodbye.
The last thing she said to us was, Tomorrow you will see me again.
On July 4th, we were the same as usual, and the people of the village and
our parents, brothers, and sisters were believing more each day.
The strangers who came were very enthusiastic in telling other people to
come.
We continued leading our normal lives, doing what our parents told us.
Evening came on Tuesday, July 4th, the third day of seeing the Virgin.
Many people had come, and priests.
The rosary was at 6:00 in the evening at the parish church and we had one call.
The church was full of people and on the main altar were about a dozen
priests and photographers(7) taking pictures.
When the rosary was finished we had two calls and we decided to run to the cuadro, and the people ran after us . . .
Before all had arrived, Mari Cruz and I were a little higher up than Loli and Jacinta. The two of us were inside the cuadro itself, and the other two not inside.
And the people said that for all that we had run, we didn’t perspire.
And they were perspiring and arriving all exhausted.
And they were amazed.
But it was as though the Virgin carried us!


According to the witnesses of the Garabandal phenomena, the girls’ race to the site of the apparition after feeling the third call was awesome, and there was no way of following them. Therefore, Conchita said with reason that it was the Virgin—a supernatural force—that carried them. Because of this they did not feel any tiredness or signs of fatigue, like perspiration, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, etc . . .
If all this were mere child’s play, as has been said (even officially), they would have soon become physically and psychologically worn out. Nevertheless the races, the trances, the exertions and the vigils—which took place almost daily, month after month for several years—exhausted everyone else except the visionaries. And all who could observe these things from up close, including eminent doctors of various specialties, agreed in describing the amazing naturalness, normality, childlike and adolescent freshness and mental balance that the girls had in their way of acting. Only intervention from on high could have left the girls’ weak natures intact and enriched in such circumstances.
Another new confirmation of the basic theological axiom, Gratia naturam non destruit, sed perficit. (Grace does not destroy nature, but perfects it.)

6. This episode definately happened. Ramón Pifarré from Barcelona, visiting Garabandal with his daughter Asunción, brought the powdercase to Conchita’s house.

7. Cameras appeared in Garabandal from the beginning, brought for definite reasons, most of the time with the desire of perpetuating the beauty and emotion of those extraordinary scenes.