WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 73).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 73)

 

“One is a Jesuit, and he said mass very well.”

 

Spectacular Day!

August 8th of the year 1961 was to be a day especially marked in the unfolding of this history.
At 5:45 a.m. on that day, in the freshness of the early morning air and under a clear sky that was beginning to lighten up, a caravan of automobiles including a jeep left Aguilar de Campoo in the province of Palentia. Pulling away from the towering castle, which from afar appears to give the city a crown of crumbling stone walls, the cars got on the highway that would bring them to Cossío by way of Cervera, Piedras Luengas, Polaciones and Tudanca.

Ábside de la Colegiata de San Miguel Arcángel ...
Ábside de la Colegiata de San Miguel Arcángel de Aguilar de Campoo, Palencia, Castilla y León, España (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the convoy arrived at Cossío, it was well into the morning. Father Luis María Andreu was among those traveling in a car with members of the Fontaneda family. In Cossío, they parked the cars and the jeep made three trips back and forth to bring all the passengers up to Garabandal.

Fr. Valentín Marichalar, the parish priest, very
happy to see that Father Luis María had come, spoke to him, “You’ve come at the right time, since I have to go to Torrelavega today. I’ll give you the keys to the church, and also entrust you with the care of the parish during my absence.”
Father Luis was pleased to accept and joked with Rafael Fontaneda.(12) “Let’s go, friend, since today I’m the pastor of Garabandal.”

Obviously this was an honor and privilege for him. Mr. Fontaneda was sure that Father Luis was extremely interested in everything about Garabandal since his first visit, although he had not revealed his opinion. Father had talked about visions in general, of their forms and types, of the importance of psychological studies for a suitable judgment on these phenomena. It was seen that he had a passionate interest in the subject.
Acting as pastor, Father Luis had the tower bells rung for Mass. And though it was a work day, many people came, both strangers and people from the village. «Some twenty people, among them Conchita, Jacinta and Mary Loli received Holy Communion.»(13)
«The Mass that Father celebrated»—Rafael Fontaneda assures us—«was exceptionally said. All those present were impressed.»

__________


Of this there can be no doubt, since there were
so many witnesses. To what was this due?
«At first, some attributed it to the presence of the visionaries. Later, it was related to the fact that this was going to be Father’s last Mass, and that somehow he had an unusual premonition.
Also a minor incident may have contributed to it: when going to pour the cruets, they were found empty. The server ran to a neighboring house to find wine, and soon came back with it; but there was a suspicion that it might have been spoiled. Father Luis collected himself a few moments in prayer — his eyes closed, his hands in front of his breast — then he made a sign to serve the wine and the Mass proceeded with complete serenity and devotion. All this, united to the excitement of the apparitions of the evening before and the waiting for those that were expected that day, could have had a decisive influence upon the collective devotion and fervor in the celebration of the Mass. It is certain that the people, on leaving the church, commented on the silence, the piety, and the spirit of faith with which the celebrant and congregation were united in intimate communion before the altar.»(14)

__________

There was nothing else new on that morning; but everyone was waiting, since the girls had announced an apparition for slightly after lunch, at 2:00 in the afternoon. At that time, all four girls, accompanied by a large crowd, went into the church.

«At 2:11 they went into ecstasy. They smiled,
especially Jacinta. Mari Cruz gestured timidly.»

__________


These are the first words that Father Luis wrote
down in his notebook. Then he began putting down what he was able to hear of the conversations.

«The Father» — writes Raphael Fontaneda
«was next to the girls, and as he had done on previous occasions, was carefully writing down all that they did and said. But he seemed extremely absorbed in the ecstasy, and those closest to him saw silent tears run down his cheeks.(15) Obviously he felt the presence of something extraordinary.»

__________


Father Luis was not the only one taking notes;
there were two other spectators who also were taking down notes so that the main points would not be forgotten; a seminarian from Aguilar named Andrés Pardo, and the renowned Dominican priest, Antonio Royo Marín.
From the notes of one or the other, we know that among other things Conchita said to the vision:
«You know what I’m telling you? That you must give a sign; that . . . only one sign . . . at Lourdes and Fatima you gave a sign . . . Do you want me to show you all that I brought you? (She presents the rosaries and medals.) You have to kiss them . . . How do I look with the short hair? Are you coming this evening? Oh, how nice! . . . How old are you? . . . Oh . . . Three more than I? Six? Oh, yes! I am twelve . . . six more . . . eighteen. Seven more than Mari Cruz.»

__________


Conchita was not the only one talking. Loli
asked the reason why the Angel hadn’t come. She insisted then in the same request for a sign:
«Give one right now! You always say that you’ll give it, that you’ll give . . .»

__________


Jacinta took part in the conversation too, asking
among other things whether on that night they should be in pairs again as at other times, each pair in a different house . . . (16)
Naturally they talked about the priests that were there that day:
«Two priests came today; one is a Jesuit, and he said Mass very well . . . What is his name? Something like Andrés . . . The Dominican . . . In Santander we saw many Dominicans . . . Father Juan(17) told priests not to come. Why did he do that?»
Father Luis was writing down the incidents of the ecstasy minute by minute:
«2:19: Loli makes a brusque gesture to fall forward. 2:24: Conchita cries. (Was it because of what had happened in Santander? She had just mentioned it). A few seconds later Loli falls and Mari Cruz supports her, holding her up by her back. 2:35: The four fall—we tried to hold them up. They remain with their gaze upward, without blinking. 2:40: They get up and kneel down. 2:43: They go backwards toward the altar of the Virgin of the Rosary; falling down backwards
in front of it with their backs on the ground, they begin to pray the rosary . . . 2:47:
They get up and continue the rosary on their knees. A hand is waved in front of their eyes, and they don’t blink; they blink sometimes by their own efforts, but very seldom. A certain rigidity is noted in their jaws . . . When beginning the litany there is almost an appearance of losing equilibrium again . . . They finish the prayer with an Our Father to their Guardian Angel, a Salve to the Virgin of Mount Caramel and an Apostles Creed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The ecstasy ends about 3:00.»

__________


However, during this ecstasy something was
predicted for the evening. And the thing would not be insignificant, since they were heard to say, «How long is it going to be? Two hours? . . . Where are we going to be kneeling?»


12. Son and Nephew of Rafael y don Antiano Fontaneda Ibañez, owners of a well-known business.
13. From the notebook of material taken down by Father Luis María himself on that day in Garabandal, and which his brother Ramón now possesses.

14. Sánchez-Ventura, page 115. (Spanish edition)


15. On the following day at Reinosa when Father Ramón María
Andreu was informed of these details, he could not hide his amazement, since he stated, He had never seen his brother cry.
16. The one who took down the words of Jacinta and Mari Cruz was a seminarian named Andrés Pardo. He has now been a priest for several years and served on the National Commission on the Liturgy.

17. This seems to refer to the pastor of Carmona, Father Juan González Gómez, a native of Garabandal, who soon adopted a hostile or negative attitude toward the events, and was opposed to priests going up to the village. All those in the village called him Father Juan or simply Juanito.

 

garabandal.org Information on the Apparitions of Garabandal — St. Michael’s Garabandal Center.

Father Gustavo E. Morelos
was 87 years old.
He was born Feburary 7, 1928 and
died March 7th, 2015.

He was in Garabandal
at the time of the apparitions
for approximately three
months. He spent his
time there
interviewing the four girls,
their parents, and a number
of the villagers.

 

 

Father Morelos with Loli’s children

Our Lady of Carmel kept him to the end, so Jesus could place him with His other priests that worked only for love of Him while they were on Earth preparing each person for Heaven. I met him in Italy, and at that time I questioned him about Garabandal. He told me that it was his firm opinion that the Miracle would happen in the month of “April.” To read what he told me, click here.

He also told me he was a priest of the Community Sons of Divine Will. And when we parted, he blessed me with the “Glove” of Padre Pio.

Father Gustavo was a very holy man. I believe he is in Heaven, and from now on I will pray for his blessing.

 

There will be a viewing on
Saturday, March 14TH…
the 56TH Anniversary of
Father Gustavo’s priesthood.

The Porta Corta Funeral Home
2801 East Osceola Parkway
Kissimme, FL 34743

Since Father Gustavo’s funeral
celebration will be in Mexico, the
Community Sons of Divine Will
suggested not to send flowers.
Instead, if you wish, you may send
a donation, which will assist in the
cost of transferring Father’s body
to Mexico.

God Bless You,
Maria C. Saraco

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 72).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 72)

On August 3rd, the first ecstatic falls occurred.

 

In Crescendo


With the coming of August, summertime month
par excellence, when Santander and its seaside resorts were overflowing with people, the influx of visitors coming from all regions into Garabandal acquired an accelerated pace. And at the same time, the events themselves also seemed to follow an accelerated pace as they increased in number and became more attention-getting.

On the first day of the month, as we have mentioned,
things began with the beautiful addition in the recitation of the Hail Mary: Holy Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
On August 3rd, the first ecstatic falls occurred together with many other phenomena, culminating in Conchita’s return back to town after eight days in Santander, as previously described.

On August 4th, a Friday, the episode of the tape
recorder took place.
On August 5th, among other things, everyone’s attention was strongly attracted by an ecstatic march at tremendous speed going from the Pines all the way down to the church. Conchita was heard ardently asking pardon for having gone to the beach, and with no less ardor she implored the apparition to make a visible miracle so that everyone would believe.
Father Valentín wrote down in his notes:
«At two in the afternoon Loli, Conchita, and Jacinta went up beyond the Pines; there they knelt down and asked, Where are we going? To the church? And they undertook the descent in ecstasy.

At the church they stopped first before the main altar. Then they went to the altar of the Immaculate Conception and prayed a beautiful rosary—Conchita leading, the others answering. All this lasted about an hour and a half.

In the evening, toward 9:30, they returned in
ecstasy to the church. I was at the gate when they came and I wanted to stop them, but I was unable. They went in front of the main altar, knelt down and began to speak. Conchita asked pardon for having gone to the beach and movie theater. Conchita wept. They also asked very insistently for her to perform a miracle. And they asked why Mari Cruz was not seeing her.»

__________

The absence of Mari Cruz can be explained as due to pressures exerted on her parents, who were already doubting and upset, so that they kept her secluded far from the locations and phenomena of the other three. We know for example that during the days of August one of her aunts from Madrid was there, and she and some other people told the mother, The child is sick and so are the others. For that reason, they took her to the pastures whenever they could.

Although I cannot say with certainty that it occurred on this day, I am inserting something here which has been told to me and which reveals quite well the visionaries’ concern during those days. Mari Cruz and Jacinta were taken up into ecstasy near the water fountain, and the people gathered around them. the final light of day was fading. The wife of Augusto Fernández saw that her son, crippled with infantile paralysis, was next to the children in the middle of the crowd, and she feared that something might happen as the crowd pressed against him. She boldly made her way up to him to protect him from a possible avalanche of curious spectators. She reclined on the ground at his side, trying not to interfere with the vision of those behind her, and he had the chance to have her head almost leaning on Mari Cruz, whom she heard saying in a whisper:

«Look. The people don’t believe. They only
believe that we are crazy and foolish. Come. Perform a miracle. Even though it is only a little one . . . So that they might believe. Let three stars fall now.»
A few seconds later—to everyone’s surprise and with almost everyone unaware of the reason—three shooting starts crossed brilliantly across the sky.

On Sunday August 6th, the girls had an ecstasy in the evening at 9:30 sharp. During the recitation of the rosary, heavenly music was heard that lulled those hearing it and stirred up devotion as the girls were heard chanting the Hail Marys slowly, rhythmically, and fervently. They came out of ecstasy at 10:12; and then to conclude this ineffable evening of communication with heaven, as on so many other occasions, they went to pray a Station before the Blessed Sacrament. The girls did not pray badly, far from that; but the spectators were struck by the contrast between the two prayers. The second, although devout and well said, did not have either the voice, or the rhythm, or the feeling, or the cadence of the first. It was evident that the girls in ecstasy were before something or someone that transformed them.(10)
On August 7th, a Monday, there were more ecstasies. For example, one occurred at 2:00 in the afternoon to all four girls together.(11) It appears that this was one of the days in which the Virgin told the girls to stay in their homes without going outside because of the deluge of strangers. In this way the Virgin protected the girls from the crowd’s indiscreet enthusiasm and curiosity and allowed them a little rest.

10. Fr. Valentín ends his notes of August 6th like this: «Afterwards they prayed a station in the natural state. What a difference in their prayer!»

11. Another, still more interesting, after it had become
dark. During it they made their way to the places where they had previously had apparitions; the village fountain, the apple tree in the calleja, the cuadro, the Pines. In each one of these places they knelt down with devotion for some time, and then departed. The tour ended in the church.
«It was a dark night; but they told me that they saw as
though it were daylight.» (Fr. Valentín)

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 71).

“What did the Virgin tell you?”

The person who took these notes was one of the two Jesuits who had come up to the village without believing anything. Let us listen to what he said as recorded in the French edition of Conchita’s Diary.

«We discussed this subject with Father Ramón María Andreu. The following is part of the dialogue.QUESTION: In speaking of Loli and Jacinta’s ecstasy in her ‘Diary,’ Conchita maintains that you considered Mari Loli’s gesture as a sign. Is that true?

FATHER: Yes, that is certain, but the story is a
little more involved than that simple allusion by Conchita in her diary would make one think.

QUESTION: Could you give us a more definite
idea of your attitude and feelings on the day you first went up to Garabandal?

FATHER: As you might imagine, during that first
visit to the village I didn’t have the least belief in the world that events could take place there that were worthy of close attention. The first time they asked me to go, I answered, I don’t have any time to waste. I’m usually very busy. Although I finally agreed to travel to Garabandal, it was only because of my friends’ insistence and the great need I had for a rest after having preached several retreats on the Spiritual Exercises one after another.QUESTION: Did your brother Father Luis believe in it?

FATHER: No, no more than I. At that time we didn’t have any authentic proof. And like everyone else, we needed some minimum evidence to make an evaluation on events of this type.QUESTION: Concerning the episode mentioned by Conchita, exactly how did it happen? Can you tell us?FATHER: Gladly. It was, as I said, the first time that I had made the ascent to Garabandal. That day we had the opportunity of witnessing several of the childrens’ actions and movements. At the end of the afternoon we were at the Pines. Loli and Jacinta were in ecstasy. There were only a few witnesses around the children. I myself was very close to them; I could hear them speaking to the Vision in the soft low-pitched voice that was typical of their ecstatic state. Now and then I could understand some of their words.After eight or ten minutes, I thought that this had to be a case of hypnotism. I have to admit that this was no brilliant idea and lacked originality, but it was what I was actually thinking. I looked around to find the originator of this case of hypnosis. I saw Father Valentín, Ceferino, Julia, and the other spectators. They all had such an expression of admiration and astonishment that I considered them more disciples than masters. Obviously the hypnotist wasn’t there!

I had already seen both the children go into
the ecstatic state and come out of it at the same time. This gave me the impression that they had only one mind. What I thought then doesn’t seem to make much sense, but I was thinking nevertheless, that one of the two children would return to consciousness while the other remained in ecstasy.(6)At that exact second, Loli, who was next to me, came to, turned slightly and looked at me with a smile. I then asked her,Don’t you see the Virgin anymore?

No Father, She answered.


Why is that? I asked.


Because she is gone.


Jacinta was still in ecstasy. I said to Loli:
Look at Jacinta. The child looked at her and smiled on seeing her in ecstasy—for it was the first time that she had seen one of her companions in this situation, being herself out of the apparition. I asked her another question, What did the Virgin tell you?She was about to answer, when she fell into ecstasy again, throwing her head backwards. Then I heard this conversation between the two children and the Virgin:
Jacinta: Loli, why did you leave?
Loli: (talking to the apparition) Why did you go away?
Then after a short pause, Oh! It was for that. So that he would believe!

Hearing this, I rejoined my brother Luis and
said to him, Be careful about what you are thinking. The transmission of thought here is lightening fast!
My brother responded: Did something happen to you?
Yes, I answered him. I’ll tell you about it later.(7)

QUESTION: Father, did you believe from then on?

FATHER: Without question all this attracted my attention and made me think that it wasn’t a comedy, and that there must be material here for profound study. I also took notice that we were face to face with exciting phenomena both for the doctor and the theologian.From that point to believing, there is—in spite of everything—a step that one doesn’t make so easily. However, one thing remains certain: if I look back on the ensemble of events in which I have assisted with a sometimes excessive skepticism, I can testify and affirm again that we aren’t dealing with a comedy or simulation on the part of the four girls.Unfortunately, saying that amounts to saying nothing at all. To present the problem is not to solve it.The question remains the same: What is the cause of the phenomena at which I have assisted as an eyewitness and of which the story that I have recounted is only the smallest part, a drop of water in the sea?How many are the persons with whom I have shared my intense desire to understand? How many times have I asked for a convincing explanation? And I am still waiting for an answer to my questions.»(8)

__________


Thus on the 29th of July, 1961, two brothers, (9)
both priests, both religious, initially skeptics in their first impressions, would enter into the history of Garabandal where they were to play a major role in the unfolding and development of that history.

6. Father thought that if all had been caused by the external actions of a distant hypnotizer, those actions should have affected the two girls in the same way at the same time.

7. «When the ecstasy ended; I began writing down what had just happened . . . While doing this, the girls entered into a trance again. Soon two nuns appeared walking from the other side of the hill. Seeing them, Father Valentín turned excitedly toward me:
—Look, Nuns!
—Yes, nuns, I answered, not understanding immediately.
—That’s the Virgin! He shouted out very excited.
And then I understood; this was the explanation of what the girls had said in the Cuadro: that the nuns could also be near to them. Not a single nun had been seen in the village, and so Father Valentín was disturbed in the beginning. Now, after a long time, the secret guests were appearing!»
(The two nuns can be identified. They were two religious from a congregation little known in Spain: Daughters of Our Lady of the Scared Heart which at the time had only one house in Cataluña. One of the religious, a native of Santander, was staying temporarily with her family in Roiz, a village not far from the valley of the Nansa River; she was Sister María of Jesus, later Provincial Superior of her congregation in Spain.)
«The nuns arrived in time and were thrilled by the girls’ ecstasy. When the girls came back to themselves, they said, The Virgin said that everyone can go up. No one took it upon themselves to give out the news, and they asked me to do so.
I went up to the edge of that little flat area by the Pines, and I saw the crowd who had been waiting so long. I made a sign to them and everyone hurried up in great confusion. The Lord obliged them with a new ecstasy by the girls, truly very beautiful.» (Father Ramón Andreu, at a conference in Palma de Mallorca.)
Following such a day, we can imagine with what sentiments the Andreu brothers left Garabandal after their first visit.

8. Journal de Conchita, Nouvelles Editions Latines, Paris, 1967.


9. We have already described one of them, Father Ramón
María. The other, Father Luis, was younger; he was 36. He had made his ecclesiastic studies in Oña, Innsbruck (Austria) and Rome, and for some time he had been a professor at a theological seminary that the Jesuits had in Oña (Burgos). I say had because some years ago it was transferred to Bilbao.
Oña is a small historical city northeast of the capital of Burgos, situated between mountains covered with pines on the picturesque bank of the Oca River not far from its outflow into the Ebro. It had been the seat of a seminary of the ancient monastery of San Salvador—formerly belonging to the Benedictines— abandoned after the laws of Mendizabal in 1835. After the Jesuits vacated recently, the government officials of Burgos made the seminary into a psychiatric hospital.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 70).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 70)

 

 

Loli with sister Sari

Thanks to this providential help, Father Ramón found himself unexpectedly in the best spot for observation, right up against the visionaries, and next to his brother whom he discovered there conscientiously making entries in his notebook, calmly caught up in what was going on.
The first thing that attracted his attention was a man at his side who was bending over, very interested in taking the pulse of the girls. Every now and then he would raise his head toward the people and say, Normal . . . Normal. . . .
The captain of the guard began hearing Normal . . . and asked him, Hey, are you a doctor?
No sir, I’m a journalist.
Well then, please get out of here at once.
Gladly. Pardon me.
These rather ridiculous details, and those that preceded them, caused Father Ramón to think to himself, This thing has neither head nor tail.

Soon both the children came to themselves at
the same time, perfectly simultaneously, and looked innocently around them. Everyone was at a loss for words. Then Father Valentín, who already had experience in these matters—over a month of association with them—came near and asked them with his typical stammering. What? What? What did the Virgin say?
The Virgin said that we should go to the Pines—we, our families, the guards, the priests and the nuns—and that the others should remain below.
Father Valentín turned toward Father Andreu and said nervously, But what nuns? What nuns? There are no nuns here! What nuns? This isn’t the Virgin!
Father Andreu remained quiet. What did he know? This was the first time he was here and he was rather confused.
They all went up to the Pines and there the children unaffectedly pointed out the places where the various groups should situate themselves.(2)

It appeared that the Virgin had told the children that the people could see, but should not hear (3). Only two little children of six years of age, Mari Carmen and Sari (sisters of Jacinta and Loli), could be near the visionaries as witnesses.
The ecstasy and the apparition began. The nearest spectators were able to notice that the faces of the visionaries took on an expression of profound sorrow. One of the girls’ mothers could not contain herself. They are crying.
Since he could not manage to hear the conversation, the parish priest called to Mari Carmen, the child witness, in order to question her. The little girl approached unhurriedly, and when she heard the questions of the priest, answered in a bored and indifferent manner: They are telling the Virgin that she shouldn’t say bad things.(4)
Everyone knew that this apparition was different from the others, that the Virgin was explaining and showing very grave things, surely in relation to some great chastisement that would come upon the world if men did not return to the ways of God by doing penance.

From statements made later on by the children,
it was learned that on this day the Virgin had confided a secret and had completed the message which would be made public on the night of October 18th.(5)
A witness present at the time noted:
«They raised up their hands as if holding up something. One pulled in her arms. Kisses were heard . . . They extended their arms . . . They smiled . . . They listened to something . . . And they cried . . .
When they returned to normal we surrounded them and saw that one of them still had tears. Why are you crying? We received no answer.»

While some of the people were speaking with
the girls, the third ecstasy of the day occurred there in the same location of the Pines. This time the children could be heard with notable clearness.
—The Apparition had come with the Child, since they asked how old He was. They requested her to give them His crown, and they said that it was little.

—The Virgin told the girls that she was pleased
with the way the people had acted, since they had docilely obeyed the things she had said about their positions during the ecstasy.
—She advised them to say the rosary one more time, and to do it at the Pines.

As soon as they returned to normal, Jacinta
and Loli began right there to say the rosary. On reaching the fifth Ave María of the third mystery, the two children stopped at The Lord is with . . . without pronouncing the next word.

This ecstasy lasted about an hour. Here are some
of the things that were heard:
«Why do you come? If the people hadn’t obeyed, would you have come? . . . So that they believe . . . (They offer something. They give a kiss.) How beautiful you are! You’re very kind . . . Tomorrow we will come while fasting, without eating anything, not anything . . . I am kissing your scapular . . . Today some Carmelite fathers came . . . I remember a Dominican . . . Show us your dress once more . . . It’s white with white flowers . . . A guard brought a little girl who couldn’t speak or walk . . . I promised him . . . Cure her! Cure someone, so that all the people can see it.»

2. «Midway toward the Pines, Loli turned around and pointed with her finger, No one should pass beyond here, indicating a path that crossed over from the side.

It wasn’t easy to make all that crowd of 500 persons
obey immediately. It could be imagined that some hadn’t heard what the visionary had said. Three or four of the Civil Guards took charge of implementing these orders. I passed at the side of one of the guards as he was trying to block the passage of some people who wanted to go ahead of him. One of the people said, And who are you to stop me from seeing a miracle? The guard answered, God commands and He should be obeyed.» (From a conference of Father Andreu at Palma de Mallorca.)
It is not easy to allocate each scene and episode precisely to the corresponding ecstasy that took place at the Pines on the afternoon of July 29th.
3. From information that I was able to gather with difficulty, it appears that only the two small witnesses whom we have first mentioned were able to circulate around Jacinta and Loli in ecstasy. Those of the privileged group—their parents, the guards, etc.—had to stay a little farther away, in such a position that they could see, but could not hear; while the crowd—down below to one side, without even seeing anything— remained waiting. At a second stage, those from the privileged group were able to draw closer and encircle the girls. Finally the whole crowd went up to the Pines.

4. Distressing things that were terrifying and painful.

5. Concerning this July 29th, so outstanding in the events
of Garabandal, Police Chief Juan Alvarez Seco testifies:
«I remember that María Dolores said to me, Chief, you and my father can come up a little closer, about 100 meters to the right of the Pines. The Pastor and the nuns may come to about 100 meters too, but on the left side; the rest of the people below and far away.
We all did this. And I was able to observe that during the ecstasy the visionaries cried a lot, frightening the little girls . . . Later I learned that the reason for the visionaries being alone and isolated like this was so that the people wouldn’t be too stricken on seeing up close what they were suffering, since the Virgin had to be speaking of the message, showing them something of the chastisement and how the cup was being filled with sins. This was what they had to make public later on October 18th.
On this day, the people from the village made a little altar with fruit cases, and they placed it at the foot of the Pines; it was well made and they decorated it with flowers from the fields.»

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 69).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 69)

 

 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE FIRST DEATH AT GARABANDAL

If I were to use the strong language of Christian tradition, I would say the first martyr. If I were to adapt my language to the 20th century political movements, I would speak of the first victim. Taking a medium position between these expressions, I am going to write without pretension about the first death at Garabandal.
He was a martyr because he was an exceptional witness for the cause, even to giving up his life.

He was a victim because he sacrificed his life as a consequence of his total devotion in the service of a cause.


Who was he?

Skeptic at the Start

We have already mentioned these lines from Conchita: In those days while I was at Santander, there were in the village two Jesuit priests . . .

Now let us go back a little in our story, returning to the 29th of July, the date on which the presence of these priests began to be noticed in Garabandal. The two Andreu brothers, Ramón María and Luis María, had come like so many other people, led on
more by curiosity than the expectation of finding anything really important. They went simply to see what was going on because people were talking so much about what was happening there.
They came like many others, without believing.
Then one day Loli and Jacinta had an apparition at the Pines.
And the priests were there, and seeing them in ecstasy, believed.
But they believed not only because
of that.
Conchita mentions only a small part of what occurred on July 29th. Now we can complete her description with some detailed accounts of the first visit of the Andreu brothers to Garabandal.
Upon arriving, they were extremely amazed on hearing Chief of Police Juan A. Seco tell the actual story of what had happened on the preceding two days: how the children (in their ecstasy at the Pines on July 27th at nine o’clock on Thursday evening) had learned from the lips of the Virgin all that was happening to their companion Conchita at the same time in Santander, first on Alta Street and then later
in the rectory of Our Lady of Consolation parish. And how Mr. Seco had immediately checked the accuracy of what the children had said by making an official telephone call to the police chief in Santander. After hearing this, the two brothers were astounded with a feeling they could not describe.
What is this? What’s going on? exclaimed Father Ramón.

Regardless of what it is, it is going to be something really worthwhile, answered Father Luis.
They asked if something else was going to happen that night. Definitely, someone answered. There should be an ecstasy at seven o’clock because yesterday the Virgin told the girls while leaving that she would return today.
Then one of the Fontanedas, who had come with the Andreu brothers from Aguilar de Campoo, could not hide the inner shaking that the waiting was causing him and said to Father Ramón María, This is terrible, Father! Watching the clock while waiting for a supernatural event like this in cold blood!
About three or four hundred visitors were in the village on that last Saturday in July. As the hour drew near, Father Ramón meandered around the town with the others who were showing the excitement of expecting something, without knowing what
it was or where it was coming from. Some started going toward the calleja.
Slightly later a young child appeared who told the group that were waiting, There has already been one call.
The news spread immediately and Father Ramón asked with astonishment, What’s that?
Someone explained, First the children receive three calls and then, after that, she comes.
That added another surprise to the many the priest had already received. Certainly this was an intriguing mystery to be carefully examined.(1)
Soon Loli and Jacinta appeared, running toward the cuadro. The commotion this caused was tremendous. Everyone raced toward the place in a disorganized
avalanche. Father Ramón María—in order not run over anyone, and also not be run over himself—kept himself to the side as much as he could to let everyone else pass by. All he could do at the time was resign himself to staying on the fringe of the spectators without being able to follow closely the phenomena that were so intriguing him. In order to be able to follow what was going on, he started to climb up on top of one of the low walls of loose stones that line the calleja in places. Unfortunately the stones began to scatter and fall, making a lot of noise. The people turned to stare, complaining that with such a racket they could not hear a thing that the children were saying in the ecstasies. Then the poor priest tried to hide himself as much as he could to escape from glances that were not overly benevolent.
He was in this situation when he felt someone behind him grab his arms. He turned and saw a giant—or at least at the time that is what he appeared to be—who lifted him up and began to force a way through the crowded circle of enthralled people around the children, while saying forcefully to one after the other, Make way for the authority of the Church.

1. Several days after what we are relating here, the famous bullfighter Alvaro Domencq, who was fighting in a nearby village, came to Garabandal with his father and retinue. He was amazed at what they told him about the events. He followed the visionaries around saying in typical Castellian manner, Did you see the Virgin, Sweetheart? Did you see the Virgin, my Angel?

These men from the bull ring were amazed and amused by the calls that the girls were receiving in their ecstasies. On arriving and having heard someone saying, Be ready, they have already received two “calls,” the father of Mr. Domencq joked with his son,
Be careful, Alvarito, not to have one tomorrow! (In bullfighter’s jargon, a call is a warning that the head of the bullring gives to bullfighters who are not performing well.)

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 68).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 68)

 

 

“the sensation that we surely have her there—in front of our hand.”

Behind the Mystery,
Our Lady

Here I would like to say something about Garabandal using someone else’s words.

“Garabandal has the same spiritual theme as the other great Marian apparitions approved by the Church.
Our Lady has come on the earth one more time because she is a Mother not only for the visionaries and for a few chosen souls, but for the whole world—this world which is becoming worse, as Loli has said.
At San Sebastián de Garabandal, tears do not flow from the Virgin’s eyes as they did at La Salette. Instead she has chosen four innocent young girls. Through these children, all generous souls are called to partake of the Virgin’s solicitude for the world.
One day the children in ecstasy recited the rosary under the Virgin’s direction and said, ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us sinners.’ Mary, the Mother of God, the Mother of Jesus, lived from the manger to Calvary with her Son and for her Son. She knew the prophecies and the aged Simeon had enlightened her about the sword of sorrows that would one day pierce her heart.
During Christ’s life Mary lived with serenity of soul and anguish of heart. Mary’s compassion for her Son was a thing so deeply moving that it is almost necessary to be a sorrowful mother oneself to comprehend it.

More than others, the tragic spirit of the Spanish people seems to have penetrated into this mystery. In Spain we see statues of Our Lady clothed in black, and of the Virgin pierced with seven swords, holding in her hands a cloth to collect her tears.

 

Our Lady of Sorrows, El Viso del Alcor, Seville, Spain.

 

From Wikipedia


Why does she weep?

It was in Bethlehem, the gospel says in speaking of the birth of Christ, that Mary brought into the world her first born Son. Her first-born Son? Actually her motherhood did not end with her Son Jesus; at the cross, she became the mother of all innumerable sinful human beings. After being the sorrowful mother at the foot of the cross, she remains the suffering mother who fears losing the children that Jesus had given her on Calvary.
Now, perhaps more than at any other period of history she sees the de-Christianization of entire countries. At Fatima she showed the three children many souls falling into hell. Few listened! Can we not understand then why she calls to the world at Garabandal to hear her message, in order to save it from the chastisement that she fears for it?

 


At Garabandal the children were astounded one day by the attitude of the Virgin, and Mari Cruz asked her, You too . . . you pray too? They did not yet understand that—after having joined with the angel in praising the Virgin full of grace— our Hail Marys ask her to pray for us sinners.
She knows that a terrible chastisement can fall upon her children on earth if they do not convert. She makes an almost desperate effort to warn us, to implore us to prevent our souls from falling into hell and our bodies from being chastised. She then entreats us to pray for the world with her.
Our Mother in Heaven stands before the throne of God. She asks devoted souls, her little children, and those that resemble them to join her prayer and pray with her to snatch the victory from Satan, and gain the triumph that Jesus wants to grant her.”

(Star on the Mountain)


Yes it is she, the mother concerned for her children,
who is beyond the mist and mystery of Garabandal.