WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 158).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 158)

Miracle or Fraud?


This fact cannot be denied or evaded: that a Host
was seen on Conchita’s tongue like those used for Communion. But is this fact enough to call it an authentic miracle?
For some, a miracle was unquestionable from the first moment; for others, doubts began immediately and have not yet dissipated.
As men debate about the works of men, they are inclined to debate about the works of God, too. And to God this does not seem to matter, since He never takes away all the problems in such a way that disbelief and resistance to belief would be impossible. He never forces us to believe. We are merely given adequate information and sufficient leads to bring us to an attitude of faith based on good reasonable logic.
Whoever avoids searching into obscure areas ends up finding total security. The rich man of the parable said to the patriarch Abraham, If Lazarus, risen from the dead, goes to my brothers, they will not refuse his testimony. The patriarch (and it was Jesus Himself who spoke through him) answered: If they do not accept Moses and the prophets, they will not accept one who has risen from the dead either.
And so on the night of the milagrucu began the doubts, the suspicions, the twisted interpretations.
Conchita was told to remain with her tongue extended after having received the Host, until . . .
. . . the Virgin would come.
And I did it like this.
And when the Virgin came, she told me:
They all still do not believe.


The girl found out the truth of this as soon as she
returned to her house, once the long trance had ended. For the trance was long; the Communion was only the beginning.
While many were keeping watch around the girl’s home, hoping for what might happen there (and these were the ones who saw, some well, some not so well, the things just described), others situated themselves in the calleja, thinking that there, at the site of so many other miraculous happenings, Conchita’s miraculous Communion would transpire.
Among these was Luis Navas; expectantly he ran to the Cuadro, seeking to secure the best observation point. But there he had to wait, although he tried to do it with resignation:
«I expressed» — he wrote — «my resignation to the Virgin while waiting there, If we don’t have the good fortune to see the miracle, at least let it be realized! I didn’t want to think of the consequences that would result from the non-realization of the predicted miracle, or the methods that might be adopted by the Commission, reticent from the start to admit any possibility of the apparitions being supernatural.
When Conchita came to the Cuadro . . . (As we have seen, the Virgin appeared to her after the Communion. Then began an ecstatic march, whose first stop was apparently the Calleja, where the lawyer from Palencia was waiting with the other people.) . . . I didn’t know whether she had received Communion. But I noticed that she held her mouth open. I saw this clearly since I found myself in the advantageous position that I had secured previously in case there would take place there, as was probable, the miracle that everyone was awaiting.
After being there some time, the visionary descended backwards toward the village, and I followed her with difficulty through the streets, since I had lost my glasses. It was at that time that I learned that she had already received Communion, and how it had occurred. There was nothing more for me to do than ask pardon for having doubted at the last hour, and to accept not having seen anything.
During the ecstasy, the visionary went in front of the church twice,(45) prayed the rosary through the streets,(46) visited the cemetery, and on returning from there, had barely passed over the little brook when she knelt down and advanced in this position about 50 meters. Finally she sang the Salve and went to conclude the vision where it had begun almost two hours previously, but not before offering the many articles placed on the kitchen table to be kissed.»

__________


It was at this time that the girl began to see evidence
of what the Virgin had mentioned when she appeared to the girl after Communion: All still do not believe.
She was . . . as anyone would be after an extraordinary favor from heaven. We know this through reliable testimony. The Commission had asked in its questionnaire:
«Is it true that Conchita, on returning home, smiled and avoided questions? Was she agitated?»
Fr. Etelvino answered:

— «She was calm when I saw her . . . She spoke calmly and happily.»

Among the people in Conchita’s kitchen at the end of the ecstasy was Dr. Ortiz’s wife. She remembers that they were telling the girl:
How happy you must be Conchita! Finally the miracle has come.

Yes, but the Virgin told me that many, in spite
of seeing it, do not believe . . . And I think one of these is Plácido.
At that moment, Plácido arrived. The girl smiled broadly and said to him:

You, you don’t believe?


Not much — the man replied, trying in vain
to smile.(47)
Plácido Ruiloba had been pushed away by the crowd and could not see the Host with his own eyes. Afterwards the Franciscan Fr. Justo, who had seen it and was full of doubts, relayed to him what he felt . . .
Dr. Ortiz’s wife heard Fr. Justo speaking to Fr. Bravo:

— I was tempted to take the Host with my hand,
to see if it was real . . .

— Didn’t that seem to be tempting God?

A Franciscan father, Father Justo, didn’t believe what he had seen.
And he said to the people that he hadn’t seen it, that it was a lie, that it was I
who had done this . . .In the writings of Luis Navas are these lines:
«In the days prior to July 18th Conchita had expressed her concern that many people would not witness the event, and as a consequence would not believe it . . . This prediction was verified because some didn’t except it (the presentation of the miracle seemed too much to them), because many didn’t see it, and because for other reasons the people in general were rather cold . . . And I think that during the time before the miracle was accomplished everyone doubted, more or less, that it would take place.»
__________

Soon the Commission at Santander was deluged
with a flood of comments, suspicions, and questions, all coming from the unconvinced.

And it was not hard for the Commission to think
that there had been no miracle.

But something had definitely happened, because of
which there was no other way out than to seek to offer explanations. The Commission members thought that by seeking evidence against Garabandal they were fulfilling their duty; but the rest of us might think that they did not accomplish another duty, a first and more important one: to be there at the place of the event, following everything that was occurring from the best point of observation.
The Commission members assert their right to speak out publicly and express their opinions on the events. That being the case, the least that could be asked of them would be to be there in the forefront of everyone else following, observing, and studying the events. It was not this way!
The letter in which Conchita invited them to be present at Garabandal on the 18th of July may or may not have been inspired by God; nevertheless those called had a serious obligation not to lose an occasion (that could well have been of great importance) to bring more light on the complete study that was entrusted to them. Instead of this, initially they showed no concern. Later when collecting information from witnesses, by design they soughtonly witnesses from whom they expected unfavorable testimony.
What would have happened if the responsible persons in the diocesan chancery had been at the appointed spot on the day fixed by God?

God can perform things very well without man; but the History of Salvation shows us how certain divine designs have gone astray because of lack of human cooperation. God does not have to yield to our desires . . . How often He could say to us: Since you attempt to come to the light through your own ways, and not through Mine, you will remain in the darkness!
On July 18th, 1962, a thing that could have decisively clarified the mystery of Garabandal ended by leaving it like it was, or perhaps even more obscure. Whose fault was this?

* * *

 

45. Luis Navas noted something that particularly attracted his attention: the «open mouth of Conchita»; but he does not give more detail. Nevertheless, there are other testimonies that speak of something very remarkable in this regard.

Félix Gallego, a doctor from Polanco (Santander), tells how
he, while going with the girl toward the church after the miracle, saw perfectly a halo of light in the back of her open mouth. That same night, on returning to his home in Polanco, he wrote down a report that days later he gave to Father Valentín for him to take, if it seemed useful, to his superiors at the chancery.

And I myself was able to receive an unequivocal testimony
from a woman from Madrid, María Paloma Fernández- Pacheco de Larrauri. She had come to the village in the early morning of July 18th, and was spending the day waiting like so many others . . . When Conchita finally left her house in ecstasy, this woman, who had been waiting a long time outside, could not follow her because of the commotion and the people throwing themselves on top of her. Resigned and silent, she went down another street and was walking aimlessly when she perceived, muffled and far away, the noise of those who were coming with the visionary. Soon above the noise that was breaking the silence of the night, she heard a woman shout excitedly: Oh! She’s carrying it in her mouth!

She rushed toward the sound and found there, at the entrance
of the church, a spectacle that she will never be able to forget. Within the churchyard in the middle of the people who had arranged themselves in a wide circle, or perhaps rather a rectangle, Conchita was moving in ecstasy. Flashlights were converging on her with their beams of light, but surpassing that light was another light which shone from the mouth of the girl with an unusual resplendence.

Mrs. Paloma succeeded in situating herself well on the left
side of the courtyard and was able to observe perfectly, for some minutes, this extraordinary phenomenon in front of her. «It was» — she said — «as if in the center of her wide-open mouth, on the tongue of the child, there were a host or “forma” of concentrated light, around which radiated a little halo of light of a different kind.»
This phenomenon was definitely observed by other persons too, some of whom did not want to talk about it for fear of being considered hysterical or subject to hallucinations.
46. Conchita wrote, And she told me to pray the rosary, and I prayed it.

47. According to a witness’ report, Plácido said then to Conchita: «Liar! You’ve deceived us!»
Undisturbed, the girl replied with a smile: «The Virgin told
me: In spite of everything, some do not believe!»

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 157).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 157)

“a white body of the same size and shape as the hosts used for Communion”

We have a brief report that gives this something as it happened internally, as further reports will describe it as seen externally.
At two o’clock, the Angel appeared to me in my room.
In my home were my mother Aniceta, my brother Aniceto, and an uncle, Elías, and a cousin, Luciuca, and a person from Aguilar, María del Carmen Fontaneda.
And the Angel was with me for a while(42) and he told me, as on other days:
Pray the “I Confess” and think of Whom you are going to receive.
And I did this. And afterwards he gave me Communion.
And after giving me Communion, he told me to say the “Soul of Christ,”
And to make my thanksgiving,
And to hold out my tongue with the Sacred Host,
Until he left and the Virgin came.
And I did this.


We cannot designate the exact time that Conchita’s
ecstasy started. We have just seen that she said, at 2 o’clock, but her chronometric accuracy cannot be trusted. All the witnesses agree that the affair happened some time after July 18th ended, after one o’clock at night. the concordance of information from several witnesses makes it certain that the disputed trance began between 1:30 and 1:40.
A little before it started, Conchita, who had gone down for a while to the kitchen, went up again to the upper floor. One of the persons there, Dr. Ortiz’ wife, says this expressly:
«After a while, Conchita went upstairs again, and a little while later, I saw her come down with her hands joined.»

__________


In her room upstairs for almost an hour was a man not easily disposed to religious fervor: Elías
González Cuenca. Although he was Conchita’s carnal uncle he did not have much faith in his niece, nor did he maintain cordial relations with her family. Let us hear his testimony.
«It was after 12:30. I was drinking beer with someone at Elena’s house when we heard a commotion in the crowd. And at the time, I went in its direction and entered her house — to see mischievously if I would see something that I didn’t like. She is my niece by blood; but even so, I think that there have been three times that I have gone in there. I was with her in her house about an hour. She, her mother, her brother Cetuco, a little girl and I were praying. And later her mother went down to the kitchen leaving the four of us alone.(44)
After a while, her brother said, Do you see what time it is? It is today already. Nothing!

And Conchita answered, The time has not yet passed.

A few minutes later she fell into ecstasy. We were seated on her bed, and she was speaking with us when suddenly she fell there to the side of me against the door.»

__________


Soon the girl got up, left her room and began to
descend majestically down the stairway. Dr. Ortiz’ wife stated:
«I saw her go down with her hands joined in front of her chest, her head turned backwards, her mouth slightly open, and with an expression of marvelous happiness!»

__________


Father Bravo, a professor from the University of
Comillas, a specialist in the spiritual life, looking at the young girl transfigured like this, could only repeat, How marvelous! How marvelous!
Those that were in the house intended to follow close to Conchita as she went outside. However, they found themselves prevented by the masses of people who were waiting impatiently, and literally threw themselves on top of her, seeking to get the best place for observation.
Dr. Ortiz’ wife stated: «I went out on the street and I couldn’t follow her.»

Uncle Elías said, «I went out after her into the crowd; but they knocked me down.»

And they pushed Father Bravo so much that he was almost bowled over; he had to forget being in the first ranks. Miguel, Conchita’s brother, and some other husky young men attempted to protect the girl as she walked.
Luis Navas wrote:
«It was 15 or 20 minutes before two in the morning, when just after going out in the street, and no farther than turning a corner to the left — in the place least expected — in front of the house of her friend Olguita, the visionary fell on her knees and the Communion took place. It was a wet place, hardly agreeable, since at times dirty water from the homes was dumped there.»

__________


The visionary was removed from all this, being
unaware of her own movements and positions; the only thing that she knew was that:
The angel appeared to me in my room . . . etc.It is indisputable that in the girl’s open mouth and upon her graciously extended tongue there was seen for some time the white Host of Communion, since testimony of this has been signed and sworn to by many witnesses . . . Although it was in the middle of the night, the scene and the protagonist were adequately illuminated.
Concerning this, there is a report that has special value because of the situation of its proponent and because of the official nature of his testimony. The questions were put in writing by the Commission at Santander through a diocesan prelate, and the answers were also given in writing by the Dominican previously mentioned: Fr. Etelvino González.
«What time was it? Had July 18th passed?

— It was exactly a quarter to two in the early morning of July 19th.

Was there sufficient light?


— Yes. There was a full moon. Furthermore,
there were many flashlights around the girl even before the object predicted appeared on her tongue. I myself, with my back to her (from a distance of about a meter), on hearing the shout, “The Host!”, turned around in front of her, focusing on my flashlight on her open mouth.
— Did you see something in her mouth like the Host used for Communion?
— Yes. With complete certainty.

Before it was in the girl’s mouth, did you
see the Host outside of it, for example in the hands of the supposed angel, while she was making the sign of the cross, or in the path from the hands of the angel to the mouth of the girl?
— As I had my back turned, trying to hold back the crowd, I didn’t see it appear.

What was the host like?


— The object was a white body of the same size
and shape as the Hosts used for Communion; perhaps somewhat thicker. It gave the impression of being somewhat spongy and it adhered perfectly to her tongue.
How long did the phenomenon last?

— I estimate about 45 seconds; perhaps 60.


Did you hear the girl speak with the alleged
angel? What did he say?

— I didn’t see or hear her speak.


What effects did this cause in you?


— I distinguished three periods:

A) With my back to the girl, on hearing the shout: “The Host! Miracle!” I turned around, not believing it was true.
B) On seeing It with my eyes, I was impressed and completely absorbed in the examination of the “Host.”
C) Finally, I attempted to impose silence and reverence (since there was obviously the presence of the white body with characteristics similar to the Hosts of Communion.)»

42. It must be remembered that the long periods of time in ecstasy seemed minutes to the girls. And it is also to be remembered that they could move long distances in their trances and make long swift walks without losing the sensation of being still in the same place. Since they did not leave the light that enveloped their field of vision, they did not have the normal faculty to sense the change of locations.
43. This was recorded on a tape recorder.

44. Father Etelvino González had left for awhile since after
10:30 Conchita had indicated to those present, You can go eat if you wish, giving them to understand that what they were expecting was not going to take place for awhile.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 156).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 156)

“The miracle would come.”

In summary, it appears that the girls, with the exception of their visions, were not distinguishable from other girls of the village, and didn’t show the influence of anything that wasn’t natural, something that amazed people.
It was the same with regard to their daily chores. I remember that one early morning we had gone to bed at 6:00 a.m. in broad daylight; and at 10:00 María Dolores was in church, assisting at Mass. A little later I watched as she made repeated trips from the fields to her home, carrying enormous stacks of hay on her shoulders. I was able to take pictures.
On the evening of July 17th, I noticed that Mari Loli was missing at the rosary. When we left, her mother was walking around searching for her with a worried look. A young boy and I went up to the Pines in case she could be found there following some call; but all that was there were the nine trees, like sentinels in the night. After we returned to the village, María Dolores was found in the home of some friends from Aguilar de Campoo where — absorbed in conversation — the time had passed without her noticing it. Her father scolded and punished her; it hurt me to see such chagrin in that little child, the instrument which Our Lady had used to give me so many and such unmerited signs of love. But Loli must have understood her father’s reasons; since if her face appeared hurt, no sign of protest or rebellion against the one exercising authority could be found on it.»

Awaiting the Hour


This brief notation by Luis Navas Carrillo gives
us an idea of the atmosphere in Garabandal on the evening of July 17th, 1962:
«During the day, countless cars had come. The houses were full, making it very difficult to find a bed in which to sleep. Once again many people used the stables for sleeping.»

__________


But many gave up their sleep in order not to miss
the scenes on that night, which was almost completely occupied by vigils and ecstasies. Jacinta’s came first; later, at 5:15 in the morning, with the first rays of dawn, came Mari Loli’s ecstasy. She was initially at the Cuadro, and later made her way toward the church, accompanied by a group of people— Luis Navas among them:
«I went ahead to enter the church and I saw a visiting priest, already dressed in the sacred vestments, who was getting the altar ready to say Mass. He couldn’t hide the surprise that the unexpected coming of that parade caused him and began to say, Don’t enter! Don’t enter! As if the girl’s entrance would bring upon him some grave responsibility!
His fears ended immediately since the visionary, despite the door being open, stopped at the entrance, and falling on her knees there, came out of the trance. I remember at that time, as on other occasions after the time when the ecclesiastical authorities ordered the church doors closed during the girls’ ecstasies, that they stopped at the entrance of the church, and at times were heard to whisper, Oh what doesn’t the bishop want? They always adopted an attitude of complete obedience and submission.»

_______


The day of July 18th, which began in such an
unusual way, continued with a climate much different from other days. For the visitors, there was the special waiting for the miracle predicted by Conchita; for the villagers, there was the special fiesta, the big celebration of the year, when they met again with their distant relatives and friends, the day on which all the houses were full of happy people wearing their best clothes and eating lavishly. Officially the feastday was to honor St. Sebastián, patron saint of the village, who was martyred by being pierced with arrows. For some time, the feastday had been moved from January 20th, the actual feastday of the saint, to this date in July (a holiday in Spain) in order to allow better weather and opportunity for the arrival of relatives and guests.
«Well into the morning» — said Luis Navas — «we assisted at a chanted high Mass, in which 3 priests officiated;(33) the sermon was preached by a friend of mine from Burgos, who was stationed in San Vicente de la Barquera.(34) It was beautiful to see so many Communions, especially with the strangers who had come for the miracle; the Hosts had to be broken into particles.»

__________


At noon the festive atmosphere reached its peak.
But as the afternoon hours waned, impatience and unrest began to increase among those waiting . . . Nothing was happening, nor were there any signs that something was going to happen!
«As time passed» — wrote Luis Navas — «our restlessness grew, until it came to reach a level of actual anguish as the afternoon wore on.
We blamed the dance(35) as the cause of the delay, and perhaps the failure of the prodigy to take place; and full of confusion, we made a multitude of conjectures . . . I personally was not asking anything for myself since I had no need of a miracle to believe in the apparitions.
However, it deeply grieved me that, since what had been predicted was not happening, the good opinions of countless people, principally those who had come for the first time to Garabandal, were being put down together with their faith. I couldn’t forget the episode of October 18th, and at that time, the girls hadn’t predicted any prodigy!»

__________


In order to better support his hopes during the
anguishing wait, as Mr. Navas wrote:
«I kept in my mind that days previously the visionary had addressed a letter to a priest in Santander, Father Odriozola, inviting him to be present when the Angel gave her Communion. She had foretold this fact in unmistakable terms, with firmness and absolute sureness. She didn’t mention the hour, and the solar day wouldn’t end until 1:20 on our watches;(36) but each minute that went by increased my anxiety and made me think of what would happen with that priest whom the girl had so insistently requested to be there. Later, they told me that he had sent a representative in his place . . .»

__________


According to the reports made, the person sent
by Father Odriozola was an attorney from Santander, Mr. R. M., (37) who comported himself in Garabandal according to the most orthodox line of the Commission:

«Toward 5 in the afternoon, he proposed to
Conchita that she stop all this . . . That he would give her the broadest pardon on behalf of the bishop . . . That if she wanted to leave for Santander, he himself would take her with great pleasure . . . The Marquis of Santa María, who was present there in the girl’s home, couldn’t contain himself and engaged in a heated argument with the lawyer, who ended up going away in bad humor.»

(A report from another witness)

Conchita’s house naturally had to be, on that evening of July 18th, the center of maximum anticipation. Whoever could get in at the time and stay in the house had to be considered definitely privileged; the priests easily obtained such privileges, as would be expected. Paquina de la Roza Velarde, the wife of Dr. Ortiz, remembers that there were present there, besides close relatives of the visionary, a young girl from Aguilar (daughter of Rafael Fontaneda); a priest from Madrid, Fr. Justo; a Franciscan, Fr. Bravo; a Jesuit from Comillas; and a Dominican priest from Asturias. This Dominican priest — Etelvino González — furnishes us information to help relieve again those tense hours of July 18th.
Weeks later, on August 10th, the new bishop of Santander, Eugenio Beitia Aldazábal, wrote to Fr. Etelvino requesting him to answer a questionnaire that he was sending him: a long questionnaire that had been composed by the secretary of the Commission. He charged Fr. Etelvino to proceed with ‘the strictest secrecy’, and at the same time consider ‘the exceptional importance of his describing the facts objectively, with simplicity and briefness’.
The letter was answered by Fr. Etelvino after a month delay, for which he asked pardon.
Of the 41 questions on the questionnaire, he only answered 23, since he did not have direct knowledge on the content of the others.
«In order to be as exact and objective as possible, I have tried, in describing this, to limit myself to those details and facts of which I was personally a witness. I have avoided not only reporting what I merely heard, but also as much as possible, mixing my own personal opinion in this.»

__________


Before beginning his answers, he confided to the
bishops something that had to be his own personal opinion. He mentions . . .
«. . . the unhappy impression that it made on me in seeing Conchita surrounded in her home by gifts, and circled by wealthy people who apparently came there frequently and gave the impression of having made Garabandal their domain. I was not the only one to lament this; among the priests and faithful this was mentioned very unfavorably, leading at times to conclusions that were definitely not favorable. Without falling to this extreme, I think that the circumstances to which I am referring prevent a clear visualization of what could be happening at the bottom of these events, which seem more and more confusing.»(38)

__________


What this eyewitness then says — detrimentally
— illustrates what was happening around Conchita on the night of July 18th, 1962.
First question — Were you in the kitchen of Conchita’s home before she went into ‘rapture’?
Answer — I passed the evening in Conchita’s house, in the kitchen and principally on the second floor,(39) in company with several secular priests, a Franciscan priest, a Jesuit priest and a seminarian. During the time immediately prior to the rapture, I was practically absent, except for intervals.
Second question — What was the mental attitude of the young girl?
Answer — The general tone, during the time that I saw her, was of sureness concerning the accomplishment of the prediction and care in preparing spiritually for it; praying and making us pray; we prayed a Station to the Blessed Sacrament and two rosaries. At the same time the girl showed herself uncertain over what should be done about a dance that had been organized in front of her home; she wanted to have the music, but indicated weakly that they should stop dancing.»

__________


The dancing had a bad effect on many of those
who had gone up to the village. Conchita herself reports this:
Next to my house there was a holiday dance.
There were the two things together: some were praying the rosary, and others were dancing.(40)
Some of the people wanted to stop the dancing, since they were afraid that if there were a dance, there wouldn’t be a miracle.
And at one time, a man among those who wanted to stop the dancing, Ignacio Rubio, asked me if I wanted the dancing to stop.

I told him that, dance or no dance, the miracle would happen.
And then they didn’t discuss the dancing
anymore.Perhaps the man whom Conchita mentions is the same person about whom we have another report:
«A spectator, a professor from Granada, asked assistance from someone influential in the village to convince the young boys that the dancing should stop. With this assistance he went up to the boys and offered to pay the musicians to play on the next three Sundays . . .
Who told you this? — someone asked — Conchita?
Yes. (Actually Conchita hadn’t said this.)

Let’s go see — said the young boy, and taking
the arm of his questioner, he went in search of the girl:

We are coming to see, Conchita. Did the Virgin tell you that we shouldn’t dance?

No. Not exactly that. You can dance, but
you shouldn’t offend God, Our Lord.(41)

The young boy left satisfied, and naturally the
dance continued on for some time.»


__________


If the few people huddled in Conchita’s house
were perturbed by this, and were upset because they were waiting in vain during the final hours of July 18th, we can imagine how it must have been with those not present there who could only learn about what was happening through vague rumors. We have Luis Navas’ testimony:
«I was in the house of María Dolores, together with her father, the marquis of Santa María, a friend of his, and some other persons whom I don’t remember. Someone came to tell us that one of the priests who was in Conchita’s house had already gone and was leaving the village; and also that they had even locked the house. I could imagine what Conchita’s mother was like, after her daughter had not had either the customary apparition on Saturday or one on Sunday, or Communion from the Angel on Monday, July 16th, the feastday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel . . .
Among ourselves, someone thought that if the Communion didn’t take place, it could well be in order to test our faith. Others were of the opinion, on the contrary, that the cause could have been some fault of pride in the girl. And there was not lacking someone to say that he had found all these things of the miracle of the Host very strange from the beginning. But in general we resisted thinking that the visionary had made all this up to try to force the events.»
Conchita perfectly sensed the atmosphere that surrounded her:
When night came, the people were upset.

But since the Angel and the Virgin had told me that the miracle would come, I had no fear, since neither the Virgin nor the Angel had ever told me that a
thing would happen and it didn’t happen.
The tension of waiting in the circles closest to Conchita is well reflected in this detail that the wife of Doctor Ortiz gives us:
«Everyone kept silent. Her brother, seated on the fireplace, had been dozing. Suddenly, he jumped up and said, speaking to Conchita, I can’t bear this anymore. I am going to bed. You have deceived us all terribly! No one answered. Then the young boy said the same thing again and got up to leave.
No! Don’t go — Conchita called to him — Wait just a little longer

__________


The girl had to feel that the moment was coming:


At 10 at night, I had a call, and at 12, another, and after . . .

1:40 a.m.


It is beyond all doubt that on the night between
July 18th and 19th in 1962, in the village of San Sebastián de Garabandal, something happened that was going to matter very much in the history of the events taking place there.

33. In those days the rite of concelebration had not been established. Solemn High Mass was performed by three persons: the priest who celebrated, a deacon, and a sub-deacon. It was what in the villages was called the Mass of Three, and was celebrated only on important feast days; otherwise, the feast days did not carry as much importance.
34. For many years, the Heart of Mary (Claretian) fathers came to the parish church from that village on the coast of Santander. Frequently some of them traveled around to preach in the villages of the area.
35. The dance was a sine qua non with the young men during the village holiday. The people at Garabandal did not know how to stop it, in spite of Conchita’s announcement; and it was held, according to custom, near to her house.
36. For many years the official time in Spain had been 60 minutes ahead of the solar time, so as to synchronize better with the rest of Europe.
37. This refers to Regino Mateo, born in the land of Reinosa but residing in the Santander capital; he was a lawyer.
38. What Father Etelvino speaks about is certainly lamentable, and it is not the only case to be pointed out and regretted. I am sorry to say that some of those who are considered — or consider themselves — as Garabandalistas of the first rank have done very poor service to its cause. And I am afraid that it is the same with the girls themselves and their families, at least some of them, who have not always shown sufficiently high example with regard to generosity and detachment in their actions.
But from this, one cannot draw a decisive proof against the supernaturalism of those unexplainable phenomena; but only the conclusion that, as so many times has happened in the Story of Salvation, the instruments with which God works are not always the best, nor do they immediately lose their natural tendency to fall; especially if they remain in some respects attached to their own selves. The plain people of Garabandal were immersed in phenomena that were so much beyond them. Did they not have the right to expect from their religious guides in the diocese something better and quite different from what they received? Did these guides in this case fulfill their own obligations with their aloof policies of distrust, remoteness, and partial non-intervention.
39. Conchita was on the same floor during almost all the afternoon of the feast day according to the testimony given by Father Etelvino González to questions asked by the Commission:
«Conchita stayed upstairs from the middle of the afternoon. In all this time, I believe that she only came down to the kitchen about two times. In her room, on whose balcony she stayed almost all afternoon, she was accompanied by various friends whose names I do not know. Everyone played; (it is not to be forgotten that it was the afternoon of the village fiesta) but I noted in her an air as if a little absent. She laughed, she answered the questions with serenity, and wrote on holycards with an admirable facility for composition.

During the afternoon, she was very accessible and agreeable to the priests. She even came one time to tell me, I would like the priests to be near to me, bending down (surely in respect for the Lord Whom she was expecting to receive), referring to the moment that was awaited.»
40. The contrast is notable. What a strange melange men make. And what a melange there is in each man, too. The task of life is to put everything in order, above all, interior order, eliminating what prevents us from going to heaven, putting everything that can bring us there in its place.
41. Here is something very important and often very difficult. Unfortunately amusements are so frequently directed to the harmful service of sensuality.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 155).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 155)

 

As the girl sent out notices, and news spread out, and expectation increased, there was also an increase in the apprehension of some of those who were responsible.
They trembled before the possibility of a new swarm of people, followed by a dismal disaster. October 18th was still fresh in their memories!
I wrote letters.

But Father Valentín, who doubted that the miracle would happen, told me not to write any more letters, since perhaps it might not happen.

And there was a man in the village,
Eustaquio Cuenca,(26) who told me the same thing as Father Valentín, that I shouldn’t write any more letters.

And I said to them that the Virgin and
Angel had told me to predict the miracle.

But the people of the village didn’t
believe it.(27)
As can be imagined, on the days before July 18th, which in that year fell on Wednesday — as the previously heralded October 18th had fallen on Wednesday — the influx of visitors to Garabandal began. Many set out on the way, taking advantage of the previous weekend, and so many came on Saturday, July 14th. Among these was the attorney from Palencia, Luis Navas Carrillo, who this time came accompanied by his aged mother. All were able to assist on that same night at a long, very interesting, and moving ecstasy of Mari Loli . . . But they waited in
vain for one to happen to Conchita, who never missed having one on Saturday. When they retired for sleep, it was 5 o’clock Sunday morning. And they had to get up early, since the only Mass of the day, celebrated by Fr. Valentín, had been scheduled for 9 o’clock. They could take, if they were able, a long siesta to make up for the loss of sleep at night.
All Sunday long pilgrims continued to arrive. Luis Navas remembers that at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, while they were waiting for the beginning of the rosary in the church, the fine rain typical of the Cantabrian mountains was falling. In the village appeared a large gathering of people «who came from Córdoba and other places, also a priest from El Aaiún,(28) who accidentally found himself in the neighboring village of Celis.»
The following Monday, July 16th, had a special distinction, since it was the feastday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Luis Nava’s notes for this day read:
«We celebrated the feastday of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but without a Mass, since the Mass on that day took place in the village of Cossío. This made me think of a Communion by the Angel. Since there was no priest to distribute Communion, it could well be expected that the Angel would come as on other occasions to give Communion to the girls.
I went up early to the Pines; there I was enjoying the marvelous view and the pleasant temperature, since it was a sunny day . . . Looking down, I made out one of the visionaries, without being able to distinguish which one of them it was, seated in the Cuadro, together with two or three other persons. I supposed that she was waiting for Communion, and I went down in a hurry . . . It was Mari Loli who was praying her morning rosary; I joined devoutly in the prayer and waited . . . Nothing happened and I went down to the village. I soon learned that Conchita hadn’t gone to the Pines, as I had hoped, because she had forgotten and eaten some bread; but that she would go up a few hours later, toward one o’clock.
We accompanied her there. Some clouds began to appear in the sky while we were waiting. We prayed a Station to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, later an entire rosary. Some birds that were flying back and forth accompanied us with their singing.
As the clouds thickened, the sun gradually faded, as did my hope of being able to see — only one time! — the extraordinary phenomenon of the Mystical Communion about which I had heard so much said. Conchita waited standing up, sheltering herself against one of the nine pines there, protecting herself from a wet breeze that began to blow, and which was turning cold. The sky became completely overcast and the Angel didn’t appear, in spite of waiting until about four in the afternoon.
Rather disappointed, we went down to the village to eat. And I took a siesta, expecting that later, most probably, we would have to spend the night standing up.
The rosary in the church was not at the time for holy days, but instead at nightfall, as on working days. Hardly had the girls gone outside, when Mari Loli went into ecstasy near her house, accompanied by Jacinta.»

__________


We are familiar with what followed since it has
been repeated so many times: walks through the streets of the village, marvelous ascents and descents on the trail to the Pines (frontwards, backwards), prayers, songs, holding out the crucifix to those present . . . As almost always, the episode ended in the church courtyard, and Luis Navas tells us about the ending:
«It was a moving scene that penetrated to the depths of my heart when the girls with angelic smiles, completely transfigured by a radiant beauty, raised themselves lightly on their toes, offering their two cheeks to the Vision’s kiss. And after this, alternating, each one effortlessly lifted up the other in her arms to reach the mysterious Apparition, and again kiss and be kissed.(29)
Previously during the rosary the girls had recited the Credo; and, as was their custom whenever they prayed it in ecstasy, they added to Catholic Church the words Apostolic and Roman. In a similar way, they introduced an innovation in some final invocations. In place of saying True Apparition of Our Lady, Queen and Patron of the Montaña, they said, Our Lady and Queen of all Creation.(30)
This universal title makes me feel that Our Lady is sending a call to all her children. She makes it understood that her messages here do not have a restricted or local character.»

__________


There was still more as the night of July 16th
wore on. Navas Carrillo terminated his notes like this:
«I came to the conclusion that mere curiosity, if it could well be the initial reason for making the trip to Garabandal, soon dissipates, since it does not have its proper place there. What is felt here brings one little by little to prayer and sacrifice, to taste the peace and serenity of this little Mount Tabor.»(31)

* * *


On July 17th, Tuesday, the arrival of pilgrims
took on an accelerated pace, as would be expected, and everyone’s thoughts were on what was going to happen on the next day . . . according to Conchita’s prediction . . .
Our lawyer from Palencia seems to have dedicated the hours of this day to reflecting on the unusual normality of the girls who for more than a year had been plunged into the daily abnormality of most unsettling phenomena:
«I spoke to the pastor of the village, and he told me that he had just received a report, completely favorable in this regard, from Doctor Ricardo Puncernau, a psychiatrist from Barcelona. This doctor had associated with the girls for several days, both individually and collectively. He had taken walks with them. He had expressed his impressions and doubts to them, which they always received with friendliness and good nature.
My study was limited to observing them, especially when they played with the other girls. I was pleased at the way Mari Cruz fought with a girl who was bothering her. Actually, she fought with a certain mildness, and only insofar as was necessary to stop the girl’s annoying attitude.
In the prayers that they said in the normal state, I didn’t notice anything special. I even had the impression that Conchita, for example, did not pronounce the words clearly, especially the Ave Marías, and she reminded me of some persons who pray from the pulpit as if they were in a hurry to finish. With regard to punctuality, that was not a quality that characterized them. Many times I saw them come late to church, sometimes one, sometimes another. I assisted at two of Jacinta’s rosaries in the Cuadro at 6 in the morning; and besides the great sacrifice that could be supposed for a girl of her age to get up so early, her prayer had nothing special about it; frequently she opened her mouth and yawned.(32)

26. It has already been said that this man was an indiano of the village, and different from the others by his better economic situation.
27. The attitude of firm resistance that the people of Garabandal had against the girls’ phenomena has been shown enough; their hearts were too hard to believe in the truth of those things.
On July 14th, 1962, Luis Navas set out to take down impressions throughout the village «from the greatest number of persons possible.» He spent a long time with Mari Cruz’ mother who made this revealing statement: «I believe my daughter when she says that she sees the Virgin; but I’m not so sure that she actually does see the Virgin.»
In September of 1963, Jacinta’s mother, María, said to Fr. Laffineur: «I certainly believe when I see an ecstasy; when the ecstasy is over, I don’t believe anymore.»

28. A small town on the African coast. It was the capital
of Spanish Sahara.
29. These positions, which undoubtedly were due to the Vision being elevated in front of them when they wished to reach her to give the final kiss, are seen in several photographs taken by the spectators.
30. From the days of the holy bishop of Santander, José Eguíno Trecu (†1961), there had been established in the diocesan churches the practice of concluding the rosary with the invocation Our Lady of the True Apparition, Queen and Mother of the Montaña, pray for us. This invocation was repeated three times, followed each time by a Hail Mary.
It is due to this bishop that Mary, under the title of La Bien Aparecida (The True Apparition) was proclaimed patroness of Santander, a territory covered with Marian sanctuaries. The sanctuary of Our Lady of the True Apparition is perched on a gorgeous hill overlooking the valley of the Asón River with views of Udalia and Ampuero, and is cared for by a community of Trinitarian fathers. The statue was taken from Santander during the last years of Bishop Eguíno Trecu’s episcopate to be solemnly crowned in the sanctuary.
31. Mount Tabor in Palestine is considered the mountain of Our Lord’s Transfiguration, where His glory was shown to three of His apostles.
32. As already was pointed out in another place, only those unfamiliar with the life of the spirit would be scandalized by the girls’ weaknesses. A basic tenet in theology is Grace does not destroy nature. It does not destroy it, nor does it change it . . . suddenly. And the condition of our nature is rather pitiful. The special graces that a soul receives (even those very special graces that could be expected in Garabandal) certainly create a necessity or requirement to change, to go on from better to better; but they do not cause it . . . and souls can respond with various degrees of fidelity. Some might say, If the apparitions were truly authentic, the girls, after such a long time of close contact with the Virgin, would have to be different than they are.
Actually, the apostles were in close contact with Jesus for a longer period of time — three years — and at the hour of His death, what were they like? If anyone does not know, the Gospel tells the story.
I do not pretend to make saints out of the visionaries since they unquestionably have many faults. I only mean to say that their real and apparent faults and weaknesses cannot be used as a proof against the ecstasies which they said they had, and which so many others were able to observe.

 

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de...

English: A Picture of a eBook Español: Foto de eBook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antonio Yagüe wrote:

Dear friends of Garabandal, finally, after three years of publication of the Spanish version, and more than two million printed and sold ebooks, I have an English translation of my book on Garabandal events and its symbolism attached to the Holy Scriptures. The title is “Garabandal, 50 years later” and can now be downloaded as ebook in English http://www.garabandal.org.es/ index.php / discharges #! / ~ / Product / category = 2591531 & id = 32843607 . (priced at € 12) Revenues will be used mainly to cover the cost of translation costs and keep my site on Garabandal, a Youtube channel at http: / /www.youtube.com/ sedes333 which already has more than a thousand visitors a day and its future updates to better spread the message of Garabandal. Based on the timing information given by our heavenly Mother in Garabandal for the Miracle and the notice as well as information from the appearance Guadalupe, Scripture and knowledge Astronomy, I recently wrote a new ebook with updated information on the Garabandal events and prophesied that knowledge is explained throughout the development period of the End Times Tribulation, we are about to live. The Secon title of this ebook is “Sacred Astronomy and End Times (Part I)” and is subtitled “The wisdom of the sages at the service of the Second Coming.” This ebook can also be downloaded in English this new two ebooks in English will help better understand the message of Garabandal worldwide and love more our heavenly Mother. Antonio Yague

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 154).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 154)

The News Spreads;
Expectation Mounts


Luis Navas Carrillo left Garabandal without
knowing anything of the little miracle (milagrucu) that the Angel had foretold. But on the same day as his departure, Monday, July 2nd, 1962 — the anniversary of the first apparition of the Virgin — a person came to the village who was going to be the first to know about it, after the girls.
The first person whom I told that the Angel was going to perform a miracle was a priest: Fr. José Ramón García de la Riva.

And on the same day I told it to Mari Cruz, Loli, and Jacinta too.(19)
Conchita does not give the date or the circumstances of her communication; we know them, thanks to the Memorias of Fr. de la Riva himself:
«On the 2nd of July, 1962, I went up to Garabandal, desiring to spend several days of vacation.
During the course of the afternoon, I was with the young visionaries at the Pines. They were playing and I was seated next to them, very pleased to note their happiness; they were playing a game called los tios.(20)
Their happiness at this moment was equal to that which they felt, but tried to hide, when they had their famous calls.
Suddenly Conchita came up to me and said unexpectedly:

— I am going to tell you what the Angel’s miracle consists of.

Certainly curious, but refusing to show my feelings, I told her that if it was a secret, she shouldn’t reveal it to me . . . She was thoughtful for a few seconds, then she returned to the other three girls, as if to consult them:
— Shouldn’t he be told?
All three, from the place where they were playing (near what was called the Virgin’s Pine), answered in a single voice:
— Yes. Yes.

Then I got up and said to them:

— All right, but you are going to tell me individually.( 21)

Conchita spoke first, then her companions. And they all told me the same thing:
They are going to see the Host . . .

On coming down from the Pines, Loli told her
father about the news and the nature of the miracle. Learning this, Conchita was very angry:
Now — she said to her mother — there certainly won’t be a miracle because Loli has mentioned it to her father . . .

Then I learned what the predicted miracle would consist of, and I had the chance to be the first to know about it; but I didn’t know the date on which it would take place. On the eve of July 5th, I returned back to my parish in Barro and Conchita still didn’t know the date.»

____________


I think that my fellow priest from Barro is in
error because we have seen how, during the ecstasy of June 29th, the young girl heard the voice that said to her:
July 18th would be when the miracle would occur . . . the little miracle(milagrucu), as you say.At the time the girl still could not reveal the date. This can be seen from her diary:
During the Communion that the Angel gave me, I asked when I would be able to tell that there was going to be a miracle and what it was going to be.
And he told me in the fifteen days before.(22)
When the apparition ended, the people from the village asked me if the Angel had told me anything about the miracle (since I had already said to the village that the Angel was going to perform a miracle) . . .
But they didn’t believe much.
When the day came in which I had to announce the date, I told it to the village
and I wrote letters . . .
I have seen the text of some of those letters and they are similar to the one printed in the Mexican edition of Conchita’s Diary:
«A few words to tell you great news for me, and I think for you also. The Angel told me that he was going to perform a sign; and the sign is that — when I receive Communion — the Host will be seen on me. It is soon, during this month, on the 18th.
For me it really doesn’t seem a miracle; since I thought that they always saw it on me. Will they believe then?»

This letter is dated July 6th, the day after Fr. de la Riva had left Garabandal. Four days later, Conchita wrote to Dr. Celestino Ortiz in Santander:

Ave María

San Sebastián, July 10th, 1962

Dear Doctor Celestino,

Just a few words to tell you that the Angel
told me that on the 18th of this month they are going to see the Host on my tongue when I receive Communion.

Well, nothing more. Love,(23)

Conchita González


Mr. Ruiloba had gone up to Garabandal during
those days, something he did frequently. On saying farewell to Conchita, she gave him a letter to give personally to the Reverend Father Francisco Odriozola, the «factotum» of the Commission.

Plácido Ruiloba faithfully fulfilled what was asked of him; and he learned the contents of the letter since the recipient himself, Father Francisco, read it to him. The letter said the same as the others that we know; but it added some lines strongly requesting Father Francisco to come to Garabandal on the day foretold . . . «Don’t worry and come, since even the children in the village won’t recognize you.»(24)
Doctor Ortiz, after having received the letter, used his first free day to go up to Garabandal to better inform himself about what was so tersely written by the girl. He was able to converse alone with her and spoke in this way:
— Conchita, I don’t know if you understand the importance of all this. A miracle predicted for a fixed date is a very great miracle . . . (25)
— But to me this seems to be a very little miracle. Later the Virgin’s miracle will come, and that will be a MIRACLE! Then there won’t be any doubt.
Maybe. I just don’t believe that the miracle that you mention will happen . . .
— You don’t believe? Then do me this favor. You know Father Francisco Odriozola. I’ve written him to come . . . But in case he hasn’t received the letter, you go in person to tell him . . . So that he doesn’t miss coming on July 18th! He will see the miracle. I assure you that nothing will happen to him because here in the village even the little children don’t know him.
— Conchita, do you know how distasteful it is for me to tell news like this to a man whom I barely know . . . Besides, he is secretary of the Commission . . . And on top of everything else the village says terrible things about him, since he doesn’t believe in the apparitions . . .
— If it is distasteful for you to do what I ask, offer it up to the Virgin!

* * *

 

19. According to the text, it would seem that Conchita had revealed the date of the miracle first to Fr. De la Riva, then to her companions. But by what follows and by other information available, one arrives at the conclusion that her companions were the first ones notified; afterwards, by mutual agreement, the girls informed Fr. de la Riva.

20. Similar to Hide and Seek.

21. A very shrewd decision by the priest; thus it was easy for him to discern if it was something fabricated by the girls.

22. Strictly holding to 15 days before, Conchita could have been able to tell Fr. de la Riva the date of the miracle before he left Garabandal on July 5th. Why did she not do it? Was she waiting for some sign to begin spreading the news? Or did she have some other reason for hiding the time from the priest?

23. The girls at this time were disposed to be friendly to everyone, especially those whom they met most frequently there.

24. Because of his actions, Fr. Francisco Odriozola was well aware that the people in the village did not hold him in high esteem. Conchita is trying now to give him confidence, with the indication that sufficient time had passed so that many
things would be forgotten.

25. Besides the value that the miracle might have in itself, it had another value of no less quality: that of prophecy.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 153).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 153)

Dr. Puncernau with Mari Cruz and Loli at the Pines

On the day she left, I had the opportunity of taking her photograph with Mari Loli, and I sent it to her so that she could forever remember, in her distant native land, the unforgettable moments of her visit to Garabandal.(15)
As previously with Conchita’s rosary, this one also ended in the courtyard of the church with the singing of a Salve Regina.
My curiosity led me to ask why the girls in ecstasy came so often to the church, knowing that for them, in those circumstances, it was always closed. The answer had been given sometime before, through the voice of the girls themselves:
The reason is that the Virgin likes to go near to where Jesus is.»

__________


In days like these, the presence of priests and
religious could not be missing. With regard to their presence, Luis Navas says in his report:
«I was greatly pleased to see the deference that the girls held toward priests; it was worthy of St. Teresa of Jesus. There were four priests there in the village on that Saturday, June 30th; and the Virgin had to be happy since, according to the girls: The Virgin likes priests and people without faith to come.(16)
During Loli’s vision in her home, a Passionist Father and a Carmelite Father stayed respectfully on their knees. The girl gently lifted both of them up, making them stand on their feet. On the following day the Passionist Father told me, I weight 78 kilos and on top of that, I used force to make myself stay down; nevertheless, the girl raised me to my feet with the greatest of ease.(17) The Carmelite Father edified me with his humility and silence. He had come that very afternoon from Burgos and he spent almost his entire stay with the people, distributing and investing scapulars. I felt nostalgic, recalling the month of May in my student years at the Instituto de Burgos.»

__________


On Sunday, July 1st, much the same history took
place as on the two previous days. Luis Navas tells of it:

«On this day, we had a longer wait. The
first apparition, which was Conchita’s, began at ten at night. The people had left her home, thinking that nothing would happen. I had the good fortune of going out at the time to seek a paralytic girl, whom I had advised to remain at Conchita’s house until the people came to pick her up. There I met Doctor Puncernau from Barcelona. (18) Conchita fell violently on her knees and began the vision. She offered the crucifix to us to kiss; when the doctor’s turn came, the girl did something different: with a single movement of her extended arms, she gave it to him three times to kiss.

Before the vision began, I had complained to Conchita that she had never offered me the crucifix. Because of this, I felt a considerable consolation on seeing how she presented it to me, since I well knew that the girls don’t act by their own volition in giving the crucifix to kiss or in holding up holy cards and rosaries toward the Vision; they do it according to the directions of the Virgin. This helped me to understand something I had read about Padre Pio, Many times God makes me forget certain people for whom I had intended expressly to pray, and He presents others to me for whose salvation I should intercede.
The doctor had handed Conchita a letter in order that she might ask the Virgin for the cure of a patient. On the following day, I saw the girl write the answer she had received; later she gave it to the doctor with the request not to open the letter until he was in the presence of the sick person, who was dying of an incurable illness according to what I heard.»

__________


From what Luis Navas described of the second
apparition which concerned Loli, this is what seems to have the greatest interest:
«The time for giving the crucifix to kiss was thrilling. Kissing it themselves first, as was their custom; then, giving it first to the Virgin and then to the person . . . When it came to the time for eight persons who had come that day from Cádiz, I was really edified by the reverence and faith with which they kissed the crucifix.
Loli’s ecstasy had lasted an hour and twenty minutes. Eighty minutes that seemed to me to be ten! Something very strong must have held my attention to lose the notion of time like this.
After a clear, moonlit night, I awoke to a magnificent dawn. It was the day of departure. I made up my mind once again to keep the resolution made on the previous trip: to recite daily the holy family rosary, remembering in difficult times and lukewarmness the words transmitted from the Virgin by the visionaries: Hail Marys are the flowers that please her the most.

With a farewell to the Passionist priest and a great desire to return again, we ended our stay at San Sebastián de Garabandal on Monday, July 2, 1962.»

15. Dr. Puncernau, the neuro-psychiatrist from Barcelona, described his experiences in this case in the pamphlet, Psychological Phenomena of Garabandal, but he puts Conchita in the place of Loli:
«In Ceferino’s tavern there was a young woman from Uruguay who worked in the Follies Bergère of Paris. We soon started up a conversation. She told me that she not only didn’t believe in these supposed apparitions, but she didn’t believe in anything about religion. She had come to Garabandal simply out of curiosity. After a while I suggested going outside to see what was happening with the visionaries.
We saw them at a distance (being hidden ourselves in the shadows of the house) as they headed toward the little village church, praying the rosary. From our hidden observation point we saw what was happening.
Soon we saw Conchita, in a trance, detach herself from the procession and make her way -—walking normally, but with an unusual swiftness — toward us, who were all staying hidden in the shadows, leaning against the wall of the house.
She was carrying a little crucifix in her hand.


I thought, She has found out that I am a doctor, and now
is coming to make something of it. But how could she have seen me?
But no, she headed toward my companion and put the crucifix very forcefully on her lips so that she kissed it once, twice, and a third time.
The Virgin Mary was for the dancers of the Follies Bergère too.
Afterwards Conchita, still in the trance, joined the other girls and continued praying the rosary.
My companion, the ballerina, was weeping unstoppably, with deep heartfelt sobs, so inconsolable that I thought she was having an attack. I accompanied her to the wooden benches propped against the outside wall of Ceferino’s tavern.
The crowd gathered around. I tried to calm her down.


She was finally able to tell that she had thought in her mind,
“If it is true that the Virgin is appearing, then let one of the girls come to give me a sign.”
— Hardly had I thought this when Conchita came running toward me to give me the crucifix to kiss. I didn’t want to kiss it, and I held her hand back. But with exceptional strength she forced the crucifix against my lips, and I had no other choice but to kiss it once, twice, and a third time — I, the unbeliever, the atheist, who believed in nothing. This shook me intensely.
We met days later on the train back to Bilbao. And I know, since we wrote each other several times, that she left the Follies Bergère and went back to her family in Uruguay.»
16. As in so many other points, Garabandal was coming in advance to warn about the other imminent crisis of doctrine concerning the priesthood. The furious desacralization, that soon would show itself in the clergy, could not at that time be foreseen.
17. Maximina writes about this in her letters to the Pifarré family; but she says Conchita was the one in ecstasy, similar to the misnaming of the visionary in the case of the woman from Uruguay.


18. This doctor, an eminent neuro-psychiatrist, who practiced
and taught in the capital of Cataluña, tenaciously studied the affairs of Garabandal and came to the conclusion, repeatedly expressed by him, that «from the medical and scientific point of view, I have found no satisfactory physiological or psychological explanation for these events which have produced such extraordinary phenomena.»