WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 110).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 110)

“OH! IF THEY KNEW WHO WAS
HERE AMONG THEM TODAY!”

 

Waiting for Heaven


The upcoming report of the way it was will illustrate
better than any general description what the climate was in the village during those hours of anticipation on that memorable day. The description is from the same witness.

«On arriving in the village next to Ceferino’s
house, I put down my umbrella, and raising my eyes, I saw Loli behind a window on the upstairs floor. She was watching everything with that look of hers, so transparent, so pure. She did not seem to be much surprised by the crowds that were continuing to come. (I’m sure that she had never before seen such a crowd assembled together.) She must have been sitting; later I learned that she was suffering from an inflammation of her knee. I couldn’t speak with her, since at the time I didn’t have sufficient friendship with the girls, and even less with their parents, who were not inclined to conversations and confidences . . . and especially on that day when they had to defend her from the assault of countless inquisitive people.
A little later I met Elena García Conde from Oviedo who said to me, I am impressed. I spoke earlier with Loli and she suddenly exclaimed, “OH! IF THEY KNEW WHO WAS HERE AMONG THEM TODAY!” She said this in an exceptional manner! Please ask her whom she is talking about.
I intended to approach Loli; but there was no way. Her father, who has always been a good protection, was an even better one on that day.
Fortunately I was able to locate Father Valentín; he was going from one place to the next quite agitated and nervous; he seemed to be sunk in a sea of confusion. On one of his passes by I went up to him, and after the greetings he said, Heavens! I don’t know what’s going to happen here . . . I am really afraid of all these people. And they aren’t going to like the message!
— Oh! Then you know the message?

— Yes, since yesterday afternoon . . . Conchita
told it to me.

— And what does it say? What does it say?


— You must wait. They have to read it this
evening. But I don’t know . . . To me it appears . . . I don’t know . . . It seems infantile, as from a little child. I am very worried, because of the people, who will expect . . . I don’t know what.

I used the occasion to question him about Loli.
To whom could the girl be referring with those puzzling words?
He was surprised for a moment; he kept silent for a few seconds, as if thinking, and then said to me, I don’t know, but it could be ST. JOSEPH,(23) since today is Wednesday . . .
Then I was the surprised one since I didn’t know why I had thought that the mysterious personage whom Loli was speaking about could well have been either Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the very well-known and venerated Capuchin with the stigmata,(24) or John XXIII, who was still alive and at the peak of his popularity. They could have been supernaturally present at Garabandal by the gift of bilocation.(25) What relief that would have given for what was about to happen there!»

Doña María’s reflections on the reason for Loli’s words are no surprise: the atmosphere was such as to bring out the most extraordinary suppositions.
Learning that St. Joseph was there did not cause enough sentiment,(26) it seems to me, and there was less enthusiasm than if it had been voiced that Padre Pio or John XXIII were present. Nevertheless, thinking about it closely today, I believe that the special presence of the Glorious Patriarch on that day in Garabandal had to give it a new dimension of grandeur.
This would lead one to believe that what was occurring there had a significance truly ecumenical. It was the entire church that was involved. At the time nothing could have been more normal than the presence of the one who has been declared by the supreme hierarchy as the first Patron or Protector of the Universal Church.(27)
During those October days, in the church at Garabandal — just as in all the other religious edifices throughout Spain — after the daily rosary there resounded the beseeching words of a prayer:

To you, Blessed St. Joseph, we seek aid in
our tribulation, and having implored
the help of your most holy spouse, we
confidently seek also your intercession.

Turn your eyes compassionately on the

inheritance that Jesus Christ has acquired
with his blood.

Remove from us every stain of error and

corruption.

Our most Powerful Protector, assist us

with your aid from heaven in this struggle
against the powers of darkness.

And as in former times you protected the

Child Jesus from imminent danger to his
life, so now defend the Holy Church of God
from the snares of our enemies and from
every adversity.


Who could say that this prayer, commanded
many years ago during the pontificate of the foresighted Leo XIII, has not reached its full significance in the time of Garabandal? The hour comes, overriding two epochs of the Church: the period of the monolithic, secure Council of Trent of the Counter reformation; and at least for the moment, the insecure, agitated and confused period that has followed Vatican II.(28) This hour of Garabandal could well be a preview of salvation against the gravest dangers that surround us . . . And at the time, the
presence there of OUR MOST POWERFUL PROTECTOR IN THIS STRUGGLE AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS would have a most definite reason and significance.

• • •


«The weather continued to worsen, and the
people sheltered themselves as well as they could in the houses and under the porch roofs. It should be recognized that the residents of the village tolerated the people as well as they could. And they had to exercise no small amount of charity and patience, since the crowds invaded everything, walked on the cultivated fields, and trampled on many plants. In spite of the considerable loss that all this entailed, I didn’t hear
anyone complain, nor were incidents aroused. We can learn from this.
Heaven seemed to rage against us. A horrible cold began to join with the constant hard rain that culminated in a hailstorm, and then converted into slush toward 5 or 6 in the afternoon. Although I found refuge in a house where they gave me food, I wasn’t able to put out of my mind the turbulent atmosphere of the streets and trails in which various languages could be heard, although naturally predominantly Spanish. (I believe that only among the religious was there a majority of foreigners.)
The comportment of the public wasn’t uniform. There were many women who acted badly: they drank, they were dissipated, without a spirit of prayer . . . and some even were laughing at what could happen, giving it no importance or attributing it to the devil. The men generally showed more respect; and also the youth, who were there in great numbers.
The spectacle was certainly unusual; and it was easy to see that those who had come with good faith were happy, enthusiastic, with the greatest hopes; they prayed and they didn’t care much about the inclemencies of the weather. And probably many of them hadn’t even eaten . . .
Squads of mounted police guards were stationed in front of each of the visionaries’ homes, preventing the entrance of the countless inquisitive people who sought at all costs to know, speak to, and kiss the girls, the real protagonists of this international convention. The only house which I was able to enter was that of Jacinta, whose mother Maria recognized me, and was helpful with a courtesy that I will never be able to forget.»

23. Among the days of the week, Thursday is the day given to the Eucharist; Saturday is dedicated to the Virgin; Wednesday is considered a day especially consecrated to St. Joseph. October 18th in 1961 actually fell on Wednesday.

24. This famous man of God died on September 23rd, 1968,
after having for 50 years borne visibly the stigmata of Christ impressed on his body.

His spiritual influence on souls has been enormous. The
process for his beatification and canonization has been undertaken. Today no one doubts his extraordinary sanctity; but during his lifetime he experienced an almost incredible misunderstanding and persecution from many people, even from those whom it would have been least expected. No less than four unfavorable declarations against him came out at various times from the Holy Office — the highest ecclesiastical authority. [Now Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Ed.]

25. The astounding miracle of one person being in two different places at the same time.

26. The reason for this was not that St. Joseph is of lesser importance, since he has always occupied the number one place in the ranks of the saints; but rather that everything that was expected on that day had to be sensational. And more than a new apparition, in a place so accustomed to apparitions, the unexpected presence of living people who were much talked about at the time would have surely caused a sensation.
27. This declaration or proclamation was made by the Pope of the Immaculate Conception, Pius IX, on the solemn feastday of December 8th, 1870.
28. Let me make this clear. I do not wish to speak derogatorily of Vatican II, nor can I speak that way. What was sought was a true updating of the Church and the conciliary documents tend in that direction for anyone who correctly understands them and tries to live them.

But it would be blind or näive not to recognize how the life
of the Catholic Church has been affected by the situations that have been brought about under the pretext of implementing Vatican II. Has not Paul VI himself spoken to us about self-destruction?

Because we have the faith, we are sure that the Church will
overcome all crises; but it is undeniable that in our time the Church is in the middle of a tremendous whirlwind.
At the time that the events that we are narrating were happening in Garabandal, final preparations for the Second Vatican Council were taking place; and just one year later, on October 11th, 1962, its inauguration was solemnly celebrated.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 109).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 109)

“pouring rain throughout the province”

 

Suspense Begins
to Mount


In Garabandal on October 17th, the night
before, there was a thrill in the air. Forerunners of the countless masses of people expected began to arrive . . .
And through all the streets, down all the trails, in all the houses, in all the minds of the villagers and visitors alike, was the same question, What will happen tomorrow?(20)
All through the day people were talking more than working. The tension of waiting in Garabandal was too great to be able to apply oneself normally to doing any work that could be avoided.
In some people the anticipation was coupled with joyful confidence; in others, with anxious apprehension. What if nothing happened? What would be the fate of Garabandal if the swarms of people who were coming went away completely disillusioned?
One of the most uneasy of those in the village at the time was the parish priest, the good Father Valentín Marichalar. This affair concerned him so much! And he did not have things in control . . . He could not doubt the heavenly reality of the unusual phenomena — he had received so many proofs in favor of them. But so many things could happen! The plans of God are unsearchable.
The parents of the visionaries also were uneasy. They did not doubt the sincerity of their daughters; but they were confronting things so beyond their ordinary experience that they did not know what to make of them.
Certainly the girls themselves, the ones most directly involved of all those in the village at the time, were the most calm. They could not doubt that it was the Virgin with whom they were conversing, and they could trust the Virgin . . .
Fr. Ramón María Andreu also shared the children’s tranquility. Completely recuperated from the accident that he had a few days before, he was sure that he was going to be a fortunate witness of new marvels.
Years later he stated to the editor of the French version of Conchita’s diary:
«I had arrived at St. Sebastián de Garabandal on October 17th. During the course of that day, and also during the following day, the 18th, I saw tremendous crowd swarm into the village.
I was very happy and relaxed; there was no reason for not being that way. During the months of August and September, and even during October, I had been a witness of many events in the mountain village. I had recollections filled with happy memories. Everything was for the best.»

__________


During the hours of October 17th, it was especially
the fans, or quasi fans of the apparitions who were arriving in the village; since they had friends or acquaintances there, they could count on not being forced to pass the night under the stars.
As the weather was stormy, the kitchens in Garabandal were filled that night with meetings and conversations, and the time passed amid anticipation and discussion . . .
There was a rosary in the church as usual; also as usual, there was an apparition. I think that the vigil that night had to be very long and animated.

Far from there, in innumerable places, there were
also innumerable vigils of hope and expectation by those who were going to set out early on the following morning for the distant refuge that might give them health, or consolation, or faith, or security, or a solution to their problems. And they really had to have great hope to set out on the unpleasant journey.
During the night of October 17th and continuing into the morning of the 18th, it rained until it could rain no more. In the darkness and the silence, throughout the width and breadth of the Cantabrian countryside, could be heard the tremendous booming symphony of water falling and then flowing . . . monotonously, rapidly, without pause . . . The Torrents of Heaven seemed inexhaustible. Mountains and valleys resounded with the gushing of rivulets, streams and rivers. Raindrops could be heard pounding relentlessly upon the tree leaves. Uncountable puddles grew into lakes as the night watched. And those that slept or tried to sleep in the towns and cities were serenaded by the monotonous sound of falling rain and swirling water.
Before the light of dawn could filter through the dense fog on October 18th, many vehicles of every type began to start up their motors. And departures continued into the long hours of the morning.
«On October 18th, 1961» — María Herrero tells us in her report — «I awoke to pouring rain throughout the province of Santander. We left at an early hour from the capital of the Montaña, and there on the mountain of Carmona(21) we had to get into a caravan, a very long caravan of cars preceding us, which without doubt was gong as we were towards San Sebastián de Garabandal.

It is three kilometers from Puente Nansa to
Cossío; and I think at least one kilometer had its roadsides totally covered with empty buses and cars. We succeeded in arriving at Cossío and with difficulty were able to find a spot where we could park our car.
And then we had six terrible kilometers facing us. The rain, which was not stopping, had converted the road upwards into a quagmire.
Holding an umbrella in one hand and keeping the other hand free in case of a spill, we began the trip on foot. There were spots in which I succeeded in gaining a step, and later, due to the slippery ground, lost two.
I remember that trip up as a true way of Calvary . . . A good symbol of the sacrifice and penance that was going to be asked from us by the message. Our painful journey lasted more than three hours, even though we wanted to quicken it by taking a shortcut that turned out to be much harder than the road itself.»

__________


What this witness experienced was also being experienced
at the same time by thousands of persons of every state and condition. Their hope and desire had to be very strong to uphold them. Not by an affliction of hysteria, nor to take part in a game of children, were they doing this.
Beyond all the discomfort of their ill-treated bodies, their hearts pulsated with the psalm:

Toward you, holy place;
Toward you, land of salvation . . .
Pilgrims marching on . . .
Let us go on to you!


Under the implacable rain, the village was being
flooded with wandering pilgrims streaming in. What was the situation like?
«We arrived»—Doña María tells us — «toward1:30 in the afternoon. The crowd was swarming everywhere . . . in hope of the event. I thought that everyone was waiting for — I don’t know what — something truly extraordinary. I admit that I also was waiting for this, in spite of what Loli and Jacinta had advised me a few days previously: (as they advised everyone who wished to hear them) that they had no reason to expect a miracle, since the only thing that the Virgin had told them was that they had to make public a message, as they had so often foretold . . .

On seeing how everything was, I regretted not having gone to Mass before leaving Santander. Then someone said to me: Go to the church. They have been celebrating Masses almost without interruption since early morning. I ran — well I wanted to run — since there was such a crowd, I was only able to make my way to the church with difficulty. There was a Mass being celebrated at the time; it was the last one since the time permitted for it was ending.(22) I was surprised by the number of religious and priests who were there. Although it was not a day of obligation, I was glad not to miss Mass since it was a special day, celebrating the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, who spoke the most to us about the Virgin.»

20. Juan A. Seco reported:
«On the evening before October 18th-—because of what could happen—I went up to Garabandal with 28 guards under my command. Conchita, in ecstasy, came near to me and presented the cross for me alone to kiss. This indicated to me a guarantee that everything would turn out well, in spite of the enormous number of people who were gathering and the torrential rain that was falling throughout the day . . .»

21. Coming from Santander, the most direct way to Garabandal is through Cabezón de la Sal, Cabuérniga, Carmona, and Puente Nansa. Through the mountain at Carmona that María Herrero mentions, there is a narrow mountain pass that goes from a height of 622 meters down to the Nansa River.

22. It is to be remembered that in those days it was not permitted to celebrate evening Masses in Spain as it is today. At noon the time permitted by the rubrics for the celebration of Mass ended.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 108).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 108)

Jacinta told the priest he was cured.

We have the following information about this from Father Andreu.

The doctor found the Father sitting on the edge of the bed.
— What are you doing Father?

— As you see, I am trying to get up . . .


— Don’t do that! That’s foolish. Let’s see your
ankle . . .

The doctor got down on one knee to examine the ankle better. Then raising his head toward the Father, looking at him in a peculiar way, he said:

— What a comedian you are! Come on, show me
the bad ankle.
The priest with apparent indifference showed him the other ankle, which was the good one. The doctor examined it very carefully . . . He compared it with the other . . . and ended up raising his head again toward the Father, while he said with an expression hard to describe,

What strange things happen in this village!

Continuing now with Mr. Förschler’s description:

«When the doctors left, Father began to put his shoes on, since he felt no pain . . . He went to stand on his foot, and did it without difficulty. Then he decided to celebrate Mass in the village, declining to advise Father Valentín to come to the village, as we had agreed to do. He ordered the bells to be rung for the Mass, and we set off to search for a cane.
I accompanied him myself to the church. And when he was beginning the celebration — as I did not understand anything about the Mass — I found a place near the last pew and determined to carefully watch from there how he walked on his foot. During the entire ceremony he moved and knelt down, and got up without difficulty.
After the Mass, I told him my observations, and he made various movements and bendings of his foot in front of me without the least trouble; and finally confided to me what had happened. The thing that Jacinta had told him in ecstasy at 3:30 in the morning had been this: Father, the Virgin told me that you were ill; but she told me to tell you that you are cured. At the same time the pains disappeared.»
This also gave Mr. Förschler something to think about; but the thing did not stop there.
On the following day a group of people from Asturías came to Garabandal. It was an ordinary day, Monday, October 16th. An ordinary day on the calendar, but very distinguished in our annals.
As night fell there was an ecstasy, a phenomenon that was never dull . . . not even for those who were seeing it every day. During it the accustomed time arrived for presenting the holy articles that the people wished to be kissed, and then the time for their return to their owners.
In the room where Loli’s trance was taking place, a man finally forced himself in. It was the first time that he had been at Garabandal, and he carried in his arms a sick baby who was a heavy cross on his shoulders. The baby was crying. Loli, undoubtedly advised by the apparition, went toward it and — without looking — signed it with a perfect sign of the cross. Immediately the tears stopped and on the convulsing face of the little child an unexpected smile appeared. The father’s sad expression softened with emotion, and he said simply, I have never yet seen him smile!
When the ecstasy ended, Mari Loli asked for the sick baby who was carried in his father’s arms. She wanted to meet him, since she had not yet seen him, and at the same time she wanted to transmit the message with which she had been charged. She caressed the little baby and said to the father, dwelling slowly on the words, The Virgin told me that you shouldn’t worry.
Jacinta — who at the time was in ecstasy in the street, searching for the man who had come — also repeated, on the part of the Virgin the same words of comfort concerning the little baby.(18)
I would have liked to present a follow-up on the outcome with this baby, but up to now I have not been able.
Watching the different facets of that vigil was a large group of spectators, among whom were the Asturians whom we mentioned. These were mainly young boys, but two men among them appeared to be their guides or leaders. One said to the boys, Observe with close attention, and don’t let yourself be influenced, because these things . . .
At 10:30 at night they gathered in front of Ceferino’s ancient house. Then Conchita came there in ecstasy, drew near, and began to hold out the crucifix to be kissed . . . The two men kept themselves away from her, in order to hide better, went up the outside stairway of a nearby house.(19) However the girl — with her head in a position incredibly tilted backwards, without seeing either them or the stairway — climbed the stairs miraculously and held out the crucifix for them to kiss. The first man shook visibly, and turned his head; but the girl managed to make the sign of the cross on him twice with the holy image. She insisted again that he kiss it and once again the man refused. A third time the girl made the sign of the cross over him with an extreme gentleness in her expression. Only then did the man relent and put his lips on the crucifix! Almost the same thing happened with his companion.
Conchita majestically descended the stairs and went toward the captain of the Civil Guard to give him the holy cross to kiss. Unexpectedly she turned and again walked toward these two men and held the crucifix in front of them. Once again they refused to kiss it! The onlookers were both indignant and scandalized. The girl suddenly came out of the trance, and everyone could see the most obstinate of the two trembling as if he were in pain. He went to hide in a corner where some of the young boys followed him.
— Father X, what has happened?

— Let me alone, let me alone.

Finally he confessed:


— You have seen how I refused the crucifix that
the girl offered me . . . Well, after finally kissing it, I mentally asked God for proof: “My Lord, if all this that is happening is truly supernatural, let the girl come to me another time and let her ecstasy stop immediately; thus I will be able to believe.” You see what happened. Don’t ask me anything more.
Those two men who attracted attention by their attitude were priests; one of them appears to have been a pastor in Turón, the big mining center in Asturías.
Of course we can seek signs from God; but we do not have the right to demand them according to our pleasure. If He condescends, praise be to His name!
In this case there was still more. Conchita, once the ecstasy had ended, had no reason to stay in that spot during the late hours, so she took the street to her home. But she had hardly left the plaza when she went into ecstasy again . . . And once again the people gathered around her. Our difficult priest still desired more than what he had received, and requested in his mind: If the girl comes to me because she knows supernaturally that I am a priest, let her prove it to me, and let her give me the crucifix to kiss again, and let her make the sign of the cross several times over me (something that she had not done with anyone else).

The girl’s response to this new and most secret demand was marvelous, satisfying the minister of God who was acting so much like St. Thomas on that unforgettable night in Garabandal.
It is not unusual that God gives even more than what is asked from Him, and this happened to be the man whom no one knew. Seeing other persons offering the girls (at the time of farewell) cards and photographs for them to sign, he also presented one . . . And he could later read a dedication on it with a clear mention of his priestly state.

18. According to Fr. Valentín’s notes, it seems that the episode of the sick child occurred not on the 16th, but rather on the 17th; perhaps during the night between the 16th and the 17th:

«Loli, in ecstasy, went up to a sick child, made the sign
of the cross over him several times and gave him the cross to kiss. It was a very moving scene, since the father of the child wept and cried aloud for his cure.»

19. This house was torn down a few years later. It had a
staircase with half a dozen stone steps leading up from the street.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 107).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 107)

 

 

“We came to San Sebastián de Garabandal.”

For example, two days after the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, there appeared for the first time in Garabandal a German engineer who was residing in Spain at Madrid: Máximo Förschler Entenmann. (12) Although Protestant, he was very closely tied to the Andreu family; because of this he came accompanied by Fr. Ramón María.
The journey was not easy. It was the 14th, the second Saturday of October, the octave of that special feastday of the rosary that had taken place in Garabandal. Let us listen to what he says:
«Some 20 kilometers before Cossío we had a tremendous smash-up with another car on a mountain pass.(13) The accident could have had fatal consequences. Only later did I come to understand that it was without doubt the Most Holy Virgin who had saved us from certain death.
Because of what had happened we came to San Sebastián de Garabandal very late, after eleven at night. We had barely arrived when we had the good fortune to be able to witness two ecstasies. I admit that at the time they did not impress me in the least.
We retired to the house where we had lodging(all the houses of the village were open to Father Ramón María Andreu); and following this, at twelve o’clock, Father began to be very sick with nausea, cold sweats, and terrible pains in his left ankle, which seemed very swollen . . .
In the village were a doctor from Santander and a bone specialist from Burgos. (14) I called them. After an examination they made a diagnosis: besides the obvious swelling, there was probably a fracture of the ankle, at least a hairline crack. They applied a thorough dressing and an icepack that was able to be found, (from the indiano who had a refrigerator) and with several others carried him in their arms to the bed; his pains were terrible.(15)
As an old friend of the father, I stayed in a second bed that they had set up in his room in order to take care of him at night.
After a long time — it had to be 3:30 in the morning — we began hearing a noise in the street, and people shouting that the owner of the house should open the door, since Jacinta was there in ecstasy, wanting to come in.
Shortly afterwards she appeared in the room, went toward Father and gave him the crucifix to kiss.(16) Following this she said something to him that I couldn’t hear . . . The girl was starting to make expressions and gestures of farewell to the vision when suddenly she stopped. She leaned backwards toward where I was and held out the crucifix for me to kiss — two times!»

It seems that took away Máximo’s indifference.


«When the girl left, we naturally began to discuss all the details; and Father confessed to me that he had actually requested in his conscience that the girl, before leaving, would also give me the crucifix to kiss. I thought about this for the rest of the night.»

__________


Father Ramón gives a more detailed and vivid
description of this.
A short time after having kissed the crucifix that Conchita had offered him, he saw that she was beginning to make the sign of the cross and to hold out her cheeks for the invisible kisses: the unmistakable sign that the ecstasy was going to end. Then he rapidly formed in his conscience a petition to the Virgin: that the girl would also give the crucifix to Máximo . . . (Hours before, the good man had followed the visionaries in their trances without obtaining the least demonstration of attention from the; but rather the opposite, since several times they had given the crucifix to the onlookers while they had always passed him by.)
Father had hardly made the secret request when Jacinta stopped and exclaimed, What? She remained in an attitude of listening, and added, Oh! She began to lean further and further backwards, till she was able to reach with the crucifix to the lips of Mr. Förschler, who she could not see, since he was behind her back . . .

Seconds later, the girl returned to normal. It was
time to go to sleep! Four o’clock Sunday morning, October 15th.
It was getting light on the morning of that day when several French people arrived, and behind them, one of the two doctors asking for the Father. It was about 8 o’clock. Father told the doctor that all his pains were gone, and that he was able to move his foot without difficulty. The doctor was surprised; but as a precaution, he counseled him not to step on the foot, and to wait for the coming of the ambulance that they had been able to summon from Casa Valdecilla(17) in Santander. The injury had been serious and normally would take from fifteen to
twenty days to get better.


12. This man describes himself like this:

«From my infancy I have been a fervent believer, since I was well educated through Christian example by my parents who are now deceased; because of this, I loved our Savior Jesus Christ above everything. I am married to a Spanish Catholic.»
The anecdote that has already been described in Chapter V relates to this man:

«A woman insistently requested the visionary to ask the
Virgin if her husband believed in God. After the ecstasy, she received the answer: In God, he believes; in the Virgin, very little. . . But he will believe.»

Here there are two miraculous things: (1) the intimate
knowledge of a person whom the girl did not know; (2) a clear prophecy that came to pass.

13. Since they came from Palencia, this refers to the mountain pass of Puerto de Piedras Luengas, 1,213 meters above sea level, separating the provinces of Palencia and Santander. From here on a clear day, the superb panorama of the Picos de Europa and the Sierra de Peña Sagra can be viewed.

14. The house where Fr. Andreu and Mr. Förschler were staying belonged to a woman named Epifania, called Fania.
Dr. Celestino Ortiz Pérez was the doctor from Santander and Dr. Renedo was the one from Burgos.
15. So severe were his pains that he was not able to tolerate the slight weight of the sheet put over it to cover it.
The ice cubes were the only ice that could be found in the village and they came from the refrigerator of the indiano. In Santander, the word indiano refers to emigrants who return to Spain after making their fortune in America, the India of their ancestors. The emigration from Santander across the ocean was especially directed to Mexico and Cuba.

16. Jacinta entered the room, raised the crucifix up in her hand, and said to the vision, «Father is very sick! Cure him. He is delirious . . . Cure him.»

At the exact moment that the priest kissed the crucifix that
the girl held out to him, his pains disappeared completely. But he was very careful about saying this in front of the people that accompanied Jacinta—some had come from Seville, Cádiz, and Jerez—for fear that all this was due to the tremendous emotion of the moment; he said to himself, «Here! Better not be foolish! Keep yourself quiet as a dead man.»
A bad feature of intellectualism, which is so unfavorable to the attitude of the Gospel, Unless you become like little children . . . A man who thinks of himself as an intellectual has less fear of being taken for a sick man than of being taken for a foolish one.

17. The Casa de Salud Valdecilla was the biggest hospital in Santander.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 106).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 106)

 

 

“We saw the Virgin throw down a star.”

 

Awaiting the Great Day


In October, the influx of visitors slowed down. There
were no longer summer vacationers in Santander, and the normal rhythm of work and business required everyone’s presence back on the job . . . Furthermore, there was the great day looming in the future, and almost everyone was saving himself for it. Since without doubt it would be worth the trouble! Those who had seen events would encounter still more, many more on October 18th; and those, who still had not experienced the exhilaration of those things, could count on having them to the full on that heralded date.
Nevertheless, the phenomena continued daily.(9)

During one of our apparitions, Loli
and I came down from the Pines with many people.
And we saw something like fire in the clouds.
It was seen by the people who were with us and also by those who were not.

When it was over, the Virgin appeared
to us.

And we asked her what that thing was.


And she said that she came in it.


This was not the only sign from the sky.(10) We
have the date of another, more spectacular:
It was the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar(11) during another day of our apparitions, at which Loli and I were present.
While we were looking at the Virgin a star with a very long tail was seen beneath the Virgin’s feet.
Several people saw this.

We asked the Virgin what it meant;
but she didn’t answer.
To be exact about the time, the phenomenon about which Conchita speaks seems to have occurred not on October 12th, the feastday of Our Lady of the Pillar, but on the beginning of October 13th. But what she writes is easily explainable; since in the determination of time, for the girls the day began on getting up in the morning and ended on going to bed at night; that is, the time during which they were awake.
The ecstasies that began on the evening of October 12th extended into the middle of the night. The people began leaving, and toward 2:30 in the morning almost no one remained in the little village plaza except a small group consisting of responsible men: Dr. Ortiz from Santander, Luis Adaro from Gijón, Rafael Sanz Moliner from Oviedo, and Rufino Alonso from Pola de Siero. They had met there, waiting for their wives who had gone to Mari Cruz’ home to collect some religious articles that they had entrusted with the girl to give to the Virgin to kiss. Mari Cruz had an ecstasy during which she had gone up to the Pines. There she had prayed a Station to the Blessed Sacrament, and later stopped in the calleja, at the site of the first apparition, where she prayed another Station.
The people in the plaza soon saw two of the girls, Conchita and Loli, go under the balcony or terrace connected to the house of Loli’s grandmother. They were in ecstasy there and let out a shout at the same time as they raised up their arms.

«Instinctively» — Dr. Ortiz said — «We
looked upwards toward the sky, and we saw a star cross from the north to the south (that is, in the direction toward the Pines) with a great brilliance, leaving a trail that lasted several seconds . . . I know that Maximina Gonzalez and other women of the village saw the star too. On the contrary some young boys, who were at the entrance of Ceferino’s house and who ran toward the girls on hearing the cry, didn’t see anything because they were under the balcony like the girls. After the star had passed, we went where the girls were and accompanied them praying toward the church, at whose entrance the ecstasy stopped. Immediately we asked them:
— Why did you scream?

— Because we saw the Virgin throw down a star.
— But you couldn’t have seen the star, since you were under the balcony!
— Well we certainly saw it. The Virgin did this.»

__________

Father Valentín mentions this phenomena in his notes:
«We were in the plaza. Conchita and Loli shouted out loud with fear. Everyone was frightened. Some of the people looked at the girls; others looked at the sky. Those who did the latter said that they saw a brilliant star that crossed from one part of the sky to another, and that it could not in any way be mistaken for a shooting star or comet. After having screamed, the girls laughed and went on happily, as if dancing with joy.»

__________

It is understandable that all these things, wrapped like this in a halo of mystery, and probably magnified by being transmitted from person to person, necessarily had to leave the people very impressed.
With all these things happening, it would be easy to think: Where will all this end? Surely all these things are an announcement of something great to come. What will we see on the day of the message?
Anticipating the day, people started to come.


9. During those days in October, Dr. and Mrs. Ortiz saw many interesting scenes. For example:
·Conchita and Loli, in ecstasy at the door of the church, sang the Ave Maria in a beautiful duet.
·On one of the nights Conchita was surprised in ecstasy while she was still eating, sitting by the fireplace. She was marvelously transformed, holding a glass of milk in her hand that no one was able to take away from her.

·Someone came to ask Maximina González for lodging from
the 14th to the 18th for a young woman from another country who had previously been in the village (Muriel Catherine). Dr. and Mrs. Ortiz, who were not acquainted with her, heard comments that she was Jewish, but that she wanted to be baptized, and were really surprised by the ingenuousness of the visionaries who commented, Since she is so big, how can the godfather hold her in his arms during the Baptism? After the baptism of adults was explained to them, Conchita exclaimed happily, Great! That way Mari Cruz can be the godfather and I can be the godmother!

10. Luke 21: 11, 25.


11. The feast of Our Lady of the Pillar is on October 12th.
It is a great feastday in Spain and Latin America.
The religious celebration comes from devotion to Mary through an ancient statue in the great Marian basilica in Saragossa. The statue, because it stands on a column (reputedly part of the column on which Christ was scourged), has received the name of del Pilar. According to tradition, here on the banks of the Ebro River, the first temple was built to honor Mary on the Iberian peninsula, the land of the Mother of God.

The civil holiday, both in Spain and Latin-America, is based
on the fact that on October 12th, 1492, the Spanish discoverers landed on the American continent. Also on October 12th, the Civil Guard celebrates the feastday of its patron.

Juan Alvarez Seco, the chief of the Civil Guard, stated:

«On October 12th, while apart from the others, I received the cross to kiss from the four girls, as if it were a congratulation from the Virgin for being the feast of our patron and for having come on that evening to Garabandal.»

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 105).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 105)

“a marvelous sculptural design with such an expression of happiness”

Thus October was going to be the month of the great day. But October already had a certain grandeur. Its clear Marian significance, as the month of the rosary, ranked it with May, the month of flowers and the other month of Mary, and distinguished it religiously among the months of the year.
Because of this, during this era at Garabandal, with the debut of October, prayer seemed to be imbued with new fervor; and crowns and bouquets of spiritual roses,(5) blossoming on the lips of children, were being offered to the Virgin more than ever. At the time all could say:

The Queen is here!
For every Hail Mary
Our lips pronounce with love,
A smile is sent to heaven.


With the first Saturday of the month, October
7th, came the liturgical feastday of the Most Holy Rosary, and there were thus Marian reasons why on that day there should be a great vigil in Garabandal.
The Church, in her official liturgical prayer on that feastday, honored the Virgin Mother with exceptional beauty:
Who is this beautiful as a dove, like a rose planted by the brooks of water?
It is the mighty Virgin, like the tower of David, a thousand shields hang upon it, all the armor of valiant men.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women.
The Lord has blessed you by His power, because by you He has brought our enemies to naught.
The daughters of Sion saw her adorned with the flowers of roses, and declared her most blessed(6)

Neither the girls nor the people in Garabandal
could celebrate the feast of the Blessed among Women like this; but they celebrated it the best that they could according to their knowledge and understanding. And how well it came off! The rosary of that first Saturday of October 7th was certainly the most beautiful of the year. It had everything that there could be in a prayer to make it perfect: vocal prayers (measured and rhythmical — we know how the children prayed in ecstasy!) and meditation on the mysteries . . . songs of prayer sung more from the heart than the lips. The rosary of the feastday lasted two and a quarter hours. But no one felt the length to be burdensome; and certainly not the girls who were enraptured in heavenly contemplation.
While all this poor but deeply felt homage of love and devotion rose up to her, the ancient and prophetic words of the Creator of the Universe had to resound with new force in her Heart:

Let your dwelling be in Jacob,
And your inheritance in Israel,
And take root in my elect.(7)


Had she not come to Garabandal for no other
reason than to advance this program? A new Israel of God(8) was awaiting her coming in order to gather around her and trust in her aid.
I do not know how that unique rosary of October 7th, 1961 ended; but I think that there must have been a devout priest there to lead in prayer all the people in Mary’s village and present the rosary finally to God with the official prayer of the feastday.
Oh God, whose only begotten son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech you, that meditating on these mysteries of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.

On October 7th, the new arrivals celebrated the
Marian feastday by going with the village people to the evening rosary in the church. On leaving the church the girls went into ecstasy, and Doctor Ortiz was once again impressed by the phenomena in which «they gave the impression of walking slowly, although whoever accompanied them had to go in a hurry, if not in a forced march, if he wanted to follow them.»
Doctor Ortiz noted three details that attracted his attention:

— The visionaries, in a sitting position, with their legs stretched out in front of them, their hands joined in front of their chests in an attitude of prayer, and with their heads tilted backwards, slid over the stony ground as if they were on top of a soft carpet. When the trance was finished, he was able to observe that the girls did not have the slightest sign of a scratch or cut.
— After a swift run, the girls in ecstasy fell on top of a pile of wood, which was near the house of the indiano forming «a marvelous sculptural design with such an expression of happiness on their faces that the most consummate artist would not have been able to copy it, even remotely.»
— A man from Madrid, who wished to follow the girls in those marches, lost the cane that he carried, and lamenting the impossibility of finding it in the darkness, went to sit down in front of Ceferino’s door, complaining loudly of what had happened, since «it was a borrowed cane, and furthermore, a souvenir of the war . . .» Not much later the onlookers saw Conchita appear walking toward them in ecstasy. The girl came up the man who was complaining, handed him his cane without looking at him, and continued onwards.

* * *

On October 11th the church celebrates the liturgical feast of The Maternity of Mary. (In the following year, Vatican II would commence on this feastday.) The Mother of God and our mother came to regale with her visit the children awaiting her in Garabandal . . .
Arriving on the scene with an air of importance and arrogance were three men who later were discovered to be reporters from the daily newspaper La Gaceta del Norte. One of them, short and stout, had a famous reputation in Spain; however, no one there recognized him, and no one was able to identify him as a priest, since he came as a layman in a short-sleeved shirt (the temperature was very warm) with an open collar, etc.. By his external appearance, one of the witnesses said later, he would be thought to be anything but a priest. This was Fr. José Luis Martín Descalzo.
Toward evening the members of the press came up to Conchita’s house. They found her in the little kitchen waiting for an ecstasy, as she had already received calls. Several people were with her, among whom was Dr. Ortiz’ wife, who was seated at her side near the fireplace. The new arrivals stayed at the door, observing the girl closely . . . Conchita, who seemed to be listening to something, leaned toward Dr. Ortiz’ wife and whispered in her ear:
— Ask that man to sit down. (In the kitchen only one very low stool was unoccupied.)
— But which man? There are three . . .

— That one, the one in the middle.


The woman began to blush, since everyone’s
glance was turned upon them while they were whispering like this. She raised her voice in the direction of Father Martín Descalzo:
— The girl says that you should sit.

— Who? . . . Me?


— Yes, yes,
Conchita intervened — you.

— But . . . me?


— Yes, you!


With an attitude of astonishment and misgiving,
almost opposition, the man went to occupy the empty stool. Why this distinction? Because of his being a priest? . . . Who there would know this?
The reporters, either because they were tired of waiting or for some other reason, went out on the street shortly afterwards. Dr. Ortiz was arriving at the time and while passing by heard one of them say, I would like to stay to see this; but it is getting late, and I have to be in Bilbao at least by six in the morning.
The reporters took the trouble to come inside and say good-bye. And then Conchita said very softly to the distraught Martín Descalzo, Come, stay a little longer . . . They hesitated and remained; and a little while later the ecstasy came. As on so many other occasions, the girl went out on the street in ecstasy and held out the crucifix to be kissed by the reporters from The Gaceta . . . It can be supposed that they have not forgotten.
After the trance, Fr. Valentín, Dr. and Mrs. Ortiz, and several other persons were discussing things in Aniceta’s kitchen, when an agitated Fr. Martín Descalzo went up to Fr. Valentín.
— I hear around here that the girls receive Communion from the hands of an angel . . .
— They say that at least — replied Fr. Valentín calmly.

— Well that cannot be! Because an angel can’t
consecrate.

Fr. Valentín kept quiet, and then Dr. Ortiz butted
in.
— That reason isn’t worth much, since Our Lord could permit an angel to take consecrated hosts from any tabernacle.
The combative priest was taken back, but he recovered fast and asked Fr. Valentín:
— Did you count the hosts in the tabernacle to see if they were missing?

— I was never concerned about counting them.


— Well you should do it.


— And why is it necessary — again Dr. Ortiz came
into it — that the hosts be from the tabernacle of this church? They could have come even from China since for God there are no distances or difficulties.
Fr. José Luis Martín Descalzo whirled around and left with his companions. It seems that he departed from Garabandal in a bad mood; we do not know if that was because he did not like the village or because his arguments had been torn down by the observations of a layman.

5. Rosary come from the word rosa and means etymologically a bouquet of roses. The roses are the Hail Marys.
6. Antiphon from the first Vespers of the feastday.

7. Words from the book of Ecclesiasticus (24: 11) that the Church applies repeatedly to the Virgin.
8. St. Paul in his epistle to the Galatians contrasts the Israel of God with the Israel by race.

 

WHAT IS GARABANDAL?: She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 104).

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 104)

“He will see on October 18th.”
Something Great Is
On Its Way . . .


The marvels of Garabandal which were occurring
daily,(3) and which seemed to be acquiring a rhythm in crescendo, were holding an ever increasing number of people in suspense.
Besides, special things were happening . . .

On the 6th of September Fr. Valentín, by means of
Conchita in the normal state, proposed several questions to Loli in ecstasy. Later Conchita passed mentally this double question to her companion:
— Father Valentín can only say, I don’t know, I don’t know what this is . . .

Response (learned later): A broad and benevolent
smile from the Blessed Virgin.

— Father Valentín also says, What does the
Virgin want with all this?

Response: He will see on October 18th.


What was going to happen on the approaching
day of October 18th? The girls were talking of a secret that could not be revealed until that day . . . They spoke of a message that had to be made public on that date.
And yet the most interesting part was occurring between them and the mysterious persons in their apparitions. From time to time a statement escaped that stirred up the people’s imagination and anticipation. For example, their rare illusions to a future miracle that would convince everyone . . .
«How beautiful is the miracle!» — Conchita was heard to say in an ecstasy on September 3rd — «How I would like you to perform it soon! Why haven’t you done it already? Do it, even if it would be only for those who believe . . . For those who don’t believe, it doesn’t matter.»(4)
Who would not figure that October 18th, so heralded in the mysterious designs of Garabandal, would be truly a spectacular day?

However, there were warnings from the girls
that should have put some brake on this unwarranted expectation.
In Book One we saw that Plácido Ruiloba’s father-in-law made a summer visit to Garabandal.
«The day after» — testified Mr. Ruiloba — «my father-in-law together with two of my children met Mari Loli. And being very excited by what he had seen on the previous day, he said goodbye to the girl like this, Until October 18th. That day I’ll return, since I think there’s going to be a miracle and many people will come.
— Please! — replied Loli emphatically — Please! Don’t bother to come. No miracle is going to happen. At least we haven’t predicted one. The only thing that we have said is that we are going to give a message, and you can find out about this in Santander, without the necessity of traveling. Listen well, I beg you. We never predicted a miracle.»

__________


In spite of remarks like this, the people continued
in their hopes, confusing their own desires and ideas with what actually was going to happen.

3. The extraordinary phenomena were coming so regularly each day that in the history of Garabandal October 6th is listed as an exceptional day because on that day nothing happened. And October 8th also was exceptional, because only Jacinta, at midnight and in her home, had an apparition.
October 8th, Sunday, Loli stayed in bed because of a bad cold, and Conchita and Mari Cruz took advantage of a car to go down to Cossío. When they returned, the time for the rosary in the church had passed. The trip down to the neighboring village must not have been completely justified, since it seems that Conchita later went in search of Jacinta to request her, if she would see the Virgin, not to forget to ask pardon in her name for having missed the rosary.
This is a matter for reflection and meditation by anyone who would miss a holy service, especially Sunday Mass, for whatever pretext or without a pretext.

4. According to the notes of Father Valentín, on the night of September 3rd and 4th, Jacinta, Loli and Conchita had a spectacular ecstasy, very moving and very prolonged. Until 3 o’clock in the morning, the three girls were lying down in front of the door of the church, forming a group of singular devotion and beauty. It was then when Conchita was heard to say these words about the miracle.