MONTH OF JULY OF THE YEAR 1961
Sunday, the 2nd arrived.
We went to Mass and to pray the Rosary. The Rosary was at 3 in the afternoon [This refers to the rosary that is said in the village Church each Sunday, which almost all of the villagers attend. It generally takes place after dinner]. After the Rosary, we went to the highway below because some of my brothers were coming that day and we wanted to see if they had arrived.
It is five kilometers from San Sebastián to Cossío, and we walked four [In reality it is about six kilometers]. The people knew us since the four of us walked together and they had seen us in photographs [At the beginning of the apparitions a photographer had taken some pictures that were sold in Cossío, but not in San Sebastián de Garabandal]. They stopped us and gave us gifts, boxes of candy, rosaries, caramels, and lots of things.
When we came to the village, a large crowd was waiting. There were 10 or 11 priests, doctors, an abbot, and many cars.
Since we were very far from the village, we decided to return. Some of the people from the village descended on horses to find us. One person we knew saw us and told us that if we wanted to go up they would bring us to the village.
We said yes, because my brothers had not come.
When we arrived at the village many people and priests were waiting for us.
It was 6 in the afternoon.
We went to the Calleja to recite the rosary. And before we had arrived there, the Virgin appeared to us with an Angel on each side.
One of these was St. Michael. [This is the first time that Conchita uses the name of St. Michael in her diary] We didn’t recognize the other one. He was dressed like St. Michael. They appeared to be twins.
At the side of the Angel on the right, at the same height as the Virgin, we saw an eye of great size. It appeared to be the Eye of God.
That day we talked much with the Virgin. And she talked to us. We told her everything: that we went to the field every day, that we were tanned, that we had put the hay in stacks, etc… She laughed; we told her so many things!…
We said the Rosary looking at her, and she prayed with us to teach us to pray well. [As Conchita explains, at the beginning the Vision taught them how to pray the Rosary well. After that, the Vision only said the Gloria] When we had finished the Rosary she said that she was leaving.
And we told her to stay a little while, since she had been there only a very short time. She laughed and told us that she would return on Monday.
When she left, it made us sad.
Then some people kissed us and asked us what she had said. Some of the people didn’t believe since we had talked so much. How could the Virgin talk and listen so much? But the majority did believe because they said it was like the case of a mother who hadn’t seen her daughter for a long time, who tells her everything. And how much more we who had never seen her. Besides, she is our mother in heaven.
They took us to a sacristy and a priest named Fr. Francisco Odriozola [A priest from the Diocese of Santander. He was named canon at the beginning of the apparitions. He has been one of the principal informants to the Bishop about what happens in the Diocese, from the time of the first apparitions. If we believe the words of the Vicar general of the Diocese, the canon Mr. Odriozola was president of the Commission mentioned in the note on July 8th. If we give due respect to the same Mr. Odriozola, his position was secretary of this Commission.] questioned us one after the other. Afterwards, he told the people what we had said to him.
That is how Sunday, July 2nd ended. It was a very happy day because we saw the Virgin for the first time. For we are all always with her, whenever we want to be.
The Virgin comes in a white robe, a blue mantle [The current manner of showing the Virgin of Mt. Carmel is with a brown mantle. The four girls knew this. They were unaware that there were some representation of the Virgin of Mt. Carmel with a white robe and a blue mantle.], and a crown of little golden stars. The feet are not seen; the hands are open and there is a scapular on the right one: the scapular is brown. [The Virgin carries a scapular in her hand. The girls have said that a small mountain was painted upon it. I did not understand the reason for this. In Spain she is simply called the Virgin of Carmen. Outside of Spain, she is generally called Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.]. Her hair is long, a dark chestnut brown color, wavy, and parted in the middle; the face is somewhat elongated; the nose is also somewhat long, and fine; the mouth, very beautiful with slightly full lips. The color of her face is tan, but much lighter than that of the Angel, different. The voice is very beautiful, very unusual. I don’t know how to explain it. There is no other woman who resembles the Virgin, either in the voice, or in anything. [It is interesting to compare this way of writing with other mystical experiences. Affirmations and denials happen, as if we are to understand that what was said is not exactly what was lived, that it is something that cannot be explained in words]. Sometimes she carried the Baby in her arms. [Multiple times, the Vision has left the Child in the seers’ arms. They say that they feel the weight of the Child, but in a certain way, it is like they are not touching him]. He is very small, like a newborn baby, with a round face the same color as the Virgin’s. He has a very small mouth, and his hair is slightly long. He has small hands. He is dressed in something like a blue tunic.
Monday the 3rd arrived.
We were very happy to have seen Our Heavenly Mother.
In the morning, the first thing we did on Monday July 3rd was go to pray there at the cuadro, the four of us together. Then we went to our homes to do what our parents ordered. And then we went to school. At the class we met our school mistress, Señora Serafina Gómez.
She began crying and kissed us, saying:
─ How lucky you are, etc…
When we left the classroom, everybody was talking about the same thing. All were very impressed and happy, and they believed very much.
Our parents felt the same way. As for Loli’s family, her father Ceferino [Ceferino Mazón, María Dolores’s (Loli’s) father was the head of the council in the village when the apparitions began. He owns a tavern. Julia, his wife, has several children. The youngest, Guadalupe, was born during one of Loli’s ecstasies. Loli entered the house saying that she already knew about her sister because the Vision had told her. The majority of the apparitions took place without the Child. Conchita was heard saying during an ecstasy on December 9, 1962: “But how long it has been since you’ve brought the Child, and he has not grown at all… he is the same as he was… where has he been?… where has he been?… when the Child doesn’t come, where does he go… is He in Heaven or in a crib, where does he go?”] said:
─ There’s never been anything like this!
It was the same also with her mother Julia. Jacinta’s mother, María, believed very much too, and her father Simón even more. [Simón and María had several children, and one of these is Jacinta. The whole family has an excellent reputation in the village.]
If we performed some practical joke, Jacinta’s father would say that the apostles had done the same. And he would begin to explain the things we did; to him it appeared that everything we did was good.
Mari Cruz’s father, Escolástico [Escolástico and Pilar González only have one daughter. This is Mari Cruz], did not go to Mass much, and he didn’t say anything about this. Her mother Pilar believed on some days and did not believe on others.
My mother, Aniceta, really believed without doubting anything. How much we talked on that Sunday!
My brothers really believed insofar as they saw, and not only did they believe, but it also made them quite spiritual as it made many people. There were people who liked what happened on that Sunday. And there were others who were not impressed.
In our daily life, we did what our parents told us to do.
In the afternoon we left the school at five, as we had spent a very happy Sunday on July 2nd, and as we already had such a desire to see the Virgin again, we went to the calleja and we began to say the rosary. We were alone. And when we had finished and hadn’t seen her, we said nothing at the time. We weren’t surprised, nor were we sad, as she could still come later. Then, since she hadn’t come, we went to our homes and did what we were told to do at home.
When the hour was approximately the same as Sunday—the first day on which we had seen the vision—our families, who were now believing a lot, said to us:
You should go to say the rosary in the Cuadro.
And we told them:
─ We haven’t been called yet.
We answered that it was like an interior voice, but that we didn’t hear it with our ears, nor did we hear ourselves called by name. It is a JOY.
There are three calls: the first is a very little joy. The second is somewhat greater. At the third we become very excited and feel great happiness. And then she comes. We would go outside after the second call. For if we would go after the first we would have to wait a long time, since from the first to the second there is a long wait. We told our families about the calls. They were astounded since they had never seen or heard this! [As Conchita says, there are three successive calls before an ecstasy. We will tell some properties of these calls.
1st—They serve to announce the coming of the Virgin, but not the Angel.
2nd—The call does not have any other type of communication but an announcement (“I will come”) and they produce an intense desire and great happiness.
3rd—According to the girls the call is not a word. It does not engage the senses. It is like an interior perception which is full of happiness.
4th—It doesn’t come from any external cause. It could come at any hour of the day or night.
5th—When the ecstasies happen frequently, for example, two or three times in the same afternoon or night, only the first ecstasy is preceded by the calls. The Vision says when saying goodbye: “within a little while or half an hour… I will see you again.”
6th—From the first call to the second call, a large amount of time generally passes, about an hour and a half or two hours. The time between the second call and the third call is shorter. The third call happens only instants before the Apparition begins.
7th—Jacinta has tried to translate her impression into words: “The first call is as if she says ‘come’; the second is as if she says ‘run’; the third is as if she says ‘run, run, run.’ But all of this is within, without words.”]
After our conversation with them, we had a call and we told them about it. The four of us were together. And there were many people and some of them didn’t believe, which could have been because they had never come. They spoke to the parish priest, Fr. Valentín:
─ Why not put two in Loli’s house and the other two in Conchita’s (my) house?
And Fr. Valentín said:
─ That’s a good idea. We’re going to put Loli and Jacinta in Loli’s house and Conchita and Mari Cruz in Conchita’s house.
He told our parents and siblings about this.
Our parents agreed and they separated us that way to see if the four of us would come together at the same time.
And after a half hour we received the second call. And the four of us came together in the “Cuadro” at the same time. And the people were amazed and asked:
─ How is it possible that everything is happening to them at the same time?
As soon as we arrived at the Cuadro, the Virgin appeared to us with the Child Jesus. But the angels did not come. [Since the Virgin’s presence would be more intense, the angel’s would be felt less. ‘He has served to introduce the Virgin’s apparition. Apart from this, he has given Communion to the girls several times, including July 18, 1962, when the miracle of the Form took place. He also came to announce the second message through Conchita on June 18, 1965. In order to understand the Hierarchy that the girls establish between the Angel and the Virgin, we will cite this anecdote: on June 18, 1965 one of the many strangers who had arrived in Garabandal to witness the apparition that had been announced since December of 1964 gave Conchita a rosary so that the apparition would kiss it. The girl did not want to take the rosary, and said:
─ The angel doesn’t kiss.
─ And why not? Said the stranger.
Conchita smiled and responded simple:
─ Only the Virgin kisses; the angel isn’t anyone.]. She came with a broad smile, and the Child was smiling too. And the first thing that we said was, where is St. Michael and the other Angel? And she smiled even more.
The people and our parents who were there gave us articles so that we might present them to be kissed. And she kissed them all [Something that can be said about Garabandal is that the Apparition kisses the religious objects so that they can be distributed to all of the people. At the beginning it was small stones. Then they were religious objects like medals, rosaries, crucifixes, holy cards, and wedding rings. One day some people gave one of the girls a small, old pill case from the Virgin to kiss. She thought that the Virgin would not kiss it because it was not a religious object. But the Virgin kissed it, to the admiration and surprise of those around. When the ecstasy ended the girl said: “The Virgin told me that she kissed this little box because Our Lord was inside of it. The owner of the box, very impressed, said that it was true because the box had been used to carry Communion to the sick during the war. A similar thing happened with a powder case. Conchita assured the people that the Virgin had said that “Jesus would work prodigies with these objects, before and after the miracle, and that the people who carried these objects with faith would have their purgatory in this life.” As a result, some cases have been reported of healings obtained with these objects and with the invocation of the Virgin of Mt. Carmel in Garabandal. They also say, that these objects have sometimes acquired a perfume of roses and incense. None of us can say anything but that these seem to be healings; it is the Church that has to say for sure and order a long investigation, and a lot of time has to pass before a decision of that type happens.].
And since we liked to make up games for the Child Jesus, we picked up pebbles. And I put them in my braids, Loli put them in her sleeves, and Jacinta gave them to Him. But he didn’t take them; He only smiled. Mari Cruz said to him:
─ If you want me to give you caramels, they have brought me some, so if you come with me, I’ll give them to you.
But He didn’t say anything.
She said many things to us. But she didn’t allow us to tell these things. [To carry the Child Jesus].
The apparition began at seven thirty and ended at eight. When it was over she said to us:
─ Stay with God and with me also; that made us sad.
And we said:
─ Goodbye, goodbye.
The last thing she said to us was:
─ Tomorrow you will see me again.
Tuesday the 4th arrived.
On July 4th, we were the same as usual, and the people of the village and our parents, brothers, and sisters were believing more each day. The strangers who came were very enthusiastic in telling other people to come. We continued leading our normal lives, doing what our parents told us.
Evening came on Tuesday, July 4th, the third day of seeing the Virgin. Many people had come, and priests. There was a Rosary at six in the evening at the parish church and we had one call.
The Church was full of people and on the main altar were about a dozen priests and photographers taking pictures. When the rosary was finished, we had two calls and we decided to run to the cuadro. [There are two different ways of running, and we can explain them like this:
─ The first, outside of the ecstasy, is when they move quickly toward the Calleja because an internal force is carrying them toward it. This is what Conchita is describing to us in her diary at this point.
─ But sometimes the girls also move very quickly during their ecstasies. These are called the ecstatic marches. The first of these ecstatic marches took place on August 8, 1961.
Those who attended are in agreement that there was nothing ordinary about this: during their marches, which could become races, the girls seemed animated by a very great interior force to such a degree that it was impossible to detain them. Other times, we saw them advance in a manner that seemed like a dance, corresponding to a melody that only they heard.
These marches happened at great velocity. Sometimes it seemed that their feet did not touch the ground; people have also said that it seemed like they had wings on their feet. Upon finishing, the girls did not show any signs of fatigue, but those who had followed, although they were stronger, were exhausted.
On several occasions the four girls ran down the road to the Pines on their knees while in ecstasy.] The people ran after us… Some did not have time to get there. Mari Cruz and I were a little higher up than Loli and Jacinta. The two of us were inside the cuadro itself, and the other two not inside.
And the people said that for all that we had run, we didn’t perspire. And they were perspiring and arriving all exhausted. And they were amazed. But it was as though the Virgin carried us! [According to the girls’ explanations, during their ecstatic marches they had the impression that they were still and in front of the vision].
The Virgin was smiling as usual. And the first thing that she said to us was:
─ Do you know the meaning of the writing that the angel carried beneath him?
─ No, we don’t know.
─ She said:
─ It gives a Message that I am going to explain to you so that you can tell it to the people on the 18th of October.
And she told it to us. It is the following:
“IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE MANY SACRIFICES, DO MUCH PENANCE, TO VISIT THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, BUT BEFORE THAT WE HAVE TO BE VERY GOOD, AND IF WE DON’T DO THIS THEN A PUNISHMENT WILL COME. THE CUP IS ALREADY FILLING UP AND IF WE DON’T CHANGE THEN A VERY GREAT PUNISHMENT WILL COME UPON US.”
[Conchita repeated this sometimes, as her companions did: “Above all the message.” She said more: “Believing in the apparitions serves for nothing if we do not fulfill the message, or if we don’t do what Mother Church says.” (Letter from Conchita to Fr. Alba of Barcelona, December 10, 1965).
The girl spoke of the message because in 1963 it was the moment in which she stopped writing this diary, not knowing that on December 8, 1964 the Apparition would announce to her that she would have an apparition on June 18, 1965 with the last message for the world. Later we will reproduced a copy of this second message from Conchita’s hand.
These messages give Garabandal a sense of a universal and prophetic calling. Their content is directed to all of humanity, although certain passages of the message of June 18, 1965 have allusions for special groups, for example, priests. This discovery of the teachings of Garabandal is part of the Immaculate Circle. (1830 The Miraculous Medal; 1848 La Salette, 1853 Lourdes; 1917 Fátima). We see that all of these apparitions express the same call: a change in the manner of prayer and penance.
This has been the voice of John the Baptist calling in the desert. This has been the call of all of the prophets. This has also been the voice of Our Lord. This is the voice of the Church as spoken by the Roman Pontiffs.
The message of October 18, 1961 has four parts:
1st—A call to penance.
2nd—A call to faith and the Eucharistic life.
3rd—A call for conversion of heart and theway of life for the love of God and his Son.
4th—The conditional announcement of the punishment.]
This is what the Angel’s sign and the Message that we will tell on October 18th mean. Then, after she told us this, she left. It began at six twenty-five and it ended at seven. She told us all of this on the first day but I did not understand it then. The following day she told us that she would explain it later. Then she told us what the Message meant and what we had to say. She indicated to us that we had to tell the message in the doorway of the Church on October 18th. We told this to Fr. Valentín so that he could tell it in the Pines at ten thirty at night.
The Virgin told us this so that we would do it like this. But the Commission said that there were many people, and it was raining, so we couldn’t give it personally. They said it would be better to proclaim the Message at 9 or 8:30. The Commission said all of this, and so we did it.