To speak of communism today seems almost anachronistic. Isn't communism a thing of the past? According to what the Blessed Virgin told the visionaries of Garabandal the answer is no. Communism will again appear on the scene and cause great suffering before its reign of terror is suddenly ended.
On the two nights preceding the feast of Corpus Christi in 1962, the young seers of Garabandal had visions; but the visions they saw on these nights were far different from the ones they had become accustomed to seeing. They were heard screaming in terror as future events unfolded before their eyes. At the Virgin's request, the onlookers were to keep at a distance and this injunction was faithfully observed. But even though farther away, the girls' screams were so terrifying that shock-like currents rippled through the huddled crowd causing tremendous fear. Witness Manolin Diez said these unearthly screams were not the normal screams of 12 and 13 year old girls.
The second night was the worst as the visionaries saw scenes of the Chastisement God will send if the world does not change after the Warning and Miracle. Since the Chastisement will be the subject of the last part in this series we will say no more about it now.
Our focus here is on what the girls saw the first of these two nights which have come to be called las Noches de los Gritos — the Nights of Screams. On that first night, they saw the time before the Warning, a time of great trial for the Church and the world.
Conchita was not present with the other three on this first night. She had a bad knee so her mother did not allow her to go out. Interestingly enough, she went into ecstasy in her house anyway and fell to her knees with such force that they started to bleed. It is unlikely that she saw the same things as the others although some of the revelations seem to have been imparted to her as well. Later, in subsequent visions, she will learn more.
Their tear-stained faces and incoherent speech immediately afterwards attested to the trauma experienced by Jacinta, Mari Loli and Mari Cruz during the first night of screams and it doesn't appear that they gave any details of what they experienced for quite some time.
Mari Loli seems to have been the first to speak about it when in 1967, she provided information to a Mexican priest, Father Gustavo Morelos. Three years later, the same information, in the possession of Maria Saraco, had been written down and confirmed by Mari Loli with her own signature. It reads as follows:
In spite of continuing to see the Virgin, [during the first night of screams] we saw a great multitude of people who were suffering intensely and screaming in terror. The Blessed Virgin explained to us that this great tribulation, which was not even the Chastisement, would come because a time would arrive when the Church would appear to be on the point of perishing. It would pass through a terrible trial. We asked the Virgin what this great trial was called and she told us it was "communism." [SHE WENT IN HASTE TO THE MOUNTAIN by Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, O.F.M. Cap.]
This first revelation about communism would be expanded upon further by the visionaries in later years.
With the coming down of the Berlin Wall and freedom being granted to the former Eastern Block countries, it appeared as though communism — at least Russian communism since much of Asia is still red — was finished. And this is what the media proclaimed. However, everyone was not convinced. A few short years ago while in Canada, I spoke with a priest from an Eastern European country who had lived under communist rule. He said that Americans are very naive in thinking that communism is dead; in his country today, the same people who were in power under communism are still in power. Another gentleman, a Ph.D., from a different Eastern European country, expressed the exact same sentiments.
According to Garabandal, communism will again be a force to be reckoned with in one final attempt at world domination. On September 29, 1978, Father Francis Benac, S.J., interviewed Mari Loli at her home in Massachusetts. Here are some of the questions and answers pertinent to our subject.
FATHER BENAC: Did the Blessed Virgin speak of communism?
MARI LOLI: Our Lady spoke several times about communism. I don't remember how many times, but she said that a time would come when it would seem that communism had mastered or engulfed the whole world. I think it was then that she told us that priests would have difficulty saying Mass, and talking about God and divine things.
FR. BENAC: Did Our Lady ever speak of people being put to death?
LOLI: What Our Lady said was that priests would have to go into hiding but I didn't see whether they were being killed or not. She didn't exactly say they would be killed, but I'm sure they would be martyred.
FR. BENAC: Your mother told me that one night you were upstairs with your father and that you cried and cried for one hour. Afterwards your father said to her: "I have just seen the most touching sight. Loli was crying the whole time while saying, 'Oh, it's going to be like that? People are going to suffer like that? Oh, make me suffer!'" Do you remember what you said at the time?
LOLI: It was all related to communism and what is going to happen in the Church and to the people because all these things are to have repercussions amongst the people. When the Church suffers confusion, the people are going to suffer too. Some priests who are communists will create such confusion that people will not know right from wrong.[THE CALL OF GARABANDAL, Apr-Jun 1984.]
This last statement of Mari Loli's should make us wonder if the blame for all that is wrong in the Church today has always been properly placed. It seems very little consideration has been given to the possibility that an evil force has deliberately infiltrated the Church with the intention of trying to destroy it. The other day I was speaking with Harry Daley, author of Miracle at Garabandal Harry was a good friend of the late Father Walter Ciszek, S.J., who spent 15 years in Soviet prisons and Siberian labor camps, and lived to tell about it in his book With God in Russia (Ignatius Press). Harry visited Fr. Ciszek (a believer in Garabandal by the way) often and on one of his visits, Father went to great lengths explaining how the communists tried to recruit him, promising him all kinds of benefits, if he would work as their agent in the Church and join the network that was already in place.
How Extensive Will It Be?
What geographic areas will experience this communist persecution? Some references have been made specifically to Spain.
On February 23, 1943, Sister Lucy, the sole surviving seer of the Fatima apparitions who spent 21 years in Spain at Tuy and Pontevedra, sent a statement to Bishop Antonio Garcia of Tuy-Vigo which read: "If the bishops of Spain listen to the desires already manifested by Our Lord, and begin a true reform of the people and clergy, then it I will go well. But if not, she (Russia) will again be the enemy by which God will punish her once more."[SHE WENT IN HASTE TO THE MOUNTAIN] And Conchita has said that communism will return to Spain, [Garabandal—Nuevo Pentecostes, 1984.] but she went on to say that it will suffer less than other areas of Europe because of the persecution it had already endured during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) where 13 bishops and more than 7,000 priests and religious were put to death.
We asked the Virgin what this great trial was called and she told us it was "communism."
PHOTO: Of all the visionaries, Mari Loli has revealed the most of what Our Lady said about communism.
Would the persecution just be in Europe? When Loli was asked that question she responded that the way she saw it, she thought it would be more than that. Conchita's Aunt Antonia testified to having heard the visionaries say in ecstasy that "if we don't amend our ways, Russia will take possession of the whole world." [GARABANDAL — EL PUEBLO HABLA by Ramon Perez.] If that be the case, then the persecution will in all likelihood go beyond the confines of Europe. But it appears that Europe will feel the brunt of it as the following excerpt from Garabandal-Der Zeigefinger Gottes by Albrecht Weber indicates:
Conchita mentioned that Padre Pio, during her visit with him, said to her "The great wonder of God [Miracle] must be paid for with much blood throughout Europe." [Since this information is new to many English readers we contacted Mr. Weber to confirm the source. He responded that Conchita mentioned it in the presence of his mother, Eloise Deguia and himself, and that his mother wrote it down word for word.]
Aside from Garabandal, this great trial has been mentioned in the writings of saints, popes and blesseds as summarized by Fr. Joseph Brennan, O.C.S. in his article "Prophecy for Our Time" that appeared in the May 1983 edition of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review: "Christianity will undergo its most severe test of yet. There will be many casualties, many purifications. Such confusion will reign that it will appear that Christianity has almost vanished."
How Will It End?
With no human force able to stop the persecution, God will have to intervene. Jacinta told Frenchmen Ramon Perez and Jacques Serre in 1979: "These difficult events will take place before the Warning because the Warning itself will occur when the situation will be at its worst."
This is corroborated in Father Brennan's article: "But then, as if to fulfill what Jesus said, 'Unless those days be shortened no flesh shall survive,' there will be a direct Divine intervention, both amazing and terrible, that will completely reverse the course of world events."
An excerpt from the above mentioned German book further informs us:
Mrs. [Christine] Bocabeille then asked Mari Loli: "If you are not allowed to tell me the exact year [of the Warning], perhaps you could tell me approximately when it will happen."
"Yes, it will be at that time when the world will most need it."
"When is that?"
"When Russia will unexpectedly and suddenly overrun and overwhelm a great part of the free world. God does not want this to happen so quickly. In any case the Warning will come when you will see that Holy Mass cannot be celebrated freely anymore; then it will be that the world will most need the intervention of God."
For our further reflection, keeping in mind that prophecy is a charism of the papacy, is this quote from Blessed Pius IX : "There will come a great sign that will fill the world with awe. But this will occur only after the triumph of a revolution during which the Church will undergo ordeals which are beyond description."
We don't know when all this will happen, but Albrecht Weber's book contains this statement attributed to Conchita: "The pope will go to Russia, to Moscow. As soon as he returns to the Vatican, hostilities will break out in different parts of Europe." [The source for this information was also requested. Mr. Weber responded: "Conchita said this in a long conversation at her house on November 14,1965."]
To Sum it Up
A worldwide communist takeover led by Russia will appear to have succeeded and in the midst of this frightful aggression will be a harrowing persecution of the Church. Priests will have to go into hiding, the churches boarded up and it will become very difficult for the faithful to practice their religion. It will seem as though the Church had disappeared. The duration of this persecution is not known but it will take an act of God, the Warning, to stop it.
To close on a positive note, we again quote from Fr. Brennan's 1983 article:
As a result of all this there will be a turning to God that will match the apostasy from God that preceded it, with the result, as Our Lady said at Fatima, that "an era of peace will be granted to humanity." This will be a peace such as the world has never known.
Reprinted with permission from Garabandal Journal, November-December 2003, by Barry Hanratty