Of the many teachings Our Lady gave at Garabandal to the visionaries and all of us were lessons in charity. As St. Paul tells us, of the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, the greatest is charity. It only stands to reason than that Our Lady would place great emphasis on this virtue during Her appearances.
On one occasion, the Blessed Virgin gave a very pointed lesson on charity that would not be easily forgotten by those in the village. Father Valentin Marichalar, the pastor, made the following entry in his journal for September 16, 1962, a Sunday:
There is a man in the village who is half crazy and does stupid things that could be very wrongly interpreted by the visitors who don't know his mental condition. He had been in an insane asylum for a year and now has decided to stay here. This is causing trouble and annoyance, and he will have to be sent away.
During the ecstasy on this day, Loli and Conchita went to the house where this disturbed man, Alfonso, was staying and, with a crucifix, they made the sign of the cross there on the pillow of his bed. And while passing by him, they gave him the crucifix to kiss several times. The disturbed man froze on his knees. That night Father Anzizu commented: "What a lesson in charity the girls have given us." Everyone who had been talking about the necessity of throwing the insane man out of the village was touched
By Barry Hanratty
Reprinted with permission from GARABANDAL JOURNAL March-Arpil 2003