with kind permission from St. Joseph Publications
from the book She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Book 1)
NOTE: All excerpts from Conchita's Diary will be in extra-bold type
With the conclusion of Lent — so important for Christians, especially during its last weeks — starts the no less important Eastertime.
This season is characterized on the one hand by jubilant celebration of the Resurrection of Christ; on the other hand, by the Church's holy work of bringing souls to Communion with Him through the Eucharist. It is in this that Christ our Pasch now and forever immolates Himself for us as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
In correlation with the Eucharistic theme of the season, the Mystical Communions that the girls received from the Angel became more frequent.
In a letter from Maximina Gonzalez to Doctor Ortiz in Santander, dated April 20th, 1962, we find this:
«On Friday morning [I have observed repeatedly that Maximina has not been very careful about the dates by which she begins her letters. The good woman — a widow — had many duties since, besides being alone to care for her two small children, she received lodgers in her house requiring room and board; and she had to find a few minutes time between her many occupations to write letters. And besides possible carelessness in writing the date, frequently several days would go by from the time she started the letter until she finished the last sentence. The Friday about which she is speaking here would seem to be Good Friday according to the date of the letter. (April 20th) It can not be the previous Passiontide Friday (April 13th in that year), from what is seen in another of her letters later on. And so I conclude that despite the date on the letter it refers to Friday of Easter Week, April 27th.] I went with Conchita to the Pines, since the Angel gives Communion to her there on many days. After receiving on that day, she said to me, The Angel told me that in the morning I would see the Virgin at 9 o'clock, and again at midnight. And since I knew about it, I watched; and according to my watch, at 9 o'clock sharp, she had an apparition. I wasn't present at the other apparition, but it was at midnight. And on Saturday, the Angel told the hour and he didn't err.»
In another letter that Maximina sent to the Pifarré family in Barcelona which was dated April 22, [I refer the reader to footnote above, adding that this letter could not have been written completely on April 22th, Easter Sunday. The text that we are reproducing from the original (as we have done with all of Maximina's letters to the Pifarré family) must have been written on the following Wednesday, April 25th.] we find information on a very important matter:
«It has been a long time since the girls saw the Angel, and yesterday, Tuesday, they talked with the Virgin for a long time. We didn't hear them, but they were seen to be very happy. And it was due to the Virgin telling them that every day that they didn't have Mass, the Angel would come to give them Communion. And this made them very happy ... So now they will see the Angel and the Virgin, since we have very few Masses other than the ones on Sunday. Yesterday the Angel gave them Communion at 5 in the morning. They were seen holding out their tongues and swallowing the Host. Afterwards they prayed a Station. All this while in ecstasy.
And so now I don't know; perhaps they will have an apparition every day, since in order to receive Communion they have to be in ecstasy. I don't know if this is the way it will be, since today is the first day that he gave them Communion like this. He hasn't given It to them since last summer.»
PHOTO: "The Angel gave her Communion."
The following day, May 13th, was the 45th anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima. Probably no one in Garabandal remembered it; but by chance or providentially, the day was outstanding. Thanks to some notes from Fr. Valentin, we know, for example, that it was unseasonably bad weather. «It rained and it hailed.» Under the rain and hail, at the beginning of the night, Jacinta and Mari Loli traveled through the village, singing songs and praying in ecstasy. Going to the house of Jeronimo, who was still alive, they fulfilled a work of mercy by praying for the dying and consoling the living. And finally they went to the Pines, where they prayed the rosary, and then came down backwards to the village.
As always the vigils were more frequent in the middle of the night, and at that time Conchita went out into the street in ecstasy, prayed another rosary, and gave the crucifix to be kissed.
Seldom, even in Fatima, have the recommendations of Fatima been fulfilled so exceptionally:
to implore pardon
On May 15th, the feastday of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, toward 8 o'clock in the morning . . .
«Conchita went to the Calleja as usual to recite the rosary. From there she went to the door of the church, and said that the Angel had given her Communion, and that in the evening she would have an apparition at 9 o'clock.»
This father had an injury to his leg, and he said that the Virgin told him that she would not cure him, that he should go to a doctor; he had borne this injury 8 days. Useful advice! It is not necessary to seek a miracle to get rid of problems that can normally be solved by natural means.
A week later, on May 26th, [On the last Saturday of the month, May 26th, Conchita again received Communion from the Angel. Guillermo Freudenthal Miret of Barcelona was present and he was able to take some beautiful pictures.] Mari Loli and Conchita walked through the village together in ecstasy, praying a rosary that ended with a beautifully sung Salve ... as might be expected, since it was Saturday, the day of the week consecrated to the Virgin!
After the Salve, they made a devout procession to the cemetery . . . something that could be expected from Christians. Be mindful O Lord, of those who have preceded us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace. (Roman Canon of the Mass)
On the last day of May, there was a long rosary through the streets and the singing of the Salve.
There can be no doubt that the month of May, the month of Mary, was something very exceptional at Garabandal. In many places throughout Spain, the Venid y vamos todos resounded each evening:
Most pure Virgin,
Lovelier than the moon,
Turn again toward us,
Prostrate at your feet.
But surely in no other place did it resound with the meaning and depth that it had, day after day, in that little village lost in the mountains.
«We make trips thru the village (following the girls in ecstasy) and every night or almost every night they recite a rosary; sometimes they sing it.
One night Mari Loli was heard to say, There is going to be a chastisement? . . . Oh no! Don't let it come! Give it to me alone!
" ... a Chastisement?"
"May it not come!"
And another night Conchita said, It´s going to come to Spain? ... Oh, may it not come, may it not come!
Later I asked her what this was in the ecstasy, and she told us that she couldn't say anything.»
The third statement made at Tuy on February 28th is the most extensive and contains a very clear paragraph:
"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 will go well. But if not, she (Russia) will again be the enemy by which God will punish her once more."
Unfortunately our bishops — not all of them, certainly — have been for years giving the impression that they were more interested in promoting social and political changes and democratic freedom than in fulfilling their primary duty: the advancement of the clergy and people in living the faith and leading good moral lives.<> We have more information. On Saturday, May 26th, Mari Loli wrote to the pastor of Barro, Fr. José Ramón. The letter, as all those of that period, was a disaster in penmanship and presentation. However, among the words laboriously written down, many of them trivial, there is something that could not be missed:
You said that I should tell you some of what she told me. Well I cannot say anything; nothing more than what, as you know, she tells us every day:
—That we should be very good,
«A young doctor from Valladolid (Fernandez Marcos) told me that he didn't see anything seriously opposed to this being supernatural; and that reasoning without prejudices, it was very difficult to affirm the opposite . . . It's necessary to be uncomplicated to accept that the phenomena are not normal. Naturally if we seek some "theoretical" explanation to a given fact that we have seen, we will always find it; but only this, the "theoretical" explanation, based on a "hypothetical" argument without concrete and objective findings.»
« In the evening the four girls had an apparition together, something that hadn't happened for some time.
There were no people outside.» (Anyhow this is what Father Valentin put donw. On that day the people were occupied with St. Anthony.)
On Sunday, June 17th, «there was a man from Palencia» — as Father Valentin writes — «who was somewhat skeptical, and during one of the apparitions said to himself, If the girl comes back here to give me the crucifix to kiss, I will believe in the truth of this. Immediately the girl made her way through the crowd and gave it to him to kiss.»
And in the epistle to the Hebrews (4:12-13) the paragraph on the great power of the Word of God ends with this proclamation: Neither is there any creature invisi-ble in His sight: but all things are naked and open to His eyes. He could not proclaim as an eminent divine attribute this knowledge of all man's intimate secrets, if the devil could also penetrate into these secrets.
Then, before so many cases of answers to thoughts or questions that were formulated only in the deepest consciences of the people at Garabandal, could one seriously say that all this had a natural explanation, as the hierarchy repeats? Or that it could be the work of the devil, as others have suggested?
"Visit the Blessed Sacrament."