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
We can do no more than list them.
• Concerning the location of the extraordinary Communions, we can state that the places where they most frequently — but not exclusively — were received by the girls were: at the Pines, before the doors of the church, next to St. Michael's Stone in the Campuca. [Fr. de la Riva, the pastor of Barro, seems to radicate in his Memorias that there was a period in which the Angel gave Communion solely to Conchita and Loli. He wrote:
From the manner in which the Angel acted, it becomes clear once again that — according to the designs of God — there is no reason to expect a miraculous intervention to obtain something that we ourselves can procure with the ordinary means at our disposal.
Many examples could be mentioned here to illustrate what has just been said, but the following one should suffice.
Fr. José Ramón García de la Riva, states in his Memorias:
«I was able to prove that the Angel didn't give Communion to the girls if the parish priest, or another priest with faculties, was present and exercising this ministry in Garabandal. This I noticed as a result of a study that I completed and things that I repeatedly observed. It can be used as an answer to those who ask the question: How is it possible that an Angel acts in a ministry that isn't his own?»
In continuing on, Fr. de la Riva explains a very interesting proof, which will not be put down here, but will be put down later, since it merits being reported completely and with special care.
The daughter of Ramón Pifarré, who ran a pharmacy in Barcelona and was one of the best witnesses of the many happenings at Garabandal, related to me how they had witnessed one of Conchita's mystical Communions in June of 1962.
The girl's ecstasy was much the same as usual in these cases. However the spectators' attention was sharply attracted on seeing the girl, some minutes after receiving Communion, but still in ecstasy, laugh . . .
It was necessary to ask her what happened, and the girl explained:
— Before leaving, the Angel said to me, You see, I came early today, so that you don't say that I kept you hungry,(At that time the Eucharistic fast was still long and rigid.)
Mrs. Asunción Pifarré told me that it was a little after eight in the morning, and the girl's mother Aniceta had collected the sheep that were to go up the mountain with Conchita, since that day she had to be a 'shepherdess'.
«I recall that some time later Fr. Valentin came to Maximina Gonzáles' home where we were staying. He came from Cossio, and asked for Conchita. I told him that she had left. And he was irritated, saying that he didn't understand this, how an Angel could come to give Communion, knowing that he was going to come and that he could very well give It himself. But I think that the Angel's attitude in coming early couldn't have been more thoughtful, looking out for the welfare of the girl who was awaiting a long burdensome day.»
The mother agreed reluctantly. And while wait-ing she glanced down toward the village, and with the excellent vision of a country woman, she clearly distinguished the shape of a frail Franciscan knocking at the door of her home. She turned quickly to her daughter, saying: This explains everything. We are not going to waste any more time here. Look down below. You have someone to give you Communion. That's the reason the Angel isn't coming!
They went down in a hurry, approached the priest, and accompanied him to the church, where they received Communion from his hands. [This seems to have taken place on the morning of June 20th, 1962, since among Dr. Ortiz' papers I found a brief note written on June 19th by Eloisa, his sister-in-law:
One day she, Loli, and Conchita were called to the same location. The three knelt down in a row in front of the Angel; Jacinta was in the middle.
And everything began as usual: some introductory words from the Angel concerning what they were going to do, the "I confess " by the girls, This is the Lamb of God . . . Lord I am not worthy.
The Angel gave Communion to the first girl in the row in the usual way. In the meantime, Jacinta, next in line, raised her head, opened her mouth and held out her tongue in preparation to receive. But the Angel — not in the usual way, but as if she were not there — passed by her with the Body of Our Lord to the third girl . . .
PHOTO: Jacinta was taught a lesson.
Noticing this, the little girl's eyes opened wide and tears began to stream from them. Everything within her asked a distressed Why? Why? She did not understand why the Angel had refused her Communion like this.
The explanation (and the lesson) came immediately. Did she not remember the argument that she had had with her mother? What had the Virgin told them so many times? She had to do more to conquer that fault, that lack of submission, that way of speaking . . . She could not receive the Lord in such a state.
Jacinta, weeping, recognized her fault. How could she do otherwise? She had to resign herself to the punishment of remaining without the Eucharist, so painful under those circumstances.
When she returned home, her mother knew immediately that something had happened to the girl. She had come back so different from other times!
— What happened to you?
— The Angel — Jacinta said — won't give me Communion again until I confess.
Good lesson! We can be sure that her fault did not enter into the category of mortal sin; and consequently, there was no strict necessity for confession. But Communion requires very much, especially in persons highly favored with gifts of grace; these cannot abandon themselves to carelessness, to an attitude of being good more or less; from them is demanded an amendment and a serious effort to be better.
PHOTO: "until I confess"
In the light of this episode, which the visionary will never forget, it is not difficult to understand how God looks on certain attitudes or doctrines that today are gaining vogue among so many here on earth. There is no relationship between sacramental Confession and the Eucharist . . . One can receive Communion without going to Confession. This makes sense only in the very rare case of the worst sins, but in ordinary life . . . The necessity of innocence in order to receive Communion must not be exaggerated . . . and in any case, the general absolution, which is given at times in the liturgy, is all that is necessary; anything else is an excess. It can be observed that from the moment in which the Mass is looked upon predominantly as an assembly of the people of God, and Communion as a symbolic meal among brothers, the necessity for such interior purification will not be recognized.
In this point as in so many others, Garabandal comes to the Church in preview, mercifully and salutarily offering beforehand admonitions from heaven for deviations on earth. Is this not the main reason that it has encountered great hostility?
Garabandal, in its eminent Eucharistic dimension, mysteriously foreshadowed the actual state of Catholicism today. It holds out with striking force the eternal doctrine of our Mysterium Fidei, a doctrine which is being attacked by a dangerous crisis, a doctrine whose defense required new documents from the Supreme Magisterium, to culminate in the Credo of the People of God that Paul VI proclaimed to the world on June 29th, 1968:
We believe that just as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His Body and His Blood, which was to be offered for us on the cross; likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven. And we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord — under what continues to appear to our senses to be the same as before — is a true, real, and substantial presence.
The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present — after the sacrifice — in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, the living heart of all our churches.
And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word Whom they cannot see, and Who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us.
I have chosen these high points
of our history — the threshold of the second year of the events — to speak
of the Eucharistic dimension of Garabandal. Although this dimension was
manifested openly during 1961, it came to the forefront above all in 1962
to such a degree as to give the second year a special characteristic, one
that for centuries has been described in the ancient axiom of the early