BOOK 3 Chapter 1e
1:40 a.m.
Reprinted 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

*    *    *

    It is beyond all doubt that on the night between July 18th and 19th in 1962, in the village of San Sebastian de Garabandal, something happened that was going to matter very much in the history of teh events taking place there.

    We have a brief report that gives this something as it happened internally, as further reports will describe it as seen externally.

    At two o'clock, the Angel appeared to me in my room.
    In my home were my mother Aniceta, my brother Aniceto, and an uncle, Elias, and a cousin, Luciuca, and a person from Aguilar, Maria del Carmen Fontaneda.

    And the Angel was with me for a while
[It must be remembered that the long periods of time in ecstasy seemed minutes to the girls. And it is also to be remembered that they could move long distances in their trances and make long swift walks without losing the sensation of being still in the same place. Since they did not leave the light that enveloped their field of vision, they did not have the normal faculty to sense the change of locations.] and he told me, as on other days:
    Pray the "I Confess" and think of Whom you are going to receive.

    And I did this. And afterwards he gave me Communion.

    And after giving me Communion, he told me to say the "Soul of Christ",

    And to make my thanksgiving,

    And to hold out my tongue with the Sacred Host,

    Until he left and the Virgin came. And I did this.

    We cannot designate the exact time that Conchita's ecstasy started. We have just seen that she said, at 2 o'clock, but her chronometric accuracy cannot be trusted. All the witnesses agree that the affair happened some time after July 18th ended, after one o'clock at night. The concordance of information from several witnesses makes it certain that the disputed trance began between 1:30 and 1:40.

A little before it started, Conchita, who had gone down for a while to the kitchen, went up again to the upper floor. One of the persons there, Dr. Ortiz' wife, says this expressly:
    «After a while, Conchita went upstairs again, and a little while later, I saw her come down with her hands joined.»

    In her room upstairs for almost an hour was a man not easily disposed to religious fervor: Elias Gonzalez Cuenca. Although he was Conchita's carnal uncle he did not have much faith in his niece, nor did he maintain cordial relations with her family. Let us hear his testimony: [This was recorded on a tape recorder.]
    «It was after 12:30. I was drinking beer with someone at Elena's house when we heard a commotion in the crowd. And at the time, I went in its direction and entered her house — to see mischievously if I would see something that I didn't like. She is my niece by blood; but even so, I think that there have been three times that I have gone in there. I was with her in her house about an hour. She, her mother, her brother Cetuco, a little girl and I were praying. And later her mother went down to the kitchen, leaving the four of us alone. [Father Etelvino Gonzalez had left for a while since after 10:30 Conchita had indicated to those present, You can go eat if you wish, giving them to understand that what they were expecting was not going to take place for awhile.]
    After a while, her brother said, Do you see what time it is? It is today already. Nothing!
    And Conchita answered, The time has not yet passed.
    A few minutes later she fell into ecstasy. We were seated on her bed, and she was speaking with us when suddenly she fell there to the side of me against the door.»
    Soon the girl got up, left her room and began to descend majestically down the stairway. Dr. Ortiz' wife stated:
    «I saw her go down with her hands joined in front of her chest, her head turned backwards, her mouth slightly open, and with an expression of marvelous happiness!»
    Father Bravo, a professor from the University of Comillas, a specialist in the spiritual life, looking at the young girl transfigured like this, could only repeat, How marvelous! How marvelous!

    Those that were in the house intended to follow close to Conchita as she went outside. However they found themselves prevented by the masses of people who were waiting impatiently, and literally threw themselves on top of her, seeking to get the best place for observation.

    Dr. Ortiz' wife stated: «I went out on the street and I couldn't follow her.»

    Uncle Elias said, «I went out after her into the crowd; but they knocked me down.»

Site of the miracle

    And they pushed Father Bravo so much that he was almost bowled over; he had to forget being in the first ranks. Miguel, Conchita's brother and some other husky young men attempted to protect the girl as she walked.

    Luis Navas wrote:
    «It was 15 or 20 minutes before two in the morning, when just after going out in the street, and no farther than turning a corner to the left — in the place least expected — in front of the house of her friend Olguita, the visionary fell on her knees, and the Communion took place. It was a wet place, hardly agreeable, since at times dirty water from the homes was dumped there.»

    The visionary was removed from all this, being unaware of her own movements and positions; the only thing that she knew was that:
    The Angel appeared to me in my room etc..

    It is indisputable that in the girl's open mouth and upon her graciously extended tongue there was seen for some time the white Host of Communion, since testimony of this has been signed and sworn to by many witnesses . . . Although it was in the middle of the night, the scene and the protagonist were adequately illuminated.

    Concerning this, there is a report that has special value because of the situation of its proponent and because of the official nature of his testimony. The questions were put in writing by the Commission at Santander through a diocesan prelate, and the answers were also given in writing by the Dominican previously mentioned: Fr. Etelvino González.

"a white body of the same size and shape as the hosts used for Communion"

«What time was it? Had July 18th passed?
It was exactly a quarter to two in the early morning of July 19th.

Was there sufficient light?
— Yes. There was a full moon. Furthermore, there were many flashlights around the girl even before the object predicted appeared on her tongue. I myself, with my back to her {from a distance of about a meter), on hearing the shout, "The Host!", turned around in front of her, focusing my flashlight on her open mouth.

Did you see something in her mouth like the Host used for Communion?
— Yes. With complete certainty.

Before it was in the girl's mouth, did you see the Host outside of it, for example, in the hands of the supposed angel, while she was making the sign of the cross, or in the path from the hands of the angel to the mouth of the girl?
— As I had my back turned, trying to hold back the crowd, I didn't see it appear.

<>What was the host like?
— The object was a white body of the same size and shape as the Hosts used for Communion; perhaps somewhat thicker. It gave the impression of being somewhat spongy and it adhered perfectly to her tongue.

How long did the phenomenon last?
— I estimate about 45 seconds; perhaps 60.

Did you hear the girl speak with the alleged angel? What did he say?
— I didn't see or hear her speak.

What effects did this cause in you?
— I distinguished three periods:

A) With my back to the girl, on hearing the shout: "The Host! Miracle!" I turned around, not believing it was true.

B) On seeing It with my eyes, I was impressed and completely absorbed in the examination of the "Host."

C) Finally, I attempted to impose silence and reverence (since there was obviously the presence of the white body with characteristics similar to the Hosts of Communion.)»

NEXT... Chapter 1f) Miracle or Fraud?