BOOK 3, Chapter 4b:
Recorded on Tape
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


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    September 4th, 1962 was a Tuesday. According to Fr. Valentin's annotations, toward 11:00 in the morning. Conchita fell into ecstasy at the door of the church, and there received Communion from the hand of the Angel; somewhat later, the same thing happened to Loli.

    The afternoon passed; the night began, and at 1:30 Conchita had an ecstasy again. She went to the graveyard, made her way through the streets of the village, prayed the rosary, sang the Salve. On entering her home, she fell on her knees and said farewell to the Vision. As she was speaking, a person near to her — not satisfied with just hearing what the girl was saying — held a microphone to her lips. What he recorded confirmed afterwards what his ears had not understood well.

    «You say there's going to be a miracle? . . . And the miracle is going to be that? . . . And the Virgin will be seen? . . . And when? ... So long away? . . . With me alone . . . No. I don't want that . . . Don't do that! Perform it with the four ...»

    Such words could not but cause repercussions, and soon began to be the foremost reason for comments and expectation.

    Five days later, on Sunday, September 9th, Dr. Ortiz in Santander noted in his agenda concerning Garabandal:

    «My wife and I with her cousin Maria Lopez-Dóriga were at Maximina's house. Conchita came to present a gift as we were beginning to eat. We invited her, and soon Maximina began talking in jest:
    — We already know your secret. . . That there is going to be a miracle! You can't deny it, since it has been recorded on tape.

    Conchita smiled, and after a moment of silence said, Yes, there's going to be a miracle. The Virgin told me, and it's going to be very great . . .

    — When will it be?
    — I don't know.

    — Then none of us will see it.
    — Everyone will see it who is here. And the Pope, from wherever he is. And also Padre Pio. Everyday I pray that the miracle will be with everybody. But don't say anything to anyone.

    — Not even to Fr. Ramón and Fr. Retenaga?
    — Well... to them . . . yes.»
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    On that very night of September 9th, as it progressed into the early morning of September 10th, Conchita was heard again (and this was recorded on a tape recorder too):
    «When you perform the miracle, perform it with all (the four of us). I don't want to be alone by myself. Look! With everyone, do you want that? You aren 't telling me? Should I tell it so that she will know?» [I do not know to what this could refer: perhaps to Loli who seemed destined to share many things.]
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    This matter is useful to alert those who believe in Garabandal and encourage them to keep watching.

    Naturally those who came to the village, especially if they belonged to the circle related to the girls' families, soon noticed what was in the air.

    On September 24th from Hotel Real in Santander, Maria Herrero de Gallardo wrote to her sister in Madrid to tell her about her last visits to the site of the apparitions:
    «The other day, while in Conchita's house, there was a very interesting conversation, with 2 psychiatrists and 3 priests [Concerning the three priests, Maria Herrero says: «Jesuit, Passionist, and pastor.» From the notes of Dr. Ortiz, it comes out that the Jesuit was Fr. Argila and the pastor Fr. Antonio Yllensa Borras of San Cucufate. It seems that both came with Dr. Puncernau and were considering, according to Fr. Valentin, «bringing information to the archbishop of Barcelona.»The Passionist had to be Fr. Eliseo, whom the lawyer Luis Navas speaks about in his report. Of the psychiatrists, the only one we know for sure is the previously mentioned Dr. Ricardo Puncernau.] present . . . Fr. Valentin told me that Conchita, according to his words, had to tell him something under the seal of confession, because of which — he added laughing — he couldn't tell me anything about it. What I know for certain is that the next proof (of the truth of the apparitions) is going to be, according to what the girls say, much greater than the day of Conchita's visible Communion.»
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    Two weeks later on October 7th, she wrote her sister another letter from Santander:
    «Friday, two days ago, I was back in Garabandal again. No one was there . . . And during all the time that I spent there, the girls and their mothers told me about such marvels that it seemed a bottomless well from which they were pulling up, little by little, a multitude of things. How I profited by it and how I remembered you! We went to see Conchita at the time she was going outside for the rosary with her mother . . . Two women who were coming with me hung on to her and I wasn't able to ask her anything on the way to church. I took Aniceta by the arm and tried to question her about when the announced miracle was going to be.

    — I don't know. Possibly Conchita doesn't know either . . . What I can tell you is that the other time (July 28th) she told me: "Mama, there's going to be a little miracle." And today she told me: "There's going to be a very great miracle!"»
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    And so from the information that I have been able to gather, it was in September, 1962, that the prediction of the great miracle was made for the first time in a clear and open way. A miracle which, for what later began to be said about it and because of its outstanding singularity, soon began to be called "The Miracle."
The first announcements about it reported:
• That it was going to be «very great ».
• That everyone in Garabandal when it was performed would see it.
• That the Pope would see it «wherever he would be», and « also Padre Pio.»
    But Conchita, who seemed to be the only seer who had anything to do with the Miracle, still did not know the date on which it would take place.

    And for the moment, the news of the Miracle could not be unrestrictedly divulged. We have heard the girl's words in Maximina's house in front of Dr. Ortiz and his wife, and what she told Fr. Valentin « under the seal of confession.»

    But the news was not shrouded in total secrecy. Perhaps Loli's questions during her ecstasy on Monday, September 17th refer to this; and also Conchita's on September 18th:

LOLI: Yes, should I write today? ... Most Holy Virgin, then should I tell it? . . . When can it be said? . , , He's waiting for me to tell him by letter or when I see him . . . Good, I'll tell it...

CONCHITA: Can I tell it to Father Valentin tomorrow? . . . In confession? ... To whom else can I tell it?... To the bishop? . . . Did Loli tell it to Father Andreu? . . . Do I tell it to him? . . . No? . . . When? ...

    Perhaps the person to whom Loli communicated the announcement was Fr. Jose Ramón de la Riva, since among his papers I have seen a small holy card of the Virgin with these lines on its back, written in poor penmanship:
 

San Sebastian                October 8th, 1962
    The Virgin told us there is going to be a miracle.
With all my love,
Maria Dolores Mazón 
(For Father José Ramón)


"foretold to me"

    The prediction of the Miracle is unmistakably confirmed by these lines from Conchita's diary: [According to my information, the girl began the diary in September of 1962, and ended it in the spring of 1963.]

The Most Holy Virgin has foretold to me a great Miracle,
that God Our Lord is going to perform through her intercession.
As the chastisement is very great, as we merit;
the Miracle also is immeasurably great, as the world needs.

NEXT BOOK 3 Chapter 4c) Among the Marvels