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
«When the Virgin announced her visit like this (by calls), neither the parents nor the visionaries went to bed. We passed the evenings with Conchita, her mother, her brother Serafin, and other visitors . . . Who could describe the charm of those evenings, of those nights of waiting, interspersed with prayers, hymns and conversation, as each one thanked the Virgin for her infinite kindness.»
It is easy to understand why the vigils caused great joy in those who experienced them as an isolated and amazing novelty in their lives. But the people for whom the vigils were intermixed with the routine of daily life for a long time, felt fatigue increase night after night . . .
The raptures at Garabandal spanned the period of Vatican II. Does this have a significance?
As an aid to understand better the penances entailed in these nights at Garabandal during that season, here is an excerpt from a letter that Max-imina wrote on November 22nd to Dr. Ortiz' sister-in-law Eloisa de la Roza Velarde:
«On Saturday we went up to the Pines, praying the rosary in pouring rain . . . Later we went to the cemetery, and there we were stuck in mud up to our ears. On Sunday, the same thing: we went up to the Pines. Everything was covered with snow; the people were sliding and rolling down, but they went up anyhow! Later the girls went down backwards on their knees, thru all the snow and the roughest places; later, to the cemetery, under the hail and with a bitter wind . . . On Tuesday, the same thing, and thru the same places. On Wednesday it was a better night, but freezing cold ...»
Dr. Ortiz confided to me what the daughter of Tiva (Primitiva), a resident of Garabandal, told him:
«On the night of December 1st, I had a very painful toothache, on account of which I had not gone to bed. On that night at 3:00 in the morning, I heard a noise in Jacinta's house. I looked out and saw the girl go outside in ecstasy on an infernal night of ice and rain. I fell sorry for her and went down to keep her company. When I got there, her mother, Maria, was going out of the house in a very bad mood, while saying, A night like this, another one like this . . . I'm not going to allow her again. I'll barricade the door shut . . .
In the street we met Maria Dolores, in ecstasy too, and completely alone. Then I went to tell her mother, Julia. The two girls joined together with the three of us behind them. We went up to the Pines twice, praying the rosary; as usual we ran through the village . . . The night was really stormy, and Maria's bad mood didn't leave her. Julia tried to calm her, Woman, what are we going to do? These are the affairs of God . . . Today I have to console you; other times you have consoled me ...»