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
1962 was a year crammed with events in the process of Garabandal. There
were innumerable apparitions by the Virgin, numerous Mystical Communions,
exceptional episodes like the nights of the «gritos»
screams, the Miracle of the Host on July 18th, and futhermore the
increasing predictions of a great Miracle.
With the Miracle in sight, one could begin looking for a final outcome, since certainly no one could think that these phenomena would continue like this indefinitely.
And so the Miracle was being discussed more and more in the statements of the girls and was increasing in importance in the hopes of the pilgrims.
More News More Expectation
The winter of 1963 began on the heights of Garabandal without an interruption in the normal march of the apparitions. The three girls who remained —Jacinta, Loli, and Conchita — were accustomed to have their ecstasies individually. But at times the three joined together, and the ecstatic march that resulted was singularly beautiful. In Fr. Valentin's notes of December 3rd, 1962, there is this excerpt:
«Today our attention was attracted by their way of walking. A total synchronization of movements was observed. The three held their step perfectly, in the manner of a military march. They only lost the rhythm when they had to avoid some difficult obstacle, or on the rare occasions when they stumbled; but immediately they regained the cadence. Loli attracted the most attention because she has a natural tendency to walk with shorter steps than the other two, probably because she is much smaller.
On this day, Conchita came out of ecstasy before the other two; [In Garabandal during these December days was a man from Barcelona named Francisco Clapes Maymó, who was kind enough to send me a copy of his notes from this period. In the notes pertaining to the night between December 2nd and 3rd, I see Fr. Valentin's statements confirmed: «Conchita ended the ecstasy first, and she continued holding the arms of Jacinta and Maria Dolores (Loli). Maria Dolores haoan expression of sorrow. Ceferino, who was listening beside Maria Dolores in ecstasy, said that from what he had heard this was diabolical, and they were discussing this . . . Conchita said the meeting that they had in ecstasy in a room of her house was not diabolical, but from the Virgin.»
1) One day, a little before the Miracle will be performed, something will happen that will cause many people to stop believing in the apparitions of Garabandal. The doubts and desertions will not be due to an excessive delay of the Miracle.
2) On the day of the Miracle, the note that she signed in Santander (stating the apparitions were not authentic) would disappear.[This refers to the paper that she signed — on pressure from Dr. Piñal— when she was taken to the capital at Santander at the end of July, 1961. (See chapter VI of Part One.) The information about December 6th was taken from the notes of Fr, Valentin. Mr. Clapes Maymó gives his version as an eyewitness: «Conchita had an ecstasy that went from 5:35 to 6:40 in the morning . . . When she was normal again, she said that the paper the doctor in Santander had made her sign — stating that the apparitions were false and that she was insane — would disappear by the Virgin's command. She said too that just before the Miracle almost no one would believe in Garabandal ...»]
«Today they brought an infant to me that doesn't seem like the one that you bring . . , [A young woman from Madrid, Paloma Fernandez-Pacheco, was present on that day in Garabandal with her husband Mr. de Larrauri. She wrote me several observations: «The infant about whom Conchita talked in ecstasy was the Infant Jesus of the Nativity that I brought. I myself took the reel of tape that recorded the conversation to the NO-DO laboratories. It was rather long, and at times the Virgin's voice seemed to be heard. At NO-DO they told me that the tape had two voices on it. But that they were not at the same volume, as they were very different in tone and pitch. (I don't remember well the technical words they used.) They were amazed ...»] And how long since you've come with the Infant! He hasn't grown at all! Look, He's the same as He was . . . Where has He been? Where has He been? . . . Oh! When the Infant doesn't come, where does He stay? In heaven! In a cradle? . . . Oh! But you can't be here and there!»
The same kind of thing occurred in the ecstasy that Jacinta had almost immediately afterward. There were similar childish questions as:
«Do you sometimes shiver there when snow comes like this? . . . But the snow comes from there up above.»
«I want that day to come, to be part of it... You know why I want that day to come? My father doesn't believe . . . Oh! After the Miracle comes, will the people believe? . . . A week is enough? . . . When will the people see you?»
«On this day of December 15th, Conchita told Mercedes Salisachs that a totally paralyzed man would be cured on the day of the Miracle, wherever he was.»[Clapes Maymó also confirms this information. On the morning of December 10: «Conchita had an ecstasy between 5:27 and 5:37. (ten minutes} Accompanying her were Mrs. (Mercedes) Salisachs, a lady friend, Felix (An ex-seminarian from Bilbao), a young child from Colunga (Asturias) and Mrs. Salisachs' chauffeur . . . She said that a paralyzed child — known by this woman — for whom she had asked Conchita to pray, would be cured wherever he was.» (on the day of the Miracle)]
In an atmosphere like this, what produced the tremedous crisis that abruptly dashed the hopes and annihilated most of the enthusiasm?