Reprinted with kind permission from
GARABANDAL JOURNAL May -June 2005
Excerpted from Los PINOS DE GARABANDAL ILUMINARAN AL MUNDO BY Maria Josefa Villa de Gallego.
Translated from Spanish by Dr. Edward Serrano.
In August of 1961, my husband, a medical doctor, and I were in Garabandal accompanied by another doctor, a colleague of my husband, and his wife. It happened that Loli's brother became sick, and their father, Ceferino, knowing the doctor who was with us — he had treated another of Ceferino's children — was in town, asked him to look at the boy who had severe abdominal pain. The doctor, who was a specialist in trauma, suggested he be seen by my husband, a general practitioner.
Wanting to meet the children, I accompanied my husband and found Loli and Jacinta playing in a room at the top of the stairs. While my husband was taking care of the boy, I asked the girls, "Are you going to see the Virgin today?" They answered yes and that they'd had the first "call" (the girls usually received three calls each before Our Lady appeared).
After my husband had examined the boy and made the diagnosis, Ceferino, was very grateful, and told us he wasn't going to let the girls go outside that day. If they were going to have an ecstasy, it would have to be inside the house. He felt that there were too many people in the village and the girls might be mobbed. When he invited us to stay, we gratefully accepted, and never again would we have the opportunity to see such a beautiful ecstasy privately all by ourselves.
When the time for the ecstasy arrived, the girls were sitting on the floor parallel to each other looking toward the ceiling and singing unknown hymns of great beauty to the Virgin Mary. The girls were perfectly synchronized in every respect, but they couldn't see each other as their eyes were fixed above. Being so close to them we could see they didn't blink nor move their eyes which were fixed on something they saw. and by their joyful faces, must have been magical.
After awhile they got up. and still in ecstasy, began to walk around the room. I believe this is called an ecstatic march; many times since then I have heard theologians speak of this. At times they stopped and then continued, their movements always perfectly synchronized; they never looked at one another. Their eyes were always looking up and their heads bent backwards at a 90 degree angle.
PHOTO: Witnesses to the Garabandal events, Josefa and Dr. Felix Gallego (R.I.P.) with grandchildren.
Ceferino told my husband, "If, as a doctor, you want to run some tests on the children you have my permission." My husband approached the kneeling girls, grabbed Loli under her arms, and attempted to lift her. It was impossible to even budge her. She appeared welded to the floor, more like a block of stone than a little girl. Then he tried to tip her over, pulling her to the side, and again could not move her. He tried several times with no results. He couldn't even move her enough to pass a piece of paper between her knees and the floor.
Then he tried the same test on Jacinta with the same results. My husband is a strong man, and it's unbelievable that he couldn't move two small twelve-year-old girls; they appeared to weigh tons. After awhile, Jacinta picked up Loli by the hips and lifted her as though she were a feather, until she almost touched the ceiling with her head. At this time Loli was giving the Virgin rosaries to be kissed.
If this is of the Virgin, it seems that she gave us a very clear lesson. "You wanted to test the girls to see if this is true. I am here and the girls do not lie. You see, you could not lift the girls, but with me they could lift each other. Isn't that enough? How much more proof do you need?"
We were very fortunate that day, as so many people wanted to be present at the ecstasy, and there were only four of us. During the ecstasy Don Valentin, the parish priest, arrived. The whole time the girls had been talking to the Virgin, and toward the end we heard them saying, "Don't go away! It's too soon!" and they returned to normal, lowering their heads with a smile on their lips and joy in their faces. This ecstasy lasted more than an hour.
Reprinted with kind permission from
GARABANDAL JOURNAL May-June 2005
to order subscription: GARABANDAL JOURNAL.