Reprinted with kind permission GARABANDAL
JOURNAL July-August 2005
Excerpted from SHE WENT IN HASTE TO
THE MOUNTAIN, by Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, O.F.M., Cap.
Dr. Jean Caux was an esthetic (plastic)
surgeon from Paris with a very successful practice (one of his clients
was French film star Brigitte Bardou). As an amateur photographer, he went
to Garabandal on July 18, 1962, with his camera equipment for the purpose
of filming the Miracle of the Host. But things did not work out for him.
And while he was not able to film the prodigy with his quality camera and
lighting, a businessman from Barcelona, Alejandro Damians, with a borrowed
movie camera that he had never used before, was the one to film the Miracle.
A year later on August 15, 1963, the two men met and had a conversation
that revealed that there was more to who did the filming and why.
Dr.Caux: So you were the one who made the
film of Conchita's Communion. I'm very happy to meet you and to have the
opportunity to talk to you about that day! Would you mind answering a few
Alejandro terms I'm glad to meet you as well.
Ask whatever you like.
Caux: I read your report closely but I would
like some more information.
Damians: You must realize that while the
report is complete, there were some things I couldn't put down — what I
Tell me, did you keep your eyes on
the girl the whole time?
Damians: From the moment I found myself next
to her, I didn't look at anything except her. I can swear that I didn't
take my eyes off her tongue for a moment. Obviously I could have blinked,
but as you know, that would have been a matter of no more than a slight
fraction of a second. And I saw how — with a speed too fast for the human
eye — the Host appeared on her tongue. To put it a better way, I'd say
faster than a split second.
PHOTO (right): The flamboyant Dr.Caux
with Conchita in 1965.
Caux: Why didn't you film it from the beginning?
Damians: I was awestruck, stunned! When I
came to my senses — I'm not sure it actually happened that way since I
don't have a clear recollection — I took the camera and quickly was able
to film the last seconds of the miracle.
Caux: Did it occur to you to touch the Host?
Caux: Was the girl's tongue held out in the
usual way for receiving Communion?
Damians: I would say it was extended more
than it normally would be.
Caux: Now permit me to ask a question that
I've wanted to ask for a long time: Did you feel at that moment a joy so
tremendous, so beyond this world, that you couldn't compare it with anything
else, that you wouldn't exchange it for anything, even a billion pesetas
Damians: That's a question I've been asked
more than once and in similar words. I certainly wouldn't exchange the
happiness I felt during those moments for a billion pesetas, nor for anything
in the world. It was a joy so intense, so profound, that I can't explain
it, nor can I compare it with anything. It was something exceptional! —
something for which I'd give my life, and which didn't allow me later to
follow the girl's ecstasy, or to go with my wife or with anyone; I was
only able to go off into a corner by myself and sob in silence.
I'm delighted to hear that! Actually
it's what I suspected. There are still two things that I'd like very much
to know: What was the reason for your great joy? And were you in the state
of grace at the time? Pardon my forwardness; don't answer if you don't
I don't mind answering. I was in
God's grace; and my enormous emotion wasn't caused by the miracle itself,
or in seeing the girl with the white object on her tongue. (Some said the
Host had a cross in the center; others, that the cross was thick; I didn't
see any of that.) The great thing that had such a tremendous effect on
me was finding myself in the presence of the living and true God. I wouldn't
exchange that for anything in the world. If God wants me to see the Miracle
that is predicted, I'll be delighted, but if it's not to be, what can I
say? [It was not God's will that Senor Damians see another Miracle. He
died a few years ago.] It would be difficult for anything in the world
to equal the impression I had in seeing Him during that solemn and magnificent
moment in my life.
You don't know how happy that makes me
on the one hand and how miserable on the other. I felt the same as you,
but with the opposite result! Listen to this. I was all ready to film the
event; but everything went wrong and I wasn't able to film anything. Only
at the last moment, in the last fraction of a second, did I manage to see
the Host as It began disappearing, being swallowed by the girl. At that
moment, I was pierced by a terrible pain, a horrible pain that overwhelmed
me! It was the pain caused by a God I had come to catch a glimpse of and
Who was going away from me.
It was only then that it occurred
to me — I hadn't thought about it before — that I was in the state of mortal
sin. I wept like you, not from joy but pain! I understood what sin was
and what hell was. It was useless for my wife to try to console me; nor
could I explain anything, nor could she understand me. That pain was something
too great to share or be assuaged. Because of this, I believe that only
if God permits me to see the [great] Miracle — now that I try to always
be in His grace — will there depart from me this pain so profound that
I think it's going to kill me, and which still continues piercing my heart.
On that night in Garabandal, I even had the impression that the people
were avoiding me, as if they saw my sins!
Damians: I understand everything, my
friend, but I must tell you that it wasn't only your impression the
people didn't like you; it was the truth. The people thought you had
come with a woman who wasn't your wife, and they even asked me
to see if I could have you thrown out of the village. Now I understand
why God didn't permit that to happen. You suffered more by staying than you would have
by being forced to leave.
Caux: You're right. I would have preferred
that to happen. But now I know who God is and what He wants of me, what
the hell is of not
seeing God and how this pain — I would give more than my whole fortune
to avoid it — was relieved in confession (and now also with the hope of
Miracle some day). Whatever people say, and although many ridicule me,
I cannot abandon the service of the Garabandal cause, to which I owe
this profound and terribly awesome feeling which I hope will either
leave me or fill me to overflowing on the day of the Miracle. The view
of hell moves me to try to move the world myself, announcing what has
happened and what is going to happen, so that it can be saved. My
family was the first to think I was crazy although now they don't think
that way. But I assure you that nothing that anyone thinks of me
matters; the only thing that matters to me is God.
As an addendum to the above is this excerpt from a
letter written in April, 1970, by Maria Teresa Le Pelletier de
Glatigny: "One afternoon in Paris, Dr. Caux told us confidentially what
he had felt on that night in Garabandal. Among other things, he told me
how at the exact moment of the miracle, he had lived and experienced
what human words could not convey: what it is to lose God, the true
pain of hell. At the same time, he was filled with all the horror of
being in the state of mortal sin. 'Pray for me, Madam,' he told me at the end, 'so that I may never fall
into sin again, now that I have experienced its terrible meaning.'"
Frame of film showing the Host on Conchita's tongue.
NEXT . . . How the Film Was Made