Reprinted with permission from GARABANDAL JOURNAL
Excerpted from Los MILAGROS o FAVORES DE NUESTRA MADRE DE GARABANDAL by Maria Josefa Villa de Gallego
In October 1962, a friend, Mr. Roca, told us about some apparitions occurring in a little Cantabrian village called San Sebastian de Garabandal. Taking advantage of a long religious holiday weekend we went to Garabandal with an acquaintance from Barcelona.
We arrived in the afternoon, and were told that the girls had received a call, and that the Virgin would appear during the night.
We were waiting for this to occur in a kind of little shop that existed in villages in those days called a tavern, where they sold very simple table wine, noodles to make soup, perhaps a packet of cookies and little else. This was in the house of Ceferino, the father of one of the girls [Mari Loli].
I was sitting and had Mari Loli on my knees, since in this little village it was easy to start a friendship with the people who were plain and humble.
We had been waiting a long time — it was already 2 A.M. — and I said to Mari Loli, "Look, when you see the Virgin tell Her to make us better, help us love Our Lord more and that She make us and our children holy." After telling her this, I didn't know what else to say when suddenly it occurred to me to add, "And also ask Our Lady that if it is the will of God, grant us a daughter."
As I said this, Mari Loli went into ecstasy with a crucifix in her hand. And stretching way up in the air, she held it there for a while and then gave it to us to kiss. After the ecstasy she told us the Virgin had kissed the crucifix before we did.
The girl climbed the steep rocky
path to the Pines at that time of night, and in utter darkness came down
backwards to the village. When the ecstasy ended the people surrounded
the girl to find out what the Virgin had said. My husband and I were exhausted,
so without bothering to ask any questions, we started to leave for our
lodgings to get some sleep. But the girl caught up with us and said, "Yours,
yes." I was half asleep and asked, "What do you mean, mine yes?"
and the daughter also."
The next day we returned to Barcelona and talked with friends about the events we had witnessed. Then I told them what I had asked from the Virgin and what Mari Loli had told me She had answered. Everyone thought that was funny since we knew we couldn't have any more children. My oldest child, Michael, was born after some treatment with electric currents. With the second child I had to be on bed rest and with other treatments, and ended up in a miscarriage. They operated and removed some fibroids. Using many other treatments I managed to have my last son, Javier.
Therefore, after my visit to Garabandal, when I found out I was pregnant without any of the trouble or suffering like my previous pregnancies, I could not believe it.
On August 13, 1963, the astounded doctor said, "I'm not saying it's a miracle, but it surely is extraordinary," and I gave birth to my daughter. She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice. We named her Miriam, which is Maria in Hebrew.
The birth of our daughter ten months after our visit to Garabandal did not increase our belief or faith, because we already had a deep faith. It made us thank Our Lady of Carmel of Garabandal for granting me this daughter I wanted so much.
Signed: Pilar Domingo de Castellton, Barcelona.
Translated from Spanish by Edward Serrano, M.D.
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