SAN SEBASTIÁN DE GARABANDAL
November 1, 1962
[Conchita began writing her diary in 1962. She finished it in the second half of the year 1963. It includes only a part of the history of the apparitions, that which happened from June 18, 1961 to January of 1963.]
María Concepción González, 13 years old.
In this book I am going to tell about my apparitions and my daily life.
The most important event of my life [It is necessary to understand what she means to say: the most important event of her life until June of 1961. It is clear that the future events like the apparition of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel or the locutions with Our Lord, have greater importance for the four girls, especially for Conchita, than the Angel’s visit] was on June 18, 1961 in San Sebastián: it happened in the following way:
It was a Sunday in the evening, and we were with all of the young girls playing in the plaza.
Suddenly, Mari Cruz and I thought of going to pick apples, and we set off straight to the place [this means to the place where they found the apple tree of the first apparition] where they were, without telling anyone that we were going to pick the apples.
The girls, seeing the two of us were going away alone, asked us:
─ Where are you going?
And we answered:
─ Over there!
And we continued on our way, thinking about how we were going to manage to pick them.
Once there, we started to pick the apples and when we were having a good time, we saw Loli, Jacinta and another little girl coming to see if they could find us.
Seeing us picking the apples, Jacinta shouted out:
─ Hey, Conchita, you are picking the apples!
─ Shut up, I told her, the school teacher’s wife will hear you, and will tell my mother [Aniceta González, a widow, with four children: Serafín (who is now the head of the family), Cetuco (nickname for Aniceto), who died in 1965, Miguel, and Conchita].
Then I hid among the potato plants and Mari Cruz started to run through the field.
Loli shouted out:
─ Mari Cruz, stop running. We see you. We will tell this to the owner.
Then Mari Cruz returned and we left our hiding place so that we could all be together.
While we were talking someone called the little girl who had come with Jacinta and Loli, and she left. The four of us remained alone; and giving it more thought, the four of us returned to pick apples.
While we were having a good time, we heard the voice of the school teacher, who, on seeing the branches moving so much, thought it was the sheep, and said to his wife Concesa:
─ Go to the garden, the sheep are wandering near the apple tree!
Hearing this, we burst out laughing. When we had filled our pockets, we hurried off to eat the apples more at peace in the path, that is in the calleja. [This is the rocky road that goes from the village to a grove of pine trees.]
When we were enjoying ourselves eating the apples, we heard a loud noise like thunder [It is interesting to recall that in Fátima, a little before the first apparition of the Angel of Peace, the shepherd children heard a noise like thunder].
And we all shouted out:
─ It seems to be thundering!
This happened at 8:30 at night [The “Great Miracle” announced for Garabandal will also happen at eight thirty at night].
When we had finished eating the apples I said:
─ Oh, what a shame! Now that we’ve picked the apples, which didn’t belong to us, the Devil will be pleased and the poor Guardian Angel will be unhappy.
Then we began to gather stones and threw them with all our strength to the left side, where the Devil is said to be.
When we got tired of throwing stones, and were more content, we began to play marbles with the stones.
Suddenly a very beautiful figure appeared to me, shining brilliantly without hurting my eyes. The other girls—Jacinta, Loli, and Mari Cruz—on seeing me in that state, thought I was having an attack, since I was saying with my hands joined together: “Oh!… Oh!… Oh!” As they were going to call my mother, they found themselves in the same state as I was and they shouted together: “Oh, an Angel!”
Then there was a short silence among the four of us… and he suddenly disappeared. And, returning to normal, and very frightened, we ran toward the Church—on the way passing the dance that was going on in the village.
Then a girl named Pili González, said to us:
─ How white and frightened you are! Where are you comimg from?
Very ashamed in confessing the truth, we said to her:
─ From picking apples! [The Vision seems to have accentuated the intense remorse and repentence the girls felt.].
And then she said:
─ For that… you are coming like this?
We all answered together:
─ It is because we’ve seen an Angel!
─ Is that true…?
We: Yes, yes… and we continued on our way in the direction of the Church. The girl told this to the others.
Once at the door of the Church, and thinking it over better, we went behind it to cry. We met some young girls who were playing and when they saw us crying they asked us:
─ Why are you crying?
We told them:
─ BECAUSE WE HAVE SEEN AN ANGEL.
They ran off to tell the schoolmistress.
When we had finished crying, we returned to the Church door and went inside.
At the same time, the schoolmistress arrived very frightened and said to us at once:
─ My children, have you really seen an Angel?
─ Yes, señora!
─ Could this be your imagination?
─ No, señora, no! We have really seen an Angel.
Then the schoolmistress told us:
─ Let us go pray a Station to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in thanksgiving [The “station” is a Spanish practice of devotion to the Eucharist. It begins by the praying of six Our Fathers, six Hail Marys, and six Glory Be’s, a Creed, and generally a Salve Regina is also added].
When we had finished saying the Station we went to our homes. It was already nine at night and my mother had told me to come home during the day. And on that day it was dark when I arrived.
When I got home, my mother said to me:
─ Didn’t I tell you to come home before dark?
Very frightened because of two things—for having seen the figure so beautiful, and for coming home late—I didn’t dare to come into the kitchen. And I leaned against the wall, very sad. And I said to my mother:
─ I have seen an Angel.
She responded to me:
─ On top of coming home late, you come saying these things!
And I answered again:
─But it’s true that I have seen an Angel.
She responded the same thing, but she was already more doubtful that I had seen the Angel.
This was at nine thirty at night. Later that night we did not speak any more about it. It was an ordinary night, just like any other.
The 19th arrives.
When we got up, the people had begun to talk:
─ Those four girls saw something, since they came down with such expressions…!
─ It could have been one of those big birds, since it was dark!
─ Or perhaps some little boy surprised them while they… Or they were dreaming…!
Well, everyone had his own idea about the thing. It was a day in which they talked about nothing else. They asked us to describe what we had seen. And very happy with the beautiful figure, we were glad to tell them, since there were some people who doubted it was true. We told how he was, how he was dressed, very brilliantly…
Most of the people laughed at us; but it was all the same to us because we knew it was true. We had these conversations at ten in the morning, when we went to the school.
When we arrived at the school the schoolmistress asked us:
─ My children, are you certain of the things you said yesterday?
We answered at the same time:
─ Yes, Señora. We saw an Angel!
The other school children surrounded us and were amazed at what we were saying. We acted the same as always, undisturbed.
When we left school, each one went to her own home. But this day Jacinta and Mari Cruz went together and met the parish priest, Fr. Valentín Marichalar. [He is the pastor of the neighboring village, Cossío and also in charge of San Sebastián de Garabandal. For some time in the past he knew the girls and their families well. His attitude toward the apparitions was at the same time firm and questioning. It might be said that he had a firm internal beleif in the supernaturalness of these phenomena and at the same time he had a very prudent reserve and exemplary discretion in front of the people who came to Garabandal.] Very alarmed, he said to them:
Look here, look here! Is it true that you saw an Angel? They answered together:
Yes, Father, it’s true!
─ I don’t know… I don’t know if you’re mistaken… he replied to them.
Smiling, they said to him:
─ No. Don’t be afraid that we saw an Angel! Then they went to their homes.
The parish priest walked around to see where he could find me. Finding me near my home, he became very nervous and he said to me:
─ Conchita, be honest—what did you see last night?
I explained everything to him… he listened very attentively and finally he said to me:
─ Well, if you see the Angel tonight, ask him who he is and why he is coming; see what he answers.
I said that I would do what he said and the Pastor left and went to Loli’s house to see if our stories agreed. I continued walking toward my house.
Loli responded the same as the rest of us. And so he was more and more impressed because the four of us agreed on everything. Finally he said:
─ Good, we are going to wait two or three days to see what he will tell you and whether you are going to continue to see this figure that you call an Angel. The Pastor added:
─ Then I will go to the Bishop. [This was Doroteo Fernández, the former Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese, who served in June of 1961 when the apparitions began and was the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Santander. The following year Dr. Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal was named titular Bishop of Santander S.E.; he followed the history of the apparitions from 1962 to 1965 and he gave the most important of the four notas that came from the ecclesiastical authority. This was the nota from July 8, 1965. His resignation, for health reasons, was accepted. Nevertheless, he stayed in the Diocese as Apostolic Administrator until August of 1965. The new titular Bishop, S.E. Vicente Puchol, had not made an official pronouncement about the apparitions.]
As always when we came home, we ate and then went to the school again at two in the afternoon. In my house they were making a small repair. I went to the house of the woman from whom we buy the milk and she said to me:
Is it true that you saw an Angel? Or is this just something the people are saying?
─ It’s certain that we saw an Angel!
She continued to question me:
How did you see him?
I explained it to her in such a way that she listened very closely. And then smiling, she said to me:
─ Since I have a good opinion of you, I believe that you saw the Angel, but the others: no!
Then I said to her:
─ But all four of us saw him—Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz, and I!
She didn’t answer me at all. When I came home with the milk, I said to my mother:
─ Mama, I’m going to pray in the calleja! This was heard by a stonemason named Pepe Díez, [José Diez-Cantero, called Pepe Diez, is the mason of the village and one of the principal witnesses of the first apparitions, like the miracle of the visible Communion that Conchita received on July 18, 1962] who was there working to repair our house, and also by my brother, Aniceto González, who was helping him. Then Pepe said laughing:
─ Yes, yes, let her go. Why not let her go pray?
My brother objected to this:
─ Conchita, you shouldn’t go! The people will laugh at you and us too. They will say that you are going around saying that you are seeing an Angel. And that you are lying.
But, of course, I insisted I go to my mother, and while this was happening the other three girls came and called me.
My mother was nervous and said:
─ Oh my God, what kind of trouble have you all made?
We said to her:
─ No kind!
Then my mother, doubting it was true and wanting to be left in peace, permitted me to go. We were very happy, and we went to this place called the “Calleja.” (A little piece of Heaven) [“A little piece of Heaven”: the expression is underlined by Conchita in the original text of her diary. It seems like an allusion to the fact that the majority of the first apparitions of the Angel and the Virgin took place in this site.]
When the people saw us they asked:
─ Where are you going? We responded:
─ To pray in the Calleja!
But the people laughed at us and said to us: [The people: at the beginning, as Conchita explained, only the neighbors in the village attended the ecstasies. Very soon, other people from neighboring villages came, and then people from the whole province, and also people from all over Spain and foreigners. On October 18, 1961, the multitude reached the number of 5,000—a considerable number, due to the isolation of this village and the great difficulty in accessing it (six kilometers of a difficult road that not all cars could travel)].
─ Why don’t you go to the Church to pray since that would be better?
And we responded to them at the same time:
─ Because the Angel appeared to us there yesterday, and we’re going to see if he’ll appear to us again.
They called this place the “Calleja” and when we arrived there, we began to pray. The people looked at us, but the young boys hid in or near the corn and threw stones at us.
We told them not to throw stones at us, but they just laughed and continued throwing the stones. We were there praying the rosary and we waited for awhile to see if the Angel was coming. The sky was very cloudy and it was very windy.
When the afternoon arrived, we went down to the Church, but in the road we met the teacher who asked us:
─ Have you gone to the Calleja today?
─ Yes, we answered, but we were very sad because we had not seen the Angel. [The fact of seeing or not seeing the Vision is independent of the girls’ desires. The apparition is the cause and the origin of the mystical phenomena. This was verified in Garabandal where the will of the seers was ineffective in changing anything in the development of the happenings.]
─ Do you know why he hasn’t come? Surely it’s because it’s so cloudy.
It was eight thirty at night. We went to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and then we each went to our own homes.
When I arrived my mother asked me:
─ Did you see the Angel?
I said that we had not seen him today. Then she made me do my work as usual; we ate dinner, then I went to bed at a quarter to ten. Since I couldn’t sleep, I started to pray. And then I heard a voice that said to me:
─ “DON’T BE TROUBLED, YOU WILL SEE ME AGAIN.” [This sentence is underlined in the original text.]
As they told me the following day, the other three girls heard this voice as well.
I stayed worried after hearing this voice and I continued praying at great length, until I fell asleep.
All of this happened on June 19, 1961.
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 2
The 20th of the same month came.
We led our daily lives the same as we did before.
The people continued making the same comments even though things had changed. They said that at best it was our imagination. Since we had not seen anything on June 19th, they thought that the Angel wouldn’t appear to us again. But they didn’t know what had happened to us during the night—what we hadn’t told anyone.
On the afternoon of the 20th, the other three girls and I did our chores and we went to school. When we came back to our homes, we told our mothers that we were going to pray at the Calleja.
My mother said I wasn’t allowed, that if I wanted to pray in the Calleja, then I should go to the Church.
My mother, and also the parents,
brothers, and sisters of the other girls, were
worried. They had a very great conflict, because even if they were inclined to believe the truth, they also thought the opposite.
When I was telling my mother thi,s the three girls arrived at my house: Loli, Jacinta, and Mari Cruz, and they shouted:
─ “Please, Señora, let Conchita go. Let her go!”
─ But why do you want to go makes fools of yourselves?
─ We said at the same time:
─ “We aren’t going to make fools of ourselves! We are going to pray, and to see if the Angel comes!”
─ No, Conchita isn’t going. You can go if you want, my mother exclaimed. They left, but very slowly, until they could no longer be seen because of a wall in the way. I remained, very sad.
My mother changed her mind suddenly, and with a loud voice called:
─ Loli, tell the other girls to come here.
Soon they arrived, and my mother said to them:
─ “If you do what I tell you, I’ll let Conchita go.”
They were very happy and answered:
─ Yes, we’ll do it!
─ You three go alone now, as if you were going to play there, without saying anything to anyone. When you arrive at the Calleja, Conchita will go secretly so that no one will notice.
They went but they were a little afraid because they thought that my mother was joking, so they went very slowly. I said to them:
─ Go and then I’ll come!
After a little while my mother let me go, and I went and found that they were upset because I was late. When we were all together, we were very happy, and we arrived at the Calleja where we began to pray the rosary.
When we had finished, the Angel hadn’t come. We decided to go to the Church. And when we got up—we had been kneeling—we saw a very brilliant light surrounding the four of us. We saw nothing else except the light. And we screamed with fear. Then the bright light disappeared and we went to our houses because it was already nine thirty. We didn’t go to the Church because it was already very late. We didn’t say anything to anyone when we reached our houses.
The priest from the village warned us that if we saw something again we should tell him quickly, but this priest lives in a village called Cossío, which is seven kilometers away from our village. Our parents would not give us permission to go to Cossío alone after we told them that we wanted to speak to the priest. On all of these days, there was no one in the Calleja except the five of us: the Angel, Loli, Mari Cruz, Jacinta, and me.
The 21st arrived.
It has been an ordinary day. The people already believed a little more.
In the evening, after having done what we had to do, we asked permission from our parents to go to the same place where the Angel had appeared to us. But while going to the Calleja, seeing that the people did not believe, we told a woman named Clementina González that if she wanted to come with us… But she didn’t want to come alone since she had her doubts, and she called another woman named Concesa.
Noticing us going together, other people joined us also, and arriving at the Calleja, we began to pray the rosary. We finished it, and the Angel had not come. The people were laughing very much and said to us:
─ Now say a “Station.”
And so we did, and on ending it the Angel appeared to us… It was a Friday [This seems to be an error on Conchita’s part. In reality, this happened on a Wednesday; the original text has an attachment, which makes it evident that the girl had some doubt when she was writing the day].
We asked him who he was and why he had come. But he didn’t answer us.
When the apparition ended, the people were very nervous and exclaimed:
─ Oh, my children, when you see the Angel again, tell him to forgive us for not believing! And some people began to cry. A woman named Clementina wanted to call all of the people in the village, and she went to do so when the Angel disappeared.
A woman said to my aunt, who was among the people:
─ Did you see the Angel?
My aunt answered:
No, I haven’t seen him, but if you don’t believe in this, you don’t believe in God. The other women asked this so that my aunt wouldn’t be so influenced, but she continued believing.
All those who saw us went down to the village telling everyone about it, since they were very impressed. No one in the village had ever seen or heard anything like it.
The 22nd arrived.
We continued the same as always and the priest from Cossío as soon as he found out what the people had seen and heard, said that he was going to tell everything to the Bishop, but the people said that he should see it first and that he should stay in the village.
On this same day at eight thirty at night we went to pray in the same place. The people went with us, including the priest. We prayed the rosary and when we finished the Angel appeared to us.
Upon seeing us in “ecstasy,” the people began to yell and to say that it was true. A professor was there also; his name is Marín. Some people in the village said that he had prepared us to do this and they wanted to put him in jail. The people repeated this to the guards [Almost from the beginning numerous members of the Civil Guard protected the girls from the strangers that came to the village to see the girls in ecstasy] who had come at the beginning. When the apparition ended, the professor brought us to the home of a man in the village in order to question us about how we had seen the Angel.
The 23rd arrived.
We went to the same place to pray the rosary, but there were many people there. Those from the village had told the people in Cossío, Puentenansa, Rozadio, etc.
At eight forty-five the Angel came and the people from the village were as impressed as those who had come from neighboring villages.
When the apparition ended, all of the people kissed us. That day the guards did not want the professor to take us for questioning. We went with the parish priest to the church sacristy, where he questioned us by calling us in one by one to see if we agreed.
We told him how we had seen the Angel.
Then when he finished questioning us, we all left together, and he said to the people:
─ Up to now, everything seems to be coming from God, and all four girls have the same story.
When the people heard this, they were very happy that it had come from God.
The 24th arrived.
It was Saturday and people came to the village from many different places. We did the same as on the other days, that is, we prayed the rosary in the Calleja. All of the people from the village accompanied us.
When we arrived at the place, the visitors were already there; they had come early to get a spot near the front where they could see well.
On this day, we didn’t have time to begin the rosary. As soon as we arrived at the place where the Angel had appeared to us, we saw him. We had never heard him talk. On this day, we saw a sign underneath him that said: IT IS NECESSARY TO… and on the second line there were Roman Numerals. [In a letter written by Conchita to Mr. William A. Nolan from Illinois,1 she specifies the description in the following terms: “The first time that we saw him, he didn’t say anything, and he continued in silence until July 1st. Before July 1st he carried a sign beneath his feet and we didn’t understand what it said. The words we understood are these: in the first line it said, there is…and in the last line XVIII—MCMLXI, and this is all we understood.” This is an allusion, as we will see later, to the message of October 18, 1961]
We asked him what this meant, and he smiled… but he didn’t tell us.
When the apparition was over, the young men of the village took us away in a cart so that the people would not crush us or kiss us. They took us to the church, and Fr. Valentín, the parish priest, took us into the sacristy one by one so that we would tell him what had happened.
We said that we had seen a sign and he asked us what it said, or what letters it had, but we told him that we had not concentrated on the sign.
The priest was impatient to go to the Bishop to tell him everything. Then he asked us to go to the professor and tell him to write it down if we remembered any of the letters.
Sunday, the 25th, arrived.
Each day more people come from different places, and the people are still enthusiastic.
Among all of these people there were five priests, but they did not believe. A teacher from Cossío also came.
We arrived at the Calleja and we began to pray the rosary. The people from the village had made a square with stakes and rope so that the people could not approach us. Only the priests, our parents, siblings, and the doctors could come near us. On this Sunday, many doctors came, and, as I already said, five priests. [At the beginning of the apparitions no mention was made of a prohibition or restriction that impeded the priests from coming to the village. On one occasion, more than a dozen priests witnessed the ecstasy: this produced great happiness in the girls, because they felt a special predilection towards priests. They were happy that priests and religious believed in the reality of the apparitions. (It is interesting to note that many times priests dressed in civilian clothing were recognized by the girls as priests. We remember at least five cases like this; some were really amazing)].
When the Angel came, the teacher from Cossío was there. That day, he didn’t believe and he said that it was all a comedy. He said to my brother—“your sister does this very well.”
But my brother did not respond at all.
That day, while I was seeing the Angel, our family doctor grabbed me, lifted me up, and let me fall from a height of about a meter. And on hitting the ground, my knees made a sound as if they were broken. [We heard this from an reliable witness who conversed with the doctor. He alluded to Conchita with interesting exactness regarding this fall. Conchita said that “she didn’t notice.” This explains that the actual height of the fall was overestimated by excited witnesses. According to the doctor, it was not more than 75 cms. It is also true that they didn’t let her fall voluntarily, but she fell because she suddenly weighed more. The phenomenon of increased weight, which is related to levitation, is known in the history of the mystics. An increase of weight happened frequently during the ecstasies at Garabandal.] My brother wanted to stop him from doing this, but a force inside him kept him back. I was unaware of all of this but the people told me about it later. When the apparition was over, the people were very excited and they all wanted to see my knees. And I didn’t know why.
Then it was about eight thirty at night. We went to the Church to pray to Jesus in the Sacrament. [As seen through the messages, the teachings and the history of Garabandal is very connected to the Eucharist. These apparitions contain an invitation from the Virgin to the worship and devotion to Jesus in the Sacrament.] Then they brought us to the Sacristy where we met many doctors and priests. They asked us a lot of questions. Some of the priests didn’t believe; some did. After awhile, we looked at our legs, and they were full of punctures and marks from those who had scratched us. But they didn’t hurt us, although the marks were there.
Monday, the 26th, arrived.
We didn’t have an apparition that day, but we did have apparitions on Tuesday and Wednesday. We didn’t have apparitions on Thursday or Friday even though many people came.
Saturday, July 1st, many people came, including many doctors; they came up to the village in cars. We had an apparition very early that day, at seven thirty. Of course, it was almost day, so the people saw very well.
That day the Angel told us that the Virgin Mary would come on Sunday, under the title Our Lady of Mt. Carmel [The apparition of the Virgin of Mt. Carmel to St. Simon Stock took place, according to history, on July 16, 1251. St. Simon Stock was part of the Carmelite Order. The Virgin told him that there would be a special protection over those who wore the scapular or the Carmelite habit. In 1726, Pope Benedict XIII extended the celebration of the feast of this apparition to include the whole Church.] The Angel brought the sign again and we didn’t know what it said. This day happened just like the others. They brought us into the Sacristy to question us, and we were accompanied by the young people from the village [The young people from the village, especially their relatives and brothers, were charged with defending the girls from the indiscrete enthusiasm of the people.] until we reached the same place as on the other days.
The 28th arrived, (24).
[Conchita finished explaining to us what had happened on Saturday, July 1st. Now the narration jumps to the previous Wednesday. She arrives at Tuesday, the 27th, to give us some supplementary explanations and then she continues talking about the 28th a little more below.]
We continued, very enthusiastic about what we had seen: the Angel with his sign, smiling.
We did everything the same as always. The people who had seen us told those who had not seen and of course, more people came.
On Tuesday the 27th we did not have an apparition, but many people came. In the afternoon we went with the others to pray the rosary in the Calleja and we prayed together with the people. When we finished praying, we didn’t see anything, and we were very sad since we thought that we would never again see anything. The people were very disillusioned “but when God wants it a certain way, it will be that way.”
After praying the Rosary we went to the Church to pray a Station to the Blessed Sacrament, and then we went to our houses. The people from the village were sad because they believed. On the other hand, the strangers who had come and had not seen anything returned laughing and they said: [It is interesting to emphasize that Conchita does not seem to worry about the public’s opinion. She says the same thing whether the public’s opinion is favorable or not; in the objective narration she speaks the pure truth, which she defends with an unalterable firmness] It’s obvious! Since there are many of us and the people in Garabandal are not used to this, they didn’t dare do these things in front of us!
The 28th arrived.
We were a little sad because we had not seen the Angel. We went as usual to the school. When we got out, the people in the village, seeing us so sad, wept and kissed us, saying:
─ Pray so that he will return!
When the evening came, we went to the Calleja and did as usual. The people prayed the rosary with more faith than ever so that the Angel would appear to us. And on finishing the litany, he appeared to us and came smiling more than ever. We asked him, why have you come? He smiled and did not answer us. We began to see him around nine and it ended at ten. It seemed to us a minute or less, because we were so happy with him [During the ecstasy, the time seems very short because of the intense happiness they experience. Frequently, we have heard them ask the Virgin after a long apparition: “Oh, you’re going already?… Wait a minute more…”].
Thursday, the 29th arrived.
We saw him, same as always, and we did the same thing as always.
Friday the 30th everything was the same.
Saturday the 1st arrived.
That day many people came since it was the Virgin’s day. Perhaps she would appear to us.
We went to the Calleja as always to pray the Rosary and the people accompanied us. At the end of the Holy Rosary, the Angel appeared to us, smiling, and said:
─ “I come to announce to you a visit by the Virgin under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, who will appear to you tomorrow, Sunday.”
We were very happy and we said to him:
─ Let her come right away!
He smiled, and then we said to him:
─ What does this sign you brought mean?
─ The Virgin will tell you about it.
This day, he spoke to us about many things.
He told Jacinta, Loli, and Mari Cruz how the first day they were going to call Conchita’s mother because they thought she was having an attack [The angel commented to the girls about the events that took place during the first apparition on June 18th].
─ Because they were ─ I don’t know what that day.
He was there two hours, but it felt like two seconds to us. After he said to us:
─ I will come tomorrow with the Virgin. And he left.
How sad for us! The people were very happy and they asked us:
─ What has he said to you?
And we told them what he had said.
The people from other places believed and were very happy and wanted to tell those who hadn’t seen.
The Angel was dressed in a long, flowing blue tunic without a belt. His wings are somewhat long, very beautiful, and pink in color. His face was neither long nor round; his nose was handsome; his eyes dark; and his face tan. His hands were fine with short nails; his feet weren’t seen. [In this portrait, we can admire the coloring, the precision and the rich literary shading that is shown through the simple style in which this is written].
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 3
MONTH OF JULY OF THE YEAR 1961
Sunday, the 2nd arrived. We went to Mass and to pray the Rosary. The Rosary was at 3 in the afternoon [This refers to the rosary that is said in the village Church each Sunday, which almost all of the villagers attend. It generally takes place after dinner]. After the Rosary, we went to the highway below because some of my brothers were coming that day and we wanted to see if they had arrived.
It is five kilometers from San Sebastián to Cossío, and we walked four [In reality it is about six kilometers]. The people knew us since the four of us walked together and they had seen us in photographs [At the beginning of the apparitions a photographer had taken some pictures that were sold in Cossío, but not in San Sebastián de Garabandal]. They stopped us and gave us gifts, boxes of candy, rosaries, caramels, and lots of things.
When we came to the village, a large crowd was waiting. There were 10 or 11 priests, doctors, an abbot, and many cars.
Since we were very far from the village, we decided to return. Some of the people from the village descended on horses to find us. One person we knew saw us and told us that if we wanted to go up they would bring us to the village.
We said yes, because my brothers had not come.
When we arrived at the village many people and priests were waiting for us.
It was 6 in the afternoon.
We went to the Calleja to recite the rosary. And before we had arrived there, the Virgin appeared to us with an Angel on each side.
One of these was St. Michael. [This is the first time that Conchita uses the name of St. Michael in her diary] We didn’t recognize the other one. He was dressed like St. Michael. They appeared to be twins.
At the side of the Angel on the right, at the same height as the Virgin, we saw an eye of great size. It appeared to be the Eye of God.
That day we talked much with the Virgin. And she talked to us. We told her everything: that we went to the field every day, that we were tanned, that we had put the hay in stacks, etc… She laughed; we told her so many things!…
We said the Rosary looking at her, and she prayed with us to teach us to pray well. [As Conchita explains, at the beginning the Vision taught them how to pray the Rosary well. After that, the Vision only said the Gloria] When we had finished the Rosary she said that she was leaving.
And we told her to stay a little while, since she had been there only a very short time. She laughed and told us that she would return on Monday.
When she left, it made us sad.
Then some people kissed us and asked us what she had said. Some of the people didn’t believe since we had talked so much. How could the Virgin talk and listen so much? But the majority did believe because they said it was like the case of a mother who hadn’t seen her daughter for a long time, who tells her everything. And how much more we who had never seen her. Besides, she is our mother in heaven.
They took us to a sacristy and a priest named Fr. Francisco Odriozola [A priest from the Diocese of Santander. He was named canon at the beginning of the apparitions. He has been one of the principal informants to the Bishop about what happens in the Diocese, from the time of the first apparitions. If we believe the words of the Vicar general of the Diocese, the canon Mr. Odriozola was president of the Commission mentioned in the note on July 8th. If we give due respect to the same Mr. Odriozola, his position was secretary of this Commission.] questioned us one after the other. Afterwards, he told the people what we had said to him.
That is how Sunday, July 2nd ended. It was a very happy day because we saw the Virgin for the first time. For we are all always with her, whenever we want to be.
The Virgin comes in a white robe, a blue mantle [The current manner of showing the Virgin of Mt. Carmel is with a brown mantle. The four girls knew this. They were unaware that there were some representation of the Virgin of Mt. Carmel with a white robe and a blue mantle.], and a crown of little golden stars. The feet are not seen; the hands are open and there is a scapular on the right one: the scapular is brown. [The Virgin carries a scapular in her hand. The girls have said that a small mountain was painted upon it. I did not understand the reason for this. In Spain she is simply called the Virgin of Carmen. Outside of Spain, she is generally called Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.]. Her hair is long, a dark chestnut brown color, wavy, and parted in the middle; the face is somewhat elongated; the nose is also somewhat long, and fine; the mouth, very beautiful with slightly full lips. The color of her face is tan, but much lighter than that of the Angel, different. The voice is very beautiful, very unusual. I don’t know how to explain it. There is no other woman who resembles the Virgin, either in the voice, or in anything. [It is interesting to compare this way of writing with other mystical experiences. Affirmations and denials happen, as if we are to understand that what was said is not exactly what was lived, that it is something that cannot be explained in words]. Sometimes she carried the Baby in her arms. [Multiple times, the Vision has left the Child in the seers’ arms. They say that they feel the weight of the Child, but in a certain way, it is like they are not touching him]. He is very small, like a newborn baby, with a round face the same color as the Virgin’s. He has a very small mouth, and his hair is slightly long. He has small hands. He is dressed in something like a blue tunic.
Monday the 3rd arrived.
We were very happy to have seen Our Heavenly Mother.
In the morning, the first thing we did on Monday July 3rd was go to pray there at the cuadro, the four of us together. Then we went to our homes to do what our parents ordered. And then we went to school. At the class we met our school mistress, Señora Serafina Gómez.
She began crying and kissed us, saying:
─ How lucky you are, etc…
When we left the classroom, everybody was talking about the same thing. All were very impressed and happy, and they believed very much.
Our parents felt the same way. As for Loli’s family, her father Ceferino [Ceferino Mazón, María Dolores’s (Loli’s) father was the head of the council in the village when the apparitions began. He owns a tavern. Julia, his wife, has several children. The youngest, Guadalupe, was born during one of Loli’s ecstasies. Loli entered the house saying that she already knew about her sister because the Vision had told her. The majority of the apparitions took place without the Child. Conchita was heard saying during an ecstasy on December 9, 1962: “But how long it has been since you’ve brought the Child, and he has not grown at all… he is the same as he was… where has he been?… where has he been?… when the Child doesn’t come, where does he go… is He in Heaven or in a crib, where does he go?”] said:
─ There’s never been anything like this!
It was the same also with her mother Julia. Jacinta’s mother, María, believed very much too, and her father Simón even more. [Simón and María had several children, and one of these is Jacinta. The whole family has an excellent reputation in the village.]
If we performed some practical joke, Jacinta’s father would say that the apostles had done the same. And he would begin to explain the things we did; to him it appeared that everything we did was good.
Mari Cruz’s father, Escolástico [Escolástico and Pilar González only have one daughter. This is Mari Cruz], did not go to Mass much, and he didn’t say anything about this. Her mother Pilar believed on some days and did not believe on others.
My mother, Aniceta, really believed without doubting anything. How much we talked on that Sunday!
My brothers really believed insofar as they saw, and not only did they believe, but it also made them quite spiritual as it made many people. There were people who liked what happened on that Sunday. And there were others who were not impressed.
In our daily life, we did what our parents told us to do.
In the afternoon we left the school at five, as we had spent a very happy Sunday on July 2nd, and as we already had such a desire to see the Virgin again, we went to the calleja and we began to say the rosary. We were alone. And when we had finished and hadn’t seen her, we said nothing at the time. We weren’t surprised, nor were we sad, as she could still come later. Then, since she hadn’t come, we went to our homes and did what we were told to do at home.
When the hour was approximately the same as Sunday—the first day on which we had seen the vision—our families, who were now believing a lot, said to us:
You should go to say the rosary in the Cuadro.
And we told them:
─ We haven’t been called yet.
We answered that it was like an interior voice, but that we didn’t hear it with our ears, nor did we hear ourselves called by name. It is a JOY.
There are three calls: the first is a very little joy. The second is somewhat greater. At the third we become very excited and feel great happiness. And then she comes. We would go outside after the second call. For if we would go after the first we would have to wait a long time, since from the first to the second there is a long wait. We told our families about the calls. They were astounded since they had never seen or heard this! [As Conchita says, there are three successive calls before an ecstasy. We will tell some properties of these calls.
1st—They serve to announce the coming of the Virgin, but not the Angel.
2nd—The call does not have any other type of communication but an announcement (“I will come”) and they produce an intense desire and great happiness.
3rd—According to the girls the call is not a word. It does not engage the senses. It is like an interior perception which is full of happiness.
4th—It doesn’t come from any external cause. It could come at any hour of the day or night.
5th—When the ecstasies happen frequently, for example, two or three times in the same afternoon or night, only the first ecstasy is preceded by the calls. The Vision says when saying goodbye: “within a little while or half an hour… I will see you again.”
6th—From the first call to the second call, a large amount of time generally passes, about an hour and a half or two hours. The time between the second call and the third call is shorter. The third call happens only instants before the Apparition begins.
7th—Jacinta has tried to translate her impression into words: “The first call is as if she says ‘come’; the second is as if she says ‘run’; the third is as if she says ‘run, run, run.’ But all of this is within, without words.”]
After our conversation with them, we had a call and we told them about it. The four of us were together. And there were many people and some of them didn’t believe, which could have been because they had never come. They spoke to the parish priest, Fr. Valentín:
─ Why not put two in Loli’s house and the other two in Conchita’s (my) house?
And Fr. Valentín said:
─ That’s a good idea. We’re going to put Loli and Jacinta in Loli’s house and Conchita and Mari Cruz in Conchita’s house.
He told our parents and siblings about this.
Our parents agreed and they separated us that way to see if the four of us would come together at the same time.
And after a half hour we received the second call. And the four of us came together in the “Cuadro” at the same time. And the people were amazed and asked:
─ How is it possible that everything is happening to them at the same time?
As soon as we arrived at the Cuadro, the Virgin appeared to us with the Child Jesus. But the angels did not come. [Since the Virgin’s presence would be more intense, the angel’s would be felt less. ‘He has served to introduce the Virgin’s apparition. Apart from this, he has given Communion to the girls several times, including July 18, 1962, when the miracle of the Form took place. He also came to announce the second message through Conchita on June 18, 1965. In order to understand the Hierarchy that the girls establish between the Angel and the Virgin, we will cite this anecdote: on June 18, 1965 one of the many strangers who had arrived in Garabandal to witness the apparition that had been announced since December of 1964 gave Conchita a rosary so that the apparition would kiss it. The girl did not want to take the rosary, and said:
─ The angel doesn’t kiss.
─ And why not? Said the stranger. Conchita smiled and responded simple:
─ Only the Virgin kisses; the angel isn’t anyone.]. She came with a broad smile, and the Child was smiling too. And the first thing that we said was, where is St. Michael and the other Angel? And she smiled even more.
The people and our parents who were there gave us articles so that we might present them to be kissed. And she kissed them all [Something that can be said about Garabandal is that the Apparition kisses the religious objects so that they can be distributed to all of the people. At the beginning it was small stones. Then they were religious objects like medals, rosaries, crucifixes, holy cards, and wedding rings. One day some people gave one of the girls a small, old pill case from the Virgin to kiss. She thought that the Virgin would not kiss it because it was not a religious object. But the Virgin kissed it, to the admiration and surprise of those around. When the ecstasy ended the girl said: “The Virgin told me that she kissed this little box because Our Lord was inside of it. The owner of the box, very impressed, said that it was true because the box had been used to carry Communion to the sick during the war. A similar thing happened with a powder case. Conchita assured the people that the Virgin had said that “Jesus would work prodigies with these objects, before and after the miracle, and that the people who carried these objects with faith would have their purgatory in this life.” As a result, some cases have been reported of healings obtained with these objects and with the invocation of the Virgin of Mt. Carmel in Garabandal. They also say, that these objects have sometimes acquired a perfume of roses and incense. None of us can say anything but that these seem to be healings; it is the Church that has to say for sure and order a long investigation, and a lot of time has to pass before a decision of that type happens.].
And since we liked to make up games for the Child Jesus, we picked up pebbles. And I put them in my braids, Loli put them in her sleeves, and Jacinta gave them to Him. But he didn’t take them; He only smiled. Mari Cruz said to him:
─ If you want me to give you caramels, they have brought me some, so if you come with me, I’ll give them to you.
But He didn’t say anything.
She said many things to us. But she didn’t allow us to tell these things. [To carry the Child Jesus].
The apparition began at seven thirty and ended at eight. When it was over she said to us:
─ Stay with God and with me also; that made us sad.
And we said:
─ Goodbye, goodbye.
The last thing she said to us was:
─ Tomorrow you will see me again.
Tuesday the 4th arrived.
On July 4th, we were the same as usual, and the people of the village and our parents, brothers, and sisters were believing more each day. The strangers who came were very enthusiastic in telling other people to come. We continued leading our normal lives, doing what our parents told us.
Evening came on Tuesday, July 4th, the third day of seeing the Virgin. Many people had come, and priests. There was a Rosary at six in the evening at the parish church and we had one call.
The Church was full of people and on the main altar were about a dozen priests and photographers taking pictures. When the rosary was finished, we had two calls and we decided to run to the cuadro. [There are two different ways of running, and we can explain them like this:
─ The first, outside of the ecstasy, is when they move quickly toward the Calleja because an internal force is carrying them toward it. This is what Conchita is describing to us in her diary at this point.
─ But sometimes the girls also move very quickly during their ecstasies. These are called the ecstatic marches. The first of these ecstatic marches took place on August 8, 1961.
Those who attended are in agreement that there was nothing ordinary about this: during their marches, which could become races, the girls seemed animated by a very great interior force to such a degree that it was impossible to detain them. Other times, we saw them advance in a manner that seemed like a dance, corresponding to a melody that only they heard.
These marches happened at great velocity. Sometimes it seemed that their feet did not touch the ground; people have also said that it seemed like they had wings on their feet. Upon finishing, the girls did not show any signs of fatigue, but those who had followed, although they were stronger, were exhausted. On several occasions the four girls ran down the road to the Pines on their knees while in ecstasy.] The people ran after us… Some did not have time to get there. Mari Cruz and I were a little higher up than Loli and Jacinta. The two of us were inside the cuadro itself, and the other two not inside.
And the people said that for all that we had run, we didn’t perspire. And they were perspiring and arriving all exhausted. And they were amazed. But it was as though the Virgin carried us! [According to the girls’ explanations, during their ecstatic marches they had the impression that they were still and in front of the vision].
The Virgin was smiling as usual. And the first thing that she said to us was:
─ Do you know the meaning of the writing that the angel carried beneath him?
─ No, we don’t know.
─ She said:
─ It gives a Message that I am going to explain to you so that you can tell it to the people on the 18th of October.
And she told it to us. It is the following:
“IT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE MANY SACRIFICES, DO MUCH PENANCE, TO VISIT THE BLESSED SACRAMENT, BUT BEFORE THAT WE HAVE TO BE VERY GOOD, AND IF WE DON’T DO THIS THEN A PUNISHMENT WILL COME. THE CUP IS ALREADY FILLING UP AND IF WE DON’T CHANGE THEN A VERY GREAT PUNISHMENT WILL COME UPON US.”
[Conchita repeated this sometimes, as her companions did: “Above all the message.” She said more: “Believing in the apparitions serves for nothing if we do not fulfill the message, or if we don’t do what Mother Church says.” (Letter from Conchita to Fr. Alba of Barcelona, December 10, 1965).
The girl spoke of the message because in 1963 it was the moment in which she stopped writing this diary, not knowing that on December 8, 1964 the Apparition would announce to her that she would have an apparition on June 18, 1965 with the last message for the world. Later we will reproduced a copy of this second message from Conchita’s hand.
These messages give Garabandal a sense of a universal and prophetic calling. Their content is directed to all of humanity, although certain passages of the message of June 18, 1965 have allusions for special groups, for example, priests. This discovery of the teachings of Garabandal is part of the Immaculate Circle. (1830 The Miraculous Medal; 1848 La Salette, 1853 Lourdes; 1917 Fátima). We see that all of these apparitions express the same call: a change in the manner of prayer and penance.
This has been the voice of John the Baptist calling in the desert. This has been the call of all of the prophets. This has also been the voice of Our Lord. This is the voice of the Church as spoken by the Roman Pontiffs.
The message of October 18, 1961 has four parts:
1st—A call to penance.
2nd—A call to faith and the Eucharistic life.
3rd—A call for conversion of heart and theway of life for the love of God and his Son.
4th—The conditional announcement of the punishment.]
This is what the Angel’s sign and the Message that we will tell on October 18th mean. Then, after she told us this, she left. It began at six twenty-five and it ended at seven. She told us all of this on the first day but I did not understand it then. The following day she told us that she would explain it later. Then she told us what the Message meant and what we had to say. She indicated to us that we had to tell the message in the doorway of the Church on October 18th. We told this to Fr. Valentín so that he could tell it in the Pines at ten thirty at night.
The Virgin told us this so that we would do it like this. But the Commission said that there were many people, and it was raining, so we couldn’t give it personally. They said it would be better to proclaim the Message at 9 or 8:30. The Commission said all of this, and so we did it.
CONCHITA’S DIARY – 4
The four of us went up to the Pines at 9:55 [As the explanations are sometimes mixed up by Conchita, we cannot complete the recommendations of the Apparition. The Commission to which Conchita alludes prefered that the reading of the message not take place at the door of the Church, as the Virgin had asked.
It is interesting to see that the girls scrupulously obeyed the orders of the Commission. The Vision had frequently repeated that the most important thing was to obey. They accepted simply to read the message at the Pines]. When we arrived at the Pines, Fr. Valentín was already there. He read it for himself and afterward he gave it to us so that we could read the Message to everyone. The four of us read it together. The people couldn’t hear us well, so a man read it also.
After reading it, we went down to the village, and when we had reached the place called the Cuadro, the Virgin appeared to us.
She said to me:
─ Fr. Ramón María Andreu has doubts now.
This made me wonder very much [Conchita explains what is unclear. Fr. Ramón María Andreu, S.J. came to Garabandal with his brother, Fr. Luís María, who was also a Jesuit, in the last days of July in 1961. They had returned several times during the summer of 1961. As a result, on the date that Conchita’s narration was written, Fr. Ramón María Andreu has been a witness and has sometimes admitted that many extraordinary phenomena occur at Garabandal. The doubts that this priest had that day made Conchita wonder.
We have had the opportunity to converse with Fr. Ramón María Andreu at length about what Conchita tells here. We will annex a conversation with this Priest. We give his version over that which Conchita tells because with his there is the guarantee of a secure analysis, serene in its judgment, clear and respective to ecclesiastical authority.] The Virgin told me where he had begun to doubt, what he had been thinking and everything.
Two months before the message [As has already been noted now, Conchita prefers to follow the chain of events rather than being strictly chronological in her narration.], they took me to Santander by means of a priest named Fr. Luís. [The person who is mentioned here is a priest who is a relative of Conchita’s; he served as an intermediary in organizing Conchita’s trip to Santander].
The night before going to Santander, there were many people and among them there was a priest with a white habit. And it surprised me very much that he came with a habit of this color. I had never seen anything like it.
On that day, my mother had told me to ask the Virgin if she should let me go to Santander. I told her that I would ask her. [The fact that Aniceta asked the Vision through Conchita indicates a certain faith in the apparitions since they had started before this].
It was six o’clock in the evening when the four of us had already received two calls. At that time, a priest had brought us a box of caramels; his name was Fr. Alfonso Cobián. He had brought the candy for the four of us. And when we were eating them, the third call came. And we dropped the caramels on the road. How we would have liked to eat them! But we liked more, much more to see the Virgin! And besides, the third call is a thing that takes us, and we don’t know how we went to the place called the Cuadro. [“Cuadro”: a place enclosed by some timbers positioned there to protect the girls from the enthusiasm of curious onlookers during their ecstasies. The Cuadro is in the Calleja.]
We did not have time to get to the place mentioned, and she appeared to us before we arrived.
Since we wanted so much to know who was the priest who had come in the white habit [When referring to priests, the girls question the Apparition in an intense way; there is nothing that seems to concern them more.], we asked the Virgin. And the Virgin said nothing; she only smiled. But we insisted again, and after a long time she said:
─ He is a Dominican. Then I said:
─ A Dominican?
And she said:
That same day, I asked the Virgin if she would let me go to Santander. And she didn’t tell me no.
That day, the apparition lasted an hour, but it seemed like a minute to us. She told us herself that she had been there an hour.
They wanted to take me to Santander because they said that I was the one who was influencing the other girls [Different theories have been proposed as solutions to the phenomena at Garabandal. They spoke of auto-suggestion by Conchita to the other girls. They also thought of hysteria, of hypnotism, etc. but some of the solutions undid the others, so the questions about Garabandal were always left open.]. Then they brought me to do a test.
The first day I was there, I had an apparition near a church named Our Lady of Consolation [The ecstasy that Conchita refers to here took place on July 27, 1961. On the same day, at the same time, the other three girls had an apparition in the Pines. During this apparition in the Pines, the Virgin told the other three girls that Conchita was seeing her in Santander.
This was confirmed by telephone from Cossío, by the brigadeer of the Civil Guard; the three girls in the Pines knew what was happening 90 kilometers away at the same moment.]. And there were many people there; so many people were there that the armed police had to intervene. That day they made various tests on me. [Conchita calls the multiple examinations that so many doctors and priests performed on her “tests”; they did it to find a solution to the phenomena.]
And when the apparition was finished, they took me to an office [She is referring to the Sacristy in the Church of the Consolation. Without a doubt Conchita called it an office because she didn’t have any concept of a Sacristy other than the small one in the Church in San Sebastián de Garabandal.] for a priest and a medical doctor to question me. The priest was named Fr. Francisco Odriozola and the doctor was Dr. Piñal. They said to me:
─ How do you do these things? Are you crazy? How do you deceive people in this way?
And then he said me:
─ Straighten up. Look at my nose. I am going to hypnotize you!
When he said to me, look at my nose, I laughed. And he said to me:
─ Don’t you laugh, this is not a laughing matter!
And that day they didn’t do anything more to me.
The next day they took me to some doctors to see if I was ill. They took me to one whose name was Morales and several others. And they all told me that I was well and that these apparitions were a dream. And they said that I should stay there in Santander to amuse myself, so that I could forget everything that had happened to me, and not go back to have more apparitions.
Then my mother, as she was so convinced that there was nothing wrong with me because of everything that the doctors told her, left me and went to Garabandal.
Some nieces and a sister of Fr. Odriozola came every day to pick me up at the house in order to go to the beach and the fairs, which until then I had never seen.
Since I went to the beach every day, the Virgin did not appear to me.
At the end of eight days, a man intervened to take me to the village and my mother came to find me. This man was Mr. Emilio del Valle Egocheaga. I will remember him all my life.
On the day that they took me back, I went to Dr. Piñal to tell him that I was going. He became very angry and said to me… well, many things… so that I would not go. I told him that I was not seeing the Virgin; but that the others were, it seemed to me. And that the Message seemed to me to be true. Then he told me to sign a statement. I signed it. Afterwards, he told me that I should go talk to Bishop Doroteo, and I did it. They all acted very nice to me, after all of this.
When I arrived at the village on returning from Santander, several priests and many people came to meet me, because Loli and Jacinta had said in their apparition that I was coming on the road, as I really was. The Virgin had told this to them while they were in the church. Mari Cruz was waiting for the Virgin on her balcony that night, together with a crowd of people [Mari Cruz’s house is the first one in the village. It has a balcony made out of wood, where the girl frequently waits for the apparitions.].
The following day, when coming down from the pastures, my mother and I met my aunt, Maximina González, who was very excited and told us:
Do you know that the Virgin’s voice has been heard on a tape recorder?
Then I asked her:
─ What did she say?
My godmother answered:
Loli and Jacinta told her:
─ Speak!… Go, speak!
Then we heard on the tape:
─ “No, I won’t speak.”
The people ─ my godmother told us ─ began to cry and were very emotional because they had heard the Virgin’s voice. [Conchita says this took place on August 5, 1961. We have seen the testimony which was written and signed by several witnesses. The summary of what happened in these testimonies is the following:
Some strangers had brought a tape recorder powered by batteries. They showed Loli and Jacinta how it worked. The two girls marveled at it because they had never seen anything similar.
During one of the ecstasies they could record some of the words that Loli and Jacinta said. Afterward, they played it so the girls could hear.
Suddenly, the girls fell into ecstasy again. One of them still had the microphone in her hand. Holding it toward the vision during a moment of ecstasy, she said:
─ “A man has come with a thing that records. Why… why don’t you speak so that they can hear you? It isn’t for us, it’s so that they will believe. Speak, say something so that they will believe…”
When the ecstasy ended they played the recorder so that the girls could hear what they had said to the Vision. When the moment arrived that the girls had said the quoted words: “Speak, say something so they will believe…” The tape on the recorder ended. In that moment, a voice came from the apparatus that can only be described as “sweet” and it said:
─ No, I won’t speak.
Loli and Jacinta exclaimed at the same time:
─ Oh! It is the Virgin’s voice!
As you might suppose, the impression produced by the witnesses was very great. One of them said as he went back to Garabandal:
─ I will go to the grave with the conviction that I have heard the Virgin’s voice!
We say as a conclusion to this anecdote that when the tape was played later, the Virgin’s voice was not heard. Whatever interpretation you want to make of this, what is certain is that we have signed testimonies from 12 witnesses. Conchita makes reference to this in her diary as heard from the lips of her Aunt Maximina.]
In those days while I was in Santander, two Jesuit priests had been in the village: Fr. Ramón María Andreu and Fr. Luís María Andreu had come, like many others, without believing. [At the beginning of the apparitions the majority of the people who went up to Garabandal came because they were prompted by curiosity rather than faith. The event that Conchita relates here took place in the last days of July, around the 28th. The girl was not a witness of this. She didn’t do anything but tell what she had heard.]
Then one day Loli and Jacinta had an apparition at the Pines. This was during the day. These two priests were there and when they saw the girls in ecstasy, they believed. When a short time had passed with the two girls in ecstasy, Fr. Ramón María Andreu thought:
─ If this is true, let one of the girls stop having the vision.
Immediately, Loli’s vision left her. After a few minutes, the Virgin appeared to her again.
The priests admitted that this was a test [We have spoken about this with Fr. Ramón María Andreu. We will reproduce part of that dialogue here:
Question: When Conchita says in her diary that you considered this ecstasy that Loli and Jacinta experienced a test, is that true?
Father: Yes, it’s true. But all of this is a little longer that what Conchita quotes in her diary.
Question: Could you give us some idea of your attitude and disposition on the day you went up to Garabandal for the first time?
Father: As you might suppose, when I went up to Garabandal that day, I didn’t think that there could be phenomena that had any value. When they invited me to go up for the first time, I responded that I didn’t have time to lose on apparitions. Generally, I am very busy. Finally, I accepted the invitation to go up to Garabandal, but it was only to be polite to the friends who had invited me, and also because it would be a day to rest after many days of continuous (spiritual) exercises that I had preached before.
Question: And did your brother, Fr. Luís María, believe?
Father: No, not at all. There was no proof at that moment. I don’t think any intelligent person would believe without some proof.
Question: Could you tell us exactly what Conchita describes took place?
Father: With pleasure. It was, as I said, the first time that I went up to Garabandal. We had already seen some ecstasies that day before the one that Conchita describes. In the late afternoon, we found ourselves in the Pines. Loli and Jacinta were in ecstasy.
There were very few people near the girls. I was very close to them. I heard them speak with the Vision in a low voice, as though trying to be quiet, which is characteristic of ecstasies. I understood some of these sentences.
After eight or ten minutes, I thought it might be a case of hypnotism. I realized that this was a vulgar thought, with no originality, but it was like that. I looked around me to discover the author of the hypnotism. I saw the faces of Fr. Valentín, Ceferino, Julia, and others who were present… and I didn’t find the solution there. All of them wore expressions of admiring surprise. The hypnotist wasn’t there…
Then I had saw the two girls enter and leave the ecstasy. They did it at the same time. It gave the impression that they only had one soul. At this moment I thought that this did not have much sense. But I thought like this: If one of the girls returned to the normal state, and the other stayed in ecstasy…
At this same moment, Loli, who was closest to me, lifted her head slowly and looked at me, smiing. I asked her:
─ You don’t see the Virgin?
She responded to me:
─ No, Sir.
─ And why not? I insisted.
─ She has gone away.
Jacinta was still in ecstasy. I said to Loli:
─ Look at Jacinta.
The girl looked at her and smiled when she saw that Jacinta was in ecstasy. It was the first time she had seen one of her companions in ecstasy while in the normal state herself.
I asked her:
─ And what does the Virgin tell you?
She was about to respond when she fell into ecstasy again. Her head was facing upwards. I heard the following dialogue between the girls and the Vision.
Jacinta: Loli, why did you leave?
Loli: (Asking the Vision) Why did you leave me?
There was a pause.
The two: (At the same time) Oh, that is why. Then it was so he would believe!
When I heard this I turned to my brother Fr. Luís María and I said to him:
─ Be careful what you think, because the thought transmission is instantaneous.
My brother said to me:
─ Has something happened to you?
─ Yes, I responded… I will tell you later.
Question: Father, after this moment, did you believe?
Father: Undoubtedly this caught my attention and made me think. I understood that it was not a comedy or simulation, and I thought that it was a very interesting topic for more profound study. We were standing before phenomena that were as exciting for doctors as they were for theologians. From this point to believing, there was a step that was not easy to make. One thing, nevertheless, is certain: taken in conjunction with all of the happenings I have seen, including the one that I have emphasized, although I looked on it with a certain skepticism and reserve, I can affirm again that it is not a comedy or simulation by the four girls. Of course, saying this is almost saying nothing. To establish a problem is still not resolving it. The question is always the same: What is the cause of these phenomena that I have seen and witnessed? And are those that I have spoken of just a small part? I have asked this question to many people, and all of the times I have asked it, I have not had an answer.]
One day, the four of us: Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz, and I, had a vision. Many people were there and among them were Fr. Luís María Andreu and a seminarian, Andrés Pardo, and Fr. Royo Marín, a Dominican. It was already nighttime when the Virgin appeared to us that day. At the end of the rosary, the four of us were in ecstasy. And we began to walk toward the Pines. When we arrived there, Fr. Luís María said: Miracle! Miracle! And he was looking upwards. We saw him ourselves. And in our ecstasies we have never seen anyone except the Virgin. [In what we can call the “terminology of Garabandal” we will say something about what we call “the fields of vision.”
In their ecstasies the girls did not see anyone but the Apparition and the other girls who were also experiencing the Apparition. If one girl was in ecstasy and the other was not, the one in the ecstasy would not see the other. The same happens with relation to those who witness the ecstasy.
Nevertheless, an exception exists, the only one of which we know. This exception took place on August 8, 1961 when Fr. Luís María Andreu witnessed an ecstasy and pronounced the world “miracle” four times. Conchita and the other three girls assured us that the Virgin told them that Fr. Luís María had seen the Virgin and the anticipated miracle announced by Conchita. From here it can be deduced that Fr. Luís María formed part of the girls’ phenomena.
What we have said about the “field of vision” can also be applied to the girls’ sense of touch. During the ecstasies, the anesthesia to the pain caused out of their field of vision was complete. The girls did not feel the scratches or the pinches that caused them. They didn’t feel burns either. Nevertheless, they were very sensitive to all that happened within their field of vision. As an example, I can cite a day on which the Virgin handed down her crown with “golden stars” for the girls, and they passed it from one to another. When one of the girls received the crown from another she said:
─ Oh! You hurt me with one of the stars!
On another occasion in which Loli and Jacinta were in ecstasy, one of them took a stone from the ground and scraped the other girl’s hand with it. That girl reacted by saying:
Oh! You have hurt me with the stone!] On that occasion we saw Fr. Luís. And the Virgin told us that he was seeing her and the Miracle. [The Great Miracle that we alluded to when we referred to Fr. Luís María Andreu, saying that he had seen it as it was announced by Conchita for the Vision. The obligations that accompany this announcement are numerous. But before this, we have to say something about the Warning.
THE WARNING: We quote part of a letter from Conchita dated June 2, 1965:
On January1st the Virgin told me that there will be a warning before the miracle so that the world will change. And this warning is like a punishment. It is very frightening, for the good and the bad. It will bring the good closer to God. It will warn the bad that the end of the times comes. These are the last warnings. It is very long, and I can’t explain it by letter. It will come to everyone. It is certain. I don’t know the day or the date.”
The whole world will feel it. It will come before the Miracle, but she doesn’t know when. It will be evident that it comes from God. The child does not know how long it will last. Conchita adds that in the Warning, we will see all we have done to offend God with our sins and how our sins have contributed to the Passion of Our Lord.
The Great Miracle: After the Warning, the Miracle that is discussed in the diary will come. I have the details that Conchita gave. She knows the exact date. Her mother, Aniceta, also knows, and two other persons in Rome, who know it in secret. Conchita will announce this date eight days ahead of time. The miracle will be so great that it will demand our time and it will be greater than the one that took place in Fatima. It will be visible from Garabandal and in the surrounding mountains. It will happen on a Thursday that coincides with the feast day of a saint martyred for the Eucharist. It will also coincide with a great event in the Church. This event has already taken place sometimes in the Church, but not in Conchita’s lifetime. It will take place at eighty thirty at night, the same time as the first apparition. It will last ten or fifteen minutes. It will leave an impression that will be a miracle in itself. It will not be necessary for Conchita or one of the other three girls to be present for the miracle; God will perform it through the Virgin Mary’s intercession. The sick who are present will be cured, and the unbelievers will regain their faith. Padre Pio will see the miracle from wherever he is and so will the Pope. The Pope will see the miracle from wherever he is.
After the miracle, if the world does not convert, then God will send the punishment.]
The people said that we prayed a Creed at the Pines (that was the first day the Virgin taught us to pray) and that afterwards we went down to the village in the same state. When we arrived at the Church, the Virgin left our view. As the Virgin had not appeared to Mari Cruz for several days, she stayed in ecstasy with the Virgin. She went into the Church. And before the altar of the Virgin of the Rosary and St. Michael the Archangel, and she began to pray the Creed very slowly with the Virgin. Mari Cruz said that the Virgin said the prayer ahead of her to teach her how to pray slowly. After the Creed, Mari Cruz prayed a Salve and then she made the sign of the cross very slowly and very well. She talked with the Virgin and said:
─ Oh how good that the Infant Jesus comes! How long it has been since he has come! Why do you wait so long to come to me and come to the other girls more often?
Various people who were near her heard this, and Fr. Luís María Andreu and a seminarian, and Fr. Royo Marín were among them.
The following day the four of us went to sweep the Church. While we were sweeping, Jacinta’s mother came, very upset, and said to us:
─ Fr. Luís María Andreu has died!
We didn’t believe her since we had seen him the day before. We left the Church halfswept and went to find out more. They said that when he was about to die, his last words were:
─ Today is the happiest day of my life! What a wonderful Mother we have in Heaven!
After that, he died.
This happened on the road to Reinosa. [The death of Fr. Luís María Andreu, forms an important part of the events of Garabandal, as is evident by Conchita’s diary. This priest was a professor of theology on the faculty that the Society of Jesus maintained in Oña, a province of Burgos. He had studied in Oña, Innsbruck, and Rome. When he died he was 36 years old.
He had come to Garabandal for the first time in the last days of July. He went up again on August 8, 1961. That day, Fr. Valentín gave him the keys to the Church because he had to go away from the parish. Fr. Luís said his last mass in Garabandal. In the afternoon on August 8th, the four girls had an ecstasy that began in the Church. After that, the girls left on an ecstatic march that lasted a long time. They stopped at all of the places where they had previously had apparitions and prayed there. Fr. Luís María followed the entire ecstasy. The girls went up to the Pines. Fr. Luís María went up to the Pines as well. When they had reached the Pines, Fr. Luís María entered into their field of vision and pronounced the word “miracle” four times. He pronounced these words with a slightly subdued voice, like the tone the girls used in ecstasy. The girls have described how they saw him: “He was on his knees, sweat running down his face, and the Virgin looked at him as though to say: ‘you will be with me very soon.’”
Fr. Luís María had left a rosary with Loli so that the Virgin would kiss it, but he lost it on the mountain. The ecstasy ended in the Church. Going out of it, Loli said to the priest:
─ I have lost your rosary, but the Virgin told me where it is. We are going to look for it. It was past 10 at night. Julia, Loli’s mother, said:
─ Not now. You can go tomorrow when there is light.
Fr. Luís María said:
─ Yes, it will be better tomorrow during the day. If you find it, don’t give it to anyone except my brother; although I won’t return, my brother will.
This is what Loli did the next day, and she found the Rosary in exactly the same place that the Virgin had said.
That night, Fr. Luís María Andreu left Garabandal in a Jeep and went toward Cossío. There, he awaited the others who were walking down. He was inside the car, waiting until one in the morning when Fr. Valentín arrived. He went to the car to ask something and Fr. Luís said:
─ Fr. Valentín, what the girls say is true, but don’t say so yet; prudence on the Church’s part is necessary in these things.
Fr. Valentín wrote this sentence in his diary that night after he heard the news of Fr. Luís’s death.
A caravan of four cars was traveling on the road to Aguilar de Campoo, and Fr. Luís María was riding in one of them. There were three other people in this car with him. Fr. Luís María slept for a while, and when he awoke he said:
─ I have had the most wonderful sleep. I’m not even a little bit tired.
They arrived at Reinosa at around four in the morning. All of the cars stopped there at a fountain near the entrance of the village. They left the cars to get water, but Fr. Luís stayed inside with the door open, surrounded by people who questioned him about what he had seen.
When they left, the car in which Fr. Luís was traveling was the last car. While they were still in Reinosa, Fr. Luís said:
─ “I am full of joy. What a gift the Virgin has given me. We are very fortunate to have a Mother like her in heaven. There is no need to be afraid of the supernatural life. The children have taught us how to act toward the Virgin. I cannot have any more doubts. Why has the Virgin chosen us? Today is the happiest day of my life.”
When he said this, he lifted his head. Since he’d stopped speaking, they asked him:
─ Father, has something happened to you?—and he responded:
─ No, nothing, I’m just tired.
And upon saying this, he bowed his head.
The mechanic returned and when he saw Fr. Luís, he said:
─ Oh, the priest is very sick. His eyes are rolling.
There was a clinic there. They could not do anything but verify his death.
We didn’t know about any sickness he may have had. We can say that he died without pain. He had a smile of happiness on his face.
The history of this priest and Garabandal does not end with his death. The girls have frequently spoken with him, as Conchita tells us in her diary.
The most astounding thing is that the Virgin told Conchita that on the day after the miracle, the priest’s tomb would be exhumed and his body would be found incorrupt ,just as it was on the day he was buried.
Conchita says this in a letter:
“On July 18th I had a locution and in it I was told that on the day after the miracle, they will take your brother from the tomb and his body will be incorrupt.”]
When he left San Sebastián de Garabandal, he went in a car with Carmen Fontaneda and her husband Faito Fontaneda and several others [Conchita quotes here from witnesses who describe how Fr. Luís María died. Faito Fontaneda is the diminutive of Rafael Fontaneda. His wife is Carmen Fontaneda. Their daugher was with them, and she was about six years old when the priest died. The mechanic was named José Salceda.]
Fr. Luís María Andreu’s mother became a cloistered nun 48 hours after her son’s death [There is an error in Conchita’s estimation. When asked why she had written that within 48 hours the mother had become a cloistered nun, she said that it was because that was how she’d heard it in the village.
It is true that Fr. Luís María’s mother became a cloistered religious in the Order of Visitation in San Sebastián (Guipuzcoa). But it wasn’t after 48 hours, but in the month of October. That is, it was over a month after the death of her son.
The Andreu family is composed of six brothers, four of whom became Jesuits and were ordained priests.
The oldest is José María. He is married and lives in Madrid. The next is Fr. Alejandro María, who is a missionary in Venezuela. Next is Fr. Ramón María, of whom Conchita speaks in her diary. He lives in Spain. Fr. Luís María is next. After him comes Fr. Marcelino María, who has been a missionary in Formosa for years. The youngest is Rafael, who is married.
Mrs. Andreu, who gave four of her sons to God, became a religious in the month of October 1961. She took the habit on March 19, 1962. She made her perpetual vows on March 19, 1965. On this occasion, His Holiness Paul VI asked all of her sons to come from their mission lands in order to participate in the solemn occasion. The Pope himself payed the travel expenses for Fr. Marcelino to come from Formosa. He sent Sr. Luisa María a special blessing and congratulations, alluding to the priestly soul that mothers can transmit to their sons.]
Several days after the death of Fr. Luís María Andreu, the Virgin told us that we were
going to speak with him [We have questioned Fr. Ramón María regarding these conversations that the girls had with
Fr. Luís María after his death:
Question: Father, were you present during any of these conversations?
Response: Yes, I attended the first ones.
Question: What effect did they have on you?
Response: When they told me, I was disconcerted. The first news of this was given to me by a gentleman from Burgos named Santiago Gredilla. It was around August 14. I had just finished burying my brother and so I had just arrived at Garabandal also. This gentleman told me that in their ecstasies the girls said: ─ Oh, good. Then, we are going to speak with Fr. Luís? This completely confused me and I thought that it was a simple case of suggestion with the girls. In this moment, I thought of leaving Garabandal.
Question: Why did you stay?
Response: Because some of the people I had come with wanted to stay.
Question: And what happened then?
Response: I was stupefied when I heard some of these conversations. In one of them, the girls repeated everything that Fr. Luís María had told them about his death and his burial. For example: when they described the way he had been shrouded, they repeated the names of the attending priests and what they had placed on him. They knew some of the variations. They didn’t put a cap on him, and he held a crucifix in his hands instead of a chalice. They also knew the correct reason why they did this. In another of these conversations I also heard them talking about how my brother had died without making his final profession. At the same time, they talked about when I did it, of the place and the other companion who did it with me. This was a subject that I had not thought about and as a result it was truly astonishing for me to hear it exactly as it had happened. I also witnessed and heard the children say sentences in other languages, like the Hail Mary in Greek, as Conchita writes in her diary.
Question: And what do you think of all of this?
Response: That it continued to be a very extraordinary thing. I have limited myself to reporting the things I saw myself. If you refer to proof of the facts, I have to say that within the Church there are those who have the obligation of studying them and verifying them, and I am only waiting for this to happen. We have a letter that the Father gave us to read and photocopy that refers to something we have asked about.
“Only two words to tell you that I have spoken with Fr. Luís and he told me to tell you that you are acting very well and that Conchita’s Diary – English Translation Page 31 he wants you to come here but that you should continue to obey the Bishop.
He also told me how to say Jacinta and Cruz in French. He told me how to write them. It is like this:
Loli—MARIE DES DOULEURS; Cruz—MARIE-CROIX
Jacinta—JACINTHE; MARIE-CONCEPTION. Well, I won’t write anymore because J’AI UN APPEL. Conchita González sends her love. Goodbye. He taught me this song in French:
Espoir, Espoir. Au ciel estoilé,
Parait et sourit Notre Mére.
Espoir, Espoir. Marie a parlé.
Son FILS entend notre priére.
If you don’t understand it in French, Fr. Luís told me what it says. It begins: Hope. Translator’s note: We will write down
the translation of these songs:
Hope, Hope. In the starry sky
Our Mother appears and smiles,
Hope, Hope. Mary has spoken.
Her Son listens to our prayers.]
On August 15th, the Feast of Our Lady, there were many tourists who had come to amuse themselves and they were causing scandal. That was the day that the Virgin told us we would talk with Fr. Luís María Andreu. But since there was a scandal, he didn’t come. At 4 in the morning on the next day, at the same time that Fr. Luís had died, the Virgin appeared to me in my kitchen and said to me:
“Father will not come today, but he will come tomorrow.”
On the next day between 8 and 9 at night, the Virgin appeared to us, smiling very much as usual, and she said to the four of us:
─ “Fr. Luís will come now and speak to you.”
After a while he came and called us one after the other. But we didn’t see him; we only heard his voice. It was exactly the same as when he spoke on Earth when he would give us advice.
He also told us something for his brother Fr. Ramón María Andreu. He taught us words in French and how to pray in Greek. He also taught us words in English and German.
After a while, we didn’t hear his voice anymore. Then the Virgin spoke to us and stayed with us for a moment before leaving.
The Virgin told us that day:
─ Tomorrow you will here a voice, do not be afraid, but follow it.
On the next day, and at the same time as on the previous day, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to the four of us. For several minutes she was smiling very much. But she didn’t say anything to us. After a few minutes, darkness came upon us, and we heard a voice call us. Then Mari Cruz said:
─ Tell us who you are; if you don’t, we will go home!
While we were hearing the voice, it was very dark. [We can’t give any precise details about this voice. Its meaning is unclear to us. In any case, this voice represented something that frightened the girls.] We didn’t see the Virgin. But afterwards she came and she said to us:
─ Don’t be afraid.
And she spoke to us for awhile. That night was the first night she kissed us [Conchita remembers this with a feeling of happiness. During the ecstasies, it was very usual to see the girls placing their faces to receive kisses from the Vision, then to see them kissing the Vision. This generally happened when the Vision was about to end, and they were saying goodbye. It was very frequent that the ecstasies would end with the girls blessing themselves at the same time with the kiss.] one by one. And then she left.
CONCHITA’S DIARY – 5
The next day, at almost the same time, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to us again and told us to pray the Rosary [The girls have prayed the Rosary in Garabandal many times during their ecstasies. On some occasions it was simply prayed. Other times it was sung. Sometimes during their ecstatic marches they would stop in front of the doors of different houses in the village. Sometimes they went up to the room of a sick person during an ecstatic march. These Hail Marys that the girls prayed have been recorded on tapes, and so have some of the songs that they sang that invited the people to prayer and penance. When they pray the Hail Mary in ecstasy it is extremely slow and with a slight trembling in their voices. In the recordings that exist, we can hear the noise of the footsteps of those who accompanied the girls through the village while they prayed the rosaries.]
We said this as though no one told us, but she said to us:
─I’ll lead and you answer.
She prayed very slowly, saying:
─ Holy Mary.
We also said:
─ Holy Mary.
Then we prayed:
─ God has blessed you, Mary, the same as when we pray the Rosary, but very slowly.
When we reached the Salve, she asked us to sing it, so we sang it. When we finished praying the Rosary, she gave us a kiss and before she left she said to us:
─ I’ll return tomorrow.
As she had said, she came. And she told us the same thing as on the previous day:
─ Recite the rosary.
And we began the rosary.
That night we went to the places where the Virgin had appeared to us at the beginning. After our ecstasy, the people said that we had gone up to the Pines, and that we had gone from pine to pine praying on our knees…
Until this time, the four of us had been together in the ecstasies: Jacinta, Loli, María Cruz, and I. But now we had begun to have ecstasies by ourselves in our houses. The Most Holy Virgin called us whether we were together or separated. But we always saw the Most Holy Virgin while we were in ecstasy.
As Mari Cruz already had an apparition earlier and had gone to bed, we asked the Virgin to teach us some songs to sing to Mari Cruz. We would compose a word, and then the Virgin would aid us with the others in the following way:
Get up Mari Cruz,
The good Virgin comes
With a basket of flowers
For the little girl.
Mari Cruz, Mari Cruz,
How sad you make us.
Pray very much to the Virgin
So that she will return to you.
Mari Cruz, Mari Cruz,
Don’t you smell the lilies?
The Virgin brings them for you
So that you will be good.
That night the Virgin stayed with us from 9 at night until 7 in the morning. That night we played ‘los tios’ (hide-and-go-seek) with the Virgin. Two of us hid and the other two searched for us.
During one of our apparitions, Loli and I came down from the Pines with many people. And we saw something like fire in the clouds. It was seen by the people who were with us and also by those who were not. When it was over, the Virgin appeared to us and we asked her what that thing was.
She told us:
─ I came in it.
It was the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar during another day of our apparitions, at which Loli and I were present. While we were looking at the Virgin, a star with a very long tail was seen beneath the Virgin’s feet. Several people saw this. We asked the Virgin what it meant, but she didn’t answer.
At times the three of us wanted to be together. As our parents didn’t allow us be out of our homes at night, sometimes when we went outside after the rosary—after already having had two calls—we looked upwards like we were seeing the Virgin. [Conchita’s explanation is Conchita’s Diary – English Translation Page 34 clear. When the girls were asked why they pretended before actually falling into ecstasy, they invariably responded: “It is because we wanted to be together. Sometimes the Virgin scolds us for doing this.”], And so we went together down the street. Then our parents and the people followed us. And later the Virgin came, and we were together. We never faked the entire ecstasy.
When we were together, when one of us lost her shoe, the Virgin would say to the other:
─ Put her shoe on.
And one of us would put the shoe on the other.
And when we were alone, if we lost our shoe, we went the whole apparition without it. And at the end, the Virgin would ask us where our shoes were.
In our apparitions, we would ask the Virgin to perform a miracle. She didn’t say anything to us; she smiled. We told her:
─ Perform a miracle so that the people will believe, since no one believes.
But She continued to smile.
The Angel, St. Michael, gave us unconsecrated hosts from the beginning of the apparitions. We had eaten at the time, [Conchitawas referring to the Eucharist fast, which was then three hours] but he gave them to us all the same. This was to teach us how to receive Communion properly.
One day he told us that we were to come to the Pines on the next morning—without eating anything—and that there should be a young girl with us [This was done from the very beginning. In some of the apparitions the Virgin only permitted one girl to go with them. The people in the village called these girls child witnesses because they were the only ones who could closely witness the apparition and hear what the girls were saying. They were very small, about six years old, when the apparitions began. The two girls who were preferred and almost always went were Sari and Mari Carmen, Jacinta and Loli’s sisters.]. And we brought the girl. And we did as he told us. When we came to the Pines, the Angel appeared to us with a golden chalice. And he told us:
─ I am going to give you Communion, but today these are consecrated Sacred Hosts. Say the “I Confess…”
We prayed it, and afterwards he gave us Communion. And after receiving Communion, he told us to make our thanksgiving to God… And after we making our thanksgiving, he told us to pray the “Soul of Christ” with him. We prayed it. He said to us:
─ I will give you Communion tomorrow too. Then he left.
When we told this to the people, some of them did not believe—especially the priests, since they said that an Angel could not consecrate.
When we saw the Angel again, we told him what the people had said. And he told us that he had taken the Hosts from the tabernacles on the Earth, and they were already consecrated.
Afterwards, we told this to the people. But some of them still doubted.
He gave us Communion for a long time.
The Most Holy Virgin told the four of us, Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz and I, to go pray the rosary in the Cuadro.
Some days we went at 6 o’clock and other days we went later. Jacinta and Mari Cruz went at 7 in the morning and Loli did not have a definite time. Later, since it was not convenient for Mari Cruz to get up so early, she went at 8 o’clock. And at 6 o’clock like us, Jacinta continued alone, with her mother and people of the village. During Holy Week, the Virgin told me to go at 5 o’clock in the morning. And so I went, since the Virgin always wanted us to do penance.
As we had so often insisted that the Virgin and the Angel perform a miracle, on June 22nd, when I was receiving Holy Communion from the hands of the Angel, he told me:
─ I am going to perform a miracle. Not I: God, through my intercession and yours.
And I asked him:
─ And what is it going to be?
And he told me:
─ When I give you Holy Communion, the Sacred Host will be seen on your tongue.
I thought it over and asked:
─ Surely when I receive Communion from you, the Host is seen on my tongue!
And he told me that it wasn’t so, that the people around me didn’t see It; but that on the day when he would perform the miracle, It would be seen.
And I said to him:
─ But that’s very small! And he smiled. After telling me this, he left.
On the following day, as there wasn’t a mass in the village, after reciting a rosary in the cuadro, I went to pray a Station at the church. And before I went inside, the Angel appeared to me, smiling very much, and he spoke to me as usual:
─ Pray the “I Confess” and consider that you are about to receive God.
Then he gave me Communion and he told me to say the “Soul of Christ” with him. I did it.
When I had made my thanksgiving, I asked the Angel:
─ When is the miracle going to be?
He told me:
─ The Virgin will tell you that.
After that, he left. This apparition took place on June 19th. After the Angel told me that he was going to perform a miracle, I told it to the other girls: Loli, Jacinta, and Mari Cruz. I told them that the Angel was going to perform a miracle for us.
At night on that date, when asking the Angel when miracle would be, the Virgin came. She came smiling very much as usual. And I said to her:
The Angel St. Michael told me that through his intercession and mine, God Our Lord is going to perform a miracle… She didn’t say anything to me and I said:
─ When is the miracle?
─ On Friday the 29th you will hear a voice that will tell you. And I said to her:
Whose voice will this be?
But she didn’t say anything to me.
The first person I told that the Angel was going to perform a miracle was a priest: Fr. José Ramón García de la Riva [This priest is the pastor of Barro, near Llanes, in the Archdiocese of Asturias, which is not far from Garabandal. From the beginning of these apparitions he witnessed many ecstasies and he took photographs of them].
That same day, I also communicated this to Loli, Mari Cruz, and Jacinta.
Friday came, and as the Virgin had told me, I felt a voice while I was at the Pines which told me:
─ July 18th will be when the miracle or “little miracle” as you call it, will occur [A “little miracle.” This is a diminutive expression used in the region where Conchita lives.].
After the voice told me the date, I went and told my mother and my Aunt Maximina. I told them that the Angel was going to perform a little miracle, and I told them what it would be. They responded:
─ If this miracle really happens, then everyone will believe…
I make this explanation, but from then on I did not tell anyone else outside of the people I have already mentioned.
On one day on which the Angel brought me Communion I used the occasion to ask him:
─ When will I be able to tell the people that the miracle is going to happen and of what it will consist?
─ Two weeks before, he responded.
When the apparition ended, the people from the village asked me if the Angel had told me anything about the miracle (since I had already told the people in the village that the Angel was going to perform a miracle), but they didn’t believe.
July 6, 1962
When the day arrived in which I had to announce the date, I told the people of the village and I wrote letters [We will put a part of one of these letters here from July 6, 1962. It says this: “Only two words to tell you great news for me and for you also, I believe. The Angel told me that he was going to perform a miracle, and this miracle is that when I am receiving the sacrament, the Form will be visible. It will happen soon, this month, on the 18. To me, of course, this does not seem like a miracle, since I always thought they could see it. Will they believe then?] Fr. Valentín, who doubted that the miracle would happen, told me not to write anymore letters:
─ It probably won’t happen!… ─ he told me ─.
A man named Eustaquio Cuenca was in the village and told me the same thing as Fr. Valentín: not to write any more letters. And I said to them that the Virgin and the Angel had told me to announce the miracle. But in spite of that, the people of the village didn’t believe it.
When July 18th arrived, the village was full of people. Everyone wanted to see the miracle. There was a festival in the village, and next to my house there was a dance. There were two things together: some were praying the rosary, and others were dancing. Some of these people wanted to stop the dancing, since they were afraid that if there was a dance, there wouldn’t be a miracle. And at one time, a man among those who wanted to stop the dancing, Ignacio Rubio, [Conchita refers to a gentleman from Andalucía, born in Córdoba; he came to Garabandal frequently, especially at the beginning.] asked me if I wanted the dancing to stop. I answered:
─ Dance or no dance, the miracle will happen…
And then they didn’t argue about the dancing anymore.
When night came the people were upset. But since the Virgin and the Angel had told me that the miracle would come, I had no fear, since neither the Virgin nor the Angel had ever told me a thing would happen without it happening.
At 10 at night, I had a call, and at 12, another. At 2 o’clock, the Angel appeared to me in my room while my mother Aniceta, my brother Aniceto, my uncle Elias, and my cousin Luciuca were with me, as well as a young woman from Aguilar del Campo, Marí del Carmen Fontaneda. The Angel was with me for awhile. And he told me, as on other days:
─ Pray the “I Confess” and think of Whom you are going to receive.
I did this. And afterwards he gave me Communion. And after giving me Communion, he told me to say the “Soul of Christ,” and to make my thanksgiving, and told me to hold out my tongue with the Sacred Host until he left and the Virgin came. And I did this. When the Virgin came she told me:
─ They all still do not believe. [We can consider this fact as one of the most important among the events that have taken place in Garabandal. It was July 18, 1962. It was announced by the girl in many letters 15 days before. The number of people who came up to Garabandal that day might have been between one thousand and three thousand. Judging by the calendar, the event took place on the 19th and it was exactly two in the morning on the 19th when it happened.
The people who are quoted as saying that Conchita was in her house when the Angel appeared are: her mother, her brother, Cetuco (Aniceto), and her cousin Luciuca, daughter of Antonia and Tomás. Antonia is Aniceta’s sister. They live in Cabezón de la Sal. Luciuca was about 11 years old when the miracle of the Communion occured. María del Carmen Fontaneda is also cited as a witness.
There were many witnesses present that day. Because of them, we have a definite report of the event.
Conchita fell into ecstasy in the upper bedroom of her house. She descended the stairs in this state and went out into the street. She turned to the left until she came to a small road where she fell on her knees. In this state and with her hands extended downward she put out her tongue, which had nothing on it. Suddenly, in a fraction of a second, the Form appeared. It was similar to those that are given in Church, but it seemed thicker. It was white. All who looked saw it, and the girl remained with her tongue out for two minutes or more.
Mr. Alejandro Damians y Damians is one of the principal witnesses of this event. He is Catalán, and he had the good fortune of taking the most interesting photograph that has been made of these events. He told us himself how this took place.
He left Barcelona with his family and passed through Zaragosa, where he purchased a reel to film in an 8mm camera. He confesses that he had never filmed before. The camera he carried was not his, but rather belonged to a friend who had given it to him as he was leaving.
He tells how he filmed it:
“I held the handle firmly, trying with all of my might not to displace that privileged location in which I was situated, and I succeeded.
“The pushing finally decreased and then stayed relatively calm.
“A little before midnight the clouds that obscured the sky dissipated and the blue sky was adorned with stars that shone around the moon.
“With this light and the large number of lanterns that lit the road, we could clearly distinguish that Conchita had her mouth open and her tongue out, in the classic attitude of receiving Communion. It was more beautiful than anything. Her expression and her gestures, far from provoking laughter as the most trifling sign of ridiculousness would, displayed a mysticism that was impressive and moving.
“Suddenly, without knowing how, without realizing it and without Conchita changing her expression in the least, the Sacred Form suddenly appeared on her tongue. It was totally unexpected. It did not seem that it had been desposited there, but you might say that it appeared there with a greater velocity than the human glance can perceive.
“I carried the camera on my wrist. Without paying attention to the protests and without remembering my cousin’s instructions, I pushed the record button and I filmed the last instants of Conchita’s Communion.
Mr. Damians tells how he was pushed and fell to the ground.
When he developed the film, he found about 70 photographs of 8mm in black and white, very bad technically, but sufficiently clear to see the presence of a host on the child’s tongue.
One of these photographs is the one that is so frequently exhibited in almost all of the publications about Garabandal.
The Bishop of Santander, Fr. Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal, was interested in this film and wrote to Mr. Alejandro Damians asking for a copy of it and saying that “it could be of great interest and do a great service for the Church.”
This film proved that what those present saw was not a hallucination, and that what they saw in the child’s mouth was real.
One of the other witnesses is Benjamín Gómez, who lives in Pesues. He says that he is a man not given to insolence toward the Church and that he had the luck to see this event very closely.
We have some facts from an interview in Burgos that was recorded on a magnetic tape.
Question: Did you see the child well?
Response: Perfectly. She was very close to me.
Question: Were you about a meter away?
Response: No, much less. About a palm’s width.
Question: Did you see how she stuck out her tongue?
Response: Yes. I saw how she arrived, and how she knelt with her hands extended downward. I saw how she stuck out her tongue. I want to say something here. Her tongue was clean, empty. I was surprised and I looked. I could see very well because as I said, I was very close, less than a palm’s width away. I looked at her tongue tranquilly; it was not hurried. I looked up and saw nothing. A cousin of mine who was behind me touched my shoulder so that I would change places with her so that she could see. I turned my head for a moment, and when I turned back, the Form was on her tongue.
Question: And what did the Form look like?
Response: Oh! That…is very difficult to say. It was white, but a white that is not of this world. Sometimes I have looked for a comparison but I haven’t found anything that resembles it, except from far away. It is like when it snows. When it snows and the sun comes out and reflects on the snow. But when that happens it hurts your eyes, and this kind of white did not hurt the eyes.
Question: What size was it?
Response: I want to say something here: to make a comparison it was about two 25 peseta coins, one on top of the other.
Question: Do you believe that the girl could have placed it in her mouth with her hand?
Response: Not at all. We would have seen. That girl didn’t move.
Question: Do you believe that she hid it in her mouth and then put it over her tongue?
Response: She couldn’t have done that. I looked inside of her mouth and there was nothing there.
Another witness of this event is the stone mason of Garabandal, named José Luís Diez. The principal difficulty of this event was given by Conchita, according to what Dr. Bonance made evident. All who saw the Form on the girl’s tongue said that it was a little thicker than normal. Only Conchita said that it was the same as in all of the Churches, like the other times the Angel had given her communion, and the times Fr. Valentín had given her Communion. If the girl had wanted to conceal a trick she had done, it does not seem logical that she would say that she had received a host that was different from how the others had described it. Conchita acted according to the truth.
In another point in her diary, the girl makes an allusion to this miracle and the explanations that the people gave. When the Virgin arrived after the girl received Communion she said: “Everyone still does not believe.” The girl wrote a comment about this in her diary.]
Afterward, she told me to pray a rosary, and I did.
Some saw this miracle that God Our Lord did through the intercession of the Angel St. Michael completely, but others only saw the Form on my tongue. In that moment, they believed firmly in what they had seen, and those who did not see it believed because of the reports from those who had seen it.
After a few days had passed, the people began to doubt and everyone said that I had put the Form on my tongue; there were other similar comments.
A Franciscan priest, Fr. Justo, didn’t believe what he had seen. And he said to the people that he hadn’t seen it, that it was a lie, that it was I who had done this. After two or three days, a letter arrived for me from this same priest, asking my forgiveness for thinking badly of me. He told me that it was the devil who had tempted him.
A few days after this letter arrived, three priests came from Fr. Justo. He had explained to them the things that had happened here regarding the Most Holy Virgin. These priests told me that this Franciscan priest had passed many sleepless days and nights thinking about the Sacred Form, but finally he had reacted well and he accepted what happened; he believed everything.
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 6
The Most Holy Virgin announces the miracle to me
The Most Holy Virgen has foretold to me a great miracle that God Our Lord is going to perform through her intercession.
Since the chastisement is very great, as we merit, the Miracle is also immeasurably great, as the world needs.
The Virgin has told me the date of the Miracle and what it will be. I should tell people eight days before it happens so that they will come. The Pope will see it from where he is, and so will Padre Pío. The sick who attend the Miracle will be cured and the sinners will be converted. Those who see this great Miracle that God Our Lord will perform through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin will not doubt. And now, all will await this great day of the Miracle to see if the world will change and the chastisement will not come.
At the beginning of it all, the Virgin told the four of us—Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz, and I—that we would contradict each other, that our families wouldn’t get along well, and even that we would deny that we had seen the Virgin and the Angel. [About this announcement, which refers to the denials and the manner in which they happened, we will say much more later, taking into account other documents in this book.] Obviously, we were very surprised that she told us these things. And everything that the Virgin told us at the beginning happened during the month of January, 1963.
order to understand Conchita’s statement, we have to take into account the date on which this was written, which is late in the year 1963. What she says is only a part of what was announced.].
We came to contradict each other and we even denied that we had seen the Virgin.
We even went one day to confess it. But we felt inside that the Angel and the Most Holy Virgin had appeared to us, since they had brought a peace and internal joy to our souls, and a great desire to love them with our whole hearts. For their smiles and their speech and what they told us made us love them, love them very much, and give ourselves completely to them. [In these paragraphs written by Conchita, we see the psychological analysis that she makes interiorly, incomprehensible for her youth and lack of education. At the same time she shows us some key elements that correspond to the discernment of spirits. She does this in a descriptive form, that is to say, she describes her interior life of which she has been an object. Because of this we do it with such security and accuracy].
When we went to confession, it was without thinking about it, without believing that it was a sin. We went because the parish priest told us that we should go to confession.
We doubted a little, but a doubt of a type that seems from the devil, who wants us to deny the Virgin.
And afterwards, we told our parents that we hadn’t seen the Virgin; but that the calls and the Miracle of the Sacred Host were true.
In my heart, I was surprised to say these things when my conscience was completely calm about having seen the Most Holy Virgin.
The parish priest, Fr. Valentín Marichalar, gave us ten rosaries and five Our Fathers for penance.
And after we had said this, in a few days the Virgin appeared to us again.
Ceferino, Loli’s father, had told a commission of doctors to come; their names were Alejandro Gasca, Félix Gallego, and Celestino Ortiz [Dr. Alejandro Gasca was the senior doctor in Penilla and the director of the center in Reinosa. Dr. Félix Gallego was the doctor in Requedjada-Polance. Dr. Celestino Ortiz Pérez was the doctor in Santander.]. And on the night that they came, they began to question Mari Cruz, Jacinta, Loli, and their parents about the reason that they were saying that they weren’t seeing the Virgin. I don’t know what they thought. What I do know is that they said that I performed the Miracle of the Host, and they explained it in their way. Obviously, they didn’t know what they were saying at the time. And they allowed themselves to be controlled by the devil.
And after that day, they didn’t have any more apparitions. I had apparitions on the same night, and until January 20th. [This refers to the year 1963] After that I didn’t see her again. [Conchita talks from the perspective of the date on which she writes. In reality a greater crisis of doubts and denials would take place in the summer of 1966, as she will tell later].
Now Loli and Jacinta have come back to reality, to believing that they have seen the Most Holy Virgin. Really, how could they not believe?
Mari Cruz still continues saying that she hasn’t seen the Most Holy Virgin [Mari Cruz was the first to stop having the ecstasies. She has also stayed in a state of doubt and denial the longest. For this purpose, we will quote a letter from Mari Cruz in which she confides her feelings about having a different schedule for visions than the other girls, and also her reaction to the comments made by the people:
“The people don’t like me because I see the Virgin less, but I want what She wants. It has been 18 days since I’ve seen her, but I love her as I do when I see her.” This letter was written September 19, 1962.].
I also doubted a little that the Miracle would come. And one day, while in my room doubting if the Miracle would really come, I heard a voice that said:
─ “Conchita, do not doubt that my Son will perform a Miracle.”
I felt this inside, but as clear as if I had heard through my ears; or even clearer. It was without words. It left me a peace… a joy! More than when I see Her.
The first person to whom I told this was Plácido. Later, he told it to the others. [Plácido Ruiloba is a gentleman from Santander who followed the events that happened in Garabandal from the beginning with great interest.]. They are called “locutions” [Among the phenomena that take place in Garabandal we have to distinguish between the “calls,” the “apparitions,” and the “locutions.” Conchita distinguishes between them as we have seen up until this point, and she herself described what the calls are. She has also explained what an apparition is. Now she makes a marvelous description of what a locution is. To understand better, we will say that the Vision has the same effect for the girls as something entering the eye. The color, size, etc. can be described like this. The words that they hear during the ecstasies proceed from the Virgin, and are concrete words. They can be found in the dictionary.
In a locution there are no words in the grammatical sense. It cannot be said that the Virgin or Our Lord employs Spanish or French words, or words from any other language. They arrive directly at the faculty of understanding and feeling. As a result, it is more profound, more certain, and less subject to error. Yet it is problematic for the child to translate into words what has been communicated without them. As a result, in different instances she uses different words to describe what happened.
At the same time she explains something that happened without words, she gives very valid notes for the discernment of spirits, for example: peace, security, fullness, increasing love, etc.].
They could be called a voice of joy, a voice of happiness, a voice of peace. And then, I didn’t doubt anything again. [Conchita speaks in 1963. She would not mention the doubts that would come in the summer of 1966.].
But the days passed. And the voice didn’t return. That made me suffer. But I understand: how could God go on giving me such happiness so often, without meriting it?
The locutions did me much good. Because it was as if the Most Holy Virgin were within me. What happiness!…
At the end of the month, again I heard that voice of interior happiness without words, in the Church.
I prefer the locution more than the apparitions, since during the locution I have her in my very self.
Oh, what happiness with the Most Holy Virgin within me! And what shame, to be so bad! But that is the world.
But I like even more to have Jesus within me… Jesus, who gives me the cross to purify me, and also to see if I can do something for the world with my crosses. With the help of God, since alone I am nothing.
A prayer that I say to Jesus is:
Oh, My Jesus!!!
Principal points in the history of Garabandal from 1963 to 1966
Locution on July 20, 1963
On July 20, 1963, Conchita had an impressive locution from Our Lord.
Since Conchita left the Church saying that she had had an interior locution, a priest asked her to relate the circumstances in writing. Then the girl took a piece of paper and a pencil and wrote these lines spontaneously with great ease. We have transcribed them here from the text:
“I was making my thanksgiving and praying for things. He answered me…
I asked Him to give me a Cross since I was living without suffering—except the suffering of not having a Cross. And he answered:
─ Yes. I will give it to you.
And with much feeling, I went on praying. And I said to Him: Why is the miracle coming? To convert many people? He answered:
─ To convert the whole world [This sentence confirms what the miracle and the four Messages of Garabandal announced; they have a general and universal character. It is a call that is directed to all of humanity.].
─ Will Russia be converted?
─ It also will be converted, and so everyone will love Our Hearts.
─ Will the chastisement come afterwards?
He did not answer me.
─ Why do you come to my poor heart, without my meriting it?
─ I certainly do not come for you; I come for all.
─ When the Miracle comes, will it be as if I were the only one who had seen the Virgin? [The preoccupation of Conchita before this “Great Miracle” is that of not remaining the only privelaged one. It is not that she tries to avoid the responsibility, but she charitably wants her three companions to participate in this grace. This desire has been manifested in several of her conversations with the Vision.].
He answered me:
─ By your sacrifices, your patience, I will allow you to intercede for the accomplishment of the miracle.
And I said to him:
─ Wouldn’t it be better for me to be with all the others; or if not, that You don’t use any of us to intercede?
He told me: No.
─ Will I go to heaven?
And He answered me:
─ You should love much and pray to Our Hearts.
─ When will You give me a Cross?
And He didn’t answer me:
─ What will I be? [This is another of Conchita’s worries—her destiny. That is,to discern the designs God has for her life. For awhile now, she has been questioning whether she has a religious vocation, and she frequently asks the apparition about it, but —according to her own words—the Virgin has never responded in the affirmative.
In the same way, during this locution Our Lord keeps his silence when asked the question “What will I be?” Conchita has always received confirmation of her suffering and of the cross, wherever she is.]
He didn’t answer me. He only told me that everywhere that I would be, I would have much to suffer.
I said to Him:
─ Am I going to die soon?
And He told me:
─ You have to stay on earth to help the world. [This seems to be a clear announcement of a “concrete” vocation; it is a call to live in the world and not in a convent].
And I said to Him:
─ I am very small. I couldn’t help in anything.
And He told me:
─ With your prayers and sufferings, you will help the world.
─ When does one go to heaven? When one dies? [This question seems rather childish. Conchita’s lack of education makes some of her questions seem simple, as though they don’t correspond to her age. In contrast, the response is profoundly astonishing.]
He said to me:
─ One never dies. (I thought that we didn’t go to heaven until we were resurrected). I asked Him if St. Peter was at the gate of heaven to receive us. He told me no.
While I was in this conversation, in this prayer with God, I felt myself out of the world. [This sentence, where Conchita mixes the sublime prayer and conversation, is a precious contribution to the discernment of spirits.].
Jesus also told me that “Now His Heart should be loved.” Concerning priests, He told me that I must pray much: “So that they would be holy and fulfill their duties; so that they would make others better; so that they would make Me known to those who do not know Me, and so that they would make Me loved by those who know Me and do not love Me.” [The theme of priesthood is presented frequently, as one might realize. In the fourth and last Message this allusion is so precise that it is very clear to some people. At any rate, this paragraph contains a summary of the apostolic activities of a priest.] (Signed): Conchita González
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 8
Principal points in the history of Garabandal from 1963 to 1966
MESSAGE OF JUNE 18, 1965
Six months in advance, that is at the end of 1964, Conchita had announced—from the Vision—that on June 18, 1965, she would have an apparition of the Archangel St. Michael.
This long wait permitted many foreigners to know the prophetic announcement and enabled them to come to Garabandal in time: French, Belgians, Germans, and a great number of Americans attended. Naturally, many Spanish people were present as well.
At about 11:30, Conchita, protected by some young people of the village and by an important group from the Civil Guard, walked toward the “Calleja.” She passed through the multitude, arrived at the “cuadro” and fell on her knees. This ecstasy continued for twenty minutes and was filmed for Italian television and N.O.D.O (Spanish News).
Conchita received a message for the whole world. The exact text is the following:
The message that the Most Holy Virgin has given to the world through the intercession of the Angel St. Michael: [In relation to the apparition of November 13, 1965, which we will transcribe later, Conchita tells what the Virgin said:
─ Do you know, Conchita, why I did not come on June 18 to tell the last Message that you had to tell to the whole world? Because it made me very sad to say these things to my children on earth. Nevertheless, it is necessary to say them for your good, so that you will do what the messages say, and all will be for the glory of God.]
The Angel has said: [After this moment, it is the Most Holy Virgin who speaks through the Archangel.] Since my message of October 18th has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I advise you that this is the last one.
Before the cup was filling up, now it is overflowing.
Many priests are on the road to perdition and they are taking many souls with them. [When Conchita was questioned about this sentence in the message, she clarified it without any hesitation and repeated it many times when they asked: “The Angel has told me that many Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests are on the road to perdition and that they are taking many souls with them” When the Angel told me this—Conchita continued by saying—this made me very embarrassed, and the Angel repeated it to me a second time: “Yes, Conchita, many Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests…etc.”.]
The Eucharist is given less and less importance. [This was already in the message on October 18, 1961. The following sentence can be read: “It is necessary to visit the Blessed Sacrament often.” The invitation to reverence and devotion towards the Holy Eucharist is even more urgent in the message of June 18, 1965. On September 3, 1965, Pope Paul VI published the encyclical “Mysterium Fidei,” which reaffirms the solemn Dogma of the Real Presence.]
With our own efforts we should avoid the wrath of God.
If we ask pardon with sincere hearts, He will forgive us.
I, your Mother, through the intercession of the Angel St. Michael, ask you to amend your lives.
You are already in the last warnings.
I love you very much and do not want your condemnation.
Ask us sincerely, and we will give it to you.
You should make more sacrifices.
Think of the Passion of Jesus.
(Signed): Conchita González 18-VI-1965
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 9
Principal points in the history of Garabandal from 1963 to 1966
ON NOVEMBER 13, 1965
First, we reproduce one of Conchita’s letters, written to Fr. Alba, S.J. from Barcelona, as an introduction. It is accompanied by some explanatory notes:
I understand from these two girls who have arrived in our group that you cannot come here even though it is your desire. I send you my affectionate greeting, and I promise you my poor prayers in front of the tabernacle and the Virgin.
I hope that your desire is to love God and His Mother more and more (it is our desire as well) and to overcome our faults.
I ask for your prayers for myself and my friends, [Conchita makes an allusion to her three friends: Loli, Jacinta, and Mari Cruz.] since we need many to be very humble and to give Jesus what he asks. Pray so that one day we will be nuns in the service of God, so that we can help people who need it. This is our desire, but we are very weak, and need you to help us [Conchita has already said during the Apparitions that she wanted to enter the convent.].
The Virgin told me on January 1, 1965, that the Catholic Christians who don’t think about the other world, of heaven or hell, should think about it so that our lives can be more united with Christ, and so that we should think and meditate more on the Passion of Jesus. We should do it, but not only do it ourselves, we should make others do it. Then we will see how we feel at the doors of happiness with God, and we will accept our crosses with joy and love for God.
With much affection for all, and in union of prayers.
P.D. I say this, [This is a type of Post Script, for which Conchita is responsible.] that believing in the apparitions accomplishes nothing if we don’t fulfill the message, or if we don’t follow Holy Mother Church. As everyone knows, the Virgin has said the same thing as at Lourdes and Fatima; she has not said anything new. The miracle comes so that we will fulfill the message. It is not important that we believe in the apparitions; that is a grace that God gives us. We should pray often for our brethren who still don’t know God; this is the Virgin’s desire. We should also pray for those who receive graces from God and the Virgin and don’t thank them.
Reproduction of a letter from Conchita to Fr. Gustavo Morelos (México), in which she announces that she has had a locution (8-XI-65), that she will have an apparition at the Pines (Saturday the 13), and that she will give the Most Holy Virgin an object to kiss, telling her that it is for Fr. Morelos.
San Sebastián de Garabandal, November 8, 1965. Reverend and dear Fr. Morelos:
See, before receiving your response, I’m writing to you again to say that I have had a locution from the Virgin and she has told me:
“Go to the Pines on Saturday and you will see me there. Bring me many religious objects and I will kiss all of them so you will distribute them, and through the use of them my Son will work prodigies.”
I will give you one of the kissed objects. When I give it to be kissed, I’m going to tell Our Mother that it is for Fr. Morelos.
I have finished my diary, but I am going to begin another.
Pray for me so that I will go to the convent soon and so that I will be good.
IN UNION THROUGH PRAYER
(Signed): Conchita González
As the letter from Conchita continues, she describes her apparition to Fr. Morelos:
“On Saturday, November 13th, as announced by the Virgin during a locution in the Church, I saw her in the Pines. It was a special apparition to kiss religious objects and then to distribute them afterward; they have great importance.
I had a great desire for that day to come, so that I could once again see the one who has caused the joy of God within me: the Virgin with the Child Jesus in her arms.
It was raining, but that didn’t matter to me. I went up to the Pines and I carried many rosaries with me, which had been given to me so that I could distribute them. As the Virgin had told me in the locution, I brought them for her to kiss.
I went up to the Pines alone, very sorry for my faults, and saying to myself that I would not fall into them any more, since I was sorry at the thought of presenting myself to the Mother of God without ridding myself of them.
When I arrived at the Pines I began to take out the rosaries I carried, and while I was taking them out, I heard a very sweet voice, the voice of the Virgin, which is distinguishable from all others, and it called me by my name. I answered: “What…?” And in this moment I saw her with the Child Jesus in her arms. She came dressed as usual and was smiling broadly.
I said to her:
─ “I have come to bring these rosaries to be kissed.”
And She said to me:
─ “I SEE THAT.”
When I brought them I was chewing gum, but when I saw her, I stopped chewing and put it on a tooth. She knew that I had the gum and said:
─ “CONCHITA, WHY DON’T YOU THROW AWAY YOUR GUM AND OFFER IT AS A SACRIFICE FOR THE GLORY OF MY SON?”
I was ashamed, and I removed my gum and threw it on the ground. Afterward, she said to me:
─ “DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT I TOLD YOU ON YOUR SAINTS’ DAY—THAT YOU WOULD SUFFER MUCH ON EARTH?
…WELL, I AM TELLING YOU AGAIN. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN US, AND OFFER IT WILLINGLY TO OUR HEARTS, FOR THE GOOD OF YOUR BRETHREN, BECAUSE IN THAT WAY YOU WILL BE MORE UNITED WITH US.”
─ “How unworthy I am, Oh Our Mother, of so many Graces I have received from You, and I come here today carrying the small cross I have now.”
She said to me:
─ CONCHITA, I DO NOT COME ONLY FOR YOU, BUT FOR ALL OF MY CHILDREN, WITH THE DESIRE THAT THEY WILL COME CLOSER TO OUR HEARTS.”
And she asked me:
─ “GIVE THE OBJECTS TO ME, SO THAT I MAY KISS ALL THAT YOU CARRY.”
And I gave her everything.
I carried a Cross with me and she kissed it, then said to me:
─ “PASS IT OVER THE CHILD JESUS’ HANDS.” I did it and He didn’t say anything. I said to him:
─ “I will bring this cross with me to the convent,” but he didn’t say anything [It can be seen that this persistent silence on the Virgin’s part to Conchita’s question about her religious vocation, like the clear words of Our Lord in the locution of February 13, 1966, are proof that God had a very special and particular vocation reserved for this girl.]. After kissing the objects, she said to me:
─ “MY SON WILL ACCOMPLISH PRODIGIES THROUGH THE KISSES I HAVE GIVEN HERE. DISTRIBUTE THEM TO OTHERS…”
─ “Of course, this is what I will do.”
After this, she asked me to say petitions for the others, as they had asked me. I did, [Conchita and the other girls have said frequently that during the ecstasies the glance of the Most Holy Virgin was directed towards those who attended the apparitions, and it sometimes rested longer on one than on the other. With a mother’s regard she said: “All of these are my children.”] and she said to me:
─ TELL ME, CONCHITA, TELL ME ABOUT MY CHILDREN; I HOLD ALL OF THEM BENEATH MY MANTLE. I said:
─ It is very small; It will not cover all of them.
─ “DO YOU KNOW, CONCHITA, WHY I DIDN’T COME ON JUNE 18 TO GIVE THE MESSAGE TO THE WORLD? … BECAUSE IT PAINED ME TO SAY IT, BUT IT HAD TO BE SAID FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, AND FOR THE GLORY OF GOD IF YOU FULFILL IT. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH AND DESIRE YOUR SALVATION IN ORDER TO UNITE YOU AROUND THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. IS IT TRUE, CONCHITA, THAT YOU WILL RESPOND TO ME?”
I said to her:
─ “If I always see you, yes, but if not, I don’t know, because I am very bad…”
─ “DO YOUR PART AND WE WILL HELP YOU, AS ALSO MY CHILDREN LOLI, JACINTA, AND MARI CRUZ…”
She had only been there a short time, when she also said to me:
─ “THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME YOU SEE ME HERE, [It is difficult to say what this sentence means: “I will not come to the Pines again” or “You will not see me in Garabandal anymore”… At the moment Conchita does not know the meaning of these words.] BUT I WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU AND WITH ALL MY CHILDREN.”
After that she added:
─ “CONCHITA, WHY DON’T YOU VISIT MY SON MORE IN THE TABERNACLE? WHY DO YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE CARRIED AWAY BY LAZINESS SO AS NOT TO VISIT HIM WHEN HE WAITS FOR YOU DAY AND NIGHT?”
As I have already written, it was raining a lot and the Virgin and the Child Jesus were not wet. When I was seeing her, I didn’t realize that it was raining, but when I stopped seeing her, I was wet.
I said to her:
─ “Oh, how happy I am when I see you! Why don’t you bring me with you now?” And she answered me:
─ “REMEMBER WHAT I TOLD YOU ON YOUR SAINTS’ DAY… WHEN PRESENTING YOURSELF BEFORE GOD, YOU MUST SHOW YOUR HANDS FULL OF GOOD WORKS DONE FOR YOUR BRETHREN AND FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. NOW YOUR HANDS ARE EMPTY.”
Nothing more. I had passed this happy time with my Mother in Heaven and my best Friend [This is an expression that is used frequently by Conchita.] and with the Child Jesus. I have stopped seeing them, but I continue to feel them. [This is surely a reference to the locutions.]
Once again there is left in my soul a peace and a happiness and a great desire to overcome my faults so as to love with all my strength the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, since they love us so much.
Previously, [The word “previously” applies to the previous Apparitions and locutions.] the Virgin told me that Jesus did not send the punishment to discourage us, but to reprimand us for not paying attention, and to help us. He sends the warning to purify us, so that we will see the love He has for us in the miracle. For this reason, He wants us to fulfill the message.
The “warning” will be seen and will happen in all places and be felt by every person; it is like a punishment. It will be seen what has been caused by our sins. I think that it will bring much good, not so that we will be discouraged, but for our sanctification.
For Fr. Morelos.
I have received your letter, and I am answering it today. [This referes to the account of the Apparition.] I did not send this before because I couldn’t. I hope you pray for me, because I need it.
Many greetings from my mother and Serafín.
IN UNION THROUGH PRAYER
(Signed): Conchita González
In September of 1965, Fr. Gustavo Morelos traveled to Spain because he wanted to make the Spiritual Exercises and afterward to dedicate some time to studying the “Apparitions” of the Most Holy Virgin in San Sebastián de Garabandal (Santander), Spain. The news had arrived in México.
He returned to his country on November 7th, and to his great surprise he found a letter from Conchita, dated the 8th of the same month. In it she announced that she would have a visit from the Virgin in the Pines, a document that was reproduced in the previous pages.
What interested the Father most about this letter was the promise that Conchita made: that when she saw the Most Holy Virgin, she would give an object to be kissed, saying: “This object is for Fr. Morelos.”
The Father anxiously awaited Conchita’s account of her meeting with Our Sweet Mother.
Finally, on a very significant day, December 25th, the Father had in his hands the letter, which we reproduced here:
On July 4, 1966, Conchita wrote another letter to give two pieces of news: First, that she had returned to the village. Second, that the Crucifix she had promised (it had been the first she’d asked to be kissed) had been given to Fr. Andreu.
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 10
Principal points in the history of Garabandal from 1963 to 1966
with Our Lord in Pamplona
February 13, 1966 and the trip to Rome
This is the reproduction of part of a letter from Conchita written to the Reverend Fr. Gustavo Morelos, in which she relates this event:
Copy of Conchita’s Locution
on February 13, 1966
On Sunday, February 13th, [February 7th: Conchita entered the convent of the Barefoot Missionary Carmelites in Pamplona as an novice, with the desire to follow a religious vocation. Six days later Our Lord made known the special path her destiny would take. The syntax is particularly irregular. At least the meaning is clear: the words Conchita attributes to Our Lord are absolute and short. This is a harsh style.] in the moment of giving thanks to God after Communion, I received a great happiness and at the same time a greater sorrow and feeling of disillusion. I heard the voice of Christ and he said this: “Conchita, you have come here to school to prepare yourself to become my spouse and to follow me. Didn’t you tell me, Conchita, that you want to do my will? Now you want to follow your own will—do you want to continue like this your whole life? I have chosen you to be in the world, and to face many challenges for Me. I want all of this for your holiness, and for you to offer it for the salvation of the world. You should talk to the world about Mary. Remember that in June you asked me if you would be a nun. I told you: in whatever role you will find a cross, suffering, and I will tell you this again now. Conchita, have you felt me calling you to be my spouse? No, because I have not called you.”
I asked: And how does one feel your call to be a nun? He told me: Don’t worry about this; you will not feel it. I said: Then you don’t love me, Jesus? He said: “Conchita, you ask me this? Who has redeemed you? Do my will and you will find my love. Examine yourself well. Think about others more, and don’t pay attention to temptations; if you are faithful to my love, you will conquer many temptations. Be intelligent in what I have told you, spiritually intelligent. Don’t close the eyes of your soul, and don’t be deceived by anyone. Love humility, simplicity, never think that what you have done is much. Think about what you still have to do, not to gain Heaven, but for the world, to accomplish my divine will, that your soul will be prepared. Whoever has a soul disposed to hearing me will know my will.”
“I want to tell you, Conchita, that before the Miracle you will suffer much; there will be very few who believe you. [A clear allusion to the doubts that she would suffer very soon, and the anxiety which would result in her own family’s suffering.] Your own family will believe that you have deceived them. I want all of this for your sanctification, and so the world will accomplish the Message. I want to warn you that the rest of your life will be a continual suffering. Do not be disturbed. In suffering am I with Mary whom you love so much.”
I asked Him if Rome also would not believe me, [Invited by the Holy Office, Conchita went to Rome in January of 1966. She was accompanied by her mother and Fr. Luís Luna. The summary of this trip will be short given the discretion that was imposed on Conchita and her mother. The general impression Conchita had was that the “atmosphere” of this trip was excellent, and the letter we will reproduce later is the best illustration of this. On the other hand, through conversation, Conchita affirmed that she had been received by Cardinal Ottaviani with affability and marvelous goodness but that she had been submitted to questioning that lasted more than two hours, the interview having been recorded by the secretary of the Cardinal. There are two principal facts that the public knew: that Conchita was very happy and that His Holiness Paul VI recognized Conchita in the crowd during a public audience. He detained her. He called her and in a clear and strong voice said: “Conchita, I bless you and with you the whole Church.”] and He told me: “DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHETHER THEY BELIEVE YOU OR NOT. I WILL DO EVERYTHING. BUT I WILL ALSO GIVE YOU SUFFERING; WHOEVER SUFFERS FOR ME, I AM WITH HIM.
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 11
Principal points in the history of Garabandal from 1963 to 1966
CONTRADICTIONS AND RETRACTIONS
From the beginning of the Apparitions, the Vision had announced to the girls that there would come a time when they would contradict themselves and that they would also deny that they had seen her. The girls repeated this frequently.
To be more precise, we will transcribe some of the the texts in which they announce the future retractions, and it is perfectly explicit: on page 60 of the manuscripted diary of Conchita, the following passage from 1963 reads like this:
“From the first days of the Apparitions, the Virgin had told the four of us, Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz, and I, that we would contradict each other and that our parents would not get along. She told us that we would even DENY that we had seen the Virgin and the Angel. All of this happened in January…We wondered about this, of course, because she had told us…”
In a letter addressed to William A. Nolan (from the United States), dated March 22, 1965, Conchita wrote:
“Besides the Message, the Virgin told us many other things about the message. She also told us that we would contradict each other very much.”
According to a locution that Loli had in November of 1965, the Virgin announced a period of doubts in these words:
“She told me that I have to suffer much in this world and that I will have many trials; she said that I will doubt all that I have seen and that this will make me suffer more than anything else.”
In a locution on February 13, 1966, about which we have already spoken and given the complete text, Our Lord warns Conchita in the following manner:
“I repeat that you have much to suffer from now until the Miracle; few will believe you. Your own family will believe that you have deceived them. But it is I who wants this, as I have told you, for your sanctification and so the world will fulfill the Message. I want to warn you that the rest of your life will be a continual suffering.”
What has been accomplished with regard to these announcements as of now?
─ Conchita writes in her diary about Mari Cruz: “Mari Cruz continues saying that she has not seen the Virgin.” This retraction goes back to 1963.
─ It is said that Conchita denied for the first time at the age of twelve years old, when she was brought to Santander at the end of July in 1961. It is said that on this occasion, she signed a paper which stated that she had not seen the Virgin. We do not have any document or anything with greater detail about this first denial. It is possible to think beforehand that it has very little importance compared to what follows.
─Loli and Jacinta, at the same time as Conchita, confronted two periods of doubts and contradictions: the first was in January of 1963, and the second happened in 1966.
I have here what it says in Conchita’s diary about the first period: “In the month of January of 1963, all that the Most Holy Virgin told us happened. We have come to contradict each other. At first we began contradicting each other, but then we began denying that we had seen the Most Holy Virgin. We even went to confession. Yet inside, we knew that the Archangel and the Most Holy Virgin had appeared to us.” And later: “I wonder that I said all of this, because my conscience is perfectly at peace since I know that I have seen the Virgin.”
The second period of doubts began, at least for Conchita, during Lent in 1966. This began with strong tempations against her faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. This was not the first time. But, at the beginning of Holy Week, these temptations became so violent that Conchita stopped receiving Communion.
The religious who were responsible for the child’s education at the school, persuaded her to overcome these temptations and receive Communion again by saying that to be tempted is not a sin. Conchita consented to receiving daily Communion, but then she began to feel a force that impeded her from going near the Eucharist; she had to be violent with herself in order to persevere.
According to her own words, she expressed herself like this:
─ It seemed to me that they simply gave me a little piece of bread.
These temptations against the Faith were followed by doubts about the objective reality of her Visions. Conchita questioned whether it had not all been a trick of her imagination, or whether she had been a victim of some psychological or mental disorder. At the same time, Loli and Jacinta were in different places, kilometers from Conchita, and were suffering from the same anguished interior phenomena about the reality of the apparitions.
These doubts increased during the following months. Before this, the three girls had met in Garabandal. In the middle of August, they decided to go and communicate their doubts and fears to the priest. I have a letter from Conchita here, written to Fr. Morelos, dated October 13, 1966, in which she tells of the difficult test that is happening to her:
The interview mentioned in this letter between Conchita and the Bishop of Santander (Fr. Vicente Puchol) was very long: it lasted seven hours, two in the morning, and five in the afternoon. Conchita was very happy with the way the Bishop treated her. She declared that all she had written in her diary was true “except the fact that she had seen the Virgin and the Angel.”
She explained that all that had happened during the years of the Apparitions was like a series of dark coincidences to her. She also said that the “calls” were true because she remembered the sensation perfectly.
This visit from the Bishop of Santander to Pamplona took place in the first days of September of 1966.
There was another interview between Conchita and the Bishop, but this one was in Santander. Conchita said that on this occasion she had the intention of telling the Prelate the date of the announced Miracle. But at the moment she wanted to say it, she forgot it completely, and then as soon as she crossed the threshold of the Episcopal Palace, the date of the Miracle returned to her with total clarity.
These interviews between Conchita and the Bishop of Santander ended with the Bishop asking her to sign her declarations. The parents of some of the girls said that they couldn’t sign the declarations until they explained what had happened during these phenomena that they had observed in the girls during three years. This attitude of the girls’ parents is very understandable since they are simple mountain people accustomed to seeing everything clearly.
After this, many people had the opportunity of speaking with the girl.
When, for example, Fr. Gustavo Morelos was present in January 1967, he showed Conchita an image made in Mexico by the painter Octavio so that the messages given by the Virgin in Garabandal might be known. Upon seeing it, Conchita made a gesture that she liked it, and took it in her hands. She began to make detailed observations to the priest; for example: that She didn’t wear a crown, that the stars that circled her head were interwoven to form what we would call a crown. That she didn’t wear a sash on her waist, that her face looked straight ahead, that she carried the scapular in her right hand like a maniple… The next day, Fr. Morelos accompanied Loli and Jacinta to their respective schools and, with the same image above her desk, Loli consulted the priest; she took it in her hands and said:
─ Father, the Virgin that we saw did not wear a crown, and her head was not tilted to one side. She didn’t have a sash and she carried the scapular in her right hand like a maniple.
These observations made by a different girl kilometers away is an eloquent proof that the girls, even in a period of doubts and denials, carried within them an image of the Most Holy Virgin that captivated their senses and their consciences.
They also questioned Conchita about what she called her “denials.” We have reproduced a particularly interesting dialogue:
Question: ─ When you said that you saw the Virgin, were you lying?
Conchita: ─ No, I told the truth.
Question: ─ And now when you say that you haven’t seen her, are you lying?
Conchita: ─ No, I’m telling the truth.
Question: ─ Is your conscience really tranquil about this matter?
Conchita: ─ Yes.
Question: ─ And when you said that you saw the Virgin, was your conscience clear then?
Conchita: ─ Yes, of course.
Question: ─ In which of these two instances was your conscience the most tranquil.
Conchita: ─ When I said that I saw the Virgin. Then my conscience was completely peaceful. Now, of course, I am peaceful, but at the same time I have “something deep within my conscience.”
Question: ─ Why do you say now that you have not seen the Virgin?
Conchita: ─ Only the Most Holy Virgin knows why. She made things this way…
In a letter that Conchita wrote in November of 1966, this passage can be read:
─ “I continue thinking the same thing about my retractions, and I accept all of this as a cross that Our Lord has sent to me. Sometimes I think: if all of this has not been true, then it is not a cross, or anything at all.
In closing, we will cite from the writings of another Spanish Theologian, the Reverend Father Lucio Rodrigo, about the retractions and doubts of the girls.
This note is dated August 10, 1966. This writing describes the moment in which Loli and Jacinta reached the low point of their doubts. Of course, the author of this note could not know about Conchita’s culminating moment, which happened a little later, around August 15th: “All that believe in the reality of the supernatural and divine regarding the facts of Garabandal should not let their Faith be affected by the fact that some of the girls say that these phenomena have been nothing more than a marvelous comedy, capably executed by them as a game of sweet illusion caused by a sickness from the devil.
The reason is the following: if we have concluded that we believe in the supernatural and divine character of these phenomena, it has not been because we have based it upon what the girls have told us about their Visions in those moments, whether it be during the moments of ecstasy or after, without considering it in conjunction with the phenomena that we have attended, or that others who have Faith affirm that they have seen. We have submitted this unity of facts to a severe critical analysis and we have arrived at the conclusion that these phenomena were not and could not have been invented by the girls, nor could they have resulted from their imaginations with a pathological or demonic origin. This does not exclude that some occasional fact or isolated situation might have been the fruit of their imaginations or an illusion.
We add that this reasoning must always be valid, although Conchita affirms that the other girls did it, but that all that happened to her was nothing more than an able simulation performed by her, or a game of illusion.
For that reason, if our conclusions and our beliefs in the supernaturality of the phenomena of Garabandal have not been founded in what the girls said during the time of the Apparitions, but rather in the concrete facts and real evidence seen by me and by other witnesses, it simply diminishes what really happened or what happened in these Apparitions. No one has a right to destroy these facts or what the girls might say in the future.
They are having an illusion now, but we are not.”
Comillas, August 10, 1966
Fr. Lucio Rodrigo S.J.
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 12
Testimony of the Reverend Fr. Ramón María Andreu.
Regarding his visit to Garabandal on October 18, 1961.
Question: On October 18, 1961 you were in Garabandal. Could you tell us what happened during this visit and the circumstances accompanying it?
Father: I would be happy to do so. I arrived in Garabandal on October 17th. During that day and October 18th, I saw an immense multitude of people arrive in the village. This presented much taking into account the difficulty of the way and that the day was an actual deluge. The distance from Cossío, which I traveled on foot, is about six kilometers.
That day I was happy and tranquil. I didn’t have any reason to be any other way. During the months of August and September, and including what had happened in October, I had been a witness to many events in the mountain village. I had many happy memories from those months. Everything seemed good to me.
Question: How were your relations with the Bishop of Santander?
Father: My relations with the diocesan authority was excellent. Fr. Doroteo Fernández, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese, had authorized me to go up to Garabandal to say mass, to preach, and to hear confession as well. I had the opportunity to visit the Bishop on various occasions. On these visits I could disclose my personal opinions. The same thing as it refers to me, happened also with Fr. Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal to my brothers, Fr. Alejandro and Fr. Marcelino.
Question: What was the most pressing motive for your visit to Garabandal on October 18, 1961?
Father: You know that the girls had announced that the proclamation of the message would be on this day. I supposed that this would be important. Many people must have thought this because in spite of the difficulties of this day of deluge, there were about five thousand people who assembled in the village that day.
Question: Conchita says in her diary that this immense multitude went up to the Pines around 10 o’clock at night to hear the message. Did you ascend also?
Father: Yes, I ascended; I was among the last making this laborious ascent. It was necessary to travel 500 meters up the mountain, and on this day it was wet and muddy. After awhile, I was covered in mud. Some flashlights made light in front and on the sides. The water ran down every part of the mountain.
During the ascent, I slipped continually, and I fell several times. This happened to almost everyone.
I was halfway there when I suddenly felt a brutal, intense inner bitterness. It was a mixture of these sad feelings that was difficult to define. In that moment, everything seemed to crumble away for me. It was an extreme impression of intense loneliness. The four girls were nothing more than sick children. I asked myself: Why am I here? My brother had died, and that was all that was definitively true. This painful internal state worsened for a few moments. I can say truthfully that never in my whole life had I felt such intense desolation.
I thought about abandoning that which had not yet happened; I felt like it was nothing more than a sad village joke.
I was still for a little while. Sometimes I looked at the sky. I know that at that moment I would have liked for the miracle that the girls had announced to happen. My deception was absolute.
I changed places and stayed there for awhile; I cannot say how long it was that I was alone, feeling people pass me going up to the Pines in the darkness. It was dark and silent. I have never felt more alone.
Suddenly, a lantern shone in my direction. A friend who was descending from the Pines recognized me. He came to where I was.
─ This is marvelous, he said to me.
I let him say this while I thought to myself that tomorrow he would understand how absurd all of this was.
I descended to the village with him, without showing anything of what I was thinking. We entered a house where they were already waiting for us. After a little while, Amaliuca, Loli’s sister, entered. She came towards me and two others and said to us:
─ Loli says that you, you, and you should come.
I heard her, but I didn’t want to go. Finally, I said: I will do a work of mercy; I’ll visit the sick. And I decided to say goodbye definitively.
Question: And did you go to Loli’s house?
Father: Yes. I went up to the attic of Ceferino’s house. There were a number of people there, it was a group of 12 or 14, and Loli was with them. The girl seemed content, even happy. I was thinking about the thoughtlessness of this girl and the others when Loli smiled and said to me:
─ Sit down.
There was no chair. But there was a type of cot in the corner. I sat automatically on the end of it. Loli sat next to me. She was 12 years old but she led the conversation, which will live in my memory forever.
─ Among the three of you, there is one who does not believe. She said: Do you know who it is?
─ Yes, I told her. Do you?
─ Yes, I know, she answered me. The Virgin told me.
─ Just now, when I was coming down from the Pines.
─ Tell me who it is, I insisted.
─ I don’t dare, was her response. If it was one of the other two…
─ Yes, it’s me, I affirmed. I don’t believe any of it.
A smile of intelligence appeared on Loli’s childlike face and she added:
─ The Virgin told us: The Priest is doubting everything and is suffering very much. Call him and tell him not to doubt, that it is true and it is I, the Virgin, who is appearing. And so that he will believe you, tell him: “When you went up you were happy, when you came down you were sad.”
I was stupefied; I looked at Loli, unsure of what to say. And she added:
─ She talked a lot about you to Conchita.
In that moment I got up; I was confused, but I understood then that I had not arrived at my final goodbye.
I took my two friends who were looking fixedly at my face while they said to me:
─ What did she say to you? What happened?
Without responding to these questions, I pushed them saying:
─ Let’s go to Conchita’s house.
Aniceta opened the door. My greeting was this question:
─ Can I see Conchita?
She is already in bed, Aniceta said, but you can go up.
There were no doors to open. I went up the few stairs and I arrived at her room and called to her there, where Conchita was in bed with her cousin Luciuca. Conchita was 12 and her cousin was 11.
As soon as she saw me she said before I could open my mouth:
─ Father, are you happy, or are you still sad?
─ I didn’t know how to respond. I answered, Loli told me that the Virgin spoke about me to you.
─ For at least fifteen minutes, she answered.
─ And what has she told you?
─ I can’t say, was her response.
─ Then I will remain the same as before, I commented in a loud voice.
Conchita smiled and said to me:
─ There is something that I can tell you: “When you ascended, you were happy, and when you descended, you were sad. The Virgin told me everything you were thinking and when you were thinking it. You thought, now I’m going to America. And in another place, now I don’t want to know anything about so-and-so and so-and-so. And that you suffered a lot. She told me to say this and also to warn you that all of this has happened now so that you will not doubt again.
I was left without words. The next day Conchita showed with her finger on a photograph the exact spots on the mountain where I had been thinking each one of these things. It was something important for me. All that Conchita had said was true. She told me for the Virgin: “All of this has happened in advance so that you will not doubt again.”
I have experienced other moments of doubt, but none has been as anguished as the one on October 18th. Frequently, I have been given the news—including official decisions —which have ended the matter. But I have seen time and time again the same questioner stay open to it.
The experience of October 18, 1961 has served me in many ways: to question how the girls, especially Conchita, could know so much detail about an internal experience of mine, and then tell it to me with such clarity and sureness.
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 13
FROM THE BISHOP OF SANTANDER
OFFICIAL NOTE FROM THE BISHOPRIC OF SANTANDER ABOUT THE HAPPENINGS OF SAN SEBASTIÁN DE GARABANDAL (1965).
We write this NOTA as part of our Pastoral duty. The name of GARABANDAL and the news of the happenings produced during these years in this small mountain village in our Diocese has arrived to us through the means of social communication, as well as to the whole country and the European continent. International agents have divulged graphic information and special reports. They talk of apparitions of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, and of spiritual messages communicating the Most Holy Virgin’s desires. At the same time they ask us to authorize these happenings so that they can be united with other venerable Marian devotions that are universally known.
The Bishop of Santander has gathered an ample amount of documents during these years about all that has occurred. He has not closed the “file” on this matter. He will always write politely on all elements of judgment that are sent to him. There have been THREE official NOTAS at this point, and all have tried to orient the judgment of the faithful. This NOTA will be the fourth. His conclusion to this point regarding the facts is that there is no reason to modify the judgment that has already been given. That is, his opinion is that the supernaturality of these phenomena is NOT EVIDENT; it has been2 carefully examined.
Consequently, it follows that this diocesan authority renews the measures taken so that the atmosphere of confusion will not increase because of the massive propaganda that exists outside of the spirit and letter of the sacred canons and is promoted through news, newspaper articles, magazines, graphic information, reviews in itineraries, and other similar methods.
We remember that according to Canon 1,309 Number 5: “By the same Law, books and pamphlets that refer to new apparitions, revelations, visions, prophecies, miracles, or that introduce new devotions are prohibited if they are published without observing the prescriptions of the canons.” We make known that at the present moment we have not granted “Imprimatur” any book, pamphlet, article, or review on this matter. We extend this prohibition as far as our diocesan authority reaches on the publication of articles or information that has not been submitted to the censor of the Diocese of Santander.
We ask all of the faithful Christians to abstain from worsening the atmosphere in San Sebastian de Garabandal with their presence. This atmosphere has been created by these apparitions and spiritual communications. We want to make clear that we have not found anything deserving of ecclesiastical censure with regard to condemning either the doctrines or the spiritual recommendations that have been promulgated because of the events of Garabandal in so far as they are directed to faithful Christians. On the contrary, they contain exhortations to prayer and sacrifice, to Eucharistic worship, to devotion to Our Lady under traditional praiseworthy forms, and to the holy fear of God offended by our sins. They simply repeat ordinary Church doctrine in these matters. We recognize the good faith and the religious fervor of the persons who go up to San Sebastian de Garabandal, and who merit the greatest respect. We want to support their religious fervor so that, trusting completely in the Church’s Hierarchy and its Magisterium, they might comply exactly with our publicly reiterated recommendations.
Regarding the priests, as a result of the special importance that their intervention can have in the active form of their participation and collaboration in the development of these facts, as well as in the form of simple presence as a spectator, we PROHIBIT in an explicit and formal matter their attendance without express license, to be obtained personally in each case, from the diocesan authority. We declare that the licenses are suspended “ipso facto” in the Diocese of Santander for those who violate our formal warning. The Supreme Holy Congregation of the Holy Office has had contact with the Diocese of Santander to obtain the proper information in this serious matter.
Santander, July 8, 1965
EUGENIO, Bishop A.A. of Santander
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 14
Part of the original text of some of Conchita’s notes.
“I would talk to you the whole day… but I would bore you. In the darkness of this silent night, and looking at the blue sky, I see your creation; the stars, the moon… all of these things that you have made for our good. I feel very united with you when looking at the sky… I want those who don’t know you and who are separated from you to accept my prayers and for you to accept my prayers this night, and also my timid and miserable sacrifices—so that these souls might be nearer to you, Jesus, and to Mary, Mother of the Church, especially for those that don’t know you.”
“Why have you chosen me, knowing what I am, to tell your sorrowful messages? It is a very great grace, and you know, my Jesus, that I realize the responsibility that I have. How will I fulfill it, Jesus? I cannot enter within the message and make them fulfill it, and some people believe that I have invented this! Why do you let this happen? You already know, that it cannot be completed like this, with them doubting. Oh, my Jesus, we meditate on your five wounds so that we can offer sacrifices happily. Forgive us Lord, because we are joined to you…”
“I would like to visit you more. I want to be your little light that calls and lights up for you and grows brighter to give light to souls that want to come where you are. I also want to be the part within the door of the tabernacle so I can be more united with You. I want to be so much, but I am nothing, nothing, nothing. But since I am the daughter of Mary, the Mother of God, I am redeemed with the Blood of Christ Crucified, and because of that I am something.”
CONCHITA’S DIARY- 15
CONCHITA’S PRAYER—JANUARY 1, 1967
Mother, I ask you for this new year,
Not to be vain.
I ask you also for sincerity, gratitude and
Love for You.
Lord, this is what I ask of you this year:
Give me the spirit of sacrifice, of prayer.
Let me receive Communion with more fervor,
And visit the Blessed Sacrament more often.
Forgive me, Lord.
Thank you for all of the good that you have given us.
Thank you for all of the good that you have given my family and
Forgive us for not always doing what you ask.
Lord, thank you for this new year and forgive me for last year.
Lord, I pray for all those that you have commended to me.
Above all for those who need you most.
Lord, I also pray for the souls in Purgatory.
I pray for all of the sick.
For those who spread the message;
And for those who don’t want to know anything about the message.
I pray for everyone.
I also pray for those who write to me now,
And for all who have written to me telling me about their needs.
Lord, I tell You about them,
Although I cannot tell you about all of them,
Lord, you already know.
Mother, listen to all of us,
Tell your Son
And help and give them what they pray for,
If it is for the greater glory of you and Jesus
And good for our souls.
Lord, forgive those you have entrusted to me.
Lord, I pray so that your message will spread more and more
And that all who spread the message
Will do it for You.
Lord, thank you for them.
Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Hail, Mary Most Pure,
Conceived without sin.