Heavenly Kisses

By Helene Ciarawino

Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Australia / January-March 2019

When trying to justify the disappointments and complexities of life, it is not uncommon to find ourselves say, “God’s ways are not our ways.” We confidently complain, “This isn’t Heaven. What do we expect?” Yet through events at Garabandal, we see that sometimes God, His angels and His saints do work within our ways. Sometimes there is a touch of Heaven on earth. At Garabandal our Blessed Mother was remarkably sensitive to working within our ways. She often chose to bridge the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds by performing common, loving gestures that we can understand. The most significant of these seems to have been the kiss. Our Lady’s effort to kiss many objects for the faithful, as well as the visionaries themselves is unique to the vision of Garabandal.


In Our Lady Comes to Garabandal, written by Fr. Joseph A. Pelletier, we learn much about the kisses that came from the Heavenly realm. Pelletier includes “Conchita’s Diary” – journal accounts of the events by the visionary herself – and commentary. He reveals that quite early in the mystical events – in July of 1961- Conchita was already discussing how Our Lady willingly kissed objects for the faithful. But how did this practice begin? Pelletier explains that the visionaries had gathered pebbles to give to the Infant Jesus, whom Mary held in her arms during an early vision. Although the girls tried to entertain the Infant with these pebbles, He declined to take them. In response, the Blessed Mother took the pebbles herself, kissed them and instructed the visionaries to distribute the stones to the surrounding people. 

Conchita emphasises that Our Lady did not verbally instruct the girls to begin this practice. Instead, the visionaries simply had “intuition” to gather pebbles for the Infant. From then on, the Heavenly kisses became a regular part of the Garabandal events. People began to request kisses on rosaries, medals, wedding rings, etc. So what seemed to be a coincidental occurrence as, in hindsight, a beautiful agend

The Blessed Mother sometimes gave specific instructions about objects she wanted to kiss. During one apparition,  apparition, Our Lady instructed one of the visionaries to give her a small make-up compact that lay on a table of rosaries, medals, wedding rings, etc. Most people frowned at the thought that someone would place an object of vanity on the table. 

However, our Blessed Mother requested the item stating, “It belongs to my Son.” Much later the people found out that the compact had been used to carry Communion to prisoners during the Spanish Civil War. 

During the final apparition in 1965 the Blessed Mother declared that Jesus would perform many miracles through the kissed objects. Conchita reported – though not in her diary – that, according to the Blessed Mother, those who faithfully wear the kissed objects will serve their purgatory in this lifetime. 

What is even more endearing is the loving familial kisses that Our Lady offered to the visionaries themselves. The visionaries actually made some kind of personal contact with the Blessed Mother during many apparitions; she gave the girls departing kisses on many occasions. The visionaries describe these kisses much like they describe the experience of holding the Infant Jesus in their arms during certain visions. That is, the girls sensed physical resistance against their lips without actually feeling flesh. 

There is interesting background to learn on this subject. The first kisses between Our Lady and the visionaries occurred in early August, 1961. After a brief apparition, the girls heard a strange voice for a moment – yet a moment that was accompanied by darkness and feelings of fear. The voice stopped and Our Lady returned to the girl’s view, enwrapped by light. She told the girls not to fear and then, for the first time, kissed each one of them before leaving. The kisses seemed to be acts of comfort, peace, and familiarity. Once enacted, the gesture would often be repeated at the conclusion of apparitions. The girls would frequently lift each other up, apparently raising one another for their kisses from our Heavenly Mother.

According to an interview that is quoted in Star on the Mountain by Fr. Materne Laffineur, the girls surprisingly never claimed to physically touch the Virgin Mary. Conchita was asked if she could ‘feel the freshness of her (Our Lady’s) face.” In response, Conchita lifted the hand of a woman standing close by and placed it before her mouth and eyes – enough to block the mouth and eyes, but not close enough to physically touch the face. She likened such closeness, and yet such lack of physical feeling, to the kisses with the Blessed Mother. No, she didn’t feel the face. As Conchita recalls, “If we try to put our hands on Our Lady, we cannot put our hands any further because she is there. Yet we can feel nothing, although she is just in front of our hands!”

Therefore, we understand that the girls made some kind of unique and loving contact with the blessed Mother, yet cannot describe that contact in an earthly sense. Regardless, the kisses were comforting to the girls, life-changing to the people who received kissed objects, and inspiring to those of us who read about such Heavenly contact today. 

So despite the fact that the kiss is a very earthly gesture, it has played a significant role in the spirit of Garabandal. The overarching sentiment behind the kisses is the wonderful realization that the Heavens long to make contact with us – to communicate warmth and compassion. So what was a sign of betrayal in the New Testament – Judas’s kiss – now becomes an act of love and expression.

ED. NOTE: Helene received her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master of Arts in Literature from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. During her under-graduate career, she also accomplished a minor in Theology which motivated her to pursue independent studies on spirituality and prayer that continue today.

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Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Australia / January-March 2019

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