Ashamed and Still Loved
Pepe Diaz, resident and witness of Garabandal
Reprinted with kind permission by Dr. Brain Miller, St. Joseph Publications, Cleveland: SHE WENT IN HASTE TO THE MOUNTAIN, Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, O.F.M., CAP.
About this time, there took place—although the exact date is not know—another of the innumerable minor events that constitute the “Hour of Garabandal” in the tremendous History of Salvation. I (Eusebio de Pesquera) received this directly from the stone mason, Pepe Diez, to whom it happened; he remembered it as if it were still taking place.
As on almost all the evenings in those days, phenomena occurred in the village, together with remarkable processions of prayer and penance that formed behind the girls walking in ecstasy through the streets and trails. But on this day Pepe Diez did not bother to take part in them. In addition to this being nothing new for him, he was tired and had no desire to be in the procession. From his house be was able to hear clearly the sound of footsteps and prayers approaching, then receding, to be lost in the distance. When all became quiet, he went outside and made his way down a dark alley to better avoid any meeting that might detain him. As he was walking close to a wall, he smacked his forehead against a stone jutting out from it. The reaction was instantaneous, motus primo primi, as the moralists say: the typical reaction of so many men who have grown up surrounded by bad language and have made it their own. He let out a blasphemy.
Immediately he felt ashamed. But he did not have time to think about it. Something held him captive in that corner of the alley, as the sound of the “procession” that had faded away was now returning. It did not take long for it to come upon him, and he tried without success to hide where the shadows were darkest, so that everyone would pass without noticing his presence. The girl who was coming in ecstasy at the head of the parade, without lowering her gaze from on high, went toward him, crucifix in hand. Poor Pepe would have preferred the earth to swallow him. He fell trembling on his knees, and felt the girl place the crucifix on his lips with a soft force, as if requiring a kiss of reparation for the blasphemy that could only have been heard by the ears of God. The stone mason was well admonished, more effectively than if he had heard many sermons on the faithful observance of the second commandment of the divine law. He will never forget the lesson.
And so at Garabandal Our Lady appeared in an ineffable way to repeat to everyone, “My little children, these things I address to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have a advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the Just. And He is the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 2:1).