Seminarians from Comillas

Memories of their visit to Garabandal on June 27 and 28 of 1962.

Reprinted with kind permission from GARABANDAL JOURNAL/January-February 2021.

Mari Loli’s ecstasy started in the kitchen at 11:40 p.m. and lasted until 12:45 a.m. She offered medals and rosaries she had hanging from her neck to the Virgin to kiss. As she took off the first medal and crucifix, she managed to get all the others tangled up. She tried to pull one medal and its chain loose but could not. Then she began, one by one, to open the lock of each chain and pull until it was freed, and one by one they were offered to the Virgin to kiss, and finally were placed separately on the table. She did all this on her knees, always looking toward the ceiling.

While pulling on one of the chains to loosen it, the medal fell to the floor. Without looking she reached out and picked it up. Then she went outside into the street, walked about sixty feet, then walked backwards… It was very brief. She blessed herself several times with the crucifix, stood on her tiptoes and stretched her arms slightly out from her body toward the ground. Her father cleared the people out from in front of her. Then she started running through the dark streets. Eleuterio and I ran behind her. After sixty feet or so, we couldn’t continue because of the darkness and the rocky ground. I had fallen down and my companion was also forced to stop. We let her run away.

She ran halfway around the block and came back to where we were. She then returned to her home, went into the kitchen, and proceeded to place each of the medals around the neck of its owner.

She went out again and went to the home where the Fontaneda girls were sleeping. She climbed the stairs to the rooms where they were sleeping, and approaching the bed of each of them, offered the crucifix to kiss. The girls, who were asleep, were startled when awoken, and it took awhile for them to kiss the crucifix. Mari Loli would not move away until the crucifix was kissed.

She then went to another house where Fontaneda, his wife, and a baby in a cradle were sleeping. She pressed the crucifix over the pillow in the cradle and made the sign of the cross. Then she returned to her own home entering the kitchen. We heard the following words: “I lost it; tell me where it is. Where?” Then the ecstasy ended. We asked her what she had lost. “A rosary,” she answered, and then went out to look for it with about eight people with flashlights. We put the flashlights out purposely. She stopped near the house where the Fontanedas were sleeping and said, “Here it is.” We turned on the flashlights and there it was. We asked her when the next ecstasy would begin and she said between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. It began two minutes before three and lasted 20 minutes.


After breakfast at Fontaneda’s house, we spoke with the girls about the message but they didn’t want to discuss it no matter how much we pressed them. Loli and Jacinta were present. Jacinta was almost mute. Clarifying specific concepts they said: “Before the punishment a great evil will come.”

“What evil is that?

Loli did not want to answer.

“Is it a war? The atomic bomb?”

“Oh, if only it were that,” she said several times.

“So, what is this great evil? Give me an example.” “For example, that people will quit going to church.” “This evil is worse than the punishment?”


“What is the name of that evil?”

“The Virgin told me the name.”

“Well, then, why don’t you tell us?”

She smiled.

“Is it Communism?”

Loli ran away saying, “If you keep this up you are going to force me to tell you!”

During one of the apparitions, I tried twice to lift the foot of the kneeling girl but I couldn’t do it. One of the group tried to take her crucifix away from her, but could not. On another occasion one of the girls knelt with her feet above the ground, giving her no support.

Several times we covered Loli’s eyes with our hands, nevertheless she continued offering the crucifix to kiss to all those around her. When the girls offered the crucifix, they would place it in front of the lips and wait for the person to kiss it. Several times I purposely delayed in kissing it and she would not take it away until I did. On another occasion I decided not to kiss it at all, and she pressed it against my lips for quite a while, and finally took it away. Sometimes when they offered us the crucifix we would turn away and they’d follow our lips, if anyone moved away they pursued him until he kissed it.

We can affirm that they don’t see anything outside the vision during the ecstasy, and in spite of us covering their eyes they offered rosaries and medals to the Virgin to kiss, and Loli then returned them to their respective owners. The girls know when they are going to have a vision.

If, after one vision, they are going to have another soon, they know the hour when it will happen.

Cuadro” built for seers in Garabandal

Mari Cruz, twelve years old, is the girl who has the least apparitions. She had the last one on June twenty- first, feast of Corpus Christi. She has gotten up at 6:00 a.m., for several months to say the Rosary in the cuadro [A corral made in the rocky pathway to the Pines to protect the seers from the crowd]? regardless of the cold or rain.

Conchita asks many people, “Do you believe? Why don’t you believe?”

In a film shot by Fontaneda we saw how the three or four girls in ecstasy made the sign of the cross simultaneously, exactly alike at the same time.

While in ecstasy, they don’t blink. We acted as though we were going to strike them hard in the face and they didn’t flinch. A bright flashlight shining in their faces does not make them move or close their eyes.

They don’t realize what they are doing during their apparitions. They don’t know that they’ve been moving around from their starting or ending place. Loli told us once, “But I haven’t moved from here.”

Time goes extremely fast for them. “Did this last long?” we asked Loli at the end of an apparition, and she answered, “Not even half a minute.”

Before the apparitions, Loli has three internal calls. Something inside tells her the time is near. Mari Carmen, daughter of Fontaneda and Loli’s friend, told me about the first two calls which Loli had communicated to her friends. Between the last call and the apparition less than five minutes passed. When the calls start is when Loli becomes nervous and excitable.

Generally speaking, most of the people of the town believe it really is the Virgin who appears. There is a great atmosphere of simplicity in the town and of openness to what is occurring there. If you ask them about the apparitions they answer you as if it were the first time they’d been asked. If you don’t ask them they don’t say anything. The town appears completely normal. We never heard them complain about being annoyed or bothered by strangers walking the streets, talking, praying the Rosary and singing, even at three or four-thirty in the morning, day after day.

Signed by: Jaime Aragon Lahos, Eleuterio Bravo Bravo, Gregorio Dominguez Dominguez, and José Cruz Centeno Garcia (narrator).

Reprinted with kind permission from GARABANDAL JOURNAL/January-February 2021.

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