Picture History of Garabandal Apparitions #6
Tuesday August 15, 1961, Doctor Celestino Ortiz Pérez, a paediatrician from Santander visits Garabandal. Dr. Pérez becomes a major scientific witness to study the Garabandal phenomenon seriously. He spent about 50 days observing the visionaries. Dr. Pérez always affirmed that they were “normal from every point of view.”
While in ecstasy the girls had sand poured into their eyes, they were burned with hot matches, pricked with needles, camera flashes directly in front of their eyes. There was no reaction or physical damage to any of these “tests.”
August 18, 1961: Richness, Simplicity and Depth of Prayer
What is especially striking is the quality of the girls ecstatic prayer: a meditation filled with presence; moved to the extreme; a slow, poised recitation inspiring the full meaning of words as simple as “Mary”, “blessed”, “grace”, Jesus”. Our Lady helped the girls pronounce the prayers clearly. She said: “I’ll start the prayer and you will answer, very slowly”, She suggested to the children. The Blessed Virgin taught the girls to make correctly the various signs of the cross used in Spain. Many films testify to this.
Padre Don José Ramón García de la Riva went up to Garabandal for the first time on Tuesday August 22, 1961. He was the pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish at Barro, a small village some 38 miles away. Fr. de la Riva’s name is profoundly linked to the events at Garabandal as he took some remarkable photos of the visionaries and sites. He published his Mémoires d’un curé de campagne espagnol (Memoirs of a Spanish country parish Priest), in memory of his numerous trips to San Sebastian de Garabandal from 1961 to 1968.
The CRUCIFIX in Garabandal.
During the apparitions, the visionaries would present their crucifix to be kissed, sometimes kiss it themselves, or make the sign of the cross with it over those present, notably over those who, very often in secret prayer, “were asking for proofs” … The kiss of the crucifix played an immense role at San Sebastian de Garabandal, giving rise in those benefited from this, to profound emotions, healings, and even to remarkable conversions.
August 29, 1961: The “Symbolic” Baptism of Muriel Catherine
Muriel Catherine, a 19 year-old female from Paris, of a Jewish father and a Protestant mother experienced an amazing fact, as witnessed by many of those present. Muriel was practising no religion but came to Garabandal. At about 0:30 a.m. a priest gave Loli a bottle of Holy Water to throw towards the apparition as a “test”, the visionary opened the bottle and threw the contents upwards, in front of her, towards the apparition as instructed by the priest. But instead of following its normal course, the water mysteriously bent its path, and in its inexplicable trajectory, fell as a shower on Muriel! Muriel had faith. And when she came of age, at the age of 21, on October 20, 1963, Muriel was baptized in the Cathedral of Burgos under the name of Maria del Carmel Catherine. (See photos below) There were other cases of “conversion” linked directly to Garabandal such as Mr. Foerschler, an Evangelist (See top center photo below).
The Night of Terror
In the two Messages of Garabandal, the prediction of the Chastisement that will strike the entire human race, instilled in the girls very painful ecstasies and the ordeals they would create. The Blessed Virgin showed the “film of sinners” to the visionaries on September 15, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Then the terrified protestations of the children were heard: “No, No! … What horror! How hideous! That away (from our sight)… Yes, sacrifices (for sinners)!… “ And in pathetic attitudes of pleading, they called on Divine Mercy. The screams were so intense by the visionaries, that the whole village went to confession that very evening.
The FIRST MESSAGE: Wednesday October 18, 1961
At 10:00 p.m. at the Pines, the visionaries read the (first) Message of Garabandal. This was the large writing that had appeared on June 24, 1961 at the feet of the Angel. On July 2, 1961, the Blessed Virgin had asked the girls if they had understood its meaning and was the primary intention of her “visit.”
In the morning of October 18, 1961, the crowd is rushing from every direction. Five thousand would attend the reading of the first Message at the Pines.
It was in front of the church, according to the Blessed Virgin’s initial request, the the Message was to be read. But the members of the “Special Commission” were opposed and judged that “it would be preferable to read it at the Pines, this site of the so-called apparitions.”
On October 18, 1961, a torrential rain fell all day on the village: it hailed, it snowed, the thunder never stopped! Then at the moment when the Message was about to be read and translated into various languages a strong wind blew across the valley, chased away all the clouds and revealed bright moon shining in the sky.
An ecstasy followed this reading if this first Message and Our Lady then announced to Conchita that a great Miracle was certain to come. But Conchita, at this time, did not know when it will come.
Even in the torrential rain the people waited for any moment of ecstasy by the girls. The visionaries put up with the pressure around them. Conchita signed many notes and pictures of devotion for those who wished them. Day or night, the people even waited in front of the visionaries homes and windows.