Garabandal Eyewitness Testimony
An eyewitness to as many as 40 ecstasies, the author reveals her experiences.
I have seen many, 40 or so, ecstasies. Each time, I had the feeling that I was accompanying the Virgin. I remember the first ecstasy that I witnessed. I went with Clementina (the wife of the village mason, Pepe Diez) and we could feel our legs getting weaker as soon as we got there. The four girls were already in ecstasy. Seeing them that way, we were convinced right away that they were really in ecstasy and that they were really seeing the Virgin. We were very impressed. Their faces, far from showing any sign of nervousness, fatigue or tenseness, were on the contrary much more beautiful than normal.
Sometimes they walked so fast that no one could keep up with them. At other times, they would go slowly. It was impossible for me to follow them when they went fast. One day I followed Mari Cruz for two hours. I was able to stay with her but I had to walk very, very fast. As for her, she seemed to go at a normal pace. At the end of the ecstasy, she looked relaxed and as if she hadn't walked at all but the rest of us were exhausted!
Sometimes we saw them going down from the Pines walking backwards. They were able to go through the steepest areas. They would go to the cemetery or the village while walking backwards even though the terrain was so dreadful!
I have also seen the children walk very often on their knees and go to the cemetery this way, at night! I was trembling with fear as I followed them, even though there was a small group with us. The little ones didn't seem to be afraid at all but we were scared stiff! They would go to the gates of the cemetery and recite an Our Father for the deceased and would leave peacefully, as if this were the most natural thing in the world.
I was never able to lift the girls when they were in ecstasy. When I touched Conchita or Jacinta, I felt as though I were touching a piece of marble. They were very stiff. When I tried unsuccessfully to lift them, I felt something very big and heavy. I remember very well trying to lift Jacinta, but that was impossible. I saw other adults try as well, but all in vain. On the other hand, I saw the girls lift each other many times. It seemed so easy for them, as if they were picking up a doll. I saw this happen in front of the church. One of them took hold of the other around the knees and lifted her exactly as if she were a doll.
I saw our local physician lift Conchita and drop her. When she fell, it sounded like a block of marble crashing to the ground and made a loud noise. When she fell, she was in a half kneeling position and the doctor had a hard time moving her. He then took her by the head and tried to move it but he wasn't able to. He tried with such force that I became alarmed and shouted, "Doctor, have mercy on her, leave her alone. Her brothers are here, too!" But the girl came out of the ecstasy without any trouble or pain, as if nothing had happened.
The doctors would get behind the girls and prick them on the legs with needles. They also did something to their eyes but finally the people made them stop.
One day, the girls were kneeling in ecstasy surrounded by a crowd of people including several priests, especially Dominicans. As the ecstasy was about to end we heard the girls respond to the Vision, "But we've only been together for a short time! ...Has it been an hour and a half?" The priests then looked at their watches and confirmed that it had been that long. We heard the girls say to the Vision, "How do you know the time since you don't have a watch?"
Speaking of the Dominican priests, that same day, we heard the girls ask the Virgin the names of the priests in their white habits, and to which Order they belonged. The Virgin must have told them that they were Dominicans because they repeated the word, which they had never heard before and thought sounded funny. The religious said, "The Virgin must be telling them our names." There were many people and this happened right here, at the entrance to my house. I saw the whole things as I was near the children.
The girls were as heavy as a piece of marble while in ecstasy. But they lifted each other many times as if they were picking up a doll.
The Night of the Screams
Terror is etched on the faces of visionaries Jacinta and Conchita on the Night of the Screams.
Yes, I was there. The little girls were in the cuadro [an area in the lane squared off with trimmed tree trunks to protect the girls from the crowd] crying and saying that a great darkness was coming. The girls looked terrified and were crying and screaming saying that everything was in darkness. The people were also crying. One young man who was staying at my house couldn't take it any longer and went back to the house. We stayed all night long talking and praying, and there were a lot of people. The Angel or the Virgin asked that we all go to Confession and since there was a priest there, now deceased, we all went to Confession the very next day. I went to Confession and Communion like everybody else.
To conclude, I would like to say that none of the things that I witnessed could have had a natural explanation. It either came from the Virgin or no explanation is possible. There is no other way. I have no problem with any of this; it comes from the Virgin.
Reprinted with permission from Garabandal International, January-March 2004. By Serafina Gonzalez
(This is a translation of testimony obtained by Ramon Perez of the National Garabandal Centre of India in 1971 and was published in Ave Maria, July-Sept, 2002.)