The next day Conchita spent with her family. The crew completed all the needed scenery shots while I walked around speaking with the townspeople and many tourists. I met some of the nicest people anyone would want to meet. One man, a medical doctor from Texas, was very well versed in all the Marian apparitions. He had a great expression: "I travel the world always quoting a Bible verse, Luke 1:28." [The Angel announced the birth of Jesus.] I didn't know at the time that he was referring to his Rosaries.
I spoke with many witnesses of the apparitions and by the end of the day I was in awe of some of the facts I heard, such as:
1. The Virgin kissed certain objects while the children were in ecstasy, sometimes over a hundred. Yet, with their eyes still skyward and in ecstasy, the girls returned the objects to their rightful owners. The children said that the Virgin directed them. They even put wedding bands on people correctly. Some people wore them on the right hand and some on the left.
2. The children often fell as the crowds pushed to be near them. One could hear their heads crash on the rocks, yet they would not be hurt. They would get up gracefully and continue to walk.
3. If their dresses went up owing to a fall, the dresses were seen mysteriously moving down so as not to expose the girls' upper legs.
4. One time several witnesses heard the children in ecstasy pleading with the Virgin to speak into a tape recorder to prove to the people that she was there. Several reliable witnesses said they heard a lovely voice on the tape say, "I will not speak." After this was played back a couple of times, the voice was heard no more.
5. Many people of religious orders came in disguise, but the girls would always know them. In some cases they were requested to give names and they did.
6. The girls would give many personal messages to people.
7. If one girl was in ecstasy and one was not, they could still talk to each other.
8. Many things had happened here in Garabandal and it wasn't only the four young girls who were talking about it.
9. My Texan friend told me that the girls, particularly Conchita, were interrogated quite often, even taken out of the village at times to be questioned.[These investigations were indeed many. The findings were both pro and con. In many cases, the investigations were non-official.]
To conclude this segment of the book, Conchita recounts the final apparition of November 13, 1965:
When I reached the pines, I began to take out the religious objects that I had brought. As I was doing this, I heard a very sweet voice, clearly that of the Blessed Virgin, calling me by name. I answered, "What do You want?" Then I saw Her with the Infant Jesus in Her arms. She was dressed as usual and smiling.
I said that I had brought the rosaries (an enormous number) to be kissed and the Blessed Mother replied, "So I see."
I had a piece of chewing gum in my mouth, but when the Blessed Mother appeared I stopped chewing it and stuck it on a tooth. But the Blessed Mother obviously knew that I had it and said, "Why don't you get rid of your chewing gum and offer it up as a sacrifice for the glory of my Son?" Ashamed, I took it out and threw it on the ground.
Then the Blessed Mother said, "You will recall what I told you on your patronal feast day [the Immaculate Conception, December 8], that you would suffer much on earth? Well, have confidence in us and offer your suffering generously to our Hearts for the welfare of your brethren. In this way, you will feel how close we are to you." I said, "How unworthy I am, dear Mother, of the numerous graces I have received through You. And yet You come to me today to lighten the little cross that I now carry." Then the Virgin said, "Conchita, I have not come for your sake alone. I have come for all my children, so that I may draw them closer to our Hearts."
Then She said, "Give me everything you have brought so that I may kiss it." I gave Her everything. I had a crucifix with me. She kissed that also and said: "Place it in the hands of the Infant Jesus." This I did. The Infant did not say anything. I asked the Virgin, "This cross, will I take it to the convent with me?" She did not answer.
After having kissed everything, She said to me: "Through the kiss I have bestowed on these objects, my Son will perform prodigies. Distribute them to others." "I will be glad to do this," I replied.
I asked the Lady to tell me about the petitions that people had requested I transmit to Her. She told me about them. Then She said: "Talk to me, Conchita, talk to me about my children. I hold them all beneath my mantle." She smiled. "Do you know, Conchita, why I did not come myself on June 18, to deliver the message for the world? Because it hurt me to give it to you myself. But I must give it to you for your own good, and you should heed it for the glory of God. I love you very much and I desire your salvation and your reunion here in heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We can count on you, Conchita, can we not?" I replied, "If I were to see You continually, I would say yes. But if not I don't know, because I am so bad." "You do everything that you can, and we will help you. This will be the last time you see me here. But I shall always be with you and with all my children."
"Conchita, why do you not go more often to visit my Son in the tabernacle? He waits for you there day and night." It was raining heavily but the Blessed Virgin and the Infant Jesus didn't get wet at all. While I was looking at them, I did not realize that it was raining. However, afterwards I saw I was drenched.
I told the Virgin, "I am so happy when I see both of you. Why don't you take me now to heaven with you?" "Remember what I told you on your patronal feast day. When you present yourself before God, your hands must be filled with good works done for your brothers and for His glory. But at the present time your hands are empty."
Reprinted with permission from Miracle at Garabandal pp 54-58, by Harry Daley
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