Farewell in the Rain - The Last Apparition at Garabandal
On October 30, 1965, while Conchita was making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the village church, she heard the Blessed Virgin in a locution say: "On Saturday, November 13, go to the Pines and there you will see me. Bring many religious articles and I will kiss them all so you can distribute them. My Son will perform prodigies by means of them." What the Virgin did not say was that it would be her last visit to Garabandal. The following is excerpted from SHE WENT IN HASTE TO THE MOUNTAIN.
As foretold, the Virgin appeared. The description of what occurred would be better left to Conchita: It was a special apparition to kiss religious objects, later to be distributed, since they have a great importance. I had a great desire for Saturday, November 13, to come so I could see again the ones who had sown in my heart the happiness of God: the Virgin and the Infant Jesus. It was raining but it didn't matter to me that I was going up to the Pines in the rain.
Describing this, here is what Dr. Ortiz wrote Father Ramon Andreu in a letter dated December 13:
On our last visit to Garabandal, Sunday, December 5, I was able to learn that Conchita actually had an ecstasy at the Pines on November 13. As an interesting fact, I have to say that, although Olguita (her neighbor) was in her company, she later left her, curious to go see a truck accident in La Jaraiz. This accident was the main attraction for the village. On that Saturday, when it was raining the hardest, Conchita left the people in her kitchen and went up to the Pines alone.
Continuing with the visionary's account:
I brought many rosaries that had recently been given to me to distribute. As the Virgin had told me, I brought them for her to kiss. Going up alone to the Pines, very sorry for my faults, I was saying to myself that in the future I would not commit them since I was ashamed to present myself like this before the Mother of God, whom my faults make suffer so much. And I believe that mine are the greatest since I have seen her.
When I got to the Pines, I started taking out die rosaries mat I was carrying. And while I was taking them out, I heard a very sweet voice - clearly the Virgin's! - easily distinguished from all others, calling me by my name. And I answered: "What?" And then I saw her with the Infant Jesus in her arms. She came dressed as usual and was smiling broadly. And I said to her:
"I have brought you the rosaries so you can kiss them."
"So I see," she said.
I had a chiclet in my mouth, although I didn't chew it once I saw her but stuck it against my cheek.
She said to me, "Conchita, why don't you give up your chiclet and offer it as a sacrifice for the glory of my Son?"
Ashamed, I took it out of my mouth and threw it on the ground.
Then she said, "Do you remember what I told you on your saint's day, that you would have much to suffer in this world. Well, I am telling it to you again. But have confidence in us and offer everything to our hearts for the good of your brothers; that way you will feel us near you."
And I said to her, "Oh, our Mother, how unworthy I am of the many graces that youVe given me! And still you come to me today, to lighten the little cross that I have now."
"Conchita, I have not come for you alone. I have come for all my children, with the desire of drawing them to our hearts. Give me all the things that you have brought so that I may kiss them."
And I gave them to her. I was also carrying a crucifix with me, and she kissed it and said to me, "Put it in the hands of the Child Jesus." And so I did. He didn't say anything to me.
I said to the Virgin, "I will carry this cross with me to the convent," but she didn't say anything.
After kissing everything, she said to me, "Through the kiss I have bestowed on these articles, my Son will perform prodigies. Distribute them to others." And I thought about doing this.
After that, she asked me to tell her the petitions that other people had given to me; and I did this.
She continued, "Talk to me, Conchita. Talk to me about my children! I hold them all beneath my mantle."
I said, "It's very small; they wont all be able to fit" And she smiled.
"Conchita, do you know why I did not come personally on June 18 to give the message for the world? Because it hurt me to say those things. But they had to be said for your own good and, if you fulfill the message, for the glory of God. I love you very much, and desire your salvation, to reunite you here in heaven around the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You, Conchita, will you respond to us?"
"If I were always seeing you, then it would be yes. But if not, I don't know, since I'm very bad."
"Do all that you can on your part and we will help you and also my daughters, Loli, Jacinta and Mari Cruz."
It seemed that she was with me a very short time. She told me also: "This is the last time you will see me here. But I will always be with you and with all my children."
She also said to me, "Conchita, you should visit my Son in the tabernacle more often. Why do you let yourself be carried away by slothfulness so as not to visit Him? He waits for you day and night"
As I said before, it was raining very much, but the Virgin and the Child Jesus didn't get wet. While I was seeing them, I didn't realize it was raining; but afterwards, when I didn't see them anymore, I was soaking wet
I also said to the Virgin: "Oh, how happy I am when I see you. Why don't you take me with you now?"
She replied, "Remember what I told you on your saint's day: when presenting yourself before God, your hands must be filled with good deeds done for your brothers and for His glory. At the present time, your hands are empty."
It was all over. The happy moments had passed in which I was with my best friend and Mother in heaven, and with the Child Jesus. I have stopped seeing them, but I haven't stopped feeling their presence. Once again they have left in my soul a peace, a joy and a desire to conquer my faults and to love them with all my strength!
Formerly, the Virgin told me that Jesus wasn't sending the Chastisement to upset us, but to help us, and reprimand us for not heeding [the Message]. He is sending us the Warning to purify us before the Miracle, in which He will clearly show the love that He has for us. Because of this He wants us to fulfill the Message.
When Conchita returned to herself and lifted her knees off the damp ground aware that she was alone beneath the Pines in the rain, she herself could not say if the drops of water that ran down her cheeks were tears shed by the clouds for an unhappy world, or tears that she -had shed because she would not see again those whom she and the other girls had so often seen Certainly Conchita was in no hurry to go down from the Pines after the vision was over. Her state of mind would not allow it. She had to remain there awhile, alone with her feelings.
Sadly and poignantly, she arranged and put back in the bag all the rosaries kissed by the Mother. Then she took a few slow, sad steps toward the crest of the ledge on which the nine solitary pine trees have their roots, and near the cliff edge she paused. There, partially hidden in the mist and rain was the unforgettable panorama: the mountain peaks, the steep slopes, the winding valleys, the woods and meadows with their lonely cabins; and nearer, at her feet, the village: her village of San Sebastian de Garabandal. Her village, which during those unforgettable years, seemed to have been the Virgin's village! Here the smiling and merciful Virgin had passed; here she had visited her poor and humble houses, her winding streets, her innumerable street corners, her church that knew her so intimately, her cemetery that gathered all for their final resting place. How the Virgin had immersed herself in that village, as a Mother for whom nothing about her children lacked interest. "She was interested in everything," Conchita remembered with tears in her eyes, "even in our cows."
Well could it be said that "this was the most beautiful story of mankind since the time of Christ, the second life of the Virgin on earth; and there are no words that can thank her for it."
As we take leave of the farewell in the rain, "all that" has become history. But of all that which has become history, there forever remains something ineffably new and eternal that those who go to Garabandal with faith will find, and from which they can draw strength to maintain the highest hopes and the greatest love. "This is the last time you will see me here, but I will , always be with you and I with all my children." Of all the words said at Garabandal, these are the last and the best.
Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Journal, September-October 2005