(Jaime Garcia Llorente owns the large house at the base of the calleja in Garabandal. On the day of the following account, he was sitting outside his house under the old apple tree talking to a villager named Tino.)
Julia [Mari Loli's mother] came down the calleja carrying her sandals with her walking stick and umbrella tucked under her arm. She was almost 70, but as a good highlander, she could go up and down the hills without any problem. At the moment we met, two pilgrims, who seemed to be father and son, went by going up the hill. They were quietly praying and nodded to us as they continued on their way.
I said to her, "Lots of people have gone up to the Pines today."
She answered, "This morning I ran into a woman who told me she came from Argentina. She asked me if I was from the town and I told her I was.
"Then she asked me if I could show her which pine tree the Virgin stood on?
" 'Yes,' I told her. 'I was present during the apparition that day. I heard the girl say to the Vision: "How come you stand on that branch. Can't you see that it's dry and can break, and you can fall down?" That's exactly what I heard the girl tell the apparition, and it was in that pine tree there.'
"I then saw that this lady from Argentina was unable to hold back her tears.
"I asked her why she was crying and she said to me: 'I have a daughter thanks to the grace of God. At that time she was 29 years old, married and had her own daughter; look how pretty she is!' and she showed me a photograph of her granddaughter. She continued: 'One day my daughter became ill. We took her to the doctor and he diagnosed cancer. This started the calvary of medical treatments and doctors while my daughter got worse and worse. Eight doctors saw her, and all agreed that the only thing they could do for her was to treat her pain; science could do no more for her; only a miracle would cure her.'
'"It was when, in the deepest sorrow that only God understands, with no hope for my daughter and no human recourse, someone told me about Gara-bandal. As a last resort I prayed to the Virgin of Garabandal and I begged her to heal my child. I promised her if she cured my daughter I would come to Garabandal to visit her here.
'From that day on she began to improve. The doctors could not understand or believe her improvement. The cancer had disappeared. The fact was she was cured; the Virgin of Garabandal cured her. That is why I'm here, keeping my promise and now you can understand why I'm crying. What else can I do here in Garabandal?'"
Julia said to me, "That lady left a letter up in the [St. Michael] chapel and she asked me if the parish priest would read it. I told her he wouldn't because he isn't the one who goes up there looking for things. So it's still up there."
After Julia left I said to Tino, "I'm going up to get that letter. It'll be a good testimonial."
Tino answered, "Yes, it's better that you do that. Otherwise the kids will get it and destroy it."
So I hurried up to the chapel. The letter was there, and it wasn't sealed. I opened it and read:
August 31, 1973
From the Republic of Argentina I have come to kneel at your feet, because you, better than anyone, know of the miracle that saved the life of my very young daughter. Let us all as a choir shout Miracle!Thank you my divine mother, and although Spain doesn't know about you, I beg with this humble note that you be seen as I see you. My mother's heart is full of gratitude.
Your daughter, Josefina
(signed) Jaime Garcia Llorente
San Sebastian de Garabandal
September 4, 1973
Excerpted from Los MILAGROS o FAVORES DE NUESTRA MADRE DE GARABANDAL and translated from Spanish by Dr. Edward Serrano
Reprinted with permission from Garabandal Journal March-April 2004