Photo: Shrine of Our Lady in the main pine tree at Garabandal (by Michael Tubberty)
My name is Paco. I'm from Lamasón 12 kilometers from Garabandal and this is what happened to me when I was 12 years old.
On July 25, 1961, I went with a friend of mine from Garabandal to see the ecstasies that had been going on for one month. I was very impressed by what I saw. The girls running forward and backward, on their knees, etc., etc., was completely inexplicable to me. On September 10, 1961, I returned to Garabandal where I had a great experience.
After walking more than five hours on mountain trails, I arrived at Garabandal at 2:00 P.M. I went to visit some girls that were known to our family, and I was very surprised to find Mari Loli and Jacinta there. One of the girls was painting her fingernails, something that girls love to do. When I asked about the apparitions, Loli told me that there would be one at 5:00 P.M. at the Pines.
We arrived at the Pines with plenty of time to spare, and we sat next to the pine tree which today has the image of the Virgin. I was amazed when at five o'clock, our conversation stopped in mid sentence, as Loli, called by Our Lady, fell into ecstasy.
I saw her lips moving as she spoke silently making gestures with her hands. I particularly noticed how Loli, opening and closing her hands, dragged her fingers against the grass as tears rolled down her cheeks. Being so close, I could see everything right down to the last detail. Then when Loli came out of her ecstasy, she told us the Virgin had reprimanded her for having painted her fingernails and that was why she rubbed them against the ground, to try to remove the paint and make the Virgin happy.
Today, after 36 years I have never forgotten this great experience that impressed me so much as well as many others that to this day remain vivid in my mind.
Signed: Paco Barcelona, June 28, 1997
Reprinted with permission from Garabandal Journal September-October 2003
Excerpted from Los MILAGROS o FAVORES DE NUESTRA MADRE DE GARABANDAL by Maria Josefa Villa de Gallego