At the beginning of October (1996) I learned that friends of mine were planning a trip to a little village in Cantabria called San Sebastian de Garabandal where the Blessed Virgin was reported to have appeared to four girls some years ago. To tell the truth, I wasn't much interested in what happened there, but wanted to go in order to be with one of the girls who would be going. Time passed and when I asked them again about the proposed trip, they told me there wasn't enough room for me. Just when I had given it up for being lost, they called me and said there was an opening due to a cancellation in the bus that would leave and return a few hours before theirs.
We arrived in the village on October 12, feast of Our Lady del Pilar and in the afternoon, united again with my friends, we went to visit all the places of the apparitions. During the tour, while listening to an account of the events that happened between 1961 and 1965, I felt a spark of credibility ignited within me.
On Sunday, the next day, my friends told me there was a vacancy on their bus which made me very happy since I'd be able to make the return trip with them, and we all went off to hear Mass together. At the end of the Mass, I fell to my knees and felt like I was suffocating with an anxiousness, an emptiness in my soul and an uncontrollable need to cry. I was in a terrible state and couldn't find any relief. My friends went with me to Lucia's place [a bed and breakfast in the village run by Conchita's cousin] where some friends were staying. I hadn't been to confession in twenty years, but with my consent, they called a priest. After making my confession, an indescribable feeling of peace and tranquility filled my heart and soul.
I give thanks to the Blessed Virgin of Garabandal for the marvelous favor she granted me and I pray with all my heart that if I found the road of salvation through her intercession, she never leave me, and I place myself entirely at her disposition if she desires that I serve her in some way.
Jose Hernandez Morales,
Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Journal July-August 2005
Excerpted from Los MILAGROS o FAVORES DE NUESTRA MADRE DE GARABANDAL by Maria Josefa Villa de Gallego
Translated from Spanish by Dr. Edward Serrano