This is the second summer that I have spent in Asturias (northern Spain). Last year I heard a lot of talk about the happenings in San Sebastian de Garabandal and naturally I was very interested but it was impossible for me to visit the village.
This year my friends insisted on taking me to Garabandal. I had been baptized in the Anglican Church but never had attended a religious service. For some time it had not been possible for me to believe in a God, and I convinced myself there was no God and everything could be explained by science, although I actually had no clear ideas on how it could be done.
We arrived in the village on August 29, 1962, at 6 pm. I was struck by how isolated it was and how apparently poor the inhabitants were. We went around talking to the four girls and various people there. I was impressed at how down to earth the people were and how they had accepted the apparitions as part of their daily life. They were neither sad nor happy about them. The girls were very affable but reserved about their experiences. I began to feel ashamed and upset because of the questions asked of them, and felt their experiences were too intimate to share with the people who visited the village and were there out of curiosity rather than belief.
Later on my friends went to pray the rosary in the church. Much to their surprise, as I had never joined them before, I decided to go with them. I waited outside, but was close enough to the door to hear their prayers. Suddenly I began to feel confused and shaken. I felt I was going to lose consciousness and I think at that moment I prayed that faith would be granted to me, although now I cannot remember clearly what happened.
We went back to Maria Dolores's house where we spent the rest of the night. It was a beautiful evening and I was feeling great peace and tranquillity. I was free of any anxiety or fear and it seemed of no importance how long we would have to wait for the next ecstasy or even if no ecstasy took place.
Somehow I knew the next one would happen at 5 am., although I don't know how I knew. I was outside the house when the vision started. I then went inside. Mari Loli was kneeling in the kitchen, and on her knees she moved to the next room where we were in a circle, the better to see her. She offered us the crucifix to kiss. I resisted kissing it as I felt it would be hypocritical, but Mari Loli insisted. She gave us all the crucifix to kiss several times. She was always looking up without looking at the people, sometimes she would stretch up in order to reach someone who was tall. Finally she stopped in front of me, and her father told me to listen to what she was saying. She repeated several times, "People come here without believing and they laugh and they don't want to believe."
This upset me so much that I couldn't listen anymore.
Her father asked me to move her arm. I could not no matter how hard I tried. Then I started listening to her again, and it was as though she was talking directly to me. She said several times: "Really, she doesn't believe?" Then she said: "Yes, now she believes."
Without even knowing what I was doing, I fell on my knees, and against my will, the girl lifted me up. She made the sign of the cross over me many times and still on her knees she went to the kitchen where I followed her. Then she picked up the crucifix and holy card of the Virgin and offered them to be kissed. Then again she offered the crucifix to each of us to kiss and gave the holy card to me.
I was told that Mari Loli wanted to talk to me when she came out of the trance. She gave me a message from the Virgin. She repeated it twice and then wrote it on the back of the religious card so I wouldn't forget. This message I cannot tell anyone.
We spent several minutes talking after that. She asked me if I was happy and if I was baptized. Almost against my will I said no, since I was an Anglican. Then she asked me if I had parents, and when I answered, she said, "Have them baptize you."
Loli talked about her vision. The Virgin was the only one present this time and had told her many things that she could not repeat.
I was very moved by all this and later I felt a great happiness. I left Garabandal very pleased but with a great desire to return. After this visit to Garabandal I returned twice and had very pleasant visits. They were not as intense as the first one as now I understood what Garabandal was, and what was happening there.
Signed: Barbara Pointer
Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Journal March-April 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.
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