Besides religious objects, wedding rings were also given to the children to have the Virgin kiss. The girls would have their fingers full of wedding rings, and while in ecstasy they'd raise up their hands and ask the Virgin to kiss them. After this they would return the rings to their owners without making any mistakes and without seeing who they were giving them to as their heads were always tilted backwards and their eyes fixed on the apparition above them.
Photo: Mari Loli in ecstasy returning a wedding ring.
Maria Teresa Alberdi de Lopez Linares in a video taped by Father Loring, speaks of marriage, and why the Virgin kissed the rings. It was to bless and emphasize the holiness of marriage, which in those days was beginning to become less important, with the growing ease of divorce and premarital adventures.
First HappeningLet me tell you what happened once when my husband and I were present during an apparition. Whenever we arrived at Garabandal, we usually went to Loli's house first, since it was closest and we knew the parents. This time, when we arrived, we asked Loli if she would see the Virgin today, and she answered yes. Then my husband and I gave her our wedding rings. When everyone else who was present saw this, they too gave her their rings.
Among them was a couple from Cataluña who were vacationing in Santander. The husband didn't believe in the apparitions, but his wife had managed to get him to take her to Garabandal, and she gave their wedding rings to be kissed.
We were all in the front room of Loli's house, and when the ecstasy began, this gentleman who didn't believe, left the house and went to a dark distant corner behind the house as if trying to hide.
The wedding rings were kissed by the Vision, and Man Loli, still in ecstasy, began returning them to their owners. She put the ring on the finger of the Catalan gentleman's wife who was standing by the door and then immediately went outside. Without hesitating she went around the corner to the back of the house, and in the complete darkness, found the man. She was about to put the ring on the finger of his right hand when he heard her say, "Ah! Not this one?" She then dropped that hand and grabbing his left hand, put the ring on the proper finger. She returned to the house and soon afterward the ecstasy was over.
When the Catalan gentleman returned, he was very much affected and with tears in his eyes, asked the girl: "Why did you change hands when you gave me back my ring?" She replied, "The Virgin told me: this man is a Catalan and they wear their wedding rings on the left hand"
These details may seem to be very much beneath Our Lady's notice, but they serve to show that she does notice even the most insignificant things which in reality are not insignificant. Wedding rings are the symbol of the sacrament of marriage.
Second EventAlso during the ecstasy Loli returned my husband's wedding ring and my own. One of the men observing this said, "You certainly are trusting! She puts a ring on your finger and you don't even check to see if it's yours." I told him, "I have no doubt that it's mine." He asked me what my husband's name was and I told him, "Felix." He wanted to see if that was the name engraved on the ring, and in the very dim light he was able to see that, indeed, that was the name on my ring. He then asked to see my husband's, and was astounded to find the same. He kept saying, "I can't believe this. I don't understand this." He said later, "I came to this village out of pure curiosity, but I will leave believing there is something here worthy of study and respect."
Reprinted with kind permission from Garabandal Journal, May-June 2005
Excerpted from Los PINOS DE GARABANDAL ILUMINARAN AL MUNDO BY Maria Josefa Villa de Gallego.
Translated from Spanish by Dr. Edward Serrano.