to the Mother
«After several very rapid tours through the village—at times they changed directions so quickly that several times I bumped into them—the girls made their way toward the church. There in front of the open door, they fell on their knees and prayed . . .
Then Jacinta laughed and said to the Vision that she didn't dare jump over the doorstep in order to go into the church. The Vision must have insisted. And then very smoothly, without any contraction of her body — just the way she was, with her hands joined on her chest and kneeling — she leaped(25) inside, hurdling over the obstacle of the doorsill to the amazement of all those present. She smiled at the Vision.
As if playing, the two girls made their way toward the altar; and there on the altar rail continued their celestial game, scandalizing some.»
All this was brought to the Bishop of Santander, from whence came the formal prohibition preventing the girls from entering the church in ecstasy; and for this reason, it was closed during the trances.
«I can testify that the beauty of their attitudes during this play was truly captivating. Later they fell down very slowly, very smoothly, in front of the tabernacle: Jacinta on one side with her dress covering her legs very properly, her hands crossed on her chest; Loli, similarly, but leaning her head against Jacinta's knees. During this episode, certainly very moving — there were priest witnesses who regarded it with great respect — they carried on a very long and intimate conversation. This could hardly be heard, but it gave me the impression of being like the conversation of children with their mother, whom they tell all about their affairs and what is happening.»
We know through this witness that the ecstasies did not end here, but that the girls then continued their unusual and mysterious game in the choir loft, frightening many of the spectators when they glided along the rails of the balcony and moved toward the edge in obvious risk of falling and killing themselves.
«Sometimes they gave the impression of being about to fly. They told me later that the Most Holy Virgin had told them then that they should follow her without fear, but they didn't dare. If we'd have obeyed, we'd have flown.
After a long time they set out, still in ecstasy, toward the village square. Next to the house of Fania they fell another time on the ground, lying full length. Loli was the first to get up and knelt down in prayer with a magnificent expression and gleaming eyes. She recited the Salve Regina in a touching way with tears streaming from her eyes.(26) And she was like this at the time that she contemplated the HOLY FAMILY as if in a picture.
A priest at my side called my attention to the fact that the trance had already lasted two hours and 25 minutes. At this time a young couple came with a 3 year old girl, born without sight. With her eyes full of tears, the mother requested and requested again for a miracle from the Virgin. The girls in ecstasy joined in her petition. The silence during this scene was striking. Then suddenly the little blind girl burst out singing a charming song, full of happiness. Emotion overwhelmed us. (27)
Finally Jacinta and Loli departed for Loli's house. And very swiftly, without our being able to follow, they went up the first floor where the apparition continued. A little later the window opened suddenly, and we saw the two girls leaning outside and calling out requests to the Vision not to leave, and requesting that she take them with her. The earnestness with which they petitioned her was striking. A little later they began to make gestures of goodbye with their hands, as if the Vision were withdrawing toward the horizon at the left of the Pines.»
25. The word leaped is used to describe the marvelous, instantaneous, inexplicable and very beautiful passage over the doorway that left the observers stunned with wonder.
26. Loli, truly transfigured, was on her knees like this for awhile imploring, «Mercy.» Then she recited an act of contrition with extraordinary fervor, and then a Salve as mentioned in the text.
27. This song of the three year old infant is full of meaning.
It was proof that the requests made for her were not made in vain. In place of the bodily sight that was asked, she received a more useful grace of interior enlightenment that unloosened her tongue with the mysterious inspiration to sing.
There is one thing that we have to hold for certain from the point of view of faith: we never have recourse to God without some benefit. If we do not receive exactly what we seek, and which sometimes is not the most appropriate, He compensates us in other ways, underestimated at the time, but which will show themselves more beneficial for us. After all, the here and now is not always the most important.