Friday, April 17, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 85)

“She contemplated the Holy Family.”

Back Again Close
to the Mother
The witness María Herrero de Gallardo continues her description about what she saw on Thursday, August 17th, the first day of her stay in Garabandal:
«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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 84)

”If it could be known how she loves us, we would have
no other solution but to love her very much too.”

At that time a person, who was to soon become one of the best witnesses of what was taking place at Garabandal, came up to the village for the first time. Her name was María Herrero Garralda, daughter of the Marquese de Aledo, recently married to Enrique Gallardo Rodríguez-Acosta. Highly educated, good-hearted and deeply religious, she soon gained the confidence of the girls and meditated on the profound scope of the events.
For some time she was content to keep it to herself, revolving in her mind and piously pondering over what she had seen and heard. But later, when the anti-Garabandal storm began gathering due to the prelates at the Santander chancery, she wrote down in French for the Holy Office in Rome a memorandum of what she herself had witnessed. She did this on the advice of a Belgian priest, Father Laffineur, (22) and to him she directed the prologue:
«I present this little work. Now that I reread it, it seems very poor, and the reason for this is that it is almost impossible to put in words the feelings of the soul.
I am only mentioning here some of the many— at least thirty—apparitions at which I participated at San Sebastián de Garabandal, beginning on the 17th of August, 1961. I will try to give an idea of those events, although it is impossible to express everything that I have seen and heard. I wish to start this work with something that Loli expressed to me on October 7th, 1962. If it could be known how she loves us, we would have no other solution but to love her very much too.

* * * * *

It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon when I came
for the first time to San Sebastián de Garabandal. Accompanied by my sister I went into the bar or tavern belonging to Loli's father, Ceferino. The place was vacant since the apparitions ordinarily took place much later, toward nightfall. (I only know of two or three cases in which they occurred in the afternoon.)
We asked to eat, and Loli herself began servingus. This had to be the first time that she did this since she asked me to tell her about the knife and fork. At the time the little children in those families ate from the utensils without using silverware.
We had just finished eating when Loli came running in from outside, very short of breath, and said to her father, Papa, come right now since Jacinta is having an apparition.
We all ran toward the little square in the center of the village. There under the bright hot sun was Jacinta, walking very slowly, with her big doll in her hand, her head turned backwards and that sublime expression on her face that cannot be described. Her family was following her in an attitude of great reverence. María, her mother, at one time wanted to take the doll from her hands; but Jacinta, absorbed in the vision, prevented her with a firm and brusque motion. Seconds later we saw the girl lift up her doll toward the vision, raising herself up as much as she could on the tips of her toes — aided by her two companions, Loli and Conchita, who held her up. Loli, who was as if overcome with joy on seeing her friend in a trance, took her by the arm and at that moment — with the rapidity of lightning — fell into ecstasy herself.

The two children, overwhelmed with joy, began to walk through the village, leaning against each other . . . It was then that I heard for the first time that laugh of Loli in ecstasy that has always had such an effect on me. It was a laugh of glory, full of joy; but at the same time, quiet, reverent, mystical. It had nothing in common with this world, nor did it have the feeling of light-hearted laughter; it was as if permeated with the things of heaven.

The two listened and responded to the vision with a speech full of mystery, hardly perceptible.

We were running behind them when, near to the house that now belongs to Mercedes Salisachs, their expressions changed completely. And they began to shout out in a terrified voice, showing on their faces the greatest anxiety and fear. Who are you? Tell us. Who are you? They were like this for a few minutes that seemed interminable.

It was at that time that María, Jacinta's mother, told me confidentially, Yesterday they heard that strange voice for the first time. And they were very afraid, even though the Virgin had warned them, saying that they shouldn't be afraid. It seems that the voice sounds from afar, as if it comes down from the mountains. It's like a hiss or a roar that cries, “Come . . . Come . . . Come . . . "»


Once more I ask myself what might be the hidden meaning of that voice, so powerful and unsettling. It would not be surprising if it were the devil trying to disturb the children. In the life of many saints there are abundant proofs of what he is capable of doing — with all types of sensible means — to frighten and block the road of those who are on the right way toward God. However, I have already indicated what seems to oppose such an interpretation.
Could it then be understood that such a voice might be coming from the Most High? On a few occasions, Scripture has exalted the creative power and force of the voice of Yahweh, the Lord, especially in Psalm 28:

The Voice of the Lord is in power;
The Voice of the Lord in magnificence.
The Voice of the Lord shatters the cedars . . .
The Voice of the Lord brings forth flames of fire.
The Voice of the Lord shakes the desert . . .

But if the strange voice that came down from
the mountains onto Garabandal proceeded from the Most High, why did it disturb the girls this way, without declaring who it was? Does it have a secret purpose which only later will be revealed?
In this case, perhaps we can attribute to this voice a certain apocalyptic (23) sign, like the blast of trumpets in the 8th chapter of this unexplained book when the action of heaven will accelerate its pace and deploy itself against the power of the anti- Christ of this world and of the abyss. And still more could the voice be related to that triple Woe, woe, woe, which will be poured out upon a mankind so wrapped up in the things of the world.(24)
Is Garabandal coming as a sign to call attention to the unforeseen things which must shortly come to pass?
(Apocalypse 1: 1)

22. Died on Saturday, November 28th, 1970 in France, where he had lived and worked for many years. He was a main figure in the European Garabandal movement, signing many of his writings and letters with the pen name Doctor Bonance.
23. Apocalypse — Revelations —is the name of the last book of Sacred Scripture. It is extremely difficult to interpret. By means of figures, visions, and symbols, it gives the mysterious course of the work of Christ on earth and His final triumph in order to strengthen us for tribulation with the security that we are not alone, and that the Hand of God holds a firm grip on the progression of events.

24. And I beheld, and heard the voice of an eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
shouting: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth: because of the remaining voices of the three angels who have yet to sound their trumpets. (Apocalypse 8: 13)
St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate gives these statements of the eagle like this, Vae, vae, vae!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 83)

“She said to us, Don’t be afraid.”

A Voice Coming Down
From the Mountains

Conchita's diary terminates her brief summary
of the mysterious conversation on August 16th with the dead Father Andreu in these words:

On that day the Virgin told us that on
the following day we would hear a voice. But that we shouldn't be afraid, and that we should follow the voice. (20)
This seems to indicate that something unusual is going to happen, something that is going to bring one more new element in this succession of singular phenomena.

On the next day and at the same time
as on the previous day, (that is, at nightfall) the Most Holy Virgin appeared to the four of us.
And for several minutes she was smiling very much.
And she didn't say anything to us.
After a few minutes, darkness came upon us, and we heard a voice call us.
Then Mari Cruz said, Tell us who you are; if you don't, we will go home.
While we were hearing the voice, it was very dark.
And we didn't see the Virgin.
But afterwards she came.
And it became very light.
And she said to us, Don't be afraid.
And she spoke to us for awhile.
And that night was the first night that she kissed us, one by one.
And then she left. (21)

This raises many questions. From where and
from whom does the voice come? What is the reason for it? What purpose does it have? What relation exists between the voice and the Virgin's kisses to the frightened children? Is there some connection with the voice and the announcement made by Conchita on her return from Santander?
I admit that I am not able to give any answers to these questions. Even today this voice remains one of the enigmas of Garabandal.

Because it caused fear in the girls and also
because of the darkness that surrounded them, together with the disappearance of the Virgin from view, one might say that it was a voice of the evil one, the voice of the world of darkness, the powers of evil, rabidly furious before this admirabile commercium that was being established between the heavens and the earth. But the words of the Virgin that Conchita relates in her diary, that we should not be afraid, and that we should follow the voice, seem to rule out this interpretation. Could it be that the girl is somewhat confused and is not able to express clearly such an obscure matter? Someday—we hope—a clarification of this mystery will come forth.
But we do have something very clear and also very marvelous from that memorable day: the kisses of the Mother that the Apparition begins to lavish on her children.
That day was not the only one on which the strange voice was heard.

20. This announcement must have occurred during a brief conversation on August 15th, since the hearing of the voice in a trance occurred at nine or ten on the night of August 16th.
21. It is no surprise that the girl remembers the exact beginning of the marvelous gift Our Lady's kiss . . . After that time the spectators knew when the end of the ecstasy would take place — then the visionaries held their faces in an attitude of giving and receiving kisses, which customarily preceded or followed a slow and very pious sign of the cross.

Monday, April 13, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 82)

Father Luis María Andreu

O Admirabile

There is a liturgical antiphon from the Christmas
season that begins with these Latin words and speaks of the marvelous interchange or commerce established between God and mankind through the Word Incarnate. It seems that an extraordinary ramification of this commerce or interchange took place in Garabandal. It was as if through the Virgin (and sometimes through the Archangel St. Michael) direct conversation took part between heaven and earth.

Many examples of this have already been mentioned,
but we fill find many more occurring during the days in August that we are still recounting.

Wednesday, August 16th, liturgically the feast of
St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, and popularly the feast of St. Roche, was a day of direct communication between the departed Father Luis María Andreu and the girls. What Conchita wrote down briefly in her diary about this conversation has already been mentioned; but we have much more information at our disposal from the writings of Father Ramón.
He places the ecstasies of the girls at 11 o'clock in the morning, while Conchita speaks of these ecstasies occurring at eight or nine at night. Are two different ecstasies being described here or could it be that the girl, who wrote down these things many months later, was mistaken as to the time? (10) Father Andreu wrote down:

«I was going to say Mass; I had put on the amice when they called me: Hurry, Father, hurry. The girls are coming in ecstasy.»


Father put off the Mass until later and went to
observe the phenomena. The girls made their way through the village for a while, and then they marched toward the church. Father must have been surprised that there were only three — Jacinta, Loli and Conchita — and he took advantage of the routes they were taking to enter into Mari Cruz' house to see what had happened. The girl told him, «I am hurt that the Virgin hasn't called me.» However, she joined Father and they went to the church looking for the three girls in ecstasy. They found them sprawled on the ground in a group of singular beauty.

Father took out his notebook and began to
write down what he was able to hear of the mysterious dialogue:

«Oh what a voice! I don't know that voice.»


Up to this time the girls in their ecstasies were
only accustomed to the voice of the Virgin, and to a lesser degree that of St. Michael.

«Tell me. Who are you? She repeats this
question anxiously, Oh you are Andreu!
Loli: Yes it is your voice; but now it is softer . . . We want to see you. Why aren't we seeing you? Hold out your hand . . . Tell us what you saw at the Pines when you said "Miracle! Miracle! Miracle! Miracle!" On the branch of the center tree? . . . I will go see and pick a pine cone.»(11)

Undoubtedly the mysterious voice must have
spoken of what he had seen and of the exact location where he saw it.

«How happy you must be now! (12) We know
the last words that you said: that it was the happiest day of your life. (A long silence took place, during which they seemed to listen carefully.) There is already a St. Luis. St. Luis Gonzaga. Oh! That's it. St. Luis Andreu . . . I thought that heaven was flat like the laundry when it is spread out.»(13)


A remark like this could be expected from a
child living in a mountain village who would associate daily living with the monotony and the everyday fatigue of her way of life, continually climbing up and down steep hills.

«Do you cut your hair? Then you must have
very long hair. Do you eat? Then you must be very thin!(14) Oh, I understand!»


(Questions concerning the mysterious state of
the departed; the final exclamation shows that he gave them certain explanations with which they seem to have been satisfied.)
«Your brother is here? . . . But he is saying Mass, since the bell has rung . . . He is with us? . . . Next to whom? . . . We will ask him later to see if that's right.»


During the trances the girls did not see anything
that was outside of the apparition. Because of this, they did not see Father Ramón, whom they thought was celebrating Mass at the time. While talking about him, they learned that he was there with them, and right next to one of them. When the ecstasy ended, the Father asked them which one was next to him, and the three answered together very happily, «Loli». They were well informed.
«Loli: I found the rosary where the Virgin told me, and I gave it to your brother . . . Yesterday (Feast of the Assumption) he said a high Mass, and he preached first to the men, then to the women, and then to the children, and he looked at us . . . Your brother said "Dominus Vobiscum" and I thought that it was Dominus Vobispum, as Fr. Valentin says . . . Oh! You! How well you say it! . . . Your brother has taught us a song.»

And Loli began to sing:

«When I see myself with a headdress
and shoes without heels!
What goes on in the cloister . . .
Oh! How does it continue? . . . The part about the heart?»


The mysterious voice must have sung what the
girl had forgotten, and she cried out in surprise:

«Oh! You know it too!

Everyone said that on the day you said the
Mass here, that you said it very well. Your brother also says it very well.(15)
Conchita: We told a secret to your brother; First of all he said it was for the men, but then he told it to Carmen. I was so embarrassed!(16)

Your brother has told us that if you want to take him away, that you could take him away,
as you . . .»
The mysterious voice must have explained to them that it was not like that.

«Ah! So that he can be with us . . . He's going
to come three weeks as the pastor. Very good!

Tell us something for your brother . . . Come, repeat it, so that we don't forget . . . Now I'm going to repeat it to you . . . That he should make sacrifices, that he should make sacrifices.

When will you return? . . . Monday? . . . Why not Thursday?
(18) . . . Until Monday is going to seem a year to us.»


This long conversation—of which we have only
noted some items of special interest—was regarded by Father Royo Marín as a wonder. During it, the visionaries fell and got up three times. And they concluded everything by praying a Station to the Blessed Sacrament; three of the six Hail Marys were prayed by the girls in the normal fashion, andthe other three according to the formula used by the Andreu brothers. (19)

10. I am inclined to think that these were two different ecstasies, since Mari Cruz is missing in the one that Father Andreu talks about. Furthermore, Conchita says this about her ecstasy: The Virgin appeared to us smiling very much and said to the four . . .
11. In this transcription of the conversation, the periods correspond to the pauses that the girls made, which were obviously due to their listening at the time to the person with whom they were speaking.
12. A clear allusion to the state of blessedness in which the souls of the just enter prior to the resurrection of the body.
13. The point of this comparison can be understood, taking into account that the laundry in the villages, especially the sheets, was laid out in the sun on top of the grass so it could dry and whiten better.

14. The girls at Garabandal with their lack of education
could not imagine the life of the next world to be any different from this one.

15. It is seen how important it is before God and man that all the functions of the priestly ministry have the greatest devotion and exactness.
16. This refers, according to Father Ramón, to the time he asked the girls what they would want him to give them.
The girls, after much discussion about what they should ask for, indicated to him that they would like a sewing set very much . . . «But no! No! Don't give us one, since they are very expensive. They cost at least 56 pesetas.»

To give the girls their wish, Father Ramón mentioned the
matter to Carmen Cavestany.
17. After the ecstasies, the girls questioned Fr. Ramón — to whom they revealed his brother's message — about what it was to «make sacrifices.» He explained it to them, and then they replied candidly, «Why should one do something one doesn't like?»

This question should be asked also, although not so candidly,
of today's prophets of non-mortification as a form or style of the new spirituality . . .

Garabandal insists, as something of extreme importance,
upon the ascetic and penitential way of life . . . Probably because of this, it has so many enemies. But this is very clear: without the way of penance, it is not possible to live the Gospel.

18. This conversation took place on Wednesday, August
16th. Naturally—so as not to have to wait—the girls wanted to recommence the ecstasies on the next day, which was Thursday.
But apart from this, it becomes increasingly clear that Garabandal has shown a definite predilection for Thursday, certainly because among all the days of the week, this is the day dedicated to the Holy Eucharist.

In October of 1975 Jacinta confirmed for me the conversation
between the girls and the departed Fr. Andreu. They certainly spoke with him, although they did not see him; his voice was unmistakable.

«Days before talking with him, the Virgin told us that we
would hear a voice; that we should not be afraid, and should follow it. I think that this referred to the dead Fr. Andreu . . . The strange voice that we heard days later, and which frightened us so much, called us by our names . . .»
Jacinta knows nothing about what Conchita has stated about the exhumation of Fr. Luis' remains on the day following the Miracle.

19. See Chapter V.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 81)

“She told us the same thing as on the previous day: Recite the rosary.”

The vigil of the Assumption was not the only one during those days. On the following Saturday, August 19th, the first Marian day following the feast, there was another one which was longer still, lasting almost the whole night, from Saturday until Sunday. Conchita mentions it in her diary like this:

As she had said, she came.

And she told us the same thing as on the previous day: Recite the rosary.

And we began the rosary.

And that night we went to the places
where the Virgin had appeared to us at the beginning.

And after our ecstasy the people said
that we had gone up to the Pines and that we had gone from pine to pine on our knees, praying . . .

And during that ecstasy, while we were
seeing the Virgin, Mari Cruz, who had seen an apparition earlier, was in bed.

And we told the Virgin that she should
tell us a song to sing to Mari Cruz.

We would compose some words and
the Virgin would aid us with the others.

The songs were the following:

First she wrote the stanza already mentioned
about the Bouquet of Flowers. Then follows:

Mari Cruz, Mari Cruz!
How sad you make us!
Pray hard to the Virgin
So that she will return to you.

Mari Cruz, Mari Cruz!
Do you smell the lilies?
The Virgin has brought them for you,
So that you will be better.

The Virgin stayed with us from nine at
night until six in the morning.(8)
And that night we played Los Tios(9) with the Virgin.
Two of us hid, and the other one
searched for us.
Another incredible surprise in the history of Garabandal! The Virgin joins in games with the young village girls.
This cannot be, many must exclaim. This is ridiculous, unbelievable, unacceptable. A good proof that neither the apparitions nor the ecstasies contain anything supernatural.

Well, I confess that I cannot understand the
reason for such games; but there is nothing to stop me from accepting them if I have proof that they actually took place, and that the Virgin took part in them. Can I pretend to understand easily all the components of God's actions on the world and on souls? It is sufficient to have signs to indicate that these actions are from Him. And then I can be sure that all those things I do not understand obey a mysterious Divine Plan and occupy a place in the disposition of Providence.

My ways, says the Lord, are not your ways; and My thoughts
are not your thoughts. (Isaah 55 : 8)
Besides, have there not been other episodes of interplay from on high and mysterious games with men?
There is an inspired text dating back thousands of years that the Church continually places on the lips of the Virgin:

I was set up from eternity, and of old,
Before the earth was made . . .
When He prepared the heavens, I was present.
When with a certain law and compass, He enclosed the depths;
When He established the sky above,
And poised the fountains of waters;
When He encompassed the sea with its bounds,
and set a law to the waters
That they should not pass their limits;
When He balanced the foundations of the earth;
I was with Him forming all things;
And was delighted every day,
Playing before Him at all times,
Playing in the world;
And my delights were to be with the children of men.
(Proverbs 8: 23-31)

There are games that take place between God
and the Mother of God and mankind. The important thing is to discover the hidden meaning of these games. This is certain: if God and the Virgin play, it is not for entertainment alone. They seek always to communicate and instruct. Nevertheless, we do not understand everything, nor do we understand it immediately. The text of Scripture has its reason for stating, after having spoken of these mysterious games in the presence of God:

Now therefore, children, hear me.
Blessed are they that keep my way.
Hear instruction and be wise.
And refuse it not.
Blessed is the man that hears me.
And that watches daily at my gates,
And waits at the post of my doors.
He that shall find Me, shall find life,
And shall have salvation from the Lord.
But he that shall sin against Me, shall hurt his own soul.
All that hate Me, love death. (Proverbs 8: 32-36)

8. After such vigils the girls should have been exhausted, worn out . . . But no! The testimony about this is unanimous, and has been repeated many times.

When the girls lost sleep because of the apparitions, they did
not suffer from any fatigue, and were able to begin the new day as if nothing happened. Without the necessity of recuperating the hours missing from their rest.

Taking into account that some or much of this occurred on so
many nights during many months, can we not speak of a miracle?
9. Los tios — similar to the game of hide and seek.

Friday, April 10, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 80)

It lasted almost two and a half hours
And all this time they were marching . . .

Unplanned Vigils

The vigils,(4) so well-known to the early Christians
and presently almost buried in ecclesiastical use, were to come back to life in Garabandal in a remarkable way.
And here they were very active, since the girls in ecstasy were not accustomed to remain for any length of time in one location, but went from one site to the next within the village and its surroundings.
Especially beautiful among these vigils was the one that preceded the Assumption of the Virgin —August 15th—during that year of grace in 1961. On the previous day, August 14th, Monday, Father Ramón María Andreu had come to the village, having buried his brother. In the afternoon, he spoke for a long time with the visionaries, and later was a witness of the ecstasy that we are describing, and which lasted from ten p.m. to midnight. A good time to go to bed! But neither the girls nor their followers had time to get into bed.
«At 2:45 in the morning» — as Father's notes read — «a new ecstatic march of the girls began, as a vigil for the Virgin . . .
It lasted until 5 a.m. Conchita, Loli, and Jacinta were involved, since Mari Cruz had not been called by the Virgin, and had gone to sleep.

The march began on leaving Conchita's house
at 3 o'clock, with the girls showing signs of great joy and asking the Virgin to remain until six in the morning. Actually, it lasted almost two and a half hours. And all this time they were marching, except for the short periods when they stopped at the door of Mari Cruz' house and at the church.
The rhythm of the march was not very rapid; but it was consistent. They marched forward; only occasionally did they march backwards.

And the general tone of this whole trance was
one of joy. With this joy they prayed the rosaries, they sang many of the Hail Marys, they smiled and laughed, they conversed.
It is very difficult to understand what they are saying, since they are walking. One time they were heard to say: What a pleasure! But you must tell us where Mari Cruz' house is, since we don't see.
Then they began going back and forth to Mari Cruz' house, singing verses and other songs. Among the various verses sung by the girls, we were able to clearly hear this stanza:

Get up, Mari Cruz,
since the good Virgin comes
with a bouquet of flowers
for her little girl.

From the other poems, we were only able to
hear phrases and loose words, such as,

Oh, Mari Cruz!, you don't get up,
even when you are serenaded . . .
Gather up the lilies . . .(5)

They also sang the Christmas hymn Noche de
paz, and several mañanitas.(6) Every time that they sang a verse, they laughed and said, How fast we learned it!

At one time, the three separated from one
another, and a little later they returned to meet together in front of Mari Cruz' home. At a quarter after four, they finally said goodbye to her, Till tomorrow!

They went to the church; and asked the Virgin
to continue like this until six o'clock, until eight, until nine . . .
Everything ended at 5:00 in the early morning.

They explained to me later, We went as if in the air, as if lying down perhaps. Like in another world! It was like day, with the sun. (They had to be struck by the night that surrounded them on coming back to themselves.)

When it was over, their pulses were normal
and they were fresh, without perspiration; the rest of us were more than exhausted. They were not fatigued, in good humor, and hungry.»


The short resumé of this exceptional vigil brings
up certain thoughts. «The general tone was joy,» Father Andreu tells us, and I ask myself, could it have been otherwise? Did not the nature of the feast that was about to be celebrated require this?
The entire liturgy of the Assumption is a repeated invitation to joy for us, her children on the earth, as the Collect from the Mass of the vigil brings out:

We pray that we who enjoy her protection, may
take part in the joyful celebration of her feast.
Not only to us, but to all creation should this celestial joy radiate. The first words of the Divine Office on this feast of the Virgin indicate this:

Mary has been taken up into heaven! The angels
rejoice and with songs of praise, bless the Lord.
And there is a tremendous reason for this, since she who began without stain, has finished in glorious victory.
Undoubtedly what the girls were celebrating on the dark streets of Garabandal was only a poor imitation of the prayers of the angels and blessed in heaven in honor of God’s greatest creation.
The girls and those accompanying them on foot at these untimely hours petitioned and praised God through Mary. They were performing a good deed both for themselves and for many other Christians then asleep, or engaged in worse things. They were uniting themselves mysteriously to consecrated souls in many monasteries and convents who in those same early hours were beginning a new day with the solemn prayer of Matens and Lauds of that feastday.(7)

The Matens and Lauds of the girls at Garabandal were very different, unplanned and unscheduled, and not according to a fixed liturgical rite. but does that mean that they were less efficacious for the glory of God and the welfare of the Church? Someday we will know.

4. Vigils consist in passing while watching the night or part of the night preceding some important Christian solemn feast, as a preparation for it. The faithful, gathered in a holy place, spend the time in watching, reading from the bible, religious instructions, hymns, prayers, etc . . .

5. Another verse can be found in Chapter 5.

These verses and other similar ones were sung by the girls on several occasions. In a letter on February 6th, 1970, the pastor from Barro, Father José Ramón García de la Riva wrote me:
«One day I was at Garabandal (He did not go there until August 22nd) and Loli and Jacinta had an ecstasy, chanting verses at the door of Mari Cruz, who was in bed on her mother's orders.»
The feastday of the Assumption was uniquely distinguished with something extraordinary too. The same priest wrote me in that letter:
«Actually something extraordinary always happened on the days that we can call Marian.» (Saturdays and feasts of the Virgin like the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Nativity of Mary, the Most Holy Name of Mary, etc.)

6. Short musical compositions.

I think by las Mañanitas Fr. Ramon is referring to a Spanish song that starts:

These are the mañanitas
sung by King David . . .

7. Matens and Lauds are two important parts in the daily
prayer of the Divine Office. Matens starts this prayer according to its own Latin designation Ad Matutinum, having as its proper time the early hours of the day—the early morning. Formerly in the ancient monasteries it was always recited at
that time. Lauds then followed.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 79)

Dr Ortiz checking Conchita’s pulse during a rapture

In his work entitled The Spectator, José Ortega y Gasset labeled the summer that inspired his work as lazy. The summer of 1961 at Garabandal could be labeled singular and marvelous. Singular, because never had its like been seen. Marvelous, because the remarkable events that happened every day were not everyday occurrences.
Some have already been mentioned; others cannot be written down; but it would be unpardonable not to mention the rest.

The Commission Doctors

Who they were and how they acted during Conchita's
stay in Santander has already been stated. Following this, we know that during the summer of 1961 the distinguished Doctors Piñal and Morales condescended to go up to Garabandal for a few hours, to cast a supercilious gaze on the remarkable things that were occurring there.
Eye witnesses inform us that Dr. Morales was in the village on July 11th. The well-known and renowned psychiatrist from Santander interrogated the girls one after the other, and employed all his persuasive art to make them cease their madness of praying at the Calleja. In his efforts to convince, it is not known whether he resorted to the same arguments that Dr. Piñal had employed against Conchita: many promises, if she would give up once and for all this stupidity; and threats of dire consequences, if she continued with her incredible story.

Actually Dr. Morales believed he had fully succeeded
in his plans, since the girls, after his indoctrination, finished with an attitude of admirable docility: Sí, Señor, sí; we will do what you say.
Following this, Dr. Morales, self-satisfied and sure of himself, aware of his importance and high position, went to the Calleja to put an end to this affair publicly; and facing numerous persons there waiting for the time of the ecstasy, he pontificated:
You are wasting your time. The girls will not come here today. This farce is ended. I, Dr. Morales, assure you of this. You can leave.

And turning around, he began to descend with
the person who was accompanying him.
They had not gone far, when they heard a noise and were able to see the girls who were responding to the call of the Virgin in a swift run.

It could be seen that there was a force acting
upon the girls which was not yielding to the desires or decisions of Dr. Morales.(1)

Approximately on this date — I cannot give the
date exactly — occurred the scene caught on a photograph taken at the beginning of the events: Dr. Piñal, at the side of Mari Loli in ecstasy, putting drops in her eyes . . . Why? According to the reports, he did this not so much to see the girl's reaction — an action which would have been justified, since that should have been his reason for being there: to observe and investigate — as to see if he could succeed in bringing her out of the trance, showing everyone by this that there was nothing genuine about the phenomena.
But the girl remained entirely absorbed in herself, completely oblivious to him, without the slightest blinking, without her senses noticing the drops with which Dr. Piñal was bothering her.
Obviously the ecstasies did not depend on human desires or designs. They began when some mysterious Being decided they would begin, and they ended when the same Being ended them. Just as Dr. Piñal was unsuccessful on this occasion in attempting to end the ecstasy, equally unsuccessful were other doctors on other occasions in attempting to bring them on. Man can do many things; but there are many more that are beyond his abilities. And it is wise to be able to recognize the difference.
The mentality of the Bishop's Commission cannot pass unnoticed by the reader. The few times that they bothered to go to the place of the events, they seemed to go mainly to search for means to put an end to these things, and to discover proofs that they could use for their negative attitude of rejection.(2)
But not all came with the same mentality.

The serious and impartial investigations, that those who had the duty did not want to make, were made by others who came with an open mind. In those days of August another doctor from Santander, who dedicated himself conscientiously to observing and studying the events, came up to Garabandal for the first time. His name was Celestino Ortiz Pérez; his specialty was pediatrics, in which he had earned a broad reputation.
He compiled a meticulous and elaborate report, containing his observations from many visits to Garabandal between the 15th of August, 1961 and the 25th of November, 1962.
He carefully studied the personal and familial predispositions of the children, their conduct and attitude before and during the events, their character, their intellectual level, how they slept, their reflexes, the ecstatic phenomena. After gathering all this information in his investigation, he reviewed the possible natural explanations: hysteria, hypnotism, catalepsy, pediatric psychiatric diseases; and he came to these conclusions:
«1. The four girls, from the point of view of pediatric psychiatry, have always been and still are perfectly normal.
2. The ecstasies — in which we have seen these young girls so often — cannot be included in any of the categories of physiological or psychological pathology that are now known.
3. Considering the length of time that the phenomena occurred, if they had any kind of pathological nature, its signs would have been easily discovered.
4. I cannot find any explanation either in normal or pathological pediatric psychology that could be held out as a natural explanation for these phenomena which, according to the knowledge that we have at our disposition, are beyond natural reality.»(3)

1. «On Tuesday, the 11th, Dr. Morales and Dr. Piñal came. I do not know the professional opinion of these doctors; what I do know is that Dr. Morales said that on Tuesday nothing would happen, since if the girls had been influenced, he would un-influence them . . .
When the girls went up to the Cuadro, he was in their path; the girls passed without paying attention to him, and then they were in ecstasy about 60 minutes.

On the following day, they commented: Didn't the Carmelite
say that we wouldn't see the Angel anymore? (Dr. Morales had said that he was a Carmelite.)»

(Fr. Valentín's notes.)

2. Here is another example of their manner of acting. A reliable witness assured me of the accuracy of this confidential remark from Father Valentín:
«I went to Santander on the afternoon of August 15th. I was with the Commission and with Pajares, (Father Francisco Pajares, the old secretary of the bishop) whom I found clear-headed as always; not like Piñal, who appears to be super-endowed. He gave me some advice and since it seemed to me that he was going beyond his position, I answered that I would only do what the bishop told me. Then he spoke about the girls in terms that I didn't like, That they lied, that when they put themselves in a trance, they put themselves like . . .»

3. Many other competent doctors from Spain and foreign lands have had the same feeling as Dr. Ortiz Pérez. We remember Dr. Alexandro Gasca because he spoke out very openly. (Dr. Gasca, who later held an important post in the heath department of Saragossa, was at the time of the apparitions the doctor for the Nestle factory in Santander and provincial medical inspector of the Department of Health.) Also there were Doctors Sanjuán and Puncernau (Barcelona), and Dr. Apostolides, the chief of staff of the Pediatrics Service in the Central Hospital of Troyes (France).
Also it is known that Dr. Jiménez Díaz (now departed), a professor emertius of medicine at the Clínica de la Concepción (Madrid), in front of some colleagues and students who were joking one day about the phenomena of Garabandal on the 8th of October, 1961, expressed his opinion that the least that could be done in the face of such phenomena was to take them seriously, because they dealt with a serious matter . . .
With regard to the medical professionals, I have remembered many times the statement of Jacinta, the little girl from Fatima, during the days of her sickness and martyrdom in a Lisbon hospital, The doctors don't succeed better and more often since they have little love for God.
Certainly this can be said about others beside doctors, and
it does not apply to all doctors.