Monday, March 2, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 48)

As many as 3,000 spectators a day came to see the ecstasies and participate in them.

The Spectators

«In the beginning the spectators did not take
any part in what was happening. But later they took a certain participation. The girls not only spoke about the spectators whom they knew, but also located them and touched them during the ecstasies. As the girls explained it, they didn't see them but they felt them by touch. (Although they didn't feel it when they were touched by the spectators.)
They came to localize spectators in two ways; either by pointing in various directions until the Vision would tell them where they were, or by allowing their hand to be taken by the Vision to the place where the spectators were. This occurred mainly when they were returning the medals and rosaries.(14)

When they went to put a rosary or a gift kissed
by the Virgin over someone's head, they were accustomed to say, Take my hands and place them since I do not see the person. At those times the movement was much more rapid and more exact, and they placed the rosary or gift without touching the head. These cases have been very numerous.

There has also been participation by the spectators as a group. One day the Virgin advised the girl to pray the rosary in the church after the apparition; but she found the church locked. So she started to pray at the door, and entering again into ecstasy, was told by the Virgin to pray louder so that the people could answer her. It was a beautiful rosary through the streets of the village; the girl in ecstasy marching ahead leading in a loud voice, and the people answering. The girl did not count the Ave Marías that were being said but she did not err on the number for any mystery, for the Virgin told her when it was time for the Gloria. This occurred on many other occasions.»

__________

On the pages of his history Father Ramón put down many details about this relationship between the visionaries and the spectators. Let us read some of them:
«On one occasion the girls in ecstasy fell down on their knees before each person present and said the Act of Contrition. But when coming in front of a young child—without seeing him—instead of saying the Act of Contrition, they prayed a Salve.»

__________

The example is forceful and nothing could make us more aware on the one hand of the dignity of every son of God with a baptized soul, and on the other hand of the realization that we are all sinners and in need of a continual practice of repentance. And beyond that, it points out the permanence of the state of grace brought on by baptism in those who still have not committed personal sins.

«Another time one of the visionaries made the
Sign of the Cross on all the persons around them except one . . . We can imagine that person's dismay. The parish priest asked the girl later why she had not made the Sign of the Cross over this person. And the girl responded that the Virgin had said that this person was the only one of those present who had made the Sign of the Cross on getting up in the morning. On questioning all those involved, it was learned that it had indeed been like that.»

__________

A good lesson concerning the necessity of not starting our day without prayer. There are few things so advisable for a Christian Life as to mark the start of each day with the raising of the heart toward Our Father Who art in heaven.
«A very concerned woman requested the visionary to ask the Virgin if her husband believed in God. After the ecstasy she learned the answer. In God he believes; in the Virgin, very little; but he will believe.»

__________

This became clear on learning—the visionary did not know—that the husband was a Protestant.(15)
«A man on his knees prayed mentally for the conversion of his son-in-law. As he was thus in prayer, known only to himself, a girl in ecstasy approached and spoke into his ear the word Yes, which some of those nearest to him were able to hear also. When I asked the girl later why she had said this Yes, she answered, The Virgin told me: Here is a man: Tell him "Yes." I insisted on knowing to what this "Yes" referred. I don't know, the Virgin only told me at the time that I should say "Yes" to the man.

On August 15th one of the girls prayed with a rosary that I had given her; when returning it later I saw that the cross was gone. It had come off and been lost. It was useless to search in those streets, alleys, and trails. After twenty days, on the fifth of September, it occurred to me to mention it to the girls, who asked the Virgin for the cross from my rosary. I was able to hear myself the dialogue in which they asked and how the exact location was indicated. At the end of the vision, we went without hesitation to the place mentioned and there the crucifix was found in the mud under a stone.

Another time five holy cards were given to the children for the Virgin to kiss. The visionary was holding them up one by one to the Vision, all except one which it appeared she did not wish to take. The owner of that holy card, shaken, then came to me crying and saying that she wanted to confess her sins. Later she returned to give her holy card to the girl in ecstasy and the girl, after she had listened to the Virgin and smiled, offered that holy card first of all to Her to kiss. The person to whom this happened in front of me gave me permission to mention it.
Here is another case concerning the state of conscience. I saw one of the girls in ecstasy suddenly fall on her knees in front of a woman. The woman drew back very deliberately as the girl, holding her glance fixed on high, corralled her in a corner. There the girl smiled very gently for a few moments and then left her.

The effect that this caused in the person was
very great. And afterwards I learned that she had come to Garabandal very distraught with the thought that her confessions had not been made properly. For that reason she had prayed to God and the Virgin, If my past confessions have been made properly, let the girl come clearly to me. She had barely formed mentally this prayer when the girl—from the other end of the street—advanced on her knees toward her without paying attention to any other person. The answer had been wonderful.

The capacity that the girls in ecstasy possessed
to know hidden things about the spectators has been shown on many other instances. But attention is called particularly to the facility with which they discovered some of those around them were priests.
Many times they said that priests were there when no one could have suspected it. Or that there were more priests than there appeared to be (due to their disguises), and it was always proven that it was indeed so.»(16)



14. It should not be lost from view that the girls, when entering into ecstasy, were taken away from the normal world of the senses; taken up into a supernatural light, which blinded their normal vision, breaking their contact with everything that physically surrounded them.

15. Now he is a Catholic, and definitely as a fruit of the child's play of Garabandal. His story will be brought forth later on.

16. It is beyond doubt that particular attention has been accorded priests at Garabandal. Proofs of this are innumerable. In this regard, these events point out the tremendous crisis in the Church that soon would come out in the open.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 47)


“The falls in the state of trance increased.”

Besides this medium of questions and answers, it was usual to have another manner of intercommunication. The girl in ecstasy was accustomed to remain rigid — as if paralyzed — at times. It was useless then to try to move or change the position of her face, hands, arms, etc. The effect was like dealing with a statue. But it didn't result that way for any of the other visionaries in the normal state. She could change the position of her companion in ecstasy, at which time the tremendous rigidity that existed for other persons appeared to change into a great flexibility for her.(12)

Many reflexes disappeared during the ecstasy; others remained only deadened. Thus the eyes appeared as if dead, without sight; but in proportion as the visions increased, the eyes appeared to acquire a brilliance in the pupils. The children cried at times with tranquil tears that ran down their faces. These tears corresponded with the times in ecstasy that they learned things and must have been the consequence of what they had heard and seen, since they were then heard to say, Oh! Pardon, pardon. Mercy. Ah! Let's not do that again! Yes, let's tell them about it.»
On one occasion they returned to the normal state with tears in their eyes and said that the Virgin had complained that the people were acting with irreverence in the church.
Another time the same thing occurred while in the street and the children declared that Father Luis had told them that there was little order among the public; that they were climbing one on top of the other; that they should advise the pastor and his brother(13) to try to establish order, arranging the young men of the village in a large circle. And the girls said that—because of the disorder—the Virgin was leaving soon.


12. The chief of the Civil Guard, Juan Alvarez Seco, who lived nearby, remembers this case.
«One day María Dolores was on the second floor of her house where she had apparitions many times. Her father Ceferino had said that, when they came down from there to the floor below where the tavern was, they would unscrew the light bulb since there was no switch to turn it off. Loli, while putting her hand on the bulb this time, fell into ecstasy, and she didn't take away her hand. We all feared that if she continued like this, holding onto the lit light bulb, she would burn her hand. Her mother said, Heavens, take away the light bulb!

However all our efforts were useless. Then we called Mari
Cruz who wasn't in ecstasy, and she—with the greatest of ease—made Loli let go of the bulb. Then the girl went down the stairs and continued her ecstatic march.»

Foto einer Glühbirne (an),
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


13. Fr. Luis: Father Luis Andreu, who will be discussed
later. The Pastor: Fr. Valentín Marichalar The brother: Fr. Ramón María Andreu (brother of Father Luis), the author of these writings, who was spending some time in Garabandal.

Friday, February 27, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 46)

“We go as though we are in the air”

In spite of the very difficult positions in which they held themselves, in spite of the long marches, in spite of being on their knees on top of sharp stones, their impression was always that the vision had lasted only a brief time; and when it ended, they remained with a sensation of having rested. All their appearance seemed to confirm this since they showed no sign of fatigue or of exertion. Their complection had a light pallor, but felt fresh to the touch.

We have already mentioned some of the things
that were said by Mari Cruz' mother. Pertaining to this is the following:

«One day a man from Madrid was here and he
said to my daughter, If you will repeat now the things you were doing, I will make your home into a chalet and I will buy you a car. She shrugged her shoulders.
But I said, How is she going to do that? Really it is impossible for her to do that thing again.
And there is no one who can do it. Do you think a person is going to stay in the position that she was in one time for two and a half hours? Who is going to stay two and a half hours the way she stayed?
And who will fall on their knees on top of a sharp stone and not hurt their knees, as she did one time without anything happening? Mr. Emilio del Valle took that stone. She was on it about three quarters of an hour and Emilio said it is not possible to stay in that position. I can assure you that Mari Cruz is not faking this.»

______

Escolástico put in his part:

«Candido and I were in the stable one day and we were laughing at them and we were asking them, "What are you accomplishing with this?" And they answered us, "You are laughing? Well, some day you will see."»

______

Mari Cruz' mother added:
«Why doesn't the Virgin act in these apparitions the same as she has acted in the others?»

_________

Men rule the affairs of earth, but not the affairs of heaven . . .

______

Continuing the report of Father Andreu:
«Faced with the intrusion of curious and devoted people who were coming in great numbers, the parents determined to close the doors of their homes and keep the children inside. The Virgin told them to obey and that she would continue to come in spite of everything.

Beginning on August 3rd, the falls in the state
of trance increased considerably; sometimes the four together; sometimes several of them; sometimes only one. The position that they adopt in these falls is truly like a sculpture of great beauty.
It was not remembered — I certainly have not seen it — that they even one time took a position the least bit indecent or incorrect.(10) They could be on the ground a moment or several minutes. The fall, when several of them were involved, was accustomed to be admirably synchronized; and without the least preparation, they formed groupings that were on the whole truly extraordinary.»

__________

Father Arintero, in his book The Mystical Evolution mentions, "In the false ecstasies, the convulsive movements that usually occur are uncoordinated and unseemly, and the person is exposed to great dangers; while in the divine ecstasies an admirable modesty and composure is kept, and there is no risk of danger, even though the person should happen to fall into fire."(11)

«In the Garabandal phenomena two groups
or camps can be distinguished. One group consists of the spectators and the other of the young girls. The spectators could see the girls and their manner of comporting themselves, their movements, laughter, words, anesthesia, etc.; but they could not see the apparition. The girls viewed the apparition, being in its light, hearing its words; but they did not see nor were they aware of the public, although they knew that the public was there since the apparition told them of this many times.
The girls in their vision saw each other; however if one of them came out of the ecstasy and the others did not, the ones in the ecstasy no longer saw the one who was not in it. If she went back into ecstasy they would see her.
There existed also an intermediate zone. From the first days of September it was observed that the girls who were in ecstasy were able to establish contact with the other visionaries who were not; but only with them. Thus, for example, if Jacinta went into ecstasy, she could communicate with Mari Cruz, Loli, and Conchita who were near to her and out of ecstasy, that is, in the normal state. This contact was established through questions which could only be made mentally.


10. Donna María Josefa Herrero y Garralda, a woman from León who went up to Garabandal in July and August of 1961, assured me about this, marveling over the perfect modesty that the girls demonstrated during their ecstatic falls. Not only was their bodily posture really beautiful and dignified, but also their clothes always fell in a proper way, even to sliding in a direction that appeared contrary to the law of gravity: «It was as if an invisible hand was there not to permit anything bad to happen; everyone felt a great respect in front of these scenes.»

11. Andrés Otero Lorenzo was present during these days of July and August in 1961 at an extraordinary spectacle of which there were many witnesses: a mysterious game of the girls in ecstasy in the choir loft of the parish church. Repeatedly with their faces looking up and listening to someone invisible, they mounted on top of the railing of that choir loft without looking where they were putting their feet and walked along the outside edge, in continuous danger of falling and hurting themselves. And they jumped down to the floor of the church and then went back up to jump down again.

The first time that he saw them on the choir loft railing, or outside of it, the man ran to give possible help, saying very fearfully, They will fall and be killed! And he could not understand the calmness of Ceferino, Loli's father, who unexcitedly
said, Don't worry, nothing is going to happen.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 45)

“Mari Cruz didn’t want anyone to see her.”

There is abundant evidence that the visionaries were not attached to exhibitionism or spectacularism. Nor did the ecstasies depend on whether or not there was a crowd, although the events came of course for the common good.

Aniceta recalls one night when the weather was
very bad — «a horrible night» as she put it —during which she had to accompany her daughter in ecstasy to the cemetery. The good woman admitted that she was afraid, and for nothing in the world would she walk alone at night, and much less take the path that led to the graveyard. This fear disappeared when she went with one of the girls in ecstasy; then she felt different. Now this night she and Conchita, completely alone, went through those solitary, dark, and muddy paths. They stayed for a long time praying for the departed at the gates of the cemetery.

Then coming back to the village, still walking
alone in ecstasy, Conchita started to run down the streets and alleys, singing the rosary to which her mother responded the best she could. (She has said that Conchita ordinary sang very badly, «almost as badly as Father Valentín», but while in ecstasy she changed and sang magnificently.) Finally, some people came out of their homes and joined them.

«There is another very interesting point»
— continues Father Ramón — «with regard to the visionaries: the concordance of their answers. Many times tricky questions were put to them in order to lead them into contradictions. To evaluate their answers better, the following should be taken into account:

A) The children, when speaking in the normal
state, could have all the weaknesses proper to their condition, their situation, etc.; thus they could have memory lapses, inaccuracies of speech, weariness, even going to the extent of telling a lie.

B) Since all four did not have the same visions,
it is natural that some of the girls gave information and details that the others did not know.

When it consists of describing things that they
have seen, I have noticed that they were all in agreement, provided that they were speaking about things that they had all four seen. On the contrary, there were little hesitations when it concerned naming the dates on which certain events had occurred. It was on this score, more than anything else, that some of them did not agree exactly with some of the others.»
__________

Continuing on, Father Ramón quotes some texts
from masters of mystical theology in order to shed light on these experiences, and he ends the discussion with an interesting fact:«Talking on one occasion with the children, I asked them if they remembered what they had seen in their visions. And changing the words of my question a little, one answered this way: What the Virgin said to us I remember well; concerning what I myself said—not so well.

In order to explain some of the phenomena
that took place in them, the visionaries were accustomed to using negative expressions. Thus, for example, speaking of the Virgin's voice: There is no voice like hers. Or in wishing to describe what the calls were or what they felt during the marches: Well, the thing is something like this, or I don't know.With regard to the marches, they told me: We go as though we are in the air, as if we are lying down. I don't know, like in another world; but in the daytime, and with the sun. Compare this with St. Theresa.» (Interior Castle, Chapter 5)


The Phenomena

The visions of the children of Garabandal could
not be counted by days. Beginning from July they began to increase so that they frequently occurred several times each day. The time of the ecstasies varied greatly. Sometimes they occurred at the first ray of dawn, sometimes after dinner. For a long period the usual time for the ecstasies to take place was between seven and nine in the evening. Later they began to occur during the night, ending at times at five o’clock in the morning. This should not surprise us, notes Father Royo Marín(9) with regard to the frequency of the ecstasies and the visions. "In some saints these have occurred on a grand scale. For St. Mary Magdalena of Pazzis, St. Michael of the Saints and St. Joseph of Cupertino, some years of their lives were a continual series of ecstasies." (Theology of Christian Perfection No 465)

There also was much variation in the duration of
the ecstasies. Sometimes they lasted only a short time, from two to five minutes. This occurred on few occasions, and always with the purpose of some advice or information with regard to the visions themselves, as: Today I will not come, since they are singing so much, or I will come to see you at such an hour. But ordinarily they lasted a half hour or more. Sometimes (recalling the time when Loli was
in ecstasy from nine at night until five in the morning) the ecstasies were interrupted for a time, as a pause for resting between visions. And the duration of these interludes varied, as in the case just mentioned, when there were two intermissions lasting about an hour and a half.

When the children were in ecstasy, they had the impression that time was standing still. Thus, very frequently after an hour or more in ecstasy, they would exclaim: Don’t go. Why do you go so soon? You haven’t been here more than a minute. What? So long? I thought that it was only a minute . . .
9. A celebrated Dominican priest renowned as a preacher, professor, and writer. Born in Morella (Castellón) in 1913, he lived for many years at San Esteban in the province of Salamanca. He will be mentioned again later on.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 44)

“They play and converse like the other children.”

«With the arrival of the events, the only ones who suffered healthwise, because of worries and troubles, were the families. The children themselves, on the contrary, after three long months of ecstasies and almost daily occurrences, while being awake so many hours of the night, have remained completely normal. They play and converse like the other children, make the long walks to the pastures (some of them five or more kilometers), do the household chores, and act, to put it briefly, just as any other young girl of their age and environment.»

__________

Continuing on, Father Ramón mentions a letter written to him on August 24th, 1961 by a pediatrician, Doctor Celestino Ortiz Pérez of Santander. This letter attests to the absolute normality and good health of the visionaries and refutes certain points of view of a Doctor "X"(6) who was trying to give a naturalistic explanation of the unusual occurrences at Garabandal. He ended with this revealing episode:
«One day, in the village, a young girl suffered an attack of nerves (showing itself in gestures and mannerisms of great excitation), pretending that the Virgin had already given her a call. They brought me without delay to the home of Ceferino, where we were together with Loli, Jacinta, a doctor and several other persons. She was given a sedative, and the doctor and all those present could see the tremendous difference there was between the agitated and most nervous aspect both in speech and appearance of the young girl who was suffering the attack and the customary calmness of Loli and Jacinta, who then were smiling and helping to calm down the young girl. After being taken aside and put to bed, she slowly came to herself. A little later, in a vision, the two girls were heard to say: So she pretended that the Virgin had called her! Ah, that is because she is sick. How she frightened us!»

__________

Concerning his observation of the children, he wrote down the following:

«1. They have no desire to be spectacular. On
the contrary, they prefer to get away from the people who come to see them. One day Loli and Jacinta, coming down from the pasture, on arriving on a hill from which they could look down on the village, said to one another: What a pain. How nice it would be for us to be by ourselves. So now once again with the crowd.

They said that the Virgin told them to remain in
their homes and not go out more than to do their shopping, that is to say, that they were not to walk in the streets during the night hours when the crowds gathered. The Virgin didn’t tell them this every day; nevertheless, they carried it out well.

2. On the contrary, the children were pleased
that the crowds came, so that they might believe. However, they did not seek after them when they came.

3. One thing that could not be denied was the
fact that the majority of the visions took place in public, where a superior force led them out and brought them. But it is certain that as soon as they came out of their ecstasies, they hurried to get back in their homes.

4. They were not disturbed at all when there
was no ecstasy even though many people had arrived, and the visitors went away disillusioned and dissatisfied.»

__________

These opinions of Father Ramón are confirmed by the following article written by Miguel González- Gay in the weekly Que Pasa? on the fifth of April, 1969:
«On the afternoon of July 25th, 1964, feast of St. James the Apostle,(7) there was a fiesta in the village of Garabandal. From afar one could hear loud voices that were partly drowning out the thundering of a storm. It was nightfall and gathered together in the kitchen of Mari Cruz' home were her family, a woman lawyer from Madrid and a man from Santander. The kitchen being almost dark, the man from Santander easily placed a tape recorder under the table and led the conversation toward the happenings experienced by the girls. Mari Cruz' mother revealed many confidential things. Among other matters she said:

She, Mari Cruz didn't want anyone to see her. Don't think that Mari Cruz sought to be seen by the people; she wanted to be left alone. Look, one time it happened that the child went to gather nuts with a girl named Pili, the daughter of Mingo and Nati. They were in a field on the mountain, farther away than from here to Cossío. The young girl was calmly gathering nuts, when all of a sudden she started saying that she had to go to the Pines. She began to run and the others were not able to follow her. And she said to them: “Look, if there are no people there at the Pines, you can leave me alone. But if there are people, tell my parents."

_____

Escolástico, the father of Mari Cruz, interrupted to say that his daughter's comrades had asked how she had been able to run like that, since they were not able to follow her. She answered them, "At the time it seemed to me I was sitting down."

_____

She arrived at the Pines and Matutano was there; she fell into ecstasy. When they arrived, the other young girls said that they were exhausted from running, while she was as if nothing . . .(8)
And see if she did this to be seen. One day she was in Torrelavega. Her cousin came home and found her alone there in the kitchen in ecstasy; and God knows the time she was held like that. On another day Nisia, coming from eating at the La Cuenca, found her alone like that at the Pines. And she was happy; she preferred to be alone.»

_____________



6. This refers to Doctor Morales, a well-known psychiatrist from Santander, who, as we will mention later, was named to be a member of the Commission appointed by Bishop Doroteo Fernández to study Garabandal.

7. A holy day of obligation in Spain.

8. According to Fr. Valentín's notes, this episode took place on the 20th of September, 1961.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 43)

The Scene of the Action

«The isolation gave the village and its inhabitants a feeling of tranquility and peace, that now has changed because of the influence of the pilgrims and the curiosity-seekers. At nightfall the mother of Jacinta walks through the streets ringing a bell, according to an ancient tradition, to call the townspeople to pray for the souls in purgatory. The rosary is said in the church every evening.

The patience of the girls' parents has undergone a real test because of the events. Being very simple and humble people, they have suddenly found out that their daughters have become the subject of phenomena that constantly leave them exposed to the whims of the people surrounding them. This has created a situation that they are not able to control, for the public is not always aware of what is proper in its words and actions. And so they have slapped the children, insulted their parents, and created many disagreeable situations. Because of the absence of police in the village, it came about that the girls' parents and the local youth had to take it upon themselves to protect their daughters and sisters, even to the point of shoving. The parents desired to know more than anyone else what was going on; and they found themselves unaided before happenings that they did not end up understanding.

During the three months that this situation continued, with so many arrivals and such crowds, with so many and such diversified personalities coming, the fact that nothing happened that had to be regretted could be interpreted as evidence that an invisible hand was watching over the visionaries and protecting them carefully.
The villagers neither affirm nor deny anything. They do not tell about anything more than what they have seen. But all of them, knowing the sincerity and the normalness of the children, hold the conviction that what the girls say is true.

In attempting to act in a scientific manner, it is
not possible to keep for investigation more facts than those that are given by eye-witnesses. Actual facts can be changed into fantastic rumors when news passes from mouth to mouth . . . The facts to which I attest in this writing have been observed directly by me except in those things where another source is explicitly mentioned.»(5)

The Protagonists

«As has already been indicated, the four
children in their ordinary state, that is to say, outside of their ecstasies or trances, show themselves to be completely normal. So they appear to the doctors, especially to those who have shown themselves most careful in their examination. The four children are completely normal to any other observer, just as they are to their immediate families, to the parish priest, and to all those who have known them for some time.

5. I wanted to document this book on the scene and first hand with the witnesses who lived these events, but Bishop Cirarda of Santander always refused to give me permission.

Consequently, I had to procure the necessary documentation for this work by more labor and less detailed background information.

Did the Bishop of Santander really want the case of Garabandal brought out into the open?

In October of 1968, a French layman F. Corteville, publisher
of the bi-monthly periodical L'Impartial, passed through Santander and sought an audience with Bishop Cirarda. This was given and in it he spoke about Garabandal . . . Mr. Corteville tried to suggest the formation of an international association of the type which he directs with regard to the Virgin of LaSalette to produce an in-depth study on the occurrences in the celebrated little mountain town.

Will you permit me, then, Your Excellency, he asked, to
examine the evidence and documents that are kept in the chancery? Bishop Cirarda (Mr. Corteville himself told me this) gave a mute response, but very expressive, of . . . refusal.

Monday, February 23, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 42)

Fr. Ramón

Because of this I consider it extremely useful to insert at this point in our history what Father Ramón Andreu wrote down as the fruit of his experiences in Garabandal during the summer of 1961.
His writing starts like this:
«With the special authorization of His Excellency Bishop Doroteo Fernández, Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Santander, and with the blessing of my superiors, Right Reverend Fathers Conrado Pérez Picón, vice provincial of Western Castille and Cipriano Arana, rector of the professional school of Christ the King at Valladolid.
I visited the location of San Sebastián de Garabandal, near Cossío, of the district of Puente Nansa, in the province of Santander, because of events that were taking place there concerning four young girls who were affirming that they were seeing and hearing the Virgin. And I obtained the following information, which I now place at the disposition of the ecclesiastical authorities, with the aim of simplifying the work that will have to be done because of such events.»

__________

These notes were written by Father Ramón during September and October of 1961, although his observations and experiences had already begun in July. Because of this they hold great importance in the understanding of what Garabandal was in that first summer, in those weeks of our story when the extraordinary began to be for those people there were no more than an unusual normal.
Among the entries that this report contains on its first page, I would like to point out the following, which I consider to be important:
«A miracle can come as a confirmation of a supernatural happening; but a miracle does not make a happening supernatural, nor in any case does it confirm it. From this the error and the mistake of those who examine Garabandal with the idea of witnessing a miracle at all costs.»

__________

With regard to the young girls, he says:

«The psychological age of the so-called visionaries during the first month was equivalent to eight or nine year old schoolgirls from the city.(2)

Their conduct was good from the moment the occurrences
we are relating began, according to the judgment of the pastor, the schoolteacher, and their own parents. Also they appeared normal before the visions started and they continued to be normal when out of the visions.

Why young girls for such things? The Mystical
Evolution by P. Artinero(3) explains this: "Because the very young, the feminine, the virgin souls hold a heart more pure, or more generously do violence to the passions. Thus the Holy Spirit can make His light shine in them. The words of the sixth Beatitude, Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God, find fulfillment in their life. Men and the highly gifted thus have no reason to reproach women. It is not so much a privilege of little ones and women to see better the supernatural things, as much as it is a punishment for men and the learned in order to humiliate them. St. Theresa one day was requesting from Our Lord that instead of heaping so many favors on her, He should give them to the learned men, the priests, the religious, the theologians. And He answered her: Those do not have the time or the desire to enter into confidential relations with Me; and, since they always disdain Me, I have to direct Myself to simple women, though I desire to discuss My affairs with men."»
After this Father Andreu spoke about the spectators:

«The visitor who comes to Garabandal, seeing
the young girls speaking to the Virgin, usually passes through the following stages:

—When hearing about the matter for the first
time, the visitor would usually take it for a joke; and thus, when deciding to go up to the village, it was as much for curiosity as for what he had been told.(4)
—The visit to the village ordinarily made a good impression because of its total simplicity and the absolute lack of any preconditioning.
—The first thing that would occur to someone during the phenomena was to think it was a comedy or an attack of hysteria. Since he would not see a miracle, he would pass initially to a feeling of disillusion. (An ecstasy is not a miracle.)

—Observing the actions of the young girls
usually made an impression when — overcoming the obstacles of the large crowd — the visitor would come to see and hear close up in a more thorough fashion.

—The majority of those who came to Garabandal
did not understand the events which were happening there; but they came to have an intuition that something important was happening.

—Then follows a state of waiting that seemed
to lead them to continuing reflection about their observations in Garabandal.»

2. Apart from Father Ramón's personal experiences with the children's psychology, there is an interesting statement in Father Valentín's notations, written on July 17th:
«Conchita said to the Virgin that she was going to sleep in her room, that she was going to the barn . . . Conchita asked where was the father of the Child (whom the Virgin held in her arms) . . . We don't know the answer; but the girl began to jump with joy . . . The girls said frequently: Don't go away. A little while longer! Oh, don't go away! Do you want us to sing or pray more? What do you want us to do so that you won't go away? And at this time they began to pray a litany in jest saying, St. Conchita . . . St. Loli . . . I could not describe the exceptional happiness of the girls.»

3. The renowned Dominican professor, Father Juan González
de Arintero, was born in a little mountain city of Valdelugueros in Léon in 1860 and died in Salamanca in 1928. Among his many achievements was the restoration of the study of mystical theology in Spain. His venerable remains are kept in Cantalapiedra, Salamanca, in the chapel of a cloistered convent of Poor Clares to whose foundation he contributed.

4. As Father Valentín wrote for the 17th of July:
«Eight priests, two doctors, and some 600 people from afar were present; but there have been days, on Sunday, when there were about 3,000. Many came out of curiosity; after having seen the girls, they changed; I have seen men cry.»