Thursday, May 17, 2007

PRESENTATION OF THE SITES AND PROTAGONISTS



Where and what is Garabandal? I'll be posting like this to answer that question and enlighten our minds . . .

The attraction that Spain spontaneously exercises on us almost immediately draws our sympathy. This country, facing the Americas and set at the meeting points of Europe and the Arab world, is not a great power. Nevertheless, it exerts a strong influence through its historical and cultural heritage.

Of all the European Catholic nations, Spain has remained the only one not to be yet favored with great apparitions. A Marian land, a land linked to the "mystery of the Carmel" thanks to St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila, she has thus been "prepared" since long ago to accept some day a charism of that order, to receive a new tangible and visible supernatural "manifestation of the Spirit," and to become through Garabandal, the greatest public Marian Apparition since Fatima. So at least we presume it to be.

As to the village, the site of the "events" we shall soon illustrate, it is called San Sebastian de Garabandal. But the very name "Garabandal" was then appearing nowhere in the literature, if only in the fifty-third of the seventy volumes of the Encyclopedia Illustrada Universal, where we could read it mentioned in one single line: "San Sebastian, located in the province of Santander"!

Saint Sebastian, a tribune of a Praetorian cohort of the emperor Diocletian in the third century, had been tortured twice, and killed, on account of his Christian beliefs. Pope Caius was eventually to confer upon him the title of "Defender of the Church."

Etymologically speaking, "Garabandal" means the "place where the dead are buried." It could be the burial ground of soldiers killed and buried there after a battle against the Moors. According to another version, the Pena Sagra would have been dug out to provide graves for holy hermits, even Carmelites, who had come from the East to settle in that location. Besides, in the first centuries the region of Garabandal-Santo Toribio-Covadonga was called the "Second Holy Land" . . .

(Excerpted from 'Garabandal' Book, page 9) [Published by The Workers of Mount Carmel of Garabandal, Australia]