Saturday, July 21, 2007

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1961:



THE FIRST OF FIVE "DECEMBER 8" DAYS,
REMARKABLY HIGHLIGHTED AT
SAN SEBASTIAN DE GARABANDAL

There were two ecstasies, half expected, half unforeseen by Conchita, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This was the proper onomastic feast of the visionary, wished to her by the smiling Mary during the first of these two apparitions.

During the second apparition, at 9:30 p.m., Conchita, in ecstasy, visited the sick of the village, offering her crucifix to be kissed. The Blessed Virgin often encouraged the visionaries to be interested in the sick and led them while in ecstasy to the homes of the ill. They spontaneously experienced a great compassion for those who suffered and spent some time with the handicapped and the elderly. Several healings were obtained through the intermediary objects kissed by Our Lady.

Conchita later visited hospitals in Burgos. She even obtained her nursing diploma with success. She practiced the nursing profession first in Bilbao, then in New York where she has lived since 1972.

During her second ecstasy of the 8th of December 1961, Conchita spoke of the "good Pope John (XXIII) who was then very concerned about the problems of the world." "We must be very humble and pray a great deal," added the girl. That was, so at least it seems, the first explicit mention of "Peter's Successor" by the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel at San Sebastian de Garabandal. The Pope, the Popes . . .: they were to be on the "agenda," and in more than one way, during the long
course of the events!

From 1961 to 1965, on each December 8, Conchita was granted either an apparition or a locution from Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
[Excerpted from 'Garabandal' Book, pages 117-118]

I remember when Conchita lived near us in Queens, NY. She worked for a Spanish doctor in upper Manhattan caring for the poor Spanish-speaking residents. Later on, when she married and had children, she stopped nursing and I believe was a full-time housewife. Our same age children went to the same Catholic High School and we had a small prayer group formed and met in the school chapel. I did the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with benediction. Although we prayed together, we never talked about the apparitions with Conchita, respecting her privacy. After the kids were no longer going to that school, Conchita and her family moved out to Long Island. I pray for her each day.

Visiting the sick is a great ministry and very rewarding spiritually! The sick and elderly love having visitors, especially in Nursing Homes, where many have been abandoned by their families and have no one to sit and talk and pray for them. Like Jesus, we can have compassion and love for them, and ask the Lord to bless and heal them.

Roman Deacon