The four of us went up to the Pines at [As the explanations are sometimes mixed up by Conchita, we cannot complete the recommendations of the Apparition. The Commission to which Conchita alludes prefered that the reading of the message not take place at the door of the Church, as the Virgin had asked.
It is interesting to see that the girls scrupulously obeyed the orders of the Commission. The Vision had frequently repeated that the most important thing was to obey. They accepted simply to read the message at the Pines]. When we arrived at the Pines, Fr. Valentín was already there. He read it for himself and afterward he gave it to us so that we could read the Message to everyone. The four of us read it together. The people couldn’t hear us well, so a man read it also.
After reading it, we went down to the village, and when we had reached the place called the Cuadro, the Virgin appeared to us.
She said to me:
─ Fr. Ramón María Andreu has doubts now.
This made me wonder very much [Conchita explains what is unclear. Fr. Ramón María Andreu, S.J. came to Garabandal with his brother, Fr. Luís María, who was also a Jesuit, in the last days of July in 1961. They had returned several times during the summer of 1961. As a result, on the date that Conchita’s narration was written, Fr. Ramón María Andreu has been a witness and has sometimes admitted that many extraordinary phenomena occur at Garabandal. The doubts that this priest had that day made Conchita wonder.
We have had the opportunity to converse with Fr. Ramón María Andreu at length about what Conchita tells here. We will annex a conversation with this Priest. We give his version over that which Conchita tells because with his there is the guarantee of a secure analysis, serene in its judgment, clear and respective to ecclesiastical authority.] The Virgin told me where he had begun to doubt, what he had been thinking and everything.
Two months before the message [As has already been noted now, Conchita prefers to follow the chain of events rather than being strictly chronological in her narration.], they took me to
The night before going to
On that day, my mother had told me to ask the Virgin if she should let me go to
It was in the evening when the four of us had already received two calls. At that time, a priest had brought us a box of caramels; his name was Fr. Alfonso Cobián. He had brought the candy for the four of us. And when we were eating them, the third call came. And we dropped the caramels on the road. How we would have liked to eat them! But we liked more, much more to see the Virgin! And besides, the third call is a thing that takes us, and we don’t know how we went to the place called the Cuadro. [“Cuadro”: a place enclosed by some timbers positioned there to protect the girls from the enthusiasm of curious onlookers during their ecstasies. The Cuadro is in the Calleja.]
We did not have time to get to the place mentioned, and she appeared to us before we arrived.
Since we wanted so much to know who was the priest who had come in the white habit [When referring to priests, the girls question the Apparition in an intense way; there is nothing that seems to concern them more.], we asked the Virgin. And the Virgin said nothing; she only smiled. But we insisted again, and after a long time she said:
─ He is a Dominican. Then I said:
─ A Dominican?
And she said:
That same day, I asked the Virgin if she would let me go to
That day, the apparition lasted an hour, but it seemed like a minute to us. She told us herself that she had been there an hour.
They wanted to take me to
The first day I was there, I had an apparition near a church named Our Lady of Consolation [The ecstasy that Conchita refers to here took place on
This was confirmed by telephone from Cossío, by the brigadeer of the Civil Guard; the three girls in the Pines knew what was happening 90 kilometers away at the same moment.]. And there were many people there; so many people were there that the armed police had to intervene. That day they made various tests on me. [Conchita calls the multiple examinations that so many doctors and priests performed on her “tests”; they did it to find a solution to the phenomena.]
And when the apparition was finished, they took me to an office [She is referring to the Sacristy in the Church of the Consolation. Without a doubt Conchita called it an office because she didn’t have any concept of a Sacristy other than the small one in the Church in San Sebastián de Garabandal.] for a priest and a medical doctor to question me. The priest was named Fr. Francisco Odriozola and the doctor was Dr. Piñal. They said to me:
─ How do you do these things? Are you crazy? How do you deceive people in this way?
And then he said me:
─ Straighten up. Look at my nose. I am going to hypnotize you!
When he said to me, look at my nose, I laughed. And he said to me:
─ Don’t you laugh, this is not a laughing matter!
And that day they didn’t do anything more to me.
The next day they took me to some doctors to see if I was ill. They took me to one whose name was Morales and several others. And they all told me that I was well and that these apparitions were a dream. And they said that I should stay there in Santander to amuse myself, so that I could forget everything that had happened to me, and not go back to have more apparitions.
Then my mother, as she was so convinced that there was nothing wrong with me because of everything that the doctors told her, left me and went to Garabandal.
Some nieces and a sister of Fr. Odriozola came every day to pick me up at the house in order to go to the beach and the fairs, which until then I had never seen.
Since I went to the beach every day, the Virgin did not appear to me.
At the end of eight days, a man intervened to take me to the village and my mother came to find me. This man was Mr. Emilio del Valle Egocheaga. I will remember him all my life.
On the day that they took me back, I went to Dr. Piñal to tell him that I was going. He became very angry and said to me… well, many things… so that I would not go. I told him that I was not seeing the Virgin; but that the others were, it seemed to me. And that the Message seemed to me to be true. Then he told me to sign a statement. I signed it. Afterwards, he told me that I should go talk to Bishop Doroteo, and I did it. They all acted very nice to me, after all of this.
When I arrived at the village on returning from
The following day, when coming down from the pastures, my mother and I met my aunt, Maximina González, who was very excited and told us:
Do you know that the Virgin’s voice has been heard on a tape recorder?
Then I asked her:
─ What did she say?
My godmother answered:
Loli and Jacinta told her:
─ Speak!... Go, speak!
Then we heard on the tape:
─ “No, I won’t speak.”
The people ─ my godmother told us ─ began to cry and were very emotional because they had heard the Virgin’s voice. [Conchita says this took place on
Some strangers had brought a tape recorder powered by batteries. They showed Loli and Jacinta how it worked. The two girls marveled at it because they had never seen anything similar.
During one of the ecstasies they could record some of the words that Loli and Jacinta said. Afterward, they played it so the girls could hear.
Suddenly, the girls fell into ecstasy again. One of them still had the microphone in her hand. Holding it toward the vision during a moment of ecstasy, she said:
─ “A man has come with a thing that records. Why… why don’t you speak so that they can hear you? It isn’t for us, it’s so that they will believe. Speak, say something so that they will believe…”
When the ecstasy ended they played the recorder so that the girls could hear what they had said to the Vision. When the moment arrived that the girls had said the quoted words: “Speak, say something so they will believe…” The tape on the recorder ended. In that moment, a voice came from the apparatus that can only be described as “sweet” and it said:
─ No, I won’t speak.
Loli and Jacinta exclaimed at the same time:
─ Oh! It is the Virgin’s voice!
As you might suppose, the impression produced by the witnesses was very great. One of them said as he went back to Garabandal:
─ I will go to the grave with the conviction that I have heard the Virgin’s voice!
We say as a conclusion to this anecdote that when the tape was played later, the Virgin’s voice was not heard. Whatever interpretation you want to make of this, what is certain is that we have signed testimonies from 12 witnesses. Conchita makes reference to this in her diary as heard from the lips of her Aunt Maximina.]
In those days while I was in
Then one day Loli and Jacinta had an apparition at the Pines. This was during the day. These two priests were there and when they saw the girls in ecstasy, they believed. When a short time had passed with the two girls in ecstasy, Fr. Ramón María Andreu thought:
─ If this is true, let one of the girls stop having the vision.
Immediately, Loli’s vision left her. After a few minutes, the Virgin appeared to her again.
The priests admitted that this was a test [We have spoken about this with Fr. Ramón María Andreu. We will reproduce part of that dialogue here:
Question: When Conchita says in her diary that you considered this ecstasy that Loli and Jacinta experienced a test, is that true?
Father: Yes, it’s true. But all of this is a little longer that what Conchita quotes in her diary.
Question: Could you give us some idea of your attitude and disposition on the day you went up to Garabandal for the first time?
Father: As you might suppose, when I went up to Garabandal that day, I didn’t think that there could be phenomena that had any value. When they invited me to go up for the first time, I responded that I didn’t have time to lose on apparitions. Generally, I am very busy. Finally, I accepted the invitation to go up to Garabandal, but it was only to be polite to the friends who had invited me, and also because it would be a day to rest after many days of continuous (spiritual) exercises that I had preached before.
Question: And did your brother, Fr. Luís María, believe?
Father: No, not at all. There was no proof at that moment. I don’t think any intelligent person would believe without some proof.
Question: Could you tell us exactly what Conchita describes took place?
Father: With pleasure. It was, as I said, the first time that I went up to Garabandal. We had already seen some ecstasies that day before the one that Conchita describes. In the late afternoon, we found ourselves in the Pines. Loli and Jacinta were in ecstasy. There were very few people near the girls. I was very close to them. I heard them speak with the Vision in a low voice, as though trying to be quiet, which is characteristic of ecstasies. I understood some of these sentences.
After eight or ten minutes, I thought it might be a case of hypnotism. I realized that this was a vulgar thought, with no originality, but it was like that. I looked around me to discover the author of the hypnotism. I saw the faces of Fr. Valentín, Ceferino, Julia, and others who were present… and I didn’t find the solution there. All of them wore expressions of admiring surprise. The hypnotist wasn’t there...
Then I had saw the two girls enter and leave the ecstasy. They did it at the same time. It gave the impression that they only had one soul. At this moment I thought that this did not have much sense. But I thought like this: If one of the girls returned to the normal state, and the other stayed in ecstasy…
At this same moment, Loli, who was closest to me, lifted her head slowly and looked at me, smiing. I asked her:
─ You don’t see the Virgin?
She responded to me:
─ No, Sir.
─ And why not? I insisted.
─ She has gone away.
Jacinta was still in ecstasy. I said to Loli:
─ Look at Jacinta.
The girl looked at her and smiled when she saw that Jacinta was in ecstasy. It was the first time she had seen one of her companions in ecstasy while in the normal state herself.
I asked her:
─ And what does the Virgin tell you?
She was about to respond when she fell into ecstasy again. Her head was facing upwards. I heard the following dialogue between the girls and the Vision.
Jacinta: Loli, why did you leave?
Loli: (Asking the Vision) Why did you leave me?
There was a pause.
The two: (At the same time) Oh, that is why. Then it was so he would believe!
When I heard this I turned to my brother Fr. Luís María and I said to him:
─ Be careful what you think, because the thought transmission is instantaneous.
My brother said to me:
─ Has something happened to you?
─ Yes, I responded… I will tell you later.
Question: Father, after this moment, did you believe?
Father: Undoubtedly this caught my attention and made me think. I understood that it was not a comedy or simulation, and I thought that it was a very interesting topic for more profound study. We were standing before phenomena that were as exciting for doctors as they were for theologians.
From this point to believing, there was a step that was not easy to make. One thing, nevertheless, is certain: taken in conjunction with all of the happenings I have seen, including the one that I have emphasized, although I looked on it with a certain skepticism and reserve, I can affirm again that it is not a comedy or simulation by the four girls. Of course, saying this is almost saying nothing. To establish a problem is still not resolving it. The question is always the same: What is the cause of these phenomena that I have seen and witnessed? And are those that I have spoken of just a small part? I have asked this question to many people, and all of the times I have asked it, I have not had an answer.]
One day, the four of us: Loli, Jacinta, Mari Cruz, and I, had a vision. Many people were there and among them were Fr. Luís María Andreu and a seminarian, Andrés Pardo, and Fr. Royo Marín, a Dominican. It was already nighttime when the Virgin appeared to us that day. At the end of the rosary, the four of us were in ecstasy. And we began to walk toward the Pines. When we arrived there, Fr. Luís María said: Miracle! Miracle! And he was looking upwards. We saw him ourselves. And in our ecstasies we have never seen anyone except the Virgin. [In what we can call the “terminology of Garabandal” we will say something about what we call “the fields of vision.”
In their ecstasies the girls did not see anyone but the Apparition and the other girls who were also experiencing the Apparition. If one girl was in ecstasy and the other was not, the one in the ecstasy would not see the other. The same happens with relation to those who witness the ecstasy.
Nevertheless, an exception exists, the only one of which we know. This exception took place on
What we have said about the “field of vision” can also be applied to the girls’ sense of touch. During the ecstasies, the anesthesia to the pain caused out of their field of vision was complete. The girls did not feel the scratches or the pinches that caused them. They didn’t feel burns either. Nevertheless, they were very sensitive to all that happened within their field of vision. As an example, I can cite a day on which the Virgin handed down her crown with “golden stars” for the girls, and they passed it from one to another. When one of the girls received the crown from another she said:
─ Oh! You hurt me with one of the stars!
On another occasion in which Loli and Jacinta were in ecstasy, one of them took a stone from the ground and scraped the other girl’s hand with it. That girl reacted by saying:
Oh! You have hurt me with the stone!] On that occasion we saw Fr. Luís. And the Virgin told us that he was seeing her and the Miracle. [The Great Miracle that we alluded to when we referred to Fr. Luís María Andreu, saying that he had seen it as it was announced by Conchita for the Vision. The obligations that accompany this announcement are numerous. But before this, we have to say something about the Warning.
THE WARNING: We quote part of a letter from Conchita dated
On January 1st the Virgin told me that there will be a warning before the miracle so that the world will change. And this warning is like a punishment. It is very frightening, for the good and the bad. It will bring the good closer to God. It will warn the bad that the end of the times comes. These are the last warnings. It is very long, and I can’t explain it by letter. It will come to everyone. It is certain. I don’t know the day or the date.”
The whole world will feel it. It will come before the Miracle, but she doesn’t know when. It will be evident that it comes from God. The child does not know how long it will last. Conchita adds that in the Warning, we will see all we have done to offend God with our sins and how our sins have contributed to the Passion of Our Lord.
The Great Miracle: After the Warning, the Miracle that is discussed in the diary will come. I have the details that Conchita gave. She knows the exact date. Her mother, Aniceta, also knows, and two other persons in
After the miracle, if the world does not convert, then God will send the punishment.]
The people said that we prayed a Creed at the Pines (that was the first day the Virgin taught us to pray) and that afterwards we went down to the village in the same state. When we arrived at the Church, the Virgin left our view. As the Virgin had not appeared to Mari Cruz for several days, she stayed in ecstasy with the Virgin. She went into the Church. And before the altar of the Virgin of the Rosary and St. Michael the
─ Oh how good that the Infant Jesus comes! How long it has been since he has come! Why do you wait so long to come to me and come to the other girls more often?
Various people who were near her heard this, and Fr. Luís María Andreu and a seminarian, and Fr. Royo Marín were among them.
The following day the four of us went to sweep the Church. While we were sweeping, Jacinta’s mother came, very upset, and said to us:
─ Fr. Luís María Andreu has died!
We didn’t believe her since we had seen him the day before. We left the Church half-swept and went to find out more. They said that when he was about to die, his last words were:
─ Today is the happiest day of my life! What a wonderful Mother we have in Heaven!
After that, he died.
This happened on the road to Reinosa. [The death of Fr. Luís María Andreu, forms an important part of the events of Garabandal, as is evident by Conchita’s diary. This priest was a professor of theology on the faculty that the Society of Jesus maintained in Oña, a
He had come to Garabandal for the first time in the last days of July. He went up again on August 8, 1961. That day, Fr. Valentín gave him the keys to the Church because he had to go away from the parish. Fr. Luís said his last mass in Garabandal. In the afternoon on August 8th, the four girls had an ecstasy that began in the Church. After that, the girls left on an ecstatic march that lasted a long time. They stopped at all of the places where they had previously had apparitions and prayed there. Fr. Luís María followed the entire ecstasy. The girls went up to the Pines. Fr. Luís María went up to the Pines as well. When they had reached the Pines, Fr. Luís María entered into their field of vision and pronounced the word “miracle” four times. He pronounced these words with a slightly subdued voice, like the tone the girls used in ecstasy. The girls have described how they saw him: “He was on his knees, sweat running down his face, and the Virgin looked at him as though to say: ‘you will be with me very soon.’”
Fr. Luís María had left a rosary with Loli so that the Virgin would kiss it, but he lost it on the mountain. The ecstasy ended in the Church. Going out of it, Loli said to the priest:
─ I have lost your rosary, but the Virgin told me where it is. We are going to look for it. It was past 10 at night. Julia, Loli’s mother, said:
─ Not now. You can go tomorrow when there is light.
Fr. Luís María said:
─ Yes, it will be better tomorrow during the day. If you find it, don’t give it to anyone except my brother; although I won’t return, my brother will.
This is what Loli did the next day, and she found the Rosary in exactly the same place that the Virgin had said.
That night, Fr. Luís María Andreu left Garabandal in a Jeep and went toward Cossío. There, he awaited the others who were walking down. He was inside the car, waiting until one in the morning when Fr. Valentín arrived. He went to the car to ask something and Fr. Luís said:
─ Fr. Valentín, what the girls say is true, but don’t say so yet; prudence on the Church’s part is necessary in these things.
Fr. Valentín wrote this sentence in his diary that night after he heard the news of Fr. Luís’s death.
A caravan of four cars was traveling on the road to Aguilar de Campoo, and Fr. Luís María was riding in one of them. There were three other people in this car with him. Fr. Luís María slept for a while, and when he awoke he said:
─ I have had the most wonderful sleep. I’m not even a little bit tired.
They arrived at Reinosa at around four in the morning. All of the cars stopped there at a fountain near the entrance of the village. They left the cars to get water, but Fr. Luís stayed inside with the door open, surrounded by people who questioned him about what he had seen.
When they left, the car in which Fr. Luís was traveling was the last car. While they were still in Reinosa, Fr. Luís said:
─ “I am full of joy. What a gift the Virgin has given me. We are very fortunate to have a Mother like her in heaven. There is no need to be afraid of the supernatural life. The children have taught us how to act toward the Virgin. I cannot have any more doubts. Why has the Virgin chosen us? Today is the happiest day of my life.”
When he said this, he lifted his head. Since he’d stopped speaking, they asked him:
─ Father, has something happened to you?—and he responded:
─ No, nothing, I’m just tired.
And upon saying this, he bowed his head.
The mechanic returned and when he saw Fr. Luís, he said:
─ Oh, the priest is very sick. His eyes are rolling.
There was a clinic there. They could not do anything but verify his death.
We didn’t know about any sickness he may have had. We can say that he died without pain. He had a smile of happiness on his face.
The history of this priest and Garabandal does not end with his death. The girls have frequently spoken with him, as Conchita tells us in her diary.
The most astounding thing is that the Virgin told Conchita that on the day after the miracle, the priest’s tomb would be exhumed and his body would be found incorrupt ,just as it was on the day he was buried.
Conchita says this in a letter:
“On July 18th I had a locution and in it I was told that on the day after the miracle, they will take your brother from the tomb and his body will be incorrupt.”]
When he left San Sebastián de Garabandal, he went in a car with Carmen Fontaneda and her husband Faito Fontaneda and several others [Conchita quotes here from witnesses who describe how Fr. Luís María died. Faito Fontaneda is the diminutive of Rafael Fontaneda. His wife is Carmen Fontaneda. Their daugher was with them, and she was about six years old when the priest died. The mechanic was named José Salceda.]
Fr. Luís María Andreu’s mother became a cloistered nun 48 hours after her son’s death [There is an error in Conchita’s estimation. When asked why she had written that within 48 hours the mother had become a cloistered nun, she said that it was because that was how she’d heard it in the village.
It is true that Fr. Luís María’s mother became a cloistered religious in the Order of Visitation in
The Andreu family is composed of six brothers, four of whom became Jesuits and were ordained priests.
The oldest is José María. He is married and lives in
Mrs. Andreu, who gave four of her sons to God, became a religious in the month of October 1961. She took the habit on March 19, 1962. She made her perpetual vows on March 19, 1965. On this occasion, His Holiness Paul VI asked all of her sons to come from their mission lands in order to participate in the solemn occasion. The Pope himself payed the travel expenses for Fr. Marcelino to come from
Several days after the death of Fr. Luís María Andreu, the Virgin told us that we were going to speak with him [We have questioned Fr. Ramón María regarding these conversations that the girls had with Fr. Luís María after his death:
Question: Father, were you present during any of these conversations?
Response: Yes, I attended the first ones.
Question: What effect did they have on you?
Response: When they told me, I was disconcerted. The first news of this was given to me by a gentleman from
─ Oh, good. Then, we are going to speak with Fr. Luís?
This completely confused me and I thought that it was a simple case of suggestion with the girls. In this moment, I thought of leaving Garabandal.
Question: Why did you stay?
Response: Because some of the people I had come with wanted to stay.
Question: And what happened then?
Response: I was stupefied when I heard some of these conversations. In one of them, the girls repeated everything that Fr. Luís María had told them about his death and his burial. For example: when they described the way he had been shrouded, they repeated the names of the attending priests and what they had placed on him. They knew some of the variations. They didn’t put a cap on him, and he held a crucifix in his hands instead of a chalice. They also knew the correct reason why they did this.
In another of these conversations I also heard them talking about how my brother had died without making his final profession. At the same time, they talked about when I did it, of the place and the other companion who did it with me. This was a subject that I had not thought about and as a result it was truly astonishing for me to hear it exactly as it had happened. I also witnessed and heard the children say sentences in other languages, like the Hail Mary in Greek, as Conchita writes in her diary.
Question: And what do you think of all of this?
Response: That it continued to be a very extraordinary thing. I have limited myself to reporting the things I saw myself. If you refer to proof of the facts, I have to say that within the Church there are those who have the obligation of studying them and verifying them, and I am only waiting for this to happen.
We have a letter that the Father gave us to read and photocopy that refers to something we have asked about.
“Only two words to tell you that I have spoken with Fr. Luís and he told me to tell you that you are acting very well and that he wants you to come here but that you should continue to obey the Bishop.
He also told me how to say Jacinta and Cruz in French. He told me how to write them. It is like this:
Loli—MARIE DES DOULEURS; Cruz—MARIE-CROIX
Jacinta—JACINTHE; MARIE-CONCEPTION. Well, I won’t write anymore because J’AI UN APPEL. Conchita González sends her love. Goodbye. He taught me this song in French:
Espoir, Espoir. Au ciel estoilé,
Parait et sourit Notre Mére.
Espoir, Espoir. Marie a parlé.
Son FILS entend notre priére.
If you don’t understand it in French, Fr. Luís told me what it says. It begins: Hope. Translator’s note: We will write down the translation of these songs:
Hope, Hope. In the starry sky
Our Mother appears and smiles,
Hope, Hope. Mary has spoken.
Her Son listens to our prayers.]
On August 15th, the Feast of Our Lady, there were many tourists who had come to amuse themselves and they were causing scandal. That was the day that the Virgin told us we would talk with Fr. Luís María Andreu. But since there was a scandal, he didn’t come. At 4 in the morning on the next day, at the same time that Fr. Luís had died, the Virgin appeared to me in my kitchen and said to me:
“Father will not come today, but he will come tomorrow.”
On the next day between 8 and 9 at night, the Virgin appeared to us, smiling very much as usual, and she said to the four of us:
─ “Fr. Luís will come now and speak to you.”
After a while he came and called us one after the other. But we didn’t see him; we only heard his voice. It was exactly the same as when he spoke on Earth when he would give us advice.
He also told us something for his brother Fr. Ramón María Andreu. He taught us words in French and how to pray in Greek. He also taught us words in English and German.
After a while, we didn’t hear his voice anymore. Then the Virgin spoke to us and stayed with us for a moment before leaving.
The Virgin told us that day:
─ Tomorrow you will here a voice, do not be afraid, but follow it.
On the next day, and at the same time as on the previous day, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to the four of us. For several minutes she was smiling very much. But 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. [We can’t give any precise details about this voice. Its meaning is unclear to us. In any case, this voice represented something that frightened the girls.] We didn’t see the Virgin. But afterwards she came and she said to us:
─ Don’t be afraid.
And she spoke to us for awhile. That night was the first night she kissed us [Conchita remembers this with a feeling of happiness. During the ecstasies, it was very usual to see the girls placing their faces to receive kisses from the Vision, then to see them kissing the Vision. This generally happened when the Vision was about to end, and they were saying goodbye. It was very frequent that the ecstasies would end with the girls blessing themselves at the same time with the kiss.] one by one. And then she left.