Monday, June 29, 2009

PROPHECIES OF GARABANDAL V


CHASTISEMENT
The very fact that Jesus severely rebuked his apostles when they asked Him if they shouldn’t call down fire from heaven to destroy a village of Samaritans who refused to receive Him (L’k 9:53) shows that those who stay on the reserve when they hear announcements of chastisements have good reason to do so. All the more so when they encounter those who simply delight in reading prophesies of doom that flourish here and there from time to time. 

By Rev. Francis Turner, O.P.

There is, for example, a book containing the prophesies of a peasant “visionary” of western France that spell nothing but doom, wars, catastrophes, floods, epidemics and the like. Another such book has sold 400,000 copies in France, a country of 55 million inhabitants. There is an unhealthy relish in some religious milieus for this type of thing that Pope John XXIII alluded to when he opened the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962.

However, a distinction must be made between these, “prophesies of doom” and divine warnings that are given within a context of spiritual and moral messages of a wide scope. Such was the case at Garabandal.
The first Message of Garabandal carried a serious warning: “the cup is filling up … if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.” The second Message given four years later in1965, goes even further and says that the cup is “overflowing”.

How best can we get a fuller understanding of the nature of “chastisement”? Perhaps one way to deal with the subject is through a series of questions that we will try to answer. Who chastises? Why? More precisely, what is first, the principal cause and second, the purpose? While attempting to answer these questions, others may arise which also will need to be answered. 


Who Chastises?
As the First Cause, of course, God chastises. The Bible could be quoted a hundred times to express it in most vivid terms. However, it is to be noted that either the devil (1 Cor 5:5) or a number of creatures (Wis 11:15) or an angel (1 Cor 10:10) serve as means. This holds true in the case of the Chastisement announced at Garabandal. In fact, it always holds true in this world.
What causes it?
The answer to the question of what causes a chastisement is twofold, taken from the point of view of man who suffers it, or from the point of view of God Who “sends” it. Both points of view are mentioned in the two formal Messages of Garabandal.

From the point of view of man, it is sin. This, we all know. We all say that it is the cause of chastisement. It would be better to say that it is its first and deepest underlying basic reality, a reality without which the very notion of chastisement would be unthinkable. We will not get into the gravity of sin here except to say that with sin, everything, every relationship, has changed.

And now, let us look at it from the point of view of God. Upon this basic reality (sin), that we shall call a layer, comes a second layer, the wrath of God mentioned in the formal Messages of Garabandal, especially the second. The very idea of God’s wrath seems irrational and even revolting; nevertheless, there is such a thing s the wrath of God. If we read Isaiah, chapter 30, verses 27 to 33, we will see that it’s not a pure metaphor or image. Of course, this wrath has to be purified of the imperfection that accompanies almost all human angers except that found in Jesus and the saints.

But it does exist, and it exists as the proper, and the only proper first response against sin. God has full mastery of His wrath, but it does break out when the proper time comes as foreseen in His wisdom. It springs from the jealousy of a holy love, a saving love that soon turns to mercy –(Is 54:7 ff).

Upon this second layer of God’s wrath, comes a third, that of judgment, God’s judgment which can be considered from the point of view of God Who is “the just judge” and from the point of man who is justly judged.

Whenever a chastisement is announced in the Bible, for example, that of original sin (Gn 3:14-19), the Deluge (Gn 6:13) or Sodom (Gn 10:20; 19:13), a decision of the just judge is mentioned, a judgment is pronounced. This decision exists permanently both in God and in this world (“this world is already judged”) although its execution and carrying out may be postponed, even a long time, through longanimity, mercy and meekness, not because of a weakness or flaw in God’s will.

What is the purpose of chastisement?
All chastisements are first, a sign and manifestation of sin. This appears clearly in the case of original sin, that of Cain, Babel, Sodom, Nineveh, Capernaum, Pharaoh, Egypt. Secondly, chastisements are a fruit of sin, a natural, inherent consequence of sin, which in no way is arbitrary or capricious. This is especially easy to understand when there is a hardening of heart.

Thirdly, they are a revelation of God. It is the revelation of God or visible manifestation appropriated to the sinner as such, as often repeated by the prophets (Ez 11:10, 15:7). The chastisement reveals God’s wrath, “jealousy”, justice, even forgiveness and mercy—always ready to come into play—and finally, His pressing love.

Two Types
There are two types of chastisements and depending on which type, they can have one or two final issues. Some are “locking-out” while others are “opening-up”. The first of the two types are of pure condemnation such as those of Pharaoh whose heart hardened—or Ananias and Sapphira who “lied to the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:7-11). They lead to a dead end.

Others are a condemnation of sin and an invitation to conversation. That is why we call them “opening-up”. They invite those who are thus punished and afflicted to come back to God.4They remain a condemnation of the sinful past, and eventually alas, an anticipation of a “locking-out” condemnation if the invitation is ignored as in the case of the foolish virgins of the parable (Mt 25:10-12). It is not the chastisement that separates man from God, but sin, the chastisement being its consequence, its retribution (Rom 6:23). 



1 .Hos 13:7; Is 5:5; Lk 13:34 ff.
2. Am 4:6-11; Is 9:12; Jer 5:3
3. Ex 7:13, 32; 8:15; 9:12,35; 10:20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8
4. Hos 2:8 ff; Lk 15:14-20
The Chastisement of Christ
What about the chastisement suffered by Jesus, our Savior? He did suffer a chastisement, not because of sins He had personally committed, but because of the sins of men which He took upon Himself and takes away. 5 The chastisement of Calvary is two-fold, a “locking-out” chastisement of Satan and sin and an “opening-up” chastisement for all those who cling to Jesus through faith (1 Pt 4:1; Phil 3:10) and for whom He obtained full atonement, full redemption.
Three Further Questions
There are still three questions that need to be answered. Are announcements of chastisements conditional or unconditional?

Jeremiah’s answer is fundamental and fully relevant. I must quote him:
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, house of Israel. Sometimes I threaten to uproot and tear down and destroy a nation or a kingdom. But if that nation which I have threatened turns from its evil, I also repent of the evil which I threatened to do. Sometimes, again, I promise to build up and plant a nation or a kingdom. But if that nation does what is evil in My eyes, refusing to obey My voice, I repent of the good with which I promised to bless it (Jer 18:6-10).

There is no reason to think that it would be otherwise under the New Covenant. Jeremiah’s answer deals with prophecies addressed to a people, made at a definite time, in order to obtain a conversation from them. Such is the prophecy made at Garabandal although addressed to the world.

Apocalyptic-style prophecies are global in nature and therefore different from others. The apocalypse of Isaiah (chapters 24-27, 34-35); that of Ezekiel (chapters 38-39), Joel (chapters 3,4), and Daniel (most of the book), gives a general outline of the future fate of the universe. They announce a judgment to come and a cosmic convulsion that which no human can avert. Such is the Book of Revelation that, nevertheless, is also the great epic of Christian hope, the song of triumph of the persecuted Church (note from The Jerusalem Bible). It sheds a dazzling light on all persecutions of the Church and chastisements of the Church and the world as paradoxical prodromi* of the glorious and victorious Advent of the Incarnate Word of God Who is coming.

Is the Bible of any help in trying to understand what could happen depending on the response of mankind to the Warning, Miracle and the Permanent Sign at Garabandal? The answer is positive. Because of what happened to the Babylon of Mesopotamia, the Nineveh of Jonah, and the symbolic Babylon that is Rome (see Rv 17:9 which says so clearly enough) is symbolic of what may happen to, let’s say Paris, Berlin, Moscow, or New York. It is fruitful to turn to the Bible to understand and to some extent, forecast, what may happen to such cities in a future we cannot pinpoint.

There are three possibilities, the first being a locking-out chastisement as those inflicted upon Sodom and Babylon of Mesopotamia. The second is that of Nineveh where the king, the people and even the beasts underwent severe penances although not a single miracle had been performed. The city was saved and there was no chastisement.

The third possibility is a opening-up chastisement, and such was the case of the symbolic Babylon that, I repeat, was Rome. It was ruined and almost destroyed by the barbarians. Only many centuries later was it restored and even at the time of Luther was but a small town. Even then, this restoration took place thanks to its innumerable martyrs, and because the city had given up its pagan ways. Today, to be saved, a “city” would have to give up other pagan ways; the cult of Moloch in Moscow, of Mammon in New York or of Venus in Paris.

A Chastisement is Announced
A chastisement has been announced at Garabandal. Now what is the purpose of this announcement? That it be avoided, that the arm of the wrath of God be held back. It is the proper purpose of such announcements. And how is the vengeful arm of God to be held back? Through intercession, conversations and the righteousness of the righteous. Let’s examine these three means.

Intercession. Intercessary prayer is exemplified by Abraham who pleaded in favor of Sodom which would have been saved (because of Abraham’s prayer) if the Lord had found but ten righteous in the city
(Gn 18:13) and Moses who petitioned God in favor of the people after their worship of the molten calf, saying, “Let Your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing Your people.” (Ex 32:12)

Under the New Covenant, we have a far more excellent High Priest than under the old one, Jesus, Who “ever liveth to make intercession” for us.

Conversion. This is expressed in almost every page of the prophets with the best, simplest and clearest case being that of Nineveh. Jonah announced, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed” (Jon 3:4). The penance and repentance of the city was such that “when God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out” (Jon 3:10)

Righteousness of the righteous. The wrath of God can be held back by the righteousness of the righteous, some forming a “great cloud of witnesses” in heaven while others who are among us either known as such or, in most cases, not even by those close to them. It has been said by a saint that Paris was spared destruction several times thanks to the devotedness of some pious women. At any rate, this was certainly true during the time of St. Genevieve.

We must also not forget the over-riding mercy of God that is founded upon His justice as John Paul II has said in Dives in Misericordita:
The primacy and superiority of love over justice—this is a mark of the whole of revelation—are revealed precisely through mercy. This seemed so obvious to the psalmists and prophets that the very term justice ended up by meaning the salvation accomplished by the Lord and His mercy. (No. 4) 6

To conclude, let it be said that we believe in the Power, Wisdom and Grace of the Holy Trinity. Let it also be said that never before has the powerful, wise and good Lord afforded such wondrous announcements of events that manifest in the deepest possible measure His loving kindness. So that mankind may avoid this chastisement, several excellent God-given signs will occur which the reader already knows, the main ones being: The Warning, The Miracle, and the Permanent Sign.

And it cannot be doubted that all of them will be accompanied by divine grace flowing throughout the whole world, enlightening all the minds and spirits, moving all the hearts—do we hope—on earth.

6. This can also be considered from the general point of view of the complementarities of many aspects of reality, whether natural or supernatural. Human reason is unable to consider them at a glance and as a whole. It even sees but contradictions in them. This holds true not only in physics, let us say, but also in most domains of knowledge, such as this one. Chastisement and mercy seem opposed and even contradictory, but only because of the weakness of the human reason. In God, they are inseparable and perfectly united. Faith gives us a certain intuitive perception of this unity.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

PROPHECIES OF GARABANDAL IV




The Great Future Miracle

The "extremely great" Miracle which Conchita mentions in her Diary is more fully discussed in the notes she gave Francisco Sanchez-Ventura, author of The Apparitions of Garabandal: "I am the only one to whom the Blessed Virgin spoke of the Miracle. She forbade me to say what it will consist of. I can't announce the date either until eight days before it is due to occur. What I can reveal is that it will coincide with an event in the Church and with the feast of a saint, martyr of the Eucharist; that it will take place at 8:30 on a Thursday evening; that it will be visable to all those who are in the village and surrounding mountains; that the sick who are present will be cured and the incredulous will believe. It will be the greatest miracle that Jesus will have performed for the world. There won't be the slightest doubt that it comes from God and that it is for the good of mankind. A sign of the Miracle—un señal del milagro—which it will be possible to film or televise, will remain forever—para siempre—at the pines."


On September 14, 1965, Conchita said: "The sign that will remain forever at the pines is something we will be able to photograph, televise and see, but not touch. It will be evident that it is not a thing of this world but from God." At another time, concerning the great Miracle, she added that, "it would last about 15 minutes." On August 10, 1971, while talking to a group of Americans, she offered this revealing information: "It will take place on or between the eighth and sixteenth of March, April or May. It will not happen in February or June." Eight days in advance of the Miracle Conchita will give notice to the world about its coming. Prior to the eight-day notice, God will send a Warning to the entire world to purify it for the great Miracle. Therefore, the world will receive two advance notices—the Warning and the eight-day notice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

PROPHECIES OF GARABANDAL III

The Power of The Warning
Purification
To a question about the nature of the warning, Conchita once replied:

“It will be like fire. It will not burn our flesh but we will feel it bodily and interiorly.” We must allow that Conchita gropes for human words, admittedly inadequate, to convey her understanding of the nature of the warning. In fact, she said that the warning would be “like” fire; she did not say that it would be fire. To Conchita, there are two things that the warning and the fire have in common: they can be “seen” and “felt,” and they are “very terrifying.” Hence her use of the words: “like fire.” In this same context—an attempt to make identifiable comparisons—I submit that the warning is “like (our understanding of) Purgatory.”

Based on the doctrine of the Church, we understand Purgatory to be a place or condition of purification, wherein we are made clean—prepared, so to speak—to behold the Beatific Vision. We accept that some sort of suffering is necessary to this purifying process, a suffering that prevails but does not destroy. All of this can be likened to the warning, which “will purify us for the miracle,” which will be “like a chastisement” in that we will suffer; and which we will endure “bodily and interiorly” but which will not destroy us.(2)To extend this a little more, the soul in Purgatory, having stood before God in judgment, now exists in the light of truth. With perfect clarity, he understands the extent and consequences of his sins. Similarly, “the warning will be like a revelation of our sins.” We shall see the consequences of the sins we have committed.

This likening of the Garabandal warning to Purgatory is my own entirely; in no way has Purgatory been mentioned in connection with the warning either by Our Lady or the visionaries. And I make the comparison only to underscore the magnitude and power of the warning: “Like” Purgatory, it will be a revelation of our sins, a severe but thoroughly just suffering, a no-turning-back, purifying confrontation with truth for each of us.

Our Lady told Conchita that “we should bear this suffering for the sake of her Son, victim of the gravest offenses.” This is the language of penance and reparation. However, it is possible–and this again is my own reflection—that, while we are experiencing the warning, we will not be able to make this penance offering or any other comforting identification, so absorbed will we be with the calamity visible to us and within us.(3)Hence the necessity to “condition” our souls for it now, while we have the faculty to reflect and the presence of mind to make penance and reparation. I believe that the warning will go easier for us to the extent that we prepare for it now through penance and the overall fulfillment of the message of Garabandal.


Directly from God
A “warning” is not unusual in God’s dealings with men. We see it frequently in the Old Testament; we have seen it in our age at Fatima.(4)God has used varied elements, plagues, wars, and even natural phenomena to warn sinful men that they must amend their ways or suffer chastisement. The Garabandal warning is unprecedented, however in that it will be universal: “All nations and all persons will experience it in the same way; it will be visible throughout the entire world, in whatever place anyone might be; experienced equally by believers and non-believers and people of any religions whatsoever.”

This universal aspect, especially the fact that everyone will experience it “in the same way,” will convince men that God has done it. We are further assured of this important factor in Conchita’s response to these questions:
Will the warning be recognized and accepted by the world as a direct sign from God? –Certainly (claro), and for this reason I believe it is impossible that the world could be so hardened as not to change.

What about the many people who do not know Christ; how will they understand the warning? –For those who do not know Christ (non-Christian) they will believe it is a warning from God.


We may also dismiss speculation about comets, earthquakes, and other chariots of doom so readily heralded by the pseudo prophets of our time:

We have heard that some say the warning may be a natural phenomenon but will be used by God to speak to mankind.–The warning is something supernatural and will not be explained by science.


The great power of this is obvious. In an age when men fearlessly question, even deny, the existence of God and rampant wickedness openly mocks Him, the Almighty will say clearly, “I am here.” All men will acknowledge God, understand how they have offended Him, and necessarily feel remorse and a desire to make amends. “The warning will be a correction of the conscience of the world.”

Our Lady did not reveal the duration of the warning. Shortly after the apparition, when Conchita learned of the warning, she told her aunt and Godmother, Maximina Gonzalez, about it. Maximina asked how long the calamity would last. Conchita said that she didn’t know, but that “we could suffer it by night as well as by day.” In this same conversation, Conchita said: “It is better to die than to suffer just five minutes of what is to happen to us.”(5)In 1970, asked the same question by NEEDLES, Conchita repeated that she didn’t know but that two minutes of it will be enough for anybody.”

These statements lead us to reflect that the warning is probably of short duration, but nonetheless- powerful.


Afterwards
What can we expect from men as individuals, and the world collectively after the warning? I think that, while we would be off base in underestimating the power of the warning to re-direct men, it would be inaccurate to expect that the warning will settle everything, that evil will no longer exist on earth.

There’s no question that, while the warning is being experienced, all knees will bend before God. But, afterwards? Remember that the warning will not involve the elements—there will not be destruction on earth. Men will have only the memory of their personal experience, etched deeply to be sure, but only a memory. The right use of free will and the nourishing of faith will still be necessary in man’s day-to-day journey through life.

Our Lady said the purpose of the warning “is to draw the good nearer to God and to warn the others (that they must reform),” and God wishes that through this warning we amend our lives and commit less sins against Him.” To a woman who expressed her fears about the warning, Conchita remarked: “ Oh, but after the warning you will love God very much.” Another time Conchita said, “ I think those that do not despair will experience great good from it (the warning) for their sanctification.” All of this leads to reflect that, at least for a time, there will be very much love and service to God. The warning has the purpose and the power to achieve this, but to what extent and for how long depends on men.

Those of us who have been working to spread the message of Garabandal can expect that, after the warning, ears and hearts will open as never before. Still, we mustn’t expect that everyone will hop on the “Garabandal” bandwagon as such. The message stands by itself; it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) need the reinforcement of apparitions. What I’m saying is that the warning will not tell the world, “Believe in apparitions!” Those who haven’t heard about Garabandal in these years before the warning will not even make the connection. But the warning will, by its nature, inspire fulfillment of the message. The Rosary and Scapular programs, Eucharistic vigils, and other seeds we are sowing now in our respective dioceses will provide the structure by which great numbers of souls, made more receptive by the warning, may begin to fulfill the message in earnest.

Finally, after the warning we can expect far more cooperation from news media regarding the apparitions of Garabandal. This will foster an understanding of the warning in connection with the apparitions and, therefore, greater understanding of the full content of the Garabandal event. Accordingly, we will probably see widespread preparation for the prophesied miracle, and this must include methods of transporting great numbers of people, especially the sick, to Garabandal. The village itself and the mountains surrounding it must be prepared to accommodate multitudes.

How much time will we have to prepare? Asked this question in 1965, Conchita replied: “The miracle will not delay in coming.” She added, and this applies to the warning as well: “Although it is taking time to come, it will not be late. God’s time is always the appropriate time.” In a recent interview with NEEDLES Conchita again stressed the need to fulfill the message in preparation for the warning and the miracle. She said that during the apparitions Our Lady made her understand: “Everything is coming soon”.

  1. Of the three major prophecies of Garabandal, the warning, the miracle, and the chastisement, only the chastisement is not a certainty regarding the fulfillment. It was always presented by Our Lady as something that could be averted if the world fulfilled the requests outlined in the formal message she gives to the world at Garabandal. The other Garabandal prophecies are less dramatic in scope but nonetheless certain and authenticating. Some of these, the denials and doubts of the visionaries, for example, have already come to pass.

  2. Asked if the warning would cause people to die, Conchita responded: “I think that if that happens it will be through fear.” Another time she replied: “I don’t know. They could only die of the emotional shock of seeing it.” Considering the event as a whole, my own conclusion is that, differing from the chastisement, it is not the design of the warning to strike fatal blows. However, it is plausible, even probable, that many will die from fear.

  3. My personal opinion is that the warning will be of very short duration. I base this on my feeling that the warning, particularly “the revelation of our sins,” will be too horrible to withstand for any length of time. Thus, because of the shortness and horror of the event, I feel that we will be thoroughly incapacitated as far as any kind of thoughtful prayer is concerned. Other opinions are certainly possible. The purpose of this article is to stimulate reflection.

  4. In the apparitions of Fatima, Our Lady said, on July 13, 1917: "When you see the night illuminated by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign which God is giving you, indicating that the world, on account of its innumerable crimes, will soon be punished by war . . . . In order to stop it, I . . . ask for the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart . . " The Fatima visionary, Lucia, said that the "sign of God" (warning) was the extraordinary aurora borealis which illuminated a large area of Europe for a long period of the night January 25-26, 1938.

  5. These statements are made in a signed document by Maximina Gonzalez. The document comes to us from Fr. Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, the Spanish Capuchin who has done much writing about the Garabandal events.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PROPHECIES OF GARABANDAL II



The Warning
by Connie Hoebich

From earliest times God has used prophecy to authenticate the message He gives to His people through human beings. The unfailing characteristic of God’s prophecies is that they come true. It is by this that the credibility of the visionary, thus the validity of the message, is established.
Garabandal has an extraordinary allotment of prophecy, (1)extraordinary not so much in quantity as in kind. All, except for the chastisement, which is conditional, must come to pass before the Garabandal event can be considered in its entirety. Accordingly, though the apparitions are over (there have been none since 1965), we speak of Garabandal as “unfinished”, or “awaiting fulfillment”.

The very next thing we await as the Garabandal event moves toward fulfillment is the prophesied warning. I believe that this warning will be the most powerful event in the history of the world since the Resurrection.

We have many details regarding the warning. Unfortunately, these details are often confused with others Our Lady provided regarding the prophesied miracle and the chastisement. The sequence of these events is also not fixed accurately in the minds of many people. Since the sequence and the nature of all three of the major prophecies are important to our understanding of the warning, we should briefly review them:

DATES: We do not know the date of the warning. From the time she learned of it, the visionary Conchita has spoken of the warning as “imminent”, “expected every day” though she herself does not know the date. Our Lady alone knows the date of the miracle. Our Lady permitted her to say only that it will come some time after the warning. Conchita will announce the date of the miracle eight days prior to its occurrence. The chastisement, if it comes, will follow the miracle-how long after is not known.

NATURE: The warning will be seen and felt by everyone in the world, no matter where they may be, at exactly the same time. It will be a terrible experience. The miracle will take place in Garabandal, in the pine grove, and be visible to all who are in the village or the surrounding mountains. In Conchita’s words, the miracle will be “very great because of the world’s needs are very great.” It will be “a miracle of the love of God, something that will manifest His love to us in an outstanding way”. The chastisement, if it comes, will be worldwide and incomparably horrible. The warning, the miracle, and the chastisement will be clearly understood by all people to be from God, that is, not explained by natural causes.< back to topDetailed Description And the Reasons
Answers to the basic questions about the warning–(who? what? when? where? why?)–are found in various statements made by Conchita:

The Blessed Virgin told me (during a two-hour apparition at the pines January 1, 1965) that a warning would be given before the miracle. The warning is a thing that comes directly from God. No one can escape it. It will be visible all over the world. We will feel it bodily and interiorly. The warning is like a chastisement, a terrifying thing for the good as well as for the wicked. It will be like a revelation of our sins. We shall see the consequences of the sins we have committed. God will send the warning to purify us so that we may better appreciate the miracle by which He clearly proves His love for us and hence His desire that we fulfill the message. The warning will draw the good closer to God and it will warn the wicked that the end of time is coming.

These statements make up a good synopsis of the warning. We’ll reflect on them and other expanding statements Conchita has made. Immediately, however, the question arises: Why so many details–what is Our Lady’s purpose in sketching this event so vividly before its occurrence? The purpose is at least three-fold:
The Authentication Factor–After we have experienced the warning, we will review the prophecy describing it. Point by point, the description of the warning, known and published years before it actually happened, will testify to the credibility of the apparitions and thus the message.

Preparation–As a personal experience, the warning will probably be the most awesome confrontation of our lives. Are we ready for it? Are we ready for the “terrifying thing” which is “a thousand times worse than earthquakes” which will make us prefer to be dead rather than suffer it? Are we ready to “see ourselves in the light of our sins?” These, especially the last, are stupendous pronouncements. How does one prepare? Our Lady said, “We have given you all that you need,” and her reference was to the message of Garabandal, a message, it must be noted, which re-states the constant teachings of the Church. These fearful details are provided by Our Lady to prompt us to make ready for the warning now through earnest, generous fulfillment of the message in our daily lives.

Consolation, Inspiration–Any thinking person is aware that the world is in great need of correction. It would seem that here, indeed, are at least the beginnings of the “difficult times” St. Paul spoke of, when “men will be in love with self, in love with money, boastful, abusive; without reverence for their parents, without gratitude, without scruple, without love, without peace; slanderers, incontinent … thinking rather of their pleasures than of God” (II Tim. 3:2-5). Further since, as Pope Paul observed recently, men seem to have lost the sense of sin, it would seem that nothing short of Divine intervention, can open men’s eyes, reform their hearts. The Garabandal warning promises to be understood by everyone as “from God,” “a correction of the conscience of the world.” This is a great consolation to all who are frightened and confused by widespread iniquity, who long for truth to be once again honored. I believe Our Lady also wishes that those so disposed render praise and thanksgiving to God now–even before the warning–for the consolation and inspiration the knowledge of it provides and for the great good it can be expected to achieve.




Monday, June 22, 2009

PROPHECIES OF GARABANDAL I


THE “LITTLE” MIRACLE
The story of the “Visible Host” has a long and almost unnoticed introduction. From June 18, through July 17, 1961, there were four weeks of apparitions that included, on July 4, the pronouncement of a “message” (the Message of October 18, 1961) that was to be kept secret for three and one-half months. Then there was the separation of the girls with Conchita being in Santander for a few days, during which time, on July 28, 1961, she experienced an apparition of Our Lady in that city at the same time the other three visionaries in Garabandal were seeing the Virgin who told them that Conchita was also seeing her.

For some, these experiences were enough to convince them that God was indeed manifesting His power at Garabandal. But for many, especially the official representatives of the diocese, some priests, doctors and psychologists, and the curious public, these events were too intangible, unconvincing and even charged to be the fictitious inventions of the four youngsters, This atmosphere immediately led to the visionaries beginning to plead that the apparition perform a miracle so the people might believe. The earliest this request was made seems to have been July 30 while Conchita was still in Santander.

The Miracles Had Already Begun
But the reception of invisible hosts had taken place perhaps as early as July 11, 1961; unconsecrated wafers in the beginning, consecrated Hosts subsequently, all of which apparently had been obtained by Michael, the Archangel, from the tabernacles of unidentified churches. When these Hosts were offered to the girls, the Eucharistic wafers were invisible. The miracles had already begun.

Beginning on July 30, 1961, through June of 1962, the youngsters frequently asked for a miracle to be performed. During this period, the apparition, now identified as Our Lady, had conceded that a great miracle would indeed occur at Garabandal, but did not identify the date. On August 8, 1961, Our Lady showed the ‘great’ miracle which was to happen at Garabandal, to Father Luis Andreu, who, with the girls, was participating in an ecstasy*. Early the following morning at about 4:00 o’clock, on his way back to his religious duties, this perfectly healthy priest died of joy. On the 16th of that August, the four girls experienced their first locution with Father Luis, the first of perhaps ten or more locutions.

The expectations were great, the rising excitement strong as the time for the first “message” approached. The 18th day of October 1961 was a rainy and dismal day, the rain extending into the night, when the “message” was announced. Simple, unexceptional, and a request for penance and reparation, the “message” struck no spark in the community, or the diocese. In spite of the marvels that had been happening, the message was thought to be a disappointment, and as the apparitions continued with decreasing frequency in the fall of 1961, interest fell off as well.

The “Little Miracle”
The apparitions increased in the winter and the spring without manifestly important “messages”. The girls continued to ask for a miracle and this insistent request resulted in St. Michael’s announcement on June 22, 1962, of Conchita’s milagrucu (little miracle), that one of the invisible Hosts that he had been giving to Conchita would become visible. The following week Conchita was told the date of the event, July 18; she was instructed to release this information 15 days in advance of the event. She followed her instructions by a timely announcement to the villagers and by writing several letters—one to the Bishop himself.

The “littleness” of the milagrucu was emphasized by the speed with which Conchita at last went into ecstasy at a time thought to be too late to correspond with the foretold date; Then followed by a large crowd, she moved quickly to the street behind her home, fell to her knees in the rocky street, opened her mouth and received the Visible Host. The suddenness of the appearance of the Host disturbed even those who were directly in front of Conchita. Indeed the disappointment of many of those present who could not ‘see’ the event because of their inconvenient locations in the crowded street, mirrored again the incredulity of the unbelievers who for so long had been denigrating Garabandal, and gave impetus to criticism, complaint and disbelief.

A whole year had elapsed since the beginning of the Garabandal events; over 200 apparitions had occurred; a great and special miracle had been promised, and a “forevision” of it had been granted Father Luis Andreu, whose, publicly voiced wonderment verified that he had seen the miracle. Conchita’s milagrucu had also been promised and now had indeed happened. Strange and inexplicable things had come to pass, but for many people, doubt remained unconquered.

This carries a lesson about ourselves that we should learn well; we are not very perceptive about God’s graces, nor can we recognize His beneficent action, even when repeated before us. So we continued through the year to look for a ‘miracle’, missing the miracles that were being performed.

Many Witnesses
The incident of the Visible Host was certainly one of the outstanding definitive events of the Garabandal story; and the witnesses are many. Of these, Pepe Diaz, Benjamin Gomez (now deceased)*, Sr. Alejandro Damians with his borrowed movie camera, are the firmest, clearest and most unshakable in their convictions about what they saw.

Pepe Diaz’s testimony seems to be the fullest oral witness. It contains specific elements that identify the Visible Host in its initial instantaneous appearance as a “normal Host similar to the ones the priest gives us.” And that in fact is what it was. In the next two minutes it grew in volume, also attested to by Benjamin Gomez, while to Pepe it seemed to sparkle and move as though imbued with life. The photographs (actually a film clip) taken by Sr. Damians, who had been delayed a little by his surprise at the sudden appearance of the Host and his unfamiliarity with his borrowed camera, also show a Host somewhat thicker than what Pepe saw the instant it appeared. There are elements relevant to this strange event that should give cause to wonder at our inordinate expectations and our errant self-deceptions.

The Host was in fact a real material object. It did exist independently of St. Michael by his own admission and along with Pepe we have seen such Hosts in the hands of priests throughout the world raised before us for our loving adoration. Seeing the Hosts is no miracle because the natural laws of physics operate regularly to present the evidence that these Hosts exist to our eyes without creating concurrent doubts.

These laws always work if not interfered with somehow. If you held a mirror before your face, you would expect to see your reflection in it. This would not be a miracle, would it? But suppose in broad daylight you looked into that mirror and you didn’t see your reflection—your image was totally missing—and all you saw reflected were the objects near and behind you! Now that would take some explanation, wouldn’t it?

Suspension of Natural Laws
St. Michael had been taking real, physical Hosts from tabernacles elsewhere to provide the youngsters with the Eucharist. Those Hosts were therefore material, touchable, seeable, and unleavened bread wafers, with width, height, thickness and color. They were not spiritual; they were not illusory; they were not fantasized nor hypnotically contrived. They had been taken out of actually existing tabernacles, carried to the place of reception, and given to the children, placed upon their tongues by the hand of St. Michael, out in the open, frequently in the view of many witnesses—but the Hosts were not seen! By definition, this is an interference with and suspension of the natural laws of physics—by God. All those invisible Eucharists were miraculously hidden from our view. But once, soon after midnight, on July 19, 1962, these natural laws were permitted to operate normally, and the Host was indeed seen by several. That we didn’t see the angel is accepted by all as ‘normal’ because the angel was a purely spiritual being, and not detectable by our senses.

God has taught us once again that His ways are not our ways. Because we did see a Host on Conchita’s tongue, we believed that this was miraculous—when all the time it was the concealment of the Hosts that was miraculous and in which we did not believe. All that time, the unbelieving had no faith in the messenger of God; and even after seeing the Host, many argued against its reality, or said it was something Conchita had contrived. The irregularity of the timing of the incident—our measurement was midnight of July 18 instead of before midnight—is used as reason for denying the fact of the delivery of the Host by the angel. There is no compatibility in this reasoning, for the timing of the event has no bearing on the substance of the event. 


In fact the attempt to determine that the angel used a different mode of time measurement, sun time for example*, would not change the substance of the event either. The Host was there even thought at first unseen, and God dissolved the veil that had hidden the Host from view. This action had been promised; this action did take place in the view of several witnesses, and in the presence of many. What more has to be said?
We Still ‘Miss’ The Miracle
With all the year-long prologue and the stubborn non-recognition of the wonders that Garabandal was experiencing, the Visible Host occurring with its peculiar and almost ironic irregularity of timing, and in spite of the firm testimonies of Pepe Diaz, Benjamin Gomez, Alejandro Damians and his camera, doubts and denials still hold sway. Are our ways so different from God’s that we cannot approach or accept His thoughts or ways? Yes, ours are different because we limit ourselves to our own capabilities instead of joining God by faith in His Infinitude. We fear becoming ‘lost’ in that Infinitude, an Infinitude which is in fact the final goal toward which we instinctively strive, an Infinitude in which our capacities would become perfected—nay, even more that perfected—enlarged, enhanced, enthralled in the possession of God.

We see God in the Eucharist 
weekly, daily—we see His Infinitude compressed in this little unexceptional wafer, the visible Host. But we show little wonderment when the miracle occurs at the Mass; we have no feeling of awe. Poor young Conchita, like us all, didn’t think seeing the Eucharist was much of a miracle; that is why she called it a milagrucu. We all missed the miracle of its invisibility at Garabandal, and even today we are not recognizing the miracle that has enfolded Infinite Majesty, Power and Goodness in each visible Host. We do not burst with wonderment that Almighty God had deigned to feed us with Himself!

Yet in our incomprehensible illogic, we call seeing the Host on Conchita’s tongue a miracle- but was its nine-month invisibility an angelic trick? How can we complain about God’s not attending to our prayers when we make no effort to understand His Presence in the miracles He performs before our very eyes? One minute of a Visible Host we believe in-nine months of invisible Hosts we ignore; almost twenty centuries of accepting God in the Eucharist into our deepest hearts—and we seem to be no better today than we were when we crucified Him?

*This was the only time anyone else ever saw Our Lady during the events at Garabandal.
**The testimonies of Pepe Diaz and Benjamin Gomez are reported in depth in Garabandal—The Village Speaks, a book devoted to account of the apparitions as told by eye- witnesses to the events.
***The reason the miracle took place after midnight was that Conchita had gone to Mass earlier that day (July 18) and had received Communion. Church law at the time did not permit reception of Holy Communion twice in the same day. St. Michael obviously was aware of this and therefore waited until after midnight to give Conchita the Host.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK GARABANDAL CENTER



MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK GARABANDAL CENTER


June 18, 2009
Everything You Do Becomes a Sacrifice:

Dear Friends of Our Lady,
In 2002 the New York Center closed GARABANDAL Magazine and moved our operations to the Internet. That year we sent out our first email to stay in touch with our former subscribers and to reach out to new promoters and friends. This form of communication has become an effective means for passing on the news and distributing material. Archived emails can be reviewed at the bottom of the Joey’s Message page of our website which presents a history of our recent work on the web.

Over the years we have sent out reflections emphasizing different aspects of the Message. They include the importance of Eucharistic devotion and the rosary, prayer for priests and the special dignity of the priesthood, devotion to Saint Michael and the necessity of the scapular. Today we want to highlight the important practice of sacrifice and penance as it pertains to Garabandal.

The sacrifice and penance called for by Our Lady at Fatima and again in the Garabandal Message is simply the fulfillment of our state in life, remaining faithful to the vocation to which we are called, and the patient acceptance of the ordinary penances that come to us everyday. It is not the severe asceticism of the hermits; hair shirts, bread and water, sleeping on the floor, or putting stones in your shoes. For many people their simple daily routine is far more challenging than these other extreme notions of penance.

The daily prayer of consecration is known as the Morning Offering of Reparation. By reciting this prayer faithfully, everything you do each day becomes a consecrated sacrifice and merits the grace which converts sinners, frees souls in Purgatory, and strengthens the Church. Imagine how powerful this prayer can be at this particular moment for our nation, the Church and the world in the midst of such acute suffering and widespread hardship.

The prayer is easily memorized. We have included it below. We encourage you to consecrate your life to God each day through the Morning Offering and to promote this prayer in your own home and where you can. Accept the trials and suffering that must come in the ordinary course of life with courage and trust and unite yourself to God, thinking of the Passion of Jesus.

Promoting the Message:-
For our English and Spanish speaking subscribers who are members of a family or religious prayer group or lay association and would like to distribute DVDs of the Message of Garabandal among the group, send an email with DVD PACK in the subject line to joey@garabandalny.org and we will send you a package of 10 DVDs to distribute. Please include the name of the organization, your name, address, country and zip code. Remember to seek the approval of the appropriate authority, if necessary, before distributing these DVDs.

The Scapular:-
The rosary and scapular are essential in this time of crisis. If you cannot easily obtain a scapular, send an email with SCAPULAR in the subject line to joey@garabandalny.orgwith your mailing address included and we will provide you with one gratis.

Garabandal on the Internet:-
We want to encourage the Garabandal web community around the world to continue their efforts in making Our Lady’s Message known as she requested. If you forward our emails to your contacts list, post a link to our site in chat rooms and message boards or share the Garabandal story with friends on a social network site, you are very much a part of Our Lady’s work, a true Worker of Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Garabandal.

We are very grateful for your assistance and are sure you will share in the blessings we all receive from this wonderful work. We especially want to thank those who spread the Message in other countries and languages, reaching those we cannot. This year we have heard from internet promoters in over forty five foreign countries. We are united with all of you in your prayers and works and you and your intentions are certainly included when the Masses for the Workers around the world are said on the 18th of each month. Please continue to pray and promote.
P.O. Box 606, Lindenhurst, NY 11757-0606

Does Our Lady at Garabandal specifically mention Islam?



Etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada, depicting St...Image via Wikipedia
The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima
Islam
Islam is an Arabic word that can be defined as "to make peace." Islam is the religion founded by Mohammed, which considers the Koran as its holy book. In addition, Islam accepts the New Testament of the Christians and the Old Testament of the Jews as Divinely inspired works. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims (also Moors, Turks, and Moslems) and, just as Jews and Christians, believe in only one God. Yet over the centuries, Muslims have engaged in tremendous wars with Christians and Jews. It would seem that there is little hope for peace. However, Heaven's Peace Plan involving Our Lady, is evidenced at Fatima, Portugal as well as other places around the world. (including Garabandal - editors note)

Fatima
The Moors once occupied Portugal. The Village of Fatima was given the Islamic name of the well-loved Princess of the nearby Castle of Ourem. She died at an early age after marrying the Count of Ourem and converting to Catholicism. Baptised with the Christian name of Oureana, she was named at birth "Fatima", like many other Moslem girls, in honour of the daughter of Mohammed. Of his daughter, Fatima, the founder of Islam, Mohammed, said; "She has the highest place in heaven after the Virgin Mary."

It is a fact that Moslems from various nations, especially from the Middle East, make so many pilgrimages to Our Lady of Fatima's Shrine in Portugal that Portuguese officials have expressed concern. The combination of an Islamic name and Islamic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a great attraction to Moslems. God is writing straight with crooked lines, as we will see. Fatima is a part of Heaven's Peace Plan. It is hope for the world.

The Koran
In the Koran, the holy name of the Blessed Virgin Mary is mentioned no less than thirty times. No other woman's name is even mentioned, not even that of Mohammed's daughter, Fatima. Among men, only Abraham, Moses and Noah are mentioned more times than Our Lady. In the Koran, our Blessed Mother is described as "Virgin, ever Virgin." The Islamic belief in the virginity of Mary puts to shame the heretical beliefs of those who call themselves Christian, while denying the perpetual virginity of Mary. Make no mistake; there is a very special relationship between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Moslems!

The Holy Land
The Holy Land has been a real battleground between the Islamic peoples and Christianity over the centuries. Evidence of this are the numerous churches and basilicas that have been built by the Church, destroyed by the Moslems, rebuilt by Catholic Crusaders, leveled again by the followers of Islam, and so on over the course of history. However, there is one remarkable exception, the Basilica of Saint Anne in Jerusalem.

The Crusaders built this church and named it in honour of the mother of the Blessed Virgin, Mary. In the Crypt of St Anne's Basilica, a statue of the Infant Mary is venerated on what is believed to be the exact spot where Our Lady was born. There, great reverence for Our Lady precluded the Moslems from destroying her birthplace. The foundation for Heaven's Peace Plan at Fatima, Portugal, can be found in the Land of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Spain
As the Moslems swept through Spain in the 8th century, a great religious treasure was buried for safe-keeping in the earth, high in the Estremadura Mountains. It was a much venerated statue of Our Lady holding the Divine Child Jesus that was a gift of Pope Gregory the Great to Bishop Leander of Seville. After the overthrow of Moorish occupation, the image was uncovered in the year 1326, subsequent to a vision of Our Lady to a humble shepherd by the name of Gil. Our Lady's very special statue was enshrined in a nearby Franciscan Monastery next to the Wolf River.

The Moslems, during their Spanish occupation, had actually named the River. The Islamic term for Wolf River is "Guadalupe" (Guava = River; Lupe = Wolf). Hence, the famous Catholic image in Spain has been known, since the 14th century, by the Islamic name of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Mexico
In the fullness of time, we can be sure that Almighty God knew that the Islamic religion would pose a serious threat to Christianity. God also knew that the Spanish missionaries would face grave resistance in the 'new world' from the mighty Aztec Indians. The Aztecs worshipped an evil stone "serpent god" that demanded human sacrifice. It was extremely difficult to win souls for Christ from these blood-thirsty savages. However, with God all things are possible. Our Lady appeared to a humble Aztec Indian convert by the name of Juan Diego in 1531. When asked her name by Juan Diego, at the request of the local Bishop, Our Lady's response, in the Aztec language, included the words "tee coatlaxopcuh" (pronounced: "te quatlasupe") and meant "one who crushes the head of the stone serpent."

To Juan Diego and his fellow Aztecs, this revelation had great meaning, coupled with the miraculous image of Our Lady standing on top of a "crescent", the symbol of this evil serpent god. A tidal wave of conversions to Catholicism ensued. However, Bishop Zumarraga, who was from Spain, made what was no doubt a "heavenly mistake" that one day may lead to the mass conversion of Moslems. To the Bishop's Spanish ears, Our Lady's Aztec name of "Te Quatlasupe" sounded just like the name of the revered Madonna from Spain with the Islamic name, "Guadalupe". Hence, the bishop named the Mexican Madonna "Our Lady of Guadalupe." It is interesting that the "crescent" is also the symbol for Islam and that America's Shrine to Our Lady has an Islamic name.

Battle of Lepanto
On October 7, 1571, a great victory over the mighty Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces primarily from Spain, Venice, and Genoa under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was the last battle at sea between "oared" ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world, a Moslem force with between 12,000 to 15,000 Christian slaves as rowers. The patchwork team of Catholic ships was powered by the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct material disadvantage, the holy pontiff, St Pope Pius V, called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. We know today that the victory was decisive, prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe, and evidenced the Hand of God working through Our Lady. At the hour of victory, St Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: "The Christian fleet is victorious!" and shed tears of thanksgiving to God.

What you may not know is that one of three admirals commanding the Catholic forces at Lepanto was Andrea Doria. He carried a small copy of Mexico's Our Lady of Guadalupe into battle. This image is now enshrined in the Church of San Stefano in Aveto, Italy. Not many know that at the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain, one can view a huge warship lantern that was captured from the Moslems in the Battle of Lepanto. In Rome, look up to the ceiling of S. Maria in Aracoeli and behold decorations in gold taken from the Turkish galleys. In the Doges' Palace in Venice, Italy one can witness a giant Islamic flag that is now a trophy from a vanquished Turkish ship from the victory. At Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome, close to the tomb of the great St Pope Pius V, one was once able to view yet another Islamic flag from the battle, until 1965, when it was returned to Istanbul in an intended friendly token of concord.

The Rosary
At Lepanto, the victory over the Moslems was won by the faithful praying the Rosary. Even though they had superior numbers, the Turks really were overmatched. Saint Padre Pio the Spiritual Father of the Blue Army, said "The Rosary is the weapon," and how right he was.

The Battle of Lepanto was first celebrated liturgically as "Our Lady of Victory". Later, the feast of October 7th was renamed "Our Lady of the Rosary" and in 1716 was extended throughout the Universal Church by Pope Clement XI (who canonized Pope Pius
V in 1712).

And with that we are back to Fatima, Portugal where Our Lady, when asked her name, said:
"I am the Lady of the Rosary". At Fatima, Our Lady taught us to pray the Rosary every day. Heaven presented its peace plan at Fatima and truly gave us hope for the world. Conversions were promised at Fatima: the conversion of sinners; the conversion of Russia: and what also appears to be the conversion of Islam.

Editor's Note
Does Our Lady at Garabandal specifically mention Islam or the Muslim faith? No.
Is Islam part of God's greater plan within Our Lady's apparitions at Garabandal? Yes.

Humanity is part of God's great plan. The prophecies of Garabandal are not limited to Catholics, they are for the entire world.

******************

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Message from Thomas Fahy




+
Dear Readers on our Garabandal Information List,
Welcome to the many new subscribers.
I am preparing an updated version of "Significant Points of the Great Drama of Garabandal" but am not sure when it will be finished.
So, the attached original "Significant Points of the Great Drama of Garabandal"" is primarily for the benefit of the many new subscribers.
The other attachment, "Holding It Together" is a column by Mr.J.R. Nyquist who is a columnist who has keen insights into the reality of things in our times and also has an interest in Garabandal. His latest column is based on the concerns of a famous Washington speech writer, Peggy Noonan.
As most of you know, on the night of June 19, 1962, Our Lady at Garabandal showed the young girls, to whom She appeared, the coming great Tribulation of Communism. When the witnesses observed the horrifying screams of those young girls, they thought the end of the world was imminent!  The sacraments were received the following day as if that would be the last chance to receive them.
The Drama of Garabandal is on its way to its conclusion, which means a complete and total change in the coming history of the human race—as happened 
The Deluge, Gustave Doré, 1832-1883. From the ...Image via Wikipedia
a little over 4000 years ago with the Flood and Noah's Ark.
The new times to follow will be for the survivors, and their succeeding generations, the best of all times in human history.  It will be a return to the original state of man, the perfect state of man, as it was in the Garden of Eden prior to Adam's separation of his will from that of God.  And this is precisely the fulfillment of the Lord's Prayer that the Father's Kingdom come to reign in souls as It does in Heaven.  This Reigning of the Divine Will in souls as it was in the beginning will affect everything for the supreme good of mankind and the fulfillment of the Glory to God intended by Him upon creating the universe.  God's rights will be fulfilled, man's authentic rights will be fulfilled, and the rights of all creation that God purposed for them will be fulfilled.
But terrible trials are coming before this beautiful Day arrives in its splendor.  Therefore, each of us has the duty to prepare our souls accordingly and to do all we can in wisdom and charity to assist our families and our neighors to be in the State of Grace and to be ready to endure the very great trials that are coming.  For those who may be disposed, we should introduce them to the Gift of the Divine Will, which will provide them with the best spiritual armor of all.
We don't know that exact date when the Communist Tribulation begins that Our Lady showed the children at Garabandal, but what we are experiencing even now are the preliminaries leading more and more rapidly to that fatal day.  We must remain on watch in great spiritual strength and not fall asleep.
Yours most respectfully, in the Adorable Will of God,
Thomas Fahy
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--
"May the Lord grant all your prayers!" (Psalm 20)
Deacon John


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Conchita's House (Page Two)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Conchita's House (Page One)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Garabandal and the Priesthood II




Garabandal and the Priesthood
By Father Materne Laffineur
Together with a devotion to the Eucharist, Garabandal teaches a great devotion for the priesthood. Our Lady teaches the girls to pray often for priests. Loli said one day, "I often pray for them, especially for those who wish that they were not priests. I pray that they may at least go on saying Mass."

They have the greatest reverence and affection for all members of the clergy, so much so that they are often reproached for "giving a warmer welcome to priests than to lay people."
In spite of the imprudence and unsettling hostility of certain priests, the children have never been heard to utter the least criticism of them or to show them the least discourtesy. They even make a special point of praying for them, especially for those who cause the children to suffer for reasons unknown to them.
To everyone expressing surprise at this, Loli replies, "When in the presence of an angel and of a priest, I would greet the priest first and it is to the priest that I would bow first of all."
That does not prevent them from from being nice little Spanish girls with a liveliness that reminds us of certain answers given by their illustrious compatriot. St. Teresa of Avila!
One theologian, a young priest and a fine one at that, asked Conchita:
"If you think that a priest has more power than an angel, whom would you prefer to see, the angel or me?"
"Oh, the angel of course! He is much better looking than you!"
Another cleric, deciding to put the little girls through one of those psychological "tests", asked Conchita this strange question:
"If your parish priest were neither a man nor a woman but an animal, what kind of animal would you like him to be?"
"A lamb."
"Why?"
"Because he would be like Jesus Who sacrificed Himself for us."

Friday, June 12, 2009

UPDATE ON MARI-LOLI'S ILLNESS by Maria Carmela Saraco


About Mari-Loli’s Illness

Mari-Loli’s full name is Maria Dolores, or Maria of Sorrows. And true to her name, Loli had indeed suffered for most of her life, the details of which would take many pages. Her final suffering was as follows.
On the 40th anniversary of Our Lady of Carmel’s appearance at Garabandal, Spain, July 2nd, Loli entered Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and on the same day had biopsy surgery on her lungs. One cut was made under her breast, another cut under her arm and one on her back. She was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis which had been active for two years without anyone knowing. It was complicated by a very rare form of Lupus, an immune system disorder that she has had to endure for the last 15 years. There are many other health factors that entered into this, that I am not able to explain because I do not even understand them myself. However, it had been classified as “terminal.”
Rosaura (Sari), Loli’s sister who lives in Garabandal, had asked me to try to organize for Loli, 1 hour of rosary prayers, including Eucharistic Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament in the church at Garabandal, and wherever else it was possible. She also suggested that it be at the same hour worldwide.
This was done on Sunday, July 15th, Vigil of the feast day of Our Lady of Carmel, at the Hour of Mercy. Three to four PM was the designated time for every time zone.
Loli’s family are aware of the many prayers and Holy Masses that were offered on Loli’s behalf. They want everyone to know how grateful they are. Loli told me once that she was also praying to Mother Theresa. She treasured the little medals that Mother Theresa gave her when they met in 1988.
With much appreciation for whatever you have done in soliciting prayers for Loli.
GOD BLESS YOU… IN UNION OF PRAYERS, Maria Carmela Saraco