Friday, October 26, 2012

Special Encounters RECALLED by Laurie Ginnivan

Neuropsychiatrist Ricardo Puncerneau examined the four seers thoroughly for 12 days. Not being able to find a convincing natural scientific explanation for the events, he finds himself journeying from the position of'sceptic to 'firm believer'.

In the 1980's Laurie Ginnivan was privileged to meet and question nine first hand wit­nesses to the ecstasies of the four visionaries at Garabandal, Spain, from 1961 to 1965. With the assis­tance of a valued colleague, Laurie now details some of those remark­able encounters.

Author and good friend of mine, Ramon Perez, has very kindly al­lowed me to use appropriate quotes from his excellent book, "The Vil­lage Speaks", to help with my ar­ticles. Ramon is still working hard in France producing important infor­mation on the Garabandal appari­tions. He is currently, among other endeavours, nearing the completion of a special edition for Russia.

Since the phenomena accompa­nying these apparitions so often de­fied the laws of nature and physics, I'd like to commence with some quotes from what I consider is a very significant chapter in Ramon's book.


Signs of Credibility

Each time God wants to commu­nicate something important to hu­manity, an old truth or a reminder of the truth, He authenticates His message by signs or miracles, which cannot be explained as freaks of na­ture.


The Old Testament abounds in prodigies, the very number of which proves that even the marvellous, the extraordinary, God gives us in abun­dance. The gospels are full of the miracles of Jesus, signs which were also acts of love.

Left, doctors examine two of the Garabandal visionar­ies Jacinta and Mari-Loli while in ecstasy. 

At Garabandal, these signs have been given to men with prodigality, (ie. lavishly bestowed). Ramon con­tinues, (slightly edited because of space): "We mention here some of these signs." It must be understood however, that the following signs and other details are only apparent when the girls are in ecstasy; (i.e. when they are experiencing their celestial vision - L.G.)

The transfigured faces. The vi­sionaries' faces become more beau­tiful during an ecstasy; the change is lightning quick and very obvious.

The beauty of their attitudes.
Whether individually or in a group, whether the girls are praying, walk­ing or falling, the aesthetic quality of their attitude is very apparent and impresses all who witness it. The ecstatic falls in unison are astonish­ing in the beauty of the appearance they present.

The   ease   of   movement.
Whether they are kneeling, walking normally or backwards, slowly or rapidly, on level ground or climb­ing up to the pines, over stones, through bushes, in snow or mud, climbing stairs or descending them - all of this in daylight or in the dark of night — they move around with astonishing ease ... their eyes riveted to the sky the whole time.

Dr Ricardo Puncerneau
A summary of information given during interview held in April 1984.
At the time of the apparitions, Dr Puncerneau was a Neuropsychia-trist, Director of Neurological Ser­vices at the University Clinic for General Pathology at Barcelona, as­sistant professor of the medical fac­ulty and Vice-President of the Eu­ropean Society for Sophrology and Psychosomatic Medicine.

Dr Puncerneau's first knowledge of the Garabandal events came when he was Presi­dent of a church organi­zation known as "The Spiritual Exercises Group." Another mem­ber of this group knew of the extraordinary events going on in the remote Cantabrian hamlet and was constantly trying to coax the doctor to go and make a study of them. For some time the latter brushed the idea aside saying that he wanted nothing to do with hys­terics. Providence how­ever, had other designs and before too long, he found himself in the little mountain village closely observing the phenom­ena in question. He was quite struck by it all and sought permission to
give the visionaries neurological and psychological tests.

The good doctor spent 12 days examining the children applying a wide range of tests. The test types varied, incorporating examination in the categories of neuropsychologi-cal, personality, psychological, intel­ligence, muscular tones etc. The states of the girls' health before, dur­ing and after their ecstasies were closely scrutinized. A few of these tests Dr Puncerneau explained to me, e.g. The Rorchach Test. I couldn't help but marvel at the as­tonishing thoroughness of his ex­aminations. As a result he was able to rule out all manner of psychologi­cal disorders.

Words to Cherish
A charming enhancement to the interview came when our interpreter
persuaded him to admit to an envi able compliment paid to him: dur ing their visions the young seer loved to 'chat' with their 'Heavenl; Mother' about what was happening to them on any particular day of thi week. Naturally. Dr Puncerneau' activities were raised and Our Lad; informed the girls that... "He doe his work well."
Not being able to find a convinc ing natural scientific explanation fo the events our "meticulous medico found himself journeying from th position of 'sceptic' to 'firm be liever'. So much so, that he startei giving conferences on the subject ti his medical colleagues in Barcelona Speaking of these conferences, h said that he gave 130 in total am that his audience listened with grea respect; no one ever contradicts him.

As we were both staying in the comfortable guesthouse of the lovely Gonzalez family, (known as "Mezon Serafin"), I was able to gain a few more insights into this won­derful man. One morning when we were comparing agendas for the day, he indicated that his program had already begun - at about 4.30 am! He said that when staying with the Gonzalez family he often liked to rise early and then without waking the other guests (sleepyheads like me!), descended the stairs to the din­ing room. There he explained, he would position himself near the beautiful image of Our Lady of Mt Carmel and then 'chat' to her ... "in the same way as I'm talking to you now", (gentle smile)
Just before I took my final leave from the good doctor, he said to me, "Lorenzo, I'd like to tell you what I think the world will be like after the great prophesied Garabandal events have been realized." Then opening his Bible, he read from Ch 2:10-14 of the Song of Songs. This book of the Bible as you may be aware ... contains in exquisite poetic form the sublime portrayal and praise of the mutual love of the Lord and His people.

My lover speaks; he says to me. "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!

For see the winter is past, the rains are over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.

Arise, my beloved, my beauti­ful one, and come!
O my dove in the clefts of the
rock, in the secret recesses of the
cliff, let me see you, let me hear your
voice, for your voice is sweet and
you are lovely".

"PILAR" - Favoured Name
In practically every town in Spain (including Garabandal), you'll find a woman or a girl bearing the name Pilar or Pili - chosen, of course, in honour of Nuestra Senora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar), the national patron. Her special shrine is located in Zaragoza where the Blessed Virgin allegedly ap­peared in 40 A.D. to encourage the Apostle St James.

Namesakes in Garabandal
Pilar Cruz - mother of Mari Cruz, the youngest visionary. I met Pilar briefly on my first visit to Garabandal. She seemed a friendly, yet anxious-minded lady, who was still trying to understand the mys­tery and enormity of everything that had engulfed her family, her daugh­ter and the village. It therefore didn't surprise me when some years later, I read of her reaction, the first time she saw Mari experiencing an ap­parition. In that marvelous trilogy, She Went in Haste to the Mountain, by Eusebio Garcia de Pesquera, O.F.M., she is quoted thus: "When I saw my daughter for the first time in that way (in ecstasy), I was very frightened. I thought she was hav­ing an attack. I point out that I had never heard talk of apparitions. Well, perhaps apparitions; but not ecsta­sies. I was unaware of those things.

I didn't know anything at all about them. Now I have learned something. And finding my daugh-
ter like that - and going to touch her - and she was so rigid - and going to lift her up - and I couldn't. I said to myself, this little girl is going to die; she is having an attack.

The word "cruz" means 'The Cross" in Spanish. Both Mari and her mother endured a lot of suffer­ing, as did the other families during the course of the visions. Conchita's mother, Aniceta, stated that despite the joys, the period of the apparitions was "like a Calvary."

Shepherdess; some short excerpts from her testimony (given in The Village Speaks), indicate the awe and wonder that overcame her and others in this most humble of set­tings.

Before the Apparitions
"Before the apparitions, the little girls were like the others; mountain children, ignorant of the ways of the world because our vil­lage did not exist for the people out­side as we were so isolated."

Insensitiveness and Change of Weight
"During the apparitions I fol­lowed them as many other people did and I remember how they had shone bright lights in their eyes and how they pricked them but the youngsters never winced. People also tried to lift them up but couldn't succeed. As for myself, I will sim­ply tell you that I didn't dare touch them, as they inspired me with so much respect."

An Astonishing "Balancing" Feat
Pilar frequently liked to say therosary with the girls. "One day I saw Conchita reciting the rosary with one knee on the ground and the other one up in the air and she remained in that position during the whole recitation of the rosary. And I must say she recited it very well. It was very impressive to pray with them . . . very touching . . . marvellous to see them make the
 sign of the cross."

"Si Dios quiere" (if God wishes), I shall hopefull be able to bring readers of future editions some further anecdotes from interesting encounters in this humble, yet increasingly important Cantabrian village.

Hasta luego -- until later.

January - March 2007


Enhanced by Zemanta