Monday, November 5, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 2

The Happenings

According to what we have known, the girls left to listen to an explanation of catechism, “The good angel tells us to do good and he helps and defends us. The bad angel, the demon, pushes us to do bad.” They were playing happily. They had a strange idea: to take fruit from an orchard. “We won’t do it. Because the bad angel has inspired us to do this. The good angel tells us that…”

            And the Angel appeared to them.  Later they identified him as St. Michael the Archangel.  He didn’t speak at all the first days they saw him.  It seems that he came to announce the Virgin.  The apparitions happened like this.  We will tell the condition in which these apparitions occurred, even though they’re good, profound and serious visions.


            These visions began on June 18, 1961.  They happened in such a way that they grew.  There are some days at the end of the month in which the girls did not have visions.  The vision was still not speaking at this point.  On July 2nd, for the first time, they heard words coming from the vision.  The girls were still and kneeling in a reverential posture.  The first falls, the ecstatic marches, the ones we talked about then, began around August 3rd.

            The One They See


            We have indicated that at the beginning they only saw the angel.  Then, as is logical, it was difficult for them to explain the series of people and things that formed the apparitions.  They describe what they see with more ease.


            The Virgin: She is very tall.  She wears a crown of brilliant stars, round but open (in the style of a diadem).  The dress is white with white flowers.  The mantle is very blue.  She does not wear a veil.  Her hair is long and very dark brown, almost black.  When the girls ask, sometimes she opens her mantle so that they can see her dress.  The Virgin is about 18 years old.  They don’t see her feet.  Her eyes and eyebrows are black.  She is very beautiful and almost always smiles.

The Child:  The Virgin brings the Child sometimes, and other times she doesn’t.  When she brings the Child she carries him in her arms and gives him to the girls.  The Child is small.  He doesn’t speak but he laughs; they don’t see his feet.  He also has a round crown, smooth and open.


            The Light:  It accompanies all of the visions.  It is like the light from the sun.  They even see the light at night.  This light impedes their view of other things, except the vision and the other girls who are also participating in the vision.  When a girl leaves the vision and returns to the normal state, those who continue in the vision stop seeing her.

            Angels: The Archangel St. Michael was the first apparition.  On another occasion the girls saw the Virgin surrounded by other smaller angels.  There were five.  Then the Virgin told them that the angels had accompanied them because she was the Queen of the Angels.

They Hear Voices:  They don’t see people but they hear them.  On these occasions they also see light like the sun that is or seems to be, fixed and it absorbs reality.  It seems that they had heard a voice that they didn’t know how to identify.

The voice that they hear most frequently is that of Fr. Luís Andreu.  They don’t see him, but they hear him.

On August 8, 1961, we met Fr. Royo Marín in San Sebastián de Garabandal.  Fr. Luís María Andreu, S.J. came with us also; he had been to San Sebastián three times since July 19th.

  Fr. Valentín Marichalar was the parish priest from San Sebastián who gave Fr. Luís the key to the Church and asked him to be the parish priest since he had to go to Torrelavega.  I observed that Fr. Luís was very happy when he told me:  “Faito, today I’m the pastor of Garabandal,” and he joked with me in this way.

The Mass was celebrated in the church in San Sebastián; the number of people who witnessed it was extraordinary, as were their emotions.

            The girls had one of their ecstasies in the morning.  Fr. Luís was very near them and as on other occasions, took notes on what the girls did and said.  During this ecstasy there were moments in which Fr. Luís seemed absorbed.  Those nearest to him could observe that during some moments silent tears fell and it seemed that there was a feeling of being in the presence of something extraordinary.


In the afternoon the ecstasy of the girls aquired a rhythm of velocity going up to the pines and descending in ecstasy.  During the time that they were in ecstasy in the pines, Fr. Luís was inspecting the girls closely.


It seemed that he didn’t want to miss a single detail of what was happening.  Suddenly, they saw a special emotion that invaded him and he said twice in a loud voice the words:  “Miracle, miracle.”  Then he was silent and the girls initiated their descent, saying in ecstasy that they were going to the Church.  They said it, as always, in their dialogue with the Virgin.

This descent to the church was vertiginous.  The Reverend Fr. Royo Marín, O.P., advised those present to run to the Church where the girls were going and said this sentence:  “Run to the Church so that you’ll be at the girls’ heels.”

            Some of us made the descent from San Sebastián de Garabandal to Cossío walking and others rode in the Jeep.  In deference to Fr. Luís, he went down in the Jeep.  I observed that he was very happy.  My family members who were in the Jeep with Fr. Luís on this trip told me the same thing.


            Once in Cossío, we went in different cars and formed an expedition.  Although we asked for my sister’s car, Fr. Luís preferred to come with me, since he had gone with me.

My wife Carmen, my daughter Mari Carmen, who was eight years old, and I were in the car.  José Salceda and Fr. Luís were in front of us.

            During the majority of the trip we commented upon what we had seen that day.  Fr. Luís told me that he had spoken with Fr. Royo Marín and that they were in agreement.  My wife, José Salceda, and I all observed a profound and intense happiness in Fr. Luís as well as a sense of security.  He spoke without hurrying and repeated these sentences many times:  “I am so happy!  I’m full of things to say.  What a gift the Virgin has given me!  I don’t have the least doubt that what is happening with the girls is true.”

In Torrelavega we met another Jeep that had gone with people from Aguilar de Campoo, and was stopped.  It was the Jeep that had brought us up to San Sebastián de Garabandal.  We stopped to see if they needed anything, and José Salceda, who was a mechanic, went down with Fr. Luís and they spoke with them a little.

            In this second return trip we spoke for a while and I said:  “Father, why don’t you sleep for a little while.”  He did this for about an hour, until a little after we arrived at Reinosa.  When he awoke he said:  “I have had a very deep sleep. I feel very well, I’m not the least bit tired.”

            We continued the trip and after driving for awhile we neared the city and Fr. Luís repeated the sentences that had characterized the conversation we brought:  “I am full of words.  What a gift the Virgin has given me!  How lucky to have a mother like that in heaven!  We don’t have to be afraid of the supernatural life.  The girls have given us an example of what it is to know the Virgin.  I don’t have the least doubt that what the girls say is true.  How wonderful that the Virgin has chosen us!  Today is the happiest day of my life.”

Upon saying this sentence he stopped talking.  I asked him a question, and when he did not respond I asked him again:  “Father.  Has something happened?”  I thought that he had left.  He responded:  “No, nothing, I’m tired.”  He inclined his head and made a slight gesture.

            José Salceda turned towards him and when he saw the priest’s eyes said:  “The priest is very bad.”  My wife took his wrist and when she didn’t find a pulse said:  “Stop, he doesn’t have a pulse, and there is a clinic here.”  I believed that this was just dizziness and I said:  “Don’t worry, Father, it’s nothing, it will pass in a moment.”  My wife said:  “We are going to bring him to a clinic.”  I responded:  “Don’t say foolish things.”  But she added:  “He’s unconscious.”


            We had stopped near a clinic, about five or ten meters away from it.  We called and a nurse immediately opened the door.  When she saw Father she said that he was dead.  My wife said that this could not be, and to do something.  The nurse gave him an injection.

            In the midst of this, José Salceda went to find a priest and a doctor.  The doctor arrived within 10 minutes.  He was Dr. Vicente González, who could only establish that Fr. Luís was a dead.  The parish priest arrived immediately after and administered Extreme Unction.

            The comment that has been repeated when we were asked of what Fr. Luís died has been this:  “He died of happiness.”


            In the fraction of a second when he passed from life to death, a smile remained on his lips. There was no change in his exterior, only a light gesture after he said:  “No, nothing, I’m tired.”

When we were in San Sebastián de Garabandal days later the girls told me that the Virgin had told them that Fr. Luís had seen the Her when he yelled:  “Miracle, miracle” in the pines, and he was going to speak more.  I witnessed the first of the different dialogues they had until that date with him, and all of the scenes they had in those painful moments on the morning of August 9, 1961.  They had a special significance for me in the Providence of God and the love of Mary, who has played a very important role.

            The words of Fr. Royo Marín come again, as commented the last words that Fr. Luís pronounced in this world:  “This is the happiest day of my life.”

Fr. Royo Marín told us:  “Truly the day that we arrive in God’s arms is the happiest of our lives.”

            This day was August 9, 1961 and the time was 4:20 in the morning when we returned from San Sebastián de Garabandal.