Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Benjamín saw the Virgin as the girls did, and he also heard her voice.

The Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in San Sebastián de Garabandal

Mr. Benjamín Gómez, in front of the orchard near Conchita’s house.

Mr. Benjamín Gómez, a neighbor from Pesués, Cantabria, a village near Garabandal, witnessed many of the girls’ ecstasies.

During the Apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, there was a great change in his life, since he had been living away from the Church for many years.

During the Apparitions he converted and regained the peace and happiness of living in the Grace of God.

Among the events he personally witnessed, there are some that he used to frequently tell to outsiders:

He was a very strong man in his youth, with such strength that according to him, he could easily lift more than one hundred kilos with both hands.  Nevertheless, he was incapable of moving the girls in ecstasy, something that impressed him greatly.

On one occasion he had a proof of the existence of Purgatory:

He was walking with his donkey through the field when suddenly he saw someone he knew who had died several years before.  He was suffering, covered in a warm light like fire.  The donkey became frightened and ran away.  Benjamín continued looking and said to himself, “how is it possible that this man is suffering there in the other life and no one helps him?

He knew that, in that particular location, this man had taken part in a crime during the Civil War and it was in that same place where he was suffering from the guilt.  He commented on this to an old friend in the village of Pesués and his friend said:

 “I saw him also, but I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to laugh at me.”

From that time on, he didn’t stop praying for him, especially after his conversion.

An event that was very important for his life was when, as a result of a serious illness, he entered into a coma and could not eat or drink.  Everyone in the village awaited the hour of his death.

Benjamín relates it like this:

In the year 1970, on April 17, I came to Garabandal, and I walked up because in those days there was no paved highway.  I used to walk fairly regularly, since I have been suffering many ailments for years, but God and the Virgin knew what to do with me.  I arrived in Garabandal and I went to Conchita’s fountain, as the villagers call it, to find water.

I drank a little water very carefully because I was tired, and I do not know what that water did do to my body. What is certain is that I became very, very, sick.  The next day I was taken by car back down to my village.

They called the doctor, and when he took my temperature it scared him.  We had known each other for a long time and he took a special interest, and I was very sick.  I went eighteen days without eating or drinking anything.  I was very thirsty, but If I drank as little as two drops of any liquid it would trigger such chills that nothing could take them away from me, not even with hot drinks or anything.  I couldn’t eat anything, I would have preferred to die before eating anything.

After eighteen days I began to drink a little chicken broth.  So you could say that I spent thirty-eight days this without eating or drinking anything except little bits of chicken broth.

The last days I lost my senses completely; I didn’t know if it was day or night and the people were waiting to hear the Church bells ring, announcing that Benjamín had died.  Several of my friends had come from Torrelavega, Santander, and Asturias, and everyone expected to hear that I had died.

At that point, many have said that suddenly, he woke up and felt healed, but he told the true story later, privately, to a friend:

Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Garabandal appeared at a certain height above the foot of his bed, looking just as the children described her, and with a Mother’s love she cured him in an instant and he was able to get up, eat, and live a normal life.

Benjamín said:

“Although it is a Miracle from God, I say it is from the Virgin because:

 This poor Mother has done such things for me that I can only cry... I can only put her in the first place and She will do with me what she sees fit.”

At this moment Benjamín begins to cry... from true contrition, for love of God and the Virgin Mother.

He tells about this Vision:

 “There is nothing human or imaginable that could explain what I felt; the divine and the human have nothing to do with one another.”

He was referring to the fact that he didn’t know how to explain with anything in this world, the supernatural things that he felt when he saw the Virgin.

Later, from his home in Pesués, and in Garabandal, in his little house next to Conchita’s, he informed many about the apparitions and with a recorder he used to play fragments of the Rosary prayed by the girls while in ecstasy so that strangers could hear.  It was a slow prayer pausing and meditating on each phrase.  Afterwards, he would tell about the Miracle of the Conchita’s visible Communion that he witnessed personally.

Fr. José Ramón García de la Riva, parish priest of Barro, Asturias, and Mr. Benjamín Gómez, in front of Conchita’s house.

His testimony about Conchita’s visible Communion is very well known; he saw it and it impressed him greatly.  When he was in Burgos, making a declaration about this, he heard the Voice of the Virgin.

Benjamín says:

“What I am going to say I have said it personally, but it is the first time I have recorded it.”

I had to go to Burgos on one occasion to make a declaration about this.  When I had finished making the declaration I thought and said to myself:

 “I will not say any more.”

In that moment, a woman’s voice, think about this, the voice of a Woman, since the divine has nothing to do with the earth, with sweetness, praying the “Our Father.”

She prayed the Our Father like this:

─ “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name.”

Then a man who was sitting down, he can be my witness if necessary, stood up with excitement, put his hands on his head and said:

 “Oh my God!  What is this?  What is this, my God?”

The Virgin continued talking, I don’t think she was praying, but I continued looking at the priest’s attitude and he spoke clearly and said that he was a priest.  She continued saying four or six more words.  I do not know what She said.

There is always something to suffer that it would have been more beautiful if he had been quiet until the Virgin had stopped talking, but he could not help it.  He underwent such emotion that he could not avoid it and I continued observing his attitude since I was very serene in that moment.  This is why I say that there is a Woman from on high who was in Garabandal and who was also there in that moment.

The girls of Garabandal used to say that She had a voice that is unlike the voice of any woman on earth because it is so sweet.  For this reason, on more than one occasion when the girls were having doubts, I told them:

 “You have seen the Virgin; I tell you that you have seen her.”

This was because Her voice was just as the girls said.  They are exactly right because it is a divine voice that cannot compared to anything human.  The human and the divine have absolutely nothing to do with one another. 

Benjamín’s death and arrival in Heaven coincided with the Virgin’s visit to his village.

The Pilgrim Virgin of Fátima was in his village, Pesués.

As it is known, in her journeys throughout the entire world, the Pilgrim Virgin of Fátima only arrives to a small village or parish in very few occasions in several years.  That day she was there, and Benjamín Gómez was at her feet during his burial; in his journey towards Heaven.

This love of the Virgin Mother for all of her children is very evident in the Apparitions of Garabandal.  The Virgin told Conchita during the Apparition on November 13, 1965:

 “Tell me, Conchita, tell me things about my children; I carry all of them under my mantle.

After kissing everything she said:

 “My Son will perform wonders through the kisses I have given here.  Give the objects to everyone.”

Blessed was the hour in which God sent our Blessed Mother to Garabandal.  With her all graces from Her Son come to us, in the present and in the future.


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