Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 45

Catalina (Catherine) receives First Holy Communión
from the hands of Padre Ramón María Andreu S.J.

A Short History of Chonde Luís



“On July 25, 1961, I went to spend a few days in Santander, invited by a friend. It can be said that I went because I was obligated because I didn’t want to miss a day with Catherine, the French girl without a religion, whom it seemed God had put in my path since the previous year. I had a true obsession with her conversion, and from the beginning, I saw in her a true interest in the Virgin’s work, which occurs in providential cases through the mediation of the Virgin of Fatima.
I didn’t want to separate myself from Catherine, whose vacation was as short as it had been the previous year, and I recognized my great responsibility in her conversion. This trip weighed on me because I felt obligated to accept that it was providential. In Santander, I learned of the apparitions, and I felt great emotion thinking that if this was true, it would be the final step in Catherine’s conversion. I was completely sure that if the Virgin was appearing to these girls she had a true interest in manifesting herself to them.
Immediately, I returned to Burgos to continue my apostolate for a month and a half, always with the concern that when Catherine returned to Paris and the cold environment of her family, her Protestant mother and Jewish father and two brothers with no religion, she would suffer a reversal as she had last year. As a result, when I heard of the events that were taking place, I thought immediately of Catherine.
In Burgos, no one knew anything about Santander. I thought that it could be nothing, but I also thought that it could possibly result in Catherine’s conversion.
Some time passed and I didn’t learn anything more. Catherine received a letter from her parents saying that on August 25th they would wait for her in the French countryside for her to accompany them on an excursion, and that they would return to Paris on September 1st. We commented that the trip would be wonderful, but a little later, she appeared in my room and told me that she had written to her parents to say that she would prefer to stay in Burgos for a few more days and that she would meet them in Paris on September 1st. Catherine told me that the real reason she was doing this was because there would be a Sunday in the middle of the trip when she wouldn’t be able to go to Mass. She was prepared this year, but I was still afraid what would happen in Paris. However, she offered these five days to God, and she went to Mass on Sunday. As a reward, we found out what was happening in San Sebastián de Garabandal. We decided to make a trip, which she considered the happiest of her life.
After writing to her parents, we went shopping. I wanted to give her a gift, and I asked what she wanted, and among all of the little things in the shops, she asked for a Cross to wear with her medal. We entered a jewelry shop and the owner told me: I would like to be with you. In Santander, you were so interested in the apparitions that I asked you brother-in-law, who had gone several times and was impressed. Santí told us what he had seen and he took a great interest in planning a trip for us since Catherine is only in Spain for a few more days. At that moment, I hadn’t thought that we could still go, but after praying a Rosary that night, Catherine told me: “How sad that he’s not taking us.” When we finished the Rosary, they called us on the phone to say that they would take us the next morning.
Sunday. August 27, 1961. We went to San Sebastián de Garabandal. We didn’t see anything; an ecstasy happened in Loli’s house and we couldn’t enter. There was a man in the doorway who was very nervous and kept repeating that the noises that they heard were not supernatural, but preternatural, diabolical. Later we learned that he was a Salesian dressed as a layman, but after this Catherine didn’t lose her confidence (this may have been the first time that she had heard of the power the devil has). When the ecstasy ended, Fr. Valentín left Loli’s house and the Salesian went to him, and they left.
We went into Cossío and waited for the next day when Santí and his family would come from Suances so we could be reunited with them.
Monday—August 28, 1961. We went up with Santí and his family and met Fr. Valentín, to whom we explained the French girl’s situation. After speaking with them, we went to see Conchita, and her mother told us that she was in the river doing laundry, and we could find her there. We asked her to pray to the Virgin for Catherine (Catalina). She asked questions, and it made me excited to see the two girls together, talking about things. We gave her several medals to give to the Virgin to kiss. Conchita told Catherine about the first apparitions, and she also told us about Fr. Luís’s death and that she’d spoken with him even though they hadn’t seen him. Then she told us that they already knew the Message, and I asked her if the apparitions would end on October 18th and she answered no, that they would continue for three years and that there would be two more messages. Conchita asked Catherine when she would be baptized and we told her that Catherine was only 19, so it would be better to wait until she was 21, but Conchita continued asking her questions about why her parents wouldn’t let her be baptized and other questions.
Conchita also told us that they had spoken with Fr. Luís in four languages, that he had said the Hail Mary in Greek, and that she had spoken with him in French. Then she told Catherine to speak in French a little, and she said that she would like her parents to convert. We asked Conchita if she knew what Catherine had said, and the girl answered yes, that Catherine wanted her parents to convert.
In the afternoon the four girls prayed the Rosary, and they didn’t stop looking at Catherine. For them, it was something special that they were going to dedicate to the Virgin that day.
Later, they told us in Jacinta’s house, and Lolita was there too, that they had a call from the Virgin. I already knew from Conchita that before the Virgin came, the girls received three interior calls. Loli’s father went to the street and said: “Let the French girl come up.” The two of us went up, and there were three other women, Jacinta’s parents, Loli’s parents, and also a young boy who was making notes in a book of what the girls were saying in ecstasy. The girls were sitting and awaiting the last call. We spoke with them and we gave them our medals that we had taken from Conchita’s house since she’d told us that she wouldn’t have a call that day.
I asked Loli and Jacinta how many calls they had and they told me a little less than three. I asked them what a little less than three meant and they laughed, but they didn’t answer me. They asked if Mari Cruz, another of the girls, was still having an ecstasy, and then I understood that Mari Cruz was in ecstasy in the window of her house and I imagined that this “a little less than three calls” was waiting for Mari Cruz’s ecstasy to finish. It was that, because as soon as Mari Cruz finished, Fr. Valentín went to her house, and the other girls had just entered the ecstasy.
A little before entering the ecstasy, Loli said: “I’m going to get holy water, because they tell me it is the devil.” She entered the room and took a flask of holy water. She sat next to another girl and put the water behind her chair. A little later, the two girls entered into ecstasy. They were sitting with the same look as always in the same place as always and with their heads lifted. They spoke, but we didn’t hear anything and then they said: “It was the Salesian, it was the Salesian.” They repeated this and afterward the girls laughed and were very happy, then they said: “She isn’t Catholic, she isn’t Catholic. She is only 19 years old, she has to wait for two years. She is not Catholic, she isn’t baptized, her parents, her parents,” repeated the girls.
They gave medals to be kissed and when they arrived at Catherine’s, Loli said: “It is hers, it is hers,” and she elevated my rosary insistently (I had told her before her ecstasy that the French girl had said her first prayers on that rosary) it was connected to another, and they raised it twice and then, separating mine from the other, said: “This, this, her first prayers.” Loli found Catherine’s medal once again without looking for it and the girls said that it was a little cross. Fr. Valentín asked me which medal she was looking for, and I said that it was a group of medals, all together, and that Catherine’s was among them. The girl put her hand behind her chair where she had placed the holy water before the ecstasy. She took the medals and lifted them again, saying: “This is hers, this one, this one.” She took the flask and threw the little water it contained in such a way that it fell on Catherine even though she was not standing in front of the girl.
Catherine was excited at that moment threw her head back. I, upon seeing the movement of Catherine’s head, looked and her and knew perfectly why all of the water that the flask contained had fallen on her. I was sure that none of the holy water had fallen on me, and I was next to the girls, almost pressed up to them.
When the ecstasy ended, I asked Catherine why she had pulled away when the holy water had fallen on her and she said that she was impressed by how the holy water had fallen over her head, and when she’d moved it had dampened her dress as well. All of this happened with a flask of water so tiny that it is impossible that it could contain the amount of water that fell on Catherine.
I didn’t remember that I had also given the girls a small image of Our Lady of Lourdes—which I had given to Catherine the previous year. Lolita found this image that I had given to Jacinta. She was very insistent and seemed nervous, as though the Virgin had indicated where it was, she found it on one side. With her feet to Jacinta—they were all as always with their heads thrown back and they were looking at a fixed point—she took the little Virgin, lifted it, stood up, lifted her arms and forced them as though she wanted to lift the image higher. Then, Jacinta was in the same position (sitting) as Loli in ecstasy. She held Loli’s knees and lifted her to follow her. Both of their head were thrown back and rigid and they were looking at the same place, always high. Jacinta held Loli as though she was a feather, without the least effort. When Jacinta put her down, Loli said: “I want to give it to her.” She went to Catherine, found the pocket of her jacket and said: “Here is the pocket,” and then put the Virgin in her pocket. The two girls inclined in front of us and looked like they were going to fall. Afterward, Loli inclined in such a way in front of Catherine that we thought she was going to fall. It was so much that Fr. Valentín put his hand between Catherine and the girl, indicating that we should be careful so the girl wouldn’t fall.
The two girls sat down and talked in low voices. Then they prayed a Station to Jesus in the Sacrament and they kissed the Virgin, laughed, and said: “Don’t go, stay a little longer.” The two girls blessed themselves at the same time and then repeated it several times with the same precision.
When they returned to the normal state, Loli was very happy and told us: “We have told the Virgin that they said that she was the devil and she laughed.”
When we returned to Burgos we found a holy card from Lourdes that Catherine’s parents had sent from there. Catherine had never been there, but her parents travel often and her mother was very close. They said that Lourdes was very beautiful and that they liked it very much. This impressed Catherine, who had never heard her parents talk about religion at all in the home.