DEATH OF LONG ISLAND MAN TIED TO ALLEGED SPANISH APPARITIONS PUTS ACCENT
ON A HOST OF MYSTERIES
has always been a supreme mystery.
I visited there in the early 1990s, staying at a
bed-and-breakfast owned by the uncle of reputed seer Conchita Gonzalez -- a
wonderful man in this exquisitely beautiful, towering spot in the Cantabrian
Mountains of north-central Spain. At one point during the day, I was the
only pilgrim there (later joined by an American).
Something surely happened here. Four children often fell to
their knees, saying they were seeing the Blessed Mother. I later interviewed
one (Mari Loli Lafleur) and briefly spoke with two others (Conchita and Jacinta
González). They'd had an estimated 2,000 alleged apparitions from July 2, 1961,
to November 13, 1965. And there were plenty of prophecies, including
messages about a coming great "warning," great "miracle" (to be
seen there at a spot called the Pines) and a great chastisement -- a
template similar in some ways to messages that would later emanate from Medjugorje in
former Yugoslavia (where the visionaries, isolated in this then-Communist
nation, not only had never heard of Garabandal, but also had not heard of
places such as Fatima and Lourdes).