The people were laughing hard and said to us, Now say a Station!
And so we did, and on ending it the Angel appeared to us.
In their rapture, the girls did not forget the request of the parish priest:
We asked him who he was and why he had come.
But he didn't answer us.
The works of heaven follow their own cadence and its mysteries are not ordinarily immediately unveiled. It is necessary to prepare, wait, and merit.
What happened at that time to those who had come there just to look? The persons, who on that night of June were the first to view the girls' ecstatic transport, were carried away with emotion. A strange and sweet trembling seized them. They didn't know whether to shout or cry, or whether they should call for the rest of the villagers.
Weren't the four transfigured girls the same ones that they knew? Weren't they just like the other children of the village? Weren't they the same ones who walked around town with the other young girls, who ran and played every day in the little streets of San Sebastián?
How they held themselves! And what expressions on their faces! Positioned on their knees on the rocky ground of the trail,(14) their faces turned upward toward something or someone that held them enraptured, their lips parted in a slight smile that gave a charming beauty to their expressions.
Such a limpid look in those eyes! And how those eyes gazed at something that no one else could see! Those present were certain that not even the best photographs could capture the scene completely.
When the four returned to normal, they saw with surprise that some of the people around them were crying and that others were striking their breasts, and one of them, Clementina, was ready to run to the village to call all the people there.
Oh my children, exclaimed someone, expressing the feelings of the rest, When you see the Angel again, tell him to forgive us for not believing!
A woman said to my aunt (Aurelia) who was among the people:
—Did you see the Angel?
—No, I haven't seen him; but if you don't believe in this, you don't believe in God.
Clementina González gives another version of this episode. The discrepancies between her report and Conchita's can be easily explained, since Conchita was only able to learn what happened around her and her companions during the ecstasy from what she was told by others later on, while Clementina González experienced it first hand. According to the latter, it happened this way:
She had gone to the schoolmaster's home and was talking with his wife, Concesa, seated at the entrance of the old house. (The house is no longer standing, as Conchita's brother built his little hotel Mesón Serafín on its former site.) The women saw the four girls coming, and Conchita came up to Clementina and asked her to accompany them to a place in the Calleja where they wanted to pray. Clementina agreed and Concesa went with them too.
They started praying with the girls, and only a little later, on noticing that something was going on in the Calleja, did other people begin to come, such as Angelita, Conchita's aunt Aurelia, Clementina's 12-year-old eldest son, etc . . .
Those who had come, moved only by curiosity, did not take the matter seriously. Seeing that nothing was happening in spite of the girls' prayers, they were talking and laughing . . . But the girls' sudden entrance into ecstasy made quite an impression on them.
They were not able to see the transfigured faces well as they were in back of the visionaries. They wanted to go ahead to look at their faces but Angelita, the first one who tried it, came back trembling as she felt a mysterious obstacle that «prevented her step and held her back». Then from their positions, leaning forward and stretching their necks, they were able to see the sides of some of the girls' faces and to hear some of their speech . . .
14. Although rocks and stones are scattered all over Garabandal, it is hard to accept the remark in The Star on the Mountain from one pilgrim who states, This town is the rockiest in all Spain.