When we had finished praying, we returned to the church door and went inside.
At the same time the schoolmistress arrived very frightened and said to us at once, My children, have you really seen an Angel?
—Could this be your imagination?
—No, Señora! We have really seen an Angel!
Then the schoolmistress told us, Let us go pray a Station to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in thanksgiving.(22)
22. A Eucharistic devotion practiced widely in Spain. It consists of six Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory Be To The Father, with the ejaculation "Long Live Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. And may He be loved by all." These prayers are accustomed to be said especially during the exposition of the Holy Eucharist, on making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and during Thanksgiving after the reception of Holy Communion.
Said to be originated by the Franciscans, the six Our Fathers of the Station have the following significance: Five are in honor of the Five Wounds of Christ—the wounds of the hands, feet, and side—and the sixth is a prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father to gain indulgences.
We know that during that unforgettable Station, the girls’ words and prayers mingled with their sobs and laughter. «We were in such a state», Loli admitted afterwards, «that we were laughing and crying at the same time.»
At Day’s End
(Te lucis ante terminum)
Never such a feeling of heart, such desire and need to take shelter near the Person who was truly there close to them—the Living God, full of love, powerful and hidden in His ways, and certainly the Author of all that had just happened.
The schoolmistress felt herself more a mother than ever toward her students, who were leaning on her like frightened little birds, seeking protection. They whispered the prayers:
Long live Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament . . . Our Father . . . Thy will be done . . . Forgive us
our sins . . . Lead us not into temptation . . . Deliver us from evil!
The prayer of their five souls in the dark and deserted church was a real Compline(23) at Garabandal on that June Sunday that had begun a Sunday like any other.
The light of day dimmed. Time for evening prayer. On that day and at the same time as at Garabandal, just as it has been happening for centuries in the Church’s countless monasteries and convents, great numbers of souls consecrated to God were saying before Him the liturgical prayer for the end of the day.
(Te lucis ante terminum.)
As the day ends we pray to you, Creator of the Universe, to be our Guardian and Defender according to Your great mercy . . .
Guard us as the pupil of Your eyes; in the shelter of Your wings, protect us . . .
Let Your Holy Spirit descend upon us, Lord our God.
The girls did not understand the meaning of the word Compline, but one can do many things without knowing how to define them.
23. Compline is the last hour of the Divine Office, the official daily prayer of the church; the proper time for its recital is nightfall. This prayer has the purpose of offering the day just concluding to God and petitioning his protection against the unknown dangers of the coming night.