That day many people came; since it was the Virgin's day.
Perhaps she would appear to us.
In the Cuadro at the usual hour, the girls were counting out the Ave Marías on their rosaries, accompanied by the waiting multitude. And finally the Angel came. But this time he did not limit himself to smiling. This time, finally HE SPOKE! And his most important words were these:
I come to announce to you a visit by the Virgin under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who will appear to you tomorrow, Sunday.
Outside of themselves with joy, the four girls cried out together:
Let her come right away!
The Angel smiled.
Finally, the reason for so many repeated visits by the mysterious celestial personage appeared clear: He had come to prepare the way.
And it could well be supposed that what he was preparing, what was about to come, was extremely important, since the introduction had been so long and intensive.
The girls, overjoyed with the great announcement that they had just received, conversed happily with that person whom they had seen so many times but to whom they had never yet spoken.
There was so much that they had to ask and say. And the Angel was in a mood to speak without restriction too. Conchita wrote later, That day he spoke to us about many things. The main part of these things will remain forever secret, since they were only of interest to those who were involved in that conversation. The Angel had come undoubtedly for all, or at least for many; but before all for those four young girls over whom surely the Lord held special plans of love and mercy.
The visionaries recalled with the apparition the various happenings and the most striking things that had occurred during the previous meetings; for example, the fear that Loli, Jacinta, and Mari Cruz had felt on the first day when they saw Conchita swept up like a victim of an attack. While recounting this, now that everything had become clear, the girls laughed boisterously with the Angel. After so many meetings and so many hours shared together, a pleasant familiarity existed among the five.
The most important question was related to the mysterious writing that the Angel had brought on the last days. He answered:
—The Virgin will tell you about it.
As in so many other things, it was necessary to wait. God brings everything with order; He has a rhythm which rarely coincides with ours, and which therefore so many times upsets us.
The Saturday interview on July 1st, the final interview of that first stage, lasted two hours; but it must have been stupendous to the girls—as Conchita stated—it seemed like two seconds. The parting was:
— I will come tomorrow with the Virgin.
That made us sad.
Returning to normal, the visionaries were extremely surprised on seeing night around them, since they had come from a world flooded with brightness.
The people who had heard the long conversations in ecstasy crowded on top of them, asking them what had happened and what had been said to them. And the girls explained what they could, as well as they could. Their poor village vocabulary and undeveloped expression were not suited to speak of things about which even the most highly educated minds would find great difficulty in discussing.
With this in mind, we can better understand how to interpret the description that they repeatedly gave of the Angel:
He was dressed in a long flowing blue tunic without a belt.
His wings are rather long, very lovely, pink in color.
His face was neither long or round; his nose was handsome; his eyes dark; and the face tan.
His hands were fine with short nails; his feet weren't seen.
This description does not clash with the traditional representation of the angels in our Catholic
Church; but it does not appear to say much. The most interesting thing the girls expressed about the Angel was that, in spite of his appearance as a child, they said: «He gave the impression of great strength.» Yes, the Angels of the Lord, although they can adopt a childlike appearance to show the complete innocence of their being, are creatures of a higher nature, full of strength and light, close to the All High, and powerful executors of His commands.(33)
What orders did the Angel come to accomplish among men in the Calleja at Garabandal?
At present he was preparing the way . . .
Someone was going to come!
33. Years later, how did the visionaries recall the Angel’s series of apparitions at Garabandal? I was able to interview Jacinta in October, 1975. Here are some of the questions and answers:
—What impression did the Angel make on you? Did he seem simply a handsome child, or someone important and strong with a great mission?
—I don’t know how to answer that question. He always appeared like a child, although we felt great respect in front of him.
(This means, according to what I understood by her explanations, that in spite of seeing him as someone of youthful age and small stature, she had the impression of being in the presence of someone very important, much higher than the girls.)
—How could you have enjoyed so many hours with him if he didn’t speak to you?
(According to Conchita the Angel did not talk until the afternoon of July 1st.)
—We were only with him a short time. It passed swiftly.
—That was your impression. But the witnesses stated that your ecstasies at that time sometimes lasted very long.
—It could be that way. I only remember that we passed them very well; the time seemed very short to us, seeing him . . . We were the ones who spoke. Sometimes we told him things, and other times we asked him questions. Then he answered us with signs and gestures. For example, if we would say, "Do you want us to pray more," he would incline his head as if to say "Yes." It was the same when we asked, "What do you want from us . . . That we should be better?"