In order to better picture the meeting of the children of Garabandal with the Queen and Mother of Heaven, I would like to place here what Conchita said a long time later to Isabel de Daganzo, a painter from Santander now living in Barcelona. The woman herself gave me this testimony, validating it with her signature.
«This is a resumé of my conversation about the apparitions of Garabandal with Conchita in Burgos( 13) from the 7th to the 15th of November, 1967. With her help, and that of the most Holy Virgin, I wanted to put on canvas something that would depict well those celestial scenes.
I showed her, among various sketches, one of Our Lady of Garabandal. (She had assisted me in making this one, first at the village and later at Pamplona.) From this came the picture that is venerated today in St. Michael's chapel at Garabandal, and from which so many holy cards in color have been reproduced that have circulated over the entire world.
Your Virgin is good, Conchita told me, only you should make the tunic more graceful. There were no clouds, only light. At times she smiled so much that her teeth could be seen. Her hair was more wavy. The flowers on her robe were embroidered in white. The scapular was one single piece and somewhat bigger.
—What did the eye in the first apparition signify? Was it like this? (I made a drawing.)
—No, it didn't have that shape. It was a normal eye, with eyelashes, brown in color. And I don't know what it signified. The light was all the same and the greatest light was here. (Drawing on paper, she pointed out to me the large eye, and where it was positioned, and without the least hesitation pointed out the exact distance and space.)
A little later she added, Many things happened during the apparition on that day. Among these was a rainfall of stairs. The four of us saw it— Loli, Mari Cruz, Jacinta and myself.
I asked her how they fell. From the hands?
No, no. They fell from above, as if it were raining.
One of my canvasses showed the Virgin on top of a red cloud, because I read of this in a book.
We never saw the Virgin on top of a red cloud. What happened was that one day, while we were not in ecstasy, a red cloud covered the four of us and frightened us very much.
Another canvas represented the Lady on top of a star with a long tail, with the four visionaries on their knees at her feet.
Yes, one time a bright star with a large tail passed by; but it passed, it didn't stay at the feet of the Virgin. And there were not four of us, only Loli and myself. That was the feastday of Our Lady of the Pillar.
On another canvas Our Lady appeared as Queen of the Angels, surrounded by them.
I didn't see the Virgin surrounded by angels; but I don't know if the others saw her that way.
—How did the Virgin bless you and kiss you? Like this? (And I showed her another canvas.)
She didn't bless us, but she did indeed kiss us. She faced us; she came down to our level. And when at times we couldn't reach her, we lifted one another up.»
In recalling these things, a soft breeze seems to go gently through the soul. What a Mother we have in the sky! How she comes down to us with supreme delicateness, seeking to lift us up toward her so that we might be less unfortunate and miserable.
«Could you tell about something» —Isabel finally asked Conchita— «that I could put on canvas that could cause fear?
No. What I have seen that could cause fear is the Chastisement,(14) and I can't tell you about that. Besides, terror and fear are not the best for moving souls.»
13. Conchita was living at the time in the city as a boarder in the school of the Concepcionistas Misioneras de la Enseñanza. There she remained during the entire school year of 1966-1967 and up to Christmas of the following year, at which time her mother took her out of school.
14. The CHASTISEMENT, is one of the great secrets of Garabandal. It will be elaborated on later.