And we told them, We haven’t been called yet.
And they thought about this and said, But how are you called?
An we answered that it was like an interior voice, but that we didn’t hear it with the ears, nor did we hear ourselves called by name.
It is a JOY.(3)
There are three calls.
The first is a very little joy.
The second is somewhat greater.
At the third we become very excited and feel great happiness.
And then she comes.
We would go outside (to the site of the apparition) after the second call.
For if we would go after the first we would have to wait a long time, since from the first to the second there is a long wait.
Here emerges for the first time a phenomenon that is most amazing, most unusual, and most proper to Garabandal: the visionaries’ interior calls. At this stage of our history Conchita advances explanations that were the fruit of larger experience later on. So as to better understand this phenomenon, I am going to insert here what was written in the early times of the apparitions by Father Ramón María Andreu S. J.,(4) an exceptional witness of the Garabandal events. It is to be pointed out that the calls occurred only when the Virgin was going to come, and never when it was simply a visit with the Angel.
Father Andreu reported:
«The phenomenon of the calls or interior touches from which the ecstasies arose happened to the four girls in the following way. They would say that there were always three calls. These could occur at the same time when they were together; they could occur at the same time when they were separated; they could occur at a time which was not the same even if they were together; they could occur to all four, to just one, or to several of them.
The word call was originated by the girls themselves who talked like this: Today the Virgin did not "call" me. Today she "called" me. I have already had one "call" or two . . .
It is not easy to describe the nature of the calls. The girls said they were like a joy from within, a clear and definite joy that was always present. It was as if the Virgin had said in the first call, Jacinta! and in the second, Jacinta, come! and in the third, Jacinta, run, run, run! But all this without audible words.
The children hid the calls; and if they were not asked, or if they did not spontaneously mention them in some cases, they would not have been noticed.
Here are some cases that I myself observed. One day Loli was pouring a glass of water for Mr. Matutano(5) so that he could take an aspirin. And while she was still pouring she felt the third call. Putting down the pitcher and glass, she exclaimed, Let’s go, Father, since she’s calling me.
3. Here the youthful Conchita tries to explain in her poor vocabulary what no human tongue is able to express adequately. She does not succeed in telling us what these calls are in themselves; she informs us as well as she can about some of their effects. We are here before a case of direct communication between God and the soul, without the interplay of signs and words. The interior of the soul is marvelously filled by a divine breath which calls it, and fills it with light, assurance, docility, and joy toward God or the Virgin.
4. The name of this Jesuit priest will be forever linked to the history of Garabandal. He had three brothers in the Jesuit order, two of them stationed outside of Spain. He was dedicated especially to directing retreats on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and had his residence in the house of Christ the King in Valladolid. Later on we will see in detail his connection with Garabandal.
5. Mr. Matutano, who was from Valencia, lived in Reinosa (Santander) because of his rice business. He frequently visited Garabandal, pitching a tent near Conchita’s home. One of his daughters was very close to Conchita, and from this came occasions of mild vanity for the visionary, since the young Valencian painted her nails, gave her jewelry, clothes, etc.
After relaying this information, this priest who was trustworthy added: «This is another detail that shows what many of us have done to the girls—disturbing at times the work of heaven in preparing and directing these girls toward the struggle that they are going to have to face in the future.»