The Virgin was smiling as usual.
And the first thing that she said to us was,
—Do you know the meaning of the writing that the Angel carried beneath him?
We spoke out together, No, we don’t know.
—It gives a message that I am going to explain to you so that you can tell it to the people on the 18th of October.
And she told it to us.
The message, brief in words, extended in content, was the girls’ secret until the 18th of October. I would like to speak about this now; however, when the story arrives at that date, the message will be revealed and commented on.
Once again I must manifest my admiration for the divine teaching in the events at Garabandal.
Heaven accommodates itself to the capacity of young girls lacking in education, but not lacking in intelligence. Little by little they are first introduced to what they will learn and experience. Then later on they are made to learn and experience many more advanced things.
It begins with the visual and the imaginative: the brilliant figure of an angel, suggesting so much to the visionaries even though he appears without speaking; an angel surrounded with signs very appropriate for drawing attention toward what he wants to say. To this is added the even more beautiful image of Mary with the two angels and Mysterious Eye. Then it goes on to words: a few important words that ought to remain engraved in the souls of the girls, although they did not understand them. Conchita testifies to this with a brief addition that she puts in her diary, showing the Virgin told her the message on July 2nd, but that only later, on Tuesday, July 4th would she begin to understand the message. She told us on the first day, but we didn’t understand.
They heard the words without being able to comprehend either their significance or their content. Finally the explanations and illustrations begin.(8)
To the young village girls it was necessary to explain the significance of terms that seem selfexplanatory to us. The girls, for example, did not know the meaning of sacrifices or what it meant to make sacrifices, something that was repeated very much in the conversations with the Virgin.
After her smiling condescension, the marvelous teacher comes forth with serious things. But she has such grace in her words! And how she accommodates herself to her little disciples. With a love and a patience without limits, she comes to instruct them first, and through them the rest of us . . .
*By giving small and progressive lessons that they are able to assimilate,
*By accompanying the lessons with kisses, smiles and condescension, even to the point of playing with them,
*By placing herself in the daily existence of the four girls, even listening to some of their conversations that appeared banal and unimportant, something to waste the time of one so great as the Mother of God.(9)
Yes, she lowered herself to our level, and among us she established her dwelling. In everything she acts as a mother who is in no haste when it comes to things concerning her children, since her haste is to wait for them: that they might believe and improve, that they might enter into the right way, and go forward beyond their childishness, frailty, and pathetic lack of correspondence.
It is the Seat of Wisdom speaking to everyone from her cathedral at Garabandal:
And fools covet what is harmful to themselves;
And the unwise hate knowledge.
Turn to my reproof:
Behold I will utter my spirit to you,
And show you my words.
8. We know that on the 28th and 29th of July, there was an intensive course on the contents of the message. We will speak about the 29th of July in Chapter 8. With regard to the 28th, I put down here the testimony of the Police Chief Juan Alvarez Seco who was an eye-witness of what he reported:
«The visionaries were in ecstasy in the cuadro, very serious, and totally absorbed in what the Virgin had to be teaching and advising them. Big tears flowed from some . . . Emotion also held many of those present. When the ecstasy was finished, the girls spoke a little with Father Valentín and he said later, breaking the intense silence of all those who were there: The Virgin has given the girls a message that they cannot reveal at present, either to the parish priest, their parents, or the bishop.»
9. Fourteen years after the events, Jacinta confirmed many things for me.
«—Did the Virgin begin immediately to explain what you had seen in the Angel’s inscription?
—Yes, from the first days.
—And did she spend some time giving instructions during all her visits?
—Yes, whenever she spoke it was always to teach us something.
—We know that you told her a multitude of affairs and trivia that could only have interest for you yourselves . . . How did she react to that?
—She heard us with an attention, a patience, and a goodness that I can understand only now.
—Did she take what you said as a basis to instruct and counsel you?
—And what was, in your opinion, the principal usefulness of all the conversations with the Mother of Heaven? . . . saying it in another way, what did you get out of these conversations?
—I don’t know about the others. But for myself, what struck me the most was the necessity of submission and obedience to our parents and superiors, like priests, rulers, and so on . . .
—In all these visits, did she come for you, or rather for the Church and the world?
—For the Church and the world, no doubt about that!
—It seems that she revealed "secrets." Were they about your personal future?
—When we asked her about that, she never answered.
—At the time she predicted to you things about the future, referring to the Church and the world . . . Besides the Warning and Chastisement that we know already, can you tell me some others?
—No, I can’t say anything, since we have to keep it secret.
—All right. How do you interpret, "They will believe.
They will believe" that she responded to your repeated requests for her to perform a great miracle so that everyone would be convinced?
—I don’t know . . . All that I can testify is that she told us this many times.»