«The isolation gave the village and its inhabitants a feeling of tranquility and peace, that now has changed because of the influence of the pilgrims and the curiosity-seekers. At nightfall the mother of Jacinta walks through the streets ringing a bell, according to an ancient tradition, to call the townspeople to pray for the souls in purgatory. The rosary is said in the church every evening.
The patience of the girls' parents has undergone a real test because of the events. Being very simple and humble people, they have suddenly found out that their daughters have become the subject of phenomena that constantly leave them exposed to the whims of the people surrounding them. This has created a situation that they are not able to control, for the public is not always aware of what is proper in its words and actions. And so they have slapped the children, insulted their parents, and created many disagreeable situations. Because of the absence of police in the village, it came about that the girls' parents and the local youth had to take it upon themselves to protect their daughters and sisters, even to the point of shoving. The parents desired to know more than anyone else what was going on; and they found themselves unaided before happenings that they did not end up understanding.
During the three months that this situation continued, with so many arrivals and such crowds, with so many and such diversified personalities coming, the fact that nothing happened that had to be regretted could be interpreted as evidence that an invisible hand was watching over the visionaries and protecting them carefully.
The villagers neither affirm nor deny anything. They do not tell about anything more than what they have seen. But all of them, knowing the sincerity and the normalness of the children, hold the conviction that what the girls say is true.
In attempting to act in a scientific manner, it is not possible to keep for investigation more facts than those that are given by eye-witnesses. Actual facts can be changed into fantastic rumors when news passes from mouth to mouth . . . The facts to which I attest in this writing have been observed directly by me except in those things where another source is explicitly mentioned.»(5)
«As has already been indicated, the four children in their ordinary state, that is to say, outside of their ecstasies or trances, show themselves to be completely normal. So they appear to the doctors, especially to those who have shown themselves most careful in their examination. The four children are completely normal to any other observer, just as they are to their immediate families, to the parish priest, and to all those who have known them for some time.
5. I wanted to document this book on the scene and first hand with the witnesses who lived these events, but Bishop Cirarda of Santander always refused to give me permission.
Consequently, I had to procure the necessary documentation for this work by more labor and less detailed background information.
Did the Bishop of Santander really want the case of Garabandal brought out into the open?
In October of 1968, a French layman F. Corteville, publisher of the bi-monthly periodical L'Impartial, passed through Santander and sought an audience with Bishop Cirarda. This was given and in it he spoke about Garabandal . . . Mr. Corteville tried to suggest the formation of an international association of the type which he directs with regard to the Virgin of LaSalette to produce an in-depth study on the occurrences in the celebrated little mountain town.
Will you permit me, then, Your Excellency, he asked, to examine the evidence and documents that are kept in the chancery? Bishop Cirarda (Mr. Corteville himself told me this) gave a mute response, but very expressive, of . . . refusal.