With the coming of August, summertime month par excellence, when Santander and its seaside resorts were overflowing with people, the influx of visitors coming from all regions into Garabandal acquired an accelerated pace. And at the same time, the events themselves also seemed to follow an accelerated pace as they increased in number and became more attention-getting.
On the first day of the month, as we have mentioned, things began with the beautiful addition in the recitation of the Hail Mary: Holy Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
On August 3rd, the first ecstatic falls occurred together with many other phenomena, culminating in Conchita's return back to town after eight days in Santander, as previously described.
On August 4th, a Friday, the episode of the tape recorder took place.
On August 5th, among other things, everyone's attention was strongly attracted by an ecstatic march at tremendous speed going from the Pines all the way down to the church. Conchita was heard ardently asking pardon for having gone to the beach, and with no less ardor she implored the apparition to make a visible miracle so that everyone would believe.
Father Valentín wrote down in his notes:
«At two in the afternoon Loli, Conchita, and Jacinta went up beyond the Pines; there they knelt down and asked, Where are we going? To the church? And they undertook the descent in ecstasy.
At the church they stopped first before the main altar. Then they went to the altar of the Immaculate Conception and prayed a beautiful rosary—Conchita leading, the others answering. All this lasted about an hour and a half.
In the evening, toward 9:30, they returned in ecstasy to the church. I was at the gate when they came and I wanted to stop them, but I was unable. They went in front of the main altar, knelt down and began to speak. Conchita asked pardon for having gone to the beach and movie theater. Conchita wept. They also asked very insistently for her to perform a miracle. And they asked why Mari Cruz was not seeing her.»
Although I cannot say with certainty that it occurred on this day, I am inserting something here which has been told to me and which reveals quite well the visionaries' concern during those days. Mari Cruz and Jacinta were taken up into ecstasy near the water fountain, and the people gathered around them. the final light of day was fading. The wife of Augusto Fernández saw that her son, crippled with infantile paralysis, was next to the children in the middle of the crowd, and she feared that something might happen as the crowd pressed against him. She boldly made her way up to him to protect him from a possible avalanche of curious spectators. She reclined on the ground at his side, trying not to interfere with the vision of those behind her, and he had the chance to have her head almost leaning on Mari Cruz, whom she heard saying in a whisper:
«Look. The people don't believe. They only believe that we are crazy and foolish. Come. Perform a miracle. Even though it is only a little one . . . So that they might believe. Let three stars fall now.»
A few seconds later—to everyone's surprise and with almost everyone unaware of the reason—three shooting starts crossed brilliantly across the sky.
On Sunday August 6th, the girls had an ecstasy in the evening at 9:30 sharp. During the recitation of the rosary, heavenly music was heard that lulled those hearing it and stirred up devotion as the girls were heard chanting the Hail Marys slowly, rhythmically, and fervently. They came out of ecstasy at 10:12; and then to conclude this ineffable evening of communication with heaven, as on so many other occasions, they went to pray a Station before the Blessed Sacrament. The girls did not pray badly, far from that; but the spectators were struck by the contrast between the two prayers. The second, although devout and well said, did not have either the voice, or the rhythm, or the feeling, or the cadence of the first. It was evident that the girls in ecstasy were before something or someone that transformed them.(10)
On August 7th, a Monday, there were more ecstasies. For example, one occurred at 2:00 in the afternoon to all four girls together.(11) It appears that this was one of the days in which the Virgin told the girls to stay in their homes without going outside because of the deluge of strangers. In this way the Virgin protected the girls from the crowd's indiscreet enthusiasm and curiosity and allowed them a little rest.
10. Fr. Valentín ends his notes of August 6th like this: «Afterwards they prayed a station in the natural state. What a difference in their prayer!»
11. Another, still more interesting, after it had become dark. During it they made their way to the places where they had previously had apparitions; the village fountain, the apple tree in the calleja, the cuadro, the Pines. In each one of these places they knelt down with devotion for some time, and then departed. The tour ended in the church.
«It was a dark night; but they told me that they saw as though it were daylight.» (Fr. Valentín)