Concerning the first vision on August 14th,(34) which was about 10:00 at night, we have his brief notation:
«The girls went outside in an ecstatic march, their heads turned upwards. They went through the streets of the village, sometimes joined together, sometimes separated. When they joined together at some spot, they broke out in cries of joy.
And so it was for two long periods, from 10:00 until 12:00. The people followed them, praying. But it is hard to walk everywhere with them because they go so fast. And they never stumble, even with the many stones that are there, or with the mud, or with anything. I followed them at times, and at times I waited at some location, because their paths through the village are identical: in all directions and through all the streets. On one of my stops, some very excited people came looking for me at once, because they had heard the girls talking about my brother and saying, Then we will hear him speak? Oh, what a pleasure! He was very good!»
Many times after this date, the girls felt the presence of Father Luis in ecstasy and heard his voice, holding conversation with him, although not seeing his face. Conchita wrote in her diary:
Several days after the death of Father Luis, the Virgin told us that we were going to speak to him.
On August 15th, the feastday of Our Lady, there were many tourists who had come to amuse themselves and they were causing scandal.
That was the day that the Virgin told us we would talk with Father Luis María Andreu.
But since there was a scandal, he didn't come.
At 4 in the morning on the next day, at the same time that Father Luis had died, the Virgin appeared to me in my kitchen and said to me: Father will not come today, but he will come tomorrow.(35)
On the next day between 8:00 or 9:00 the Virgin appeared to us, smiling very much as usual, and said to the four of us, Father Luis will come now and speak to you.
And after awhile he came, and he called us one after the other.
But we didn't see him; we only heard his voice.
It was exactly the same as when he spoke on earth.
And after giving us advice, he also told us something for his brother, Father Ramón.
And he taught us words in French, and even to pray in Greek.
He taught us words in German and in English, too.
After a while, we didn't hear his voice anymore.
And the Virgin spoke to us and stayed for a moment and left.
It is certain that several times in their ecstasies the girls pronounced words and phrases in languages completely unknown to them. There are trustworthy witnesses of this. In the French edition of Conchita's Diary, Fr. Ramón María Andreu's statement is printed:
«The girls have certainly spoken more than once in foreign languages. I myself heard one of them recite the Hail Mary in Greek. I have in my possession a letter from Conchita, in which I would like to point out certain parts in which she informed me of what she had learned in French from hearing my brother during an ecstasy.»
Everything coming from God has its purpose, but not everything from God appears to us immediately perfectly clear as to its aim or final purpose. God always acts toward us in the realm of the unknown. His plans gradually reveal themselves, following His designs and proportional to our acceptance of them, or at least to our not putting obstacles in the way. When the Divine Hand is found in any given reality as a whole, it is wrong to attempt to reject it because all the details do not appear clear.
What does Scripture show to be the style of God? He certainly does not always declare from the beginning all His intentions and plans and give immediate explanations of everything He is going to do. We must learn to trust in Him, and because of those things that we understand, accept others that we do not understand. The ideas of simple human wisdom have no value before God, especially if they are bloated with pride and self-sufficiency.
At times I have asked myself whether these foreign tongues in Garabandal might not be connected with the universal dimensions of its mystery. Today less than ever would the Virgin limit her action to local and national boundaries. Around her are heard many languages because she has come for all, for those that are distant as well as those that are near.
I cannot cease being filled with joy that in these visits of the Celestial Mother the words of the Ave María, the foremost Marian prayer, were pronounced in Greek. Was not this the language in which it was originally written? Was it not from this language that the prayer was translated to all the others? And the Greek language, the language of the first ecumenical church, continues to be the symbol of an important part of Christians of today, who ought to join with us in the same communion of faith and love.
The Virgin is coming to us—through Garabandal— in a great ecumenical hour. Perhaps these foreign languages, besides their value as an inexplicable wonder on the lips of young uneducated children, could indicate the mysterious scope of this new and most singular Epiphany of the Virgin.
The connection of the departed Father Luis with the phenomenon of Garabandal did not end in the days of August, and there are many witnesses of the girls to verify this.
Besides the most amazing thing was what Conchita wrote Father Ramón in a letter on the second of August, 1964:
On July 18th (the village feastday of San Sebastián de Garabandal) I had a locution,(36) and in this locution, I was told that on the day after the miracle your brother will be taken out of his tomb and his body will be found INCORRUPT.»
In 1976 the rumor was spread that the remains of Fr. Luis had been disinterred together with the many other Jesuits buried at Oña in the years that the Jesuit seminary had been there — it has recently been relocated — and that the caskets had been opened. It was reported that, "all the bodies were decomposed." This information was immediately used as a new proof against the authenticity of the apparitions to discourage many of the Garabandal devotées and rejoice their enemies.
And now we continue to hope . . . for certainly a proper explanation will come with time. It appears that this is a failure of one of Conchita's prophecies. It would be good therefore to carefully question her concerning this prophecy, for some small detail that might bring great light on this matter. But this failure of a prophecy does not destroy—far from that— the overwhelming mass of evidence that shows decisively that in few other places has the admirable Hand of God acted as at Garabandal.
As can be seen, the first death of Garabandal was permanently connected to the unfolding of its great mystery.
And we must thank the Lord that He has shown us a new assurance of our fundamental Christian belief that there is
Fr. Luis’ tomb has been opened and his supposed remains transferred to Loyola. Those who believe Mary’s words will await the day after the Miracle at Garabandal when a tomb will be found and opened to reveal Fr. Luis’ incorrupt body.
34. «On the 14th of August Father Andreu came another time; he was with the girls almost all day and during the night up until 3 o'clock. Also in the village on that day were Alberto Martín Artajo (former Minister of Foreign Affairs), Father Lucio Rodrigo (a Jesuit professor in Comillas), and many people.» (Father Valentín's notes)
35. From the report of Fr. Ramón:
«Cases of this have been repeated. When the public were very numerous and had a picnic attitude, with drinking and music or worldly songs, the Vision did not take place. And the public was disappointed.
The first time that I observed this was on the evening of August 15th, 1961, the feast of the Assumption. That day all the crowd waited in vain. At the sight of the crowd comporting themselves as if it were a party, on hearing the worldly songs and seeing the state of semi-drunkenness in which some were found, several people from the village—simple people—said to me, There surely will be nothing today. This happened another time. And here we are glad that nothing occurs when they come this way.
On another day, Amaliuca, the 11 year old sister of Loli, called me to tell me in secret that Jacinta was seeing the Virgin in her home. I went and found her there in a state of trance . . . I heard what she said to the Virgin. Why are you going so soon? Oh! Just like on the day of Our Lady . . . They are singing . . .I went out on the street and asked, Is someone singing here?Yes, they answered me, There is a group here that is having a party.And there was no vision until that group that had come in a bus departed. This has happened on other occasions. I have been able to ascertain five at least; and on the five days the visitors' impropriety and irreverence was obvious.»
On the 15th day of August a person, who would become one of the most qualified witnesses of what was happening, came up for the first time to Garabandal: he was Doctor Celestino Ortiz Pérez, a pediatrician from Santander. He wrote me:
«I came with my family, I was there from 7 at night until 6 in the morning when I had to leave to be on time for work. I didn't see anything. My family stayed in the village until 9 in the morning, at which time they were picked up. It was during this visit that we got to know Father Ramón María Andreu; on learning that I was a doctor, he showed great concern that I examine the girls.»
36. Locutions are one of the phenomena of mysterious communication between God and the soul that are studied in Mystical Theology. Through a locution, the soul receives interiorly what God wishes to tell it—without words, but with complete clarity and certainty.