From the Mountains
Conchita's diary terminates her brief summary of the mysterious conversation on August 16th with the dead Father Andreu in these words:
On that day the Virgin told us that on the following day we would hear a voice. But that we shouldn't be afraid, and that we should follow the voice. (20)
This seems to indicate that something unusual is going to happen, something that is going to bring one more new element in this succession of singular phenomena.
On the next day and at the same time as on the previous day, (that is, at nightfall) the Most Holy Virgin appeared to the four of us.
And for several minutes she was smiling very much.
And she didn't say anything to us.
After a few minutes, darkness came upon us, and we heard a voice call us.
Then Mari Cruz said, Tell us who you are; if you don't, we will go home.
While we were hearing the voice, it was very dark.
And we didn't see the Virgin.
But afterwards she came.
And it became very light.
And she said to us, Don't be afraid.
And she spoke to us for awhile.
And that night was the first night that she kissed us, one by one.And then she left. (21)
This raises many questions. From where and from whom does the voice come? What is the reason for it? What purpose does it have? What relation exists between the voice and the Virgin's kisses to the frightened children? Is there some connection with the voice and the announcement made by Conchita on her return from Santander?
I admit that I am not able to give any answers to these questions. Even today this voice remains one of the enigmas of Garabandal.
Because it caused fear in the girls and also because of the darkness that surrounded them, together with the disappearance of the Virgin from view, one might say that it was a voice of the evil one, the voice of the world of darkness, the powers of evil, rabidly furious before this admirabile commercium that was being established between the heavens and the earth. But the words of the Virgin that Conchita relates in her diary, that we should not be afraid, and that we should follow the voice, seem to rule out this interpretation. Could it be that the girl is somewhat confused and is not able to express clearly such an obscure matter? Someday—we hope—a clarification of this mystery will come forth.
But we do have something very clear and also very marvelous from that memorable day: the kisses of the Mother that the Apparition begins to lavish on her children.
That day was not the only one on which the strange voice was heard.
20. This announcement must have occurred during a brief conversation on August 15th, since the hearing of the voice in a trance occurred at nine or ten on the night of August 16th.
21. It is no surprise that the girl remembers the exact beginning of the marvelous gift Our Lady's kiss . . . After that time the spectators knew when the end of the ecstasy would take place — then the visionaries held their faces in an attitude of giving and receiving kisses, which customarily preceded or followed a slow and very pious sign of the cross.