no other solution but to love her very much too.”
At that time a person, who was to soon become one of the best witnesses of what was taking place at Garabandal, came up to the village for the first time. Her name was María Herrero Garralda, daughter of the Marquese de Aledo, recently married to Enrique Gallardo Rodríguez-Acosta. Highly educated, good-hearted and deeply religious, she soon gained the confidence of the girls and meditated on the profound scope of the events.
For some time she was content to keep it to herself, revolving in her mind and piously pondering over what she had seen and heard. But later, when the anti-Garabandal storm began gathering due to the prelates at the Santander chancery, she wrote down in French for the Holy Office in Rome a memorandum of what she herself had witnessed. She did this on the advice of a Belgian priest, Father Laffineur, (22) and to him she directed the prologue:
«I present this little work. Now that I reread it, it seems very poor, and the reason for this is that it is almost impossible to put in words the feelings of the soul.
I am only mentioning here some of the many— at least thirty—apparitions at which I participated at San Sebastián de Garabandal, beginning on the 17th of August, 1961. I will try to give an idea of those events, although it is impossible to express everything that I have seen and heard. I wish to start this work with something that Loli expressed to me on October 7th, 1962. If it could be known how she loves us, we would have no other solution but to love her very much too.
It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon when I came for the first time to San Sebastián de Garabandal. Accompanied by my sister I went into the bar or tavern belonging to Loli's father, Ceferino. The place was vacant since the apparitions ordinarily took place much later, toward nightfall. (I only know of two or three cases in which they occurred in the afternoon.)
We asked to eat, and Loli herself began servingus. This had to be the first time that she did this since she asked me to tell her about the knife and fork. At the time the little children in those families ate from the utensils without using silverware.
We had just finished eating when Loli came running in from outside, very short of breath, and said to her father, Papa, come right now since Jacinta is having an apparition.
We all ran toward the little square in the center of the village. There under the bright hot sun was Jacinta, walking very slowly, with her big doll in her hand, her head turned backwards and that sublime expression on her face that cannot be described. Her family was following her in an attitude of great reverence. María, her mother, at one time wanted to take the doll from her hands; but Jacinta, absorbed in the vision, prevented her with a firm and brusque motion. Seconds later we saw the girl lift up her doll toward the vision, raising herself up as much as she could on the tips of her toes — aided by her two companions, Loli and Conchita, who held her up. Loli, who was as if overcome with joy on seeing her friend in a trance, took her by the arm and at that moment — with the rapidity of lightning — fell into ecstasy herself.
The two children, overwhelmed with joy, began to walk through the village, leaning against each other . . . It was then that I heard for the first time that laugh of Loli in ecstasy that has always had such an effect on me. It was a laugh of glory, full of joy; but at the same time, quiet, reverent, mystical. It had nothing in common with this world, nor did it have the feeling of light-hearted laughter; it was as if permeated with the things of heaven.
The two listened and responded to the vision with a speech full of mystery, hardly perceptible.
We were running behind them when, near to the house that now belongs to Mercedes Salisachs, their expressions changed completely. And they began to shout out in a terrified voice, showing on their faces the greatest anxiety and fear. Who are you? Tell us. Who are you? They were like this for a few minutes that seemed interminable.
It was at that time that María, Jacinta's mother, told me confidentially, Yesterday they heard that strange voice for the first time. And they were very afraid, even though the Virgin had warned them, saying that they shouldn't be afraid. It seems that the voice sounds from afar, as if it comes down from the mountains. It's like a hiss or a roar that cries, “Come . . . Come . . . Come . . . "»
The Voice of the Lord in magnificence.
The Voice of the Lord shatters the cedars . . .
The Voice of the Lord brings forth flames of fire.
The Voice of the Lord shakes the desert . . .
But if the strange voice that came down from the mountains onto Garabandal proceeded from the Most High, why did it disturb the girls this way, without declaring who it was? Does it have a secret purpose which only later will be revealed?
In this case, perhaps we can attribute to this voice a certain apocalyptic (23) sign, like the blast of trumpets in the 8th chapter of this unexplained book when the action of heaven will accelerate its pace and deploy itself against the power of the anti- Christ of this world and of the abyss. And still more could the voice be related to that triple Woe, woe, woe, which will be poured out upon a mankind so wrapped up in the things of the world.(24)
Is Garabandal coming as a sign to call attention to the unforeseen things which must shortly come to pass?
(Apocalypse 1: 1)
22. Died on Saturday, November 28th, 1970 in France, where he had lived and worked for many years. He was a main figure in the European Garabandal movement, signing many of his writings and letters with the pen name Doctor Bonance.
23. Apocalypse — Revelations —is the name of the last book of Sacred Scripture. It is extremely difficult to interpret. By means of figures, visions, and symbols, it gives the mysterious course of the work of Christ on earth and His final triumph in order to strengthen us for tribulation with the security that we are not alone, and that the Hand of God holds a firm grip on the progression of events.
24. And I beheld, and heard the voice of an eagle flying through the midst of heaven, shouting: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth: because of the remaining voices of the three angels who have yet to sound their trumpets. (Apocalypse 8: 13)
St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate gives these statements of the eagle like this, Vae, vae, vae!