The presence of St. Michael the Archangel has a definite significance in the mystery of Garabandal. At Burgos in November of 1967 Conchita told the painter Isabel de Daganzo:
«He seemed to be about 9 years old, with black eyes, smiling, with spread out pale pink wings, wearing a light blue garment. We didn't see his hands except when he gave us Communion. The bottom of his robe didn't touch the stone that the people call “the Angel's Stone"; he was on top of the stone, but up in the air.»
In spite of his harmless appearance, we should remember the true nature of the first archangel, as María Herrero tried to make Conchita, then unlearned, understand. He is God's instrument for the highest missions: God's arm in the great combats.
Why then did he show himself like this at Garabandal? What definite mission did he have? Preparing the way for the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, crowned with 12 stars (Apoc. 12: 1) was no minor matter. However, there are reasons to think that he was coming for more than that . . .
Outside of the lightning and thunder, everything about him seemed to show peacefulness. But a mission of peace could be the preamble, if it fails, of a final all-out battle.
Who could say whether or not we have already entered one of those final hours prophesied in the last book of Scripture?
having the sign of the living God;
and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels,
to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying:
“Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees,
till we sign the servants of our God on their foreheads."
(Apocalypse 7: 2-3)
On the shores of the Tigris River, during the most spectacular prophecy of his life, Daniel once said:
the great prince, who stands for the children of your people:
and a time shall come such as never was
from the time that nations began even until that time.
And at that time shall your people be saved,
everyone that shall be found written in the book.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth,
shall awake: some unto life everlasting,
and others unto reproach, to see it always.
But they that understand
shall shine as the brightness of the firmament:
and they that instruct many to justice,
as stars for all eternity.
(Daniel 12: 1-3)
The Virgin, just as the Angel who preceded her, and the angels who later accompanied her, came for our welfare, not for our entertainment. Through them, one time more:
instructing us, that denying ungodliness and worldly desires,
we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world,
looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory
of the great God and Our Savior, Jesus Christ,
Who gave Himself for us,
that He might redeem us from all iniquity,
and might purify for Himself an acceptable people,
that pursues good works.
(Titus 2: 11-14)
On finishing this chapter, my glance chanced to fall on a postcard received several months previously, showing under a thickly clouded sky, the difficult trail to Garabandal. High up in the near foreground, the Pines; behind them in the background, the mountains with their peaks hidden in the clouds. This unique panorama is commented on by some verses written on the card, and regardless of what literary quality they may have, they certainly have put down concisely what Garabandal is; and furthermore announce what it will be. Who was the author? Presently I do not know; but in these verses, he speaks to us as the voice of the whole village, the voice of the uncountable people who have gone up that trail with a heart free of prejudice.
With your eyes fixed on the hopes
From those ancient pines;
With your steps firm,
Gazing in the distance
Where alone God can be reached
by the penitential path of rosaries.
Coming up! Straight ahead!
The Throne of Mary!
the Pulpit of her Prophecy!
Where a misty veil shrouds a mystery,
On which shines the light of God,
Creating a New Day.
Trail traveled a million times;
Forever resounding with prayer;
Where the Psalm has found its home,
And the voice of heaven trumpets its call.
The trail of prayer and penance that ascended up to Garabandal.