Many then believed that the hoped-for miracle was going to be produced . . . But there was nothing! There was only what had been foretold, something that was not very exciting.
The girls gave Father Valentín the little paper on which the message was written,(31) since according to the Virgin's instructions, he was to be the one who should say it at the Pines at ten thirty at night.
But Father Valentín read it to himself, and after he read it, he gave it to us to read; and we four read it together . . .
This was not exactly what they had been told to do. The pastor, Father Valentín Marichalar, who was embarrassed by the childishness of the message,did not have the courage to make the proclamation that was asked of him. Was it perhaps out of human respect? Did he have a fear of being ridiculous? I do not think that his actions on that night did him any honor. But who can judge?
The reading by the four girls was not exactly a good proclamation; the words of the message came out from their lips hurriedly, not pronounced correctly and with a schoolgirl cadence . . . Nevertheless, from that moment on, those who were really looking for a word from heaven as an exhortation or warning knew where to find it.
«I distinguished clearly» — said María Herrero — «the childlike voice of Conchita reading the message . . . Afterwards, because the girls were not heard well, two men repeated the reading in a loud voice.»
And thus what had to be known at the time was adequately proclaimed. Into the night at Garabandal — into the night of the world — flowed out words which, though they were very simple, were very much to the point. If because of their simplicity and lack of sensationalism, many would not pay attention to them, others who sought to be sons of the light would find in them material to nourish the highest meditation:
make many sacrifices,
to do much penance,
It is necessary to visit the
But first we must be very good.
And if we do not do this
a punishment will come upon us.
Already the cup is filling up;
and if we do not change,
a very great punishment
will come upon us.
31. This was signed by the four girls. Under her name, each one put her age: «Conchita González, 12 years. María Dolores Mazón, 12 years. Jacinta González, 12 years. Mari Cruz González, 11 years».