Thursday, June 4, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 120)

“Every day we pray rosaries to see if the Virgin will perform a miracle for the world.”
Letters
in the Wintertime


In spite of the current disappointment flowing out from October 18th, people continued to go up to Garabandal. The flame had not smoldered out in everyone's heart, and the steady flow of remarkable phenomena was continuing.

We have presented some, but we can speak of
many more. For example, an ecstasy occurred slightly after October 15th during which the girls descended a stairway backwards and almost upside down . . . and made their way on their knees through puddles of water that covered the streets without getting the least bit wet, as many eye-witnesses could observe.
A memorable date was November 4th, and still more so, the 18th of the same month.(12)
On November 4th the ecstasies began at eight o'clock in the morning. This was primarily because the Virgin had ordered the girls to get up every day early in the morning to say a rosary at dawn in the calleja. No one could understand better than Our Lady what was entailed in getting up so early during the winter season for those four normal young girls, prone to sleeping in like all young children. But she asked it for the express purpose of aiding poor sinners this way.(13) (The serious minded souls who cannot accept the Virgin's games with the girls should not object to this.)

On November 18th, one month after the unforgettable day of the message (a certain predilection is noted for this date of the 18th), there was announced, officially as some might say, a winter intermission in the events of Garabandal. The Virgin said farewell to the girls; not because they would not see her again, but rather because they would not see her with the same frequency as before. And to each one she indicated the date of the next meeting to aid them to better support the hard course of the winter season.
I assume that tears were running down the cheeks of the little visionaries during the farewell kisses on that day. They had happily enjoyed the long months of paradise and suddenly winter was upon them! Now all that remained for them, just as for the others, was living in the obscurity of faith. Spread in front of them was the hard program of the message, sacrifices, prayers, their daily crosses . . .

In winter God disposes
that mysteries be fulfilled,
so that seeds take root,
and grow strong under the ground,
to develop in such a way
as to bring forth fruit later on.

Fr. José Ramón García de la Riva, the pastor of
Barro, has some letters in his possession that the girls sent him during this period. I have the original letters in my hands. This is the earliest written by Conchita:
«November 25th, 1961.

Dear Father José Ramón :

Right now I'm going to school, and my mother
tells me that I should write what is happening. I'll tell you that we have a new priest, and in appearance he seems very good, and he gives us catechism lessons every day. He plays with us a lot.
All the girls say that he was sent by the bishop. We aren't able to give you any news about Fr. Valentín, since they say that he is on vacation. On some days he is in Cossío; but he (the new priest) goes on some days to say Mass there too. And so we do not know how he (Fr. Valentín) is.»

__________

Obviously they did not know, nor could they
know, how Fr. Valentín was! Officially Fr. Valentín was on vacation. But the vacation had been imposed upon him by the diocesan chancery since the good father was sentenced to undergo a type of forced vacation. This was one of the decisions that came from the Commission back during the summer,(14) for they accused him of being the instigator of the events.
The new priest would be expected to have been indoctrinated by the Commission . . . He was Fr. Amador Fernández González. In their letters, the girls spoke well of him. And I have no reason for speaking otherwise. Fr. Julio Porro Cardeñoso, in his The Great Prodigy of Garabandal, writes: I think that he was a competent priest, if I am not badly informed. But later on he brings out statements made by this priest which, to be exact, have to be classified as gross stupidity.
Continuing now with Conchita's letter:
«There were two priests here from Palencia who seemed very good. They were not together. One day one came; and another day, another. My mother asked one of them why they were coming since it was said to be prohibited. He told her that the bishop of Palencia(15) believed and didn't prohibit them from coming. The priest that we had (Fr. Amador) said that he didn't like them to come; but they said Mass here. One of them left rosaries for me — for when I would have the apparitions — and he was thinking of returning to get them; you know what I mean.

With regard to the apparitions, it has been eight days since I have had them. She told me that I'll see her on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.(16) And if she doesn't come on that day, I won't see her again until the 27th of January. And Mari Cruz won't see her again until January 16th, and Jacinta until December 16th. I don't know about María Dolores, since she said that she doesn't see her — and she has seen her again.

I'm waiting for the feastday of the Immaculate Conception, which the Virgin told me about. She didn't say it was definite; she told me that I would see her on my feastday . . . And so perhaps I'll be with her. And if she doesn't come on that day, I'm not expecting her until the 27th (of January), if she doesn't tell me otherwise.»

__________

Two days later, on December 27th, Jacinta also
began to scribble(17) a letter to Father José Ramón. After referring to something that he had written her about Sister Lucy of Fatima, she wrote:
«Now she appears to me less and less. On the 16th of this month (November) I had an apparition, and she told me to pray the rosary every morning at the Cuadro . . . that until the 16th of December, I wouldn't see her again. Conchita, María Dolores and Mari Cruz expect her in January. So every day we pray rosaries to see if the Virgin will perform a miracle for the world to believe. Now we have a very good priest. The bishop sent him to us. He gives us catechism.»
It can be seen that the new priest was big news in the town. The people must have been really pleased, since besides what he personally was worth and could do, they had him there definitely among themselves as a resident in the village — not like Fr. Valentín who belong primarily to the people of Cossío since he had his residence there. This did not prevent the people of San Sebastián de Garabandal from appreciating Fr. Valentín. Mari Cruz mentions him in a letter in November: «He went because they blamed him. They said that he prepared us. The bad people said this because Father Valentín is very good. And he believes.»




12. The month begins with two days which, liturgically and religiously, are very special. November 1st is the feastday of All Saints; November 2nd is the commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, known as All Souls Day.

The village of Garabandal, which traditionally had given
special attention to prayer for the souls of the departed, experienced that double feastday vividly. There was united the liturgy of the church with the activities of the visionaries who went so often in ecstasy into the houses to pray for the deceased in each one, and also frequently went to the cemetery to there recommend to the Lord all those who had their remains in that simple burial place.
In the middle of the night between those two feastdays Dr. and Mrs. Ortiz were informed that Jacinta was in ecstasy in her home. Immediately they went there:

«The girl, after presenting some holycards to the Vision
to kiss, made a sign of the cross most reverently with the crucifix, and went out on the street. She went first to Loli's house, and presented the crucifix to be kissed by her and also by two or three other persons; from there she went to the church and in front of the doors began a rosary which she continued later through the muddy streets of the village . . . It was truly a moving rosary. At that time, in that silence, illuminated only by some flashlights and lights from the houses!
After the rosary, the girl recited the Credo and later sang the Salve Regina and various songs to the Virgin, some of these to invite the people to pray the holy rosary.»
Toward 1:30 in the morning, when Dr. and Mrs. Ortiz said goodbye to begin their voyage back to Santander, Loli was in her house waiting for an ecstasy. As a continuation of Jacinta's vigil she prayed a Station to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and various other prayers for the poor souls in purgatory.

13. At Garabandal there were abundant proofs that the
Virgin did not come for the congenial discovery of our latest teachers and educators of the faith who say, "Children should not be bothered, nor should any pressure be put upon them; they will receive when they feel like it, and concern themselves with God when it comes spontaneously from within!"

14. They had to wait until October 18th to see if anything
would happen; after the disaster on that day there was nothing to prevent them from submitting Fr. Valentín to a curative treatment.

15. This was Bishop José Souto Vizoso, who retired in 1970
due to his age.
16. December 8th. In Spain this is a day of obligation of the first rank, one of those most ostensibly celebrated in honor of the Virgin. It was also the personal feastday of the countless Conchas and Conchitas in the country, the abbreviated names for María de la Concepción and the names given to honor the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
17. This word accurately describes the letter's penmanship.