FROM THE MONTH OF
MARY TO THE FEAST
This season is characterized on the one hand by jubilant celebration of the Resurrection of Christ; on the other hand, by the Church’s holy work of bringing souls to Communion with Him through the Eucharist. It is in this that Christ our Pasch now and forever immolates Himself for us as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
In correlation with the Eucharistic theme of the season, the Mystical Communions that the girls received from the Angel became more frequent.
In a letter from Maximina González to Doctor Ortiz in Santander, dated April 20, 1962, we find this:
«On Friday morning(1) I went with Conchita to the Pines, since the Angel gives Communion to her there on many days. After receiving on that day, she said to me, The Angel told me that in the morning I would see the Virgin at 9 o’clock, and again at midnight. And since I knew about it, I watched; and according to my watch, at 9 o’clock sharp, she had an apparition. I wasn’t present at the other apparition, but it was at midnight. And on Saturday, the Angel told the hour and he didn’t err.»
In another letter that Maximina sent to the Pifarré family in Barcelona which was dated April 22,(2) we find information on a very important matter:
«It has been a long time since the girls saw the Angel, and yesterday, Tuesday, they talked with the Virgin for a long time. We didn’t hear them, but they were seen to be very happy. And it was due to the Virgin telling them that every day that they didn’t have Mass, the Angel would come to give them Communion. And this made them very happy . . . So now they will see the Angel and the Virgin, since we have very few Masses other than the ones on Sunday. Yesterday the Angel gave them Communion at 5 in the morning. They were seen holding out their tongues and swallowing the Host. Afterwards they prayed a Station. All this while in ecstasy.
And so now I don’t know; perhaps they will have an apparition every day, since in order to receive Communion they have to be in ecstasy. I don’t know if this is the way it will be, since today is the first day that he gave them Communion like this. He hasn’t given It to them since last summer.»
Another letter from Maximina to the Pifarré family is dated May 4th:
«The Angel gives them Communion every day that there isn’t a Mass, and Mass is on few other days than Sunday. As for still not giving Communion to Mari Cruz, I don’t know why that is. Today Loli and Jacinta received Communion at 6 in the morning, and Conchita at 8 o’clock. Indeed, it is beautiful to see them come to the door of the church in ecstasy, kneel down and pray the I confess, and end with a Station. To see this thrills me. Conchita said to the Angel, You haven’t put on any weight or grown in the past year . . . Look what innocent things they talk about!»
Truly! With the ingeniousness of simple children, they judged the realities of the next world by those that they saw in this one. They were surprised, after not having seen the child Angel for many months, that he was still exactly the same as when they had first met him.
Fr. Valentín’s notes, that begin again on May 12th after a long intermission, mention on many days the occurrence of these Mystical Communions from the hands of the Angel.
We can therefore describe the developments seen at Garabandal in the weeks of spring, 1962, as a continual passage from Mary to the Eucharist, and the converse.(3)
«May 12th: Mari Loli had an apparition at 2 in the morning. She went to Conchita’s house, and then to the house of Jerónimo, who was on his death bed; she gave him the crucifix to kiss. At 8 in the morning, as was the custom, Conchita went with her mother and some people to pray the rosary in the Calleja. She recited it in a normal state. Afterwards she went to the door of the church, where she spoke for a while, and in ecstasy prayed the Confiteor, and afterwards a Station, and then she returned to normal. She said: The Angel gave her Communion. It lasted 15 minutes.»
(Fr. Valentín’s notes)
The following day, May 13th, was the 45th anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima. Probably no one in Garabandal remembered it; but by chance or providentially, the day was outstanding. Thanks to some notes from Fr. Valentín, we know, for example, that it was unseasonably bad weather. «It rained and it hailed.» Under the rain and hail, at the beginning of the night, Jacinta and Mari Loli traveled through the village, singing songs and praying in ecstasy. Going to the house of Jerónimo, who was still alive, they fulfilled a work of mercy by praying for the dying and consoling the living. And finally they went to the Pines, where they prayed the rosary, and then came down backwards to the village.
As always the vigils were more frequent in the middle of the night, and at that time Conchita went out into the middle of the street in ecstasy, prayed another rosary, and gave the crucifix to be kissed.
Seldom, even in Fatima, have the recommendations of Fatima been fulfilled so exceptionally:
to implore pardon
On May 15th, the feastday of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, toward 8 o’clock in the morning . . .
«Conchita went to the Calleja as usual to recite the rosary. From there she went to the door of the church, and said that the Angel had given her Communion, and that in the evening she would have an apparition at 9 o’clock.»
This is almost the same as was said for the 16th, according to Fr. Valentín’s notes:
«Today Conchita went to the Pines at 9 in the morning. According to what she said, the Angel gave her Communion.»
On May 19th, a Claretian father from Segovia traveled to Garabandal and Fr. Valentín took down his impressions:
«The father told me that in one of the apparitions he heard the girl say, Oh! He isn’t a Jesuit? He is from the Immaculate Heart of Mary? (The only way one could be differentiated externally from the other was by the manner of wearing the black cincture.) He thought that some of the things, taken individually, could be explained; but that the sum of all the things that were happening as a whole would be very difficult to explain humanly.»
This father had an injury to his leg, and he said that the Virgin told him that she would not cure him, that he should go to a doctor; he had borne this injury 8 days. Useful advice! It is not necessary to seek a miracle to get rid of problems that can normally be solved by natural means.
A week later, on May 26th,(4) Mari Loli and Conchita walked through the village together in ecstasy, praying a rosary that ended with a beautifully sung Salve . . . as might be expected, since it was Saturday, the day of the week consecrated to the Virgin!
After the Salve, they made a devout procession to the cemetery . . . something that could be expected from Christians. Be mindful, O Lord, of those who have preceded us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace. (Roman Canon of the Mass)
On the last day of May, there was a long rosary through the streets and the singing of the Salve.
There can be no doubt that the month of May, the month of Mary, was something very exceptional at Garabandal. In many places throughout Spain, the Venid y vamos todos resounded each evening:
Lovelier than the moon,
Turn again toward us,
Prostrate at your feet.
But surely in no other place did it resound with the meaning and depth that it had, day after day, in that little village lost in the mountains.
The girls of Garabandal, transported with joy, lived in expectation of seeing their Mother, and she did not fail to use her visits to instruct her children almost continually.
Again it is Maximina giving us information in a letter to the Pifarré family:
«We make trips through the village (following the girls in ecstasy) and every night or almost every night they recite a rosary; sometimes they sing it.
1. I have observed repeatedly that Maximina has not been very careful about the dates by which she begins her letters.
The good woman—a widow—had many duties since, besides being alone to care for her two small children, she received lodgers in her house requiring room and board; and she had to find a few minutes time between her many occupations to write letters. And besides possible carelessness in writing the date, frequently several days would go by from the time she started the letter until she finished the last sentence.
The Friday about which she is speaking here would seem to be Good Friday according to the date of the letter. (April 20th) It cannot be the previous Passiontide Friday (April 13th in that year), from what is seen in another of her letters later on. And so I conclude that despite the date on the letter it refers to Friday of Easter Week, April 27th.
2. I refer the reader to footnote 1, adding that this letter could not have been written completely on April 22nd, Easter Sunday. The text that we are reproducing from the original (as we have done with all of Maximina’s letters to the Pifarré family) must have been written on the following Wednesday, April 25th.
3. If the word Marian has special meaning in the flow of events at Garabandal, it would be logical to expect a brilliant manifestation with the coming of May, the Month of Mary. And so the invitation of the Spanish song ‘Venid y vamos todos’ would find special resonance in that location distinguished by the Virgin-Mother, the Queen of Flowers.
4. On the last Saturday of the month, May 26th, Conchita again received Communion from the Angel. Guillermo Freudenthal Miret of Barcelona was present and he was able to take some beautiful pictures.