One night Mari Loli was heard to say, There is going to be a chastisement? . . . Oh no! Don’t let it come! Give it to me alone!
And another night Conchita said, It’s going to come to Spain? . . . Oh, may it not come, may it not come!
Later I asked her what this was in the ecstasy, and she told us that she couldn’t say anything.»
If Conchita cannot say anything, I think that we can certainly say something. Lucy, the sole survivor of Fatima, lived 21 years in Spain as a religious, staying alternately in Tuy and Pontevedra. She was in Spain from 1925 until 1946. During this time she had frequent conversations with the bishop of Tuy- Vigo who later went on to be archbishop of Valladolid: Bishop Antonio García.
While archbishop in the beginning of 1943, Bishop Antonio received three statements from Lucy on what God wished and asked “from the bishops of Spain” for the welfare of their own and other nations.
The third statement made at Tuy on February 28th is the most extensive and contains a very clear paragraph:
“If the bishops of Spain listen to the desires already manifested by our Lord, and begin a true reform of the people and clergy, then it will go well. But if not, she (Russia) will again be the enemy by which God will punish her once more."
Unfortunately our bishops — not all of them, certainly — have been for years giving the impression that they were more interested in promoting social and political changes and democratic freedom than in fulfilling their primary duty: the advancement of the clergy and people in living the faith and leading good moral lives.
We have more information. On Saturday, May 26th, Mari Loli wrote to the Pastor of Barro, Fr. José Ramón. The letter, as all those of that period, was a disaster in penmanship and presentation. However, among the words laboriously written down, many of them trivial, there is something that could not be missed:
«The apparitions continue the same. We see her almost every day.
You said that I should tell you some of what she told me. Well I cannot say anything; nothing more than what, as you know, she tells us everyday:
—That we should be very good,
—And visit the Blessed Sacrament often,
—And recite the rosary every day . . .»
(The distribution into paragraphs and punctuation were made by me. Mari Loli wrote all these things one after the other in irregular lines and without a single period or comma.)
June, the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus came and continued with similar characteristics.
June the 2nd was a Saturday. A very astute doctor must have been there at the time; at least pertaining to this day there is this notation from Fr. Valentín:
«A young doctor from Valladolid (Fernández Marcos) told me that he didn’t see anything seriously opposed to this being supernatural; and that reasoning without prejudices, it was very difficult to affirm the opposite . . . It’s necessary to be uncomplicated to accept that the phenomena are not normal. Naturally if we seek some “theoretical" explanation to a given fact that we have seen, we will always find it; but only this, the “theoretical" explanation, based on a “hypothetical" argument without concrete and objective findings.»
June 13th came; the day that is distinguished by the number of people who honor St. Anthony of Padua or Lisbon,(5) but in Garabandal it was only distinguished by two not very exceptional things:
«In the evening the four girls had an apparition together, something that hadn’t happened for some time.
There were no people outside.» (Anyhow this is what Father Valentín put down. On that day the people were occupied with St. Anthony.)
On Sunday, June 17th, «there was a man from Palencia»—as Father Valentín writes—«who was somewhat skeptical, and during one of the apparitions said to himself, If the girl comes back here to give me the crucifix to kiss, I will believe in the truth of this. Immediately the girl made her way through the crowd and gave it to him to kiss.»
I set down this detail, not because it is new or unique, since we have already seen so many others like it, but for the intrinsic value that it contains. There are things about Garabandal that separately could be attributed to natural causes and even, if you wish, diabolical intervention. There is much that the devil can do if God permits him. But we have here something that certainly exceeds the powers and abilities of the devil. There are texts in Scripture from which we see that penetration into the hidden thoughts of a person, and understanding perfectly his secret ideas and thoughts, is the exclusive domain of God.
For example, St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (4:5), speaking of our inclination to judge, gives this warning: Judge not before the time: until the Lord comes, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of hearts. As if to say that Christ is the only one capable of knowing the deep secrets of man, and because of this, the only one capable of judging with total justice.
And in the epistle to the Hebrews (4: 12-13) the paragraph on the great power of the Word of God ends with this proclamation: Neither is there any creature invisible in His sight: but all things are naked and open to His eyes. He could not proclaim as an eminent divine attribute this knowledge of all man’s intimate secrets, if the devil could also penetrate into these secrets.
Then, before so many cases of answers to thoughts or questions that were formulated only in the deepest consciences of the people at Garabandal, could one seriously say that all this had a natural explanation, as the hierarchy repeats? Or that it could be the work of the devil, as others have suggested?
5. St. Anthony of Lisbon, as the Portuguese call him since the saint was born in the capital of that country; Anthony of Padua, as others call him for having died and been buried in that Italian city.