That we do not expect the Chastisement;
That without expecting it, it will come;
Since the world has not changed.
And she has already told us twice;
And we do not pay attention to her,
Since the world is getting worse.
And it should change very much.
And it has not changed at all.
Prepare yourself. Confess,
Because the Chastisement will come soon.
And the world continues the same . . .
I tell you this:
That the world continues the same.
How unfortunate that it does not change!
Soon will come a very great Chastisement,
If it does not change.
María Dolores Mazón
This is the message faithfully reproduced; the only thing I have added is the punctuation and the distribution into lines to make it easier to understand. (the girls wrote all these things one right after the other without a single comma or period.)
With their poor capacity for expression, they sought with this repetition of ideas to inculcate forcefully the few basic things that they had heard and seen (and in what a way!) in the course of the apparition:
—That the Chastisement (I write this with a capital so that no one will interpret it to be an ordinary chastisement) announced in the first message of October 18th was inexorably going to come. The reason for this is that only penitential reform could save us from it, and instead of this, what is happening in the world today is a rapid progression down the road of filthiest deviations.
—That only those who prepare themselves by a sincere return to God, together with constant prayer and watching, will be able to face the terrible test(11) in the proper state.
On the night after the girls’ terrifying screams, tears, and broken, incoherent speech, Garabandal could not sleep tranquilly. But the next day was even worse.
Early in the morning arrived Fr. Félix Larazábal, the superior of the Franciscans of San Pantaleón de Aras (Santander), summoned by Fr. Valentín to perform services for Corpus Christi in the village. A little after his arrival, he went to Conchita’s house; but he found no one there.
«We were accompanying»—said the sister-in law of Dr. Ortiz—«Conchita at the Pines, where she was waiting to receive Communion from the Angel. We were praying and waiting; the time was dragging on. In the meantime her mother went to the edge of the hill and saw in front of her house someone who appeared to be a friar or a priest.
—He seems to be wearing a white cord . . .
Hearing this, Conchita hurried to descend and we followed her. Actually he was a Franciscan father; he celebrated Mass and gave Communion to us. Conchita’s mother commented:
—That’s the reason that we’ve waited so long up above! Whenever there’s a priest to give Communion, she doesn’t receive it from the Angel.»
In the evening some devout persons made confessions at the time of the rosary. The majority of the people were working in the fields, which required a lot of labor at that time of the year, especially since the next day was a feastday on which they could not work.
As the evening shadows fell on the village, almost everyone was awaiting what might happen, since all had been startled by what had occurred on the previous night.
«At 1 o’clock at night»—states Eloísa de la Roza Velarde—«I went to Mari Cruz’s house to pick up a rosary that I had left, and on the way I heard that the others were already in the Calleja. I returned immediately to search for my daughter, but I didn’t find her. Then I hurried to the Calleja, and there she was with Maximina (in whose house we were staying) and many other people, among whom was Fr. Félix Larrazábal.»
We know from Fr. Valentín, who wrote down what they said, that the girls . . .
«. . . went to the Cuadro as on the previous day, toward 10:30 at night. They said they had seen the Angel who told them that the Virgin would come later, but that the people should stay at a distance . . . that no one should pass beyond the last house in the village. And so everyone did this; but it seems that a Franciscan father—who was surely the only priest present—showed the intent of going to where the girls were. Ceferino blocked his way, saying: Here we are all equal. Afterward, it appears that the girls were heard to cry very hard . . .»
What Fr. Valentín refers to here as being heard, is well confirmed by the personal experience of Eloísa de la Roza:
«The girls let out terrifying screams . . . And they said, Wait! Wait! . . . Everyone should confess! Oh! Oh!
The people began to pray and to ask pardon publicly . . .
The priest, who was very excited, prayed in a loud voice, and we all followed him. When he stopped a moment, the girls cried and screamed again in a very anguished manner. They calmed down again when the prayer restarted.(12)
On returning to normality (Father Valentín’s notes say that this remarkable apparition ended at about 2 in the morning), the girls said that they would stay there all night in prayer.
—And us? the spectators asked.
—As you wish.
I don’t think anyone moved; we prayed with them (Father Valentín said that they prayed many rosaries) until six in the morning.
At that time (there was a beautiful sunrise), Father Larrazábal went toward the church, followed by all the people. And he began a series of confessions. The whole village confessed; and it appears that they were confessions of truly exceptional sincerity and repentance.»
How could it have been otherwise, after such preparation, both personal and communal, at the Calleja? The pure love of God will always be of the greatest value and the greatest measure of every spiritual life. But the holy fear of God should not be neglected, which from ancient times has been shown to be the beginning of wisdom. (Eccl. 1:16)
The holy fear of God was experienced as never before by the men and women of Garabandal on the two ‘nights of the screams’. Months later, the memory of it was still vivid. On September 24th, María Herrero de Gallardo wrote from Santander to her sister, Menchu:
«I spent a long time speaking alone with Jacinta’s mother, and she told me that the night before Corpus Christi had been terrifying . . . The girls ran to the Cuadro. Afterwards they advised the people that they should approach no further than a certain distance, that they shouldn’t go beyond a place in the road from which the girls couldn’t be seen.
Jacinta’s mother told me that she heard them cry with such voices and such horror that she wanted to run toward her daughter to see what was happening; but the people held her back. When the vision ended, the girls came to the place where the people were, and the people saw that the girls were covered with tears. The girls requested the whole village to confess and receive Communion, as a horrible thing was going happen. María (the mother of Jacinta) experienced such fright that she couldn’t sleep.»
Six years later, Pepe Díez, the village stonemason, spoke to a married couple from Asturias in words similar to these that I overheard:
Look, I don’t want to brag, but I’m a man, it might be said, who doesn’t know fear. I go out to all parts of the village, and over the distant trails in the night just like in the day. I have never been afraid. But on those nights of the screams, with everyone together in the darkness, in silence, hearing the girls’ sobbing and screeching in the distance, I shook so that my knees knocked against each other so much I couldn’t stop them.
You can’t imagine what that was. I have never experienced anything like it.
10. It is difficult to determine if it was the Virgin who personally presented all these things to them, or if it was done by the Archangel.
11. The punishments of God in this world never have the exclusive reason of getting even vindictively. They always come impregnated with mercy, offering an occasion for each one to satisfy for himself and for others by willingly accepting
the hardships that come.
12. This scene at Garabandal during these latest times of the world (1 John 2:18) can be compared with the scene of Exodus (17:8-12), when the story of salvation was almost beginning:
The Amalecites came and attacked Israel at Refedim . . . Joshua did as Moses told
him and marched out to engage Amalec.
Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses
kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage; when he let his arms fall, the advantage went to Amalec.
A telling lesson on how our prayer is able to overcome in the face of all types of situations!