Wednesday, August 5, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 164)

tremendous and amazing”


Expert Witnesses

Three days later, on Sunday, July 28th, there
came to Garabandal for the first time an illustrious priest from Madrid: Father Enrique Valcarce Alfayate.( 5) He made a digest of his observations in a report that he wrote later in Comillas and that bears the date of July 30th, 1962.
In it he describes a most remarkable experience: his own participation in one of the girls’ ecstatic marches:
«After the rosary, I remained praying for a while in the church. Suddenly Dr. Ortiz came in and told me to go outside if I wanted to see the girls in ecstasy. I went out immediately. They were walking with the people behind them. I pushed my way through and managed to join Mari Loli and Conchita, who were walking together, holding arms. Later I was told that the other two, Jacinta and Mari Cruz, were going in the same way with another group of people down a different street.(6)

The phenomena as a whole were for me something tremendous and amazing. The fast walk over really rough terrain, almost inaccessible, strewn with the worst obstacles . . . running at times at incredible speeds, both forwards and backwards, as if the girls had wings on their feet . . . with their heads tilted sharply backwards, with their eyes unblinking and fixed constantly on the alleged vision . . .

The trip was made while singing the holy rosary (the girls leading and the people in the village following) except for the Our Fathers and certain ejaculations which the girls said with great devotion, very slowly and with deep feeling. Furthermore their singing was beautifully intoned, with dulcet voices and excellent harmony.

The walk lasted from about 10:15 at night
until after 11:30. During almost all this time, I was able to go with them, hanging on either to Loli’s or Conchita’s arm. By holding on this way, I was able to follow them in spite of many obstacles, running swiftly and with a strange sensation of security. The falls and stumbles that I made at times always happened to me when I let go of the girls.(7)
The end of it all took place at the church doors, which were locked. First of all Loli
raised Conchita in her arms, higher than Loli herself, and then Conchita did the same with Mari Loli. After kneeling down and suddenly recovering their normal state, they looked around with a smile, which later they shared with all of us.»

________________

To these experiences on Saturday, Fr. Enrique
added those of the following Sunday, July 29th, which he also spent in Garabandal. On Father Valentín’s request he celebrated Mass in the village at 9:00 in the morning.

And the personal impression of his experiences he wrote down in a report at Comillas:
«The rivalry displayed against Conchita by the other three didn’t make a good impression on me.(8) Nor the prefixing of the time for the ecstasy; nor the fact of the walks, seemingly senseless,( 9) around the church, to the Pines from the church, and from the church to the Pines or the cemetery, through the streets of the village, time and time again.(10)

Nevertheless, taken as a whole, everything that I have tried to describe was truly exceptional and amazing. It is certain that it is not a product of disease, either psychiatric or organic. It seems to me, therefore, that the facts do not have a natural explanation.
The girls show an expression of great beauty when they are in ecstasy, an expression frequently angelic (for example, with Mari Loli). But in the normal state, they are quite withdrawn, and very taciturn.
The remarks that I have just made should not be taken out of proportion. The very matter of the rivalry that I thought was found between Conchita and the other girls is a good proof that this is not an act concocted by the four girls together.
What leaves me the most confused is the matter of the senseless walks, which seem to be without basis.
But I recognize that I lack material for judgment so as to take definitive position. I would have to go many times to the village and observe everything more minutely.
Therefore, if no medical explanation can be found for these phenomena, I consequently reject the explanation saying it was an act concocted either by the girls themselves, or by third parties. But I don’t go so far as to say it is a supernatural phenomena due to Our Lady.
Then, what is it? I don’t know.»


5. A cardinal for many years in the diocese of Madrid with important functions and duties there, this priest came from the area of Leon in Bierzo, where his brother was a parish priest.
6. On August 2nd, Maximina wrote a letter to the Pifarrè family:
«Saturday (July 22) was extremely moving. There were many people and the four girls had an apparition. They went separated in pairs. As there were so many people, it was better that way: some in one direction and others in another. The four girls sang the rosary together—in different places. While we were with Loli and Conchita at the Pines, the singing of the people going with the other two girls through the village could be heard perfectly. All were singing at the same time up above and down below. Look, it made a marvelous sensation. It seemed that I saw Dr. Ortiz singing with all his might. Good, we all sing whatever we can.»
7. It should be pointed out that Father Enrique Valcarce was advanced in both years and kilograms and was not exactly in shape for an obstacle course. Only when he was hanging onto the girls did he feel extremely light.
—Heavens, Reverend Father —someone said—be careful on these streets at such speed, or you’ll kill yourself.
—Don’t worry—he answered—I feel as though I have lost 40 years.
8. Father Enrique put down in his report:

«I had the good luck that the first persons whom I met were the alleged visionaries. I had just heard that on that day, Saturday, July 28th, Mari Loli had received Communion from the hands of an angel, and only she. Meeting then with Conchita, I immediately told her that I had learned that Mari Loli had received Communion. Right away she answered me with a certain air of reproach: I myself
receive many more times than anyone else; I— almost every day; they—very few times.»
If the report of Father Enrique reproduces faithfully the words and tone of Conchita, it should be recognized that the girl was still far from perfection, like Jesus’ disciples who, even at the time of the Last Supper, were disputing among themselves which of them was the greatest. (Luke 22: 24)
9. At the time of making his report, it seems this way to Father Enrique; but it should be pointed out that he had different feelings when he was taking part in these things.
10. It is easy to answer these and the other difficulties of Father Enrique, understandable in someone with only brief experience with Garabandal. Those who have attentively followed it from the beginning can see clearer in the matters that were obscure to him.