If the Miracle drew much attention during those autumn days in 1962, it did not slow down the march of events. Neither the natural nor the supernatural life can be lived only with expectation.
The weather was stormy on the night of November 4th. In Loli’s house there was a vigil, waiting for the time of the apparition. Toward 3:00 in the morning, the wind began to blow fiercely; there was
As soon as she came out of the trance, she was asked what happened. And the girl explained that it had been very hard for her to obey her mother with regard to the laundry, since she was afraid to go out alone
This story gives a basis for many considerations: the Virgin’s goodness; the convenience of relying on God for all our needs, even the smallest; how it pleases God when we do our
During the vigil on that night, a conversation took place in front of Loli concerning peculiar phenomena that appeared at first glance to be supernatural, yet could have a natural explanation due to hidden abilities that the human mind might have
«Oh no! I’m certain that I
A few days, or rather a few nights afterward (on the morning of November 8th), Loli was asked what she felt when kissing the Virgin.
«It is difficult to explain
During the month of November, the girls were naturally concerned about the faithful departed. Because of this, they visited the cemetery in ecstasy. Conchita was especially outstanding in this. To illustrate, here is an excerpt from Maximina’s letter to Dr. Ortiz on November 6, 1962:
«The apparitions, as you know, continue as usual.
First they went to the place where Conchita’s father was. They knelt down with tremendous devotion, placing the cross on the ground; and afterwards, they gave it to the Virgin to kiss. What the one girl did, the
From there they came to me and gave me the crucifix to kiss many times. Then they went to another tomb. And then to the place where my mother
We don’t know what this means. I can only say that my husband, in the two years that he was with me, was very good to me. And my mother suffered very much in this world. She was very devoted to the Virgin. I almost always saw her with the habit of Our Lady of Sorrows
Witnessing the things done by the girls in those November days were some people from France who were in Garabandal for the first time, and who worked very hard afterwards in defense of its authenticity. Among them was Father Materne Laffineur — at times also called José — well known by the pen name of Doctor Bonance. What they observed at the time can be found in the widely read book L’Etoile
«During the days of November in 1962 when we watched the group ecstasies, they started after the recitation of the rosary in the church
The book goes on to describe one of the ecstasies in detail:
«As soon as they left with the spectators to return home, the rapture caught three of them: Conchita, María Dolores and Jacinta. The three young girls ran through the village, holding on to each other’s arms with crucifixes in their hands. With their faces looking upward, they seemed unusually beautiful by the illumination from the flashlights. Absolutely insensible to what was around them,
They went up swiftly to the Pines which overlook the village, and descended backwards down the incredibly rocky trail, their faces always looking upwards, risking being killed a hundred times!
Returning to the church, they made a circle around it, and suddenly let out an astonishing laugh — a laugh that was luminous, and at the same time like the tinkling of little bells, a laugh that scandalized us at first
Up to five times on that night, they set out across the village, always in ecstasy, drawing with them the gathering crowd. They made a stop at the cemetery, undoubtedly out of compassion for the souls in purgatory.
Then, after a last detour in front of the closed door of the church, they lifted each other up to give a kiss to the Virgin, whom they were seeing above them, and to receive her kiss. Finally, they fell on their knees more sharply than at the start. Without a transition, they became abruptly the simple and smiling children that we knew. The mysterious reflection that transfigured their faces in ecstasy had disappeared
—Because the Virgin herself laughed!
—Because we were singing so badly!
That was correct; our tape recorders testified to it
If by this report from the French witnesses, we can get an idea of what the group ecstasies were like at that time; by another report of theirs, we can picture what the individual ecstasies were:
«One morning in her home, having recited the Angelus
On standing up by herself, she held the crucifix in her hand, and made a majestic sign of the cross on herself; then she presented the crucifix to be kissed by Our Lady and then held it to the lips of each of us.
The apparition stopped as it had begun, abruptly. The child then approached one of the people present
16. These details are taken from the notes of Fr. Valentín and Fr.
17. In the Spanish towns at the time, people frequently promised to wear the habit for a specified time. These promises were made as an act of penance and devotion to obtain special graces by the intercession of a saint or the Virgin Mary.
The habits worn most frequently in the honor of the Virgin were those of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (brown) and those of Our Lady of Sorrows (black).
18. The recitation of the Angelus seemed especially indicated to precede the apparition. We have seen Fr. Valentín’s notation on September 26th:
«At six in the morning when a priest—there were five from outside the diocese—was reciting the Angelus, the girl (Conchita) fell on her knees in ecstasy
And from the following month, October, there is a reference from María Herrero
«I was alone with another person in
Conchita’s house, since all the others had gone to see Loli’s ecstasy. Conchita was waiting impatiently at the time, since she already had two calls . . . At 2:30 in the morning I said to the girl, Let’s pray the Angelus. She said to me, You say it. The three of us got down on our knees and I began, The Angel of the Lord announced unto Mary .. . We finished the prayer and repeated three times the Glory be to the Father. On finishing the third Gloria, Conchita fell inecstasy. The same thing occurred in front of me on at least three occasions, which makes me think that the Angelus must be a prayer especially pleasing to the Virgin .»
19. This probably refers to Baroness María Theresa Le Pelletier
deGlatigny, a collaborator with Fr. . Laffineur