Thursday, September 24, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 194)

Fr. Laffineur and visionary



Before 1964 was over, Garabandal entered into a phase of reactivation: something that now, from a perspective of the passing years, could be described in the jargon of sports as the final stretch or the last lap.

On December 8th, feastday of the Immaculate Conception and thus Conchita’s nameday, the girl received the singular favor of another visit with the Mother of Heaven. A month later, on January 12th, 1965, she spoke about it briefly to Father Laffineur:
«On the day of the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin congratulated me on my feastday; and she told me that I would see the Angel St. Michael on the coming June 18th.»


A few days later, on January 24th, she wrote
again to this priest (whom she familiarly called Grandfather):
«I do not remember whether I mentioned in my last letter that on June 18th I was going to see the Angel St. Michael. The Virgin told me this during a locution on my feastday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.»


And so, with the announcement of the return of
St. Michael, the year 1965 began. This had great portent, since the great Archangel was not for minor matters; and his visit, announced so far in advance, certainly could not be of the routine type. He, who had come four years previously to start everything in motion, could well return now to bring it to a close.

* * *

The importance of the coming year was marked
out right from its first day.

It was the holiday evening of January 1st, and
daylight was fading. Two shepherd children from the village, Joaquina (12 years of age) and Urbano (9 years), were tending their herd of sheep, which they were leading over the little flat area by the Pines.
On coming to the Pines, the children stood staring open-mouthed, discovering Conchita solitary and enraptured beneath a pine tree. How many times had a similar scene been seen there and in the village!
They observed her as closely as the wandering of their sheep permitted. The visionary, with her gaze fixed upwards, appeared to be in mysterious conversation, since she was speaking and listening.(1)
Only later, piece by piece, was learned some segments of the many things that occurred during that exceptional trance.
Conchita wrote father Laffineur in her letter of January 12th:
«On January 1st I saw the Virgin at the Pines.»


She said nothing about the vision. However, in
another letter of February 2nd, while answering the priest’s questions, she explained more:
«The Virgin seems to be the same age as the first time I saw her. (July 2nd, 1961) The same as in these past years: about 18 years old.
She wears a white robe and a sky blue mantle.

A prodigious light, which doesn’t hurt the eyes, radiates from her and surrounds her completely.
Apart from the ecstasy that I am going to have on June 18th, I don’t know whether the apparitions will begin again, either for me or for the four of us.
The Virgin will give a new message, since she said: Hardly any attention was given to the other. (That of October 18th, 1961) The Virgin is going to give, therefore, a final message.»


What Conchita says here to the promoter of the
cause of Garabandal in France and other countries is no small matter. But there was still more to say. And finally she did say it; or rather said some of it! But months later.

The occasion was Fr. Laffineur’s stay in Garabandal to watch the predicted visit of the Angel in June of that year. On the day after the apparition, June 19th, this priest was in Conchita’s house, speaking of course of what had happened. And at one time, she said to him:
«After so long a time, the Virgin has spoken to me about so many things! But she hasn’t told me to talk or keep quiet about many of them. Because of this, many times I don’t know what to do, being afraid of making a mistake . . .
I’m going to give in writing the Warning that I received during the apparition of January 1st, when I was alone at the Pines.»

1. I finally saw a confirmation of this in a letter from Maximina to the Pifarré family, dated March 8th:
«I think I have already written you about this; namely that on December 8, the feastday of the Immaculate Conception, Conchita had a locution. And she said that the Virgin told her that on June 18th she would have an apparition with the Angel. She doesn’t know what he will say or whether she will be alone or with all the other girls. Also on January 1st Conchita had an apparition with the Virgin at the Pines, and it lasted a long time. (She often goes to pray at the Pines.) Two shepherd children, a boy and a girl, found her there in ecstasy. They were the ones who later talked about it; if they had not, perhaps she wouldn’t have mentioned it. She came to my house when the ecstasy was over, and she looked quite excited, although very happy . . .

I don’t write as much as before, since now there is nothing
special to write about.

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