What Conchita wrote was this:
«The Warning, that the Virgin is going to send us, will be like a punishment: to bring the good closer to God, and to warn the others either to convert, or receive what they deserve.
I’m not going to reveal what the Warning consists of. The Virgin didn’t say that I should tell it. And concerning this, there is nothing more to be said.
God wishes that, due to the Warning, we would amend our lives and commit fewer sins against Him!»
Fr. Laffineur, having read these words, asked Conchita if the Warning would cause people to die. She then added this remark:
«Dying will not be caused by the Warning itself, but by the effect that we will have on seeing and feeling it.»
If the information written by Conchita to Fr. Laffineur was brief and delayed, it was not the same with what she sent to her aunt and godmother, Maximina González. She spoke to her aunt when she was still under the effect of what she had just learned at the Pines on January 1st:
«Before the Miracle, there will be a Warning, so that the world can amend its ways.»
Hearing this, Maximina wanted to know more.
The niece explained the warning to her the best she could. From those explanations, the aunt remembered the following, which she wrote down:
«She told me we were going to suffer a horrible disaster some day, in all parts of the world. None of us will escape this: the good, so that they may draw nearer to God; the evil, so that they may amend their lives.
She didn’t tell me what it was; but that she was expecting it any day. It would come before the Miracle.
She said that it was preferable to die rather than suffer for just five minutes what was going to come.(2) She said that it is horrible, that it is a thing clearly from heaven. People in every part of the world will suffer from it.
I said to her: Why don’t you publish it, so that the world may know what is going to happen to it? And she told me that she was tired of giving warnings and the world was not paying any attention.
She said that the Virgin told her that the world certainly believes that there is a heaven and a hell, but that it can be seen that we think little about it. The Virgin also told her that when we suffer this punishment, all of which we have caused ourselves with our sins, that we should not feel the sufferings and pain for ourselves, but rather that we should suffer everything for her Son, since He is very offended by what we do.
I asked her how long this catastrophe would last, and she said that she didn’t know; but that we could suffer it both in the night and in the day. I said to her, Will we die? And she told me, I think if that happens, it would be from fright.
—And if we were in the church praying?
—I think too that the church would be the best place to pass it, there next to the Blessed Sacrament, so that He could support us, give us strength, and aid us to suffer it better.
—Since you’ve told me this, I’ve done nothing but look at the sky, to see if I can see anything.
—I too, and when I go to bed, I look and have great fear. Though on the contrary, I have a desire for it to come, to see if we amend our lives, since we don’t understand the offenses that we make against the Lord.
—Well then, when we see that it is coming to us, we can all go to the church.
—I myself would consider doing that! But perhaps it will come upon us in the darkness and we won’t be able . . .
How horrible it will be! If I could tell it as Conchita told it to me . . . She said that if she didn’t already know what the Chastisement was, she would say that the Warning was worse than the Chastisement.»(3)
From this testimony, written and signed by Maximina, it appears adequately clear that the Warning that was revealed to Conchita on January 1st, 1965 will have the following characteristics:
* It will cause terribly inflictive and striking suffering.
* It will have a universal scope; that is, it will reach everyone, in all parts of the world.
* It will be seen that it is a thing from God, something that man himself could not perform, leaving him to implore the mercy of God.
* It will come with a purpose of salvation: in order that the good may draw nearer to God, and the bad take their amendment of life seriously.
* It will certainly come, and before the Miracle; but no one knows the day or the hour.
* Its time, probably, will be a time of mysterious darkness.
* At that time, there will be no other refuge or relief except prayer.
Conchita’s important communication appears not to have been disseminated for a long time, since in the letters and information that I have seen from the first months of 1965, no reference was made to the Warning, which should have occupied everyone’s attention.(4)
What did capture the people’s attention was the announcement of the Angel’s upcoming visit on June 18th. Many of those who believed in Garabandal began then to make plans and even to reserve rooms. On that same day of January 1st, Maximina wrote to María Herrero de Gallardo:
«I am very, very sorry to have to tell you that the two rooms at my disposition have been promised already to Dr. Ortiz and Fr. Luis Retenaga. I have inquired at the other houses and they told me that, since it is such a long time away, that they couldn’t promise a room. The village is going in a bad way. (She is referring to selfishness and interest in monetary gain associated with the coming of the visitors.) Perhaps not as many people will come as they expect. But I think it is most likely that you won’t be able to walk through the streets because of the people who will come, since the people want to see apparitions again.»
From these lines, we can imagine what the climate was at the beginning of 1965 in the village that had been so favored during the previous years.
Obviously in such an atmosphere the news and the expectation of the Warning would not easily penetrate. However Conchita continued to think about it, and during the year spoke about it to others, repeating basically what we have learned
from Maximina, but adding other details that will be seen in time.
2. According to later statements given by Jacinta, and published in July-Sept, 1977 issue of the magazine Needles, now titled Garabandal:
«The Warning is something that is first seen in the air everywhere in the world and immediately is transmitted into the interior of our souls. It will last for a very little time, but it will seem a very long time because of its effect within us. It will be for the good of our souls — in order to see in ourselves our conscience . . . the good and the bad that we have done . . .»
It will come upon us like a fire from heaven, which we will feel profoundly in our interior. By its light each one will see the state of his soul with complete clearness; he will experience what it is to lose God; he will feel the purifying action of the cleansing flame. Briefly, it will feel like having the Particular Judgment in one’s very soul while still alive.
The purification of the Warning will be necessary to make us ready to face the Miracle. Otherwise we might not be able to sustain the superhuman and marvelous experience of the Miracle. Perhaps he had not previously undergone the Warning, the early death of Fr. Luis Andreu came about, after he saw on that summer night in 1961 what even the visionaries had not yet seen.
3. It is no wonder that Conchita, having learned this and coming down from the Pines on New Year’s eve, appeared at her aunt Maximina’s house, according to the latter’s testimony as «very excited but also very happy».
4. Maximina, who was always so prompt to report everything that was happening to her friends the Pifarré family in Barcelona, did not bother to say anything about the Warning until many months later (in a letter on September 9th), and then only because the Pifarrés had asked her about it:
«Concerning what you asked me about the Warning, I believe in it, that it is true; at least I have heard something about it from Conchita . . .»