At the Cuadro, order had been restored in the crowd.
«Almost everyone was praying in a loud voice, in two choruses, the French and the Spanish alternating. What an extraordinary night! There was an unprecedented luminosity with innumerable stars shining as never before. Without a moon, at least for the spectators
Suddenly everybody lifted up their heads. From the northwest, a new star shot up, brighter than the others. It traced a great circle and returned to its starting point.
Two minutes later, another star, splendid but smaller than the first, appeared straight above
Everyone was talking with the person next to him about these extraordinary phenomena, when at the foot of the road, by the light of the starry night and the flashlights, Conchita appeared, protected by a squadron of police guards
The press reporter Poch Soler saw the scene like this:
«At a quarter to midnight, Conchita, followed by some priests and seven police guards, went up to the Calleja in a completely normal state. She advanced with her gaze fixed. The flashes from the photographers began to shine on her. A police guard asked her,
—Is it here, Conchita?
—No, Señor, a little higher up.
On coming to the designated spot, the girl plummeted to her knees on the sharp stones of the road. The ecstasy had begun.
The moment is exciting. Conchita’s eyes are fixed on the sky. She laughs and pronounces some words in a very low voice
The photographers and television cameramen are shooting their cameras, and their beams of light shine right into her eyes— wide open— but she doesn’t blink or make the least motion. The ecstasy is absolute
The witnesses of the L’Etoile
«The ecstasy was similar to those that we had previously observed in the village, in the seer’s kitchen or her room. There were signs of the cross made with an indescribable
On his part, the reporter of Le Monde et la Vie wrote:
«Conchita was there in front of my eyes, in the center of a circle of flashlights and camera lights focused on her. Her head, which I could see well during almost all the ecstasy, stayed motionless, thrown backwards in the way that so many photographs show. Her face appeared to gleam, extremely beautiful and transparent, arousing
Fr. Luna’s testimony is exceptionally valuable
«I finally found myself on the hill, a little more than two meters from Conchita, who
I was overwhelmed on seeing her cry, as up until then, I had never seen this. From her eyes poured out tears that joined in a stream, filling the concavity of her left ear (the only one visible to me at the time), falling on the ground like water from a loose faucet
I heard her speak with a voice that was gasping and breathless: No! . . . No! . . . Still no! . . . Pardon, pardon! Later I saw her lift herself up some 70 centimeters with her right hand raised and unsupported, to again fall to her knees on the ground with a
Later she said, as if repeating it and asking a question, Priests? . . . Bishops? . . . July 2nd?(25)
I saw her cross herself with a majestic slowness. . . And suddenly she put her two hands to her face, trying to protect her eyes from the bright lights. The ecstasy was over
There is one missing element in Fr. Luna’s report, which the French reporters give us:
«Conchita had remained
Then Conchita, without paying the least attention to what was happening around her, without changing in the slightest the immobility of her face or the fixedness of her glance, presented the crucifix to be kissed by three persons from France: an old priest at her side, a father of a family who had lived in Spain for some time, and a religion teacher from Leon
After making the sign of the cross with an extraordinary carefulness, she lowered her head, and smiling, without any sign of fatigue, got up.
With difficulty, the six police guards managed to protect her from the crowd
(Le Monde et la Vie)
The guards’ task was difficult. Everyone wanted to see Conchita up close, to touch her if possible, to ask her questions
«The crucifix that she gave to kiss in the ecstasy belonged to me. I had left it when I went out of her house on the way to the Cuadro
Among the few people who succeeded in getting into
But to find out its exact words, he would have to wait until the following morning.
But not everyone could wait. Such was the case with Mr.
«Conchita was going to give the Angel’s message on the following day—Saturday—in the morning after Communion. But I couldn’t wait. We left from there at 2 in the morning, without having eaten, with only two Coca-Colas that they had given me at Ceferino’s place
During the hours of the night, the village was almost completely tranquil and silent. The need for rest and sleep had overtaken everyone. And finally all that remained were the stars in the distant firmament above, as sentinels to continue the watch.
What mysterious designs were being planned for the world?
In those designs, what would come from that June 18th in Garabandal that was just ending?
Or would it fall into oblivion?
20. A correspondent from Le Monde et la Vie had the same observation: «From 9 o’clock in the evening a magnificent starry sky covered the heavens
21. Juan Alvarez Seco, the Police Chief, also gave his testimony about the two stars that were seen on that night in Garabandal «while I was waiting for Conchita between 11:30 and 11:45 on that June 18th.»
The first star «was seen shining brightly, very brilliant and a golden color; it went from the ground upwards
.. . The other, of lesser brightness, moved more horizontally .»
22. The reporter from Le Monde et la Vie spoke of six guards; the one from Por Qué?
23. The correspondent from Le Monde et la Vie also called attention to the rapid pace with which the girl was walking.
24. There is a good documentary motion picture of this complete ecstasy in the archives of NO-DO in Madrid.
25. There were only a few words that could be clearly heard from Conchita during the ecstasy; some people reported some, others reported others; but almost all agreed on these: «Pardon! Pardon! . . . Still no, still no
.. . July 2nd? . . .»