Friday, November 30, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 7

The Light:

It accompanies all of the visions. It is like the light from the sun. They even see the light at night. This light impedes their view of other things, except the vision and the other girls who are also participating in the vision. When a girl leaves the vision and returns to the normal state, those who continue in the vision stop seeing her.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saint Michael at Garabandal


An Interview
by Dr Dominguez, M.D.

he name Michael means "Who is like God?" St Michael is described as the "guardian of the people of God" (Dan. 12:1). He will have an important role in the second coming of the Lord as described by St Paul: "... the Lord Himself will come down from heaven at the word of command, at the sound of the Archangel's voice and God's trumpet; and those who have died in Christ will rise first". (I Thess. 4:16)

Besides this coming with the Lord, the Archangel will play a very important role in the final hours of distress at the end of time as described by Daniel: "At that time there shall arise Michael, the great 
prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace". (Dan. 12:1-2)

This very important angel, Saint Michael the Archangel, appeared several times at Garabandal, and in February 1981, I had the following conversation with Conchita:


Q. What do you remember about Saint Michael at Garabandal?

A. He was the first one who appeared on June 18, 1961.1 saw him first, and immediately afterwards Jacinta, Mari Loli and Mari Cruz saw him too. He did not say anything. He just stayed there with a radiant smile. He looked about nine years old, but appeared to be very strong. He wore a light blue robe that covered his feet. He had two big wide wings, motionless, pink in color but with a reddish hue; much darker than his face. He came suddenly and disappeared the same way.

Q. Were you afraid of him?

A. No. It was a very pleasant experience. We liked to stay with him; at least I liked him very much. Though he looked like a child, he had dignity; we respected him; he was a gentleman.

Q. You said, "We liked him very much." Did the four of you discuss the apparition? Did you comment on his appearance or radiance etc.?

A. No, I never talked with the other three girls about anything concerning the apparitions. The first night, we went to church after the apparition and we did not say a single word to each other. Afterwards the priest of the village suggested that we not talk among ourselves about the apparitions, so I never talked to Jacinta, Mari Loli or Mari Cruz about the angel or any other apparition. I cannot tell you if it were through obedience to the priest or simply because we did not feel like talking about it. The very first time I spoke about the apparitions with one of the other girls was in August, 1980. In a telephone conversation with Jacinta, I made a comment about my "Diary" which I had just reread and which had brought back some wonderful moments. Jacinta and I talked for about an hour on the phone, and this is the only time I ever had a dialogue with Jacinta about the details of the apparitions.

Q. Now. tell me more about Saint Michael. Did he ever speak to you?

A. At the beginning he did not speak. He kept appearing for several days and I say that we liked him because the four of us would go to the same spot and start to pray the rosary hoping to experience the vision again: it was obvious that the four of us wanted to see him again. I don't remember well, but I think one day he told us that the Virgin Man would appear to us. He never spoke too much. After a few days he started to appear with a sign under his feet. We did not read it the first day. but after several apparitions we were able to remember one word every day. It turned out to be the Message that the Virgin was going to give us on October 18, 1961. The sign had this date in Roman numerals.

Plaque erected at the spot where St Michael first appeared. He is said to have been standing on the rock in the foreground

Q. Did he tell you he was St Michael?

A. No. I don't think he told us his name. I think it was the Blessed Virgin who told us that the angel was St Michael.

Q. On July 2, the Virgin came escorted by two angels, one on either side. Do you remember?

A. Yes, I do. And they were identical, like twins. They did not say a word while the Virgin was there. Always the same childlike, strong, respectful, gentlemanly appearance ... 
St Michael used to talk when he gave me Holy Communion.

Q. Tell me about the Communions you received from the Archangel.

A. He came every day when there was no priest in the village, and gave us Holy Communion. At the beginning he would teach us how to say the Act of Contrition before receiving the Host and after Communion he would teach us to say the prayer of St Ignatius: "Soul of Christ, sanctify me ...etc." Afterwards whenever I saw the Angel with the Host, I would immediately start to say the Act of contrition, and the Angel would wait until I had finished before giving me Communion. And after the Communion I would say the "Soul of Christ" prayer, and the Angel always waited until I had finished that prayer before he disappeared.

Q. What about his voice? Was it like a man's or a woman's?

A. I don't know. It was not like a man's, nor a woman's, nor a child's. The Virgin's voice was like a woman's voice, but the angel ... I cannot say. Nobody ever asked me this before, and I don't know what to tell you ... It was a very beautiful voice, gracious ... but I couldn't say if it was a man's or a woman's ... I don't know.

Q. When St Michael brought the Communion, did he have a cup with Hosts for the four of you?

A. No. He never had a cup. He always gave me Communion when I was alone, and he appeared with the Host in his hand, just in front of his chest. I was told to ask him where he got the Hosts from and when I did, he said he got the Hosts from the tabernacles on earth, because angels cannot consecrate.

Q. How many times did you receive Communion from the Angel's hands, and for how long did he stay with you each time?

Conchita in ecstasy

A. I don't remember how many times, whenever there was no priest in the village; I guess about thirty or forty times. As for the length of time he stayed with me, I don't know. Whenever we had an apparition we could never say how long it had lasted. The people who saw us would say, "You stayed so many minutes or hours." I believe with the Angel I was told they were minutes. He never had much to say, but I really don't know.

Q. Were you able to see his hands during the Communions?

A. Yes. They were the hands of a man, with well polished nails, and always with a radiant face. The only time his face was not resplendent was during the last apparition, when he gave me the last Message on June 18, 1965.

Q. Before you describe the last appearance to me, tell me about his face. Did he have eyes, nose, ears, lips?

A. Yes (she answered, smiling). He had beautiful eyes, brownish like the color of his hair, and a perfect nose and mouth, but I never saw his ears. I guess they were covered by his hair. I never saw them ... no, I can't remember.

Q. Tell me now about the last apparition on June 18,1965. What were his exact words?

A. As I already told you, this was the only time his face was not resplendent. He was smiling, but some-how with a sadness in his face and he said, "This is the Message that the Virgin told me to give you so that you can tell the world: 'As my Message of October eighteenth has not been complied with.'" and the rest of the Message you know.

Q. Was this the last time you saw St Michael? Would you like to see him again? Did you ever pray the rosary again as at Garabandal during the first apparitions when you prayed expecting him to come?

A. Oh yes, I would like very much to see him again. But I never say the rosary with that intention anymore. But I always say the "Soul of Christ" prayer after Communion, and at that time I always remember Saint Michael.

Q. One last question. Who was the other angel? The one who came at the other side of the Virgin on her first appearance?

A. I don't know. I call him St Gabriel, but he never told us his name, nor did the Virgin. I don't know his name, but I believe, Doctor, that you have a story to tell about this second angel.

Indeed I do. One day, Conchita was expecting her brother, Miguel, to come to see her at 8 pm. At five minutes to eight she told me that she did not want her brother to come that day at that time. I told her there was nothing to do, because her brother was a very dependable man and if he said he would come at eight, he would be here in a few minutes.
"But" I suggested, "let us pray a Hail Mary to the 'other' angel ... Maybe he can do something about it." As soon as we finished the Hail Mary, the phone rang and there was Miguel saying it was impossible for him to come that day. I believe we both agreed that it was the speediest response to a prayer in our lives. On another occasion, we were making a movie at my home. The day was cloudy and if it rained it would ruin the movie, because we were going to make it outside. So I prayed another Hail Mary to the "Speedy" angel. People came from Brooklyn soaking wet. It rained hard in Manhattan, in Westchester, in the south Bronx, but on our home in the east Bronx not a drop fell.

So this is the end of the story. St Michael is the Archangel, the great Prince, the victor against Satan, our allay in our battle against the devil. He is the guardian of the people of God. Let us pray to him.

The other angel. "Speedy" is also a very important character. He must be. because he accompanied the Virgin. We can also pray to him. He turned out to be very fast in answering our little prayers. ®

Prayer to Saint Michael
Saint Michael, defend us in the hour
of Battle. Be our safeguard against the
wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God restrain him, we humbly
pray and do thou O Prince of the
Heavenly Host, by the power of God,
thrust down into hell, Satan and all
the other evil spirits who wander
through the world seeking
the ruin of souls.  Amen

[From Garabandal International Magazine
April - June 2008]


Monday, November 26, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 6

The Child:

The Virgin brings the Child sometimes, and other times she doesn’t. When she brings the Child she carries him in her arms and gives him to the girls. The Child is small. He doesn’t speak but he laughs; they don’t see his feet. He also has a round crown, smooth and open.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 5

The One They See

We have indicated that at the beginning they only saw the angel. Then, as is logical, it was difficult for them to explain the series of people and things that formed the apparitions. They describe what they see with more ease.

The Virgin: She is very tall. She wears a crown of brilliant stars, round but open (in the style of a diadem). The dress is white with white flowers. The mantle is very blue. She does not wear a veil. Her hair is long and very dark brown, almost black. When the girls ask, sometimes she opens her mantle so that they can see her dress. The Virgin is about 18 years old. They don’t see her feet. Her eyes and eyebrows are black. She is very beautiful and almost always smiles.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 4

These visions began on June 18, 1961. They happened in such a way that they grew. There are some days at the end of the month in which the girls did not have visions. The vision was still not speaking at this point. On July 2nd, for the first time, they heard words coming from the vision. The girls were still and kneeling in a reverential posture. The first falls, the ecstatic marches, the ones we talked about then, began around August 3rd.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Eucharist: Holding Firm & Giving Generously

by Gabriel Garnica

The Garabandal Message is in the form of holding firm in our faith and giving generously of our­selves to others.

The Message of Garabandal is about many things that bring us closer to God, but most of all it is about love. That love takes many forms and is expressed in many ways, but perhaps one of the main ways that we can interpret that love as presented in The Garabandal Message is in the form of holding firm in our faith and giving generously of ourselves to others.

Holding Firm


St. Tarcisius is one of my fa­vorite saints. This martyr of the Eucharist died around the year 255 and was most likely a dea­con or acolyte according to tra­dition. It is said that he was car­rying The Blessed Sacrament from one place to another when he was attacked by a heathen mob. Curious to see what he held so tightly in his hands, these beasts became enraged when Tarcisius would not open his hands. Despite their vicious on­slaught, the holy saint suffered death rather than surrender The Blessed Sacrament to the mob.

What can we possibly learn from this comparatively obscure saint? To begin with. Tarcisius teaches us to love Our Lord in The Blessed Sacrament with all of our might, and to respect His Real Presence in this beauti­ful Sacrament. Such love and respect implies that we hunger for the Eucharist and prepare well to partake of Our Lord in Holy Communion. This means going to confession often and trying to be as pure as possible when receiving Holy Communion.

Secondly, we are reminded that, as The Blessed Mother told us at Garabandal. "Less and less impor­tance is being given to the Eucharist." Like Tarcisius, we must be willing to sacrifice everything out of love for Our Lord, and always hold Him close to our hearts never surrendering Him in favor of worldly things.

Thirdly, let us recall that The Blessed Virgin told the girls that it was a greater grace to receive Jesus in Holy Communion than to see her. How many of us have hoped to see Our Blessed Mother as these seers did thinking that such a wonder­ful blessing and yet fail to realize the daily blessing that we have right in front of us. I, for one, have neglected this great blessing terribly and need to begin taking much more advan­tage of this great gift.


Fourth, let us not forget that The Holy Eucharist was cer­tainly a central part of the Garabandal events and continues to be a core aspect of The Garabandal Message. From the fact that the pines were planted to commemorate First Com­munions to the Miracle of the Visible Host and much else sur­rounding Garabandal. the Blessed Sacrament remains cen­tral to the story.

In a world that is constantly ignoring, mocking and forget­ting The Blessed Sacrament and The Real Presence so central to Garabandal, God asks us through the Messages of Garabandal to grasp Our Lord firmly and hold Him close to our hearts even as we carry Him to others via our words, actions and example.

Giving Generously

Who can forget the magnifi­cent miracle of the multiplica­tion of the five loaves and two fishes in John 6:1-15? This fa­mous miracle has been analyzed and interpreted by many people for many years, yet at its core it is yet another illustration of love just as that of the Blessed Sacra­ment, The Real Presence, and the sacrifice of St. Tarcisius.

Many imagine that the little boy who generously offered his food to Our Lord to feed the multitude was the only person in that huge crowd who had food at all, but perhaps he was merely the only person who was will­ing to share what food he had. Perhaps there were others who had much more food, yet they were too selfish to share what they had with anyone. The food of those who were not willing to share remained merely food, per­haps enough, to feed a few people.


What of the food offered by the boy? Scripture tells us that Our Lord multiplied that food to feed thousands of people with much to spare. In this great miracle we see that we are ex­pected to share our talents and what we have with others to glo­rify God. In return, our loving God will greatly multiply our tal­ents and efforts such that we can help many more people than we could ever imagine.

At Garabandal Our Blessed Mother taught the girls to be at­tentive to the needs of others and to constantly seek ways to serve people. Much of The Garabandal Message centers on love of neigh­bor which includes service and generosity. In turn, Our Lord will greatly bless and magnify our ef­forts and generosity as long as we willingly and unselfishly offer our gifts of talents and time to others for the glory of God.


Simply put, Garabandal is also about love of God and love of neighbor. We are called to serve and love God through service and love of others. This call demands an unselfish and generous ap­proach to life exemplified by that boy in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the selfless giving of his life by St Tarcisius to protect the Blessed Sacrament.

[From Garabandal International Magazine January-March 2007]

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 3

And the Angel appeared to them. Later they identified him as St. Michael the Archangel. He didn’t speak at all the first days they saw him. It seems that he came to announce the Virgin. The apparitions happened like this. We will tell the condition in which these apparitions occurred, even though they’re good, profound and serious visions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Champion of Garabandal

November 13, 2012
Dear Friends,
Unobserved on a busy street corner in Paris, Robert Turner heard the voice of the Risen Christ. Those words that summoned Saint Matthew resounded in his soul, "COME FOLLOW ME."
The son of an American doctor, raised in France between the wars, Robert never fully acquired the Episcopalian tradition of his family and was received into the Roman Catholic Church as a young man. A gifted student, a graduate of the elite French schools, he left two years into an advanced degree in physics at Harvard to return to Paris on the eve of the Second World War.
The shock of the sudden military defeat and collapse of the French government directed him to the service of the transcendent and infinite God. He joined the Dominican order in 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1945. A man of two cultures, he was a natural missionary and diplomat and the Order sent him to Iraq for the propagation of the faith in that ancient society.
The mid nineteen sixties found him back in France, in the Pyrenees, serving the migrants shuttling back and forth from Spain. He was very welcome in the company of the professors of the seminary in Tarragona where he came across the first reports of the startling apparition taking place high in the mountains.  
He was about to embark upon another journey or as he later called it, "a spiritual adventure, one of the most beautiful of the century."
As much as it piqued his curiosity, the physician's son, the reflective observer, the careful examiner was not one to be swept away by allegations of mystical rapture. He required evidence. Removing himself physically from the apparitions, he began to compile thousands of pages of documents verified with great care, the transcripts of eyewitness testimony of those who had been to the village and could not deny what they had seen.
Father Turner's personal investigations lead him to the great Father Materne Laffineur, author of Star on the Mountain ,whose work uncovered the true importance of Garabandal for many. He allied with the Abbe Alfred Combe, father of the promotion in France. It is to these three men, Laffineur, Combe and Turner that the global Garabandal community owes many thanks. These priests of France faithfully collected the first impress and worked out the intellectual framework that would sustain the cause through the very long night of doubt.


Father Francois Turner was the indispensable man of the Garabandal movement. A mentor to the international promotion, he moved easily between the American and European centers coordinating efforts, collaborating with other authors, and translating ideas everywhere he went. In a time of skepticism he wrote in favor of the apparitions and lectured insightfully on Garabandal around the world.
When his friend, Juan Antonio del Val Gallo of holy memory, was ordained Bishop of Santander, Father Turner worked in a spirit of fraternity to lift the lingering suspicion in the chancery and closed the breach which had opened with the global promotion. He was known to the Vatican and served as an informal liaison with Rome. Since his death in 1995, no one of such stature has risen to replace him.
Our Lady Teaches at Garabandal remains the only complete treatment of the apparitions by Father Turner in English, a compendium of anecdotes which he uses to illustrate the catechism of personal piety and virtue taught by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary during her five year visitation to the mountain village. He anchors these lessons soundly in sacred scripture emphasizing the continuity of the instruction of the Virgin and the acts of the visionaries with the counsel of the Old and New Testament.
Father Turner agreed with the American priest Joseph Pelletier A.A. who saw the apparitions as a preemptive inoculation against the crisis advancing in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. A speculative theology which came forward in those days directly challenged areas of settled Church teaching; the centrality of the Eucharist and the doctrine of the Real Presence, the efficacy of Marian Intercession and the assistance of the Holy Angels, the spirit of mortification and of sacrifices offered in reparation for sin, traditional devotional prayer -the Rosary- as a powerful aid to growth in the spiritual life. All of this is reaffirmed at Garabandal in a most astonishing way - not as dead concepts but as the living yet invisible reality.
The Fathers agreed that the crisis aimed at disrupting the priesthood, causing divisions among priests, casting doubt on the sublime dignity of their sacrificial vocation and ambiguity about their venerable place among Christians. Of vital concern to Father Turner was the sanctification of his brother priests. Our Lady at Garabandal requested the faithful fast and pray for priests, set apart by their distinction to be leaders of the Church. Our Lady told the visionaries that saintly priests save many souls as their actions are studied and imitated by many.
As we begin the Year of Faith, our Holy Father encourages us to return to the letter of the Second Vatican Council. Throughout his work, Father Turner quotes frequently from Presbyterorum ordinis, a document very much in harmony with the Message of Garabandal. It remains a valuable text for priests seeking to live saintly lives and reminds the faithful, from the heart of the Church, of their sacred obligation to support the spiritual work of priests by prayer.
During the course of the apparitions, when confronted by disbelief, the young visionaries turned to the Virgin for consolation. Our Lady assured them that the Great Miracle set to occur in their village at a future date would be the overwhelming proof of the supernatural origin of the events. This topic was of great interest to Father Turner and he derived a series of contingencies which he thought must precede the Miracle.
First, knowledge of the Miracle must be broadcast around the world through the mass media. Having died before the advent of the Internet, Father Turner would have been pleased by the great strides made in the last decade using this open form of communication. In just the past four months visitors from over 126 countries have come to the website of the New York Center. We are excited to announce a new initiative through the content sharing website YouTube which will broadcast the 1996 documentary The Message of Garabandal on line in all twenty seven languages. 
Next, the hearts and minds of peoples must be purified by the Warning, which will prompt conversion and prayer. As miracles are the product of belief, a singular grace will be given to those who will see or know the Great Miracle so as to be properly disposed to more closely encounter Almighty God. The Holy Father will also experience the Miracle wherever he happens to be.
We remember our friend, Father Francois Turner O.P. a holy priest, a man of great courtesy, a scholar in the best tradition of Dominican Scholasticism, and a champion of Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Garabandal.
In Union of Prayer,
The Workers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Garabandal
Lindenhurst, NY USA

Both Star on the Mountain and Our Lady Teaches at Garabandal as well as the writings of Father Joseph Pelletier A.A. are available on our website and can be downloaded and printed gratis.

P.O. Box 606, Lindenhurst, NY 11757-0606

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Living the Message of Garabandal here and now.


Conchita s Theology
by Geoff Groesbeck

It isn't the apparitions or prophecies of future events that should concern us. The apparitions are absolutely irrelevant if we do not have -- or ask for --the faith to follow the messages. It is the messages that make all the difference, and which for us to heed and live, require faith.

We assure ourselves by empirical evidence - testing a car's brakes, counting our change, reading the small print - that are we sufficiently secure enough to let faith be our guide. 
As far as our day-to-day world goes, this approach makes a great deal of sense. After all, what if we didn't check the brakes and they 
failed? Or if we neglected to count our change only to discover later we were taken advantage of? Or if we chose not to read the small print and found ourselves liable for something we never imagined would be our responsibility  We do these things to protect ourselves, to limit our losses, and reduce our exposure.

However, where this approach doesn't make sense is where spiritual matters are concerned. Here we are on different ground entirely. Here logic takes a backseat to faith, just as emotions should. When it comes to the eternal, to matters that affect our walk with God, our Christian life, indeed our very salvation, we cannot go on what we think logically makes sense, and more than we can let our feelings guide us. Only faith can do this. We have the words and life of not only Christ Himself, but those of His mother, the apostles, and all the saints as well, forever re
minding us that an entirely different approach is at work in matters of the spirit, one that boils down essentially to those same two words again: trust and self-acceptance.

If putting faith first held true for Thomas in front of the risen Lord, shouldn't it hold true for us as well? And if it holds true where Christ Himself is concerned, shouldn't we apply the same approach to the words of His mother?

This brings us directly to Garabandal, and more specifically, to the crucial difference between wanting to rationally understand the apparitions and prophecies surrounding Garabandal, and having faith in the messages behind Garabandal.


We all want proof that the ap­
paritions are real, and even more so, 
that the prophecies will come to
pass; even better still, in a way and 
within a time frame that makes sense 
to us. This is a natural reaction 
any phenomenon beyond our grasp, 
not just Garabandal. Let's be clear about one thing: no one should feel guilty for wanting to know what really happened forty odd years ago in that tiny Cantabrian hamlet or for wanting to know how things will come to pass.

But time and time again, we seem to lose sight of the most important point of Garabandal: it really isn't the apparitions or prophecies of future events that should concern us. These are interesting but secondary things. Put more bluntly, the apparitions are useless without the messages. In fact, in the larger scheme of things, as hard as it may be to accept this, they do not matter at all.

It is instead the messages that make all the difference, and which for us to heed and live, require faith. The apparitions are absolutely irrelevant if we do not have - or ask for -the faith to follow the messages. Likewise, if we spend our time trying to guess the future, much less conform it to meet our expectations, we are wasting our time and doing exactly the opposite of what the Virgin asks of us.

The Virgin - and the visionaries - have repeatedly stressed, for four decades now, that what is important is that we amend our lives and live good lives in the here and now, not speculate as to what come-next.

And as for these future events, we can no more predict or control 
them than we can what happens tomorrow  Even before the events at Garabandal had (temporally) ended, rumors and speculation were detracting from what all of us should be following with a single-minded determination: the messages. As an example, last year many thought the passing of the late John Paul II portended the ushering in of the prophesied events, although none of the visionaries ever said or implied anything to this effect.

Even if we could somehow successfully see into the future or alter the course of events, would it really make any difference? The Virgin's plea is for us to live good lives, not to wait and see if things will play out according to a certain pattern and then decide what to do. We run a far greater risk in attaching too much importance to the apparitions or guessing the future than we do if we simply follow in faith the words of the Virgin!

A good friend of one of the visionaries, when asked what she felt 
was really at stake where Garabandal is concerned made, the following observation:

"I never really think about the Miracle or any of the prophesied events. That's all going to pass whenever the time comes. I'm much more concerned with living my life today - right now - in accordance with the message, which is what Garabandal is really all about anyway."

As the late Fr. Joseph Pelletier, author of Our Lady Comes to Garabandal. presciently noted only a few years after the apparitions ended:

"The facts of the Garabandal story are absolutely fascinating. In that very fascination lies a danger, namely, that we see only the facts, that all our attention be focused on them. They are not an end to themselves. They are only a means, an instrument, a door to the message which is the purpose, the real reason for the Garabandal event.

Finally, let us consider the significance - and timeliness - of the words of the young visionary Conchita herself, written exactly 41 years ago this very December, and repeated many times since. In a post­script to a letter written to Fr. Jose Maria Alba. S.J.. regarding her final apparition (of 13 November 1965). she felt it important enough to twice underscore the need to focus on the messages above all else:

"There is no point in our believing in the apparitions if we do not heed the Message; in other words, if we do not accomplish what our Holy Mother the Church bids us. As we all know, the Blessed Virgin said here [Garabandal] what she said at Lourdes and at Fatima. She has said nothing new. The Miracle will come so that we may heed the Message. Its purpose also will be to confirm the apparitions of Garabandal. But, if we heed the Message, believing in the apparitions is of no importance."

Let us, while we still can, put aside once and for all, the speculation and guesswork, the fruitless debating and hypothesizing, the unhelpful fascination with things we will never be able to explain or understand on our own, and especially the pointless conjecture and fears regarding the future, and instead focus on what we can do something about, what we already know, and what we are called to do: living the message of Garabandal here and now.

[From GARABANDAL International Magazine January - March 2007]

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 2

The Happenings

According to what we have known, the girls left to listen to an explanation of catechism, “The good angel tells us to do good and he helps and defends us. The bad angel, the demon, pushes us to do bad.” They were playing happily. They had a strange idea: to take fruit from an orchard. “We won’t do it. Because the bad angel has inspired us to do this. The good angel tells us that…”

            And the Angel appeared to them.  Later they identified him as St. Michael the Archangel.  He didn’t speak at all the first days they saw him.  It seems that he came to announce the Virgin.  The apparitions happened like this.  We will tell the condition in which these apparitions occurred, even though they’re good, profound and serious visions.


            These visions began on June 18, 1961.  They happened in such a way that they grew.  There are some days at the end of the month in which the girls did not have visions.  The vision was still not speaking at this point.  On July 2nd, for the first time, they heard words coming from the vision.  The girls were still and kneeling in a reverential posture.  The first falls, the ecstatic marches, the ones we talked about then, began around August 3rd.

            The One They See


            We have indicated that at the beginning they only saw the angel.  Then, as is logical, it was difficult for them to explain the series of people and things that formed the apparitions.  They describe what they see with more ease.


            The Virgin: She is very tall.  She wears a crown of brilliant stars, round but open (in the style of a diadem).  The dress is white with white flowers.  The mantle is very blue.  She does not wear a veil.  Her hair is long and very dark brown, almost black.  When the girls ask, sometimes she opens her mantle so that they can see her dress.  The Virgin is about 18 years old.  They don’t see her feet.  Her eyes and eyebrows are black.  She is very beautiful and almost always smiles.

The Child:  The Virgin brings the Child sometimes, and other times she doesn’t.  When she brings the Child she carries him in her arms and gives him to the girls.  The Child is small.  He doesn’t speak but he laughs; they don’t see his feet.  He also has a round crown, smooth and open.


            The Light:  It accompanies all of the visions.  It is like the light from the sun.  They even see the light at night.  This light impedes their view of other things, except the vision and the other girls who are also participating in the vision.  When a girl leaves the vision and returns to the normal state, those who continue in the vision stop seeing her.

            Angels: The Archangel St. Michael was the first apparition.  On another occasion the girls saw the Virgin surrounded by other smaller angels.  There were five.  Then the Virgin told them that the angels had accompanied them because she was the Queen of the Angels.

They Hear Voices:  They don’t see people but they hear them.  On these occasions they also see light like the sun that is or seems to be, fixed and it absorbs reality.  It seems that they had heard a voice that they didn’t know how to identify.

The voice that they hear most frequently is that of Fr. Luís Andreu.  They don’t see him, but they hear him.

On August 8, 1961, we met Fr. Royo Marín in San Sebastián de Garabandal.  Fr. Luís María Andreu, S.J. came with us also; he had been to San Sebastián three times since July 19th.

  Fr. Valentín Marichalar was the parish priest from San Sebastián who gave Fr. Luís the key to the Church and asked him to be the parish priest since he had to go to Torrelavega.  I observed that Fr. Luís was very happy when he told me:  “Faito, today I’m the pastor of Garabandal,” and he joked with me in this way.

The Mass was celebrated in the church in San Sebastián; the number of people who witnessed it was extraordinary, as were their emotions.

            The girls had one of their ecstasies in the morning.  Fr. Luís was very near them and as on other occasions, took notes on what the girls did and said.  During this ecstasy there were moments in which Fr. Luís seemed absorbed.  Those nearest to him could observe that during some moments silent tears fell and it seemed that there was a feeling of being in the presence of something extraordinary.


In the afternoon the ecstasy of the girls aquired a rhythm of velocity going up to the pines and descending in ecstasy.  During the time that they were in ecstasy in the pines, Fr. Luís was inspecting the girls closely.


It seemed that he didn’t want to miss a single detail of what was happening.  Suddenly, they saw a special emotion that invaded him and he said twice in a loud voice the words:  “Miracle, miracle.”  Then he was silent and the girls initiated their descent, saying in ecstasy that they were going to the Church.  They said it, as always, in their dialogue with the Virgin.

This descent to the church was vertiginous.  The Reverend Fr. Royo Marín, O.P., advised those present to run to the Church where the girls were going and said this sentence:  “Run to the Church so that you’ll be at the girls’ heels.”

            Some of us made the descent from San Sebastián de Garabandal to Cossío walking and others rode in the Jeep.  In deference to Fr. Luís, he went down in the Jeep.  I observed that he was very happy.  My family members who were in the Jeep with Fr. Luís on this trip told me the same thing.


            Once in Cossío, we went in different cars and formed an expedition.  Although we asked for my sister’s car, Fr. Luís preferred to come with me, since he had gone with me.

My wife Carmen, my daughter Mari Carmen, who was eight years old, and I were in the car.  José Salceda and Fr. Luís were in front of us.

            During the majority of the trip we commented upon what we had seen that day.  Fr. Luís told me that he had spoken with Fr. Royo Marín and that they were in agreement.  My wife, José Salceda, and I all observed a profound and intense happiness in Fr. Luís as well as a sense of security.  He spoke without hurrying and repeated these sentences many times:  “I am so happy!  I’m full of things to say.  What a gift the Virgin has given me!  I don’t have the least doubt that what is happening with the girls is true.”

In Torrelavega we met another Jeep that had gone with people from Aguilar de Campoo, and was stopped.  It was the Jeep that had brought us up to San Sebastián de Garabandal.  We stopped to see if they needed anything, and José Salceda, who was a mechanic, went down with Fr. Luís and they spoke with them a little.

            In this second return trip we spoke for a while and I said:  “Father, why don’t you sleep for a little while.”  He did this for about an hour, until a little after we arrived at Reinosa.  When he awoke he said:  “I have had a very deep sleep. I feel very well, I’m not the least bit tired.”

            We continued the trip and after driving for awhile we neared the city and Fr. Luís repeated the sentences that had characterized the conversation we brought:  “I am full of words.  What a gift the Virgin has given me!  How lucky to have a mother like that in heaven!  We don’t have to be afraid of the supernatural life.  The girls have given us an example of what it is to know the Virgin.  I don’t have the least doubt that what the girls say is true.  How wonderful that the Virgin has chosen us!  Today is the happiest day of my life.”

Upon saying this sentence he stopped talking.  I asked him a question, and when he did not respond I asked him again:  “Father.  Has something happened?”  I thought that he had left.  He responded:  “No, nothing, I’m tired.”  He inclined his head and made a slight gesture.

            José Salceda turned towards him and when he saw the priest’s eyes said:  “The priest is very bad.”  My wife took his wrist and when she didn’t find a pulse said:  “Stop, he doesn’t have a pulse, and there is a clinic here.”  I believed that this was just dizziness and I said:  “Don’t worry, Father, it’s nothing, it will pass in a moment.”  My wife said:  “We are going to bring him to a clinic.”  I responded:  “Don’t say foolish things.”  But she added:  “He’s unconscious.”


            We had stopped near a clinic, about five or ten meters away from it.  We called and a nurse immediately opened the door.  When she saw Father she said that he was dead.  My wife said that this could not be, and to do something.  The nurse gave him an injection.

            In the midst of this, José Salceda went to find a priest and a doctor.  The doctor arrived within 10 minutes.  He was Dr. Vicente González, who could only establish that Fr. Luís was a dead.  The parish priest arrived immediately after and administered Extreme Unction.

            The comment that has been repeated when we were asked of what Fr. Luís died has been this:  “He died of happiness.”


            In the fraction of a second when he passed from life to death, a smile remained on his lips. There was no change in his exterior, only a light gesture after he said:  “No, nothing, I’m tired.”

When we were in San Sebastián de Garabandal days later the girls told me that the Virgin had told them that Fr. Luís had seen the Her when he yelled:  “Miracle, miracle” in the pines, and he was going to speak more.  I witnessed the first of the different dialogues they had until that date with him, and all of the scenes they had in those painful moments on the morning of August 9, 1961.  They had a special significance for me in the Providence of God and the love of Mary, who has played a very important role.

            The words of Fr. Royo Marín come again, as commented the last words that Fr. Luís pronounced in this world:  “This is the happiest day of my life.”

Fr. Royo Marín told us:  “Truly the day that we arrive in God’s arms is the happiest of our lives.”

            This day was August 9, 1961 and the time was 4:20 in the morning when we returned from San Sebastián de Garabandal.



Friday, November 2, 2012

Fr. Ramon Andreu's Notes: Part Three, Post 1

Sept.-Oct. 1962

My school Sept.-Oct. 1962

Synthetic Report

“Does the Virgin act visibly?”

“What is occurring in San Sebastián de Garabandal, Santander?”

“San Sebastián de Garabandal is a village situated on a mountain about 7 kilometers above Cossío. From this point of reference, Cossío, the highway passes closer to San Sebastián de Garabandal.

It is a varied countryside on a mountain with Pines, in whose skirts the simple village rests. Its inhabitants are peaceful, honorable workers. Until the events, which we are going to discuss, the village represented a dark place with old traditions. One is like ours: at sunset, a woman—she’s the mother of one of the seers, Jacinta—runs through the streets ringing a little bell to invite her neighbors to pray for the souls in Purgatory. They also pray the holy Rosary daily in the Church.

There is not the remotest feeling of religious fanaticism.

The roads that go through the country are full of crops in the stony wilderness. There is a riverbed that is full of boulders that rests below the mountain of pines.

The Actors

The names of the girls are:

María Concepción, 12 years old (Conchita).

Jacinta, 12 years old.

María Dolores, 12 years old.

María Cruz, 11 years old.

We will add that none of the girls are sisters or cousins.

Besides María Cruz, the others have enjoyed strong health and robust complexion. Their mental development at this age is normal for the villages. Compared to a child of this age who has been educated or is from the city, they would seem about 9 or 10 years old.

They are poor, humble, working families. Their fathers are normal, with the temperaments of men from the north country, from Santander.

They have an excellent and prudent pastor, full of zeal for his parish. The young boys and youth have the virtues and vices customary to their ages. Everything is normal.

The girls are not distinguishable from the others in their manner of being, nor in their performance in school, nor in catechism, nor for anything exemplary. This also includes mischievous occurrences normal for their age.