Thursday, July 31, 2014

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter XIV)

The Signs Requested Are Granted
Many persons, interiorly, mentally, asked God for proof of the authenticity of the apparitions of Our Lady of Garabandal. Answers were given to them by the visionaries during or after the ecstasies.
In August of 1962, I was spending some days at the village. One night, while leaving the church after the Rosary, I learned that Jacinta was already in ecstasy and walking through the village. I would have, I should have joined her. Instead of that, I accompanied her mother María to her home for . . . dinner. We were eating when the door opened.
— “Jacinta is coming to present for the Virgin’s kiss the articles which were put on the little table in her room.”
“Hurry, María,” I said, “Clean off the table so that no one sees that I’m busy eating.” And my plate quickly disappeared into the child’s room.
Just in time, for she entered the kitchen in ecstasy. She fell on her knees in front of me, placed the crucifix on my lips, went into her room, presented for the Virgin’s kiss everything that she had made ready, and still in ecstasy, returned to the village.
Needless to say, I was not especially proud of myself.
After eating, I said goodbye to Maria and her guests so as to go to the house of Maximina, Conchita’s aunt and godmother, where I had to sleep.
There was a seminarian there, I think from Bilbao.
— “Do you know,” I asked him, “If one of the girls will have an apparition during the night?”
— “Yes, Loli predicted that the Virgin would come at 3 o’clock in the morning.”
It would not be hard to imagine my secret chagrin in thinking that the Virgin could have held me accountable for not having followed the apparition after the Rosary, especially Jacinta’s. Then I rebuked myself mentally, saying to myself: “I will go to the one this morning with Loli; that will serve as a sacrifice.” Before going to sleep, I pleaded fervently to Our Lady:
— “Would you give me a sign that you are not angry with me?”
I lay down and slept like a log.
Without wishing to excuse myself, the stay at Garabandal had exhausted me tremendously. It was necessary to go down to Cosío to say Mass, climb back up to the village each morning. Then I would find out the place where the girls were and I would rejoin them in order to participate in the labors in the fields. This had little similarity to my usual parish work at Barro.
In spite of my deep sleep, I heard someone running to the house where I was sleeping. It was Nandín, Loli’s brother. He banged on the door, shouting.
— “Maximina, Maximina! Open up quickly. Loli is coming!`”
I turned on the light. I sat up in my bed and looked at my watch.
— “A quarter to four. What a shame. Loli is in ecstasy about an hour and I I’m sleeping!”
At that moment, someone knocked on the door of my room. I pulled back the blanket and answered, “Come in.”
With a hard shove, the door opened with a bang, and Loli in ecstasy was there in the doorway.
The floor of my room was lower than that of the hallway by about 15 centimeters (6 inches). From the doorway, Loli fell down on her knees into the room. Even with the hard fall, she did not lose her balance. Still on her knees, I saw her go toward the wall facing my bed, under a large picture of Maximina and her husband, dead for several years. There she knelt. I didn’t understand it, for I was still unaware that the visionaries, on entering a house, did what I was just seeing — they prayed for the departed of the household.
That done, Loli turned around, still on her knees, came up to my bed. With the crucifix that she held in her hand, she made a Sign of the Cross on the pillow and gave it to me to kissand she smiled. Making a half turn and still on her knees, she went back to the door. Finally, coming to the doorway, she got up and went out of the room.
Coming to myself, I thought:
— “Here the Virgin is visiting the children and I . . . I’m in bed!”
Jumping up, I got out of bed, got dressed and went out in a hurry in the direction of the church — not without stopping at the home of Loli, whom I saw still in ecstasy, this time in her kitchen.
An incredible thing. She was talking to the Virgin about exactly what had happened that evening at Jacinta’s house, what Jacinta had told her between the two ecstasies. Then I heard her say to the Vision, who must have told her about my arrival.
— “He is here. Oh then that’s too much! Don’t leave here before him. I am so ashamed that he heard what I was saying about him.”
For some time, she continued on the same subject, discussing it with the Virgin. Then she made the sign of the cross; the apparition was ended.
Loli then looked at me, very ashamed of herself, her face blushed; she lowered her head.
— “See here Loli, look at me. You don’t have to blush for having told our Lady what happened yesterday during Jacinta’s ecstasy.”
— “You’re not going to scold me?”
— “Of course not.”
— “Thank you.”
I did not immediately understand that the prayer I said in Maximina’s room had been generously heard, for the girl was immediately questioned.
— “Why didn’t the Virgin come at the hour set by her; we noticed a 45-minute delay.”
— “Because she wished to show this way her displeasure with remarks of some women who ridiculed the apparitions last night. She was angry because, before the ecstasy, they asked me if she painted her nails, if she wore a necklace, a bracelet, etc…”
On the following day, Ceferino, took me aside:
— “Yesterday morning, Father, as soon as she went into ecstasy, Loli went immediately — running — to Maximina’s house where you were sleeping.”
Finally, I saw the light. My confident prayer and my repentance had been heard; I had received the sign requested with trust.
Before ending this chapter, I want to add that the same thing happened another time at Maximina’s house again at 10 minutes before 4 o’clock in the morning.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter XIII)


Conchita’s Mystical Communion at the Pines
One day in the month of August, 1962, Father Valentín, who was staying in the valley at Cosío, gave permission for Father Luis Retenaga, from Renteria, another basque priest like myself, and me to celebrate mass in the village church, but on the express condition that all the doors would be closed, locked to those who were outside.
Father Retenaga celebrated the first mass; I the second; and I was serving for that of my fellow basque priest.
Praying to the Virgin, I asked her one request:
— “Our Lady, if we are not able to give Communion to Conchita, let the Angel give It to her. Permit us to have this proof that the Mystical Communions are truly authentic. You know as I that the children really desire to receive Communion, but because of their occupations, it does not always happen.”
After a while, I noticed that some people were talking outside the church. By the noise and the talk that they made, it was obvious that their number was increasing. They tried to enter, knocking at the door, then they stayed where they were, talking under the portico.
I appealed a second time to the Virgin.
— “Mother, let it be possible for me to leave this church in order to advise Conchita that she has an opportunity to receive Communion after the last mass.”
That said, I began to pray with devotion three Hail Mary’s . . . Did I have time to complete the last? I don’t remember, but I perceived clearly that the noise outside had stopped as if by magic… I went to the door, bent down and looked through the keyhole. I saw no one. I opened the door cautiously, cast a glance at the stone seat attached to the wall. There was no one moving. Without hesitating I ran down the path that went toward Mari Cruz’ house, to take the alley leading to Conchita’s home. There was no one around. Everything happened as I had wanted. I arrived still running at Anecita’s house. She was preparing the basket for the donkey who would take Conchita to the mountain with the lunch for her brothers.
— “Aniceta, Aniceta, where is Conchita?”
She raised her head, looked at me sternly, and answered in a rather sharp way:
— “You priests, you are going to spoil my daughter. I don’t know how long a time she has been at the Pines with some others like you. Now she should be taking lunch to her brothers who need to eat now.”
— “I’m coming to tell Conchita that if she wants to receive Communion, we can give It to her now…”
I did not have time to finish the sentence...
— “Receive Communion! Receive Communion! Duty comes before devotion! One thing matters! It is more important for her to bring dinner to her brothers, who must be waiting impatiently…!”
At that very moment, Conchita arrived. She was accompanied by three ecclesiastics, who being seen against the sun, seemed to me to be Carmelite priests.
Anita sternly scolded her child.
Humbly, her head down, the child attempted to talk:
— “The Angel gave me Communion.”
— “The Angel, the Angel,” murmured Aniceta, very upset. “All right, go now, it is your brothers’ lunch time.”
Why did Aniceta look at me immediately? Who could say? In any case, I had to disguise my feelings, for I could not hide my joy. I was too elated to thank the Virgin right then for giving me these two proofs which I had requested from her on the subject of the authenticity of the Mystical Communions; for hearing me so swiftly and in a manner so unexpected.
It remained for Aniceta and myself to sit down to hear the new arrivals. They had but one desire, to recount what had just happened at the Pines.
— “Aniceta, you’re wrong. We are not priests, but hospital Brothers of St. John of God. Never could we have hoped for something more extraordinary than that which happened to us. Listen to this.
— “We came yesterday from Celorio de Llanes to make the spiritual exercises which were beginning this evening at 9:30. As we had time, we decided to go up to Garabandal. We were four, but at the last minute, one of us dropped out. A car brought us from Celorio to Cosío where we went up by Jeep. Not being acquainted with your village, we soon climbed up to the Pines. Then we saw a young girl, accompanied by very small children. We wanted to share our lunch with her, but she said:
— ‘No, the Angel is going to give me Communion.’
“It was noon. We had not recovered from our astonishment at such a response, when before us, as if struck by lightening, she fell on her knees in ecstasy, her head sharply thrust backwards. We had a film camera, but we didn’t know very well how to use it. However, one of us did what he could. We then witnessed the complete unfolding of a Mystical Communion, something which we had never seen before.
“During her ecstasy, the young girl lifted up our scapulars and presented them, one by one, to the Apparition. At the same time, she said the exact names of the one who was wearing it. Imagine the indescribable impressions that we felt.
“After that, she told us:
— ‘I have received messages for each one of you. But I do not yet have permission to reveal them to you. In the next apparition, I will ask the Virgin.’”
Then I remarked, “Brothers, how fortunate you have been. You have seen in the day that which at night you would have viewed with difficulty. Ordinarily, the apparitions take place in the dark, after the recitation of the rosary in the church at nightfall. We only have flashlights for illumination. Besides we get pushed around because there is a big crowd and all the spectators want to see. You can go away very happy, since you carry your pictures in your film camera. Consider this also: if you would have waited until night, you would not have arrived in time to begin your retreat at Celorio de Llanes.”
The good hospital Brothers of St. John of God were fully in accord with me. They promised to send me some copies of their photographs.
They said goodbye, asking Aniceta to remind Conchita to send them their messages. However, they deliberately refused to give their personal addresses. I mention this fact which appears important, for the messages transmitted later by the visionary arrived nevertheless at their destination. As for the photos, they did not forget to send them to me. I keep them with great care.
Many things happened to me that day in a short time. The brothers left and Aniceta questioned me in her kitchen. I concluded . . .
— “Anecita, you know I could not be present at the Miracle of the Host on the night of July 18 to 19. Today on the subject of the reality of the Mystical Communions, the Virgin gave me such proofs that I’ll keep a more profound impression than if I had seen the Miracle.”
— “Father, you amaze me.”
— “Anecita, it’s true.”

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter XII)

The Calls, Prediction and Accomplishment of the Miracle
On July 2, 1962, I went up to Garabandal, intending to stay four days. That’s what I did, not returning to Barro until the evening of July 5th.
On the afternoon of July 2, I was with the visionaries at the Pines. They were playing around the trees and I was seated near to them, very content to observe their joyousness. They were playing with all their hearts, as normal in that as they were in everything else, at school, in the church, in their work in the fields, at home, in everything.
Their joyousness at that time was equal to that which they felt, but tried to hide, when they had their famous “calls” about which I should say a few words before proceeding further.
The “calls” were mystical announcements, which were felt in the interior of the girls. In order not to show them exteriorly, so that those around them would not be suspicious, they tried to hide them, to disguise the mysterious effects which they caused in them. But those who had some experience in the ecstasies because of going frequently to Garabandal, understood perfectly what was happening. They were not unaware that there were three “calls,” nor that at the last one, the ecstasy was imminent, almost immediate. It is certain also that sometimes the children specially confided in chosen persons, even advising them of the time. “I’ve had a call”; or again, “The second call has come.”
One can easily see this type of joyous excitement, the happiness of the “calls” on an 8 millimeter film of the early apparitions, at a time when few recognized these “mystical premonitions”. On it can be seen the two Andreu brothers, the Jesuit priests. It appears to have been taken on the day, or rather the evening of the morning of the death of one of the two, Father Luis. There are many copies of this film throughout the world. In spite of their efforts to hide it, the interior joy of the young girls reflects externally. Though they were not yet in ecstasy, their exterior appearance foreshadowed it since they looked altogether different than in their normal life.
I’m returning now to the scene up above at the Pines, after this digression which is only the half of it because the joyfulness of the children was similar to that of the “calls.”
Suddenly, Conchita left the group, came up to me and without an introduction spoke unexpectedly:
— “Father, I am going to tell you in what the Miracle of the Angel consists!”
Certainly curious, but refusing to show my feelings, I responded:
— “Conchita, if it is a secret, you shouldn’t reveal it to me…”
Then I saw her return to the other three girls, as if to consult them.
— “Shouldn’t he be told?”
All three, without leaving the place where they were playing, (the area that was called the Virgin’s Pine) agreed.
— “Yes, someone should tell him.”
Then I got up and said to them:
— “All right. But you are going to talk individually. Come here one at a time.”
Conchita spoke first, then her companions. One after the other. They all told me the same thing.
— “They are going to see the ‘Host.’”
In other words: “Up until now, when the Angel gives us Communion, no one ever sees the Host on the tongue. At that time, it won’t be that way. They will see It.”
Without anyone telling me that only Conchita would be the object of this favor, or giving me the exact date, (although no one yet knew what comprised this “milagrucu” — little miracle — as Conchita said) without expecting it in the least, I was informed of the secret of the four seers. I knew that a day would come when the spectators would see with their eyes a consecrated Host on the tongue receiving It.
This happened on July 2, 1962, in the afternoon at the Pines. At that time Conchita herself did not yet know the exact date. She didn’t tell me anything more, although I had to leave Garabandal on the July 5 to arrive that evening at my parish in Barro. Although I was the first one to be advised of the nature of the miracle of the “Host” I did not know more about it and I was not able to be at the rendezvous of the Angel on the night of the 18th to 19th of that month.
Coming down from the Pines, Loli revealed the news about the nature of the miracle to her father, Ceferino. Conchita heard about it and was very irritated.
— “Now,” she said to her mother in their kitchen, “There certainly won’t be a Miracle because Loli has told it to her father…”
The “milagrucu” (little miracle), in spite of Conchita’s disappointment at the time, happened anyhow. Reading the report in her Diary:
When the 18th of July came, the village was filled with people. Everyone wanted to see the miracle. That day was the village feastday. A dance was taking place near my house, but in two neighboring houses, groups of people were reciting the rosary.
Some people, during this time, tried to stop the dance. They said if the dance continued, there would not be a miracle. One of those who wanted to stop the dance, Ignacio Rubio, asked me if I wanted the dance stopped. I answered him.
— “With the dance or without the dance, the miracle will take place.”
Then there was no further discussion on the subject of the dance.
The evening having come, people were restless because it was getting late. On the contrary, I was not afraid since the Virgin and the Angel had said that the miracle would take place; for never had the Virgin or the Angel announced something to me that did not happen exactly.
At 10 o’clock at night, I already had a call. At midnight, another call. Then at 2 o’clock in the morning, the Angel appeared to me in my room at home. At the time I was in the company of my mother, my brother Aniceto, my uncle Elias, my cousin Luciuca, and a young girl from Aguilar del Campo, María del Carmen Fontaneda.
And the Angel was with me for a while. And he told me, as on other occasions: “Pray the ‘I Confess’ and think of Whom you are going to receive.” And I did this and afterwards he gave me Communion.
And after giving me Communion, he told me to recite the ‘Anima Christi’. And to make my thanksgiving, and to hold out my tongue with the Sacred Host until he left and the Virgin would come. And I did it like this.
And when the Virgin came, she told me, “They all still do not believe.” And she told me to pray the rosary, and I prayed it.
This was a “big” miracle. There were numerous eyewitnesses on that memorable night. A dozen of them gave their names and their addresses, offering to be called to give their testimonies. It sufficed to interview on this matter for example, Father Valentín or Dr. Ortiz from Santander. In reality, among those who had “really seen,” there was not a person at that time who would affirm the contrary.
Conchita had written to the Bishop to tell him that he should be present in the village on that day, also the Abbot Odriozola, one of the members of the Commission. Neither the one nor the other responded to the invitation and the delegate who replaced them did not see the miracle with his eyes because of the mob that prevented him.
Who would be surprised? God, alone, can make the conditions. Those who were called to the miracle by name were not present. Those who ought to have been there were absent: the door of the Bishop was closed to the light . . .
Also, after this extraordinary “event” some ecclesiastics spread the news that everything was a fraud, and the most absurd explanations were spread abroad everywhere . . .
We defy anyone to contradict the qualified eyewitnesses of the Miracle of the Host. They were there at the place, they “saw with their eyes,” they made their reports, they are ready to be burned alive to testify to the truth of the “event”.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter XI)

The Mystical Communions
In the beginning of the apparitions, the Angel (it was always St. Michael the Archangel) undertook by himself to prepare the children for receiving Holy Communion.

Quoting again from Conchita’s Diary:
From the beginning of the apparitions the Angel gave us hosts that were not consecrated. We had already eaten and still he gave them to us, for they were not consecrated. This was to teach us to receive Communion well.
One day, he asked that we return at an early hour to the Pines, fasting, and to bring a young girl with us. We brought a young girl and did what he asked.
When we arrived at the Pines, the Angel appeared. He held a ciborium which seemed to be gold and he said to us: “I am going to give you Communion. The Hosts are consecrated.”
“Recite the ‘Confiteor.’” We recited it, then he gave us Communion and told us to make thanksgiving to God. He then had us recite with him ‘Anima Christi’ which we did.
After this prayer, he told us: “I will come tomorrow to give you Communion.” Then he left.
When we told this to the people some did not believe, especially the priests, because they said that an Angel cannot consecrate.
When we saw the Angel again, we repeated what the people told us and he answered us that he took consecrated Hosts from the tabernacles of the earth. But some persons continued to doubt in spite of these explanations.
The Angel gave us Communion like this for a long time.
Later, it appeared that Conchita and Loli received Communion alone: Conchita at the Pines, at the Cuadro, under the porch roof of the church; Loli at the same places, except at the Pines. At least, I think so, because I was not aware that Loli had received Communion at the Pines from the moment that the two visionaries alone continued to receive Communion from the hands of the Angel.
Each time it was a “Mystical Communion” which means that beside Conchita and Loli, (also the two others previously) no one was able to see the Host Itself.
One could see perfectly and hear the rest. They made the Sign of the Cross, recited the ‘I Confess to God’ (Confiteor), spoke a little with the Angel, stuck out the tongue, closed the mouth, moved the jaws, swallowed, and recited the prayer of thanksgiving of St. Ignatius, ‘Anima Christi.’
The Communion ended, they came out of the ecstasy which did not last more than 10 minutes.
I’ve seen many of Loli’s mystical Communions, but only one of Conchita’s. I’ve taken many photographs. All were under the portico of the church, except for Conchita. I asked her, I remember, to request the Angel that the ecstasy take place at a place on the portico where I could take a pretty snapshot. Unfortunately, it took place where I expected the worst. The child fell on her knees, leaning on the door of the church, and in order to obtain the picture that I now possess, I had to climb the stairway which leads to the tower. I found myself in the shade with a blinding sun in front of me. It was the same every time with Loli. I always had to work against an intense light.
I asked the children how the Angel could give them Hosts really consecrated, since he could not consecrate them himself. They posed the question to him and he answered that he took the Hosts from the Tabernacles of the earth.
I myself observed that the Angel did not give Communion if the curate, Father Valentín, or a priest duly delegated to be a parish minister at Garabandal, was present and performing his duties. That is the conclusion of a study that I completed.
It is that which authorizes the response one could make to the following question: “How is it possible that the Angel played a role in a ministry not proper to him, which is not his own?”
He fulfilled this duty as an extraordinary minister when it was not possible for the ordinary minister to do it himself; never on another occasion.
Publisher’s Note
Similar to Fátima, an Angel was delegated at Garabandal to carry and distribute Holy Communion, using Hosts consecrated by priests on earth.
The Virgin Mary, though she is the Immaculate Conception, Mother of God, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Queen of Heaven, Mediatrix of All Grace, Co-Redemptrix, Absolute Perfection, Conqueror of Satan, was not present at the Last Supper, being faithful to Scripture in what the Apostle said was the role of a woman.


Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Victorious over Satan, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Obedient Daughter, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Pure Virgin, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Devoted Spouse, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mother Most Tender, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Model of Perfect Virtue, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sure Anchor of Hope, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Refuge in Sorrow, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Dispensatrix of the Gifts of God, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bastion Against Our Enemies, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Aid in Danger, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, The Way Leading to Jesus, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Light in Darkness, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Consolation at the Hour of Death, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Advocate of the Most Abandoned Sinners, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, For the Hardened in Vice, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, For Those who Offend Thy Divine Son, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, For Those Who Neglect to Pray, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel,For Those Who are in Agony, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, For Those Who Defer Their Conversion, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel,For Those Suffering in Purgatory, Pray for us Sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, For Those Who Do Not Know Thee. Pray for us Sinners.
Let Us Pray: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, glorious Queen of Angels, channel of God's tenderest mercy to man, refuge and advocate of sinners, with confidence I prostrate myself before thee, beseeching thee to obtain for me [Mention request silently]. In return I solemnly promise to have recourse to thee in all my trials, sufferings and temptations, and I shall do all in my power to induce others to love and reverence thee and to invoke thee in all their needs. I thank thee for the numberless blessings which I have received from thy mercy and powerful intercession. Continue to be my shield in danger, my guide in life, and my consolation at the hour of death. Amen.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel de Garabandal: Pray for us!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

[Video] Faces of the Children

Here's a fascinating video showing the visionaries faces close up! I suggest you view it full screen with the speakers on.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter X)

The Angels at Garabandal
We find the first mention of an angel at Garabandal is Conchita’s diary when she tells it to us with a marvelous description: (June 18, 1961)
Suddenly a very beautiful figure appeared to me, shining brilliantly, without hurting my eyes.
Concerning June 24, 1961, Conchita wrote:
We never heard him speak.
That day we saw a banner underneath him. On the first line was written:
— It is necessary etc . . . And on the last line there were Roman numerals.
Then on July 1:
I come to announce to you a visit by the Virgin under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who will appear to you tomorrow, Sunday.
Very happy, we told him, “Let her come right away!”
He smiled, and we said to him, “What is the meaning of the inscription?”
“The Virgin will tell you.”
That day he talked to us about many things.
He recalled that on the first day Jacinta, Loli and Mari Cruz were about to call my mother, thinking I was having an attack . . .
He stayed two hours with us, and to us that seemed two seconds.
Then he told us, “I will return tomorrow with the Virgin.” And he left . . .
Here is the description that Conchita made of the Angel:
He was dressed in a long flowing tunic without a belt. His wings were rather long, very lovely, pink in color. His face was neither long nor round; his nose was handsome; his eyes dark; and the face tan. His hands were fine with short nails: his feet weren’t seen.
On July 2, a new mention of an angel. Another angel accompanies the Virgin, but the girls did not know who it was.
Sunday, July 2nd came. It was 6 o’clock in the evening. We were going to the Calleja to recite the rosary.
We had not arrived when the Virgin appeared to us.
Two Angels accompanied her. One was St. Michael; the other we did not know. He was dressed like St. Michael. They looked like twins.
On the right side of the Angel, at the same height as the Virgin, there was an eye of great size; it looked like the Eye of God.
We know very little about the second Angel. He only appeared one time during the first visit of the Virgin; no other mention was to be made. (In the summer of 1976 Jacinta told Father Eusebio García de Pesquera that the second angel was St. Gabriel.)
We know from Conchita herself, that the other angel was St. Michael. He appeared as an ambassador for the Virgin and later as a catechist for the visionaries, particularly for those things that related to the reception of Holy Communion, as we shall see later.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Memoirs of a Spanish Country Priest (Chapter IX)


Noteworthy Ecstasies

Jacinta Points Out the Priest’s Presence

Among the people who went up one day with us to Garabandal was a Military Air Force Chaplain. He was wearing only the insignias of his rank of Captain and he asked the priests present not to tell the girls that he was also a priest. His desire was carefully respected.
That night Jacinta fell into ecstasy and the pastor, Father Valentín, as was his custom, asked her how many priests were present. The girl gave the correct number of those in cassocks and added, “And one of those who go by plane. This is his name.”
Returning home with us at 4 o’clock in the morning, the chaplain could not stop telling me of his astonishment and emotions.

Conchita and the Dedicated Photo

One day, during the month of September, 1961, I was in the grocery store of Primitiva González. Through the window that overlooked the street, I could distinguish Conchita in a group of people. I went over to the crowd and told the girl, when she was finished with the visitors, to come into the kitchen. She rejoined me right away.
I had in my hand 5 or 6 photographs of the girls that I had taken on my first trip to Garabandal on the preceding August 22, 1961.
— “Conchita, do you know these children?”
— “Yes,” she answered teasing, “They are some girls from Cosío.”
— “Since it is of you, you can keep them. And you can give one to Mari Cruz since she also is in the photograph.”
— “Thank you, Father.”
Then becoming suddenly excited, she excused herself, saying, “I have to go.”
And she disappeared. (At the time I still was unaware of the “calls.”)
Then I remembered that one of the pictures that I had given her was dedicated and addressed to a priest from Burgos whom I had accompanied to Garabandal on the previous August 22nd.
I asked the daughter of Primativa, if there was a way to send her child to find Conchita, in order to ask her to give back the dedicated picture in exchange for another one. But Conchita was already in ecstasy. Her mother had tried to take the 5 or 6 pictures from her hand and was able to take all except the one Conchita held in the same hand throughout the duration of the ecstasy.
When I learned that Conchita was in ecstasy, I went to find her in order to take some pictures. It was 5:30 in the afternoon. Not having a flash unit on my camera, I had no pictures of an ecstasy — at that time, those occurred during the night when I was in the village. I took some photos and when the film was used up, I sought a place in the shade to change rolls. When this was done, the visionary had returned to the normal state.
Someone came up to me.
— “Conchita is looking for you. The Virgin has given her a message for you.”
— “Where is she?”
She could not answer me.
I went then to her house and there I saw her surrounded by some of my parishioners who had accompanied me on that day. Leaving the crowd immediately, she came up to me.
— “Father, the Virgin told me to give you back this picture, since you gave it to me by mistake.”
My jaw dropped, not knowing what to answer her. Then I got a hold of myself.
— “I think that is just what I wanted to tell you myself.”
I gave her a gift of a similar picture that was not dedicated. And Conchita departed to go back to the crowd she had left. 

Loli Photographs the Virgin

Here is an account of a photograph of which I was likewise an eyewitness. Permit me to recount the details for without knowing them some readers might be puzzled.
On the 12th of September, 1961, I was present in Conchita’s house during a very long ecstasy of Loli and Jacinta, lasting from midnight until four in the morning.
It is already known that among the spectators, many were the men and women who gave the children (before the arrival of the Virgin) religious articles to be presented when the time came for them to be kissed by Her lips. I myself had confided all that I had at hand to be kissed and to this day I cannot explain what motivated me to give my camera to Conchita during the ecstasies of Loli and Jacinta.
(Notice that Conchita herself was not in the ecstatic state, and I repeat that one could not communicate with the visionaries in ecstasy unless it was through one of them who was not.)
Lily received the camera, although Conchita did not tell her what it was.
Immediately, without hesitating, Loli placed the camera before her eyes and it was heard:
— “I am going to take your picture.”
Then there was reflection.
— “What a funny apparatus. I don’t see you.”
But right away, as if she had received instruction from the Vision:
— “Oh, I have to push a button?” (The camera was in its case)
She searched for the latch with her fingers and opened the case.
— “Now I see you good.”
It could be seen that she had received instructions again, since she stated,
— “Oh, I have to push another button?”
(My camera was a pocket Kodak with a bellows. The bellows had to be pulled out to use the camera.)
She pushed the button, pulled out the bellows, and again brought the camera to eye level.
Everything was done without haste, very calmly. Her head held backwards, Loli kept her eyes fixed on the Vision, never looking at what her hands were doing. It was obvious that she was following mysterious instructions.
She spoke:
— “Oh, I must wind the spool?”
Her fingers searched on the right side, at the bottom of the camera for the film advance lever, and wound the film, unaware, obviously — for she knew absolutely nothing about cameras — that without this operation, there would be a double exposure.
After that came the instruction to lower the device in order to operate the camera. She did this, but not immediately. It can be seen that if all these operations were done correctly, she should have taken some time.
Everything finished, without forgetting to snap the shutter, she restarted the series of actions necessary to take two more pictures. This time, it was with greater dexterity and without receiving new instructions. Loli operated the camera rapidly, as if she knew it perfectly, like one accustomed to its use.
I did not pay much attention to these photos taken by Loli. It was sometime later that I sent the film to be developed. My first impression was, as would be expected, that there would not be a positive result. And that for two main reasons. First of all, Loli had taken the pictures inside Conchita’s house without a flash, with standard film, by the light of the small bulb that illuminated the kitchen. Besides, cameras are made only for filming things or persons naturally visible.
When the film was returned, I sent the pictures by letter to Loli, writing in jest, “Since you have taken the photographs yourself, when you see the Virgin, ask her why they didn’t come out better, since I see nothing there.”
Three months later, Loli admitted to me that she had never remembered to talk to the Virgin about the photos. Finally, she did so. Here is what she stated:
— “The Virgin assured me that she was well-photographed and she showed me where she was on the picture. When I asked her why she could not be seen better, she answered, “Because, even if the picture had come out perfectly, they would still not believe.”
In regard to these pictures, I know a person who later made an experiment. In a pile of holy cards, she slipped in the one they had the custom of calling “The Virgin’s Photograph.” Obviously Loli knew nothing about it. She went into ecstasy, taking it together with the other articles, placed on the table by the spectators. She started to present the holy cards for the Virgin to kiss.
Coming, without knowing it, to “The Virgin’s Photograph,” she was seen to hesitate. Then she spoke:
— “Oh, it’s the picture where you found yourself?”
In my opinion, this story of the photograph has a special interest of technical character, one might say.
Before the episode in Conchita’s kitchen, Loli was absolutely incapable of using any camera, especially mine. And eight days after the brilliant result in that kitchen, she became absolutely incapable of repeating it in her normal state. I verified this myself at her home, in the presence of her father, Ceferino, by placing my camera in Loli’s hands. She no longer knew anything at all about it.
An experience of a technical character. Yes. On instructions from the Virgin.
The young girl — she was 12½ years old — had done everything exactly as she had to do it. The first time, with the length of time necessary to execute the instructions received; afterward she had worked with the rapidity of a professional.
Five operations in total: taking the camera out of the case, advancing the film, extending the bellows, cocking the shutter, and releasing the shutter.
Why had I handed my camera on that night to Conchita so that she could give it to Loli? I still do not know, I have said. On the other hand, I remember as if it were yesterday that on the very same night, Loli revealed to the spectators my complete identity. First of all, my last name, following that my first name, then my second name, while indicating that it comprised three words. She even added that my parish church was dedicated to Mary.
All of this was absolutely accurate. On that day in September, 1961, Loli could not talk about me that way through human knowledge.

Conchita and the Glass of Milk

One day Conchita was eating near the elevated kitchen fireplace on a small stool where she usually sat.
Suddenly Loli came inside in ecstasy and said to her:
— “Conchita, the Virgin says you should finish quickly, since she is going to come to see you.”
Conchita sped up her motions a little, and then as she lifted her glass of milk, to everyone’s surprise, she fell into ecstasy, the glass of milk in her hand. She came down slowly from the fireplace, and at the doorway of the house, she started running swiftly toward the church. She stopped abruptly in front of the portico. There they were able to take the celebrated glass of milk from her hand. To everyone’s surprise, not a drop had been lost.
I was present at this ecstasy in the kitchen, but I did not leave to follow the child to the church.

Loli Forces my Hand

After August, 1961 the children started to carry a crucifix with them.
From the first ‘call’ they went to their homes to get it and they hid it in their clothes. At the third ‘call’, the ecstasy very near, they put it in their hands. The ecstasy having begun, their first gesture was to offer it to the Virgin to kiss. Sometimes they themselves kissed it and then presented it to the lips of the spectators, not always to everyone. Furthermore, it happened that they made the sign of the cross on one or another.
We were in Conchita’s kitchen and Loli was in ecstasy. Outside the open window, she held out a crucifix to be kissed by the persons who were outside of Anecita’s house. The owner of the crucifix, a woman, was with us in the kitchen. For her — it would not be understandable otherwise — it was a veritable relic, and above all she was afraid of losing it.
— “My crucifix. My crucifix,” she repeated like a spoiled child.
Conchita, who was not in ecstasy, got upset.
— “What an impertinent woman! Give it to her once and for all.” And coming up to Loli, she carefully took the crucifix from her. Finally satisfied, the woman went away with her treasure.
Loli herself remained without a crucifix, facing the open window, her hands together on her chest, in front of those who were looking in from outside.
A few seconds later, she was heard to say:
— “Conchita, the Virgin says to ask something from Father.”
At that time I was the only priest present in the kitchen, near the entry door, my hands in my pockets.
My interior reaction was immediate, and I thought secretly;
— “Loli, if you yourself do not ask me for it, I will not give it to you. I require this proof from you. I am waiting for you.”
Here are some details which appear useful to comprehend what happened. I did not have the custom of carrying a crucifix on my person. By chance, on that day I had one in the right hand pocket of my cassock, and I was holding it tightly clenched in my hand. It would be seen what was going to happen. In any case I waited as long as it was necessary, looking from afar at the visionary who had her back turned to all of us.
Had not Conchita heard or understood Loli’s question? Perhaps, since she did not ask anything from me.
Then Loli, still in ecstasy, turned herself half way around, came toward me and stopped in front of me. With an amazing motion of her right arm, with a astonishing suppleness and an unbelievable agility, she introduced her right hand into the right hand pocket of my cassock. She reached my hand firmly closed on my crucifix, opened it in spite of me, leaving my hand in my pocket and withdrawing the crucifix from its hiding place.
Another important detail: the opening to this pocket allows me to affirm that with my hand placed where it was, it was not humanly possible to introduce another hand, even as small as hers.
When I recall the scene, I believe the cinema has never filmed anything that could be compared to the superhuman beauty of Loli’s movements on that occasion. That beauty and superhuman strength of the child amazed me so that with my hand unclenched and my crucifix gone — overcome — I told her, “Take it. Take it. That’s enough proof for me.”
One last remark. At times the hands of the seers did not have their normal temperature. At the moment when Loli, in a naturally inexplicable way, put her hand into the pocket of my cassock, the temperature was normal.