Tuesday, July 21, 2015

She Went in Haste to the Mountain (Page 153)

Dr. Puncernau with Mari Cruz and Loli at the Pines

On the day she left, I had the opportunity of taking her photograph with Mari Loli, and I sent it to her so that she could forever remember, in her distant native land, the unforgettable moments of her visit to Garabandal.(15)
As previously with Conchita's rosary, this one also ended in the courtyard of the church with the singing of a Salve Regina.
My curiosity led me to ask why the girls in ecstasy came so often to the church, knowing that for them, in those circumstances, it was always closed. The answer had been given sometime before, through the voice of the girls themselves:
The reason is that the Virgin likes to go near to where Jesus is.»


In days like these, the presence of priests and
religious could not be missing. With regard to their presence, Luis Navas says in his report:
«I was greatly pleased to see the deference that the girls held toward priests; it was worthy of St. Teresa of Jesus. There were four priests there in the village on that Saturday, June 30th; and the Virgin had to be happy since, according to the girls: The Virgin likes priests and people without faith to come.(16)
During Loli's vision in her home, a Passionist Father and a Carmelite Father stayed respectfully on their knees. The girl gently lifted both of them up, making them stand on their feet. On the following day the Passionist Father told me, I weight 78 kilos and on top of that, I used force to make myself stay down; nevertheless, the girl raised me to my feet with the greatest of ease.(17) The Carmelite Father edified me with his humility and silence. He had come that very afternoon from Burgos and he spent almost his entire stay with the people, distributing and investing scapulars. I felt nostalgic, recalling the month of May in my student years at the Instituto de Burgos.»


On Sunday, July 1st, much the same history took
place as on the two previous days. Luis Navas tells of it:

«On this day, we had a longer wait. The
first apparition, which was Conchita's, began at ten at night. The people had left her home, thinking that nothing would happen. I had the good fortune of going out at the time to seek a paralytic girl, whom I had advised to remain at Conchita's house until the people came to pick her up. There I met Doctor Puncernau from Barcelona. (18) Conchita fell violently on her knees and began the vision. She offered the crucifix to us to kiss; when the doctor's turn came, the girl did something different: with a single movement of her extended arms, she gave it to him three times to kiss.

Before the vision began, I had complained to Conchita that she had never offered me the crucifix. Because of this, I felt a considerable consolation on seeing how she presented it to me, since I well knew that the girls don't act by their own volition in giving the crucifix to kiss or in holding up holy cards and rosaries toward the Vision; they do it according to the directions of the Virgin. This helped me to understand something I had read about Padre Pio, Many times God makes me forget certain people for whom I had intended expressly to pray, and He presents others to me for whose salvation I should intercede.
The doctor had handed Conchita a letter in order that she might ask the Virgin for the cure of a patient. On the following day, I saw the girl write the answer she had received; later she gave it to the doctor with the request not to open the letter until he was in the presence of the sick person, who was dying of an incurable illness according to what I heard.»


From what Luis Navas described of the second
apparition which concerned Loli, this is what seems to have the greatest interest:
«The time for giving the crucifix to kiss was thrilling. Kissing it themselves first, as was their custom; then, giving it first to the Virgin and then to the person . . . When it came to the time for eight persons who had come that day from Cádiz, I was really edified by the reverence and faith with which they kissed the crucifix.
Loli's ecstasy had lasted an hour and twenty minutes. Eighty minutes that seemed to me to be ten! Something very strong must have held my attention to lose the notion of time like this.
After a clear, moonlit night, I awoke to a magnificent dawn. It was the day of departure. I made up my mind once again to keep the resolution made on the previous trip: to recite daily the holy family rosary, remembering in difficult times and lukewarmness the words transmitted from the Virgin by the visionaries: Hail Marys are the flowers that please her the most.

With a farewell to the Passionist priest and a great desire to return again, we ended our stay at San Sebastián de Garabandal on Monday, July 2, 1962.»

15. Dr. Puncernau, the neuro-psychiatrist from Barcelona, described his experiences in this case in the pamphlet, Psychological Phenomena of Garabandal, but he puts Conchita in the place of Loli:
«In Ceferino's tavern there was a young woman from Uruguay who worked in the Follies Bergère of Paris. We soon started up a conversation. She told me that she not only didn't believe in these supposed apparitions, but she didn't believe in anything about religion. She had come to Garabandal simply out of curiosity. After a while I suggested going outside to see what was happening with the visionaries.
We saw them at a distance (being hidden ourselves in the shadows of the house) as they headed toward the little village church, praying the rosary. From our hidden observation point we saw what was happening.
Soon we saw Conchita, in a trance, detach herself from the procession and make her way -—walking normally, but with an unusual swiftness — toward us, who were all staying hidden in the shadows, leaning against the wall of the house.
She was carrying a little crucifix in her hand.

I thought, She has found out that I am a doctor, and now
is coming to make something of it. But how could she have seen me?
But no, she headed toward my companion and put the crucifix very forcefully on her lips so that she kissed it once, twice, and a third time.
The Virgin Mary was for the dancers of the Follies Bergère too.
Afterwards Conchita, still in the trance, joined the other girls and continued praying the rosary.
My companion, the ballerina, was weeping unstoppably, with deep heartfelt sobs, so inconsolable that I thought she was having an attack. I accompanied her to the wooden benches propped against the outside wall of Ceferino's tavern.
The crowd gathered around. I tried to calm her down.

She was finally able to tell that she had thought in her mind,
"If it is true that the Virgin is appearing, then let one of the girls come to give me a sign."
— Hardly had I thought this when Conchita came running toward me to give me the crucifix to kiss. I didn't want to kiss it, and I held her hand back. But with exceptional strength she forced the crucifix against my lips, and I had no other choice but to kiss it once, twice, and a third time — I, the unbeliever, the atheist, who believed in nothing. This shook me intensely.
We met days later on the train back to Bilbao. And I know, since we wrote each other several times, that she left the Follies Bergère and went back to her family in Uruguay.»
16. As in so many other points, Garabandal was coming in advance to warn about the other imminent crisis of doctrine concerning the priesthood. The furious desacralization, that soon would show itself in the clergy, could not at that time be foreseen.
17. Maximina writes about this in her letters to the Pifarré family; but she says Conchita was the one in ecstasy, similar to the misnaming of the visionary in the case of the woman from Uruguay.

18. This doctor, an eminent neuro-psychiatrist, who practiced
and taught in the capital of Cataluña, tenaciously studied the affairs of Garabandal and came to the conclusion, repeatedly expressed by him, that «from the medical and scientific point of view, I have found no satisfactory physiological or psychological explanation for these events which have produced such extraordinary phenomena.»

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