OUR LADY OF GARABANDAL
During the years 1961 to 1965, the mother of God appeared to four children in Northern Spain. This has been substantiated by many thousands of eye witnesses and believed by many millions of people throughout the world, who have since familiarised themselves with the extraordinary events which took place there.
The purpose of the apparitions was to deliver two important Divine messages to humanity. In essence, we were advised that a series of supernatural events would take place; the first of which is a Warning, intended to correct the conscience of mankind. Secondly a Great Miracle will take place as proof of God's immense love for the world. Thereafter, a Permanent Sign will remain in Garabandal as a constant reminder of the remarkable events that took place there, and as a forewarning of that which may still occur. Finally we are told, that should we fail to accept these happenings and amend our lives accordingly, we will bring upon ourselves a most terrible Chastisement. It will be God's own device to correct the path, redress the balance, restore perspective and right His world.
San Sebastian de Garabandal is a small rural village situated at the foothills of the Cantabrian Mountain range in northern Spain. On June 18th, 1961, four unsophisticated young girls, Mari Loli (12 yrs), Jacinta Gonzalez (12 yrs), Mari Cruz (11 yrs) and Conchita Gonzalez (12 yrs) were playing on the outskirts of the village when they heard a sound like thunder. Suddenly, there stood before them an angel. He said nothing and quickly disappeared. Pale and visibly shaken, the children ran back to the village and told the inhabitants of the apparition. Over the next several days, the girls saw the angel again. On July 1st he spoke for the first time saying,
"Do you know why I have come? It is to announce to you that tomorrow
the Blessed Virgin will appear to you as Our Lady of Mount Carmel."
The news of the forthcoming event spread quickly throughout the region. This angel, who was later identified as St. Michael the Archangel, acted as messenger for the Mother of God and prepared the young children for her noted and many apparitions * in the village.
At about 18:00 on July 2nd, the Blessed Virgin appeared to the children as promised. Without the slightest fear they spoke to the Lady of their vision. Many priests were among the numerous visitors who joined the villagers to witness the great occurrence. Over the next year and a half the Blessed Virgin appeared to the four girls hundreds of times, and was occasionally accompanied by the infant Jesus, whom she carried in her arms.
* An apparition is a
mysterious privilege whereby a soul is directly united to God in a manner
very intimate, savuoring celestial joy.
The purpose of the mother of God's appearance to the children in Garabandal was to convey two important messages for mankind's immediate attention, they were:
Message of October 18th,
1961 - "We must make many sacrifices,
perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently.
But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will
befall us. The cup is already filling up, and if we do not change, a
very great chastisement will come upon us."
Message of June 18th,
1965 - "As my message of October has not
been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am
advising you that this is the last one. Before the cup was filling up, now
it is flowing over. Many cardinals many bishops and many priests are on
the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less
importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of
God away from yourselves by your efforts. If you ask His forgiveness with
sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession
of Saint Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now
receiving the last warnings. I love you very much and do not want your
condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests.
You should make more sacrifices and think about the passion of Jesus."
The Warning - three great supernatural events were prophesied at Garabandal. The first to occur will be a worldwide Warning from God, which will be felt by everyone on earth. On the occasion of this happening, each person will experience an awareness of their own conscience in the light of God's justice. An individual will view their own soul as God sees it, by recognising the wrong they have done or the good they have failed to do. This illumination, intended as a purification and correction, will be a unique occurrence because never before has humanity had genuine access to God's assessment of their souls.
In a letter dated June 2nd, 1965, Conchita, the principal visionary wrote....
"The Blessed Virgin
told me on the first of January that a Warning would be given
before the Miracle so that the world might amend itself. This Warning, like the
Chastisement, is a very fearful thing for the good as well as for the wicked.
It will draw the good closer to God and it will warn the wicked that the
end of time is coming and that these are the last warnings."
The Great Miracle - the second prophesised event to take place will be a Great Miracle. This Miracle will happen at the village of Garabandal within a 12-month period of the Warning. It will occur on a Thursday evening at 18:30, on or between the 8th and 16th of March, April or May. It will take place on the feast-day of a martyr for the Eucharist and will coincide with an Ecclesiastical event in the Church. All those either in the village or on the surrounding mountains will see the Miracle. The sick who are present will be cured, sinners will repent and the sceptics will believe. As a result of this supernatural occurrence, Russia will be converted.
It will be the greatest Miracle that Jesus Christ will have performed for the world. There will be no doubt that it comes from God and that it is for the good of all mankind. A permanent supernatural sign of the Miracle, which can be filmed and photographed, but not touched, will remain at the village in Garabandal until the end of time.
An extract from Conchita's Diary, written in 1962, reads.....
".... the miracle will be extremely great, in keeping with the needs of the world."
The Chastisement - the third and most important event which may take place will be a severe Chastisement. Our Lady showed Conchita, and two of the other children in July of 1962, a vision of the impending castigation. The girls screamed in terror upon seeing this vision and begged for Mary's intercession so as God would spare them. The Blessed Virgin told them that the Chastisement was conditional on whether or not mankind heeded the supernatural events that were taking place and those events which were still to happen.
The Chastisement is mentioned only briefly by Conchita in her Diary. She wrote ....
" ... the chastisement
will be very, very great, in keeping with what we deserve.
If the world changes the chastisement can be averted."
To confirm the supernatural character of the events, Saint Michael told Conchita that on a certain date, the invisible Communion he would be giving her would become visible on her tongue to those around her. On July 3, Conchita began informing the villagers and writing some letters such as this one to Dr. Celestino Ortiz of Santander dated July 10, 1962, which follows:
"Just a few words
to tell you that the Angel told me that on the eighteenth of this
month they are going to see the Host on my tongue when I receive Communion.
Well, nothing more."
In the early morning
hours of July 18th, 1962, she left her house in ecstasy, turned
a corner, and fell to her knees in an adjacent street. As the crowd pressed around
her, she put out her tongue; those just inches away affirmed that it was bare and
her mouth empty. Then, faster than any eye could see, a brilliant white Host appeared
on her tongue. An amateur photographer a few feet away with a movie camera and
only a flashlight for illumination was able to film the last few moments of this miracle.
Here is the testimony of witness Pepe Diez as to what happened:
"When I saw that she held out her tongue, and that there was nothing at all on it, I had, I think, the worst moment in my life. ‘Oh my God!’ I said to myself, ‘This is terrible; there’s nothing here!’ And on saying this, I shined my flashlight directly into the interior of her mouth. Suddenly without the girl moving her tongue in the least - in a most unexplainable way - there suddenly materialized on it a white, round thing that seemed to increase in size. I don’t know how long it lasted, perhaps two or three minutes."
swallowing the Host, Conchita got to her feet and continued walking in ecstasy
as the Virgin appeared to her and said, "They still don’t believe."