Interviews and Testimonies
José María Pemán and Garabandal
Román Martínez del Cerro was an eyewitness of the apparitions at San Sebastián de Garabandal during eleven days in July 1962. His father, Miguel Martínez del Cerro, was a good friend of the prestigious, Spanish writer who cultivated all literary genres: José María Pemán. Both professors worked together in the summer classes at the University of Seville in Cádiz. In this article, Román relates the moment in which his father told José María Pemán about his experience in Garabandal. José María Pemán never stated his opinion publicly on the topic, however it is likely that his friendship and appreciation for Miguel Martínez del Cerro inclined him toward an openness to the possibility of the supernatural character of the events, awaiting the Church’s final statement.
Father Laffineur - GARABANDAL MISSIONARY
Father Materne Laffineur was one of the first promoters of the apparitions in Garabandal outside Spain. Witness of several ecstasies, confidant of the seers, zealous priest and of a deep spirituality, he gathered his experiences and reflections on Garabandal in a book entitled The Star on the Mountain.
Sixteen medals received in the two wars he took part in show how much he is worth. We will find his deep spirituality and love for the Virgin of Garabandal in the following passages—taken from his letters and notebooks—included in the remembrance card that were given to his family and friends after his death.
Below, we offer the full translation of Father Laffineur's remembrance card, as a tribute to this priest in love with Most Holy Mary of Garabandal.
Fr. Gustavo Morelos - The Bishop of Jalapa, Mexico and Garabandal
Fr. Gustavo Morelos was a Mexican priest who passed away on March 7, 2015, at 87 years of age. He had news of what was taking place in San Sebastián de Garabandal in 1965, when the apparitions were in their final stages. He managed to spend nearly three months in Garabandal that very year, studying the phenomena and interviewing the girls, their parents and siblings, and several witnesses. He lived to see his nephew’s surprising recovery from an illness doctors considered hopeless (read the article here). He always attributed this healing to the Virgin of Garabandal. Since then and until his death, he worked to spread the messages of Garabandal.
Dr. Juan Hervás Palazón
Juan A. Hervás Palazón is a medical physician, university professor and specialist in pediatrics. He has developed his professional life in the United States (Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School) and in Spain (Valencian Community and Mallorca), where he has been the head of the Pediatric Department in two hospitals. He has recently retired.
Maria Simma, the Souls in Purgatory, and Garabandal
"It will be something for the conversion of humanity."
There is an interesting book from 1993 entitled, Get Us Out of Here!! Maria Simma Speaks With Nicky Eltz, by Nicky Eltz. It is the finished product of over thirty interviews carried out during about five years. In this book, Maria Simma describes her experiences with candid simplicity and responds wisely to the interviewer’s countless questions. Certainly Maria Simma’s testimony must be studied and evaluated by the Church, and we remit it to the Church’s judgment. Nonetheless, I know several people who have read this book and I can assure that having read it has not left them indifferent. In several moments and manners, this book touches on Our Blessed Mother’s messages and the warnings she gave in the apparitions in San Sebastian de Garabandal. I thought we could benefit greatly studying and reflecting upon them.
Mother María de las Nieves García
"School Memoirs of Conchita" (1966-1968)
In the afternoon, Conchita would come to find me and we would speak in one of the drawing rooms. I never forced her; she came voluntarily. A Claretian priest, Father Joaquin María Alonso, who was in Fatima studying Lucia's case for the Congregation of the Faith, found out and came to see me more than once. He spoke with the Mother General and told me that I should write down everything that I spoke about with Conchita, and even if 100 years went by, I should not destroy those memoirs.
On March 3, 1962, the four young visionaries, Conchita, Mari Loli, Jacinta, and Mari Cruz, received an anonymous letter in San Sebastián de Garabandal.
“Félix López, a former student of the Major Seminary in Derio (Bilbao, Spain) and later professor in the school in Garabandal, was gathered together with a few others in the kitchen in Conchita’s house. The girl had received a letter that she did not understand, so she asked Félix to translate it for her. It was writen in Italian, and Félix, after reading it, said, 'Based on his way of writing, it could be from Padre Pío.'”