María González, Jacinta’s Mother
At the beginning it was very difficult for me to believe and I would say to Jacinta: “Oh, Jacinta, even before you were born you caused me trouble, and my God, what trouble you’re giving me now!”
We were in the kitchen, and Jacinta said to me: “Mama, we were picking apples and we were already in the Calleja when Conchita screamed. After she screamed, we saw that she was staring upwards. We also looked up and saw a great light and we remained in the same state as Conchita.”
The first time Jacinta spoke to me about this, I didn’t believe her. I didn’t speak about it to anyone, not even my family members. It didn’t occur to me to tell anyone because it seemed like a childish game to me, it went in one ear and out the other. I didn’t pay any attention, the other girls’ mothers didn’t say anything to me, and I didn’t say anything to them. We never got together to discuss it at all.
Eight days later, we called several neighbors, one of whom was Clementina. “Come with us, since you don’t believe us.” They were very impressed to see the girls like that. They told everyone about what was going on, and the people started to come. What I saw and felt the day I first saw the Apparitions will stay with me until I die.
I thought I was going crazy the first time I saw it! It was in the Calleja, and the four girls were there. When I heard some of the others talking about what they had seen, we all decided to go see it for ourselves. Simon watched from a distance, and later on he regretted not having gone closer.
When I saw my daughter like that, I began to scream loudly, so loudly that they covered my mouth. I had never seen anything like this before and I said: “Oh, my God! What can this be?” I didn’t know what to make of it. Jacinta had already told me about all she had seen and we didn’t believe her. One time she said: “Today, we saw a great light and some letters that we didn’t understand; it was a sign in the shape of a square.” One day, the priest told the girls that they should ask the Vision who she was and why she had come.
At times I was convinced of the girls’ apparitions and would say to myself, “well, yes, there is really something going on here.” Other times, my doubts would return, “oh, my God! What could this be?”
The girls had never left the village; they were not very educated. We would rarely send Jacinta to school because she had to tend the sheep, she knew how to read but only a little.
One time I said to Mari Loli and Jacinta, “do you know what I am going to do? I am going to put a bottle of holy water here, and when the Apparition occurs, throw a little bit of holy water. If it’s the devil, he will leave.” What happened was so strange. When they had the Apparition they took the bottle of holy water. A woman named Chon (Asunción) from Burgos was there that day along with a lady named Catherine, who was Jewish. They threw the holy water at the Apparition, but all of it fell on Catherine who later converted. Normally, when you throw water it falls in front of you but that day the water went in the opposite direction of where they were throwing the water. This incident had a great impact on Catherine, who was later baptized.
I witnessed many of the ecstasies. I remember that in the beginning, the four girls usually had ecstasies at night. We would leave each of them in her own house, without a watch, to see if they would join together at the same time, and they did. Sometimes two of the would fall into ecstasy here and the other two a little ways behind. When the girls in the back began to pray or to bless themselves, the ones in the front did the same exact thing without ever looking at the girls behind them.
When they started to run while in ecstasy, they were always better off than those who ran after them. Sometimes my sons ran behind them. The oldest one was 19, and Jacinta was 12. He is strong and he would run behind them. The girls ran in ecstasy with their hands like this (crossed), and when the girls stopped, they stopped dead in their tracks: boom! The boys would come to a stop farther ahead. The girls were just as fresh as if they had never run at all.
Some nights they barely slept, but the next day they would go to work and could do everything. They always had a smile on their faces and acted as if nothing had happened.
Sometimes they would say, “I haven’t gone anywhere.” This is because many times the ecstasies ended in the same place where they had began, and the girls didn’t realize where they had been unless the Blessed Virgin told them.
Once, they went to a place called “the cuadro,” which was in the calleja. Only the family members and the priests were allowed to enter so that the people didn’t crowd the girls. We were there in the cuadro when they fell into ecstasies. When they fell on their knees, a doctor grabbed Jacinta’s foot while she was falling and her leg remained pinned under her against the stones, she only had one knee on the ground and she was like this for about an hour. When I saw this, I suffered but she didn’t. The other leg remained bent as the doctor had left it when he released it. It always happened like that. When they fell into ecstasy, their hands stayed the way they had them. People would often prick their legs, but they didn´t bleed. When the Apparition ended, Jacinta said, “Mama, the Virgin told me that they were pricking my legs!” They looked at her legs and saw where she had been pricked, but there was no blood.
I remember once when Jacinta had tonsillitis and was in bed. It was raining, and she had gotten up that day, this was in the old house. I didn’t think she was going to have an Apparition but when I least expected it, she fell on her knees and had an Apparition. I stayed by the door without saying anything to her, and I thought, “you won’t leave through here.” I thought this because it was raining and she had tonsillitis, but I didn’t say it. I looked at her, thinking, as she was giving objects for the Virgin to kiss. Then, she grabbed my arm and went out very slowly, and I couldn’t resist. I don’t even know how she grabbed me. When she touched my arm, I felt something rigid that was neither hot nor cold. I took her jacket and said to her, “Oh, for goodness sakes! Put on your jacket.” I went to put the jacket on her, but she wouldn’t take it, she let it fall off. I ran and gave it to Loli, who was not in ecstasy and I said, “put it on her.” She put it on. There were things they could do for each other easily when one was in ecstasy and the other wasn’t.
Once, Loli was unscrewing a lit light bulb when she fell into ecstasy, she still had the light bulb in her hand, but didn´t burn herself. Jacinta went and removed her hand from the bulb. No one in the house could remove it and they were so worried that she was going to burn her hand, but nothing happened.
I remember one time when Jacinta was in ecstasy and ran into the corner of Ciriaco’s house! It sounded like something hollow, like something completely empty. “Oh, my goodness, she must have hit really hard!” After the Apparition had passed, we went to see if she was alright, and nothing was wrong, thanks be to God, nothing had happened to her.
During the time of the apparitions, they were healthier and they ate more than they do now. I wish that Jacinta would eat more, but she never regained the appetite she had then.
Jacinta went out at six in the morning for half a year to pray the Rosary in “the cuadro,” and her father would go with her. In the winter, six in the morning was very early, the sun still hadn’t risen. When she got back, I gave her a cup of coffee, it was very cold. She went to school at ten and then returned home for lunch. She never had a headache, or anything, thanks be to God, even though they used to walk around barefoot.
On another occasion, Jacinta was in ecstasy and a man arrived and said, “Give this crucifix to Jacinta so that she can give it to the Virgin to be kissed, something happened with it that I will tell you about later.” Fr. Valentín was there, and he gave it to be kissed, and as soon as he gave it to Jacinta she said, “this crucifix has already been kissed.” The man replied, “it’s true, it has already been kissed. I gave it to this girl to be kissed, two months ago.” This man was from San Vicente.
Jacinta and María Dolores were there during the night of the screams. They had an Apparition and said, “we’re going to have another Apparition at ten o´clock tonight.” Conchita was sick, so it was only the two of them. They told us that at ten that night we should be in the place where they had indicated. We had to leave them alone. We left them alone, but while we were there, waiting to see what would happen, they began to scream! The kind of screams that make you want to run! I was going to go, but they stopped me. A Franciscan priest also witnessed this and he began to pray. When they cried, he prayed, and they quieted down. They’d begin to cry again, and so he continued to pray; all of the people cried. When the priest prayed, the screams stopped.
Later, they came down and I could go near them. They fell at the place where they had first seen the Angel and cried. Such tears! I said, “oh, my goodness! What could this mean? What are they seeing?” During this time, the girls didn’t say anything. They went to Ceferino’s house and wrote a message on a piece of paper. They said that all of the people should go to confession because a Chastisement was coming. Everyone went to confession. We were horribly frightened, we thought that the Chastisement was coming. The people confessed as if they were going to die; they made a good confession.
The next day, Conchita went along and the screams began again. They said that they had to stay in the calleja to pray. They stayed there the whole night, and I stayed with them. Many of us stayed with them, so as not to leave them alone.
All of the things they said have slowly come to happen. They said that they would deny everything, their own families would have many disagreements, and many other things were prophesied, and they have all happened. At the time, I didn’t think that so many things would actually happen. But later I realized that everything they said was starting to happen, and that everything will come to pass as the Blessed Virgin has told them.