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D. Juan Alvárez Seco, brigadier of the Civil Guard

During the Apparitions, Mr. Juan Alvarez Seco was a brigadier of the Civil Guard, the head of the region of Puentenansa, the district upon which San Sebastián de Garabandal depends.

Mr. Seco said:
When I was close to being promoted to Brigadier, I said to myself: “I don’t want to be stationed up North.” But it seems that Divine Providence had destined me for Santander.  Looking back on it, I can see that I was meant to be in the North, especially at the border of Palencia, Asturias, and Santander, in Rionansa.

On April 1, 1961, I took charge of the Civil Guard in Puentenansa, the afore-mentioned sector, with numerous recommendations from my bosses. I received the position as a special privilege because my predecessor had to leave for another destination by order of the Superiors and for the good of the service.  I had only been in the area for two months, but it was enough for me to get to know the assigned district.

The events I will narrate began on June 18, 1961.
Something marvelous occurred in my district, of which I was notified on June 20th. During a visit to Dr. José Luis, a physician, he told me some news that had surprised him: according to two women from San Sebastián de Garabandal, St. Michael the Archangel had appeared to four girls.
Though the reason I had asked for the appointment in the first place was to request a prescription for my hearing, I believe I did not ask him about the prescription in that moment. I had the impression that I did not need it because I had understood perfectly well what he told me about the women.
I went to the barracks immediately to pass this knowledge on to the corporal, Mr. José Fernández Codesido, whom I reassigned to San Sebastián de Garabandal to gather information on the four girls in case it might concern us.  
When he returned, the corporal informed me that all of the girls had in fact coincided in the same Apparition of the Angel.  The protagonists were:
•    Conchita González González, 12 years old, who had no father,
•    María Dolores Mazón González, the same age as the previous, and daughter of Ceferino, the President of the Local Assembly,
•    Jacinta González González, also 12 years old, who belonged to a numerous family,
•    María Cruz González Barrido, the youngest of the group: 11 years old.

The four visionaries separately informed corporal Fernández of the following:
They had been playing marbles at the entrance of a country road called “Ventura” next to a small garden adjacent to the home of the schoolmaster.  There was an apple tree in the garden full of apples, which called the girls’ attention.  Just as any normal children would, they picked some apples from the tree to eat without thinking twice. Regarding the Apparitions, I thought it best to present the matter to my superiors.  But, following the advice of the parish priest, Fr. Valentín Marichalar, I held back the information for a few days, awaiting new events.

On June 21st, I decided to visit the parish priest, but we coincided on the road to Garabandal. Mr. Eustaquio Cuenca was driving him to Santander to have a meeting with the Bishop. At that, I felt obliged to return promptly to the garrison to write a report explaining everything that had happened in Garabandal. I gave the report to a guard, with orders to pass it on to my superior.

The next day, June 22nd, I decided to go to Garabandal with my assistant to personally investigate the events that were taking place there. Garabandal is a small mountain village made up of about 70 houses. The great warmth of the villagers, however, somehow makes one forget how small it really is.  It is located in the foothills of the Picos de Europa Mountains and near Peña Sagra. Garabandal borders with the provinces of Asturias, Palencia, and Santander. At the time, the only road that lead to Garabandal was a difficult one. It began in Cosío and winded around the mountain for seven kilometers before finally reaching the village. Many people hiked up the mountain or drove up in all-terrain vehicles to reach Garabandal due to the short, steep slopes, mud, and rocks that made it difficult for vehicles. However, the current highway that leads to Garabandal makes the trip simpler.
During my uphill approach to the little village, I admired the beautiful view, which reminded me of the nativity scenes in Cataluña during Christmas time.  In the village, I observed how the water, chickens and the pigs ran through the streets… there were also sheep, goats, and cows with their bells chiming.

The inhabitants uphold many religious customs. They never forget, under any circumstances, to pray the Angelus as soon as the clock strikes noon.  In the afternoon, they pray the holy rosary, led by the parish priest, or in his absence, by the schoolmistress or Maximina, a widow.  Upon nightfall, Simon’s wife, Jacinta’s mother, goes out through the village with a lantern and rings a bell to remind everyone to say the last prayers of the day. On Sundays, after attending Holy Mass in the old and humble parish Church, they rest a little bit.  In the afternoon, the youth gather on a porch. They have fun singing and playing a tambourine; their voices and movements are full of respect and honesty.
A small bridge crosses a stream not too far from the entrance of the Church. When the girls crossed the bridge together in ecstasy, if one did not fit, she would walk in the “air” without falling.  
As I said, I arrived in the village with my assistant, Celemín. He introduced me to a resident of Garabandal named Valentina.  This amiable woman, whose face reflected goodness and love, treated me as though she had known me for years. She told us the following without hesitation:

The first apparition had taken place on Sunday, June 18th. When the girls had finished praying the Holy Rosary and after Catechism class in the Church, they were free to play.  They decided to go to the “calleja,” leaving behind some of the girls and inviting another to go up with them to play marbles.  They also picked apples from the schoolmaster’s orchard.  When the schoolmaster saw that the tree was shaking, he asked his wife to find out what was happening because they thought that the sheep were in the tree. Apparently, the four girls began to laugh and nothing happened.  Once they were full and had some fruit in their pockets, consciences began to hurt them a little.  Their reaction was to blame the devil for what they had done.  They took some small stones and threw them with all of their might towards a corner where they thought the devil was laughing at them.  Once they were calm, they decided to leave the garden and return to their games. In that moment, Conchita saw a very beautiful figure appear. It was small, with bright shining wings, and pointing to the apparition, she said, “Over there! Over there!” The other girls, seeing Conchita in that position, tried to run away to tell her family, because they thought she was going to faint.  But suddenly, they too fell into ecstasy and saw the Angel in the same place.  They all cried, “The Angel!” Some children who were also playing in the calleja threw pebbles at the girls, and that was when the Angel led them about 50 meters higher on the path. While they were on their knees looking towards the Angel and listening to him, a villager who was walking down the mountain carrying a honeycomb wanted to pass by them. It annoyed him that they didn´t move to let him pass, not paying any attention to what was happening. Once he passed, as he walked towards the village he thought to himself that it was strange that the girls had remained in the same position.  He says that he could not sleep that whole night because he was thinking about how strange it was.  He explained it to his wife, who responded that it the girls were just being girls.

During this first apparition, the Angel asked the four girls to go to that same place and pray the Holy Rosary every day. He said that he would be there with them. The girls, shaken and in tears, then walked toward the Church to pray and from there, to tell their families what had happened.  Their family members feared that the girls were lying, and didn’t want to let them go to the calleja the next day. Only Conchita’s mother was resolute in her opposition.   But when the rest of the girls went to her and begged, she told them to go to the calleja, and promised them that Conchita would go to meet them later.
Mrs. Valentina said that, “It is better for them to see an Angel, than something worse.” Several women spied on them, and when they saw that what the girls said was true, they began a great commotion in the village.  They announced it to everyone. Everyone was convinced, and they all went to the calleja to witness the visions. No one mocked them.
After that day, I was happy and I ordered a pair of Civil Guards to keep an eye on Garabandal.  The news ran through all of the neighboring villages, and people came to Garabandal daily, which was what prompted intensified surveillance.

After the third or fourth apparition of the Angel, eight or nine days passed without a new apparition, so the people began to doubt. After these days, the Angel began to appear again and each day 500 to 3,000 pilgrims came to Garabandal to witness the apparitions.  
I remember that the visionaries said that they had three calls.  At the first call, they experienced a sensation of joy from their chests to their throats. The second call produced the same sensation.  You could tell when they had had the second because they got fidgety and put on a sweater as if they had to go to Church.
After several apparitions of the Angel, a teacher arrived in San Sebastián de Garabandal to tutor Eustaquio Cuenca’s son because he had failed some classes. The parish priest asked the teacher to accompany the girls during the apparitions, listen to their conversations with the Angel, and to take notes.
The people who went to see the Apparitions discussed whether the girls were hypnotized or given pills, or similar things.
After an apparition, my companion, a Sergeant of the Civil Guard, informed me that after Conchita’s ecstasy ended, the teacher took her to Eustaquio Cuenca’s house. The Sergeant thought that what the people were suggesting was true: that the teacher was giving them pills.
Next, I went to Eustaquio Cuenca’s house, who was a wealthy man, and I did find Conchita with the teacher. I asked him why she was there and he responded that Fr. Valentín had entrusted to him the task of gathering information from the visionaries after the visions took place. He asked the girls to tell him about the conversation, and what the angel wanted.  Later he would write a report to give to Fr. Valentín for the Bishop.

Some suggest that Conchita always decided beforehand when the girls would leave their houses to go see the apparition, and that she was the one who influenced the others.
Others claim that it is an illness. María Dolores’s father requested that the doctor, Don José Luis, President of the Local Assembly, take a look at the girls. Dr. José Luís came to Garabandal accompanied by Ceferino and the Mayor. They brought the girls to Ceferino’s store, and then took them into the room where Ceferino keeps the bread. There, the doctor gave them a medical checkup.
I remember that after the checkup they left quickly so they could go to the calleja and see the vision of the Angel. The doctor said that the girls had epilepsy and were sick; everything that happened was due to a sickness they had. But I could see that the visionaries were doing very well and each day they were more beautiful and healthier. Their parents and siblings, however, seemed tired, and it showed on their faces that they were physically drained; the lack of sleep and rest was apparent.
The parish priest and others ordered them to separate into pairs, to see if they would reach the get to the apparition at the same time. When the next apparition takes place, the four girls left from different places and reached the Cuadro at the same time.  The four girls came out of the ecstasy with the same ease with which they entered.  They were very happy and perfectly normal. All those who witnessed those scenes were very impressed.  Everyone wanted to touch their hair and the women wanted to kiss them. They were protected by the two Civil Guards until the crowds dispersed.

On Saturday, June 24th, people from many different places who had heard the news walked through the village. In the location where the apparitions took place, the villagers put up a wooden fence 1. so that the visionaries would not be mistreated and pinched, 2. so that everyone could see and not just the priests who normally surrounded them, and 3. to protect the visionaries from the avalanches of people who wanted to approach them at once. When the apparition ended, they went to the sacristy of the Church to explain what they had seen to Fr. Valentín and other unknown observers.
June 24th and 25th:
There were many more people than on the previous days, including many priests and doctors.  During the ecstasy, a doctor wanted to pick Conchita up, but because of the excessive increase in weight that she experienced while in this state, he dropped her, and her knees hit the ground with a loud thud. When the vision ended, the doctors and priests examined them. They clearly observed the marks from Conchita’s fall, from pinch marks, hits, and scratches from people who wanted to “test” the girls.  But they did not experience any pain at all, and in the moment of the ecstasy they didn’t react in the least. They were not aware of anything of the exterior world during the ecstasies, and when they ended, the bruises and scratches still did not cause them any pain; only the marks remained.
Saturday, July 1st:
Crowds of people from all social classes, including doctors, attended the apparition, which took place at about 7 p.m. and lasted about two hours. When it finished, the girls said that it was very short, that it only lasted two or three minutes.  It is humanly impossible to remain in that position even for just a few seconds, and even less with the angelic expression on their faces. But that day the Angel told them that they would see the Blessed Virgin Mary the following day.
Sunday, July 2nd:
The Calleja is full of people praying the rosary.  Everyone wants to be there when the ecstasy happens.  The second in command of the Nansa Electrical Company, Mr. Rocha, was next to me.  He had come up to the village with Dr. Morales and Dr. Piñal, both of whom had been sent as part of the Committee organized by Bishop Fernández.  I remember that Mr. Rocha told me, “This afternoon, the visionaries won’t go up to the Cuadro to see the vision.”  I responded that in supernatural affairs, the doctor doesn’t get any say in the matter.
I went around the bend in the Calleja and saw that they were about halfway up the path.  I stayed there waiting for them to go up to the Cuadro because Dr. Morales was going to try to impede the apparition.  However, to Mr. Rocha’s surprise the visionaries went up to the Cuadro unaffected by Dr. Morales’ attempt to hypnotize them.  All four of them, on their knees, began to pray the first mystery of the rosary and right away they had the vision.   Dr. Morales arrived on the scene and wasn’t able to prevent the apparition.  

The four visionaries cried out together, “The Blessed Virgin!”  At first they thought that it was Our Lady of Perpetual Help, but later they realized that it was Our Lady of Mount Carmel, because she carried the Child Jesus and had a scapular on her wrist.  The Blessed Virgin was surrounded by six angels, whom Conchita counted out-loud.  Conchita also said “what an eye!” and after the vision we learned that it was the Most Holy Trinity, in the form of an eye.  During the vision the girls started to cry, Mari Cruz more than the others. One of the doctors grabbed her by the neck to try to turn her face away but he wasn’t able to.  I thought that he hurt her because I heard her neck crack, but she was unharmed.

After a short time in ecstasy, the visionaries’ faces became more peaceful.  They were positioned in front of the Pines, María Dolores on the right, followed by Conchita and then Jacinta.  Mari Cruz was at the far left, at my side.  All four girls had rosaries in their hands and we could hear them perfectly as they told Our Lady about their chores at home.  María Dolores showed Our Lady her teeth, which we later learned was because the Blessed Virgin had said that she had very nice teeth.  Next, Conchita opened her mouth to show Our Lady a chipped molar.  We also understood that Our Lady must have asked them what the parish priest was like, because they responded that Fr. Valentín was ugly but very good.  Fr. Valentín and many of those of us who were there were able to hear these words.   
Conchita also told Our Lady that she prayed a lot for the Civil Guards who protected them a lot from the curious onlookers and prevented them from doing the girls harm.  They also asked Our Lady to let them try her crown on and in the end, she gave in and we watched as the girls took it and passed it from one to the other.  Conchita also asked the Blessed Virgin to let her take one of the stars from the crown and put it on her head, so that the people would see it and believe in the apparitions, but Our Lady answered that we already believed in them.

The visionaries describe the Blessed Virgin in the following way: a white tunic, blue mantel, a crown of golden stars, with her hands outstretched, a brown scapular, long, brown, and not too dark, hair parted down the middle and a very beautiful face.  She appeared to be about 17 years old and was pretty tall.  All four affirmed that her voice is unmistakable and very melodious.  

From this point on, I have witnessed many apparitions and, in addition to the normal ecstasies, I’ve been present for hundreds of ecstatic walks, where the girls, in ecstasy, ran very quickly through the village streets and sometimes even ran backwards.  No one could keep up with the girls when they ran during an ecstasy.  Even the visionaries themselves, if they weren’t in ecstasy at the same time as one of the others, couldn’t keep up with the one who was in ecstasy. Some of the villagers tried to run with them too, but they couldn’t keep up.  

I’ve also witnessed many times how the girls, still in ecstasy, returned objects kissed by Our Lady to their rightful owners without ever making a mistake.  Some people gave their medals to the girls to be kissed, after they had already done so once before but Our Lady told them that the medals had already been kissed, so she wasn’t going to kiss them again.  Other people gave them rings to be kissed, but they weren’t kissed; Our Lady only kissed wedding rings.  Many times the girls returned the wedding rings to their proper owners, despite the crowds of people and the number of rings that they had in their hands.  

When I met the visionaries, they were “unattractive,” but when they were in ecstasy, their faces were beautiful and angelic.  I’ve also seen them fall and hit their heads on a rock, with a loud thud, but it hurt me more than it hurt them because nothing happened to them.   The phenomena occurred over an extended period of time and with such a frequency (during a single day they might have two or three ecstasies) that it’s almost impossible to count them or to tell about them all.  Therefore, I can only tell a few cases and examples of things that I lived, although I remember so many things very clearly.  I remember them so clearly that, God willing, as long as I live, I’ll never forget.

About the first message:
The visionaries are in the Cuadro, looking very serious and concentrated on what the Blessed Virgin is telling them.  Some of them were crying and those of us watching shared their emotion.  Once the ecstasy ended, and while there was complete silence, Father Valentín announced, “The Blessed Virgin has given these visionaries a message, which they can’t tell to the priest, nor to their parents, nor to the Bishop.”

Our Lady told the girls that the next day they had to go up to the pines alone.  To make sure that no one else came, the visionaries suggested that two little girls accompany them; they were probably only about three years old and didn’t really understand what was going on.  I remember that María Dolores told me, “Brigadier, you and my dad can be close by, but about 100 meters to the right of the pines.  The priest and two religious sisters can also be there, but to the left of the pines, about 100 meters away.  The rest of the people should be far away.”  We did as they instructed and we could tell when they entered into ecstasy because when they began to cry a lot, the little girls got scared and started to cry out loud.  We later found out that the reason the girls had to be alone was so that Our Lady could give them the message for October 18th, 1961. The girls made a little altar with fruit boxes at the base of the pine trees.  The picked wild flowers and spent the whole morning fixing it up.

One day Our Lady appeared to the visionaries in the Pines in the presence of a Civil Guard from Reinosa and one of his friends, both of whom had come in order to see an ecstasy.  The witnesses said that they heard Conchita say to the Blessed Virgin, “but don’t hurt yourself on those branches,” because she had appeared very high up and between two pines.  Primitiva’s daughter, Elvira, and another villager were also there.

The doctors came to take Conchita to Santander on July 27th, in agreement with the Bishop, to put her into a convent there.  The other girls who were staying there were supposed to take her around the city to distract her, with the hope that the sickness they believed she had, would pass.  It just so happened that I had gone to Santander so I wasn’t there when it happened, but I had stationed two guards in Garabandal so that they could tell me what had happened in regards to the apparitions in my absence.  When I got back from Santander, to Puente-Nansa, I called the guards that had been on duty and they informed me that at 1 o’clock p.m., the St. Michael the Archangel had appeared to the three visionaries. They girls had told the Angel that when the Blessed Virgin appeared that day in Garabandal, Conchita wouldn’t be able to see her.  He responded that at 3 o’clock, Conchita would see Our Lady in Santander, at the same time as they were seeing her in Garabandal.

The next day at about 8 a.m., I received a call in Puente-Nansa from the Brigadier in-charge, Crecencio. He asked me, “What happened yesterday in Garabandal?” I said, “At 1 p.m. the Angel appeared to Mari Cruz, Jacinta and María Dolores and told them that Conchita would have the apparition of the Blessed Virgin in Santander at the same time as them.” Crecencio confirmed that, in fact, Conchita had received the apparition of Our Lady at that time in Santander, at the convent gate.  

A young man whom I had seen in Garabandal when he came up to see the apparitions and who knew the visionaries perfectly well, told me that he saw Conchita in Santander, with some other little girls.  He said that they were walking over the tunnel leading to the Railway Station, heading back towards the convent, when Conchita fell into ecstasy.  

When Conchita’s mother came back to Garabandal, she said that her daughter was sick and that was why she had visions.  She said that it was all a lie, and that some ecclesial authority had announced it.  Once, when I was close to the fountain that Eustaquio donated to Garabandal, two villagers told Mari Cruz’s mother that is was all a lie.  If I hadn’t been there, Mari Cruz’s mother would have started a fight, but fortunately nothing happened.  

Serafín got back from chopping wood in Navarra and asked his mother where Conchita was.  She responded that she was in Santander and he told her to bring her home.   Back in Garabandal, one afternoon when Conchita was playing at a neighbor’s house with Primitiva’s granddaughter, she heard Our Lady’s voice.  She checked under the bed to see if She was there but didn’t see Her.  The Blessed Virgin told Conchita to go the next day to see the vision with the other girls.  When the four of them were together, Conchita told them not to leave Garabandal when people tried to take them.

They cut off Conchita’s hair.  During one of the first apparitions, after giving Our Lady many rosaries and medals to kiss, Conchita showed Our Lady her pigtails, as if she was offering them to her. Conchita had told me about what had happened when they cut off her pigtails: She said that they took her to a hair salon where there were two employees and the owner.  One of the employees went to cut Conchita’s hair but she couldn’t, or maybe she was just nervous, but in the end the owner had to do it.  Conchita, rather than complaining about having to get it cut, smiled and said, “Now I look better.”  She had fulfilled what I think she had once promised to the Blessed Virgin, to offer her her pigtails because during the vision in Garabandal, she offered them to Our Lady.  

When María Dolores’ mother found out that Conchita’s mother had returned from Santander, she had said that the visionaries were sick and that it was all a lie, she told her daughter (without Ceferino’s knowledge) not go to the apparition when she felt the call.  When the time came, María Dolores went to the Calleja and was in ecstasy seeing the Angel but it only lasted a minute or two and she returned home crying.  When her father saw her, he said, “Your mother must have said something to you.  What happened? Why are you crying?”  María Dolores answered that she had only been with the Angel for a few minutes because her mom had told her that the apparitions weren’t real.

About a rock that Our Lady kissed:
María Dolores left her house in ecstasy and went up the Calleja towards the Pines.  Leaving the path, she knelt down and we made a circle around her.  Fr. Ramón Andréu was next to me and we watched as María Dolores picked up stones and held them up for Our Lady to kiss and saying that this one was for a friend of hers or a family member in Cádiz. She picked up another and did the same, offering it for another person who was away from Garabandal.  She took another and without saying anything, let it fall back on the ground.  But I picked it up and put it in my vest pocket.  María Dolores continued speaking to the Blessed Virgin and we understood that she asked that Loli show her the last rock that she had kissed.  Loli, looking up and touching the ground with her hand, couldn’t find the rock.  We put two or three next to her and she touched them, but didn’t pay any attention to them.  But Fr. Andréu said, “Brigadier, take out the pebble that you stuck in your pocket and put it on the ground.”  I obeyed and it seemed that Our Lady told her that it was on the floor because she touched various rocks and among them found the one that I had put down.  She picked it up and showed it to Our Lady and then put it back on the ground.  I picked it up again and kept it.  When the ecstasy ended I asked her if the rock that I had and that she had looked for, had been offered up for someone, she said no, so I kept the pebble.

When Emilio Valle and his daughters came to Garabandal:
That day, Emiliano’s daughters gave me various medals to give to María Dolores so that she could present them to Our Lady to be kissed.  I did so and María Dolores had an apparition in the Pines.  I remember that it was an interesting case because María Dolores was on the ground, face-up speaking to the Angel and said, ‘if you don’t help me, I can’t get up.’ At that moment, I saw Loli stick out her arm and she began to sit up little by little until she was in a sitting position.  It was just as if someone had given her his hand and had slowly sat her up.

In the afternoon I went to Garabandal and when I arrived, Eustaquiio came out to meet me and said, “Brigadier, if you would have gotten here a little sooner you would have been able to hear Our Lady’s voice.”  Passing by Jacinta’s house, I saw her with María Dolores standing at the door.  They called out to me very joyfully and said that Dr. Angel Domínguez Borreguero, director of the Provincial Mental Hospital of Salamanca had given them a microphone to record the Blessed Virgin’s voice.  I went to Dr. Domínguez to find out more and he told me, “I would show you the tape, but we don’t want to run the risk of something happening that could erase it.”  Gerardo Pleya, a professor from the University of Salamanca, accompanied Dr. Domínguez.  Both of them were vacationing for the summer in Llanes (Asturias) and when they heard about the apparitions, came to Garabandal.  If they want to, they could also bear witness.

July 25th ,1961, feast of St. James the Apostle:
That day I had a pair of guards stationed in the Calleja and another in front of Conchita’s house.  The four visionaries were playing in a near-by field and it was probably about 7:30 pm.  The sky was completely cloudless.  Suddenly a black cloud formed over the PiedraSagra and at the same time there a huge bolt of lightning.  The visionaries, clearly frightened, fell to their knees.  The thunder was very loud.  The girls looked up in ecstasy.  I had to quiet Mari Cruz’s mother’s screams and we all remained in silence.  

When his Excellency Dr. Doroteo Fernández y Fernández published the first note from the bishop recommending that priests not go to Garabandal, the priests came dressed in normal clothes, not as priests.  I remember that Conchita, in ecstasy, said that the Blessed Virgin said, “there are three priests in the village.”  Conchita responded that there was only one and then we heard her say “there are three.”  In the end, two men revealed that they were priests, but that they went dressed normally because of the Bishop’s prohibition.  Another day, two second-lieutenants of the Aviation Corps came.  I recognized them but I didn’t want to say anything, but the visionaries found out because Our Lady told them that they were chaplains.  

On October 12th, 1961, I received the Cross to kiss, individually from each of the four girls as a gift from the Blessed Virgin on the feast day of my patron saint and for coming to Garabandal that day.

October 17th, 1961:
I went up that day with 14 pairs of guards to maintain order, as it was the day before the 18th.  Conchita came up to me in ecstasy and gave me the Cross to kiss, which for me was a sign of hope that everything was going to turn out well, despite the huge number of people that came to Garabandal and despite the heavy rain that hadn’t stopped all day.  There wasn’t even the slightest problem.  I calculated that there were about 12 thousand to 15 thousand people in Garabandal that day.  The fact that there were 8 hundred to a thousand cars and no accidents, to me was a huge surprise.

I was next to the visionaries when they took out a hand-written note, which Fr. Valentín opened and read.  The people asked that the message be read louder and I clearly heard the four visionaries recite what was written all at once and without making a single mistake.  Later a volunteer with a loud voice read it again.  Everyone who went to Garabandal that day thought that they were going to see the sun in the middle of the night, like in Fatima.  In reality, a serious message was read, and today it has considerable importance.  This is how I understood it:
You must do many sacrifices, much penance.
Visit the Blessed Sacrament.  But beforehand, we must be very good.
If we don’t do this, a chastisement will come.
The cup is already filling and if we don’t change, a great chastisement will come upon us.

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