Simon González, Jacinta's father
When the Angel appeared for the first time, Jacinta told us that night. She said that she had seen an Angel, but I didn’t believe her. We didn’t tell anyone at all, but eventually it became common knowledge.
Her brother Miguel Ángel said, “It was probably just a big bird. She’s just exaggerating.” And I said, “That’s enough!”
But by the way she explained it, I knew that something different was happening. The first day that people from the town went to accompany the girls, I did not go. But when they came down from the calleja (a stone path that leads to the pines), and told me what had happened, I wished I had gone!
A few days later, I went for the first time. I had read a little bit about what ecstasies are, but it’s one thing to read it on paper, and it’s quite another to actually see it… It brought me to tears. It took place in the calleja. Whenever I went to accompany the girls, there were always people from the village and from further away. From the beginning, people who had heard about the visions by word-of-mouth came from outside of Garabandal—from different provinces and towns close by. I was especially touched when the Angel gave them communion. Jacinta came and told us that the Angel gave them Communion. They told us about it, and we could see that the Angel would start at one side of the line of the four girls and end on the other side. Each girl put out her tongue and yes, we could see each girl swallow the Host.
Once we saw that the Angel didn’t give Jacinta Communion. Apparently, she had quarreled with her mother. The next day, I was working in the fields and I asked, “Where is Jacinta?” I was told that she had left. She had heard the church-bells ring for Mass, and she went to go to confession. When she got to the Church, Father Valentín was already celebrating Mass. After Mass, she went to confession and that afternoon my wife and I spoke, and we said, “Let’s see if the Angel gives her Communion, now that she has gone to confession.” We looked closely and yes, he did give her communion.
Sometimes the Angel didn’t give communion to the other girls as well. As for my daughter, I think the reason he didn’t give her communion was because of her disobedience to her mother. So he didn’t give her communion until she went to confession.
Some people said that the visionaries were sick or pretending. But I observed Jacinta. Often, as she slept, I observed her. But I didn’t recognize any sickness in her! They prayed without a rosary in their hands while they were in ecstasy. They said that the Blessed Virgin taught them. Jacinta learned the Litanies to Our Lady and the mysteries of the rosary all at once; she learned very quickly. The four of them prayed the rosary in ecstasy in the Church, before the main altar.
They prayed so beautifully, with long pauses. They never brought rosaries in their hands. But the prayed so well! When they left the main altar to go to another altar or to leave the Church, they always left walking backwards. They never turned their backs to the Tabernacle in ecstasy, never. So in that way they taught us to respect the Blessed Sacrament.
Their faces were angelic. Their faces did not look like their own faces. They looked like angels!
I often saw them run very quickly, extremely quickly. And they stopped suddenly. I saw them go down stairs backwards, but nothing ever happened. One day, Jacinta ran for four hours without rest in an ecstasy. Another night, for seven hours, but that time she did rest. It lasted a long time. Other times, it was only a half hour, one hour, or 15 minutes.
There were people from the village and from outside of the village, from all sorts of different places. The girls had the apparitions in the Pines, in the Church, on the street or at home. They also went to the cemetery.
On a certain occasion, Jacinta had an apparition, and the Blessed Virgin said to her, “I’ll be back in a month.” That was in November of the first year of the apparitions. Jacinta had many rosaries and crucifixes at home, because people brought them to be kissed by Our Lady, and since she didn’t have any apparitions, the religious objects started to pile up.
Exactly one month later, the Blessed Virgin came, just as she had said.
There were many people in my house and I said, “Where is Jacinta?”
“She left for school already.”
Then Jacinta arrived and a woman from Cosío gave her a few apples. Jacinta didn’t want the apples, so I said, “Just take them. I know you like apples. And if not, take them and give them to me.” She went to her room, and we knew that she had received an interior call from Our Lady while she was at school. When she received the third interior call, she left, and a man from Valladolid and I were the last to leave the house. Outside, Father Amador was waiting, a priest who was substituting Father Valentín, the parish priest. Father Valentín was told to leave because some blamed him for what was going on. Father Amador didn’t believe anything because he still hadn’t seen the apparitions. Father Amador was a good priest.
Father Amador was leaving the school and walking towards the entrance of the Church. “Father Amador! We’re going to go see Jacinta!” I said to him. “I can’t go, because I have to give catechesis. But if something happens, come get me.” He hadn’t seen an apparition. We went to the cuadro (a place where many apparitions took place, at the beginning of a stone path), and people were already there.
As soon as we arrived, Jacinta fell into ecstasy. I said, “Tell someone to go get Father Amador!”
It was late, because in December the days are short. So Father Amador came and started to write. He brought a flashlight and started writing and writing, and he kept moving his lips as if he wanted to talk. Father Amador started to understand that the apparitions were genuine and that it was serious. He realized that Father Valentín was right. Jacinta got up and went to the entrance of the Church. She stayed there for a few minutes, and then came home.
She went into our house and gathered the rosaries and everything she had to give to the Blessed Virgin Mary so she could kiss them. One rosary fell, but she picked it up without looking at the ground. She untangled everything with ease, without looking.
She went out to the street, and Conchita, who was not in ecstasy, said to her, “Jacinta, come to my house, because I also have things that people want her to kiss.” So, Jacinta went to Conchita’s house, and there were even more things there than in our house. Jacinta gave our Lady each object so she could kiss it.
Then she left and went to the cuadro. She stayed there for a few minutes, and then the ecstasy ended. A crowd of people arrived behind her and Father Amador said to her, “You’ve given us quite a work-out!” “Me? No…” Jacinta answered. “Yes, you! You made us run around the whole town,” he insisted. “I didn’t move from this place. I came here, and here I am!”
When they were in ecstasy, they didn’t realize what they were doing unless the Blessed Virgin told them. “You went to the entrance of the Church, you went to your house, and to Conchita’s house,” Fr. Amador said to her. “I already told you: I came here, and here I am,” Jacinta insisted.
The Blessed Virgin had told her that she would come in one month, and that’s exactly what happened, just as she said. I was brought to tears on the night of the feast day of the Incarnation. I thought to myself, “If these visions are from God, something special must happen today.”
It was March 24th, 1962. At 12:00 a.m. Jacinta fell into ecstasy at home. She left, and we followed her. She went to the entrance of the Church, stayed there for a few moments, and then went to Ceferino’s house. There weren’t many people there. It was close to 1:00 a.m. when Loli fell into ecstasy as well. They left and started to walk on the street. We followed them. Conchita, also in ecstasy, was in the street with her family. The three of them met up there. They went to the entrance of the Church and began to pray the rosary. They started to sing the mysteries of the rosary, which they had never done before. Their voices were angelic!
I was brought to tears when the girls said, “The Blessed Virgin Mary wants all of you to sing out loud.” I sung with all my heart. Everyone who could get out of bed came because when the rosary ended, the entire village was there. We had walked through the streets several times, because an entire rosary sung takes a long time. The entire village was moved. After the rosary, I thought to myself, “Since it’s the feast of the Incarnation, we really should sing some hymns.” It’s as if the girls could read my thoughts because they started to sing. After singing, they continued to walk, and they stopped. The Blessed Virgin asked them to sing one again, and the girls said, “Ah! If you don’t tell us how it goes, we won’t remember it!” They were new songs that the girls didn’t know. But it was exciting, and it was the day of the feast of the Incarnation.
All of the ecstasies were very beautiful. On one occasion, there was a man from Odanera, I believe, and he followed behind the girls. He was very tired from running after the girls. He hit his head on a little beam at a certain point because he was so tall. Then he thought, “What does this mean? I don’t understand anything.” Still following the girls, he thought, “I will believe if the girl who is in the middle turns around and gives me the crucifix so I can kiss it, and then goes back to her spot between the other girls. That would make me believe.”
Right after he thought that, the girl who was in the middle turned around, stood in front of him, made the sign of the cross on him, and gave him the crucifix so he could kiss it. He couldn’t believe it. Then the girl went back to her spot. It was close to the entrance of the Church. When the vision ended, he sat there and told us what had happened. He said, “I’ve seen enough for tonight.”
Another man from San Vicente de la Barquera, named Jacinto, had given the girls a rosary for the Blessed Virgin to kiss two months earlier. He had heard that the Blessed Virgin didn’t kiss rosaries more than once, and he said, “I’m going to go see if it’s true, just to make sure.” He came here and no one knew that he had come. It was 12:00 p.m. and we were in Ceferino’s house. Father Valentín and many others were there as well.
When Jacinta fell into ecstasy, the man from San Vicente said to Loli, “Here, give this rosary to Jacinta, so the Blessed Virgin can kiss it.” Loli gave it to Jacinta, and Jacinta said, “She already kissed it.” Loli gave it back to the man. Father Valentín asked him, “Are you sure it has already been kissed?” He said to the priest, “Yes, I am certain. She kissed it two months ago in the calleja.”
Once, Conchita was looking for a sheep of hers, who was a little bit deaf. She found it, but the sheep didn’t want to come home, and Conchita grabbed onto it and started to drag it. In that moment she fell into ecstasy while holding onto the sheep. We were unable to take the sheep away from her. Conchita was on her knees, and the sheep was in her arms. Her brother Serafín came, and he wasn’t able to take it from her either. Then Loli came, and she didn’t have to do anything. She just said, “Conchita, why don’t you let the sheep go?” And she let it go. I was present, and Jacinta was in ecstasy as well.
Once a man from Cabrujo came here and brought his niece, who was very fast and agile. His niece wanted to do everything the girls did while in ecstasy, but she couldn’t.
Another day a group of 40 people came, and we had no idea that they were coming. I left with Jacinta at 6 in the morning; it was February. I left with my lamp, like every morning, to pray in the calleja. When we went past Piedad’s house, she came out of her house with numerous rosaries and medals and said, “Here, for when you have an apparition.” I said, “How am I supposed to know when she’s going to have an apparition?” “Well, tell her to keep them in her coat.” She put them in her coat, and we went up towards the calleja, and Loli came to pray with her. We went up the calleja, and when we got there, the two girls started to pray the rosary. And suddenly many young women and different people came and started to crowd around the girls to see their faces. The lamp I had was lit. When they finished praying the rosary, they fell into ecstasy.
The people exclaimed, “This is amazing!” They had never seen the girls in ecstasy. They started to take our rosaries and crucifixes so Our Lady could kiss them, and they looked towards where the girls looked, to see if they could see Her. They were very moved. Some women started to cry just from seeing the girls in ecstasy. The girls walked towards the entrance of the Church in ecstasy and then to the plaza in front of Ceferino’s house. A young woman was leaning against a door, alone. Jacinta had a large crucifix in her hands and offered it to several people who were there so they could kiss it.
Jacinta approached the young woman and made the sign of the cross on her with the crucifix, and she offered it to her to kiss it. But the young woman pushed it away with her elbow, as if she didn’t want it. The woman didn’t say a word, but I said to her, “Go ahead and take it, Miss; she wants to give it to you.” She took it, and realized that it belonged to her. She bit her lip trying not to cry, just like little girls do. They had to carry her to her house because she couldn’t stop crying. Piedad had given that crucifix to the girls along with several other things, but the young woman didn’t know that the girls had it. We didn’t know either. But it was amazing to see her reaction when she realized that the crucifix was hers even though she had not given it to the girls, and the girls could not have known whose it was.
That young woman was an only child, and she decided to enter the convent. Her parents wouldn’t let her go, but she wrote to Jacinta, asking her to ask the Blessed Virgin if she could leave home to become a nun, and that’s exactly what happened. Another night, a girl brought Jacinta a crucifix and said, “Here, give this crucifix to the Blessed Virgin so she can kiss it, and then return it to its owner.”
During her ecstasy, she went to several different houses with the crucifix, and then she went to Josefa’s house and gave it to Josefa, the baker. We didn’t know to whom it belonged, but in the end it was Josefa’s. Josefa had given it to a girl from the village saying, “Give this to Jacinta so that the Blessed Virgin can kiss it during an ecstasy, and tell her to return it to its owner afterwards.
There were many, many similar cases. Obedience to your parents comes first. On a certain occasion, Jacinta said to me, “Dad, wake me up at four, because I’m going to have an apparition.” I replied, “OK, but go to bed and sleep well, I’ll come wake you up.” I didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m. and the last thing I wanted to do was to get up so early. So I woke her, but at six. “What time is it?” When I told her six, she asked, “Why didn’t you come at four?!” “Why didn’t the vision wake you up?” I asked. I was very tired and I didn’t want to be up all night. The Blessed Virgin didn’t wake them up if they were asleep. Jacinta got up, almost in tears, and we went to pray the rosary.
Jacinta didn’t have an apparition that day, and almost a month passed by. My conscience was bothering me because Jacinta was starting to lose weight: She was suffering. And when the other girls came over, Jacinta said to them, “Ask the Blessed Virgin when she’s going to come and see me.” But whenever they asked her, she didn’t say anything at all. Mr. Máximo, who was a German who had a conversion here in Garabandal found out that Jacinta wasn’t having visions anymore. So he wrote to Jacinta and told her that he was asking the Blessed Virgin to appear to her. A month later, he came here and stayed in the village for three days.
He went to the Church and asked the Blessed Virgin with all his heart if she would please appear to Jacinta in his presence. We were at home, and Loli came over while she was in ecstasy. Jacinta said to her, “Ask the Blessed Virgin when I’m going to see her.” Loli said to the Blessed Virgin, “When are you going to come see Jacinta?”
The Blessed Virgin responded immediately, and Loli said, “Ah, you’re going to come soon? She’s going to be so happy!” Not too much later, Jacinta fell into ecstasy. A month had passed since she had last seen the Blessed Virgin.
Some doctors said that the girls fell into ecstasy whenever they wanted. If it had been so, she would have been in ecstasy many times during that month. But I saw clearly that my little girl had lost weight; she didn’t feel well. My conscience wouldn’t leave me alone because I thought, “This is my fault.” I suffered a lot in those days.
It was summertime, so the boys didn’t come to the house because they had work to do. So I had to walk with her, because we couldn’t let her go alone. My legs hurt, but when she fell into ecstasy, all of a sudden nothing hurt anymore!
What made me suffer most was when people told me that one of the girls was going to die, and it was Jacinta. The photographer told me that, and I said, “Well I haven’t heard anything about that, and I’m her father.” “Oh, I’m so sorry to have said that to you!” he replied. And he told me because there were rumors going around.
I don’t know what it was based on, I have no idea, because I never noticed any illness in her. I suffered a lot in the beginning. I would walk away towards the mountain so they wouldn’t have to see me cry. But nothing happened in the end. I especially didn’t want my wife, María to find out, because the doctors from the Commission said that my daughter was sick, and the Bishop was certain that the visions were not from God.
But I was absolutely certain that my little girl was perfectly well and that she didn’t lie. In that situation, with so many contradictions, I thought I was going to go crazy.
On another occasion, Jacinta and Loli were at Ceferino’s house. Ceferino and Father Valentín were good friends, and Father Valentín was there as well. The girls fell into ecstasy. Other than Fr. Valentín, only the families of the girls were there. But then a man with a sheep-skin jacket came in—I didn’t know where he had come from. Jacinta was in ecstasy, and the man approached her and touched her shoulder. “Hey, don’t touch her,” I said to him. He said that he was a priest, but I said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a priest or not.” He had a cassock with him, under his coat. He didn’t say anything.
Afterwards, he took out a big crucifix and said to Loli, “Here, give this to the girl and ask her whose it is.” Loli gave Jacinta the crucifix and said, “Jacinta, who does the crucifix belong to?” “To a priest.” “Where is the priest?” “Here.” “There is no priest here. I don’t see a cassock!” “Well he has the cassock with him, under his sheepskin-jacket.”
The priest said to Loli, “Ask her who gave it to him.” Loli asked Jacinta, “Who gave it to him?” “The Bishop,” Jacinta responded immediately. The priest said, “And who gave it to the Bishop?” “The Pope.” I asked him, “Is that true?” “Yes. The pope sent these crucifixes to seminarians who had finished their studies; and among those students was the future bishop,” responded the priest. I don’t remember the name of the priest. I think he was from Asturias.
A Jewish woman named Catherine came, with a lady from Burgos. Her parents were Jewish, not Catholic, but she wanted to be baptized. She came here during the apparitions, and she always came to my house with the lady from Burgos named Chón (short for Asunción).
María was nervous about the Apparitions because she worried that it was the devil who appeared to them. She gave Jacinta and Loli a bottle of Holy Water and said, “When you have an apparition, throw this Holy Water at the vision.” When they had an apparition, they threw the Holy Water at her, but the water didn’t go towards the vision, but it curved around backwards and fell on Catherine, the Jewish woman. It was a sign that the Blessed Virgin wanted her to be baptized.
When they visited houses, they often went up to the beds. They made the sign of the cross over the headboard. If two people slept there, they made two. Once, they made three crosses, and it turned out that in that house one of the little boys was sick, and he slept with them. So if they made three crosses it was because three people slept there. And if the husband was unfaithful, the girls knew it. In my sister Tiva’s house, they entered a bedroom and made the sign of the cross on the head board, and then on the other side. And it turned out that one of the girls slept with her head on the other side of the bed. Whenever they entered a house, they knew exactly what went on in the house. But no one told them. If they saw a boy and a girl being overly affectionate, they said, “Wow, you’re acting like you’re married.”
A man from Galicia, in the province of Orense came here. I worked in the province of Orense. He was born in Palencia, and he had been to Garabandal several times. He came with rosaries that had already been kissed by the Blessed Virgin, and he brought more. He gave them all to one of the girls who was in ecstasy, but the girl set aside the ones that had already been kissed and only gave to Our Lady the ones that hadn´t been kissed. How could they have known which ones had been kissed?