Once again, we remember the anniversary of the first apparition of the Angel in Garabandal, an apparition which commenced an entire story of love. I say love because you can certainly perceive a special love in the apparitions of Garabandal: the love of a Mother who worries about her children and desires their salvation. The Angel prepared and announced the visit of this loving Mother, but what exactly happened that June 18?
A Hidden Village
At that time, Garabandal was a village with 300 inhabitants, the majority of which worked in the fields and with livestock. You could say that it was a hidden village, almost forgotten, given that it is situated in the mountains of northern Spain. Its people, religious and full of faith, lived in a simple way without many things. From these families, came four girls who, on that day of June 18, 1961, would have the joy of being able to see the Angel.
Conchita along with Mari Cruz went away from the village’s plaza of the towards their teacher’s garden, located on the outskirts. There, thinking that no one could see them, they began to pick apples. Soon, Jacinta and Mari Loli arrived. The first two tried to hide, but it was too late; they had been seen. Once they were all together, they decided to pick some more, and filling their pockets they made their way to the “Calleja” to eat them. Conchita explained in her diary, “While we were busy eating, we heard a loud noise like thunder.” They looked up to see where it came from. “Oh no!” exclaimed Conchita. “Since we picked the apples and they weren’t ours, the devil must be happy and our poor Guardian Angel sad.” They picked up stones and began to throw them where they thought the devil was laughing at them.
She Comes to Make Us Good
We can see how the mysterious thunder stirred a rejection of sin in the girls. The visionaries of Garabandal did not consider themselves to be saints; they had just stolen apples, but even in this there is a lesson. Conchita revealed it to us when she explained: “How wonderful! It’s not necessary to be perfect to see her. I was a girl with many defects. The day the Angel appeared to us, I had just fought with Jacinta…[but] She comes precisely to make us good.”
A Very Beautiful Figure
Conchita wrote about the apparition: “All of the sudden, a very beautiful figure appeared to me, very resplendent, but that didn’t harm my eyes.” The other girls, upon seeing Conchita were afraid. However, when they looked in the direction were Conchita pointed, all of the sudden, they exclaimed, “The Angel!” and fell into ecstasy.
As we said, this apparition was the beginning of an entire history of apparitions. It is a day to give thanks to the Lord and Our Lady for their love and also do the same as the girls: recognize that we are not perfect and try again to go along the good path knowing that Our Lady came to tell us that we have to be “very good.”