The Witnesses

At the Death of David Toribio, Garabandal Witness

2013 10 27 David Toribio

On April 15, 2020, David Toribio, one of the most important surviving witnesses to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Garabandal, died at the age of 85. David patiently repeated the facts that he had witnessed to each of of the hundreds—perhaps thousands—of pilgrims who questioned him over the years. He stated clearly, "Every day I am surer that it was true. Each day I am surer." Yet David did not always speak with the same certainty about the supernatural nature of Garabandal's apparitions. To understand, we have to go back to the days of the apparitions.

David was 26 years old when, on June 18, 1961, Saint Michael the Archangel began to appear to the four girls—Conchita, Jacinta, Mari Loli and Mari Cruz—preparing them for the Virgin Mary’s visit. The next day, he was sitting with some other young men along the road into the town when Conchita happened to pass by. One of the young men asked the oldest of the girls with a sarcastic air, "So, what was the angel like? Was he carrying a bag? Did he have a walking stick? What did he look like?" Conchita went away, embarrassed at the boys' teasing as they continued to mock the girls, but only until they saw the first ecstasy. At that moment, their initial skepticism was cut short. David confessed, "What a sight... the girls were not themselves anymore. Everything about them had changed: their smile, their way of speaking ... You could not even recognize them. It was an extremely powerful sensation." David could not help being moved by remembering the girls' relationship with the Virgin Mary: "It was a very intimate relationship, one of a very great love. They became so happy. 'Oh, you are leaving? But you've only been here for a few minutes.' They wanted to be with Her. The relationship was incredible."

That first summer—1961—almost all the ecstasies took place in the Calleja, a stone path on the outskirts of the town that goes up to the Pines. After a few days, as word spread, a growing number of outsiders gathered around the girls in ecstasy. Young men had to help protect them from the crowd. With some stakes well-nailed into the ground and some planks, the boys made a square space that they named El Cuadro. Only the girls were allowed to step inside and, along with them, doctors and priests authorized by the families. And that was enough because, as David recalled, "When the girls were on their knees in ecstasy, people would stick things in their legs, or burn them. They did all kinds of things!" When the girls began to leave El Cuadro, walking in their "ecstatic marches" through the streets of the town, the young men tried to follow them to protect them. And on the day the girls announced the Virgin Mary's first message, October 18, 1961, they were also there, organizing a human chain to surround them and prevent them from being crushed.

From that privileged position, David saw incredible things that deeply affected him. "Later on," he explained, "comments from knowledgeable people started to come, and you found yourself sitting on the fence about what to believe." He went down to the Torrelavega Cattle Fair, where ranchers from other towns burst out in mockery and jokes when they found out that he came from the town of the apparitions, and David became confused. Or he would read in the newspapers that "the events in Garabandal was a girls’ game" or a problem of "four hysterical girls." So he thought, "But how can the newspapers say that? How can these people who say they know, who say they understand, speak like this? And one day someone—I don't know if it was Ángel—said, 'What is more important, what we see with our own eyes, or what these people say and write?' We replied, 'No! What we see is much more important!' 'Ah, well then, they say one thing and we see another.' It was a difficult time. It was a strange time."

The poor bastianos, the name of the inhabitants of San Sebastián de Garabandal, suffered a lot at that time. But later on, they would see once again the overwhelming display of extraordinary and scientifically inexplicable signs that were accumulated in the ecstasies, and hope was rekindled in their hearts. David recalled one of those times that impressed him a lot: "One day when [the girls] went up to the Pines, the whole town went up with them. And when the four of them were looking at the Pine where Our Lady is now, at one point, they started going backwards, and backwards, and backwards, and they went backwards all the way down to the town. But there is a rock there, about three yards high. And they went down backwards. It is totally impossible. […] How did the girls go down that way? No one saw how. Someone brought them down. Someone. If not, it is impossible." David was convinced that the "someone" who took the girls down the incline safely was the Virgin. So he repeated the exclamation he heard from the writer Mercedes Salisachs: "Well, if these girls do not see the Virgin, if it is not the Virgin who is carrying them, they must have eyes on their feet, because they never stumble or fall in the mud puddles."

After a couple of years witnessing how Heaven came down to his village every afternoon, David moved for work and left Spain. When he returned, after years, it was all over. For quite some time he kept away from the flow of the pilgrims. Until one morning, some thirty years ago, "the lightning strike happened in the Pines." That day, David changed his attitude radically.

What happened? "One night there was a huge storm. A powerful crash of thunder woke me up. The house shook, and I thought to myself, 'Lightning hit somewhere in the town.'" But the fact is that, when leaving home, he found that the town had not been struck by lightning. David had a premonition: "It hit the Pines." Indeed, it had. The lightning had struck one of the pine trees, exactly the second one coming up from the Calleja: "I went to the Pines and, before reaching the top, I saw what happened. I couldn't believe it. That day I was in shock. It was an incredible miracle." At the time, there was a small image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on that tree, supported by iron plates. It had been put up by some Valencians in 1961 and had remained there even though later another image of the Virgin Mary was put up in an enclosed casing in the central Pine, where people drew near to pray. David explained: "When [lightning] hits a tree, it follows a course. The lightning has to go down to the bottom the tree until it ends in land or water. [The lightning bolt] struck one of those very long branches and went to the trunk that was like this, very big. It went down the trunk and when it reached the image, it disappeared. It turned and [jumped] to the first pine tree. The lightning broke the branches of the first pine. I was amazed. If it had continued, if it hadn't made the curve, it would have hit the Virgin, it would have completely destroyed the statue. Now the image has been taken away, although you can still see the iron plates where the steel sheet rested. But you can see how the lightning didn't continue its normal course."

For those of us who were "city kids," this anecdote may not say a whole lot. But a man like David Toribio, born and raised in the mountains, who lived the laws of nature and knew that they are immutable, understood that he was standing before a miracle, a new sign of supernaturality. The lightning bolt had diverged from its natural path to avoid damaging the statue of the Virgin Mary: "That day I was left... I cried there. Because we, who know the mountains and know how this works... Of course, it was something incredible. That day, I remembered things [that I had seen during the apparitions] and I promised Our Lady, there, on my knees, that I would change totally, because I had to! I had to!"

During the last years of his life, it was easy to find David in the Calleja at dusk, the place where he had witnessed so many events. He used to walk silently, pondering his memories. His memories became prayer, because for him, remembering all he lived in that place meant entering into dialogue with Our Blessed Mother in Heaven. If you were able to find him in those moments, he would begin to murmur quietly, "You know? Do you know what happened one day?" And you received the gift of one more piece of the precious history lived in those mountains between the Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the four village girls.

We pray for David's soul, heartfully wishing that this man, who possessed the wisdom of simple souls who open themselves to God, is already in Heaven seeing the face of Our Blessed Mother.

Serafín González

(The testimony has been transcribed in the same way that Serafín gave it, with his own peculiar way of speaking)


I wasn’t here when the Apparitions began; they started around fifteen days before I arrived. I was in the province of León, between Lugo and León. Miguel and I were up in the mountains. I heard about the apparitions for the first time in Torrelavega. When I arrived in Torrelavega, we got off at the North Station. A young man who had been in the military with me was working there.
“Hey! Serafín! What’s going on in your village?”
“Oh, don’t ask me, I don’t know! It’s been two months since I’ve been there.”
We went down to Torrelavega, and in Torrelavega we entered a store where we had ordered some clothes when we left. We had to pick them up when we came back. Of course, those at the store also knew that we were from Garabandal. They asked the same thing, to which I answered, “Well, I don’t know.” When I came here, the apparitions had already been going on for many days. The first day, I saw them at the “cuadro.”  When I arrived, it was already known as the “cuadro.” This was towards the end of June, early July. The “cuadro” is a place in the road (Calleja) that leads up to the Pines; it is where the first apparitions took place. It is called the “cuadro” (square) because they put some logs in a square-shaped section to protect the girls.

The ecstasies were the same. [It is] just that some were ecstasies kneeling down, some while walking, some where they ran a lot and some where they remained in the same place. For me, the ecstasies were the same at the beginning as they were at the end. There were ecstatic races that were very fast, and other times they walked. At the beginning, the first apparitions were only on their knees in one place, but later on they began walking through the village, in ecstatic walks, sometimes walking backwards. They raced at such a speed that it was almost impossible to follow them. One time, I was running behind Conchita when they were walking in ecstasy at great speed; she was running with her arms in the form of a cross and her head bent back, like this. Conchita was running like that and I was running normally - with help from my limbs - through the narrow streets of the village. There are streets that are very narrow with no electricity, and at night they are very dark. I had to slow down there because I was afraid of hitting a corner. It was then that she would get away from me, with her arms in a cross and her head up like this; it was impossible to walk in this position.

For me, all of the apparitions were important and impressive, but the one that impressed me most, although it is not of great importance, was once when we went up to the Pines at night. There were three or four of us. Conchita was in ecstasy and when leaving the Pines, she knelt down and went on her knees all the way to where the first apparitions had occurred. I thought that her knees would be destroyed. I went down with a lantern, and I could see where her knees landed. Sometimes she hit her knee against an edge that should have cut her. I said to myself, “The Blessed Virgin should leave us in peace, I can’t deal with this. She is going to destroy her knees on these rocks.” The ecstasy ended, and I went to look at her knees. They were clean; there were no marks, not even a single bruise. I thought to myself, “Wow! We have to do what we are told.” The Blessed Virgin must have placed her hands underneath Conchita’s knees, because if not, it was impossible.

The day of the First Message, October 18, 1961

There were many people, and it was raining a lot. We went up to the Pines, and there were a ton of people. We had to fight our way through so that the girls wouldn’t be stepped on, because they went up in a normal state. They gave the message. Fr. Valentín, the parish priest, read the paper there in the Pines. The weather was terrible that night, and there were many people. Even with the rocky terrain on the paths and roads, I didn’t see anyone get hurt, despite all of the people who were there. We had had a few days of terrible weather, but the day of the First Message was one of the worst days we could have had, with rain, storms, and hail. The rain fell in buckets, and there were many people in the village.

On one occasion, Conchita’s knee was swollen. I don’t know how she got hurt, but she was using a brace for her knee. She fell into ecstasy and hit the floor several times, which should have damaged her knee even more. Nothing happened and her knee was cured.

On the "Night of the Screams," the girls saw the Chastisement. Everyone believed in the apparitions then, and they all went to confession. The people came down from the mountain every night, and they left their jobs to pray the Rosary in the church. Now it is different; they don’t come down so easily.

Conchita announced that a Warning and a Miracle would come. The Chastisement also, but the Chastisement was already announced in the First Message. The world will see that the Warning is not something produced by men, but will come - according to how she described it - directly from God, so that all of humanity will know that it is from Him. This will be to prepare all of humanity for the Miracle that will come afterwards. She explained that the Warning is for the whole world, the entire world will feel it. The world will feel terror and panic, but nothing will happen as a result of the Warning. It will be direct intervention from God.

How much time will there be between one event and another? I don’t know. Conchita told me that the Miracle will happen after an ecclesiastical event. She told me what the Miracle will consist of; I have it written on a holy card that was kissed by the Blessed Virgin. It is a small holy card, and I have it written there. I don’t know the date, I don’t have any idea about the date of the Miracle. According to what she told me, it will be after an ecclesiastical event. Conchita is different, I think she knows the exact date of the Miracle. I don’t know, she didn’t tell me. I think my mother knows the same as I do.

This ecclesiastical event that will happen before the Miracle is an unusual event, important for the Church, and it will coincide with the day of the Miracle. For me, it all depends on the number of years it might take for this ecclesiastical event to arrive. If I am still living when the event happens, then I’ll know that the Miracle is coming. Until now, everything that the Blessed Virgin said would happen has been fulfilled, exactly as she said it would. According to what Conchita announced, it has to happen in her lifetime, since she said, “I will announce the Miracle eight days before, no matter where I am.” She didn’t say that she would necessarily be in Garabandal. She also announced that Joey Lomangino, who is blind, will recover his sight on the day of the Miracle.

In one photograph, I am right next to Conchita, trying to see how I can protect her. I was bent down, and can’t be seen among so many people. The day of the Second Message, Conchita gave the cross to two or three people to kiss. I think to a French priest, Fr. Pell, and two other French men.

I think that at the beginning of the apparitions everyone believed and they believed for a while. Then people began to come and give their own opinions, and the people began to doubt. All of this was foreseen; the Blessed Virgin told the girls that there would come a time when they themselves would doubt everything and contradict each other, despite their firm belief at the time. That time arrived when they doubted. When they doubted, people took advantage of their doubts to deny that everything was true. In Pamplona, during the time of the doubts and denials, four or five priests and a Bishop spoke with Conchita. She forgot everything about the Miracle, including the date, until right after the interview ended. If someone went to speak with the Bishop in favor of Garabandal, they were not admitted; they only wanted to hear the negative side. Conchita said that before the Miracle, the Bishop of Santander would have a sign or warning so that he would know it was true.

One night, my mother and I went out with her. It was a stormy night, with thunder and hail. Conchita was in ecstasy, and the hail fell in her eyes, but it did not impede her vision. Her head was turned up, at least while she prayed the Rosary, a very long Rosary; she prayed very slowly, meditating on each word. It took a very long time for the Rosary to end. They would go out in ecstasy, in the ecstatic races at high speed, very quickly. No part of their bodies was in a good position for running; the way they carried their heads with their arms in a cross, nothing was positioned correctly for running, only their legs.

I followed behind them. I was a young 27- or 28-year-old man, and she was only twelve or thirteen; I ran twice as fast as she did in her normal state. But in ecstasy, in these ecstatic races and at this speed - passing through dark streets - I had to slow down and stay a little behind because I was afraid of hitting a wall; it was then that she would get away from me. I’d return to a lit-up street and catch up with her again. I would finish sweaty, and she was perfectly fresh and cool, as though she had just come out of the river. Someone was helping the girls and no one was helping the rest of us. 
The first time I saw Conchita in an ecstatic race, when she came out of the ecstasy, she said that she was so happy, that it seemed like she was flying. I was dead tired! Everything that Our Lady did in Garabandal, she did well, as she always does. There was a particular reason behind each thing she did. One might ask the reason of those ecstatic walks, but one would have to know the whole of the circumstances and what the Blessed Virgin was saying to the girls. An example of this is the case of the athlete that believed because of a race, and Avelina who tells the following incident:
“[Her daughter said], ‘Stay with the little girl, mother, since there are many people.’ The child’s grandmother and I stayed. I said, ‘Let's pray the Rosary.’ When we had finished praying the Rosary, I heard a noise because the people were in the Pines, a message was going to be given there. We heard the little girl clapping her hands. ‘How come the child is clapping? What does she see, what could she be hearing?’ I went out to the balcony and I saw the four girls alone in ecstasy, looking at the balcony. I said to the child’s grandmother, ‘Oh my goodness! The four girls are in ecstasy, looking like this, with their hands like this.’ At that point Ceferino was the first to arrive, very tired from running because the girls had come so quickly that the people weren’t able to catch up with them." 
It is clear in this case that Our Lady wanted to come alone with the girls to reward the conduct of the grandmother and Avelina, who had stayed in the house, looking after the child.

The incident with the athlete is the following:
“On one occasion, a young man who was a good athlete arrived and said, ‘No one can beat me running. No girl can beat me.’ One of the girls had an ecstasy and set off running, and this young man ran after her. It was clear that the Blessed Virgin wasn’t trying to outrun him in the race, but at one point the girl was running so fast toward the wall of a house that he thought, ‘If this is not from God, this girl will kill herself running into that wall.’ He had to slow down, but the girl continued running without stopping until she reached the wall. She then stopped in an instant. She said to the Blessed Virgin, ‘Oh, it is so he will believe!’ The young man heard this and believed, because it was not humanly possible to stop in an instant at that speed.”

As a general rule, I did not ask about the ecstasies in the house. Other people did, but as a rule, I didn't. “What did you see? Tell me this or that, what did the Virgin tell you?” No, I didn’t ask any of that. 
The village hasn’t responded to the Messages, it is actually the opposite, or at least exteriorly it seems so. Interiorly, we cannot know if each person has responded. The Messages were perhaps lived out more before the Apparitions than they are today. 
I believe that the Miracle is going to occur. I am sure that it is going to happen. I studied Conchita’s reactions at home without asking her anything. I saw that they didn’t come from her, and she wasn’t sick either because the doctors had already ruled that out. [Everything] could not have come from her, it was impossible. She couldn’t make all of that up. I know how smart she was during those years as a child, and I observed her carefully. 
Some people came who said that she could be sick—it could be this, or it could be that. I thought about all of this, but I could see that it was something from God. I based things on everything I saw and heard, and how everything developed. I listened to everything that was said, “It could be this or that; it could be a sickness.” I observed all of the different possibilities, and I realized that they were mistaken, and I could see better than ever that everything was from God. I thought, “It is the work of God. I believe in God.” The Blessed Virgin can show herself at any time, for me, that's the way it is, and that is what I believe.

I believe that the majority of people in the village do not believe that the Miracle will come. You cannot know what is going on inside each person, but in general they do not believe that the Miracle will come. However, the majority of people do think that it wasn’t the girls who did all this, but that it was God and the Blessed Virgin. At that time, during the apparitions, the people believed. When the Miracle of the visible Communion happened, I think that they did believe, at least then. Many people who came at that time, believed that it was from God.
There were many priests who believed, but there were also many who didn’t believe. The Bishop’s office has worked more to prove that it was nothing. All this made many people stop believing that the Miracle is going to happen. You have to think that it was a work of God and that the Miracle is going to come as it was said. 
In those days, people used to believe in what the Church has always taught us, and the Messages confirm what the Church has taught us: to visit the Blessed Sacrament, to be good, to make sacrifices, and to meditate on the Lord's Passion. 
I remember that when [the girls] would go to the cemetery and the gate was closed, they would put the Cross between the bars of the gate so that it could be kissed. When cars began to come, they would also make the Sign of the Cross over them with the Crucifix.
 Before the apparitions, the majority of people who were in the winter stables used to make an effort to go to Mass. This is not true today. That is to say that if they have to miss Mass, they miss it, and when it’s time to go to Mass, if they have to go up to the hills instead, they go up. Today, the people are colder towards religion than they were before the apparitions. During the apparitions, there were people who did not go to Mass and that started to go again.

The Virgin told them that a Warning would come to purify humanity and to prepare them to receive the Miracle. People lead mediocre lives. Many people will change for the better, but how can the whole world change? With all of the Messages and through the Miracle, exactly how it was announced. We live in difficult times. That is why God sends a Warning and a Miracle so that the world will change.

In the apparitions, it hard to know all that was said and what the Blessed Virgin explained to them. Many times you could only hear a few words, and we didn’t know what the Our Lady had told them unless the girls explained it.

The Rosaries were said slowly, to meditate them word by word. If you pray it quickly then you cannot meditate on what you pray. The way they prayed gave us a lot of time to think about what we were praying. When they prayed the Rosary, they walked at a slow, normal pace, and everyone could follow them easily.

I would love to live everything all over again. When I think about it, it was really incredible.

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?

Miguel González, Conchita's brother

Miguel states:
"I attended the school in the village until I was 14 years old. Fr. Valentín, the parish priest, came from Cosio and gave catechism classes on Saturdays in the church. Fr. Valentín would sleep in the village in order to celebrate the Sunday Mass. Every evening the Rosary was prayed in the church. I have worked during the winter months ever since I was 10; it was a hard job. It’s a lot easier now because there are machines, but back then, everything had to be done by hand. People carried heavy loads on their sholders and had to walk long distances throughout the day because they had to store up hay for the winter. When I was young and worked in the fields, the church bell would ring at noon each day. Everyone stopped what they were doing, even those working with the livestock, and we would pray the Angelus. In the evening, everyone – men, women, children – everyone went home to later return to the church to pray the Rosary. This happened each day.


"My dad was taller than my brother Serafín. He died of a lung disease due to too much dust in his lungs. When the hay stored in the barns is taken out during the winter, it creates lots of dust, and my father worked with that his whole life. Conchita was 12 years old when the apparitions began. She always went to Mass and received Communion whenever the priest celebrated Mass in the village. At my mother’s house, as soon as we finished eating dinner, we would pray the Rosary. I think that my brother Aniceto, who died when he was 28 years old in 1966, was the most religious of us all. He prayed the Rosary every night with the village people in the church. My mother was not only religious, but was also very strict with her children. If I was outside at a later hour, she would wait in the kitchen until I came home. When there wasn’t Mass in Garabandal, my mother would walk a little over 5 kilometers to the church in Cosio to go to Mass at 6:00 in the morning and then walk back home to begin working. She would do this rain or shine, whether it was summer or winter. Many young people from the village emigrated. I have been living in New York since 1969, working for Allied Sanitation, Inc., owned and run by Joey Lomangino.

"When the apparitions started, Serafín and I were working in the province of León. I was 18 at the time. My brother Serafín and I were on our way home. We arrived to Torrelavega around 7:00 in the morning on July 13, 1961. While we were eating breakfast in a restaurant in Torrelavega, one of Serafín’s friends approached us and said, “Did you know that an Angel appeared to 4 girls in the village of San Sebastián of Garabandal?” We didn’t know anything about it because, although my brother Aniceto had written to us in León, the letter didn’t arrive until after we had gone home. When he first told us, we didn’t believe it much. We went to my uncle Paulino’s house in Torralavega. Uncle Paulino, my mother’s brother, said to us when we arrived, “Did you know that, according to the newspapers, an Angel appeared to 4 girls, and that one of those girls is your sister?” There was a picture of my sister Conchita in the newspaper, and that’s when we took the apparitions seriously. I told my brother Serafín, “We have to go home immediately.” Serafín said, “No, we’re very tired, we can go tomorrow.” The next day, July 14, 1961, we went to Pesués, where we got on a bus to Cosio. From Cosio, with our luggage in hand, we walked up to Garabandal. There were lots of people on the road. Some were walking towards the village, others were leaving. The ones who were leaving came up to us and said, “These must be Conchita’s brothers because during the apparition, she said her brothers would arrive today.” When we arrived home there were a lot of people both outside and inside the house. My brother Aniceto was in the kitchen. I thought to myself, “with the peaceful life we lived and now this.”

I knew my sister well and I knew she was telling the truth. The things that occured during the apparitions were incredible and everything amazed me so much that I remember it all as if it were yesterday. I was deeply impacted when I witnessed an apparition for the first time, because I heard the girls pray the Rosary, saw them climb to the pine trees, and come back down backwards.

I was really nervous the first time I witnessed it because I had never seen something like that and I didn’t really understand much of what was happening. For example, when they would shine a strong light in Conchita’s eyes or pinch her, I could see how she didn’t react. The doctors tried to lift Conchita from the ground but they couldn’t.  
From July 18, 1961 until early October, I witnessed the ecstasis every day. There was either one, two or three visits from the Virgin Mary between eight o’clock in the evening and five or six in the morning. After that year, I was only in Garabandal at Christmas time and the summer, because I had to return to work.

One day I decided to do a test myself. Everyone spoke about how fast the girls would run to the Apparition site when they received the third call. I told myself, "They won’t outrun me because they are only 12 years old and I’m 18." I normally ran a lot more than them. One evening in July, at around eight, Jacinta, Mari Cruz, and Conchita were sitting in the kitchen at my house eating sandwiches. I can’t remember if Mari Loli was there or not. They had eaten a few bites when they felt the third call and they began to run. I ran behind them and before I reached the part of the road called the “Cuadro,” I heard the noise of their knees against the rocks as they fell into ecstasy. It was impossible for me to keep up with them, even when I ran as fast as I could. I also tried to lift Conchita up from the ground but was unable to do so. She was as firm as a rock; I couldn’t even move her arms. Mi brother Serafín used to be able to lift even the heaviest weights. One day he tried to lift her, not because he wanted to but because everyone asked him to, and he couldn’t move her. However, often times when the girls said goodbye to the Virgin Mary, they lifted each other up without the least effort; they did this to be able to reach her level, where they saw her and to kiss her. Other times the Virgin Mary lowered herself to their level and kissed them.

The great proof of the truth of the apparitions for me happened shortly before the Miracle of the visible Communion received by Conchita on July 18, 1961. Conchita asked me, “Do you have a medal or a chain?” I told her, “No, I must have lost it.”  She gave me a new medal and told me, “When a priest comes, ask him to bless it.”

Later, one evening when she had the apparition in the kitchen, she had lots of rosaries, chains, and scapulars in her hand to give to the Virgin for her to kiss; I was in the room, in the corner, somewhat apart from everyone else. She was kneeling down and she stood up to give the Virgin Mary all she was holding for her to kiss. I thought, “Why didn’t she give my chain to the Virgin Mary to kiss?” I hadn’t even finished thinking this thought when Conchita, with her hand still raised high, turned and walked towards me. She took the medal off my neck and gave it to the Virgin Mary to kiss. Then she put the chain with the medal back around my neck. A priest told me that the girls should get a change of atmosphere. They told me that it would be best for Conchita to go to the beach in Santander for a few days. They even said it would be good for Conchita to cut her hair because her braids would make her more recognizable and that she would attract too much attention. In Santander, they cut her hair and on one occacion there, she had an apparition and fell into ecstasy as she was walking down the street. Many people, priests included, gathered around her and tried to take her into the nearby church. But it was impossible to lift her from the ground. They were finally able to take her into the church, where she continued in ecstasy.

The evening in which Conchita received the visible Communion from the hands of the Angel was, for me, a great joy. There were lots of people in Garabandal because it was the feast of St. Sebastian. His feast day is on January 20, but it is too cold to celebrate it then, and that’s why we celebrate in on July 18. Many people thought that if there was a dance, that the Virgin Mary wouldn’t appear that day. A young boy asked Conchita, “Is it okay that there will be a dance today?” Conchita replied, “With the dance or without it, the miracle will occur this evening.” Around ten o’clock that evening my mother told me, “Miguel, go stand in the doorway so that no one else can come in the house because there isn’t any more room.” The door was open and I sat in the doorway so that no one could pass through, but no one cared and they came in anyways.

A little after 11 p.m. I closed the door and said to Conchita, “I’m going to bed because nothing will happen tonight.” Conchita begged me, “Wait a little longer, I’m going to be leaving shortly. I think I had the first call.” An hour later, Conchita went up to her room where there were a few family members and other people. With the third call she left the house, passing through the crowd of people there. I was able to follow her with difficulty, and I arrived just in time as she was kneeling. She made the Sign of the Cross and prayed the Act of Contrition. All of this is completely engraved in my mind. She put out her tongue, and shortly after, in an instant, all of the sudden, the Sacred Host appeared on her tongue. It was there for more than a minute. After receiving Communion she made the Sign of the Cross, she stood up and she left. I had heard that a man from Barcelona, Mr. Damians, recorded part of the Miracle, but I had never met him personally until Joey introduced me to him at his house in January 1972.

I remember how much importance was given to praying the Rosary during the times of the apparitions. On one occasion, during a stormy and snowy night, Conchita had an apparition and she walked through the streets praying the Rosary. She went to the Pines and to the church. It was about three in the morning. When the people heard her, they got up and accompanied her while she prayed.  
One of Serafín’s friends had expressed his desire to be present during one of the Apparitions. But he worked from six in the morning until nine at night and it was difficult for him to be awake during those hours of the night. One day, around one in the morning, Conchita, in ecstasy, began praying the Rosary. She went to this man’s house and stood outside praying the Rosary until he woke up, got dressed, and joined the group of people praying with her.

On one occasion there were about 500 people in front of Mari Loli’s house. Conchita had between 10 and 20 medals and chains around her neck. I saw her take off one chain that was, in reality, impossible to take off because it was too small to fit over her head. Afterwards they tried to put it back on over her head but it was impossible because they would have had to open the latch first. I saw how she took it off, with the medal hanging from the chain as she said to the Virgin Mary, “Is this it?”  Then she went through the crowd and put it on its owner.

I had seen how Conchita, in order to put it around her neck, opened the latch of the chain and put it on normally. But she took it off during the ecstasies without opening the latch; despite the fact that the chain wouldn’t fit around her head. I saw Mari Loli do the same thing on another occasion.  

Some of the priests who went to Garabandal believed it, while some others did not. One night there were three or four priests in my mother’s kitchen and my sister was sleeping in a chair. A Franciscan said to the others, “What time do the apparitions start?” At that my sister woke up and said, “Why do you ask if you don’t believe?” The priest had not told anyone that he didn’t believe. But he admitted that it was true, and he was impressed that Conchita had known.

I saw a lot of things, every day was different. Conchita often had an apparition around three in the morning and went through the village praying the Rosary. During the summer this was okay, but during the winter, when it snowed, it was a big sacrifice to go out at three in the morning to accompany her in prayer throughout the streets. My mother told me that on one stormy night she prayed that my sister wouldn’t go out. She had barely thought that when Conchita had an apparition and after, went out into the streets. Despite the terrible storm, she went outside. Shortly after Conchita went outside the storm stopped and my mother went outside to pray the Rosary with her.

As Miguel says, the ecstasies each had something special or a special significance which made them different; all this filled him with a deep emotion. The following is an example among many that occurred.
Conchita and the snow:

One night Conchita had already received two calls, which meant that she could be expected to enter into a ecstasy at any moment.  Aniceta never left her alone in these circumstances, and especially not at night. But that night she wasn’t able to keep watch of Conchita herself, so she begged Aniceto to remain by his sister’s side instead of going to sleep. Around 2:30 in the morning, Conchita entered into ecstasy and left the house. Cetuco [Aniceto] took a lantern and followed her. It was a winter night, everything was white due to the snow and it was very cold. Conchita quickly clmibed up to the Pines as if she were flying over the white snow. Cetuco was no longer cold for the mere effort of trying to follow her.

A little while later, Aniceta, all bundled up, went out into the street to meet her children. The cold was incredible, but the total silence and dimmed splendor of the snow was even more incredible. When Aniceta at last reached the Pines out of breath, she was left speechless at the sight: there, amongst the snow were her two children, kneeling down and praying. Conchita led the Rosary, focused on the Virgin Mary, while Cetuco responded devoutly. Afterwards, Conchita stood up. Her mother stood up in order to descend first and to prepare the path as best she could, moving the snow out of the way where the path was difficult. But it was a useless worry since the girl glided downwards over the white layer of snow as if she were following some invisible pathway, while on her knees and going backwards! The extraordinary ecstatic descent ended behind her mother’s house, in the little alleyway where the Miracle of the visible Communion would take place a few months later.

In the words of Miguel:  
As for me, I had always practiced my religion, but now I reflect and meditate more about my life in relation to the apparitions and Messages of Garabandal. I truly believe that the Archangel St. Michael and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel appeared in my village, in San Sebastián of Garabandal. Personally, I believe in the apparitions and that something extraordinary will happen, as it is prophesied.

Laura González, a resident of Garabandal during the apparitions

I know the girls very well. In the village of Saint Sebastian of Garabandal we all know each other.

In the beginning, when the girls began saying that they had seen the Angel, to be honest we didn´t really believe them because they would go by themselves. I myself did not believe them, no. We thought it was just the imagination of little girls. We would scold them, telling them not to say such things or else people would laugh at them.  Later on the girls asked that four people would accompany them.

They were accompanied by four… or five women, I am not really sure.  They saw how the girls fell down with their heads tilted back, without bruising themselves on those rocks, and how they turned very beautiful.  They never tripped, and sometimes they would go so fast that we would say, “Oh, they are going to kill themselves! Oh, my God!”  

Later on we asked the girls, “Why do you run like that?”  They weren´t aware that they ran so fast, they were only following the apparition in every moment.  The apparition went ahead and the girls ran.  The young boys of the village were not able to keep up with them.  

They would often go out late at night, on several occasions they went out even after midnight.  The people from out of town would say, “Well this can´t be so!  The Blessed Virgin doesn´t allow one to go out at such an hour.”  We would ask the girls, “Why do you go out so late at night?” They responded, “Because the Blessed Virgin said it is when the most sins are committed.”

When they fell into ecstasies the girls would become very beautiful; their skin would become like a soft pink. When they were in ecstasies they were no longer in this world, what I mean to say is that when they were in ecstasies you couldn´t talk to them, you couldn´t say anything because they weren´t able to hear you. You would have to say it to one of the girls who wasn´t in ecstasies at the time, Conchita or whichever one who wasn´t in ecstasies. She would then say it to the ones in ecstasies and they would hear her, but they wouldn´t hear you.  The girls said that the Blessed Virgin told them that, before the Miracle takes place, many would stop believing in the apparitions.

The girls went to my sisters´ house, at least two times, in ecstasies.  We were there on the balcony when they arrived on one occasion.  The door was open and they went in and blessed my sister; they made the sign of the cross and left.  
The most beautiful experience, in which we laughed a lot, was with a friar.  When the girls were in ecstasies there were many people who went to ask them questions or try to get close, and if the girls grabbed someone by the arm that person was unable to get free.  So we were there one night, oh and what a laugh we had, we were seated at some tables outside in the street below the house of Ceferino, when they said: “The girls are in ecstasies!”  Conchita was holding onto a friar, and that friar had to run everywhere the girls went that night.  We saw the poor friar running this way and that way until he was no longer able to run.  What a laugh! We were almost ashamed to laugh but you couldn´t do anything else except laugh in such a situation.

The poor man had to run until the apparition ended.  This friar stayed close to where my house is; I live right next to the Church, and he stayed in the house with the long balcony.  The owner of that house told me that she had to hang up all of his clothes to dry from the sweat he worked up. How was it that that friar was unable to get free of a little girl?  The friar was convinced that it was the Blessed Virgin testing him and taking away all of his doubts, because the girls never grew tired and he was exhausted; he never forgot that.

There was a married couple that came from Barcelona, my son went with them to work and ended up staying there and got married.  Well the wife of this man confessed that she had never gone to Church; she never went to Mass except for a funeral or a wedding.  She used to go out at night with her husband and they would waste 10,000 pesetas on worldly things.  She told us that God had worked a miracle for her family.  She had a son who at a young age had infantile paralysis, and they brought him here.  They brought him twice and the child ended up being healed.  He made his First Communion here; I have a photograph in my house.  The four girls accompanied him dressed in white.  Before all of this happened they weren´t practising Catholics but later on they converted.  

Fr. Valentin said that before the apparitions Garabandal was the most religious and charitable village in the area.  In Cabuérniga the bishop came one day and said in a homily, Cabuérnigos, can you give me your word that you will be like the village of Garabandal who doesn´t pass one day without reciting the rosary?

Today you can see who goes. It’s changed completely. They say that if everything is true that’s the way it has to be.
During the first aparitions we went up to the pines, and I said:
 “Here, give this rock to the Blessed Virgin Mary and ask her to kiss it in the name of a son or daughter….”  The people collected rocks and placed them so that the Blessed Virgin would kiss them, all together there were about a dozen or two of rocks.  The girls gave them to the Blessed Virgin to kiss and they went putting them back in the same place that they had picked them up, without seeing where they were putting them.  When the ecstasies ended the girls gave back to each person the rock that he or she had given them, without ever making a mistake.

I was there when Fr. Luis Andreu was at the foot of the pines, when he said, “Miracle, miracle! miracle, miracle!”  Four times he repeated it.  Fr. Luis Andreu said it outloud; I was there, and those who were with me heard him also.  

Conchita said in her diary, “That day the Blessed Virgin appeared to us at night and at the end of the rosary we began to walk towards the pines.  When we arrived there, Fr. Luis Maria said, ‘Miracle, miracle!’  We saw him and normally during our ecstasies we can´t see anyone, but we saw Fr. Luis, and the Blessed Virgin said that ‘he was seeing her and the miracle that is to come.’ The people said we prayed the Creed at the pines and that we went down towards the village in the same state and when we arrived at the Church the Blessed Virgin disappeared.  As Mari Cruz had not seen the Blessed Virgin for a few days she continued in ecstasies, she went into the Church and at the altar of Our Lady of the Rosary and of Saint Michael she started to pray the Creed with the Blessed Virgin very slowly.  Mari Cruz said that the Blessed Virgin was teaching her how to pray slowly. After praying the Creed and the Hail Holy Queen she blessed herself very slowly and very well. Then, talking with the Blessed Virgin she said, ‘Oh how good that the baby Jesus has come!...It has been such a long time! Why did you take so long in coming and why did the others see you more?’  Among those who heard Mari Cruz was Fr. Luis Maria Andreu, a seminarian, and Fr. Royo Marin.  The next day the four of us went to sweep the Church and while we were sweeping Jacinta´s mom came in, frightened, and she told us that Fr. Luis Andreu had passed away.  We couldn´t believe it because we had just seen him the day before.  We left our brooms and went to find out what had happened.  Just before he passed away his last words were, ‘Today is the happiest day of my life, how good is the Mother we have in heaven!’”

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.

Miguel Ángel González, Jacinta’s Brother

Miguel is Jacinta’s brother. He is a year older than she is, and was 13 years old when the Apparitions began.
“I heard of the apparitions for the first time on the day that the girls saw the Angel, June 18, 1961. I went to see them in ecstasy when the majority of the people went.”  

I heard of the apparitions for the first time on the day that the girls saw the Angel, June 18, 1961. I went to see them in ecstasy when the majority of the people went.

I didn’t feel like going to see them! But after four or five days I decided to go. The day before, a few women from the town had gone and they told us about it. When I went, the girls prayed the Rosary in the Calleja (the stone path). After the Rosary, the four girls suddenly fell into ecstasy. I realized that it wasn’t normal, but I didn’t believe that it was the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During the first few days, my parents did not believe the girls either. They didn’t want anyone to find out. Jacinta told them that she wanted to go back to the Calleja and they said to her: “Go, but make sure no one sees you. Each of you should start in a different location, and meet up farther away so as not to be seen by anyone.”

But the people soon found them.

I have seen at least 200 ecstasies. Their faces completely changed; they had smiles on their faces and they never showed any signs of fatigue or weariness. After the ecstasies, they were perfectly fine.

I was 13 at the time and I was a good runner. When they went from one place to the next so quickly, I followed them. I had to run, but I followed them. At the end, I was always sweating but they were perfectly fine!

The Blessed Virgin waits patiently for Miguel to kiss the crucifix:
One day I was in bed, and the room was dark because the sun had already set. The three girls were in ecstasy and they had come so that I could kiss the Cruficix. I did not want to kiss it. I was awake, but I did not want to kiss it. The girls wouldn’t leave; they stayed for a good 15 minutes. Though it was dark, they put the Crucifix on my lips. They could not have known whether I had kissed it or not. They pressed it upon my lips, but I didn’t kiss it. They couldn’t see anything, but the moment I kissed the crucifix, they left.

The girls’ parents wanted to test the girls to see if the apparitions were genuine. The girls often knew that they were going to have an ecstasy, but they did not know exactly when it would take place. So their parents separated them, each girl in her own house. But all of them fell into ecstasy in the same moment, even though they weren’t together.  

I was present for the “Night of the Screams.” It took place in the Calleja (the stone path that leads to the pine trees) and many people from the village were also present that night. The first night we were with Jacinta and Loli. On the second night, Conchita came as well.

When the ecstasy began, the people remained further down on the hill, but the girls began to approach them, so they walked closer as well, until they were about two meters in front of the girls. The people began to cry. They thought the world was going to end. The people were frantic and scared because the girls were sobbing and their faces were full of terror.  The girls begged the Blessed Virgin not to let the Chastisement come that night:
“No, not tonight! Don’t let it be tonight! Another day, but not tonight, no! Give the people a few more days so that they can go to confession!”

The villagers believed that the world was going to end that night. The next day, all of the people in the village went to confession; I did as well. It was very clear that the girls were frightened.

On another occasion, I heard them talk about the denial. The girls had told me that one day they would deny everything. So they said to the Blessed Virgin: “But how could we deny that we see you if we are seeing you right now? How is it possible that we could deny it?”
That’s what I heard.

One night, I was walking with Jacinta and Loli. They often went to the cemetery. I was so scared that I left them alone. They walked right up to the cemetery. I stayed back, watching them. I was a year older than they were, but I didn’t dare get any closer. They were alone in the cemetery, but soon more people came, and I decided to join them.

They were not afraid to go to the cemetery at all. They put their hands through the iron grill on the gate. With the crucifix in their hands, they reached their arms through the iron bars on the gate, and it seemed as if they were offering it to people so that they could kiss it, 40 or even 100 people with different heights, some taller, some shorter. Many souls of the faithful departed kissed the crucifix that night.

The girls frequently brought the crucifix to the sick and elderly during the ecstasies. If someone was very sick or elderly or was about to die, the girls would often go at night to pray two or three rosaries with that person.

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Aniceta González González


June 18, 1961    

I had told Conchita, "You always have to come home during the day, never at night." That day I was preparing dinner during the month of June. It was around 9 p.m., and even though there was still daylight, it seemed to me that it was getting late. When Conchita arrived home, I thought, “If today you come home a little late, tomorrow it will be even later...you have to come home on time.”  

Meanwhile, Conchita walked in the house with tears in her eyes. 
Upon entering, she leaned on the door with her left hand and said, “Mom! I saw the Angel today.”

“The Angel? Besides coming home late, you´re telling me this nonsense? Don´t talk to me about such things!” 
I thought that she was trying to fool me so that I wouldn´t scold her. She stayed where she was, leaning against the wall. I didn´t say anything to her, but I felt chills within me. I asked myself, "What could this mean?" But I didn´t ask her any questions. The apparition took place on a Sunday.  

    

On the following Monday, we were helping a woman. Here, we have the custom to go and help everyone, whether it be a lady who just gave birth or someone who is sick. There were about 14 or 15 young girls and women, all together, helping in the corn field that belonged to Maria’s sister. They began to say, 
“Of course something happened...they had a look on their faces that made you feel sorry for them. They were completely white.”

I just kept quiet...I didn´t want anyone to know anything. I felt something inside of me, but I didn´t want anyone to find out. After the apparition, the girls ran into their teacher, and they went to the church to visit the Blessed Sacrament. Later, they went to the dance, where the other girls were. I didn´t see all of this, but Conchita told me. She came home afraid that she was going to be scolded. 
And so I said to the women, “Don´t be so childish like these little girls. You all know that girls sometimes run around saying “Ay!  We saw something scary!” That´s exactly what happened and nothing more. You are believing something that you shouldn´t believe.

    
I felt something inside, a feeling that I didn’t understand, but I didn´t want the others to notice. It took me several days to see it clearly: I was embarrassed. I had a pig there that I was going to fatten where Serafin´s house is now. The apparitions took place there, where the apple tree is in front the man from Seville's house. I went with Conchita to the house because she never left my side. When we went to feed the pig, she said, 
“Mom!  Look at the people that are up there!”
 It embarrassed me that they saw me. There were people from all over, from different villages.
 I said, “Be quiet!” 
In saying this, Conchita went over to where the other girls were. 
She said, “Mom! Come, come...there are a lot of people.” 
I didn´t want anyone to see me and so I went over to the side. But it didn´t work out; they all saw me, and I went home. Later on, since the crowd of people had already seen me, I went out and saw Conchita in ecstasy. I said [to myself], “This is true.”
An ignorant person, like myself, didn’t know what was going on. We didn´t know what an ecstasy was or that they even existed. But here, something true was going on. It reminded me of Lourdes or Fatima. Couldn´t something that had happened in another place happen here also? That day all the four girls were present.



In the month of May, I usually went to the church to visit [the Blessed Sacrament] in the afternoon. Usually there was Mass, because there were priests available every day. The month of June was busier and I couldn´t make it to Mass because I was working in the fields and farming. 
It was the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and I prayed to Him at home. While dinner was cooking, I was on my knees with the book that passed from house to house each day of the month. In the book, there was an image of the Child Jesus. Conchita was leaning against me and when I turned the page over she said, “Oh, Mom!  The image of the Child Jesus in the book...is just like the one that we see.”

Without making too big of a deal about what she was saying, I said, 
“Well, this is a miniature...He´s tiny!”

“Yes, He is little bit bigger, but with the same coloring.”

The child in the image was like a beautiful angel. I recently came across the book, but the image was not there. I saw all of the ecstasies that Conchita had - the ones that I could go to - all of them. We saw many, with the exception of one or two. There was no doubt about it. Since I was convinced that it was Our Lady, I said, “Just as she followed the Passion, I too follow my daughter wherever Our Lady leads her. Why not? It’s not hard for me.

" Conchita mainly had the calls while at home and had the ecstasies in the house and then, later on, went out to the pines, the cemetery, or the Church. She frequently went out around 2, 3, 4, or 5 o´clock in the morning. 

After the message, Conchita had no more than four apparitions each week, one to four each week. 
While in ecstasy, her face became strikingly beautiful. She walked without growing tired, without any exhaustion, and she came out of the ecstasy with joy. After the ecstatic walks, there were strong men and boys -including my own- who were dripping with sweat, as if they had jumped in a pool, from trying to keep up with her. Conchita was completely fresh and normal...even her pulse was normal. 

The other three girls came into my house as well while in ecstasy. 

On one occasion, they separated them to see if they would coincide. My daughter was in my house and the others were in their houses. Even though they were separated, they went out running and came together at the same time. I witnessed this.

Conchita said to our Lady, “My mother is very ugly, her skin is dark and she has gray hair...”

There were some priests present that said, 
“No, gray no.” (But I really did have some gray hair.)

Conchita said, “You´ve only been here a minute.... An hour already?” 
That is what she said to Our Lady. 
And then the men looked at the priest who said, 
“Exactly, one hour.” 

They spoke softly, but the girls all said at the same time, 
“An hour?”

    

I saw my daughter fall into ecstasy many times, including on the hearth in the kitchen. When she went into ecstasy while she sitting on the hearth, she fell down on her knees but nothing happened to her. It sounded as if a bone fell right on top of a rock—you could hear it perfectly—but upon coming out of the ecstasy, she had no pain or damage to her knees.

    

I have seen Conchita give back medals and religious objects kissed by Our Lady to their owners. All of this without looking at whom she was giving the objects back to...many times...to many people. One time, we were coming from Marina’s family’s house, and it turns out that passing through there, a lady put a wedding ring in Conchita’s pocket. 
As we walked a little farther on, she says, 
“Ah! I have wedding ring? No...I didn´t bring one.”

It seemed like the Blessed Mother must have told her that she did bring it. Conchita put her hand in her pocket and took out the wedding ring; she gave it to Our Lady to kiss, turned around and gave it to a man that I think was a teacher from Bilbao.

    

There are a ton of cases like that. Another time, a young man arrived here with a young lady, a young couple.  
This young man had an appearance of a bandit, at least to me. I thought that they were just that - a young couple. It was raining a lot, and there were many people here. Conchita, in ecstasy, entered the house. My sister was there, among many people. 
And this young man says to my sister, 
“Give this cross to the girl.” 

And my sister says, 
“Why should I give it to her if they don´t take anything? In ecstasy, they don´t take anything that you give them.”  

“Well, give it to her mother, so that she can give it to Conchita.”

My sister comes over to me and says to me, “Here...that young man over there wants you to give this to Conchita.”

“Why should I give it to her if she´s not going to take it?”
 Then, an idea came to me. The cross was hanging on a cord. The idea was to hang it on Conchita’s fingers, because her hands were folded together during the ecstasy. 
Conchita insisted during the vision, “I didn´t bring anything. I didn´t bring anything.”

You could hear her well, even though she said it softly; I was very close to her.
 “Well if I have something, take it.”

With that, Conchita took one step forward, threw her hands down, and the cross fell to the ground. 
As she walked forward, she stepped on the cross.
 “Ah! What did I step on?”
 She bent over, grabbed the cross, and gave it to the apparition to kiss. She turned to the young man, made the sign of the cross over him with the cross, and gave it to him to kiss. 
She gave the cross to the apparition again and said, 
“With such a lovely habit that the Dominicans have, it´s a shame that he comes dressed like this!”
 With that, she went back to the young man, took off his glasses, and placed them in his hands. 
The man was afraid, and I said to him, 
“Don´t be afraid that she´ll break them.”
 She made the sign of the cross over the man and gave him the cross to kiss. 
She hung the cross around his neck, but instead of putting it facing outward, she put it on him facing inward. 
“Ah! I put it on backwards?”
 Conchita took the cross off him again, turned it around, and hung it back on his neck.  
Then, she opened his hand, took the glasses and placed them on him, saying, 
“What a shame he came like this, in this way!” He was a priest who was pretending, dressed as a lay person, with a young lady who really was his sister. There are many, many cases like this that I could tell.  

  

One day Conchita levitated in the kitchen, but I didn´t see it. The brigadier Juan Seco, Mr. José Ramón, Dr. Ortiz, and other people, including priests were here talking about what happened.  
Mrs. Mercedes Salisachs intervened saying, 
“I heard that there was a levitation; I wasn´t able to see it because of the crowd of people, but everyone there was saying, 'She is levitating! She’s not touching the ground!'" I never saw that, but I did see Mari Loli levitate. These events happened frequently.

The first "Night of the Screams," Conchita did not leave the house because she was sick at home. She went into ecstasy and wrote a letter to somebody, but I´m not sure to whom. Conchita wrote the letter perfectly without looking and with the paper in the air. There were many present who witnessed this event.

I did not witness the Miracle of the Host either. Conchita said to me one night,
“Mom, if you want, I´ll tell you about the miracle…"el milagrucu" (the little miracle).
She had talked about it to other women in the village, but didn't mention anything to me. I never wanted to hear about this type of thing before others. It seemed so important to me, these things seemed so big to me that I never wanted to know before others about what happened. I wanted to wait like everyone else. I never asked her anything, never, but she said,
“I can tell you about it.”
My sister was there with me and she said,
“Say yes...!”
“No…you don't have to tell me anything, I will hear about it later.”
And with that Conchita said to me,
“Mom! The Blessed Mother told me to tell you.”
“Oh!  If Our Lady told you so, do whatever you want. But it really doesn´t matter to me. I want to be just like everyone else....as if I didn't matter. When others see it, I will see it too.”
“Well, you will be able to see the Host the next time I receive Communion.”
“And this is what you call the little miracle? This is the greatest miracle that could occur in the whole world: the Eucharist.”
“Well then, after seeing this miracle, will you believe?”
“Yes, yes...completely.”

"The Holy Father could say to me, 'This isn´t true...it was just a phenomenon or something similar.' I would follow what the Holy Father said, but in the depths of me, I will never be able to forget that you received Communion from the hands of an angel." And that is what I said to her, even though I never ended up seeing it. Three of my sons were away from home and one son was back home with the cows. I thought to myself, “If the four of them come together, I´m going to go to the church and be there praying while the miracle is happening. Let someone else see it.”
I wanted to make a sacrifice. Serafín, my eldest son, wasn´t able to make it because he had just recently found work outside the village. I wasn´t interested in running after her to see the miracle. I never saw it, but I heard the shouting all the way from my house. There were a lot of people and I could hear them shouting. I said,
“Oh!  The must have killed her!”
I thought that they were going to kill Conchita, or hit my sons. The police was there, but I thought that her life was over. I said,
“What happened? What happened?”
A woman came up to me, grabbed my arm, and began to drag me along saying,
“I saw it! I saw it!”
“What did you see?”
“I saw the Host!”
“Well, if you saw the Host, then thanks be to God!”
From that moment on, I remained totally calm. I was filled with such happiness and that was enough for me.
(Aniceta is especially thankful to Pepe Díez, because he was the one who watched after Conchita during the Miracle of the Host.)
    

Being that two of my sons were not at home and the youngest was outside with the cows, I asked Pepe if he could please watch out for Conchita. He saw a lot of what happened...and he stayed with her to protect her from the crowds. He was present when she was given the visible Communion; I asked him and he told me about it. Benjamin was also there, even though I didn´t know him yet.  
 One day, my son Aniceto (the one who passed away), said to me,
“Mother, there´s a man here who wants to lift Conchita. I didn´t let him...I told him that he has to ask you about it.”
Conchita was in another ecstasy heading for the “Calleja” (the stony path). I told Benjamin,
“Listen- you can lift her right now. She's up by the “Calleja” on her knees.”
I have no idea why I gave him permission to lift Conchita...I didn´t want people anywhere near her. But Benjamin looked like a good man with a serious face. He went off to pick her up, but could not lift her. When the ecstasy ended, he came back here to the kitchen and I asked him,
“Hey, do you want to try lifting her again?”
“No, no... That was enough for me.”
 One night, there were some people who gave us a bad impression. Serafín said to Fr. Valentín,
“I´m going to take Conchita inside the house...I don´t like the looks of the people here tonight.”
“Go ahead...take her inside.”
Conchita arrived in ecstasy. Serafín went to grab Conchita and lead her through the door. In the end he was able to, but he could barely move her. Later on he said that he had never felt a weight so heavy in his life, and Conchita was only 12 years old. While in ecstasy she said,
“Ah!  They want to lock me inside! But as you can see, I´m going with you.”
Serafín, on hearing this, said,
“Alright! That´s enough little blessed one of God...go on out!”
 Conchita felt completely safe when she was with the Blessed Mother. I heard all of this too because when they opened the door, I was able to step inside.

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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.

The witnesses

 

Aniceta GonzálezDavid Toribio

An eye witness

David was 26 years old when, on June 18, 1961, Saint Michael the Archangel began to appear to the four girls Conchita, Jacinta, Mari Loli and Mari Cruz preparing them for the Virgin Mary’s visit. The next day, he was sitting with some other young men along the road into the town when Conchita happened to pass by. One of the young men asked the oldest of the girls with a sarcastic air, "So, what was the angel like? Was he carrying a bag? Did he have a walking stick? What did he look like?" Conchita went away, embarrassed at the boys' teasing as they continued to mock the girls, but only until they saw the first ecstasy. At that moment, their initial skepticism was cut short.

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Aniceta GonzálezAniceta González

Conchita's mother

"My daughter is a very good young girl. I brought her to Church with me. After the rosary, we would do the Way of the Cross and pray together. On June 18, 1961, Conchita came home with tears in her eyes and said to me, “Mom! Today I saw the Angel.”
 “The Angel? Besides coming home late, you´re telling me this nonsense? Don´t talk to me about such things!”
 I thought that she was tricking me so that I wouldn´t scold her. She stayed where she was, leaning against the wall. I didn´t say anything to her, but I felt chills within me. I asked to myself, What could this mean?"

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Serafín GonzálezSerafín González

Conchita's older brother

"I wasn't here when the aparitions began. I found out about it when I arrived at the train station in Torrelavega. I ran into someone I had met when I was doing military service, and he asked me:

-- "Serafin, what is happening there in your home village?"

-- "How can I know? I haven't been there for two months.

 

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Miguel GonzálezMiguel González

Conchita's brother

"Since an early age I worked during the day in the fields. Each day at noon, when the church bell rang, we would all stop working, including those taking care of the live stock, and pray the Angelus. In the afternoon everyone, men, women and children, would return home and then later head off to the Church where we would all pray the Rosary together."

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Simón GonzálezSimón González

Jacinta's father

"After the first aparition of the Angel, Jacinta came home in the evening and told us that she had seen an Angel, I didn't believe her. We didn't speak with anyone about the matter until the news came out.

By the way in which she explained it I thought to myself that something must have happened. The first day that people went to be there, I didn't go. But when they came back and they told me the things that had happened i said to myself "I wish that I had gone".

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María GonzálezMaría 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.”

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Miguel Ángel GonzálezMiguel Ángel González

Jacinta's brother

Miguel, Jacinta's brother, is one year older than her. He was just 13 years old when the apparitions began.

"I heard about the apparitions the same day that they said they had seen an Angel, the 18th of June, 1961. When there were a lot of people I too would go to see the girls in exstasy."

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Laura GonzálezLaura González

Neighbour

"I know the girls well. In the village we all know eachother. 

To begin with, when they began saying that they had seen an Angel, we didn't really believe them. We thought that it was a child's game. I didn't believe them."

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D. Juan Alvárez SecoMr. Juan Álvarez 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.

"When I was close to being promoted to Brigadier, I said to myself: “I don’t want to be stationed up North.”

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