"Meditate on the Passion of Jesus."
At the end of the First Message, Our Lady tells us to "Meditate on the Passion of Jesus." Do you do this? Do you think about His Passion? Do you consider how much love He has had for you? During His Passion, He thought about you and did it for you.
The Cross seems to be contrary to happiness. Can there be happiness and joy in a situation of extreme pain and suffering, like that of Our Lord's Crucifixion? This mystery is not contrary to happiness. Thanks to the Passion of Jesus, we receive all types of helps and graces, and above all, we receive the hope of salvation.
On the Cross, when the darkness seems to be the strongest, a light appears with the strength and desire to enlighten every man's heart and bring him to the truth. The Cross is light. To see this, we have to look upon and meditate on the Passion of Jesus with faith. On one Palm Sunday, John Paul II encouraged young people by saying to them,
"Look to Him with renewed and zealous faith. Follow Him! He does not promise illusory happiness; on the contrary, in order for you to achieve authentic human and spiritual maturity, He invites you to follow His demanding example, making His exacting choices your own."
"O Mother, Virgin, this will no one comprehend, that the infinite God is becoming a man; It’s only love’s and His inscrutable mercy’s purpose. Through You, Mother - it’s given us to live with Him forever."
Saint Faustina Kowalska, whose baptismal name was Helen, was born in a town called Głogowiec, Poland, on August 25, 1905. From a young age, she was very sensitive to divine things; she often prayed and spoke with God. At the age of seven, she felt the call to the religious life for the first time. This call was later repeated when she was fifteen years old, but her parents did not give their consent for her entrance. She insisted again when she had turned eighteen, and, since her parents still refused to accept her vocation, she abandoned herself to life's vanities, trying to drown out the voice that was calling her, giving herself to creatures. Nonetheless, divine grace conquered in the end. One day, while she was at a dance, all of a sudden, Jesus appeared before her. He was covered with wounds and said to her, "How long will you keep putting me off?" She fled from the dance and went to the Cathedral of Saint Stanislaus Kostka. She fell prostrate and begged the Lord to make her know what she was supposed to do. The Lord answered that she had to go to Warsaw immediately, for she was to enter a convent there. And so it happened. She responded promptly, a characteristic that would mark the rest of her life. The Lord called her to be an Apostle of his Mercy, granting her private revelations in which He spoke to her of his Heart, full of love and mercy. He asked her to write and speak to the world of his infinite Mercy and to spread the devotion to his Divine Mercy. The revelations are collected in the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. During her lifetime, she sought strength from the Mother of God to be able to respond and to be faithful to the Lord. On several occasions, she tells of how the Mother of God appeared to her, encouraging her in the mission that Jesus had entrusted to her. Saint Faustina died on October 5, 1938 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 18, 1993. She was later canonized by him on April 30, 2002.
"They Say One Thing, but We See Another"
The young men talked among themselves without understanding the causes of the storm unleashed by what was happening in their town. David remembers that they said to each other, "Why are the newspapers publishing all this? The people who say they know what’s going on don’t understand anything!" One day, one of the young men asked, "What’s more important? What we see with our own eyes or what these people say and write?" The others replied, "No, come on! What we see is much more important!" The first responded with all the logic of the world, "Ah, so they say one thing, and we see another."
Beginning Lent, our gaze should once again turn to Mary who wishes to accompany us during this time of desert. The Church invites us to plunge onto the path of prayer, penance, and almsgiving to prepare our hearts for the central celebration of our Faith: the Pasch, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Priests, Bishops and Cardinals?
A piece of information regarding Garabandal that leaves many people perplexed is found in the content of the second message, given on June 18, 1965. Specifically, the words: "Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them."
Second Message: The Eucharist
In this section, dedicated to studying more in depth the events, the documentation, and the statements of the Church with respect to Garabandal, we now offer you, in this article, a passage from the book "Garabandal: A Message of Hope," by José Luis Saavedra.
The Double Proof for Sarín
David Toribio was one of the young men that guarded the girls in the famous “cuadro” (square) of the “Calleja” and impeded the avalanche of people from surrounding them. He was a witness to the unforgettable ecstasies, which he remembers with great detail, thanks to his extraordinary memory.
One day, not long ago, David ran into Sarín, a neighbor from Cosío. Shortly after greeting one another, Sarín asked him, “Oh, “Davizuco! Do you remember what happened in the village in ’61?” David answered, “Of course I remember.” Sarín continued, “And do you still believe it? Are you convinced of it?” David affirmed with certitude, “Completely, Sarín. More and more every day.”
Fr. Jose Maria Andreu, S.J. (eyewitness of the apparitions in Garabandal) relates in his report that when the girls were in ecstasy, you could often hear them say, “Don’t go.” That was their way of expressing their desire to remain in ecstasy, in other words, to keep seeing the Blessed Virgin.
"My Mother, may those who look at me, see you."
Maria Teresa Gonzalez Quevedo was born in Madrid, Spain, on April 12, 1930. She was joyful, active and enthusiastic. She loved to play sports and had a great love for life. When she was 10 years old, she decided to become a saint, and from that moment on she began to grow in her spiritual life. She joined the Marian Congregation. Upon receiving a medal of Our Lady, she decided to write on the back of it the following phrase: “My Mother, may those who look at me, see you.” It was during the month of May when she spontaneously prayed from her heart: “My Mother, grant me the vocation to religious life!” God later showed her that He wanted her only for Him. One of her friends experienced the same thing, but decided to wait to respond when she was older, but Teresa, generous and decided, corrected her by saying: “How stingy and egotistical! How can you think that Jesus is going to accept you all worn out after you’ve offered the best of your life to the world! Jesus has better taste than that, and wants your youth with all its joys and dreams as an offering.” In February of 1948, she entered as a Carmelite of Charity. Upon seeing her self-offering, many of her friends discovered that giving oneself to God did not mean sadness or failure, but rather joy. A little more than a year later in May of 1949, she suffered a serious fever, indicating that something was not right, the cause of which was acute pleurisy. In her diary she wrote: “During Communion, I had such a desire to give myself completely to Jesus in order to show Him how much I loved Him, that I offered myself as a victim so that He could do with me what He wanted.” In January of 1950, she suffered a terrible headache. Her father, who was a doctor, diagnosed her with tuberculosis meningitis. On Holy Thursday of that same year, her state suddenly worsened and she exclaimed: “Jesus, I love you for all those who do not love you!” Before dying, she shouted: “My Mother, come and receive me… take me with you to Heaven!” A few minutes later, she left this earth. It was April 8, 1950. She was proclaimed venerable by Pope John Paul II on June 9, 1983.
A Third Declaration
This letter by Card. Joseph Ratzinger is the third of three letters issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the events that occured in Garabandal between the years 1961 and 1965.
The title of this article is taken from a report written by Fr. José María Alba Cereda, S.J. who stated: "According to the medical evaluation, a psychological or abnormal explanation is unthinkable; neither is it feasible to entertain the possibility of commercial, propaganda, or fraudulent interests on behalf of the family members or of the village as a whole." His report is a call to take a new look at the message given to us through these apparitions.
A Long Silence
The Holy See's intervention, or lack thereof, according to some, regarding Garabandal, could seem to be "proof" that what took place in Garabandal is not verifiable. However, if we look closely at the Holy See’s response regarding what took place in Garabandal, it is perfectly in accord with the norms established in 1978 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith concerning how to proceed when discerning possible Marian apparitions and revelations.