Chapter 14

Garabandal, Spain

Chapter 14

“Before, the chalice was filling up. Now it is flowing over…I, your mother…ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings. I love you much and do not want your condemnation…”

Twenty-eight years later in the tiny village of San Sebastian de Garabandal – high up in the Cantabrian mountains of Northern Spain – four girls were playing a game. Conchita Gonzalez, Maria Dolores (Mari-Loli)San Sebastian de Garabandal Mazon and Jacinta Gonzalez were 12 years of age; Maria Cruz Gonzalez was only 11. Although some had similar last names they were not related.

It was about 8:30 in the evening of Sunday, June 18, 1961. The children were playing in a small rocky lane, pretending to hide behind a stone wall next to whence they had just ‘pinched’ several rather bitter, crab apples. They thought the owner of the apple trees really wouldn’t mind, but in case he did…

The Angel

Suddenly, they heard a loud noise like a clap of thunder. Then, directly in front of them, they saw the bright figure of an angel. The children ran to the village church. Pale and visibly shaken, their only comment was: ‘We’ve seen an angel.’  Later they would learn that he was St. Michael, the Archangel.

The news of the event spread like wildfire throughout the small village. Over the next twelve days the angel appeared to them several more times. As in Fátima, he was preparing them for the appearances of the Mother of God. Several weeks later, on Saturday, July 1st, the angel appeared again and spoke to them for the first time.

He announced that the Blessed Virgin would appear to them the following day. This news spread even more quickly through the region than that of the angel. By Sunday, the town was packed with numerous people, both local and from out of town. Among them were several physicians and priests who had come to see for themselves what was occurring.

At six o’clock that evening the four girls went to the place where they originally saw the angel. The moment they saw Our Lady they simultaneously fell onto their knees in ecstasy. Two angels, one of whom was St. Michael, accompanied Mary. She was dressed similar to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, much as she looked when she appeared in her last apparition in Fatima.

The Lady

Conchita, the eldest child, described her appearance: “Our Lady comes wearing a white robe and blue cloak. She has a crown of golden stars; her feet are not visible. Her hands aOur Ladyre slender with a scapular on her right wrist. The scapular is reddish. Her hair is long, wavy and dark brown, parted in the middle. Her face is long, her nose is long and slender and her mouth is dainty and very lovely; her lips are just a little bit thick. Her complexion is quite dark but lighter than the angel’s.

“Her voice is different from the angel’s. It is a very beautiful voice, very unusual; I cannot explain it. There is no woman who is like Our Lady, either in voice or in any way at all. Sometimes she carries her Child Jesus in her arms. He is quite tiny, as tiny as a new-born baby. He has a round face and appears to have the same complexion as Our Lady, with a sweet little mouth. His blond hair is rather long; His hands are very small and He is dressed in a sort of sky-blue tunic. Our Lady seems to be about 18 years old.”

The children told her about their tasks, how they were going to the meadows and “…she smiled at the little things we told her.”  Our Lady showed them how to treat her, “Like children who speak with their mother and tell her everything; Children who rejoice to see her when they have not seen her for a while.”  Her voice is different from the angel’s. It is a very beautiful voice, very unusual; I cannot explain it.

There is no woman who is like Our Lady, either in voice or in any way at all. Sometimes she carries her Child, Jesus, in her arms. He is quite tiny, as tiny as a new-born baby. He has a round face and appears to have the same complexion as Our Lady, with a sweet little mouth. His blond hair is rather long; His hands are very small and He is dressed in a sort of sky-blue tunic. Our Lady seems to be about 18 years old.

The children told her about their tasks, how they were going to the meadows and “…she smiled at the little things we told her.” Our Lady showed them how to treat her: “Like children who speak with their mother and tell her everything; children who rejoice to see her when they have not seen her for a while.”

The Message

On October 18, 1961, the children stated that Our Lady had given them a somber message: “We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up and, if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.”

The message was written on paper by Conchita; then, signed by all four children.

Another Message

Four years later, on June 18, 1965, the children received a second message. St. Michael, the Archangel relayed it to the world because Our Lady said, “It pained me to say it myself.”

“As my message of October 18, [1961] has not been complied with, and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one.

“Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over. Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts. If you ask Him forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you.

“I, your mother, through the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings. I love you much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Think of the passion of Jesus.”

Soon afterward, Our Lady advised them of three events that will occur in the future: first, there will be a worldwide Warning; the second event will be a Miracle; the third event will be a worldwide Chastisement! This chastisement is conditional; it can be mitigated or stopped completely, depending entirely on how we choose to respond to her messages!

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Before the miracle takes place, Our Lady said that all mankind will receive a warning from Heaven. Conchita said: “The warning comes directly from God and will be visible to the whole world, and from any place where anyone may happen to be. It will be like the revelation of our sins and it will be seen and felt by everyone, believer and unbeliever alike, irrespective of whatever religion they may belong to.

“It will be seen and felt in all parts of the world and by every person. It will happen in the sky; no one can prevent it from happening. It is like a momentary stopping of time around the world wherein people will see themselves as God sees them, and how they should amend their ways. We will even prefer to be dead rather than to pass through this warning.”

The warning: “…will not, in itself, kill anyone; however some might die of fright. It will be a correction of our conscience. It will cause great fear and will make us reflect within ourselves on the consequences of our own personal sins. It will be like a warning of the punishment to come. In this way, the world will be offered a means of purification to prepare itself for the extraordinary grace of the great miracle.”

She said that Our Lady has promised the great miracle in Garabandal so that all may believe and obey the messages. Conchita observed: “As the punishment which we deserve for the sins of the world is great, the miracle must also be a great one, for the world needs it.”

“It will occur on a Thursday, at 8:30 in the evening, on the feast day of a saint devoted to the Eucharist, and will last for about one quarter of an hour. It will also coincide with a great event in the Church. The sick that come to Garabandal on that day will be cured and unbelievers will be converted. There will remain a permanent sign of the miracle at The Pines” – the place where Mary often appeared to Conchita alone.

This will be a proof of Our Lady’s tremendous love for all her children. Conchita wrote: “The sign that will remain will be able to be seen, photographed and televised but it will not be able to be touched. It will appear clearly that it is something not of this world, but of God.”  Conchita will publicly announce the date of the miracle eight days prior to its predicted date.

Conchita added: “The Blessed Virgin will not allow me to reveal the nature of the miracle although I already know it. Neither can I reveal the date of it, which I know, until eight days before it is to happen.

Conchita wrote this about the chastisement: “I cannot reveal what kind of punishment it is except that it will be a result of the direct intervention of God, which makes it more terrible and fearful than anything we can imagine. It will be less painful for innocent babies to die a natural death than for those babies to die because of the punishment.

“All Catholics should go to confession before the punishment and the others should repent of their sins. When I saw it, I felt a great fear even though at the same time I was seeing Our Blessed Mother. The punishment, if it comes, will come after the miracle.”

When Our Lady spoke to the children about the punishment, her face assumed a look of great sadness. They all stated: “We have never seen her look so serious. When she said the words, ‘The cup is already filling up,’ she spoke in a very low voice.”

The punishment is conditional and will occur sometime after the miracle; it will encompass the whole world. During one of their ecstasies the girls were heard praying for the innocent children but they shed tears at the same time. Since that day they learned about the punishment they have developed a great spirit of sacrifice.

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They pray very much for sinners and for priests. They often say that if priests are not what they should be, many souls will be lost. Jacinta added: “The warning would come when conditions are at their worst.” The date was not revealed to the children; however, Mari Loli does know the year.

On November 13, 1965, Conchita saw her for the last time. Our Lady asked: “Do you know, Conchita, why I did not come personally on June 18 to give you the message for the world? Because it pained me to say it myself, but I have to say it to you for your own good and, if you fulfill it, for God’s glory. I love you very much and I desire your salvation, to gather you all around God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

“Conchita, won’t you respond to this?” Conchita answered, “If I could be always seeing you, yes; but otherwise I can’t because I am very bad.” Our Lady replied: “You do all you can and We will help you, as well as my daughters Loli, Jacinta and Mari Cruz.”

Conchita noted that Mary did not stay with her for long that day but she also said, “This will be the last time you see me here, but I will always be with all my children.” She added, “Conchita, why don’t you go often to visit my Son in the Most Blessed Sacrament? Why do you let yourself be carried away by laziness and not go to visit Him Who is waiting for you day and night?”

Then, Conchita told Mary, “Oh, how happy I am when I see you. Why don’t you take me with you right now?” Our Lady answered: “Remember what I told you on your saint’s day. When you go before God you must show Him your hands filled with good works done by you for your brothers and for the glory of God. Now your hands are empty.”

Conchita said, “I spent a happy moment with my mother from Heaven, my best friend, and with the Child Jesus. I have stopped seeing them, but not feeling them close.  Again, they have sown in my soul great peace, joy, and a desire to conquer my defects so that I will be able to love, with all my strength, the hearts of Jesus and Mary who love us so much.”

Conchita added: “The Blessed Virgin Mary told me before that Jesus does not want to send the punishment in order to distress us but in order to help us and reproach us because we pay no attention to Him. And the warning will be sent in order to purify us for the miracle in which he will show us His great love, and in order that we may fulfill the message.”

Conchita mentioned numerous things Our Lady had told her that would occur in the future. She stated that Communism [a form of atheistic Socialism] would engulf the entire world, including the United States. She also said that “murder would be commonplace throughout the world.”

She also affirmed that Mary told her: “… after Pope Paul VI there would be two more popes and that would be the end of an era, but not the end of the world!” When pressed about the meaning of this, Conchita said she did not know; Our Lady did not tell her.

At the time it was misunderstood by many that the last message, given in June, 1965, would be her last one for the world. That obviously was not the case as Mary would give additional messages at a later time in Akita, followed by the ongoing apparitions in Medjugorje.

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In 1966, not long after the apparitions ended, Conchita went to Rome at the request of Cardinal Ottaviani, the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. She was accompanied by her mother, Aniceta, and one priest. She met with Cardinal Ottaviani and other Vatican officials and was specifically questioned by the Holy Office. Later, accompanied by Cardinal Marcella, she was received in an audience with pope Paul VI.

The bishops of Santander have stated the events could not be positively determined to be supernatural at this time; however, neither the bishops, nor the Church, have made a final decision about the events in Garabandal. It’s rather curious that a little more than a year after Pope John XXIII decided in 1960 not to reveal the third part of the secret given to Lúcia at Fátima, Our Lady began this series of appearances in Spain with messages – similar to those in Fatima – warning the world of possible severe consequences.

In the early 1960s, Joey Lomangino traveled to Italy to visit St. Padre Pio in Pietrelcina. When he asked him if he thought Mary was appearing in Garabandal, Pio answered curtly: ‘Certainly she is!’ Later, Mother Teresa of Calcutta also endorsed her belief in the appearances of Our Lady in Garabandal.

In 1970, my spouse and I drove to Long Island, New York, to visit Joey Lomangino in his home. After some pleasantries with Conchita who was visiting him at the time, he expressed a desire to have Conchita visit the capital of the United States. They all wished to have a tour of the historical places there.

Inasmuch as we lived close to Washington, and had both the time and room for them, they were invited to stay at our country home in Southern Maryland. The following May, Conchita and her mother, Aniceta, and Joey Lomangino and his mother were our guests for about a week.

I met them at Friendship Airport [now Baltimore Washington International] and drove them to our home. Turning into the rather lengthy driveway, our guests couldn’t help but notice the numerous dogwood trees in full bloom on the front lawn.

As soon as I stopped the car Conchita jumped out. Running over to one of the larger dogwood trees – much like an excited little child – she literally tore off some of the blossomed branches with her bare hands. No easy feat that for they were green!

We all watched in absolute astonishment as she carried those branches to the site where a statue of Mary stood in front of an old pine grove; there, she arranged the flowers neatly behind the statue, making a beautiful display for Mary.
This was probably as close as she would come to being home again, near a place similar to the pines where Mary had appeared to her so often.

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Conchita was immediately adopted by our children and, in short order, learned to drive the tractor, not an easy task for a beginner. One must realize that the children in Garabandal, much like those worldwide who reside in out-of-the-way villages, are not as physically nor psychologically mature as our children.

In the capital, we were guests of Msgr. William F. McDonough, Director of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and his able assistant, Fr. John J. Nicola, who also serves as the exorcist for the archdiocese. They were instrumental in arranging a tour of many of the places our guests wished to visit.

On the day prior to our guests’ departure for New York, Msgr. McDonough, Fr. Nicola, and Fr. Victor B. Galeone concelebrated the Mass at our home with about forty guests in attendance. General permission had been previously granted from the surrounding dioceses to allow priests to celebrate Mass at our home at any time. Fortunately, we were able to retain vestments at the house for the priests.

Several months after the celebration of that Mass, Fr. Galeone served two periods from 1970–1975 and 1978–1984, as a missionary in Peru under the auspices of the Society of St. James, the Apostle, After his return to the United States in 1984, he served as pastor of various parishes in Baltimore.

In 2001, Fr. Galeone was named bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida by Pope John Paul II. During his tenure as bishop, he was quite outspoken in his obedience to Paul VI’s teachings in Humanae Vitae. In 2011, after ten years of labor in that capacity, Bishop Galeone retired.

In 1971, Fr. Joseph A. Pelletier, A.A,, a Mariologist, was a weekend guest in our home in southern Maryland to discuss several books he had written concerning Fatima and Garabandal. He would later write one about Medjugorje. We are truly blessed to have known so many of these faithful servants of the Lord.

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I revisited Garabandal in 1972, this time with my spouse. We had a delightful conversation with Mari Loli and her father, Ceferino, the mayor of the small village. They remembered me from my visit the previous year, owing to the fact that, while eating a sandwich and soup they provided, I dropped a piece of bread. After retrieving and dusting it off prior to eating it, Mari Loli, the most outgoing of the four seers, immediately handed me a replacement piece. Yet, bread is not plentiful there.

During this second visit they kindly provided us with food and lodging, the latter being a bed in a rather large barn. The temperature was warmer than La Salette in 1970, but still bitter cold (sans heaters) at night; so cold, in fact, that it provided us with the weapons we needed for a snowball battle on a mountainside the day before.

They were truly gracious hosts for the many strangers who visited there from around the world, much as the people who live in Medjugorje do to this day.

On July 27, 2007 the Spanish Apostolic Nunciature announced that Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Jiménez Zamora as the new bishop of Santander. Bishop Zamora had previously been the bishop of Osma-Soria for three years and appears open to the events in the village of Garabandal.

During an interview with Garabandal International, he was asked: “What is Garabandal?” He responded: “There are clear signs that Our Lady is preparing the way for the prophesied events. The roads leading up to Garabandal are being widened. The road from Casio to Garabandal is being surveyed and pegged for widening and upgrading…”

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Mari Loli died in Boston, Massachusetts on April 20, 2009. She left a signed statement about two visions the children had in 1962: on the 19th and, later, on the 23rd of June. The visions concerned the threatened punishment which Mari Loli describes quite vividly.

Loli wrote: “Although we continued to see the Blessed Virgin, we saw a great multitude of people who suffered greatly and screamed in anguish. The Virgin explained to us how this great punishment would come because there would come a moment a time in which the Church would seem to perish, as if it were finished, or disappearing. The Church would suffer a great trial! We asked the Virgin how this great punishment would be called and she said it was called Communism.”

In all matters one is obliged to seek the truth. One must use reason in an attempt to understand the apparitions of Our Lady, always relying on the magisterium of the Church for guidance. As with all apparitions of Our Lady in the past, the final judgment of these matters is left to the Church who investigates and, after great diligence and patience, makes a statement concerning their final disposition.

The Church is never in a hurry to make a final determination in these matters; however, when the Church does make a decision, it will be final.

It is important to recall that no one specific series of apparitions has any determination upon the accuracy of the other sites, either approved, or still under investigation. The mission of Our Lady does not rely upon the accreditation of any one series of her appearances.

In any event all the messages contained herein merely reaffirm and exhort us to do that which the Church has taught since its establishment by Christ. Since her appearances in Beauraing and Banneux, Mary has basically provided additional guidance and details about the future in order to help us understand the present day situation and the ensuing consequences.

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So, the outcome of the events in Garabandal remain unresolved at this time. They are interwoven into this story about Our Lady’s mission and, regardless of their final disposition, they show how these apparitions were perceived and experienced by the author. It is hoped this will serve as a guide to assist others in their search for truth.

A Cautionary Notice

The reported apparitions that occurred in Garabandal from 1961- 65 have been a source of both encouragement and doubt. On March 19, 1964, Conchita stated she received a message from Our Lady concerning the restoration of the eyesight of Joey Lomangino, a blind American whom she had befriended.

Since the updated publication of this book in very early June, 2014, it came to the author’s attention that Joey Lomangino died of a heart attack on June 18, 2014. His eyesight had not been restored.This certainly brings into question the veracity of the other messages.

The question now is whether all the messages given by Our Lady are also invalid, especially the two “for the world” received from her in 1961 and, again, in 1965, that were witnessed by all the children. Only one person can accurately address that now: it would be helpful if Conchita would make a public statement to help clarify this.

Obviously, there is no doubt Conchita was quite accurate when she stated in the early 1960s that “murder would be commonplace throughout the world.” Who could have foreseen this horrendous problem we face today?

Additionally, she affirmed that “Communism [atheistic Socialism] would engulf the entire world.” We are only one of several nations who are still free; yet, given the current environment, one realizes we are not far from adopting some form of atheistic Socialism.

In all matters one is obliged to seek the truth. One must use reason in an attempt to understand the apparitions of Our Lady, always relying on the magisterium of the Church for guidance.

As with all apparitions of Our Lady in the past, the final judgment of these matters is left to the Church who investigates and, after great diligence and patience, makes a statement concerning their final disposition. The Church is never in a hurry to make a final determination in these matters; however, when the Church does make a decision, it will be final.

It is important to recall that no one specific series of apparitions has any determination upon the accuracy of the other sites, either approved, or still under investigation. The mission of Our Lady does not rely upon the accreditation of any one series of her appearances.

In any event all the messages contained herein merely reaffirm and exhort us to do that which the Church has taught since its establishment by Christ. Since her appearances in Beauraing and Banneux, Mary has basically provided additional guidance and details about the future in order to help us understand the present day situation and the ensuing consequences.

So, the outcome of the events in Garabandal remain unresolved at this time. They are interwoven into this story about Our Lady’s mission and, regardless of their final disposition, they show how these apparitions were perceived and experienced by the author. It is hoped this will serve as a guide to assist others in their search for truth.

 

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Appearances of the Mother of God and salvation of mankind