The most important apparition of the 20th century approved by the Catholic Church is Fatima. It was reported that during Our Lady’s farewell to Sister Lucy at Fatima in 1917, the Blessed Virgin used these words, “Goodbye till San Sebastian of Spain.” Since that time, over 300 apparitions have been reported to the Vatican.
One of the most significant of these apparitions took place at San Sebastian de Garabandal, Spain from 1961 to 1965. Although there has been considerable confusion about these alleged apparitions, it would be well to point out, that the Church has never condemned them. A new commission was formed by the Bishop in 1986, and Garabandal is currently under ecclesiastical investigation by the Catholic Church.
The message of Garabandal contains prophecies of supernatural events that affect the entire world. Since we might be very near to these predicted events, it would be prudent for the faithful to be aware of Our Lady’s messages, especially if the Church declares the appari- tions worthy of belief.
There has been much speculation that the third secret of Fatima, which was to have been revealed in 1960, warns of a great apostasy within the Church. If this is true, then one of the most significant messages of Garabandal given on June 18, 1965, would seem to be a confirmation of the third secret. Part of this message tell us:
“…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.”
One does not have to look too far to see that these prophetic words of Our Lady are now being fulfilled in our time.
What Was Our Lady Trying to Tell Us at Garabandal 40 Years Ago?
The prophecies of Garabandal tell us that four of the greatest supernatural events in the history of mankind are about to take place:
1. A World Wide Warning
It will come from God and it will be experienced by everyone in the world.
2. A Great Miracle
God will perform the greatest miracle of all time.
3. A Permanent Sign
After the Great Miracle, a Sign….something that has never been seen before upon the earth will remain forever (para siempre) in the “Pines” of Garabandal.
4. The Chastisement
A punishment that is conditional upon the response of mankind to these messages.
When Will These Events Occur?
Mari-Loli, one of the visionaries, knows the year of the Warning. She said that the Warning will occur within one year before the miracle. Conchita, the oldest visionary, knows when the miracle will occur. Our Lady told her that she must announce the date eight days before the miracle is to occur. The Warning must take place during Conchita’s lifetime.
Our story of Garabandal began on the evening of June 18, 1961 when the Archangel Michael appeared to four young girls. The Archangel made eight silent appearances during the following twelve days. On July 1, the angel finally spoke to announce that on the following day, the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear to them as Our Lady of Carmel.
San Sebastian de Garabandal is a tiny village of about 300 people located in the beautiful Cantabrian mountains of northwestern Spain, in the Diocese of Santander. Just about a mile to the north on a high ridge, nine pine trees tower over the village, marking the spot where Our Lady frequently appeared to the visionaries. During the next four years, Our Lady appeared more than 2,000 times throughout this remote village.
The visionaries were: Conchita Gonzalez age 12, Jacinta Gonzalez age 12, Mary Cruz Gonzalez age 11 (not closely related) and Mari-Loli Mazon age 12. They described Our Lady as a beautiful young woman, 18 years of age. She wore a white dress with a blue mantle and a brown Scapular on her right arm. On her head she wore a crown of 12 stars. Her hair was deep brown and parted in the center. Her face was oval shaped with a fine nose. The girls said, “No other woman looks like her or sounds like her.”
During the apparitions, the girls went into ecstasies that lasted from a few minutes to several hours. They would not always experience the apparition together. Sometimes, Our Lady would appear to only one girl. At other times two or three girls would share the same vision.
The apparitions were preceded by three interior calls, which the girls described as joys, each one becoming stronger. After the third call, the girls would come running from different parts of the village and would arrive at the same time in the place designated by Our Lady and they would fall to their knees in ecstasy.
During the apparition they were subjected to burns, spotlights in their eyes and stuck with pins without showing any physical response to pain. Reports indicate, four adult men had difficulty lifting one 12 year old girl. Yet, the girls could lift each other easily to kiss Our Lady goodbye when the apparitions ended.
The apparitions were accompanied by many other phenomenon that seemed to defy natural law; such as ecstatic falls and running forward and backward over very rocky terrain. Many religious objects were kissed by Our Lady. The visionaries, while in ecstasy, would return the objects to their rightful owners even though they were unknown to them. The seers claimed that Our Lady guided them to the right person.
Our Lady promised:
“Through the kiss I have bestowed on these objects, my Son will perform miracles, wonders, and prodigies before and after the Great Miracle.”
The fulfillment of this promise has been realized by the many conversions and cures of the terminally ill and addicted persons from around the world.
The Messages of Garabandal
On July 4, 1961, Our Lady revealed her first message for the world. Our Lady told the girls to publicly announce the message on October 18, 1961. On this day, the children made known the following message:
“Many sacrifices must be made. Much penance must be done, We must pay many visits to the Blessed Sacrament…but first of all we must be very good…If we do not do this, punishment awaits us…already the cup is filling, and if we do not change we shall be punished.”
On January 1, 1965, the Blessed Virgin told Conchita that the Archangel Michael would appear to her on the following June 18th, to deliver a final message in Mary’s name for the entire world, because her first message was not heeded.
On June 18, 1965, Conchita left her home at 11:30PM and walked to place called the “Cuadro” (a wooden enclosure). The ecstasy lasted about 12 minutes, and was filmed by cameramen from the Spanish Television network and Italian Television.
At the “Cuadro,” Saint Michael appeared to her while she was in ecstasy, which lasted approximately sixteen minutes. He delivered the following promised final message of Our Lady for the entire world:
“Since my message of October 18 has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I will tell you that this is the last one. Before, the chalice was filling, now it is overflowing. Many Cardinals, many Bishops and many Priests are on the path of perdition and they take many souls with them. To the Eucharist, there is given less and less importance. We should avoid the wrath of God on us by our good efforts.”
“If you ask Pardon with your sincere soul, He will pardon you. It is I your mother, who through the intercession of Saint Michael, wish to say that you amend, that you are already in the last warnings and that I love you much and do not want your condemnation. Ask us sincerely and we will give to you. You should sacrifice more. Think of the Passion of Jesus.”
Our Lady appeared wearing the brown scapular, an indication that we should also wear the brown scapular, and taught the children how to pray the rosary. Her greatest emphasis was placed on the Eucharist and prayers for priests. The last apparition for Conchita was on November 13, 1965, at “the Pines.”
Our Lady told her,“This is the last time you will see me here.”
Locutions continued for Conchita and Mari-Loli until Febraury 13, 1966. Locutions are supernatural interior communications. They can be imagined, heard through the ear or directly perceived by the intellect.
*The rest of this article will be featured in the Spring 2107, Volume 27#1/2 magazine coming out shortly. Become a member now to receive this issue!