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Garabandal, Spain: Our Lady of Garabandal, The Warning and the Miracle

About Garabandal:

View of the village of San Sebastian of Garabandal
View of the village of Garabandal..you can see “The Pines” in the background

In a century of many reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary comes one that still awaits approval by the Church, yet many (including us) feel is worthy of belief.

Garabandal in 1961 was a tiny hamlet of about 300 people and around 80 stone houses (with no running water, and no indoor plumbing) in the Cantabrian Mountains of northern Spain.   They only had electricity for a few hours each night. Conveniences, like television or cars, did not exist there. People managed to make a living by raising cattle, working in the pastures (at times up on the mountain).

There was a small church in the village of Garabandal,  but because of the remoteness of the village, and lack of its own priest, Fr. Valentin Marichalar, a priest in the nearby village of Cosio, traveled by horseback on Sunday, to say Mass for the villagers.   As a result, Mass was celebrated only once a week.

Above, on the right, see a small stand of 9 pine trees on a hill just outside the village that play a prominent role in the messages.

This obscure village gained attention as the site of reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary (preceded by one apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel) to four young girls beginning on June 18, 1961.

This amazing testimony, has been told to us first hand by the villagers, mainly Serafin and his wife, Paquita Gonzalez. Serafin is the brother of one of the visionaries (Conchita).

 

Below is the story of Our Lady of Garabandal as told by the children:

A plaque showing St. Michael the Archangel was placed near the site of the first apparitions

On June 18th, 1961 four girls: Conchita González, Jacinta González and Mari Loli Mazón (all 12 years old at the time) and Mari Cruz González (who was 11), were playing together near the village (according to one of the visionaries they were actually stealing apples!) when they heard a sound like thunder and suddenly an angel (later identified as Saint Michael the Archangel) in dazzling white stood before them. The angel said nothing and the girls, terrified by what they had seen…and perhaps feeling they were about to be punished stealing….ran to the village church. Over the next few days the angel appeared to them again, but once again said nothing.

They encountered skepticism from their parents, local parish priest and most of the villagers, who accused them of making the whole thing up.  But over the next several days, many of the villagers began to join the girls and prayed the Rosary with them.  One of the amazing things was that, during the times that the children were in ecstasy, the girls could not be picked up, even by grown men, but the girls could easily pick each other up to kiss our Lady.

Finally, on July 1st, the angel spoke for the first time:  announcing that he had come to tell them that on the following day, the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear to them as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The next day, July 2Our Lady did indeed appear as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding the infant Jesus with two angels at her side. The girls recognized one of the angels as the one who had first appeared to them.  Interestingly, at that time, this day was the Feast of the Visitation, until it was later changed to the 31st of May by Paul VI in the reform of the Calendarium Romanum on February 14, 1969.

Our Lady foretold three momentous events that would occur:

1.  A world-wide warning to be seen and felt by all (an illumination of conscience).  According to Jacinta, “the Warning is something that is first seen in the air everywhere in the world and immediately is transmitted into the interior of our souls. It will last for a very little time, but it will seem a very long time because of its effect within us.”

2.  A miraculous, permanent sign to be left at the Pines in Garabandal within 12 months of the warning.  Conchita has said that we will be able to touch it but not feel it…”it will be like smoke. You can touch it but not feel it“.

The Pines in Garabandal where the miracle will take place
Praying at the pines

The Miracle will take place at the grove of pine trees on a bluff overlooking the village of Garabandal.

It will occur on a Thursday evening at 8:30 on or between of March, April, or May.

Conchita Gonzalez, one of the visionaries, knows the date of the miracle and will announce it eight days in advance. It will be on the feast day of a martyr of the Eucharist (some sources say a “little-known” martyr, others say “indirectly connected to the Eucharist”) and coincide with a singular event in the Church that happens very rarely, and has never happened in her lifetime.

Some speculate that the miracle will take place on the Feast of Saint Hemanguild, matryred in 585 for refusing to accept the Eucharist from a heretical Arian bishop. but we have nothing to support that.  All those either in the village or on the surrounding mountains will see it.

The sick who are present will be cured, sinners converted and the incredulous will believe. As a result of the Miracle, Russia will be converted.

Father Vaelntin….who, as previously mentioned,  had journeyed to Garabandal to celebrate Mass on Sundays, was somewhat skeptical of the apparitions, until one day, riding back to the city of Cosio, he was given a vision of the miracle and died from joy right there in the car.  Read the story here.

3.  A final chastisement if mankind does not repent.

There is much more to the story so click here for more details about the prophecies of Garabandal and the fate of the visionaries.

Investigation of the Garabandal apparitions by the Church:

The local Bishop ordered an investigation in to the reported apparitions in Garabandal; however, this investigation was flawed from the start.  Apparently those on the investigating committee never talked directly to any of the witnesses. This is almost unbelievable given the many witnesses that were available.  One member of the commission, a priest, was so dismayed at the methodology of the investigations that he resigned from the commission.  That priest is now a Bishop.

When the bishops of Santander commented on the message of Garabandal, they repeatedly pointed out that the content of the messages is orthodox and laudable (i.e., Bishop Beitia in 1965, Bishop Cirarda in 1970, Bishop del Val in 2000 and Bishop Osoro in 2007).

The current bishop of the diocese signed the most recent assessment on June 24, 2015, declaring non constat as to the supernatural nature of the events. The term non constat means that the Church needs further information— for example, documentation about the abundant fruits in souls— before making a declaration.

So, as of now, the apparitions have not been approved, yet neither have they been rejected.

The alleged apparitions remain under investigation by the Church. A great deal of misinformation was distributed that cast doubt on the apparitions, but most of that proved untrue. And much of the early investigations were not done in a rigorous manner, which led to a great deal of confusion.  We leave it up to you to decide.

One person who believed in the apparitions was Padre Pio. A quote from Father Pelletier in the book “Our Lady Comes to Garabandal”, page 19, says “While he was living, the same Padre Pio guaranteed the authenticity of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin. He met Conchita at San Giovanni Rotondo. Even during the last days of his life, he talked about this to his brothers in religious life and left a personal message for the principle personage of the apparitions. “

Some of the villagers of Garabandal

Personally we can attest to the sincerity of the villagers, whom we have met and stayed with, who were involved in the early days of the reported apparitions.

The photo on the left shows Conchita’s cousin, Serafin Gonzales (far left), with his wife Paquita and their family.  They do not talk about it a great deal, just get on with their lives.  To us, that is a testament to the fact that they are living according to the message of the apparitions.

Click here to learn more about the visionaries and their lives adter the reported apparitions.

Click here for a website dedicated to Garabandal…be sure to watch the outstanding video!

And we highly recommend this Youtube video:  Unstoppable Waterfall.  Some great testimonies from witnesses and photos of the early days of Garabandal.  You may want to slow the speed down a bit to process the sub-titles.

And here is another Youtube video by Ed Kelly, who has spent a fair amount of time in Garabandal.

 

There are several good books about Garabandal available. The most comprehensive is the three-volume set entitled “She Went in Haste to the Mountain“.

 

Traveling to Garabandal:

The nearest major town is Santander, which has an airport served primarily by Iberia Airlines. San Sebastian de Garabandal is about 50 miles south of Santander. There is no rail service.

There are several tour companies that offer pilgrimages involving a stay at Garabandal.

If you are traveling on your own, you can travel by bus from Santander to Cosio, a little over two miles from Garabandal.

Welcome to San Sebastian de Garabandal
Welcome to San Sebastian de Garabandal

From there you would need a taxi, unless you plan to borrow someone’s mule! Of course, if you are driving, you can make your way directly to the village.

GPS coordinates for the Pines in Garabandal: 43° 11′ 53.4948” N, 4° 25′ 28.3836” W

Contact:

email:  rolandogarabandal@gmail.com

Click here for a website dedicated to Garabandal…be sure to watch the video!

Click here for the official website of the parish of Garabandal.

Find hotels and B&B’s in Garabandal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

 

Sources:

Garabandal.org

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