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Why all the interest in Garabandal?

Why all the recent interest in Garabandal?

Plaque in Garabandal where St. Michael the Archangel appearedThe apparitions of both Saint Michael the Archangel and the Blessed Virgin Mary took place in 1961.  So why the increasing level of interest in these apparitions today?

Perhaps it lies in the fact that so much of what we took for granted in the world has recently been turned upside down. 

Things just don’t seem quite right compared to the world of just a few years back.   For example:

Covid-19 response:

In some countries churches were closed under the guise of “preventing the spread” of Covid, but bars and clubs providing so called “adult entertainment” have remained open.  Meanwhile economies have been destroyed (although the pharmaceutical companies seem to have done quite well), families torn apart and people live in irrational fear (ever seen a person driving in a car, alone, with a mask on?).  Australia set up “internment camps” for those with Covid-19, in England people have been arrested for holding an outside church service…….and we could go on and on.

Destruction of traditional Christianity:

Sexual Deviation is being normalized and even encouraged, both by certain governments as well as the entertainment industry……especially to vulnerable young children.  Drag shows in public venues have become all too common in many cities and towns….all in the name of being “inclusive”.

The U.S. now issues passports for non-binary people….you don’t have to declare yourself male or female.  And, in many states you can change the sex assigned at birth on your birth certificate.  

They want you to “follow the science” but not when it comes to physical anatomy, apparently. 

Socialism and Marxism are promoted as ideals, even though there is no evidence that either has ever worked.  You cannot find a single example of where socialism has worked.  Perhaps because people are so poorly educated that they cannot even define socialism.  The basic definition of socialism is that people have private property, but the government owns the means of production (factories, farms, etc.)  Countries such as Sweden are held up as examples where socialism works…..but Sweden is not Socialist…you can read this article from a former President of Sweden.

In the U.S. racism is raising its head in the form of “anti-racism”, which is in itself a form of racism, since everything is seen through the prism of skin color.

Attacks on the family:  everything from our schools to our society aim to diminish the importance of the family.  The family unit is the basis of society and therefore is the first target of the Devil.  The United Nations and the European Court seem inclined to view your children as theirs, not yours.  And it goes on and on.

Abortion has become a Sacrament to some:  killing of the unborn is the rallying cry for many as life is continually de-valued.  How ad it is to watch the 2024 U.S. elections, where many abortion restrictions were voted down.  Of course, many European countries have already progressed further down that path.

Division within the Church:  Even within the Church there is division:  why did Pope Benedict XVI resign?  Why do not more priests and bishops speak out against the sin of abortion? Why does the Vatican some times seem to embrace ideologies not in keeping with Catholic beliefs?  Why do many Catholics not believe in the True Presence of the Eucharist?  Why did the U.S. elect a nominally Catholic president who promotes abortion?

Why was the Bishop of Tyler, Texas removed by Pope Francis in November 2023?

The list goes on and on with no end in sight.  We are not defeatist...we realize that God is in charge…but we do look for trends that will help us discern the messages given at Garabandal.

War in Europe and the Middle East:  The war in Ukraine goes on, although the news has now taken a back seat to the ongoing war in Gaza, which could easily widen to involve the U.S. in a “third world war”.

So what has this to do with Garabandal?

It is no surprise that people are beginning to think that these things cannot continue and that we are approaching a time when God will intervene in a way similar to what has been foretold by the children in Garabandal.  Of course, this is not unique to Garabandal, since others have predicted such events as well.

"The Pines" in Garabandal Spain
“The Pines”

The visionaries of Garabandal were told of a world-wide warning (an illumination of conscience for everyone) and, within a year of that warning a miracle to be left in the pines of Garabandal….a physical sign to be seen around the world.

Within the context of such an unsettled world, people are expecting the warning of Garabandal to take place very soon.  Note that Mari Loli, who knows the date of the miracle, said it would be “within the same year“.  So is that a mis-translation, a mis-understanding, or is that correct?

Could this be the year? 

We have no idea, but the miracle is supposed to occur during the lifetime of one of the visionaries, Conchita, who is now in her 70’s.  So obviously we need to stay aware of the signs.and it is useful to point out that often times prophecies don’t seem to make sense until after they occur, and when we look back we say “of course, now I understand”.


Garabandal:  A warning and prophecy for our time?

Garabandal, Spain

An American president, Ronald Reagan, talking about nuclear disarmament with the Soviet Union, said “Trust, but verify”.  This is not a bad policy to follow when evaluating the various stories about Garabandal and the prophecies.  Every year we see a lot of interest in Garabandal, especially early in the year, since the miracle is supposed to occur in March, April or May.  The world-wide warning is to occur prior to this, then we could be on the cusp of that event.

Having visited Garabandal many times, and talked to the villagers, we are believers in the sincerity of the villagers and the overall message of Garabandal.  But that does not blind us to reality, so we with so many interviews given by the visionaries realize it is possible through mis-translation or otherwise, that the details and timeline of the events can become blurred.

You have to remember that these were simple village children with little knowledge of the outside world…there was no internet or other communication available to them and Garabandal was a tiny hamlet miles from what anyone would even consider a village.  And their parents were simple as well.  One day back in the 1990’s (we can’t remember exactly when) we happened to be in Garabandal when a helicopter landed….and the whole village was in an uproar because they had never seen a helicopter before!  So to think that these people suddenly made up the apparitions and their message is just too incredulous to imagine.

And, of course, there were many witnesses to the events of Garabandal…..including skeptics, who went away believing in the apparitions.

Setting the record straight about Garabandal:

As the Bible says in 1st Thessalonians:  “Do not despise prophetic utterances.  Test everything; retain what is good.”  Prophecies can be confusing in their interpretation.  It has been said “It would not be a prophecy if we knew ahead of time its exact meaning, and if we could guess the right date of its happening.”

Garabandal was a sleepy village in 1961 when reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary (preceded by Saint Michael the Archangel) to four young girls took place. Important messages for the world were also given to the girls at that time. Not that long ago…and yet the messages or apparitions have not been approved, nor disapproved, by the Church.

The “bottom line” from what we understand is:

1. A worldwide warning where everyone sees their soul as God sees it (an illumination of conscience).

2. A miraculous sign to be left at the Pines here in Garabandal within 12 months of the warning.  Mari Loli is quoted as saying “within the same year“, so we are not sure which is correct.

3. A final chastisement if mankind does not repent.

For a more detailed look at the prophecies of Garabandal, check out our page here.




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June 4: Tom & Sue in Garabandal for a second day

Buenos  Dias:

We slept really good last night and were ready for our climb up the mountain to Los Pinos.  We didn’t shower, since it was warm and we knew we were going to sweat. I ran down and got a pot of coffee and, after wiring up, we grabbed a couple walking sticks and headed out.  We stopped at the Village Church first to see Our Lady and  Pray our Morning Prayers.

We walked through the village  to the path to Los Pinos.  Every time we begin our path up the rocky gorge, we remember our first visit to Garabandal in 2007 when we made our climb in the  pouring rain and the water was gushing over our feet … we don’t know how we made it that year since it is a difficult climb without rain.  Now we are 8  years older so maybe the tough climb has something to do with it.

Marker showing where Saint Michael the Archangel appeared

We Prayed the Stations of the Cross, as always, on our way up and stopped at the Shrine to St. Michael the  Archangel (this is always a good place to “take a breather”).

Susan disappeared behind the Shrine to rid herself of the turtleneck she had worn, thinking it might be cold up there.

We decided it would become our  “towel” because it was getting very hot during our climb.

We met our new friend “Roberto” on the way up  … and a young man from Mexico who lives in Holland now.

Roberto pointed out the new “easier” path when he first met us … do we look  that “old”?  We told him that we always take the aggressive path in honor  of Our Lady.  We spoke for a short time and continued our  climb.

Reaching Los Pinos is always a  thrilling moment for both of us.  This is a very special, spiritual and  Prayerful place … you can feel it all around you. We finished the last  Station of the Cross directly in front of the Pine Tree where Our Lady appeared  numerous times to the four visionaries.  There were a couple of women up at  the Pines Praying their Rosary … probably 15-20 years older than us.   They had taken the “easy path” up, but we give them credit because they still  made the climb.  They left when we finished our last Station to give us our  private time at Los Pinos.  We told them to stay but they had to get back  to the village.

We Prayed our Rosary on the  bench in front of Our Lady’s Shrine realizing that, unfortunately, we were not  going to be able to make it up the RosaryPath this year as we did on our last visit here.  Our hearts said “yes” but my knees and our feet said  “no”.

Sue wanted me to get a “pine cone” to take home with us for our little “Shrine”.  Listening to her request, I tried to whack one out of the tree and almost broke my walking stick.  With no success, I decided Our Mother did not want me to take one so I quickly went over  to St. Michael to ask him to pray for me for forgiveness (LOL).

After an hour up at Los Pinos,  we headed back down to the Village via what we call the “Saint Padre Pio Path”  which is the long way down via a very narrow road that will allow some small  vehicles to drive up to the Pines.  This path is a very peaceful return to  reality with a beautiful and scenic walk and views of Garabandal and the mountain ranges.

On our way down, I spotted an elderly woman making her  way back home down another path.  She had a bag in her hand.  I  realized it was garbage after she stopped and threw it into the woods … I  caught her red-handed with a photo (see lady with the blue hat).

Once we reached Garabandal, we stopped at the fountain.  The first  time we visited here, I told Susan that one side was hot water and the other  cold water … she is so trusting that she had believed me!  So each time  we are there, I try to test it again to see if she is still gullible …  LOL.

Tom typing up the notes for the day

We were in time for lunch back  at Sari & Papa’s, but we had not made arrangements with them so we accepted  the fact that we had planned to fast for the day, went up to our room to  shower (we knew we would need it after Los Pinos) and then went down to the Salon at our Posada to get caught up on Trip Reports done which wasn’t easy with our stomach’s growling but we survived.

As we were working in the Salon, we heard loud thunder so we went out to see what was going on.   There was a tremendous hail storm going on. The weather can really change  quick here!

By the time we were finished  and ready to attend Mass at 7:30 P.M., the storm had cleared.  We left  early for Mass so that we could stop at the new Garabandal Foundation Center  where we met our new friend, “Michael” … an American from Philadelphia who moved to Garabandal to work at the Foundation.  He told us that he had  never been to Garabandal, but that, one day, on November 22, 2014, he got a  “calling” from Our Blessed Mother that he shouldmove here.  He  sold everything (his family thought he was nuts) and he arrived at Garabandal on  December 8th … the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  I think he told us that he was in the Seminary for a while and wasfloundering with his life decisions, not knowing what to do.  He seemed to be enormously happy and content being here in Garabandal.  My gut feeling is that Michael will be in Garabandal for a long, long time.  He is a tremendous young man and we  feel Blessed to have met him and shared time with  him.

Here we are with Father Rolando
Here we are with Father Rolando

It was time for Mass so we all  left the Foundation together to walk across to the Church.  Father Rolando  began Mass with a very long dissertation which, for some reason, I understood him to be telling everyone that there was not going to be the usual offering of  Special Intentions today because he had done it yesterday when we arrived in  Garabandal.

He also explained that if they looked in the Petition Box,  they would see pages and pages of Special Intentions in English that we had  delivered to Our Lady in Garabandal.

During Mass, Padre Rolando  offered the Opening Prayer and the Sign of Peace to the Congregation in Spanish and then to Susan and I, in English, as he had done the day before.   Tonight, we also surprised us with a special treat … unbeknownst to us, he had  arranged for Michael to get up after the First Reading in Spanish (which was  very long) and Michael re-read it to the Congregation (for us) in English.   No one seemed to mind, not even us (although we had pre-printed all of the  Readings for every day of our pilgrimage.)

When Mass concluded, we went in  to the Sacristy to than Padre Rolando and he pulled out this very, very old and special Cross with our Crucified Lord on it and allowed us to venerate it after he did.  This Cross was kissed by Our Blessed Mother here in Garabandal  over 50 years ago … how special is that?  Father then gave us a “bath” in  Holy Water (I tried to tell him that we had already showered … LOL).  And  he Prayed a very Special Blessing over us … just incredible to both of  us.  A lot of hugs and kisses later, we left Padre (stomachs still  growling) and headed back to Sari & Papa’s for dinner.

Michael & Barry joined us for dinner

As we entered the dining salon, we were pleasantly surprised to see that Michael and Barry (whom we met yesterday at lunch) were seated at our dinner table.  The food began to come out.  Michael Prayed Grace.  No one spoke for a while as we chowed down … I guess we were all famished.  After our stomachs quit growling, we all began what turned out to be wonderful conversations.  We got on the subject of The Mystical  City of God.  Michael told us he had the books back in Philadelphia, but had never read it.  He had a lot of questions about it which I gladly  answered and shared my thoughts.

Another table of eight came in for dinner around 9:30 P.M.  The four  of us continued to sit and chatted for another 30-40 minutes until it was time to go to bed.  Michael told us that he would open the Foundation Center early for us in the morning after Mass and we all bid each other farewell for the evening.  On the way to our room, Susan and I stopped to talk to the people at the other table.  A few of them spoke English and they told us  that they were from Madrid and were visiting Garabandal until Sunday. They told us that they saw us at Mass and they confirmed what Father Rolando had said at Mass.  We shared a few laughs and left to retire after a long  and beautiful day.

Buenos Noches

Click here to learn more about the apparitions at Garabandal.