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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.