The small village of San Sebastian de Garabandal, Spain, was marked by the presence of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. In nearly 3,000 public apparitions between the years 1961 and 1965, she appeared to 4 girls, between 11 and 12 years of age: Conchita González, Mari Cruz González, Jacinta González y Mari Loli Mazón.
The first apparition of St. Michael the Archangel
The first apparition took place on June 18th, 1961. St. Michael the Archangel appeared to the four girls during a period of several days in order to prepare them for the coming of Our Lady. She would appear on the Sunday afternoon of July 2nd, 1961.
From Conchita's diary:
«The greatest event of my life occurred at San Sebastián de Garabandal on June 18, 1961. It happened in the following manner.
It was Sunday. All the girls were playing in the village square. Suddenly Mari Cruz and I decided to get some apples and we started off directly for the place without telling anyone that we were going to steal some apples. When the girls noticed that we were going off, just the two of us, they asked us where we were going. "Over there", we answered. And we kept on going, making plans on how to get the apples. Once we got there, we began gathering them. Just when we were having a great time, we saw Loli, Jacinta and another girl, Ginia, who had come looking for us.
Seeing us take apples, Jacinta cried out: "Why Conchita, you're stealing apples!” "Keep quiet", I said. "The schoolmaster's wife will hear you and she'll tell my mother." (…)
As we were enjoying ourselves, eating the apples, we heard a violent noise like thunder and we cried out together: "It seems to be thundering." This happened at half-past eight at night.
When we had finished the apples, I said: "What a shame. Now that we have stolen apples that did not belong to us, the devil will be happy and our poor guardian angel will be sad." Then we began to pick up stones and to throw them with all our strength to the left side, where the devil was said to be. When we had become tired from throwing stones and our consciences felt better, we started to play marbles with stones. Suddenly, there appeared to me a very beautiful figure that shone brilliantly but did not burn my eyes at all. When the other three girls, Jacinta, Loli, and Mari Cruz, saw me in this state of ecstasy, they thought that I was having a fit because I kept saying, with my hands clasped: "Ay! Ay! Oh! Oh!” They were about to call my mother when they found themselves in the same state as I, and cried our together: "Ay! Oh! The angel!”».
The first apparition of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 2nd, 1961, turned out to be a day full of joy in Garabandal. The Archangel had announced to the children that the Blessed Virgin was going to visit them as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The girls, filled with joy, cried out simultaneously, “Tell her to come soon!"
Conchita wrote in her diary:
"We had not yet arrived at the scene of the apparitions when the Blessed Virgin appeared with an angel on each side. One of the two angels who accompanied her was Saint Michael. The other didn't recognize. He was dressed exactly like Saint Michael. They looked like twins. Beside the angel, who stood at the Blessed Virgin's right and at the same height as she, was a large eye which seemed to be the eye of God.
That day we talked a lot with the Blessed Virgin, as she did with us. We told her everything. We told her that we went out to the fields, that we were bronzed from the sun, that we put the hay in stacks, etc. And she laughed as we told her all these things."
It was the first apparition of Our Lady of Garabandal. The first of many apparitions. Garabandal was going to be converted into a place touched by the presence of Our Heavenly Mother. The apparitions were many and many were also the graces and heavenly gifts granted through Our Lady's intercession.
The "Little Miracle"
Conchita wrote in her diary on June 22nd, 1962, that the angel, after giving her Communion, said, “I am going to perform a miracle. Not me, but God, through my intercession and yours. The next time I bring you Holy Communion, the Sacred Host will become visible on your tongue.” This surprised Conchita because she thought that everyone always saw the Sacred Host when she received Communion from the angel. A week later, she heard a voice say that the Miracle, or the Little Miracle, as she called it, would take place on July 18th. The Miracle occurred just as the angel had predicted. From the 2nd of July, news about the “Little Miracle” began to spread throughout the entire village and the surrounding regions. The dawn of the 19th of July, Conchita, while still at home, fell into ecstasy. As in previous ecstasies, the Angel told her to pray the “I confess…” and to think about Whom she was about to receive. Conchita left the room and went down the stairs, holding her hands together in prayer, with her head thrown back and her mouth slightly open. In front of the house of her friend, Olguita, she fell to her knees, and the miracle of the visible communion took place. Pepe Díez, who was present in that moment, explained that he saw the white Host suddenly and inexplicably appear on the girl’s tongue, even though she had moved neither her mouth nor her tongue. He said that the Host seemed to grow. Another eyewitness assured that the Host was the same shape and size as the hosts normally used for Mass, perhaps a bit thicker, somewhat spongy, and adhered to the girl’s tongue. It is estimated that the phenomenon lasted between 45 and 50 seconds.
The last apparition
Saturday, November 13th, 1965, was the date of the last apparition that Conchita had in Garabandal. In the last apparition, once again the Blessed Virgin did not only speak to Conchita, but to all of humanity. "Conchita, I come not only for you, but for all of my children." She is the Mother of all and her desire is to lead us to her Son Jesus. She underlines the importance of making visits to the Blessed Sacrament and asks Conchita, "Why don't you visit my Son more often in the Blessed Sacrament? Why are you lead by laziness and why don't you go and visit Him? He is waiting for you day and night."
The last apparition
"One day in church Our Lady told me in a locution that I would see her on Saturday, November 13th, at the pines; it would be a special apparition to kiss the religious objects so that I could give them away afterwards. I was anxious for this day to arrive so that I could see Our Lady and Baby Jesus again. They have implanted in my life the seed of God's happiness.
It was raining, but I didn't care. I went up to the Pines, carrying the many rosaries which people have given me to distribute… As I was went up, I was talking to myself, being sorry for my defects, desiring not to fall into them again. For I was very concerned about appearing before the Mother of God without getting rid of them.
When I arrived at the pines, I began to take out the rosaries and I heard a sweet voice, the voice of the Virgin, which you can always recognize from other voices, calling me by my name. I answered her, 'What?' At that very moment, I saw Her with the Child in her arms. She was dressed as usual and smiling. I told her, 'I have come to bring you the rosaries so that you can kiss them.' She said to me, 'I can see.' I had been chewing gum, but when I saw her, I stopped chewing and stuck the gum to one of my teeth. She must have noticed, because She said, 'Conchita why don't you get rid of the chewing gum and offer it up as a sacrifice for the glory of my Son?' A bit ashamed, I took the gum out and threw it on the ground. She said afterwards, 'Do you remember what I told you on your saint's day: that you would suffer much on earth?... Now I repeat it to you. Have trust in Us.' Then I added, 'How unworthy I am, oh Mother of us all, of so many graces received through you, and now you have come to me to help me carry the little cross I have." She said, 'Conchita, I have not come only for you but I have come for all my children, with the desire to bring them closer to Our Hearts.' She asked for the things I was carrying. 'Give them to me so that I can kiss all that you have brought.' And I gave her everything. I had also brought a small crucifix which I gave her to kiss. She kissed it and said , 'Put it in the hands of Baby Jesus.' And I did so and He said nothing. I said, 'I intend to take this cross with me when I go to the convent.' But She did not reply. After kissing everything, She commented, 'My son, through this kiss, will work wonders. Distribute them to the others." Of course I will do so.
After all this, She asked me to tell her all the petitions which I had received for others. She said, 'Conchita, tell me, tell me things about my children. I have all of them under my mantle.' And I said, 'It is too small and there is no room for all of us.' She smiled at this.
'Do You know, Conchita, why I did not come personally on June 18th 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 obey, for God's glory. I love you very much and I desire your salvation; I desire to bring you all to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Conchita, won't you respond to this?' I said, 'If I could always see you, yes; but if not, I can't because I am very bad...''Do all you can,' Our Lady added, 'And we will help you, and also my daughters Loli, Jacinta and Maricruz...' She did not stay long with me. She also said, 'This will be the last time you will see me here, but I will always be with all my children.' Afterwards 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? He is waiting for you day and night.'
As I have written above, it was raining hard. Our Lady and Baby Jesus did not get wet. I was not aware that it was raining while I was seeing them, but when I stopped seeing them, I realized I was soaked. I also told her, 'O how happy I am when I see you. Why don't you take me with you right now?' She answered, 'Remember what I told you on your saint's day. When you go before God you must show Him your hands full of good works, done by you for your brothers and for the glory of God; now your hands are empty.'
That's all, I spent a happy moment with my Mother from heaven, my best friend, and with Baby Jesus. I have stopped seeing them, but I continue to feel them close. Again they have sown in my soul a great peace, joy and 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 ends with this: "The Blessed Virgin Mary told me before that Jesus does not want to send the chastisement 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, through which He will show us His great love, and in order that we may fulfill the message."