Fr. Valentín Marichalar, Parish Priest of Cosío and San Sebastián de Garabandal
Excerpts from his writings, "Important Events" and "Diary," concerning the apparitions in San Sebastián de Garabandal.
From June 18, 1961 to December 17, 1962.
Gijón (Spain), October 30, 1971
(Handwritten: R. Octavio, Chaplain of the Brothers of St. John of God in Gijón, Spain)
Reader’s Note: Some of the following excerpts could be prone to misinterpretation, or may be difficult to understand, due to the fact that they are taken from Fr. Valentin’s notes during the first year of the apparitions and were not originally intended for publishing.
June 18, 1961:
(The following is written by Conchita.)
"After the Rosary at 9 o’clock, we were going to 'pick apples' and were sitting on the path and didn’t feel like picking them anymore. [Then] we were playing marbles and said that, 'the angel was on our right and the devil on the left.' We started to throw pebbles at the Devil and we told the Angel to stay with us. Then he [the angel] appeared to us, and I lifted up my head and let out a scream. The others, who saw me in ecstasy, looked up and said, ‘Oh, an Angel!’ And then we went down to the village and went to the Church. We ran into a girl, and she asked us where we had been, because we looked so pale and frightened. When we entered the church, a few girls went and told the schoolmistress. She told us to go there [to the place of the apparition] for three days and we did not see him again until Friday. The Angel was like a young boy, dressed in blue, with pink wings and brown hair. He had a very smiley face, the color of a chickpea; his hair was parted in the middle. On Monday, Fr. Valentín asked us what had happened and asked us separately. We told him all we had seen. On Monday, we did not see anything, we went there all week. On Monday, [June] 26, we saw the Angel. On June 27, Fr. Valentín came up and asked us what had happened and we told him that we had seen him [the Angel] the same as on June 18. On June 28, 29, and 30, and July 1 and 2 (Sunday) he told us the secret that we cannot tell, not even to Lucia nor the Pope nor the Bishop nor priests. We did not see him again until Saturday, July 8, when he kissed us on the cheeks and forehead, and said that we’d see each other the next day. On Sunday, July 9, we saw him and he asked about our teeth and he showed his to us and kissed us in the order we were lined up in.”
Conchita González González.
Jacintuca González González.
Mari Cruz González Madrazo.
Loli Mazón González.
(Fr. Valentín continues his account):
The Virgin says that no one can go there. Last night she told them to go, respecting the [Communion] fast, to receive Communion from the angels when they were in ecstasy. Conchita and Mari Cruz went at 8 o’clock to receive Communion and they say that the angel did exactly what I do when I give Communion.
The other two, Loli and Jacinta, went at around 12 o’clock and received Communion in the Campuca, higher up than other times. Then the Angel showed them where the Virgin was and motioned with his hand, bidding them to come.
The Virgin was 18 years old and the Angel, 9.
(Corpus Cristi Domini Nostri)
Maria Cruz, St. Michael the Archangel, great fighter (and the Virgin was keeping time with the rhythm). It was Our Lady of the Rosary, older than Conchita; she had a Rosary in her hands, with a crown. They say they appeared to be in the air.
According to the girls, he appeared to them on July 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Whenever they’ve said the date ahead of time, it has come to pass. On Tuesday July 11, Dr. Morales and Dr. Piñal arrived. I do not know the scientific opinion of the doctors. What I do know is that Dr. Morales said that on Tuesday nothing would happen, because if the girls were being persuaded by any sort of influence [regarding the apparitions], he would dissuade them. When the girls went up, he was on the path, and the girls passed by without paying any attention to him, and were in the same state about 7 minutes. The next day they said, "Didn’t the Carmelite say that we wouldn’t see the Angel anymore?" (Dr. Morales had told them that he was a Carmelite).
When I arrived in San Sebastián, accompanied by Fr. Gilberto, Fr. Liborio, and a student from Comillas, we came upon the girls accompanied by others, near the village. I saw that the girls were very happy. There were many people. The priests and other townspeople asked them many questions. At 8:30 the girls arrived at the customary place and, after making the Sign of the Cross, I saw them in the same state as always, but this time very happy. I saw them all smile and wave goodbye several times. One could see their lips moving, as if they were speaking and then giving a kiss. This lasted 10 minutes and then we led them to the church. I asked them one by one and they told me that the Angel had said, "Let me see what beautiful teeth you have,” and that he had also shown his teeth to them. Afterwards, I had the priests and the parents come into the sacristy and their account coincided with what [the girls] had told me. I assume there must have been about 1,000 people. They said he had kissed them on the forehead and cheeks, and that they had kissed him.
In the church, at 4 o’clock, they said they had to tell the secret in the church, afterwards I called them. On the July 11, 12, and 13, they said they received Communion.
(There are pages intermingled from the July 14-17, 1961)
All three [of us] priests – Fr. Pedro, the priest from Guarnizo, and I – were at Conchita's house trying to distract them, thinking that they would not come to an agreement. At 9 o’clock they left quickly and the priests came running behind. They arrived at the usual site and remained in the usual state. I asked if they had received Communion, and they said yes – all four of them. I asked if they had spoken to the Angel and they said yes. Was it a secret? They told me no, but that the Angel had said not to tell anyone. I asked if he would return and they said yes. The [following] priests were [present]: Salvador Anguio, Pedro Llanes, José Luis Gómez, Lizaso, José Gabriel Peña, José Antonio Cabada, Cosuso, Oceja, and Fr. Pedro.
That day, I did a test. I counted - accompanied by two priests - the hosts in the Tabernacle before the apparition. And after the apparition, I asked them if they had received Communion and they said yes. I had the two priests come down and we counted the hosts and they were all there. I made them promise secrecy under the seal of confession. Was this prudent of me? I do not know. But God knows I did it in good faith.
The girls told me that the Angel had told them to go up more slowly, because on other days they had gone up running. They’ve had apparitions on Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Monday 10, Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12, Thursday 13, and Friday 14.
They went out at about a quarter to 9. They spent about 7 minutes in the same state as always and then they began to speak softly. I walked up close to them and I heard the following: "Do a miracle, turn the night into day" (Mari Cruz said this). Conchita said, "Do a miracle, even if it’s just a tiny one." Then they said. "The priest of the secret hasn’t returned. Another priest who had a visor came, one that had a coiled cord (this was Logo), and the other (Ozejo). She also spoke of the Carmelite (Morales)." Then they talked about the things they had done these days, how their mom says they should eat more. They were like this until 9:30. Then they prayed the Rosary. They told me that they had received Communion and seen Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and that she would return tomorrow.
"We saw the Angel smiling. When we ask him to give us a sign he becomes very serious, but then he calms down." He tells us that they were going to see the Angel and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on July 17 and 18. When they went up, they immediately noticed something stronger than usual, they told the Angel that they had a “little sin”. [It was], 'I swear to God' (they had in fact said this that day). We told him that "he must be angry with us because he was very serious, and he started laughing." They also tell me that they received Communion and the ciborium was yellow, smaller, and he [the Angel] says "take and bring" – he says it to Conchita. When Conchita says "bring," he laughs and the others do not say "bring." She also tells me that he receives Communion, until now they hadn’t told me that (in what they have told me thus far).
When I went up at 5 o’clock, I found them with 4 or 5 chains and medals, 2 or 3 rosaries, a wristwatch... and I got a bit angry with Conchita and Loli. I took everything away from them except for a Rosary and a scapular, telling them that they have to obey the priest and their parents. Then they told me that the Angel had told them they could take the medals but that they had to obey the priest and their parents, and live life as always, like other girls. Today, Doctor Piñal and Fr. Francisco began their review of the girls. It seems to be a good thing, unlike the day Mr. Morales came.
Also, when I went up and took away the medals, I said something in an angry tone, saying that maybe it was all just something of the evil spirit. Conchita's mother said, "I agree with you, it’s something of the evil spirit." Then they asked the Angel and he laughed.
They saw the Angel and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. They separated them as usual: Jacinta and Loli in Ceferino's house, Mari Cruz and Conchita in Conchita’s house. "We asked them if the priest had gotten the secret out of us and the Angel said no." They told me it consisted of 6 words and 33 letters. They said they had seen the secret written around the Virgin, in very large letters and all uppercase. They asked why he let them write the strokes; the Angel replied that it was to test them. There were present about 8 priests, two doctors, and 600 people outside. The number has never diminished, but there have been days in which there were about 3,000 people on Sunday. Many come out of curiosity, after seeing the girls they change; I have seen men crying.
Loli says that she felt the call at around 9 o’clock, that she was at home, and that they went to the pines. We asked if the other two had seen the Angel or Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and they said yes. And they say that they saw several giant stars with a large tail. Jacinta says that Ceferino told them to go by the Fontanón [the fountain] and go to the pines when they felt the call. They saw Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Angel and they say that they saw two big stars with a tail. They asked her if the others had seen them and she said yes. This lasted about 8 minutes.
Conchita saw the Angel and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Her dress is white with white flowers and her mantle is clear blue. Her nose is like the image of the Virgin Mary in the parish church. She has black [dark] eyes and her hands like the ones here. They were there about 30 minutes and she says that the Holy Virgin wore her long hair down. They did not receive Communion; Mari Cruz says the same.
They mentioned the stars. They say that on Tuesday Lucia should go to the pines, everyone should go. They tell me that the second secret has 18 words and the first, 6. As of yesterday the apparitions take place in different places and separately; today it was in the pines for Loli and Jacinta, for Conchita and Mari Cruz, in Prado de la Fuente.
Little Jacinta tells me they asked [the Virgin Mary] if she would come the next day in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon. He [the Angel] said that in the afternoon. The Angel and the Virgin Mary were there and he said in the afternoon – nothing more – and she [Our Lady] told her other things that she says she cannot say. She did not receive Communion, but instead received Communion at Mass.
Conchita says that she asked the Angel and the Virgin Mary if she [Our Lady] would come in the morning, at noon, or in the afternoon. The Blessed Virgin said that she would appear in the afternoon at the pines, and to “bring Lucia” with them. She says that it seems the Virgin Mary has a stronger hand, more strength; they say that the Virgin Mary tells them more important things and they assure me that they no longer say the Message or secret of the Angel. They say that the Virgin Mary gave them another that is more important, the other half, on October 18, they do not know where or who. They asked her if she will come the entire week. They were told that they would come every other day, but the girls insisted that they come every day and they agreed to. One day, the Blessed Virgin and the Angel told them that they would come every ten days and the girls told them that they should come every day, that one day was very little. They received Communion in the Church and the Angel did not give them Communion.
She appeared at the fountain, they were there for about 15 minutes. Yesterday they saw the Angel and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with the Child [Jesus] and they sang the hymn of St. Michael and the Ave Maria [Hail Mary]; the girls say that they were “keeping time” [to the rhythm of the music] with their heads and hands. That day there was a lot of confusion, because some went to the pines, others to the Calleja [path], and others to the fountain; it finally happened at the fountain.
At 12 o’clock, Loli and Jacinta were in the Calleja and they felt a call, as usual. They received Communion and saw Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with the Child and the Angel. She says that sometimes she will not bring the Child and that she let them hold the Child, first Jacinta and then Loli; the Child is made of flesh and wears a crown, wrapped in a blanket. They say the mantle is blue and the dress is white with white flowers. She told them to go to the Campuca [field] this afternoon and they sang the hymn to St. Michael and the Ave Maria [Hail Mary]. First Loli and Jacinta went. They were in the Calleja; they said they had seen Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Angel. At first they were serious, with tears in their eyes and then they began to speak. They made the gesture of putting the crown on the Virgin Mary and the Child; it also seemed sometimes like they had the Child in their arms. This lasted about an hour and they stayed there even longer. The conversation seemed to be one typical of girls, without anything transcendental. The girls tell me that it seemed that the Blessed Virgin did not seem to like certain things. Conchita and Mari Cruz received Communion at the pines. In the afternoon the other two did not receive Communion. Conchita and Mari Cruz went up to the pines and were there about 30 minutes, very serious and were sometimes seen with tears. When they went back down, they returned to the same state in the Calleja. When the two were talking to the other two, we couldn’t hear them. They say that they were talking to each other.
After Mass, they told me they were going to be called at noon. At noon they went to the Calleja and were there about an hour. They asked the Blessed Virgin why she was wearing a brown dress (I heard this question) and they say that the Virgin Mary answered saying that she could come dressed in any color. Even then Conchita was stiff, with her arms forward and Loli told her, "Put your arms down." Conchita said, "Put them down for me." Loli put down one of Conchita’s arms. I made a move to lower the other and it was completely rigid. Immediately, Loli put the other one down. They tried on the Blessed Virgin’s crown, she did not bring the Child today and they asked about Him; they received Communion at Mass and not in the Calleja. Today, at noon, it lasted an hour. In the evening, at 8:30, they went to the usual place. They say they were several meters below. They say that they saw Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Angel. There was a Dominican whom they had not yet seen and they asked the Virgin Mary who that priest was, what his name was: "Come on, tell me his name! ... Ah ... yes? He’s a Dominican...?" Again she said, "Stay here a bit longer, you’ve only been here a minute.” It seems that the Virgin then responded saying that she had been there an hour and fifteen minutes (that time was accurate). They said they saw her that afternoon; they received Communion at Mass and not in the Calleja.
Conchita went to Santander, in agreement with the Bishop. She said she would rather stay, but if they took her away she would go willingly. In the morning, the 3 received Communion and Mari Cruz went to the field. The other two, around 1 o’clock, went to the pines and were in that state for about 3 or 4 minutes and asked if Conchita could see them. They had already told the Virgin Mary that people had taken Conchita to Santander. They asked her if Conchita also saw her, and they said, "Oh, that’s great!" Afterwards, they prayed the Rosary. They had everyone go home, and had their parents and priests remain at distance. I saw them for about 15 minutes in that state and when we approached them, they were sad as if they had been crying. They said they had to take two younger siblings with them. In the afternoon, they went up to the pines and said that no one should come near. We made the people move away to a safe distance and then we went up to them. They said they had seen the Blessed Virgin and the Angel. That evening at 6:30 they asked if Conchita also saw the Virgin Mary, and she said yes. The whole event lasted about an hour.
I was not present in the morning and they told me that at 11:30 they [the girls] went to the pines; Mari Cruz stayed back, a bit farther below. The Angel, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with the Child. The girls received Communion from the Angel; they say he hit them [gently] on the cheek with his hand. When Loli and Jacinta went down, they were in ecstasy in the Calleja. They say they saw Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Mari Cruz went with her mother to Acebal from the pines. In the evening, at 8 o’clock Loli and Jacinta left Ceferino’s house and fell into ecstasy near the house for about 8 minutes. They said that the Blessed Virgin had told them to go to the pines and that only parents and priests should go up. We did so, we were at a distance of about 30 meters and we could see them but could not hear them. They were in ecstasy for about 20 minutes and then we came to pray the Rosary. In the second mystery they once again entered into ecstasy and we heard them ask about Conchita. It seems that they understood that Conchita was seeing her [Our Lady] in Santander. They were there an hour. At one point Loli came out of ecstasy, for a minute, while the others remained in the same state. When they came out of ecstasy, the other girl asked the Virgin Mary why Loli had left and it seems that she understood, “so that people can see and believe.” They say they received Communion in the morning, that they saw the Angel and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with the Child. They made the gesture of taking the Child in their arms, of kissing Him several times as the Virgin Mary did with them. They put on the crown and repeatedly asked her not to go. For several days now they’ve told me that the Blessed Virgin said that she will appear to them wherever they are. Yesterday they mentioned that Conchita had seen her again. She appeared to Mari Cruz near the house, she was there about 25 minutes.
After Mass, she appeared to them near the school, they were there about 30 minutes, except for Mari Cruz who was there about 15 minutes. They asked her for a miracle, even if it were a small one. It seems that the Virgin told them "not now" because they asked, "Why don’t you do one now?" They say they saw Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with the Child and the Angel. I also gathered from the conversation that [they made reference to how] I had given them Communion, in the Mass. They also asked whether Conchita saw her and then they told me that they could not say. In the evening at 7 (lasting 30 minutes), then again on the balcony (lasting 15 minutes). No priest was present. Afterwards, they went to the church, prayed the Rosary very well – this lasted 15 minutes. Mari Cruz in the evening, at 7:30 on the balcony, it lasted 30 minutes.
After Mass (and having received Communion during the Mass), Loli and Jacinta were in that state within the church, by the door, praying prayers in honor of the Blessed Sacrament and the litany. They were a bit serious; they also kissed certain objects at times.