A Warning To All


Of all  apparitions of  the Blessed Virgin, the one  in Garabandal  stands apart  because of the  long duration of time during  which they happened, the number of times  apparitions  occurred and the  sheer   urgency of  heeding to the messages she gave to the whole world from this  remote village.  It has been fifty five years since the last apparition  happened at San Sebastian de Garabandal, a small  village in the Cantabria  province in Northern Spain. But the  warnings and prophecies  as narrated by those four young schoolgirls – Mary Loli, Jacinta, Mary Cruz and Conchita- are  more relevant today. 

Though Garabandal with around 300 households had a  small church, there was  no resident priest stationed there. Holy Mass was celebrated on Sundays only, by a  priest coming from a nearby town. 

Mary Loli, Jacinta, Mary Cruz and Conchita were  around 11-12 years of age and all  belonged to  poor families. On  June  18, 1961  while they were  playing in the  outskirts of the village, the girls heard a  sound  like that of  thunder.   It was  Michael, the Archangel standing before them.  The angel visited them  again on many occasions and told them that  on  July 2  they will see  the Lady.  He was  preparing  the  girls for that   great event. 

On the appointed day, the Blessed Virgin  appeared to the  girls in a white robe and blue mantle and  introduced  herself as the ‘Lady of  Mount Carmel’. She was wearing  a golden crown of twelve stars and holding a brown scapular in her hand.  It was the  beginning of the   second phase of Garabandal story which would in the coming four years   see  hundreds of apparitions of  the Mother of God. Occasionally she gave them certain messages too.  Going by what she revealed, we should rather call them  warnings  instead of  messages. 

First  message was on October 18, 1961: 

“Many sacrifices must be made… Much penance must be done… We must pay many visits to the Blessed Sacrament… But first of all we must be very good… Already the cup is filling, and if we do not change we shall be punished”. This message was  received by  all four  seers at the same time.

Second Message was received after eight months on June 19, 1962.  Jacinta  and Mary Loli  were  selected to receive  this message.

In Jacinta’s words. “The Virgin told us a message for the whole world and it is this: The Virgin has said to us that we are not awaiting the chastisement (because we are disregarding Her first message by the way we live)…but without awaiting it, it will come because the world has not changed…. and now with this message She has said it twice and we do not heed Her because the world is worse and must  change much but has not changed at all. Prepare yourself with  confession for the chastisement  will come soon. The world continues the same and I think that the world has not changed at all. What a pity that it does not change.  Soon the great  chastisement will  come if the world does not change”. 

Third message was also given to Mary Loli and Jacinta  on June 23, 1962

“The Virgin has told us: The world continues the same…That it has not changed at all. Few will see God. They are so few that it causes The Virgin much sorrow. What a pity that it does not change. The Virgin told us that the chastisement is coming seeing that the world is not changing. The cup is filling up. How sad the Virgin was although She didn’t let us see it because She loves us so much and She suffers alone. She is so good! You  who are good should pray for those who are bad. Let us pray to God for the world for those who do not know Him. Be good…be very good, everyone”

Our Lady’s  apparition  of  June 18, 1965 was  special for one reason. Unlike previous  apparitions, prior intimation  about this  apparition was  given to  the girls  as early as January 1965. As a result around two thousand people were gathered there to witness the apparition. They were from  France, Italy, Poland and of course Spain. But strangely the number of  Spaniards was  less in comparison to  those from neighboring  countries. French journalists,  teams of Italian television  and  cameramen of  Spanish Documentary News Programme had reached there to  cover the apparition, because  by then the Garabandal story was  well known. Apart from the large gathering of people from different countries the  prominent feature of  this apparition was the seriousness of  messages  given to Conchita  there.

‘Since my Message of October 18, 1961 has not been complied with and has not been made much known to the world, I will tell you that this is the last one. Before, the chalice was filling; now it is overflowing. Many Cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the path of perdition and they take many souls with them. To the Eucharist, here is given less and less importance. We should avoid the wrath of God on us by our good efforts. If you ask pardon with your sincere soul, God will pardon you. It is I, Your Mother, who through the intercession of St. Michael, wish to say that you amend, that you are already in the last warnings and that I love you much and do not want your condemnation. Ask us sincerely and we will give to you. You should sacrifice more. Think of the Passion of Jesus”.

So the message is clear. It is  the same as those of other  Marian apparitions.  Msgr Venancio,who was the  Bishop of Leiria that  includes the  Marian apparition site of Fatima,  once  said that the  messages of the Virgin at   Garabandal  was an update of the messages of Fatima.  

Now let us have  a quick recap of  what the Virgin wanted to tell us through the seers of  Garabandal.

 – Sin is increasing in the world

 – It is time to repent and  return to God

 – Many among the consecrated are on the way to perdition

 – They take many others also along with them

 – We need to  do  penance and  acts of reparation

 – Nobody heeds the  calls of the  heaven to convert

 – The cup of God’s wrath is  overflowing

 – Due respect and importance is  not  given to  Holy Eucharist

 – We are living in the  period of last warnings

 – Our Mother does not want our condemnation

 – It is time to  do  works of sacrifice,  meditating on the passion of  Jesus

 – Unless the   humanity converts, God will permit a chastisement

 – This is allowed for our purification.

I mentioned them point by  point because each and  every  line reminds us of same or similar  messages from other Marian apparitions.  Now some might ask; ‘What about the  approval of the Church?’ Well, it is neither approved nor condemned. In the initial  years the  Church authorities were sceptical  about the apparition story. But  they  never  had  anything against the messages.  Even   Bishop Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal (January 1962 to January 1965), who was sceptical about  Garabandal apparitions,  did not condemn what was taking place and affirmed, “we have not found anything deserving ecclesiastical censure or condemnation either in the doctrine or in the spiritual recommendations that have been published as having been addressed to the faithful, as they contain an exhortation to prayer and sacrifice, Eucharistic devotion, devotion to Our Lady in traditional and commendable ways, and a holy fear of God who is offended by our sins.”

Bishop Juan Antonio del Val Gallo (December 1971 to August 1991) was the only Bishop of Santander who had seen the visionaries in ecstasy. It was he who lifted the ban on priests visiting the site and allowed them to celebrate Mass in the village church.  You  should not  miss the word ecstasy. It was the hallmark of  all four girls when they  were face to face with  the Virgin. Wherever they were, they instantaneously knelt down at the  moment of   apparition, be it on  stones or bushes. They remained there for minutes or even  hours.  Their eyes were  fixed at  something beyond this world. They  never  blinked or flickered.  When,  during apparition, strong  beams of light were  directed towards their eyes, even they failed to make their eyes  blink or flicker. They never reacted   to pricks, burns or blows during those  heavenly moments. But once they came out of that divine experience they started feeling the pain of  pricks and burns. Do we need any more proof to  establish the supernatural character of  what happened in  Garabandal? 

Two great saints of  our times, Padre Pio and  Mother Teresa of  Kolkata have expressed their positive opinions about Garabandal apparitions. As for the views of the Holy See, the Congregation for the  Doctrine of Faith has  not yet announced  a decision on the matter but clarified that  it should  first come from the local bishop. We can wait in the hope that  one day the Church will come out with  its approval. Needless to say, it takes long periods of  investigations and examinations for the Catholic Church to approve any kind of apparitions. Here it is worth  remembering the words of the seers. They  said  that  there will be much difficulty  in getting the approval of the apparitions  from the Church. It is no reason for us to disregard the apparition and related messages as the local bishop has already given a positive opinion about the  doctrine and  spiritual recommendations connected to Garabandal.

As mentioned earlier the  village Church didn’t have a  full time priest to offer  Holy Mass every day. But Conchita wanted to  receive the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible.  Her desire  to  receive the  Eucharist was so great  that  the  Eucharistic Lord  blessed her with  something that very rarely happened in history.  Conchita used to get a consecrated  Host miraculously placed by an angel on her tongue and  sometimes it  happened  in full public view too! This happened on many occasions. ‘Those who search Him will certainly  find Him’. 

Now we need  to know something more  about  Garabandal. It was here that the Mother of God  warned that  a Great Warning, a  Great Miracle and a Great Chastisement in that order are going to  happen, the chastisement  being linked to the   conversion or non- conversion of  humanity.   Since we have  already posted an article  on Great Warning, we do not  go  further into its details.  But we should  keep in mind  the  words of the Virgin that the warning will take place  when the time is worst. Warning will be   followed by the miracle which should happen within twelve months of the warning. According to some accounts, the miracle will happen at 8.30 pm on a Thursday which is the  feast day of a  saint martyred  for Eucharist, not being the feast days of  our Lord or the Blessed Virgin.  It will also coincide with a great event in the  Church.  Conchita knows the date, but she  has no mandate to  reveal it   until before  8 days of the miracle.  Warning is an opportunity  for the entire  humanity to  introspect and  convert. It is  revealed that  many of the sick will be cured during the  miracle. Conchita says that  after the miracle a permanent  sign will be left  near the pines of  Garabandal where the  miracle is to happen.  This sign  can be   seen and  photographed but  cannot  be touched.

Our  Lady lamented  in  1965 that  nobody heeds to her calls made four years ago.  Another  fifty five years  have passed  since  our Mother wept for her  children moving fast  in the path of perdition.  Now she seldom weeps, instead she sheds tears of  sorrow. Often we   hear about statues of  the Virgin shedding tears of blood.  She is crying  at the thought of  millions  and millions of her  children simply  keeping their ears  closed to what she says.

 Fr Luis Marie Andreau, a young Spanish Jesuit was one who kept his ears open to  our Lady’s message. He was there at the apparition site on Aug 8, 1961. When the seers were in ecstasy at the vision of  the Virgin, and when many others around were standing  as mere onlookers, he cried; “Miracle, Miracle”. His eyes were opened to the blessed vision, we understand. At the same time the  young seers heard a voice telling him; “You will soon be with me”. We do not  know  whether he heard the message or not. But we know  one thing for sure. On the same night  he left this world in peace and  joy to  be with the Lord!

Let me conclude with  what  Jesus told the great crowds gathered around him while he was sitting beside the sea; ” Let anyone with ears listen” ( Mt 13:9). To listen to what our Lord and the Blessed Virgin say, we should  tune our ears to that particular frequency, which means  turning off all other  voices  coming from the  world to distract us. When we  consider the reward, is it not a  sacrifice worth taking because we are to be  soon with HIM?