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 First Message on October 18th, 1961
“We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up, and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.”
The Second Message on June 18th, 1965
“As my message of October 18th has not been fulfilled and has not been made known to the world, I tell you that this is my last message. Before, the cup was filling up. Now, it is overflowing. Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts. If you ask for His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will forgive you. I, your Mother, through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings. I love you very much and do not want your condemnation. Pray to us with sincerity, and we will grant your requests. You should make more sacrifices. Meditate on the passion of Jesus.”