Garabandal Apparitions and the Great Miracle


by Jim Dunning

(This article was originally published in "Irelands Own" magazine. The webmaster would like to gratefully thank the author, Mr. Jim Dunning, for his kind permission in reprinting it here.)

Additional Editors note: Neither the local Bishops of Santander (both past and present) nor Rome have ever condemned Garabandal. Neither however has it been approved. So, to factually summarize the Church's position on Garabandal it would be correct to say that the Church has not yet made any definitive pronouncement regarding Garabandal. The local Bishop has ruled "Non-constat de supernaturalitate" which literally means that it is not certain that the events are of supernatural origin, or in other words, the supernatural origin has not been established. With such a ruling, the events in question are still open to eventual recognition as being authentic or can be judged as not authentic.In fact the Bishop of Santander, Bishop Juan Antonio del, who in 1992 had jurisdiction over Garabandal unequivocally stated:"The previous bishops did not admit that the apparitions were supernatural, but to condemn them, no, that word has never been used.")

The Vatican has not given official recognition to the apparitions that occurred at Garabandal. There is nothing sinister about this, since the Church has always erred on the side of prudence, and it may be that its attentions have been focused on Medugorje where apparitions are said to continue to occur. The established policy is to rely on the advice given by bishops who have a responsibility to check on what is going on in local areas and make their own recommendations. It is perhaps unfortunate that some bishops have seen the reports of apparitions as a challenge to their own authority and therefore something to be vigorously opposed.

It has to be admitted that the apparitions at Garabandal have caused more controversy than similar events elsewhere. There are parallels to be seen, but also many differences. If one compares Garabandal with Fatima, for instance, at both places Our Lady chose to appear to young children and in each case selected one of the group to be the major player. At Fatima it was Lucia dos Santos, at Garabandal, Conchita Gonzalez.

Lucia was given ‘secrets’, to be divulged at varying dates, whereas Conchita was told of a great Miracle that would take place at a specified date in the future, a date she could only divulge eight days before it was to occur. She was allowed to reveal that it would take place on a Thursday at 8.30 in the evening on the feast of a martyr dedicated to the Holy Eucharist. It would be visible to everyone in the area of Garabandal at the time and it could be photographed and televised, but not touched. Moreover, a permanent sign of the Miracle would remain in the pine grove where the first apparitions had taken place in June, 1961.

This contrasts, of course, with the famous ‘Miracle of the Sun’ which occurred at Fatima in October, 1917, before a crowd of more than 70,000 people. It lasted for only a matter of minutes. Significantly, television did not exist at that time, communications generally were limited during the first World War, and the event was soon forgotten.

The ‘Great Miracle’ was not the only prophecy received at Garabandal. Two other future events were also announced. One concerned a ‘warning’, the other the threat of a ‘chastisement’ if the warning were to be ignored. Naturally, there were those who poured scorn on such reported revelations. And just as Lucia had urged Our Lady to produce a miracle to prove that she herself was telling the truth, so did Conchita and her companions plead with their heavenly Mother to create a miracle that would justify their reports.

They had to wait almost a year before their pleas were answered. In June, 1962, while their parish priest was temporarily absent, they received Communion ‘invisibly’ from an angel. Onlookers witnessed them opening their mouths, but did not see the hosts. On the 22nd June the angel advised Conchita that in her case the host would be made visible for all to see. She responded that this would be a ‘milagrucu,’ a tiny miracle, which caused the angel to laugh. Our Lady confirmed the angel’s promise and named the date when this would happen as the 18th July. Conchita announced this news to the people of the village on the 2nd July, which resulted in several thousand people crowding into Garabandal on the 18th to witness the event.

Conchita’s mother had asked a friend named Pepe Diez to accompany and protect her daughter from the crowd. This he did and late that night was rewarded by seeing a ‘neat, precise and well-formed Host’ appear on her tongue. It remained visible for about three minutes, during which she remained kneeling on the ground in a state of ecstasy. Others in the crowd saw the same thing and reported that the host increased in brightness as they watched. The event was both filmed and photographed.

The predicted ‘Warning’ related to an urgent plea from our heavenly Mother for a general conversion and a turning away from sin. When Our Lady appeared to the four girls for the third time on 6th July, 1961, she gave them a message which was to be announced publicly on 18th October.

Since the diocesan commission set up by the Bishop of Santander to investigate the apparitions objected to the girls reading out such a message from the steps of the church, the parish priest, Fr. Valentin Marichalar, undertook to read it out for them at the pines to an assembled crowd of about five thousand. He paraphrased the Virgin’s message as follows : ‘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 nature of the chastisement was not revealed at the time, but the following year, on 19th and 20th June, 1962, the girls experienced two frightening visions which caused them to cry out in terror. Unlike the children of Fatima, they did not receive a brief vision of Hell, but one of the girls, Mari Loli, gave a vivid description of what happened. She said : ‘We were absolutely terrified. I cannot find words to explain it… We saw the rivers turn to blood. Fire was falling from heaven. And something worse still, which I cannot reveal at this time.’

A second message, conveyed to Conchita in 1965, spoke of a further warning, which would be the last since the earlier one had been ignored. It declared that the cup which had been filling up was now overflowing. There was some criticism of the clergy. Too little importance was being attached to the Eucharist. All would have to strive to turn away the wrath of God. If they asked God’s forgiveness with sincere hearts He would pardon them. Mary loved them very much and did not want to see them condemned. If they prayed sincerely their requests for mercy would be granted. They should make more sacrifices and think about the passion of Jesus.

In the autumn of 1965 Conchita gave notice of an event that was yet to come. It would amount to a form of chastisement that could be seen as a final warning from God. She said that although it would be short-lived and cause mental rather than physical suffering, ‘this experience will involve every person in the world…It will be like an interior realisation of our sins. Believers, as well as unbelievers, wherever they are at the time, will see and feel it.’

This warning would precede the Great Miracle (probably by about a year, according to Mari Loli), but if people did not convert after these events God would send a Chastisement proportional in its severity to the severity of the sins of the world. This, one imagines, was reflected in the visions of the girls when they reported being terrified.

At an early stage of the apparitions the Blessed Virgin advised the four girls that the time would come when they would deny these experiences and contradict each other. Thus, when they began to issue their denials in the spring of 1963, it came as no surprise to believers who saw this merely as the fulfilllment of the virgin’s prophecy. Later, Conchita, Mari Loli and Jacinta ‘returned to reality’ and reaffirmed their supernatural experiences, while Mari Cruz continued to deny them.

Before that happened, however, the Bishop of Santander gratefully accepted the retractions of the girls, regretting the encouragement they had been given. He ended by saying that the words of the Gospel, the Pope, the Councils and the ordinary magisterium of the Church were the only reliable means of transmission for the ‘real messages from heaven.’ This statement infuriated supporters of the apparitions. As Sandral Zindars-Swartz recounts in her comprehensive coverage of the story of Garabandal, ‘Encountering Mary’, the supporters criticised members of the Bishop’s Commission for not investigating the matter thoroughly, and in some cases failing to even visit the area. The parish priest of Garabandal was reportedly offered a holiday during the investigation so that he would not be able to influence the outcome! As Canon Porro, a member of the clergy supporting the believers, put it : ‘This is the absurdity of it all, that five commissioners should be infallible, whereas thousands of others must admit to being ignorant, deluded or insane.’
In the case of Garabandal, the importance of the evidence of witnesses cannot be overstated. Testimonies have been, and still are, provided by them of the extraordinary behaviour of the four seers. They tell of how, during their ecstasies, their faces were transformed, becoming serene, happy and beautiful. Moreover, they became so heavy that even strong men could not lift them off the ground. Doctors who examined them while they were in these states tried pinching and pricking them with pins without producing any reaction, though the marks remained on their legs afterwards. Many of the onlookers were amazed at the speed with which the girls moved when making their way to the site of the apparition. Eighteen-year-old boys accustomed to running up steep mountain paths could not keep up with them. Nor did the girls ever perspire or show signs of being out of breath.

Further proof that the girls were not guilty of collusion, whereby they might have agreed on what they saw or heard, is provided by their description of the interior ‘calls’ they reported receiving whenever the Blessed Virgin was about to appear. The truth of their claim was tested by physically separating them to discover whether they all received their ‘calls’ simultaneously. Invariably, they all turned up at the site of the apparition at the same time.

It remains to be seen whether the predictions of the main character, Conchita, are fulfilled. There is not much time. She is over the age of sixty, living in America with her children. Also living in America is a blind man by the name of Joey Lomangino. According to Conchita, Our Lady promised that his sight would be restored on the day of the Great Miracle. Joey is already over eighty years of age.
Let us hope he will not be disappointed.

Click here to go to Part 1 of this article, Fr. Luis Andreu -The Priest who died of joy

-'Encountering Mary’ by Sandral Zimdars-Swartz

[Editors note: The alleged heavenly apparitions at Garabandal referred to in this article have not thusfar been officially approved or disapproved by the Catholic church, therefore Catholics are free to discern and form their own judgements concerning them.]


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Unknown said...

Mary sent me, Joey, & Padre Pio ! Thank you blessed Mother , I am undeserving of such company.

Unfortunately it is you ,not Joey who is blind. For we have
" seen " first hand thousands of healing & conversions through our Lady's messages and her kissed medal.

David said...

What is one to think, now that Joey has passed away without the Warning taking place?

Unknown said...

And did you read anything I posted that the Commission was completely biased and refused the testimony of it OWN PRIESTS, DOCTORS AND CIVIL GUARD COMMANDER ! How is this a vaild investigation when they refused ALL eyewitness testimony ????

Unknown said...

But how reliable is this Commission ? Let the witness speak:
Upon presenting the memoirs of Jaun Alveraz Seco, Brigadier Chief of the Civil Guard, and the man responsible for maintaining order in the village during the apparitions, Anotnio Pacio, M.S.C. Professor at the University of Barcelona writes:
“ I would like to only state one thing to forestall the objections on many based on various official communiqués coming from the Diocese of Santandar. These communiqués should have been preceded by a substantial interrogation of the myriad witnesses”
“Among these witnesses , one who stands out is Juan Alvarez Seco, Brigadier Chief of the Civil Guard,who is the author of these memoirs. He was present from the beginning to 1962,and at 1965 at the time of the Message, and he had the duty of informing his superiors and the Civil Governor and all that was going on in Garabandal, while at the same time he had to maintain order in the village. “
“Well, none of the Commissioners, who rejected the supernatural events at Garabandal, ever asked him to testify, nor did they deign to even interview him, who was the “official informant” to the authorities. This detail suffices to illustrate the “true and impartiality “ with which the various episcopal commissions endeavored to inform themselves. Jaun Seco : “ THEY WERE NOT INTERESTED IN BELIEVEING WITNESSESS, BUT ONLY THE UNBELIEVING. THEY WANTED AT ALL COST, TO DISCREDIT THE MANISFISTATIONS, AND IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS, THAT HAD TO ELIMINATE ANY WITNESS,INCLINED TO BE FAVORABLE, NO MATTER WHAT HIS COMPENTENCY”.

From “The Village Speaks” pgs 69 - 70.

Calls investigation a “farce “

Unknown said...

Sorry, the last two responses were for another question asked.

Unknown said...

The "Message of Garabandal " video available in 26 languages.

Unknown said...



The first locution of Christ to Conchita, occurred in the village church.
Conchita said : “ As I was giving thanks to God and asking Him for certain things.
I asked Him to give me a cross, for I experience no suffering in my life, except that of not having any crosses. As I was asking Him for that, Jesus replied :
“ Yes, I will give you a cross”.

Very moved, I kept on asking for things and I said to Him : “ Why is the Miracle coming ? To convert many people ? “ And he replied:
“ To convert the entire world “

Conchita: “Will Russia be converted ? “
“Yes, it will be converted: thus everyone will love our hearts. “

Conchita: Will the Chastisement come after that ?
He gave no reply.
Conchita: Why do you come into my poor heart without any merit on my part ?
“Because I do not come for you: I come for the whole world”.

Conchita: When the Miracle takes place, people will think I am the only one to have seen the Blessed Virgin”.
He replied “ I let you be the one who, by your sacrifices and patience in trials, will intercede with Me to perform the Miracle “.

Conchita: And I said to Him, “ Is it not better that I be with the four or that You take me none of us for the intercession ?”
He said : “ No”

Conchita: “ Will I go to Heaven ?” and he replied “ Will you love our hearts a great deal and will you pray for them ?”

Conchita: “ When will you give me the cross ? He did not answer me.
“ What will I be ? “ He did not reply. He only told me that where ever I am and whatever I am doing I will have to suffer much. And I asked Him: Will I die soon ? “
He replied : “ You must stay on earth to help people“

And I said ti Him: “ I am of little importance,I will be unable to help You in any way”
(Jesus ) “ Through your prayers and your suffering, you will help the world”.

Conchita: “When we go to Heaven, are we dead when we go there ?
And He said to me : “ One never dies”.
Conchita: I thought that we do not go to heaven before we rose up again. I asked Him if St. Peter was At the door to greet us,and he said “ “No”.

When I was thus in prayer or in a conversation with God, I felt I was outside this world. Jesus told me that “Now more people love my Heart”.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

For those who are interested in learning ( and asking questions ) about the apparitions and messages of our Blessed Mother at Garabandal :

J.E.B. said...

In 2017, April 13th, the Feast of St. Hermengild, who was martyred for his faith in the Holy Eucharist, will fall on Holy Thursday … the Feast of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist!

“We have not found anything deserving of ecclesiastical censorship or condemnation either in the doctrine or in the spiritual recommendations that have been publicized as having been addressed to the faithful, for these contain an exhortation to prayer and sacrifice, to Eucharistic devotion, to veneration of Our Lady in traditional praiseworthy ways, and to holy fear of God offended by our sins. They simply repeat the common doctrine of the Church in these matters.”

C Burns said...

In reply to Anonymous above who states that "ultra-traditionalists" derogate Garabandal because they do not accept the new mass, I would point out that these events happened well before the Mass of Paul VI was imposed, licitly or not, in 1969.

Unknown said...

I love how Glenn has all the material and is prepared to debate those confused unbelievers who only want to spread confusion like the anonymous individual. Such a powerful debate but knowing that there are and were many reputable believers in Garabandal helps.

Anonymous seriously needs to stop manipulating the facts and quoting The Holy Bible to manipulate his personal opinions and interpretation of scriptures.

The apocalypse never said the end of times equals the end of the world as I believe anonymous stated at some point .

Anonymous seems to be one of those Catholics I was warned in Spanish once; such a wise rhyme:

"Católico ignorante; futuro protestante"


Anonymous said...

Since the above was written Joey Lamangino has died. Joey had been blinded in an accident in the 1940's and travelled to Garabandal to be present at the events that were occuring there. While there Conchita claimed that Joey would have his sight restored the day of "the Miracle".

Unknown said...

For those who are interested in learning ( and asking questions ) about the apparitions, messages, and upcoming “ Warning & Miracle” spoken about by our Blessed Mother at Garabandal :

Unknown said...

I must be a simpleton. I just followed His rule... "By the fruit of the tree shall you know them". That satisfies me. Or, is that too simplistic?

Unknown said...

This is a brief explanation of the apparitions of our Blessed Mother at Garabandal,
by actor Ricardo Montaban.

Unknown said...

I was both adult and a religious during the time of the events of Garabandal. I am now an old man. I need neither Pope, nor Bishop to convince, or otherwise, as to the authenticity of those events. My faith, common sense and follower, on a daily basis, during its happenings, has made me a faithful to the Spirituality of the truth and meaning, and warnings, of those events. It saddens me that we moot through the eyes of rhetoric, not faith, as to Heavens' kindness to us through those apparitions. Does it not seem that we use the terms of caution, prudence, allegations, papal approval, ad finitum, while in fact, we are fence-sitting, being characteristic of timidity, tepidness, a lack of faith and seemingly, bordering on disbelief, as to the purpose and intent of those events. May our need to be on our knees be greater than our need to pen words to convince us, et al, as to the love and mercy being offered to us through those events.

Al said...

shame on you this fake apparition is from satan ....

Nikalaus said...

God's will can most definitely change based on our actions...

Today's first liturgical reading:

When Hezekiah was mortally ill,
the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him:
“Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order,
for you are about to die; you shall not recover.”
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD:

“O LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly
I conducted myself in your presence,
doing what was pleasing to you!”
And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go, tell Hezekiah:
Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David:
I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.
I will heal you: in three days you shall go up to the LORD’s temple;
I will add fifteen years to your life.
I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria;
I will be a shield to this city.”

Isaiah then ordered a poultice of figs to be taken
and applied to the boil, that he might recover.
Then Hezekiah asked,
“What is the sign that I shall go up to the temple of the LORD?”

Isaiah answered:
“This will be the sign for you from the LORD
that he will do what he has promised:
See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun
on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz
go back the ten steps it has advanced.”
So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.

And if this is not something to ponder, then let us ponder how God chose to save the city of Nineveh previously condemned to be destroyed, but at their act of humble fast, donning sackcloth and ashes, as instructed by Jonah, the city was spared.

The fact that an apparent prophecy regarding Joey Lomangino was not fulfilled; does not give grounds to any person who claims to be a follower of Christ to dismiss what occurred in Garabandal.

We need to remember world history right around the time of Garabandal...

The date of the first apparition, October 18, 1961.

The first day of the Cuban Missle Crisis was October 16, 1962.

Sighs... , brothers and sisters please reflect on this for a moment. God in his Gift of Divine Mercy may well have "extended" our time and what could have been.

True Authentic prophecies are 100% work of the Holy Spirit, Which is a gift from God ... St Paul 1 Corinthians 12:

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Every human that ever lived was subject to Spiritual Warfare. Even Jesus was tempted and had to fight off the devil in the Garden and was sent an angel to strengthen him... Ergo, the conclusion will always be to PRAY, ASK, HOPE and TRUST in God for HIS truth.

I personally humbly agree with the Church in this matter; meaning I do not fully approve of, but nor do I dismiss these events. I feel that some of the messages during the apparitions may have been authentic and some may have been false in their inception, as a ploy of the evil one to deceive us today.

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