Eye Witness Accounts
The following are small snippets of eye witness accounts of various supernatural phenomenon. It should be noted from the outset that the purpose of this section is not to convince the reader of authenticity, but merely to give the reader a small impression of some of the extraordinary events that took place in Garabandal, from the mouth of those who witnessed it.
Fr. Ramon Andreu, S.J., jp63
In the beginning, Fr. Ramon did not believe in the apparitions, and only came to Garabandal at the insistence of some friends. He soon got the opportunity to stand very close to the girls while they were in one of their ecstasies. According to his testimony, Fr. Ramon at first considered the usual interpretations of hysteria or hypnotism, but quickly ruled out those possibilities;
"I had already seen the two girls enter and come out of the state of ecstasy together. I had the impression that they had but one soul. What I thought at that time did not seem to me to make much sense, but I thought it all the same: May one of these two girls return to her normal state and the other remain in ecstasy. At this precise moment, LoIi, who was very close to me, returned to normal, turned slightly and looked at me with a smile. I asked her:
"You aren't seeing the Blessed Virgin any more?" "No, Sir."
"And why?", I insisted. "Because she has gone."
Jacinta was still in ecstasy. I said to Loli: "Look at Jacinta."
The child looked at her and smiled at seeing her in ecstasy, for it was the first time that, being out of the ecstatic state herself, she saw one of her companions in that condition. I asked another question:
"What did the Blessed Virgin tell you?"
She was about to answer when she went back into ecstasy, her head tilted backward. I then heard the following dialogue between the two girls and the vision:
Jacinta: "Loli, why did you leave?"
Loli (addressing herself to the apparition): "Why did you withdraw yourself?"
Then, after a short pause:
"Oh! That's why? It was so that he would believe!"
On hearing that I rejoined my brother Luis and said to him:
"Be careful what you think. The transmission of thought ill like lightning here!"
Fr. Luis Andreu, S.J., jp64,69,74
Fr. Luis Andreu is considered the "5th visionary" at Garabandal, in that he, and only he, received a vision of the miracle. Conchita recounts in her diary; "When we arrived at the pines, Fr. Luis Maria, who had followed us, said; "miracle, miracle," and he kept staring upward. We could see him. Now, in our ecstasies we never see anyone (except the Blessed Virgin). But we saw Father Luis and the Blessed Virgin told us that he was seeing her too." Fr. Luis was heard to say the following;
"This is the happiest day of my life! What a wonderful mother we have in heaven!"
Don Valentin Marichalar recounts that, later than night, Fr. Luis spoke these words to him; "Don Valentin, what the children say is true, but I ask you not to repeat what I have just told you, for the Church can never be prudent enough in this kind of affair."
It was on this very night that Fr. Luis Andreu died, on the way home from his visit to Garabandal. According to the witnesses in the car, just before he passed away, he exclaimed with great joy the following words;
"I am so happy. What a favor the Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate we are to have a mother like her in heaven! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life."
Dr. G du Pilier, jp59
Dr. Pilier read several signed testimonies of persons who witnessed an unusual event. In Conchita's diary, we read the following; "..as my mother and I were returning from the fields, we met my godmother Maximina Gonzalez. She was very excited and said to us: 'Don't you know that the voice of the Blessed Virgin has been heard on a tape recorder?' 'What did she say?,' I asked. 'Loli and Jacinta asked her [the Blessed Virgin]; 'Speak, please, speak!' And the people heard the answer: 'No, I won't speak.' My godmother told me that the people began to cry because they were very moved at having heard the Blessed Virgin's voice." The following is Dr. Pilier's summary of the event;
"The girl spoke to the apparition: 'There is a man there who came with an instrument 'that takes all the words.' Why don't you talk into it? It is not for us, it is so that they will believe . . . Speak, say a few words so that they will believe!' After the ecstasy, the people listened to the tape. There were about fifty persons present. You could hear the voice of the children perfectly. When the replay came to the fervent supplication: "Speak, say a few words so that they will believe," the tape reached the end. At that very moment, a voice that the witnesses unanimously described as 'very sweet- tres douce', came forth from the instrument: 'No, no hablo-No, I won't speak.'
As can be imagined, the impression produced on the witnesses was very great. A person declared that day on leaving Garabandal: 'To the day I die, I shall have the certainty of having heard the Blessed Virgin's voice.' It should be noted, as a conclusion to this story, that in subsequent replays of the tape, the phenomenon did not recur. In any case, whatever interpretation one may wish to attach to these events, their objective reality is certain, especially since it is based on a dozen testimonies."
Fr. Ramon Andreu, S.J., jp83,53
Fr. Ramon describes a painful interior crisis that he began to experience following the death of his brother, Father Luis Andreu. This interior struggle occured at the same time the children were in an ecstasy. He describes it in the following manner;
"I experienced suddenly and brutally an intense interior bitterness. It was, if you wish, a mixture of painful impressions and depressing feelings. Everything seemed to get out of joint. I had just entered a moral desert. The past became obscure. The only thing that remained clear and evident was the death of my brother Luis, which had occurred a little more than two months before. Then this state of interior suffering began to get worse. I believe I can affirm that never in all my life have I exxperienced such spiritual and moral desolation...I was tempted to leave. 'These four children are just simply sick'" I told myself. 'Why are you still here? You can see that all this is only a miserable act put on by backkward countryfolk! ... "
At the same time that Fr. Ramon was ungoing this struggle, the the children were in ecstasy at the pines. Conchita records in her diary part of the message of that day;
"The Virgin appeared to us and She said to me; 'At this moment, Father Ramon Maria Andreu is having doubts.' Because I was very surprised, she told me where he had started to doubt, what he had been thinking about, and everything else."
Later on that day, Fr. Ramon reluctantly met up with the children. After speaking with Loli briefly, he then spoke with Conchita;
"Before I had opened my mouth, Conchita smiled and asked me: "Father, are you happy or are you still sad?"
"I don't know," I replied. "LoIi told me that the apparition spoke to you quite a bit about me. Is it true?"
"Oh, yes! at least a quarter of an hour."
"And what did she tell you?"
"I can't tell you," the child answered.
"Then, I am just where I was before," I thought out loud. Conchita smiled.
"There is something I can tell you, however," she resumed.
"When you came up, you were happy; when you went back down, you were sad."
And the child added: "And she told me everything you were thinking about, and the place where you thought it.
You thought: 'Now I shall return to Central America.' At another spot, you thought: 'I don't want to hear anything further about such and such a person.' And you were sufferring a lot. The Blessed Virgin asked me to tell you this, and to let you know that all this happened so that henceforth you would remember these events and never doubt again."
I was dumbfounded. The following day, Conchita pointed out to me on a photo the precise places where each thought had invaded my mind."
G. du Pilier, who was interviewing Father Ramon, then asked him if Conchita had been accurate when she indicated the places where his different thoughts had occurred. "Absolutely accurate," he replied. "And so was all that she had told me the preceding evening." (jp83) It is also interesting to note that, according to the Saints, demons cannot read minds, whereas God of course can. Such accounts as this (and the first account listed), therefore, seem to rule out the possibility of diabolical influence.