A Message of Great Significance:
The appearances of Our Lady at Garabandal from 1961 to 1965 have not been approved by the Catholic Church. While they have also not been condemned, the lack of official sanction has meant that many of us Catholics have failed to pay them the attention they deserve.
The Garabandal events are associated with messages and prophecies that are remarkable and that have huge connotations, which, as time has gone by, have merely made everything to do with Garabandal more compelling than ever before.
Garabandal is a tiny rural village in the beautiful region of Cantabria in the north of Spain. In June 1961, four young girls began to see Our Lady and their world, and that of their fellow villagers, turned upside down.
From their first apparition of St Michael the Archangel (18th of June 1961) to the final apparition of Our Lady to Conchita in 1965, the girls had visits from Our Lady not dozens, or hundreds, but thousands of times.
Why should we give their apparitions importance now if the Church has not seen fit to bless them? It is the content of the messages given for the world by Our Lady in Garabandal, that we, today, should find of great significance.
Two messages were received by the girls, dictated by Our Lady, to be read in public. The first was received on the 18th of October 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.”
Here Our Lady reiterates the plea to her children that she made at Lourdes and at Fatima for repentance, prayer and penance. Unless we follow her command there will be, she tells us plainly, “a very great chastisement”.
The second message of Our Lady of Garabandal, in particular, is striking. It was received from St Michael by Conchita and three years later on the 18th of June 1965, fifty five years ago this year.
“As my message of October eighteenth has not been complied with and has not been made known to the world, I am advising you that this is the last one. Before, the cup was filling up. Now it is flowing over.
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 His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession of St 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. Think about the passion of Jesus.”
Of course we cannot, in modern times, help but sit up at the words, spoken in 1965,“Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them.” Sadly the intervening years have shown us clearly the truth of these words.
In Garabandal Our Lady also spoke to the young visionaries of a future event called the Warning. This will be a supernatural event during which every person on earth will experience an Illumination of Conscience – a brief but very difficult trial which will make our sins and their effects clear to us. We will see our souls as God sees them.
Numerous other saints of the Church have also spoken of a similar happening to the Warning, or Illumination of Conscience: St Edmund Campion, SJ; Blessed Anna Maria Taigi; St Pope Pius IX; St Faustina Kowalska and St Pope Paul VI.
According to Fr Stefano Gobbi, founder of the Marian Movement of Priests, the Warning will be “something so very great that it will exceed anything that has taken place since the beginning of the world.”
However, before this Warning, whenever it may be, Our Lady also told of how there would come a Tribulation. The seers heard of this first on the night of the 19th of June 1962. It was not spoken about at first. Then in 1967 Mari Loli spoke about it to a Mexican priest, Fr Gustavo Morales, and the same information was recorded three years later by Maria Saraco, one of Garabandal’s foremost promoters. Mari Loli said:
“We saw a great multitude of people who were suffering intensely and screaming in terror. The Blessed Virgin explained to us that this great tribulation, which was not even the Chastisement, would come because a time would arrive when the Church would appear to be on the point of perishing. It would pass through a terrible trial. We asked the Virgin what his great trial was called and she told us it was ‘communism’.”
In the past few years the COVID-19 virus with its origins in Communist-led China forced the world into lockdown and led to millions of Catholics being denied Holy Mass and the Sacraments for months. How and when will the Church emerge from this crisis? What kind of Church will emerge?
When this tragic pandemic began Conchita broke her long silence with some words of comfort:
“God is detaching us from the securities of this world. In the silence of the Church or in our house, we are now able to make an examination of conscience so we can clean what prevents us from hearing the Voice of God clearly. With sincerity we can ask God to tell us what He wants of us today, and continue to do that every day. And spend as much time as possible with God at church or somewhere in your home or where you find the silence. He is all we need.” (19th March 2020)
In 2018 a beautiful film about Garabandal – “Garabandal – Only God Knows” was released. It can be viewed on www.garabandalthemovie.com.
A documentary film – “Garabandal – the Uncontainable Cascade” is now available free of charge on YouTube.