At the same time she was developing spiritually, God began to endow her
with certain gifts (charisms). Amparo began to suffer the stigmata, that
are she suffered bleeding of the forehead, eyes, mouth a shoulder, back,
hanks, knees and feet. This bleeding sometimes occurred with visible
wounds; at other times, there was blood without wounds. Then there are
instances when there is no blood, no wounds but she experiences a
corresponding sharp pain. The nature and location of the pains are usually
dependent on which Passion scene Amparo is meditating upon. Eye-witnesses
relate that they've seen in the center of her breast a heart in relief,
which is pierced by a sword.
Amparo normally suffered the stigmata when Our Lady would appear to her at
Prado Nuevo. At times, she would go into ecstasy with blood flowing from
her hands, feet, forehead, and eyes. Other times, when in ecstasy, there
would be no bleeding. Other accounts of the visible stigmata have been
recorded in other places other than the apparition site including her home
and in a Madrid store, but the most memorable was on her first visit to a
Carmelite priest Fr. Alfonso Maria Lopez Sendin to whom she requested he be
her confessor and spiritual director.
Other charisms attributed to Amparo are an intense fragrance of roses
emanating around her, her ability to converse with the Blessed Virgin in an
unknown language, in some instances, during moments of ecstasy. Reference
to this "unknown" and sometimes "heavenly" language appears in the
messages. There are times when the word "unintelligible" is used to
describe the language.
Amparo also has been blessed with the gift of bilocation which enabled her
to be in Madrid supervising the work on the painting of the Sorrowful
Mother by Madrid artist donna Elvira Soriano which simultaneously being
seen in El Escorial. Amparo has received many messages and prophecies and
through visions, she has been able to witness some of the most memorable
events in the lives of Jesus and His Blessed Mother, such as the Passion
and Death of Christ as well as Mary's dormition and Assumption into Heaven.
This Spanish visionary also experiences the phenomenon of levitation,
which enables her to rise above the ground during moments of ecstasy. Many
pilgrims present at the apparition site on first Saturdays have been
healed physically and spiritually. While at Prado Nuevo countless people
have observed the numerous solar phenomena including the spinning of the
sun. During the seventeen year period of apparitions, there have been
innumerable conversions in El Escorial.
The Chalice of Suffering
There have also been many healings of persons not present in El Escorial.
These have taken place when Amparo has interceded to God to allow her to
take these sufferings upon herself.
Amparo's life is one of suffering and sometimes very intense suffering.
Our Lady often asks if she will drink of the "chalice of suffering." Only
Amparo can see and experience this chalice during the apparitions. She
describes the chalice as a receptacle very similar to a cup or chalice with
two handles and its contents as reddish in color and tasting bitter. Being
only human, Amparo complains of the bitterness of the taste, which seems to
be stronger at times. Our Lady tells her that it is the same chalice of
suffering that her Divine Son drinks daily because of the pains that are
caused by humanity. Our Lady always follows this with a request for
prayers and for penance.
Our Lady invites Amparo to help her to suffer. She shows Amparo her heart
full of thorns, which are there because of consecrated souls who have
committed serious sins. Amparo often attempts to remove these thorns from
the Sorrowful Mother and place them on her own body. Often they last for
days. Then they gradually disappear because of Amparo's willingness to
suffer and pray as a victim soul that makes it possible for consecrated
souls to be forgiven. Our Lady also would permit Amparo to include their
names in the book of life as witnessed by others who have seen her reaching
for something, making a gesture of writing from right to left in the air,
then kiss it and return it to Our Lady. The Blessed Virgin then tells her
that the name of the person, which Amparo has inscribed, will never be erased!
The sufferings, which Amparo had to bear, were not limited to those shared
with the Blessed Mother or with Jesus. On May 26, 1983, Amparo underwent
an experience the likes of which she had never had and, more than likely,
never will again. Amparo learned that the little chapel or niche at Prado
Nuevo had been the target of gunshots, so she went there to pray at 11:00
in the morning. Attentive to her prayer and on her knees, she did not
noticed that three hooded individuals (later identified by the Blessed
Mother as two men and a woman) were walking toward her. They snatched her
cardigan sweater, which was draped over her shoulders, and shoved it over
her head, tying it to Amparo's neck. Then Amparo suffered the ultimate
humility as they stripped her completely and threw her clothes into the
drinking tank used by the wild cows, which grazed throughout the meadow.
Shoving and dragging her, they led her to a more rocky and distant place
where they demanded she state that the apparitions and messages were false.
Amparo, like Saint Bernadette at Lourdes and Father Jozo Zovko, OFM in Medjugorje,
refused to betray God and for her loyalty, she was tortured as the thugs
slammed her face and body with vicious blows. They even threatened to hang
her, sadistically describing how to do away with her either by hanging or
strangling. Just as they were about to carry out their dastardly deed,
they heard someone approaching nearby and fled the scene.
Amparo was discovered near dead, covered with lacerations and blood.
Placed on a stretcher, she was taken to the hospital where doctors treated
blows on her head, her swollen face and wounds and marks from head to toe.
Emerging from death's door, Amparo recovered enough to leave the hospital
and return home at the request of her family. In her bed of suffering,
Amparo reached out just as Pope John Paul II did to his attacker after he
had been shot, she said of her attackers: "I forgive them and I would give
my life for them if it were necessary. What is most important is that
those souls be saved."
Next installment: "By their fruits you shall known them" .