DAILY CATHOLIC - Wednesday, April 15, 1998   volume 9, no. 74

ON-GOING SERIES


AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

Installment Sixty-Four

GARABANDAL: For whom the Bells Toll! - The Eucharist, The Sanctity of Marriage, and The Fruits continue to Multiply

Part Ten

The Eucharist - The Bread of Life

      The only thing we have to sustain us during these trying times which are going to really get tough in the near future is the Holy Eucharist. That is why the Blessed Virgin Mary keeps reiterating to pray for holy and zealous priests for without them the Blessed Sacrament cannot be confected. The laity, too, needs to realize the significance of this and foster zeal in their priests through prayer and example. This will also nourish much needed vocations for the times ahead, especially in the much-anticipated era of peace.

The Sanctity of Marriage

      Often times people expect visionaries to go into religious life, especially if they are young. But God also needs good people in the world and so, like the visionaries of Medjugorje, the four girls of Garabandal have all chosen the matrimonial state. Visionary Conchita received confirmation of this from Our Lady while at the Carmelite Boarding School in Pamplona, Spain. Mary asked her to stay in the world so that she could speak of Our Ladyís role in her Divine Sonís Plan. Marriage needed to be sanctified and recognized as the holy sacrament it is.

      Thus, in the seventies the wedding bells tolled for all four. Visionary Mari Cruz was the first, marrying Ignacio Caballero on May 2, 1970. Today they have four children and reside in Aviles, Spain which is 100 miles northwest of Garabandal. The other three all live in the USA, having married Americans. Conchita wed Patrick Keena on Mary 26, 1973. They live in New York with their four offspring. Mari Loli was the next on the Feast of the Presentation in 1974 when she said "I do" to Francis LaFleur in Brockton, Massachusetts. They still live there today with their three children. On February 21 Jacinta became the last visionary to marry when she exchanged vows with Jeffrey Moynihan of California, who had met her while stationed at a naval base in Spain. They have one daughter, Maria and now live in the golden state.

      Not to be outdone, Joey Lomangino, the "Blind Apostle of Garabandal" even got into the act a year later when he and Marilyn Luther were married on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in Detroit with seven priests concelebrating the Nuptial Mass. They had met on an August pilgrimage to Europe.

      It brought to fruition the importance Our Lady placed on the holy Sacrament of Matrimony. Itís interesting to note that of the items Our Lady acquiesced to touch, is and bless during her apparitions at Garabandal, the only article she allowed other than medals, rosaries, crucifixes, scapulars and statues were wedding rings for they represented a lasting vow to God.

The Fruits continue to Multiply

      God allows evil for good. That is why Our Lady showed the girls a vision during the "Night of Screams." Everyone could not help but hear the visionaries screaming in horror over the chastisements to come. The next day the entire village went to confession and Mass. This kind of conversion continues. Today in Garabandal there are no longer apparitions in this tiny village untainted by the world, but the effects and fruits of these visits have nurtured countless conversions of pilgrims from all over the world. Through these prodigies which Our Lady blessed, she promised her Son would heal thousands in body and soul. True to her word these miracles continue to this day.

      Garabandal, buried beneath ecclesiastical bureaucracy in the 70ís and 80ís, has been resurrected in regard to serious investigation. Noted doctors have attested to the authenticity of the apparitions including world-renowned neuropsychiatrist Dr. Ricardo Piencernau and Dr. Luis Morales, the chief medical examiner appointed by the local ordinary.

      With the permission of the bishop, the pastor Father Juan Gonzalez Gomez has opened the Village Church to pilgrim priests to say Mass whenever they go to Garabandal. Previously they had to say Mass down the mountain in nearby Cosio.

      In the early nineties Bishop Jose Vilaplana Vasco, former titular bishop of Blandia and auxiliary of Valencia was appointed by the Holy See as the new ordinary for the Diocese of Santander. This 49-year old prelate is a member of Opus Dei and is said to have a great devotion to Mary. He replaced Bishop Juan Antonio Del Val Gallo who, before he left, submitted all his findings to Rome for their discernment. And so, today it is in the hands of the Holy Father. He knows its authenticity, but Vatican politics prevents him from claiming the Garabandal apparitions, like Medjugorje and other like events, as supernatural until the right time.

      When will be the right time? In Godís time. For He has a timetable in which all that has been foretold will play out. Garabandal remains a major player in this master plan of the Almighty for Our Lady slowly but surely is revealing more of the Divine blueprint to visionaries and messengers throughout the world as the clock winds down and the bells begin to toll.

To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.

April 15, 1998 volume 9, no. 74          DAILY CATHOLIC - Age of Marian Apparitions