DAILY CATHOLIC - Wednesday, February 18, 1998   volume 9, no. 35



Installment Fifty-Seven

GARABANDAL: For whom the Bells Toll!

Part One

     We now arrive in the Marian Apparitions timetable at 1961, a time when rumors were beginning to circulate that change was in the wind as Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council. The politics surrounding Garabandal during those and subsequent years prevented the dire messages from being taken seriously, but in recent times the bishop has been more open to examining the content and giving credibility to what Our Lady imparted to the four young visionaries in this mountainous community in northeastern Spain. The interesting aspect of these messages are that they are meant for our times in the late nineties and that they are intricately related through the saintly Padre Pio who is up for Beatification. Yes, the timing is right for the messages of Garabandal, with the increased concern about the Warning and the Miracle promised at Garabandal and affirmed by a multitude of other visionaries. In the next several installments we are going to attempt to show how the Warning and the Miracle are intertwined in Godís master plan for in each ensuing apparition or message, Our Lady, in this Age of Marian Apparitions, unveils another piece of the overall "puzzle" in her on-going crusade to bring all her children back to her Divine Son.

     Though the timing of the first Garabandal apparition was twenty years before the daily visits began in Medjugorje, they are intricately linked as are the messages of Betania, Akita and countless other sites and messages to messengers the world over. Just how closely the "Ten Secrets" of Medjugorje relate to the messages of Garabandal and the Warning, no one except the visionaries really know for sure, but we do know that the parallel of Garabandal to Medjugorje is no coincidence.

      Twenty years before Our Lady appeared to six children in the small village of Medjugorje, the Blessed Mother appeared to four children in the even smaller village of San Sebastian de Garabandal in the northernmost mountain region of Spain. Like Medjugorje, Garabandal is less than a hundred miles from the coast; like Medjugorje, Garabandal is nestled between the mountains: like Medjugorje, the villagers were poor farmers whose faith was strong, yet simple. And yet it was this unpretentious hamlet Our Blessed Mother chose to impart her most powerful message since LaSalette and Fatima.

      The sixties had just dawned. It was a time when the "age of innocence" was about to be transformed into the "age of guile and deceit". The era of "Camelot" was soon to become Mordredís dungeon for the sinister sin of abortion was just coming into its own, sexual mores would be stretched to their limits, and the world would turn further away from God, committing sins that would cause many tears of sorrow and cry out for Justice. In addition, the Second Vatican Council had been called. Little did anyone realize that from the authentic good fruits of the Spirit how the evil one would afterwards confuse the faithful through those within the Church who had sold their souls to the prince of darkness.

      Our Blessed Mother knew this was all just over the horizon when she began appearing to four young girls- Mari Loli Mazon, Conchita Gonzalez and Jacinta Gonzalez- all twelve years old at the time of the first apparitions-and Maria-Cruz Gonzalez, age eleven. Though the three shared the same surname, they were not related. Like the young visionaries in Medjugorje two decades later, these girls had been up to innocent, but mischievous fun-stealing apples on the hillside above the some seventy rough-tiled homes in the village. As their consciences got the best of them, their imagination took over and they thought they saw an angel on the evening of June 18, 1961. Indeed, they did, and he reappeared silently for the next week to them in the same spot. This Heavenly messenger had come to prepare the children for a cornucopia of visits from the Mother of God.

      Just as he did at Fatima when he announced he was the "Angel of Peace", this time he identified himself as St. Michael the Archangel! The Guardian of the Faith had come to tell these elementary school girls that the Mother of God would soon appear to them. Early on the evening of July 1, 1961 St. Michael appeared again to the four and heralded that Mary would soon appear to them as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Two - Garabandal: For whom the Bells 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.

February 18, 1998 volume 9, no. 35          DAILY CATHOLIC - Special Installment of the Age of Marian Apparitions