"There is much said in various revelations and apparitions of modern times about a Warning, a Miracle and a Chastisement in the not too distant future.
Shall we give cognizance to these things? If so, how much and what?
St Pius of Pietrelcina ('Padre Pio') clearly believed in these future developments and, in particular, in the apparitions and messages of our Lady given to the González children in the little village in the mountains of northern Spain called San Sebastián de Garabandal.
St Pius also believed in the coming miracle and chastisement, whilst recognising that the latter is conditional upon the response of men to the messages of our Lady and our Lord. If men turn from their evil lives and embrace prayer, penance, sacrifice and good lives, then the chastisement will be curtailed or avoided."
The Garabandal apparitions were apparitions of Saint Michael the Archangel and the Blessed Virgin Mary that are claimed to have occurred from 1961 to 1965 to four young schoolgirls in the rural village of San Sebastián de Garabandal in the Peña Sagra mountain range in the autonomous community of Cantabria in Northern Spain.
The apparitions drew huge crowds, and featured self-evidently paranormal phenomena, many filmed or photographed, with thousands of witnesses.
The girls receiving the visions were Mari Loli Mazón(1 May 1949- 20 April 2009), Jacinta González (born 27 April 1949), Mari Cruz González (born 21 June 1950) and Concepcion "Conchita" González (born 7 February 1949). The girls were not related despite having the same name.
I have not found anything contrary to the teaching of the Church in the messages given at Garabandal. However, everyone must decide for himself by examining what occurred, and what was said, since the Church has yet to deliver a final judgment.
At the time, the Bishop of Santander determined a non constat—that is, the events could not be confirmed to be of supernatural origin.
In 21 April 1970, Cardinal Franjo Seper, then Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, backed the Bishop, discouraged pilgrimages to Garabandal and scolded those who sought to minimise the stance of the Bishop who is, in the first instance, the proper authority in such matters. Cardinal Seper said:
"…the Holy See has never approved even indirectly the Garabandal movement…it has never encouraged or blessed Garabandal promoters or centres. Rather the Holy See deplores that fact that certain persons and Institutions persist in setting out the movement in obvious contradiction to the dispositions of ecclesiastical authority and thus disseminate confusion among the people especially among the simple and defenceless”.
However, in April 2007, Joseph “Joey” Lomangino, founder of one of the largest Garabandal organisations in the USA, received from Conchita a letter, dated 12 February 2007, she had herself received from Archbishop Carlos Sierra of Oviedo, then the acting Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Santander, which read:
“I want you to know that I am open to receiving and considering all information about Garabandal, and would like to continue—as long as our Holy Father wishes me to serve as Apostolic Administrator—the work that my brothers at the Bishopric have already done in reference to this subject. What I have just done is authorize the priests to go to Garabandal and hold Holy Mass at the Parish, at any desired time, and to administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation to anyone that wishes to receive it. I am sure the next Bishop will promote further studies to examine in depth the Garabandal events and will send the findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. I respect apparitions and have known of authentic conversions. How can we not always feel the need to open our heart to our Mother Mary to tell her that we need her protection, her help, her courage, her hope, her faith and her love when faced with these events! I encourage you to keep maintaining such devotion toward our Mother”.
That the visions were paranormal and either supernatural (i.e. from heaven) or praeternatural (i.e. not from heaven but probably from either hell or purgatory) is evident from some of the filmed material made at the time. Particularly striking are the ecstatic walks of the children in which, without looking, they walked without stumbling or falling or stubbing their toes, even when going backwards fast.
At Garabandal the messages give us a clue as to when these great events are likely to occur. We are told that the Miracle will occur thus:
1. On a Thursday at 8.30pm;
2. On the Feast Day of a martyr of the Blessed Sacrament;
3. On a Feast of great ecclesiastical importance;
4. In March, April or May; and
5. Conchita has been told by our Lady to reveal the exact date, 8 days beforehand.
This seemed to be decipherable, particularly if one accepts that it must occur within the lifetime of the still living Conchita now in old age.
The next time there will be a Feast of truly great ecclesiastical importance on a Thursday in March, April or May, and which coincides with the Feast of a martyr of the Blessed Sacrament is next Thursday, Maundy Thursday 13 April 2017.
That date is the Feast of Spanish martyr for the Eucharist, Prince St Hermenegild, whose own father, the King of Visigothic Spain, ordered his execution because he would not take communion from an Arian heretical priest.
Prince Hermenegild was imprisoned in Tarragona or Toledo by his father, King Leovigild. During his captivity in the tower of Seville, an Arian bishop was sent to St. Hermenegild during the Easter Season, but he would not accept Holy Communion from the hands of that heretical prelate. King Leovigild ordered him beheaded and he was martyred on 13 April 586.