Friday, April 08, 2011

San Sebastian de Garabandal

What is Garabandal?
The subject has been brought to my attention once again.  On my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, I made a point of going to Garabandal, more out of devotion for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel than curiosity.  I think I met one of the seers - although I can't recall who, and I spent much time praying in the areas where the events took place.  I believed the apparitions were most likely authentic.  I continue to believe that, although I do not keep up with the news surrounding the phenomena.  At one point I read that one of the Bishops in whose diocese Garabandal is situated rejected the apparitions and discouraged pilgrimages.  My take was to follow what the Bishop said, while remaining open.  For some reason or other, I'm not able to make these things the focus of my spiritual life.  Garabandal, unlike Fatima and Lourdes, does not have full and official Church approval, and that remains a difficulty for me.  Although a website dedicated to Garabandal posted the following statement:
The new Bishop, Archbishop Vincente Zamora has stated publicly that he will take any new information on Garabandal. The previous Bishop, Archbishop Carlos, openly encouraged pilgrims to go to Garabandal and for priests to say Mass and hear confessions there without having to obtain approval. The Parish Priest, Fr. Rolando, has publicly declared his belief in the apparitions. This ecclesiastical support has been totally lacking in the Spanish clergy till recent times. - What is Garabandal?
As with all such reports of apparitions and messages, details on the events and persons involved, as well as interpretations of what was said, can become confused over time.  Which is another reason I try to remain aloof.
What impresses me most about Garabandal is the number of holy people who believed the events were authentic and the message worthy of belief.  Among them, St. Padre Pio,  Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and Blessed Maravillas of Jesus, the great Carmelite restorer of the Teresian Carmel in post-revolutionary Spain.
Perhaps the events at Garabandal may warrant a closer look once again.  I love the idea that Our Lady visits us. 


  1. I wish I could love it, but if course it scares me, and of course there are those who always want to use apparitions for their agendas. Look at how "fashions will cone which are very displeasing to the lord" is always trotted out to support the idea that God is angry and preparing hellfire for women who wear pants, swimsuits, you name it. I've even heard from some idiots that Fatima proves you go to hell if you don't pray the rosary. Sucks for all those eastern rite Catholics :/. The best one was the trad who said that "many marriages will be displeasing to the lord" was talking about couples who enjoy sex.

    Also, the whole"purgatory til the end of time" thing makes me wonder what that 20 year old girl could have done that's any worse than what I have done, and wonder just what is in store for me.

    Yet some people do manage to have their spiritual lives enriched and not become scrupulous despair-niks or judgmental know-it-alls. Good for you, and I mean that.

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  3. “…the trad who said that "many marriages will be displeasing to the lord" was talking about couples who enjoy sex….”

    Maybe the trad was commenting the fact sex in some Catholic marriages is a form of recreation instead of open to having children?

    Many see marriage as a joining of two people to work for companies to earn money to buy stuff, and maybe have kids when they can afford them.

    “…Also, the whole"purgatory til the end of time" thing makes me wonder what that 20 year old girl could have done that's any worse than what I have done, and wonder just what is in store for me…”

    Purgatory is part of God’s mercy.

    For whatever reason someone is sent to Purgatory, even if for a million years, they still rejoice; they eventually will get out, unlike those sent to Hell.

    God created everything easily. No problem at all.

    However, it took God everything He had, even to His Son shedding every ounce of His blood, all the actions of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost to attempt the one thing that is hard for God to do:

    Change the heart of man.

    “…Yet some people do manage to have their spiritual lives enriched…”

    Give your heart to the Lord.

    Give it to Him, no strings attached.

    Let God spiritually enrich you.

    Place it in His care while you attend a Tridentine Mass. Follow along with the Mass, and therein, you will find God’s thank you for the thing God is most grateful for; our hearts.

    You will not outdo God.

    Give Him your heart, and all the graces necessary to live a happy life, die a happy death, while coming to the fulfillment of the promises of Christ will be yours.

    Pray for us poor sinners as we also pray for you.

    Pray for the Holy Father and his Priests and Religious.


  4. I worry about my children's souls as much as I do my own, maybe more? I did here about being a victim soul for others, but I don't know if this is official church teaching? I do discover peace when I pray the rosary well, but I also struggle with fears about hell etc, scruples too.

  5. A Random Friar7:29 AM

    I love the motto around Mother Maravillas de Jesús's photo. I'd seen it in Latin, but not in Spanish. "Whatever God wants, However God wants, Whenever God wants."

  6. FYI, Garabandal is given a "negative decision" because the supernatural character of the apparitions at Garabandal was not adequately provided. Whether or not the so-called messages are worthy of belief still has not been evaluated, as once the supernatural character was apparently determined there was no need to go further.

    I think that the visionaries at Garabandal are (were, one is deceased) very sincere, and the messages they provide regarding prayer and repentance to the world are timely and universal enough; to gain any prophetic insight just stick with approved apparition sites.

    Also, the Wikipedia article on Marian Apparitions has a lot of errors in it.

  7. Secular Carmelite9:48 AM

    Words of Blessed Jacinta of Fatima:

    The sins of the flesh are the ones that lead souls to hell.

    If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything possible to change their lives. Souls are lost because they do not think abut death and do not do penance.

    Wars are the consequence of the sins of the world. It is necessary to do penance to stop the wars.

    We should not be surrounded by luxury.

  8. Gina - thanks - I'm with you on this: "I think that the visionaries at Garabandal are (were, one is deceased) very sincere, and the messages they provide regarding prayer and repentance to the world are timely and universal enough; to gain any prophetic insight just stick with approved apparition sites." You said it better than I.

    I probably shouldn't have posted what I did.

  9. I should tell you what made me think of this - JPII will be laid to rest in the chapel of St. Sebastian in St. Peter's - and Garabandal is in the diocese of San Sebastian and the parish church is San Sebastian.

    See how easy it is to get caught up by coincidences?


  10. Thank you, Pablo. I will keep praying, but I know for a fact that those graces are available at any Mass, and I will continue to attend the reverent mass I do attend, and confession and spiritual direction from my orthodox priest.

    Unfortunately, the guy commenting in marriage was not saying that. He said that sexual pleasure was evil an that it should be treated as such, and that spouses should never enjoy it even when open to life. He said spouses should never see sex as an expression of love. He also said that spouses should never see each other's bodies, and that they should "get it done" as fast as possible. He said they sinned mortally if they had intercourse at any time when conception was not biologically possible. This guy was teaching heresy, period. What he said is disgusting.

    Of course all relations must be open to life, and our course parents should be generous in having children. Of course children are the crowning purpose and jewel of marriage. No one denies that.

  11. And I am aware of the widespread use of contraception - my own marriage has been shattered, partially because I refused to use it any longer. It's a long story, but let's say I know what it's like to be rejected because of standing for te truth.

    But why the guy on that website said is Satan talking, attacking from the opposite direction.

  12. Mercury - you are so on the right track - nothing to fear.

  13. Yes, but I once again managed to get my pet scruples into your commbox. :)

  14. I've been reading Unity Publishing's web site to look at different apparitions. Some true some false. Some like Rwanda, three true seers and three false!

    Please let us know where you find easy to digest info on Marian Apparitions. There seem to be so many today and I now avoid anything that isn't approved by the Local Bishop, even if I really want it to be true. Sometimes I have to remind myself that approval might happen years after I'm long gone.

  15. While waiting for the final decision of the church, I'm inclined to believe in Garabandal. It is so pleasent to read a blog where Garabandal is talked about with respect and without the usual anathema. While we wait, we can't say for sure that is true but we can't say either that is not.

  16. Mr. Nelson,

    You write on Garabandal as late as April, 2011, that "one of the bishops rejected the apparitions and discouraged pilgrages." Since 1961 eight bishops or apostolic administrators of Santander have issued communications on Garabandal. The last negative notice, the one that discouraged pilgramages,was issued on April 25, 1970. None of the four bishops since that time has stated anything negative about Garabandal. On June 2 and July 18 of last year, the village pastor, Fr. Rolando Fuentes, with the full support of the bishop, celebrated the 50th anniversaries of the reported apparitions of St. Michael and the Blessed Virgin Mary there with special Masses.
    In history class we learned to seek prime sources on important matters. and a Santander daily, el Diario Montanes are two good sources to keep you up to date on Garabandal.
    Ed Kelly

  17. Terry, I'm with you on this one. I await to see what happens with Garabandal and future prophecies. I know "gut feelings" count for nothing but I have a feeling that Garabandal is authentic and do because as Terry stated the positive statements regarding it by holy individuals above all St Maria Maravillas de Jesus. I take a wait and see stance. I believe that the alleged seers were/are sincere. This whole story and demeanor of Garabandal is so different from that of Medjugore (I believe in a positive light). In an interview the then ordinary of the diocese bishop del Gallo said:
    Were the Garabandal Messages found to be theologically correct and in accordance to the teachings of the Catholic Church?
    A. I think yes. Theologically correct, yes. But one of the details bothers me like the one: "Many bishops and cardinals are walking the path of perdition" it seems to me to be a bit severe. The Messages do not say anything that is against the doctrine of the church.

    I think this statement would bother and concern any Catholic. However, that said there is no reason why such a thing could be false considering the times in which we live.

    I would urge anyone interested to watch this video of an interview of Maria Saracco with Mother Angelica:

    I've read quite a bit on the subject and Garabandal to me simply echos Fatima but on a more urgent scale.


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