A Basilica to make Traditionalists swoon.
"It’s likely that unless you’re involved in the world of fringe-Catholicism
you’ve never heard of the Palmarians,
and even in Spain they’ve largely been forgotten." - Nick Rider
But it seems it may be one of the best apparition cons in the history of Catholicism.
Today is the first day I ever came across a comparison with Medjugorje - although I knew their was some weird association with Garabandal. It also seems to be the origin of the rumor that Pope Paul VI was drugged and held a prisoner in the Vatican, replaced by a double. I have to admit I never paid any attention to the Palmarians, and had no idea they had a huge basilica and so much money to build it. I'll just post some photos and a link to a rather good history on Palmar de Troya.
Clemente with his stigmata.
In case you never heard of this one, visit Journeys to the Bizarre. It should be made into a movie like Dan brown's novels are ...
The impenetrable isolation of the Palmarians’ compound – like an ultra-Catholic version of a Bond villain’s lair – is one thing, but beyond that, the more you discover about it, the weirder, more bizarre, more entangled the story gets. It begins in 1968, when four young girls claimed to have had visions of the Virgin Mary while out picking flowers in the field of La Alcaparrosa, where the Basilica now stands. In the ever-fervid religious atmosphere of Andalusia the spot soon began to attract pilgrims and devotees, including some from the official Catholic clergy, and there were reports of miraculous cures and other phenomena. Among the crowds flocking to the spot were Clemente Domínguez, a Seville insurance agent, and his best friend Manuel Alonso Corral, a lawyer. Several things are said about the early life of Clemente: that as a little boy his ultra-devout mother always dressed him as a priest, that his only game was playing at saying Mass, but also that in his teens he was a flamboyant member of Seville’s then deep-underground gay scene. At El Palmar Clemente not only claimed to have had his own visions, a much bigger deal than those of the girls, but also to bear the stigmata or wounds of Christ, dramatically exhibiting his bleeding flesh. The official Church began to feel the phenomenon was getting out of hand and the Archbishop of Seville disauthorized the visions at El Palmar, especially those of Clemente, but he was unfazed. On one day in 1970 he supposedly entered into a mystical trance in front of 30,000 people. A key point came in 1972 when Corral, who always seems to have been the brains of the operation, used the first of many unexplained ‘donations’ to buy the Alcaparrosa estate. From then on he and Clemente effectively ‘owned’ the visions, and the original four girls were forgotten. - Full story here.
Papa Clemente after going blind.
I wonder if Fr. Z gets his hats from Palmar?
Vestments to die for.
San Francisco Franco.
They canonized him.