Conchita's trip to Rome
The Catholic Church has always been very attentive to the events in Garabandal. The main seer, Conchita Gonzalez for example, was notified to appear in Rome twice.
Conchita´s trip to Rome with Fr.Luna
Pope Paulo VI
Saint Padre Pio
The first time in 1966 was called by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, Perfect of the Holy Office (now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), which interrogated her in the presence of other members of this high ecclesiastical body. During this visit to the Vatican, Conchita was even invited to a private audience with Pope Paul VI who addressed him these words:
"I bless you, Conchita, and with me the whole Church blesses you."
Later, Pope Paul VI also spoke publicly on the subject saying:
"Garabandal is the most wonderful work of humanity after the birth of Jesus, the second life of the Blessed Virgin on this earth.
It was also during her first trip to Rome that Conchita González visited San Giovanni Rotondo, where she was received by the famous stigmatized saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. Directly related to the story of the apparitions of Garabandal, the Holy Father Pius confirmed the veracity of the celestial manifestations to the four girls of the north of Spain. In fact, Our Lady had already, in 1962, promised this priest would attend, in advance, the Miracle of Garabandal.
In December 1967, Conchita González was again called to Rome, but this time by Cardinal Franjo Seper, successor of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani as the Perfect Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. She made the second trip in February 1968. No great details were known on the meeting, insofar as the Holy See imposed on Conchita complete silence on this same encounter with the ecclesiastical superiors.
More details about the trip to Vatican City
For a very express order, Cardinal Ottaviani tells Father Luna, professor of the Seminary of Zaragoza, in Spain:
"With or without the authorization of the Episcopal Curia of Santander, bring to me the seers of Saint Sabastião de Garabandal."
Conchita arrived in Rome, accompanied by her mother, Father Luís Luna and Princess Cecilia de Bordon-Parma. She was received and interrogated for more than two hours by Cardinal Ottaviani, the Cardinal of the Holy Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as by Cardinal Merella, who was accompanied by two members of the Roman Curia.
Cardinal Ottaviani on several occasions expressed his joy to Fr. Luís Luna and wanted to interview the other seers as well. He even confessed that among all the Apparitions that had been studied in the Vatican, the most interesting were undoubtedly those of St. Sebastian of Garabandal.
The cardinal conveyed to Fr. Luís Luna the desire that Pope Paul VI had expressed to speak with the seer Conchita, despite the difficulties that the responsible person on whom the Audience Secretariat depended. Meanwhile, Conchita interviewed the confessor of the Holy Father, to whom he announced the date of the Miracle. This Bishop blessed her, in the name of the Pope, with the following words:
- "In the name of the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, I bless you and with me the whole Church blesses you."
The next day, without waiting for him, the Holy Father received Conchita, and at the end of the meeting he repeated to him the very same blessing which he had sent him the day before by his own confessor:
"Conchita, I bless you and with me, the whole Church will bless you."
On 1 November, Conchita says that Cardinal Ottaviani had also said the date of the Miracle. During the stay of Conchita in Rome, and of those who accompanied her, someone very close to the Pope accompanied them to San Giovanni Rotondo, to visit Padre Pio; and he received them with particular joy.
There is an autographed letter of conchita to Father Gustavo Morelos, on his return from the Vatican in January 1966, which reads as follows:
- "Reverend Father: My trip to the Vatican was very happy, everything went very well. They told me to keep it a secret and so I can not be more explicit."
This marked joy of Conchita, knowing how discreet it is, has a great meaning.