The testimony of Alejandro Damians
On several occasions and to several people, I have had the opportunity to report my impression of the miracle of this miracle that I had the grace to witness at S. Sebastião de Garabandal on July 18, 1962.
Imagem tirada por Alejandro Damians no dia do Milagre da Hóstia visível
Imagem de uma comunhão invisível que normalmente as videntes tinham diariamente.
I will start my testimony by going back a little bit, on Monday, July 16, 1962. At that time, I already knew that on the 18th, the first prodigy of Garabandal was announced, or better saying, the first extraordinary public feat.
I have always believed myself to be a man of faith. I never needed to witness miracles to reaffirm my beliefs, however my human curiosity had led me to visit the small village in the province of Santander during the month of March.
Without being particularly impressionable, the kindness of its inhabitants, the ecstasies of the girls, the supernatural environment that seems to be experienced when we set foot in those lands, produced a strong impact on my senses. Nevertheless, this whole experience seemed to me enough, so I was undecided about the decision to be made on that occasion.
I sincerely confess that I am very attached to the amenities, at that time I was willing to take a small summer vacation in Premiá del Mar, thus trying to ignore the next 18th of July, where it was announced the realization of a prodigy that would hardly have another occasion witnessing it. I set out to look for small signs that would indicate to me, without any intervention on my part, if my destination would really be to be in Garabandal at that time.
A cousin of mine was eager to go. We had thus agreed that before his departure from a village on the coast, he would pass by my residence to confirm whether or not I was going on this trip to Garabandal. The hour had been set for seven in the afternoon; in the meantime, the hours passed and I ended up accommodating myself to my family life, being fully determined not to interrupt my short vacation.
In the middle of the family dinner, I received his visit, indicating that for family reasons it was also impossible for him to go on the trip, however he said that a friend of his was willing to make the trip if he met a fellow traveler; at the time I declined the invitation.
The circumstances to refuse to go to Garabandal are becoming more and more favorable; the late hour, the impossibility on the part of my cousin and the idea of making the trip with a stranger, for me, all these adversities reinforced my decision to stay at home.
At this point, in a more humane and simple way, I was fully aware of the Divine will in the pressure that was exerted on me, not only from my wife and my cousin from whom I expected such a reaction, but mainly from my young son; my wife's re-convincing, my cousin's advice and my son's pleas: at last I gave in.
From that moment on, everything happened at a dizzying speed; a phone call to my cousin's friend, our meeting for four in the morning, the trip to Barcelona with my wife, to prepare the essential and leave a note warning me in the office about my absence for a few days ... Everything was accomplished successively. At four o'clock sharp, my new friend with his brother, my wife and I, drove north.
At this moment becomes necessary to mention a detail that was destined to be perhaps the most important; before leaving, my cousin handed me a video camera from a friend of his, giving me a brief indication of how it works, an important fact because my incompetence in this matter was the result of a total and absolute ignorance of the technique .
Our trip does not offer details worth mentioning, just the detail that without any interruption we drive in the roads, without sleeping. At 10 pm on the 17th we arrived in Garabandal.
The small village was invaded by outsiders. Without any publicity, the news of the first noticeable proof of the veracity of the prophesied events, had spread throughout the country; a crowd from different regions and social classes gave an idea of their own environment, in which one could breathe an unusual excitement. Among the visitors were several priests who were talking to each other and to Don Valentín, parish priest of Cosío, who had also gone up to Garabandal for the religious ceremonies that were to take place on the following day.
We found a room in Encarna's house, the aunt of one of the visionary girls, where we left our meager luggage, then left for Conchita's house, one of the four visionaries and the one who, precisely, had announced the miracle.
That night we witnessed an ecstasy, as always extraordinary, which affected our sensitivity even more, whenever we were waiting for the visible demonstration of the supernatural.
It seems absurd to refer to the next day, when days 17 and 18 constitute an uninterrupted whole, there was a pale cloudy dawn, grayish in color, which seemed to be a continuation of the night; at dawn there was a small buzz of the partying people, weak in the morning and increasing in the early hours of the afternoon.
Almost all day 18 I spent it inside Conchita's house with my wife, my friend and several priests, as well as other unknown people. I had the opportunity to speak with Frei Justo, a Franciscan priest with whom I soon exchanged correspondence, and who in a letter to a friend of mine said how incredulous he had left Garabandal after the performance of this prodigy.
There were two circumstances that occurred at that time that gave rise to doubts as to whether or not the announced prodigy would be produced; one of these situations was the festive atmosphere that reigned in the village; another was the presence of priests. On some previous occasions, the girls had not been ecstatic; on the other hand, the presence of priests had previously motivated the girls to receive communion normally and never through the Angel's mediation.
The atmosphere was of some doubt, as among the visitors it was said that Conchita had personally warned some of the priests to come on the 18th, as well as the questions that were being asked that same day, it was stated that the party would obstacle to the realization of this miracle.
Around three in the afternoon, Conchita announced that she was going to have lunch, convincing us that what would happen would be a communion, so she would have to wait at least three hours. So, between doubts, hope, boredom and illusion, the day passed.
As 12 o'clock at night passed without any manifestation, dismay and disbelief began to take over the people present.
Around 1 am on the 19th, when some had already started their journey home, the news quickly spread that, according to the solar time and the geographical situation of this village, the 18th would not end until 1 am 25m in the morning. For those inside Conchita's house, they already knew one thing: Conchita had already received the first call.
A short time later we were told to leave the house and we were at the door in the company of a friend of Conchita's family, to prevent anyone from entering. Where I was, I could see the kitchen and the stairs that led to the upper floor of the room. In that place was Conchita, who I think was talking to a cousin and an uncle of hers when she was ecstatic.
The first thing I saw was to see her come down the stairs, quickly, with that classic look of ecstasy, a beautiful and luminous face. When crossing the exit door of his house, the people who waited opened the way to let him pass, from that moment the crowd gathered around him like a river that came out of the bank and dragged everything they found through the passage. I saw many people fall, who were trampled by all those unruly people, and to see all those people pushing each other, could not be more terrifying.
We tried to stay close to Conchita, but five or six lines of people stood in front of us; sometimes he was able to distinguish it with some clarity. He turned left, passed the road around the house with a low wall, turned left again, and in the center of that alley he suddenly fell on his knees.
His fall was so unexpected that people, due to their own inertia, passed over Conchita; when I got rid of it, of all those who were ahead of me and who separated me from Conchita, I fell unexpectedly to his right and half a meter from his face. I put up with firmness and with great difficulty the shoving of those behind me, trying with all my strength not to be removed from this privileged place that I had in the meantime achieved. The pushing was lessening until the environment was completely calm.
Shortly before midnight, the clouds that obscured the sky had dissipated and the blue mantle had lit up with stars that shone around the moon. With its light and the plethora of hand lanterns that illuminated the alley, I could tell perfectly that Conchita's mouth was open and her tongue was out, in a classic attitude of communion. She was more beautiful than ever. His expression, his gestures, without appearing vulgar and ridiculous, were of an impressive and moving mysticism.
Suddenly, without knowing how, without realizing it, without Conchita changing his position to the smallest detail, Sagrada Forma appeared in his language. It was totally unexpected. It gave us the impression that it was deposited there at a faster rate than the perception of the human eye.
It is impossible to describe the impression I felt at that moment and what I still feel today when I remember it. Surprise, amazement, confusion, there are many feelings to be able to define them all in one expression. These phrases and others I ended up reporting them several times, when I reached this point, I felt that wonderful impression keeps the heart inside the chest, enveloping me with tenderness and moistens my eyes in an enormous desire to cry ... Tears of joy, satisfaction, happiness, love ...
Later I learned that Conchita remained for two minutes remaining immobile, and on the tongue the host, who then swallowed normally and kissed a crucifix in her hand. According to what I was able to know, such a long wait was due to the fact that the Angel told Conchita, to keep it that way until Our Lady appeared.
In those moments, I didn't realize how much time had passed; I remember, as in a dream, the voices that screamed for me to crouch, as well as having received a strong blow on my head.
Clutching my arm, I carried my camera; ignoring the protests that arose around me, without remembering the instructions received from my cousin, I opened the camera, loaded the trigger and filmed the last moments of Conchita's communion. I had never used a camera like this, I had not even filmed it, and I was only sure of having hit the image to focus on, due to my lack of technique, the lack of adequate knowledge, I questioned the satisfactory result of the film; there were also other factors such as the appropriate film class, light intensity, almost nonexistent there, etc ...
Conchita stood up in ecstasy, disappearing from my sight, was followed by everyone present in Garabandal. Later it was assumed that all of that lasted for about an hour. For my part, I already had enough emotions; he stayed only for a few moments, leaning against the wall and pressing the camera against my body, with the few forces I had left.
I ignore the time I spent in that place and in that posture. When I became more relaxed after the stiffness caused by nervousness, I walked with the rest of the people at a slow pace. I shared comments with people who were all over the place and finally returned to Cochita's house, no longer in ecstasy and where she wrote me some phrases on a postcard.
Finally, I said goodbye to her and to Don Valentín, who had sent for me to ask for the records of the machine, and totally exhausted, he left Garabandal towards Barcelona: it was 3:15 in the morning.
I do not know what those who read this account thought, nor the decision that the Church had taken in judging events. I do not know it at all, and it is very possible that at present, they do not feel any interest in it.
The only thing that can be said without any doubt is that for me, on July 18, 1962, there were two miracles in Garabandal: the first was of the visible communion of Conchita, covered with supernatural characters of great proportions; the second, being of lesser collective reach, but no less transcendent for me, the proof of the Virgin's infinite condescension, because only because of her I was able to see and witness the Miracle.volume_upcontent_copyshare
Barcelona, January, 1963