Parish priest during the apparitions time
After a long period of silence, the former parish priest of Garabandal, who was one of the chief witnesses of the events in that village, gave us his first public testimony about these events.
Interview, Part 1: The Seers and the Inhabitants
Intrinsic in his investigations was his profound knowledge of the inhabitants of Garabandal, including the seer girls. He explains that through his method of investigation, he tried to detect some kind of fraud or radical changes in children, spiritual and personal. In one of his answers, he argues that the first incident (the apparition of the Angel) was by no means a hallucination brought about through the story of St. Michael.
Question: Was the parish priest of Cosío and Garabandal before the time of the apparitions?
Answer: Yes, in 1942 I was assigned to be parish priest of the parishes of Cosío and Garabandal. That was almost 20 years before the apparitions. As a parish priest I baptized all the girls and gave them all the first communion. I also married Lolita's parents (Mari-Loli). I was even 15 more years after the events happened. At the time, the journey from Cosío to Garabandal was quite difficult.
Question: Before the apparitions, did you teach girls catechesis?
Answer: Yes, catechism. I gave them twice a week. One day in June, I told them about the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the twelve promises of the Sacred Heart. I just didn't talk about two or three of these promises, so I told them, "... the rest will be spoken on Sunday." Then I said to a young man who was standing, and I asked him, "Do you have a guardian angel?" "I don't know what a guardian angel is," answered the boy. Then I explained to him. The following Sunday, the angel appeared to the girls. So many people said that because they talked about the guardian angel, the girls said they saw the angel. However, I had only talked almost all the time about the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Regarding the guardian angel, I only conveyed to you those words that I referred to earlier. About the Sacred Heart, I spoke to you all morning
Question: After the first appearances, what did the girls report to you?
Answer: The girls told me they had heard a sound and a strong wind, but that day there was no wind. They also said they saw a light. On that first day, they saw nothing but those points that I said now. They walked like this for a few days, two or three, and it was not until the third day that they saw the angel clearly. At the first apparition, they did not see the angel, only saw a very bright light and felt the wind. The Angel said nothing before the third day.
Question: During the apparitions, what methods did you usually use to conduct interviews with girls?
Answer: After the apparitions happened, I would take the girls one by one to the sacristy. I asked them about related details of how they saw Our Lady, and each one said exactly the same thing. I was trying to confuse them on purpose: "Oh no, your other friend had told me that Our Lady was bringing the baby Jesus who had put on some shoes." I would say this to try to contradict each other, but I could never find any contradiction; they always described every detail in the same way. He sent dispatches every day to inform the bishop of what was happening in Garabandal. I even sent many of them, about six books this size (at this time the priest raised his hands twelve centimeters above the table to indicate the size of the books he sent to the Bishop). These books are currently in the bishop's office.
Question: Do you have copies of these orders?
Answer: Yes, I have.
Question: During the apparitions, have you ever seen the girls crossing the small stream in front of the church in midair?
Answer: Yes, I saw them crossing very fast, no air, never saw. They moved very fast! (Editor's note: The emphasis expressed in this commentary is to demonstrate to us that the movement of the girls was extraordinarily fast. There is no doubt about this event, due to the excitement of Father Valentim's voice when he said, "very fast." did not realize the lightness and levitation of the girls' footsteps due to the crowd surrounding them at those times.)
Question: Before the apparitions, as parish priest of Garabandal, did you notice if these girls were better than the others?
Answer: Before, they were the same as the rest of the village.
Question: During the apparitions, did you notice if they showed any spiritual progress?
Answer: In the beginning, in the first year, yes, a lot. Then, when outsiders began to arrive, they changed but less. As people's "avalanche" began to decline, they improved significantly again.
Question: When the girls were 18 or 19 years old, did you feel they were more spiritual than the rest?
Answer: They were not very different from the others, because in the village of Garabandal, all the girls were very good people.
Interview Part III, The Commission
Don Valentim Marichalar was one of the main witnesses of the phenomena that occurred in Garabandal. However, he was never questioned by the Bishop of Santander or the commission in charge of investigating these events. The priest was asked to make an announcement about the "supernaturality" of the events. In this interview he explains why he did not sign the declaration on proof of supernaturality at that time. Regarding the commission, he felt that the examiners were too eager to end this Garabandal phenomenon in one form or another.
Question: Have you ever had questions about these events?
Answer: Overall, no doubt. Regarding supernaturality, I cannot risk saying categorically that yes, that it is supernatural. In other words, I would say that I am sure about 80%, but for the moment I cannot fully commit myself to this. Since it wasn't always there, I couldn't supervise everything. So I can't guarantee that everything that happened was 100% supernatural, you see? But doubts, no. I have no doubt.
(Editor's note: The declaration of supernaturality of these events has to come from the Bishop of Santander and not from the local parish priest. That is why Father Marichalar cannot claim that the events are 100% supernatural, because if he did, he would be to overrule the Bishop's decision.)
Question: Have you ever been questioned by the Bishop of Santander or the commission?
Answer: I have never been interrogated by the Bishop. He only asked me once to state whether the event was supernatural or not. As I said, he wanted me to sign a statement, if it was one thing or the other. I said I didn't know yet. On another occasion, the committee tried to offer me a vacation. They suggested, "Just so that people don't think we want to get rid of you, send a letter requesting a vacation." I replied, "Look, if you ask me to go, I will, but I'm not asking for anything." Everything led me to believe that they wanted to deceive me. Do not know. I had a lot of respect for the Bishop, but when I said "no" it seemed like I had a thought that said "say no" and I said "no". Do you understand?
Question: Did you think there was any misconduct in the work done by the committee?
Answer: Yes. Nothing was done under conditions. A psychiatrist from Madrid came to Garabandal only once to analyze the girls. He arrived around 10:00 pm, and the girls were in bed by then. He said to me, "Look, I was forced to come here." I asked him, "Do you want to see the girls, even though they know they are already in bed? Well, I think he saw at least one of them, but he wrote in his report that he saw all the girls, and that was a lie. I don't remember of his name. He was a professor in psychiatry.
Question: Conchita said that during the interrogation phase she was never called to take an oath about the Bible, did you know that?
Answer: Yes, she talked to me about it, but they always tried to deceive her. They'd tried for hours for her to say things she didn't want to say, but the girl was smart. However, there were times when they got what they wanted in order to get denial on certain issues. They forced her to say things that weren't true for her.
Question: Have you ever taken the oath?
Answer: Never. We have to understand that the committee was doing everything possible to end these things, either by lawful or illicit means. Either way, they wanted to get it over with, because they just didn't believe anything that had happened.
Question: Why was the Bishop's commission so against the apparitions and why did they want to suppress it all?
Answer: For the old reason, work had to be done and they wanted to avoid having work.
Question: Have they never been sensitive to the wishes of Our Lady?
Answer: No. Even then, Our Lady's message was being fulfilled. Let's say they directly followed the prophecy in which it said that many bishops and priests were on their way to perdition.
Interview, Part V: Other Incidents
Through this interview with "Needles", we learned a little more about other incidents that occurred in Garabandal that are not written in any book. In addition, since Father Valentine knew Father Luis Andreu closely, and spoke to him shortly before his death, he was able to give us his insight into his personality.
Question: Do you remember any incident that happened in Garabandal during the time of the apparitions and is not reported in any book?
Answer: Yes, there are a lot of details, but I have no idea if they are in a book or not. For example, during an apparition, the girls presented to Our Lady a mother of pearl crucifix. The children were heard to say, "Oh, it's a crucifix from Burgos." And indeed it was. It was precisely a representation of a mother-of-pearl crucifix that is highly revered in Burgos. How could children know about this detail? Even I didn't know there was such a crucifix! The other day, when Conchita was ecstatic, I heard her say, "Oh, here are two priests present, Father Valentine and one other." At that point I turned behind me but saw no priest. When the apparition was over, a civilian man knocked on my door to tell me he was a priest. The girl had said there were two priests. How could she know that another priest was there if he was dressed in civil?
Once a Dominican priest came by bus to Garabandal. It was from Oviedo. He came because there were people who wanted him to come there. He came in a lot of fun and played a lot with the situation. Then one of the girls began offering the crucifix to everyone to kiss him. He later told me that at that time he thought, "If this is truly supernatural, the ecstatic girl will return to her normal state as soon as she reaches my brink." When she reached her edge, the girl returned to her normal state. Then he withdrew and began to cry. People who saw him cry began to play with him: "Are you kidding? Why are you crying? He replied, Please let me be, I'm very serious." There are hundreds of cases like this.
Question: It is well known that Father Valentim met Father Luís Andreu, the only person who saw in advance, the great miracle that will one day happen in Garabandal. Can you tell us what he told you the day he saw the miracle and died?
Answer: Yes, Father Luis has come here many times. He never said a word. He would come, watch events, take notes, and leave. He never said anything to me except that last day. That day (August 8, 1961), I had to leave to say goodbye to a niece, who was a nun. When Father Luis arrived at Cosio I said to him: "Here is the key to the Church of St. Sebastian where you can hold Mass. I will not be there today, if you want you can stay there." He returned to Cosio around midnight. In the square of Cosío he said to me: "This day was for me a very certain prueva!" Then he left and left for Reinosa, eventually dying on his return trip home. These were your last words that addressed me. I was quite surprised, because until then, he had never talked to me
At the end of the interview, we asked Father Marichalar:
Question: Do you want to say anything to all the people who promote Garabandal's message?
Answer: The message should be spread all over the world. Of course the most important thing is to deliver the message. It does not matter at all to spread the message around the world if we do not actually comply with it.
Needles magazine wishes to express our heartfelt thanks to Don Valentim Marichalar for the privilege we had in this interview. By discussing these issues with Father Marichalar, we gained a deeper understanding of the events that took place at Garabandal in this great Marian apparition. The Father has agreed to answer a series of questions that will be useful for now and for the future.
On June 15, 1976, in Garabandal, "Needles" magazine had the privilege and honor of being able to interview Father Valentim Marichalar, parish priest of Garabandal at the time of the apparitions between 1961 and 1965. This was his first public interview. once having been prevented from discussing these issues for a few years.
His willingness to answer these questions shows a new opening by the Bishop of Santander regarding the events that took place in that Spanish village. This new opportunity to ask Father Valentine Marichalar a series of questions is of great significance to all garabandalistas, as he was an important witness to the apparitions at Garabandal. The priest was an intelligent observer, an impartial witness and a shrewd examiner who sought the truth, daily recording all the events there. He made his final judgment on the subject on the basis of his foundations in theology, his observations of events, and his familiarity with the seers and their families.
Father Marichalar used various methods to question the seers, transmitting everything he analyzed to the local Bishop. Despite not being questioned by either the Bishop or the commission that "analyzed" the events there, Father Marichalar nevertheless undertook a series of in-depth investigations, feeling that this work would be what the commission wanted for the matter to be addressed. resolved as soon as possible.
He accurately detailed all the evidence Our Lady gave him as proof of the authenticity of the apparitions. He also relied on the spirituality of the girls and the village and mentioned a number of facts and situations that occurred in that period that are not in the books on Garabandal. Although he was not an eyewitness to the miracle of the host that took place in Garabandal on July 18, 1962, he nevertheless reported the testimony of other priests who witnessed that fact in Garabandal that day.
It was also quite significant to know about their willingness to want both the Warning and the future Miracle to happen quickly, so that they could "close" the matter, placing these appearances on the same level as those of Fatima and Lourdes.
Interview, Part II: Proof Signs
Father Valentim, like many other witnesses to the events of Garabandal, asked Our Lady for some signs to prove the authenticity of the apparitions. In many situations, such as that of the priest, this signal was to receive the crucifix kissing by the girls, in a state of ecstasy. Father Valentim reports two episodes that he believes were signs given by Our Lady.
Question: Have you ever asked Our Lady to give you a sign as proof?
Answer: Yes. Our Lady gave me one of these signs at one in the morning. That day I was too tired and said to myself, "Well, I hope Our Lady can enlighten me about this. I can't walk that much longer." I asked him if this were true, that one of the girls would come to him that very night while he was sleeping to wake me up and kiss the crucifix. After that, I went to bed thinking, "Let's see how this will be clarified." In the middle of the note, Mari-Loli, ecstatic, accompanied by writer Sanchez Ventura and a small group of people, knocked on my bedroom door. When I opened the door she turned to face me, smiled at me and then gave me the crucifix to kiss. This was a very strong signal for me. How did the girl know she was in that house and in that room? It would be very difficult for anyone to know where or what family I was living in, since I had arrived in the village three days earlier than expected. Everyone thought I was residing in my old direction of Garabandal. On the basis of all this, how was it possible for her to know which room she was in, since in that corridor there were still four more rooms, all identical? I was in the third, the one she hit. How did she know she was there?
Question: Did you have any more questions?
Answer: Evidence, yes. Once I left Garabandal for another village as a kind of punishment, I said to myself, "Well, what will happen next, won't I be there to see?" I was worried. The day I was leaving Garabandal, the girls came to me and told me that during a certain date, there would be no apparitions, anything like two months. I replied, "Well, if I can't go back to Garabandal, I won't be able to see, we'll see what will happen." Then I left. Later I returned to Garabandal on the exact date that the girls had announced that the apparitions would happen again.
Interview, Part IV: The Host Miracle, the Warning, and the Future Miracle
We feel the need to ask questions about the miracle of the host in order to make strong enough arguments that prove its truth and authenticity. The priest did not witness this miracle, but reports on the testimony of other priests who were present on that day. The remaining questions will be addressed taking into account the subject of the message itself, the Warning and the future Miracle.
Question: Did you see the miracle of the host?
Answer: No, I didn't see it. That night, because it was too late and very tired, I went to bed. But eight priests were present, one was a Jesuit and another was a priest from a diocese. I said to them, "Watch and watch to see what will happen." Shortly after going to bed, they came to call me to say, "It really happened !!", and they were living witnesses to that event. The miracle happened just as Conchita had said that day. It happened when it was 15 minutes to one in the morning, but as the clock was one hour early officially the miracle happened the same day it had been predicted.
Question: How has the news about the miracle of the host affected you?
Answer: I was very impressed, very much!
Question: What part of the message impresses you the most?
Answer: The most important part for me was knowing that they had full respect for the priests, considering them as saints. And when I heard them say in the message "that the Church is on the wrong track, the Priests, the Bishops, the Cardinals, that was decisive for me, because all the respect that the girls had for the priests, it was impossible for them to have said and they did it all for themselves.In other words they believed that the priests did not sin.
Question: How do you think the bishops, cardinals and priests, according to the message, are on the road to perdition?
Answer: It's very clear why they are doing everything in reverse. They are denying the Eucharist, the virginity of the Virgin Mary and the holiness of the Pope. They are denying all this.
Question: Do you believe that the prophecy of the Bishops, Cardinals and Priests are on the road to perdition, is it already fulfilled?
Answer: Yes, it is being fulfilled to the letter. It was impossible for girls to know about all this, because even I at that time never thought that such situations existed.
Question: Did the events of Garabandal do anything to make you a better priest?
Answer: Of course I do.
Question: Are you looking forward to the Warning and the Miracle?
Answer: I really want them for sure, because Our Lady doesn't let things hang in the air. They will have to come true one day. She has to finish this subject.