The Alleged Apparitions at Garabandal, Spain some red flags

Starting in 1961, four girls reported four years of visions primarily of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. They got messages in locutions as well.

The vision boasts of the coming of a great future sign and chastisement from God.

Despite the bishops saying the visions are untrue Garabandal still has a following today.  Many lie that the Church is open to changing its mind.

A source says, "A succession of bishops of Santander, the diocese in which Garabandal is located, have condemned the apparition, as can be seen here: The Alleged Apparitions at Garabandal, Spain
Conchita and the rest of the children signed a document with the bishop agreeing with the findings of the Church and promising never to promote the apparitions again. Does that sound like the Church is open to the possibility that these visions are from heaven? The original visionaries have reportedly lived up to this signed document, but the Garabandal promoters have not."

The source says,

A locution told the children that Pope Paul VI would live to see the Great Miracle. This is problematic, because Pope Paul VI entered eternity on August 6, 1978.

In Conchita's diary one can read (p.164, Dutch edition) that Pope Paul VI knew the date of the Great Miracle.

The “Virgin” promised that St. Padre Pio would witness the miracle. St. Padre Pio entered eternity on September 23, 1968.

One of the locutions received by the children included the prediction that there would be only three more popes until "the end of the times." Pope John XXIII was the pope at that time. Since then, we have had Popes Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, and Pope John Paul II.

Since Pope John Paul II was Pope John XXIII's third successor, Pope John Paul II, according to the prophecies associated with the visions at Garabandal, should have been the last pope. This is problematic, because Pope John Paul II entered eternity on April 2, 2005, there has been no warning and no miracle, and Pope Benedict XVI has been validly elected by the conclave of cardinals and has been the reigning pontiff since April 19, 2005.

Sacred Scripture Teaches:

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, `How may we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?' – when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:15-20)


Conchita reportedly admitted to Father J. Pelletier that she herself had stolen the Host from the tabernacle for the so-called mystical communion.

Just before the visions in Garabandal the four seers had stolen apples. The first vision reportedly began when the girls decided to steal some apples from a schoolteacher's tree. An unseen force reportedly forced the girls to their knees. In this first apparition they saw what appeared to be a holy angel.

Conchita was reportedly often caught in contradictions.

The children were reportedly “given” the “Child Jesus” to pass around to one another in a manner very much like the way one would see children handling a toy doll. The children also claim to have touched the “Virgin” many times. However, they acknowledged that they could not feel anything during these occasions.

After seeing the children apparently passing some unseen object around, which was later said to be the Infant Jesus, people asked the girls if they actually touched the Infant Jesus.

The girls replied, “No, you cannot touch either the Blessed Mother or the Infant.”

“But how can this be?” the people asked.

The girls explained, “Well, you see what you hold, but you feel nothing; you feel no weight. If you stretch your hand to touch Our Lady, your hand can go no further because Our Lady is there, but you feel nothing.”

The girls reportedly claimed that they gave sweets to the Infant Jesus.

The “Virgin” asked that the girls not bring blessed sacramentals [rosaries, crucifixes, etc.], because she wanted to bless these objects herself. The vision is reported to have blessed and kisses hundreds of objects. This is troubling for two reasons: first, because only blessed sacramentals affect the devil and fallen angels; second, the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a priest and therefore she cannot confer a priestly blessing.

Conchita reportedly said the Blessed Mother played hide and seek with her.

The Blessed Virgin is also said to have helped find shoes which had been lost by some of the pilgrims.

The Blessed Mother was said to have told the children that she perfumed the brushes of her slippers.

The visions caused the children to perform unnatural movements with their bodies. The girls were observed and photographed levitating and having ecstatic falls where they were frozen in unnatural positions from which those around them could not move them. On one occasion, one of the children was reportedly lifted over the top of a building. They were led up and down a rocky hill, walking backwards and forwards, with their heads tilted back in an awkward position while moving awkwardly and at an unnatural pace, hundreds of feet to meet the vision. During every vision, the children were forced to their knees in what has been described by some as a quick, undignified manor. Frequently the girls were forced with their heads tilted backwards in a position that appeared abnormal and uncomfortable.

All eight bishops of Santander have, from 1961 up to now, supported by the Holy See in Rome, publicly declared that there is no evidence that supernatural apparitions have taken place in Garabandal.

On October 11, 1996 the new bishop, Jose Vilaplana, again placed his prohibition on the alleged apparitions and said it is final.

"Some people have been coming directly to the Diocese of Santander (Spain) asking about the alleged apparitions of Garabandal and especially for the answer about the position of the hierarchy of the Church concerning these apparitions.

I need to communicate that:

All the bishops of the diocese since 1961 through 1970 agreed that there was no supernatural validity for the apparitions.

In the month of December of 1977 Bishop Dal Val of Santander, in union with his predecessors, stated that in the six years of being bishop of Santander there were no new phenomena.

The same bishop, Dal Val, let a few years go by to allow the confusion or fanaticism to settle down, and then he initiated a commission to examine the apparitions in more depth. The conclusion of the commission agreed with the findings of the previous bishops. That there was no supernatural validity to such apparitions.

At the time of the conclusions of the study, in 1991, I was installed bishop in the diocese. So during my visit to Rome, as limina visit which happened in the same year, I presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith the study and I asked for pastoral direction concerning this case.

On Nov. 28, 1992, the Congregation sent me an answer saying that after examining the documentation, there was no need for direct intervention (by the Vatican) to take away the jurisdiction of the ordinary bishop of Santander in this case. Such a right belongs to the ordinary. Previous declarations of the Holy See agree in this finding. In the same letter they suggested that if I find it necessary to publish a declaration, that I reconfirm that there was no supernatural validity in the alleged apparitions, and this will make a unanimous position with my predecessors.

Given that the declarations of my predecessors who studied the case have been clear and unanimous, I don’t find it necessary to have a new public declaration that would raise notoriety about something which happened so long ago. However, I find it necessary to rewrite this report as a direct answer to the people who ask for direction concerning this question, which is now final: I agree with [and] I accept the decision of my predecessors and the direction of the Holy See.

In reference to the Eucharistic celebration in Garabandal, following the decision of my predecessors, I ruled that Masses can be celebrated only in the parish church and there will be no references to the alleged apparitions and visiting priests who want to say Mass must have approval from the pastor, who has my authorization. It’s my wish that this information is helpful to you.

My regards in Christ,
Jose Vilaplana
Bishop of Santander
Oct. 11, 1996


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