IT IS enough for me that St. Padre Pio, in his earthly sojourn, had confirmed the Marian apparitions in Garabandal, Spain (1961-65). It is enough for me that in his pontificate, St. People Paul VI also did, by giving his blessing to Garabandal visionary Conchita at the Vatican.
Three of the Garabandal visionaries are married now and have continued to live exemplary Catholic lives. One of them, Mari Loli, passed away as a "victim soul," also after having lived a life worthy of emulation.
On these bases, I have always given credence to the prophecies relayed there to the visionaries by the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this column, I have frequently cited three of the prophecies and even capitalized each for their being major events: the Warning, the Great Miracle and the Chastisement.
These prophecies have also been cited in other supernatural events of our times, especially the Warning which was given details by Jesus Christ Himself through St. Faustina Kowalska of the Divine Mercy.
Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother, in their apparitions, have frequently advised us not to focus too much on speculating when the three events will happen, but rather on the call for conversion. Yet we are not short of hints of approximately when at least the first two prophecies will occur.
If you think you will no longer be around to witness even just the first event because you're in your 60's or 70's or 80's or, providentially, in your healthy 90's, you just could be wrong.
Visionary Conchita was assigned by the Blessed Mother to announce eight days in advance, through a priest of her choice, the occurrence of the Great Miracle which will happen WITHIN A YEAR after the Warning.
Now take note of this important hint: Conchita was born February 7, 1949. She is now 71 years old and yet remains destined to fulfill her duty of announcing eight days in advance the Great Miracle. This has a lot to say about the question of when.
So my advice to fellow seniors: we have a lot to prepare for and look forward to; we must play our roles where we are regardless of circumstances in our lives, in accordance with the requirements of the Blessed Mother in Garabandal as we live in the most extraordinary of times.
The Blessed Mother appealed to us from Garabandal thus: "We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up and if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us."
Much has been said in this space about the Warning. What about the Miracle? Let's take it from Conchita herself.
Conchita was allowed to reveal that the Miracle would take place on a Thursday at 8:30 in the evening (probably Garabandal time) on the feast of a martyr dedicated to the Holy Eucharist. It would be visible to everyone in the area of Garabandal at the time and it could be photographed and televised, but not touched and that permanent sign of the Miracle would remain at the site of the first apparitions there in June, 1961.
While much has been written about the Warning in this column, allow me to repeat what Conchita said about it: "this experience will involve every person in the world...It will be like an interior realization of our sins. Believers, as well as unbelievers, wherever they are at the time, will see and feel it."
She said all would stop: the internet, even airplanes in mid air and cars at full speed. But they will go on as usual after the Warning, except that every person would be affected by the Warning.
If not enough conversion happens after the Warning and the Great Miracle, the Chastisement would follow. But there is a lack of hint on the time between the Great Miracle and the Chastisement.
The Garabandal visionaries, however, were given a vision of the Chastisement. Before she passed on, Mari Loli, reacted to the vision thus: "We were absolutely terrified. I cannot find words to explain it... We saw the rivers turn to blood. Fire was falling from heaven. And something worse still, which I cannot reveal at this time."
Meanwhile, last August 25, our Blessed Mother told mystic Gisella Cardia as follows:
"My children, thank you for being gathered here in prayer. Beloved children, your prayers reach my heart. Testify with faith, because whoever has an open heart will come even closer to God and to prayer, yet many of my children will turn away, because they have sold their souls to Satan. My children, pray for the world and for the Church, because everything is heading towards self-destruction. Pray for those who are powerful on earth, who, as happened in the time of Herod, will strike my innocent children. Pray, because fiery blazes will invade Italy. Now I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen."
Then also, after my column titled "Is Fr. Michel fake after all?," I have to answer the question: Do I still believe in Fr. Michel Rodriguez? Yes, I have kept faith in him, although with a bit of caution, an ounce of "wait and see" as he has made prophecies that, he himself has said, would occur soon, as in "this fall." He was addressing himself, I suppose, to an American audience when he said that something "great" would happen then. In the Philippines, fall season in the west is about September to November.
While criticisms of Fr. Michel were made by top theologians, they were refuted by other equally respected theologians, point by point. Us poor laymen could only keep silent, in watch over events to come, as juxtaposed to Fr. Michel's prophecies.