GRIEF over the recent death of my younger brother, who had looked up to me as second father, somehow got into my writing through a significant error in my last column regarding the Marian apparitions in Garabandal, Spain in the 1960s. It was in the paragraph on the probable date of the Great Miracle prophesied by the Blessed Mother. Instead of the Miracle, I wrongly referred to the Warning which, Garabandal visionaries had said, would happen before the Miracle no more than a year apart.
The error elicited outrage from Mr. Glenn Hudson of Massapequa, New York and administrator of the Facebook group The Message of Garabandal, and an acquaintance of Garabandal visionary Conchita.
He wanted me to rewrite the erroneous paragraph as follows:
"Shifting to the Garabandal apparitions: in one of my recent columns, I quoted some researchers theorizing that the prophesied “Great Miracle,” which the Blessed Mother said would happen on a Thursday evening 8:30 p.m. (Spanish time), between the 8th-16th, on the feast day of a young male martyr of the Eucharist."
Indeed, that's how the paragraph should have gone, except that it's the first time for me to hear the mention of "male martyr" instead of just "martyr of the Eucharist" regardless of gender.
Anyways, thanks to Mr. Hudson.
Meanwhile, reader Hank Earl wrote me with a proposal thus: "It would be really great if you could become, or be a leader of a Catholic lay group here in Angeles City, where we can get together to talk and read about the current Catholic mystic writers, and maybe be our leader for starting a refuge here in Angeles City for us Catholics, we need you badly to help us in this end times. I'm sure you're very busy, but it's because of you I went to confession and doing rosary, and back to mass. I even now have my baptized as a baby Catholic brother coming back into the church because of your writing."
I thank God for your admirable transformation Mr. Earl, and I feel strongly that it's because you have been chosen to be among the remnants needed to hold on to faith through the coming years of unprecedented tribulations.
Since I started with my Marian writing mission decades ago, I usually pray to decipher Divine designs for me. I think that so far, my daily humble engagements are my mission, on top of writing this small column: nursing my 98-year- old mother and being hands-on in raising three teenaged nieces even long before they were orphaned by my brother's death.
But please do not cease praying Mr. Earl. Let God unravel to you the specifics of your mission, no matter how humble. Keep faith and God will direct you; there will be trials, including severe ones, but keep your eye on God and life everlasting.
From Garabandal, I am fast-forwarding to the famous Medjugorje where, as in the Spanish hamlet, the Blessed Mother was reported to have conveyed secrets to the visionaries. Each seer was supposed to receive 10 secrets, though it is believed that some of the secrets differ for each.
Apart from visionary Vicka, seer Mirjana also had words to say about what will happen when the secrets begin to occur. On this, Mirjana virtually gave hints when she commented: “Certainly no one wants to see disasters, anguish, and bad luck. I do not think this kind of thing attracts people at all. Why should people go and see things like that? One thing is going to see a sign, another is going to see suffering or a disaster. Who would, for example, go to Italy to see a dam collapse?"
On October 26, 1985, Mirjana was interviewed on the same subject. The interviewer was Fr. Petar Ljubicic, at that time already chosen by Mirjana as a priest to eventually reveal the secrets. Mirjana told Fr. Ljubicic that the first secret “will not be a pleasant thing” and will be “something people will hear about for a long time”.
"It will be something that everyone, everywhere, will immediately hear of it," she said, adding that the first secret will drive people to think about God.
It was on October 25, 1985 that Mirjana saw the first secret in the form of images as if projected on slides. She later said: “This shook me more than anything else. This was, of course, due to seeing the first secret. If people saw the first secret, as was shown to me yesterday, everyone would certainly be shocked enough to look at themselves and everything around them in a completely new way. It will lead to an 'illumination of conscience'. Now I know things that are not particularly pleasant. I believe that if everyone knew the same things, each of these people would be shocked and look at our world in a completely different light."
She added: “It will last for a while. It will be visible, it is necessary to shake the world a little. It will cause the world to stop and think."
Fr. Ljubicic also asked Mirjana the event of the first secret could be dismissed as a natural phenomenon, and Mirjana replied “Perhaps some convinced unbelievers could say something similar after the first and second (secrets)."
On the first two secrets, Mirjana added: “It will not be anything as huge as what will come next. These first two secrets are not so serious and hard. What I want to say is, yes, they are serious, but not as much as the rest. What follows are the secrets that are really unpleasant. I would be happy if everyone finally understood it. I cannot tell them much more, but once they begin to be fulfilled, then it will be too late."
Mirjana went on to tell Fr. Ljubicic: “The Holy Virgin told me that it is necessary to pray a lot until the first secret is revealed. But besides this, it is necessary to make sacrifices as much as possible, to help others as far as it is within our abilities, and to fast, especially now before the first secret. She said that we are obliged to prepare ourselves “She not only asks but begs everyone to convert, to pray, to fast. For those who do not believe, they have no idea of what awaits them and this is why, like their mother, she is in deep distress for them.”
“It is not enough simply to pray. It is not enough simply and quickly to say a few prayers so that we can say that one has prayed and done one’s duty. What she wants from us is to pray from the bottom of our soul, it is dialogue with God. This is her message.”