A TRIP TO LOURDES
Conchita received a telegram from Lourdes on October 15, 1968. She was urged to be there on October 17. Providentially, Father Alfred Combe of France just arrived in Garabandal with Bernard L’Huillier. Conchita asked him if he would drive her and her mother,Aniceta, to Lourdes. Father Combe agreed and here is his account of what transpired once they got there.
On October 17, 1968, we arrived at the Hotel Cluny, Lourdes. This was the rendezvous stated in the telegram to Conchita. We arrived there about 1:00 p.m.
Several Capuchin Fathers and Mr. Bevelacqua from Naples, Italy, welcomed us with joy. But first we wanted to get settled and one of the Capuchins promptly took care of it.
Our hosts and a group of important pilgrims from Naples were lodging at this hotel. A Miss Luigina of Rome had come to Lourdes with the pilgrimage. She carried a personal message that Padre Pio of San Giovanni had written for Conchita before his death. But no sooner had she arrived at Lourdes when she had to be hospitalized, gravely ill. A telegram had been sent to Garabandal requesting Conchita to come immediately to Lourdes. I confirmed what Conchita had told me during the trip. Miss Luigina was a friend of Conchita’s who had received her into her home during Conchita’s famous visit to Rome at the beginning of 1966.
Very kindly our hosts asked us to dine with them before going to the hospital, and we accepted. But this was not a simple matter.
The news of the arrival of Conchita and her mother was passed from mouth to ear with the speed of light and despite all the orders of absolute secrecy that I had given to all; we had to introduce Conchita and her mother in a room at the restaurant. A double row of people, in profound silence and admiration, hemmed us in.
Afterwards, Conchita confided to me that she had been embarrassed to death.