By Fr. Eusebio De Pesquera
for NEEDLES – Spring, 1973
I think that this is the first time-and for the time being- the only one- in which this manifest presence has happened since the beginning of what is called the Marian Era, which began, one might say, with the apparition of the (Miraculous Medal) Virgin in Paris in 1830.
Garabandal, which we can already call “historic”, opens and closes with the intervention of St. Michael: June 18, 1961-June 18, 1965. Neither the little girls nor the witnesses could measure the importance of this fact. Let us see if we can.
Catholic teaching has always represented St. Michael as the first of all the celestial beings or spirits. He is the instrument of God in all the greatest of his undertakings. It is he who keeps watch at the head of all the elect: the guardian angel of the Synagogue in its day, and now of the Church. It is he, as “Prince of the heavenly Army,” who leads the front line of battle against the Powers of the abyss.
In the last book of Holy Scripture-the pages of which conclude the history of Salvation-St. Michael appears as the angel of the last and decisive battles. So, we may well wonder if we have entered the last and conclusive lap of history. The time when Satan was prevented “from harming the nations” (Apocalypse) has obviously come to an end. Today the nations who formed part of Christianity have either shamelessly apostasized, declaring themselves officially atheist, or have ended up by accepting, in law, an official ignoring of God.
Leo XIII had his own unknown and powerful reasons for ordering the recitation at the end of all Masses, simple or solemn, the prayer which opens with the words, “Archangel St. Michael, defend us in the day of battle.” This prayer was maintained until, just during the days of Garabandal, the Hierarchy thought it opportune to eliminate the prayers after Mass. That does not authorize us to think that such prayers were useless or that we can now neglect the invocations to St. Michael as if the battle were already won: the situation within the Church and the signs of the times lead us rather to think the contrary.
The great days have only just begun, perhaps?… and the Woman enemy of the Dragon and the Angel of the final battles are about to engage in a really decisive action in our midst.? Let us give close attention to what they may demand of us.
One evening in September, 1961 Dona Maria Herrero de Gallardo happened to be alone with Conchita in the latter’s kitchen. Seizing the opportunity, Dona Maria said:
“Tell me about the Virgin, Conchita.”–What do you want me to tell you? There is so much to say! One detail is very interesting: the Virgin, when she recites the Gloria, bows her head with extraordinary reverence. Another detail: her way of looking at you; she gives you the impression that, rather than looking at you, she is looking at the whole world…and in such a way! No one else can give such a look!”
“And what do you say about St. Michael?”—“That everything began with him. He came for the first time on June 18, preceded by a flash of lightning and by a noise as of thunder which impressed us very much.”
“That doesn’t surprise me, Conchita. Don’t you know that St. Michael is the Prince of the heavenly Army, God’s standard-bearer, the conqueror of Satan, etc.? …– No, indeed I knew nothing about that.”
Who can say that the presence of such a one (at Garabandal ) does not point to the fact that we have entered the decisive times indicated in the last book of Holy Scripture?
One day, on the banks of the Tigris, Daniel, the old prophet of the eschatological times to come, was told: “In these days, there will arise Michael, who remains near the children of your people; he is the great Prince. It will be a time of anguish such as has never been experienced before” (Dan 12:1-3).
In all sincerity, friends, I am sharing with you my impression that the presence, so manifest, of St. Michael in the mystery of Garabandal, gives us much food for thought.