Are the prophecies about to be fulfilled?
A number of world events are coinciding in these times that seem to confirm that the fulfilment of the prophecies of Garabandal is at hand. In short, the prophecies refer to a period of tribulation for the world during which a Warning will be given to all of mankind simultaneously. Within a year of the Warning, a Miracle will occur in Garabandal which will leave a visible sign for all to see. Following the Miracle, if humanity still fails to turn to the Lord, there will be a fearful Chastisement on a global scale.
In a moment, we will look at some pointers which indicate that the fulfilment of these prophecies is imminent. One of the most ominous of these is a statement by visionary, Mari-Loli, who said that Our Lady had revealed that the Warning would occur at a time when “Russia will suddenly and unexpectedly overrun a great part of the free world”. After the fall of the USSR in 1991, many people thought that such a prediction had become farfetched. Yet, as we watch, Russia has launched an unprovoked invasion on one of the largest countries in Europe, almost precipitating a global disaster with their reckless bombing of an enormous nuclear reactor on the night of March 3rd.
The Visions of Garabandal, 1961-65
Between 1961 and 1965, four girls in the hamlet of Garabandal in northern Spain claimed to have seen Our Lady thousands of times. Though the apparitions were never formally approved by the Church, the visions were accompanied by a vast number of phenomena that defy natural explanation. These include levitations, ecstatic marches, reading of thoughts, insensitivity to pain, locutions, healings, and supernatural knowledge. Medical professionals, including doctors and psychiatrists, witnessed an enormous multitude of such events and testified to them in writing.
While it seemed very clear to the onlookers in Garabandal that something other-worldly was happening, the local diocese of Santander took a very negative approach to the events. Fr. Jose Luis Saavedra, a priest of the order of the Home of the Mother, has done his doctoral dissertation on the apparitions in Garabandal. He found that the investigation of the visions carried out by the local diocese did not follow standard norms of impartiality. The original “investigation” seemed intent on discrediting the visions out of fear of possible negative repercussions for the Church. Then, sensationally, in May 1983, Dr Luis Morales Noriega, the medical expert for the diocesan investigation, retracted his previously negative opinion and acknowledged the authenticity of the apparitions. To everyone’s surprise, after years of negativity from the local ecclesiastical authorities, Dr Morales stated that his new positive declaration was made with the permission of the bishop of Santander.
Messages of Garabandal
Unlike Medjugorje, the messages of Garabandal are very few in number. The first message was read aloud by the girls on October 18, 1961: "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."
The second message from Our Lady, announced on June 18, 1965, was received by Conchita González alone: “As my Message of the 18th of October has not been complied with, and as it has not been made known to the world, I am telling you that this is the last one. Previously, the Cup was filling; now, it is brimming over. Many cardinals, bishops and priests are following the road to perdition, and with them they are taking many more souls. Ever less importance is being given to the Holy Eucharist. We should turn the wrath of God away from us by our own efforts. If you ask His forgiveness with a sincere heart, He will pardon you.”
Many people at the time rejected this second message as being entirely implausible. How could Our Lady, of all people, claim that cardinals, bishops and priests were on the road to damnation? From our perspective of sixty years later, however, we can see that this message contained a prophetic truth that would never have been suspected in the 1960s. The Church has been rocked in recent decades by the revelations of the evil abuses perpetrated by bishops and priests alike. No-one foresaw this possibility in 1965, leading many to dismiss Conchita’s announcement as a human fabrication.
The Prophecies of Garabandal
According to the visionaries, after a period of tribulation, the Warning and Miracle will occur in the same year. Conchita has described the Warning as a “correction of conscience” during which everyone in the world will be given a revelation of the state of their souls before God. We will see the consequences of our sins and will feel sorrow for them. The Warning will be a moment of great grace for mankind, a true penetration of the Holy Spirit into our inmost hearts, but it will be a traumatic event when we recognize the gravity of our sins and our distance from God.
The Miracle will take place in Garabandal within a year of the Warning. Our Lady has revealed the date to Conchita, who will announce it eight days in advance. In 1971, while talking to a group of Americans, she offered this revealing information: “It will take place on or between the eighth and sixteenth of March, April or May. It will not happen in February or June. It will be on a Thursday at 8:30 p.m. It will coincide with a great ecclesiastical event in the Church. It will be on the Feast-day of a young martyred saint of the Eucharist.”
Following the Miracle, humanity will have the opportunity to amend its ways and return to the Lord. If humanity continues to pursue the godless materialism that we are currently pursuing, then a terrible Chastisement will fall on the world.
Indications that the events are at hand
Apart from the specific indications given by Conchita regarding the date of the Miracle, the visionaries made a number of other statements about the fulfilment of the prophecies (details can be found online at various websites such as www.garabandal.org and http://www.garabandal.ie/our-ladys-prophesies/).
The prophecies will be fulfilled at the time of an important Synod
Our Lady told Conchita that the prophecies would come to pass at a time when an important Synod was being held in the Church. This fact has been transmitted reliably to us by Mother Nieves Garcia, head of Conchita’s boarding school in the aftermath of the visions. In an interview, Mother Nieves Garcia stated that the Virgin told Conchita that an important Synod will be held just before the events take place. When Conchita confided the story to her aunt about 1962, the aunt asked, “Do you refer to a council?” (the Vatican Council was just beginning at this time). Conchita replied, “No, the Virgin didn’t say council, she said Synod, and I think Synod is a small council.” As Mother Nieves Garcia remarked, nobody had even heard of a Synod in the early 1960s; it seems impossible that a twelve year-old girl could talk about something so new in the life of the Church; in addition Conchita defined the Synod quite accurately as a “small council”.
Pope Paul VI established the Synod of Bishops in September 1965, just two months before the final apparition in Garabandal. Since that time, the Synod has met every few years. Evidently, Our Lady was not referring to one of these regular gatherings of the Synod. After all, a revelation that a prophecy will come to pass on a year in which a regularly scheduled event occurs is hardly a revelation at all. But Conchita was told that the Synod in question would be an “important” one, and the current Synod on Synodality is certainly that. For the first time ever, it will be a Synod with a worldwide dimension. Every diocese is inviting its faithful to participate. The level of consultation and dialogue will be on a scale never seen before in the history of the Church. The process has already begun, will continue during various phases over the coming months, and culminate next year in Rome. Since the Synod of Bishops was instituted in 1965, there has been no other more likely candidate for the “important Synod” that – in the words of Mother Nieves Garcia - would constitute a “pre-Warning”.
The events will take place after the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI
On June 3, 1963, as Conchita made her way to the church to pray for the soul of Pope John XXIII who had just died, she heard the voice of Our Lady saying, “After this pope, there are only three left. Then it will be the end of times.” Soon after, the Virgin Mary specified to Conchita that there would be also be a fourth pope who would “govern the Church for a very short time”. This last prediction is remarkable because it was fulfilled in the thirty-three day papacy of John Paul I, thus supporting the reliability of the rest of the prophecy of the popes from Our Lady. In fact, the short pontificate of John Paul I can be taken as a sign that the first affirmation of Our Lady is also true: that after the third pope (Benedict XVI), the end of times will begin.
Many commentators have discussed the meaning of “end of times”. As Fr. José Luis Saavedra remarks, we have no reason to think that the world will cease to exist, or that there will be no more popes after this time. Rather, the Church will enter the decisive period of her history in which the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, as foretold at Fatima.
The Warning will occur after world tribulation of a particular sort
The visionaries describe this period of tribulation in various ways. As stated earlier, Russia will unexpectedly invade part of the free world. In a number of statements, the girls describe the tribulation as involving the “return” of communism. In the 1960s, there was no sign of communism going away anytime soon. In fact, at that point it was attaining its greatest level of global influence. For the girls to say that the tribulation would involve the “return” of communism indicates that they had been told of future events that would take place after communism had in some sense “gone away”. From our point of view in 2022, that all makes perfect sense. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s marked the demise of the global leader of communism, the entity that had spread its errors throughout the entire world.
The attack by Russia on Ukraine could be interpreted as a manifestation of this “return” of communism. Putin, as an official of the KGB, was no mere functionary of the old communist regime. His boss, Yuri Andropov, ordered the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, and Putin has continued to protect the KGB since taking autocratic rule in Russia. From his public statements, it is clear that Putin hankers after the power once exercised by the Russia over the countries of the old Soviet Union.
In a real sense, communism “returns” with the megalomaniac behaviour of Vladimir Putin. However, there is a broader sense in which communism has begun to figure once again prominently in world affairs. Cultural Marxism, as manifested especial by critical race theory, gender ideology and radical feminism, has Western culture in its death grip. In recent decades, countries like Ireland have rejected the moral principles of the bible that were once enshrined in their Christian heritage. In their place, they have wholeheartedly embraced the worldview of cultural Marxism, enacting laws that allow permissive abortion and “marriage” between people of the same sex.
Communism rears its head not only in the affairs of nations, however. Bishops and theologians have become utterly contaminated as well. The chairman of the German Bishop’s Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, stated recently that Church teaching was wrong regarding the inadmissibility of sex outside of marriage or between homosexuals. He claimed that sexual activity of this sort was perfectly fine from a moral point of view if carried out responsibly. In January, Cardinal Hollerich, the man that Pope Francis has placed in charge of the Synod on Synodality, stated that Church teaching on homosexuality is “false”. These are shocking examples of senior figures in the Church who have abandoned biblical anthropology and replaced it with a viewpoint that is based purely on the atheistic mores of contemporary culture.
There are other indications that the events are at hand. The visionaries stated that they would occur when churches would be closed and the faithful would be prevented from receiving the sacraments, which is something that has happened for the first time in history on a global level because of the pandemic.
If the prophecies of Garabandal are indeed at the point of fulfilment, what should we do? Well one thing we shouldn’t do is waste time trying to work out in detail the exact date of the Miracle. Much effort has been wasted on this task during the past sixty years. It is sufficient to be aware that the events will occur during the lifetimes of many of us. After all, Conchita is already seventy-two years old and she has been entrusted with announcing the date to the world. Our primary response, surely, should be to heed the messages entrusted to the girls: that our days be centred on prayer, penance and the Eucharist, and that we live uprightly. If we do this, then we can play our part in protecting the world from the Chastisement.