San Sebastian of Garabandal is a small village in northern Spain, in the Santander province, near the Picos de Europa mountains, a rugged and beautiful setting. It is 600m above sea level, and to get there involves a climb on steep and poor roads. Around 300 people live in the impressively quiet town.
On June 18, 1961, four girls Conchita, Jacinta, Marie Loli and Mari Cruz all from poor families, were playing on the outskirts of the town. Suddenly they heard a thunder-like noise and the bright figure of the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared. On the following days it apparently reappeared in the same place. It is said that he told them that on July 2 the Virgin Mary would appear and that was the beginning of the Garabandal events.
News spread quickly through the region and on July 2 the town was crowded. All social levels were captivated and people came from out of town, among them physicians and priests. At 6pm they went to the place where they had seen the angel and Our Lady is said to have appeared, accompanied by two angels, St Michael to her right and St Gabriel to her left. Our Lady manifested herself as Our Lady of Carmel and spoke about many things with the seers and recited the rosary with them.
The day after her first apparition, Our Lady is said to have appeared without the angels but, more importantly, with the infant Jesus. After speaking for half an hour, she disappeared.
Before her last appearance on November 13, 1965, the Virgin prophesized the occurrence of three great supernatural events. Conchita was left with a clear warning from God a greater miracle to come.
Our Lady granted Conchita permission to announce the date of the miracle eight days in advance. With the present means of communication and travel, eight days are sufficient for people around the world to gather. The day of The Miracle may be the last opportunity given by God and may also be Our Lady’s last effort to save the world from the punishment already threatened.