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 The Message of Garabandal 

Alberto's "alpargatas"
(mountain village running shoes)

gh   Glenn Hudson

Alberto's "alpargatas" (mountain village running shoes)

It all that happened during the ecstasies, one of the things that caught the attention of the villagers the most was how quickly the girls would run when they were in ecstasy. When they were out of ecstasy, they ran normally like any mountain girls would run, girls that were used to working hard, but they didn't run any faster than all the rest. However, when they were in ecstasy, they ran incredibly fast. They seemed to be taking normal steps, without running in any exaggerated manner. They didn't fly either, because their feet were touching the ground. Whoever tried to follow their pace found it to be impossible; not even the youngest, fittest boys in the whole village were able to keep up with them. When they were finally able to catch up, the girls were as if they'd made no effort whatsoever, while everyone else was sweating and out of breath. If that weren’t enough, as the girls were running, they didn't even look at the ground, which was all stones and mud, uneven and full of things to trip on. Their head was always looking up towards the vision.


Alberto Mazón was a young man at the summit of his physical strength. He was famous for being the fastest runner in the village. When his neighbors went down to the village to buy bread, salted sardines, or other non-perishable goods, they came back up talking about how fast the girls would run, and how nobody was able to keep up with them. Alberto found that odd, and one day he said to his wife “Manolita, get my ‘alpargatas’ together; tonight I'm going to run alongside the girls.” Alpargatas are a type of shoe, with a sole made of esparto grass that was typical during the summer in Garabandal. Normally in Garabandal, everyone would use clogs - a rustic wooden shoe that protected from the cold and the mud - but to be able to run, the "alpargatas" were the best thing to wear.


That night, the girls had already received two interior calls from the Blessed Virgin. At any moment, they would leave their houses in ecstasy. With his "alpargatas" well tied, Alberto was waiting outside Loli's house ready to get running. When Loli's father, Ceferino, saw him he said, “Make sure your ‘alpargatas’ are well tied because you're going to need them.” Alberto replied very full of himself, “What for?” Ceferino said jokingly, “Because you're going to lose.” “We'll see about that,” replied Alberto.

Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of the girls leaving their houses. Alberto took off running as fast as he could, but he had only reached Rosarito's house (about 20 feet from Ceferino's) when he lost sight of the girl, who was already passing by Avelina’s house on the outskirts of the village, close to the sight where the visible Communion took place.

Since Alberto had an upright and noble heart, he had no problem in recognizing that he had lost. What was very clear to him afterwards was that once the girls had entered into ecstasy their bodies were capable of more than what was normal for the human nature. This didn't happen just once or twice, but during every apparition. As the villagers say, “Miracles? We saw pure miracles every single night.”

Last Update  May 27, 2024