(For the Greater Glory of God)
That Could Not Lift Mari Loli
From that moment on, his life changed radically.
A letter to Father Ramon Andreu dated December 29, 1963
I am writing to you since a while ago I heard of a conversion from Garabandal that is as spectacular as that of Violeta. These are the two cases from there that have impressed me the most.
It deals with a man approximately 45 years old, a court secretary who, according to what he says, before his conversion did not go to Mass and made light of anything that pertained to religion.
In his office, an excursion was planned to visit Garabandal and he agree to go and spend a few days in the area without any belief that anything supernatural was taking place there.
During the trip he joked and said that what he wanted to do was lift the girls from the ground [Note: he must have heard of how heavy they became in their ecstasies and how difficult they were to lift.] since he had been a weight-lifter and had lifted more than 100 kilos (220 pounds).
So, when he arrived in Garabandal, he spoke with Ceferino [Mari Loli's father] and asked if he could attempt to lift Mari Loli [while in ecstasy] to which Ceferino agreed.
He tried to give the impression of not taking it all too seriously, but he must have made a tremendous effort to lift the girl, trying two or three times, but all to no avail. The weightlifter couldn't budge Mari Loli in ecstasy. He was dumbfounded and said interiorly: "Little Virgin, if this is true, when I return to Madrid, I will find an object of the Virgin; he thought of a medal and three caramels, one for each of his daughters. He explained that he asked for this proof because he didn't think asking that he be given the cross [to kiss] would have been convincing enough since the girls in ecstasy were giving everyone the cross.
He didn't think any more about it and remained unimpressed as he went down from the village joking just as he had when he went up.
After he arrived in Madrid, he changed his clothes and, as he did every night, went down with his wife to a cafeteria telling her - she had not gone with him - that what he saw in Garabandal was of no importance. After drinking his coffee for a while, he made a movement and the chair skidded a bit. He looked down and under the chair was a rosary and three caramels.
From that moment on, he says, his life changed radically, and without complaining said it is what has affected him the most, going to Mass and praying the rosary every night. But as a man who had been totally separated from the Church and is very expansive, he often says that what happened to him and what he felt never happened to anyone else. Whenever he passes a church, he feels the need to go inside and pray a Salve to the Virgin.
Reprinted with kind permission from GARABANDAL JOURNAL September-October 2006
By F. SANCHEZ-VENTURA Y PASCUAL