All true apparitions of Our Lady have their own uniqueness. Lourdes has its grotto, Fatima its cova and Garabandal its calleja. But while the locations and characteristics of each manifestation change, the messages which the Blessed Virgin comes to deliver are similar and almost always include requests for prayer and penance.
But when Our Lady appeared at Fatima in 1917, she did something she had not done before: she addressed messages specifically to the entire world. And while she appeared again after Fatima at Beauraing (1932-33) and Banneux (1933), she did not speak to the world at either of those places. But at Garabandal we again find this universal appeal. Although Fatima and Garabandal are separate events, there is continuity in the revelations and similarities in features of the events not found among the other visits of Our Lady during the Marian Age.
An Angel to Lead the Way
At both Fatima and Garabandal an angel appeared first to prepare the way for the Blessed Virgin. At Garabandal it was Saint Michael the Archangel and at Fatima the Angel of Portugal. At both Fatima and Garabandal, the visionaries received Communion from the angel, the only two apparitions of Our Lady where this occurred.
Both Fatima and Garabandal had a visionary named Jacinta.
At Fatima in August of 1917, to prevent the young seers from going to the site of the apparitions, they were detained in jail by civil authorities. At Garabandal in July of 1961, Conchita, who was thought to be the ringleader and the one influencing the others, was taken to Santander where she was detained for several days.
At Fatima, the seers saw a vision of hell. At Garabandal, the seers saw visions of hell on earth in the tribulation and Chastisement.
At both Fatima and Garabandal a great miracle was/is to serve as the seal of authenticity for the events. At Fatima, Our Lady said she would perform a miracle so all would believe. At Garabandal she said, as a result of the miracle, “all will believe.”
Rosary and Scapular
The Virgin appeared at Fatima as Our Lady of the Rosary, thereby giving great emphasis to that powerful and important Marian prayer. At Garabandal the rosary theme continued with the visionaries being commanded by the Virgin to pray it during almost every apparition. Our Lady herself taught them the mysteries and how to pray it well.
In the sixth apparition at Fatima on October 13, 1917, during the tableaux of visions during the Miracle of the Sun, Our Lady appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the scapular on her wrist. On July 2, 1961, the Virgin appeared at Garabandal as Our Lady of Mount Carmel with a large brown scapular draped over her right arm.
At both Fatima and Garabandal, Russia was mentioned. At Fatima, Our Lady warned that if people did not change, Russia would scatter her errors throughout the world. At Garabandal she said that if people do not change, Russia would rule the world. At Fatima, the Virgin said that as a result of the Collegial Consecration (which some believe has been done while others do not) Russia would be converted. At Garabandal, Conchita was told by Our Lord in a locution that Russia (and other countries) would be converted as a result of the great Miracle.
The following excerpt is taken from The Immaculate Heart – The True Story of Fatima by (Fr.) John De Marchi, I.C.M., published in 1952:
Though no attempt has been made in this volume to describe the fulfillment of Our Lady’s promise to return to the Cova da Iria a seventh time, it can be said with certainty that the apparition did take place. It occurred June 18, 1921, Lucia’s last day in Aljustrel before leaving for the convent school at Vilar. That evening, having left her home and paying a last visit to the Cova da lria, she is said to have seen Our Lady standing at a spot now occupied by the lower steps of the Basilica. I wrote to Sister Lucia about this, but have not yet received a reply. I have, however, been assured by a priest very close to Lucia that she has confirmed the happening.
At Garabandal, Saint Michael first appeared to the visionaries in the evening (8:30 pm) of June 18, 1961, exactly 40 years (a biblical number) to the day (and even the same time of day) from the last vision at Fatima.
Reprinted from Garabandal Journal January/February 2006