Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Jesuit Of Garabandal: Fr. Luis Maria Andreu, S.J.

Bloggers note: This post is about a Jesuit priest and his fellow Jesuits and the events surrounding the Garabandal incident, which occurred in 1961. I am not endorsing the Catholic authenticity of Garabandal.

Some years ago Father Gustavo Morelos, S.J. a well known Jesuit in Madrid, wrote to his religious brother Father Lucio Rodrigo,S.J. (here) a professor at the Pontifical University of Comillas in Cantabria, and said:
"Father Javier Escalada, a Mexican Jesuit who promotes the Garabandal messages in his country, together with the Provost General of the Company of Jesus, Father Pedro Arrupe, were received in an audience by Pope Paul VI."
Father Escalada explained his work in spreading the message of Garabandal in Mexico and the Pope encouraged him to continue saying: "These messages must be made known."
When some of the Garabandal followers heard this story they wanted to have an absolute guarantee as to its authenticity. A lady from Barcelona wrote to Jesuit Father Luis Maria Andreu, S.J. who knows so much about Garabandal through his own experience.
He answered from Valladolid in a letter dated April 13,1967: "Consuelo, I have received your letter and am answering it briefly by return mail. The news about Father Arrupe and Father Escalada is true. Both were with the Pope. Father Escalada asked the Pope for his permission to continue promoting Garabandal and the Pope said yes..."

Link (here)

Who is Fr. Luis Maria Andreu, S.J.?

On August 8; 1961, Fr. Luis went to Garabandal with a group of friends. It was his second visit to the village. That evening the visionaries had an ecstatic march, the first of many such marches during the years of the apparitions. It was a very long march which ended at the pines. Fr. Luis and many other people followed the visionaries. Afterwards, Conchita wrote in her Diary :

"It was dark when the Blessed Virgin appeared to us. At the end of the rosary, the four of us went into ecstasy and we began to walk toward the pines. When we arrived at the pines, Fr. Luis Maria, who had followed us, said, `Miracle, miracle,' and he kept staring upward. We could see him. Now, in our ecstasies we never see anyone (except the Blessed Virgin). But we saw Fr. Luis, and the Blessed Virgin told us that he was seeing her and the Miracle, too."
In the ecstasy, the children saw Fr. Luis on his knees. Conchita further stated that the Virgin, who was looking at Fr. Luis, seemed to say to him, "You will soon be with me."

"The Happiest Day of My Life"
Fr. Luis left Garabandal in a jeep with friends that same night. Stopping at Cosio, he met the parish priest, Fr. Valentin Marichalar, to whom he said, "Don Valentin, what the children say is true, but I ask you not to repeat what I have just told you, for the Church can never be prudent enough in this kind of affair." Fr. Marichalar wrote these words of Fr. Luis in a notebook that very night.

Continuing his journey with Rafael Fontaneda and his family, Fr. Luis showed overwhelming joy the entire trip, constantly repeating,

"I am so happy. What a favor the Blessed Virgin has bestowed on me. How fortunate we are to have a mother like her in heaven ! There is no reason to fear the supernatural life. The girls have given us an example of how we must act with the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt in my mind that the things involving the girls are true. Why should the Blessed Virgin have chosen us? This is the happiest day of my life."

As the car was passing through Reinosa, Fr. Luis, after repeating these words once again, lifted his head and fell silent. His friend Fontaneda asked him, "Father, are you all right?" "Yes, I am just sleepy," came the reply. Then his head bowed forward onto his chest. He made a slight coughing sound, and died. He experienced no pain, nor death agony, but died with a smile on his lips.

Link (here)

Watch video of the seers, "Ecstatic Marches" (here)


Fr. Luis Andreu was born on July 3, 1923, at Bilbao, Spain, of a religious family. Of his five brothers, three became Jesuit missionaries: Alejendro in South America, Ramon in California and Marcelino in China (he is now in Taiwan).
Link (here)

Fr. Luis was exceptionally intelligent and was sent to study in Innsbruck, Rome, Geneva and Paris. He became an expert in languages. Besides his native Spanish, he spoke German, French, Italian, Latin, Greek and English. On July 30, 1955, at Ona, Spain

Fr. Luis was ordained a priest forever by the Jesuit Archbishop Federico Melendro of Anking, China. Fr. Luis celebrated his first Mass on the feast of St. Ignatius of LoyolaChapel of Loyola. A little later, after he received his Doctorate in theology, Fr. Luis joined the Jesuit faculty in Ona and became professor of theology. at the
This is the position he held when he heard about the apparitions which were taking place at Garabandal. Because of his great love for the Blessed Virgin, he decided to go to the village and investigate. He went to Garabandal for the first time on July 29, 1961, and observed the raptures of the four girls, taking notes of everything he saw and heard.

Link (here)

Fr. Luis was buried in the Jesuit cemetery in Ona, Spain. Transferred from the cemetery of Ona, in 1975, Fr. Luis's remains henceforth lie in a very small niche in the ossuary of the Jesuit cemetery of Loyola.

Link (here) and (here)

Some Red Flags

Michael Brown, from Spirit Daily an expert in Marian apparitions, wrote of these 'red flags' in his book 'The Day Will Come'. In particular, he noted the manner in which the seers experienced their vision: walking backwards. In all other Marian apparitions, the seers fall on their knees and look up into the face of Virgin in a posture of prayer.
The walking backwards through the town in the dead of the night, the levitation's etc are creepy.
Another 'red flag' is the failed promise of the Great Sign. According to the seers, Padre Pio would see the sign. When he died in 1968 with no Sign, the seers explained that he must have 'seen it in a vision'. But that's not what they originally said.
Also, the Jesuit priest who died in mysterious circumstances was promised to be an 'incorrupt'. About 15 years after his death, in a common practice in Spain, he was dug up so that his bones could be placed in a wall with other priests. They found nothing but bones, and his casket is now a small box. The seers now say that when the Great Sign occurs, his body will be transformed back to the way it was. But here's the thing: the word 'incorrupt' means NEVER CORRUPTED,
not corrupted and restored. And finally, one of the seers (Conchita?) said she felt 'abandoned by Our Lady', and said that watching footage of her in ecstasy was like 'watching someone else'.

Link (here)


Anonymous said...

The article about Fr. Louis Andreu is confusing and contains some dire disinformation (which I do not believe is intentional, however)but simply not correctly informed.

For one thing, how could Fr. Andreu write a response to the woman from Barcelona on April 13, 1967 when he died on August 8/9, 1961?

Fr. Joseph Pelletier, in his book "Our Lady Comes to Garabandal," offers the explanation that the ecstatic marches as a phenomenon as well as the ecstasies were given by God to show that He truly was in charge of everything at Garabandal, that there would be no question that this event was from God. I tend to agree with Fr. Pelletier.

And why, of all priests, was Fr. Luis Andreu singled out to be the priest who saw the Great Miracle in an ecstatic trance along with the children? Perhaps it was God's way to show us a good and holy priest as an example of what He wants in His priests. Any one who knew Fr. Andreu all said that he was a deeply spiritual man of prayer.

And as far as what the Virgin purportedly told the children with regard to Fr. Luis's body, She simply said that on the day after the Great Miracle, his body would be found incorrupt, just as it was on the day of his death. I do not see a problem in this, as I look on the matter as a prototype of our personal Resurrection on the last day. The vast majority of bodies are corrupt in the grave after a certain period of time. By the fact that Fr. Andreu's body is now corrupt has no bearing on it being reconstituted at a future time, the same as our own. In that sense, our body corrupted becomes the incorrupted body at our resurrection - an integral Christian belief.

fpf said...

I find my self drawn to disagree with Michael Brown's "red flags." While the unusualness of the some of the phenomena concerning the physical movements of the seers do seem unusual, we must remember, too, that Bernadette herself was bade to dig in the earth and drink from what was no more than mud - a behavior that got her labeled delirious - and worse - quite quickly. As to his take on the word "incorrupt," his emphasis - suggesting that Fr Andreu's body, even should it be found incorrupt in the future as predicted, would compromise the veracity of the message - is somewhat arbitrary. On the contrary, should his body be discovered intact again, this would certainly demonstrate an even greater miracle than would have been expected. As to Padre Pio's having seen the miracle: let us remember that Pius XII saw the Miracle of the Sun on at least two occasions, decades after its original manifestation in 1917. Our Lord Himself said that Abraham rejoiced to see the Savior's day - despite that the Incarnation did not take place until many centuries later. Unlike some of the messages of Medjugorje which Mr Brown is fond of promoting, the girls of San Sebastian de Garabandal proffered no statements which were doctrinally dubious. We continue in our vigil for the events predicted there: the Warning, the Miracle and, if necessary, the Chastisement.

Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Greg and Paul,

Thank you both for your comments.
The subject of Garabandal is both interesting and confusing to me as well. There is such little official information out there. But the fact that the Jesuits in Spain are so intertwined makes it a subject worthy of posting and commenting on.Your further comments and help are welcomed and a little more fact checking may indeed be in order.



muebles burgos said...

There's no doubt, the guy is completely right.

Ed Kelly said...

Michael Brown may be an expert on Marian apparitions but it doesn't seem like he has done his homework or Garabandal. The Garabandal "visionaries" said that after the miracle Fr. Luis's body would be found incorrup. They said nothing about what would happen to his body between the time of his death and the miracle. I have lived some four years total in and near Garabandal, visited a number of cemetaries, talked with people about customs and have never heard that it is a Spanish custom to dig up bodies after death. When the Jesuits moved from Ona they dug up all of the bodies and moved them to their new house further north. The girls said that Padre Pio would see the great miracle. His superior reported that he did so before he died. I have seen nothing about the seers saying Padre Pio would see a Great Sign. What is Brown's source for this? There will be a permanent sign left at the Pines after the miracle. Another blogger mentioned the "Fr. Luis 1967 letter." The communication was most likely between the Barcelona lady and Fr. Luis' brother, Fr. Ramon Andreu. Many people wrote to,and received letters from, Fr. Ramon. Garabandal Journal publisher, Barry Hanratty has these letters and sent me copies of many of them. I heard
Michael Brown speak many years ago in San Jose, California. Although I recall him being a good speaker, I heard no evidence that he was well informed about Garabandal. Many people are. Consult them.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the word "incorrupt" means "not having undergone decomposition." The body has already undergone decomposition, so the prophecy has already failed. The Virgin Mary would have used the word "restored" or "reconstituted" if God was planning on the body decaying, then rematerializing. Conchita herself in an interview shortly before the exhumation in 1975 said she believed the body was still incorrupt at that time, so she obviously interpreted the prophecy to mean that the body would never be corrupted. Mike G

Anonymous said...

A couple other red flags are 1) that the BVM told Conchita that Fathers Alejandro and Marcelino Andreu would both see the miracle. They have both died, Alejandro in 1990 and Marcelino in 1998. 2) The BVM told Conchita that her cousin, Pepe Luis, would become a priest. He entered the seminary, but did not finish and never became a priest. Mike G

Anonymous said...

From an interview in 1973 with Harry Daley in the book, “Miracle at Garabandal”: Conchita — “Yes, she said that on the day after the Miracle he would be incorrupt; he is that now, but on that day they will open his grave and his body will be preserved intact.”

She stated that his body will be PRESERVED INTACT, which means he will not have undergone any decomposition at all. “Preserved” means to “maintain the original state.” The body has obviously undergone corruption and the original state of his body was not preserved. She also stated that Fr. Andreu “is that now” meaning she believed he was still incorrupt. He obviously wasn’t because his body was exhumed in 1975 and found to be a skeleton. “Incorrupt” means not to have undergone decomposition. The body has already undergone decomposition, so the prophecy has already failed.

The prophecy meant that the body would be found the day after the Miracle to be “preserved intact” and “incorrupt” which mean that the body would not have ever experienced any corruption or decomposition at all. This has already happened, so the prophecy cannot be fulfilled.