At 61 years of age, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many places, I’d even been to Spain a few times! Then, after hearing time and again about a certain magical place, I asked myself: “How is it that I’ve been to Spain so many times, but I’ve never been to Garabandal?”
My name is Mirta Pince, I’m originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, I’m 61 years old and this is my humble story.
In 2017, I decided to fulfil this dream of visiting Garabandal. As I was undergoing my annual medical check-up, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two lumps that would change my life. I had lost my husband five months beforehand.
I was due to depart on my journey the week after I found out about my illness, and after extensive discussion with my specialist doctors I was authorized to travel, on the condition that I would have surgery as soon as I got back.
And so, I travelled to Garabandal. I remember arriving and walking up the alley to reach the pine tree where our Mother the Virgin Mary appeared, and I felt a tight knot in the pit of my stomach, something wasn’t right. I leaned against the tree, screaming internally, blinded by tears, praying, begging our Mother to let me live a while longer, “I have two daughters who lost their Daddy five months ago, are you going to take me too now?” I didn’t ask for much, I just wanted to live long enough to enjoy the company of my two daughters and hold my grandchildren in my arms when they decided to become mothers.
What happened next is something that I can’t explain. As I walked back down the alley afterwards, I felt an immense sense of joy, an internal happiness that didn’t come from me – it came from heaven. Then I understood the meaning of joy in pain, because that’s truly what I felt: joy in pain. Life can throw many things at us, but if we carry God inside ourselves then we can feel his presence deeply. Happiness is temporary, fleeting; joy is not. Joy is something much deeper, it’s the feeling of knowing that God has saved me.
I went back to Argentina, and I underwent my operation, and thanks be to God the doctors were able to remove the two malign lumps that were inside me. I went through chemotherapy, and so bald as a baby I returned to Garabandal to give thanks to the Virgin Mary. Just by being there, you can feel the true holy love, because the place is a little piece of Heaven.
Those of you who are able, go there and feel the gentle caress of holy love, it’s a true blessing.
By: Mirta Ponce