Above, the four seers of Garabandal. They received visions of the Virgin Mary in the early 1960s in Garabandal, Spain. In one of the visions, the Blessed Mother spoke of events that would occur “after the Pope visits Russia.” Below, an interview in which Pope Francis reveals that he is currrently attempting to organize a visit to Moscow
American Philip Pullella, respected long-time correspondent for Reuters news agency on Vatican affairs, interviewing Pope Francis, 85, in the large Salone of the Domus Santa Marta, where the Pope lives, on July 2, 2022.
The interview touched on the Pope’s desire to travel to Moscow, Russia, and to Ukraine, on his hope to renew the present agreement between the Vatican and China, and on his possible resignation from the papacy. The Pope said he had no intention to resign
Pullella with Pope Francis, who is walking with the aid of a cane, in the Domus Santa Marta where the Pope lives
“I thought that if the president of Russia gave me a tiny window, I would go there to serve the cause of peace.” —Pope Francis, confirming to American Reuters correspondent Phil Pullella in a July 2 interview in Rome that he is seeking to make a trip to Moscow in the near future
Letter #84, 2022, Thursday, July 7: Pullella
Five days ago, on July 2, Phil Pullella of Reuters sat down for a long, wide-ranging interview with Pope Francis in the Domus Santa Marta, touching on a number of important issues, from rumors that he may soon resign the papacy (he said he had no intention of doing so), to reports that he suffers from cancer (he denied such reports), to his desire to renew the current agreement with the Chinese government, which expires in October.
But perhaps the most important point in this long interview was the Pope’s confirmation that he is making plans to travel to Moscow… if he can. (See bottom of the letter for several quotations from the interview).
Trip to Russia?
Pullella asked Pope Francis about the likelihood of a papal trip to Russia in the near future.
Francis said yes, he would like to make the trip, in order to help “the cause of peace.”
Here is how Pullella reported the Pope’s words:
“As for other trips, Pope Francis said he would like to go to Kyiv, Ukraine, and could go after his trip to Canada in late July, but he would like “to go to Moscow first. We exchanged messages about this because I thought that if the president of Russia gave me a tiny window, I would go there to serve the cause of peace.”
So from these words of Francis we gather that “we” (evidently the Vatican and the government in Moscow) have “exchanged messages” about a possible papal trip to Moscow, but, as of today, there is no further information on the real possibility of such a trip.
However, a spokesman for the Russian government quickly denied there were such contacts.
On July 6, yesterday, this was the headline and communique on the website of Interfax in Russia:
No substantive contacts on possible Putin-Pontiff meeting – Kremlin (link)
Moscow, July 6, Interfax – A possible visit of the Pope of Rome to Russia and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin are not being discussed for now, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Journalists asked Peskov at a press briefing on Wednesday whether Putin was ready to meet with Pope Francis who expressed such a wish on Tuesday.
“Such a summit visit needs to discussed, it needs to be prepared but, to my knowledge, there are no substantive contacts to that effect for now,” Peskov said.
[End Interfax communique]
So the possibility of a papal trip to Moscow does seem to be “under study,” at least in the Vatican, but the matter is not yet at a point where anything can be confirmed officially.
If such a trip would occur, it is thought that it might come quite soon, perhaps in September.
A connection with Garabandal?
Meanwhile, such talk of a possible visit of the Roman pontiff to Moscow has raised eyebrows in those circles of Catholics who have studied the apparitions of Garabandal, Spain.
In Garabandal — which is in northern Spain, not far from Lourdes, France, on the other side of the Spanish-French border — the Virgin Mary is said to have revealed to four young women, in 1962, in one of numerous apparitions during the early 1960s, that, after a future papal trip to Russia — until now, of course, no such trip has ever been made. there is no precedent for it —”hostilities will break out” in “different parts of Europe.”
In other words, turmoil, perhaps war, is said to be what will come after a papal trip to Moscow.
Here is what one observer of these matters wrote in December, after Pope Francis, in different circumstance (it was before the start of the war in Ukraine) on the homebound papal plane from his visit to Greece, announced that he hoped to visit Moscow, the capital of Russia, in the near future.
“Shivers ran down my spine as I read it,” wrote Ding Cervantes, on December 12, 2021, in the Philippines (link). “All the prophecies… are coming together, especially those told years ago by the Blessed Mother during her Garabandal, Spain apparitions (1961-65). These apparitions were confirmed as authentic by St. Padre Pio, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and, albeit indirectly, St. Pope Paul VI who were contemporaries.
“As far as I know, never has Heaven given us so many hints on when a major prophecy is to occur…
“In his book, Garabandal, Finger of God, author Albrecht Weber, a German who was involved with Garabandal since the early years (he is now deceased and buried in Garabandal), quoted visionary Conchita as having said: ‘The Pope will go to Russia, to Moscow. As soon as he returns to the Vatican, hostilities will break out in different parts of Europe.’
“On June 19, 1962, the seers of Garabandal were given a vision of the tribulations to follow, making them scream in fear for several minutes.
“When asked the Blessed Mother about it, she replied that communism, led by Russia, would unexpectedly take over many parts of democratic countries where Christians would be persecuted.
“At the height of such an event, God would send to the whole world the Great Warning which will simultaneously penetrate, in the manner of the Holy Spirit, the consciences of each living person on earth, both believers and unbelievers.” (link)
Now, a Personal Note
I did not know a great deal about the apparitions at Garabandal, although I had of course heard of them over the years.
But at the end of 2020, after my book Finding Viganò (link) appeared, I received a telephone call from a man in California who told me had the same last name as me: Moynihan.
“And my father’s name was the same as yours: Dr. Robert Moynihan,” Jeffrey Moynihan told me. “He was a dentist.”
We talked for a while, and then he told me the reason for his call: to reveal to me something about his own life.
As a young U.S. Navy sailor, he told me, he had traveled to Spain — this was in the 1960s, —and, when he heard about the apparitions, he decided to go to Garabandal to see for himself what was happening.
And, he told me, he did go to Garabandal, and there he met the four girls, and he fell in love with one of them, and married her. It was Jacinta, and her name is now Jacinta Moynihan.
“And I have been wondering if there is something in the work that you have been doing, perhaps with this book about Archbishop Viganò, that connects in some way with the message of Garabandal,” he said.
And we discussed that briefly.
Then he told me one more thing: that another of the four girls, Mari Loli, had married an American from Massachusetts, from Haverhill.
And I said, with a certain surprise: “Haverhill was where my own father, William Moynihan, was born and raised.”
And he told me that the visionary Mari Loli had died in Haverhill, and had been buried in Haverhill, in the cemetery of St. James Church, where her body still rests, and that Jacinta and Conchita had gone together to her funeral in 2009.
And I told him that St. James Church was… the parish church of my father, and that my father was baptized there, made his first communion there, and was confirmed there, along with all his brothers and sisters.
And after that conversation, I began to make a study of the events and prophecies connected with Garabandal, just to see what they might involve, and I have not yet completed that investigation…
However, as far as I have come to understand, the central question involved in “the warning” (see here for a summary of what it is thought to mean) is that an appeal will be made to the consciences of men and women everywhere, at a certain precise moment, when the world will seem to stand still for a moment.
At that time, the Holy Spirit will, as it were, pose a question to each soul, and ask each person to consider what might be the good and evil things they have done over a lifetime, then offer the chance to turn — to convert — away from any path that is evil to embrace a better path that leads toward what is good.
The Visionaries of Garabandal (link)
There were four children who received apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Garabandal.
Note that although three of the girls have the same last name (Gonzalez), they were not related to one another.
After the apparitions ended and they became adults they went on to lead ordinary lives.
Three of them ended up marrying Americans and moving to the U.S.A. and one of them married and moved to another city in Spain.
1) Conchita González: Born on February 7th, 1949. She was the youngest child and only daughter of Aniceta González, whose husband had died early in their marriage. She had three older brothers, one of whom was Serafín. He died in 2000. It was Conchita who visited Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, and by all accounts, Padre Pio was a great believer in Garabandal. There are reports of him sending a letter to Conchita encouraging her. It was also Conchita who went to Rome to visit the Pope. On May 26th, 1973, Conchita married Patrick J. Keena from Long Island, New York, where she currently lives. They have four children.
2) Maria Cruz Gonzalez: born June 21, 1950 to Escolástico and Pilar. She married Ignacio Caballero in May of 1970. They have 4 children and she currently live in Avilés, Asturias (Spain).
3) Jacinta Gonzalez: born on April 27, 1949, one of 8 children. Jacinta married Jeffrey Moynihan, from California, on February 21, 1976. They have one daughter, María, and currently live on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
4) Mari Loli Mazón: María Dolores Mazón González was born on May 1st, 1949. She went by the name “Loli” and was the second of Ceferino and Julia’s six children. Ceferino was the village mayor, and, in addition to working in the fields, the family owned a small shop and bar. Loli married Francis Lafleur in Massachusetts, U.S.A., in 1974, and they had 3 children: Francis, María Melanie and María Dolores. For 7 years, she suffered from “lupus erythematosus” in her respiratory system, which eventually caused her death on April 20th, 2009, at age 59. She died in her home in Plaistow, Massachusetts (U.S.A.).
All communications. including suggestions, from readers on these matters is welcome. (I receive emails simply from a return email to this letter.)
Also, we are now organizing pilgrimages to Wisconsin in early September (link and link and link) and to the beautiful country of Lebanon in mid-September (send an email if you would like further information).
Oremus pro invicem (“Let us pray for one another”). —RM
Here are excerpt’s from Phil Pullella‘s July 2 interview with Pope Francis (link):
On last year’s surgery
“Yes, they took out 33 cm of my colon, the sigmoid colon, for diverticulitis. It went well. It took more than six hours of anesthesia and that’s why I don’t want to have surgery here (on the knee), because anaesthesia leaves traces ….”
“(As to last year’s intestinal operation), it was fundamentally successful, a great success.”
On rumors that cancer was found last year
“They didn’t tell me about it (laughter). They didn’t tell me. They explained everything to me well – full stop. No (cancer). That is court gossip. The court spirit is still there in the Vatican. And if you think about it, the Vatican is the last European court of an absolute monarchy.”
On resignation rumors because of a series of August events
“All of these coincidences made some think that the same ‘liturgy’ would happen, but it didn’t enter my head; it never entered my mind. For the moment no, really. But when the time comes that I see that I can’t do it (run the Church, because of bad health) I will do it (resign). And that was the great example of Pope Benedict. It was such a very good thing for the Church. He told popes to stop in time. He is one of the greats, Benedict.”
On when he might eventually resign for health reasons
“We don’t know. God will say.”
On the US Supreme Court abortion ruling
“I tell you the truth. I don’t understand it from a technical point of view. I have to study it because I don’t really understand (the details of) the ruling 50 years ago and now I can’t say whether it did right or wrong from a judicial point of view. I respect the decisions.”
“Leaving that aside, let’s go back to the issue of abortion, which is a problem. In this we have to be scientific, see what science tells us today. Science today and any book on embryology, the one our medical students study, tells you that 30 days after conception there is DNA and the laying out already of all the organs ….”
“I ask: ‘Is it licit, is it right, to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem?’ It’s a human life – that’s science. The moral question is whether it is right to take a human life to solve a problem. Indeed, is it right to hire a hit man to solve a problem?”
On possible travel to Moscow and Ukraine
“I would like to go (to Ukraine) and I wanted to go to Moscow first. We exchanged messages about this because I thought that if the president of Russia gave me a tiny window, I would go there to serve the cause of peace …. And now it’s possible, after I come back from Canada; it is possible that I manage to go to Ukraine. The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals.”
“(With Russia) there is still that very open dialogue, very cordial, very diplomatic in the positive sense of the word, but for the moment it’s OK; the door is open.”
On banning communion for politicians backing abortion rights
“When the Church loses its pastoral nature, when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political problem. That’s all I can say.”
[End, quotations from the Pullela-Pope Francis interview of July 2]