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 Alfonso y PaulaWe offer you the testimony of a generous assistant of our Blessed Mother: Alonso Moran, who helped to promote and translate "Garabandal: Only God Knows" in its premiere in the USA. 

When I was asked to help translate Rafael and Esmeralda's interviews, I sincerely felt there were better choices than me. In honesty, I did not want the job because I did not think I could do it well enough, I was insecureand a little overwhelmed by the responsibility, and a sense of false humility. Furthermore, I had no income to travel, so in short, it seemed agood mix of circumstances (excuses) to pass on this invitation.

What happened next is not short of amazing (more on that later on)! I endedup in N.Y. translating the pre-release interview at Regal Cinemas E-Walk, just off Times-Square in the heart of Manhattan, one month to date after Christmas and of Our Lady giving birth to Baby Jesus.

You know how we say in Spanish that there are no coincidences, but"Godincidences"?

It did not sink-in immediately, but later became clear to me that it was Our Mother who picked N.Y. for the pre-release of this movie. Upon Her arrival to the U.S., Our Lady of Garabandal was already showing Her love for us, inviting us to convert and calling us to repent, to do penance and to offer sacrifices, this just two days after a new law was signed in New York allowing for full term abortions. No one in the production team could have known this law was to be signed, no one thought of making a religious orpolitical statement. But Our Lady did in Her always loving and humble way.

Being around Rafa and Esme was a gift (for those who have not seen the movie, they play the village's Priest and Conchita's mom, but in real life are husband and wife and have 8 wonderful children). Talking with them and with other members of the production team about their experiences in the making and releasing of this movie, I learned that many who have participated in it had at one point felt the same way; small and overwhelmed.

Sharing my poor thoughts with them, with all humility Rafa and Esme said: "It is not us, it is Our Mother who is doing the real work".

How right they are! One thing is evident in this movie, not even with tremendous financial resources and connections could any one person have achieved what this film already has. In Spain (which for decades has grown apart from the Faith) it drew vast audiences to the theaters, it was highly praised by numerous Diocesan bulletins, and large numbers of pilgrims, not seen in decades, began to make the trip up to Garabandal. In Mexico it displaced major Hollywood blockbusters which were playing in theaters at the same time, something unheard of for a Catholic film! Over 100,000 peoplewatched the film in just a couple of weeks. In Central and South America it is a tremendous success and more and more cities are currently being addedfor its release.

But how did these mega-theater multi-national corporations agreed to program the movie in the first place? After all, it is a religious film to begin with, in Spanish, and subtitled! Not a good combination for the box office according to any prediction! This was a very tough sell indeed!

Truth is it only took ordinary people just like you and me, volunteers withno contacts nor connections knocking at unknown doors meeting skeptical people who did not believe. Volunteers who overcame their shyness, comfortand self-doubts. When knocking at someone's door or when talking about the movie, we are a messenger delivering the message, and what happens next isall Our Lady's doing.

As for my job or your job, She could have picked someone else, anyone, but She did not. She wants you and me. Do not be afraid to say "yes" if she calls you, or become discouraged. With our "yes" She will do it all. If you listen to my radio interview or any of my translations you will know what I mean, I mumble and I stumble, and yet, in spite of my shortcomings, if anything good comes out of it will be only because She will touch the hearts of those who are listening. My job is very small, yours is more important! Be courageous knowing that She is always there with you.

And about our financial woes, the Divine Providence does not cease to astonish us. Just days before having to travel to N.Y., we sold a small industrial property that we have had in the market for 7 long years. It sold to the only one client interested in all those years. I had been asking for St. Joseph's help for some time, but now I know he had kept it just for this moment alone. And guess what! It sold to a carpenter and there he will setup his workshop!

Thank you Mama Mary, thank you St. Joseph, and thank you all.

Alfonso