As we know, on November 22, 1937, Saint Josemaría found in the church of Pallerols a golden wooden rose that meant for him the proof he had asked the Lord to know if it was right to continue his journey to Andorra or he had to return to Madrid, where he had left on 8 October.
To know the truth about this fact, it is best to read directly what St. Josemaría himself tells us.
A month after finding the rose in Pallerols, specifically on December 22, 1937, while taking a recess course in Pamplona, he wrote the nº 1440 of the Apuntes Íntimos (a kind of personal diary in which he wrote down thoughts and phrases of the Lord). No. 1440 says:
"I remember the golden rose -of golden wood!- that the Lord gave me in Pallarols. With the archpriest of Pons, we visited the desecrated church of Pallarols. I was looking closely, with all interest, at the church and sacristy, to see if there was anything small that could take me as a souvenir. There was nothing.
Then, with an inner motion that coerced my will, I said to the Lord, "If you are happy with me, make me find something," and I thought of a flower or wooden ornament of the missing altarpieces. I went back to the church (it was in the sacristy), looked around the same places I had looked before ..., and immediately found a stewed wooden rose. I was very happy and I blessed God, who gave me that comfort, when I was full of concern about whether or not Jesus would be happy with me. "
If we analyze this point 1440 we see that it has two parts:
a) The first part corresponds to the 20th or 21st of November, as we are told in the historical writings of the time. One of these days he went up to Pallerols with the archpriest of Ponts, Mn. Nicolau Auger i Ortodó, who was hiding in Vilaró.
Also on the night of the 21st to the 22nd, when they arrived at the rectory, some went down to the church -Paco Botella remembers in his memoirs- and among them also Saint Josemaría. And they saw nothing.
b) The second part corresponds to the morning of the 22nd. This morning, after asking God for a sign, he found the rose.
Analyzing all the historical documents, we have clear the following points:
1.- He spent the night of 21 to 22 November 1937 crying because he thought he was not doing God's will, marching towards Andorra.
2.- Early in the morning of the 22nd, Saint Josemaría went down alone to the church of Pallerols, where he found the golden wooden rose.
3.- In a few minutes he went back up to the place where they had spent the night, very happy, carrying a golden wooden rose in his hand, and celebrated the Eucharist.