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Vatican Approves ‘Mystical Rose’ Marian Apparitions in Italy

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Vatican Approves ‘Mystical Rose’ Marian Apparitions in Italy

By Gigi Duncan

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) has officially approved the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Pierina Gilli, an Italian visionary who reported receiving messages from Mary in 1947 and 1966. These apparitions occurred in Montichiari and Fontanelle, located in the northern province of Brescia, Italy.

In a letter endorsed by Pope Francis and addressed to the bishop of Brescia on July 5, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández stated that the spiritual guidance emerging from Pierina Gilli’s experiences aligns with Church doctrine. The letter contains excerpts from Gilli’s diaries, detailing her encounters with the Blessed Virgin and emphasizing Gilli’s profound trust in Mary’s maternal care.

Pierina Gilli, who served as a nurse and postulant for the Handmaids of Charity in Montichiari, first saw the Blessed Virgin in the spring of 1947 while praying in a hospital chapel. Mary appeared to her wearing a violet dress and white veil, her expression sorrowful with tears in her eyes. Showing her heart pierced by three swords, Mary requested prayer, penance, and sacrifice.

On July 13, 1947, the Virgin Mary appeared again, dressed in white with three roses—white, red, and yellow—replacing the swords. These roses symbolized prayer, sacrifice, and penance. When Gilli asked her identity, Mary responded: “I am the mother of Jesus and the mother of all of you. Our Lord sends me to bring a new Marian devotion to all religious orders and institutes, male and female, and to the priests of this world.”

Mary also expressed a desire for July 13 to be celebrated annually in her honor as the Mystical Rose. Gilli interpreted this title to mean that “Mary is the master teacher of the innermost mystical life and the mother of the mystical body of Christ — the mother of the Church.”

Mary appeared to Gilli five more times in 1947, including public apparitions in November and December. During an apparition on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Mary stated: “I wish to be known as the Mystical Rose. It is my wish that every year, on the 8th of December, at noon, the hour of grace for the world be celebrated.” She promised divine and bodily graces through this devotion and emphasized the importance of continuous prayer for sinners.

Following these apparitions, Gilli entered seclusion at the convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Holy Child in Brescia. In 1966, the Blessed Virgin appeared to her again, blessing a miraculous spring in Fontanelle known as the “Fountain of Grace.” Mary asked Gilli to kiss the soil and place a crucifix at the spring so that visitors could seek pardon from her divine Son before drawing or drinking the water.

Additional apparitions occurred in 1966, with Mary reiterating messages of prayer, penance, and devotion. Gilli’s diary records continued private visits from the Blessed Virgin in subsequent years.

Despite these early experiences, official approval did not come until 2019, when Bishop Pierantonio Tremolada declared the Marian site as the Diocesan Sanctuary of Mystical Rose, Mother of the Church. The DDF’s recent letter highlights the positive aspects of the messages and clarifies points to prevent misunderstandings.

Considering the spiritual and pastoral benefits of this devotion, the DDF supports the bishop’s discernment in accordance with the Norms for Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Supernatural Phenomena.

This story was initially published by the Catholic News Agency and has been adapted by EWTN Norway.

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