Tuesday, March 28, 2023

When a woman disciple rebuked Peter and Apostles.

Concerned by the increasing adulation among the populace for Jesus after He raised Lazarus from the dead, the Sanhedrin and Jewish leaders convened under Caiaphas the High Priest. It was on this occasion that Caiaphas prophesied that it was expedient for one man to die for the nation, and mandated His arrest. In order to elude capture, Jesus was forced to retreat to the Samaritan city of Ephraim for an exile lasting many weeks. He would be safe there, because the righteous Pharisees, Scribes and Judeans would not ritually defile themselves by consorting with “impure” and inferior Samaritans. (John 11: 47-54; see below.)


Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God, elaborates in detail on the exile of Jesus to the city of Ephraim. He and the apostles spent about six weeks at the home of a hospitable widow, located near the border of Samaria with Judea. It was towards the end of winter in the year in which He was crucified. Except for the Sabbaths when they were all together, most of the apostles spent the week evangelizing the Samaritans.


After a few weeks at Ephraim some of the woman disciples began to arrive, including Eliza. She was an elderly widow from Bethsur, who as a child knew the Blessed Virgin because they had both lived together for a time in the Temple at Jerusalem. She would be present at Calvary with the holy women, and be a witness to the Ascension.


It was on a Sabbath day, while Jesus and a few of the apostles had gone out of the house, that some of the remaining apostles began to vent their anger and frustration at the open persecution of Jesus.


James, the brother of John the Evangelist, is speaking: “How much fear! Now, when we go to Jerusalem, I want to send my brother to Annas [High Priest Emeritus, father-in-law of Caiaphas]. I could go myself, because I also know the sly fox well. But John is more capable. […] I will send John. He will be able to put up even with abuse without reacting. I... if he said anathema of the Master to me, or even if he only said that I am anathema because I follow Him, I would jump to his neck, I would seize him and squeeze his old stout body as if it were a net out of which water is to be squeezed. I would make him give back the wicked soul he has! Even if all the soldiers and priests of the Temple were around him!” [...]


You are right! You are not the only one to have certain wishes. I have them, too!” says Peter.


And I, too, and not only with regard to Annas,” says Jude Thaddeus.


Oh! in that case I... would serve several of them. I have a long list... Those three old crocks of Capernaum – I leave out Simon, the Pharisee, because he seems to be tolerably good – those two wolves of Esdraelon, and that old heap of bones of Hananiah, and then... a slaughter, a real slaughter, I tell you, at Jerusalem, with Helkai [the Pharisee] at the head of them all. I cannot bear those snakes lying in wait any longer!” Peter is furious.


Thaddeus, calm in speaking, but even more impressive in his glacial calm than if he were as furious as Peter, says: “And I would give you a hand. But... perhaps I would begin by removing the snakes close at hand. […] There are many who show a face but their souls are different from the face they show! I never lose sight of them. Never. I want to be sure before acting. But when I am sure! David's blood is hot, and hot is the blood of Galilee. They are both in me through my paternal and maternal lines.”


Oh! In the event... tell me! I will help you...” says Peter.


No. Blood revenge is the concern of relatives. It's for me to take it.” [The father of Thaddeus was the brother of Saint Joseph.]


Finally, Eliza breaks in: 


But, my dear children! Do not speak thus. That is not what the Master teaches! You look like little furious lions instead of being the lambs of the Lamb! Restrain so much spirit of revenge. The days of David went by long ago! The law of blood and retaliation has been canceled by the Christ. He confirms the ten unchangeable commandments, but He cancels the other hard Mosaic laws. The commandments of Moses concerning pity, humanity and justice remain and are condensed and perfected in His greater commandment: “To love God with our whole selves, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, to forgive those who offend us, to love those who hate us. 

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Oh! forgive me, if I, a woman, have dared to teach my brothers, who are greater than I am! But I am an old mother. And a mother can always speak. Believe me, my children! If you yourselves call Satan by hating enemies, by wishing for revenge, he will come into you and corrupt you. Satan is not strength. Believe me. God is strength. Satan is weakness, a burden, he is sluggishness. You would not be able to move a finger any more, not only against your enemies, but not even to caress our distressed Jesus, if hatred and revenge should enchain you. Cheer up, my dear children, all of you! 


You are all sons for a woman who loves you, for a mother who has found once again the joy of being a mother by loving you as her children. Do not make me feel distressed once again, having lost my dear children again and for good; because if you die cherishing hatred or crime, you die forever, and we shall not longer be able to gather all together up there, in joy, around our common love: Jesus. Promise me here, at once, as I implore you, promise me, a poor woman, a poor mother, that you will never have such thoughts again. Oh! they even disfigure your faces. You seem strangers to me, you are different! How ugly hatred makes you! You were so meek! But what is happening? Listen to me! 


Mary would say the same words as mine to you, with greater power, because She is Mary; but it is better if She is not aware of all the grief... Oh! poor Mother! But what is happening? So have I to really believe that the hour of darkness has already come, the hour that will swallow everybody, the hour in which Satan will be king in everybody, with the exception of the Holy One, and he will lead astray also saints, you also, making you cowards, perjurers, as cruel as he is? Oh! so far I have always hoped! I have always said: “Men will not prevail against the Christ.” But now! But now I am afraid and I tremble for the first time! I see the great Darkness, whose name is Lucifer, stretch out and invade this serene sky of Adar and darken all of you, and pour poisons that make you sick. Oh! I am afraid!”


Eliza, who for some time had been weeping silently, drops with her head on the table at which she was sitting and sobs sorrowfully. The apostles look at one another. Then, although distressed, they begin to console her. But she does not want consolations and she says so: “One, only one is good for me: your promise. For your own good! So that Jesus may not have the greatest of His sorrows: to see you, His beloved disciples, damned.”


Of course, Eliza. If that is what you want! Do not weep, woman! We promise you. Listen. We will not lift a finger against anybody. We shall not even look, so that we may not see. Don't weep! Don't weep! We will forgive those who offend us. We will love those who hate us! Don't weep.”


Eliza raises her face shining with tears and says: “Remember. You have promised it! Repeat your promise!”


We promise you it, woman.”


How dear you are, my children! Now I do like you! I see that you are good again. Now that my worry is appeased and that you are once again free from that bitter ferment, let us get ready to receive Mary. What is there to be done?” she asks [...] as they prepare for the arrival of the Blessed Virgin at Ephraim.

John 11: 47-54. 


The chief priests therefore, and the Pharisees, gathered a council, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles? If we let him alone so, all will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. But one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 


And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed. From that day therefore they devised to put him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews; but he went into a country near the desert, unto a city that is called Ephraim and there he abode with his disciples.

Based in Chapter 564 in The Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta. 


View Frank Rega’s website HERE.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Benito Mussolini is in Heaven?

The website Mystics of the Church, maintained by Glenn Dallaire, says this about Edvige Carboni:


The Servant of God, Edvige Carboni, (1880-1952) Mystic, Stigmatic, Victim Soul & Laywoman. On November 8, 2018 Pope Francis approved the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Edvige Carboni, thereby giving the green light for the beatification of this extraordinary mystic.


Edvige wrote in her diary: “While I was praying in front of the Crucifix, a person appeared to me suddenly all in flames, a heard a voice say, 


‘I am Benito Mussolini. The Lord has allowed me to come to you in order to get some relief from my sufferings in purgatory. I beg you as an act of charity to offer for me all your prayers, sufferings and humiliations for two years, if your director allows it. God’s mercy is infinite but so is His justice. One cannot enter Heaven until one has paid the last penny of the debt owed to Divine Justice. Purgatory is terrible for me because I waited until the last moment to repent.’


On spring day in 1951, Jesus told me after Holy Communion: This morning the soul of Benito Mussolini has entered into Heaven.’”


View full article Here

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My the Lord be praised for his Mercy and forgiveness when we are truly repentant. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

When Padre Pio was put under "house arrest"

From The Diary of Cleonice Morcaldi 

one of St. Padre Pio's spiritual daughters.


Three Years of Privation!


A moonlit night. We are at dinner one evening. A person shouted in the streets: "Hurry everyone, a monk, a stranger, has arrived to take away Padre Pio!". 


We arose, mother and children, and scampered to the monastery. The moon was bright! The road which led to the friary church was filled with people. 


We arrived in front of the friary. It was closed. I lingered near the door of the church. It was Easter Monday. 


During the years 1931-33 the Holy See, behind the false accusations and slanders stemming from certain quarters of San Giovanni Rotondo and Manfredonia, prohibited Padre Pio from going down into the church. No longer did we see him on the altar, nor in the confessional, and not even in the choir loft. 


Three years of intense martyrdom, for him and for us! The obedient and gentle lamb, though suffering the insufferable, exclaimed "What return can I render to God for this trial by fire?" 


They even prevented him from approaching the railing of the choir. Word was spread that the decree of the Holy See was to be for life, and that they wanted to exile him to Spain. It was at that time that Padre Pio wrote to the mayor of his ardent desire: "that these bones would find their final rest in a tranquil corner" of San Giovanni Rotondo. Against the innocent one, the just one, as were the sons of Jacob against beloved Joseph. Not only to imprison him, but to destroy him. 


The gentle lamb did not raise his voice, did not defend himself. The victim bowed down his head. Little by little the people kept away. They no longer came to the friary, which began to seem like a hermitage.


They even transferred the friars away to other places. They removed Padre Pio as the director of the local Franciscan Third Order, but I still frequented the friary church all the same. I was very careful not be seen by the monks, who seemed to be like policemen. I lingered in the church with the hope that I would at least hear the voice of Padre Pio. I walked around the outside of the monastery in the hope of seeing him pass by a window. A few times I did see him pass by in a hurry. 


Pietruccio, the young blind man, had permission to go up to visit him and kiss his hand. I took advantage of this by entrusting to Pietruccio some written messages to give to the Padre. I knew that Padre Pio remained in the choir loft until 11:00 at night, and before going to his cell, he would extinguish the light of the choir window, a bright light that illumined all of the area that led to the friary and that could be seen from the town. 


In one note I wrote to the Padre, I asked him to remember to send me a blessing whenever he put out that light. He sent back a reply that he would. Then every evening, from 9:00 to 11:00 I was in the attic, at the lone window up by the roof. I remained in prayer, always looking at the light that in the darkness and silence of the night seemed to shine like a bright star. 


I united my soul with the noble soul of my crucified spiritual Father. I prayed and I cried. I felt myself near him in his sufferings and pains. I seemed to hear his groans, his sighs, his weeping! My mother was in bed asleep; however, every once in a while she would call me. How sorry I was then to have to leave Padre Pio alone in his Gethsemane. 


When he extinguished the light, I would feel a great relief and comfort in my being. This came from the blessing that the dear Father had sent me. 


Just a few months before he was released from these restrictions I had a dream, I don’t remember if I was just half-asleep or what, that the Padre in the form of a Seraphim issued forth from the Tabernacle, passed through the closed door of the church, and came towards me. I made a vow to go on foot to thank St. Michael the Archangel in the grotto at Monte Sant’Angelo, on the day that the Lord would liberate Padre Pio. 


On the morning of July 16, 1933, while alone and feeling desolate, I was at the back of the friary church praying to the Virgin Mary. I saw a friar preparing the altar at an unusually late hour, and he was in the process of placing the chalice on the altar. What could this be about? Only when Padre Pio celebrated Mass did they set up the chalice beforehand! My God! I kept looking, wondering...my heart was pounding! Then a multitude of townspeople started arriving - men, women, children. Many of them went down on their knees in tears, kissing the pavement...instantly the little church was filled. They had learned that Padre Pio was to celebrate Mass! It was the Provincial who had carried the news to them. 


What went through me, I don’t know how to describe. I had to go outside to vent my sobs; a reaction that I just could not contain. Too much had I suffered...and too great was this joy. I was powerless to worthily thank the good God who had come to our aid against all hope. 


After three years, the Padre came forth, with his face full of emotion, and tears streaming down his eyes. He began the Mass amidst the sobs and tears of his children. He was crying, and all of us were crying. 


When it came time to bring us Jesus in Holy Communion, every so often he would say: "Enough. No more crying!". 


After that Holy Mass I went on foot all the way up to the grotto at Monte Sant’Angelo to render thanks to the Archangel Saint Michael. 


Extracts from "Diario" part 6, Voice of Padre Pio, Italian edition, Vol.32, no. 3, March 2001, translated by Frank M. Rega.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A Prophetic Vision of the Church from 1903, does it apply today?

Though the Church is laid low and infirm in her members, she is not infirm in herself and never loses her majesty and venerability . . . There are only a few true defenders of the Church, who are ready to give their all.”

An overview of a vision of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, as reported in Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta, Journeys in the Divine Will – the Early Years, by Frank M. Rega OFS, based on the Church-approved volume 5 of Piccarreta’s Book of Heaven.

Luisa experienced a vision of the Church after she had received Communion, at a time when she was wondering whether or not her victim state was the Will of God. It began as she saw Jesus looking at her with His hands joined in a plea for pity and help. Then she suddenly found herself outside of her body, and inside a room made of stone, where a venerable and majestic looking woman lay in bed, extremely ill. The bed had a headboard so tall as to reach the ceiling. Luisa was hovering at the top of this headboard high above the bed, forcibly held there by the arms of a priest.


Her task was to keep the headboard steady while watching over the sickly woman. Luisa witnessed a few people in religious garb tending to the needs of the patient and discussing among themselves how even a little shake of the bed could severely affect her since she was so infirm. Luisa continued to keep the headboard still for fear that the lady might die if the bed moved.


But as time when on, Luisa began to be annoyed and impatient with her task, which, she was beginning to think, was an idle waste of time. She asked the priest that was holding her to let her down to where the woman was, so that at least she could be of some real assistance to her. But the priest rebuked Luisa, reminding her that with no one to keep the bed still, a little shake could make the patient worse and even cause her death. Luisa for her part kept insisting, saying that she did not believe that she was doing any good at all by simply holding the headboard steady. After repeating these words a few times to the priest, he finally put her down to the floor.


Luisa started to approach the patient, but just then she saw with horror the bed begin to shake and move.  The venerable patient trembled, her fact turned blue, and she emitted a death rattle. The little group of religious started to cry, lamenting that the lady was now in the last moments of her life. At that instant, some enemies barged into the room. They appeared to be soldiers and officers, and they began to cruelly beat the sick woman. Although she was near death, she arose in majesty, and with boldness she submitted herself to be wounded and beaten by them. 


Luisa began to quake, realizing that she had been the cause of this evil, by her failure to remain at her post and keep the bed steady. She understood that the woman represented the Church, which was sick in her members. Then Luisa found herself back in her own body. Jesus appeared and told her that if He suspended her from her state of victimhood, His enemies would proceed to make His Church shed blood.


The next day the Confessor gave her the obedience to explain more fully the meaning of the vision. Luisa wrote that even though the Church is laid low and infirm in her members, she is not infirm in herself and never loses her majesty and venerability. The bed that she lies in while ill signifies that the Church, no matter how strongly she is oppressed, always rests eternally in the peace and safety of the bosom of God. The headboard reaching up to the ceiling represents the divine assistance given to the Church in the form of celestial doctrine, the sacraments, and other continuous and uninterrupted helps. By the small number of religious present at the bedside, Luisa understood that there are only a few true defenders of the Church, who are ready to give their all, and who consider the evils the Church receives as given to themselves.


The room made of stone stands for the firmness and solidity, and even the severity, of the Church in refusing to surrender her rights. The woman herself, bold and intrepid while facing the inevitable beatings, seems to be dying, but she rises with great courage to face the blows. She represents the true spirit of the Church, always ready to fearlessly suffer and shed her blood, accepting mistreatment and mortifications, as did Jesus Christ.

Based on Luisa Piccarreta’s, Book of Heaven, Volume 5, October 24 and 25, 1903, Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. 


LINK to the Book on Amazon.




Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Triumph of God's Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times

The Triumph of God's Kingdom in the Millennium and End Times - A Proper Belief from the Truth in Scripture and Church Teachings


by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, OSJ

St. John the Evangelist Press, Havertown PA. 1999.  


Just what is the Millennium and is it an acceptable part of Roman Catholic teaching? What follows is a brief summary of Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi’s landmark book. The book clears up two points that are very relevant to the current dialog among Christians regarding the end times – Jesus does not come in the flesh to usher in the Millennium, nor does the Rapture begin the Millennium. 


Fr. Iannuzzi asks the question: "Did the Apostolic Fathers ever mention an 'era of peace' or an intermediary reign of Christ on earth?" (p. 10). He shows unequivocally that the answer is yes. The first half of the book is a rather difficult, slow read, since Fr. has to prove that the Fathers of the Church did in fact leave a legacy of writings that gives a specifically Catholic understanding of the Millennium.


He shows that the proper concept of the Millennium is consistent with Catholic teaching, and can be traced back to the earliest Church Fathers. This view is derived solely from Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium. No visionaries or private revelations are cited (making this book unique in Catholic circles among books that discuss the end times). 


To summarize very briefly, there will be two tribulations, two triumphs, two remnants and two kingdoms. One set of these events occurs at the beginning of the Millennium, and the other at its end. 


Fr. Iannuzzi makes no predictions as to actual dates and times. 


However, in salvation history, four thousand years preceded Christ, and two thousand years have followed upon his birth. The next thousand years would be the seventh thousand, or the seventh day, the Sabbath day rest. Hence this period may very well be the millennial period. After the end of the seventh day, comes the eighth or eternal day of God's everlasting kingdom. However, we do not know for sure if the thousand years is to be taken literally, nor for sure when it will begin. 


In scripture, the Day of the Lord refers to the whole seventh day, or the whole thousand-year period. The Millennium is the period of peace which marks the peak of this Day. The defeat of Antichrist will herald the beginning of the Millennium, or thousand year spiritual reign of Christ. The binding of Satan for a thousand years is also at the beginning of the Millennium. 


The reign of Jesus during the Millennium will be a Eucharistic reign. 


Jesus will not come in the flesh to begin the Millennium, but will come in spirit and power. To say that Jesus will come in the flesh for the thousand years is the heresy of Millenarianism. To say that He will come in the flesh for a thousand years and establish a 'sensual' kingdom of carnal banquets is the heresy of Chiliasm. 


The end of the Millennium is marked by the final defeat of Satan (Gog, Magog period). The Rapture or gathering up with Christ refers to the final judgement, and will be at the end of the millennial period, not at its beginning. 


The end of the seventh day is the end of time, and the beginning of eternity, or the eighth day of eternal rest, the eternal kingdom of God. 


Thus there are then two separate tribulations, one at the beginning of the day (Antichrist), and one at the end of the day (Satan), the 'great' tribulation. There are two remnants, the Christian survivors of each of the two tribulations. There are two triumphs - the first triumph heralds the Temporal Kingdom and the second triumph heralds the Eternal Kingdom. 


The book goes into detail about the characteristics of these two Kingdoms, the information coming from the same sources he uses throughout: Scripture, Church Fathers and Doctors, and the Magisterium. 


Disclaimer: This review is a good faith sharing from my own personal notes, and is not to be construed as a 100% accurate representation of the book’s contents. I am merely carrying out Fr. Iannuzzi’s wishes for this book as expressed in the Epilogue (p. 169): "Please share it with others for God’s glory. If you found this book to be helpful or valuable, please recommend it to your friends and family." 


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