At the grotto where the visionary Bruno Cornacchiola had a series of apparitions of our Lady. Now stands a place of prayer little known, but very popular in Rome which S. John Paul II called to be the “The Virgin Mary of the Third Millennium”
Bruno Cornacchiola was born in Rome on May 9, 1913. His family, poor materially, is even more squalid in spiritual values. His mother, harassed by work outside the home, cannot even dedicate herself to their education. His father, almost always drunk, often beats him, so much so that at a certain moment he decides not to go home in the evening and spends the night in some cave on the outskirts of Rome or in the premises near the Scala Santa.
As Bruno himself recounts:
“I was traveling by train and I don’t usually pay for the train ticket, I hid under the coach seats when the conductor passed by and if the opportunity arose, I would steal also, I only worried about being taken by the police …”.
At 23 he married with Iolanda Lo Gatto. However, he does not want to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony and only to satisfy his future wife complies to celebrate it in the sacristy (of a church).
During the civil war in Spain he started as a volunteer, attracted by the mirage of good pay, and remained there for three years. He makes friends with a German Protestant soldier who instills hatred in him for the Church and the Pope. After the Spanish war, before returning home, he enters an armory in Toledo and buys a dagger, on whose handle he writes: “Death to the Pope”.
Having arrived home, full of worries in search of a job and for the confusions on his recent religious problem.
In those days he extends his plan:
“To save humanity I will have to kill priests everywhere, I will try in every way to destroy the Catholic Church and it will be my duty to stab the Pope”. He joined the Seventh Day Adventists and plotted to kill the Pope on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 1947.
He wants to convince his wife to abandon his Catholic faith and often beats her. One day his exasperated wife makes a strange pact with him:
“Bruno, you want me to join you in the Protestant Church … I accept, but on one condition: you must confess and receive communion on the first nine friday of the month, If at the end of this pious practice you will still want to change religion I will follow you too, otherwise we will continue together in the faith of our baptism “.
The man consents and receives nine times, every first Friday of the month, the Eucharist, but does not change his mind; thus, the trial failed, the wife goes with him to Protestantism.
But Christ awaits him at the gate.
On the Saturday after Easter Sunday, April 12, 1947, he decided to go with his threechildren (Isola – 10yrs old daughter and two sons: Carlo – 7yrs old and Gianfranco – 4 yrs old) to the Lido of Ostia, but when he reached the Ostiense station, the train had already left. Then they head towards “Tre Fontane”, in the square in front of the Trappist abbey.
He said to the children:
– “Gianfranco, Carlo, Isola, you can play ball, but do not stray too far”.
They leave immediately, disappearing and appearing among the plants with festive shouts, while Bruno sits on a low wall, at the edge of the eucalyptus grove, to prepare a writing against the Virgin Mary. He brought a protestant Bible and some sheets and immediately throws on a sheet the first lines: “Our Lady is not Virgin, she is not Immaculate, she is not Assumed in Heaven …”.
In the meantime, the children calls him:
– “Daddy, we have lost the ball, come and look for it with us!”.
He gets up and meets Carlo, the eldest son, he goes with him to inspect the ground. While his daughter Isola moves around to collects flowers. Meanwhile Gianfranco sits aside to read through a newspaper.
Cornacchiola himself tells the story:
“Carlo and I went down the slope to Via Laurentina to find the ball, but we did not see it, wishing to make sure that the little one had not left the place assigned to him, I called him by name and he answered me.
At a certain moment, however, I did not hear him anymore and although I raised my voice, I had no answer back. Worried I came back, I arrived to the bushes near the cave where I had left him, but I did not see him. So, I shouted even louder:
“Gianfranco, where are you?”
More and more worried, I was looking for him frantically among the bushes and the rocks and finally I found my son kneeling at the entrance of a cave near my left side.
His hands were clasped as if he was praying and he was looking inside attentively, smiling and whispering something. I moved closer and I heard these words distinctly:
– “Beautiful Lady! … Beautiful Lady! …”.
– “What are you saying, Gianfranco, – I asked – what are you doing?”.
I thought it was a game of the children, because no one in the house had taught him, not being yet even baptized, that attitude of prayer.
Then I called:
– “Isola, come down, tell me something!”.
she obeyed me and …
– “What’s in there? – I asked – Do you see anything?”
– “No dad” – she replies, but immediately after some moment, she also fell to her knees on the right of his little brother. The flowers fell down of her hands, with her eyes transfixed on someone inside the cave. She, too, whispered:
– ” Beautiful Lady! … Beautiful Lady! … “
I becoming more perplexed than ever, can’t understand the reason of the curious ways in which the children were kneeling and staring enchanted towards the inside of the cave and repeating the same words.
I thought of calling Carlo who was still looking for the ball and said …
– “Come here too – I asked – and explain to me what your brothers are doing in that curious position … Maybe you have prepared this game among yourselves?” .
– ” But what are you saying – he observed – what game are you referring to? … I do not know this game and I do not know anything about what or how they are doing it! “
As soon as he pronounced such words, he too fell to his knees on the right side of Isola, his hands clasped and his eyes fixed on a point that fascinated him within the cave, repeating the same words:
– “Beautiful Lady! …” .
– “It’s too much! – I shouted – You too are making fun of me! “
I could not stand it anymore and with my nerves very agitated, I shouted:
–“Carlo, – I imposed angrily – get out of there “.
And because he did not move, I tried to lift it, but I could not lift him. He seems weight like heavy lead, and then I felt afraid. I approached my daughter anxiously and said
– “Isola – I invited her – get up and do not be like Carlo!”
She did not answer, I tried to move her but I could not. Looking at their dilated pupils in this ecstatic state and the pallor of their faces, I tried embracing the smallest child of mine and:
– “Up. – I said – How is it possible that my arms have been deprived of so much energy?”
At this point I said:
–” But what happening here? – I exclaimed – Are there any witches in the cave or some devil? … “
Then, instinctively I shouted:
-” Whoever you are, even if maybe you are priest, come out! “
I entered the cave, decided to punch the strange being to which they are staring, but the cave was empty”.
Cornacchiola then goes out in despair and, crying convulsively, raises her arms and eyes to the sky and cries:
-” God, save us! “.
” Behold – he says – after that invocation was said, I suddenly saw two very candid hands moving towards me and I felt that they were touching my face, I had the sensation that something was being teared from my eyes. I felt a certain pain in that instant and remained in the deepest darkness. …
At this point I could no longer see the cavity or what was inside of it, but I was invaded by an unusual joy. “
At that moment he was enraptured by the vision of a young woman figure, wrapped in the splendor of a golden light, firm and gently standing. Bruno stares at her with transport, overcome by the charm of such beauty, attracted by the light that, although intense, does not offend the sight but floods it with superhuman sweetness. The woman wears a bright white tunic, wrapped at the sides by a pink band. She has black hair, a little protruding from the meadow like green veil that covers her from the shoulders to her feet. The bare and virginal feet protrudes out from beneath the garment and standing on a boulder of stone surrounded by light. In her chest, a book of gray colored covering, on which held tight also by the other hand.
Most of all, I was fascinated by the face of that woman, a face in which the innocent candor of a child merges with the vagueness and grace of virginity and the majestic gravity of the sublime motherhood.
Continued the seer:
“I saw that the beautiful Lady slowly moved her left hand and pointed to something at her feet. I looked and saw a black cloth supporting a broken cross on the ground”.
Cornacchiola thinks that the black cloth, similar to a ragged dress, and the broken cross, wanted to allude to a cassock, which is the sign of distinction, by many religious and priests and now put aside by many who abandon it.
“My first impulse was to cry out, but my voice died in my throat.”
The Appearance, almost offering the book in his hand, in an ineffably sweet tone said:
-” I am Her who is of the Divine Trinity. I am Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse and Temple of the Holy Spirit.”
-” I am the VIRGIN OF THE REVELATION “.
Then looking at Bruno, she said
-” You persecute me. Enough of it now! Enter the holy sheepfold, the heavenly court on earth. The oath of God is true and remains unchangeable: the nine Friday of the Sacred Heart, which you did, and lovingly pushed by your faithful bride before beginning the path of error, saved you! “
Meanwhile, a mysterious and indefinable fragrance floods the environment and seems to cover the dirt of the ground, reminding of the sad trail of squalid meetings.
Having thus presented itself, the celestial Lady holds a prolonged allusion to the son who is about to return to God, part of which is addressed to Bruno himself and to all the faithful. While the other one has a secret message for the Holy Father, and then he continues:
– “I want to give you a sure proof of the divine reality you are living, so that you can exclude every other motivation of your experience here, including that of the infernal enemy. And this is the sign: When you meet a priest in the church or on the street, approach him and address this expression: “Father, I must speak to you!”. If he answers you: “Ave Maria (Hail Mary), son, what do you want?” ask him to stop because it is the one I have chosen. To him you will manifest what the heart will say to you and obey him, he will point you in fact to another priest with these words: “That’s the one for your case”.
-” Then you will go to the Holy Father, the supreme pastor of Christendom, and you will personally hand him my message.
Some of whom you will tell of this vision will not believe in you, but do not let yourself be depressed … “
Then, with an attitude of maternal goodness and serene sadness, the enchanting Lady turns and serenely moved in the direction of St. Peter Basilica and goes away.
Pray the Holy Rosary
In the message, Our Lady asks with insistence to all the prayer and calls all for the recitation of the Rosary:
– “Pray very much and recite the daily Rosary for the conversion of sinners, unbelievers and for the unity of Christians. The Hail Mary’s that you say with faith and love, are many golden arrows that reach the Heart of Jesus. “
And here, almost as a reward for those who will listen to his motherly message, the Virgin promises heavenly favors:
-” With these dirt of sin, I will work powerful miracles for the conversion of the unbelievers. “
In Her goodness, She also wants to reveal the Son in the mysteries of his intimate life, linked to the Sublime Trinity:
-” My body could not rot nor did it rot. My Son and the angels came to pick me up when I passed away. “
Meeting with the Holy Father Pius XII
Il December 9, 1949, the Holy Father Pius XII invited the Rome tram drivers, accompanied by Father Rotondi, to recite with him the Rosary in his private chapel.
Let us hear the description of the event from Cornacchiola:
“Among the workers I was there too; I carried with me the dagger and the Bible on which it was written: “This is the death of the Catholic Church, with the Pope at the head”. I wanted to give the Holy Father the dagger and the Bible.
After having finished the Holy Rosary the Pope said:
– “Some of you want to talk to me?”
I knelt and said:
– “Your Holiness, it’s me!”.
The other workers open a passage for the Pope; he leaned towards me, put his hand on my shoulder, approached his face to mine and asked:
– “What is it, my son?” .
– “Holiness, here is the Protestant Bible that I interpreted erroneously and with which I killed many souls “.
Weeping I handed over the dagger on which “Death to the Pope” and whispered to the Pope:
-” I beg forgiveness for having dared only to think so much, I had planned to kill you with this dagger! “
Father took those objects, looked at me, smiled and observed:
– “Dear son, with this you would have done nothing but give a new martyr to the Church, but to Christ a victory of His love” …
“The Virgin of Revelation ” by Mons. Fausto Rossi – Edition Rome (in Italian)
http: //www.mariadinazareth.it/apparizione%20tre%20fontane.htm (in Italian)
http://www.divinemysteries.info/the-virgin-of-revelation-tre-fontaine-rome-italy-1947/ (in English)