The first series of preparatory apparitions
On November 24, 1946 Our Lady, with three large swords pierced in her chest, appeared for the first time to Pierina Gilli (1911-1991) while she was recollected in prayer in the hospital room saying:
“Prayer, sacrifice, penance”.
The seer, first among 9 siblings, had a very poor childhood. She attended school only until the fourth grade and then started working. She did various jobs until she was accepted as a hospital attendant. From a very young age she felt called to the religious life, but a serious illness always took place that forced her to postpone any decision in this regard.
At the end of 1944 she fell into a coma due to a meningitis attack and remained in this state for 12 days when, after a dream in which a nun of the Handmaid of Charity had approached her, anointing her with a particular ointment and telling her that she would be healed but that she would have a naked cross to carry in the future. After she regained consciousness and she found herself healed.
The nun who had appeared to her in a dream later appeared to her numerous other times. She later recognized, with the help of the nuns of the hospital, that the nun was St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa, the foundress of the congregation of the Handmaid of Charity.
Towards the end of 1945 Pierina became ill again and continued to suffer from pains throughout her body for the whole of year of 1946. On February 12, 1947 she was in very serious conditions, with a cardiac collapse that presaged an imminent death. But Pierina still received a visit from St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa who asked her to offer her sufferings for the salvation of souls of religious. After accepting, she recovered. New sufferings came later in the form of demonic persecution. St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa often appeared to her, always inviting her to humility, to exercise charity and love for all.
On June 1, 1947 Our Lady appeared (still with the three swords upon her chest) saying to her:
“Your great sufferings together with the vision of hell were intended to make you aware of the gravity of mortal sin in the souls consecrated to Jesus and chosen to his love. The sufferings of these days have helped to wrest some of our religious nuns from the power of the devil”.
The thirteenth of the month – the second series of apparitions
Pierina stated that a series of apparitions took place a few months later, and precisely starting on July 13, 1947, on a Sunday morning, in a room in the Montichiari hospital. This time Mary was dressed in white and instead of the three swords on her chest there were three roses: one white, one red and one yellow-gold. Pierina addressed Our Lady with the words: “Tell me, for goodness’ sake, who are you?”. The vision answers:
“I am the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of you … the Lord sends me to promote a more fruitful Marian devotion among religious institutes and congregations, male and female, and among all priests. I promise to all those who will honor me, my utmost protection, the flowering of vocations, fewer apostasies and the great desire for holiness of the ministers of God. I wish that the 13th of each month be regarded as a Marian day dedicated to special prayers to be started twelve days before».
The new devotion consists of prayers (white rose), sacrifices (red rose), penances (yellow-gold rose). Respectively for the conversion and in reparation for the sins of three categories of consecrated souls who are unfaithful to their religious vocation.
First, for consecrated souls who betray their vocation; second, in reparation for the mortal sin of these consecrated souls; third, in reparation for the unfaithfulness of priests who make themselves unworthy of their sacred ministry. Furthermore, Pierina understood that she must always contribute to the sanctification of priests through prayer, sacrifice and penance.
On February 15, 1952, St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa announced to her a new apparition of our Lady on April 17, 1966 in Fontanelle, a countryside located just outside Montichiari. When she arrived that day, Pierina was told by our Lady that She was sent by Her Divine Son to make the water of the fountain that was in that place miraculous.
Fatima and Rosa Mystica
On December 8, 1947, the Holy Virgin appeared to her in the cathedral of Montichiari on top of a white staircase, adorned with white, red and yellow roses, saying:
“I am the Immaculate Conception. I am Mary of Grace, Mother of My Divine Son Jesus Christ … Here in Montichiari I wish to be called “Mystical Rose”. I wish every year, on December 8, to take place at noon, the hour of universal Grace, with which numerous spiritual and corporal graces will be obtained. The Lord, my divine Son Jesus, will grant great mercy, provided that the good always continue to pray for their sinful brothers. Let it be known immediately to the Holy Father of the Catholic Church, Pope Pius XII, my desire that this hour of Grace be spread and practiced all over the world. Those who cannot go to their respective churches will obtain graces from me by praying also in their homes. To those who pray and shed tears of repentance in this church, they will be shown a sure way to obtain grace and protection from my heart … ».
Next to the Virgin were two children. Pierina asked who they were.
“They are Jacinta and Francesco, and they will accompany you in all your tribulations, because they too, although smaller than you, have suffered greatly. That is what I want from you: kindness and simplicity as in these children ».
Pierina understood that great spiritual fruits could come from the celebration of what she called “an hour of grace, penance and prayer” in favor of the conversions, especially for religious consecrated souls. Pierina understood that she had to dedicate herself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, basing her spirituality on the beautiful traditional Marian title of “Mystical Rose”.
Act of mercy
At this point the vision shows Pierina Mary’s “shining heart” and adds:
“Here is the heart, which loves men so much, while most of them are repaid with outrages … When the good ones, as well as the bad ones, will all be gathered in prayer, they will obtain mercy and peace from this heart … Up to now the good ones, through my intercession, have obtained from the Lord an act of mercy, which has been able to ward off a serious scourge. Before long the world will know the greatness of this hour of Grace.”
On October 22, 1948 Pierina had the first appearance of Jesus; she received (in addition to a personal secret and a message for the Holy Father) and also significant messages during the numerous visions of the Virgin.
After this, for many years our Lady no longer appeared to Pierina. Pierina, on the instruction of the bishop, lived in total privacy in a religious institute. Only in 1966 that our Lady returned with new presumed apparitions and others messages and up until March 24, 1983 when all her apparitions concluded.
The Episcopal Commission of inquiry concluded its work by stating that “the apparition have been determined to not have any supernatural character” in Montichiari. These apparitions have not been recognized by the Catholic Church. However, the town is recognized as a Marian place of worship dedicated to Mary Mystical Rose. The sanctuary is also well known because it is a place of worship particularly felt by Romanian and Sinti people. In the Brescia Church, Msgr. Rossi, parish priest of Montichiari until 1971, has always considered the apparitions genuine.
Francesco Di Chiara – Notizie tratte dal quotidiano “Brescia oggi” Sabato 18 Agosto 2001