The Holy Virgin identified herself as "Mary, the Rosa Mystica, Mother of the Church" (depicted above) and delivered urgent messages mainly directed towards priests and other consecrated souls. She urged them to live their vocations worthily, while calling on others to pray for them. It was a revelation, that in due time, proved to be highly prophetic in light of the ongoing clergy abuse scandal and the decline of religious vocations in the Church today.
bring you a new Marian devotion for all male and female institutes, religious orders,
and secular priests. I promise those religious institutes, orders, and secular priests who
venerate me in this special way my special protection, an increase of spiritual vocations,
fewer betrayed vocations, and greater sanctity among the servants of God."
In the course of the apparitions, the Virgin Mary revealed herself to Pierina dressed all in white; in a long gown with a hooded mantle. What was unusual about these appearances was the trio of roses blooming directly out of the Madonna's chest, which according to the seer, represented the "heart" of Our Lady's revelations to her: PRAYER (White Rose); SACRIFIC (Red Rose); PENANCE (Gold Rose).
I have been able to obtain mercy, and Jesus has sent me, therefore, again to Montichiari
to bring you the grace of His Love. Prayer, Sacrifice, and Penance are required in
order to save mankind..."
~ Words of the Rosa Mystica (May, 1966)
On April 17th, 1966, Pierina went to a stream at the outskirts of Montichiari, in a place called Fontanelle, where the Virgin directed her to go. There, the Blessed Mother appeared and blessed the water with healing properties. She also requested a chapel at the site, along with prayer services and processions, with July 13th being especially dedicated to her title as Mary, the Rosa Mystica. Signs and wonders occurred during the apparitions - cures, heavenly fragrances, and the dancing sun - and continue to be reported up to the present day.
Pierina Gilli died on January 12, 1991, after living an exemplary life of humble devotion and obedience to local church authorities. After her public mission was fulfilled, she stayed away from the Fontanelle shrine and the general limelight, per her bishop's directive, but she still welcomed pilgrims who came to the private chapel in her modest home. Pierina was also apparently a victim-soul and reportedly suffered the invisible stigmata. Our Lady continued to visit her privately, although sporadically, and the latter messages she received were relayed to her confessor for discernment.
the Rosa Mystica revelations.
In keeping with her theme of Prayer, Sacrifice, and Penance, Our Lady made a specific request through Pierina concerning the "Hour of Grace" to be observed annually on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. She referred to it at least twice during two separate apparitions to the visionary:
Montichiari). It will be the Hour of Grace. This Hour of Grace will produce great and
numerous conversions. Hardened and cold hearts resembling this marble (the church floor)
will be touched by Divine Grace, and they will become faithful to our Lord in loyal love."
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"I am the Immaculate Conception... It is my wish that every year, on 8th December,
at Noon, the Hour of Grace for the world be celebrated. Many divine and bodily graces
will be received through this devotion. Our Lord, my Divine Son Jesus, will send His
overflowing mercy if good people will pray continuously for their sinful brothers.
One should very soon notify the Holy Father of the Church, Pope Pius XII, that it is
my wish that the Hour of Grace for the world be made known and spread throughout
the world. If anyone is unable to visit a church, yet will pray at noon at home,
they will also receive graces through me."
So consider observing the Hour of Grace at noon each year on December 8th. The recommended prayers to be offered during the hour are the Rosary and the Miserere (Psalm 51), as well as general prayers for the conversion of sinners.
Another unique aspect of the Rosa Mystica apparitions was Our Lady's direct request to Pierina to have "Pilgrim Madonnas" sent throughout the world to be ambassadors of her messages, as well as special channels of grace. The Blessed Mother reportedly said in May and November 1975:
I shall bring with me Joy, Peace, and Grace for very many souls... I am always
near you with my motherly protection and the Lord's very special blessing."
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The local diocese has repeatedly taken the stance that the supernatural character of the apparitions has not been established. However, successive Bishops have approved the development of the existing shrine in Fontanelle, allowing Mass, Reconciliation. and other public expressions of faith at the site (e.g. processions), which is a remarkable and uncharacteristic accommodation on the Diocese's part.
On December 7, 2019 the Bishop of Brescia - Monsignor Pierantonio Tremolada - under whose jurisdiction Fontanelle falls, designated the Rosa Mystica Shrine an official "Diocesan Marian Sanctuary" under the beautiful title of Rosa Mystica-Mother of the Church; indeed, a highly significant development, if not tacit approval of the events that occurred there.
I - Peter, this blog's administrator - visited the Fontanelle Shrine in 1989 during a trip to Italy and came away completely impressed by the aura of holiness I experienced at the site. I was also granted a very important personal grace by Our Lady, under this particular title of hers, which is the reason why I initially developed a devotion to this apparition; became attracted to this particular representation of Mary.
My own Rosa Mystica pilgrim statue has never wept, but it has exhibited other unusual phenomena: it has emanated the fragrance of fresh roses; noticeably changed its facial expression on several occasions in front of me and other witnesses; exhibited physical movements (blinking and mouth movements); materialized shiny flakes of Escarchas (see the short video below of a manifestation of Escarchas during one of my Rosa Mystica speaking presentations)... and, if these weren't graces enough, my statue was also blessed by Mary during an apparition...
On February 14, 2011, my pilgrim statue was blessed in an extraordinary manner by Our Lady, herself, during a Hawaii speaking tour by Ivan Dragicevic, one of the 6 alleged visionaries from the world-famous Marian apparition site of Medjugorje.
I was invited to a friend's home, where Ivan was a special guest, and he experienced one of his daily (evening) apparitions while kneeling before the statue, which our hosts asked me to bring. The visionary later informed us Our Lady appeared with three little angels (a rare occurrence!) and had prayed a benediction over the people present... as well as, imparted her blessing on my statue and the other sacramentals brought to the event. It was a deeply moving experience that affirmed and fused my belief in both the Rosa Mystica devotion and Medjugorje into one special statue!
Me, sitting next to Medjugorje visionary - Ivan Dragicevic (middle) - as he shared a message
In lieu of the signs I've witnessed in connection with this devotion, my personal faith has definitely grown and has been enriched. It's my personal opinion that Our Lady's apparitions, messages, and miracles at Montichiari and Fontanelle were/are genuine... and that the lovely Rosa Mystica statues now found all over the world in churches and private homes are indeed vessels of blessing when they are sincerely venerated and honored by the Faithful. As such, I pray these events will one day soon be officially approved by the Church for the edification and good of all souls. Mother Mary, the Mystical Rose, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
who hear my voice and take my wishes to heart."
... and lastly, here's a prayer to the Rosa Mystica that's widely circulated by devotees. It may be prayed for nine days as a novena:
Maria Rosa Mystica - Mystical Rose, Immaculate Conception - Mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ - Mother of Grace - Mother of the Mystical Body, of the Church; You came down on earth to call upon us children of this earth to love each other, to unite, and live in peace. You request from us Charity, Prayer, and Penance. We thank God from the bottom of our hearts that He has given you to us as our Mother and Mediatrix in all our needs. Mary, full of grace, please help me I beseech you, and grant me my special intention (state your prayer intention here). You promised us your motherly protection, full of graces; “I am always very close to you with My motherly love.” Rosa Mystica, Immaculata, Mater Dolorosa, please show me that you are my Mother, Bride of the Holy Spirit, and Queen of Heaven and Earth. Amen.