Monday, February 28, 2011

SAINT PADRE PIO DE PIETRELCINA (1888-1968) via Wikipedia

A Capuchin, Blessed Padre Pio, had one of the most extraordinary lives in Church history. A stigmatist for fifty years, he had an over abundance of charisms: visions, gift of healing, bilocation and prophecy, discernment of spirits, etc. . . . He was also one of the greatest confessors of our time, people coming from the world over to receive also his blessing and, more especially, guidance for decisive life orientations.

A strong believer in Christian meditation, Pad...Image via Wikipedia

It is highly significant that this out-of-the-ordinary son of St. Francis, so devoted to the Blessed Virgin, who worked so zealously in the Lord's vineyard, was indubitably involved in Garabandal. Considerable study has already been undertaken to establish the connection between Padre Pio and that very great Marian Apparition, thanks, among others, to the testimonies of Conchita, Joey Lomangino, Fathers Pel, Laffineur and Marcelino Andreu, who all met the Padre of Pietrelcina about Garabandal. As to the Capuchin Fathers of San Giovanni Rotondo, they have kept confidential, up to this day, numerous documents, in particular the many pictures taken, January 1966, when Conchita met with Blessed Padre Pio, and which were to be forwarded to her after the "beatification of Padre Pio." That "long- awaited ecclesial event" (Pope John Paul II) at last occurred (May 2, 1999), being hailed as one of the most celebrated events of its kind in Church history, more than 300,000 persons (pilgrims - Holy Year 2000) attended it at the Vatican's St. Peter's Basilica in Rome!
[From 'Garabandal' Book, page 222.]

Pope John Paul II canonized Padre Pio of Pietrelcina a Saint on June 16, 2002 in one of the largest attended liturgies ever in the Vatican's history. The Pope remarked that Padre Pio's spirituality and suffering are a valuable model for modern times. The Pope reemphasized his message at the end of the canonization liturgy by announcing Padre Pio's feast day, September 23rd, is an "obligatory memorial" in the Church's general liturgical calendar.
The ranking of obligatory memorial accorded to Padre Pio means the celebration must be observed in Masses and the Liturgy of the Hours on the day it occurs unless an observance that takes precedence - a solemnity or feast - falls on the same day. St. Maximillian Kolbe, also in the Franciscan tradition, is the only other 20th century saint whose memorial is obligatory.
I wish I was there for that canonization cause I prayed everyday for that intention. I really look forward to meeting the Padre in Heaven, where he can give me his blessing personally . . .
As a matter of fact, I can't wait to see all my Saintly friends, my guardian angel, and my dear loved ones who have gone before me. How about you?

I just received a new book on St. Pio titled 'Padre Pio and America' by Frank M. Rega! We can never stop learning new things about God's Saints! I am blessed to get this gift!
Deacon John
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Friday, February 25, 2011


Inside the church today.

A native of San Sebastian de Garabandal, Fr. Gomez was appointed in 1971 pastor of the village (a pastoral duty he is still in charge [year 2000] ) by Msgr. del val. . . . the church just refurbished in 1986 with the approval of Msgr. del Val, thanks also to the financial assistance of Joey Lomangino and of many other benefactors throughout the world.

Don Juan was one of the very first and most important witnesses of the phenomena. He was present at more than one thousand ecstasies including the "Milagrucu." [Little Miracle of the Host]. At first these left him skeptical, then he gradually changed his opinion and it was as a priest personally convinced of the authenticity of Garabandal that he acceded to the responsibilities of the pastor. He even managed to convince Msgr. del Val of the necessity to set up at last a more serious investigation file of these "events."
[From 'Garabandal' Book, page 219]

View of the parochial church in San Sebastián ...Image via Wikipedia

People from all over the world go on Pilgrimage to Garabandal, so it must be a big job being pastor of that tiny church. And after the Bishop lifted the interdict and allowed priests to go there to, they must be a great help to him in ministering the Sacraments to the pilgrims. Divine Providence comes through again!
Next we will begin meeting some of the other contemporary saintly figures involved with Garabandal . . . stay tuned!
Deacon John

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Saturday, February 19, 2011


Msgr. del Val Gallo 
From the village church; the Pines are viewed.

Doctor Jose Maria Cirarda is a Basque. He was born on May 17, 1917. Like Dr. Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Comillas where he was ordained to the priesthood on July 5, 1942. After teaching theology for seventeen years at Vitoria, he was appointed auxiliary Bishop at Seville in April 1960, and then became Bishop of Santander on July 23, 1968. He took charge of the See on the following August 30. On October 9 of the same year, he published through his Secretariat, a Note in the Spanish press, stipulating, "he expects all the faithful to observe in greatest detail the dispositions taken by his predecessors . . . and still totally in force" . . . A few days later, as we saw, Conchita was leaving for Lourdes for the exceptional reasons we know!
Msgr. Cirarda became Bishop of Cordova on December 4, 1971. Later, already Archbishop, he was to become the Secretary of the Spanish Conference of Bishops.

Originally from Santander, Msgr. del Val Gallo had first filled several posts in the diocese. As a member of the "Special Commission" in charge of investigating the phenomena of Garabandal, he did not acknowledge at first their supernatural character. When he was appointed Bishop of Santander in December 1971, his initial negative stand had already softened a good deal. So much so that, in 1977, he requested that the "Garabandal dossier" be officially reopened. Rome
refused; it judged the initiative untimely since no "new events" had occurred. (Msgr. del Val was to be "the Bishop who would receive an irrefutable sign of the authenticity of Garabandal. This would incite him to lift the interdiction imposed upon the priests, forbidding them to go up to San Sebastian de Garabandal . . .")

Msgr. Vilaplana, a profoundly Marian priest and a most competent pastor, let it be known about Garabandal that he would take the same stand as his predecessors and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had taken in the past. He himself took the investigation file set up by Msgr. Del Val to the Vatican. In order to complete somewhat his information and form a personal opinion, Msgr. Vilaplana took the initiative of going to the village "disguised as a layman" and be driven up to the Pines by Don Juan himself!
His pastoral prudence and his vigilant "wait-and-see policy" undoubtedly preserved, up to this day, Garabandal, from an irrelevant agitation and from all inopportune assimilation with other "so-called sites of apparitions."
Since the great events predicted by the visionaries, through Conchita mainly, are not supposed to occur before Year 2000, we can reasonably think that Msgr. Vilaplana might be the one Bishop who will discern, along with Roman authorities, the supernatural character of
[From 'Garabandal' Book, pages 218-220]


Garabandal International Magazine reports this news and said that the previous Archbishop Administrator Carlos stated "the next Bishop will promote further studies to examine in depth the Garabandal events and will send the findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome."

We are coming to the end of our story . . . well, actually it won't end until the fulfillment of the prophecies and the Triumph of Our Lady. Then will be the beginning, the New Era . . .
In the meantime our book now tells us of the main characters in the drama. So we now know the three Bishops who reigned after the "events" stopped. After this we will meet the new pastor of Garabandal, and then the leading figures who influenced the spread of the Messages
throughout the world. Stay tuned and give a comment if you like.
Roman Deacon

Monday, February 14, 2011

OCTOBER 16, 1968:

When Blessed Padre Pio died, on September 23, 1968, Conchita was very perplexed. The Blessed Virgin's prophecy, predicting that he would see the Miracle, had apparently not been fulfilled . . .
But, on October 16 of the same year, the visionary received a telegram from Lourdes. It was sent by a lady friend of hers, urging her to go to the world-famous Sanctuary, to receive a letter written by Blessed Padre Pio (written, by the way, just . . . one day before the Blessed Capuchin "confirmed," once more, the supernatural authenticity of Garabandal to a French author in spiritual matters, whom we know very well (J.S.)
Convent of the Capuchins, August 22, 1968,
For Conchita - Padre Pio has said:
"I pray the most Blessed Virgin to comfort her and to guide her towards sanctity. I bless her with all my heart."
Fr. Pellegrino

This note dictated by Padre Pio the very day, at the time of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to Fr. Pellegrino, then Superior of the Monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo, was brought to Conchita by one of the famous Capuchin's messengers and friends, the Franciscan Fr. Bernardino Cennamo, who himself had been in San Sebastian de Garabandal on June 18, 1965, and had witnessed the spectacular ecstasy of that famous day, but still doubting about its divine origin . . . until the famous Capuchin of Pietrelcina asked him to offer Conchita the little veil that was to be used to cover his face soon after his death -- a most exceptional 'relic' that the visionary inherited at Lourdes. She also learned from Fr. Bernardino that Padre Pio had clearly "seen the Miracle" shortly before dying (on August 22, 1968): "He told me so himself," the Franciscan insisted. A few days later, Conchita wrote to Joey Lomangino and mentioned the altogether important recent "event." She would later write a complete account of this for Elisa, a friend of Barcelona. ( Fr. A. Combe, a French priest, who had accompanied Conchita and her mother to Lourdes, also would provide us with a full account of that most remarkable, providential trip). Furthermore, all the irrefutable facts occurred before and after the famous Note of Msgr. Cirarda, October 9, 1968! (see next post). As to Fr. B. Cennamo himself, he will eventually corroborate firmly what has been said above, in a letter of July 4, 1969, to an English gentleman.
[From 'Garabandal' Book, pages 216-217]

Lots of details on this amazing "event" in the life of Conchita . . .
Well, at least she got to go to Lourdes. I always wanted to go there too, but so far haven't made it there. All this stuff happened before I heard of Garabandal in 1970, so I really missed out knowing about Padre Pio, but he did become one of my favorite saints after that and I prayed to him to intercede for me many times and also prayed for his beatification. Someone I know personally had a visit from him after his death and caused that person to get out of their depression and a change of life! Another time I was at Joey Lomangino's house and a nun
from Italy was there who had one of Padre Pio's gloves that had covered the stigmata. It was passed around to be venerated and one man smelled roses coming from it and had a conversion experience. I didn't smell anything . . . I love remembering all this little stuff, it makes me smile!
Deacon John

Friday, February 11, 2011

FEBRUARY 5 TO 19, 1968:


The Vatican covered the expenses of Conchita's second visit to Rome again with her mother and Fr. Luna, complete discretion being then asked to Conchita. The visionary again went to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to be questioned but, this time, no longer by Cardinal Ottaviani. We hardly know anything more about the new encounter: Conchita, in fact, was even more discreet about this second trip than about the first.
The archives of Fr. Luna, now deceased, will someday doubtless be of great use to us to know, at last, the nature of the conversations that took place then between the visionary and the Church authorities. It will a fortiori be the same for what the Archives of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are preserving about this matter.
[From 'Garabandal' Book, page 215]
Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, RomeImage via Wikipedia

It's interesting that the Vatican paid for Conchita and her mother with Fr. Luna for this trip to Rome . . . I wonder if I can get a free trip too! And I'll bring all of you along. With my luck, I'd have to pay my way home . . . after they hear my story!!!

Anyway, everything is so secretive and under wraps so I guess we will have to wait till after the Miracle to read some more about this meeting.

Deacon John
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Friday, February 4, 2011

OCTOBER 10, 1967:


Less than two weeks after the certainly "ill-inspired" episode of building the "chapel in honor of the Archangel St. Michael," there was a pseudo-bi location of Padre Pio right in Aniceta's home! Conchita quickly discerned the fraudulent character of this manifestation . . .
Throughout the period of the apparitions and the locutions at San Sebastian de Garabandal, there never occurred anything that was intrinsically linked to the "Evil One." That came later and only on a few occasions, when the authentic phenomena had ceased completely. These disturbing false interventions nevertheless 'helped' to project a certain discredit on Garabandal. Paradoxically, even providentially, they would in reality help to protect this great Marian Apparition from such "a noise from the Evil One" (Dr. Ricardo Puncernau, Letter of May 21, 1984 to fr. R. Francois Turner). This is also what Msgr. del Val Gallo was to understand throughout his episcopate (1971-1981). This undoubtedly also explains his constant efforts not to mix Garabandal with any particular one, whatever it may be, of the countless other "supposedly, indeed false contemporary apparitions and mystics" (except in the special cases of authentic "figures of holiness," either those already acknowledged as such by the Church, or on the way to be).
[From 'Garabandal' Book, page 215]

Kinda creepy stuff. Imagine the devil appearing as Padre Pio! But this is nothing new. St. Paul warned about false apparitions in his Epistles and over the years at other approved apparitions like Lourdes and Fatima the "Evil One" appeared to scare the visionaries, but the Blessed Mother always protected the seers and chased "ole red legs" away! So remember, the next time you have a vision, throw some holy water on It to see if it's from God or you know who! I'd rather not have any visions, thank you! Pleasant dreams . . .
Deacon John