Mons. Luigi Molinari
Thank you, Mother, for this, your gift of love,
thank you for having shown us that you welcomed
our consecration to your Immaculate Heart.
You do not get tired of asking mankind
to entrust itself completely to you,
and you want to show to those consecrated to you
how close you are, how rich with blessings,
sure as you are that, with your help, they shall become
shining examples for the others.
With this gift
You want to make your help tangible;
now it’s up to us to commit ourselves
to living truly the Consecration
that we have made.
Yes, we really want to make
sister Chiara’s words our own:
“My good and well beloved Father,
here I am, totally yours without limits,
with infinite confidence
because you are my Father,
who loves me
despite my littleness and nothingness…
I am in the heart
of your beloved daughter Mary
Mother of Jesus, but also my mother…
May she love you in me, for me and with me.
This tiny publication has the purpose of making known an event that took place in the years 1950-953. It was kept silent for nearly forty years but finally, as the Blessed Virgin Mary had promised the visionary, it was brought to the attention of the public already about ten years ago.
The desire to fulfil the request of the Blessed Virgin urges us to make it widely known, even if only in brief. Its importance must be really striking if the devil has done his best to prevent its spread, as we shall see later on.
The protagonist in this story is a Clare nun, sister Chiara Scarabelli, born on 29th March 1912 in Genepreto, a small village in ‘Val Tidone', in the province of Piacenza . She died on 29th January 1994 , in the new monastery of ‘San Silvestro di Curtatone (MN)', that had been inaugurated only a few months before her death. She lived for nearly sixty-three years in the monastery of Saint Clare in Venice , ‘Piazzale Roma', where the extraordinary events related in this work took place .
This humble Clare nun took care to hide the extraordinary in the ordinary and cloth her heroism in normality, to such a degree that not even her sisters, with whom she lived for more than sixty-two years, had any suspicion that there was anything special hidden in her life.
Even now they find it hard to convince themselves that, concealed in that sister, who seemed just like them in every way, was a mistery of exceptional grace.
In order to understand this, it is necessary to take seriously the sentence with which sister Chiara ended her most heroic self-offerings: "That no one may notice….Known only to you and Mother” .
In 1950, whilst she was in nocturnal adoration (something she practised every night, from 11pm until 2am, for more than sixty years) the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and entrusted her with a mission whose story we will tell briefly in this little book, making use of the account that she herself wrote at the request of the priest who directed her spiritually during the last period of her life.
This mystical experience is linked to the request made by the blessed Virgin Mary to the Church, during her apparitions at Fatima , to consecrate mankind to her lmmaculate Heart.
Mary chose an instrument for this mission who was, at the same time, a sublime model of lived Marian consecration.
The relationship of this humble Clare nun with the blessed Virgin Mary, whom she simply called "Mother”, is of such an intensity and richness that it is hard to imagine a more profound one..
It is difficu1t, in this little work, to describe an existence that opened itself unconditionally to Mary as her Mother and in whose heart she had made her stable home since the first years of her adolescence.
For Sister Chiara "to be in Mother's heart" meant to live uniquely and exclusively from its special, secret contents.
She wished to incarnate in her existence the faith, the abandonment and the docility of Mary to the will of God..
Pope Paul VI in Marialis Cultus states: “In the Virgin Mary everything is relative to Christ and everything depends on Him”.
This assertion finds admirable confirmation in the experience of sister Chiara who, both in Mary and by Mary , is associated to Christ in an extraordinary tension.
Even though she loves Jesus passionately, there is in her heart what she calls “martyrdom of love” , a fire that burns her from within and causes her to suffer terribly because she does not love Him as she would. This martyrdom will finish only at the end of her life when she will feel to love Him with Mother' s heart.
Venice . The church and monastery of the Clare nuns of the Blessed Sacrament, the sweet nest that sister Maria Chiara entered at the age of 19 and where she spent 62 years, consuming herself as a gift of love to Christ and her brethren.
To those who asked him if they could sit on his left and right side, Jesus replied: “Can you drink the chalice that I must drink?”
Sister Chiara, urged by the spirit of the blessed Virgin Mary, asked with insistence, as a grace, to drink the chalice of Jesus not for the primacy of honour, but for the primacy of pure love: “ May I be the last in everything, but the first in love”.
Jesus accepted to die on the cross to save us, and Mary, his mother, lived in her heart the death of her son at the foot of the cross. Sister Chiara, driven by the example of the Holy Mother, asked to unite her life as a holocaust, for the salvation of all souls, to the only salvific sacrifice of Christ.
On Calvary Hill everything was consumed in the proclamation of Mary's universal maternity: “Woman, this is your son” . Mary wanted this mystery of indescribable love to be reflected in the heart of her little child, giving her the task of asking the salvation of all souls in a prayer that became the breath of her soul: “That all, all may be saved, that none of my sinful brothers may go lost”.
To conclude, sister Chiara lived her Marian consecration putting her life at a docile, total and unconditioned disposal of her Heavenly Mother so that she might make of it an epiphany of her maternal ‘ Yes' .
Let us allow her, at this point, to tell the story of the gift that the Heavenly Mother wanted to make to all her dear children who love Her and live the consecration made to her Heart.
1. The personality of this Clare nun can be known , even if still partially, from two books: “Sister Chiara Scarabelli - Very Pure Icon of the Virgin Mary”. by Monsignor Luigi Montanari, and “ The Fire of Love”, by Fra Alessandro Domenicale ofm.
2. The reading of the paper “How I spend my day”, that she delivered to her spiritual Father, allows us to catch the mark of extraordinary in the seeming daily monotony.
If I am not mistaken it was May 15th or rather between 15th and 16th , as it was close to midnight . I was in the chapel for nocturnal adoration. I was praying, more with my heart than with my lips, for all mankind.
Facing the tabernacle, I asked Jesus for forgiveness, pity and mercy for all my beloved sinful brethren on the earth.
I was begging the blessed Virgin Mary, refuge of sinners, to intercede with her son Jesus so that no one should be lost but the paradise would be given to all when, to my great surprise, on the right side of the altar I saw a bright light appear.
I remained confused at the sight of such a splendour that dazzled the eyes! I believed I was dreaming. Whilst I was still looking, a great joy flooded my soul.
I saw a most beautiful lady, of an indescribable beauty, coming down from above.
She was dressed entirely in white, covered with a veil, also white, entirely gold embroidered, which came down to her feet. On her hips she wore a blue band as a belt.
She held her left hand at the height of the band, or better, a little above it, and in it her heart. Around it, in the form of a circle, was a crown of large thorns, three of which penetrated it. A sword pierced her heart from the left side.
I was seized with fear: I did not believe that this was a real event, regarding as impossible that the Queen of Heaven would deign to appear to me , this little nothing, a poor idiot.
Whilst I was thinking about these things, I saw her coming down the altar steps and approaching to the bench where I was on my knees.
Seeing me fearful and uncertain, with a smile she said:
“Don't be afraid, my little one, I am your Mother, Queen of heaven and earth. I am coming to ask you a favour: I need you!”
I was astonished. Tremblingly I asked: “ Mother, what could you do with this poor, little nothing?”
“It is precisely for this reason that I chose you, so that everybody would understand that what happens is entirely my work; there is nothing of you in it. Indeed, I can tell you, if I could have found a soul more little than you, I would have preferred her. Can you see these thorns that pierce my heart? These are the sins of so many of my children who do not love me and who offend the Lord.
I am coming to call them to conversion, to penance and to give them a gift from my heart, so that they could understand how much I love them despite their sins. I am waiting to take them to the Heart of Christ and to console Jesus for the numerous sins that many of his creatures commit. His mercy is infinite and He waits with tenderness for everybody to return to his Heart.
He has entrusted the salvation of mankind to my Immaculate Heart. .
I am the refuge of sinners. Come, come everyone to my heart and you will find the peace that you search so much! Tell me, my little one, do you love Jesus?”
“Mother, you know that I love Him, but I would like to love Him more. It is a torment for me this thirst: I would like to love Him as you love Him!”
“And do you care for your Mother? Do you love me?”
“Mother, why do you ask me that? You see me, you know me, you know everything, you know that I love you!”
“Yes I know you love me and that is why I ask you whether you accept to co-operate with me in giving a gift to all my children, beloved of my heart, whom I love and by whom I am loved, but which will also be a call for all those who do not love me. My heart waits for them all to take them to Jesus, to the Father”.
At that moment I saw, as if in a mirror, all my misery, my poverty, my sins, the condition in which I found myself within the community… She looked at me with tenderness and said:
“I know everything, it was me who sustained you. Don't fear, souls cost blood. Don't you want to save them all? ”
There was a moment of silence, then she continued:
“So are you willing to co-operate with your Mother to give this gift to the souls as my heart desires ?”
So, with a knot in my throat, I replied:
“Mother, no one will believe me, I shall ruin your work. However, here I am, do whatever you wish with me”.
“Thank you, don't be afraid. Love Jesus very much. I shall return to tell you what I want from you. I bless you”.
And she put a hand on my head, saying:
“See you soon”.
Slowly she rose from the ground and disappeared. The light remained for a short while and then it also disappeared. I remained alone. I was unable to believe what I had seen, but I felt a great peace in my heart, a need of prayer, silence, seclusion, disappearing from human sight, uniting with God and the Mother.
3. This expresses her humility since the Virgin appeared to her several times.
“I entrust you with the mission
to have a medal coined”
7th October 1950
During the night adoration before the tabernacle I was alone. It was a little after 11 p.m. and I was praying.
To my surprise and joy, I saw a great light appear to the right of the altar.
A moment later, all of a sudden appeared the beautiful Lady who had spoken to me on 15th May. She approached me with a sweet smile.
Her looks were the same: she was dressed in the same way, held her heart in the left hand, while in the right hand she had a Holy Rosary with golden beads and a cross that fell down to about ten centimetres from her pure white little feet.
All around her figure, in the shape of a circle, there was written in golden letters: “My Mother, trust and hope, I entrust and abandon myself in you”.
She looked at me with a tenderness and a smile that I cannot find the words to express and she said:
“My little one, I have come to entrust a mission to you. I need you to give a gift to those of my dear children who are the joy of my heart, because they love me and practise the consecration made to my Immaculate Heart, that I asked for at Fatima, according to the wishes of Jesus.
I want to give them a sign, a gift to show them the gratitude of my motherly heart.
This will also be a call to return to many of my children whom I love with tenderness, but who do not correspond to my love.
To them I say: “My little children, come, come to my heart, I am waiting for you to take you to Jesus who loves you. You will find only in Him the peace, the joy and happiness you seek so much. I repeat to you: pray, love one another as children of God, as true brethren, love one another as your Mother loves you and as Jesus loves you.
He has given my Immaculate Heart the mission to call all my children to conversion, prayer, penance: pray, pray! If you do not pray you cannot be converted, love one another as I love you.
I say this with sorrow: many, many do not pray, do not love.
My little one, I entrust you with the mission of having coined a medal that depicts me as you now see me: it is a gift from my Immaculate Heart.
Here, look at the reverse of the medal”.
So I saw appear beside her, her heart and that of Jesus closely united, you could almost say tied together by a crown of thorns. Jesus' Heart had a little cross on top of it and his Mother's Heart was pierced by a sword. Under the two hearts were two letters, A and M, intertwined to mean Ave Maria. Both hearts were surrounded by flames, a symbol of the love that inflamed them for the salvation of all souls. All around them it was written in golden letters: “ Jesus and Mary, I love you, save all souls”.
After she had shown me the reverse side of the medal, Mother said:
“My dear children, I exhort you to pray frequently and from your heart this invocation: “Jesus and Mary I love you, save all souls”. It will be like a caress that consoles the Heart of Jesus and my Immaculate Heart. Every time this invocation is prayed with faith and from the heart, it makes amends for many blasphemies. Every act of love will save a soul. Love may help you to make the most of every moment of your earthly life. The stronger the love, the more fruitful your life will be. Love one another, love one another, seek the things of Heaven. Here everything passes; only love remains for all eternity. You will be judged on your love. Indeed, for those who truly love there will be no judgement: only the embrace of the good Father with the son who lived only for love and in love!
Listen to your Mother! I speak to you and exhort you because I love you and I want you to be happy for all eternity above, in Paradise ! I want to take you to Jesus and to the Father who awaits you all.
I PROMISE TO ALL THOSE WHO WILL CARRY THIS GIFT OF MY IMMACULATE HEART ON THEMSELVES WITNESSING TO THEIR CONSECRATION, TO BLESS THEM, TO LEAD THEM BY HAND, TO KEEP THEM IN MY HEART AS BELOVED CHILDREN, TO PRESENT THEM TO JESUS. I SHALL ASSIST THEM AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH SO THAT THE ENEMY, SATAN, CANNOT HARM THEM AND THEY SHALL BE UP THERE, IN PARADISE , WITH ME, WHERE JESUS WILL GIVE THEM THEIR ETERNAL REWARD”.
Knowing my misery and poverty I got frightened and asked:
“Mother, you know my nothingness, you know I am a poor idiot: how can I transmit all your words and describe your love?”
“My little one, I repeat, fear not: I chose you precisely because you are nothing, so that all may understand that what you do is not your work, but that it is me who acts in you. Is it perhaps that you do not trust your Mother?”
“Oh yes, Mother, do whatever you want with me, I am your property, I entrust myself to you, I abandon myself to your heart”.
“Cheer up, don't be afraid, speak to the priest, the Holy Spirit will guide you. Even if, in order to do this, you will have to suffer, do it all for love, for the salvation of all souls. Be at peace, I repeat, don't fear my enemy, Satan, who will do his best to hinder this project, because God and my Immaculate heart will be glorified through it. I am with you and in the end I shall triumph!
Then, turned to all the souls, she said:
“My little children, I offer you my Rosary, the golden chain that keeps you clasped to my heart. Pray, pray with the Rosary. Hold it tight, recite it with faith, with the heart. It will be the salvation of mankind.
This will be the sign that you are mine.
Satan is very afraid of it, he does his best to lose souls. However I, your Mother, am doing everything to save them, because this is the will of God.
But I need your help! Pray, make sacrifices and do penance. Love one another, love one another as I love you. Only in this way will souls be saved”.
Then, turning to me she continued:
“To you, my little one, I repeat once again, you must not be afraid. I am with you. The Holy Spirit will speak in you, have confidence. All for love, all for love”.
Then, putting her hand on my head, she said tenderly:
“I bless you and remain with you to sustain you in the trial”.
Smiling she rose from the earth and disappeared whilst the light remained for a while. Then everything disappeared leaving my heart in a great peace.
7th December 1950
During those days the thought that I had to speak about what had taken place between me and my dear Heavenly Mother troubled me a little. I did not know how to begin the talk.
On 7th December, whilst I was praying the blessed Virgin Mary, begging her to come to my aid, she spoke to me with great tenderness:
“My little one, speak to the priest, report to him everything that I have communicated to you.
It will be for the glory of God, of my Immaculate Heart and for the salvation of souls.
Don't fear, you will see that he will understand you: it will be the spirit of God to speak through you.
Speak with the simplicity of the little ones. Only in this way can you be able to carry out the mission that I have entrusted to you”.
“Yes, Mother, but help me. You know I am a poor nothing, a poor idiot. Come, I beg you, to my aid so that I am not the one to ruin your work”.
“Be at peace, do not be afraid, I am with you” .
So I went to my confessor and, by several talks, reported to him everything that I had seen and heard from the sweet dear Heavenly Mother.
My former confessions had always been brief, now I stayed a longer time to reply to the questions that the priest asked me about this matter.
Meanwhile time went by. When my confessor was acquainted with everything that had been entrusted to me by the blessed Virgin Mary, he said to me:
“I assure you, in the name of God, that all this is not an illusion, nor the work of the devil, but it is instead a sign of predilection for you, little soul, on the part of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, besides of her maternal tenderness for all her children. It is her wish that the consecration made to her Heart by the Church, according to the will of the Lord Jesus be put into practice”.
Then he said to me:
“Pray a lot, I want to ask for a sign, not because I do not believe it is her work, but in order to be more ready to do all that she wishes of me, her unworthy minister”
One day my confessor told me:
“I have received the sign that I asked for”.
So he ordered me to write down everything that I had told him, so as to bring about what was needed.
I had to write at night because, during the day, I was always occupied with much work.
I wrote on two note books, one for my confessor and one for me.
On the day of Mary's birthday, I gave my confessor the notebook that contained the information of what had taken place between me and the Queen of Heaven.
“Now I will get down to work and carry out everything”.
The next time, however, another priest from his community came to hear confessions. From then on I did not see him or hear from him again. Later I found that he had spoken to the Delegate of the Nuns, who, in his turn, had spoken to my Mother Superior.
The consequences were indescribable. According to the Mother Superior I was a poor deceived creature and what had taken place was devil's work.
The Delegate then spoke to the whole community, he ordered me the silence and not to discuss about these things any more. He then assigned a new confessor to our community, a diocesan priest, in the place of a friar.
The note book, that I had kept for myself, disappeared.
To the new confessor, appointed because of me, I confessed, in a few minutes, my faults and nothing else. For the first few times everything went well, then he began to question me and ask if I had anything to tell him.
I replied no: the absolution for my sins was sufficient, because that was the purpose of confession.
After a short time he began to torment me, keeping on asking:. “Speak, maybe you are right”.
But I could not speak because I had been forbidden to do so by the Delegate of the Nuns.
Meanwhile my life was involved in a terrible turmoil. Temptations were my food night and day. Only God knows: just to the point of desperation. The devil took advantage of it to torment me in every way (…).
Indeed it seemed to me that for me there was nothing but the hell (…).
Forgive me, Father, for having reported all this, but I did so out of obedience to you. I assure you that I would have preferred to die and carry the whole into the depths of the grave.
Imagine the state of my soul! At certain moments the temptation was so strong that I felt I was damned: if so, what was the point of living? Alone, alone, without a word from anyone.
My poor heart cried out: ”Jesus and Mary where are you? Come to my aid ”, but I received no reply.
I clung to my faith, crying out with my heart: “Jesus, I trust and hope in you only, because I believe in your love for me. I know you love me, I don't doubt it. If you want, send me to the hell I deserve, I know, because of my sins. But I also know that your mercy is greater than all the sins of the world. But, if absurdly, you send me down there into the depths of hell, mind that you will remain in Paradise without your Mother because I live in her Immaculate Heart and I cannot be separated from her! She also would come with me”.
This last cry hurt His Divine Heart and with tenderness He said to me:
“My little one, whoever is with my Mother is with me. Take courage, don't fear , because it is just those who love me that I put to the trial”.
This had been like a ray of light for my poor heart, but it was only momentary.
A much greater trial awaited me.
One day, alone in my cell, I was about to go to bed when, without understanding how, I saw in front of me a young man, about fifteen years old.
I got frightened and tried to run away, but he placed himself at the door saying:
”Why so much fear? I am the angel of the Lord. I have seen your suffering and I come to comfort you. You upset me very much! Why so much suffering? Ask the Lord to free you from it!”
“If the Lord permits this, I do not reject suffering, because I want to do His will”.
“Be at peace, I shall speak on your behalf. I shall come again ”.
Saying this, he disappeared in a flash without me understanding in what direction.
“My little one, courage, do not be afraid”.
21st November 1952
Feast of the presentation of the blessed Virgin Mary to the temple
I was in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. A great suffering was tormenting me: I was unable to remove from my mind the image of that youth, who said he was the angel of the Lord. It was two or three o'clock in the afternoon and all the sisters had withdrawn to their cells, either to rest or to study. I felt a sense of sadness and was unable to pray. Only in my heart I said:
“Mother, Mother, where are you? Have pity on this little child of yours so alone, alone and abandoned by everyone”.
I wanted to cry for fear of having been deluded and having deceived everyone. I was afraid it was for this reason that Jesus and Mary had abandoned me.
I was on my knees, with my eyes down. After a short time I heard myself being called:
“Little one, my little one!”
I realized it was Mother's voice. My hearth jumped out of joy. Raising my eyes I saw Her in front of me on the steps of the altar, surrounded completely by light, dressed in the same way as the other two times; but she had, in addition, a crown of twelve stars around her head, that emitted an indescribable light. She came down the steps of the altar and approached the bench where I was kneeling; she put her right hand on my head and said with great sweetness and tenderness:
“My little one, cheer up, don't be afraid!”
With a lump in my throat I replied:
“ Mother, I have betrayed you! I had told you that no one would have believed me: I have ruined your work, forgive me, have pity on me. You know everything. Have you forgiven me, Mother ?”
She caressed me saying:
“My little one, fear not, I speak to comfort you. Listen to me: You must know that this suffering of yours has given to God and to my Immaculate Heart greater glory and saved more souls than if you had succeeded in doing what I had asked. Be at peace, it is not your fault, it is Satan's rage who has used the creatures to hinder my work. But I assure you that my Heart will triumph. Keep secret everything concerning the medal. You will suffer more, but the time will come when the Lord will arouse the one who will be the instrument to bring about what I had asked according to the promise that I made you for the good of many souls. Do you believe me, my little one? ”
“Yes, Mother. You can do everything. But, you see, if you had chosen a more appropriate instrument everyone would have believed and it would have been brought about…
Our Heavenly Mother retorted:
”Do not say this. I chose just you, who are nothing, so that everybody could understand that what takes place is only my work. Actually, I can tell you that if I could have found a person more little and poor than you, I would have preferred her because the glory would be entirely of God and of my Heart, and only humiliation and contempt for her.
“Thank you, Mother, but please tell me, where were you when I was suffering so much, I called you, but you did not answer?”
“Oh, my little one, who gave you the strength to bear everything in silence? It was Jesus and myself. I have always held you in my Heart where Jesus is and I shall always be with you. Courage, fear not, I am your Mother. You are too little, on your own you are unable to do anything. Leave everything up to me and to Jesus. Your mission is prayer and sacrifice.
Do not be afraid, love suffering and Jesus will give you all souls. Do not get tired, persevere in this way. I am with you, I greet you and I bless you”.
She put her hand on my head with a smile, rose from the earth and disappeared in the light leaving a trail behind her.
You can imagine, dear Father, what happened in my heart: a longing to hide myself, to suffer, to live only for the love of Jesus and Mother and make them loved by all my brethren.
I renewed. with more confidence, my act of abandon to Jesus in the Heart of Mother, declaring myself ready to suffer everything they would have permitted, unsure always of myself but trusting in their help.
I passed all the Christmas holidays in great peace and intimacy with my dear Mother, who let me feel the sweetness of the caresses of her divine infant Jesus.
20th January 1953
My confessor kept on insisting that I should speak. It was a torment for me every time. Moreover I also feared that I would have disobeyed. What could I do? The Superior had ordered me not to speak. My Heavenly Mother had told me to keep everything secret until the Lord would have sent me the right instrument.
On 20th January 1953 when I was about to go to bed I heard a faint sound like someone breathing. Frightened, I didn't dare raise my eyes nor even to undress and go to bed.
I was praying with all my heart calling Jesus and Mother for help. Then I decided to look up and saw in front of me.the youth who had spoken to me in November. Tremblingly, I lowered my eyes. He then began to speak saying:
“Do not be afraid, I am the angel of the Lord. I am very upset by your suffering. Listen to me, I am speaking for your own good. Why are you resisting the priest in this way, do you not know that you are disobeying? You should be more docile and speak with simplicity. Have you not taken a vow of obedience? I come in the name of God. Speak and all will be over!”.
I was unable to open my mouth, I seemed to have become dumb with fright.
“I will tell you what you need to say .Apologize for having lied. Say that nothing is true of what you claimed to have seen and heard from “that one”, that it was your illusion. Confess the truth, now whilst you still have time; otherwise…Don't you reply anything? Think of it carefully, I shall come again.”
You can imagine, my father, how I was disappointed.
But I had a doubt: when my dear Mother spoke to me, within me I experienced peace and joy and I was happy in an indescribable way.
Instead the angel of the Lord frightened me, left me in an agony: confusion, doubts, uncertainties. I could not explain it. In any case I did not feel up to speaking of it to the confessor: indeed, besides a certain repugnance, I had the prohibition of the Superior and of the Mother.
While I was fighting within me, I remembered that a saint, whose name I had forgotten, had said: “ If the voice of the Lord ordered me a thing against the Superior's will, I would obey the Superior because in this way I would be sure not to be mistaken, whilst the voice of the Lord might be an illusion”.
What a battle within me! Could Mother and Jesus have deceived me?
I went on with this torment. Then one day I found that it had been written, I cannot remember where, that the devil sometimes appears as an angel of light to deceive the souls. I remained impressed, but did not know what to do.
I prayed and prayed insistently that the Holy Spirit and the beloved Heavenly Mother would help me.
One day, while I was in prayer, the thought came to me to ask, as a special concession, to see a certain father Michelangelo for the confession.
However, at the same time, I thought that our Heavenly Mother had told me to keep the secret on everything that had taken place until the Lord would send me the right instrument to do what she wanted.
I was wavering , thinking what I would have replied if the priest, whom I wanted to call, would have asked: “What was it that you lied about?”
My refuge has always been prayer.
“It is me, in the flesh,
touch my hands…”
8th May 1953
It was night and I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, more with my heart than with my lips, always tormented with the doubt of being deceiving myself. Suddenly, I saw before me my sweet Mother Mary shrouded in light, just like the other times. She approached me and said with a smile:
“My little one, courage, do not be afraid. Your Mother cannot deceive anyone: it is me, in the flesh . Touch my hands: I am a human being like you, even if I come from Heaven. It is the Lord who has given me this mission for the sake of all my children who live on earth.
Speak to the priest whom you wish to ask for as a confessor, as you like: I allow you! You will see, he will understand that it is me who speaks to you.
My enemy wants to torment you and prevent me, your mother, from giving this gift for the good and salvation of souls. Speak without fear and believe what he will tell you”.
“Please, Mother, forgive my doubts. I know you are so good, but, aware of my poverty and littleness, I am always uncertain of myself”.
“I repeat, don't fear! Be at peace. I bless you”.
What a joy and peace my sweet Mother left in my heart this time too!
I THINK IT IS REALLY HER,
20th June 1953
In June I decided to ask, out of pity, to be allowed to confess with the priest of whom I spoke. After a few days he came and I reported with simplicity what the angel of the Lord had said to me both the first and the second time. The confessor thought for a moment and then asked me:
“What did you lie about?”
Then I took courage and confided all that our Heavenly Mother had said to me, what she wanted of me and the torment that I had had within me for three years for fear of being deceived.
He thought for a while . He asked me some questions and then said:
“I think it is really Our Lady who is appearing to you and who wants to bring to conclusion what Jesus asked of sister Consolata Betrone. Be at peace. I say this in the name of God”.
So I gathered my courage and asked:
“That young man who says he is the angel of the Lord, said that he would return again. He frightens me so much! How should I behave?” He replied:
“Listen to what he tells you. If you see that he insists on trying to make you admit that you lied, take Holy Water and sprinkle him saying:” In the name of God and the blessed Virgin Mary, leave this room. Then you will be able to tell me how he behaved, so as to understand if it is Satan or the angel of the Lord”.
The words of the priest gave me peace and serenity. However this serenity was soon disturbed by the one who said he was the angel of the Lord.
THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS
One night I had just gone to bed and was praying. At a certain point I heard a little noise in the cell, but did not pay much attention. After a short time I felt as if a hand had been placed on my head. I was shocked. I stretched out my arm to turn on the light, but could not find it.
I became frightened. Whilst I was there uncertain of what to do, I heard the voice of the youth whom I had seen the last two times. He said to me:
“Do not be afraid, it is me, the angel of the Lord”.
Then I looked: it was indeed him. He continued:
“Fear not, I have come for your own good. Why did you not listen to me? Be good, listen to my advice, otherwise you will repent, when it will be too late. If you continue in this way, you will do nothing but deceive! Confess that this story was all an illusion of yours and do not think any longer about these things”.
Whilst I was uncertain and filled with fear, I remembered what the priest had told me. I wanted to get the Holy Water that I had on the bedside table, but I was afraid. So I took the crucifix that I always wore on my chest and raising it I said:
“In the name of Christ and of the Immaculate Virgin, out of here”.
He made a grimace and with a severe voice said:
“May you and who suggested these things to you be cursed: you will pay for this. If it were not for Her, I would strangle you!”
He became like a burning coal and fled leaving a trail of fire behind him, that remained for a few moments.
You can imagine, Father of my soul, the terror I felt.
The fear that everything that had passed between me and my dear Mother was really an illusion of mine gripped me even more strongly. What a torment! I was unable to sleep out of fear. So I decided to call that priest again and tell him everything. After he had listened to me, he said:
“This is the rage of the devil! Now I am even more convinced that the Blessed Virgin Mary has really spoken to you in order to give that gift of hers to mankind, as a sign of Her motherly love for the salvation of souls. Do not be afraid”.
“Father, I fear so much!”
“No, be at peace. I assure you that Our Lady will not permit Satan to harm you. Are you not in her Heart?”
“Yes, father, but help me, because I feel so small and poor”.
He replied: “Have confidence and live your total abandon in Her, who loves you with maternal heart and tenderness”.
THROWS OFF HIS MASK
At that time one of the two dormitories was in danger of collapsing because of displaced beams and therefore we all had to gather into the other and agreed to sleep in twos per cell, with a small curtain to separate the beds.
It was here that the heaviest blow fell. That night I was already in bed, so was the other sister and it seemed to me that she was already asleep.
I do not know why, but I was unable to sleep. After about an hour I heard my name being called by a voice that frightened me by saying:
“Here I am. Now I will get back at you!”
I opened my eyes and saw in front of me that youth who said he was the angel of the Lord. Only God knows how I got scared! Only God knows (… ) He showed that he wanted to come closer to my bed (…).
I do not know, my dear father, if you can imagine what I experienced!. Running away was not possible. What an anguish I felt within me! I thought I was lost and unintentionally began to call for help.
The sister awoked asking me if I felt ill. She came closer to my bed immediately. Seeing me trembling with fear she asked me: “What's the matter?”
I replied to her: “For goodness sake, please sprinkle holy water because the devil is here. Beg the blessed Virgin Mary to send this monster away from me, I feel like dying!”
The poor sister began to make signs of the cross with holy water and pray the Hail Mary. I cannot explain what took place. I know that the youth changed to a repugnant monster and fled screaming, shaking the room.
The sister who slept in the same room, asked whether she had seen anything, replied:
“No, but I felt that something was taking place that I was unable to explain”.
Please forgive me, father of my soul, if I have reported all this. I have done violence to my feelings only in order to obey (…).
For nearly forty years I suffered and was torn between the joy that my beloved and sweet mother had got me and the immense sorrow that, because of me, what she had asked of me had not been brought to fulfilment, even if she, our dear Mother, had assured me that she would have sent me an instrument to carry out all that she wished to give, as a gift, to her dear little children.
I was strongly seized by the fear of being deluded and, even now, this thought often torments me.
After many prayers and the encouragement of Mother I presented myself to you, father. I do not know if you still remember that first meeting.
I immediately felt welcomed and realized that you would understand me. However I confess that every time I intended to speak about the blessed Virgin Mary, when I was in front of you, I felt a force that prevented me from speaking and I was unable to say a word. Thus the fear of being deluded became stronger and stronger.
One day Mother said to me:
“My little one, speak! This is the instrument that Jesus has sent you in order to bring about what I asked of you ”.
“I am sorry Mother, you can see that I am unable to say a word…”.
“Do not be afraid, it is the rage of my enemy who wants to prevent your dear Mother from giving the gift to her dear children for the salvation of souls”.
I took courage and said to her:
“Listen, dear Mother, forgive my daring. If it is really you who want this, you who can do this, get him to question me: then it will be much easier for me to report simply all that you have asked”.
Trusting in the help of Mother, I calmed down and became serene, certain that She would have directed the things in such a way that it would have been you, Father, to question me. When, after having read my note books, you asked me what secret I had, I do not know if you noticed, I was very moved, felt a strength that was not mine and was able to speak easily. Thank you, dear Mother, how good and compliant you are!
A WELL-GROUNDED CREDIBILITY
Mystical events need to be evaluated with a sense of responsibility, without prejudicial attitudes either in a positive or negative sense.
First of all, it is necessary to bear in mind that liberty and unpredictability in divine action are characteristics which are well emphasized in the pages of the Bible. We cannot claim divine action to conform to our thought-patterns
In our case , precious elements on which to base the authenticity of the experience related are offered by the same person who lived out the experience.
First of all the account, when it is examined attentively, offers serious elements of credibility. The life, above all, of this Clare nun was of such a spiritual depth as to exclude with absolute certainty any suspect of deception and this without lowering the requirements made by the prudence, especially in such cases.
The fact that this event came to light after a period of forty years is not insignificant.
When the related event was silenced at its birth in such a dramatic way, the visionary waited in faith for the moment that Our Lady had foretold, without taking any initiative herself.
She could have taken advantage of the time during which she fulfilled the office of Abbess, a time that would have given her the possibility to act with a certain liberty, also to make use of the co-operation of an influential priest from a religious order, who thought very highly of her and to whom she herself applied several times for advice.
The priest too, who did his best to have the medal coined, even though he had followed her in her spiritual way for some years and received many confidences concerning her mystical experiences, did not suspect that she hid such a secret.
Only following an intervention that was in itself extraordinary did he ask her the question that she was waiting for and in this way an event of grace and suffering, not easy to understand, was brought to light.
WHAT IT CONSISTS OF
The consecration consists of a filial relationship of special belonging to Mary.
Its origins coincide, even if only in embryonic form, with the beginnings of the marian cult in the Church.
The very ancient prayer “under your protection” (sub tuum presidium) already expresses the trusting self-donation of the faithful to the blessed Virgin Mary. In every age, the faithful enamoured of Mary have expressed this singular consecration of themselves in different ways, modes and forms.
Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort is considered the prince of those who promoted the practice of consecration to Mary based on very serious doctrinal principles.
Besides Montfort, we should recall an innumerable line of other theologians and saints who offered their doctrinal contribution to explain the unique relationship of the faithful who consecrates himself to the blessed Virgin Mary.
Priests are encouraged to promote consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with special commitment and pastoral zeal for the spiritual good of the faithful, inspired by the magisterium of the Church in this matter, and from the actions of the latest popes, who have repeatedly practiced the consecration of both mankind or individual countries.
THE TOPICALITY OF CONSECRATION
TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
The medal given by the blessed Virgin Mary to sister Maria Chiara Scarabelli is bound up to the consecration made by the Church to her Immaculate Heart as she herself had asked at Fatima.
The Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary represents a singular event of grace in the 20th century.
On 31st October 1942 , Pope Pius XII consecrated all mankind to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Paul VI repeated the consecration in 1967 at the end of the Vatican Council II and renewed it in 1967.
Pope John Paul II renewed it in communion with all the priests of the Church on 25th March 1984.
This happened, it is good to say it frankly, in reply to the request of Mary in the apparitions at Fatima.
Consecration does not end with a formula. By its very nature, it ties for the whole life. Therefore it is not a practice, but a choice of life.
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary meets God's plan. Therefore no wonder that Our Lady asked for it and wants to bring it to a full accomplishment.
A FULLY BRIGHT TRUTH
ONLY IN OUR TIMES
The motherhood of Mary
foundation of the consecration.
Even if consecration to Mary finds its roots since the beginnings of the Marian cult and has been expressed by the faithful of various ages with different formulae and modalities, it has however been considered a practice that sprang from the overabundant affection of souls particularly enamoured of Mary.
Even theology, in its attempt to justify this special relationship of the faithful with Mary, confined itself to demonstrate its validity and spiritual usefulness.
The reason which justifies and pleads for the consecration of all mankind to Mary is based on her universal motherhood – real maternity – as stated by the Vatican II.
The motherhood of Mary, that embraces the universal Church, proclaimed by Paul VI at the close of the third part of the Vatican Council II, even if it had been intuitively known and witnessed in the course of history by many illustrious Fathers and Doctors of the Church, has only become fully enlightened in our days.
Consecration is nothing but the maternity of Mary, consciously accepted and lived out by every believer.
Consecration means belonging exclusively! The term ‘consecration', which is used to mean ‘belonging to God', always remains unique and exclusive and cannot apply, with the same meaning, to any other created being.
The issue concerning the lawfulness of consecration to someone who is not God, in our case is resolved when we consider that the nature of belonging to Mary must be located in the specific relationship that exists between mother and child.
It is a part of the salvific plan of God that Mary be our mother with regard to the grace and therefore it must be respected! In conclusion, , we can say that it was God who consecrated us to Mary by making us her children.
Another objection is to consider the consecration superfluous, compared to the radical baptismal consecration.
In fact consecration to Mary is rightly connected to this baptismal consecration: it is the recognition and acceptance of her maternal role with regard to the life of grace that was generated through baptism. Therefore, far from superimposing itself and obscuring the baptismal consecration, the Marian consecration strongly underlines the necessity of maternal action, in order of the birth and growth of such a life.
The biblical foundation of the motherhood of Mary can be found in John 19, 26-27: “Then Jesus seeing there His mother and the disciple He loved beside her, said to his mother:“ Woman, this is your son”. Then He said to the disciple:“ This is your mother”. And from then onwards the disciple took her to his home”.
That Mary consciously accepted her maternity towards the disciple is quite clear, but it is equally clear that the disciple also consciously accepted this new relationship with the Mother of Jesus.
It is now a common belief that the disciple, to whom Mary was entrusted as mother by the dying Jesus, is the prototype of all the disciples of Jesus, or rather of all men, because all are called in Christ to salvation. Every Christian is asked therefore to open himself to accept Mary and take her as his mother in the same way that she was accepted as his mother by John.
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is, in short, nothing but the concrete and conscious acceptance of her maternity in our lives in conformity with the salvific plan of God.
HOW DOES ONE LIVE THE CONSECRATION?
Many are those who have written how to live our filial relationship ( of consecration) to Mary. By offering ourselves to her as docile sons, we allow her to make us share the mystery of her “pure and unconditioned acceptance of God through faith, hope and charity”.
Salvation, in fact, consists in accepting Christ in our lives. The existence of Mary is, to the highest degree, pure acceptance of Christ, even more than the apostle Paul did, who said:
”I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer me who lives, but Christ lives in me. This is life in the flesh I live it by faith in the Son of God ”(Gal. 2,20).
Mary wants to rouse in the hearts of her children her faith, hope and charity which are indispensable for a real and fruitful acceptance of Christ in us. From this point of view, we can speak of “Mary's ministry – as well as of mystery - identifying it in the transference to her children of her capacity to accept Christ, our salvation.
WHAT CAN BE THE MEANING OF A MEDAL?
A medal nothing else can mean but that it is a “sign”. Even the medal known as “the miraculous medal” is nothing but a “sign” whose value comes from what it signifies. Indeed, in itself, it can have neither miraculous nor magical prerogatives. The sign language, and still more the symbol language, is the most suited to express the realities pertaining to the world of the Sacred.
The medal which reminds us, in a specific way, of his own consecration to Mary must be considered a distinctive sign of belonging to her and not only just a sign of simple devotion, as it might be for any other of her images. Besides being a sign of belonging, it also becomes a witness.
A GIFT FROM THE MOTHER
The medal that Our Lady asked to have coined is a gift: “I wish to give a sign, a gift of my love to all my children, my heart's favourites, whom I love and by whom I am loved, in order to show them the gratitude of my motherly heart”. It is a gift that is to be identified with her heart :“ I come (…) to give them a gift of my heart, so that they understand how much I love them”. .
Mary presents us with her heart, not only as an expression of her love, but also to enable us to love Jesus with her own love.
Moreover, it is a reminder to live the values of the consecration consistently and faithfully: “It will also be a reminder to many of my children, whom I love with tenderness, but who do not return my love”.
It would not be possible, without experiencing an interior conflict and uneasiness, to wear the medal, that has the value of a sign, living a life at variance with its meaning,
It seems that it is part of Our Lady's style to confirm, with particular signs, ecclesial events concerning her person-. The apparitions of the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes in 1858 took place just after the proclamation of this faith truth by the Church (Pious IX, 1854).
Wasn't perhaps the apparition to Saint Catherine Labouré ( 27th November 1830 ), to whom Our Lady asked to have the radiant medal (called miraculous) coined, a contribution from Heaven to encourage the proclamation of her Immaculate Conception?
If so, is it any surprise that she wanted to give a sign of particular approval, after the Church, granting her incessant request, had consecrated the whole world to her Immaculate Heart?
By granting credibility to this story, don't we risk to create a certain confusion in putting. beside the miraculous medal so rooted in the devotion of many Christians, another medal, it too specifically requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary?
In this way could not arise confusion at the expense of the transparency that must have the signs of Christian piety , only valid, useful and recommendable if they lift the spirit to the level of the represented reality?
Finally, is there not the risk of falling into the grotesque with these two medals making Mary seem in conflict with herself?
These hypothetical difficulties are only apparent. First of all, the value of the miraculous medal and its importance for popular devotion are certainly not questioned.
The medal, of which we speak, “gift and reminder” to live the consecration to Mary, has a meaning only for those who are consecrated to her Heart.
To wear it without being consecrated to Our Lady, would be like wearing the membership badge of a particular movement without actually being a member of it. One medal cannot replace the other!
This can be exemplified by the anology of rings . There are rings worn with different meanings and linked to events of greater or lesser importance in one's life ( for instance, the engagement ring, a ring in memory of the birth of a child, of a particular event in one's life and so on…) and there is the wedding ring, which, even if of a modest appearance, contains the richest significance: that of the marriage pact.
We might consider this medal as the sign of the reciprocal acceptance and belonging of the disciple to the Mother expressed through the “Consecration”.
It is not possible in this little descriptive book to deepen the symbolism of this medal whose essence and centre is the heart. This word “heart” – as J. Guitton wrote – is one of the most synthetic there is, because it gathers into the sign that it illustrates a pulsating Gospel, the essence of Christianism summed up by saint John in the axyom : “God is love”.
On the reverse of the medal, the symbol of the two hearts, closely united, almost tied by a crown of thorns, both surrounded by flames, hints at a symbology rather-recurring after Saint John Eudes.
Catholic piety often joins the love of the Son with the love of the Mother.
The union of Jesus and Mary in one single heart had already been taught by Saint John Eudes.
There is only one salvific sacrifice : that of Christ, fully received and lived in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It is for this reason that Mary said repeatedly to sister Chiara that her sacrifice was a single thing with Jesus' sacrifice.
“Jesus and Mary, I love you,
save all souls!”
“Jesus and Mary, I love you, save all souls!” is the invocation that proclaims the unity of supportive love that has saved us out of compassion.
This ejaculatory prayer on the other hand must not only mean, on the part of the one who recites it, the expression of a love that embraces two people at the same time, but still more an insertion in the loving relations of these two people, which is the same as saying: Jesus, I love you with Mary's love; Mary, I love you with Jesus' love.
“My Mother, trust and hope,
I entrust and abandon myself in you”
The writing that encircled her person “My Mother, trust and hope, in you I entrust and abandon myself” contains the essential elements for every consecration to Mary.
Furthermore the expression: ”I entrust and abandon myself in you” means that our taking roots in Mary makes possible, as it did for her, the trusting, indefectible faith, and the total abandonment to Christ, the only saviour, just as it is only in Him, through Him and with Him that our abandonment to the Father is possible.
1) Consecration to Mary represents an outstanding event of grace of our century. It consists of a relationship of belonging to Her, aiming at the total reception of the life of Christ within us.
2) It has its foundation in the universal motherhood of Mary, accepted consciously and lived responsibly in the life of every believer. It is filial by nature and has its biblical foundation in John 19, 26-27.
CONCERNING THE MEDAL IT MUST BE SAID:
1) It is a “sign” that reminds us of the importance of the Consecration to Mary: it has the value of a reminder, a call to the coherence and it is also a witness.
2) It is a gift because it expresses Mary‘s acceptance of our Consecration.
It is also a sign of gratitude to the Church for having consecrated mankind to her as she herself had requested.
Jesus, Mary, I love you Mother of mine, trust and hope
save all souls. in you I entrust and surrender myself.
Sister Chiara Scarabelli, a humble Clare nun, who lived entirely absorbed in her love for God and for all souls, is for us a concrete and bright model of the Consecration to the Most Holy Virgin Mary.
Just her, Our Lady entrusts with a mission with these words: “I need you to give a gift to those my beloved children who are the joy of my heart, because they love me and live in practice the consecration to my Immaculate Heart, that I had asked for at Fatima, for the will of Jesus.
I wish to give them a sign, a gift, to show them the gratitude of my heart of Mother”.
This gift of love of Mary to us, her children, arouses the anger of Satan, who succeeds in delaying for some time the fulfilment of the wish of the Virgin, but at the end the medal commissioned by Heavenly Mother is made, ad in this sign her so much beloved children see her Heart: “I come to give them the gift of my heart so that they can understand how much I love them!”.