Green light for devotion to Our Lady Mystical Rose - Vatican News (2024)

Based on new regulations, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) has expressed its positive opinion regarding the devotion to Our Lady of Montichiari in northern Italy. This approval is conveyed through a letter to Bishop Pierantonio Tremolada, with the endorsem*nt of Pope Francis.

Vatican News

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has stated that it found no elements in the messages disseminated by Pierina Gilli that contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and morals. This declaration is included in a letter published on July 8, signed by the Prefect of the DDF, Victor Manuel Fernandez, and approved by the Pope. The letter addresses the devotion to Maria Rosa Mystica ('Mary Mystical Rose') and the messages that Pierina Gilli claims to have received from the Virgin Mary in 1947 and 1966. The letter highlights the positive aspects of these messages, while also noting some elements that require clarification to prevent misunderstandings.

The "green light" for the spiritual experience of the Madonna of Fontanelle follows the new norms for discerning alleged supernatural phenomena issued on May 17. These norms prioritize evaluating the doctrinal and pastoral outcomes of the phenomenon rather than establishing its supernatural nature.

The visionary's humility

The letter on Mystical Rose emphasizes the positive aspects of Pierina Gilli's writings, particularly her humble and complete trust in Mary's maternal action. The Dicastery notes that Gilli's writings do not exhibit vanity, self-sufficiency, or pride, but rather show an awareness of being blessed by the presence of the Mystical Rose. Excerpts from Gilli's diaries extol Mary's beauty and goodness, and describe the profound effects on those who encounter her. The Dicastery highlights that Gilli consistently acknowledges that Mary's actions direct believers towards Jesus Christ.

Among the manifestations cited in the letter is also one of Christ himself, which inspired in the visionary a deep trust in him: “In looking at him I felt strongly attracted to him, to love him: so good, beautiful, merciful! I have no words to express what made my soul be captured by him!... [the Lord said:] ‘Always keep your gaze fixed on Me to scrutinize and guess what I want from you, that is, I wish to totally possess your faculties so that you can always perform actions inspired by My Love’” (February 27, 1952). Gilli's messages also express a strong sense of ecclesial communion, exemplified by her appreciation of the new liturgy established by the Council.

The right image of God

The DDF explains that some expressions in Gilli's diaries require interpretation, particularly those depicting the Madonna as a mediator restraining divine justice and punishments. The context of the overall messages clarifies that there is no intention to present God or Christ as distant or lacking in mercy. The letter includes further messages that affirm this perspective, such as Mary's assurance that her Divine Son is always ready to pour out His mercy on the world.

The meaning of the three roses

The letter advises avoiding the image of Mary as a 'lightning rod' mediator, a concept often used in the past and inherited by Gilli. The new norms for discerning supernatural phenomena recognize that true spiritual fruits may emerge from experiences that include theologically imprecise expressions. The three roses signifying “prayer - sacrifice - penance,” central to Gilli's spiritual experience, should not be seen as a universal message for all believers. Instead, the central message of the Gospel remains charity, as emphasized throughout the New Testament.

Jesus, the only Redeemer

The letter addresses certain unexplained expressions used by Gilli, such as “Mary Redemption" ('MariaRedenzione'), “Mary of Grace,” and “Mary Mediatrix.” It reaffirms that only Jesus Christ is the sole Redeemer and that only the Lord can bestow sanctifying grace. Mary's role should be understood as maternal intercession, helping believers open themselves to the action of sanctifying grace. Interpreted in this light, the DDF concludes that Gilli's messages related to Maria Rosa Mystica do not contradict Church doctrine.

The history of the apparitions

The apparitions of Mary “Mystical Rose” and “Mother of the Church” are associated with Fontanelle, located south of Montichiari in the province of Brescia, northern Italy. Pierina Gilli, the visionary, was born into a peasant family and worked as a housekeeper and nurse. Her mystical experiences span two periods: the first in 1947, when the Madonna appeared to her with the titles of “Rosa Mystica” and “Mother of the Church,” and the second in 1966 in Fontanelle. On May 13, 1966, the Madonna indicated a specific spring as a place of purification and source of graces. Construction of a sanctuary began in 1966 at the site, designed as an open amphitheater with a chapel for Eucharistic celebrations and a smaller chapel protecting the spring.

The bishops' opinions

Over the years, the bishops have not felt that there was sufficient evidence to comment on the supernaturalness of the apparitions.However, in April 2001, on the tenth anniversary of Pierina Gilli’s death, Bishop Giulio Sanguineti appointed a priest to oversee the cult at Fontanelle. On December 17, 2019, the Marian site was proclaimed the “Diocesan Sanctuary of Rosa Mystica-Mother of the Church” during a Eucharistic celebration led by the current Bishop of Brescia, Pierantonio Tremolada, the recipient of the DDF's letter.

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Green light for devotion to Our Lady Mystical Rose - Vatican News (2024)

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