The Mystical Rose, Montichiari / Fontanelle, Italy, 1947-1966

“The Mystical Rose”

Not far from the picturesque Lake Garda, surrounded by mountains, is the little town of Montichiari with 14,000 inhabitants.  In the spring of 1947, while praying in the hospital chapel, nurse Pierina Gilli encountered Our Holy Mother.  Mary appeared in a wonderful vision and magnificent light, dressed in mauve, but very sad with tears in her eyes.  Her heart was pierced by three swords – one was for the unworthy celebration of Mass and Communion received unworthily; the second was for unfaithful priests and other religious ones giving up; the third was for “betrayal of the Faith.”  Our Lady asked for Prayer, Penance, and Sacrifice.  Those were her only words.

Second Apparition (July 13, 1947) – Our Lady appeared to Pierina in a white dress adorned with three roses of white, red, and yellow colors (in place of 3 swords).  The white rose symbolized the spirit of prayer.  The red rose represented the spirit of sacrifice, and the yellow rose was for the spirit of penance and conversion.  But Pierina had not yet recognized who this lady in white truly was, so she asked her.  Mary replied,

“I am the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of you.  Our Lord sends me to bring a new Marian Devotion to all religious orders and institutes, male and female, and to the priests of this world.  I promise to protect these religious orders and institutes who will   venerate me in this special way, increase their vocations, and achieve a greater striving for saintliness among the servants of God.  I wish that the 13th day of each month be celebrated as a Marian Day.  Special prayers are to be said during the preceding twelve days.  On this day I shall pour out vocational holiness and abundant graces on those religious orders and spiritual institutes who have honored me especially.  I wish that the 13th of July be celebrated every year in honor of the Rosa Mystica.”

Pierina asked if a miracle would follow.  Mary said that the miracle would be the return of wayward, offending priests to the original spirit of their saintly founders.  Pierina translated the term Mystical Rose to mean, “Mary is the master teacher of the innermost mystical life and the Mother of the mystical body of Christ – the Mother of the Church.”  This interpretation was magnificently confirmed by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964.

The visionary in Montichiari, Italy -- Pierina Gilli
The visionary in Montichiari, Italy — Pierina Gilli

Third Apparition (October 22, 1947) – Our Lady again appeared to Pierina in the hospital chapel in the presence of many staff members, doctors, and religious from the town.  A statue of Mary came to life, and blood started dripping from the side of Christ.  Pierina took a purificator and wiped the drops of blood.  Blessed Mary said,

“I have placed myself as the Mediatrix between my Divine Son and mankind, especially for the soul consecrated to God.  Tired of the continuous offenses, He already wants to dispense His justice. … Live out of Love! For the last time I come to ask for the devotion already registered at other times.  My Divine Son wanted to leave traces of his blood to witness how great is his love for the people from whom he is countered with serious offenses. Get the purificator and show it to those present. Here are the drops of the blood of the Lord!”

Fourth Apparition (November 16, 1947) – Mary appeared in the Basilica of Montichiari in the presence of some people, including several priests.  The Virgin said,

“Our Lord can no longer watch the many grievous sins against purity.  He wants to send a flood of punishments.  I have interceded that He may be merciful once more!  Therefore, I ask for prayer and penance to atone for these sins.”

Blessed Mary appears as "The Mystical Rose"
Blessed Mary appears as “The Mystical Rose”

Fifth Apparition (November 22, 1947) – When Mary appeared to Pierina again in the Basilica, Mary asked her to make the Sign of the Cross four times with her tongue on the tiles in the center of the church.  Our Lady descended onto that spot and said,

“I descend on this place — for many great conversions will happen here.  The Christians   of your Italian nation belong to those who most offend my Divine Son Jesus through their sins of unchastity.  Our Lord demands PRAYER, generous SACRIFICES, and PENANCE.  … Penance means to accept, every day, all the little crosses and the duties, too, in the spirit of penance.  On the 8th of December, at noon, I shall appear again here in the Basilica.  IT WILL BE THE HOUR OF GRACE.  This will produce great and numerous conversions.  Hardened and cold hearts resembling this marble will be touched  by divine Grace, and they will become faithful to Our Lord in loyal love.”

Sixth Apparition (December 7th, 1947) – The Blessed Virgin appeared again in the Basilica to Pierina along with three people.  Mary wore a white cloak – held on the right by a young boy and held on the left by a small girl.  Mary then stated,

“I shall show my Heart tomorrow of which the people know so little.  In Fatima I asked that the devotion to my Heart be spread.  (sweetly:) I wanted to bring my Heart into Christian families in Bonate. (Ghiaie di Bonate!) (after a pause) Here, in Montichiari, I wish to be venerated as The Rosa Mystica

The three colored roses and their symbolism
The three colored roses and their symbolism

Pierina was given a secret that Mary would allow her to reveal to the public at a later date.  Pierina asked who the boy and girl were that appeared on either side of Mary.  Our Lady replied that they were Francisco and Jacinta (from Fatima). With that revelation, Mary spread her arms outward, lifted her eyes to Heaven, and vanished, saying, “Praised be the Lord!”

Seventh Apparition (December 8th, 1947) – Countless priests were present for this anticipated event – so many that Pierina had trouble getting into the church!  Pierina knelt in the center of the church, praying the Rosary, when Our Lady appeared on a large white staircase decorated with a white, red, and yellow rose.  She said, with a smile,

“I am the Immaculate Conception … (took a few more steps) … I am Mary, full of grace, Mother of My Divine Son Jesus Christ… (a few more steps) … Through my coming to Montichiari  I wish to be known as the Rosa Mystica.  It is my wish that every year, on the 8th of December, at noon, the Hour of Grace for the World be celebrated.  Many divine and bodily graces will be received through this devotion.  Jesus will send His overflowing mercy if good people will pray continuously for their sinful brother.  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 his church, yet will pray at noon at home, he will also receive graces through me.  Whoever prays on these tiles and weeps tears of penance will find a secure, heavenly ladder and receive protection and grace through my motherly heart. … The Lord is still protecting the good and is holding back a great punishment because of my intercession. Soon, one will recognize the greatness of this Hour of Grace.

Pierina says: “On Her chest stood Her Heart, in which the stakes were three roses, white, red and yellow. A light so bright, radiant and penetrating was emerging from Her Heart. I was dazzled and almost blinded, to the point that Mary disappeared from my sight. The light was so strong when it came out of Her Heart and so pervasive into my interior, which filled me with immense joy, that I could not help but cry with excitement: Oh! The Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

The three colored roses and their symbolism
The three colored roses and their symbolism

That was the description of the apparition that Pierina wrote in her diary.  She adds the words of the Virgin Mary:

“Behold the Heart that so loves men, while most of them return it with insults. When good and evil are united in prayer, one will obtain mercy, and peace from this Heart.  For now, the good by me have obtained the Lord’s mercy that stopped a great plague “

Pierina saw that Our Lady was about to depart and said, “Dear Lady, I thank you!  Bless my homeland, Italy, and the whole world, but especially the Holy Father, the priest, the religious, and the sinners.”  Mary smiled and replied,

“I have already prepared a flood of graces for all the children who listen to my words and keep them in their hearts.  I will return at a suitable time when the Secret entrusted to you will be made public through the Ecclesiastical authority.  Good-bye.”

Years later, Pierina Gilli has further visits in Fontanelle
Years later, Pierina Gilli has further visits in Fontanelle

Pierina withdrew from the world into a convent where she served in the kitchen.  She waited in silence for the hour which, as promised, came after 19 years on April 17, 1966, the Sunday after Easter in Fontanelle, a small settlement just outside of Montichiari.  The Blessed Virgin said to Pierina,

“My Divine Son is total Love, and he is sending me to give miraculous powers to this spring.  As a sign of penance and purification, kiss the top step … Descend a few steps and kiss the stone again.  (Mary follows behind her)  Now, for a third time, kiss the bottom step and have a crucifix placed there (with Her left hand, She indicated the spot) The sick and all my children must kiss the crucifix and ask my Divine Son for forgiveness before they take the water or drink from it. (She approaches the spring.) Take mud into your hands.  Wash yourself with water!  This is to teach the sinners that sin makes the soul dirty, yet the soul will be cleansed again through the water of grace.”

Our Lady bowed down and touched the water of the spring in two places.  She repeated her wish for the sick to come to this miraculous spring along with many of her children.

Second Apparition (May 13, 1966) – In the presence of about 20 people Blessed Mary again appeared at the spring.  She wanted her appearance to be made known.  She suggested that “the world is walking the road to perdition” but She has obtained mercy.  She insisted again on Prayer, Sacrifice, and Penance “to save mankind.”  She pointed to the right side of the spring and insisted that a comfortable basin be constructed to immerse the sick, while on the left side, the water there would be for drinking.  It would be named the Spring of Grace.  Spreading her arms and opening her wide cloak, she smiled and said,

“I have come to bring love, unity, and peace to the souls of my children.  I ask you, do not throw any mud on the love for your fellow man. … Do acts of charity for the sick who will come here.”

The Mystical Rose appearing in Fontanelle, Italy in 1966
The Mystical Rose appearing in Fontanelle, Italy in 1966

Third Apparition (June 9, 1966) – About a hundred people were present at the spring on this feast day of Corpus Christi.  Pierina asked everyone present to recite the Rosary.  Suddenly, in the middle of the Rosary, Pierina said, “Look up to the sky!”  Our Lady was appearing about 5 or 6 meters above the spring over a wheat field.  Those present noticed that, in the direction of the seer’s eyes, Our Lady seemed to touch the ears of the wheat with her feet. Mary said,

“I should like very much that this wheat be transformed into Eucharistic bread, into countless penitential communions. (lifting eyes toward Heaven)  It is my wish that the Hosts made of this wheat be taken to Rome – and to Fatima for the 13th of October (the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun in Fatima).  I wish that a chapel be built here with a statue facing the spring.  The statue is to be carried here in a procession on October 13th.  Prior to this, I want the people of Montichiari to consecrate themselves to my heart.”

Fourth Apparition (August 6, 1966) – At the spring on this day about 200 people had gathered.  Our Lady appeared again during the reciting of the Rosary.  Mary said,

“My Divine Son, Jesus, has sent me again, in order to request the World League of Penitential Communion – and this to be done on the 13th of October throughout the world.  It will first be held in 1966, and then repeated every year.  The priests and faithful who will spread this devotion will be given the wealth of my graces.  One should take the wheat to my beloved Son, Pope Paul VI, with the instruction that it has been blessed by Our Presence.”

The medal that the Virgin Mary requested to be made
The medal that the Virgin Mary requested to be made

Pierina was told to make small bread rolls of the remaining wheat which would be distributed in Fontanelle in memory of Her visits and as “a sign of gratitude to my sons who till the soil.”

“After my ascension into Heaven, I have always acted as Mediatrix between my Son Jesus and the whole of mankind.  How many graces I have been able to obtain in all these centuries!  How many graces were shown.  How much punishment was prevented. How      many dialogues did I hold with souls.  How often have I visited Earth to bring my messages to the people – but people continue to offend Our Lord.  I have chosen this place of Montichiari because there is still the humility of poor Bethlehem among my sons who till the soil.  Because so many prayers are said continuously, this place will be   transformed into a source of rich blessings.”

In an appearance on May 15, 1969, Our Lady confirms the value of obedience to Pierina saying:

“I joined the obedience you’ve done to your Bishop Luigi Morstabilini, to imitate the example you were given.  First, the Divine Son, Jesus Christ, humbled himself and became obedient unto death on a cross.  Daughter, obedience is humility, so often sacrifice, but God our Lord knows then to give the soul peace and docility, which is the true love of Him!”

The meaning of the three roses: White Rose: a spirit of prayer for reparation — for the offenses by the Lord’s consecrated people who do not live consistently their vocation.  Red Rose: a spirit of sacrifice for the offenses committed by the men who live in mortal sin.  Pink Yellow-gold: a spirit of sacrifice for the offenses to the Lord committed by the priests who betray their vocation and, in particular, to get their sanctification.  These three roses offered for love, with the spirit of reparation required by Rosa Mistica, drop the three swords from the Heart of Our Lady.

The components of these apparition experiences in Italy.
The components of these apparition experiences in Italy.

May 19, 1970 apparition:  The Virgin shows two round gold medals in the palms of Her hands.  On the right palm Pierina sees the engraved image of Mary, standing at the top of a ladder with her hands folded and head bowed forward, surrounded by roses.  Many roses were scattered at Her feet. Encircling this image was written: “Rosa” and “Mystica.”  On the back of one of the medals Pierina sees a beautiful domed church with three large doors.  On it was the inscription: Mary Mother of the Church.  Pierina wrote in her diary that the Blessed Mother “expresses the wish that I make a medal like this with the two inscriptions,” and says,

“The Lord sent me to this place chosen by Him to bring the gift of his love, the source of the gift of thanks and the medal of My Motherly Love.  I’m here today to let people know that this medal, the gift of universal love will be carried by the children in their hearts wherever they go.   I promise to these my children My protection, My motherly grace . The medal of my motherly love will let my children know I am always carried with them. I am the Mother of the Lord, the Mother of humanity. You will be the triumph of universal love! The blessing of the Lord, with my love, will always accompany all children who take refuge in me.”

  1. Every 13th of the month is devoted to special acts of devotion to Mary, with a preparation of prayer in the 12 previous days.
  1. Second Sunday of Easter – Anniversary of Rosa Mistica Fontanelle in Montichiari.
  1. On July 13 of each year is celebrated in honor of Mary ” Mystical Rose . “
  1. On October 13 of each year (second Sunday of the month) is sanctified by the Holy Communion of Reparation preceded by confession. The message speaks of “World Union of Holy Communion of Reparation.” Under this designation may be set up prayer groups or congregations.
  1. Every year on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, at noon you enjoy the Hour of Grace, waiting for the special graces of conversion and sanctification promised for that hour.