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Q: Can you provide information on the apparitions of Mary to Pierina Gilli in Montichiari (Italy) and the devotion to Mary as Rosa Mystica?

A: Apparitions to Pierina Gilli, a nurse, are said to have taken place in 1947 (7/13; 10/28; 11/22; and 12/8). On the first occasion, Mary was clothed in a purple dress, her heart pierced by three swords. Her message can be summarized as: "Prayer, sacrifice, repentence."

During the subsequent appearances, Mary was dressed in white with three roses on her breast. On July 13, she asked that the thirteenth of each month be commemorated as a Marian day. She called herself mysterious or mystical rose and asked people to repent for sins against faith and morals. She called the noon hour of Dec. 8, 1947 an "hour of grace."

Also, a statue of Mary as Rosa Mystica was alleged to have shed tears at St. John of God parish in Chicago, IL from May, 1984 until, at least, 1992. The phenomenon started after some of the parishoners (including the pastor) visited the original shrine at Montichiari. However, the archdiocesan investigation could not rule out natural causes and decided there was "no evidence of a miracle" in 1987. Stephen Roszell released a film documentary on this phenomenon in 1992.

For more information, see Maria - "Rosa Mystica: Montichiari-Fontanelle" by Alfons Maria Weigl.


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