Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has evaluated the messages of the visionary Pierina Gilli

Positive judgement on Marian apparition according to new miracle norms

Vatican City - The Vatican examines alleged miracles. New rules have recently been introduced – and these have now been applied for the first time with a favourable result. However, this does not confirm that the Marian apparitions in the diocese of Brescia are genuine.

Published  on 08.07.2024 at 12:14  – 

For the first time, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, applying the new norms for the assessment of supernatural phenomena a positive assessment. On Monday, the dicastery published a letter letter dated Friday to the Bishop of Brescia on the veneration of the messages of visionary Pierina Gilli on the apparition of "Maria Rosa Mistica". In the letter, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, states that his authority has not found any elements in the mystic's messages that directly contradict the Catholic Church's teaching on faith and morals. Furthermore, no negative moral or otherwise critical aspects could be found. "Rather, several positive aspects can be found that stand out in the messages as a whole, and others that instead require clarification in order to avoid misunderstandings," the letter said.

The phenomenon in question is the messages that the visionary Pierina Gilli (1911-1966) is said to have received from the Virgin Mary. The letter contains a doctrinal judgement on the messages, on the basis of which the competent diocesan bishop can continue the proceedings. The dicastery honours her humble and complete trust in the maternal work of Mary. On the other hand, texts in which Mary's role in her relationship with Christ is presented in an unclear manner are misleading. Sometimes the impression could arise that Mary is a necessary mediator of salvation. It should be noted that Christ is the only Saviour. Overall, however, it becomes clear that Gilli is not interested in portraying God and Christ as so distant and merciless that they must be tamed through the mediation of Mary.

The ball is now in the diocesan bishop's court

The wording of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith indicates that the messages can be categorised in the highest categories provided for by the Code of Procedure: "Nihil obstat" (nothing stands in the way of veneration) or "Prae oculis habeatur" (positive evaluation, partial doctrinal clarification required). The diocesan bishop is responsible for announcing the result. An initial review had classified the messages as insufficiently credible, but a further review from 2013 to 2022 had provisionally classified the visions as genuine. The "Rosa Mystica Fontanelle Foundation" was recognised by the church in 2014. At the centre of the messages is Mary, who is said to have revealed herself to her as the "Rosa Mystica" (mysterious rose). This title of Mary is also used in the Lauretanian Litany and goes back to the Song of Songs in the Old Testament.

The mid-May reformed procedure for the examination of possible supernatural events no longer aims to definitively establish the supernatural nature of an event. Instead, it classifies the examined events into different categories, ranging from a "Nihil obstat", in which the pastoral value of an event is recognised, to a "Prohibetur et obstruatur", in which the critical aspects predominate and the worship of the phenomenon must not be upheld. There is also the possibility of establishing definitively that a phenomenon is certainly not supernatural in origin. The procedure stipulates that the diocesan bishop, in dialogue with the national bishops' conference, investigates the events and makes a judgement that is submitted to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith for approval. The bishop must first conduct a preliminary investigation, the results of which are submitted to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith with a vote on how to proceed. The dicastery must evaluate these results and approve or reject the decision of the diocesan bishop. The first decision according to the new norms was published at the end of June. An alleged Marian apparition in the parish of Trevignano near Rome was declared to be clearly not of supernatural origin ("Declaratio de non supernaturalitate"). (fxn)