Text of the Eucharistic adoration of March 13, 2016
Feast of Priesthood
Jesus, priest among men
In Chapter XVI of the book on Our Lady’s life, "Early apostolic journeys of Jesus and Mary", we read about the early trips when Jesus, from Nazareth, began to preach the Gospel. Thanks to private revelations, we have known more events that are not reported in the Gospel and we also know about wonderful supernatural realities.
Jesus, before leaving for an apostolic journey, would prepare by especially devoting himself to prayer and fasting: "He would kneel with his face to the ground, asking for help to God Almighty and appealing to the Holy Spirit to convert men with his word" (From the book you are Mother of the Eucharist). In this episode we clearly see Jesus’ theandric reality, meaning true God and true Man. Jesus-Man, before starting a priestly-missionary action, would prepare his soul with prayer and fasting to fortify His Spirit, so that He could face any difficulties in his apostolate. In addition there is also that strong apostolic zeal to bring the Gospel to all men. This desire should be present in the hearts of all priests, as it was also present in St. Paul who faced long journeys, persecutions, sufferings and hardships to preach Jesus Christ: "And I do everything for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share in its blessings". (1 Cor 9:23)
Even our Bishop, before commenting on the Word of God, used to study with great dedication and would prepare with prayer; during a homily he said to us: "We love the Christ that we know, we do not love the Christ we do not know. The priest must try to carry on this anxiety and transfuse it in the bible classes that must be desired, prepared, fed by meditation and prayer, and must be accompanied by the presence of the Eucharist, which alone can make them alive and vital; that is why not you cannot separate the Word of God from the Eucharist". On his golden throne, our Bishop was studying and preparing with all his heart what he would be writing thereafter for any conversation partner and from every written or spoken word emerged a particular love, for it was imbued with a lot of suffering.
Another aspect that struck anyone who knew our Bishop was his deep humanity, enhanced by the greatness of priesthood and fortified by the power of the Eucharist, clearly seen in the love with which he approached and took care of souls. It's wonderful, when reading the book of Our Lady’s life, to see that some descriptions relating to Jesus are clearly reflected in our Bishop: "Jesus knew the difficulties of men to receive his word, so when he was in the midst of men he would do his best to prepare their hearts, as the farmer would prepare the ground before casting the seed and he would listen to them, pray, eat, sleep with them. He was for them a friend, a brother, a father, full of mercy and goodness, wisdom and holiness". (From the book You are Mother of the Eucharist)
The priest, as mentioned several times by Our Lady, "must let himself to be eaten by souls"; the soul of the faithful must be able to find in him a guide, a guardian, a human fatherhood on which we rely to walk along the path outlined by God the Father.
The authentic priest tries to give all of himself to bring Christ among men; he does not limit his pastoral work within the walls of a church but tries to go out to meet the souls. Our Bishop, in the 90’s used to teach at the Pasteur high school, and in the book "You are priest forever" he says: "Every opportunity to pray with my students was gold, I took advantage of school trips, I would transform the lessons that I could not do in moments of prayer and perhaps it was never prayed for so long and so earnestly for the spiritual good of these young people, to whom no-one, neither parents nor priests nor teachers had talked about the greatness and beauty of being Christian".
We can say we have had, as a priest, a bishop who in all respects acted like Jesus, he first loved and then guided our soul, trying to shape it and to bring it close, as much as possible, to the love of Jesus the Word and Jesus the Eucharistic. Each of us carries within himself the signs of his being father to us, for with just a look he knew how to understand us completely and understand our difficulties, he made us understand how to see reality under the light of God, so that we could then eventually learn to recognize it.
The priest and Mary
Before leaving for one of his apostolic journeys, Jesus addressed his Mother: "Mother, I ask you to accompany me with your love, with your prayers, with your sufferings" and after his return, he would say to her: "Mother, dear mother, in distant countries there is so much crop to harvest, but there are no men willing to reap it. If you want, from now on, it is appropriate that we work together, we go out to the poor, the weak, the disinherited. I ask you to be mother, teacher, guide, comforter for all the poor... I know the many and big needs of men. I ask you to work at my side because they need a mom like you: good, understanding, loving, wise, faithful (...) pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest!” (From the book You are Mother of the Eucharist)
If at first Jesus would have been alone in His apostolic journeys, later he asked His Mother to work at His side in the apostolic mission, for she, "full of grace", has all the virtues that serve to help every man to convert, to become a child of God. In fact, next to the Redeemer there is the Co-redemptrix. This combination has been explained by our Bishop: "God did not need Mary’s enormous merits to realize His redemption plan, but He loves and respects men so much that he wanted, although not necessary, that to His own infinite merits were added those immeasurable of Mary". "Mary Co-redemptrix must be a truth that has to enter the baggage of faith of the whole Church and I hope that they will soon begin to recognize this dogma". (From the homily of September 15, 2007)
Therefore, every priest should have a deep, constant and intimate relationship with the in heavenly Mother if he wants to be a true priest of Christ. Every priest, as our Bishop did, can ask Our Lady to help him, to follow him, to support him spiritually, to intercede for him with God in his priestly mission in order to ensure an effective and fruitful work. Our spiritual father has cultivated, together with our sister Marisa, a daily relationship and so intimate with Our Lady that it made "the difference" in his priesthood and in his humanity that he always and only expressed as a gift for others and never for himself.
The Mother of the Eucharist on November 1, 1993, said: "I am always with you, I want to help you all. During the Mass I am next to the Priest, I join you, and I too pray my Son Jesus for the whole world". God has given a great gift to the Bishop of the Eucharist: the presence of the Mother of the Eucharist when celebrating Mass.
He would confide to us to feel the Mother of the Eucharist close to him, to desire her motherly embrace and that this was very important for him to be able to face every day’s pain, to understand how to talk to a soul and thoroughly help such a soul, in short, to be priest to the very end. In the book "You are priest forever", our bishop recounted an episode where, during a homily addressed to the Cenacle Community for the rehabilitation of young drug addicts, our Mother, who was at his side, inspired his heart: "we started off again on a journey to Saluzzo and we reached more than 120 young people with their relatives, friends. I felt that Our Lady was putting in my heart the thoughts and concepts suitable for those young people. I read joy in their faces and attention in their eyes, listening with meditation. It was Our Lady to pick the words coming out from my mouth and lay them at the heart of these guys who had known drugs, prison, prostitution and theft. To see them meditating and praying with such faith overwhelmed us. The consecration and communion were particularly touching moments and the presence of Christ and Mary operated with great efficacy because it allowed me to give them wonderful directions".
The priest and the longing for Heaven
Several times during the apparitions Our Lady said that with the Eucharist received in a state of grace we get in touch with the heavenly dimension because, in it, Jesus is present in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, so within us we welcome the Most Holy Trinity: “Your Mother wants to take you all to Heaven and enjoy it. Those who receive my Son Jesus in a state of grace have the Heaven already within them, because in them there is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit” (Letter of God, November 16, 1996). Our Bishop was defined by the Mother of the Eucharist as "Bishop of the Eucharist" because of the particular and strong love that he always had for it, and that he conveyed to the whole community. He taught us that a life in a state of grace, supported by the sacraments, is, for our soul, an anticipation of Heaven on Earth. Therefore he would urge us to receive the Eucharist with a spotless soul, and then to cherish Jesus in our hearts and to thoroughly enjoy His presence, communicating with Him in the inner silence and with the utmost concentration. The Mother of the Eucharist in a letter of God said: "Love Jesus the Eucharist, receive it in your heart in a state of grace and talk with Him. When Jesus the Eucharist gets inside you, the Heaven is already within you". (Letter of God, August 17, 1997)
A soul full of Eucharistic love receives from the Eucharist a greater and greater drive to long for the Heaven; therefore, the Bishop would constantly exhort us to accumulate in our soul as many graces as possible, in order to reach Jesus one day when He will call us.
Every day we should be longing for the Heaven, as stated in the prayer to Jesus the sweet Master: "I want to come with You in Heaven, and for the moment fill my heart with this longing". The Bishop often expressed his wish that priests would speak more about the Heaven in their homilies and catechesis, to arouse in the souls a strong drive to love more. The Mother of the Eucharist in 1998 said: "How long can you live? Let's say for the smaller ones, one hundred, one hundred and fifty years? Then there is the Heaven. Do believe, there is the Heaven, there is joy, eternal enjoyment, love, love towards all" (Letter of God, January 25, 1998). We know that in Heaven the souls who see God grow with love and become more and more like Him; for this reason our sister Marisa, during apparitions, often would say that she saw Our Lady ever more beautiful.
Even our statue of the Mother of the Eucharist miraculously transformed with time: her face became more and more gentle and also took on a triple look, turning to the children, to Heaven and to the Eucharist in her hand. In this way our Mother expresses her motherly love for all people on earth and at the same time the desire to lead us to enjoy Heaven through Jesus the Eucharist.
The great desire and wish of our beloved Bishop has always been to meet again in Heaven, as once in a homily said to us: "I would like to tell you ‘see you’ in Paradise, not in the Waiting Paradise but in that of the Beatific Vision". (From the homily of June 7, 2009)
In our hearts, in our memory, has remained impressed the light emanating from our Bishop’s eyes, steeped in the Eucharistic love that watered his soul, getting straight and strongly in the eyes of those who watched. He told us that love can turn everything if it comes from God and that everyone can feel really close to the person who loved so much in his life, thanks to the Eucharist, through a Eucharistic contact, and this for us is a comfort from the pain we feel for his absence and that of our beloved Marisa, now, both of them, in Heaven.