Homily of H.E. Mons. Claudio Gatti of June 20,2009
For this year, and on this occasion I would ask you to put aside my tenth anniversary of Episcopal ordination, later you will understand why. The feast will take place, not so much to the person, but to God who granted it on June 29. I think you have read and remember this sentence: "I rejoiced when I heard we are going to the house of the Lord". Let us skip the first thirty-four years of our mission and let us consider the last four and a half years lived in the most suffered love, in total immolation and sacrifice, and with the joy, even if not always visible, and the unfaltering desire to always do, whatever God would ask, His will. If you, the community, would have had towards the Bishop the same attitude of obedience that the Bishop and the Seer have had towards God, our community would have been more mature, prepared and ready. I cannot tell you every most important fact of these thirty-eight years, for a whole year would not be enough, especially since the set of books describing our life is almost ready for printing; by reading them you will taste, in the same time, the sweetness and the suffering of love.
A few days after Marisa's admission to San Pietro hospital, which took place in early March 2005, the head physician, with whom among other things, I started a nice friendship, said these exact words: "We have done everything we could, but for Marisa there is nothing more we can do". Nevertheless, in an apparition that followed this meeting with the head physician, Our Lady, addressing me, said: "Do not worry, she will not die in hospital, we will do in such a ways that she may be back and die at her home". It was March 2005. There were days when it seemed that she was going to pass away at any time, but God's plans were different, and from that year, from January 2005 to be precise, we started the most awful four and a half years, but richer from the spiritual standpoint.
God, and by now I found out in person on many occasions to be so, is mainly mindful of his children salvation, even if He cannot save everyone, for it is impossible, He would like to save many, many of them. A date that had been set, one of the many dates set by God for Marisa's departure, was exactly 9th March 2006. after the day begun, there was a long apparition, or rather a Theophany, and God the Father, to me, said these exact words: "My son, my brother - and I was amazed that God would call me brother - Excellency, Bishop I ordered, I beg you, please - these are God's words - give me more time to save other souls, and for that I need the sufferings of your sister and your cooperation and sacrifice". I said yes to God, but did not think that so many years had to go by: year 2005 tormented by suffering, so was 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. During our so-called "holiday" during summer, some of you have been with us for a while and realized how they were awful. Full nights lived in suffering and fear, difficult days, home helpers who, instead of helping, made us suffer, big Church problems falling on the shoulders of Bishop and Seer. I must admit that Marisa has gone from an attitude of joyful acceptance to an attitude of suffered acceptance. She was attached to her suffering to the point of being jealous, she did not want to share it with anyone. Sometimes when I said: "Let me share with you something", she firmly replied: "It is mine, I must bear it and I have to drink this cup", but it is logical that strength decreases if you go on, fatigue increases, physical weakness becomes impressive and we go on like that. In spite of all, feasts we have made, and you are my witness that we have made and celebrated them at our best, with the utmost solemnity. I do not think I have ever missed a feast, a date, even though last night I was not able to sleep. Pain, suffering... how many times I would ask Our Lady: "But is this Calvary, this Gethsemane never going to end for us?" She would reply: "For you, the Calvary and Gethsemane, my children, is very long". How many times Our Lady said to us: "In seeing you, dear children, I feel great sorrow and compassion for your suffering". You all know something, but not everything concerning our great sufferings and it is logical that Marisa's longing for Heaven becomes more and more urgent, she no longer could keep on living, she would not succeed, she could not, hence she wanted, and asked in every way in conversations she had with either God the Father or Jesus or Mary, to be taken away, to the point that she would be content to go to purgatory just to end the awful suffering she experienced night and day. I think we were spared nothing: physical pains, sickness, physical problems of every kind, together with wickedness, slander, defamation, bad judgments and offensive words.
The longing for Heaven became stronger and stronger. May 18 this year was one of those awful days when it seemed for the umpteenth time that Marisa was about to take a flight and those who were with us, especially during holiday, knew that in those critical moments, which used to take place almost daily, surely every week, if God had not intervened Marisa would have died. On May 18, during one of these awful recurring moments, Our Lady came and said: "My dear children, the time has come, but will not be today or tomorrow". It will not be today or tomorrow, so neither 18 nor 19, but every day from May 20 will be eligible for her departure. On May 18, Laura, Luisa and Laura Scuppa, who are now here, were called up by me to prepare both the dress that Laura made for Marisa when she will die, you can see it later, and the pall that will cover the bed where she will lie. We thought it was a matter of days, hours, but many days have passed and each time Jesus added something.
Let's step back; I am a bit moved and tired, so I cannot keep that total and complete clarity I am familiar with. In the years since 2005, everything was prepared for Marisa's departure: the booklet you will use to follow the Mass on the day of her mystical marriage is ready since two years, at least; mind you, I have not talked about funeral. Jesus made us prepare the songs, some of the songs are the ones that Marisa used to sing when she still had a beautiful voice; we were commanded to have this funeral more solemn than any other ceremony, including marriages. The dress, actually, two dresses are ready; Jesus said that Marisa would show up in Heaven with the same dress, the same model she would have worn when she would have died, then we tried the model that we thought was the most beautiful and the tissues we considered most valuable, certainly we did not want to be miserly or stingy before Jesus. So the dress is ready, the Mass booklet too, and ready is the spiritual will; but days went by and Jesus would tell us things that sometimes seemed unimportant, such as quickly sewing some angels that would have adorned the pall sides, so that when it will come to be used, we would not risk, either because of emotion or sadness, to omit these details. We have listened over and over again to CD's; we tried a few songs but they did not sound right so we had them sent to a recording studio to have them polished; we worked hard on finding the right songs until we were fully satisfied. It was a lot of work, but you knew nothing about it. And do not believe that in the meantime we were free from worries or suffering.
These last nine days have been awful, I have defined them as a very rich novena. Last Thursday, Our Lady came and mentioned one by one the names of the boys belonging to the group of young people. It was half past nine in the evening, at half past ten they were here to prepare the hall below, the room where Marisa will have to be placed. When I spoke to you yesterday, it is logical, I knew several things that you did not know; I knew that the departure would have taken place in one of the days of this novena and tomorrow, in fact, Marisa will fly to the Father. Tomorrow our sister will finally cease to suffer, I know you are affected, but if you love our sister, we must say: "And now let, O Lord, your servant go in peace, your peace, according to your promise". I do not know if you noticed, Our Lord was very delicate; I told you that today I do not want to celebrate my anniversary, but He allowed us to celebrate Marisa's birthday: today she is it 77 years old and they are not a few, but many years of suffering and we have celebrated them within our family, she while laying in her bed and suffering and we beside her. Tomorrow we will have a powerful sister in Heaven, we do not know the time when it will happen, we just know it will be during the day. Marisa has expressed a desire, I think you will be pleased about, for after the Mass you can go upstairs and greet her. In small groups you can also take a memento picture, but what I recommend is not to touch her, do not kiss her, do not even hold her hand as she is suffering an awful pain. In small groups you will have Marisa's memory wearing the same dress she will wear tomorrow when she will fly to the Father. In her goodness she asked me to allow also the people not present today to go up to her, when they will come tomorrow, before or after Mass; please, do not try to be too smart in order to go up twice, it would be a serious lack of charity. I do not know the time when this will happen, but you can make a phone call as early as this evening, warning those people wishing to attend the celebrations of her mystical marriage and tell, at a later date, the day and time also to the people outside Rome, who are part of other communities. You think that the Bishop is not suffering from this? Yes, but the joy is greater.
My sister gave me two great gifts: with her suffering she returned me to the life I was losing because of a colon cancer; then this cross - Bishop shows the pectoral cross - unique of its kind, most original, a cross where there is everything, where is the passion, death, resurrection and everyday's Mass, later you will be able to see it close. Carved in the vertical rod is the grape, one of the substances with which Mass is celebrated; wheat and corn is in the horizontal rod; Christ's death is made present with the sacrifice of the cross and under the cross Mary is standing, for Our Lady is standing at every Mass the Bishop ordained by God is celebrating. There is also the dedication: 10th anniversary of Episcopal ordination, to my brother Bishop, little Marisa. Throughout my life, and when I will be here or anywhere else, I will use only two pectoral crosses: this is one and the other is that of Jesus the Sweet Master. When and if I were to get hold of other crosses, even if studded with diamonds or pearls, will be all sold and the proceedings given to the poor. For me these two crosses are more precious than any cross studded with diamonds, rubies or any other precious stone. The ring to which I will be more attached, and it will be like reparation from many people when they will come to kiss it, including bishops and cardinals, is this: the one from the Mother of the Eucharist. Those who have fought against her, if they want to continue to have the position and exercise priesthood and episcopate, will have to bow and kiss the ring where she is depicted. In principle I think the last day for the celebration of this mystical marriage might be on Tuesday, but it is not a precise calculation because it depends on when Marisa will ascend to the Father. That said, I would like to leave you with the comforting words of Jesus to his apostles before his Passion: "I do not leave you orphans". Marisa will not forsake us, of course, I consider this a vested right, the Bishop will enjoy more than everybody else her aid and benefits, but I believe that each of you can knock at her generosity so that she may be a mediatrix with God and plead for your needs, starting from the conversion of your loved ones.
I have begun by saying: "I rejoiced when I heard we are going to the house of the Lord", and we have to experience this joy, we must feel it. It is normal for the eyes to be moistened by tears; do you think that Mary remained indifferent when Joseph died? Jesus himself wept before Lazarus, but I wish that this holy death may give everyone in this community a strong shock to wake up from the spiritual slumber and rush finally and decisively on the path to holiness. God's enemies will rejoice to hear that she died, as the leaders of the Sanhedrin rejoiced when they heard that Jesus was dead, but what happened in Jerusalem thirty years later? What happened to these leaders? What was their fate? And then, and I am not saying this as a threat, for I do not like to threaten, but remind and warn, God's enemies, Our Lady's enemies, Bishop's enemies, the Seer's enemies may begin to do the countdown, so that they know that the last shall be first and first shall be last. God has had mercy and infinite compassion for He is infinite, but I remember some years ago He also said: "Eventually I'll have to say enough is enough". Here, enough is now, Jesus kept his word when He said "Soon!"
Everything, and I have never denied it, will start after Marisa's departure to Heaven, not before. Those who were ironic about it, those who joked, those who went away, may God have pity and mercy of them. Forgiveness, if repentance is sincere, can be given, but I do not want that in this place people who have besmirched it knowing to be besmirching it, will come again. To come later and ask to be forgiven is easier, is comfortable, but I am not interested. They had time to ask to be forgiven and they would be accepted until today, but from tomorrow the situation changes radically. I do not wish any harm to anybody, I am not able to do it, but I hope they can ask to be forgiven and I prayed for their conversion, but remember that for those who have deliberately slandered this place, the Bishop and Seer, there is God's "woes". But we are not interested in it, what is important is to accompany our sister with joy and prayer and it may seem a trivial thing to you, but as I am talking about a wedding, I would like you to come all elegantly dressed, well dressed as is fitting for a wedding. Wear the best dress, the most expensive perfume and if you will be crying thus spoiling your makeup, do know that it will be wonderful, it means you know how to love. The basilica must be a blaze of flowers and now Lina understands why I told her, a few days ago, to take the most beautiful blue-veined flowers. I want a blaze of flowers, I want a blaze of flags that you can raise and tie to pillars, for they have to remind, not so much the triumphant appearance, but the nations where Marisa went in bilocation: it is a way to be present. Carpets and drop-curtain must be light blue, for they are the most beautiful; vestments must be white and the most beautiful. Whoever will come will wonder whether it is a funeral or a wedding and you will tell that it is a mystical wedding and you will have to explain it. And if someone is scandalized, will be someone belonging to the category of Pharisees, motivated only by envy and jealousy.
I, Bishop ordained by God, just do what God has asked and commanded me to do. What men think, you know it, I am interested in it only if it is consistent with God's thought, but if it is even a bit different, I am not interested. One more thing: the flowers I have asked to fetch are quite enough and hence do not make wreaths and cushions that do not mean anything. The only floral ornament beyond what was required is the one I ordered and Laura made it in a wonderful way, where there is also the wedding bouquet, thereafter the plant that is part of the composition will be transplanted and looked after. No need to bring other flowers. During the celebration of the mystical wedding, Marisa will be in her coffin and it will be open and we can do it because we will not get out of this place. But I tell you one thing that I myself still do not understand, Jesus said to Marisa, and at the moment I do not know how it should be interpreted: "You will talk even standing in the coffin". I do not know, I say it again, what meaning to give to these words, but remember that the person closer to God, once she is gone to Heaven, after the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, will be Marisa. I hope you believe in what I'm saying, for I never lied and you know that in my life, in order to comply with the truth, I even paid in person. Sure, it will never be the same here, first the Seer, then, God willing, when the Bishop will have to go where God wants, but I would like to know that I will leave a community formed by wise, prepared, sensitive, ready and balanced people; not second-raters, but humble, docile, sensitive and generous people. And about generosity, Franco is authorized, if you wish, to collect your offers that will be used to partly pay the considerable costs and partly, as usual, will be given to charity. Is that clear? And remember that already the day after tomorrow you can certainly rely on Marisa as I will be telling you, for God has already declared a saint: "Saint Marisa, pray for us".