First Disciple of Luisa Who Read All 36 Volumes
In honor of her dedication to Luisa and to the unborn
Excerpts from Luisa Piccarreta, Memoir on the Servant of God, V2 and Luisa Piccarreta, The Little Daughter of the Divine Will – by Fr. Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci OFM
On a cold and rainy day in 1906 or 1907, my grandmother told her daughter Rosaria: “Get dressed and let’s go to Luisa the Saint.” Aunt Rosaria would not go because she was ashamed of her disability (epilepsy and the amputation of four fingers), but her mother said emphatically: “Let’s go.”
They arrived at the home of Luisa and her mother, and Luisa’s mother welcomed my grandmother because she knew my grandmother very well. They talked about many things, and some common and distant relatives whom Aunt Rosaria did not even know. Luisa’s mother offered pastries and rosolio (homemade liqueur) and after having finished talking, she led my grandmother and my aunt into the room of Luisa, who was busy at work on the tombolo (lace-making pillow). My grandmother and Luisa kissing greeted each other as old friends; they spoke “of this and that,” but mostly about Rosaria, who was behind the chair of her mother in total silence and filled with shame. At the end of the meeting Luisa said to my grandmother: “Let her stay here.”
One day, while she was busy working on the tombolo in the company of the other girls, Aunt Rosaria had a seizure. All fled, frightened, and only Angelina (Luisa’s sister) came to her rescue by inserting a handkerchief between her dental arches so that she would not bite her tongue because of lockjaw. It is said that Luisa remained very calm in her bed, but she looked up to heaven, professing these words: “Lord, if you have placed her next to me, I want her healthy.” All this was confirmed to my mother, Serafina Garofalo, by a friend of hers who was in Luisa’s room. Reality or legend … the fact is that from that moment Aunt Rosaria had no more seizures and became a perfect embroiderer of tombolo.
After the healing from epilepsy, Aunt Rosaria continued to assiduously visit Luisa’s house. In a short time she became so adept at working the tombolo that Luisa entrusted to her management of the teaching in her school of embroidery. Her contribution to the good performance of the work became indispensable. After work, she began to take care of the person of Luisa with such zeal, affection and devotion as to produce a motion of impatience in those who visited the Servant of God, such that Fr. Annibale di Francia himself rebuked her, saying: “Do not touch her frequently, because Luisa is all of God, even in the body.” Aunt Rosaria told me this, while Fr. Annibale writes the same thing in different words: “Luisa was not to be touched.”
Luisa was struck by unheard-of storms, which would certainly have crushed any other person, but which were surpassed by her profound humility, obedience and faith – true food of this chosen soul. Her confessor and the persons who were close to her – especially her faithful Rosaria – suffered tremendously, and while the weak (of spirit) abandoned her, they remained at her side with humility and faith, until the triumph of the Work of God.
In one of the last visits I made to my sister Gemma, she entrusted me with her notes in which she described working together with Aunt Rosaria to spread devotion to the Servant of God, after her death. Gemma accompanied Aunt Rosaria during all her travels: to San Giovanni Rotondo, to Rome to speak with the lawyer Palermo who worked in a Vatican congregation, to the Holy Office of Cardinal Ottaviani (secretary of the Congregation), to Trani to Archbishop Monssignor Addazzi, to Salerno to the Vicar General Monsignor Balducci (who had known the Servant of God), to Bari to Monsignor Samarelli, Vicar General of the Diocese of Bari, and to Archbishop Monsignor Mimmi. Gemma told me that they had received a warm welcome from everyone, but they gave little hope for the opening of the beatification process.
Rosaria Bucci photographed in the Piazza of Saint Peter’s
by her niece Gemma
after meeting with some Roman religious authorities on the writings of Luisa.
Aunt Rosaria died at eighty years in 1978 after only one day of illness, and after praying a beautiful prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because of the extreme humility with which she lived, my aunt did not oppose her admission to the hospital, where my nephews brought her without her explicit consent. I and my sister Gemma, having learned the news of her hospitalization, immediately went to the hospital and assured Aunt Rosaria that tomorrow we would have her discharged, it not being immediately possible due to the late hour. She said goodbye to me as if she foreknew it would be the last time, and told me something that I have always kept in my heart.
I have the firm belief that Luisa came to take her personally, because some women told of things that puzzled me about the light and the fragrance that emanated from her body. What had happened in the hospital I had confirmation of at the cemetery, because the day after the funeral the whole family gathered for the customary second burial ceremony. The coffin was opened for the last time, and to the wonder of all Aunt Rosaria seemed to be sweetly sleeping. A soft and sweet fragrance came from her coffin, instead of the typical smell of death. It was such a wonder that all the relatives and acquaintances were called; those who were there, wanted to touch and kiss her body.
In a recent statement of Fr. Bucci, he made known that after Luisa’s death, in addition to beginning the spread of devotion to Luisa, and having read all of her Writings, Aunt Rosaria had an earnest devotion to the protection and sanctification of the unborn. To honor Rosaria Bucci in this earnest intention, and to thank her for her forty years of dedication and care of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, with the following Writing of Luisa from Volume 36, we echo this same desire, linked with Luisa in the Holy Divine Will, praying for the Salvation and Sanctification of all unborn babies, past, present and future. May this be for the Glory of God and the Good of all souls, and hasten the Establishment of the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth as It is in Heaven.
V36 – April 12, 1938 – “My Blessed daughter of My Will, how many Wonders My Will can make in the creature, as long as she gives It the First Place and All the Freedom to Operate. My Will takes the will, the word, the act that the creature wants to do, as part of Itself – Covers it with Its Creative Virtue, Pronounces Its Fiat in it, and Forms as many Lives for as many existing creatures. You were asking in My Will for the Baptism of All newborn babies that will come to the light of the day – and then, for Its Life to Reign in them. My Will did not hesitate for one instant; soon It Pronounced Its Fiat and Formed as many Lives from Itself for as many newborn babies coming to the Light – Baptizing them, as you wanted, with Its First Light, and then Giving each one of them Its Life. If these newborn babies, for lack of knowledge, will not Possess our Life, this Life still remains for Us, and We will have many Divine Lives which Love Us, Glorify Us, Bless Us, as We do Ourselves. These Divine Lives are Our Greatest Glory, but they don’t put aside the creature who gave our Fiat the Opportunity to Form So Many of Our Lives for these newborn babies who are coming to the Light; rather, they keep her hidden in themselves to let her Love as they Love, and let her do what they do. Neither would they set the newborn babies aside; rather, they would Give them So Much Attention, Guard and Defend them as to be able to Reign in their soul. My daughter, who can tell you how much we Love this creature who Lives in Our Will? We Love her So Much that We Leave Our Will in her power to let her do what she wants. If she wants to form Our Lives, We let her do that; if she wants to fill Heaven and earth with Our Love, we Give her the Freedom to do it – So Much So, that she can make everyone say that they Love Us. We even Hear the ‘I Love You’ of One who Lives In Our Will in the little bird that trills and warbles and sings. If in the Ardor of her Love she wants to Love More, she can enter Our Creative Act and Delight herself with New Suns, Heavens and stars, making Us Say, unceasingly, ‘I Love you, I Love you’, and taking part in narrating Our Glory. In Our Will the Sight is Long and All Attentive to see what she wants and how she can Love Us More.” My God, how many Wonders, how many Surprises there are In Your Will. Its Sweet Enchantment is So Great that not only does one remain Captivated, but as if Embalmed – Transformed in the Wonders of the Fiat in Such a Way that one doesn’t know how to get out of It.”
Excerpt from Luisa Piccarreta, The Little Daughter of the Divine Will – by Fr. Bernardino Giuseppe Bucci OFM
Saint Padre Pio sent many people to Luisa Piccarreta and would say to the people of Corato who went to San Giovanni Rotondo: “What have you come here for? You have Luisa, go to her.”
(…)Aunt Rosaria (Fr. Bucci’s aunt) went regularly to San Giovanni Rotondo, especially after Luisa’s death. Padre Pio knew her very well, and when Luisa was still alive he would ask Aunt Rosaria when he saw her: “‘Rosa’, how is Luisa?” Aunt Rosaria would answer him: “She is well!”.
After Luisa’s death, Aunt Rosaria increased her visits to San Giovanni Rotondo, in order to receive enlightenment and advice from Padre Pio.
Aunt Rosaria was the one lamp that stayed alight to resolve Luisa Piccarreta’s case regarding the sentence of the Holy Office, visiting various ecclesiastical figures and, in addition, confronting the Congregation of the Holy Office. Once she managed – it is not known how – to enter the office of the Cardinal Prefect, Ottaviani, who heard her kindly and promised to take up the case.
Indeed, a few days later, Aunt Rosaria was summoned by Archbishop Addazi of Trani, who said to her: “Miss Rosaria, I do not know whether to reprimand you or to admire you for your courage. You have faced the guard dog of the Church, the great defender of the faith, without being bitten.”
The conclusion was that permission was obtained to move Luisa’s body from the cemetery to the Church of Santa Maria Greca. Luisa said to my aunt: “You will be my witness” and one day Padre Pio told her point-blank in his Benevento dialect: “‘Rosa’, va nanz, va nanz ca Luisa iè gran e u munn sarà chin di Luisa” (“Rosaria, go ahead, go ahead for Luisa is great and the world will be full of Luisa”). My aunt often recounted this episode, but things were not going well: everything indicated that Luisa would soon be forgotten.
After the venerated Padre Pio’s death, my aunt said one day: “Padre Pio prophesied that Luisa would be known throughout the world.”..And she repeated the phrase Padre Pio had said in his dialect.
I answered that there would be no easy solution to the case of Luisa Piccarreta. Indeed nothing further was said of it in Corato either, and Padre Pio’s words could have been considered merely a comforting remark. But Aunt Rosaria retorted: “No! During my confession Padre Pio told me that Luisa is not a human factor, she is a work of God and He Himself will make her emerge. The world will be astounded at her greatness; not many years will pass before this happens. The new millennium will see Luisa’s light.”
I was silent at this assertion and my aunt asked me: “But do you believe in Luisa?”
I answered her that I did.
In the Name of Jesus,
In the Power, Love and Unity of the Holy Spirit,
Under the Mantle of Mary,
Together with the Angels and Saints,
Through the Intercession of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta,
Echoing her prayers,
“My God, how many Wonders, how many Surprises there are In Your Will.
Its Sweet Enchantment is So Great that not only does one remain Captivated,
but as if Embalmed – Transformed in the Wonders of the Fiat.”
We Love You, we Adore You, we Bless You and we Thank You.
We pray for the Baptism of All newborn babies that will come to the light of the day,
and pray for Its Life to Reign in them.
We pray also for all unborn babies, especially those that have died or will die before birth,
May the Divine Will Guard and Defend them as to be able to Reign in their souls
on earth and in Heaven.
Please take our humble prayer and make it Your Command!
We Believe, We Receive!
+ Rosaria Bucci, pray for the protection of the unborn!