MARIAN MOVEMENT OF PRIESTS
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Dear members of the Marian Movement of Priests,
We have entered a very special year: next May 8 will be the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Marian Movement of Priests, that is, since when in 1972, Fr Stefano Gobbi began to receive from Our Lady those messages that then, from 1973 to 1997, were collected in the Blue Book “To The Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons”. It is a great opportunity to seriously discuss how we are responding to the love and the appeal of our Mother.
In 2021, despite travel difficulties due to health restrictions, I was able to visit the cenacles of some cities in Italy and Portugal, Peru, Colombia, Brazil (including the spiritual exercises for Brazilian priests), Bolivia, Mexico (for the spiritual exercises of the Spanish-speaking priests of Central and South America and the Caribbean), Honduras and Nicaragua, and the United States of America, also with the presence of some bishops and cardinals. Cenacles sometimes very numerous and sometimes small, sometimes celebrated in large churches and sometimes in the little house of some families: outwardly different, but always cenacles requested by our Mother and lived by her priest sons together with all the other sons and daughters in their state of life, from laity to cloistered nuns. Once again, I was able to see how much Our Lady is loved by those who seek her in each cenacle, who pray, who consecrate themselves to her, who entrust to her the Holy Father, their Bishops, their parish priests, their nations sometimes so troubled, their families; how valuable the prayers of the little ones! In some cases, my visit coincided with the resumption of public cenacles, suspended for almost two years due to current restrictions. Let us thank Our Lady who always helps us to start again and not to be discouraged, despite difficulties. For my part, I would like to reach many other cenacles and countries, many have insistently asked for the visit of the Coordinator-General Responsible, but being a parish priest, I am not permitted to leave the parishes except for one or two weeks at a time, and few times a year. If Our Lady wants it, this time will increase, otherwise I will be able to visit only a few countries and for a few days each, as I have done to date; the decision is Her’s, ours the prayer to live only what she wants.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the MMP, the International Spiritual Exercises for Priests will be organised in Fatima from Sunday, June 26 to Saturday, July 2, 2022. In conjunction with the exercises for priests there will also be a retreat for the laity, from Thursday 30 June to Sunday 3 July. In this way we will be able to pray together and celebrate Holy Mass at the Capelinha. Already many priests have asked to be able to participate, from all continents. I ask the laity to invite their priests to participate and, if necessary, to help them as needed.
I am very happy that in many countries there are further Spiritual Exercises of the MMP: may those who simply cannot participate in Fatima participate at least in the local Exercises, do not let this grace of the continuous Cenacle pass. To register for the Spiritual Exercises in Fatima you must contact exclusively the agency in charge, Rusconi Viaggi (Lecco – Italy), which will help prepare the necessary documents to arrive in Portugal. On the official website of the MMP you can find links for registration for the Spiritual Exercises of priests and for the retreat of the Laity (see the end of page 4 below).
The regional and national cenacles will be scheduled as soon as circumstances allow, meanwhile let us continue and increase our small local and family cenacles. Where necessary, let the public cenacles be resumed. I have seen many fruits in cenacles of children led by children, and of young people led by young people, as Our Lady has asked. For example, on December 31, 1996, she tells us: “I ask of you an incessant prayer, humble, persevering, trustful. And so, I renew again my request to spread everywhere the cenacles of prayer and fraternity. Let these cenacles be spread among the priests, who are my beloved sons, and among the faithful. I await a generous response from the little children, so that they may be defended and protected by me from the great perversion which has contaminated all the world. I ask the young people to gather together in these cenacles, that they may attain the new times which I have prepared for them. Above all, in these cenacles, Christian families must gather together, so that they may be helped by me to live in perfect communion of love, always open to the gift of life which must be desired, protected and defended.“
Let us not drop the request that Our Lady personally made to us fifty years ago. It is thanks to the cenacles that she has
conquered our heart and guards it in her Immaculate Heart and carries out her plan.
The Cause of Beatification of Fr. Nazareno Lanciotti is advancing, now all the documentation is deposited at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: I ask you to pray that it can be successful in a short time.
With regard to the Cause of Beatification of Fr Stefano Gobbi, I thank those who have sent me beautiful testimonies and I renew to all the others the request to send their own testimonies as soon as possible.
1 It is now fifty years that Our Lady heartily invites us to consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart and to live our consecration. Through Fr. Stefano Gobbi she has repeated the request already made at Fatima: to live the Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart is the best way to be protected at this time, better because chosen by the Lord Himself (As said in the apparitions at Fatima and then to Sister Lucia at Pontevedra).
Faith allows us to have a spiritual reading of history, that is, the life of humanity not only as the succession of facts and people, but as the Church’s journey towards the fulfillment of time, towards the return of Jesus in glory, through the events that characterize the “End Times”.
The spirituality of the Church has had light on the “End Times” through many saints, e.g. in 2004 Fr Stefano Gobbi quoted St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort on the characteristics of the Apostles of The Last Times (Treatise on True Devotion to Mary, 54-59); Our Lady explained to us that these “Last Times” are precisely the time in which we live, she has spoken of it in 76 messages, focusing in particular on priests (e.g., June 8, 1991 and December 8, 1994) calling them precisely “Apostles of the Last Times”. What signs indicate that we have arrived there?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 675) says that “Before Christ’s’ Second Coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers (Lk 18:8; Mt 24:12). The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth (Lk 21:12; Jn 15:19-20) will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception that offering men an apparent solution to their problems, at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in the place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh (2 Thess 2:4-12; 1 Thess 5:2-3; 2 Jn 7; 1 Jn 2:18, 22).“
Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Church had to face several waves of weird and misleading interpretations of doctrine, which Pope Pius X in 1907 would call heretical (encyclical letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis). Our Lady had begun to warn us as early as 1830 with the apparitions of Paris and the gift of the Miraculous Medal and of the prayer “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you“, continuing to La Salette, Lourdes, culminating at Fatima (“I urge you today to look to the great light, which has spread out from Fatima over the events of this, your century, and which is becoming particularly strong in these last times”, 13 May 1994),calling for prayer, fidelity strengthened by penance, and the sacraments. Finally, since 1972, fifty years ago, she has explicitly taught us to identify the signs of the “End Times”.
And here is a very beautiful thing: Our Lady calls the Last Times “my Times”, because it is the hour when, in the apparent and provisional victory of apostasy, She becomes even more present to guide her children and protect them in Her Immaculate Heart, to make possible the miracle of Grace and mercy: “The decisive moments are very near. A little while longer and then, together with them, with the littlest of my babies, I will crush the head of Satan and his many followers and I will obtain the victory which has already been announced (August 3, 1974)” … those consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, priests with religious and laity, all sinners but refugees in the Immaculate Heart and made “little” on the path of holiness indicated by her, they will be the instrument of the Immaculate for the victory and for the hour of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
So, from these words we understand that the only thing that Our Lady asks of us is to live the consecration to Her Immaculate Heart: to live the three commitments of the MMP and to have the greatest and absolute trust in Her: “Respond always and only with heroic trust in me. That is all I need from you, my little children, to crush the head of my Adversary, while he will attempt to bite my heel, by laying snares for you, my beloved sons (July 8, 1977)”.
“Heroic trust” in which situations, in which of the difficulties that characterise the “End Times”, in particular today? In addition to personal and family difficulties, there are social and ecclesial difficulties. For example, the difficulty that many of us still have in freely participating in the celebrations of our faith, first of all in the Eucharist: still in many countries only a few people are allowed to enter the church at a time, unlike crowded places such as theaters and cinemas or shopping centers or places of entertainment, or the difficulty in the Church of defending the right of believers to these same celebrations.
2 Our Lady also refers to a difficulty that is ever more manifest: remain loyal to the Gospel and to the Doctrine Catholic. A part of the Church has the tendency (or temptation) to “change”, like those, for example, who oppose the recent statements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the family (15 March 2021) or who dispute the primacy of the Eucharist, its sacrificial reality, and the need to be in God’s grace to receive it.
Indeed, it seems that in the Church, that alternative thought to the Gospel, therefore opposed to it on some points, which tends to empty the proclamation of faith, the proclamation of salvation, wants to manifest itself in an ever more explicit and proud way. The points affected by this thought are essential: the Eucharist, the family, anthropology, the Church as way, truth and life. We saw a clear example of this in Europe last May, with some rebellions that are only the tip of an iceberg that is still submerged and cannot wait to emerge to change the Church in accordance with anti-evangelical thought. We must be careful: anti-evangelical is not only what is against charity, against poverty, it is primarily what is against doctrine, from which Christian charity and any other virtue takes its meaning and its value. Charity firstly consists in helping one’s neighbour to know God’s love, to live in God’s grace. Our Lady wants to help us put things right, while instead the “great tribulation” tries to subvert them: in fact, precisely because it is anti-evangelical, this alternative thought wants us to believe that through it one finally arrives at the true evangelical life, finally in freedom, and that the path of salvation finally comes through these changes! It is the same path as Judas: he also rebelled because he wanted to push Jesus to take another path.
Our Lady had announced very well these things to us:
“Marxist atheism will contaminate everything; like a poisonous fog it will penetrate everywhere and will bring many of my children to death in faith. It will subvert the truths contained in the Gospel.” (November 9, 1975)
“Truth is being corrupted with error. Error is being spread in a most dangerous way, namely, as a new and modern way of understanding the truth, and it ends by subverting the very truths which are the foundation of the Catholic faith. They are not denied openly denied, but they are accepted in such an equivocal way that doctrine is most seriously compromised by error in an unprecedented manner. As a result, talk and discussion go on and on; but there is no longer any belief and the darkness of error spreads. The confusion which tends to prevail within the Church and to subvert its truths is the first sign which indicates to you with certainty that the time of her purification has come. (January 28, 1979)
On June 13, 1989, in particular, we are told how those who, even if they call themselves believers and even if they have received Holy Orders, try to “update” the faith of the Church or change it as they please:
“… justifying sin, … presenting it no longer as an evil, but as something good and of value. Thus, one is advised to do this as a way of satisfying the exigencies of one’s own nature, destroying the root from which repentance could be born, and is told that it is no longer necessary to confess it. The pernicious fruit of this cursed cancer, which has spread throughout the whole Church, is the disappearance everywhere of individual confession. Souls are led to live in sin, rejecting the gift of life which Jesus has offered us.”
“The Church instituted by Christ is one alone: it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, founded on
Peter. As is Jesus, so too is the Church founded by Him, which forms his Mystical Body, Truth, life and way. The Church is truth, because Jesus has entrusted to it alone the task of guarding, in its integrity, all the deposit of faith.”
These “false believers” seek also to “destroy this reality through false ecumenism, which leads to the acceptance of all Christian Churches, asserting that each one of them has some part of the truth. It develops the plan of founding a universal ecumenical Church, formed by the fusion of all the Christian confessions, among which, the Catholic Church.” […] “… to attack the ecclesial devotion towards the sacrament of the Eucharist. It gives value only to the meal aspect, tends to minimize its sacrificial value, seeks to deny the real and personal presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host. In this way there are gradually suppressed all the external signs which are indicative of faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, such as genuflections, hours of public adoration, and the holy custom of surrounding the tabernacle with lights and flowers.“
Another great difficulty that seems to be growing more and more concerns discernment. It seems that many, lay or religious or priests, are disoriented by this great confusion and find more security and comfort in the impetuosity of the currents of thought of the moment, sometimes political currents, instead of in the word of the Gospel and in the teaching of the Church. Thus, in the current problems, more than being “light of the world” (Mt 5,14) it becomes the reflection of a purely human logic which, when it does not let itself be enlightened by the Gospel, it leaves us groping in the dark, and instead of apostles of fidelity it risks being apostles of confusion, if not of rebellion. Whoever wants to be faithful and strives with every effort to live the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary also suffers these tensions, which are increasingly heavy, acute and insidious. Sometimes we can be discouraged, but Our Lady does not want us to be fooled by discouragement:
“Do not let the hour of a new Gethsemane, through which humanity is now living, make you sad. Do not be discouraged if evil has the upper hand in the world today. Do not be alarmed if Satan has reached the summit of his diabolical reign. (April 11, 1993)”
“Have confidence in your heavenly Mother who is ever close to you, to be of assistance and comfort to you in your priesthood. I see your innumerable difficulties. I welcome all your entreaties. I am close to you to comfort you in your solitude. I give you joy and consolation amidst so much bitterness. Do not feel yourselves alone. Even if the field of the apostolate is sometimes dry and difficult, even if the society which surrounds you places obstacles in the way of your priestly action, even if the weight of human weakness seems often to overwhelm you, never become discouraged! I am always close to you, as a good and understanding mother, and I am supporting, leading, consoling and encouraging you. I am gathering up your tears like precious jewels and I am treasuring your every fatigue in the secret of my Immaculate Heart” (October 21, 1993).
“I obtain for you the gift of the Holy Spirit, who descends upon you to confirm you in your priestly ministry and make you apostles of the second evangelization. Let your preaching be founded on the rock of the apostolic faith, that you may become courageous witnesses of faith in these times of the great apostasy. Do not become troubled when you see that today errors are becoming openly taught, spread and followed. Never become discouraged. Be faithful ministers of the Gospel of Christ, by proclaiming all the truths of the Catholic faith, and thus you will become lights lit upon a lamp stand, burning torches set upon the mountain tops, to throw light upon these times of great darkness.” (February 22, 1994)
“Mine is the task of washing you from every stain […] I assist you to be in the world, without being of the world; because I desire that all of you belong solely and always to my Son Jesus.” (December 31, 1995)
“How difficult are the days in which you are living! This is the conclusive period of purification and the great tribulation. In fact, all humanity is possessed by the spirits of evil and my Church is shaken by the impetuous wind of errors, of divisions, of unbelief and of apostasy. You must bear the painful weight of this situation. You are being called to carry the cross of all the Church. For this reason, you are destined to experience, as never before, the gentle comfort of my motherly tenderness: in my arms you will be caressed and consoled by me. Thus, I ask you to enter, once and for all, into the refuge of my Immaculate Heart.” (June 27, 1996)
The Church relives the Passion of Jesus, but, living in the Mother’s Immaculate Heart can be fruitful with motherly life for all humanity, which will look to her when she returns to shine with light not only in her doctrine but also in the lives of her children.
This is why Our Lady always asks us to pray in Cenacles, to multiply them: because only in this way will we learn to live our consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. “I recommend to you to gather together often in your cenacles, in order to give me a great force of prayer, with which I may be able to intervene before my Son Jesus, that He may quickly obtain for you from the Father the gift of a new and second Pentecost for the Church and for all humanity. (May 26, 1985)”, and also “If you live your consecration, your life will be truly transformed: I will accustom you to my way of seeing, of thinking, of praying, of loving. I will communicate my spirit to you and will make you ever littler, more simple, and more humble. I will bring you to trust always and only in God. And the more that doubt and denial increase, the more you will find your certainty in Him, and you will bear witnesses to this. (November 9, 1975)”
Sometimes we should ask ourselves: but do we make cenacles out of devotion, just because we like what Our Lady said to Fr. Stefano Gobbi, or because we understand that we are called by her at this Time? The cenacles that Our Lady asks of us and the consecration to Her Immaculate Heart are not a simple devotion but are a call, a vocation to live in the Church this Time with her and like her, because she wants to intervene through us.
4 Therefore, how we can live the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Marian Movement of Priests? Let us ask first of all for the grace to rediscover the gift of consecration to the Immaculate Heart.
“Many years ago, I imprinted my Image on the cloak of my little Juan Diego, to whom I appeared; Today I want to imprint my image in the heart and the life of each one of you. You are thus signed with the seal of my love, which distinguishes you from those who have allowed themselves to be seduced by the Beast and bear his imprinted blasphemous number. The Dragon and the Beast can do nothing against those who have been signed with my seal. (November 12, 1981)”.
How often the dragon strikes us with sufferings of a thousand kinds, but earthly sufferings are not the biggest problem: his main goal is that the faithful learn to live without God believing themselves to be equally good faithful. This is his greatest snare, which those who are marked with the seal of Our Lady, the consecration to the Immaculate Heart, must face with love and overcome, even at the cost of a difficult and painful witness.
An example of a snare: in this time of health emergency, it seems that every activity must be filtered through considerations of earthly health and there is a tendency to overshadow spiritual health and regular sacramental life. Indeed, sometimes it seems that in some areas of the Church there is tolerance towards those who teach anti-evangelical ideas, and instead harshness towards those lay people and faithful priests who would like to follow the care considered as “unofficial” by the world health directives, even if valid and appreciated in many Countries. These latter people, though faithful, are considered harmful and anti-evangelical, as opposed to those who teach against the Gospel and cause spiritual harm that can lead to eternal perdition. Some new human rules have been seen as of moral value, while the moral value of some evangelical teachings is being relativized to the point of nullifying it. There is a risk of living what Jesus said: “They worship me in vain, teaching human commandments as precepts. You put aside the commandment of God, to observe human tradition” (Mark 7:7-8). There is a lot of confusion. Re-reading the Catechism (n. 675) this antichristic dimension seems to emerge in what is happening in these “End Times”.
Our Lady has spoken to us for many years to teach us to reason: firstly, the current crisis is not a health but moral one. If the health crisis is serious, the moral one is far worse; Our Lady has never intervened specifically in this type of problem, if anything she has continually called for consecrating ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart in order to return to God with strength and love. The great tribulation is not a series of health epidemics, but a devastating crisis of faith that allows the great dragon to drag to earth a third of the stars of Heaven, the priests, who in turn leave the faithful, the Church and the world in the dark. One cannot get out of social crises without returning to God. Let us be careful not to be confused. What we sorely need is a spiritual reading of life and the problems that we must address. Our Lady speaks to us in these terms. This is why she gave birth to the MMP and asks us to take refuge in Her Heart, to be her maternal help for the Church in these “End Times”, Her presence of fidelity and consolation in trial.
Let us, then, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the MMP, pay daily attention to living with love our consecration to the Immaculate Heart, in union of life with her, asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be faithful to the Gospel and to the doctrine of the Church, to offer the often great weight of current difficulties, in reparation and intercession for those who do not know the love of God, to counter the gestures of rebellion and apostasy that have already come to light and those that are still hidden, to be in the Church what Our Lady expects of us, and learn to thank her because we are unworthily called to be her collaborators:
“I have great designs on you: respond each and all with generosity. (November 12, 1981)”