Blessed Virgin Mary - Mystical Rose
"Our Lord sends me to bring a new Marian Devotion to all religious orders and institutes,
and to the priests of this world. I promise to protect those religious orders and
institutes who will
venerate me in this special way, increase their vocations, and achieve a
greater striving for
holiness among the servants of God.
I wish that the 13th of each month be celebrated as a Marian Day.
Special prayers are to be said during the proceeding twelve days. On this day I shall pour out
vocational holiness and abundant graces on those religious orders and spiritual institutes who
have honoured me especially.
I wish that the 13th July be celebrated each year in honour of the Rosa Mystica."
Brief History of the Apparitions
The Devotion to the Mystical Rose from the 5th Century
From ancient times, the rose has been a symbol of mystery. In the catacombs of St. Callistus (3rd century), Christians drew roses as a sign of paradise. Cyprian of Carthage writes that it is a sign of martyrdom.
In the 5th century, the rose was already a metaphorical sign of the Virgin Mary. Edulia Caelio was the first to call Mary “rose among thorns.” Four centuries later the monk Teophanes Graptos uses the same simile referring to the purity of Mary and the fragrance of her grace.
For Tertullian and St. Ambrose, the root represents the genealogy of David; the stem is Mary and the flower, the rose, is Christ. (The Rose of Sharon).
From the Middle Ages, the text from Isaiah is understood to refer to Mary and Jesus: “But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” Also, from the book of Sirach: “I grew tall like a palm tree in Engedi, like rosebushes in Jericho.” As we have seen the veneration of the Mystical Rose began from the first centuries of Christianity.
We can also see how in the Litany of Loreto (1587), the title Mary, Mystical Rose, is given to honor the Blessed Virgin.
From the year 1738, in the diocese of Speyer in Germany, in the Shrine of Rosenberg, the miraculous image of the “Mystical Rose” has been venerated. Three roses, one white, one red, and one gold, are painted on the pedestal that holds the image. Her luminous halo that surrounds her contains 13 golden roses, which makes us recall that Our Lady is honored each July 13 as Mary, Mystical Rose. The devotion to the Mystical Rose increased after the apparitions in Montichiari, but as we have seen, it was already present in the life of the Church.
The Marian Age
The Blessed Virgin Mary, in a special way, has manifested herself to humanity with increasing urgency and frequency. The Marian age began with the apparition of Our Lady in 1830 to St. Catherine Laboure to whom the Miraculous Medal was revealed, an apparition in which Our Lady gave the Church the gift of one of the most important Marian sacramental. From that moment, Our Lady has come to visit us again and again with the purpose of helping us, warning us, and taking us to her Son.
In each of the apparitions that occurred after the Miraculous Medal: Lourdes, Pontmain, Banneaux, Beaurang, La Salette, Fatima, we see how Our Lady makes a constant call to conversion, prayer, and penance.
In Montichiari, the Blessed Virgin Mary returns to again call her children to conversion, but in a particular way she brought this message to life: Prayer, Penance, and Sacrifice. This is the mark and the key of the message of Mary, Mystical Rose. Everyone devoted to her has a path to travel, a path marked by our Mother. It is the path of offering oneself for others.
Montichiari (Luminous Mountain), is a small city of about 14,000 people in northern Italy, about 20 kilometers from Brescia, the diocesan See. It is situated at the base of the Italian Alps, in the fertile plain of the Po river in the Lombard region.
The Lord chose Pierina Gilli to be the soul to whom Our Lady appeared; and like everyone who receives this particular grace, Pierina’s life unfolded among roses and thorns. We could divide the apparitions of Our Lady into three stages.
The First Stage: 1944-1949
Before the apparitions of Our Lady to Pierina, the young woman received the grace of being visited by the Holy Foundress of the Congregation “Servants of Charity,” at the time Blessed Maria Crocifissa di Rosa, into whose congregation she had entered as a postulant. She was 33 years old and was a nurse. She became seriously ill with meningitis. On December 17, 1944, (the day of the feast of her holy foundress), she felt that the door opened and she saw a religious who asked her: “How are you, Pierina?” to which she answered that her head hurt very much. She then said: “a Lady gave me this cup (she had a small white cup in her hands) to anoint you. The headache you have will continue for a little longer…you will have to bear a cross, then you will be healed.” She said this she made signs to lay on her right side and she anointed the sick areas of her spine and head.
A “Lady” gave the white cup to St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa with oil that had the property to heal. We can be sure that his Lady was none other the Our Lady who gave this healing oil which had been one of the marks of the presence of Our Lady in several of her manifestations through her images which exude oil, the same oil with which Pierina was anointed.
The apparitions of St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa to Pierina, would be quite frequent, bringing her solace and fortitude in the many trials that she would be exposed to because of the manifestations of Our Lady and her message.
November 23-24 1945- First Apparition of Our Lady with Swords
St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa appeared to Pierina and Our Lady appears to her then for the first time, “transparent, clothed in a violet color and a white veil covered her head and extended to her feet. She had her arms open in a way that three swords that were piercing her chest could be seen at the same level of her heart. The saint told Pierina that this Lady was the Virgin Mary who came to ask for her prayers, sacrifices, and sufferings to repair for three kinds of sins of souls consecrated to God: a) For those religious souls who betray their vocation b) to repair for the mortal sin of these souls c) to repair for the infidelity of priests who have made themselves unworthy of their sacred ministry.
Messages reported by Pierina Gilli:
The three roses: The Virgin, crying, told her: “prayer, sacrifice and penance.”
June 1, 1947: Pierina reported that she had a vision of hell where she saw, in three different sections, three categories of religious, consecrated souls, and priests corresponding to the three swords in the vision and the three intentions for which she should offer her prayers and sacrifices. St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa appeared together with Our Lady who had the same appearance that she had had in the first apparition, with three swords piercing her heart. The saint told her to tell her superior that Our Lady would honor this religious institute, forming many living roses among the religious. May their be three nuns in each community that offer themselves as mystical roses.
- White Rose: spirit of prayer to repair for the offenses to the Lord committed by religious who are unfaithful to their vocations
- Red Rose: spirit of sacrifice to repair for the offenses to the Lord committed by religious who live in mortal sin
- Yellow-Gold Rose: spirit of total immolation to repair for the offenses to the Lord committed by Judas-Priests, and in particular for the sanctification of priests
“These three roses will be those who make the three swords fall from the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.” This call was made in a particular way to religious, and is extended to all who listen to the voice of our Mother and desire to be faithful and devoted to her. It is the call of a Mother to her children. Called to offer themselves for the good of others, especially souls consecrated to God.
July 13, 1947 – First Apparation of Our Lady with Three Roses on her chest. Our Lady appears in the hospital, dressed in white, with a white cape which had reflections of silver light. A white mantle was clasped under her chin, as by a clip. This mantle reached to her feet, allowing some light brown hair to fall over her forehead. It had golden trim. She told me: “I am the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of you.” She opened her arms and instead of the swords had three roses: white, red and yellow (golden). After a pause, she continued: “Our Lord sent me to sow a new Marian devotion in all institutes, masculine as well as feminine, in religious communities and among all priests. I promise you that if you venerate me in this special way, you will enjoy my protection in a special way, there will be a blossoming of religious vocations.”
*She asked that the 13 of each month be a day in which the Marian Day be celebrated, which would be prepared for by 12 days of special prayers. She asked “This day should be in reparation for the offenses committed against Our Lord by consecrated souls who pierce my Heart and the Heart of my Divine Son with three sharp swords by their faults.” That day an abundance of grace and holiness of vocations will be poured out upon the institutes that honor this devotion.
*”I desire that July 13 of each year be celebrated by each Institute.” She continued saying: “I desire that each Congregation or Institute there be souls who live with a great spirit of prayer, to be able to prevent any vocation from being unfaithful.” (In that moment, the white rose on her chest shone more to show its meaning.”
*”I also desire that there be other souls who live trials and humiliations with generosity and sacrificial love, to repair for the offenses that Our Lord receives from consecrated souls who live in mortal sin (the Red rose shone more brightly…)
*I also desire that other souls immolate their lives completely to repair the betrayals received by Our Lord from his Judas-priests.” (the Yellow-God Rose shone brightly….)
*”The immolation of these souls will obtain from my maternal Heart the sanctification of these ministers of GOd and an abundance of grace upon their congregations.” In this instant Our Lady was in silence for a short time. Then, with a complacent smile and with her gaze upon St. Maria Crocifissa di Rosa she said: “I have chosen this Institute first, because this foundress is “of the rose”, who has infused in her daughters the spirit of Charity.” Here she smiled with joy: “This is why I appear surrounded by a rosebush.”
* The Lord chose this institute first of all for the charism of its Foundress, love.
The apparitions of Our Lady, Mystical Rose continued through December of that year, 1947, during which time she revealed the hour of grace and her Immaculate Heart, following the initial revelation at Fatima decades earlier. She appeared again to Pierina from 1960-1975,giving Pierina the image for the medal to be cast, renewing the call to conversion, and asking for a consecration to her Heart.
For more information on the apparitions, please see: