The diabolic attack on the family, apostasy and scandals in the Church, the danger that threatens Italy and the risk of a nuclear war, which nonetheless - Mary advised - can be avoided. The Daily Compass interviewed Father Flavio Ubodi, vice-president of the diocesan commission which studied the events of Civitavecchia. The messages given by Our Lady between 1995-96 "are being punctually fulfilled".
Twenty-eight years ago in Civitavecchia in Italy, "scientifically inexplicable" tears trickled down the face of a statuette of Our Lady brought from Medjugorje. The weeping of these tears of blood occurred thirteen times, between 2 and 6 February, in the presence first of the members of the Gregori family and then before dozens of other witnesses, including the authorities. The last recorded weeping, the fourteenth, occurred on 15 March under the eyes of the bishop of Civitavecchia, Msgr Girolamo Grillo. When the statuette was taken away from its owners, Cardinal Andrzej M. Deskur gifted the Gregori family a second statuette brought specially from Medjugorje, identical to the first, which began to exude scented oil. Although these facts are well known, not everyone knows that these phenomena were accompanied by the Virgin's apparitions to the Gregori family in Civitavecchia (father, mother and three children) and by her messages.
Ares has published, in a new, expanded and updated edition, La Madonna di Civitavecchia. Le apparizioni, i segni, il messaggio [Our Lady of Civitavecchia. The apparitions, the signs, the message] a book written by Flavio Ubodi, a Capuchin theologian and vice-president of the diocesan commission that studied the phenomenon of the lacrimations. The Daily Compass interviewed him.
Father Ubodi, when did the apparitions occur in Civitavecchia?
The messages were given in a cycle of apparitions that began on 2 July 1995 and ended on 17 May 1996 (the date of the last public message). The private revelations to the Gregori family continued afterwards. At the time of the apparitions and messages I frequented the Gregori family as the bishop's appointee, but I never had any direct experience of the time of the apparitions. The events were narrated to me and the messages gradually delivered in writing by Fabio Gregori [in the photo in the centre, by W. Redzioch].
How many messages of public relevance are there in total?
How can the veracity of the apparitions be verified?
It is a complex matter. In fact, the lacrimations and oozing of the statuettes can be ascertained by everyone and analysed scientifically. On the other hand, apparitions and messages remain in the subjective realm, so it is more difficult to verify their veracity.
Then how can the messages be analysed?
One can verify their Catholic orthodoxy and, if they contain prophecies, one must wait to see if they will be fulfilled. Obviously, the messages of Our Lady of Civitavecchia are not as binding in faith as Scripture or the Magisterium of the Church. But it must be emphasised that these messages concern us all and that they are being punctually fulfilled.
How would you summarise Our Lady's public messages?
As far back as 1995 Our Lady warned of a diabolic plan that entailed: attack and destruction of the family; great apostasy; scandals within the Church; serious failings within the hierarchical ranks themselves, hence a strong appeal to the bishops for their unity around John Paul II; danger for the Italian nation, with the concrete risk of a Third World War between West and East.
What did Our Lady mean when she spoke of attack and destruction of the family?
A decisive attack by Satan against the family can be seen as an undercurrent in the whole Civitavecchia event. For example, in a message of 16 July 1995, Our Lady reveals: "Satan wants to destroy families. Destroying the family means destroying the fundamental cell of society, thus infecting it like a cancer in order to lead it to dissolution. This concern of the Mother of God has become clearer and clearer over the years with the disintegration of families still taking place: divorces, separations, de facto unions, homosexual marriages, polygamy... The aggression against the family also manifested itself within the Church during the last Synod. The risk is that one could go so far as to deny the indissolubility of the sacrament of Marriage. The messages, not by chance were delivered to a family living in Pantano, had anticipated this earthquake and invited to build the family in respect of Christian values and to cultivate love, fidelity, indissolubility and unity. The Virgin presented herself here, among other titles, as 'Mother and Queen of the family' and there are many couples who find unity by praying to Our Lady of Civitavecchia.
Did Our Lady also speak of the risks of apostasy within the Church?
She spoke of "great apostasy" in a message of 8 September 1995. And we are living this terrible reality. It seems that apostasy was also part of the Fatima secrets. John Paul II, in the apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, which followed the messages given to the Gregori family, noted: "European culture gives the impression of a silent apostasy on the part of satiated man who lives as if God did not exist”. Within the Church, there is a loss of faith and the questioning of many dogmatic truths. This is also caused by a worrying infiltration of Freemasonry and atheistic communism. There are non-Catholic tendencies in the study and practice of theology in the evaluation of the fundamental elements of the faith: the Creed, the Our Father, the Decalogue, the Sacraments. And the world, as Benedict XVI observed, is following the drift of relativism.
How do these worrying phenomena affect the life of the Church?
In a message of 30 July 1995 Our Lady says: "Satan is taking possession of all humanity, and now he is trying to destroy the Church of God through many priests. Do not allow this! Help the Holy Father". The Virgin's concern turned out to be true, in fact we witnessed a series of scandals that no one could have imagined at the time of the events in Civitavecchia. It started with the sad affair of Bishop Milingo, continued with the paedophile priests, and ends with the scandals of today.
What does Our Lady say about John Paul II?
In a message of 19 September 1995, she addresses the bishops saying: "Bishops, your task is to continue the growth of the Church of God... Return to be one heart full of true faith and humility with my son John Paul II, the greatest gift that My Immaculate Heart has obtained from the Heart of Jesus”. The message indicates that there is division within the Church hierarchy and no harmony and union with the Pope. At the same time, Our Lady has indicated in St John Paul II her greatest gift for our time. If we take seriously this revelation of She who also presented herself in Civitavecchia with the titles "Mother and Queen of the Church", we can understand how much the life and magisterium of this holy Pope can be a reference point for the Church not only today, but also in the future.
It’s well known that John Paul II followed everything that happened in Civitavecchia closely
John Paul II firmly believed in the event in Civitavecchia. He wanted the statuette in the Vatican, prayed before it and placed a gold crown on its head and a rosary in its hand. Msgr Grillo signed an important document concerning the Pope's contact with the statuette.
You also mentioned the risk of a third world war between East and West mentioned in the messages. Could you explain this further?
Here the message given on 19 May 1995 is fundamental: "Humanity is about to face a very ugly tragedy that is approaching. Without realising that it is about to enter a world war that can be stopped”. I fear that this message is also coming true. The messages make it clear that this is a 'nuclear war' that could have incalculable consequences. However, Our Lady, as we have seen, did not close the door to hope: "The war can be stopped".
What does Our Lady ask to stop the war?
Heaven has its "weapons". To stop the war, Our Lady indicated love, prayers, the Rosary in particular, humility, authentic conversion, consecration to her Immaculate Heart. But above all a great trust in Jesus, which is established in Communion and Eucharistic Adoration, and frequent Confession. In a message of 25 August 1995, Our Lady says: "My will is that you consecrate yourselves to my Immaculate Heart so that I can lead you all to Jesus... Convert, be humble of heart, charitable, return to be the true people of God".
What is the connection between Our Lady's message in Fatima and the one in Civitavecchia?
Our Lady, in her message of 19 September 1995, says: "Satan's darkness is now obscuring the whole world and is also obscuring God's Church. Prepare yourselves to live what I revealed to my little daughters of Fatima". Then the Third Secret of Fatima, which she jealously guards, was communicated to Jessica [below, in a photo of the Gregori family, mid-1990s]. The content of the apparitions of Civitavecchia coincides to a great extent with Fatima: the invitation to conversion and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the recital of the Rosary as a weapon to defeat God's adversary; the darkness of Satan that is obscuring the world and the Church, with the risk of a nuclear war; the delivery of the Third Secret; the reference to apostasy but also the encouraging reconfirmation that the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph.