Hours of the Passion
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church
At the same time as the sublime revelations about the virtues in general, and about the Divine Will in particular, for many years, at nighttime, this soul has entered the contemplation of the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the addition of distinct information about many scenes of the Passion.
The method was that of going through the 24 hours of the Adorable Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which begin with the Legal Supper and end with His death on the Cross. These visions were sometimes accompanied by corresponding revelations of Our Lord.
Since nothing was published of the visions and revelations of this soul, in her excessive desire to keep everything hidden, fearing that a publication, even anonymous, might uncover her, she wanted to bury this Treasure of divine knowledges, of superhuman compassion, of a superhuman fount of the most loving affections within herself.
But her Spiritual Father placed the majestic Lady Obedience, the strong Warrior armed from head to foot, before her; and Our Lord Himself pushed her to manifest them for the good of many souls.
She surrendered, and to the author of this Preface was entrusted the printing of the writings which she put on paper regarding this topic so important.
As the first Edition of this admirable Treatise of the 24 Hours of the Passion of Our Lord appeared, the blessing of God seemed evident. In a short time all copies were depleted, which at that time were 5,000, without being sent to specific addresses. It was enough to send one copy to some devout person, that requests would begin to arrive. An announcement was placed in the periodical of our Anthonian Orphanages "Dio e il Prossimo" ["God and Neighbor"] under the name of a Book of Gold, and immediately the requests increased, in such a way that the Edition was soon exhausted.
Most Eminent Cardinal Cassetta, to whom nothing had been sent directly, requested 50 copies at once.
Then came the 2nd Edition, a larger one, and then the 3rd. Both of them were rapidly depleted.
For the purpose of promotion, sales were made at moderate prices, just to cover the expenses.
At that time a pleasant circumstance occurred, which we remember with pleasure. A letter, addressed directly to me, arrived from the Vatican, written by that angelic Bishop - today Apostolic Nuncio of Venezuela, at that time the Secretary of Bishop Msgr. Tacci (who is today an emeritus Cardinal) - Msgr. Cento, who was then appointed Bishop of Acireale, and will perhaps be a Cardinal of the Holy Church. There had been no previous contacts between this lovable person and myself. In this letter he appeared enthusiastic from the reading of the Hours of the Passion by an "unknown author", and he prayed me to reveal to him her name and address, because he wanted to correspond with her about things of the spirit.
In truth, I was unable to refuse. But he was not content with an epistolary correspondence, and wanted to go to visit this chosen one of the Lord in person. Even more, in order to legitimize his trip of such a long distance, he offered to preach in a Triduum for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Chiesa Madre. Every day he was near the bed of the "pious author" in spiritual conversations, to his great contentment. After he departed from that town, he always kept the most pleasant memory of this soul, so dear to Jesus.
Once the 3rd Edition was depleted, the 4th one came, enriched with other writings of the Servant of God. This time the printing was executed at our press managed by the Sisters of my faithful one in Messina, and 15,000 copies were printed. As the announcement was repeated, requests arrived at all of our Houses.
It is not without reason that this book has provoked so much enthusiasm. Indeed, it is dictated with such surges of love, with such penetration into the sufferings of the Incarnate Word, as to enrapture the soul of one who reads it, and much more of one who meditates on it.
But, even more, there is an undeniable concurrence of Grace which, one could say, begs two things: one is extensive reparations for all the sins of the world of every kind, like the very ones which Our Lord Jesus Christ presented to His Eternal Father interiorly at the time of His most bitter Passion. Because of these reparations of the author of the Hours, Our Lord promised - as is piously believed - many exemptions from divine chastisements to those who meditate these hours and in the places in which they are meditated. Another divine goal is precisely that of placating Divine Justice, by holding back the scourges which the Lord prepares.
In the course of these publications which we are beginning, there are chapters which foresee divine scourges of earthquakes, wars, fire, cloudbursts, devastation of lands, epidemics, famines and the like. Everything, everything has been predicted several years before, and everything has come about, and much yet is left to come about. But the state of victim of this soul, her prayers, her tears, her sufferings and her daringness of love with Jesus have held back part of these scourges, and will hold back yet more.
A sign of the great detachment of this soul from any earthly thing is her firmness and constancy in accepting no gifts, either of money or anything else. On more than one occasion, people who read the Hours of the Passion and in whom a sense of sacred affection for this solitary and unknown soul arose, wrote to me that they wanted to send her money. But she was so firmly opposed, it was as if they had offended her.
Her way of living is very modest. She possesses little, and lives with a loving relative who assists her. Since the little that they have is not enough to pay the rent or for their support in these sad times of expensive living, she peacefully works, as mentioned before, and earns something from her work, which has to serve especially for her loving relative, because she has no expense for clothing or shoes. Her food is of a few ounces per day, and is offered to her by her assistant, because she never asks for anything. Furthermore, a few hours after she has taken that bit of food, she brings it up. However, her appearance is not of a dying person, but not really that of a perfectly healthy person. Yet, she is not inactive; rather, she consumes her strengths, both in the supernatural events of sufferings and strain during the night, and with her work during the day. Her life is therefore almost a perennial miracle.
To her great detachment from any earnings which are not procured with her hands, one must add her firmness in never accepting anything from the publication and sale of the Hours of the Passion, which would be due to her by right as literary property. As I pressed her not to refuse it, she answered: "I have no right, because the work is not mine, but of God."
I will not continue further. The life of this virgin, spouse of Jesus, is more celestial than terrestrial. She wants to be ignored and unknown in the world, looking for nothing but her Jesus and her Most Holy Mother, whom she calls Mama, and who has a special predilection for this chosen soul.
As the voluminous manuscripts which Our Lord has dictated to her are gradually published, from the tenderness with which Jesus treats her, from the sweet words with which He calls her, from His celestial embraces and her loving correspondence, admirable things will be revealed about the singular virtues of this soul, who - who knows - one day, coming out triumphantly from the infallible judgments of the Church, will be placed on the altar as protection of many.