Watch Evening News weeknights at 6:30 p.m. ET.
CIVITAVECCHIA, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is warning that messages from Heaven seem to indicate that the world might soon be in for more difficult times.
Viganò, in reflecting on an obscure apparition of the 20th century, urges Catholics remain diligent in prayer. He recounts an alleged miracle and its messages, which began in the 1990s in a small town in Italy. According to the owner of a small statue of Mary, a miracle occurred followed by messages from Heaven.
In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews Viganò recalled, "On February 6, 1995, shortly after the 13th occasion of [a Marian statue] weeping, a man named Fabio heard an external voice talking to him. His wife Annamaria had already previously been the recipient of revelations in the form of dreams. "Little by little," said Viganò, "the entire family gradually became involved in the celestial manifestations."
The message was serious.
On the afternoon of Feb. 2, 1995, 5-year-old Jessica Gregori was heading to Mass with her family when she saw for the first time a small statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that looked unusual. It was located in a small stone grotto that her father recently built in front of their house. "Papa, papa, the Madonna is crying!" she shouted.
When her father Fabio heard the word "blood," he rushed over to see if his daughter was all right. What he saw surprised and perplexed him. The statue of Mary was crying tears of blood.
"From that day on, the phenomenon repeated itself a total of 13 times in front of crowds of witnesses until Feb. 6," said Abp. Viganò. Numerous public security agents promptly called by Fabio to guard the sacred image were present to the miracles and would give sworn testimony about these events during the investigation.
The phenomenon led to a long, drawn-out investigation, the conclusions of which are still not definitive. Some are convinced it is a hoax. Others — including Viganò — are inspired by what they believe to be a miracle.
"Pope John Paul II wanted to venerate and crown her in the Vatican at his apartment, but in secret, so as not to interfere with the investigation of the Diocesan Commission," the archbishop said. "He later confirmed in writing that this event happened."
In June 1995, the statue was solemnly exposed for public veneration in Civitavecchia's public church, where it remains to this day.
Allegedly, what they heard was not only from the Blessed Mother, but "from that moment on, this voice spoke many times, but with different identities — sometimes the Father, sometimes the Son. Then, beginning on July 2, 1995, a series of apparitions began to happen of Jesus, Mary and the angels, including numerous messages, ending on May 17, 1996," stated Viganò. "The Blessed Virgin also appeared again recently, giving a message on Dec. 23, 2018."
In short, the messages speak of a great apostasy, not dissimilar to the messages that came out of Fatima, Akita and other approved apparitions of the past. In May 1995, the voice told Fabio that the tears of blood were "the Blood of Jesus 'shed for all the children who turn away from Her Immaculate Heart, to give you salvation,'" said Viganò.
He mentioned a particular message meant for his country, Italy: "Your nation is in grave danger," the blessed Mother allegedly told the visionaries. "In Rome, darkness is descending more and more on the Rock that my Son Jesus left you on which to build up, educate and spiritually raise his children," she continued.
Some messages spoke of the mercy of God and the sacramental order that He established for the salvation of all. "The messages strongly call people to return to the sacramental life," Viganò stated.
They "speak of the need to be nourished with eucharistic Communion, daily if possible; to go to confession regularly on Sundays (a discreet emphasis on the importance of receiving Communion in the state of grace); [and] they invite people to eucharistic adoration," he added.
Other themes communicated were the importance of praying the Rosary, said to be "a powerful weapon to defeat Satan," and the sanctification of daily life by transforming the gestures of family life into "acts of love."
"The world is becoming more and more a prisoner of Satan's darkness and evil, without sparing numerous servants of the Church," said Viganò, passing on the alleged words of Mary.
The warning of a great danger for an impending World War III was mentioned, prompting the blessed mother to plead with us to use "weapons ... which are love, prayers, humility, the Rosary and true conversion of your hearts to God through our Heavenly Mother who is holding you all in her arms, close to her Immaculate Heart."
Despite the warnings, her appeal instills a great peace, he says. "The way of truth is in the Church of God. The truth comes from God. Do not fear man, fear God," Viganò recounts the voice telling Fabio. "Hope is never lost with God."
More consolation from Mary allegedly included, "Let yourself be guided in your steps with the simplicity with which a child puts his hand in the Hand of his Father. My Immaculate Heart will transform your sufferings into joys which you accept with true love, for these are trials which the Lord Jesus allows."
As in the similar message of Fatima, Viganò believes this message from Heaven should be heeded by the faithful with diligence and trust.