Here below you can read the testimony of a “special” spiritual daughter of mine, as “special” and “unique” for me, in fact, has always been each of you…
Before her experience, however, you will find the brief e-mail correspondence between her and my nephew Valerio, and this is worth reading too.
My nephew Valerio decided to leave the texts of both the emails and the experience exactly as they were written; his only intervention was to anonymize personal data (names substituted by initials only or replaced by a series of “x”), in order to maintain confidentiality.
I send you all a big hug with great strength!
Fr. Emidio Alessandrini ofm
Mailing – May 18, 2021
Dearest Valerio, I finally wrote to you. I thought I would manage earlier, but a series of circumstances prevented me from doing so. I am happy to witness the preciousness of Fr. Emidio and how the Lord made him a wonderful instrument for the salvation of my life. Therefore, I wanted to share fragments of my life with you who are his family, the people who loved him most. On January 28, I dreamed of him. So, the following day I sent him a message, asking him how he was and saying I had dreamed of him… He immediately called me and, before telling me he was ill, he asked me the details of the dream… The Lord warned me through a dream that something was going wrong and since then I have prayed for him more insistently. Every time I heard him, he told me to be “a bit better”… I did NOT think that the Lord would call him so soon, but I am sure this is a call to let him continue doing good things with even more power and strength. This heartens and reassures me a lot. A hug to you and your whole family.
I do thank you from the deepest of my heart for the testimony you sent me. Uncle Emidio had never told me about it, and this was just right. But now I am so happy to get to know this story and all the gold it contains. In the blog uncle Emidio and I created several years ago (liminamortis.org) I am preparing a section dedicated to him and, obviously keeping both names and identification data confidential, I would like to ask your permission to publish there this story of suffering, hope, joy and love, since in it uncle Emidio had such an important role as an instrument of the Lord.
A big hug,
I think it is right to bear witness to all this and I am happy to share my story. I kept this treasure in my heart for a long time and, even when I recalled these events to Father Emidio, he listened silently and invited me to thank God. I respected his great humility… I think now time has come to tell this story.
A big hug.
I heartily thank you, Valerio!
Testimony of R. C.
My name is R. C. and I am 49 years old. I am married to F. and we have three children: M. of xx years, C. of xx and G. of xx. I am a painter/iconographer and I live this “attitude” as a vocation, but God’s first call has always prevailed in me, that is being a wife and a mother. Therefore, I paint at home, when I have time, in silence and praying. My husband is a nurse and works at xxxxxx hospital in R.S.A. and we live in a small area of xxxxx, xxxxxxxxxxx.
Forty years ago, when I was 9, around the end of August, I began not to feel well… I felt severe joint pain all over my body, but especially in my hands and feet. There were days when, in addition to having a marked anemia, these pains were accompanied by swelling and fever, not high, but continuous.
I lived in xxxxxxxxxxxxx, a village in the province of xxxxxxxx. My parents, who got really worried, immediately made me do a series of medical exams. The results were not immediately clear. In fact, the first time I made them, diagnosis was only of anemia and I started iron treatments, but there was no improvement. The second time, diagnosis was: rheumatism. Even this time, I started some very intense treatments, but my condition worsened. The third time – and we were already in mid-December 1981 – the results were finally clear: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I was admitted to xxxxxxxxxx in the Pediatric department of the xxxxxxxxxx Polyclinic. I arrived there in very serious conditions. It was December 16. Ten days earlier, my mother, who attended the R.N.S. prayer group, was given a prayer of the Holy Spirit Outpouring. She lived that moment with a great joy but she also felt that a cross awaited her, a heavy and difficult cross. It was in this group, in Santa Maria degli Angeli, that my mother met the Franciscan friars and nuns. Among these friars, there was a young cleric, always smiling, whom we children – sons and daughters of those who attended the group – loved so much: Friar Emidio.
I remember that a year earlier, on November 23, all of us from the R.N.S. went for a meeting with the Pope, John Paul II, and the friars also came with us, including Friar Emidio. They played a lot with us! It was a beautiful day! Only the news, received in the evening while returning home, of the earthquake in Irpinia interrupted our joy.
From September to December, many people already formed a circle of love around me but, from the moment of the discovery of my illness and my hospitalization, all the prayers and supplications intensified. Everyone began to fight for me – relatives, acquaintances, parishioners, friends, the whole fraternity of the R.N.S. -, but even people who did not know me prayed for me. All of them with outstretched arms kept on asking God for a miracle! Many helped us not only with prayer but also with an economic and moral support, making themselves present and close to my father, who stayed at home alone with my three brothers. Charity and love prevailed!
I was in the hospital for four and a half months. These were days of suffering for me, but above all of hope, because I knew I was not alone and that Jesus above all was with me. I spent my days praying the rosary with my mother, drawing, reading, watching cartoons, and believing that the Lord would help me. I felt him close, especially since a lady told me to offer the sufferings for the salvation of many other children. This had become a mission for me. I had a great desire to fly, but I knew that in that moment I was without a wing, but I also felt many people around me willing to give me a spare wing. There were good days of joy because I felt so loved, but also bad ones, with fear. In fact, after three months from my hospitalization I was struck by bronchial pneumonia with a 40-degree fever and, in addition, a septicemia invaded my small body. Everyone was afraid of losing me. Hopes were fading and even doctors no longer knew how to intervene; they said they had done all that they could. I had not eaten for days, and I was truly in God’s hands. In fact, suddenly someone who He had sent arrived in my department… Arrived for us a special person, who had been called by God to come to me. Nurses and doctors didn’t want to let him in, but my mother insisted a lot. At last, they agreed, but my mother had to go out of my room. He was friar Emidio and had come from Santa Maria degli Angeli hitchhiking. He put on his mask, came through the door of my room, and stopped at my bed side.
He put his hands on my head and began to pray incessantly to the Holy Spirit and to Our Lady of Lourdes; shortly after, he took my hands in his and, with great faith, asked Our Lady to heal me. He felt this call in his heart and with all his faith he clung to the hem of Jesus’ cloak, asking him for my healing. Friar Emidio stayed in my room for a long time, he prayed for so long, never getting tired. A few hours after he left my room, I felt something in me that had awakened, I felt strength in my bones and the fever, that for days had been very high, began to descend. It was a great surprise for the doctors, who no longer believed I could get better, when I sat on the bed, asking to eat something. Indeed, I asked to eat my favorite dish: tortellini in broth.
I recovered from this serious infection thanks to the intervention of God who manifested himself through Fr. Emidio, who, with great humility, made himself His instrument. This infection and severe bronchopneumonia had compromised my whole life already struggling with an even more serious illness; my life was saved by prayer. I slowly recovered and continued to do a series of therapies, chemo and radio that lasted four years. I did not need to have a bone marrow transplant, as the doctors had suggested. Since then, I have always been well, and the medical treatments I went through have not even affected my ability to generate life. The Lord gave me the grace to have 3 wonderful children, unfortunately 4 flew to Heaven before they were born, a plan that we accepted as God’s will.
From that day on, I never saw Fr. Emidio again. I left the hospital and continued my medical treatments, going to the hospital every week for two days. We never met him again. And even those times we went back to the prayer group, we did not find him. We were told that he had gone to Rome and then we had no more news. Slowly, my parents closed in themselves, also because the pain was still too close and, having witnessed relapses in other children with negative outcomes, they still had many fears. As I grew up, after attending the Art Institute at xxxxxxxxxx, I began with more intensity to ask the Lord what his plan was for me. I was healed, why? He had saved me, why? So many questions, whose answers resounded and sought certainties within me. He loved me immensely, He longed for my joy, my peace, my testimony; I felt that the Lord was calling me to follow him in a life entirely consecrated to him and for this reason, after graduating from high school, I went to Rome to have an experience of a month in an Institute of Missionary Sisters. This month was very intense and beautiful, but I returned home with my uncertainties and realized that someone had to help me understand. I got to know that Vocational Courses, organized by the Friars Minor, were held in Santa Maria degli Angeli and then I went. The most forthcoming one was in December. It was 1991. With my great surprise, amazement and gratitude, I found out that one of the friars who led the course was Fr. Emidio Alessandrini. I did not believe it! It is true that the Lord flattens every valley! The time had come to meet again that friar whom the Lord had placed on my path in a very special and extraordinary way. What a joy!!! During the days of the Vocational Course, every time I saw him and listened to his catechesis, my heart was filled with gratitude and emotion. So, it was time for the talks, and I did not hesitate for a moment to write my name on the list. I thought: “What shall I tell him? How shall I tell him? Lord help me”. I looked forward to my turn, walked into the room trembling. He welcomed me with joy and with his beautiful smile, which I remembered with affection and had been imprinted in my heart for so much time. I sat down and was very excited. I told him my name and slowly, building up my courage, I told him who I was. His astonishment was so intense that his heart was filled by a deep feeling and he started crying. He could not believe his eyes and I, blocked by such a profound joy, did nothing but followed him, also starting to cry. He got up from his chair, came to me, hugged me, and together we cried for the joy, because the Lord had done great things, he had done wonders. In that moment, I felt like the Prodigal Son in the arms of the Merciful Father… That day, I did not choose him as a father, but he chose me as a daughter, and he said to me: “Now you have two fathers on earth and one in Heaven who loves you so much”. Since then, Fr. Emidio has become my spiritual father. The Lord gave me the gift of a very great grace, because someone “fought” for me, because Fr. Emidio “fought” for me.
On Wednesday 12 May, during his usual meeting, Pope Francis said that he has witnessed a miracle and told of a 9-year-old girl who, thanks to the combative prayers of her father, was miraculously cured of an infection. He continued, saying that prayer goes right into the heart of God’s tenderness and that it is a fight. I can confirm that all of this is truth. The Lord does miracles every day in our life because life itself is a miracle and his tender heart fills it with graces. But, at times, He calls us to fight for the salvation of someone that He places on our path, with fasting and prayers. Fr. Emidio for me was a great example, because he fought incessantly for the salvation of my life; he knocked on the heart of God and the Virgin Mary with insistence and a lot of love. Since then, I have felt on me the weight of the others’ cross. I feel others’ pain, tears… Illness taught me this, but above all he has taught me with his life and his testimony; he gave every day of his life and his time to carry the others’ crosses! He felt the pain for this, a pain that he suffered and offered to God to be healed. Fr. Emidio was always close to me and gave me courage in the sufferings and griefs of my life, especially when, in 1993, my father fell ill with lung cancer. He came with me to the doctor who, due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, did not inform my father or us of his family about the disease. He came with me, and the doctor told us that there was no hope for my father. From that moment we began to pray a lot and my father left this world not after 4 months, as the doctor thought, but after 2 years. These were years that my father lived close to God, in the silence of prayer, which left no room for despair, but for hope. My father died on May 22, the day of Saint Rita, whom we relied so much on. He died a night, the only night when he preferred to sleep on a chair, in order to avoid the severe pain, he had every morning, when he had to stand up, because the metastases had invaded the back spine. He passed away calmly and with his heart close to God.
I thank so much Fr. Emidio, Angel of God, for everything: for having always read my heart with tenderness and helping me to understand that the Lord was calling me to consecrate myself in marriage with F. He believed so much in this love and, even knowing that we had nothing, not even a job, he suggested that we get married. He told us to throw ourselves into God’s arms with trust and total abandonment, to have faith because He would provide in every circumstance. We got married and, even if he was not the one to celebrate our wedding, Fr. Emidio was present, because he was part of my story, our story. He instilled his faith in us! The Lord healed, the Lord saved, he helped, because he was the first to believe in this, because his heart loved so much. And I am sure that his great love for the Lord Jesus has saved and healed many lives, and that He is present and will continue to live in many lives, in many stories.
Thank you, dearest Father. He continues from up there to watch over us and, now that you dwell in the arms of God, make us feel the beauty of His Splendor too. Give us a taste of Heaven right now and help us to place our eyes and our soul always in the mirror of eternity, to transform ourselves into the image of Him every day. I love you, Fr. Emidio. Continue from Heaven to pray, to fight for all of us, for our salvation.