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Tom & Sue’s Excellent Adventure Day 20 Oliveto Citra Italy

Oliveto Citra as we approach the town
Oliveto Citra as we approach the town

We had breakfast, mostly coffee after last nights late dinner, and met Carmine at the foundation a little after 9.  I got lost driving since most streets are one way and the 1 minute drive turned into 15, but we made it.

We went to the foundation to meet with Anna, who runs the foundation and we spent almost two hours there looking at the photos and testimonies of many people and listening.  The photos were actual pictures of the Blessed Virgin and Son as they had appeared, although not as clear as actually seeing Them.

Watching a video in Oliveto Citra
Watching a video in Oliveto Citra

We watched a DVD of the miracles of the sun and the red cloud that was seen by all within 6 miles, as well as testimonies from the parish priest and others who were touched by these events.  Carmine and Anna then told the whole story as it first happened in 1985.

Anna’s two children were both part of the twelve that saw her.  It was incredible. We also heard of the latest apparitions and miracles that have happened here, all as we stood looking at the shrine of Our Lady of the Castle.

Carmine gave us a great history of the castle, that goes back many centuries.
Carmine gave us a great history of the castle, that goes back many centuries.

Carmine then gave us a tour of the former castle and the museum and we learned of the history dating 1000 years before Christ.  The valley is rich in history which includes ancient stories of Spartacus and Hannibal, as well as some Greek influence.
At one point he stopped and paced then went to his knees told us that this was the spot were he  saw the Blessed Mother the second time, when there were only 4 of them.  Susan asked where she was standing and he said where Tom is standing and I almost jumped out of my shoes and moved to the side.
This was all very special just as much as the next hour we spent at the site of the first apparition where we went at noon to pray the Angelus, which is part of the whole days events.  It started to rain and I got our 2 umbrellas from the car and we went to the site of the first apparition just past the gate, which Anna opened.


Our group grew as we stayed and prayed the rosary and heard everyone's testimonies
Our group grew as we stayed and prayed the rosary and heard everyone’s testimonies. It is awe-inspiring to hear the stories as to how people came to be here.


As we stood there and were beginning to pray other pilgrims joined us and before we knew it there were 12 of us, all in deep prayer.  We each took turns to say a prayer or give testimony of the reason we were there.  Carmine translated and we were in awe at what we heard.  After each testimony of faith or a miracle we prayed holding hands and finished with the Angelus.  It was beautiful and peaceful and we all felt such a close bond to each other as we all departed.
Carmine was off to a wedding and we told Anna that we would be back at 3 for the rosary (if it’s raining they usually forgo the rest of the day and the procession).

The rain moved in and we could not even see the nearby buildings.
The rain moved in and we could not even see the nearby buildings.

We went back to our hotel and watched the rain come down so hard and the clouds move in so at times we couldn’t even see in front of the hotel let alone the castle.  So here we sit hopping for a break in the weather to continue our pilgrimage and as Susan so eloquently said during the prayer service that we come here to pray for those whose intentions we have carried with us.

Susan wasn’t feeling well again so she laid down and I decided to go out to try to get something to eat.  I think it was around 5 – 5:30 and as I got down to the lobby the rain stopped.

As I went to the car the sun came out and before I got in I looked up and got the thrill of my life as I stared at the sun and watched it almost dance in the sky.  I couldn’t take my eyes off it and it pulsated and pulsated like it was going to explode. It then became calm and I could almost make out a face and then it started pulsating again and then the face again appeared again on the sun but I couldn’t make it out except for the eyes and mouth were very distinct.  I don’t know long I stood there until it all stopped and the sun returned to a normal ball with a pale yellow hue and gently disappeared behind a cloud. If I had the camera I don’t even know if I could have taken pictures.

It was awesome and as I drove to the store I just didn’t know what to think.  I don’t know of anything that could make that happen even though I tried to reason that the clouds did it but there were no clouds to be seen when it happened. I will just remember it forever and I thanked Our Mother because I believe she did that for me.  I was sad that I was alone and Susan missed it and I didn’t tell her until today as I prayed last night for guidance.

Susan slept most of the night even though the rain stopped I know she didn’t want to get sick again and we stayed in.  I got a call from a friend of Anna, who spoke some English, and was so excited as she told me that Our Lady blessed them with her presence or that the rain stopped, I wasn’t sure exactly what happened, and she asked if we could come, I told her we would try.  Sue told me to go but I didn’t want to leave her and I had already been blessed a couple times today. I know Our Lady, if she was there, wasn’t going to hang around for me, since she is with me always and if I were humble and blessed enough to see her that could happen at home.  I still felt a guilty, since that was the reason for being here, and reluctantly went to bed.

Good night, May the peace of Christ fill your hearts and soul.

Susan and Tom

For more about Oliveto Citra click here