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Capriana, Italy (1833)


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In 1833, the Holy Virgin appeared to Domenica Lazzeri (March 16, 1815 - April 4, 1848), while she was working in the fields. From that time on, Domenica, who had other heavenly visions and apparitions of Mary, received the stigmata and a mysterious illness whose vocation atoning sufferings endured until her death.

Capriana is today one of the smallest towns in the Valley of Fiemme, and certainly the most decentralized to Cavalese town. Therefore it is perhaps the least known to the multitude of tourists who visit and stay in the Valley every year. But it was not always so. At the beginning of last century, Capriana, was more popular in other countries, because here was born, lived and died, MARIA DOMENICA LAZZERI , called by the people "Blessed Meneghina". She was born March 16, 1815, lived for 14 years motionless in her bed of pain, without drinking or eating, stigmatized, and died at age 33 on April 4, 1848. Every Friday she was bleeding profusely from the wounds in her hands, feet, and the 40 or more holes in her head. She possessed gifts such as ubiquity, foresight, knowledge of languages that she never studied, and "felt" while remaining in bed what was said at large distances (the homilies of the Holy Mass, or slander and malice of God and of her). She was visited by famous people from Italy, France, England, even Australia. Doctors, Catholic and non-religious, philosophers and ordinary people, all left her, full of serenity, peace, built and redeemed, convinced of her holiness. And each of them left a written record of what they had witnessed. After years of neglect and silence, on April 4, 1995, the Archbishop of Trento, Maria Giovanni Sartori, celebrated in the Church of Capriana, opening up the process of beatification of the Servant of God MARIA DOMENICA LAZZERI "The Sorrows of Capriana ".


The Servant of God Maria Domenica Lazzeri Mystic

By Antonio Borrelli -

Before the mystery of suffering, ever-present throughout the life of every human being, we remain dismayed and no attempt at explanation by philosophers and theologians, it is able to accept with serenity.

The evil in all its aspects, physical, moral, psychological, is considered a problem for philosophers, for Christ and Christians is an enemy, a scandal, a provocation, and demands a protest, mobilization, riot. You do not explain evil, you fight it! The same Jesus opens our eyes to the blind, even if it's the Sabbath! It proclaims came for the lost, the sick, to sinners. Faced with questions about why suffering, unhappy and tormented Job, God had simply said: "Who are you to demand an explanation from God".

So we must admit that God's ways are not ours. God has a very positive view of suffering, to the point, which receives for himself the pain as a necessary road, says Jesus to the disciples of Emmaus: "Did not the Christ should suffer and enter into his glory?" And the Apostles: "Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much fruit." So in the way of seeing God and the experience of Jesus, the same fiery passion flows in the glory of the Risen One, death from 'the abundant fruit of the redemption of the world. In light of this, suffering is an unavoidable reality, the problem is transform it into a special opportunity for redemption and her bid for redemption of our other brothers, pilgrims like us in this "vale of tears," as the hymn says 'Salve Regina'.

But there have been over the centuries, human figures who have had their ration in excess of suffering to others, so as not to have intervals between these restaurateurs and there were few, the privileged, who led the wounds in their bodies, the stigmata and the pains of the Passion of Christ. Were not always understood and believed, indeed were often maligned through self-harm, exhausted nerve, demon-possessed, in the throes of autosuggestion, etc.., And often only after a long time after death, these people were considered the target of a special gift Christ, the fruit of their intimate and complete union with His suffering. We name a few: S. Francis of Assisi, S. Pio of Pietrelcina, S. Rita of Cascia, Blessed Mary of Jesus Carmelite Baouardy, Blessed Margaret Bays, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, S. Gemma Galgani, etc.. Add to the list the Servant of God Maria Domenica Lazzeri, who was born March 16, 1815 Capriana (Trento) last of five children of Margaret and Bortolo Lazzeri, a miller in the country.

After a quiet childhood, she attended the village school at a profit; teenager, she devoted herself to work soon, to prayer and the help of the suffering, especially those of the epidemics of the twenties and took care of children, when she went to serve in families in neighboring countries. In that period, her love for reading the lives of saints, the writings of s. Alfonso Maria de 'Liguori, but most of the accounts of the Passion and death of Jesus, which showed a marked preference. The death of her father when she was 13, brought her great pain, being joined shortly after, a disease of uncertain diagnosis, which hit it long, and these sufferings temprarono in her attitude to a more intense spiritual life and greater sensitivity to the sick in general. Between 17 and 18 years, was infected by an influenza epidemic that "grip" during which they had worked in the care of the sick, and began her ordeal. From August 15, 1833 until April 1834, the disease symptoms in a crescendo of strange and mysterious, reached in May 1834, a form as serious as inexplicable, so Maria Domenica Lazzeri found herself relegated to bed in a form of stigmatization total , marked by extreme suffering, not taking more sleep, no food or drink, unless the Holy Communion, the only food that could receive every month or so.

True living image of the Crucified, from 19 to 33 years until her death, she lived immobilized in bed, with clasped hands pierced, as well as the feet and her side with deep wounds, with the head and foot overlapping holes surrounded by bleeding stings like thorns in the throes of the terrible sufferings inflicted tremor from wounds of the stigmata, sweating blood and having a near-death every Friday.

A disturbing clinical picture, because the physical phenomena were unusual and incurable disease not related to a diagnosable. Her case attracted the attention of prominent clinicians, including the main city hospital and Military Trent, Dr. Cloch Leonardo, who studied the phenomenon closely, publishing a report in the "Universal Annals of Medicine" in 1837, and then with the collaboration of Dr. Faes Antonio University of Padua, stretched out similar reports submitted to the Medical Department of Italian scientists, meeting in the Congress of Naples (1845), Genoa (1846), Venice (1847). The fame of the young Capriana, soon overcame the boundaries of the Trentino, and spread throughout Italy and Europe, European Publishers, 1836 to 1848, judging the phenomenon worthy to be known, began to print several popular works, whose authors often were eyewitnesses, affected both the extraordinary nature of the disease, the stigmata, but most of the virtuous endurance of incredible suffering and the spirit of prayer, by Maria Domenica Lazzeri.

Her story attracted the attention and personal visit to Capriana, specialists with the experience of other stigmatized or presumed, from all over Europe and the most famous universities, as well as bishops and archbishops, including that of Sidney Australia. For her case, they organized various religious debates and cultural trends, establishing journalistic heated controversy between Catholic groups and associations Protestant Europe and Australia. Meanwhile Maria Sunday, called by her countrymen "the Meneghina" (short for Sunday), went into her bed of pain, experience terrible but uplifting, the Passion of Christ, and snuggled in conditions of immovability grouped with the hands and feet stacked as nailed on each other, true living image of the Crucified. Although immobile in bed, unable to hear the sermons in German by the church of Anterivo, and the neighboring village in the Italian church Capriana; than this gift of understanding the languages, she had not done beyond the elementary school, the "Meneghina" also had the gift of the trans-location, a mystical phenomenon reported in the letters of Blessed Giovanni De Tschiderer Nepomiceno († 1860) Bishop of Trent, in which the girl disappeared more than once from her bed to find herself in Caldaro ( Bolzano) or Cermes (Bolzano) to pray with two other stigmatized her contemporaries.

Her confessors were the custodians of her mysticism, recent documents found, we learn by her confessor, that Our Lady had asked: "Will you enjoy the bloody wounds of Jesus?" To which she replied: "If there are worthy, and if I deserve it, thy will be done. "

This enact the Passion of Jesus was not a charisma quickly realized, the same fear with Maria Domenica experienced what was happening, but when the phenomena not only continued but intensified and the doctors did not give scientific explanations, then a stream of visitors moved , including Antonio Rosmini, overcoming the unevenness of access roads to the small mountain village of Capriana to see her coming from all over Europe. Was needed by the Bishop of Trent, implement strict measures of access to the house of Capriana, satisfying the requests of the same "Meneghina", unable to endure so many visitors, especially those of foreigners, it lost that tranquility necessary to feed your mind in meditation and prayer. The same Bishop De Tschiderer, prudently refrained from going to visit it personally, but in private and in writing followed her in her ordeal, expressing respect and admiration, and did not hesitate to take the time to defend herself against false and partial of the English press. A theologian Don Divo Barsoni, wrote of her: "God took her. He took her to make her participation in the mystery of pain, a sign of love and salvation. " Even Maria Domenica, understood it, saying: "I want to suffer until the last day of the world, if you like my Christ. Suffering is my medicine. "

She died at her home in Capriana April 4, 1848 just 33 years (the years of Christ), of which the last 15, lived with the terrible suffering that earned her the nicknames "The Sorrows of Capriana" and "Crucifix living. " her memory was followed by the numerous migrants in the area, it spread and kept alive even in distant States, and the veneration of the "Blessed Meneghina" never ceased, even though it suffered variations in intensity over time. A first official act for her beatification, was produced in 1943, but was in full World War II and was followed only by the recognition of the deceased in August 1944. On April 4, 1995 was officially reopened the information process in the diocese of Trent, which ended positively, has been since September 2000, moved to Rome and the Vatican Congregation responsible. There are no photos of her, but only a portrait that shows her in bed with stigmata visible and grouped with the hands; Association "Friends of Meneghina" was established in Capriana 'Modest Home' - Via Casal, for dissemination of her memory and veneration.


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