Elena Aiello

 

 

 

Left photo is Sister Elena Aiello teaching children a prayer. Right photo is Elena with stigmata visible on her hands on Good Friday the saddest day of Holy week...the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Below text from here.

Blessed Elena Aiello (1895-1961) -Mystic, Stigmatic, Victim Soul, Prophet & Foundress of the Minim Tertiaries of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The information contained in this abbreviated biography was taken from the book "The Incredible Life Story of Sister Elena Aiello, The Calabrian Holy Nun (1895-1961)".

Biography on the life of Sister Elena Aiello - Early life

Some saints live a heroic holy life in an ordinary way and some in an extraordinary way. Sister Elena Aiello, who was the Foundress of the Minim Tertiaries of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and a contemplative soul and a martyr to suffering, was called to live both and it is through her charity that her true greatness is achieved. She was well known in Italy and much of Europe and had many visitors comparable to the crowds that visited Theresa Neumann and St. (Padre) Pio.

Elena Aiello was born in Montalto Uffugo (Consenza), Italy on Holy Wednesday during Holy Week on April 10, 1895. Her parents were Pasquale Aiello and Teresa Paglilla. During theProcession of Rogations her mother prayed for the grace of having a baby girl and if she did, she would name her Elena and consecrate her to the Cross of Our Lord in memory of the Empress, St. Elena.

Elena lived in an exemplary Christian family. Her extremely devout family, never were given over to the practice of any vanity or entertained anything of a worldly fashion. Her mother unfortunately died at an early age and her father, now a widower and a tailor by trade was left with the care of 8 children one of which also soon died at age one.

At a very young age, Elena lived a devout life and performed penances. An incident at the age of 9 illustrates her inclination to penance. After having received her first communion and attending a retreat, she and several other girls obtained permission to wear a penitential belt. On the way to getting the belt, she had an accident which caused her to lose her two front teeth. She put her bleeding teeth in a handkerchief and continued on in haste to get her penitential belt regardless of the blood and pain.

Another time she accidentally inhaled some water she was drinking from a glass while laughing. As a result, she experienced a constant cough for a year and a half except at night and the volume of her voice became lowered. She was given some treatments by a doctor but this caused her more pain. Eventually she prayed to Our Lady of Pompei, promising her that she would become a nun if cured. And in fact, Our Lady of Pompei appeared to her during the night and assured her that she would be healed –which she was.

Her Extraordinary Charity

Her desire to be a nun was now her goal but was forced by her father to delay it due to foreign complications which led to the 1915 World War. During this fruitful delay, she helped refugees, prisoners and nursed invalids and the dying heedless of the dangers to herself in catching any contagious illnesses. Thus began her journey on the road to a life of charity. She particularly often hurried to the bedside of the dying who refused the sacraments. One day she met a man named Alessandro, a freemason. She tried gently to persuade him to receive the Sacraments but he firmly said, “No.” She continued to plead with him and his response was to take a bottle and fling it at her. It struck her in the neck and while holding her bleeding neck with a cloth she told him that “his soul was hanging on the edge of a precipice” and that she would not leave the room until he called for a Priest to come in. Finally the freemason became so moved by her charity, that he promised her that he would receive the Sacraments on the one condition, that she herself would assist him every day. He repented, received the Sacraments from the Priest, and she cared for him for 3 months. He died a fervent Christian bearing his sufferings with patience and resignation.


Her reputation for her charitable activity became so well known that she was called to the bedside of another freemason dying of cancer who was in great fear for having betrayed God by becoming a freemason in order to support his family. She helped him to prepare for the worthy reception of the Sacraments such as Confession and Communion.

Her desire to become a religious sister

Her father gave his consent for her to be a religious on the condition - that she join the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood. Before entering, she was prophetically told that she would not last in this Order because God had other plans in store for her. While in the Order she was put in charge of sixteen postulants. But suffering took hold of her life almost immediately which was intestinal pain and a severe pain on the left shoulder. Eventually her shoulder became one solid black mass. She was eventually operated on without any anesthetic while holding a small wooden cross and looking at a picture of Our Lady of Sorrows. The physician, good intentioned but inept, in addition to cutting flesh also cut nerves that caused her lockjaw and a vomiting spell for 40 days.

Despite the pain, Elena’s intent was to take part in the upcoming religious clothing ceremony through sheer will-power but when the Father Director saw her in such a deplorable state, he couldn’t let her go through with it. What she feared would happen, did, she was asked to leave the convent and return home. However, Elena wrote in her notebook that Our Lord asked her on two occasions to accept His own designs with complete resignation and embrace His cross. Elena left in tears not realizing the great esteem in which she was held by everyone when they observed her good-nature and patience in suffering.

Elena’s shoulder was getting worse. In fact, the doctor told her that gangrene was already setting in. The doctor advised her father to demand compensation from the Institute, in other words, sue them. But Elena pleaded with her father to do nothing of the kind especially since she also had hopes to return to it.

Her long period of suffering began and her dream of being a sister was fading away since now she couldn’t even retain liquid food. The doctor diagnosed her with stomach cancer and told her there was no cure and that she was going to die. Her characteristic frank response to him was, “My dear doctor, it is you, who are going to die: I will not die from this disease, because St. Rita is going to make me well”.

Called to suffer in reparation for the sins of the world

On the way home, Elena stopped in a church where St. Rita was venerated to beg her for a cure. In her notebook she writes that she saw dazzling flames all around the statue and told her cousin who was next to her. Her cousin didn’t see anything. Then that night she had a dream of St. Rita who told her that she wanted devotional exercises to be held in Montalto in her honor in order to rekindle the faith of the people. You see, the saints do not want honor for themselves but always for the glory of God. Elena started a triduum and St. Rita told her to say a second one and that she would be cured but the pain in her shoulder would remain because she had to suffer for the sins of the world. Elena’s confessor and spiritual director carefully documented all of these facts.

In the process of trying to fulfill her promises to St. Rita, she experienced other spiritual phenomena. She told her confessor that Our Lord frequently admonished her to accept a new way of suffering and that He said “You are going to suffer. But fear not. Yours shall not be a malady but only the symbol of charity. I shall permit you to experience My very sadness and on Friday you will be more united to Me.” During that winter she attended a Passionist retreat which appealed to her because she was drawn to the Passion of Our Lord. She disclosed some of the instructions from Our Lord and St. Rita to the priest who gave the retreat and he enlightened and encouraged her.

As more of the news of what was happening to Elena spread, people began to discuss differing opinions about them. During this time, an extraordinary event took place which caused Elena to be known to many people far and wide. This phenomenon was to occur every year until her death.

Elena receives the Crown of Thorns and the Stigmata

On the First Friday in March about 3:00 pm in the afternoon, while lying in bed due to the cancerous pain in her left shoulder, and while reading the ninth Friday in honor of St. Francis of Paola, Our Lord appeared to her in a white garment and wearing a crown of thorns. On being assured of her consent, Our Lord removed the crown from His Head and placed it on Elena’s head. Then a large quantity of blood started to flow. Our Lord told her that He wished her to suffer for the conversion of sinners and for the many sins of impurity. He wanted her to be a victim in order to appease Divine Justice.

One day, a family servant named Rosaria was about to leave the house when she heard wailing from Elena’s room. When she went into the room she saw Elena covered in blood and thoughtthat someone had killed Elena. She ran to tell the family. The family, on seeing so much blood but Elena still alive, called the Doctors and several Priests. Upon arriving, the doctor tried to stop the blood, but it kept oozing out of her head. Then at last, after three hours it suddenly stopped.

Everyone was confused and badly shaken. The next Friday the doctor came again and saw the exact same thing take place. Her Confessor thinking it might be religious obsession took her Crucifix away from her and forbade her to read any books about the Passion of Jesus. Despite this it occurred again. The mother, at the request of her son a doctor, came to visit Elena and wiped some blood from her forehead with a handkerchief. She folded it because she thought it was contagious and presented it to him so for examination. When the doctor opened it, the handkerchief was completely clean and the doctor converted and was baptized as a result.

Elena complained to Our Lord on account of the bleeding but Our Lord told her in a vision that it was He who wished her to suffer as a victim for the sins of the world. She shouldn’t resent the fact that her crucifix was taken away from her because it was present in her heart. As a proof of this, He would give her a visible sign by making the wounds of His Passion to appear in her body. Elena, whose body became one mass of wounds, was told by Our Lord on another Friday, “You too must be like Me, because you are to be the victim for many a sinner and you must appease My Father’s Justice for their salvation.”

About five o’clock Jesus greeted her: “My child, behold how much I suffer. I have shed all my blood for the world and yet everything goes to ruin. Nobody pays any attention to its countless crimes. See how bitterly I suffer for the wrongs and contempt I receive from so many wicked and immoral people.” Elena replied: “And what can I do, my Jesus? Unless You come in person, no one will believe me.” Jesus replied: “There are so many sinners whose obstinacy is the determinant cause for My Justice. But, my child, don’t feel discouraged, because you will see Me again about one o’clock, and tell your Confessor I will give him a sign on Friday at 2 o’clock.” Having said this, He disappeared. Her Confessor finally became convinced that the mystical phenomena was from Our Lord.

On the following Friday, in addition to the other wounds on her hands and feet, the wound on her side appeared. On Good Friday at noon the phenomenon commenced and at six o’clock a procession of the Passion was passing under her balcony. Elena was able to perfectly get up from her bed and view the procession in the sight of her Confessor which was the sign Our Lord gave to him. When the statue of the Corpus of Jesus was being carried under the balcony, Elena became once again unconscious with tears of blood dripping from her eyes. Some of the blood fell on the head of her sister Ida who then complained to Jesus about the heavy cross He had given to her family on account of the large amount of people calling on them and upsetting the peace of their home. The next night Ida had a dream in which Our Lord told her not to complain further because Elena was bound to suffer for many sinners. Ida understood that this was Elena’s mission and obeyed Our Lord’s wishes.

All of the extraordinary activity didn’t interfere with her duties as the new Foundress and Superior General of a new Religious Community. No one was permitted to view her Good Friday agony out of curiosity and on Holy Saturday, she resumed her work and responsibilities as if nothing happened to her.

In addition to her physical sufferings she endured the bitter experience of humiliation because people kept calling on “the holy nun who sweats blood” to help them with their important business decisions.

Several times Elena foretold that she was going to be cured of the painful wound on her shoulder. She told her Confessor, “…Jesus appeared to me saying: “My beloved daughter, do you wish to get well or to go on suffering?” “My Jesus,” I replied, “one feels so good when suffering with You. However, do whatever You wish.” “Well,” Jesus went on, “You shall recover, but I want you to know that every Friday I shall permit you to be in a state of depression, so that you may stay closer to Me.” So saying, He disappeared.

One day she was being helped to pull out the worms from her shoulder wound with splinters. She endured the torture with great faith in St. Rita who she believed, without a doubt, wouldcure her. But few people could believe it with her; after all she suffered this for three long years.

That night, St. Rita told her in a dream that she would be cured the next day at 3:00 pm. The next day she was much weakened and had to be helped to be seated on the sofa in front of St.Rita’s statue along with some other people. The people began the Rosary in front of the statue and Elena could be heard in a voice hardly audible: “From your sanctuary of mercy, oh saint of the impossible, and patron of desperate cases, do turn your eyes of mercy on me, and behold the anguish overwhelming me, the misfortune and misery gripping me: for there is no other one Imay turn to. Withered is the source of my tears; even prayer is dying on my poor lips. Hope is all that is left to me. O Saint Rita, powerful and glorious, come to my aid, and, in this direst need, grant me the grace I beg of you! You have promised it to me: You must grant it to me. You must not permit that I be called a liar!”

All of a sudden, Elena cried out, “I am cured, I am cured.” She showed the astonished but skeptical people her shoulder and it was perfectly sealed with only a scar remaining. St. Rita had kept her promise that she would be cured but that the pain would remain for the salvation of souls.

Becomes a Foundress

Elena eventually would meet a woman named Gigia who had come to seek her advice about a religious vocation. She too had been discharged from an order because of an illness. They talked and become close and Elena realized that Gigia would be called to assist her in the charitable work she was beginning. At first Gigia was doubtful that Elena, an invalid herself would even be capable to help others.

The miraculous intercession of St Therese of Lisieux

One day Elena went on a bus and was pondering where she was going to find the house she need for her work. She had beseeched her patron saints and particularly St. Therese of the Infant Jesus. A young Carmelite nun walked on the bus and the two struck up a conversation. The nun asked her if she was looking for a house. Elena, thinking it was one of the sisters in the area, kissed her hand and told her how hard it was to find one. The nun smiled sweetly and said, “Come, I will show you the house.”

When they got off the bus, the nun pointed to a balcony and said the woman has an offer of 260 lire but will take 250 from you. When Elena looked back at the nun, she noticed there was an unusual glow around her and then saw a bouquet of roses cascading from the crucifix in her hand. Suddenly the nun faded away and Elena recognized that she was speaking to St. Therese of Lisieux and full of excitement went to speak to the landlady. Everything was exactly as St. Therese had said. The landlady accepted the 250 lire. Elena told the Archbishop and he suggested that Elena name their first house in Cosenza after St. Therese.

It is not clear exactly when Elena officially became as religious sister but from this point on we refer to Elena as Sister Elena. Sister Elena and Sister Gigia settled into their new house. They began their apostolate which was to offer religious instruction to the children in their district who had been neglected. Their zeal was great to extend their work everywhere and so one day Sister Elena went into a protestant church assembly and in the presence of the minister exhorted the people to return to the Catholic Church. They sisters’ zeal resulted in having sinful marriages validated, children baptized and older people were helped to finally receive Holy Communion.
Together they succeeded in converting a 14--old rascal who was reputed to be known as “Ciccio the Thief” to become converted, live a fervent life and to die a holy death at a young age.

Their work was developing so rapidly that they were forced to look for a new home. The sufferings of Sister Elena continued and Sister Gigia had no choice but to lock Sister Elena in the attic at times to keep her away from the attention of the people who knew about her extraordinary happenings. Even the police, after pleading with the Archbishop, were not permitted entry. It was suggested to the nuns that it might be to their advantage to move to another larger house. The house was poor and only had one piece of furniture.

During this time they were pondering what kind of work of charity they should start with. One day a man came with a little orphan girl, presented her to the sisters and pledged a monthly sum for her room and board. A day after this Sister Elena had a dream that she saw a man in black holding three girls and looking for a nun. When he saw Sister Elena he begged her to take the girls. The next morning she saw the man with the three girls asking for help exactly as in her dream. Deeply moved, Sister Elena embraced the three little girls and took them home with her. Gradually another little mentally handicapped girl was brought to her and the Monsignor expressed his satisfaction with the sisters’ activities and blessed their work and holy desires in the name of the Archbishop. The sisters’ mission was now officially to take abandoned orphan girls.

Sister Elena fulfilled her duties calmly and with great faith, supernatural charity and complete trust in God’s providence. Sister trained the ladies who were to join her community and selected,as the distinguishing mark, the charity of St. Francis of Paola, with the emblem of the Passion o fOur Lord Jesus Christ, and named her Institute “Sister Minims of the Passion of Our Lord.”

The number of little orphans climbed to 26 and two more aspirants came to the order. A woman doctor demanded that an investigation be made of the “woman with TB who was boarding old people and little abandoned girls”. Upon examination of the situation, the accusations were found to be without warrant and completely false.

St. Therese makes more appearence

One time St. Therese of the Infant Jesus appeared to several of the little ones who were praying while sewing in the work room. Sister Elena rushed downstairs to the shouts, “We have seen the Carmelite Saint!” Upon arriving, Sister Elena too saw the saint smiling at her.

The third intercession of St Therese was in fact a double miracle. God's Divine Providence never failed to take care of what was needed for the orphanage, even by means of extraordinary interventions. On September 11, 1935, Sister Elena spent a painful night. It so happened that there was no food on hand in the kitchen for the noon meal. Sister Angela asked Mother Elena for some money to purchase food, and Elena replied that she had none, but encouraged Sister Angela to trust in God and that He would surely provide for His children. In the mean­time a Priest came in, requested to say Mass and walked to the Sacristy right away. Not having anything on hand, Sister Elena told Sister Angela to first go and hear Mass and that somehow the Lord would provide. Elena's prayer in union with that of the Sisters and of the orphan girls, was quickly heard. For right after the Elevation, a strong fragrance spread through the Chapel.

Sister Elena was at the time reciting the Office of the Blessed Virgin from the second page of her prayer book. Suddenly she spotted a 50 lire bill between the prayer card of Our Lady of Sorrows and that of St. Teresa. She was positive that nothing of the kind had previously been in her prayer book as she had re­cited the very same prayer, on that very same page, on the previ­ous evening Anyway, after Mass and after handing the 50 lire bill for the day's needs, Sister Elena with all the girls went back to the Chapel, and there within earshot, she prayed to God to let her find another 50 lire in her prayer book at the same place as an unquestionable proof that the first 50 lire had not been forgotten by someone, but that they were actually the gift of Divine Provi­dence. During the day, some of the bigger girls and even one or two of the Sisters went searching through that prayer book which had been left at its place. In the evening, when the Community assembled in the Chapel for the evening prayers, while the "Con­fiteor" was being recited, the same kind of a fragrance as in the morning was felt. Elena got greatly excited. She didn't dare open her prayer book, but passed it on to Sister Teresa to do so. Sister obeyed and there were the additional 50 lire between the two prayer cards, at the same place. In the white circle there was a green handwriting, 50 + 50 = 100 with some letters of the Greek alphabet. The following morning Elena related the incident to her Confessor, Canon Mazzuca, who insisted on looking at the 50 lire banknotes-No. 01670 and 0039. However, the inscription on the white circle had completely disappeared. Father Benjamin Mazza, who wished to retain those banknotes, exchanged them with one for 100 lire, which is now in the possession of Blessed Elena’s Community.


God protects His children

A man was peddling cheese as usual and was accompanied by his little daughter who was in rags and forced her to go begging through the town. One day this scoundrel was just about to sell his own daughter for 30 lire when Sister Elena overheard them bargaining and notified the Counselor across the street to ask for his help. The two bargaining men suddenly vanished leaving the little girl alone. Sister Elena promptly took her home and was ordered by the district attorney to keep the girl despite any possible protest from her father which in fact did happen when he tried to forcibly abduct the little girl. Sister Elena however was successful in wresting her from his hands.

The sisters endured many trials which is the lot of all saints-in-the-making. Once again Sister Elena dreamed of her house being quarantined during an epidemic and it happened. However, everyone was eventually able to return to the house and resume their routine work.

Sister Elena’s order admitted more aspirants and after having gone to Rome she obtained the necessary approvals for her Order according to the steps required for the process. Her sufferings increased with greater intensity. During that time people succeeded in getting into Elena’s room to uncover her “occult powers”, “diabolical plots”, and “fake events”. People, the kind you never find inside a church or never praying before the altar, often met in the sacristies for the sole purpose of spreading gossip and detraction to try and belittle her Institute and to connect her to some sad incidents that had caused pain to the Monsignor and Archbishop. The Archbishop advised Sister Elena to file a lawsuit against the lead defamer. But the defamer made a full confession to the Archbishop and asked for Sister Elena’s forgiveness who withdrew the lawsuit.

However, afterward another Shepherd was confronted with more grievances and accusations against that “encroaching Nun who loved to pass as a saint and preyed on the people’s good faith to the harm of other Institutes as well as by her phenomena by the distribution of St. Rita’s concoctions and by her subterfuge of so-called girls’ welfare”. The Archbishop listened benevolently to Sister Elena and decisively put an end to the stealthy maneuvers and upheld the rights of truth and justice.

The Graces of God Miracles of Divine Providence

Divine Providence always came to the aid of Sister Elena who often did not have the money to pay for things. She humbled herself and sought help from benevolent persons and begged of her creditors to be patient and understanding. One time the electricity was cut off due to lack of employment. Elena went to the company’s office and asked for understanding and the director ordered the current to be restored with an order that Sister Elena “was not to be disturbed” anymore due to lack of payment.

The donations that that she did receive were unfortunately disproportionate to the daily expenses necessary to run their Order. Once when they ran out of food, Sister Elena’s sisters and the orphans prayed for help and after the elevation of the Blessed Sacrament they smelled a strong fragrance throughout the church. Sister Elena knew that their prayer was answered. While reciting the Office of the Blessed Virgin she suddenly spotted a 50 lire bill between the prayer card of Our Lady of Sorrows and that of St. Therese. The amazing thing was that she had been on the same page the previous evening and it wasn’t there before.

Sister Elena used the money for the day’s needs and then went back into the chapel and prayed aloud in front of everyone for another 50 lire as a sign that it was indeed from Divine Providence and not left by someone else and it happened again in the same book.

Another time they prayed to the great saint St. Joseph for assistance; for a payment was due for some oil. The exact amount arrived needed to pay for the oil. On another day bread was needed for the Institute. It was suggested to sister to buy it on credit. Sister already had credit on the books for a long time and didn’t have the courage to do it. She came home empty handed. At mealtime there was no bread and so she prayed. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. A municipal guard delivered 36 kilograms of bread to them that had been picked up as a result of a violation that morning.

On another occasion the little orphans told her that pasta was the only food in the kitchen. Sister Elena caressed them and led them to the chapel saying, “Just pray and you will see that God will provide.” Within a few minutes Sister Elena was sent for because the City Questor had just brought in 18 kilograms of fish. On the way back to the Institute, Sister Elena told the officer the story who was amazed and even more so when he saw the little orphans in the chapel still praying for the same intention.

All through the years the Institute continued to experience a mingling of setbacks, hardships, triumphs, uncertainty, growth and trials of all kinds that besets the life of any new community but it was all sustained by God and the leadership of that “extraordinarily suffering but dynamic woman.” Finally after interminable waiting, Sister Elena received the joyful news from
Rome that her Institute of Sister Minims of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ was now a Congregation of Pontifical Right. But the trials still didn’t end here. There was an attempt to undermine Sister Elena’s authority as Mother General and to get her into early retirement and replace her with an inexperienced nun. The sisters were deeply hurt by manifold indignities heaped upon Sister Elena. Despite Sister Elena’s own hurt, she continued to maintain her virtue and the discipline and harmony of the community.

There was also an attempt to deny that their official recognition had any importance. The greatly distressed, bedridden Mother General arose with difficulty and on behalf of her community strenuously fought back against the constant barrage of absurd defamations campaigning against the community. She expressed her desire to journey to Rome to inform the Holy Father himself of what was happening. She was able to meet with Cardinal Montini, the Vatican Secretariat of State who was to become Pope Paul VI. He graciously listened to her appeal at her bedside in Rome and he promised to present her petition to the Holy Father himself and encouraged her “to trust in God and patiently endure whatever He disposes for her sanctification and the performance of His Work”. It was determined that the Institute was far more than a simple congregation of diocese right.


Prophecies revealed to Elena

In 1940, Sister Elena was directed by Our Lord to take a more public role and to deliver a message to Premier Benito Mussolini, telling him not to join with Hitler in World War II. Otherwise, Italy would suffer a terrible defeat and Mussolini would be punished by Divine Justice and have a speedy downfall. But he ignored the warning, and all that was foretold came to pass.

This letter was delivered on MAY 6, 1940 to the Duce's sister, Donna Edvige who handed it to Mussolini.

To the Head of the Government, Benito Mussolini

Duce:
I come to you in God’s Name to tell you what God has revealed to me and what He wants from you. I was hesitating to write, but yesterday, April 22, the Lord appeared to me again, and bid me to tell you what follows:

“The world is going to ruin because of its many sins, particularly the sins of impurity, which have presently exceeded the very limits before the Justice of My Heavenly father. Therefore, you shall suffer and shall become an atoning victim for the world, especially for Italy where My Vicar on earth resides. My Kingdom is a Kingdom of peace: whereas the
whole world is entangled in war. The Nations’ Rulers are bent on acquiring new possessions: Poor fools! They don’t know that, when there is no God, there is no victory either. Their hearts are filled with wickedness. All they do is to outrage, ridicule and despise Me. They are like devils sowing dissension, subverting people and seeking to drive into the sinful scourge of war even Italy, where God is pleased with many souls, and where My Vicar on earth, the Pastor Angelicas, resides. France, so dear to My Heart, shall soon fall to ruin on account of her many sins, and shall be overthrown and ravaged like the ungrateful Jerusalem. I sent Benito Mussolini to preserve Italy from the precipice because of My Vicar on earth: otherwise, by now, she would be worse off than Russia”.

“I have always shielded him from many dangers. He must now keep Italy out of war, because Italy is a civilized country and it is the dwelling place of My Vicar on earth. If he is willing to do this, he shall receive many favors and I shall make all Nations respect him. But since he has made up his mind to go to war, tell him that, if he doesn’t prevent it, he will be punished by My Divine Justice”.

It is the Lord who has told me all this. Please, Duce, do not think for a moment that I am interested in politics. I am just an ordinary Nun looking after the welfare of abandoned little girls, and I am earnestly praying for your safety as well as the safety of our country.

Respectfully,
Sister Elena Aiello

3 years later sister Elena wrote to Mussolini's sister, Donna Edvige

My dear Donna Edvige:

“You may have thought that, on account of my long silence, I may have forgotten you, whereas I remember you every day in my prayers. I am following the painful events now taking place in our beautiful Italy. We have left Cosenza on account of the bombardments. The enemy’s barbarity has vented all its hatred by bombing the City of Cosenza thus bringing desolation and death to the population. I was bedridden because of my illness: three bombs fell close to our Institute, but the Lord, in His infinite goodness and mercy, has protected us. We have taken refuge at Montalto Uffugo, my native town, in order to protect the little girls from the danger of new raids.


Naturally, we are far from comfortable, but we are offering up all to God for the preservation of Italy. The purpose of this letter is that I wish to make another appeal to you, just as I did in the month of May 1940, when I was introduced to you in Rome by Baroness Ruggi for the purpose of giving you in writing whatever God had revealed to me concerning the Duce. If you recall, on May 6, 1940, we were saying that the Duce had made up his mind to go to war, whereas, the Lord had warned him in my letter to keep Italy out of war, otherwise His Divine Justice would strike him. “I have always rescued him -said Jesus- from many a danger: now it is up to him to save Italy from the scourge of war because Italy is the dwelling place of My Vicar on earth. If he complies with My request, I will bestow great blessings on him and I shall cause all Nations to respect him, but, since he is determined to go to ward, I want him to know that, if he persists, he will be severely punished by My Justice.”

Ah! Had the duce only listened to Jesus’ words, Italy wouldn’t be in such a terrible plight now…I know that the Duce must feel quite dejected on seeing Italy, once a flourishing garden, now a barren field filled with diseases and deaths. But, why persist in this terribly cruel ward, when Jesus has stated that no one is going to achieve true victory?

Therefore, my dear Donna Edvige, please tell the Duce, in my name, that this is God’s last warning to him. He is still in time to save himself by leaving all things in the hands of the Holy Father. Should be unwilling to do so – said the Lord – divine Justice shall quickly reach him. The other rulers also, who play deaf to the counsel and directives of My Vicar, shall be overtaken and punished by My Justice.

Do you recall that, on July 7th of last year, you asked me what was in store for the Duce? Didn’t I reply that, if he didn’t listen to the Pope, he would wind up worse than Napoleon? Now I am going to repeat the very same words, “If the Duce is unwilling to rescue Italy and ignore the Holy Father, he will have a speedy downfall.” Even Bruno is begging his father from the other world to save both Italy and himself. Quite often Our Lord says that Italy will be protected on account of the Pope, who is the atoning victim for this disaster. Therefore, the only way to achieve true peace in the world is the one that the Holy Father shall indicate.

My dear Donna Edvige, please remember that whatever Our Lord revealed to me has been perfectly fulfilled. Who has been the cause of all this ruin to Italy? Is it not the Duce’s fault?
Didn’t he refuse to listen to the warnings of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Even now, he could
somehow counteract the evil done provided he be willing to do what God wants of him. As for me I shall continue to pray for that intention.

Respectfully,
Sister Elena Aiello

The losses during the war and bombardments were heavy. Many of the sewing and knitting machines that the orphan girls were trained to use and had won prizes at several exhibitions were destroyed in the war. The reconstruction period was slow but benefactors helped by making generous donations.
One day Sister Elena was crossing the street with a little girl and was hit by a bus barely saving the little girl. Sister sustained several fractures and could hardly stand and was in a great deal of pain. She was unable to retain any food again but longed for Holy Communion daily. She wasn’t able to get to the Mass chapel and had to have communion brought to her. On feast days Mass was celebrated in her cell.

She continued to conduct the business of the house from her bed dictating letters and responding to correspondence from all over Italy and even North America. Many people begged for her prayers and sought advice. She was particularly noted for her charity in her letters that brought consolation to the downhearted. She was always available to all those who came to see her about the important business of the Institute or who were seeking relief in their trials or hopeless situation. When people ran to her when in misfortune, like a good mother, she never minded the time: she aimed only at preparing people to accept suffering and misfortune in a spirit of resignation to the loving Will of God. She knew how to listen and when to speak. She was a truly compassionate soul. She kindled the flame of resignation and hope in anguished souls. Many families also believed that she acted as a lightening rod for their safety, so great was theirconfidence in her.

Visit from a soul in Purgatory

Sister confided to her director that she had visits at night from faithful departed souls who had association with her and the Institute. One time the door of sister’s cell blasted open with a loud explosion that was heard by everyone. When they rushed upstairs Sister told them it was just Father P.D. who had come up to thank her and the community for the fervent prayers said for the repose of his soul.

On one occasion an orphan boy was about to be transferred by a Monsignor to another Institute. A lady whose son Franco had died dreamed about her late mother who told her not to weep but to go to Sister’s Institute where there was another boy named Franco. The couple came and made legal arrangements to adopt him. Years later Franco came back to visit Sister Elena who remarked how he grew up to look like a real gentleman.

The Holy Face of Jesus appears in blood on a wall panel next to Elena

It was damp and cold in the bedroom where the mystical phenomenon of Sister Elena occurred. A masonite panel was put on the wall to protect her from it. On Good Friday drops of blood squirted from her face onto the panel then dried up. One day after praying for St. Michael’s intercession, suddenly a flash of light appeared on the panel with more blood. Blood also soaked the coverlet close to the panel. They were astonished to see the forms of a cross, a crown and a heart form on the linen. Blood continued to flow from the panel and even though Sister Elena washed the panel with water seven times the blood continued to flow during the day especially on Feast days of Our Lord such as the Holy Cross, the Sacred Heart, the Most Precious Blood of Jesus etc. Gradually the features of a face started to appear clearer and more distinctly on the panel. It was the rough image of Jesus’ Holy Face during His Passion with blood flowing from His eyes. Many tests were made by physicians, chemists and others. All agreed it was human blood that formed the image and there was no possible human explanation for what was taking place. This phenomenon continued at intervals during the succeeding years up to Sister Elena’s death.

Messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sister Elena’s spiritual advisors wondered why there was so much blood involved in her mystical phenomena. It was concluded that future events were very serious based on the messages that Sister Elena was receiving from Heaven. Sister Elena herself felt that the blood indicated the need for more reparation for the crimes of our day and tied it in with the grave messages she was receiving. Here are some notable excerpts of a message from the Blessed Virgin Mary to Sister Elena:

“People are offending God too much. Were I to show you all the sins committed on a single day, you would surely die of grief. These are grave times. The world is thoroughly upset because it is in a worse condition than at the time of the deluge. Materialism marches on ever fomenting bloody strifes and fratricidal struggles. Clear signs portend that peace is in danger. That scourge, like the shadow of a dark cloud, is now moving across mankind: only my power, as Mother of God, is preventing the outbreak of the storm. All is hanging on a slender thread. When that thread shall snap, Divine Justice shall pounce upon the world and execute its dreadful, purging designs. All the nations shall be punished because sins, like a muddy river, are now covering all the earth.

“The powers of evil are getting ready to strike furiously in every part of the globe. Tragic events are in store for the future. For quite a while, and in many a way, I have warned the world. The nation’s rulers do indeed understand the gravity of these dangers, but they refuse to acknowledge that it is necessary for all people to practice a truly Christian life to counteract that scourge. Oh, what torture I feel in my heart, on beholding mankind so engrossed in all kinds of things and completely ignoring the most important duty of their reconciliation with God. The time is not far off now when the whole world shall be greatly disturbed. A great deal of blood of just and innocent people as well as saintly priests will be poured out. The Church shall suffer very much and hatred will be at its very peak”. “Italy shall be humiliated and purged in her blood. She shall suffer very much indeed on account of the multitude of sins committed in this privileged nation, the abode of the Vicar of Christ”.

“You cannot possibly imagine what is going to happen. A great revolution shall break out and the streets shall be stained with blood. The Pope’s sufferings on this occasion may well be compared to the agony that will shorten his pilgrimage on earth. His successor shall pilot the boat during the storm. But the punishment of the wicked shall not be slow. That will be an exceedingly dreadful day. The earth shall quake so violently as to scare all mankind. And so, the wicked shall perish according to the inexorably severity of Divine Justice. If possible, publish this message throughout the world, and admonish all the people to do penance and to return right away to God”.

Her Holy Death

In the eyes of God her mission was completed and so Sister Elena Aiello was called to God on June 19, 1961. She flew to Heaven at dawn when everyone was at rest. Her soul went to meet her Divine Spouse, holding in her hand, the oil-filled brightly burning lamp. In life she was heard saying more than once: “Even from my tomb I shall raised my voice against anyone daring to oppose the charitable goal of my Community.”

She acted toward God with complete surrender, childlike abandon and spoke with sincerity, candor and simplicity. She denounced injustice and exploiters even at the cost of humiliations and misunderstandings. She was a strong woman of the Baptist and Catherine type. She kept her rosary beads wrapped around her wrists so as to be able to say it at any free moment. She kept the church beautiful with fresh flowers and observed the solemnities and sacred functions with fervor. The only thing she really dreaded and abhorred was the evil of sin which she fought wherever she found it. She had a motherly compassion for sinners and for their salvation and never spared prayers tears or pains.

In her houses even during working hours, the Holy Rosary and other prayers were frequently said and everyone directed their work to and kept in the continual presence of God. Finally it should be noted that Sister Elena fasted daily on a diet of vegetables and water but was always able to fulfill her duties with a robust constitution in spite of her sufferings.

Her life can be summed up in this - that she always was concerned for the welfare of others
spiritually or physically over her own, and even of her God since she was heard to cry out several times: “How light is this crown of thorns on my head! How small, O my God is this torture compared to Yours!”

In April 2011, Pope Benedict XVI approved the petition allowing for the Beatification of Venerable Elena Aiello. She was declared Blessed on September 14, 2011

Learn more about these events here.

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