The Perfumed plaque depicting
the Madonna and child
When the air, soil and public
water supply at the Cenacle of Prayer had for some time been giving
off perfume, the members of the Work of Love became more and more
keen to discover the significance of this intense perfume that
pervaded the whole place in May and the first weeks of June 1990.
A further event seemed finally to provide an explanation to the
phenomenon which, on top of all the facts already mentioned, could
truly be called the "great sign" of Marys presence.
Why "great" sign? Because for everyone it was a cause
for reflexion, meditation and intuition that Our Lady, by means
of her perfume, was inviting people to see her apparitions at
St Mar-tins as being intimately connected with the fact
that, in bringing us the Fathers love, she was indicating
that this "Love" was, in reality, Jesus Himself: Love
made man for our sake.
And this Jesus is always
to be found where she, the Mother, is. The mysterious chance find
of a terracotta plaque, of uncertain date, representing the Madonna
and the Child Jesus, possibly provided the answer. The plaque
was discovered at around 10 p.m. on 26 June 1990,when a group
of young workers of the Marian Movement, toge-ther with the visionary
Renato Baron, had gathered for a prayer meeting in the park of
the Cenacle; at the same time, other pilgrims were praying inside
and outside the chapel.
Everyone noticed at that
moment that the air be-came incredibly perfumed; not only that,
the water coming from the taps had also taken on an intense perfume,
as on previous occasions. But now there were noticeable currents
of perumed air moving in a south-westerly direction. Because of
this, the curiosity of those present led them to seek to establish
the origin of the mysterious, unexpected perfume.
Thus, a small group of people
followed the trail of the perfume and arrived at a ditch that
had been dug for a methane gas pipe; they continued along the
pipe until they reached an ornamental acacia. At that point the
earth was very damp, but beyond it there was no trace of the perfume.
So, with pick and shovel, they started digging, in a state of
considerable emotion, and not far from the surface they came across
something that, by its shape, appeared to be a terracotta tile.
They seized this find, almost
intoxicated with the intense perfume emanating from it; they washed
it at one of the outdoor taps of the Cenacle and, to their great
amazement, found that they had before them a terracotta plaque
measuring 26x36 cm, in a good state of preservation. The plaque
depicted the Madonna with the Child in her arms.
From that moment, the phenomenon
of intense per-fume in the air came to an end, as did, gradually,
that of the perfumed water from the taps connected to the public
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