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THE MIRACLE OF GALLIPOLI
from issue no. 02/03 - 2010

The letter sent by the prioress of the Carmel of Gallipoli to Lisieux


Here is the text of the letter sent by the prioress of the Carmel of Gallipoli, Mother Maria Carmela of the Heart of Jesus, to Lisieux, addressed to Mother Agnes, sister of St Theresa of Lisieux


by Mother Maria Carmela of the Heart of Jesus


The autograph letter from Mother Maria Carmela, prioress of the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites 
in Gallipoli, to Mother Agnes, with the report of the miracle; right, a portrait of Mother Maria Carmela of the Heart of Jesus

The autograph letter from Mother Maria Carmela, prioress of the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites in Gallipoli, to Mother Agnes, with the report of the miracle; right, a portrait of Mother Maria Carmela of the Heart of Jesus

Gallipoli Carmel, 25 February 1910

Very Reverend Mother Agnes of Jesus,
May the grace of the Holy Spirit be always in the soul of your reverence. Amen.
I apologize for the involuntary delay in responding to your two highly prized letters. Many circumstances have made me fail in this sacred duty and you, so good, will certainly have pity on me.
Conceive with what affection I enjoyed your letters and how fortunate I consider myself to be able to recommend myself to the prayers of a sister by blood of dearest Sister Theresa of the Child Jesus, my intimate confidant! This splendid Soul, though in Heaven, enjoys staying on and doing good on this earth, especially to sinful souls, so do not be surprised, my revered mother, if dear Sister Theresa, as interceding Angel with the Heart of Jesus, has deigned to bestow a miracle on our convent, using the most abject being in this saintly community... I send the report in Italian as you wish, but keep it privately, as in Rome there is a great document with the signature not only of all the nuns, but even more of the Most Reverend Monsignor Bishop and of a Commission of reverends among whom there is also that of a saintly father of the Society of Jesus!
I passed the night previous to 16 January this year a little badly with physical suffering; three o’clock struck and, nearly exhausted, I raised myself in bed a little to cool myself and fell asleep. In the dream itself I thought I felt touched by a hand which, pulling up the blanket, covered me with kindness. I thought that one of my sisters had come to offer me charity, and without opening my eyes I said, “Leave me alone, don’t fan me, I’m all sweaty, that’s not good, I really feel life fading”. Then an unknown voice said, “No, my child, it’s a good thing nor will it take your life away”. Continuing to cover me and smiling she continued: “Listen, the Lord uses Celestial beings as earthly ones, here are five hundred liras with which you will pay the debt of the community”. And I having said that the debt of the community was of three hundred liras, she went on: “It means that the other will be leftover, anyway you can’t keep them in your cell, come with me”. Without responding I thought, “How can I get up all sweaty?”. And immediately piercing my thoughts she added, smiling: “Bilocation will happen”. And already I found myself out of the cell in the company of a young Carmelite nun, from whose habit and veil shone a heavenly light that served us as escort. She led me down into the room of the wheel, made me open a box where there was the register of the debt of the community and handed me the five hundred liras. I looked at her in joyful wonder and I prostrated myself to thank her saying: My Holy Mother! But she raised me up and fondly caressing me replied, “No, my child, I am not our Holy Mother, I am instead, the servant of God, Sister Theresa of Lisieux...! Today a feast in Heaven, a feast on earth! ... Since it’s the Name of Jesus!”. I was moved, stunned, not knowing what to say, more with my heart than my lips I said: Goodness me, this continuing violence... nor could I go on! Then the Heavenly Sister put her hand on my veil as if to fix it and with a sisterly caress receded slowly. Wait, I told her, you might go the wrong way. And with an angelic smile she replied: “No, no, my daughter, my way is safe nor am I wrong!”.
I awoke, I felt very tired, but making an effort I got up, went to the Choir, to the Holy Communion, etc...
The sisters looked at me and seeing me in poor shape, insisted on calling the doctor. I went to the sacristy and found the two sacristans who absolutely wanted me to go to bed and call the doctor, to avoid all that I told them that the impression of a dream had shaken me a little and in all innocence I told them the dream. These two sisters forced me to go to open the little drawer, but I told them that we must not lend belief to dreams which is also a sin. But their insistence was such that out of sheer compliance I went to the wheel, I opened the box and… I really found the miraculous sum of five hundred liras!
I leave the rest to your consideration!
My Reverend Mother, we all feel confused with such condescension and we long for the moment of knowing the little Sister Theresa and our great protectress on the altars! Would you like to send me the life of this Angel in Italian? I shall like it immensely and be eternally grateful to you. I thank you wholeheartedly also for the dear figurine you sent me. May the good God reward you richly for so much charity.
Accept the warmest good wishes of the entire community that recommends itself to your saintly prayers.
And now permit me to recommend to you especially my own poor soul! You will pray a lot for me, I’m sure. May you consider me as one of your sisters (though most unworthy!) since I am of the same age as your heavenly sister!
Sisterly greetings to your beloved community, my good mother, and believe me in the Lord.
From your reverend humble sister and servant,

Sister Maria Carmela of the Heart of Jesus, RCI


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