Luisa experienced a vision of the Church after she had received Communion, at a time when she was wondering whether or not her victim state was the Will of God. It began as she saw Jesus looking at her with His hands joined in a plea for pity and help. Then she suddenly found herself outside of her body, and inside a room made of stone, where a venerable and majestic looking woman lay in bed, extremely ill. The bed had a headboard so tall as to reach the ceiling. Luisa was hovering at the top of this headboard high above the bed, forcibly held there by the arms of a priest. Her task was to keep the headboard steady while watching over the sickly woman. Luisa witnessed a few people in religious garb tending to the needs of the patient and discussing among themselves how even a little shake of the bed could severely affect her since she was so infirm. Luisa continued to keep the headboard still for fear that the lady might die if the bed moved.
She understood that the woman represented the Church, which was sick in her members. By the small number of religious present at the bedside, Luisa understood that there are only a few true defenders of the Church, who are ready to give their all.
But as time when on, Luisa began to be annoyed and impatient with her task, which, she was beginning to think, was an idle waste of time. She asked the priest that was holding her to let her down to where the woman was, so that at least she could be of some real assistance to her. But the priest rebuked Luisa, reminding her that with no one to keep the bed still, a little shake could make the patient worse and even cause her death. Luisa for her part kept insisting, saying that she did not believe that she was doing any good at all by simply holding the headboard steady. After repeating these words a few times to the priest, he finally put her down to the floor.
Luisa started to approach the patient, but just then she saw with horror the bed begin to shake and move. The venerable patient trembled, her face turned blue, and she emitted a death rattle. The little group of religious started to cry, lamenting that the lady was now in the last moments of her life. At that instant, some enemies barged into the room. They appeared to be soldiers and officers, and they began to cruelly beat the sick woman. Although she was near death, she arose in majesty, and with boldness she submitted herself to be wounded and beaten by them. Luisa began to quake, realizing that she had been the cause of this evil, by her failure to remain at her post and keep the bed steady. She understood that the woman represented the Church, which was sick in her members. Then Luisa found herself back in her own body. Jesus appeared and told her that if He suspended her from her state of victimhood, His enemies would proceed to make His Church shed blood.
The woman herself, bold and intrepid while facing the inevitable beatings, seems to be dying, but she rises with great courage to face the blows. She represents the true spirit of the Church, always ready to fearlessly suffer and shed her blood.
The next day the Confessor gave her the obedience to explain more fully the meaning of the vision. Luisa wrote that even though the Church is laid low and infirm in her members, she is not infirm in herself and never loses her majesty and venerability. The bed that she lies in while ill signifies that the Church, no matter how strongly she is oppressed, always rests eternally in the peace and safety of the bosom of God. The headboard reaching up to the ceiling represents the divine assistance given to the Church in the form of celestial doctrine, the sacraments, and other continuous and uninterrupted helps. By the small number of religious present at the bedside, Luisa understood that there are only a few true defenders of the Church, who are ready to give their all, and who consider the evils the Church receives as given to themselves.
The room made of stone stands for the firmness and solidity, and even the severity, of the Church in refusing to surrender her rights. The woman herself, bold and intrepid while facing the inevitable beatings, seems to be dying, but she rises with great courage to face the blows. She represents the true spirit of the Church, always ready to fearlessly suffer and shed her blood, accepting mistreatment and mortifications, as did Jesus Christ.
Based on Luisa Piccarreta’s, Book of Heaven, Volume 5, October 24 and 25, 1903, Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.
This has been an overview of a vision of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, as reported in Life of the Mystic Luisa Piccarreta, Journeys in the Divine Will – the Early Years, by Frank M. Rega OFS, based on the Church-approved volume 5 of Piccarreta’s Book of Heaven. LINK to the Book on Amazon.
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