Trevignano, all lined up for an abusive Madonna

In Trevignano, a few kilometers from Rome, a seer claims to speak with the Virgin Mary and to have a weeping statuette. Together, she attracts hundreds of faithful and reports of building irregularities. We went to check

  madonna-weeping-trevignano-launch-12 The statuette of the Madonnina with traces of tears on her face

No one is a prophet in his homeland, but even for the seers the road is all uphill, just like the steep and muddy one that leads to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Trevignano. In the village of Gisella Cardia, in the registry office Maria Giuseppa Scarpulla, a first instance conviction for fraudulent bankruptcy, the woman who since 2016 claims to have frequent apparitions of the Madonna, does not collect any support. In the bar in the square, on the lakeshore, her mouths twist at her name, and each grimace corresponds to a different reasoning, but the same conclusion: 'We don't trust her'.

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NOBODY IS PROPHET IN THE HOMELAND – There is the big man who starts off: «If I say what I think, I get a complaint, but when I see sick kids arriving from Poland I get angry...' and the woman who comments sarcastically: «Really we were on Lake Tiberias And we didn't notice it?' A lady gets excited and gesticulates, throwing around the artichokes of the sandwich she's holding: «When I was desperate, I too went on pilgrimage, but to the right places, to Lourdes: I didn't ask for mercy behind the house». She then lowers her voice to the tone of confidence: «Listen, once I stopped by the sanctuary. The visionary told us that Our Lady had given her a message: 'Women who have an abortion will never be forgiven.' But let alone, God forgives everyone. And if the message doesn't come from above, then be sure it comes from below », and to give weight to her words, she points below, to the underworld, with the corner of the sandwich.

SO MANY PEOPLE IN EUROPE – The story of the Madonna di Trevignano not only agitates the town square, but also that of the global village. On the Catholic forums the discussion is high-voltage: most are skeptics, but for many something is happening in Trevignano, and in fact every 3rd of the month six or seven hundred faithful arrive, from all over Europe, with a large presence of Poles, to listen the Sicilian lady who would have the stigmata, keeps at home a statuette of the Madonna of Madjugorje who weeps tears of blood and announces a great new and other misfortunes. Here, if you stop one of these devotees who climb up the sanctuary and ask him: «What do you think of the bankruptcy conviction of Signora Gisella?», the answer is convinced: «The devil does everything to block the good, and then Jesus too was arrested.

THE BATTLE WITH THE PARK INSTITUTION – In addition to the devil, the Bracciano and Martignano park authority, perhaps an ally of the evil one, is also hindering the seer. Her words of the mystic, who in a meeting she complained to the devotees of not being able to dig a well, indicated by the Madonna, from which blessed and healing water would flow. In fact, the land of the sanctuary, purchased in 2018 by the Madonna di Trevignano association, founded the same year by the seer with her husband and another partner, cost 50 thousand euros, apparently donated by a generous benefactor. However, given that it is part of a protected area, the park rangers, after a check, in 2021 put the seals on an abusive canopy, as well as contesting the construction of the case in which a statue of the Madonna is contained and other irregularities. Their order to restore the land resists two suspension appeals to the TAR (plus one to the Council of State) of the association, which is now on trial for building abuse. Only the demolition order from the Municipality is missing from the appeal, but the mayor of Trevignano, Claudia Maciucchi is clear: 'We are ready to intervene, but first we await the decision of the judges'.

THREAT MAIL – Perhaps this is why an avalanche of e-mails between the mystical and the menacing has hit the employees of the park institution, and that, above all, some park rangers have been denounced by the association for disturbing religious functions. In fact, it happened that last February 3, during one of the meetings at the sanctuary, the men of the institution, with the local police, found the area transformed into a parking lot for more than 300 cars. The countermeasures were limited to recommending that such a situation no longer occur, but even this little must have seemed a blunder
to the organizers of the meeting, who, after the complaint, also had their lawyers send a warning, so that it was clear that they would not accept other interventions. The director of the park, Daniele Badaloni, reluctantly speaks of this story: 'We are only doing our job, but it is clear that there is an illegal and illegitimate activity there that we have reported to the judiciary'. And to the question «Have you received any political pressure for the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Trevignano?» the answer is that of those who cannot, out of honesty, get out of the way with a comfortable no: 'I don't want to go into this area, I prefer not to comment'.
Gianni Cardia, the seer's husband, kindly lets us know that Mrs. Gisella, born Maria Giuseppa, after intervening in Federica Panicucci's broadcast, has no intention of speaking to the press, also because it is Lent. Instead, Francesco Bonomo tells us something, one of his exegetes who has collected the messages of the Madonna of Trevignano in two books, books also translated into Polish, but of which he has no idea how many copies have been sold «because he keeps contacts with the publishing house directly the mystic Gisella». According to him, all this attention, these indiscreet questions, this mud, will turn over time into a victory for the Virgin of the lake and the truth will prevail. And to those who fear that up there, in that panoramic and restricted area, there are plans to build something, he replies confidently: «Today you can't touch anything. But when the three days of darkness arrive, the warning, the antichrist and company, the parks will end, because everything ends, and a new era begins. We see the signs everywhere.'
And in fact, on the point of leaving Trevignano, my car didn't start: maybe this was also a sign, but not knowing how to interpret it, I limited myself to calling the electrician.
Andrew Greco