Claiming scandal, the Italian media is aflare — at times, no doubt unfairly, and perhaps in sensationalist style — with stories about an alleged seer-stigmatic known as “Gisella Cardia” and in the past as “Maria Giuseppe Scarpulla,” according to that flurry (and fury) of reports.
The headlines have blazed across dozens of mainstream newspapers, internet sites, and television outlets, ridiculing Gisella for a bleeding statue of the Madonna a private investigator (without yet offering evidence) claims is actually pig’s blood.
That has been one focus; the other: Cardia’s apparent “miracles of multiplication” the media say involved everything (remember, this is Italia) from gnocchi to rabbit and pizza [see here].
“Quando la veggente di Trevignano Gisella Cardia raccontava la moltiplicazione di gnocchi, pizze e coniglio,” blares Il Riformista.
We don’t render judgment on mystics. To borrow from a U.S. news outlet also currently under attack, we report; you discern.
On several occasions in the past, our “special reports” have included a supposed prophecy or two from the reputed seer, while at the same time expressing perplexity over what seemed like certain peculiar-looking phenomena associated with Cardia during her apparitions at Trevignano Romano. We’ll let you judge.
One involved “supernatural” markings on her arms.
We’ll place the entire matter in a “suspense account” for the time being.
Take what you believe is good, says the Bible, and leave the rest.
Cardia is certainly worthy of serious (and fair) investigation, and her diocese is doing just that. She may also be an impetus behind creation of a new Pontifical agency that apparently will be studying claims of the supernatural in Italy.
The most serious allegation against Cardia: that she has a history of fraud (at least in one instance).
Claims Famiglia Cristian, “Sicilian, 53, a former businesswoman, the ‘seer’ of Trevignano who says she saw blood weeping from the face of the statue brought back from Medjugorje and received messages from the Madonna for the faithful was sentenced to two years in prison, with suspended sentence, for fraudulent bankruptcy,”
“The trial, which ended in the first instance, concerns a story from 2013. When Gisella Cardia was still called Maria Giuseppa Scarpulla, according to what was reconstructed by the judges, she had entered into a rental contract with her Italian company Majolica with the sole director and liquidator of the company Ceramiche del Tirreno for an annual fee of 108,000 euros per year, a fee, the judges established, that was ‘incongruous’ and would have led to the bankruptcy of the company” [note that these are translations].
We have no clue what to think of that.
Stigmata? We received one e-mail from a viewer who says he smelled the odor of sanctity in oil exuding from Gisella’s body.
It has hardly been simple tabloid fare; it has made major international news such as the London, Times, the London Telegraph, and the London Guardian [see headlines below]. “Scarpulla was reportedly seen packing up her car and leaving Trevignano Romano on Thursday,” claimed the latter. “Some say she has gone abroad, or to her native Sicily, or that perhaps she has sought refuge in a monastery.”
One man who met Scarpulla for the first time in 2016 told La Repubblica that he and his wife had donated €123,000 to her foundation. “We were both ill, we trusted her, it was a clamorous error,” he said. Another told the newspaper: “At the beginning, I believed her, but then she made me feel scared.”
The Guardian was equally harsh. “Scarpulla, who in the past had been convicted of bankruptcy fraud, created a foundation through which she collected donations, which she reportedly said would go towards setting up a centre for sick children,” said the London paper.
Gisella herself has responded via Italy 24 News in an article that (translated) begins, “The visionary Gisella Cardia announces that she will return to Trevignano Romano on 3 May. That day a gathering of the faithful is scheduled with the recitation of the rosary for the Madonna. You let it be known that you have not left Lazio and you expect to be defended by the Vatican. In the interview with Franca Giansoldati published by The Messenger Cardia says she feels under attack from dark forces. “It’s not pleasant to be portrayed as a crook, especially when you have a clear conscience. I feel under attack from dark forces, unidentified powers. My soul is broken, my heart is broken, and if I didn’t have the strength to pray I wouldn’t be able to go on.”
Gisella Cardia’s association in Trevignano Romano, Italy, recently put out the following press statement on April 11, 2023:
“The Association ‘Madonna of Trevignano ETS’ categorically denies certain reports that are circulating in the press saying that Gisella secretly fled abroad and allegedly misappropriated sums of money from the association’s bank account. These are false claims put into circulation during the Easter holidays. A further dimension of hate can be seen in claims that the analyzed blood allegedly coming from the statue of Our Lady can be traced back to an animal; all of this of course being claimed without giving an account of the place, mode of collection of the storage of the sample, and the analytical method practiced. The result obtained on social media is that a climate of suspicion, distrust, and hatred has arisen, not only toward Gisella but also toward this association, because it is abundantly clear that any of us could become the passive object of attacks and/or aggression, both physical and verbal. With our protection by competent legal jurisdiction remaining intact, we signify as of now that the whole association stands at the complete disposal of the judicial authorities if necessary for any clarifications that may be necessary. In conclusion, we remind you that any defamatory and slanderous actions towards us via the mass media will be followed up by legal action with the competent judicial authorities.”
Italy 24 also has reported: “The seer of the Madonna of Trevignano, according to several faithful, would also have become pregnant with the Holy Spirit. ‘She told us that she was pregnant,’ said a former follower of hers. ‘But the strange thing is that during Lent she didn’t have sexual relations with her husband. She was pregnant because wanted by heaven. The baby should have been born on December 8, 2017, the day of the Immaculate Conception, would have been a boy named Emanuele and would have been a son of the Holy Spirit». And again: «Gisella had told us that she had done some ultrasounds, from where it was possible to see that the uterus was growing, but that nothing was visible inside and that the doctors could not explain it because inside there was a matter of spirit and not earthly.'”
[ From Cardia’s association: * It was alleged by “private investigator” Andrea Cacciotti, on the basis of unspecified “analyses” that the blood on the statue of Our Lady in Trevignano bore a resemblance to pig’s blood in terms of color and density. It has however been confirmed by the RACIS group of police scientific investigations that no new samples have been taken from the statue since the initial examinations in 2016 (during which Gisella Cardia and her husband Gianni offered their DNA to be sampled). Andrea Cacciotti is a controversial figure in Italian political life: an advocate of private security forces calling himself ‘il comandante,’ he first came to public attention in 2009 when he tried to obtain a million euros from then Prime Minister.”]
[resources: Spirit Daily pilgrimage to Italy]
- Madonna di Trevignano, interrogations begin: investigations are underway for “abuse of popular credulity”
- In Trevignano nothing supernatural. The anticipation of the verdict of the church
- The business of the Madonna di Trevignano: the 3 thousand euro statuettes and funds for children
- Madonna di Trevignano, the husband of Gisella Cardia: «An attack of the devil against us. We were attacked”
- Gisella Cardia reappears on Rai1, her Vespa version on the tears of the Madonna of Trevignano: “Analysed by the carabinieri: but we don’t have the results”
- Here is the seer of Trevignano during the apparitions. Since 2022 the non-profit organization has been transformed, money raised for the Movement for Life – The video
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