Our Lady of Cernusco
Apparition of the Virgin Mary to Sister Elisabeth Redaelli
Cernusco sul Naviglio - 23 february 1924
In 1924 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Elisabetta Radaelli. Our Lady held in her arms a weeping Infant Jesus, and left a remarkably brief message.
Sr. Elisabetta was a member of the "Sisters of Saint Marcellina", a teaching institute now in existence for 150 years. She lived in their convent at Cernusco sul Naviglio, a small town about ten miles from Milan, Italy.
Until 1922 she had always been in good health. That year, however, at 25 years of age, she started suffering from meningitis. This was followed by pulmonary turberculosis, progressive muscular paralysis and, within a year, total blindness.
6th January, 1924
At 10.30 that night, Sr. Elisabetta's room-mates heard her speaking aloud. They thought she was talking in her sleep and did not disturb her. But she was not sleeping at all. She was conversing with a "beautiful lady" who had come to visit her, she said later. The lady comforted her, and encouraged her to bear all her suffering for the love of God. Sr. Elisabetta said to her:
"Oh dear lady, you are so good; please pray for
"Pray, trust and hope. I will return on the night
"My dear lady, please go and comfort also the other sick sisters as you have comforted me."
The lady smiled gently and disappeared...
The next day Sr. Elisabetta's room-mates, reporting the night's events said:
"Last night Sr. Elisabetta talked in her sleep at the top of her voice."
Sr. Elisabetta intervened:
"I wasn't dreaming. I was speaking with a lady who had come to visit us, the sick sisters. Ask the others ..."
A vigorous disapproval came from the sister in charge,
The morning of February 3rd arrived. Sr. Elisabetta was weeping miserably, as the lady had not come. The Superior tried to take advantage of the disappointment in order to bring Sr. Elisabetta to her senses: "Don't you see that we were right? Come on, Sr. Elisabetta, be convinced of your mistake. It's your disease that caused those hallucinations." To this Sr. Elisabetta answered: "She didn't come because I haven't been good enough."
The disease progressed rapidly. After 15 days that her progressive paralysis had deprived her of the use of her members, the power of speech, even the ability to swallow, on the morning of 22nd February Dr. Del Bino announced: "There is absolutely nothing more that can be done. It's a matter of hours ..."
February 22nd, immediately after 11.45 p.m.: Sr. Elisabetta had a sudden start. The two sisters who were watching her leaped to their feet, thinking that the end had come. Sr. Elisabetta cried out:
"The lady, the lady!"
And the following conversation took place:
"I told you that l would return on the night between the 22nd and the 23rd."
"Oh... 'between the 22nd and the 23rd'.... I had understood 'between the 2nd and the 3rd' ..."
A brief silence followed.
After a time Sr. Elisabetta said:
"But..., you are Our Lady; you are the Blessed Virgin Mary..."
The Holy Virgin smiled sadly, and another silence followed ...
"Oh yes, you are Our Lady, Our Lady with the Baby Jesus... But..., the Baby Jesus... (Sr. Elisabetta became sad, almost to the point of tears), the Baby Jesus is weeping... Is he weeping because of me? Is he weeping on account of my sins? ..."
The Divine Infant was supported in the arms of Mary and his little face, slightly uplifted, looked upon his mother. One little hand was placed in that of Mary. His long white garment blended with the mantle of the Virgin; from, his eyes fell two big tears that traced glistening lines on his cheeks; his little lips, closed, trembled in grief-stricken, silent weeping.
To, the halting words of Sr. Elisabetta, Our Lady replied:
"No. The infant Jesus is
weeping because he is not
sufficiently loved, sought out
and desired, even by people
who are consecrated to him ...
You must announce this!"
Sr. Elisabetta did not understand the mission that the Virgin Mary wished to entrust to her and said:
"Please, Our Lady, take me to Paradise"
"You must remain to announce what I told you".
Sister finally understood. She thought of her miserable
"Oh Our Lady, I am the most useless of all here;
"You must remain to tell my message."
"But, Our Lady, who will believe me? I am a dumb-bell; I don't know anything; I am not even able to speak anymore. Who will believe me?”
There was silence on the part of the Virgin Mary who continued to look at her tenderly and sadly.
At this point Sr. Elisabetta confessed that, desperate to the depths of her soul at not knowing how to reconcile the desire of Our Lady with her own physical and intellectual feebleness (throughout the conversation she continued to consider herself still mute and dying), she had a sudden light and felt inspired to say:
"Please, Our Lady, give me a sign..."
"I restore you to health," Our Lady said, and then disappeared with her Divine Son.
At this moment, Sr. Elisabetta felt a terrible pain through her whole body, from the tip of her toes to her hands and up to the very top of her head. This was followed by a general feeling of well-being and life. She leaped from her bed and to the fearful, deeply moved sisters who had been watching and listening throughout, she shouted:
"I am cured! I am cured! Our Lady has cured me!"
It was about 12.15 a.m.
Mother Erminia was summoned, and she came, still half asleep, expecting to witness Sr. Elisabetta's last breath... On the contrary, she found a cured Sr. Elisabetta who, full of excitement, hugged her and said in one breath:
"Mother Superior, Mother Superior, Our Lady has cured me and told me to say that Jesus weeps because he is not sufficiently loved, sought out and desired, even by people who are consecrated to him..."
The usual profound silence settled upon the community by about 1.30 a.m. Sr. Elisabetta, however, did not go to sleep. She immersed herself in prayer and prayed uninterruptedly until about 6 a.m.
Sisters of Saint Marcellina's first school (Milan - Cernusco)
Cernusco. The bedroom, where the blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sr. Elisabetta Redaelli, is at present converted in a chapel.
Detail of the statue of the blessed Virgin Mary. You can see the big tears on the cheeks of Baby Jesus.
your spirit greatly rejoiced when your Divine Son performed miracles.
Please, look with kindness upon this person about whom I am so concerned, and obtain for her/him the favour desired…, so as to bring about new delight for yourself and new glory for Jesus. Amen. (Hail, Mary...)
Dear Infant Jesus,
I want to love you very much so as to wipe away the tears you shed for our ingratitude and for the ingratitude of all people.
Sister Elisabetta Redaelli (1980)
Cernusco sul Naviglio: the Blessed Mary with the Weeping Infant Jesus.
Some sisters of Saint Marcellina praying the Blessed Virgin Mary.