Controversy: European Media Assails Gisella Cardia

We have updated the ‘Why Gisella Cardia?’ file with recent controversies in the European media surrounding the alleged seer. Countdown to the Kingdom has been following recent events there very carefully while our translator, Peter Bannister, paid a visit to Ms. Cardia before Easter. We have published new links below to videos of the alleged phenomena of the “stigmata.” As always, Countdown strives to remain as a neutral source to help the Body of Christ discern credible claims to prophetic revelation as per the command of St. Paul to “not despise the words of prophets, but test everything…” (1 Thess 5:20-21). However, the final authority on the authenticity of seers belongs to the ecclesial authorities, whom the faithful must adhere to in matters pertaining to any official judgment on private revelation. 

The alleged Marian apparitions in Trevignano Romano in Italy to Gisella Cardia are relatively new. They began in 2016 following her visit to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and purchase of a statuette of Our Lady, which subsequently began to weep blood. The apparitions have already been the subject of an Italian national TV broadcast during which the seer behaved with remarkable calm in the face of some heated criticism from panelists in the studio toward her and two books. A Nihil obstat was recently granted by an Archbishop for the Polish translation of the second of these, In Cammino con Maria (“On the way with Mary”) published by Edizioni Segno, containing the story of the apparitions and the associated messages up until 2018. While such a foreign Nihil obstat does not, on its own, constitute in situ diocesan approval of the apparitions, it is certainly not insignificant. And the local Bishop of Civita Castellana appears to have been quietly supportive of Gisella Cardia, having given access early on to a chapel for the overwhelming influx visitors who began to gather in the Cardia’s house to pray, once news of the apparitions began to spread.

On March 7, 2023, a commission was established to investigate the phenomenology of the events occurring in Trevignano Romano, such as lacrimations of the images of Jesus and Mary, the miracle of the sun on several occasions witnessed by priests and laity, Gisella’s experience of the Passion with visible stigmata on Good Friday, and her purported messages from heaven.

In March 2023, Italian national TV channels RAI and Mediaset Canale 5 have devoted more than 50 hours of programming over two weeks to a highly negative and arguably imbalanced presentation of Gisella Cardia and the events in Trevignano Romano. Studio debates have given prominent space to media personalities such as Alessandro Cecchi Paone (a self-declared member of the Italian Grand Orient Masonic Lodge before his recent expulsion from the organization), but very little to those who take a more favorable view of Gisella Cardia.

The campaign against the alleged visionary began when it was reported that, under her maiden name Maria Giuseppa Scarpulla, Gisella had received a conviction (preliminary and open to appeal) from a Sicilian court along with three other individuals for the “fraudulent bankruptcy” of a firm of which she was the administrator in 2013, three years before the apparitions began. During the two weeks of daily broadcasts by the RAI and Canale 5, many inaccurate and unsubstantiated statements were given by interviewees concerning Gisella and her husband Gianni, as well as the Polish priest Fr. Grzegorz Blizniak who has accompanied her for several years. Many of the accusations in question were allowed to go unchallenged by the broadcasters, provoking a strong reaction on the part of those personally acquainted with Gisella and many individuals who claim to have received graces directly related to Trevignano Romano.

The truth of the matter was subsequently publicized on Italian television and in written publications supportive of her. In essence, RAI television station wanted to focus on an episode dating back 10 years ago, in which, as written the article in the Italian journal Tre Periodico on March 17, 2023:

A friend of Gisella’s in Rome — a financial adviser by profession — proposed that she assume the role of the administrator of a small company producing artistic ceramics on behalf of another company by ceding the aforementioned branch of the business regarding small local objects (Gisella is originally from the area). Later, the licensor company went bankrupt, dragging down with it the small gifts company that was in the black [in attivo]. Gisella relied on delegating the liquidation of the company to third-party proponents, trusting them. This naiveté resulted in Gisella receiving the lightest of the sentences imposed in the first instance and which will be appealed against. Gisella did not derive the slightest financial gain from this affair — of which she was accused, quite the contrary.

A Press Statement released during the Easter Octave by the association related to the apparitions states:
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 2023 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; [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 colour 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 Berlusconi in return for a videotape allegedly showing sexual acts between two politicians. Cacciotti was subsequently investigated for attempted extortion. Translator’s note.] 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 that any defamatory and slanderous actions towards us via the mass media will be followed up by legal action with the competent judicial authorities.

In defense of the apparitions, many testimonies have appeared supporting Gisella Cardia’s authenticity, either on the official website or elsewhere on the internet. These testimonies have notably been given by individuals who:

  • have witnessed the lacrimations of tears and blood on the images of Jesus and Our Lady in Gisella’s home. (It has been confirmed both by the press and by a reporter from RAI TV that the red liquid found on the statue was indeed human blood, and that it had been subject to DNA testing and comparison with the DNA of the seer. Gisella Cardia’s (or her husband Gianni’s) own blood was not noted.)
  • have received healings in connection with Trevignano Romano
  • who have attested to Gisella’s intuitive knowledge of the spiritual life of persons otherwise unknown to her.
  • have been present at Gisella’s Good Friday ecstasies, in which it is claimed that she experiences the Passion of Our Lord, and seen the wounds of her stigmata and the beautiful fragrance that exudes from them.
"Stigmata" on Gisella's hands

“Stigmata” appeared on Gisella’s hands before Easter

Regarding the above, a video of Gisella Cardia’s stigmata was filmed at her home in Trevignano Romano, Italy, on March 24, 2023. The event was observed by Peter Bannister and Dr. Rosanna Chifari, internationally-known neurologist from Milan who has examined Gisella Cardia previously and monitored her over a period of 18 months. They witnessed the apparent exudation of viscous, fragrant oil from both of Gisella’s hands. Dr. Chifari also makes a statement of her observations in the video, which has subtitles in English, when the subtitle caption is turned on. Click here to see the video. Click here to see a video in English of Dr. Chifari and Peter Bannister sharing their observations after having appeared on Canal 5, on Italian Television the day before.

Peter Bannister (left) with Gisella and husband Gianna.

All these alleged phenomena have ample precedent within Catholic mystical tradition and would seem to conform to its “grammar.” In addition to written testimony, we also have video and photographic evidence both regarding the religious images and solar phenomena (similar to those observed at many other such locations around the world, most famously in Fatima on October 13, 1917). There is additional video evidence of solar phenomena in the presence of multiple witnesses during prayer at the apparition site, similar to the phenomena of the “Dancing Sun” in Fatima in 1917 or attested by Pope Pius XII in the Vatican Gardens immediately preceding the proclamation of the Dogma of the Assumption in 1950. These phenomena, when the sun appears to rotate, flash or be transformed into a Eucharistic Host, clearly cannot be faked by human means, and being recorded (albeit imperfectly) on camera, are also evidently not merely the fruit of collective hallucination. Click here to see a video of the miracle of the sun (Trevignano Romano – 17 Settembre 2019 – Miracolo del sole/“Trevignano Romano – September 17, 2019 – Miracle of the sun.”) Click here to see Gisella, her husband, Gianni, and a priest, witnessing the miracle of the sun in a public gathering of one of Gisella’s apparitions of the Virgin Mary. (Trevignano Romano miracolo del sole 3 gennaio 2020/“Trevignano Romano’s miracle of the sun, January 3, 2020”) Familiarity with the history of Marian apparitions suggests that these miracles point to confirmations of the authenticity of heavenly communications. (17 Sept 2019) (3 June 2020) (3 August 2020) (3 October 2020) (3 November 2020) (10 July 2021)

Also to be considered are Gisella’s well-known prediction in August 2019: a request to pray for China as the source of new airborne diseases. . . This was seen by many as anticipating the coronavirus pandemic. The content of Gisella’s messages also converges very closely with the “prophetic consensus” represented by other contemporary sources, without any indication of her awareness of their existence (Luz de Maria de Bonilla, Pedro Regis, Fr. Adam Skwarczynski, the diaries of Bruno Cornacchiola, and Eduardo Ferreira in Brazil, for whom we also have evidence of stigmatization.

Photographic evidence of some of the visible phenomena associated with Gisella’s messages can be found in In Cammino con Maria, which cannot be the fruit of subjective imagination, notably the presence of the stigmata on Giselle’s body and the appearance of crosses or religious texts in blood on Gisella’s arms. See the pictures taken from her apparition website, which say Siate testimoni (“be witnesses”), Abbiate fede (“have faith”), Maria santissima (“Mary most holy”), Popolo mio (“My people), and Amore (“Love”). This phenomena is not new among mystics of the Church. Marie-Julie Jahenny, the great Breton mystic and stigmatist of France, was known for hemographic writing to appear on her body, as well.

Of course, these could conceivably be fraud or even demonic interference, as could the weeping of the statue of the Virgin and images of Jesus in Gisella’s and her husband, Gianni’s, home. The idea that fallen angels could be at the origin of the messages nonetheless seems extremely unlikely, given their theological content and exhortations to holiness. Give our knowledge through the testimony of exorcists as to how the fallen angels detest and fear Mary to the point of refusing to name her, the chances that one would spontaneously induce the production of the words “Mary most holy” (“Maria santissima”) in blood on the seer’s body would appear to be next to nil.

Even still, Gisella’s stigmata, her “hemographic” blood images, or bleeding statues should not, on their own, be taken as indicative of the visionary’s sanctity such as to give her carte blanche with regard to all future activity.

Countdown to the Kingdom will of course respect and obey the results of the ecclesiastical inquiry now underway.

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Posted in Gisella Cardia, Messages.