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Somehow, things get by you. We've had reports on a mystic named Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio before, but we never noticed the depth of an inquiring bishop's approving testimony, nor the insistence, in the messages, of a new devotion.

We'll get to that devotion -- a private revelation -- in a bit.

But first that "approval" -- for the bishop, Reverend Alexandre Caillot, of Grenoble, France, in a report prepared during a canonical enquiry into her case, could not have been stronger.

"Following the dictates of my soul and my conscience, and with the keenest sense of my responsibility to the Church, I declare that supernatural and Divine intervention seems to me the only logical and satisfactory explanation of the facts," he stated, as regarded Mother Eugenia's apparitions and other experiences. "I deem it proper to let her continue her work. I believe that the Hand of God is in all this. After ten years of research, reflection, and prayer, I bless the Father for having deigned to choose my diocese as the place for such manifestations of His Love."

This was all said about a devotion whose time, in our view, has come: a devotion that if approved by the Church, and if integrated into Catholic life, may be the most important of all, a devotion said to have been dictated by the Lord Himself:

God the Father.

"Her most important legacy to us is the Message of the Father, the only private revelation made personally by God the Father and recognized as authentic by the Church after ten years of the most rigorous examination," said the bishop [our italics]. "It is noteworthy that the Father (in 1932) dictated the Message to Mother Eugenia in Latin, a language totally unknown to her."

Still, we discern. Still, we offer it for consideration. Still we take what settles comfortably in the spirit and as Scripture advises, leave the rest. (see 1 Thessalonians 5.) One must carefully examine.

But one can also see why Bishop Caillot felt as he did. There were the fruits: Despite a spare education, Mother Eugenia became Mother General of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Apostles at the age of twenty-five! And in a period of just two years (1939 to 1941), she conceived, planned, and brought to completion a  project called "Lepers' City" at Azopte (Ivory Coast) in Africa, a project that covered an area of two hundred thousand square miles and became one of the world's leading charity centers of its kind.

In six years this nun who originally hailed from Bergamo, Italy, founded sixty-seven institutes and was said to know "each of her 1,400 daughters personally, and also their attitudes and virtues."

It certainly seemed like a supernatural hand was in it. Was there opposition? One day, says the diary, "the devil took [the messages] and slashed its cover with a pair of scissors."

As the bishop pointed out, her superiors, perplexed by the extraordinary nature of events that occurred during her novitiate, had not wanted her to remain in the convent. But her simplicity, obedience, and humility won them over in short order. Those who sought to reject her and her revelations found her conduct too exemplary to dismiss. She seemed imbued with supernatural wisdom and knowledge.

"Another fact seems to me equally significant," said the bishop. "When Sister Eugenia made it known that she had been receiving apparitions of the Father, the investigating theologians replied that apparitions of the Father were in themselves impossible and that they had never occurred before in history. The sister held out against these objections, declaring simply: 'The Father told me to describe what I saw. He asks His sons, the theologians, to search.' The nun never changed her testimony in any ways. She maintained her statements over many months. It was not until January 1934 that the theologians discovered in Saint Thomas Aquinas himself the answer to their objection. Little by little, they became convinced, after raising all kinds of objections and imposing hard tests on the nun."

Notes an encyclopedia: "Mother Eugenia Ravasio's messages were approved by Bishop Alexander Caillot of Grenoble, who was mentioned in the messages. Bishop Caillot ordered an investigation, and after ten years issued a letter stating that the messages had a Divine nature. In 1988 the messages received the imprimatur of Cardinal Petrus Canisius Van Lierde, Vicar General for the Vatican City State, whose general duties were the administration of daily functions of Vatican City. The imprimatur signified that in the Cardinal's opinion the messages contain nothing against faith and morals, but not certifying that the messages were received from God the Father. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See, which is the official authority for approving private revelations on behalf of the Catholic Church has not approved Mother Ravasio's messages as authentic, nor issued an opinion on them."

Controversies? Yes. Questions? A number. Even claims of heresy.

"As in all other private revelations," notes the reference, "Catholics in general are not required to believe the messages of Mother Eugenia Ravasio. The decision about the authenticity of private revelations is left to the conscience of each individual Catholic."

Her message relates to  something we keep hearing more pleas for it. We'll present them and let you discern them.

A set of devotions to GOD THE FATHER.

Perhaps the timing has arrived -- and is urgent.

[Next: Mother Eugenia's Church-approved message for a major new Catholic devotion and integration into the Liturgy]

[resources: a pamphlet of her messages can be obtained through the website, Mary's Call]

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