By Christina Hermoso
Marian devotees in many parts of the world, including the Philippines, will celebrate on Saturday, July 13, the Feast of Our Lady Rosa Mystica (Mystical Rose) in reference to a series of apparitions by the Blessed Virgin Mary to a pious Italian woman in the town of Montichiari in Northern Italy in the year 1947.
Believed by many as a continuation of the message of Fatima, the Virgin Mary appeared with the two children of Fatima – Francisco and Jacinta – to Pierina Gilli.
She requested her to ask the faithful to pray the holy rosary, to repent for sins against the faith and morals, and to do penance.
Our Lady requested that the 13th of every month be celebrated as a Marian day and that the 13th of July be observed in her honor, the Rosa Mystica.
The series of apparitions that began on a spring day in 1947 with the seventh and last one taking place on Dec. 8, 1947, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, was approved by the Vatican in 1966.
To this day, pilgrims fill containers with miraculous water from a spring at the apparition site.
Devotional medals of Our Lady Rosa Mystica are also widely distributed and worn by devotees around the world.