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The three Fountain Springs – little known history

The  Three Fountain (Three Springs) on Via Laurentina in Rome is a well-known place, because it is  the place where the martyrdom of St. Paul took place. Legend has it that when St. Paul was beheaded as a result of the persecution of Nero, his head bounced off the ground three times before stopping. Suddenly, three springs gushed out of the ground, that is why this place is called “Le Tre Fontane”, or “Three fountains”.

Near the place of the martyrdom of St. Paul, the Mother of God appeared, but let’s start at the beginning;

In 1913, in a stable on the outskirts of Rome, Bruno Cornacchiola was born. He was not baptized until his father returned from prison. He grew up and grew up in the godless environment of Roman slums, where almost all criminals and prostitutes lived. There were constant arguments, curses and beatings in Bruno’s house. The older ones ran away from home at night. One day, when Bruno was wandering around the building, a monk became interested in him and took him to a convent. He was fed and washed there. The sisters started teaching him the catechism. After 40 days of preparation, sixteen-year-old Bruno received his First Communion and the sacrament of confirmation. At the age of 20, he was drafted into the army. After leaving the military service, Bruno Cornacchiola married a girl he had known from childhood and only thanks to her insistence, he agreed to a church wedding. Then Bruno joined the Communist Party. He went with the Italian army to Spain for the civil war, where he began to spy for the communists. In Zaragoza he met a German soldier who had impressed him a lot, he belonged to a Protestant sect and breathed hatred towards the Pope and the Catholic Church. Since then, hatred of the Catholic Church in Bruno grew to such an extent that he bought himself a dagger and wrote “Death to the Pope” on it. After the end of the war, he returned to Rome and began to  work as a tram conductor. It was during this time that he made contact with Seventh-day Adventists. Bruno was very committed and zealous in fighting the Catholic Church, the cult of the Mother of God and the Pope, and did his best to convince as many people as possible and make them adhere to the Adventist sect. This prompted him to deliver a speech in Piazza della Croce Rossa, in which he was supposed to ridicule the worship of the Eucharist, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a great honor and an opportunity for him to become a pastor.

For this reason, on Saturday, April 12, 1947, were going to Ostia with his children;  10-year-old Isola, 7-year-old Carlo and 4-year-old Gianfranco. They missed the train, so he decided to go to ‘’Via Laurentina alle Tre Fontane’’ the three fountains’’ to prepare his speech in peace.

It was  a beautiful sunny day, the children started to play in the eucalyptus forest and Bruno was preparing his speech. There was a grotto near where they were. Bruno checked from time to time where the children are and what they are doing. One moment he did not hear the answer of the youngest son, he started looking for him very concerned. He reached a nearby grotto and found a child kneeling with his hands folded in prayer. Bruno called the other children. Upon arriving, they also kneeled in front of the “beautiful lady” who was in the grotto and whom only Bruno could not see. Bruno was terrified, his children were pale and motionless, he did not know what to do, he worried about his children, in his helplessness for the first time in a long time he asked for the Lord’s help with all his heart. At this point, the darkness of the grotto brightened and he also saw a “beautiful lady”.

She was about five to seven feet, had a white dress with a pink band around her hips, dark brown hair and a green cloak around her head and hips, and hold a Bible in her hands. The Lady introduced herself as the “Virgin of Revelation.” She said: “I am the Virgin of Revelation, and Revelation is the words of God that speak of Me as well. You are persecuting me, but it is high time you stop this. Come back to the holy communion of the Catholic Church. ”The first Fridays of the Month offered to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which you celebrated, encouraged by your concerned, faithful spouse, before you finally embarked on the path of error, saved you. She talked to Bruno for an hour and a quarter: she explained to him the meaning of prayer, invited him to confession and delivered a message to the Pope.

Finally, she smiled, bowed and gradually disappeared, leaving only a beautiful scent in the grotto. Before she left, the Virgin of Revelation left him a sign, dispelling his doubts, confirming the credibility of God’s message, and rejecting Satan’s actions. The sign was about the announcement of Bruno Cornacchiola’s future meeting with the priest, who would verify the truth of the apparition. After returning home, Bruno told his wife what happened and asked her forgiveness for his earlier behavior. Bruno Cornacchiola had subsequent apparitions on May 6, 23, and 30.

On October 5, 1947, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the largest rosary procession in the history of Rome took place. It began in St. Peter and walked through the streets of the city to the grotto of Tre Fontane. Three pairs of white horses pulled a cart with a large statue of the Virgin of the Revelation blessed by Pope Pius XII. At that time, the Holy Father consented to the public worship in Tre Fontane and entrusted the Conventual Franciscans with pastoral care over pilgrims coming to the place of the apparitions. This place became a destination for pilgrimages, where many healings and conversions took place.

On April 12, 1980, the 33rd anniversary of the apparitions, 3,000 people witnessed the solar miracle. This phenomenon repeated itself two years later ..

Bruno Cornacchiola also met with successive popes: on July 8, 1959, he was received in private audience by Pope John XXIII, and on October 17, 1973, he met with Paul VI. He was also at a private audience with John Paul II.

Thanks to the decision of Pope John Paul II, on March 17, 1994, Cardinal Camillo Ruini issued a decree ordering the construction of a church on the site of the apparitions, and on April 2, 1997, St. John Paul II gave this church the title “Holy Mary of the Third Millennium in Tre Fontane”.

Sr. Weronika Wojciechowska

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