December 23

Requests and acknowledgements

I lift up my soul to my God. In you I trust; do not let me be disgraced …. Make known to me your ways, Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. For you I wait all the long day, because of your goodness, Lord. Remember your compassion and love, O Lord; for they are ages old. Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me only in light of your love ….Look upon me, have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart; bring me out of my distress. Put an end to my affliction and suffering; take away all my sins. …. O Lord. Redeem Israel, God, from all its distress! Psa 24

It was just a beautiful summer day, the one when I went for the first time, together with Pierluigi, to the sanctuary of the Lady of Montenero. We covered with our old Kadett all the winding road which climbs in the middle of the mediterranean wildernss, sunny and bushy, up to the top of the hill which seems to protect the port of Livorno, with its ships coming and going. So much beauty, however, managed only a little to dispel the sad thoughts which plagued me for my unfulfilled desire of motherhood. At that time two years of marriage alrady elapsed and I was also subjected to a demanding surgery to make possible that so much wanted pregnancy. I tried to resign myself, to envisage other ways to fill that void, but often I wept in secret, not to grieve Pierluigi. Kneeling in that sanctuary, I began to pray silently, led by the verses of the today psalm. “To you, Lord, I lift my soul, my God, I trust in you … Turn to me and have mercy … See my poverty and my trouble”. At one point I looked to the image of the Lady and I realized that she was surrounded by a ring of round-faced and smiling angels, like so many happy children. By impetus I addressed a prayer to the Lady: please, grant me so many children as your angels are! Then I counted them and saw that they were fifteen. Just before Christmas I noticed that the first baby was coming and with the rapid elapsing of the time, thirteen others came, or being born in a maternity ward or arriving by air coming from distant countries. Every summer I return to Montenero to thank the Lady with the heart full of gratitude and I wonder about who is that small angel who never arrived. I think that this place is reserved to the persons who, in turn, need to be accepted, like David, the boy we had in foster care. Thank you, Mary, you have presented my prayer to the Lord.

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