The Graces of Emma de Guzman
August 2nd 2012 · 1 Comment
The Rosary was being recited as more and more people entered the compound. Plastic chairs in neat rows, some reserved for the more seriously ill, spilled out from under the sheet metal roof of the large pavilion. A stockade fence bordered the street side and a water lily scene that Monet could have chosen to paint, was there for a backdrop.
The beautifully landscaped haven of spirituality in Constantia, on the North side of Oneida Lake, is called the Mother of Joy House of Prayer.
There are many others worldwide. These spiritual enclaves, called La Pieta Prayer Groups, have sprung up as a result of the work of the Filipina visionary mystic Emma de Guzman and the famous statue, La Pieta, carved by Michelangelo. It depicts Mother Mary holding her dead son Jesus.
The first of these Prayer Groups were established in Kingston, Ontario, and Toronto, Canada, followed by ones in Washington, D.C., the one in Constantia, Connellesville, PA, Montebello, CA, Pomona, CA, Bloomsbury, NJ, Las Vegas, Nevada, Halifax, Nova Scotia, N. Fairview, Q.C. and Cabanatuan City in the Philippines. Recently, new prayer groups have formed in Poland, France and Italy.
A mystic is a person who has the unique ability to attain insight into divine mysteries beyond the power of common human knowledge or consciousness either through immediate intuition or a state of spiritual ecstasy. Emma de Guzman qualifies in every sense of the word.
This sylvan enclave is where the Mass and healing service was held this past Sunday afternoon. Many of those present had traveled from La Pieta prayer groups from as far away as Texas.
Emma de Guzman
Born to a very poor family in the Filippines Emma is a humble and simple woman, widowed now for many years. Emma suffered the death of a son and moved to Canada in 1986 to work as a domestic in order to raise her children.
Over the years Sr. Emma has repeatedly been a witness to mystical apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and a number of Saints and Angels. She also has received messages in different languages, some of these ancient languages and no longer spoken. even though she only understands English and her native Tagalog.
Beverly Galtieri, Syracuse La Pieta coordinator and USA contact person for Sr. Emma, accounts for a time when Emma had asked the Holy Mother to speak with St. John the Beloved.
It happened that with pen in hand and with her eyes closed, Emma began to write in ancient classical Greek. This written language was authenticated by a priest who was present. “It was St. John moving her hand,” said Galtieri.
“It happened right here in this Prayer House.”
Mrs. Galtieri added that from 1991 -1999 Sr. Emma bore the wounds of Christ, known as the stigmata during the Holy Week of Lenten Season.
Words taken from the Mother of Joy House website read: “Emma’s multiple supernatural gifts, which have been manifested to thousands of people, include healing, bilocation, levitation, reading of hearts and souls, communion without deglutition (which is the process of using the throat muscles to swallow); and the appearance of bleeding hosts on her tongue–one after another.
She also receives pure white hosts miraculously. Emma has also been given the gift of prophecy and the odor of sanctity. People have witnessed roses emerge from the center of her chest and rose petals and roses fall around her…
All of the above happenings (and more) have been witnessed by many, many people, including priests, nuns and lay people from various walks of life.”
In the back of the pavilion is a soft sculpture of Emma kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Mother. On the wall of the House of Prayer are clippings and photos of Emma some depicting her forehead bleeding as from the wounds of Christ’s Crown of Thorns.
There is also a photograph of Emma and others kneeling in prayer around a huge blaze of light in the center. It was explained by Galtieri that this was a photo of the Blessed Mother appearing to Emma and that the great white light seen in the photo was not evident at the scene.
It is reported that Emma has been in the presence and communicated with the Blessed Mother more times than can be counted. Some of these events have been private messages not to be revealed.
Blessed by Bishop Moynihan in 1997, the home of the Syracuse La Pieta Prayer Group, was this day visited by its founder, the beloved Sr. Emma de Guzman.
The Healing Mass
The petite, beautiful and unassuming Emma was seated next to Fr. Anthony LaFache of St. Anthony St. Agnes Church here in Utica. Fr. LaFache hosted Emma for a Mass and healing service in his own parish to a crowd of over 650 that spilled out into the street in early May of this year. This day they both sat with other clergy and ministers on an upper deck reciting the Rosary with the congregation.
Fr. LaFache recounts of one healing service that Emma participated in where his secretary had a painful bone spur in her heal that vanished after Emma’s prayer. Another healing account he gave was of a woman whose husband had a brain tumor that disappeared after being prayed over by Emma.
Flowers and butterflies sparkled in the sunshine that glimmered on the pond and cast grateful shadows under the eaves for those fingering beads, out of the blazing sun. Veiled ladies, groups of friends, clusters of families with wiggling children, the sick and injured with family hovering close by, chanted the ancient ritual as the hot afternoon sun progressed across the sky.
Finally the Mass began. It was concelebrated by 5 priests, a Deacon and 3 altar servers, was unusual in nature. At the opening a commissioned painting of the Blessed Mother Mary was unveiled and presented to Emma. It was explained that Emma had never been satisfied with images of Mother Mary and had described Her to the artist Richard Williams who created this particular version.
A string of fireworks exploded in succession at the lifting of the drape over the painting! Not your average Mass.
Fr. LaFache read a letter from Arch Bishop Arguelles from the Manilla, Fillipines attesting to the authenticity of Emma’s holiness and her devotion for the benefit of those who may have been in doubt.
When asked by LaFache to describe the Blessed Mother, Emma indicated that Mary is, “petite, only 4’11” and is very beautiful.” Other than that she said that, “Once you are in her presence, it is so beautiful you don’t want to come back.” She said this more than once.
It appears that Emma, in the presence of the Blessed Mother, is in a state of spiritual ecstasy, when her human consciousness is sufficiently altered as to put her in another place.
Galtieri says, “When it happens she looks like an angel. Her face is covered in gold. She is absolutely beautiful. In 2004 and 2008 when we accompanied her to Batangas, Batulao in the Filipines, when the Blessed Mother appeared to her Emma glided over the rocks on her knees. It was like she was floating, light as a feather.”
Pasquale (Pat) Galtieri, Beverly’s husband, said that Emma had once told him that she bathes in ‘Heavenly waters’ before she ‘comes back to Earth.’ He asked her to bring him some of the water. Emma agreed. When she returned, the bottle that had been empty did in fact have water in it.
Two guitarists lead the congregation in song one of them in Emma’s native Tagalog. Several songs were original tunes which are central to the prayer groups. Individual pads were provided for congregants to kneel at appropriate times.
The Gospel of the day was of the Loaves and the Fishes but Fr. LaFache’s homily was on the Blessed Mother and St. Bernadette. LaFache, at one time, a history major from Syracuse University, recounted the story of Our Lady of Lourdes and the humble role of St. Bernadette in her witness.
Called a ‘stupid’ girl, and not allowed to receive her First Communion, because she ‘did not know her religion,’ Bernadette became the focal point of worldwide attention in the year 1858 as having seen and recounted the words of the Holy Mother in the grotto in the woods near Lourdes.
Eighteen times the apparition appeared to the humble girl with crowds of 20,000 and more, joining to witness her spiritual ecstasies while in the presence of, whom Bernadette said identified herself as The Immaculate Conception.
Fr. LaFache noted that at one of these huge gatherings a Jewish journalist had come to debunk the story and spread his findings worldwide. In the end, after witnessing the miracle, the writer renounced Judaism and converted to Catholicism.
“Signs and wonders,” said LaFache, “are here to remind us of the power of God. The Blessed Mother is here to lead us back to the Lord. These La Pieta Prayer Groups are a sign to the world.
As the priest in St. Bernadette’s parish said, ‘I too am wondering.’ But I do know that any favor or prayer or request anyone who seeks help should pray to Mary who speaks to Jesus. She will take you by the hand and take you to Jesus.”
After the Mass was the healing service, where all of the priests joined in prayers for those who came forward. Emma began by assisting the priests in praying over individuals, but it was clear that the masses were there for Emma’s special gifts.
A great line formed and the elegant woman stood patiently, listened fervently to each request and prayed and stroked and comforted all those who came to her. It was estimated that there were at least 250 people present.
The sun was hot. Emma complained not. She stopped only once for a drink of water and the line continued for more than an hour and a half. At one point her guardian wiped the sweat from Emma’s brow. The priests had all retired into the House of Prayer for dinner.
Emma continued, seemingly unaffected by the heat and the demands of the many seekers who came to her for healing and prayer. Emma prayed over religious articles that were handed out to the faithful and also objects brought forth for absent healing for those too ill to attend. Emma said a particularly moving audible prayer over bottles of water brought forth for prayer holding the bottles up before the altar.
Eventually her guardian host and constant companion, Beverly Galtieri took her into the house for her evening meal, but not until Emma had blessed the last of those awaiting her special gifts; this reporter among them.
For further information on Emma de Guzman go to www.motherofjoy.com or www.lapietainternational.com or contact Beverly Galtieri, Syracuse La Pieta coordinator and USA contact person for Sr. Emma de Guzman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mark Ziobro