Yesterday was supposed to be a chance for as many as 10,000 people, including visitors from Britain, to meet Brother Elia, 45, at the headquarters of the Jesuit movement in Naples. Now that Lent has begun, time is running out to see him before he takes to his bed over April to undergo his annual torment.
Instead, his appearance was cancelled at the last minute by the Catholic Church, which is growing increasingly fearful about the rapid spread of Brother Elia's fame.
"We had to turn away 33 coaches of people," said a spokesman for the Apostles of God, the religious movement established by Brother Elia in 2003. "The whole of the south of Italy wanted to see him, but an order came down from the regional church that the permission for the meeting had been withdrawn."
The Vatican is reported to have asked Brother Elia not to give interviews or to hold any public religious services until it has made up its mind on the veracity of his stigmata.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Stigmatic in Italy
An interesting article in the Telegraph about an alleged Italian stigmatic: