NATUZZA EVOLO - MOTHER OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE
Correspondence from Paravati in Calabria
Włodzimierz Rędzioch talks with dr. Francesco Nicolace - son of Natuzza Evolo
Today mothers have one, two or no more than a few children. But there are women whose motherhood has a spiritual character and they have a large number of children and daughters. Natuzza Evolo, a Calabrian mystic - died on 1 November 2009 - for millions of people she was and is still 'mamma Natuzza' - mother Natuzza. She was a mother for many people because she was a person with extraordinary gifts: at the time of Lent she had stigmas, especially clear and painful on Good Friday, when for two hours she was experiencing the Passion; she had supernatural visions, she talked with Jesus and Our Lady; she communicated with guardian Angels and souls of the dead, being either in the heaven or in the purgatory; she had a gift of bilocation; she had a gift of the so-called diagnostic enlightenment (that is, a precise prediction of a medical diagnosis, a result of a forthcoming operation or indication of a suitable medicine). During a few dozen years Natuzza hosted over a million people who used to come to her modest house, in order to ask the mystic for a prayer in their personal intentions and for advice, but, first of all, in order to find out about the fates of their dead relatives and families. Unlike the mystics from the past ages, Natuzza was not a nun, nor in a closed monastery- she was a wife (in 1944 she married Pasquale Nicolace) and she was a caring mother of five children.
WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH: - When did you realize the fact as a child, that Your mum is extraordinary, that she differed from others?
DR.FRANCESCO NICOLACE: - Truly speaking, as a child I did not realize at all, that my mum differed from other mothers and that she had special gifts. When I was a little boy, my mum never left me on my own - she did not leave me an inch, she sometimes held me in her arms, and when I was ill, I was lying in bed in the room where she hosted people. She was always smiling and friendly to everybody. Certainly, I heard her talks with her guests and was listening to what she was saying. People asked her various questions, and mum answered every time with the words: 'The Guardian Angel tells me that….', or 'Your dead father…., your dead mother…, your dead relatives…. advises you….., has something to tell you….'. Mum often repeated: 'Jesus and Mary want us to say the Rosary prayer' or similar sentences. I liked listening to the talks of mum with people, although, considering my age, I hardly understood what they were saying. As a child, I believed that all mums could see the Guardian Angel, Jesus, Mary and dead people and talk with them.
I realized the fact that my mum was extraordinary, when teachers and my school mates started asking me whether this all said about her was true; especially that I was an ordinary boy, like them.
- How did Natuzza manage to reconcile constant visits of people with housework?
- Despite the fact that the meetings with people (sometimes there were over a hundred daily), took her many hours, mum always found time for her family. And I can testify that she was an excellent mother and we never lacked anything. Certainly, it required her great refusals, but she never complained. She usually woke up at 4 a.m., did the ironing, cooking, and at 6.30 she woke us up, bringing coffee to our beds so that we would not be late for schools. At 8 o'clock she started to host people, who had been waiting for her since the early morning, and, sometimes, since the previous evening. Between one and another visits, mum usually ran to the kitchen to mix sauce or boil water for dumplings. Although each of us used to come back from school at different times, mum always waited for us with dinner on the table. In the evening, after supper, when we were asleep, mum was still moving around the house, sometimes knitted sweaters for us.
- How did your mum explain her mystical life to you, her talks with Jesus and Mary, with guardians Angels, with the souls of the dead, her stigmas?
- Mum never tried to explain us what was happening to her. She usually said that she had no idea, why Jesus had chosen her, still in her childhood, to fulfill this mission. She repeated that she loved Jesus and she always answered 'yes' to his requests. When curious people wanted to know something more about her, she answered: 'Maybe what is happening to me is a kind of illness….It may be a cross, which I must carry for the love to Jesus. But if he wants it, I accept it'. Mum was an unaware protagonist of miraculous events, which she could not explain, but she was experiencing with great simplicity and humility.
She was trying to hide some matters from us, her children. I mean her sufferings. In such moments she comforted us, saying that she had a stomachache, nerve colic, strong headache or something like that. She wore sweaters with long sleeves, in order to hide wounds on her wrists. When I was about 16 years old, her spiritual father explained me and my sister Angela the significance of her sufferings at the time of the Great Week. Since then we had always been with our mum, especially on Good Friday - although it was time of sufferings for her, we knew that mum would finally come out victorious of that big trial, together with Jesus and Mary. I was also suffering, especially that I could not help her, even as a doctor, but I accepted it as God's will - it was a very rich spiritual experience for me.
- Natuzza was your mother, but also many people considered her as their mum - 'Natuzza mum'…
- When we were little children, mum explained us that our family did not consist only of mum Natuzza, dad Pasquale and five children, but also many brothers and sisters spread all over the world, whom she had to look after, because she loved everybody. She made us understand that we could not have our mum only for ourselves and we had to share her love with others, without any jealousy or resentment.
- Did you mum tell you, children, to do a special task?
- Mum gave us good principles and many hints. And she did it not with words, but with an example of her life. First of all, she taught us that we should love people, forgive them and be humble and helpful. We should not devote ourselves to trivial things, to money or material things. We should take care of our body, but first of all, we should think about our souls. I am the last, fifth child of Natuzza, but mum repeated that she had the sixth child - the Association of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a Refuge of Souls, whose aim is to realize work announced by Our Lady.
- It should be reminded that Our Lady revealed herself to embarrassed Natuzza in her new, very humble house, when in 1944 she married Pasquale Nicolace. At that time she said to the mystic: 'Do not worry, there will be a new and beautiful house here, in order to fulfill the needs of young and old people and of those who are in need. There will also be a big church devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a Refuge of Souls'.
- And, according to the wish of Madonna we have a centre for people at old age, an auditorium and building works at the new church are advanced. I take care of the sixth child of Natuzza, like the bishop of the place Luigi Renzo from Milet does it, as well as the director of the Foundation Fr. Pasquale Barone and priests Michele Cordiano and Maurizo Macri and many cooperators and volunteers.