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Diabolical vexations

Diabolical vexaction is an extraordinary form of diabolical temptation that affects the person and can occur in external (material and sensitive) or internal (moral and spiritual) form. For the most part, vexation is a form of scientific attack on the person and thus has a material and sensitive significance. It takes place as if someone is actually touching us: the perpetrator of vexation is always and everywhere the devil.

Vexcitement encompasses a variety of concrete phenomena that is nothing short of immense. Scientific examples of vexation can be extracted from the lives of the saints: blows to the head, to the stomach, thrusts, being picked up and dragged to a spot, being physically attacked in any way, having persistent conditions of negativity where everything in a particular aspect of one’s life goes wrong or does not turn in the right direction, and so on. As happened to Padre Pio, Fra Elia is also repeatedly affected by these forms of attacks.


Bergamo, Lent 2001 – Elijah’s house

Fiorella tells: “I rang the Fra Elia’s doorbell and the door lock clicked but I did not see him on the threshold waiting for me as usual. He came toward me. He was limping. His shirt sleeves were rolled up, exposing a huge bruise that spread across his forearm. On his neck was a long red streak that started from behind his left ear, which he tried to hide by raising his collar. “He hit you again!” I ventured. He lowered his gaze and did not respond. “Let me see your back….” “No.” I insisted. No dice. “At least tell me what he did to you….” The anxiety and firmness that shone through my voice prompted Elia to tell me what he had experienced.
“With unimaginable violence, the evil one threw me repeatedly against the wall… fortunately I was protecting my head with my hands… Meanwhile I prayed and let him be sure that he would not be able to kill me… My behavior irritated him to the point that he grabbed my head and stuck it between the door and the jamb in an attempt to choke me… I was not afraid.” I listened to his story, trying to imprint every word in my mind so that I could transcribe them faithfully. “Should I stay here with you, Elia?” “No, absolutely…I have to receive someone this afternoon…I will be available to the last…I will see you this evening….”

Bergamo – April 5 – afternoon – Alessio calls me very worried. This morning we literally “grabbed” Fra’ Elia, who was rolling down the stairs…he took a beating today too!!!

Bergamo – Thursday, April 6 – 8:45 a.m. – A voice that seemed to come from beyond the grave led me to think that it could only be Fra’ Elia’s. Moments of suspense. “Fra Elia…what happened?…” I asked alarmed.
The voice, deep, almost unrecognizable in its unbelievable calmness, continued, “Now I’ll tell you … this night, shortly after I retired, he came back … this time I wanted to face him and I wanted to look at him …” “What was Fra Elia like?” “
He was like a man with a dark complexion, his face dried up and sharp, he had a lot of frizzy hair. He was hairy like a goat. His eyes looked like a cat’s eyes, looking at you in the night and sending reddish glares… I, standing in front of him, glared at him, and he, then, opened his mouth, which, like jaws of a wolf ready to attack, showed me long sharp teeth…

At that moment he grabbed me, slammed me against the walls and ceiling, slapped me violently, stomped me with his crow’s feet, punched and kicked me in the knee (I now limp) with frightful fury, and threw me out into the cloister….”
“In the cloister, in the cold?… why didn’t you cry out, call for help?” “I couldn’t… I was like paralyzed….” “Then Fra Elia?” I asked like an automaton.
“This time, I really thought I was going to die…I couldn’t stand it anymore…when, suspended in midair, I saw two angels with two shining swords…one held it straight up to the sky and the other wielded it in the direction of my enemy…it all happened very quickly: in its place remained a great black smoke…as if it had disintegrated. Then next to me two women caressed me, and at their touch I felt like a fresh shock… then they sat me down on one of the benches in the cloister, comforted me, and said, “Rest assured, now he will not come again!”
“How were the two women? How were they dressed? Did you recognize them?”

“They were wearing long robes and hooded cloaks, so I couldn’t see them,” he said.
“Around seven o’clock I heard Joseph, Alexander and the others, who were coming. They were talking loudly…so I shouted for help…they lifted me up and carried me back upstairs….” ” “I don’t have a healthy body part…bruises, scratches…it feels like my chest is crushed and I can hardly breathe…when I cough, I can taste blood in my mouth…I am also lame…but my greatest suffering is another…I heard about that priest, who abused those boys… These things cannot happen … it’s as if he killed them … too many ministers of God have strayed from their path … and have become bandits … we need to clean up the Churches … that’s why young people are turning away … this scandal must end … what will become of these boys, who have become adults? … I know … they are the ones who tell me, when they come to see me … some become rapists themselves, some can’t even form families … they can’t recover their lives … I can’t resign myself … may my suffering help these young people …”

Convent -April 8, 2016 Saturday

It happened! Shortly after 8 o’clock, a trill makes me rush toward the phone with a heartbeat. Fra Elia’s faint voice reaches me, pronouncing my name: Fiò….I was about to go to bed but first I went out for a moment to greet the dogs. I didn’t have time to open the door that I feel myself being brutally grabbed, slammed with unheard of fury until I lost consciousness…I was outside all night, under a pillar that was leaning against the wall and I am frozen. I think I also have a sprained arm…His voice is slow and stunted…I recover, “And where were the others?” Surely they thought I went to the room and they did too. “Who found you this morning?” Noo….I was awakened by a cell phone trill…Slowly, slowly I slipped it out of my pocket and answered it. It was my sister informing me that she was leaving by train to come to Calvi…okay, I answered…I didn’t want to scare her…. then crawling like a snake I managed to squeeze through a passage left by the pylon leaning badly over me…what was I to do?

Sunday, April 9 – Palm Sunday – As a good son, Fra Elia calls me around 10 o’clock to wish me a happy Palm Sunday. His voice is low and breathy. What’s the matter, Fra Elia? I ask him, “I can’t breathe…” The question comes out of my mouth, “Were you buried face up or down?” “I had my face in the dirt…and the pylon was crushing me…” Mamma mia…” They had just told me that he was limping, that he couldn’t keep up, that he was in pain all over, but I didn’t tell them. “What can I do for you?”
There is nothing for me to do and everyone has their own destiny…of storytellers.

Lent 2020

We make our way to the tool room, the door is bolted, on the floor Fra Elia’s sweater and cell phone, two broken vases … we understand immediately.
We open the latch and go inside. Oscar heads for the stairs, I head to the back where the other entrance is … as we entered there was a big racket as if someone was banging something on the ground.

Arriving at the bottom I see between Elijah on the ground, covered with benches and planks, below him a bench placed sideways. Immediately we start together with Oscar to remove the planks and benches, we try to lift him up because the bench underneath him on the left side is right at rib level.
He is so heavy we can’t move him, we are afraid of hurting him … finally we manage to remove the bench and turn him supine, the position is very uncomfortable because you can’t stretch his legs, so we open the door, but there is a big draft …

Oscar runs to get a blanket, I hold his head up, he shows no signs of life, he looks dead … he is cold …

As soon as Oscar comes back we cover him and try to move him, but we can’t lift him in two, it’s like he’s a block of lead.
A couple of minutes pass, we can’t do much except hold his head up and cover him, we phone Don Marco and tell him to come to the tool room with Thomas, maybe with four of us we can put him in a more comfortable position …

Praise the Lord, he’s breathing and has moved his leg, moved his head slightly … now he has opened his eyes … they are wide open, as if he is not present, as if he sees something we do not see …
With his gaze fixed in front of him, he has raised his right arm with his open hand as if to hold on to someone who is lifting him up; he has sat up making a little effort with his left hand pointing to the ground … now he is lifting himself up … someone has helped him to his feet.

He can’t speak, we try to support him but he doesn’t want to, he wants to make it on his own … he staggers and we follow him closely so that he doesn’t fall … he walks toward the little chapel; when we get to the three steps in front of the niche of Our Lady of Mount Carmel we hold him under our arms so that he doesn’t stumble, the whole left side of his body seems particularly sore and in particular his left leg … he has a hard time lifting it up.

In 17 years this is not the first time I have witnessed these events, every year at this time the enemy systematically harasses Fra Elia with constant harassment and beatings; he has never said so as not to frighten us but they are daily; you can see the marks of beatings on his face clearly.

One cannot explain in words what happens in these days to this man who alone faces sufferings of all kinds, moral, physical, psychological … and then the loneliness, the walk to Calvary always alone, none of us however much we try, can comprehend the breadth, the depth, the extent and the bitterness of this suffering that enters into the bones, into every fiber of the body and then into the heart.

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