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Rossella Branca the most distant of our committee members introduces herself.

    We publish the presentation of our friend Rossella Branca, who is very active in Australia for the Fra Elia Foundation.
    It was she who sought permission from Cardinal Pell to bring Fra Elia to Australia.

    I am Scarlett, married for 63 years to Giuseppe Branca, a lawyer first and then in the serving of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rome for 42 years until retirement. Through his work Giuseppe was assigned to our Diplomatic and Consular posts abroad with returns to Rome headquarters every five or six years. 

    Thus, Giuseppe served as Consul in two Embassies , Canberra (Capital of Australia) and The Hague (Capital of Holland – Netherlands) and two Consulates in Oceania. During one of our returns home for the summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Ileana Cucinotta from Bergamo and Curzio’s mother, who spoke to me for the first time about Fra Elia, arousing in me an immense interest in this stigmatic young man.

    The following year, finding myself in Italy again, as was my custom, I telephoned Father Savoca of the Ignazianum Institute to ask to visit him and have his blessing. He promptly replied to me to go the following Friday because there would be as a guest an exceptional friar,who already as a child, spoke with his Guardian Angel, to which I replied, “It is Fra Elia”.  So it was that on Friday, I left early and arrived in town where I had to change buses, I realized that I did not have a ticket . I stayed at the bus stop waiting and before long I saw two ladies coming. I went up to them and asked where I could buy a ticket to go to the Institute and they promptly told me not to worry and to follow them because they were headed there too and would give me the ticket.

    At the Institute I found large crowds and Father Savoca who told me that they could never have imagined such a large presence and that they did not yet know how or when the meeting with the Friar would take place.

    In the afternoon I continued my waiting in the church, and while there I heard a great hubbub outside.

    I turned to look and saw a large crowd and a gentleman positioned in the middle, on a podium, handing out something.  Hurriedly I approached, thinking I had no chance of getting….ma I slipped through the crowd and saw the gentleman at the podium looking in my direction. In a low voice I whispered, “I have been here since seven o’clock,” and saw him hand me a green card with the number 5 on it , which I still keep.

    Fra Elia received in groups of five , I entered the first group and spoke to him for the first time. It was a Friday and that heavenly scent emanating from his stigmata filled the whole Auditorium where we were .  I spoke with Fra Elia and went home overjoyed at the meeting.

    he return to Adelaide I thought about the possibility of inviting Fra Elia for a Mission in this great Continent . Having Fiorella’s cell phone number I called her , she told me that, first, it was necessary to have the approval of her Bishop (Bishop Paglia Bishop of Terni) not an easy task but in the end successful . Then the most difficult task is that is the ‘approval by the bishops of the cities and the priests of the individual parishes where Fra Elia would go. 

    In the case of the city’ of Sidney, the approval came from Cardinal George Pell. In Adelaide, the invitation was made by Archbishop Wilson who wanted Fra Elia and don Marco Belladelli as his guests, putting his driver at their disposal.

    t was not easy to organize the three individual missions, considering the distances between the individual Australian states that, with the exception of Adelaide, the city where we currently live, everything was done via telephone.   The results, however, have repaid the sacrifices. 

    I arranged for travel to take place with Singapore Airlines, a line with a safety record. This was with the help of two three people I contacted who helped me in purchasing the tickets .

    For me every opportunity was and is good to talk about Fra Elia. I often made invitations to the house for coffee or to talk about him and to receive some offerings.  When a friend, now Mantellata, would invite me to participate in her radio program of classical music , especially on Holy Christmas, Easter and other holidays, we would talk and read the “prayers” of Fra Elia . Even now Fra Elia is often remembered during the program.

    I have been working hard to get subscriptions for Angels & Archangels .

    With the invaluable help of a dear friend from Sydney (now Mantellata) who recently experienced the passing of a daughter , raffles were organized and cookies and treats were made and packaged which she sold , then sending the proceeds .  .In addition, a sum of his salary was set aside as a donation.

    Every year Joseph and I would travel to Holland to our daughter and then to the Convent to meet and bring Fra Elia the result of my mission.

    I still continue as much as I can and it often happens that my cell phone rings and the caller tells me he got my number and wants prayers from Fra Elia, or to make an offering or want pictures of Jesus or Fiorella’s books. Recently an email from the USA from a gentleman, who had long been seeking to know about Fra Elia .

    During a brief visit here in Adelaide I witnessed an exorcism by Fra Elia, which will always remain vivid in my memory.

    In all of this Joseph was also helpful to me.

    Needless to say, after meeting Fra Elia , my faith and spiritual life have grown.

    I have learned so much. I live with serenity also because spiritual help is not lacking, despite the difficulties that daily life presents. 

    I still continue to do what I can to make Fra Elia known.

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