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Fra Elia’s Passion

Fra Elia’s passion is one of the crucial points in his life as through his body the Lord reminds us how important suffering is, but even more the grace that He gives to all of us. We live this moment together thanks to Fiorella Turolli, her esteemed friend and biographer who tells us exhaustively about these moments of great pain and joy experienced during the latest Easter.

Wednesday – March 22, 2023

This morning is the first time that Fra Elia has said to me: now I lie down because my blood pressure is 100… It is the first time in this Lent that he has told me he is not well. I asked the friars and the nun but they tell me that she masks very well and doesn’t tell anyone anything. He has been fasting since after the ashes. I’m still in Bergamo but I often hear it. Once I noticed his faint voice trying to mask a great discomfort and another time, on his phone, while communicating a work matter to me, a couple of moans escaped him due to the pain in his bones. Later I learned that the usual whip had already hit him a couple of times.

We all know that the right shoulder where Jesus leaned the cross is the point that hurts him the most and then during the Passion a great wound opens up which torments him together with all the other wounds on his hands, feet and side. The forehead marks the beginning of the three days of bleeding.

It always happens during Mass or in the refectory on Wednesday of Holy Week. All presents witness the beginning … a trickle of blood slowly descends from the head along the forehead while he passes out… sometimes he remains in ecstasy lying on the ground moving his lips as if he were talking to someone above him.

Another time I had to call him from home, again for work reasons and he was in the kitchen preparing the vegetable broth…carrot, celery and onion which he discards then and drinks the broth obtained without a minimum of leftover vegetables or a drizzle of celery … otherwise he would vomit. This has always been his life and, according to him, Easter is the first day of the year. 12 months before repeating the great suffering.

Monday – March 28, 2023

I arrived at the Convent for the end-of-month meetings that Fra Elia wanted to made at all costs. I saw him very thin with a face that recounted his sufferings. In recent days the doctor also arrived for a checkup but he didn’t recognize him since his eyes were clouded as if he were immersed in a thick fog.

It didn’t take long to discover that Fra Elia often finds himself in this condition since he walks touching the walls that he knows by heart… He smiles and says he feel good. Yesterday evening he was happy to be with us … indeed he even wanted to joke before going to bed. This morning he was limping instead.

Thursday – March 30, 2023

Fiorella continues the story – I entered the chapel at 6 pm for Holy Mass. Fra Elia was already seated in the last place and emanated his heavenly perfume. At the end he accompanies us to the refectory, blesses our table, drinks some water and leaves. Today, however, he is very agitated, he knows that the enemy will probably attack him more violently in an attempt to kill him, as always happens in this short period that separates him from the triduum … he wants to work, get tired and not think. I recognize these attitudes that are repeated every year. He also wanted to go shopping.

In the late afternoon the doctor arrived and told me that he had found him completely wet with sweat (not sweat). An abundant outflow of odorless liquid that frees him from all dross… He was going through a purification process waiting for the great gift of receiving Christ within himself and suffering his passion. I can testify that I saw him with light blue, cerulean eyes… and not just me.

Friday – March 31, 2023

His friars try to work alongside him. Fra Elia staggers and has had to lean on Fra Maurizio to keep from falling.

Saturday – April 1, 2023 – Palm Eve

Fra Elia dictated to us the Easter greetings 2023, which we report below.

Time: 6:30pm – Holy Mass – Don Marco’s homily is truly thorough and exhaustive: we need to understand the true meaning of passion. We are here peacefully praying while Fra Elia is terrified. The Lord said to him: “I am sending you to demonstrate how I have suffered for all of you.” You have to be seen by everyone. And Fra Elia obeyed Him. Think how much the Lord has been mocked, humiliated, whipped tied to a stake, quenched with vinegar… how much he has suffered without ever complaining. And us? We take offense at a trivial reproach, we rebel against those who don’t think like us…we argue very easily with our neighbor. Why don’t we try to change ourselves, to cultivate tolerance or forbearance, as Fra Elia says? Have we listened to the Lord when he tells us to turn the other cheek? Do we try to put into practice what the Lord recommends to us every day? Do you do to others what you would like them to do to you? It is not enough to go to Mass and sanctify all the holidays. It’s the facts that matter.

The next few days will be days of suffering for Fra Elia. It has never been easy for him… I have often seen him as desperate as a day, who, in the midst of a crisis, took the car without saying anything to anyone and drove away at full speed. He didn’t even come back for the night… I was in Rome and Brother Sergio couldn’t find him. He called me and I tried calling him. He replied: see you at the convent. When he returned he ate an apple and I was there, we retired to the chapel. He was really desperate… those who are always in contact with God suffer if they don’t feel him… if He isn’t next to him… Confiding in me he repeated: “He doesn’t talk to me anymore, he doesn’t tell me anything… why?” Suddenly the vision: the Lord Jesus appeared on the altar accompanied by his Angels…fra Elia quickly took off his shoes and prostrated himself at his feet with his face in his hands…he spoke in Aramaic and listened to Jesus while He spoke to him… I understood that Fra Elia always answered yes, yes, yes… And you? Have you ever had a crisis like this? What does it matter to you if the Lord does not speak to you?

Sunday April 2, 2023 – Palm Sunday

Don Marco insists on repeating that we should memorize and always remember the words of the psalm of the day: Jesus was humiliated, they spat on him and despite being in the condition of God, he did not consider it a privilege to be like God, but he emptied himself by assuming a condition of servant, becoming similar to men. (He was begotten and not created a man but similar to a man).

It didn’t take long to discover that Fra Elia often finds himself in this condition since he walks touching the walls that he knows by heart… He smiles and says he feel good. Yesterday evening he was happy to be with us … indeed he even wanted to joke before going to bed. This morning he was limping instead.

Monday – April 3, 2023 – Monday of Holy Week

Yesterday evening Fra Elia went into the kitchen to make herself some herbal tea. He used a teaspoon and it bent between his fingers

Wednesday – April 5, 2023

As happens every year, during the Mass at 6.30 pm, Fra Elia began to bleed. Always differently than every year. With his head in his hands, while seated, he fell noisily on the bench for a few minutes praying softly in words we did not understand (emulating the first fall). He started flapping, jerking forward as if he was being hit on the back. The time seemed very long to us. Heartbreaking. He immediately fell into ecstasy.

Cousin Nicola sitting next to him watched in case he could fall like last year.

Then Fra Elia moved slightly and we saw a large spot of blood on his forehead. Impossible to touch him even if his position seemed awkward and dangerous. After a few minutes he shifted his position straightening his back and leaning against the counter behind him. He stood still and calm until he slowly turned his head to the right and left a few times in a row as if he wanted to look at someone on both sides, then he swallowed as if he had taken a sip of liquid until after very long moments he woke up and asked to be accompanied to the refectory at his usual place. He remained standing, wished us a good appetite … and then they accompanied him to his room.

Thursday – April 6, 2023

Around 8:30 we went to Fra Elia’s room as he had asked us. He was covered up to his neck but his face stood out in the dim light as if it were black. It was a mask of blood. I noticed the right side very swollen. His pillow was soaked in blood and someone covered it with a white sponge. He was awake but he said he saw us blurry. We said a prayer and remained silent. I asked him if his feet were cold and in fact he had frozen them. Immediately afterwards he fell into ecstasy muttering that the green grass is growing and the dry one must be cut because it is no longer needed …

Before noon, Me and Fra Tommaso went into his room for the usual archive photos. At the end he wanted me to stay there with pen and paper. Don Marco was there too. He had just taken his temperature. The thermometer showed 41.5 Celsius degrees. Fra Elia confirmed to us that he was on fire and that the wait before they came to get him is always very long (together with the Angels his soul flies to other places).

The days of waiting seem so far before opening that door… and yet every year we find that unsuspected wait… before the sun… always in company… and you never know what awaits you.

Only God knows, that we are mortal, but since we say “Yes” to God, He shows you unexpected things like getting you back on your feet in no time. God does all this because he wants to announce to the whole world what he has undergone for our salvation… yet men do very little for him. What he wants is to demonstrate the truth. Because He Himself is God Veritas”.

Friday – April 7, 2023

Like every morning after breakfast, we go up to Elia’s room all together. Don Marco is next to him and is listening to him. Even this night fra Elia was beaten by many angry and ruthless demons. We saw him shivering from the cold and his tortured body, completely wet with serum and cold blood. We had put a light plaid on him as not weigh him down. What we first saw is impossible to explain. I only feel like stating that fra Elia is a Man of God who accepted everything the Lord asked of him. I only add that along the stairs and in the cloister there was still a stench… A stench of faeces mixed with sulphur.

Time: 2:45pm

As Fra Elia says, the Lord put him back on his feet in an instant…we see him arriving from afar, shabby and trembling, clinging on Don Marco’s arm.

His face, his closed eyes, completely covered with dark spots and abundant streams of blood, stand out in the sun in front of hundreds of waiting people, in the olive grove which can be reached via a staircase.

Don Marco, helped by a brother, makes the friar sit in an armchair, high up, in front of the altar, so that everyone can see him.


The Via Crucis was supposed to begin with Fra Elia like last year, but given Fra Elia’s past experience and weakness, it was preferred to leave him seated and celebrate the Via della Croce standing still. So 14 people stopped at their station around the Altar and Don Marco helped us meditate on the Passion of Christ alongside Fra Elia.

Saturday – April 8, 2023

Nothing new this morning, Fra Elia is asleep and occasionally says incomprehensible things. He complains of pain in his shoulder and broken bones. A fire is felt but he is not present with the mind. We leave him and everyone goes to his work. Around 11 he comes to his senses and sends word to accompany Don Adelio to his room. A sweet and touching dialogue begins. Fra Elia has pains on the right and left neck, signs of the noose tightened too tightly. Don Adelio caresses it lightly with his hands and Fra Elia seems to like it. Fra Tommaso arrives for more photos in order to document the manifestation of the Passion every day, always different and amazing.

Now I’m in the office finishing this diary. I can’t wait for the Lord to put him back on his feet around 3 pm. The Angels will wash him and help him get dressed. The doctors outside the door will be waiting for him to call them to check his heart and blood pressure. And Fra Tommaso and I will follow them and, very quickly, we will take the photos which will demonstrate in particular the signs of the whippings which have tormented him during these nights and which are the first to disappear.

A couple of coffees and the vision of the Virgin who comes every year to give him celestial energy concludes his Passion. At this point Fra Elia returns as before but lost 10 kilos or more. Thanks to God.

Fra Elia’s Easter Greetings

The touch of the bells leads me to exalt to sing and praise the love of God that is around us.

You see, he calls us, he calls us by name, but nobody listens to him. He calls us, but everyone denies him.

He calls us but man’s indifference is frozen cold. While God embraced the cross he embraced us. Man’s indifference says “I don’t know you”

Father forgive them that they don’t know what they are doing. Brother sister hugged us. The Lord is risen he loves us, he loves us.

Today is Easter and the Lord awaits us in church. The bells ring to celebrate.

Joy does not come from indifference but from God’s love and grace.

Best wishes and Happy Easter.


Fiorella Turolli, esteemed friend, as well as official biographer and external member of the great family of the Fraternity, takes care of documenting and reporting the facts, works and mysteries that characterize Fra Elia’s life. She has written four books about Him which have been translated and sold all over the world.

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