Rosa Quattrini was born January 26, 1909, in Santominto, Italy. Her parents were very devout and pious – especially the father, who had an intense devotion to the Rosary. The father was a poor farmer and died when she was just two years old. Her three sisters entered religious life into three different Orders. Rosa’s husband, Joseph, was a helpful, good-natured, and courteous man who made sure things kept running smoothly when the apparitions began happening on their property.
After becoming the mother of three children, Rosa developed ill health over ten years. While very ill and awaiting death at home, Rosa was visited by a peasant lady whom her Aunt Adele had allowed to come into the house. This youthful and beautiful visitor, wearing a multi-colored skirt, blouse, and a kerchief over her head, asked for alms for Padre Pio for three candles to light in the church. The aunt replied that they were short in funds to do this and also had a sick relative, but the visitor then insisted upon meeting Rosa. Rosa replied that she had great faith in Padre Pio.
When the church bells began ringing the Angelus, the beautiful female visitor asked Rosa to recite it with her. Then she invited her to recite five Our Father’s, five Hail Mary’s, and five Gloria’s in honor of the five wounds of Our Lord and to include Padre Pio in the intentions. After finishing these prayers, the youthful visitor asked Rosa to stand up. Rosa replied that she was too ill to do so – but the lady visitor took her by the hand and Rosa was surprised that she could stand. The visitor then placed her hand on the ailing part of Rosa’s body — and Rosa was instantly cured of all illness.
The mysterious visitor then instructed Aunt Adele to get a glass of water — to which the visitor added three grams of earth from the Holy Land, three dried olive leaves, and a small portion of a blessed candle – and instructed Rosa to drink this at 5:00 a.m. the next morning, coinciding with the beginning of Padre Pio’s Mass. This miraculous cure took place on Friday, September 29, 1961, the feast day of St. Michael, the Archangel.
After this, Rosa had a strong desire to visit Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo. A friend helped her to afford nice clothes and some trip money; she hooked up with a pilgrim group to go. Upon arriving at the plaza in front of the church, a lady called out Rosa’s name. Rosa recognized the lady as the same visitor who had called upon her and brought about her healing. The beautiful lady responded, “Yes, I am the Madonna of Consolation of the Afflicted.”
On Friday, October 16, 1964 in her first appearance to Rosa, Our Lady appeared just over the pear tree. She said, “Do not fear. I will give signs (so that others may believe). I will give you messages, and you must make them known to the world.” She further reassured Rosa that the Virgin would “do everything” as long as Rosa agreed to this mission.
The first miraculous sign came in the early fall of that year with the sudden bursting into blossom of that same pear tree where Blessed Mary had appeared. The large mass of white blossoms produced a very strong and sweet fragrance. On September 29, 1967, on the feast day of St. Michael, the pear tree again burst into blossom, and the pilgrims took many pictures. The flowers remained on the tree for many days without any sign of deterioration.
Miracles were reported as well. People have been cured of blindness, deafness, paralysis, and other ailments. Others have been converted; thousands have been strengthened in their faith and their resolutions to live more in conformity with the teachings of our Lord.