Young Joey Lomangino and St. Pio
I just read Joey Lomangino died.
I met him when I lived as a pilgrim, in Portugal. He was devoted to Our Lady and believed in the apparitions of Garabandal. I visited Garabandal the year I met Joey - though we met at Fatima. Please pray with me for him. He was a very kind man.
Joey was included in the message of Garabandal. He was promised that he would live to see the miracle, that his eyesight would be restored. He in turn was a great promoter of the apparitions. The 'style' of the apparitions was unusual due to the signs demonstrated there, although for me they resembled the phenomenon of Medjugorje. Medjugorje grabbed public attention and attracted a greater following of course - but I think that happened because of its appeal to Charismatic Catholics. Garabandal tended to be accepted by more traditionally minded Catholics. Each is promoted as a continuation of Fatima, each promises a sort of warning and sign to be left, and so on.
Mr. Lomangino spread devotion to Our Lady and did much good in his life. He also lived in anticipation of the promised miracle and sign, hoping for a cure - but I doubt his devotion was limited to those promises. It is said St. Pio was told he would see the miracle before death as well. Rumor has it he saw it in a vision before he died. We don't know these things.
It is fine to believe in such phenomena, if they help inspire and perfect our faith - but we have to be so wary of taking private revelations literally and at face value - God's ways are not our ways and we must await the Church's decision regarding the authenticity of such events - or at least a decision that the messages are not contrary to faith. If these things bring about reformation of life and devotion - fidelity to Catholic faith - they have accomplished a great deal.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
One of the more troubling images from Garabandal.
Two of the seers in ecstasy.