Fr. STEFANO GOBBI
Fr. Gobbi (March 22, 1930 - June 29, 2011)
Fr. Stefano Gobbi was born in Dongo (province of Como, Italy) on March 22, 1930.
He was ordained a priest in 1964 and belonged to the Society of Saint Paul founded by Don Alberione.
The focal point of his life occurred on May 8, 1972 during a pilgrimage to Fatima. While praying at the “Capelinha”, the Chapel of the Apparitions, the Virgin Mary distinctly spoke to him in the form of what Christian spiritual theology defines as “interior locutions.” Mary invited him to gather together his brother priests who would welcome the idea of consecrating themselves to Her Immaculate Heart, and of being deeply united with the Holy Father and the Church united to him. Fr. Gobbi asked Our Lady for a sign confirming this request, a sign which he received that same month at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
On October 13, 1972, he and two other priests launched the MMP which has spread to the five continents and has seen Fr. Gobbi travel the whole world for meetings of prayer and fraternity called “cenacles”.
Throughout his life, the Blessed Virgin Mary would continue to guide him by means of interior locutions and would give him more than 600 messages destined to be published and disseminated throughout the world. These messages are compiled in a book titled, “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons” which we ourselves refer to as the “Blue Book.” This book has received numerous episcopal approvals and imprimaturs, including those of Cardinals Bernardino Echeverria Ruiz, OFM, Ignace Moussa Daoud and Jean-Baptiste Wu.
Fr. Gobbi had a close relationship with Pope Saint John Paul II, who for many years invited him to celebrate Mass with him in his private chapel and who closely followed the activities of the Marian Movement of Priests.
While he was preparing to guide the International Spiritual Exercises for priests in Collevalenza, as he always did, Fr. Gobbi suffered a heart attack and died a few days later, on June 29, 2011, the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul and also the day on which Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 60 years of priesthood. His Funeral Mass was celebrated in Collevalenza surrounded by his brother priests of the entire worldwide MMP, presided over by Cardinal Ivan Dias. He was buried in his native town of Dongo on Saturday, July 2, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
These circumstances seemed to be a sign for his life: to him who had prayed so much for the Pope and led others to do the same, to him who had founded and directed the MMP, to him who had brought so many people all over the world to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to live this consecration.