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Rome Reports

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A diary that was supposedly kidnapped by the devil is preserved in Rome


The Basilica of Sts. John and Paul in Rome is watched over by the Passionist priests. They have also been in charge of collecting years of history and legacy in their monastery. It houses a large collection of relics of Passionist saints.

CRISTIANO MASSIMO PARISI
Passionist Priest
“In this large hall, we keep relics. Mainly of Passionist saints. They are fragments of the bodies, bones, hair, and so on, of saints and blesseds.”

Among them is this relic of Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, a Bulgarian bishop imprisoned after a false trial and then killed by communists. These are his only relics, as his remains were thrown into a mass grave.

Among the hundreds of relics one can find St. Victoria's skull and fragments of the bodies of St. Maria Goretti and St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. There are also relics of the Passionists’ founder, St. Paul of the Cross. The coffin where his remains and even his personal items were kept can be found here.

One can also find the hair belonging to St. Gemma Galgani, the saint of the Passionist family, who, by orders of her spiritual director, began to write her mystical experiences in the “Diary of my Sins.”

CRISTIANO MASSIMO PARISI
Passionist Priest
“The diary has spots with real burn marks. It is said that this diary was stolen from Gemma by the devil, who tried to burn the diary. You can even see a feline footprint on a couple of pages.”

Gemma died at the age of 25. Her life was full of moments of great mysticism, which led her to become the first Italian saint of the 20th century. Hundreds of people come to this place to admire her diary.

CRISTIANO MASSIMO PARISI
Passionist Priest
“Tourists take lots of selfies here: in front of the former coffin of St. Paul of the Cross or in front of his mask, or relics belonging to St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. However, all this stops in front of St. Gemma’s diary. This is what I have seen with my own eyes, but with the eyes and ears of the soul, I may have seen and heard something else, but I prefer to keep it in the secret of my heart.”

Relics are devotional objects that refer to a time or a figure from the past. The Catholic Church preserves and venerates many as part of the testimony of the lives of the saints.

Usually, relics are kept in chapels or other worthy places, such as this incredible hall. It can be found in the Monastery of the Passionist priests in Rome, right next to the Basilica of Sts. John and Paul. 

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Christian Campos