Woman tells of melodic voice and joyous beauty

June 26, 1994|By Greg Tasker and Mary Gail Hare

Gianna Talone-Sullivan patiently responded, often using language strong in phrases common to Roman Catholicism, to an array of questions about what she says are frequent visits by the Virgin Mary. Among the questions:

* What do you say to cynics and skeptics who doubt your experiences?

"There are only two ends of the rope," she replied, explaining that such people do not trouble her. "There's no lukewarm response or belief," she said, to what she's experiencing. "It's either yes or no."

* Describe the visions you have. What do you see and experience?

Each apparition begins with "an incredible sense of joy. My heart starts to palpitate. There is an infusion of grace, a flash of brilliant light, and the force draws me to my knees."

* What does the Virgin Mary look like?

She's "an indescribably beautiful woman," usually veiled and dressed in a white or gold robe of fine, soft material. Dr. Talone-Sullivan depicts human features that include a creamy complexion and dark brown hair, with the most striking feature being blue eyes.

"The innocent, pure look in her eyes draws you right into eternity. She is beautiful because she loves."

Sometimes, she said, Mary holds a rosary in her long slender fingers. On occasion, she carries the infant Jesus, who "is adorable with the countenance of authority."

* What do you hear?

The apparition invites her to join in prayer, speaking in a melodic voice, typically in English, but at times in Italian, Dr. Talone-Sullivan said.

* How do the visions end?

The image either fades or leaves in the form of a cross. Dr. Talone-Sullivan said she has no concept of the vision's duration.

She said she feels energized and completely at peace after having the vision -- "unless I have seen Our Lady cry. Then I cry, too. She stresses moral values -- always to 'my dear little children' -- and cries that we have made idolatry of ourselves and forgotten God."

* Why were you chosen to receive visions and messages?

She has been told, Dr. Talone-Sullivan said, that her soul was created for this "mission of mercy." She said being chosen is both a blessing and a burden. "Our Lady is here for everyone," she said. "There is no favoritism in God's love. Our Lady said that in our ordinariness, we become extraordinary."

* Will the visions stop?

Dr. Talone-Sullivan said that during her June 16 prayer service, the message she received was that "this time period designated by my son is the last period in which I will be allowed to come-to you."

She will be saddened if the images stop, she said, but knows "in my heart, I will always see Our Lady. I have been given the grace to see God in everyone else."

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