Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio
Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio
|Born||4 September 1907|
|Died||10 August 1990|
|Known for||Founded large leper colony in Ivory Coast, unique Mystic with revelations from God the Father|
She received only an elementary education. After a few years working in a factory, she entered the Congregation of Our Lady of the Apostles at the age of 20 years. It was here that her great charismatic personality developed, leading to her election as Mother General of the Congregation at age 28.
Social and apostolic work
Mother Eugenia Ravasio performed significant amounts of work in the social field. In twelve years of missionary activity she opened over 70 centres – each with infirmary, school and church – in the remotest spots of Africa, Asia and Europe.
In or around 1936, she was invited by Tanios Toni Kawas (a prominent cotton field LandLord), son of Antoun Abdel Sayed Kawas (mayor of Girga, Egypt), to open the Lady of the Apostles school in Girga, Egypt. The school is still in operation as of today. Tanios Toni Kawas having 6 young girls and no schools for them, invited many congregations, but only Mother Eugenia Elisabetta Ravasio responded to his request.
As part of her work with lepers on the Ivory Coast she was instrumental in promoting and popularizing the use of chemotherapy for the cure of leprosy, by orally administering chaulmoogra oil which was extracted from the seed of a tropical plant. This medicine was later studied and developed further at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. She encouraged the apostolate of Raoul Follereau, who, following in her footsteps and building on the foundations laid by her, is regarded as the apostle of the lepers.
During the period 1939–1941 she conceived, planned and brought to fruition the project for a “Lepers’ City” at Adzopé (Ivory Coast). This was a vast centre, covering an area of 200,000 m2, for the care of leprosy sufferers. It remains even today one of Africa's and the world's leading centres of its kind.
In recognition of this achievement, France conferred the Couronne Civique, the highest national honour for social work, on the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Apostles, of which Mother Eugenia was Superior General from 1935 to 1947.
Mother Ravasio reported a series of messages from God the Father, which were published as "The Father speaks to His children". The Bishop of Grenoble (who was mentioned in the messages) recognized these messages as authentic after ten years of examination. However, the Vatican has neither approved nor disapproved of these messages, and Catholics are not required to believe them. To date these are the only reported private revelations from God the Father that have been approved by a bishop.
In her book, Mother Ravasio wrote that she personally saw God the Father and that God the Father sat next to her. On 1 July 1932, in Book 1, part 1, she quoted God the Father and wrote:
... "Look, I put aside my crown and all my glory to take the attitude of the common person"... After having taken the attitude of a common person, placing his crown and glory at his feet, he took the globe of the world to his heart. Supporting it with his left hand, then he sat down next to me...
Mother Ravasio also wrote messages from God the Father to Bishop Alexandre Caillot, who later approved of the book. In Book 1, part 3 she wrote:
"I also want to say a word to you, My son Alexander, so that My desires may be realized in the world. You must join with the father confessor of this “little plant” (Mother Eugenia) of My Son Jesus, in promoting this work"
Mother Ravasio also wrote of acts by the Devil. On 12 August 1932 she wrote that the Devil took the book and slashed its covers with a pair of scissors. On that day she also wrote of a new path to salvation and quoted God the Father as follows:
"ALL THOSE WHO CALL ME BY THE NAME OF FATHER, EVEN IF ONLY ONCE, WILL NOT PERISH, BUT WILL BE SURE OF THEIR ETERNAL LIFE AMONG THE CHOSEN ONES."
Approval and controversies
Mother Eugenia Ravasio's messages were approved by Bishop Alexander Caillot of Grenoble, who was mentioned in the messages. Bishop Caillot ordered an investigation, and after ten years issued a letter stating that the messages had a divine nature. In 1988 the messages received the imprimatur of Cardinal Petrus Canisius Van Lierde, Vicar General for the Vatican City State, whose general duties were the administration of daily functions of Vatican City. The imprimatur signified that in the Cardinal's opinion the messages contain nothing against faith and morals, but not certifying that the messages were received from God the Father. The first official authority for determining the authenticity of a private revelation is the local Bishop. However, the case may be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See, which is a higher authority. In the case Mother Ravasio's messages, the CDF has not issued an opinion on them.
As in all other private revelations, Catholics in general are not required to believe the messages of Mother Eugenia Ravasio. The decision as to whether or not to believe in an approved private revelation is left to the conscience of each individual Catholic.
Given that the Catechism of the Catholic Church #239 specifically states that "God is neither man nor woman: he is God", some writers reason that the reported message that God the Father desired his image as an icon to be used in worship contradicts the Catholic teachings that God the Father is invisible and formless.
Other Catholic writers[who?] have viewed some of Mother Ravasio's messages as heretical, e.g. the message stating that "a person can achieve eternal salvation, with certainty, merely by calling God by the name 'Father,' even only one time". The argument asserting the heretical nature of this statement relies on the assertion that this promise ignores and rejects all tradition, scripture, and the teachings of the Magisterium (e.g. cf.) on the subject of salvation. Perhaps this may be explained by a poor translation from Latin-Italian to English? Or a miscommunication of thought somewhere along the line, as happened with the revelations of St. Faustina, which were put on the Index of Forbidden Books for a time.
The Roman Catholic Church to which Mother Eugenia belonged did not declare Mother Eugenia's writings heresy, so this is not a controversy in the Church. Two bishops provided imprimaturs which state their opinion that the writings are of no danger to faith and morals.
- Mother Eugenia Ravasio; The Father speaks to His children. Rome, 1989.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) John Parascandola, "Chaulmoogra Oil and the Treatment of Leprosy"
- "Testimony of the Right Reverend A. Caillot, Bishop of Grenoble, Following the Report Prepared during the Canonical Enquiry into the Case of Mother Eugenia",  pp 5-10.
- The Father Speaks to His Children  page 2.
- Catholic encyclopedia
- Is it Catholic on Mother Eugenia Ravasio
- David Bordwell, 2002, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Continuum International Publishing ISBN 978-0-86012-324-8 page 84
- Vatican website: All Salvation Comes through Christ
- Vatican website on Total Salvation
- Catholic planet on Mother Eugenia Ravasio
- Mother Eugenia Ravasio and the Message from God the Father
- "The Father speaks to His children" (in PDF format to download)
- Biography of Mother Eugenia Ravasio (in PDF format to download)