Gianna Talone

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Gianna Talone Sullivan (March 12, 1957) is a clinical pharmacist by profession, but is best known as the author of a series of books called I am your Jesus of Mercy that report visions of Jesus and Mary.

Life[edit]

She was born in Phoenix, Arizona to Italian American parents and as a child had a brief show business career in the 1970s, appearing in an episode of The Flying Nun television series, before attending the Arizona State University. She later obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California and started a career in corporate pharmacy. In 1991, Talone-Sullivan founded the non-profit mobile medical clinic "Mission of Mercy".[1]

The prayer group[edit]

In October 1987, along with a group of parishioners from St. Maria Goretti parish in Scottsdale, Arizona she visited Međugorje. As of December 1987 the group began a Thursday night prayer session of the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. In July 1988, the pastor of St. Maria Goretti parish, Father Jack Spaulding, reported that the group was receiving messages from the Virgin Mary through one of the young adults. This individual was later identified as Talone, who also reported messages from Jesus.

In December 1988 Father Spaulding reported that Jesus had started to speak through him as he delivered the homily portion of the Mass. Father Spaulding reported the matter to Bishop Thomas O'Brien of Phoenix who started a formal investigation. In August 1989 Father Spaulding stated that Talone's messages needed to be made public, in print. The reported messages from Jesus continued until November 1995. In these messages she reported that Jesus provided her with lessons about His love and mercy and preached humility.

Messages[edit]

Talone wrote 250 messages between 1988 and 1995. On January 26, 1989, she wrote that Jesus taught her the difference between envy and jealousy, in that jealousy is pure hatred and that envy is the path that leads to jealousy.

The message she wrote on December 13, 1989, has a similar tone and teaches faithfulness. It states that fidelity is the strongest bond between mankind and the Holy Trinity. The notions of self-abandonment to God and trust in Jesus are repeated throughout the messages.

She also reported messages from Mary, whom she describes as a beautiful woman usually dressed in a white or gold robe, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. She says that sometimes, Mary holds a rosary; on occasion, she carries the infant Jesus. Sometimes Mary speaks in English, at other times, in Italian.[2] On December 30, 1989, she wrote that the Blessed Virgin invited everyone to follow Jesus by praying with their hearts.

On August 19, 1992, she wrote a message that she attributed to Jesus: "I am truly guiding you if you trust that I am. This is self-abandonment to the Providence of God." The phrase "I am" appears frequently in the messages and is part of the title of the book series.

In 1993, Talone-Sullivan re-located from Arizona to Fairfield, Pennsylvania, just outside Emmitsburg, Maryland, and began to share her messages during weekly meetings at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Emmitsburg. After attracting followers from across the country for seven years, the Archdiocese of Baltimore asked her to share her messages elsewhere.[3]

The message also emphasized the power of human prayers when they are united with the prayers of Mary. The message of July 3, 1997, attributed to the Virgin Mary directs everyone to pray for the Catholic Church and the Pope.

In the summer of 2004, a group of people invited Talone-Sullivan to hold a monthly meeting at a farm outside of Taneytown. Attendance at these meetings grew until they were moved to the Lynfield Complex in 2005.[4]

Her later messages that continued into 2007 are attributed to Our Lady of Emmitsburg and at times have the form of prophecies. The prophecies warn of turbulent times ahead and refer to four stages of Trials and Tribulations, Eucharistic Reign, Illumination and Purification.

On June 1, 2008, Talone-Sullivan delivered what has been termed the "message of the two suns". The message reads in part: "Even your governments and the Church authorities already have knowledge of the stars aligning and its implications upon you. You must not fear but must be prepared, primarily spiritually. After awhile, you will see a time when there is another body in orbit around your solar system, coming between Earth and the Sun and leading to tremendous devastation. Approximately 60-70% of the world’s population, as you know it, will cease. Of those who survive, 60% of them could die of disease and starvation."[5]

Archdiocesan view[edit]

The Phoenix, AZ Bishop Thomas J. Obrien allowed these events to continue and did not approve or condemn them, after his 1990s investigations found nothing wrong. In many cases, almost the entire church congregations at St. Maria Goretti Church (on Thursday evenings) witnessed hearing the Virgin Mother Mary's voice, thanking them for their prayers.

On September 8, 2000, officials from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore met with Talone and issued a statement that they found no basis to support her messages as having an extraordinary source. The statement from the archdiocese condemns the alleged apparitions as not of a supernatural origin. The officials directed that the prayer service with the messages at St. Joseph's Church in Emmitsburg, Maryland be discontinued.[6]

Cardinal William Keeler, of Baltimore's Archdiocese, convened a commission of three priests to interview witnesses and examine Sullivan's alleged visions. The commission took issue with the six-volume series of books I Am Your Jesus of Mercy. "In what seems to be a free association of ideas, the lessons and messages consist of a bland repetition of basic Christian spirituality," adding, "it would be pastorally irresponsible to promote a diet based on the regular reading of these lessons and messages alleged to be from a divine source.[5]

On June 7, 2003, having consulted with the Holy See and received "appropriate authorization", Rev. Monsignor Richard W. Woy, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore issued a decree declaring the visions of Talone "constant de non supernaturalitate" and prohibiting any public activities relating to the alleged apparitions in the churches, oratories, or other property of the Archdiocese.[7][8]

On October 8, 2008, Most Rev. Edwin O'Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, issued a Pastoral Advisory condemning the messages and revelations as not authentic and cautioned Talone-Sullivan from continuing the distribution of the messages as gravely harmful to the spiritual life of the faithful.[9] This Pastoral Advisory was addressed "to the Christian faithful of the Archdiocese of Baltimore", and distributed to every Catholic Church in Maryland. The letter from Archbishop O’Brien warned Gianna Sullivan not to disseminate in any way, by her own person or by any other person, by electronic means or any other means, on any church property or in any public or private place any messages. He then warns others not to disseminate her messages because it is harmful to the church and he hopes that this will stop the confusion of the faithful.

Publication[edit]

The 250 messages written from September 1988 to November 1995, which she attributed to Jesus, were gathered and printed as the first five volumes of the books I am your Jesus of Mercy. The 6th volume includes messages attributed to the Virgin Mary and ends with a message on January 7, 1999. The messages were originally published by the Riehle Foundation, and were later published by Queenship Publishing.

Backlash at Emmitsburg[edit]

In June 2008, a group of Emmitsburg residents started a campaign against Talone, accused her of running a cult and started a "Cult Watch" program to monitor her and her followers.[10]

A group of supporters formed the Foundation of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary to disseminate her messages. In July 2005, Gianna Talone-Sullivan's husband Michael appears listed on the Board of Directors in the Articles of Incorporation of the Foundation of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.[11] Peter Blanchard is the foundation's treasurer, as well as a member of the foundation's board of directors. Though Talone-Sullivan has publicly asserted that the foundation operates independently, in December 2008, Blanchard said that he and his wife spoke to Sullivan almost daily.[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Gianna Talone: I am your Jesus of Mercy. Several volumes: ISBN 1-877678-08-2 ... ISBN 1-882972-74-0 ISBN 1-57918-121-X
  • Catholic Culture Library: [1]
  • Our Lady of Emmitsburg Cult Watch: [2]

External links[edit]

  • Our Lady of Emmitsburg Cult Watch [3]
  • Center for the Immaculate Heart [4]
  • Our Lady of Emmitsburg [5]