“Oh, Father! I don’t know if you realized that at the moment of Holy Communion I was finding it hard to follow you because I was… already elsewhere, intent on looking towards heaven, from which a joyful call was coming to me, with that joy which cannot be described by human comparisons and words. I had to make an effort to pull myself away from there in order to respond to you…. Afterwards, trembling with joy, waves of vaster and vaster joy, the heavenly domain became progressively illuminated for me, and I saw.
I saw the most radiant azures of the meadows of Paradise….This vision of the heavenly regions flooded with the light which no comparison can convey, the light of Paradise, indeed leads to blessedness, even if it were to remain on its own.
Observe that the expanses of the Heavenly Kingdom struck me as much higher than the normal sky, and yet they were very distinct, as if no further away from the rooftops and whenever I contemplate Paradise, I get this sensation of infinite distance from earth and the feeling that I
From a northeastern point three most radiant figures, like common mortals, are coming to meet me, walking over the sapphire fields, with a royal, very dignified gait. And yet they show no haughtiness. Quite the contrary. They walk nimbly, without losing solemnity. They smile, observing me, and smile at one another, drawing each other’s attention towards me with the language of their gazes. As they approach, I see the movement of their beautiful eyes-the first one’s are sapphire blue, the second’s very black, and the third’s golden chestnut-shining in the smile and light of Paradise. They come up to the limit of the heavenly field, beyond which there is an empty space as far as the lower terrace, where I am, venerating and enraptured. And they halt there, looking at me, smiling as only an angel can smile, clasping each other around the waist, like three brothers who love one another and are taking a stroll together.
They are the three archangels: Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael. And I shall attempt to provide a picture of them. They are three very handsome young men. They strike me as young men aged twenty, or between eighteen and thirty. The youngest is Raphael, and the oldest (in appearance) is Michael, with a tremendous comeliness.
The first on the right was Gabriel, apparently aged twenty-four or twenty-five. Tall, slender, and very spiritualized in his enraptured features as a perpetual worshipper. Blond-a pure gold blond-with wavy hair barely touching his shoulders-or, rather the base of his neck-clasped by a slender diamond-studded ring-it resembled a band of incandescent light rather than metal and jewels. Dressed in that robe of woven light-diamonds and pearls-which I have often seen in glorious bodies. A long, loose, very pure tunic which completely concealed his feet and barely left uncovered his right hand, quite beautiful in appearance, hanging down at his side. He was looking at me with his sapphire eyes, with such a supernatural smile that, though a smile, it frightened me.
The other one, in the middle, also very tall, his companion, was, as I said, awesome in his austere handsomeness. With brown hair shorter than his companion’s and curlier, a sturdier build, and a forehead free of all diadems, but with a kind of medal on his chest made of gold and stones and constructed like this , held up by two little gold chains. The stones set in place formed characters, perhaps a name, but I was unable to read those words, those letters which are not like our own. He was dressed in inflamed gold, a robe which was bright that it blinded you. It looked like a light-colored flame (not reddish, but golden) enveloping his nimble, robust members. His black eyes were severe and cast forth beams of light. He did not make me afraid, for I felt he was not angry with me, but, rather, that he loved me. But it was a gaze with an awesomeness which must be distressing for sinners and Satan. Michael had neither a sword nor a lance, quite the opposite of the way he is portrayed, but his weapons were his eyes. Even his smile was severe, very austere.
The third one, wearing a robe with a jewel-covered belt, a robe of a delicate emerald, seemed to be dressed exactly in the color you see when looking at an emerald against the light. He was tall, with long dark hair, like Gabriel’s. A precious color of hair which is chestnut with a little sprinkling of dark gold. He looked like the youngest of all and reminded me a bit of St. John the Apostle because of his gentle, youthful smile. Raphael’s eyes, though, were a very soft chestnut color, with a placid, patient gaze which is a caress. He was smiling in a more human way than the others. Everything in him was more like the way we are. He was really the “good young man” of the Book of Tobiah. You feel like putting your hand in his, trustingly, and saying to him, “Guide me! In everything!”
They looked at me, smiled, and smiled at each other. Then they greeted me.
Gabriel sang, with his voice like a very spiritual harp (and every note takes you into ecstasy): “Hail, Mary,” and on saying “Mary” he gathered his hands over his chest and bent his head, raising it afterwards with a smile afterwards with a smile increasing the glowing of his entire self towards the heights of Paradise. I understood that, rather than greet me, he had wished to show himself clearly. He is the Archangel who announces the great mystery…and seems able only to say those words and venerate the Virgin.
Michael touched the jewel on his chest. He took it in the fingers of his right hand and lifted it up to show it to me and, with a voice resounding like bronze, said, “Whoever is with God can do all. And Satan can do nothing against whoever is with God. For who is like God?” And these last words seemed to make his heavenly aura vibrate as if from harmonious thunder. He rested his medal on his chest and knelt down, adoring the Eternal (whom I did not see, but who I would say, judging from the Archangel’s gaze, was perpendicular to or right behind my back far up, high above).
Raphael, with his golden voice, opened his arms as if to embrace me and at the same time uplifted his shining face in contemplation of God and said, “May joy always be with you.” He somewhat resembled the angel I have seen in two visions. But he was less spiritualized than the other. At the root of his hair was a light like a star, a gentle light which brought comfort, as did his robe of shining light emerald.
They continued to look at me. They then clasped each other more tightly around the waist and (note that until then I had not noticed the wings on their backs) and opened their wings of pearl, flame, and pale green light and swiftly rose into the sky singing an unrepeatable song, just like the one I heard on December 13, 1944 in Compito, when I saw the angelic cohorts flying over Bethlehem singing….
And I remained here. Rather, I descended from the spheres where I had been and came back to myself, to my agonies, to my bed. The joy remained, though…and I also realized that-how stupid of me-I had been incapable of saying a word to the three archangels…. But my soul spoke with them. I felt that it venerated them, even if I could not translate its beats into material words.
After having received everything mentioned above, I took up the Bible to seek out every angelic apparition in it. Abraham, Jacob, Tobiah, and then the prophet Daniel passed by that way. In the eighth chapter my glance fell upon verses 13 and 14. When I reached the sentence “He replied, ‘From dusk to dawn, for two thousand three hundred days, and then the sanctuary will be purified,” a reply-or, rather, an explanation-came quick as an arrow: “Replace the word ‘days’ with ‘centuries,’ for to us a century is less than a day, and you will have the date of the end of the world.” Nothing else. The voice ceased as suddenly as it had come, and I would say it was that of my inner advisor, for it was like his.”