Avezzano, Italy: At the tender age of 9, Emidio Petracca (later to be known as Padre Domenico da Cese in the Capuchin order) in January 1915, warned of an impending earthquake to effect the region. The Lord had given this information to Emidio who tried to tell the residents of Cese, but no one would listen to a mere child. Unfortunately, during the morning of January 13, 1915 a powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Abruzzi region destroying several towns and killing over 30,000 people including his 2 younger sisters, Elisa and Lauretta. Emidio was at the local church with his father for the morning mass when both of them were suddenly buried beneath the rubble, it was then that a "stranger" rescued him. He would see this "stranger" again - recognizing "Him" in the Face of the Volto Santo, a precious relic with the image of Jesus Christ kept at the Basilica in Manoppello, Italy for centuries.
Above: Petracca family home, Cese, Italy.
Maria Venditti, Pescara: In 1958 while carrying her first child, the doctors informed Maria she must have an abortion to save her own life due to her health situation, upon hearing the news she ran to Padre Domenico immediately. As a spiritual daughter, she told him everything in tears. However, Padre Domenico assured her, "This one will be born and you will stay alive too." "This one", she asked, and he replied, "It will be a boy and will be born after the 15th of May!" Maria said, "But I really wanted a girl", then Padre Domenico stated,
"After a short time you will give birth to a girl too." On May 27, 1958, her son Felice was born then on July 14, 1960 daughter Elisabetta was born. It was in 1978, when Elisabetta at age 16 was awoken from a dream in which she saw Padre Domenico bleeding while on the ground, she told her mother immediately. They learned that Padre Domenico had been struck by a speeding car while in Turin, hitting his head and laid covered in blood, later to die from the injuries.
Above: Maria Venditti, Elisabetta, Felice, Padre Domenico and Maria's Mother-in-law.
Giuseppe Orlando: Giuseppe Orlando's fiancee Anna Maria wanted Giuseppe to meet Padre Domenico prior to getting married. They spoke for awhile, and then finally Padre Domenico before leaving asked Giuseppe to have a mass said for his grandmother "Maria Grazia". Puzzled he said, "But who is she? I don't have any grandmother with that name."
Padre Domenico told him not to ask any questions. Giuseppe had the mass said; however, he thought it was a mistake, but he had to find out for sure. Once home his mother told him that his paternal grandmother died when his father was only 5 years old, her name...
After a confession with Padre Domenico, Giuseppe stated that Padre Domenico told him the sins he needed to confess and to practice certain virtues. For the first time, he was able to really know himself as he said, " I was a man full of flaws and bad habits, I loved everything I liked and that was usually sinful, but Padre Domenico made me a spiritual man."
On December 8, 1975, Padre Domenico celebrated their wedding mass in Manoppello. Everytime he saw Giuseppe and Anna Maria he would exclaim, "Here they are, my favorite children!"
Above: Padre Domenico, Giuseppe and Anna Maria Orlando.