5th April 1945.
The house of the Supper room is full of people. The hall, the court-yard, the rooms, apart from the Supper room and the Virgin Mary's room, show the joyful excited appearance of a place where many people meet, after some time, for a feast. The apostles are there, except Thomas. The shepherds are there. The faithful women are there, and with Johanna, there are Nike, Eliza, Syra, Marcella, Anne. They are all speaking in low voices, but with evident joyful excitement. The house is locked, as if they were afraid, but the fear from outside does not affect the joy inside.
Martha goes backwards and forwards with Marcella and Susanna, preparing the supper of the « servants of the Lord », as she calls the apostles. The other women and men ask one another questions, they confide their impressions, their joys and fears... like many children awaiting something that thrills them and also frightens them a little.
The apostles would like to appear as the most self-confident. But they are the first to become uneasy if a noise seems the knock at a door or sounds like a window that bursts open. Also Susanna, who rushes with two multi-flamed lamps to help Martha, who is looking for some table-linen, makes Matthew jump back shouting: « The Lord! », which causes Peter, who is evidently more excited than the others, to fall on his knees.
A resolute knock at the door cuts all words short and leaves them all in suspense. I think that all their hearts are beating fast.
They look through the spy-hole and open with an « Oh! » of surprise, as they see the unexpected group of the Roman ladies escorted by Longinus and by another man, who like Longinus, is wearing dark clothes. Also the ladies are all enveloped in dark mantles, which cover also their heads. They are not wearing any jewels, in order not to attract attention.
« May we come in for a moment to express our joy to the Mother of the Saviour? » says Plautina, who is the most respected of them all.
« Do come in. She is there. »
They go in, in a group, with Johanna and Mary of Magdala, who gives me the impression that she knows them very well.
Longinus and the other Roman remain, separate in a corner of the hall, as they are looked at somewhat askance.
The women greet with their: « Ave Domina! » and they then kneel down saying: « If previously we admired the Wisdom, now we want to be daughters of the Christ. And we are telling You. You alone can overcome the Jewish distrust towards us. We will come to You to be taught until they (and they point at the apostles standing still in a group near the door) allow us to say that we are of Jesus. » It is Plautina who has spoken on behalf of everybody.
Mary smiles blissfully and says: « I ask the Lord to cleanse My lips as He did with the prophet, so that I may be able to speak worthily of My Lord. May you be blessed, the first fruits of Rome. »
« Longinus also would like to... and the Roman lance, who felt a fire in his heart when... when at the cry of God, Earth and Heaven opened. But if we know little, they know nothing, apart that He was the Saint of God and that they no longer want to belong to the Error. »
« You will tell them to come to the apostles. »
« They are over there. But the apostles distrust them. »
Mary stands up and goes towards the soldiers. The apostles look at Her go, trying to guess Her mind.
« May God lead you to His Light, sons! Come! To meet the servants of the Lord. This is John. And you know him. And this is Simon Peter, chosen by My Son and Lord to be the head of the brothers. This is James and this is Judas, cousins of the Lord. This is Simon and this is Andrew, who is Peter's brother. And this is James, John's brother. And these are Philip, Bartholomew and Matthew. Thomas is absent, still far away, but I mention his name as if he were present. They are the ones who have been chosen for a special mission. But these ones, who are standing humbly in the shade, are the first in the heroism of love. For over thirty years they have been preaching the Christ. Neither persecutions against them, nor the conviction of the Innocent have impaired their faith. Fishermen and shepherds, and you patricians. But in Jesus' name distinctions do not exist any more. Love in the Christ makes us all equal and brothers. And My love calls you sons, including you of another nation. Even more, I say that I find you once again after losing you, because, at the moment of sorrow, you were near My Dying Son. And I will not forget your compassion, Longinus, or your words, soldier. I looked as if I had been killed. But I saw everything. I do not have the possibility of rewarding you. And, really, for holy things there is no money, but only love and prayer. And that is what I will give you, praying our Lord Jesus Himself to reward you. »
« We have received it, Domina. That is why we have dared to come all together. A common impulse gathered us together. Faith has already placed its tie from heart to heart » says Longinus.
They all go near with curiosity. And there is someone who, overcoming the reluctance and perhaps the disgust of contact with heathens, says: « What did you receive? »
« I, a voice, His. And it said: “Come to Me” » says Longinus. « And I heard: “If you think that I am Holy, believe in Me” » says the other soldier.
« And we » says Plautina « while this morning we were speaking of Him, saw a light, a light! It changed into a face. Oh! you... please say how bright it was. It was His. And He smiled so kindly at us, that we wanted only one thing, to come and say to you: “Do not reject us “. »
Voices whisper making comments. They all speak, telling how they saw it.
The ten apostles are silent, mortified. In order to recover from their unpleasant situation, and not appear as the only ones who had been left without His greetings, they ask the Hebrew women whether they were without a Passover gift.
Eliza says: « He removed from my heart the sword of sorrow for the death of my son. »
And Anne: « I heard His promise concerning the eternal salvation of my relatives. »
And Syra: « I received a caress. »
And Marcella: « I saw a flash and I heard his voice say: “Persevere”. »
« And what about you, Nike? » they ask her, since she is silent. « She had already had her gift » reply others.
« No. I have seen His Face, and He said to me: “That it may be impressed on your heart”. How beautiful it was! »
Martha goes backwards and forwards, silently and quickly, and does not speak.
« And what about you, sister? Nothing for you? You are silent and you smile. You smile too sweetly to have no joy of your own » says the Magdalene.
« It is true. Your eyes are closed and your tongue is silent, but your eyes shine so much under the veil of your eyelids, that you seem to be singing a song of love. »
« Oh! speak then! Mother, did she tell You? »
The mother smiles but does not speak.
Martha, who is busy laying the cloth on the table, does not want to reveal her happy secret. But her sister gives her no rest. Then Martha, blushing blissfully, says: « He gave me a rendezvous for the hour of my death and the accomplishment of the nuptials... » and her face lights up with a brighter flush and the smile of her soul.