Titular Archbishop of Martana, Apostolic Nuncio emeritus to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, mons. Piere Giacomo De Nicolò came as a pilgrim to Medjugorje for the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions. He was born in the Adriatic town Cattolica in1929, and ordained as a priest on April 12, 1952.
On August 14, 1984, he was appointed as the Apostolic Nuncio in Costarica, and as the Titular Archbishop of Martana. Mons. De Nicolò served as the Apostolic Nuncio in several counties such as Syria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He is retired since September 8, 2014, when he was 85 years old. He has two brothers, who are bishops too: Mariano De Nicolò and Paolo De Nicolò.
„Service of the Apostolic Nuncio is one that last for the whole lifetime, it is not like Bishop or Archbishop Emeritus. I also have two brothers who are bishops, one in Rimini who is now engaged in a personal activity and he is no longer Head of Papal House when he served. I came to Medjugorje in 1987, for the first time, but I can hardly recognise anything now. There were only few houses back in those days, it is different now. I came then as a response to the invitation of one gentleman who organised pilgrimages here. I was so impressed as I entered into the church six years after the first apparition and I found there at least 300 priests who were preparing to concelebrate at the Holy Mass. I was so moved, I never saw that many priests not even in Lourdes. It wasn't even Sunday or a feast day, it was just ordinary day. I was really moved by that. After that, I did not think too much about anything. Later on, I developed some holy friendships with people who used to come here. Some of them are no longer alive, but all of them were people of the profound faith, they were all deeply rooted in the Catholic Church. Some of them were lay people consecrated to God and they were all certain into the truth and authenticity of these events here“, said mons. De Nicolò, who was Apostolic Nuncio for 4 years when he came to Medjugorje for the first time.
„I was so astonished and I said that God's hand rests on this place. My impression was that this was the work of God. Perhaps I spent only a couple of nights here, but the events I witnessed were deeply imbued in the hidden places of my awareness. I never thought too much about this, but I was so moved by the whole experience. For the last ten years, I have more intensive contact with Medjugorje, and now when I am here, my personality is more strengthened. On Sunday Holy Mass with Italian pilgrims, I told them that I am here with the same purpose as they are, as a pilgrim. I need to say that Church is always very wise in such cases, like this one of Medjugorje. It is not the apparitions or conversations of the visionaries with Our Lady that are considered only. It is absolutely normal for the Church to act prudently here, to wait for the right moment for its decision. It is good that the Church takes time for such decisions, and its final saying, full of authority will come at the end of something. My experience is that Our Lady is present here, her vicinity can be felt, God is active here, there is love for God being born through Mary, love for brothers and sisters. Doubtlessly, I was able to see living acts of God's love in people here. I saw Church being built in a very positive way. To come here occasionally means to enter into the atmosphere of life, where one breaths and allows his interior to breath. The truth is that we were created for eternity. Mary comes to this world at this moment that seems to be the moment when Christianity is pushed back, when people and humanity suffer. We live in the world that lives without relationship with Divine Creation. This world needs us to bring our brothers to the gate of salvation. I believe that a other Mary is here so people would come to God. She was always Mother of sinners, Mother of those who do not believe. She has mysterious way of coming to them and she brings many of Her children to Her Son.
The world is left alone and it seems as it goes to self destruction, without goal and purpose. When man lacks awareness of eternity, without those horizons, man feels lack of everything, especially lack of desire for life. I am sure that is one of the reasons why Mary is here.
I see many people coming here, like in other major shrines, and they come to make relationship with Mary, to bring their souls to the state of joy, serenity, peace, so God would give them strength to live their lives in fullness. That is what one feels here. People desire to discover the purpose of their lives, reasons to give themselves to others. Here I found profound dimension I could not see before. Many good deeds were born here. This morning I climbed Apparition Hill even though I had recent hip surgery and I am 87, I thought I would not be able to do it. I had someone close to me who wanted to help me go up. They took me in the stretcher. I felt the spirit of God, all these pilgrims who came now with me, all 35 of them express me such love. I came here by chance. Marco and his wife took me to the shrine of Divine Love outside Rome and suggested I come here. I saw many wonderful examples of true confession here, people who had serious issues became healed and cured here and they cried of joy at the end of those healing confessions, all after many years they found a new life here. Their tears are those of repentance because of sadness for their past deeds and they want all of that to be changed. Mary came here because of that, let us believe, entrust ourselves to Her, let us follow Her, She will take us to salvation“, said mons. De Nicolò. (Radio „Mir“ Međugorje)