The Prophecy of Camparmò
Written by Fr. Ricardo Argañaraz
Text of the prophecy
Light will light up your darkness,
night is giving way to day
and my glory shines.
You must shine, light of my glory!
You must be the word of my mouth!
You must fulfil the action of my love!
Your thirst for doing, your hunger for being
I, the Lord, well know.
Camparmò will be my house of prayer;
there my virgins will live with my poor.
House of conversion, of communion,
where my love will have
the splendour of my resurrection.
Camparmò, sign of unity, of holiness, of glory.
Camparmò, dwelling-place of God.
From my house will spring
new vocation, new evangelisation.
Camparmò, sign of conversion
and of faithfulness to God.
Everyone that I, the Lord, will send you,
shall be chosen and wanted by me:
to be loved and nourished by you, my servant.
I, Lord and God, will use you and mould you
according to my will
and for my glorious work.
You will be pastor
of the poor and the virgins;
none of you shall perish
because great is my love for you.
You will be the sign of the new pastor:
everything will be fulfilled
and you will glorify me for eternity.
Always turn your hands towards me
to be blessed for the work
that you have to do.
Do not be afraid,
I will speak to you through your heart.
Biella, 25th August 1978
There were two characteristics that have marked my life and are always present in my heart: the ardent desire for friendship and the strong inclination to prayer. Looking back over my 79 years, these two sentiments have given structure to both my personal life and my relationship with others. I can say that already as a young boy I bound to my brothers and sisters in friendship, and I have never abandoned my personal prayer from the moment I encountered the Lord Jesus: 61 years of daily prayer.
This gives structure to my personality and it is in this context that both the foundation of Koinonia John the Baptist and the prophecy which we call the Prophecy of Camparmò is to be understood.
Immediately after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which occurred on 4th May 1975 at Ronchi di Villafranca in the Diocese of Padua, the desire to found a community that would be totally centred on prayer became very strong within me. When I say “totally” I mean to say a community which would have time consistently dedicated to prayer, as it was in the monasteries of old. In these monasteries the 24 hours of the day were equally divided into 8 hours of prayer, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of rest. In this we see that the time dedicated to prayer was without a doubt superior to the other two moments of the day, when other necessary services for the sustenance and development of the ordinary life were also contemplated.
At the same moment of this effusion I began to hear this insistent expression, both sweet and strong, in my heart: “come in to the desert. There I will speak to you”. I submitted this inspiration to my brothers with whom I lived and shared community life. Their response was unanimous: “yes, this voice comes from the Lord. You must follow it”.
With the consensus of my brothers in the Priestly Fraternity I decided to spend two months ‘in the desert’, just as I had done when I met the Lord Jesus at the age of 18. I retreated to Palon Summit, in the mountain range of Pasubio in the Little Dolomites, where I stayed in a little hut near the church dedicated to the soldiers who had died in the First World War. On 4th July 1975 I began my ‘desert time’ fasting completely for the first fortnight, drinking only water. The Lord shone light on the future community and clearly spoke in my heart: “I will give you a place on the left of this valley, where you will live with brothers and sisters different to those you live with today”. United to this word, I received an image of two roads, one ascending and the other descending the mountain. One was dark on which I saw sick people of every type walking up. The other was full of light, where I saw people descending totally healed and full of joy.
Subsequently, on 19th September 1975, I arrived at Camparmò. Camparmò is in the Valley of Pasubio, in the Diocese of Vicenza, exactly to the left of Palon Summit, just as the Lord had announced. Camparmò would become the site of the future Koinonia John the Baptist. Together with a young Sandro Bocchin, I took definitive possession of the whole townland of Camparmò on 2nd April 1976. It had been abandoned in 1902 and occupied as an Italian army barracks defending the Front on Mount Pasubio between 1914 and 1918. But from 1976 onwards, together with an excellent builder from the area, we began to renovate the dilapidated houses in the small village.
On 24th June 1978, Antonietta Salvan, a lay sister belonging to the Charismatic Renewal of Cosset in the Diocese of Biella, received a prophecy concerning me personally and addressed to the head of the Priestly Fraternity of which I was a member. In essence, this prophecy said: “Leave Ricardo’s feet free so that he can go to Camparmò, this soil that I have blessed”. I didn’t know Antonietta. Later on when I had the opportunity to meet her, she revealed that from the end of 1976, at the command of the Lord, she had prayed for a priest that she identified with the person of Fr. Ricardo. This priest was me.
This was the first prophecy given by the Lord to Antonietta for Camparmò. The second arrived two months later on 25th August 1978. This second prophecy is the programmatic prophecy about Camparmò that gave impetus to the community experience of Camparmò and the whole community of Koinonia John the Baptist.
It is in this historical-geographical context that the prophecy was granted by the Lord, and I now wish to comment on this prophecy in the light of both my personal experience and the experience of the whole Koinonia after 35 years since the foundation of Camparmò.
Description of the Prophecy
The prophecy is poignant in its concepts. On its first reading it is difficult to be able to understand it in its fullness. It demands an understanding emerging from faith and historical experience, and not only personal history, but also the historical events of the church. It is a prophecy that is given a little more than 10 years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. We need to strongly affirm that it is a prophecy bursting with concepts that are not only “biblical” but “biblical in the light of Vatican II”.
Let me suggest a breakdown of the prophecy that I will develop in greater detail as I continue:
1. The first part which is dedicated to the person of the founder, and therefore to my person
2. The second part says what Camparmò is, namely the Koinonia
3. The third part indicates who is called to be a member of Koinonia John the Baptist
4. The fourth part describes the role of the pastor
5. The fifth part looks are the style of life of members of the Koinonia
6. Finally, the conclusion once again refers to me in my role as founder.
In the first part the prophecy proclaims what the Lord will do in my heart and my life, saying precisely: “Ricardo”.
The second part describes what the Koinonia is, and what its different organic parts (oasis, reality, familial community, houses of prayer) need to be. It affirms the identity of Camparmò as a house of prayer that shines forth with the glory of the Resurrection of the Lord, a sign of His presence, and from which new vocation and new evangelisation will flow.
In the third part the prophecy affirms the specifics of members of Koinonia, underlining that they are sent by the Lord, inasmuch as they are chosen and wanted by Him, so that the Koinonia forms them for the fulfilment of his “glorious work”.
In the fourth part the prophecy affirms the divine intention of me being a sign of the new pastor, as founder, and that everyone with come to the realisation of the eternal glory of God.
In the fifth and final part, the prophecy entrusts to the members of Koinonia the task of extending their hands always towards Him in order to receive his blessing. In doing this they will be able to carry out the new evangelisation through new vocation.
The prophecy concludes commanding me to go in to exile from where, once I am purified, the Lord will call me back to Camparmò. It then closes with a promise: “Do not be afraid. I will speak to you through your heart”.
1. The Founder
The prophecy affirms that the Holy Spirit, through his light, would make the darkness in my heart and circumstances in my life that envelop me disappear. The darkness doesn’t refer as much to a situation of sin, rather to a lack of light and awareness of the work that the Lord himself wanted to do through me. In fact now, in light of 36 years of the prophecy, I understand that the darkness corresponded to the lack of discernment and understanding of the work, the project, and the vision that the Lord had given to me in the prophecy. Gradually, step by step, and through different life experiences has turned my darkness into light. This gradual understanding is expressed very well in the gerund: “night is giving way to day and my glory shines”, meaning that the night is ending, because the sun of divine glory is making the day bright. For this reason the Lord commands that I must shine, that I must be and that I must fulfil. In fact, I am invited to shine, welcoming his glory in to my life, a glory that can not be anything other than the realisation and fulfilment of his will. I am invited to be the announcer of his Word - invites that must be implemented with a love that is heroically lived.
And this is how the first part directed at me concludes, a section where the Lord affirms that he knows me and that he knows me “thirst for doing” and “hunger for being”, just as the Psalm declares: “Lord, you search me and know me” (Psalm 139:1)
The whole first part is proposing a spirituality, not only of the person who will one day be pastor, but also for every member of Koinonia John the Baptist. One aspect is highlighted in fact. It is not so much the ascetic of the Christian life but rather the mystical aspect. A person is not “movens” but “mota”, and as such they do not move on their own, but are moved by the Spirit through his gifts.
This spirituality underlines that it is the Lord who accomplishes in us his work of transformation of our entire person into an authentic mystical life. This mystical life leads us to the embodiment of us being the likeness Christ the Lord. This should be understood as an intense communion with the Father, under the action of the gifts of the Holy Spirit who produces succulent fruits and beatitudes, an intimation of the life that awaits us in Paradise. This mystical way is for both the individual member and the entire community, and is lived out through heroic bonds of love, in a friendship that leads us to an authentic identification with the Lord Jesus, who impels us to give our life for the Lord and for our brothers and sisters, just as Jesus himself did.
We haven’t received a Spirit that enslaves us, but a Spirit of adopted children of God (cf. Rom 8:15) that enables us to cry out: I live, but “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).