THE IMPRIMATUR TO "THE MIRACLE OF DAMASCUS"
In 1970 Richard Salbato wrote two books on religion. He drove 1400 miles in a borrowed car to have them reviewed and corrected by Father Robert J. Fox. He then went on a job to the Philippine Islands and had nine other priests review and correct them. One book was given to the Bishop and an Imprimatur was returned within one week with the statement that "this book will open the eyes of un-cautious Christians. When the publisher failed to include the Imprimatur on the finished product, Rick felt it was Gods will to protect the reputation of the Cardinal.
The book was very controversial, but Rick's patron saints were John the Baptist and Thomas More and he could not be silent about something against God (or even Demonic) simply because he would be in the minority or that it might effect sales of the book. The results were that no Catholic Book Store in America carried the book, but the souls that were saved made it all worth the suffering.
The power of the pen became evident to the author when his mother, who had left the Church for twenty years returned to daily Mass, and when his sister, who had hated Catholics, went to Confession for the first time in twenty-five years within one hour of reading the last page of his book. Five hundred letters poured into the office of the publisher and only two letters apposed the book. Most spoke of how their eyes were opened to the tricks of Satan, and how easy the book was to read and to understand. Rick writes in a simple stile, never using words that a sixteen year old could not understand. A lesson learned from St. Jerome.
Rick then went on to write seven more books and submitted each one of them to his Bishop in the United States. Not one time in four years did he even get an answer from his bishop. Without the Imprimatur Rick would not publish. So he went to the Vatican and one of the more famous Cardinals. He was given the address of a theologian in Texas and told if this theologian approves the books to go ahead and publish them.
In time the Dominican theologian would approve all the books; however, within five days of his meeting in the Vatican, Rick met Mirna in Damascus. He wrote her story in Rome and had it checked at Saint Thomas Seminary. He reviewed page after page with Mirna until he felt it was complete. An organization was formed to promote the story of Mirna called "THE MESSENGERS OF UNITY". The Messengers of Unity wanted the book published right away, but Rick would not publish without an Imprimatur and in the case of an apparition it had to be approved by the seer's Bishop.
In August of 1989 The Messengers of Unity sent the finished manuscript to Father Zahlaoui and told him to check again for errors and then to bring the book to the Bishop for the Imprimatur. After two months Rick wrote to Father Zahlaoui wanting to know what was happening. No answer.
Four months went by and more letters. No answer. Six months, and finally Rick left The Messengers of Unity for he would not continue without Church approval. He went up in the mountains and wrote two more books. He now had ten unpublished books, seven with Church approval; but no money to publish anything.
Finally after nine months, Armen Hovsepian called. He was going to Damascus in order to find out what was happening with the Imprimatur for without Church approval there could not be any Messengers of Unity. But how could he go? Since Armen's conversion he had not worked one single day. He had no money to travel to Damascus. Armen told Rick the story.
Before his conversion by Our Lady of Soufanieh, Armen was into drugs, women and gambling. He was considered by his infamous friends as the luckiest or best gambler around. One of these friends wanted him to go to Las Vegas. But Armen refused. He had no money to gamble; and besides, since he learned about Our Lady of Soufanieh he did not gamble anymore. But his friend insisted. He would give him the money to gamble or he could just watch. He finally went but his mind was on Soufanieh and he would not gamble. What he needed was to get the book and the video moving.
Suddenly he had an idea. He told his friend to give him $1,000 and within a few hours handed his friend $20,000. Armen's infamous sponsor was astonished and wanted to give him half the money.
"I want nothing for the gambling; but Our Lady of Soufanieh needs me to go to Damascus and She needs $7,000 to accomplish Her mission."
Within a few days Armen was on his way to Damascus. The manuscript had been in Damascus for almost a year, but Mirna had not read a word of it. Father Malouli had not read it. Nicholas had not read it. Father Zahlaoui not even opened it and had not sent it to the Bishop. It took a month before Armen was able to get Father Zahlaoui to even take it to a translator.
Finally after two more weeks Mirna said that they did not need Father Zahlaoui and could go directly to the Bishop. Armen and Mirna took a second copy of the manuscript to the Bishop. A priest in his office could read and write English effortlessly, and within a week the Imprimatur was signed without any changes.
All the Bishop asked was that a footnote be made in the book where it says about a previous pope having stepped down for the sake of unity, saying what pope, when and why. And this the author did. No other changes were requested. This is important as you will see later.
It was Armen's last day in Damascus. He wanted to know if he had accomplished all that Our Lady wanted him to do. He prayed for and sign and then decided to ask Her for the absolute impossible. When Nicholas bought the original Icon in Sofia, Bulgaria, he bought ten of them. There were no original Icons left. All were given away. Mirna's father built the original shrine to keep the Icon and most of the miracles took place in or in front of that shrine. Armen decided that he wanted an original Icon and the original shrine as a sign from Our Lady that She was pleased with his work. More than that, he wanted the Icon to pour out oil without any prayers from Mirna. He told Mirna what he wanted and she told him that he was crazy.
On his last day, a man, who would never part with his Icon ( not even to his mother), gave it to Armen. Mirna's father came by and gave him the shrine. Father Zahlaoui brought his corrections. Downstairs everyone was passing around the Icon that had been given to Armen. He was on the roof where the first apparition took place. Abruptly he said to himself, "My Icon is pouring out oil." And within seconds someone came up shouting that his Icon was pouring out oil.
While all this was going on Rick was in Detroit, MI. He gave his manuscript to his confessor at St. Joseph's Cathedral for review. Rick did not know it, but on the following day, Father Messias Coheir, the spiritual confidant to Lucia of Fatima, and the Editor of the only official Fatima Magazine in the world came to that same Cathedral for the night. He had come from Fatima to give lectures on Fatima.
Father Messias saw the book on the desk and read the entire manuscript. He called Rick.
"I read your book, "The Miracle of Damascus". I have only two questions. One: the Virgin would never say, 'Pray for the inhabitants of Heaven.' I read your explanation about Purgatory but She would not use that language. And second: do you have an Imprimatur from Mirna's Bishop."
Rick new a lot about Father Messias. He is the foremost Maryinologist in the world and teaches Maryinology at the University in Portugal. He is also the priest sent by the Holy Father to Lucia for the final details on the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"Father, regarding the Imprimatur, I will receive it in a few days from Damascus. But about praying for Heaven, I do not know. Let me get back with you tomorrow and I will give you an answer."
Rick hung up and called Father Emmanuel Rayes, who was the best translator he knew. He explained the problem.
"Father Messias is correct," said the Father, "but that is not what Our Lady of Soufanieh said. She uses the word, 'Samma' which means 'upper shy'. 'Janni' means 'Heaven' and there is another word for lower shy. So in this passage she means the middle Heaven, Purgatory."
Rick called Messias and told him the answer. He seemed to be very pleased and wished The Messengers of Unity luck. He asked for a copy of the Imprimatur and it was sent to him after his return trip back to Fatima.
Two days after Father Messias left for Fatima, Rick received the Imprimatur and the corrections of Father Zehlaoui. The corrections of Father Zehlaoui could not be used because the Bishop had not seen them, nor did the bishop know anything about Father Zehlaoui's editing.
Salbato still has in his possession the handwritten changes to the book by Father Zehlaoui. His changes were only two things: One: the elimination of the chapter about the author which has nothing to do with the book, and two, he wanted every reference to Father Zehlaoui changed to his entire name, Father Elias Zahlaoui. These are the only changes to the book by Zahlaoui. Regarding the introduction, Father Zahlaoui was and is a promoter of Medjugorje and other false mystics, and therefore he did not like the reference to false Mary's. In time Father Zahlaoui published his own book and did just what we promised Mirna not to do, he mixed Medjugorje up with Our Lady of Soufanieh. This is true of every other book written about Soufanieh.
Within two weeks an office for "The Messengers of Unity" was opened at 531 North Louise, Glendale, CA. Two months later the first shipment of books arrived. It would take another year before the films were ready, but after eight years of apparitions and messages, the news of Our Lady of Soufanieh was finally getting out. The very first copies of the book, "The Miracle of Damascus", were sent to Mirna, Father Malouli, Father Zehlaoui, Mirna's Father, Bishop Bau1os Bourkhecke, Vatican Nuncio, Cardinal Luigi Accogli of Damascus, His Eminence, Cardinal Gagnon in the Vatican, and Cardinal Ratzinger.
Two years after the first books hit the market, the attacks started. There are seventy alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the world right now. The Messengers of Unity refuse to be mixed up with any of them. In the book is one statement that angers all of these promoters of these apparitions:
THE MESSENGERS OF UNITY HAVE PERMISSION FROM THE BISHOPS OF DAMASCUS TO ANNOUNCE THE MESSAGES AND THE MIRACLES OF SOUFANIEH. WE DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO SPREAD INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OTHER APPARITION.
Because of this statement the book was attacked as being against the Pope, as having an illegal Imprimatur, and as having been condemned by the Vatican. With the help of Father Zahlaoui, Clair Monsour sent out a letter to all the Marian Centers, all the Catholic Book Stores, and all the Catholic news media, that the Vatican had condemned the book.
All these alligations were sent to Mirna. Mirna had never read the book as she does not read English. She then (supposedly) signed a document with accusations against the book, and sent it was sent all over the world by the promoters of the many other apparitions. NO COPY OF THIS LETTER EVER WENT TO THE AUTHOR OR TO THE MESSENGERS OF UNITY.
(The word "supposedly" is important as you will see at the end of this Newsletter.)
In order to defend themselves and the book, The Messengers of Unity in Glendale sent Nabil Shoukeir to Damascus. Nabil had taken all the videos of the miracles of Damascus since 1982 when he lived and worked only blocks away from Mirna. Letters from the author, Rick Salbato, were brought to the Bishop, the Nuncio, Mirna, and Nicola. Copies of these letters are below.
Most Reverend Bishop Boulos Bourkhocke JJ
Greek Catholic (Melkite) Archbishop
Bosre, Houran Et Hjaba I AI-Arab
Khabab, Hauran R. A. S.
Authenticity of the Imprimatur
The Messengers of Unity
249 North Brand Blvd, Suite 584
Glendale, Ca. 92103
A few days ago, I was informed for the very first time that there is a question as to the authenticity of your Imprimatur on the book, THE MIRACLE OF DAMASCUS. I have been called in by The Messengers of Unity to resolve the question once and for all. Today,( July 11, 1992) for the first time I read a letter written by Father Zahlaoui to Bishop Pierre Duprey dated April 15, 1991 stating that the Imprimatur is not authentic. I was also surprised and shocked to read today for the first time a letter written and signed by Father Malouli and Mirna dated June 19, 1992 stating the same complaint.
This week is first time, I have ever heard from anyone that there is a question about the Imprimatur. I asked The Messengers of Unity if they have ever received any letters stating any problems with the Imprimatur and they have not. If there were doubts or any questions at all. the! (The Messengers of Unity) and not others should have been notified. The only way The Messengers of Unity came to know about these two letters was that they were sent to Father Robert Fox by Claire Mansour in order to stop him from writing about Our Lady of Soufanieh. Father Robert Fox (the most famous promoter of Our Lady in the entire world) sent copies of these complaint letters to The Messengers of Unity in order for them (The Messengers of Unity) to clarify their position on this issue.
There is absolutely no truth to the letter of Father Zahlaoui as I will prove. Regarding the letter of Mirna and Father Malouli, I called them and Mirna. told me that she has never read the book. She did, however, believe what Claire Mansour told her about the book.
The story of how I came to write the book is in the book itself. What is not in the book is what happened after. In August of 1989, while Nicolas and Mirna were still in the United States, I sent the finished manuscript to Damascus. I wrote a letter to Father Zahlaoui and told him to check the facts of the story and to bring it to you for the Imprimatur. I wrote to him that I could not and would not publish without your Imprimatur as you ( not I) are the protector of the faith in Damascus. He said that he could get four Imprimaturs, which I counted on. However, only your Imprimatur was absolutely necessary since you are Mirna's Bishop.
Six months went by and I wrote many times to Damascus asking about the book. The Messengers of Unity wanted me to publish it without the Imprimatur and I would not. A year went by and more letters to Damascus, but no reply. Finally, I left The Messengers of Unity and took to writing other books as I could not continue without your blessings.
In April of 1990, Armen Hovsepian called me that he was going to Damascus to find out about the Imprimatur. The miraculous way he went and the miraculous things that happed to him there you can learn from Mirna. What he found out when he arrived is that the book was never given to you. I now have good reason to believe that Father Zahlaoui deliberately held the book back so that the sister of Claire Mansour in Lebanon could publish her book first. And she did.
Armen then insisted that the book be read and brought to you. He stayed a month in Damascus before he was able to get Father Zahlaoui to bring it to a translator. A few more weeks passed and no translation. Finally Armen , Nabil, Nicolas and Mirna. took A SECOND copy to you. My understanding is that you have a priest in your office who can read and translate English and that he translated the book to you and it is from this copy that you wrote the Imprimatur. On the very last day that Armen was in Damascus, Father Zahlaoui delivered the Imprimatur and his corrections.
When Armen arrived back in the United States, I was two thousand miles away from him in Detroit. He sent me the Imprimatur and the corrections. I took one look at these corrections and called him. I told him that I did not believe that you had made or even seen these corrections because Father Zahlaoui completely crossed out the introduction which had nothing to do with Our Lady of Soufanieh or with faith and morals. It is simply about the author and why he came to write the book.
Armen's belief (and mine) is that it was not possible for you to have seen those corrections, since they were completed on the last day. We were forced to publish what you had read with only minor changes recommended by Father Zahlaoui, for example, the use of his entire name, "Father Elias Zahlaoui" instead of simply "Father Zahlaoui". [over 30 places] other corrections he made regarding the story we verified with Nicolas and did not make. In general, we believe we published the book you read and approved.
In order to find out if this is true or not, I am sending to you Father Zahlaoui's corrections and asking if you have ever seen them. If the book we published is not the book you read and gave an Imprimatur to, we will withdraw the book from the market, publish your reply and apologize to all our readers and to Our Lady.
If, however, the two letters written by Father Zahlaoui and Mirna. are published throughout America next week (as we have been told), we will be forced to publish a copy of this letter and then wait for your reply.
Your Obedient Servant,
P .S. Your Excellency,
I have one more request of you. Mirna asked me over and over why I have left her for the last two years, and I could not explain it to her. I had promised Mirna and I signed a contract With the Messengers of Unity to work for Our Lady of Soufanieh the rest of my life without any pay. (copy enclosed). For two years, I did exactly that. However, my sister took sick and could no longer take care of my mother (who now has cancer). The law of Christ -(Matthew 16:6-6) demands that I take care of my mother even before my work for the Kingdom.
If by some miracle, I was able to travel With Mirna. in the United States, I still would not. The code of Canon Law (see the section on forbidden books) does not allow me to condone or promote private revelations which has been condemned by the Church. Some will argue that Articles 1399 and 2218 of the 1917 Code permit this, but this is not true in the case of condemned apparitions. Laws of The Messengers of Unity and Mirna which forbid Soufanieh be promoted with other apparitions has not been headed. Mirna's friends refused to do this and use Our Lady to promote their own cause..
P.S. I was just now informed by Nabil that Father Zahlaoui is having the book translated into Spanish without my permission and using his changes. I have never given this permission and I will not. If you personally check the changes and personally approve, I will consider that as the same as if I gave him permission.
By instructions from Rick Salbato, the author, Nabil insisted on seeing the bishop first with the author's letter. Mirna was afraid to go to him, because (as she said) she did not want to get Father Zahlaoui in trouble. Instead she said she would go to the Nuncio, who reads English perfectly, and if he finds nothing wrong with the book, everyone will be happy. Letter by the author to the Nuncio.
Cardinal Luigi Accogli 8-1-92
I have the honor to be the author of the book about Our Lady of Soufanieh called "The Miracle of Damascus". If you will remember, I met you four years ago next to The House of Ananias when you were having a cross made for your chapel.
This book has now been on the market for two years and has sold over 15,000 copies. The Messengers of Unity, who
promote the book and the video with it, have given it free to bishops throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. I
personally sent a copy to His Eminence, Cardinal Gagnon, in the Vatican two years ago, since he has reviewed other books for me. The first copy went to His Excellency, Bishop Baulos Bourkocke, who gave us the Imprimatur. He has had the finished product for two years also.
Not one time in the past two years have I or the promoters of the book ever received a single complaint about the book from the readers, the bishops, the Vatican, or our bishop.
Before sending it to Mirna's bishop, the book was checked by the best theologian I could find in Rome at St. Thomas Seminary and was totally written in Roca de Papa, Italy. The final check was made by the foremost Maryinologist in the world and the spiritual director of Lucia of Fatima, Father Messias Coheir.
Your Eminence, I have given you this background because I now desperately need your help. The book is now being attacked by the organized backers of the condemned apparitions of Medjugorje, Father Zahlaoui and Mirna, herself. I am hoping she is sitting in front of you as you read this letter.
Letters are now being sent all over the world claiming that the book has an illegal Imprimatur, the Vatican has condemned it, and that the book recommends the Holy Father to step down. None of these accusations is true. Enclosed is a copy of my letter to His Excellency, Bishop Baulos Bourkhocke, which will explain the accusations about the Imprimatur.
It is understandable why the promoters of false apparitions are angered at the book. What they really object to is page 19 of the introduction and page 78 (which I have highlighted in yellow for you). It is also understandable why Mirna objects to page 180 (also highlighted). In fact I am glad that she objects to it. It shows that she has a love for the seat of Peter and the Holy Father. Since she cannot read English and only relies on what people tell her of this page, she still thinks I am advocating that My Holy Father step down.
For the sake of Mirna and the letter we need from her, I am asking, praying and begging you to read the entire chapter 7 (WHAT UNITES?) right now in front of her. I wrote this chapter because Cardinal Bea, who was appointed by Pope John XXIII to bring about unity, concluded that there was only one real thing that divided the churches, the fact of a single Pope. I use the Holy Family, Saint Joseph, family love, the Bible, the first saints of the Church, and logic to prove there can never by unity unless the concept of one single Pope is accepted. I then go on to prove he must reside in Rome. Once I have accomplished this, I ask my readers to think. If this is a fact? If Pluras Unum is not possible? If there has to be a single Pope. Who could it possibly be? I think any logical reader will conclude what I am trying to say, that even if Pope John Paul II stepped down, he would be re-elected. Who else could it possibly be?
I pray that you read this and give Mirna and I your advice. I know Mirna will do what ever you ask of her. I will consider your advice and recommendations as if they came directly from Christ. We must have a letter from Mirna's bishop and Mirna, herself, or remove ourselves from the promotion of Our Lady forever. I will consider your word the word of Our Lady of Soufanieh no matter what it is.
Your Obedient Servant
The Nuncio reviewed the book and nothing was found to be wrong. In fact, he said it was a very good and useful book for unity.
They learned also from the Nuncio that the book condemned by a Bishop in the Vatican was not "The Miracle of Damascus" but another book written about Our Lady of Soufanieh. Mirna told Fr. Malouli and Fr. Zahlaoui what the Nuncio said, and asked them for a letter to give to Nabil.
Nabil Shoukeir came back to Glendale with signed letters of approval for the book and The Messengers of Unity and their apostolate. However, when Richard Salbato read the letter of approval of the book, he said it was not good enough. Salbato quit the Messengers of Unity on that day. This is what that letter said, and as you will find out later it was written by Father Zahlaoui and apparently neither Mirna or Father Malouli knew what it said.
Damascus 9/1 0/92
Our Brothers in Jesus Christ
The peace of God Our Father and Our Lord Jesus Christ and with His all saints and with all those who everywhere who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Our Lord. We continuously thank God for the grace He gave you through Jesus Christ, because the Word of Our Lord and His will are spreading among you and because you are aiming to realize the Unity of the Church, which is His will, through prayer, faith on his power, and through all your strength and means to work for it.
The news of your organization, "THE MESSENGERS OF UNITY" reaches us from time to time and brings to our hearts joy and hope to reach a wider constituency that believes in unity and prays for it. Only Our Lord is able to reward each one of you. Let all your works be in conformity with the Lord's will and the spiritual message of Soufanieh.
Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God ( 1 Cor. 10-13) and your work will blossom and bring forth good fruit, which is appropriate to your call to be "THE MESSENGERS OF UNITY." The fruits of success you have achieved over the years that followed the establishment of THE MESSENGERS OF UNITY consisted of your readiness to
cover all America with all the information that had to do with the phenomenon of Soufanieh. It consisted also of prayer meetings for unity, free distribution of Our Lady of Soufanieh's icons in different sizes and video tapes that explain the story of Soufanieh in a documentary way, and different publications.
We would like to mention especially the book that was published under the title "THE MIRACLE OF DAMASCUS". There were many opinions regarding this book. The respectful fathers were very eager to deal with Soufanieh, and they
were careful that nothing would effect in any way the apparitions of Soufanieh. We want to make it clear ( and we already have done it) that we are very thankful for the efforts of the author because the book is available to the English speaking people. Our deep thanks go to the author for his enthusiasm in spreading the message of Our Lady of Soufanieh in America. May God bless him for all his efforts, and may Our Lady of Soufanieh increase his altruistic enthusiasm to spread the news of Unity. We are acquainted with all the books published in many different languages that try to inform the public at large about the story of Soufanieh.
We are extremely sorry because our opinion about the book emanates from our confidence in your love and accomplishments and from our enthusiasm for Soufanieh. We are deeply hurt because we knew that our opinion was used to muse doubt among people, and this matter contradicts the whole meaning of the holiness of Soufanieh, which calls for Unity, and to the devil nothing remains but to attack every speaking and growing goodness. The important thing is, my brothers, that" it is not so much the fruits of the hands that are considered shameful in a man, but those of the heart. ( Message of Jesus, 11/26/1987)
So, brothers, be "solid and strongly founded, giving more time to the Lord, knowing that your efforts are not without the help of the Lord, ( I Cor. 15), for whosoever sows abundantly will harvest abundantly. God is able to overwhelm you with his blessing.
We want to clear up this question conclusively. After taking legal and theological advice, we consider this published book, without interfering in the author own opinions, as an approved book that agrees with the narration of the events of Soufanieh with perhaps some slight printing errors. But our fear was, and still is, that any opinion about Soufanieh might have a negative effect, because the apparition is a sensitive matter in a Middle East which is torn apart by denominationalism.
We convey our trust and love in you. We express our gratitude to our dear author asking the Virgin Mary of Soufanieh to bless the work of her children wherever they are. Let love, Peace and God be with you.
Stamped: Seal of The Lady of Soufanieh.
Mirna AI-Akhrd. Nazzour
Father Joseph Malouli,
Father Elias Zahlaoui
After receiving this letter, the author sent the following letter to Cardinal Ratzinger and then left the Messengers of Unity for good.
Cardinal Prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
11 Piazza del S. Uffizio, Rome, Italy
I am the author of the book, "THE MIRACLE OF DAMASCUS". I have been in a war for over four years. I am winning the battles, but fear I will loose the war. Because of the attacks against me, I must be absolutely sure that I remain true to the faith. And so, I would like this book checked for any errors in matters concerning Faith and Morals. I am not asking approval of the phenomenon as I know you will leave that up to the local Bishop. I do believe that I was in error by not making the book more acceptable to our separated brethren, The Orthodox. Now that we are about to go into a second printing, I would like to do just that, but don't know how without compromising the Faith.
My knowledge of the Orthodox Religions is to limited and I don't have access to the progress that has been made
so far by The Secretariat For Promoting Christian Unity. Perhaps someone who has more knowledge than I could re-write this book so that it can be an instrument for unity..
I have the honor to be, Your Servant,
Richard Paul Salbato
DID MIRNA LIE?
In 1995 Rick Salbato heard that Mirna was coming to San Jose, California. There were so many questions unanswered he wanted to see her face to face. He drove for nine hours straight from San Diego to San Jose just to ask two questions.
Since it was Mirna who took the book to the Bishop for the Imprimatur, why would she say it was an illegal Imprimatur?
Even if she did sign a document against the book, why was this sent all over the world but not sent to the author of the book, not ever?
Looking Salbato right in the eyes Mirna said,
"I never signed a condemnation of the book, and I never signed a retraction."
She repeated this three times. Salbato went away confused. He checked her signature and it was her's. He could only draw one of two conclusions, either Mirna was lying or she signed two documents that she did not know what was in them --- being in English.
As it stands now, "THE MIRACLE OF DAMASCUS" is the only book in the world that has an Imprimatur from Mirna's Bishop, and I challenge anyone to say it is not so with a letter from the Bishop, himself, from Cardinal Luigi Accogli, or from Cardinal Prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger but not from Father Zahlaoui.
I hope there will be many more books written all over the world about Mirna, but without an Imprimatur from her bishop, such a book is basically illegal. Father Fox, Father Zahlaoui, Monsour, Laurenteen, Michael Brown (plagiarized from me) and more have written about Soufanieh, but not one has even bothered to get an Imprimatur. My book has been copied in Spanish in Mexico and in South America, and put on web sites, without my permission, but I have no problem with this as long as what the bishop approved is not changed.
Richard Salbato (the publican)
Final note: Mirna and Nichol asked through a friend that I send to them a fax giving them my email address so that they could talk more often with me through email as they now have an email address. I did this four months ago, and have not heard from them. I can only assume this fax was intercepted and Mirna never got it.
[To: Nicholas & Mirna Nazour
Commander Rick Salbato
Knight of the Royal Order of Saint Michael of the Arm
Rua dos Pastorinhos, Aljustrel, 2495 Fatima, Portugal.
Dear Brother Nichol
I have missed my old friend for now these many years. I was hoping to see you here in Fatima soon, but that did not work out. I am, however, enjoying the company of our mutual friend, Colette, who is now staying a few weeks here in Fatima. When I retired I had to choose between living in Damascus or Fatima, since I could not afford to live in America on retirement pay. Things happened that brought me to Fatima, and that must be God's will, but my heart is in both places. I have had the grace ......................and go to the convent every month. Lucia's doctor and mine are the same. I go to Mass at the Cova da Iria everyday. What more can a man ask of Our Lord, except that I miss you and Mirna a great deal.
I feel I was called to spread the messages of Our Lady of Soufanieh in the English world, but that I failed. So now I think God wants Father Robert Fox to do it and I think that would be good. He is coming to Fatima in September and I will offer him all my help and give to him any information, pictures, copyrights, etc. that he wants. I have tried to contact him but cannot find a phone, fax, or email address for him.
Colette tells me that you now have an email address and that I can email to you and you to me. I am somewhat afraid that I will bother you too much once we email each other, for I have missed you more than you know. My web site is www.unitypublishing.com and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org . There is also an email link on the web site. Calling you would be difficult for financial reasons, but email would be a great thing.
Tell Mirna that I love her and of course you know that I love you and Our Lady of Soufanieh. Colette also has become such a love and blessing to me. I wish there was more that I could do for Our Lady of Soufanieh, but all my plans have failed.
Your friend, Rick Salbato