The girl who claims to be carrying the marks of Jesus Christ’s suffering is on her way to Rome. Toaipuapuaga Patrick is travelling with her father, Reverend Opapo Oeti and her husband Patrick Ah Chong.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi confirmed the delegation is accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao.
Tuilaepa said La’auli’s trip to Rome is to attend an Agriculture meeting held there and it coincides with Toaipuapuaga’s trip. La’auli is taking part in the Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics organised by the Food and Agriculture Organistion (F.A.O.).
“There is a big meeting in Rome that the Minister of Agriculture will attend,” said Tuilaepa. “It coincides with this meeting so they will be going together and help is given where needed.”
Tuilaepa did not elaborate.
When Toa was asked for a comment, she declined.
“I think the Prime Minister will announce that tonight in his programme with the 2AP,” she said. “I don’t think I can comment on that anymore.”
Last week, Toa said she has been told to go to Rome because more messages are waiting for her there.
Toa said she had already written 41 messages in the Hebrew language which she will take with her to Rome to be published on 18 December 2016.
“The messages are not only for Samoa, it is for the whole world,” she told the Samoa Observer.
The trip follow’s Toa’s decision to covert to Catholicism.
The spokesperson for the Catholic Church of Samoa, Father Fereti Tautunu, told the Sunday Samoan the church has nothing to do with Toa’s trip in terms of finances.
“We’ve haven’t spent a penny on her trip but I can’t say who’s funding her trip to Rome,” said Fr. Fereti. “But the position of the church is that we are in support of her."
“So on behalf of his Grace Archbishop Alapati Lui Mateliga and the Catholic church of Samoa, I would like to wish Toa and her traveling party a safe trip.”
Fr. Fereti said he is not aware of Toa’s programme in Rome.
He confirmed that there would be Samoan Catholics waiting for them. They are Samoan Priests and Nuns working in the Vatican.
“We believe in the messages she preaches and the signs on her body,” said Fr. Fereti. “From the start the Archbishop has supported her.”
Stigmata cases in the Catholic Church are not new, according to Fr. Fereti.
“The common problem with us is that instead of looking at the message they judge the messenger.”
He said that is why the church continues to celebrate the passion of Christ because it believes his work continues. Fr Fereti also elaborated on Toa’s conversion to the Catholic faith. He said the church is always open to anyone.
“That was her own decision to make, but the Catholic Church and our members welcome her to our faith.”
As for the signs of the Stigmata, he said they are for a lifetime.
“It’s a permanent message to a person and it is the person’s choice whether to accept it or not, it’s for life,” said Fr. Fereti.
“Once you are called, it’s not a part time job, or a contract, it’s a life time commitment to be a missionary.”