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Vincenza Gabrielli

Vincenza Gabrielli has lived for fifty years in the beautiful city of Ascoli Piceno in the Marche, Region. Augusto met her in 1977 during one of his many trips and created with her a extraordinary spiritual relationship that has lasted up to his passing on.
Vincenza started her interest in spiritual problems when she was young, her own spirit being that of a researcher. She felt the need to discover the role of mankind in the creation, and from where do feelings and values come.

When she was young she enjoyed sports, running the 250 metres race and doing long jump with promising results.

From her marriage to Franco they have had two wonderful children, Andrea and Serena who today are both happily married.

The early years of Vincenza's life were very happy and her relationship with Franco was very strong. At the age of twenty-five she discovered that she was suffering from multiple sclerosis. The course of the illness, progressive and implacable, continued to progressively reduce her physical abilities but not her mind or spirit which continued to mature, creating in her an extraordinary strength of spirit and morale.
Twenty four hours a day she is assisted by family, friends, the health services of the city and the section of the AISM of Ascoli Piceno of which Vincenza is the Vice President.

A few years ago, a tragedy hit Vincenza, the unexpected passing on of her adored husband Franco, her companion and support, a fatality for such a sweet woman, forced for years to a life on a wheelchair! Vincenza has continued to try and lead a normal life dedicating her time to travelling for meetings, going as far as Locarno in Switzerland and to Haifa in the Holy Land to the Bahà'ì World Centre where she was able to pray for her husband Franco on the Sacred Thresholds of the Tombs of The Founders.
In Ascoli and province, she holds conferences in schools, talks on the radio, organizes monthly cultural meetings with housewives and actively collaborates with the Multiple Sclerosis Association.

She still lives with the profound conviction that the true life is the spiritual one.
At a presentation in a school she said:
"My condition does not allow me to look daily in the mirror, so I have no familiarity with my physical appearance that changes daily. I only look in the mirror when I go out because in the lift there is a full length mirror and each time I ask myself - Who is that person? - I don't recognize myself because in my mind I see myself completely different from reality. My illness has injured me physically but my personality has not been touched at all. When I close my eyes I see my spiritual reality perhaps because I am losing all the sensorial reality.
After I lost the use of my legs and now that of my hands, these have been substituted by other hands and legs, those of the persons who lovingly and with great patience and sacrifice take care of me, and to whom I have entrusted my body, I am able to think about looking after my soul. Each one of us must look after a soul, our own, this being the true reason to our existence in any condition in which we find ourselves, being inspired by those great values of my Faith, the Faith of the Glory, the Bahà'ì Faith, that I know from when I was young and that has guided me throughout my life".

Multiple sclerosis is a frequent cause of acute or chronic disability in persons of a young age.
Generally it shows up for the first time between the ages of 15 to 50 with a highest effect in young adults, affecting twice the number of women than men. The specific causes are unknown, even though it would appear that genetic factors are involved in the predisposition of the development of the illmess. This is due to the spontaneous and acute birth of circumscribed inflammatory focuses in which the immune system promotes an attack ( auto-immune reaction) on a protein (myelin) in the central nervous system. The acute inflammation slows down the transmission of the electric impulses along the nerve connections preserving, however, the structure. During the first years of illness the inflammation often regresses spontaneously, with a subsequent improvement or a complete remission of the symptoms. Due to this tendency the more frequent clinical form is that of "relapse and remission". With a major number of relapses the remissions are less complete due also to the structural damage of the nerve tissue. In this way, some patients may show a slow worsening even without new relapses ( secondary chronic progressive course). Only a minority of patients present from the initial stages of the illness a slow and continuous worsening (primary chronic progressive course).

(Taken from: (Mailing list) (the Italian Multiple Sclerosi web site)