Ugo Festa was born in Vicenza, Italy in 1951. He was struck down at an early age with multiple sclerosis. Gradually his health deteriorated. This led to many other problems in his young life. By the age of 39, he was suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. Early in 1990, his spine was becoming distorted and he was having seizures daily. He had been continually attending doctors since he first contracted the disease, but they could do nothing for him. He decided there was nothing left to try but prayer.
On the 28th April 1990, Ugo went with a pilgrimage to Rome. In his unfortunate situation, he was introduced to Mother Teresa who was in Rome at the time with a group whom he also became acquainted with. Ugo was invited along with this group to a retreat at the shrine of Divine Mercy in Trent, but he refused. On leaving, one of the group, a nun, gave him five copies of the Divine Image Picture and a Divine Mercy medal. The following day the 29th April 1990, Ugo wore the medal and carried in his arms the Images to be blessed to the papal audience at the Vatican. At the bottom of the steps to St. Peters the Holy Father passed by. Ugo asked him to bless his Divine Mercy pictures. After blessing the pictures the Pope asked him how he was.
Ugo told him he felt very despondent and was at a crisis in his life. The Holy Father said “How could you have a crisis with Jesus the Divine Mercy in your arms? Entrust yourself to him and pray to my Sr. Faustina to intercede.” With this advice Ugo changed his mind and decided that he would go to the the Divine Mercy Shrine in Trent.
At the side altar in the Villa O’Santissima Villazzano, Trent, there is a shrine to the Divine Mercy with a life size icon of the Divine Image. On the fourth day of praying in front of this icon Ugo suddenly noticed the arms of the Image stretched out to him and tremendous warmth flowed through his body. He found himself standing on his feet with his arms outstretched to the Lord and he heard himself loudly praising Jesus the Divine Mercy. He saw Jesus coming down to him, his white garment blowing as if in a breeze, he thought, “My God, this is the man from Galilee coming towards me”. He heard Jesus say in a clear voice, “Rise up and walk”. He began to walk. All his ailments were at that instant cured and he was more physically perfect than he had ever been in his life.
On August 19th, 1990, Ugo returned to the Vatican and during a Papal Audience at Paul VI Hall, was taken to meet Pope John Paul II again. He told him about the great grace he had received and thanked him for the words of inspiration which led him to Trent, and resulted in this great miracle of Divine Mercy. He gave Pope John Paul II a copy of the Divine Image, with the signatures on the back of the many people who witnessed the miracle on that day.
Ugo Festa thereafter devoted his life to Jesus, voluntarily working with disabled people and spreading the Message of Divine Mercy throughout Italy.