INTRODUCTION TO MARIA VALTORTA
AND HER LITERARY WORKS
The Maria Valtorta Research Centre, FIREWORKS, Sunrise of Truth Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Kolbe's Publications: Louvain, 1996.
After a long night of groping around, mankind had its first Sunrise of Truth when the Light of the World gloriously revealed the Truth: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." (John 14:6.) Truth has been opposed ever since, fiercely and savagely, by the father of lies (John 8:44). But whenever falsehood manages to smother the Truth in bleak desolation, Truth redoubles its efforts to bring about another Sunrise of Truth.
Some of Truth's efforts to force another Sunrise include strong Popes, unflinching Dogmatic Councils, prayer crusades, and revelations.
Truth has never been miserly with its revelations, be they prophecies, locutions, visions, apparitions, etc. The New Testament speaks of prophecies as an almost common event. Throughout history, Truth gave revelations to hand-picked souls for the good of the many. St. Dominic was told in a revelation how to say the Rosary, which converted many an Albigensian heretic. St. Joan of Arc redirected the history of both France and England. St. Ignatius of Loyola received his Spiritual Exercises by means of a revelation. St. Marguerite Marie Alacoque became the standard-bearer of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Bernadette Soubirous was instrumental in an on-going series of miraculous healings in Lourdes. The three children of Fatima, among other things, were told in 1917 that should Russia not convert in time, there would be another war worse than World War I.
Sure enough: 1939-1945. World War II: possibly the most horrible war to this day. A 1944 document mistook Hitler for the Antichrist, because of his systematic attacks on the Catholic Church everywhere he could - something most people ignore. The Allies were probably just as evil. They called the mass-murderer Stalin a pal and betrayed Eastern Europe into his bloody paws. Despair was everywhere. Hatred ruled the day. The Church was almost silenced. 1943. Truth intervened, in Viareggio, Italy, in a series of much-maligned revelations. Truth always had a hard time revealing itself. Many an Old Testament prophet was assassinated by God's rebellious people. St. John the Baptist was beheaded because he called adultery adultery. Our Lord was contradicted, slandered, mocked, vilified, scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified. Most Apostles were killed. St. Athanasius was excommunicated (invalidly) by a Pope. The revelations to Maria d'Agreda about three centuries ago were first destroyed at her spiritual director's command, written down again some thirty years later, sharply criticized and condemned, finally reinstated and approved by no less than a few Popes, and yet, they still have detractors to this day.
The revelations of Viareggio, Italy, made to Maria Valtorta, have had a stormy story of their own, even though Pope Pius XII ordered a priest in front of two witnesses during a special audience mentioned in the Osservatore Romano to publish her main Work as is.
Nevertheless, the revelations of Viareggio, Italy, have slowly spread around the world and have changed many lives because people can get to taste and see Jesus' goodness, as He shows the rewards of righteous living and provides spiritual peace and strength, as He calls sin sin and offers powerful forgiveness to the repentant. As the one and only true Church undergoes a time of turmoil, she is awaiting a new Sunrise of Truth. We, at the Maria Valtorta Research Center, are persuaded that all the revelations of Viareggio, not just Maria Valtorta's main revealed Work, will be a major component of the next Sunrise of Truth.
The revelations of Viareggio will be studied from several points of view:
- from the natural to the supernatural;
- from the logical to the analogical and the semiological;
- from the chronological and historical to the eternal;
- from the kaleidoscopic beauty of God's creation to the inconceivable mysteries of the Triune Divinity;
- from human free will to divine Free Will;
- from daily life to our eternal destiny.
As bright, colorful, beautiful fireworks light up the night sky to celebrate joyful occasions, so we launch the Sunrise of Truth encyclopedia with our volume 1, Fireworks. It is not yet dawn, so let's look at the fireworks. Dawn shall come afterwards, and the full Sunrise of Truth shall be next.
Fireworks will be full of discoveries for the reader. It contains glimpses of the most essential information needed to understand the true nature of the revelations of Viareggio, made to Maria Valtorta.
Whether you are new to the revelations of Viareggio or you have already read The Poem of the Man-God, you will discover something in Fireworks.
Some of this information has never been published before. Fireworks gives you the scoop on some of the more important original discoveries made by the Maria Valtorta Research Center (MVRC) since 1981. These new findings sometimes force a reassessment of previously held opinions, sometimes confirm them, and sometimes shed new light on already known facts.
Fireworks is only volume 1 of Sunrise of Truth. Fireworks is not meant to be exhaustive. It is meant to give a bird's-eye view of the most important facts concerning the revelations of Viareggio. Everything that needs to be amplified shall, God willing, be amplified in due time.
Fireworks does not present the findings of the Maria Valtorta Research Center from the least important to the most important, or vice-versa.
Fireworks ends with a brief bibliography.
The Maria Valtorta Research Center
"So beautiful! So beautiful!
What I see is so beautiful!... "
(First vision of Heaven; January 10, 1944.)
"I am Heaven. All of Heaven is in Me, and the heavenly treasures flow out of My open wounds."
(Vision of Jesus speaking to His Apostles after His Resurrection; April 11, 1947.)
"Listen. I wanted to leave the Freedom and Purity that are the atmosphere of Heaven and come down into this jail of yours, into this impure air, to help you, because I love you."
(Jesus, in a Holy Hour dictated on June 14, 1944.) "... I am the only one who can give you what should be sought in the first place. Because only what I give you is useful for eternal life."
(Jesus, in a dictation given on January 28, 1947.)
"And in fact you are unborn children, yet to be born to the Life of Heaven. Life with a capital L is not this life that you live on earth in your mortal time. This [mortal] life is only the formation of your future being as an eternal living being. Human existence is the gestation that forms you to give you to the Light. To the true Light, and not to the poor foggy light of this earth.
"I bear you within Me as a mother forming her child, I surround you and shelter you with Myself, I feed you with My food to give birth to you as immortal beings at the hour which you call 'death,' and which is but a 'passage.' Passage from an incomplete phase to completeness, from segregation in a limited space to boundless freedom, from darkness to Light, from hindered caresses to the absolute embrace of a soul with its Parent.
"This is what you people call 'dying.' You who, with your haughty knowledge, still do not know how to call things by the right name, and like children only a few years old call things by the wrong name. I want to teach you what 'death' is and who the 'dead' are.
"Death is separation from God, like an unborn child who, before its time, separates from its mother's organ and decays in the womb that expels it with sorrow. The dead are those who, on account of being expelled like that, are no different from an animal's carcass decomposing under the sun and in the rain along a cart-road on earth, an object of loathing to whoever sees it. This is what 'death' is. This is what being 'dead' means. Sin is the cause that separates you from God and turns you into a rotting, a rotten flesh, a meal for Satan who poisoned you to devour you, preys to his hunger as devourer of souls and as the enemy of God who is the Creator of souls." (Q43:413 [October 10].)
(When Satan devours a soul, it goes to hell forever, whereas the physical death of a person in grace is a birth to eternal life.)
Maria Valtorta wrote four Works resulting from revelations:
• the longest, most vivid, most true-to-life Life of Jesus and Life of Mary ever written: 703 visions, over 4000 pages of prose, granted to the Church especially to help her combat the radical, widespread heresy of Modernism;
• a series of hundreds of apparitions, dictations, visions and other mystical phenomena by Jesus, God the Father, the Holy Ghost, Mother Mary, and various angels and saints, in Viareggio, Italy, all aiming at providing strong spiritual uplifting and training for these tough times of ours, including ammunition to combat rationalism, occultism and other heresies (2000 pages of print);
• a series of 48 dictations bestowed by the Holy Ghost in Viareggio, Italy, to give mystical and practical, soul-nourishing, clear explanations on the difficult Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans (250 pages of print);
• a series of 58 dictations given by an angel in Viareggio, Italy, to shed light on Scriptural passages and liturgical prayers in the Holy Masses of 58 Sundays and feast days of the Roman Catholic Rite, to help us to live out those Scriptures and prayers in daily life (400 pages of print).
Viareggio is a town on the west coast of Italy, just a few minutes by train north of Pisa and a few hours by train north of Rome. Viareggio is straight west of Florence.
Maria Valtorta wrote the longest life of Jesus ever written. It was over 9000 manuscript pages long, about 4000 pages in print.
- Italian victim soul, mystic, and mystical writer;
- victim soul:
• thirsted for the salvation of souls;
• Offered herself as a victim of divine mercy;
• offered herself as a victim of divine justice;
• suffered much (physically, mentally, etc.);
• bedridden for the last 27 years of her life;
• offered the sacrifice of her intellect towards the end of her life (and that was related to a prophecy by Jesus);
• received spiritual strength and comfort from God to be able to carry on her victimhood;
• received hundreds of revelations: visions, dictations, apparitions, etc.;
• under obedience to her spiritual director, she wrote everything down;
- Mystical writer:
• wrote longest Life of Jesus ever written;
• one of the 18 greatest female Marian mystics;
• enlightening commentaries on many passages in Scriptures;
• enlightening commentaries on many liturgical texts;
• revelations and prophecies about the End Times;
• many theological passages worthy of the greatest Church Fathers;
• many passages, exuding great love for God, worthy of the greatest mystics;
• writings at times encouraging, at times rebuking, providing a balanced spirituality;
• urges love for God, love for neighbour, and penance;
• Third Order Franciscan;
• Third Order Servite of Mary;
• her remains were translated to the Santissima Annunziata Basilica in Florence, Italy, in 1973.
Though bedridden, Maria Valtorta wrote by hand about 15,000 pages from 1943 till 1950, mostly in a four-year outburst (April 1943 to April 1947). She wrote straight off, without any preconceived plans, and needed to make very few corrections.
And yet her main Work, which was over 9,000 manuscript pages long, is very beautiful to read. The characters are well developed, they are consistent, credible, real; they struggle, they grow better or worse over time. The drama is poignant. It builds up and builds up over thousands of pages. In fact, for the psychological depth of its characters and the intensity of its drama, this main Work of hers has been compared to Shakespeare's tragedies.
Even if it were just a novel, it would have taken a genius to write it: hardly anyone could have written such a good one so fast, without writing rough drafts.
Maria Valtorta had only average education for an Italian girl from a middle-class family in the early 1900s. She never attended university. She never read scholarly studies on Palestine. She never travelled to Palestine. She wrote before the days of television. She never saw Palestine.
And yet her descriptions of Palestine in the days of Our Lord are so accurate as to bewilder experts in various fields: topographers, geologists, archeologists, historians, etc.
Where could she have gotten that information? From the top of her head? Could you go in and write a university exam in Palestinian geography in the days of Our Lord and get almost a 100% mark from the top of your head if you had never studied it? If all you knew was the scraps of information you had come across in your readings at various times in your life?
Maria Valtorta had never studied philosophy or theology and had never read scholarly books in those fields. She had only read books written for common people. And while writing, the only books she had at her disposal were the Catechism of Pope Pius X and an Italian Bible edited for common people.
And yet the theological depth of her writings forced even her detractors to admit, in 1960, that they were written "in the very words a professor would use nowadays." In fact, they spoke of her "flaunted theological learning." And that's something her detractors said about her main Work.
How could an ignoramus come up with such learning? Written straight off, at any hour of day or night, between crises of intense bodily pain due to various major medical problems, like a liver malfunction and a heart condition?
This is Maria Valtorta's main Work, written in 1944-1947, except for a few chapters in 1951. It totals about 4000 pages of actual text in the original Italian edition (over 9000 manuscript pages).
It consists in a series of 703 amazingly realistic visions on the life of Jesus and also of Mary, mostly during Jesus' public ministry, as they lived when they came to the Middle East 2000 years ago. It also contains a few dictations, mostly by Jesus or Mary, to explain particular points about some of the visions.
In the words of Fr. Allegra (1907-1976), a great biblical scholar who translated the entire Bible into Chinese:
The Poem of The Man-God contains, or rather is, a series of visions which the author witnessed, as though she were a contemporary. She saw and heard what concerned Jesus' life, beginning with Most Holy Mary's birth, which took place through a heavenly grace in the old age of Anne and Joachim, until the Lord's Resurrection and Ascension, or rather, until the Blessed Virgin's Assumption to Heaven.
The Seer and Listener usually begins by describing the place of the scene that she contemplates, and then reports what the crowd and disciples say. Then, depending on what she sees and hears, she describes miracles, relates the Lord's discourses, or else people's dialogues with Him, with the disciples or with one another.
The evoking of Jesus' life, of the times and background in its various aspects - physical, political, social, familial - is done effortlessly; the author reports what she has seen and heard; her style does not sound bookish [in the original Italian], unlike even the most famous accounts of Jesus' life; her text is the report of an eye- and ear-witness. If Mary of Magdala or Johanna of Khuza [Luke 8:31, in their lifetime, had been able to see what Maria Valtorta saw and had written it down, I think their testimony would not be very different from that of The Poem of The Man-God.
Maria Valtorta watched the place and characters of her visions so earnestly that whoever has been in the Holy Land for the sake of studies and has read the Gospels again and again does not need to make too big an effort to reconstruct the scenes. (Boll.:21.)
Complete translations (and publication date of first volume):
- Spanish (1976);
- French (1979);
- German (1983);
- English (1986).
- Japanese (1971);
- Croatian (work begun in 1980).
Translations under way (and publication date of first volume):
- Czech (work begun in 1972);
- Dutch (1988);
- Japanese (to supersede the previous partial translation) (1984);
- Korean (1988);
- Malayalam (India) (1993);
- Swahili (Africa) (1996).
It is Maria Valtorta's second largest Work, written in 1943-1950, totalling about 2000 pages of actual text in the original Italian edition. It consists mostly of hundreds of dictations and apparitions by Jesus and Mary. It consists also in dictations by the Holy Ghost and God the Father, and dictations and apparitions by various angels and saints, as well as visions and locutions and a few other mystical phenomena. A number of personal comments by Maria Valtorta are also included, as when she gives the context in which a certain manifestation was granted to her, or when she spontaneously expresses her personal reactions to it, addressing her spiritual director.
All these manifestations, despite their great diversity, are closely knit together. They constitute an organic whole, because they all serve closely related purposes, to give us Notebooks.
That's the unfortunate, nearly meaningless title given by the Italian publisher to volume one of the remarkable writings that the MVRC would have called Notebooks.
Apart from The Poem of The Man-God and Notebooks, Maria Valtorta also received revelations from Azariah, her guardian angel. The Book of Azariah. A series of 58 dictations by Azariah on the Scriptural texts or prayers of 58 Roman Catholic masses, mostly Sundays and a few feast days, as regulated by the great Dogmatic Council of Trent. The Book of Azariah, written in 1946-1947, constitutes a minor Work of Maria Valtorta's, containing as it does 411 pages of actual text.
The Holy Ghost dictated to Maria Valtorta a 250-page commentary on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans. The first half was written in 1948 and the second, in 1950; it was left untouched for over one year. And yet, when you read it, you could never tell that there was an eighteen-month gap. Who could leave a writing alone for one year and get back to it and continue writing it and produce something consistent, without any plans and without hardly ever striking out anything?
These do not constitute revelations:- an autobiography, written under obedience to her spiritual director (early 1943);- abundant correspondence;- the beginning of a commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse (late 1950),
• Maria Valtorta received five dictations from Jesus for Pope Pius XII;
• a high ranking prelate handed them personally to Pope Pius XII in 1947;
• he also handed him a 12-volume typewritten copy of the Italian original of The Poem of The Man-God;
• Pope Pius XII put the 12 volumes in his personal library;
• an eye-witness reported that there was a bookmark in them, and it moved over time;
• a few Church personalities read some of those typescript volumes at that time, presumably upon Pope Pius XII's discreet initiative;
• on February 26, 1948, Pope Pius XII granted a special audience concerning The Poem of The Man-God:
• the Pope summoned three Servites of Mary:
• Fr. Corrado M. Berti, the would-be editor of The Poem of The Man-God,
• Fr. Romualdo Migliorini, who had been Maria Valtorta's spiritual director for a few years,
• Fr. Andrea Cecchin, the Servite superior in Rome;
• the Pope told Fr. Berti in front of the other two: "Publish this work just as it is";
• the Osservatore Romano of February 27, 1948 reported the taking place of the audience (a photograph of this notice was published in Pisani:192-11).
The original Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God received more than an Imprimatur by Pope Pius XII on February 26, 1948. During an official special audience mentioned the following day in the Osservatore Romano, Pope Pius XII told three Servites of Mary, "Publish this work just as it is."
The word Imprimatur merely means "it may be printed." Here the Pope went farther. He said: "Publish this work just as it is." The contents were fine by him. He said: "Publish this work just as it is."
Pope Pius XII was a serious, scholarly man who always double-checked everything personally before signing anything or saying anything. He was a pillar of the Church, a staunch defender of Catholic doctrine. If the contents of The Poem of The Man-God were fine by such a great Pope, how come we still find people opposing The Poem of The Man-God? How come various cardinals, bishops and priests have launched various persecutions of The Poem of The Man-God?
During World War II, Jesus said:
"What are you people suffering from? From lack of love. What are wars, after all? Hatred. What is hatred? The antithesis of love. Political reasons? Lebensraum? Unjust borders? Political insult? Excuses, excuses.
"You don't love one another. You are unaware of being brothers and sisters. You don't remember you have all come from one blood, you are all born the same, you all die the same, you all get hungry, thirsty, cold, sleepy the same, you all need bread, clothes, a home, fire the same. You don't remember that I said: 'Love one another. How you love one another will tell whether you are My disciples. Love your neighbour as yourself."' (Q44:295 [March 281.)
Jesus told Maria Valtorta the seven most important reasons why He granted the 703 visions of His life to her. Here they are in summarized form:
* 1. to help the Church combat the manifold heresy of Modernism (condemned by Pope Pius X in 1907, it went into hiding, resurfaced in the '60s as deadly neo-Modernism, has been spreading ever since);
* 2. "to stir up... a great love for the Gospel and everything that has to do with Christ, primarily to revive love for My Mother";
* 3. "to help confessors and spiritual directors in their ministry, as they study the great diversity of people that bustled around Me, and the many methods I used to save them" (you don't draw a gross sinner to God in the same way you would a pagan of good will);
* 4. "to restore the characters of the Son of Man and of Mary back to their original truth" (specifically to show their perfect, sometimes very tender charity in everyday life, to refute the error that their perfection somehow made them stilted or overly reserved);
· 5. to show exactly how complex and how long Christ's Passion really was, Good Friday being only the climax, and also to show Mother Mary's life-long 'Passion' as the sword of suffering slowly pierced her heart (cf. Luke 2:35);
- 6. "to demonstrate the power of My Word, and show the various effects it had on people," especially by depicting the Apostles' struggle for perfection (and this corrects a common misrepresentation of saints as unnatural beings without instincts and who do not get tempted);
- 7. "to reveal to you the mystery of Judas, that mystery of the fall of a spirit which God had endowed with extraordinary gifts," so as "to prevent you from following the same paths that lead to the Abyss" and to show priests how Christ tried to save Judas, so that they may try likewise, and sometimes successfully, in their own ministry as spiritual directors and confessors. (Poem 5:946-952.)
All the various revelations contained in Notebooks serve a few closely related purposes:
• calling sinners to repentance and followers of Christ to perfection;
• unmasking evil in many forms, whether time-worn or newfangled, whether temptations thrown at individuals or world-wide strategies to smother the faith;
• reteaching us our Catholic faith, by means of many dictations, explaining many passages in Scriptures and clarifying many points of doctrine and defending them against heresy;
• reawakening our Christian hope for Heaven, by means of visions of Heaven and encouraging dictations and apparitions by saints;
• rekindling our Christian charity, by deepening our understanding of God's infinite love, of Mother Mary's tender love, and by means of dictations, urging us to true love of neighbour;
• strengthening our trust in God, by reminding us in countless ways how God looks after us;
• giving Maria Valtorta and various other individuals, including Pope Pius XII, instructions to help them in their own lives, and today's reader can learn from that;
• explaining the spiritual meaning of various world events;
• giving Maria Valtorta prophecies that may well affect us in the very near future;
• Showing us to put our sufferings to good use for our own salvation and the salvation of others, by offering them, by accepting to be victims for Christ, by wanting to be co-redeemers;
• giving us abundant sources of spiritual joy and peace to have good memories to fall back on for comfort when we are afflicted.
All that and more, far more, can be found in Maria Valtorta's book of Notebooks.
In His apparitions to Maria Valtorta, Jesus appeared in several different ways:
• as the Child Jesus;
• as the Master who came to earth 2000 years ago (and as such, He looked the same as in the visions of The Poem of The Man-God);
• as the Suffering Servant (wounded, as during His Passion);
Apart from the visions of The Poem of The Man-God, Jesus also granted Maria Valtorta special visions of Himself in Notebooks:
• a vision to Maria Valtorta of His apparition to St. Marguerite Alacoque (revelation of the Sacred Heart);
• a vision of Jesus granting the stigmata to St. Francis of Assisi;
• several visions of Jesus on the cross;
• several visions of Jesus undergoing various other parts of His Passion;
• visions of Jesus in Heaven.
When Maria Valtorta was four and a half, she went to a girls' kindergarten run by Sisters, who were very kind, taught the girls the basics of knitting and taught them the basics of the faith. In their chapel, there was a lifesize statue of Jesus taken down from the cross, with all His wounds. Some girls were rather frightened by it, but Maria was deeply impressed and felt sorry for Jesus, hearing that it was because of our sins that He had been treated like that. She felt that it was His love for us that had allowed it to happen. Quite an insight for a little girl that age! (Autobiography:27-29.)
Mother Mary appeared many times to Maria Valtorta. What did she look like? She appeared
• as she did 2000 years ago (she looked the same then as in the visions of The Poem of The Man-God);
• as Our Lady of Lourdes;
• as Our Lady of Fatima;
• once wearing a penitential cloak;
• in glory in Heaven.
Maria Valtorta was also granted some special visions of our Mother:
- a vision of her Immaculate Heart;
- a vision of Mary in the Trinity (symbolic vision),
The revelations of Viareggio gave mankind several new devotions. For example, one day Mother Mary wore penitential grey clothing when she appeared to Maria Valtorta, and she revealed to her a new title by which she wants to be invoked: "Immaculate Mary, victim pierced by the sins of the world." (Q49:514 [June 3].)
Maria Valtorta had several apparitions and visions of angels, and dictations by a few angels:
• Michael the Archangel;
• Raphael the Archangel;
• Gabriel the Archangel;
• Azariah, her guardian angel;
• various others, whose names she was not told;
• multitudes of angels in a few visions of Heaven.
Azariah gave her 58 dictations on the liturgical texts of most Sundays and a few feast days of the liturgical year. Those amounted to about 1000 manuscript pages. They were printed as The Book of Azariah, about 400 pages of print.
Maria Valtorta also saw several angels in her visions of the life of Jesus, as for instance:
• at the Annunciation;
• at Jesus' birth;
• When Jesus was strengthened by an angel during His agony in the garden of Gethsemane;
• two angels attended Jesus' Resurrection;
• various angels appeared to various women after Jesus' Resurrection;
• two angels appeared right after Jesus' Ascension;
• cohorts of angels attended Mary's Assumption.
Maria Valtorta's revelations were written under obedience to her spiritual director, Fr. Migliorini, O.S.M.
When she had her first dictation by Jesus, she wrote it down and immediately sent for Fr. Migliorini. He came at once. She read it to him and he told her to write everything down that might come to her eventually, and that she was to hand everything to him. (Diciotti:67.)
A few months earlier, Fr. Migliorini had told Maria to write her Autobiography, but of course that was not a revealed writing.
Maria Valtorta was granted several apparitions or dictations by various canonized saints:
• Mary, the Mother of God;
• Joseph, the adoptive father of Our Lord.-
• John the Evangelist;
• Francis of Assisi;
• Teresa of the Child Jesus;
• Paul the Apostle;
• Pope Pius X;
• Catherine of Sienna;
• Catherine of Alexandria.
She also had an apparition of St. Aglae, a previously sinful woman who repented and whom Maria saw in several visions in The Poem of The Man-God.
Maria also had an apparition of St. Nennolina, a girl who had passed away at the age of seven.
Maria also saw many saints during her visions of Heaven:
• Mary, the Mother of God;
• Joseph, the adoptive father of Our Lord
• John the Evangelist;
• the multitudes of confessors;
• the multitudes of virgins;
• the multitudes of martyrs;
• Peter the Apostle;
• Paul the Apostle;
• Teresa of Lisieux.
The Diary of Jesus
The Diary of Jesus, a book by Jean Aulagnier, is not a real diary of Jesus, of course. It is a chronology of Jesus' life, based mostly on Maria Valtorta's The Poem of The Man-God.
Though fatally flawed, The Diary of Jesus pioneered in a new field.
Studying all the passages in which Maria mentioned
• the current month of the year,
• the upcoming Jewish feast days,
• the current phase of the moon,
• or the day of the week,
he was able to establish a consistent chronology of Jesus' life: Maria Valtorta did not contradict herself over the course of thousands of pages.
When Jean Aulagnier tried to do the same with the writings of Maria d'Agreda and Katharina Emmerich, he discovered inconsistencies. But not in Maria Valtorta's The Poem of The Man-God.
Jean Aulagnier thus showed that The Poem of The Man-God was internally consistent.
Jean Aulagnier also tried to see if her writings were externally consistent with all other known historical sources. He ran into subtle problems which became apparent only when his book was being translated into English by Paul T. Y. Atworth. The problem lay with Aulagnier's acceptance of the current majority opinion that Jesus' death and resurrection took place in A.D. 30.
A solution was finally found in 1992 by Professor Van Zandt.
The only ancient source of information attempting to give the time of Herod's death is the writings of Josephus, a Jewish historian who began to write about forty years after Jesus' death and resurrection.
Following Josephus' texts, most historians place Herod's death in 4 B.C. Jean Aulagnier, in his book The Diary of Jesus, pointed out that a small adding mistake was originally made and was repeated by everybody else, so that the correct date of Herod's death should be 3 B.C.
Either interpretation, however, presupposes that Josephus' information is reliable to begin with.
In fact, it is known that the early part of his Wars of the Jews contains errors. As to his Jewish Antiquities, it frequently takes liberties with the Sacred History found in the Old Testament.
Since Josephus' track record is flawed, perhaps we should not feel compelled to accept 4 or 3 B.C. as the date of Herod's death.
And then, when you realize that placing Herod's death in 4 B.C. is one of the major reasons why modern scholars have been saying Jesus was born in 6 B.C., then perhaps Jesus wasn't born in 6 B.C. after all.
• According to Tradition, Jesus was born on December 25, in 1 B.C.
• According to most modern scholars, Jesus was born in 6 or 7 B.C.
• According to Jean Aulagnier, in his book The Diary of Jesus, a study based on Maria Valtorta's The Poem of The Man-God, Jesus was born in the night of December 10-11, in 5 B.C.
• According to Professor Lonnie Van Zandt, who found astronomical data in Maria Valtorta's The Poem of The Man-God which Jean Aulagnier had missed, Jesus was born late in the year 1 B.C.
Thus, the revelations of Viareggio restore the pristine truth of early Tradition.
• The traditional answer is A.D. 33: Jesus was born on December 25, 1 B.C., He was thirty-three when He died and rose again, therefore, He died and rose again in A.D. 33.
• Most modern scholars think that Jesus died in A.D. 30: that means His public ministry began in early A.D. 27, and since He was born in about six B.C., He was thirty-three years old when He began His public ministry (this does not necessarily contradict Scriptures, because Luke 3:23 says Jesus was about thirty then).
• The opinion of Professor Van Zandt is that Jesus died and rose again in A.D. 34: Jesus was born in late 1 B.C., He was about thirty when He began His public ministry in late A.D. 30, His public ministry lasted three complete years and a few months, so that He was crucified and rose again in the spring of A.D. 34.
The traditional answer that Jesus died and rose again in A.D. 33 is actually poor arithmetic. If Jesus was born in December of I B.C., then He turned 33 in December of A.D. 33. So far, so good. However, Scripture says Jesus was crucified the day before the Jewish Passover, which always fell in March or April. Therefore, for Jesus to have been crucified when He was 33 years old means that He must have been crucified in March or April of A.D. 34, when He was 33 years and a few months old.
Thus the date advanced by Professor Van Zandt satisfies the traditional data for Jesus' age when He died and rose again.
Once again, the revelations of Viareggio agree with Tradition,
In 1992, Professor Van Zandt read Maria Valtorta's vision of A Night in Gadara (pp.459-468 in volume 3 of The Poem of the Man-God, that inadequate title for The Poem of The Man-God).
He noticed that Maria Valtorta mentions seeing Venus, Mars and Jupiter in a dark sky, before the moon rose. Professor explains: "As it turns out, having these three objects all visible at once is quite uncommon." The following visions show that this took place about three weeks before Passover that year. (Passover always fell in March or April.) Having Venus, Mars and Jupiter all visible three weeks before the Passover (some time in February or March) would be even more uncommon. And this happened one year before Jesus died and rose again.
Astronomical calculations show that Venus, Mars and Jupiter were visible in the same night sky in February or March before moonrise in A.D. 31 and A.D. 33. They had not been seen together like that in February or March for quite some time before; they were not to be seen together again in February or March for quite some time afterwards. Rather a remarkable "coincidence."
Other visions in The Poem of The Man-God enabled Professor Van Zandt to eliminate the A.D. 31 possibility. There remained only A.D. 33. Since that vision took place the year before Jesus died and rose again, then His death and resurrection had to take place in A.D. 34. And it so happens that this date fits perfectly well with Tradition, which always maintained that Jesus was born in December of 1 B.C. and died at the age of 33. In December of A.D. 33, Jesus turned 33. By April of A.D. 34, He was 33 years and a few months old.
Maria Valtorta did not have a computer to figure out the positions of the planets in the sky during Jesus' lifetime. She was not talented in arithmetic and mathematics and could not have performed the tricky calculations on her own. How could she have imagined such a detail, a detail that escaped the attention of thousands and thousands of readers until 1992, 31 years after she died?
Shortly after Maria Valtorta began to receive revelations, her spiritual director gave her a Bible and she began to read it. She frequently opened her Bible at random when she felt the need for spiritual comfort. Even Jesus sometimes told her to open her Bible at random, and then He would start explaining the passage she fell on.
Before she began her mission as a writer of revelations, Maria Valtorta wrote her Autobiography under obedience to her spiritual director. This was Maria's first work, written in early 1943 before Jesus began to grant her the revelations constituting Notebooks.
Note: Maria Valtorta wrote her Autobiography on her own, without any special supernatural interventions. Maria Valtorta's Autobiography does not at all constitute a revelation.
Maria Valtorta's Autobiography is still an important work because it tells us who she was during the first 46 years of her life, before she began receiving revelations. It is somewhat like St. Augustine's Confessions. It may very well play a role when her cause for beatification is introduced.
Jesus nicknamed Maria Valtorta Little John, to show that her personal character and mission had several points in common with those of St. John the Evangelist and Visionary of the Apocalypse.
Maria Valtorta's spiritual director from 1942 to 1946 was Fr. Romualdo Migliorini, an Italian who had been a parish priest in Canada and a missionary to Africa. Pope Pius XII appointed him Apostolic Prefect in South Africa. Fr. Migliorini returned to Italy in 1939.
Soon after becoming Maria Valtorta's spiritual director, he became aware of her literary talents and asked her in late 1942 to write her autobiography in order to understand her better. Maria, after much prayer to overcome her reluctance to write about herself, finally complied in early 1943.
When Maria Valtorta received her first dictation from Jesus, on April 23, 1943, she wrote it down and immediately sent for Fr. Migliorini. He came at once and told her to write down any other apparent spiritual manifestations that she might have from that time on, and that he wanted to see what she wrote. He asked her shortly afterwards to write down any apparent spiritual manifestations that she had had before April 23, 1943. (Some had already been described in her Autobiography.)
Fr. Migliorini soon began typewriting everything Maria had written by hand. He asked her to proofread his copy. He ended up typing thousands of pages over the next few years, until he was recalled to Rome in 1946 by his superiors. Maria missed him much. He had been a great source of spiritual comfort to her.
One of the typewritten copies of The Poem of The Man-God which Fr. Migliorini had begun to type was personally handed over to Pope Pius XII in 1947.
On February 26, 1948, Fr. Migliorini was one of three priests summoned by Pope Pius XII to discuss the future of The Poem of The Man-God. Fr. Migliorini was so moved to be in the Pope's presence that he remained speechless. The Pope said: "Publish this work just as it is."
Fr. Migliorini passed away in 1953. By then a publisher was preparing the first Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God.
When two of John the Baptist's disciples asked the Lamb of God where He lived, He replied to them: "Come and see." (John 1:39.) Likewise, if any one asks what Maria Valtorta's writings are all about, we say: "Come and read."
That is why we will now give the present reader three chapters to read from The Poem of The Man-God. There is a great variety of texts in The Poem of The Man-God and the few texts we chose can but give you a small idea of the monument. Still, those we have chosen will give you a chance to see the Palestine of 2000 years ago come to life, as you visualize the scenery, hear the characters speak to one another, and experience a direct contact not available elsewhere.
We will quote two visions about the Wedding at Cana, then two related dictations by Jesus. After that, we will quote the vision of the cure of a blind man at Capernaum, which was granted to Maria Valtorta a short time afterwards.
Those two events are quite different, both in supernatural contents and in the way Maria Valtorta wrote them down.
A manuscript page of The Gospel as it was Shown to me.
The wedding at Cana is well known, although its account in John's Gospel is very sketchy and contains a difficult verse. The vision granted to Maria Valtorta wonderfully expands John's account and makes it more understandable. Also, one of the dictations which Jesus gave her afterwards sheds unprecedented light on the difficult verse just referred to.
Here is John's canonical account in the Gospel:
"Two days afterwards, there was a wedding-feast at Cana, in Galilee; and Jesus' Mother was there. Jesus Himself, and His disciples, had also been invited to the wedding. Here the supply of wine failed; whereupon Jesus' Mother said to Him: 'They have no wine left.' Jesus answered her: 'Woman, what is that to you and to Me? My time has not come yet.' And His Mother said to the servants: 'Do whatever He tells you.' There were six water-pots standing there, as the Jewish custom of ceremonial washing demanded; they were of stone, and held two or three firkins apiece. And when Jesus said: 'Fill the water-pots with water,' they filled these up to the brim. Then He said to them: 'Now draw, and give a draught to the master of the feast.' So they gave it to him; and the master of the feast tasted this water, which had now been turned into wine. He did not know where it came from; only the servants who had drawn the water knew that. The master of the feast, then, called to the bridegroom, and said to him: 'It is ever the good wine that men set out first, and the worse kind only when all have drunk deep; you have kept the good wine until now.' So, in Cana of Galilee, Jesus began His miracles, and made known the glory that was His, so that His disciples learned to believe in Him." (John 2:1-11.)
The two visions granted to Maria Valtorta about the wedding in Cana together provide an account several times longer and more elaborated than John's inspired report in the Gospel.
First, Maria had a vision about the actual invitation extended to Jesus to come to the wedding.
17th October 1944.
I see the kitchen in Peter's house. In addition to Jesus, there are Peter and his wife, James and John. I think they have just finished eating their supper. They are talking, and Jesus takes an interest in fishing.
Andrew enters and says: 'Master, here is the man in whose house You are living, together with another man who says he is Your cousin."
Jesus gets up and goes towards the door saying: "Let them come in." And when He sees Judas Thaddeus [not to be confused with Judas Iscariot] in the light of the oil lamp and of the fireplace, He exclaims: "You, Judas?!"
"Yes, Jesus." They kiss each other.
Judas Thaddeus is a handsome man, in the fullness of his virile manhood. He is tall, although not quite so tall as Jesus, well built and strong, of a dark brown-olive complexion, like saint Joseph when young, but not sallow: his eyes have something in common with those of Jesus, because they are blue, verging on periwinkle. His brown beard is squarely cut, his hair wavy, but not so curly as Jesus', and is the same hue as his beard.
"I have come from Capernaum, I went there by boat and I have come here in the same boat to gain time. Your Mother sends me; She says: 'Susanna is getting married tomorrow; please come to the wedding'. Mary will be there, and also my mother and brothers. All the relatives have been invited. You would be the only one absent, and they ask You to come and make the young couple happy."
Jesus bows lightly stretching out His arms and says: "A wish of My Mother is a law for Me. But I will come also for Susanna's and our relatives' sake. Only... I am sorry for you..." and He looks at Peter and the others. "They are My friends" He explains to His cousin. And then He mentions their names, beginning with Peter's. He then adds: "And this is John" with a special expression that causes Judas Thaddeus to look at him more carefully while the beloved disciple blushes. He ends the introductions stating: "My friends, this is Judas, son of Alphaeus, My cousin according to the custom of the world, because he is the son of the brother of My Mother's spouse. A very good friend of Mine, and a companion both in life and in work."
"My house is open to you as it is to the Master. Sit down" and then addressing Jesus, Peter says: "So? Are we no longer going to Jerusalem with You?"
"Of course you will come. I will go after the wedding feast. The only difference is that I will not stop at Nazareth any longer."
"Quite right, Jesus, because Your Mother is my guest for a few days. That is what we intend to do. She also will come there after the wedding." It is the man from Capernaum who speaks thus.
"This is what we will do. I will now go in Judas' boat to Tiberias and from there to Cana. With the same boat I will come back to Capernaum with My Mother, and with you. You will come the day after the next Sabbath, Simon, if you still wish to come, and we will go to Jerusalem for Passover."
"Of course I want to come! Nay, I will come on the Sabbath to hear You in the synagogue."
"Are You already teaching, Jesus?" asks Thaddeus.
"Yes, My cousin."
"And you should hear His words! Ah! no one else speaks like Him!" exclaims Peter.
Judas [Thaddeus] sighs. With his head resting on his hand, his elbow on his knee, he looks at Jesus and sighs. He seems anxious to speak but does not dare.
Jesus encourages him: "What is the matter, Judas? Why do you look at Me and sigh?"
"No. It must be something. Am I no longer the Jesus of Whom you were fond? From Whom you had no secrets?"
"Of course You are! And how I miss You, You the Master of Your older cousin..."
"Well, then! Speak."
"I wanted to tell You... Jesus... be careful... You have a Mother... She has but You... You want to be a 'rabbi' different from the others and You know, better than I do, that... that the powerful classes do not allow anything which may differ from the customary laws they have laid down. I know Your way of thinking... it is a holy one... But the world is not holy... and it oppresses saints... Jesus... You know the fate of Your cousin the Baptist... He is in jail, and if he is not yet dead, it is because that evil Tetrarch is afraid of the crowds and of the wrath of God. As evil and superstitious as cruel and lustful... You... what are You going to do? To what fate are You going to expose Yourself?"
"Judas, you are so familiar with My way of thinking, and that is what you ask Me? Are you speaking on your own initiative? No, don't lie! You have been sent, certainly not by My Mother, to tell Me such things..."
Judas lowers his head and becomes silent.
"My father... and Joseph and Simon with him... You know, for Your sake, because they are fond of You and Mary... do not look favourably on what You intend doing... and... and they would like You to think of Your Mother..."
"And what do you think?"
"I... I... "
"You are drawn in opposite directions by the voices coming from High Above and those coming from the world. I am not saying from below. I say from the world. The same applies to James, even more so. But I tell you that above the world there is Heaven, and above the interest of the world there is the cause of God. You must change your ways of thinking. When you learn to do that, you will be perfect.
"But... and Your Mother?"
"Judas, She is the only one who, according to the way of thinking of the world, should be entitled to recall Me to My duty as a son: that is to My duty to work for Her, and provide for Her material needs, to My duty to assist and comfort Her with My presence. But She does not ask for any of these things. Since She had Me, She knew She would lose Me, to find Me once again in a much wider manner than the small family circle... And since then She has prepared Herself for that.
"Her unreserved voluntary donation of Herself to God is nothing new. Her mother offered Her in the Temple before She even smiled at life. And - as She told Me the innumerable times She spoke to Me of Her holy childhood, holding Me close to Her heart in the long winter evenings or in the clear starry summer nights - She gave Herself to God since the dawn of Her life in this world. And She gave Herself even more when She had Me, that She might be where I am, fulfilling the Mission given to Me by God. Everybody will abandon Me at a certain moment, perhaps only for a few minutes, but everyone will be overcome by cowardice, and you will think that it would have been better, for your own safety, if you had never known Me. But She, Who understood and knows, She will always be with Me. And you will become Mine, once again, through Her. With the power of Her unshaken, loving faith, She will draw you to Herself and
will thus bring you to Me, because I am in My Mother, and She is in Me, and We are in God.
"I would like you all to understand that, both you who are My relatives according to the world, and you, friends and children in a supernatural way. Neither you, nor anyone else know Who My Mother is. But if you knew, you would not criticise Her in your hearts stating She is not capable of keeping Me subject to Her, but you would venerate Her as the closest friend of God, the Mighty Woman Who can obtain all graces from the heart of the Eternal Father and from Her beloved Son. I will certainly come to Cana. I want to make Her happy. You will understand better after the wedding." Jesus is majestic and persuasive.
Judas gazes at Him. He is thinking. He then says: "And I will certainly come with You, with these friends, if You want me... because I feel that what You say is right. Forgive my blindness and my brothers'. You are so much holier than we are!..."
"I bear no grudge against those who do not know Me. I am also without ill-feeling towards those who hate Me. But I feel sorry for them, because of the harm they do themselves. What have you got in that satchel?"
"The tunic Your Mother sent You. It is a big feast tomorrow. She thinks that Her Jesus will need it, so that He may not look out of place amongst all the guests. She worked from early morning till late night every day, to have it ready for You. But She did not finish the mantle. Its fringes are not yet ready and She is very sorry about it."
"It does not matter. I will wear this one, and I will keep that one for Jerusalem. The Temple is much more important than a wedding feast."
"She will be so happy."
"If you want to be on the way to Cana at dawn, you ought to leave at once. The moon is rising and it will be a pleasant crossing", says Peter.
"Let us go, then. Come, John. I am taking you with Me. Goodbye, Simon Peter, James, Andrew. I will see you on the Sabbath evening at Capernaum. Goodbye, woman. Peace be with you and your house."
Jesus goes out with Judas and John. Peter follows them as far as the lake and helps them cast off.
And the vision ends.
[Jesus says to Maria Valtorta:] "When it is time to arrange the work in order, insert the vision of the wedding at Cana here. Put it in the date (16th January 1944)."
The evening of 16th January 1944. The wedding at Cana.
I see a house. A typical middle east house: a long, low, white house, with few windows and doors, with a terraced roof, surrounded by a little wall, about one metre high, with a shady vine pergola, which reaches up to the sunny terrace and stretches its branches over more than half of its surface. An outside staircase climbs up along the front, reaching up to a door which is situated half way up the facade. At ground level there are a few low doors, not more than two on each side of the house, and they open into low dark rooms. The house is built in the middle of what looks like a kind of threshing-floor, but is actually more a grassy open space than a threshing-floor, with a well in its centre. There are some fig and apple-trees. The house faces the road, but it is not set right on the roadside. It is a little way off the road and a path along the grass links it to the road, which looks like a main road.
It seems to be on the outskirts of Cana: a house owned by farmers who live in the middle of their holding. The country stretches calm and green far beyond the house. The sun is shining in a completely blue sky. At first I do not see anything else. There is no one near the house.
Then I see two women, with long dresses and mantles that also cover their heads like veils, walking along the road and then on the path. One is older than the other: about fifty years old, with a dark dress, the grey-brown hue of raw wool. The other woman is wearing lighter garments: a pale yellow dress and a blue mantle. She looks about thirty-five years old. She is really beautiful, slender, and Her carriage is most dignified, although She is most kind and humble. When She is nearer, I notice Her pale face, Her blue eyes and Her blond hair visible on Her forehead. I recognise Our Most Holy Lady. I do not know who the other older woman is. They are speaking to each other and Our Lady smiles. When they are near the house, someone, who is obviously watching the arrival of the guests, informs the others in the house, and two men and two women, all in their best clothes, go to meet them. They give the two women and particularly Our Lady a most warm welcome.
It is early morning, I would say about nine o'clock, perhaps earlier, because the country has the fresh look of the early morning hours, when the dew makes the grass look greener and the air is still free from dust. It appears to be springtime because the grass in the meadows is not parched by the summer sun and the corn in the fields is still young and green and earless. The leaves of the fig-tree and apple-tree are green and tender and those of the vines are the same. But I see no flowers on the apple-tree and there is no fruit on the apple and fig-tree or on the vines: which means that the apple-tree blossomed only recently and the little fruits cannot be seen as yet.
Mary, Who is most warmly welcomed and is escorted by an elderly man who appears to be the landlord, climbs up the outside staircase and enters a large hall which seems to fill the whole of the house upstairs, or most of it.
If I am correct, the rooms on the ground floor are the ones where they actually live, where they have their store-room, wine cellar, whereas the hall upstairs is used on special occasions, such as feast days, or for tasks which require a lot of space, such as drying and pressing foodstuffs. For special celebrations the hall is cleared of every object and then decorated, as it is today, with green branches, mats and tables prepared with rich dishes. in the centre there is a richly laid table with amphorae and plates full of fruit. Along the right-hand side wall, in respect to me, there is another table already prepared, but not so sumptuously. On the left-hand side, there is a kind of long dresser with plates of cheese and other foodstuffs, which look like cakes covered with honey and sweetmeats. On the floor, near the same wall, there are more amphorae and six large vases, shaped more or less like copper pitchers. I would call them jars.
Mary listens benignly to what they are telling Her, then She takes off Her mantle and kindly helps to finish laying the tables. I see Her going to and fro sorting out the bed-seats, straightening up the wreaths of flowers, improving the appearance of the fruit dishes, making sure that the lamps are filled with oil. She smiles, speaks very little and in a very low voice. Instead She listens a lot and with so much patience.
A loud sound of musical instruments (not very harmonious) is heard coming from the road. They all rush out, with the exception of Mary. I see the bride come in, smartly dressed and happy, surrounded by relatives and friends. The bridegroom, who was the first to rush out and meet her, is now beside her.
At this point there is a change in the vision. Instead of the house I see a village. I do not know whether it is Cana or a nearby village. And I see Jesus with John and another man, who I think is Judas Thaddeus, but I may be wrong. I am sure about John. Jesus is wearing a white tunic and a dark blue mantle. When he hears the sound of the instruments, Jesus' companion questions a man about something and then tells Jesus. Then Jesus, smiling, says: "Let us go and make My Mother happy." And He starts walking across the fields towards the house, with His two companions.
I forgot to mention that it is my impression that Mary is either a relation or a close friend of the bridegroom's relatives, because She is on familiar terms with them.
When Jesus arrives, the same watchman as before informs the others. The landlord, with his son, the bridegroom, and Mary goes down to meet Him, and greets Him respectfully. He then greets the other two and so does the bridegroom. But what I like is the loving and respectful way in which Jesus and Mary exchange their greetings. There are no effusions, but the words "Peace be with You" are pronounced with a look and a smile worth one hundred embraces and one hundred kisses. A kiss trembles on Mary's lips, but it is not given. She only lays Her little white hand on Jesus' shoulder and lightly touches a curl of His long hair. The caress of a chaste lover.
Jesus climbs the staircase beside His Mother, followed by His disciples, the landlord and the groom, and enters the banquet hall, where the women start bustling about, adding seats and plates for the three guests, who, apparently, were not expected. I would say that Jesus' coming was uncertain and the arrival of His companions was completely unforeseen.
I can distinctly hear the Master's full, virile, most sweet voice say on entering the hall: "May peace be in this house and the blessing of God on you all." A greeting of majesty addressed to all the people present. Jesus dominates everybody with His bearing and His height. He is a guest, and a casual one, but He seems to be the king of the banquet, more than the groom, more than the landlord. No matter how humble and obliging, He is the one who dominates.
Jesus sits at the central table with the bride and the bridegroom, their relatives and the most influential friends. The two disciples are also invited to sit at the same table, out of respect for Jesus.
Jesus' back is turned to the wall where the large jars and the dresser are. He therefore cannot see them, neither can He see the steward bustling about the dishes of roast meat, which are brought in through a little door near the dresser.
I notice one thing. With the exception of the mothers of the young couple and of Mary, no woman is sitting at that table. All the women, who are making a din worthy of one hundred people, are sitting at the other table near the wall, and are served after the young couple and the guests of importance. Jesus is sitting near the landlord, in front of Mary, Whose place is near the bride.
The banquet starts. And I can assure you that they lack neither appetite nor thirst. The ones who eat and drink little are Jesus and His Mother, Who speaks also very little. Jesus talks a little more. But although very moderate, He is neither sullen nor disdainful in the little He says. He is kind, but not talkative. He answers when He is questioned, when they speak to Him, He takes an interest in the subject, He states His opinion, but then He concentrates on His thoughts, like one accustomed to meditation. He smiles, He never laughs. If He hears any inconsiderate joke, He pretends He has not heard. Mary is nourished by the contemplation of Her Jesus, and so is John, who is at the end of the table and hangs on His Master's lips.
Mary notices that the servants are talking in low voices to the steward, who looks very embarrassed and She understands what the cause of the unpleasant situation is. "Son", She whispers in a low voice, thus drawing Jesus' attention. "Son, they have no more wine."
"Woman, what is there still between Me and You?" Jesus, when saying these words, smiles even more gently, and Mary smiles too, like two people aware of some truth which is their joyful secret and is ignored by everyone else.
Mary says to the servants: "Do what He will tell you." In the smiling eyes of Her Son, Mary has read His consent, veiled by the great teaching to all those "who are called".
And Jesus says to the servants: "Fill the jars with water."
I see the servants filling the jars with water brought from the well (I hear the pulley screeching as the dripping pail is pulled up and lowered down). I see the steward pour out some of the liquid with astonished eyes, then taste it with gestures of even greater astonishment, relish it and speak to the landlord and the groom (they were near each other).
Mary looks at Her Son once again, and smiles; then having received a smile from Him, She bows Her head, blushing slightly. She is happy.
A murmur spreads throughout the hall, they all turn their heads towards Jesus and Mary, some stand up to get a better view, some go near the jars. Then a moment's silence, which is immediately broken by an outburst of praises for Jesus. He stands up and simply says: "Thank Mary" and withdraws from the banquet. His disciples follow Him. On the threshold He repeats: "May peace be in this house and God's blessing on you" and He adds: "Goodbye, Mother."
The vision ends.
And now, Jesus gives two explanations about that vision. First, He explains His enigmatic words which have puzzled many a Scripture scholar over the years and has been translated in so many different ways: "Woman, what is there still between Me and You?"
Jesus explains the meaning of the sentence to me.
"That 'still', which is omitted by many translators, is the keyword of the sentence and explains its true meaning.
"I was the Son, submissive to My Mother, up to the moment when the will of My Father told Me that the hour had come when I was to be the Master. From the moment My mission started, I was no longer the Son submissive to My Mother, but I was the Servant of God. My moral ties with My Mother were broken. They had turned into higher bonds, all of a spiritual nature. I always called Mary, My Holy 'Mother'. Our love suffered no interruptions, neither did it even cool down, nay, it was never so perfect as when I was separated from Her as by a second birth and She gave Me to the world and for the world, as the Messiah and Evangeliser. Her third sublime mystical maternity took place when She bore Me to the cross in the torture Of Golgotha, and made Me the Redeemer of the world.
"What is there still between Me and You?' Before I was Yours, only Yours. You gave Me orders, and I obeyed You. I was 'subject' to You. Now I belong to My mission.
"Did I not say: 'He, who lays his hand on the plough and looks back to bid farewell to those who are staying, is not fit for the Kingdom of God'? I had laid My hand on the plough not to cut the ground with the ploughshare, but to open the hearts of men and sow there the word of God. I was to take My hand away from the plough only when they would tear it away to nail it to the Cross and to open with My torturing nail My Father's heart, out of which forgiveness for mankind was to flow. "That 'still', forgotten by most, meant this: 'You were everything for Me, Mother, as long as I was only Jesus of Mary of Nazareth, and You are everything in My spirit; but since I became the expected Messiah, I belong to My Father. Wait for a little while and once My mission is over, I will be, once again, entirely Yours; You will hold Me once again in Your arms, as when I was a little child, and no one will ever again contend with You for Your Son, considered as the disgrace of mankind, who will throw His mortal remains at You, to bring on You the shame of being the mother of a criminal. And afterwards You will have Me once again, triumphant, and finally You will have Me for ever when You are triumphant in Heaven. But now I belong to all these men. And I belong to the Father, Who sent Me to them'.
"That is the sense of that short but so full of meaning 'still'."
Jesus now explains another sentence of His in the vision of the wedding at Cana.
Jesus teaches me as follows:
"When I said to the disciples: 'Let us go and make My Mother happy', I had given the sentence a deeper meaning than it seemed. I did not mean the happiness of seeing Me, but the joy of being the initiatress of My miraculous activity and the first benefactress of mankind.
"Always remember that. My first miracle happened because of Mary. The very first one. It is a symbol that Mary is the key to miracles. I never refuse My Mother anything and because of Her prayer I bring forward also the time of grace. I know My Mother, the second in goodness after God. I know that to grant you a grace is to make Her happy, because She is All Love. That is why I said, knowing Her: 'Let us go and make Her happy'.
"Besides, I wanted to make Her power known to the world, together with Mine. Since She was destined to be joined to Me in the flesh, it was fair She should be joined to Me in the power that is shown to the world. Because we were one flesh: I in Her, She around Me, like the petals of a lily round its scented lively pistil; and She was united to Me in sorrow: because we were both on the cross, I with My body, She with Her soul, as a lily is scented because of its corolla and because of the essence extracted from it.
"I say to you what I said to the guests: 'Thank Mary. it is through Her that you had with you the Master of the miracle and you have My graces, particularly those of forgiveness'.
"Rest in peace. We are with you."
7th October 1944
Jesus says, and I become calm at once and the joy of such bright peace makes my heart cheerful: "See. He [Maria Valtorta's heart] is so fond of episodes of blind people. Let us give him another one." And I see.
I see a beautiful summer sunset. The sun has inflamed the whole of the western sky and the Lake of Gennesaret looks like a huge disc aflame, under a sky ablaze.
The streets in Capernaum are just beginning to become crowded; women go to the fountain, fishermen prepare their nets and boats to go afishing at night, children run playing in the streets, little donkeys carrying hampers go towards the country, probably to get vegetables.
Jesus appears at a door which opens on to a little yard completely shaded by a vine and a fig-tree. Beyond it there is a stoney lane, that runs along the lake. It must be Peter's house, because he is on the shore with Andrew, arranging the fish baskets and nets in the boat, and sorting the seats and coils of rope. He is preparing everything to go fishing, and Andrew is helping him, coming and going from the house to the boat.
Jesus asks His apostle: "Will you have a good haul?"
"The weather is right. The water is calm, it will be clear moonlight. The fish will come to the surface from the bottom and my net will drag them."
"Are we going by ourselves?"
"Oh! Master! How could we manage by ourselves with this type of net."
"I have never gone fishing and I expect to be taught by you." Jesus goes down very slowly towards the lake and He stops near the boat, on the coarse, pebbly sands.
"See, Master: this is what we do. I go out beside the boat of James of Zebedee, and we go thus to the right point, both boats together. Then we lower the net. We hold one end. You said You wanted to hold it."
"Yes, if you tell Me what I have to do."
"Oh! You only have to watch it going down. It must be lowered slowly without making any knots. Very slowly, because we will be in a fishing area, and any harsh movement may drive the fish away. Without knots, otherwise the net would close up, whereas it must open like a bag, or if You prefer so, like a veil blown by the wind. Then, when the net is fully lowered, we will row gently, or we may set sail, according to circumstances, forming a semicircle on the lake. And when we understand by the vibration of the safety peg that the haul is good, we head for the shore. When we are almost on the shore - not before to avoid running the risk of losing all the fish; not after, to avoid damaging both the fish and net on the stones - we will haul in the net. At this point we must be very careful, because the boats must be so close as to allow one boat to catch the end of the net from the other one, but they must not collide, to avoid crushing the netful of fish. Please, Master, be careful, it is our daily bread. Keep an eye on the net, that jolts may not turn it over. The fish fight for their freedom with strong strokes of their tails, and if there is a lot of them... You will understand... They are small things, but if ten, one hundred, a thousand get together, they become as strong as Leviathan."
'The same happens with sins, Peter. After all, one fault is not irretrievable. But if one is not careful in controlling oneself, and one adds fault to fault, at the end a little fault, perhaps a single omission, or a simple weakness, becomes bigger and bigger, it becomes a habit, it becomes a capital vice. At times one starts with a lustful glance and ends up by committing adultery. At times, while simply lacking charity when speaking to a relative, one ends up by doing violence to one's neighbour. Never, never allow faults to increase in gravity and in numbers, if you wish to avoid trouble! They become dangerous and overbearing like the infernal Snake himself, and they will drag you down into Gehenna."
"What You say is right, Master... But we are so weak!"
"Care and prayer are necessary to become strong and obtain help, together with a strong will not to sin. And you must have full trust in the loving justice of the Father."
"Do You think He will not be too severe with poor Simon?"
"He might have been severe with the old Simon. But with My Peter, with the new man, the man of His Christ... no, Peter, He will not. He loves you and will love you."
"And what about me?"
"You, too, Andrew; and John, James, Philip and Nathanael as well. You are the first chosen by Me."
"Will there be any more? There is Your cousin, and in Judaea..."
"Oh! There will be many more. My Kingdom is open to all mankind and I solemnly tell you that My haul, in the nights of centuries, will be more plentiful than your richest one... Because every century is one night in which not the pure light of Orion or of the sailing moon will be the guide and light of mankind, but the word of Christ and the Grace He will bestow; a night that will become the dawn of a day with no sunset and of a light in which all the faithful will live and will be the dawn of a sunshine that will make all the chosen resplendent, beautiful, happy for ever even like gods. Minor gods, children of God the Father and like Me... It is not possible for you to understand now. But I solemnly tell you that your Christian life will cause you to resemble your Master, and you will shine in Heaven with His signs. So, notwithstanding the envious malice of Satan and the weak will of men, My haul will be more plentiful than yours."
"But shall we be Your only apostles?"
"Are you jealous, Peter? No, don't be! Others will come and in My heart there will be love for everybody. Don't be avaricious, Peter. You do not yet know Who loves you. Have you ever counted the stars? Or the stones in the depth of the lake? No, you could not. And even less you would be able to count the loving throbs of which My heart is capable. Have you ever been able to count how many times this lake kisses the shore with its waves in the course of twelve moons? No, you would never be able to do so. And even less you would be able to count the loving waves that My heart pours out to kiss men. Be sure of My love, Peter."
Peter takes Jesus' hand and kisses it. He is deeply moved.
Andrew looks, but does not dare take Jesus' hand. But Jesus caressing his hair with His hand says: "I love you very much, too. In the hour of your dawn, without having to lift your eyes, you will see your Jesus reflected in the vault of heaven, and He will be smiling at you to say to you: 'I love you. Come', and your passing away at dawn will be sweeter than entering a nuptial room..."
"Simon! Simon! Andrew! Here I am... I am coming..." John is rushing towards them, panting. "Oh! Master! Have I kept You waiting?' John looks at Jesus with the eyes of a lover.
Peter answers: "To tell you the truth, I was beginning to think you were no longer coming. Get your boat ready quickly. And James?..."
"Well... we are late because of a blind man. He thought Jesus was in our house and he came there. We said to him: 'He is not here. Perhaps He will cure you tomorrow. just wait. But he did not want to wait. James said to him: 'You have been waiting so long to see the fight, what does it matter if you have to wait another night?' But he will not listen to reason..." "John, if you were blind, would you be anxious to see your mother?"
"Eh!... most certainly!"
"Well then? Where is the blind man?"
"He is coming with James. He got hold of his mantle and will not let it go. But he is coming very slowly because the shore is covered with stones, and he stumbles against them... Master, will You forgive me for being hard?"
"Yes, I will, but to make amends, go and help the blind man and bring him to Me."
John runs away.
Peter shakes his head, but does not say anything. He looks at the sky which is becoming blue after being a deep copper hue, he looks at the lake and the other boats which are already out fishing and he sighs.
"Don't be afraid. You will have a good haul, even if you are the last one to go out."
"Also this time?"
"Every time you are charitable, God will grant you the grace of abundance."
"Here is the blind man."
The poor man is coming forward between James and John. He is holding a walking stick in his hand, but is not using it at present. He walks better, supported by the two men.
"Here, man, the Master is in front of you."
The blind man kneels down: "My Lord! Have mercy on me."
"Do you want to see? Stand up. How long have you been blind?"
The four apostles gather round the other two.
"Seven years, Lord. Before, I could see well, and I worked. I was a blacksmith at Caesarea on Sea. I was doing well. The harbour, the good trading, they always needed me for one job or another. But while striking a piece of iron to make an anchor, and You can imagine how red hot it was to be pliable, a splinter came off it, and burnt my eye. My eyes were already sore because of the heat of the forge. I lost the wounded eye, and also the other one became blind after three months. I have finished all my savings, and now I live on charity...'
"Are you alone?"
"I am married with three little children...; I have not even seen the face of one of them... and I have an old mother. And yet she and my wife earn a little bread, and with what they earn and the alms I take home, we manage not to starve. If I were cured!... I would go back to work. All I ask for is to be able to work like a good Israelite and thus feed those I love."
"And you came to Me? Who told you?"
"A leper who was cured by You at the foot of Mount Tabor, when You were coming back to the lake after that beautiful speech of Yours."
"What did he tell you?"
"That You can do everything. That You are the health of bodies and of souls. That You are a light for souls and bodies, because You are the Light of God. He, although a leper, had dared to mingle with the crowd, at the risk of being stoned, all enveloped in his mantle, because he had seen You passing by on the way to the mountain, and Your face had kindled hope in his heart. He said to me: 'I saw something in that face that whispered to me: "There is health there. Go!" And I went'. Then he repeated Your speech to me and he told me that You cured him, touching him with Your hand, without any disgust. He was coming back from the priest after his purification. I knew him. I had done some work for him when he had a store at Caesarea. I came, asking for You in every town and village. Now I have found You... Have mercy on me!"
"Come. The light is still too bright for one coming out of darkness!"
"Are you going to cure me, then?"
Jesus takes him to Peter's house, in the dim light of the kitchen garden, he places him in front of Himself, in such a position that his cured eyes may not see, as first sight, the lake still sparkling with light. The man looks like a very docile child, he obeys without asking questions.
"Father! Your Light to this son of Yours!" Jesus has stretched His hands over the head of the kneeling man. He remains in that attitude for a moment. He then moistens the tips of His fingers with saliva and with His right hand He touches lightly the open, but lifeless eyes.
A moment. Then the man blinks, rubs his eyelids as if he were awakening from sleep, and his eyes were dimmed.
"What do you see?"
"Oh!... oh!... oh!... Eternal God! I think... I think... oh! That I can see... I see Your mantle... it's red, isn't it? And a white hand... and a woollen belt... oh! Good Jesus... I can see better and better, the more I get used to seeing... There is the grass of the earth... and that is certainly a well... and there is a vine..."
"Stand up, My friend."
The man who is crying and laughing, stands up, and after a moment's hesitation between respect and desire, he lifts his face and meets Jesus' eyes: Jesus smiling full of merciful love. It must be beautiful to recover your sight and see that face as the first thing! The man gives a scream and stretches his arms. It is an instinctive action. But he controls himself.
But Jesus opens His arms and draws to Himself the man who is much lower than He. "Go home, now, and be happy and just. Go with My peace."
"Master, Master! Lord! Jesus! Holy! Blessed! The light... I see... I see everything... There is the blue lake, the clear sky, the setting sun, and then the horns of the waxing moon... But it is in Your eyes that I see the most beautiful and clear blue, and in You I see the beauty of the most real sun, and the chaste light of the blessed moon. You are the Star of those who suffer, the Light of the blind, the living active Mercy!"
"I am the Light of souls. Be a son of the Light."
"Yes, Jesus, always. Every time I close my re-born eyes, I will renew my oath. May You and the Most High be blessed."
"Blessed be the Most High Father! Go!"
And the man goes away, happy, sure of himself, while Jesus and the dumbfounded apostles get into two boats and begin their navigation manoeuvres.
And the vision ends.
These masterly pages were written by Maria Valtorta as she witnessed three of the 703 visions granted to her by Jesus to show us His life on earth nearly two millennia ago.
Jesus says [to Maria Valtorta]:
"Yes. I have given you the living book and the perfect knowledge of Me and of My time. You have but to look within you to find on the pages of your memory the unchangeable truths of My life, of My Mother's life, and of the first Christians' life. You have a world, My world of righteous people, to contemplate and imitate; you have the rose-garden of virtues which My Mother is, to mirror in you; above all, you have the knowledge, which is life, of the incarnate Word, supreme Scholar whose teachings are everything. Be at peace. Neither poverty, nor persecutions, nor physical blindness could rob you of the Gospel that lives indelibly in your memory." (Q47:447 [April 10].)
Many a reader in many a country around the world has written to Emilio Pisani at the Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (CEV) in Italy, the firm that publishes the writings of Maria Valtorta. Many a testimonial bears witness to the great spiritual value and true Catholic nature of The Poem of The Man-God. In every issue of its Il Bollettino Valtortiano, CEV publishes new testimonials. The cumulative picture is an impressive chorus of exclamations praising God for the beauty, goodness, and truth found in The Poem of The Man-God. Readers frequently compare reading The Poem of The Man-God to having found Heaven on earth, giving a taste of itself even here and now.
To think that all this can be traced back to Pope Pius XII's initiative on February 26, 1948, when he told Fr. Berti, in front of two witnesses, to publish The Poem of The Man-God just as it is!
"The figure, virtues, and mission of the Mother of God have been and are being described by many of the holy, wise and devoted; and yet no one does it with the simplicity of Maria Valtorta in her The Poem of The Man-God.
"Valtorta has seen and heard; the others, for the most part, have only thought and meditated. But what mostly surprises me is the sure vision of the gifts of Most Holy Mary.
"The Apostles had to know the fullness of Revelation..., a fullness which the Church reaches in a continual progression under the action of the Holy Ghost.
"The dogmas which the Church keeps defining over the centuries especially the Marian dogmas-are a solemn affirmation of the faith of the Apostles. By a sublime charism, Valtorta has been plunged again into the tender, moving, spontaneous faith of the Apostles, especially of St. John."
Such are the words of Father Allegra (1907-1976), Biblical scholar, famous for translating the entire Bible into Chinese. (Boll.:115.)
Fr. Roschini's book The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta is so full of quotations from The Poem of The Man-God and from Notebooks that it reads like a marvellous life of Mary, and at the same time, it is a complete course in mariology
If anyone knew about Mother Mary, it was the faithful mariologist Father Roschini (pronounced Ross-KEE-nee), O.S.M. (1900-1977), professor at the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome; advisor to the Holy Office; philosopher, theologian, writer of saints' lives and above all mariologist of great renown. Fr. Roschini's long career was extremely productive: he wrote over 790 articles and miscellaneous writings, and 130 books, of which 66 were over 200 pages long. Most of his writings were devoted to Mariology.
Towards the end of his life, Fr. Roschini wrote a book entitled The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta in its English translation. As the original Italian edition was being prepared, he told the publisher, Emilio Pisani, that of all the books he had written, that was his most important one. In the book itself he explained why:
I have been studying, teaching, preaching, and writing Mariology for half a century already. To do this, I had to read innumerable works and articles of all kinds on Mary: a real Marian library.
I feel, however, that I must candidly admit that the Mariology found in all of Maria Valtorta's writings - both published and unpublished - has been a real discovery for me. No other Marian writings, not even the sum total of everything I have read and studied, were able to give me as clear, as lively, as complete, as luminous, or as fascinating an image, both simple and sublime, of Mary, God's Masterpiece.
It seems to me that the conventional image of the Blessed Virgin, portrayed by myself and my fellow Mariologists, is merely a papier mch Madonna compared to the living and vibrant Virgin Mary envisioned by Maria Valtorta, a Virgin Mary perfect in every way.
... whoever wants to know the Blessed Virgin (a Virgin in perfect harmony with the Holy Scriptures, the Tradition of the Church and the Church Magisterium... ) should draw from Valtorta's Mariology.
If anyone believes my declaration is only one of those ordinary hyperbolic slogans abused by publicity, I will say this only: let them read before they judge!
Gabriel M. Roschini, O.S.M.
Mother Mary gave Maria Valtorta on June 4, 1953 instructions for a painting she wanted to be made of her and Jesus.
"I would like someone to draw a picture of Me as I appear to you now. My Immaculate Heart should shine with heavenly light and contain the Most Blessed Host, in which the divine Child is to be pictured. Underneath, put the inscription:
Virginal blood and heart, the supreme love gift: Jesus-the-Eucharist."
An artist named K. Stimson read this in Fr. Roschini's The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta, pp.114-115, and she produced the requested piece of work in 1995.
The supernatural visions of The Poem of The Man-God contain hundreds of characters not found in the Gospels.
The novels by the French novelist Balzac also contained hundreds of characters, but he once forgot that one had died and he casually reinserted him in a later novel. In order to prevent this from happening again, he began to use dolls to represent his characters and would throw them into a closet when they died. The trick worked until one day his housekeeper took all the dolls out of his closet.
That sort of confusion never takes place in The Poem of The Man-God by Maria Valtorta, a 4000-page Work containing hundreds of characters besides those found in the Scriptures. Even when a character comes up in only a few visions (out of a total of 703 visions), his character and various attributes remain consistent. At most, a few times Maria Valtorta admitted that she could not remember someone's name but even so, she usually remembered in which previous vision she saw him.
Who is he? Extremely few people are so familiar with the actual text of the New Testament that they would remember who Manaen is. Acts 13:1 tells us he was the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch. That's all Scripture says. Manaen, however, is well known to those who have read The Poem of The Man-God.
Some testimonials on The Poem of The Man-God come from great Church personalities.
Camillo Corsanego. Was national president of Catholic Action [in Italy], consistorial lawyer, and professor at the Lateran University. Was one of the staunchest supporters of Maria Valtorta's work and its first propagandist when the first [Italian] edition came out in 1956. Part of a testimonial of his now follows:
"Throughout my life, by now fairly long, I have read a very large number of works in apologetics, hagiography [saints' lives], theology and biblical criticism; however, I have never found such a body of knowledge, art, devotion, and adherence to the traditional teachings of the Church, as in Miss Maria Valtorta's Work on the Gospels.
"Having read those numerous pages attentively and repeatedly, I must in all conscience declare that with respect to the woman who wrote them only two hypotheses can be made: a) either she was talented like Manzoni or Shakespeare, and her scriptural and theological learning and her knowledge of the Holy Places were perfect, at any rate superior to those of anyone alive in Italy today; b) or else 'digitus Dei est hic' ['God's finger is here'].
"Obedient as I am (and as, with God's grace, I intend being all my life) to the supreme and infallible Magisterium of the Church, I will never dare take its place. Yet, as a humble Christian, I profess that I think the publication of this Work will help to take many souls back to God, and will arouse in the modern world an apologetic interest and a leavening of Christian life comparable only to the effects of the private revelation [of the Sacred Heart] to St. Marie Alacoque." (Boll.:74.)
All the people mentioned in all four canonical Gospels appear in The Poem of The Man-God, even those that are mentioned only casually, like Johanna of Khuza (Luke 8:3 and Luke 24:10 only).
In Notebooks, Jesus told Maria Valtorta much about the End Times. During the End Times, some absolutely beautiful things will take place, as well as some ghastly things.
Jesus gave her a chronology of the End Times too. But do not expect precise dates. Jesus did not want to give Maria Valtorta any such dates:
" ...the end of the world shall be preceded by the signs that I say... I, I alone, know the moment they shall begin and I do not think it is necessary to tell when." (Q43:646 [December 91.)
All Jesus gave Maria Valtorta was a clear-cut sequence of four periods of time. For greater clarity, we broke the text into four paragraphs and numbered them. In 1943, Jesus said:
[1.] "We are now  in the period which I call that of the forerunners of the Antichrist.
[2.] "Then it will be the period of the Antichrist who is the forerunner of Satan. The Antichrist will be assisted by Satan's manifestations: the two beasts spoken of in the Apocalypse. It will be a period worse than the current one. Evil increases more and more.
[3.] "Once the Antichrist is beaten, the period of peace will come to give mankind - struck by the wonder of the seven scourges and the fall of Babylon - time to gather under My sign.
[4.] "The antichristian age will rise to its utmost violence in its third manifestation, in other words when it is the last coming of Satan. (Q43:288 [August 27].)
After that, it will be the end.
Since we are now in the period of the forerunners of the Antichrist, reading Jesus' revelations of Viareggio about the End Times makes good Catholic sense.
- were a major theme in Notebooks;
- also turned up in the other revelations of Viareggio.
The reason for that is simple. We are in the End Times.
Jesus explains the importance of preparing for the tough times ahead during the End Times:
"... it is a law of human love to provide for the children's and grand-children's good. Do no less for what is spiritual, than you do for the things of this world: as you give your children wealth or try to give it so they may have happier days than yours, strive to give them a legacy of spiritual strength which they may perfect and increase to have plenty of it when the hail of the last battles of the world and of Lucifer lashes mankind so mercilessly that people will wonder if Hell might not be better." (Q45:58 [April 15].)
Jesus, as a good father, wants His spiritual children to be strong in the End Times, which have already started. Therefore, Jesus tells us enough about the End Times to wake us up and urge us to repentance and greater love of God and neighbour, as well as an increase in all the Christian virtues and prayer. And over thousands of pages of revelations of all kinds to Maria Valtorta, Jesus gave her many means to increase her love and her Christian virtues and prayer life. In fact, that's precisely what her second major Work, Notebooks, was devoted to.
Jesus revealed to Maria Valtorta that the period of peace following the defeat of the Antichrist will be quite short. He also hinted at the many spiritual wonders that will take place then.
A short truce. Jesus speaks of the period of peace as a truce, which suggests that it will be a relatively short period of time.
"After the dreadful wars which Satan will have brought to the Earth through his Messenger of darkness, the Antichrist, the period of truce will come." (Q43:353 [September 16].)
In fact, if mankind sins too much, the period of peace could end up being too short. Jesus says:
"Do not hasten God's Judgment by going too far in sinning. Do not act so that the respite between the time of the Antichrist and the time of [the second coming of] Christ be too short. For if it is true that the last days [the fourth period] will be shortened out of love for the elect [Matthew 24:21-22; Mark 13:20], it is also true that you must have a peace-pause to gain new strength for the last satanic battle." (Q43:561 [November 16].)
The error of millenarianism. Millenarianism, which arose from a misinterpretation of Apocalypse 20:2-7, is the belief in a literal thousand-year reign by Christ in visible triumph on earth, between the Second Coming and the Final Judgment.
It is false for at least one reason: the period of peace is not a literal thousand years. As we have just read, Jesus told Maria Valtorta that the period of peace will be short. It may even end up being too short. The thousand years of Apocalypse 20:2-7 have always been interpreted by genuine Catholic writers as a symbolic period. As Scripture says: "with the Lord a day counts as a thousand years, and a thousand years count as a day." (2 Peter 3:8.)
Maria Valtorta was granted visions of various events in the early Church. Some took place before Mary's assumption, and most of these were included in The Poem of The Man-God, for instance:
• Matthias' elected as the 12th Apostle;
• the descent of the Holy Ghost on Mary and on the twelve Apostles;
• one of the very first Masses ever, concelebrated by Peter and all the other Apostles;
• the martyrdom of St. Stephen;
• the burial of St. Stephen;
• Gamaliel becomes a Christian.
Most of the others took place later. They are part and parcel of Notebooks:
• several visions of the martyrs:
• Perpetua and Felicity;
• Justina and Cyprian;
• Cecilia and Valerian;
• Irene burnt to death;
• Flora and Maria di Cordova martyred by the Moors;
• several visions of Christians suffering and dying in Roman jails, or awaiting martyrdom;
• conversions of Pagans:
• Roman soldiers;
• the burial of Agnes;
• the ordination of Valentine to the priesthood in the catacombs.
All these visions show the early Christians' total dedication to Christ and their moving love for their persecutors. Such visions are part and parcel of Notebooks so that we may have examples in case we ourselves are martyred under the Antichrist or his forerunners.
Simon of Cyrene carried the cross for Jesus (Matthew 27:32), and Scripture enjoins Christians to bear each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2). Thus Jesus and Mary, when they sometimes saw fit, gave Maria extraordinary spiritual support and comfort, to help her bear her quite uncommon sufferings as a victim soul. At such times they appeared to her or spoke to her, or Jesus granted her peaceful, joyful visions.
At other times, Maria Valtorta sought "ordinary" comfort in the Scriptures or in her memories of previous dictations, apparitions, or visions.
The divine summons wakes me up for this brief lesson by the Holy Ghost.
"The more a soul is God's child, according to the theological concept of St. Paul the Apostle (to the Romans, ch. 8, v. 14), the quicker it follows the advice of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost never kindles unattainable desires in God's children (to the Galatians, ch. 5, v.17). The Holy Ghost prays in you, crying out: 'Father,' knowing that the Father knows what Love wants when it intercedes on behalf of the saints, in other words according to His desires of love, so that love may set the Earth on fire (Romans 8:26-27 and Galatians 4:6).
"A soul which is a child of God takes on this divine characteristic from her Father: willing and cheerful promptness to do what is Good. How much a soul has managed to become a child of God can be told by the readiness with which that soul carries out divine inspirations, without pausing to consider how much effort these may demand from a human creature and what dangers they may present to a carnal individual.
"Really, a soul which is a child of God is already like a star thrust in the immense vastness of outer space to reach its place and settle in it: in God, and nothing can stop its journey of love.
"My joy be in you." (Q47:457 [May 171.)
Jesus was God and even as a man He never sinned. Despite all that, He felt abandoned by the Father during His Passion. St. Paul said: "God made Him into sin for us, so that in Him we might be turned into the holiness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21.)
Maria Valtorta experienced a similar period of abandonment by God, which lasted 40 days (April 9 - May 17, 1944). During that time, she was tempted by the devil to despair, that she was damned, and so on and so forth. Her prayer life was completely dry. Yet, she hung on and kept trying to tell Jesus that she loved Him, although she felt absolutely nothing inside.
Finally, the fog lifted. The trial ceased. Peace filled her again.
Jesus, in both The Poem of The Man-God and Notebooks, spends much time on prophecy:
• explaining many Old Testament prophecies about Himself and the Church and the End Times:
• He draws from all the Old Testament prophets,
• He draws from other Books also, like the Book of Job;
• explaining His own prophecies in the Gospel, about Himself and the Church and the End Times;
• Showing Maria Valtorta in The Poem of The Man-God a few seers who prophesied in Jesus' presence:
- "In their mouths the Lord puts His own Word which is an explanation of the true mission of the Messiah and the true nature of His Kingdom." (Boll.:118.)
• giving Maria Valtorta new prophecies to write down about our own times, which constitute the period of the forerunners of the Antichrist.
Jesus, Mary, and Azariah dictated many prayers to Maria Valtorta for her to say, prayers for many specific occasions.
When she adds personal comments after a revelation, Maria herself frequently bursts forth into prayer from her own heart.
A book entitled Prayers contains several prayers of each kind, but it was not exhaustive.
Maria also received many revelations on how to pray, for instance:
• a vision in which Jesus taught His Apostles to say the Our Father;
• an apparition by Mother Mary in which Maria sees how our Blessed Mother makes the sign of the cross;
• a vision of heaven, in which Maria's guardian angel shows her how to say the Hail Mary.
Maria also received many dictations commenting liturgical prayers, for instance:
* 58 dictations by her guardian angel, Azariah, on the Scriptural and liturgical texts of 58 Sundays or feast days of the Roman Catholic Mass (these were published as The Book of Azariah);
* a dictation by Jesus commenting the Our Father;
* several dictations by Jesus commenting the Hail Mary. (By the way, the Hail Mary is a liturgical prayer, because it was part of the Divine Liturgy in one of the ancient Eastern Rites, although in a shorter, Oriental form.)
Then again, prayer is not primarily the use of words. There are many texts to that effect.
One could say that when you read them in the right frame of mind and heart, most of the revelations of Viareggio are forms of meditation or contemplation.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, in the Fourth Week of his Spiritual Exercises, presents a Contemplation to Attain Divine Love, and Three Methods of Prayer. These methods are not ignored in Maria Valtorta's Works.
According to St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, a fundamental aid to meditation is sight. The very first exercise of the First Week begins with a preparatory prayer and a mental image. With the mind's eye, one is to see the physical place where the object of the meditation is. For instance, if we meditate on the calming of the sea, we must try to picture a storm-tossed sea. Then and only then, can we go on with the meditation.
The same methodology is followed by Jesus in The Poem of The Man-God. Nearly every vision begins with a sometimes lengthy description of the place where the action is about to take place.
Movies are not always the best way to portray someone or something. That is especially true of Christ. What actor could truly represent the Sinless One in His every glance, every gesture, every facial expression?
In The Poem of The Man-God, Maria Valtorta frequently says that Jesus' eyes and smile are indescribable...
In fact, a thorough comparison between cinematography about Christ and Maria's The Poem of The Man-God would help to understand why God undertook to have His Canonical Revelation put in writing rather than waiting for the invention of cinematography to have movies made to spread Public Revelation.
Maria lived with her parents most of her life. When they passed away, she inherited their house, in Viareggio, Italy (on the west coast, a few minutes by train from Pisa, a few hours by train from Rome).
When she died (in 1961), the house went to Marta Diciotti, who had been her faithful housekeeper and friend since 1935.
Marta has been living in the Valtortas' house ever since.
Viareggio, Italy is where Maria Valtorta lived when Jesus granted her most of His revelations.
Marta is the Italian equivalent of Martha; and Maria, of Mary.
Just as Lazarus' sister Martha busied herself with the cooking and Mary sat at the Lord's feet drinking in His teachings (Luke 10:38-42), so Maria Valtorta was bedridden, drinking in the Lord's teachings and visions while her companion Marta was the housekeeper.
Marta Diciotti was chosen by the Lord to become Maria's lifelong companion, beginning as her housekeeper and nurse in 1935 and becoming her confidante and friend until Maria's death in 1961.
After Maria's mother passed away in 1943, there was no one else apart from Marta and Maria who lived on a permanent basis at the Valtortas'. Thus,
the person who ought to be considered the foremost and most important witness of Valtorta and her writings has been and is Miss Marta Diciotti. For twenty-seven years she lovingly took the invalid to heart, living at her side, helping her in all things and sharing with her every kind of tribulations, truly not excluding the bitterest. (Berti 7:1866-1867.)
For instance, together they went through wartime rationing, as well as a wartime evacuation (when the Nazis retreated north as the Allies were coming in from southern Italy).
Marta is a humble woman with genuine faith, a no-nonsense kind of woman with a good sense of humor. Unable to write fluently, she began in early 1975 to speak into a microphone to record all her precious, unreplaceable memories of the years she spent with Maria. In Fr. Berti's words, Marta was the most important witness of Maria's person and life. Afterwards, a retired school teacher, Albo Centoni, transcribed the tapes and reorganized the material. The final edited form was published in Italian as Una vita con Maria Valtorta. Testimonianze di Marta Diciotti. (526 p., 1987; not yet translated into English.)
The revelations to Maria Valtorta began in 1943, a little over nine years after she took to bed permanently in 1934. Her father was ill too at that time (he was to die in June 1935), and so her mother eventually needed help around the house.
In April 1935 a girl by the name of Marta Diciotti came from out of town to help out for two weeks. When the two weeks were up, she decided to stay another two weeks. Then another two weeks. And another. Finally, the "two weeks" became a private joke and she ended up staying permanently. Maria Valtorta's father passed away, then her mother passed away (in October 1943), and she herself passed away (in October 1961), but still, Marta Diciotti kept staying "another two weeks." To the best of our knowledge, she is still there as of the time of this writing (October 1996), as Maria willed the house to her.
Out of respect for the heavenly manifestations that took place in Maria's bedroom, Marta Diciotti has left it undisturbed ever since the day Maria passed away (except for dusting it).
She welcomes anyone who wants to come and see Maria's bedroom.
This may help historians have a better grasp of some of Maria's writings and of the circumstances under which she wrote.
For instance, her bedroom window opened right onto the sidewalk. (In Italy, the front of a house is frequently right next to the sidewalk and the street: there is no front yard.) In summertime, she thus overheard many a conversation of passers-by. This was not usually conducive to piety and writing down mystical writings.
This was just one of many such unfavorable conditions in which Maria Valtorta had to write, for instance her poor health, her being bedridden, family and friends dropping by, the frequent interruptions by semi-illiterate neighbours asking for her help to write letters to government officials, not to mention wartime rationing, wartime insecurity, and an evacuation from Viareggio to a little mountain village in which Maria Valtorta had to live with even more distractions and an atmosphere even less conducive to piety and mystical writings. And yet, through thick and thin, Maria went on writing several highcaliber Works of revelations. Few authors, if any, in the whole history of mankind, in similar conditions, would have been able to write beautiful, consistent, well-organized writings, thousands and thousands of pages long, written without the benefit of previous plans and with very few corrections. None could have if he lacked the proper education and books.
And yet, there are still people who would have you believe that Maria Valtorta would have written all her mystical writings on her own, without supernatural revelations.
Maria Valtorta's mother, Iside Valtorta, played a cruel, but providential role in Maria's life. She was a selfish, heartless woman who took advantage of her husband's weakness and illness to tyrannize the family. She seldom gave Maria any motherly love and caused her much grief. According to Father Allegra, a great biblical scholar who translated the entire Bible into Chinese, "it was this intimate, continuous, suffocating martyrdom which prepared Maria Valtorta for the sublime gifts of the visions and contemplations which she later received; in short, this is what prepared her to be the mouthpiece of the Lord Jesus." (Boll.:122.)
Maria was unusually loyal to her mother and stayed at home with her all her life, constantly praying and offering her sufferings for her salvation. Her mother passed away in October 1943, leaving no signs of conversion that Maria knew of. Maria grieved bitterly, until Jesus told her that thanks to her prayers and offerings, He had granted her mother the gift of repentance shortly before she died. Maria later had some apparitions of her mother in purgatory, a completely changed mother, true mother at last, who realized how poorly she had treated her daughter, and who now thanked her for her persistent prayer and spiritual offerings to Jesus.
(Boll.:122; Diciotti:497-501; Quaderni:passim, esp. Q49:523-525.)
Although Maria received many beautiful revelations, her life was not a bed of roses:
• She had a harsh, heartless mother;
• her mother drove away two serious young men and broke Maria's heart;
• as a young adult, Maria struggled with despair;
• her lower back was seriously injured when she was 23;
• in her thirties, she developed a heart condition;
• a liver condition was diagnosed when she was 37;
• doctors did not really know how to cure her and contradicted one another;
• She became permanently bedridden when she turned 37;
• She was bedridden for 27 years until she passed away.
Jesus said to Maria:
"...no one must know you as the writer of My Thoughts, no one except for two or three privileged people, who are such by My Will... Later, when I come and no one can harm you, the name of My little voice shall be known. But then you will be elsewhere, where human pettiness cannot reach and where human spite cannot act." (Q43:127 [August 13].)
Jesus wanted to spare Maria the suffering caused by people coming over just out of curiosity, and the persecution by people opposed to revelations in general or even just to hers in particular.
Maria passed away in 1961. The first Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God (1956-1959) was published anonymously.
Jesus often refers to Maria Valtorta as His "megaphone" to emphasize her mere instrumental role, while He refers to Himself as the Author of the revelations to her.
Also, by using the word "megaphone," portavoce in Italian, Jesus was able to conceal the identity of Maria Valtorta, even the fact that she was a woman, because portavoce requires the masculine gender in the Italian language.
The main reason why some people oppose Maria Valtorta's writings is that they simply cannot bring themselves to believe that they are supernatural revelations.
• Some rashly reject the possibility of any private revelations at all. In so doing, they go flatly against the spirit of Scriptures and Tradition.
• Others claim that we can never tell exactly if a private revelation really comes from God or one of His angels or saints: according to them, we can tell only if there's nothing against faith or morals in it. But this attitude too does not seem to be in complete agreement with the spirit of Scriptures and Tradition.
• Others have no difficulties believing that for instance the message of Fatima really comes from Mother Mary, not from some kind of "subconscious event" in the three children's minds, but they routinely reject visions on the life of Jesus for a false reason. They think that if an alleged vision on our Lord's life contains the slightest scientific or historical inaccuracy, it cannot come from God.
Pope Benedict XIV taught that:
• one must believe in Public Revelation with Catholic faith;
• one must not believe in private revelations with Catholic faith;
• one may believe in private revelations only with human faith.
Catholic faith is absolute faith, which we put in public revelation, which is absolute and unchanging.
Human faith is basically the kind of faith we put in a human witness in a history book or at a trial.
Benedict XIV also taught that when the Church approves a private revelation, it does so only negatively. In other words, the Church has found no error against faith or morals in that private revelation, but at the same time it does not compel Catholics to believe in it.
A careful investigation, however, shows that:
- the teachings of Benedict XIV were not pronounced ex cathedra;
- they were only his own personal opinion;
- this personal opinion of his is inconsistent with Scriptures and Tradition.
Several passages of Scripture mention private revelations made to individuals.
They tell us that these people acknowledged these private revelations as coming from God.
Scripture, in relating those events, also acknowledges that they came from God.
In other words, Scripture did not approve those private revelations "negatively," by only saying they contained no errors against faith or morals.
Scripture approved them "positively," by saying they came from God.
The Dogmatic Council of Vatican One issued dogmatic decrees which were infallible and binding on the faith of every Catholic at all times since.
Vatican One decreed that "If anyone says... that miracles can never be recognized with certainty... let him be anathema" (which means, "let him be cursed").
In other words, the Church can recognize a miracle with certainty. She can determine when God supernaturally acts against the normal course of nature to give an external sign of His existence or prove the truth of His Catholic teachings.
If the Church can determine when God acts in a miracle, why couldn't she determine when God speaks in a private revelation? Especially if at least one authenticated miracle accompanies it?
Scripture enjoins the discernment of spirits: "Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. But test all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20.)
St. Ignatius of Loyola taught in his Spiritual Exercises how to discern whether something is from God or not.
And some people would have us believe that the Church, the Bride of Christ, would be unable to discern whether a private revelation comes from God or not?
If the Church can determine when God acts supernaturally in a miracle she should be able to determine when God speaks in a revelation to a chosen soul, and she should be able to approve a private revelation positively, saying it is definitely of God, neither of man nor of the devil. Otherwise, we would be saying the Church is incapable of discerning the spirits, which would make no sense.
It would then follow that the Church could not leave it to mere human faith or human opinion as to whether one believes in an authenticated private revelation or not.
She still cannot impose it as being of Catholic or divine faith, since only dogmas can be believed by Catholic or divine faith.
But she could and should impose it on the faith of the believers by ecclesial faith.
After this, no one would be allowed to dispute the authenticity of that private revelation. No one would be entitled to consider that private revelation to be a mere subjective thing. Everyone in the Church would have to acknowledge that it came from God. (Michel:219-220.)
After a saint has been canonized by the Church, no one has the right to dispute the fact that that person is in heaven, although no one is forced to have a private devotion to that particular saint.
Likewise, after a private revelation has been ecclesially acknowledged to have come from the Lord, no one would have the right to dispute its authenticity, although no one would be forced to practice all the devotions urged through that private revelation, unless the Church chose to use Church law to bind the faithful even in that regard.
The key is found in Scripture:
... you are citizens with the saints and members of God's house. hold: you are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief corner stone. In Him the whole structure is closely fit together... (Ephesians 2:19b-21a.)
The foundation of the Church is the Apostles and the Prophets. The context shows that the Prophets mentioned here are the New Testament Prophets.
The apostles' successors are the Pope and Bishops. The successors of the New Testament prophets are... the recipients of authentic "Private" revelations!
It is the Pope's role to lead the entire Church and the Bishops' role to lead the local churches (dioceses). As such, if and only if they follow the time-honoured rules of discernment of the spirits, they can discern whether a private revelation is of God. If they find one that is of God, then they must proclaim it as such and should impose it on the faith of the faithful by ecclesial faith.
Not only that. If God has spoken through a New Testament prophet, a recipient of a private revelation, and the Church hierarchy has acknowledged it, then the Church hierarchy is duty bound to obey God's will as revealed through that Prophet. Ecclesial faith goes hand in hand with ecclesial obedience.
Thus "in Christ the whole structure is closely fit together." An alleged Prophet must submit to the judgment of the Church hierarchy, and in turn once the Prophet has been tested and proves to be God's spokesman, then the revelations to the Prophet must be obeyed by the Church hierarchy. And both Hierarchy and Prophet obey Christ. (Ste. Marie 19:).
Recipients of private revelations often demand belief in the private revelations entrusted to them, but some people find that troubling.
But if the Church has determined that those private revelations are authentic, that they do come from God, then everyone in the Church must believe in them by ecclesial faith and obey them, even the Pope.
Thus the recipients of authentic private revelations are right to demand belief.
However, the obligation for all to believe in those revelations begins when and only if two conditions are met:
• the Church has judged them according to the time honoured criteria of the discernment of the spirits;
• the Church has approved them.
If a Pope or a Bishop over-hastily approves a revelation, the hasty judgment is only as good as the hierarch passing it - which may not be very good. But if the time-honoured criteria are followed, the resulting judgment will be trustworthy.
Until explicit approval following proper discernment, belief in a private revelation is optional. Some people are overly cautious and never believe until Church approval, while others are suckers and believe in everything. People must practice the virtue of prudence which, if it is really a virtue, will be balanced.
It is unfortunate that the Church is sometimes unduly slow to judge an alleged revelation. If it is authentic, it should be approved as soon as possible, to God's greater glory. If it is false, it should be condemned as soon as possible, again to God's greater glory and to prevent the harm done by falsehood.
On February 26, 1948, Pope Pius XII, during an official special audience mentioned in the Osservatore Romano the following day, had much to say about The Poem of The Man-God.
"Pubblicate quest' opera cosi come sta, senza pronunciarvi a riguardo dell'origine straordinaria o meno di essa: chi legge, capira Si sente parlare di tante visioni e rivelazioni. lo non dico che tutte siano vere; ma qualcuna vera ci puo essere."
"Publish this work just as it is, without giving an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. [Nowadays] one hears of many visions and revelations. I do not say they are all authentic; but some of them can be authentic."
Pope Pius XII was a very strict conservative who did his utmost to destroy heresies. Also, he had been a Church diplomat and had mastered the art of prudent understatement. Therefore, when he said, in the context of a special audience whose purpose was to discuss the future of The Poem of The Man-God, that some visions and revelations in his day and age could be said to be authentic, he was very diplomatically, very guardedly letting on that he deemed the visions described in The Poem of The Man-God to be authentic.
During that special audience, Pope Pius XII spoke as a superior to someone in front of two other witnesses. By the canon law in force then, such an oral statement carried as much weight as a signed document. The fact that he said to publish a typescript just as it is, thus constituted more than an imprimatur. That is because the word imprimatur merely means "it may be printed." Here the Pope did not merely say that The Poem of The Man-God may be printed; he said: "Publish this just as it is."
Everyone should respect such an initiative by a Pope, the supreme visible authority in the Church, especially when he was known to be unflinchingly traditional. Un-traditional people do not like Pope Pius XII precisely because he was such a bastion of tradition.
For all his efforts as a good practicing Catholic and Vicar of Christ on earth from 1939 to 1958, the beatification procedures for Pope Pius XII were begun by Pope Paul VI on March 12, 1964.
"The work being given to mankind through Little John is not a canonical book. But it is still an inspired book, which I am giving to help you to understand certain passages of the canonical books and especially to understand what My time [on earth] as the Master was and to know Me: Me, the Word, in My words. Neither I, nor especially the megaphone, who due to her absolute ignorance in this field cannot even distinguish dogmatic theology from mystical or ascetical theology and does not know the subtleties of definitions or the conclusions of Councils, but knows how to love and obey and that is enough for Me and I do not want anything else from the megaphone - neither I nor the megaphone say that the Work would be a canonical book. In truth, however, I tell you that it is an inspired book, since the instrument is not capable of writing pages that she does not even understand unless I Myself explain them to her to take away her fear." (Q47:404 [January 28].)
Various mystical authors say that it is a good sign when someone who claims to be receiving revelations retains a healthy sense of prudence and doubt as to their origin. It certainly goes a long way in preventing possible self- or satanic delusions.
Maria Valtorta retained that rational sense of doubt for several years, a sense of doubt sometimes very acute, although she was usually at complete peace. She was not at all the sucker type that accepts every new alleged revelation, much less the trumpeting type that craves to be in the limelight. Maria Valtorta was so aware of the staggering implications of claiming to be receiving revelations, that she always tried to surround herself with the best guarantees, above all obedience. Her spiritual director told her to write down everything, and so she did.
Some say her spiritual director was at fault: he should have told her not to welcome anything that even remotely resembled a revelation. Perhaps, but in Maria Valtorta's case, there are many, many guarantees of authenticity anyway. A complete study is beyond the scope of Fireworks and shall, God willing, be found in other volumes of Sunrise of Truth.
Jesus, to reassure Maria Valtorta, who was being harassed despite all the proofs of authenticity He had already given, gave one more proof in a dictation addressed to her:
"... I say: the valid proof that it is not you who write with your own thinking and knowledge is precisely given by the phrases written between the lines and by the visible corrections that can be seen in the dictations. These are caused by the physical weakness and sometimes the fatigued mind of the bed-ridden megaphone, overwhelmed by seven chronic diseases that break out again at times, all or in part, afflicting the writer with sufferings and deathly weakness; they are caused by the disturbances and inconveniences in the surroundings of the megaphone who writes in surrounding conditions that are neither peaceful nor comfortable; and above all, they are caused by the difference between the rush of the voices, that sometimes dictate fast, and the possibility of her weakened hand to follow the swift words of the dictating 'voices.'
"What happens in such cases? That some sentences remain interrupted and some phrases are omitted. The megaphone tries to remember them, while following Me or following other 'voices,' to add them once the vision is finished. But when she does so, she cannot do it precisely and forgets some of the dictated words or writes them wrongly, not as they had been dictated.
"It is then - and I order you to believe these words, I order you in My full Majesty as God and divine Master, who can give orders to His subjects just as He gave orders to His patriarchs and prophets as to what must not be done or believed or carried out to be His elect People on Earth and His eternal children in the eternal Kingdom - it is then that the Master, I, Jesus, intervene and come to the rescue, or the megaphone's Guardian Angel does, the much-venerating assistant of the heavenly manifestations and angelic intelligence not subject to human tiredness or weakness such as the megaphone has (since the megaphone is still a human creature even though she is the beloved Little John whom I love extraordinarily) and we come to the rescue of God's instrument, completing the sentences that remained interrupted, filling in the gaps that came about in the phrases, or dictating again, from the beginning to the end, those passages in which the megaphone's good but ignorant will caused some harm, and thus we reconstruct the lessons just as they had been given and heard. Therefore, and I order you to believe it,
the Work reports accurately My thoughts, My actions, My manifestations, and the words and actions of My Mother, of the Twelve, and of those moving around Me and us all.
"... to explain the words written between the lines or recopied... let them consider the state of the megaphone and how and where she writes. Let them consider that only.
"Around her there is not the tranquil peace of a convent and a monastic cell, where it is easy to concentrate to compose lessons and sermons. But the megaphone is surrounded by the environment of a common household, which the other people's voices disturb, which the neighbour disturbs, and I ordered the megaphone to welcome the neighbour always, both out of charity and to repair the damage caused by the imprudent behaviour of those in charge of safeguarding the 'King's secret,' by stirring up enthusiasm harmful to the Work and distressing to the megaphone.
"Really, because of the charity that the megaphone exercizes towards her neighbour, in accordance with My command, the neighbour does not think twice before going to the megaphone for all their necessities or needs for comfort. And this, although it brings out many flowers of patience and charity in the megaphone's flower-beds, disturbs her work as a megaphone.
"It has been said and established by the scholars of My Church, with regard to those who live an extraordinary life, that while they are in ecstasy - whether an incomplete ecstasy to give them the means to dictate or write the revelations they have, or a complete ecstasy - the ability of their intelligence to grasp, understand and tell increases, whereas afterwards, once they come out of ecstasy, they return to their own intelligence. That is what happens in Little John, 'an eagle when I invest her, a little dove when I no longer fill her with My splendours.'
"It has been said, and it is established, that even though a revelation granted by God to a soul chosen for a supernatural and extraordinary mission is always perfect, it can be interpreted and told with secondary errors by the creature. This is because the divine or heavenly perfection mixes and blends with the smallness of the creature and can be altered in some details. This is why I watch over, and Little John's Angel watches over, to restore the thoughts just as they had been dictated, the thoughts which external causes broke up and which the spokeswoman involuntarily did not reconstruct well.
"But I repeat: just as it was given to you all, the Work reports the exact and complete truth of My teaching.
"Someone objects: 'The Lord could have given the writer strength, speed, memory, intellectual ability, and quiet around her, to prevent the corrections that bother us.'
"I could have granted everything, even a clear and certain handwriting. But I did not want to grant them, so as to prevent you from saying: 'The handwriting is not trembling, there is no evidence of fatigue or slowliness in writing, therefore the megaphone's alleged infirmities are a sham.' There is already someone saying that... I did not want to grant them, so as to prevent you from saying: 'There is not one added phrase, not one error in adding it, therefore the megaphone is not a megaphone, but a human author that knows what she wants to write, either having learnt it elsewhere, or from her own ability.' There is already someone saying that...
"And to this last idea I reply: 'It is not so. But even if it were so, it would prove that if, on her own, uneducated as she is, Little John says divine words, then it is obvious that the Author o Wisdom, the Holy Ghost, lives in her with the fullness off His gifts. Therefore, the Work is still words of God.'
"I could do anything. Even destroy the Work and dictate it again. It would be an exact repetition (in the passages dictated by supernatural voices) of the one destroyed. The differences would be found only in the words used by the megaphone to describe places and episodes. It would be an exact repetition of the destroyed work, just as what happened with Jeremiah's prophecies burnt by Joachim, king of Judah (Jeremiah 36:32). But then, in a louder voice you would cry out: 'See! The megaphone is not inspired, she does not receive heavenly voices, she writes on her own!' And you would try to destroy a peace and a Work. The megaphone's peace. The Work of your Lord God.
"Oh! Really, I am indignant over certain thoughts, actions, judgments on My will or on My Little John! Really, I tell you that learning has put thick scales on your eyes and sluggishness in your intellects, on account of which you do not recognize Me where I shine as Master and God.
"Do not willingly grieve the Holy Ghost, whose friendship you need so much, by denying His action - every revelation and inspired work has the Paraclete as Author - and by waging war and besieging His tabernacle. Even the learned of Israel waged war and persecuted the Holy Ghost visible in the words and actions of the Word, but no good came out of it to them.
"I said: 'Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven, to whoever repents, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven. Whatever is said against the Son of Man shall be forgiven, but there shall be no forgiveness for what is said or done against the Holy Ghost! Those words still contain the first commandments, by the carrying out of which one obtains eternal life: 'Love your God with all yourself. Love your neighbour.'
"Love: salvation. Non-love: offense to divine Love, in other words to the Holy Ghost in Himself or present in the living temples, your neighbour. Questioning His words or refusing to acknowledge them is to offend Love. Persecuting an instrument of His is offensive to Love which wisely knows why He chose that instrument." (Q47:500-503 [December 6].)
It was apparently some priests in the know about Maria Valtorta's special mission who asked her captious questions about some visions of The Poem of The Man-God. On February 18, 1947, Jesus gave Maria Valtorta a dictation in reply to those questions and He openly denounced them as being captious. This was two months before Jesus finished giving Maria Valtorta the visions of The Poem of The Man-God.
In March 1947, Jesus revealed to Maria that someone, a priest, was planning to destroy The Poem of The Man-God. Maria could not believe that a priest would want to do such a thing.
Two years went by. It was now March 1949. Despite the fact that on February 26, 1948, Pope Pius XII approved the Italian original of The Poem of The Man-God and said to publish it, Maria came to realize the sad truth of Jesus' prophecy to her, as well as the unswerving purpose of the enemies who were undeterred by a Pope's approval and command. Jesus, in a long dictation to Maria, discreetly referred to The Poem of The Man-God as being in a sepulcher.
Some opponents were saying that if The Poem of The Man-God was really God's Work, it would prevail anyway. Jesus debunks that excuse of theirs.
"There is a hypocritical and unreasonable sentence, which is a challenge to Charity, Wisdom and justice, and which is also a curtain to hide the will of those who say it, a will daringly and haughtily and also basely clashing with Mine: 'If it is God's work, God will look after it and will make it prevail.' When I hear it, with a start of holy anger I would like to come down to Earth and repeat the gesture with which I cleaned out the Temple from swindlers, thieves and traders.
"That's what I should do. But I am Mercy, and I am such as long as people are on earth. I await their conversion as long as they have breath. But then, for the arrogant and those who tempt their Lord-and they tempt Him because they know He is too good with them-there shall be the first and second Judgments, and they shall become aware of a Face of the Lord unlike the one against which they spit out their irritating sentence.
"What should I do to look after the Work and make it prevail? I should have the dreadful God of Sinai act, the God of the times of wrath and strictness, and I should strike them by lightning in their sin, in their sins, because many are the sins contained in their stubborn pride against My will. What else should I do if not that?
"I gave, through you, [Maria,] all the proofs. In you there is no sin of revolt, of pretense, of pride. You are a meek victim of their will. Because they are 'the Church,' you yourself defend their will against those who would like to ride roughshod over it. Due to your being bedridden, it is indisputable that you cannot scrutinize scholarly books. With your learning it is indisputable that you cannot write those pages. What else do they want, if this is not enough for them to say: 'Yes. It is the Spirit of God here present'? There is no dogmatic error, truly there is none in the Work.
"If the Spirit has given lights (lights of grace) to light up completely what this or that school in twenty centuries had only lit with one ray in one spot, they should bless God for His grace and not say: 'But we say otherwise!
"What is Wisdom? Their servant or their sovereign?
"But to avoid calling themselves rebels out of human pride, to hide these wounds of theirs, they say: 'It's up to God.'
"God has been acting. But the prince of the world rules in this world whereas the King of kings reigns in Heaven and since He is faithful-yes, He is faithful-to the free will He entrusted to people, for their trial, their reward and many times for their condemnation, He does not coerce their wills. But He waits for them, soon, at the judgment.
"They would do well to meditate the page of the Gospel where I, Master of masters, incarnate Wisdom, Word and Truth, say that the sins against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven.
"And in truth this is work of the Spirit, of the Spirit of God, of the Love of the Father and of the Son, of the Spirit who knows every truth and comes to speak the truth to the people caught in today's turmoil, in fact turmoils, so they may defend themselves against infernal doctrines." (Q49:516-517 [August 161.)
Father Francois Dreyfus, O.P., a theologian at l'Ecole biblique et archeologique francaise de Jerusalem, said he was very impressed when he found the names of at least six or seven towns in Maria Valtorta's The Poem of The Man-God which are absent in the Old and the New Testaments. "Only experts know these names, from non-biblical sources. How could she have known these names, if not through revelations?"
(Translated from a letter he wrote to Jean Aulagnier in 1986. Fr Dreyfus wrote a book entitled Did Jesus Know He Was God? And he answered: "Yes.")
Two years after Jesus first revealed to Maria Valtorta that a priest was chomping at the bit for a chance to harm The Poem of The Man-God, the prophecy sadly came true.
It was behind the back of Pope Pius XII that various officials in the Holy Office in 1949 plotted to grab hold of the manuscripts of Maria Valtorta's The Poem of The Man-God and put them in permanent cold storage. The plot was thwarted thanks to providential, quick thinking on the part of Fr. Berti, who documented the Secret 1949 Vatican Plot in writing in 1978.
In short, this is what happened.
The person legally responsible for Maria Valtorta's writings, Fr. Berti, was summoned by some officials of the Holy Office to a special meeting at their official location in 1949. It is crucial to remember that Fr. Berti is the priest who, in front of two witnesses, was told by Pope Pius XII on February 26, 1948 to publish The Poem of The Man-God just as it was.
One year after his favorable special audience with the Pope, Fr. Berti was now being told by the Holy Office not to publish it after all. He was not given the opportunity to defend himself or The Poem of The Man-God. Furthermore, he was to gather all the manuscripts and their typewritten copies and hand everything over to the Holy Office for them to keep indefinitely or even destroy. The meeting was then adjourned.
Fr. Berti knew that the Holy Office had proceeded illegally, by denying him the right to defend himself. He would have
told them that the Pope, the supreme visible authority in the Church, had told him in front of two witnesses to publish The Poem of The Man-God. But since these Holy Office officials were breaking the rules and going against the Pope, Fr. Berti rightfully disobeyed them and obeyed the Pope instead.
Even supposing that the Holy Office officials had been unaware of the Pope's command, they were still wrong to order Fr. Berti not to publish The Poem of The Man-God without giving him a chance to speak up.
Fr. Berti had been given contradictory orders, so he obeyed the orders of the highest authority, namely the Pope.
He continued looking for a publisher for The Poem of The Man-God. In 1952, he finally found one who fearlessly respected Pope Pius XII's words before two witnesses: "Publish this work just as it is," realizing that the Pope's words before two witnesses at an official special audience bore greater authority than anyone else's dictates.
Fr. Berti was a young Servite of Mary who was introduced to Maria Valtorta's writings thanks to Fr. Migliorini, her spiritual director from 1942 to 1946. Fr. Berti became fascinated by Maria's writings and dedicated the rest of his life helping Maria and studying her writings.
Fr. Berti visited Maria whenever his travels took him near Viareggio.
He was one of three priests summoned by Pope Pius XII on February 26, 1948 to discuss the future of The Poem of The Man-God. When Fr. Mighorini, overcome by emotion, became speechless, it was Fr. Berti who addressed the Pope. The Pope said: "Publish this Work just as it is."
Despite the Pope's command to publish the Work, Fr. Berti ran into many obstacles for about four years. In 1952, he finally managed to find a publisher who understood that the Pope's oral command to publish was just as good, if not better, than a written imprimatur by any bishop.
Fr. Berti painstakingly edited the second Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God (1961-1967), writing many scholarly footnotes and appendices. He did the same for the first edition of Maria Valtorta's Autobiography in 1969, the first edition of volume one of Notebooks in 1976, and of volume two in 1980. Fr. Berti passed away later that same year.
Knight Michele Pisani was a renowned Catholic publisher. He was knighted a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by an Apostolic Brief of Pope Pius XII in 1943, upon the recommendation of the Pontifical Priestly Missionary Union.
In early October 1952, he visited Maria Valtorta in her home in Viareggio. The hours flew by in a fascinating conversation, and the papers were signed.
In 1956, volume one of the first Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God came out. The other volumes came out in 1957-1959.
The second Italian edition (1961-1967), with scholarly footnotes and appendices, was almost complete when Knight Michele Pisani passed away in 1965.
Son of Michele Pisani, Emilio grew up in the book publishing atmosphere. He and his brother Ettore took over their father's business when he passed away. Ettore took over the printing press, and Emilio took over the publication of the revelations of Viareggio.
In the last 30 years, the operation has grown from Italian only to a dozen of languages. Emilio Pisani has had to find collaborators and translators in several countries. He has had to deal with other publishers for a few joint ventures. He has had to find distributors in several countries. Overseeing the publishing of Maria Valtorta's works has been a big job, frequently complicated by human misunderstandings and by the interference of various clergymen acting against the express will of Pope Pius XII even to this day.
Emilio Pisani founded the Bollettino Valtortiano, a newsletter, enjoying international readership, dedicated to the revelations written by Maria Valtorta.
The current legal name of Emilio Pisani's publishing house is Centro Editoriale Valtortiano SRL, situated in Isola del Liri, Frosinone, Italy.
In December 1959, the 1949 Secret Vatican Plotters managed to deal a public blow to The Poem of The Man-God. It was a masterpiece of deceit and abuse of power.
They managed to mislead various Church authorities, get their official backing in December 1959, and publish an article in early 1960 to justify their action.
This was such a well-orchestrated attack that even now in late 1996, it still frightens various people of good will away from The Poem of The Man-God.
This calls for a proper rebuttal.
This calls for 14 pages, right here, in Fireworks.
The opponents of The Poem of The Man-God misled enough consultors to the Holy Office to obtain a majority vote to condem it. The Holy Office then issued a decree putting the first Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God on the Index of Forbidden Books. An article was then published in the Osservatore Romano.
A careful study of that article will show that the first Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God was put on the Index illegally and invalidly.
We will quote much from two articles of rebuttal, published by Emilio Pisani:
• "L'Opera di Maria Valtorta e la Chiesa," in Boll.:91-92. (This will be referred to as Source 1.)
• "L'Osservatore Romano: 1960," in Pisani:63-69. (This will be referred to as Source 2.)
The death of Pius XII and the election of John XXIII, who favored a marked decentralization of Church government towards its dicasteries, seemed to give the slumbering hostilities [to The Poem of The Man-God] their strength back. The putting of the Work on the Index came like a bolt from the blue, without [the normal procedure of] a warning. The Holy Office's Decree condemning the Work was published on the front page of the Osservatore Romano of Wednesday, January 6, 1960. (Source 1.)
L'Osservatore Romano, founded in 1861, is the "politico-religious daily" of the Holy See, published in Vatican City.
On Wednesday, January 6, 1960, the paper reported on the front page the Latin text of the Holy Office's Decree condemning Valtorta's Work and making the arrangements for putting it on the Index of Forbidden Books. On the same page, an article explains the reasons for that measure, which had been decided upon on December 16, 1959.
The Osservatore Romano article bears no signature and is not of an official nature. Nevertheless, due to the newspaper publishing it, due to its being published together with the Holy Office's Decree, and above all, due to its purpose of justifying that Decree, the article was bound to become the compulsory point of reference for Church Authorities every time they were asked about Maria Valtorta's Work. It is, therefore, important to read it rationally. We shall stop to comment it after every typographical spacing in the original article. (Source 2.)
Let us first comment on the title. The unsigned, columnlong article was entitled "A Poorly Novelized Life of Jesus." (Source 1.)
Now, when you think about it, whether this life of Jesus was poorly novelized or not had strictly nothing to do with putting it on the Index! The only purpose of the Index of Forbidden Books was to prevent the faithful from reading books which contained either heresy or intrinsically immoral passages. A book's literary value was obviously and totally irrelevant. A title like A Poorly Novelized Life of Jesus might have been fine for a literary critique, but not at all for a serious report as to whether a book was fit for religious reading or not.
Twenty years later [as of 1981], we can now read that article with a tried and tested serenity. Its contents matched its title, since it did not point out any substantial errors in the Work. (Source 1.)
We now quote the first portion of the Osservatore Romano article:
In another section of our Newspaper, we have published the Decree of the Holy Office with which it put on the Index a Work in four volumes, by an author who remained anonymous (at least in this printing), a Work published in Isola del Liri [Frosinone, Italy].
Although it deals exclusively with religious subjects, these volumes do not have the "imprimatur" required by Canon 1385, section 1, #2, in the Codex Iuris Canonici [of 1918].
The Publisher, in a brief foreword, writes that the Author, "like Dante, has given us a work in which splendid descriptions of times and places provide the setting for the presentation of countless characters who address each other and address to us their gentle or strong or admonitory words. The result is an unpretentious yet impressive Work: the literary homage of a sorrowing ill person to the Great Comforter Jesus."
Instead, to an attentive reader these volumes seem nothing but a long-winded novelized life of Jesus.
Apart from the conceit of the comparison with Dante, and even though illustrious personalities (whose unquestionable good faith was taken by surprise) have given their support to the publication, the Holy Office thought it necessary to put it on the Index of Forbidden Books.
The reasons are easy to find for those who have the patience of Job to read the almost 4000 pages of close type [in the 1956-1959 Italian edition].
We now stop for our first comments.
It is the Work's first edition that was put on the Index. Though consisting of only four volumes it was unabridged. It did not bear the author's name, as she did not want to be known during her lifetime. (Maria Valtorta's name, unlike the title of her Work and the publisher's name, was to remain off the Index.) (Source 2.)
The anonymous author of this article noted the lack of the prescribed imprimatur in the publication. (Source 1.)
There was no mention of a written imprimatur, because more than an imprimatur had been granted orally by Pope Pius XII. Whereas the word imprimatur means merely it may be printed, Pope Pius XII had said: "Publish this work just as it is.- The fact that he uttered his command orally to Fr. Berti in front of two witnesses, made it just as binding as a command in writing, according to the 1918 Code of Canon Law, which was in force in 1948, when Pope Pius XII addressed Fr. Berti and the two priests with him.
However, the present writer ignores whether the original Italian edition (1956-1959) of The Poem of The Man-God mentioned this command by Pope Pius XII or not.
If it did, then we may wonder why the author of the Osservatore Romano article under scrutiny left it out of the picture.
If it did not, then of course it left itself open to criticism, but even so, had the Holy Office given the customary warning to the publishers, they would have had a chance to inform the Holy Office about Pope Pius XII's command, which was stronger than an Imprimatur.
The Work's literary value, which the anonymous author sarcastically underestimated, cannot be grounds for an ecclesiastical censure. (Source 2.)
He [the anonymous author of the Osservatore Romano article] alleged that the good faith of the famous personalities who supported it had been taken advantage of. (Source 1.)
In fact, this was a mere supposition.
The illustrious personalities who gave their support to the publication are left unnamed, although their names are known because of the testimonials they issued. It is difficult to understand who could have deceived them and how. (Source 2.)
As a matter of fact, those illustrious personalities voluntarily read significant portions of, or all of, the original Italian typescripts of The Poem of The Man-God and some of them even met Maria Valtorta personally. Thus they were able to make up their minds about The Poem of The Man-God without any outside interference. Let us name some of those personalities, all of whom wrote testimonials in favor of The Poem of The Man-God:
• Most Reverend Alfonso Carinci, former Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, which dealt with the causes of the saints, and as such he was very conversant with the discernment of the spirits;
• Giorgio La Pira, university professor of Roman Law three-times mayor of Florence, whose cause for beatification was introduced in 1986;
• Lorenzo Ferri, artist and sculptor, commissioned by the Sanctuary of Cave, Rome, to sculpt a low-relief bronze door narrating the life of Mary in the light of The Poem of The Man-God;
• Fr. Agostino Bea, Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, confessor of Pope Pius XII, a Cardinal in 1959;
• Nicola Pende, world-renowned endocrinologist;
• Vittorio Tredici, mineralogist, president of the Corporation of Metallic Minerals in Italy, vice-president of the Italian Corporation of Mining Industries, and president of the Italian Potash Society;
• Camillo Corsanego, Dean of the Consistorial Lawyers, professor of comparative criminal law at the Pontifical Lateran University, past National President of Italian Catholic Action.
The reviewer's lack of enthusiasm in undertaking to read "the almost 4000 pages of close type" gives an indication of the superficiality (which will be confirmed below) of his examination. (Source 2.)
Part two of the Osservatore Romano article "begins to deal with the contents of the Work." (Source 2.)
First of all, the reader is struck by the length of the discourses attributed to Jesus and to the Most Blessed Virgin, and by the never-ending dialogues between the numerous characters who fill these pages.
The four Gospels present us Jesus as humble and reserved; His discourses are unadorned and clear-cut, yet of the greatest effectiveness. Whereas in this sort of novelized story, Jesus is very talkative, almost self-advertizing, always willing to proclaim Himself Messiah and Son of God and to give theological lectures in the very words which a professor would use nowadays .
In the account of the Gospels we admire the humility and silence of the Mother of Jesus; instead for the author of this work the Most Blessed Virgin has the readiness of speech of a modern saleslady, is always present everywhere, and always willing to give lectures of Marian theology, an extremely up-to-date mariology including even the latest studies by present-day  specialists on the matter.
The story is slow and almost gossipy. In it we find new facts, new parables, new characters and many, many women following Jesus.
Moreover, some episodes are rather troublesome and call to mind certain descriptions and certain scenes from modern novels, like, to give just a few examples, the confession to Mary of a certain Aglae, a woman of loose morals (vol.1 [of the 1956-1959 Italian edition], pp.790ff), the unedifying story on pp.887ss of vol.1 [of the 19561959 Italian edition], and a dance, certainly not a modest one, performed in front of Pilate, in the Praetoriurn (vol.IV [of the 1956-1959 Italian edition], p.75), etc.
At this point a particular thought occurs spontaneously: the Work, by its very nature and in accordance with the intentions of the author and of the Publisher, could easily fall into the hands of nuns and the girls in their boardingschools. In this case, the reading of passages of the same kind as those referred to, could hardly be done without spiritual danger or damage.
Maria Valtorta's Work could not have been put on the Index for long-windedness (a very debatable allegation to say the least) and not even for its portrayal of Jesus as "self-advertizing" and the Virgin Mary as a talkative "sales-lady" - huge distortions of Valtorta's text that amount to falsehoods (cf. Sources 1 and 2).
Had there been any doctrinal errors the Work could have been condemned. But instead, the reviewer found "theological lectures in the very words which a professor would use nowadays " and "lectures of Marian theology, an extremely up-to-date mariology including even the latest studies by present-day  specialists on the matter."
Had it been contrary to good morals, the Work could have been condemned. (Source 2.)
Here the censor begins with an insinuation, when he casually mentions "many, many women following Jesus." In the context of a text purporting to justify a condemnation of Maria Valtorta's Work, this mention of many women must have been calculated to give the impression that there was something improper in the fact that many women followed Jesus. However, if that is the case, then St. Luke's Gospel was improper too (cf. Source 2): "With Him were the twelve apostles, and certain women, whom He had freed from evil spirits and from sicknesses, Mary who is called Magdalen, who had had seven devils cast out of her, and Joanna, the wife of Khuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered to Him with the means they had." The Greek original text for and many others uses the feminine, so these many others are undeniably women.
Attempting to establish grounds for immorality,
the censor expediently refers to "some" episodes that are "rather troublesome" and gives "just a few examples." Since only "some" episodes are incriminated from that point of view, one may hold that there are no other examples apart from the three referred to.
The censor pauses on these "rather troublesome" episodes. Neglecting to take into account that the purpose of those pages is to condemn corruption and to advocate redemption from sin, he is concerned with a particular category of readers that might be harmed by them: nuns and the girls in their boarding-schools. One may deduce that [according to him] the Work could be put on the Index because of a few debatably troublesome episodes whose reading could harm nuns and school-girls.
However the reading of a Work inserted in the Index of Forbidden Books is understood to be forbidden to all Catholics, except for some with a special permission. Behind the condemnation of Valtorta's Work, instead, there may have been the intention to forbid it to only one category of Catholic readers. The confirmation of this hypothesis came in 1985, [on January 31,] in a letter by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal Siri: Maria Valtorta's Work was condemned "in order to neutralize the harm which such a publication may cause to the most unprepared faithful." (Source 2.)
That was a very charitable hypothesis and very charitable confirmation thereof by Cardinal Ratzinger. There are many grounds, however, for upholding a Modernist plot to silence The Poem of The Man-God, precisely because the main reason Jesus gave for bestowing that Work on the Church was to help the Church combat Modernism. Modernists, of course, would not want an open confrontation, so they had to come up with excuses, among which the nuns and their school-girls.
Part three of the Osservatore Romano article "tackles more resolutely the contents of the Work." (Source 2.)
Specialists in biblical studies will certainly find many blunders pertaining to history, geography, and the like. But since this is a... novel, these inventions obviously increase the book's picturesqueness and imaginary nature.
Amidst such flaunted theological learning, one can pick a few... gems that certainly do not sparkle with Catholic orthodoxy.
A rather odd and inexact opinion is expressed here and there about the sin of Adam and Eve.
On p.63 of vol.1 [of the 1956-1959 Italian edition], one can read this title: "Mary can be called the second-born of the Father"; this affirmation is repeated in the text on the following page. The explanation restricts its meaning, avoiding genuine heresy; but it does not remove the justified impression that the intent is to create a new mariology, which easily exceeds the limits of propriety.
On p.772 of vol. II [of the 1956-1959 Italian edition] one can read: "Paradise is Light, perfume, and harmony. But if in it the Father were not to be happy in contemplating the All Beautiful Woman who turns Earth into a paradise, but if Paradise were in the future not to have the live Lily in whose bosom the Three fiery pistils of the divine Trinity are, then the light, perfume, and harmony of Paradise would be reduced by half."
This expresses a cryptic concept, which fortunately is extremely confused, because if it were to be taken literally, it would not escape a strict reprimand.
Last of all, let us mention another strange and imprecise affirmation, which says of the Virgin Mary: "You, for the time you remain on earth, second to Peter as to ecclesiastical hierarchy...' (the emphasis is ours. Editor).
Let us take up our commentary again. (Source 2.)
Again, the anonymous author of the Osservatore Romano article throws a red herring at the reader:
The 'blunders pertaining to history, geography, and the like," if only they were established in the first place, could not come either within the reasons for an ecclesiastical condemnation, which must take into account only of what is against faith and morals. It may be for this reason that the author spares himself the trouble of ferreting them out, delegating the search to the "specialists in biblical studies."
Finally, the censor concentrates on doctrinal matters, but his investigation seems to lose its way "amidst such... theological learning." By using those words, again he unwittingly praises the Work, despite his opinion that "such... theological learning" is "flaunted." Amidst it, he manages to "pick a few... gems that certainly do not sparkle with Catholic orthodoxy," and he gives four examples. (The proportion is one to every thousand pages of close type.)
The first example is "a rather odd and inexact opinion": it is therefore not false. (Source 2.)
If it is merely "inexact," it is not heretical, and therefore it does not justify putting the Work on the Index.
The second example is an affirmation whose "explanation restricts its meaning, avoiding genuine heresy": here too there is no heresy, only an impropriety, and even its improperness would fall if one did not have "the justified impression that the intent is to create a new mariology." (Source 2.)
Again, no heresy; hence no grounds for putting the Work on the Index.
The third example is "a cryptic concept, which fortunately is extremely confused, because if it were to be taken literally, it would not escape a strict reprimand": well, "fortunately," it is safe from a strict reprimand. (Source 2.)
And so again this example provides no grounds for putting the Work on the Index.
The fourth and last example is "another strange and imprecise affirmation": but not necessarily false. (Source 2.)
Besides, the author only quoted the affirmation (as Source 1 points out), and thus there is no specific accusation. Had there been a specific heresy here, you should think the anonymous author would have pounced on it.
That's all. Supposing that the most impeachable passages had been chosen as examples, one can well imagine how innocent the omitted examples must have been. (Source 2.)
The fourth and last part of the Osservatore Romano article "begins with a contradiction and an unclear statement." (Source 2.)
The Work, therefore, would have deserved to be condemned even if it had been only a novel, at least on the grounds of irreverence.
In reality, the intention of the author claims more.
Skimming through the volumes, one can read here and there the words "Jesus says," "Mary says," or "I see" and the like. In fact, towards the end of volume IV [of the 1956-1959 Italian edition] (p.839), the author turns out to be a woman who writes that she witnessed the whole messianic period and that her name is Maria.
These words call to mind that about ten years ago [from the writing of the Osservatore Romano article], a few voluminous typescripts were going around, which contained alleged visions and revelations. It is known that the appropriate Ecclesiastical Authority back then had forbidden the printing of these typescripts and ordered that they be withdrawn from circulation.
Now we notice that they are almost entirely published in the present Work.
Therefore, this public condemnation by the Supreme Sacred Congregation is all the more so fitting, on account of serious disobedience.
The contradiction, which we mentioned before, consists in suddenly saying that the Work is not only a novel, whereas earlier, the author had affirmed: 1) that "to an attentive reader these volumes seem nothing but a long-winded novelized life of Jesus"; 2) that the Work is a "sort of novelized story"; 3) that some episodes "call to mind certain descriptions and certain scenes from modern novels"; 4) that "since this is a... novel, these inventions obviously increase the book's picturesqueness and imaginary nature"; [and 5)] the article's title states at the very start: "A Poorly Novelized Life of Jesus."
The unclear statement, then, is found in the allusion to "grounds of irreverence," which are not specified. One may suppose that the censor is referring to his consideration, in part two of the article, on the "many, many women following Jesus." (Source 2.)
We dealt with that when commenting on part two.
And now a bit of history.
About ten years earlier [from the writing of the Osservatore Romano article], "the appropriate Ecclesiastical Authority back then had forbidden the printing of these typescripts and ordered that they be withdrawn from circulation." (Source 2.)
That's what we (the Maria Valtorta Research Center) referred to as the Secret 1949 Vatican Plot.
That, however, was an order given to Fr. Berti personally: not to Maria Valtorta, not to the publisher that later on printed those typescripts in the present Work.
Nevertheless, "this public condemnation by the Supreme Sacred Congregation is all the more so fitting, on account of serious disobedience." (Source 2.)
Here we think that Source 2 is trying very hard to put forth a very charitable hypothesis as to the nature of the opposition to The Poem of The Man-God. Maria Valtorta was not given that order for the simple reason that her identity was unknown; on the other hand, all publishers in the world had been implicitly forbidden not to publish the Work, because Fr. Berti was threatened that should the Work be published, it would be put on the Index. It's all a matter of the letter vs. the spirit. Though the letter of the prohibition may have applied to Fr. Berti only (and thus Source 2 would be right), the spirit of the prohibition applied to the Work. It's the Work that the Secret 1949 Vatican Plot was deliberately after, despite Pope Pius XII's command to publish it.
Summary. The whole business of this putting of The Poem of The Man-God on the Index is so shady, and the article in the Osservatore Romano explaining why is so full of red herrings, that the previous analysis bears repeating. We will do this by quoting the conclusions of Source 1:
Thus we have disassembled the article, focussing on all the essential passages. Now let us make the following remarks:
1. In almost 4000 pages of close type, the anonymous author did not manage to find one single genuine, clear-cut error. All he could find was: "a few... gems that certainly do not sparkle with Catholic orthodoxy"; "a rather odd and inexact opinion"; an affirmation whose "explanation restricts its meaning, avoiding genuine heresy"; the "justified impression that the intent is to create a new mariology"; "a cryptic concept, which fortunately is extremely confused, because if it were to be taken literally, it would not escape a strict reprimand"; "another strange and imprecise affirmation"; "grounds of irreverence."
2. He let slip words of praise which any religious author would envy: "theological lectures in the very words which a professor would use nowadays "; "lectures of Marian theology, an extremely up-to-date mariology including even the latest studies by present-day  specialists on the matter"; "such flaunted theological learning."
3. He writes falsehoods when he says that Jesus, in this Work, "is very talkative, almost self-advertizing... " and that "the Most Blessed Virgin has the readiness of speech of a modern saleslady, is always present everywhere..."
4. He proves his superficiality or incompetence in literary criticism, which could have been done without, since it cannot be part of the grounds for a Church censure.
5. He states in his conclusion that the action taken by the Holy Office was above all disciplinary.
Though as Catholics, we were saddened by the proscription Decree from the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, we were reassured by the article explaining the grounds for it. The Church was striking Maria Valtorta's work with a form of discipline which is legitimate but outside its infallible Magisterium. We sensed at once that the Church was but repeating its own history: several times in the past, it was mysteriously allowed by God to condemn people and writings, who and which later turned out to be its glory. We accepted this in silence. (Source 1.)
Thus, as the reader can ascertain for himself, the Osservatore Romano article which gave the reasons for putting [the first Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God] on the Index of Forbidden Books failed to mention one single heresy or one clear-cut example of an immoral passage that would be intrinsically bad to read. Even the alleged instances of potentially immoral passages were admitted to be potentially bad only for specific types of people: nuns and girls in boarding schools were used as examples. Upon closer inspection, however, those passages are not immoral, because they purport to blame evil and extol redemption. If the critics are still not satisfied, perhaps they could explain why there are some rather filthy passages in the Holy Scriptures, namely various stories of rape, incest, sodomy, and adultery?
If, then, in the original Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God, there is not one single heresy and not one single passage that could be called intrinsically immoral, then there were no grounds whatsoever for putting the original Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God on the Index of Forbidden Books.
That "the action taken by the Holy Office was above all disciplinary" (Source 1) does not salvage its operation, because the Index of Forbidden Books was not meant as a mere disciplinary measure, it was meant for books containing heresy or intrinsically immoral passages.
Furthermore, the disciplinary measure itself was uncalled for. It was the long-looming outcome of an event that took place about ten years before the writing of the January 6, 1960 article. "It is known that the appropriate Ecclesiastical Authority back then had forbidden the printing of these typescripts and ordered that they be withdrawn from circulation." This refers to the action taken behind Pope Pius XII's back which we called the Secret 1949 Vatican Plot the operation designed to put The Poem of The Man-God in cold storage indefinitely or to destroy it. We have shown how illicit and invalid that 1949 clandestine act was.
Both the Secret 1949 Vatican Plot and the Public 1959-1960 Vatican Injustice went hand in hand. It took the plot ten years to bear its venomous fruit. The saintly Pope Pius XII, who protected the Work and said to publish it just as it was, had to die first.
- Early 1947. Jesus warns Maria Valtorta of false friends whose real motive is to destroy the Work.
- April 28, 1947. Work completed.
- February 26, 1948. Pope Pius XII approves it without any restrictions whatsoever. He says: "Publish this work just as it is."
- 1949. Secret Vatican Plot to put the Work in cold storage indefinitely. Plot thwarted by Fr. Berti.
- 1956-1959. First Italian edition, published by Knight Michele Pisani's house in Isola del Liri, Frosinone, Italy. Welcomed in Italy and by various Italian missionaries.
- 1958. Pope Pius XII, the Work's protector, passes away.
- December 1959. Secret Vatican Plot breaks out publicly. Ranks of Consultors to Holy Office infiltrated by enemies of The Poem of The Man-God. Majority vote to condemn it, though contains no heresies, no immoral passages. Cardinal Prefect of Holy Office brings decision to Pope John XXIII, who signs decree to put The Poem of The Man-God on Index of Forbidden Books.
- January 6, 1960. Osservatore Romano announces condemnation. Anonymous article attempts to justify decision. Fails to mention one single heresy or immoral passage, which proves putting on the Index was illegal.
- Early 1962. Fr. Giraudo, member of Holy Office, reverses previous decision of Holy Office. Presumably to save face, reversal not published.
- 1961-1967. Second Italian edition, published by Knight Michele Pisani's son Emilio Pisani, with footnotes by Fr. Berti to explain difficult passages. Welcomed in Italy and by many Italians around the world.
* 1970. As requested by enthusiastic readers of Maria Valtorta, Emilio Pisani starts publishing, twice a year, newsbulletin Il Bollettino Valtortiano, devoted to Maria Valtorta's writings. International readership.
- 1970. The Poem of The Man-God publicly endorsed by Fr. Allegra, famous biblical scholar who translated entire Bible into Chinese.
- 1971. Anthology published in Japanese.
- 1972. Translation into Spanish well under way.
- 1972. Translation into Czech begun.
- 1972. Italian translation has reached at least the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, England, Ethiopia, Formosa, France, Germany, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Rwanda, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Uganda, United States, and Zaire.
- Early 1973. Course taught at Marianum Pontifical Theological Faculty in Rome devoted a few lectures to Maria Valtorta's writings. Professor was Fr. Roschini, worldrenowned mariologist.
- 1975. First edition of Hans J. Hopfen's map of Palestine in days of Our Lord, based on descriptions in The Poem of The Man-God and accompanied by index of persons and places in The Poem of The Man-God.
- 1976. Volume 1 of Spanish translation comes out.
- 1978. Anthology published in Portuguese, with imprimatur by Archbishop of Belem, Brazil.
- 1979. Volumes 1 and 2 of French translation.
- 1980. Translation into Croatian begins to come out.
- 1981. Founding of privately-funded Maria Valtorta Research Center in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
- 1983. Volumes 1 and 2 of German translation come out.
- 1984. Founding of l'Association des Amis de Maria Valtorta in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Since then, more French volumes of The Poem of The Man-God have been sold in 6-million strong Quebec than in all of France (over 50 million inhabitants).
- 1984. Second anthology in Japanese.
- 1985. Widely photocopied letter by Cardinal Ratzinger says The Poem of The Man-God was put on the Index only to prevent "the most unprepared of the faithful" from reading it. The Index, however, was constituted to prevent all the faithful from reading certain books, except a few with special permissions. Despite its strange inconsistency, the letter frightened away various readers.
- 1986. Volume 1 of the English edition comes out. Immediate success. Spreads everywhere. The sheep know the Good Shepherd's voice.
- 1988. Translation of Jesus' Passion in The Poem of The Man-God into Korean.
- 1988. Volume 1 of Dutch translation.
- 1988. First issue of The Valtorta Newsletter published by Central Distributor for Valtorta, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. International readership.
- 1993. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Malayalam translation receive Imprimatur by Bishop of Trivandrum, India.
- 1993. Cardinal Ratzinger alleges that The Poem of The Man-God "cannot be considered supernatural in origin," thus contradicting the mystical, staunchly conservative Pope Pius XII and several great minds of the Church.
- 1993. The Valtorta Newsletter publishes rebuttal to Cardinal Ratzinger's ill-founded assertion.
- 1993. Third Italian edition, with new title of L'Evangelo come mi e stato rivelato, which directly implies that The Poem of The Man-God is a private revelation.
- 1996. Volume 1 of translation into Swahili.
There is so much more to say about the revelations of Viareggio!
Jesus clearly condemns darwinism:
"One of the points on which your pride founders into error is that of the Darwinian theory. Above all, it really disgraces your pride, as you give yourselves an origin which, if you were less corrupt, you would reject as debasing." (Q43:683 [Dec. 20].)
Jesus rejects all biological evolutionary theories:
"Man's genius is but the means to witness to the power of God, who created man with intelligence and reason besides a spirit and flesh and blood. Man's genius is but the reply given to those who uphold evolutionary theories according to which today's man would be but an animal evolved by itself in a slow ascent from brutishness to humanity. Man's genius is but the reply given to those who deny Creation, and therefore God the Creator, to the heretics who uphold the autogenesis of the Universe." (Q45:479 [Sept. 30].)
Jesus excludes even mitigated evolutionary theories that make room for God who, they say, could have used evolution as a means to create:
"The Almighty, the Infinite One, certainly had no need to obtain man from an age-long evolution of quadrumanes. Quadrumanes have been quadrumanes ever since the moment they were created and started clowning around on the trees of the Garden of Eden. Man has been man ever since the moment God created him from the mud and, which was done for no other creature, breathed His spirit onto his face." (Q44:508 [July 14].)
God is the Almighty Creator!
"... when Science is merely human it corrupts without producing [an open] rebellion and drags to perdition a countless number of followers. How many are lost through intellectual pride which makes them despise the Faith, and how many kill their souls with the pride that separates from God!...
"One, only one science is necessary. I will repeat it a thousand times: to know God and serve Him, to know Him in all things, to see Him in what happens, and to be able to distinguish Him from His adversary, so as not to fall into perdition. Instead you are concerned about increasing your human knowledge, to the detriment of superhuman knowledge.
"I do not condemn Science. In fact I am pleased that mankind should learnedly probe the knowledge which it has been accumulating, so as to be more and more able to understand Me and admire Me in My works. I have given you intelligence for this purpose. But you must use it to see God in the law of the stars, in the formation of flowers and in the conception of beings, not use it to violate life or deny the Creator." (Q43:153 [August 22].)
The topography of Palestine in the days of Our Lord is no easy field. The many changes in Palestine due to human action and geological forces over the last two thousand years have made the location of many towns and places uncertain, despite many advances in the fields of history and archeology.
The visions of The Poem of The Man-God, however, provides a wealth of geographical, geological, and above all topographical details.
Comparing these details with existing scientific data was bound to be interesting.
In 1970, Fr. Allegra, an eminent Biblical scholar who translated the entire Bible into Chinese, commented:
Everyone knows how much research scholars, especially Jewish scholars, have done to draw the various maps of the political geography of Palestine, from the time of the Maccabees [starting in 168 B.C.] until Bar Kokhba's uprising [A.D. 132-135]. For over twenty years they had to go through a heap of documents: the Talmud, Josephus Flavius, inscriptions [on ancient monuments, etc.], folklore, ancient itineraries... And yet the identity of quite a few places is still uncertain.
In The Poem of The Man-God, on the contrary,
...there is no such uncertainty. In at least 80% of cases, recent studies have proved that the identifications assumed in The Poem of The Man-God were right and I think that this number would increase if some expert were to study this matter in depth. The author [Maria Valtorta] sees the forks in the roads, the milestones that point the way, and the various crops depending on the kind of soil. She sees the many Roman bridges spanning several rivers or streams, as well as springs, running in certain seasons and dried up in others. She notes pronunciation differences between one region of Palestine and another, and a mass of other things that bewilder the reader or at least cause him to be wrapt in thought. (Boll.:23.)
By 1975, much more research had been done, mostly by Hans J. Hopfen, who now published a map of Palestine in the days of Our Lord, based on The Poem of The Man-God. A second edition came out in 1979 and a third, in 1983.
His work shows that
• the topographical data found in the visions granted to Maria Valtorta agree with all the well-established scientific data;
• Where scientific data were hazy and uncertain, the visions to Maria Valtorta provide usually precise, highly plausible alternatives.
Thus the visions of The Poem of The Man-God have made a phenomenal contribution to the difficult field of Palestinian topography in the days of Our Lord. However, all is not perfect yet. A certain number of details still eluded Hans J. Hopfen in 1983, and he humbly acknowledged that some revisions are quite likely.
It is our hope that someone with a huge budget and the tenacity to cut through all the red tape may be able to make important archeological discoveries on the sites determined by Hans J. Hopfen on the basis of the visions granted to Maria Valtorta.
Mind you, these figures also include Maria's non-revealed personal comments on the revelations to her.
• Dio (God) 16580 times
• Gesu (Jesus) 13102 times
• amore (love) 6773 times
• uomo (man) 6239 times
• Maria (Mary, Mother of God; or Mary of Magdala; or other women called Mary, including Maria Valtorta, when someone, mostly Jesus, addressed her) 5002 times
• Signore (Lord or lord) 4946 times
• Padre (Father or father) 4551 times
• Maestro (Master or master) 4533 times
• Vita (Life or life) 4166 times
• Spirito (Spirit or spirit) 4148 times
• Madre (Mother or mother) 3718 times
• Cuore (Heart or heart) 3594 times
• Figlio (Son or son) 3591 times
• Giovanni (John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, or several other men called John). 3270 times
• casa (house, home; mostly in the visions of The Poem of The Man-God) 3236 times
• luce (light, as opposed to darkness) 3102 times
• terra (earth, ground) 2957 times
• pace (peace) 2905 times
• uomini (men, mankind) 2888 times
• anima (soul) 2864 times
• Giuda (Judas Iscariot, or Jude the Apostle, or other men called Judah) 2816 times
• cielo (heaven, sky) 2779 times
• mondo (world) 2714 times
• cosa (thing) 2652 times
• dolore (sorrow, pain) 2467 times
• parole (words) 2460 times
• Pietro (Peter the Apostle) 2456 times
• verita (truth) 2303 times
• parola (word, words (depends on context)) 2269 times
• morte (death) 2249 times
• Cristo (Christ) 2224 times
• tempo (time) 2145 times
• male (evil) 2143 times
• figli (children, or more specifically sons) 2138 times
• donna (woman) 2138 times
• carne (flesh) 1957 times
• sangue (blood) 1822 times
• santo (male saint, holy) 1803 times
• fede (faith) 1715 times
• voce (voice) 1709 times
• occhi(eyes) 1706 times
• nome (Name or name) 1682 times
• mano (hand) 1650 times
• capo (Head or head) 1643 times
• giorno (day, daytime) 1639 times
• gioia (joy) 1617 times
• Simone (Simon the Zealot, or Simon Peter, or other men by the name of Simon) 1601 times
• volunta (will, the decision-making faculty). 1574 times
• Satana (Satan) 1538 times
• grazia (grace, thanks to) 1523 times
• carita (charity) 1499 times
• peccato (sin) 1479 times
• re (king) 1453 times
• Giuseppe (Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus; Joseph of Arimathea; or other men called Joseph) 1430 times
• sole (sun; or feminine plural of alone (adj.)) 1426 times
• legge (law, or he / she / it reads) 1373 times
• parte (part, or he / she / it leaves) 1358 times
• Israele (Israel) 1334 times
• discepoli (disciples) 1314 times
• regno (kingdom) 1313 times
• porta (door, or he / she / it brings) 1289 times
• piedi (feet) 1263 times
• apostoli (apostles) 1238 times
• Lazzaro (Lazarus) 1235 times
Research at the Maria Valtorta Research Center is done, most of the time, on the original Italian text of the revelations of Viareggio. Some collaborators have done some work on English or French translations, but even so every once in a while, they are forced to go to the original Italian to clarify difficult passages.
"I am taking up again one of the dominant notes of My preaching. There are two dominant notes, Maria. The necessity of love: number one. The necessity of penance: number two." (Q43:390 [September 23].)
Maria Valtorta loved children. Having children was at one point her strongest pull towards marriage. But she never did marry, as her mother drove away her suitors.
Some children played an important role in her life, for instance Nennolina, who had passed away at the age of seven and appeared to her one day. Jesus also mentioned Nennolina in a dictation of His.
Maria Valtorta saw many children in The Poem of The Man-God, notably Margziam (also called Marziam), the boy who was to become the great Apostle to the Gauls, St. Martial.
Such is the title of the French translation of The Poem of The Man-God. It means: "The Gospel as it was Revealed to me." That title, of course, is a direct, truthful claim that its contents are a private revelation.
The translator, the late Felix Sauvage, actually released his translation to Emilio Pisani only when the latter promised to use that title. Emilio Pisani found the translator's demand reasonable because "The Gospel as it was Revealed to me" was the litteral translation of the Italian title which Maria Valtorta herself had wanted to use for the Italian edition. As it turned out, other Italian titles were used for the first two editions, but Maria Valtorta's desire finally came true when the third edition started coming out.
Throughout Fireworks we use the title The Poem of The Man-God to suggest the fact that it mostly consists of visions as opposed to dictations, and also because it raises the question as to who showed the Gospel to Maria, and the honest reader soon finds the answer to his question: it was Jesus.
Seven Bishops of India have sent warm letters of congratulations to the publisher of the Malayalam translation of The Poem of The Man-God. One of them, the local Bishop, gave it his imprimatur.
Jesus' presence in Notebooks is different from that in The Poem of The Man-God, but there are resemblances.
The Poem of The Man-God
Jesus is seen and heard as He lived 2000 years ago in Palestine.
He is heard and seen in Viareggio, Italy, 50 years ago.
Jesus spent much time with Lazarus and his sister Mary and Martha.
Jesus spent much time at the Valtortas', manifesting Himself to Maria, whose friend and housekeeper was named Marta.
Jesus sometimes taught in the speech common people could understand.
Jesus used modern speech people can understand nowadays.
Jesus also used theological speech developed over 1950 years of Tradition.
Jesus also used theological speech developed over 1950 years of Tradition.
Jesus sometimes referred to current events and social situations in Palestine 2000 years ago to help His unchangeable teachings strike home.
So did He 50 years ago in Viareggio, referring to current events and social situations and problems (not that remote from our own experience in the late 1990s).
The Poem of The Man-God shows the Gospels in their real-life environment in Palestine 2000 years ago and teaches about the Kingdom of Heaven.
In Notebooks, Jesus examines World War II, tackles different challenges to the Catholic faith in our modern world, and teaches us how to overcome them and obtain the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Poem of The Man-God, though showing us Jesus' life 2000 years ago, does so with very contemporary reasons in mind. Above all, Jesus revealed it to help His Church combat the pervasive heresy of Modernism.
Notebooks focuses on present-day problems and their Solution. Jesus helps His Church in these tough times and prepares her to survive the End Times, which had already begun in the 1940s.
Thus Jesus leads a two-pronged attack on Satan and his minions, and gives a two-pronged source of deep spiritual joy to His followers.
From February 1946 to February 1947, Maria Valtorta worked on three Works at the same time:
• The Poem of The Man-God;
• The Book of Azariah, which she completed during that time.
And yet, she never got mixed up between the three. Each work is solid, consistent, markedly different from the other two.
The first question to answer, whenever the Church judges alleged private revelations, is what kind of person was the alleged recipient.
In Maria Valtorta's case, it is clear that:
• She was not the kind of person who would have fabricated or lied;
• She was not a mentally unstable kind of person who would have imagined in all good faith that she was receiving revelations;
• She was a good Catholic with a genuine love for God, for the God-Man, for the Virgin Mary, for the Church, for her neighbour;
• She practiced all the virtues heroically;
• She had a spiritual director and obeyed his every command, and submitted everything to him.
People who knew her personally include:
• Fr. Migliorini, O.S.M., former Apostolic Prefect to South Africa (until 1939), who was her spiritual director from 1942 to 1946;
• Fr. Berti, O.S.M., who devoted the rest of his life (1946-1980) to seeing her works published and editing them;
• Marta Diciotti, who dedicated over 26 years of her life (1935-1961) to being Maria's housekeeper, becoming her confidante and friend. Marta Diciotti put many of her memories on tape and these were edited by Albo Centoni to produce a 526-page book entitled Una vita con Maria Valtorta. Testimonianze di Marta Diciotti. (Not yet translated into English.)
Apart from that, other sources helpful to determine Maria Valtorta's character are her own personal writings which were not the direct product of a revelation (although they may have referred to them):
• her Autobiography;
• her abundant correspondence with bishops, priests, nuns, various personalities, and her family and friends;
• her own personal remarks interspersed throughout the revelations to her, especially in Notebooks;
• her "Testament," a writing on the Apocalypse.
Maria Valtorta took her correspondence very seriously.
Every morning, she did her little routines and, when the mail came in she took care of her mail right away. She put everything aside, like mending or embroidery. Of course, she didn't put the Writings aside, since they had precedence over everything. She used to say that correspondence was something that must be done as soon as possible. (Diciotti:157.)
It is to be kept in mind that Maria Valtorta was bedridden and wrote her correspondence in bed, just as she did for the revelations granted to her.
Maria corresponded very much with many people: various Church dignitaries, bishops, priests, nuns, as well as relatives and friends.
Of course, none of Maria Valtorta's correspondence constitutes a revelation, but some of it may one day provide a better understanding of the context of some of the revelations to her, as well as play a role in her eventual beatification procedure. None of it has yet been published in any language, except for some very short extracts in studies.
It is always very clear when Maria Valtorta makes a personal comment before, while, or after writing down a revelation to her.
In 1950, when the revelations to Maria Valtorta had by and large ended, she began to write a commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse on her own.
It was so well written, that Emilio Pisani in all good faith thought that it had been revealed to her.
However, upon closer investigation, the Maria Valtorta Research Center discovered that it was Maria Valtorta herself who wrote it.
The main reason is simply this: the commentary was not preceded by "Jesus says." That simple. Maria Valtorta was always very careful to distinguish between the revelations to her and her own personal comments. It would have been strange had she failed to attribute this long text to Jesus had it been His.
Also, a certain passage used the first person plural to express the need for salvation. Jesus would never have used the first person plural to say such a thing, because, of course, He was sinless. But if Maria wrote the text herself, then the passage is perfectly appropriate.
Also, the text shows no real development of thoughts when
compared to all the earlier dictations by Jesus. It mostly repeats what Jesus already told her before.
Finally, even the style is not as incisive as when Jesus speaks to her.
Nevertheless, Maria Valtorta's personal, non-revealed commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse is worth reading. If an informed reader like Emilio Pisani could mistake it for a revelation from Jesus, it must be good reading indeed. It shows how much Maria Valtorta had become imbued with Christ in her mystical life, and how imbued with His manner of speaking she had become after having received so many revelations from Him.
In some ways, Maria Valtorta's personal, non-revealed commentary on the Book of Apocalypse could be considered to be her spiritual testament to her readers. Let it be read in that spirit, the spirit of her charity towards her readers.
The last five years of Maria Valtorta's life (1956-1961) seem rather surprising at first. Bedridden as previously, she spent them in almost complete silence, did not seem to do much, and looked very peaceful.
At first, she wrote short prayers all day long on every piece of paper at hand, to gain as many indulgences as possible. That was a very good sign, according to Most Reverend Alfonso Carinci, who was then the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, which dealt with the causes of the saints - and as such he was very conversant with the discernment of the spirits.
Maria then went through a growing psychological isolation, by which she became almost completely estranged from the outer world. On rare occasions, she would come out of her isolation and make very lucid statements, usually concerning the revelations of Viareggio.
To the scoffing or to the rash, she had lost her mind. However, to the charitable or to the well-informed, she was totally absorbed by her inner, spiritual life. There are several hints to that effect:
• Maria had a great thirst to offer sacrifices for the salvation of souls;
• She had been running out of things to sacrifice, because she had already offered up so much;
• in her correspondence with a cloistered Nun, she confided in her that she had offered the sacrifice of her intellect to God;
• She also confided that she had asked God for the grace of reliving Jesus' passion without any external signs;
• many years before she began her psychological isolation, she had received a prophecy by Jesus in which He said she would pass away from this world without even noticing, going from a vision to the reality;
• When Maria had almost finished receiving all her written revelations, Jesus told her He would secretly reveal Himself to her to an even greater extent: as much as an earthling could ever bear it, and that she would forget this world.
Maria Valtorta on August 5, 1961. Maria obediently passed away on October 12, 1961, at the exact moment the priest said the words "Depart from this world, O Christian soul."
Since Fireworks was meant only as an introduction to the revelations of Viareggio, the focus was less scholarly than may have been expected from the avid reader. Bibliographical notices were kept to a minimum, and more detailed references shall be given when, God willing, we publish the other, more in-depth volumes of Sunrise of Truth.
• CEV: Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. Publishes Maria Valtorta's writings in the original Italian and in most translations. Located at Isola del Liri, Frosinone, Italy.
• Boll.: Il Bollettino Valtortiano. Newsletter published twice yearly by CEV since 1970.
• Poem: The Poem of the Man-God.
• Q43: I Quaderni del 1943.
• Q44: I Quaderni del 1944.
• Q45, Q46, Q47, Q48, Q49, Q50: I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950.
Aulagnier, Jean, The Diary of Jesus. Day by day account of Jesus' life based on ancient calendars and on the writings of Maria Valtorta. Sherbrooke, [Quebec, Canada], Kolbe's Publications, 1990. (2nd edition). 366 p. OUT OF PRINT.
Berti, Fr. Corrado. Editor of the critical, annotated 2nd Italian edition of The Poem of The Man-God. The reference Berti 7:1866-1867 refers to his appendix on pp.1866-1867 of volume VII of Maria Valtorta's II poema dell'Uomo-Dio.
Diciotti, Marta. Una vita con Maria Valtorta. Testimonianze di Marta Diciotti. Edited by Albo Centoni. CEV, 1987. 526 p.
Hopfen, Hans J. Carta della Palestina e indici per l'opera "II poema dell'Uomo-Dio. " Isola del Liri [Frosinone, Italy], Tipografia Editrice M. Pisani, 1983. 93 p.
Michel de la Sainte Trinite, Frere. Medjugorje en toute verite selon le discernement des esprits. (The title means "The whole truth on Medjugorje according to the discernment of spirits." This refers to time-tried discernment principles.) St. Parresles-Vaudes [France], Contre-Reforme Catholique, 1991. 519 p., esp. "Le jugement canonique," pp. 219-220, footnote 52.
Pisani, Dr. Emilio. Pro e contro Maria Valtorta. CEV, 1995. 203 p.
Roschini, Fr. Gabriele, O.S.M., The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta. Sherbrooke, [QC, Canada], Kolbe's Publications, 1993. (3rd edition). 396 p.
Ste. Marie, Fr. Joseph de., in The Fatima Crusader. Issue 19 (early 1986).
Valtorta, Maria. Autobiography. CEV, 1991.442 p.
Valtorta, Maria. The Book of Azariah. CEV, 1993. 334 p.
Valtorta Maria. Correspondence, still unpublished.
Valtorta Maria. The End Times as Revealed to Maria Valtorta. CEV, 1994. 161 p. (A compilation of texts on the End Times extracted from I Quaderni (see below).)
Valtorta, Maria. The Poem of The Man-God. Title used throughout Fireworks to refer to The Poem of the Man-God.
Valtorta, Maria. Lezioni sull'Epistola di Paolo ai Romani. CEV, 1977, 315 p.
Valtorta, Maria. The Notebooks 1943. CEV, 1996. (just about to be released as of the time of this writing. Number of pages unknown. This is the translation of Q43.)
Valtorta, Maria. Il poema dell'Uomo-Dio. CEV, 1961- 1967. (2nd edition.) 10 volumes. Over 4,000 pages in all. (The peerless series of 703 visions of the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, with some explanations by Jesus and Mary.)
Valtorta, Maria. The Poem of the Man-God. CEV, 1986-1990. 5 volumes. 4,228 pages in all. (Translation of II poema dell'Uomo-Dio. Provisional title.)
Valtorta, Maria. Prayers. CEV, 1995. 125 p. (Translation of Preghiere.)
Valtorta, Maria. Preghiere. CEV, 1995. 122 p.
Valtorta, Maria. I Quaderni del 1943. CEV, 1976. 808 p.
Valtorta, Maria. I Quaderni del 1944. CEV, 1980. 878 p.
Valtorta, Maria. I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950. CEV, 1984.664 pages. (The same book is referred to as Q45, Q46, Q47, Q48, Q49, or Q50 depending on the year in which the quoted passage was written.)
Valtorta, Maria. Notebooks. Title used throughout Fireworks to refer to Q43-Q50.
National Library of Canada (Ottawa)
Bibliotheque nationale du Quebec (Montreal)