Maria Valtorta was born on the 14th of March 1897. In the spring of 1916, 'during a tremendous period of desperation and desire', the Lord attracted her to Himself by means of a dream which was to remain 'vivid' in Maria throughout her life. But her withdrawal from the world was still remote. In 1917 Maria entered the ranks of the Samaritan Nurses, and for eighteen months offered her service at the military hospital in Florence 'to serve those who suffered... soldiers, not officers...' she felt as if she were 'sweetly obliged to draw ever closer God'.
In 1920 an act of thoughtless violence marked the beginning of her gradual immolation: she was struck in the back by a young delinquent with an iron bar stripped from a bed. Attracted by the example of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Maria offered herself as victim to the merciful Love: from that moment she grew to extraordinary heights in her love of Jesus, even to feeling His presence in her own words and actions. In the meantime she matured the decision to offer herself as victim of the divine Justice.
From April 1934 she was no longer able to leave her bed...
It was in 1942 that she was visited by a pious missionary, Fr. Romuald Migliorini who was her spiritual director for four years; at his request in 1943, she agreed to write her Autobiography. Prodded by supernatural impulse on Good Friday, the 23rd of April of the same 1943, she began writing the 'dictations': her activity as writer reached intensity from 1943 to 1947, diminishing progressively until 1953.
Mostly the notebooks written by Maria Valtorta concern the life of Jesus: The Poem of the Man-God.
In 1949 Maria offered to God the sacrifice of not seeing the full ecclesiastic approval of the Work, (even though Pius XII verbally approved the work before 3 priest witnesses) and she added the precious gift of her own intelligence. She died in 1961 and in 1973 with civil and ecclesiastic permission her mortal remains were transferred to the Capitular Chapel in the Grand Cloister of the Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation in Florence, where the tomb of Maria Valtorta is still venerated. 'The Poem of the Man-God' is a great masterpiece of the life of Jesus. It is a gospel which neither substitutes nor changes the Gospel, but rather narrates it, integrating and illuminating it, with the declared purpose of reviving in men's hearts the love for Christ and His Mother.
It was 'revealed' to Maria Valtorta, called 'Little John', to place her close to the Evangelist who was the favourite disciple.