Professor Fabrizio Braccini of the University of Palermo, in 1979, wrote:
“What constitutes the finish line for others, so to speak, is, on the contrary, Maria Valtorta’s ascetic starting point.”
Saint Padre Pio and at least two spiritual children of his approve the Poem. In 1967 (a year before Padre Pio’s death), a long-time spiritual daughter of his, Mrs. Elisa Lucchi, asked him in Confession: “Father, I have heard mention of Maria Valtorta’s books. Do you advise me to read them?” Saint Padre Pio responded: “I don’t advise you to– I order you to!” This quote is taken from a letter dated January 7, 1989 to Dr. Emilio Pisani (the editor and publisher of Maria Valtorta’s works) and which was written by Rosi Giordani, also a spiritual daughter of Saint Padre Pio herself. The book Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta has this letter in full and also recounts several documented mystical experiences that Maria Valtorta had with Saint Padre Pio while they were both alive. To read the entire letter detailing this occurrence with Padre Pio, and to read about the documented mystical experiences between Saint Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta, see the chapter of this e-book entitled “Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta”.
St. Pio was one of the holiest saints of the 20th century. His insight into the divine nature of Maria Valtorta’s revelations is certainly most reliable, as he was a mystic who communicated often with Our Lord and Our Lady; he often had instantaneous spiritual insights (such as the ability to read hearts); he was a stigmatist, bilocater, and prophet; he obtained miraculous cures and other miracles for many people; and he had numerous documented mystical experiences with other people, as well as lived in the same country at the same time as Maria Valtorta, who herself testifies that she had mystical experiences with him, and who others testify that they have experienced or witnessed supernatural occurrences connected with Maria Valtorta and him.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta is world-famous for founding the Missionaries of Charity, consisting of over 4,500 religious sisters serving the poorest of the poor in 133 countries. She was beatified in 2003, canonized in 2016, and was the recipient of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was the recipient of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, beatified in 2003, and canonized in 2016. She was an inspiration and role model to thousands of people around the world. What is interesting for us is that one of the books most dearest to her and that she often carried with her in her travels was none other than Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God. Fr. Leo Maasburg, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Austria, was a close associate of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He accompanied her on many of her journeys, was present at the occasion of the opening of new Missionaries of Charity houses on multiple continents, and preached retreats for her sisters all over the world. When Mother Teresa opened her first houses in Moscow and Armenia in 1988, Fr. Maasburg was their spiritual counselor for several months and through these means was the first official Catholic priest allowed back into the Soviet Union. He published a book about Mother Teresa in October 2011 that relates 50 eyewitness stories about her life and accomplishments.
What is significant for us is that in 2009, he was interviewed by Christian Magazine and reported that Mother Teresa frequently carried The Poem of the Man-God with her in her travels and that she told him multiple times to read it. An article relates:
“According to a report by Fr. Leo Maasburg, national leader of the missions in Vienna, Austria and an occasional confessor of Mother Teresa for 4 years, she always traveled with three books: The Bible, her Breviary, and a third book. When Fr. Leo asked her about the third work, she said to him that it was a book by Maria Valtorta. Upon his [multiple] inquiries about the content of it, she told him, “read it” and simply repeated that. Recently interviewed by Christian Magazine on the advice of Mother Teresa on the work of Maria Valtorta, Fr. Leo Maasburg simply confirms: “For what is the attitude of Mother Teresa about Valtorta, I clearly remember her positive reaction without recalling more details”. (Extract from Christian Magazine, No. 218 of 03/15/2009, page 5).
This was further confirmed in a 2017 JCL thesis published for the Faculty of Canon Law of St. Paul University which includes a signed testimonial letter of Fr. Leo Maasburg. In this signed testimony, Fr. Maasburg testifies that Mother Teresa carried Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God with her in her travels, read this work, and recommended him to also read it. A description of this JCL thesis and a link to download it is available here: http://www.valtorta.org.au/index-of-forbidden-books.html
You can view the above letter of Fr. Leo Maasburg and read about another documented connection between Mother Teresa and Maria Valtorta’s work here: http://www.valtorta.org.au/mother-teresa-of-calcutta-valtorta.html
Camillo Corsánego (1891-1963) was National President of Catholic Action in Italy, Dean of the Consistorial Lawyers (where he functioned as advocate of causes of beatification and canonization), and a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He wrote in a signed testimony in 1952:
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.
Blessed Gabriel M. Allegra, O.F.M. was a very learned and world-renowned exegete, theologian, and missionary priest in the Order of the Friars Minor, which he entered into at the age of 16. After being ordained in 1930, he departed to China, and distinguished himself as an exemplary missionary and man of culture. As a St. Jerome of our time, he was the first to translate the entire Bible into Chinese, and his work had the support and acknowledgement of successive popes from Pius XI to Paul VI. His Cause was opened in 1984, just 8 years after his death; he was elevated to “Venerable” only 10 years later in 1994, and the decree of a miracle and his beatification was approved by the Holy See in 2002. He was finally beatified on September 29, 2012 at the Cathedral of Arcireale, Catania in Sicilia. Gabriel Allegra is the only biblical scholar of the 20th century who has been beatified. He was an outspoken and avid long-time supporter of Maria Valtorta, and his latter years were spent reading, studying, promoting, and defending the Poem of the Man-God. Here are a number of thought-provoking quotes from this very learned and saintly priest:
“I assure you that The Poem of the Man-God immensely surpasses whatever descriptions — I do not say of mine, because I do not know how to write — but of any other writer… It is a work which makes one grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus and of His Holy Mother… I hold that the work demands a supernatural origin…. I find knowledge: and such knowledge in the theological (especially mariological), exegetical, and mystical fields, that if it is not infused I do not know how a poor, sick woman could acquire and master it, even if she was endowed with a signal intelligence… I find in her doctrine: and doctrine such as is sure; it embraces almost all fields of revelation. Hence, it is multiple, immediate, luminous… Gifts of nature and mystical gifts harmoniously joined explain this masterwork of Italian religious literature, and perhaps I should say [a masterwork] of the world’s Christian literature… After the Gospels, I do not know another life of Jesus that can compare to the Poem.”
“For a book so engaging and challenging, so charismatic, so extraordinary even from just a human point of view as is Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God —for such a book I find the theological justification in the First Epistle to the Corinthians 14:6, where St. Paul writes: ‘If I come to you, brethren, speaking in tongues, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or doctrine?’”
“In this work I find so many revelations which are not contrary to, but instead complete, the Gospel narrative… I find in her the charism of prophecy in the proper sense of a voice through which Valtorta exhorts, encourages, and consoles in the Name of God and, at rare times, elucidates the predictions of the Lord. I find in her doctrine: and doctrine such as is sure; it embraces almost all fields of revelation. Hence, it is multiple, immediate, luminous.”
“What amazes me more is that Valtorta never falls into theological errors; on the contrary, she renders revealed mysteries easier for the reader, transposing them into a popular and modern language.”
“Certain of the Lord’s discourses, whose principle subject is only hinted at in the Gospels, are developed in this work with a naturalness, with a linking of thought so logical, so spontaneous, so coherent with the time, the place, and the circumstances, as I have never found in the most famous exegetes…”
“Regarding Valtorta’s exegesis, it would be necessary to write a book; here I limit myself to reaffirming that I find no other works of eminent scripture exegetes which complete and clarify the Canonical Gospels so naturally, so spontaneously, with such liveliness as does The Poem of Valtorta.”
“The dogmas which the Church continues defending in the course of the ages…are a solemn affirmation of the faith of the Apostles. Through an ineffable charism, Valtorta had been plunged again into the tender, moving, spontaneous faith of the Apostles, especially of St. John.”
“As to the Mariology of this work, I know of no other books which possess a Mariology so fascinating and convincing, so firm and so simple, so modern and at the same time so ancient, even while being open to its future advances. On this point the Poem even, or rather above all, enriches our knowledge of the Madonna and irresistibly also our poor love, our languid devotion for Her. In treating the mystery of the Compassion of Mary, it seems to me that Valtorta, by her breadth, depth, and psychological sounding of the Heart of the Virgin, surpasses even St. Bonaventure and St. Bernard.”
“After the Gospels, I do not know another life of Jesus that can compare to the Poem, as I do not know any other lives of St. Peter and St. John which make the characters of these two Apostles so alive.”
“In her tragic destiny, a powerful and moving figure in the Poem is Mary of Simon, the mother of Judas, and who was so loved by Jesus. No poet or dramatist has ever thought up a profile so robust, so delicate, and at the same time so pitiful, as that unfortunate and gentle woman.”
“Worthy of note is the manner in which Jesus explains the Old Testament, applying it always to the present, to the messianic era already in progress, and which is about to be fulfilled.”
“From the time that I read and reread the Poem of the Man-God of Maria Valtorta, I have no more taste for biblical-gospel novels.”
“I would say that in this work the Palestinian world of the time of Jesus comes out before our eyes; and the best and worst elements of character of the chosen people—a people of extremes and slaves of every mediocrity—leap out vividly before us.”
“…I invite readers of the Poem to read the pages consecrated to the Resurrection, to the reconstruction of the events of the day of the Pasch, and they will ascertain how all is bound together harmoniously there, just as so many exegetes tried to do, but without fully succeeding…”
“A book of great size, composed in exceptional circumstances and in a relatively very short time: here is an aspect of the Valtorta phenomenon.”
“In the dialogues and in the discourses which form the framework of [Valtorta’s] work, besides an inimitable spontaneity (the dialogues), there is something of antiquity and at times of the hieratic (the discourses); in a word, an excellent translation of a spoken Aramaic, or Hebrew, in a vigorous, polymorphous, robust Italian.”
“I hold that the work demands a supernatural origin… […] Now, without anticipating the judgment of the Church which to this moment I accept with absolute submission, I permit myself to affirm that, … with the Poem producing good fruits in an ever increasing number of persons, I think that it comes from the Spirit of Jesus.”
“I do not believe [even] a genius could thus accomplish this Gospel narration: the Finger of God is here!”
Blessed Allegra also comments on her genius writing ability, and the extraordinary theological and scientific knowledge revealed in the Poem, especially in its superiority in these areas to other works of great renown:
Comparison With Other Works
Whoever starts out to read [the Poem of the Man-God] with an honest mind and with commitment can well see for himself the immense distance that exists between The Poem and the New Testament Apocrypha, especially the Infancy Apocrypha and the Assumption Apocrypha. And he can also notice what distance there is between this work and that of Venerable Catherine Emmerich, Mary of Agreda, etc. In the writings of these latter two visionaries, it is impossible not to sense the influence of third persons, an influence which it seems to me must on the contrary be absolutely excluded from our Poem. To be convinced of this it suffices to make a comparison between the vast and sure doctrine – theological, biblical, geographical, historical, topographical – which crowds every page of the Poem, and the same material in the [other visionary] works mentioned above. I am not going to speak of literary works, because there are none which cover the life of Jesus beginning from the Birth to the Assumption of the Madonna, or at least none known to me. But even if we limit ourselves to the basic plots of the most celebrated ones, like: Ben Hur, The Robe, The Great Fisherman, The Silver Chalice, The Spear…, these could not quite bear comparison with the natural, spontaneous plot welling up from the context of events and characters of so many persons – a veritable crowd! – which forms the mighty framework of the Poem.
I repeat: it is a world brought back to life, and the writer rules it as if she possessed the genius of a Shakespeare or a Manzoni. But with the works of these two great men, how many studies, how many vigils, how many meditations are required! Maria Valtorta, on the contrary, even though possessing a brilliant intelligence, a tenacious and ready memory, did not even finish her secondary education; she was for years and years afflicted with various maladies and confined to her bed, had few books – all of which stood on two shelves of her bookcase – did not read any of the great commentaries on the Bible – which could have justified or explained her surprising scriptural culture – but just used the common version of the Bible of Fr. Tintori, O.F.M. And yet she wrote the ten volumes of the Poem from 1943 to 1947, in four years!
Bishop Roman Danylak, S.T.L., J.U.D. (who issued an official letter of endorsement of the English translation of the Poem) wrote: “Maria Valtorta presents one of the most vivid, beautiful, living and convincing images of the living Jesus that I have ever encountered.” Bishop Danylak also wrote: “I have studied The Poem in depth, not only in its English translation, but in the original Italian edition with the critical notes of Fr. Berti. I affirm their theological soundness, and I welcome the scholarship of Fr. Berti and his critical apparatus to the Italian edition of the works. I have further studied in their original Italian the Quaderni or The Notebooks of Maria Valtorta for the years from 1943 to 1950. And I want to affirm the theological orthodoxy of the writings of Maria Valtorta.” It is to be noted that Bishop Roman Danylak, S.T.L., J.U.D. has a License in Sacred Theology and Doctorates in both Canon Law and Civil Law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
Archbishop Alfonso Carinci was the Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites from 1945 to 1960 (which was later renamed the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1969). Archbishop Carinci was in charge of investigating causes for pre-Vatican II beatification and canonization. He was conversant in recognizing true and false sanctity and was of distinguished repute. He visited Maria Valtorta three times, said Mass for her, read her writings in depth, wrote many letters back and forth with her, and analyzed her case. He was so convinced that her writings were inspired by God, that eyewitnesses report he would say to Maria Valtorta: “He is the Master. He is the Author,” and in his letters to Maria Valtorta, he wrote “Author” with a capital “A”. Archbishop Carinci was one of two prominent authorities who advised Fr. Corrado Berti to deliver typewritten copies of the Poem of the Man-God to Pope Pius XII, which led to his papal command to publish it in 1948. In January 1952, Archbishop Carinci also wrote a thorough certification and positive review of Valtorta’s work (4 pages long when typed), which has been published. That same year, he also wrote a letter on behalf of himself and 8 other prominent authorities (among them, two Consultants to the Holy Office, three professors at pontifical universities in Rome, a Consultant to the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and the Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archive) to be delivered to Pope Pius XII in an audience, although the audience wasn’t able to be arranged. Archbishop Carinci is also one of the authorities whose favorable certifications about Maria Valtorta was given to the Holy Office in 1961 by Fr. Corrado Berti, which led the Holy Office to grant their approval of the publication of the second edition of her work. He praised Maria Valtorta and the Poem, writing in 1952: “There is nothing therein which is contrary to the Gospel. Rather, this work, a good complement to the Gospel, contributes towards a better understanding of its meaning… Our Lord’s discourses do not contain anything which in any way might be contrary to His Spirit.” Archbishop Carinci also stated: “… it seems impossible to me that a woman of a very ordinary theological culture, and unprovided with any book useful to that end, had been able on her own to write with such exactness pages so sublime […] Judging from the good one experiences in reading it [i.e., The Poem ], I am of the humble opinion that this Work, once published, could bring so many souls to the Lord: sinners to conversion and the good to a more fervent and diligent life. […] While the immoral press invades the world and exhibitions corrupt youth, one comes spontaneously to thank the Lord for having given us, by means of this suffering woman, nailed to a bed, a Work of such literary beauty, so doctrinally and spiritually lofty, accessible and profound, drawing one to read it and capable of being reproduced in cinematic productions and sacred theater.”
Msgr. Hugo Lattanzi, dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Lateran Pontifical University, and Consultant to the Holy Office, approved the Poem in 1952, stating:
“The author…could not have written such an abundant amount of material…without being under the influence of a supernatural power.”
Archbishop George Pearce , S.M., D.D. (Doctor of Divinity), former Archbishop of Suva, Fiji, who is now active in Providence, Rhode Island, wrote in 1987:
“I first came in contact with the work of Maria Valtorta in 1979 […] I find it tremendously inspiring. It is impossible for me to imagine that anyone could read this tremendous work with an open mind and not be convinced that its author can be no one but the Holy Spirit of God.”
Antonio Socci is a leading Italian journalist, author, and public intellectual in Italy. He has his own television show, which he hosts, and is a prominent media personality, especially for topics on the Catholic Church. He has regularly held press conferences for cardinals (including Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Bertone). He is well known among many Catholics because of his book The Fourth Secret of Fatima, which is one of the most prominent books about Fatima (in particular, the Third Secret of Fatima) in recent times. Recently, Antonio Socci wrote an article about the Poem of the Man-God that was originally published in an Italian newspaper and which he also published on his blog on April 7, 2012, in which he highly praises the Poem, saying:
These are exceptional pages, which practically contain all four Gospels and fill in missing periods, solving so many enigmatic points or apparent contradictions.
Reading these pages is not only an extraordinary adventure for the mind since it reveals everything you would want to know and illuminates every truth, but it also changes your heart and changes your life.
Above all, it confirms the veracity of all the dogmas and teachings of the Church, of St. John, St. Paul, and of all the Councils.
For twenty years, after having laboriously stumbled through trying to read hundreds of biblical scholars’ volumes, I can say that – with the reading of the Work of Valtorta – two hundred years of Enlightenment-based, idealistic, and modernist chatter about the Gospels and about the Life of Jesus can be run through the shredder.
And this perhaps is one of the reasons why this exceptional work – a work which moved even Pius XII – is still ignored and “repressed” by the official intelligentsia and by clerical modernism.
In spite of that, outside the normal channels of distribution, thanks to Emilio Pisani and Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, the Work has been read by a sea of people – every year, by tens of thousands of new readers – and has been translated into 21 languages.
In Maria Valtorta’s Work is found a reconstruction that is so accurate and rich in historical, geographical, and human facts about the Public Life of Jesus, that it is impossible to explain – especially if one considers that it came forth from the pen of a woman who was ignorant of these subjects and of theology, who was not familiar with the Holy Land, and who did not have any books to consult, lying sick and immobilized on a bed in Viareggio, on the Gothic Line, during the war’s most ferocious months.
There are thousands of pages, overflowing with information and with the loftiest reflections and meditations; with geographical descriptions which only today, by going onsite, would be able to be done.
There are hundreds of topographical names and details and of descriptions of places, which were unknown to almost everyone and which only the latest research and archaeological excavations have brought to light. Maria Valtorta’s Work is, in truth, inexplicable by merely human means. Even the literary style is very lofty and profound.
But above all, the Giant – Who runs through these pages and Who fascinates by means of power, goodness, and beauty; Who inspires, by means of words and actions – is precisely that Jesus of Nazareth of Whom the Gospels speak. The world had not seen – nor will ever see – anything comparable.
Prof. Leo A. Brodeur, M.A., Lèsl., Ph.D., H.Sc.D. wrote:
Arguments for a Supernatural Origin
[For those who state] that Valtorta’s writings were not supernatural in origin, did they investigate to see what kind of person Valtorta was? Had they done so, they would have quickly found that she was a good, earnest, devout Catholic, an invalid who had a deep prayer life and lived according to high moral standards. They would have found that she often claimed, explicitly, in no uncertain terms that she was having visions and dictations from Jesus and other heavenly persons, and that she fully realized the gravity of her claims.
Now had her visions and dictations been mere literary forms of her own deliberate invention, she would have been an unscrupulous liar; but this hypothesis is excluded by the testimonies of all the priests and nuns and lay people who knew her.
Or what if Valtorta had been insane and had imagined all those visions and dictations and mistaken them for real mystical occurrences (and thus escaped the accusation of being a hoaxer)? This hypothesis of lunacy falls flat in the light of her daily living during the years that she wrote. Within the limits of her physical handicaps, she functioned very well: she cared for people, kept up-to-date on current world events, wrote coherent, insightful letters, and had a witty, bright, keen mind as observed by all her visitors, some of whom were Church scholars or university educated laymen.
In either case, the charge that Valtorta’s visions were “simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus” seems quite amiss to say the least, as it would imply character shortcomings not found in her.
If one now moves on to consider Valtorta’s visions and dictations in The Poem of the Man-God, the charge that she narrated the life of Jesus “in her own way,” becomes even more untenable, from several points of view.
Theologically: Valtorta’s writings exude a great, all-encompassing breadth of knowledge and a clear-mindedness and loftiness of concepts worthy of the greatest theologians, of the Church Fathers, and of the greatest mystics. How could a lunatic or a liar produce such writings? Furthermore, she had never studied philosophy or theology either at school or on her own. The only education she had received was the average education of upper-middle class Italian girls of the early 1900s. How could she have composed her lofty writings “in her own way”? Spiritually: Valtorta’s writings are outstandingly practical, drawing the reader to practice the Faith in everyday life. They are not in the least dry theological textbooks. They bring spirituality alive, they bring it home, to the reader’s heart, by showing us Jesus intimately, personally. Many a reader has exclaimed that reading The Poem is like living with Jesus as the apostles did. As depicted in The Poem, His character – the perfect blend of warmth and reason, of mystical outlook and practical attentions, of holiness and love – has helped many a reader to reform a life of sin, to increase love for our Lord, to become holier. Jesus is portrayed in The Poem as in perhaps no other mystical work. It is quite doubtful that Valtorta could have produced such an uplifting portrait on her own, when she was the first to admit her “nothingness” and ascribed everything to Jesus.
Even scientifically: Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God exhibits an uncanny accuracy with regard to the archeology, botany, geography, geology, mineralogy, and topography of Palestine in Jesus’ time, an accuracy commended by various experts in those fields. Yet, given her lack of education and reading in those fields, and given the fact that she never traveled to Palestine, how could she have given accurate descriptions of places she never went to and never read about in any detail?
Finally, from the literary point of view: Valtorta wrote on the spur of the moment, without preliminary plans, without rough drafts. She wrote fast – over 10,000 handwritten pages in three years – with great consistency of thought and purpose, in masterly Italian combining the highest achievements of the Florentine style of the 1930s with the vividness and spontaneity of common folks when they are quoted. Few writers throughout the history of humanity have been that good and that prolific in that short a period of time; perhaps none of these wrote without rough drafts. Yet, she was bedridden and subjected to frequent physiological crises and down-to-earth interruptions by her relatives or neighbors. How then could she have written so well, when most writers crave solitude to be able to write?
When one ponders the theological and spiritual loftiness of Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God, as well as its scientific and literary remarkableness, in the light of her average education, lack of health, and in the light of her speed, accuracy, and greatness of achievement, how could one seriously entertain the thought that she accomplished all that without supernatural help? When one also ponders her personal lifestyle as a generous victim soul who practiced the virtues heroically, when one also ponders the sufferings which she daily offered to the Lord, then with all due respect, how could [anyone] casually dismiss her claims to supernatural visions and dictations without a public full-fledged investigation into her case?