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CHRIST'S GREAT GIFT

THE ROSARY MEDITATION


As seen by His greatest Mystic

Maria Valtorta
Imprimatur for English edition:
1999 Bishop Roman Danylak (see page, 38 Appendix)

Pope Pius XIIs declaration was: "Publish


this work as it is. There is no need to give an
opinion on its origin, whether it be
extraordinary or not. Whoever reads it will
understand.".

Extracts from "The Poem of the Man-God" by Maria Valtorta


(approved by Pope Pius XII, 1948)
Scholar-Saint recommends Maria Valtorta, who in less than four years
writes a Work of 10 volumes in which she brings to life again the religious, political
and cultural ambient of the first century, and what frightens the specialists
themselves all the more, she recounts in proper order--but this order is recognized
and established after the visions have ceased--she recounts in proper order the life
of Christ, completing the Gospels without ever contradicting them. Blessed
Gabriel Allegra (see Appendix below)
I have read about a 1,000 pages a year of Valtorta for 30 years, since Fr. (now
Bishop) Williamson appointed me to run the seminary bookstore. He was led to read
it by the great Retreat Master of Econe, (SSPX) Fr. Barrielle... It is a masterpiece of
sacred literature, unlike anything ever written. (Fr. Kevin Robinson)

THE FIRST JOYFUL MYSTERY:


THE ANNUNCIATION1
(The Poem, Vol. 1, pp. 79-82)
Our Father...
(Maria Valtorta writes of a vision of Mary, at Nazareth...)
I see Mary, a very young girl: She looks fifteen years old, at most. She is in a small
rectangular room: a room most suitable for a girl
She is sitting on a low stool, spinning some linen, which is as white as snow and as
soft as silk. Her little hands - just a little darker than linen - are whirling the spindle very
quickly. Her beautiful young face is slightly bent forward, and She is smiling gent-ly, as
if She were caressing or following some sweet thought.
Hail Mary...
There is a great silence in the little house... And there is a great peace, both on Mary's
face, and in the sur-rounding place
Mary begins to sing in a low voice I do not understand the words, as they are spoken
in Hebrew. But as now and again She repeats the word Jehovah, I realize that it is a
sacred song, perhaps a psalm. Mary is probably remembering the songs of the Temple.
And it must be a happy memory
Hail Mary...
Mary lays Her hands in Her lap - while still holding the yarn and the spindle - and lifts
Her head... Her face is beautifully flushed, and Her eyes are lost behind some sweet
thought And yet those eyes are smiling - they are smiling at a thought they can see, and
by which Mary is abstracted from the earthly world. Flushed and crowned by the plaits
She wears round Her head Marys face seems like a beautiful flower
Hail Mary...
The song changes into a prayer: Most High Lord God, do not delay any longer in
sending Your Servant, to bring peace to the world. Grant us the favourable time, and the
pure and prolific virgin, for the coming of Your Christ 2. Father, Holy Father, grant Me,
Your servant, to offer My life for this purpose. Grant Me to die: after seeing Your Light
and Your Justice on earth, and after knowing that our Redemption has been
accomplished. O Holy Father, send the Promise of the Prophets to the earth. Send the
Redeemer to Your maidservant, so that in the hour of My death, Your abode may be
opened to Me. Just as its gates will have already been opened by Your Christ - for all
those who have hoped in You. Come, come, O Spirit of the Lord. Come to the faithful
who are expecting You. Come, Prince of Peace! Mary re-mains in an absorbed
state
Hail Mary...
The curtain moves fast, as if someone behind it has ventilated or shaken it to draw it
open. And in a pearl white light, mixed with pure silver the Archangel prostrates himself
The Angel must necessarily take on a human appearance It is a face, a body, eyes, a
mouth, hair and hands: like ours. But they are not our dull matter. It is a light that has
taken the colour of flesh, of eyes, of hair, of lips - a light that moves and smiles, looks
and speaks.
Hail Mary...
Hail, Mary, full of Grace, Hail! The voice is a sweet arpeggio, like pearls thrown
on a precious metal plate.
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Mary is startled, and lowers Her head. And She is even more startled when She sees
the shining creature kneeling about a metre away from Her, and looking at Her with
infinite veneration: his hands crossed over his chest.
Mary jumps to Her feet and squeezes against the wall Her face shows surprise and
fear. She presses Her hands against Her breasts - hiding them under Her large sleeves.
She stoops, endeavouring to conceal Her body as much as possible.
Hail Mary...
The angel says: No. Do not fear. The Lord is with You! You are blessed amongst all
women!
But Mary continues to be afraid. Where has that extraordinary being come from? Is he
a messenger of God, or of the Deceiver?
Do not fear, Mary! repeats the Archangel. I am Gabriel, the Angel of God. My
Lord has sent me to You. Do not be afraid, because You have found grace in the eyes of
God. You will conceive and bear a Son, and You will call Him "Jesus". He will be great,
and will be called Son of the Most High (and such He will really be). The Lord God will
give Him the throne of His Ancestor David. He will rule over the House of Jacob for
ever, and His reign will have no end. Understand - O Holy Virgin loved by God,
Daughter blessed by Him, and called to be the Mother of His Son
Hail Mary...
Mary asks: How can this come about, since I do not know man? Does the Lord God
no longer accept the offer of His maidservant, and not want Me a Virgin, for His love?
You will be a mother, Mary, but not by deed of man. You are the Eternal Virgin, the
Holy Virgin of God. The Holy Spirit will come upon You, and the power of the Most
High will cover You with its shadow. So the Child born of You will be called Holy, and
Son of God. Our Lord God can do everything.
Hail Mary...
(The Angel continues...)
Elizabeth, the barren one, in her old age, has conceived a son. He will be the Prophet
of Your Son, and will prepare His ways. The Lord has removed her disgrace, and her
memory will remain amongst all people - together with Your name - as the name of her
creature will be joined to the name of Your Holy Son. And until the end of centuries, you
will be called blessed. This is because of the grace of the Lord which has come to You
both. And it has come particularly to You - by means of Whom Grace has come to all
peo-ples. Elizabeth is in her sixth month. Her burden lifts her to joy, and will lift her even
more when she hears of Your joy. Nothing is impossible to the Lord: Mary, full of Grace.

Hail Mary...
What shall I tell my Lord? the angel asks. Let no thought whatsoever disturb
You. He will protect Your interests, if You trust in Him. The world, Heaven, and the
Eternal Father are awaiting Your word!
Mary crosses Her hands over Her breast, and bowing down deeply, She says: I am
the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to Me.
The Angel shines with joy. He kneels in adoration, because he certainly sees the Spirit
of God descend upon the Virgin, bent down in consent. And he disappears without
moving the curtain, but leaving it well drawn over the holy Mystery.
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus
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THE SECOND JOYFUL MYSTERY


THE VISITATION3
(The Poem, Vol. 1, pp. 99-103)
Our Father...
(Mary, on learning that Her aged cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias are
expecting a child, travels to see her and to help her. Accompanied by a trustworthy old
man, and riding on a donkey, she journeys to the village where Elizabeth and
Zacharias live. She arrives at their house, and rings a bell at the front gate...)
A little old man suddenly appears, panting. He must be a gardener or a farmer and he
opens the gate
Hail Mary...
As soon as Mary is inside, She says: I am Mary, of Joachim and Anne, from
Nazareth. I am your mistresss cousin .
The man bows down and welcomes Her He exclaims: Oh! What a great happiness,
and what an upheaval, to this household! Heaven has granted a child to the barren one,
may the Most High be blessed!
Hail Mary...
The old man continues: Seven months ago, Zacharias came back, dumb, from
Jerusalem. He now makes himself understood by gestures, or by writing. Perhaps You already know. My landlady has longed so much for You - in this joy, and this travail!
She would say: "If I only had little Mary with Me! I wish She were still in the Temple!
I would send Zacharias to fetch Her. But now the Lord wanted Her married to Joseph of
Nazareth. She is the only one who can comfort me in my pain, and help me to pray to
God. Because She is so good. And they all miss Her in the Temple."...
Hail Mary...
A fairly old woman appears at the top of the staircase on one side of the house. Her
face is all wrinkles, and her hair is very grey... Her very obvious pregnant condition is a
strange contradiction to her evident old age... As soon as she recognizes Mary, she raises
her arms to the sky, and utters an Oh! of joy and surprise. She then rushes - as fast as
she can - towards Mary. And Mary - who always moves very quietly - now runs, as swift
as a little deer. She reaches the foot of the staircase at the same time as Elizabeth. And
with great affection She embraces Her cousin, who is crying with joy at seeing Her.
Hail Mary...
They remain embraced, for an instant, then Elizabeth detaches herself, exclaiming:
Ah! and she places her hands on her enlarged abdomen Mary and the servant
hold out their hands to support her but Elizabeth - after a moment of concentration lifts her face, which is now so bright that she looks much younger. She then looks at
Mary with evident veneration - as if she sees an angel and she bows in a deep
salutation.
Hail Mary...
Elizabeth exclaims: You are blessed amongst all women! Blessed is the Fruit of Your
womb! How did I deserve that the Mother of my Lord should come to me, Your
servant? There, at the sound of Your voice, the child leaped out of joy, in my womb. And
when I embraced You, the Spirit of the Lord whispered deepest truths to my heart.
You are blessed, because You also believed that what does not appear possible to the
human mind, was possible for God! You are blessed, because by Your faith, You will
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accomplish the things the Lord predicted for You, which the Prophets foretold for our
times! You are blessed, for the Salvation You have brought to the house of Jacob! You
are blessed, for the Holiness You have brought to my son, whom I feel leaping with joy,
like a happy little kid, in my womb. Because he feels free from the burden of guilt, and
he is called to be the Predecessor, sanctified before Redemption by the Holy One, Who is
growing within You!
Hail Mary...
Two tears run down like pearls from Marys sparkling eyes, to Her smiling lips. Her
face is raised to heaven, and Her arms are also raised up, in the attitude that Her Jesus
will take so often. She exclaims: My soul magnifies the Lord (and She continues the
canticle, as it has been handed down to us). At the verse: He has come to the help of
Israel his servant... , she puts Her hands on Her breast, and kneels down, stooping to the
ground, adoring God.
Hail Mary...
The servant had disappeared and is now coming back from the orchard with a
solemn old man, whose hair and beard are completely white, and who greets Mary from a
distance, with great gestures and loud guttural sounds.
Zacharias is arriving says Elizabeth, touching the shoulder of Mary, Who is
engrossed in prayer. My Zacharias is dumb. God has punished him, because he did not
believe. I will tell You later. But now I hope that God will forgive him, because You
have come. You, full of Grace.
Hail Mary...
Mary rises and goes to meet Zacharias. She stoops to the ground in front of him,
kissing the hem of his white robe that reaches down to the ground
Zacharias welcomes Mary by gestures, and they both move toward Elizabeth. They all
enter a room on the ground floor. It is a wide room, tastefully arranged, where they make
Mary sit down, and offer Her some new milk - there is still foam on it - and some small
cakes
Hail Mary...
In the meantime, Mary is replying to the questions Zacharias is asking Her, writing
them on a wax tablet... From Her answers, I understand that he is asking Her about
Joseph and Her married life with him. I also understand that Zacharias has been denied
all supernatural light about Mary's state, and about Her condition of Mother of the
Messiah. Elizabeth goes near her husband, and laying her hand on his shoulder - in a
loving attitude says to him: Mary is also a mother. Rejoice over Her happiness. But
she does not say anything else. She looks at Mary. And Mary looks at her, but does not
encourage her to say any more...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE THIRD JOYFUL MYSTERY:


THE BIRTH OF JESUS4
(The Poem, Vol. 1, pp. 136-42)
Our Father...

(Joseph has accompanied Mary, heavy with Child, to Bethlehem. It is night-time


and very cold when they arrive, and Mary tells Joseph that Her time has come. Joseph
exclaims:)
O Lord of mercy! What shall we do?
Don't be afraid, Joseph. Be steady. See how calm I am?
But You must be suffering a lot.
Oh! No. I am full of joy. Such a joy, so great, so beautiful, so uncontainable, that My
heart is thumping and thumping. And it is whispering to Me: "He is coming! He is
coming!" It says so at each beat. It is My Child knocking at My heart, and saying:
"Mother, I am here, and I am coming to give You the kiss of God". Oh! What a joy, My
dear Joseph!
But Joseph is not joyful. He is thinking of the urgent need to find a shelter... He goes
from door to door, asking for a room. Nothing
Hail Mary...
At last, among the ruins of an old building there is a hole, beyond which there is a
grotto, or rather an excavation in the mountain... It seems to consist of the foundations of
an old building, with the roof formed by rubble, supported by coarse tree trunks
Joseph lights a little lamp, goes in, and is greeted by a bellow. He says: Come in,
Mary. It is empty. There is only an ox.
Mary dismounts from Her donkey and goes in
The vault is covered with cob-webs, and the soil which is stamped ramshackle earth,
with holes, rubbish, and excrement - is strewn with straw. In the rear, an ox turns its head
around, and looks with his large quiet eyes, while some hay is hanging from its lips
Mary goes near the ox She puts Her hands on its neck to feel its warmth. The ox
bellows, but does not stir. It seems to understand. Joseph pushes it aside - to take a large
quantity of hay from the manger and make a bed for Mary The ox makes room for the
little donkey, which starts eating at once.
Joseph discovers a battered bucket... He goes out to a little stream and comes back
with some water for the donkey... He then lights a fire, and with the patience of Job, he
dries the hay, a handful at a time, holding it near the fire
Hail Mary...
Mary sits down on the soft hay, leaning back against one of the tree trunks.
Joseph hangs his mantle as a curtain on the hole that serves as a door Then he offers
some bread and cheese to the Virgin, and gives Her some water out of a flask
He covers Her with Her own mantle, and with the blanket that She had earlier had
round Her feet.
Mary closes Her eyes... Joseph creeps into a corner, and sits on a stool He turns
round now and again to look at Her, and he sees She is lying quietly, as if She were
sleeping. He breaks the little sticks as noiselessly as possible, and throws them - one at a
time - on to the little fire...
Hail Mary...
Mary lifts Her head slowly from Her bed, and looks around. She sees that Joseph's head
is bowed over his chest, as if he were meditating... She smiles lovingly, and making less
noise than a butterfly alighting on a rose, She sits up and then goes on Her knees. She
prays with a blissful smile on Her face. She prays with Her arms stretched out, almost in
the shape of a cross, with the palms of Her hands facing up and forward, and She never
seems to tire in that position. She then prostrates Herself with Her face on the hay, in an
even more ardent prayer. A long prayer.

Joseph rouses. He notices that the fire is almost out and He throws onto the fire
some twigs, and finally some sticks When the fire is blazing he turns round, gets
up, and slowly moves towards Mary.
Are You not sleeping, Mary? he asks.
He asks three times until She turns around and replies: I am praying.
Hail Mary...
Joseph then goes on his knees near the fire, and prays, with his hands pressed
against his face... Apart from the noise of the crackling sticks, and the noise made now
and again by the donkey - stamping its hooves on the ground - no other sound is heard.
A thin ray of moonlight creeps in through a crack in the vault... It stretches in length
and at last reaches Mary. It is now on Her head, where it forms a halo of pure light.
Mary lifts Her head - as if She had received a celestial call - and She goes on to Her
knees again. Oh! How beautiful it is here now! She raises Her head. Her face shines in
the white moonlight, and becomes trans-figured by a supernatural smile
The light around Her is increasing more and more and it seems to originate from
Herself It spreads on the things around Her, it covers them and brightens
everything...
Hail Mary...
The light - given off more and more intensely from Mary's body now absorbs the
moonlight This blissful, uncontainable eternal, and divine Light... is heralded by a
dawn, and a morning star. And atoms of Light descend in a large stream, stretching
out like veils
The vault - full of crevices, cobwebs, and rubble now seems like the ceiling of a
royal hall. Each boulder is a block of silver, each crack an opal flash, and each cobweb a
most precious canopy, interwoven with silver and diamonds. A huge green lizard hibernating between two stones - seems like an emerald jewel, forgotten there by a queen.
And a bunch of hibernating bats hangs like a precious chandelier. The hay from the upper
manger is now strands of pure silver wire, quivering in the air with the grace of loose
hair
The light increases more and more. It is now unbearable to the eye. And the Virgin
disappears in so much light, as if She had been absorbed by an incandescent curtain
And then the Mother emerges.
Hail Mary...
Yes. When the light becomes endurable once again to my eyes, I see Mary with the
new-born Son in Her arms. A little Baby, rosy and plump, bustling with His little hands
as big as rose buds, and kicking with His tiny feet... He is crying with a thin, trem-bling
voice, just like a new-born little lamb, opening His pretty little mouth that resembles a
wild strawberry, and showing a tiny tongue that trembles against the rosy roof of His
mouth. And He moves His little head, which is so blond that it seems without any hair. It
is a little round head that His Mummy holds in the hollow of Her hand, while She looks
at Her Baby and adores Him, weeping and smiling at the same time.
She bends down to kiss Him - not on His innocent head, but on the centre of His chest.
Underneath there is His little heart beating for us where one day there will be the
Wound5. And His Mother is doctoring that wound in advance, with Her immaculate kiss.
Hail Mary...
The ox gets up with a great noise of hooves, and bellows. The donkey turns its head
round and brays. It is the light that rouses them, but I love to think that they wanted to
greet their Creator, both for them-selves, and on behalf of all the animals.
Joseph - almost enraptured, and praying ardently - sees the light filter through the
fingers of his hands He lifts his head and turns round. The ox, standing as it is, hides
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Mary. But She calls him: Joseph, come. Joseph rushes. And when he sees, he stops
and is about to fall on his knees where he is. But Mary insists: Come, Joseph.
Holding the Child close to Her heart She gets up and moves towards an em-barrassed
Joseph...
They meet at the foot of the straw bed, and they look at each other, weeping blissfully.
Come, let us offer Jesus to the Father says Mary. And while Joseph kneels down,
She stands lifts up Her Creature in Her arms, and says: Here I am. On His behalf, O
God, I speak these words to You: here I am to do Your will: I, Mary, and My spouse,
Joseph, with Him. Here are Your servants, O Lord. May Your will always be done by us,
in every hour, in every event, for Your glory, and for Your love.
Hail Mary...
Then Mary says: Here, Joseph, take Him , and offers him the Child.
What! Me? Oh, no! I am not worthy! Joseph is utterly dumb-founded
But Mary insists, smiling: You are well worthy. No one is more worthy than you are,
and that is why the Most High chose you. Take Him, Joseph, and hold Him, while I look
for the linens.
Joseph, blushing almost purple, stretches his arms out and takes the Baby, Who is
screaming because of the cold He presses Him to his heart, and bursts into tears,
exclaim-ing: Oh! Lord! My God! He bends down to kiss the tiny feet, and he feels
how cold they are So he goes between the ox and the donkey, with his back to the
door, bending over the New-Born, forming a shelter with his body.
Hail Mary...
Meanwhile, Mary has opened the trunk, has pulled out the linens and swaddling
clothes, and has been near the fire, warming them
Joseph livens up the fire to a good blaze. He warms the hay and when he has
gathered enough to make a little mattress for the Child, he goes to the manger, and sorts it
out as if it were a cradle
And the Mother - with Her sweet, graceful gait - moves to the manger, lays Jesus in it,
and covers Him with the strip of Her mantle. She arranges it around His bare head
(which is) protected by Her thin veil. Only His little face, the size of a man's fist, is left
uncovered. Bending over the manger, Mary and Joseph are bliss-fully happy, watching
Him sleep His first sleep...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE FOURTH JOYFUL MYSTERY:


THE PRESENTATION OF THE BABY JESUS IN THE TEMPLE 6
(The Poem, Vol. 1, pp. 160-3)
Our Father...
(Maria Valtorta writes:)
I see a couple of people departing from a very modest house. A very young mother
comes down an outside staircase, holding in her arms a child, enveloped in a white cloth.
I recognise our Mother. She is always the same: pale and blonde, agile, and so kind in
Her behaviour. She is dressed in white, with a pale blue mantle, and a white veil on Her
head. She is carrying Her Child so carefully.
Hail Mary...
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Joseph is waiting for Her at the foot of the steps, with a little grey don-key. Joseph is
dressed entirely in light brown He smiles at Mary, and when She arrives near the
little don-key, he places the animal's bridle on his left arm, holds for a moment the Child
- Who is sleeping peacefully - allowing Mary to sit more comfortably on the donkey's
saddle. He then hands Jesus back to Her, and they set out
Hail Mary...
The road winds along the country made barren by the season of the year. Only a few
other travellers meet them or overtake them.
I then see some houses, and the walls around a town. They go in through a gate, and
start walking on the pavement which is all broken up, and very irregular. Progress is now
much more difficult, both because the traffic often causes the donkey to stop, and
because the holes - where stones are missing - make the poor animal jerk continuously,
disturbing Mary and the Child.
The road is slightly uphill, narrow, and running between high houses, which have
small narrow low doors, and only a few windows at road level. High above, the sky can
be seen, with many thin blue strips between the houses, nay, between the terraces. Down
in the street, there are many people, and there is much shouting. They meet other people
who are on foot, riding donkeys, or leading loaded donkeys. And there is a crowd
following a cumbersome camel caravan. At a certain moment, a pat-rol of Roman
legionaries passes by, with a great noise of hooves and arms. They disappear beyond an
arch, built across the narrow, stony road.
Hail Mary...
Joseph turns left, along a wider and more pleasant road. I can see the embattled town
walls at the end of the street.
Mary dismounts from the little donkey, near a gate where there is a stall for other
donkeys... There are also some poles with rings to which the animals are tied.
Joseph gives some coins to a little man who has gone up to him. He buys some hay,
and draws a pail of water from a rustic well in the corner. He feeds the donkey, then joins
Mary, and they both enter the enclosure of the Temple.
Hail Mary...
At first, they turn their steps towards an arcade where the merchants are Joseph buys
two little white pigeons. He does not change any money - obviously he has what is
required.
They then make for a side door, above eight steps - as all the doors seem to be, because
the centre of the Temple is raised above the surrounding ground. The door opens into a
great hall, like the doors of our houses in towns. Only this one is larger and more ornate.
In the hall - on the right and on the left - are two kinds of altars. They are two rectangular
constructions, the pur-pose of which I do not understand at first. They are like low
basins, because the internal part is a few centimetres lower than the external rim.
Hail Mary...
A priest approaches them. I do not know whether he was called by Joseph, or whether
he came of his own accord. Mary offers Her two little pigeons 7, and since I know their
fate, I turn my eyes elsewhere. I am watching the decorations on the very heavy portal, on
the ceiling, and around the hall. But I get the impression - by a side glance - that the
priest sprays Mary with some water. It must be water, because I do not see any stains on
Her dress. Then Mary - Who had given the priest a handful of coins, together with the
two pigeons - goes into the real Temple, in the company of the priest.
Hail Mary...
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I am watching everything. It is a most ornate place. Sculptured angels' heads, palms


and decorations adorn the columns, walls and ceiling. Light comes in through strange
long narrow windows - obviously without panes which are built diagonally to the walls.
I suppose the idea is to keep the rain out.
Mary moves forward to a certain point. She then stops. A few metres from Her, there
are more steps. At the top of these there is a kind of altar, beyond which there is another
construction.
I now realise that what I thought was the Temple, is instead the part surrounding the
real Temple - the Holy - beyond which no one can proceed, apparently, except the priests.
It is but an enclosed vestibule, which encircles the Temple - in which the Tabernacle is
enclosed - on three of its sides
Hail Mary...
Mary offers the Child, Who has woken up, and is turning His innocent eyes towards
the priest, with the astonished look of infants a few days old. The priest takes Him in his
arms and raises Him - with arms fully stretched out - towards the Temple, standing
against a (kind of) altar placed on top of the steps. The ceremony is over. The Child is
handed back to His Mother, and the priest goes away.
There is a group of onlookers. Amongst them a little old man - bent with age, and
limping - makes his way, leaning on a stick. (He must be very old - I would say over
eighty.) He goes near Mary, and asks Her to give him the Child for a moment. Mary
satisfies him, smiling
Hail Mary...
Simeon (appears to be) a simple believer, at least according to his garments. He takes
the Child and kisses Him. Jesus smiles at Simeon, with the typical smile of sucklings. He
seems to watch him, inquisitively, be-cause the old man is crying and laughing at the
same time. His tears form a sparkling embroidery, running along his wrinkles, and falling
like beads on his long, white beard.
Jesus stretches out His little hands. He is Jesus, but still a child, and whatever moves in
front of Him, draws His attention, so that He wants to get hold of it, to see what it is.
Mary and Joseph smile, and so do all the others, who praise the beauty of the Child.
I hear the words of the holy old man, and I see the astonished gaze of Joseph, the
deeply moved look of Mary, and the glances of the little crowd, partly surprised and
moved, and partly laughing at the words of the old man. Amongst the latter there are
some bearded members of the Sanhedrin, who shake their heads, and give Simeon an
ironic, pitying look. They must think he is a simple-ton.
Hail Mary...
Marys smile fades into paleness, when Simeon mentions sorrow. Although She knows,
that word pierces Her soul. She goes closer to Joseph, to be comforted. She presses Her
Child to Her breast, passionately. And like a thirsty soul, She takes in the words of Anna
of Phanuel, who - being a woman - has mercy on Her suffering, and promises Her that
the Eternal Father will soothe the hour of sorrow with a supernatural strength. Anna says:
Woman, He Who gave a Saviour to His people, will not lack the power to send His
angel to console Your tears. The great women of Israel never lacked the help of the Lord,
and You are far greater than Judith and Jael8. Our God will give You a heart of the most
pure gold, to withstand the storm of sorrow. In this way, You will be the greatest woman
in Creation: the Mother. And You, Child, remember me, in the hour of Your mission.
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus
10

THE FIFTH JOYFUL MYSTERY:


THE FINDING OF THE BOY
JESUS IN THE TEMPLE 9
(The Poem, Vol. 1, pp. 206-21)
Our Father...
(Jesus, now twelve years old, is on His way to Jerusalem, with Mary and Joseph, for
His Coming of Age)
He looks most handsome, and has grown so well that He looks like a younger brother
of His very young Mother. He already reaches up to Her shoulders with His blond curly
head. His hair is no longer short as in the first years of His life, but long down to His
ears
He is dressed in red: a beautiful light ruby-red. A long tunic hangs down to His ankles
so that only His sandal-clad feet can be seen
Here is our Son says Mary, lifting Her right hand which is holding Jesus' left one
She is confirming the paternity of the Just man, who is smiling. And She adds: Bless
Him, Joseph, before leaving for Jerusalem. There was no ritual blessing for His first step
in life, because it was not necessary for Him to go to school. But now that He is going to
the Temple to be proclaimed of age, please bless Him. And bless Me with Him. (Mary
begins to sob, softly.) Your blessing will fortify Him, and give Me strength, to detach
Myself a little more from Him
Mary, Jesus will always be Yours. The formality will not affect our mutual
relationship. Neither will I contend with You for this Son, so dear to us. No one deserves,
as You do, to guide Him in life, o my Holy Spouse.
Mary bends down and takes Joseph's hand, and kisses it. She is the respectful, loving
spouse of Her consort!
Joseph receives the sign of respect and love with dignity. He then lifts the hand which
She has kissed, lays it on the head of his Spouse, and says to Her: Yes. I bless You, o
Blessed One, and I bless Jesus with You. Come to me, my only joys, my honour, and the
essence of my life. Joseph is solemn. With his arms stretched out, and the palms of his
hands turned down above the two heads which are bent down - both equally blond and
holy - he pronounces his blessing: May the Lord look upon You and bless You. May
He have mercy on You and give You peace. May the Lord give You His blessing...
Then he says: And now let us go. The hour is favourable for the journey.
Mary takes a wide dark brown mantle, and drapes it on Her Son. How She caresses
Him in doing so!
They go out, they close up the house. They set off. Other pilgrims are going in the
same direction. Outside the village, the women sep-arate from the men. The children go
where they like. Jesus stays with His Mother
Hail Mary
(Jesus, Mary and Joseph have arrived at the Temple, and Joseph takes Jesus inside to
meet the examiners)
First of all, they both bow down deeply to the ten doctors, who are seated with dignity
on low wooden stools. Here Joseph says, this in my Son. Three months and twelve
days ago He reached the age which the Law prescribes to become of age. And I want Him
to comply with the prescriptions of Israel. I would ask you to note that His constitution
proves that He is no longer in His childhood or minority. I ask you to ex-amine Him
kindly and fairly, to judge that what I - His father - have stated, is the truth.
I have prepared Him for this hour, and for this dignity of son of the Law. He knows the
precepts, the traditions, the decisions, and the customs of the fringes and the
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phylacteries10. He knows how to say the daily prayers and blessings. Since He knows the
Law in Itself He can behave as a man. Therefore I wish to be free from the
responsibilities of His actions and of His sins. From now on He must be subject to the
precepts, and He must, Himself, pay the penalty for His failures towards them. Examine
Him.
We Will. Come forward, Child. What is Your name?
Jesus of Joseph, from Nazareth.
A Nazarene can You therefore read?
Yes, rabbi, I can read the words which are written, and those which are construed in
the words them-selves.
What do you mean?
I mean that I also understand the meaning of the allegory, or of the symbol which is
hidden under the appearance. Just as a pearl does not appear, but it is inside an ugly
closed shell.
A clever answer, and a very wise one. We seldom hear that on the lips of adults; in a
child, and a Nazarene in addition!
The attention of the ten has been awakened. Their eyes do not lose for an instant the
beautiful blond Child, Who is looking at them: sure of Himself, without boldness, but
also without fear.
You honour Your master, who, certainly, was deeply read.
The Wisdom of God was gathered in his just heart.
But listen to that! You are a happy man, father of such a Son!
Joseph - who is at the end of the room - smiles and bows down.
Hail Mary
They give Jesus three different rolls, saying: Read the one tied with the golden
ribbon.
Jesus opens the roll and reads. It is the Decalogue 11 (the Ten Commandments). But
after the first few words, one of the judges takes the roll from Him saying: Go on by
heart. Jesus continues - so sure of Himself, that He seems to be reading. Every time He
mentions the Lord, He bows down deeply.
Who taught You that? Why do You do that?
Because that Name is holy, and it is to be pronounced with a sign of internal and
external respect. Subjects bow down to their king, who is king only for a short time, and
he is dust. To the King of kings, the Most High Lord of Israel - Who is present, even if
He is only visible to the spirit - shall not every creature bow down, since every creature
depends on Him with eternal subjection?
Very clever! Man: we advise you to have your Son educated either by Hillel or
Gamaliel. He is a Nazarene but His answers give us hope that He will become a new
great doctor.
My Son is of age. He will decide according to His own will. If His decision is an
honest one, I will not oppose it.
Hail Mary
One of the doctors then asks: Listen, Child. It is said: "Remember to sanctify feast
days. Not only for yourself, but also for your son and your daughter, your servant and
your maidservant. Even for your horse it is said that they must not work on the Sabbath".
Now tell me: if a hen lays an egg on a Sabbath, or a sheep lambs on a Sabbath, will it be
legal to use the fruit of its womb, or will it be considered as a disgrace?
Jesus replies: I know that many rabbis - Shammai is the last of them and is still alive
- say that an egg laid on a Sabbath is against the precept 12. But I think that there is a
difference between man and animals, or with whoever fulfils a natural act, such as giving
birth. If I compel a horse to work, I am responsible for its sin, because I force it to work
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with a whip. But if a hen lays an egg which has matured in its ovary, on the Sabbath, or a
sheep lambs a little one because it is ready to be born, on the Sabbath, no, such a deed is
not a sin. Neither is the egg laid or the lamb born, on a Sabbath, a sin in the eyes of
God.
The doctor asks: But why, if every kind of work is a sin on the Sabbath?
Because to conceive and give birth correspond to the will of the Creator, and comply
with the laws which He gave to every creature. Now, the hen does nothing but obey the
law, according to which - after so many hours of growth - an egg is complete and ready
to be laid. And the sheep also obeys the laws, laid down by Him Who created everything
If, therefore, a sheep - when its time is up - gives birth to a little lamb, oh! The little
lamb can certainly be sacred on an altar, because it is the fruit of obedience to the
Creator.
The doctor then says: I would not examine Him any further. His wisdom is greater
than the wisdom of grown-up people, and is really sur-prising.
Hail Mary...
They go into a larger and more splendid room. The first thing they do there is to
shorten Jesus hair, and His long curls are picked up by Joseph. They then tighten His red
tunic, with a long band turned several times round His waist. They tie some little fringes
to His forehead, arm and mantle They then sing psalms, and Joseph praises the Lord
with a long prayer, invoking all blessings on his Son.
The ceremony is over. Jesus goes out with Joseph. They go back to where they came
from, they join their male relatives, they buy and offer a lamb; then - with the slaughtered
victim - they reach the women.
Mary kisses Her Jesus. It seems She has not seen Him for years. She looks at Him now that He is more manly in His clothes, and in the style of His hair and She pats
Him
Hail Mary...
(Some time later, the Rabbis Hillel and Gamaliel are engaged with Shammai and some
of the other doctors in a dispute about the prophesied coming of the Messiah 13...)
The dispute - full of petty, fault-finding objections - drags on endlessly. All the doctors
show off their learning, not so much as to beat their opponents, as to impress the
listeners
From the nearby group of the believers, the clear voice of a boy is heard: Gamaliel is
right.
There is a stir in the crowd, and in the group of doctors. They look for the interrupter.
But it is not necessary to search for him, because he does not hide. He makes his way
through the crowd, and goes near the group of the rabbis . I recognise the adolescent
Jesus. He is sure of Himself, open-hearted, and His eyes are sparkling with intelligence.
Who are You? , they ask Him.
I am a son of Israel, who has come to fulfill what the Law pre-scribes.
His bold and frank reply is appreciated, and earns smiles of approval and favour. They
take an interest in this young Israelite.
What is Your name?
Jesus of Nazareth.
They make Jesus sit on a high stool between Gamaliel and Hillel, and they give Him
some rolls to read and explain. It is a proper examination. The people throng and listen.
Hail Mary...
Jesus reads in His clear voice: Be consoled, my people. Speak to the heart of
Jerusalem, and call to her that her time of service is ended 14 A voice cries in the
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wilderness: "Prepare a way for the Lord15 then the glory of the Lord shall be
revealed16 "
Shammai then says: See, Nazarene. It refers to an end of slavery, but never before
have we been slaves as we are now. And there is the mention of a precursor. Where is he?
You are talking non-sense.
Jesus: I tell you that the warning of the Precursor should be addressed to you, more
than anyone else. To you and those like you. Otherwise you will not see the glory of the
Lord. Neither will you understand the word of God. Because meanness, pride and
falsehood will prevent you from seeing and hearing.
Shammai: How dare You speak to a master like that?
Jesus: I speak thus. And thus I shall speak, even to My death, because above Me
there are the interests of the Lord, and the love for Truth of which I am the Son. And I
add, rabbi, that the slavery of which the Prophet speaks, and of which I am speaking, is
not the one you think. Neither is the royalty the one you consider. On the contrary, by the
merits of the Messiah, man will be made free from the slavery of Evil, which separates
him from God. And the sign of Christ will be on the spirits, freed from every yoke, and
made subjects of the eternal kingdom
Hail Mary...
Shammai and his followers say: This Nazarene is Satan!
Hillel replies: No. This child is a Prophet of God. Stay with me, Child. My old age
will transfuse what I know into Your knowledge, and You will be Master of the people of
God.
And Jesus says: I solemnly tell you, that if there were many like you, salvation would
come to Israel. But My hour has not come. Voices from Heaven speak to Me, and in
solitude I must gather them until My hour comes. Then, with My lips and My blood, I
will speak to Jerusalem. And the destiny of Prophets, stoned and killed by her, will also
be My destiny. But above My life, there is the Lord God, to Whom I submit Myself as a
faithful servant, to make of Myself a stool for His glory, waiting that He will make the
world a stool at the feet of Christ. Wait for Me in My hour. These stones shall hear My
voice again and vibrate, hearing My last word17. Blessed are those who will have heard
God in that voice, and will have believed in Him, because of it. To them, Christ will give
that kingdom which your selfishness imagines to be a human one, whereas it is a heavenly one. And therefore I say: "Here is Your servant, Lord, Who has come do to Your will.
Let it be consummated, because I am eager to fulfill it".
And here the vision ends. It is the vision of Jesus with His face burning with spiritual
ardour, raised to Heaven, with His arms stretched out, standing upright in the midst of the
astonished doctors.
Hail Mary...
(A drama of a different kind is taking place on the road back to Nazareth. Jesus
describes to Maria Valtorta His Mothers distress...)
She realised, after the groups of men and women had gathered to-gether, that I was
not with Joseph.
She does not reproach Her spouse bitterly But the pain that appears on Mary's face
pierces Joseph's heart more than any bitter reproach. Mary does not give vent to dramatic
outbursts But Her repressed sorrow is so obvious: She starts trembling, Her face turns
pale, Her eyes are wide open, and thus She arouses pity - more than any outburst of tears
and cries.
She is no longer tired or hungry. And yet the journey was a long one, and She has not
taken any food for so many hours! But She leaves everything: the bed She was preparing,
and the food which was ready to be handed out. And She goes back. It is night, it is dark.
It does not matter. Every step takes Her back to Jerusalem. She stops the caravans and
14

pilgrims and questions them. Joseph follows Her and helps Her. A long day's walk back
to Jerusalem and then the feverish search in town.
Hail Mary...
(Jesus continues His dictation on Marys distress)
Where, where can Her Jesus be? By God's provision, and for many hours, She will not
know where to look for Me. To look for a child in the Temple does not make sense. What
could a child be doing in the Temple? At most, if he had got lost in town and his little
steps had brought him back there, he would have cried for his mother. In this way he
would have attracted the attention of people and of the priests, who would have taken the
necessary steps to find the parents - by means of announcements left at the gates. But
there was no announcement. No one in town knew anything of this Child. Beautiful?
Blond? Strong? There are so many like that!
Then, after three days - the symbol of three other days of future anguish - Mary,
exhausted, enters the Temple, walks along the yards and the halls. Nothing. She runs, the
poor Mother, whenever She hears the voice of a child. Even the bleating of the lambs
give Her the impression that She hears Her Creature weeping and looking for Her. But
Jesus is not weeping. He is teaching. All of a sudden, from beyond the barrier of a large
group of people, She hears His voice saying: "These stones will vibrate..." She
endeavours to make Her way through the crowd, and succeeds after much effort. There is
Her Son, standing in the midst of the doctors with His arms stretched out.
Mary is the Prudent Virgin. But this time anxiety overcomes prudence She runs to
Her Son, embraces Him, lifts Him off the stool, and puts Him down on the ground. She
exclaims: "Oh! Why have You done this to us? For three days we have been looking for
You. Your Mummy is dying with pain, Son. Your father is exhausted with fatigue. Why,
Jesus?"
You do not ask "why" of Him Who knows. Or ask "why" He behaved in a certain way.
You do not ask those with a vocation: "why" they leave everything to follow the voice of
God. I was Wisdom, and I knew. I was "called" to a mission, and I was fulfilling it.
Above the earthly father and mother, there is God, the Divine Father. His interests are
above ours, His affections are superior to everything else. And I tell My Mother.
I finish teaching the doctors with the lesson to Mary, the Queen of doctors. And She
has never forgotten it. The sun began to shine again in Her heart, now that She had Me humble and obedient - beside Her. But My words are deeply rooted in Her mind. There
will be much sun-shine, and many clouds will gather in the sky, during the next twentyone years I will still be on the earth. And great joys and many tears will alternate in Her
heart during these next twenty-one years. But never again will She ask: "My Son, why
have You done this to us?"
Hail Mary...
Glory be
Oh my Jesus
o o 0 o o
THE FIRST SORROWFUL MYSTERY:
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN1
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 530-39)
Our Father...
(Jesus and His apostles, with the exception of Judas, have left the house of the
Last Supper, and arrive at a place below the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus says:)
15

Let us part now. I am going further up, to pray. I want Peter, John and James with Me.
You others, remain here. And if you should be overwhelmed, call us. And be not afraid.
Not a single hair of your heads will be hurt. Pray for Me. Lay aside hatred and fear. It
will only be a moment then it will be full joy And once again, thank you for
everything, My friends. Goodbye. May the Lord not abandon you
Jesus parts from the apostles and goes ahead, while Simon the Zealot gives Peter the
torch. (Peter, James and John then follow Jesus)... It grieves me to see Judas Thaddeus
cast such an intense and sorrowful glance at Jesus, that the Latter turns round to see who
has been looking at Him. But Thaddeus hides behind Bartholomew, biting his lips to
control himself.
With His hand, Jesus makes a gesture, which is of blessing and farewell at the same
time They go on until they reach the edge of the first escarpment of the rustic
amphitheatre of the olive-grove... Jesus then says: Stop, wait for Me here, while I pray.
But do not fall asleep. I may need you. And I ask you this out of charity, pray! Your
Master is very depressed.
He is in fact already in a state of deep depression His voice is tired and exhausted.
Peter replies on behalf of everybody: Do not worry, Master. We will keep awake and
pray. All You have to do is to call us, and we will come.
Jesus leaves the three apostles, while they stoop to gather leaves and twigs, and light a
little fire to keep themselves awake...
Hail Mary...
Jesus walks eastwards, so that the moon shines on His face. I see that a deep sorrow
dilates His eyes... He climbs with His head lowered, and only now and again He raises it
with a sigh He then casts His eyes, that are so sad, around the peaceful olive-grove. He
climbs up a few metres, and then goes round an escarpment...
He stops there and prays with His arms stretched out crosswise, His face towards the
sky... It is a prayer rising from His love, and His need. A true conversation with His
Father. I ask You to have mercy on them Will I save them? That is what I ask of
You. This I want: that they be saved from the world, from the flesh, from the demon
He turns round, leans with His back against the rock, folds His arms, and looks at
Jerusalem. His face becomes sadder and sadder, and He whispers: She looks like
snow and she is all sin. And how many I cured in her! How much I spoke! Where
are those who seemed loyal to Me?
He lowers His head and looks fixedly at the ground I understand that He is weeping,
because some tears shine when falling from His face on the ground. He then raises His
head, unfolds His arms, and joins them - holding them above His head...
Hail Mary...
He then goes back towards the three apostles, who are sitting round the little fire of
twigs. And He finds them half asleep
Have you not been able to keep awake for one hour? I need your comfort and your
prayers so much!
The three wake up with a start, and are utterly confused: It's the wine the food
It was only a moment But we will now pray in loud voices, and it will not happen
again.
Yes. Pray and be on the alert. For your own sake as well.
Jesus goes back to His rock more slowly, and more stooped. He kneels, resting His
arms on the rock... Shortly afterwards He feels the coolness of the little corollas growing
there, and raises His head. He looks at them, caresses them, and speaks to them: You
are here as well! You comfort Me! These little flowers were also in My Mother's little
grotto My Mother! Oh! My Mother! He bursts into tears. His head on His joined
16

hands, and a little reclined on His heels: I brought them to You, Mother. But who
will bring them to You now?
Hail Mary...
He resumes praying and meditating. Then He stands up, and He goes backwards and
forwards, whispering words that I do not grasp... To describe it is impossible. To see it is
to share His anguish. He makes gestures towards Jerusalem. Then He begins to raise His
arms again towards the sky, as if He wanted to invoke help
His anguish is such that, in order to overcome it, He shouts the names of Peter and John.
And He says: They will come now. They are really loyal! But "they" do not come
Hail Mary...
He runs fast towards the place where Peter and the two brothers are. And He finds them
comfortably fast asleep around a few embers Peter! I have called you three times!
Are you still sleeping? Do you not realise how much I am suffering? Pray. That the flesh
may not win, that it may not overwhelm you. Not any of you. If the spirit is willing, the
flesh is weak. Help Me
The three wake up more slowly and with dull eyes they apologise, and re-kindle the
fire
lighting up the poor face of Jesus. It is a face that is so sad, that one cannot
look at it without weeping He says: I feel an anguish that is killing Me! Oh! yes! My
soul is sad even unto death. My friends! My friends! ... Every word sounds like a
sob
But the three are too heavy with sleep Jesus looks at them He does not humiliate
them by reproaching them. He shakes His head, sighs, and goes back to the place where
He was.
Hail Mary...
He prays once again, standing, with His arms stretched out cross-wise. Then on His
knees... He calls His Father.
This cup is too bitter! I cannot! I cannot! It is above My power. I have been able to
bear everything! But not this Father, take it away from Your Son! Have mercy on
Me! What have I done to deserve it? He then collects Himself and says: But,
Father, do not listen to My voice, if what I ask is against Your will. Do not remember that
I am Your Son, but only Your servant. Let Your will be done, not Mine.
He remains like this for some time. Then He utters a stifled cry He drops on the
ground, with His face on the earth... A worn-out man, over-burdened by all the sins of the
world
Hail Mary...
Jesus moans, having the death-rattle in His throat, and sobbing like one in agony:
Nothing! Nothing! Away! The will of My Father! His will! Only His will!
Your will, Father. Yours, not Mine In vain you tempt Me, devil, through My Mother,
My life, My divinity and My mission "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.
But let Your will be done, not Mine". Be off, Satan. I belong to God.
Then He speaks no more, except to say, in a panting voice: God! God! God! He calls
Him at each heart-beat, and at each beat, blood seems to flow out of Him. The cloth on
His shoulders gets soaked through, and becomes dark, notwithstanding the clear
moonlight that illuminates it completely.
Hail Mary...
A brighter light appears above His head, hanging about a metre above Him. It is so
bright that even the Prostrate Master can see it filter through His wavy hair, already
weighed down by blood As He raises His head the angelic light shines more
brightly Then all the dreadful agony appears, in the blood seeping out from His
17

pores Blood trickles from His temples, blood spouts from the veins of His neck, His
hands drip blood. And when He stretches His hands towards the angelic light Christ's
forearms can be seen sweating blood. Only His tears draw two neat lines in the red mask
of His face
Jesus seems on the point of fainting. He unties the neck of His tunic... He takes His hand
to His heart and then to His head, and with His mouth half open, He waves it in front of
His face, as if He wanted to fan Himself. He drags Himself towards the rock and leans
with His back against it. His arms are hanging along His body, as if He were already
dead. His head is bent over His chest
The angelic light slowly fades away Jesus reopens His eyes. He raises His head with
difficulty, and looks around. He is alone. But He is less anguished... He takes a large
leaf which is all wet with dew - and He cleans Himself with it, wetting His face and
hands, and then drying Himself. He does the same several times with other leaves, until
He wipes out the traces of His dreadful sweat. Only His tunic is stained He folds it and
lays it on the rock...
Then He stands up, and still staggering a little, He goes to the disciples. His face is
full of divine beauty, although it is deadly pale...
Hail Mary...
The three are sleeping soundly... Jesus calls them in vain. He has to bend and shake
them vigorously
Get up, now, and let us go. He who is going to betray Me is close at hand.
The three, still drowsy, get up... They follow Jesus without speaking.
The other eight are also more or less asleep around a fire that has gone out. Get up!
orders Jesus in a thunderous voice. As Satan is arriving, show him, who never sleeps,
and his children, that the children of God are not asleep!
The guards, headed by Judas, burst into the little square, with their many torches... It is a
horde of ban-dits disguised as soldiers, who grin like devils
All the apostles jump to one corner... Jesus remains where He is.
Judas approaches Jesus and kisses His right cheek.
In a sorrowful tone, Jesus says: My friend, what have you come for? Are you
betraying Me with a kiss?
Judas bends his head for a moment, then raises it He is insensible to every
invitation to repent.
Hail Mary...
The guards, shouting, come for-ward with ropes and clubs...
Who are you looking for? asks Jesus calmly and solemnly.
Jesus the Nazarene.
I am He. His voice is thunderous They all fall to the ground except Judas, Jesus
and the apostles, who take fresh heart again so much so that they threaten Judas so
explicitly, that the latter takes a leap, just in time to avoid a stroke from Simon's sword.
Pursued by stones and sticks he escapes beyond the Kidron, and dis-appears in a dark
lane.
Then Jesus says: Stand up. Who are you looking for? I ask you once again.
Jesus the Nazarene.
I have told you that I am He says Jesus kindly. Yes, kindly. So, let these others go.
I will come. Put away your swords and clubs
But while He is speaking, Peter approaches the man who is holding out the ropes to tie
Jesus, gives him a clumsy blow with his sword, and cuts off part of his ear There is
chaos, until Jesus says: Put those weap-ons away. I order you to do that. If I wanted, I
could have the angels of My Father to defend Me. And you, be cured. In your soul first of
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all, if you can. And before stretching out His hands to be tied, He touches the ear, and
cures it.
The apostles shout very unbecomingly (and) run away.
Jesus and the guards are left all alone. And His new journey begins...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE SECOND SORROWFUL MYSTERY:


THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR2
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 563-4)
Our Father...
(Jesus is brought before Pilate, at some distance from a crowd of Jews and a
sprinkling of Jesus disciples. Pilate goes towards the crowd and says:)
Jews, listen. You have brought me this man as an instigator of the people. I have
examined Him in your presence, and I have not found Him guilty of any of the crimes of
which you accuse Him. Herod did not find any more than I did. And he has sent Him
back to us. He does not deserve death. Rome has spoken. But, so as not to displease you,
or to deprive you of the amusement, I will give you Barabbas. And I will order Jesus to
be given forty lashes. That is enough.
Hail Mary...
The crowd shouts: No, no! Not Barabbas! Not Barabbas! Death to Jesus! And a
dreadful death! Release Barabbas, and condemn the Nazarene to death.
But listen! says Pilate. I said I will have Him lashed. Is that not enough? I will
have Him scourged then! It is terrible, you know? He may die through it. What wrong
has He done? I can find no fault in Him. And then I will set Him free.
Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Death to Him! You are the protector of criminals!
Heathen! You are Satan, too!
Hail Mary...
The crowd advances, and the first formation of soldiers wavers, as they cannot make use
of their lances. But the second line of soldiers, des-cending one step, swing their lances
and free their companions.
Let Him be scourged Pilate orders a centurion.
How many blows?
As many as you like In any case the matter is over. And I am bored. Go.
Hail Mary...
Jesus is led by four soldiers to the court-yard beyond the hall. In the middle of the courtyard, which is all paved with coloured marble, there is a high column... About three
metres from the floor, it has an iron bar protruding at least a metre, with a ring on its end,
to which Jesus is tied, with His hands joined above His head, after He has been
undressed. He has on only short linen drawers and sandals.
Hail Mary...
His hands, tied at His wrists, are raised up as far as the ring, so that, although tall, He
rests only the tips of His toes on the floor And even that position is a torture.
I have read, I do not know where, that the column was low and that Jesus was bent over
it. That may be. I write what I see.
19

Hail Mary...
Behind Jesus stands one who looks like an executioner, with a clear Jewish profile. In
front of Him there is another man, who looks like the previous one. They are armed with
scourges, made of seven leather strips tied to a handle, and ending with small lead
hammers. They begin to strike Him rhythmically, as if they were practising. One in front
and one behind, so that Jesus' trunk is in a whirl of lashes and scourges.
Hail Mary...
The four soldiers, to whom Pilate had handed Jesus, are indifferent to what is going on,
and are playing dice with other three soldiers who have just arrived. And the voices of
the players follow the rhythm of the sound of the scourges, which hiss like snakes, and
then resound, like stones striking the stretched skin of a drum.
Hail Mary...
They beat the poor body, which is so slender and as white as old ivory, and then
becomes covered with stripes that at first are a brighter and brighter pink shade, then
violet. The body then displays blue swellings full of blood, and the skin breaks, letting
blood flow from all sides. They redouble their cruelty on His thorax and abdomen, but
there is no shortage of blows given to His legs, arms and even to His head, so that no
fragment of His skin may be left without pain.
Hail Mary...
And not a moan If Jesus were not held up by the rope, He would fall. But He does not
fall, and does not groan. His head hangs over His chest, after so many blows, as if He had
fainted.
Hey! Stop! He must be alive when He is killed shouts a soldier mockingly.
The two executioners stop and wipe their perspiration.
We are exhausted they say. Give us our pay, so that we may have a drink
I would give you the gallows! But here you are and a soldier throws a large coin
to each executioner.
Hail Mary...
One of the soldiers says: You have done a good job. He looks like a mosaic. Titus,
was this man really Alexander's love? (He is referring to another soldier who had
befriended Jesus.) We must let him know, so that he may mourn over His death. Let us
untie Him.
They untie Him, and Jesus falls on the floor like a dead body. They leave Him there,
pushing Him now and again with their feet to see whether He moans. But He is silent...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE THIRD SORROWFUL MYSTERY:


JESUS IS CROWNED WITH THORNS3
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 564-6)
Our Father...
(Supervised by some soldiers, after His most brutal scourging, Jesus is eventually
untied, and has collapsed on the floor. Concerned that He might be dead, one of the
soldiers throws water over Him...)
In vain, Jesus presses His hands against the floor, trying to stand up.
20

Come on! Quick! Are You weak? Here is some refreshment says another soldier in a
sneering voice. And with the shaft of his spear he delivers a blow to Jesus' face, striking
it between the right cheekbone and the nose, which begins to bleed 4.
Hail Mary...
Jesus opens His eyes and looks around. His eyes are clouded He stares at the soldier
who struck Him, wipes the blood with His hand, and then, with much effort, He stands
up.
Get dressed. It is immodest to stay like that. You lewd man! They all stand around
Him, laughing.
He obeys without speaking. But He alone knows how much He suffers. He stoops to the
ground and His wounds open up even more when the skin is stretched, and more
wounds are formed as the blisters burst.
Hail Mary...
A soldier gives a kick to His garments and scatters them. Every time Jesus reaches them,
staggering to where they lie, a soldier pushes them away or throws them in a different
direction. And Jesus, suffering bitterly, goes after them without uttering a word, while the
soldiers jeer at Him obscenely.
Hail Mary...
He can dress Himself again at last. And He can also put on the white tunic, which was
left in a corner and is still clean. He seems to wish to conceal His other poor red garment,
which only yesterday was so beautiful, and now is filthy with rubbish, and stained with
the blood sweated at Gethsemane. Furthermore, before putting on His short vest, He dries
His face with it, cleaning it of dust and spittle. The poor holy face then looks clean,
marked only by bruises and small cuts. He tidies His hair - hanging bedraggled - and then
His beard, out of an inborn need to be personally tidy.
Hail Mary...
He then squats in the sunshine... My Jesus is shivering Fever begins to torture Him
with its cold shivers. And He feels weak, because of the blood He has lost, and through
fasting and walking so much.
They tie His hands once again. The rope begins to cut into His wrists, where the torn
skin has left a mark like a red bracelet.
Hail Mary...
One of the soldiers says: Now! What shall we do with Him? I am bored!
Wait. The Jews want a king. Now we will give them one. Him says another
soldier.
And he runs outside, and comes back with branches of wild hawthorn. They are still
flexible, because spring-time keeps the branches relatively tender, whilst the long sharp
thorns are hard. With a dagger they remove leaves and buds, they bend the branches forming a circle - and they place them on His poor head. But the cruel crown falls down
on His neck.
Hail Mary...
It does not fit. Make it narrower. Take it off.
They take the crown off and scratch His cheeks - risking to blind Him - and they tear
some of His hair off in doing so. They make the crown smaller. Now it is too small, and
al-though they press it down, driving the thorns into His head, it threatens to fall. They
take it off once again, tearing more of His hair. They adjust it, and it now fits. At the front
there are three thorny cords. At the back, where the ends of the three branches interweave, there is a real knot of thorns that penetrate into the nape of His neck.
21

Hail Mary...
Do You see how well You look? Natural bronze and real rubies. Look at Yourself, O
king says the inventor of the torture scoffingly.
The other soldier says: A crown is not sufficient to make a king. Purple and sceptre
are required. In the stable there is a cane, and in the sewer there is a red chlamys. Get
them, Cornelius.
Hail Mary...
And once they have them, they put the dirty red rag on Jesus shoulders. But before
putting the cane in His hands, they beat His head with it, bowing and greeting: Hail,
king of the Jews. And they roar with laugh-ter.
Hail Mary...
Jesus does not react. He lets them sit Him on the throne which is a tub for watering
horses, turned upside-down. He lets them strike and scoff at Him, without ever uttering a
word. He only looks at them, with glances of such kindness and such atrocious sorrow...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE FOURTH SORROWFUL MYSTERY:


JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS5
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 593-605)
Our Father...
(The time has come for Jesus to carry His Cross to Calvary. Long-inus, the
Centurion, is to supervise the execution...)
...Before Jesus is taken outside into the street Longinus has looked at Him two or
three times, with a curiosity that is already tinged with compassion
The two robbers arrive, each surrounded by soldiers. It is time to go. Longinus gives the
last instruct-ions
The crosses are brought out. Those of the two robbers are shorter. Jesus' Cross is much
longer. I say that the vertical stake is not less than four metres long
Hail Mary...
Before giving the Cross to Jesus, they tie a board with the inscription Jesus Nazarene
King of the Jews6 round His neck. The rope that holds it gets entangled with the crown,
which moves and scratches causing fresh pain, and fresh blood. The people laugh with
sadistic joy, they abuse, and they curse.
All is now ready. Longinus gives the order of the march. First the Nazarene, behind
Him the two robbers and the soldier who allows the condemned men to be mortally
wounded will be held responsible.
Jesus comes down the three steps from the lobby into the square. It is immediately clear
that He is in an extremely weak condition. He staggers down the steps, hampered by the
Cross weighing on His shoulder, which is all covered with sores; by the board of the
inscription that sways in front of Him, cutting into His neck; and by the oscillations
caused to the body by the long stake of the Cross, which bounces on the steps, and on the
uneven ground.
The Jews laugh, and they shout to the soldiers: Push Him. Make Him fall. In the dust
the blasphemer!7 But the soldiers do only what they have to do - they order the
Condemned One to stay in the middle of the road and walk.
22

Longinus spurs his horse, and the procession begins to move


Hail Mary...
Jesus proceeds, panting. Each hole in the ground is a trap for His staggering feet. And it
is a torture for His shoulders covered with wounds, and for His head crowned with
thorns
The Jews cannot hit Him directly any longer. But odd stones and blows with sticks still
strike Him
Many people have already assembled at the Judicial Gate8... But shortly before arriving
there, Jesus almost falls. Only the quick intervention of a soldier prevents Him from
falling on the ground. The rabble laugh and shout: Leave Him! He used to say to
everybody: "Rise"9. Let Him rise now
Beyond the Gate there is a stream and a little bridge. Walking on the uneven boards is a
new fatigue for Jesus, as the long stake of the Cross bounces even more violently. And
there is a new source for the projectiles, as the stones from the stream fly and hit the poor
Martyr
Hail Mary...
The ascent to Calvary begins. It is a barren road that goes straight up the hill, without
the least shade, and paved with uneven stones.
Jesus suffers tremendously, both in climbing, and because of the weight of the Cross
which, being so long, must be very heavy. As He is exhausted and can lift His feet only a
little, He stumbles on a protruding stone, and falls on His right knee, holding Himself up
with His left hand. The crowd howls with joy One can clearly see the wound on the
right shoulder, made by the rubbing of the Cross, which has also opened the many sores
of the scourges The people applaud for the joy of seeing Him fall so badly
I see the small group of the shepherds Jesus turns His head around, He sees them,
and He stares at them, as if they were the faces of angels. He seems to quench His thirst
and fortify Himself with their tears, and He smiles
Hail Mary...
Make sure that He dies only on the Cross! shout the crowd
But Longinus is just as afraid as the Jews, that the Christ may die on the road, and he
gives the order to take the longer road that winds up around the mountain, and is
therefore not so steep
While hurling obscenities at the Condemned One and at those leading Him, some follow
the judicial procession, and some go ahead, almost running up the steep road, to have a
good position on the top.
Hail Mary...
Some women weeping, app-roach Jesus and kneel at His feet... With His left hand He
wipes the sweat and blood, that trickles into His eyes, streaming down His purple face
and neck - the veins of which are swollen through the laboured throbbing of His heart...
Another woman, who is accompanied by a young maidservant holding a small casket in
her arms, opens it, takes out a square piece of very fine linen cloth, and offers it to the
Redeemer. He accepts it. And as He cannot manage by Himself with only one hand, the
compassionate woman helps Him to take it to His face, watching not to knock against His
crown. Jesus presses the cool linen cloth to His poor face and holds it there, showing
great relief. He then hands the linen cloth back, and gasping for breath, He says: Thank
you... But do not weep... for Me... daughters of Jerusalem But for your sins... and for
those... of Your town And you... mothers weep for... your sons, because this hour
will not pass... without punishment... You will weep then for having conceived
suckled and for having more sons Go home pray... for Me...
23

And in the midst of the loud noise of weeping women and cursing Judaeans, Jesus sets
out again.
Hail Mary
Jesus is staggering more and more, and knocks first into one line of soldiers, and then
into the other...
They decide to overcome the difficulty by passing a rope round His waist, holding the
two ends as if they were reins The rope shifts the Cross on His shoulder and makes
it strike the crown, which by now has turned Jesus' forehead into a bleeding tattoo mark.
Furthermore, the rope rubs against His waist, where there are many wounds, and it
certainly makes them bleed again So, in order to help Him, they make Him suffer
more.
Suddenly, there is John, with Mary Who is exhausted, panting, and as white as
death Stately in Her grief, and supported by John - who is holding Her by the elbow
She leaves the hillside, and places Herself resolutely in the middle of the road
Longinus shakes his head while passing by on horseback, followed by eleven soldiers
Hail Mary...
Longinus sees a cart with its load of greens and the man from Cyrene, with his
two sons (He is) a very strong-looking man, about forty to fifty years old, standing
near his little donkey...
Longinus looks him up and down, and says to him in a commanding voice: Man,
come here.
The man from Cyrene pretends he has not heard. But one cannot trifle with Longinus
Do you see that man? he asks. And in doing so, he turns round to point out Jesus.
When Longinus sees Mary - Who is imploring the soldiers to let Her pass - he takes pity
on Her and he shouts: Let the Woman pass. He then resumes speaking to the man
from Cyrene: He cannot go any further, laden as He is. You are strong. Take His Cross
and carry it as far as the summit.
I cannot I have the donkey it is restless the boys cannot hold it
But Longinus says: Go, if you do not want to lose your donkey and get twenty blows
as punishment.
The man from Cyrene dare not react any longer. He shouts to the boys: Go home and
be quick. And say that I am coming
He then goes towards Jesus. He reaches Jesus just as He turns towards His Mother
and shouts: Mother!
In that cry there is all the dreadful sorrow of His spirit, of His morale, of His body
Mary presses Her hand against Her heart, as if She had been stabbed. She staggers, but
collects Herself, quickens Her step, and while going towards Her tortured Son with
outstretched arms, She shouts: Son!
I notice signs of compassion even among the Romans The man from Cyrene also
feels pity And when he sees that Mary cannot embrace Her Son because of the Cross
He hastens to remove the Cross. He does so with the gentleness of a father, in order not
to give a shove to the crown, or rub against His sores.
But Mary cannot kiss Her Son Even the lightest touch would be a torture for His torn
flesh... Only the two anguished souls kiss each other.
Hail Mary...
The procession sets out again
Jesus, freed of the weight of the Cross, is proceeding more easily. But He is panting
violently, often pressing His hand against His heart, as if He had a great pain or a wound
there
24

Mary has withdrawn with the other women. She follows the procession once it has
passed, and then, along a short cut, She turns Her steps to-wards the top of the
mountain...
On the top of Calvary there are already three deep holes lined with bricks or slates,
that is, built for a special purpose. Near them there are stones and earth ready to prop up
the crosses...
Hail Mary...
The three sides of the mountain, where the slopes descend gently towards the valley, are
all crowded with people
The men responsible for the execution prepare their instruments, and finish emptying
the holes. The condemned men wait in the middle of the square formed by the soldiers.
And the Jews, who have taken shelter in the corner opposite Mary and the Magdalene,
insult them
Longinus has dismounted (and now) everything is ready on the sum-mit. The
condemned men are made to go up Jesus passes near His Mother, Who utters a groan which She tries to stifle
As soon as the condemned men are on the fatal platform, the soldiers surround the open
space on three sides. Only the side with a sheer drop is empty.
The centurion orders the man from Cyrene to go away. He does so, un-willingly now...
The two robbers throw their crosses on the ground, swearing. Jesus is silent.
The
sorrowful way has come to its end.
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE FIFTH SORROWFUL MYSTERY:


THE CRUCIFIXION AND DEATH OF JESUS10
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 605-23, 626-8)
Our Father...
(Jesus and the two robbers have arrived on Calvary)
The executioners offer the condemned men three rags, to tie round their groins
Jesus, Who strips Himself slowly refuses the one offered to Him. He perhaps thinks
that He can keep on the short drawers but when told to take them off as well, He
stretches out His hand, to beg for one of the rags...
But Mary has noticed everything. She has removed the long thin white veil covering
Her head under Her dark mantle She gives it to John, so that he may hand it to
Longinus, for Her Son (Jesus turns) His back towards the crowd - a back furrowed
with bruises and blisters... Longinus gives Him the veil. Jesus recognises it, and wraps it
round His pelvis several times, fastening it carefully, so that it may not fall off And on
the linen veil, so far soaked only with tears, the first drops of blood begin to fall
The robbers are tied to the crosses, which are carried to their places, one to the right, one
to the left... They howl, swear, and curse
Hail Mary...
It is now Jesus' turn. He lies on the Cross meekly stretches out His arms and His legs
as He is told, and takes care only to arrange His veil properly...
Two executioners sit on His chest to hold Him fast One of them places the point of
the nail on the wrist, he raises the hammer, and gives the first stroke.
25

Jesus, Who had closed His eyes, utters a cry, has a contraction be-cause of the sharp
pain, and opens His eyes, flooded with tears
Mary replies to the cry of Her tortured Son with a groan But the strokes continue,
methodical and hard, iron striking iron
The right hand is now nailed. They pass on to the left one. The hole in the wood does
not correspond to the wrist. So they take a rope, tie it to the left wrist, and pull it until the
joint is dislocated, tearing tendons and muscles They then nail the hand where they
can, that is, between the thumb and the other fingers
Those who were sitting on Jesus' chest, now get up and move to His knees, because
Jesus, with an involuntary movement, withdraws His legs upon seeing the very long nail,
which is twice as long and thick as those used for the hands... And they hammer, and
hammer, and hammer
The harsh noise of iron is accompanied by the low plaintive lament of a dove: the hoarse
groaning of Mary, Who bends more and more at each stroke
The Cross is now dragged near the hole, jerking on the uneven ground, and shaking the
poor Crucified
But when they let the Cross drop into its hole, and before being made fast with stones
and earth, it sways in all directions shifting the poor Body which hangs from three
nails... At long last the Cross is made fast, and there is only the torture of being suspended
Hail Mary...
At the top there is now the Cross of Jesus. At the sides the other two crosses
Longinus is standing up-right between the Cross of Jesus and the one on the right. And
he seems to be mounting guard of honour for the Martyr King
While looking around, Longinus sees Mary, just under the slope, with Her tormented
face raised towards Her Son. He calls one of the soldiers: If His Mother wants to
come up with the son who is escorting Her, let Her come. Escort Her and help Her.
And Mary with John, who is believed to be Her son passes beyond the cordon of
soldiers, and goes to the foot of the Cross...
The crowd showers the most disgraceful abuses on Her at once They then howl in
chorus: Descend from the Cross and we will believe You. You Who want to destroy the
Temple11 Fool! Look at it over there, the glorious and holy Temple of Israel. It is
untouchable, o blasphemer!12 And You are dying.
Hail Mary...
One of the Pharisees says: Let us go to Lazarus, and nail him on the other side of the
Cross.
And while the other women, struck with terror, run behind the shepherds, Mary
Magdalene comes forward, and finding in her grief the ancient boldness of her days of
sin, she says: Go. You will already find the soldiers of Rome in the mansion, with five
hundred armed men of my land, and they will castrate you like old billygoats destined to
feed the slaves of millstones.
Longinus gives an order, and fifty soldiers, who were resting, come into action. And
they prick the buttocks of the first Judaeans they find
Jesus is silent, but panting He tries to find some relief by reducing the weight on His
feet, pulling Himself up with His arms and hanging from His hands
His thirst must be burning. So much so that He drinks the drops of His perspiration
and His tears, as well as those of His blood, that run down from His forehead to His
moustache
Hail Mary...
26

The Judaeans, driven beyond the open space, do not stop insulting, and the unrepentant
robber echoes their insults.
The other robber now looks at the Mother with deeper and deeper com-passion He
says to Her: We are criminals. Our mothers are dead I would like to ask mine to
forgive me But shall I be able? She was a holy woman I killed her with the sorrow I
gave her I am a sinner Who will forgive me? Mother, in the name of Your dying
Son, pray for me.
The Mother, for a moment, raises Her tortured face and looks at him... She seems to
caress him, with Her kind gentle eyes
Then Jesus speaks for the first time: Father, forgive them because they do not know
what they are doing13!
This prayer overcomes all fear in Dismas, the robber. He dares to look at the Christ, and
says: Lord, remember me when You are in Your Kingdom I now repent of my sins
before You, the Son of the Most High. I believe that You come from God. I believe in
Your power. I believe in Your mercy. Christ, forgive me in the name of Your Mother,
and of Your Most Holy Father.
Jesus turns His Head and looks at him with deep compassion He says: I tell you:
today you will be with Me in Paradise14.
The repentant robber calms down
The light, previously very bright, is becoming greenish It is in this frightening
twilight that Jesus gives John to Mary and Mary to John 15. He lowers His head, because
the Mother has gone closer to the Cross to see Him better, and He says: Woman, this is
Your son. Son, this is your Mother.
The poor Mother tries to stifle Her tears, but it is impossible for Her not to weep
Jesus' sufferings increase more and more. And the light fades more and more
Hail Mary...
At a certain moment, Jesus collapses forward and downwards...
Mary utters a cry: He is dead! A tragic cry that spreads in the dark air. Jesus seems
really dead And a volley of stones and clods of earth fly towards the cross, hitting the
Martyr and falling back on the armour of the Romans
Jesus moans pitifully and recovers His senses. He begins to breathe again and His
head moves from left to right...
Then with great difficulty Jesus stiffens on the Cross, He stands upright raises His
face and shouts in a loud voice: Eloi, Eloi, lamma scebacteni! confessing His
Father's abandonment16
People shout: Let us see whether Elijah, whom He is calling, will come to save
Him.
The avalanches of desolate grief... and the waves of the sins of all the world come back
to strike the shipwrecked innocent, and to submerge Him in their bitterness. And above
all, what returns is the sensation - more crucifying than the Cross itself, more despairing
than any torture - that God has abandoned Him, and that His prayer does not rise to His
Father
Hail Mary...
Darkness becomes deeper. Jerusalem disappears completely And from that light,
which is no longer light, comes the plaintive voice of Jesus: I am thirsty! A soldier
goes towards a jar (which contains) some vinegar and gall17... He takes the sponge
immersed in the liquid, sticks it on a thin, stiff cane and offers it to the Dying Victim.
Jesus leans forward eagerly greedily sucks the sour bitter drink, and His face shows
disgust...

27

He withdraws, loses heart, abandons Himself And fainter and fainter, sounding like a
child's wailing, comes the invocation: Mother, where are You? She says: Your
Mother is here, She is here
It is heart-rending. John weeps openly Longinus is now standing at attention as
if he were on the steps of the imperial throne and his eyes begin to shine with tears that
only his iron discipline can control
Hail Mary...
There is dead silence. Then in utter darkness, the words: Every-thing is accomplished!
are clearly heard, and Jesus death-rattle grows louder and louder...
Time passes There is silence again. Then the supplication pronounced with infinite
kindness, with fervent prayer: Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!18
Further silence. The death-rattle becomes fainter...
Then, there is the last spasm of Jesus. A dreadful convulsion that seems to tear the body
hanging by the three nails from the Cross And then a powerful cry, unimaginable in
that exhausted body, bursts forth, the loud cry mentioned by the Gospels19 and is the
first part of the word Mother And nothing else
His head falls on His chest, His body leans forward, the trembling stops, He breathes no
more. He has breathed His last.
Hail Mary...
The Earth (gives) a frightening rumble Lightning streaks the sky in all directions,
falling on the town, on the Temple, on the crowd Immediately afterwards (there is an)
earthquake and a tornado
John grasps the Cross with one arm, and supports Mary with the other People fall one
on top of one another they fall into the openings of the ground and they roll down
the slope
Mary raises Her head and looks at Her Jesus She calls Him three times: Jesus!
Jesus! Jesus! Then, as a lightning flash forms a kind of crown over the top of
Golgotha, She sees Him, motionless, all bent forward and She understands. She
stretches out Her hands in the dark air and shouts: My Son! My Son! My Son!
Longinus approaches John, and in a low voice, he says something to him Then he
makes a soldier give him a lance. He looks at the women: who are attending to Mary,
Who is slowly recovering Her strength. They all have their backs to the Cross.
Longinus places himself in front of the Crucified Jesus, he ponders care-fully how to
deal the blow, and he strikes. The lance penetrates deeply from the bottom upwards, from
right to left.
It is done, my friend says Longinus. Better so. As for a knight. And without
fracturing bones20 He was really a Just Man!
A lot of water and just a trickle of blood, already tending to clot, drip from the wound
Hail Mary...
... Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea arrive with ladders, and (having secured)
Pilate's permission to remove the Body They climb with levers and tongs
Mary has already placed Herself with Her back against the foot of the Cross, ready to
receive Her Jesus in Her lap.
The left palm is un-nailed and then the feet John has to make a great effort to hold
and support the Body of his Master, between the Cross and his own body.
But the un-nailing of the right arm is the most difficult operation... At last the nail is
seized with the tongs, and pulled out gently and they cautiously bring the Body down
the ladd-ers.

28

When on the ground, they would like to lay Him on the sheet that they have spread over
their mantles. But Mary wants Him. She has opened Her mantle, letting it hang on one
side, and She sits with Her knees rather apart, to form a cradle for Her Jesus
He is now in His Mother's lap Mary is holding Him with Her right arm round His
shoulders and Her left one stretched over the abdomen to support Him by the hips
When She succeeds in removing the torturing crown, She bends to cure all the scratches
of the thorns with Her kisses.
She wipes the tears that drop on the cold body, covered with blood. And She thinks of
cleaning it with Her tears, and with Her veil which is still around Jesus' loins. She pulls
one end of the veil towards Herself, and She begins to clean and dry the holy limbs with
it
While doing so, Her hand touches the gash on His chest21. Her little hand, covered with
the linen veil, enters almost completely into the large hole of the wound. Mary bends to
see, in the dim light... And She sees. She sees the chest torn open, and the heart of Her
Son. She utters a cry. A sword seems to be splitting Her heart. She shouts, and then
throws Herself on Her Son. And She seems dead, too...
They succour and console Her. They want to take Her divine, Dead Son away from
Her, and She shouts: Where, where shall I put You? In which place, safe and worthy of
You?
Joseph says: Take courage, o Woman! My sepulchre is new, and worthy of a great
man. I give it to Him But I beg You, as it is getting dark22, let us proceed
With Nicodemus and John at the shoulders, Joseph at the feet, they lift the Corpse,
enveloped in the sheet, and resting on the mantles which act as a stretcher. And they set
off down the road.
Mary, supported by the Magdalene and the other women disciples, goes down towards
the sepulchre with them
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus
o o 0 o o

THE FIRST GLORIOUS MYSTERY:


THE RESURRECTION
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 699-701)
Our Father...
(It is early on Sunday morning, two days after the Crucifixion...)
The guards, weary, cold, sleepy, in various postures, are watching over the Sepulchre.
The stone at its entrance has been reinforced round its edge - as if it were a buttress - with
a thick layer of lime. On its opaque whiteness, there stands out the large rosettes of red
wax of the Temple seal, impressed directly on the fresh lime1.
Hail Mary...
The guards must have lit a little fire during the night, because there are ashes and halfburnt fire-brands on the ground. And they must have played and eaten, because, scattered
around are the remains of some food and some small clean bones, which have certainly
been used for a game: like our dominoes, or our children's games of marbles, which are
29

played on a coarse board, or traced on a path. Then they would have become tired and
left things as they are now, as they tried to find more or less comfortable postures for
sleeping, or for keeping watch.
Hail Mary...
To the east, in the clear sky, there is now a completely rosy zone, spreading out more
and more widely, although there are no sunbeams as yet. A very bright meteor appears,
coming from unknown depths. And it descends like a sphere of fire of unsustainable
splendour, followed by a glowing trail, which perhaps is nothing but the persistence of its
brightness in the retinae of our eyes. It descends at a very high speed towards the Earth,
shedding such an intense light, frightful in its beauty, that the rosy light of dawn
vanishes, outshone by such white incandescence.
Hail Mary...
The guards, astonished, raise their heads. And with the light there comes a mighty,
harmonious, solemn rumble, that fills the whole of Creation with its roar2. It comes from
heavenly depths. It is the alleluia, the angelical glory, that follows the Spirit of the Christ,
which is returning to His glorious Flesh.
The meteor clashes on the useless stone closure of the Sepulchre, tears it off, throws it
on the ground, and it strikes - with terror and noise - the guards who had been placed as
jailers of the Master of the Universe. With its return to the Earth, the meteor produces a
new earthquake, like it had caused when this Spirit of the Lord fled from the Earth 3. It
enters the dark Sepulchre, that now becomes all bright with its indescribable light. And
while it remains suspended in the still air, the Spirit is infused again into the Body,
motionless under the funereal band-ages.
Hail Mary...
All this takes place: not in a minute, but in a fraction of a minute, so fast have been the
appearance, descent, penetration and the dis-appearance of the Light of God
The I want , of the divine Spirit to its cold Body, is noiseless. It is uttered by the
Essence, to the immobile Matter. But no word is perceived by the human ear. The Flesh
receives the order, and obeys it with a deep sigh Nothing else, for some minutes.
Hail Mary...
Under the Sudarium and the Shroud, the glorious Body is recomposed in eternal beauty.
It awakens from the sleep of death4, it comes back from the nothing in which it was,
and it lives, after being dead. The heart certainly awakens and gives its first throb. It
propels the remaining frozen blood through the veins, and at once creates the full
measure of it in the empty arteries, in the immobile lungs, and in the dark brain. And it
brings back warmth, health, strength, and thought.
Another moment, and there is a sudden movement under the heavy Shroud5. It is so
sudden, that from the moment He certainly moves His folded arms, to the moment He
appears: standing, imposing, splendid in His garment of immaterial matter, supernaturally
handsome and majestic, with a gravity that changes and elevates Him, and yet leaves Him
exactly Himself - the eye has hardly time to follow the development. It admires Him,
although He is so different from what the mind remembers. He is tidied up - without
wounds or blood and is now blazing with the light which gushes from the five wounds,
and which issues from every pore of His skin.
Hail Mary...
He takes His first step. And in this movement, the rays - emanating from His Hands and
Feet - halo Him with beams of light. His Head is haloed with a garland, made with the
count-less little wounds of the Crown of Thorns. They no longer bleed, they only shine.
30

When He opens His arms - that were folded across His chest - He uncovers a zone of
very bright luminosity, that filters through His tunic, inflaming it like a sun, at the height
of His Heart. Now it is really the Light that has taken a body. It is not the poor light of
the Earth, not the poor light of the stars, not the poor light of the sun - but it is the Light
of God...
Hail Mary...
This Light of God, in all the heavenly brightness, gathers into one Being, and grants
Him its inconceivable azure as eyes, its golden fire as hair, its angelic whiteness as
garment and complexion, and all that exists, but cannot be described by human words. It
is the utterly distinct ardour of the Most Holy Trinity, that outshines - with its ardent
power - every fire in Paradise, absorbing Him, in Itself, to generate Him again at each
moment of the eternal Time. The Light that forms the Risen Christ is the Heart of
Heaven, that attracts and spreads His blood, the countless drops of His incorporeal blood.
This Light is also the blessed souls, the angels, everything that is Paradise: the love of
God, and the love for God...
Hail Mary...
He moves towards the exit, and beyond His brightness, two most beautiful brilliances
appear. They are similar to stars compared with the sun. There is one on this side, and
one on the other side of the threshold. They are prostrated in adoration of their God, Who
passes by, enveloped in His light, and beatifying with His smile. And He leaves the
funereal grotto, and returns to walk on the earth. This earth awakens out of joy, and
shines in its dews. The colours of herbs and roseries, and the countless corollas of appletrees, open - by a wonder - to the early sun that kisses them, and to the eternal Sun Who
proceeds under them.
Hail Mary...
The guards are there, shocked The corrupt powers of man do not see God. Whereas
the pure powers of the universe - the flowers, herbs, birds - admire and venerate the
Mighty One, Who passes by in a halo of His own Light, and in a crown of sunlight.
He smiles, and everything that His eyes rest upon flowers, dead branches, and the
clear sky - every-thing becomes more beautiful. More soft and shaded than a silky rosery,
are the millions of petals, which form a flowery foam on the head of the Conqueror.
Brighter are the diamonds of the dew. Of a deeper blue is the sky reflecting His shining
eyes. And more joyful is the sun, that with glad-ness paints a little cloud - blown by a
light wind - that comes to kiss its King: with perfumes stolen from gardens, and with
caresses of silky petals.
Jesus raises His Hand and blesses, and then - while the birds sing more loudly and
the wind carries its perfumes - He disappears...
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE SECOND GLORIOUS MYSTERY:


JESUS ASCENDS INTO HEAVEN6
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 875-8)
Our Father...

31

(The Mother of Jesus, His apostles, and a large crowd of disciples, have
gathered to witness the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven...)
Jesus calls before Him the shepherds, Lazarus, Joseph, Nicodemus, Manaen, and the
others of the seventy-two disciples. But He particularly keeps the shepherds close to
Himself, saying: Here. You were near the Lord Who had come from Heaven... You are
to be near the Lord Who is going back to Heaven, with your souls rejoicing because of
His glorification. You have deserved this place, because you did believe notwithstanding that all the circumstances were unfavourable - and you were able to
suffer, for your faith. I thank you for your faithful love.
Hail Mary...
I thank all of you. You, My friend Lazarus, you, Joseph, and you, Nicodemus, who took
pity on the Christ - when to do so might have been very dangerous. You, Manaen - who
despised the filthy favours of an unclean man, to follow Me on My way. You, Stephen flowery crown of justice - who left what was imperfect for what was perfect. You will be
crowned with a garland, with which you are not yet acquainted 6. But it will be announced
to you by the angels. You John, for a short period of time brother to the most pure breast.
You have come more to the Light, than to the sight And you, good women disciples,
stronger, in your kindness, than Judith8.
Hail Mary...
And you, Marjiam, My child. From now on you will be called Martial, in remembrance
of a Roman boy, who was killed on the road. He was laid at Lazarus' gate with the defiant
words: "Now tell the Galilean to bring you back to life again, if He is the Christ, and has
risen from the dead". He was the last of the innocents who lost their lives in Palestine, to
serve Me9 and first of the innocents of every Nation who have come to the Christ.
They will be hated for that, and extinguished prematurely, like buds of flowers torn off
the stems before blooming. And may this name - o Martial - show you your future
destiny. Be the apostle in barbarian countries, and conquer them for your Lord, as My
love won Heaven for the Roman boy.
Hail Mary...
You are all blessed by Me in this farewell. From the Father, I invoke the reward for
those who have comforted the sorrowful journey of the Son of Man. Blessed be the
chosen ones of Mankind, among Hebrews and Gen-tiles, who have manifested themselves in their love for Me. Blessed be the Earth with its herbs, its flowers, and its fruits that have given Me pleasure and refreshment so many times. Blessed be the Earth with its
waters and its tepidness, and with its birds and its animals - that many a time exceeded
man, in giving relief to the Son of Man. May you be blessed, sun, and you, sea, and you,
moun-tains, hills, and plains.
Hail Mary...
Blessed are you, stars, My companions in My night prayers, and in My sorrow. And
you, moon, who illuminated Me as I wandered around in My evangelizing pilgrimages.
May all you creatures be blessed. You are the works of My Father. And you are My
companions in this mortal hour, friendly to Him Who had left Heaven, to relieve tortured
Mankind of the troubles caused by the Sin that separates from God. And may you also be
blessed, you innocent instruments of My torture: thorns, metals, wood, and twisted hemp.
Because you have assisted Me in fulfilling the will of My Father!
Hail Mary...
How thundering is Jesus' voice! It spreads through the tepid, calm air, like a bronze
gong that has been struck. It propagates in waves over the sea of faces, looking at Him
from all directions.
32

I say that there are hundreds of people around Jesus as He goes up, with His more
beloved ones, towards the top of the Mount of Olives. But when Jesus arrives at the Field
of the Galileans - in which this time there are no tents - He says to His disciples: Stop
the people where they are, and then follow Me.
Hail Mary...
He climbs farther up, as far as the highest summit of the mountain. This is the summit
closer to Bethany - which it dominates from above - than to Jerusalem. Close to Him are
His Mother, the Apostles, Lazarus, the shepherds and Marjiam. Farther away - in a
semicircle and holding the people back - are the other disciples.
Jesus is standing on a large stone, which protrudes a little, and which stands out in its
whiteness in the grass of a clearing. He is brightly illuminated by the sun - which makes
His garment shine as white as snow - and His hair is like gold. His eyes sparkle in a
divine light. He opens out His arms in the gesture of an embrace. He seems to be wishing
to press - to His chest - the multitudes of the Earth, whom His spirit sees, represented in
that crowd. His unforgettable and inimitable voice gives the last order: Go! Go, in My
Name, to evangelize the peoples as far as the ends of the Earth. God be with you. May
His Love comfort you, may His Light guide you, may His Peace dwell in you until you
reach eternal life.
Hail Mary...
He becomes transfigured in beauty. Handsome! As handsome and even more so than He
was on Tabor10. They all fall on their knees, worshipping, while He is already rising from
the stone on which He was standing, He looks once again for the face of His Mother, and
His smile reaches a power that no one will ever be able to express It is His last
goodbye to His Mother.
Hail Mary...
He rises, rises The sun - now more free to kiss Him, as no foliage, not even a thin
leaf, intercepts its beams brightens, with its splendour, the God-Man. With His most
Holy Body, He is ascending to Heaven. And He displays His glorious Wounds, that shine
like living rubies. The rest is a pearly smile of light. It is really the Light that is revealing
itself for what it is, at this last moment, as on Christmas night.
Creation sparkles, in the light of the Christ Who is ascending. A light exceeding that of
the sun. A super-human and most blissful light. A light descending from Heaven, to meet
the Light ascending to it And Jesus Christ, the Word of God, dis-appears from the
sight of men, in this ocean of brightness
Hail Mary...
On the earth, there are only two noises in the deep silence of the ecstatic crowd: that of
Mary Who cries: Jesus! when He disappears; and the weeping of the shepherd Isaac.
The others are struck dumb with holy astonishment.
And they remain there - as if they were waiting - until two snow-white angelical lights
in human form appear, saying: Men of Galilee, why do you stand, looking up to
Heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into Heaven, shall come back to you in
the same way.11
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE THIRD GLORIOUS MYSTERY:


THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY GHOST
33

(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 882-4)


Our Father...
(It is some days later, after Matthias - the former shepherd who adored Jesus at
His Birth - has been elected to replace Judas as the twelfth apostle...)
No voices or noises can be heard in the house of the Supper room. None of the disciples
are present, at least I cannot hear anything to say that people are gathered in the other
rooms of the house. There are only the presence and the voices of the Twelve, and of the
Most Holy Virgin, gathered in the room of the Supper.
Hail Mary...
The room looks wider, because the furniture is placed differently, and leaves it free all
the centre of the room, and two of the walls. The large table used for the Supper has been
pushed against the third wall, and at the two narrower sides of the table, they have placed
the couch-seats and the stool that Jesus used for the Washing of feet. But the couchseats are not at right-angles to the table - as they were for the Supper but parallel to it,
so that the apostles can sit down without occupying all of them. And they have left one,
the only one at right-angles to the table, all for the Blessed Virgin. She is at the centre of
the table, in the place that Jesus occupied at the Supper13.
Hail Mary...
There are no table-cloths or tableware on the table. There is nothing on the sideboards,
and the ornaments have been taken off the walls. Only the chandelier in the centre is lit,
but with just one flame. The other small flames, on the circle which forms a corolla to
this strange chandelier, are out.
The windows are closed, with heavy metal bars placed across them. But a sunbeam
penetrates boldly through a tiny hole, and like a long thin needle, it descends on the floor,
forming a round spot of sunshine.
The Blessed Virgin, sitting all alone on Her seat, has Peter and John at Her sides, on
their seats. Peter is on Her right, John on Her left. Matthias - the new apostle - is between James of Alphaeus and Thaddeus. In front of Her, Our Lady has a large, low chest
of dark wood, which is closed. Mary is dressed in deep blue. Her hair is covered with a
white veil, over which is placed the edge of Her mantle. All the others are bare-headed.
Hail Mary...
Mary is reading slowly, in a loud voice. But as the light is very faint, I think that rather
than read, She is repeating by heart the words written on the scroll that She is holding,
spread out. The others follow Her in silence, meditating. Now and again they reply, when
it is appropriate.
Mary's face is transfigured by an ecstatic smile. I wonder what She sees, that is capable
of inflaming Her eyes - like two clear stars - and making Her ivory cheeks blush, as if a
rosy flame reflected on Her! She is really the mystic Rose
The apostles bend forward, sitting a little sideways to see Her face, while She smiles so
gently and reads. And Her voice sounds like the song of an angel. Peter is so deeply
moved, that two large tears fall from his eyes, streaming down along wrinkles on both
sides of his nose, to getting lost in the thicket of his grey beard. But John reflects the
virginal smile and is inflamed, like Her, with love, while he follows with his eyes what
the Virgin is reading on the scroll. When he hands Her a new scroll, he looks and smiles
at Her.
Hail Mary...

34

The reading is over. Mary's voice stops. The rustling of the parchments, rolled and
unrolled, comes to an end. Mary concentrates in secret prayer, joining Her hands on Her
breast, and leaning Her head on the wooden chest. The apostles imitate Her
A very loud and harmonious roar - that resembles the wind and the harp, as well as
human singing and the sound of a perfect organ - suddenly resounds in the silence of the
morning. It comes near, more and more harmonious and loud. And with its vibrations, it
fills the Earth, propagates them, and impresses them on the house, on the walls, on the
furniture. The flame of the chandelier - so far very still in the peace of the closed room flickers as if a wind were blowing. And the little chains of the chandelier tinkle, vibrating
under the wave of supernatural sound that strikes them.
Hail Mary...
The apostles raise their heads, frightened. And as that most beautiful rumble - in which
are all the loveliest notes that God gave the Heavens and the Earth - approaches them
more and more, some stand up ready to run away; some crouch on the floor, covering
their heads with their hands and mantles, or beat their breasts asking God to forgive
them; and some press against Mary, too frightened to keep the reserve they always have
for the Most Pure Mother. Only John is not frightened, because he sees the bright peace
of joy that is accentuated on the face of Mary, Who raises Her head, smiling at a thing
known to Her alone, and Who then slides down on Her knees, opening Her arms. And the
two blue wings of Her mantle, also opened, stretch out on Peter and John, who have
imitated Her, kneeling down. But all this, which took me some minutes to describe, has
taken place in less than one minute.
Hail Mary...
And then the Light, the Fire, the Holy Spirit enters, with a last melodious loud noise, in
the form of a very shining burning globe, into the closed room, without any door or
window being moved. And It remains, hovering for a minute about three palms above
Mary's head, which is now uncovered. Because Mary, upon seeing the Fire Paraclete, has
raised Her arms to invoke Him, and has thrown Her head back with a cry of joy, and a
smile of boundless love. And after that moment in which all the Fire of the Holy Spirit,
all the Love, is collected in His Spouse, the Most Holy Globe splits into thirteen very
bright flames - of so bright a light that no earthy comparison can describe - and it
descends to kiss the forehead of each apostle.
Hail Mary...
But the flame that kisses Mary on Her forehead is not a tongue of a straight flame, but it
is a crown that embraces and encircles the virginal head like a wreath, crowning, as
Queen, the Daughter, the Mother, the Spouse of God, the Incorruptible Virgin, the
Totally Beautiful, the Eternally Loved, the Eternally Maiden - Whom nothing can
humiliate, Whom sorrow had aged, but Who has revived in the joy of the Resurrection.
She is sharing with Her Son an accentuation of beauty and freshness of bodies, of looks,
of vitality having already an advance of the beauty of Her glorious Body, received into
Heaven to be the flower of Paradise.
Hail Mary...
The Holy Spirit makes His flames shine round the head of His Beloved. Which words
does He speak to Her? Mystery! Her blessed face is transfigured with supernatural joy,
and smiles with the smiles of Seraphim, while blissful tears shine like diamonds on the
cheeks of the Blessed Virgin, struck as they are by the Light of the Holy Spirit.
The Fire remains so for some time Then it vanishes In memory of its descent, there
remains a fragrance that no earthly flower can ex-hale The Perfume of Paradise
Hail Mary...
35

The apostles collect themselves Mary remains in Her ecstasy. She folds Her arms
across Her breast, closes Her eyes, lowers Her head Her conversation with God
continues insensible to everything No one dare disturb Her.
John, pointing at Her, says: She is the altar. And the Glory of the Lord has rested on
Her glory
Yes. Let us not upset Her joy. But let us go and preach the Lord says Peter, with
supernatural impulsiveness. And let His works and His words be known to all people.
Let us go! Let us go! The Spirit of God is burning in me says James of Alphaeus.
And it is urging us to act. All of us. Let us go and evangelize the peoples14.
They go out as if they were pushed or attracted by a wind, or by a vigorous force.
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE FOURTH GLORIOUS MYSTERY:


MARYS ASSUMPTION INTO HEAVEN
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp 929-35)
Our Father...
(Many years after Pentecost, in the presence of John the apostle, Mary realises
that the time has come for Her to be re-united with Her Son in Heaven, and tells John
of the tremendous jubilation She feels. She sees that John is weeping, and asks why.
John says:)
Because the storm of sorrow is stirring up in me. I know that I am about to lose You.
How shall I be able to live without You? I feel my heart being torn to pieces at the
thought! I shall not be able to stand this grief!
You will stand it. God will help you to live, and for a long time, as He helped Me.
Because, if He had not helped Me - on Golgotha and on the Mount of Olives, when Jesus
died and ascended - I would have died... He will help you to live and to remember what I
have told you before, for the welfare of everybody...
(Mary reminds John of his strength, and of the comfort he gave to Jesus when He was
dying on the Cross. She says She feels an un-sustainable Light growing within, like that
which enveloped Her when She conceived Christ, and when He was born...)
And He will satisfy My only wish, the only thing I want. Because love - when it is so
complete as to be almost perfect, as with the love of My Son and God love achieves
everything, even what, according to human opinion, would seem impossible to achieve.
Remember that, John. And inform also your brothers of that. Men will fight against you
so much! All kinds of obstacles will make you afraid of defeat, of massacres by
persecutors, and of defections of Christians... Love, and be not afraid. In proportion to
how you love, God will help you, and will make you triumph over everything and
everybody... The measure of My capacity of loving is full. My soul and My body are no
longer able to contain it. Love overflows from it. It submerges Me and raises Me at the
same time, towards Heaven, towards God, My Son. And His voice says to Me: "Come!
Come out! Ascend to our Throne and to our Trinitys embrace!" The Earth that surrounds
Me disappears in the bright light that comes to Me from Heaven! Noises are drowned by
this celestial voice! My moment for the divine embrace has come, My dear John!
Hail Mary...
36

John has calmed down a little - although still somewhat upset, listening to Mary - and at
the last part of Her speech looks at Her ecstatically, and almost enraptured as well. He is
as pale in his face as Mary, Whose pallor, however, changes into a very white light. He
rushes towards Her to support Her, and he exclaims: You are like Jesus when He
became transfigured on Tabor!15 Your flesh is shining like the moon! You are light!
But You are not Jesus. He, being God, besides being Man, could stand by Himself, there,
upon Tabor, as He did here, on the Mount of Olives, when He as-cended16. You cannot.
You cannot stand. Come. I will help You to lay Your tired blessed body on Your little
bed. Rest. And he lovingly leads Her towards the poor bed, on which Mary lies without
even taking off Her mantle.
Folding Her arms across Her breast, closing Her eyelids on Her kind eyes, bright with
love, She says to John who is bent over Her: I am in God. And God is in Me17. While I
contemplate Him and feel His embrace, say the psalms, and any other pages of the
Scriptures which become Me, particularly in this hour. The Spirit of Wisdom will point
them out to you. Then say the prayer of My Son, repeat the words of the announcing
Archangel, and of Elizabeth to Me, and My hymn of praise I will follow you with what
I still have of Myself on the Earth
John struggles against the tears that rise from his heart... His beautiful voice, as years
have gone by, has become very like that of Jesus. Mary notices this with a smile, saying:
I seem to have My Jesus beside Me! He intones psalm one hundred and eighteen 18 which he says almost entirely - then the first three verses of psalm forty-one19, the first
eight of psalm thirty-eight20, psalm twenty-two21, and psalm one22. He then says the Our
Father23, the words of Gabriel and Elizabeth24, the canticle of Tobias25, and the twentyfourth chapter of Ecclesiasticus - from verse eleven to forty-six26. Lastly, he intones the
"Magnificat"27. But when he arrives at verse nine, he notices that Mary does not breathe
any more, although She is still natural in Her posture and appearance, smiling, peaceful,
as if She had not noticed that life had stopped.
Hail Mary...
John, with a heart-rending cry, throws himself on the floor against the edge of the bed,
and calls and calls Mary. He cannot convince himself that She is no longer able to reply
to him, and that Her body is now deprived of the vital soul He bends over Her face still fixed in an expression of supernatural joy - and tears stream copiously from his eyes
on that sweet face, and on those pure hands so gently folded on Her breast. These tears
are the only washing that Mary's body had: those of the Apostle of love, and of Her son
by adoption - by Jesus' will28.
When the first transport of sorrow is over, John - remembering Mary's wish - picks up
the edges of Her wide linen mantle and the edges of the veil, hanging from the pillow.
He spreads the former over Her body, and the latter on Her head. Mary is now like a
statue of white marble, laid on the cover of a stone coffin. John contemplates Her at some
length, and more tears fall from his eyes as he does so.
Then he rearranges the room, removing all superfluous furniture. He leaves only the
bed, the little table against the wall on which he places the chest with the relics - a stool
that he places near the door leading to the terrace, the bed on which Mary is lying, and a
shelf with a lamp on it. John then lights the lamp, as it is beginning to get dark.
He hurries down to Gethsemane, to pick as many flowers as he can, and some branches
of olive-trees, with olives already on them. He comes back up to the little room, and in
the light of the lamp, he arranges the flowers and the branches around Mary's body, as if
it were in the centre of a huge wreath...
(He then pours his heart out to Her as though She were still alive. Then after he has
arranged everything)
37

He sits on the stool, placing the lamp on the floor, near the little bed; and he
contemplates the body lying on it, praying...
Hail Mary...
(It is much later...)
How many days have gone by? It is difficult to ascertain. If one judges by the flowers
that form a crown around the dead body, one should say that only a few hours have gone
by. But if one judges by the olive branches on which the fresh flowers are lying branches with leaves al-ready withered - and by the other withered flowers lying like
relics on the cover of the chest, one must conclude that some days have now gone by.
But Mary's body is exactly the same as it was when She breathed Her last. There is no
trace of death on Her face, or on Her little hands. There is no unpleasant smell in the
room. On the contrary, an undefinable scent - like that of incense, of lilies, of roses, of
lilies of the valley, of mountain herbs, all mixed together - hangs in the air of the room.
I wonder for how many days John has been awake, and has fallen asleep, overcome by
tiredness...
It must be already dawn, because in its faint light, the terrace and the olive-trees
surrounding the house are visible. The light becomes stronger and stronger, and as it
penetrates through the door, it makes more dis-tinct the objects in the room...
Hail Mary...
All of a sudden a strong light fills the room. It is a silvery light, shaded with blue,
almost phosphoric. And it becomes more and more intense, making the light of dawn and
of the lamp vanish. It is a light like the one that flooded the Grotto in Bethlehem at the
moment of the divine Nativity. Then, in this light of Paradise, angelic creatures show
themselves, with a light even brighter than the already strong light that appeared first.
Just as it happened when the angels appeared to the shepherds 29, a dance of sparks, of all
shades, bursts forth from their gently moving wings - which emit a harmonious murmur,
as sweet as if it were played by a harp.
The angelic creatures place themselves around the little bed. They bend over it, lift the
immobile body, and flap their wings more vigorously, increasing the sound that existing
previously. And they go away through a passage opened miraculously in the roof, as
miraculously as Jesus' Sepulchre was opened 30. They take with them the body of their
Queen. It is a Most Holy Body, it is true, but it is not yet glorified. Therefore it is still
subject to the laws of matter, to which the Christ was not subject, because He was already
glorified when He rose from the dead. The sound made by the angelic wings increases,
and it is now as powerful as the sound of an organ.
Hail Mary...
(The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta, pp. 385-7)
(In a separate vision, Maria describes the crowd of angels coming out of the roof of the
tiny house...)
... The angels are luminous, handsome, animated. They neither sing nor speak. They all
seem to be absorbed in a loving occupation, which causes their faces to blaze with joy.
Remaining in a bent posture - as though standing around a hole - they observe. Then they
spread out their pearly wings and form two lines. Their smiles broaden, and their lilywhite, pearly, diamond light turns brighter I would say that the angels light absorbs
the dawn, as well as the rays from the last stars and the last moonbeams. The moon, still
visible, is like a thin sickle, in a sky that is turning brighter...
Then, like a wave overflowing a dam, an intense radiance flashes from the top of the
(little house), which is surging with angels heads and wings and bodies. I can see our
Mother in their midst. They are carrying Her in their arms.
38

She seems like a child, sleeping, and dreaming sweet dreams. She is completely
dressed in white, or rather a pearly grey, of brand new, very fine linen. She is wearing a
coat, a veil, and a long train of fine linen that might be Her winding sheet. Her face is no
darker that the linen - it seems made of magnolia buds - and Her delicate eyelashes draw
two some-what dark commas on Her snow white face. Her hands are joined on Her
maternal womb, as high as the stomach, with Her fingertips pointing towards Her groins.
These hands seem to be shielding the womb which was sanctified by Gods Incarnation.
They also seem like magnolia petals, laying on Her snowy clothing.
Hail Mary...
Mary seems asleep. Her head, leaning slightly to the right, is sup-ported by an angel. He
is filled with veneration, as befits someone carrying an important relic. A smile has
remained on Marys face. It may have been left behind by Her last, loving thought.
Some of the angels rise, carrying the sacred Burden, while the others surround Her,
forming a crown. Mary is being flown in the turquoise air, towards the last stars and the
pale moon. The world is not aware that its Queen is being taken to Her throne.
I can see the angelic cohort as it soars. The cohorts ranks are swollen by many angels,
coming down swiftly from the serene sky to meet them, in a holy haste to venerate their
Queen. As the earth becomes more distant I can see... how small it is! It is a handful of
dirty mud... As Heaven draws nearer, I can see that Mary is emerging from Her deep
slumber, and seems just about to awaken. Her face colours slightly, like the face of
someone coming out of a swoon. Her lips, parting as She begins to breathe more deeply,
turn a redder blue.
Hail Mary...
The sky is completely pink in the east. The first sunbeam shines forth. It is not aimed at
the earth, but, flashing like lightning, it reaches the One being assumed in the sky. It
embraces Her, and clothes Her with a most delicate, coral-like glow - yellowish and
pinkish at the same time. It is a warm kiss, calling Her. Mary slowly opens her sky-blue
eyes, while the sky - so close to Her - sur-rounds Her with its blue depths. By now the
handful of mud, the earth, is no longer visible. It has disappeared, with all its miseries.
Marys eyes are opened; She can see the angels ... She smiles, and sees the angels smile.
She lifts Her eyes higher and higher, until She sees Gods glory. She stands up... The
angels hardly need guide Her, but they remain around Her. It appears that She no longer
needs any support to be assumed. She is already the Queen of Heaven. The angels are
only spiritual servants, sur-rounding Her, to smile at Her.
Mary, standing straight, is happy. Her hands are crossed above Her, in an act of
adoration. The cohort of an-gels sing in the midst of their now unbearable light.
At this point, Mary is also a dazzling light. Her veil, train and tunic are no longer linen:
they are immat-erial clothing, spun from diamonds and embroidered with pearls, such as
I always see on Her. Her beauty is increased with indescribable majesty. She seems to be
younger, eternally young. She is no older than Her Son and Lord. In the angels midst,
Jesus is coming to greet Her. She seems to be Beauty at the side of Majesty.
The Heavens close behind the procession, which has entered amidst incandescent
flames, of love, and of heavenly harmonies.
Hail Mary...
(The Poem Vol. 5, pp. 935-8)
(Going back in time, John has been disturbed by the light, the current of air from the
open roof, and the sounds. He realises that a wonderful event has taken place. He runs
out on the terrace, and looks upwards...)
And he sees. He sees the body of Mary - still deprived of life, and completely identical
to that of a person asleep - that ascends higher and higher, supported by the angelic
39

group Some flowers - the ones that John had placed and renewed round the body of
Mary, and which have certainly remained among the folds of Her garments - rain on the
terrace and on the ground of Gethsemane. And the mighty hosanna of the angelic group
moves further and further away, and becomes fainter.
John continues to stare at that body that rises towards Heaven, and, certainly through a
prodigy granted to him by God - to comfort him, and to reward him for his love for his
adoptive Mother - he distinctly sees Mary, enveloped now in the beams of the rising sun.
She comes out of the ecstasy that had separated Her soul from Her body. She becomes
alive, standing on Her feet, as She now enjoys the gifts typical of bodies already
glorified.
John looks, and looks. The miracle granted to him by God enables him - against all
natural laws - to see Mary as She is now, while She rapidly ascends towards Heaven. She
is surrounded - but no longer helped to ascend - by the angels singing hosannas. And
John is enraptured by that vision of beauty. It is a vision that no pen of man, and no
human word or work of artist, will be ever able to describe or reproduce, because it is of
indescribable beauty...
And the God-Love31 grants a last supreme prodigy to His perfect loving disciple: to see
the meeting of the Most Holy Mother with Her Most Holy Son. Splendid and shining as
well, handsome with indescribable beauty also, Jesus descends rapidly from Heaven,
meets His Mother, and presses Her to His heart. And together, more shining than two
major planets, He returns with Her, whence He came32.
Hail Mary...
(His vision over, Johns joy now exceeds his sorrow. He thanks God for allowing him to
witness the re-uniting of Mary and Jesus. Then he gathers up the flower petals and other
remnants remaining on the little bed, and says to himself:)
They will serve to assist and comfort my brothers, for whom I have awaited in vain.
Sooner or later I will find them
(He puts them in the chest, closes the lid, and says:)
Now everything is also accomplished for me! Now I can go freely, wherever the Spirit
of God will lead me. I can go! And sow the Divine Word that the Master gave me, so
that I may give it to men. And teach Love. Teach them so that they may believe in Love,
and in its power... I, now that I no longer have the Master and the Mother to love on the
Earth, will go and spread love among the nations. Love will be my weapon and my
doctrine. And be means of it, I will defeat the demon and heathenism, and will conquer
many souls. I will thus continue the work of Jesus and Mary, Who were perfect love on
the Earth.
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

THE FIFTH GLORIOUS


MYSTERY:
THE CORONATION OF MARY, QUEEN OF HEAVEN
Our Father...
(The Poem, Vol. 5, pp. 942-3)
(Mary describes Her entry into Heaven...)
The approach of the Eternal Love had the sign that I expected. Everything became
devoid of light and colour, voice and presence. And the brightness and the Voice 40

descending from Heaven, and open to My spiritual sight - were coming down upon Me to
take My soul. People say that I would have rejoiced at being assisted, in that hour, by My
Son. But My sweet Jesus was indeed present with the Father, when the Love - that is, the
Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Eternal Trinity - kissed Me for the third time in My
life. It was a kiss so powerfully divine that My soul exhaled, becoming lost in
contemplation, like a drop of dew absorbed by the sun in the calyx of a lily. And I
ascended with My spirit, singing hosannas to the feet of the Three, Whom I had always
worshipped.
Hail Mary...
I was like a pearl in a setting of fire, assisted at first and then followed, by the
procession of the angelic spirits, who had come to assist Me in My eternal celestial birth.
I was expected by My Jesus - even before the threshold of Heaven - and on its threshold,
by My just earthly spouse, by the Kings and Patriarchs of My stock, and by the first
saints and martyrs. Then, at the right moment, I entered as Queen - after so much grief,
and after living so much humility, being the poor maid of God - into the kingdom of
infinite delight. And Heaven closed again on the joy of having Me, of having its Queen,
the only one Whose mortal flesh was acquainted with glorification, before the final
resurrection and the last judgement33.
Hail Mary...
(Notebooks 1943, pp. 587-9)
(In a separate dictation to Maria Valtorta, Mary says:)
My humility did not allow me to think of so much glory, reserved for me in
Heaven.
In my thought was the certainty that my human flesh, made holy by having borne
God, would not undergo corruption. For God is Life, and when He fills a being with
Himself, He is like an aroma, protecting (this being) from death. Not only had I been
fused with Him in a chaste and fertile embrace, but I had been pervaded, in the most
hidden recesses, by the origins of the Divinity which was concealed in my womb, and
which was intent on covering Himself with mortal flesh.
Hail Mary...
But I did not think that the goodness of the Eternal should have reserved, for his
Handmaid, to feel again - on my members - the touch of the hand of my Son, his
embrace, and his kiss. Nor to hear his voice again with my ears, to see his face with my
eyes, and to experience anew the joy of caressing Him. No, I did not think that this would
be granted to me at once, nor that I deserved it. It sufficed for me that these blessings
should be granted to my spirit, and that my happiness as a blessed one would already be
full.
Hail Mary...
But as a witness to his creative thought regarding man, God wanted me in Heaven
in soul and body. I am the certain witness to what God had conceived and willed for man.
He had conceived an innocent life, unaware of sin, and a placid passage from this life to
the complete Life. Like some-one crossing the threshold of a house to enter a royal
palace, the complete being would pass from the sun of the earthly paradise, to the Sun of
the heavenly Paradise, increasing the perfection of the person - in flesh and in spirit with the full Light, which is in the Heavens.
Hail Mary...
When taken up to the glory of Heaven, God the Father set Me before the Patriarchs, the
Saints, the Angels, and the Martyrs. And He said, This is the perfect work of the Creator,
which is what I created in my image and likeness. This is the result of a divine, creative
41

masterpiece, the wonder of the Universe, which sees enclosed in a single being the divine
in the immortal spirit. This is like God: spiritual, intelligent, and virtuous; and it is like
the animal: in the most perfect flesh, to which every other living being in the three realms
of Creation bends. This is the witness to my love for man, for whom I created the perfect
organism, and the blessed destiny of an eternal life in my King-dom.
Hail Mary...
(God the Father continues:) This is the witness to my Forgiveness for man, to
whom - by virtue of a three-fold love - I have granted rehabilitation in my sight. This is
the mystical touchstone. This is the link between God and man. This is She who takes
time back to the first days, and gives my divine eye the joy of contemplating Eve - whom
I created, as I created her - and now rendered even more beautiful. Because She is the
Mother of my Son, and of the Martyr of Forgiveness. From her Heart, which knew no
stain, I open the treasures of Heaven. And for her head, which knew no pride, I make my
Radiance into a crown. And I crown Her, for She is holy to Me, so that She will be your
Queen.
Hail Mary...
(Mary says:)
"Maria, there are no tears in Heaven. But (there is something which compensates for)
the joyful weeping the spirits would have had, if they had been granted to weep There
was a sparkling of lights, a col-our change of splendor into more vivid splendors, a
burning of fires of charity in a more brightly inflamed fire, and an unsurpassed,
indescribable sounding of harmonies. The voice of my Son joined itself to all these, in
praise for both God the Father, and for the Servant of God, eternally blessed.
Hail Mary...
(Notebooks 1944, pp. 315-6)
(Maria Valtorta describes how she was given, through the eyes of her spirit, a sublime
vision of Paradise:)
the unbearable splendour of the Holy Spirit,
the incomparable Light of God the Father,
the glorified Person of Jesus, and then
the heavenly beauty of Mary)
Mary was standing between the Father and the Son, with Her hands - Her gentle,
snow-white, small and very lovely hands - crossed over Her breast. Her face - a tender,
perfect, loving, and very delicate face - was slightly raised.
Filled with veneration, Mary was looking at the Father. She did not say a word. But
Her whole gaze was a voice of adoration, prayer, and song.
Filled with love, She then looked at Her Jesus. Every caress of Her soft eyes was
saying, "I love You!"
From time to time She would lift up Her face, and gaze even more, to seek out the
Love that was shining high above Her. And then its dazzling light became ignited. She
would receive the kiss of Love, the Spirit would flame forth more brightly, and Mary's
gaze would merge with His splendors.
Mary would then turn her glance back to the Father and the Son. It seemed that, having
been made the repository of Love, She was distributing it. (What a poor image I convey!
I shall state it better.) It seemed that the Spirit was choosing Her to be the one who,
gathering all Love into Herself, would then bear it to the Father and the Son, so that the
Three would join and kiss one another, becoming One. Oh, the joy of comprehending this
poem of love! And to see the mission of Mary, the Seat of Love!
Hail Mary...
(Notebooks 1943, p. 589)
42

(Just before Christmas 1943, Mary says:)


Maria, I had thought of finishing, after Christmas, this illustration of the mysteries
of the holy rosary. For without your realizing, I spoke to you about all of them, and
especially about the white ones of rejoicing, and the radiant ones of glory, since for the
purple ones there is only one name - Pain - and all of them are a single pain. But you that
love me have so many afflictions, and understand that only by forgetting the Earth for the
sake of Heaven, do these afflictions become bearable for your hearts. And I reveal to you
the lights of Heaven.
The mystical necklace is complete. I give it to you for the birthday of my Son and,
with it, my blessing and my caress.
Be good and love me. I am with you.
Hail Mary...
Glory be...
Oh my Jesus

o o 0 o o

Appendix
IMPRIMATUR BY BISHOP DANYLAK
Thirty-two years of polemics have subsided; the major issues bandied about by
various writers, for and against the authenticity of the writings of Maria Valtorta, have
been resolved. There are many questions that still await their resolution. Maria herself,
in truth and humility, could not ascribe to herself the principle authorship of the Poem
of the Man-God as it was known in the first English translations or the Gospel of
Jesus Christ as Dictated to Me as Maria requested her publishers to call this work.
Church authorities still insist that the publishers ascribe solely to Maria, the authorship,
not only of this work, but also the many other writings that issued from Marias pen
between the years 1943-1954.
And in a sense they are right, for the Church has always ascribed the human
authorship of the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and the New Covenants to the authors
whose names the different books bear, yet acknowledge the Bible as the work of the
Holy Spirit Himself. These, and so many other questions, will have to be addressed
when and if a cause for the beatification of this elect victim is presented to the Holy
See. This was the case with Padre Pio and with Don Orione of our century, and with
many saints of the earlier centuries.
Yet although the vituperatives have subsided, there are some who continue to have
problems that arose from the unsettled issues of the past.
The principal objections of the censors, that had placed The Poem of the Man-God on
the Index of Forbidden Books, were that the publishers of the first edition, purporting to
present private visions and revelations, had not submitted the work to prior
ecclesiastical censorship which is true. Further, they accused the book of
archaeological, geographical and biblical inaccuracies, of bad theology, of foppish
sentimentalism, etc., etc.
Two Servite theologians - Fr. Corrado Berti, who prepared a scholarly theological and
scriptural commentary to the second edition of the Poem, and Fr. Gabriel Roschini, a
noted Mariologist, and author of The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta
attest to the orthodoxy of the Catholic faith, the factual accuracy of the biblical
geography and archaeology described in The Poem, and the profundity of theological
43

insight in these writings. I wish to include the authority of several other reputable
scholars, many of whom were personal friends and admirers of Maria Valtorta in her
lifetime. Archbishop Carinci, secretary for many years of the Congregation for Saints;
Msgr. Lattanzi, a renowned moral theologian in his time; Card. Augustine Bea, a noted
biblical scholar and former president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission; Prof.
Corsanego, consistorial advocate for the cause of saints; and many others. For an
extensive description of notables and their comments about Maria Valtorta and her
work, cf. the second Italian edition of The Poem of the Man-God, edited and annotated
by the late Fr. Corrado Berti, Servite and professor of theology. Dr. Emilio Pisani,
editor and publisher of the writings of Maria Valtorta, continuing the work of his late
father Michele, published a review of these writings until the present, in his study, pro
and contra Maria Valtorta.
I wish to add to these testimonies my own experiences in reading these lives of Christ
and His Blessed Mother. Though gifted herself with artistic and poetic sensibility,
Marias masterly treatment of the story - that develops with the conception of the
Blessed Virgin to St. Anne, Her birth, the Annunciation and birth of Christ, the public
life of Jesus, His teachings and miracles, through the events preceding the passion,
the passion itself, the glorious Resurrection and Ascension, the Descent of the Holy
Spirit, the early life of the Church until the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
surpasses the genius of many of the great writers of world literature. Her presentation
of the cast of hundreds of characters - the profound insights into the inner life; the
psychology and emotions of Jesus as He responded to a multiple variety of situations;
Marias portrayal of the responsiveness of the apostles; the friends and foes of Jesus
transcends the capacities of even the most genial and gifted of writers. And in all of
this, she does not confuse persons, events, and places. Through her, the reader
enters into the very hearts of Jesus and His Mother. This work call it Poem or
Dictations of Jesus is not only faithful to the Gospel, but it is the Gospel of Christ
expanded. It is a gift of Christ for these, our days, when Jesus is maligned, denied,
spurned, persecuted in His Church, and in a world that is rapidly becoming
submerged in the apostasy of faith.
Listen to the testimony of the noted Mariologist, Fr. Roschini, who availed himself of
the writings of Valtorta for his course in Mariology in the 1970s at the Pontifical
Gregorian University. His course notes became the basis for his final and definitive
book on Mariology, The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta. Fr. Roschini had
been initially very standoffish to the writings of Valtorta. He had a change of heart,
overcame his initial reserve, and discovered an immense treasure of insight into the
mystery of Mary. He comments in the introduction to this, his last book on Mary (pg. 21
of the English translation), as follows: "On January 6, 1960, the Osservatore Romano
published an article about Il Poema dellUomo Dio as well as a stern censure against
it. However, in the article it frankly admitted that we can find in this work lessons in
Marian theology which show a complete knowledge of the later studies by present-day
specialists on the matter These theological lessons are written in the very terms
which a professor of our day would use
And in a footnote, Fr. Roschini adds that these officials were not even aware of Pope
Pius XIIs declaration of February 26, 1948, during a special audience he had granted
to Fr. Berti and two witnesses Fr. Andrea M. Cecchin, Prior, and Fr. Romualdo
Migliorini - all three theologians. (Cf. Osservatore Romano, Feb. 27, 1948 with the
commendation: "Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion on
its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not.")
In conclusion, as a priest and bishop of the eastern Church, as I prayed the Divine
Office of the Byzantine Church, that has faithfully preserved the names and the early
Christian traditions of the protagonists of the early apostolic community and the
disciples of Christ, I was surprised to find them alive, as real living personalities 44

friends and disciples of Jesus from His infancy, His adolescence, and the mature
years of His public life in the life of Christ.
Maria had never studied scriptures, and the archaeology and geography of Palestine.
She did not peruse the Divine Office of the Roman, still less of the eastern, Church.
The Lord accepted the generous sacrifice of her cross, and of dying to herself, and He
gave to us, through her, this precious gift of the total Gospel, for this our day.
+ Roman Danylak, titular bishop of Nyssa. Easter 1999
7 PARTS
The Birth and Hidden Life of Mary and Jesus
Chapters 1-43
The first year of the Public Life of Jesus
Chapters 44-140
The second year of the Public Life of Jesus
Chapters 141-312
The third year of the Public Life of Jesus
Chapters 313-540
Preparation for the Passion of Jesus
Chapters 541-600

10 VOLUMES, THE GOSPEL AS


REVEALED TO ME,
the new 2nd English Edition, by Maria
Valtorta.
Volume One, chapters 1-78
Volume Two, chapters 79-159
Volume Three, chapters 160225
Volume Four, chapters 226295
Volume Five, chapters 296363

Passion and Death of Jesus


Chapters 601-615

Volume Six, chapters 364-432

Glorification of Jesus and Mary


Chapters 616-651

Volume Seven, chapters 433500

Farewell to the Work


Chapter 652

Volume Eight, chapters 501554

http://drbo.org/dnl/
Maria_Valtorta_Summa_Encyclopedia.pdf

Volume Nine, chapters 555600

To find much by way of text and audio of Maria


Valtorta, look up:
http://www.retreat-resources.com/

Volume Ten, chapters 601652


---------------------------------------------------

to read all ten volumes of the new edition on your


5 volumes--THE POEM OF THE MANKindle, download from:
GOD
https://archive.org/details/MariaValtorta
by Maria Valtorta, the first English
THEGOSPELASREVEALEDTOMEVol.7
Edition, is now

replaced by the new 2nd English


Edition.
Here are the 5 volume #'s and
chapters for POEM OF THE MAN-GOD
Vol. 1 chapters 1-140
Vol. 2 chapters 141-274
Vol. 3 chapters 275-413
Vol. 4 chapters 414-538
Vol. 5 chapters 539-647
This information is very helpful to
those who
wish to replace missing volumes
of POEM with the
new 2nd English Edition, THE
GOSPEL AS REVEALED TO ME, by
Maria Valtorta.
POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, is no longer
being reprinted.

45

With the 1991 publication of the 5th volume of The Poem of the Man-God,
Masterwork of the modern Italian mystic, Maria Valtorta [1897-1961], the English
translation is now complete and is rapidly being disseminated and acclaimed in the
western hemisphere, especially among the Laity. Many, indeed, who have read it
with an open mind and solid commitment, hail it as a singular gift of Divine Mercy
to modern man and the Church of our times. The Poem is a voluminous Life of
Christ and His Mother which Valtorta affirms was revealed to her in Visions given
her by Christ. It also contains random Commentaries on these Visions, dictated by
Christ or Mary. Essentially, then, it is the gospel, but considerably amplified,
"fleshed out" with all the details and personages that doubtless initially
accompanied the basic skeletal synopsis handed down to us in the New Testament.

At Least 28 Bishops Have Approved, Endorsed, or Praised the writing of Maria


Valtorta (Bishops Representing 11 Different Countries) Those who have
approved/endorsed/praised the Poem of the Man-God include: Pope Pius XII, 22
Extremely Learned Clerics or Doctors of Theology/Divinity/Canon Law, 4
Cardinals, 6 Members or Consultants of the Holy Office/Congregation for the
Causes of Saints, 14 Archbishops 6 Saints/Blesseds/Venerables/Servants of God, 10
Regular Bishops, 16 University Professors
After the Holy Bible and the most sacred perennial books of the Catholic Faith (the
Summa Theologica, etc.), there is perhaps no greater book that exists in the world
today than the Poem of the Man-God, and I think it is truly impossible for any
person of good will to not only highly benefit from reading it; but I would go so far
as to say that any person of good will who reads it will almost certainly have his life
changed profoundly in some way. 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. (Blessed Gabriel Allegra, O.F.M., a
saintly missionary, world-renowned theologian, and the only beatified biblical
scholar of the 20th century) Publish it just as it is. There is no need to give an
opinion as to whether it is of supernatural origin. Those who read it will
understand. (Pope Pius XII on February 26, 1948 to Frs. Berti, Migliorini, and
Cecchin, after reviewing the Poem of the Man-God for a year) I dont advise you
to [read Maria Valtortas books] I order you to! (Saint Padre Pios answer to a
long-time spiritual daughter of his, Mrs. Elisa Lucchi, in 1967, when she asked him
in Confession, Father, I have heard mention of Maria Valtortas books. Do you
advise me to read them?) Maria Valtorta is one of the eighteen greatest mystics of
all time. (Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., world-renowned Mariologist, decorated
professor at the Marianum Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Rome, Consultor of the
Holy Office, wrote over 130 traditional/orthodox books about Our Lady) There
are hundreds of topographical names and details and of descriptions of
placeswhich only the latest research and archaeological excavations have
brought to light. Maria Valtortas Work is, in truth, inexplicable by merely
human means. (Antonio Socci, Leading Journalist & TV Show Host)
46

SOME TESTIMONIALS:
Nicholas Pende :
The first to define Valtorta's work as a "masterwork" was the illustrious [medical] clinician,
[Dr.] Nicholas Pende, who wrote:
"...for me, it is a true masterwork both from the aspect of its style as from the beauty of
its language and form."
lingering then on one detail, [he says]:
"...What has aroused in me, a physician, the greatest admirationand amazement for the
expertise with which Valtorta describes a phenomenology which only a few consummate
physicians would know how to explainis the scene of the agony of Jesus on the cross...
Pity and the greatest emotion invade the Christian reader on reading this astonishing
page, with its truly medical style, of Maria Valtorta's manuscript."
Pende's statement forms part of the historical endorsements of 1952. In that year the Work was
not yet published, but was available in typewritten fascicles which learned and authoritative
persons read, later on recording their own impressions. These are integrally related in the book
Pro e contro Maria Valtorta. From those famous endorsements, let us take some other
passages:
Archbp. Alphonsus Carinci:
"...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." [Archbishop Alphonsus Carinci: then Secretary of the
Congregation of Rites, which was later called the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints]
Camillus Corsnego:
"...I have never found [such] an ensemble of science, of art, of piety and of adherence to
the traditional teachings of the Church as in the Work on the Gospels of Signora Maria
Valtorta." [Camillus Corsnego: then dean of the consistorial advocates, and professor at the
Pontifical Lateran University.]
George La Pira:
"...there are no theological improprieties, and it is a matter of very singular interest."
[George La Pira: university professor, deputy and mayor of Florence, now "Servant of God"].
Msgr. Hugo Lattanzi:
"...these are truly splendid pages both in thought and in form; descriptions of
psychological situations worthy of Shakespeare, dialogs conducted in a Socratic manner
worthy of Plato, and descriptions of nature and the environment worthy of the most
imaginative writer." [Msgr. Hugo Lattanzi: Professor of fundamental theology at the Lateran
Pontifical University].
Msgr. Angelo Mercati:
"...I well remember the very good impression that remained with me from the reading of
the hundreds of different pages communicated to me..." [Msgr. Angelo Mercati: Prefect of
the Vatican Secret Archive].
Msgr. Maurice Raffa:
"...I found therein incomparable riches...Wanting to express a judgment on its intrinsic
and aesthetic value, I point out that to write just one of the many volumes composing the
Work, it would need an Author (who today does not exist) who would be at once a great
poet, an able biblical scholar, a profound theologian, an expert in archeology and
topography, and a profound connoisseur of human psychology."
[Msgr. Maurice Raffa: Director of the International Center of Comparison and Synthesis]
47

Professor Vitorio Tredici:


"...From a critical angle, what struck me most profoundly in the Work, was the perfect
knowledge which the writer had of Palestine and the Places where the Preaching of Our
Lord Jesus Christ unfolded. A knowledge which in so many passages surpasses normal
geographic or panoramic knowledge, directly becoming topographical and, still more,
geological and mineralogical knowledge." [Professor Vitorio Tredici, mineralogist]
In line with these 1952 endorsements of which we have reported some passages, there is a
letter from Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, archbishop of Genoa, who, on the date of March 6, 1956,
expressed himself thus:
Giuseppe Cardinal Siri:
"...my impression from reading the typescript is excellent... I would willingly read some
more. A larger volume would further substantiate a judgment, even if it be modest as
mine."
In the same year, 1956, the first printed volume of the Work 2 appeared and began its diffusion,
which has never been interrupted.
In 1973, the illustrious Mariologist, Gabriel M. Roschini, O.S.V., expressed himself thus:
"...the Mariology that emerges from the writings of Maria Valtorta has been for me a true
revelation. No other Marian writer, and not even the sum total of Marian writings that I
have read and studied, had been able to give me so clear, so living, so complete, so
luminous and so fascinating an idea simple and yet sublime of God's Masterwork
[Mary]."
One of the greatest philosophers of our day, Cornelius Fabro, in a letter of 1979, spoke of
[Valtorta's Poem] as
"a spiritual work and style among the most singular in the contemporary Church for
renewing, from within, our faith and love of the Redeemer of the world;"
and in another letter of 1981 he noted:
"...having to live amid philosophical aridity, this reading opens for me a gleam of light
even in our time of agony of spirit."

48