Maria Valtorta was an Italian Catholic mystic who is famous for her personal holiness and her extensive writings, the most notable of them being the Poem of the Man-God (now entitled The Gospel as Revealed to Me in the newest edition). This work is similar in some ways to Venerable Mary of Agreda’s Mystical City of God and Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s writings on the life of Jesus and Mary. However, it is unique in that it surpasses both of these works in its volume, its level of detail, its ability to be scientifically analyzed and even proven by science, and its significance for our times.
Maria Valtorta was born in 1897 in Caserta, Italy. In her youth, she had the fortune of receiving a strong classical education, before moving to Viareggio, Italy, in 1924, where she spent most of her remaining life. Maria Valtorta was a member of the Third Order Servites of Mary. She was well educated, industrious, intelligent, and gifted.
In 1920, at the age of 23, while walking down the street with her mother, she was struck in the back with an iron bar by a communist anarchist delinquent. She was confined to a bed for three months, and then recovered enough to be able to move around again.
In 1925, she read the autobiography of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and, inspired by it, offered herself as a victim soul to the Divine Merciful Love. Five years later, she took private vows of virginity, poverty, and obedience, and then (after much deliberation and preparation) offered herself also as a victim to Divine Justice.
God accepted her offer. As a result of complications from her injury in 1920, as well as having contracted numerous, terrible illnesses which caused her great pain, she was bedridden beginning in 1934, and was forced to remain bedridden for the remaining 28 years of her life. She suffered excruciatingly.
An article relates the events of her visions and dictations (in-text additions are in brackets):
On the morning of Good Friday, April 23, 1943, she reported a sudden voice speaking to her and asking her to write. From her bedroom Maria called for Marta Diciotti [her live-in companion], showed her the sheet in her hands and said that something extraordinary had happened. Marta called Father Migliorini [Maria’s spiritual director] regarding the dictation 2 Maria had reported and he arrived soon thereafter. Father Migliorini asked her to write down anything else she received and over time provided her with notebooks to write in. Thereafter, Maria wrote almost every day until 1947 and intermittently in the following years until 1951. She would write with a fountain pen in the notebook resting on her knees and placed upon the writing board she had made herself. She did not prepare outlines, did not even know what she would write from one day to another, and did not reread to correct. At times she would call Marta to read back to her what she had written.
One of Maria’s declarations reads: “I can affirm that I have had no human source to be able to know what I write, and what, even while writing, I often do not understand.”
Her notebooks were dated each day, but her writing was not in sequence, in that some of the last chapters of The Poem of the Man God were written before the early chapters, yet the text flows smoothly between them.
From 1943 to 1951, Valtorta produced [13,193] handwritten pages in 122 notebooks. She wrote her autobiography in 7 additional notebooks. [Her total writings include a series of almost 700 visions of Jesus’ earthly life with Mary, the Apostles, and many of His contemporaries, about 800 dictations from Jesus, and around 300 other revelations, many of which were from Our Lady and her guardian angel.]
These handwritten pages became the basis of her major work, The Poem of the Man God, [which] constitute[s] about two thirds of her [total] literary work. The visions give a detailed account of the life of Jesus from His [Conception to His Ascension, and the life of Mary from her Immaculate Conception to her Assumption] with more elaboration than the Gospels provide. For instance, while the Gospel includes a few sentences about the wedding at Cana, the text includes a few pages and narrates the words spoken among the people present. [Another example: the Passion is around five pages in the canonized Gospels, but it is almost 200 pages in the Poem of the Man-God. Approximately 98.5% of all the Gospel passages in the canonized Scriptures that relate the lives of Jesus and Mary have been described in unprecedented detail in her visions – including the spoken words, parables, and lessons of Jesus – in addition to an abundance of previously unrecorded events]. The visions describe the many journeys of Jesus throughout the Holy Land, and His conversations with [multitudes] of people, [including His Mother Mary, the Apostles, and over 500 different personalities of Jewish, Roman, Greek, Philistine, and Samaritan nationalities. The Poem of the Man-God contains visions covering approximately 500 days of the 1200-day period comprising Jesus’ Public Ministry (this amounts to covering 3 approximately 42% of the total days of His 3 year, 4 month long Public Ministry). The Poem describes in detail 179 miracles Jesus performed, only 30 of which are mentioned in the canonized Gospels; and it gives 97 parables in full (most of which are pages long), only 39 of which are summarized in the canonized Gospels.]