— I I I —
[BOLLETTINO VALTORTIANO: No. 30, July-Dec., 1984, p.ll8
— GABRIEL M. ALLEGRA, O.F.M. —
Exegete - Theologian - Missionary
We continue the publication of Valtortian Notes by Father Gabriel Allegra, begun in the preceding No. 29 [See No. II above of this dossier]. On the legibility and transposition of the text (it appears to be written at one stretch on pages of a Calendar Memorandum), the annotations set forth by us in the preceding installment are valid.)
We thank the Postulator General of the Friars Minor who continues to send us photocopies of the handwritten notes of the Servant of God on the Work of Maria Valtorta.— Emilio Pisani, Editor]
— VALTORTIAN NOTES OF FATHER ALLEGRA —
January 8, 1970:
I am pleased to see the Poem of the Man-God translated into other tongues, because I am certain that through reading it many will grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus. I entrust this desire of mine to St. Clare and to M. Lucia Mangano.
Some "holy deaths" described or hinted at in the Poem: the death of St. Joseph; of Alpheus, husband of Mary the aunt of Jesus; of Saul of Keriot; of Jonah the ex-shepherd; St. John the Baptist; Lazarus; Abraham of Engaddi; John of Endor; the Good Thief; St. Stephen....
Come, Lord Jesus!
In her tragic destiny, a powerful and moving figure in the Poem is the mother of Judas, Mary of Simon, so loved by Jesus. No poet or dramatist has ever thought up a profile so robust, so delicate and at the same time so piteous, of that unfortunate and gracious woman.
January 9, 1970:
The great Discourses of Jesus in the Poem of the Man-God are framed in the ambient and circumstances which show them to us as being more spontaneous and more natural.
The Discourses at "Clear Water" are like the true, authentic explanation of the Decalogue; the Discourse on the Mountain is the magna carta of the Kingdom of Heaven. The parables [are] scattered throughout the book and always anchored to some circumstance which has given them birth and helps to understand them in depth; the great Discourses at Jerusalem, and the continuous instructions given to the Apostles, to the men and women Disciples, make of the Poem a coffer of Heavenly treasures.
Noteworthy is the manner in which Jesus explains the Old Testament, applying it always to the present, to the messianic era already in progress and which is being accomplished.
Also the discourses of the Apostles, especially those of Peter and John, are as an echo of the thought of Jesus.... I do not believe it is wise or just to remain indifferent before such treasures.
January 10, 1970:
A moving memory: the names of some children-friends of Jesus according to the Poem of the Man-God. Jesus was attracted to and attracted children, and therefore it is impossible to weave together a list of these dear little friends of His. Nonetheless, some are especially worth recalling for reasons explained in the Poem. They are, at Capharnaum: little Benjamin; Joanna and her small brother, little Toby; little James who brought the Lord Matthew's purse... At Magdala: little Benjamin. At Corazim: Joseph, the little carpenter; and then: Mary and her little brother, Matthias, adopted by Joanna of Cusa; and above all: Marziam, the orphan-child-symbol, adopted by Peter.
Unless you become as children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 18:2).
Macau, January 11, 1970:
The instructions which the Lord gives in the Poem, although impregnated with the thoughts and the culture of that time, are at the same time accommodated to the teaching of the Catholic Church of our times.
Even admitting that Jesus, the Word Incarnate, had been able to speak thus, I prefer to think that He had repeated His Gospel to Maria Valtorta in this guise, that is, modernizing it, in order to teach us that the present doctrine of the Church constitutes His same perennial teaching. Here is the reason, I think, why the Lord gives [instruction on] the Christian tri-name: Faith, Hope, Charity; and on the constitution of the Church, however embryonic, on Her Sacraments, and especially on Mariology, Celibacy, and on the Sacrifice of the New Covenant.... these teachings which are so living and current.
A practical consequence: I am a son of the Church! I am in the Bark of Peter! Come, Lord Jesus!
Macau, January 12, 1970:
The instructions which, according to the Poem of the Man-God, Jesus gave to his cousin, James, on the summit of Carmel, are completed by the Savior in the Discourse which He holds on Tabor after the Resurrection. A Discourse or Discourses to which justly belongs the title: Speaking of the Kingdom of God [cf. Acts 1:3]. Or: A Sermon on the Kingdom of God.
The Lord limits Himself to the essential lines of His program and leaves it to the Holy Spirit to guide, illumine and fortify His Church through the ages and according to Her needs.
Whoever is in the true Church of the Lord is nourished by the Word of Jesus, illumined by His Light, moved and nourished by His Spirit.
What glory and what joy to be able to say: "I am a son of the Church!"
Macau, January 14, 1970:
The Discourse of the Lord to the Disciples on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy is a complement of the Discourse on the Mountain. That is, according to the Poem of the Man-God, the Discourse on the Mountain insists especially on the duties of the son towards the Father in the New Kingdom, while the Discourse to the Disciples insists rather on the duties of brothers toward their brothers.
Both Discourses make us feel profoundly and sweetly that the Kingdom of Heaven is one family: the Family of God. To live in this Family, in this House as sons, to love and to be loved because we are sons--this is the sublime vocation of the Christian, of one who through faith in Jesus is born of God. "But to as many as received Him, He gave them power to become sons of God...they are born of God!" (Jn 1:12, 13)
Macau, January 16, 1970:
In citing and in disputing on the Scriptures, Jesus, in the Poem of the Man-God, adapts Himself to the Italian version [of the Scriptures], even when this diverges from the original. There must be a reason here. I think it is as follows:
The divergencies always revolve around secondary points. Practically no version is very faithful to the original, but we have only some versions approved by Holy Mother Church because they are substantially faithful. Now the Lord approves of this way of acting in His Church, and hence cites or disputes by making use of a version approved by the Church (that of Fr. E. Tintori), the one which Maria Valtorta adopted. Would that the "difficult doctors" might use the Holy Scriptures with the intention with which Valtorta used them!
Jesus' way of acting confirms once again how great is the authority of the Church. St. Joan of Arc said that between the Lord and the Church there is no difference.... What to say of today's dissenters [contestatori]?
March 10, 1970:
In the New Testament there are brief hints of the apostolate of Jesus in Samaria; however those few hints contain so many things which are fully revealed in the Poem of the Man-God. Consequently, the success of the Evangelization of Samaria spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles [8:25] seems evident to me. Or at least I'll say this, that the Poem makes it more natural for me and like an expected event, given the ministry of Jesus, His Mercy, His miracles among those poor "separated brethren".
I add that--apart from the Gospel--the most beautiful parables among so many "agrapha" [unwritten], are those which the Lord pronounced in Samaria.
The reaction of the Samaritans to the Lord's message was in general more sincere than that of the Jews who, through the envy and spite of those of the Temple, refused to welcome the promised and expected Savior.
June 18, 1970 - St. Ephrem:
In the Poem of the Man-God there are three figures of seers--for the moment I do not recall the others--in whose mouths the Lord puts His own Word which is an explanation of the true mission of the Messiah and the true nature of His Kingdom.
The first is Saul of Keriot, who died on the breast of Jesus; the second is the Samaritan leper, healed together with the other nine; the third is Sabea of Beth-lechi.
The discourse of Sabea is longer, more complete, more ardent.
Against these authentic seers who related the Words of God, are opposed the discourses of some who are Satanically possessed: full of spite, blasphemy, envy. So, for example, that of Judas Iscariot when he was surprised while robbing the strongbox of Joanna of Cusa; and then, some other discourses of Elchia, of Caiaphas, of Doras.... ---The struggle between darkness and Light; the testimony given to the Light, and the testimony given to the darkness.
Since I have read and re-read the Poem of the Man-God of Maria Valtorta, I have no taste any more for biblical-gospel novels. Nonetheless, between yesterday and today I have read The Centurion of L. Whitbuley, a short story, which perhaps would have gripped me before knowing the Poem of Valtorta, but which now has only interested me for its pure and concise style, and for the good knowledge which the author possesses of Palestinian customs in the time of Jesus.
I do not like many of the "predicaments" in the plot of this [Whitbuley] novel, especially the presentation of Judas and the description of his betrayal. But since I am convinced that M. Valtorta "has seen" in a way that I have still not succeeded in explaining completely to myself, while Witbuley, like Lloyd Douglas, and others...have only rethought, as more or less great artists, the pages of the Gospel, I am not allowed to be so demanding. No one asks of apocryphal writings what only the Gospels can give us.
Go to Part IV