Emilio Pisani1 :
Maria Valtorta wrote all her works in the space of eight years: from the beginning of 1943 (with her Autobiography) to the end of 1950 (with the commentary on the Apocalypse presented in the volume The Notebooks 1945-1950). Few and sporadic were her writings after 1950, as can be seen in the little volume which we have entitled Quadernetti ["Little Notebooks"].
Her greatest work—in 10 volumes on the Gospel, fifteen thousand printed pages was spread almost entirely over four years (1944-1947), contemporaneously with other writings, and without any need of revisions.
It seems evident that the times and work methods of our writer had been absolutely inadequate for the mass of her writings, their loftiness, the complex variety of those collected in the three volumes of the Notebooks, and for the harmonious composition of the specific works (The Gospel as it was revealed to me [i.e., "The Poem..."], The Book of Azaria, Lessons on the Epistle of Paul to the Romans).
We hold that there had been two factors that made technically easy, so to speak, the literary production of Maria Valtorta. The mystical gift of "revelation" had dispensed her from exercising a creative capacity. The natural gift of literary talent had facilitated her task of expressing in a personal style whatever was represented to her.
Starting from this last fact, we can affirm that Valtorta had not only been a writer as she is usually considered to be, but in large measure she had also been an author. Because, if she had not created, she had contributed her own cultural formation and sensitivity, becoming thus an indispensable instrument. And above all she had become an instrument by having offered herself totally: with a powerful will to love, with an ascetic thoroughness and with a burden of suffering that were altogether worth much more than a creative effort.
Then, over a far greater period of time, the mission of caring for and publishing the writings of Maria Valtorta has been the material and mental labor of him who, without special gifts, had that charge legally transmitted to him.2 The transcribing, the repeated conferring with the original manuscripts, the research for the footnotes by comparing and justifying, had for half a century marked a succession of editions, always more faithful and accurate. [Thus] on a lower plane but with more human fatigue, the editor too had been an author.
These are considerations which the Ecclesiastical Authority cut short by asserting [their] absolute rights over the works of Maria Valtorta. As is known, this mainly concerns her greatest work — The Gospel [i.e., The Poem...], and after several decades, [the Church] came to approve it as a "good", permitting Catholics to read it and distribute it as it stands, without any corrections. But it did not allow that Catholics could hold it to be of supernatural origin, suggesting [instead] that the "visions" and the "dictations" were to be interpreted as literary forms which the Authoress (with capital "A") used so as to narrate "in her own way" the life of Jesus.
We could observe that, if such be the case, science will have to account for Valtorta's genius. The discourse changes, the rights remain.
VALTORTA (By the order of Jesus) :
I, Maria Valtorta, declare that all that I have written and described corresponds exactly to all that I have seen and heard, whether I wrote under dictation, or in private lessons (private lessons are those which are separate from the Pregospel - the Gospel - the Postgospel) which I have written some hours after having the lesson, being unable to write at the moment I received it either from too great a [physical] collapse, or from the presence of strangers. In this case I am always assisted by O.L.J.C. [Our Lord Jesus Christ], by Most Holy Mary, or by the Holy Spirit, Who help the weakness of my memory by repeating to me or suggesting to me how I should say it, according to whether they are words I heard or visions I viewed contemplatively.
If I myself feel that I do not have the assistance of my Most Holy Helpers, I make no attempt to write or describe [anything], but I await Their coming in order to do it, because I realize I would only know how to use words and descriptions which would not correspond perfectly to what I saw and heard, due to my incapacity to describe the supernatural visions or to repeat the sublime lessons of Wisdom, and of the Spouse and Mother of Wisdom.
Therefore let it be held for certain that whatever I have set down in my notebooks corresponds exactly to the truth.
Even in the corrections of the typescripts I have the assistance of O.L.J.C. [Our Lord Jesus Christ] in whatever is of the Gospel, and the assistance of the Holy Spirit for the other lessons (Angelic Masses4 and Pauline Epistles, or other lessons of the Bible).
And while with grateful adoration I give thanks to God and Mary for Their assistance, I declare also that whatever I have known supernaturally and set down on paper with regard to: the Life of Mary and of Her Divine Son, the Unity and Trinity of God, the Immaculate Conception of Mary and Her Virginal Maternity occurring through the work of the Holy Spirit; on Her eternal Virginal Integrity, Her blessed Assumption, the Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of the Word; on the Apostolic Church, the Sacraments, the Last Things: in short, with regard to everything that is an article of faith for the faithful Catholic—I have known these solely by supernatural means and not by myself alone, but through grace and universal salvation.
And since I have received this for everyone, I give without retaining anything of what I have received. And I give it to the [religious] Order which Jesus Christ has chosen to be the guardian and administrator of this supernatural treasure of wisdom.
God's reasons for this choice are known completely to God and to the Mother of God, Who have enumerated them to me. But I can only say a part of them—
This: that the divine Word, newly poured out and given to Humanity5 to fortify it in the hour of semi-darkness —forerunner of the hour of darkness which it is now traversing— is given to humanity as It was given to Israel through Mary and with the protection of Joseph, and again was later given by Mary to the masses: [that Word] is now given in the same way by means of the Order of the Servites of Mary—to which the little Maria, the Messenger, belongs—and with the protection of the Order, which in this case is acting as the servant of the Word like Joseph and, like Joseph, is Its protector. And it is the divine Will that the Order of [Servites] of Mary have for the same affection for the Word as did Most Holy Mary and Saint Joseph, perfect servants of God.
— NOTES —
1. Bollettino Valtortiano, No.75, January - June, 2008.
2. "...transmitted to him." —Dr. Pisani is here modestly referring to himself and his editorial work on Valtorta's writings.
3. Maria Valtorta, Quadernetti (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 2006): 107-109.
4. "Angelic Masses"
—probably a reference to VALTORTA's, The Book of Azariah,
Trans., David G. Murray, Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl (Viale
Piscicelli, 03036 Isola del Liri, 1993). In this work Valtorta's Guardian
Angel, Azariah, dictates commentaries on the Propers of various Festive
Masses of the pre-Vatican II [Tridentine] Missal.