– From the Mystical Revelations of Maria Valtorta –
Christ, however, obviously confirmed the existence of angels and demons —the former by His references to them in the Gospels, and the latter, by His casting them out. But if one assumes that He too was culturally conditioned to such a "naive" belief, as some scholars seem to hold, faith in His claim to Divinity and Divine knowledge is thereby undermined.
Is it not a Divine irony then that academia's rationalistic mind-set today is now embarrassingly confronted with a widespread "grass-roots" revival of belief in the angelic world? With its intervention in our own modern world even as in biblical times? Such is the witness of popular books like Joan Wester Anderson's Where Angels Walk,2 and Where Miracles Happen,3 as also Sophy Burnham's, A Book of Angels,4 all of which chronicle apparent angelic interventions in modern-day life.
The three selections presented here are three Dictations given to Maria Valtorta by her own Guardian Angel, "Azariah", and have been specially translated from Valtorta's I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950 [Notebooks 1945 to 1950]. In these selections, Azariah teaches Valtorta (and us) the purpose and mission of our Guardian Angels. At a later time, Azariah would also give a long series of further Dictations to Valtorta containing his profound commentaries on the Proper parts of the Sunday Masses and greater feasts of the pre-Vatican II Roman missal. (These commentaries are now available in English translation in The Book of Azariah.5)
Perhaps the selections offered here will help reinforce and confirm the "unlearned" in their renewed interest and faith in angels which today's rationalistic scholarship continues to debunk and demolish.
– I –
If I do not write of my nocturnal joy I am going to be sick!
So: We laid down at 12:15 a.m., and Martha7 slept at once. And when she sleeps...she really sleeps! I took up the Holy Relic and prepared to make a solitary prayer against Satan for myself and for her, since I felt Satan was more intent on roving around my house. After I said the act of contrition, I made a spiritual Communion, then the prayer: "Here I am, beloved and good Jesus... I am going to consider Your five Wounds, etc. etc." And then that of the Cross, and also the Act of Offering, as I do every evening. I end with a "Gloria" for the Holy Archangels and Angels, and finally my Guardian Angel. While I am saying these last prayers to him, I interrupt myself to say to him: "But what are you called? You too will have a name! I call you my "interior adviser". But I want to call you by a name."
He appears to me at the right side of the bed, toward the foot and, all smiles, promptly says: "Azariah".8
He smiles once again and says: "You are unsure of me? Let's say together the 'Veni Sancte Spiritus' ['Come Holy Spirit'] and seven 'Gloria's' ['Glory be's...'], as I taught you for years in order to find an answer and guidance from the Holy Spirit in every need. And then open the Bible at random. The first name that you see is mine."
I say the prayer with him and then open the Bible. It opens for me at page 596 – II Chronicles, Chapter 15: "Azariah, son of Obed...", etc. etc.
The angel, always smiling, says: "And you will find the meaning of the name in the Book of Tobias, in the notes at the bottom of the page."9
I run to the Book of Tobias. I find at the foot of Chapter 5: "Azariah" means "help of the Lord," therefore Azariah, son of Anania means: "Help of the Lord, son of the goodness of the Lord."
The angel says: "So it is" and smiles, looking sweetly at me.
I observe him: tall, handsome, with dark chestnut hair, a slightly round face, perfect in its lines and color, dark chestnut eyes: large, gentle, very beautiful. I observe him in his loose garment: a straight tunic, very white, very beautiful, without belt or cloak, with large sleeves and square neck hole. The garment is white and silver. The bottom is silver-colored, slightly bluish; the precious brocade embossment of this garment is a luminous white, whiter than any snow or petal that was ever formed. And the embossment is all in running [rows] of lily stems with open cups. They go in a direction thus: [diagonally from top to bottom]10 –in such a way that the angel seems to be wrapped with a bundle of lilies in bloom. At the neck, on the sleeves and on the bottom, are lines of silver.
I say: "The same garment of January 4, 1932, and the same appearance!"
"Yes," [he says], "it is I. And if at other times I appeared to you with three holy colors, it is to remind you that the Guardian [Angel] watches above all over the life of the three theological virtues in the spirit that he guards."
I contemplate him again and again by myself, saying and relishing his name the whole night of bitter suffering and without a shadow of sleep...
From now on the "interior adviser" will therefore be indicated with the name of Azariah, because, as he said to me in greeting me before annihilating himself to my spiritual gaze: "Every guardian angel is an Azariah: a help of the Lord who, in special cases, manifests himself by God's order and for His glory."
1. Catechism of the Catholic
Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, (Città del Vaticano, 1994).
English Translation, United States Catholic Conference, Inc., (1994), Nos. 328,
334, 336. And cf. St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III,1: PG 29, 656B.
2. Joan Wester ANDERSON, Op. cit., Ballentine Books, (New York, 1994).
3. Joan Wester ANDERSON, Op. cit., Barton & Brett, Publishers, Inc. (Sea Cliff, NY, 1992).
4. Sophy BURNHAM, Op. cit., Ballentine Books, (New York, 1990).
5. Maria VALTORTA, The Book of Azariah, Trans., David G. Murray, Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl (Viale Piscicelli, 03036 Isola del Liri, 1993).
6. Maria VALTORTA, I Quaderni dal 1945 al 1950, Ed. Emilio Pisani, Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (Isola del Liri, 1985), pp. 209-210.
7. "Martha" -- is Martha Diciotti, Valtorta's live-in friend who cared for all of Valtorta's physical and medical needs for the last 26 years of her life as a bed-ridden invalid, till her death in October 1961. Martha then continued to live in Valtorta's house until her own physical deterioration required placement in a nursing home, where she recently died peacefully in the Lord on February 5th, 2001.
8. See "Introductory Note" and Note 5. above.
9. Azariah's reference to the "bottom of the page" refers of course to the popular Italian bible Valtorta used. But the same explanation may well be found in any English bible (e.g., the Douay-Rheims) in the footnotes for Chapter 5.
10. Here, in the original Italian, Valtorta has drawn a picture of Azariah's garment to visibly depict her description.
– I I –
[Here Azariah himself is dictating to Valtorta]
It is thought that a Guardian Angel's mission ceases with the death of the Angel's ward. That is not always so. It does cease as a result of the death of an impenitent sinner, and with the supreme sorrow of the Guardian Angel of that sinner who did not repent. [But] at the death of a saint who passes from Earth to Paradise without a stop for purgation, his Angel is transfigured in a joyous and eternal glory. For those, however, who pass from Earth to Purgatory in order to expiate and be purified, the Angel's mission continues as it was: as a protection which intercedes and loves the soul entrusted to it. Then we, your Guardian Angels, pray with charity for all of you before the throne of God. And united to our prayers of love we present the suffrages which are applied to you on Earth by parents and friends. Oh! I cannot say enough about how vivid, active and sweet is the bond which still unites us to you souls being purged. Like mothers who smooth the way for the return to health of a son who was sick and is convalescing; like brides who count the days that separate them from reunion with an imprisoned bridegroom, so are we. We do not cease for even a moment to observe the divine loving Justice and your souls which are cleansed amid the fires of love. And we are jubilant in seeing how that Love is always more pleased toward you, and you always more worthy of His Kingdom. And when the Light orders us: "Go draw that soul out to bring it here," more swiftly than an arrow we hurl ourselves down into Purgatory to bring a moment of Paradise —which is faith, which is hope, which is comfort for those who still remain to expiate there. And we clasp to ourselves the beloved soul for which we worked and suffered, and we rise up with it, teaching it the Paradisal Hosanna.
The two sweet moments in the mission of the Guardians, the two sweetest moments, are when Charity says to us: "Descend, because a new man is begotten and you must guard him as a gem which belongs to Me;"and when we can rise up with you to Heaven. But the first moment is less than the second. The other moments of joy are your victories over the world, the flesh and the demon. But how we tremble for your frailty when we take you under our guardianship, and so too we throb after your every victory, because the Enemy of the Good is vigilant and tries to pull down what the spirit constructs. Therefore the moment in which we enter with any of you into Heaven is joyous, perfect in its joy. Because nothing more can destroy what is now complete.
And now, my soul, I answer your intimate questioning of yourself: whether God is content that there is another Guardian2 in your house. O you who never ask us questions, but keep your spirit open: unknown to you and without your will, your desire itself sometimes writes upon your spirit stronger questions —questions you refrain from asking out of that worthy respect which too few have for the Supernatural Which has lowered Itself upon you: know that it is sweet to answer one like you and to give you comfort, O soul dear to God and tormented by men.
Yes, God is content. Content because in your house there is an angel who is happy to watch over a soul just created: a gem of God. And God is content because Jesus is He who loved children..., and the rest I say to your soul [only]. Let it remain between us as a secret so beautiful that it is useless to reveal it to the world, which does not know how to comprehend the joys of God and the souls of God.
1. Maria VALTORTA, I Quaderni
dal 1945 al 1950, Ed. Emilio Pisani, Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (Isola
del Liri, 1985), pp. 461-462.
2. In a footnote here in the original Italian, the editor, Pisani, says that perhaps the reference is to the Guardian Angel of a newborn baby brought to Valtorta four months previously by its parents, Valtorta's neighbors, who lived in the house next to Valtorta's.
– I I I –
[Valtorta introduces this Dictation as "Consolations for my soul... She continues: "Again, following [are] his explanations on the Guardian Angels (the other one is of July 16 1947 [see No. II preceding]), Holy Azariah says":]
Another action of the Guardian Angel is that of being constantly and marvelously active near God. He listens to God's orders and offers Him the good actions of his ward, presents and supports the latter's petitions, and intercedes in his punishments. And near man–for whom he supernaturally makes himself a teacher–the Angel's action guides him unceasingly on the straight path, with inspirations, lights and attractions toward God.
Oh! our fires, which are the fires of that Charity Who created us and Who invests us with His ardor –we converge them on our wards, just as the sun does on the clod that encloses a seed, to warm it and make it grow, and later upon the stem to strengthen it and make it become a stalk and a robust plant. With our fires we comfort you, warm you, strengthen, illumine, teach you, and draw you to the Lord. But then if the stubborn coldness and hardness of the soul do not let us penetrate and conquer it, if the charitable harmony of our teachings are not welcomed, but rather fled to pursue the noisy, hellish music that dazzles and causes madness, then we are not to blame. For us there is sorrow for the failure of our loving action on the soul we love, after God, with all our capacity.
We are therefore always near our ward, whether a saint or a sinner. From [the moment of] the infusion of the soul into the flesh, until the separation of the soul from the flesh, we are near the human creature whom the Most High Lord entrusted to us. And this thought, that every man has an angel near, should help all of you to love your neighbor, to support him, to welcome him with love, with respect –if not for himself, then for the invisible "Azariah" who is near him and who, as an angel, always deserves respect and love.
If each of you would think that, besides the omnipresent Eye of God, two spiritual angels preside and note your every action toward your neighbor, and that they rejoice or suffer over what you do, how much better you would always be toward your neighbor! Think: either you welcome a person, you honor him, or you mortify him; you help him or reject him; you sin with him or draw him away from sin; you are instructed by him and instruct him, you benefit him or you are benefited by him... and two angels, yours and his, are present and see not only your visible actions but the truth of your actions, that is, if you do them with true love or with feigned love, or with spite and scheming, etc.
You give alms? The two angels see how you give it. You do not give it? The two angels see the true reason why you did not give it. You offer hospitality to a pilgrim or repulse him? The two angels see how you offer your hospitality, they see what is spiritually true in your action. You visit a sick person? You advise one in doubt? You comfort someone afflicted? You honor a deceased? You recall to justice one who has erred? You give help to one in need of it? To all these works of mercy the two angels are witnesses: your angel, and the angel of him who receives your mercy, or sees it denied.
Someone comes to find you, or to importune you? Think always that you receive not only him, but his angel with him. And therefore, always have charity. Because even a criminal has his angel, and the angel does not become a criminal if his ward is a criminal. Welcome anyone then with love, even if it is a prudently reserved love, on the defensive, even if it is a severe love to make your neighbor who visits you understand that his conduct is reprehensible and saddens you, and that he must change: not so much to please you, as to please God. Welcome with love. For if you repulse the man who is repugnant to you, or an undesirable, or importunate at that moment, or whom you know is treacherous, you repulse also the invisible but holy guest who is near him and who should make every visitor pleasing to you. Because every neighbor who comes to you brings within your walls, or near you, the angel who is his guardian.
Must you live near someone who does not please you? First of all, do not judge. You know not how to judge. Man rarely judges justly. But even while judging justly: on the basis of the positive elements examined without prejudice or human spite, do not fail in charity. For besides failing toward your neighbor, you fail also toward the Guardian Angel of that neighbor. If all of you knew how to consider these things thus, how much easier it would be for you to overcome repugnance and rancor, and to love, to love and to accomplish the works which will make Jesus, the Lord and Judge, say to you: "Come to My right, you blessed" (cf. Matt. 25:33-34).
Up! A little effort, a continual reflection always —this: to see, with the eye of faith, the Guardian Angel who is at the side of every man, and to act always as if your every action were done to the angel of God who will witness before God. He, the Guardian Angel of every man—I assure you of this—united with your own [angel], will say to the Lord: "Most High, this man was always faithful to charity, loving You in man, loving the supernatural world in creatures. And for the sake of this spiritual love, he endured offenses, he forgave, he was merciful toward every man, in imitation of Your beloved Son Whose human eyes, even while looking at His enemies, saw at their side, with the help of His most holy spirit, their angels—their afflicted angels. And He honored them, helping them in their attempt to convert their men, in order to glorify You, Most High, by saving from the Fiend as many creatures as possible."
You are jubilant [Maria], because the Lord in coming here finds one more angel to adore him: so, as you believe in the presence of the angel of the new-born [child], I want you to believe thus in my words. And with all those who come to you or with whom you have contact in any way, to conduct yourself, as I have said, by thinking of their Guardian Angel in order to overcome [your] weariness and scorn, loving every creature with justice, in order to do something pleasing for God and to honor their Guardian Angel. And also to help their Guardian Angel.
Meditate, my soul, on how the Lord honors all of you, and how we angels honor you, how we—He, the Divine, and we His spiritual ministers—give you a means of helping us to put back one of your fellowmen on the right way with a suitable word, and above all with your conduct firm in the Good. Firm [conduct], which does not bend to indulgences and compromises for fear of losing a man's friendship, solicitous only not to lose that of God and His angels.
1. Maria VALTORTA, I Quaderni
dal 1945 al 1950, Ed. Emilio Pisani, Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (Isola
del Liri, 1985), pp. 468-470.