Death: the great Unknown, the dark Mystery that soon or late inevitably confronts man in his solitary aloneness a mystery from which none can escape. It has stalked man from his earliest moments on this planet. So deeply and indelibly has the experience of Death engraved itself in man's psyche, that it rules there as a foreboding archetype, constellating with its multi-faceted symbols fears, anxieties and terrors in his heart.1 But in our day, a dark inimical Force bent on man's destruction has seduced him into copulating his natural fear of Death with a seeming love of Death, begetting in him a love-hate relationship with It . The "children" of this perverted marriage are the escalating abortions, suicides, assisted suicides and euthanasia of our time in what Pope John Paul II has rightly branded the "culture of death."
Nonetheless, there is engraved also in the depths of man's spirit another instinct: the vague sense that Death should not be, was never meant to be. And with that sense there rises the unspoken questions: Why then is It here? Whence has It come? Why must life and all its good things end? Why must man grieve and bereave his loved ones, and in turn be grieved and bereaved of his nearest and dearest? Such questions have tortured man's heart down countless eons of time. Is there nowhere he can turn for the answers? the truth?
The Judeo-Christian Revelation replies with a resounding YES! The Creator of man Who gave him life gives him also the answers to his "Whence" and "Why" of Death. On the very first pages of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures he is told the ancient tale, the truth of Death's birth and cause:
"The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man thus, 'From every tree of the garden you may eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you must not eat; for the day you eat of it, you must die.' "2So: man's instinct is right. For the tale clearly implies it: Death was not always part of his world. Man was given a paradisal garden where Death could not enter except through the door of disobedience to his Creator's command. And man's response to that command?
"...Now the woman [whom the Lord God had given the man for a helper] saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for the knowledge it would give. She took of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband and he ate.... Then the Lord God said to Adam, 'Because you have listened to your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat: Cursed be the ground because of you.... In the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, since out of it you were taken; for dust you are and unto dust you shall return."3And yet the fatherly Heart of his Creator could not bear to see His creature man, formed by His own loving hands, forever banished from His Face to the darkness of eternal Death. And so to the curse the Creator immediately joined a Promise to His creature: that He would Himself ransom him back, would send One Anointed as man's Redeemer to save him from eternal Death. Cursing the Serpent, man's ancient Enemy who deceived and seduced him into his disobedience, the Lord God said:
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel."4This Word, this Promise of the Creator that a Woman's Seed would crush the head of the ancient Enemy, was repeated ever more clearly down the centuries of the Judeo-Christian Revelation, was even hidden in the wisdom writings of other religions until at long last it came to pass:
"When the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law [of sin and death], that He might redeem those who were under the Law..."5For the Creator did indeed send His own Son as His "Anointed One," His "Messiah," to ransom man from eternal Death and bring him back to his Father Who created him:
"Christ Jesus...though He was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to, but emptied himself, taking the nature of a slave and being made like unto men. And appearing in the form of man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to death on a cross."And now this Anointed Messiah, this Christ, having Himself undergone Death and conquered It by rising from the dead, speaks to us of Death and the Hereafter through His "mouthpiece" the contemporary Italian mystic, Maria Valtorta (1961). The Visions and Dictations presented here are excerpted from the revelations given by Christ to Valtorta and recorded in her IL QUADERNI DEL 1943 ...1944 ("NOTEBOOKS FOR 1943, ...1944" ), and have been translated especially for presentation on this website. May they be a source of light and comfort for those who read them with open minds and believing hearts, and who also must one day face Death.
"For since by a man came death, by a man also comes resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made to live. But each in his own turn, Christ as first fruits, then they who are Christ's who have believed, at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the Kingdom to God the Father, when He does away with all sovereignty, authority and power. For He must reign, until 'He has put all things under His feet.' And the last enemy to be destroyed will be death..."6
Always just is the hour of death, because it is given by God. I alone am Proprietor of life and of death, and if certain means of death are not Mine, [but] used by men through demonic instigation, the sentences of death are always Mine, given to take a soul away from too much earthly torment or to prevent greater faults of that soul.
Now note: why would I give the gift of life, of a long life? For two reasons.
The first: because that creature who enjoys it is an enlightened spirit who has the mission to be a beacon for other spirits still wrapped in the clouds of materialism. Many of My saints have reached old age just for this [purpose]. And only I know how anxiously they yearned instead to come to Me.
Second: I give long life to furnish an unformed creature with the means, every means, to be formed. Studies, friendships, holy encounters, sorrows, joys, readings, chastisements of war or of sickness, all comes from Me, and I give them seeking for a soul to grow in My Age, which is not like your [physical ages]. For to grow in My Age means to grow in My wisdom, and there can be adults in My Age who have the age of children, as you reckon age. Or, conversely, they who are a hundred years old, as you reckon age, can be childish in My Age. I do not look at the age of your flesh which dies: I look at your spirit, and I want you to become spirits who know how to walk, to talk, to act surely, and not be stuttering, tripping and incapable of doing things, as children are!
That is why I speak My 'Enough' more swiftly for creatures whom I find to be adults in Faith, in Charity, in Life. A father always desires to be reunited to his sons, and once their education or military service is finished, with what joy does he not clasp them to his heart! And will your good Father Whom you have in Heaven act differently? No. When He sees that a creature is adult in spirit, He burns with the desire to take it [to be] with Him. And if, out of pity for the people, He sometimes leaves His servants on earth so that they may be a magnet and compass for others, at other times He does not restrain Himself but gives Himself the joy of setting a new star in Heaven with the soul of a saint.
Here [on earth] where you are, the soul draws God to itself, and God descends to find His delights near this loving creature which lives from Him. The soul yearns to climb up to where it may be without veils eternally with its God. And God, from the center of His burning ardor, draws the soul to Himself, just as the sun attracts the drops of dew. And He yearns to have it near Him, a gem enclosed in His triple Fire which gives Bliss.
Maria, the upraised arms of the soul meet the outstretched arms of God. When they touch, if they [merely] graze each other quickly, on earth it is ecstasy; when they clasp each other continually, it is the endless Bliss of Heaven: of My Heaven which I have created for all of you, My beloved ones, and which will give Me a superabundance of joy when it is filled with all my beloved ones. What an eternal day of immeasurable joy [will be] ours, for us who love each other: We, God, One and Triune; and you, God's children!
But those who through their own misfortune have not understood My Love, have not given Me their love, have not understood that only one science is useful: that of Love, for them death is dreadful. They are afraid. They are still more afraid if they feel they have done little good, or all evil.
Man's lying mouth for rarely does man's mouth speak the truth, so beautiful and blessed: the truth which I, Son of God and Word of the Father, have taught you to speak always rather, in order to deceive and comfort himself and to deceive others, man's lying mouth says: 'I have done well and I do well.' But conscience, which stands like a double-sided mirror under your ego and under God's Eye, accuses man of not having done well and of not at all doing well as he proclaims.
Then a great fear troubles them: the fear of the judgment of Him to Whom the thoughts, the actions, the affections of man are not hidden. But if you fear Me so much as Judge, O poor wretches, why do you not avoid having Me as Judge? Why do you not make Me your Father? If you fear Me, why do you not act according to My orders? You do not know how to listen to Me when I talk to you with the voice of a Father who guides you, hour by hour, with a hand of love? But at least obey Me when I talk to you with the voice of a King. It will be a less rewarded obedience, because less spontaneous and sweet to My Heart. But it will always be obedience. So then why do you not do it?
Death is not dodged. Blessed are they who will come to that hour with a garment of love to meet Him Who arrives. The death of these will be serene as the passing from the earth of My father,8 who did not recoil [from death] because he was a just man who had nothing to reproach in his life. The end of these who love Me will be joyous as the sleep of My Mother who closed Her eyes on earth upon a vision of love, since her life which knew not sin was all love, and She reopened Her eyes in Heaven, awaking upon the Heart of God.
Do you know, My joy9, how beautiful it will be for you too? This morning, when I came as the Eucharist, you had jumped with ecstasy because you had seen Me giving Myself to you. But that is nothing. A little grain of ecstasy thrown into your heart. Only one, in order not to incinerate you, because you had sensed it..., you believed you would die in your emotion. But when that moment [of death] comes I will pour out anew a river of joy, because it will no longer be necessary to maintain your human life and we will go away together.
Courage, a little suffering yet for love of your Jesus and then
your Jesus will abolish pain for you to give you Himself, completely Himself:
joy without measure."
2. Genesis 2:15-17.
3. Genesis 3:19.
4. Genesis 3:15.
5. Galatians 4:4.
6. Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Corinthians 15:21-26.
7. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni del 1943 ["Notebooks for 1943"] (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia,1985): 271-274.
8. "...passing... of My father": that is, St. Joseph, Christ's foster father.
9. "My joy": One of Christ's epithets for Valtorta whom He now addresses specifically.
10. "with the Particle...": Valtorta is referring to the Particle of the consecrated Host she had received in Communion, and that caused her the ecstasy referred to by Christ in the second to last paragraph of His preceding Dictation above.
"How sweet it is to communicate this Our thought with one who is loved! Its lights offered as gems to those most dear! It is the love of love: the purest, the choicest.
I want to give you all My Thought. To make you understand the Thought hidden in the Word. It is as if I took you and put you in My Mind and made you know the treasures enclosed in It. So as to make you always more like Me and therefore more pleasing to My Father and yours.
In the Gospel of John, perfect possessor of the Thought of the Word of God made Flesh, of the thought of his Jesus, Master and Friend, there is said the phrase: 'Now He said this to signify with what death he would have rendered glory to God.'2
With what death he would have rendered glory to God. Sons! All deaths are glory rendered to God when they are accepted and undergone with holiness. Far be from you even the holy envy of this or that death. And far the human measuring of this or that death's value. Death is a will of God that is accomplished. Even if its executor is a ferocious man who makes himself arbiter of another's destiny, and by his adherence to Satan becomes the latter's instrument to torment his fellow men and be their assassin cursed by Me. Yet death is always the last obedience to God Who has threatened man with death for his sin.3
You all know [about] so many Indulgences,4 and there are tiny souls (not little: tiny) who, constrained and wrapped up in the practices of their religion like a mummy amid the darkness of a subterranean tomb, make out their daily sum of how many days of Indulgences they acquire with this or that prayer. The Indulgences are there, it is true, so that you may benefit from them in the future life. But put light, put wings to your soul and your religion. They are heavenly things. Do not make slaves of them, captive in a dark prison. Light, light, wings, wings, raise yourselves! Love! Pray from love, be good out of love, live from love.
There are two Indulgences that are the greatest: Plenary Indulgences. And they come from God, from Me, eternal Pontiff. That of Love which covers a multitude of sins. It destroys them in its fire. One who loves with all his strength consumes from moment to moment his human imperfections. One who loves commits no more imperfections. The second Plenary Indulgence, given by God, is that of a resigned death whatever kind it may be of a willing death so as to perform the last obedience to God.
Death is always a Calvary. Great or small, it is always Calvary. And it is always 'great' even if in appearance it has nothing that makes it seem such, because it is proportioned by God to the strength of each one (I speak here of My children, not of those who are Satan's), it is proportioned to [each one's] strength which God increases to the measure of the death which is the destiny of His creature; and it is great because, if it is accomplished in a holy manner, it assumes the greatness of that which is holy. Every holy death, then, is glory rendered to God.
How beautiful it is to see the rose open on its stem! Look: it is closed up like a ruby in its emerald setting, but the folds of the setting unfold and, like a mouth that opens in a smile, the purple petals unlock. It responds with its own silken smile to the kiss from the sun. It opens itself. It is a halo of living velvet around the gold of the pistils. With its color and its fragrance it sings the glory of Him Who created it. And then at evening it bends itself wearily and dies with a more lively fragrance, which is its last praise to the Lord.
How beautiful it is to hear in the woods, at evening, the chorus of the birds. Before putting themselves to rest, they sing with all the trills of their throats the prayer of praise to the Father Who nourished them! [Then] it seems like the choir falls away; but there is always the most enamored [bird] that throws out a new trill and incites the others to follow him, since the sun has not yet fallen, and the light is such a beautiful thing that they should bid it farewell so that it may love them and return in the morning, when the good God again allows a scattered seed on the ground to be seen, a lost gnat, or a little tuft of wool to be carried to the little ones, or to give to a little throat what the good Lord feeds [them]. And the chorus continues until the light dies and these grateful [ones] gather themselves on a branch, little balls of warmth that still give a chirp under their feathers in order to say: 'Thank you, O my Creator.'
The death of the just is like that of the rose, it is like the sleep of the bird. Sweet, beautiful, pleasing to the Lord. In the arena of a circus or in the darkness of a prison, amid the affection of relatives or in the solitude of one who has no one [near], swift or slow with torments, death is always, always, always glory rendered to God.
Accept it with peace. Desire it with peace. Accomplish it with peace. Let My peace remain in you even in this trial, in this desire, in this consummation. Have My peace already in you, even now, and for this last thing. Think that the bloody death of an Agatha is no different for Me than that of a Liduina, and that of a Therese Martin from that of a Dominic of Guzman, that of a Thomas More from that of a Contardo Ferrini.5
He who does the Will of My Father, I said, is blessed. Blessed, I said,
and My brother and sister and mother.6
This I said. Because I rendered glory to God My Father by doing His
Will in My life and death. Imitate, then, your Master and I will
call you: 'My brothers, My sisters'."
2. John 21:19. (These words were spoken about Peter.)
3. Genesis 3:17-19.
4. "Indulgences": Remissions in whole (Plenary) or part (Partial) of the temporal punishment or reparation due for past sins to be worked out either in this life or in the Afterlife in Purgatory. Partial or Plenary Indulgences are granted to individuals by the Church for prayers or actions performed, and are drawn from Her vast treasury of the infinite merits of Christ and His saints and martyrs. These remarks were possibly occasioned by Valtorta's tendency (according to her editor, Pisani) to meticulously keep count of days of Indulgences she earned.
5. St. Agatha (lived in the 3rd century) died as a martyr; and St. Liduina (1380-1433) died as a sick woman. Therese Martin St. Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) died wasted away in a cloister; and St. Dominic (1175-1221), the founder of the [Dominican] friars preachers died worn out from the fatigues of his travels. St. Thomas More (1118-1170) died assassinated; and the Bl. Contardo Ferrini (1859-1902) died from typhus.
6. Matthew 12:46-50.
"...The poison of Satan ferments in your blood, My poor children, I know. But I have given you Myself for the antidote. I have taught you to engrave on yourselves, in yourselves, My Sign which conquers Satan.
Circumcise your spirit [which is] from Me. A much deeper and more perfect circumcision! It takes away from your flesh those cells in which nestle the germs of death, and grafts into you the Life which I am. It strips you of animality and reclothes you with Christ. It buries you as children of the guilty Adam and you too are guilty through the Original Fault and through your own faults [it buries you] in Baptism and in your Confession of Christ, and makes you rise again children of the Most High.
Do not separate yourselves from Me. Oh! Well will I bring you to Heaven if you remain part of Me, and even since you are not all 'heaven', but there always remains in yourselves a little mire of earth lo, I promise you that the Father's benediction will not be lacking even on this your mire, because the Father cannot but bless His Son, and My Power will so overshadow you if you remain in Me, if you pray with Me, saying 'Our Father,' just as I have taught you2 that the Father will give you the Kingdom of Heaven, as is asked in the first part, and also the daily bread and forgiveness of faults, as is asked in the second [part].
If you remain in Me, like babies in the bosom of their mother, our Father will be able to see only the robe that clothes you: Me, your Redeemer and your Begetter for Heaven, and His Son. And upon His Son, object of all His contentment and for Whom He has made, besides all things, forgiveness and glory too: for His Son, Who wants you forgiven and glorious, He will rain down His graces.
Your deaths I have destroyed with Mine. Your faults I have canceled with My Blood. In anticipation I have ransomed them for you. I have rendered all powerless to harm you in the future life, nailing your evil from Adam to each one of you to My Cross.3 I can say I have consumed all the poison of the world in sucking the sponge dipped in the gall and vinegar of Golgotha, and I have turned all that Evil back into Good because, by dying from it, I distilled it. And of that mixture of death I made the Water of Life, gushing from My gashed Breast.
Remain in Me with purity and strength. Do not be hypocrites, but sincere in the Faith. It is not external practices which constitute faith and love. Even the sacrilegious have these [external practices], which they use to deceive you and procure for themselves human glory. This you should not do.
Remember that as I have regenerated you all to the Life of Grace to which you had died, so I have resuscitated you with Myself to Eternal Life. Aim then for that place of Life. Seek all things that are the money for you to enter There. All the things of the spirit: Faith, Hope, Charity, the other Virtues which make man a son of God.
Seek the Science that does not err: that which is contained in My teaching. This is what renders you capable of guiding yourselves in a way that Heaven may be yours.
Seek Glory. Not the ludicrous and often culpable glory of earth, which I often condemn and always judge to be not true glory, but only a mission which God gives each of you so that you may make of it a means to reach heavenly Glory. True Glory is obtained by turning the world's values upside down . The world says: 'Enjoy, hoard, be proud, arrogant, heartless, hate in order to conquer, lie to triumph, be cruel to rule.' I say to you: 'Be moderate, continent, without thirst for flesh, for gold, for power, be sincere, honest, humble, loving, patient, meek, merciful. Forgive whoever offends you, love whoever hates you, help whoever is less happy than you. Love, love, love.' 4 Truly I say to you that no act of love, even so small as a sigh of compassion toward one who suffers, will pass unrewarded. An infinite reward in heaven. [And] even on earth an already great reward, incomprehensible except to him who experiences it. A reward for all My good [children] of the peace of Christ, [and] of the luminosity of the Word for the 'very good' into whom I come to find My comfort.
My dear children, whom I love with a love much greater than all the
hate that circulates like a hellish fluid on Earth, love Me in your turn;
whatever you do or say, do it in the Name of your Jesus, thus rendering
thanks through Him to God your Father, and the grace of God will remain
upon you like a shield on earth and
a secure halo for Heaven."
2. Matthew 6: 9-13.
3. Cf. Colossians 2:14.
4. Cf. Matthew 5:3-12, and Luke 6:27-36.
- "The death of the sinner is horror,
those who hate the just do wrong." 2
The appearance is otherwise? Yes, it is otherwise. But as the eyes of the world see not the richness of the joy of one of My saints, so also the eyes of the world see not the abyss of restlessness and discontent that is in the heart of the unjust man. And like the crater of an erupting volcano, his heart constantly belches out acrid, corrosive, poisonous vapors, which poison the poor wretch still more. Yes, in seeking to suffocate his restlessness, he who acts not with goodness seeks to give himself the satisfactions that can soothe his misguided mind. And therefore evil satisfactions, because from his ferment there can come only poison.
Here is the key that explains certain lives that are so dark, and in which the darkness grows from day to day as by falling in leaps and bounds into the deepest abysses. It is the very weight of their actions outside the Law I am speaking of My Law on which, after all, depend all human laws aimed at containing men within moral guidelines it is the very weight of their actions outside the Law that drags them always lower.
Those who see since having already risen in God they can see what is invisible to the eyes of the living are horrified in contemplating the perfection in evil of obstinate and impenitent sinners. Their death, as the psalm says, is a horror. A horror which hurls them into the Other Life so that they sink into a greater Horror.
They are giants of sin also because their social position makes them already giants in society. But there are also those great in sin who are mixed in the crowd and undistinguished externally by special works, but within they are corrupted with those faults which shout against God and against one's neighbor.
How many! The good, when they succeed in knowing spiritually by a special grace, are horrified by them as by rottenness. And they really are a rottenness which changes [their] color and features, and taints them with its own stench which carries the very noticeable odor of Satan and of Hell.
But remember your Master, O you good. They are repugnant to you? To you? And what are they to Me, pure and holy? Disgusting. And yet I loved them even to die for them to try to save them.
Love them therefore with the greatest love: with that love which surmounts all in order to save. You do not save [them]? No matter. You love that soul all the same just because it is a work of God. Is it filthy now with Satan's excrement? Cleanse it with a constant dew of supernatural love. Of true love: because stripped of every human attraction; rather heroic, because it perdures despite the fact that your humanity, and even your soul, feel revulsion at [that soul's] wormy stench.
If you save it, [O you good], you will have great glory thereby. If you do not save it, the merit will be equally yours and you will find it, because you loved according to My commandment.3
2. Psalm 33(34):22 (Septuagint Translation, alt. Literally, the Septuagint says: "The death of the sinner is grievous [or worst]," but Christ is obviously quoting from the Italian translation used by Valtorta and which apparently has "horror" instead of "grievous").
3. John 13:13-35.
An immense expanse of land. A sea, so great it is without limits. I say 'land' because there is some land as in fields and in roads. But there is not one tree, not one stalk, not a blade of grass. Dust, dust and more dust.
I see this in a light that is not light. A brightness barely outlined, livid, of a violet-green shade like one notices at the time of a very violent storm or of total eclipses. A light, causing fear, of extinguished stars. Lo: the sky is deprived of astral lights. There are no stars, no moon, no sun. The sky is empty, as also the earth. The former stripped of its flowers of light, the latter of its vegetal and animal life. They are two immense remnants of what [once] was.
I have all the leisure [I need] to see this desolate vision of the death of the universe, which I think would have [had] the same appearance at its first moment;3 when there was already a sky and earth, but the former unpopulated with stars and the latter naked of life: a globe already solidified but still uninhabited, flying through space while awaiting the Finger of the Creator to give it grasses and animals.
Why do I understand that this is a vision of the death of the universe? Through one of those 'second voices' which I know not from whom they come, but which within me do what the chorus does in the ancient tragedies: [play] the part of guides about special aspects which the protagonists do not illuminate. This is just what I mean and which I will tell you about later.
While I swing my gaze around on this desolate scene, the necessity of which I do not understand, I see, erect in the middle of a limitless plain and emerged from where I do not know I see Death.4 A skeleton which laughs with Its bared teeth and Its empty eye-sockets, Queen of that dead world, and wrapped in Its shroud as in a mantle. It has no scythe. It has already scythed. It swings Its empty gaze over Its harvest and smirks.
It has its arms folded on Its breast. Then It unfolds them, those skeleton arms, and opens Its hands of nothing more than naked bones and, since It is a giant and omnipresent figure or better said, a very near figure It rests a finger on me, the index finger of the right hand, on my forehead. I feel the iciness of the pointed bone which seems to perforate my forehead and enter like a needle of ice into my head. But I understand that this has no other significance than that of wanting to recall my attention to what is about to happen.
In fact, with Its left arm It makes a gesture indicating to me the wide expanse on which we stand there: It, Death, the Queen, and I, the only one alive. At Its mute command, given with the skeleton fingers of Its left hand and with a rhythmical turning to the right and to the left of Its head, the earth is cleft into thousands and thousands of fissures. And in the bottom of these dark furrows are scattered white things, but I don't understand what they are.5
While I try to think of what they are, Death continues with Its gaze and command to plow the sod as with a plowshare, and the land is opened up always more, as far as the distant horizon; and Death furrows the waves of the seas which are deprived of any sails and the waters are opened up in liquid chasms.
And then from the furrows of the land and from the furrows of the sea those white things that I saw scattered and dislocated rise up, recomposing themselves. There are millions and millions and millions of skeletons which surface from the oceans, which straighten up on the ground. Skeletons of all heights. From the tiny ones of infants with small hands like little dusty spiders, to those of adult men, and even giants whose bulk make one think of certain antediluvian beings.6 And they stand [there] astonished and as if trembling, like those awakened suddenly from a deep sleep and who are disoriented as to where they are.
The sight of all those skeleton bodies, growing white in that 'non-light' of the Apocalypse, is dreadful.
And then, around [each of ] those skeletons, there slowly condenses a mist like a fog rising from the opened ground, from the opened seas. It takes on form and density, it becomes flesh, a body like ours, like us who are living. The eyes or rather the eye-sockets fill in with irises; the cheek-bones become covered with cheeks and over the naked jaw-bones the gums spread out, the lips reform themselves, the hair returns on the skulls, the arms shape themselves, the fingers become nimble, and the whole body comes alive again, just as ours is. The same [as ours], but different in appearance.
There are very beautiful bodies, of a perfection of forms and colors which make them like masterpieces of art. There are others of them that are hideous, not from lameness or deformities true and proper, but in their general appearance which is more that of a brute beast than of a man. Grim eyes, a contorted face, a beastly appearance and, what strikes me more, a gloom that emanates from the body increasing the lividness of the air that surrounds them. While the most beautiful ones have laughing eyes, a serene face, a gentle appearance, and they emanate a luminosity that forms a halo around their being from head to feet, and radiates around them.
If all were like the former [bodies], the darkness would have become total, to the point of concealing everything. But by virtue of the latter [bodies], the luminosity not only perdures but increases, so much so that I can notice all quite well.
As for the ugly ones, about whose destiny as the accursed I have no doubts, since they bear this curse marked on their forehead, they are silent, casting frightened and grim looks around, below and above them, and they group themselves on one side at some intimate command which I don't hear, but which must be given by someone and perceived by these risen ones. The very beautiful ones also join themselves together smiling and looking with pity mixed with horror at the ugly ones. And they sing, these very beautiful ones, they sing a slow and soft chorus of blessing to God.
I forgot to say that the bodies were all naked but that it didn't make sense, as if malice were dead too: in them and in me. And then, for the bodies of the damned, their darkness made a screen, and for that of the blessed, their very light made a garment. Therefore what is animality in us disappeared under the emanation of the internal spirit, a master [who is] quite cheerful or quite despaired of the flesh.7
I see nothing else. I understand that I have seen the final resurrection....8 And now Jesus begins to speak:
Many think that from the moment of the end [of time] to the universal Judgment will be only a moment . But God will be good to the end, O daughter. Good and just.
Not all those living at the last hour will be saints, nor all damned. Among the former will be those who are destined for Heaven but who have something to expiate. I would be unjust if I canceled for them the expiation that I also threatened for all those who preceded them and found themselves in the same condition as these [last] at the hour of their death.
Therefore, while justice and the end will come for other planets, and like torches on which one puffs, the stars of the heavens will be extinguished one by one, and darkness and cold will go on increasing, in My hours which are your centuries and already the hour of darkness has begun, in the firmament as in hearts those living in the last hour, those who have died at the last hour, and have merited Heaven but still need to be cleansed, will go into the purifying fire.10 I will increase the heat of that fire so that their purification may be quicker and the blessed do not wait too long to bring their holy flesh to glorification and make it, too, enjoy their God, their Jesus, in His perfection and in His triumph.
This is why you saw the earth devoid of grasses and trees, of animals, of men, of life; and the oceans deprived of sails: motionless expanses of still waters, since there will be no need of their movement any more in order to give life to fish in those waters, as there will be no need of heat any more for the earth to give life to crops and to beings. This is why you saw the firmament emptied of its luminaries, with no more fires and with no more lights. Light and heat will no longer be necessary for the earth now an enormous corpse carrying in itself the corpses of all the living, from Adam to the last son of Adam.
Death, My last handmaid on Earth, will accomplish Its final task, and then It too will cease to be. Death will be no more.11 But only Life eternal in bliss, or in horror. Life in God, or life in Satan for your 'I' (ego) re-composed in soul and body.
Enough now. Rest, and think of Me."
1. Maria Valtorta, I Quaderni del 1944 ["Notebooks for 1944"] (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia,1985), 112-117.
2. Valtorta is here describing her vision to her spiritual director, Fr. Romuald Migliorini, OSM.
3. Genesis 1:1-2.
4. 1 Corinthians 15:26.
5. Cf. Ezechial 37:1-14.
6. Cf. Genesis 6:1-4.
7. This paragraph is interpolated here from its original position in the Italian after Christ's words, where it occurs as Valtorta's afterthought and explanation to Fr. Migliorini.
8. 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. At this point Valtorta explains to her spiritual director, Fr. Migliorini, that it is her inner guide, by an inner Locution which she calls a second voice, "...makes me understand that I was seeing the universe after its death."
9. See paragraph 3 of Valtorta's vision above with its accompanying Note 3.
10. For more on this doctrine of post-mortem purification, see The Second Kingdom, also posted on this website.
11. Revelation 21:4.