St. Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta
St. Padre Pio was one of the holiest saints of the 20th century. His insight into the usefulness of Maria Valtorta’s revelations for spiritual reading is certainly most reliable, as he was a mystic who communicated often with Our Lord and Our Lady; he often had instantaneous spiritual insights (such as the ability to read hearts); he was a stigmatist, bilocater, and prophet; he obtained miraculous cures and other miracles for many people; and he had numerous documented mystical experiences with other people, as well as lived in the same country at the same time as Maria Valtorta, who herself testifies that she had mystical experiences with him, and who others testify that they have experienced or witnessed supernatural occurrences connected with Maria Valtorta and him.
Drawing from handwritten testimonies of Rosi Giordani (a spiritual daughter of St. Padre Pio), Marta Diciotti (Maria Valtorta’s live-in housekeeper, friend, and confidant), and Maria’s autobiography, we will explore some of these experiences and testimonies.
The following is an exact copy of a letter written by a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio, Rosi Giordani, to Dr. Emilio Pisani, the editor and publisher of Maria Valtorta’s works. Included among the export publishers who receive special recognition each year from the Italian Ministry for Cultural Goods, in 1995, Dr. Pisani's Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (the publisher and worldwide distributor of Maria Valtorta’s writings) was awarded the Culture Prize by the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers.1 Dr. Emilio Pisani is the son of Knight Michele Pisani, a renowned Catholic publisher who was knighted a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by an Apostolic Brief of Pope Pius XII in 1943, upon the recommendation of the Pontifical Priestly Missionary Union.2 In this letter to Dr. Pisani, Rosi Giordani attests to the words of Padre Pio directed to a spiritual daughter of his, ordering her to read Maria Valtorta’s books. This letter is taken from the book published by Dr. Pisani entitled Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta:3
For Dr. Emilio Pisani,
Beloved in Jesus!
My name is Rosi Giordani, a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio. I am from Bologna, but have been living here for many years with my mother, who was born in 1897, like Maria Valtorta. Father has been at rest for twelve years in the cemetery of this town. In 1981 I was present with Mother at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Florence for the celebration of the anniversary of Maria Valtorta’s death. I was with dear Domenico Fiorillo. I embraced Marta and listened to her lovely talk.
I am writing particularly to tell you the following: a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio from the outset, Mrs. Elisa Lucchi, known as Malvina, from Forlì, a year before Padre Pio’s death asked him in Confession, “Father, I have heard mention of Maria Valtorta’s books. Do you advise me to read them?” Padre Pio replied, “I don’t advise you to—I order you to!”
San Giovanni Rotondo
January 7, 1989
Padre Pio once wrote about the special care and solicitude that he had for his spiritual children: “I belong entirely to everyone. Everyone can say: ‘Padre Pio is mine.’ I deeply love my brothers in exile. I love my spiritual children as much as my own soul and even more. I have regenerated them to Jesus through suffering and love. I can forget myself, but not my spiritual children. Indeed, I can assure you that when the Lord calls me I will say to Him: ‘Lord, I will remain at the gates of Paradise; I will go in when I have seen the last of my children enter.’”4
Introduction to the Mystical Experiences Between Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta:
A Publication of San Giovanni Rotondo (The Place Where Padre Pio Spent the Last 52 Years of His Life)
The following are recollections of Maria Valtorta among the followers of Padre Pio. What is quoted below is from a fortnightly publication on Padre Pio’s work, and this was reprinted in the book Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta.5
The following is news published regarding the Our Lady of Grace Prayer Group in Ancona, taken from La Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, a magazine published twice monthly by Padre Pio’s foundation in San Giovanni Rotondo (vol. XXVIII, no. 14, July 16-31, 1977):
“After the usual Eucharistic celebration, followed by recitation of a third of the meditated rosary, the group’s spiritual director, the Most Rev. Bernardino Piccinelli, Auxiliary Bishop of Ancona, permitted a public reading of one of the most interesting instances testifying to Padre Pio’s extraordinary relations with Maria Valtorta of Viareggio, who had died a few years before with a reputation for holiness and was the author of famous literary works…”
For those who are unfamiliar with the many miraculous occurrences that frequently occurred with the holy saint, prophet, and mystic, St. Padre Pio, I recommend the following article as a good place to start acquainting yourself with these phenomena: Life and Miracles of Padre Pio. Near the top of that article, there are links that go to additional articles dedicated to specific themes of his miracles, including stigmata, bilocation, gift of healing, gift of reading souls, encounters with his guardian angel, triumph over the devil, etc.
In this particular article about Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta, several of his common miraculous phenomena that occurred between Maria Valtorta and him that we will discuss was his well-known supernatural rose fragrance as well as him appearing in dreams. Before we proceed further, I want to put into context and establish what is meant by “his well-known supernatural rose fragrance”. Throughout history, various saints have miraculously exhibited a very strong scent of roses which cannot be attributed to natural causes. This is indicative of great holiness and the sign of God’s Presence. This has sometimes been called the “heavenly fragrance”, “celestial perfume”, or simply “miraculous scent of roses”.
An article by Jim Dunning, on the popular website, Mystics of the Church, relates:6
Although [Padre Pio] never left the monastery in a physical sense, he was observed at different places many miles away on numerous occasions. Thus he possessed a gift shared by very few saints; that of bilocation. Sometimes he appeared beside someone he wished to help; at other times he made his presence felt by the perception of a singular fragrance. This was noticed by everyone in the vicinity at the time.
An unusual aspect of this latter gift is that Padre Pio held it while still alive. Saint Teresa of Avila was reported to have emitted heavenly scents immediately after her death. A similar account was given of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (the Little Flower), whose body at death was said to have produced a strong scent of roses. There are numerous accounts of saints’ bodies possessing a distinctive fragrance years after their burial, but few in modern times were so honored during their lifetime.
Another article relates:7
The aromas are a feature of Padre Pio's spiritual views. He used to say to those who felt the scent: "What is there to explain... It is my presence."
Also note that many people have testified to having had mystical experiences with Padre Pio appearing to them in their dreams, and in them, speaking to them. The supernatural origin of these dreams has often been confirmed by subsequent miracles (such as healings) or by prophetic statements from Padre Pio in the dream that later came true (for example, he may tell them that something is going to happen that they would never have been able to guess would happen and would have no way of knowing it, and it in fact does occur).
Maria Valtorta relates in The Notebooks, in 1943:8
I have seen and spoken to Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (in dreams). In dreams, too, I have seen him in ecstasy, after Holy Mass. I have seen his penetrating gaze and felt the scar of the stigmata on my hand when he took me by the hand. And, not when dreaming, but wide awake, I have noted his fragrance. No garden packed with fully-blossoming flowers can emit the heavenly scents which flooded my room on the night between July 25 and 26, 1941 or the afternoon of September 21, 1942, precisely while a friend of ours was speaking to Padre Pio about me (I did not know he had left for San Giovanni Rotondo). On both occasions I later obtained the graces requested. The scent was also perceived by Marta. It was so intense that it woke her up. It then ceased all at once, as it had come all at once.
Br. Daniel Klimek, T.O.R., discusses this dream and makes some good points (especially the third paragraph):9
Notice all of the sacred components surrounding Valtorta's dream, signs signifying that her encounter was, indeed, more than a simple dream. It was something deeper. First, she encounters the experience after Holy Mass, the holiest of all rituals between God and man on earth. Second, she encounters the experience in a state of ecstasy; thus, it has the feeling of an out-of-body experience for the mystic. Third, there is a vividness to the dream that is evident in Valtorta's intimate details of the encounter – from the fact that touch is accentuated in the way that Padre Pio held her hand and she could clearly see the details of the painful stigmata, to the fact that she describes Saint Pio's "penetrating gaze," showing us a poignant personalism in the encounter between these two Italian mystics. This personalism is further noticeable in the very fact that Valtorta reported speaking with Padre Pio. Thus, it wasn't simply a casual dream of a saint that she experienced, but a deeply personal and intimate interaction with a saint.
The fact that a powerful, sacred fragrance remained afterward while Valtorta was wide awake, a fragrance so powerful that no "garden bursting with flowers in full bloom can give off the celestial scents" which filled her room and which even woke up her friend Marta, further shows us that her experience was something special. Notice that the second time that this fragrance came, according to Valtorta's description, was when a friend of the family's was speaking of Valtorta to a priest in Saint Giovanni Rotondo, the site famous for a hospital founded by Padre Pio.
What further merits attention is that Valtorta experienced the encounter in the 1940s, back when Padre Pio was still a controversial figure in the world of Catholicism as a mystic. It would not be until decades later, in 2002, that Padre Pio would finally be recognized as a saint through formal canonization during the papacy of Pope John Paul II, who himself revered the famous stigmatic. Yet, before Padre's ecclesial recognition by Rome, the friar remained a controversial figure, admired and revered by countless of people but, unfortunately, also demonized by his bishop who spread many falsehoods about Padre's reputation and sanctity. The path of controversy is the path that every mystic must walk. Valtorta is no stranger to this reality, having both strong supporters and critics in the Church while her writings continue to inspire a wider audience. Perhaps her early encounter with Padre Pio, recognized today as an unquestionably holy presence, an encounter that took place back when Saint Pio's sanctity was still being questioned by many, hints at a sacred source behind Valtorta's own mystical experiences: for she saw authenticity in a holy man before the Church even recognized that authenticity.
Maria Valtorta relates in The Notebooks, in 1944:10
July 25, 1944
Yesterday there was no dictation. Rest for my weary shoulders, crushed by abundant writing in recent days. But not an absence of heavenly favors.
First of all, a lot of peace, and then the visible presence of my Heavenly Friends and their caresses and—perceptible to others as well—that scent of roses, which is sometimes pure, as if there were tufts of just-cut roses in the room, and sometimes seems fused to a tenuous smell of iodine and vinegar, as if the roses had withered a little on their stems. The perfume comes slowly; at the outset, it is barely a nuance; it then intensifies and grows, virtually coming in waves, at times very forceful and at times less marked. It then disperses as it has come. It is generally the smell of roses. But sometimes it is complex, as if there were gardenias, jasmines, violets, lilies of the valley, normal lilies, and tuberoses. I never smell carnations, irises, daffodils, freesias, or other flowers. Only the ones I mentioned above.
I think it is brought by some “Friend” or comes with the blessing of Padre Pio. But I do not know exactly. And I greet it every time with thanksgiving, saying, “Whoever you are, thank you for your perceptible protection.” For I feel protected when I am in the midst of those fragrances, even more than usual. As if I were in the arms of someone who loves me with the perfection of a saint.
November 29, 1944
…Eight days ago, on November 22, precisely the night preceding Marta’s going down to Lucca to find out about permission for haulage, in my short sleep at dawn, I dreamt of heading for Viareggio (on foot), together with Marta, and meeting Padre Pio, or a Franciscan—but I think it was Padre Pio—who looked at me and said, as if speaking to himself, “It is bitter, though, to have gotten enthusiastic about returning and to experience such delay!” I turned around and, a bit irritated and excited, asked, “What’s that? What’s that?” He replied, “Nothing. I was saying that it is bitter to have gotten enthusiastic about returning and to experience such delay.” He said that twice and disappeared.
I woke up with concern and said to Marta, “You’ll see that nothing can be done.” Marta replied, “Why, no! On the contrary, Padre Pio came to say that the delay has been bitter, but it is over.” I responded, “No, no. You’ll see that it’s beginning now. He was too sad on saying those words.”
Marta went to Lucca…and found out that it was impossible to leave until after the 30th because permission was denied.
Before I quote the testimony of Marta Diciotti (Maria Valtorta’s live-in housekeeper, friend, and confidant until the day of her death) concerning Padre Pio’s words about Maria Valtorta’s illnesses and sufferings, it is important to put her illnesses into context.
In 1920, at the age of 23, while walking down the street with her mother, Maria 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.
I will give a couple of excerpts from her autobiography where she explains her many illnesses and, important for this article, describes how she offers up her sufferings willingly for God, does not want to be relieved of them, and she turns down potential healings for the sake of others. This is important when we later see what Saint Padre Pio said of her sufferings.
First, it should be noted that she suffered from five major chronic illnesses and ten other minor ones during the entire time she wrote her works. Her illnesses included progressive paralysis, myocarditis, an ovarian tumor, lung ailments, chronic peritonitis, volvulus, neuritis, and others.
Maria Valtorta writes in her autobiography:11
On February 2, 1935, after a heavy sopor and a terrible cardiac crisis, paresis appeared. It was then that the family doctor had his theory accepted by the consultants that not only my heart was damaged, but also the spine, or, rather, the spinal marrow. We do not know if it is a tumor or the formation of liquid resulting from the blow received in 1920, but the lesion exists.
After the consultation I wrote as follows (I copy from my diary): “My soul is full of song. An incomprehensible song and incomprehensible gladness for someone unaware of the most burning longing of my heart...! You, my Good, know why I am happy...! The fact is that I do not have one malady, but three afflicting me! I kiss this trinity of pain wherein I see the will of the Trinity reflected and worship God, who adorns me with three such gifts, and with St. Francis I cry, ‘Lord, I am not worthy of such a great treasure!’ I clasp these three nails to my heart, your three nails, O my King, O my Christ, O my All, and since the more love grows, the more it sees itself comprehended and compensated, with the boldness of lovers I ask You, ‘Why just three wounds? Why not five, like yours?’ And I trustingly wait, for I feel that You will adorn me with all, all your jewels of pain....”
The three maladies were myocarditis, the ovarian tumor (now formed), and the spinal lesion. But I saw that the doctor was concealing something. And I prodded him to speak out.
On the morning of the 3rd I observed an undecipherable sign from the doctor to Mother. They went to the front hall and shut themselves in. “Just fine,” I said, “now I’m coming too.” Holding on to the furniture, I went barefoot to the glass door and, grasping the sewing machine to keep myself erect, I looked through the glass and heard the conversation. “The professor informs you that it is a form of progressive paralysis. Very slow, but extremely dangerous and inexorable in its course. As a result of a scare or some emotion or other, it may accelerate, strike the diaphragm and the bulbar centers, and provoke instant death. If there are no factors speeding it up, it may last years, gradually extinguishing the life of the organs....”
I went back to bed because—my heart was leaping and my legs, bending. Not from fear, but from exhaustion. I now knew enough, though. I have always wanted to know the truth. And to tell the truth.
The paresis beginning in the lower abdomen had little by little spread to many other organs and from time to time gives signs of paralyzing others. When it rises, it is the head which is affected; when it descends, the thorax. It is most painful because, according to the bulbar center stricken, it occasions blindness or deafness, or impairments involving speech, swallowing, breathing, digestion, renal filtration, writing.... A mine of troubles.
It was then that I made a solemn pact with Jesus to rescue a soul for every crisis. I had done so before informally. And how happy I was if I had many crises a day.
Maria Valtorta writes in her autobiography:12
The doctor obstinately maintained that either tuberculosis or hysteria was present. Analysis after analysis.... And the tuberculosis would not make up its mind to pop out so as to please him. Test after test to establish hysteria. But neither did it want to show up to make him happy. And I suffered terribly.
Another consultation with a surgeon. “It’s appendicitis! It should be operated on immediately!” Boom! In 1920 the same thing had been said, and after fourteen years the appendicitis had still not appeared. I am still waiting for it. And I live on raw salad, peas, and similar delights for an intestine which, according to the surgeon, is nearly perforated...!
Another consultation: “It’s a case of genital insufficiency.” Boom thrice over! I had never suffered in that sense. Insufficiency, of course! If anything, there was a tendency towards super-sufficiency! But that had to be the breeding ground. There was no solution. Very comfortable for doctors to take care of women! What they are unable to classify by its proper name is called hysteria, and we’re taken care of! Ovarian hormone treatment. The result: my heart remained the same. An ovarian inflammation leading to the tumor which gives me so much pain and not only physical troubles.
Then, since they had failed to hit the bull’s-eye, ladies and gentlemen, it was time for a change. The physiologist came back once again. Properly worked on by the family doctor—oh, human inconsistency!—he took back his entire diagnosis of a short time before, and whereas he had previously put me on water fresh from the tap and fruit juices for my pressure, he now ordered super-nutrition; whereas he had previously ordered complete immobility, under pain of death, he now ordered me to get up and go to the pinewood; whereas he had previously decalcified my arteries with all the nitrates possible, he now ordered calcium again without interruption, because there was bilateral tuberculosis (boom!), which, if not checked by supernutrition, air, movement, and calcium, would take me to the cemetery in three months (boom! boom!) amidst tremendous hemoptyses (boom! boom! boom!).
It was September 4, 1934. Today is April 8, 1943. I have eaten less and less, have not taken air, except for what comes in through the window, have not moved about, have not ingested calcium, and I am here—waiting....
I had to engage in movement, but none of the three consultants committed himself to taking me in the ambulance to have the X-ray done.... They knew that on moving I risked death, if I did not precipitate it as well.
In short, one gave me alcohol in any case; another prohibited even watered-down white wine; one administered heavy doses of caffeine, and another prohibited coffee; one fed me to excess, provoking crisis after crisis, and another put me on water and fruit juice.... Enough to drive you crazy!
Finally, a professor came who was a friend of ours. “Why, who has given you all this stuff?” he exclaimed on seeing the pharmacy I had on my bedside table. “But they’re mad! I’d throw everything into the middle of the street.” An examination and the complete exclusion of tuberculosis. A serious myocarditis, definitely, and now an ovarian inflammation. Bed, complete repose, nutritious but very limited food intake, cardiotonic injections, and that was all. “And then I’ll see to finding the doctor you need.” And he found him.
This is my current physician, who has been treating me for eight-and-a-half years and who, if not a genius healing all maladies, is at least a good psychologist who understands the causes of ills. And this is already quite a bit for a patient, particularly for certain patients!
With respect to my recovery... He has often stated for years, “We can do nothing in this case. We are faced with forces stronger than medicine which impede the slightest relief of the patient’s condition just as they impede her death, for, in human terms, she should have died years ago, on account of both the violence of the maladies gnawing at her and the foolish treatment applied at the outset. I am not a convinced believer, but I surrender to the evidence of a miracle: a miracle even greater than that of a cure. I do nothing. I merely follow the malady as best I can because I feel that even if I accomplished the impossible, I would collide with a Will which would annul my every effort.”
It’s a good thing he understood! But the others—those who were just “passing through,” shall we say, like the consultants—also reached the same conclusion. “If you are a believer, go to Lourdes or Loreto. Here the hand of God is present, and He alone can work a cure.”
It has often been proposed that I go to Lourdes or Loreto. My parish priest at the outset also suggested accompanying me there gratis. But, though grateful to him, I refused. First of all, as I have already written, it would be a serious inconsistency. What has been donated is not asked for. In the second place, I renounce the grace of health which might be granted me in favor of another ill creature who is not resigned to infirmity.
Every time there is a pilgrimage of patients or a solemn novena, like the ones to Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Joseph, St. Anthony, and others, I say to the Lord: “If I went, if I asked, You, Infinite Goodness, would bring me, too, back to health. But I ask and beseech You, instead, to give someone else the health, or at least the relief from agony, which You would give me. May another enjoy it and give You praise. There are so many fathers and mothers of a family who are ill and needed by their children! Heal one of these! There are so many patients who despair over being such: heal one of them! It is enough for there to be another creature who loves and blesses You, and I am content, much more than if I were to get well or my agony were to diminish.”
Just think how lovely Paradise will be for me, where I shall meet those who were healed through my renunciation! Healed of physical maladies and of distrust or despair! Now I do not know who they are. But in Heaven I shall know. My Lord Himself will be the one Who points them out to me when, clasping me to His Heart, He says, “Come, blessed one, for I was ill and you healed Me.”
This blessedness, too, will certainly exist for those who renounced recovery to heal another! Not even a glass of water given in His Name is in vain or goes unrewarded.... What, then, will be the reward for having given the grace of health in His Name to an ill brother?
Oh, I am so happy when I suffer very, very much...! My mission is to suffer. Every time the doctors’ compassion thinks up a remedy and every time the compassion of believers utters prayers for my improvement, a more serious deterioration and more acute suffering are observed.
In the economy governing the Universe everything has its reason for existence and its mission to carry out. The circling stars give us light and send forth astral forces influencing the fructification of lesser elements and the laws of the tides. The waters obey the eternal code directing them to descend in rain and snow from the clouds which amass them to sprinkle the earth and form glaciers nourishing the rivers, which, flowing into the lakes and seas, sustain them with their substance and turn them into a kind of enormous reservoir from which the sun draws up the evaporating vapors to create new clouds giving rain. Fish, the quite dimwitted fish, serve to clean the waters as well as for human food. Birds serve to exterminate insects and for the spontaneous sowing of the flowers’ seeds. The trees, respectful of vegetable laws, robe themselves in leafy branches in the spring to provide an abode for nests and shade for man or cover themselves with fruit to feed man and the good Lord’s birds. Seeds agree to be buried in the black earth, where nothing creeps but little worms, so as to sprout, in due course, as small plants supplying bread and food of every kind. Sheep cover themselves with thicker wool during the autumn to give tufts in the springtime to the birds building their nests and the warmth of clothing to the sons of man. Bees and butterflies serve to spread pollen, without which the flowering of plants would be of no use. Winds have their reason for existence, for they regulate heat, sweep clean the sky, purify the seas, and act as paranymphs in the vegetable marriages between flowers. Even the brambles have their mission. They are a defense for the hanging nests filled with tender bodies against the danger of man and snakes and serve as a hook for the tufts of wool sought out by the birds and donated by the flocks.
Everything, everything has its reason in creation, and everything has its mission, given to it by the Creator. I have mine: to suffer, to expiate, to love. To suffer for those who are unable to suffer, to expiate for those who are unable to expiate, to love for those who are unable to love. I do not think of myself. I say to the good Lord, “I trust You!” and that’s all I say to Him.
In fact, Jesus told her in one of His dictations to her:13
You are a nothing. But I have called you to this mission. I formed you for this, watching over even your mental formation. I have given to you an uncommon faculty for composition, because I needed to make you the illustrator of My Gospel....
I have crucified you in heart and flesh for this. So that you could be free of any bondage of affection, and would be the mistress of many more hours of time than anyone who is healthy could have. I have suppressed in you even the physical needs of nourishment, of sleep, and of rest, reducing them to an insignificant minimum, for this.
In your body, tormented and consumed by five grave and painful major illnesses, and by another ten minor ones, I have increased your energy in order to bring you to be able to do that which a healthy and well-nourished person could not do, for this. And I would wish this to be understood as an authentic sign. But this arid and perverse generation understands nothing.
...You are a nothing. But into this, your "nothing," I have entered and said: "See, speak, write." That "nothing" has become My instrument.
Now we will discuss what Saint Padre Pio said about Maria Valtorta’s sufferings.
If you are not familiar with Saint Padre Pio’s history of obtaining miraculous cures for countless people, see: Padre Pio and the Gift of Healing.
Testimony by Marta Diciotti, Maria Valtorta’s live-in housekeeper, friend, and confidant until the day of her death, taken from the book Recollections of Women Who Knew Maria Valtorta:14
The professor (Nicola Pende) wanted to take Maria to Rome, to his clinic on Salaria Street. And he would have provided transportation for her, either in his fine car, which was big and comfortable, or in an ambulance—whichever she preferred.
“Yes, yes, Professor,” Maria said. “Later, on arriving there, I would become a guinea pig.” In this way she shielded herself against the numerous proposals. In addition, she once said to me, “It’s useless all the same… They won’t cure me. They make me suffer more, and that’s all.” And I replied, “Why not say so?”
She answered, “Why let others in on my secrets? No one can cure me anyway.”
She said this to me on many, many occasions. And, in addition, more than once she said, “The Lord wants me like this in any case! And even worse than this,” or “Once I was cured, I would make all my offerings again.”
I remember that once a warrant officer from Marina, who lived alone with his wife near here, on Vittorio Veneto Street, and was named Arena, spoke to Padre Pio, whom he had gone to see, about Maria. In fact, at one time men in particular could also speak with that famous Capuchin, not just make a confession. This warrant officer, then, who felt pity over Maria’s many sufferings, by his own initiative asked Padre Pio to have her obtain the grace of getting healed, or at least of suffering a little less.
“Look, Father, that poor woman is suffering so,” this man said.
“Yes, yes, I know, I know. But if I can do anything, it will be for her soul. But I can do nothing for her body, to relieve her afflictions.”
And while he was speaking with Padre Pio, a big wave of perfume was perceived here. When he returned home, he came to see Maria and told her about his request and the answer he had received. She smiled and said “Well, yes! He’s right.” And she asked him about the time of that conversation with the friar in San Giovanni Rotondo. Well, the time—and, obviously, the day—correspond exactly to the moment that wave of perfume was perceived.
Maria Valtorta writes in her autobiography:15
When pain loosens its hold, when I know prayer is being offered for my recovery, I tremble and become anxious about my treasure’s being taken from me. It would be the only thing that would make me waver in the limitless trust, the boundless confidence I have in God. I would be tempted to think that God had found me so unworthy that He no longer associated me with the redeeming work of His Son.... And I, who recognize my worthlessness, but am familiar with the infinite mercy of my God, who raises us—poor human wretches—to the degree of redeemers, would fall into discouragement and weep immensely. But I trust my God!
As she wrote earlier:16
Every time the doctors’ compassion thinks up a remedy and every time the compassion of believers utters prayers for my improvement, a more serious deterioration and more acute suffering are observed.
…It has often been proposed that I go to Lourdes or Loreto. My parish priest at the outset also suggested accompanying me there gratis. But, though grateful to him, I refused. First of all, as I have already written, it would be a serious inconsistency. What has been donated is not asked for.
These last two excerpts show why Saint Padre Pio said of her:
“Yes, yes, I know, I know [she is suffering]. But if I can do anything, it will be for her soul. But I can do nothing for her body, to relieve her afflictions.”
He could do nothing for her body to relieve her afflictions not because he couldn’t obtain a healing for her (which he has obtained for numberless other people during his life), but because her afflictions were God’s Will for her for the benefit and salvation of other souls. To heal her would be to undo her offering, which she would then make all over again, undoing the healing. As the doctor said:17
“We can do nothing in this case. We are faced with forces stronger than medicine which impede the slightest relief of the patient’s condition just as they impede her death, for, in human terms, she should have died years ago, on account of both the violence of the maladies gnawing at her and the foolish treatment applied at the outset. I am not a convinced believer, but I surrender to the evidence of a miracle: a miracle even greater than that of a cure. I do nothing. I merely follow the malady as best I can because I feel that even if I accomplished the impossible, I would collide with a Will which would annul my every effort.”
Saint Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta are two of the greatest prophets, victim souls, and spiritual giants of the 20th century, who no doubt experienced multiple connections on a supernatural plane during their lives on Earth, and who are now enjoying each other's company in Heaven.
This article related several testimonies that confirm that St. Padre Pio recognized that Valtorta was a true fellow mystic and victim soul whose writings were given by God for the benefit of souls of good will. But St. Padre Pio is not the only canonized or beatified saint who has approved, endorsed, or praised Maria Valtorta's work.
Click here to download the list of the above-mentioned Bishops, Doctors of Theology/Divinity/Canon Law, Saints/Blesseds/Venerables/Servants of God, university professors, and noteworthy lay faithful.
Testimonies, statements, and documentation for every one of the above listed clerics and lay faithful are provided in A Summa and Encyclopedia to Maria Valtorta’s Extraordinary Work in the subchapter of the e-book entitled “Proof by the Testimony of Countless Trustworthy Clerics, Authorities, Experts, Scientists, and Pious Lay Faithful and the Tremendously Good Fruits Produced in Individuals and in the Church as a Whole”.
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2. Fireworks: Sunrise of Truth Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. The Maria Valtorta Research Center. Kolbe's Publications: Sherbrooke, Canada. 1996. p. 90. ISBN: 2920285009. This book is also available online here:
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3. Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta. By Dr. Emilio Pisani. Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. 1999. p. 68. ISBN-13: 978-8879870719.
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4. Padre Pio of Pietrelchina: “Have a Good Day!”: A thought for each day of the year (3rd Edition). Edited by Br. Mariano Di Vito. Edizioni “Padre Pio da Pietrelcina”, Piazzale S. Maria delle Grazie, 4 71013 San Giovanni Rotondo, FG, Italy. 2015. pp. 174-175.
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5. Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta. p. 60. Op. cit.
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6. Padre Pio – the Saint Who Wore Gloves. By Jim Dunning. Mystics of the Church. Originally published in Irelands Own magazine.
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7. The Scents of Padre Pio. By Antonio Norrito. Casa di Padre Pio.
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8. The Notebooks: 1943. By Maria Valtorta. Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. May 13, 1943. p. 27. ISBN-13: 9788879870320.
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9. Maria Valtorta Encountered Padre Pio. By Daniel Klimek.
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10. The Notebooks: 1944. By Maria Valtorta. Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. pp. 468-469, 626. ISBN-13: 9788879870429.
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11. Autobiography. By Maria Valtorta. Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. 1991. pp. 322-324. ISBN-13: 9788879870689.
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12. Autobiography. By Maria Valtorta. pp. 358-361. Op. cit.
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13. The Notebooks: 1944. By Maria Valtorta. Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. November 25, 1944. pp. 623-624. ISBN-13: 9788879870429.
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14. The text for this reference is also quoted in: Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta. pp. 64-65. Op. cit.
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15. Autobiography. By Maria Valtorta. p. 348. Op. cit.
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16. Autobiography. By Maria Valtorta. pp. 359-360. Op. cit.
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17. Autobiography. By Maria Valtorta. p. 359. Op. cit.
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