Pope Pius XII's Command to Publish Maria Valtorta’s Main Work (February 26, 1948)


Pope Pius XII's Command to Publish Maria Valtorta’s Main Work

February 27, 1948 Vatican Newspaper Confirms Pope Pius XII's
Audience with Frs. Berti, Migliorini, and Cecchin

More on Fr. Berti’s Signed Testimony

Analysis of the Pius XII Audience and His Command to Publish

This Papal Command Acknowledged By Leading Scholars,
Journalists, and Bishops

Addressing and Refuting Objections of Skeptics and Critics

Pope Pius XII’s Holiness

In Our Time, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Position
Has Returned to Where it First Started with Pope Pius XII’s Position

References


Pope Pius XII's Command to Publish Maria Valtorta’s Main Work

The history of Pope Pius XII with Maria Valtorta’s main work The Poem of the Man-God (now entitled The Gospel as Revealed to Me) is as follows:

Fr. Corrado Berti, Secretary of the Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty in Rome from 1950 to 1959, relates in a signed testimony that he wrote on December 8, 1978: “Since the writings of Maria Valtorta present themselves as emanating from supernatural visions and dictations, [in 1946] I took council with two very experienced persons, that is, with his Excellency Msgr. Alphonsus Carinci, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and vicar for the Causes of the Saints; and with Rev. Augustin Bea, S.J., confessor of Pope Pius XII, and rector and professor of the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome. Both advised having typewritten copies of such writings conveyed to his Holiness Pope Pius XII, through a prelate of the Secretary of State. Pius XII became personally acquainted with these writings, as I was assured by the bearer himself of the typescript.”1

A high-ranking prelate personally handed Pope Pius XII a 12-volume typewritten copy of The Poem of the Man-God in 1947. In the following months, the priest who was in charge of postal delivery directly to Pope Pius XII’s desk saw the bookmark in Valtorta’s writings on his desk moving forward day by day.2 After these volumes were evaluated by the Pope, he granted a special audience with the three Servites of Mary in charge of this work: Fr. Corrado M. Berti, O.S.M. (professor of dogmatic and sacramental theology at the Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty in Rome from 1939 onward, and Secretary of that Faculty from 1950 to 1959), Fr. Romualdo M. Migliorini (Prefect Apostolic in Africa), and Fr. Andrew M. Cecchin (Prior of the International College of the Servites of Mary in Rome). At this audience, as Bishop of Rome and the Vicar of Christ, Pope Pius XII commanded them to publish it, saying: “Publish it just as it is. There is no need to give an opinion as to whether it is of supernatural origin. Those who read it will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are”3 Father Berti testifies: “I asked the Pope if we should remove the inscriptions: ‘Visions’ and ‘Dictations’ from The Poem before publishing it. And he answered that nothing should be removed.”4 Frs. Berti, Migliorini, and Cecchin documented the Pope’s words immediately afterwards. Fr. Berti’s signed testimony is located in Isola del Liri, Italy (and is also viewable online). Pope Pius XII’s audience with these three priests was also historically documented the next day, February 27, 1948, in the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. These three ecclesiastical eyewitnesses were of distinguished repute, and it may be worth mentioning that in a court of law in the United States, only two eyewitnesses are necessary to convict someone with the death penalty. This command of Pope Pius XII in front of three witnesses made it just as binding as a command in writing, according to the 1918 Code of Canon Law, which was in force in 1948.5 Cardinal Edouard Gagnon (who had a Doctorate in Theology and taught canon law for ten years at the Grand Seminary) writing to the Maria Valtorta Research Center from the Vatican on October 31, 1987, referred to Pope Pius XII's action as: "The type of official Imprimatur granted before witnesses by the Holy Father in 1948."6 It is also of significance that Cardinal Gagnon was known as a specialist of censorship, a theme for which he had written a reference book in 1945: The Censorship of Books (Éditions Fides, Montreal, 222 pages).7

The word imprimatur merely means "it may be printed" (in Latin: “let it be printed”). Here the Pope went further: he commanded them, "Publish this work just as it is." Furthermore, the contents were deemed acceptable and very good to his judgment, for he said: "Publish this work just as it is." Pope Leo X stated at the Fifth Lateran Council: “When it is a question of prophetic revelations, the Pope is the sole judge!”8

February 27, 1948 Vatican Newspaper Confirms Pope Pius XII's Audience with Frs. Berti, Migliorini, and Cecchin

A copy of the documented report in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, of the historic audience of Pope Pius XII with Frs. Berti, Migliorini, and Cecchin on February 27, 1948, is given below.

L'Osservatore Romano, February 27, 1948, Pope Pius XII Audience


L'Osservatore Romano, February 27, 1948, Pope Pius XII Audience About Maria Valtorta


Close-up

L'Osservatore Romano, February 27, 1948, Pope Pius XII Audience About Maria Valtorta Close-Up

It is obvious to any scholar of Valtorta that this papal audience was about the topic of Maria Valtorta and her mystical writings. Fr. Romualdo Migliorini, O.S.M., was Maria Valtorta’s spiritual director from 1942 to 1946. The book Lettere a Padre Migliorini (Letters to Father Migliorini) is a collection of letters that Maria Valtorta and Fr. Migliorini exchanged between October 29, 1942 and October 6, 1952. He was the one who commanded her to write her autobiography in late 1942, and guided her when her visions and dictations began in 1943. He also remained her spiritual director and typed thousands of pages of Maria Valtorta’s writings before he was recalled to Rome in 1946 by his superiors.

Fr. Corrado Berti, O.S.M., was the theologian assigned by the Servites in 1946 to study the great mystic’s writings in depth, as she was a Third Order Servite. He visited Maria Valtorta often (totaling over 180 visits). He attested many times – including in his signed testimony on December 8, 1978 – to her holiness and virtue. He was well acquainted with Valtorta and her writings, including before this papal audience. In fact, he stated in his signed testimony: “I knew Maria Valtorta in 1946, and, given the fact that she lived close enough to my mother, I often met with her at least once a month until the year of her death in 1961.” He supervised the editing and publication of the critical second edition of Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God, and from 1960 to 1980 provided the extensive theological and biblical annotations that accompany that edition and all subsequent editions (totaling over 5,675 footnotes).

Prof. Leo A. Brodeur, M.A., Lèsl., Ph.D., H.Sc.D., wrote:9

It is important to know that Pope Pius XII was not content giving no more no less than an order by saying: “Pubblicate” (“Publish”). He also went so far as to hint at the work’s extraordinary origin. Referring to the great number of alleged visions and revelations which people were claiming to receive in those years, he declared that they were not all true, but that some were. Now if Pope Pius XII, a man of profound intelligence, had not believed in the authenticity of Valtorta’s writings, he would not have spoken in such words that could have been misinterpreted. So then when he said, during the special audience revolving around Valtorta’s writings, that among all the alleged revelations of that time some were true, he was implying that Valtorta’s were true. And two of the three Servite Fathers whom he had summoned, Fr. Berti and Fr. Migliorini, knew Valtorta’s work very well and were undoubtedly among the most competent men in the world to understand the implications of such words by the Pope. And Fr. Berti referred to them several times.


More on Fr. Berti’s Signed Testimony

Fr. Berti’s signed testimony is available here: A Testimony on Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God. By Rev. Corrado Berti, O.S.M. December 8, 1978: http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Corberti.html

This is the English translation of a photostated copy of Fr. Berti's original signed Italian typescript testimonial, which is in possession of Dr. Emilio Pisani in Isola del Liri, Italy. A photocopy of Fr. Berti’s original signed Italian typescript is viewable and downloadable here: http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Testimony%20of%20Fr.%20Berti.pdf

Original Italian of the Pope’s words: “Pubblicate quest’opera così come sta, senza pronunciarvi a riguardo deII’origine straordinaria o meno di essa; chi legge capirà.” Pope Pius XII, during a private audience granted to Fr. Berti, Fr. Migliorini, and Fr. Cecchin (all of them Servites of Mary), Feb. 26, 1948. The taking place of this audience was mentioned in the Osservatore Romano of Feb. 27, 1948, and this can be viewed online here. The Pope’s words were quoted by Fr. Berti, editor of Il poema dell’Uomo-Dio, in Il poema dell’Uomo-Dio, vol. VII, Appendix, pp. 1870-1871.

Another noteworthy document describing the papal intervention is: Maria Valtorta (1897-1961): Ia Vita di Gesù, intitolata “II poema deiI’Uomo-Dio” e gli altri suoi scritti mistici [Maria Valtorta (1897-1961): Jesus’ life entitled The Poem of the Man-God and her other mystical writings]. By Fr. Corrado M. Berti, O.S.M. (Rome, December 8, 1978).

Analysis of the Pius XII Audience and His Command to Publish

Prof. Leo A. Brodeur, M.A., LèsL., Ph.D., H.Sc.D., wrote:10

On February 26, 1948, Pope Pius XII, during an official special audience mentioned in the Osservatore Romano the following day, had much to say about The Poem of The Man-God.

"Pubblicate quest'opera così come sta, senza pronunciarvi a riguardo dell'origine straordinaria o meno di essa: chi legge, capirà. Si sente parlare di tante visioni e rivelazioni. lo non dico che tutte siano vere; ma qualcuna vera ci può essere."

"Publish this work just as it is, without giving an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. [Nowadays] one hears of many visions and revelations. I do not say they are all authentic; but some of them can be authentic."

Pope Pius XII was a very strict conservative who did his utmost to destroy heresies. Also, he had been a Church diplomat and had mastered the art of prudent understatement. Therefore, when he said, in the context of a special audience whose purpose was to discuss the future of The Poem of The Man-God, that some visions and revelations in his day and age could be said to be authentic, he was very diplomatically, very guardedly letting on that he deemed the visions described in The Poem of The Man-God to be authentic.

During that special audience, Pope Pius XII spoke as a superior to someone in front of two other witnesses. By the canon law in force then, such an oral statement carried as much weight as a signed document. The fact that he said to publish a typescript just as it is, thus constituted more than an imprimatur. That is because the word imprimatur merely means "it may be printed." Here the Pope did not merely say that The Poem of The Man-God may be printed; he said: "Publish this just as it is."

Everyone should respect such an initiative by a Pope, the supreme visible authority in the Church, especially when he was known to be unflinchingly traditional. Un-traditional people do not like Pope Pius XII precisely because he was such a bastion of tradition.

For all his efforts as a good practicing Catholic and Vicar of Christ on earth from 1939 to 1958, the beatification procedures for Pope Pius XII were begun by Pope Paul VI on March 12, 1964.

Pope Pius XII was a serious, scholarly man who always double-checked everything personally before signing anything or saying anything. He was a pillar of the Church, a staunch defender of Catholic doctrine. If the contents of The Poem of The Man-God were fine by such a great Pope, how come we still find people opposing The Poem of The Man-God?


This Papal Command Acknowledged By Leading Scholars, Journalists, and Bishops

These documented words of Pope Pius XII are considered by many leading scholars, journalists, and dozens of bishops to be a fact. For example, Antonio Socci is a leading Italian journalist, author, and public intellectual in Italy. He had his own television show, which he hosted, and is a prominent media personality, especially for topics on the Catholic Church. He has regularly held press conferences for cardinals (including Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Bertone).

He is well known among many Catholics because of his book The Fourth Secret of Fatima, which is one of the most prominent books about Fatima (in particular, the Third Secret of Fatima) in recent times. Recently, Antonio Socci wrote an article about The Poem of the Man-God that was originally published in an Italian newspaper and which he also published on his blog on April 7, 2012, in which he highly praises The Poem, saying:11

These are exceptional pages, which practically contain all four Gospels and fill in missing periods, solving so many enigmatic points or apparent contradictions.

Reading these pages is not only an extraordinary adventure for the mind since it reveals everything you would want to know and illuminates every truth, but it also changes your heart and changes your life.

Above all, it confirms the veracity of all the dogmas and teachings of the Church, of St. John, St. Paul, and of all the Councils.

For twenty years, after having laboriously stumbled through trying to read hundreds of biblical scholars’ volumes, I can say that – with the reading of the Work of Valtorta – two hundred years of Enlightenment-based, idealistic, and modernist chatter about the Gospels and about the Life of Jesus can be run through the shredder.

And this perhaps is one of the reasons why this exceptional work – a work which moved even Pius XII – is still ignored and “repressed” by the official intelligentsia and by clerical modernism.

In spite of that, outside the normal channels of distribution, thanks to Emilio Pisani and Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, the Work has been read by a sea of people – every year, by tens of thousands of new readers – and has been translated into 21 languages. [emphasis added]


Bishop Johanan-Mariam Cazenave, the Secretary of the Syrian-French Synod, wrote a preface for Jean-François Lavère’s 339-page book entitled (in Italian) L’Enigma Valtorta (The Valtorta Enigma), (in French) L´énigme Valtorta, Une Vie de Jésus Romancée? (The Valtorta Enigma, a Fictionalized Life of Jesus?), and (in German) Das Rätsel Valtorta: Das Leben Jesu in Romanform?. Jean-François Lavère’s book was released in June 2012. The English translation of this book has been completed and will be released soon. In this preface, the Bishop writes:12

This remarkable work could not have been done fifty years ago. Maria Valtorta died in 1961; it was during the blackest years of the War that she was inspired with l’Evangile tel qu’il m’a été révélé [The Gospel as it was Revealed to Me]. Pope Pius XII, Sovereign Pontiff reigning at that time, issued on this publication a positive discernment: “Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion as to its origin, whether it is extraordinary or not; those who read will understand.” The word of a Pope is not without value and is based on the sentiment that the Pontiff shared with his contemporaries, that this text is orthodox. Pius XII, better than anyone, is the guarantor that the Work [of Valtorta] does not betray in any way the Canonical Gospels and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church; he therefore recommends this reading.


Addressing and Refuting Objections of Skeptics and Critics

Honest scholars recognize that there is far more evidence that Pope Pius XII said these words than there is evidence that he never said these words or evidence that the three priests (of distinguished repute) in audience with the Pope were all lying.

However, I want to address the objections of critics and skeptics now to reinforce even more strongly the reality that this important event happened and cannot be denied.

Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D. (Doctor of Sacred Theology) wrote:13

It has been objected that Pope Pius XII never gave approval for The Poem of the Man-God since this approval was not printed in the February 27, 1948 edition of L'Osservatore Romano, which documented the papal audience of Pius XII with Father Migliorini, Father Berti, and Father Cecchin, spiritual directors and custodians of The Poem of the Man-God. There is no substantial reason to doubt the oral statement granted by Pope Pius XII during a papal audience given to the spiritual director of Maria Valtorta, Father Romualdo Migliorini, O.S.M., Father Berti, O.S.M., and Father Andrea Cecchin, Prior of the Order of the Servants of Mary (papal audience, February 26, 1948; L'Osservatore Romano, February 27, 1948), whereby they record the words of the pope saying, "Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are." Speculations on "how much was read" by Pius XII whether in "whole or in part" posed to undermine the oral statement of Pius XII, as faithfully transmitted by the Prior of the Order of the Servites of Mary, would represent speculation without factual foundation.


An article relates concerning the papal audience with Pope Pius XII:14

“Some critics have attempted to discredit its authenticity, however without citing any real evidence to the contrary. Thus, we have not found any reason for rejecting the testimonies of these three priests as a mistake or a lie, especially given their distinguished repute (Prior of the Servites of Mary in Rome, Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and Prefect Apostolic in Africa). It may also be worth mentioning, in a court of law in the United States, only two eyewitnesses are necessary to convict someone with the death penalty.”


I found a skeptic who objected, “How would the Pope have found the time to read these 10,000 pages?”

Response: First off, it is very misleading and ignorant to claim that the Pope was handed 10,000 pages. Valtorta wrote her writings on notebooks. Her total writings that comprised The Poem of the Man-God / The Gospel as Revealed to Me constituted approximately 9,000 handwritten notebook pages (8,972 handwritten pages to be exact). When these were typed up and printed, the number of typewritten pages was significantly less. Fr. Berti testifies that the Pope was handed typewritten copies, not the original handwritten notebook pages. For example, in the modern printing of the first English edition of The Poem of the Man-God, the total summation of her work came out to approximately 4,175 pages (less than 42% the length that the critic quoted). Pope Pius XII was not handed 10,000 pages. At most, he was probably handed something around 4,200 typed pages.

Second, Pope Pius XII possessed a brilliant mind and was a very capable reader and scholar. We can’t presume that he was incapable of reading all of the typewritten pages handed to him. There is no evidence to suggest that he didn’t read everything handed to him. In fact, you can look into what scientific studies have shown for how long it takes the average person to read a certain number of pages. There is a very handy website called www.readinglength.com, where you can enter in a book title, and it will estimate how many hours it would take the average person (based on the averaging reading speed of most people) to read that book. I typed in “The Poem of the Man-God”. The results showed Maria Valtorta’s Volume 1 and it stated:15

The average reader will take 16 hours, 9 minutes to read "Poem of the Man-God, Vol. 1" at a speed of 250 WPM.


The website says that this work is 782 pages (242,420 words). This comes out to about 1 minute, 14 seconds per page. Given the size of the font and from my own experience reading it, this seems reasonable. If we total up the total printed pages of all five volumes, it comes out to about 4,175 pages (I actually included all the indexes and introductory materials and copyright pages of all five volumes to be conservative, all of which probably wasn’t in the typewritten manuscripts handed to the Sovereign Pontiff). So, taking the average of 1 minute, 14 seconds per page, it would take him approximately this long to read her entire work if he read at the average reading speed of most people: 90 hours, 19 minutes, 10 seconds.

Since the evidence suggests that he was reading it over the course of about three or four months, this would be approximately 90-120 days. This means that to read her entire printed work (assuming that he read at the average reading speed of most people), he would have to have spent 45-60 minutes per day reading her work to finish it in three to four months.

To put 45-60 minutes per day into perspective to modern readers: studies say that the average American spends more than five hours per day (300 minutes per day) watching television.16 I have also heard that Pope Pius XII was among those people who do not need as much sleep each night and that he only slept five hours or less most nights. If this is true, this would afford additional explanation for how he might have found time to devote 45-60 minutes on average each day to personal spiritual reading (such as Valtorta’s work) during those months. I also contacted the Centro Editoriale Valtortiano and they informed me that they know that the priest who was in charge of postal delivery directly to Pope Pius XII’s desk saw the bookmark in Valtorta’s writings on his desk moving forward day by day.

If the Pope were interested enough in reading Valtorta’s work based on the recommendation of renowned theologians like Archbishop Carinci (see Fr. Berti’s testimony), it is reasonable to conclude that he would be able to find 45-60 minutes per day on average to read her work (obviously, some days more and some days less, depending on his schedule). Maybe he chose to make it part of his daily required spiritual reading for all we know, and for those three to four months, he read her work instead of something else that he was reading beforehand. To me – and to many others I’ve asked this question – they don’t think this is unreasonable or unrealistic.

Furthermore, for those skeptics who would claim that he might not have been handed all 4,175 typed pages to read and that he was handed less, then this would substantially reduce the amount of time per day it would take him to read them. Furthermore, these estimates are based on the average reading speed of the general population. I think most biographers would agree that Pope Pius XII was of undoubtedly above-average intelligence and that his reading ability was also probably above average. It is very likely that he read faster than 250 words per minute (the average), which would also reduce the amount of minutes required each day for him to have finished reading all of the typescripts handed to him.

Therefore, considering that there is no evidence that he did not read all the typescripts handed to him, and considering that mathematically and practically it was very reasonable and possible for him to read all of them, there are no grounds to suggest that he didn’t read all of the typescripts handed to him. Besides, as Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D. (Doctor of Sacred Theology), wrote:17

Speculations on "how much was read" by Pius XII whether in "whole or in part" posed to undermine the oral statement of Pius XII, as faithfully transmitted by the Prior of the Order of the Servites of Mary, would represent speculation without factual foundation.


Personally, we don’t really consider it a big concern if he never read all of her work or if he was not able to finish reading all of the typewritten manuscripts handed to him. He still said what he did and we consider his judgement as reliable. Besides, since the time of Pope Pius XII’s audience, there have been many renowned, highly learned theologians who have affirmed Valtorta’s work is in line with faith, morals, truth, realism, and the teaching of the Church, including those who have combed through every single sentence of Maria Valtorta’s work in the original Italian for years (in some cases, more than a decade), among them Fr. Corrado Berti, O.S.M., a professor of dogmatic and sacramental theology of the Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty in Rome from 1939 onward, and Secretary of that Faculty from 1950 to 1959, who thoroughly analyzed Maria Valtorta’s writings and provided more than 5,675 scholarly footnotes and appendices for her work, including for difficult passages that critics have or could potentially criticize. This averages about 568 footnotes per volume and averages slightly more than one footnote per page throughout the whole 5,264 printed pages of the Italian edition — and some of those footnotes and appendices are quite lengthy.

The Pope commanded them to publish her writings. We also consider his oral command to publish her writings as equivalent to or better than an imprimatur, because the word imprimatur merely means "it may be printed" (in Latin: “let it be printed”). Here the Pope went further: he commanded them, "Publish this work just as it is." Furthermore, the contents were deemed acceptable and very good to his judgment, for he said: "Publish this work just as it is."

The Pope has the right to grant an imprimatur personally. Though this should be obvious, let us illustrate this principle with a published quotation from Cardinal Gagnon, who is an expert in this field. In 1944, the future Cardinal Gagnon wrote in his doctoral thesis on book censorship:

“Since the Supreme Pontiff is vested with the fullness of power and is the immediate pastor of all the faithful (canon 218 [in the 1918 Code of Canon Law]), he could, before anyone else and with his supreme authority, approve a book and grant it the Imprimatur. As far as we know, he has not yet done so” — [remember, this was written in 1944] — “since the modern [ecclesiastical] laws of preventive censorship.” (Translated from Fr. Edouard Gagnon. La censure des livres. Sainte-Foy (Quebec), Université Laval, Faculté de Droit canonique, 1944. p.178)


As mentioned earlier, Cardinal Edouard Gagnon (who served as Peritus during the Second Vatican Council, that is, an Expert Theologian Advisor and Consultant, and who had a Doctorate in Theology and taught canon law for ten years at the Grand Seminary) writing to the Maria Valtorta Research Center from the Vatican on October 31, 1987, referred to Pope Pius XII's action as: "The type of official Imprimatur granted before witnesses by the Holy Father in 1948."18 It is also of significance that Cardinal Gagnon was known as a specialist of censorship, a theme for which he had written a reference book in 1945: The Censorship of Books (Éditions Fides, Montreal, 222 pages).19

An article makes a good point:20

It is also worthy to note that, among the thousands of private revelations throughout history, very few have received the attention of a Pope. In fact, most alleged private revelations are not investigated beyond the jurisdiction of the local ordinary—if they are ever investigated at all. Fewer still are investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Thus, for an alleged private revelation to be given direct recognition by a Pope is almost unprecedented. All things considered, one may conclude that to grant unequivocal authority to the Holy Office’s temporary inclusion on a suppressed Index, would not be in keeping faithful to the facts of history in light of the teachings of the Church.


Prof. Leo A. Brodeur, M.A., Lèsl., Ph.D., H.Sc.D., wrote:21

It is important to know that Pope Pius XII was not content giving no more no less than an order by saying: “Pubblicate” (“Publish”). He also went so far as to hint at the work’s extraordinary origin. Referring to the great number of alleged visions and revelations which people were claiming to receive in those years, he declared that they were not all true, but that some were. Now if Pope Pius XII, a man of profound intelligence, had not believed in the authenticity of Valtorta’s writings, he would not have spoken in such words that could have been misinterpreted. So then when he said, during the special audience revolving around Valtorta’s writings, that among all the alleged revelations of that time some were true, he was implying that Valtorta’s were true. And two of the three Servite Fathers whom he had summoned, Fr. Berti and Fr. Migliorini, knew Valtorta’s work very well and were undoubtedly among the most competent men in the world to understand the implications of such words by the Pope. And Fr. Berti referred to them several times.


Pope Pius XII’s Holiness

Lastly, I want to discuss Pope Pius XII’s holiness. An article relates:22

After Pope Pius XII died on October 9th, 1958, a nun, Sr. Pascalina Lehnert wrote to San Giovanni Rotondo and asked what were Padre Pio’s thoughts on Pope Pius XII. When Padre Pio was asked about the recently departed Pope Pius XII, Padre Pio wore a face that looked transfigured, and answered, "he is in Paradise." When Padre Pio was pressed to give more detail he said; "yes, I have seen him in Paradise." It is a short, but significant example of Padre Pio’s supernatural knowledge. If only little accounts like this were better known – they would impress nobler and higher thoughts of heavenly realms and what we must strive for.

About Padre Pio’s statement that Pope Pius XII was in Heaven, Father Agostino wrote in his Diary on November 18th, 1958: "Padre Pio was very sad for the death of Pope Pius XII. But Our Lord let him see the Pope in the glory of Paradise."


Another article relates:23

Immediately after his death, the world at large proclaimed Pope Pius XII worthy of the title, Saint. Referring to Pius XII's sanctity in his letter to Margherita Marchione (February 22, 2001), Bernard Tiffany quoted the following letter from Padre Pio's secretary, Reverend Dominic Meyer, OFM, Cap.: "Padre Pio told me he saw the Pope in Heaven during his Mass. And many miracles have been attributed to his intercession in various parts of the world. Pictures of the Pope have been printed with a prayer for his beatification. But so far I have not seen any with the prayer in English (June 30, 1959)."

In his Diario, one finds a confirmation of the above statement. When Pius XII died on October 9, 1958, Padre Pio was consoled "by a vision of the former pontiff in his heavenly home," according to Padre Agostino. A more recent confirmation of this event comes from Pius XII's niece, Marchesina Elena Rossignani Pacelli, to whom Padre Pio repeated the same words. On May 19, 2002, Elena Pacelli confirmed this statement.


In Our Time, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Position
Has Returned to Where it First Started with Pope Pius XII’s Position

The latest (and currently juridically binding) position of the Church is represented by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s decision in 1992 to explicitly give permission to Dr. Pisani at the Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (the publishing house of Maria Valtorta’s works) to continue publishing her work as it is without any needed modifications to the text. Thus, the Church has given permission to the publisher to publish Valtorta’s The Gospel as Revealed to Me (also known as The Poem of the Man-God) and has given the faithful permission to read it. This action and permission also implicitly acknowledges that the work is free from error in faith and morals and may be safely read by the faithful.

In addition to this, multiple bishops and ecclesiastical authorities have declared that her work is free of error in faith and morals after having thoroughly examined it. Not only was her work commanded to be published by Pope Pius XII in 1948, but it was approved for publication by the Holy Office in 1961 according to the testimony of Fr. Berti who dealt directly with the Holy Office at the time; and in 1992, Cardinal Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave permission for her work to be published. In a letter dated May 6, 1992 (Prot. N. 324-92), addressed to Dr. Emilio Pisani (the publisher of Maria Valtorta’s works), Monsignor Dionigi Tettamanzi, secretary to the Italian Episcopal Conference, gave permission for the work to continue to be published for the “true good of readers and in the spirit of the genuine service to the faith of the Church.”24 Dr. Pisani relates concerning this letter:25

Our comment immediately points to the conclusion that the Work of Maria Valtorta does not contain errors or inaccuracies concerning faith and morals; otherwise Monsignor Tettamanzi would have asked the Publisher to correct or eliminate such specific errors or inaccuracies “for the true good of readers.”

Monsignor Tettamanzi did not even ask that any form of expression that declares the supernatural origin of the Work be corrected, because he maintained that the only declaration that the Publisher had to make at the beginning of the volumes would be enough “for the true good of readers,” and to act “in the spirit of an authentic service to the faith of the Church”: thereby signifying that the content of the Work is sound. In fact, the Church has condemned books that are contrary to faith and morals and which did not claim to be a revelation or even inspired at all.

Approved in content and exonerated in its form. This is how we can sum up the latest position taken by the Ecclesiastical Authority on Maria Valtorta’s Work.

Such a position was confirmed verbally to the publisher, Emilio Pisani, in the Palace of the Holy Office at the Vatican, 30 June 1992. On that occasion, he learned that the letter of the Secretary General of the CEI [Italian Episcopal Conference] had been suggested by an office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as it had been decided “on High” that the Work of Maria Valtorta could be read by everyone “like a good book.”

Everything had returned to where it first started, in essence, to the views expressed unofficially by Pope Pius XII before the Holy Office blocked attempts to publish the Work without any prior accurate examination. In the Audience granted 26 February, 1948 to three Religious of the Order of the Servants of Mary, the Pope, who had previously had the typewritten documents, advised him to publish the work without a preface that would illustrate the nature of this Work and without any formal editing. He concluded: “The reader will understand.” (We refer to the chapter on p. 61).

Therefore, the Publisher continues to spread the Work of Maria Valtorta fully and faithfully, without on his part expressing anything of its nature. He can only declare – in deference to Monsignor Tettamanzi’s letter – that the Life of Jesus, just as it is presented in the literary work of Maria Valtorta, can do a “true good” even to those readers who, out of obedience to the Ecclesiastical Authority or by conviction, do not accept its supernatural origin.

It will be up to other offices to determine the degree of Maria Valtorta’s genius, and if it must exclude that her work is the fruit of a private revelation. The important thing is that Catholics have had ecclesiastical permission to read it because it is “good.”


As far as a more thorough approval beyond permission to publish her writings and imprimaturs various bishops have given to her work or anthologies of her work, the Church has not investigated Maria Valtorta’s person and writings yet and ever pronounced a statement in a canonical or ecclesiastical form of an official and universally binding decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as to whether it is of supernatural origin; and so Catholics are free to form their own opinion as to the supernatural character of her writings. Many bishops, renowned Catholic theologians, prominent Catholic lay faithful, and even a beatified person have publicly affirmed their belief in the supernatural character of her writings, and they and all Catholics are entirely at liberty to do so.

Further details and documentation regarding all of these things can be found in the chapter of this e-book entitled, “Statements and Actions of the Popes, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the Holy Office), and the Vatican Newspaper on Maria Valtorta’s Primary Work”.

References

1. A Testimony on Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God. By Rev. Corrado Berti, O.S.M. December 8, 1978.
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Corberti.html
This is the English translation of a photostated copy of Fr. Berti's original signed Italian typescript testimonial, which is in possession of Dr. Emilio Pisani in Isola del Liri, Italy. A photocopy of Fr. Berti’s original signed Italian typescript is viewable and downloadable here:
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Testimony%20of%20Fr.%20Berti.pdf
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 1 in the Text


2. Fireworks: Sunrise of Truth Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. The Maria Valtorta Research Center. Kolbe's Publications: Sherbrooke, Canada. 1996. p. 18. ISBN: 2920285009. This book is also available online here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20130106000533/http://valtorta.org/FIREWORKS.htm
I also contacted the Centro Editoriale Valtortiano and they informed me that they know that the priest who was in charge of postal delivery directly to Pope Pius XII’s desk saw the bookmark in Valtorta’s writings on his desk moving forward day by day.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 2 in the Text


3. The Sources of the Testimony of Pope Pius XII’s Words: The Official Signed Testimony of Fr. Corrado M. Berti, O.S.M., Two Other Official Testimonies of Fr. Berti, Bishop Roman Danylak’s Letter, an Official Publication of Dr. Emilio Pisani, and a Well-Documented Website. All of these sources are given below:

A Testimony on Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God. By Rev. Corrado Berti, O.S.M. December 8, 1978.
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Corberti.html
This is the English translation of a photostated copy of Fr. Berti's original signed Italian typescript testimonial, which is in possession of Dr. Emilio Pisani in Isola del Liri, Italy. A photocopy of Fr. Berti’s original signed Italian typescript is viewable and downloadable here:
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Testimony%20of%20Fr.%20Berti.pdf

• Original Italian of the Pope’s words: “Pubblicate quest’opera così come sta, senza pronunciarvi a riguardo deII’origine straordinaria o meno di essa; chi legge capirà.” Pope Pius XII, during a private audience granted to Fr. Berti, Fr. Migliorini, and Fr. Cecchin (all of them Servites of Mary), Feb. 26, 1948. The taking place of this audience was mentioned in the Osservatore Romano of Feb. 27, 1948, and this can be viewed online here. The Pope’s words were quoted by Fr. Berti, editor of Il poema dell’Uomo-Dio, in Il poema dell’Uomo-Dio, vol. VII, Appendix, pp. 1870-1871. This appendix, however, was omitted in the English translation of the Poem of the Man-God.

• A noteworthy document describing the papal intervention is: Maria Valtorta (1897-1961): Ia Vita di Gesù, intitolata “II poema deiI’Uomo-Dio” e gli altri suoi scritti mistici [Maria Valtorta (1897-1961): Jesus’ life entitled The Poem of the Man-God and her other mystical writings]. By Fr. Corrado M. Berti, O.S.M. (Rome, December 8, 1978). Fr. Berti, one of the witnesses of Pope Pius XII’s judgment, was the theologian assigned by the Servites in 1946 to study the great mystic’s writings in depth, as she was a third order Servite.

Maria Valtorta, Her Life and Work. By Bishop Roman Danylak, S.T.L., J.U.D.
www.SacredHeartofJesus.ca/MariaValtorta/M A R I A.htm
Note: The original URL above has since become dead, but an archive of it can still be viewed here:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150801070533/http://www.sacredheartofjesus.ca/MariaValtorta/M%20A%20R%20I%20A.htm

Bollettino D'Informazione Valtortiana. No. 23, January-June 1981. p. 91. Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl. Viale Piscicelli, 89/91, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia. Also quoted online here:
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Valepic.html

A Brief History of Events. Maria-Valtorta.net.
http://www.maria-valtorta.net/index.html
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 3 in the Text


4. A Testimony on Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 4 in the Text


5. Fireworks: Sunrise of Truth Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. p. 94. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 5 in the Text


6. The Valtorta Newsletter. No. 6, Winter 1992. Maria Valtorta Research Center. 31, King St. West, #212, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, J1H 1N5. p. 6. Writing to the Maria Valtorta Research Center from the Vatican on October 31, 1987, Edouard Cardinal Gagnon referred to Pope Pius XII’s action as: “le genre d’Imprimatur officiel accordé par le Saint-Père en 1948 devant témoins” (“the type of official Imprimatur granted before witnesses by the Holy Father in 1948”). Also quoted online here:
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/Valepic.html
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 6 in the Text


7. Biography of Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, P.S.S. Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice: Province of Canada. This biography lists his works, among them La censure des livres (The Censorship of Books), Québec, 1945.
http://www.sulpc.org/evsulpc_gagnon_en.php
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 7 in the Text


8. Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council (1513).
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 8 in the Text


9. The Holy Shroud and the Visions of Maria Valtorta. By Msgr. Vincenzo Cerri. Kolbe’s Publications Inc. 1994. pp. 217-218. ISBN-13: 9782920285125.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 9 in the Text


10. Fireworks: Sunrise of Truth Encyclopedia, Vol. 1. p. 19, 79. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 10 in the Text


11. A wonderful gift to our generation: "The Gospel as was revealed to me" by Maria Valtorta. By Antonio Socci. Blog of Antonio Socci. April 7, 2012. Translated from the original Italian.
http://www.antoniosocci.com/2012/04/un-regalo-meraviglioso-alla-nostra-generazione-levangelo-come-mi-e-stato-rivelato-di-maria-valtorta/
A full English translation of Socci’s article is viewable here:
http://www.valtorta.org.au/Socci.html
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 11 in the Text


12. Bishop Johanan-Mariam Cazenave in the Preface to L’Énigme Valtorta (The Valtorta Enigma), a book by Jean-François Lavère, RSI Publishers, 2012, page 16. An English translation of this preface is available online here:
http://www.bardstown.com/~brchrys/The_Valtorta_Enigma_Preface.pdf
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 12 in the Text


13. In Response to Various Questions Regarding "The Poem of the Man-God” By Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D. April 15, 2006.
http://www.motherofallpeoples.com/2006/04/in-response-to-various-questions-regarding-qthe-poem-of-the-man-godq/
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 13 in the Text


14. A Brief History of Events. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 14 in the Text


15. Poem of the Man-God, Vol. 1 by Maria Valtorta - Reading Length. Reading Length. 2015-2016. Accessed online July 2016.
http://www.readinglength.com/book.php?isbn=B0011D1H0C&query=The+Poem+of+the+Man-God
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 15 in the Text


16. Average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, report shows. By David Hinckley. New York Daily News. March 5, 2014. Accessed online July 2016.
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 16 in the Text


17. In Response to Various Questions Regarding "The Poem of the Man-God”. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 17 in the Text


18. The Valtorta Newsletter. No. 6, Winter 1992. p. 6. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 18 in the Text


19. Biography of Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, P.S.S. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 19 in the Text


20. Position of the Church. Maria Valtorta.net.
http://www.maria-valtorta.net/mitch_pacwa.html
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 20 in the Text


21. The Holy Shroud and the Visions of Maria Valtorta. pp. 217-218. Op. cit.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 21 in the Text


22. Padre Pio on Pope Pius XII: “I have seen him in Paradise”. The Path Less Taken. December 20, 2011.
http://thepathlesstaken7.blogspot.com/2011/12/padre-pio-on-pope-pius-xii-i-have-seen.html
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 22 in the Text


23. The Last Roman. HallowedGround. October 7, 2008.
https://hallowedground.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/the-last-roman/
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 23 in the Text


24. Pro e contro Maria Valtorta (5th Edition). By Dr. Emilio Pisani. Centro Editoriale Valtortiano. 2008. pp. 263-265. ISBN-13: 9788879871528.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 24 in the Text


25. ibid.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 25 in the Text


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