With Matthew's permission, I will be posting some texts from The Poem of the Man God, by Maria Valtorta, a book highly praised by Bishop Williamson, St. Padre Pio, Mariologists like Fr. Roschini etc. There was some controversy at first, but the Holy Office authorized the second edition of the book for publication in 1961, with the words, "Continue to publish this second edition. We will see how the world receives it." Fr. Barreille, SSPX vocations director was another prominent supporter. Please, no discussions here, as per the rule. If anyone has questions, please raise it in an appropriate sub-forum, and we'll discuss it there.
This is meant entirely for the purpose of meditation and contemplation. Easter Sunday is just 40 days away, and I hope the texts the Lord has shared about His Passion will be helpful in preparing us all for a more fruitful Lent and a more blessed Easter.
In explaining the purpose of the work, Jesus praises Pope St. Pius X as His "Holy Vicar Pius X" in 1947 before our Holy Father had been beatified and canonized, and said the work was intended to help the Pope fight modernism and those who deny the supernaturalness of dogmas, the immutability of Truth etc. "The Reasons for the Work. Farewell to the Work. [28th April 1947.] Jesus says: “The reasons that have induced Me to enlighten and dictate episodes and words of Mine to Little John are, in addition to the joy of communicating an exact knowledge of Me to this loving victim-soul, manifold. But the moving spirit of all of them is My love for the Church, both teaching and militant, and My desire to help souls in their ascent towards perfection. The knowledge of Me helps to ascend. My Word is Life. I mention the main ones: 1. The reasons mentioned in dictation dated 18th January 1947 and which Little John will put here integrally. This is the most important reason because you are perishing and I want to save you. The most profound reason for the gift of this work is that in the present time, when modernism, (the denial of the supernatural) condemned by My holy Vicar Pius X, becomes corrupted in more and more harmful doctrines, the Church, represented by My Vicar, may have further material to fight against those who deny: ? the supernaturalness of dogmas; ? the divinity of the Christ; the truth of the Christ God and Man, real and perfect both in the faith and in the history that has been handed down on Him (Gospel, Acts of the Apostles, Apostolic Letters, Tradition); the doctrine of Paul and John and of the councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon, as My true doctrine verbally taught by Me ..."
"2. To rouse a keen love for the Gospel and for everything pertaining to the Christ in priests and in laymen. First of all, renewed love for My Mother, in Whose prayers lies the secret of the salvation of the world. She, My Mother, is the Conqueress of the cursed Dragon. Assist her power by means of your renewed love for Her and of your renewed faith and knowledge of what pertains to Her. Mary has given the Savior to the world. The world will receive salvation again from Her. 3. To give spiritual masters and directors assistance in their ministry, by studying the different souls of the world in which I lived and the different methods used by Me to save them."...
Fr. Kevin Robinson of the SSPX wrote about it some 13 years ago, "they continue to edify the Church resulting in many conversions and vocations. Valtorta's writings were specially given by Christ Our Lord as a gift to His priests, to support the work of His Vicar St Pius X to combat Modernism (see The Poem. vol. 5, pp 946), and to reveal the truth of the Gospel in a special way. They fill in the gaps. They put you in the picture. They amplify the sacred text, (e.g. the Passion may be five pages in your Gospel, it is 100 pages in The Poem.) ... It is a masterpiece of sacred literature, unlike anything ever written. In some ways it is like being in the first seminary, trained by the Master Himself. A professor and sculptor friend of Maria Valtorta wrote in 1965: "(her works) have completely transformed my inner life. The knowledge of Christ has become so total as to make the Gospels clear to me and make me live them in everyday life better" (Lorenzo Ferri). All those among our parishioners who have read Valtorta say the same thing."
The work concludes with the Most Holy Trinity praising the Virgin Mary now Crowned as Immaculate Queen in Heaven, "16 God placed Me, elevated in body and soul to the glory of Heaven, before the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Saints, the Angels and the Martyrs and He said: “Here is the perfect work of the Creator. This is what I created in My truer image and likeness among all the sons of man, the fruit of a divine creative masterpiece, the wonder of the Universe that sees closed in one only being the divine, in the eternal spirit like God and like Him spiritual, intelligent, free, holy, and the material creature in the most holy and innocent body, to which every other living being, in the three kingdoms of creation, is compelled to bow. This is the witness of My love for man, for whom I wanted a perfect organism and a blissful destiny of eternal life in My Kingdom. This is the witness that I have forgiven man whom, by will of the Trine Love, I granted to be reinstated and recreated in My eyes. This is the mystic stone of comparison, this is the link of junction between man and God, it is She Who takes the times back to the early days and gives My divine Eyes the joy of contemplating an Eve as I had created her, and now made even more beautiful and holy, because She is the Mother of My Word, and because She is the Martyr of the greatest forgiveness. For Her Immaculate Heart that never knew any stain, not even the lightest, I open the treasures of Heaven, and for Her head, that never knew pride, I make a wreath of My brightness and I crown Her, because She is most holy to Me, so that She may be your Queen.” There are no tears in Heaven. But in place of the joyful tears, that the spirits would have shed, if they were granted to weep – the liquid that trickles squeezed by an emotion – there was, after these divine words, a sparkling of lights, a changing of splendours into more vivid splendours, a burning of charitable fires in a more ardent fire, an unsurpassable and indescribable playing of celestial harmonies, which were joined by the voice of My Son, in praise of God the Father and of His Maid forever blissful.»
Among many others who have praised the work, Dr, Vittorio Tredici, geologist and mineralogist, Italy (1952) said, "I wish to underline the author's unexplainably precise knowledge of Palestine in its panoramic, topographic, geological and mineralogical aspects."
So, without further ado, let us begin to read and pray, to journey spiritually to Jerusalem to hear Christ explain the story of His Life and His Passion in a way adapted to our 20th century limited understanding - this is a labor of His Love and of a victim soul's love for our sanctification and salvation - that will renew our devotion and love for all that pertains to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to His Eternal Gospel.
571. Leaving for Enon. 3rd March 1947
1. Jesus is meditating, sitting all alone under a gigantic holm-oak, which has grown on a slope of the mountain dominating Shechem. The city, of a rosy-white shade in the early sunshine, is below, spread out on the lower slopes of the mountain. From above it looks like a handful of huge white cubes thrown by a big boy on a green sloping meadow. The two water courses near which it rises form a silvery blue semicircle round the city; then one of them enters it gurgling and glittering among the white houses, it then comes out and flows through the greenery towards the river Jordan, appearing and disappearing under olive-groves and luxuriant orchards. The other river, smaller in size, remains outside the walls, almost lapping on them, and irrigates fertile vegetable gardens; it then flows away watering flocks of white sheep grazing on meadows reddened by the capitula of clover flowers. The view in front of Jesus is a wide one. After lower and lower undulating hills one can see the green Jordan valley foreshortened, and beyond it, the mountains of the region beyond the Jordan, ending to north-east in the typical summits of Hauran. The sun rising behind them has lit up three strange clouds resembling three light gauze ribbons placed horizontally on the turquoise veil of the firmament, and the light gauze of the three long narrow clouds has become the orange-pink hue of certain precious corals. The sky seems to be barred by this airy railing and is beautiful. Jesus stares at it, that is, He looks in that direction engrossed in thought. I wonder whether He even sees it. With His elbow pressed on His knee, His hand supporting His chin resting in the hollow of the palm of His hand, He looks, thinks, meditates. Above Him birds are making a hullabaloo chirping and flying around joyfully.
2. Jesus lowers His eyes looking at Shechem that is awakening more and more in the morning sunshine. The shepherds and flocks, so far the only ones animating the view, are now joined by groups of pilgrims, and the jingling of herd-bells mingles with the tinkling of the harness bells of donkeys and with the noise of voices, the shuffling of feet and the babble of words. The noise of the awakening city and of the people ending their night's rest is carried in waves as far as Jesus. Jesus stands up. With a sigh He leaves His quiet place and goes down quickly towards the town, along a short cut. He goes in among caravans of market-gardeners and pilgrims, while the former are hurrying to unload their goods, and the latter to buy them before setting off. Waiting in a group in a corner of the square there are already the apostles and the women disciples, and around them there are the people from Ephraim, Shilo, Lebonah and many from Shechem. Jesus goes towards them and greets them. He then says to those of Samaria: «And now let us part. Go back to your homes. Remember My words. Grow in justice.» He then says to Judas of Kerioth: «Have you given alms for the poor of every place, as I told you?» «Yes, I have. With the exception of those of Ephraim, as they have already had them.» «Go, then. Ensure that every poor person may be comforted.» «We bless You on their behalf.» «Bless the women disciples. They gave Me the money. Go. Peace be with you.» They go away unwillingly, sorrowfully. But they obey.
3. Jesus stays with the apostles and the women disciples. He says to them: «I am going to Enon. I want to visit the place of the Baptist. I shall then go down to the road in the valley. It is more comfortable for the women.» «Would it not be better to take the road through Samaria?» asks the Iscariot. «There is no reason why we should be afraid of highwaymen, even if our road is close to their dens. Who wants to come with Me can do so. Who does not feel like coming as far as Enon, can remain here until the day after the Sabbath. On that day I shall go to Tirzah, and whoever remains here can join Me there.» «Actually I... should prefer to stay here. I am not very well... I am tired...» says the Iscariot. «One can see that. You look like one who is not well. You look gloomy indeed, also with regard to your humour and complexion. I have been watching you for some time...» says Peter.
«But no one asks me whether I am unwell, however...»
«Would that have pleased you? I never know what you like. But if it pleases you, I shall ask you now, and I am willing to stay with you to look after you...» Peter replies to him patiently. «No, no! I am only tired. You may go. I shall stay where I am.» «I shall stay as well. I am old. I shall rest assisting you as a mother» says Eliza all of a sudden. «Are you staying? You had said...» interrupts Salome. «If everybody went, I would have come as well, in order not to be left here all alone. But since Judas is going to stay...» «Then I will come, too. I do not wish to sacrifice you, woman. You will certainly go willingly to see the refuge of the Baptist...» «I come from Bethzur and I never felt the need to go to Bethlehem to see the grotto where the Master was born. That is something I shall do when I shall no longer have the Master. So you can imagine whether I am aflame with the desire to see where was John... I prefer to practice charity, as I am sure that it has more value than a pilgrimage.» «You are reproaching the Master. Do you not realise that?» «I am speaking for myself. He is going there and is doing the right thing. He is the Master. I am an old woman in whom grief has removed all curiosity and the love for the Christ has removed all desires except that of serving Him.»
«So, according to you, it is a service to spy upon me.» «Are you doing anything blameworthy? Only those who do harmful things are watched. But I have never spied upon anybody, man. I do not belong to the snake family. Neither do I betray.» «Neither do I.»«God grant it for your own good. But I fail to understand why you are so against my staying here to rest...»
4 Jesus, Who so far has been listening in silence, in the middle of the others, amazed at the petty quarrel, raises His head that was somewhat lowered, and says: «That is enough. A woman, who is older than you, can with more reason have the same desire as you have. You will stay here until the dawn of the day after the Sabbath. You will then join Me. In the meantime, Judas, go and buy what we will need during the next days. Go and be quick.» Judas goes away against his will to buy foodstuff. Andrew is about to follow him, but Jesus holds him back by the arm saying: «Stay here. He can manage by himself.» Jesus is very severe. Eliza looks at Him and then approaches Him saying: «Forgive me, Master, if I displeased You.» «I have nothing to forgive you, woman. You, rather, should forgive that man, as if he were your son.» «I will stay with him with that feeling... even if he thinks the very opposite... You understand me...» «Yes, and I bless you. And I tell you that you were right in saying that pilgrimages to My places will be a necessity when I am no longer amongst you... a necessity to comfort your spirits. For the time being they only serve the desires of your Jesus. And you have understood one of My wishes, because you are sacrificing yourself to protect an imprudent spirit...» The apostles look at one another... and also the women disciples do likewise. Mary only is completely covered with Her veil and does not raise Her head to look at anybody. And Mary of Magdala, standing upright like a queen who is judging, has never lost sight of Judas, who is going round the vendors, and her eyes blaze with anger while her closed lips express contempt. Her countenance says more than words... Judas comes back. He gives his companions what he bought. He tidies up his mantle that he had used to carry the goods he purchased, and makes the gesture of handing the purse to Jesus. Jesus rejects it with His hand: «It is not necessary. Mary is still with us for alms. You are to do the necessary to be charitable here. There are many beggars who come down from all places these days and go towards Jerusalem. Give them alms without prejudice, with charity, bearing in mind that, with regard to God, we are all beggars of His mercy and of His bread... Goodbye. Goodbye, Eliza. Peace be with you.» And He turns round quickly and begins to walk fast along the road that was near Him without giving Judas time to say goodbye to Him...
They all follow Him in silence. They come out of the town turning their steps northeastwards through the beautiful country..."