This inspired 4,200 page narration describing the Life of Jesus was written by Maria Valtorta (1897-1961) during the years 1943-1947 with some additions in 1951, after the proclamation of the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary (1950). Although most of the work covers the three-year public life of Jesus Christ, it begins with the birth of the Virgin Mary, and ends with Her Assumption. On the first page of the work Jesus says: "She will be spoken of in this book".
Since it was first available in Italian, this work has attracted the attention of scholars and spiritual leaders alike. Testimonials abound to the fact that it is entirely consistent with the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament. None of Maria's writings have ever been formally charged with even the slightest moral or doctrinal error.
Maria Valtorta claims she had visions that inspired her writings. Whether you feel this work is imaginary or truly "inspired", the real fruit is its wonderful effect on many thousands of people all around the world. Many readers - of all ages and walks of life - claim that this work has dramatically influenced their lives by deepening their faith by its vivid and compelling narration of the traditional Gospel writings. Many of the passages parallel the four Canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) so closely, that it would be quite innacurate to say that the work is all fiction, although Catholics are only required to believe Scripture & Tradition.
That the work is completely free of moral and doctrinal error is proven by Pius XII's (1948) ordering it to be published, four Imprimaturs by bishops in India for the Malayalam translation (1993), the approval of Archbishop George H. Pearce (1987), former Archbishop of Suva, Fiji, and the full endorsement of Bishop Roman Danylak, S.T.L., J.U.D.(2001).
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explicitly granted permission for the work to be read and distributed as a "literary product" having the stylistic form of a revelation (in this case, a "gospel"), with the "request" of the General Secretary (Most Rev. Dionigi Tettamanzi) of the Italian bishops' conference in a May 6th, 1992 letter to the Italian publisher Dr. Emilio Pisani letting it be known that it may be read by all Catholics, without any corrections, on the sole condition that they should not consider it of supernatual origin until the Church says so.
The claim that Maria's work is a "literary product" is interestingly similar to the discussion of "literary forms" in the Bible as mentioned in the last part of Pius XII's 1943 Encyclical DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU. When some self anointed so-called scholars question even the historicity of the 4 Gospels contrary to the teaching of Vatican II (DEI VERBUM) Valtorta's work is a breath of fresh air defending the canonical Gospels against the lethal boredom of such rationalistic & modernist nonsense.
Many say that the Church has already indicated in the person of Pius XII, that the work may well be of supernatual origin. His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, on Feb. 26, 1948 said: "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." Three Servant of Mary (OSM) priests witnessed the Holy Father saying this, and the Vatican has never denied it considering the historical fact that the names of the 3 priests were listed next day in L'Osservatore Romano as having had the private audience with Pius XII.
Pope #1 (PiusXII) approved it. Pope #2 (John XXIII) put it on the Index because it did not have a written Imprimatur which was required at that time. Pope #3 (Paul VI) nullified the suppression of Pope #2 by abolishing the Index of Forbidden Books, and permitted the publishing of prophecies without requiring an Imprimatur, as long as they do not contain moral or doctrinal error.
His Holiness, John Paul II, has never publicly offered spiritual direction to the faithful regarding this monumental masterpiece, the most comprehensive Life of Jesus Christ ever written. By granting permission for the work to be read and distributed during the pontificate of John Paul II, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (headed by His Eminence and future pope Cardinal Ratzinger) and Most Reverend Tettamanzi as the Secretary of the Italian bishop's conference have implicitly acknowledged that the work is free of moral and doctrinal error, otherwise they would NEVER GIVE PERMISSION for its printing & distribution.
The Italian publisher, Dr. Emilio Pisani, honors the request of Most Rev. Tettamanzi, by printing on the back cover of each Itlalian copy of L'EVANGELO COME MI E STATO RIVELATO that unnamed Church officials are uncertain of the supernatural origin of Maria's writings, after listing the fact that Pius XII cautiously approved it in 1948. Only 3 priests witnessed Pius XII's approval, and no Catholic is required by church law to believe what even 3 priests remembered the pope saying. However, 2 Corinthians 13:1 says: "Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses." Also, Cannon Law 333.3 says: "There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff." Although not required to do so, the faithful are certainly permitted to believe Pius XII's verbal approval.
In 1985 Cardinal Ratzinger said in a letter to Cardinal Siri, that Maria Valtorta's work was put on the now extinct Index "for the least prepared", in other words as a caution to those of the faithful who were not knowledgeable enough to distinguish between public & private revelation. When the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave permission for the work to be read & distributed in the early 1990's, there was no longer any such censure that "the least prepared" should not read it.
Cardinal Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) is also known to have intervened in Medjugorje by preventing the local bishop from discouraging pilgrims to the apparition site there. One of the visionaries (Vicka) said that the Virgin Mary recommended reading Maria Valtorta's work if someone wanted to know Jesus. Another Medjugorje visionary, Maria Pavlovic, reported that the Virgin Mary said: "One may read it". So many pilgrims from Italy came to Medjugorje, that the Italian Bishops Conference discussed Maria Valtorta's work in their deliberations in the early 1990's.
The reader has the option of reading the sublime passages, and leaving the question of inspiration by God to the official judgment of the Church. The English version is published in five hard-bound volumes containing all seven parts. Each volume contains over one hundred chapters and over 600 pages. Select a volume and view its chapter titles. Also, please read the excerpts available at this site for a brief preview of the places, people, and events you will experience in this dramatic narration of the Gospels.
Jesus says: "May the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ be with all those who in this book see an approach of Mine and urge it to be accomplished, to their defense, with the cry of Love: "Come, Lord Jesus!" Last page (952) of Volume 5.
"The one who guarantees these revelations repeats His promise: I shall indeed be with you soon. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen." The last 2 verses of Sacred Scripture. St. John's Revelation 22:20-21
Jesus says: "...as I forsee the remarks of too many Thomases and of the too many scribes of the present days on a sentence of this dictation, which seems to be in contrast with the sip of water offered by Longinus...--oh! how happy the deniers of the supernatural, the rationalists of perfection contrariwise, would be, if they could find a fissure in the wonderful complex of this work of divine bounty and of your sacrifice, little John, to make it all collapse, by prizing open such fissure with the pick of their lethal rationalism--to prevent them, I say and explain.
That poor sip of water--a drop in the fire of the fever and in the dryness of the emptied veins--taken out of love for a soul that was to be convinced of love to lead it to Truth, taken with great difficulty in the severe pain that obstructed My breathing and prevented Me from swallowing, so crushed I was by the cruel scourges, gave Me only a supernatural relief. For My body it was nothing, not to say it was a torture... Rivers would have been required to quench My thirst then... And I could not drink because of the anguish of the praecordial pain. And you are aware of that pain... Rivers would have been required later... and they were not given to Me. Neither could I have accepted them because of the stronger and stronger suffocation. But how much relief they would have given to My Heart, had they been offered! It was of love that I was dying. Of love not given...
When you, good people, contemplate, or you, sceptical philosophers, analyse that "sip", give it the right name: "pity", not drink. So it can be said without incurring falsehood, that "from the Supper onwards I had no comfort". Of all the people who surrounded Me there was not one who gave Me any comfort, as I did not want to take the spiced wine. I had vinegar and mockery. I had betrayal and blows. That is what I had. Nothing else.