A final word
When she had almost finished the major work—the one published in ten volumes and entitled The Gospel as revealed to me—Maria Valtorta was seized by a yearning for her Lord, thinking she would no longer see Him. But He came to console her with a promise: “I will always come. And for you alone. And it will be even sweeter because I shall be entirely for you.... I will take you higher up, into the pure spheres of pure contemplation.... From now on you shall only contemplate.... I will have you forget the world in my love.” It was March 14, 1947, the day of her fiftieth birthday.
Several years before, on September 12, 1944, Jesus had already predicted an ecstatic death for her: “How happy you will be when you realize you are in my world forever and have come there from this poor world, without even realizing, passing from a vision to reality, like a child who is dreaming of his mother and awakens with his mother, who is clasping him to her heart. That is what I will do with you.”
The fact is that in the summer of 1956, when, after years of waiting, she received from the publisher the first large printed volume of the work—the first of the four big volumes planned on for that laborious edition, which was entitled The Poem of Jesus and did not bear the name of the writer, who did not want to be known in her lifetime—Maria Valtorta examined it with indifference and placed it on her bed as if it did not concern her. It was the first sign of a detachment which would become accentuated in the course of time, to the point of turning into incommunicability, gentle apathy, and total abandonment, but which never dimmed the liveliness of her gaze or altered the serenity of the expression on her face.
In her last years she no longer did anything. She ate only if she was fed and spoke only to repeat the final words of the sentence addressed to her. On her own she exclaimed, “What sunlight there is here!” from time to time, and nothing else. (And she should have cried out in pain, according to a doctor who attended to her.) On a few special occasions, it was as if she regained consciousness and offered her lucid, precise, and prophetic replies—for just an instant, and then she would again forget the world.
She passed away on the radiant morning of Thursday, October 12, 1961, as if obeying the words of the priest who recited the prayer for those in agony: “Depart, Christian soul, from this world.” She was sixty-four years old and had been bedridden for twenty-seven-and-a-half years.
Twelve years later, on July 2, 1973, the mortal remains of Maria Valtorta, transferred from Mercy Cemetery in Viareggio, were entombed in Florence, in a chapel in the main Cloister of the Basilica of the Annunciation.