THE RICH CORRISPONDENCE OF MARIA VALTORTA
Despite being absorbed by the commitment of mystical writing, Maria Valtorta was not isolated from the world, whose events she followed through the newspaper and the radio. Above all, she did not neglect her correspondence. She said: “Sending a letter can be an act of courtesy, but responding to a letter is an obligation”. And so she never left the correspondence unanswered, and was surprised if she received no reply to a greeting or birthday card. Here is how she wrote, on the 14th of December ’49, to a nun who had been her teacher at the Collegio Bianconi and who resided in Rome as Provincial Superior: Very Reverend Superior, although I did not receive an answer to my previous Eastern wishes and for the June 24th [note: feast of St. John, the nun’s name day], nevertheless, with always mindful heart, I send you my best wishes for the next Holy Season.
A real “correspondence” of reciprocal letters with punctual responses, of great interest from a spiritual point of view and able to show certain events related to the literary work, is that between Maria Valtorta and the cloistered Carmelite nun Mother Teresa Maria. It is a dense yet incomplete correspondence, because the Mother destroyed about two hundred letters as per the declared wish of Valtorta.
No less interesting are the letters exchanged with the archbishop Msgr. Alfonso Carinci, a great admirer of the work and of the writer, whom he considered being a saint (and was the Secretary of the Vatican Congregation who dealt with the causes of the saints), and the letters exchanged with Father Migliorini after his own transfer from Viareggio to Rome. The latter letters reveal a contrast, partly inexplicable, between Valtorta and the priest who had been her spiritual father.
The Centro Editorial Valtortiano has published all the letters found in Maria Valtorta’s correspondence.
Maria Valtorta confided in Mother Teresa Maria, a cloistered nun, who was Prioress in a monastery of Discalced Carmelites. Maria considered herself a cloistered nun because of her chronic infirmity, but the true affinity between the two women was more on a spiritual level, which allowed both of them to open their souls without reserve.
Their confidential relationship could only be expressed through the exchange of letters, which lasted over ten years and was so frequent that it became, in some periods, even on a daily base. But Mother Teresa Maria destroyed many intimate letters exchanged with Valtorta. That is why the first volume covers a period of only one year (from December 1945 to December 1946), while the second volume was sufficient to collect all the other letters, up to 1957.
This is an epistolary correspondence which, although it has been significantly curtailed, shows to the full Maria Valtorta’s personality and can almost resemble a diary of her life. If we consider that the Autobiography stops in 1943, the year in which it was written, we discover that these letters, started two years later, are as its continuation.
It was common that on the same day Valtorta was writing a letter, she was also busy writing a “vision” or a “dictation”, of which she informed the nun, perhaps notifying in what state of physical prostration she was forced to write. So much heroism is surprising, certainly supported by an incredible spiritual strength, and surprising is also the naturalness of her receiving and recording a revelation. Everything happened spontaneously, without any artifice.
It was equally natural in her the repugnance to show her intimate mystical experiences with behavioural manifestations, even though she knew that she was disappointing those people who approached her for the practices of publishing the Work and who were disappointed in finding her appearance the one of a normal person. Let’s not forget that she wanted to remain unknown in life, suffering from some imprudence of others that could have revealed her existence linked to such an extraordinary mission.
Finally, her firmness in wanting the Work not to be published without ecclesiastical approval clashed with misunderstandings and missteps, which she openly denounced, showing that she had a practical sense also for more spiritual matters. Due to her indomitable character, which did not surrender to injustices and falsehoods, she did not lack the pain of undergoing defections and even slander.
Certain situations and bitterness of those beginnings of Valtortian history have not completely subsided. To some extent, we still experience and suffer from them today.
Romualdo M. Migliorini, priest of the Order of the Servants of Mary, was born in Volegno di Stazzema (Lucca) on 21 June 1884. After having exercised the sacred ministry in Italy for some years, in 1911 he was assigned to the Missions, first in Canada, where he was parish priest, and then in South Africa, where he became regular superior and apostolic prefect. Returning to Italy in 1939 and becoming Prior of the Convent Sant’Andrea in Viareggio, in 1942 he became the spiritual director of Maria Valtorta, who wrote the Autobiography for him in 1943 and confided to him, on Good Friday of that same year, that she had received the first “dictation”. He then witnessed the prodigious literary production of his assisted, who was invalid for life. He transcribed her autographed notebooks by machine and gave her material and spiritual assistance, especially in the tragic period of the war and displacement from Viareggio.
For having imprudently circulated the typewritten files, contrary to the will of Valtorta, and for having dealt with some other case of a supernatural nature, perhaps questionable, in 1946 he was recalled to Rome, remaining in correspondence with the mystical writer, with whom he was in growing disagreement up to a complete break.
Sick, he died in Carsòli (L’Aquila), in the summer residence of the students of his Order, on 10 July 1953.
The letters to Father Romualdo are collected in a volume of 200 pages.
Thus, on 20/3/1946, Maria Valtorta wrote to the father about to be transferred
My Father, I am very happy to be able to unite you the word of the Lord to my poor word of creature that in front of God and men testifies that his assistance with me, which began in June 1942 and willed by God, is that God wanted!, it was the preparatory phase [for] the ministry to which God wanted to assign me. Before there was God and the will of the creature to serve God. But there was still much, too much humanity in me, you know it, and God could not come, He: Order, where there was disorder; Him: Love, where there were resentments … You came and ordered everything. And God was able to do it because you came first. You were the “precursor” who goes on preparing the ways of the Lord. And the Lord came. And he remained because you, Jesus said one day and repeated it, with your presence kept away those who hate me because I am an instrument of God. Do you remember that dictation?
Now I should be afraid because you are leaving and Satan hates me more than ever. But I trust in the promise of Jesus and in the prayers of you, Father Reverend, and the Fathers of the Order.
You will read at ease, in the “Directions”, what I have been thinking for 22 days, written one step at the time, during your first absence. And this will help you understand me when I tell you that this pain is peace for me, it is confirmation; and that I trust that it is a momentary darkening, as was that of Jesus from the evening of Holy Thursday to the morning of the Resurrection. He taught us how to remain faithful; how we sweat blood, without anger for those who make us sweat; how one dies on the Cross to save.
Let’s imitate Him.
I give you my Crucifix, the one that for the first time in July 1930 gave me the undeniable proof of the power of the Cross and of the Faith and my first victory against the devil. I had destined it to you in my will, because it is sacred to me for what I obtained with it and because it was going to be in my hands in death. It had to be placed in my hands in agony and death, until it was closed the coffin, and then being given to you. This means that if Jesus grants me the grace to die with you close to me, you will bring it to me for those hours …
And now thank you, thank you for everything, on everything.
You never made me feel that I was orphaned and alone, sick, poor, weak. It was the affection, the help, the peace, the support. Here and elsewhere I will not forget it.
Now I will feel that I am alone on Earth …
But I do not say more otherwise the new Syntyche loses the strength to support her own cross and that which belongs to her own Father. I have to harden again, always, until I die in the effort. And have faith, faith, faith in the Lord.
Indeed! I was left without a crucifix. Don’t you have an old one, just like a Carmelite, to make beautiful with kisses? I have in common with Teresina the passion for things that others consider old and ugly … Send it to me and it will make me happy and I will make Jesus Crucified beautiful with kisses …
A Padre Migliorini 20/3/1946
«That the just obey is always the Lord’s will. But there is no other will in your departure, any other will of God. If I had another, I would contradict Myself because I wanted you here, with Mary. Here, and nowhere else.
Mary, our poor Mary, wrote it herself because she understood. I confirm. I have prepared you at this time with the visions of the departure of Syntyche and John of Endor. Read them carefully. You will hear the thought of your Savior.
And go calmly because you are in my Grace. And this is all. The judgment of men does not affect and does not influence the judgment of God. Go quiet, my son and Mary’s. Quiet for yourself, quiet for poor Maria. I, and my angel, take your place. And since for the spirits there are no separations, we will still be here in three, as for three years, doing what is God’s glory: making God known.
I bless you by the Father and by the Holy Spirit as well as by Me, good Servant, and with Me the Mother blesses you; and the Man of obedience: Joseph; and the Man of Charity: John the Apostle; and all the Saints of your Order. Go in peace, for the angels of the Lord are with you, and God is with you. ”
“We are close to the Incarnation of the Word in Me. “Here is the Handmaid of God. Let it be done according to his Word”. Because, even if it is not order, what is presented to us is God’s “permission”. Therefore holy is what is presented to us. Beloved son, beloved daughter, Romualdo and Maria, sons of the Mother who is always Sorrowful for the pains of her beloved children, you too speak my word, and more vital than ever the Holy Word will take shape in you until it makes you like Him. maternally blessed. ”
And St. Joseph says:
“And blessed by me who always believed and always did what the Lord ordered: in going, in returning, in accepting. And I was guided by the angel of God so that I submitted my judgment as a man to that of Heaven, always. ”
If you believe, you can keep these dictations.
Mons. Alfonso Carinci was born in Rome on November 9, 1862, while Pius IX was still reigning. He was a priest since 1885, he became Master of Ceremonies for Leone XIII and had some duties from his successor Pius X. From 1911 to 1930 he was Rector of the Almo Collegio Capranica in Rome and from 1930 to 1960 he held the position of Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, which was the one dedicated to the Causes of Saints. For having renounced the cardinalate more than once, in 1945, at the age of 83, he was elected titular archbishop of Seleucia of Isauria. At the opening of the Second Vatican Council, in 1962, he was celebrated as the oldest bishop in the world.
It was in Rome where Father Berti introduced him to the work of Maria Valtorta as an unpublished and uncirculated typewritten copy, circulating only among authoritative and learned people to obtain certificates. Mons.Carinci, who in 1948 went to Viareggio and visited Maria Valtorta, in whose sick room he entered with deep veneration, wrote a long certificate that bears the date of January 17, 1952 and is reported in the book Pro and Against Maria Valtorta by Emilio Pisani. In the same year he returned to Viareggio and celebrated Mass in the Valtorta room on 29 June, the feast of the holy apostles Peter and Paul.
He was familiar with Pius XII and was a discreet intermediary between that Pope and Maria Valtorta. He was appreciated for his humility and Roman-style wit. He died over a hundred years old on 6 December 1963 without ever losing his clarity of mind.
He was the dean of the Roman clergy. The last Pope of his life, Paul VI, corrected his qualification in “the dignity of the Roman clergy”.
He closely followed the tormented story of the Opera, whose planned publication was blocked by the Holy See in 1949 without a declared reason. Maria Valtorta found in Archbishop Carinci understanding and comfort in the great trial, which was an opportunity for her to highlight an absolute obedience to the Church.
This collection reports the text of the letters that Maria Valtorta had sent to Mons. Alfonso Carinci, who at the time returned them.
Most of the letters are handwritten.
The typewritten letters are those of 9.1.49, 20.1.49, 8.3.49, 16.3.49, 22.4.49, 16.7.49 and 24.7.50. Of these, Maria Valtorta wrote the drafts, which Marta Diciotti, the woman who lived and assisted her, transcribed by type making a copy with carbon paper on tissue paper. Given the corrections, the drafts are almost illegible, it must be assumed that the transcription took place under dictation. Maria Valtorta re-read the typed letter, corrected typographical errors with a pen, fixed a few comma and affixed her signature. In some letters, she signed and added her own address.
Of some of the handwritten letters, the drafts are also preserved.
The letters of reply from Mons. Carinci are all handwritten. Often these are cards on headed paper. Of some of his letters, Mons. Carinci delivered the drafts, which are kept together with the letters sent to Maria Valtorta.
The correspondence of Maria Valtorta is not yet translated into English.
The books are available in Italian HERE