Feast of the Nativity
The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Gift of the Divine Will
From the Writings of
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
The Little Daughter of the Divine Will
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Church has given us two of the great feasts of the church. On the eighth day of the new year of the Church we celebrate the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. Mary, according to Orthodox Tradition is the one person that nation of Israel was prepared to produce. She was the one human being who could say “yes” to God and become the human mother of the eternal Son of God. She was the one human being who could receive God into herself and not be consumed. Therefore we celebrate her birth as the first in that great series of events which would lead to the cross and resurrection. But we also remember that cross. Six days after the birth of the virgin, we remember the discovery and elevation of the Holy Cross upon which our Savior was crucified. Thus, at the beginning of the New Year of the Church, we commemorate and celebrate the human beginning of our salvation, and the human end or purpose of the coming of Christ.
Importance of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary
September 8, 1899
Luisa received the gift of the Divine Will in its fullness which is the perennial possession of the Three Divine Persons, concealed in the three theological virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity), on September 8, 1889, Feast of the Nativity of Mary. Luisa was 24 and a half years old. When Luisa was 13 she saw the vision of Jesus carrying the cross, so it took about 11 years of training by Jesus and sufferings before she was given the gift of the fullness of the Divine Will.
On February 28, 1899, Luisa began to write her volumes (large notebooks) in the form of a diary. Most likely she wrote at the same time volume 2, as a diary, and volume 1, in which she narrates her past life, from the age of 12 on (more or less, between 1877 and 1899). Subsequently, in 1926, she had to write a “Notebook of childhood memories” in order to complete volume 1. The last chapter of the last volume (vol. 36) was written on December 28, 1938. Afterwards she did not write any more, as the order to do it ceased.
One morning – it was the eve of the nativity of Mary Most Holy – my always benign Jesus Himself came to dispose me. He did nothing but come and go continuously…. on that morning, in order to dispose my heart more, Jesus spoke about the annihilation of myself. He also spoke of the immense desire which I was to excite within me in order to dispose myself to receive that grace. He told me that desire makes up for the lacks and imperfections that may be in the soul; it is like a mantle that covers everything. But this was not a simple speaking – it was an infusion in me of that which He was saying.
While my soul was exciting itself with ardent yearnings for receiving the grace that Jesus Himself wanted to give me, Jesus came back and transported me outside of myself, up to Paradise. And there, in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity and of all the Celestial Court, He renewed the marriage. Jesus put out the ring adorned with three precious stones, white, red and green, and He gave it to the Father, who blessed it and gave it back to the Son again. The Holy Spirit took my right hand and Jesus placed the ring on my ring finger. Then I was admitted to the kiss of all the Three Divine Persons, and each of Them blessed me.
Who can tell my confusion when I found myself before the Most Holy Trinity? I will just say that as soon as I found myself in Their presence, I fell flat to the ground, and I would have remained there if it wasn’t for Jesus, who encouraged me to go into Their presence, so much was the light, the sanctity of God. I am only saying this; the other things I will leave out, because I remember them confusedly.
After this, I remember that a few days passed and I received Communion. I lost consciousness, and I saw, present before me, the Most Holy Trinity whom I had seen in Heaven. I immediately prostrated myself at Their presence, I adored Them, I confessed my nothingness. I remember that I felt so plunged within myself that I did not dare to utter a single word, when a voice came from Their midst and said: “Do not fear, pluck up courage, We have come to confirm you as Our own, and to take possession of your heart.” While this voice was saying this, I saw that the Most Holy Trinity descended into my heart and took possession of it – and there They formed Their dwelling. Who can tell the change that occurred in me? I felt divinized; it was no longer I who lived, but They were living in me. It seemed to me that my body was like a residence, and that the living God was residing in it, because I could feel, sensibly, Their real presence in my interior. I could hear Their voice clearly, coming from within my interior and resounding at the ears of my body. It happened precisely as when there are people speaking inside a room, and their voices can be heard, clearly and distinctly, also outside.
From that moment on, I no longer had the need to go in search of Him somewhere else in order to find Him, but I could find Him there – inside my heart. And when sometimes He would hide and I would go in search of Jesus, wandering around heaven and earth, searching for my highest and only Good, while I would be in the heat of my tears, in the intensity of my yearnings, amid unutterable pains for having lost Him, Jesus would come out from within my interior and say to me: “I am here with you, do not look for me elsewhere.” Between the surprise and the contentment at having found Him, I would say to Him: ‘My Jesus, how is it, for the entire morning You made me go around and around in order to find You, and You are here? You could at least tell me, so I would not have become so worked up. My sweet good, my dear life, take a look at how tired I am, I feel I have no more strengths, I feel faint – O please! sustain me in your arms for I feel I am dying.’ And so Jesus would take me in His arms and would make me rest; and while resting, I would feel my strengths being restored.
Other times, in this hiding of Jesus and my going around in search for Him, when He would make Himself felt inside of me and then come out from within me, I would find not Jesus alone, but all Three Divine Persons – now in the form of three children, gracious and immensely beautiful, now with one single body and three distinct heads, but resembling each other, all three of them attractive.
Who can tell my contentment? Especially when I would see the three children, whom I would hold, all three of them, in my arms. I would kiss now one, now another, and receive their kisses; now one would lean on my shoulder, another on the other shoulder, and another would remain in front of me. And while delighting in them, I would go about looking at them and, to my amazement, from three I would find one.
Another amazement for me when I would be with these three children, was that each one would weigh as much as the three of them together. I would feel as much love for one of these children, as for all three of them together; each one of them attracted me in the same way.
Volume 2 – September 9, 1899
(Written the day after receipt of the Gift)
Faith, Hope and Charity. The soul, royal palace of God.
Jesus continues to come, but with a look all new. It seemed that the trunk of a tree was coming out of His blessed Heart, which contained three distinct roots. This trunk was leaning out of His Heart into mine, and coming out of my heart, it formed many beautiful branches, loaded with flowers, with fruits, with pearls and precious stones, shining like most refulgent stars. Now, seeing Himself in the shade of this tree, my loving Jesus amused Himself completely; more so, since many pearls were falling from the tree, which formed a beautiful ornament for His Most Holy Humanity. While He was in this position, He told me: “Dearest daughter of mine, the three roots you see, which this tree contains, are Faith, Hope and Charity. The fact that you see this trunk coming out of Me and entering into your heart means that there is no good that souls possess which does not come from Me. Then, after Faith, Hope and Charity, the first development of this trunk is to make known that everything good comes from God, that creatures have nothing of their own but their nothingness, and that this nothingness does nothing but give Me the freedom to enter into them and do what I want. However, there are other ‘nothings’ – that is, other souls – who make opposition with their own human will; so, because this knowledge is lacking, the trunk produces neither branches, nor fruits, nor anything else that is good. The branches which this tree contains, with all the apparatus of flowers, fruits, pearls and precious stones, are all the different virtues that a soul can possess. Now, who has given life to such a beautiful tree? Certainly the roots. This means that Faith, Hope and Charity embrace everything and contain all virtues, so much so, that they are placed there as the basis and the foundation of the tree, and without them no other virtue can be produced.”
I also understood that the flowers signify the virtues, the fruits, sufferings, the precious stones and pearls, suffering only out of pure love for God. This is why those pearls which were falling formed that beautiful ornament for Our Lord.
Now, while sitting in the shade of this tree, Jesus looked at me with tenderness, all paternal, and taken by a surge of love, such that it seemed He could not contain it within Himself, He embraced me tightly and began to say: “How beautiful you are! You are my simple dove, my beloved dwelling, my living temple, in which I am pleased to delight united with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Your continuous languishing for Me relieves Me and refreshes Me from the continuous offenses that creatures give Me. Know that the love I have for you is so great that I am forced to hide it in part, so that you may not go mad, but may live. In fact, if I showed it to you, you would not only go mad, but would not be able to continue to live; your weak nature would be consumed by the flames of my love.” While He was saying this, I felt all confused and annihilated, and I felt myself sinking into the abyss of my nothingness, because I saw myself all imperfect; especially, I noted my ingratitude and coldness at the so many graces that the Lord gives me. But I hope that everything will be for His glory and honor, hoping with firm confidence that in an effort of His love He may want to conquer my hardness.
Day Ten- The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
The Dawn that rises to put to Flight the Night of the Human Will: Her Glorious Birth.
The soul to the Queen of Heaven:
Here I am, O holy Mama, near your cradle, to be spectator of your prodigious birth. The heavens are stupefied, the Sun is fixed upon You with its light, the earth exults with joy and feels honored to be inhabited by its little newborn Queen, and the Angels compete among themselves to be around your cradle, to honor You and to be ready for your every wish. Everyone honors You and wants to celebrate your birth. I too unite myself with all, and prostrate before your cradle – where I see, as though enraptured, your mother Anne and your father Joachim – I want to tell You my first word; I want to entrust to You my first secret. I want to empty my heart into yours, and say to You: “My Mama, You who are the dawn, herald of the Divine Fiat upon the earth, O please, put to flight the gloomy night of the human will within my soul and in the whole world! Ah, yes, may your birth be our hope which, like a new dawn of grace, regenerates us in the Kingdom of the Divine Will!”
Lesson of the Newborn Queen:
Child of my Heart, my birth was prodigious; no other birth can be said to be similar to mine. I enclosed in Myself the heaven, the Sun of the Divine Will, and also the earth of my humanity – a blessed and holy earth, which enclosed the most beautiful flowerings. And even though I was just newly born, I enclosed the prodigy of the greatest prodigies: the Divine Will reigning in Me, which enclosed within Me a heaven more beautiful, a Sun more refulgent than those of Creation, of which I was also Queen, as well as a sea of graces without boundaries, which constantly murmured: “Love, love to my Creator…” My birth was the true dawn that puts to flight the night of the human will; and as I kept growing, I formed the daybreak and called for the brightest daylight, to make the Sun of the Eternal Word rise over the earth.
My child, come to my cradle to listen to your little Mama. As soon as I was born, I opened my eyes to see this low world, to go in search of all my children so as to enclose them within my Heart, give them my maternal love and, regenerating them to the new life of love and of grace, give them the step which would let them enter into the Kingdom of the Divine Fiat, which I possessed. I wanted to act as Queen and Mother, enclosing everyone in my Heart, to bring everyone to safety, and to give them the great gift of the Divine Kingdom. In my Heart I had a place for everyone, because for one who possesses the Divine Will there are no constraints – only infinite expanses. I looked also at you, my child – no one escaped Me. And since on that day everyone celebrated my birth, it was also feast for Me. But upon opening my eyes to the light, I had the sorrow of seeing the creatures in the thick night of the human will.
Oh, what an abyss of darkness envelops the creature who lets herself be dominated by her will! It is the true night, but a night with no stars – with, at most, a few fleeting lightnings – lightnings easily followed by thunders which, in roaring, thicken the darkness even more, and unload the storm over the poor creature – storms of fear, of weakness, of danger, of falling into evil.
My poor Heart was pierced in seeing my children in this horrible storm, in which the night of the human will had overwhelmed them.
Now listen to your little Mama: I am still in the cradle, I am little – look at the tears I shed for you! Every time you do your will, it is a night that you form for yourself; and if you knew how much this night harms you, you would cry with Me! It makes you lose the light of the day of the Holy Will; it turns you upside down; it paralyzes you to good; it breaks true love in you, and you remain like a poor ill one, who lacks the necessary things to be healed. Ah, my child, dear child, listen to Me: never do your will; give Me your word that you will make your little Mama content.
Little holy Mama, I feel trembling in hearing of the ugly night of my will. Therefore I am here, at your cradle, to ask of You the grace that, by your prodigious birth, You make me be reborn in the Divine Will. I will be always near You, Celestial little Baby; I will unite my prayers and my tears to yours, to impetrate for myself and for all, the Kingdom of the Divine Will upon earth.
Today, to honor Me, you will come three times to visit Me in my cradle, saying to Me each time: “Celestial little Baby, make me be reborn together with You in the Life of the Divine Will.”
My little Mama, make the dawn of the Divine Will rise within my soul.
Day Eleven – The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, in the first Years of Her Life here, forms a most Refulgent Daybreak, to make the longed for Day of Light and of Grace rise within the Hearts.
The soul to the Little Baby Queen:
Here I am again near your cradle, little Celestial Mama. My little heart feels charmed by your beauty and I cannot remove my gaze from a beauty so rare. How sweet is your gaze! The motion of your little hands calls me to embrace You and to cling to your Heart, which is drowned in love. Little holy Mama, give me your flames, that they may burn away my human will, and so that I may make You content, living of Divine Will together with You.
Lesson of the Queen of Heaven:
My child, if you knew how my maternal little Heart rejoices in seeing you close to my cradle to listen to Me! I feel, in fact, Queen and Mother, because in having you near Me, I am not a sterile Mother or a Queen without people, but I have my dear child who loves Me very much, and who wants Me to do for her my office of Mother and Queen. Therefore, you are bearer of joy to your Mama; more so, since you come onto my lap to be taught by Me how to live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. To have a child who wants to live with Me in this Kingdom so holy, is the greatest glory, honor and feast for your Mama. Therefore, pay attention to Me, my dear child, and I will continue to narrate to you the wonders of my birth.
My cradle was surrounded by Angels, who competed among themselves to sing Me lullabies, as to their sovereign Queen. And since I was endowed with reason and science, which had been infused in Me by my Creator, I fulfilled my first duty to adore the Most Holy adorable Trinity with my intelligence and also with my babbling voice of a child. And the ardor of my love for a Majesty so holy was so great that, languishing, I felt delirious with the desire of being in the arms of the Divinity, to receive Their embraces, and to give Them my own. And the Angels, for whom my desires were commands, picked Me up, and carrying Me on their wings, brought Me into the loving arms of my Celestial Father. Oh, with how much love the Divine Persons awaited Me! I was coming from the exile, and the brief pauses of separation between Me and Them were the cause of new fires of love; they were new gifts that They prepared for Me, while I would find new devices to ask for pity and mercy for my children, who, living in exile, were under the lashes of divine Justice. And dissolving all of Myself in love, I said to Them: “Adorable Trinity, I feel happy – I feel a Queen, nor do I know what unhappiness and slavery is. On the contrary, because of your Will reigning in Me, the joys and the happinesses are so great and so many that, little as I am, I cannot embrace them all. But in so much happiness, there is a vein of intense bitterness in my little Heart: I feel in It my unhappy children – slave to their own rebellious will. Have pity, holy Father – have pity! O please! Make my happiness whole – make happy these unhappy children, whom I carry, more than Mother, within my maternal Heart. Let the Divine Word descend upon the earth, and everything will be granted! I will not come down off of your paternal knees if You do not give Me the deed of grace, that I may bring to my children the good news of their Redemption.”
The Divinity was moved at my prayers, and filling Me with new gifts, said to Me: “Return to the exile and continue your prayers. Extend the Kingdom of Our Will in all of your acts, and at the appropriate time We will make You content.” But They did not tell Me either when or where He would descend.
So I departed from Heaven only to do the Divine Will. This was the most heroic sacrifice for Me, but I did it gladly, so that the Divine Will alone might have dominion over Me.
Now, listen to Me, my child. How much did your soul cost Me, to the point of embittering the immense sea of my joys and happinesses! Every time you do your will, you render yourself a slave, and you feel your unhappiness; and I, being your Mama, feel the unhappiness of my child within my Heart. Oh, how sorrowful it is to have unhappy children! How you should take to heart doing the Divine Will, in seeing that I reached the point of departing from Heaven so that my will might have no life in Me.
Now, my child, continue to listen to Me. In each one of your acts, may your first duty be to adore your Creator, to know Him and to love Him. This places you in the order of creation, and you come to recognize the One who created you. This is the holiest duty of each creature: to recognize her origin.
Now you must know that bringing myself to Heaven, my descending, my praying – formed the daybreak around Me, which, spreading through the whole world, surrounded the hearts of my children, so that the daybreak might follow the dawn, to make arise the serene day of expectation for the divine Word upon earth.
Little Celestial Mama, in seeing You, just newly born, giving me lessons so holy, I feel enraptured and I understand how much You love me, to the point of becoming unhappy because of me. O please! Holy Mama, You who love me so much, let the power, the love and the joys which inundate You descend into my heart, so that, being filled with them, my will may find no room to live in me, and may freely give up its place to the dominion of the Divine Will.
Today, to honor Me, you will do three acts of adoration to your Creator, reciting three Glory Be’s to thank Him for the many times I received the grace to be admitted to Their presence.
Celestial Mama, let the daybreak of the Divine Will rise within my soul.
Day Twelve – The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will Leaves Her Cradle, takes Her first Steps, and with Her childlike Acts, calls God to descend upon Earth, and calls the Creatures to live in the Divine Will.
The soul to the Little Celestial Queen:
Here I come again to You, my dear little Baby, in the house of Nazareth. I want to be spectator of your tender age; I want to give You my hand as You take your first steps and speak with your holy mama and with your father Joachim. Little as You are, after you have learned how to walk, You help Saint Anne in the little jobs. My little Mama, how dear You are to me, and all striking! O please, give me your lessons, that I may follow your childhood and learn from You – also in the little human actions – to live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
Lesson of the Little Queen of Heaven:
My dear child, my only desire is to keep my child near Me. Without you I feel lonely, and I have no one to whom to confide my secrets. It is my maternal caring that yearns for my child to be near Me – a child whom I keep in my Heart, in order to give you my lessons, and so make you comprehend how to live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
But the human volition cannot enter into It; it remains crushed and in act of receiving continual deaths before the light, the sanctity and the power of the Divine Will. But do you think that the human volition remains afflicted because the Divine Will keeps it in the act of dying continually? Ah, no, no! Rather, it feels happy, because upon its dying will, the Divine Will is born again and rises victorious and triumphant over it, bringing endless joy and happiness. It is enough to comprehend, dear child, what it means to let oneself be dominated by It and to experience It, for the creature to abhor her own will so much, that she would rather let herself be torn to pieces than leave the Divine Will.
Now listen to Me. I departed from Heaven only to do the Will of the Eternal One. Even though I had my heaven within Me – which was the Divine Will – and I was inseparable from my Creator, yet I enjoyed being in the Celestial Fatherland. More so, since the Divine Will was in Me, and therefore I felt my rights of daughter to be with the Divine Persons, to let Myself be rocked as a tiny little one in Their paternal arms, to share in all the joys and happiness, riches and sanctity, which They possessed, to take as much as I could, and to fill Myself so much, as to be unable to contain any more. The Supreme Being was pleased in seeing that, without fear, but rather, with highest love, I filled Myself with Their goods; nor was I surprised that They would let Me take whatever I wanted. I was Their daughter – one was the Will which animated Us; whatever They wanted, I wanted as well. Therefore, I felt that the properties of my Father were my own. The only difference is that I was little, and could not embrace or take all of Their goods. As much as I took, others would remain, which I had no capacity to contain, because I was always a creature; while the Divinity was great – immense, and in one single act It embraced everything.
But, in spite of this, at the moment They would make Me understand that I was to deprive myself of Their celestial joys and of the chaste embraces which We gave each other, I would depart from Heaven without hesitation, and I would return to the midst of my dear parents. They loved Me very much; I was all lovable, striking, cheerful, peaceful, and filled with childlike grace, such as to capture their affection. They were all attentive over Me – I was their jewel. When they took Me in their arms, they would feel unusual things, and a divine life palpitating in Me.
Now, child of my Heart, you must know that as my life down here began, the Divine Will extended Its Kingdom in all of my acts. My prayers, my words, my steps, the food and the sleep I took, the little services with which I helped my mother, were animated by the Divine Will. And since I have always carried you in my Heart, I called you as my child in all of my acts. I called your acts to be together with mine, so that in your acts too, even indifferent ones, the Kingdom of the Divine Will might extend. Listen to how much I have loved you: if I prayed, I called your prayer into mine, so that both yours and mine might receive the same value and power – the value and the power of a Divine Will. If I spoke, I called your word; if I walked, I called your steps; and if I did the little human actions, indispensable to human nature – such as taking water, sweeping, helping my mother by handing the wood to her in order to start the fire, and many other similar things – I called these same acts of yours, that they might receive the value of a Divine Will, and so that, in both mine and yours, Its Kingdom might extend. And while calling you in each of my acts, I called the Divine Word to descend upon earth.
Oh, how much I have loved you, my child! I wanted your acts within mine to make you happy and to let you reign together with Me. Oh, how many times I called you and your acts, but, to my greatest sorrow, mine remained isolated, and I saw yours as though lost within your human will, forming – horrible to say it – the kingdom, not divine, but human: the kingdom of passions and the kingdom of sin, of unhappinesses and of misfortunes. Your Mama cried over your misfortune; and still now, for each act of human will that you do, as I know the unhappy kingdom to which they lead you, my tears are pouring, to make you comprehend the great evil that you do.
Therefore, listen to your Mama: if you do the Divine Will, joys and happiness will be given to you by right; everything will be in common with your Creator; weaknesses and miseries will be banished from you. And then, you will be the dearest of my children; I will keep you in my own Kingdom, to make you live always of Divine Will.
Holy Mama, who can bear to see You cry, and not listen to your holy lessons? With all my heart, I promise, I swear, never to do my will – never again. And You, Divine Mama – never leave me alone, so that the empire of your presence may subdue mine, to let me reign, always – always, in the Will of God.
Today, to honor Me, you will give Me all of your acts to keep Me company during my tender age, saying to Me three acts of love, in memory of the three years which I lived with my mother, Saint Anne.
Powerful Queen, capture my heart, to enclose it in the Will of God.
Volume 22 – September 8, 1927
How all Creation is fixed in God and is the relater of the Supreme Being. The sorrow suffered in a divine way in Jesus and in Mary. Meaning of the forty days in the desert.
I continue my flight in the Supreme Volition, which keeps all Creation as though in the palm of Its hand, and I am forced to hover from one created thing to another, to trace all that glory which I can give to my Creator through them, and to requite Him with my love for everything He has done for love of me and of all. Now, while I was doing this, my beloved Jesus moved in my interior and told me: “My daughter, when Our Divinity created the whole Creation, It left It all bound within Itself. So, it can be said that the heavens keep their relation with God, are fixed in God, and from within God they spread their immensity. The stars are bound in God, and from within God they adorn with gold the vault of the firmament. In God is the sun bound, and from the divine bosom it spreads its light which invests the whole earth. There is not one created thing which does not have its links in God; and while they come out, they do not separate from God. God is jealous of His acts, and He loves them so much, that He does not permit that they be separated from Him. Therefore, He keeps them all fixed within Himself as perennial glory of His own acts, as relaters of His Being to creatures, which, with mute voice, speak with facts of the One who created them, and tell, with facts, that He is most pure and endless light, love that is never extinguished, eye that sees everything, hears and penetrates everything. The sun says this. Created things also say: ‘Look at us, and, with facts, we will tell you. This is why we do not speak – because facts are greater than words. He is power which can do anything, He is immensity which envelops everything, He is wisdom which orders everything, He is beauty which enraptures everything.’ The Creation is the continuous narration of the Supreme Being, from whom It receives continuous life. And as you go around from one thing to another, you remain bound through them to your Creator, and receive the relations of light, of love, of power, etc., which each of them possesses.”
On hearing this, I said: ‘My Love, the created things do not have reason – how can they give me their relations and give You so much glory?’ And Jesus added: “My daughter, created things are in relationship with Me and are bound to Me like the members to the head, and they act like members which receive life from the head. See, you have hands and feet; these do not have reason, nor do they speak, but because they receive life from the head, the hands operate, the feet walk, remaining at the disposal of what the head wants, and forming its greatest glory. Only if hands and feet are severed from the body – then would they have neither works nor steps, because they would lose the life which the head communicated to them. So it is with the whole Creation: even though created things have neither reason nor speech, because they are united with God like the members to the body, they receive life from their Creator, and therefore all created things are operating, their acts are incessant, and are at Our disposal more than are your members at the disposal of your head. And just as your hands have the virtue of communicating your works to other creatures, so do created things have the virtue of communicating the good they possess to creatures, and to one who lives in my Divine Will. Because the Will that animates them is one with that of this soul, they feel that she belongs to the body of the whole Creation, and therefore they communicate to her all the relations which they have with the Head, and with great love they bind her to themselves. Therefore, be constant in living in my Divine Will, if you want to live communal life with your Jesus and with all Creation, and give Me all the glory which all my works give Me incessantly.”
After this, I was following the Holy Divine Volition in the act in which my sweet Jesus separated from the Sovereign Queen to go into the desert; and while compassionating both one and the other, I thought to myself: ‘How could the Sovereign Queen separate from Her dear Son for as many as forty days? She who loved Him so much – how could She endure being without Him? I, who do not have Her love, suffer so much for a few days that He deprives me of Himself; what must it have been for my Mama?’ Now, while I was thinking of this, my adored Jesus moved in my interior and told me: “My daughter, We both suffered in separating from each other, but Our sorrow was suffered in a divine way, not in a human way, and therefore it did not separate either from happiness or from imperturbable peace. Happy, I departed for the desert – happy, the height of my Celestial Mama stayed. In fact, the sorrow suffered in a divine way has no virtue of shading even slightly the divine happiness, which contains endless seas of joys and of peace. Sorrows suffered in a divine way are like little drops of water in the immense sea, the power of whose waves has the virtue of changing them into happiness. The sorrow suffered in a human way has the virtue of breaking true happiness and of disturbing the peace; the divine way – never. More so, since my Queen Mama possessed the Sun of my Will by grace, and I possessed It by nature. So, the Sun remained in Her and remained in Me, but Its rays did not separate, because light is indivisible; therefore, in that same light She remained in Me and followed my acts, and I remained in Her as Her center of life. So, the separation, while true, was apparent; in substance We were fused together and inseparable, because the light of the Divine Will placed Our acts in common as if they were one alone. And besides, I went to the desert to call back that same Divine Will of Mine which, for forty centuries, creatures had deserted from their midst; and I, for forty days, wanted to remain alone, to repair for the forty centuries of human will during which Mine had not possessed Its Kingdom in the midst of the human family; and with my very Divine Will I wanted to call It back again into their midst, so that It might reign. Upon returning from the desert, I deposited It in my Mama, with all those acts of Divine Will which creatures had rejected and had kept as though in a desert, so that She might be the faithful depository, the repairer and the empress of the Kingdom of my Will. Only the Sovereign Lady could possess this deposit so great, because She possessed within Herself the very Divine Will which could contain the Will deserted by creatures. How could We occupy Ourselves with Our sorrow of being separated for forty days, when it was about reintegrating – about calling back Our Divine Will to reign in the midst of creatures? In Our sorrow We were more than happy, because We wanted to place the Kingdom of the Supreme Fiat in safety, and the Celestial Queen was waiting with yearnings for my return, in order to receive the deposit of the new Sun, so as to requite with Her love all of Its acts, which the human ingratitude had rejected. She acted as true Mama to my Divine Will, acting as true Mother also for creatures, impetrating for all the life, the happiness, the joy of possessing the Kingdom of the Eternal Fiat.
My daughter, the number forty is symbolic and significant in my life down here. When I was born, for forty days I wanted to remain in the grotto of Bethlehem – symbol of my Divine Will which, while being present in the midst of creatures, was as though hidden and outside of the city of their souls. And I, in order to repair for the forty centuries of human will, wanted to remain outside of the city for forty days, in a miserable hut, crying, moaning and praying, to call back my Divine Will into the city of souls, so as to give It Its dominion. And after forty days I went out to present Myself to the temple, and reveal Myself to the holy old Simeon. He was the first city I was calling to the knowledge of my Kingdom; and his joy was so great, that he closed his eyes to the earth to open them to eternity. Forty days I spent in the desert, and then, immediately, I did my public life, to give them the remedies and the means in order to reach the Kingdom of my Will. For forty days I wanted to remain on earth after my Resurrection, to confirm the Kingdom of the Divine Fiat and Its forty centuries of Kingdom which It was to possess. So, in everything I did down here, the first act was the restoration of the Kingdom; all other things entered into the secondary order, but the first link of connection between Me and creatures was the Kingdom of my Will. Therefore, when it is about my Will, I hold nothing back, neither light, nor sacrifices, nor manifestations, nor happiness – they are seas that I release from Myself so as to make It known, to make It reign, and to make It loved.”
Volume 24 – September 8, 1928
Interest of God in one who lives in His Divine Will. Example of the Sun. How everything will be known of the sacrifices which Luisa has made to make the Divine Will known.
I felt oppressed because of the privation of my beloved Jesus. Oh! how I would have wanted to take a leap into the Celestial regions never to leave again, and so end it with these blessed privations of Him that make me live dying. Ah! yes, if by His goodness Jesus lets me reach His fatherland, He will no longer be able to hide from me, nor will I ever again be deprived of Him even for one instant. ‘Therefore, hurry, my Love – let us end it once and for all with these privations of You, for I cannot take any more’. And I felt so embittered, that my poor soul was pierced through, more than by a sharp sword.
Now, at that moment, my beloved Jesus came out from within my interior and told me: “My daughter, courage, don’t you know that Our interest in one who does my Will and lives in It is so great, that she is kept by Us as Our own thing, exclusively Ours, inseparable from Us? Our Divine Volition is inseparable from Us, and as much as Its light spreads, the center of It is always within Us – symbolized by the light of the Sun which, while expanding and extending over the whole earth, holding it in Its hand of light, never departs from Its sphere, nor is the light divided or loses even one drop of light. In fact, light is not separable, and if it could be divided, it would no longer be true light. Therefore, the Sun can say: ‘All of the light is mine’. The same for Us: the light of Our Divine Will is interminable and inseparable, and It makes the soul in whom It reigns Our own and inseparable from Us. So, since We keep her as Our own thing, it is Our interest to honor Ourselves, and to invest her so much with all of Our divine qualities, as to be able to say to all: ‘In this creature there is Divine Life, because the light of Our Fiat dominates in her.’ So, it is Our interest that everything be holy, pure and beautiful in her, and that she be invested by Our happiness – everything must give of Divine Will.
When the earth is invested by the light of the Sun, it loses darkness and becomes all light, in such a way that the light acts as queen, and dominating the earth, it becomes the nourisher of it, communicating to it the life and the effects of the light. In the same way, when It reigns in the creature, Our Divine Will dispels the evils, puts to flight darkness, weaknesses, miseries and afflictions, and, as queen, becomes her nourisher with light, with strength, with divine riches and with happiness. Therefore, for one who lives in Our Fiat, bitternesses, oppressions and everything that gives of human will, lose their place, because the light of Our Fiat tolerates nothing but what belongs to It. And just as Our Divine Will takes all interest in the creature, as something that belongs to It, so the creature loses all human interests and acquires all divine interests. From this it can be seen whether my Divine Will reigns in her: if she no longer feels any interest of her own; and if she does, it means that the soul does not possess all the fullness of my Fiat – there are still little voids empty of Its light, and therefore the human makes itself felt, and the soul comes to take on human interests. Therefore, let bitternesses and oppressions out of your soul – these are things which no longer belong to you; to you belongs the light and everything that the light of my Will can possess.”
After this, I was thinking to myself: ‘How many sacrifices are needed for this Kingdom of the Fiat: sacrifice of writing, sacrifice of rest and of sleep, sufferings, incessant prayers, continuous death to the human volition so that the Divine may have perennial life… and many other things that only Jesus knows. And after all this, maybe nothing good will be seen, no glory to God… Therefore, so many sacrifices without utility and without effects.’ But while I was thinking of this, my always lovable Jesus came out from within my interior, and clasping me in His arms, told me: “My daughter, what are you saying? There is no sacrifice you have made which will not have its value and its precious effects, because everything that is done in my Will, and to impetrate that It be known, acquires divine life and communicative virtue by nature, in such a way as to communicate to others the divine life and the virtue it possesses; so much so, that at this moment everything you have done and suffered is present before God in impetrative act, to obtain that the creatures dispose themselves, and that God concede a good so great.
Then, when my Will becomes known and Its reign is fulfilled, all of the words you have written, the night vigils, your incessant prayers, your going round and round in the work of Creation and Redemption, your many years of bed, your pains and sacrifices, will shine like solar rays, like diamonds and precious stones of infinite value which, little by little, will be recognized by those who will have the great good of knowing my Will, and of living in Its Kingdom. Even more, they will know that the foundations bejeweled and the factories raised are cemented with the many sacrifices of the one to whom the mission of making known the Kingdom of my Will was entrusted. Everything will be known in clear notes, also those who have contributed, who have directed you, who have commanded you to write – and whether they interested themselves with making known, either with words or with writings, that which regards my Divine Fiat. And this is nothing; all the good that those who will possess the Kingdom of my Fiat will do, and the glory that they will give Me, will descend and ascend again into the ones who have been the beginning and the cause of a good so great. And even if you are in Heaven, the communicative virtue of my Will which has lived in you on earth, will place you in communication with them; it will keep all the ways open between you and them. So, your life and everything you have done and suffered will be in their midst; and everything they will do will have its origin in you, because one is the Divine Will of one and of the other. And if you knew the glory, the contentments, the delights that will come to you, you would love to sacrifice yourself more, so that my Will be known and dominate in the midst of creatures.”
Volume 26 – September 8, 1929
The birth of the Virgin was the rebirth of all humanity.
My poor mind was wandering in the immense sea of the Divine Fiat, in which everything is in act, as if there were no past and no future, but everything present and everything in act. So, whatever thing it wants to find of the works of its Creator in the Divine Will, my little soul finds it as if It were just doing it, in act. And since I was thinking about the birth of my Celestial Mama, to give Her my poor homages, and I was calling all Creation together with me to sing the praises of the Sovereign Queen, my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter, I too, together with you and with all Creation, want to sing the praises of the birth of the Height of my Mama.
You must know that this birth enclosed within itself the rebirth of the whole human family, and all Creation felt reborn in the birth of the Queen of Heaven. Everything exulted with gladness – they felt happy to have their Queen. Up to that moment, they had felt like a people without its Queen, and in their muteness they were waiting for that happy day in order to break their silence, and say: ‘Glory, love, honor to She who comes into our midst as our Queen. We shall no longer be without defense, without anyone who dominates us, without feast, because She has arisen, who forms our everlasting glory.’ This Celestial Baby Girl, by keeping Our Divine Will intact within Her soul, without ever doing Her own, reacquired all the rights of Adam innocent before Her Creator, and the sovereignty over all Creation. Therefore, all felt themselves being reborn in Her, and We saw in this Holy Virgin, in Her little Heart, all the seeds of the human generations. So, through Her, humanity reacquired the rights lost, and this is why Her birth was the most beautiful, the most glorious birth. From Her very birth, She enclosed within Her maternal little Heart, as though in-between two wings, all generations, as children reborn in Her virginal Heart, so as to warm them, keep them sheltered, and raise them and nourish them with the blood of Her maternal Heart. This is the reason why this tender Celestial Mother loves creatures so much – because all are reborn in Her, and She feels the life of Her children within Her Heart. What can Our Divine Will not do wherever It reigns and has Its Life? It encloses everything and everyone, and makes one the provider of good to all. So, all feel, under Her blue mantle, the maternal wing of their Celestial Mother, and they find in Her maternal Heart their little place in which to take cover.
Now, my daughter, one who lives in my Divine Will renews her rebirth and redoubles the rebirths for all human generations. When my Supreme Will lives inside a heart and lays the fullness of Its endless light within it, It centralizes everything and everyone, It does everything, It renews everything, It gives back all that, for centuries upon centuries, It has not been able to give through the other creatures. So, this creature can be called the dawn of the day, the daybreak that calls the sun, the sun that gladdens all the earth, illuminates it, warms it, and with its wings of light, more than tender mother, embraces everything, fecundates everything; and with its kiss of light, it gives the most beautiful shades to flowers, the most delicious sweetness to fruits, maturity to all plants. Oh! if my Divine Will reigned in the midst of creatures, how many prodigies would It not operate in their midst? Therefore, be attentive; everything you do in my Divine Fiat is a rebirth that you have in It; and to be reborn in It means to be reborn in the divine order, to be reborn in the light, to be reborn in the sanctity, in the love, in the beauty. And in each act of my Will, the human will undergoes a death, dying to all evils, and it lives again to all goods.
Volume 31 – September 8, 1932
Prodigy of the birth of the Queen of Heaven, ways of communication between Creator and creature. Who forms the nobility.
My little mind always does (as) the swift inside and outside of the Divine Volition and for how much I turn around I am never tired. I feel a mysterious strength that enticing me never says enough to me; but it says: “race, search out his acts, love them, adore them, kiss them and transform yours to his, and form all your life of Divine Will” and if I don’t know how to say anything, in my courses and rounds I say my little tale, “I love you“, “I love you”, “I adore you“, “I bless you“ oh adorable Will, in all your works. And today being the Nativity of the Queen of Heaven, I stopped to think of the great portent of her birth, in which it seemed that Heavens and earth put themselves at attention in order to adore this Divine prodigy. And my Highest Good Jesus, with love and indescribable tenderness said to me:
“Blessed daughter of my Will, the birth of my Celestial Mama encloses all wonders, all prodigies united together, but do you know why She was not born alone, the pure one, the holy one, the beautiful one, the Immaculate one, no, but together with the Celestial little child was born in Her my Divine Will already conceived, and enclosed in Her, in order to form his working and growing life in the gracious child. My Will enclosed himself in order to be born together, to make use of the organ of the celestial creature in order to work and form his Divine Life. This was a prodigy that only the Eternal Love, the divine Wisdom and Power could work, it was not the life alone that he gave or the gift alone of freeing her from the stain of original sin. This would have been nothing to our Power, that which stupefied and called the attention of everyone, was (that) my Will was born together with Her in the world. So much so that the Heavens and earth, remained shaken by it, they put themselves at attention, they felt a mysterious force that same force that dominated them and conserved all the Creation. It was our same Will that moved everything and put himself and all the Creation at the service and disposition of this little newborn child. Hence this being born by my Will together with Her was the origin that called all the other prodigies to center themselves in Her. Where my Fiat reigns, there is no good that isn’t enclosed, no prodigy that isn’t completed, he wants to make a display of his Love and Power with forming his working Life and putting forth his for how much it is possible for a creature to contain. Therefore admire and thank our Supreme Being that arrives to so much love toward this newborn child as to make our unborn Will be reborn in Her, which has neither beginning, nor end, nor limits in his confinements.”Whence I followed the work of the Divine Will in all the created things, and my amiable Jesus added:
“My daughter, created things were made by us in order to form so many ways (so that) man might be able to make use of them in order to come to us, because we left them all open, so that when he wanted to come he might not have need of knocking to open them in order to come to us. He was our child, it was just and reasonable that he might hold all the ways open in order to go to his Celestial Father and stay together in order to love him and to be loved, and as child to ask graces and favors. But do you know what the ungrateful child did? He himself closed the ways, formed the bars, and with sin formed the doors, closing the correspondences with whom had given him life. Now do you want to know who returns to open the doors, to burn the bars? One who loves me and lives in my Divine Will, love and my Fiat are powerful forces that burn and empty everything, and they open all the ways in order to put the distant child again in the arms of his Celestial Father.
“Now you should know that all the virtues, the good works, the love, the doing my Divine Will it forms the nobility of man, but the substance of this nobility is the riches of my grace. All the good becomes leaned upon Him, of which he makes himself font and conservator of all the good that one can work. Otherwise one can say noble of origin, that is man; but since he lacks the riches, he finds himself almost by necessity doing acts not worthy of his nobility. In fact if one is noble and is not rich, he can not dress as noble, nor live in palaces, so that his nobility is reduced only to the memory that he was noble. Thus one who doesn’t possess the riches of my grace, all the good is reduced to squalid virtue that very often make seen that he is not rich with patience, with prayer, with charity and so on. Now the good forms the nobility, the riches of my grace, the conservation, my Will forms the King that dominates and with Divine mastery rules and orders all.”
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was born in Corato in the Province of Bari, on April 23,1865 and died there in the odor of sanctity on March 4, 1947.
Luisa had the good fortune to be born into one of those patriarchal families that still survive in our realm of Puglia and like to live deep in the country, peopling our farmhouses. Her parents, Vito Nicola and Rosa Tarantino, had five children: Maria, Rachele, Filomena, Luisa and Angela. Maria, Rachele and Filomena married. Angela, commonly called Angelina, remained single and looked after her sister until she died.
Luisa was born on the Sunday after Easter and was baptized that same day. Her father – a few hours after her birth – wrapped her in a blanket and carried her to the parish church where holy Baptism was administered to her.
Nicola Piccarreta was a worker on a farm belonging to the Mastrorilli family, located at the middle of Via delle Murge in a neighborhood called Torre Disperata, 27 kilometers from Corato. Those who know these places, set among the sunny, bare and stony hills, can appreciate the solemnity of the silence that envelops them. Luisa spent many years of her childhood and adolescence on this farm. In front of the old house, the impressive, centuries-old mulberry tree still stands, with the great hollow in its trunk where Luisa used to hide when she was little in order to pray, far from prying eyes. It was in this lonely, sunny spot place that Luisa’s divine adventure began which was to lead her down the paths of suffering and holiness. Indeed, it was in this very place that she came to suffer unspeakably from the attacks of the devil who at times even tormented her physically. Luisa, to be rid of this suffering, turned ceaselessly to prayer, addressing in particular the Virgin Most Holy, who comforted her by her presence.
Divine Providence led the little girl down paths so mysterious that she knew no joys other than God and his grace. One day, in fact, the Lord said to her: “I have gone round and round the world again and again, and I looked one by one at all my creatures to find the smallest one of all. Among so many I found you. Your littleness pleased me and I chose you; I entrusted you to my angels so that they would care for you, not to make you great, but to preserve your littleness, and now I want to begin the great work of fulfilling my will. Nor will you feel any greater through this, indeed it is my will to make you even smaller, and you will continue to be the little daughter of the Divine Will” (cf. Volume XII, March 23, 1921).
When she was nine, Luisa received Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time and Holy Confirmation, and from that moment learned to remain for hours praying before the Blessed Sacrament. When she was eleven she wanted to enroll in the Association of the Daughters of Mary – flourishing at the time – in the Church of San Giuseppe. At the age of eighteen, Luisa became a Dominican Tertiary taking the name of Sr. Maddalena. She was one of the first to enroll in the Third Order, which her parish priest was promoting. Luisa’s devotion to the Mother of God was to develop into a profound Marian spirituality, a prelude to what she would one day write about Our Lady.
Jesus’ voice led Luisa to detachment from herself and from everyone. At about eighteen, from the balcony of her house in Via Nazario Sauro, she had a vision of Jesus suffering under the weight of the Cross, who raised his eyes to her saying: “O soul, help me!“. From that moment an insatiable longing to suffer for Jesus and for the salvation of souls was enkindled in Luisa. So began those physical sufferings which, in addition to her spiritual and moral sufferings, reached the point of heroism.
The family mistook these phenomena for sickness and sought medical help. But all the doctors consulted were perplexed at such an unusual clinical case. Luisa was subject to a state of corpse-like rigidity – although she showed signs of life – and no treatment could relieve her of this unspeakable torment. When all the resources of science had been exhausted, her family turned to their last hope: priests. An Augustinian priest, Fr. Cosma Loiodice, at home because of the Siccardian* laws, was summoned to her bedside: to the wonder of all present, the sign of the Cross which this priest made over the poor body, sufficed to restore her normal faculties instantly to the sick girl. After Fr. Loiodice had left for his friary, certain secular priests were called in who restored Luisa to normality with the sign of the Cross. She was convinced that all priests were holy, but one day the Lord told her: “Not because they are all holy – indeed, if they only were! – but simply because they are the continuation of my priesthood in the world you must always submit to their priestly authority; never oppose them, whether they are good or bad” (cf. Volume I). Throughout her life, Luisa was to be submissive to priestly authority. This was to be one of the greatest sources of her suffering. Her daily need for the priestly authority in order to return to her usual tasks was her deepest mortification. In the beginning, she suffered the most humiliating misunderstandings on the part of the priests themselves who considered her a lunatic filled with exalted ideas, who simply wanted to attract attention. Once they left her in that state for more than twenty days. Luisa, having accepted the role of victim, came to experience a most peculiar condition: every morning she found herself rigid, immobile, huddled up in bed, and no one was able to stretch her out, to raise her arms or move her head or legs. As we know, it required the presence of a priest who, by blessing her with the sign of the Cross, dispelled that corpse-like rigidity and enabled her to return to her usual tasks (lace-making). She was a unique case in that her confessors were never spiritual directors, a task that Our Lord wanted to keep for himself. Jesus made her hear his voice directly, training her, correcting her, reprimanding her if necessary and gradually leading her to the loftiest peaks of perfection. Luisa was wisely instructed and prepared during many years to receive the gift of the Divine Will.
The archbishop at that time, Giuseppe Bianchi Dottula (December 22, 1848-September 22,1892), came to know of what was happening in Corato; having heard the opinion of several priests, he wished to exercise his authority and assume responsibility for this case. After mature reflection he thought it right to delegate to Luisa a special confessor, Fr. Michele De Benedictis, a splendid figure of a priest, to whom she opened every nook and cranny of her soul. Fr. Michele, a prudent priest with holy ways, imposed limits on her suffering and instructed her to do nothing without his permission. Indeed, it was Fr. Michele who ordered her to eat at least once a day, even if she immediately threw up everything she had swallowed. Luisa was to live on the Divine Will alone. It was under this priest that she received permission to stay in bed all the time as a victim of expiation. This was in 1888. Luisa remained nailed to her bed of pain, sitting there for another 59 years, until her death. It should be noted that until that time, although she had accepted her state as a victim, she had only occasionally stayed in bed, since obedience had never permitted her to stay in bed all the time. However, from New Year 1889 she was to remain there permanently.
In 1898 the new prelate, Archbishop Tommaso de Stefano (March 24, 1898 – 13 May 1906) delegated as her new confessor Fr. Gennaro Di Gennaro, who carried out this task for twenty-four years. The new confessor, glimpsing the marvels that the Lord was working in this soul, categorically ordered Luisa to put down in writing all that God’s grace was working within her. None of the excuses made by the Servant of God to avoid obeying her confessor in this were to any avail. Not even her scant literary education could excuse her from obedience to her confessor. Fr. Gennaro Di Gennaro remained cold and implacable, although he knew that the poor woman had only been to elementary school. Thus on February 28, 1899, she began to write her diary, of which there are thirty-six large volumes! The last chapter was written on December 28, 1939, the day on which she was ordered to stop writing.
Her confessor, who died on September 10,1922, was succeeded by the canon, Fr. Francesco De Benedictis, who only assisted her for four years, because he died on January 30, 1926. Archbishop Giuseppe Leo (January 17, 1920-January 20,1939) delegated a young priest, Fr. Benedetto Calvi, as her ordinary confessor. He stayed with Luisa until she died, sharing all those sufferings and misunderstandings that beset the Servant of God in the last years of her life.
At the beginning of the century, our people were lucky enough to have Blessed Annibale Maria Di Francia present in Puglia. He wanted to open in Trani male and female branches of his newly founded congregation. When he heard about Luisa Piccarreta, he paid her a visit and from that time these two souls were inseparably linked by their common aims. Other famous priests also visited Luisa, such as, for example, Fr. Gennaro Braccali, the Jesuit, Fr. Eustachio Montemurro, who died in the odor of sanctity, and Fr. Ferdinando Cento, Apostolic Nuncio and Cardinal of Holy Mother Church. Blessed Annibale became her extraordinary confessor and edited her writings, which were little by little properly examined and approved by the ecclesiastical authorities. In about 1926, Blessed Annibale ordered Luisa to write a book of memoirs of her childhood and adolescence. He published various writings of Luisa’s, including the book L’orologio della Passione, which acquired widespread fame and was reprinted four times. On October 7,1928, when the house of the sisters of the Congregation of Divine Zeal in Corato was ready, Luisa was taken to the convent in accordance with the wishes of Blessed Annibale. Blessed Annibale had already died in the odor of sanctity in Messina.
In 1938, a tremendous storm was unleashed upon Luisa Piccarreta: she was publicly disowned by Rome and her books were put on the Index. At the publication of the condemnation by the Holy Office, she immediately submitted to the authority of the Church.
A priest was sent from Rome by the ecclesiastical authorities, who asked her for all her manuscripts, which Luisa handed over promptly and without a fuss. Thus all her writings were hidden away in the secrecy of the Holy Office.
On October 7, 1938, because of orders from above, Luisa was obliged to leave the convent and find a new place to live. She spent the last nine years of her life in a house in Via Maddalena, a place which the elderly of Corato know well and from where, on March 8, 1947, they saw her body carried out.
Luisa’s life was very modest; she possessed little or nothing. She lived in a rented house, cared for lovingly by her sister Angela and a few devout women. The little she had was not even enough to pay the rent. To support herself she worked diligently at making lace, earning from this the pittance she needed to keep her sister, since she herself needed neither clothes nor shoes. Her sustenance consisted of a few grams of food, which were prepared for her by her assistant, Rosaria Bucci. Luisa ordered nothing, desired nothing, and instantly vomited the food she swallowed. She did not look like a person near death’s door, but nor did she appear perfectly healthy. Yet she was never idle, she spent her energy either in her daily suffering or her work, and her life, for those who knew her well, was considered a continuous miracle.
Her detachment from any payments that did not come from her daily work was marvelous! She firmly refused money and the various presents offered to her on any pretext. She never accepted money for the publication of her books. Thus one day she told Blessed Annibale that she wanted to give him the money from her author’s royalties: “I have no right to it, because what is written there is not mine” (cf. Preface of the L’orologio della Passione, Messina, 1926). She scornfully refused and returned the money that pious people sometimes sent her.
Luisa’s house was like a monastery, not to be entered by any curious person. She was always surrounded by a few women who lived according to her own spirituality, and by several girls who came to her house to learn lace-making. Many religious vocations emerged from this “upper room”. However, her work of formation was not limited to girls alone, many young men were also sent by her to various religious institutes and to the priesthood.
Her day began at about 5.00 a.m., when the priest came to the house to bless it and to celebrate Holy Mass. Either her confessor officiated, or some delegate of his: a privileged granted by Leo XIII and confirmed by St. Pius X in 1907. After Holy Mass, Luisa would remain in prayer and thanksgiving for about two hours. At about 8.00 a.m. she would begin her work which she continued until midday; after her frugal lunch she would stay alone in her room in meditation. In the afternoon – after several hours of work – she would recite the holy Rosary. In the evening, towards 8.00 p.m., Luisa would begin to write her diary; at about midnight she would fall asleep. In the morning she would be found immobile, rigid, huddled up on her bed, her head turned to the right, and the intervention of priestly authority would be necessary to recall her to her daily tasks and allow her to sit up in bed.
Luisa died at the age of eighty-one years, ten months and nine days, on March 4, 1947, after a fortnight of illness, the only one diagnosed in her life, a bad attack of pneumonia. She died at the end of the night, at the same hour when every day the priest’s blessing had freed her from her state of rigidity. Archbishop Francesco Petronelli (May 25, 1939-June 16, 1947) archbishop at the time. Luisa remained sitting up in bed. It was impossible to lay her out and – an extraordinary phenomenon – her body never suffered rigor mortis and remained in the position in which it had always been.
Hardly had the news of Luisa’s death spread, like a river in full spate, all the people streamed into her house and police intervention was necessary to control the crowds that flocked there day and night to visit Luisa, a woman very dear to them. A voice rang out: “Luisa the Saint has died“. To contain all the people who were going to see her, with the permission of the civil authorities and health officials, her body was exposed for four days with no sign of corruption. Luisa did not seem dead, she was sitting up in bed, dressed in white; it was as though she were asleep, because as has already been said, her body did not suffer rigor mortis. Indeed, without any effort her head could be moved in all directions, her arms raised, her hands and all her fingers bent. It was even possible to lift her eyelids and see her shining eyes that had not grown dim. Everyone believed that she was still alive, immersed in a deep sleep. A council of doctors, summoned for this purpose, declared, after attentively examining the corpse, that Luisa was truly dead and that her death should be accepted as real and not merely apparent, as everyone had imagined.
Luisa had said that she was born “upside down”, and that therefore it was right that her death should be “upside down” in comparison with that of other creatures. She remained in a sitting position as she had always lived, and had to be carried to the cemetery in this position, in a coffin specially made for her with a glass front and sides, so that she could be seen by everyone, like a queen upon her throne, dressed in white with the Fiat on her breast. More than forty priests, the chapter and the local clergy took part in the funeral procession; the sisters took turns to carry her on their shoulders, and an immense crowd of citizens surrounded her: the streets were incredibly full; even the balconies and rooftops of the houses were swarming with people, so that the procession wound slowly onwards with great difficulty. The funeral rite of the little daughter of the Divine Will was celebrated in the main church by the entire chapter. All the people of Corato followed the body to the cemetery. Everyone tried to take home a keepsake or a flower, after having touched her body with it; a few years later, her remains were translated to the parish of Santa Maria Greca.
On November 20, 1994, on the Feast of Christ the King, in the main church, Archbishop Carmelo Cassati, in the presence of a large crowd including foreign representatives, officially opened the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta.
1865 – Luisa Piccarreta was born on April 23, the Sunday after Easter, in Corato, Bari, to Nicola Vito and Rosa Tarantino, who had five daughters: Maria, Rachele, Filomena, Luisa and Angela. A few hours after Luisa’s birth, her father wrapped her in a blanket and took her to the main church for baptism. Her mother had not suffered the pangs of labor: her birth was painless.
1872 – She received Jesus in the Eucharist on the Sunday after Easter, and the sacrament of Confirmation was administered to her on that same day by Archbishop Giuseppe Bianchi Dottula of Trani.
1883 – At the age of eighteen, from the balcony of her house, she saw Jesus, bent beneath the weight of the Cross, who said to her: “O soul! Help me!“. From that moment, solitary soul that she was, she lived in continuous union with the ineffable sufferings of her Divine Bridegroom.
1888 – She became a Daughter of Mary and a Dominican Tertiary with the name of Sr. Maddalena
1885-1947 – A chosen soul, a seraphic bride of Christ, humble and devout, whom God had endowed with extraordinary gifts, an innocent victim, a lightening conductor of Divine Justice, bedridden for sixty-two years without interruption, she was a herald of the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
March 4 – Full of merits, in the eternal light of the Divine Will she ended her days as she had lived them, to triumph with the angels and saints in the eternal splendor of the Divine Will.
March 7 – For four days her mortal remains were exposed for the veneration of an immense throng of the faithful who went to her house to have a last look at Luisa the Saint, so dear to their hearts. The funeral was a realm triumph; Luisa passed like a queen, borne aloft on shoulders among the lines of people. All the clergy, secular and religious, accompanied Luisa’s body. The funeral liturgy took place in the main church with the participation of the entire chapter. In the afternoon, Luisa was buried in the family Chapel of the Calvi family.
July 3,1963 – Her mortal remains were definitively laid to rest in the Church of Santa Maria Greca.
November 20, 1994 – Feast of Christ the King: Archbishop Carmelo Cassati officially opened the Beatification Cause of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta in the principal church of Corato, in the presence of a huge crowd of people, locals and foreigners.
2005 – Archbishop Giovanni Battista Picchierri, current Archbishop of Trani. It is he who requested that the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta be continued.
Trani – Barletta – Bisceglie – Nazareth
70059 TRANI – VIA BELTRANI, 9 – TEL.0883-583498
Trani, June 4, 2005
The “Divine Will” has guided the Archdiocese, in this last decade, for the completion of the works regarding the process of the Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. The Diocesan Postulation announces having completed this journey. It communicates that on the days of the 27th, 28th, and 29th of October 2005 it will celebrate the 2nd International Congress with the conclusion of the diocesan process.
The Pious Association Luisa Piccarreta Little Children of the Divine Will*, in Corato, has been charged with performing the job of Secretary for the celebration and welcome of guests. Later the program of the celebration will be published in a definitive way.
May Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist guide us as He has guided His Servant Luisa.
The Vicar General
(His Grace Mons. Savino Giannotti)
* Pious Association Luisa Piccarreta Little Children of the Divine Will
Referent: Sister Assunta Marigliano
70033 Corato (BA) – Via Nazario Sauro, 27 – Tel. +39.080.8982221