In the Divine Will
From the Writings of
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
The Little Daughter of the Divine Will
The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. The Teacher of the Apostles, Dwelling and Center of the Nascent Church, and the Boat of Refuge.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit.
The soul to her Celestial Mother:
Here I come to You again, Sovereign of Heaven. I feel so drawn to You that I count the minutes, waiting for your Supreme Height to call me in order to give me the beautiful surprises of your maternal lessons. Your love of Mother enraptures me, and my heart rejoices in knowing that You love me. I feel great confidence that my Mama will give me so much love and so much grace as to form a sweet enchantment for my human will; in such a way that the Divine Will may extend Its seas of light within my soul, and place the seal of Its Fiat in all my acts. O please! O holy Mama, never leave me alone again, and let the Holy Spirit descend into me, that He may burn away all that does not belong to the Divine Will.
Lesson of the Queen of Heaven:
My blessed child, your words echo in my Heart, and feeling wounded, I pour Myself into you with my seas of graces. Oh, how they run toward my child, to give you the life of the Divine Will! If you are faithful to Me, I will leave you no more. I will always be with you, to give you the food of the Divine Will in each one of your acts, words and heartbeats.
Now listen to Me, my child. Our Highest Good, Jesus, has departed for Heaven and is now before His Celestial Father, pleading for His children and brothers, whom He has left upon earth. From the Celestial Fatherland, He looks at everyone – no one escapes Him; and His love is so great that He leaves His Mama on earth as comfort, help, lesson and company for His children and Mine.
Now, you must know that as my Son departed for Heaven, I remained together with the apostles in the cenacle, waiting for the Holy Spirit. They were all around Me, clinging to Me, and we prayed together; they did nothing without my advice. And when I began to speak to instruct them and to narrate some anecdotes about my Son which they did not know – as for example, the details of His birth, His baby tears, His loving traits, the incidents that happened in Egypt, the so many wonders of the hidden life in Nazareth… – oh, how attentive they were in listening to Me! They were enraptured in hearing of the so many surprises, the so many teachings that He had given Me, which were to serve for them. In fact, my Son had said little or nothing about Himself to the apostles, reserving for Me the task of making known to them how much He had loved them, and the details which only His Mother knew. So, my child, I was in the midst of my apostles more than the Sun of the day. I was the anchor, the wheel, the boat in which they found refuge, to be safe and sheltered from every danger. Therefore, I can say that I delivered the nascent Church upon my maternal knees, and that my arms were the boat in which I led Her to a safe harbor, and I still do.
Then the time came for the descent of the Holy Spirit, promised by my Son, in the cenacle. What a transformation, my child! As they were invested, they acquired new science, invincible strength, ardent love. A new life flowed within them, which rendered them intrepid and courageous, in such a way that they scattered throughout the whole world to make Redemption known, and to lay down their lives for their Master. I remained with beloved John, and was forced to leave Jerusalem, as the storm of persecution began.
My dearest child, you must know that I still continue my Magisterium in the Church – there is nothing which does not descend from Me. I can say that I pour all Myself out for love of my children, and I nourish them with my maternal milk. Now, during these times, I want to display an even more special love by making known how my whole life was formed in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Therefore I call you onto my knees, into my maternal arms, so that, forming a boat for you, you may be sure to live in the sea of the Divine Will. Greater grace I could not give you. O please! I beg you, make your Mama content! Come to live in this Kingdom so holy! And when you see that your will would want to have some act of life, come and take refuge in the safe boat of my arms, saying to Me: “My Mama, my will wants to betray me, and I deliver it to You, that you may put the Divine Will in its place.”
Oh, how happy I will be if I am able to say: “My child is all Mine, because she lives of Divine Will.” And I will make the Holy Spirit descend into your soul, that He may burn away from you all that is human; and by His refreshing breath, He may rule over you and confirm you in the Divine Will.
Divine Teacher, today your little child feels her heart swollen, to the point of pouring myself out in crying, and wetting your maternal hands with my tears. A veil of sadness invades me, and I fear that I will not profit from your many teachings and from your many more than maternal cares. My Mama, help me, fortify my weakness; put to flight my fears; and I, abandoning myself in your arms, will be certain to live fully of the Divine Will.
Today, to honor Me, you will recite seven Glory Be’s in honor of the Holy Spirit, praying to Me that His prodigies may be renewed over the whole holy Church.
Celestial Mama, pour fire and flames into my heart, that they may consume me, and burn away all that is not Will of God.
Volume 2 – February 28, 1899
How she (Luisa) sees the Divinity of Jesus.
After the confessor told me to explain to him how I sometimes see the Divinity of Our Lord, I answered that it was impossible for me to be able to tell him anything. But, at night, blessed Jesus appeared to me and almost reproached me because of this refusal of mine, and then He flashed through me with two most luminous rays. With the first one I understood in my intellect, that Faith is God and God is Faith. I tried to say a few things about Faith; now I will try to say how I see God – and this was the second ray.
While I am outside of myself, and I find myself in the height of the heavens, I seem to see God within a light. He Himself seems to be light, and within this light there is beauty, strength, wisdom, immensity, height, depth – endless and boundless. Even in the air we breathe is God present, and we breathe Him; so, each one can make Him his own life, as indeed He is. Nothing escapes Him, and nothing can escape Him. This light seems to be all voice, though it does not speak; and all operating, though it always rests. It is present everywhere, though it occupies no space; and while it is present everywhere, it also has its own center. Oh, God, how incomprehensible You are! I see You, I feel You, You are my life, You restrict Yourself within me, but You remain always immense and lose nothing of Yourself. Yet, I feel I am stammering, and it seems I can say nothing.
In order to explain myself better, according to our human language, I will say that I see a shadow of God in the whole creation, because in the whole creation – someplace He has cast the shadow of His beauty, someplace His fragrances, someplace His light, as in Sun, in which I see a special shadow of God. I see Him as though concealed within this sphere, as the king of all other spheres. What is the Sun? It nothing but a globe of fire. One is the globe, but its rays are many; from this we can easily understand how the globe is God, and the rays are the immense attributes of God.
Second. The Sun is fire, but It is also light and heat. Here is the Most Holy Trinity veiled in the Sun: the fire is the Father, the light is the Son, the heat is the Holy Spirit. However, the Sun is one, and just as one cannot separate fire from light and heat, so one is the power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who in reality cannot be separated from one another. And just as fire produces light and heat at the same time, in such a way that fire cannot be conceived without light and heat; in the same way, the Father cannot be conceived before the Son and the Holy Spirit, and vice versa, but all Three of the Them have the same eternal beginning.
I add that the light of the Sun diffuses everywhere; in the same way, God penetrates everywhere with His immensity. However, let us remember that this is but a shadow, because the Sun cannot reach where It cannot penetrate with Its light, while God penetrates everywhere. God is most pure Spirit, and we can represent Him with the Sun, which makes Its rays penetrate everywhere, and no one can grab them with their hands. Moreover, God looks at everything – the iniquities and the evils of men – but He remains always as He is, pure, holy and immaculate. A shadow of God is the Sun, which sends Its light over rubbish, but remains immaculate; It spreads Its light in the fire, but is not burned; in the sea and in the rivers, but is not drowned. It gives light to all, It fecundates everything, It gives life to all with Its heat, but does not become poor in light, nor does It lose any of Its heat. Even more, while It does so much good to all, It needs no one, and remains always as It is – majestic, shining, ever immutable. Oh, how well one can see the divine qualities in the Sun! With His immensity, God is present in the fire, but is not burned; in the sea, but is not drowned; under our steps, but is not trampled. He gives to all, but does not become poor, and needs no one; He looks at everything – even more, He is all eyes, and there is nothing He does not hear. He is aware of each fiber of our hearts, of each thought of our minds, but, being most pure Spirit, He has neither ears nor eyes, and no matter what happens, He never changes. The Sun invests the world with Its light, and It does not tire; in the same way, God gives life to all, helps and rules the world, and He does not tire.
A man can hide or place shelters so as not to enjoy the light of the Sun and Its beneficial effects, but he does nothing to the Sun – the Sun remains as It is, while all the evil will fall upon man. In the same way, by sin, the sinner can move away from God and no longer enjoy His beneficial effects, but he does nothing to God – the evil is all his own.
The roundness of the Sun also symbolizes the eternity of God, which has no beginning and no end. The penetrating light of the Sun itself is such that no one can restrict it in his eye; and if one wanted to stare at It in Its midday fullness, he would remain dazzled; and if the Sun wanted to draw near man, man would be reduced to ashes. The same for the Divine Sun: no created mind can restrict It in its little mind so as to comprehend It in all that It is; and if it wanted to try, it would remain dazzled and confused; and if this Divine Sun wanted to display all Its love, allowing man to feel It while he is in his mortal flesh, he would be reduced to ashes.
So, God has cast a shadow of Himself and of His perfections over the whole creation; it seems that we see Him and touch Him, and we are touched by Him continuously.
Volume 3 – December 22, 1899
How God draws us to love Him in three ways, and how He manifests Himself to the soul in three ways.
This morning my adorable Jesus was not coming. After much waiting and waiting He made Himself just barely seen several times, like a lightning that flashes by. But I seemed to see a light rather than Jesus, and in this light, a voice which, the first time it came, said: “I draw you to love Me in three ways: by dint of benefits, by dint of sympathies, and by dint of persuasions.”
Who can say how many things I comprehended in these three words? It seemed to me that in order to attract my love and also that of the other creatures, blessed Jesus makes benefits rain down for our good, and in seeing that this rain of benefits does not reach the point of gaining our love, He reaches the point of rendering Himself sympathetic. And what is this sympathy? It is His pains suffered for love of us, to the point of dying, deluging blood upon a cross, where He rendered Himself so sympathetic as to enamor of Himself His very executioners and His fiercest enemies. Even more, in order to attract us more and render our love stronger and more stable, He left us the light of His most holy examples, united to His celestial doctrine, which, like light, dispel for us the darkness of this life and lead us to eternal salvation.
The second time it came, it said to me: “I manifest Myself to the soul in three different ways: by power, by news and by love. The power is the Father, the news is the Word, the love is the Holy Spirit.” Oh, how many more things I comprehended! But too little is that which I am able to manifest. It seemed to me that God manifests Himself to the soul, by power, in the whole of creation; from the first to the last being is the omnipotence of God manifested. The heavens, the stars and all the other beings speak to us, though in a mute language, of a Supreme Being, of an Uncreated Being, of His omnipotence. In fact, the most learned man, with all of his science, cannot arrive at creating the most wretched mosquito, and this says that there must be a most powerful uncreated Being who created everything, and gives life and preservation to all beings. Oh, how the whole universe, in clear notes and with indelible characters, speaks to us of God and of His omnipotence! Therefore, one who does not see Him is voluntarily blind! By news: it seemed to me that blessed Jesus, in descending from Heaven, came upon earth in person to give us news of what is invisible to us; and in how many ways did He not manifest Himself? I believe that everyone can comprehend the rest by himself, therefore I will not go on speaking.
Volume 17 – May 17, 1925 Volume 17
(Continuation of the previous chapter). Other ways to fuse oneself in the Divine Will; first, in return for Creation, and then for Redemption.
After I had the Confessor hear what is written above – with the date of May 10th – on fusing myself in the Divine Volition, he was not satisfied, and ordered me to continue to write about the way to fuse myself in the Holy Divine Volition. So, out of obedience, and for fear that my Jesus might be even slightly disappointed, I continue.
Now, I add that as that immense void comes before my mind, in fusing myself in the Supreme Volition, the little child begins her round again, and rising up high, she wants to repay her God for all the love He had for all creatures in Creation. She wants to honor Him as Creator of all things, and so she goes around the stars, and in each flickering of light I impress my “I love You” and “Glory to my Creator”. In every atom of the light of the sun that comes down, my “I love you” and “Glory”. In the whole expanse of the heavens, between the distance from one step to another, my “I LOVE YOU” and “GLORY”. In the warbling of the bird, in the beating of its wings: “Love” and “Glory” to my Creator. In the blade of grass which sprouts from the earth, in the flower that blooms, in the fragrance that ascends: “Love” and “Glory”. On the peak of the mountains and in the depths of the valleys: “Love” and “Glory”. I wander through every heart of creature as though wanting to enclose myself and shout from within, to every heart, my “I love you” and “Glory to my Creator”. And then, as if I had gathered everything together in such a way that everything gives return of love and recognition of glory for all that God has done in Creation, I go to His Throne, and I say to Him: ‘Supreme Majesty and Creator of all things, this little child comes into your arms to tell You that all of Creation, in the name of all creatures, gives You not only return of love, but also the just glory for the so many things You created for love of us. In your Will, in this immense empty space, I wandered everywhere, so that all things may glorify You, love You and bless You. And now that I have put in relation the love between Creator and creature, which the human will had broken – as well as the glory that everyone owed You, let your Will descend upon earth, that It may bind and strengthen all the relations between Creator and creature, and so that all things may return to the original order established by You. Therefore, hurry, do not delay any longer – don’t You see how the earth is full of evils? Your Will alone can stop this current and save it – your Will, known and ruling.’
After this, I feel that my office is still not complete. So I descend to the bottom of that empty space, in order to repay Jesus for the Work of Redemption. And as though finding all that He did in act, I want to give Him my return for all the acts that all creatures should have done in waiting for Him and receiving Him upon earth. Then, as though wanting to transform all of myself into love for Jesus, I go back to my refrain, and I say: ‘”I LOVE YOU” in the act of descending from Heaven to be incarnated, and I impress my “I LOVE YOU” in the act of being conceived in the most pure womb of the Virgin Mary. “I LOVE YOU” in the first drop of blood which was formed in your Humanity. “I LOVE YOU” in the first beat of your Heart, to mark all your heartbeats with my “I LOVE YOU”. “I LOVE YOU” in your first breath; “I LOVE YOU” in your first pains; “I LOVE YOU” in the first tears You shed in the maternal womb. I want to return your prayers, your reparations, your offerings, with my “I LOVE YOU”. “I LOVE YOU” in your birth. “I LOVE YOU” in the cold you suffered. “I LOVE YOU” in each drop of the milk you suckled from your Most Holy Mama. I want to fill with my “I LOVE YOUs” the clothes with which your Mama swaddled You. I lay my “I LOVE YOU” upon that ground on which your Mama placed You in the manger, as your most tender limbs felt the hardness of the hay – but more than of hay, the hardness of hearts. My “I LOVE YOU” in each of your wailings, in all the tears and sufferings of your childhood. I make my “I LOVE YOU” flow in all the relations and communications and love You had with your Immaculate Mama. “I LOVE YOU” in Her dearest kisses, in each word You said, in the food You took, in the steps You took, in the water You drank. “I LOVE YOU” in the work You did with your hands. “I LOVE YOU” in all the acts You did during your hidden Life. I seal my “I LOVE YOU” in each one of your interior acts and in the pains You suffered. I lay my “I LOVE YOU” upon the paths You covered, in the air You breathed, in all the sermons You made during your public Life. My “I LOVE YOU” flows in the power of the miracles You made, in the Sacraments You instituted. In everything, O my Jesus, even in the most intimate fibers of your Heart, I impress my “I LOVE YOU”, for me and for all. Your Will makes everything present to me, and nothing do I want to leave, in which my “I LOVE YOU” is not impressed.
Your little Daughter of your Will feels this duty – as there’s nothing else she can do – that You may have at least my little “I LOVE YOU” for everything You did for me and for all. Therefore my “I LOVE YOU” follows You in all the pains of your Passion, in all the spit, scorn and insults they gave You. My “I LOVE YOU” seals every drop of the Blood You shed, every blow You received, every wound that formed in your body, each thorn that transfixed your head, the bitter pains of the Crucifixion, the words You pronounced on the Cross. Up to your last breath, I intend to impress my “I LOVE YOU”. I want to enclose all your Life, all your acts, with my “I LOVE YOU”. I want You to touch, see and feel my continuous “I LOVE YOU”. My “I LOVE YOU” will never leave You – your very Will is the life of my “I LOVE YOU”.
But do You know what this little child wants? That the Divine Will of your Father, which You loved so much, and which You did during all your Life upon earth, make Itself known to all creatures, so that all may love It and fulfill your Will, on earth as It is in Heaven. This little child would want to surpass You in love, so that You may give your Will to all creatures. Please, make this poor little one happy, who wants nothing but what You want: that your Will be known and reign upon all the earth.’
Now I believe that obedience will be happy in some way. Though it is true that in many things I had to make a few jumps, otherwise I would never end. Fusing myself in the Divine Volition is like a springing fount for me; and every tiny thing I hear and see, even one offense given to my Jesus, is occasion for me for new ways and new fusions in His Most Holy Will.
Now, I continue by saying that my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter, to all you have said on fusing yourself in my Will, another application must be added – that of fusing yourself in the order of grace, in all that the Sanctifier – the Holy Spirit – has done and will do to those who are to be sanctified. Furthermore, while We – the Three Divine Persons – remain always united in working, if Creation is related to the Father, and Redemption to the Son – the “Fiat Voluntas Tua” was attributed to the Holy Spirit. And it is exactly in the “Fiat Voluntas Tua” that the Divine Spirit will display His Work. You do it when, in coming before the Supreme Majesty, you say: ‘I come to give love in return for everything which the Sanctifier does to those who are to be sanctified. I come to enter into the order of grace, to give You glory and return of love, as if all had become Saints, and to repair You for all the oppositions and lack of correspondence to grace…”; and as much as you can, in Our Will you search for the acts of grace of the Spirit Sanctifier, in order to make your own – His sorrow, His secret moans, His anguishing sighs in the depth of the hearts, on seeing Himself unwelcome. And since the first act He does is to bring our Will as the complete act of their sanctification, on seeing Himself rejected, He moans with inexpressible moans. And in your childlike simplicity, you say to Him: ‘Spirit Sanctifier, hurry, I implore You, I beg You, let everyone know your Will, so that, in knowing It, they may love It and welcome your prime act of their complete sanctification – which is your Holy Will!’ My daughter, We – the Three Divine Persons – are inseparable and distinct, and in this way do We want to manifest to the human generations Our Works for them: while remaining united within Ourselves, each One of Us wants to manifest individually His Love and His Work for the creatures.”
Volume 18 – November 1925
The moans of the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments. The return of love of the soul.
I was fusing myself in the Holy Divine Will according to my usual way; and while I was trying, as much as I could, to return my Jesus with my little love for all that He has done in Redemption, my adorable and sweet Love, Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, with your flight in my Will, reach all the Sacraments instituted by Me; descend into their depths, to give Me your little return of love. Oh, how many of my secret tears you will find, how many bitter sighs, how many suffocated moans of the Holy Spirit! His moaning is continuous, before the many disillusions of Our Love.
The Sacraments were instituted in order to continue my Life on earth in the midst of my children. But, alas, how many sorrows! This is why I feel the necessity of your little love. It may be small, but my Will will make it great. My Love does not tolerate for one who must live in my Will not to be associated to my sorrows, and not to give Me her little return of love for all that I have done and that I suffer. So, my daughter, see how my Love moans in the Sacraments.
If I see the newborn being baptized, I cry with sorrow, because while with baptism I restore his innocence – I find again my child, I give back to him the rights over Creation which he had lost, I smile at him with love and satisfaction, I make the enemy flee from him, that he may no longer have any right over him, I entrust him to the Angels and all Heaven makes feast for him – soon my smile turns into sorrow, the feast into mourning… I see that the one who is being baptized will be an enemy of mine, a new Adam, and maybe even a lost soul. Oh, how my Love moans in each Baptism! Especially, then, if one adds that the Minister who is baptizing him does not do it with the respect, the dignity and the decorum which befit a Sacrament containing a new regeneration… Ah, many times they pay more attention to a bagatelle, to just any show, than to administering a Sacrament. So my Love feels pricked by the baptizer as well as the baptized, and It moans with inexpressible moans.
Would you not want, then, to give Me a return of love, a loving moan, for each baptism, to keep company to my sorrowful moans?
Move on to the Sacrament of Confirmation. Ah, how many bitter sighs! While with Confirmation I restore his courage, I give him back the lost strengths, rendering him invincible to all his enemies and to his passions, he is admitted in the ranks of the militia of his Creator, so that he may fight in order to acquire the Celestial Fatherland, and the Holy Spirit gives him His loving kiss once again, lavishing a thousand caresses on him, and offering Himself as the companion of his career – many times, however, He feels He is being returned with the kiss of the traitor, His caresses being despised, His company shunned. How many moans, how many sighs for his return, how many secret voices to the heart, to the one who shuns Him – to the point of getting tired of speaking… But – no! It is all in vain!
Therefore, do you not want to give your return of love, your loving kiss, your company to the Holy Spirit, who moans for so much neglect?
But, do not stop, continue your flight and you will hear the anguishing moans of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Penance. How much ingratitude! How many abuses and profanations, on the part of those who administer it and on the part of those who receive it! In this Sacrament, my Blood becomes active upon the contrite sinner, in order to descend into his soul, to wash him, to embellish him, to heal him and strengthen him, to restore in him the lost Grace, to place in his hands the keys of Heaven, which sin had snatched away from him, to seal on his forehead the peaceful kiss of forgiveness… But, alas, how many harrowing moans, in seeing souls approaching this Sacrament of Penance without sorrow, out of habit, almost as a vent of the human heart! Others – horrible to be said – instead of coming to find the life of their soul – grace, come to find death, to pour out their passions… Therefore, the Sacrament is reduced to a mockery, to a nice chat, and my Blood, instead of descending into them as cleansing, descends as fire, which withers them even more. And so, in every Confession, Our Love cries inconsolably and, sobbing, repeats: ‘Human ingratitude, how great you are! Everywhere you try to offend Me; and while I offer you Life, you turn the very Life I offer you into death!’
See, then, how Our moans await your return of love in the Sacrament of Penance.
Don’t let your love stop here; go through all the Tabernacles, through each Sacramental Host, and in each Host you will hear the Holy Spirit moan with inexpressible moans. The Sacrament of the Eucharist is not only the life of the souls who receive it, but is my own Life, which gives Itself to them. So, the fruit of this Sacrament is to form my Life in them; each Communion serves to make my Life grow, to develop It, in such a way as to be able to say, ‘I am another Christ’. But, alas, how few take advantage of it! Even more, how many times I descend into hearts and they make Me find the weapons to wound Me – they repeat to Me the tragedy of the Passion! And as the Sacramental species are consumed, instead of pressing Me to stay with them, they force Me to leave, bathed with tears, crying over my sacramental destiny; and I find no one to soothe my crying and my sorrowful moans… If you could break those veils of the Host, which cover Me, you would find Me bathed with crying, knowing the destiny that awaits Me in descending into hearts.
Therefore, let your return of love be continuous for each Host, in order to soothe my crying. You will render the moans of the Holy Spirit less sorrowful.
Do not stop, otherwise We will not find you always together with Us in Our moans and in Our secret tears; We will feel the void of your return of love…
Descend into the Sacrament of Ordination. Here, yes, you will find Our most intimate and hidden sorrows, the most bitter tears, the most harrowing moans… The Ordination constitutes man to a supreme height, to a divine character – the repeater of my Life, the administrator of the Sacraments, the one who reveals my secrets, my Gospel, the most sacred science; the peacemaker between Heaven and earth, the bearer of Jesus to souls. But, alas, how many times We see that the ordained will be a Judas for Us, a usurper of the character which is impressed on him! Oh, how the Holy Spirit moans in seeing the ordained snatching from Him the most sacred things, the greatest character which exists between Heaven and earth! How many profanations! Each act of this ordained, not done according to the character which has been impressed on him, will be a cry of sorrow, a bitter crying, a harrowing moan… The Ordination is the Sacrament which encloses all other Sacraments together. Therefore, if the ordained is able to preserve whole within himself the character he has received, he will almost rescue the other Sacraments; he will be the defender and the savior of Jesus Himself. But, not seeing this in the ordained, Our sorrows increase even more, Our moans become more continuous and sorrowful.
Therefore, let your return of love flow in each priestly act, to keep company to the moaning Love of the Holy Spirit.
Lend Us the ear of your heart and listen to Our profound moans in the Sacrament of Marriage. How many disorders in it! Marriage was raised by Me as a Sacrament, in order to place in it a sacred bond, the symbol of the Sacrosanct Trinity, the Divine Love which It encloses. Therefore, the love which was to reign in the father, in the mother and in the children, the concord and peace among them, was to symbolize the Celestial Family. I was to have as many other families upon earth, similar to the Family of the Creator, destined to populate the earth like as many terrestrial angels, who would then populate the Celestial regions. But, alas, how many moans in seeing many families of sin being formed in Marriage, which symbolize hell, with discord, with lack of love, with hatred, and which populate the earth like many rebellious angels, who will serve to populate hell… The Holy Spirit moans with harrowing moans in each Marriage, in seeing so many infernal dens being formed upon earth.
Therefore, place your return of love in each Marriage, in each creature which comes to the light; in this way, your loving moan will render Our continuous moans less sorrowful.
Our moans are not yet finished; so let your return of love reach the bed of the dying when he receives the Sacrament of the Extreme Unction. But, alas, how many moans, how many secret tears! This Sacrament has the virtue of placing the dying sinner in safety, at any cost, and it is the confirmation of sanctity for the good and the saints. It is the last bond which it establishes, through its Unction, between the creature and God; it is the seal from Heaven which it impresses in the redeemed soul, in order to purify her and embellish her; it is the final touch which the Holy Spirit gives her in order to dispose her to leave the earth, so as to make her appear before her Creator. In sum, the Extreme Unction is the last display of Our Love; it is the last clothing of the soul; it is the settlement of all the good works, and therefore it acts in a surprising way in those who are alive to Grace. With the Extreme Unction, the soul is as though covered by a celestial dew, which deadens, as in one breath, her passions, her attachment to the earth and to all that does not belong to Heaven… But, alas, how many moans, how many bitter tears, how many indispositions, how much negligence; how great the loss of souls, how few the sanctities it finds to be confirmed, how scarce the good works to be reordered and rearranged!
Oh, if all could hear Our moans, Our crying upon the bed of the dying, in the act of administering the Sacrament of the Extreme Unction – all would cry with sorrow!
Do you not want, then, to give Us your return of love for each time this Sacrament is administered, which is the last display of Our Love toward the creature? Our Will awaits it everywhere, in order to have your return of love and your company to Our moans and sighs.”
Volume 22 – June 12, 1927
Relations that exist between Creator and creature, between Redeemer and redeemed ones, between Sanctifier and sanctified ones. Who it is that will be able to read the divine characters.
…And one who wants to know and receive all the relations and bonds of sanctity, must love the Sanctifier. The Holy Spirit puts His flames on the way toward one who truly loves, and binds her with the relations of His sanctity. Without love there is no sanctity, because the bonds of true sanctity are already broken.”
From Volume 1
After this, 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.
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 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