Ascension of the Lord
In the Divine Will
From the Writings of
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
The Little Daughter of the Divine Will
Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
Book of Heaven – Volume 35 – January 24, 1938
How our Lord left for Heaven remaining on earth in the Tabernacles, to accomplish the Kingdom of the Divine Will. One who lives in the Divine Will can say with Jesus: ‘I leave and I stay.’
My flight in the Divine Volition continues. While I was visiting Jesus in the Sacrament, I wanted to embrace all the Tabernacles and each Sacramental Host in order to live together with my Prisoner Jesus. And I was thinking to myself: ‘What a sacrifice. What a long imprisonment – not of days, but of centuries! Poor Jesus… could He at least be repaid for this!
And my beloved Jesus, visiting my little soul, all immersed in His flames of Love, said to me: “My good daughter, my first prison was Love. It imprisoned Me so much that I had not even have the freedom to breathe, to palpitate or to work if these too were not imprisoned in my Love. Therefore, my Love imprisoned Me inside the Tabernacle, but with reason and with highest divine Wisdom. Now, You must know that the chains of my Love made Me depart from Heaven during my Incarnation. I left to descend upon earth in search of my children and my brothers and sisters, in order to form for them, with my Love, so many prisons of Love as to make it impossible for them to leave. But while I left, I also remained in Heaven, since my Love – being my prison – bound Me within the celestial regions.
Now, having completed my office down here, I left for Heaven, remaining imprisoned inside each Sacramental Host. Do you know why? Because my Love, being my sweet imprisonment, told me: ‘The purpose for which you descended from Heaven to earth is not accomplished. Where is the Kingdom of our Will? It does not exist, neither is it known. So, remain there as a Prisoner in each Sacramental Host. In this way, there will not be only one Jesus, as in your Humanity, but a Jesus for each Sacramental Host which will exist. In a fury of love, your many Lives will make a way to the Divinity, as well as in each heart which will receive You. These Lives will have a little word to say to make our Will known, because when they descend into each heart, they will not be mute, but speaking, and You will speak about our FIAT in the secret of their hearts. You will be the Bearer of our Kingdom.’ I recognized the demands of my Love as just, so I remained willingly on earth in order to form the Kingdom of my Will – until the complete fulfillment of the work.
You see, by departing for Heaven while remaining on earth, my Life, spread in many Sacramental Hosts, will not be useless down here. I will certainly form the Kingdom of my Will. I would never have stayed if I knew I wasn’t going to obtain the intent; more so, since this is for Me a sacrifice greater than my very mortal Life. How many secret tears, how many bitter sighs in the midst of many devouring flames of love! I would like to devour all souls inside my Love to make those who are going to live in my Divine Volition rise again to new Life. This Kingdom will come from the center of my Love. It will burn the evils of the earth, relying upon Itself and arming Its Omnipotence; so, victory after victory, It will win our Reign in the midst of the creatures, to give It to them.
But I was not satisfied to remain prisoner by myself. My Love, flaring up even more, made Me choose you to make you prisoner with chains so strong as to be impossible for you to escape Me. This, as an outpouring of my Love and for company in my imprisonment; to be able to talk to you extensively about my Will – Its anxiety, Its sighs for desire to reign – and also as a pretext of my Love to be able to say before the Supreme Majesty: ‘A creature of the human race is already our prisoner. We speak with her about our Will, to make It known, and extending Its Kingdom. This prisoner is like a deposit for the whole human family, so that we will have our Kingdom by right. I can say that each of my Sacramental Lives is also like a deposit that I give You, sufficient to secure my Kingdom for my children. But to these many deposits, my Love wanted to add the deposit of a simple creature who carries the marks of my imprisonment, so as to strengthen the bonds between creature and Creator, and therefore accomplish and complete the Kingdom of our Will in the midst of the creatures.’
My prayers from each Tabernacle are incessant, so that the creatures may know my Will and may let It reign; and all I suffer – tears and sighs – I send to Heaven in order to move the Divinity to concede a grace so great. I send it to every heart, to move them to compassion for my tears and sufferings – to make them surrender to receive such a great good.”
Jesus remained silent. I was thinking to myself: ‘By making Himself a Prisoner, my dear Jesus did an act of heroism so great, only a God could do it. By while He is Prisoner, He is also free; more so, since He is free in Heaven, where He enjoys the fullness of His freedom. Not only this, but even on earth, how many times does He not come to me without His sacramental veils? But having imprisoned my poor existence…, He’s really done it this time. He knows in what a narrow prison He has put me, and how hard my chains are; and I cannot be like Him, Who while being a Prisoner, is also free… My prison is continuous.’
But as I was thinking this, He continued saying: “My daughter, poor daughter of mine, you were given my own destiny! When my Love wants to do good, It does not hold anything back – neither sacrifices nor pains. It almost seems as if It doesn’t want to hear about anything else: Its whole purpose is to make the good It wants arise. So, certainly I had to do this. This was not about any random good, but about a Kingdom of Divine Will to be established on earth. This good will be so great that no other good can be compared to it; all other goods will be like many little drops before the sea – like little sparks before the Sun. Therefore, don’t be surprised if I’ve ‘really done it this time’, as you say. Your continuous imprisonment was necessary to my Love, to keep Me company and to let Me speak about the knowledge of my Will which is so important to me, and which I felt the need to make known. You must know that as I speak to you about It, my Love repays you and frees you from the shackles of your human will, setting you free in the fields and dominions of the Kingdom of my Will. All the knowledge is directed to this: to unchain the creature from her will, from her passions and from her miseries. Therefore, thank me for what I have made of you. My Love will know how to repay you, and will take into account every single breath of yours, and every instant of your imprisonment.”
After this, I continued to think about the prodigies of the Divine Volition, and my beloved Jesus added: “Daughter of my Will, as your Jesus said, in descending from Heaven to earth – ‘I leave and I stay’; when He ascended into Heaven He said – ‘I stay and I leave.’ My word repeats upon descending as Sacrament in the creatures – ‘I leave and I remain in the Tabernacles.’ In the same way, the creature who lives in my Will can repeat my word in all her acts. As soon as she begins her act, her Jesus is formed in that act. My Life has the virtue of multiplying Itself to infinity as many times I want. Therefore, in all truth, she can say: ‘I leave and I stay. I leave for Heaven to beatify It, to reach my home and to make known to everyone my dear Jesus, Whom I enclosed in my act so that all may enjoy Him and love Him. I stay on earth, as my life, support and defense for all my brothers and sisters.’ How beautiful one act in my Will!”
Book of Heaven – Volume 34 – May 20,1936
Difference that passes between who calls the Divine Will in her acts, and between who does good works without Him. The Ascension; how he departed for Heaven and remained upon the earth.
My poor mind continues to turn in the acts of the Divine Will, and I thought to myself: what is the difference (between) whom calls the Divine Will in her acts, and those that do good works and don’t call him. And my sweet Jesus making for me his brief little visit said to me:
“My daughter, there is no comparison (between) the one and the other, the first one with calling my Will in her acts, strips herself of that which is human and forms the void in her human volition where to give the place to mine, mine embellishes, sanctifies, forms his light in that void, then he pronounces his Creative Fiat, and calls to life his divine work in the human one and the creature not only participates, but remains proprietor of the Divine act, which possesses the power, the immensity, the sanctity and the Divine value, that never becomes exhausted. Therefore in whom lives in our Volition, we look and we find ourselves and our acts that honor us and crown us.
“Instead those that do good works, but not animated by our Volition, we don’t find ourselves, but the finite act of the creature, and since we ourselves don’t know where to hold anything of whatever good that they do, we give them the merit as payment, payment is not property that she can always produce, hence they symbolize those that live to the day, that live however difficultly from the payment that they have, but they are never made rich, they always feel the need of being paid (for) their works in order to live, and if they don’t work, they go through perils of dieing of hunger, that is to not feel the satisfaction of the good, the life of the virtues, but the squalid misery of the passions.
“Instead who lives in our Volition everything is abundance, we ourselves tell them take that which you want and how much more you can take, rather we put at your disposition our riches, our light, our sanctity, our love, because that which is ours is yours and that which is yours is ours, there doesn’t remain other than to live and to work together.”
After this I was accompanying the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven, how beautiful he was, all majesty, vested with the most refulgent light that enraptured and captivated hearts to love him, and my sweet Jesus all goodness and love said to me:
“My blessed daughter, there is not(hing) drawn from my life that doesn’t symbolize the kingdom of my Divine Will, in this day of my Ascension I felt victorious and triumphant, my sufferings were already finished, rather I left my sufferings suffered already, in the midst of my children that I left upon the earth, for help, for strength and for support, and as refuge where to hide in their sufferings, in order to draw from my heroism in their sacrifices, I can say that I left my sufferings, my examples and my Life itself, as seed that growing and maturing itself the kingdom of my Divine Will should arise. So that I departed and I remained, I remained in virtue of my sufferings, I remained in their hearts in order to be loved, afterwards my Most Holy Humanity went up to Heaven, I felt more pressed (by) the bond of the human family, hence I would not be adapted to receive the love of my children and brothers, that I left upon the earth, I remained in the Most Holy Sacrament in order to give myself continually to them and they to give themselves to me, in order to have them find the rest, the relief and the remedy to all their needs. Our works don’t suffer mutability, that which we do one time we always do.
“Beyond this in this day of my Ascension I had double crowns, the crown of my children that I brought with me into the Celestial Country, and the crown of my children that I left upon the earth, they symbolized the few that will have beginning of the kingdom of my Divine Will; all those that saw me ascend to Heaven they received so many graces, that everyone put forth (their) life in order to make the kingdom of the Redemption known, and they cast the foundations in order to form my Church, in order to make gathered in her maternal womb all the human generations, thus the first children of the kingdom of my Will, they will be few, but the graces will be such and so many with which they will be invested, that they will put forth (their) life in order to call everyone to live in this Holy kingdom. A cloud of light invested me, which took my presence away from the sight of my disciples, whom remained as statues in watching my Person, that such was the enchantment of my beauty, that it held their pupils enraptured, so much so that they didn’t know how to abase them in order to look (to) the earth, so much so that there was needed an Angel in order to shake them and to make them return to the Cenacle.
“Also this (is) symbol of the kingdom of my Volition, the light will be such and so much that it will invest his first children that will carry the beauty, the enchantment, the peace of my Divine Fiat, in a way that they will easily surrender themselves to want to know and to love a good so great. Now in the midst of the disciples there was my Mama, that assisted in my departure for Heaven, this it is the most beautiful symbol. So that She is the Queen of my Church, assists it, protects it, defends it. Thus she will sit in the midst of the children of my Will, She will be always the engine, the life, the guide, the perfect model, the Majesty of the kingdom of the Divine Fiat that is so much to her heart, they are her anxieties, her ardent desires, her deliriums of Maternal love, that she wants her children in earth in the kingdom where She lived, she is not content that she holds her children in Heaven in the kingdom of the Divine Will, but she also wants them upon the earth, she feels that the assignment given her by God as Mother and Queen she has not completed it, her mission is not finished, up to such that the Divine Will doesn’t reign upon the earth in the midst of creatures. She wants her children that resemble her and that possesses the inheritance of their Mama.
“Therefore the great Lady is all eye in order to watch, all heart in order to love, in order to help who she sees in some way disposed, that they want to live of Divine Will. Hence in the difficulties think that She is around you, supports you, strengthens you, takes your volition in her maternal hands in order to make it receive the life of the Supreme Fiat.”
Book of Heaven – Volume 26 – May 12, 1929
How one who lives in the Divine Fiat is the narrator of the divine works. The Ascension. The reason why Jesus did not leave the Kingdom of the Divine Will upon earth.
Continuing in my usual abandonment in the Divine Fiat, I was following the acts of It in the Creation. It seemed to me that, by uniting myself to Its acts, I would do now an act of light, now an act of immensity, now an act of power, and so on and so forth. But while I was doing this, my always lovable Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, one who lives in my Divine Will and follows Its acts is the narrator of all Our works. So, as you go around in the sun to repeat together with my Will what I did in creating the sun, you act for Us as the narrator of the story of its light; and the Supreme Being, in hearing all the story of the sun – what it encloses, the good it does – being repeated to It by you, feels all the glory of its light being given back to It. And as the light shines over all things, invests everything, fills the air, It hears your echo near and far, down below and in the height of the heavens; and whispering to Our ear, you act for Us as the narrator of the light, and glorify Us so much as to give Us a sun of glory.
Oh! how delighted We are on the part of the creature, because a sphere so beneficial for the whole earth was created by Us. And how not to love one who lives in Our Divine Fiat? She gathers all Our qualities and happinesses spread in the whole Creation, and now she acts for Us as the narrator of the heavens and tells Us the story of their immensity, and gives Us the glory of the entire heavens; now she tells Us the story of the sea, and she murmurs together with the waters: ‘Love and glory of all the sea to my Creator’. Now she narrates to Us the story of the flowery earth, and all the plants and flowers elevate their fragrance, and you give Us the glory of all the earth; and now you act for Us as the narrator of the story of the wind, now of the water, now of the little bird that sings, now of the lamb that bleats. In sum, she always has things to narrate to Us among the many things which We have done in Creation, in order to give Us the love and the glory which We had in creating It. Oh! how sweet and pleasant it is to hear you act as the narrator of Our works. We feel Our love, Our glory, being doubled; more so, since she who does the narration for Us lives in Our Will, which, instructing her, makes her speak the loving secrets which are present in all created things.”
Having said this, He kept silent. Then, as though unable to contain the love of His Divine Heart, He added: “My beloved daughter, you are my hope – the hope of the Kingdom of my Divine Will upon earth; that hope which does not say ‘doubt’, but ‘certainty’, because its Kingdom is already present in you. Your ways, your prerogatives, your narrations, are all apartments for my Divine Fiat; in you there are Its foundations, Its knowledges, therefore I hope that Its Kingdom will be formed and will spread upon earth.”
After this, I was thinking about when Our Lord ascended into Heaven, glorious and triumphant, with His Humanity no longer humiliated, subject to pains, with the insignia of Adam decayed, but untouchable by any pain, with the insignia of the new innocent Adam, with all the most beautiful prerogatives of Creation, clothed with light and immortal. But while I was thinking about this, my most sweet Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, my Humanity redid within Itself, and over Itself, all the evils of decayed humanity, to the point of dying, in order to give to it the virtue of rising again from the death to which it was subject. This is the reason why I did not leave the Kingdom of my Divine Will upon earth – because the humanity of innocent Adam was missing, glorious and immortal, in order to be able to impetrate It and to receive the great gift of my Fiat. Therefore, it was necessary that my Humanity first redo decayed humanity and give to it all the remedies in order to raise it again, and then die and rise again with the qualities of innocent Adam, so as to be able to give to man what he lost. Not only this, but I wanted to ascend into Heaven with my Humanity as beautiful, clothed with light, just as it came out of Our creative hands, so as to say to the Celestial Father: ‘My Father, look at Me, how my Humanity is redone, how the Kingdom of Our Will is safe in It. I am the Head of all, and the One who prays You has all the rights to ask and to give what I possess.’
My daughter, an innocent humanity, with all the qualities with which it came out of Our creative hands, was needed in order to impetrate again the Kingdom of Our Will into the midst of creatures. Up to that time it was missing, and I purchased it with my death, and I ascended into Heaven in order to fulfill, with my first task, my second task of impetrating and giving the Kingdom of my Divine Will upon earth. It is about two thousand years that this Humanity of Mine has been praying, and Our Divine Majesty, feeling the love of Creation which We had in creating man overflow from Itself again – or rather, with greater intensity – and feeling Itself being enraptured and charmed by the beauties of my Humanity, has poured Itself out again; and opening the Heavens, It has made the rain of light of the many knowledges about my Fiat rain down in torrents, so that, like rain, It may descend upon souls, and with Its light It may vivify and heal the human will, and transforming it, It may cast the root of my Will into the hearts, and may lay Its Kingdom upon earth. In order for my Kingdom to come upon earth, first I had to make It known, I had to make known that It wants to come to reign. And I, and as an elder brother of the human family, am doing all the paperwork in Heaven before the Divinity, in order to give to it a purchase so great. Therefore, it was necessary that I ascend into Heaven with my Humanity glorified, in order to be able to purchase again the Kingdom of my Fiat for my brothers and children of mine.”
Book of Heaven -Volume 16 – May 29, 1924
The ASCENSION of Jesus was the greatest sorrow of the Apostles. Pain for love of Jesus forms all the good of Jesus. The Throne and the Kingdom of the Divine Will in Luisa could be established only upon a divine pain: the continuous loss of Jesus.
I was thinking of when my sweet Jesus went back to Heaven in His glorious ASCENSION, and therefore of the sorrow of the Apostles in remaining deprived of such a great good; and my sweet Jesus, moving in my interior, told me: “My daughter, the greatest sorrow for all of the Apostles, in their entire lives, was to remain deprived of their Master. As they saw Me ascend to Heaven, their hearts were consumed with the pain of my privation; and much more sharp and penetrating was this pain, since it was not a human pain – something material that they were losing – but a divine pain: it was a God that they were losing. And even though I had my Humanity, as It resurrected, It was spiritualized and glorified, therefore all the pain was in their souls; and penetrating them completely, it made them feel consumed with grief, such as to form in them the most harrowing and painful martyrdom. But all this was necessary for them.
One can say that until that moment, they were nothing but tender babies in virtues and in the knowledge of divine things, and of my own Person. I could say that I was in their midst and they did not really know Me, or love Me. But when they saw Me ascend into Heaven, the pain of losing Me tore the veil, and they recognized Me with so much certainty as the true Son of God, that the intense sorrow of no longer seeing Me in their midst delivered firmness in good and strength to suffer anything for love of the One whom they had lost. It delivered the light of divine science; it removed the swaddling clothes of their childhood, and formed them as intrepid men – no longer fearful, but courageous… The pain transformed them and formed in them the true character of Apostles. What I could not obtain with my presence, I obtained with the pain of my privation.
Now, my daughter, a little lesson for you.
Your life can be called a continuous pain of losing Me and a continuous joy of acquiring Me. But between the pain of the loss and the joy of acquiring Me, how many surprises have I not made you? How many things have I not told you? It was pain and the painful martyrdom of losing Me to prepare you and dispose you to hear the sublime lessons on my Will. In fact, how many times it seemed to you that you had lost Me, and while you were immersed in your harrowing pain, I would come back to you with one of the most beautiful lessons on my Will, and I would make the new joy of gaining Me come back, to dispose you once again to the piercing pain of my absence? I can say that the pain of remaining deprived of Me has delivered within you the effects, the value, the knowledges, the foundation of my Will.
It was necessary that I behave with you in this way – that is, coming to you very often, and leaving you prey to the pain of being deprived of Me. Since I had established that I would manifest to you, in a way all special, many things about my Will, I had to leave you prey to a continuous divine pain, because my Will is Divine, and only upon a divine pain could It establish Its Throne and lay Its dominion; and assuming the attitude of a Master, I communicated the knowledge of my Will, as much as it is possible to a creature. Many will be amazed in hearing of the continuous visits I made to you – which I have not done with others – and of your continuous pain of my privation. If you had not seen Me so many times, you would not have known Me or loved Me so much, because each one of my visits brings an additional knowledge of Me and a new love; and the more the soul knows Me and loves Me, the more her pain is redoubled. And in coming, I kept provoking your pain more intensely, because I want my Will not to lack the noble courting of pain, which makes the soul firm and strong, such that my Will is able to form my stable dwelling in her, and to give her new and continuous lessons on my Will. Therefore, I repeat it to you – let Me do and trust Me.”
Letter 19. To Mrs. Antonietta Savorani, widow from Faenza
Fiat – In Voluntate Dei!
My good daughter in the Divine Volition,
Your letter brought me great contentment, especially in hearing that you want to strip yourself of the mourning clothes of the human will; and I briefly answer to your difficulties. To live in the Divine Will is not so difficult as you and others believe, nor does sweet Jesus want impossible things, nor can He teach difficult things; rather, in all He teaches, His love is so great that not only does He facilitate His teachings, but in order to make all that He wants and teaches easier, He puts Himself at our disposition, doing together with us all that He wants and teaches. My daughter, everything is in a strong, firm, constant resolution to deliver our will into the hands of Jesus, so that His Will may underlie each one of our acts. Therefore, in all our being, in the most natural acts of life – in food, in sleep, in sufferings, in prayer, and also in legitimate pleasures, the Divine Will must have Its royal place, Its field of action, and our will must be the ground in which to receive these divine acts, and the footstool on which the Divine Will must place these acts; and these acts, united together, will form its Life. Life cannot be formed with one single act, but with many acts, repeated and incessant.
Moreover, the love of Jesus, His sighs and also His tears for desire that His Will reign in us as life, are such that He never leaves us alone; He Himself descends into the depth of our will; He molds it, strengthens it, purifies it, prepares it, and does all that we do together with us. So, if we want it, everything is done; however, it is not that we must no longer feel our will: to operate on a dead will would be neither ours nor Jesus’ victory. The dead are buried. Therefore Jesus wants our will alive, so that it may feel all the good, as His operating Will lays Its acts in it. The human will becomes the residence of the Divine, and gives It all the freedom to dominate and to do whatever It wants.
Do you see, then, how easy it is? Nor does one have to be a religious to do this. The Sanctity of living in the Divine Will is for all; or rather, to tell the truth, It is for all those who want It. Therefore, get down to work; tell Jesus from the heart: “I firmly want it, I continuously want it; I want it!”, and Jesus will make wonders, and will use everything you do and suffer as raw material so that you may ask for His Will and let It operate with Its creative virtue.
As far as the vow, do it on the day of ASCENSION, so that sweet Jesus may bring your will to Heaven as the most beautiful victory He has achieved over you…
I finish here, as I cannot continue further. Pray for me and make yourself a saint, for Jesus wants it. I leave you in the place of honor of the Divine Will, with a thousand regards,
the little daughter of the Divine Will
Letter 29. To Mother General of the Daughters of the Divine Zeal
Fiat – In Voluntate Dei!
My good reverend Mother general,
Today is the sacred day of ASCENSION, the name of which you carry, and I feel the duty, although I am the least among all, to send you my sincere and affectionate wishes. But what wishes can I give you? I wouldn’t know what else to wish you other than that dear Jesus may make facts correspond to the name He gave you – that is to say, that He may take each one of your acts within Himself and bring it to Heaven, so making of all your life a continuous ASCENSION, like many conquests that sweet Jesus takes from earth to Heaven, and like the triumph of His Love in which your life must be consumed. To live in order to be consumed in love is the most beautiful act, which, putting us on the stake of love, consumes us with Jesus and makes His Life rise within us.
But this is not enough, most dear Mother, if I don’t let my Divine Fiat act. Therefore I send it to you with all my heart, and I pray that It may pronounce Its Omnipotent Fiat in the center of your soul, and create Its Life within it, nourish it, and carry you always in Its arms of light; and that It may pronounce Its Fiat in every action you do and form in it Its Heaven, the most beautiful stars, the brightest sun, in order to make the most adorned room in which to reign and form Its first Kingdom.
My Mother, He always gives something to do to those who live in His Divine Volition. He lets not one of our acts escape Him without animating it, molding it, investing it, caressing it with His Creative Virtue. These are the best wishes I can send you, and I want you to accept them, so that the Divine Will may fulfill the wishes I am sending you with all my heart. I commend myself very much to your prayers…
The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.
The Hour of the Triumph. Apparitions of Jesus. The Fugitives cling to the Virgin as the Ark of Salvation and Forgiveness. Jesus departs for Heaven.
The soul to her Mother Queen:
Admirable Mother, here I am again on your maternal knees, to unite myself with you in the feast and triumph of the Resurrection of our dear Jesus. How beautiful is your appearance today – all loveliness, all sweetness, all joy. I seem to see you risen together with Jesus. O holy Mama, in so much joy and triumph, do not forget your child. Enclose the seed of the Resurrection of Jesus in my soul, so that, by virtue of It, I may fully rise again in the Divine Will, and always live united with you and with my sweet Jesus.
Lesson of the Queen of Heaven:
Blessed child of my maternal heart, great was my joy and my triumph in the Resurrection of my Son; I felt reborn and risen in Him. All of my sorrows changed into joys and into seas of grace, of light, of love, of forgiveness for the creatures – and laid my maternity, with the seal of my sorrows, over all my children, given to me by Jesus.
Now, listen to me, dear child. You must know that after the death of my Son I withdrew in the cenacle, together with beloved John and Magdalene. But my heart was pierced because only John was near me, and in my sorrow I said: “And the other apostles…where are they?”
But as they heard that Jesus had died, touched by special graces, all moved and weeping, the fugitives drew around me, one by one, surrounding me like a crown; and with tears and sighs, they asked for my forgiveness for having so cravenly abandoned their Master, and having run away. I welcomed them maternally in the ark of refuge and salvation of my heart; I assured them of the forgiveness of my Son, and I encouraged them not to fear. I said to them that their destiny was in my hands, because He had given them all to me as my children, and I
recognized them as such.
Blessed child, you know that I was present at the Resurrection of my Son. But I did not say a word to anyone, waiting for Jesus Himself, to manifest Himself as risen, gloriously and triumphantly. The first one to see him risen was the fortunate Magdalene; then the pious women. And all came to me telling me that they had seen Jesus risen, and that the sepulcher was empty; and I listened to all; and with an air of triumph I confirmed all in the faith of the Resurrection. By the evening, almost all of the apostles had seen Him, and all felt triumphant at having been the apostles of Jesus. What change of scene, dear child! – symbol of those who have first let themselves be dominated by the human will, represented by the apostles who run away, abandoning their Master; and their fear and fright is such that they hide, and Peter reaches the point of denying Him. Oh, if they had been dominated by the Divine Will, they would never have fled from their Master, but, courageous and triumphant, would never have departed from His side, and would have felt honored to give their life to defend Him.
Now, dear child, my beloved Son Jesus spent forty days, risen, on the earth. Very often He appeared to His apostles and disciples to confirm them in the faith and certainty of His Resurrection; and when He was not with the apostles, He was with His Mama in the cenacle, surrounded by the souls who had come out of Limbo. But at the end of the forty days, Jesus instructed the apostles, and leaving His Mama as their guide and Teacher, He promised us the descent of the Holy Spirit. Then, blessing us all, He departed, taking flight for the vault of the heavens, together with that great crowd of people who had left Limbo. All those who were there, and they were a great number, saw Him ascend; but as He got up high, a cloud of light removed Him from their sight.
Now, my child, your Mama followed Him into Heaven, and was present at the great feast of the ASCENSION. More so, since the celestial Fatherland was not foreign to me; and then, the feast of my Son, Ascended into Heaven, would not have been complete without me.
Now a little word to you, dearest child. All that you have heard and admired has been nothing other than the power of the Divine Will operating in me and in my Son. This is why I so much love to enclose in you the life of the Divine Will; It is an operative life, because everyone has it – but the majority of them keep It suffocated and to their service.. And while It could operate prodigies of sanctity, of grace, and works worthy of Its power, It is forced by the creatures to remain with folded arms, without being able to display its power. Therefore, be attentive, and let the Heaven of the Divine Will extend within you, and with Its power, work whatever It wants, and however It wants.
Most holy Mama, your beautiful lessons enrapture me, and – oh, how I wish and sigh for the operating life of the Divine Will in my soul! I too want to be inseparable from my Jesus and from you, my Mama. But to be sure of this, you must take on the commitment to keep my will enclosed in your maternal heart; and even if I should see that it costs me much, you must never give it to me. Only then will I be certain; otherwise, they will always be words, but I will never do facts. Therefore, your child commends herself to you, and hopes for everything from you.
Today, to honor me, you will make three genuflections in the act in which my Son ascended into Heaven, and pray to Him that He might let you ascend in the Divine Will.
My Mama, with your power, triumph in my soul, and let me stay in the Will of God.
Rounds of the Soul: The Twenty-fourth Hour
The soul is present at the ASCENSION of Jesus, and asks to be able sing, always, her loving refrain: “May the Kingdom of your Divine Will come upon earth”.
My risen Jesus, my “I love You” follows You in all the acts You did as risen, in the midst of your disciples. I call Heaven and earth to accompany You in your ascending into Heaven when, triumphant, You opened Its doors, which had been closed for many centuries to poor humanity. I place my “I love You” upon those eternal doors, and I ask You, for the sake of that blessing which You gave to all your disciples who were present at the feast of your ASCENSION into Heaven, to bless all human wills, that they may know the great good of living in your Will; and for the sake of that love with which You opened for us the doors of Heaven, let your Divine Will descend from those very doors to reign upon earth as It reigns in Heaven.
“My blessed daughter, there is no part of my life which does not symbolize the Kingdom of my Divine Will. On this day of my ASCENSION, I felt victorious and triumphant. My pains had already ended; or rather, I was leaving my pains, already suffered, in the midst of my children whom I was leaving on earth, as help, as strength and support… So I was leaving and yet staying. I was staying by virtue of my pains; I was staying in their hearts in order to be loved, after my Most Holy Humanity would ascend into Heaven…” (Vol.34 – May 20, 1936)
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.
 As Scriptures say: “For God has made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Co 5, 2).