The Feast of the Visitation
In the Divine Will
From the Writings of
The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta
The Little Daughter of the Divine Will
Feast of Mary’s Visitation to Elisabeth
The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. In the Ardor of Her Love, feeling Herself the Mother of Jesus, Mary sets out in search for Hearts to be Sanctified. Visit to St. Elisabeth; Sanctification of John.
The soul to her Celestial Mother:
Celestial Mama, your poor child has extreme need of You! Since You are my Mother and the Mother of Jesus, I feel the right to be near You, to place myself at your side, and to follow your steps in order to model mine. Holy Mama, give me your hand, and take me with You, that I may learn to behave well in the different actions of my life.
Lesson of the Queen of Heaven:
Blessed child, how sweet is your company to Me! In seeing that you want to follow Me to imitate Me, I feel refreshment for the flames of love which devour Me. Oh, yes, having you near Me, I will be able to teach you more easily how to live of Divine Will. While you follow Me, listen to Me.
As I became Mother of Jesus and your Mother, my seas of love doubled, and unable to contain them all, I felt the need to pour them out, and to be the first bearer of Jesus to creatures, even at the cost of great sacrifices. But, what am I saying – sacrifices? When one really loves, sacrifices and pains are refreshments; they are reliefs and outpourings of the love one possesses. Oh, my child, if you do not feel the good of sacrifice, if you do not feel how it brings the most intimate joys, it is a sign that the Divine Love does not fill all your soul, and therefore that the Divine Will does not reign as Queen in you. It alone gives such strength to the soul as to render her invincible and capable of bearing any pain.
Place your hand upon your heart, and observe how many voids of love there may be in it. Reflect: that secret self-esteem, your becoming disturbed at every slightest adversity, those little attachments you feel to things and to people, that tiredness in good, that bother caused in you by that which is not to your liking, are equivalent to as many voids of love within your heart; voids which, like little fevers, deprive you of the strength and of the desire to be filled with Divine Will. Oh, how you too will feel the refreshing and conquering virtue in your sacrifices, if you fill these voids with love!
My child, give Me your hand now, and follow Me, as I continue to give you my lessons.
So I departed from Nazareth, accompanied by Saint Joseph, facing a long journey, and crossing mountains to go visit Elisabeth in Judea, who, in her advanced age, had miraculously become a mother.
I went to her, not to make a simple visit, but because I burned with the desire to bring her Jesus. The fullness of grace, of love and of light that I felt within Me, pushed Me to bring, to multiply – to increase a hundredfold the life of my Son in creatures.
Yes, my child, the love of Mother which I had for all men, and for you in particular, was so great that I felt the extreme need to give my dear Jesus to everyone, that all might possess Him and love Him. The right of Mother, given to Me by the Fiat, enriched Me with such power as to multiply Jesus as many times as there are creatures who want to receive Him. This was the greatest miracle I could perform: to have Jesus ready to give to whomever desired Him. How happy I felt!
How I wish that you too, my child, in approaching and visiting people, would always be the bearer of Jesus, capable of making Him known, and yearning to make Him loved.
After many days of travel, finally I arrived in Judea, and I hastened to the house of Elisabeth. She came toward Me in feast. At the greeting I gave her, marvelous phenomena occurred. My little Jesus exulted in my womb, and fixing little John in the womb of his mother with the rays of His Divinity, He sanctified him, gave him the use of reason, and made known to him that He was the Son of God. And John leaped so vigorously with love and with joy that Elisabeth was shaken. Touched by the light of the Divinity of my Son, she too recognized that I had become the Mother of God; and in the emphasis of her love, trembling with gratitude, she exclaimed: “Whence comes to me so much honor, that the Mother of my Lord would come to me?”
I did not deny the highest mystery; rather, I humbly confirmed it. Praising God with the song of the Magnificat – sublime canticle, through which the Church continuously honors Me – I announced that the Lord had done great things in Me, His servant, and that because of this, all peoples would call Me blessed.
My child, I felt devoured with the desire to pour out the flames of love that consumed Me, and to reveal my secret to Elisabeth, who also longed for the Messiah to come upon earth. A secret is a need of the heart which is revealed, irresistibly, to persons who are capable of understanding each other.
Who can ever tell you how much good my visit brought to Elisabeth, to John, and to their whole household? Everyone was sanctified, filled with gladness, felt unusual joys, and comprehended things unheard-of. John, in particular, received all the graces which were necessary for him, to prepare himself to be the Precursor of my Son.
Dearest child, the Divine Will does great and unheard-of things wherever It reigns. If I worked many prodigies, it was because It had Its royal place in Me. If you let the Divine Will reign in your soul, you too will become the bearer of Jesus to the creatures – you too will feel the irresistible need to give Him to all!
Holy Mama, how I thank You for your beautiful lessons! I feel that they have such power over me as to make me yearn continuously to live in the Divine Will. But so that I may obtain this grace – come, descend into my soul together with Jesus; renew in me the visit you made to St. Elisabeth and the prodigies You worked for her. Ah, yes, my Mama, bring me Jesus – sanctify me. With Jesus I will be able to do His Most Holy Will.
To honor Me, you will recite the Magnificat three times, in thanksgiving for the visit I made to St. Elisabeth.
Holy Mama, visit my soul, and prepare in it a worthy dwelling for the Divine Will.
LUISA’S 33 VISITS EVERY DAY TO JESUS
From Volume 1
Thus, in reciprocity for this infinite Love I have for creatures, I want you to visit Me thirty-three times a day to honor the years that my Humanity spent for you and for all. You, my children regenerated by my Precious Blood, join Me in this Sacrament—keeping in mind always to do my intentions for expiation, reparation, perpetual adoration, and immolation. You shall make these thirty-three visits at all times, everyday and wherever you may be; and I will accept them as if they were made in my Sacramental Presence.
Each morning your first thought must be of Me, Prisoner of Love, to give Me your first greeting of love. It will be our first confidential visit when we shall ask each other how we passed the night and, in turn, encourage each other. Your last thought and affection of the evening must still be that of receiving my blessing so that you may rest in Me, with Me, and for Me. You will then wring from Me the last kiss of Love, with a promise to unite with Me in the Blessed Sacrament. You shall make other visits as best as you can, as the occasions arise, and concentrate entirely on my Love.”
Volume 10 – December 25, 1910
This morning blessed Jesus made Himself seen as a tiny Little One, but so gracious and beautiful as to enrapture me in a sweet enchantment. Especially, then, He rendered Himself more lovable because, with His tiny little hands, He took little nails and nailed me with a mastery worthy only of my always lovable Jesus. Then He filled me with kisses and with love, and so I did with Him.
Then, after this, I seemed to find myself in the grotto of my newborn Jesus, and my little Jesus told me: “My beloved daughter, who came to visit me in the grotto of my birth? Only shepherds were my first visitors – the only ones who kept coming and going, offering Me gifts and their little things. They were the first to receive the knowledge of my coming into the world and, as a consequence, the first favorites to be filled with my grace. This is why I always choose poor, ignorant, abject people, and I make of them portents of grace – because they are always the ones to be more disposed, the ones who more easily listen to Me and believe Me without raising so many difficulties, so many quibbles as, on the contrary, learned people do….
Volume 14 – May 12, 1922
So I abandoned all of myself in His Will, but I felt great repugnance in me toward Justice; and my sweet Jesus, coming back, told me: “If you knew how heavy it is for Me to use Justice, and how much I love the creature! The whole of Creation is for Me like the body to the soul, like the skin to the fruit. I am in continuous immediate act with man, although created things hide Me, just as the body hides the soul. However, if it wasn’t for the soul, the body would have no life. In the same way, if I withdrew from created things, they would all remain without life. In all created things I visit man, I touch him and I give him life. I am hidden in the fire, and I visit him with its heat; if I were not there, the fire would have no heat – it would be a painted fire and without life. But while I visit man in the fire, he does not recognize Me, nor does he give Me one greeting. I am in the water, and I visit him by quenching his thirst; if I were not there, the water would quench no one’s thirst – it would be dead water. But while I visit him, he passes before Me without bowing once to Me. I am hidden in the food, and I visit man by giving him substance, strength and taste; if I were not there, in taking food man would remain on an empty stomach. Yet, ungrateful, while he feeds on Me, he turns his back to Me. I am hidden in the sun, and I visit him with my light almost every instant; yet, ungrateful, he repays Me with continuous offenses. I visit him in all things: in the air that he breathes, in the flower that gives off its fragrance, in the breeze that refreshes, in the thunder that strikes – in everything. My visits are innumerable. Do you see how much I love him? And you, being in my Will, are together with Me, visiting man and giving him life. Therefore, do not be frightened if sometimes you concur in Justice.”
Volume 17 – February 22, 1925
These paths in the creature were necessary so that, very often, she might rise to her true Fatherland, she might know It and love It; and a sign that the soul is on these paths, that she loves her Celestial Fatherland, is that, placing herself on the way in Our Will, she makes her little visits. This is also a sign for you. Don’t you remember how many times you took the way to Heaven and penetrated into the celestial regions, and after you had made your little visit, my Will made you descend into the exile; and since you loved the Fatherland, the exile seemed ugly and almost unbearable to you? Your love for the Fatherland, your feeling the bitterness of living in exile, was a good sign for you – that the Fatherland is yours. See, this happens also with the low things of this world. If one has a large property, he forms a path in order to go visit it very often, to enjoy it, to take the goods which are in it; and while visiting it, he loves it and carries it in his heart. On the other hand, if he does not form a path, he never visits his properties, because without a path it is almost impenetrable; he never speaks about it. This is a sign that he does not love it, and that he despises his own goods; and even though he could be rich, because of his bad will, he is a poor one who lives in the most squalid misery. This is why, in creating man, my wisdom wanted to form the paths between Me and him – to facilitate for him sanctity, the communication of Our goods, and his entrance into the Celestial Fatherland.
Volume 20 – October 12, 1926
How Jesus feels drawn by His Will to visit the soul, disposing her to be with Him.
Don’t you know that my frequent coming is linked to the fact that you are my firstborn daughter? Don’t you know that, as long as Adam remained the firstborn son of my Will, having therefore primacy over everything, I visited him often? Because my Will reigned in him, I administered to him all the necessary manners in order to be with Me, as the son who forms the consolation of his Father. I spoke to him as to a son, and he to Me as to his Father. As he withdrew from my Will he lost his primacy, the rights of firstborn, and along with them he lost all of my goods. He no longer felt the strength to sustain my presence, nor did I feel drawn by a Divine force and Will to go to him. So, all his bonds with Me were broken; nothing was due to him by right any more, and he no longer saw Me unveiled, but in the midst of lightnings and eclipsed within my light – that light of my Will which he had rejected.
Now, don’t you know that the primacy which Adam lost as firstborn son of my Will was passed on to you, and that I must enclose all the goods which I was to enclose in him, had he not withdrawn from my Will? Therefore I look at you as the first creature which came out of Our hands – because one who lives in my Will is always the first for her Creator; and even if she is born later in time, this says nothing: in Our Will, one who has never gone out of It, is always first. See then – you must care about everything; my coming itself is the irresistible force of my Will which draws you to Me and disposes you. Therefore, I want highest gratitude because of your fortune of being the firstborn daughter of my Will.”
I didn’t know what to answer. I remained confused, and in the intimate place of my soul, I said: ‘Fiat, Fiat’.
Volume 21 – February 23, 1927
How living in the Divine Will is to form a surprise visit to Jesus.
I felt my poor heart under a press, so very hard, because of the privation of my sweet Jesus. Oh, how I moaned and fidgeted; and doing my usual round in the Creation in order to follow the acts of His Will in It, as I reached the sea, I called Him and said to Him: ‘My Jesus, come – come back; your little daughter is calling You from the sea. I call you together with the vastness of these waters, with their murmuring; I call You in the darting of the fish; I call You with the power of your own Will which extends within this sea. If You do not want to listen to my voice calling you, listen to the many innocent voices which are unleashed by this sea, and which call You. O please, don’t let me be crushed any longer, for I cannot take it any more.’
But – no, with all the voices of the sea, He would not come. Therefore I had to move into the sun, and I called Him from within the sun; I called Him with the immensity of its light. So, wherever I went, I called Him in the name of each created thing, and of His very Will which dominated within it.
Then, as I arrived under the blue vault of the heavens, I said to Him: ‘Listen, oh Jesus, I am bringing You all your works; don’t You hear the voice of all heaven – the innumerable voices of the stars, calling You? They all want to surround You, and make You a visit, as their Creator and Father. And You – do You want to send us all back?’
Now, while I was saying this, my sweet Jesus came out, and as though placing Himself in the midst of all His works, told me: “My daughter, what a beautiful surprise you gave Me today. You brought Me all my works to visit Me; I feel my glory, my happiness, being redoubled, in seeing Myself surrounded by all my works, which I recognize as many children of Mine.
Today, you acted like a child who loves his Father very much, and who knows that he greatly enjoys seeing himself being surrounded and visited by all of his children. This child calls them all and loves them; he gathers, one by one, all of his brothers and sisters together, and he goes to give his surprise to his Father. The Father is pleased in seeing himself surrounded by all of his children – not one of them is missing; and he recognizes all the members of his family. Oh, how glorified he feels by all his children – his happiness reaches the summit; and as fulfillment of his joy, he prepares a sumptuous banquet, and all together, Father and children, they celebrate. Then, in the fullness of his happiness, he recognizes the child who has gathered the whole family to give a surprise to the Father, and to please him so much. This child will be loved more, because he has been the cause of so much happiness for him.
Now, my little daughter, while you were calling Me from the sea, with all its voices, I listened to you, and I said: “Let her go around all created things, that she may gather them all together for Me; and then, I will let Myself be found. In this way, I will be able to receive the visit of all my works, which are like as many children of Mine; so, they will make Me happy, and I will make them happy.
Therefore, the living in my Will contains indescribable surprises. I can say that wherever It reigns, the soul becomes my happiness, my joy, my glory; and I prepare for her the banquet of Its knowledges, so that, delighting in each other, we may extend the Kingdom of the Supreme FIAT, that It may be known, loved and glorified. Therefore, often do I expect these surprises of my daughter, who brings Me the visit of the whole family which belongs to Me.
Furthermore, since all Our divine qualities are as though spread throughout Creation, and each created thing occupies one office of Our attributes – so, one is the child of Our power, another of justice, one of light, another of peace, another of goodness; in sum, each created thing is the child of each one of Our attributes – when you bring Me the whole creation, you are the bearer of my own happiness which is spread within It, and I recognize the child of my light in the sun, the child of my justice in the sea, that of my empire in the wind, that of peace in the flowery earth. In sum, in all created things I recognize each part of my attributes, and I enjoy recognizing my children, whom the little daughter of my Will brings to Me.
I act just like a father who has many children, and each one of them occupies one office of love – one is prince, one is judge, one is deputy, one senator, one governor. The father feels happier as he recognizes, in the birth of his womb, each office and position of honor of his children. In the same way, since all things were created so they might flow to make the children of the Supreme Fiat happy, in seeing you bring Our works back to Us we recognize Our own purpose in you, and – oh! how We enjoy seeing you go around, gathering all Our works together, in order to bring back to Us Our own happiness spread throughout the whole Creation. Therefore, may your flight in my Will be continuous.”
Then, afterwards, having received Holy Communion, I was saying to my beloved Jesus: ‘My Love and my life, your Will has the virtue of multiplying your Life for as many beings as exist and will exist on earth. So, in your Will I want to form as many Jesuses, in order to give the whole of You to each soul of Purgatory, to each Blessed of Heaven, and to each being living on the earth.’
Now, while I was saying this, my celestial Jesus told me: “My daughter, in one who lives in my Volition, my Will does exactly this: It multiplies the acts of the soul by Its own virtue, for as many as are the created beings. The soul receives the divine attitude, and her act becomes act of all. The divine work is exactly this: each act It does, multiplies into many, and everyone can make that act his own, as if it had been done for each being alone – while the act was one. Therefore, the soul in whom my Will reigns places herself in the conditions of God Himself – both of glory and of sorrow, depending on whether the creatures receive it or reject it. The glory – the good, and the life of Jesus, which her act can bring to all, is great, exuberant, infinite. The sorrow, because not all creatures take that good, and because my very Life remains suspended – unable to bring the benefit of my Divine Life – is a sorrow which surpasses all sorrows.”
Volume 22 – August 9, 1927
How Creation and Redemption are divine territories given to creatures. The love of Jesus in making her sleep. How light and heat are inseparable from each other.
I was following the Divine Will in Its acts, and my beloved Jesus followed me with His gaze to see whether I would visit all of His works; and He told me: “My daughter, I am watching to see whether you visit all my territories. You must know that Creation is a territory of mine; Redemption is added territories; even more, my childhood, my tears and baby wailings, my prayers, my works, my steps, my hidden and public life, are as many apartments of mine which I formed within my territories. There is not one thing I did and pain I suffered, which I did not use to expand the boundaries of the divine territories in order to give them to creatures. Now, every day I look at whether at least the little daughter of my Will visits all my territories and enters each of my apartments; and when I see you begin your round to visit the sun, the stars, the heavens, the sea and all created things, I feel that my territories, which with so much love I formed and gave to creatures, are not abandoned – there is at least one who visits them; and if she visits them, it means that she loves them and has accepted the gift. And I anxiously wait for you to continue your visits in Bethlehem, the place in which I was born, and visit my tears, my pains, my steps, my works, the miracles I performed, the Sacraments I instituted, my Passion, my Cross – in sum, everything. And I make you aware if anything escapes you, that you make your little visit, be it even in passing; and – oh! how content I am that my apartments are all being visited. My daughter, what a sorrow it is to give and not to be recognized, to give and have no one who takes the good one wants to give. And do you know what I do? When I see you, all by yourself, going around throughout all my territories and visiting my apartments, I give you all the goods which are in them, in such a way that, what I should give to others, I centralize in you. So, I give you everything and you give Me everything. In fact, in order to be able to give everything to the soul, I must find everything in her, and in order for her to be able to give Me everything, she must possess everything. One who has everything, has the capacity of being able to give Me everything and to receive everything.”
Volume 26 – September 15, 1929
How the sun returns every day to visit the earth; symbol of the Sun of the Divine Will.
I was repeating my acts in the Divine Volition, to follow Its acts in all of Its works; and I thought to myself: ‘Why repeat always the same acts? What glory can I give to my Creator?’ And my sweet Jesus, coming out from within my interior, clasped me in His arms to strengthen me, and told me: “My daughter, the repetition of your acts in the Divine Fiat breaks Its isolation and generates company for all the acts that my Divine Will does. So, It no longer feels alone, but has one to whom It can tell Its pains, Its joys, and entrust Its secrets. And besides, an act continuously repeated is divine virtue, and has the virtue of generating goods that do not exist, of reproducing them and communicating them to all. Only a continuous act is capable of forming life and of giving life.
Look at the sun, symbol of my Divine Will, that never leaves the creature and never tires of doing its continuous act of light. Every day it returns to visit the earth, always giving its goods; it returns to trace the goods already given with its eye of light – and many times it does not find them. It does not find the flower which it colored with the beauty of its shades, and perfumed by just touching it with its hands of light. It does not find the fruit to which, pouring its own self out, it communicated its sweetness, and which it matured with its heat. How many things the sun does not find, after it has poured its very self out with many acts, more than maternal, in order to form the most beautiful flowerings, and form so many plants, and raise so many fruits with its breath of light and of heat – because man, snatching them from the earth, has used them to nourish his life. Oh! if the sun had capacity of reason and of sorrow, it would turn into tears of light and of burning fire, to cry over each thing it formed and does not find. And, in its sorrow, it would not change its will by ceasing to communicate its goods to the earth in order to form again what was taken away from it; because, no matter how much wrong they might do to it, its nature is to always give its act of light in which all goods are present, without ever ceasing. Such is my Divine Will; more than sun, It pours Its own self out over each creature, to give her continuous life. It can be said that It invests the creatures with Its omnipotent breath of light and of love, It forms them and raises them. And while the sun gives place to the night, my Divine Will never leaves on their own the dear births that came from It – molded, vivified, formed, raised with Its breath and burning kiss of light. There is not one instant in which my Divine Will leaves the creature, and pouring Itself over her, does not communicate to her Its various shades of beauty, Its infinite sweetness, Its inextinguishable love. What does my Divine Will not do for her and give to her? Everything. Yet, It is not recognized nor loved; nor do they preserve within themselves the goods It communicates to them. What sorrow! While It pours Its own self out over each creature, It does not find the goods It communicates; and, in Its sorrow, It continues Its act of light over them without ever ceasing. So, this is why one who must live in my Fiat must have her repeated and continuous acts, so as to keep It company and soothe It in Its intense sorrow.”…
Volume 28 – August 12, 1930
How despondency doubles the weight of the pains. In what way Jesus visits us.
I am under the empire of the Divine Fiat, which alone knows my deep wounds that keep becoming more bitter and multiplying in my poor soul. But all my hope is that the Divine Will alone may reign in the circumstances, alas, painful, of my existence down here, and which want to hasten my departure for the Celestial Fatherland. But while I was in the nightmare of most bitter pains, my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter, do not lose heart, because disheartenment calls for despondency, which doubles the weight of the pains, so much so, that the poor creature, with this doubled weight, can just barely drag herself on the way that she must cover, while my Will does not want you to drag yourself, but to fly within Its interminable light. And besides, I Myself am the sorrow, within which I make my little visits; sorrow is the veil, but inside there is my person which, hidden within the veil of the sorrow, visits the creature. I Myself am the necessities, and hidden inside of them, I make her the most beautiful visits to make Myself help in the necessities that I dispose. It is not just by making Myself seen that I visit the creatures, but in so many ways, that it can be said that in each encounter, in each circumstance, or great or little things that happen to her, it is a visit that I dispose Myself to make her, in order to give her what is needed. For one who lives in my Divine Will, then, my state in her being permanent, not only do I visit her, but I keep expanding the boundaries of my Will.”…
Volume 30 – January 24, 1932
Every little visit of Jesus [is] bearer of celestial truths.
I felt all worried over the so many truths that blessed Jesus had told me on his Divine Will, and while I felt the sacred deposit of his truths in me, together I felt a holy fear of how I guarded them in my poor soul, and many times badly exposed, without that attention that is appropriate to truth that contains infinite value. And oh, how I would like to imitate the blessed, that while they know so much of the Divine Will, they don’t say anything to anyone. To the poor wayfarers, they hold them all with themselves, they beatify each other, they felicitate each other, but from up there they don’t even send one word in order to make known one single truth of the many that they
know. But while I thought this, my amiable Jesus visiting my little soul, all goodness said to me:
“My daughter, every word that I have said to you on my Divine Will has been none other than so many little visits that I have made you, leaving in you the substance of the good that every word of mine contains. And not entrusting myself to you, because you were incapable of guarding one single word of mine, I left myself to guard the infinite value of my truths that I deposed in your soul. Hence your fears are not just. I am at watch over everything. They are celestial truths, stuff of heaven, outlets of repressed love of my Will, and for so many centuries. And before deciding to speak to you, already I have decided to remain in you in order to guard that which I deposed in you. You enter into the secondary order, I am the first custodian.
“Now these little visits of mine being bearers of celestial stuff, you will bring them with you into the Celestial Country as triumph of my Will, and as guarantee that his kingdom will not only come upon the earth, but that he has established his beginning of his reign. Those that will remain upon the paper will leave in perennial memory that my Will wants to reign in the midst of the human generations, and they will be spurs, incitements, divine supplications, irresistible force, celestial messengers, commanders of the Kingdom of my Divine Fiat; and also powerful reproach to one whom should occupy themselves to make such a good known; and that for laziness and for vain fears they won’t leave themselves to turn through all the world, so that they bring the cheerful news of the happy era of the Kingdom of my Will. Therefore abandon yourself in me and leave me to do it.”
Volume 33 – November 25, 1934
Living in the Divine Will is as one might live between Father and child. Her acts are visits to the Celestial Father.
I am always returning in the celestial inheritance of the Divine Fiat, every act that I do it seems to me that I return in the arms of my Celestial Father, but in order to do what? In order to receive a look, a kiss, a caress, a little word of love, one knowledge more of his Supreme Being, in order to be able love him more, and not only in order to receive, but also in order to give the exchange of his Paternal tenderness to him. In the Divine Volition none other is done than, God develops his Paternity with a tender and indescribable love, as if he himself awaits the creature in order to cradle her in his arms, in order to say to her: know that I am your Father, and you are my daughter. Oh! How I love the crown of my children around Me, with them around Me I feel more happy, I feel myself Father, and there is no greater contentment than to possess numerous offspring, that attest the love, the progeny to their Father. And the creature with entering in the Divine Volition doesn’t do other than do (as) daughter to her Father. Instead outside of the Divine Volition the rights of Paternity and progeny cease. But while my mind was lost in the crowd of so many thoughts on the Divine Fiat, the Sovereign Celestial Jesus, the dear (of) my Life, surprising me with a love more than Paternal in (the) act of taking me up between his arms, said to me:
“My daughter, my daughter, if you might know what are my anxieties, my sighs, and how I await and re-await to see you return in my Will, you would be more attentive to return there more often, my love arrives to render me restless, when I don’t see you jump into my arms, in order to give you my love, my Paternal tenderness and to receive yours, but do you know when you jump into my arms? When seeing you tiny, tiny you want to love me and you don’t know how to love me, you tell Me an I love You, and your I love You forms the jump in order to fling you into my arms, and since you see that your I love You is little, boldly you take my love and you tell Me an I love You, great, great, and I enjoy that my daughter loves Me with my love, and I delight so much to exchange my acts with that creature, in my Will after all; it is not to strangers that I give, that I must use the weights, the measure, but I give to my children, therefore I let them take that which they want. So that every time that you remember to make your acts flow in my Will, your prayer, your sufferings, your I love you, your work, they are little visits that you make your Father, in order to ask whatever thing, and He in order to say to you: tell me what you want? And be certain that you will always obtain other gifts and favors.”
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
Come Holy Spirit, Come Supreme Will,
down to reign in Your Kingdom on earth
and in our hearts!
Come Holy Spirit, Come Supreme Will,
down to reign in Your Kingdom on earth
and in our hearts!
Come Holy Spirit, Come Supreme Will,
down to reign in Your Kingdom on earth
and in our hearts!