Author

Maria Valtorta cover

photo credits: Unknown - CC-PD-Mark

Maria Valtorta

Italian writer, Christian mystic

1897   -   1961

country of citizenship: Italy, Kingdom of Italy
occupation: poet, philosopher, writer

Maria Valtorta (14 March 1897 – 12 October 1961) was a Roman Catholic Italian writer and poet. She was a Franciscan tertiary and a lay member of the Servants of Mary who reported reputed personal conversations with, and dictations from, Jesus Christ. In her youth, Valtorta travelled around Italy due to her father's military career. Her father eventually settled in Viareggio. In 1920, aged 23, while walking on a street with her mother, a delinquent youth struck her in the back with an iron bar for no apparent reason. In 1934, the injury eventually confined her to bed for the remaining 28 years of her life. Her spiritual life was influenced by reading the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and, in 1925, at the age of 28, before becoming bedridden, she offered herself to God as a victim soul. From 23 April 1943, until 1951 she produced over 15,000 handwritten pages in 122 notebooks, mostly detailing the life of Jesus as an extension of the gospels. Her handwritten notebooks containing close to 700 reputed episodes in the life of Jesus were typed on separate pages by her priest and reassembled, becoming the basis of her 5,000-page book The Poem of the Man-God. The Holy See placed the work on the Index of Prohibited Books and the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano accompanied publication of this decree with an article that called the book a badly fictionalized life of Jesus. Valtorta lived most of her life bedridden in Viareggio, Italy where she died in 1961. She is buried at the grand cloister of the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata in Florence.
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