THE WORKS OF MARIA VALTORTA
The original notebooks are the most precious part of Valtortian heritage. They show how and with what means Maria Valtorta wrote and documented the authenticity of her writings reproduced in printed editions.
Maria Valtorta, as an author, and Michele Pisani, as a publisher, signed the publishing contract for the Main Work in Viareggio on the 6th October 1952. It states that “Ms. Maria Valtorta gives Casa Pisani the autograph of the given book”. However, the original notebooks stayed in Viareggio, jealously kept in a wardrobe of the sick writer’s bedroom, while the Pisani editor was given one of the typewritten copies of the Work, followed by Fr. Romauldo M. Migliorini, who was Maria Valtorta’s spiritual director. The typewritten copy, collected in folders, served as the original typography for the text of the first edition of the Main Work, which was released in four large and malformed volumes.
Emilio Pisani, Michele’s son, was tasked with preparing the new edition and gradually picking up the handwritten notebooks from Viareggio to collate Maria Valtorta’s original writings (word by word) with the text of the first edition of the Main Work, marking corrections on the printed paper, unbundled for work convenience. The errors and differences to be corrected were due in part to the typed transcription and also to the subsequent typographical transcription.
The new edition, typographed on correct pages, was the first to be subdivided more appropriately into ten volumes. A successive edition of ten volumes was treated with renewed collation between the printed text of the previous edition and Maria Valtorta’s original manuscript, whose notebooks were, in the meantime, in the possession of the Centro Editoriale Valtortiano.
The contents of the catalogued notebooks correspond both to the content of the major work, which is constituted of ten printed volumes of The Gospel as Revealed to Me, and to the content of the singular printed volumes of the following minor works: The Notebooks of 1943, The Notebooks of 1944, The Notebooks of 1945-1950, The Book of Azariah, Lessons on Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
The Centro Editoriale Valtortiano (CEV), became the owner of Valtorta’s original notebooks as provisions of her will, which conferred the ownership of the same to the “Fondazione Maria Valtorta Cev – onlus”, established in 2010 by the CEV itself and of the spouses Emilio Pisani and Claudia Vecchiarelli, editors and historical curators of Maria Valtorta’s work.
The Foundation, which looks after the notebooks with the utmost of care, also wanted to preserve them from the wear of time by reproducing the pages with digitalization technology, designed to create a safer electronic archive next to the paper archive.
THE GOSPEL AS REVEALED TO ME
It narrates the birth and childhood of the Virgin Mary and her Son Jesus; the three years of Jesus’ public life (forming the largest section); his passion, death, resurrection, and ascension; the beginnings of the Church; and the assumption of Mary.
In lofty literary style, the work describes landscapes, environments, people, and events with the vividness of graphic depiction. It presents characters and situations with introspective insight and sets forth moments of joy or drama with the feeling of someone really taking part in them. It provides information on the characteristics of settings, customs, rites, and cultures with convincing detail.
By way of a gripping account of the Redeemer’s earthly life, especially through discourse and dialogue, the work sheds light upon the whole doctrine of Christianity in keeping with Catholic orthodoxy. The Blessed Gabriele M. Allegra, who highly esteemed Valtorta’s work, wrote, “Gifts of nature and mystical gifts harmoniously joined together account for this masterpiece of Italian religious literature and—perhaps I should say—of Christian literature on a world level.”
The Gospel as revealed to me, a worldwide success of spiritual literature, is now available in English. It is an inspired work or, as some say, a “gospel” which neither replaces nor changes the Gospel, but rather narrates it, integrating and illuminating it, for the purpose of reviving in men’s hearts love for Christ and his Mother. The Gospel as revealed to me is a series consisting of ten volumes.
“Ciò che costituisce il traguardo per gli altri, per così dire, è, al contrario, il punto di partenza per l’ascesi di Maria Valtorta.”
“Ho studiato, insegnato, predicato, e scritto di Mariologia già per mezzo secolo. Per fare questo, ho dovuto leggere innumerevoli opere e lavori di ogni genere su Maria: una vera e propria biblioteca Mariana.”
“Un libro di grande formato, composto in circostanze eccezionali e in un tempo relativamente molto breve: questo è un aspetto del fenomeno Valtorta.”