THE LIFE OF MARIA VALTORTAThe violet of God At the time of year I was born the hawthorn sprinkles the previously bare hedges with living snow, and its florets, white as a feather falling from a dove in flight, caress the red-brown thorns on its branches. In certain Italian towns, they call wild hawthorn Spina Christi and say that the Redeemer’s crown of thorns was made of its branches, which, though a torment for the Savior’s flesh, protect the nests becoming full of murmurs and love once again. At the foot of the hawthorn, a Lenten flower in outward garb and Christian in humility, the violet meekly exudes its perfume... A perfume more than a flower—a faint and yet penetrating scent, a humble and yet tenacious flower content with everything in order to live and blossom. I would like to designate this life with the name of one of these two flowers, particularly the violet, which lives in the shade but knows that the sun is shining upon it to provide life and warmth. It knows, though it does not see the sun, and casts its scent, outbreathing its whole self in loving incense to say “thank you.” (Maria Valtorta, Autobiography) Download here the full biography .1897BIRTHMaria Valtorta was born on March 14, 1897 in Caserta, where her parents, who were Lombard, were temporarily staying. She was the only daughter of a Cavalry Marshal, a good and submissive man, and of a French teacher, a shrewish and severe woman. After having risked dying when she was born, the little girl was entrusted to a nanny with bad habits, who went so far as to leave her for hours among the furrows of wheat in the sunny countryside. 1898The transfer to the northHaving the family to follow the displacements of the Cavalry Regiment in which her father served as an officer, Maria left Caserta when she was eighteen months old, lived her early childhood in Faenza, Romagna, and began to attend schools, with great profit, in Milan and then to Voghera, where she made his first communion. 1900The motherFrom her mother, a former French teacher, a cold and despotic woman, she suffered moral violence and impositions in her life choices. 1900The FatherFrom her father, a meek and loving man, she was educated in human values and the admiration of beauty that is in nature and in art. 1901The childhoodIntelligent and strong-willed, of a passionate nature, Mary nourished the legitimate aspirations of every woman, but in her soul "the eagerness to console Jesus by becoming like Him in the pain voluntarily suffered for love" never died away. As a child, in fact, contemplating the statue of Christ taken down from the cross, she felt compassion for Him for having understood what love for humanity there was in that extreme sacrifice. 1909The adolescenceDecisive for her spiritual maturity and for a program of future life were her happy four years as a student in the Bianconi College of Monza, where she found herself satisfied in cultural and religious formation. 1909The College periodMaria Valtorta at the age of 15 in the College's uniform 1912FlorenceHer return to the family coincided with the transfer to Florence, decided by the parents, as the father retired prematurely for health reasons. 1916The Great WarIn the eleven years she spent in Florence, interrupted by a long vacation in Reggio Calabria with hotel keeper relatives, her mother allowed Maria to be a Samaritan nurse in a military hospital for eighteen months (the First World War was raging) but also extinguished in the daughter the dream of being a bride and mother, brutally interrupting a first and a second engagement in the bud. 1920The AttackWhile walking through the streets of Florence, Maria suffered an attack from a socialist fanatic, the man hit her with a iron bar in the spine, at the level of the kidneys, causing paralysis. 1920In Reggio CalabriaIt was then that Maria had the providential opportunity to spend two years in Reggio Calabria, as a guest of hotelier relatives who, with their affection, combined with the natural beauty of the place, helped to restore her body and soul. During that vacation she felt new impulses towards a life rooted in Christ; but the return to Florence in 1922 submerged it in bitter memories. 1924ViareggioMaria was 27 when her parents bought a house in Viareggio, where the family went to live permanently. 1934The infirmityHer health, undermined by the harsh physical trials, was becoming increasingly unstable, but did not prevent her from engaging in a form of parish apostolate and in charitable works, until her growing love for God and for souls pushed her to the heroic decision. to offer herself victim to divine Love and Justice. A progressive paralysis of the lower limbs, the consequence of a blow to the kidneys received in the street by a subversive when she was in Florence, made her move with increasing difficulty. She became completely ill from Easter 1934. 1935Maria Diciotti and the loss of the parentsThe following year she had the consolation of seeing Marta Diciotti, an orphaned and lonely young woman welcomed into the house, who would become her assistant and confidant for the rest of her life. Just a month later she had the great pain of not being able to get out of bed to be able to assist her beloved father in his last moments of life. The same goes for her mother, who died on 4 October 1943, loved and respected until the last by her daughter, who had only received hardships from her. 1943The autobiographyIn the first months of the same year 1943, Maria Valtorta had written theAutobiography, which had been requested of her by the spiritual director, the servant P. Romualdo M. Migliorini. 1943The first "dictation"Immediately after, on April 23, 1943, Good Friday, she had his first "dictation", which marked the beginning of a prodigious literary production in terms of size, height of inspiration, value of content, stylistic value, manner and time of writing. 1943WritingRemaining half-seated in bed, paralysed from the waist down, Maria wrote everything in her own hand with a fountain pen on ordinary notebooks placed on arched knees, uninterruptedly for years, without rereading and correcting, while she was exhausted by suffering of all kinds and comforted from raptures of spiritual joy, in a concealment wanted this way so that she could become known only after death. 1944The second world WarShe did not stop writing even when the passage of the Second World War forced her to flee from Viareggio to take refuge in Sant'Andrea di Còmpito (fraction of the municipality of Capànnori in the province of Lucca) where she saw herself transplanted, with the furniture of her room, from April to December 1944. 1951The isolationAfter such an intense activity as a writer, the infirm Maria Valtorta gradually closed herself off in a serene psychic isolation, until she remained completely inactive in her last years. 1961The contemplative stateIt is attributed her new state to the offer of her own intellect, attested in one of her letters, and to a promise of Jesus, reported in a "dictation" of 1947, when for her the "visions" of the major work seemed finished: “I will always come. And for you alone. And it will be even sweeter because I will be everything for you ... I will take you higher, into the pure spheres of pure contemplation ... From now on you will only contemplate ... I will forget you about the world in my love ". 1961Birth to HeavenShe died in her home in Viareggio on 12 October 1961, as if obeying the word of the priest who recited the prayer for the dying: "Leave, Christian soul, from this world". She was 64 years of age and had been in bed for 27 and a half years. 1973Back in Florence, for ever.Twelve years later, on 2 July 1973, the mortal remains of Maria Valtorta, moved from the Cemetery of the Misericordia in Viareggio, were buried in Florence, in the Chapter chapel in the large cloister of the Basilica-Sanctuary of the Ss. Annunziata. 1973The tomb at the Santissima AnnunziataThe officiant is the famous mariologist Father Gabriele Maria Roschini of the Order of the Servants of Mary.