Poem of the Man-God, by Maria Valtorta next >

by Fr. Kevin Robinson, fsspx, April 25 2006

Fr. Robinson's Talk About Maria Valtorta's Writings (MP3 Audio)
Maria Valtorta Summa & Encyclopedia.pdf (Updated Jun 3 2017)

Maria Valtorta official website
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Read The Poem of the Man-God

Since this website is about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the most accurate version of it, it seems appropriate to mention another Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a much more complete and detailed "life of Christ" than the New Testament.  That book is "The GOSPEL As Revealed To Me", previously called "The Poem Of The Man-God", written by Maria Valtorta, based on private revelations she received from Jesus Christ, in Italy, from 1943-1950.  The new version is ten books which contain some of the most detailed accounts of the life of Christ you will ever hope to find anywhere.  Here is an article written by Fr. Kevin Robinson, which offers new information for those who are skeptical of this book.


Many conservative and traditional Catholics have been misled by an article circulating since 1992, referring to Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of 1985 and a summary of the seven "reasons" for condemnation of The Poem of the Man God in 1960.  There is a good analysis of this in a new book Fireworks (Kolbe Publications Sherbrooke, Canada, 1996, pp. 78-79, 87-107). It points out (p. 105) that Father Giraudo of the Holy Office in early 1962 reversed the previous decision of that Office to place The Poem on the Index of Forbidden Books.

Since then [1996], acceptance of The Poem has spread widely with imprimatur granted by Bishop Roman Danylak in Rome [1998] for all the approved English translations.  The canonical approval to publish, given by Pope Pius XII has not been seriously challenged.

See Gamaliel's advice, [Acts 5:38-39]

Don't forget, the approval of Pope Pius XII was more than an Imprimatur (permission to publish).  It was an instruction to publish, given at the Vatican before official witnesses on February 26, 1948.


Now for the intrinsic arguments.  Just about all the objections to The Poem involve taking quotes somehow out of context. There are three ways to take a text out of context and thus distort its meaning.

First there is verbal or literal context.  The Bible has these words: "There is no God" (Ps. 52), and "Christ died in vain" (Gal. 2:21).  No one can say that the Bible says (affirms) these statements, because in context we have: "The fool says in his heart, there is no God"; and "If justice comes by the law, then Christ died in vain".  Yet the verbal context could also be made clear somewhere else, (e.g. St. Paul saying "I would wish to be anathema from Christ", in Rom 9:3), can only be understood rightly in the light of verses 38-39 of the previous chapter, and the rest of Chapters 9, 10 and 11.  Likewise with Our Lord's words about cutting off a hand or plucking out an eye (Matt. 5:29 30) in a true verbal context we must understand the literary expression of hyperbole.  It would be wrong to take it too literally.  In the same way, Our Lord has given Maria Valtorta some surprising expressions, which the context makes quite clear.

Second is the cultural and temporal context.  It comes as a surprise for some to realise that Christ our Saviour was truly human, and with other characters of the Gospel, was of quite a different cultural stock (from ourselves).  Jewish first century styles and customs greatly differ from Western twentieth century ones. 

Thirdly, the most important context is the doctrinal or faith context.  This is the norm for interpreting Sacred Scripture consistent with the unanimous view of the early Fathers or the analogy of faith, (i.e. we must always interpret in conformity with the Magisterium of the Church.)  The Vatican newspaper in 1960 hinted at an error in Valtorta's account of the sin of Eve.  Fr. Roschini O.S.M. exposes the falsity of this charge in his book The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta (Kolbe., Sherbrooke, Canada, 1986, pp. 276-279).  He points out that The Poem teaches precisely what St. Thomas taught: that the first sin was a complex one involving pride, disobedience, gluttony and finally lust ("fuerunt plures deformitates", Summa 1 li 9.82. a.2, ad 1).  He goes on to quote 10 saints and numerous other theologians in support of Valtorta! This is context.

With Valtorta, as with the canonical Scriptures, there are difficulties that are easily resolved by distinction from Thomistic philosophy such as: general vs. specific, strictly vs. broadly, properly vs. allegorically, in fieri vs. in facto esse, ad esse vs. ad melior esse, simpliciter vs. quodammodo.  These distinctions are usually not needed for the simple faithful as the context gives them the truth without danger.


It has been described as blasphemous that Our Lady could say what is recorded in pages 37-42 of The Poem.  There the Blessed Virgin is three years old, talking with her parents.  She expresses her great desire to see the Saviour, Who She knows will come for sinners.  She asks a logical question: "Can I be more saved and loved by Christ if I become a big sinner?"  The question shows that even with Her infused knowledge, Mary was ignorant of the great gift of Her Immaculate Conception, which St. Joachim then explains to Her with a beautiful comparison.  There is no dispute in Catholic theology about Mary's Immaculate Conception (since 1854) but there is a lawful and traditional disagreement about the extent of Her infused knowledge.  On these disputed questions of theology, no one has the right to call the other opinion blasphemous.  Nor should Our Lady's statement be taken out of context to condemn the whole work.

Thus you have the answer to the main objections.  The writings of Maria Valtorta are in no way opposed to the Catholic faith or morals; they were never put on the Index of Forbidden Books for any valid reason, and they continue to edify the Church resulting in many conversions and vocations.  Valtorta's writings were specially given by Christ Our Lord as a gift to His priests, to support the work of His Vicar St Pius X to combat Modernism (see The Poem. vol. 5, pp 946), and to reveal the truth of the Gospel in a special way.  They fill in the gaps.  They put you in the picture.  They amplify the sacred text, (e.g. the Passion may be five pages in your Gospel, it is 100 pages in The Poem.)

If The Poem at times seems sentimental, it is really the remedy of sentimentalism in matters of faith.  It is no more sensual than the works of St. Ignatius, who encourages the use of all five senses, plus imagination, in his Spiritual Exercises.  Valtorta always leads from the senses to the spiritual, the sublime and the supernatural.

It is a masterpiece of sacred literature, unlike anything ever written.  In some ways it is like being in the first seminary, trained by the Master Himself.  A professor and sculptor friend of Maria Valtorta wrote in 1965: "(her works) have completely transformed my inner life.  The knowledge of Christ has become so total as to make the Gospels clear to me and make me live them in everyday life better" (Lorenzo Ferri). All those among our parishioners who have read Valtorta say the same thing.


Remember that her major work on the Life of Christ, THE POEM OF THE MAN GOD, was condemned by the Holy Office in Rome mistakenly ONLY for the same reasons and the same time frame (2 years) as was the Saint Padre Pio condemned thirty years previously.

Only one Biblical Scholar of the twentieth century, has been recognised and beatified for his learning AND holiness; Blessed Gabriel Allegra. He first put the Bible into Chinese, and his latter years were spent reading, studying and promoting the Poem.

Fr. Gabriel Roschini, a famous Mariologist who also promoted Valtorta until his death in 1976, considered her writings greater than anything he has ever read on Our Blessed Lady. He wrote over 125 totally orthodox books!

St. Pius X granted an apostolic blessing for those who read "True Devotion".  One day (perhaps) a traditional pope will grant a similar reward for reading Maria Valtorta. When you have read the Poem, read the Notebooks.

Fr Robinson
April 25 2006