In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Out of pure obedience, I begin to write.
You know, oh! Lord, the sacrifice it costs me, such that I would submit myself to a thousand deaths rather than write one single line of the things that have passed between me and You. Oh! my God, my nature trembles, it feels crushed and almost undone at the mere thought of it. O please! give me strength, oh! Life of my life, that I may do the holy obedience! You who have given inspiration to the confessor, give me the grace to be able to execute what is commanded of me.
Oh! Jesus, oh! Spouse, oh! my strength – to You I rise, to You I come, into your arms I introduce myself, I abandon myself, I rest. O please! relieve me in my affliction and do not leave me alone and abandoned! Without your help, I am sure I will not have the strength to do this obedience that costs me so much – I will let myself be defeated by the enemy, and I fear of being crushed by You, justly, because of my disobedience.
O please! look at me, again and again, oh! Holy Spouse, in these arms of yours – see by how much darkness I am surrounded; it is so thick as to allow not even one atom of light to enter into my soul. Oh! my mystical Sun, Jesus – let this light shine within my mind, that it may dispel the darkness and I may freely remember those graces that You had given to my soul. Oh! Eternal Sun, unleash another ray of light into my inmost heart, and purify it of the mud in which it lies – ignite it, consume it with your love, so that my heart, which, more than anything, has experienced the sweetnesses of your love, may manifest them clearly to the one to whom it is obliged to do so. Oh! my Sun Jesus, one more ray of light upon my lips, that I may say the pure truth, with the sole purpose of knowing whether it is really You, or rather, an illusion from the enemy. But, oh! Jesus, how poor in light I still see myself in these arms of yours. O please! content me – You who love me so much, continue to send me light. Oh! my Sun, my beautiful One, I want to enter right into the center, that I may remain completely sunken within this most pure light. Oh! Divine Sun, let this light precede me in front of me, follow me behind me, surround me everywhere, and penetrate into every intimate hiding place of my interior, that my terrestrial being may be consumed, and You may transform it completely into your Divine Being.
Most Holy Virgin, lovable Mother, come to my aid, obtain for me from your sweet Jesus and mine, grace and strength in order to do this obedience. Saint Joseph, my dear protector, assist me in this circumstance of mine. Archangel Saint Michael, defend me from the infernal enemy, who puts so many obstacles in my mind to make me fail this obedience. Archangel Saint Rafael, and you, my guardian Angel, come to assist me and to accompany me, to direct my hand, that I may write the truth alone.
May everything be for the honor and glory of God – and to me, all the confusion. Oh! Holy Spouse, come to my help. In considering the many graces You have given to my soul, I feel all horrified and frightened, all full of confusion and shame at seeing myself still so bad and unrequiting of your graces. But, my lovable and sweet Jesus, forgive me, do not withdraw from me, but continue to pour your grace into me, that You may make of me a triumph of your mercy.
I begin. A novena of Holy Christmas. At the age of about seventeen, I prepared myself for the Feast of Holy Christmas, by practicing various acts of virtue and mortification, and, especially, by honoring the nine months which Jesus spent in the maternal womb with nine hours of meditation each day, always concerning the mystery of the Incarnation.
As for example, in one hour, with my thought, I brought myself to Paradise, and I imagined the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, sending the Son upon earth; the Son, promptly obeying the Will of the Father; the Holy Spirit, consenting. My mind was confounded in contemplating a mystery so great, a love so reciprocal, so equal, so strong among Themselves and toward men; and then, the ingratitude of men, and especially my own. I would have remained there, not for one hour, but for the whole day; but an interior voice told me: “Enough – come and see other greater excesses of my love.”
Then, my mind brought itself into the maternal womb, and remained stupefied in considering a God so great in Heaven, now so annihilated, restricted, constrained, as to be unable to move, and almost even to breathe. The interior voice told me: “Do you see how much I have loved you?” O please! make Me a little space in your heart; remove everything which is not mine, so you will give Me more freedom to move and to breathe.” My heart was consumed; I asked for His forgiveness, I promised to be completely His own, I poured myself out in crying; but – I say this to my confusion – I would go back to my usual defects. Oh! Jesus, how good You have been with this miserable creature.
In this way I would spend the second hour of the day, and then, so forth with the rest – I would be annoying if I told them all. And I would do this sometimes kneeling, and when I was impeded by my family, also while working. In fact, the interior voice gave me no respite and no peace if I did not do what it wanted; therefore, work was not an impediment for me to doing what I had to do. In this way I spent the days of the novena, and when the eve came, I felt more than ever ignited with unusual fervor. I was alone in the room, and here comes Little Baby Jesus in front of me – all beautiful, yes, but shivering, in the act of wanting to hug me. I stood up and ran to hug Him, but in the act of squeezing Him He disappeared from me – and this occurred as many as three times. I remained so moved and ignited that I cannot explain it. But then, after some time, I did not take it much into account. I did not tell anyone, and from time to time I would fall into my usual defects. However, the interior voice never left me again; in everything it reprimanded me, it corrected me, it encouraged me – in a word, the Lord acted with me like a good father, whose child tries to deviate from the right path, and he uses all the attentions and cares to hold him back, so as to make of him his honor, his glory, his crown. But, oh! Lord, too ungrateful have I been with You.
So, from the beginning, the Divine Master began to strip my heart of all creatures, and through an interior voice, He would tell me: “I am all that is beautiful and that deserves to be loved. See, if you do not remove this little world that surrounds you – that is, thoughts of creatures, imagination – I cannot enter freely into your heart. This murmuring in your mind is a hindrance to letting you hear my voice more clearly, to pouring my graces, to truly enamoring you of Me. Promise Me that you will be all mine, and I Myself will put my hand in the work. You are right that you can do nothing. Do not fear, I will do everything; give Me your will – this is enough for Me.”
This would happen mostly during Communion. So I would promise Him to be all His own; I would ask His forgiveness, for up to that point, I had not been so; I would say to Him that I truly wanted to love Him, and I prayed Him never to leave me alone again without Him. And the voice would continue: “No, no – I will be together with you, observing all of your actions, your movements, your desires.”
So, I would feel Him upon me for the whole day; He reprimanded me in everything. For example, if I let myself be carried away in conversing a little too much with my family, even of indifferent things which were not necessary, the interior voice would tell me: “These discourses fill your mind with things that do not belong to Me; they surround your heart with dust, such as to make you feel my grace as weak, no longer alive. O please! imitate Me when I was in the house of Nazareth – my mind was occupied with nothing but the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls; my mouth uttered nothing but holy discourses. With my words I tried to repair for the offenses against the Father, to dart through hearts and draw them to my love – and primarily my Mother and St. Joseph. In a word, everything called upon God, everything was done for God, and everything referred to Him. Why could you not do the same?”
I remained mute – all confused. I tried to be alone as much as I could; I confessed to Him my weakness, and I asked for His help and grace to be able to do what He wanted, because, by myself, I could do nothing but evil. If during the day my mind was occupied with thinking about people I loved, immediately He would reprimand me, telling me: “Is this the love you have for Me? Who has ever loved you like Me? Look, if you do not stop it, I will leave you.” At times I felt myself being given such and so many bitter reproaches, that I would do nothing but cry.
One morning in particular, after Communion, He gave me a light so clear about the great love He had for me, and about the fickleness and inconstancy of creatures, that my heart was so convinced as to be incapable, from that time on, of loving anyone. He taught me the way how to love people without detaching myself from Him – that is, by looking at creatures as images of God, in such a way that, if I received good from creatures, I was to think that God alone was the prime author of that good and that He had used the creature in order to send it to me; so my heart would be bound more to God. If then I received mortifications, I was to look at them also as instruments in the hands of God for my sanctification; so my heart would not remain huffy with my neighbor. In this way, it happened that I would look at all creatures in God. Whatever fault I might see in them, I would never lose esteem for them. If they mocked me, I felt obliged, thinking that they were allowing me to make more gains for my soul; if they praised me, I received these praises with contempt, saying: ‘Today this, tomorrow they may hate me’, considering their inconstancy. In sum, my heart acquired such freedom, that I myself cannot explain it.
When the Divine Master freed me from the external world, then He put His hand into purifying my interior, and through an interior voice He told me: “Now we are alone – there is no one left who may disturb us. Aren’t you happier now than before, when you had to content many upon many? You see, it is easier to content one alone. You must consider as if you and I were alone in the world; promise Me to be faithful, and I will pour such and so many graces into you, that you yourself will be amazed.”
Then He continued, telling me: “I have made great designs upon you, as long as you correspond to Me – I want to make of you a perfect image of Me, beginning from the moment I was born up to my death. I Myself will teach you, little at a time, the way you will do it.”
And it happened in this way: every morning, after Communion, He would tell me what I was supposed to do during the day. I will say everything briefly, because after so much time it is impossible to say everything. I don’t remember for sure, but it seems to me that He told me that the first thing which was necessary in order to purify the interior of my heart, was the annihilation of myself – that is, humility. And He continued, telling me: “See, so that I may pour my graces into your heart, I really want to make you understand that by yourself you can do nothing. I am very much wary of those souls who attribute what they do to themselves, wanting to make of my graces as many thefts. On the other hand, with those who know themselves, I am generous in pouring my graces in torrents. Knowing very well that they can attribute nothing to themselves, they are grateful to Me, they hold it in that esteem which befits it, and they live with the continuous fear that, if they do not correspond to Me, I may take away from them that which I gave, knowing that it is not something of their own. All the opposite in the hearts which reek of pride. I cannot even enter into their hearts because they are so swollen with themselves that there is no space in which to put Myself. The miserable ones take my graces into no account, and they go from fall to fall, up to their ruin. Therefore, on this day I want you to make continuous acts of humility; I want you to be like a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, who can move neither a foot to take a step, nor a hand to work, but expects everything from his mother. In the same way, you will stay close to Me like a baby, always praying Me to assist you, to help you; always confessing to Me your nothingness – in sum, expecting everything from Me.”
I tried to do as much as I could to content Him – I would make myself smaller, I would annihilate myself, and sometimes I reached the point of feeling my being as almost undone, in such a way that I could not work, nor take one step, or even one breath if He did not sustain me. Also, I saw myself as so bad, that I was ashamed of being seen by people, knowing myself as the ugliest – as, in reality, I am still. So, as much as I could shun people, I shunned them, saying to myself: ‘Oh! if they knew how bad I am, and if they could see the graces that the Lord is giving me (for I wouldn’t tell anything to anyone), and that I am always the same – oh! how horrified they would be with me.’
Then, in the morning, when I would go again to Communion, it seemed that in coming into me He made feast for the contentment He felt in seeing me so annihilated. He would tell me other things about the annihilation of myself, but in ways which were always different from the previous time. I believe that He spoke to me not once, but hundreds of times; and if He had spoken to me thousands of times, He would have always new ways to speak about the same virtue. Oh! my Divine Master, how wise You are – had I at least corresponded to You.
I remember that, one morning, while He spoke to me about the same virtue, He told me that because of lack of humility I had committed many sins, and that if I had been more humble, I would have kept closer to Him and I would not have done so much evil. He made me understand how ugly sin is – the affront that this miserable little worm had made to Jesus Christ, the horrendous ingratitude, the enormous wickedness, the harm that had come to my soul. I was so dismayed, that I did not know what to do in order to repair. I did some mortifications, I asked for more from the confessor, but few were given to me, so they all seemed shadows to me, and I did nothing but think about my sins, though clinging more and more to Him. I had such fear of moving away and of doing worse than before, that I myself cannot express it. When I was with Him, I did nothing but tell Him of the pain I felt for having offended Him. I kept asking for His forgiveness, I thanked Him for having been so good to me, and I said to Him from the heart: ‘See, Oh Lord, the time I have lost, while I could love You.’ So, I was unable to say anything but the grave evil I had done.
Finally, one day, reprimanding me, He told me: “I do not want you to think about it. When a soul has humbled herself, convinced of having done wrong, and has cleansed her soul in the Sacrament of Confession, and is ready to die rather than offend Me – it is an affront to my mercy, it is a hindrance to drawing her close to my love, because her mind is always trying to roll in the past mud. She also prevents Me from letting her take flights toward Heaven, because she is always with those ideas wrapped within herself, if she tries to think about it. And then, see, I no longer remember anything; I have perfectly forgotten about it. Do you see any rancor or shadow on my part?”
And I said to Him: ‘No Lord, You are so good.’ But I felt my heart split with tenderness.
“Well then, are you the one who wants to carry these things on?”
And I: ‘No, no, I don’t want to.’
And He: “Let us think about loving and contenting each other.”
From that time on, I did not think about it so much; I did as much as I could in order to content Him, and I prayed that He Himself would teach me what I should do in order to repair for the time past. And He said to me: “I am ready to do what you want. See, the first thing that I told you I wanted from you was the imitation of my Life; so, let us see what you lack.”
‘Lord’, I said to Him, ‘I lack everything – I have nothing.’ “Well then”, He said to me, “do not fear, little by little we will do everything. I Myself know how weak you are, but it is from Me that you must draw strength.” (I don’t remember it in sequence, but I will say what I can) And He added: “I want you to be always upright in your operating – with one eye look at Me, and with the other eye look at what you are doing. I want creatures to disappear from you completely. If you receive a command, do not look at the people, no – but you must think that I Myself want you to do what you are being commanded. So, with your eye fixed in Me, you will not judge anyone, you will not look at whether the thing is painful or enjoyable – whether you can do it or not. Closing your eyes to all this, you will open them to look at Me alone; you will take Me together with you, thinking that my gaze is fixed on you, and you will say to Me: ‘Lord, for You alone I do this; for You alone I want to work – no longer a slave of the creatures.’ So, if you walk, if you work, if you speak – in anything you do, your only aim must be that of pleasing Me alone. Oh! how many defects you will avoid, if you do this.”
Other times, He would say to me: “I also want that, if people mortify you, insult you, contradict you, you keep your gaze fixed in Me, thinking that from my own lips I am saying to you: ‘Daughter, I Myself am the One who wants you to suffer this – not the creatures. Remove your gaze from them; but you and I, always – all others you must destroy. See, I want to render you beautiful by means of these sufferings; I want to enrich you with merits, work your soul, render you similar to Me. You will give it to Me as a gift, you will thank Me affectionately, and will be grateful to those people who give you the occasion to suffer, repaying them with some benefit. By doing this, you will walk as upright before Me; nothing will ever again give you restlessness, and you will always enjoy peace.”
After I tried to exercise myself in these things for some time – now doing it and now falling (although I see clearly that I still lack this spirit of uprightness, and I am ever more confounded, thinking of such great ingratitude of mine) – He spoke to me about, and made me understand, the necessity of the spirit of mortification. (Although I remember that, in all these things that He told me, He always added that everything should be done for love of Him, and that the most beautiful virtues, the greatest sacrifices, would render themselves insipid if they did not take origin from love. “Charity”, He said to me, “is a virtue that gives life and splendor to all others, in such a way that, without it, they are all dead. My eye receives no attraction, and they have no power over my Heart. Be attentive, then, and let your works, even the least ones, be invested by charity – that is, in Me, with Me and for Me”).
So, let’s go back to mortification. “I want”, He said to me, “that all your things, even the necessary ones, be done in a spirit of sacrifice. See, your works cannot be recognized by Me as mine, if they do not have the imprint of mortification. Just as a coin is not recognized by the peoples if it does not carry on itself the image of their king – even more, it is despised and neglected – the same with your works: if they do not have the graft with my cross, they cannot have any value. See, now it is not about destroying the creatures, but yourself – making you die in order to live only in Me and of my own life. It is true that it will cost you more than what you have done; but pluck up courage, do not fear – it is not you who will do it, but I Myself will operate in you.”
So I received more lights about the annihilation of myself. He said to me: “You are nothing but a shadow – as you try to grab it, it escapes you. You are nothing.”
I felt so annihilated, that I would have wanted to hide in the deepest abysses, but I saw myself incapable of doing it. I felt such blushing that I remained mute. While I was in this undoing of my nothingness, He said to Me: “Draw near Me, cling to my arm – I will sustain you with my hands and you will receive strength. You are blind, but my light will serve you as guide. See, I will place Myself in front of you, and you will do nothing but look at Me in order to imitate Me.”
Then He said to me: “The first thing I want you to mortify is your will. That ‘self’ must be destroyed in you; I want you to keep it sacrificed as victim before Me, so that your will and Mine may become one. Aren’t you happy?”
‘Yes, Lord, but give me the grace, for I see that by myself I can do nothing.’ And He continued, telling me: “Yes, I Myself will contradict you in everything, and occasionally by means of creatures.”
And so it happened. For example, if in the morning I woke up and did not get up immediately, the interior voice would tell me: “You rest, while I had no other bed but the cross. Hurry up, hurry up – not so much satisfaction.” If I walked and my sight would run a little farther, immediately He would reprimand me: “I do not want this. Do not let your sight move away from you but the length of one step, so that you won’t trip.” If I was in the countryside and I saw flowers and trees, He would say to me: “I have created everything for love of you, and you, deprive your sight of this delight for love of Me.” Even in the most innocent and holy things, as for example the cloths for the altars, the processions, He would say to me: “You must take no other pleasure but in Me alone.” If I was sitting while working, He would say to me: “You are too comfortable; don’t you remember that my life was a continuous suffering – and you? And you?” In order to content Him, I would immediately shift to half of the chair, leaving the other half empty; and sometimes, jokingly, I said to Him: ‘See oh Lord, half the chair is empty – come and sit near me.’ Sometimes it seemed He would content me, and I felt such delight that I myself cannot express it. Sometimes, then, while I was working a little slowly and listlessly, He would say to Me: “Hurry up, help yourself, for in the time you gain by helping yourself you will come and be with Me in prayer.” Sometimes, He Himself would assign to me how much work I was supposed to do. Then I would pray Him to come and help me. “Yes, yes”, He would answer me, “we will do it together, so that when you have finished, we will be more free.” And it would happen that in one hour or two I did what I was supposed to do during the whole day. Then I would go to pray, and He gave me much light and told me many things, such that it would be too long if I wanted to say them all.
I remember that while I was alone, working, I noticed that the thread was not enough to finish that work, and that I would need to go to my family in order to get some. So I turned to Him and I said: ‘What is the purpose of having helped me, my Beloved? As I see that I need to go to my family, I may find people who may prevent me from coming back here, and this time our conversation will come to nothing.’ “What, what?”, He said to me, “Don’t you have faith?” ‘Yes.’ “Well then, do not fear, for I will make you complete everything.” And so it happened; and then I would start to pray.
If then, at lunch time, I ate something tasty, immediately He would reprimand me interiorly, saying: “Have you perhaps forgotten that I had no other taste but suffering for love of you? And that you must have no other taste but mortifying yourself for love of Me? Leave it aside, and eat that which you like the least.” And immediately I would take it and bring it to the maid, or I would say that I didn’t want it any more; and many times I remained almost on an empty stomach. However, when I would go to pray, I would receive so much strength and feel so satiated, that I would feel nausea for everything. Other times, then, in order to contradict me, if I did not feel like eating, He would say to me: “I want you to eat for love of Me, and as the food unites with the body, pray to Me that my love may unite with your soul; and everything will be sanctified.”
In a word, without going any further, even in the smallest things, He tried to make my will die, so that it might live only for Him. He allowed that I be contradicted also by the confessor. As for example: I would feel a great need to receive Communion; for the whole day and night I would do nothing but prepare myself. My eyes could not close to sleep because of the continuous throbbing of my heart. I would say to Him: ‘Lord, hurry, for I cannot be without You. Accelerate the hours, let the sun rise quickly, for I cannot endure anymore, my heart is fainting.’ He Himself would make me such loving invitations that I would feel my heart crack. He would say to me: “See, I am alone, do not be troubled because you cannot sleep – this is about keeping company with your God, with your Spouse, with your All, who is continuously offended. O please! do not deny Me this relief, because, then, in your afflictions I do not leave you.” But while I was with these dispositions, in the morning I would go to the confessor, and without knowing why, the first thing he would say to me was: “I do not want you to receive Communion.” I tell the truth, this was so bitter for me, that sometimes I would do nothing but cry. I would not dare to say anything to the confessor, because He Himself wanted me to do so, otherwise He would reproach me. But I would go to Him and tell Him of my pain: ‘Ah! my Good, is this the vigil we have kept last night – that after so much waiting and yearning I was to remain without You? I know well that I must obey, but tell me something – can I be without You? Who will give me strength? And then, who will have the courage to depart from this church without bringing You along? I don’t know what to do, but You can remedy everything.’ While pouring myself out in this way, I would feel a fire come near me, and a flame enter into my heart. I would feel Him inside of me, and immediately He would say to me: “Calm yourself, calm yourself. Here you are – I am already in your heart. What do you fear now? Do not afflict yourself any more, I Myself want to dry your tears. You are right, you could not be without Me, could you?”
I would then remain so very annihilated within myself, and I would say to Him that if I were good, He would not have disposed it that way; and I prayed Him never to leave me again, for I did not want to be without Him.
After these things, one day, after Communion, I felt Him within me, all love – loving me so much that I myself was very much amazed, for I saw myself as so bad and unrequiting. And I said within myself: ‘If only I were good and requiting. I fear that He might leave me (I have always had this fear that He might leave me, and I still do; and sometimes the pain I feel is so great, that I believe that the pain of death would be lesser, and if He Himself does not come to calm me, I can give myself no peace) – while He wants to draw more intimately close to me.’ While I felt Him inside of me in this way, through an interior voice, He said to me: “My beloved, the things past have been nothing but a preparation. Now I want to come to facts, and in order to dispose your heart to do what I want from you – that is, the imitation of my Life – I want you to sink into the immense sea of my Passion; and when you have understood well the bitterness of my pains, the love with which I suffered them, Who I am who suffered so much, and who you are, a most wretched creature – ah! your heart will not dare to oppose the blows, the cross, which, only for your good, I have prepared. On the contrary, by just thinking that I, your Master, have suffered so much, your pains will seem shadows to you compared to mine. Suffering will be sweet for you, and you will reach the point of not being able to be without sufferings.”
My nature trembled at the mere thought of sufferings; I prayed that He Himself would give me the strength, because without Him I would use His very gifts to offend the Giver. So, I gave all of myself to meditating the Passion, and this did so much good to my soul, that I believe that all the good has come to me from that source. I pictured the Passion of Jesus Christ like an immense sea of light, which wounded me all over with His innumerable rays – rays of patience, of humility, of obedience, and of many other virtues. I saw myself as all surrounded by this light, and I remained annihilated at seeing myself so different from Him. Those rays that inundated me were as many reproaches for me. I heard them say: “A God so patient – and you? A God humble and submitted even to His very enemies – and you? A God who suffers so much for love of you – and where are your sufferings for love of Him?”
Sometimes He Himself would make me the narration of the pains suffered by Him, and I was so moved that I would cry bitterly. One day, while working, I was considering the most bitter pains that my good Jesus suffered; I felt my heart so oppressed by the pain, that I was out of breath. Fearing something, I wanted to distract myself by going out to the balcony. I go about looking in the middle of the street – but what do I see? I see the street all filled with people, and, in the middle, my loving Jesus with the Cross upon His shoulders. Some pulled Him to one side, some to another. All panting, with His face dripping with blood, He raised His eyes toward me in act of asking for my help. Who can say the sorrow I felt, the impression that a sight so pitiful made on my soul. I immediately went inside, I myself did not know where I was; I felt my heart split with pain. I shouted; crying, I said to Him: ‘My Jesus, if only I could help You! If only I could free You from those wolves so rabid! Ah! I wish at least to suffer those pains in your place, to give a relief to my sorrow. O please! my Good, give me suffering, for it is not fair that You suffer so much, while I, a sinner, remain without suffering.’
From that time on, I remember that such a great yearning for suffering ignited within me, that it has not dampened yet. I also remember that after Communion I would ardently pray Him to concede me suffering; and sometimes, to content me, He seemed to take the thorns from His crown and prick my heart. Other times, I felt Him take my heart in His hands and squeeze it so tightly, that I felt faint for the pain. When I realized that people might notice something, and He was disposed to give me these pains, I would immediately say to Him: ‘Lord, what are You doing? I beg You to give me suffering, but that it be hidden to everyone.’ Up to a certain time, He made me content, but my sins have rendered me unworthy to suffer hidden, without anyone noticing it.
I remember that many times, after Communion, He said to me: “You will not be able to truly resemble Me other than by means of sufferings. Up until now I have been together with you; now I want to leave you alone a little bit, without letting Myself be felt. See, up to now I have led you by the hand, instructing you and correcting you in everything, and you have done nothing but follow Me. Now I want you to do it by yourself. However, be more attentive than before, thinking that my gaze is fixed on you, though I do not let Myself be heard; and that when I return to make Myself heard, I will come either to reward you, if you have been faithful to Me, or to chastise you, if you have been ungrateful to Me.”
I would be so frightened and terrified. Upon such intimation, I would say to Him: ‘Lord, my All and my Life, how can I survive without You – who will give me the strength? How can this be? After You have made me leave everything, so much so that I feel as if no one existed for me – You want to leave me alone and abandoned. Have You perhaps forgotten how bad I am, and that without You I can do nothing?’ And because of this objection, assuming a more serious look, He would add: “The reason is that I want you to understand well who you are. See, I do this for your good; do not be saddened – I want to prepare your heart to receive the graces which I have designed for you. Up until now I have assisted you sensibly; now, less sensibly – I will make you touch your nothingness with your own hand; I will fuse you thoroughly in profound humility, in order to be able to build most high walls upon you. So, instead of afflicting yourself, you should rejoice and thank Me, because the more quickly I make you cross the stormy sea, the sooner you will reach the port of safety; the harder the trials to which I will submit you, the greater the graces I will give you. Courage then, courage, and I will come back soon.” And in saying this, He seemed to bless me, and then He would leave.
Who can say the pain I felt – the void He left in my interior, the bitter tears I shed? But I would resign myself to His Holy Will. It seemed that from afar I would kiss His hand which had blessed me, saying to Him: ‘Good-bye, oh Holy Spouse, good-bye.’ I felt as if everything was over for me, because I had Him alone, and since He was missing, no other consolation was left to me, but everything would convert into most bitter pains. Even more, creatures themselves would provoke my pain, in such a way that all the things I would look at, seemed to say to me: “See, we are works of your Beloved – and He, where is He?” If I looked at the water, at the fire, at flowers, and even at stones, immediately my thought would say: ‘Ah! these are works of your Spouse. Ah! they have the good of seeing Him, and you do not see Him. O please! works of my Lord, give me news – tell me, where is He? He told me He would come soon, but who knows when.’
At times, I would reach such bitter desolation that I would feel breathless, ice cold all over, and a shiver throughout my whole person. Sometimes my family would notice it; they attributed it to a corporal malady and wanted to put me under treatment, and call doctors. Sometimes they insisted so much that they succeeded, but I would do as much as I could to remain alone; so, they noticed it only a few times. I remembered still, all the graces, the words, the corrections, the reproaches, and I could see with a clear eye how all the work done until then, everything – everything, had been the work of His grace, and that there was nothing left of me but the mere nothing and the inclination to evil. I could touch with my own hand how, without Him, I could no longer feel love so sensibly, and those lights so clear during meditation, such that I would remain there for two or three hours. However, I did as much as I could in order to do whatever I used to do when I felt Him within me, because I felt those words being repeated to me: “If you are faithful, I will come to reward you; if ungrateful, to chastise you.”
In this way I would spend sometimes two days, sometimes four, more or less, as He pleased. My only comfort was to receive Him in the Sacrament. Ah! yes, certainly I found Him there – I could not doubt; and I remember that only a few times He would not let Himself be heard, because I prayed Him and prayed Him and importuned Him so much, that He would content me. However, not loving and lovable, but severe.
After I would spend those days in that state described above, especially if I had been faithful to Him, I would feel Him come back within me. He spoke to me more clearly, and since during the previous days I had not been able to conceive one word or feel anything within me, I came to know, then, that it was not my fantasy, as I would say many times before; so much so that, of what has been said up to here, I would not say anything, either to the confessor or to any other living soul. But I did as much as I could to correspond to Him, otherwise He would wage such a war against me, that I would have no peace. Ah Lord! You have been so good to me; and I, still so bad.
Continuing what I had started, I would feel Him within me, I would hug Him, I would clasp Him to myself, and say to Him: ‘Beloved Good, see how bitter our separation has been for me.’ And He would say to me: ‘What you have gone through is nothing yet – prepare yourself for harder trials. This is why I have come – to dispose your heart and to fortify it. Now you will tell me everything you have gone through – your doubts and fears, all of your difficulties, that I may teach you how to conduct yourself during my absence.”
So I would make Him the narration of my pains, telling Him: ‘Lord, You see, without You I was unable to do anything good. The meditation – I did it all distracted, ugly; so much so that I would not have the courage to offer it to You at Communion. I was unable to stay there for hours, as when I could feel You; I saw myself alone, I had no one with whom to converse, I felt completely empty. The pain of your absence made me experience mortal agonies; my nature wanted to hurry up so as to escape that pain; more so, since it seemed to me that I would do nothing but waste time, with the fear that, in coming back, You might chastise me because I had not been faithful. So I didn’t know what to do. And then, the pain that You are continuously offended, and of not knowing when to do, as You taught me before, those acts of reparation, those visits to the Most Holy Sacrament for the different offenses You receive. Tell me a little bit, then, what should I have done?’ And He, benignly, instructing me, would say:
1 – “You were wrong in being so disturbed. Don’t you know that I am Spirit of Peace, and the first thing I recommend is that you do not perturb the peace of the heart? When in prayer you are not able to recollect yourself, I do not want you to think of this or that – of how it is and how it is not – because by doing so, you yourself call the distraction. Instead, when you find yourself in that state, the first thing is to humble yourself, confessing yourself as deserving of those pains, placing yourself in the arms of the executioner, like a humble little lamb that, while being killed, licks his hand. So you – while seeing yourself beaten, disheartened, alone, you will resign yourself to my holy dispositions, you will thank Me wholeheartedly, you will kiss that hand of mine that strikes you, recognizing yourself unworthy of those pains. Then, you will offer to Me those bitternesses, anguishes, tediums, praying Me to accept them as a sacrifice of praise, of satisfaction for your sins, of reparation for the offenses that they give Me. By doing so, your prayer will ascend before my throne as most fragrant incense; it will wound my Heart, and you will draw new graces and new charisms upon yourself. In seeing you humble and resigned, all sunken into your nothingness, the devil will not have the strength to get close. And here is how, where you thought you were losing, you will make great gains.”
2 – With regard to Communion, I do not want you to afflict yourself because you are not able to stay there; know that this is a shadow of the pains I suffered in Gethsemani. What will happen when I make you share in the scourges, the thorns and the nails? The thought of greater pains will make you suffer the minor pains with more courage. So, when during Communion you find yourself alone, agonizing, think that I want you a little bit as company in my agony in the garden. Therefore, place yourself near Me, and make a comparison between your pains and mine: see, you – alone and without Me; and I too – alone, abandoned by my most faithful friends who are there sleeping; left alone even by my Divine Father; and then, in the midst of most bitter pains, surrounded by snakes, by vipers, by rabid dogs, which were the sins of men – and yours were there too, doing their part – such that they seemed to want to devour Me alive. My Heart was taken by such grips, that I felt It as if It were under a press; so much so, that I sweat living blood. Tell Me, when have you arrived at suffering so much? Therefore, when you find yourself without Me, afflicted, empty of any consolation, filled with sadnesses, with worries, with pains, come close to Me, wipe that blood from Me, offer those pains to Me as relief for my most bitter agony. By doing so, you will find the way to be able to remain with Me after Communion. It is not that you will not suffer, because the most bitter pain I can give to the souls dear to Me is to deprive them of Me; but by thinking that with that suffering of yours you give relief to Me, you will also be content.
3 – As for the visits and acts of reparation, you must know that everything I did in the course of thirty-three years, from when I was born, up to when I died, I am continuing in the Sacrament of the altar. Therefore, I want you to visit Me thirty-three times a day, honoring my years and also uniting with Me in the Sacrament, with my own intentions – that is, reparation, adoration…. This you will do at all times: with the first thought of the morning, fly immediately before the tabernacle in which I am present for love of you, and visit Me; with the last thought of the evening, while you sleep at night, before and after your meal, at the beginning of each one of your actions, while walking, working….”
While He was saying this to me, I saw myself all confused. Not knowing whether I could manage to do them, I said to him: ‘Lord, I pray You to be with me until I acquire the habit of doing them, for I know that with You I can do everything – but without You, what can I, miserable one, do?’ And He, benignly, added: “Yes, yes, I will content you – when have I ever failed you? I want your goodwill, for whatever help you want, I will give to you.” And so He did.
After I had spent some time, now with Him, and now without, one day, after Communion, I felt more intimately united to Him. He asked me various questions, as for example: if I loved Him, if I was ready to do what He wanted, even the sacrifice of my life for love of Him. He also said to me: “And you – tell me what you want; if you are ready to do what I want, I too will do what you want.” I saw myself all confused; I could not understand that way of operating of His. But with time I understood that that way of acting is when He wants to dispose the soul to new and heavy crosses; and He knows how to draw her so close to Himself with those stratagems, that the soul does not dare to oppose what He wants. So I said to Him: ‘Yes, I love You; but You tell me, Yourself – can I find anything more beautiful, more holy, more lovable than You? And then, why ask me if I am ready to do what You want, when it has been so long since I delivered my will to You, and I prayed You not to spare me even tearing me to pieces, as long as I may give You pleasure? I abandon myself in You, Oh Holy Spouse – operate freely, do with me whatever You want; give me your grace, for by myself I am nothing and can do nothing.’
And He repeated to me: “Are you truly ready for anything I want?” I saw myself more confused, annihilated, and I said: ‘Yes, I am ready’ – but almost trembling. And He, compassionating me, continued to tell me: “Do not fear, I will be your strength – it is not you who will suffer, but I Myself will suffer and fight within you. See, I want to purify your soul from every slightest spot which might hinder my love in you; I want to test your faithfulness. But how can I see if this is true, other than by placing you in the midst of the battle? Know then, that I want to put you in the midst of demons. I will give them freedom to torment you and to tempt you, so that after you have fought the virtues with the opposite vices, you may already find yourself in possession of those very virtues which you think you are losing. And then, your soul, purged, embellished, enriched, will be like a king returning victorious from a most fierce war, who, while he thought he would lose what he possessed, comes back more glorious and filled with immense riches. Then will I come; I will form in you my dwelling, and we will be always together. It is true that your state will be painful; the demons will give you no more peace, either at daytime or at night – they will always be in act of waging a most fierce war against you. But you, always keep your aim at what I want to make of you – that is, making you similar to Me – and at the fact that you will not be able to arrive at this, other than by means of many and great tribulations. In this way, you will have more courage to bear the pains.”
Who can say how frightened I was at such announcement? I felt my blood freeze, my hair curl, my imagination filled by black ghosts that seemed to want to devour me alive. It seemed to me that, before putting me in that painful state, the Lord gave freedom to everything I was to suffer, and I saw myself surrounded by all this. So I turned to Him, and said to Him: “Lord, have pity on me! O please! do not leave me alone and abandoned. I see that the rage of the demons is such that they will leave not even the dust of me – how shall I be able to resist them? My misery, and how bad I am, is well known to You; therefore, give me new grace that I may not offend You. My Lord, the pain that most torments my soul is to see that You too must leave me. Ah! to whom shall I say a word any more? Who will teach me? However, may your Will be always done – I bless your Holy Will.
And He, benignly, continued to say: “Do not afflict yourself so much; know that I will never allow them to tempt you beyond your strengths. If I allow this, it is for your good. I never put souls in battles so that they may perish; first I measure their strengths, I give them my grace, and then I put them in. And if some souls fall, it is because they do not remain united to Me by means of prayer; no longer feeling the sensitivity of my love, they go begging for love from creatures, while I alone can satiate the human heart. They do not let themselves be guided by the sure path of obedience, believing more in their own judgment, than in those who guide them in my place. So, what is the wonder if they fall? Therefore, what I recommend to you is prayer. Even if you should suffer pains of death, you must never neglect that which you are used to doing; even more, the more you see yourself in the abyss, the more you will invoke the help of the One who can free you. Still more, I want you to place yourself, blindly, in the hands of the confessor, without examining what is being said to you. You will be surrounded by darkness, and will be like one who has no eyes, and who needs a hand to guide her. The eye for you will be the voice of the confessor, which, like light, will clear the darkness from you; the hand will be obedience, which will be your guide and support to make you reach a safe harbor. The last thing I recommend to you is courage. I want you to enter the battle with intrepidity. The thing that an opposing army fears the most is to see courage, strength, the way in which one confronts the most dangerous fights, without fearing anything. So the demons are; there is nothing they fear more than a courageous soul who, all cleaving to Me, with a strong spirit, goes into their midst – not to be wounded, but with the firm resolve to wound them and to exterminate them. The demons are left frightened, terrified, and would rather flee; but they cannot, because they are bound by my Will, and they are forced to stay, to their greater torment. Therefore, do not fear them, for they can do nothing to you without my Will. And then, when I see that you can no longer resist and are about to fail, if you are faithful to Me, I will come immediately, I will put everyone to flight, and I will give you grace and strength. Courage then, courage.”
Now, who can say the change that occurred in my interior? Everything was horror for me. That love which I felt in me before, I saw now changed into atrocious hate. What pain, not being able to love Him any more. The thought that that Lord, who had been so good to me, I was now forced to abhor, to curse, as if He were the most cruel enemy – tortured my soul. I could not look at Him, even in His images, because in looking at them, in holding rosary beads in my hands, in kissing them, such rushes of hate came to me, and such force, that doing that and reducing everything to pieces was the same. And sometimes I put up such resistance that my nature trembled from head to foot. Oh! God, what a most bitter pain. I believe that if in hell there were no other pains, just the pain of not being able to love God would form the most horrible hell. Many times the devil would place before me the graces that the Lord had given me, now as a crafting of my imagination so that I would conduct a life more free, more comfortable; and now as true, and they reproached me by saying: “Is this the love He had for you? Is this the recompense – leaving you in our hands? You belong to us, you belong to us, everything is over for you, there is nothing left to hope for.” And I felt such rushes of indignation against the Lord, and of desperation, being cast into my interior, that many times, if I found myself with some images in my hands, the force of the indignation was such that I would tear them apart. But while doing this, I would cry and kiss them – but I don’t know how I was forced to do that.
Now, who can say the torment of my soul? The demons made feast and laughed – some would make noise from one point, some from another; some would yell and shout, some would deafen me with screams, saying: “See how you belong to us – there is nothing left but taking you to hell, body and soul, and then you will see what we will do to you.” Sometimes I felt myself being pulled – now my clothes, now the chair on which I was kneeling; they would move it and yell so much that I could not pray. And sometimes the fear was such that, thinking I could free myself, I would go and lay down in bed (since these dins occurred mostly at night); but even there, they would follow me, pulling the pillow and the blankets. Now, who can say the fright, the fear I felt? I myself did not know where I was, whether on earth or in hell. The fear that they would really take me away was such that I could no longer close my eyes to sleep. I was like one who has a cruel enemy who has sworn to take his life away at any cost; and I believed that this would happen to me as soon as I would close my eyes. Therefore I felt as if someone put something inside of them, in such a way that I was forced to keep them wide open to see when they were going to take me away – who knows, I might pluck up the strength to oppose what they wanted to do. I felt my hair stand on end, one by one over my head; a cold sweat throughout my whole person, which penetrated deep into my bones; and I felt my nerves and bones being disjointed, one by one, and wriggling about out of fear.
Other times, I felt incited to such temptations of desperation and of suicide, that sometimes, finding myself close to the well or to a knife, I felt drawn to throw myself into it, or to take the knife and kill myself. The effort I had to make in order to run away was so great, that I felt pains of death; and while running away, I felt them come after me, suggesting to me that it was useless for me to live after I had committed so many sins, and that God had abandoned me because I had not been faithful. Even more, I felt as if I had done many wicked deeds, which no soul in the world had ever committed; therefore for me there was no more mercy to hope for. In the depth of my soul I felt repeat: ‘How can you live as enemy of God? Do you know Who that God is, whom you have so much offended, cursed, hated? Ah! that immense God who surrounded you everywhere – and you, under His very eyes, have dared to offend Him. Ah! now that you have lost the God of your soul, who will ever give you peace? Who will free you from so many enemies?’ The pain was such that I did nothing but cry. Sometimes I would start to pray, and I would feel the demons come over me to increase my torment, and some would beat me, some would prick me, some would suffocate my throat. I remember that once, while I was praying, I felt my feet being pulled from underneath the earth, and the earth open, and flames come out; and I was sinking into it. The fright and the pain were such that I remained half-dead; so much so, that in order to make me recover from that state, Jesus Christ came and consoled me. He made me understand that it was not true that I had placed my will to offend Him, and that I myself could know this from the most bitter pain that I felt; that the devil was a liar, and that I should not pay attention to him; that for now I had to have patience in suffering those bothers, and that, later, peace would come. This would happen from time to time, when I would really come to the extremes, and, sometimes, in order to put me into more bitter torments. In the act of that comfort the soul would be convinced, because before that light it is impossible for the soul not to learn the truth; but then, when I was in the fight, I would find myself in the same state as before.
He also tempted me not to receive Communion, persuading me that after I had committed so many sins, it was a boldness to go there, and that if I dared to, not Jesus Christ, but the devil would come, and would give me so many torments as to make me die. However, obedience would win. It is true that sometimes I suffered mortal pains, such that I could hardly come round after Communion, but since the confessor absolutely wanted me to receive It, I could not do otherwise. I remember that quite a few times I did not receive It.
I also remember that sometimes, while I was praying in the evening, they would turn off the lamp; sometimes they would let out such roars as to strike fear; other times, feeble voices as if they were dying. But who can say all that they would do? It is impossible.
So, this hard trial, though I don’t remember too well, lasted for three years; however, there were days or weeks of interval. It is not that they would cease completely, but they began to mitigate.
I remember that, after one Communion, the Lord taught me what to do in order to put them to flight – and this was to despise them and not to bother about them at all, and to consider them as if they were as many ants. I felt so much strength being infused in me, that I no longer felt that fear of before. And I would act in this way: when they made clamors and noise, I would say to them: ‘It shows that you have nothing to do, and that in order to spend time you are doing so many silly things. Go ahead, do them, for when you get tired, you will stop it.’ Sometimes they would stop; other times they would get so angry, and would make greater noise. I felt them near me, making themselves stronger and doing violence to themselves in order to take me away; I smelled the horrible stench, and felt the heat of the fire. It is true that in my interior I felt a certain shiver, but I would pluck up strength, and say to them: ‘Liars that you are – if this were true, you would have done it from the first day. But since it is false, and you have no power over me but that which is given to you from above – go ahead, keep singing; and then, when you get tired, you will croak.’ If then they sent out laments and shouts, I would say to them: ‘What is this – you could not add to the accounts today?’, that is: ‘Have some souls been taken away from you, that you lament? Poor ones, they don’t feel well; but I too want to make you lament a little bit more.’ And I would begin to pray for sinners, or to do acts of reparation. Sometimes I would laugh when they started to do the usual things; and I would say to them: ‘How can I fear you, cowardly species? If you were serious beings, you would not have done so many silly things. Don’t you yourselves feel ashamed? Don’t you let yourselves be made fun of?’ If then they tempted me with blasphemies or hatred against God, I would offer Him that most bitter pain, that violence I made to myself in seeing that, while the Lord deserved all the love, all the praises, I was forced to do the opposite – in reparation for many who blaspheme against Him freely, and who do not even remember that a God exists, whom they are obliged to love in return. If they incited me to desperation, in my interior I would say: ‘I don’t care either about hell or about paradise; what I care about is to love my God. This is not the time to think about anything else; rather, it is the time to love my good God as much as I can. Paradise and hell I place in His hands – He, who is so good, will give me what is best for me, and will give me a place in which I can glorify Him the most.’
Jesus Christ taught me that the most effective means so that the soul would remain free of any vain apprehension, of any doubt, of any fear, was to protest before Heaven, the earth and the very demons, that she does not want to offend God, even at the cost of her life, and that she does not want to consent to any temptation of the devil. And this, as soon as the soul feels the coming of the temptation, in the act of the battle, if she can, and as she begins to feel free – and also during the course of the day. By doing this, the soul will not waste time in thinking about whether she has consented or not, because the mere memory of the protest will already give her calm; and if the devil tries to disturb her, she will be able to answer that if she had the intention of offending God, she would not have protested the opposite. In this way, she will remain free of any fear.
Now, who can say the rage of the devil, since all his tricks resolved into confusion for himself, and there where he thought he would gain, he would lose, and his very temptations and tricks were used by the soul in order to make acts of reparation and love for her God by acting in this way.
The other way He taught me in casting away temptations was the following: if they tempted me to suicide, I was to answer: ‘You have no permission from God; on the contrary, to your annoyance I want to live, so as to be able to love my God more.’ If then they beat me and hit me, I was to humble myself, kneel and thank my God, because this was happening as a penance for my sins; not only this, but to offer everything as acts of reparation for all the offenses against God that were given in the world.
Lastly, an ugly temptation that lasted for a short while was that, after being in continuous contact with demons so ugly for about one and a half years, I would become pregnant and deliver a little demon with horns. My imagination would breed itself in such a way, that I saw myself in a horrible confusion in the face of what people would say about me, because of such an awful event.
Finally, after about one and a half years of this fight, the cruelties of the demons ceased, and a whole new life began, although the demons did not stop molesting me from time to time. However, it was not so frequent, the battle was not so fierce, and I became used to despising them.
The new life that began was at the Farm called “Torre Disperata”. One day, while more than ever I had been tormented by the devil, to the point that I felt myself losing my strengths and fainting, around evening, while I was in this state, I felt I was having a deadly fit and I lost consciousness. In that state, I saw Jesus Christ surrounded by many enemies – some were beating Him, some were slapping Him, some were driving thorns into His head, some were breaking His legs, some His arms. After they reduced Him almost to pieces, they put Him in the arms of the Madonna; and this happened not too far from me. After the Most Holy Virgin took Him in Her arms, She drew near me, and crying, She said to me: “Daughter, see how my Son is treated by men – the horrible offenses they commit, which never give Him respite. Look at Him, how He suffers.” And I tried to look at Him, and I saw Him all blood, all wounds, and almost cut up, reduced to a mortal state. I felt such pains that I would have wanted to die a thousand times rather than see my Lord suffer so much. I felt ashamed of my little sufferings. The Most Holy Virgin added, but always crying: “Come closer to kiss the wounds of my Son. He chooses you as victim, and if many offend Him, you, by offering yourself to suffer what He suffers, will give Him a relief in so much suffering. Won’t you accept?” I felt so annihilated; I saw myself so bad (as I am still) and unworthy, that I did not dare to say “yes”. My nature trembled; I felt so weak from the past pains, that it barely left me a thread of life. Then, I don’t know how, I saw demons yelling and shouting from afar, and that everything I had seen them do to the Lord, they were going to do to me, if I accepted. I felt such pains, sufferings, straining of nerves within me, that I thought I was going to leave life.
Finally, I drew near and I kissed His wounds. It seemed that, after I did that, those limbs so lacerated would heal, and the Lord, who before seemed to be almost dead, would begin to revive to new life. Interiorly, I received such lights about the offenses that are given, and attractions to accept being a victim even if I should suffer a thousand deaths, for the Lord deserved everything, and I could not oppose what He wanted. This happened while we were in mute silence. But those gazes that we exchanged were as many invitations, as many burning darts that pierced my heart through. The Most Holy Virgin, especially, spurred me on to accept; but who can say all that I went through? Finally, looking at me benignly, the Lord said to me: “You have seen how much they offend Me, and how many walk along the paths of iniquity, and without realizing it, fall into the abyss. Come to offer yourself before Divine Justice as victim of reparation for the offenses that are given, and for the conversion of sinners who, with eyes closed, drink at the poisoned fount of sin. A large field of sufferings opens before you, yes – but also of graces; I will never leave you again, I will come within you to suffer all that men do to Me, making you share in my pains. For help and comfort, I give you my Mother.” And He seemed to deliver me to Her – and She accepted me. I too offered all of myself to Him and to the Virgin – ready to do what He wanted; and this is how it ended the first time.
After I came round from that state, I felt such pains, such annihilation of myself, that I saw myself as a miserable little worm that was able to do nothing but crawl on the earth. And I said to the Lord: ‘Help – your omnipotence knocks me down; I see that if You do not lift me up, my nothingness is undone and will be dissolved. Give me suffering, but I pray You to give me strength, for I feel myself dying.’ And so an alternation began, of visits from Our Lord and of torments on the part of demons. The more I resigned myself, the more they increased their rage.
A few days after what is said above, I felt I was losing consciousness again (I remember that, at the beginning, every time I felt such a state come to me, I thought I was going to leave life). As I lost consciousness, Our Lord made Himself seen once again with the crown of thorns on His head, all dripping with blood; and turning to me, He said: “Daughter, take a look at what men do to Me. In these sad times their pride is so great that they have infested all the air; and the stench that spreads everywhere is such, that it has reached even before my throne in Heaven. They act in such a way as to close Heaven by themselves. The miserable ones have no eyes to know the truth, because they are obfuscated by the sin of pride, with the sequel of the other vices which they carry with them. O please! give Me a relief from so many bitter spasms, and a reparation for so many wrongdoings against Me.” And in saying this, He removed the crown from Himself, which did not look like a crown, but all one piece, such that not even a little portion of the head remained free, but it was all pierced through by those thorns. As He removed the crown, He drew near me and asked me if I accepted it. I felt so annihilated; I felt such pains because of the offenses that are given, that I felt my heart split. I said to Him: ‘Lord, do with me what You want.’ And so He took it, He drove it onto my head, and He disappeared.
Now, who can say the spasms I felt when I came back into myself? At each movement of my head I thought I would breathe my last, so many were the pains and the prickings I felt in my head, in my eyes, in my ears, behind my neck. I felt those thorns penetrate even into my mouth, and it clenched in such a way that I could not open it to take food, so I would remain sometimes two days, sometimes three, without being able to take anything. When they somehow mitigated, I would feel, sensibly, a hand that pressed my head and renewed the pains; and sometimes the spasms were such that I would lose consciousness because of the pain. At the beginning, this would happen on certain days, while on others it wouldn’t. When they were repeated, it would be three or four times a day, and they would last sometimes a quarter of an hour, sometimes half an hour, sometimes one hour, and then I would remain free, though feeling very weak and in suffering. I would remain in suffering, more or less, depending on how much those pains were communicated to me during that state of dozing.
I also remember that since sometimes, because of the sufferings in my head, as I said above, I could not open my mouth in order to take food, and since my family knew that I didn’t really want to be in the countryside, when they saw that I was not eating, they would attribute it to a fuss of mine, and naturally they would become irritated, they would get upset, and they would mock me. My nature wanted to resent this, because I saw that what they were saying was not true, but the Lord did not want this resentment – and here is how it happened:
One evening, while we were at table, and I was in this state of not being able to open my mouth, my family began to get upset. I was so affected that I started to cry, and in order not to be seen, I got up and I went somewhere else, continuing to cry; and I prayed Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Virgin to give me help and strength in order to bear this trial. But as I was doing this, I felt I was beginning to lose consciousness. Oh God! what pain – the mere thought that my family was going to see me, for until then, they had not noticed it. At that moment, I said: ‘Lord, do not permit that they see me.’ I was so ashamed to be seen, that I myself cannot explain why, and I tried as much as I could to hide in places where I could not be seen. When, then, I was caught by surprise, in such a way that I would not have the time to hide, or at least to kneel – for whatever position I was in, I would remain in it, and they could say I was there praying – then I would be found out. As I lost consciousness, Our Lord made Himself seen in the midst of many enemies who were giving Him all sorts of insults; especially, they grabbed Him and trampled Him underfoot, they blasphemed Him, they pulled His hair. It seemed to me that my good Jesus wanted to escape from under those fetid soles, and He kept looking – who knows, He might find a friendly hand who would free Him; but He found no one. While seeing this, I did nothing but cry over the pains of my Lord. I wanted to go into the midst of those enemies – who knows, maybe I could free Him; but I did not dare to. I said to Him: ‘Lord, let me share in your pains. O please! if only I could relieve You and free You.’ As I was saying this, those enemies, as if they had understood, came against me – but so enraged; and they began to beat me, to pull my hair, to trample me. I had so much fear; I suffered, yes, but within me I was content, because I could see that the Lord was given a little bit of respite. Afterwards, those enemies disappeared, and I remained alone with my Jesus. I tried to compassionate Him, but I did not dare to say anything. And He, breaking the silence, said to me: “All that you have seen is nothing compared to the offenses that they give Me continuously. Their blindness, the engulfing of earthly things, is so great, that they reach the point of becoming not only my cruel enemies, but also enemies of themselves; and since their eyes are fixed on the mud, they reach the point of despising the Eternal. Who will put a mend to so much ingratitude? Who will have compassion for so many people, who cost Me blood, and who live almost buried in the stench of earthly things? O please! come with Me, and pray and cry together with Me for so many blind who are all eyes for all that gives of earth, and then despise and trample my graces under their filthy feet, as if they were mud. O please! lift yourself above all that is earth – abhor and despise all that does not belong to Me. Do not be affected any more by the insults you receive from your family, after you have seen Me suffer so much; but take to heart only my honor, the offenses that they give Me continuously, the loss of so many souls. O please! do not leave Me alone in the midst of so many pains that torture my Heart. All that you are suffering now is little compared to the pains you will suffer. Have I not always told you that what I want from you is the imitation of my Life? Take a look at how dissimilar you are from Me. Therefore, pluck up courage and do not fear.”
After this, I returned into myself, and then I realized that I was surrounded by my family. They were crying and were all in distress; and they had such fear that that state might happen again and, especially, that I might die, that they brought me back to Corato as quickly as they could, so that I might be observed by doctors. I can’t explain why, I felt such pain at the thought that I was to be visited by doctors, that many times I cried and lamented to the Lord, saying to Him: ‘How many times, oh Lord, I prayed You to let me suffer hiddenly. This was my only and sole contentment; and now I am deprived also of this. O please! tell me, what shall I do? You alone can help me and relieve me in my affliction. Don’t You see how many things they say? One thinks in one way, one in another; one wants have one remedy applied on me, one, another – they are all eyes over me, in such a way that they give me no more peace. O please! help me in so many pains, for I feel life failing me.’
And the Lord, benignly, added: “Do not want to afflict yourself because of this. What I want from you is that you abandon yourself as though dead in my arms. Until you keep your eyes opened to look at what I am doing, and at what the creatures do and say, I cannot operate freely upon you. Don’t you want to trust Me? Don’t you know how much I love you, and that everything I allow, either through creatures, or on the part of demons, or directly from Me, is for your true good and serves for nothing other than to lead the soul to that state for which I have chosen her? Therefore, I want you to remain in my arms with your eyes closed, without looking at and investigating this or that, trusting Me completely, and letting Me operate freely. If then you want to do the opposite, you will lose much time, and will come to oppose what I want to do with you. As for creatures, use profound silence, be benign and submissive with everyone; let your life, your breath, your thoughts and affections be continuous acts of reparations to placate my Justice, offering Me, along with them, the bothers from creatures, which will not be few.”
After this, I did as much as I could to resign myself to the Will of God, although many times I was put in such constraints by creatures, that at times I would do nothing but cry. The time also came to have me visited by the doctor, and he judged that it was nothing other than a nervous issue; so he prescribed medicines, distractions, strolls, cold baths. He recommended to my family that they watch well over me when I was surprised by that state, “because”, he said, “if you move her, you can break her, but not fix her”, since, when I was surprised by that state, I would remain petrified.
So, a war arose on the part of my family. They prevented me from going to church; they no longer gave me that freedom to be by myself; I was watched everywhere, and so they noticed it more often. Many times, I lamented to the Lord, saying to Him: ‘My good Jesus, how my pains have increased – I am deprived also of the things dearest to me, which are the Sacraments. I had never thought I would reach this point. But who knows where I will end up! O please! give me help and strength, for my nature is failing me.’ Many times He would deign to tell me a few words. He would say to me: “I am your help, what do you fear? Don’t you remember that I too suffered from all kinds of people – some had one opinion about Me, some another. The holiest things I did were judged by them as faulty, wicked, to the point of telling Me that I was possessed; so much so, that they would look at Me with surly eyes. They would keep Me in their midst, but unwillingly, and would plot among themselves on how they could take my life away the soonest, for my presence had become intolerable for them. So, don’t you want Me to make you similar to Me, by making you suffer on the part of creatures?”
So I spent several years suffering on the part of creatures, from demons, and directly from God. At times I reached such bitterness from creatures and from the way they thought, that I was ashamed of being seen by anyone; so much so, that my greatest sacrifice was to appear in the midst of people – the blushing and the confusion were such, that I felt dazed. There were more visits from other doctors, but they came up with nothing. Sometimes, shedding bitter tears, I would say to Him with all my heart: ‘Lord, how public my sufferings have become – not only to my family, but also to strangers. I see myself all covered with confusion; it seems to me that everyone is pointing his finger at me, as if these sufferings were the most wicked actions. I myself am unable to say what has happened to me. O please! You alone can free me from such publicity, and let me suffer hiddenly. I pray You, I implore you – answer me.’ Sometimes the Lord too showed He would not listen to me, and my pains would increase. Other times, then, He would compassionate me, telling me: “Poor daughter, come to Me for I want to console you. You are right that you suffer, but don’t you remember that I too – oh! how much more I suffered. Up to a certain point, my pains remained hidden, but when the Will of the Father came for Me to suffer in public, promptly I went out to meet confusions, opprobrium, scorns, to the point of being stripped naked in the midst of a most numerous people. Could you imagine a confusion greater than this? My nature greatly felt these kinds of sufferings, but I had my gaze fixed on the Will of the Father, and I offered those pains in reparation for many who commit the most wicked actions publicly, with open eyes, boasting about them without the slightest blush. I would say to Him: ‘Father, accept my confusions and opprobrium in reparation for many who have the insolence to offend You so freely, without the slightest sorrow. Forgive them, give them light, that they may see the ugliness of sin, and convert.’ I want to make you too share in these kinds of sufferings. Don’t you know that the most beautiful presents I can give to the souls I love are crosses and pains? You are still a little girl in the way of the cross; this is why you feel too weak. Once you have grown up and have known how precious suffering is, then you will feel stronger. Therefore, lean on Me – rest, for in this way you will acquire strength.”
After I spent some time in this state mentioned above – about six or seven months – the sufferings increased more, to the point that I was forced to stay in bed. Often that state of losing consciousness multiplied, to the point that I would almost not have one hour free. I reduced myself to a state of extreme weakness; my mouth clenched in such a way that I could not open it at all, and in the few free moments I would have, I was able to take just a few drops of some drink, if I managed at all. And then I was forced to bring it up, because of the continuous vomiting which I have always had. After I remained about eighteen days in this continuous state, they sent for the confessor, so that I could confess. When the confessor came, he found me in that state of dozing. When I came round, he asked me what was wrong with me. Keeping silent about all the rest, and since at that time the troubles of the demons and the visits of Our Lord continued, I only said to him: ‘Father, it is the devil.’ He said to me: “Do not be afraid, for it is not the devil; and if it is, father will free you.” So, giving me the obedience and marking me with the sign of the cross, and helping me to loosen my arms, for I felt my whole body petrified as if it had become one single piece, he managed to restore the motion of my arms, and to let me open my mouth, which before had been unmovable to everything. I attributed this to the sanctity of my confessor, who was truly a holy priest. I held this almost as a miracle; so much so, that I would say to myself: ‘See, I was prepared to die’ – because I really felt ill, and if that state had lasted, I believe I would have left life. However, I remember that I was resigned, and that when I saw myself free, I felt a certain regret for not having died.
Then, after the confessor went away and I remained free, I returned to the state of before. And so it happened that I spent, sometimes one week, sometimes fifteen days, and even months, being surprised by that state every now and then during the day, and I was able to free myself by myself. But when I was found out very frequently, as I said before, my family would then send for the confessor; more so, since they had seen that the first time I had been freed, while everyone believed that I would never again recover from that state. But then I went down to church and I returned to that state again, and so they would send for the confessor, and then I would be freed. However, it had never crossed my mind that it would take the priest to free me from such a state, or that my malady was an extraordinary thing. It is true that when I would lose consciousness I could see Jesus Christ, but I attributed this to the goodness of Our Lord, and would say to myself: ‘See how good the Lord is toward me, that He comes to give me strength in this state of sufferings; otherwise, how could I endure it – who would give me the strength?’ It is also true that when such a state was going to occur, in the morning, at Communion He would tell me, and in that very state, the sufferings would come to me from He Himself. But I would pay attention to none of this; at the mere thought, sometimes, of telling this to the confessor, I felt I was the proudest soul that existed in the world if I dared to open my mouth to speak of these things – of seeing Jesus Christ. And I would feel such blushing, that it was impossible to say anything to that confessor, as good and holy as he was.
It was so true that I did not think that it would take the priest to free me, but that this was happening because of the sanctity of my confessor, that when the time came that he went away to the countryside, one morning, after Communion, the Lord made me understand that I was going to be surprised by that state, inviting me to keep Him company by sharing in His pains – and I immediately said to Him: ‘Lord, how am I going to do this – the confessor is not here; who is going to free me? Maybe You want to make me die now?’ And the Lord just told me: “Your trust must be only in Me. Be resigned, because resignation renders the soul luminous, and it keeps all other passions in their place, in such a way that, attracted by those rays of light, I go into that soul and I transform her completely into Myself, and I make her live of my own Life.”
I resigned myself to His Holy Will; I offered that Communion as the last one of my life, and I gave the last good-bye to Jesus in the Sacrament. But, though resigned, I felt my nature so much, that for that whole day I did nothing but cry and pray the Lord to give me strength. In truth, that situation turned out to be so very bitter to me, and without thinking or knowing, I found myself with a new and heavy cross, such that I believe it has been the heaviest I have had in my life. While I was in that state of sufferings, as for me, I would think of nothing but dying and doing the Will of God. On the part of my family, which also suffered in seeing me in that state, they tried to send for some priest, but one would not come because of this, another because of that. After ten days came the confessor who used to confess me when I was little, and it happened that he too was able to make me come round from that state. Then I realized the net in which the Lord had wrapped me.
From here, a war arose against me on the part of priests – some would say that it was a pretense, some that beating was needed, others that I wanted to make myself believed a saint; some would add that I was possessed, and many other things, such that, if I wanted to tell them all, the story would be too long. So, with these ideas in their minds, when the sufferings would occur and my family would send for one of them, they would have such strange reactions, that my poor family suffered very much, especially my poor mama – how many tears she shed for me. Oh! Lord, reward her – You Yourself. Oh! my good Lord, how much I suffered on this side – You alone know everything.
So, who can say how bitter this situation turned out to be for me – that the priest was needed in order to free me from that state of sufferings. How many times I prayed, shedding most bitter tears, that He would free me! How many times I made explicit resistance to the Lord when He wanted me to offer myself as victim and accept the pains. I would say to Him: ‘Lord, promise me that You will free me Yourself, and then I will accept everything; otherwise – no, I don’t want to accept.’ And I would resist the first day, the second, the third…. But who can resist God? He would tell me so many things, that in the end I was forced to submit myself to the cross.
Other times, I would say to Him from the heart and with familiarity: ‘Lord, how is it that You have done this? How can this be? Between You and me, You wanted to put a third now? And this third one does not want to make himself available. See, we could have been so content, the two of us. When You wanted me to suffer, I would immediately accept, because I would know that You Yourself would free me. There is no need of another hand now. I beg You – free me, and both of us will be more content.’
At times He pretended not to hear me, and He would not tell me anything. Other times, then, He would say to me: “Do not fear, I am the One who gives darkness and light. The time of the light will come. It is my usual way to manifest my works through the priests.”
So I spent three or four years of these contradictions on the part of priests. Many times they subjected me to very hard trials; they reached the point of letting me remain in that state of sufferings – that is, petrified, incapable of any slightest motion, even of taking a drop of water – for eighteen days, more or less, when they pleased to do so. The Lord alone knows what I was going through in that state; and after they came, I would not even have the good of at least being told: “Have patience, do the Will of God.” Rather, I was reproached as capricious and disobedient. Oh! God, what pain – how many tears I shed. How many times I thought I was disobedient, saying to myself: ‘How can this be – that virtue which is the most pleasing to the Lord is so far away from me. What good can a disobedient soul ever do or hope for?’ Many times I lamented to Our Lord, and at times I reached the point of being resentful; and when He wanted me to accept sufferings, I would resist as much as I could. But when the Lord saw that I would begin to resist, He showed He would not pay attention to me, and He would not tell me anything else; and then, all of a sudden, He would come to surprise me. As for what the confessor would say, then, it is because sometimes he did not want me to fall into that state; but this was not in my power. It is yet true that I have been disobedient, and that I have never been good at anything, but I also remember that the most tormenting pain for me was that of not being able to obey.
I remember that during this period of time there was a cholera epidemic, and one day I prayed my good Jesus to make this scourge cease. And He said to me: “I will content you, as long as you accept offering yourself to suffer whatever I want.”
I said to Him: ‘Lord, no, I cannot – You know how they think. If this thing could pass only between me and You, I would have been most ready to accept everything.’ And He said to me: “My daughter, had I paid attention to what men were thinking, and to what they were going to do with Me, I would not have operated the Redemption of mankind. But I had my eyes fixed on their salvation, and the great love that devoured Me made Me act in a way that when I would see people who thought ill about Me, and who caused the occasion to make Me suffer more, I would offer those very pains that they gave Me for their own salvation. Have you forgotten that what I want from you is the imitation of my Life, and that I will make you share in everything I suffered? Don’t you know that the most beautiful act, the most heroic and most pleasing to Me, and which you must offer to Me, is that of offering yourself for the very ones who are against you?”
I remained mute; I did not know what to answer. I accepted everything that the Lord wanted, and so until evening I was caught by that state of sufferings, and I remained in it for three consecutive days. Then, after I came round, I no longer heard anything about the cholera.
After this, I received another mortification, and this was having to change confessor, because since he was a religious, he was called back to the convent. I was content with him, and most of those dins mentioned above occurred when he was in the countryside; especially during the last year he was my confessor, because of the cholera spreading in town, he was there for six months. My confessor did not give many reproaches; he would let me remain in that state of sufferings for one day, and then he would come. So, it was less than a month since he had withdrawn to the countryside, and it became known that he was leaving. This was painful for me – not because I was attached, but because of the necessity I had of him. So I went to the Lord and I told Him of my pain; and He said to me: “Do not want to afflict yourself because of this; I am the Master of hearts, and I can turn them and turn them again as I please. If he did some good to you, he has been nothing but a vessel, which received from Me, and gave to you. So I will do with the others; what do you fear then? My dear, as long as you keep turning your eye now to the right, now to the left, and you let it set now on one thing, now on another, and you do not have your eye fixed in Me, you will not be able to walk speedily along the way of Heaven. On the contrary, you will always be limping and will not be able to follow the influence of grace. Therefore I want you to look at all the things that happen around you with holy indifference, remaining all intent on Me alone.”
After these words, my heart acquired so much strength, that I suffered little or nothing from such a great loss, and of one who had done so much good to my soul.
So it happened that I changed confessor, and I returned to the confessor who used to confess me when I was little. But, may the Lord be always blessed who uses those very ways which appear to be contrary to us, almost as if they were to bring harm to our soul, for our greater good and for His glory. So it happened that I began to open my soul, since up to that point I had not told anything to anyone. As much effort as I would make over myself, I could not manage; on the contrary, I would see myself more impotent to tell of the things of my interior. The blushing I felt at the mere thought of telling these things was such, that I felt it would have been easier for me to tell the ugliest sins. Where this came from – I don’t know. From the confessor – I don’t think so, because he was so good, trustful, sweet, patient in listening. He would take a most exact care of the soul; he had his eye on everything, so that I might walk straight. From me – I don’t think so either, because I felt a block over my soul, and I had all the will to free myself and to hear at least what the confessor thought about it; but I felt it was impossible for me to do it. To me, I think that there was an intervention of the Lord.
So, finding myself with the new confessor, I began, little by little, to open my interior. Many times the Lord commanded me to manifest to the confessor what He had told me; and when I would not do it, the Lord would scold me, He would reproach me severely, and at times He reached the point of telling me that if I did not do it, He would not come any more – which for me is the most bitter pain, such that all other pains, compared to this, seem to me nothing other than blades of straw. Therefore, the fear that He would really not come was so great, that I did as much as I could in order to manifest my interior. It is true that many times this cost me much, but the fear of losing my dear Jesus would make me overcome everything. On the part of the confessor I was also pushed to tell him where such a state was coming from, what happened to me when I was in that doziness, what was the cause of it. He would now command me to manifest it, now he would force me through the precepts of obedience, and now he would place before me the fear that I might be living in illusion and deceit, living within myself, while if I manifested it to the priest, I could be more certain and tranquil, and that the Lord never permits that the priest be mistaken when the soul is obedient. So, Jesus Christ pushed me from one side, the confessor from the other; it seemed to me that sometimes they were banding together, the two of them – the confessor and Jesus Christ. So I managed to manifest my soul. The past confessor would not do that – he would not ask me a single question; he would not try to know what was happening to me in that state of doziness, and so I myself did not know how to come out to talk about these things. The concern he had was that I be resigned, conformed to the Will of God, bearing the cross that the Lord had given me; so much so, that if sometimes he saw me a little bothered, he would suffer great disappointment.
So it happened that I spent about another year with this confessor, in the same state described above. And since the confessor knew where that state of suffering was coming from, he told me that when Jesus Christ wanted me to have sufferings, I should go to him to ask for the obedience. I remember that one morning, after Communion, the Lord told me: “Daughter, the iniquities that are committed are so many that the scale of my Justice is about to overflow. Now, know that I will pour heavy scourges upon men, especially a most fierce war in which I will make a slaughter of human flesh. Ah! yes”, He continued, almost crying, “I gave bodies to men that they might be as many sanctuaries where I would go and delight in them; but they have turned them into sewers of rot, whose stench is such that they force Me to stay far away from them. See what recompense I receive for so much love and for the so many pains that I suffered for them. Who has ever been treated like Me? Ah! no one. But what is the cause? It is the excessive love I have for them. Therefore, I will try with the chastisements.”
I felt my heart split with pain; it seemed to me that the offenses they were giving Him were so many, that in order to escape He wanted to hide within me, almost to find a refuge. I also felt such pains because men were to be chastised, that it seemed to me that I, not they, was to suffer. Even more, it seemed to me that, had I been able to, it would have been more bearable for me to suffer all those chastisements myself, rather than to see others suffer.
I tried to compassionate Him as much as I could, and with all my heart I said to Him: ‘Oh! Holy Spouse, hold back the scourges which your Justice keeps prepared. If the multiplicity of the iniquities of men is great, there is the immense sea of your Blood in which You can bury them; and so your Justice will be satisfied. If You have nowhere to go to delight Yourself, come into me – I give You all my heart, that You may somehow rest and delight with it. It is true that I too am a bilge of vices, but You can purify me and make of me what You want. But, O please! placate Yourself. If the sacrifice of my life is necessary – oh! how gladly I would make it for You, as long as I may see your own images spared.’ And the Lord, interrupting my speaking, continued telling me: “Here is exactly where I wanted you – if you offer yourself to suffer, no longer every now and then as up until now, but continuously, every day, for a certain given time, I will spare men. See how I will do it: I will put you between my Justice and the iniquities of the creatures, and when my Justice sees Itself filled with iniquities to the point of not being able to contain them, and is forced to send the thunderbolts of the scourges in order to chastise the creatures, in finding you in the middle, instead of striking them, you are the one who will remain struck. Only in this way will I be able to content you in sparing men – not otherwise.”
I remained all confused; I didn’t know what to tell Him. My nature did its part, being frightened and trembling, but I saw that my good Jesus was waiting for an answer – whether I accepted or not. So, seeing myself almost forced to speak, I said to Him: ‘Oh! my Most Divine Spouse, on my part I would be ready to accept, but how is it going to work out with the confessor: if he does not want to come every once in a while, how can it be possible that he will come every day? Free me from this cross – that the confessor be needed in order to free me – and then everything will be arranged between me and You.’ Then the Lord said to me: “Go to the confessor and ask him for the obedience. If he wants, you will tell him everything I told you, and you will stick to whatever he says. See, it will not be only for the good of creatures that I want these continuous sufferings, but also for your good. In this state of sufferings I will purify your soul thoroughly, in such a way as to dispose you to form a mystical marriage with Me; and after this, I will make the final transformation, in such a way that the two of us will become like two candles placed on the fire – one is transformed into the other, and they become one. In this way I will transform Myself into you, and you will remain crucified with Me. Ah! would you not be happy if you could say: ‘The Bridegroom is crucified, but the bride also is crucified’? ‘Ah! yes, there is nothing that renders me dissimilar from Him.’
So, when I was able to speak with the confessor, I told him everything that the Lord had told me; and since the Lord had said to me those words, “for a certain given time”, without notifying me of the exact time during which I was to suffer continuously, I took it as about forty days, more or less – and now it has been about twelve years that I continue to be in it. But, may God be always blessed; may His inscrutable judgments be always adored. I believe that if the blessed Lord had let me understand with clarity the length of time I was to be in bed, my nature would have been frightened very much, and would hardly have submitted itself to it. Although I remember that I have always been resigned, yet, I did not know then the preciousness of the cross, as the Lord has made me know during the course of these twelve years; nor would the confessor have adapted himself to give me the obedience. So I said to the confessor that the Lord wanted him to give me the obedience to remain in continuous suffering for about forty days, and I told him all the rest. To my surprise – because I thought it was impossible – the confessor told me that if it was truly the Will of God he would give me the obedience, because, in reality, it was not that he could not come, but rather, a little bit of human respect. My soul rejoiced very much for I would be able to content the Lord, and therefore have the creatures spared, but my nature was very much afflicted in receiving this obedience; so much so, that for a few days I was very saddened. My soul also was affected very much, thinking that I was to remain for such a long time without being able to receive Jesus in the Sacrament, my sole and only comfort. At times I felt a war so very fierce within me, that I myself did not know what had happened to me. The devil too added many things to it, but my good Jesus put a remedy to everything; and this is how He did it.
I move on to speak about something else. By order of the current confessor, I will obey in manifesting the various ways in which the Lord has spoken to me:
It seems to me that the ways in which the Lord has spoken to me are four; but these four ways of speaking of Jesus are very different from the inspirations.
1 – The first way is when the soul goes out of herself. However, first I want to explain a little bit better this going out of myself. It happens in two ways: the first is instantaneous, almost a flash; and it is so sudden, that it seemed to me that the body would lift a little bit from the bed in order to follow the soul, but then it would stay there. And it seemed to me that the body would remain as dead, while the soul would follow Jesus, walking throughout the whole universe – the earth, the air, the seas, the mountains, Purgatory and Heaven, where many times He showed me the place where I will be after I die. The other way, then, for the soul to go out, is more quiet. It seems that the body dozes off insensibly and remains as though petrified in the presence of Jesus Christ; however, the soul remains with the body, and the body no longer feels anything of external things – even if all the universe turned upside down; even if they burned me up and reduced me to pieces.
These two ways, so different, of going out of myself, I have noticed sensibly, because in the first way, having to obey the confessor when he would come to wake me up, I would see him from the place where Jesus would lead me – that is, from the ends of the earth, or from the air, or from the mountains, or from the sea, or from Purgatory, or even from Heaven Itself. Even more, it seemed to me that I would not have enough time, so that the soul would be found in the body by the confessor, and therefore I would not be able to obey. It seemed that, so far away as I was with my soul – I say, it seemed to me – that I would bustle about, and become all anxious and worried that I might not be able to let myself be found there in time by the confessor, and therefore I would not be able to obey. However, I confess that I have always found myself there in time, and it seemed to me that the soul would enter into the body before the confessor would begin to give me the obedience to wake up.
Even more, I tell the truth, many times from afar I could see the confessor coming, but in order not to leave Jesus, it seemed that I would not think that the confessor was coming; and then Jesus, He Himself, would hurry me to return with the soul into the body so as to be able to obey the confessor. And then I would feel a great reluctance of leaving Jesus, but obedience would win; and in leaving Jesus, He Himself would either kiss me or embrace me, or would do something else to take leave of me. And I, upon leaving my dear Jesus, would say to Him: ‘I go to the confessor, but You, my good Jesus – come back soon, as soon as the confessor goes.’
These, then, are the two ways in which the soul seemed to go out of the body, and in these two ways in which the soul goes out, God speaks to me. This way of speaking, He Himself calls intellectual speaking. I will try to explain it: after the soul has gone out of the body, finding herself before Jesus, she has no need of words in order to understand what the Lord wants to tell her; nor does the soul need to speak in order to make herself understood; but by means of the intellect – oh! how well we understand each other when we are together. From a light that comes from Jesus into my intellect, I feel everything that my Jesus wants to make me understand being impressed within me. This way is very high and sublime; so much so, that the nature can hardly adapt itself to explain it with words – it can barely give some idea. This way of Jesus of making Himself understood is extremely rapid – in one simple instant one learns many sublime things, more than by reading entire books. Oh! what a most ingenious teacher Jesus is – in one simple instant He teaches so many things, while to someone else it would take entire years, if he manages at all, because the terrestrial teacher does not have the power of being able to draw the will of his disciple, or to infuse things in his mind without effort and toil. But not with Jesus: His sweetness, the loveliness of His gesture, the gentleness of His speaking, are so great – and then He is so beautiful, that as soon as the soul sees Him, she feels so drawn, that sometimes the speed with which she runs after Jesus is so great, that almost without realizing it, she finds herself transformed into the Beloved, in such a way that the soul is no longer capable of distinguishing her terrestrial being, so much is she identified with the Divine Being. Who can say what the soul feels in this state? It would take Jesus Himself, or a soul perfectly separated from the body, because in finding herself surrounded once again by the wall of this body, and losing that light which before kept her submerged, the soul loses much and remains obscured. So, if she tries to say something, she can only do it roughly.
To give an idea, I will say that I imagine someone born blind, who has never had the good of seeing what is contained in the entire universe, and for a few minutes he had the good of opening his eyes to the light and was able to see everything that is contained in the world – the sun, the heavens, the sea, the many cities, the many machines, the varieties of flowers and the many other things that are in the world; and after those few minutes of light, he returned to the blindness of before. Now, could he describe, distinctly, everything that he has seen? He could give a sketch, say a few things confusedly. Now, something similar happens when the soul finds herself separated, and then back into the body – I don’t know whether I am speaking nonsense. Just as that poor blind one would remain with the sorrow of the lost sight, the same for the soul: she lives moaning and almost in a violent state, because the soul feels always violently drawn toward the highest Good. The attraction toward Himself that Jesus leaves in the soul is so great, that the soul would like to remain always attracted within her God. But this cannot be, and therefore she lives as if she lived in Purgatory. I add that the soul has nothing of her own in this state – everything is the operating that the Lord does.
Now I will try to explain the second way that Jesus has in speaking; and it is when the soul, finding herself outside of herself, sees the person of Jesus Christ, for example, as a child, or crucified, or in any other attitude; and the soul sees the Lord pronouncing the words from His mouth, and the soul answers from her mouth. Sometimes it happens that the soul begins to converse with Jesus, just as two intimate spouses would do. However, the speaking of the Lord is very moderate – just four or five words, and sometimes even just one word; very rarely does it prolong a little bit. But in that very little speaking – ah! how much light He introduces into the soul. I seem to see a little rivulet at first sight, but in looking more closely, instead of a rivulet one can see an immense sea. Such is one word spoken by Jesus; the immensity of the light that it leaves in the soul is such, that in ruminating it thoroughly, she discovers so many things, sublime and profitable for her soul, as to remain astonished.
I believe that if all the learned would unite together, they would all remain confounded and mute at one single word of Jesus. Now, this way is more suitable for the human nature, and it can easily be manifested, because the soul, upon entering herself, brings with her that which she has heard from the mouth of Our Lord, and communicates it to the body. It is not so easy when it is through the intellect.
To me, I think that Jesus has this way of speaking in order to adapt Himself to the human nature. It is not that He needs the word in order to make Himself understood, but in this way the soul understands more easily, and she can manifest it to the confessor. In sum, Jesus acts like a most knowledgeable, wise, intelligent teacher, who possesses all sciences to the highest degree, and no one can equal Him. But since He finds Himself amid disciples who have not yet learned the first syllables of the alphabet, keeping all the other studies within Himself, He teaches the a b c to the disciples.
Oh! how good is Jesus. He adapts Himself to the learned and speaks to them in a very high manner, in such a way that in order to understand Him, they have to study well what He tells them. And He adapts Himself to the ignorant, pretending to be, He Himself, a little bit ignorant; and He speaks in a low manner, in such a way that no one may remain on an empty stomach from the lesson of this Divine Teacher.
The third way in which Jesus speaks to me is when, in speaking, He communicates its very substance to the soul. It seems to me that, just as when the Lord created the world, at one word things were created, in the same way, since His word is creative, in the very act in which He pronounces the word, He creates in the soul that very thing which He is saying. As for example, Jesus says to the soul: “See how beautiful things are. As much as your eye may run over the earth and in Heaven, you will never find a beauty similar to Me.” At this speaking of Jesus, the soul feels a certain something divine enter into herself; the soul remains so very drawn toward this beauty, and at the same time she loses attraction for all other things. As beautiful and precious as they might be, they make no impression on her soul. What remains fixed in her, and almost transmuted into herself, is the beauty of Jesus – of that beauty she thinks, with that beauty she feels invested, and she remains so enamored, that if the Lord did not operate another miracle, her heart would crack, and out of pure love for this beauty of Jesus, the soul would breathe her last, to fly into Heaven and delight in this beauty of Jesus. I myself don’t know whether I am speaking nonsense.
In order to explain myself better about this substantial speaking of Jesus, I will say something else. Jesus says: “See how pure I am. In you also I want to find purity in everything.” At these words the soul feels a divine purity enter into herself. This purity is transmuted into herself, and she reaches the point of living as if she no longer had a body; and so with the other virtues. Oh! how desirable is this speaking of Jesus. As for myself, I would give away everything that is on earth – if I could own it – to have one alone of these words of Jesus.
The fourth way in which Jesus speaks to me is when I find myself inside myself – that is, in the natural state. This also happens in two ways: the first is when, while being inside myself, recollected in the interior of my heart, without articulation of voice or sound to the ear of the body, Jesus speaks interiorly. The second is just like we do it; and sometimes this happens even when I am distracted or I am speaking with other people. But one alone of these words is enough to recollect me if I am distracted, or to give me peace if I am disturbed, or to console me if I am afflicted.
I will continue from where I left, saying, ‘and this is how He did it’:
In the morning, I went to Communion, and as soon as I received Jesus, I immediately said to Him: ‘My Lord, look a bit at what a storm I find myself in. I should thank You for You gave light to the confessor in giving me the obedience to suffer, but instead, my nature is so very affected that I myself remain confounded in seeing that I am so bad. However, all this is nothing; You who want the sacrifice will also give me the strength. But the strongest reason in me is that of having to remain for so long without being able to receive You in the Sacrament. Who would be able to endure without You? Who will give me the strength? Where shall I find a refreshment in my afflictions?’ And while saying this, I felt such pains in my heart because of this separation from Jesus in the Sacrament, that I cried my heart out. Then, the Lord, compassionating my weakness, told me: “Do not fear, I Myself will sustain your weakness. You do not know what graces I have prepared for you; this is why you fear so much. Am I not omnipotent? Will I not be able to make up for the privation of being able to receive Me in the Sacrament? Therefore, resign yourself, place yourself as though dead in my arms; offer yourself as voluntary victim to repair for the offenses against Me, for sinners, and to spare men the deserved scourges, and as pledge I give you my word that I will not leave you even one day without coming to see you. Up until now you have come to Me, from now on I will come to you – aren’t you happy?”
So I resigned myself to the Holy Will of God, and I was surprised by this state of sufferings. Now, who can say the graces that the Lord began to give me? It is impossible to say everything distinctly; I can say something confusedly. But as much as I can, and in order to do the holy obedience which wants it so, I will try to say as much as it is possible for me.
I remember that from the very beginning of my being in bed continuously, my Lover Jesus would make Himself seen very often, which He had not done in the past. From the very beginning He told me that He wanted me to take on a new method of life in order to dispose myself to that mystical marriage which He had promised me. He would say to me: “Beloved of my Heart, I have put you in this state so that I might come more freely to converse with you. See, I have freed you of all external occupations, so that, not only your soul, but also your body might be at my disposal, and so that you might remain in continuous holocaust before Me. See, had I not drawn you into this bed, since you would have to carry out your family duties and submit yourself to other sacrifices, I could not come so often and let you share in the offenses, as I receive them; at most, I would have to wait for when you have fulfilled your duties. But now – no, we are free, there is no one left who may bother us and interrupt our conversation. From now on, my afflictions will be yours, and yours mine; my sufferings yours, and yours mine; my consolations yours, and yours mine. We will unite all things together, and you will take interest in my things as if they were your own; and so I will do with yours. Between the two of us there will no longer be ‘this is mine, and this is yours’, but everything will be in common, on both sides.
Do you know how I acted with you? Like a king when he wants to speak with his queen and spouse, and she is with other ladies on other affairs. What does the king do? He takes her and brings her inside his room; they close the door, so that no one may go and interrupt their conversation and hear their secrets; and so, once they are alone, they communicate their consolations and their afflictions to each other. Now, if someone, imprudent, went to knock, shouting from behind the door, and did not leave them alone to enjoy their conversation – would the king not take offense? So have I done for you, and in the same way I would be displeased if anyone wanted to take you away from this state.”
He continued, telling me: “From you I want perfect conformity to my Will, in such a way that your will may be undone within Mine; and absolute detachment from everything – so much so, that I want all that is earth to be considered by you as dung and rot, which one is horrified by just looking at. And this, because even if one had no attachment to earthly things, just by having them around and looking at them, they cast a shadow over the celestial things and prevent the fulfillment of that mystical marriage which I promised you. Even more, I want that, just as I was poor, you also imitate Me in poverty. You must consider yourself in this bed as a little poor one; the poor are content with whatever they have, and they first thank Me, and then their benefactors. The same for you: go along with whatever is given to you without asking for this or that, which might be a hindrance in your mind; but with holy indifference – without thinking of whether it might do good or bad – comply with the will of others.”
This cost me very much at the beginning, especially because of the obediences that the confessor would give me. I don’t know why, he wanted me to take quinine, and I was given the obedience that as many times as I would throw up, so many times was I to take food again. Now, quinine would whet my appetite, and sometimes I would feel quite a bit of hunger. I would take food, and immediately after taking it, and at times in the very act of taking it, I would be forced to bring it up because of the continuous retching; and so I would remain with the same hunger as before. The word “poor” which Jesus had spoken to me would not allow me to dare to ask for anything; and I myself would feel ashamed to ask, thinking to myself: ‘What will the family say: she has just vomited, and now she wants to eat?’ So I would remain content with being able to offer something to my dear Jesus.
However, this did not last for a long time, but about four months. One day the Lord told me: “Repeat to him the request for the obedience not to take quinine and not to take food so many times, for I will give him light.” So the confessor came and I told him. And he said to me: “So as not to show uniqueness, from now on I want you to take food only once a day”; and he also suspended the quinine. So I remained more quiet and the hunger went away; but the vomiting did not cease – that one time in which I would take food, I was forced to bring it up. Sometimes the Lord told me to ask for the obedience not to eat, but the confessor never gave me this obedience. He would say to me: “It doesn’t matter if you throw up – it is another mortification.”
But I would tell this to Jesus, and He would say to me: “I want you to ask the question, but with holy indifference I want you to go along with whatever the obedience tells you.” And so I continued to do.
When about forty days had passed – which I had taken as such from those words that the Lord had spoken (“for a certain given time”), and which I had related to the confessor in this way – the sufferings continued to surprise me every day, and he was forced to come every day. The confessor began to give me the obedience no longer to be in that state, and he added that if I fell into sufferings, he would not come any more.
On my part, I felt most ready to do the obedience. My nature especially wanted to be freed of being in bed continuously, which, as beautiful as it was, was always bed. Having to subject myself to everyone, even in the most repugnant and necessary things of nature, and being forced to tell them to others, is a true sacrifice. So, my nature did its office, and felt all consoled in receiving this obedience; while my soul was ready to do the obedience, and ready to remain in bed if the Lord wanted it so, because I had begun to experience how good He had been with me, and that true resignation can change the nature of things, turning bitter into sweet.
When he gave me the obedience no longer to stay in bed, I began to resist, and I said to the Lord: “What can I do? I can no longer stay, for obedience does not want it. If You want, give light to the confessor, and then I will be ready to do what You want.’ And I spent one entire night clashing with the Lord. When He would come, I would say to Him: ‘My dear Jesus, have patience, do not come, for obedience does not permit that You make me share in the sufferings.’ Up until the morning, I won – I felt I was inside myself and free of sufferings when, in one instant, the Lord came and drew me so much to Himself that I could not resist Him. I lost consciousness and I found myself together with Him, but so clasped to Him, that as much opposition as I made, I could not detach myself from Jesus. Being with Jesus, I felt all annihilated, and I felt a certain blushing for the many reproaches I had given Him during the night. I said to Him: ‘Holy Spouse, forgive me – it is the confessor that wants it so.’ And He told me: “Do not fear, when it is because of obedience I do not get offended.” He continued: “Come, come to Me. Today is the New Year, I want to give you a present.” (That morning was precisely the first day of the year). So, He drew His most pure lips to mine and poured a most sweet milk; He kissed me, He took a ring from within His side and said to me: “Today I want to show you the ring I have prepared for you, for when I espouse you.” Then He told me: “Tell the confessor that it is my Will that you continue to stay in bed, and as a sign that it is I, tell him that there is a war between Italy and Africa, and if he gives you the obedience to continue to suffer, I will not let them do anything, on either side – they will reconcile.”
In the very act of His speaking these words, I felt surrounded by sufferings as if by a garment, and I was unable to free myself by myself. I thought to myself: ‘What will the confessor say?’ But it was no longer in my power. That milk which Jesus had poured into me produced in me such love for Him, that I felt myself languishing; and I felt such satiety and sweetness, that after the confessor came and I came round from that state, and the family brought me food, I felt so full that the food would not go down. But in order to do the obedience, which wanted it so, I took a little bit, and immediately I was forced to bring it up – but mixed with that sweet milk that Jesus had given me. And Jesus, almost joking, told me: “What I gave you was not enough? You are not content yet?” I blushed all over, but immediately I said to Him: “What can I do? It’s the obedience.’
When the confessor came, he started to get upset, telling me that I was disobedient; or he would say to me: “This is an illness. If it were something from God, He would have made you obey. Therefore, instead of calling the confessor, you should call the doctors.” When he finished speaking, I told him everything that the Lord had said to me, as I said above, and he told me that it was true that there was a war between Africa and Italy. “We’ll see if nothing happens”. And so he was persuaded to letting me continue to suffer.
One day, after about four months, the confessor came and told me that news had arrived about the war between Africa and Italy, and that without doing any harm to each other, on both sides, they had reconciled. So the confessor remained more persuaded, and he let me stay there in peace.
Then, my sweet Jesus would do nothing but dispose me to that mystical marriage which He had promised me. When I was in that state, He would make Himself seen sometimes three times a day, sometimes four, as He pleased; and sometimes it was a continuous coming and going. He seemed to be a sweetheart who cannot be without his spouse. This is how Jesus was with me, and sometimes He reached the point of telling me: “You see, I love you so much that I cannot be without coming. I feel almost restless, thinking that you are there suffering for Me, and you are alone; therefore I have come to see if you need something.” And while saying this, He Himself would lift my head, He would place His arm behind my neck and would embrace me; and while holding me like that, He would kiss me, and if it was summertime and it was hot, He would send a refreshing breath from His mouth, or He would take something in His hand and fan me. And then He would ask me: “How are you feeling? Don’t you feel better?” I would say to Him: ‘Being with You, in whatever way, one is always fine.’
Other times, then, if He saw me very weak because of the continuous being in those sufferings, especially if the confessor was coming at night, my lover Jesus would come, and in seeing me in that state of extreme weakness – to the point that at times I felt myself dying – He would draw near me and from His mouth He would pour milk into mine, or He would place me close to His side, and from there I would suckle torrents of sweetnesses, of delights and of strength. And He would say to me: “I really want to be your everything, and also your nourishment – of the soul and of the body.” Who can say what I experienced, both in the soul and in the body, from these graces that Jesus would give me? If I wanted to tell them, I would be too long. I remember that, sometimes, when He would not come quickly, I would lament to Him, telling Him: ‘O please! oh! Holy Spouse, how could You make me wait so long – I could not endure any more, I felt myself dying without You.’ And while saying this, the pain I felt was so great that I would cry. And He would compassionate all of me; He would dry my tears, He would kiss me, He would hug me, and say: “I do not want you to cry. See, now I am with you – tell me what you want.” I would say to Him: ‘I want nothing but You, and only then will I stop crying, when You promise me You will not make me wait for so long.’ And He would say to me: “Yes, yes, I will make you content.”
One day, while we were in this contrast, and the pain was so great that I could not stop crying, my good Jesus told me: “I want to content you in everything. I feel so drawn toward you that I cannot do without doing what you want. If up until now I have removed from you the external life and I have manifested Myself to you, now I want to draw your soul to Me, so that, wherever I go, you may come as well. In this way, you will be able to enjoy Me more, and bind yourself to Me more intimately than you have done in the past.”
One morning – I don’t remember too well, but I think that about three months had passed of my continuously staying in bed – while I was in my usual state, my sweet Jesus came, with a look all lovable, as a young man of the age of about eighteen. Oh! how beautiful He was. With His golden hair, all curly, He seemed to enchain my thoughts, my affections, my heart. From His forehead, serene and spacious, one could admire the interior of His mind, as from within a crystal, and one could discover His infinite wisdom, His imperturbable peace. Oh! how I felt my mind, my heart, becoming serene; even more, before Jesus, my very passions are knocked down and do not dare to give me the slightest bother. I believe, I don’t know if I’m wrong, that one cannot see this Jesus, so beautiful, if one is not in the most profound calm; so much so, that the slightest breath of disturbance prevents one from receiving a sight so beautiful. Ah! yes, at just seeing the serenity of His adorable forehead, the infusion of peace that one receives in the interior is so great, that I believe that there is no disaster, or war most fierce, which does not appease itself before Jesus. Oh! my all and beautiful Jesus, if for the few moments You manifest Yourself in this life You communicate so much peace, in such a way that one can suffer the most painful martyrdoms, the most humiliating pains with the most perfect tranquillity – it seems to me a mixture of peace and of sorrow – what will it be like in Paradise? Oh! how beautiful are His most pure eyes, sparkling with light. It is not like the light of the sun, that if one wants to look at it, it hurts our sight – no; in Jesus, while it is light, one can very well fix one’s gaze on it, and by just looking at the interior of His pupil, of a dark sky-blue – oh! how many things they would tell me. The beauty of His eyes is such, that one alone of His gazes is enough to make me go outside of myself, and make me run after Him, by ways and by mountains, through the earth and through the heavens. One single glance is enough to transform me into Himself, and make me feel a certain something divine descend into me.
Who can tell, then, the beauty of His adorable Face? His white complexion looks like snow tinted with a color of roses, the most beautiful ones. In His rosy cheeks one discovers the greatness of His person, with a most majestic look, fully divine, which strikes fear and reverence, and at the same time it communicates such intimacy that, as for myself, I have never found anyone who would give me the least shadow of intimacy that my dear Jesus gives – neither my parents, nor the confessors, nor my sisters. Ah! yes, that Holy Face, while It is so majestic, It is also so lovable, and that loveliness attracts one so much, that the soul does not have the slightest doubt of being welcomed by Jesus, as ugly and sinful as she may see herself. Beautiful also is His nose, which descends to a very fine point, proportioned to His most sacred Face. Gracious is His mouth – small, but extremely beautiful, and His finest lips of a scarlet color; while He speaks, He contains such graciousness that it is impossible to describe it. Sweet is the voice of my Jesus, it is gentle, it is harmonious; while He speaks, such a fragrance comes out of His mouth, that it seems that nothing like it can be found on earth. It is so penetrating as to penetrate everywhere; one feels it descend from the hearing to the heart, and – oh! how many effects it produces. But who can say everything? Then, it is so pleasant, that I believe that no other pleasures can be found, as many as are those that one can find in one single word of Jesus. The voice of my Jesus is immensely powerful, it is operative, and in the very act in which He speaks, He already operates that which He says. Ah! yes, beautiful is His mouth, but it displays its beautiful grace more in the act of His speaking, while one can see those teeth so clear and so well arranged, and His breath of love comes out, igniting, darting through, consuming the heart. Beautiful are His hands, soft, white, most delicate, with those fingers so artfully crafted – and He moves them with such mastery, that it is an enchantment.
Oh! how beautiful You are – all beautiful, O my sweet Jesus! What I have said of your beauty is nothing; rather, it seems to me that I have said a lot of nonsense – but what can I do? Forgive me, it is obedience that wants it so. By myself, I would not have dared to say one word, knowing my insufficiency.
Now, while I was seeing Jesus in the appearance already described, He sent me a breath from His mouth, which invested all of my soul; and it seemed that, with that breath, Jesus was drawing me after Himself, and I began to feel my soul going out of my body. I really felt it go out from all parts – from my head, from my hands, and even from my feet. Since it was the first time that this was happening to me, within myself I began to say: ‘Now I die, the Lord has come to take me.’ When I saw myself out of the body, the soul had the same sensation of the body – with this difference: that the body contains flesh, nerves and bones, while the soul does not – it is a body of light. So I felt a fear within me, but Jesus continued to send me that breath, and told me: “If being deprived of Me gives you so much pain, now come together with Me, for I want to console you.” And so Jesus began His flight, and I began mine, after Him; and we went around through the whole vault of the heavens. Oh! how beautiful it was to stroll together with Jesus – now I would lean my head upon His shoulder, with one arm around His shoulders and the other hand in His hand; now Jesus would lean on me, when we reached certain places that were inundated more with iniquity. Oh! how my good Jesus suffered. I could see with more clarity the sufferings of His adorable Heart; I could see Him coming, almost faint, and I would say to Him: ‘Lean on me, and let me share in your pains, for my soul cannot bear seeing You suffer alone.’ And Jesus would say to me: “My beloved, help Me, for I can take no more.” And while saying this, He would draw His lips close to mine, and He would pour such bitterness that I would feel mortal pains when feeling that liqueur, so very bitter, enter into me. I would feel as if many knives, pricks, arrows were piercing me through. In sum, an atrocious torment would form in all of my members, and as the soul would go back into the body, it would make the body participate in these sufferings. Who can tell the pains? Jesus Himself, who was the witness of it, because others could not mitigate my pains, since I would be in that state of loss of consciousness, and they would wait for the time when the confessor would be present, because, then, they would mitigate also at the call of obedience. So, Jesus alone could help me when He would see that my nature could not take any more and reached truly the extremes – such that there was nothing left for me but to breathe my last. Oh! how many times death made fun of me; but the day will come when I will make fun of her.
So, Jesus would come, He would take me in His arms, He would draw me close to His Heart, and – oh! how I felt life come back to me. Then, He would pour a most sweet liqueur from His lips, and in this way the pains would mitigate. Other times, while He would take me around together with Him, if there were sins of blasphemy, against charity, and others, He would pour those poisonous bitters; if then there were sins of dishonesty, He would pour something of a stinking rottenness, and when I would return into myself, I could feel that stink so well, and the stench was such that it would revolt my stomach and I would feel faint. And sometimes, when taking food and, afterwards, when I would bring it up, I could feel that rot come out of my mouth, mixed with the food.
Sometimes, then, He would bring me into churches, and even there my good Jesus was offended. Oh! how awfully those works reached His Heart – holy works, yes, but done roughly; those prayers empty of interior spirit; that piety, false, apparent – it only seemed to give more insult than honor to Jesus. Ah! yes, that holy, pure, upright Heart could not receive those works, done so badly. Oh! how many times He lamented, saying: “Daughter, even from those people who are said to be devout, see how many offenses they give me – even in the holiest places. In receiving the very Sacraments, instead of coming out purified, they come out dirtier.” Ah! yes, how much pain it was for Jesus to see people receiving Communion sacrilegiously; priests celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in mortal sin, out of habit; and some – a horror to say it – even out of interest. Oh! how many times my Jesus made me see these scenes so painful. How many times, while the priest was celebrating the Sacrosanct Mystery, Jesus is forced to go into his hands, because He is called by the priestly authority. One could see those hands dripping with rot, blood, or smeared with mud. Oh! how pitiful then, was the state of Jesus, so holy, so pure, in those hands which struck horror at the mere sight. It seemed He wanted to escape from between those hands, but He was forced to stay until the species of bread and wine would be consumed.
Sometimes, while remaining there with the priest, He would come hurriedly toward me, all lamenting, and before I could say it, He Himself would say to me: “Daughter, let me pour it into you, for I can take no more. Have pity on my state, which is too painful – have patience, let us suffer together.” And while saying this, He would pour from His mouth into mine. But who can say what He poured? It seemed to be a bitter poison, a fetid rot, mixed with a food so hard, disgusting and nauseating, that sometimes it would not go down. Who can tell, then, the sufferings that this pouring of Jesus produced? If He Himself had not sustained me, I certainly would have died; yet, He would pour in me but the least part – what must it be for Jesus, who contained tons upon tons of it? Oh! how awful sin is! Ah! Lord, let everyone know it, so that all may flee from this monster so horrible. But while I would see these scenes so sorrowful, other times, He would also make me see scenes so consoling and beautiful as to be enrapturing; and this was to see good and holy priests celebrating the Sacrosanct Mysteries. Oh God! how high, great, sublime is their ministry. How beautiful it was to see the priest celebrating Mass, and Jesus transformed into him. It seemed that it was not the priest, but Jesus Himself that celebrated the Divine Sacrifice, and sometimes He would make the priest disappear completely, and Jesus alone would celebrate the Mass – and I would listen to Him. Oh! how touching it was to see Jesus recite those prayers, do all those ceremonies and movements that the priest does. Who can say how consoling it was for me to see these Masses together with Jesus? How many graces I received, how much light, how many things I comprehended! But since these are past things, I don’t remember them too clearly, so I keep silent.
But as I am saying this, Jesus has moved in my interior and has called me – He doesn’t want me to do so. Ah! Lord, how much patience it takes with You. Well then, I will content You. Oh! sweet Love, I will say a few little things, but give me your grace to be able to manifest them, because, by myself, I would not dare to utter one word about mysteries so profound and sublime.
Now, while seeing Jesus or the priest celebrating the Divine Sacrifice, Jesus would make me understand that in the Mass there is the whole depth of our sacrosanct religion. Ah! yes, the Mass tells us everything and speaks to us about everything. The Mass reminds us of our redemption; It speaks to us, step by step, of the pains that Jesus suffered for us; It also manifests to us His immense love, for He was not content with dying on the Cross, but He wanted to continue His state of victim in the Most Holy Eucharist. The Mass also tells us that our bodies, decayed, reduced to ashes by death, will rise again on the day of the judgment, together with Christ, to immortal and glorious life. Jesus made me comprehend that the most consoling thing for a Christian, and the highest and most sublime mysteries of our holy religion are: Jesus in the Sacrament and the resurrection of our bodies to glory. These are profound mysteries, which we will comprehend only beyond the stars; but Jesus in the Sacrament makes us almost touch them with our own hands, in different ways. First, His Resurrection; second, His state of annihilation under those species, though it is certain that Jesus is there present, alive and real. Then, once those species are consumed, His real presence no longer exists. And as the species are consecrated again, He comes again to assume His sacramental state. So, Jesus in the Sacrament reminds us of the resurrection of our bodies to glory: just as Jesus, when His sacramental state ceases, resides in the womb of God, His Father, the same for us – when our lives cease, our souls go to make their dwelling in Heaven, in the womb of God, while our bodies are consumed. So, it can be said that they will no longer exist; but then, with a prodigy of the omnipotence of God, our bodies will acquire new life, and uniting with the soul, will go together to enjoy the eternal beatitude. Can there be anything more consoling for a human heart than the fact that not only the soul, but also the body will delight in the eternal contentments? It seems to me that, on that day, it will happen as when the sky is starry and the sun comes out. What happens? The sun, with its immense light, absorbs the stars and makes them disappear; yet the stars exist. The sun is God, and all the blessed souls are stars; God, with His immense light, will absorb us all into Himself, in such a way that we will exist in God, and will swim in the immense sea of God. Oh! how many things Jesus in the Sacrament tells us; but who can say them all? Truly, I would be too long. If the Lord allows it, I will reserve saying something else on other occasions.
Now, in these exits that the Lord would make me do, sometimes He renewed to me the promise of the marriage, already mentioned. Who can say the ardent yearnings that the Lord infused in me for this mystical marriage to take place? Many times I would solicit Him, saying to Him: ‘Most sweet Spouse, hurry, no longer delay my intimate union with You. O please! let us bind each other with stronger bonds of love, in such a way that no one may ever again be able to separate us, even for simple instants.’ And Jesus would correct me now about one thing, now about another. I remember that one day He said to me: “Everything that is of the earth, everything – everything you must remove, not only from your heart, but also from your body. You cannot understand how harmful, and how great a hindrance to my love, are the slightest earthly shadows.” Immediately I said to Him: ‘If I have something else that must be removed, tell me, for I am ready to do it.’ But as I was saying this, I myself realized that I had a gold ring on my finger, portraying the image of the Crucifix. Immediately I said to Him: ‘Holy Spouse, do you want me to take it off?’ And He told me: “Since I Myself am going to give you a more precious, more beautiful ring, on which my image, vividly, will be impressed, and every time you will look at it, your heart will receive new arrows of love – so, this one is not necessary.” And I promptly took it off.
The longed-for day finally arrived, after not a little suffering. I remember that it was almost one year that I had been continuously in bed – it was the day of the purity of Mary Most Holy. On the night before that day, my lover Jesus made Himself seen all festive. He drew near me, took my heart in His hands, and He looked at it over and over again; He dusted it, and then He gave it back to me again. Then He took a garment of immense beauty – it seemed to me that its background was a layer of gold streaked with various colors – and He clothed me with that garment. Then He took two gems, as if they were earrings, and He bejeweled my ears. Then He adorned my neck and my arms, and surrounded my forehead with a crown of immense value, all enriched with precious stones and gems, all refulgent with light; and it seemed to me that those lights were as many voices that resounded among themselves, speaking in clear notes of the beauty, power, fortitude, and of all the other virtues of my Spouse Jesus. Who can say what I comprehended, and in what sea of consolation my soul was swimming? It is impossible to say it.
Now, while Jesus was crowning my forehead, He told me: “Most sweet spouse, I place this crown upon you so that nothing may be missing in order to make you worthy of being my spouse; but then, after our wedding is done, I will take it with Me to Heaven, to keep it for you at the moment of your death.” Finally, He took a veil and covered me completely with it, from head to foot; and He left me in that way. Ah! it seemed to me that in that veil there was a great meaning, because the demons, in seeing me all covered with that veil, were so frightened and had such fear of me, that they fled, terrified. The very Angels were around me with such veneration, that I myself was confounded and all full of blushing.
On the morning of the aforementioned day, Jesus made Himself seen again all affable, sweet and majestic, together with His Most Holy Mother and Saint Catherine. First, a hymn was sung by the Angels, while Saint Catherine assisted me, Mama took my hand, and Jesus put the ring on my finger. Then, we embraced and He kissed me, and so did Mama also. Then we had a conversation, all of love – Jesus told me of the great love He had for me, and I also told Him of the love I had for Him. The Most Holy Virgin made me comprehend the great grace I had received, and the correspondence with which I was to correspond to the love of Jesus.
My Spouse Jesus gave me new rules in order to live more perfectly, but since it has been a long time, I don’t remember them so well; therefore I will skip them. And so it ended, for that day.
Who can say the finesses of love that Jesus made to my soul? They were such and so many that it is impossible to describe them, but I will try to say the little I remember.
Sometimes, carrying me with Him, He would take me to Paradise, and there I could listen to the canticles of the Blessed, and I could see the Divinity, the different choirs of Angels, the orders of the Saints, all immersed in the Divinity of God – absorbed, identified with It. It seemed to me that there were many lights around the throne, as if they were more brilliant than the sun; and these lights displayed in clear notes all the virtues and the attributes of God. The Blessed, by reflecting themselves in one of these lights, remained enraptured, in such a way that they could not arrive at penetrating the whole immensity of that light, therefore they would move to a second light, without understanding all the depth of the first one. So, the Blessed in Heaven cannot comprehend God perfectly, because the immensity, the greatness, the sanctity of God is such, that a created mind cannot comprehend an uncreated Being. Now, it seemed to me that by reflecting themselves in these lights, the Blessed would come to participate in the virtues of these lights. So, in Heaven, the soul resembles God – with this difference: God is that immense Sun, while the soul is a little sun. But who can say all that can be understood in that blessed dwelling? While the soul is in this prison of the body, it is impossible; while one can feel something in the mind, the lips do not find the terms to be able to express it. It seems to me that it is like a child who begins to babble; he would like to say so many things, but in the end he remains without being able to say even one clear word. Therefore, I stop here, without going any further. I will only say that, sometimes, while finding myself in that blessed Fatherland, I would be strolling together with Jesus in the midst of the choirs of Angels and the Saints; and since I was newly-espoused, all the Blessed would unite together to participate in the joys of our marriage. It seemed to me that they would forget their own contentments to occupy themselves with our own; and sometimes Jesus would show me to the Saints, saying to them: “See this soul – she is a triumph of my love; my love has surpassed everything in her.”
Other times, then, He would have me put myself at the place that was destined for me, and He would say to me: “Here is your place – no one can take it away from you.” And at times I would reach the point of believing that I would no longer have to come back to earth; but in one simple instant I would find myself locked up in the wall of this body.
Who can say how so very bitter this returning would be for me? It seemed to me that, in going from the things of Heaven to the things of this earth, everything was rotten, insipid, bothering. The things that so much delighted others, were bitter for me. The people most dear, most distinguished, such that others would do – who knows what, in order to be with them, were indifferent to me, and also bothering; only by looking at them as images of God did I seem to be able to bear them. But my soul had lost any satisfaction; nothing would bring to it the slightest shadow of contentment, and the pain I felt was such, that I would do nothing but cry and lament to my beloved Jesus. Ah! my heart lived restless, amid continuous yearnings and desires; I felt it more in Heaven than on earth. I felt in my interior something that consumed me continuously, so bitter and painful it was for me having to continue to live. But the obedience almost put a brake on these pains of mine, commanding me in an absolute way not to desire to die, and that only then was I to die, when the confessor would give me the obedience. So, in order to do the holy obedience, I would do as much as I could so as not to think about it, since in my interior there was a continuous ejaculation of desires of wanting to go. So, for the most part, my heart calmed down, but not completely. I confess the truth, I was very deficient in this – but what could I do? I could not restrain myself – for me it was a true martyrdom. My benign Jesus would say to me: “Calm yourself, what is it that makes you desire Heaven so much?” I would say to Him: ‘It is that I want to be always united with You. My soul can no longer bear being separated from You – not just for one day, but even for a moment. Therefore I want to come at any cost.’ “Well then”, He would say to me, “If it is because of Me, I want to make you content – I will come and stay with you.” Then I would say to Him: ‘But then You leave me, and I lose sight of You, while in Heaven it is not so – there, I can never lose sight of You.’
Sometimes, Jesus also wanted to joke, and this is how: while I would be amid these yearnings, He would come, all in a hurry, and would say to me: “Do you want to come?” And I would say to Him: ‘Where?’ And He: “To Heaven.” And I: ‘You really mean that?’ And He: “But, hurry, come, do not delay.” And I: ‘Well then, let’s go – but I fear You want to make fun of me.’ And Jesus: “No, no, I really want to take you with Me.” And while He would say this, I would feel my soul go out of the body, and together with Jesus, I would set off for Heaven. Oh! how happy I would be then, thinking that I had to leave the earth – life seemed to be a sleep to me, and suffering seemed so very little. As we would reach a high point of Heaven, I would hear the singing that the Blessed were doing. I would solicit Jesus to introduce me quickly into that blessed dwelling, but Jesus would begin to slow down. In my interior I would start to suspect that it wasn’t true – ‘who knows’, I would say, ‘if this is not a joke that He has played on me?’ Every now and then, I would say to Him: ‘My Jesus, darling, hurry up.’ And He would say to me: “Wait a little longer – let us go down to the earth again. See, out there there is a sinner who is about to be lost. Let us go – who knows, he might convert. Let us pray together to the Eternal Father, that He may use mercy on him. Don’t you want him to be saved? Are you not ready to suffer any pain for the salvation of one soul alone?” And I: ‘Yes, anything You want me to suffer, I am ready, as long as You save him.’ So we would go to that sinner; we would try to convince him, we would place before his mind the most powerful reasons to make him surrender – but in vain. Then, all afflicted, Jesus would say to me: “My spouse, go back into your body once again, take upon yourself the pains destined to him; in this way, appeased, Divine Justice will be able to use mercy on him. You have seen it – words have not stirred him, and not even reasons; there is nothing left but pains, which are the most powerful means in order to satisfy Justice and to make the sinner surrender.” So He would bring me once again to my body. Who can say the sufferings that would come to me? Only the Lord knows, who has been the witness of it. After a few days, then, He would make me see that soul, converted and saved. Oh, how happy was Jesus – and I as well.
Who can say how many times Jesus played these jokes? When we would reach the point of entering, and sometimes even after having entered, He would now say that He had not let me have the obedience from the confessor, and therefore I should go back to the earth. I would say to Him: ‘As long as I was with the confessor, I was obliged to obey him, but now that I am with You, I am supposed to obey You, because You are the first of all.’ And Jesus would say to me: “No, no – I want you to obey the confessor.” So, not to make it too long, now with one pretext, now with another, He would make me go back to the earth.
Those jokes were very painful for me. It is enough to say that I rendered myself impertinent, so much so, that in order to chastise my impertinences, the Lord no longer allowed these jokes so often.
I had spent about three years in this state already described, continuing to remain in bed, when one morning Jesus made me understand that He wanted to renew the marriage – not on earth, as the first time, but in Heaven, in the presence of the whole Celestial Court, and that I should stay prepared for a grace so great. I did as much as I could in order to dispose myself, but since I am so miserable and insufficient to do any shadow of good, the hand of the Divine Maker was needed in order to dispose me, because, by myself, I would never manage to purify my soul.
One morning – it was the eve of the nativity of Mary Most Holy – my always benign Jesus came to dispose me Himself. He did nothing but come and go continuously; and He would speak to me now about Faith, and then He would leave me, and I would feel a life of faith being infused in my soul. As rough as I felt my soul before, at the speaking of Jesus, I would now feel it become very light, in such a way as to penetrate into God; and I would contemplate now His Power, now His Sanctity, now His Goodness, and so on. My soul would remain stupefied, and in a sea of stupefaction, I would say: ‘Powerful God, what power is not undone before You? Immense Sanctity of God, what other sanctity, as sublime as it might be, would dare to appear before You?’ Then I would feel myself descend into myself, and I could see my nothingness, the nonentity of earthly things, how everything is nothing before God. I would see myself as a little worm, all full of dust, climbing up in order to take a few steps, and such that it would take nothing to destroy me but someone who would trample me under foot – and I would be undone. So, seeing myself so ugly, I almost would not dare to go to God, but His Goodness would make itself present before my mind, and I would feel drawn, as though by a magnet, to go to Him. And I would say to myself: ‘If He is holy, He is also merciful; if He is powerful, He also contains full and highest Goodness within Himself.’ It seemed to me that Goodness surrounded Him on the outside and inundated Him from within. When I looked at the Goodness of God, it seemed to me that it surpassed all other attributes, but then, in looking at the others, I would see them all equal among themselves – immense, immeasurable and incomprehensible to the human nature. While my soul would be in this state, Jesus would come back and speak about Hope.
I remember something confusedly, because after so much time it is impossible to remember clearly; but in order to do the obedience that wants it so, I will say what I can.
So, going back to Faith, Jesus would say: “In order to obtain, one must believe. Just as for the head without the sight of the eyes, everything is darkness, everything is confusion, so much so, that if one wanted to walk, he would stumble now at one point, now at another, and would end up falling completely, the same for the soul without Faith – she does nothing but go from precipice to precipice. But Faith serves as the sight of the soul, and as the light which guides her to eternal life. Now, what is this light of Faith nourished by? By Hope. Now, what is the substance of this light of Faith, and of this nourishment of Hope? Charity. All three of these virtues are grafted to one another, in such a way that one cannot be without the other.
In fact, what good comes to man from believing in the immense riches of Faith, if he does not hope for them, for himself? He will look at them, yes, but with indifferent eye, because he knows that they are not his. But Hope provides the light of Faith with wings, and by hoping in the merits of Jesus Christ, he looks at them as his own, and he comes to love them.”
“Hope”, Jesus said, “provides the soul with a garment of fortitude, almost of iron, in such a way that all the enemies with their arrows cannot wound her; not only this, but they cannot cause even the slightest disturbance. Everything is tranquillity in her, everything is peace.” Oh! it is beautiful to see this soul invested with beautiful Hope, all cleaving to her Beloved, all distrustful of herself, and all trustful in God. She challenges the fiercest enemies; she is queen of her passions, she regulates all of her interior, her inclinations, the desires, the heartbeats, the thoughts, with such mastery that Jesus Himself remains enamored, because He sees that this soul operates with such courage and strength – but she draws it and hopes for it all from Him; so much so, that in seeing this firm hope, Jesus cannot deny anything to this soul.
Now, while Jesus would speak about Hope, He would withdraw for a little, leaving a light in my intellect. Who can say what I comprehended about Hope? If the other virtues all serve to embellish the soul, but can make us stagger and render us inconstant – Hope, instead, renders the soul firm and stable, like those high mountains which cannot be moved a tiny bit. It seems to me that it happens to the soul invested by Hope as to certain extremely high mountains, such that all the intemperances of the air cannot cause any harm to these mountains. Neither snow, nor winds, nor heat can penetrate into them; whatever thing might be placed at their top, one can be sure of finding there where it was put, even if a hundred years should pass. Just so is the soul clothed by Hope: nothing can harm her, neither tribulation, nor poverty; nor do all the various accidents of life dismay her for one instant. She says to herself: “I can do everything, I can bear everything, suffer everything – hoping in Jesus, who forms the object of all my hopes.”
Hope renders the soul almost omnipotent, invincible, and it administers to her the final perseverance, so much so, that only then does she cease to hope and to persevere, when she has taken possession of the Kingdom of Heaven. Then, she lays down Hope and plunges all of herself into the immense ocean of Divine Love.
While my soul would get lost in the immense sea of Hope, my beloved Jesus would come back and speak about Charity, telling me: “Faith and Hope give way to Charity, and Charity connects the whole of the other two together, in such a way as to make them one, while they are three. And here It is, oh my spouse, veiled in the three theological virtues, the Trinity of the Divine Persons.”
Then He continued: “If Faith makes one believe, and Hope makes one hope, Charity makes one love. If Faith is light and serves as the sight of the soul, and Hope, which is the nourishment of Faith, provides the soul with courage, peace, perseverance and all the rest – Charity, which is the substance of this light and of this nourishment, is like that most sweet and fragrant ointment which, penetrating everywhere, relieves and soothes the pains of life. Charity renders suffering sweet, and makes one reach the point of even desiring it. The soul who possesses Charity diffuses fragrance everywhere; her works, all done out of love, give off a most pleasant odor. And what is this odor? It is the odor of God Himself. The other virtues render the soul solitary and almost unrefined with creatures; Charity, on the other hand, being substance that unites, unites the hearts. But where? In God. Being a most fragrant ointment, Charity spreads everywhere and with everyone. Charity makes one suffer the most ruthless torments with joy, and one reaches the point of not being able to be without suffering. And when she sees herself without it, she says to her spouse Jesus: “Sustain me with the fruits, which is suffering, because I am languishing with love; and where else can I show You my love other than in suffering for You?” Charity burns, consumes all other things, even the virtues themselves, and converts them all into itself. In sum, it is like a queen who wants to reign everywhere, and does not want to surrender to anyone.”
Who can say what remained after this speaking of Jesus? I will only say that such yearning for suffering ignited within me – and not just yearning, but I feel as though an infusion in me, like something natural, so much so that, as for me, I believe that the greatest disgrace is to not suffer.
After this, on that morning, in order to dispose my heart more, Jesus spoke about the annihilation of myself. He also spoke of the immense desire which I was to excite within me in order to dispose myself to receive that grace. He told me that desire makes up for the lacks and imperfections that there may be in the soul; it is like a mantle that covers everything. But this was not a simple speaking – it was an infusing in me of what He was saying.
While my soul was exciting itself with ardent yearnings for receiving the grace that Jesus Himself wanted to give me, Jesus came back and transported me outside of myself, up to Paradise. And there, in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity and of the whole Celestial Court, He renewed the marriage. Jesus put out the ring, adorned with three precious stones – white, red and green – and He gave it to the Father, who blessed it and gave it back to the Son again. The Holy Spirit took my right hand and Jesus placed the ring on my ring finger. Then I was admitted to the kiss of all Three Divine Persons, and each of Them blessed me.
Who can say my confusion when I found myself before the Most Holy Trinity? I will just say that as soon as I found myself in Their presence, I fell flat to the ground, and I would have remained there if it wasn’t for Jesus, who encouraged me to go into Their presence, so great was the light, the sanctity of God. I am only saying this; the other things I will leave out, because I remember them confusedly.
After this, I remember that a few days passed and I received Communion. I lost consciousness, and I saw, present before me, the Most Holy Trinity whom I had seen in Heaven. I immediately prostrated myself at Their presence, I adored Them, I confessed my nothingness. I remember that I felt so sunken into myself that I did not dare to utter a single word, when a voice came out from Their midst, and said: “Do not fear, pluck up courage, We have come to confirm you as Our own, and to take possession of your heart.” While this voice was saying this, I saw that the Most Holy Trinity descended into my heart, and They took possession of it – and there They formed Their dwelling. Who can say the change that occurred in me? I felt divinized; it was no longer I who lived, but They were living in me. It seemed to me that my body was like a residence, and that the living God was residing in it, because I could feel, sensibly, Their real presence in my interior. I could hear Their voice clearly, coming out from within my interior and resounding in the ears of my body. It happened precisely as when there are people speaking inside a room, and their voices can be heard, clearly and distinctly, also outside.
From that moment on, I had no more need to go in search of Him somewhere else in order to find Him, but I could find Him there – inside my heart. And when sometimes He would hide and I would go in search of Jesus, wandering throughout heaven and earth, searching for my highest and only Good, while I would be in the heat of my tears, in the intensity of my yearnings, amid the unutterable pains of having lost Him, Jesus would come out from within my interior and say to me: “I am here with you, do not look for Me elsewhere.” Between the surprise and the contentment at having found Him, I would say to Him: ‘My Jesus, how is it – for the entire morning You made me go round and round in order to find You, and You are here? You could have told me at least, for I would not have gotten so worked up. My sweet Good, my dear Life, take a look at how tired I am, I feel I have no more strengths, I feel faint – O please! sustain me in your arms for I feel myself dying.’ And so Jesus would take me in His arms and would make me rest; and while resting, I would feel my strengths being restored.
Other times, in this hiding of Jesus and my going around in search of Him, when He would make Himself felt inside of me and then come out from within me, I would find not Jesus alone, but all Three Divine Persons – now in the form of three children, gracious and immensely beautiful, now with one single body and three distinct heads, but resembling one another, all three of them attractive.
Who can say my contentment? Especially when I would see the three children, and I could hold all three of them in my arms. I would kiss now one, now another, and receive their kisses; now one would lean on my shoulder, another on the other shoulder, and another would remain in front of me. And while delighting in them, I would go about looking at them and, to my amazement, from three I would find one.
Another amazement for me, when I would be with these three children, was that each one would weigh as much as the three of them together. I would feel as much love for one of these children, as for all three of them together; each one of them attracted me in the same way.
In order to finish speaking about these marriages, I had to skip over a few things, for I was following the thread; and now I will tell them.
Going back to the beginning, when Jesus would deign to come, He would speak to me very often about His Passion, and would take care of disposing my soul to the imitation of His Life and of His pains, telling me that, in addition to the marriage which is mentioned above, we had one more left to do – and this was the marriage of the cross.
I remember that He would say: “My spouse, the virtues become weak if they are not strengthened and fortified by the grafting of the cross. Before my coming upon earth, pains, confusions, disgraces, calumnies, sufferings, poverty, illnesses, and especially the cross, were all considered as opprobrium; but from the moment they were borne by Me, they were all sanctified and divinized by my contact. So, they all changed their appearance, becoming sweet, pleasant, and the soul who has the good of having some of them, receives honor – and this, because she has received the vestment of Me, Son of God. Only those who look and stop at the cortex of the cross experience the opposite; finding it bitter, they are disgusted by it, they complain, as if someone had done wrong to them. But those who penetrate inside of it, finding it enjoyable, form their happiness in it. My beloved daughter, I yearn for nothing else but to crucify you, body and soul.”
And while He would say this, I would feel such infusion of yearnings to be crucified with Jesus Christ, that I would often repeat: ‘My Jesus, my Love, hurry – crucify me with You.’ And when He would come back, the first petitions I would make to Him, which seemed to be the most important to me, were these: sorrow for my sins, and the grace to be crucified with Him. It seemed to me that if I obtained this, I would obtain everything.
Then, one morning, my most loving Jesus made Himself present before me in the form of the Crucified, and He told me that He wanted to crucify me with Him. As He was saying this, I saw that rays of light were coming out from His most holy wounds, and within those rays, nails, coming toward me. At that moment, I don’t know why, though I desired so much to be crucified by Him as to feel consumed, I was caught by a great fear that made me tremble from head to foot. I felt such annihilation of myself, I saw myself so unworthy to receive that grace, that I did not dare to say: ‘Lord, crucify me with You.’ Jesus seemed to be suspended, waiting for my will. Who can say how ardently I desired it in my inmost soul, though, at the same time, I saw myself unworthy? My nature was frightened, and trembled.
But while I was in this state, my beloved Jesus, through the intellect, solicited me to accept. Then, with all my heart I said to Him: ‘Holy Spouse, crucified for me, I pray You to concede me the grace to be crucified, and, at the same time, not to let any external sign appear on the outside. Yes, give me suffering, give me the wounds, but let everything be hidden between me and You.’
And so those rays of light, together with the nails, pierced my hands and feet through, and my heart was pierced by a ray of light together with a lance. Who can say the pain and the contentment? As much as I had been caught by fear before, so much did my soul swim in the sea of peace, of contentment and of pain afterwards. The pain I felt in the hands, in the feet and in the heart was so great, that I felt myself dying; I felt the bones of my hands and feet being shattered into most tiny pieces. I felt as if there was a nail inside, but at the same time, they caused me such contentment that I cannot express it, and gave me such strength, that while I felt myself dying because of the pain, those very pains sustained me so that I would not die. However, nothing appeared on the external parts of the body, though I felt the pains corporally. This is so true, that when the confessor would come to call me to obedience and would loosen my hands, which were contracted, every time he would touch me at that point of my hands – that is, there where that ray of light had gone through together with the nail – I would feel mortal pains. However, when the confessor would command, by obedience, that those pains should cease, they would very much mitigate. In fact, those pains were so strong, that they made me lose consciousness, and if they had not mitigated at the call of obedience, I would hardly have been able to obey. Oh! prodigy of holy obedience – you have been everything for me. How many times I found myself clashing with death, so great was the intensity of the pains – and obedience has almost restored my life. May the Lord be always blessed; may everything be for His glory.
Now, while feeling myself inside myself, I could not see anything; but when I would lose consciousness, I could see the points marked by the wounds of Jesus. It seemed to me that the very wounds of Jesus had been transmuted in my hands, and in the rest; and this was the first time that Jesus crucified me. Indeed, there have been so many of these crucifixions that it is impossible to count them all. I will just say the main things pertaining to this.
Now, as Jesus would come back, I would say to Him: ‘My dear Beloved, give me sorrow for my sins, so that, consumed by sorrow and by regret for having offended You, my sins may be erased from my soul, and also from your memory. Yes, give me as much sorrow for as much as I have dared to offend You. Even more, let sorrow surpass this, so I will be able to draw more intimately close to You.’
I remember that once, while I was saying this, my always benign Jesus told me: “Since you are so sorry for having offended Me, I Myself want to dispose you to feel sorrow for your sins, so that you may see how awful sin is, and what bitter pain my Heart suffered. Therefore, say together with Me: ‘If I cross the sea, You are in the sea, yet I do not see You; I tread the earth, You are under my feet. I sinned’.” And then, in a low voice, almost crying, Jesus added: “Yet I loved you, and at that very moment, I preserved you.” While Jesus was saying this, and I together with Him, I was caught by such sorrow for the offenses given, that I fell flat to the ground; and Jesus disappeared.
Few are those words, but I understood so many things, that it is impossible to say all that I comprehended. In the first words I comprehended the immensity, the greatness, the presence of God in each existing thing, such that not even a shadow of our thought can escape Him. I also comprehended my nothingness compared to a Majesty so great and holy. In the word “I sinned”, I comprehended the ugliness of sin, the malice, the daring I had had in offending Him. Now, while my soul was considering this, in hearing Jesus Christ say “Yet I loved you, and at that very moment, I preserved you”, my heart was taken by such sorrow, that I felt myself dying, because I could comprehend the immense love that the Lord had for me in the very act in which I tried to offend Him, and even to kill Him. Ah Lord, how good You have been with me, and I – always ungrateful, and still so bad.
I remember that it was an alternation – every time He would deign to come, I would ask Him now for sorrow of my sins, and now for the crucifixion, and also for other things. One morning, while I was in my usual sufferings, my dear Jesus transported me outside of myself and showed me a man who had been killed by shots of a revolver, and who was then breathing his last and going to hell. Oh! how much pain it was for Jesus the loss of that soul. If the whole world knew how much Jesus suffers for the loss of souls, they would use all possible means so as not to become lost eternally – I am not saying for themselves, but at least to spare our Lord that pain. Now, while I was in the midst of the bullets together with Jesus, Jesus drew His lips close to my ears, and told me: “My daughter, do you want to offer yourself as victim for the salvation of this soul, and take upon yourself the pains which he deserves because of his most grave sins?” And I answered: ‘Lord, I am ready, as long as You save him and restore his life.’ Who can tell the sufferings that came to me? They were such and so many, that I myself I don’t know how life did not leave me.
Now, as I had been in that state of sufferings for more than one hour, my confessor came to call me to obedience; and because I was in great suffering, I could hardly obey. So he asked me the reason for such a state, and I told him the fact, as I have described it above, telling him the place in town where it seemed to me that it had happened. The confessor told me that it was true, but that they thought he was dead. However, then it became known that he was very ill, but little by little he recovered, and he is still alive. May the Lord be always blessed.
I remember that, as I continued to ask for the crucifixion and Jesus would transport me outside of myself, He would take me to the holy sites of Jerusalem where our Lord suffered His sorrowful Passion, and there we encountered many crosses. My beloved Jesus would say to me: “If you knew what good the cross contains within itself, how precious it renders the soul, what a gem of inestimable value one acquires, who has the good of possessing sufferings…. It is enough to tell you only that, in coming upon earth, I did not choose riches or pleasures, but I cherished as dear and intimate sisters, the cross, poverty, sufferings, ignominies.” While saying this, He would show such taste, such joy for suffering, that those words pierced my heart through like many burning arrows, to the point that I would feel life leaving me if the Lord would not concede me suffering. And with as much voice and strength as I had, I would do nothing but say: ‘Holy Spouse, give me suffering, give me crosses. From this alone will I know that You love me – if You content me with crosses and with sufferings.’ And so I would take one of the largest crosses that I saw, I would lay myself upon it, and I would pray Jesus to come and crucify me. And He would be so good as to take my hand and begin to pierce it with the nail. From time to time, blessed Jesus would ask me: “Does it hurt very much? Do you want Me to stop?” And I: ‘No, no, my Beloved, continue. It hurts, yes, but I am happy.’ And I had such fear that He might not finish crucifying me, that I would do nothing but tell Him: ‘Hurry, oh Jesus! Hurry, don’t make it so long.’ But – no, when the time would come to nail the other hand, the arms of the cross would be too short, while before they seemed to be long enough to make it. Who can say how mortified I would remain?
This happened many times, and sometimes if the arms were fine, the length of the cross was not enough for me to be able to extend my feet. In a word, something had to be missing so that the crucifixion could not be completed. Who can say the bitterness of my soul and the laments I made to our Lord, for He would not concede me true suffering? I would say to Him: ‘My Beloved, everything ends in a joke. You used to tell me that You would take me to Heaven, and then You made me come back to earth. Now You tell me that You must crucify me, and we never get to the complete crucifixion.’ And Jesus, again, would promise me that He would crucify me.
September 14, 1899
One morning – it was the day of the Exaltation of the Cross – my sweet Jesus transported me to the holy sites; and first, He told me many things about the virtue of the cross. I don’t remember everything – just a few things: “My beloved, do you want to be beautiful? The cross will give you the most beautiful features that can possibly be found, both in Heaven and on earth; so much so, as to enamor God, who contains all beauties within Himself.”
Jesus continued: “Do you want to be filled with immense riches – not for a short time, but for all eternity? Well then, the cross will administer to you all kinds of riches – from the littlest pennies, which are the small crosses, up to the greatest amounts, which are the heavier crosses. Yet, men are so greedy to earn a temporal nickel, which they will soon have to leave, but do not give a thought to earning one eternal penny. And when I, having compassion for them, in seeing their carelessness for all that regards eternity, kindly offer them the opportunity – instead of cherishing it, they get angry and offend Me. What human madness – it seems that they understand it upside down. My beloved, in the cross are all the triumphs, all the victories, and the greatest gains. As for you, you must have no other aim than the cross, and this will be enough for you, in everything. Today I want to make you content; that cross which until now has not been enough to lay you on and crucify you completely, is the cross that you have carried up to now. But since I have to crucify you completely, you need Me to let descend new crosses upon you. So, the cross you have had until now, I will bring to Heaven, to show it to the whole Celestial Court as pledge of your love, and I will make another one, larger, descend from Heaven, to be able to satisfy the ardent desires which I have upon you.”
While Jesus was saying this, that cross which I had seen the other times made itself present before me. I took it and I laid myself upon it. As I was in this way, the Heavens opened and Saint John the Evangelist came down, carrying the cross that Jesus had indicated to me; the Queen Mother and many Angels also came down. When they arrived near me, they lifted me from that cross and placed me on the one which they had brought me, which was much larger. Then, an Angel took the cross I had before and took it to Heaven with him. After this, with His own hand, Jesus began to nail me to that cross; Queen Mama assisted me, while the Angels and Saint John were handing the nails. My sweet Jesus showed such contentment, such joy in crucifying me, that just to be able to give that contentment to Jesus, I would have suffered not only the cross, but yet more pains. Ah! it seemed to me that Heaven was making new feast for me, in seeing the contentment of Jesus. Many souls were freed from Purgatory and took flight toward Heaven, and quite a few sinners were converted, because my Divine Spouse let everyone participate in the good of my sufferings. Who can tell, then, the intense pains I felt in being stretched very well over the cross, and my hands and feet being pierced through with the nails? But especially the feet – the atrocity of the pains was such that they cannot be described. When they finished crucifying me and I felt I was swimming in the sea of pains and sufferings, Queen Mama said to Jesus: “My Son, today is a day of grace – I want You to let her share in all your pains. There is nothing left but for You to pierce her heart through with the lance, and to renew for her the crown of thorns.” So, Jesus Himself took the lance and pierced my heart through; the Angels took a crown of thorns, well thickened, and handed it to the Most Holy Virgin – and She Herself drove it into my head.
What a memorable day that was for me – of sufferings, yes, and of contentments; of unspeakable pains, but also of joy. It is enough to say that the intensity of the pains was so great, that for that entire day Jesus did not move from my side, to sustain my nature that was failing at the liveliness of the pains. Those souls from Purgatory who had flown up to Heaven, descended together with the Angels and surrounded my bed, cheering me with their canticles, and thanking me affectionately because through my sufferings I had freed them from those pains.
It happened, then, that after five or six days of those intense pains, to my great disappointment those pains began to diminish, and so I would solicit my beloved Jesus to renew for me the crucifixion. And He, sometimes quickly, and sometimes with some delay, would be pleased to transport me to the holy sites and to let me share in the pains of His Sorrowful Passion – now the crown of thorns, now the scourging, now the carrying of the cross to Calvary, now the crucifixion; sometimes one mystery per day, and sometimes everything in one day, according to His liking. And this was of highest pain and contentment for my soul. But it would become very bitter for me when the scene would change, and instead of I being the one who suffered, I would be the spectator, watching most loving Jesus suffer the pains of His Sorrowful Passion. Ah! how many times I found myself in the midst of the Jews together with Queen Mama, seeing my beloved Jesus suffer. Ah! yes, it is yet true that it is easier for one to suffer oneself, than to see the beloved suffer.
Other times, I remember that, in renewing these crucifixions, my sweet Jesus said to me: “My beloved, the cross allows one to distinguish the reprobates from the predestined. Just as, on the Day of Judgment, the good will rejoice upon seeing the cross, so even now it can be seen whether one will be saved or lost. If, as the cross presents itself to the soul, she embraces it, carries it with resignation, with patience, and she kisses and thanks that hand which is sending it – here is the sign that she is saved. If, on the contrary, as the cross is presented to her, she gets irritated, despises it, and even reaches the point of offending Me – you can say that that’s a sign that the soul is heading on the way to hell. So will the reprobates do on the Day of Judgment: upon seeing the cross, they will grieve and curse. The cross tells everything; the cross is a book that, without deception and in clear notes, tells you and allows you to distinguish the saint from the sinner, the perfect from the imperfect, the fervent from the lukewarm. The cross communicates such light to the soul that, even now, it allows one to distinguish not only the good from the evil, but also those who are to be more or less glorious in Heaven – those who are to occupy a higher or a lower place. All other virtues remain humble and reverent before the virtue of the cross, and grafting themselves to it, they receive greater glory and splendor.”
Who can say what flames of ardent desires this speaking of Jesus would cast into my heart? I felt devoured by hunger for suffering, and in order to satisfy my yearnings – or rather, to better say it, in order to satisfy that which He Himself infused in me – He would renew for me the crucifixion.
I remember that sometimes, after renewing these crucifixions, He would say to me: “Beloved of my Heart, I ardently desire not only to crucify your soul and to communicate the pains of the cross to your body, but also to mark your body with the mark of my wounds; and I want to teach you the prayer in order to obtain this grace. This is the prayer: ‘I present myself before the supreme throne of God, bathed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, praying Him, by the merit of His most luminous virtues and of His Divinity, to concede me the grace to be crucified’.”
However, I have always had an aversion for anything that might appear externally – and I still do – but in the act in which Jesus was saying that, I would feel such yearnings being infused in me to satisfy the desire that He Himself was expressing, that I would yet dare to ask Jesus to crucify me in the soul and in the body. And sometimes I would say to Him: “Holy Spouse, I would rather not have external things; and if sometimes I dare to ask for that, it is because You Yourself tell me to, and also to give a sign to the confessor that it is You who operates in me. But for the rest, I would like nothing other than for those pains, which You make me suffer when You renew the crucifixion, to be permanent; I would rather not have that diminution after some time. This alone is enough for me. As for the outward appearance, the more You can keep me hidden, the more You will make me content.’
I remember confusedly that, when I would be with Our Lord, I would often ask for sorrow for my sins and for the grace to be forgiven of all the evil I had done; and at times I reached the point of saying that only then would I be content, when I would hear Him say, from His own lips: “I remit all your sins.” And blessed Jesus, who can deny nothing when it is for our good, one morning made Himself seen and told me: “This time I Myself want to do the office of Confessor. You will confess all your sins to Me, and in the act in which you do this, I will make you comprehend, one by one, the sorrows you have given to my Heart in offending Me, so that, by comprehending what sin is, as much as it is possible for a creature, you may be resolved to die rather than to offend Me. You, in the meantime, enter into your nothingness, and recite the Confiteor.”
On entering into myself, I could see all my misery and my wicked deeds, and I trembled like a leaf before His presence. I lacked the strength to pronounce the words of the Confiteor, and if the Lord had not infused new strength in me, by telling me: “Do not fear – if I am the Judge, I am also your Father. Courage, let us proceed”, I would have remained there, without uttering one word.
So I said the Confiteor, all full of confusion and humiliation, and since I saw myself all covered with my sins, at one glance, I saw that the greatest one, which had given affront to Our Lord, was pride. So I said: ‘Lord, before your presence, I accuse myself of the sin of pride.’ And He: “Draw near my Heart, and place your ear upon It – you will hear the cruel torment that you have caused my Heart with this sin.” All trembling, I placed my ear upon His adorable Heart – but who can say what I heard and comprehended in that instant? Especially now, after so much time, I will only say something confusedly. I remember that His Heart was beating so strongly, that it seemed that His breast was going to crack. Then it seemed to me that It was torn to shreds, and was almost destroyed because of the pain. Ah! if I could have, I would have reached the point of destroying the Divine Being with pride.
I will give you a simile in order to make myself understood, otherwise I have no words to express myself. Imagine a king, and at the feet of this king, a worm, which, rising and swelling up, begins to think it is something, and reaches such audacity, that rising, little by little, it reaches the head of the king and wants to remove the crown from him to put it on its own head. Then it strips him of his royal vestments; then it throws him off his throne, and finally, it tries to kill him. But what’s more about this worm, is that it itself does not know its own being, so much it deceives itself, and that in order to get rid of it, it would take the king nothing but to put it under his feet and crush it – and so end its days. This, truly, would move one to indignation and to pity, as well as to ridicule the pride of this worm, if it could do such a thing. So did I see myself before God, and this filled me with such confusion and sorrow, that I felt, being renewed in my heart, the torment that blessed Jesus suffered.
After this, He left me, and I felt such pain, comprehending how so ugly this sin of pride is, that it is impossible to describe it. After I ruminated all this thoroughly within myself, my good Jesus came back and told me to continue the confession of my sins. And I, all trembling, continued to make the accusation of my thoughts, words, works, causes and omissions; and when He would see that I was unable to continue the confession because of the pain I felt at having offended Him so much… in fact, I had such a vivid clarity, being in front of that Divine Sun; especially, I could see the smallness, the nonentity of my being, and I was stunned at how I could have such cheek – where had I taken that boldness to offend a God so good, who, in the very act in which I was offending Him, assisted me, preserved me, nourished me; and if He had any rancor with me, it was for the sin I committed, which He greatly hated, while He loved me immensely, He excused me before Divine Justice, and was all occupied with removing that wall of division, which sin had produced between the soul and God. Oh! if all could see who God is, and who the soul is in the act of sinning, all would die of sorrow, and I believe that sin would be exiled from the earth. So, when blessed Jesus would see that I could not take any more because of the pain, He would withdraw and leave me, to allow me to comprehend well the evil I had done. And then He would come back again, and I would continue the accusation of my sins.
But who can say all that I understood, and explain, one by one, the different affronts and the special sorrows which I had caused Our Lord with my sins? I feel it is almost impossible for me to explain myself – also because I don’t remember it too well.
Then, when I finished the accusation, which lasted about seven hours, lovable Jesus took the aspect of most loving Father. And since I was exhausted in my strengths because of the sorrow – more so, since I saw that that sorrow was not enough to be sorry as it befitted my sins – to encourage me, He told me: “I Myself want to make up for you, and I apply to your soul the merit of the pain I had in the Garden of Gethsemani. This alone can satisfy the Divine Justice.” After He applied His pain to my soul, then I seemed to be disposed to receive the absolution.
All humbled and confounded as I was, prostrated at the feet of the good Father Jesus, through the rays He was sending into my mind, I tried to excite myself more to sorrow by saying – though I don’t remember everything: ‘Great, immense, has been the evil I have done against You. These powers of mine and these senses of my body were meant to be as many tongues with which to praise You. Ah! instead, they have been like many poisonous vipers which were biting You and were even trying to kill You. But, Holy Father, forgive me – do not want to cast me away because of the great wrong I have done to You by sinning.’
And Jesus: “And you – do you promise to sin no more, and to banish from your heart any shadow of evil that might offend your Creator?”
And I: ‘Ah! yes, with all my heart I promise You. I would die a thousand times rather than sin again. Never again, never again.’
And Jesus: “And I forgive you, and I apply to your soul the merits of my Passion, and I want to wash it in my Blood.”
And as He was saying this, He raised His blessed right hand and pronounced the words of the absolution – exactly like the words that the priest says, when he gives absolution. And in the act of doing this, a river of Blood poured down from His hand, and my soul remained completely inundated by It.
After this, He said to me: “Come, oh daughter, come to make penance for your sins by kissing my wounds.”
All trembling, I stood up and I kissed His most sacred wounds; and then He said to me: “My daughter, be more vigilant and attentive, because today I give you the grace not to fall, ever again, into voluntary venial sin.”
Then He gave me other exhortations, which I don’t remember too well; and He disappeared.
Who can say the effects of this confession made to Our Lord? I felt all soaked with grace, and it made such an impression on me, that I cannot forget it. And every time I remember it, I feel a shiver run through my bones, and also taken by horror in thinking of what my correspondence is to so many graces that the Lord has given me.
The Lord deigned other times to give me the absolution Himself. Sometimes He would take the form of the priest, and I would confess as if to the priest, although I would feel different effects; and then, once it was finished, He would reveal Himself as Jesus; and sometimes He would come unveiled, making Himself recognized as Jesus from the beginning. At times He would also take the form of the confessor, so much so, that I believed I was speaking with him, telling him all my fears, my doubts; but from the way He had of answering me, from the gentleness of the voice, alternating between that of the confessor and that of Jesus, from His lovable trait and from the interior effects, I would discover that it was Him. Ah! if I wanted to say everything about these things, I would be too long, therefore I finish, and I stop here.
I remember that there was another war between Africa and Italy, and one day, about nine months earlier, blessed Jesus transported me outside of myself and showed me a very long road, filled with human flesh immersed in blood, which inundated that road like rivers. It was horrifying to see those cadavers exposed to the open air, without anyone to bury them.
All frightened, I said to Our Lord: ‘What is this?’
And He: “Next year there will be a war. They use the flesh to offend Me, and I, on their flesh, want to make my just vengeances.” He said other things but the long time passed does not allow me to remember.
Now, it happened that, after that period of time, news began to spread that there was a war between Africa and Italy. I prayed good Jesus to spare so many victims, and to have pity on so many souls who were going to hell.
One morning, according to the usual way, He transported me outside of myself, and I saw that almost all people were convinced that Italy was going to win. I seemed to find myself in Rome, and I could see the deputies in council among themselves on how they should carry on the war to be sure that Italy would win. They were so swollen with themselves as to arouse pity. But what impressed me the most was to see that almost all these people were sectarians – souls sold to the devil. What sad times! It really seemed that the satanic reign was reigning, and instead of placing their trust in God, they were placing it in the devil. Now, while they were in council, my blessed Jesus told me: “Let us go hear what they are saying among themselves.” It seemed I was entering their circle together with Him. Jesus was strolling through their midst, shedding tears over their miserable state. When they finished their council about the way to proceed, boasting of being sure about the victory, Jesus turned to them and, threatening them, said: “You rely on yourselves, and therefore I will humiliate you. This time Italy will lose.”
Now, in order to obey, I will resume what I left on page 6 of this 1st volume – that is, the Novena of Holy Christmas.
As I moved on from the second meditation to the third, an interior voice told me: “My daughter, place your head upon the womb of my Mama, and look deep into it at my little Humanity. My love devoured Me; the fires, the oceans, the immense seas of love of my Divinity inundated Me, burned Me to ashes, and sent their flames so high as to rise and reach everywhere – all generations, from the first to the last man. My little Humanity was devoured in the midst of such flames; but do you know what my eternal love wants Me to devour? Ah! Souls! And only then was I content, when I devoured them all, remaining conceived with Me. I was God, I was to operate as God – I had to take them all. My love would have given Me no peace, had I excluded any of them. Ah! my daughter, look well into the womb of my Mama; fix well your eyes on my conceived Humanity, and you will find your soul conceived with Me, and the flames of my love that devoured you. Oh! how much I loved you, and I love you!”
I felt dissolved in the midst of so much love, nor was I able to go out of it; but a voice called me loudly, saying to me: “My daughter, this is nothing yet; draw closer to Me, and give your hands to my dear Mama, that She may hold you tightly upon her maternal womb. And you, take another look at my little conceived Humanity, and watch the fourth excess of my love.”
4 – “My daughter, from the devouring love, move on to look at my operative love. Each conceived soul brought Me the burden of her sins, of her weaknesses and passions, and my love commanded Me to take the burden of each one of them; and it conceived not only the souls, but the pains of each one, the satisfactions which each of them was to give to my Celestial Father. So, my Passion was conceived together with Me. Look well at Me in the womb of my Celestial Mama. Oh! how tortured was my little Humanity. Look well at how my tiny little head is surrounded by a crown of thorns, which, pressed tightly around my temples, made rivers of tears pour out from my eyes; nor was I able to move in order to dry them. O please! be moved to compassion for Me, dry my eyes from so much crying – you, who have free arms to be able to do it. These thorns are the crown of the so many evil thoughts that crowd the human minds. Oh! how they prick Me, more than the thorns which the earth germinates. But, look again – what a long crucifixion of nine months. I could not move a finger or a hand or a foot – I was here, always immobile; there was no room to be able to move even a tiny bit. What a long and hard crucifixion, with the addition that all evil works, taking the form of nails, repeatedly pierced my hands and feet through.” And so He continued to narrate to me pains upon pains – all the martyrdoms of His little Humanity, such that, if I wanted to tell them all, I would be too long.
So I abandoned myself to crying, and I heard in my interior: “My daughter, I would like to hug you, but I am unable to do so – there is no room, I am immobile, I cannot do it. I would like to come to you, but I am unable to walk. For now, you hug Me and you come to Me; then, when I come out of the maternal womb, I will come to you.” But as I hugged Him and squeezed Him tightly to my heart with my imagination, an interior voice told me: “Enough for now, my daughter; move on to consider the fifth excess of my love.”
5 – And the interior voice continued: “My daughter, do not move away from Me, do not leave Me alone; my love wants your company – another excess of my love, which does not want to be alone. But do you know whose company it wants? That of the creature. See, in the womb of my Mama, all creatures are together with Me – conceived together with Me. I am with them, all love; I want to tell them how much I love them, I want to speak with them to tell them of my joys and sorrows – that I have come into their midst to make them happy, to console them; that I will remain in their midst as a little brother of theirs, giving all my goods, my Kingdom, to each one of them at the cost of my life. I want to give them my kisses, my caresses; I want to amuse Myself with them, but – ah! how many sorrows they give Me! Some run away from Me, some play deaf and force Me into silence; some despise my goods and do not care about my Kingdom, and they requite my kisses and caresses with indifference and obliviousness of Me; and they convert my amusement into bitter crying. Oh! how lonely I am, though in the midst of many. Oh! how loneliness weighs upon Me. I have no one to whom to say a word, with whom to pour Myself out – not even in love. I am always sad and taciturn, because if I speak, I am not listened to. Ah! my daughter, I beg you, I implore you, do not leave Me alone in so much loneliness; give Me the good of letting Me speak by listening to Me; lend your ear to my teachings. I am the master of masters. How many things do I want to teach you! If you listen to Me, you will stop my crying, and I will amuse Myself with you. Don’t you want to amuse yourself with Me?”
And as I abandoned myself in Him, compassionating Him in His loneliness, the interior voice continued: “Enough, enough; move on to consider the sixth excess of my love.”
6 – “My daughter, come, pray my dear Mama to make a little space for you in her maternal womb, that you yourself may see the painful state in which I find Myself.” So, with my thought, it seemed to me that our Queen Mama made me a little room to make Jesus content, and placed me inside. But the darkness was such that I could not see Him – I could only hear His breathing; and He continued to say in my interior: “My daughter, look at another excess of my love. I am the eternal light; the sun is a shadow of my light. But do you see where my love led Me – in what a dark prison I am? There is not a glimmer of light; it is always night for Me – but night without stars, without rest. I am always awake – what pain! The narrowness of the prison – without being able to make the slightest movement; the thick darkness; even my breathing, as I breathe through the breath of my Mama – oh! how labored it is. To this, add the darkness of the sins of creatures. Each sin was a night for Me, and combining together, they formed an abyss of darkness, with no boundaries. What pain! Oh, excess of my love – making Me pass from an immensity of light, of space, into an abyss of thick darkness, and of such narrowness that I even lacked the freedom to breathe; and all this, for love of creatures.”
As He was saying this, He moaned, with moans almost suffocated because of the lack of space; and He cried. I was consumed with crying. I thanked Him, I compassionated Him; I wanted to make Him a little bit of light with my love, as He told me to. But who can say everything? Then, the same interior voice added: “Enough for now; move on to the seventh excess of my love.”
7 – The interior voice continued: “My daughter, do not leave Me alone in so much loneliness and in so much darkness. Do not go out of the womb of my Mama, to watch the seventh excess of my love. Listen to Me: in the womb of my Celestial Father I was fully happy; there was no good which I did not possess; joy, happiness – everything was at my disposal. The Angels adored Me reverently, hanging upon my every wish. Ah! excess of my love. I could say that it made Me change my destiny; it restrained Me within this gloomy prison; it stripped Me of all my joys, happinesses and goods, to clothe Me with all the unhappinesses of creatures – and all this in order to make an exchange, to give my destiny, my joys and my eternal happiness to them. But this would have been nothing had I not found in them highest ingratitude and obstinate perfidy. Oh! how my eternal love was surprised in the face of so much ingratitude, and cried over the obstinacy and perfidy of man. Ingratitude was the sharpest thorn that pierced my heart, from my conception up to the last moment of my life. Look at my little heart – it is wounded, and pours out blood. What pain! What torture I feel! My daughter, do not be ungrateful to Me. Ingratitude is the hardest pain for your Jesus; it is to close the doors in my face, leaving Me numb with cold. But my love did not stop at so much ingratitude; it took the attitude of supplicating, imploring, moaning and begging love. This is the eighth excess of my love.”
8 – “My daughter, do not leave Me alone; place your head upon the womb of my dear Mama, for even from the outside you will hear my moans, my supplications. In seeing that neither my moans nor my supplications move the creature to compassion for my love, I assume the attitude of the poorest of beggars; and stretching out my tiny little hand, I ask – for pity’s sake, at least as alms – for their souls, their affections and their hearts. My love wanted to win the heart of man at any cost; and in seeing that after seven excesses of my love, he was reluctant, he played deaf, he did not care about Me, nor did he want to give himself to Me, my love wanted to push itself further. It should have stopped; but – no, it wanted to overflow even more from within its boundaries, and even from the womb of my Mama it made my voice reach every heart – and with the most insinuating manners, with the most fervent pleas, with the most penetrating words. And do you know what I said to him? ‘My child, give me your heart; I will give you everything you want, provided that you give Me your heart in exchange. I have descended from Heaven to make a prey of it. O please! do not deny it to Me! Do not delude my hopes!’ And in seeing him reluctant – even more, many turned their backs to Me – I passed on to moans; I joined my tiny little hands and, crying, with voice suffocated by sobs, I added: ‘Ahh! Ahh! I am the little beggar; not even as alms do you want to give Me your heart? Is this not a greater excess of my love – that the Creator, in order to approach the creature, takes the form of a little baby so as not to strike fear in him, and that He asks for the heart of the creature, at least as alms, and in seeing that he does not want to give it, He supplicates, moans and cries?”
Then I heard Him say to me: “And you, don’t you want to give Me your heart? Perhaps you too want Me to moan, beg and cry for you to give Me your heart? Do you want to deny Me the alms that I ask of you?” And as He was saying this I heard Him as though sobbing, and I: ‘My Jesus, do not cry, I give You my heart and all of myself.’ Then, the interior voice continued: “Move further, and pass on to the ninth excess of my love.”
9 – “My daughter, my state is ever more painful. If you love Me, keep your gaze fixed on Me, to see if you can offer some relief to your Jesus; a little word of love, a caress, a kiss, will give respite to my crying and to my afflictions. Listen my daughter, after I gave eight excesses of my love, and man requited Me so badly, my love did not give up, and to the eighth excess it wanted to add the ninth. And this was yearnings, sighs of fire, flames of desire, for I wanted to go out of the maternal womb to embrace man. And this reduced my little Humanity, not yet born, to such an agony as to reach the point of breathing my last. And as I was about to breathe my last, my Divinity, which was inseparable from Me, gave Me sips of life, and so I regained life to continue my agony, and return again to die. This was the ninth excess of my love: to agonize and to die of love continuously for the creature. Oh! what a long agony of nine months! Oh! how love suffocated Me and made Me die. Had I not had the Divinity with Me, which gave Me life again every time I was about to finish, love would have consumed Me before coming out to the light of day.”
Then He added: “Look at Me, listen to Me, how I agonize, how my heart beats, pants, burns. Look at Me – now I die.” And He remained in deep silence. I felt myself dying; my blood froze in my veins, and, trembling, I said to Him: ‘My Love, my Life, do not die, do not leave me alone. You want love, and I will love You; I will not leave You ever again. Give me your flames to be able to love You more, and be consumed completely for You.’
 The devil.
 October 16, 1888. Luisa is 23 years old.
 Into Heaven.