My personal opinion is that this work should be viewed with great suspicion.
I also find that a common tactic used by supportors of a person/revelation/book/idea/theology often will resort to appeals such as “St. So and So liked the book” or “Pope So and So said privately that he read it”. *Those *types of claims should be suspect as well, but especially when there is no independant evidence of their veracity. To my knowledge there is no authentic verification that either Mother Teresa or Padre Pio approved of this work, rather there is only unsubstantiated hearsay.
Allegedly Padre Pio, in the last year of his life, was asked in the confessional by a penitent whether or not he should read the Poem. Supposedly Padre Pio said something to the effect of “Not only is it good tp read it but I command you to read it!” Obviously since this was said in the confession, and under the seal of confession, only the penitent would know if this is the case or not. Unless someone can show another instance of Padre Pio recommending this book I would discount any connection between him and the Poem as pure “marketing” by the proponents of Valtorta.
Here is a quote from a This Rock article entitled “Revelations” (catholic.com/thisrock/1998/9806fea3.asp)")
Every message hinges upon the authenticity of the messenger. Who was the person directly involved, and what was his spiritual, psychological, and moral state at the time of the revelation? On the positive side, Sr. Faustina’s authenticity and the beautiful devotions begotten by her life are watertight, almost beyond question. On the other side, there is the case of Maria Valtorta, author of The Poem of the Man-God. Her personal life raises serious questions. In the words of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, who happens to be a trained psychologist: “Miss Valtorta was a very devout and intelligent person. She spent the last ten years of her life in complete catatonic schizophrenia, unable to speak to anyone. This disease came on her gradually. It’s important to realize that the progress of a disease like that may take many years before the acute symptoms occur. Although this book is interesting to read and has a certain poetic beauty to it, Cardinal Ratzinger referred to it as ‘a lump of theological absurdities.’”
Ratzinger and Groeschel are nobody’s fools. I’m aware of the unjust scarlet letter associated with mental illness. Still, we are irresponsible to ourselves if we discount these facts. Likewise, we do well to note, says Groeschel, that The Poem of the Man-God was on the list of “forbidden books and has never been given papal approval, contrary to popular belief.” A challenge, therefore, should be issued to the “uncritical ease” with which this book and others like it have made deep inroads into Catholic living.
Just my opinion. I am suspicious of it.