Poem of the Man God.

Have you read it? What do you think of it?

I am undecided on whether or not to read it. Some very well respected theologians and priests say we must read it for it will deepen our spiritual life, including Mother Teresa and Padre Pio. Yet others say avoid it, including Fr. Mitch Pacwa.

I am terribly undecided about this, I know a person who became a priest because of this book (and he’s a great priest).

What are your opinions?

I trust Fr. Mitch, so I’d go with him, could you link us to somewhere where Blessed Mother Teresa or St. Pio said to read it?? I have never heard or read anything where either of them suggested it. Thank you.

I have only read excerpts and that has been enough to ensure I will never read it.

Yes, porud2b, give us a few links. Includng maybe a link to the text,eh?

I read some of it but could not in good conscience say that it is inspired. It is pious fiction, IMHO, not revelation. I don’t see any harm in reading it unless one is going to think of it as on par with Holy Scripture, which it most certainly isn’t.

The author does a very good job of making it seem quite real, but it just isn’t convincing because it is overly done with details that cannot be proven. I’ve found I can manage to get along just fine on the Gospels and the writings of the great Saints, which is plenty for anyone to concentrate on.

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.

God Bless,

I read the entire series years ago.

I think the Church has condemned them, but that doesnt mean one cannot read them. The Church also condemned Medjugorie and in one of the seers books the Blessed Mother says Poem can be read… :smiley: Its funny how the stuff the church looks unfavorable on gets supported by the same circle of folks involved in them…seer support Poem… Esperanza supported Medjugorie…Garanbandal gets supported by these folks… its a neat little package the Lord gives us to see they are false.

Now if Poem was written as if it was a fantasy of sorts about the travels of Jesus, I do have to give the books an excellent rating cause they were great taken in that vein…really good stuff… just not actual revelation. For a day to day account of Jesus thru revelation by someone looked favorably upon by the church, go with Mary of Agreda (Mystical City of God) nice writing style… or Ann Emerich, The Life of Christ (4 volumes) kinda static in writing though.

Colin Donovan at EWTN is usually reliable on this sort of thing.


For the interested who want to reference Mitch Pacwa’s take as below, there is also:

ewtn.com/library/scriptur/valtorta.txt .

I read a copy which someone, a well intentioned extraordinary minister of the communion, gave my parents years ago. I was sufficiently concerned that it was doctrinally deficient (not to mention poorly written) or at least capable of creating confusion about the authentic teaching of the Church that I recommended they not read it.

There is certainly no lack of good stuff to read in lieu of questionable stuff.

I remembered reading that our present Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, had spoken out against Vallatorta’s Poem of the Man God.


Thank you everybody for your advice. There is definitely enough Catholic readings that could take me a lifetime, so I think I’ll avoid this book, not to mention it is expensive:bigyikes: .

Does any one know the Churchs’ opinion on the private revelations in the book" The Poem of the Man God" by Maria Valtortta ? Help, ,Catherinivy:shrug:


There are some issues with this article:


God Bless

This response is from a website dedicated the beatification of Maria Valtorta. They use unapproved apparitions in support of their cause. It seems biased and suspect to me. The fact that this is presented as true, I find highly disturbing. The canon of Scrpiture is closed, for those who are behind on the times. There will not be another Gospel added, from Maria Valtorta, the Mormons, or anyone else.

From Cardinal Ratzinger:

"In the light of the recent recurrance [sic] of interest in the work, the Congregation has come to the conclusion that a further clarification to the “Notes” previously issued is now in order. Thus it has directed a particular request to the Italian Bishops’ Conference to contact the publishing house which is concerned with the distribution of the writings in Italy in order to see to it that in any future reissue of the work “it might be clearly indicated from the very first page that the ‘visions’ and ‘dictations’ referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin.”

bardstown.com/~brchrys/Chrchval.html#Appendix I

I think if one finds literary benefit and spiritual devotion in this book, that is one thing. But to think this is somehow an historical account of Jesus’ life is something I simply can not believe.

Anne Catherine Emerich’s writings also had the same quote in the inside cover.


“If Maria Valtorta was mentally ill, was it her illness that allowed her to accurately transcribe in 1945 what planets and stars were in the night sky on specific days 2,000 years ago (verified by a Harvard educated Theoretical Physicist - link loads slowly) without the assistance of modern complex astronomical computer algorithms? Was her illness that gave her knowledge of first century Palestinian geography, towns and villages (nine of which were unknown before her death) that were not available in any published atlases or journals during her lifetime? Was it her illness that enabled her to write 647 chapters (15,000 pages) in random order in glue bound binder notebooks (with no corrections), at the conclusion (when Jesus purportedly gives the chapter sequence) unfolds from a well-shuffled deck of cards into a perfectly seamless flowing chronology (that only materialized when her work was typed and could be sequenced to the key), in which Jesus traverses the land of Palestine from one end to another in five cycles (some 4,000 miles), ministering in 343 named locations in proper order (that have been route mapped) without error? All this while paralyzed from the waist down for 28 years in a bed? The Harvard Educated Physicist concluded: "These impossibly exact details “tax the credulity of even the immovable atheist more than the alternative that Jesus showed it to her. In the words of Sherlock Holmes, when you eliminated the impossible, that which remains, however merely improbable, must be true” (Professor Lonnie Lee VanZandt).”

God Bless

no and I don’t plan to. I personally have a hard time with private revelations that result in volumes of words even bigger than the bible. It has also been condemned on the strongest terms by my own bishops and spiritual directors so for that reason alone I would not even consider investigating it. With the wealth of classical entirely Catholic spiritual writers available to me, why would I bother?

I certainly don’t claim to know everything about Maria Valtorta’s work, but after looking into briefly, what I came away with was it had some discouraging overtones of New Ageism. Consider the title - the Man-God part. That’s a little odd, isn’t it? And much of the work (I haven’t read it) is said to make Christ look chatty, in need of instruction from others, etc. In other words, more like a normal guy.

Father Pacwa notes a few theological and historically factual flaws in his criticism. One stuck with me (I guess because it was the simplest to remember). In the Poem, Jesus supposedly described to Maria using a screwdriver. They weren’t invented until much later.

Anyway, the sum total I got was that 1) supposedly the Medjugorje “apparition” did tell one of the seers that the Poem was the truthful revelation of Christ, 2) there’s a lot of Church concern about Medjugorje, and 3) (warning, my take only - didn’t get this from a priest) that concern is there may actually be a demonic aspect behind it, in an attempt to create a New Age version of Catholicism for purposes of confusing Church members and tearing down a little of the ‘need’ for the magisterium.

Basically, like someone mentioned above, on the one hand you’ve got a thoroughly approved set of readings (some of which hopefully we can all agree are divinely inspired) that can keep anyone busy for a long time, and on the other hand you’ve got something that may or may not be approved, or condemned - and with so many contradictory statements about its current status, etc.

I was planning to read the Poem, now don’t think I will, and suggest anyone who does at least keep in mind the possibility it may, as Father Pacwa says, be just a bad novel.

It portrays our Lord as being effeminate. :eek:
Plus: anything recommended by Medjugorje would have to be regarded with deep suspicion. :shrug:

Pope John Paul II used the term often, particularly in several of His Papal Encyclicals:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.