"He Knew and Loved Luisa and Her Writings"
An Interview with Adriana Palotti
founder of the House of Prayer for the Kingdom of the Divine Will
in San Giovanni Rotondo
Adriana Pallotti is a wonderful lady who lives in San Giovanni Rotondo (Foggia, Italy), where she founded the “House of Prayer for the Kingdom of the Divine Will.” She is originally from Modena (Northern Italy), but she moved to San Giovanni Rotondo many years ago, “...to live close to Padre Pio...”, as she says. Padre Pio, then, became her Confessor and Spiritual Director.
In San Giovanni Rotondo, she attended the Cenacles of Federico Abresch on the Divine Will, when Luisa was still alive. During the 40's, Federico Abresch became a close friend and disciple of Luisa. He used to visit her house and learn, directly from her and from her manuscripts, of the Sublime Truths of Living in the Divine Will. He exchanged frequent correspondence with Luisa.
In the following interview, made in 1994, on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the passage into Heaven of Luisa Piccarreta, Miss Adriana Pallotti gives clear testimony on the fact that Padre Pio knew and loved Luisa and her Writings. She also gives wonderful testimony on the conversion of Federico Abresch through Padre Pio, on the First “Divine Will” Cenacle in the San Giovanni Rotondo, and on direct and specific comments of Padre Pio regarding the spreading of the writings of Luisa.
I was surprised upon seeing that the lunch of Luisa consisted of just 4 or 5 orecchiette [pasta with the shape of “little ears", typical food from Puglia] and a few grapes, which I myself had brought an hour before. Everything was placed on a little plate. After my aunt put grated cheese on it, she told me: “Take it to Luisa.”
Surprised by this strange meal, I brought the food to the little room of Luisa. She welcomed me with a smile, placed the plate on the appropriate bed table, made the sign of the cross, and began to eat. Feeling my state of amazement, Luisa smiled at me again, then took a grape and offered it to me. When Luisa finished her lunch (so to speak), she rang a little bell, and soon my aunt appeared
carrying a little tray in her hands. Here began the scene, which I will never be able to forget: Luisa brought up everything in a strange way; I say this, because I felt no repugnance; on the contrary, a strange fragrance diffused throughout the room. Then, removing the little bed table, my aunt closed the shutters and said:“Come Peppino, let’s go eat, for Luisa has to sleep.” My aunt brought to the table the food brought up by Luisa, and there it remained during our lunch. I counted the orecchiette – they were six, and all the grapes, whole and bright – precisely eleven.
Highlights on Federico Abresch
Federico, Amalia and their son Pio Abresch, friends of Padre Pio, were also admirers of Luisa. The book “Padre Pio: The True Story” by C. Bernard Ruffin, states “Friedrich Abresch, a native of Germany who came to see Padre Pio in 1925, at the age of twenty-eight, out of pure curiosity. A nominal Lutheran in his youth, he had become Roman Catholic on marrying an Italian but did not practice his religion. “I had no faith,” he admitted. …. Padre Pio did not expel Abresch from the confessional, but he did make him, as he put it, ‘understand immediately that in my previous confessions I had committed certain mortal sins.’… ‘He concealed his knowledge of my entire past under the form of Questions. He enumerated with precision and clarity all of my faults, even mentioning the number of times I missed Mass!’
Pio became a Monsignor
In 1926, a year later, Abresch’s wife began to hemorrhage, and doctors diagnosed a tumor in her womb….Amalia Abresch was devastated by the certainty that a hysterectomy would leave her incapable of bearing children, so she went to Padre Pio. He told her not to submit to the knife. After that, the hemorrhages ceased and, although the tumor remained, to her great delight, she conceived and, at the age of nearly forty, gave birth to a son.
Eventually the Abresch family settled in San Giovanni Rotondo, where Friedrich opened a photography studio. For many years he was something of an official photographer for Padre Pio and his brethren.”
AP = Adriana Pallotti
Question — Well, Adriana, we are very happy to have you with us today, to witness to the world, which is getting to know Luisa. We know that you are very important in this process, since you have been one of the first and most persevering persons to spread this message, so important for the world. We would like to hear from you a little bit about your story. Let’s start from the beginning, when you came here to San Giovanni Rotondo. How did you begin your growth under the guidance of Padre Pio, and then, your first meetings with Federico Abresch?
AP — I came to live here in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1945, when I heard from some friends that here there was a saint, so great, so holy, and with the stigmata. I decided to leave the house of my father and all my things to come here, to live in poverty close to Padre Pio. After a few years, I met Federico Abresch, who was German, a convert through Padre Pio. He had come to live in San Giovanni.
Question — Wasn’t Federico a doctor, from Bologna?
AP — No, Federico was a photographer, who had established his laboratory in Bologna.
Question— And how did he arrive here?
AP— He was here because a friend of his invited him to come and visit this great saint. He didn’t know him, but he came out of curiosity. As soon as his eyes met the eyes of Padre Pio, his heart was touched and he felt the desire to kneel at Padre Pio’s feet. And Padre Pio told him: ‘What are you doing here after so many years without going to Confession?!’ He said: ‘Father, please help me!’ And Padre Pio: ‘Start from your last Confession! No, I don’t mean this confession now. I mean from your last Confession before you got married!’ So he started his new Confession and then, touched by the words of Padre Pio, he was converted.
Federico Abresch visits Luisa
After his conversion, he started to go around in search for spiritual things and beautiful souls. He heard that there was a saint in Corato, bedridden for 70 years, so he went to visit this soul, who began to talk to him about beautiful spiritual things on the Divine Will. He was very touched, and continued to visit Luisa with the permission of Padre Pio. Luisa continued to talk to him about living in the Divine Will, and he wrote notes. Sometimes, he saw her when she received the stigmata.
One day, he was visiting Luisa and saw her bed shaking. He asked: ‘What’s happening?’ And Luisa said: ‘I suffer, I suffer! — but gladly!’ She was suffering the Passion of Jesus. Abresch went to her very often, also with his little son Pio, who was three years old. He asked: ‘So, what are we going to do with this little boy... a Priest?’ And Luisa said: ‘Eh, eh, let’s pray.’ In fact, Pio became a priest and now he is in the Vatican. Abresch always continued to go to her. He learned from her diaries, which she wrote at night. He would copy them and then return them to Luisa. We learned this spirituality from him, since he always continued to keep these writings.
First little cenacles
Question— So he started his first little cenacles?
AP — Yes, at night we used to go and listen to his talks about Luisa. We were enthusiastic! I couldn’t wait to go there, every Saturday night. We were about 5 or 6. He spoke every week for one hour and a half, but we never wanted him to stop, so much we loved this spirituality! It was about to give our human will to God, and to receive His Will in exchange, so as to become divinized. In hearing this, we felt that we had found Paradise on earth! We were enthusiastic, and Padre Pio was happy too.
Once I asked Padre Pio: ‘Father, is it good for me to listen, write and print the writings of Luisa Piccarreta? And he said: ‘Yes! Repeat it!’ So, I asked again: ‘Father, can I give some money to Andrea Magnifico to buy the equipment to print the books of Luisa? And he again: ‘Yes!’ So I understood that it was really the Will of God to have the writings printed...and we did it.
Question — In which year did Federico start these conferences?
AP — Before I came, in 1945, he had already started with another group.
Question — So, Luisa was still alive?
AP — Yes, Luisa was still living.
Question —So, you started during the 50’s?
AP —Yes, I started from the 50’s to talk about Luisa in my home to my guests. All were enthusiastic about this spirituality of the Divine Will.
Question — Who were some of the other souls? You and who else?
AP— There was a certain Giulietta Marchi from Bologna. She was very happy. Jesus spoke to this beautiful soul. She died all of a sudden, after many years in which we were going together to Abresch. Before dying, she told me: ‘Adriana, you must get some tapes and record all that Abresch says, because in the future you will have to talk about this spirituality. The Lord wants this, because He wants to free us from the misery of the human will, in order for us to live in a divine manner!
Question — Tell us about Andrea. When did you meet him?
AP — Andrea Magnifico from Milan came to my home to “change air.” I told him that we were going to listen to Abresch who spoke about the spirituality of a certain Luisa from Corato, who lived in bed for many years, and that the spirituality that Jesus taught to Luisa was so sublime and so great that we felt that were living in Heaven, no longer on earth! He said: ‘I want to come and listen’ And after he came, he said: ‘Oh, finally! I had asked St. Joseph to let me know if there was something, in the spiritual life, much greater than the things I knew. And here it is! St. Joseph is now letting me discover this great novelty, much greater than anything else.
Question — So he started to make copies of the books?
AP— Yes, he started with photocopies, which we gave to many people, and we started to distribute them also to Priests and others. Many souls followed them and were very happy about
these spiritual lessons which Jesus had given to Luisa, and which — through Luisa — we were able to know.
Question — Are there other things that you remember that Padre Pio said about the Divine Will? Did you talk with Padre Pio about Luisa?
AP — Yes, I asked him if it was a good thing to get a recorder in order to tape the writings of Luisa, and he said: ‘Yes!’ After this other positive answer, I went to Milan to get it.
Question — So he was aware of this?
AP — Yes, yes, yes, very much... Even more, among the young people who came to Abresch to listen to the lessons on the Divine Will, one of them told us that he went to Confession to Padre Pio, asking him: ‘Father, is it true that the Blessed Mother is Great not because She has been the Mother of God, for her virginity, her being Immaculate, but because — as Luisa says in the writings — She never did Her human will, but only and exclusively the Will of God?’ Padre Pio answered: ‘Yes, my son, this is the truth! This is the truth!’ And he continued:
‘Father, allow me to ask you one more thing. Is it true that Jesus would have remained on the Cross even till the end of the world in order to save humanity? And that His Cross is just as long as the centuries, and just as large as humanity?’ And Padre Pio: ‘Yes, my son, this is the truth! This is the truth!’ And he said: ‘Father, please, can we hug each other?’ And they hugged.
Question — Adriana, you have been reading about this spirituality, teaching it to many people, for years. What does this spirituality of Luisa mean to you?
AP — It means that as we give to the Lord our own will, and we no longer use it, receiving His Will in exchange, we feel such an interior peace that we are able to bear things that, humanly speaking, we were not able to suffer. But with His Divine Will, the Lord gives us His Power, His Divine Power, His Creative Power.
Question — He says that these writings will renew the face of the earth.
AP — We will live on earth as the Blessed in Heaven. It is the fulfillment of the Our Father!
Question — So, in your opinion, this is the future of the Church?
AP — Yes, in the writings of Luisa it is said that when the Church will possess them, there will be a fire within the Church. It will be that same fire which the Gospel talks about: ‘They came to bring the fire on earth. Oh, how I wish that it could be already burning.’ This is the fire of the Divine Will!
Question — And do you think that Luisa herself is important in this? I mean, is it possible for people to know the Divine Will without knowing Luisa?
AP — The two things go together!
Question — Is Luisa a saint?
AP— Remaining in bed for all those years, writing all these things. We know from Abresch, who knew Luisa personally, that Jesus Himself called her “My Divine Luisa. I exalted her up to the highest Seraphim.”
Question — Will she be canonized, in your opinion?
AP — It might be that the Lord does not need this, since He is already glorified if we live this spirituality. If we do it, this is His Glory! But it is up to us to live this spirituality, so that It may open its ways. In this way Luisa is “ipso facto” (by fact) a Saint!
Question — Well, is there anything else you would like to tell us? What would be your advice to someone who has just heard about the Divine Will for the first time?
AP — If these souls have sufferings, problems and many other things, they can say to the Lord: ‘Lord, I can do nothing, but I know that You can do everything. Take my will, and come to act in me...to work, to walk, to breathe, to suffer in me.’ As we empty ourselves and let Him act, our lives become more simple, and perfect. It will be easier to proceed along the path of this life.
Question — Are you happy to have known this spirituality?
AP — It has been the greatest grace I have received on this earth. Even greater than knowing Padre Pio, who has been a great Confessor and Spiritual Director. But with this spirituality we become divinized. We find this also in the Gospel, but Jesus teaches this to Luisa with many examples, which make it easy and attractive. This is the greatest grace for us, which allows us to bear and suffer things that we could not bear before; but with the suffering of Jesus within us, everything becomes easy!
Question — Adriana, do you know whether Padre Pio did ever read any of the writings of Luisa?
AP — One lady who went to Confession to Padre Pio told him that she had read the Hours of the Passion. Padre Pio said: ‘I read it four times! Oh, how beautiful! And now, another one is about to come out — about the Blessed Virgin in the Kingdom. Oh, how beautiful that one, too!’ So, Padre Pio was aware of everything that came from Luisa’s hands.
Question — Adriana, do you know whether any vocations matured from the conferences of Federico Abresch?
AP — Yes, many vocations! There was a young lady, who left her boyfriend to become a cloistered nun. When Padre Pio told her that those things were the truth, she said: ‘So, what am I doing here in the world? I want to be in a Convent and lead a cloistered life.’ So she went and died in the Convent.
Also, other young people, when they heard Abresch talking about this spirituality — which is living on earth as the Saints and the Blessed live in Heaven — decided to become priests or monks. Yes, listening to Abresch, saying that, as we exchange our miserable human will, which is only capable of evil, with the Divine Will, we start living in a divine way, and our acts become like shining suns...like stars...divine things! So they said: ‘What are we doing in the world? We’d rather spend our lives thinking about these things!’
Taken from: https://www.divinewill.cc/padrepio_luisa4.htm
Cf You Tube interview with Adriana (in Italian):
The interviewer is Fr. Bucci OFM who personally knew Luisa Piccarreta