ARCHDIOCESE of TRANI – BARLETTA – BISCEGLIE TITULAR of NAZARETH
“The Holiness of the Life of the
Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta”
3rd INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS
Madonna of Graces Sanctuary
October 27, 2005
"On November 20, 1994 my predecessor, His Excellency Mons. Carmelo CASSATI, opened on the Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe, the Diocesan process for the recognition of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Luisa PICCARRETA.
He explained this act, that represents one of the most lofty in the exercise of the magistery of a Pastor, expressing himself in this way:
“…That Fiat that Luisa continuously repeated was an immense desire to do only the Will of God, and she presented this Fiat also with the immolation of herself. Very many years, almost her whole life, in a bed, and many times even with pains and of taking so much part in the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
…To the eyes of God her life was of one freely ascended on the Cross, and having known the Will of God she said: “Here I am, Your Will be done,” not three years, not three days on the Cross, but sixty years on the cross of a bed. This immolation, this offering enters directly into the Chalice of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ; and with her immolation Luisa became she who repairs, who compensates the sins of others, and then this life becomes heroic. God had wanted her alive only because He welcomed her immolation done freely, and before so much generosity it is not surprising then if Luisa would also have had some particular intuitions, as it is also clear from her writings…
…It is not surprising if at a certain opportune time God says: “Soul, do you want to give Me a hand? My Redemption is certainly enough, but I need other souls who join Me in this Calvary, in this immolation, because man never tires of offending God…”.
(Homily to be resumed because of registration)
Mons. Cassati exhorted working for God according to the times and not hurriedly, as can happen to us.
About eleven years have passed from that November 20, 1994.
On October 29, 2005 I will have the joy of declaring closed the Diocesan process concerning the Beatification of the Servant of God “Luisa Piccarreta”, highlighting the testimonies about her renown of heroic holiness and about the loftiness of the spirituality of the Divine Volition as it so emerges from her writings—that are also in need of being published in a typical edition and studied in depth in their contents of faith, precisely concerning the spirituality specification that carries out and supports the request contained in the prayer of the Lord Jesus: “Your Will be done on earth as It is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10-11).
Concerning the renown of the holiness of the Servant of God, according to the testimonies gathered there is no shadow of doubt. To want to sketch a brief outline, one could delineate it in this way:
o Luisa Piccarreta (April 23, 1865 – March 4, 1947) during her lifetime already enjoyed by popular acclaim the name of Saint; and still today so she is called in Corato, city of her birth: “Luisa the Saint”.
This does not constitute wanting to anticipate the irrevocable judgment given only by the authority of the Holy Father. It is a spontaneous judgment of the people, struck by the simplicity, transparency, and goodness of Luisa.
o In Luisa there was never noticed sensational and extraordinary ostentatious phenomenons of guile. She lived for about seventy years in suffering, united to suffering Jesus, conforming herself to the Will of God, to whom she consecrated herself with offering of victim, and with the grace desired by her of not having visible signs on her body.
o She lived occupied in work, possible for her by the embroidery of the tombolo , surrounded by students, in a style of poverty and of absolute detachment from earthly goods, in a climate of continuous prayer. One can say: she breathed in God. In her daily duties, only one extraordinary phenomenon: the regime of her diet and that nocturnal corporal rigidity that she called “my usual state”. According to all those who assisted her, Luisa ate very little, without any damage to her health. Of one thing she could not do without: of the Most Holy Eucharist.
She relates in her autobiography that already a teenager: “Communion became my predominate passion. In it I centralized all my affections. I was content to listen to Jesus speaking, and how much it cost me to be deprived of Him because I was compelled by the family to go together with them to the large farm where I had to remain for long months without Mass and without Communion.”
o Her interior life was nourished with prayer. Her conversation with the Divine Spouse was prolonged at length in the night, causing rigidity to her members, from which she could not come round except through obedience to the priest who daily came to the house for the celebration of Holy Mass or for Eucharist Communion.
Father Benedetto CALVI, last confessor and incomparable diffuser of her image and of her writings, affirms: Her little bed changed into a marvelous pulpit from which, with Divine wisdom and unction, she intimately changed souls. Not a few came forth from her little room visibly changed, amazed and moved, and … ready to purify themselves with a holy Confession”.
o The spirituality that distinguishes the life, the speaking, and the writings of the Servant of God is “to live in the Will of God”, “to be the little daughter of the Divine Volition,” and “the missionary of the Kingdom of the Will of God” by the light of the affirmation of Jesus: My food is to do the Will of He who has sent me”. (John 4:34).
o What is striking in Luisa is her imperturbability. She confronted suffering and trials always sustained by the Divine Volition that she kept understanding ever more through the interior illustrations and words that Jesus, her only Teacher, told her. How much she has left us written in the thirty-six diaries and in the books of piety and of meditation, forming a true and proper itinerary of ascetic and mystical life that elevates the soul of one who reads them, believing in the one and triune God with an amazing and satisfying fervor. “Teacher and missionary of the Divine Volition”, she proposed not “with words of human wisdom” in a tribunal of scholars of the earth, but as fruit of her love toward God and neighbor as a very humble woman of the people with hardly a first grade elementary education, with an existence as almost buried and “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
o The sovereign virtue of Luisa is obedience to God and to the Magisterium of the Church. She wrote for obedience; and when the authority of the Church collected all her writings, she underwrote this declaration: “If the Church considers false everything that I have written, you must consider it false” (Refer to Act of submission written by Luisa Piccarreta on the date October 19, 1938 and sent to Rome by Archbishop Giuseppe Leo).
o From the close of the process, one can obtain from this a profile peculiar to the Servant of God: apostle of salvific suffering. Saint Annibale Maria Di Francia described her as: “Virgin of the Lord and wounded dove who sought her Lord” (from the letter of Father Angelo Sardone RCJ, Postulator General of the Congregation of the Rogationist Fathers. October 22, 2005). The primary reference in that regard can be the encyclical of John Paul II “Salvificis doloris”.
“Contemporary man, who trusts in the certainty of his scientific, technological, and social conquests, flees from the mystery of the Cross, from pain, from suffering, interpreting it as annihilationment of his dignity; so not understanding it, he intends to eliminate it from history (see for example euthanasia, abortion, artificial insemination, etc.) In Luisa the Cross is fecund pain in union with Christ crucified and always mystically immolated in the Eucharist; it is a pain full of love, intentionally hidden and always in line and in tune with the Fiat pronounced by Mary at Nazareth and renewed on Calvary. For Luisa, Mary Most Holy is the new creature who pronounces the Fiat without ever revoking It. To those who went to speak to her in order to implore her prayer to God for the relief of their own sufferings, she recommended the Way of the Cross and the Hours of the Passion, lived by her even to her “consumatum est” (it is finished) on March 4, 1947”. (Refer to article by the Postulator Don Sabino LATTANZIO and to the Judge delegate Mons. Pietro CIRASELLI, in Osservatore Romano on September 4, 2005).
We believe we are not exaggerating if we assert that the Servant of God “Luisa Piccarreta”, wanted by the Father, daughter in the Son, who rendered herself docile and obedient to the action of the Holy Spirit, constitutes for our Diocesan Church and for the many who know her—and they are very many scattered in Italy, in the United States of America, in Colombia, in Mexico, in Asia, and elsewhere—a model of very real Christian life needed in our time as a supplement of a genuinely Christian soul.
As Pastor of this beloved Church I feel the responsibility
o of making known the spirituality of the Divine Volition straightforwardly as it emerges from the writings of the Servant of God examined in the light of Divine Revelation and of the Magisterium of the Church;
o of showing them to the sister Dioceses, where there are present groups who are inspired by the Divine Volition, directing myself to the Brother Pastors—those who have the duty of overseeing so that one is not led astray—the thinking contained in the writings of Luisa, accepting the reliable studies of theologians who present them with a critical and correct preparation according to the sound doctrine of the Church;
o of entrusting to the Holy See the final judgment on the credibility of this process and on an eventual pronouncement of Beatification that We hope for only for the glory of God and the advancement of Christian life in our times.
As positive fruit of studying, of deepening, of valid aids for, the understanding of the spirituality of the Divine Volition according to the writings of Luisa—that need to be published in the typical edition—to indicate to our Diocesan Church and, if their own Bishops consider it opportune, to other Dioceses:
o Biography of Luisa, by Father Benedetto CALVI.
o Partial biography (up to 20 years old) of Luisa, by Mons. Luigi DORIA.
o Biography of Luisa, by Father Pablo MARTIN.
o Biography of Luisa, by Father Bernardino BUCCI, o.f.m. capp. (translated into various languages)
o FIAT, Thoughts of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta about the Divine Will, edited by Father Berardino BUCCI o.f.m. capp.
o Personal reflections about some passages from the writings of Luisa Piccarreta, edited by Father Berardino BUCCI o.f.m. capp.
o Holiness of life of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. Points for reflection edited by Sac. Sergio PELLEGRINI, Spiritual Assistant of the Pious Association Luisa PICCARRETA Little Children of the Divine Will of Corato.
Other contributions on behalf of theologians from other Dioceses are to come to me. These are for the attention of our Postulator, and they will be published, if considered in keeping with the typical edition of the writings of Luisa supported by a critical preparation that unties the knots of the thinking of Luisa Piccarreta herself.
This pronouncement of mine is for the greater glory of God and so that the holiness of the Church shines though the good works of the children of God. Amen."
†Giovani Battista Pichierri