By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Sunday Special)
For two decades being a Christian I never once believed anyone who said “God told me” until this week when a priest told me of a woman who claimed “Jesus told me”. In the early 1940’s during World War II, she claimed Jesus appeared to her and walked her through Christ’s entire 3.5 year ministry.
I thought to myself, I could refute this in five minutes. As I read her writings, this lady walks you through the life of Christ from infancy to the Crucifixion. I have never seen something like this. Here I reviewed someone who travelled beyond time mentioning hundreds of historic personalities describing in detail thousands of conversations Jesus and His disciples had, giving the years and seasons as if she was there herself with Jesus.
She includes amazing insight and knowledge on Christ’s ministry and his exact itinerary for over 350 ministry sites Jesus travelled to.
In the 15,000 pages, she did not only hear and see Jesus but she actually felt the experience in every step of the way describing roads, towns, cities, plants that are exclusive to the Holy Land and even in some areas surrounding the very village I lived in Bethlehem which are not even in the map which we knew by tradition passed down from the ancients.
But it wasn’t only her description of Bethlehem during Christ’s ministry which was intriguing, but 254 additional geographical sites mentioned in only one of her volumes alone titled “The Poem of the Man-God” in which she was describing areas many of which were not even listed in the 1939 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia or the Macmillan Bible Atlas.
Finally I met my match. And I know, Christ warned “to test the spirits” and to try to find theological errors before discounting it. The woman is so heavily slandered by many which grasped my interest even more since slander is key to finding the saints.
But before I share her name or all the amazing beef, I must say that one would do the typical and google her name to find out a few lousy comments, opinions, condemnations and unfair views and you would dismiss her and move on.
Not so easy. This is usually the first reaction the lazy servant does.
My research on this lady started the day the priest arrived to bless my mother who wanted to become Catholic. My mother’s conversion began after she started to read about Catholicism on the internet. Apparently after all my writings for a while about my Catholic convictions, I didn’t realize that low and behold, my own mother was accessing my articles on the internet and she was reading my defense of the Eucharist amongst other articles I wrote which compelled her to ask I bring her a Catholic priest.
She said she is ready to sell the Protestant farm, confess her sins, get absolved and take the Eucharist. In obedience, I did as my mother asked and as soon as she met with the priest my mother started to confess what bothered her the most; she had blamed herself for the death of my sister Aida in Jericho which occurred in 1965 blaming herself ever since. I excused myself to let the priest conduct his mission and now with my mother converted, the whole family including my children and my wife are all infected with Catholicism and we pray daily that we never recover.
Most who would listen to my mom’s pains would probably conclude she did not commit the sin she was so much worried about. She too was slandered by my father who blamed her as long as he lived accusing her of negligence thus claiming she murdered her own daughter. It was a dagger that was thrust by my Muslim father into the heart of my then-Protestant mother. She had given birth to my sister Aida on New Years of 1965 in Jericho which was literally the lowest place on earth, 800 some feet below sea level and one of the hottest hellholes in Israel. Keep in mind “below” sea level. Death Valley is only 279 feet below sea level and I lived near there as well. We had just came back from another hellhole, Saudi Arabia where my father worked for ARAMCO (Arabian-American Oil Company).
The heat was so unbearable that one time my mother after bathing my baby sister Aida who was 4 month old she had turned on the table fan my father bought to ease the heat, I still remember the brand-name of the fan: Hulda. On that fateful day Aida caught an ear infection and then a pneumonia hit her and her condition got worse and she died a few days later. Jericho was a hellhole. In Jericho at the time, there were hyenas and wild dogs everywhere. Three of them almost ate my other sister Mona as she took a shortcut through some fields early one morning on her way to school. As they started chasing her, she ran, terrified, toward a nearby hut where a woman there yelled for her to run faster and when Mona got to the hut’s open window, the woman quickly pulled her inside so the hyenas wouldn’t eat her. One day I myself also nearly got eaten by a hyena at the local park called Muntaza al-Bardoni where they kept baboons and hyenas in cages.
One hyena’s cage was locked with a thin wire. As I stood to watch, the hyena stared at me, snarled, then started viciously biting on the wire to break it, I guess because I looked like a plump, tasty little dinner. I was terrified and started screaming my little bloody head off.
My dad bought me a bottle of Coke to try and distract me, but I just kept screaming because I was convinced the hyena was going to break out and attack me. My instincts were dead on: later the same day, that hyena chewed through the wire and got loose. They had to shoot it before it killed someone.
In Jericho we also had deadly scorpions and giant centipedes four-inch-thick and a foot-long. We also had giant pythons the width of a road and asps that would rise up standing.
So why I am telling you all this? Firstly, see if you do not believe me, spend a few months to find out just this little story I told here. See if you find a fan from the sixties with a brand name Hulda, examine if there was a park in Jericho that is long gone named al-Bardoni and even another I attended were I got my skull fractured named Al-Rawda in Jericho where baboons, peacocks and hyenas were caged, see if there were pythons, asps that stand, giant centipedes and even horned snakes, hyenas and rabid dogs roaming in Jericho to check if I am telling the truth. That is if you were an honest researcher with a ton of time on your hands. You will find out that I am telling the truth of things that existed before Israel took that land in 1967, two years after my sister died. All this vermin is now long gone.
Secondly, all this relates to the story of this lady who said that Jesus spoke to her. It takes years to verify my own account I mention here. Just think how many decades it will take to verify the accounts written by this lady in her 15,000 pages of “Jesus told me”?
We kids passed the sin to Hulda, the table fan, but that didn’t ease my mom’s guilt she carried with her for decades. We left a day later in the taxicab while riding on these windy roads from Jericho to Bethlehem going uphill through the deserted hills and steep canyons while my dad repeated so many times “Marilyn killed Aida”.
Aida, my sister’s name is a semitic name which means ‘I will return’; my mom named her in hope one day she ‘return’ to the promised land: the United States of America. She did not return until three decades later when I concocted a way for her to escape with her life. That is another story for a book.
After burying Aida in the family plot in Beit Sahour-Bethlehem we spent a few days sleeping at my grandfather’s home where mattresses are taken from the indentations in the rooms and laid outside on the terrace as it was the custom where people slept on flat rooftops and terraces.
The priest after asking us to leave as to hear Mom’s confession and gained absolution, we sat for a private celebration. We hit it off with the priest who was partially Lebanese. He was fascinated with one named Maria Valtorta (1897 – 1961). Valtorta, the priest said, was vehemently slandered after documenting her claim to have been visited by Jesus Who passed down to her additional fillers not known in the past from when the Son of God visited earth and had pointed out so much detail of Israel’s typography, historic locations and detail about the life of Christ unknown to man.
Being the doubting Thomas that I was, I said to the priest that this will be a breeze to examine. When it comes to charismatic claims I always leaned more on the side of caution since for decades while I was Protestant I witnessed Pentecostal charismatics express ‘word of knowledge’ and I never trusted a single message since they all lack any serious evidence.
While these correctly referred to 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4 as their foundation, I could not find serious evidence from either their prophetic utterances or their miraculous claims or from the theological soundness when compared to scripture.
After dropping the priest off, later on as I read, I was confronted with not just some short declarations, but with 15,000 pages of the “Jesus told me” type of messages which were printed in 10 volumes given to her, she claimed, within 3.5 years.
As I perused, I finally got my challenge and quest I have been seeking that if charismatic experiences were true, show me some real evidence?
This ‘Jesus told me’ writings provided intricate detail for what occurred between the events mentioned in the Gospels where the Holy Spirit simply gave a summary, just enough for our Manna from heaven. But in the twentieth century much has been clouded by so-called experts and historic revisionists shedding doubt and causing so much confusion on the events. This is what Valtorta explains was the reason of her 15,000 pages which when printed are the equivalent of 10 volumes given to her within 3.5 years of mystical charismatic experience. She jotted everything in her language, Italian and it was later translated into English.
But why in Italian, why not in Hebrew or Aramaic. Well, why not Greek? God spoke with the known language of the times. He too speaks in tongues.
The claims by Valtorta as it turns out was not some fetish the priest was hooked on. Flashes of my past ways of thinking erupted in my mind as I read from when Luther belabored his “scripture alone” which was etched into our minds. Perhaps I need to drop this. This Valtorta has some serious claims. But if the Evangelical charismatics insist on ‘scripture alone’, why belabor ‘God told me’? Or was it that God only gave messages to televangelists on TV but never Catholics in caves, hermitages, convents and monasteries. We always think that the good stuff must be a best seller and must be mentioned in articles complemented or critiqued by the New York Times.
While many will object on Bible alone, I counter, why would Christ command we test the spirits? If the Holy Spirit, as many argue, had given us ‘everything we already need in scripture’ why all these biblical verses about prophecies, word of knowledge and Joel telling us “your maidens will have dreams and see visions” which Joel promised we have before the ends of days.
Test the spirit for what? Never once did scripture say to “test the spirit to see if this spirit you examine utters words not in scripture,” but to test the spirit to see if what they utter agrees with it.
In other words, the warning verses do not negate that more will come, especially when God in Joel 2:28-29 promises that “upon my servants and handmaids” (simple priests and nuns, not major and popular televangelist) that these “will prophecy” and “dream dreams” of messages directed for us to “enter through the narrow” and not through “the wide gate” of best sellers and New York Times. Angels appeared to a handful shepherds to pronounce the birth of the king and not through the busy streets of Jerusalem. Jesus rode a simple donkey and not a white horse. He was born in simple Bethlehem and not the grand Jerusalem.
On these last days to saints God says: “I will pour forth my spirit”.
And why did God say this in scripture? He knew that the day will come that a cloud of scoffers will twist the meaning of scripture as it was taught from time immemorial. So for this reason the remnant Church must be protected from the wolves from within and from the wolves without. There are even pharisaic church bishops and clergy who would suppress such miracles. Christ assured us always that “if any man hears my voice and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him” (Revelation 3:20).
To insist on zero charisma, we should ask; did the Holy Spirit cease and was imprisoned in some sort of an ark? And which charism do we track, the Evangelical or apostolic succession or both? Or is it evaluated depending on who our favorite Bible scholar is?
I have been begging for years for someone to answer me why the evangelical-charismatics cannot produce what the Catholic have shown? But Catholic miracles instantly are given the typical slander ‘if its not in scriptures its from the devil’, so they say.
When one judges without prudence and timely investigation and they speak quickly, they are usually of the devil.
In fact, scriptures said quite the contrary to this notion ‘never go beyond scripture’, God said:
“Extinguish not the Spirit. Despise not prophecies; but test all things, and hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 19-21)
This alone nullifies this strict ‘scripture alone’.
In other words, God set this verse and other verses for a reason telling us that ‘there will be more’ than what is in scripture which will never contradict it.
God did not only inspire a few hundred pages and said ‘see you on the other side while being left behind’.
Not so. Whatever we are given it should never be considered equal to the Scripture but instead is judged in light of it.
Indeed, what must one do with the works of Valtorta, and who can dedicate the years to examine ten volumes each with a thousand or so pages of ‘God told me’? The priest had spent 30 years examining her work and could not find any problems but gave me thousands of pages just to refute the slander leveled on Valtorta.
After spending a few days, perusing hundreds of pages including so many critics, I wondered, perhaps I should let this go and perhaps I should remain on the side of caution despite the most amazing things I found. For me, the Bible was clear, that a prophecy is to be examined on the basis of correct predictions and not just accurate descriptions of Christ’s history that was never known.
But these descriptions as I read the first lines of her claims immediately noticing that even the traditions of the Holy Land was at every line. Before I dismissed the priest I told him that I will examine what Valtorta says of Bethlehem and see. The first thing in searching “Bethlehem” where the shepherds after hearing the angels announcing the king is born they bring “esparto containing small whole round cheeses”. The cheese was round then and is still round now.
We call these Jameed. When we first moved to Jericho from Saudi Arabia, the first thing the neighbors brought to my mother was this Jameed. It is not some ordinary cheese. It is literally a rock.
It is then broken by hitting it against stone and it is then soaked in water and then scrubbed against the harsh clay pot with water for an hour until it dissolves back into milk.
One can stash these rocks for years when traveling and all you need is water from a well and a clay pot and you are in business, you have this yogurt that is out of this world and you dip bread in it and is what we ate for dinner for years. The gifts Mary and Joseph received was what my mother received including the two pigeons they sacrificed the day I was born.
It is obvious and is the first thing you bring as a gift. I will not provide the links for these stories, do your homework, search “esparto containing small whole round cheeses” on google and then “Jameed” and you will come back to me to tell me I was telling you the truth.
Sure Valtorta wrote and expressed what she saw in Italian, but as I read and think in an eastern mindset it all adds up as if this was translated from a Semitic tongue. So when she says the shepherds brought “tanned hides” I know this is lambs hides which were all over the place where I grew up and it was obvious for blanket and as you read on, when these shepherds arrived to Joseph and he asked what they wanted, they offer these gifts saying here “wool”. Was it tanned hide or wool? It was both. It is as if she saw these hides flipped on one side in one scene where you only see the skin and then the other side in the other scene when she can see the wool.
Valtorta describing a simple conversation between Jesus and Mary and after finishing the discussion, they lit another lamp and headed outside to go to sleep:
They light another little lamp and go out to go and rest.
A westerner reads this and asks “why sleep outside?”
Someone like Valtorta with some fanciful imagination would have missed and said they just slept and one would presume they slept inside their home. This would be the usual presumption. But sleeping inside during summer nights is not the case in old-times holy land. Summertimes in Bethlehem as I grew up there during the sixties, an era just before the ancient gave up its tradition, the place to sleep was usually outside, on the flat rooftop or the wide square porch which was built for gathering and sleeping.
Also, one must come up with fire. How did Valtorta know that they used “flint” which is called Siwan and with a flick of the two Siwan rocks it lights up the wick soaked in olive oil? Why not presume they rubbed sticks? They didn’t have matches, but they did have Siwan.
Even Manger Square in Bethlehem and the Shepherd’s Fields below in the valley were I grew up was described to such detail and given the proper title as a place for “shepherds” in “the valley of Bethlehem”.
“I had planted a bomb in Manger Square as a teenager just before Christmas in 1977,” I told the priest as we drove to bless my mother. I told him this before he told me about Valtorta. Then few hours later as I began to read to only find out that she wrote of that spot, when the Maggi came to visit Jesus when He was a toddler.
Should I slander Valtorta and claim she made up her massive 15,000 page stories? I too was slandered when the Jerusalem Post and CNN claimed that they checked all records and that there were no explosions in Manger Square during 1976-1977. Before you slander Valtorta, or after you read all the slanders, spend a week and read this.
Being slandered on a national level is one of the most painful experiences, but it is also a blessing I endured. God allows it so we can relate to Jesus who is the most slandered person in history.
Truth is found only where slander abounds.
It took me months to find the United Nations reports that proves my bombing. Ironically it was the Jerusalem Post itself that reported a bomb in 1977 to only deny it decades later saying there was no bombing in Bethlehem Manger Square at the time. The Jerusalem Post (which has always been fair to me in the past) hired an apprentice liberal journalist to do a story on my life. The man was evil. The Jerusalem Post regretted what they’ve done and allowed me to publish a rebuttal column on their newspaper. But who reads rebuttals, the damage is done and CNN picked on it and believed it and it circulated to Tinbuktu where every person who loves slander jumped on it.
Now that I found the United Nations records, slanderers would say that I manufactured it including all the bombing incidents on the list just to make up my story. Anyone is welcome to click and read.
Mind you, this incident is only forty some years old and the might of the media could not find any records. So how did an aesthetic like Valtorta who was not an archeologist, historian or is even someone who lived in or ever visited the Holy Land, have access to ancient history and describes it in a holy land setting to such detail that is virtually extinct? She would have to dig so many archeological sites that were still covered up until Israel returned to spark their love for archeology.
She described the panorama, topography, architecture, geography, ethnology, chronology only known by some scholars and some by no one. She describes the plains in Jericho where I lived and where Jesus and Lazarus hid in the “thicket of low trees” which is a signature of how I witnessed Jericho having lived there for 5 years. As Valtorta described everyone from Jerusalem or Bethlehem must first go to “Jericho to cross to the other side of the Jordan” which is still done today. And when Jesus says to Peter during a conversation on their way to Jericho “Let us cover with a veil the faults of our brother,” this metaphor using “a veil” to cover sins is something passed down by lost tradition which we still use in Bethlehem. The veil as we called it sutra, as in a clothing for when even a woman is married she is now “veiled” by her husband since an unmarried woman is frowned upon unless she is dedicated for a higher calling. Everyone seeks to be ‘veiled’ of their sins and embarrassments. This is how traditionally we spoke.
How would she describe in detail of Pella (Arabic Tabaqat Fahl) and of Geresa (which we know as Jerash) north of the Jordan to even have a story of Jesus healing a boy named Jai’/Jaia. This was before Trajan annexed the kingdom of the Nabataeans in 106 AD were Arabic was the language and the boy, his name “Jaia” matched his condition in the story since the name means “starving” in Arabic where Jesus fed the poor boy. Valtorta spoke no Arabic.
I read Valtorta’s translation, her attempts to transfer her thoughts in Italian and I read it translated to English but I can see the conversations in semitic sense and imagine it in a semitic language and a semitic setting and it all adds up just as when I read the scriptures in English.
Indeed, 15,000 pages is a lot to read. But was it not John who already revealed in the Bible that there is more: “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.” (John 21:25)
But again, God chose not to provide all these records in the past. Did I make the wrong judgment? I leave this up to you. I stick with prophecy as the yardstick to measure visions, dreams and charisma. But I will give a fair review. God forgive if I err.
Valtorta knew of the Jericho I lived in describing the Tamarrisk (Carob) trees which are unique to the area. She described tunnels under Jerusalem which I recall using during my terror days. She knew of the other Bethlehem and the other Thamara, a village in the north. I once had to write archeologists about another Thamra (Thamara) which many believed was located at Ein Haseva and they keep also confusing it with Asasan Thamar (Hazazon Tamar) south west of the Dead Sea. Try to to find that Thamara on any regular map, you can’t. It is only known by few Bethlehem locals. It exists south east of Bethlehem and north of Zatara known as Ta’amra and is today called the ruins of Beth-Tamar (Bait Ta’mar) exactly as it is written in the Copper Scrolls (Latitude: 31.67201 Longitude: 35.225515) which still houses un-excavated and undiscovered temple treasures:
45) In the cistern which is to the North of the mouth of narrow pass of Beth-Tamar, in the rocky ground of Ger Pela, everything which is there is a sacred offering. In the dovecote of the fortress of Nabata…
Even the archeologists still can’t find “Beth Tamar” believing the Copper Scroll was speaking of Hazazon-Tamar in Ein Gedi, yet the Copper Scroll does not say “Hazazon” but “Beth”. Even the archeologists follow maps instead of asking local shepherds or someone who hanged out with them like myself.
In fact, it was a shepherd from Beth Tamar named Muhammad Dheib who accidentally discovered the most valuable treasure in history: the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was thinking it would make good leather, he sold it to a local shoe repair shop named Kando in Bethlehem until a Christian priest knew this was holy writ.
Some might think that identifying ancient places should be a breeze. The problem is that Israel became a desolation after Jesus and the Temple destruction. Imagine the whole nation of Israel was nothing more than thousands of ghost towns with scant population scattered here and there some of whom passed down names of village locations while other places where completely lost to history. It takes another thousand years to discover all the lost ruins.
Ezekiel 36 even predicts this utter destruction and reconstruction of everything:
“The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like a garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.”
Besides small spots of population, the land was mostly empty. One historian after the other agrees to a major fact the Bible already predicted long ago. It is here where perhaps I can bore you with some history to show you why Valtorta’s rediscovery of these cities is crucial:
Dio Cassius describing Israel when it was destroyed by the Romans:
“Of their forts the 50 strongest were razed to the ground, 985 of their best known villages were destroyed…..Thus the whole of Judea became desert, as indeed had been foretold to the Jews before the war. For the Tomb of Solomon, whom these folks celebrate in their sacred rights, fell into it’s own accord into fragments, and wolves and hyenas, many in number roamed howling through their cities” (History of the Romans, lxix, 12-14 cited by DeHass, History, pp 55-56).
Did I make my hyena stories up?
In 1590 A.D, an English visitor to Jerusalem road wrote,
“nothing there to be seen but a little of the old walls, which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, mosse and weeds much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde.” (Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement page 86).
It was only in 1697 that Tiberius was being resettled by Jews from Papal states, whose immigration was approved by a Papal bull, Nazareth was continuing it’s decline. A Franciscan Pilgrim writes:
“A house of robbers, murderers, the inhabitants are Saracens…it is a lamentable thing to see thus such a town. We saw nothing more stony, full of thorns and desert.”. (DeHass, History, p337, citing The Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement, 1925, p197).
In the mid 1700’s, British Archeologist Thomas Shaw wrote that the land in Palestine was “lacking in people to till its fertile soil.” (Thomas Shaw, Travels and Observations, London 1767, p331).
1793, Count Constantine F. Volney claimed that the population of Jerusalem was less then 14,000; Hebron had 900 men, and Bethlehem had only 600 adult men.”
J. S. Buckingham described his visit of 1816 to Jaffa, which “has all the appearances of a poor village, and every part of it that we saw was of corresponding madness.”.
Buckingham described Ramle, “where, as throughout the greater part of Palestine, the ruined portion seemed more extensive then that which was inhabited.”.
After a visit in 1817 – 1818, travelers reported that there was not “a single boat of any description on that lake (Tiberius)”. (J. S. Buckingham, Travels in Palestine, p 146).
French poet, Alphonse de Lamartine, 1835 A.D writes: “Outside the gates of Jerusalem we saw indeed no living object. Heard no living sound. We found the same void, the same silence that we should have found before the entombed gates of Pompeii or of Greece. A complete eternal silence reigns in the town, in the highways, in the country; the tomb of a whole people.”.
British Counsel in Palestine reported in 1857: “The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of population”.
In 1863 Samuel Clemens writes: “a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but given over wholly to weeds – a silent mournfull expanse …. A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action… We never saw a human being on the whole route.” (The Innocence Abroad).
In 1867, Mark Twain described the Jezerel Valley now verdant in Galilee as being devoid of a single village; the Galilee:
“unpeopled desert; Jericho is a moldering ruin; Bethlehem as untended by any living creature“; and “renowned Jerusalem itself a pauper village.” “Palestine sits in ashes,” he lamented. (Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, pp. 349).
Historian and writer De Haas records:
“The real source of the interest in the problem was the condition of Palestine; empty, silent, waste, ruin between 1840 and 1880” (De Haas, History, p. 407).
God said it: “it will be a desolation” and it was. How did some lady named Valtorta know how to unravel all these towns and describe them so meticulously?
Do you think it was easy for me to convert from Islam? It was this type of prophetic evidence that I witnessed, saw and lived which convicted me of the truth: God came down. He died on the Cross. He resurrected from the dead. He is alive and He speaks, always.
Valtorta, in her Adoration of The Maggi in her visions she describes Jesus as a toddler when the Maggi visited Him at Bethlehem Manger Square. And it is still there today similar to as it was.
The detail in which she describes Manger Square with Jesus as a toddler. Why didn’t she simply describe Christ as just born infant with Maggi visiting a newly born baby? This gets to explain why Herod commanded at Matthew 2:16–18 that the Massacre of the Innocents included boys up to two years old.
Christ according to her visions was born prior to the appearance of the Magi who journeyed for months to see the baby King.
Valtorta knew towns unknown to any historian. Towns that were not discovered by archaeologists until way later when Israel retook the land and excavated ruins. I spotted her accurate descriptions the moment I laid eye to where Jesus instructed his disciples:
And when you arrive in Jerusalem go and join the shepherds in the valley of Bethlehem, and come with them to Me, in the place you know, and we will celebrate together the holy feast.
A typical ignorant would simply say ‘shepherds’ in ‘Bethlehem’, but she used “shepherds” in the “Valley of Bethlehem”. This would be a place where for years daily I would roam to and fro from Bethlehem where I went to school down back home to the valley through a steep road east towards Beit Sahour which was known as the Village of the Shepherds, a huge portion of it was owned by my grandfather where we still call it till today the Shepherds Fields or biblically known as the Fields of Boaz. This is the “Tower of Edar” (Tower of the Flock) where Jacob settled after his wife Rachel died. Eusebius (AD 265-340) says the tower, 1000 [1480 meters] paces from Bethlehem, just a stone throw aways from where I was born, marked the place where the shepherds received the angel’s message. It was to our village where my grandfather’s land stood that the message regarding the Kingdom of Heaven was first transmitted:
“And thou, O tower of the flock [Tower of Edar], the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:8)
Way before Jesus’ birth, Targum Yonatan, paraphrases Genesis 35:23 and Micah 4:8:
“He spread his tent beyond Migdal Edar, the place where King Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days.”
It was a few yards where I lived at my grandfather’s home, the Mukhtar, where Mary and Joseph thirst on their journey to Bethlehem and the water gushed forth from a cistern hewn by Jacob which history attests to the day of my own family having witnessed hymns and the voices of nuns praising.
Catholic Riccoldo da Monte di Croce visited that very well to be blessed. It was from Riccoldo da Monte di Croce that Protestant so-called reformer, Martin Luther, had to adjust his prophetic interpretation when he learned about the threat of Islam from di Croce to change his mind and say: “ … the Turk (Muslim) is the flesh of antichrist …” while he kept the Catholic as the “spirit of Antichrist”.
The full lie was finally induced with truth making his interpretation a half-truth.
It was here in my village where miraculous healing of nuns and even my Muslim relatives who publicly baptized their children as result of seeing Mary appear which my own family attest to have seen visions. Go ahead, see the historic link and use Google translate to understand what was said in the Arabic.
Had Valtorta made up her story, she would have been caught. Ancient Bethlehem is bigger than it is today which included areas outside the vicinity of the town we know today as Bethlehem. Even today so few consider Bethlehem includes another village called Beit Sahur (the Shepherds Fields) and today is commonly known as a separate village from Bethlehem, yet it is officially on record still as Bethlehem:
“The Bethlehem agglomeration also covers the small towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour. The latter has biblical importance as the reputed site of the “Shepherds’ Field.”
This is why she says “shepherds in the valley of Bethlehem“. Yet she describes the area perfectly without ever having been there. Likewise in ancient times, these locations were not considered separate, but one.
According to the New Testament, an angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds. According to tradition, St. Helena built a convent at the site [in Beit Sahour], which is today known as the shepherd’s cave.”
OUR OWN CHARISMATIC EXPERIENCE
We all have mystifying experiences we can’t explain. I myself, as a child, having lived there, in a dream, I had been taken on a vision hovering over that whole area as young as 6 to even remember things as young as 2 and I had asked my mother about the typography way before modern homes existed there: “why is everything [the Shepherd’s Fields that is] all look square from the sky?”
“You have never been in the sky, so how would you know” my mother replied realizing I was speaking of the typography as fields are separated one from another by borderlines which a child would not notice unless he is in a plane.
And even to this day, my elder son, a carpenter who unlike Theodore, my younger, the carpenter never read a lick of any books after high-school. He completely hates books and loves working with his hands. I write his exact words as he too, like Valtorta, is taken in a dream from a church he’s never heard of and named it as the Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary (which was the Church of the Assumption of Mary) to the Temple Mount describing intricate details he never knew:
“as I exited the church of Mary, where Christians were celebrating Mary [most likely the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God], I see a courtyard with walls and I walked adjacent to the wall on the right side”.
He has never been to Jerusalem. He describes what he saw. As you walk out there is that wall.
I finally had to show him photos “is this the place?” and his face shines “yes”.
He then enters the Temple Mount describing inside the court walls and arches with columns that had no ceilings, the staircase on the side of one of the walls he said was “going nowhere”. He did not realize the staircase was for the arrow sharp-shooters during Crusader era which I knew well. He even described the octagonal outcroppings even the tiny one besides the Dome of the Rock. He then describes jumping into a confrontation, a drama where people who were celebrating began to flee the wrath of the Antichrist where he would confront him with fervent Catholic style prayers as in casting out demons and then the New Jerusalem emerges describing it as a city with golden walls and gates from a text of the Bible I know he never read.
Such miracles that we experience personally is beyond time and puts us in the event as traveling in a time-tunnel.
But in Valtorta’s case she had this type of experience in an immense volume “she included over 500 personalities within a perfectly flowing and internally consistent narrative, with hardly a correction, was written in a period of 4 years and often out of sequence! So much timing information is given, including years, seasons, Jewish feast days, months, days of the week and even time schedules for our Lord’s ministry itinerary for over 350 ministry sites, that nearly every episode in the Poem and in all four Gospels can be dated! Further, Maria Valtorta not only heard and saw but she actually felt the experience. She felt the hot Palestinian summer sun, the cool mountain breezes and the cold winter air. She also could smell every scent in the air, from the fresh cut hay in the fields to the spring blossoms of orchards to the tempting aroma of hearty meals in preparation or fresh baked bread just out of the oven.”
“All this speaks of a mystical but very real presence! Her actual presence is also evidenced by the fact that what Valtorta saw was determined by where she turned to look. The scenes in this “revelation” were wrapped completely around her. She was literally in the midst of this experience. The only modification to this reality seems to have been in language. Valtorta hears almost everything in her native Italian. But so did the Jews of the Diaspora hear the Apostles at Pentecost in their own languages. Adding to the certainty that Valtorta’s experience was of an eyewitness is that several times she is brought to the scene right in the middle of a discourse or conversation. (Vol. I, p.324)”
ON THE SHROUD
What about how Jesus described to Valtorta, as she claims, the similarities between the Veil of Veronica (which He intended to be as a gift to His Mother to remind her of His presence) and the Face of the Shroud of Turin which scientists discovered only for the first time in history decades after her death and while she was bedridden for most of her life during these encounters where she wrote the thousands of handwritten pages in mostly 31⁄2 years amidst multiple chronic illnesses and with only a catechism and a Bible at hand.
She relates on February 22, 1944, Jesus’ words, as she claims, way before His shroud, the shroud of Turin was examined by scientists which He prophesied: “Compare – you who proceed with arid investigations, o rationalists …”:
The veil of Veronica is also a stimulus to your skeptical souls. Compare – you who proceed with arid investigations, o rationalists, o lukewarm people, o you unsteady in the faith – the Face of Veronica’s Veil with that of the Shroud. One is the Face of a living Person, the other of a dead One. But the length, width, somatic types, shape, and distinctive features are the same. Superimpose the images. You shall see that they correspond. It is I. I who wanted to commemorate for you what I looked like and what I became out of love for you. If you were not astray or blind, those two Faces should be enough to bring you to love, to repentance, to God.
It wasn’t until many decades later from Valtorta’s writings that scientists (on their own accord) did just that very thing “Compare – you who proceed with arid investigations, o rationalists …” they began their investigation on the shroud and God allowed the faulty carbon dating, the slander, the quick dismissal in order to divide between prudent and foolish, diligent and lazy servants, faith and skepticism, wheat from tares …
Truth is what is ridiculed the most. I previously used prophecies by Anne Catherine Emmerich, another bedridden Augustinian nun in Germany who from a vision gave such intricate detailed locations and exact description of a house in Ephesus Turkey dwelt by St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, which helped discover the home built for her by my favorite apostle John. He was the one who wrote Revelations that were a breeze for me to understand and where a mystery for the scholarly who dismissed them.
But people who believe in “Bible alone” would doubt since these accounts were not in the canon. Think about it. Had the miracle of Jesus healing the bleeding woman (Veronica) by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment (Luke 8:43-48) not been in scripture, or the aprons and handkerchiefs the disciples passed around for the sick to touch and be healed also not been mentioned in scripture, these too would have been denied by the ones who are too quick to comment negatively. I see them every day on the comment box acting foolish.
If one just searched Valtorta, there are several geologists and mineralogists who point out how Maria Valtorta described and correctly named several towns and villages that were not even discovered until after her death. David J. Webster posted a landmark 31 page article that fundamentally proves the authenticity of Maria Valtorta’s writings.
The “Poem of the Man-God” may be the very first Private Revelation ever to be scientifically proven genuine. David meticulously and methodically examines Maria Valtorta’s strikingly accurate descriptions of first Century Palestine for every piece of topographical evidence. He then compares this evidence with currently known facts that are only now being proven authentic. “Over thirty percent or 79 (all entries marked with * and **) of the 255 geographical sites in Palestine mentioned in the Poem were not listed in the 1939 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) Atlas. 62 (all**) of these 79 were not even listed in the 184 page Macmillan Bible Atlas (MBA) published in 1968. [Maria Valtorta died in 1961]
Where did Maria Valtorta get all these names? For a first century eye-witness to include so many obscure and unknown names would, of course, be expected. And most surprising is that these names, obscure and unknown in the 1940’s, are only now being proven authentic. 52 of these 62 have no biblical reference whatever, and 17 of these with no biblical reference have been either indirectly confirmed as authentic by recent “ancient external sources” found in the Macmillan Bible Atlas (1968) or actually listed in the Harper Collins Atlas of the Bible (1989). This makes a total of 29 confirmations since the 1939 ISBE atlas listing.
Also among those 62 sites are mentioned the ruins of 6 ancient Palestinian cities some corresponding to the modern consensus on location. In addition, Valtorta’s precise descriptions of the natural topography of Palestine from numerous locations and the information about the outside pagan world of that day, including people, places, customs, Greek and Roman mythology, related in the conversations of that day, are strikingly correct.
Caecilius Maximus of the Roman army simply named by Valtorta in a brief dialog between two Roman soldiers at the beginning of the year 29 A.D. In the Work, he is not invested with any role. His name, unknown to historians when the work was published and seemed as pure invention. And yet, the historical existence of this personage is today verified by the discovery of a little silver tablet near Pompey in 1959, mentioning the presence of Caecilius Maximus in Pozzuoli (Puteoli) in July of the year 29. Coincidence?
How could it be that on August 5, 1944, a year before the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and August 9th 1945 respectively, Christ speaks to Valtorta about World War II and what I find amazing is that it confirms what we have been warning you about all along before I discovered Valtorta’s claims, that these same enemies, Turkey Japan and Germany would still be the spear of the Antichrist. He tells Valtorta:
I solemnly tell you that what many people think is the victory over the Antichrist, the peace now close at hand [after WWI and WWII], will be only a pause to give the Enemy of the Christ time to acquire new strength, to dress his wounds and gather his army for a fiercer struggle. Since you are the “voices” of your Jesus, of the King of kings, of the faithful and truthful king who judges and fights with justice and will defeat the Beast and his servants and prophets, ensure that you know what is your Good and follow it forever. Let no false appearance entice you, let no persecution terrify you.”
The “beast” here is the continual threat to God’s people and not just in the end of times and Christ says it is wounded and this wound will soon heal. Years before I read Valtorta’s writings we warned of the same enemies of World War I, the Ottomans and World War II, Japan and Germany with a myriad of articles warning that this will be “only a pause to give the Enemy of the Christ time to acquire new strength, to dress his wounds and gather his army for a fiercer struggle.”
My habitual readers know this. How many are the times me and my son Theodore spoke of the wounded Ottoman and how Japan simply wants to revive its aspiration and why Germany is the most dangerous nation in Europe.
He also reveals to Valtorta how we must behave in these times:
“do not let it blunt your minds with the savour of quietism, considering yourselves already saved because I have shown Heaven to you … I have invited you to superhuman deeds by means of superhuman visions and lessons, so that you may be of greater help to Me. I make you partners in My work. But I have never had and I never have a minute’s rest. Because Evil never rests and Good must be always active to make void the work of the Enemy as much as possible. We shall rest when the Time is accomplished. Now we must proceed untiringly, we must work continuously and sacrifice ourselves unremittingly for the harvest of God … Do not be like the old rabbis who taught the Revelation but did not believe in it, to the extent of not being able to recognise the signs of the time and the messengers of God. Ensure that you recognise the precursors of the Christ in His second coming, because the powers of the Antichrist are on the march and, making an exception on the limit I have imposed on Myself, because I know that you drink in certain truths not with a supernatural spirit but out of thirst for human curiosity …”
Christ partners with His saints. It is through Theosis, being one with Christ that what emanates from the saints is what emanates through Christ “I make you partners in My work”. “Good must always be active” and as we were telling you all along, there is no room for lazy servants who are damned. This is time to gather the harvest of God by conversion to Christ and you are the workers. He urges we “recognize the signs of the times” and then He introduces a warning of the Antichrist.
The doubting Thomas needs to think. Who in ancient Egypt was able to replicate the miracles of Moses or the celebrated apparitions in the year 1858, to Bernardette at the rock of Massabielle, near Lourdes, in France and then her body incorruptible is laid for all to see the incorruptible body awaiting its appointed resurrection?
Astronomical details in Maria Valtorta’s writings have been proven strikingly accurate. If you want to spend the time and read the detailed evidence presented by Harvard educated Theoretical Physicist Lonnie Lee VanZandt have at it. But in summary, in Valtorta’s visions in her The Poem of the Man-God she observed that in March of year 33 AD seeing Jupiter, Mars, Venus and stars of Orion: of Rigil and Betelgeuse, of Aldebaran, of Perseus, Andromeda & Cassiopeia and the Pleiades all jointly appeared from Gadara.
Such visibility of these stars is uncommon. These planets were indeed visible on March 8, 33 AD at 11 PM, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Orion, Perseus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, and the Pleiades were all visible and from Gadara which is modern day Uum Qais in Jordan, coordinates 32.6500° N, 35.6833° E.
This along with a waning moon in the night sky. Mind you in the 1940’s there was no complex Astronomical computer program. The professor discovered that this was only possible for two days in March of 33 AD confirming her account. Again, this astronomical scenario doesn’t occur for many decades (before and after) except for those two days in March 33 AD. The birth of Christ according to the calculation places Jesus’ birth in December -1 AD, Herod’s death in -2 AD and the Crucifixion on April 21st, 34 AD which flies in the face of biblical historians who all disagree with each other.
Many will argue: astrology is not an enough sign of divine knowledge. While God knows well the science of the planets, the alignment of planets is also known by devils and the Book of Revelation warns not to add to this book (Apoc 22: 18-19). For Valtorta to say “the Gospel According To Me” is a serious claim. Public Revelation ends with the death of the last Apostle. However, and since many would take this stand, private revelation will not end until the end of time as St. Thomas Aquinas affirms that “God sends prophets to every generation”. That plus the Apostles themselves attest that they only recorded a small number of the actions, words and miracles, and events of Jesus (see John 21: 24-25 and John 20:30). Private revelation and Public Revelation are two separate theological issues. Valtorta never asked for her writings to be included as scripture.
But besides all this, what counts and in her words from Christ, she explains from His words how we are to commune with Christ and how to transform and regenerate:
In the souls regenerated in the Grace of Baptism and maintained and fortified therein by the other Sacraments, the soul’s being attracted to its end takes place in divine fashion because Grace—that is, God Himself—draws His beloved children to Himself—ever closer, more and more in the light, the more they rise by degrees in spirituality, so that separation diminishes and seeing is more intense; knowledge, vaster; comprehension, broader; and love, more perfect, to the point of arriving at contemplation which is already fusion and union of the creature with the Creator, a temporary, but indelible, transforming act, for the embrace of the Fire of the Divinity closing over its enraptured creature impresses a new character on these living beings, who are already separated from Humanity and spiritualized into seraphim, expert in the Wisdom God gives them, for He gives Himself to them as they give themselves to Him.
But not everyone is a scholar to decipher Valtorta’s work. The other method to determining truth from falsehood is to examine both sides and see which side produces fruit. Jesus said “you shall know them by their fruits”. Like Israel of the past, the Vatican includes the saint and also the most vile. It has evil bishops, cardinals and archbishops who would not hesitate to carry out the most evil plans which has always infested the system from playing dirty politics to pouring in pedophile priests in order to inflict the most damage to the flock. One of the best ways to know truth from falsehood is to examine the sources of critics and supporters. Archbishop Pasquale Gagliardi was a corrupt archbishop who slandered Saint Padre Pio causing the latter to be forbidden to say Mass in public and being forbidden to see or write to the faithful! What determines sheep from goat is that the goat is a lazy servant, always too quick to make judgment and always has evil intents in his heart. As we say in the east, the snow someday will melt and all the crap under will be revealed. The thing about Valtorta is that the more the snow melts, the more nuggets we find.
To God be the glory.