Is the Divine Will Approved by the Church?

Mar 12, 2024
Is the Divine Will Approved by the Church

Wondering about the status of Luisa Piccarreta's revelations on the Divine Will? Rest assured, they have received official approval. In this post, we'll walk through the Church's endorsement and Luisa's beatification status.

The Church's meticulous examination and endorsement of Luisa's writings affirm their compatibility with Catholic doctrine. As such, faithful Catholics may study her teachings with confidence, while always interpreting them in accordance with the Deposit of Faith. 

Here is a brief timeline highlighting important events surrounding Luisa's process of beatification and the approval of her writings...

Timeline: The Process of Beatification

  • 1994: The Vatican granted Archbishop Carmelo Cassati permission to initiate Luisa's beatification process, marking her as a Servant of God.
  • November 20, 1994: Luisa's cause of beatification officially commenced on the Feast of Christ the King.
  • January 1996: Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) released 34 volumes of the Book of Heaven to Archbishop Cassati, advancing Luisa's cause.
  • March 1997: On the 50th anniversary of Luisa's death, the tribunal affirmed her heroic virtue and the authenticity of her mystical experiences.
  • October to November 2005: The diocesan phase of Luisa's beatification concluded, with all official documents forwarded to the Vatican.
  • March 7, 2006: The Vatican officially commenced the beatification process.
  • 2008: The Congregation for the Causes of Saints appointed theologians to review Luisa's writings, ultimately affirming their compatibility with Catholic doctrine.
  • End of 2009 to July 19, 2010: Both theologians provided positive judgments on Luisa's writings, confirming their alignment with Catholic faith and morals.
  • November 2012: Mons. Giovanni Battista Pichierri, Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie, strongly rebuked those who claim that Luisa's writings contain doctrinal errors. "These persons cause scandal to the faithful," he said, "who are spiritually nourished by said writings." He exhorted the faithful to pray for Luisa's beatification and to read and spread her writings.

St Annibale Maria di Francia & Pope Benedict XVI

It is important to understand St. Annibale Maria di Francia's role in promoting the Divine Will. Besides being her confessor, St. Annibale played a crucial role in validating and promoting her writings. He meticulously examined them for 17 years, finding no contradiction with Catholic teachings. His profound respect for Luisa's spiritual insights is evident in his correspondence with her and his promotion of her writings.

Here are some poignant words from St. Annibale himself:

"[Luisa is] a most pure virgin, wholly of God, the littlest one that He found on earth with no education, endowed with an extraordinary familiarity with Jesus, the right person for a mission so sublime that no other can be compared to it - that is, the triumph of the Divine Will upon the whole earth, in conformity with what is said in the ‘Our Father': Fiat Voluntas Tua sicut in Coelo et in terra."

“I want you to know that since I have totally dedicated myself to the great work of the Divine Will, I practically don’t concern myself at all with my institutes. I talk about it with spiritual people, I keep to this point with those who are able to listen and I promote it as much as I can, even in my institutes.”

Pope Benedict XVI emphasized this point in his address upon the erection of St Annibale's statue on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, calling him a "great apostle of the Kingdom of the Divine Will." Further, the Holy Father demonstrated his deep familiarity with Luisa's writings and ardent desire that we obtain the grace to fully live out the "doctrine of the Divine Will:"

"Let us pray on this special occasion to San Annibale Maria Di Francia that he, who reviewed and gave Nihil Obstat to the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, inspires and guides those who now read her writings. Who published and disseminated 'The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ' and all her other writings helps in this sacred task all those whom God inspires the timely publication of them. Who overflowed with the divine light of the doctrine of the Divine Will intercedes for us so that we, by constantly dying to our will, can continually live in the Divine Will. We entrust ourselves to St. Annibale Maria Di Francia to obtain for us the spiritual graces needed to know, understand and fully live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will."

Imprimatur & Nihil Obstat

Catholics also need to understand the significance of ecclesiastical approval conveyed through Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. St Annibal Maria di Francia gave his Nihil Obstat, and the Archbishop Mons. Giuseppe M. Leo of Trani-Barletta-Biscelie gave his handwritten Imprimatur directly on the original manuscripts of Luisa.

As Pope Benedict XVI explained when he was Cardinal and head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith:

“Ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation has three elements: the message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals; it is lawful to make it public; and the faithful are authorized to accept it with prudence.”

Current Status of Luisa's Cause

The Catholic Church continues to advance Luisa's beatification process. However, in 2020, her cause was temporarily suspended (put on hold) pending clarification of certain ambiguities within her writings.

Despite the Church's affirmation of the revelations, the potential rapid growth of the Divine Will movement worldwide post-beatification prompts the need for resolution of these ambiguities beforehand. This highlights the great care and caution with which the Church proceeds in the Beatification process and should reassure us that everything is being done to safeguard the correct interpretation of Luisa's writings in alignment with Church teaching.

Conclusion

In summary, the journey of Luisa Piccarreta's Divine Will teachings within the Catholic Church presents a clear record of endorsement and discernment. Faithful Catholics can approach her writings with confidence, knowing they have been scrutinized and found to be in harmony with Church doctrine.

It's important to recognize that while private revelations like Luisa's are not obligatory beliefs for salvation, their approval by the Church warrants the utmost respect. Criticism or condemnation of such approved revelations shows disrespect for the Church's authority.

Moreover, the Church's acknowledgment of figures like St. Annibale Maria di Francia and the proclamation of Luisa as a Servant of God further affirm the legitimacy of the doctrine of the Divine Will. As we seek to grow in this great spiritual journey, let us do so with humility, reverence, and a deep respect for the discernment of Holy Mother Church.

Sources

This post frequently references an article sent to me by Mother Gabrielle Marie, foundress and Mother Superior of the Benedictine Daughters of the Divine Will. That article makes the following references:

1. Fr. Carlos Antonio Massieu Avila (September 6, 2010). Lecture notes from the retreat for the priests about the Divine Will Spirituality in Korea

2. Padre Bernardino Giuseppe Buci, O.F.M. The 17 years – Saint Annibale di Francia and Luisa Piccarreta

3. Stephen Patton, M.A., J.D. (July 10, 2000). What the Catholic Church says about Luisa Piccarreta?

I'm Mary Fernandez, a proud Catholic mom of five living in Kentucky. Here at Humble Housewives, I dive into the world of holy saints and healing plants, sharing ancient secrets to holistic wellness. Let's explore together!

I'm Mary Fernandez, a Catholic mom of five with a passion for history and ancient remedies. Here at Humble Housewives, I dive into the world of holy saints and healing plants. Want to stay in the loop about new blog posts?

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