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The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, also known as "Little Daughter of the Divine Will," is under consideration for possible canonization as a saint of the Catholic Church. She was a mystic and author notable for having allegedly "survived on nothing but Communion wafers for sixty-five years". For some time, her confessor was St. Annibale Maria di Francia. Her spirituality centered on union with the Will of God. She was born in Corato, Bari, Italy in 1865. She died at the age of 82 in 1947, and the Archbishop of Trani opened her Cause for Beatification in 1994. By the end of 2005, the process of inquiry and documentation within the Diocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie-Nazareth was complete. Her cause was then passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints of the Vatican, which opened its examination March 7, 2006. Piccarreta was thereby enrolled as a "Servant of God". The Congregation for the Causes of Saints appointed a Roman lawyer, Silvia Monica Correale, as the postulator of Piccarreta's Cause for Canonization.
The Archbishop of Trani has reiterated, in a letter dated November 2012, his approval of the existence of groups formed to study Luisa's writings. He also reaffirmed his moratorium on the current publication for public use, both in print and online, of most of the writings of Piccarreta, presenting it as his desire to present in the future, a "typical and critical edition of her writings", (for which the Archdiocese of Trani owns all of the publishing rights). In the same letter, The Archbishop criticises “poor or exaggerated explanations of her writings”, but affirms that both he and the Church have found that her writings themselves are free of doctrinal error.
Piccarreta was born in Corato in the Province of Bari, Italy on April 23, 1865 and died there March 4, 1947.
At the age of 17, Piccarreta is believed to have experienced a "mystical union" with Jesus akin to the religious ecstasy experienced by Saint Teresa of Ávila. Following this experience, she remained bedridden for the remainder of her life, claiming this was her fiat from Jesus.
For the next 64 years until her death, Luisa stayed in bed, not eating enough to sustain her life. She received the eucharist during the Daily Mass said by a priest in her room. This special blessing was given first by Pope Leo XIII and then subsequently by Pope Saint Pius X. Piccarreta's followers also believe that she was nourished directly by the Divine Will, a reference to the Bread of Life promised by Jesus.
Luisa is believed to have suffered the pains of Jesus' passion, in reparation for the sins of the world, and to call down God's mercy upon the earth. She is believed to have received instruction about the Divine Will and a special degree of grace known as "living in the Divine Will", directly from Jesus.
During this time, Piccarreta produced 36 volumes of writing, believed by her followers to have been dictated by Jesus, and collected into The Book of Heaven.
- Leon J Podles, "The Church Impotent", 1999, p 133
- Secretary for the Cause of Beatification of Luisa Piccarreta: Official Site for the Cause of Beatification of Luisa Piccarreta. Archdiocesi Trani - Barletta - Biscelie
- Pia Associazione "Luisa Piccarreta" (Italy). Also an official site for the Cause.
- Luisa Piccarreta and the Divine Will.
- The Writings of Luisa Piccarreta
- Brief Introduction to Luisa Piccarreta
- Excerpts from BE FAITHFUL AND ATTENTIVE the Handbook for Living in the Divine Will
- INTRODUCTION to The Book of Heaven, The Divine Will, Luisa Piccarreta, St Hannibal Di Francia, Hours of the Passion, The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will and other Relevant Writings