Valtorta conferences are important events for the discussion, sharing, and promotion of Maria Valtorta’s writings throughout the world. Conferences are an opportunity for scholars and experts to give talks about their research into Maria Valtorta’s writings, her history, and the impact her writings have, are having, and will have on the hundreds of thousands of readers in dozens of countries around the world. It is also an opportunity for Valtorta readers to gather together and share their mutual love of Valtorta and her writings, as well as their insights and experiences.
There have been numerous Valtorta conferences in Italy and Australia over the years. Most of the Italian conference materials have not yet been translated into English, but you can watch a video clip and find out more information about the 2011 Italian Valtorta Conference here. This web page includes an English translation of an excerpt from Archbishop Nuncio Apostolic Pier Giacomo De Nicolò’s’s homily about Valtorta that he preached in the Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation in Florence on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Maria Valtorta’s entrance into Heaven.
On this page, we will give information about the Italian, French, and Australian Valtorta conferences.
The first first International Italian Valtorta Conference took place in Pisa, Italy, on October 22-23, 2016. Six professors, two other doctors, an engineer, a geologist, a professional astronomer, a professional artist, a professional musician, a publisher, and a devout father gave presentations about Maria Valtorta and her writings. Each talk focused on a different topic. I will list each of the speakers further below.
Stephen Austin of the Maria Valtorta Readers’ Group represented the Maria Valtorta Readers’ Group as a speaker at the conference. You can read Stephen's comments about the conference in our December 2016 newsletter. You can view his talk by clicking the video below:
at the First International Italian Valtorta Conference in Pisa, Italy, on October 22, 2016
Zenit, a popular international news agency, published two articles about this conference:
Discovering the “Gospel” of Maria Valtorta
Maria Valtorta: Science and Faith Converge
Stephen's talk is mentioned in the second article. An excerpt from the second article is below:
[...] In the same vein as Lavère, ranks the work of another engineer, Stephen Austin, from the United States, a young thirty-year old man. He originally ran up against this mystic’s work for the sole purpose of repudiating it, but he then ended up subdued by the completeness and beauty of her The Poem of the Man-God (now known as The Gospel as Revealed to Me) to such extent that he dedicated four years of research to compile his e-book in English A Summa & Encyclopedia to Maria Valtorta’s Extraordinary Work and present it to the public, at this first International meeting. Constantly updated, Stephen’s work has 13 chapters and 49 subchapters, in which he introduces The Gospel as Revealed to Me to readers. The theological objections of the Church against private revelations are eviscerated in this e-book by a careful investigation of the approval that Valtorta’s work has received from saints and prelates: Saint Padre Pio and Saint Teresa of Calcutta; Pope Pius XII; cardinals, archbishops and bishops; 23 doctors of theology, divinity, or canon law; 16 university professors; etc. Stephen Austin then compares Valtorta’s visions with those of the other mystics, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and Venerable Mary of Agreda, both of which are less detailed and less accurate. He also emphasizes the almost absolute correlation between the Gospel and the text of Viareggio’s mystic, with the difference that, compared with the 141 days of Jesus’ ministry in the Sacred Scriptures, there are in The Gospel as Revealed to Me about 500 days, presented in much greater detail, historically valid, on account of the valuable and unique information on botany, geography, ethnology, and astronomy. Austin’s e-book is known as far as Oceania and Australia, thanks to his promotional work, which included participating in an interview on the Australian TV program of a religious nature Spirit of Life.To view the informational video for this international Valtorta conference which gives details and showcases the speakers, see: Video Convegno Valtortiano Internazionale Ottobre 2016 (versione ridotta).
You can also download the poster for the International Italian Valtorta Conference (showcasing all the conference speakers) here: 2016 International Italian Valtorta Conference Poster (PDF).
The official page for the first International Italian Valtorta Conference is: Primo Convegno Valtortiano Internazionale. The videos of the other speakers are available on that page.
I will list each of the speakers below. Next to their name will be the title of their talk in Italian or French (with an English translation of the talk title). Click on the title of their talk to watch it.
Don Ernesto Zucchini is president of the Maria Valtorta Foundation (distinct from the Maria Valtorta Foundation CEV Onlus) and is a Professor of Theology since 2009 at the School of Theological Formation (Scuola di Formazione Teologica) of the diocese of Massa Carrara. He is the main speaker in a Radio Maria broadcast on the mystic and a parish priest at Pontremoli, in the province of Massa Carrara and in four other, neighboring localities. He hosted the first International Italian Valtorta Conference took place in Pisa, Italy, on October 22-23, 2016. Zenit, a popular international news agency, published two articles about the conference (mentioned earlier):
Discovering the “Gospel” of Maria Valtorta
Maria Valtorta: Science and Faith Converge
The first article is an interview with Don Zucchini and the second article discusses the conference. You can find out more information about the conference and listen to Don Zucchini’s talk here: Maria Valtorta, un Miracolo Storico (Maria Valtorta, a Historical Miracle).
Professor Fernando La Greca: Ci sono anacronismi storici nell'Opera di Maria Valtorta? (Are There Historical Anachronisms in the Work of Maria Valtorta?)
Professor Maria Grazia Sovrano: Gesù e i gentili (Jesus and the Gentiles)
Professor Emilio Biagini: La Sacra Sindone e Maria Valtorta (The Holy Shroud and Maria Valtorta)
Dr. Liberato De Caro: L'opera valtortiana al vaglio dell'astronomia (Valtorta's Work from an Astronomical Viewpoint)
Geologist Thomas Dubé: Chronology, History, and Astronomy in the Writings of Maria Valtorta
Professor Francesco Rizzi: L'Assunta in Maria Valtorta, Dante e San Tommaso (The Assumption in Maria Valtorta, Dante, and St. Thomas)
Professor Anna Maria Costa: Maria Ss. Corredentrice nella vita quotidiana (Most Holy Mary as Redemptrix in Everyday Life)
Professor Ruben Pineda Esteban: L'Immolazione nelle opere di Maria Valtorta (Immolation in the Works of Maria Valtorta)
Professor Giuseppe Fioravanti: Considerazioni sul laicato al tempo di Maria Valtorta (A Reflection on the Laity in Maria Valtorta's Time)
Monsieur Bruno Perrinet: L'historique et les différentes activités de l'Association Maria Valtorta (The History and the Various Activities of the Maria Valtorta Association)
Engineer Stephen Austin: Promoting Maria Valtorta’s Extraordinary Writings Around the World
Maestro Giovanni Mezzasalma: Riflessioni sull'arte sacra alla luce dell'Opera valtortiana (Reflections on Sacred Art in the Light of the Work of Valtorta)
Ivano Conti: concerto su Maria, testi e canzoni sulla vita della Madre di Gesù (Concert of Maria, Texts and Songs About the Life of the Mother of Jesus)
Signore Michael Mellner: Maria Valtorta e la Chiesa Cattolica (Maria Valtorta and the Catholic Church)
The first French Valtorta Conference took place in Paris on May 28, 2016. You can view videos (in French) of some of conference talks here and here. Titles of some of the talks include “Maria Valtorta: Le don extraordinaire pour notre temps” [Valtorta: The Extraordinary Gift for Our Time], “Maria Valtorta, un don de Dieu validé par la science” [Maria Valtorta, a Gift from God Validated by Science], “Que lire de Maria Valtorta?” [Why Read Valtorta?], and “Maria Valtorta: La meilleure formation pour un prêtre à la pastorale” [Valtorta: The Best Training for a Priest in Pastoral Care].
Details about two of the speakers are given below:
Fr. Yannik Bonnet, D.Sc., is a Doctor of Science from Polytechnique School, which is the most famous school in France for engineers as well as for chairmen in many domains. In France, Polytechnique may be compared to Yale, MIT, or Harvard. In France, D.Sc. is considered a higher doctorate than a Ph.D. Fr. Bonnet was not only a professor, but was for eleven years the director of Ecole Supérieure de Chimie de Lyon (a university for engineers). After being widowed in 1995, he was ordained a priest in 1999, and is now writing in many religious newspapers. Fr. Yannik Bonnet, D.Sc., spoke at the French Maria Valtorta Conference on May 28, 2016, where he gave his testimony about how the work of Maria Valtorta entered into his life and discussed various aspects of her work. He discusses the characters in her work in his talk here: Maria Valtorta / Quelques personnages dans l'oeuvre / Père Yannik Bonnet - 28 mai 2016. He gives his talk “Maria Valtorta: The best training for a pastoral priest” here: Maria Valtorta: La meilleure formation pour un prêtre à la pastorale.
Peter Bannister is an exceptionally talented musician who holds graduate degrees in music from King’s College Cambridge and systematic/philosophical theology from the University of Wales. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and has been invited to give concert performances in many countries. His bio is here. He gave his testimony at the 2016 French Valtorta Conference and wrote an article in favor of Maria Valtorta on the Sciences & Religion website. His article is available here: Les écrits de Maria Valtorta (1897-1961) - imagination surchauffée ou percée pour l'exégèse biblique?
The Australian Valtorta Conference took place on October 22-23, 2016, headed up by Catherine Loft of the Maria Valtorta Readers’ Group. You can read about the events of the conference and testimonials from attendees in our December 2016 newsletter. You can also download the conference flyer here: 2016 Australian Valtorta Conference Flyer (PDF).
The second French Valtorta conference took place in the Parish of Notre-Dame d'Auteuil in Paris on May 20, 2017. Over 400 people from all over France attended. Here is an account by one of the attendees, Fr. Ernesto Zucchiniaria:
We were in Paris to attend the Second International Day of the Friends of Maria Valtorta. By the grace of God, we arrived in the evening of 19 May after travelling 1,044 km by car (from Italy). The day consisted of Mass, prayers and various speakers. We returned home happily and safely on 21 May. Thanks to God.
For me and Gabriele Cajano, it was our first time, but it was Francesco Penati’s second time. He was there last year and he knew the best way to get there.
All three of us congratulated Bruno Perrinet and Jerome Bayle for this wonderful initiative taking place in France. The purpose of this day was to involve as many people as possible within the financial constraints and [to cut costs] by using the Parish of Notre-Dame d'Auteuil in Paris as a venue. This conference took place entirely in this church, and at least 400 people attended from all over France. Unfortunately, the famous engineer Jean-François Lavère and Monsignor René Laurentin (Mariologist and French theologian) were unable to attend, but that did not detract from the day.
In the morning, Holy Mass was celebrated in the crypt along with the Holy Rosary (interspersed with passages from Maria’s writings) led by Bruno Perrinet. Everyone was then invited to go down the side street to a building on the grounds, which I presume belongs to the parish, where there were books for sale and time for lunch. In the afternoon from 2:00 pm, various speakers addressed the group. It started with Père Yannik Bonnet on Valtorta’s works, then Mrs. Vèronique Lèvy with a wonderful dramatic reading of a passage from Valtorta where Jesus comments on his Passion (Poem, Vol. 5, Chapter 613; Gospel, Vol. 9, Chapter 613). Then a former professional footballer, Florian Boucansaud, gave a testimony on his profound conversion to Jesus through reading the works of Maria Valtorta.
There was a brief address made by the Italian CEV [Centro Editoriale Valtortiano], and then Bruno Perrinet, the president of the Maria Valtorta Association, concluded the conference.
The solemnity of the place (the crypt and the church) and the Holy Mass did not allow any opportunity for a dialogue to take place between those who attended and the guest speakers, and this somewhat detracted from the day, but I do not think it could have been done any differently due to the time constraints and the venue.
However, I must admit that I did not realize that the room where the conference took place was actually the central nave of the church of Notre-Dame d'Auteuil. I thought it was another part of this church or the parish hall. To my utter astonishment, in allowing the nave to be used, the parish priest of this church literally gave his consent to people to talk about Maria Valtorta. We all constantly know the reluctance of priests to allow people to speak about Maria Valtorta in parishes in Italy. And the “allergic reaction” of priests towards Maria Valtorta is also very strong here in France, so I thought this was impossible. Had it been a church run by traditionalists, then I believe it may have been possible because in that environment, Maria Valtorta would have been accepted, but that this could happen in a “normal” parish dumbfounded me.
I praise and applaud this wonderful parish priest, Fr. Antoine de Romanet, for his courage.
Florian Boucansaud, a former professional soccer player in France for eight years in the clubs of Gueugnon, Nice, Troyes, and Caen, gave a testimony on his profound conversion to Jesus through reading the works of Maria Valtorta at the second French Valtorta Conference on May 20, 2017. For those who are curious, you can see his professional soccer game stats here and a noteworthy image of him in the middle of the air during a game here. He also gave an interview on March 31, 2017, about his professional soccer career and his journey in finding God, and consequently, peace and joy.