Some additional info about Luisa Piccarreta and the “Divine Will” Movement

A new era of grace. Revelations of Jesus never before seen by the eyes of the Church. The possibility of a holiness beyond that of saints. An Italian mystic who rivals the Blessed Mother in importance and sanctity. Sound intriguing? Good. We’re about to take a trip through the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Hang on, it could get bumpy.

Divine Will Hunting
By Fr. Terrence Staples

Church history is littered with strange movements; those that have passed away and those that still remain. Just about all of them started with a single individual who, through charismatic presence or seductive writing, managed to gather a flock of believers. The Divine Will movement is no different.

Enter Luisa Piccarreta. Born in 1865, bedridden for most of her life, she claimed to receive locutions from Jesus. Evidently, the communications were lengthy and frequent, filling 34 volumes by the time of her death in 1947.

According to Piccarreta’s writings, there were three great eras in salvation history which corresponded to, and followed from, three great “fiats.” The first was the creative fiat: God created all things by His Word. This initiated the “Age of Creation.” The second fiat came from the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). This ushered in the “Age of Redemption.”

Finally, after many years of turmoil in the Church, God has completed the work of creation and redemption by inspiring the third fiat: Piccarreta’s own surrender to God. Her submission, which is presented as being on par with the fiat of creation and that of our Blessed Mother, brought the Church to a new level of sanctity. We have now entered the “Era of Sanctification.” Through Piccarreta, the Kingdom of the Divine Will came to earth and is available to all who welcome it. Eventually, this new gift to the Church will spread to all Her members and creation will be restored to its pre-Fall state.

This raises the obvious question: What does this gift entail? According to Piccarreta’s revelations, to “live in the Divine Will” is to literally possess the Divine Will in such a way that one’s actions become purely divine. Before the “Era of Sanctification,” all that could be achieved by the saints was a “poor and lowly union with God.” They could, by grace, do God’s will, but were not capable of possessing the Divine Will itself.

This new union with Deity was introduced to the Church by Jesus through Piccarreta (though Adam, Eve and the Blessed Mother had this gift as well). One alleged locution has Jesus saying, “When a soul acts in My Will, her humanity is, as it were, suspended. Then the Divine Life of My love takes its place and acts; and, as it acts in a creature, My love finds itself unburdened of its desire for expression” (Book of Heaven, 94).

Contrasting the traditional way of holiness (ie. obedience to God’s will by grace) with the new way (ie. possession of the Divine Will), Jesus tells Piccarreta, “. . . to live in My Will is to reign in It and with It, while to do My Will is to be at My orders . . . To live in My Will is to live with a single Will — God’s Will — a Will all holy, all pure, all peace.” In this way, the traditional Catholic means of holiness is denigrated as mere servitude, over and against the new life in the Divine Will.

How, then, is one to receive this sublime gift? Two things must be done . . . (continue reading article)

[Also . . . read the letters to the editor written for and against this article, as well as Fr. Terrence Staple’s lengthy, point-by-point response to challenges to his view of Luisa Piccarreta and the “Divine Will” movement.]


  1. juscot

    Hitler had "The Triumph Of The Will". Now we have "The Triumph Of The Divine Will". The first one ended in disaster, so "will" this one.

  2. Magister Christianus

    This sounds like the various Pentacostal movements within the Protestant world. I have always asked why, if these are legitimate teachings, that the Bible presses do not stop and recalibrate to print additions to Holy Scripture.On the comments page to which you linked, I saw references to this teaching receiving both Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. This is troubling to one who is standing on the banks of the Tiber contemplating the swim. If this is as goofy and heretical as the Pentecostal stuff, how could it receive such approval?

    1. David

      Magister Christianus

      Private revelation does not add to Sacred Scripture; it simply makes explicit what is implicitly stated therein. Fr. Iannuzzi, has just recently had his Doctoral Dissertation approved from the Gregorian University in Rome. The Dissertation was on the Writings of Luisa and how they are perfectly in line with Sacred Scripture, Traditional, and the Magisterium. If you are interested, here is a very informative link to a talk Fr. Iannuzzi gave in Missouri a couple of years ago on the essential role of private revelation with an explanation from then Cardinal Ratzinger on the misunderstanding of private revelation by theologians. His talk begins about ten minutes into the presentation and his reference to Cardinal Ratzinger is about 15-20 minutes into it. It is the first talk shown on the web page.

      I have studied these teachings for many years and in my opinion they are a beautiful Gift to us from Jesus.

      God bless!

  3. Nick

    If the supporters of Medjugorje don't accept these revelations as true, in light of Catholic Faith, they would be able than see Medjugorje from the skeptics' point of view.

  4. Walt

    Hmmm…her Confessor/Spiritual director is now a canonized saint: St Annibale Di Francia. I wonder what his opinion was about all this?

  5. Nick

    "If this is as goofy and heretical as the Pentecostal stuff, how could it receive such approval?"Like you, I once thought the Imprimatur was the Church's official seal of approval. I also once thought the Pope could only speak infallibly, Bishops could not sin, the priest didn't go to Confession, private revelations had to be believed under pain of sin, and other things of an immature faith. But the Holy Spirit, Who leads us into all truths, formed my faith, and so He shall yours.The Church's teaching on censorship – like the Imprimatur – can be found here: Instruction on Some Aspects of the Use of the Instruments of Social Communication in Promoting the Doctrine of the FaithMore Church documents: What Do The Catholics Believe?

  6. Brother Paul Mary

    So certainly Dodgy that one should not have to bother.

  7. Frank

    "Walt" wonders what St. Annibale di Francia's opinion about all this would be. Well, he was the one who gave the Nihil Obstat to the first 19 volumes, the Bishop giving the Imprimatur. Fr. Staples says in his article "Evidently, the communications were lengthy and frequent, filling 34 volumes by the time of her death in 1947" First his facts are wrong in something so basic: there were 36 volumes. Secondly, he says "Evidently" the communications were lengthy. This indicates to me that Fr. Staples never did any serious reading of the original source material. As I point out in my book, many of the critics appear to have relied on summaries of her work. Finally two trained theologians assigned by the Vatican to evaluate her writings have very recently concluded that there is nothing contrary to the Faith in them, which means her Cause can go forward. for my book. Peace,Frank

  8. Julie

    The devil always tries to sow confusion and distrust. Just as Frank said, two Vatican officials have recently concluded that there is nothing contrary to the Faith contained in her writings. The Divine Will, as revealed to Luisa is not new doctrine. All of these teachings are found in scripture. As with all approved private revelation, i.e., Divine Mercy, devotion to the Sacred Heart, etc, the teachings of the Divine Will are already contained in scripture. It is only now, in our time, that the gift is being understood. Namely, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." Our Lord, Himself, promised that this would be accomplished in this prayer.God Bless, Julie

  9. Nick

    Whether approved or unapproved, they're private revelations, so I'm not going to bother with 'em.

    1. David

      Nick, that is our option with all private revelation, but it is generally not a prudent action. For example, would it be prudent to ignore the private revelations to saint Faustina, Saint Margaret Mary, St. Bernadette, St. Padre Pio, etc? God often gives these private revelations in His great Mercy when we are going astray.

  10. maryanne

    I know the Divine Will for many years now… at home we have a Divine Will prayer group…. it sound complicated at first but in reality it is very simple…. just the way God likes us to be…. Adam and Eve were pure spirit and body enrobed with light before they fall into sin… God is giving us by His Divine Will the great gift again to restore that state of light, what a great gift just the way we were supose to be before sin. Who will turn away that great opportunity ?

  11. Nick

    Maryanne,God does not restore original justice, God gives us greater graces. Holy Communion, for example, is greater than original justice.

  12. Daniel

    Seems a bit gnostic to me. One decides for themselves that they are acting within the Divine Will rather than acting on their own will, therefore whatever their actions it cannot possibly be a sin. There have been previous movements such as The Brethren of the Free Spirit that had similar beliefs and were condemned by the Church.

    1. David

      Daniel, we never lose our will; that would be against Church Teaching and against the Divine Will Teachings. Thus, there is always the possibility of sinning. When a sin occurs, the person loses, at least temporarily, the Gift of the Divine Will.

  13. Wek

    The objections of Fr. Staples was answered by Stephen Patton way back February 1999. It can be found at It seems that Envoy Magazine is biased against the writings of Luisa Picarreta when it labeled as "Bad news" the positive responses to the writings.

  14. maryanne

    Nick…. God can do whatever He wish… He is God, His plan for humanity did not stop at the fall of the first man but only delayed. If He wish to restore the first state of humanity through His Divine Will, who are we to judge that, for this is His Will not our.. and this is the first key to enter in His Divine Will.

  15. Nick

    Re: "Nick…. God can do whatever He wish… He is God"God does whatever He wishes, and He wishes to not restore us to original justice but give us greater graces. Since you thus believe that God can do as He pleases, so you must agree with the Church's teaching on God, on grace, and on original justice. See below.The Catechism:412 But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, "Christ's inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon's envy had taken away." And St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "There is nothing to prevent human nature's being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, 'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'; and the Exsultet sings, 'O happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!'"420 The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rom 5:20).

  16. Rocky Lo

    My impression was that the two Vatican theologians, one of them a mystical theology expert, read her writings to see if they contained anything contrary to Church teaching. They found no contradictions in any of her writings. One thing to note is that there are translations of her writings that are not authorized by the Church. Divine Will groups are supposed to be presided by a priest trained in the spirituality of the Divine Will and rarely is a lay person allowed to lead a DW meeting. The local bishop as well as the bishop of Luisa's diocese has to approve these clergy.She is in the process of canonization and these two theologians have just given their two thumbs up!

  17. Penny

    Years ago when Nihil Obstat was necessary, at least 2 of the volumes, Hours of the Passion and The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will were given this. Now, we have the Vatican (appointed theologians)clarifying that all 36 volumes are free from errors against Catholic faith and moral teaching. The greatest teaching I have learned from Luisa's writings is Obedience to the church. The church is Our Lord, and Our Lord is married to the church. Who are we to judge and cast "opinions" at this point after the theologians have made this determination? It has to be that either those who cast judgement do not want this Kingdom to come, or they prefer their own egositic opinions instead of the church's. "The Kingdom of God is within you" and "Only those who are like little children will be admitted to the heavenly banquet."

  18. Francis

    I humbly think that it is irresponsible to impress one’s judgment upon the readers of this site on a subject matter that the Holy See is yet to pronounce on. Is Fr. Terrence Staples or Mr. Patrick Madrid the official representatives of the Holy See to pronounce their judgment on the writings of Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta? This is a dangerous gamble. If the Holy See or the competent authority eventually rejects the writings then it would still not be too late to express one’s negative thoughts concerning the writings but however, if the Holy See or the competent authority was to approve the writings then all the years of scandals spread by the two named individuals above would have caused a lot of harm to the Church when they thought they are doing the Church a favour. Just think: If it is so easy/simple and straightforward for Fr. Terrence Staples to judge the writings so negatively then what’s wrong with the authentic Church authority doing delaying their judgment on something so simple. But as it is, I suspect that it is not so simple and straightforward and just as the competent authority is going through the proper processes so likewise all naysayers should hold their tongue and know their place in such matters and have patience and leave it to the Church’s Authority.

    1. yo bog

      Even I, a no body practicing Catholic, in love with the Catholic church can see a mile away the huge amount of errors and misleading ways to live that blocks the truth of the Catholic Church in those who choose to believe that muck. These people you mention are NOT representatives of the Holy See, they are representatives of the teachings of the Catholic Church and they have the credentials to show how terribly wrong those writings are and how misleading it is to follow those writings, like following the jehova witness, you will not get anywhere but a dark, dead end ally.

  19. Anne

    It seems odd that Jesus would reveal Himself both to Luisa Picaretta and St. Faustina around the same time with two different messages. The revelations seem to contradict one another. Unfortunately there are people who are now involved so much with this Divine Will movement that they themselves think they can no longer sin which is very dangerous. How can one possibly judge yourself to be in the Divine Will as it is called. Surely we remain sinners even while trying to do Gods will. St. Faustina marked out in her diary one day a big X over her will and said she was no longer going to do her will but always Gods will. But she still needed Confession and went regularly. I find it disconcerting that the Vatican could possibly approve some of the writings of the Divine Will. It is very confusing and somewhat dangerous.

  20. Daniel

    You would be well advised to delete this post and strive to remedy the harm you have caused. Please see point #4 in this 2012 letter from the Archbishop of Trani, pointing out how very much people like you are scandalizing the faithful by their claims regarding Luisa’s works.

    1. yo bog

      please refer to EWTN which continues to say that there is a moratorium on the writings and THERE IS TO BE NO PROMOTION OF HER WRITINGS UNTIL THERE IS AN OFFICIAL ANSWER. You should apologize to Patrick for an extremely good analysis of the heresies presented in the books being spread globally with very satanic teachings. Do you want examples??? she said to ignore VIRTUES, they only tangle your feet!! soar to the will of the father…. really? if that is not satanic what is???? ignore virtue?? who is our example of virtue?? Jesus and Mary!!!!
      Apologize to Patrick and all the filial Roman Catholics who have rejected such abdomina teachings!!!!!

      1. Gerry Aboyme

        “Do you want examples??? she said to ignore VIRTUES, they only tangle your feet!! soar to the will of the father…. really? if that is not satanic what is???? ignore virtue?? who is our example of virtue?? Jesus and Mary!!!!”

        I’m familiar with this example. Jesus and Mary lived the Divine Will, Jesus by nature because he is the God-Man and Our Blessed Mother by grace. In fact Jesus said that the Feast of the Assumption should be called the Feast of the Divine Will because everything Mary is, is because of the Divine Will. She lived it fully – Hail Mary full of grace said the angel at the Annunciation is a reference to her state of sanctity in the Divine Will.

        Simply, Jesus is saying that by living in the intimacy of the Divine Will the soul naturally ascends to the virtues found in the Divine Will, and who are our examples? Jesus and Mary!! Jesus is teaching Luisa to focus more on him and his love and not as much on the virtues because the soul, when in intimate union with God, will naturally reflect and live the virtues of the humanity of Jesus Christ whom Mary patterned in the most perfect way.


    Clearly, dear Father Staples and anyone who thinks that The Holy Writings of Jesus Himself, by Luisa, are not of God, just do not understand them yet. If you understood the concept of what Jesus is teaching about it, you would love them, want them, and try to live them with all your might. The Truths in these writings are nothing new, just an insight into what we already believe, but cannot see about Creation, Redemption and Sanctification – we have not been “disposed” until these times to accept this deeper understanding, which comes to us now as a development of things we already believe.
    Father Staples is incorrect about the Third Fiat starting with Luisa. The Third Fiat of Sanctification started with The Holy Spirit at Pentecost and given to us at our Baptism, but never understood as deeply as Christ knows that we are ready to comprehend now, in these times of special Graces from Our Mother. If you understand it correctly, it does not come against The Divine Mercy; It works with it.
    Don’t give up on The Book of Heaven, It is Truth, and Our Mother Mary will help you to understand it, along with the unfailing Light of The Holy Spirit.

  22. Raymon asoy

    Greetings in the Divine Will,
    Our country (Philippines) is blessed because 14 bishops have allowed the teachings on the Divine Will to be known and embrace in their respective dioceses. our Celestial Mama (Mama Mary) is reli guiding the group. And mamina luisa always intercede.

    1. Mary Sturm

      Thanks for all your valuable work for our Church, Patrick,

      I pray that the Kingdom of the Divine Will, the Kingdom of God, reign in my life just as it does in heaven… Where those who live in Christ participate fully in God’s loving acts…that, because of God’s love, I will be allowed to grace to only want what God wants.
      Please watch this video by a new (very Catholic) religious order rooted in the Divine Will…

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