Antonietta De Vitis, a recent Italian mystic who lived solely off the Eucharist

Antonietta De Vitis (1936-2004)
Antonietta De Vitis (1936-2004) -A modern Mystic and Stigmatic who reportedly lived without food and water for 53 years

The Catholic diocese of Otranto, Italy is currently examining the virtues of Antonietta De Vitis, a mystic from Nociglia, Italy who reportedly had the stigmata. Numerous extraordinary cures have been attributed to her, and some have recently been reported in Italian newspapers, two of which we will highlight in more detail below. 

Antionetta De Vitis was a quiet woman who lived a very hidden life, however her heroic virtues and remarkable mystical life is becoming more and more known since her holy death in 2004.

Antionetta was a Franciscan tertiary (Third Order Franciscan) who was a devotee of  Fatima, Saint Francis, Saint Clelia Barbieri, and the Italian mystics Saint Padre Pio and Maria Valtorta, who were her contemporaries.

In 1950 Antonietta completely stopped drinking and eating--an extraordinary circumstance documented by physicians that continued for 53 years until her holy death. She was bedridden, and her life was spent entirely in one bedroom in a humble house. Hers was a life of suffering in silence, away from the spotlight--very few people knew her, and even fewer were those admitted to her room.

Birth and Early Life
Antonietta De Vitis was born on August 23, 1936 in Nociglia, (Lecce) Italy. She spent her childhood showing mercy and generosity towards her neighbor; she often deprived herself of what little food she had to give it to the hungry, and whenever possible she sought to assist the sick and needy. Being of limited means themselves, on one occasion when her mother discovered that Antonietta was sacrificing her own food to give to the poor, her mother scolded her harshly.

Antionetta offers herself to Jesus at age 14 for the Church and all of humanity
On the feast of St Joseph, March 19, 1950 at age fourteen Antionetta was inspired to offer herself to the Lord as a victim soul for humanity in union with Jesus. Concerning this complete offering of herself she writes in her diary:
"The Lord put the seal on His creature and at fourteen I was His: a virgin bride, fresh of life, with a generous heart, ready to offer Him everything: even a life of suffering that burns"

She survived without food and water & lived solely off the Eucharist for 53 years -Holy Communion was not swallowed, but absorbed by the tongue

Beginning in the year 1952 her only daily food was the Eucharist; however, as observed by her attending physician who attested the permanent and constant abstinence from food and liquids, the Holy Eucharist was not ingested, but was absorbed by the lingual mucosa, and would disappear completely after a very short period of time. (-Dr. Arturo Benegiamo of Sogliano Cavour, province of Lecce).

The stigmata
In 1969 she was given the mystical grace of the invisible stigmata, which become visible three years later in 1972. The visible stigmata was documented with medical certificates, in particular that of Dr. Benegiamo di Sogliano Cavour, her attending physician.

At this point in her life due to several illness she became completely bedridden, and her life consisted of continual prayer--she was very devoted in reciting the Holy Rosary, offering to the Lord herself and her sufferings. Throughout her life she will have numerous illnesses including tuberculosis, internal bleeding, emphysema and temporary blindness, among others.

Visions of St Padre Pio, St Francis, St Anthony, Maria Valtorta and others
Those who attended her stated that her sufferings were offered to God with a smile on her lips and an offering to Heaven. She wrote in her diary: "I sacrifice myself for the Church and for the people of God."

This spirit of offering and generosity was rewarded with many mystical visions including the Virgin Mary, St Padre Pio, St Francis, St Anthony, St Clelia Barbieri and her "..little sister Maria Valtorta, who was unknown to me until she herself gave me her name."

Throughout her holy life she asked to take upon herself the pain, the derision and the mistreatment suffered by Our Lord in union with Him, to relieve the weight that Christ has taken upon himself for us. Freely she offered herself a victim soul, particularly for the Church.

A bandage covering the stigmata on her right hand can been seen in the photo
Two recent miraculous cures through her intercession
There are numerous testimonies of cures attributed to her intercession. The Quotidiano Di Puglia newspaper reports two of the most recent, which have been attached to the file present in the diocese. "Miracle of the Saint who has not eaten for 53 years: heals and saves the lives of two children" -July 12, 2018

and also reported here:

The first reported miracle concerns a child suffering from a very serious congenital pathology, treatable only with a heart transplant: the mother, an unbeliever, tells an acquaintance of hers the fate of her son. Moved by the seriousness of the case, the woman offers to go to the cemetery to pray on the grave of Antonietta De Vitis, "the mystic born in Nociglia and died in 2004 after a life of suffering, prayer and total withdrawal from the world".
"I don't believe - warns that mother to the acquaintance, yet leaving a door open to hope- "but if you go to Antonietta, pray also for me and my baby".

After a few days the boys mother wakes up with a start, because she dreamed of Antonietta De Vitis who said to her: "Stop crying, I'm thinking of the boy. Also in a few days something unpleasant will happen, but don't worry. "

A few days went by and the boy was taken for chest scans to the "Perrino" hospital in Brindisi where he was being treated, and the cardiologists were amazed: there was no trace of the heart malformation. The boys heart was now completely normal.

The "unpleasant something" she was foretold of in her dream concerned the father of the child who had an accident and suffered an injury, which thankfully ended up being nothing serious. Yet one is left wondering--could Antonietta have interceded in that situation too? Perhaps we shall never know. 

Nevertheless, the boy's mother gratefully thanked Antonietta with a phrase written in the cemetery ledger pertaining to Antonietta: “Together with my son I dreamed of you, and what you said then has come true. Thank you!" 

The second recent case concerns that of another boy, the son of a doctor who was ill with cancer. The parents prayed to Antoinette, the "saint of Nociglia" as some locals have begun referring to her as, and it was soon discovered that the boy was completely healed, to the utter surprise of the attending doctors. Deeply grateful, the boy's father felt he must thank Antonietta, and so he has informed the bishop of Otranto, to whom he has entrusted the story. As stated above, both of these recent cures were reported in several Italian newspapers in 2018.

Some quotes from her diary and letters
-Her union with Jesus
"... I am in my Jesus, I rest in him, I suffer in him, I agonize in him, sure that what is in me belongs to my Jesus, all His and nothing mine. Like the Mother of Heaven I said "fiat" to the Father, and He, the Most High, accomplishes great things in me even though I am from the earth, because it was She who clothed me with Heaven."

"...He is my everything, my food, drink, rest, effort, pain, life, love, joy and sweetness....".
(From a letter of Antonietta De Vitis to Father Adalberto Cerusico)

In her diary she writes:
"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit I declare the following:

Jesus was and is my only love who married my soul, to whom I have given everything through the Heavenly Mother, St. Francis, Padre Pio, the blessed Clelia Barbieri who came from heaven, at first unknown to me with my Angels Azariah and Elgidio, to teach me to Love in the footsteps of a little sister always presented to me by the Lord, but unknown until she herself gave me her name: Maria Valtorta. I accepted everything and I gave myself to God in the Holy Trinity, asking to be like Jesus, immolated for souls, unknown, hidden, but full of heaven.

I go up to Calvary to reach the top, consuming myself for the Church, for the Pope, for the bishops, for the priests, for consecrated souls, and for the people of God. My offering now rises to the Holy Trinity, at the behest of my Jesus, because of the enormous weight, impossible to walk, bleeding, tortured, powerless as I am, I go to my agony, supported by their help.

I have given everything from the earth, and I will give everything from heaven with my Love, Jesus, and they will be the roses of Heaven in a rain of graces, of heavenly gifts; then everything will be known and the wonders of the Lord will amaze the earth. Clasped to my Crucified Love, with Him crucified, I leave the earth for Heaven, but I am with you, always with you as in the will of my Jesus. 

I have loved everyone, especially those who made me suffer, and I gave my heart to everyone; with particular predilection I have loved, and will love from Heaven, those who have suffered with me, with my loved ones who have loved me, and who have given me a  helping hand. Understood by my poverty and misery I ask everyone for forgiveness and prayer for my poor soul, so that my Love will accept it, purified, and worthy of the eternal pastures. My prayer, incessant from the earth, will come down from Heaven beneficial for those who directed me spiritually, for those who loved me with a motherly heart, helped me, comforted me, assisted me in long and painful years of suffering.

To God the Holy Trinity I give my soul, my heart, my blood, my everything, because I did everything in my God, the only purpose of my life. AMEN " .

In this declaration we see how Antonietta had given herself totally and completely to the Lord.

The two Franciscan friars and parish priest who assisted and supported her
Given the extraordinary circumstances that surrounded her, very few people were permitted to visit her. Two Capuchin friars and her parish priest unfailingly accompany her during her life journey: Father Colombano Luciani da Fano (until the 1970s) and Father Candido Sallustio da Molfetta, along with Parish priest Father Adalberto Cerusico. On April 9, 1970 with deep joy Antonietta becomes a Franciscan tertiary (3rd Order Franciscan). 

The vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary concerning Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro was an Italian statesman and a prominent member of the Christian Democracy party. He served as 38th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976, and was a devoted Catholic. He was assassinated on May 9, 1978. In a vision, Antonietta De Vitis was given some interesting details concerning his kidnapping and murder, which have added strength to her purported visions, as latest findings of the RIS (Italian intelligence agency) in this regard would seem to support. 

At 2.35 on Wednesday, May 17, 1978, the following is related in Antonietta De Vitis' diary, which today is in the possession of the local Diocese:
“The heavenly Mother comes and urges me to pray for so much wickedness that is found among her children, and brings me in a deep underground channel, like a well where you go down, and I see heavy chains like the ones you put on the machines when there is a lot of snow on the ground, and I see machine guns and many bullets ... and She tells me that Aldo Moro had been hidden there, the statesman, who has been a martyr and had suffered a lot---hunger, fear and unspeakable torments, tied with those chains; She tells me that he had been wounded with a bullet on the evening of May 8, at 5.35 pm, when at that time She had come to me crying strongly, urging me to pray, because something terrible was happening!"

Aldo Moro, according to Antonietta's diary, had been hit in the lung at that time, “causing him to agonize and suffer excruciatingly, until the following morning (May 9th), at around 7.30, when they had finished him with numerous strokes. I see a lot of blood on many roads, and the Heavenly Mother, crying, still says to me: “My daughter, see how much blood of My children, how many victims!" 
Please write down what I saw and heard, in my diary, at 3.43 hours." (speaking to a friend who writes in her diary for her)

Her holy death
Antonietta De Vitis passed from this life on June 19, 2004. She was 67 years old. There was a edifying message that was found on her deathbed:
"Clasped to my Crucified One, crucified with Him, I leave the earth for heaven"

Her cause for Beatification/Canonization
The diocese of Otranto is examining the virtues of Antonietta De Vitis. In 2013 Antonietta's diaries and writings were delivered to Monsignor Donato Negro, Bishop of Otranto, who is currently examining at the diocesan level, the extraordinary virtues and facts concerning her.

Antonietta De Vitis gave her life to God, hidden from the world, praying incessantly and offering her sufferings in particular for the Church and for religious. Many in Italy and throughout the world  are hoping that the Church will officially recognizes Antonietta's heroic exercise of Christian virtues

For more information, visit the "Antonietta De Vitis Onlus Association" 

"I sacrifice myself for the Church and for the people of God." -Antonietta De Vitis

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Unknown said...

This is a wonderful story of a hidden soul who suffered for the church and its people. God is so merciful that he allows
gifted souls the ability to suffer and make up for our transgressions and sins . We will never understand nor appreciate the depths
of his mercy until we meet him in the next life . Pax Vobiscum

Anonymous said...

Wonderful website. God bless you. In the article, there was frequent mention of Maria Valtorta. Her Poem of the Man God is an extraordinary work, especially for priests. It is found on the internet. I know a priest who read it 13 times and still goes on reading! said...

I also am deeply devoted to the Poem of the ManGod. It is one of Our Lords greatest gifts to His people. I have been reading it for25 or more years. Through thes volumes Ifell in love with our Holy Divine lord. I would tell everyone read the volumes. Our Lord teaches everything. It is like being in a moving picture.I have laughed cried and have been in awe of Our Loving saviour.

Georgia said...

Sorry -- she lost me at "Maria Valtorta". I read Valtorta's works -- found them interesting until I realized there are things in them that are plainly false. Her description of St. Mary Magdalene and her death are easily proven to be historically incorrect. There are many other things she stated that are highly problematic and false.There is a Theologian who has posted online a very good review of her, that you can easily find by researching same, that forces only one conclusion -- she was a Fraud. This makes me question this Mystic also of course who claims Valtorta showed up as some kind of Saint or whatever-- don't think false seers do that.... This Theologian provides ample basis for anyone considering Valtorta to conclude that she was a false "mystic" and a fraud: God bless you all!

Bridget said...

+JMJ+ Powerful story of witness we must all try to emulate according to our duties. God bless for posting!

Anonymous said...

I too am concerned about the reference to Maria Valtorta as being genuine. A red flag went up when her name appeared in this otherwise good article.

Unknown said...

this is my favorite web site on the entire internet .
Love reading about the saints and obscure ones like they wrote about here is very interesting thank you for this great site

Glenn Dallaire said...

Since the purported Italian mystic Maria Valtorta was referenced in the article above, and has been discussed a bit here in comment section I would like to point out that the Church has not formally made any declarations concerning her.

Over the years there has been comments from church authorities both in favor and against her alleged private revelations. The most prominent statement in favor of her writings is the often cited approbation by Pope Pius XII who said "Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion on its origin, if it the extraordinary or not. Those who read it, will understand".

On the other hand, the greatest statement against her revelations is the fact that at one time the "Poem of the Man-God" was placed on the list of forbidden books, which of course in itself was very contentious, given the fact of Pope Pius XII prior statement.
And we can recall once again that St. Faustina's diary was also once on this same list of forbidden books.

A cursory search of the Internet will produce a large number of documents containing opinions from theologians, priests and other Church authorities both in favor, and against Maria's writings.

Ultimately there has been no formal, official Church judgement for or against her alleged private revelations And so, for the time being at least, one is left free to judge Maria's revelations with the lights given by God in his/her own conscience.

For those interested I have written about Maria Valtorta here on this website, and I personally have read all of the volumes of "The Gospel As Revealed to Me" (originally entitled "The Poem of the Man-God"), along with some of her other writings. I found them to be very inspiring, edifying and informational, but this is simply my own opinion.

The key point concerning Maria Valtorta in the end is the Church has left each person free to come to their own conclusions concerning her private revelations, as is the case for many other purported mystics and visionaries.

-Glenn Dallaire

Unknown said...

A tree is known by its fruit. I read Maria Valtorta's Poem of the Man God and was drawn so much closer to our Lord. Since then I live a life of joyful suffering and prayer. I think Jesus wants to give us more details about his life on earth to help us know him better, to increase our love for him and make us better friends. He chooses his mystics for this work which I'm sure was very difficult in many ways.

Unknown said...

I don't envy theologians as they are expected to return yes or no answer. A theologian in one article about authentic Marian apparitions listed some as fake including the one that happened in my own Diocese in Nigeria (Aokpe), after reading the account in a book written by an Irish Priest, the then parish priest of the area, possibly because Our Lady asked to be known as The Mediatrix of All Graces. Sister Faustina was also branded fake but today we call her St. Faustina

Fr Khouri said...

Did this woman receive a Host a day or a ciborium full of Hosts? What witness is there that she did not eat privately?
Valtora? A overwrought and mentally sick writer of historical pious fiction. Her conjecture contradicts the Gospels.
Live the Gospel and be faithful to the Tradition,this is all a faithful Catholic needs.

Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...

I had never heard of her. Thank you for your time and effort in writing about her. God bless you, Glen.

Tigy said...

Everyone who loves Maria Valtorta read her books in their entirety. Those who criticize her never read her works fully, but quotes other "theologians". Padre pio, her contemporary, used to bilocate to her. Before you stone this humble hidden soul, who suffered with and for Christ, check your conscience to see if it is worthy of judging.

Robert R. said...

I too loved the works of Maria Valtorta, who complained to Jesus about Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich not recording correctly all what she had seen and experienced. This turned me off the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, but I have recently rediscovered her from the re-published two volumes of Carl. E. Schmoger, as well as her complete visions. I am happy I have rediscovered this Blessed saint. Strangely, I have every book about Maria Valtorta, but no interest in re-reading then. Whereas I can't stop reading about the Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. The book "He and I' of Gabrielle Bosis got me interested in the experiences of saints and their personal experiences of encountering Jesus, Mary and other saints. We are on a journey where all will be revealed. Why certain information comes our way, we do not know but these are all intended for us to consider, inspire us and help us on our journey home.