Luisa Piccarreta, TOSD, also known as the "Little Daughter of the Divine Will", (23 April 1865–4 March 1947), was a Catholic mystic and author whose spirituality centred on union with the will of God.

Piccarreta's beatification process was opened, but then suspended in January of 2024[1] because of "theological, christological and anthropological[2]" issues related to her writings.


Luisa Piccarreta was born in the comune of Corato in the former Province of Bari, southern Italy, on 23 April 1865 to Vito Nicola and Rosa Tarantino Piccarreta. She received only a first grade education, and as a teenager she joined the Third Order of Saint Dominic.[3] As an adult, she took up lacemaking.

By 1889, she became bedridden. In February of that year, Annibale Maria di Francia, who had been appointed as the Ecclesiastical Censure for all her writings, asked her to begin a diary of her spiritual experiences. After Piccarreta finished writing the original manuscript she sent it to di Francia along with a letter. In this letter she speaks of the satisfaction that Jesus feels whenever we meditate on the hours of the passion.[4] She says, "as if Jesus heard his own voice and his prayers being reproduced in those reparations, just as the ones he raised to his father during the 24 hours of his sorrowful passion". Also, Luisa included along with the manuscript and letter some additional notes in which she listed the effects and promises that Jesus makes to whoever meditates on these hours of his passion.[5]

In 1926, di Francia was in Trani to open branches of his newly established institutes; he asked Piccareta to write her autobiography. She did this until 1938, with her writings running to thirty-six volumes. She stopped writing after her three first books (L'Orologio della Passione, Nel Regno dellà Divina Volontà et La Regina del Cielo nel regno della Divina Volontà) were added to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum by the Holy Office.[6] Piccarreta died of pneumonia on 4 March 1947, at the age of 82.[3]

Beatification process

In 1994, the Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie opened her cause for beatification.[3] By October 2005, the diocesan-level process of inquiry and documentation within the Diocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie-Nazareth was completed. Her case was then passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Holy See, and she was titled Servant of God. On two occasions, for the last time in November 2019, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has refused to give its nihil obstat to the pursuit of the beatification process,[7] because of issues related to Piccarreta's writings.


"This creature, Luisa, who was visited by suffering – because indeed in her life of a confirmed Christian the Lord asked of her something exceptional, something special – said 'yes' to Christ; and Christ identified her completely with the one plan of the Father ..." ("Luisa la Santa" Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri, May 2000)[8]

In 2007, the investigation turned to examining Piccarreta's writings, "... to clarify difficulties of a theological nature".[9] This review was somewhat complicated by the fact that she wrote her works in the Barese dialect of Neapolitan.[10] In a letter dated 1 November 2012, Archbishop Giovan Battista Pichierri pointed out that until such time as the review was finished, it would have been premature to render any opinion as to whether or not Piccarreta's writings conformed to Catholic teaching. Archbishop Pichierri also stated that a "typical and critical edition" of her writings will then be issued. He further specified that the Archdiocese is not the legal owner of her writings. On 1 November 2012, Pichierri reiterated what he had earlier observed in 2006, "that the doctrine of the Divine Will has not always been presented in a respectful and correct manner, according to the Doctrine of the Church and the Magisterium, placing on the lips of Luisa claims that not even implicitly are found in her writings. This causes trauma in the consciousness and even confusion and rejection in people and among the priests and bishops." (Letter of 9 March 2006).[9]

"... the initiatives that are taken in reference to the spirituality of Luisa, such as conferences, days of spirituality, prayer meetings, etc. To give peace of mind to those who participate, and do not need authorization by their Bishop." (Letter dated 24 November 2003).[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Beatification process of Luisa Piccarreta suspended". 2024-02-03. Retrieved 2024-03-11.
  2. ^ Pasquier, Geneviève (1 February 2024). "Béatification de Luisa Piccarreta ? Les raisons du coup d'arrêt de l'Église". La Croix (in French). Retrieved 2 February 2024.
  3. ^ a b c ""Short Biography of Luisa Piccarreta", Postulation for the Cause of Beatification Luisa Piccarreta".
  4. ^ "The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ".
  5. ^ "The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ".
  6. ^ R. Pantanetti, secrétaire du Saint-Office, « Decretum proscriptio Librorum », Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. V, 13 juillet 1938, p. 318.
  7. ^ Trouiller, Natalia (6 July 2023). "Même après l'affaire des frères Philippe, le culte du secret est toujours là". La Vie (in French). Retrieved 2 September 2023. Le dicastère pour la Doctrine de la foi a par deux fois, dont la dernière en novembre 2019, refusé d'accorder son nihil obstat à la poursuite de la cause en béatification imprudemment introduite par l'archevêque de Trani, vu les énormités contenues dans l'œuvre de la pseudo-mystique.
  8. ^ "The Twenty-Four Hours of the Passion – LUISA PICCARRETA".
  9. ^ a b c ""Letter of the Archbishop of Trani, 1 November 2012"".
  10. ^ "Donavan, Colin B. "Luisa Piccarreta - Status of her Cause", EWTN, 21 December 2017".