Poem of the Man-God, a multi-volume work of prose written by Maria Valtorta, purports to be a factual account of the life of Christ as revealed by Jesus himself. Interest in the work grew after one of the alleged seers from Medjugorje claimed that the Virgin Mary okayed the reading of the book. The history of the book leads one to question the credibility of this claim. In 1960 The Poem of the Man-God, then a four-volume set, was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. The official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, summarized the findings of the Holy Office in an article titled “A Life of Jesus Badly Fictionalized.” When the publishers tried to get around this condemnation the next year by publishing a new ten-volume set, the work again was condemned in the Vatican paper which called it “a mountain of childishness, of fantasies, and of historical and exegetical falsehoods, diluted in a subtly sensual atmosphere.”
In correspondence with Catholic Answers, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, pointed out that, although the Index was abolished in 1965, it still retains its moral force, and faithful Catholics should heed the reservations and cautions expressed in it.