Elizabeth Kindelmann (1913 – 1985), a poor, Hungarian mother of six children, and a lay Carmelite, was widowed at the age of thirty-three. In the first chapter of her Spiritual Diary, she wrote about her suffering as a single, Catholic mother living in Communist Hungary. “All my cares destroyed my solitude and drew me away from God. After a long battle, my spiritual life died. I even asked why I had such a large family. I constantly lost my work and had to seek a new job.”
She experienced a period of spiritual darkness for three years until the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, 1961. Wrapped in the stillness of the night, in desperation she knelt before a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and began to pray. She wrote, “I received extraordinary graces. After that, God spoke to me.”
The Lord instructed her to record her inner locutions. She struggled with His command, sometimes avoiding writing for weeks at a time. The result was her Spiritual Diary, chronicling conversations with Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother. In it, she included her experiences of spiritual darkness, characterized by doubts, torments, and spiritual attacks from Satan.
Elizabeth’s original Spiritual Diary was given an Imprimatur by Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztegom, Budapest, Hungary. It was translated from the Hungarian language to Spanish by Fr. Gabriel Rona, S.J., and then subsequently into other languages. Archbishop Charles Chaput gave an Imprimatur to the English edition. Several bishops endorsed the diary worldwide as the Flame of Love Movement grew to other countries.
Bishop Bernardino Echeverria Ruiz, Archbishop of Guayaquil, Ecuador, wrote in June, 1989, “Flame of Love is a new name given to that immense and eternal love that Mary professes to all human beings, for whom Christ offered His life and shed His Blood. Likewise, Flame of Love is the name that expresses the love that Mary has for her children.” Bishop Echeverria Ruiz approved the Statues of the Movement and obtained endorsement from the Holy See to advance the Cause of the Flame of Love worldwide.
The Prayer for the Propagation of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary received approval from Pope Paul VI in 1973. Forty years later, the Movement to spread the Flame of Love Devotion to blind Satan and return all the world back to Christ was given an Apostolic Blessing by Pope Francis.
In his homily for the third National Conference of the Flame of Love Movement in Montreal, Canada, Fr. Rona explained, “She has obtained from the Eternal Father an outpouring of graces by the merits of the Wounds of her Divine Son to save souls…This torrent of graces is called the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…The Flame of Love is the love of the Most Holy Trinity intimately united with the motherly love of the Mother of God. This love passes through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Our Lady further explained to Elizabeth that the Flame of Love is Christ Himself.
The locutions given to Elizabeth from Jesus and Mary spanned the years from 1961 until 1982. The conversations with Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother, in which they often referred to her as “my little Carmelite,” centred on the themes of humility, self-sacrifice, reparation, conversion, charity. Our Lady chose her as the first to be entrusted with the Flame of Love of Her Immaculate Heart. In her initial message to Elizabeth, Mary told her, “I will place a beam of light in your hands. This is the Flame of Love of my Heart. Add your love to the Flame of Love and pass it to others.”
Our Lord constantly urged her to bring sinners to Him through the Flame of Love. Further, he advised, “In temptations, flee to Our Mother. She will defend You from the Evil One.”
Although Elizabeth struggled to record her conversations with Jesus and Mary, she obeyed, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Because of her lack of schooling, writing was difficult, but her entries were expressed with simple clarity. “Do nothing that would make you look intelligent,” instructed Jesus. “Through your humility, we want to put our Cause into action.”
Jesus and Mary warned her that she would meet with much opposition and suspicion in spreading their urgent request. Her difficulties would come not just from humans, but also from Satan. In fulfilling her mission, Our Blessed Mother reminded Elizabeth to “get close to St. Joseph. He will accompany you.”
Elizabeth asked why she was chosen when there were souls who were more worthy. “You are a mother of a large family, and you know the pains and problems…I am the sorrowful Mother, and only a mother can share my sorrow.”
Jesus and Mary imparted special messages for families, especially mothers who He instructed to “imitate my Mother who always provided me with her love.” Our Lady “wants every family to be a sanctuary where she can work miracles in the heart.” Our Lord explained that because Elizabeth was in a family setting, she demonstrated that a person can serve both God and their family. “Time given to Me never harms the family.”
Through the years, Jesus allowed her to experience periods of spiritual darkness. She was tormented by doubts, believing all of her efforts were evil, everything about the Flame of Love was a lie. Satan attacked her with temptations. In her anguish, the Lord explained that her suffering that would last until her death was for His glory, and was necessary to spread the Cause. He encouraged her to “suffer with heroism” for the sake of others.
Our Lady expressed one specific petition that Elizabeth hesitated to record. Mary asked for the following petition to be included in the Hail Mary prayer: “Spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all of humanity”. Understandably, the Bishop asked why the ancient prayer should be changed. Our Lord explained, “because of the Holy Virgin’s efficacious pleas, the Most Blessed Trinity granted the outpouring of the Flame of Love. For her sake, you must place this prayer in the Hail Mary.”
“I want to awaken humanity by this petition,” said Our Lady to Elizabeth. “This is not a new formula but a constant supplication.”
At the 2004 Flame of Love Conference, Fr. Rona reiterated that this petition inserted into the Hail Mary has approval to be recited privately and within Flame of Love prayer groups. He added, “when we pray in church with the faithful of the parish, we only say it with the consent of the vicar.”
Jesus taught Elizabeth the Unity Prayer. “Through this prayer, Satan will be blinded, and souls will not be led into sin.”
My Adorable Jesus,
May our feet journey together,
May our hands gather in unity,
May our hearts beat in unison,
May our souls be in harmony,
May our thoughts be as one,
May our ears listen to the silence together,
May our glances profoundly penetrate each other,
May our lips pray together to gain mercy from the Eternal Father. Amen.
Fr. Rona remarked upon the similarities between Fatima and the message of the Flame of Love. “Could it be that The Flame of Love is an extension, a kind of blossoming of the revelations given by the Virgin Mary at Fatima?”
Elizabeth’s Spiritual Diary is a gift for all of us. The private revelations that she shared with all of us who would listen with our hearts urges us to live joyful, humble lives of prayer, sacrifice, and reparation, as we strive to participate in the work of salvation while remaining hidden in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Currently, the Spiritual Diary is available in its original form as well as in a slightly abridged version that keeps intact the messages. There is also a more condensed publication.
The Flame of Love: The Spiritual Diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann. Published through www.QueenofPeaceMedia.com
Available through www.flameoflove.us and www.theflameoflove.org (Canada). It is also available at amazon.ca