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The Mystical City of God

Sister Mary Jesus Agreda was a 17th

Century Spanish nun who received
spiritual revelations about Mary and
Jesus, both on earth and in heaven,
including the creation of the angels and
the fall of lucifer and his renegade band
of angels. They are presented here for
you, in The Mystical City of !od.
"hile not biblical, these revelations did
receive the #$pri$atur of The Church in
1%&%. An #$pri$atur 'fro$ (atin, let it
be printed) is an official declaration fro$
the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that
a literary or si$ilar wor* is free fro$
error in $atters of Catholic doctrine and
$orals, and hence acceptable reading for
faithful Catholics. +elow is a partial list
of events that you $ight find interesting
reading, if you want to *now the rest of
the story.
"City of God"
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"City of God"
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Treats of the Divine Fore-Ordainment of Christ and His Mother as the
Highest Ideals of all Creation; of the Creation of the Angels and
Men as their ervants; of the !ineage of the "#st Men$
Finally %es#lting in the Immac#late Conce&tion and
'irth of the (#een of Heaven; and of Her life
)& to Her *resentation in the Tem&le+
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The whole of this holy life of Mary is divided, for greater perspicuity, into three parts. The first treats of all that pertains
to the fifteen years of her life, fro$ the $o$ent of her $ost pure Conception until the $o$ent when in her virginal
wo$b the eternal "ord assu$ed flesh, including all that the Most 0igh perfor$ed for Mary during these years. The
second part e$braces the $ystery of the #ncarnation, the whole life of Christ our (ord, his 1assion and 4eath and his
Ascension into heaven, thus describing the life of our ;ueen in union with that of her 4ivine Son and all that She did
while living with 0i$. The third part contains the life of the Mother of grace during the ti$e She lived alone, deprived
of the co$panionship of Christ our 2edee$er, until the happy hour of her transition, assu$ption and crowning as the
/$press of heaven, where She is to live eternally as the 4aughter of the 6ather, the Mother of the Son and the Spouse
of the 0oly !host. These three parts # subdivided into eight boo*s, in order that they $ay be $ore convenient for use
and always re$ain the sub<ect of $y thoughts, the spur of $y will and $y $editation day and night.
#n order to say so$ething of the ti$e in which # wrote this heavenly history, it $ust be noticed that $y father, brother
6rancis Coronel, and $y $other, sister Catharine de Arana, $y parents, founded in their own house this convent of the
discalced nuns of the #$$aculate Conception by the co$$and and will of !od, which was declared to $y $other,
sister Catharine, in a special vision and revelation. This foundation too* place on the octave of the /piphany, January
, 1>1%. ,n the sa$e day we too* the habit, $y $other and her two daughters9 and $y father too* refuge in the order
of our seraphic 6ather Saint 6rancis, in which two of his sons had already been living as religious. There he too* the
habit, $ade his profession, lived an e?e$plary life, and died a $ost holy death. My $other and $yself received the veil
on the day of the 1urification of the ;ueen of heaven, on the second of 6ebruary, 1>@A. ,n account of the youth of the
other daughter her profession was delayed. The al$ighty in 0is sheer goodness favored our fa$ily so $uch, that all of
us were consecrated to 0i$ in the religious state. #n the eight year of the foundation of this convent, in the twentyBfifth
of $y age, in the year of our (ord 1>@7, holy obedience i$posed upon $e the office of abbess, to which this day #
unworthily hold. 4uring the first ten years of the ti$e in which # held this office, # received $any co$$ands fro$ the
Most 0igh and fro$ the ;ueen of heaven to write her holy life, and # continued with fear and doubt to resist these
heavenly co$$ands during all that ti$e until the year 1>=7, when # began to write it the first ti$e. ,n finishing it,
being full of fears and tribulations, and being so counseled by a confessor 'who directed $e during the absence of $y
regular confessor), # burned all the writing containing not only this history, but $any other grave and $ysterious
$atters9 for he told $e, that wo$en should not write in the Church. # obeyed his co$$ands pro$ptly9 but # had to
endure $ost severe reproaches on this account fro$ $y superiors and fro$ the confessor, who *new $y whole life. #n
order to force $e to rewrite this history, they threatened $e with censures. The Most 0igh and the ;ueen of heaven
also repeated their co$$ands that # obey. +y divine favor # began reBwriting this history on the eighth of 4ece$ber,
1>CC, on the day of the #$$aculate Conception.
# confess to Thee 'Matth. 11,@C) and $agnify Thee, -ing Most 0igh, that in thy e?alted Ma<esty Thou hast hidden
these high $ysteries fro$ the wise and fro$ the teachers, and in thy condescension hast revealed the$ to $e, the $ost
insignificant and useless slave of thy Church, in order that Thou $ayest be the $ore ad$ired as the o$nipotent Author
of this history in proportion as its instru$ent is despicable and wea*.
# saw a great and $ysterious sign in heaven9 # saw a "o$an, a $ost beautiful (ady and ;ueen, crowned with the stars,
clothed with the sun, and the $oon was at her feet 'Apoc. 1@,1). The holy angels spo*e to $eD This is that blessed
"o$an, who$ Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in who$ are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful
$ysteries of the 2ede$ption. So $uch has the $ost high and powerful !od favored this Creature, that we, his angelic
spirits, are full of astonish$ent. Conte$plate and ad$ire her prerogatives, record the$ in writing, because that is the
purpose for which, according to the $easure suitable to thy circu$stances, they will be $ade $anifest to thee. # was
$ade to see such wonders, that the greatness of the$ too* away $y speech, and $y ad$iration of the$ suspended $y
other faculties9 nor do # thin* that all the created beings in this $ortal life will ever co$prehend the$, as will appear in
the seEuel of $y discourse. At another ti$e # saw a $ost beautiful ladder with $any rungs9 around it were $any angels,
and a great nu$ber of the$ were ascending and descending upon it. 0is Ma<esty said to $eD This is the $ysterious
ladder of Jacob, the house of !od and the portal of heaven !en. @F, 17)9 if thou wilt earnestly strive to live
irreprehensible in $y eyes, thou wilt ascend upon it to Me.
This pro$ise incited $y desires, set $y will afla$e and enraptured $y spirit9 with $any tears # grieved, that # should
be burden to $yself in $y sinfulness 'Job 7, @A). # sighed for the end of $y captivity and longed to arrive where there
would be no obstacle to $y love. #n this an?iety # passed so$e days, trying to refor$ $y life9 # again $ade a general
confession and corrected so$e of $y i$perfections. The vision of the ladder continued without inter$ission, but it was
not e?plained to $e. # $ade $any pro$ises to the (ord and proposed to free $yself fro$ all terrestrial things and to
reserve the powers of $y entirety for his love, without allowing it to incline toward any creature, be it ever so s$all or
unsuspicious9 # repudiated all visible and sensible things. 0aving passed so$e days in these affections and senti$ents, #
was infor$ed by the Most 0igh, that the ladder signified the life of the Most 0oly 5irgin, its virtues and sacra$ents.
0is Ma<esty said to $eD # desire, $y spouse, that thou ascend this stair of Jacob and enter through this door of heaven
to acEuire the *nowledge of $y attributes and occupy thyself in the conte$plation of $y 4ivinity. Arise then and wal*,
ascend by it to Me. These angels, which surround it and acco$pany it, are those that # appointed as the guardians of
Mary, as the defenders and sentinels of the citadel of Sion. Consider 0er attentively, and, $editating on her virtues,
see* to i$itate the$. #t see$ed to $e then, that # ascended the ladder and that # recogniGed the ladder and # recogniGed
the great wonders and the ineffable prodigies of the (ord in a $ere Creature and the greatest sanctity and perfection of
virtue ever wor*ed by the ar$ of the Al$ighty. At the top of the ladder # saw the (ord of hosts and the ;ueen of all
creation. They co$$anded $e to glorify, e?alt and praise 0i$ on account of these great $ysteries and to write down
so $uch of the$, as # $ight bring $yself to understand. The e?alted and high (ord gave $e a law, written not only on
tablets, as 0e gave to Moses '/?od. =1, 1F), but one wrought by his o$nipotent finger in order that it $ight be studied
and observed '1s. 1,@).
0e $oved $y will so that in her presence # pro$ised to overco$e $y repugnance and with her assistance to set about
writing her history, paying attention to three thingsD 6irst, to re$e$ber that the creature $ust ever to see* to
ac*nowledge that profound reverence due to !od and to abase itself in proportion to the condescension to his Ma<esty
toward $en and that the effect of greater favors and benefits $ust be a greater fear, reverence, attention and hu$ility9
secondly, to be ever $indful of the obligation of all $en, who are so forgetful of their own salvation, to consider and to
learn what they owe to the ;ueen and Mother of piety on account of the part assu$ed by 0er in the 2ede$ption, to
thin* of the love and the reverence which she showed to !od and the honor in which we are to hold this great (ady9
thirdly to be willing to have $y spiritual director, and if necessary the whole world, find out $y littleness and vileness,
and the s$all returns which # $a*e for what # receive.
To these $y protestations the Most 0oly 5irgin answeredD My daughter, the world stands $uch in need of this
doctrine, for it does not *now, nor does it practice, the reverence due to the (ord o$nipotent. ,n account of this
ignorance his <ustice is provo*ed to afflict and hu$iliate $en. They are sun*en in their carelessness and filled with
dar*ness, not *nowing how to see* relief or attain to the light. This, however, is <ustly their lot, since they fail in the
reverence and fear, which they ought to have.
+esides this the Most 0igh and the ;ueen gave $any other instructions, in order to $a*e clear to $e their will in
regard to this wor*. #t see$ed to $e te$erity and want of charity toward $yself, to re<ect the instruction which she had
pro$ised $e for narrating the course of her $ost holy life. #t see$ed eEually i$proper to put off the writing of it, since
the Most 0igh had inti$ated this as the fitting and opportune ti$e, saying to $e in this regardD My daughter, when #
sent $y ,nlybegotten, the world, with the e?ception of the few souls that served Me, was in worse condition than it had
ever been since its beginning9 for hu$an nature is so i$perfect that if it does not sub<ect itself to the interior guidance
of $y light and to the fulfill$ent of the precepts of $y $inisters by sacrificing its own <udg$ent and following Me,
who a$ the way, the truth and the life 'John 1&,>), and by carefully observing $y co$$and$ents in order not to lose
$y friendship, it will presently fall into the abyss of dar*ness and innu$erable $iseries, until it arrives at obstinacy in
sin. 6ro$ the creation and sin of the first $an until # gave the law to Moses, $en governed the$selves according to
their own inclinations and fell into $any errors and sins '2o$. C, 1=). After having received the law, they again
co$$itted sin by not obeying it 'John 7, 1%) and thus they lived on, separating the$selves $ore and $ore fro$ truth
and light and arriving at the state of co$plete forgetfulness. #n fatherly love # sent the$ eternal salvation and a re$edy
for the incurable infir$ities of hu$an nature, thus <ustifying $y cause. And <ust as # then chose the opportune ti$e for
the greater $anifestation of $y $ercy, so now # select this ti$e for showing toward the$ another very great favor. 6or
now the hour has co$e and the opportune ti$e to let $en *now the <ust cause of $y anger, and they are now <ustly
charged and convinced of their guilt. .ow # will $a*e $anifest $y indignation and e?ercise $y <ustice and eEuity9 #
will show how well <ustified is $y cause. #n order that this $ay co$e to pass $ore speedily, and because it is now ti$e
that $y $ercy show itself $ore openly and because $y love $ust not be idle, # will offer to the$ an opportune re$edy,
if they will but $a*e use of it for returning again to $y favor. .ow, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so
unfortunate a pass and when, though the "ord has beco$e incarnate, $ortals are $ore careless of their weal and see* it
less9 when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of ti$e9 when the night of eternity is
approaching closer and closer for the wic*ed and the day without a night is being born for the <ust9 when the $a<ority of
$ortals are sin*ing deeper and deeper into the dar*ness of their ignorance and guilt, oppressing the <ust and $oc*ing
the children of !od9 when $y holy and divine law is despised in the $anage$ent of the iniEuitous affairs of state,
which are as hostile as they are contrary to $y 1rovidence9 when the wic*ed least deserve $y $ercy9 in these
predestined ti$es, # wish to open a portal for the <ust ones through which they can find access to $y $ercy9 # wish to
give the$ a light by which they can dispel the gloo$ that envelops the eyes of their $inds. # wish to furnish the$ a
suitable re$edy for restoring the$ to $y grace. 0appy they who find it, and blessed they who will appreciate its value,
rich they who shall co$e upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand
its $arvels and hidden $ysteries. # desire to $a*e *nown to $ortals how $uch intercession of 0er is worth, who
brought restoration of life by giving $ortal e?istence to the i$$ortal !od. As reco$pense # desire that they loo* upon
the wonders wrought by $y $ighty ar$ in that pure Creature, as upon a $irror by which they can esti$ate their own
ingratitude. # wish to $a*e *nown to the$ $uch of that, which according to $y high <udg$ent is still hidden
concerning the Mother of the "ord.
# have not revealed these $ysteries in the pri$itive Church, because they are so great, that the faithful would have
been lost in the conte$plation and ad$iration of the$ at a ti$e when it was $ore necessary to establish fir$ly the law
of grace and of the !ospel. Although all $ysteries of religion are in perfect har$ony with each other, yet hu$an
ignorance $ight have suffered recoil and doubt at their $agnitude, when faith in the #ncarnation and 2ede$ption and
the precepts of the new law of the !ospel were yet in their beginnings. ,n this sa$e account the person of the incarnate
"ord said to his disciples at the last supperD Many things have # say to you9 but you are not yet disposed to receive
the$ 'John 1>, 1@). These words he addressed to all the world, for it was not yet capable of giving full obedience to
the law of grace and full assent to the faith in the Son, $uch less was it prepared to be introduced into the $ysteries of
his Mother. +ut now $an*ind has greater need for this $anifestation, and this necessity urges Me to disregard their evil
disposition. And if $en would now see* to please $e by reverencing, believing, and studying the wonders, which are
inti$ately connected to the Mother of 1iety, and if they would all begin to solicit her intercession fro$ their whole
heart, the world would find so$e relief. # will not longer withhold fro$ $en this $ystical City of refuge9 describe and
delineate it to the$, as far as thy shortco$ings allow. # do not intend that thy descriptions and declarations of the life of
the +lessed 5irgin shall be $ere opinions or conte$plations, but reliable truth. They that have ears to hear, let the$
hear. (et those who thirst co$e to the living waters and leave the driedBout cisterns9 let those that are see*ing for the
light, follow it to the end. Thus spea*s the (ord, !od Al$ightyH
"City of God"
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, -ing, $ost high and wise (ord9 0ow inco$prehensible are thy <udg$ents, and inscrutable thy ways '2o$. 11, @&)H
#nvincible !od, enduring forever and whose beginning is un*nown '/ccli. 1F, 1)H "ho can understand thy greatness
and who can be worthy of thy $ost $agnificent wor*s, or who can tell Thee why Thou hast created the$ '2o$. %, @A)I
6or Thou art e?alted above all of the$ and our vision cannot reach Thee and our understanding cannot co$prehend
Thee. Mayest Thou be blest, $agnificent -ing, because Thou hast deigned to show $e, thy slave and a vile wor$ of
the earth, great sacra$ents and $ost subli$e $ysteries.
# saw the Most 0igh, at the sa$e ti$e understanding how his Ma<esty is in 0i$self9 # received a clear intelligence and a
true perception of what is $eant by a !od, infinite in his substance and attributes, eternal, e?alted above all, being three
in 1erson, and one true !od. Three in 1erson, because of the three activities of *nowing, co$prehending and loving
each other9 one, so as to secure the boon of eternal unity. #t is the trinity of the 6ather, the Son and the 0oly !host. The
6ather is not $ade, nor created, nor begotten, nor can 0e be generated or have a beginning. # perceived, that the Son
derives 0is origin fro$ the 6ather alone by eternal generation9 and that they are eEual in their duration fro$ eternity9
and that 0e is begotten by the fecundity of the intelligence of the 6ather. The 0oly !host proceeds fro$ the 6ather and
the Son through love. #n their indivisible Trinity there is nothing which can be called first or last, greater or s$aller9 all
three 1ersons are eEually eternal and eternally eEual9 there is unity of essence in a trinity of persons. .or are the persons
$ingled in order to for$ one !od, nor the divine substance separated or divided in order to for$ three 1ersons, being
distinct as the 6ather, as the Son and as the 0oly !host. They are nevertheless one and the sa$e 4ivinity, eEual in /ach
is the glory and $a<esty, the power, the eternity, the i$$ensity, the wisdo$ and sanctity, and all the attributes. And
though there are three 1ersons, in who$ these infinite perfections subsist, 0e is the one and true !od, the 0oly, the
Just, the 1owerful, the /ternal and the Measureless.
# also obtained an understanding of the $anner in which this Trinity co$prehends #tself by si$ple vision, so that no
new or distinct cognition is necessaryD the father *nows that, which is *nown to the Son, and the Son and the 0oly
!host *now that which is in the intelligence of the 6ather. # understood how they love ,ne another with one and the
sa$e i$$ense and eternal love9 how there is a single, indivisible and eEual oneness of intelligence, love and action,
how there is one si$ple, incorporeal and indivisible nature, a divine essence of the true !od, in which are <oined and
united all the perfections in their highest and in an infinite degree.
# learnt also to understand the Euality of these perfections of the highest (ordD that 0e is beautiful without a ble$ish,
great without Euantity, good without need of Eualification, eternal without the duration of ti$e, strong without any
wea*ness, living without touch of decay, true without deceit, present in all places, filling the$ without occupying the$,
e?isting in all things without occupying any space. There is no contradiction in his *indness, nor any defect in his
wisdo$. #n his wisdo$ 0e is inscrutable, in his decrees 0e is terrible, in his <udg$ents <ust, in his thoughts $ost
hidden, in his words $ost true, in his wor*s holy, in his riches affluent. To 0i$ no space is too wide, no narrowness
causes restraint, his will does not vary, the sorrowful does not cause 0i$ pain, the past has not passed for 0i$, nor
does the future happen in regard to 0i$. , eternal #$$ensity, what illi$itable e?pansion have # seen in TheeI "hat
vastness do # see in thy infinite +eingI 5ision does not ter$inate, nor ever e?haust itself in thy abyss of being. This is
the unchangeable /ssence, the +eing above all other beings, the $ost perfect sanctity, the $ost constant truth9 this is
the infinite, the length, the breadth, the height and the depth, the glory and its cause, rest without fatigue, goodness
# understood, that the Most 0igh was in the Euiescent state of his own being, when the three 1ersons 'according to our
way of understanding things), decreed to co$$unicate his perfections as a free gift. 6or greater clearness, # $ust
re$ar*, that !od co$prehends in 0i$self all things by one indivisible, $ost si$ple and instantaneous act. 0e does not
go on fro$ the understanding of one thing to the understanding of another li*e we do, distinguishing and perceiving
first one thing by an act of the understanding, and after that proceeding to the *nowledge of others by their connection
with those already *nown. !od *nows the$ con<ointly all at once, without before or after, since all are together and at
once contained in the divine and uncreated *nowledge and science, <ust as they are co$prehended and enclosed in his
infinite +eing, as in their first beginning.
Although, this divine *nowledge is one, $ost si$ple and indivisible, nevertheless since the things which # see are
$any, and since there is a certain order, by which so$e are first and so$e co$e after, it is necessary to divide the
*nowledge of !od8s intelligence and the *nowledge of his will into $any instants, or into $any different acts,
according as they correspond to the diverse orders of created things. 6or as so$e of the creatures hold their e?istence
because of others, there is a dependence of one upon the other. Accordingly we say that !od intended and decreed this
before that, the one on account of the other9 and that if 0e had not desired or included in the science of vision the one,
0e would not have desired the other. +ut by this way of spea*ing, we $ust not try to convey the $eaning that !od
placed $any acts of intelligence, or of the will9 rather we $ust intend $erely to indicate, that the creatures are
dependent on each other and that they succeed one another. #n order to be able to co$prehend the $anner of creation
$ore easily, we apply the order of things as we see the$ ob<ectively, to the acts of the divine intelligence and will in
creating the$.
# understood, that this order co$prises the following instants. The first instant isD !od recogniGing his infinite attributes
and perfections together with the propensity and the ineffable inclination to co$$unicate 0i$self outwardly. This
*nowledge of !od as being co$$unicative ad extra co$es first. The $a<esty of !od, beholding the nature of his
infinite perfections, their virtue and efficacy operating with $agnificence, saw, that it was <ust and $ost proper, and, as
it were, a duty and a necessity, to co$$unicate 0i$self and to follow that inclination of i$parting and e?ercising his
liberality and $ercy, by distributing outside of 0i$self with $agnificence the plenitude of the infinite treasures,
contained in the 4ivinity. 6or, being infinite in all things, it is $uch $ore natural that 0e co$$unicate gifts and graces
than that fire should ascend, or the stone should gravitate towards its center, or that the sun should diffuse its light. This
unfatho$able depth of perfections, this affluence of treasures, this i$petuous infinity of riches, is set in $otion by its
own inclinations to co$$unicate itself. At the sa$e ti$e !od is in 0i$self conscious that to distribute gifts and graces,
is not to di$inish his riches, but to increase the$ in the only possible way, by giving an outlet to the ine?haustible
fountain of his riches.
#n this enlighten$ent and *nowledge which # possess, two things hold $y lu*ewar$ heart in wonder and infla$e it
unto annihilation. The first is the inclination and urgent desire, which # see in !od, and the strong will, to co$$unicate
his 4ivinity and the treasures of his grace. The second is the unspea*able and inco$prehensible i$$ensity of the good
gifts, which # see 0e wishes to distribute according to this degree, assigning the$ for this purpose and yet re$aining
infinite, as if 0e had not yet given nothing. #n this desire and inclination, which fills his Ma<esty # see 0i$ prepared to
sanctify, <ustify, overwhel$ with gifts and perfections all creatures together and each one in particular for itself. 0e
would be ready to give to each of the creatures $ore than what is held by all the angels and seraphi$ together9 even if
all the drops in the ocean and the grains of sand on their shores, all the stars, the planets and the ele$ents, and all
creatures were capable of reason and of his gifts, they would receive the$ without $easure, provided they would
dispose the$selves and place no obstacle toward receiving the$. , fearful $alice of sin, which alone is capable of
holding up the i$petuous strea$ of such great and eternal giftsH
The second instant was to confir$ and deter$ine the ob<ect and intention of this co$$unication of the 4ivinity ad
extra, na$ely, that it should redound to his greater glory and to the e?altation of his Ma<esty and the $anifestation of
his greatness. This his own e?altation !od saw as the end, for which he would co$$unicate 0i$self, $a*e 0i$self
*nown by his liberality in the distribution of his attributes, and set in $otion his ,$nipotence in order that 0e $ight be
*nown, praised and glorified.
The third instant consisted in selecting and deter$ining the order and arrange$ent, or the $ode of this co$$unication,
so as to realiGe in an adeEuate $anner the $ost e?alted ends. The order na$ely, which it is proper should be $aintained
in regard to the co$$unications of the !odhead and its divine attributes9 so that this activity of the (ord $ay have its
proper reasons and ob<ects, and so that it $ight proceed with the $ost beautiful and ad$irable seEuence, har$ony and
subordination. #n this instant was decreed first of all, that the 4ivine "ord should assu$e flesh and should beco$e
visible. The perfection and the co$position of the $ost holy hu$anity of Christ our (ord was decreed and $odeled in
divine intelligence. Secondarily, also were for$ed the ideals of the rest of $en in i$itation of the 6irst. The divine
$ind prearranged the har$ony and adorn$ent of the hu$an nature co$posed of an organic body and a vivifying soul,
endowed with faculties to *now and en<oy its Creator, to discern between good and evil, and with a free will to love that
sa$e (ord.
The fourth instant was to deter$ine the gifts and graces, which were to be conferred upon the hu$anity of Christ, our
(ord, in union with the 4ivinity. 0ere the Most 0igh opened the liberal hands of his ,$nipotence and his other
attributes, in order to enrich the $ost sacred hu$anity and the soul of Christ with the highest possible plenitude of his
gifts and graces. Then was fulfilled what afterward 4avid saidD The strea$ of the river $a*eth the city of !od <oyful
'1s. &C, C). "hen the strea$ of his gifts flowed toward the hu$anity of the "ord, co$$unicating to it all the infused
science, the grace and goodness of which his blessed soul was capable of grace and glory, in order that fro$ this
i$petuous strea$ they $ight parta*e in the $anner in which it afterwards really happened.
To this instant also, and, as it were, in natural seEuence, pertain the decree and predestination of the Mother of the
4ivine "ord incarnate9 for here, # understand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else whatever. Thus, before
all other creatures, was She conceived in the divine $ind, in such $anner and such state as befitted and beca$e the
dignity, e?cellence and gifts of the hu$anity of her $ost holy Son. To her flowed over, at once and i$$ediately, the
river of the 4ivinity and its attributes with all its i$petuousity, in as far as a $ere creature is capable and as is due to
the dignity of the Mother of !od.
#n the *nowledge of these e?alted $ysteries and decrees, # confess $yself ravished in ad$iration and transported
beyond $y proper self. 1erceiving this $ost holy and pure Creature for$ed and conceived in the divine $ind fro$ the
beginning and before all the ages, # <oyously and e?ultingly $agnify the ,$nipotent for the ad$irable and $ysterious
decree, by which 0e for$ed for us such a pure and grand, such a $ysterious and godli*e Creature, worthy rather to be
ad$ired and praised by all beings, than to be described by any one. #n $y ad$iration # can say with St. 4ionysius the
AreopagiteD #f faith would not instruct $e, and if the understanding of what # see would not teach $e, that it is !od,
who has conceived her in his $ind, and who alone could and can in his ,$nipotence for$ such an i$age of his
4ivinity, if this all were not present to $y $ind, # $ight begin to doubt, whether the 5irgin Mother contain not in
0erself 4ivinity.
, what tears flowed fro$ $y eyes, and what sorrowful astonish$ent possessed $y soul, to see that divine prodigy not
ac*nowledged and that wonder of the Most 0igh not $anifest to all the $ortals. Much is *nown of it, but $uch $ore is
un*nown, as this sealed boo* has not been opened. # a$ ravished in the perception of this tabernacle of !od, and #
perceive that the Author of it is $ore ad$irable in her creation, than in that of all the rest of the world, although the
diversity of the creatures $anifests the wonderful power of their Creator. #n this ;ueen alone are co$prehended and
contained $ore treasures than in all the rest of things <oined together, and the variety and preciousness of her riches
honor the (ord above all the $ultitudes of the other creatures.
0ere 'according to our way of understanding) the pro$ise and, as it were, the contract was $ade with the "ord as to
the degree of sanctity, and perfection and the gifts and graces, which were to be possessed by Mary his Mother. Also as
to the protection, support and defense, which was to be provided for this true City of !od, in which his Ma<esty
conte$plated the graces and $erits, which She earned for 0erself, as well as the fruits to be gathered for his people by
the loving returns, which She was to $a*e to his Ma<esty. #n the sa$e instant, and as it were in the third and last place,
!od deter$ined to create a locality and an abode, where the incarnate "ord and his Mother should converse and dwell.
6or the$ pri$arily did 0e create the heaven and earth with its stars and ele$ents and all that is contained in the$.
Secondarily the intention and decree included the creation of the $e$bers, of which Jesus was to be the 0ead, and of
who$ 0e would be the -ing9 in order that with *ingly providence, all the necessary and befitting arrange$ents $ight
be $ade beforehand.
# pass over to the fifth instant, although in reality # have found that, which # sought. #n this fifth decree the creation of
the angelic nature which is $ore e?cellent and $ore li*e unto the spiritual being of the 4ivinity, was deter$ined upon,
and at the sa$e ti$e the division or arrange$ent of the angelic hosts into nine choirs and three hierarchies, was
provided and decreed. As they are created first of all for the glory of !od, to assist before his divine Ma<esty and to
*now and love 0i$, so secondarily they are ordained to assist, glorify and honor, reverence and serve the deified
hu$anity of the eternal "ord, recogniGing 0i$ as 0ead, and honoring 0i$ also in his Mother, the $ost holy Mary,
;ueen of these sa$e angels. Co$$ission was given to these angels, to bear the$ up in their hands in all their ways
'1s. %A, 1@). #n this instant Christ our (ord earned for the$ by his infinite $erits, present and foreseen, all the grace,
which they were to receive. 0e was constituted as their 0ead, /?e$plar and supre$e -ing, of who$ they should be
sub<ects. /ven of the nu$ber of angels had been infinite, the $erits of Christ our highest !ood, would be abundantly
sufficient to supply the$ all with grace.
To this instant belongs also the predestination of the good, and the reprobation of the bad angels. !od saw in it, by
$eans of his infinite science, all the wor*s of the for$er and of the latter and the propriety of predestinating, by his free
will and by his $erciful liberality, those that would obey and give honor, and of reprobating by his <ustice those who
would rise up against his Ma<esty in pride and disobedience on account of their disordered selflove. #n the sa$e instant
also was decreed the creation of the e$pyrean heaven, for the $anifestation of his glory and the reward of the good9
also the earth and the heavenly bodies for the other creatures9 $oreover also in the center or depth of the earth, hell, for
the punish$ent of the bad angels.
#n the si?th instant was decreed the creation of a people and the congregation of $en for Christ, who was already
for$ed in the divine $ind and will, and according to his i$age and li*eness $an was to be $ade, in order, that the
incarnate "ord $ight find brethren, si$ilar but inferior to 0i$self and a people of his own nature, of who$ 0e $ight
be the 0ead. #n this instant was deter$ined the order of creation of the whole hu$an race, which was to begin fro$ one
$an and wo$an and propagate itself, until the 5irgin and her Son should be born in the predestined order. ,n account
of the $erits of Christ our Savior, the graces and gifts were prearranged, and also original <ustice, if they would only
preserve it. The fall of Ada$ was foreseen and in hi$ that of all others, e?cept of the ;ueen, who did not enter into this
decree. As a re$edy, it was ordained that the $ost holy hu$anity should be capable of suffering. The predestined were
chosen by free grace, and the fore*nown were reprobated with e?act <ustice. All that was convenient and necessary for
the conservation of the hu$an race and for obtaining the end of the 2ede$ption and the 1redestination, was
preordained, without interfering with the free will of $en9 for such ordain$ent was $ore confor$able to !od8s nature
and to divine eEuity. There was no in<ustice done to the$, for if with their free will they could sin, so also could they
abstain fro$ sin by $eans of grace and the light of reason. !od violated the right of no one, since 0e forsoo* no one
nor denied to any one that which is necessary. Since his law is written in the hearts of $en, nobody is e?cused for not
*nowing and loving 0i$ as the highest !ood of all creation.
#n the perception of these $ysteries # saw with great clearness and force the high $otives which caused !od to $anifest
and $agnify 0i$self and which should induce $en to praise and adore the greatness of the Creator and 2edee$er of
all. # also saw how tardy they are in the ac*nowledg$ent of these obligations and in $a*ing return for these benefits9
and # was $ade aware of the co$plaints and the indignation of the Most 0igh on account of this forgetfulness. 0is
$a<esty co$$anded and e?horted $e not to be guilty of such ingratitude, but to offer 0i$ a sacrifice of praise, and a
new song, and that # $agnify 0i$ in the na$e of all creatures.
, $ost high and inco$prehensible (ordH "ould that # had the love and perfections of all the angels and the <ust in
order to confess and praise worthily thy greatnessH # ac*nowledge, great and $ighty (ord, that such a vile creature as #
cannot $erit the $e$orable benefit of receiving this clear and e?alted *nowledge and light concerning thy e?alted
Ma<esty. At the sight of thy greatness # perceive $y littleness, which before that happy hour was un*nown to $e9 and #
was ignorant of the greatness and e?cellence of the virtue of hu$ility, which is learnt in this science. # do not wish to
say that # now possess that virtue, but neither can # deny that # have been shown the certain path which leads to it. Thy
light, , $ost high (ord, illu$ines $e and thy la$p shows $e the paths '1s. 11F, 1AC), so that # see what # have been
and what # a$, and fear what # $ay beco$e to be. Thou hast lighted up, $ost high -ing, $y understanding and
infla$ed $y will with its $ost e?alted ob<ect.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ###.
C2/AT#,. ,6 T0/ A.!/(S A.4 T0/ 6A(( ,6 (7C#6/2
The Cause of all causes is !od, who created all things that have being. 0is powerful ar$ gave e?istence to all his
wonderful wor*s ad extra when and how 0e chose. The beginning and succession of the wor* of Creation is described
by Moses in the opening chapter of !enesis. Since the (ord has given $e an understanding thereof, # will $ention what
# thin* useful for elucidating the $ysterious origin of the #ncarnation of the "ord and of our 2ede$ption.
The words of the first chapter of !enesis are as followsD
1. #n the beginning !od created heaven and earth.
@. And the earth was void and e$pty, and dar*ness was upon the face of the deep9 and the spirit of !od
$oved over the waters.
=. And !od saidD +e light $ade. And light was $ade.
&. And !od saw the light that it was good9 and be divided the light fro$ the dar*ness.
C. And he called the light day, and the dar*ness night9 and there was evening and $orning one day, etc.
,f the first day Moses says that #n the beginning !od created heaven and earth. 0e created heaven for
angels and $en9 and the earth as a place of pilgri$age for $ortals. These places are so adapted to their
end and so perfect, that as 4avid says of the$, the heavens publish the glory of the (ord, the fir$a$ent
and the earth announce the glory of the wor* of his hands '1s. 1F, @).
The angels were created in the e$pyrean heavens and in the state of grace by which they $ight be first
to $erit the reward of glory. 6or although they were in the $idst of glory, the 4ivinity itself was not to
be $ade $anifest to the$ face to face and unveiled, until they should have $erited such a favor by
obeying the divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones, re$ained only a very short ti$e in the
state of probation9 for their creation and probation with its result were three distinct instants or $o$ents,
separated by short inter$issions. #n the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and
gifts, co$ing into e?istence as $ost beautiful and perfect creatures. Then followed a short pause, during
which the will of the Creator was propounded and inti$ated, and the law and co$$and was given to
the$, to ac*nowledge 0i$ as their Ma*er and supre$e (ord, and to fulfill the end for which they have
been created. 4uring this pause, instant or interval, Saint Michael and his angels fought that great battle
with the dragon and his followers, which is described by the apostle Saint John in the twelfth chapter of
the Apocalypse. The good angels, persevering in grace, $erited eternal happiness and the disobedient
ones, rebelling against !od, $erited the punish$ent, which they now suffer.
At first they received a $ore e?plicit intelligence of the being of !od, one in substance, trine in person,
and that they were co$$anded to adore and reverence 0i$ as their Creator and highest (ord, infinite in
his essence and attributes. All sub<ected the$selves to this co$$and and obeyed it, but with a certain
difference9 the good angels obeyed through love and on account of the <ustice of it, offering their love
and good will, freely and ad$itting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with
<oy. (ucifer, on the other hand, sub$itted hi$self, because the opposite see$ed to hi$ i$possible. 0e
did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between hi$self and the
infallible truth of the (ord. #n conseEuence it happened that the precept appeared to hi$ in a $easure
difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do <ustice. Thus he
e?posed hi$self beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave hi$ on
account of this re$issness and slowness in the acco$plish$ent of these first acts, nevertheless his bad
disposition began with the$9 for there re$ained with hi$ a certain wea*ness and la?ity of virtue and
spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. #t appears to $e that the effect of
this re$issness in (ucifer, is si$ilar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. # do not
say that he sinned $ortally, nor even venially at that ti$e, since he fulfilled the precept of !od9 but this
fulfill$ent was re$iss and i$perfect, springing $ore fro$ a sense of overwhel$ing co$pulsion, than
fro$ a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put hi$self in danger of falling.
#n the second place, the angels were infor$ed that !od was to create a hu$an nature and reasoning
creatures lower than the$selves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence !od, as their
Author and eternal !ood. They were infor$ed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second
1erson of the blessed Trinity was to beco$e incarnate and assu$e their nature, raising it to the
hypostatic union and to divine 1ersonality9 that therefore they were to ac*nowledge 0i$ as their 0ead,
not only as !od, but as !od and $an, adoring 0i$ and reverencing 0i$ as !odB$an. Moreover, these
sa$e angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. !od gave the$ an
intelligence of the propriety and eEuity, of the <ustice and reasonableness of such a position. 6or the
acceptation of the $erits foreseen of this Mangod was e?hibited to the$ as the source of the grace which
they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they
the$selves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that 0e was to
be their 0ead. All those that were capable of *nowing and en<oying !od, were to be the people of the
Son of !od, to *now and reverence 0i$ as their Chief. These co$$ands were at once given to the
To this co$$and all the obedient and holy angels sub$itted the$selves and they gave their full assent
and ac*nowledg$ent with an hu$ble and loving sub<ection of the will. +ut (ucifer, full of envy and
pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist li*ewise, as they in reality did, preferring to follow hi$
and disobey the divine co$$and. This wic*ed prince persuaded the$, that he would be their chief and
that he would set up a govern$ent independent and separate fro$ Christ. So great was the blindness
which envy and pride could cause in an angel, and so pernicious was the infection that the contagion of
sin spread a$ong innu$erable other angels.
Then happened that great battle in heaven, which St. John describes 'Apoc. 1@). 6or the obedient and
holy angels, filled with an ardent desire of hastening the glory of the Most 0igh and the honor of the
incarnate "ord, to resist and contradict the dragon, and the per$ission was granted. +ut also another
$ystery was concealed in all thisD "hen it was revealed to the angels that they would have to obey the
incarnate "ord, another, a third precept was given the$, na$ely, that they were to ad$it as a superior
con<ointly with 0i$, a "o$an, in whose wo$b the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather was to assu$e flesh and
that this "o$an was to be the ;ueen and Mistress of all the creatures. The good angels by obeying this
co$$and of the (ord, with still increasing and $ore alert hu$ility, freely sub<ected the$selves, praising
the power and the $ysteries of the Most 0igh. (ucifer, however, and his confederates, rose to a higher
pitch of pride and boastful insolence. #n disorderly fury he aspired to be hi$self the head of all the
hu$an race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he de$anded that it be
consu$$ated in hi$.
The decree constituting hi$ inferior to the Mother of the #ncarnate "ord, our Mistress, he opposed with
horrible blasphe$ies. Turning against the Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation and
calling upon the other angels, he e?horted the$, sayingD 7n<ust are these co$$ands and in<ury is done
to $y greatness9 this hu$an nature which Thou, (ord, loo*est upon with so $uch love and which thou
favorest so highly, # will persecute and destroy. To this end # will direct all $y power and all $y
aspirations. And this "o$an, Mother of the "ord, # will hurl fro$ the position in which Thou hast
proposed to place 0er, and at $y hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall co$e to naught.
This proud boast so aroused the indignation of the (ord that in order to hu$ble it, 0e spo*e to (uciferD
This "o$an who$ thou refusest to honor, shall crush thy head and by 0er shalt thou be vanEuished
and annihilated '!en. =, 1C). And if, through thy pride, death enters into the world '"is. @, @&), life and
salvation of $ortals shall enter through the hu$ility of this "o$an. Those that are of the nature and
li*eness of that Man and "o$an, shall en<oy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and thy followers
have lost. To all this the dragon, filled with indignation against whatever he understood of the divine
will and decrees, answered only with pride and by threatening destruction to the whole hu$an race. The
good angels saw the <ust indignation of the Most 0igh against (ucifer and his apostates and they
co$bated the$ with the ar$s of the understanding, reason and truth.
The Al$ighty at this con<uncture wor*ed another wonderful $ystery. 0aving given to all the angels a
sufficiently clear intelligence of the hypostatic 7nion, 0e showed the$ the i$age of the $ost holy
5irgin by $eans of an i$aginary vision '# spea* here according to our way of understanding such
things). They were shown the perfection of the hu$an nature in the revelation of an i$age representing a
$ost perfect "o$an, in who$ the al$ighty ar$ of the Most 0igh would wor* $ore wonderfully than in
all the rest of the creatures. 6or therein 0e was to deposit the graces and gifts of his right hand in a
higher and $ore e$inent $anner. This sign or vision of the ;ueen of heaven and of the Mother of the
incarnate "ord was $ade *nown and $anifest to all the angels, good and bad. The good ones at the sign
of it bro*e forth in ad$iration and in canticles of praise and fro$ that ti$e on began to defend the honor
of the !od incarnate and of his holy Mother, being ar$ed with ardent Geal and with the invincible shield
of that vision. The dragon and his allies on the contrary conceived i$placable hatred and fury against
Christ and his $ost holy Mother. Then happened all that which is described in the twelfth chapter of the
Apocalypse, which # will e?plain, as far as it has been given $e.
The literal version of that chapter of the Apocalypse is as followsD
1. And a great sign appeared in heavenD A wo$an clothed with the sun and the $oon under
her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve starsD
@. And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
=. And there was seen another sign in heaven9 and behold a great red dragon having seven
heads and ten horns9 and on his head seven diade$s.
&. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast the$ to the earth and the
dragon stood before the wo$an, who was ready to be delivered9 that, when she should be
delivered, he $ight devour her son.
C. And she brought forth a $anBchild, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod9 and her
son was ta*en up to !od, and to his throne.
>. And the wo$an fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by !od, that
there they should feed her a thousand two hundred and si?ty days.
7. And there was a great battle in heaven9 Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and
the dragon fought and his angels.
F. And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any $ore in heaven.
%. And the dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who
seduceth the whole world9 and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown
down with hi$.
1A. And # heard a loud voice sayingD .ow is co$e salvation and strength, and the *ingdo$ of
our !od and the power of his Christ9 because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth,
who accused the$ before our !od day and night.
11. And they overca$e hi$ by the blood of the (a$b and by the word of the testi$ony, and
they loved not their lives unto death.
1@. Therefore, re<oice, , heavens and you that dwell therein. "oe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil is co$e down unto you, having a great wrath and *nowing that he hath
but a short ti$e.
1=. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth he persecuted the wo$an, who
brought forth the $anBchildD
1&. And there were given to the wo$an two wings of a great eagle, that she $ight fly into the
desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a ti$e and ti$es and half a ti$e, fro$
the face of the serpent.
1C. And the serpent cast out of his $outh after the wo$an, water as if it were a river, that he
$ight cause her to be carried away by the river.
1>. And the earth helped the wo$an and the earth opened her $outh and swallowed the river,
which the dragon cast out of his $outh.
17. And the dragon was angry against the wo$an and went to $a*e war with the rest of her
seed, who *eep the co$$and$ents of !od, and have the testi$ony of Jesus Christ.
1F. And he stood upon the sands of the sea.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 #5
C2/AT#,. A.4 6A(( ,6 MA.
,n the si?th day he for$ed and created Ada$, as it were of the age of thirtyBthree years. This was the age in which
Christ was to suffer death, and Ada$ with regard to his body was so li*e unto Christ, that scarcely any difference
e?isted. Also according to the soul Ada$ was si$ilar to Christ. 6ro$ Ada$ !od for$ed /ve so si$ilar to the +lessed
5irgin, that she was li*e unto 0er in personal appearance and in figure. !od loo*ed upon these two i$ages of the great
,riginals with the highest pleasure and benevolence, and on account of the ,riginals 0e heaped $any blessings upon
the$, as if 0e wanted to entertain 0i$self with the$ and their descendants until the ti$e should arrive for for$ing
Christ and Mary.
+ut the happy state in which !od had created the parents of the hu$an race lasted only a very short while. The envy of
the serpent was i$$ediately aroused against the$, for satan was patiently awaiting their creation, and no sooner were
they created, than his hatred beca$e active against the$. 0owever, he was not per$itted to witness the for$ation of
Ada$ and /ve, as he had witnessed the creation of all other thingsD for the (ord did not choose to $anifest to hi$ the
creation of $an, nor the for$ation of /ve fro$ a rib9 all these things were concealed fro$ hi$ for a space of ti$e until
both of the$ were <oined. +ut when the de$on saw the ad$irable co$position of the hu$an nature, perfect beyond that
of any creature, the beauty of the souls and also of the bodies of Ada$ and /ve9 when he saw the paternal love with
which the (ord regarded the$, and how 0e $ade the$ the lords of all creation, and that 0e gave the$ hope of eternal
lifeD the wrath of the dragon was lashed to fury, and no tongue can describe the rage with which that beast was filled,
nor how great was his envy and his desire to ta*e the life of these two beings. (i*e an enraged lion he certainly would
have done so, if he had not *nown, that a superior force would prevent hi$. .evertheless he studied and plotted out
so$e $eans, which would suffice to deprive the$ of the grace of the Most 0igh and $a*e the$ !od8s ene$ies.
0ere (ucifer was deceived9 for the (ord had fro$ the beginning $ysteriously $anifested to hi$, that the "ord was to
assu$e hu$an nature in the wo$b of the $ost holy Mary, but not how and when9 and thus 0e had also concealed the
creation of Ada$ and the for$ation of /ve, in order that (ucifer $ight fro$ the beginning labor under his ignorance
concerning the $ystery and the ti$e of the #ncarnation. As his wrath and his watchfulness had thus been so signally
forestalled in regard to Christ and Mary, he suspected that Ada$ had co$e forth fro$ /ve, and that She was the
Mother and Ada$ the incarnate "ord. 0is suspicions grew, when he felt the divine power, which prevented hi$ fro$
har$ing the life of these creatures. ,n the other hand, he soon beca$e aware of the precepts of !od, for these did not
re$ain concealed fro$ hi$, since he heard their conversation in regard to the$. +eing freed $ore and $ore fro$ his
doubt as he listened to the words of the first parents and siGed up their natural gifts, he began to follow the$ li*e a
roaring lion '# 1et. C, F), see*ing an entrance through those inclinations, which he found in each of the$. .evertheless,
until he was undeceived in the course of the 2ede$ption, he continued to hesitate between his wrath against Christ and
Mary and the dread of being overco$e by The$. Most of all he dreaded the confusion of being conEuered by the ;ueen
of heaven, who was to be a $ere creature and not !od.
Ta*ing courage therefore in the precept, which was given to Ada$ and /ve, and having prepared the snare, (ucifer
entered with all his energy upon the wor* of entrapping the$ and of opposing and hindering the e?ecution of the divine
"ill. 0e first approached the wo$an, and not the $an, because he *new her to be by nature $ore frail and wea*, and
because in te$pting her he would be $ore certain that it was not Christ who$ he was encountering. Against her also he
was $ore enraged ever since he had seen the sign in the heaven and since the threat, which !od had $ade in it against
hi$. ,n these accounts his wrath was greater against /ve than against Ada$. +efore he showed hi$self to her,
however, he aroused her in $any disturbing thoughts or i$aginations, in order to approach her in a state of e?cite$ent
and preBoccupation. +ut because # have written this in another place, # will not enlarge here upon the violence and
inhu$anity of this te$ptation9 it is enough for $y purpose to $ention what Scripture saysD that he too* the for$ of a
serpent '!en. @, 1), and thus spea*ing to /ve drew her into a conversation, which she should not have per$itted.
(istening to hi$ and answering, she began to believe hi$9 then she violated the co$$and of !od, and finally
persuaded her husband li*ewise to transgress the precept. Thus ruin overtoo* the$ and all the restD for the$selves and
for us they lost the happy position, in which !od had placed the$.
"hen (ucifer saw the two fallen and their interior beauty and grace and original <ustice changed into the ugliness of
sin, he celebrated his triu$ph with incredible <oy and vaunting in the co$pany of his de$ons. +ut he soon fell fro$ his
proud boasting, when he saw, contrary to his e?pectations, how *indly the $erciful love of !od dealt with the
delinEuents, and how 0e offered the$ a chance of doing penance by giving the$ hope of pardon and return of grace.
Moreover he saw how they were disposing the$selves toward this forgiveness by sorrow and contrition, and how the
beauty of grace was restored to the$. "hen the de$ons perceived the effect of contrition, all hell was again in
confusion. 0is consternation grew, when he heard the sentence, which !od pronounced against the guilty ones, in
which he hi$self was i$plicated. More especially and above all was he tor$ented by the repetition of that threatD The
"o$an shall crush thy head '!en. =, 1C), which he had already heard in heaven.
The offspring of /ve $ultiplied after the fall and so arose the distinction and the $ultiplication of the good and the bad,
the elect and the reprobate, the ones following Christ the 2edee$er, and the others following satan. The elect cling to
their (eader by faith, hu$ility, charity, patience and all the virtues and in order to obtain victory, they are assisted,
helped and beautified by the divine grace and the gifts, which the 2edee$er and (ord of all $erited for the$. +ut the
reprobate, without receiving any such benefits fro$ their false leader, or earning any other reward than the eternal pain
and the confusion of hell, follow hi$ in pride, presu$ption, obscenity and wic*edness, being led into these disorders by
the father of lies and the originator of sin.
.otwithstanding all this the Most 0igh, in his ineffable *indness, gave our first parents his benediction, in order that the
hu$an race $ight grow and $ultiply '!en. &, =). The $ost high 1rovidence per$itted, that /ve, in the un<ust Cain,
should bring forth a type of the evil fruits of sin, and in the innocent Abel, both in figure and in i$itation, the type of
Christ our (ord. 6or in the <ust one the law and doctrine of Christ began to e?ert its effects. All the rest of the <ust were
to follow it, suffering for <ustice sa*e 'Matth. 1A, @@), hated and persecuted by the sinners and the reprobate and by their
own brothers. Accordingly, patience, hu$ility and $ee*ness began to appear in Abel, and in Cain, envy and all
wic*edness, for the benefit of the <ust and for his own perdition. The wic*ed triu$ph and the good suffer, e?hibiting the
spectacle, which the world in its progress shows to this day, na$ely, the Jerusale$ of the godfearing and the +abylon
of the godforsa*en, each with its own leader and head.
The Most 0igh also wished that the first Ada$ should be the type of the second in the $anner of their creation9 for, <ust
as before the creation of the first, 0e created and ordered for hi$ the republic of all the beings, of which he was to be
the lord and head9 so before the appearance of his ,nlybegotten, 0e allowed $any ages to pass by, in order that his Son
$ight, in the $ultiplied $anners of the hu$an race, find prepared for 0i$self a people, of which 0e was to be the
0ead, the Teacher, and the -ing. 0e was not to be even for a $o$ent without a people and without followersD such is
the wonderful har$ony and order, in which the divine wisdo$ disposed all things, $a*ing that later in the e?ecution,
which was first in the intention.
As the world progressed in course, in order that the "ord $ight descend fro$ the boso$ of the 6ather and clothe #tself
in our $ortality, !od selected and prepared a chosen and $ost noble people, the $ost ad$irable of past and future
ti$es. "ithin it also 0e constituted a $ost illustrious and holy race, fro$ which 0e was to descend according to the
flesh. # will not linger in detailing the genealogy of Christ our (ord, for the account of the holy /vangelists has $ade
that unnecessary. # will only say, in praise of the Most 0igh, that 0e has shown to $e $any ti$es the inco$parable
love, which 0e bore toward his people, the favors shown to it, and the $ysteries and holy Sacra$ents, which 0e
entrusted to it, as was afterwards $ade $anifest through his holy Church. 6or at no ti$e has slept nor slu$bered 0e,
who has constituted 0i$self the watcher of #srael '1s. 1@A, &).
0e reared $ost holy 1rophets and 1atriarchs, who in figures and prophecies announced to us fro$ far off, that, which
we have now in possession. 0e wishes us to venerate the$, *nowing how they estee$ed the law of grace and how
earnestly they yearned and prayed for it. To this people !od $anifested his i$$utable /ssence by $any revelations,
and they again trans$itted these revelations to us by the holy Scriptures, containing i$$ense $ysteries, which we
grasp and learn to *now by faith. All of the$, however, are brought to perfection and are $ade certain by the incarnate
"ord, who trans$itted to us the secure rule of faith and the nourish$ent of the sacred Scriptures in his Church.
Although the 1rophets and the <ust ones of that people were not so far favored as to see Christ in his body, they
nevertheless e?perienced the liberality of the (ord, who $anifested 0i$self to the$ by prophecies and who $oved
their hearts to pray for his co$ing and for the 2ede$ption of the whole hu$an race. The consonance and har$ony of
all these prophecies, $ysteries and aspirations of the ancient fathers, were a sweet $usic to the Most 0igh, which
resounded in the secret recesses of the 4ivinity and which regarded and shortened the ti$e 'to spea* in a hu$an
$anner) until 0e should descend to converse with $an.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5.
12,1A!AT#,. ,6 MA.-#.4. /:1/CTAT#,. ,6 A 2/4//M/2. SA#.T J,AC0#M A.4 A../
The posterity and race of Ada$ spread out in great nu$bers, for the <ust and the un<ust were $ultiplied9 li*ewise did
increase the cla$ors of the <ust for the 2edee$er, and the transgressions of the wic*ed in de$erit of that benefit. The
people of the Most 0igh and the plans for the triu$ph of the (ord in assu$ing hu$an nature, were already in the last
stages of preparation for the advent of the Messiah. The *ingdo$ of sin in the generation of the wic*ed had now spread
its do$inion to the ut$ost li$its and the opportune ti$e for the re$edy had arrived.
"hen the ancient serpent had infected the whole earth with its poisonous breath and apparently en<oyed peaceful
control over $ortals who had beco$e blind to the light of reason '2o$. 1, @A) and to the precepts contained in the
ancient written law, when, instead of see*ing the true 4ivinity, $en set up for the$selves $any false laws and each one
created a god for hi$self according to his li*ing, without considering, that the confusion of so $any gods was
repugnant to all goodness, order, and peace, when by these errors $alice, ignorance and forgetfulness of the true !od
had beco$e naturaliGed9 when ignorant of its $ortal disease and lethargy, the world had grown $ute in its prayer for
deliverance9 when pride reigned supre$e and fools had beco$e innu$erable '/ccles. %, 1C)9 when (ucifer in his
arrogance was about to swallow the pure waters of the Jordan 'Job &A, 1F)D when through these in<uries !od was $ore
and $ore deeply offended and less and less beholden to $an9 when his <ustice had such an e?cellent cause for
annihilating all creation and reducing it to its original nothingnessD
At this <uncture 'according to our way of understanding), the Most 0igh directed his attention to the attribute of his
$ercy, counterbalanced the weight of his inco$prehensible <ustice with the law of cle$ency, and chose to yield $ore
to his own goodness, to the cla$ors and faithful services of the <ust and the prophets of his people, than to his
indignation at the wic*edness and sins of all the rest of $an*ind. #n this dar* night of the ancient law, 0e resolved to
give $ost certain pledges of the day of grace, sending into the world two $ost bright lu$inaries to announce the
approaching dawn of the sun of Justice, Christ our Salvation. These were saint Joachi$ and Anne, prepared and created
by especial decree according to his own heart. St. Joachi$ had his ho$e, his fa$ily and relations in .aGareth, a town of
!alilee. 0e, always a <ust and holy $an and illu$ined by especial grace and light fro$ on high, had a *nowledge of
$any $ysteries of the holy Scriptures and of the olden 1rophets. #n continual and fervent prayer he as*ed of !od the
fulfill$ent of his pro$ises, and his faith and charity penetrated the heavens. 0e was a $an $ost hu$ble and pure,
leading a $ost holy and sincere life, yet he was $ost grave and earnest, and inco$parably $odest and honest.
The $ost fortunate Anne had a house in +ethlehe$ and was a $ost chaste, hu$ble and beautiful $aiden. 6ro$ her
childhood she led a $ost virtuous, holy and retired life, en<oying great and continual enlighten$ent in e?alted
conte$plation. "ithal she was $ost diligent and industrious, thus attaining perfection in both the active and
conte$plative life. She had an infused *nowledge of the divine Scriptures and a profound understanding of its hidden
$ysteries and sacra$ents. #n the infused virtues of faith, hope and love she was une?celled. /Euipped with all these
gifts, she continued to pray for the co$ing of the Messias. 0er prayers were so acceptable to the (ord, that to her 0e
could but answer with the words of the SpouseD Thou hast wounded $y heart with one of the hairs of thy nec* 'Cant.
&, %). Therefore, without doubt, saint Anne holds a high position a$ong the saints of the old Testa$ent, who by their
$erits hastened the co$ing of the 2edee$er.
This wo$an also prayed $ost fervently, that the Al$ighty deign to procure for her in $atri$ony a husband, who
should help her to observe the ancient law and testa$ent, and to be perfect in the fulfill$ent of all its precepts. At the
$o$ent in which saint Anne thus prayed to the (ord, his 1rovidence ordained, that saint Joachi$ $ade the sa$e
petitionD both prayers were $ade at the sa$e ti$e before the tribunal of the holy Trinity, where they were heard and
fulfilled, it being then and there divinely disposed, that Joachi$ and Anne unite in $arriage and beco$e the parents of
0er, who was to be the Mother of the incarnate !od. #n furtherance of this divine decree the archangel !abriel was sent
to announce it to the$ both. To saint Anne he appeared in visible for$, while she was engaged in fervent prayer for the
co$ing of the Savior and the 2edee$er of $en. "hen she saw the holy prince, $ost beautiful and refulgent, she was
disturbed and frightened and yet at the sa$e ti$e interiorly re<oiced and enlightened. The holy $aiden prostrated
herself in profound hu$ility to reverence the $essenger of heaven9 but he prevented and encouraged her, as being
destined to be the ar* of the true $anna, Mary $ost holy, Mother of the "ord. 6or this holy angel had been infor$ed of
this sacra$ental $ystery on being sent with this $essage. The other angels did not yet *now of it, as this revelation or
illu$ination had been directly given fro$ !od only to !abriel. .evertheless the angel did not then $anifest this great
sacra$ent to St. Anne9 but he as*ed her to attend and said to herD The Most 0igh give thee his blessing, servant of
!od, and be thy salvation. 0is Ma<esty has heard thy petitions and 0e wishes thee to persevere therein and that thou
continue to cla$or for the co$ing of the 2edee$er. #t is his will, that thou accept Joachi$ as the spouse, for he is a
$an of upright heart and acceptable to the (ordD in his co$pany thou wilt be able to persevere in the observance of his
law and in his service. Continue thy prayers and thy supplications and be not solicitous for anything else, for the (ord
will see the$ fulfilled. "al* in the straight paths of <ustice and let thy soul8s converse be in heaven. Continuing to pray
for the Messias, be thou <oyful in the (ord, who is thy salvation. "ith these words the angel disappeared, leaving her
enlightened in $any $ysteries of holy Scriptures, and co$forted and renewed in spirit.
To saint Joachi$ the archangel did not appear in a corporeal $anner, but he spo*e to the $an of !od in sleep as
followsD Joachi$, be thou blessed by the right hand of the Most 0ighH 1ersevere in thy desires and live according to
rectitude and perfection. #t is the will of the Al$ighty, that thou receive saint Anne as thy spouse, for her the (ord has
visited with his blessing. Ta*e care of her and estee$ her as a pledge of the Most 0igh and give than*s to his Ma<esty,
because he has given her in thy charge. #n conseEuence of this divine $essage saint Joachi$ i$$ediately as*ed for the
hand of the $ost chaste Anne and, in <oint obedience to the divine ordain$ent, they espoused each other. +ut neither of
the $anifested to each other the secret of what had happened until several years afterwards, as # will relate in its place.
The two holy spouses lived in .aGareth, continuing to wal* in the <ustification of the (ord. #n rectitude and sincerity
they practiced all virtue in their wor*s, $a*ing the$selves very acceptable and pleasing to the Most 0igh and avoiding
all ble$ish in all their doings. The rents and inco$es of their estate they divided each year into three parts. The first one
they offered to the te$ple of Jerusale$ for the worship of the (ord9 the second they distributed to the poor, and the
third they retained for decent sustenance of the$selves and fa$ily. !od aug$ented their te$poral goods on account of
their generosity and charity.
They the$selves lived with each other in undisturbed peace and union of heart, without Euarrel or shadow of a grudge.
The $ost hu$ble Anne sub<ected herself and confor$ed herself in all things to the will of Joachi$D and that $an of
!od, with eEual e$ulation of hu$ility, sought to *now the desires of holy Anne, confiding in her with his whole heart
'1rov. =1, 11), and he was not deceived. Thus they lived together in such perfect charity, that during their whole life
they never e?perienced a ti$e, during which one ceased to see* the sa$e thing as the other 'Matth. @7, @A). +ut rather
as being united in the (ord, they en<oyed his presence in holy fear. Saint Joachi$, solicitous to obey the co$$and of
the angel, honored his spouse and lavished his attention upon her.
This fortunate couple passed twenty years of their $arried life without issue. #n those ti$es and a$ong the people of
the Jews this was held to be the greatest $isfortune and disgrace. ,n this account they had to bear $uch reproach and
insult fro$ their neighbors and acEuaintances, for all those that were childless, were considered as e?cluded fro$ the
benefits of the Messias. +ut the Most 0igh wished to afflict the$ and dispose the$ for the grace which awaited the$,
in order that in patience and sub$ission they $ight tearfully sow the glorious 6ruit, which they were afterwards to
bring forth. They continued in $ost fervent prayers fro$ the botto$ of their hearts, $indful of the co$$and fro$ on
high. They $ade an e?press vow to the (ord, that if 0e should give the$ issue, they would consecrate #t to his service
in the te$ple of Jerusale$.
0aving, at the co$$and of the (ord, persevered a whole year in fervent petitions, it happened by divine inspiration and
ordain$ent, that Joachi$ was in the te$ple of Jerusale$ offering prayers and sacrifices for the co$ing of the Messias,
and for the fruit, which he desired. Arriving with others of his town to offer the co$$on gifts and contributions in the
presence of the high priest, #sachar, an inferior priest, harshly reprehended the old and venerable Joachi$, for
presu$ing to co$e with the other people to $a*e offerings in spite of his being childless. A$ong other things he said
to hi$D "hy dost thou, Joachi$, co$e with thy offerings and sacrifices, which are not pleasing in the eyes of !od,
since thou art a useless $anI (eave this co$pany and depart9 do not annoy !od with thy offerings and sacrifices,
which are not acceptable to 0i$. The holy $an, full of sha$e and confusion, in hu$ble love thus addressed the (ordD
Most high (ord and !od, at thy co$$and and desire # ca$e to the te$ple9 he that ta*es thy place, despises $e9 $y
sins $erit this disgrace9 but since # accept it according to thy will, do not cast away the creature of thy hands '1s. @7C,
1A). Joachi$ hastened away fro$ the te$ple full of sorrow, though peaceful and contented, to a far$ or storehouse,
which he possessed, and there in solitude he called upon the (ord for so$e days, praying as followsD
Most high and eternal !od, on who$ depends the whole e?istence and the reparation of the hu$an race, prostrate in
thy living presence, # supplicate thy infinite goodness to loo* upon the affliction of $y soul and to hear $y prayers and
those of thy servant Anne. To thine eyes are $anifest all our desires '1s. =7, 1A) and if # a$ not worthy to be heard, do
not despise $y hu$ble spouse. (ord !od of Abraha$, #saac and Jacob, our first forefathers, do not hide thy *indness
fro$ us, nor per$it, since Thou art a 6ather, that # be nu$bered a$ong the reprobate and the outcasts in $y offerings,
because Thou givest $e no issue. 2e$e$ber, , (ord, the sacrifices '4eut. 11, @7) and oblations of thy servants and
prophets, $y ancestors, and loo* upon their wor*s, which were pleasing to thy divine eyes. Since Thou co$$andest
$e, $y (ord to pray to Thee in confidence, grant $e, according to the greatness of thy $ercy and power, that which at
thy wish # pray for. #n beseeching Thee # fulfill thy will and render the obedience, in which Thou hast pro$ised to grant
$y petition. #f $y sins hinder the e?ercise of thy $ercies, ta*e away what displeases and hinders Thee. Thou art
$ighty, (ord !od of #srael, and all that Thou wishest, Thou canst acco$plish without hindrance. (et $y prayers reach
thy ears, and if # a$ poor and insignificant, Thou art infinite and always ready to e?ercise $ercy with the downcast.
"hither shall # flee fro$ Thee, who art the -ing of *ings and the (ord of lordsI Thou hast filled thy sons and servants
with benedictions in their generations and Thou hast instructed to e?pect and desire fro$ thy bounty what Thou hast
wrought in $y brethren. #f it is Thy pleasure to yield to $y petition, and grant $e issue # will offer it and consecrate it
to thy holy te$ple in perpetual service. # have riveted $y eyes and $y will on thy holy "ill and have always desired to
*eep the$ free fro$ the vanishing things of this world. 6ulfill in regard to $e, what is according to thy pleasure, and
re<oice our spirit with the acco$plish$ent of our hopes. (oo* down fro$ thy throne upon this vile dust, and raise it up,
in order that it $ay $agnify Thee and adore Thee, and let in all things be fulfilled thy will, and not $ine.
"hile Joachi$ was $a*ing these petitions in his retire$ent, the holy angel $anifested to holy Anne, that her prayer for
an issue, acco$panied by such holy desires and intentions, was pleasing to the Al$ighty. 0aving thus recogniGed the
will of !od and of her husband Joachi$, she prayed with hu$ble sub<ection and confidence, that it be fulfilled. Most
high !od, $y (ord, Creator and 1reserver of the universe, who$ $y soul reserves as the true !od, infinite, holy and
eternalH 1rostrate in thy real presence # will spea*, though but # a$ but dust and ashes '/sther 1=, %) proclai$ing $y
need and $y affliction. (ord !od uncreated, $a*e us worthy of thy benediction, and give us holy fruit of the wo$b, in
order that we $ay offer it to thy service in the te$ple '!en. 1F, @7). 2e$e$ber, , (ord, that Anne, thy servant, the
$other of Sa$uel, was sterile and that by thy generous $ercy she received the fulfill$ent of her desires. # feel within
$e a courage which incites and ani$ates $e to as* Thee to show $e the sa$e $ercy. 0ear then, , sweetest (ord and
Master, $y hu$ble petitionD re$e$ber the sacrifices, offerings and services of $y ancestors and the favors, which thy
al$ighty ar$ wrought in the$. # wish to offer to Thee, , (ord, an oblation pleasing and acceptable in thy eyesD but the
greatest in $y power, is $y soul, $y faculties and inclinations given to Thee, and $y whole being. #f Thou loo* upon
$e fro$ thy throne giving $e issue, # will fro$ this $o$ent sanctify and offer it for thy service in the te$ple. (ord
!od of #srael, if it should be thy pleasure and good will to loo* upon this lowly and i$poverished creature, and to
console thy servant Joachi$, grant $e $y prayer and $ay in all things be fulfilled thy holy and eternal will.
These were the prayers, which saint Joachi$ and Anne offered. ,n account of $y great shortco$ing and insufficiency #
cannot fully describe what # was $ade to understand concerning the holiness of these prayers and of these saintly
parents. #t is i$possible to tell all9 nor is it necessary, since what # have said is sufficient for $y purpose. #n order to
obtain a befitting idea of these saints, it is necessary to esti$ate and <udge the$ in connection with the $ost high end
and $inistry, for which they were chosen by !od9 for they were the i$$ediate grandparents of Christ our (ord, and
parents of his $ost holy Mother.
The petitions of the $ost holy Joachi$ and Anne reached the throne of the holy Trinity, where they were accepted and
the will of !od was $ade *nown to the holy angels. The three divine 1ersons, according to our way of e?pressing such
things, spo*e to the$ as followsD "e have in our condescension resolved, that the person of the "ord shall assu$e
hu$an flesh and that through 0i$ all the race of $ortals shall find a re$edy. "e have already $anifested and
pro$ised this to our servants, the 1rophets, in order that they $ight announce it to the whole world. The sins of the
living, and their $alice are so great, that "e are $uch constrained by the rigor of <ustice. +ut our goodness and $ercy
is greater than all their evilBdoing, nor can it e?tinguish our love toward $en. "e will loo* with $ercy upon the wor*s
of our hands, which "e have created according to our i$age and li*eness, so as to enable the$ to beco$e inheritors
and participators of our eternal glory '# 1et. =, @@). "e will consider the services and pleasure derived fro$ our servants
and friends and regard the $ultitude of those, who shall distinguish the$selves in our praise and friendship. And above
all have "e before our eyes 0er, who is to be the chosen ,ne, who is to be acceptable above all creatures and singled
out for our delight and pleasure9 because She is to conceive the person of the "ord in her wo$b and clothe 0i$ with
hu$an flesh. Since there $ust be a beginning of this wor*, by which we shall $anifest to the world the treasures of the
4ivinity, this shall be the acceptable and opportune ti$e for its e?ecution. Joachi$ and Anne have found grace in our
eyes9 "e loo* upon the$ with pleasure and shall enrich the$ with choicest gifts and graces. They have been faithful
and constant in their trials and in si$plicity and uprightness their souls have beco$e acceptable and pleasing before 7s.
(et !abriel as our a$bassador bring tidings of <oy for the$ and for the whole hu$an race9 let hi$ announce to the$,
that in our condescension "e have loo*ed upon the$ and chosen the$.
Thus the celestial spirits were instructed in regard to the will and the decree of the Al$ighty. The holy archangel
!abriel hu$bled hi$self before the throne of the $ost blessed Trinity, adoring and revering the divine Ma<esty in the
$anner which befits these $ost pure and spiritual substances. 6ro$ the throne an intellectual voice proceeded sayingD
!abriel, enlighten, vivify and console Joachi$ and Anne, our servants, and tell the$, that their prayers have co$e to
our presence and their petitions are heard in cle$ency. 1ro$ise the$, that by the favor of our right hand they will
receive the 6ruit of benediction, and that Anne shall conceive a 4aughter, to who$ "e give the na$e of MA23.
Together with this $andate of the Most 0igh $any $ysteries and sacra$ents pertaining to this $essage were revealed
to saint !abriel. "ith it he descended fro$ the vault of the e$pyrean heaven and appeared to holy Joachi$, while he
was in prayer, saying to hi$D Just and upright $an, the Al$ighty fro$ his sovereign throne has ta*en notice of thy
desires and has heard thy sighs and prayers, and has $ade thee fortunate on earth. Thy spouse Anne shall conceive and
bear a 4aughter, who shall be blessed a$ong wo$en '(uc. &@, &F). The nations shall *now 0er as the +lessed. 0e who
is the eternal !od, increate, and the Creator of all, $ost upright in his <udg$ents, powerful and strong, sends $e to
thee, because thy wor*s and al$s have been acceptable. (ove has softened the heart of the Al$ighty, and has hastened
his $ercies, and in his liberality 0e wishes to enrich thy house and thy fa$ily with a 4aughter, who$ Anne shall
conceive9 the (ord hi$self has chosen for 0er the na$e of MA23. 6ro$ her childhood let 0er be consecrated to the
te$ple, and in it to !od, as thou hast pro$ised. She shall be elected, e?alted, powerful and full of the 0oly !host9 on
account of the sterility of Anne her conception shall be $iraculous9 She shall be a 4aughter wonderful in all her doings
and in all her life. 1raise the (ord, Joachi$, for this benefit and $agnify 0i$, for in no other nation has 0e wrought the
li*e. Thou shalt go to give than*s in the te$ple of Jerusale$ and in testi$ony of the truth of this <oyful $essage, thou
shalt $eet, in the !olden !ate, thy sister Anne, who is co$ing to the te$ple for the sa$e purpose. 2e$e$ber that
$arvelous is this $essage, for the Conception of this Child shall re<oice heaven and earth.
#n the $eanwhile the thrice blessed Anne was e?alted in prayer and divine conte$plation and totally wrapped up in the
$ystery of the #ncarnation, which, after having been previously filled with a $ost high understanding and a specially
infused light, she solicited fro$ the eternal "ord. "ith the profoundest hu$ility and lively faith she was praying for
the hastening of the co$ing of the 2edee$er of the hu$an race in the following wordsD Most high -ing and (ord of
all creation, #, a $ost vile and despicable creature, and yet the wor* of thy hands, desire at the price of the life which
Thou hast given $e, to urge Thee to hasten in thy $ercy the ti$e of our salvation. , $ay thy infinite *indness incline
toward our needH , that our eyes $ight loo* upon the 2estorer and the 2edee$er of $enH 2e$e$ber, , (ord, the
$ercies of old shown to thy people, wherein Thou hast pro$ised thy ,nlybegotten, and $ay this pro$ise of infinite
*indness unbend TheeH May it co$e now, that day so $uch longed forH #s it possible, that the Most 0igh should
descend fro$ his holy heavenI #s it possible, that 0e is to have a terrestrial MotherI "hat wo$an shall She be, that is
so fortunate and blessedI , who shall be so favored as to loo* upon 0erI "ho shall be worthy to be the servant of her
servantsI +lessed the race, that shall be able to see 0er and prostrate the$selves at her feet to reverence 0erH 0ow
sweet shall be the sight of 0er and her co$panyH +lessed the eyes, that shall see 0er and the ears, that shall listen to her
words, and the fa$ily, fro$ who$ the Most 0igh shall select his MotherH /?ecute, , (ord, this decreeD fulfill thy
divine benevolenceH
The hu$ility, faith and the al$s of Joachi$ and of thyself have co$e before the throne of the Most 0igh and now 0e
sends $e, his angel, in order to give thee news full of <oy for thy heartD 0is Ma<esty wishes, that thou be $ost fortunate
and blessed. 0e chooses thee to be the $other of 0er who is to conceive and bring forth the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather.
Thou shalt bring forth a 4aughter, who by divine disposition shall be called MA23. She shall be blessed a$ong
wo$en and full of the 0oly !host. She shall be the cloud that shall drop the dew of heaven for the refresh$ent of
$ortals '### -ings 1F, &&)D and in 0er shall be fulfilled the prophecies of thy ancestors. She shall be the portal of life
and salvation for the sons of Ada$. -now also that # have announced to Joachi$, that he shall have a 4aughter who
shall be blessed and fortunateD but the full *nowledge of the $ystery is not given hi$ by the (ord, for he does not
*now, that She is to be the Mother of the Messias. Therefore thou $ust guard this secret9 and go now to the te$ple to
give than*s to the Most 0igh for having been so highly favored by his powerful right hand. #n the !olden !ate thou
shalt $eet Joachi$, where thou wilt confer with hi$ about this tiding. Thou art the one, who art especially blessed of
the (ord and who$ 0e wishes to visit and enrich with $ore singular blessings. #n solitude 0e will spea* to thy heart
and there give a beginning to the law of grace, since in thy wo$b 0e will give being to 0er, who is to vest the #$$ortal
with $ortal flesh and hu$an for$. #n this hu$anity, united with the "ord, will be written, as with his own blood, the
true law of Mercy.
#n order that the hu$ble heart of the holy Anne $ight not faint away with ad$iration and <oy at these tidings of the
holy angel, she was strengthened by the holy Spirit and thus she heard it and received it with $agnani$ity and
inco$parable <oy. #$$ediately arising she hastened to the te$ple of Jerusale$, and there found saint Joachi$, as the
angel had foretold to the$ both. Together they gave than*s to the Al$ighty for this wonderful blessing and offered
special gifts and sacrifices. They were enlightened anew by the grace of the 0oly Spirit, and, full of divine consolation,
they returned to their ho$e. Joyfully they conversed about the favors, which they had received fro$ the Al$ighty,
especially concerning each one8s $essage of the archangel !abriel, whereby, on behalf of the (ord, they had been
pro$ised a 4aughter who should be $ost blessed and fortunate. ,n this occasion they also told each other, how the
sa$e angel, before their espousal, had co$$anded each to accept the other, in order that together they $ight serve !od
according to his divine will. This secret they had *ept fro$ each other for twenty years, without co$$unicating it, until
the sa$e angel had pro$ised the$ the issue of such a 4aughter. Anew the $ade the vow to offer 0er to the te$ple and
that each year on this day they would co$e to the te$ple to offer special gifts, spend the day in praise and than*sgiving,
and give $any al$s. This vow they fulfilled to the end of their lives, spending this day in great praise and e?altation of
the Most 0igh.
The prudent $atron Anne never disclosed the secret, that her 4aughter was to be the Mother of the Messias, either to
Joachi$ or to any other creature. .or did that holy parent in the course of his life *now any $ore than that She was to
be a grand and $ysterious wo$an. 0owever, in the last $o$ents of his life the Al$ighty $ade the secret *nown to
hi$, as # will relate in its place.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5#.
T0/ #MMAC7(AT/ C,.C/1T#,.
#n the tribunal of the divine will, as the inevitable source and universal cause of the whole creation, all things with their
conditions and circu$stances, are decreed and deter$ined, so that nothing is forgotten and no created power can in the
least i$pede the fulfill$ent of the decree. All the spheres and the inhabitants contained in the$ are dependent on this
ineffable govern$ent that rules the$ and cooperates with the natural causes unfailingly and unerringly in all that $ust
be done. !od wor*s in all and sustains all by his sole will9 in 0i$ lies the preservation of all things or their
annihilation, for without 0i$ they would return to the nonBe?istence, fro$ which they were drawn. +ut since 0e has
created the universe for his glory and for the glory of the incarnate "ord, therefore 0e has fro$ the beginning opened
the paths and prearranged the ways by which the sa$e "ord should lower 0i$self to assu$e hu$an flesh and to live
a$ong $en, and by which they $ight ascend toward !od, *now 0i$, fear 0i$, see* 0i$, serve 0i$, love 0i$, praise
0i$ and en<oy 0i$ eternally. As the opportune and preordained ti$e had arrived, the three divine 1ersons conferred
with each other sayingD .ow is the ti$e to begin the wor* of our pleasure and to call into e?istence that pure Creature
and that soul, which is to find grace in our eyes above all the rest. (et 7s furnish 0er with richest gifts and let 7s
deposit in 0er the great treasures of our grace. Since all others, who$ "e called into e?istence, have turned out
ungrateful and rebellious to our wishes, frustrating our intention and i$peding by their own fault our purpose, na$ely,
that they conserve the$selves in the happy state of their first parents, and since it is not proper, that our will should be
entirely frustrated, let 7s therefore create this being in entire sanctity and perfection, so that the disorder of the first sin
shall have no part in 0er. (et 7s create a soul according to our pleasure, a fruit of our attributes, a $arvel of our infinite
power, without touch or ble$ish of the sin of Ada$. (et 7s perfect a wor* which is the ob<ect of our ,$nipotence and
a pattern of the perfection intended for our children, and the finishing crown of creation. All have sinned in the free will
and resolve of the first $an '2o$. C, 1@)9 let 0er be the sole creature in who$ "e restore and e?ecute that which they
in their aberration have lost. (et 0er be a $ost special i$age and li*eness of our 4ivinity and let 0er be in our presence
for all eternity the cul$ination of our goodwill and pleasure. #n 0er "e deposit all the prerogatives and graces which in
our first and conditional resolve "e had destined for the angels and $en, if they had re$ained in their first estate. "hat
they have lost "e renew in that Creature and "e will add to these gifts $any others. Thus our first decree shall not be
frustrated, but it shall be fulfilled in a higher $anner through this our first and chosen ,ne 'Cant. >, F). And since "e
assigned and prepared the $ost perfect and esti$able of our gifts for the creatures who have lost the$, "e will divert
the strea$ of our bounty to our "ellBbeloved. "e will set 0er apart fro$ the ordinary law, by which the rest of the
$ortals are brought into e?istence, for in 0er the seed of the serpent shall have no part. # will descend fro$ heaven into
her wo$b and in it vest Myself fro$ her substance with hu$an nature.
#t is befitting and due to the infinite goodness of our 4ivinity, that #t be founded and enclosed in the $ost pure $atter,
untouched and unstained by fault. .or is it proper that our eEuity and providence overloo* what is $ost apt, perfect and
holy, and choose that which is inferior, since nothing can resist our will '/sther 1=, %). The "ord, which is to beco$e
$an, being the 2edee$er and Teacher of $en, $ust lay the foundation of the $ost perfect law of grace, and $ust teach
through it, that the father and $other are to be obeyed and honored as the secondary causes of the natural e?istence of
$an. The law is first to be fulfilled by the divine "ord by honoring 0er as his chosen Mother, by e?alting 0er with a
powerful ar$, and lavishing upon 0er the $ost ad$irable, $ost holy and $ost e?cellent of all graces and gifts. A$ong
these shall be that $ost singular honor and blessing of not sub<ecting 0er to our ene$y, nor to his $alice9 and therefore
She shall be free fro$ the death of sin.
,n earth the "ord shall have a Mother without a father, as in heaven 0e has a 6ather without a $other. And in order
that there $ay be the proper correspondence, proportion and consonance in calling !od his 6ather and this "o$an his
Mother, "e desire that the highest correspondence and approach possible between a creature and its !od be
established. Therefore at no ti$e shall the dragon boast of being superior to the "o$an, who$ !od will obey as his
true Mother. This dignity of being free fro$ sin is due and corresponds to that of being Mother of the "ord, and it is in
itself even $ore esti$able and useful. #t is a greater good to be holy than to be only $other9 but all sanctity and
perfection is nevertheless due to the $otherhood of !od. The hu$an flesh, fro$ which 0e is to assu$e for$, $ust be
free fro$ sin. Since 0e is to redee$ in it the sinners, 0e $ust not be under the necessity of redee$ing his own flesh,
li*e that of sinners. +eing united to the 4ivinity his hu$anity is to be the price of 2ede$ption, wherefore it before all
be preserved fro$ sin, and "e have already foreseen and accepted the $erits of the "ord in this very flesh and hu$an
nature. "e wish that for all eternities the "ord should be glorified through this tabernacle and habitation of the hu$an
She is to be the daughter of the first $an9 but in the order of grace She is to be singularly free and e?e$pt fro$ fault9
and in the order of nature She is to be $ost perfect, and to be for$ed according to a special providence. And since the
incarnate "ord is to be the Teacher of hu$ility and holiness and for this end is to endure labors, confounding the vanity
and deceitful fallacies of $ortals by choosing for 0i$self sufferings as the treasure $ost esti$able in our eyes. "e
wish that She, who is to be his Mother, e?perience the sa$e labors and difficulties, that She be singularly distinguished
in patience, ad$irable in sufferings, and that She, in union with the ,nlybegotten, offer the acceptable sacrifices of
sorrow to 7s for her greater glory.
.ow the ti$e has arrived, added his Ma<esty, which was resolved upon by our 1rovidence for bringing to light the
Creature $ost pleasing and acceptable to our eyes. That Creature, in who$ the hu$an nature is freed fro$ its first sin,
who is to crush the head of the dragon, who was typified by that singular sign, the "o$an that appeared in the heavens
in our presence, and who is to clothe the eternal "ord with hu$an flesh. The hour is at hand, so blessed for $ortals, in
which the treasures of our 4ivinity are to be opened and the gates of heaven to be unloc*ed. (et the rigor of our <ustice
be softened by the chastise$ents, which we have until now e?ecuted upon the $ortals9 let the attribute of our $ercy
beco$e $anifest9 let the creatures be enriched, and let the divine "ord $erit for the$ the treasures of grace and of
eternal glory.
.ow let the hu$an race receive the 2epairer, the Teacher, the +rother and 6riend, to be life for $ortals, a $edicine for
the sic*, a consoler for the sorrowful, a balsa$ for the wounded, a guide and co$panion for those in difficulties. (et
now the prophecies of our servants and the pro$ises $ade to the$ that "e would send a Savior to redee$ the$, be
fulfilled. And in order that all $ay be e?ecuted according to our good pleasure, and that "e $ay give a beginning to
the $ystery hidden since the constitution of the world, "e select for the for$ation of our beloved Mary the wo$b of
our servant Anne9 in her be She conceived and in her let that $ost blessed Soul be created. Although her generation and
for$ation shall proceed according to the usual order of natural propagation, it shall be different in the order of grace,
according to the ordain$ent of our Al$ighty power.
3ou do already *now how the ancient serpent, since he saw the sign of this $arvelous "o$an, atte$pts to circu$vent
all wo$en, and how, fro$ the first one created, he persecutes all those, who$ he sees e?celling in the perfection of
their wor*s and life, e?pecting to find a$ong the$ the ,ne, who is to crush his head '!en. =, 1C). "hen he shall
encounter this $ost pure and spotless Creature, he shall find 0er so holy that he will e?ert all his powers to persecute
0er in pursuance of the concept which he for$s of 0er. +ut the arrogance of this dragon shall be greater than his
powers '#s. 1@, 7)9 and it is our will that you have particular charge of this our holy City and tabernacle of the incarnate
"ord, protecting, guarding, assisting and defending 0er against our ene$ies, and that you enlighten, strengthen and
console 0er with all due solicitude and reverence as long as She shall be a wayfarer a$ong the $ortals.
At this proposal of the Most 0igh all the holy angels, prostrate before the royal throne of the $ost holy Trinity, avowed
their pro$ptitude and eagerness to obey the divine $andate. /ach one desired in holy e$ulation to be appointed, and
offered hi$self for such a happy service9 all of the$ gave to the Al$ighty praise and than*sgiving in new songs,
because the hour had arrived for the fulfill$ent of that for which they had, with the $ost ardent desires, prayed through
$any ages. # perceived on this occasion that fro$ the ti$e of that great battle of saint Michael with the dragon and his
allies, in which they were hurled into everlasting dar*ness while the hosts of Michael re$ained victorious and
confir$ed in grace and glory, these holy spirits co$$enced i$$ediately to pray for the fulfill$ent of the $ysteries of
the #ncarnation of the "ord, of which they beca$e cogniGant at that ti$e. And they persevered in these oft repeated
prayers up to the hour in which !od $anifested to the$ the fulfill$ent of their desires and petitions.
,n this account the celestial spirits at this new revelation conceived an additional <oy and obtained new accidental
glory, and they spo*e to the (ordD Most 0igh and inco$prehensible !od and (ord, Thou art worthy of all reverence,
praise and eternal glory9 and we are thy creatures and $ade according to thy divine will. Send us, $ost powerful (ord,
to e?ecute thy $ost wonderful wor*s and $ysteries, in order that in all things thy $ost <ust pleasure $ay be fulfilled.
#n such ter$s of affection the heavenly princes ac*nowledged the$selves as sub<ects9 and if it had been possible, they
desired to increase in purity and perfection in order to be $ore worthy guardians and servants of Mary.
Then the Most 0igh chose and appointed those who were to be occupied in this e?alted service 'the guardianship of
Mary) fro$ each of the nine choirs of angels. 0e selected one hundred, being nine hundred in all. Moreover he assigned
twelve others who should in a special $anner assist Mary in corporeal and visible for$s9 and they were to bear the
e$ble$s or escutcheons of the 2ede$ption. These are the twelve which are $entioned in the twentyBfirst chapter of the
Apocalypse as guarding the portals of the city9 of the$ # will spea* in the e?planation of that chapter later on. +esides
these the (ord assigned eighteen other angels, selected fro$ the highest ran*s, who were to ascend and descend by that
$ystical stairs of Jacob with the $essage of the ;ueen to his Ma<esty and those of the (ord to 0er.
#n addition to all these holy angels the Al$ighty assigned and appointed seventy seraphi$, choosing the$ fro$ the
highest ran*s and fro$ those nearest to the 4ivinity, in order that they $ight co$$unicate and converse with this
1rincess of heaven in the sa$e way as they the$selves have intercourse with each other, and as the higher
co$$unicate with the lower ones.
#n order that this invincible warriorBtroop $ight be well appointed, saint Michael, the prince of the heavenly $ilitia was
placed at their head, and although not always in the co$pany of the ;ueen, he was nevertheless often near 0er and
often showed hi$self to 0er. The Al$ighty destined hi$ as a special a$bassador of Christ our (ord and to act in so$e
of the $ysteries as the defender of his $ost holy Mother. #n a li*e $anner the holy prince !abriel was appointed to act
as legate and $inister of the eternal 6ather in the affairs of the 1rincess of heaven. Thus did the $ost holy Trinity
provide for the custody and the defense of the Mother of !od.
The divine wisdo$ had now prepared all things for drawing forth the spotless i$age of the Mother of grace fro$ the
corruption of nature. The nu$ber and congregation of ancient 1atriarchs and 1rophets had been co$pleted and
gathered, and the $ountains had been raised, on which this $ystical City of !od was to be built '1s. F>, @). +y the
power of his right hand 0e had already selected inco$parable treasures of the 4ivinity to enrich and endow 0er. A
thousand angels were eEuipped for her guard and custody, that they $ight serve as $ost faithful vassals of their ;ueen
and (ady. 0e had provided a noble and *ingly ancestry fro$ who$ She should descend and had selected for 0er $ost
holy and perfect parents, than who$ none holier or $ore perfect could be found in the world. 6or there is no doubt that
if better and $ore apt parents e?isted, the Al$ighty would have selected the$ for 0er, who was to be chosen by !od as
his Mother.
#n the for$ation of the body of the $ost holy Mary the wisdo$ and power of the Al$ighty proceeded so cautiously that
the Euantities of the four natural ele$ents of the hu$an body, the sanguine, $elancholic, phleg$atic and choleric, were
co$pounded in e?act proportion and $easure9 in order that by this $ost perfect proportion in its $i?ture and
co$position it $ight assist the operations of that holy Soul with which it was to be endowed and ani$ated. This
wonderfully co$posed te$pera$ent was afterwards the source and the cause, which in its own way $ade possible the
serenity and peace that reigned in the powers and faculties of the ;ueen of heaven during all her life. .ever did any of
these ele$ents oppose or contradict nor see* to predo$inate over the others, but each one of the$ supple$ented and
served the others, continuing in this well ordered fabric without corruption or decay. .ever did the body of the $ost
0oly Mary suffer fro$ the taint of corruption, nor was there anything wanting or anything e?cessive found in it9 but all
the conditions and proportions of the different ele$ents were continuously ad<usted, without any want or e?cess in what
was necessary for her perfect e?istence and without e?cess or default in dryness or $oisture. .either was there $ore
war$th than was necessary for $aintenance of life or digestion9 nor $ore cold than was necessary for the right
te$perature and for the $aintenance of the bodily hu$ors.
,n the Saturday ne?t following, the Al$ighty created the soul of his Mother and infused it into the body9 and thus
entered into the world that pure Creature, $ore holy, perfect and agreeable to 0is eyes than all those 0e had created, or
will create to the end of the world, or through the eternities. !od $aintained a $ysterious correspondence in the
e?ecution of this wor* with that of creating all the rest of the world in seven days, as is related in the boo* of !enesis.
Then no doubt 0e rested in truth, according to the figurative language of Scripture, since 0e has now created the $ost
perfect Creature of all, giving through it a beginning to the wor* of the divine "ord and to the 2ede$ption of the
hu$an race. Thus was this day a paschal feast for !od and also for all creatures.
+y the force of this divine pronounce$ent and through the love with which it issued fro$ the $outh of the Al$ighty,
was created and infused into the body of $ost holy Mary her $ost blessed Soul. At the sa$e ti$e She was filled with
grace and gifts above those of the highest seraphi$ of heaven, and there was not a single instant in which She was
found wanting or deprived of the light, the friendship and love of the Creator, or in which She was touched by the stain
or dar*ness of original sin. ,n the contrary She was possessed of the $ost perfect <ustice, superior to that of Ada$ and
/ve in their first for$ation. To 0er was also concealed the $ost perfect use of the light of reason, corresponding to the
gifts of grace, which She had received. .ot for one instant was She to re$ain idle, but to engage in wor*s $ost
ad$irable and pleasing to her Ma*er.
Although She was adorned as the +ride, descending fro$ heaven, endowed with all perfections and with the whole
range of infused virtues, it was not necessary that She should e?ercise all of the$ at once, it being sufficient that She
e?ercise those, which were befitting her state in the wo$b of her $other. A$ong the first thus e?ercised were the three
theological virtues, faith, hope and charity, which relate i$$ediately to !od. These she at once practiced in the $ost
e?alted $anner recogniGing by a $ost subli$e faith the 4ivinity with all its perfections and its infinite attributes, and
the Trinity with its distinction of 1ersons. This *nowledge by faith was not i$peded by the higher *nowledge which
!od gave her, as # will soon de$onstrate. She e?ercised also the virtue of hope, seeing in !od the ob<ect of her
happiness and her ulti$ate end. Toward this her sanctified Soul at once hastened and aspired with the $ost intense
desires of uniting 0erself with !od and without having for one $o$ent turned to any other ob<ect or tarried one
$o$ent in her upward flight. At the sa$e instant also She put into action the virtue of charity, seeing in !od the
infinite and highest !ood, and conceiving such an intense appreciation of the 4ivinity, that not all the seraphi$ could
ever reach such an e$inent degree of fervor and virtue.
The other virtues which adorn and perfect the rational part of the creature, She possessed in a proportion corresponding
to the theological virtues. The $oral and natural virtues were hers in a $iraculous and supernatural $easure, and in a
still $ore e?alted $anner was She possessed of the gifts and fruits of the 0oly !host in the order of grace. She had an
infused *nowledge and habit of all these virtues and of all the natural arts, so that She *new and was conversant with
the whole natural and supernatural order of things, in accordance with the grandeur of !od. 0ence fro$ her first instant
in the wo$b of her $other, She was wiser, $ore prudent, $ore enlightened, and $ore capable of co$prehending !od
and all his wor*s, than all the creatures have been or ever will be in eternity, e?cepting of course her $ost holy Son.
#n correspondence with this wonderful *nowledge of her $ost holy soul at the instant of its union with the body, Mary
e?erted 0erself by eliciting heroic acts of virtue, of inco$parable ad$iration, praise, glorification, adoration, hu$ility,
love of !od and sorrow for the sins co$$itted against 0i$ who$ She recogniGed as the Author and end of these
ad$irable wor*s. She hastened to offer 0erself as an acceptable sacrifice to the Most 0igh, beginning fro$ that instant
with fervent desire to bless 0i$, love 0i$ and honor 0i$, because She perceived that the bad angels and $en failed to
*now and love 0i$. She reEuested the holy angels whose ;ueen She already was, to help 0er to glorify the Creator
and (ord of all, and to pray also for 0er.
The (ord in this instant showed 0er also her guardian angels, who$ she recogniGed and accepted with <oyful
sub$ission, inviting the$ to sing canticles of praise to the Most 0igh alternatively with 0er. She announced to the$
beforehand that this was to be the service which they were to render 0er during the whole ti$e of 0er $ortal life, in
which they were to act as her assistants and guards. She was infor$ed $oreover of her whole genealogy of all the rest
of the holy people chosen by !od, the 1atriarchs and 1rophets, and how ad$irable his Ma<esty was in the gifts, graces
and favors wrought in the$. #t is worthy of ad$iration, that, although the e?terior faculties of her body at the creation
of her $ost holy Soul were hardly large enough to be distinguished, nevertheless, in order that none of the $iraculous
e?cellence with which !od could endow his Mother $ight be wanting, 0e ordained by the power of right hand, that in
perceiving the fall of $an She shed tears of sorrow in the wo$b of her $other at the gravity of the offense against the
highest !ood.
#n this wonderful sorrow at the instant of her co$ing into e?istence, She began to see* a re$edy for $an*ind and
co$$enced the wor* of $ediation, intercession and reparation. She offered to !od the cla$ors of her ancestors and of
the <ust of the earth, that his $ercy $ight not delay the salvation of $ortals, who$ she even loo*ed upon as her
brethren. +efore She ever conversed with the$ with the $ost ardent charity and with the very beginning of her
e?istence She assu$ed the office of +enefactress of $en and e?ercised the divine and fraternal love en*indled in her
heart. These petitions the Most 0igh accepted with greater pleasure than the prayers of all the saints and angels and this
pleasure of !od was also $ade *nown to 0er, who was created to be the Mother of !od. She perceived the love of !od
and his desire to descend fro$ heaven in order to redee$ $en, though She *new not how it should be consu$$ated. #t
was befitting that !od should feel 0i$self i$pelled to hasten his co$ing on account of the prayers and petitions of this
Creature9 since it was principally for the love of 0er that 0e ca$e, and since in 0er body 0e was to assu$e hu$an
flesh, acco$plish the $ost ad$irable of all his wor*s, and fulfill the end of all other creatures.
#n writing of these sacra$ents of the -ing, howsoever honorable it is to reveal his wor*s, # confess $y inaptitude and
incapacity, being only a wo$an, and # a$ afflicted, because # a$ spea*ing in such co$$on and vague ter$s, which fall
entirely short of that, which # perceive in the light given to $y soul for the understanding of these $ysteries. #n order to
do <ustice to such subli$ity, there were need of other words, $ore particular and especially adapted ter$s and
e?pressions, which are beyond $y ignorance. And even if they were at $y service, they would be weighed down and
$ade insipid by hu$an wea*ness. (et therefore this hu$an i$becility ac*nowledge itself uneEual and incapable of
fi?ing its eyes on this heavenly sun, with which the rays of the 4ivinity brea* upon the world, although yet beclouded
in the $aternal wo$b of holy Anne. #f we see* per$ission to approach this wonderful sight, let us co$e near free and
unshac*led. (et us not allow ourselves to be detained, neither by our natural cowardice nor by a base fear and
hesitation, even though it be under the cloa* of hu$ility. (et us all approach with the greatest devotion and piety, free
fro$ the spirit of contention '2o$. 1=, 1@)9 then we will be per$itted to e?a$ine with our own eyes the fire of the
4ivinity burning in the bush without consu$ing it '/?odus @, @).
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//.
#t is an act of <ustice due to the eternal !od that the creature co$ing to the use of reason, direct its very first $ove$ent
toward !od. +y *nowing, it should begin to love 0i$, reverence 0i$ and adore 0i$ as its Creator and only true (ord.
The parents are naturally bound to instruct their children fro$ their infancy in this *nowledge of !od and to direct the$
with solicitous care, so that they $ay at once see their ulti$ate end and see* it in their first acts of the intellect and will.
They should with great watchfulness withdraw the$ fro$ the childishness and puerile tric*ishness to which depraved
nature will incline the$ if left without direction. #f the fathers and $others would be solicitous to prevent these vanities
and perverted habits of their children and would instruct the$ fro$ their infancy in the *nowledge of their !od and
Creator, then they would afterwards easily accusto$ the$ to *now and adore 0i$. My holy $other, who *new not of
$y wisdo$ and real condition, was $ost solicitously beforehand in this $atter, for when She bore $e in her wo$b, she
adored in $y na$e the Creator and offered worship and than*s for his having created $e, beseeching 0i$ to defend
$e and bring $e forth to the light of day fro$ the condition in which # then was. So also parents should pray with
fervor to !od, that the souls of their children, through his 1rovidence, $ay obtain +aptis$ and be freed fro$ the
servitude of original sin.
And if the rational creature has not *nown and adored the Creator fro$ the first dawn of reason, it should do this as
soon as it obtains *nowledge of the essential !od by the light of faith. 6ro$ that very $o$ent the soul $ust e?ert itself
never to lose 0i$ fro$ her sight, always fearing 0i$, loving 0i$, and reverencing 0i$.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5##.
T0/ +(/SS/4 +#2T0 ,6 MA23 #MMAC7(AT/
The $ost holy Mary, being conceived without sin as described above, was entirely absorbed in spirit and entranced by
her first vision of the 4ivinity. At the first instant, and in the narrow dwelling of the $aternal wo$b, began the love of
!od in her $ost blessed soul, never to be interrupted, but to continue through all the eternities of that high glory, which
She now en<oys at the right hand of her divine Son.
The $ost happy $other, holy Anne passed the days of her pregnancy altogether spiritualiGed by the divine operations
and by the sweet wor*ings of the 0oly !host in all her faculties. 4ivine 1rovidence, however, in order to direct her
course to greater $erit and reward, ordained, that the ballast of trouble be not wanting, for without it the cargo of grace
and love is scarcely ever secure. #n order to understand better, what happened to this holy wo$an, it $ust be
re$e$bered, that satan, after he was hurled with the other bad angels fro$ heaven into the infernal tor$ents, never
ceased, during the reign of the old (aw, to search through the earth hovering with lur*ing vigilance above the wo$en of
distinguished holiness, in order to find 0er, whose sign he had seen '!en. =, 1C) and whose heel was to bruise and
crush his head. (ucifer8s wrath against $en was so fierce, that he would not trust this investigation to his inferiors
alone9 but leaving the$ to operate against the virtuous wo$en in general, he hi$self attended to this $atter and
assiduously hovered around those, who signaliGed the$selves $ore particularly in the e?ercise of virtue and in the
grace of the Most 0igh.
6illed with $alice and astuteness, he observed closely the e?ceeding great holiness of the e?cellent $atron Anne and all
the events of her life9 and although he could not esti$ate the richness of the Treasure, which was enclosed in her
blessed wo$b 'since the (ord has concealed this as well as $any $ysteries fro$ hi$), yet he felt a powerful influence
proceeding fro$ saint Anne. The fact that he could not penetrate into the source of this activity, threw hi$ at ti$es into
greater fury and rage. At other ti$es he Euieted hi$self with the thought, that this pregnancy arose fro$ the sa$e
causes as others in the course of nature and that there was no special cause for alar$9 for the (ord left hi$ to his own
hallucinations and to the vagaries of his own fury. .evertheless the whole event was a source of great $isgiving to this
perverse spirit, when he saw how Euietly her pregnancy too* its course and especially, when he saw, that $any angels
stood in attendance. Above all he was enraged at his wea*ness in resisting the force, which proceeded fro$ the blessed
Anne and he suspected that it was not she alone, who was the cause of it.
6illed with this $istrust, the dragon deter$ined, if possible, to ta*e the life of the $ost felicitous Anne9 or, if that was
i$possible, to see that she should obtain little satisfaction fro$ her pregnancy. 6or the pride of (ucifer was so
boundless as to persuade hi$ of his ability to overco$e or ta*e away the life of 0er, who was to be the Mother of the
incarnate "ord, or even the life of the Messias and 2edee$er of the world, if only he could obtain *nowledge of their
whereabouts. 0is arrogance was founded upon the superiority of his angelic nature to the condition and power of $ere
hu$an nature9 as if both were not sub<ect to grace and entirely dependent upon the will of their Creator. Audaciously
therefore he set hi$self to te$pt holy Anne, with $any suggestions, $isgivings, doubts and diffidences about the truth
of her pregnancy, alleging her protracted years. All this the de$on atte$pted in order to test the virtue of the saint, and
to see, whether these te$ptations would not afford so$e opening for the perversion of her will.
+ut the invincible $atron resisted these onslaughts with hu$ble fortitude, patience, continued prayer and vivid faith in
the (ord. She brought to naught the perple?ing lies of the dragon and on account of the$ gained only additional grace
and protection fro$ on high. 6or besides the protection abundantly $erited by her past life She was defended and freed
fro$ the de$ons by the great princes, who were guarding her $ost holy 4aughter. .evertheless in his insatiable $alice
the ene$y did not desist on that account9 and since his arrogance and pride far e?ceeds his powers, he sought hu$an
aid9 for with such help he always pro$ises hi$self greater ease of victory. 0aving at first tried to overthrow the
dwelling of saint Joachi$ and Anne, in order that she $ight be frightened and e?cited by the shoc* of its fall, but not
being able to succeed on account of the resistance of the holy angels, he incited against saint Anne one of the foolish
wo$en of her acEuaintance to Euarrel with her. This the wo$an did with great fury, insolently attac*ing saint Anne
with reproach and scorn9 she did not hesitate to $a*e $oc*ery of her pregnancy, saying, that she was the sport of the
de$on in being thus found pregnant at the end of so $any years and at so great an age.
The blessed Anne did not per$it herself to be disturbed by this attac*, but in all $ee*ness and hu$ility bore the in<uries
and treated her assailants with *indness. 6ro$ that ti$e on she loo*ed with greater love upon these wo$en and lavished
upon the$ so $uch the greater benefits. +ut their wrath was not i$$ediately pacified, for the de$on had ta*en
possession of the$, filling the$ with hate against the saint9 and, as any concession to this cruel tyrant always increases
his power over his victi$s, he incited these $iserable dupes to plot even against the person and life of saint Anne. +ut
they could not put their plots into e?ecution, because divine power interfered to foil their natural wo$anly wea*ness.
They were not only powerless against the saint, but they were overco$e by her ad$onitions and brought to the
*nowledge and a$end$ent of their evil course by her prayers.
The dragon was repulsed, but not vanEuished9 for he i$$ediately availed hi$self of a servant, who lived in the house
with Joachi$ and Anne, and e?asperated her against the holy $atron. Through her he created even a greater annoyance
than through the other wo$en, for she was a do$estic ene$y and $ore stubborn and dangerous than the others. # will
not stay to describe, what the ene$y atte$pted through this servant, since it was si$ilar to that of the other wo$an,
only $ore annoying and $alicious. +ut with the help of !od saint Anne won a $ore glorious victory than before9 for
the watcher of #srael slu$bered not, but guarded his holy City '1s. 1@A, &) and furnished it so well with sentinels,
chosen fro$ the strongest of his hosts, that they put to igno$inious flight (ucifer and his followers. .o $ore were they
allowed to $olest the fortunate $other, who was already e?pecting the birth of the $ost blessed 1rincess of heaven,
and who, enriched by heroic acts of virtue and $any $erits in these conflicts, had now arrived at the fulfill$ent of all
her highest wishes.
The day destined for the parturition of saint Anne and for the birth of 0er, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the
Mother of !od, had arrivedD a day $ost fortunate for the world. This birth happened on the eighth day of Septe$ber,
fully nine $onths having elapsed since the Conception of the soul of our $ost holy ;ueen and (ady. Saint Anne was
prepared by an interior voice of the (ord, infor$ing 0er, that the hour of her parturition had co$e. 6ull of the <oy of the
0oly Spirit at this infor$ation, she prostrated herself before the (ord and besought the assistance of his grace and his
protection for a happy deliverance. The $ost blessed child Mary was at the sa$e ti$e by divine providence and power
ravished into a $ost high ecstasy. 0ence Mary was born into the world without perceiving it by her senses, for their
operations and faculties were held in suspense.
She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby de$onstrating, that She was free fro$ the law and
the tribute of sin. Although She was born substantially li*e other daughters of Ada$, yet her birth was acco$panied by
such circu$stances and conditions of grace, that it was the $ost wonderful and $iraculous birth in all creation and will
eternally redound to the praise of her Ma*er. At twelve o8cloc* in the night this divine (u$inary issued forth, dividing
the night of the ancient (aw and its pristine dar*nesses fro$ the new day of grace, which now was about to brea* into
dawn. She was clothed, handled and dressed li*e other infants, though her soul dwelt in the 4ivinity9 and She was
treated as an infant, though She e?celled all $ortals and even all the angels in wisdo$. 0er $other did not allow 0er to
be touched by other hands than her own, but she herself wrapped 0er in swaddling clothesD and in this Saint Anne was
not hindered by her present state of childbirth9 for she was free fro$ the toils and labors, which other $others usually
endure in such circu$stances.
So then saint Anne received in her ar$s 0er, who was her 4aughter, but at the sa$e ti$e the $ost e?Euisite Treasure
of all the universe, inferior only to !od and superior to all other creatures. "ith fervent tears of <oy she offered this
Treasure to his Ma<esty, saying interiorly (ord of infinite wisdo$ and power, Creator of all that e?ists, this 6ruit of $y
wo$b, which # have received of thy bounty, # offer to Thee with eternal than*s, for without any $erit of $ine Thou
hast vouchsafed it to $e. 4ispose Thou of the $other and Child according to thy $ost holy will and loo* propitiously
down upon our lowliness fro$ thy e?alted throne. +e Thou eternally blessed, because Thou hast enriched the world
with a Creature so pleasing to thy bounty and because in 0er Thou hast prepared a dwellingBplace and a tabernacle for
the eternal "ord 'Sap. %, F). # tender $y congratulations to $y holy forefathers and to the holy 1rophets, and in the$ to
the whole hu$an race, for this sure pledge of 2ede$ption, which Thou hast given the$. +ut how shall # be able to
worthily to treat 0er, who$ Thou hast given $e as a 4aughterI # that a$ not worthy to be her servantI 0ow shall #
handle the true ar* of the Testa$entI !ive $e, , $y (ord and -ing, the necessary enlighten$ent to *now thy will and
to e?ecute it according to thy pleasure in the service of $y 4aughter.
The (ord answered the holy $atron interiorly, that she was to treat her heavenly Child outwardly as $others treat their
daughters, without any de$onstration of reverence9 but to retain this reverence inwardly, fulfilling the laws of a true
$other toward 0er, and rearing 0er up with all $otherly love and solicitude. All this the happy $other co$plied with9
$a*ing use of this per$ission and her $other8s rights without losing her reverence, she regaled herself with her $ost
holy 4aughter, e$bracing and caressing 0er in the sa$e way as other $others do with their daughters. +ut it was
always done with a proper reverence and consciousness of the hidden and divine sacra$ent *nown only to the $other
and 4aughter. The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great $ultitudes showed their veneration and
worship to Mary as She rested in the ar$s of her $other9 they <oined in heavenly $usic, so$e of which was audible to
blessed Anne. The thousand angels appointed as guardians of the great ;ueen offered the$selves to her service. This
was also the first ti$e, in which the heavenly Mistress saw the$ in a corporeal for$ with their devises and habili$ents,
as # shall describe in another chapter and the Child as*ed the$ to <oin with 0er in the praise of the Most 0igh and to
e?alt 0i$ in her na$e.
At the $o$ent of the birth of our 1rincess Mary the Most 0igh sent the archangel !abriel as an envoy to bring this
<oyful news to the holy 6athers in li$bo. #$$ediately the heavenly a$bassador descended, illu$ining that deep cavern
and re<oicing the <ust who were detained therein. 0e told the$ that already the dawn of eternal felicity had co$$enced
and that the reparation of $an, which was so earnestly desired and e?pected by the holy 1atriarchs and foretold by the
1rophets, had been begun, since She, who was to be the Mother of the Messias, had now been born9 soon they would
now see the salvation and glory of the Most 0igh. The holy prince gave the$ an understanding of the e?cellence of the
$ost holy Mary and of what the ,$nipotent had begun to wor* in 0er, in order that they $ight better co$prehend the
happy beginning of the $ystery, which was to end their prolonged i$prison$ent. Then all the holy 1atriarchs and
1rophets and the rest of the <ust in li$bo re<oiced in spirit and in new canticles praised the (ord for this benefit.
All these happenings at the birth of our ;ueen succeeded each other in a short space of ti$e. The first e?ercise of her
senses in the light of the $aterial sun, was to recogniGe her parents and other creatures. The ar$s of the Most 0igh
began to wor* new wonders in 0er far above all conceptions of $en, and the first and $ost stupendous one was to send
innu$erable angels to bring the Mother of the eternal "ord body and soul into the e$pyrean heaven for the fulfilling of
his further intentions regarding 0er. The holy princes obeyed the divine $andate and receiving the child Mary fro$ the
ar$s of her holy Mother Anne, they arranged a new and sole$n procession bearing heavenward with inco$parable
songs of <oy the true Ar* of the covenant, in order that for a short ti$e it $ight rest, not in the house of ,bededon, but
in the te$ple of the -ing of *ings and of the (ord of lords, where later on it was to be placed for all eternity. This was
the second step, which $ost holy Mary $ade in her life, na$ely, fro$ this earth to the highest heaven.
"ho can worthily e?tol this wonderful prodigy of the right hand of the Al$ightyI "ho can describe the <oy and the
ad$iration of the celestial spirits, when they beheld this new and wonderful wor* of the Most 0igh, and when they
gathered to celebrate it in their songsI #n these songs they ac*nowledged and reverenced as their ;ueen and Mistress,
0er, who was to be the Mother of their (ord, and the source of the grace and glory, which they possessed9 for it was
through his foreseen $erits, that they had been $ade the recipients of the divine bounty. +ut above all, what hu$an
tongue, or what $ortal could ever describe or co$prehend the heartBsecrets of that tender Child during these eventsI #
leave the i$agination of all this to Catholic piety, and still $ore to those who in the (ord are favored with an
understanding of it, but $ost of all to those who, by divine bounty shall have arrived at the beatific vision face to face.
+orne by the hands of the angels the child Mary entered the e$pyrean heaven where She prostrated 0erself full of love
before the royal throne in the presence of the Most 0igh. Then 'according to our way of understanding), was verified
what long before had happened in figure, when +ethsabee entered into the presence of her son Solo$on, who, while
presiding over his people of #srael, arose fro$ his throne, received her with honor and reverence, and seated her at his
side as Eueen. Si$ilarly, but in a $ore glorious and ad$irable $anner, the person of the divine "ord now received the
child Mary, who$ 0e had chosen as Mother, as ;ueen of the universe. Although her real dignity and the purpose of
these ineffable $ysteries were un*nown to Mary, yet her infant faculties were strengthened by divine power for the
reception of these favors. .ew graces and gifts were bestowed upon 0er, by which her faculties were correspondingly
elevated. 0er powers of $ind, besides being illu$ined and prepared by new grace and light, were raised and
proportioned to the divine $anifestation, and the 4ivinity displayed #tself in the new light vouchsafed, revealing #tself
to 0er intuitively and clearly in a $ost e?alted $anner. This was the first ti$e in which the $ost holy soul of Mary saw
the blessed Trinity in unveiled beatific vision.
The sole witnesses of the glory of Mary in this beatific vision, of the sacra$ents then again revealed to 0er, of the
divine effect that overflowed into her $ost pure soul, was !od the Author of this unheard of wonder, and the astounded
angels, who in so$e $easure perceived these $ysteries in !od 0i$self. The ;ueen seated at the side of the (ord, who
was to be her Son, and seeing 0i$ face to face, was $ore successful in her prayer than +ethsabee '### -ings @, @1). 6or
She prayed that 0e bestow the untouched Suna$ite Abisag, his inaccessible 4ivinity, upon his sister, hu$an nature by
the hypostatic union be fulfilled in the person of the "ord. Many ti$es 0e had pledged 0i$self to it a$ong $en
through the ancient 1atriarchs and 1rophets and now Mary besought 0i$ to accelerate the reparation of the hu$an
race, e?pected for so $any ages a$id the $ultiplied iniEuity and the ruin of souls. The Most 0igh heard this $ost
pleasing petition of his Mother, and acting $ore graciously than Solo$on of old toward his $other, 0e assured 0er that
soon his pro$ises should be fulfilled, and that 0e should descend to the world in order to assu$e and redee$ hu$an
#n this divine consistory and tribunal of the $ost holy Trinity it was deter$ined to give a na$e to the Child ;ueen. As
there is no proper and legiti$ate na$e, e?cept it be found in the i$$utable being of !od hi$self 'for fro$ it are
participated and deter$ined according to their right weight and $easure all things in infinite wisdo$) his Ma<esty
wished hi$self to give and i$pose that na$e in heaven. 0e thereby $ade *nown to the angelic spirits, that the three
divine 1ersons, had decreed and for$ed the sweet na$es of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother fro$ the beginning
before the ages, and that they had been delighted with the$ and had engraved the$ on their eternal $e$ories to be as it
were the ,b<ects for whose service They should create all things. +eing infor$ed of these and $any other $ysteries,
the holy angels heard a voice fro$ the throne spea*ing in the person of the 6atherD ,ur chosen ,ne shall be called
MA23, and this na$e is to be powerful and $agnificent. Those that shall invo*e it with devout affection shall receive
$ost abundant graces9 those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will
find in it the re$edy of their evils, the treasures for their enrich$ent, the light which shall guide the$ to heaven. #t shall
be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the
princes of hell. The (ord co$$anded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious na$e to saint Anne, so that what
was decreed in heaven $ight be e?ecuted on earth. The heavenly Child, lovingly prostrate before the throne, rendered
$ost acceptable and hu$an than*s to the eternal +eing9 and She received the na$e with $ost ad$irable and sweet
<ubilation. #f the prerogatives and graces, which She then was favored with, were to be described, it would necessitate
an e?tra boo* of $any volu$es. The holy angels honored and ac*nowledged $ost holy Mary as the future Mother of
the "ord and as their ;ueen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son9 they showed their veneration of her
holy na$e, prostrating the$selves as it proceeded fro$ the throne in the voice of the eternal 6ather, especially those,
who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of the$ gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden
$ysteries. #n the $eanwhile the infant ;ueen re$ained ignorant of the real cause of all that She thus e?perienced, for
her dignity of Mother of the incarnate "ord was not revealed to 0er till the ti$e of the #ncarnation. "ith the sa$e
reverential <ubilee did the angels return in order to replace 0er into the ar$s of holy Anne, to who$ this event re$ained
a secret, as was also the absence of her 4aughter9 for a guardian angel, assu$ing an aerial body, supplied her place for
this very purpose. More than that, during a great part of the ti$e in which the heavenly Child re$ained in the e$pyrean
heaven, her $other was wrapped in ecstasy of highest conte$plation, and in it, although she did not *now what was
happening to the Child, e?alted $ysteries concerning the dignity of the Mother of !od, to which She was to be chosen,
were revealed to her. The prudent $atron *ept the$ enshrined within her breast, conferring the$ in her thoughts with
the duties she owed to her Child.
,n the eighth day after the birth of the great ;ueen $ultitudes of $ost beautiful angels in splendid array descended
fro$ on high bearing an escutcheon on which the na$e of MA23 was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy.
Appearing to the blessed $other Anne, they told her, that the na$e of her daughter was to be MA23, which na$e they
had brought fro$ heaven, and which divine 1rovidence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by
Joachi$ and herself. The saint called for her husband and they conferred with each other about this disposition of !od
in regard to the na$e of their 4aughter. The $ore than happy father accepted the na$e with <oy and devout affection.
They decided to call their relatives and a priest and then, with $uch sole$nity and festivity, they i$posed the na$e of
MA23 on their Child. The angels also celebrated this event with $ost sweet and ravishing $usic, which, however, was
heard only by the $other and her $ost holy 4aughter.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//.
My ad$onition to thee, who$ in spite of thy wea*ness and poverty # have chosen with such generous *indness as $y
disciple and co$panion, is thisD that thou strive with all thy powers to i$itate $e in an e?ercise, in which # persevered
during $y whole life fro$ the very first $o$ent of $y birth, o$itting it on not a single day, however full of cares and
labors it $ight have been. This e?ercise was the followingD every day at the beginning of dawn, # prostrated $yself in
the presence of the Most 0igh, and gave 0i$ than*s and praise for his i$$utable +eing, his infinite perfections, and
for having created $e out of nothing9 ac*nowledging $yself as his creature and the wor* of his hands, # blessed 0i$
and adored 0i$, giving 0i$ honor, $agnificence and 4ivinity, as the supre$e (ord and Creator of $yself and of all
that e?ists. # raised up $y spirit to place it into his hands, offering $yself with profound hu$ility and resignation to
0i$ and as*ing 0i$ to dispose of $e according to his will during that day and during all the days of $y life, and to
teach $e to fulfill whatever would be to his greater pleasure. This # repeated $any ti$es during the e?ternal wor*s of
the day, and in the internal ones # first consulted his Ma<esty, as*ing his advice, per$ission and benediction for all $y
+e very devout toward $y $ost sweet na$e. # wish that thou be convinced of the great prerogatives and privileges,
which the Al$ighty concedes to it, so that # $yself, when # saw the$ in the 4ivinity, felt $ost deeply obliged and
solicitous to $a*e a proper return9 and whenever the na$e MA23 occurred to $y $ind 'which happened often) and
whenever # heard $yself called by that na$e, # was aroused to than*fulness and urged to new fervor in the service of
the (ord, who gave it to $e. Thou hast the sa$e na$e and # wish, that in proportion it should cause the sa$e effects in
thee and that thou i$itate $e faithfully by following the lesson given thee in this chapter, without failing in the least
point fro$ this day onward. And if in thy wea*ness thou shouldst fail, rouse thyself i$$ediately, and in the presence of
thy (ord and $ine, ac*nowledge thy fault, confessing it in sorrow. 2epeating these holy e?ercises over and again with
solicitous care, thou shalt find forgiveness for i$perfections and grow accusto$ed to strive after what is highest in all
virtues and $ost pleasing and agreeable to thy own tastes and $ine, thou shalt not be denied the grace of e$ploying
thyself entirely in listening, attending to and obeying in all things thy Spouse and (ord, who see*s in thee only what is
$ost pure, $ost holy and perfect, and a will pro$pt and eager to put the sa$e into practice.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5###.
0/2 C0#(40,,4 3/A2S
The sovereign Child was treated li*e other children of her age. 0er nourish$ent was of the usual *ind, though less in
Euantity9 and so was her sleep, although her parents were solicitous that She ta*e $ore sleep. She was not troubleso$e,
nor did She ever cry for $ere annoyance, as is done by other children, but She was $ost a$iable and caused no trouble
to anybody. That She did not act in this regard as other children caused no wonder9 for She often wept and sighed 'as
far as her age and her dignity of ;ueen and Mistress would per$it) for the sins of the world and for its 2ede$ption
through the co$ing of the Savior. ,rdinarily She $aintained, even in her infancy, a pleasant countenance, yet $i?ed
with gravity and a peculiar Ma<esty, never showing any childishness. She so$eti$es per$itted 0erself to be caressed,
though, by a secret influence and a certain outward austerity, She *new how to repress the i$perfections connected
with such endear$ents. 0er prudent $other Anne treated her Child with inco$parable solicitude and caressing
tenderness9 also her father Joachi$ loved 0er as a father and as a saint, although he was ignorant of the $ystery at that
ti$e. The Child on its part showed a special love toward hi$, as one who$ She *new for her father and one $uch
beloved of !od. Although She per$itted $ore tender caresses fro$ her father than fro$ others, yet !od inspired the
father as well as all others, with such an e?traordinary reverence and $odesty towards 0er who$ 0e had chosen for his
Mother, that even his pure and fatherly affection was outwardly $anifested only with the greatest $oderation and
#n all things the infant ;ueen was $ost gracious, perfect and ad$irable. Though She passed her infancy sub<ect to the
co$$on laws of nature, yet did this not hinder the influ? of grace. 4uring her sleep her interior acts of love, and all
other e?ercises of her faculties which were not dependent on the e?terior senses, were never interrupted. This special
privilege is possible also in other creatures, if the divine power confers it on the$9 but it is certain that in regard to 0er
who$ 0e had chosen as his Mother and the ;ueen of all creation, 0e e?tended this special favor beyond all previous or
subseEuent $easure in other creatures and beyond the conception of any created $ind.
The enforced silence of other children in their first years, and the slow evolution of their intellect and of their power of
speech arising fro$ natural wea*ness, was heroic virtue in the infant ;ueen. 6or if speech is the product of the intellect
and as it were the result of its activity, and if She was in perfect possession of all her faculties since her Conception,
then the fact of her not spea*ing as soon as She was born, did not arise fro$ the want of ability, but because She did not
wish to $a*e use of her power. ,ther children are not furnished with the natural forces, which are reEuired to open
their $outh and $ove their tender tongue as reEuired for speech, but in the child Mary there was no defect9 for as far as
her natural powers were concerned She was stronger than other children, and as She e?ercised sovereignty and
do$inion over all creation, She certainly could e?ercise it in regard to her own powers and faculties, if She had chosen
to do so. 0er not spea*ing therefore was virtue and great perfection, which opportunely concealed her science and
grace, and evaded the astonish$ent naturally caused by one spea*ing in infancy. +esides, if it is wonderful that one
should spea*, who according to the natural course ought to be incapable of speech, # do not *now, whether it is not
$ore wonderful, that one, who is able to spea* fro$ her birth should be silent for one year and a half.
#t was ordained therefore by the Most 0igh, that the sovereign Child should voluntarily *eep this silence during the
ti$e in which ordinarily other children are unable to spea*. The only e?ception $ade was in regard to the conversation
held with the angels of her guard, or when She addressed 0erself in vocal prayer to the (ord. 6or in regard to
intercourse with !od, the Author of speech, and with the holy angels, his $essengers, when they treated in a visible
$anner with 0er, this reason for $aintaining silence did not hold goodD on the contrary it was befitting, that, since there
was no i$pedi$ent, She should pray with her lips and her tongue9 for it would not be proper to *eep the$ une$ployed
for so long a ti$e. +ut her $other never heard 0er, nor did she *now of her being able to spea* during that period9 and
fro$ this it can be better seen, what perfection it reEuired in 0er to pass that year and a half of her infancy in total
silence. +ut during that ti$e, whenever her $other freed her ar$s and hands, the child Mary i$$ediately grasped the
hands of her parents and *issed the$ with great sub$ission and reverent hu$ility, and in this practice She continued as
long as her parents lived. She also sought to $a*e the$ understand during that period of her age, that She desired their
blessing, spea*ing $ore by the affection of her heart than by word of $outh. So great was her reverence for the$, that
never did She fail in the least point concerning the honor and obedience to the$. .or did She cause the$ any trouble or
annoyance, since She *new beforehand all their thoughts and was an?ious to fulfill the$ before they were $ade
"hen She reached the age of two years She began to e?ercise her special pity and charity toward the poor. She solicited
al$s for the$ of saint Anne, and both the *indBhearted $other readily granted her petitions, both for the sa*e of the
poor and to satisfy the tender charity of her $ost holy 4aughter, at the sa$e ti$e encouraging 0er who was the
Mistress of $ercy and charity, to love and estee$ the poor. +esides giving what She obtained e?pressly for distribution
a$ong the poor, She reserved part of her $eals for the sa$e purpose, in order that fro$ her infancy it $ight be said of
0er $ore truly than of JobD fro$ $y infancy co$passion grew with $e 'Job =1, 1F). She gave to the poor not as if
conferring a benefit upon the$, but as paying a debt due in <ustice, saying in her heartD this $y brother and $aster
deserves what he needs and what # possess without desert. #n giving al$s She *issed the hands of the poor, and
whenever She was alone, She *issed their feet, or, if this was i$possible, She would *iss the ground over which they
passed. .ever did She give an al$s to the poor without conferring still greater favors on their souls by interceding for
the$ and thus dis$issing the$ relieved in body and soul.
.ot less ad$irable were the hu$ility and obedience to the $ost holy Child in per$itting 0erself to be taught to read
and to do other things as other children in that ti$e of life. She was instructed in reading and other arts by her parents
and She sub$itted, though She had infused *nowledge of all things created. The angels were filled with ad$iration at
the unparalleled wisdo$ of this Child, who willingly listened to the teaching of all. 0er holy $other Anne, as far as her
intuition and love per$itted, observed with rapture the heavenly 1rincess and blessed the Most 0igh in 0er. +ut with
her love, as the ti$e for presenting 0er in the te$ple approached, grew also the dread of the approaching end of the
three years set by the Al$ighty and the consciousness, that the ter$s of her vow $ust punctually be fulfilled. Therefore
the child Mary began to prepare and dispose her $other, $anifesting to her, si? $onths before, her ardent desire of
living in the te$ple. She recounted the benefits, which they had received at the hands of the (ord, how $uch they were
obliged to see* his greater pleasure, and how, when She should be dedicated to !od in the te$ple, She would be $ore
her 4aughter than in their own house.
The holy Anne heard the discreet argu$ents of her child Mary9 but though She was resigned to the divine will and
wished to fulfill her pro$ise of offering up her beloved 4aughter, yet the natural force of her love toward such an
uneEualled and beloved Treasure, <oined with the full understanding of its inesti$able value, caused a $ortal strife in
her $ost faithful heart at the $ere thought of her departure, which was closely at hand. There is no doubt, that she
would have lost her life in this fierce and vivid sorrow, if the hand of the Al$ighty had not co$forted herD for the grace
and dignity of her heavenly 4aughter was fully *nown to her and had entirely ravished her heart, $a*ing the presence
of Mary $ore dear to her than life. 6ull of this grief she said to the ChildD My beloved 4aughter, for $any years # have
longed for Thee and only for a few years do # $erit to have thy co$pany9 but thus let the will of !od be fulfilled9 # do
not wish to be unfaithful to $y pro$ise of sending Thee to the te$ple, but there is yet ti$e left for fulfilling itD have
patience until the day arrives for the acco$plish$ent of thy wishes.
A few days before $ost holy Mary reached the age of three years, She was favored with an abstract vision of the
4ivinity, in which it was $ade *nown to 0er that the ti$e of her departure for the te$ple ordained by !od, had arrived,
and that there She was to live dedicated and consecrated to his service. 0er $ost pure soul was filled with new <oy and
gratitude at this prospect and spea*ing with the (ord, She gave 0i$ than*s sayingD Most high !od of Abraha$, #saac
and Jacob, $y eternal and highest !ood, since # cannot praise Thee worthily, let it be done in the na$e of this hu$ble
slave by the angelic spirits9 since Thou, i$$ense (ord, who hast need of none, dost loo* upon this lowly wor$let of
the earth in thy unbounded $ercy. "hence this great benefit to $e, that Thou shouldst receive $e into thy house and
service, since # do not even $erit the $ost ab<ect spot of the earth for $y place of habitationI +ut as Thou art urged
thereto by thy own greatness, # beseech Thee to inspire the hearts of $y parents to fulfill thy holy will.
At the sa$e ti$e saint Anne had a vision, in which the (ord en<oined her to fulfill her pro$ise by presenting her
4aughter in the te$ple on the very day, on which the third year of her age should be co$plete. There is no doubt that
this co$$and caused $ore grief in saint Anne, than that given to Abraha$ to sacrifice his son #saac. +ut the (ord
consoled and co$forted 0er, pro$ising his grace and assistance in her loneliness during the absence of her beloved
Saint Joachi$ also had a vision of the (ord at this ti$e, receiving the sa$e co$$and as Anne. 0aving conferred with
each other and ta*ing account of the will of the (ord, they resolved to fulfill it with hu$ble sub$ission and appointed
the day on which the Child was to be brought to the te$ple. !reat was also the grief of this holy old $an, though not
Euite as that of saint Anne, for the high $ystery of her being the future Mother of !od was yet concealed fro$ hi$.

",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..

My dearest daughter, *eep in $ind, that all the living are born destined for death, but ignorant of the ti$e allowed the$9
this they *now for certain however, that the ter$ of life is short, that eternity is without end, and that in this life only
they can harvest what will yield life or death eternal. #n this dangerous pilgri$age of life !od has ordained, that no one
shall *now for certain, whether he is worthy '/ccles. %, 1) of his love or hate9 for if he uses his reason rightly, this
uncertainty will urge hi$ to see* with all his powers the friendship of that sa$e (ord. !od <ustifies his cause as soon as
the soul acEuires the use of reason9 for fro$ that ti$e onward 0e enlightens and urges and guides $an toward virtue
and draws hi$ away fro$ sin, teaching hi$ to distinguish between water and fire, to approve of the good and re<ect
evil, to choose virtue and repel vice. Moreover, !od calls and rouses the soul by his holy inspirations and continual
pro$ptings, provides the help of the sacra$ents, doctrines and co$$and$ents, urges $an onward through his angels,
preachers, confessors, $inisters and teachers, by special tribulations and favors, by the e?a$ple of strangers, by trials,
death and other happenings and dispositions of his 1rovidence9 0e disposes the things of life so as to draw toward 0i$
all $en, for 0e wishes all to be saved. Thus he places at the disposal of the creature a vast field of benevolent help and
assistance, which it can and should use for its own advance$ent. ,pposing all this are the tendencies of the inferior and
sensitive nature, infected with the fomes peccati, the fo$ent of sin, tending toward sensible ob<ects and by the lower
appetites and repugnances, disturbing the reason and enthralling the will in the false liberty of ungoverned desires. The
de$on also, by his fascinations and his deceitful and iniEuitous suggestions obscures the interior light, and hides the
deathly poison beneath the pleasant e?terior. +ut the Most 0igh does not i$$ediately forsa*e his creatures9 0e renews
his $ercy and his assistance, recalling the$ again and again, and if they respond to his first call, 0e adds others
according to his eEuity, increasing and $ultiplying the$ in proportion as the soul corresponds. As a reward of the
victory, which the soul wins over itself, the force of his passions and concupiscences is di$inished, the spirit is $ade
free to soar higher and rise above its own inclinations and above the de$ons.
+ut if $an neglects to rise above his low desires and his forgetfulness, he yields to the ene$y of !od and $an. The
$ore he alienates hi$self fro$ the goodness of !od, so $uch the $ore unworthy does he beco$e of the secret callings
of the Most 0igh, and so $uch less does he appreciate his assistance, though it be great. 6or the de$on and the
passions have obtained a greater do$inion and power over his intellect and have $ade hi$ $ore unfit and $ore
incapable of the grace of the Al$ighty. Thereon, $y dear daughter, rests the whole salvation or conde$nation of souls,
that is, in co$$encing to ad$it or resist the advances of the (ord. # desire thee not to forget this doctrine, so that thou
$ayest respond to the $any calls which thou receivest of the Most 0igh. See thou be strong in resisting his ene$ies
and punctually solicitous in fulfilling the pleasure of thy (ord, for thereby thou wilt gratify 0i$ and attend to the
co$$ands $ade *nown to thee by divine light. # loved $y parents dearly, and the tender words of $y $other wounded
$y heart9 but as # *new it to be the will of the (ord to leave the$, # forgot her house and $y people in order to follow
$y Spouse. The proper education and instruction of children will do $uch toward $a*ing the$ $ore free and
habituated to the practice of virtue, since thus they will be accusto$ed to follow the sure and safe guiding star of reason
fro$ its first dawn.
+,,- T",
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5##. 0/2 ",.4/267( /S1,7SA( "#T0 SA#.T J,S/10
"City of God"
+,,- T",
Treats of the *resentation of the *rincess of Heaven in the Tem&le$ the
Favors he %eceived at the Hand of God$ the #,lime *erfection
-ith -hich he O,served the %#les of the Tem&le$
the Heavenly ./cellence of Her Heroic 0irt#es
and 0isions$ Her Most Holy .s&o#sal and
other .vents #& to the Incarnation
of the on of God
C0A1T/2 #
0/2 12/S/.TAT#,. #. T0/ T/M1(/.
The three years8 ti$e decreed by the (ord having been co$pleted, Joachi$ and Anne set out fro$ .aGareth,
acco$panied by a few *indred and bringing with the$ the true living Ar* of the covenant, the $ost holy Mary, borne
on the ar$s of her $other in order to be deposited in the holy te$ple of Jerusale$. The beautiful Child, by her fervent
and loving aspirations, hastened after the oint$ents of her +eloved, see*ing in the te$ple 0i$, who$ She bore in her
heart. This hu$ble procession was scarcely noticed by earthly creatures, but it was invisibly acco$panied by the
angelic spirits, who, in order to celebrate this event, had hastened fro$ heaven in greater nu$bers than ordinary as her
bodyguard, and were singing in heavenly strains the glory and praise of the Most 0igh. The 1rincess of heaven heard
and saw the$ as She hastened her beautiful steps along in the sight of the highest and the true Solo$on. Thus they
pursued their <ourney fro$ .aGareth to the holy city of Jerusale$, and also the parents of the holy child Mary felt in
their hearts great <oy and consolation of spirit.
They arrived at the holy te$ple, and the blessed Anne on entering too* her 4aughter and Mistress by the hand,
acco$panied and assisted by saint Joachi$. All three offered a devout and fervent prayer to the (ord9 the parents
offering to !od their 4aughter, and the $ost holy Child, in profound hu$ility, adoration and worship, offering up
0erself. She alone perceived that the Most 0igh received and accepted 0er, and, a$id divine splendor which filled the
te$ple, She heard a voice saying to 0erD Co$e, $y +eloved, $y Spouse, co$e to $y te$ple, where # wish to hear thy
voice of praise and worship. 0aving offered their prayers, they rose and betoo* the$selves to the priest. The parents
consigned their Child into his hands and he gave the$ his blessing. Together they conducted 0er to the portion of the
te$ple buildings, where $any young girls lived to be brought up in retire$ent and in virtuous habits, until old enough
to assu$e the state of $atri$ony. #t was a place of retire$ent especially selected for the firstBborn daughters of the
royal tribe of Juda and the sacerdotal tribe of (evi.
6ifteen stairs led up to the entrance of these apart$ents. ,ther priests ca$e down these stairs in order to welco$e the
blessed child Mary. The one that had received the$, being according to the law one of a $inor order, placed 0er on the
first step. Mary, with his per$ission, turned and *neeling down before Joachi$ and Anne, as*ed their blessing and
*issed their hands, reco$$ending herself to their prayers before !od. The holy parents in tenderest tears gave 0er their
blessing9 whereupon She ascended the fifteen stairs without any assistance. She hastened upward with inco$parable
fervor and <oy, neither turning bac*, nor shedding tears, nor showing any childish regret at parting fro$ her parents. To
see 0er, in so tender an age, so full of strange $a<esty and fir$ness of $ind, e?cited the ad$iration of all those present.
The priests received 0er a$ong the rest of the $aidens, and saint Si$eon consigned 0er to the teachers, one of who$
was the prophetess Anne. This holy $atron had been prepared by the (ord by especial grace and enlighten$ent, so that
She <oyfully too* charge of this Child of Joachi$ and Anne. She considered the charge a special favor of divine
1rovidence and $erited by her holiness and virtue to have 0er as a disciple, who was to be the Mother of !od and
Mistress of all the creatures.
Sorrowfully her parents Joachi$ and Anne retraced their <ourney to .aGareth, now poor as deprived of the rich
Treasure of their house. +ut the Most 0igh consoled and co$forted the$ in their affliction. The holy priest Si$eon,
although he did not at this ti$e *now of the $ystery enshrined in the child Mary, obtained great light as to her sanctity
and her special selection by the (ord9 also the other priests loo*ed upon 0er with great reverence and estee$. #n
ascending the fifteen stairs the Child brought to fulfill$ent, that, which Jacob saw happening in sleep9 for here too were
angels ascending and descendingD the ones acco$panying, the others $eeting their ;ueen as She hastened up9 whereas
at the top !od was waiting in order to welco$e 0er as his 4aughter and Spouse. She also felt by the effects of the
overflowing love, that this truly was the house of !od and the portal of heaven.
The child Mary, when brought to her teacher, *nelt in profound hu$ility before her and as*ed her blessing. She begged
to be ad$itted a$ong those under her direction, obedience and counsel, and as*ed her *ind forbearance in the labor and
trouble, which She would occasion. The prophetess Anne, her teacher, received 0er with pleasure, and said to 0erD My
4aughter, Thou shalt find in $e a helpful $other and # will ta*e care of Thee and of thy education with all possible
solicitude. Then the holy Child proceeded to address 0erself with the sa$e hu$ility to all the $aidens which were
then present9 each one She greeted and e$braced, offering 0erself as their servant and reEuesting the$, as older and
$ore advanced than She in the duties of their position, to instruct and co$$and 0er. She also gave the$ than*s, that
without her $erit they ad$itted 0er to their co$pany.
"hen the heavenly child Mary had dis$issed her parents and entered upon her life in the te$ple, her teacher assigned
to 0er a place a$ong the rest of the $aidens, each of who$ occupied a large alcove or little roo$. The 1rincess of
heaven prostrated 0erself on the pave$ent, and, re$e$bering that it was holy ground and part of the te$ple, She
*issed it. #n hu$ble adoration She gave than*s to the (ord for this new benefit, and She than*ed even the earth for
supporting 0er and allowing 0er to stand in this holy place9 for She held 0erself unworthy of treading and re$aining
upon it. Then She turned toward her holy angels and said to the$D Celestial princes, $essengers of the Al$ighty, $ost
faithful friends and co$panions, # beseech you with all the powers of $y soul to re$ain with $e in this holy te$ple of
$y (ord and as $y vigilant sentinels, re$inding $e of all that # should do9 instructing $e and directing $e as the
teachers and guides of $y actions, so that # $ay fulfill in all things the perfect will of the Most 0igh, give pleasure to
the holy priests and obey $y teacher and $y co$panions. And addressing in particular those who$ # $entioned above
as the twelve angels of the Apocalypse, She saidD And # beseech you, $y a$bassadors, if the Al$ighty per$it you, go
and console $y holy parents in their affliction and solitude.
"hile the twelve angels e?ecuted her co$$and, Mary re$ained with the others in heavenly conversation. She began to
feel a supernal influence of great power and sweetness, spiritualiGing 0er and elevating 0er in burning ecstasy, and
i$$ediately the Most 0igh co$$anded the seraphi$ to assist in illu$ining and preparing her $ost holy soul. #nstantly
She was filled with a divine light and force, which perfected and proportioned her faculties in accordance with the
$ysteries now to be $anifested to 0er. Thus prepared and acco$panied by her holy angels and $any others, in the
$idst of a refulgent host, the celestial Child was raised body and soul to the e$pyrean heaven, where She was received
by the holy Trinity with befitting benevolence and pleasure. She prostrated 0erself in the presence of the $ost $ighty
and high (ord, as She was wont to do in all her visions, and adored 0i$ in profound reverence and hu$ility. Then She
was further transfor$ed by new wor*ings of divine light, so that She saw, intuitively and face to face, the 4ivinity
itself. This was the second ti$e that #t $anifested #tself to 0er in this intuitive $anner during the first three years of her
+y no hu$an tongue or any sensible faculty could the effects of this vision and participation of the divine /ssence ever
be described. The 1erson of the 6ather spo*e to the future Mother of his Son, and saidD My 4ove, $y beloved ,ne, #
desire thee to see the treasures of $y i$$utable being and of $y infinite perfections, and also to perceive the hidden
gifts destined for the souls, who$ # have chosen as heirs of $y glory and who are rescued by the lifeBblood of the
(a$b. +ehold, $y 4aughter, how liberal # a$ toward $y creatures, that *now and love Me9 how true in $y words,
how faithful in $y pro$ises, how powerful and ad$irable in $y wor*s. Ta*e notice, $y Spouse, how ineffably true it
is, that he who follows Me does not wal* in dar*ness. # desire that thou, as $y chosen ,ne, be an eyeBwitness of the
treasures which # hold in reserve for raising up the hu$ble, enriching the poor, e?alting the downtrodden, and for
rewarding all that the $ortals shall do and suffer for $y na$e.
,ther great $ysteries were shown to the holy child in this vision of the 4ivinity, for as the ob<ect presented to the soul
in such repeated intuitive visions is infinite, that which re$ains to be seen will always re$ain infinite and will e?cite
greater and greater wonder and love in the one thus favored. The $ost holy Mary answered the (ord and saidD Most
high, supre$e and eternal !od, inco$prehensible Thou art in thy $agnificence, overflowing in thy riches, unspea*able
in thy $ysteries, $ost faithful in thy pro$ises, true in thy words, $ost perfect in thy wor*s, for Thou art the (ord,
infinite and eternal in thy essence and perfections. +ut, $ost high (ord, what shall $y littleness begin to do at the sight
of thy $agnificenceI # ac*nowledge $yself unworthy to loo* upon thy greatness, yet # a$ in great need of being
regarded by it. #n thy presence, (ord, all creation is as nothing. "hat shall # thy servant do, who a$ but dustI 6ulfill in
$e all thy desire and thy pleasure9 and if trouble and persecutions suffered by $ortals in patience, if hu$ility and
$ee*ness are so precious in thy eyes, do not consent, , $y +eloved, that # be deprived of such a rich treasure and
pledge of thy love. +ut as the rewards of these tribulations, give the$ to thy servants and friends, who deserve the$
better than #, for # have not yet labored in thy service and pleasure.
The Most 0igh was $uch pleased with the petition of the heavenly Child and 0e gave 0er to understand that 0e would
ad$it 0er to suffering and labor for his love in the course of her life, without at the ti$e revealing to 0er the order and
the $anner in which 0e was to dispense the$. The 1rincess of heaven gave than*s for this blessing and favor of being
chosen to labor and suffer for the glory of !od8s na$e. +urning with desire of securing such favor, She as*ed of his
Ma<esty to be allowed to $a*e four vows in his presenceD of chastity, of poverty, of obedience, and of perpetual
enclosure in the te$ple whither 0e had called 0er. To this petition the (ord answered and said to 0erD My Spouse, $y
thoughts rise above all that is created, and thou, $y chosen one, dost not yet *now what is to happen to thee in the
course of thy life, and thou dost not yet understand why it is i$possible to fulfill thy fervent desires altogether in the
$anner in which thou now dost i$agine. The vow of chastity # per$it and # desire that thou $a*e it9 # wish that fro$
this $o$ent thou renounce earthly riches. #t is also $y will that as far as possible thou observe whatever pertains to the
other vows, <ust as if thou hadst $ade the$ all. Thy desire shall be fulfilled through $any other virgins in the co$ing
law of grace9 for, in order to i$itate thee and to serve Me, they will $a*e these sa$e vows and live together in
co$$unity and thou shalt be the Mother of $any daughters.
The $ost holy Child then, in the presence of the (ord, $ade the vow of chastity and as for the rest without binding
0erself, She renounced all affection for terrestrial and created things. She $oreover resolved to obey all creatures for
the sa*e of !od. #n the fulfill$ent of these pro$ises She was $ore punctual, fervent and faithful than any who have
ever $ade these vows or ever will $a*e the$. 6orthwith the clear and intuitive vision of the 4ivinity ceased, but She
was not i$$ediately restored to the earth. 6or, re$aining in the e$pyrean heaven, She en<oyed another, an i$aginary
vision of the (ord in a lower state of ecstasy, so that in connection with it, She saw other $ysteries.
#n this secondary and i$aginary vision so$e of the seraphi$ closest to the (ord approached 0er and by his co$$and
adorned and clothed 0er in the following $anner. 6irst all her senses were illu$ined with an effulgent light, which
filled the$ with grace and beauty. Then they robed 0er in a $antle or tunic of $ost e?Euisite splendor, and girded 0er
with a cincture of varyBcolored and transparent stones, of flashing brilliancy, which adorned 0er beyond hu$an
co$prehension. They signified the i$$aculate purity and the various heroic virtues of her soul. They placed on 0er
also a nec*lace or collar of inesti$able and entrancing beauty, which contained three large stones, sy$bolic of the three
great virtues of faith, hope and charity9 this they hung around her nec* letting it fall to her breast as if indicating the seat
of these precious virtues. They also adorned her hands with seven rings of rare beauty whereby the 0oly !host wished
to proclai$ that 0e had enriched 0er with his holy gifts in a $ost e$inent degree. #n addition to all this the $ost holy
Trinity crowned her head with an i$perial diade$, $ade of inesti$able $aterial and set with $ost precious stones,
constituting 0er thereby as his Spouse and as the /$press of heaven. #n testi$ony whereof the white and refulgent
vest$ents were e$blaGoned with letters or figures of the finest and the $ost shining gold, proclai$ingD Mary, 4aughter
of the eternal 6ather, Spouse of the 0oly !host and Mother of the true (ight. This last na$e or title the heavenly
Mistress did not understand9 but the angels understood it, who, lost in wonder and praise of the Author, were assisting
at this new and strange cere$ony. 6inally the attention of all the angelic spirits was drawn toward the Most 0igh and a
voice proceeded fro$ the throne of the blessed Trinity, which, addressing the $ost holy Mary, spo*e to 0erD Thou
shalt be our Spouse, our beloved and chosen ,ne a$ong all creatures for all eternity9 the angels shall serve thee and all
the nations and generations shall call thee blessed '(uc. 1, &F).
The sovereign Child being thus attired in the court dress of the 4ivinity, then celebrated a $ore glorious and $arvelous
espousal than ever could enter the $ind of the highest cherubi$ and seraphi$. 6or the Most 0igh accepted 0er as his
sole and only Spouse and conferred upon 0er the highest dignity which can befall a creature9 0e deposited within 0er
his own 4ivinity in the person of the "ord and with it all the treasures of grace befitting such e$inence. Meanwhile the
$ost 0u$ble a$ong the hu$ble was lost in the abyss of love and wonder which these benefits and favors caused in
0er , and in the presence of the (ord She spo*eD Most high -ing and inco$prehensible !od, who art Thou and who
a$ # , that thy condescension should loo* upon $e who a$ dust, unworthy of such $ercyI #n Thee, $y (ord, as in a
clear $irror seeing thy i$$utable being, # behold and understand without error $y lowliness and vileness, # ad$ire thy
i$$ensity and deprecate $y nothingness. At the sight of Thee # a$ annihilated and lost in astonish$ent, that the
infinite Ma<esty should stoop to so lowly a wor$, who can $erit only oblivion and conte$pt of all the creatures. ,
(ord, $y only !ood, how art Thou $agnified and e?alted in this deedH "hat $arvel dost Thou cause through $e in thy
angelic spirits, who understand thy infinite bounty, $agnificence and $ercy in raising up fro$ the dust her who in it is
poor, and placing her a$ong the princes '1s. 11@, 7)H # accept Thee, , $y -ing and $y (ord, as $y Spouse and # offer
$yself as thy slave. (et not $y understanding attend to any other ob<ect, nor $y $e$ory hold any other i$age, nor $y
will see* other ob<ect or pleasure than Thee, $y highest !ood, $y true and only (ove. (et not $y eyes loo* upon
hu$an creature, nor $y faculties and senses attend upon anything beside Thee and whatever thy Ma<esty shall direct.
Thou alone for thy spouse, $y +eloved, and she for Thee only, who art the i$$utable and eternal !ood.
The Most 0igh received with ineffable pleasure this consent of the sovereign 1rincess to enter into the new espousal
with her $ost holy soul. As upon his True Spouse and as Mistress of all creation, 0e now lavished upon 0er all the
treasures of his grace and power, instructing 0er to as* for whatever She desired and assuring 0er that nothing would
ever be denied 0er. The $ost hu$ble 4ove at once proceeded to beseech the (ord with the $ost burning charity, to
send 0is ,nlybegotten to the world as a re$edy for $ortals9 that all $en be called to the true *nowledge of his
4ivinity9 that her natural parents, Joachi$ and Anne, receive an increase of the loving gifts of his right hand9 that the
poor and afflicted be consoled and co$forted in their troubles9 and that in 0erself be fulfilled the pleasure of the divine
will. These were so$e of the $ore e?press petitions addressed by the new Spouse on this occasion to the blessed
Trinity. And all the angelic host sang new songs of ad$iration in praise of the Most 0igh, while those appointed by his
Ma<esty, $idst heavenly $usic, bore bac* the holy Child fro$ the e$pyrean heaven to the place in the te$ple, fro$
which they had brought 0er.
#n order to co$$ence at once to put in practice what She had pro$ised in the presence of the (ord, She betoo* 0erself
to her instructress and offered all that her $other, saint Anne, had left for her co$fort and sustenance, with the
e?ception of a few boo*s and clothes. She reEuested 0er to give it to the poor or use it for any other purpose according
to her pleasure, and that She co$$and and direct 0er what She was to do. The discreet $atron, 'who was, as # have
already said, the prophetess Anne) by divine i$pulse accepted and approved of the offering of the beautiful Child and
dis$issed 0er entirely poor and stripped of everything e?cept the gar$ents which She wore. She resolved to ta*e care
of 0er in a special $anner as one destitute and poor9 for the other $aidens each possessed their spending $oney and a
certain su$ assigned and destined for their wearing apparel and for other necessities according to their inclinations.
The holy $atron, having first consulted the high priest, also gave to the sweetest Child a rule of life. +y thus despoiling
and resigning 0erself the ;ueen and Mistress of creation obtained a co$plete freedo$ and detach$ent fro$ all
creatures and fro$ her own Self, neither possessing nor desiring anything e?cept only the $ost ardent love of !od and
her own abase$ent and hu$iliation.

",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//.

My daughter, a$ong the great and ineffable favors of the ,$nipotent in the course of $y life, was the one which thou
has <ust learned and described9 for by this clear vision of the 4ivinity and of the inco$prehensible essence # acEuired
*nowledge of the $ost hidden sacra$ents and $ysteries, and in this adorn$ent and espousal # received inco$parable
blessings and felt the sweetest wor*ings of the 4ivinity in $y spirit. My desire to ta*e the four vows of poverty,
obedience, chastity and enclosure pleased the (ord very $uch, and # $erited thereby that the !odfearing in the Church
and in the law of grace are drawn to live under these vows, as is the custo$ in the present ti$e. This was the beginning
of that which you religious practice now, fulfilling the words of 4avid in the fortyBfourth psal$D After 0er shall
virgins be brought to the -ing9 for the (ord ordained that $y aspirations be the foundation of religious life and of the
evangelical law. # fulfilled entirely and perfectly all that # proposed to the (ord, as far as was possible in $y state of
life9 never did # loo* upon the face of a $an, not even on that of $y husband Joseph, nor on that of the angels, when
they appeared to $e in hu$an for$, though # saw and *new the$ all in !od. .ever did # incline toward any creature,
rational or irrational, nor toward any hu$an operation or tendency. +ut in all things # was governed by the Most 0igh,
either directly by 0i$self or indirectly through the obedience, to which # freely sub<ected $yself.
+e careful therefore, $y daughter, and fear so dreadful a danger9 by divine assistance of grace raise thyself above
thyself, never per$itting thy will to consent to any disorderly affection or $ove$ent. # wish thee to consu$e thyself in
dying to thy passions and in beco$ing entirely spiritualiGed, so that having e?tinguished within thee all that is of earth,
thou $ayest co$e to lead an angelic life and conversation. #n order to deserve the na$e of spouse of Christ, thou $ust
pass beyond the li$its and the sphere of a hu$an being and ascend to another state and divine e?istence. Although thou
art earth, thou $ust be a blessed earth, without the thorns of passion, one whose fruit is all for the (ord, its Master. #f
thou hast for thy Spouse that supre$e and $ighty (ord, who is the -ing of *ings and the (ord of lords, consider it
beneath thy dignity to turn thy eyes, and $uch $ore thy heart, toward such vile slaves, as are the hu$an creatures, for
even the angels love and respect thee for thy dignity as spouse of the Most 0igh. #f even a$ong $en it is held to be a
daring and boundless insolence in a plebeian to cast longing eyes upon the spouse of a prince, what a cri$e would it be
to cast the$ on the spouse of the heavenly and o$nipotent -ingI And it would not be a s$aller cri$e if she herself
would receive and consent to such fa$iliarity. Consider and assure thyself that the punish$ent reserved for this sin is
inconceivably terrible and # do not show it to thee visibly, lest thou perish in thy wea*ness. # wish that for thee $y
instructions suffice to urge thee to the fulfill$ent of all # ad$onish and to i$itate $e as $y disciple, as far as thy
powers go. +e also solicitous in recalling this instruction to the $ind of thy nuns and in seeing that they live up to it.
My daughter, the greatest happiness, which can befall any soul in this $ortal life, is that the Al$ighty call her to his
house consecrated to his service. 6or by this benefit 0e rescues the soul fro$ a dangerous slavery and relieves her of
the vile servitude of the world, where, deprived of true liberty, she eats her bread in the sweat of her brow. "ho is so
dull and insipid as not to *now the dangers of the worldly life, which is ha$pered by all the abo$inable and $ost
wic*ed laws and custo$s introduced by the astuteness of the devil and the perversity of $enI The better part is
religious life and retire$ent9 in it is found security, outside is a tor$ent and a stor$y sea, full of sorrow and
unhappiness. Through the hardness of their heart and the total forgetfulness of the$selves $en do not *now this truth
and are not attracted by its blessings. +ut thou, , soul, be not deaf to the voice of the Most 0igh, attend and correspond
to it in thy actionsD # wish to re$ind thee, that one of the greatest snares of the de$on is to counteract the call of the
(ord, whenever he see*s to attract and incline the soul to a life of perfection in his service.
/ven by itself, the public and sacred act of receiving the habit and entering religion, although it is not always perfor$ed
with proper fervor and purity of intention, is enough to rouse the wrath and fury of the infernal dragon and his de$ons9
for they *now that this act tends not only to the glory of the (ord and the <oy of the holy angels, but that religious life
will bring the soul to holiness and perfection. #t very often happens, that they who have received the habit with earthly
and hu$an $otives, are afterwards visited by divine grace, which perfects the$ and sets all things aright. #f this is
possible even when the beginning was without a good intention, how $uch $ore powerful and efficacious will be the
light and influence of grace and the discipline of religious life, when the soul enters under the influence of divine love
and with a sincere and earnest desire of finding !od, and of serving and loving 0i$I
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ##.
#.ST27CT#,. !#5/. +3 T0/ ;7//. C,.C/2.#.! 2/(#!#,7S 5,"S.
0/2 6#2ST 3/A2S #. T0/ T/M1(/.
My dear daughter, # will not deny thee the instruction thou as*est of $e with the desire of putting it into practice9 but do
thou receive it with an appreciative and devout $ind, ready to follow it in deed. The wise $an says My son, if thou be
surety for thy friend, thou hast engaged fast thy hand to a stranger, thou art ensnared with the words of thy $outh, and
caught with thy own words '1rov. >, 1@). Accordingly he who has $ade vows to !od has bound his own will 9 so that
he has no freedo$ of acting e?cept according to the will and direction of 0i$ to who$ he has bound hi$self9 for he is
chained down by the words of his own $onth uttered in the profession of his vows +efore ta*ing his vows, the choice
of his ways was in his own hands9 but having once bound and obliged hi$self, let hi$ *now that he has entirely lost his
liberty and had delivered hi$self up to !od in his superiors. The whole ruin or salvation of souls depends upon the use
of their free will9 but since $ost $en use it ill and da$n the$selves, the Most 0igh has established religious life under
the sacred vows. Thus the creature, by once using its liberty to $a*e a perfect and prudent choice, can deliver up to his
Ma<esty that very liberty, which so $any pervert, if it re$ains free and unha$pered in its choice.
+y these vows the liberty to do evil is happily lost, and the liberty for doing good is assured. #t is li*e a bridle, which
leads away fro$ danger and directs into the s$ooth and sure road. The soul is freed fro$ the slavery and sub<ection of
the passions, and acEuires a new power over the$, resu$ing her place as $istress and Eueen in the govern$ent of her
*ingdo$ and re$aining sub<ect only to the law of grace and the inspirations of the 0oly !host. #f she thus applies her
whole will solely to the fulfill$ent of all that she has pro$ised to !od, the holy Spirit will govern and direct all her
operations. The creature thereby passes fro$ the condition and state of a slave to that of a child of the Most 0igh, fro$
an earthly to an angelic life, while the corruption and evil effects of sin cannot e?ert their full power. #t is i$possible
that thou ever be able in this earthly life to calculate or co$prehend, what and how $any are the blessings and treasures
those souls gather for the$selves, who with all their powers and affection strive to fulfill perfectly the vows or their
profession. 6or # assure thee, $y dearest, that those who are perfect and punctual in their religious obligations can eEual
and even surpass the $artyrs in $erit.
The order which religious souls should $aintain in their desires should beD that they strive to be punctual in fulfilling
the obligations of their vows and all the virtues, which are connected with the$. Afterwards and secondarily they $ay
engage in voluntary practices, such as are called supererogatory. This order so$e of the souls, who are $isled by the
devil to entertain an indiscreet Geal for perfection are wont to invert9 thus, while they fail seriously in the obligations of
their state. they are eager to add other voluntary e?ercises and practices, which are usually of s$all use or benefit, or
arise fro$ a spirit of presu$ption and singularity. They secretly desire to be loo*ed upon as distinguished in Geal and
perfection, while in truth they are very far even fro$ the beginning of perfection. # do not wish to see in thee a fault so
reprehensibleD but first fulfill all the duties of thy vows and of co$$unity life, and then thou $ayest add what thou
canst, according to thy ability and the inspiration of divine grace. This together will beautify thy soul and will $a*e it
perfect and agreeable in the eyes of !od.
The vow of obedience is the principal one in religion9 for it i$plies a total renunciation and denial of oneJs will. +y it
the religious renounces all <urisdiction or right to say for hi$selfD # will or # will not, # shall or # shall not actD all this he
throws aside and renounces by obedience, delivering hi$self into the hands of his superior. #n order to fulfill this
obligation it is necessary for thee not to be wise in thy own conceit, not to i$agine thyself still $istress of thy li*ings,
thy desires, or thy opinion9 for true obedience $ust be of the Euality of faith, so that the co$$ands of the superior are
estee$ed, reverenced and put into e?ecution, without any pretense of e?a$ination or criticis$. Accordingly, in order to
obey, thou $ust consider thyself without opinion, without life of thy own, without right of speech9 but thou $ust allow
thyself to be $oved and governed li*e a corpse, alive only in order to e?ecute devotedly all that the superior desires.
.ever discuss within thyself whether thou shouldst fulfill his co$$ands or not, but only consider how thou canst best
e?ecute that which is co$$anded.
2e$e$ber that the $ost perfect $anner of obeying is to avoid offending the superior by showing that you disagree
with hi$. 0e should find a willing obedience, convincing hi$ that his co$$ands are obeyed pro$ptly, without
ob<ection or $ur$ur, either in words or by any other signs. The superiors ta*e the place of !od, and he who obeys his
superiors, obeys the (ord hi$self, who is in the$ and governs the$ and enlightens the$, so their co$$ands will be for
the salvation of souls. The conte$pt shown to superiors passes on to !od hi$self who through the$ $anifests and
$a*es *nown his will '(u*e 1A, 1>). Thou $ust persuade thyself, that the (ord $oves the$ to spea*, and that it is the
word of the ,$nipotent hi$self. My daughter, strive to be obedient in order that thou $ayest spea* of victories '1rov.
@1 @F)9 do not fear to obey, for that is the secure path9 so secure, that !od will not bring to account the errors the
obedient on the day of <udg$ent, but 0e will rather blot out other sins in consideration of the sacrifice $ade in
obedience. My $ost holy Son offered his precious sufferings and death in special love for the obedient, and procured
for the$ special rights in regard to $ercy and grace, and special privileges toward the success and perfection of all that
is due under obedience. /ven now, in order to appease 0i$, 0e re$inds the eternal 6ather his obedience unto death and
unto the cross '1hil. @, F), and so the 6ather is placated toward $en.
The vow of poverty is a generous renunciation and detach$ent fro$ the heavy burden of te$poral things. #t is an
alleviation of the spirit, it is a relief afforded hu$an infir$ity, the liberty of a noble heart to strive after eternal and
spiritual blessings. #t is a satiety and abundance, in which the thirst after earthly treasures is allayed, and a sovereignty
and ownership, in which a $ost noble en<oy$ent of all riches is established. All this, $y daughter, and $any other
blessings are contained in voluntary poverty, and all this the sons of the world are ignorant and deprived of, precisely
because they are lovers of earthy riches and ene$ies of this holy and opulent poverty. They do not consider, although
they feel and suffer, the heavy weight of riches, which pins the$ to the earth and drives the$ into its very bowels to
see* gold and silver in great an?iety, sleeplessness, labors and sweat as if they were not $en, but wild beasts that *now
not what they are suffering and doing. And if they are thus weighed down before acEuiring riches, how $uch $ore
when they have co$e into their possessionI (et the countless hosts that have fallen into hell with their burden, proclai$
it9 let their incalculable an?ieties of preserving their riches, and $uch $ore, let the intolerable laws, which riches and
those that possess the$ have foisted upon the world, testify what is reEuired to retain the$H
#f, on the one hand, possessions throttle the spirit and tyrannically oppress it in its wea*ness, if they suppress the soulJs
$ost noble privilege of following eternal goods and !od hi$selfD it is certain on the other hand, that voluntary poverty
restores to $an the nobility of his condition and, liberating hi$ fro$ vile servitude and reinstating hi$ his noble
freedo$ and $astery of all things. The soul is never $ore a $istress than when she despises the$, and only then has
she the $ore fir$ possession and $a*es the $ore e?cellent use of riches, when she gives the$ away or leaves the$ of
her own free will9 only then her appetite for the$ is best satiated, when she does not care to possess the$. Then above
all is the heart set free and $ade capable of the treasures of the 4ivinity, for which it is furnished by the Creator with
al$ost infinite capacity.
The te$poral goods are created by the Most 0igh for the sole purpose of sustaining life9 having attained this end, the
need of the$ ceases. And as this need is li$ited, soon and easily satisfied, there is no reason that the care for the
i$$ortal soul should be only fitful and te$porary, while the hunger after riches should be so perpetual and
uninter$itting, as it has co$e to be a$ong $en. #t is the height of perverseness for $an to $i? up the end and the
$eans in an affair so i$portant and urgent, that he devote all his ti$e, all his care, all the e?ertion of his powers and all
the alertness of his $ind to the life of his body, of which he *nows not the duration nor the end, and that on the other
hand, in $any years of his e?istence he spare for his poor soul only one hour, and that very often the last and the worst
one of his whole life.
The vow of chastity includes purity of body and soul9 this is easily lost, and it is difficult, so$eti$es. according to the
$anner of losing it, even i$possible to repair. This great treasure is deposited in a castle, which has $any portals and
openings, and if these are not all well guarded and defended, the treasure is without security. My daughter, in order to
preserve perfectly this vow, it is necessary to $a*e an inviolable pact with thy senses, not to use the$, e?cept for what
is according to the dictates of reason and for the glory of the Creator. After once the senses are $ortified, it will be easy
to overco$e thy ene$ies, for only through the$ can they conEuer thee9 for no thoughts can recur, or be awa*ened to
activity, unless fo$ented and e?cited by the i$ages and i$pressions ad$itted through the e?terior senses.
Although no virtue should be wanting in her, who professes herself, and is entitled to call herself, a spouse of Christ9
yet it is the virtue of chastity which $a*es her $ost worthy and li*e to her Spouse. 6or it is chastity, which $a*es her
spiritual and withdraws her fro$ earthly corruption, elevating her to angelic life and to a certain rese$blance of !od
hi$self. This virtue beautifies and adorns all the rest, raises the body to a higher e?istence, enlightens the $ind and
preserves in the soul a nobility above all that is corruptible. +ecause this virtue was in an especial fruit of the
2ede$ption, $erited by $y Son on the Cross, where 0e paid for the sins of the world, therefore holy Scripture
e?pressly $entions that virgins acco$pany and follow the (a$b 'Apoc. 1&, &).
The vow of enclosure is the wall of chastity and of all virtues, the preserve where they are nourished and e?pandedD it is
a privilege granted by heaven to the spouses of Christ in religion, dispensing the$ fro$ the burdenso$e and dangerous
tribute, which the freedo$ of the world pays to the ruler of its vanities. +y this vow the religious live as in a secure
port, while other souls navigate and are tossed about in the stor$s of a dangerous sea. "ith so $any advantages
enclosure cannot be considered as a confine$ent in a narrow space, for in it are offered to the religious the spacious
fields of virtue, of the *nowledge of !od, of his infinite perfections, of his $ysteries, and of his benefits conferred on
$an. ,n such spacious grounds can a nun, recreate and en<oy herself9 and only when she fails in this en<oy$ent, does
she begin to feel narrow confine$ent in this, the greatest freedo$. 6or thee, $y daughter, let there be no other
playground, nor do # wish to see thee confine thyself to so narrow li$its as even the whole visible world. 2ise up to the
height of the *nowledge and love of !od, where there are no li$its or confines to hold thee, and where thou canst live
in unbounded liberty. 6ro$ that e$inence thou wilt see how s$all, vile and despicable is all that is created, and how
$uch too narrow it is to hold thy soul.
# will relate that, which the Most 0igh e?plained to $e on one occasion in his own wordsD
The wor*s of 0er, who was to be the Mother of the !od$an, were altogether and in every way $ost perfect, and even
to understand the$ e?ceeds the capacity of all hu$an creatures and of the angels. 0er interior acts of the virtues were
so precious and of such great $erit and favor, that they surpass all that the seraphi$ can do9 and thou, $y soul, wilt
$uch better understand, than be able to e?plain the$ with words of thy tongue. +ut it is $y will, that during thy
pilgri$age in thy $ortal body thou place $ost holy Mary as the beginning of thy <oy, and that thou follow 0er through
the desert of renunciation and abnegation of all that is hu$an and visible. 6ollow 0er by a perfect i$itation according
to the $easure of thy strength and of the light which thou receivest. (et 0er be thy guiding star and thy 4irectressD She
will $anifest to thee $y will and will let thee find $y holy law which is written in 0er by the power of $y right handD
$editate upon it day and night. She by her intercession will stri*e the roc* of ChristJs hu$anity '.u$. @@A, 11), in
order that in this desert $ay abound the waters of divine grace and light, so that thy thirst $ay be Euenched, thy
understanding enlightened, and thy will infla$ed. She will be a pillar of light to illu$inate thy path '/?od. 1@, @1) and
a cloud to afford thee shade and refresh$ent against the ardors of thy passions and the fierceness of thy ene$ies.
Thou wilt have in 0er an angel, who will guard and guide thee, and '/?od. 1=, @1) lead thee away fro$ the dangers of
+abylon and of Sodo$, so that $y punish$ent shall not reach thee. Thou wilt have in 0er a Mother to love thee, a
6riend to counsel thee, a Mistress to direct thee, a 1rotectress to shield thee and a ;ueen who$ thou canst serve and
obey as a hand$aid. #n the virtues, which this Mother of the ,nlybegotten e?ercised in the te$ple, thou wilt find a
su$$ary of all the highest perfections according to which thou shouldst arrange thy life9 an e?act and reliable copy of
all her sanctity9 the beauty of virginity, the loveliness of hu$ility, the ut$ost pro$ptness in devotion and obedience, the
stead fastness of faith, the certitude of hope, the fire of love and the $ost co$plete outline $ap of all the wonders of
$y right hand. According to this rule thou $ust regulate thy life, by this $irror thou $ust arrange and adorn it, adding
to the beauty and grace of a bride that wishes to enter into the cha$ber of her Spouse and (ord.
#f the nobility and condition of the teacher are a spur to the disciple and $a*e his doctrine $ore a$iable acceptable,
who can attract thee $ore powerfully than thy #nstructress, who is the Mother of thy Spouse, chosen as the $ost pure
and holy a$ong wo$en, and without ble$ish of sin, being at the sa$e ti$e a 5irgin and the Mother of the
,nlybegotten of the eternal 6ather, the splendor of his 4ivinity in his own essenceI 0ear then this sovereign Mistress9
follow 0er in close i$itation, and $editate without ceasing upon her ad$irable e?cellence and virtues. 2e$e$ber, that
the life and conversation She led in the te$ple is the original, which all the souls, that consecrate the$selves after 0er
as spouses of Christ, $ust copy within the$selves. The above is the e?planation and instruction, which the Most 0igh
gave $e in outline concerning the life and conduct of the $ost holy Mary in the te$ple.
+ut let us proceed now to a $ore particular description of her actions. After the vision of the 4ivinity, described in the
second chapter, after She had offered 0erself entirely to the (ord and delivered up to her instructress all that She
possessed, being thus deprived of all, entirely bound over to obedience, and hiding, beneath the veil of these virtues,
treasures of grace and wisdo$ greater than that of the seraphi$, She reEuested the priest and her teacher to prescribe for
0er an order of life and to direct 0er in the occupations, which She was to assu$e. The priest and her instructress,
having together considered her petition with the aid of a special enlighten$ent fro$ on high and desiring to regulate
fro$ now on the e?ercises of this heavenly Child of only three years, called 0er to their presence. The 1rincess of
heaven re$ained *neeling before the$ during this interview and, although they bade 0er rise, She begged $ost hu$bly
be allowed to re$ain in this reverent position in the presence of the $inister and priest of the Most 0igh and her
teacher, on account of their office and dignity.
The priest spo*e to 0er and saidD My 4aughter, as a very young Child the (ord has drawn Thee to his house and holy
te$ple9 be than*ful for this favor and see* to profit by it by striving hard to serve 0i$ in truth and with an upright
heart. AcEuire all the virtues, in order that thou $ayest return fro$ this holy place prepared and fortified against the
troubles and the dangers of this world. ,bey thy Mistress Anne and co$$ence early to bear the sweet yo*e of virtue, in
order that thou $ayest find it $ore easy to bear during the rest of thy life 'Thren. =, 27). The sovereign Child
answeredD # thou, $y $aster, who art the $inister and priest of !od9 and holdest his place, and thou $y Mistress
together with hi$, co$$and and instruct $e in whatever # a$ to do that # $ay not co$$it any faultD this # beg of you,
wishing to obey you in all things.
The priest and her teacher Anne felt within the$selves a great enlighten$ent and a divine i$pulse to attend especially
to this heavenly Child and to care for 0er $ore than the other $aidens. Conferring with the$selves about this great
estee$, with which they had been inspired, though ignorant of the $ystery by which it ca$e to the$, they resolved to
devote particular attention to her guidance and assistance. +ut as their care could e?tend only to the e?terior and visible
actions, they were far fro$ suspecting the interior acts and inspirations of her heart, for over these the Most 0igh
watched with singular protection and favor. Thus the pure heart of the 1rincess of heaven re$ained free to advance and
grow in interior vision, without losing one instant, in which She did not reach what is highest and $ost e?cellent in
The priest also gave 0er a rule for her occupations and saidD My 4aughter thou wilt assist at the e?ercises of divine
praise and song in honor of the (ord with all reverence and devotion, and always pray to the Most 0igh for the
necessities of his holy te$ple and of his people, and for the co$ing of the Messias. At eight AJ cloc* thou wilt retire for
sleep and at the beginning of dawn thou wilt arise in order to praise the (ord until the third hour 'this hour corresponds
to our nine oJcloc* in the $orning). 6ro$ the third hour until evening thou wilt occupy thyself in so$e $anual wor*s,
in order that thou $ayest be instructed in all things. At $eals, of which thou wilt parta*e after thy e?ercise, observe
befitting $oderation. Then thou wilt go to hear the instructions of thy teacher9 the rest of the day thou wilt engage
thyself in the reading of holy Scriptures, and in all things be hu$ble, affable, and obedient to the co$$ands of thy
The $ost holy Child re$ained on her *nees, while She listened to the words of the priest and then as*ed his blessing9
having *issed his hand and the hand of her $istress, She proposed in her heart to observe the order of life assigned 0er
during her stay in the te$ple and as long as they should not co$$and her otherwise. And She, who was the Mistress of
sanctity, fulfilled their orders as if She were the least of all the scholars. 0er desires and her $ost ardent love i$pelled
0er to $any other e?ternal e?ercises, which they had not included in their orders9 but with regard to these She
sub<ected 0erself to the $inister of the (ord, preferring the sacrifice of perfect and holy obedience to the high dictates
of her own fervor. She *new, as Mistress of all perfection, that the divine will is $ore surely fulfilled by the hu$ble
acEuiescence of obedience, than in following the highest aspirations to other virtues. +y this rare e?a$ple let souls, and
especially those in the religious state, learn not to follow their own effervescences and whi$s contrary to obedience and
the will of their superiors9 for in the latter !od $a*e *nown to us his desire and pleasure, whereas in the for$er we
see* only our own fancies9 in the superiors !od hi$self operates, in ourselves 'if we wor* contrary to their orders),
te$ptations, blind passion and deceit is active.
#n the perfor$ance of wor*s not co$$anded 0er our ;ueen and (ady distinguished 0erself fro$ other $aidens by
as*ing her teacher to be allowed to serve the$ all and be engaged in the hu$ble occupation of scrubbing and cleaning
the roo$s and of washing the dishes. Although this see$ed e?traordinary, especially in one of the firstborn children,
who were treated with greater consideration and respect, yet the inco$parable hu$ility of the heavenly 1rincess could
not be restrained or confined by any consideration of what was due to her position, but reached out for the $ost hu$ble
occupations. "ith such an eager hu$ility She *new how to gain ti$e and opportunity for doing such wor*, that She
was beforehand in assu$ing the tas*s of others. +y $eans of her infused science She understood all the $ysteries and
cere$onies of the te$ple9 but She was an?ious to learn the$ also by study and practice, as if She were ignorant of
the$, nor did She ever fail in any cere$ony or duty, no $atter how s$all. She was $ost eager for hu$iliation and $ost
sub$issive in her selfconte$pt9 every $orning and evening She as*ed the blessing of her teacher and *issed her hand,
and the sa$e She did whenever She was ordered or was per$itted to perfor$ wor*s of hu$ility. So$eti$es, when it
was allowed 0er, She *issed her feet with profound hu$ility.
The sovereign 1rincess was so docile, so sweet and friendly in her actions, so ready to serve and so eager and diligent in
hu$bling 0erself, so an?ious to show *indness and estee$ toward all the $aidens in the te$ple, obeying the$ as if
each had been 0er Mistress, that She ravished all the hearts. +y 0er ineffable and heavenly prudence She proceeded in
all her actions in such a $anner, that She never lost an occasion for engaging in lowly wor*, in hu$ble service of her
co$panions, and in the fulfill$ent of the divine pleasure.
+ut what shall #, $ost vile creature, and what shall all faithful children of the Catholic Church thin*, when describing
and considering such a vivid e?a$ple of hu$ilityI #t see$s to us great virtue, when the inferior obeys the superior, the
lowly yields to the e?alted9 and we estee$ it a great hu$ility, that the eEual sub$it to his eEual. +ut when the inferior
co$$ands and the superior obeys, when the ;ueen hu$bles 0erself before her slave, when the $ost holy and the $ost
perfect of all creatures sub$its to a $ere wor$let, the ;ueen of heaven and earth to the least of wo$en, and when this
is done with all her heart and in all sincerityD who is not astonished and confounded in his vapid prideI "ho will not
see, as in a clear $irror, his unhappy presu$ptionI "ho can convince hi$self, that he *nows what true hu$ility is,
$uch less e?ercise it, when he sees it e?hibited, in its reality and in its own ele$ent, the $ost holy MaryI (et us souls,
who live under the vow of obedience, approach this light in order to perceive and correct the disorders, which show
the$selves, whenever obedience to our godBgiven superiors reEuires renounce$ent of our whi$s and therefore
beco$es hard and troubleso$e. 0ere let our hardness be crushed, let the proudest hu$iliate herself and be confounded
in her sha$eful pride9 let her banish all presu$ption and let her not account herself obedient and hu$ble, because on
certain occasions she has yielded to the superiors, for she is yet far fro$ thin*ing herself inferior and beneath her
co$panion, as Mary did, who is superior to all.
The beauty, grace, elegance and courteousness or our ;ueen were inco$parable9 for all the natural graces and gifts,
which were hers in a $ost perfect degree. were reBenforced by the splendor of supernatural or divine grace, and effected
a $arvelous union of grace and beauty in all her being and activity, enthralling all in love and ad$iration of 0er.
4ivine 1rovidence $oderated the outward de$onstrations of this affection, which those who conversed with 0er,
would have shown, if they had been left to the natural force of their spontaneous love of the ;ueen. #n eating and in
sleep, as in all other virtues, She was $ost perfectD She observed the $easure dictated by te$perance9 never did She
e?ceed, nor could She, rather She deducted fro$ the necessary. Although her curtailed sleep did not interrupt her high
conte$plation, as # have said before, yet She would have gladly o$itted it altogether9 in virtue of obedience however,
She retired to rest at the ti$e appointed, and on her hu$ble and poor couch, strewn with the flowers of virtue 'Cant. 1.
1=) and surrounded by the seraphi$ and the angelic host who guarded and assisted 0er, She en<oyed $ore e?alted
conte$plation 'outside of beatific vision), and $ore ecstasies of love, than all of the$ together.
She divided her ti$e and applied it with rare prudence so as to give to each of her actions and occupations its proper
share. She read $uch in the sacred writings of the ancients and, by $eans of her infused science, She was so well
versed in the$ and in all their profound $ysteries, that none of the$ was unfa$iliar to 0er9 for the Most 0igh $ade
*nown to 0er all their $ysteries and sacra$ents9 She treated and conversed about the$ in her conferences with the
holy angels of her guard, fa$iliariGing 0erself with the$ and as*ing about the$ with inco$parable intelligence and
great acuteness. #f this sovereign Mistress had written what She understood, we would have $any other additions to the
sacred Scriptures9 and we would be able to draw out of the$ a perfect understanding of those writings and the deep
$eanings and $ysteries of all those preserved in the Church.

",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..

My daughter, hu$an nature is i$perfect and re$iss in practicing virtue, and easily wea*ens in its e?ercise9 for it
continually see*s rest and evades labor with all its $ight. "hen the soul listens to and e?te$poriGes with the ani$al
and carnal part of its nature this latter will engross and overco$e the forces of reason and of the spirit, and will reduce
the$ to a dangerous and sha$eful slavery. This disorder is abo$inable and $uch to be feared by all9 but !od abhors it
without co$parison $ore in his $inisters and in religiousD they, as a $atter of course, are supposed to be perfect, and
therefore are in<ured so $uch the $ore seriously, if they do not co$e out victorious in the conflict of the passions. +y
re$issness in battle and by their freEuent defeats they live the$selves into a paralyGing and selfBsatisfied conviction of
false security, content with the perfor$ance of certain easy outward practices of virtue, at the sa$e ti$e i$agining
'without the least real advance$ent) that they are $oving $ountains. The de$on then introduces other distractions and
te$ptations, and on account of their s$all appreciation of the rules and practices of religion, they begin to wea*en in all
of the$, estee$ the$ as light and uni$portant $atter, and, living on in their false security, co$e to lose the very
perception of true virtue.
# desire that thou, $y daughter, guard against this error. 2e$e$ber, that a voluntary re$issness in regard to one
i$perfection prepares and opens the way for othersD these facilitate the co$$ission of venial sins, these again of $ortal
sins. Thus the descent is fro$ one abyss to another, until the botto$ is found in the disregard of all evil. #n order to
prevent such a $isfortune it is necessary to intercept fro$ afar the current of sin, for the practice or cere$ony, which
see$s but s$all, is an outwor* which *eeps the ene$y at a distance, while the precepts and laws concerning $ore
i$portant $atters are the fortress walls of conscience. #f the de$on can brea* through and gain the outer defenses, he is
in better position to gain the inner ones. #f then an opening is $ade in the bulwar*s by the co$$ission of sin, although
it $ay not be a very grievous one, he already has a better opportunity to $a*e an assault on the interior reign of a soul.
As the soul finds herself wea*ened by vicious acts and habits and without strength of grace, she does not resist the
attac* with fortitude, and the devil, acEuiring $ore and $ore power over her, begins to sub<ect and oppress her without
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ###.
,6 T0/ 5#2T7/ ,6 6A#T0 A.4 0," M,ST 0,(3 MA23 12ACT#C/4 #T.

,n account of this beauty and har$ony regarding the habits of virtue, the soul of the $ost holy Mary was so
enlightened, ennobled and entirely bent on the highest !ood and last /nd of all creation9 so alert, pro$pt, efficient and
<oyful in the practice of virtue, that, if it were possible for our wea* insight to penetrate into the interior of her sacred
soul, we would there find a $ore wonderful beauty than that of all creatures co$bined and inferior only to that of !od
hi$self. All the perfection of creatures were in purest Mary as if in their own sphere and center, and all virtues reached
in 0er the highest perfection, so that in no $anner could it ever be said of 0er this or that is wanting in order to $a*e
0er altogether beautiful and perfect. +esides the infused virtues, She possessed all the acEuired ones, which She
aug$ented by practice and e?ercise. #n other souls, one single act cannot be called virtue, because $any repeated acts
are necessary to constitute virtue9 but in the $ost holy Mary each act was so efficacious, intense and consu$$ate, that
each one was superior to the virtues of all the other creatures. Accordingly, as her acts of virtue were so freEuent and
did not fall short in the least point of the highest degree of perfection, how inco$parably e?cellent were not the habits
of virtue, which the heavenly Mistress attained by her personal e?ertionI The end for which so$ething is done is that
which $a*es an act virtuous as being well done. #n Mary, our Mistress, this end was !od hi$self, highest possible end
of all activity9 for She did nothing through which She was not certain to advance the greater glory and pleasure of the
(ord and She loo*ed upon this as the $otive and ulti$ate end of all her actions.
The infused virtues are divided into two classes. To the first belong only those, that have !od hi$self for their
i$$ediate ob<ect9 therefore they are called theological virtues, being faith, hope, and charity. To the second class
belong all those other virtues, which have as their pro?i$ate ob<ect so$e $eans or so$e honorable good, which
advances the soul toward its last end, na$ely !od. These are called the $oral virtues, because they are inti$ately
connected with established custo$s, and, although they are $any in nu$ber, they can be reduced to four, which are
called the cardinal virtuesD prudence <ustice, fortitude and te$perance. ,f all these virtues and their different species #
will say farther on as $uch as # can in order that # $ay $a*e clear, how all of the$ and each one in particular adorned
the faculties of the $ost holy Mary. At present # only $ention in general, that none of the$ was wanting in 0er and that
she possessed all in the $ost perfect $anner9 $oreover they were supple$ented by the gifts of the 0oly !host, the
fruits of the Spirit, and the +eatitudes. !od did not fail to infuse into 0er fro$ the first $o$ent of her Conception, all
of the graces and gifts conducive to the highest beauty of the hu$an soul and faculties9 and this was true of the will as
well as of the understanding, so that She had as well the *nowledge as the habit of the sciences. #n order to say it all in
one word all the good, which the Most 0igh could give 0er as the Mother of his Son and as a $ere creature, 0e
conferred upon 0er in the $ost e?alted degree. #n addition to all this her virtues continually aug$entedD the infused
virtues, because She added to the$ by her own $erits, and the acEuired virtues, because She nurtured and $ultiplied
the$ by the intensity of her $eritorious acts.
#n few words the holy /liGabeth described the greatness of the faith of $ost holy Mary, when, as reported to us by the
evangelist (u*e, She e?clai$edD +lessed art thou for having believed, because the words and pro$ises of the (ord
shall be fulfilled in Thee '(u*e 1, &C). The faith of this great (ady $ust be esti$ated fro$ the greatness of her good
fortune and beatitude, and fro$ her ineffable dignity.
The faith of the $ost holy Mary was an i$age of the whole creation and an open prodigy of the divine power, for in
0er the virtue of faith e?isted in the highest and the $ost perfect degree possible9 in a certain $anner and to a great
e?tent, it $ade up for the want of faith in $en. The Most 0igh has given this e?cellent virtue to $ortals so that, in spite
of the carnal and $ortal nature, they $ight have the *nowledge of the 4ivinity and of his $ysteries and ad$irable
wor*sD a *nowledge so certain and infallibly secure, that it is li*e seeing 0i$ face to face, and li*e the vision of the
blessed angels in heaven. The sa$e ob<ect and the sa$e truth, which they see openly, we perceive obscured under the
veil of faith.
,ne glance at the world will $a*e us understand, how $any nations, reigns and provinces, since the beginning of the
world, have lost their clai$s to this great blessing of the faith, so little understood by the than*less $ortalsD how $any
have unhappily flung it aside, after the (ord had conferred it on the$ in his generous $ercy, and how $any of the
faithful, having without their $erit received the gift of faith, neglect and despise it, letting it lie idle and unproductive
for the last end to which it is to direct and guide the$. #t was befitting therefore, that the divine eEuity should have
so$e reco$pense for such la$entable loss, and that such an inco$parable benefit should find an adeEuate and
proportionate return, as far as is possible fro$ creatures9 it was befitting that there should be found at least one
Creature, in who$ the virtue of faith should co$e to its fullest perfection, as an e?a$ple and rule for the rest.
All this was found in the great faith of the $ost holy Mary and on account of 0er and for 0er alone, if there had been
no other creature in the world, it would have been $ost proper, that !od should contrive and create the e?cellent virtue
of faith9 for according to our way of understanding, Mary by 0erself was a sufficient pledge to the divine 1rovidence,
that 0e would find a proper return on the part of $an, and that the ob<ect of this faith would not be frustrated by the
want of correspondence a$ong $ortals. The faith of this sovereign ;ueen was to $a*e reco$pense for their default
and She was to copy the divine prototype of this virtue in its highest perfection. All the other faithful can $easure and
gauge the$selves by the faith of this Mistress9 for they will be $ore or less faithful, the $ore or less they approach the
perfection of her inco$parable faith. Therefore She was set as Teacher and e?a$ple of all the believing, including the
1atriarchs, 1rophets, Apostles and Martyrs and all that have believed or will believe in the Christian doctrines to the
end of the world.
The intelligent love, with which She e?plicitly believed all the divine truths, cannot be e?pressed in words, without
$isrepresenting its intensity. The $ost holy Mary *new all that She believed and believed all that She *new9 for the
infused theological *nowledge of the credibility of faithJs $ysteries, and the understanding of this credibility, e?isted in
the wisest 5irgin Mother in the highest degree possible in a $ere creature. 0er *nowledge was *ept in a constant
actuality, and by $eans of her $e$ory, li*e that of an angel, She never forgot, that which once She had learnt. This gift
and faculty of the understanding She *ept in constant operation in order to e?ercise her deep faith9 only at ti$es, as
already said, !od suspended faith by other acts of the $ind. /?cept that She was not yet a co$prehensor, nothing was
wanting in regard to her intelligence of the $atters of faith and in regard to the clear *nowledge of the 4ivinity. #n this
regard She held a position far above that of all the wayfarers and She by 0erself constituted a class of such high
degrees, as cannot be attained by any other wayfarer to heaven.
And if the $ost holy Mary, while She e?ercised the acts of faith and hope was in what $ight be called her $ost
ordinary and therefore the lowest degree of activity, and if in that state She e?celled all the angels and saints in $erits
by her faith and love, what $ust we say of the e?cellence of her acts, her $erits and her affections, during the ti$e in
which She was e?alted by the divine power to the blessed state of highest intuitive vision and clear *nowledge of the
4ivinityI #f this is beyond the co$prehension of the angelic $ind, how can an earthly creature ever hope to find words
to describe itI # therefore can only e?press the $ere wish, that all $ortals $ight co$e to a *nowledge of the precious
value of faith, by leaving it fro$ this heavenly ,riginal, in who$ faith attained its ulti$ate perfection and where it
co$pletely fulfilled the end for which it was created. (et the infidels, the heretics, the pagans and idolaters approach
this Mistress of faith, $ost holy Mary, in order to be enlightened in their falsehoods and dar*so$e errors and in ,rder
to find the sure way toward the last end of their being. (et also Catholics approach and learn to understand the copious
rewards of this virtue9 let the$ as* the (ord with the Apostles to, increase their faith '(u*e 7, C). .ot that they ever can
reach the faith of $ost holy Mary, but let the$ as* for the desire to i$itate 0er and follow 0er, for by her faith She
teaches us, and by her $erits She helps us to obtain this virtue.
Saint 1aul calls the patriarch Abraha$ the father of all the faithful '2o$. >, 11), because he first received the pro$ise,
hoping against hope '2o$. &, 1F)9 0e wishes to e?tol the e?cellence of the 1atriarchJs faith because he believed the
pro$ise of the (ord, that Sarah, his wife, would bear hi$ a son though she was sterile, and, according to the laws of
nature, incapable of conception9 $oreover, in offering his son as a sacrifice at !odJs co$$and, he relinEuished at the
sa$e ti$e the prospect of the countless offspring, which the (ord had pro$ised to hi$. This all, and $any other
sayings and pro$ises of the (ord were $ade i$possible of fulfill$ent according to the laws of nature, yet Abraha$
believed, that the divine power could e?ecute the$ in a supernatural $anner. Therefore he $erited to be called the
6ather of all the believers and to receive the seal of his faith which <ustified hi$, na$ely circu$cision.
+ut our supere$inent (ady, Mary, possesses $uch greater rights and titles to be called the Mother of faith and of all the
faithful. #n her hand is hoisted the standard and ensign of faith for all the believers in the law of grace. 6irst indeed,
according to the order of ti$e, was the 1atriarch and conseEuently he was ordained to be the father and head of the
0ebrew peopleD great was his belief in the pro$ises concerning Christ our (ord and in the wor*s of the Most 0igh.
.evertheless inco$parably $ore ad$irable was the faith of Mary in all these regards and She e?cels hi$ in dignity.
!reater difficulty and incongruity was there that a virgin should Conceive and bring forth, than that an aged and sterile
wo$an should bear fruit9 and the patriarch Abraha$ was not so certain of the sacrifice of #saac, as Mary was of the
inevitable sacrifice of her $ost holy Son. She is the ,ne, who perfectly believed and hoped in all the $ysteries, and She
shows to the whole Church, how it $ust believe in the Most 0igh and in the wor*s of his 2ede$ption. 0aving thus
understood the faith of Mary our ;ueen, we $ust ad$it 0er to be the Mother of the faithful and the prototype of the
Catholic faith and of holy hope. And in order to conclude this chapter, # will add, that Christ, our 2edee$er and
Teacher, as 0e was a co$prehensor and as his $ost holy soul en<oyed the highest glory and the beatific vision, had no
necessity or occasion for faith, nor could 0e in his own actions give us an e?a$ple of this virtue. +ut what the (ord
could not do in his own 1erson, 0e did in the person of his $ost holy Mother, constituting 0er as the 6oundress, the
Mother and the e?a$ple of faith in his evangelical Church. And thus on the day of universal accounting this sovereign
Mistress and ;ueen shall in an especial $anner assist her $ost holy Son in the <udg$ent of those, who, in spite of such
an e?a$ple, have not believed during their stay on earth.

1O%D OF TH. ()..2

My daughter, the inesti$able treasure of the virtue of divine faith is hidden to those $ortals who have only carnal and
earthly eyes9 for they do not *now how to appreciate and estee$ a gift and blessing of such inco$parable value.
Consider, $y dearest, what the world was without faith and what it would be today if $y Son and (ord would not
preserve faith. 0ow $any $en who$ the world has celebrated as great, powerful and wise have precipitated
the$selves, on account of the want of light of faith, fro$ the dar*ness of their unbelief into $ost abo$inable sins, and
thence into the eternal dar*ness of hellH 0ow $any *ingdo$s and provinces, being blind the$selves, follow these still
$ore blind leaders until they together fall into the abyss of eternal painsH And they are followed by the bad Christians,
who having received the grace and blessing of faith, live as if they had it not in their hearts.
4o not forget, $y dear friend, to be than*ful for this precious <ewel which the (ord has given thee as a dower and a
wedding gift of thy espousal with 0i$, in order to draw thee to the bridal cha$ber of his holy Church and afterwards to
have intercourse with 0i$ in the eternal beatitude. Continually e?ercise this virtue of faith, for it places thee near to thy
last end, after which thou strivest, and brings thee near to the ob<ect of thy desires and thy love. 6aith teaches the sure
way of eternal salvation, faith is the light that shines in the dar*ness of this $ortal life and pilgri$age9 it leads $en
securely to the possession of the fatherland to which they are wayfaring, if they do not allow it to die out by infidelity
and sinfulness. 6aith enlivens the other virtues and serves as a nourish$ent of the <ust $an and a support in his labors.
6aith confounds and fills with fear the infidels and the la? Christians in their negligence9 for it convinces the$ in this
world of their sin and threatens punish$ent in the life to co$e. 6aith is powerful to do all things, for nothing is
i$possible to the believer9 faith $a*es all things attainable and possible. 6aith illu$ines and ennobles the
understanding of $an, since it directs hi$ in the dar*ness of his natural ignorance, not to stray fro$ the way, and it
elevates hi$ above hi$self so that he sees and understands with infallible certainty what is far above his powers and
assures hi$ of it no less than if he saw it clearly before hi$. 0e is thus freed fro$ the gross and vile narrowB
$indedness of those who will believe only what they can e?perience by their own li$ited natural powers, not
considering that the soul, as long as it lives in the prison of this corruptible body, is very $uch circu$scribed and
li$ited in its sphere of action by the *nowledge drawn fro$ the coarse activity of the senses. Appreciate, therefore, $y
daughter, this priceless treasure of the Catholic faith given thee by !od, watch over it and practice it in great estee$ and
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 #5.
,6 T0/ 5#2T7/ ,6 0,1/, A.4 0," T0/ 5#2!#. ,72 (A43 /:/2C#S/4 #T.
The virtue of hope naturally follows upon that of faith, since it is ordained as its co$ple$ent. 6or if the Most 0igh
instills in us the divine light of faith, and if 0e wishes us, without regard to differences of position and of age, to co$e
into the infallible *nowledge of the !odhead and of his $ysteries and pro$ises, it is for no other reason than that each
one of us, *nowing 0i$ as our last end and ob<ect, and learning of the $eans of arriving at it, $ay engender within
hi$self the vehe$ent desire to reach that goal. This desire, which naturally carries with it the inclination to attain this
highest !ood, is called hope and is infused into our will or natural appetite in +aptis$. 6or it belongs to the proper
activity of the will to strive after eternal felicity as its greatest good and blessing, to $a*e use of divine grace for
obtaining it and for overco$ing the difficulties which will occur in its pursuit.
0ow e?cellent the virtue of hope is, $ay be learned fro$ the fact that its ulti$ate ob<ect is !od hi$self, our highest
!ood. Although it perceives and see*s 0i$ as so$ething that is absent, yet at the sa$e ti$e it see*s 0i$ also as
so$ething that is attainable through the $erits of Christ and through the proper activity of the one that hopes for it. The
acts and operations of this virtue are regulated by the light of divine faith and by the prudent reliance on the infallible
pro$ise of the (ord. Thus hope, by $eans of the reasoning powers, $aintains the $iddle road between despair and
presu$ption, not per$itting $an to presu$e on his own powers for the attain$ent of eternal glory or to set aside
$eritorious activity on his own part, nor allowing fear or despondency to hinder 0i$ fro$ e?erting hi$self toward it
on account of the (ordJs pro$ises and assurances of final success. #n this security, guaranteed by divine faith in all that
pertains to these things and applied in prudent and sound reasoning, $an hopes without fear of being deceived and yet
also without presu$ption.
6ro$ this it can be seen that despair $ay arise both fro$ a want of believing what faith pro$ises and also fro$ a
failure to apply to oneJs own self the security of the divine pro$ises, in which one believes, but which one falsely
supposes unattainable in oneJs own regard. +etween these two dangerous e?tre$es hope directs us in the safe way,
$aintaining us in the confident belief on the one hand that !od will not deny to ourBselves what 0e has pro$ised to all,
and on the other, that the pro$ise was not $ade unconditionally and absolutely, but reEuires our e?ertion and effort to
$erit its fulfill$ent as far as it is possible with the help of divine grace. 6or if !od has $ade $an capable of the vision
of eternal glory, it was not <ust that any one should attain to such felicity by sinful abuse of the very faculties with
which he is to en<oy it9 but that he use the$ in such a way as to befit the end for which he received the$. This proper
use of the faculties consists in the e?ercise of the virtues, which prepare $an for the en<oy$ent of his highest good, and
in see*ing it already in this life by the *nowledge and love of !od.
.ow, in $ost holy Mary this virtue of hope reached the highest degree possible both in regard to itself and in regard to
all its effects, circu$stances and Eualities9 for the desire and the striving after the last end, which is the vision and the
fruition of !od, was in 0er $ore active than in all other creatures9 $oreover this $ost faithful and prudent (ady did
nothing to i$pede these aspirations, but followed the$ up with all the perfection possible in a creature. .ot only did
She possess the infused virtue of faith in the pro$ises of our (ord and its conco$itant intensity of hope9 but over and
above all this She en<oyed beatific vision, in which She learnt to *now by e?perience the infinite truth and fidelity of
the Most 0igh. And although She did not have occasion to $a*e use of hope, while en<oying the vision and possession
of the 4ivinity9 nevertheless, after again resu$ing 0er ordinary state, She was i$pelled by the $e$ory of what She
had en<oyed, to hope and strive after it with so $uch the greater force and avidity. Thus the longings of the ;ueen of all
virtues constituted a certain *ind of new and particular *ind of hope.
There was another reason why the hope of the $ost holy Mary e?celled the hope of all the other faithful <oined
togetherD na$ely the greatness of the prospective reward and glory due to this sovereign ;ueen, for reward is after all
the real ob<ect of hope and in 0er it was to be far above all the glory of the angels and saints9 that is, proportionate to
the *nowledge of this glory assured to 0er in !od was also her e?pectation and desire to acEuire it. Moreover in order
that She $ight attain the highest su$$it of this virtue, and that She $ight worthily hope for all that the powerful ar$ of
!od would wor* in 0er, She was befittingly furnished with the light of a supre$e faith and all the helps and gifts
pertaining thereto, and with an especial assistance of the 0oly !host. "hat we have said of the virtue of hope in the
blessed 5irgin in regard to its principal ob<ect $ust also be affir$ed in regard to its secondary ob<ects, for the gifts and
$ysterious blessings en<oyed by this ;ueen of 0eaven were so great that they could not be a$plified even by the ar$
of the Al$ighty !od in a $ere creature. .ow as the great (ady was to receive these favors through the $ediu$ of faith
and hope, these virtues were proportionately great, and therefore the greatest that could possibly fall to the lot of a
handiwor* of !od.
Moreover if, as has already been said of the virtue of faith, the ;ueen of heaven was endowed with an e?plicit
*nowledge and faith of all the revealed truths and of all the $ysteries and operations of the Most 0igh, and if the acts of
hope corresponded to these acts of faith, who, e?cept the (ord hi$self could ever co$prehend how $any and how
e?cellent were the acts of hope, which the Mistress of virtues elicited, since She was aware of her own eternal glory and
felicity and of that, which was to be wrought in the rest of the evangelical Church by the $erits of her $ost holy SonI
6or the sole sa*e of Mary, as we have before said of her faith, !od would have created this virtue, and for her sa*e 0e
would have conferred it, as 0e really did, on the whole hu$an race.
,n this account the holy Spirit calls 0er the Mother of beautiful love and holy hope '/ccli. @C, @&)9 for <ust as She
beca$e the Mother of Christ because She furnished 0i$ with the flesh of his body, so the holy Spirit $ade 0er the
Mother of hope, because by her especial concurrence and cooperation She conceived and brought forth this virtue for
the faithful of the Church. 0er prerogative of being the Mother of holy hope was connected with and conseEuent upon
0er being the Mother of Jesus Christ our (ord, for She *new that in her Son She would lay the foundation of all the
security of our hope. ,n account of these conceptions and births of the $ost holy ;ueen, She obtained a certain
do$inion and sovereignty over those graces and the pro$ises of the Most 0igh, which depended upon the death of
Christ, her Son, for their fulfill$ent. "hen She of her own free will gave conception and birth to the incarnate "ord
She turned the$ all over to us and thereby gave birth to our hope. Thus was acco$plished in its legiti$ate sense that
which the 0oly !host said to 0erD Thy plants are a paradise 'Cant. &, 1=)9 for all that ca$e forth fro$ Mary, the
Mother of grace, was to constitute our happiness, our paradise, and our certain hope of being able to attain the$.
The Church has a celestial and true father in Jesus Christ, for 0e engendered and founded it by his $erits and labors,
and enriched it with his graces, his e?a$ple and his doctrines, as was to be e?pected fro$ the 6ather and Author of such
an ad$irable wor* Therefore it was befitting that the Church should have also a loving and *ind Mother, who with
sweet regale$ent and caresses, and with $aternal solicitude and assistance, should nurse the little children at her breast
'#. Cor. =, 1@), nourish the$ with tender and delicious food as long as they cannot in their infancy bear the food of the
robust and strong. This sweet Mother was $ost holy Mary, who since the beginning of the Church, when the law of
grace was born in her yet tender children, began to give forth the sweet $il* of her enlightened teaching as a $erciful
Mother9 and who will continue to the end of the world thus to assist and intercede for the new children, which Christ
our (ord engenders every day by his $erits and at the petitions of this Mother of $ercy. She it is for who$ they are
born, who raises and nourishes the$. She is our sweet Mother, our life and our hope, the original of the blessings,
which are ours, She is the e?a$ple which we are to i$itate, She is our assurance in the pursuit of the eternal happiness,
$erited by her $ost holy Son, She furnishes the assistance necessary for its final attain$ent.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
Thou, $y dearest, having received such great enlighten$ent concerning the e?cellence of this virtue and the wor*s
which # practiced by its help, shouldst wor* without ceasing to i$itate $e according to the assistance of divine grace.
2enew continually and confer within thyself the pro$ises of the Most 0igh and, with unsha*en confidence in their
divine truthfulness, raise thy heart to ardent desires and longings for their attain$ent. #n this fir$ hope thou canst assure
thyself of arriving through the $erits of $y $ost holy Son, at the blessed cohabitation in the celestial fatherland and at
the co$panionship of all those who there see in i$$ortal glory the face of the Most 0igh. "ith its help thou canst raise
thy heart above earthly things and fi? thy $ind upon the i$$utable !ood, to which thou aspirest9 all visible things will
appear to thee burdenso$e and disagreeable, and thou wilt estee$ the$ as vile and conte$ptible9 nothing wilt thou
strive after e?cept that $ost lovable and delightful ob<ect of thy desires. #n $y soul there was an ardor of hope, such as
is possible only to those who have apprehended its ob<ect in faith and tasted it by e?perience9 no tongue and no words
can describe or e?press its intensity.
+esides, in order to spur thee on still $ore, consider and deplore with heartfelt sorrow the unhappiness of so $any souls
who are i$ages of !od and capable of his glory, and who through their own fault are deprived of the true hope of
en<oying it. #f the children of the holy Church would pause in their vain occupations and would ta*e ti$e to consider
and weigh the blessings of unerring faith and hope, which separates the$ fro$ dar*ness and which, without their $erit,
distinguishes the$ fro$ the followers of blind unbelief, they would without doubt be asha$ed of their torpid
forgetfulness and repudiate their vile ingratitude. +ut let the$ be undeceived, for $ost terrible punish$ents await the$9
they are $ost detestable in the sight of !od and the saints, because they despise the blood shed by Christ for the very
purpose of gaining the$ these blessings. As if all were only a fiction they treat with conte$pt the blessings of truth,
hastening about during their whole life without spending even one day, and $any of the$ not even an hour, in the
consideration of their duties and of their danger. "eep, , soul, over this la$entable evil, and according to thy power
wor* and pray for its e?tirpation through $y $ost holy Son. +elieve $e that whatever e?ertion and atte$pt thou
$a*est toward this purpose shall be rewarded by his Ma<esty.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5.
,6 T0/ 5#2T7/ ,6 C0A2#T3 #. T0/ M,ST 0,(3 MA23, ,72 (A43.
The $ost e?cellent virtue of charity is the $istress, the Eueen, the $other, the life and beauty of all the other virtues9
charity governs, $oves and directs the$ to their ulti$ate and true end, charity leads the$ on to their ulti$ate
perfection, preserves the$ and $a*es the$ grow, enlightens the$ and beautifies the$, gives the$ life and efficacy. #f
the other virtues confer each their $easure of perfection on creatures, charity gives the$ perfection itself and brings
the$ to their full co$ple$ent. "ithout charity all is of s$all value, obscure, languid, lifeless and unprofitable, not
being endowed either with the essence or the appurtenances of true vitality. Charity is *ind, patient, $ee*, without
e$ulation, without envy, without offensiveness, desires not to acEuire, but readily distributes all, is the cause of all
good and consents not to evil9 as far as it is concerned '# Cor. 1=, &) it is the fullest participation in the true and ulti$ate
!ood. A 5irtue of virtues and greatest treasure of heavenH Thou alone hast the *ey of paradiseH Thou art the dawn of
eternal light, the sun of eternityJs day, the fire which purifies, the wine which inebriates with new delights, the nectar
which re<oices, the sweetness which satiates without surceasing, the cha$ber of rest for the soul, a bond so inti$ate that
it $a*es us one with !od 'John 17, @1), with the sa$e bond that unites the eternal 6ather to the Son, and +oth to the
holy Spirit.
,n account of the nobility of this $ost e?cellent of all virtues, our !od and (ord, according to the !ospel of St. John,
wished to honor 0i$self or wished to honor it, by calling 0i$self Charity '# John &, 1C). There are $any reasons why
the Catholic Church attributes the divine perfections of o$nipotence to the 6ather9 of wisdo$ to the Son, and of love to
the 0oly !host. 6or the 6ather is the beginning, the Son is engendered of the 6ather through the divine intelligence, and
the 0oly !host proceeds fro$ +oth through the will. +ut the na$e of Charity and the perfection which it i$plies is
attributed to the (ord hi$self without distinction of 1ersons, since the /vangelist says indiscri$inatelyD !od is
charity. This virtue in the (ord has the distinction of being the ter$inus or end of all his operations ad intra and ad
extra. 6or on the one hand all the divine processions 'which are the operations of the !odhead with 0i$self or ad
intra), ter$inate in the reciprocal union and love of the three divine 1ersons, and thus they constitute an indissoluble
bond of unity over and above the indivisibility of the divine /ssence, proper to it as being one and the sa$e !od. ,n
the other hand the wor*s ad extra, na$ely the creatures, are an offBspring of divine charity and are ordained towards it,
so that, issuing fro$ that i$$ense sea of divine bounty, they also return by charity and love to the source fro$ whence
they sprang. #t is peculiar to the virtue of charity in opposition to all the other virtues and gifts, that it is a perfect
participation of a divine virtue9 it is born of one source, is directed bac* to the sa$e, and is $ore adapted to that eternal
source than all other virtues. #f we call !od our hope, our patience, or our wisdo$, it is because we receive the$ fro$
his hand, and not because these perfections are in !od as they e?ist in ourselves. +ut we call !od our charity, not only
because we receive it fro$ the (ord, and because 0e co$$unicates it to us, but because 0e hi$self is essential charity,
and the overflow of this divine perfection, which we represent to ourselves as a for$ and attribute of his 4ivinity,
redounds in our souls, transfor$ing it $ore perfectly and abundantly than any other virtue.
This is in part the nature of Charity in its divine original, !od. ,utside of !od hi$self, however, we will find it in the
fullest perfection possible to a $ere creature in none other than $ost holy Mary, and in 0er we find the $odel after
which we are $ore i$$ediately to copy our own charity. #t is evident that the light proceeding fro$ the uncreated Sun
of charity, where it is contained without li$it or circu$scription, co$$unicates itself to all creatures even the $ost
re$ote according to an order and $easure$ent ad<usted in proportion to the pro?i$ity or distance of each fro$ the
divine source. And this order $anifests the fullness and perfection of the divine 1rovidence9 for without it, this
1rovidence would show a certain defect, confusedness and discord in the creatures as far as the participation of his
goodness and love is concerned. The first place after !od hi$self, in the distribution of divine Charity, was due to that
Soul and that 1erson, who was at the sa$e ti$e uncreated !od and created $an9 for the highest grace and participation
of love naturally was to be found where e?isted the closest and $ost inti$ate union with !od, as it e?isted and as it will
e?ist forever in Christ our (ord.
The second place is due to his $ost holy Mother Mary, in who$ charity and divine love found its resting place in an
especial $anner. 6or, according to our way of apprehending, the uncreated Charity could not be Euieted until #t should
find a creature to which #t could co$$unicate #tself in such great plenitude, that the love and affection of the whole
hu$an race should in its entirety be reproduced in that Creature alone. #t was intended that this chosen Creature should
in 0erself be endowed with the gifts of charity, without the shortco$ings and defects co$$on to the rest of $ortals
infected with sin, so that She by 0erself would be able to supply the balance of creation and $a*e for it the greatest
possible return of love. Mary alone was chosen a$ong all creatures to i$itate the Sun of <ustice in charity '# Cant. &, %),
and faithfully to copy this virtue fro$ its ,riginal. She by 0erself *new how to love $ore ardently and perfectly than
all the rest of creatures co$bined, to love !od entirely for his own sa*e, purely, intensely and without defect, and also
loving creatures for !odJs sa*e and in a $anner si$ilar to 0i$. She alone adeEuately followed the i$pulse of charity
and her generous inclination of loving the highest !ood as highest !ood, without any side intentions9 and of loving the
creatures on account of their participation in !od, without the thought of a return or reward of her love. And in perfect
i$itation of the uncreated Charity, Mary by her charity was able and *new how to love in such a way as to $a*e better
that which is loved9 for by her love She $ade better heaven and earth and all things that e?ist outside of !od.
#f the charity of this great (ady were put in the balance with that of all the $en and angels, hers would outweigh theirs
by far9 for She by 0erself e?ceeded the$ all in her *nowledge of the essence and Eualities of the divine Charity and
conseEuently only Mary *new how to i$itate #t with adeEuate perfection and above all the powers of intellectual
creatures. #n this e?cess of love and charity She repaid and satisfied the debt of infinite love due to the (ord fro$
creatures, as far as 0e could de$and a return of the$, for their return was not to he infinite in value, that being
i$possible. Just as the love and the charity of the $ost holy soul of Jesus Christ was in its greatness proportionate to the
hypostatic union, so the love of Mary was great in proportion to the e?cellence conferred upon 0er by the eternal
6ather, when 0e appointed 0er as the one, who as Mother was to conceive and bear his Son for the salvation of the
Thence we understand that all the gifts and the blessings of creatures depend in so$e $anner on the love and charity of
the blessed 5irgin toward !od. #n 0er alone it was possible that divine Charity could e?ist in this world in its highest
and ulti$ate perfection. She paid the whole debt of charity at a ti$e when all $en were unable to pay or even to
understand the greatness of their debt. She, by her $ost perfect charity, obliged the eternal 6ather to sacrifice his $ost
holy Son for 0erself and in 2ede$ption of the whole world9 for if Mary had loved less and if her charity had been
defective, the proper preparation for his #ncarnation would have been wanting. +ut as soon as any creature was found,
which rese$bled !od so closely as She, it was, so to say, but a natural conseEuence that 0e should descend to 0er as
0e did.
All this is the $eaning of the words of the 0oly !host when 0e calls Mary the $other of beautiful love '/ccli. @&, @&),
as has already been e?plained correspondingly in regard to hope. These words to Mary signifyD Mary is the Mother of
0i$, who is our sweetest love, Jesus, our (ord and 2edee$er, who beca$e the $ost beautiful a$ong $en by a divine,
infinite and uncreated beauty, and by a hu$an nature which was to be without guilt or ble$ish and to which no beauty
of grace that could be co$$unicated by the 4ivinity, was wanting '# 1et. @, @@). She is also the Mother of beautiful
love, for She alone engendered in her soul the perfect love and charity and the $ost beautiful affection. All the rest of
the creatures co$bined could not attain the beauty and faultlessness of her Charity for theirs was not worthy to be
called absolutely beautiful. She is the Mother of our love9 for She drew it toward the earth for us9 She cultivated it for
us9 She taught us to *now and practice it9 there is no other creature in heaven or on earth that could be such a teacher of
this beautiful love for $en or angels. Therefore all the saints are but rays of this Sun. and strea$lets flowing fro$ this
ocean9 so $uch the better will they *now how to love, the $ore they participate in this love and charity of $ost holy
Mary, and in as far as they succeed in i$itating and copying it $ore e?actly.
The sources of this charity and love of our princess Mary were her profound *nowledge and wisdo$, derived as well
fro$ her infused faith and hope, as also fro$ the gifts of science, intellect and wisdo$ given to 0er by the 0oly !host9
but the greatest of all the sources of her love were the intuitive and abstractive visions of the 4ivinity. Through all these
$ediu$s She reached the highest *nowledge of the uncreated Charity dran* of it at its very fountain, and as She thus
learned, how !od was to be loved for his own sa*e and the creature for the sa*e of !od, also how to practice and
e?ecute this love with the $ost intense and fervent desire. Moreover, as the power of !od found no i$pedi$ent or
hindrance, no inadvertence, ignorance or i$perfection, nor any tardiness of the will in this ;ueen, it could operate in
0er according to his pleasure. This was not possible in other creatures, since in none of the$ it found the sa$e
disposition as in $ost holy Mary.
#n 0er was the fulfill$ent of that great natural and divine preceptD Thou shalt love thy !od with thy whole heart, and
with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength. Mary alone satisfied this obligation and debt for all $en, which in
this life and before seeing !od they neither *new nor could ever fulfill entirely. This (ady fulfilled it $ore perfectly
during her pilgri$age than the saints even in the state of beatitude. Moreover She also satisfied the intentions of !od in
regard to this precept, na$ely that it re$ain not unfruitful and as it were frustrated on the part of wayfaring $en9 for
$ost holy Mary by 0erself sanctified and fulfilled it entirely for all of the$, supplying by her charity all that was
wanting in the fulfill$ent of this precept a$ong $en. And probably if !od had not fore*nown that Mary our ;ueen
would be a$ong the nu$ber of the $ortals, 0e would not have given this co$$and in this for$. +ut on 0er account
0e was pleased to give it9 to 0er we owe not only this co$$and of perfect charity, but also the adeEuate fulfill$ent of
it a$ong $en.
A $ost sweet and $ost beautiful Mother of beautiful love and charityH (et all the nations *now Thee, let all generations
bless Thee, and let all the creatures $agnify and praise TheeH Thou alone art the perfect ,ne, the beloved ,ne, the
chosen Mother of uncreated Charity. #t for$ed Thee and selected Thee to shine li*e the sun in thy $ost beautiful and
$ost perfect love 'Cant. >, %)H (et all us $iserable children of /ve approach this sun in order to be enlightened and
infla$ed. (et us approach this Mother in order to be born again in love. (et us approach this Teacher in order to be
taught the love, affection and charity which is without defect. (ove is a disposition which is pleased and satisfied with
the thing loved. Affection is a selection and separation of the beloved fro$ other of the sa$e *ind, and charity i$plied
in addition to these, a high appreciation and estee$ for the goodness of the beloved. All this we will learn fro$ the
Mother of true love, who is called by that na$e precisely because her love possesses all these Eualities. #n 0er we learn
to love !od for his own sa*e, resting satisfied in 0i$ with all our heart9 to give 0i$ a separate place in all our love
fro$ all that is not !od, for loving 0i$, together with other things, only di$inishes our love of !od. "e learn to
appreciate 0i$ and estee$ 0i$ above gold and above all precious things, for in co$parison with 0i$ all precious
things are of no value, all beauty is ugliness, and all that is great and esti$able in carnal eyes, beco$es conte$ptible
and valueless. ,f the effects of this love of the $ost holy Mary, this whole history treats and of the$ heaven and earth
are full. Therefore # will not stay to describe $ore particularly what no hu$an tongue, nor words of $en or angels can
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, if # desire in $aternal affection, that thou follow $e and i$itate $e in all the other virtues, then $ore
especially do # $a*e *nown and declare to thee $y desire to see thee follow $e in the virtue of charity, for this is the
end and the crowning glory of all other virtues. # desire that thou e?ert thy ut$ost powers to copy in thy soul, with the
greatest perfection, all that thou hast learnt of $y charity. (ight up the la$p of thy faith and reason in order to find this
drach$ of infinite value, and after thou hast '(u*e 1C, F) found it, forget and despise all that is earthly and corruptible.
#n thy own $ind consider again and again, ponder and ta*e heed of the infinite reasons and causes that $a*e !od
lovable above all other things. #n order that thou $ayest be sure that thou lovest 0i$ perfectly and truly, search within
thyself for the following signs and effects of that love9 whether thy thought and $editation dwell continually on !od,
whether his co$$ands and counsel find in thee no repugnance or re$issness, whether thou fearest to offend 0i$,
whether thou see*est i$$ediately to appease 0i$ after having offended 0i$, whether thou grievest to see 0i$
offended and re<oicest to see 0i$ served by all creatures, whether thou desirest and art delighted to spea* continually of
his love9 see whether thou delightest in the $e$ory of his presence, whether thou grievest at thy forgetfulness of 0i$
and at his absence fro$ thee, whether thou lovest what 0e loves, and abhorrest what 0e abhors, whether thou see*est to
draw all $en towards his friendship and grace, whether thou prayest with confidence9 see whether thou receivest with
gratitude his benefits, whether thou dost not waste the$ but rather turnst the$ to good account for his honor and glory,
whether thou strivest to e?tinguish in thyself all the $ove$ents of the passions, which retard thee or hinder thee in thy
loving aspirations and in thy wor*s of virtue.
The right order of this virtue is to love !od above all the creatures, then to love oneself, and hi$ who is nearest to
oneself, na$ely, our neighbor. !od $ust be loved with the whole understanding, without deceit, with the whole will,
without reserve or division, with the whole $ind, without forgetfulness, without di$inution, without negligence or
re$issness. The $otive of charity in loving !od is none else than !od 0i$self9 for 0e $ust be loved for his own sa*e,
being the highest !ood and $ost perfect goodness and holiness. (oving !od for such $otives causes the creature to
love itself and the neighbor and itself9 for both belong to one and the sa$e !od, fro$ who$ they derive their origin,
their life and activity. 0e that loves !od truly for 0i$self will also love all that is of !od and all that in so$e way
participates in his goodness. Therefore charity loo*s upon the neighbor as a wor* and a participation of !od and $a*es
no distinction between friend or ene$y. Charity loo*s only upon that which is of !od and which pertains to 0i$ in
others, no $atter whether the neighbor is friendly or hostile, a benefactor or a persecutor. #t attends only to the
difference in the participation of the divine and infinite goodness and according to this standard it loves all in !od and
for !od.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5#.
T0/ T2#A(S ,6 T0/ ;7//. #. T0/ T/M1(/ A.4 T0/ 4/AT0 ,6 0/2 1A2/.TS.
"e left our sovereign 1rincess, $ost holy Mary, passing the years of her childhood in the te$ple, while we $ade a
diversion to spea* of the virtues, gifts and divine revelations, which She, a child in years but an adult in supre$e
wisdo$, received fro$ the hand of the Most 0igh and which She put to practical use in her life. The $ost holy Child
grew in age and grace before !od and $en but always in such a proportion, that Geal e?ceeded the powers of nature,
and that grace was $easured not by her age, but by the beneficent designs and high purposes of the 4ivinity, whose
i$petuous currents sought their gatheringBplace and restingBplace in this City of !od. The Most 0igh continued his
gifts and favors, renewing every hour the $arvels of his powerful ar$, as if all its activity were reserved solely for $ost
holy Mary. And so well did her Ma<esty correspond in her tender age to this divine influ?, that She filled the heart of
the (ord with a perfect and adeEuate co$placency, and all the angels of heaven with ad$iration. The celestial spirits
were witnesses of so$ething li*e a wonderful strife and co$petition between the Most 0igh and the child 1rincessD the
divine power, in order to enrich 0er, daily drawing fro$ his treasures new and old blessings reserved solely for the
purest Mary, and She, as blessed earth, not only causing the seed of the divine word to sprout and !odJs gifts and favors
to yield fruit a hundredfold, as was the case with the saints9 but e?citing the ad$iration of all the heavens that She, a
tender child, should e?ceed in love, than*sgiving, in praise and all virtues, the highest and $ost ardent seraphi$,
without losing ti$e, place, occasion, or any service, in which She did not practice the highest possible perfection.
/ven in the years of her tender infancy it was noticeable that She understood the Scriptures and She spent $uch ti$e in
reading the$. As She was full of wisdo$ She conferred in her heart what She *new fro$ the divine revelations $ade to
her own self, with what is revealed to all $en in the holy Scriptures9 and therefore in her reading and private $editation
She sent up continual and fervent prayers and petitions for the 2ede$ption of the hu$an race and for the incarnation of
the "ord. She read $ore ordinarily fro$ the prophets #saias and Jere$ias and fro$ the 1sal$s, because the $ysteries
of the Messias and the law of grace are $ore plainly e?pressed and repeated in these writings. #n addition to what She
herself understood and co$prehended, She e?tended her *nowledge by as*ing deep and wonderful Euestions, and
proposing difficulties to the angels, and $any ti$es She spo*e of the $ystery of the hu$anity of the "ord with
inco$parable tenderness, lovingly wondering, that 0e was to beco$e an infant, that 0e was to be born of a 5irgin
Mother, co$e to $anhood, as other $en, suffer, and die for all the children of Ada$.
#n these conferences and Euestionings the holy angels and seraphi$ gave their answers, illu$inating 0er, confir$ing
and infla$ing 0er virginal heart with new ardors of divine love. +ut they always concealed fro$ 0er her own $ost
high dignity, although She $any ti$es offered 0erself in profoundest hu$ility as a slave to the (ord and to the happy
Mother, who$ 0e was to select for his birth into the world.
The Most 0igh resolved, that the plenitude of the graces and virtues of the princess Mary should, as it were, anticipate
the ti$e set for reaching the ape? of her $erits, and that they should e?tend to the $ost difficult and $agnani$ous
underta*ings, as $uch as possible, even in her $ost tender years. #n one of the visions in which the Ma<esty of !od
$anifested #tself to 0er, 0e saidD My Spouse and $y 4ove, # love thee with an infinite love and # desire of thee what
is $ost pleasing in $y eyes and the fulfill$ent of all $y desires. Thou art not unaware, $y 4aughter, of the hidden
treasure, which is contained in hardships and tribulations, so $uch dreaded by the blind ignorance of $ortals, nor is it
un*nown to thee that $y ,nly begotten, when 0e shall clothe 0i$self in hu$an nature, shall teach the way of the cross
as well in words as in deeds9 that 0e shall leave it as a heritage to $y chosen ones9 and that 0e shall choose it for
0i$self and establish upon it the law of grace, $a*ing hu$ility and patience in suffering the foundation of the fir$ness
and e?cellence of that law. 6or this is best suited to the present condition of hu$an nature, and $uch $ore so, after it
has been depraved and evilly inclined by so $any sins. #t is also confor$able to $y eEuity and providence, that the
$ortals should attain and $erit for the$selves the crown of glory through hardships and the cross, since $y only
begotten Son is to $erit it by the sa$e $eans in hu$an flesh. Therefore, $y Spouse, thou wilt understand, that, having
chosen thee by $y right hand for $y delight, and having enriched thee with $y gifts, it would not be <ust, that $y grace
should be idle in thy heart, nor that thy love should want its fruit, nor that thou shouldst be e?cluded fro$ the
inheritance of $y elect. 0ence # wish that thou dispose thyself for tribulations and sorrows for love of Me.
To this proposal of the Most 0igh the invincible 1rincess Mary answered with a $ore courageous heart than all the
saints and $artyrs have ever shown in the world9 and She saidD (ord !od and $y highest -ing, all $y faculties and
their operations, and $y being itself, which # have received of thy infinite bounty, # hold in readiness as a sacrifice to
thy divine pleasure, wishing that it be fulfilled entirely according to the desires of thy infinite wisdo$ and goodness.
And if Thou give $e any freedo$ of choice in regard to anything, # wish only to choose suffering unto death in love for
Thee9 and # beseech Thee, $y only !ood, that Thou $a*e of thy slave a sacrifice and holocaust of suffering acceptable
in thy eves. # ac*nowledge, (ord, powerful and $ost liberal !od, $y debt, and that no creature owes to Thee so great a
return, nor are all of the$ together so $uch indebted to Thee as # alone, who a$ so entirely uneEual to the tas* of
discharging this indebtedness to thy $agnificence. +ut if Thou wilt ad$it suffering as a sort of return, let all the
sorrows and tribulations of death co$e over $e. # will only as* for thy divine protection, and, prostrate before the
throne of thy infinite Ma<esty, # supplicate Thee not to forsa*e $e. 2e$e$ber, A $y (ord, the faithful pro$ises, which
Thou hast $ade to our Ancestors and 1rophets, that Thou wilt favor the <ust, stand by those who are in tribulation,
console the afflicted, be a protection and a defense to the$ in their tribulations. True are thy words, infallible and
certain are thy pro$ises9 the heavens and the earth shall sooner fall to pieces than that thy words should ever fail. The
$alice of the creature cannot e?tinguish thy charity toward those that hope in thy $ercy9 fulfill in $e thy holy and
perfect will.
The Most 0igh accepted this $orning offering fro$ his tender Spouse and holy child Mary, and with a $ost benign
countenance 0e said to 0erD +eautiful art thou in thy thoughts, 4aughter of the 1rince, $y 4ove, $y beloved and
chosen ,ne. # accept thy desires as highly pleasing to $e and # wish that as a beginning of their fulfill$ent thou ta*e
notice, that according to $y divine ordain$ent, thy father Joachi$ $ust pass fro$ this $ortal to the eternal and
i$$ortal life. 0is death will happen shortly and 0e will pass in peace and shall be placed a$ong the saints in li$bo, to
await the 2ede$ption of the hu$an race. This announce$ent did not disturb the royal heart of the 1rincess of heaven,
the blessed Mary9 but as the love of children for their parents is a <ust debt of nature, and as in this $ost holy Child this
love had attained its highest perfection, the natural sorrow for the loss of her father Joachi$ could not be wanting, for
She loved hi$ with a holy love. The tender and sweet Child therefore felt, that this sorrowful co$passion was perfectly
co$patible with the serenity of her $agnani$ous heart, and, wor*ing in all things with grandeur, giving nature and
grace each their due, She offered an ardent prayer for her father saint Joachi$. She besought the (ord to give hi$ grace
to depend upon 0i$ as his powerful and true !od in his transit through a blessed death9 and as*ed 0i$ to defend
Joachi$ against the de$on especially in that hour, preserve hi$ for and constitute hi$ a$ong the nu$ber of the elect,
since during his life 0e had confessed and $agnified his ad$irable and holy na$e. And in order to oblige his Ma<esty
the $ore, the $ost faithful 4aughter offered to suffer all that the (ord $ight ordain.
The (ord accepted this petition and consoled the heavenly Child by assuring 0er, that 0e would assist her father as a
$ost $erciful and *ind 2ewarder of those that love and serve 0i$, and that 0e would place hi$ a$ong the 1atriarchs
Abraha$, #saac and Jacob. At the sa$e ti$e 0e prepared 0er anew for the acceptance and endurance of troubles. /ight
days before the death of the 1atriarch Joachi$ the $ost holy Mary received another notice fro$ the (ord, advising 0er
of the day and hour in which 0e was to die. 0is death too* place only si? $onths after 0er entrance into the te$ple.
0aving received this notice fro$ the (ord, She reEuested the twelve angels, $entioned by saint John in the Apocalypse,
to assist her father Joachi$ and to co$fort and console 0i$ his sic*ness, which they did. 6or the last hours of his life
She sent all the angels of her guard as*ing the (ord, to $a*e the$ visible to hi$ for his greater consolation. !od
conceded this favor and confir$ed all the wishes of his chosen and only ,ne9 and the great patriarch, $ost happy
Joachi$, saw the thousand angels which guarded Mary. #n response to her prayer and wishes the Al$ighty allowed his
graces to overflow, co$$anding the angels to address Joachi$ as followsD
Man of !od, $ay the Most 0igh and powerful (ord be thy eternal salvation and $ay 0e send thee fro$ his holy place
the necessary and opportune help for thy soul. Mary thy 4aughter has sent us in order to assist thee in this hour, in
which thou $ust pay the debt of $ortality to thy Creator. She is a $ost faithful and powerful #ntercessor before the
Al$ighty. in whose na$e and peace thou wilt now pass consoled and <oyous fro$ this world, because 0e has $ade
thee the father of such a blessed 4aughter. Although his inco$prehensible Ma<esty, on account of his hidden decrees,
has not as yet revealed the sacra$ents and dignity, in which 0e shall invest thy 4aughter, 0e wishes thee to *now it
now in order that thou $ayest $agnify and praise 0i$, and in order that the pain and sorrow of natural death $ay be
relieved by the <oy of thy spirit at this news. Mary, thy 4aughter, is chosen and ordained by the Al$ighty as the ,ne, in
who$ the divine "ord shall vest 0i$self with hu$an flesh and for$. She is to be the happy Mother of the Messias and
the +lessed a$ong wo$en, the $ost e?alted a$ong all creatures, and only inferior to !od hi$self. Thy $ost fortunate
4aughter is to restore what the hu$an race lost by the first sin, and She is the high $ountain on which is to be
established and constructed the new law of grace. Since thou leavest to the world a 4aughter, through who$ !od will
restore it and prepare a full re$edy, do thou part fro$ it in the <oy of thy soul, and $ay the (ord bless thee fro$ Sion
'1sal$ 1@7, C) and constitute thee in the inheritance of the saints and bring thee to the vision and en<oy$ent of the
blessed Jerusale$.
4uring these words of the holy angels to Joachi$, his spouse, holy Anne, stood at the head of his bed and by divine
disposition She heard and understood what they said. #n the sa$e $o$ent the holy patriarch lost the use of speech and,
treading into the path co$$on to all flesh, he co$$enced his agony in a $arvelous struggle between his <oy at this
$essage and the pain of death. #n this conflict of the interior powers of his soul he $ade $any fervent acts of divine
love, of faith, of ad$iration, of praise, of than*sgiving, of hu$ility and heroic acts of $any other virtues. Thus
absorbed in the *nowledge of so divine a $ystery, he arrived at the ter$ of his natural life and died the precious death
of the saints '1sal$ 11C, 1C). 0is holy soul was carried by the angels to the li$bo of the 1atriarchs and <ust souls and,
for a new consolation and light in the protracted night in which they lived, the Most 0igh sent the soul of Joachi$ as
the last $essenger and legate of the (ord to announce to the whole congregation of the <ust that the dawn of the eternal
day was at hand9 that the $orning light was brea*ing upon the world in $ost holy Mary, 4aughter of Joachi$ and
Anne9 that fro$ 0er was to be brought forth the Sun of the 4ivinity, Christ, the 2edee$er of all the hu$an race. This
great news the holy fathers and the <ust in li$bo heard and received with <ubilee and in their e?ultation they sang $any
hy$ns of than*sgiving to the Most 0igh.
The first affliction, which our 1rincess suffered, was that the (ord suspended the continual visions, which 0e had so far
vouchsafed 0er. So $uch the greater was the sorrow occasioned 0er thereby, in proportion as it was a new and
unaccusto$ed e?perience and in proportion as the treasure thus withdrawn was high and precious. Also the holy angels
concealed the$selves fro$ 0er, and at the withdrawal fro$ her sight of so $any, so e?cellent and heavenly beings,
which too* place all at once 'although they did not cease to surround 0er invisibly for her protection), that $ost pure
Soul see$ed to 0erself entirely forsa*en and left alone in the dar* night occasioned by the absence of her +eloved.
#t was a great surprise to our little ;ueen9 for the (ord, though 0e had in general prepared 0er for the co$ing of
tribulations, had not specified their nature. And as the innocent heart of the $ost si$ple 4ove harbored no thoughts,
and entertained no practical conclusions e?cept such as were confor$able to her hu$ility and inco$parable love, She
e?plained all according to this sa$e light. #n her hu$ility She began to thin*, that She had not $erited the further
presence and possession of the lost !ood on account of her ingratitude9 and in her infla$ed love She sighed and
yearned after #t with such great and loving affection and sorrow, that there are no words to e?press the$. She turned
with her whole soul to the (ord in this new state and said to 0i$D
0ighest !od and (ord of all creation, infinite in bounty and rich in $ercies, # confess, $y (ord, that such a vile
creature cannot $erit thy favors and $y soul in ut$ost sorrow reproaches itself with its own ingratitude and with the
loss of thy friendship. #f $y ingratitude has eclipsed the Sun, which vivified, ani$ated and illu$ined $e, and if # have
been re$iss in giving than*s for the great benefits, # ac*nowledge, $y (ord and Shepherd, the sin of $y great
negligence. #f, li*e an ignorant and si$ple little sheep, # did not *now how to be than*ful and do what is $ost
acceptable in thy eyes, see $e prostrate on the earth, adhering to the dust, in order to be raised fro$ $y poverty and
destitution by Thee, $y !od, who dwellest on high. Thy powerful hands have for$ed $e 'Job 1A, F), and Thou canst
not be ignorant of our co$position '1sal$ 1A@, 1&) and in what *ind of a vase Thou has placed thy treasures. My soul
wastes away in bitterness '1sal$ =A, 11)9 and in thy absence, since Thou art its sweetest life none but Thou can restore
its drooping life. To who$ shall # go in thy absenceI "hither shall # turn $y eyes without having light to direct the$I
"ho shall console $e when all is afflictionI "ho shall preserve $e fro$ death, when there is no life leftI
She also turned toward the angels and continued without ceasing in her loving co$plaints, saying to the$D Celestial
1rinces, a$bassadors of the great and highest -ing and $ost faithful friends of $y soulD why have you also left $eI
"hy do also you deprive $e of your sweet countenances and deny $e your intercourseI +ut # do not wonder, $y lords,
at your displeasure, if through $y unthan*fulness # have $erited to fall into the disgrace of your and $y Creator. (ights
of the heavens, enlighten $e in $y ignorance in this $atter, and if # have been at fault, correct $e and obtain again for
$e the pardon of $y (ord. Most noble courtiers of the celestial Jerusale$ have pity on $y sorrow and derelictionD tell
$e where is $y +eloved9 tell $e where 0e has hidden 0i$self 'Cant. =, =). Tell $e where # can find 0i$ without
wandering about, 'Cant. 1, >) and without going through the gatherings of all the creatures. +ut woe to $e, for you do
not answer, though you are so courteous and well *now the hidingBplace of $y Spouse, since 0e never withdraws his
face and his beauty fro$ your sightH
Thereupon She turned toward all the rest of creation and in continual an?ieties of her love She spo*e to the$ and saidD
"ithout doubt you also, being than*ful, and being ar$ed against all the ungrateful, are e?asperated against her, who
was ungrateful. +ut even if by the goodness of the (ord you per$it $e to re$ain in your $idst, although # a$ so vile,
you cannot thereby satisfy $y longings. 5ery beautiful and e?tensive are ye. A heavens9 beautiful and refulgent are the
planets and all the stars9 great and $ighty are the ele$ents, the earth is adorned and clothed in the perfu$ed plants and
herbs, innu$erable are the fishes of the waters, ad$irable are the elevations of the sea, '1sal$ %@, &), swift are the birds
in their feathery weight, hidden are the $inerals, courageous are the ani$als in their strength, and all of these together
serve as a gradual ascent and in a sweet har$ony teach the way to $y +elovedD yet they are but circuitous paths for one
that loves 0i$, and if # course swiftly over the$ # find $yself at the end absent fro$ $y blessedness. 6or with the
$easured approach of these creatures to his un$easurable bounty, $y flight is not content, $y sorrow is not allayed,
$y pains are unrelieved, $y anguish increases, $y desires are aug$ented, $y heart is $ore infla$ed and faints away
in the unsatiating love of $ere earthly things.
The dragon, though seeing her courage and constancy, and though feeling the force of the divine assistance, *new
nothing of the hidden wisdo$ and prudence of our sovereign ;ueen. .evertheless he persisted in his pride and
besieged the City of !od in diverse ways and several *inds of warfare. The astute ene$y during this warfare often
changed his engines of war, but his $achinery was li*e the sting of a wea* hornet against a dia$ond, or ada$antine
wall. ,ur 1rincess was that strong wo$an '1rov. =1, 11) on who$ the heart of her husband confidently relied, without
the least an?iety lest his desires should be frustrated in 0er. 0er adorn$ents were fortitude '1rov. =1, @C) which filled
0er with beauty, and her vest$ents were purity and charity, which served 0er as a hel$et. The unclean and proud
serpent could not loo* upon this Creature without being blinded anew in the fury of his confusion9 therefore he resolved
to ta*e away her life, and the horde of $alignant spirits began to e?ert their ut$ost powers toward this end. #n this
atte$pt they spent so$e ti$e, but with <ust as little success.
The *nowledge of this hidden $ystery caused in $e great wonder especially when # considered the e?tre$es, to which
the fury of (ucifer was allowed to proceed against the $ost holy Mary in her tender years and when # beheld the hidden
and vigilant defense and protection of the Most 0igh. # saw how attentive the (ord was toward his chosen and only ,ne
a$ong creatures9 and # saw at the sa$e ti$e all hell lashed into fury against 0er and e?erting against 0er in fullest
indignation such a wrath as had never till then been e?erted against any other creature9 and # saw the facility with which
!od neutraliGes the infernal power and astuteness. A $ore than unhappy (uciferH 0ow $uch greater is thy pride and
arrogance than thy strengthH '#saias 1>, >)
After the $ost holy 5irgin had successfully fought these secret te$ptations and battles, the serpent instituted a new
conflict by $eans of creatures. 6or this purpose he secretly *indled the spar*s of envy and e$ulation against the $ost
holy Mary in the hearts of her $aiden co$panions of the te$ple. This contagion was $uch the harder to counteract, as
it arose fro$ the punctuality with which our heavenly 1rincess distinguished 0erself in the practice of all virtues,
growing in wisdo$ and grace before !od and $an. 6or where the prodding of a$bition is, the very light of virtue
dar*ens and blinds the <udg$ent, and at last en*indles the fla$es of envy. The dragon through his secret suggestions
persuaded these si$ple $aidens, that the light of this sun. $ost holy Mary, would obscure the$ and cause the$ to be
little noticed9 that on her account their own negligences were $ore clearly apparent to the priests and their teacher9 and
that Mary alone was preferred in the esti$ation and <udg$ent of all.
The co$panions of our ;ueen allowed the devil to sow this bad seed in their boso$s9 for they were heedless and little
e?perienced in spiritual ways. They allowed it to increase until it grew into a sort of interior abhorrence of the $ost
pure Mary, and this into anger. 6iled with this anger, they began to loo* upon and treat 0er with hatred, not being able
to endure the $odesty of that $ost innocent 4ove. 6or the dragon had incited the$ and had already i$bued the
incautious girls with so$e of his own wrath. The te$ptation continuing, its effects beca$e $anifest and the te$ple
$aidens began to plot a$ong the$selves, ignorant of the spirit that $oved the$. They agreed a$ong the$selves to
$olest and persecute the un*nown 1rincess of the world, until She should be forced to leave the te$ple. Accordingly
they called 0er aside and spo*e to 0er very sharp words, treating 0er at the sa$e ti$e very haughtily. They called 0er
a hypocrite and reproached 0er with sche$ing to obtain the favor of the priests and of their teacher, while see*ing to
discredit all the other girls by her co$plaints and her e?aggerations of their faults, whereas She was the $ost useless of
the$ all and therefore deserved their hatred as an ene$y.
These contu$elies and $any other accusations the $ost prudent 5irgin bore without disturbance and with eEuable
hu$ility. She answeredD My friends and $y $istresses, you are right no doubt in saying, that # a$ the least and the
$ost i$perfect a$ong you9 but then you, $y sisters, being better infor$ed, $ust pardon $e $y faults and $ust teach
$e in $y ignorance. 4irect $e therefore, that # $ay succeed in doing better and act according to your pleasure. #
beseech you, $y friends, not to deny $e your good will, which, though # a$ so i$perfect, # sincerely wish to $erit9 for
# love you and reverence you as a servant, and # will obey you in all things, in which you desire to $a*e a trial of $y
good will. Co$$and $e then, and tell $e what you wish of $e.
These hu$ble and sweet reasonings of the $ost hu$ble Mary did not soften the hardened hearts of her associates and
co$panions, for they were infected by the poisonous fury of the dragon against 0er. 1recisely on account of her sweet
hu$ility he beca$e so $uch the $ore infuriated, and thus turned this sweet antidote against the poisonous bite into a
$eans of infla$ing the$ with open wrath against 0er who was the great sign in heaven 'Apoc. 1=, 1C). 6or $any days
this persecution continued, during which the heavenly (ady sought in vain to appease the hate of her co$panions by
her hu$ility, patience, $odesty and tolerance. ,n the contrary the de$on was e$boldened to inspire the$ $any
thoughts full of te$erity, urging the$ to lay violent hands on the $ost hu$ble la$b and $altreat 0er, even so far as to
ta*e away her life. +ut the (ord not per$it the e?ecution of such sacrilegious suggestions and the farthest which they
were allowed to proceed, was to insult 0er by words or to inflict so$e blows. This Euarreling re$ained concealed fro$
the teacher of the $aidens and fro$ the priests, and during this ti$e $ost holy Mary gained inco$parable $erits in the
sight of the Al$ighty, because She too* occasion to e?ercise all the virtues, as well in regard to !od as also in regard
the creatures, which were persecuting and hating 0er. She perfor$ed heroic acts of charity and hu$ility, yielding good
for evil, blessings for curses, prayers for blasphe$ies '# Cor. &, 1=), fulfilling in all things the $ost perfect and the
highest reEuire$ents of the divine law. +efore the (ord She e?ercised the $ost e?alted virtues, by praying for his
creatures who were persecuting 0er9 and She e?cited the ad$iration of the angels. +y hu$iliating 0erself as if She
were the vilest of $ortals deservedly treated in that way. #n all these things She surpassed the conceptions of $en and
the highest $erits of the seraphi$.
#t happened one day, that, i$pelled by the diabolical suggestions, these girls brought Mary to a retired roo$, where
they could act with $ore safety. 0ere they began to heap un$easured in<uries and insults upon 0er, to e?cite 0er to
wea*ness or anger and to entrap $odesty into so$e hasty action. +ut as the ;ueen of virtues could not even for a
$o$ent be sub<ect to vice, She showed 0erself i$$ovable, and She answered the$ with great *indness and sweetness.
+eing enraged beyond bounds on account of not succeeding in their purpose, her co$panions raised their voices in
discordant strife, so that they were heard in the te$ple and by such unwonted noise caused great astonish$ent and
confusion. The priests and the teacher hastened to the place whence the noise proceeded, and the (ord per$itted a new
hu$iliation of his Spouse, for they as*ed with severity, what was the cause of this strife. "hile the $ost $ee* 4ove
re$ained silent, the other $aidens angrily answered and saidD Mary of .aGareth brings us all into strife and Euarreling
by her horrid conductD for in your absence, She irritates and provo*es us in such a $anner, that if She does not leave the
te$ple, it will he i$possible to *eep any peace with 0er. "hen we allow 0er her own way, She beco$es overbearing9
if we reprehend 0er, She $a*es fun of all of us by prostrating 0erself at our feet with feigned hu$ility, and afterwards
She Euarrels anew and throws all into uproar.
The priests and the instructress brought the Mistress of the world into another roo$, and there they severely
reprehended 0er, giving full credit at that ti$e to all the accusations of her co$panions, and, having e?horted 0er to
refor$ and behave as one living in the house of !od, they threatened to e?pel 0er fro$ the te$ple, if She would not
$end 0er conduct. This threat was the $ost severe punish$ent, which they could have given 0er, even if She had been
guiltyD so $uch the $ore severe was it, when She was altogether innocent of any of the faults i$puted to 0er.
,ur ;ueen added other words full of sweetest innocence and $odesty9 and therewith the instructress and the priests
dis$issed 0er, en<oining anew upon 0er that doctrine, of which She herself was the $ost wise Teacher. #$$ediately
She betoo* 0erself to her co$panions, and prostrating 0erself at their feet, She as*ed the$ pardon, as if the faults, with
which they had charged 0er, could ever have been shared by the Mother of all innocence. They received 0er this ti$e
with $ore good will, because they thought that her tears were the effect of the punish$ent and the warning of the
priests and the instructress, who$ they had induced to act thus in pursuance of their badly governed passions. The
dragon, who was secretly contriving this entangle$ent, urged the incautious hearts of all these girls to still greater
haughtiness and presu$ption, and as they had now $ade headway in the esti$ation of the priests the$selves, they
proceeded to greater audacity in discrediting and lowering the good na$e of the $ost pure 5irgin. Accordingly by
instigation of the devil, they fabricated new accusations and lies9 but the Most 0igh never per$itted the$ to say
anything very grave and dishonorable of 0er, who$ 0e had chosen as the $ost holy Mother of his ,nlybegotten. 0e
$erely allowed the indignation and deceit of the $aidens go so far as to e?aggerate very $uch so$e s$all faults, which
were even in the$selves altogether fictitious, but which they accused 0er of. Moreover they were per$itted to practice
$any fe$inine intrigues, to which their own restlessness drove the$. #n these different ways and in the reprehensions
of her instructress and of the priests our $ost hu$ble (ady Mary found $any occasions of e?ercising virtues, of
increasing the gifts of the Most 0igh, and of e?alting 0er $erit.
The (ord did not sleep, nor did 0e slu$ber '1sal$ 1@A, &) during the cla$ors of his beloved spouse Mary, although 0e
pretended not to hear the$, delighting in the prolonged e?ercise of her sufferings, which occasioned so $any glorious
triu$phs and the ad$irations and praises of the supernal spirits. The s$ouldering fire of the persecution already
$entioned continued unabated, in order that the 1heni?, Mary, $ight $any ti$es renew 0erself fro$ the ashes of her
hu$ility, and in order that her $ost pure heart be regenerated over and over again to new estates and conditions of
divine grace. +ut when the opportune ti$e arrived for putting an end to the blind envy and <ealousy of those ensnared
$aidens, and in order that their petulance $ight not altogether discredit 0er who was to be the e?cellence of nature and
grace itself, the (ord spo*e to the priest in his sleep and said to 0i$ My servant Mary is pleasing in $y eyes, and She
is $y perfect and $y chosen ,neD She is entirely innocent of anything of which She is accused. The sa$e revelation
was given to Anne, the instructress of the $aidens. That $orning the priest and the instructress conferred with each
other about the $essage, which both had received. +eing now certain, they repented of the deceit, into which they had
been led, and called the 1rincess Mary, as*ing her pardon for having given credit to the false report of the girls and
offering 0er all the reparation necessary to defend 0er fro$ the persecution and the sufferings conseEuent upon it.
She that was the Mother and origin of hu$ility, after listening to their words, answered the priest and the instructress
My superiors, # a$ the one that deserves your reprehensions and # beseech you do not hold $e unworthy of
undergoing the$, since # as* for the$ as $ost necessary to $e. The intercourse with $y sisters, the other $aidens, is
$ost highly priGed by $e, and # do not wish to be deprived of it through $y fault, since # owe the$ so $uch for having
borne with $e and as a return for that benefit, # desire to serve the$ $ore faithfully9 nevertheless if you co$$and $e
anything else, # stand prepared to obey your will. This answer of the $ost holy Mary still $ore co$forted and
consoled the priest and the instructress9 and they approved of her hu$ble petition, but fro$ that ti$e on they attended
to 0er and observed 0er with new reverence and affection. The $ost hu$ble Maiden begged to *iss the hand of the
priest and of the $atron, as*ing for their blessing according to her custo$9 with this they dis$issed 0er. Just as the
parched desire of the thirsty for drin* is increased at the sight of clear water withdrawn beyond their reach, so was the
heart of Mary our Mistress filled with yearning regret for the e?ercise of suffering. Thirsting and burning for the divine
love She feared lest through the watchful care of the priest and of the instructress, She should fro$ thenceforward be
deprived of the treasure of affliction,
The enlighten$ent of the priests and the instructress concerning Mary abated the persecutions of the $aidens. The (ord
also restrained the$ and prevented the de$on fro$ inciting the$ thereafter. +ut the ti$e during which 0e absented
0i$self and during which 0e hid 0i$self fro$ this heavenly spouse, lasted 'wonderful to relateH) ten years9 although
the Most 0igh interrupted this absence a few ti$es by allowing the veil to fall fro$ his face for the relief of his
+eloved9 but it was not often that 0e dispensed this favor during that ti$e, and 0e did it with less lavishness and
tenderness than in the first years of her childhood. This absence of the (ord was ordained for our ;ueen in order She
$ight, by actual e?ercise of all perfection, be $ade worthy for the dignity to which She was destined by the Most 0igh.
6or if She had continually en<oyed the vision of his Ma<esty in the $anner described by us in the fourteenth chapter of
this boo*, She could not have suffered according to the co$$on order of a $ere creature.
+ut during this retire$ent and absence of the (ord, although $ost holy Mary $issed the intuitive and abstractive
visions of the divine /ssence and of the angels as $entioned above, her $ost holy soul and her faculties en<oyed $ore
gifts of grace and $ore supernatural enlighten$ent, than all the saints ever attained or received. 6or in regard to this the
hand of !od never withdrew fro$ 0er. +ut in co$parison with the freEuent visitations of the (ord in her first years, #
call the state of her privation of his presence for such a long ti$e, an absence and withdrawal of the (ord. #t
co$$enced eight days before the death of her father, saint Joachi$, and afterwards the persecution of hell began,
followed by the persecutions on the part of creatures. They lasted until our 1rincess reached the age of twelve years.
0aving passed this age, the holy angels on a certain day, without $anifesting the$selves, spo*e to 0er as followsD
Mary, the end of the life of thy holy $other Anne as ordained by the Most 0igh, is now about to arrive, and his
Ma<esty has resolved to free her fro$ the prison of her $ortal body and bring her labors to a happy fulfill$ent.
At this une?pected and sorrowful $essage the heart of the affectionate 4aughter was filled with co$passion.
1rostrating 0erself in the presence of the Most 0igh, She poured forth a fervent prayer for the happy death of her
$other saint Anne in the following wordsD -ing of the ages, invisible and eternal (ord, i$$ortal and al$ighty Creator
of the universe, although # a$ but dust and ashes and although # $ust confess, that # a$ in debt to thy greatness, # will
not on that account be prevented fro$ spea*ing to $y (ord '!en. 1F,17), and # pour out before thee $y heart, hoping, A
$y !od, that Thou wilt not despise her, who has always confessed thy holy na$e. 4is$iss, A (ord, in peace thy
servant, who has with invincible faith and confidence desired to fulfill thy divine pleasure. (et her issue victoriously
and triu$phantly fro$ the hostile co$bat and enter the portal of thy holy chosen ones9 let thy powerful ar$ strengthen
her9 at the close of her $ortal career, let that sa$e right hand, which has helped her to wal* in the path of perfection,
assist her, and let her enter, A $y 6ather, into the peace of thy friendship and grace, since she has always sought after it
with an upright heart.
The (ord did not respond e?pressly in words to this petition of his +eloved9 but his answer was a $arvelous favor,
shown to 0er and to her $other, saint Anne. 4uring that night his Ma<esty co$$anded the guardian angels of the $ost
holy Mary to carry 0er bodily to the sic*bed of her $other and one of the$ to re$ain in her stead, assu$ing for this
purpose an aerial body a substitute for hers. The holy angels obeyed the $andate of !od and they carried their and our
;ueen to the house and to the roo$ of her holy $other Anne. +eing thus brought to the presence of her $other, the
heavenly (ady *issed her hand and said to herD My $other and $istress, $ay the Most 0igh be thy light and thy
strength, and $ay 0e be blessed, since 0e has in his condescension not per$itted $e in $y necessity to re$ain without
the benefit of thy last blessingD $ay # then receive it, $y $other, fro$ thy hand. 0oly Anne gave her last blessing to
Mary and with overflowing heart also than*ed the (ord for the great favor thus conferred upon 0erself. 6or She *new
the sacra$ent of her 4aughter and ;ueen, and she did not forget to e?press her gratitude for the love, which Mary had
shown her on this occasion.
#n the $idst of such e?alted and heavenly colloEuies the blessed $other saint Anne felt the throes of death approaching
and, reclining upon the throne of grace, that is, in the ar$s of her $ost holy 4aughter Mary, she rendered her $ost pure
soul to her Creator. 0aving closed the eyes of her $other, as saint Anne had reEuested, and leaving the sacred body in
position for burial, the ;ueen Mary was again ta*en up by the holy angels and restored to her place in the te$ple. The
Most 0igh did not i$pede the force of her filial love, which naturally would cause a great and tender sorrow at the
death of her $other and a sense of loneliness at being deprived of her assistance. +ut these sorrows were $ost holy and
perfect in our ;ueen, governed by the graces of her $ost prudent innocence and purity. #n the $idst of the$ She gave
praise to the Most 0igh for the infinite $ercies, which 0e had shown to her $other both in life and in death, while her
sweet and loving co$plaints on account of the absence of the (ord continued unabated.
Already our heavenly 1rincess felt that the day of the clear vision of the 4ivinity was approaching and that li*e the
harbingers of early dawn, the rays of the divine light were brea*ing upon her soul. 0er heart began to be infla$ed by
the nearness of the invisible fire, which illu$ines but does not consu$e9 and $ade attentive by this new clearness, She
Euestioned her angels and said to the$D My friends and lords, $y $ost faithful and vigilant sentinels, tell $eD what
hour is it of $y nightI And when will the bright light of the day arise, which $y eyes shall see the Sun of <ustice which
#llu$ines the$ and gives life to $y affections and $y soulI The holy 1rinces answered her and saidD Spouse of the
Most 0igh, thy wishedBfor light and truth is near9 it will not tarry long, for already it approaches. At these words the
veil which hid the view of these spiritual substances was slightly lifted9 and the holy angels beca$e visible, showing
the$selves as during her first years in their own essence, without hindrance or dependence of the bodily senses.
They trans$itted to 0er that light, of which # have spo*en, in order to purify her faculties9 not because there were any
defects to be re$edied, for She could not be guilty of any defects. ,n the contrary all her actions and operations during
the absence of the (ord had been $eritorious and holy. .evertheless it was necessary that She be endowed with new
gifts, in order to tranEuiliGe her spirit and her faculties, which had been $oved by affectionate labors and an?ieties
during the absence of the (ord, and also in order to withdraw 0er fro$ her present state and raise 0er to a position,
where She could en<oy new and different favors, for in order that her faculties $ight again be proportioned to the high
,b<ect and to the $anner of en<oying #t, they $ust necessarily be renewed and redisposed. All this the holy seraphi$
proceeded to do with 0er in the $anner already described in boo* second, chapter fourteenth. "hen the (ord conferred
upon 0er the final adorn$ent and the Euality necessary for the i$$ediate vision about to ta*e place.
As far as # can e?plain, this successive elevation of the faculties of the heavenly ;ueen engendered those particular
affections and senti$ents of love and virtues which the (ord desired, and in the $idst of these elevations his Ma<esty
withdrew the veil. Then after his long conceal$ent 0e $anifested 0i$self to his only Spouse, his beloved and $ost
holy Mary, by an abstractive vision of the 4ivinity. Although this vision was given through abstractive i$ages and not
intuitive, yet it was $ost clear and e?alted in its *ind. +y it the (ord dried the continual tears of our ;ueen, rewarded
her affection and her loving an?iety, satisfied all her desires and overwhel$ed 0er with delight as She reclined in the
ar$s of her +eloved 'Cant. F, C). Then was renewed the youth of that aspiring /agle, winging its flight into the
i$penetrable regions of the 4ivinity '1sal$ 1A@, C), and by the afterBeffects of this vision She ascended whither no
other creature can ascend, or no other intellect can reach outside of !odJs.
,ur 1rincess issued fro$ this vision altogether renovated and $ade godli*e9 full of the new science of the 4ivinity and
of the hidden sacra$ents of the -ing, confessing 0i$, adoring 0i$, and praising 0i$ with incessant canticles and by
the flights of her pacified and tranEuiliGed spirit. #n li*e proportion also was the increase of her hu$ility and of all the
other virtues. 0er $ost ardent prayer was to penetrate $ore and $ore deeply into that which is $ost perfect and $ost
pleasing to the will of the Most 0igh, and to fulfill and e?ecute it in her actions. Thus passed a nu$ber of days, until
that happened, which is to he related in the ne?t chapter.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5##.
0/2 ",.4/267( /S1,7SA( "#T0 SA#.T J,S/10.
At the age of thirteen and a half years, having grown considerably for her age, our $ost char$ing 1rincess, $ost pure
Mary, had another abstractive vision of the 4ivinity of the sa$e order and *ind as those already described. #n this
vision, we $ight say, happened so$ething si$ilar to that which the holy Scriptures relate of Abraha$, when !od
co$$anded hi$ to sacrifice his beloved son #saac, the only pledge of all his hopes. !od te$pted Abraha$, says Moses
'!en. 1@, 1@), trying and probing the pro$ptness of his obedience in order to reward it. "e can say the sa$e thing of
our great (ady, that !od tried 0er in this vision, by co$$anding 0er to enter the state of $atri$ony. Thence we can
also understand the truth of the wordsD 0ow inscrutable are the <udg$ents of the (ord and how e?alted are his ways and
thoughts above our own '2o$. 11, ==)H As distant as heaven is fro$ earth, were the thoughts of $ost holy Mary fro$
the plans which the Most 0igh now $ade *nown to 0er, by co$$anding 0er to accept a husband for her protection
and co$pany9 for as far as depended upon her will She had desired and resolved during all her life not to have a
husband and She had often repeated and renewed the vow of chastity, which She had ta*en at such a pre$ature age.
.evertheless at this une?pected co$$and the $ost prudent 5irgin suspended her <udg$ent, and preserved the cal$ness
of her hope and belief $ore perfectly than Abraha$. 0oping against hope '2o$. &, 1F), She $ade answer to the (ord
sayingD /ternal !od and inco$prehensible Ma<esty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things contained therein,
Thou, A (ord, who weighest the winds 'Job @F, @C), and by thy co$$ands settest bounds to the sea and sub<ectest all
creation to thy will, canst dispose of $e, thy worthless wor$let, according to thy pleasure, without $a*ing $e fail in
that which # have pro$ised to Thee9 and if it be not displeasing to Thee, $y good (ord, # confir$ and ratify anew $y
desire to re$ain chaste during all $y life and to have Thee for $y (ord and Spouse9 and since $y only duty as a
creature is to obey Thee, see Thou to it, $y Spouse, that according to thy 1rovidence # $ay escape fro$ this
predica$ent in which thy holy love places $e. There was, however, so$e uneasiness in the $ost chaste $aiden Mary,
as far as her inferior nature was concerned, <ust as happened afterwards at the $essage of the archangel !abriel '(u*e
1, F)9 yet, though She felt so$e sadness, it did not hinder 0er fro$ practicing the $ost heroic obedience which until
then had fallen to her lot, and She resigned 0erself entirely into the hand of the (ord. 0is Ma<esty answered herD Mary,
let not thy heart be disturbed, for thy resignation is acceptable to Me and $y powerful ar$ is not sub<ect to laws9 by $y
disposition that will happen, which is $ost proper for Thee.
Consoled only by this vague pro$ise of the (ord, $ost holy Mary recovered fro$ her vision and returned to her
ordinary state. (eft between doubt and hope by the divine co$$and and pro$ise, She was full of solicitude, for the
(ord intended that She should $ultiply 0er tearful senti$ents of love and confidence, of faith, hu$ility, of obedience,
of purest chastity and of other virtues, i$possible to enu$erate. #n the $eanwhile, while our great (ady applied 0erself
to vigilant prayer, and to her resigned and prudent sighs and solicitude, !od spo*e in sleep to the high priest, saint
Si$eon, and co$$anded hi$ to arrange for the $arriage of Mary, the daughter of Joachi$ and Anne of .aGareth9
since 0e regarded 0er with special care and love. The holy priest answered, as*ing what was his will in regard to the
person, who$ the $aiden Mary was to $arry and to who$ She was to give 0erself as Spouse. The (ord instructed
0i$ to call together the other priests and learned persons and to tell the$ that this Maiden was left alone and an orphan
and that She did not desire to be $arried9 but that, as it was a custo$ for the firstborn $aidens not to leave the te$ple
without being provided for, it was proper She should be $arried to who$ever it see$ed good to the$.
The $ost prudent 5irgin, with a countenance beto*ening virginal $odesty, answered the priest with great co$posure
and hu$ilityD Sir, as far as $y inclinations are concerned, # desire to preserve perpetual chastity during all $y life9 for
# wished to dedicate $yself to !od in the service of this holy te$ple in return for the great blessings which # have
received in it9 # never had the intention or the desire to enter the state of $atri$ony, since # consider $yself incapable
of fulfilling the duties connected with it. This was $y inclination, but thou, $y $aster, who art to $e in place of !od,
wilt teach $e what is according to his holy "ill, My 4aughter, answered the priest, thy holy desires are acceptable
to the (ord9 but re$e$ber, that no $aiden of #srael abstains fro$ $arriage as long as we e?pect the co$ing of the
Messias confor$ably to the divine prophecies. Therefore all who obtain issue of children a$ong our people, estee$
the$selves happy and blessed. #n the $atri$onial state Thou canst serve !od truly and in great perfection9 and in order
that Thou $ayest obtain a co$panion according to the heart of !od and who will be confor$able to thy wishes, we will
pray to the (ord, as # have told Thee, as*ing 0i$ to single out a husband for Thee, who shall be pleasing to 0i$ and of
the line of 4avid9 do Thou also pray continually for the sa$e favor, in order that the Most 0igh $ay favor Thee and
$ay direct us all.
This happened nine days before the one appointed for the e?ecution and realiGation of their resolve. 4uring this ti$e the
$ost holy 5irgin $ultiplied her prayers, beseeching the (ord with incessant tears and sighs, to fulfill his divine
pleasure in that which She had so $uch at heart. ,n one of those nine days the (ord appeared to 0er and said to 0erD
My Spouse and $y 4ove, let thy afflicted heart e?pand and let it not be disturbed or sad9 # will attend to thy yearnings
and to thy reEuests, # will direct all things, and will govern the priests by $y enlighten$ent9 # will give Thee a spouse
selected by Myself, and one who will put no hindrance to thy holy desires, but who, by $y grace will prosper Thee in
the$. # will find for Thee a perfect $an confor$able to $y heart and # will choose hi$ fro$ the nu$ber of $y
servants9 $y power is infinite, and $y protection and aid shall never fail Thee.
The $ost holy Mary answering saidD 0ighest !ood and (ove of $y soul, Thou well *nowest the secret of $y boso$
and $y desires, which Thou hast e?cited in $e fro$ the first $o$ent of the e?istence received fro$ Thee9 preserve $e,
then, $y Spouse, pure and chaste, as # have desired for Thee and through Thee. 4o not despise $y sighs and deprive
$e not of thy countenance. 2e$e$ber, $y (ord and !od, that # a$ but a useless wor$let, wea* and despicable on
account of $y insignificance and if # should fall away fro$ virtue in the state of $atri$ony, # shall disappoint Thee and
$y desires9 provide Thou for $y security and be not deterred by $y de$erits. Although # a$ but useless dust '!en. 1F,
@7), # will call on thy greatness, A (ord, trusting in thy infinite $ercies.
,n the day on which, as we have said in the preceding chapter, our 1rincess Mary co$pleted the fourteenth year of her
life, the $en, who at that ti$e in the city of Jerusale$ were descendants of the tribe of Juda and of the race of 4avid,
gathered together in the te$ple. The sovereign (ady was also of that lineage. A$ong the nu$ber was Joseph, a native
of .aGareth. and then living in Jerusale$9 for he was one of the descendants of the royal race of 4avid. 0e was then
thirtyBthree years of age, of handso$e person and pleasing countenance, but also of inco$parable $odesty and gravity9
above all he was $ost chaste in thought and conduct, and $ost saintly in all his inclinations. 6ro$ his twelfth year he
had $ade and *ept the vow of chastity. 0e was related to the 5irgin Mary in the third degree, and was *nown for the
ut$ost purity of his life, holy and irreprehensible in the eyes of !od and of $en.
All these un$arried $en gathered in the te$ple and prayed to the (ord con<ointly with the priests. in order to be
governed by the holy Spirit in what they were about to do. The Most 0igh spo*e to the heart of the highpriest, inspiring
hi$ to place into the hands of each one of the young $en a dry stic*, with the co$$and that each as* his Ma<esty with
a lively faith, to single out the one who$ 0e had chosen as the spouse of Mary. And as the sweet odor of her virtue and
nobility, the fa$e of her beauty, her possessions and her $odesty, and her position as being the firstborn in her fa$ily
was *nown to all of the$, each one coveted the happiness of $eriting 0er as a spouse. A$ong the$ all only the
hu$ble and $ost upright Joseph thought hi$self unworthy of such a great blessing9 and re$e$bering the vow of
chastity which he had $ade and resolving anew its perpetual observance, he resigned hi$self to !odJs will, leaving it
all to his disposal and being filled at the sa$e ti$e with a veneration and estee$ greater than that of any of the others
for the $ost noble $aiden Mary.
"hile they were thus engaged in prayer the staff which Joseph held was seen to blosso$ and at the sa$e ti$e a dove of
purest white and resplendent with ad$irable light, was seen to descend and rest upon the head of the saint, while in the
interior of his heart !od spo*eD Joseph, $y servant, Mary shall be thy Spouse9 accept 0er with attentive reverence, for
She is acceptable in $y eyes, <ust and $ost pure in soul and body, and thou shalt do all that She shall say to Thee. At
this $anifestation and to*en fro$ heaven the priests declared saint Joseph as the spouse selected by !od hi$self for the
$aiden Mary. Calling 0er forth for her espousal, the Chosen one issued forth li*e the sun, $ore resplendent than the
$oon, and She entered into the presence of all with a countenance $ore beautiful than that of an angel, inco$parable in
the char$ of her beauty, nobility and grace9 and the priests espoused 0er to the $ost chaste and holy of $en, saint
The heavenly 1rincess, $ore pure than the stars of the fir$a$ent, with tearful and sorrowful countenance and as the
;ueen of $a<esty, $ost hu$ble yet uniting all perfections within 0erself, too* leave of the priests, as*ing their
blessing, and of her instructress and her co$panions, begging their pardon. She gave than*s to all of the$ for the favors
received at their hands during her stay in the te$ple. The hu$ility of her behavior enhanced the prudence and aptness
of her words for the perfor$ance of these last duties in the te$ple9 for on all occasions She spo*e in few and weighty
words. She too* leave of the te$ple not without great grief on account of the sacrifice of her inclinations and desires. #n
the co$pany of attendants who were so$e of the $ore distinguished lay$en in the service of the te$ple, She betoo*
0erself with her spouse Joseph to .aGareth, the native city of this $ost fortunate $arried couple. Joseph, although he
had been born in that place, had, by the providential disposition of circu$stances, decided to live for so$e ti$e in
Jerusale$. Thus it happened that he so i$proved his fortune as to beco$e the spouse of 0er, who$ !od had chosen to
be his own Mother.
0aving arrived at their ho$e in .aGareth, where the 1rincess of heaven had inherited the possessions and estates of her
blessed parents, they were welco$ed and visited by their friends and relatives with the <oyful congratulations
custo$ary on such occasions. After they had in a $ost holy $anner co$plied with the natural duties of friendship and
politeness, and satisfied the worldly obligations connected with the conversation and intercourse of their fellow$en, the
two $ost holy spouses, Joseph and Mary, were left at leisure and to their own counsel in their house. Custo$ had
introduced the practice a$ong the 0ebrews, that for the first few days of their $arried state the husband and wife
should enter upon a sort of study or trial of each othersJ habits and te$pera$ent, in order that afterwards they $ight be
able to $a*e reciprocal allowance in their conduct one toward the other.
4uring this ti$e saint Joseph said to his spouse MaryD My spouse and (ady, # give than*s to the (ord $ost high !od
for the favor of having designed $e as your husband without $y $erits, though # <udged $yself unworthy even of thy
co$pany9 but his Ma<esty, who can raise up the lowly whenever 0e wishes, showed this $ercy to $e, and # desire and
hope, relying on thy discretion and virtue, that Thou help $e to $a*e a proper return in serving 0i$ with an upright
heart. 0old $e, therefore, as thy servant, and by the true love which # have for thee, # beg of thee to supply $y
deficiencies in the fulfill$ent of the do$estic duties and of other things, which as a worthy husband, # should *now
how to perfor$9 tell $e, (ady, what is thy pleasure, in order that # $ay fulfill it.
The heavenly Spouse heard these words with an hu$ble heart, and yet also with a serene earnestness, and She answered
the saintD My $aster, # a$ fortunate, that the Most 0igh, in order to place $e in this state of life, has chosen thee for
$y husband and that 0e has given $e such evident $anifestation of his will, that # serve thee9 but if thou givest $e
leave # will spea* of $y thoughts and intentions, which # wish to $anifest to thee for this purpose. The Most 0igh
forestalled the sincere and upright heart of saint Joseph with his grace and infla$ed it anew with divine love through
the word of $ost holy Mary, and he answered 0er, sayingD Spea*, (ady, thy servant hears. ,n this occasion the
Mistress of the world was surrounded by the thousand angels of her guard, in visible for$. She had as*ed the$ to be
present in that $anner, because the (ord, in order that the $ost pure 5irgin $ight act with greater grace and $erit, had
per$itted her to feel the respect and reverence, with which She was bound to spea* to her husband and left her to the
natural shyness and dread, which She always felt in spea*ing to $en alone9 for She had never done this, e?cept perhaps
by accident with the highpriest.
The holy angels obeyed their ;ueen and, visible only to 0er, stood in attendance. #n this glorious co$pany She spo*e
to her spouse saint Joseph, and said to hi$D My lord and spouse, it is <ust that we give praise and glory with all
reverence to our !od and Creator, who is infinite in goodness and inco$prehensible in his <udg$ents. To us, who are
so needy, 0e has $anifested his greatness and $ercy in choosing us for his service. # ac*nowledge $yself a$ong all
creatures as $ore beholden and indebted to 0i$ than all others, and $ore than all of the$ together9 for, $eriting less. #
have received fro$ his liberal hand $ore than they. At a tender age, being co$pelled thereto by the force of this truth,
which, with the *nowledge of the deceitfulness of visible things, his divine light $ade *nown to $e, # consecrated
$yself to !od by a perpetual vow of chastity in body and soul9 his # a$ and 0i$ # ac*nowledge as $y Spouse and
(ord, with fi?ed resolve to preserve for 0i$ $y chastity. # beseech thee, $y $aster, to help $e in fulfilling this vow,
while in all other things # will be thy servant, willing to wor* for the co$fort of thy life as long as $ine shall last. 3ield,
$y spouse, to this resolve and $a*e a li*e resolve, in order that, offering ourselves as an acceptable sacrifice to our
eternal !od, 0e $ay receive us in the odor of sweetness and bestow on us the eternal goods for which we hope.
The $ost chaste spouse Joseph, full of interior <oy at the words of his heavenly Spouse, answered 0erD My Mistress, in
$a*ing *nown to $e thy chaste and welco$e senti$ents, thou hast penetrated and dilated $y heart. # have not opened
$y thoughts to Thee before *nowing thy own. # also ac*nowledge $yself under greater obligation to the (ord of
creation than other $en9 for very early 0e has called $e by his true enlighten$ent to love 0i$ with an upright heart9
and # desire Thee to *now, (ady, that at the age of twelve years # also $ade a pro$ise to serve the Most 0igh in
perpetual chastity. ,n this account # now gladly ratify this vow in order not to i$pede thy own9 in the presence of his
Ma<esty # pro$ise to aid Thee, as far as in $e lies, in serving 0i$ and loving 0i$ according to thy full desires. # will
be, with the divine grace, thy $ost faithful servant and co$panion, and # pray Thee accept $y chaste love and hold $e
as thy brother, without ever entertaining any other *ind of love, outside the one which Thou owest to !od and after !od
to $e. #n this conversation the Most 0igh confir$ed anew the virtue of chastity in the heart of saint Joseph, and the
pure and holy love due to his $ost holy spouse Mary. This love the saint already had in an e$inent degree, and the
(ady herself aug$ented it sweetly, dilating his heart by her $ost prudent discourse.
+y divine operation the two $ost holy and chaste Spouses felt an inco$parable <oy and consolation. The heavenly
1rincess, as one who is the Mistress of all virtues and who in all things pursued the highest perfection of all virtues,
lovingly corresponded to the desires of saint Joseph. The Most 0igh also gave to saint Joseph new purity and co$plete
co$$and over his natural inclinations, so that without hindrance or any trace of sensual desires, but with ad$irable and
new grace, he $ight serve his spouse Mary, and in 0er, e?ecute his will and pleasure. They i$$ediately set about
dividing the property inherited fro$ saint Joachi$ and Anne, the parents of the $ost holy 5irgin9 one part they offered
to the te$ple, where She had stayed, another they destined for the poor, and the third was left in the hands of the holy
spouse saint Joseph to be disposed of according to his <udg$ent. ,ur ;ueen reserved for 0erself only the privilege of
serving 0i$ and of attending to the household duties. 6or fro$ intercourse with outsiders and fro$ the $anage$ent of
property, buying or selling, the $ost prudent 5irgin always *ept aloof, as # will $ention farther on.
#n his for$er life saint Joseph had learnt the trade of carpentering as being a respectable and proper way of earning the
sustenance in life. 0e was poor in earthly possessions, as # have said above. 0e therefore as*ed his $ost holy Spouse,
whether it was agreeable to 0er, that he should e?ercise his trade in order to be able to serve 0er and to gain so$ething
for distribution a$ong the poor9 since it was necessary to do so$e wor* and not to re$ain idle. The $ost prudent
5irgin approved of this resolve, saying that the (ord did not wish the$ to be rich, but poor and lovers of the poor,
desirous of helping the$ in as far as their $eans would allow. Then arose between the two Spouses a holy contest, who
should obey the other as superior. +ut She, who a$ong the hu$ble was the $ost hu$ble, won in this contest of
hu$ility9 for as the $an is the head of the fa$ily, She would not per$it this natural order to be inverted. She desired in
all things to obey her spouse saint Joseph, as*ing hi$ solely for per$ission to help the poor, which the saint gladly
As saint Joseph during these days by divine enlighten$ent learnt to *now $ore and $ore the Eualities of his spouse
Mary, her rare prudence, hu$ility, purity and all her other virtues e?ceeding by far his thoughts and esti$ates, he was
seiGed with ever new ad$iration and, in great <oy of spirit, continued to praise and than* the (ord again and again for
having given hi$ a Co$panion and Spouse so far above his $erits. And in order that this wor* of the Most 0igh $ight
be entirely perfect 'for it was the beginning of the greatest, which 0e was to e?ecute by his ,$nipotence) 0e ordained
that the 1rincess of heaven, by her $ere presence and intercourse, should infuse into the heart of her spouse a holy fear
and reverence greater than words could ever suffice to describe. This effect was wrought upon saint Joseph by an
effulgence or reflection of the divine light, which shone fro$ the face of our ;ueen and which was $ingled with an
ineffable and always visible $a<esty. So $uch the $ore was this due to 0er than to Moses descending fro$ the
$ountain, '/?od. @&, =A) as her intercourse and conversation with !od had been $ore e?tended and inti$ate.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, in the e?a$ple of the $atri$onial life wherein the Most 0igh placed $e, thou findest a reproof for those
souls, who allege their life in the world as an e?cuse for not following perfection. To !od nothing is i$possible, and
nothing is li*ewise i$possible to those, who with a lively faith, hope in 0i$, and resign the$selves entirely to his
divine 1rovidence. # lived in the house of $y spouse with the sa$e perfection as in the te$ple9 for in changing $y state
of life # altered neither $y senti$ents nor the desire and an?iety to love and serve !od9 on the contrary # added to $y
solicitude lest the obligations of a spouse should hinder $e in !odJs service. ,n this account !od favored $e and
disposed and acco$$odated powerfully all things in confor$ity to $y desires. The (ord will do the sa$e for all $en,
if on their part they correspond. They however bla$e the state of $atri$ony, deceiving the$selves9 for the hindrance to
a holy and perfect life, is not the state, but the vain and superfluous cares and an?ieties, in which they involve
the$selves forgetting the sweetness of the (ord and see*ing and preferring their own.
+,,- T02//
#. T0/ .,5/.A +/6,2/ T0/ #.CA2.AT#,.
##. T0/ #.CA2.AT#,. ,6 T0/ S,. ,6 !,4
###. M,ST 0,(3 MA23 5#S#TS /(#KA+/T0
"City of God"
+,,- T02//
Contains the most ./3#isite *re&arations of the Almighty for the Incar-
nation of the 1ord in Mary most Holy; the Circ#mstances Accom-
&anying this Mystery; the ./alted tate$ in -hich the 'lessed
Mother -as &laced; her 0isit to aint .lisa,eth and the
anctification of the 'a&tist4 Her %et#rn to 2a5areth
and a Memora,le 'attle of the 0irgin -ith !#cifer

C0A1T/2 #.
TH. 2O0.2A '.FO%. TH. I2CA%2ATIO2+
#n order that her $ost faultless life $ight be to all an e?a$ple of the highest holiness, the Most 0igh had placed upon
our ;ueen and Mistress the duties of a spouse of saint Joseph which was a position reEuiring $ore intercourse with her
neighbors. The heavenly Mistress, finding 0erself in this new estate, was filled with such e?alted thoughts and
senti$ents in the fulfill$ent of her duties, and ordered all the activities of her life with such wisdo$, that She was an
ob<ect of ad$irable e$ulation to the angelic spirits and an unparalleled e?a$ple for $en. 6ew *new 0er and still fewer
had intercourse with 0erD but these happy ones were so filled with that celestial influence of Mary, that with a
wonderful <oy and with unwonted flights of spirit they sought to e?press and $anifest the light, which illu$ined their
hearts and which they *new ca$e fro$ 0er. The $ost prudent ;ueen was not unaware of these operations of the Most
0igh but neither was it yet ti$e, nor would her $ost profound hu$ility as yet consent to their beco$ing *nown to the
world. She continually besought the (ord to hide the$ fro$ $en, to $a*e all the favors of his right hand redound
solely to his praise, and to per$it 0er to be ignored and despised by all the $ortals, in as far as his infinite goodness
would not be offended thereby.
#n such fruitful occupations and in aug$enting the gifts and graces fro$ which all this good proceeded, our ;ueen, the
Spouse of Joseph, busied 0erself during the si? $onths and seventeen days, which intervened between her espousal and
the #ncarnation of the "ord. # cannot pretend to refer even briefly to her great heroic acts of all the virtues, interior and
e?terior, to all her deeds of charity, hu$ility, religion, and all her wor*s of $ercy, the al$s and benefactions9 for this
e?ceeds the power of the pen. The best # can do is to su$ up and sayD that the Most 0igh found in $ost holy Mary the
fulfill$ent of all his pleasure and of his wishes, as far as is possible in the correspondence of a creature with its Creator.
+y her sanctity and $erits !od felt 0i$self as it were obliged, and, 'according to our way of spea*ing), co$pelled, to
hasten his steps and e?tend the ar$s of his ,$nipotence to bring about the greatest of wonders conceivable in the
world before or afterD na$ely the #ncarnation of the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather in the virginal wo$b of this (ady.
#n order to proceed with a dignity befitting 0i$self, !od prepared $ost holy Mary in a singular $anner during the nine
days i$$ediately preceding this $ystery, and allowed the river of his 4ivinity to rush i$petuously forth '1sal$ &C, C)
to inundate this City of !od with its floods. 0e co$$unicated such great graces and gifts and favors, that # a$ struc*
du$b by the perception of what has been $ade *nown to $e concerning this $iracle, and $y lowliness is filled with
dread at even the $ention of what # understood. 6or the tongue, the pen, and all the faculties of a creature fall far below
any possibility of revealing such inco$prehensible sacra$ents. Therefore # wish it to be understood, that all # say here
is only an insignificant shadow of the s$allest part of these wonders and ineffable prodigies, which are not at all to be
enco$passed by our li$ited words, but only by the power divine, which # do not possess.
,n the first day of this $ost blessed novena the heavenly 1rincess Mary, after a slight rest, according to the e?a$ple of
her father 4avid and according to the diurnal order and arrange$ent laid out for 0er by the (ord, left her couch at
$idnight '1sal$ 11F, >@), and, prostrate in the presence of the Most 0igh, co$$enced her accusto$ed prayer and holy
#n this vision our 1rincess Mary learned $ost high secrets of the 4ivinity and of its perfections, and especially of !odJs
co$$unications ad extra in the wor* of creation. She saw that it originated in the goodness and liberality of !od, that
creatures were not necessary for supple$enting his 4ivine e?istence, nor for his infinite glory, since without the$ 0e
was glorious through the inter$inable eternities before the creation of the world. Many sacra$ents and secrets were
$anifested to our ;ueen, which neither can nor should be $ade *nown to all9 for She alone was the only ,ne 'Cant. >,
FD 7, >), the chosen ,ne, selected by the highest -ing and (ord of creation for these delights. +ut as her 0ighness in
this vision perceived this i$pulse and inclination of the 4ivinity to co$$unicate #tself ad extra with a force greater
than that which $a*es all the ele$ents tend toward their center, and as She was drawn within the sphere of this divine
love, She besought the eternal 6ather with heart afla$e, that 0e send his ,nlybegotten into the world and give salvation
to $en, since in this $anner 0e should satisfy, and, 'spea*ing hu$anly), e?ecute the pro$ptings of his 4ivinity and its
These petitions of his Spouse were very sweet to the (ord9 they were the scarlet lace, with which She bound and
secured his love. And in order to put his desires into e?ecution 0e sought first to prepare the tabernacle or te$ple,
whither 0e was to descend fro$ the boso$ of the eternal 6ather. 0e resolved to furnish his beloved and chosen Mother
with a clear *nowledge of all his wor*s ad extra, <ust as his ,$nipotence had $ade the$. ,n the first day therefore,
and in this sa$e vision, 0e $anifested to 0er all that 0e had $ade on the first day of the creation of the world, as it is
recorded in !enesis, and She perceived all with greater clearness and co$prehension, than if She had been an eyeB
witness9 for She *new the$ first as they are in !od, and then as they are in the$selves.
She perceived and understood, how the (ord in the beginning '!en. 19 1, C), created heaven and earth9 in how far and in
what way it was void, and how the dar*ness was over the face of the abyss9 how the spirit of the (ord hovered over the
waters and how, at the divine co$$and, light was $ade, and what was its nature9 how, after the dar*ness was divided,
it was called night and the light day, and how thus the first day was $ade. She *new the siGe of the earth, its longitude,
latitude and depth, its caverns, hell, li$bo and purgatory with their inhabitants9 the countries, cli$es, the $eridians and
divisions of the world, and all its inhabitants and occupants. "ith the sa$e clearness She *new the inferior orbs and the
e$pyrean heaven9 how the angels were $ade on the first day9 She was infor$ed of their nature, conditions, diversity,
hierarchies, offices, grades and virtues. The rebellion of the bad angels was revealed to 0er, their fall and the occasion
and the cause of that fall, though the (ord always concealed fro$ 0er that which concerned 0erself. She understood
the punish$ent and the effects of sin in the de$ons, beholding the$ as they are in the$selves9 and at the conclusion of
the first day, the (ord showed to 0er, how She too was for$ed of this lowly earthly $aterial and endowed with the
sa$e nature as all those, who return to the dustD 0e did not however say, that She would again return to it9 yet 0e gave
0er such a profound *nowledge of the earthly e?istence, that the great ;ueen hu$iliated 0erself to the abyss of
nothingness9 being without fault. She debased 0erself $ore than all the children of Ada$ with all their $iseries.
This whole vision and all its effects the Most 0igh arranged in such a way as to open up in the heart of Mary the deep
trenches that were reEuired for the foundations of the edifice, which 0e wished to erect in 0erD na$ely so high a one,
that it would reach up to the substantial and hypostatic union of the hu$an and divine nature. And as the dignity of
Mother of !od was without li$its and to a certain e?tent infinite, it was beco$ing that She should be grounded in a
proportionate hu$ility, such as would be without li$its though still within the bounds of reason itself. Attaining the
su$$it of virtue, this blessed ,ne a$ong wo$en hu$iliated 0erself to such an e?tent, that the $ost holy Trinity was,
as it were, fully paid and satisfied, and 'according to our $ode of understanding) constrained to raise 0er to the highest
position and dignity possible a$ong creatures and nearest to the 4ivinity itself. #n this highest benevolence his Ma<esty
spo*e and said to 0erD
My Spouse and 4ove, great is $y desire redee$ing $an fro$ sin and $y i$$ense *indness is as it were strained in
waiting for the ti$e, in which # shall descend in order to repair the world9 as* Me continually during these days and
with great affection for the fulfill$ent of this desire. 1rostrate in $y royal presence let not thy petitions and cla$ors
cease, as*ing Me that the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather descend in reality to unite 0i$self with the hu$an nature.
"hereupon the heavenly 1rincess responded and saidD (ord and !od eternal, whose is all the power and wisdo$,
whose wish none can resist '/sther 1=, %), who shall hinder thy ,$nipotenceI "ho shall detain the i$petuous current
of thy 4ivinity, so that thy pleasure in conferring this benefit upon the whole hu$an race re$ain unfulfilledI #f
perhaps, A $y +eloved, # a$ a hindrance to such an i$$easurable benefit, let $e perish before # i$pede thy pleasure9
this blessing cannot depend upon the $erits of any creature9 therefore, $y (ord and Master, do not wait, as we $ight
later on $erit it so $uch the less. The sins of $en increase and the offenses against Thee are $ultiplied9 how shall we
$erit the very blessing, of which we beco$e daily $ore unworthyI #n Thee thyself, $y (ord, e?ists the last cause and
$otive of our salvation9 thy infinite bounty, thy nu$berless $ercies incite Thee, the groans of thy 1rophets and of the
6athers of thy people solicit Thee, the saints sigh after Thee, the sinners loo* for Thee and all of the$ together call out
to Thee9 and if #, insignificant wor$let, on account of $y ingratitude, a$ not unworthy of thy $erciful condescension, #
venture to beseech Thee, fro$ the botto$ of $y heart, to speed thy co$ing and to hasten thy 2ede$ption for thy
greater glory.
"hen the 1rincess of heaven had finished this prayer, She returned to her ordinary and $ore natural state9 but an?ious
to fulfill the $andate of the (ord, She continued during that whole day her petitions for the #ncarnation of the "ord and
with the deepest hu$ility She repeated the e?ercises of prostrating 0erself to the ground and praying in the for$ of a
cross. 6or the 0oly !host, who governed 0er, had taught 0er this posture, by which She so highly pleased the $ost
blessed Trinity. !od saw, in the body of the future Mother of the "ord, as it were the crucified person of Christ and
therefore 0e received this $orning sacrifice of the $ost pure 5irgin as an advance offering of that of his $ost holy
,n the second day, at the sa$e hour of $idnight, the 5irgin Mary was visited in the sa$e way as described in the last
chapter. The divine power raised 0er up by the sa$e elevations and illu$inings to prepare 0er for the visions of the
4ivinity. 0e $anifested 0i$self again in an abstractive $anner as on the first day, and She was shown the wor*s
perfor$ed on the second day of the creation. She learnt how and when !od divided the waters '!en. 1, >), so$e above
and others below, establishing the fir$a$ent, and above it the crystal, *nown also as the watery heaven. 0er insight
penetrated into the greatness, order, conditions, $ove$ents and all the other Eualities and conditions of the heavens.
And in the $ost prudent 5irgin this *nowledge did not lay idle, nor re$ain sterile9 for i$$ediately the $ost clear light
of the 4ivinity overflowed in 0er, and infla$ed and e$blaGoned 0er with ad$iration, praise and love of the goodness
and power of !od. +eing transfor$ed as it were with a godli*e e?cellence, She produced heroic acts of all the virtues,
entirely pleasing to his divine Ma<esty. And as in the preceding first day !od had $ade 0er a participant of his wisdo$,
so on this second day, 0e $ade 0er in corresponding $easure a participant in the divine ,$nipotence, and gave 0er
power over the influences of the heavens, of the planets and ele$ents, co$$anding the$ all to obey 0er. Thus was this
great ;ueen raised to Sovereignty over the sea, the earth, the ele$ents and the celestial orbs, with all the creatures,
which are contained therein.
More and $ore the ;ueen of heaven reflected his infinite attributes and virtues9 $ore and $ore brilliantly shone forth
her beauty under the touch of the pencil of the divine "isdo$ and under the colors and lights added to it fro$ on high.
,n the third day She was infor$ed of the wor*s of creation as they happened on the third day. She learned when and
how the waters, which were beneath the fir$a$ent, flowed together in one place, '!en. 1, %), disclosing the dry land,
which the (ord called earth, while 0e called the waters the sea. She learned in what way the earth brought forth the
fresh herbs, and all plants and fructiferous trees with their seeds, each one according to its *ind. She was taught and She
co$prehended the greatness of the sea, its depth and its divisions, its correspondence with the strea$s and the
fountains, that ta*e their rise fro$ it and flow bac* into it9 the different plants and herbs, the flowers, trees, roots, fruits
and seeds9 She perceived how all and each one of the$ serve for the use of $an. All this our ;ueen understood and
penetrated with the *eenest insight $ore clearly, distinctly and co$prehensibly than Ada$ or Solo$on. #n co$parison
with 0er all those s*illed in $edicine in the world would appear but ignorant even after the $ost thorough studies and
largest e?perience. The $ost holy Mary *new all that was hidden fro$ sight, as "isdo$ says '"is. 7, @1)9 and <ust as
She learned it without any fiction, She also co$$unicates it without envy. "hatever Solo$on says there in the boo* of
"isdo$ was realiGed in 0er with inco$parable and e$inent perfection.
There is another special favor, which the $ost holy Mary received for the benefit of the $ortals on the third day and in
that vision of the 4ivinity9 for during this vision !od $anifested to 0er in a special way the desire of his divine love to
co$e to the aid of $en and to raise the$ up fro$ all their $iseries. #n accordance with the *nowledge of his infinite
$ercy and the ob<ect for which it was conceded, the Most 0igh gave to Mary a certain *ind of participation of his own
attributes, in order that afterwards, as the Mother and Advocate of sinners, She $ight intercede for the$. This
participation of the $ost holy Mary in the love of !od and in his inclination to help her, was so heavenly and powerful
that if fro$ that ti$e on the strength of the (ord had not co$e to her aid, She would not have been able to bear the
i$petuosity of her desire to assist and save $an*ind. 6illed with this love and charity, She would, if necessary or
feasible, have delivered 0erself an infinite nu$ber of ti$es to the fla$es, to the sword and to the $ost e?Euisite
tor$ents of death for their salvation. All the tor$ents, sorrows, tribulations, pains, infir$ities She would have accepted
and suffered9 and She would have considered the$ a great delight for the salvation of sinners. "hatever all $en have
suffered fro$ the beginning of the world till this hour, and whatever they will suffer till the end, would have been a
s$all $atter for the love of this $ost $erciful Mother. (et therefore $ortals and sinners understand what they owe to
$ost holy Mary.
6ro$ that day on, the heavenly (ady continued to be the Mother of *indness and great $ercy, and for two reasonsD first,
because fro$ that $o$ent She sought with an especial and an?ious desire to co$$unicate without envy the treasures
of grace, which She had co$prehended and received9 and therefore such an ad$irable sweetness grew up in her heart,
that She was ready to co$$unicate it to all $en and to shelter the$ in her heart in order to $a*e the$ participants of
the divine love, which there was en*indled. Secondly, because this love of $ost holy Mary for the salvation of $en was
one of the principal dispositions reEuired for conceiving the eternal "ord in her virginal wo$b. #t was e$inently
befitting that She should be all $ercy, *indness, piety and cle$ency, who was 0erself to conceive and give birth to the
"ord $ade $an, since 0e in his $ercy, cle$ency and love desired to hu$iliate 0i$self to the lowliness of our nature,
and wished to be born of 0er in order to suffer for $en. #t is saidD li*e begets li*eD <ust as the water parta*es of the
Eualities of the $inerals through which it flows9 and although the birth of Christ originated in the 4ivinity, yet it also
partoo* of the conditions of the Mother as far as was possible. She therefore would not have been suitable for
concurrence with the 0oly !host in this conception, in which only the activity of the $an was wanting, if She had not
been endowed with perfections corresponding to those of the hu$anity of Christ.
The Most 0igh $anifested to 0er in this vision, by $ost special enlighten$ents, the new (aw of grace which the
2edee$er of the world was to establish, the Sacra$ents contained in it, the end for which 0e would leave the$ in his
new Church of the !ospel, the gifts and blessings prepared for $en, and his desire, that all should be saved and that all
should reap the fruit of the 2ede$ption. And so great was the wisdo$, which the $ost holy Mary drew fro$ these
visions, wherein She was taught by the highest Teacher and the Corrector of the wise '"is. 7, 1C), that, if by any $eans
$an or angel could describe it, $ore boo*s would have to be written of this science of our (ady than all those which
have been co$posed in this world concerning all the arts and sciences, and all the inventions of $en. And no wonder
her science was greater than that of all other $enD for into the heart and $ind of our 1rincess was e$ptied and
e?hausted the ocean of the 4ivinity, which the sins and the evil disposition of the creatures had confined, repressed and
circu$scribed. #t was concealed within its own source until the proper ti$e, which was no other than the hour in which
She was chosen as Mother of the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather.
Joined with the sweetness of this divine science, our ;ueen felt a loving, yet piercing sorrow, which this very science
continued to renew. She perceived in the Most 0igh the ineffable treasures of grace and blessings, which 0e had
prepared for $ortals and She saw the weight of the 4ivinity as it were inclined toward the desire of seeing all $en
en<oy the$ eternally. At the sa$e ti$e She saw and considered the wic*ed disposition of the world, and how blindly
$ortals i$peded the flow of these treasures and deprived the$selves of participation of the 4ivinity. 6ro$ this resulted
a new *ind of $artyrdo$ full of grief for the perdition of $en and of the desire of re$edying such la$entable loss.
This caused 0er to offer up the $ost e?alted prayers, petitions, sacrifices, hu$iliations and heroic acts of love of !od
and of $en, in order that no one, if possible, should henceforth da$n hi$self, and that all should recogniGe their
Creator, and 2edee$er, confess 0i$, adore and love 0i$. All this too* place in this very vision9 but as these petitions
were of the sa$e *ind as those already described, # do not e?patiate on the$ here.
#n con<unction therewith the (ord showed 0er also the wor*s of creation perfor$ed on the fourth day '!en. 1, 1&B17).
The heavenly 1rincess Mary learned how and when the lu$inaries of heaven were for$ed in the fir$a$ent for dividing
day and night and for indicating the seasons, the days and the years9 how for this purpose was created the great light of
heaven, the sun, presiding as the (ord of the day, and <oined with it, the $oon, the lesser light, which reigns over the
dar*ness of the night. #n li*e $anner were for$ed the stars of the eighth heaven, in order that they $ight gladden the
night with their brilliance and preside with their various influences over both the day and the night. She understood
what was the $aterial substance of these lu$inous orbs, their for$, their siGe, their properties, their various $ove$ents
and the unifor$ity as well as the ineEuality of the planets. She *new the nu$ber of the stars, and all their influences
e?erted upon the earth, both in regard to the living and the lifeless creatures9 the effects and changes, which they cause
in the$ by these influences.
The fifth day of the novena, which the $ost blessed Trinity celebrated in the te$ple of $ost holy Mary, in order that
the eternal "ord $ight assu$e hu$an shape in 0er, had arrived. Just as in the preceding days She was elevated to an
abstractive vision of the 4ivinity, and, as the veil fell $ore and $ore fro$ the secrets of the infinite wisdo$, She
discovered new $ysteries also during this day. 6or the preparations and enlighten$ents e$itted ever stronger rays of
light and divine graces, which flashed into her $ost holy soul and e$ptied the treasures of infinity into her faculties,
assi$ilating and transfor$ing the heavenly (ady $ore and $ore to a li*eness of her !od in order to $a*e 0er worthy
of being his Mother.
The 1rincess Mary, through these words of the Most 0igh, was instructed in the great $ysteries regarding the nu$ber
of the predestined and the reprobate and also regarding the hindrances and i$pedi$ents by which sinful $en delayed
the co$ing of the eternal "ord as $an into the world. 0aving present before 0erself the vision both of the infinite
bounty and eEuity of the Creator and of the $easureless iniEuity and $alice of $en, the $ost prudent Mistress,
infla$ed by the fire of divine love, spo*e to his Ma<esty and saidD
My (ord and infinite !od of wisdo$ and inco$prehensible sanctity, what $ystery is this, which Thou hast $anifested
to $eI "ithout $easure are the $isdeeds of $en, so that only thy wisdo$ can co$prehend the$. +ut can all these and
$any $ore, perhaps, e?tinguish thy bounty and love, or vie with the$I .o, $y (ord and Master, it $ust not be so9 the
$alice of $en $ust not detain thy $ercy. # a$ the $ost useless of all the hu$an race9 yet on its behalf # re$ind Thee of
thy fidelity. #nfallibly true it is, that heaven and earth will co$e to naught, before thy word can fail '#s. C1, >), and it is
also true, that Thou hast $any ti$es given thy word through the holy 1rophets9 and Thou hast pro$ised the$ by word
of $outh, a 2edee$er and our sa1vation. 0ow then, $y !od, can these pro$ises fail of fulfill$ent without conflicting
with thy infinite wisdo$9 or how can $an be deceived without conflicting with thy goodnessI #n order to induce Thee
to fulfill thy pro$ise and to secure the$ eternal felicity through thy incarnate "ord, # have nothing to offer on the part
of $ortals nor can any creature oblige Thee9 and if this blessing could be $erited, then thy infinite and bounteous
cle$ency would not thereby be glorified. ,nly through thy own Self can this obligation be i$posed upon Thee, for
only in !od can a sufficient reason be found for his beco$ing $anD in Thee alone was the reason and the $otive for our
creation, and therefore in Thee alone also the reason for our reparation after our fall. 4o not see*, $y !od and $ost
high -ing, for $erits, nor for a greater $otive, than thy own $ercy and the e?altation of thy holy na$e.
#t is true, $y Spouse, answered the Most 0igh, that on account of $y goodness # bound Myself to the pro$ise of
vesting Myself in hu$an nature and of dwelling a$ong the$, and that no one could $erit in $y sight such a pro$ise9
but the ungrateful behavior of $en, so abo$inable in $y sight and in $y <ustice, does not $erit the e?ecution of this
#t is i$possible to describe the hidden secrets, which $ost holy Mary then saw in the (ord9 for She perceived in 0i$ all
the creatures of the past, present and the future, and the position of each one in creation, the good and bad actions and
the final ending of each one. #f She had not been strengthened, She could not have preserved her life under the effects
and feelings caused by the *nowledge and insight into these hidden sacra$ents and $ysteries. +ut as his Ma<esty, in
these new $iracles and blessings had such high ends in view, 0e was not sparing but $ost liberal with the beloved
,ne, who$ 0e had chosen as his Mother. And as our ;ueen derived this science fro$ the boso$ of !od itself, She
participated also in the fire of his eternal Charity, which infla$ed 0er with the love of !od and the neighbor.
Therefore, continuing her intercession, She saidD
(ord and eternal !od, invisible and i$$ortal, # confess thy <ustice, # $agnify thy wor*s, # adore thy infinite /ssence
and hold in reverence thy <udg$ents. My heart $elts within $e with tenderest affection, when # perceive thy unli$ited
bounty toward $en and their dar* ingratitude and grossness toward Thee. 6or all of the$, A $y !od, Thou see*est
eternal life9 but there are few who are than*ful for this inesti$able benefit, and $any who will perish by their $alice. #f
on this account, A $y eternal !ood, Thou relinEuishest thy underta*ing, we $ortals are lost9 but while Thou, in thy
divine fore*nowledge, perceivest the sins and the $alice of $en who offend Thee so $uch, Thou also foreseest thy
,nlybegotten $ade $an and his wor*s of infinite price and value in thy sight9 and these will counterbalance and e?ceed
the $alice of sin beyond all co$parison.
At this prayer of $ost pure Mary, the eternal 6ather 'in our way of spea*ing) represented to 0i$self his ,nlybegotten
as borne in the virginal wo$b of this great ;ueen9 and 0e was $oved by her hu$ble and loving petitions. 0is apparent
hesitation was $erely a device of his tender love in order to en<oy so $uch the longer the voice of his +eloved, causing
her sweet lips to distil $ost sweet honey 'Cant. &, 11) and her e$issions to be li*e those of paradise 'Cant. &, 1=). And
to draw out still $ore this loving contention, the (ord answered 0erD My sweetest Spouse and chosen 4ove, great is
that which thou as*est of Me and little is that which obliges Me on the part of $en9 how then shall such a singular
blessing be conferred on those unworthy onesI (eave Me, $y friend, to treat the$ according to their evil deserts. ,ur
powerful and *ind Advocate respondedD .o, $y Master, # will not desist fro$ $y i$portunity9 if $uch # as*, # as* it
of Thee, who are rich in $ercies, powerful in action, true in thy words. My father 4avid said of Thee and of the eternal
"ordD The (ord hath sworn, and 0e will not repentD thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech
'1s. 1A%, &). (et then that 1riest co$e, who is at the sa$e ti$e to be the sacrifice for our rescue9 let 0i$ co$e, since
Thou canst not repent of thy pro$ise9 for Thou dost not pro$ise in ignorance. (et $e be clothed.
#n this contest '<ust as it once happened to Jacob) our (ady and ;ueen was as*ed, what was her na$e9 and She saidD #
a$ a daughter of Ada$, for$ed by thy hands fro$ the insignificant dust. And the Most 0igh answeredD 0enceforth
Thou shalt be calledD Chosen for the Mother of the ,nlybegotten. +ut the latter part of this na$e was heard only by the
courtiers of heaven, while to 0er it was as yet hidden until the proper ti$e. She therefore heard only the word
Chosen. 0aving thus protracted this a$orous contention according to the disposition of his divine wisdo$ and as far
as served to infla$e the heart of this elected ,ne, the whole blessed Trinity gave to Mary, our $ost pure ;ueen, the
e?plicit pro$ise, that They would now send into the world the eternal "ord $ade $an. 6illed with inco$parable <oy
and e?ultation by this fiat, She as*ed and received the benediction of the Most 0igh. Thus this strong "o$an issued
forth fro$ the contest with !od $ore victorious than Jacob9 for She ca$e out rich, strong and laden with spoils, and the
,ne that was wounded and wea*ened 'to spea* in our way) was !od hi$self9 for 0e was drawn by the love of this
(ady to clothe 0i$self in that sacred bridal cha$ber of her wo$b with the wea*ness of our passible nature. 0e
disguised and enveloped the strength of his 4ivinity, so as to conEuer in allowing 0i$self to be conEuered, and in order
to give us life by his death. (et the $ortals see and ac*nowledge, how $ost holy Mary, ne?t to her $ost blessed Son, is
the cause of their salvation.
4uring this vision were also revealed to this great ;ueen the wor*s of the fifth day of the creation in the $anner in
which they happened9 She saw how, by the force of the divine co$$and, were engendered and produced in the waters
beneath the fir$a$ent, the i$perfect reptiles, which creep upon the earth, the winged ani$als that course through the
air, and the finny tribes that glide through the watery regions. ,f all these creatures She *new the beginnings, the
substance, the for$ and figure according to their *inds9 She *new all the species of the ani$als that inhabit the fields
and woods, their conditions, peculiarities, their uses and connections9 She *new the birds of heaven 'for so we call the
at$osphere), with the varied for$s of each *ind, their orna$ents, feathers, their lightness9 the innu$erable fishes of the
seas and the rivers, the differences between the whales, their for$s, co$position and Eualities, their caverns and the
foods furnished the$ by the sea, the ends which they serve, the use to which they can be put in the world. And his
Ma<esty especially co$$anded all these hosts of creatures to recogniGe and obey $ost holy Mary, giving 0er the
power to co$$and all of the$, as it happened on $any occasions to be $entioned later on. Therewith She issued fro$
the trance of this day and She occupied 0erself during the rest of it in the e?ercise and petitions, which the Most 0igh
had pointed out to 0er.
0aving seen !od in this vision She was i$$ediately shown the wor*s on the si?th day of the creation of the world. She
witnessed, as if She 0erself had been present, how at the co$$and of the (ord the earth brought forth the living beings
according to their *inds, as Moses says '!en. 1, @&). 0oly Scripture here refers to the terrestrial ani$als, which being
$ore perfect than the fishes and birds in life and activity, are called by a na$e signifying the $ore i$portant part of
their nature. She saw and understood all the *inds and species of ani$als, which were created on this si?th day, and by
what na$e they were calledD so$e, beasts of burden, because they serve and assist $an, others, wild beasts, as being
$ore fierce and unta$ed9 others, reptiles, because they do not raise the$selves or very little fro$ the earth. She *new
and co$prehended the Eualities of all of the$D their fury, their strength, the useful purposes which they serve, and all
their distinctions and singularities. ,ver all these She was invested with do$inion and they were co$$anded to obey
0er. She could without opposition on their part have trodden upon asps and basilis*s, for all would have $ee*ly borne
her heel. Many ti$es did so$e of these ani$als show their sub<ection to her co$$ands, as when, at the birth of her
$ost 0oly Son, the o? and the ass prostrated the$selves and by their breaths war$ed the infant !od at the co$$and of
his blessed Mother.
After seeing the creation of all the irrational creatures, She beca$e aware, how the $ost blessed Trinity, in order to
co$plete and perfect the world, saidD (et us $a*e $an to our i$age and li*eness '!en. 1, @>), and how by virtue of
this divine decree the first $an was for$ed of the earth as the first parent of all the rest. She had a profound insight into
the har$onious co$position of the hu$an body and soul and of their faculties, of the creation and infusion of the soul
into the body and of its inti$ate union with the body. ,f the structure of the hu$an body and all its parts, She obtained
a deep *nowledgeD She was infor$ed of the nu$ber of the bones, veins, arteries, nerves and ligatures9 of the concourse
of hu$ors to co$pose the befitting te$pera$ents, the faculties of nutrition, growth and loco$otion9 She learned in
what $anner the disturbances or changes in this har$ony caused the sic*nesses, and how these can he cured. All this
the $ost prudent 5irgin understood and co$prehended without the least error, better than all the wise $en of the world
and better than even the angels.
The (ord $anifested to 0er also the happy state of original <ustice, in which 0e placed the first parents Ada$ and /ve9
She understood their condition, beauty and perfection of innocence and grace9 and for how short a ti$e they persevered
in it. She perceived how they were te$pted and overco$e by the astuteness of the serpent '!en. @, C1), and what were
the conseEuences of their sin9 and how great were the fury and hate of the de$on against the hu$an race. At the vision
of all these things our ;ueen $ade great and heroic acts of virtue, highly pleasing to !od. She understood, that She was
a daughter of these first parents and that She descended fro$ a nature so than*less to its Creator. #n the re$e$brance of
this She hu$iliated 0erself in his divine presence, thereby wounding the heart of !od and obliging 0i$ to raise 0er
above all that is created. She too* it upon 0erself to weep for the first sin and for all the rest, that followed fro$ it, as if
She 0erself had been guilty of the$ all. 0ence, even at that ti$e, that first sin $ight have been called a fortunate fault,
which caused tears so precious in the eyes of the (ord, and which earned us such sureties and pledges of our
The seventh day of this $ysterious preparation for the approaching sacra$ent arrived, and in the sa$e hour as already
$entioned, the heavenly (ady was called and elevated in spirit, but with this difference, that She was bodily raised by
her holy angels to the e$pyrean heaven, while in her stead one of the$ re$ained to represent 0er in corporeal
appearance. 1laced into this highest heaven, She saw the 4ivinity by abstract vision as in other days9 but always with
new and $ore penetrating light, piercing to new and $ore profound $ysteries, which !od according to his free will can
conceal or reveal. 1resently She heard a voice proceeding fro$ the royal throne, which saidD ,ur Spouse and chosen
4ove, our gracious 6riend, who hast been found pleasing in our eyes and hast been chosen a$ong thousandsD "e wish
to accept thee anew as our +ride, and therefore "e wish to adorn and beautify thee in a $anner worthy of our design.
,n hearing these words the $ost 0u$ble a$ong the hu$ble abased and annihilated 0erself in the presence of the Most
0igh $ore than can be co$prehended by hu$an power. /ntirely sub$issive to the divine pleasure and with entrancing
$odesty, She respondedD At thy feet, A (ord, lies the dust and ab<ect wor$, ready is thy poor slave for the fulfill$ent
of all thy pleasure in her. Ma*e use, A eternal !ood, of this thy insignificant instru$ent according to thy desire, and
dispose of it with thy right hand. 1resently the Most 0igh co$$anded two seraphi$, of those nearest to his throne and
highest in dignity to attend on this heavenly 5irgin. Acco$panied by others, they presented the$selves in visible for$
before the throne, and there surrounded the $ost holy Mary, who was $ore infla$ed with divine love than they.
The heavenly 1rincess, $ost holy Mary, had now attained such fullness of grace and beauty and the heart of !od was
so wounded by her tender affections and desires 'Cant. &, %), that 0e was so to say irresistibly drawn to begin his flight
fro$ the boso$ of the eternal 6ather to the bridalBcha$ber of her virginal wo$b and end the long delay of $ore than
five thousand years. .evertheless, since this new wonder was to be e?ecuted in the plenitude of his wisdo$ and eEuity,
the (ord arranged this event in such a way, that the 1rincess of the heavens 0erself, being the worthy Mother of the
incarnate "ord, should at the sa$e ti$e be also the $ost powerful Mediatri? of his co$ing and the 2edee$er of his
people $uch $ore than /sther was of #srael '/sther ch. 7 and F). #n the heart of $ost holy Mary burned the fla$e,
which !od hi$self had en*indled, and without inter$ission She prayed for the salvation of the hu$an race. 0owever,
as yet the $ost hu$ble (ady restrained 0erself in $odesty, *nowing that on account of the sin of Ada$, the sentence
of death and of eternal privation fro$ the vision of !od had been pro$ulgated '!en. =, %).
The Most 0igh received his holy and chosen +ride, $ost holy Mary, into his presence. Although this happened not in
an intuitive, but in an abstractive vision of the 4ivinity, it was acco$panied with inco$parable favors of light and
purification proceeding fro$ the (ord hi$self, such as were specially reserved for this day. 6or they were so divine,
that, in our way of spea*ing, !od hi$self who wrought the$, was astonished and was char$ed with the wor* of his
hand. As if entranced with love, 0e spo*e to 0er and saidD 2evertere, revertere, Sula$itis, ut intuea$ur te '2eturn,
return, A Sula$itess, that "e $ay behold thee). My Spouse, $y $ost perfect and beloved 4ove, pleasing in $y sight,
turn and advance toward 7s, that "e $ay behold thee and be char$ed by thy beauty. # do not regret to have created
$an and # delight in his for$ation, since thou hast been born of hi$. (et $y celestial spirits see how <ustly # have
desired and do desire to choose thee as $y Spouse and the ;ueen of all the creatures. (et the$ see what good reason #
have to re<oice in this $y bridal cha$ber, fro$ whence $y ,nlybegotten, ne?t to that of $y own boso$, shall derive
the greatest glory. (et all understand, that if # <ustly repudiated /ve, the first Eueen of the earth, on account of her
disobedience, # now place thee and establish thee in the highest dignity, showing $y $agnificence and power in dealing
with thy purest hu$ility and selfBabase$ent.
#n order to put the last touch to this prodigious wor* of preparing the $ost holy Mary, the (ord e?tended his powerful
ar$ and e?pressly renewed the spirit and the faculties of the great (ady, giving 0er new inclinations, habits and
Eualities, the greatness and e?cellence of which are ine?pressible in terrestrial ter$s. #t was the finishing act and the
final retouching of the living i$age of !od, in order to for$, in it and of it, the very shape, into which the eternal "ord,
the essential i$age of the eternal 6ather '## Cor. &, &) and the figure of his substance '0eb. 1, =), was to be cast. Thus
the whole te$ple of $ost holy Mary, $ore so than that of Solo$on, was covered with the purest gold of the 4ivinity
inside and out, '### -ings, >, =A), so that nowhere could be seen in 0er any grossness of an earthly daughter of Ada$.
0er entire being was $ade to shine forth the 4ivinity9 for since the divine "ord was to issue fro$ the boso$ of the
eternal 6ather to descend to that of Mary, 0e provided for the greatest possible si$ilarity between the Mother and the
.o words at $y disposal could ever suffice to describe as # would wish, the effects of these favors in the heart of our
great ;ueen and Mistress. 0u$an thought cannot conceive the$, how then can hu$an words e?press the$I +ut what
has caused the greatest wonder in $e, when # considered these things in the light given to $e, is the hu$ility of this
heavenly "o$an and the $utual contest between her hu$ility and the divine power. 2are and astonishing prodigy of
hu$ility, to see this Maiden, $ost holy Mary, though raised to the supre$est dignity and holiness ne?t to !od, yet
hu$iliating 0erself and debasing 0erself below the $eanest of the creatures9 so that, by the force of this hu$ility, no
thought of her being destined for the Mothership of the Messias could find entrance into her $indH And not only thisD
She did not even have a suspicion of anything great or ad$irable in 0erself '1s. 1=A, 1). 0er eyes and heart were not
elated9 on the contrary the higher She ascended by the operation of the right hand of her !od, so $uch the $ore lowly
were her thoughts concerning 0erself. #t was therefore <ust, that the Al$ighty should loo* upon her hu$ility '(u*e 1,
&F), and that therefore all generations should call her fortunate and blessed.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, whoever has only a selfish and servile love is not a worthy spouse of the Most 0igh, she $ust not love or
fear li*e a slave, nor is she supposed to serve for her daily wages. 3et although her heart $ust be a filial and generous
love on account of the e?cellence and i$$ense goodness of her Spouse, she $ust nevertheless also feel herself $uch
bounden to 0i$, when she considers how rich and liberal 0e is9 how, on account of his love for souls, 0e has created a
variety of visible goods in order that they $ight serve those who serve 0i$9 and especially, when she considers how
$any hidden treasures 0e has in readiness in the abundance of his sweetness '1s. =A, @A) for those that fear 0i$ as his
true children. # wish that thou feel deeply obliged to thy (ord and 6ather, thy Spouse and 6riend, at the thought of the
riches given to those souls, who beco$e his dearest children. 6or, as a powerful 6ather, 0e holds in readiness these
great and $anifold gifts for his children, and if necessary, all of his gifts for each one of the$ in particular. #n the $idst
of such $otives and incentives of love the disaffection of $en is ine?cusable, and at the sight of so $any blessings,
given without $easure, their ingratitude is unpardonable.
2e$e$ber, also, $y dearest, that thou wast no foreigner, or stranger in this house of the (ord, his holy Church '/phes.
@, 1%)9 but thou wast $ade a do$estic and a spouse of Christ a$ong the saints, favored by his gifts and by the dowry of
a bride. Since all the treasures and riches of the bridegroo$ belong to the legiti$ate spouse, consider of how great
possessions 0e $a*es thee participant and $istress. /n<oy the$ all, then, as his do$estic, and be Gealous for his honor
as a $uchBfavored daughter and spouse9 than* 0i$ for all these wor*s and benefits, as if they had all been prepared for
thee alone by the (ord. (ove and reverence 0i$ for thyself and for all thy neighbors, to who$ !od has been so liberal.
#n all this i$itate, with thy wea* faculties, that which thou hast understood of what # have done. # assure thee also,
daughter, that it will he very pleasing to $e, if thou $agnify and praise the ,$nipotent with fervent affection, for the
favors and riches which, beyond all hu$an conception, the divine right hand showered upon $e.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ##
T0/ #.CA2.AT#,. ,6 T0/ S,. ,6 !,4.
Thereupon his Ma<esty announced to all the other angels that the ti$e of the 2ede$ption had co$e and that 0e had
co$$anded it to be brought to the world without delay9 for already, in their own presence, the $ost holy Mary had
been prepared and adorned to be his Mother, and had been e?alted to the supre$e dignity. The heavenly spirits heard
the voice of their Creator, and with inco$parable <oy and than*sgiving for the fulfill$ent of his eternal and perfect will,
they intoned new canticles of praise, repeating therein that hy$n of SionD 0oly, holy, holy art thou, !od and (ord
Sabaoth '#s. >, =). Just and powerful art Thou, (ord our !od, who livest in the highest '1s. 11@, C) and loo*est upon the
lowly of the earth. Ad$irable are all thy wor*s, $ost high and e?alted in thy designs.
The supernal prince !abriel, obeying with singular delight the divine co$$and and acco$panied by $any thousands
of $ost beautiful angels in visible for$s, descended fro$ the highest heaven. The appearance of the great prince and
legate was that of a $ost handso$e youth of rarest beauty9 his face e$itted resplendent rays of light, his bearing was
grave and $a<estic, his advance $easured, his $otions co$posed, his words weighty and powerful, his whole presence
displayed a pleasing, *indly gravity and $ore of godli*e Eualities than all the other angels until then seen in visible
for$ by the heavenly Mistress. 0e wore a diade$ of e?Euisite splendor and his vest$ents glowed in various colors full
of refulgent beauty. /nchased on his breast, he bore a $ost beautiful cross, disclosing the $ystery of the #ncarnation,
which 0e had co$e to announce. All these circu$stances were calculated to rivet the affectionate attention of the $ost
prudent ;ueen.
The whole of this celestial ar$y with their princely leader holy !abriel directed their flight to .aGareth, a town of the
province of !alilee, to the dwelling place of $ost holy Mary. This was an hu$ble cottage and her cha$ber was a
narrow roo$, bare of all those furnishings which are wont to be used by the world in order to hide its own $eanness
and want of all higher goods. The heavenly Mistress was at this ti$e fourteen years, si? $onths and seventeen days of
age9 for her birthday anniversary fell on the eighth of Septe$ber and si? $onths seventeen days had passed since that
date, when this greatest of all $ysteries ever perfor$ed by !od in this world, was enacted in 0er.
The bodily shape of the heavenly ;ueen was well proportioned and taller than is usual with other $aidens of her age9
yet e?tre$ely elegant and perfect in all its parts. 0er face was rather $ore oblong than round, gracious and beautiful,
without leanness or grossness9 its co$ple?ion clear, yet of a slightly brownish hue9 her forehead spacious yet
sy$$etrical9 her eyebrows perfectly arched9 her eyes large and serious, of incredible and ineffable beauty and doveli*e
sweetness, dar* in color with a $i?ture tending toward green9 her nose straight and well shaped9 her $outh s$all, with
redBcolored lips, neither too thin nor too thic*. All the gifts of nature in 0er were so sy$$etrical and beautiful, that no
other hu$an being ever had the li*e. To loo* upon 0er caused feelings at the sa$e ti$e of <oy and seriousness, love
and reverential fear. She attracted the heart and yet restrained it in sweet reverence9 her beauty i$pelled the tongue to
sound her praise, and yet her grandeur and her overwhel$ing perfections and graces hushed it to silence. #n all that
approached 0er, She caused divine effects not easily e?plained9 She filled the heart with heavenly influences and divine
operations, tending toward the 4ivinity.
0er gar$ents were hu$ble and poor, yet clean, of a dar* silvery hue, so$ewhat li*e the color of ashes, and they were
arranged and worn without pretense, but with the greatest $odesty and propriety. At the ti$e when, without her
noticing it, the e$bassy of heaven drew nigh unto 0er, She was engaged in the highest conte$plation concerning the
$ysteries which the (ord had renewed in 0er by so $any favors during the nine receding days. And since, as we have
said above, the (ord hi$self had assured 0er that his ,nlybegotten would soon descend to assu$e hu$an for$, this
great ;ueen was full of fervent and <oyful affection in the e?pectation of its e?ecution and infla$ed with hu$ble love,
She spo*e in her heartD #s it possible that the blessed ti$e has arrived, in which the "ord of the eternal 6ather is to be
born and to converse with $enI '+rauch 1A, =F). That the world should possess 0i$I That $en are to see 0i$ in the
fleshI '#s. &A.C). That his inaccessible light is to shine forth to illu$ine those who sit in dar*nessI '#s. %, @). ,, who
shall be worthy to see and *now 0i$H ,, who shall be allowed to *iss the earth touched by his feetH
2e<oice, ye heavens, and console thyself, , earth '1s. %C, 11)9 let all things bless and e?tol 0i$, since already his
eternal happiness is nighH , children of Ada$, afflicted with sin, and ye creatures of $y +eloved, now shall you raise
your heads and throw off the yo*e of your ancient servitudeH '#s. 1&, @C). ,, ye ancient 6orefathers and 1rophets, and
all ye <ust, that are detained in li$bo and are waiting in the boso$ of Abraha$, now shall you be consoled and your
$uch desired and long pro$ised 2edee$er shall tarry no longerH 'Agg. @, F). (et us all $agnify 0i$ and sing to 0i$
hy$ns of praiseH , who shall be the slave of 0er, who$ #saias points out as his Mother '#s. 7, &)9 , /$$anuel, true
!od and ManH , *ey of 4avid, who art to unloc* heavenH '#s. @@, @@). , eternal "isdo$H , (awgiver of the new
ChurchH Co$e, co$e to us, , (ord, and end the captivity of thy people9 let all flesh see thy salvationH '#s. &A, C).
#n order that the $ystery of the Most 0igh $ight be fulfilled, the holy archangel !abriel, in the shape described in the
preceding chapter and acco$panied by innu$erable angels in visible hu$an for$s and resplendent with inco$parable
beauty, entered into the cha$ber, where $ost holy Mary was praying. #t was on a Thursday at si? oJcloc* in the evening
and at the approach of night. The great $odesty and restraint of the 1rincess of heaven did not per$it 0er to loo* at
hi$ $ore than was necessary to recogniGe hi$ as an angel of the (ord. 2ecogniGing hi$ as such, She, in her usual
hu$ility, wished to do hi$ reverence9 the holy prince would not allow it9 on the contrary he hi$self bowed profoundly
as before his ;ueen and Mistress, in who$ he adored the heavenly $ysteries of his Creator. At the sa$e ti$e he
understood that fro$ that day on the ancient ti$es and the custo$ of old whereby $en should worship angels, as
Abraha$ had done '!en. =F, @), were changed. 6or as hu$an nature was raised to the dignity of !od hi$self in the
person of the "ord, $en now held the position of adopted children, of co$panions and brethren of the angels, as the
angel said to /vangelist Saint John, when he refused to be worshipped 'Apoc. 1%, 1A).
The holy archangel saluted our and his ;ueen and saidD Ave gratia plena, 4o$inus tecu$, benedicta tu in $ulieribus
'(u*e 1, @F). 0earing this new salutation of the angel, this $ost hu$ble of all creatures was disturbed, but not confused
in $ind '(u*e 1, @%). This disturbance arose fro$ two causesD first, fro$ her hu$ility, for She thought herself the
lowest of the creatures and thus in her hu$ility, was ta*en unawares at hearing 0erself saluted and called the +lessed
a$ong wo$en9 secondly, when She heard this salute and began to consider within 0erself how She should receive it,
She was interiorly $ade to understand by the (ord, that 0e chose 0er for his Mother, and this caused a still greater
perturbance, having such an hu$ble opinion of 0erself. ,n account of this perturbance the angel proceeded to e?plain
to 0er the decree of the (ord, sayingD 4o not fear, Mary, for thou hast found grace before the (ord '(u*e 1, =A)9
behold thou shalt conceive a Son in thy wo$b, and thou shalt give birth to 0i$, and thou shalt na$e 0i$ Jesus9 0e
shall be great, and 0e shall be called Son of the Most 0igh, and the rest as recorded of the holy archangel.
,ur $ost prudent and hu$ble ;ueen alone, a$ong all the creatures, was sufficiently intelligent and $agnani$ous to
esti$ate at its true value such a new and unheard of sacra$ent9 and in proportion as She realiGed its greatness, so She
was also $oved with ad$iration. +ut She raised her hu$ble heart to the (ord, who could not refuse 0er any petition,
and in the secret of her spirit She as*ed new light and assistance by which to govern 0erself in such an arduous
transaction9 for, as we have said in the preceding chapter, the Most 0igh, in order to per$it 0er to act in this $ystery
solely in faith, hope and charity, left 0er in the co$$on state and suspended all other *inds of favors and interior
elevations, which She so freEuently or continually en<oyed. #n this disposition She replied and said to holy !abriel,
what is written in saint (u*eD how shall this happen, that # conceive and bear9 since # *now not, nor can *now, $anI
At the sa$e ti$e She interiorly represented to the (ord the vow of chastity, which She had $ade and the espousal,
which his Ma<esty had celebrated with 0er.
The holy prince !abriel replied '(u*e 1, @&)D (ady, it is easy for the divine power to $a*e Thee a Mother without the
cooperation of $an9 the 0oly Spirit shall re$ain with Thee by a new presence and the virtue of the Most 0igh shall
overshadow Thee, so that the 0oly of holies can be born of Thee, who shall hi$self be called the Son of !od. And
behold, thy cousin /lisabeth has li*ewise conceived a son in her sterile years and this is the si?th $onth of her
conception9 for nothing is i$possible with !od. 0e that can $a*e her conceive, who was sterile, can bring it about, that
Thou, (ady, be his Mother, still preserving thy virginity and enhancing thy purity.
"ith these and $any other words the a$bassador of heaven instructed the $ost holy Mary, in order that, by the
re$e$brance of the ancient pro$ises and prophecies of holy "rit, by the reliance and trust in the$ and in the infinite
power of the Most 0igh, She $ight overco$e her hesitancy at the heavenly $essage. +ut as the (ady herself e?ceeded
the angels in wisdo$, prudence and in all sanctity, She withheld her answer, in order to be able to give it in accordance
with the divine will and that it $ight be worthy of the greatest of all the $ysteries and sacra$ents of the divine power.
She reflected that upon her answer depended the pledge of the $ost blessed Trinity, the fulfill$ent of his pro$ises and
prophecies, the $ost pleasing and acceptable of all sacrifices, the opening of the gates of paradise, the victory and
triu$ph over hell, the 2ede$ption of all the hu$an race, the satisfaction of the divine <ustice, the foundation of the new
law of grace, the glorification of $en, the re<oicing of the angels, and whatever was connected with the #ncarnation of
the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather and his assu$ing the for$ of servant in her virginal wo$b '1hilip @, 7)
A great wonder, indeed, and worthy of our ad$iration, that all these $ysteries and whatever others they included,
should be intrusted by the Al$ighty to an hu$ble Maiden and $ade dependent upon her fiat. +ut befittingly and
securely 0e left the$ to the wise and strong decision of this courageous "o$an '1rov. =1, 116$ since She would
consider the$ with such $agnani$ity and nobility, that perforce his confidence in 0er was not $isplaced. The
operations, which proceed within the divine /ssence, depend not on the cooperation of creatures, for they have no part
in the$ and !od could not e?pect such cooperations for e?ecuting the wor*s ad intra9 but in the wor*s ad extra and
such as were contingent, a$ong which that of beco$ing $an was the $ost e?alted, 0e could not proceed without the
cooperation of $ost holy Mary and without her free consent. 6or 0e wished to reach this ac$e of all the wor*s outside
0i$self in 0er and through 0er and 0e wished that we should owe this benefit to this Mother of wisdo$ and our
Therefore this great (ady considered and inspected profoundly this spacious field of the dignity of Mother of !od
'1rov. @1, 1>) in order to purchase it by her fiat9 She clothed 0erself in fortitude $ore than hu$an, and She tasted and
saw how profitable was this enterprise and co$$erce with the 4ivinity. She co$prehended the ways of his hidden
benevolence and adorned 0erself with fortitude and beauty. And having conferred with 0erself and with the heavenly
$essenger !abriel about the grandeur of these high and divine sacra$ents, and finding herself in e?cellent condition to
receive the $essage sent to 0er, her purest soul was absorbed and elevated in ad$iration, reverence and highest
intensity of divine love. +y the intensity of these $ove$ents and supernal affections, her $ost pure heart, as it were by
natural conseEuence, was contracted and co$pressed with such force, that it distilled three drops of her $ost pure
blood, and these, finding their way to the natural place for the act of conception, were for$ed by the power of the
divine and holy Spirit, into the body of Christ our (ord. Thus the $atter, fro$ which the $ost holy hu$anity of the
"ord for our 2ede$ption is co$posed, was furnished and ad$inistered by the $ost pure heart of Mary and through the
sheer force of her true love. At the sa$e $o$ent, with a hu$ility never sufficiently to be e?tolled, inclining slightly her
head and <oining her hands, She pronounced these words, which were the beginning of our salvationD 6iat $ihi
secundu$ verbu$ tuu$JJ '(u*e 1, =1).

At the pronouncing of this fiat, so sweet to the hearing of !od and so fortunate for us, in one instant, four things
happened. 6irst, the $ost holy body of Christ our (ord was for$ed fro$ the three drops of blood furnished by the heart
of $ost holy Mary. Secondly, the $ost holy soul of the sa$e (ord was created, <ust as the other souls. Thirdly, the soul
and the body united in order to co$pose his perfect hu$anity. 6ourthly, the 4ivinity united #tself in the 1erson of the
"ord with the hu$anity, which together beca$e one co$posite being in hypostatical union9 and thus was for$ed
Christ true !od and Man, our (ord and 2edee$er. This happened in springti$e on the twentyBfifth of March, at brea*
or dawning of the day, in the sa$e hour, in which our first father Ada$ was $ade and in the year of the creation of the
world C1%%, which agrees also with the count of the 2o$an Church in her Martyrology under the guidance of the 0oly
!host. This rec*oning is the true and certain one, as was told $e, when # inEuired at co$$and of $y superiors.
Confor$able to this the world was created in the $onth of March, which corresponds to the beginning of creation. And
as the wor*s of the Most 0igh are perfect and co$plete '4eut. =@, &), the plants and trees co$e forth fro$ the hands of
his Ma<esty bearing fruit, and they would have borne the$ continually without inter$ission, if sin had not changed the
whole nature. The divine Child began to grow in the natural $anner in the recess of the wo$b, being nourished by the
substance and the blood of its $ost holy Mother, <ust as other $en9 yet it was $ore free and e?e$pt fro$ the
i$perfections, to which other children of Ada$ are sub<ect in that place and period. 6or fro$ so$e of these, na$ely
those that, are accidental and unnecessary to the substance of the act of generation, being $erely effects of sin, the
/$press of heaven was free. She was also free fro$ the superfluities caused by sin, which in other wo$en are co$$on
and happen naturally in the for$ation, sustenance and growth of their children. 6or the necessary $atter, which is
proper to the infected nature of the descendants of /ve and which was wanting in 0er, was supplied and ad$inistered
in 0er by the e?ercise of heroic acts of virtue and especially by charity. +y the fervor of her soul and her loving
affections the blood and hu$ors of her body were changed and thereby divine 1rovidence provided for the sustenance
of the divine Child. Thus in a natural $anner the hu$anity of our 2edee$er was nourished, while his 4ivinity was
recreated and pleased with her heroic virtues. Most holy Mary furnished to the 0oly !host, for the for$ation of this
body, pure and li$pid blood, free fro$ sin and all its tendencies. And whatever i$pure and i$perfect $atter is supplied
by other $others for the growth of their children was ad$inistered by the ;ueen of heaven $ost pure and delicate in
substance. 6or it was built up and supplied by the power of her loving affections and her other virtues. #n a li*e $anner
was purified whatever served as food for the heavenly ;ueen. 6or, as She *new that her nourish$ent was at the sa$e
ti$e to sustain and nourish the Son of !od, She partoo* of it with such heroic acts of virtue, that the angelic spirits
wondered how such co$$on hu$an actions could be connected with such supernal heights of $erit and perfection in
the sight of !od.
Thus adorned and deified by the 4ivinity and its gifts, the $ost holy soul of Christ our (ord proceeded in its operations
in the following orderD i$$ediately it began to see and *now the 4ivinity intuitively as #t is in #tself and as #t is united
to his $ost holy hu$anity, loving #t with the highest beatific love and perceiving the inferiority of the hu$an nature in
co$parison with the essence of !od. The soul of Christ hu$iliated itself profoundly, and in this hu$ility it gave than*s
to the i$$utable being of !od for having created it and for the benefit of the hypostatic union, by which, though
re$aining hu$an, it was raised to the essence of !od. #t also recogniGed that his $ost holy hu$anity was $ade capable
of suffering, and was adapted for attaining the end of the 2ede$ption. #n this *nowledge it offered itself as the
2edee$er in sacrifice for the hu$an race '1s. =%, F), accepting the state of suffering and giving than*s in his own na$e
and in the na$e of $an*ind to the eternal 6ather. 0e recogniGed the co$position of his $ost holy hu$anity, the
substance of which it was $ade, and how $ost holy Mary by the force of her charity and of her heroic virtues,
furnished its substance. 0e too* possession of this holy tabernacle and dwelling9 re<oicing in its $ost e?Euisite beauty,
and, well pleased, reserved as his own property the soul of this $ost perfect and $ost pure Creature for all eternity. 0e
praised the eternal 6ather for having created 0er and endowed 0er with such vast graces and giftsD for having e?e$pted
0er and freed 0er fro$ the co$$on law of sin, as his 4aughter, while all the other descendants of Ada$ have incurred
its guilt '2o$. C, 1F). 0e prayed for the $ost pure (ady and for saint Joseph, as*ing eternal salvation for the$. All
these acts, and $any others, were $ost e?alted and proceeded fro$ 0i$ as true !od and Man. .ot ta*ing into account
those that pertain to the beatific vision and love, these acts and each one by itself, were of such $erit that they alone
would have sufficed to redee$ infinite worlds, if such could e?ist.
/ven the act of obedience alone, by which the $ost holy hu$anity of the "ord sub<ected itself to suffering and
prevented the glory of his soul fro$ being co$$unicated to his body, was abundantly sufficient for our salvation. +ut
although this sufficed for our salvation, nothing would satisfy his i$$ense love for $en e?cept the full li$it of
effective love 'John 1=, 1)9 for this was the purpose of his life, that 0e should consu$e it in de$onstrations and to*ens
of such intense love, that neither the understanding of $en nor of angels was able to co$prehend it. And if in the first
instant of his entrance into the world 0e enriched it so i$$easurably, what treasures, what riches of $erits $ust 0e
have stored up for it, when 0e left it by his 1assion and 4eath on the cross after thirtyBthree years of labor and activity
all divineH , i$$ense loveH , charity without li$itH , $ercy without $easureH , $ost generous *indnessH and, on the
other hand, , ingratitude and base forgetfulness of $ortals in the face of such unheard of and such vast benefactionH
"hat would have beco$e of us without 0i$I 0ow $uch less could we do for this our 2edee$er and (ord, even if 0e
had conferred on us but s$all favors, while now we are scarcely $oved and obliged by his doing for us all that 0e
couldI #f we do not wish to treat as a 2edee$er 0i$, who has given us eternal life and liberty, let us at least hear 0i$
as our Teacher, let us follow 0i$ as our (eader, as our guiding light, which shows us the way to our true happiness.
These operations of Christ our (ord in the first instant of his conception were followed, in another essential instant, by
the beatific vision of the 4ivinity, which we have $entioned in the preceding chapter '.o. 1=%)9 for in one instant of
ti$e $any instants of essence can ta*e place. #n this vision the heavenly (ady perceived with clearness and distinction
the $ystery of the hypostatic union of the divine and the hu$an natures in the person of the eternal "ord, and the $ost
holy Trinity confir$ed 0er in the title and the rights of Mother of !od. This in all rigor of truth She was, since She was
the natural Mother of a Son, who was eternal !od with the sa$e certainty and truth as 0e was $an. Although this great
(ady did not directly cooperate in the union of the 4ivinity with the hu$anity, She did not on this account lose her
right to be called the Mother of the true !od9 for She concurred by ad$inistering the $aterial and by e?erting her
faculties, as far as it pertained to a true Mother9 and to a greater e?tent than to ordinary $others, since in 0er the
conception and the generation too* place without the aid of a $an. Just as in other generations the agents, which bring
the$ about in the natural course, are called father and $other, each furnishing that which is necessary, without however
concurring directly in the creation of the soul, nor in its infusion into the body of the child9 so also, and with greater
reason, $ost holy Mary $ust be called, and did call 0erself, Mother of !od for She alone concurred in the generation
of Christ, true !od and Man, as a Mother, to the e?clusion of any other natural cause9 and only through this
concurrence of Mary in the generation, Christ, the ManB!od, was born.
+ut She was especially persistent and fervent in her prayer to obtain guidance of the Al$ighty nor the worthy
fulfill$ent of her office as Mother of the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather. 6or this, before all other graces, 0er hu$ble heart
urged 0er to desire, and this was especially the sub<ect of her solicitude, that She $ight be guided in all her actions as
beco$es the Mother of !od. The Al$ighty answered 0erD My 4ove, do not fear, for # will assist thee and guide thee,
directing thee in all things necessary for the service of $y onlybegotten Son. "ith this pro$ise She ca$e to 0erself
and issued fro$ her ecstasy, in which all that # have said had happened, and which was the $ost wonderful She ever
had. 2estored to her faculties, her first action was to prostrate 0erself on the earth and adore her holiest Son, !od and
Man, conceived in her virginal wo$b9 for this She had not yet done with her e?ternal and bodily senses and faculties.
.othing that She could do in the service of her Creator, did this $ost prudent Mother leave undone. 6ro$ that ti$e on
She was conscious of feeling new and divine effects in her holiest soul and in her e?terior and interior faculties. And
although the whole tenor of her life had been $ost noble both as regards her body as her soul9 yet on this day of the
incarnation of the "ord it rose to still greater nobility of spirit and was $ade $ore godli*e by still higher reaches of
grace and indescribable gifts.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My dearest daughter, $any ti$es # have confided and $anifested to thee the love burning within $y boso$D for # wish
that it should be ardently reBen*indled within thy own, and that thou profit fro$ the instruction, which # give thee.
0appy is the soul, to which the Most 0igh $anifests his holy and perfect will9 but $ore happy and blessed is he, who
puts into e?ecution, what he has learned. #n $any ways !od shows to $ortals the highways and pathways of eternal
lifeD by the !ospels and the holy Scriptures, by the Sacra$ents and the laws of the holy Church, by the writings and
e?a$ples of the saints, and especially, by the obedience due to the guidings of its $inisters, of who$ his Ma<esty said D
"hoever hears you, hears Me9 for obeying the$ is the sa$e as obeying the (ord hi$self. "henever by any of these
$eans thou hast co$e to the *nowledge of the will of !od, # desire thee to assu$e the wings of hu$ility and obedience,
and, as if in ethereal flight or li*e the Euic*est sunbea$, hasten to e?ecute it and thereby fulfill the divine pleasure.
+esides these $eans of instruction, the Most 0igh has still others in order to direct the soul9 na$ely, 0e inti$ates his
perfect will to the$ in a supernatural $anner, and reveals to the$ $any sacra$ents. This *ind of instruction is of $any
and different degrees9 not all of the$ are co$$on or ordinary to all souls9 for the (ord dispenses his light in $easure
and weight '"is. 11, @1). So$eti$es 0e spea*s to the heart and the interior feelings in co$$ands9 at others, in
correction, advising or instructingD so$eti$es 0e $oves the heart to as* 0i$9 at other ti$es 0e proposes clearly what
0e desires, in order that the soul $ay be $oved to fulfill it9 again 0e $anifests, as in a clear $irror, great $ysteries, in
order that they $ay be seen and recogniGed by the intellect and loved by the will. +ut this great and infinite !ood is
always sweet in co$$anding, powerful in giving the necessary help for obedience, <ust in his co$$ands, Euic* in
disposing circu$stances so that 0e can be obeyed, notwithstanding all the i$pedi$ents which hinder the fulfill$ent of
his $ost holy will.
#n receiving this divine light, $y daughter. # wish to see thee very attentive, and very Euic* and diligent in following it
up in deed. #n order to hear this $ost delicate and spiritual voice of the (ord it is necessary, that the faculties of the soul
be purged fro$ earthly grossness and that the creature live entirely according to the spirit9 for the ani$al $an does not
perceive the elevated things of the 4ivinity '# Cor. @, 1&). +e attentive then to his secrets '#s. =&, 1>) and forget all that
is of the outside9 listen, $y daughter, and incline thy ear9 free thyself fro$ all visible things '1s. &&, 11). And in order
that thou $ayest be diligent, cultivate love9 for love is a fire, which does not have its effect until the $aterial is
prepared9 therefore let thy heart always be disposed and prepared. "henever the Most 0igh bids thee or co$$unicates
to thee anything for the welfare of souls, or especially for their eternal salvation, devote thyself to it entirely9 for they
are bought at the inesti$able price of the blood of the (a$b and of divine love. 4o not allow thyself to be hindered in
this $atter by thy own lowliness and bashfulness9 but overco$e the fear which restrains thee, for if thou thyself art of
s$all value and usefulness, the Most 0igh is rich '# 1et. 1, 1F), powerful, great, and by 0i$self perfor$s all things
'2o$. 1A, 1@). Thy pro$ptness and affection will not go without its reward, although # wish thee rather to be $oved
entirely by the pleasure of thy (ord.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ###.
M,ST 0,(3 MA23 5#S#TS /(#SA+/T0.
And Mary rising up in those days, says the sacred te?t, went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Jude
'(u*e 1, =%). This rising up of our heavenly ;ueen signified not only her e?terior preparations and setting out fro$
.aGareth on her <ourney, but it referred to the $ove$ent of her spirit and to the divine i$pulse and co$$and which
directed 0er to arise interiorly fro$ the hu$ble retire$ent, which She had chosen in her hu$ility. She arose as it were
fro$ the feet of the Most 0igh, whose will and pleasure She eagerly sought to fulfill, li*e the lowliest hand$aid, who
according to the word of 4avid '1s. 1@@, @) *eeps her eyes fi?ed upon the hands of her Mistress, awaiting her
co$$ands. Arising at the bidding of the (ord She lovingly hastened to acco$plish his $ost holy will, #n procuring
without delay the sanctification of the 1recursor of the incarnate "ord, who was yet held prisoner in the wo$b of
/lisabeth by the bonds of original sin. This was the purpose and ob<ect of this <ourney. Therefore the 1rincess of heaven
arose and proceeded in diligent haste, as $entioned by the /vangelist saint (u*e.
(eaving behind then the house of her father and forgetting her people '1s. &&, 11), the $ost chaste spouses, Mary and
Joseph, pursued their way to the house of Kacharias in $ountainous Judea. #t was twenty si? leagues distant fro$
.aGareth, and the greater part of the way was very rough and bro*en, unfit for such a delicate and tender Maiden. All
the convenience at their disposal for the arduous underta*ing was an hu$ble beast, on which She began and pursued
her <ourney. Although it was intended solely for her co$fort and service, yet Mary, the $ost hu$ble and unpretentious
of all creatures, $any ti$es dis$ounted and as*ed her spouse saint Joseph to share with 0er this co$$odity and to
lighten the difficulties of the way by $a*ing use of the beast. 0er discreet spouse never accepted this offer9 and in order
to yield so$ewhat to the solicitations of the heavenly (ady, he per$itted her now and then to wal* with hi$ part of the
way, whenever it see$ed to hi$ that her delicate strength could sustain the e?ertion without too great fatigue. +ut soon
he would again as* 0er, with great $odesty and reverence, to accept of this slight alleviation and the celestial ;ueen
would they obey and again proceed on her way seated in the saddle.
Thus alleviating their fatigue by hu$ble and courteous contentions, the $ost holy Mary and saint Joseph continued on
their <ourney, $a*ing good use of each single $o$ent. They proceeded alone, without acco$pani$ent of any hu$an
creatures9 but all the thousand angels, which were set to guard the couch of Solo$on, the $ost holy Mary, attended
upon the$ 'Cant. =, 7). Although the angels acco$panied the$ in corporeal for$, serving their great ;ueen and her
$ost holy Son in her wo$b, they were visible only to Mary. #n the co$pany of the angels and of saint Joseph, the
Mother of grace <ourneyed along, filling the fields and the $ountains with the sweetest fragrance of her presence and
with the divine praises, in which She unceasingly occupied herself. So$eti$es She conversed with the angels and,
alternately with the$, sang divine canticles concerning the different $ysteries of the 4ivinity and the wor*s of Creation
and of the #ncarnation. Thus ever anew the pure heart of the i$$aculate (ady was infla$ed by the ardors of divine
love. #n all this her spouse saint Joseph contributed his share by $aintaining a discreet silence, and by allowing his
beloved Spouse to pursue the flights of her spirit9 for, lost in highest conte$plation, he was favored with so$e
understanding what was passing within her soul.
At other ti$es the two would converse with each other and spea* about the salvation of souls and the $ercies of the
(ord, of the co$ing of the 2edee$er, of the prophecies given to the ancient 6athers concerning 0i$, and of other
$ysteries and sacra$ents of the Most 0igh. So$ething happened on the way, which caused great wonder in her holy
spouse JosephD he loved his Spouse $ost tenderly with a chaste and holy love, such as had been ordained in 0i$ by the
special grace and dispensation of the divine love itself 'Cant. @, &)9 in addition to this privilege 'which was certainly not
a s$all one) the saint was naturally of a $ost noble and courteous disposition, and his $anners were $ost pleasing and
char$ing9 all this produced in hi$ a $ost discreet and loving solicitude, which was yet increased by the great holiness,
which he had seen fro$ the beginning in his Spouse and which was ordained by heaven as the i$$ediate ob<ect of all
his privileges. Therefore the saint an?iously attended upon $ost holy Mary and as*ed her $any ti$es, whether She was
tired or fatigued, and in what 0e could serve 0er on the <ourney. +ut as the ;ueen of heaven already carried within the
virginal cha$ber the divine fire of the incarnate "ord, holy Joseph, without fatho$ing the real cause, e?perienced in
his soul new reactions, proceeding fro$ the words and conversations of his beloved Spouse. 0e felt hi$self so infla$ed
by divine love and i$bued with such e?alted *nowledge of the $ysteries touched upon in their conversations, that he
was entirely renewed and spiritualiGed by this burning interior light. The farther they proceeded and the $ore they
conversed about these heavenly things, so $uch the stronger these affections grew, and he beca$e aware, that it was
the words of his Spouse, which thus filled his heart with love and infla$ed his will with divine ardor.
0aving pursued their <ourney four days, the $ost holy Mary and her spouse arrived at the town of Juda, where Kachary
and /lisabeth then lived. This was the special and proper na$e of the place, where the parents of saint John lived for a
while, and therefore the /vangelist saint (u*e specifies it, calling it Juda, although the co$$entators have co$$only
believed that this was not the na$e of the town in which /lisabeth and Kacharias lived, but si$ply the na$e of the
province, which was called Juda or Judea9 <ust as for the sa$e reason the $ountains south of Jerusale$ were called the
$ountains of Judea. +ut it was e?pressly revealed to $e that the town was called Juda and that the /vangelist calls it by
its proper na$e9 although the learned e?positors have understood by this na$e of Juda the province, in which that town
was situated. This confusion arose fro$ the fact that so$e years after the death of Christ the town Juda was destroyed,
and, as the co$$entators found no trace of such a town, they inferred that saint (u*e $eant the province and not a
town9 thus the great differences of opinion in regard to the place, where $ost holy Mary visited /lisabeth, are easily
#t was at this city of Juda and at the house of Kacharias that $ost holy Mary and Joseph arrived. #n order to announce
their visit, saint Joseph hastened ahead of Mary and calling out saluted the in$ate the house, sayingD The (ord be with
you and fill souls with divine grace. /lisabeth was already forewarned, for the (ord hi$self had infor$ed her in a
vision that Mary of .aGareth had departed to visit her. She had also in this vision been $ade aware that the heavenly
(ady was $ost pleasing in the eyes of the Most 0igh9 while the $ystery of her being the Mother !od was not revealed
to her until the $o$ent, when they both saluted each other in private. +ut saint /lisabeth i$$ediately issued forth with
a few of her fa$ily, in order to welco$e $ost holy Mary, who, as the $ore hu$ble and younger in years, hastened to
salute her cousin, sayingD The (ord be with you, $y dearest cousin, and /lisabeth answered D The sa$e (ord reward
you for having co$e in order to afford $e this pleasure.JJ "ith these words they entered the house of Kacharias and
what happened # will relate in the following chapter.
After the first salutation of /lisabeth by the $ost holy Mary, the two cousins retired, as # have said at the end of the
preceding chapter. And i$$ediately the Mother of grace saluted anew her cousin sayingD May !od save thee, $y
dearest cousin, and $ay his divine light co$$unicate to thee grace and lifeJJ '(u*e 1, &A). At the sound of $ost holy
MaryJs voice, saint /lisabeth was filled by the 0oly !host and so enlightened interiorly, that in one instant she
perceived $ost e?alted $ysteries and sacra$ents. These e$otions, and those that at the sa$e ti$e were felt by the child
John in the wo$b of his $other, were caused by the presence of the "ord $ade flesh in the bridal cha$ber of MaryJs
wo$b, for, $a*ing use of the voice of Mary as his instru$ent, 0e, as 2edee$er, began fro$ that place to use the power
given to 0i$ by the eternal 6ather for the salvation and <ustification of the souls. And since 0e now operated as $an,
though as yet of the di$inutive siGe of one conceived eight days before, 0e assu$ed, in ad$irable hu$ility, the for$
and posture of one praying and beseeching the 6ather. 0e as*ed in earnest prayer for the <ustification of his future
1recursor and obtained it at the hands of the blessed Trinity.
This happened before the $ost holy Mary had put her salutation into words. At the pronunciation of the words
$entioned above, !od loo*ed upon the child in the wo$b of saint /lisabeth, and gave it perfect use of reason,
enlightening it with his divine light, in order that he $ight prepare hi$self by fore*nowledge for the blessings which he
was to receive. Together with this preparation he was sanctified fro$ original sin, $ade an adopted son of !od, and
filled with the $ost abundant graces of the 0oly !host and with the plenitude of all his gifts9 his faculties were
sanctified, sub<ected and subordinated to reason, thus verifying in hi$self what the archangel !abriel had said to
Kacharias9 that 0is son would be filled with the 0oly !host fro$ the wo$b of his $other '(u*e 1, 17). At the sa$e
ti$e the fortunate child, loo*ing through the walls of the $aternal wo$b as through clear glass upon the incarnate
"ord, and assu$ing a *neeling posture, adored his 2edee$er and Creator, who$ he beheld in $ost holy Mary as if
enclosed in a cha$ber $ade of the purest crystal. This was the $ove$ent of <ubilation, which was felt by his $other
/lisabeth as co$ing fro$ the infant in her wo$b '(u*e 1, &&). Many other acts of virtue the child John perfor$ed
during this interview, e?ercising faith, hope, charity, worship, gratitude, hu$ility, devotion and all the other virtues
possible to hi$ there. 6ro$ that $o$ent he began to $erit and grow in sanctity, without ever losing it and without ever
ceasing to e?ercise it with all the vigor of grace.
Saint /lisabeth was instructed at the sa$e ti$e in the $ystery of the #ncarnation, the sanctification of her own son and
the sacra$ental purpose of this new wonder. She also beca$e aware of the virginal purity and of the dignity of the $ost
holy Mary. ,n this occasion, the heavenly ;ueen, being absorbed in the vision of the 4ivinity and of the $ysteries
operated by it through her $ost holy Son, beca$e entirely godli*e, filled with the clear light of the divine gifts which
She participated9 and thus filled with $a<esty saint /lisabeth saw 0er.
6illed with ad$iration at what She saw and heard in regard to these divine $ysteries, saint /lisabeth was wrapt in the
<oy of the 0oly !host9 and, loo*ing upon the ;ueen of the world and what was contained in 0er, she burst forth in loud
voice of praise, pronouncing the words reported to us, by saint (u*eD +lessed are Thou a$ong wo$en and blessed is
the fruit of thy wo$b. And whence is this to $e, that the Mother of $y (ord should co$e to $eI 6or behold as soon as
the voice of thy salutation sounded in $y ears, the infant in $y wo$b leaped for <oy, and blessed art Thou, that has
believed, because those things shall be acco$plished, that were spo*en to Thee by the (ord. #n these prophetic words
saint /lisabeth rehearsed the noble privileges of $ost holy Mary, perceiving by the divine light what the power of the
(ord had done in 0er, what 0e now perfor$ed, and what 0e was to acco$plish through 0er in ti$e to co$e. All this
also the child John perceived and understood, while listening to the words of his $other9 for she was enlightened for the
purpose of his sanctification, and since he could not fro$ his place in the wo$b bless and than* her by word of $outh,
She, both for herself and for her son, e?tolled the $ost holy Mary as being the instru$ent of their good fortune.
These words of praise, pronounced by saint /lisabeth were referred by the Mother of wisdo$ and hu$ility to the
Creator9 and in the sweetest and softest voice She intoned the Magnificat as recorded by saint (u*e 'Ch. 1, &>BCC)
&>. My soul doth $agnify the (ord9
&7. And $y spirit hath re<oiced in !od $y Saviour.
&F. +ecause 0e hath regarded the hu$ility of his hand$aid9 for behold fro$ henceforth all generations shall call
$e blessed.
&%. +ecause he that is $ighty hath done great things to $e and holy is his na$e.
CA. And his $ercy is fro$ generation unto generation to the$ that fear hi$.
C1. 0e hath showed $ight in his ar$9 0e hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
C@. 0e hath put down the $ighty fro$ their seat and hath e?alted the hu$ble.
C=. 0e hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich 0e hath sent e$pty away.
C&. 0e hath received #srael, his servant, being $indful of his $ercy9
CC. As 0e spo*e to our fathers, to Abraha$ and his seed forever.
Just as saint /lisabeth was the first one who heard this sweet canticle fro$ the $outh of $ost holy Mary, so she was
also the first one who understood it and, by $eans of her infused *nowledge, co$$ented upon it. She penetrated so$e
of the great $ysteries. which its Authoress e?pressed therein in so few sentences. The soul of $ost holy Mary
$agnified the (ord for the e?cellence of his infinite /ssence9 to 0i$ She referred and yielded all glory and praise '#
Ti$. 1, 17), both for the beginning and the acco$plish$ent of her wor*s. She *new and confessed that in !od alone
every creature should glory and re<oice, since 0e alone is their entire happiness and salvation '11 Cor. 1A 17). She
confessed also the eEuity and $agnificence of the Most high in attending to the hu$ble and in conferencing upon the$
his abundant spirit of divine love '1s. 1=7, >). She saw how worthy of $ortals it is to perceive, understand and ponder
the gifts that were conferred on the hu$ility of 0er, who$ all nations were to call blessed, and how all the hu$ble
ones, each according to his degree, could share the sa$e good fortune. +y one word also She e?pressed all the $ercies,
benefits and blessings, which the Al$ighty showered upon 0er in his holy and wonderful na$e9 for She calls the$
altogether great things since there was nothing s$all about anything that referred to this great ;ueen and (ady.
And as the $ercies of the Most 0igh overflowed fro$ MaryJs plenitude to the whole hu$an race, and as She was the
portal of heaven, through which they issued and continue to issue, and through which we are to enter into the
participation of the 4ivinity9 therefore She confessed, that the $ercy of the (ord in regard 0er is spread out over all the
generations, co$$unicating itself to the$ that fear 0i$. And <ust as the infinite $ercies raise up the hu$ble and see*
out those that fear !od9 so also the powerful ar$ of divine <ustice scatters and destroys those who are proud in the $ind
of their heart, and hurls the$ fro$ their thrones in order to set in their place the poor and lowly. This <ustice of the (ord
was e?ercised in wonderful splendor and glory upon the chief of all the proud, (ucifer and his followers, when the
al$ighty ar$ of !od scattered and hurled the$ 'because they the$selves precipitated the$selves) fro$ their e?alted
seats which befitted their angelic natures and their graces, and which they occupied according to the original '#saias 1&9
Apoc. 1@) decree of the divine love. 6or by it 0e intended that all should be blessed '# Ti$. @, &) while they, in trying to
ascend in their vain pride to positions, which they neither could attain nor should aspire to, on the contrary cast
the$selves fro$ those which they occupied '#saias 1&,1=).
"hen it was ti$e to co$e forth fro$ their retire$ent, saint /lisabeth offered herself and her whole fa$ily and all her
house for the service of the ;ueen of heaven. She as*ed 0er to accept, as a Euiet retreat, the roo$ which she herself
was accusto$ed to use for her prayers, and which was $uch retired and acco$$odated to that purpose. The heavenly
1rincess accepted the cha$ber with hu$ble than*s, and $ade use of it for recollecting 0erself and sleeping therein, and
no one ever entered it, e?cept the two cousins. As for the rest She offered to serve and assist /lisabeth as a hand$aid,
for She said, that this was the purpose of visiting her and consoling her. , what friendship is so true, so sweet and
inseparable, as that which is for$ed by the great bond of the divine loveH 0ow ad$irable is the (ord in $anifesting this
great sacra$ent of the #ncarnation to three wo$en before 0e would $a*e it *nown to any one else in the hu$an raceH
6or the first was saint Anne, as # have said in its place9 the second one was her 4aughter and the Mother of the "ord,
$ost holy Mary9 the third one was saint /lisabeth, and con<ointly with 0er, her son, for he being yet in the wo$b of his
$other, cannot be considered as distinct fro$ her. Thus the foolishness of !od is wiser than $en, as saint 1aul says.
The $ost holy Mary and /lisabeth ca$e forth fro$ their retire$ent at nightfall, having passed a long ti$e together9 and
the ;ueen saw Kacharias standing before her in his $uteness, and She as*ed hi$ for his blessing as fro$ a priest of the
(ord, which the saint also gave to 0er. 3et, although She tenderly pitied hi$ for his affliction, She did not e?ert her
power to cure hi$, because She *new the $ysterious occasion of his du$bness9 yet She offered a prayer for hi$. Saint
/lisabeth, who already *new the good fortune of the $ost chaste spouse Joseph, although he hi$self as yet was not
aware of it, entertained and served hi$ with great reverence and highest estee$. After staying three days in the house of
Kacharias, however, he as*ed per$ission of his heavenly Spouse Mary to return to .aGareth and leave 0er in the
co$pany of saint /lisabeth in order to assist her in her pregnancy. The holy husband left the$ with the understanding
that he was to return in order to acco$pany the ;ueen ho$e as soon as they should give hi$ notice9 saint /lisabeth
offered hi$ so$e presents to ta*e ho$e with hi$9 but he would ta*e only a s$all part of the$, yielding only to their
earnest solicitations, for this $an of !od was not only a lover of poverty, but was possessed of a $agnani$ous and
noble heart. Therewith he pursued his way bac* to .aGareth, ta*ing along with hi$ the little beast of burden, which
they had brought with the$. At ho$e, in the absence of his Spouse, he was served by a neighboring wo$an and cousin
of his, who, also when $ost holy Mary was at ho$e, was wont to co$e and go on necessary errands outside of the
#n confor$ity with this instruction and new $andate of the Most 0igh, the 1rincess of heaven ordered all her
occupations in the house of her cousin /lisabeth. She rose up at $idnight in accordance with her for$er custo$,
spending the hours in the continued conte$plation of the divine $ysteries and giving to wa*ing and sleep the ti$e,
which $ost perfectly and e?actly agreed with the natural state and conditions of her body. #n labor and repose She
continued to receive new favors, illu$inations, e?altation and caresses of the (ord. 4uring these three $onths She had
$any visions of the 4ivinity, $ostly abstractive in *ind. More freEuent still were the visions of the $ost holy hu$anity
of the "ord in its hypostatic union9 for her virginal wo$b, in which She bore 0i$, served 0er as her continual altar
and sanctuary. She beheld the daily growth of that sacred body. +y this e?perience and by the sacra$ents, which every
day were $ade $anifest to 0er in the boundless fields of the divine power and essence, the spirit of this e?alted (ady
e?panded to vast proportions. Many ti$es would She have been consu$ed and have died by the violence of her
affections, if She had not been strengthened by the power of the (ord. To these occupations, which were concealed
fro$ all, She added those, which the service and consolation of her cousin /lisabeth de$anded, although She did not
apply one $o$ent $ore to the$, than charity reEuired. These fulfilled, She turned i$$ediately to her solitude and
recollection, where she could pour out the $ore freely her spirit before the (ord.
.ot less solicitous was She to occupy 0erself interiorly, while She was engaged for $any hours in $anual occupations.
And in all this the 1recursor was so fortunate that the great ;ueen, with her own hands, sewed and prepared the
swaddling clothes and coverlets in which he was to be wrapped and reared9 for his $other /lisabeth, in her $aternal
solicitude and attention, had secured for saint John this good fortune hu$bly as*ing this favor of the heavenly ;ueen.
Mary with incredible love and sub<ection co$plied with her reEuest in order to e?ercise 0erself in obedience to her
cousin, who$ She wished to serve as the lowest hand$aid9 for in hu$ility and obedience $ost holy Mary always
surpassed all $en. Although saint /lisabeth sought to anticipate 0er in $uch that belonged to her service, yet, in her
rare prudence and wisdo$, Mary *new flow to forestall her cousin, always gaining the triu$ph of hu$ility.
#n this way $ost holy Mary put into practice the doctrine of the eternal "ord who hu$iliated hi$self so far, that, being
the for$ of the eternal 6ather, the figure of his substance, true !od of the true !od, 0e nevertheless assu$ed the for$
and condition of a servant '0eb. 1, =, 1hilip @, >, 7). This (ady was the Mother of !od, ;ueen of all creation, superior
in e?cellence and dignity to all creatures, and yet She re$ained the hu$ble servant of the least of the$9 and never
would She accept ho$age and service as if due to 0er, nor did She ever e?alt 0erself, or fail to <udge of 0erself in the
$ost hu$ble $anner. "hat shall we now say of our $ost e?ecrable presu$ption and prideI Since, full of the
abo$ination of sin, we are so senseless as to clai$ for ourselves with dreadful insanity the ho$age and veneration of
all the worldI And if this is denied us, we Euic*ly lose the little sense which our passions have left us. This whole
heavenly history bears the sta$p of hu$ility, and is a conde$nation of our pride. And since it is not $y office to teach
or correct, but to be taught and to be corrected, # beseech and pray all the faithful children of light to place this e?a$ple
before their eyes for our hu$iliation.
#t would not have been difficult for the (ord to preserve his $ost holy Mother fro$ such e?tre$e lowliness and fro$
the occasions in which She e$braced it 0e could have e?alted 0er before creatures, ordaining that She be renowned,
honored and respected by all9 <ust as 0e *new how to procure ho$age and renown for others as Assuerus did for
Mardocheus. 1erhaps, if this had been left to the <udg$ent of $en, they would have so $anaged that a "o$an $ore
holy than all the hierarchies of heaven, and who bore in her wo$b the Creator of the angels and of the heavens, should
be surrounded by a continual guard of honor, withdrawn fro$ the gaGe of $en and receiving the ho$age of all the
world9 it would have see$ed to the$ unworthy of 0er to engage in hu$ble and servile occupations, or not to have all
things done only at her co$$and, or to refuse ho$age, or not to e?ercise fullest authority. So narrow is hu$an wisdo$,
if that can be called wisdo$, which is so li$ited. +ut such fallacy cannot creep into the true science of the saints, which
is co$$unicated to the$ by the infinite wisdo$ of the Creator, and which estee$s at their <ust weight and price these
honors without confounding the values of the creatures. The Most 0igh would have denied his beloved Mother $uch
and benefited 0er little, if 0e had deprived and withdrawn fro$ 0er the occasion of e?ercising the profoundest
hu$ility and had instead e?posed 0er to the e?terior applause of $en. #t would also be a great loss to the world to be
without this school of hu$ility and this e?a$ple for the hu$iliation and confusion of its pride.
The hour for the rising of the $orning star, which was to precede the clear Sun of <ustice and announce the wishedBfor
day of the law of grace, had arrived 'John C, =C). The ti$e was suitable to the Most 0igh for the appearance of his
1rophet in the world9 and greater than a prophet was John, who pointing out with his finger the (a$b 'John 1, @%), was
to prepare $an*ind for the salvation and sanctification of the world. +efore issuing fro$ the $aternal wo$b the (ord
revealed to the blessed child the hour in which he was to co$$ence his $ortal career a$ong $en. The child had the
perfect use of his reason, and of the divine science infused by the presence of the incarnate "ord. 0e therefore *new
that he was to arrive at the port of a cursed and dangerous land, and to wal* upon a world full of evils and snares, where
$any are overta*en by ruin and perdition.
At the reEuest of his $other the ;ueen received in her ar$s the newborn child and offered hi$ as a new oblation to the
eternal 6ather, and his Ma<esty, well pleased, accepted it as the firstBfruits of the #ncarnation and of the divine decrees.
The $ost blessed child, full of the 0oly !host, ac*nowledged his sovereign ;ueen, showing 0er not only interior, but
outward reverence by a secret inclination of his head, and again he adored the divine "ord, which was $anifested to
hi$ in her wo$b by an especial light. And as he also was aware, that he was privileged before all $en, the grateful
child perfor$ed acts of fervent than*sgiving, hu$ility, love and reverence of !od and of his 5irgin Mother. The
heavenly ;ueen, in offering hi$ to the eternal 6ather, pronounced this prayer for hi$D 0ighest (ord and 6ather, all
holy and powerful, accept in thy honor this offering and seasonable fruit of thy $ost holy Son and $y (ord. 0e is
sanctified by the ,nlybegotten and rescued fro$ the effects of sin and fro$ the power of thy ancient ene$ies. 2eceive
this $orningJs sacrifice, and infuse into this child the blessings of thy holy Spirit, in order that he $ay be a faithful
$inister to Thee and to thy ,nlybegotten. This prayer of our ;ueen was efficacious in all respects, and She perceived
how the (ord enriched this child, chosen as his 1recursor9 and She also felt within 0erself the effects of these ad$irable
Then they bespo*e the arrange$ents for the circu$cision of the child, for the ti$e appointed by the law was
approaching. Co$plying with the custo$ observed a$ong the Jews, especially a$ong the $ore distinguished, $any
relatives and other acEuaintances of the house of Kacharias began to gather, in order to resolve upon the na$e to be
given to the child9 for, in addition to the ordinary preparations and consultations concerning the na$e to be given to a
son, the high position of Kacharias and /lisabeth and the news of the $iraculous fecundity of the $other naturally
suggested the e?istence of so$e great $ystery to the $inds of all their relations. Kacharias was still du$b, and
therefore it was necessary that saint /lisabeth should preside at this $eeting. ,ver and above the high estee$ which she
inspired, she now e?hibited such evident signs of the e?alted renewal and sanctification of her soul, which resulted fro$
the *nowledge of the $ysteries and fro$ the intercourse with the ;ueen of heaven, that all her relatives and friends
noticed the change. 6or even in her countenance she e?hibited a *ind of effulgence which $ade her $ysteriously
attractive and was the reflection of the 4ivinity, in whose presence she lived.
The relatives then appealed by signs to Kacharias, who, being unable to spea*, as*ed for a pen and declared his will by
writing upon the tabletD Johannes est no$en e<us. JJJohn is his na$e.JJ At the sa$e ti$e $ost holy Mary, $a*ing use
of her power over all nature, co$$anded the du$bness to leave hi$, his tongue to be loosened, as the $o$ent had
arrived when it should bless the (ord. At this heavenly co$$and he found hi$self freed fro$ his affliction, and, to the
astonish$ent and fear of all present, he began to spea* as narrated by the /vangelist. "hat # say here is not adverse to
the !ospel narrative9 for, although it is there related, that the angel foretold Kacharias that he should re$ain $ute until
his $essage should be fulfilled, yet !od, when 0e reveals any decree of his will, absolutely unfailing as they are, does
not always reveal the $eans or the $anner of their fulfill$ent, foreseen by 0i$ in his infinite fore*nowledge. Thus the
archangel announced to Kacharias the punish$ent of his unbelief, but he did not tell hi$ that he should he freed fro$ it
by the intercession of $ost holy Mary, although this also had been foreseen and decreed.
Therefore, <ust as the voice of our (ady Mary was the instru$ent for the sanctification of the child John and his $other,
so her secret $andate and her intercession had the effect of loosening the tongue of Kacharias, filling hi$ with the holy
Spirit and the gift of prophecy. 0ence he bro*e forth in the words '(u*e 1, >FB7%)D

1. +lessed be the (ord !od of #srael9 because 0e hath visited and wrought the rede$ption of his peopleD
>%. And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of 4avid his servantD
7A. And he hath spo*en by the $outh of his holy prophets, who are fro$ the beginning9
71. Salvation fro$ our ene$ies, and fro$ the hands of all that hate usD
7@. To perfor$ $ercy to our fathers, and to re$e$ber his holy testa$ent,
7=. The oath, which he swore to Abraha$ our father, that he would grant to us,
7&. That being delivered fro$ the hand of our ene$ies, we $ay serve hi$ without fear,
7C. #n holiness and <ustice before hi$, all our days.
7>. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the 0ighestD for thou shalt go before the face of the (ord to
prepare his waysD
77. To give *nowledge of salvation to his peopleD
unto the re$ission of their sinsD
7F. Through the bowels of the $ercy of our !od, in which the ,rient fro$ on high hath visited us
7%. To enlighten the$ that sit in dar*ness, and in the shadow of deathD to direct our feet into the way of peace.
#n the divine canticle of the +enedictus Kacharias e$bodied all of the highest $ysteries, which the ancient prophets had
foretold in a $ore profuse $anner concerning the 4ivinity, 0u$anity and the 2ede$ption of Christ, and in these few
words he e$braces $any great sacra$ents. 0e also understood the$ by the grace and light, which filled his spirit, and
which raised hi$ up in the sight of all that had co$e to attend the circu$cision of his son9 for all of the$ were
witnesses to the solving of his tongue and to his divine prophecies. # will hardly be able to give an e?planation of the
deep $eaning of these prophecies, such as they had in the $ind of that holy priest.
At the call of /lisabeth, the $ost fortunate of husbands, saint Joseph, had co$e in order to attend $ost holy Mary on
her return to her ho$e in .aGareth. ,n arriving at the house of Kacharias he had been welco$ed with indescribable
reverence and devotion by saint /lisabeth and Kacharias9 for now also the holy priest *new that he was the guardian of
the sacra$ental treasures of heaven, though this was yet un*nown to the great patriarch saint Joseph hi$self. 0is
heavenly Spouse received hi$ in $odest and discreet <ubilation. and, *neeling before hi$, She, as usual, besought his
blessing, and also his pardon, for having failed to serve hi$ for nearly three $onths during her attendance upon her
cousin /lisabeth. Though She had been guilty of no fault, nor even of an i$perfection in thus devotedly fulfilling the
will of !od in confor$ity with the wishes of her spouse, yet, by this courteous and endearing act of hu$ility, She
wanted to repay her husband for the want of her consoling co$panionship. The holy Joseph answered that as he now
again saw 0er, and again en<oyed her delightful presence, he was relieved of the pain caused by her absence. #n the
course of a few days they announced the day of their departure. Thereupon the princess Mary too* leave of the priest
Kacharias. As he had already been enlightened by the (ord concerning the dignity of the 5irgin Mother, he addressed
0er with the greatest reverence as the living sanctuary of the 4ivinity and hu$anity of the eternal "ord. My
Mistress, he said, praise and bless eternally thy Ma*er, who in his infinite $ercy has chosen Thee a$ong all his
creatures as his Mother, as the sole -eeper of all his great blessings and sacra$ents. +e $indful of $e, thy servant,
before thy (ord and !od, that 0e $ay lead $e in peace through this e?ile to the security of the eternal peace which we
hope for, and that through thee # $ay $erit the vision of his 4ivinity, which is the glory of the saints. 2e$e$ber also,
, (ady, $y house and fa$ily, and especially $y Son John, and pray to the Most 0igh for thy people.
The whole household of Kacharias had been sanctified by the presence of $ost holy Mary and of the incarnate "ord in
her wo$b9 all its in$ates had been edified by her e?a$ple, instructed by her conversations and teachings, and sweetly
affected by her intercourse and $odest behavior. "hile She had drawn toward 0erself all the hearts of that happy
fa$ily, She also $erited and obtained for the$ fro$ her $ost holy Son the plenitude of celestial gifts. 0oly Joseph was
held in high veneration by Kacharias, /lisabeth and John9 for they had co$e to *now his high dignity before he hi$self
was yet aware of it, The blessed 1atriarch, happy in his Treasure, the full value of which as yet he did not *now, too*
leave of all and departed for .aGarethD what happened on the way # will narrate in the following chapter. +ut before
they began their <ourney $ost holy Mary, on bended *nees, besought saint Joseph to bless 0er, as She was accusto$ed
to do on such occasions, and after She had received his blessing, they betoo* the$selves on their <ourney.

",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..

6or two reasons, $y daughter, the divine effects wrought through $e by $y Son in saint John and /lisabeth were
concealed, while those in Kacharias were $anifest. 6irst, because /lisabeth spo*e out clearly in praise of the incarnate
"ord and of $e9 yet at the ti$e it was not proper that either this $ystery or $y dignity should be openly *nown9 the
co$ing of the Messias was to be $anifested by other $ore appropriate $eans. Secondly, not all hearts were so well
prepared as that of /lisabeth for receiving such precious and unprecedented seed of divine *nowledge, nor would they
have welco$ed such sacra$ental revelation with due reverence. ,n the other hand it was $ore beco$ing that
Kacharias in his priestly dignity should proclai$ what was then to be $ade *nown9 for the beginnings of the heavenly
light would be accepted $ore readily fro$ hi$ than fro$ saint /lisabeth, especially while he was present. That which
she said, was reserved to bring forth its effects in due ti$e. Although the words of !od have their own inherent force9
yet the $ore sweet and acceptable $anner of co$$unicating with the ignorant and the uns*illed in divine $ysteries is
by $eans of the priest.
(i*ewise it was proper that the dignity and honor of the priesthood should receive its due9 for the Most 0igh holds the
priests in such estee$, that if 0e finds the$ in the right disposition, 0e e?alts the$ and fills the$ with his Spirit in
order that the world $ay venerate the$ as his chosen and anointed ones. Moreover the wonders of the (ord run less
ris* in priests. even when they are $ore openly revealed to the$, #f they live up to their dignity, their wor*s in
co$parison with those of the other creatures, are li*e those of the angels and of the seraphi$. Their countenance should
be resplendent, li*e that of Moses, when he ca$e forth fro$ converse with the (ord '/?od. =&, @%). At least they should
deal with the rest of $en in such a $anner that they be honored and revered as ne?t to !od. # desire that thou
understand, $y dearest, that the Most 0igh is greatly incensed against the world in this $atterD as well against the
priests as against lay$en. Against the priests because, forgetting their e?alted dignity, they debase the$selves by a
conte$ptible, degraded and scandalous life, giving bad e?a$ple to the world by $i?ing up with it to the neglect of their
sanctification. And against the lay$en, because they act with a foolhardy presu$ption toward the anointed of the (ord,
who$, though i$perfect and bla$eless in their lives, they ought to honor and revere as ta*ing the place of Christ, $y
$ost holy Son, on earth.
,n account of this reverence due to the priesthood $y behavior toward saint Kacharias was different fro$ that toward
/lisabeth. 6or, although the (ord wished, that # should be the instru$ent, by which the gifts of the holy Spirit should be
co$$unicated to both9 yet # saluted /lisabeth in such a $anner, that # at the sa$e ti$e showed a certain authority,
e?erting $y power over the original sin of her son9 for at $y words this sin was forgiven hi$, and both $other and son
were filled with the 0oly !host. As # had not contracted original sin and was e?e$pt fro$ it, # possessed do$inion
over it on this occasionD # co$$anded as the Mistress, who had triu$phed over it by the help of the (ord '!en. =, C),
and who was no slave of it, as all the sons of Ada$, who sinned in hi$ '2o$. C, 1@). Therefore the (ord desires that, in
order to free John fro$ the slavery and chains of sin, # should co$$and over it as one who never was sub<ect to its
bondage. # did not salute Kacharias in this authoritative way, but # prayed for hi$, observing the reverence and decoru$
due to his dignity and $y $odesty. # would not have co$$anded the tongue of the priest to be loosened, not even
$entally and secretly, if the Most 0igh had not en<oined it upon $e, inti$ating at the sa$e ti$e, that the defect of
speech hardly suited his office, for a priest should stand ready to serve and praise the Al$ighty with all his powers. #n
regard to the respect due to priests # will tell thee $ore on another occasion9 let this suffice at present for the solution of
thy doubt.
+ut fro$ $y instruction today learn especially to see* direction in the way of virtue and of eternal life in all thy
intercourse with $en, be they above or below thee in dignity. #$itate therein $e and $y cousin /lisabeth, with due
discretion as*ing all to direct thee and guide thee9 for in return for such hu$ility the (ord will provide thee with secure
counsel and divine light for e?ercising thy discreet and sincere love of virtue. 4rive away, or do not allow thyself to be
influenced by even the least breath of flattery and avoid the conversations which e?pose thee to it9 for such deceitful
pleasure dar*ens the light and perverts the unsuspecting $ind. The (ord is so <ealous of the souls especially beloved by
0i$, that 0e will i$$ediately turn away fro$ the$ if they find pleasure in the praises of $en and see* to reco$pense
the$selves by their flatteries9 since by this levity they beco$e unworthy of his favors. #t is not possible to unite in a
soul the adulations of the world and the caresses of the Most 0igh. 6or these latter are sincere, holy, pure, and lastingD
they hu$iliate, cleanse, pacify and illu$ine the heart9 while on the other hand the flatteries of creatures are vain,
fleeting, deceitful, i$pure and false, issuing fro$ the $ouths of those who are all liars '1s. 11C, 11)9 and whatever is
deceitful is a wor* of the ene$y.
+,,- 6,72
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"City of God"
+,,- 6,72
4escribing the An?ieties of Saint Joseph on Account of the 1regnancy of
Most 0oly Mary,the +irth of Christ our (ord, 0is Circu$cision,the
Adoration of the -ings, the 1resentation of the #nfant Jesus
#n the Te$ple, the 6light into /gypt, the 4eath of the
0oly #nnocents, and the 2eturn to .aGareth.

C0A1T/2 #.

ST. J,S/10 2/S,(5/S T, (/A5/ 0#S S1,7S/.

The divine pregnancy of the 1rincess of heaven had advanced to its fifth $onth when the $ost chaste Joseph, her
husband, co$$enced to notice the condition of the 5irgin9 for on account of the natural elegance and perfection of her
virginal body, as # have already re$ar*ed, any change could not long re$ain concealed and would so $uch the sooner
be discovered. ,ne day, when saint Joseph was full of an?ious doubts and saw 0er co$ing out of her oratory, he
noticed $ore particularly this evident change, without being able to e?plain away what he saw so clearly with his eyes.
The $an of !od was wounded to his in$ost heart by an arrow of grief, unable to ward off the force of evidence, which
at the sa$e ti$e wounded his soul. The principal cause of his grief was the $ost chaste, and therefore the $ost intense
love with which he cherished his $ost faithful Spouse, and in which he had fro$ the beginning given over to 0er his
whole heart. Moreover, her char$ing graces and inco$parable holiness had captured and bound to 0er his in$ost soul.
As She was so perfect and acco$plished in her $odesty and hu$ble reticence, saint Joseph, besides his an?ious
solicitude to serve 0er, naturally entertained the loving desire of $eeting a response of his love fro$ his Spouse. This
was so ordained by the (ord, in order that by the desire for this interchange of affection he $ight be incited to love and
serve 0er $ore faithfully.
+esides all this was the certainty of his not having any part in this pregnancy, the effects of which were before his eyes9
and there was the inevitable dishonor which would follow as soon as it would beco$e public. This thought caused so
$uch the greater an?iety in hi$, as he was of a $ost noble and honorable disposition, and in his great foresight he
*new how to weigh the disgrace and sha$e of hi$self and his Spouse in each circu$stances. The third and $ost
inti$ate cause of his sorrow, and which gave hi$ the deepest pain, was the dread of being obliged to deliver over his
Spouse to the authorities to be stoned '(ev. @A, 1A), for this was the punish$ent of an adulteress convicted of the cri$e.
The heart of saint Joseph, filled with these painful considerations, found itself as it were e?posed to the thrusts of $any
sharpBedged swords, without any other refuge than the full confidence which he had in his Spouse. +ut as all outward
signs confir$ed the correctness of his observations, there was no escape fro$ these tor$enting thoughts, and as he did
not dare to co$$unicate about his grievous affliction with anybody, be found hi$self surrounded by the sorrows of
death '1s. 17, C), and he e?perienced in hi$self the saying of the Scriptures, thatD Jealousy is hard as hell 'Cant. F, >).
#n the $idst of these tor$enting an?ieties the holy Spouse Joseph appealed to the tribunal of the (ord in prayer and
placing hi$self in her presence, he saidD Most high (ord and !od, $y desires and sighs are not un*nown to Thee. #
find $yself cast about by the violent waves of sorrow '1s. =1. 1A) which through $y senses have co$e to afflict $y
heart. # have given $yself over with entire confidence to the Spouse who$ thou hast given $e. # have confided entirely
in her holiness9 and the signs of this une?pected change in 0er are giving rise to tor$enting and fearful doubts lest $y
confidence be $isplaced. .othing have # until now seen in 0er which could give occasion for any doubt in her $odesty
and her e?traordinary virtue9 yet at the sa$e ti$e # cannot deny that She is pregnant. To thin* that She has been
unfaithful to $e, and has offended Thee, would be te$erity in view of such rare purity and holinessD to deny what $y
own eyes perceive is i$possible. +ut it is not i$possible that # die of grief, unless there is so$e $ystery hidden beneath
it which # cannot yet fatho$. 2eason proclai$s 0er as bla$eless, while the senses accuse 0er. She conceals fro$ $e
the cause of her pregnancy, while # have it before $y eyes. "hat shall # doI "e both have co$e to an agree$ent
concerning our vows of chastity, and we have both pro$ised to *eep the$ for thy glory9 if it could be possible that She
has violated her fidelity toward Thee and toward $e, # would defend thy honor and would forget $ine for love of Thee.
3et how could She preserve such purity and holiness in all other things if She had co$$itted so grave a cri$e in thisI
And on the other hand, why does She, who is so holy and prudent, conceal this $atter fro$ $eI # withhold and defer
$y <udg$ent. .ot being able to penetrate to the cause of what # see, # pour out in thy presence $y afflicted soul '1s.
1&1, =), !od of Abraha$, #saac and Jacob. 2eceive $y tears as an acceptable sacrifice9 and if $y sins $erit thy
indignation, let thy own cle$ency and *indness $ove Thee not to despise $y e?cruciating sorrow. # do not believe that
Mary has offended Thee9 yet $uch less can # presu$e that there is a $ystery of which #, as her Spouse, a$ not to be
infor$ed. !overn Thou $y $ind and heart by thy divine light, in order that # $ay *now and fulfill that which is $ost
pleasing to Thee.
Saint Joseph persevered in this *ind of prayer, adding $any $ore affectionate petitions9 for even though he con<ectured
that there $ust be so$e $ystery in the pregnancy of the $ost holy Mary hidden fro$ hi$, he could not find assurance
therein. This thought had no greater force to e?culpate $ost holy Mary than the other reasons founded upon her
holiness9 and therefore the idea that the $ost holy ;ueen $ight be the Mother of the Messias did not co$e to his $ind.
#f at ti$es he drove away his con<ectures, they would return in greater nu$ber and with $ore urgent force of evidence.
Thus he was cast about on the turbulent waves of doubt. 6ro$ sheer e?haustion he would at ti$es fall into a condition
of $ind wherein he could find neither an anchor of certainty for his doubts, nor tranEuillity for his heart, nor any
standard by which he could direct his course. 3et his forebearance under this tor$ent was so great that it is an evident
proof of his great discretion and holiness, and that it $ade hi$ worthy of the singular blessing which awaited hi$.
All that passed in the heart of saint Joseph was *nown to the 1rincess of heaven, who penetrated into its interior by the
light of her divine science. Although her soul was full of tenderness and co$passion for the sufferings of her spouse,
She said not a word in the $atter9 but She continued to serve hi$ with all devotion and solicitude. The $an of !od
watched 0er without outward de$onstration, yet with a greater an?iety than that of any $an that ever lived. The
pregnancy of $ost holy Mary was not burdenso$e or painful to 0er9 but as the great (ady in serving hi$ at table or
any other do$estic occupations, necessarily disclosed her state $ore and $ore openly, saint Joseph noticed all these
actions and $ove$ents and with deep affliction of soul verified all his observations. .otwithstanding his being a holy
and <ust $an, he per$itted hi$self to be respected and served by the $ost holy 5irgin after their espousal, clai$ing in
all things the position of head and husband of the fa$ily, though with rare hu$ility and prudence. As long as he was
ignorant of the $ystery of his Spouse he <udged it right, within befitting li$its, to show his authority in i$itation of the
ancient 6athers and 1atriarchs. 6or he *new that they de$anded sub<ection and pro$pt obedience of their wives, and he
did not wish to recede fro$ their e?a$ple. 0e would have been right in this course if $ost holy Mary, our (ady, had
been no $ore than other wo$en. 3et although there was such a great difference, no wo$an ever e?isted or will e?ist
who was or will be so obedient, hu$ble and devoted to her husband as the $ost e?alted ;ueen was toward her spouse.
She served hi$ with inco$parable respect and pro$ptitude9 although She *new his troubled thoughts and observations
concerning her pregnancy. She o$itted no service due to hi$, nor did She try to conceal or palliate her state. 6or such
evasion or duplicity would not have consorted with the angelic truthfulness and openness, nor with the nobility and
$agnani$ity of her generous heart.
The great (ady could easily have asserted her entire innocence and referred to the testi$ony of saint /lisabeth and
Kacharias9 for, if saint Joseph had any suspicion of guilt in 0er, he could naturally have supposed it to have been
incurred during her stay with the$. 0ence, through the$ and by other references, She could have <ustified 0erself and
Euieted the an?ieties of saint Joseph without disclosing the $ystery. The Mistress of prudence and hu$ility did nothing
of the *ind9 for these virtues did not allow 0er to thin* of 0erself, nor to trust the <ustification of her $ysterious
condition to her own e?planation. "ith great wisdo$ She resigned the whole $atter into the hands of divine
1rovidence. Although her co$passion for her spouse and her love for hi$ $ade 0er an?ious to console and co$fort
hi$, She would not do it by clearing 0erself or by concealing her pregnancy, but rather by serving hi$ with $ore
devoted de$onstrations of love, and by trying to cheer hi$ up, as*ing hi$ what She could do for hi$ and lovingly
showing her devoted and sub$issive affection. Many ti$es She served hi$ on her *nees, and although this so$ewhat
consoled saint Joseph, yet on the other hand, it was also a cause for new grief. 6or thus he only saw the $otives of love
and estee$ $ultiplied and still re$ained uncertain whether She had been untrue or not. The heavenly (ady offered up
continual prayers for hi$ and besought the Most 0igh to loo* upon hi$ and console hi$9 as for the rest She sub$itted
all to the will of his Ma<esty.
Saint Joseph could not entirely conceal his cruel sorrow, and therefore he often appeared to be in doubt and sad
suspense. So$eti$es, carried away by his grief, he spo*e to his heavenly Spouse with so$e degree of severity, such as
he had not shown before. This was the natural effect of the affliction of his heart not of anger or vengeful feelings9 for
these never entered his thoughts, as we shall see later. The $ost prudent (ady, however, never lost the sweetness of her
countenance, nor showed any feeling9 but $erely redoubled her efforts to relieve her husband. She served at table,
offered hi$ a seat, ad$inistered food and drin*, and if, after all these services, which She perfor$ed with inco$parable
grace, saint Joseph urged 0er to sit down, he could convince hi$self $ore and $ore of her pregnancy.
3et although her sorrow e?ceeded all bounds, the capacity of her generous and $agnani$ous soul was $uch greater
and therefore She could conceal her grief $ore co$pletely, and occupy her faculties in the loving care of saint Joseph,
her spouse. 0er sorrow therefore only incited 0er to attend so $uch the $ore devotedly to his health and co$fort.
.evertheless, as the inviolable rule of the actions of the $ost prudent ;ueen was to perfor$ all in the fullness of
wisdo$ and perfection, She continued to conceal the $ystery about the disclosure of which She had received no
co$$and. Though She alone could relieve her spouse by an e?planation, She withheld it in reverence and faithfulness
due to the sacra$ent of the heavenly -ing 'Tob. 1=, 7). As far as She herself was concerned, She e?erted her ut$ost
powers9 She spo*e to hi$ about his health, She as*ed what She could do to serve hi$ and afford hi$ help in the
wea*ness which so $astered hi$. She urged hi$ to ta*e so$e rest and recreation, since it was a duty to yield to
necessity and repair the wea*ened strength, in order to be able to wor* for the (ord afterward.
The 1rincess of heaven, beco$ing aware of the resolve of her spouse saint Joseph to leave 0er and absent hi$self,
turned in great sorrow to her holy angels and said to the$D +lessed spirits and $inisters of the highest -ing, who
raised you to felicity which you en<oy, and by his *ind 1rovidence acco$pany $e as his faithful servants and as $y
guardians, # beseech you, $y friends, to present before !odJs cle$ency the afflictions of $y spouse Joseph. +eseech
the (ord to loo* upon hi$ and console hi$ as a true 6ather. And you also, who so devotedly obey his words, hear
li*ewise $y prayers9 in the na$e of 0i$ who is infinite, and to who$ # a$ to give hu$an shape in $y wo$b, # pray,
beseech and supplicate you, that without delay you assist and relieve $y $ost faithful spouse in the affliction of his
heart and drive fro$ his $ind and heart his resolve of leaving $e. The angels which the ;ueen selected for this
purpose obeyed i$$ediately and instilled into the heart of saint Joseph $any holy thoughts, persuading hi$ anew that
his Spouse Mary was holy and $ost perfect, and that he could not believe anything wrong of 0er9 that !od was
inco$prehensible in his wor*s, and $ost hidden in his <udg$ents '1s. ==, 1%)9 that 0e was always $ost faithful to
those who confide in hi$, and that 0e would never despise or forsa*e the$ in tribulation.
+y these and other holy inspirations the troubled spirit of saint Joseph was so$ewhat Euieted, although he did not *now
whence they ca$e9 but as the cause of his sorrow was not re$oved, he soon relapsed, not finding anything to assure
and soothe his soul, and he returned to his resolve of withdrawing and leaving his Spouse. The heavenly ;ueen was
aware of this and She concluded that it was necessary to avert this danger and to insist in earnest prayer on a re$edy.
She addressed 0erself entirely to her $ost holy Son in her wo$b, and with $ost ardent affection of her soul She
prayedD (ord and !od of $y soul, with thy per$ission, although # a$ but dust and ashes '!en. F, @7), # will spea* in
thy *ingly presence and $anifest to Thee $y sighs, that cannot be hidden fro$ Thee '1s. =7, 1%). #t is $y duty not to be
re$iss in assisting the spouse who$ # have received fro$ thy hand. # see hi$ overwhel$ed by the tribulation, which
Thou hast sent hi$, and it would not be *ind in $e to forsa*e hi$ therein. #f # have found grace in thy eyes, # beseech
Thee, (ord and eternal !od, by the love which obliged Thee to enter into the wo$b of thy servant for the salvation of
$an*ind, to be pleased to console thy servant Joseph and dispose hi$ to assist $e in the fulfill$ent of thy great wor*s.
#t would not be well that #, thy servant, be left without a husband for a protection and guardian. 4o not per$it, $y (ord
and !od, that he e?ecute his resolve and withdraw fro$ $e.
The Most 0igh answered 0erD My dearest 4ove, # shall presently visit $y servant Joseph with consolation9 and after #
shall have $anifested to hi$ by $y angel the sacra$ent, which is un*nown to hi$, thou $ayest spea* openly about all
that # have done with thee, without the necessity of *eeping silent thenceforward in these $atters. # will fill hi$ with
$y spirit and $a*e hi$ apt to perfor$ his share in these $ysteries. 0e will assist Thee in the$ and aid Thee in all that
will happen. "ith this pro$ise of the (ord, $ost holy Mary was co$forted and consoled, and She gave $ost fervent
than*s to the sa$e (ord, who disposes all things in ad$irable order, $easure and weight. 6or besides the consolation,
which the relief fro$ this an?iety afforded 0er. She also *new well how proper it was that the spirit of saint Joseph be
tried and dilated by this tribulation before the great $ysteries should be entrusted to his care,
#n the $eanwhile saint Joseph was an?iouslv debating within hi$self concerning the proper course or action, for he had
borne his tribulation already for two $onths9 and now, overco$e by the greatness of it, he argued with hi$selfD # do
not find a better way out of these difficulties than to absent $yself. # confess that $y Spouse is $ost perfect and
e?hibits nothing but what shows 0er a saint9 but after all She is pregnant and of it # cannot fatho$ the $ystery. # do not
wish to in<ure 0er reputation of holiness by involving 0er in the punish$ent of the law9 yet at the sa$e ti$e # cannot
stand by and witness the conseEuences of her pregnancy. # will leave her now, and co$$it $yself to the providence of
the (ord, who governs $e. 0e then resolved to depart during that night, and in order to prepare for his <ourney he
pac*ed so$e clothes and other trifles into a s$all bundle. 0aving also clai$ed so$e wages due to hi$ for his wor*, he
retired to rest with the intention of leaving at $idnight. +ut on account of the strangeness of his underta*ing, and
because he was in the habit of co$$ending his intentions to !od in prayer, after he had co$e to this resolve he spo*e
to the (ordD 0ighest and eternal !od of our fathers Abraha$, #saac and Jacob, Thou true and only refuge of the poor
and afflicted, the grief and tribulation of $y heart are well *nown to thy cle$ency. Thou *nowest also, , (ord
'although # a$ unworthy), that # a$ innocent of that which causes $y sorrow, and Thou li*ewise art aware of the
infa$y and danger conseEuent upon the condition of $y Spouse. # do not believe 0er an adulteress, because # see in
0er great virtue and perfection9 yet # certainly see 0er pregnant. # do not *now by who$ or how it was caused9 and
therefore # find no way to restore $y peace. #n order to choose the least evil # will withdraw fro$ 0er and see* a place
where no one *nows $e and, resigning $yself to thy 1rovidence, # will pass $y life in a desert. 4o not forsa*e $e, $y
(ord and eternal !od, since # desire solely thy honor and service.
Saint Joseph prostrated hi$self on the ground and $ade a vow to go to the te$ple of Jerusale$ and offer up a part of
the s$all su$ of $oney which he had provided for his <ourney, in order that !od $ight help and protect Mary his
Spouse fro$ the cala$ities of $en and free 0er fro$ all $isfortune9 for great was the uprightness of that $an of !od,
and the estee$ in which he held the heavenly (ady. After this prayer he co$posed hi$self for a short sleep with the
intention of departing in secret and at $idnight fro$ his Spouse. 4uring this sleep, however, happened what # will
relate in the ne?t chapter. The great 1rincess of heaven, 'assured by the divine pro$ise), observed fro$ her retire$ent
all that saint Joseph was preparing to do9 for the Al$ighty showed it to 0er. And hearing the vow, which he $ade for
her welfare, and seeing the s$all bundle and the poor provision he prepared for his <ourney, She was filled with tender
co$passion and prayed anew for hi$, giving praise and than*s to the (ord for his 1rovidence in guiding the actions of
$en beyond all hu$an power of co$prehension. 0is Ma<esty so ordained events, that both $ost holy Mary and saint
Joseph should be brought to the ut$ost reach of interior sorrow.
#n these operations of course, the last reason is always the divine will itself, <ust, holy and perfect. 0owever, as far as #
have understood, # will partly $ention so$e other reasons in e?planation. The first reason is, that saint Joseph was so
prudent, filled with such heavenly light, and had such high conception of our $ost holy (ady, the blessed Mary, that it
was not necessary to convince hi$ by strong evidence, in order to assure hi$ of her dignity and of the $ysteries of the
#ncarnation9 for in hearts wellBdisposed the divine inspirations find easy entrance. The second reason is, because his
trouble had its beginning in the senses, na$ely in seeing with his eyes the pregnancy of his Spouse9 hence it was a <ust
retribution, that they, having given occasion for deception or suspicion, should as it were be deadened or repressed by
the privation of the angelic vision. The third reason is as it were a seEuence of this last oneD saint Joseph, although he
was guilty of no fault, was under the influence of his affliction and his senses were so to say deadened and incapacitated
for the sensible perception and intercourse of the angel. Therefore it was befitting, that the angel deliver this $essage to
hi$ at a ti$e, when the senses, which had been scandaliGed, were inactive and suspended in their operations. Thus the
holy $an $ight afterwards, regaining their full use, purify and dispose hi$self by $any acts of virtue for entertaining
the operation of the holy Spirit which had been entirely interrupted by his troubles.
Saint Joseph awo*e with the full consciousness, that his Spouse was the true Mother of !od. 6ull of <oy on account of
his good fortune and of his inconceivable happiness, and at the sa$e ti$e deeply $oved by sudden sorrow for what he
had done, he prostrated hi$self to the earth and with $any other hu$ble, reverential and <oyful to*ens of his feelings
he perfor$ed heroic acts of hu$iliation and of than*sgiving. 0e gave than*s to the (ord for having revealed to hi$ this
$ystery and for having $ade hi$ the husband of her, who$ !od had chosen for his Mother, notwithstanding that he
was not worthy to be even her slave. A$id these recognitions and these acts of virtue, the spirit of saint Joseph
re$ained tranEuil and apt for the reception of new influences of the holy Spirit. 0is doubts and an?ieties of the past few
$onths had laid in hi$ those deep foundations of hu$ility, which were necessary for one who should be entrusted with
the highest $ysteries of the (ord9 and the re$e$brance of his e?periences was to hi$ a lesson which lasted all his life.
The holy $an began to bla$e hi$self alone for all that had happened and bro*e forth in the following prayerD , $y
heavenly Spouse and $ee*est 4ove, chosen by the Most 0igh for his dwellingBplace and for his MotherD how could thy
unworthy slave have dared to doubt thy fidelityI 0ow could dust and ashes ever per$it itself to be served by 0er, who
is the ;ueen of heaven and earth and the Mistress of the universeI 0ow is it, that # have not *issed the ground which
was touched by thy feetI "hy have # not $ade it $y $ost solicitous care to serve Thee on $y *neesI 0ow will # ever
raise $y eyes in thy presence and dare to re$ain in thy co$pany or open $y lips to spea* to TheeI , $y (ord and
!od, give $e grace and strength to as* her forgiveness and $ove her heart to $ercy, that She do not despise her
sorrowful servant according to his guilt.
The holy spouse now left his little roo$, finding hi$self so happily changed in senti$ents since the ti$e he had
co$posed hi$self for sleep. As the ;ueen of heaven always had *ept herself in retire$ent, he did not wish to disturb
her sweet conte$plation, until She herself desired. #n the $eanti$e the $an of !od unwrapped the s$all bundle, which
he had prepared, shedding $any tears with feelings Euite different fro$ those with which he had $ade it up. "eeping,
he began to show his reverence for his heavenly Spouse, by setting the roo$s in order, scrubbing the floors, which were
to be touched by the sacred feet of $ost holy Mary. 0e also perfor$ed other chores which he had been accusto$ed to
leave to the heavenly (ady before he *new her dignity. 0e resolved to change entirely his relation toward 0er, assu$e
for hi$self the position of servant and leave to 0er the dignity of Mistress. 6ro$ that day on arose a wonderful
contention between the two, which of the$ should be allowed to show $ost eagerness to serve and $ost hu$ility. All
that happened with saint Joseph the ;ueen of heaven saw, and not a thought or $ove$ent escaped her attention. "hen
the ti$e arrived, the saint approached the oratory of her 0ighness, and She awaited hi$ with sweetest *indness and
The husband of Mary, saint Joseph, now better infor$ed, waited until his $ost holy Spouse had finished her
conte$plation, and at the hour *nown to hi$ he opened the door of the hu$ble apart$ent which the Mother of the
heavenly *ing occupied. #$$ediately upon entering the holy $an threw hi$self on his *nees, saying with the deepest
reverence and venerationD My Mistress and Spouse, true Mother of the eternal "ord, here a$ # thy servant prostrate at
the feet of thy cle$ency. 6or the sa*e of thy !od and (ord, who$ Thou bearest in thy virginal wo$b, # beseech Thee
to pardon $y audacity. # a$ certain, , (ady, that none of $y thoughts is hidden to thy wisdo$ and to thy heavenly
insight. !reat was $y presu$ption in resolving to leave Thee and not less great was $y rudeness in treating Thee until
now as $y inferior, instead of serving Thee as the Mother of $y (ord and !od. +ut Thou also *nowest that # have done
all in ignorance, because # *new not the sacra$ent of the heavenly -ing and the greatness of thy dignity, although #
revered in Thee other gifts of the Most 0igh. 4o not reflect, $y Mistress, upon the ignorance of such a lowly creature,
who, now better instructed, consecrates his heart and his whole life to thy service and attendance. # will not rise fro$
$y *nees, before being assured of thy favor, nor until # have obtained thy pardon, thy good will and thy blessing.
The $ost holy Mary, hearing the hu$ble words of saint Joseph, e?perienced diverse feelings. 6or with tender <oy in the
(ord She saw how apt he was to be entrusted with the sacra$ents of the (ord, since he ac*nowledged and venerated
the$ with such deep faith and hu$ility. +ut She was so$ewhat troubled by his resolve of treating 0er henceforth with
the respect and self abase$ent alluded to in his words9 for the hu$ble (ady feared by this innovation to lose the
occasions of obeying and hu$iliating 0erself as a servant of her spouse. (i*e one, who suddenly finds herself in danger
of being deprived of so$e <ewel or treasure highly valued, $ost holy Mary was saddened by the thought that saint
Joseph would no longer treat 0er as an inferior and as sub<ect to hi$ in all things, having now recogniGed in 0er the
Mother of the (ord. She raised her holy spouse fro$ his *nees and threw 0erself at his feet 'although he tried to hinder
it), and saidD # $yself, $y $aster and spouse, should as* thee to forgive $e and thou art the one who $ust pardon $e
the sorrows and the bitterness, which # have caused thee9 and therefore # as* this forgiveness of thee on $y *nees, and
that thou forget thy an?ieties, since the Most 0igh has loo*ed upon $y desires and afflictions in divine pleasure.
#t see$ed good to the heavenly (ady to console her spouse, and therefore, not in order to e?cuse 0erself, She addedD
As $uch as # desired, # could not on $y own account give thee any infor$ation regarding the sacra$ent hidden within
$e by the power of the Al$ighty9 since, as his slave, it was $y duty to await the $anifestation of his holy and perfect
will. .ot because # failed to estee$ thee as $y lord and spouse did # re$ain silentD for # was and always will be thy
faithful servant, eager to correspond to thy holy wishes and affection. 6ro$ $y in$ost heart and in the na$e of the
(ord, who$ # bear within $e, # beseech thee not to change the $anner of thy conversation and intercourse with $e.
The (ord has not $ade $e his Mother in order to be served and to co$$and in this life, but in order to be the servant
of all and thy slave, obeying thy will in all things. This is $y duty, $y $aster, and outside of it # would lead a life
without <oy and full of sorrow. #t is <ust that thou afford $e the opportunity of fulfilling it, since so it was ordained by
the Most 0igh. 0e has furnished $e with thy protection and devoted assistance, in order that # $ay live securely in the
shade of thy provident solicitude and with thy aid rear the 6ruit of $y wo$b, $y !od and $y (ord. "ith these words
and others $ost sweet and persuasive $ost holy Mary consoled and Euieted saint Joseph, and he raised 0er fro$ her
*nees in order to confer with 0er upon all that would be necessary for this purpose. Since on this occasion the heavenly
(ady was full of the 0oly !host and $oreover bore within 0er, as his Mother, the divine "ord, who proceeds fro$ the
6ather and the 0oly !host, saint Joseph received special enlighten$ent and the plenitude of divine graces. Altogether
renewed in fervor of spirit he saidD
+lessed art thou, (ady, a$ong all wo$en, fortunate and preferred before all nations and generations. May the Creator
of heaven and earth be e?tolled with eternal praise, since fro$ his e?alted *ingly throne 0e has loo*ed upon Thee and
chosen Thee for his dwellingBplace and in Thee alone has fulfilled the ancient pro$ises $ade to the 1atriarchs and
1rophets. (et all generations bless 0i$D for in no one has 0e $agnified his na$e as 0e has done in thy hu$ility9 and
$e, the $ost insignificant of the living, 0e has in his divine condescension selected for thy servant. #n these words of
praise and benediction saint Joseph was enlightened by the 0oly !host, in the sa$e $anner as saint /lisabeth, when
she responded to the salutation of our ;ueen and Mistress. The light and inspiration, received by the $ost holy spouse
was wonderfully adapted to his dignity and office. The heavenly (ady, upon hearing the words of the holy $an,
answered in the words of the Magnificat, as She had done on her visit to saint /lisabeth, and She added other canticles.
She was all afla$e in ecstasy and was raised fro$ the earth in a globe of light, which surrounded 0er and transfigured
0er with the gifts of glory.
At this heavenly vision saint Joseph was filled with ad$iration and unspea*able delight9 for never had he seen his $ost
blessed Spouse in such e$inence of glory and perfection. .ow he beheld 0er with a full and clear understanding, since
all the integrity and purity of the 1rincess of heaven and $ystery of her dignity $anifested the$selves to hi$. 0e saw
and recogniGed in her virginal wo$b the hu$anity of the infant !od and the union of the two natures of the "ord. "ith
profound hu$ility and reverence he adored 0i$ and recogniGed 0i$ as his 2edee$er, offering hi$self to his Ma<esty.
The (ord loo*ed upon hi$ in benevolence and *indness as upon no other $an, for 0e accepted hi$ as his fosterBfather
and conferred upon hi$ that title. #n accordance with this dignity, 0e gifted hi$ with that plenitude of science and
heavenly gifts which Christian piety can and $ust ac*nowledge. # do not dilate upon this vast e?cellence of saint Joseph
$ade *nown to $e, because # would e?tend this history beyond the prescribed bounds.
0owever, if it was a proof of the $agnani$ity of the glorious saint Joseph and a clear evidence of his great sanctity,
that he did not wear away and die of the grief sustained at the thought of the loss of his beloved Spouse, it is yet $ore
astonishing, that he was not overwhel$ed by the une?pected <oy of this revelation of the true $ystery connected with
his Spouse. #n the for$er he proved his high sanctity9 but in the latter he showed hi$self worthy of gifts, such which, if
the (ord had not e?panded his heart, he could neither have been capable of receiving nor could he have outlived to bear
in the <oy of his spirit. #n all things he was renewed and elevated, so as to be able to treat worthily 0er, who was the
Mother of !od hi$self and his Spouse, and to cooperate with 0er in the $ystery of the #ncarnation and in ta*ing care
of the "ord $ade $an, as # shall relate farther on. #n order that he $ight be still $ore apt and so $uch the $ore
recogniGe his obligation to serve his heavenly Spouse, it was also $ade *nown to hi$, that all the gifts and blessings
ca$e to hi$ because of 0erD those before his espousal, because he had been selected for her husband, and those
afterward, because he had won and $erited this distinction. 0e also perceived with what prudence the great (ady had
acted toward hi$, not only in serving hi$ with such inviolate obedience and profound hu$ility, but also in consoling
hi$ in his affliction, soliciting for hi$ the grace and assistance of the 0oly !host, hiding her feelings with such
discretion, tranEuiliGing and soothing his, sorrow, thus fittingly disposing hi$ for the influence of the divine Spirit. Just
as the 1rincess of heaven had been the instru$ent for the sanctification of saint John the +aptist and his $other, so She
also was instru$ental in procuring for saint Joseph the plenitude of graces in still greater abundance. All this the $ost
faithful and fortunate $an understood and for it, as a $ost faithful servant, was proportionately than*ful.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, $y ob<ect in revealing to thee in this history so $any sacra$ents and secrets, both those which thou hast
written and $any others, which thou art unable to $anifest, is, that thou use the$ as a $irror of $y life and as an
inviolable rule of action for thy own. All of the$ should be engraven in the tablets of thy heart and # recall to thy $ind
the teachings of eternal life, thereby co$plying with $y duty as thy Teacher. +e ready to obey and fulfill all co$$ands
as a willing and careful pupil9 let the hu$ble care and watchfulness or $y spouse saint Joseph, his sub$ission to divine
direction and his estee$ for heavenly enlighten$ent, serve thee as an e?a$ple. 6or only because his heart had been
well disposed and prepared for the e?ecution of the divine will, was he entirely changed and re$odeled by the plenitude
of grace for the $inistry assigned to hi$ by the Most 0igh. (et therefore the consciousness of thy faults serve thee as a
$otive to sub$it in all hu$ility to the wor* of !od, not as a prete?t to withdraw fro$ the perfor$ance of that which
the (ord desires of thee.
0owever, # wish on this occasion to reveal to thee the <ust reproach and indignation of the Most 0igh against $ortals9
so that, co$paring the conduct of other $en with the hu$ility and $ee*ness, which # e?ercised toward $y spouse saint
Joseph, thou $ayest understand it better in divine enlighten$ent. The cause of this reproach, which the (ord and # have
to $a*e against $en, is the inhu$an perversity of $en in persisting to treat each other with so $uch want of hu$ility
and love. #n this they co$$it three faults, which displease the Most 0igh very $uch and which cause the Al$ighty and
$e to withhold $any $ercies. The first is, that $en, *nowing that they are all children of the sa$e 6ather in heaven '#s.
>&, F), wor*s of his hands, for$ed of the sa$e nature, graciously nourished and *ept alive by his 1rovidence, reared at
the sa$e table of divine $ysteries and Sacra$ents, especially of his own body and blood, nevertheless forget and
despise all these advantages, concentrating all their interest upon earthly and trivial affairs, e?citing the$selves without
reason, swelling with indignation, creating discords, Euarrels, indulging in detractions and harsh words, so$eti$es
rising up to $ost wic*ed and inhu$an vengeance or $ortal hate of one another. The second is, that, when through
hu$an frailty and want of $ortification, incited by the te$ptation of the devil, they happen to fall into one of these
faults, they do not at once see* to rid the$selves of it nor strive to be again reconciled, as should be done by brothers in
the presence of a <ust <udge. Thus they deny 0i$ as their $erciful 6ather and force 0i$ to beco$e the severe and rigid
Judge of their sins9 for no faults e?cite 0i$ sooner to e?ercise his severity than the sins of revenge and hate. The third
offense, which causes his great indignation, is, that so$eti$es, when a brother co$es in order to be reconciled, he that
dee$s hi$self offended will not receive hi$ and as*s a greater satisfaction than that which he *nows would be
accepted by the (ord, and which he hi$self offers as satisfaction to !odJs Ma<esty. 6or all of the$ wish that !od, who
is $ost grievously offended, should receive and pardon the$, whenever they approach 0i$ with hu$ility and
contrition9 while those that are but dust and ashes, as* to be revenged upon their brothers and will not content
the$selves with the satisfaction, which the Most 0igh hi$self readily accepts for their own sins.
,f all the sins, which the sons of the Church co$$it, none is $ore horrible than these in the eyes of the Most 0igh.
This thou wilt readily understand by the divine light and in the vigor of !odJs law, which co$$ands $en to pardon
their brethren, although they $ay have offended seventy ti$es seven. And if a brother offend $any ti$es every day, as
soon as he says that he is sorry for it, the (ord co$$ands us to forgive the offending brother as $any ti$es without
counting the nu$ber. And those that are not willing to forgive, 0e threatens with severest punish$ent on account of the
scandal, which they cause. This can be gathered fro$ the threatening words of !od hi$selfD "oe to hi$ fro$ who$
scandal co$es and through who$ scandal is causedH #t were better for hi$, if he fell into the depths of the sea with a
heavy $illstone around his nec*. This was said in order to indicate the danger of this sin and the difficulty of obtaining
deliverance therefro$, which $ust be co$pared to that of a $an dropping into the sea with a grindingBstone around his
nec*. #t also points out that the punish$ent is the abyss of eternal pains 'Matth. F, %). Therefore the co$$and of $y
$ost holy Son is good advice to the faithful, that they rather per$it their eyes to be torn out and their hands chopped
off, than allow the$selves to fall into this cri$e of scandaliGing the little ones.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ##.
T0/ AM#A+(/ 07M#(#T3 ,6 MA23 T,"A24 0/2 S1,7S/.
The $ost faithful Joseph, after being infor$ed of the $ystery and sacra$ent of the #ncarnation, was filled with such
high and befitting senti$ents concerning his Spouse, that, although he had always been holy and perfect, he was
changed into a new $an. 0e resolved to act toward the heavenly (ady according to a new rule and with $uch greater
reverence, as # will relate farther on. This was confor$able to the wisdo$ of the saint and due to the e?cellence of his
Spouse9 for saint Joseph by heavenly enlighten$ent saw well that he was the servant and She the Mistress of heaven
and earth. #n order to satisfy his desire for honoring and reverencing 0er as the Mother of !od, whenever he passed 0er
or spo*e to 0er alone, he did it with great e?ternal veneration and on bended *nees. 0e would not allow 0er to serve
hi$, or wait upon hi$, or perfor$ any other hu$ble services, such as cleaning the house or washing the dishes and the
li*e. All these things the $ost happy spouse wished to do hi$self, in order not to derogate fro$ the dignity of the
+ut the heavenly (ady, who a$ong the hu$ble was the $ost hu$ble and who$ no one could surpass in hu$ility, so
$anaged all these things, that the pal$ of victory in all these virtues always re$ained with 0er. She besought saint
Joseph not to bend the *nees to her, for though this worship was due to the (ord who$ She carried in her wo$b, yet as
long as 0e was within unseen by any one no distinction was e?ternally $anifest between his and her own person. The
saint therefore allowed hi$self to be persuaded and confor$ed to the wishes of the ;ueen of heaven9 only at ti$es,
when She was not loo*ing, he continued to give this worship to the (ord who$ She bore in her wo$b, and also to 0er
as his Mother, intending thereby to honor +oth according to the e?cellence of /ach. #n regard to the other wor*s and
services, an hu$ble contention arose between the$. 6or saint Joseph could not overco$e his conviction as to the
i$propriety of allowing the great ;ueen and (ady to perfor$ the$, and therefore he sought to be beforehand with such
household duties. 0is heavenly Spouse was filled with the sa$e eagerness to seiGe upon occasions in advance of saint
Joseph. As however he busied hi$self in these duties during the ti$e which She spent in conte$plation, he frustrated
her continual desire of serving hi$ and of perfor$ing all the duties of the household, which She considered as
belonging to 0er as a servant. #n her affliction on this account, the heavenly (ady turned to the (ord with hu$ble
co$plaints, and besought 0i$ to oblige saint Joseph not to hinder 0er in the e?ercise of hu$ility, as She desired. As
this virtue is so powerful before the divine tribunal and has free access, no prayers acco$panied by it is s$all. 0u$ility
$a*es all prayers effective and inclines the i$$utable +eing of !od to cle$ency. 0e heard 0er petition and 0e
ordered the angel guardian of the blessed husband to instruct hi$ as followsD 4o not frustrate the hu$ble desires of
0er who is supre$e over all the creatures of heaven and earth. /?teriorly allow 0er to serve thee and interiorly treat
0er with highest reverence, and at all ti$es and in all places worship the incarnate "ord. #t is his will, eEually with that
of the heavenly Mother, to serve and not to be served, in order to teach the world the *nowledge of life and the
e?cellence of hu$ility. #n so$e of the wor* thou canst assist 0er, but always reverence in 0er the (ord of all creation.
#nstructed by this co$$and of the Most 0igh, saint Joseph per$itted the heavenly 1rincess to e?ercise her hu$ility and
so both of the$ were enabled to $a*e an offering of their will to !odD $ost holy Mary, by e?ercising the deepest
hu$ility and obedience toward her spouse in all her acts of virtue which She perfor$ed without failing in the least point
of perfection9 and saint Joseph by obeying the Al$ighty with a holy and prudent e$barrass$ent, which was occasioned
by seeing hi$self waited upon and served by 0er, who$ he had recogniGed as his Mistress and that of the world, and as
the Mother of his !od and Creator.
.o hu$an tongue can reproduce the celestial words and conversations of the $ost holy Mary and the blessed Joseph. #
will adduce so$e of the$ in the following chapters, as far as # *now how. 3et, who can declare the effects wrought in
the sweet and devout heart of this saint in seeing hi$self not only constituted the husband of 0er who was the true
Mother of his Creator, but in finding hi$self also served by 0er as if She was the hu$blest slave, while at the sa$e
ti$e he beheld 0er raised in sanctity and dignity above the highest seraphi$ and inferior only to !odI #f the divine
right hand enriched with blessings the house of ,bededo$ for having sheltered for a few $onths the figurative ar* of
the old Testa$ent '# 1ar. 1=, &), what blessings did 0e not shower upon saint Joseph, to who$ 0e entrusted the true ar*
and the (awgiver hi$self enshrined in 0erI #nco$parable was the good fortune and happiness of this saintH .ot only
because he had with hi$ in his house the living and true ar* of the new Testa$ent, the altar, the sacrifice, and the
te$ple, all left in his chargeD but also because he cared for the$ worthily and as a faithful servant 'Matth. @&, &C),
constituted by the (ord hi$self over his fa$ily to provide for all their necessities in the right ti$e as a $ost faithful
dispenser ',s. 1&, @A). (et all generations and peoples ac*nowledge and bless hi$, let the$ e?tol his $erits9 since the
Most 0igh has favored none other in the sa$e degree. #, an unworthy and poor wor$, in the light of such venerable
sacra$ents. e?alt and $agnify this (ord !od, confessing 0i$ as holy, <ust, $erciful, wise and ad$irable in the
disposition of all his great wor*s.
The hu$ble but blessed house of Joseph contained three roo$s, which occupied nearly all its space and for$ed the
e?clusive dwelling place of the two Spouses9 for they *ept neither a $anB nor a $aidBservant. #n one of the roo$s saint
Joseph slept, in another he wor*ed and *ept the tools of his trade of carpentering9 the third was ordinarily occupied by
the ;ueen of heaven and was also her sleeping roo$. #t contained a couch $ade by the hands of saint Joseph. This
arrange$ent they had observed since their espousal and fro$ the day on which they had co$e to this, their dwelling.
+efore *nowing the dignity of his Spouse and (ady, saint Joseph rarely went to see 0er9 for while She *ept her
retire$ent he was engaged in his wor*, unless so$e affair $ade it absolutely necessary to consult 0er. +ut after he was
infor$ed of his good fortune, the holy $an was $ore solicitous for her welfare, and in order to renew the <oy of his
heart he began to co$e often to the retreat of the sovereign (ady, visiting 0er and receiving her co$$ands. +ut he
always approached 0er with e?tre$e hu$ility and reverential fear, and before he spo*e to 0er, he was careful to note
in what She was engaged. Many ti$es he saw 0er in ecstasy raised fro$ the earth and resplendent with $ost brilliant
light9 at other ti$es in the co$pany of her angels holding celestial intercourse with the$9 and at other ti$es, he found
0er prostrate upon the earth in the for$ of a cross, spea*ing to the (ord. 0er $ost fortunate spouse was a participator
in these favors. +ut whenever he found the great (ady in these occupations and postures, he would presu$e no farther
than to loo* upon 0er with profound reverence9 and thereby he $erited so$eti$es to hear the sweetest har$ony of the
celestial $usic, with which the angels regaled their ;ueen, and perceived a wonderful fragrancy which co$forted hi$
and filled hi$ entirely with <ubilation and <oy of spirit.
The two holy spouses lived alone in their house, for as # have said, they had no servants of any *ind, not only on
account of their hu$ility, but in order $ore fittingly to bide fro$ any witnesses the wonders, which passed between
the$ and which were not to be co$$unicated to outsiders. (i*ewise the 1rincess of heaven did not leave her dwelling,
e?cept for very urgent causes in the service of !od or her fellowB$en. "henever anything was necessary She as*ed
that fortunate neighbor, who as # have said had served saint Joseph during the absence of Mary in the house of
Kacharias. This wo$an received such a good return fro$ Mary, that not only she herself beca$e $ost holy and perfect,
but her whole household and fa$ily was blessed by the help of the ;ueen and Mistress of the world. She was visited by
$ost holy Mary in so$e of her sic*nesses and with her fa$ily was copiously enriched by the blessings of heaven.
.ever did saint Joseph see his heavenly Spouse asleep, nor did he of his own e?perience *now whether She ever slept,
although he besought 0er to ta*e so$e rest, especially during the ti$e of her sacred pregnancy. The restingBplace of the
1rincess was the low couch, which # said had been constructed by saint Joseph9 and on it were the coverings which
served her during her brief and holy sleep. 0er undergar$ent was a sort of tunic $ade of cotton, but softer than the
ordinary or co$$on cloth. This tunic She never changed fro$ the ti$e since She left the te$ple, nor did it wear out or
grow old or soiled, and no person ever saw it, nor did saint Joseph *now that She wore that *ind of a gar$ent9 for he
never saw any other part of her clothing e?cept the outside gar$ents, which were open to the view of other persons.
Those were of a gray color, as # have said '1art #. .o. &AA), and these only and her headBcoverings were the gar$ents,
which the ;ueen changed now and then9 not because they were soiled, but because, being visible to all, She wished to
avoid notice by such strange sa$eness of outward appearance. .othing that She wore upon her $ost pure and virginal
body beca$e soiled or worn9 for She neither perspired, nor was She sub<ect to the punish$ents, which are laid upon the
sinBi$pregnated bodies of the children of Ada$. She was in all respects $ost pure and the wor*s of her hands were li*e
crystal orna$ents9 and with the sa$e purity She cared for the clothes and other necessities of saint Joseph. The food of
which She partoo*, was $ost li$ited in *ind and Euantity9 but She partoo* of so$e every day and in co$pany of her
spouse9 she never ate $eat, although he did, and She prepared it for hi$. 0er sustenance was fruit, fishes, and
ordinarily bread and coo*ed vegetables9 but of all these She partoo* in e?act $easure and weight, only so $uch as was
necessary for the nourish$ent of the body and the $aintaining of the natural war$th without any superfluities that
could pass over into e?cess of har$ful corruption9 the sa$e rule She observed in regard to drin*, although 0er fervent
acts of love often caused a superabundance of preternatural ardor. This rule, as to the Euantity of her nourish$ent, She
followed during her whole life, although as to the *ind of food She adapted 0erself to the various circu$stances
de$anding a change, as # shall relate further on.

",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..

My daughter, in the school of hu$ility, which $y whole life affords thee, # wish that thou be studious and diligent9 and
this should be thy first and principal care, if thou wishest to en<oy the sweet e$braces of the (ord, assure thyself of his
favor and possess the treasures of light, which are hidden to the proud 'Matth. 11, @=). 6or without the trusty foundation
of hu$ility such treasures cannot be confided to any $an. (et all thy a$bition be to hu$ble thyself in thy own
esti$ation and thought, so that in thy e?terior actions thou $ayest truly e?hibit this hu$ility of thy interior. #t $ust be a
sub<ect of confusion and a spur of hu$ility for thee and for all the souls to have the (ord as their 6ather and Spouse, to
see, that the presu$ption and pride of worldly wisdo$ is $ore powerful in its devotees, than hu$ility and true selfB
*nowledge is in the children of light. Consider the watchfulness, the untiring study and care of a$bitious and aspiring
$en. (oo* upon their struggle to be estee$ed in the world, their strivings never at rest, though so vain and worthless9
how they conduct the$selves outwardly according to the false notions which they have of the$selves9 how they
pretend to be what they are not, and how they e?ert the$selves to obtain through these false pretenses the treasures,
which, though only earthly, they do not deserve. 0ence it should be a cause of confusion and sha$e to the good, that
deceit should urge on the sons of perdition with greater force than truth urges the elect9 that the nu$ber of those, who in
the world are an?ious to strive in the service of their !od and Creator, should be so s$all in co$parison with the
nu$ber of those who serve vanity9 that there should be so few of the elect, though all are called 'Matth. @@, 1>).
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ###.
T0/ J,72./3 T, +/T0(/0/M.
#t had been decreed by the i$$utable will of 1rovidence that the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather should be born in the town
of +ethlehe$ 'Mich. C, @), and accordingly it had been foretold by the Saints and 1rophets of foregone ages 'Jere$. 1A,
%)9 for the decrees of the absolute will of !od are infallible, and since nothing can resist the$ '/sther 1=, %), sooner
would heaven and earth pass away than that they fail of acco$plish$ent 'Matth. @&, =C). The fulfill$ent of this
i$$utable decree the (ord secured by $eans of an edict of Caesar Augustus for the whole 2o$an e$pire, ordering the
registration or enu$eration of all the world, as saint (u*e says '(u*e @, 1). The 2o$an e$pire at that ti$e e$braced
the greater part of what was then *nown of the earth and therefore they called the$selves $asters of the world, ignoring
all the other nations. The ob<ect of this census was to $a*e all the inhabitants ac*nowledge the$selves as vassals of the
e$peror, and to pay a certain ta? to their te$poral lord9 for this registration every one was to go to his native city in
order to be inscribed. This edict was also proclai$ed in .aGareth and ca$e to the hearing of saint Joseph while he was
on so$e errand. 0e returned to his house in sorrowful consternation and infor$ed his heavenly Spouse of the news
which had spread about concerning the edict. The $ost prudent 5irgin answeredD (et not this edict of our te$poral
ruler cause thee any concern, $y $aster and spouse, for all that happens to us is ordained by the (ord and -ing of
heaven and earth9 and in all events his 1rovidence will assist and direct us '/ccli. @@, @F). (et us resign ourselves into
his hands and we shall not be disappointed.
Most holy Mary was capable of being entrusted with all the $ysteries of her $ost holy Son and She *new of the
prophecies and their fulfill$ent9 hence, also, that the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather and her own was to be born in
+ethlehe$, a Stranger and an 7n*nown. +ut She said nothing of this to saint Joseph9 for without being co$$issioned
by the (ord She would reveal none of his secrets. All that She was not co$$anded to reveal She concealed with
ad$irable prudence, notwithstanding her desire of consoling her $ost faithful and holy spouse. She wished to entrust
0erself to his direction and arrange$ent without acting the part of those who are wise in their own conceit, as "isdo$
warns us '1rov. =, 7). They therefore conferred with each other about the course to be pursued9 for already the
pregnancy of the heavenly (ady was far advanced and her parturition was approaching. Saint Joseph saidD ;ueen of
heaven and earth and $y Mistress, if Thou hast no order to the contrary fro$ the Al$ighty, it see$s to $e necessary
that # go alone. 3et, although this order refers only to the heads of fa$ilies, # dare not leave Thee without assistance,
nor could # live without Thee, nor would # have a $o$entJs peace away fro$ Thee9 for $y heart could not co$e to any
rest without seeing Thee.
They at the sa$e ti$e resolved upon the day of their departure, and Joseph diligently searched in the town of .aGareth
for so$e beast of burden to bear the Mistress of the world. 0e could not easily find one because so $any people were
going to different towns in order to fulfill the reEuire$ents of the edict of the e$peror. +ut after $uch an?ious inEuiry
saint Joseph found an unpretentious little beast which, if we can call such creatures fortunate, was the $ost fortunate of
all the irrational ani$als9 since it was privileged not only to bear the ;ueen of all creation and the blessed fruit of her
wo$b, the -ing of *ings and the (ord of lords, but afterwards to be present at his +irth 'Jsaias 1, =)9 and since it gave
to its Creator the ho$age denied to 0i$ by $en, as # shall relate '.o. &FC). They provided the articles for the <ourney,
which would last five days. The outfit of the heavenly travelers was the sa$e as that which they had provided for their
previous <ourney to the house of Kacharias on their visit to /lisabeth. They carried with the$ bread, fruit and so$e
fishes, which ordinarily co$posed their nourish$ent. As the $ost prudent 5irgin was enlightened regarding their
protracted absence, She $ade use of prudent conceal$ent in ta*ing along the linens and clothes necessary for her
heavenly delivery, for She wished to dispose all things according to the e?alted intents of the (ord and in preparation
for the events which She e?pected. Their house they left in charge of so$e neighbor until they should return.
The $ost pure Mary and the glorious saint Joseph departed fro$ .aGareth for +ethlehe$ alone, poor and hu$ble in the
eyes of the world. .one of the $ortals thought $ore of the$ than what was warranted by their poverty and hu$ility.
+ut , the wonderful sacra$ents of the Most 0igh, hidden to the proud, and unpenetrated by the wisdo$ of the fleshH
They did not wal* alone, poor or despised, but prosperous, rich and in $agnificence. They were $ost worthy of the
i$$ense love of the eternal 6ather and $ost esti$able in his eyes. They carried with the$ the Treasure of heaven, the
4eity itself. The whole court of the celestial $inisters venerated the$. All the inani$ate beings recogniGed the living
and true Ar* of the Testa$ent 'Josue =, 1>) $ore readily than the waters of the Jordan recogniGed its type and shadow,
when they courteously laid open and free the path for its passage and for those that followed it. They were acco$panied
by the ten thousand angels, which as $entioned '.o. &CA), were appointed by !od hi$self as the servants of her
Ma<esty during that whole <ourney. These heavenly sEuadrons $arched along as their retinue in hu$an for$s visible to
the heavenly (ady, $ore refulgent than so $any suns. She herself wal*ed in their $idst better guarded and defended
than the bed of Solo$on, surrounded by the si?ty valiant ones of #srael, girded with their swords 'Cant. =, 7). +esides
these ten thousand angels there were $any others, who descended fro$ heaven as $essengers of the eternal 6ather to
his ,nlybegotten $ade $an in his $ost holy Mother, and who ascended fro$ earth as their a$bassadors with $essages
and treaties fro$ the$ to the heavenly 6ather.
"ith these wonderful favors and delights, however, the (ord <oined so$e hardships and inconveniences which the
divine Mother encountered on the way. 6or the concourse of people in the taverns, occasioned by the i$perial edict,
was very disagreeable and annoying to the $odest and retiring 5irginBMother and her spouse. ,n account of their
poverty and ti$id retire$ent they were treated with less hospitality and consideration than others, especially the wellB
toBdo9 for the world <udges and usually confers its favors according to outward appearance and according to personal
influence. ,ur holy pilgri$s were obliged repeatedly to listen to sharp repri$ands in the taverns, at which they arrived
tired out by their <ourney, and in so$e of the$ they were refused ad$ittance as worthless and despicable people.
Several ti$es they assigned to the Mistress of heaven and earth so$e corner of the hallway9 while at others She did not
fare even so well, being obliged to retire with her husband to places still $ore hu$ble and unbeco$ing in the
esti$ation of the world. +ut in whatever places She tarried, how conte$ptible soever it $ight be considered, the
courtiers of heaven established their court around their supre$e -ing and sovereign ;ueen. #$$ediately they
surrounded and enclosed the$ li*e an i$penetrable wall, securing the bridal cha$ber of Solo$on against the terrors of
the night. 0er $ost faithful spouse Joseph, seeing the Mistress of heaven so well guarded by the angelic hosts, betoo*
hi$self to rest and sleep9 for to this She urged hi$ on account of the hardships of travel. She, however, continued her
celestial colloEuies with the ten thousand angels of her retinue.
Thus variously and wonderfully assisted, our travelers arrived at the town of +ethlehe$ at four oJcloc* of the fifth day,
a Saturday. As it was at the ti$e of the winter solstice, the sun was already sin*ing and the night was falling. They
entered the town, and wandered through $any streets in search of a lodgingBhouse or inn for staying over night. They
*noc*ed at the doors of their acEuaintances and nearer fa$ily relations9 but they were ad$itted nowhere and in $any
places they $et with harsh words and insults. The $ost $odest ;ueen followed her spouse through the crowds of
people, while he went fro$ house to house and fro$ door to door. Although She *new that the hearts and the houses of
$en were to be closed to the$, and although to e?pose her state at her age to the public gaGe was $ore painful to her
$odesty than to their failure to procure a nightBlodging, She nevertheless wished to obey saint Joseph and suffer this
indignity and un$erited sha$e. "hile wandering through the streets they passed the office of the public registry and
they inscribed their na$es and paid the fiscal tribute in order to co$ply with the edict and not be obliged to return.
They continued their search, beta*ing the$selves to other houses. +ut having already applied at $ore than fifty
different places, they found the$selves re<ected and sent away fro$ the$ all. The heavenly spirits were filled with
astonish$ent at these e?alted $ysteries of the Most 0igh, which $anifested the patience and $ee*ness of his 5irgin
Mother and the unfeeling hardness of $en. At the sa$e ti$e they blessed the Al$ighty in his wor*s and hidden
sacra$ents, since fro$ that day on 0e began to e?alt and honor poverty and hu$ility a$ong $en.
#t was nine oJcloc* at night when the $ost faithful Joseph, full of bitter and heartrending sorrow, returned to his $ost
prudent Spouse and saidD My sweetest (ady, $y heart is bro*en with sorrow at the thought of not only not being able
to shelter Thee as Thou deservest and as # desire, but in not being able to offer Thee even any *ind of protection fro$
the weather, or a place of rest, a thing rarely or never denied to the $ost poor and despised in the world. .o doubt
heaven, in thus allowing the hearts of $en to be so un$oved as to refuse us a nightBlodging conceals so$e $ystery. #
now re$e$ber, (ady, that outside the city walls there is a cave, which serves as a shelter for shepherds and their floc*s.
(et us see* it out9 perhaps it is unoccupied, and we $ay there e?pect so$e assistance fro$ heaven, since we receive
none fro$ $en on earth. The $ost prudent 5irgin answeredD My spouse and $y $aster, let not thy *indest heart be
afflicted because the ardent wishes which the love of thy (ord e?cites in thee cannot be fulfilled. Since # bear 0i$ in
$y wo$b, let us, # beseech thee, give than*s for having disposed events in this way. The place of which thou spea*est
shall be $ost satisfactory to $e. (et thy tears of sorrow be turned into tears of <oy, and let us lovingly e$brace poverty,
which is the inesti$able and precious treasure of $y $ost holy Son. 0e ca$e fro$ heaven in order to see* it, let us
then afford 0i$ an occasion to practice it in the <oy of our souls9 certainly # cannot be better delighted than to see thee
procure it for $e. (et us go gladly wherever the (ord shall guide us. The holy angels acco$panied the heavenly pair,
brilliantly lighting up the way, and when they arrived at the city gate they saw that the cave was forsa*en and
unoccupied. 6ull of heavenly consolation, they than*ed the (ord for this favor, and then happened what # shall relate in
the following chapter.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My dearest daughter, if thou art of a $ee* and docile heart, these $ysteries which thou hast written about and hast
understood, will stir within thee sweet senti$ents of love and affection toward the Author of such great wonders. # wish
that, bearing the$ in $ind, thou fro$ this day on e$brace with new and great estee$ the conte$pt and neglect of the
world. And tell $e, dearest, if, in e?change for this forgetfulness and scorn of the world, !od loo* upon thee with eyes
of sweetest love, why shouldst thou not buy so cheaply what is worth an infinite priceI "hat can the world give thee,
even when it estee$s thee and e?alts thee $ost I And what dost thou lose, if thou despise itI #s its favor not all vanity
and deceit '1s. &, =)I #s it not all a fleeting and $o$entary shadow, which eludes the grasp of those that haste after itI
0ence, if thou hadst all worldly advantage in thy possession, what great feat would it be to despise it as of no valueI
Consider how little thou dost in re<ecting all of it for the love of !od, for $ine and that of the holy angels. And if the
world does not neglect thee as $uch as thou shouldst desire, do thou on thy own behalf despise it, in order to re$ain
free and unha$pered to en<oy to the full e?tent the highest !ood with the plenitude of his $ost delightful love and
My $ost holy Son is such a faithful (over of souls that 0e hast set $e as the teacher and living e?a$ple of the love of
hu$ility and true conte$pt of worldly vanity and pride. 0e ordained also for his own glory as well as for $y sa*e that
#, his Servant and Mother, should be left without shelter and be turned away by $ortals, in order that afterwards his
beloved souls $ight be so $uch the $ore readily induced to offer 0i$ a welco$e, thus obliging 0i$, by an artifice of
love, to co$e and re$ain with the$. 0e also sought destitution and poverty, not because 0e had any need of the$ for
bringing the practice of virtues to the highest perfection, but in order to teach $ortals the shortest and surest way for
reaching the heights of divine love and union with !od.
Thou *nowest well, $y dearest, that thou hast been incessantly instructed and e?horted by divine enlighten$ent to
forget the terrestrial and visible and gird thyself with foritude '1rov. =1, 17), to raise thyself to the i$itation of $e,
copying in thyself, according to thy capacity, the wor*s and virtues $anifested to thee in $y life. This is the very first
purpose of the *nowledge which thou receivest in writing this history thou hast in $e a perfect $odel, and by it thou
canst arrange the converse and conduct of thy life in the sa$e $anner as # arranged $ine in i$itation of $y sweetest
Son. The dread with which this co$$and to i$itate $e has inspired thee as a being above thy strength, thou $ust
$oderate and thou $ust encourage thyself by the words of $y $ost holy Son in the !ospel of saint MatthewD +e ye
perfect as $y heavenly 6ather is perfect 'Matth. C, F). This co$$and of the Most 0igh i$posed upon his holy Church
is not i$possible of fulfill$ent, and, if his faithful children on their part dispose the$selves properly, 0e will deny to
none of the$ the grace of attaining this rese$blance to the heavenly 6ather. All this $y $ost holy Son has $erited for
the$. +ut the degrading forgetfulness and neglect of $en hinder the$ fro$ $aturing within the$selves the fruits of his
,f thee particularly # e?pect this perfection, and # invite thee to it by the sweet law of love which acco$panies $y
instruction. 1onder and scrutiniGe, by the divine light, the obligation under which # place thee, and labor to correspond
with it li*e a faithful and an?ious child. (et no difficulty or hardship disturb thee, nor deter thee fro$ any virtuous
e?ercise, no $atter how hard it $ay be. .or be content with striving after the love of !od and salvation of thyself
alone9 if thou wouldst be perfect in i$itating $e and fulfilling all that the !ospel teaches, thou $ust wor* for the
salvation of other souls and the e?altation of the holy na$e of $y Son, $a*ing thyself an instru$ent in his powerful
hands for the acco$plish$ent of $ighty wor*s to advance his pleasure and glory.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 #5.
CH%IT O)% A0IO% I 'O%2 OF TH. 0I%GI2 MA%7 I2 '.TH!.H.M$ ")DA+
The palace which the supre$e -ing of *ings and the (ord of lords had chosen for entertaining his eternal and incarnate
Son in this world was a $ost poor and insignificant hut or cave, to which $ost holy Mary and Joseph betoo*
the$selves after they had been denied all hospitality and the $ost ordinary *indness by their fellowB$en, as # have
described in the foregoing chapter. This place was held in such conte$pt that though the town of +ethlehe$ was full of
strangers in want of nightBshelter, none would de$ean or degrade hi$self so as to $a*e use of it for a lodging9 for there
was none who dee$ed it suitable or desirable for such a purpose, e?cept the Teachers of hu$ility and poverty, Christ
our Savior and his purest Mother. ,n this account the wisdo$ of the eternal 6ather had reserved it for The$
consecrating it in all its bareness, loneliness and poverty as the first te$ple of light 'Malachy &, @, 1s. 111, &) and as the
house of the true Sun of <ustice, which was to arise for the upright of heart fro$ the resplendent Aurora Mary, turning
the night of sin into the daylight of grace.
Most holy Mary and saint Joseph entered the lodging thus provided for the$ and by the effulgence of the ten thousand
angels of their guard they could easily ascertain its poverty and loneliness, which they estee$ed as favors and
welco$ed with tears of consolation and <oy. "ithout delay the two holy travelers fell on their *nees and praised the
(ord, giving 0i$ than*s for his benefit, which they *new had been provided by his wisdo$ for his own hidden designs.
,f this $ystery the heavenly 1rincess Mary had a better insight9 for as soon as She sanctified the interior of the cave by
her sacred footsteps She felt a fullness of <oy which entirely elevated and vivified 0er. She besought the (ord to bless
with a liberal hand all the inhabitants of the neighboring city, because by re<ecting 0er they had given occasion to the
vast favors, which She awaited in this neglected cavern. #t was for$ed entirely of the bare and coarse roc*s, without
any natural beauty or artificial adorn$ent9 a place intended $erely for the shelter of ani$als9 yet the eternal 6ather had
selected it for the shelter and dwellingBplace of his own Son.
The angelic spirits, who li*e a celestial $ilitia guarded their ;ueen and Mistress, for$ed the$selves into cohorts in the
$anner of court guards in a royal palace. They showed the$selves in their visible for$s also to saint Joseph9 for on this
occasion it was befitting that he should en<oy such a favor, on the one hand in order to assuage his sorrow by allowing
hi$ to behold this poor lodging thus beautified and adorned by their celestial presence, and on the other, in order to
enliven and encourage hi$ for the events which the (ord intended to bring about during that night, and in this forsa*en
place. The great ;ueen and /$press, who was already infor$ed of the $ystery to be transacted here, set about cleaning
with her own hands the cave, which was so soon to serve as a royal throne and sacred $ercyBseat9 for neither did She
want to $iss this occasion for e?ercising her hu$ility, nor would She deprive her onlybegotten Son of the worship and
reverence i$plied by this preparation and cleansing of his te$ple.
Saint Joseph, $indful of the $a<esty of his heavenly Spouse 'which, it see$ed to hi$, She was forgetting in her ardent
longing for hu$iliation), besought 0er not to deprive 0i$ of this wor*, which he considered as his alone9 and he
hastened to set about cleaning the floor and the corners of the cave, although the hu$ble ;ueen continued to assist hi$
therein. As the angels were then present in visible for$s, they were 'according to our $ode of spea*ing) abashed at
such eagerness for hu$iliation, and they speedily e$ulated with each other to <oin in this wor*9 or rather, in order to
say it $ore succinctly, in the shortest ti$e possible they had cleansed and set in order that cave, filling it with holy
fragrance. Saint Joseph started a fire with the $aterial which he had brought for that purpose. As it was very cold, they
sat at the fire in order to get war$. They partoo* of the food which they had brought, and they ate this, their frugal
supper, with inco$parable <oy of their souls. The ;ueen of heaven was so absorbed and ta*en up with the thought of
the i$pending $ystery of her divine delivery, that She would not have parta*en of food if She had not been urged
thereto by obedience to her spouse.
After their supper they gave than*s to the (ord as was their custo$. 0aving spent a short ti$e in this prayer and
conferring about the $ysteries of the incarnate "ord, the $ost prudent 5irgin felt the approach of the $ost blessed
+irth. She reEuested her spouse saint Joseph to beta*e hi$self to rest and sleep as the night was already far advanced.
The $an of !od yielded to the reEuest of his Spouse and urged 0er to do the sa$e9 and for this purpose he arranged
and prepared a sort of couch with the articles of wear in their possession, $a*ing use of a crib or $anger, that had been
left by the shepherds for their ani$als. (eaving $ost holy Mary in the portion of the cave thus furnished, saint Joseph
retired to a corner of the entrance, where he began to pray. 0e was i$$ediately visited by the divine Spirit and felt a
$ost sweet and e?traordinary influence, by which he was wrapt and elevated into an ecstasy. #n it was shown hi$ all
that passed during that night in this blessed cave9 for he did not return to consciousness until his heavenly Spouse called
hi$. Such was the sleep which saint Joseph en<oyed in that night, $ore e?alted and blessed than that of Ada$ in
paradise '!en. @1, @).
The ;ueen of all creatures was called fro$ her restingBplace by a loud voice of the Most 0igh, which strongly and
sweetly raised 0er above all created things and caused 0er to feel new effects of divine power9 for this was one of the
$ost singular and ad$irable ecstasies of her $ost holy life. #$$ediately also She was filled with new enlighten$ent
and divine influences, such as # have described in other places, until She reached the clear vision of the 4ivinity. The
veil fell and She saw intuitively the !odhead itself in such glory and plenitude of insight, as all the capacity of $en and
angels could not describe or fully understand. All the *nowledge of the 4ivinity and hu$anity of her $ost holy Son,
which She had ever received in for$er visions was renewed and, $oreover, other secrets of the ine?haustible archives
of the boso$ of !od were revealed to 0er. # have not ideas or words sufficient and adeEuate for e?pressing what # have
been allowed to see of these sacra$ents by the divine light9 and their abundance and $ultiplicity convince $e of the
poverty and want of proper e?pression in created language.
The Most 0igh announced to his 5irgin Mother, that the ti$e of his co$ing into the world had arrived and what would
be the $anner in which this was now to be fulfilled and e?ecuted. The $ost prudent (ady perceived in this vision the
purpose and e?alted scope of these wonderful $ysteries and sacra$ents, as well in so far as related to the (ord hi$self
as also in so far as they concerned creatures, for whose benefit they had been pri$arily decreed. She prostrated 0erself
before the throne of his 4ivinity and gave 0i$ glory, $agnificence, than*s and praise for 0erself and for all creatures,
such as was befitting the ineffable $ercy and condescension of his divine love. At the sa$e ti$e She as*ed of the
divine Ma<esty new light and grace in order to be able worthily to underta*e the service and worship and the rearing up
of the "ord $ade flesh, who$ She was to bear in 0er ar$s and nourish with her virginal $il*. This petition the
heavenly Mother brought forward with the profoundest hu$ility, as one who understood the greatness of this new
sacra$ent. She held 0erself unworthy of the office of rearing up and conversing as a Mother with a !od incarnate of
which even the highest seraphi$ are incapable. 1rudently and hu$bly did the Mother of wisdo$ ponder and weigh this
$atter. And because She hu$bled 0erself to the dust and ac*nowledged her nothingness in the presence of the
Al$ighty, therefore his Ma<esty raised 0er up and confir$ed anew upon 0er the title of Mother of God. 0e
co$$anded 0er to e?ercise this office and $inistry of a legiti$ate and true Mother of 0i$self9 that She should treat
0i$ as the Son of the eternal 6ather and at the sa$e ti$e the Son of her wo$b. All this could be easily entrusted to
such a Mother, in who$ was contained an e?cellence that words cannot e?press.
The $ost holy Mary re$ained in this ecstasy and beatific vision for over an hour i$$ediately preceding her divine
delivery. At the $o$ent when She issued fro$ it and regained the use of her senses She felt and saw that the body of
the infant !od began to $ove in her virginal wo$b9 how, releasing and freeing 0i$self fro$ the place which in the
course of nature 0e had occupied for nine $onths, 0e now prepared to issue forth fro$ that sacred bridal cha$ber.
This $ove$ent not only did not cause any pain or hardship, as happens with the other daughters of Ada$ and /ve in
their childbirths9 but filled 0er with inco$parable <oy and delight, causing in her soul and in her virginal body such
e?alted and divine effects that they e?ceed all thoughts of $en. 0er body beca$e so spiritualiGed with the beauty of
heaven that She see$ed no $ore a hu$an and earthly creature. 0er countenance e$itted rays of light, li*e a sun
incarnadined, and shone in indescribable earnestness and $a<esty, all infla$ed with fervent love. She was *neeling in
the $anger, her eyes raised to heaven, her hands <oined and folded at her breast, her soul wrapped in the 4ivinity and
She herself was entirely deified. #n this position, and at the end of the heavenly rapture, the $ost e?alted (ady gave to
the world the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather and her own, our Savior Jesus, true !od and $an, at the hour of $idnight, on
a Sunday, in the year of the creation of the world five thousand one hundred and ninetyBnine 'C1%%), which is the date
given in the 2o$an Church, and which date has been $anifested to $e as the true and certain one.
At the end of the beatific rapture and vision of the Mother ever 5irgin, which # have described above, was born the Sun
of Justice, the ,nlybegotten of the eternal 6ather and of Mary $ost pure, beautiful, refulgent and i$$aculate, leaving
0er untouched in her virginal integrity and purity and $a*ing 0er $ore godli*e and forever sacred9 for 0e did not
divide, but penetrated the virginal cha$ber as the rays of the sun penetrate the crystal shrine, lighting it up in pris$atic
The infant !od therefore was brought forth fro$ the virginal cha$ber unencu$bered by any corporeal $aterial
substance foreign to 0i$self. +ut 0e ca$e forth glorious and transfigured for the divine infinite wisdo$ decreed and
ordained that the glory of his $ost holy soul should in his +irth overflow and co$$unicate itself to his body,
participating in the gifts of glory in the sa$e way as happened afterwards in his Transfiguration on $ount Tabor in the
presence of the Apostles 'Matth. 17, @). This $iracle was not necessary in order to penetrate the virginal enclosure and
to leave uni$paired the virginal integrity9 for without this Transfiguration !od could have brought this about by other
$iracles. Thus say the holy doctors, who see no other $iracle in this +irth than that the Child was born without
i$pairing the virginity of the Mother. #t was the will of !od that the $ost b1essed 5irgin should loo* upon the body of
her Son, the !odB$an, for this first ti$e in a glorified state for two reasons. The one was in order that by this divine
vision the $ost prudent Mother should conceive the highest reverence for the Ma<esty of 0i$ who$ She was to treat as
her Son, the true !odB$an. Although She was already infor$ed of his twoBfold nature, the (ord nevertheless ordained
that by ocular de$onstration She be filled with new graces, corresponding to the greatness of her $ost holy Son, which
was thus $anifested to 0er in a visible $anner. The second reason was to reward by this wonder the fidelity and
holiness of the divine Mother9 for her $ost pure and chaste eyes, that had turned away fro$ all earthly things for love
of her $ost holy Son, were to see 0i$ at his very +irth in this glory and thus be re<oiced and rewarded for her loyalty
and beautiful love.
The sacred evangelist (u*e tells us that the Mother 5irgin, having brought forth her firstbegotten Son, wrapped 0i$ in
swathing clothes and placed 0i$ in a $anger. 0e does not say that She received 0i$ in her ar$s fro$ her virginal
wo$b9 for this did not pertain to the purpose of his narrative. +ut the two sovereign princes, saint Michael and saint
!abriel, were the assistants of the 5irgin on this occasion. They stood by at proper distance in hu$an corporeal for$s
at the $o$ent when the incarnate "ord, penetrating the virginal cha$ber by divine power, issued forth to the light, and
they received 0i$ in their hands with ineffable reverence. #n the sa$e $anner as a priest e?hibits the sacred host to the
people for adoration, so these two celestial $inisters presented to the divine Mother her glorious and refulgent Son. All
this happened in a short space of ti$e. #n the sa$e $o$ent in which the holy angels thus presented the divine Child to
his Mother, both Son and Mother loo*ed upon each other, and in this loo*, She wounded with love the sweet #nfant and
was at the sa$e ti$e e?alted and transfor$ed in 0i$. 6ro$ the ar$s of the holy princes the 1rince of all the heavens
spo*e to his holy MotherD Mother, beco$e li*e unto Me$ since on this day, for the hu$an e?istence, which thou hast
today given Me, # will give thee another $ore e?alted e?istence in grace, assi$ilating thy e?istence as a $ere creature
to the li*eness of Me, who a$ !od and Man. The $ost prudent Mother answered D Trahe $e post Te, curre$us in
odore$ unguentoru$ tuoru$ 'Cant. 1, =). 2aise $e, elevate $e, (ord, and # will run after Thee in the odor of thy
oint$ents. #n the sa$e way $any of the hidden $ysteries of the Canticles were fulfilled9 and other sayings which
passed between the infant !od and the 5irgin Mother had been recorded in that boo* of songs, as for instanceD My
+eloved to $e, and # to 0i$, and his desire is toward $e 'Cant. @, 1>). +ehold thou art beautiful, $y friend, and thy
eyes are doveJs eyes. +ehold, $y beloved, for thou art beautiful9 and $any other sacra$ental words which to $ention
would unduly prolong this chapter.
The words, which $ost holy Mary heard fro$ the $outh of her $ost holy Son, served to $a*e 0er understand at the
sa$e ti$e the interior acts of his holiest soul united with the 4ivinity9 in order that by i$itating the$ She $ight
beco$e li*e unto 0i$. This was one of the greatest blessings, which the $ost faithful and fortunate Mother received at
the hands of her Son, the true !od and $an, not only because it was continued fro$ that day on through all her life, but
because it furnished 0er the $eans of copying his own divine life as faithfully as was possible to a $ere creature. At
the sa$e ti$e the heavenly (ady perceived and felt the presence of the $ost holy Trinity, and She heard the voice of
the eternal 6ather sayingD This is $y beloved Son, in who$ # a$ greatly pleased and delighted 'Matth. 17, C). The
$ost prudent Mother $ade entirely godBli*e in the overflow of so $any sacra$ents, answeredD /ternal 6ather and
e?alted !od, (ord and Creator of the universe, give $e anew thy per$ission and benediction to receive in $y ar$s the
4esired of nations 'Agg. @, F)9 and teach $e to fulfill as thy unworthy Mother and lowly slave, thy holy will.
#$$ediately She heard a voice, which saidD 2eceive thy ,nlybegotten Son, i$itate 0i$ and rear 0i$9 and re$e$ber,
that thou $ust sacrifice 0i$ when # shall de$and it of thee. The divine Mother answeredD +ehold the creature of thy
hands, adorn $e with thy grace so that thy Son and $y !od receive $e for his slave9 and if Thou wilt co$e to $y aid
with thy ,$nipotence, # shall be faithful in his service9 and do Thou count it no presu$ption in thy insignificant
creature, that she bear in her ar$s and nourish at her breast her own (ord and Creator.
After this interchange of "ords, so full of $ysteries, the divine Child suspended the $iracle of his transfiguration, or
rather 0e inaugurated the other $iracle, that of suspending the effects of glory in his $ost holy body, confining the$
solely to his soul9 and 0e now assu$ed the appearance of one capable of suffering. #n this for$ the $ost pure Mother
now saw 0i$ and, still re$aining in a *neeling position and adoring 0i$ with profound hu$ility and reverence, She
received hi$ in her ar$s fro$ the hands of the holy angels. And when She saw 0i$ in her ar$s, She spo*e to 0i$ and
saidD My sweetest (ove and light of $y eyes and being of $y soul, Thou hast arrived in good hour into this world as
the Sun of <ustice 'Malach. &, @), in order to disperse the dar*ness of sin and deathH True !od of the true !od, save thy
servants and let all flesh see hi$, who shall draw upon it salvation '#s. %, @). 2eceive $e thy servant as thy slave and
supply $y deficiency, in order that # $ay properly serve Thee. Ma*e $e, $y Son, such as Thou desirest $e to be in thy
service. Then the $ost prudent Mother turned toward the eternal 6ather to offer up to 0i$ his ,nlybegotten, sayingD
/?alted Creator of all the 7niverse, here is the altar and the sacrifice acceptable in thy eyes 'Malachy =, &). 6ro$ this
hour on, , (ord, loo* upon the hu$an race with $ercy and inas$uch as we have deserved thy anger, it is now ti$e that
Thou be appeased in thy Son and $ine. (et thy <ustice now co$e to rest, and let thy $ercy be e?alted9 for on this
account the "ord has clothed itself in the se$blance of sinful flesh '2o$. F, =), and beca$e a +rother of $ortals and
sinners '1hilip @, 7). #n this title # recogniGe the$ as brothers and # intercede for the$ fro$ $y in$ost soul. Thou, (ord,
hast $ade $e the Mother of thy ,nlybegotten without $y $erit, since this dignity is above all $erit of a creature9 but #
partly owe to $en the occasion of this inco$parable good fortune since it is on their account that # a$ the Mother of the
"ord $ade $an and 2edee$er of the$ all. # will not deny the$ $y love, or re$it $y care and watchfulness for their
salvation. 2eceive, eternal !od, $y wishes and petitions for that which is according to thy pleasure and good will.
The Mother of $ercy turned also toward all $ortals and addressed the$, sayingD +e consoled ye afflicted and re<oice
ye disconsolate, be raised up ye fallen, co$e to rest ye uneasy. (et the <ust be gladdened and the saints be re<oiced9 let
the heavenly spirits brea* out in new <ubilee, let the 1rophets and 1atriarchs of li$bo draw new hope, and let all the
generations praise and $agnify the (ord, who renews his wonders. Co$e, co$e ye poor9 approach ye little ones,
without fear, for in $y ar$s # bear the (ion $ade a la$b, the Al$ighty, beco$e wea*, the #nvincible subdued. Co$e to
life, hasten to obtain salvation, approach to gain eternal rest, since # have all this for all, and it will be given to you
freely and co$$unicated to you without envy. 4o not be slow and heavy of heart, ye sons of $en9 and Thou, ,
sweetest <oy of $y soul, give $e per$ission to receive fro$ Thee that *iss desired by all creatures. Therewith the $ost
blessed Mother applied her $ost chaste and heavenly lips in order to receive the loving caresses of the divine Child,
who on his part, as her true Son, had desired the$ fro$ 0er.
0olding 0i$ in 0er ar$s She thus served as the altar and the sanctuary, where the ten thousand angels adored in visible
hu$an for$s their Creator incarnate. And as the $ost blessed Trinity assisted in an especial $anner at the birth of the
"ord, heaven was as it were e$ptied of its inhabitants, for the whole heavenly court had beta*en itself to that blessed
cave of +ethlehe$ and was adoring the Creator in his garb and habit of a pilgri$ '1hil. @, 7). And in their concert of
praise the holy angels intoned the new canticleD !loria in e?celsis 4eo, et in terra pa? ho$inibus bonae voluntatis
'(u*e @, 1&). #n sweetest and sonorous har$ony they repeated it, transfi?ed in wonder at the new $iracles then being
fulfilled and at the unspea*able prudence, grace, hu$ility and beauty of that tender Maiden of fifteen years, who had
beco$e the worthy Trustee and Minister of such vast and $agnificent sacra$ents.
#t was now ti$e to call saint Joseph, the faithful spouse of the $ost discreet and attentive (ady. As # have said above he
was wrapped in ecstasy, in which he was infor$ed by divine revelation of all the $ysteries of this sacred +irth during
this night. +ut it was beco$ing that he should see, and, before all other $ortals, should in his corporeal faculties and
senses be present and e?perience, adore and reverence the "ord $ade flesh9 for he of all others had been chosen to act
as the faithful warden of this great sacra$ent. At the desire of his heavenly Spouse he issued fro$ his ecstasy and, on
being restored to consciousness, the first sight of his eyes was the divine Child in the ar$s of the 5irgin Mother
reclining against her sacred countenance and breast. There he adored 0i$ in profoundest hu$ility and in tears of <oy.
0e *issed his feet in great <oy and ad$iration, which no doubt would have ta*en away and destroyed life in hi$, if
divine power had not preserved it9 and he certainly would have lost all the use of his senses, if the occasion had
per$itted. "hen saint Joseph had begun to adore the Child, the $ost prudent Mother as*ed leave of her Son to arise
'for until then She had re$ained on her *nees) and, while saint Joseph handed 0er the wrappings and swaddlingB
clothes, which She had brought, She clothed 0i$ with inco$parable reverence, devotion and tenderness. 0aving thus
swathed and clothed 0i$, his Mother, with heavenly wisdo$, laid 0i$ in the crib, as related by saint (u*e '(u*e @, 7).
6or this purpose She had arranged so$e straw and hay upon a stone in order to prepare for the !odBMan his first
restingBplace upon earth ne?t to that which 0e had found in her ar$s. According to divine ordain$ent an o? fro$ the
neighboring fields ran up in great haste and, entering the cave, <oined the beast of burden brought by the ;ueen. The
blessed Mother co$$anded the$, with what show of reverence was possible to the$ to ac*nowledge and adore their
Creator. The hu$ble ani$als obeyed their Mistress and prostrated the$selves before the Child, war$ing 0i$ with their
breath and rendering 0i$ the service refused by $en. And thus the !od $ade $an was placed between two ani$als,
wrapped in swaddlingBclothes and wonderfully fulfilling the prophecy, that the o? *noweth his owner, and the ass his
$asterJs crib9 but #srael hath not *nown $e, and $y people hath not understood. '#s. 1=.)
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, if $en would *eep their heart disengaged and if they would rightly and worthily consider this great
sacra$ent of the *indness of the Most high towards $en, it would be a powerful $eans of conducting the$ in the
pathway of life and sub<ecting the$ to the love of their Creator and 2edee$er. 6or as $en are capable of reasoning, if
they would only $a*e use of their freedo$ to treat this sacra$ent with the reverence due to its greatness, who would be
so hardened as not to be $oved to tenderness at the sight of their !od beco$e $an, hu$iliated in poverty, despised,
un*nown, entering the world in a cave, lying in a $anger surrounded by brute ani$als, protected only by a povertyB
stric*en Mother, and cast off by the foolish arrogance of the worldI "ho will dare to love the vanity and pride, which
was openly abhorred and conde$ned by the Creator of heaven and earth in his conductI .o one can despise the
hu$ility, poverty and indigence, which the (ord loved and chose for 0i$self as the very $eans of teaching the way of
eternal life. 6ew there are, who stop to consider this truth and e?a$pleD and on account of this vile ingratitude only the
few will reap the fruit of these great sacra$ents.
+ut if the condescension of $y $ost holy Son was so great as to bestow so liberally upon thee his light and *nowledge
concerning these vast blessings, ponder well how $uch thou art bound to coBoperate with this light. #n order that thou
$ayest correspond to this obligation, # re$ind and e?hort thee to forget all that is of earth and lose it out of thy sight9
that thou see* nothing, or engage thyself with nothing e?cept what can help thee to withdraw and detach thee fro$ the
world and its inhabitants so that, with a heart freed fro$ all terrestrial affection, thou dispose thyself to celebrate in it
the $ysteries of the poverty, hu$ility and divine love of the incarnate !od. (earn fro$ $y e?a$ple the reverence, fear
and respect, with which thou $ust treat 0i$, re$e$bering how # acted, when # held 0i$ in $y ar$s9 follow $y
e?a$ple, whenever thou receivest 0i$ in thy heart in the venerable sacra$ent of the holy /ucharist, wherein is
contained the sa$e !odBMan, who was born of $y wo$b. #n this holy Sacra$ent thou receivest 0i$ and possessest
0i$ <ust as really, and 0e re$ains in thee <ust as actually, as # possessed 0i$ and conversed with 0i$, although in
another $anner.
# desire that thou go even to e?tre$es in this holy reverence and fear9 and # wish that thou ta*e notice and be convinced,
that in entering into thy heart in the holy Sacra$ent, thy !od e?horts thee in the sa$e words, which thou hast recorded
as spo*en to $eD beco$e li*e unto Me. 0is co$ing down fro$ heaven onto the earth, his being born in hu$ility and
poverty, his living and dying in it, giving such rare e?a$ple of the conte$pt of the world and its deceits9 the
*nowledge, which thou hast received concerning his conduct and which thou hast penetrated so deeply by divine
intelligenceD all these things should be for thee li*e living voices, which thou $ust heed and inscribe into the interior of
thy heart. These privileges have all been granted to thee in order that thou discreetly use the co$$on blessings to their
fullest e?tent, and in order that thou $ayest understand, how than*ful thou $ust be to $y $ost holy Son and (ord, and
how thou shouldst strive to $a*e as great a return for his goodness, as if 0e had co$e fro$ heaven to redee$ thee
alone and as if 0e had instituted all his wonders and doctrines in the holy Church for none else than thee '!al. 7, 1@).
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5
T0/ A4,2AT#,. ,6 T0/ S0/10/249 T0/ C#2C7MC#S#,..
After the courtiers of heaven had thus celebrated the birth of !od $ade $an near the portals of +ethlehe$, so$e of
the$ were i$$ediately dispatched to different places, in order to announce the happy news to those, who according to
the divine will were properly disposed to hear it. The holy prince Michael betoo* hi$self to the holy 1atriarchs in
li$bo and announced to the$, how the ,nlybegotten of the eternal 6ather was already born into the world and was
resting, hu$ble and $ee*, as they had prophesied, in a $anger between two beasts. 0e addressed also in a special
$anner holy Joachi$ and Anne in the na$e of the blessed Mother, who had en<oined this upon hi$9 he congratulated
the$, that their 4aughter now held in her ar$s the 4esired of nations and 0i$, who had been foretold by all the
1atriarchs and 1rophets '#s. 7, 1&9 %, 7, etc.). #t was the $ost consoling and <oyful day, which this great gathering of the
<ust and the saints had yet had during their long banish$ent. All of the$ ac*nowledged this new !od$an as the true
Author of eternal salvation, and they co$posed and sang new songs of adoration and worship in his praise.
Another of the holy angels that attended and guarded the heavenly Mother was sent to saint /lisabeth and her son John.
,n hearing this news of the birth of the 2edee$er, the prudent $atron and her son, although he was yet of so tender an
age, prostrated the$selves upon the earth and adored their !od $ade $an in spirit and in truth 'John &, @=). The child
which had been consecrated as his 1recursor, was renewed interiorly with a spirit $ore infla$ed than that of /lias,
causing new ad$iration and <ubilation in the angels the$selves. Saint John and his $other reEuested our ;ueen through
the angels, that She in the na$e of the$ both, adore her $ost holy Son and offer 0i$ their services9 all of which the
heavenly ;ueen i$$ediately fulfilled.
A$ongst all these, the shepherds of that region. who were watching their floc*s at the ti$e of the birth of Christ, were
especially blessed '(u*e @, F)9 not only because they accepted the labor and inconvenience of their calling with
resignation fro$ the hand of !od9 but also because, being poor and hu$ble, and despised by the world, they belonged
in sincerity and uprightness of heart to those #sraelites, who fervently hoped and longed for the co$ing of the Messias,
spea*ing and discoursing of 0i$ a$ong the$selves $any ti$es. They rese$bled the Author of life, as they were
re$oved fro$ the riches, vanity and ostentation of the world and far fro$ its diabolical cunning 'John 1A, 1&). They
e?hibited in the circu$stances of their calling the office, which the good Shepherd had co$e to fulfill in *nowing his
Sheep and being *nown to the$. 0ence they $erited to be called and invited, as the first fruits of the saints by the
Savior hi$self, to be the very first ones, to who$ the eternal and incarnate "ord $anifested 0i$self and by who$ 0e
wished to be praised, served and adored. 0ence the archangel !abriel was sent to the$ as they watched on the field,
appearing to the$ in hu$an for$ and with great splendor.
The shepherds found the$selves suddenly enveloped and bathed in the celestial radiance of the angel, and at his sight,
being little versed in such visions, they were filled with great fear. The holy prince reassured the$ and saidD 3e upright
$en, be not afraidD for # announce to you tidings of great <oy, which is, that for you is born today the 2edee$er Christ,
our (ord, in the city of 4avid. And as a sign of this truth, # announce to you, that you shall find the #nfant wrapped in
swaddlingBclothes and placed in a $anger '(u*e @, 1A, 1@). At these words of the angel, suddenly appeared a great
$ultitude of the celestial ar$y, who in voices of sweet har$ony sang to the Most 0igh these wordsD !lory to !od in
the highest and on earth peace to $en of good will. 2ehearsing this divine canticle, so new to the world, the holy
angels disappeared. All this happened in the fourth watch of the night. +y this angelic vision the hu$ble and fortunate
shepherds were filled with divine enlighten$ent and were unani$ously i$pelled by a fervent longing to $a*e certain
of this blessing and to witness with their own eyes the $ost high $ystery of which they had been infor$ed.
The signs which the holy angels had indicated to the$ did not see$ appropriate or proportioned for attesting the
greatness of the .ewborn to eyes of the flesh. 6or to lie in a $anger and to be wrapped in swaddlingBclothes, would not
have been convincing proof of the $a<esty of a *ing, if these shepherds had not been illu$ined by divine light and been
enabled to penetrate the $ystery. As they were free fro$ the arrogant wisdo$ of the world, they were easily $ade
proficient in the divine wisdo$. Conferring a$ong the$selves the thoughts e?cited by this $essage, they resolved to
hasten in all speed to +ethlehe$ and see the wonder $ade *nown to the$ by the (ord. They departed without delay
and entering the cave or portal, they found, as saint (u*e tells us, Mary and Joseph, and the #nfant lying in a $anger.
Seeing all this they recogniGed the truth of what they had heard of the Child. 7pon this followed an interior
enlighten$ent conseEuent upon seeing the "ord $ade flesh9 for when the shepherds loo*ed upon 0i$. 0e also glanced
at the$, e$itting fro$ his countenance a great effulgence, which wounded with love the sincere heart of each of these
poor yet fortunate $en9 with divine efficiency it changed the$ and renewed the$, constituting the$ in a new state of
grace and holiness and filling the$ with an e?alted *nowledge of the divine $ysteries of the #ncarnation and the
2ede$ption of the hu$an race.
1rostrating the$selves on the earth they adored the "ord $ade flesh. .ot any $ore as ignorant rustics, but as wise and
prudent $en they adored 0i$, ac*nowledged and $agnified hi$ as true !od and $an, as 2estorer and 2edee$er of
the hu$an race. The heavenly (ady and Mother of the Child too* notice of all that they did interiorly and e?teriorly9 for
She saw into their in$ost hearts. #n highest wisdo$ and prudence She preserved the $e$ory of all these happenings
and pondered the$ in her soul, '(u*e @, 1%), co$paring the$ with the other $ysteries therein contained and with the
holy prophecies and sayings of the Scriptures. As She was then the organ of the holy Spirit and the representative of the
#nfant, She spo*e to the shepherds, instructing and e?horting the$ to persevere in divine love and in the service of the
Most 0igh. They also conversed with 0er on their part and showed by their answers that they understood $any of the
$ysteries. They re$ained in the cave fro$ the beginning of dawn until $idBday, when, having given the$ so$ething to
eat, our great ;ueen sent the$ off full of heavenly grace and consolation.
"hen for the first ti$e She placed the infant !od in his ar$s, the $ost holy Mary said to hi$D My husband and $y
helper, receive in thy ar$s the Creator of heaven and earth and en<oy his a$iable and sweet co$pany, in order that $y
(ord and $y !od $ay be delighted and reco$pensed by thy faithful services '1rov. F, =1). Ta*e to thyself the Treasure
of the eternal 6ather and participate in this blessing of the hu$an race. And spea*ing interiorly to the divine #nfant,
She saidD Sweetest (ove of $y soul and (ight of $y eyes, rest in the ar$s of Joseph, $y friend and spouseD do thou
hold sweet intercourse with hi$ and pardon $e $y shortco$ings. Much do # feel the loss of Thee even for one instant,
but # wish to co$$unicate without envy the good # have received, to all that are worthy '"is. 7, 1=). 0er $ost faithful
husband, ac*nowledging this new blessing, hu$bled hi$self to the earth and answeredD (ady and Sovereign of the
world, $y Spouse, how can #, being so unworthy, presu$e to hold in $y ar$s !od hi$self, in whose presence tre$ble
the pillars of heavenI 'Job @>, 11). 0ow can this vile wor$let have courage to accept such an e?alted favorI # a$ but
dust and ashes, but do Thou, (ady, assist $e in $y lowliness and as* his Ma<esty to loo* upon $e with cle$ency and
$a*e $e worthy through his grace.
0is desire of holding the infant !od and his reverential fear of 0i$ caused in saint Joseph heroic acts of love, of faith,
of hu$ility and profoundest reverence. Tre$bling with discreet fear 0e fell on his *nees to receive 0i$ fro$ the hands
of his $ost holy Mother, while sweetest tears of <oy and delight copiously flowed fro$ his eyes at a happiness so
e?traordinary. The divine #nfant loo*ed at hi$ caressingly and at the sa$e ti$e renewed his in$ost soul with such
divine efficacy as no words will suffice to e?plain. 0e bro*e out in new canticles of praise at seeing hi$self thus
enriched with such $agnificent blessings and favors. After having for so$e ti$e en<oyed in spirit the sweetest effects
of holding in his ar$s the (ord, who contains heaven and earth '#s. &A, 1@), 0e replaced hi$ into the ar$s of his
fortunate Mother, both of the$ being on their *nees in receiving and giving 0i$. Si$ilar reverence the $ost prudent
Mother observed every ti$e She too* 0i$ up or relinEuished 0i$, in which also Joseph i$itated 0er, as often as it was
his happy lot to hold the incarnate "ord. "hen they approached his Ma<esty, they also $ade three genuflections,
*issing the earth and e?citing heroic acts of hu$ility, worship and reverence. Thus both the great ;ueen and the blessed
Joseph observed all propriety in receiving or giving the Child fro$ and to one another.
6ro$ the $o$ent the $ost prudent 5irgin found 0erself chosen as the Mother of the divine "ord, She began to ponder
upon the labors and sufferings in store for her sweetest Son. As her *nowledge of Scripture was profound, She
understood all the $ysteries contained therein and She began to foresee and prepare with inco$parable co$passion for
all that 0e was to suffer for the 2ede$ption of Man. This sorrow, foreseen and e?pected with such a full *nowledge of
details, was a prolonged $artyrdo$ for the $ost $ee* Mother of the sacrificial (a$b of !od 'Jer. 11, 1%). +ut in
regard to the Circu$cision, which was to ta*e place after the birth of the Child, the heavenly (ady had received no
co$$and or inti$ation of the will of the eternal 6ather. This uncertainty e?cited the loving solicitude and sweet plaints
of the tender and affectionate Mother. 0er prudent foresight enabled 0er to con<ecture, that, as her $ost holy Son had
co$e to honor and confir$ his law by fulfilling it and as 0e had $oreover co$e in order to suffer for $en, 0e would
be constrained by his burning love and by other $otives to undergo the pains of circu$cision.
,n the other hand her $aternal love and co$passion longed to e?e$pt her sweet Child if possible, fro$ this suffering9
$oreover She *new, that circu$cision was a rite instituted for cleansing the newborn children fro$ original sin,
whereas the divine #nfant was entirely free fro$ this guilt, not having contracted it in Ada$. #n this hesitation between
love of her divine Son and obedience to the eternal 6ather, the $ost prudent 5irgin practiced $any heroic acts of virtue,
unspea*ably pleasing to his Ma<esty. Although She could have easily escaped this uncertainty by directly as*ing the
(ord what was to be done9 yet, being as hu$ble as She was prudent, She refrained. .either would She as* her angels9
for with ad$irable wisdo$, She awaited the opportune ti$e and occasion, assigned by divine 1rovidence for all things,
and She would not presu$e curiously to search or pry into his decrees by consulting supernatural sources of
infor$ation, especially in order to rid 0erself of any suffering. "hen any grave and doubtful affair arose, in which
there was danger of offending !od, or so$e urgent underta*ing for the good of creatures, in which it would be
necessary to *now the divine will, She first as*ed per$ission to sub$it her petition for enlighten$ent regarding the
divine pleasure.
Most holy Mary issued fro$ her prayer and reEuested saint Joseph to ta*e the necessary steps for the Circu$cision of
the divine #nfant. "ith rarest prudence She avoided telling 0i$ anything of what She had been told in answer to her
prayer. She spo*e as if She wished to consult 0i$ or as* his opinion in regard to the Circu$cision, saying that the ti$e
appointed by law for the Circu$cision of the Child had arrived and since they had not received any orders to the
contrary, it see$ed necessary to co$ply with it. They the$selves, She said, were $ore bound to please the Most 0igh,
to obey $ore punctually his precepts, and to be $ore Gealous in the love and care of his $ost holy Son than all the rest
of creatures, see*ing to fulfill in all things the divine pleasure in return for his inco$parable favors. To these words
saint Joseph answered with the greatest $odesty and discretion, saying, that, as no co$$and to the contrary had been
given concerning the Child he wished in all things to confor$ hi$self to the divine will $anifested in the co$$on law9
that, although as !od the incarnate "ord was not sub<ect to the law, yet 0e was now clothed with our hu$anity, and, as
a $ost perfect Teacher and Savior, no doubt wished to confor$ with other $en in its fulfill$ent. Then he as*ed his
heavenly Spouse how the Circu$cision was to ta*e place.
The $ost holy Mary answered, that the Circu$cision should be perfor$ed substantially in the sa$e way as it was
perfor$ed on other children but that She need not hand hi$ over or consign 0i$ to any other person, but that She
would herself hold 0i$ in her ar$s. And the delicacy and tenderness of the #nfant would $a*e this cere$ony $ore
painful to hi$ than to other children, they should have at hand the soothing $edicine, which was ordinarily applied at
circu$cision. Moreover, She reEuested saint Joseph to procure a crystal or glass vessel for preserving the sacred relic of
the Circu$cision of the divine #nfant. #n the $eanwhile the cautious Mother prepared so$e linen cloths to catch the
sacred blood, which was now for the first ti$e to be shed for our rescue, so that not one drop of it $ight be lost or fall
upon the ground. After these preparations the heavenly (ady as*ed saint Joseph to infor$ the priest and reEuest hi$ to
co$e to the cave where, without the necessity of bringing the Child to any other place, he $ight, as a fit and worthy
$inister of so hidden and great a sacra$ent, with his priestly hands perfor$ the rite of the Circu$cision.
Then $ost holy Mary and Joseph too* counsel concerning the na$e to be given to the divine #nfant in the
Circu$cision, and the holy spouse saidD My (ady, when the holy angel of the Most 0igh infor$ed $e of this great
sacra$ent, he also told $e that thy $ost sacred Son should be called J/S7S. The 5irgin Mother answeredD This sa$e
na$e was revealed to $e when 0e assu$ed flesh in $y wo$b9 and thus receiving this na$e fro$ the Most 0igh
through the $outh of his holy angels, his $inisters, it is befitting that we confor$ in hu$ble reverence with the hidden
and inscrutable <udg$ents of his infinite wisdo$ in conferring it on $y Son and (ord, and that we call 0i$ J/S7S.
This na$e we will propose to the priest, for inscription in the register of the other circu$cised children.
"hile the great Mistress of heaven and saint Joseph thus conversed with each other, innu$erable angels descended in
hu$an for$s fro$ on high, clothed in shining white gar$ents, on which were woven red e$broideries of wonderful
beauty. They had pal$s in their hands and crowns upon their heads and e$itted a greater splendor than $any suns. #n
co$parison with the beauty of these holy princes all the loveliness seen in this world appeared repulsive. +ut preB
e$inent in splendor were the devices or escutcheons on their breasts, at each of which the sweet na$e of Jesus was
engraved or e$bossed. The effulgence which each of these escutcheons e?ceeded that of all the angels together, and the
variety of the beauty thus e?hibited in this great $ultitude was so rare and e?Euisite as neither hu$an tongue can
e?press nor hu$an i$agination ever co$pass. The holy angels divided into two choirs in the cave, *eeping their gaGe
fi?ed upon the -ing and (ord in the ar$s of his virginal Mother. The chiefs of these heavenly cohorts were the two
princes, saint Michael and saint !abriel, shining in greater splendor than the rest and bearing in their hands, as a special
distinction, the $ost holy na$e of J/S7S, written in larger letters on so$ething li*e cards of inco$parable beauty and
The two princes presented the$selves apart fro$ the rest before their ;ueen and saidD (ady, this is the na$e of thy
Son 'Matth. 1, @1), which was written in the $ind of !od fro$ all eternity and which the blessed Trinity has given to
thy ,nlybegotten Son and our (ord as the signal of salvation for the whole hu$an race9 establishing 0i$ at the sa$e
ti$e on the throne 4avid. 0e shall reign upon it, chastise his ene$ies and triu$ph over the$, $a*ing the$ his
footstool and passing <udg$ent upon the$9 0e shall raise his friends to the glory of his right hand. +ut all this is to
happen at the cost of suffering and blood9 and even now 0e is to shed it in receiving this na$e, since it is that of the
Savior and 2edee$er9 it shall be the beginning of his sufferings in obedience to the will of his eternal 6ather. "e all are
co$e as $inistering spirits of the Most 0igh, appointed and sent by the holy Trinity in order to serve the ,nlybegotten
of the 6ather and thy own in all the $ysteries and sacra$ents of the law of grace. "e are to acco$pany 0i$ and
$inister to 0i$ until 0e shall ascend triu$phantly to the celestial Jerusale$ and open the portals of heaven9 afterwards
we shall en<oy an especial accidental glory beyond that of the other blessed, to who$ no such co$$ission has been
given. All this was witnessed by the $ost fortunate spouse Joseph con<ointly with the ;ueen of heaven9 but his
understanding of these happenings was not so deep as hers, for the Mother of wisdo$ understood and co$prehended
the highest $ysteries of the 2ede$ption. Although saint Joseph understood $any $ore $ysteries than other $ortals,
yet he did not penetrate the$ in the sa$e way as his heavenly Spouse. +oth of the$, however, were full of heavenly
<oy and ad$iration, and e?tolled the (ord in new canticles of glory. All that they e?perienced in these various and
wonderful events surpasses hu$an language, and certainly $y own powers, and # cannot find adeEuate words for
e?pressing $y conceptions.
The priest ca$e to the gates or cave of the .ativity, where the incarnate "ord, resting in the ar$s of his 5irgin Mother,
awaited hi$. "ith the priest ca$e also two other officials, who were to render such assistance as was custo$ary at the
perfor$ance of the rite. The rudeness of the dwelling at first astonished and so$ewhat disconcerted the priest. +ut the
$ost prudent ;ueen spo*e to hi$ and welco$ed hi$ with such $odesty and grace that his constraint soon changed
into devotion and into ad$iration at the co$posure and noblest $a<esty of the Mother9 and without *nowing the cause
he was $oved to reverence and estee$ for such an unusual personage. "hen the priest loo*ed upon the face of Mary
and of the Child in her ar$s he was filled with great devotion and tenderness, wondering at the contrast e?hibited a$id
such poverty and in a place so lowly and despised. The priest thereupon proceeded to his duty and circu$cised the
Child, the true !od and $an. At the sa$e ti$e the Son of !od, with i$$easurable love, offered up to the eternal 6ather
three sacrifices of so great value that each one would have been sufficient for the 2ede$ption of a thousand worlds.
The first was that 0e, being innocent and the Son of the true !od, assu$ed the condition of a sinner '1hil. @, 7) by
sub<ecting 0i$self to a rite instituted as a re$edy for original sin, and to a law not binding on 0i$ '## Cor. C, @1). The
second was his willingness to suffer the pains of circu$cision, which 0e felt as a true and perfect $an. The third was
the $ost ardent love with which 0e began shed his blood for the hu$an race, giving than*s to eternal 6ather for having
given 0i$ a hu$an nature capable of suffering for his e?altation and glory.
This prayerful sacrifice of J/S7S our Savior the 6ather accepted, and, according to our way of spea*ing, 0e began to
declare 0i$self satisfied and paid for the indebtedness of hu$anity. The incarnate "ord offered these first fruits of his
blood as pledges that 0e would give it all in order to consu$$ate the 2ede$ption and e?tinguish the debt of the sons
of Ada$. All these interior acts and $ove$ents of the ,nlybegotten his $ost holy Mother perceived, and in her
heavenly wisdo$ She penetrated the $ystery of this sacra$ent, acting as his Mother and in concert with 0er Son and
(ord in all 0e was doing and suffering. True to his hu$an nature, the divine #nfant shed tears as other children.
Although the pains caused by the wounding were $ost severe, as well on account of the delicacy of his body as on
account of the coarseness of the *nife, which was $ade of flint, yet his tears were caused not so $uch by the sensible
pain as by the supernatural sorrow caused by his *nowledge of the hardBheartedness of $ortals. 6or this was $ore rude
and unyielding than the flint, resisting his sweetest love and the divine fire 0e had co$e to en*indle in the world and in
the hearts of the faithful '(u*e 1@, &%). Also the tender and affectionate Mother wept, li*e the guileless sheep, which
raises its voice in unison with the innocent la$b. #n reciprocal love and co$passion the Child clung to his Mother,
while She sweetly caressed 0i$ at her virginal breast and caught the sacred relics and the falling blood in the towel.
#n the $eanwhile the priest as*ed the parents what na$e they wished to give to the Child in Circu$cision9 the great
(ady, always attentive to honor her spouse, as*ed saint Joseph to $ention the na$e. Saint Joseph turned toward 0er in
li*e reverence and gave 0er to understand that 0e thought it proper this sweet na$e should first flow fro$ her $outh.
Therefore, by divine interference, both Mary and Joseph said at the sa$e ti$e9 J/S7S is his na$e. The priest
answeredD The parents are unani$ously agreed, and great is the na$e which they give to the Child9 and thereupon he
inscribed it in the tablet or register of na$es of the rest of the children. "hile writing it the priest felt great interior
$ove$ents, so that he shed copious tears9 and wondering at what he felt yet not being able to account for, he saidD #
a$ convinced that this Child is to be a great 1rophet of the (ord. 0ave great care in raising 0i$, and tell $e in what #
can relieve your needs. Most holy Mary and Joseph answered the priest with hu$ble gratitude and dis$issed hi$ after
offering hi$ the gift of so$e candles and other articles.
+eing again left alone with the Child, $ost holy Mary and Joseph celebrated anew the $ystery of the Circu$cision,
co$$enting on the holy na$e of J/S7S a$id sweet canticles and tears of <oy, the fuller *nowledge of which 'as also
of other $ysteries which # have $entioned) is reserved as an additional accidental glory to the saints in heaven. The
$ost prudent Mother applied to the wound caused by the *nife such $edicines as were wont to be used on such
occasions for other children, and during the ti$e while the pain and the healing lasted She would not for a $o$ent part
with holding 0i$ in her ar$s day and night. The tender love of the heavenly Mother is beyond all co$prehension or
understanding of $an9 for her natural love was greater than any other $other was capable of, and her supernatural love
e?ceeded that of all the angels and saints together. 0er reverence and worship cannot be co$pared with that of any
other created being. These were the delights of the incarnate "ord '1rov. F, =1), which 0e desired and longed for
a$ong the children of $en9 and this was the reco$pense, which his loving heart drew fro$ the e?ceeding sanctity of
the 5irgin Mother for the sorrows occasioned 0i$ by their behavior.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, # wish thee to consider attentively the blessed favor conferred upon thee by being infor$ed of the
solicitous care and attention which # lavished upon $y $ost holy and sweetest Son in the $ysteries <ust now described.
The Most 0igh does not give thee this special light in order only to be regaled by the *nowledge of these $ysteries9 but
in order to i$itate $e in all these things as a faithful hand$aid and in order to distinguish thyself in rendering than*s
for his wor*s in the sa$e $easure as thou art distinguished in *nowing the$ $ore fully. 1onder, then, dearest, upon the
s$all return given for the love of $y Son and (ord by $ortals, and how forgetful of than*s even his faithful continue to
be. Assu$e it as thy tas*, as far as thy wea* powers allow, to render satisfaction for this grievous offenseD loving 0i$,
than*ing 0i$ and serving 0i$ with all thy powers, for all the other $en who fail to do so. Therefore thou $ust be an
angel in pro$ptitude, $ost fervent and punctual on all occasions9 thou $ust die to all earthly things, eli$inating and
crushing all hu$an inclinations and rising upon the wings of love to the heights of love designed for thee by the (ord.
Thou art not ignorant of the sweet efficacy contained in the $e$ory of the wor*s perfor$ed by $y $ost holy SonD and
although thou canst so copiously avail thyself of the light given thee to be than*fulD yet, in order that thou $ayest fear
so $uch the $ore the danger of forgetfulness, # particularly infor$ thee that the saints in heaven, co$prehending by the
divine light these $ysteries, are astonished at the$selves for not having paid $ore attention to the$ during their life.
And if they were capable of pain, they would be deeply grieved for their tardiness and carelessness in not having set
proper value upon the wor*s for the 2ede$ption, and for failing in the i$itation of Christ. All the angels and saints, by
an insight hidden to $ortals, wonder at the cruelty of hu$an hearts against the$selves and against Christ their
2edee$er. Men have co$passion neither for the sufferings of the (ord, nor for the sufferings they the$selves stand in
danger of incurring. "hen the fore*nown, in unending bitterness shall recogniGe their dreadful forgetfulness and their
indifference to the wor*s of Christ their Savior, their confusion and despair will be an intolerable punish$ent, and it
alone will be a chastise$ent beyond all i$agination9 for they will then see the copiousness of the 2ede$ption, which
they have despised '1s. &&, 11). 0ear $e, $y daughter, and bend thy ears to these counsels and doctrines of eternal life.
Cast out fro$ thy faculties every i$age and affection toward hu$an creatures and turn all the powers of thy heart and
soul toward the $ysteries and blessings of the 2ede$ption. ,ccupy thyself wholly with the$, ponder and weigh the$,
give than*s for the$ as if thou alone wert in e?istence, as if they had been wrought solely for thee, and singly for each
hu$an being in particular '!al. @, @A). Thus thou wilt find life and the way of life, proceeding thus thou canst not err9
but thou shalt find therein the light of thy eyes and true peace.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5#.
T0/ A4,2AT#,. ,6 T0/ MA!#.
The three Magi -ings, who ca$e to find the divine #nfant after his birth, were natives of 1ersia, Arabia and Sabba '1s.
71, 1A), countries to the east of 1alestine. Their co$ing was prophesied especially by 4avid, and before hi$, by
+alaa$, who, having been hired by +alaac, *ing of the Moabites, to curse the #sraelites, blessed the$ instead '.u$b.
@&, 17). #n this blessing +alaa$ said, that he would see the -ing Christ, although not at once, and that he would behold
0i$, although not present9 for he did not see 0i$ with his own eyes, but through the Magi, his descendants $any
centuries after. 0e said, also, that a star would arise unto Jacob, which was Christ, who arose to reign forever in the
house of Jacob '(u*e 1, =@).
At the sa$e ti$e the holy angel, who had brought the news fro$ +ethlehe$ to the *ings, for$ed of the $aterial air a
$ost resplendent star, although not so large as those of the fir$a$ent9 for it was not to ascend higher than was
necessary for the purpose of its for$ation. #t too* its course through the at$ospheric regions in order to guide and
direct the holy -ings to the cave, where the Child awaited the$. #ts splendor was of a different *ind fro$ that of the
sun and the other stars9 with its $ost beautiful light it illu$ined the night li*e a brilliant torch, and it $ingled its own
$ost active brilliancy with that of the sun by day. ,n co$ing out of their palaces each one of the *ings saw this new
star 'Matth. @, @) although each fro$ a different standpoint, because it was only one star and it was placed in such
distance and height that it could be seen by each one at the sa$e ti$e. As the three of the$ followed the guidance of
this $iraculous star, they soon $et. Thereupon it i$$ediately approached the$ $uch $ore closely, descending
through $any shifts of the aerial space and re<oicing the$ by shedding its refulgence over the$ at closer range. They
began to confer a$ong the$selves about the revelation they had received and about their plans, finding that they were
identical. They were $ore and $ore infla$ed with devotion and with the pious desire of adoring the newborn !od, and
bro*e out in praise and ad$iration at the inscrutable wor*s and $ysteries of the Al$ighty.
The heavenly Mother awaited the pious and devout *ings, standing with the Child in her ar$s. A$id the hu$ble and
poor surroundings of the cave, in inco$parable $odesty and beauty, She e?hibited at sa$e ti$e a $a<esty $ore than
hu$an, the light of heaven shining in her countenance. Still $ore visible was this light in the Child, shedding through
the cavern effulgent splendor, which $ade it li*e a heaven. The three *ings of the /ast entered and at the first sight of
the Son and Mother they were for a considerable space of ti$e overwhel$ed with wonder. They prostrated the$selves
upon the earth, and in this position they worshiped and adored the #nfant, ac*nowledging 0i$ as the true !od and $an,
and as the Savior of the hu$an race. +y the divine power, which the sight of 0i$ and his presence e?erted in their
souls, they were filled with new enlighten$ent. They perceived the $ultitude of angelic spirits, who as servants and
$inisters of the -ing of *ings and (ord of lords attended upon hi$ in reverential fear '0eb. 1, &). Arising, they
congratulated their and our ;ueen as Mother of the Son of the eternal 6ather9 and they approached to reverence 0er on
their *nees. They sought her hand in order to *iss it, as they were accusto$ed to do to their Eueens in their countries.
+ut the $ost prudent (ady withdrew her hand, and offered instead that of the 2edee$er of the world, sayingD My spirit
re<oices in the (ord and $y soul blesses and e?tols 0i$9 because a$ong all the nations 0e has called and selected you
to loo* upon and behold that which $any *ings and prophets have in vain desired to see, na$ely, 0i$ who is the
eternal "ord incarnate '(u*e 1A, @&). (et us e?tol and praise his na$e on account of the sacra$ents and $ysteries
wrought a$ong his people9 let us *iss the earth which 0e sanctifies by his real presence.
At these words of $ost holy Mary the three *ings hu$iliated the$selves anew, adoring the infant Jesus9 they
ac*nowledged the great blessings of living in the ti$e when the Sun of <ustice was arising in order to illu$ine the
dar*ness 'Malachy &, @). Thereupon they spo*e to saint Joseph, congratulating hi$ and e?tolling his good fortune in
being chosen as the spouse of the Mother of !od9 and they e?pressed wonder and co$passion at the great poverty,
beneath which were hidden the greatest $ysteries of heaven and earth. #n this intercourse they consu$ed three hours,
and then the *ings as*ed per$ission of $ost holy Mary to go to the city in order to see* a lodging, as they could find no
roo$ for the$selves in the cave. So$e people had acco$panied the$9 but the Magi alone participated in the light and
the grace of this visit. The others too* notice $erely of what passed e?teriorly, and witnessed only the destitute and
neglected condition of the Mother and her husband. Though wondering at the strange event, they perceived nothing of
its $ystery. The Magi too* leave and departed, while $ost holy Mary and Joseph, being again alone with their Child,
glorified his Ma<esty with new songs of praise, because his na$e was beginning to be *nown and adored a$ong the
!entiles '1s. FC, %). "hat else the three wise $en did will be related in the following chapter.
6ro$ the grotto of the .ativity, into which the three -ings had entered directly on their way to Jerusale$, they betoo*
the$selves to a lodging inside of the town of +ethlehe$. They retired to a roo$ where, in an abundance of affectionate
tears and aspirations, they spent the greater part of the night, spea*ing of what they had seen, of the feelings and
affections aroused in each, and of what each had noticed for hi$self in the divine Child and his Mother. 4uring this
conference they were $ore and $ore infla$ed with divine love, a$aGed at the $a<esty and divine effulgence of the
#nfant Jesus at the prudence, $odesty and reserve of his Mother9 at the holiness of her spouse Joseph, and the poverty
of all three9 at the hu$bleness of the place, where the (ord of heaven and earth had wished to be born. The devout
*ings felt a divine fire, which fla$ed up in their hearts, and, not being able to restrain the$selves, they bro*e out into
e?cla$ations of sweet affection and acts of great reverence and love. "hat is this that we feelI they said. "hat
influence of this great -ing is it that $oves us to such desires and affectionsI After this, how shall we converse with
$enI "hat can we do, who have been instructed in such new, hidden and supernatural $ysteriesI , greatness of his
,$nipotence un*nown to $en and concealed beneath so $uch povertyH , hu$ility uni$aginable for $ortalsH "ould
that all be drawn to it, in order that they $ay not be deprived of such happinessH
4uring these divine colloEuies the Magi re$e$bered the dire destitution of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their cave, and
they resolved i$$ediately to send the$ so$e gifts in order to show their affection and to satisfy their desire of serving
the$, since they could not do anything else for the$. They sent through their servants $any of the presents, which they
had already set aside for the$, and others which they could procure. Most holy Mary and Joseph received these gifts
with hu$ble ac*nowledg$ent and they $ade a return not of e$ptyworded than*s, as other $en are apt to $a*e, but
$any efficacious blessings for the spiritual consolation of the three -ings. These gifts enabled our great ;ueen to
prepare for her ordinary guests, the poor, an abundant repast9 for the needy ones were accusto$ed to receive al$s fro$
0er, and, attracted still $ore by her sweet words, were wont to co$e and visit 0er. The -ings went to rest full of
inco$parable <oy in the (ord9 and in their sleep the angels advised the$ as to their <ourney ho$eward.
,n the following day at dawn they returned to the cave of the .ativity in order to offer to the heavenly -ing the special
gifts which they had provided. Arriving they prostrated the$selves anew in profound hu$ility9 and opening their
treasures, as Scripture relates, they offered 0i$ gold, incense and $yrrh 'Matth. @, 11). They consulted the heavenly
Mother in regard to $any $ysteries and practices of faith, and concerning $atters pertaining to their consciences and to
the govern$ent of their countries9 for they wished to return well instructed and capable of directing the$selves to
holiness and perfection in their daily life. The great (ady heard the$ with e?ceeding pleasure and She conferred
interiorly with the divine #nfant concerning all that they had as*ed, in order to answer and properly to instruct these
sons of the new (aw. As a Teacher and an instru$ent of divine wisdo$ She answered all their Euestions, giving the$
such high precepts of sanctity that they could scarcely part fro$ her on account of the sweetness and attraction of her
words. 0owever, an angel of the (ord appeared to the$, re$inding the$ of the necessity and of the will of the (ord
that they should return to their country. .o wonder that her words should so deeply affect these -ings9 for all her words
were inspired by the holy Spirit and full of infused science regarding all that they had inEuired and $any other $atters.
The heavenly Mother received the gifts of the -ings and in their na$e offered the$ to the #nfant Jesus. 0is Ma<esty
showed by signs of highest pleasure, that 0e accepted their giftsD they the$selves beca$e aware of the e?alted and
heavenly blessings with which 0e repaid the$ $ore than a hundredfold 'Matth. 1%, @%). According to the custo$ of
their country they also offered to the heavenly 1rincess so$e ge$s of great value9 but because these gifts had no
$ysterious signification and referred not to Jesus, She returned the$ to the -ings, reserving only the gifts of gold,
incense and $yrrh. #n order to send the$ away $ore re<oiced, She gave the$ so$e of the clothes in which She had
wrapped the infant !od9 for She neither had nor could have had any greater visible pledges of estee$ with which to
enrich the$ at their departure. The three -ings received these relics with such reverence and estee$ that they encased
the$ in gold and precious stones in order to *eep the$ ever after. As a proof of their value these relics spread about
such a copious fragrance that they revealed their presence a league in circu$ference. 0owever, only those who believed
in the co$ing of !od into the world were able to perceive it9 while the incredulous perceived none of the fragrance
e$itted by the relics. #n their own countries the Magi perfor$ed great $iracles with these relics.
The holy -ings also offered their property and possession to the Mother of the sweetest Jesus, or, if She did not wish to
accept of the$ and preferred to live in this place, where her $ost holy Son had been born, they would build 0er a
house, wherein She could live $ore co$fortably. The $ost prudent Mother than*ed the$ for their offers without
accepting the$. ,n ta*ing leave of 0er, the three -ings besought 0er fro$ their in$ost hearts not to forget the$,
which She pro$ised and fulfilled in the sa$e way they as*ed of saint Joseph. "ith the blessing of Jesus, Mary and
Joseph, they departed, so $oved by tenderest affection that it see$ed to the$ they had left their hearts all $elted into
sighs and tears in that place. They chose another way for their return <ourney, in order not to $eet 0erod in Jerusale$9
for thus they had been instructed by the angel on the preceding night. ,n their departure fro$ +ethlehe$ the sa$e or a
si$ilar star appeared in order to guide the$ ho$e, conducting the$ on their new route to the place where they had first
$et, whence each one separated to reach his own country.

",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..

My daughter, great were the gifts which the -ings offered to $y $ost holy Son9 but greater still was the affection with
which they offered the$ and the $ystery concealed beneath the$. ,n account of all this they were $ost acceptable to
his Ma<esty. # wish that thou also offer up si$ilar gifts, than*ing hi$ for having $ade thee poor in condition and
profession. 6or # assure thee, $y dearest, there is no $ore acceptable gift to the Most 0igh than voluntary poverty.
There are very few in the world in our days who use well the te$poral riches and offer the$ to their !od and (ord with
the generosity and love of these holy -ings. The poor of the (ord, so nu$erous in our day, e?perience and give witness
how cruel and avaricious hu$an nature has beco$e9 since in their great necessities thley are so little succored by the
rich. This gross uncharitableness of $en offends the holy angels and grieves the 0oly !host, since they are bound to
witness the nobility of the souls so degraded and abased in the service of vile greed of gold with all its evil powers
'/ccles. 1A, @A). As if all things had been created for the individual use of the rich, they appropriate the$ to the$selves
and deprive the poor, their brothers springing fro$ the sa$e nature and flesh9 and denying the$ even to !od, who
created and preserves all things, and who can give or ta*e at will. #t is $ost la$entable that while the rich $ight
purchase eternal life with their possessions, they abuse the$ to draw upon the$selves da$nation as senseless and
foolish creatures '(u*e 1&, %).
This evil is co$$on a$ong the children of Ada$ and therefore voluntary poverty is so e?cellent and safe a re$edy. +y
it, $a*ing $an willing to part <oyfully with his possessions for the sa*e of the poor, a great sacrifice is offered to the
(ord. Thou also canst $a*e such an offering of the things necessary for sustenance, giving a part of it to the poor and
desiring, if it were possible by thy labor and sweat, to help all of the$. Thy ceaseless offer, however, $ust be love,
which is the gold9 continual prayer, which is the incense9 and the patient acceptance of labors and true $ortifications,
which is the $yrrh. All that thou dost for the (ord, thou should offer up to 0i$ with fervent affection and pro$ptitude,
without negligence or fear9 for negligent wor*s, and those not enlivened by love, are not an acceptable sacrifice in the
eyes of his Ma<esty. #n order to $a*e those incessant offerings, it is necessary that divine faith and light continually
infla$e thy heart, having before thy eyes the great ob<ect of thy praise and e?altation, and the sti$ulus of love, by
which thou art bound to the right hand of the Most 0igh. Thus shouldst thou continue incessantly in this sweet e?ercise
of love, so proper to the spouses of his Ma<esty9 for their na$e i$plies such a continual pay$ent of the debt of love and
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5##.
T0/ 12/S/.TAT#,. ,6 T0/ #.6A.T J/S7S #. T0/ T/M1(/.
The sacred hu$anity of Christ belonged to the eternal 6ather not only because it was created li*e other beings, but it
was his special property by virtue of the hypostatic union with the person of the "ord, for this person of the "ord,
being his ,nlybegotten Son, was engendered of his substance, true !od of true !od. .evertheless the eternal 6ather
had decreed, that his Son should be presented to 0i$ in the te$ple in $ysterious co$pliance with the law, of which
Christ our (ord was the end '2o$. 1A, &). #t was established for no other purpose than that the <ust $en of the old
Testa$ent should perpetually sanctify and offer to the (ord their firstBborn sons, in the hope that one thus presented
$ight prove to be the Son of !od and a Child of the Mother of the e?pected Messias '/?od. 1=, @). According to our
way of thin*ing his Ma<esty acted li*e $en, who are apt to repeat and en<oy over and over again a thing which has
caused the$ en<oy$ent. 6or although the 6ather understood and *new all things in his infinite wisdo$, 0e sought
pleasure in the offering of the incarnate "ord, which by so $any titles already belonged to 0i$.
This will of the eternal 6ather, which was confor$able to that of his Son in so far as 0e was !od, was *nown to the
Mother of life and of the hu$an nature of the "ord9 for She saw that all his interior actions were in unison with the will
of his eternal 6ather. 6ull of this holy science the great 1rincess passed the night before his presentation in the te$ple in
divine colloEuies. Spea*ing to the 6ather She saidD My (ord and !od $ost high, 6ather of $y (ord, a festive day for
heaven and earth will be that, in which # shall bring and offer to Thee in thy holy te$ple the living 0ost, which is at the
sa$e ti$e the Treasure of thy 4ivinity. 2ich, , $y (ord and !od, is this oblation9 and Thou canst well pour forth, in
return for it, thy $ercies upon the hu$an raceD pardoning the sinners, that have turned fro$ the straight path, consoling
the afflicted, helping the needy, enriching the poor, succoring the wea*, enlightening the blind, and $eeting those who
have strayed away. This is, $y (ord, what # as* of thee in offering to Thee thy ,nlybegotten, who, by thy $erciful
condescension is also $y Son. #f Thou hast given 0i$ to $e as a !od, # return 0i$ to Thee as !od and $an9 his value
is infinite, and what # as* of Thee is $uch less. #n opulence do # return to thy holy te$ple, fro$ which # departed poor9
and $y soul shall $agnify Thee forever, because thy divine right hand has shown itself toward $e so liberal and
,n the ne?t $orning, the Sun of heaven being now ready to issue fro$ its purest dawning, the 5irgin Mary, on whose
ar$s 0e reclined, and being about to rise up in full view of the world, the heavenly (ady, having provided the turtleB
dove and two candles, wrapped 0i$ in swaddlingBclothes and betoo* 0erself with saint Joseph fro$ their lodging to
the te$ple. The holy angels, who had co$e with the$ fro$ +ethlehe$, again for$ed in procession in corporeal and
$ost beautiful for$s, <ust as has been said concerning the <ourney of the preceding day. ,n this occasion however the
holy spirits added $any other hy$ns of the sweetest and $ost entrancing har$ony in honor of the infant !od, which
were heard only by the $ost pure Mary. +esides the ten thousand, who had for$ed the procession on the previous day,
innu$erable others descended fro$ heaven, who, acco$panied by those that bore the shields of the holy na$e Jesus,
for$ed the guard of honor of the incarnate "ord on the occasion of his presentation. These however were not in
corporeal shapes and only the heavenly 1rincess perceived their presence. 0aving arrived at the te$pleBgate, the $ost
blessed Mother was filled with new e?alted senti$ents of devotion. Joining the other wo$en, She bowed and *nelt to
adore the (ord in spirit and in truth in his holy te$ple and She presented 0erself before the e?alted Ma<esty of !od
with his Son upon her ar$s 'John &, @=). #$$ediately She was i$$ersed in an intellectual vision of the $ost holy
Trinity and She heard a voice issuing fro$ the eternal 6ather, sayingD This is $y beloved Son, in who$ # well pleased
'Matth. @7, @A). Saint Joseph, the $ost fortunate of $en, felt at the sa$e ti$e a new sweetness of the 0oly !host,
which filled hi$ with <oy and divine light.
The holy highBpriest Si$eon, $oved by the 0oly !host as e?plained in the preceding chapter, also entered te$ple at
that ti$e '(u*e @, 7). Approaching the place where the ;ueen stood with the infant Jesus in her ar$s, he saw both
Mother and Child enveloped in splendor and glory. The prophetess Anne, who, as the /vangelist says, had co$e at the
sa$e hour, also saw Mary and her #nfant surrounded by this wonderful light. #n the <oy of their spirit both of the$
approached the ;ueen of heaven, and the priest received the #nfant Jesus fro$ her ar$s upon his hands. 2aising up his
eyes to heaven he offered 0i$ up to the eternal 6ather, pronouncing at the sa$e ti$e these words so full of $ysteriesD
.ow dost thou dis$iss thy servant, , (ord, according to thy "ord in peace. +ecause $y eyes have seen thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoplesD a light for the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of thy
people #srael '(u*e @, @%). #t was as if 0e had saidD .ow, (ord, thou wilt release $e fro$ the bondage of this $ortal
body and let $e go free and in peace9 for until now have # been detained in it by the hope of seeing thy pro$ises
fulfilled and by the desire of seeing thy ,nlybegotten $ade $an. .ow that $y eyes have seen thy salvation, the
,nlybegotten $ade $an, <oined to our nature in order to give it eternal welfare according to the intention and eternal
decree of thy infinite wisdo$ and $ercy, # shall en<oy true and secure peace. .ow, , (ord, Thou hast prepared and
placed before all $ortals thy divine light that it $ay shine upon the world and that all who wish $ay en<oy it
throughout the universe and derive therefro$ guidance and salvation. 6or this is the light which is revealed to the
gentiles for the glory of thy chosen people of #srael 'John #, %, =@).
Most holy Mary and saint Joseph heard this canticle of Si$eon, wondering at the e?alted revelation it contained. The
/vangelist calls the$ in this place the parents of the divine #nfant, for such they were in the esti$ation of the people
who were present at this event. Si$eon, addressing hi$self to the $ost holy Mother of the #nfant Jesus, then addedD
+ehold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of $any in #srael, and for a sign which shall be
contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of $any hearts thoughts $ay be revealed. Thus saint
Si$eon9 and being a priest he gave his blessing to the happy parents of the Child. Then also the prophetess Anne
ac*nowledged the incarnate "ord, and full of the 0oly !host, she spo*e of the $ysteries of the Messias to $any, who
were e?pecting the rede$ption of #srael. +y these two holy old people public testi$ony of the co$ing of the 2edee$er
was given to the world.
At the $o$ent when the priest Si$eon $entioned the sword and the sign of contradiction, which were prophetical of
the passion and death of the (ord, the Child bowed its head. Thereby, and by $any interior acts of obedience, Jesus
ratified the prophecy of the priest and accepted it as the sentence of the eternal 6ather pronounced by his $inister. All
this the loving Mother noticed and understood9 She presently began to feel the sorrow predicted by Si$eon and thus in
advance was She wounded by the sword, of which She had thus been warned. As in a $irror her spirit was $ade to see
all the $ysteries included in this prophecy9 how her $ost holy Son was to be the stone of stu$bling, the perdition of the
unbelievers, and the salvation of the faithful9 the fall of the synagogue and the establish$ent the Church a$ong the
heathens9 She foresaw the triu$ph to be gained over the devils and over death, but also that a great price was to be paid
for it, na$ely the frightful agony and death of the Cross 'Colos. @, 1C). She foresaw the boundless opposition and
contradiction, which the (ord Jesus was to sustain both personally and in his Church 'John 1C, @A). At the sa$e ti$e
She also saw the glory and e?cellence of the predestined souls. Most holy Mary *new it all and in the <oy and sorrow of
her $ost pure soul, e?cited by the prophecies of Si$eon and these hidden $ysteries, She perfor$ed heroic acts of
virtue. All these sayings and happenings were indelibly i$pressed upon her $e$ory, and, of all that She understood
and e?perienced, She forgot not the least iota. At all ti$es She loo*ed upon her $ost holy Son with such a living
sorrow, as we, $ere hu$an creatures with hearts so full of ingratitude, shall never be able to feel. The holy spouse saint
Joseph was by these prophecies also $ade to see $any of the $ysteries of the 2ede$ption and of the labors and
sufferings of Jesus. +ut the (ord did not reveal the$ to hi$ so copiously and openly as they were perceived and
understood by his heavenly spouse9 for in hi$ these revelations were to serve a different purpose, and besides, saint
Joseph was not to be an eyewitness of the$ during his $ortal life.
The cere$ony of the presentation thus being over, the great (ady *issed the hand of the priest and again as*ed his
blessing. The sa$e She did also to Anne, her for$er teacher9 for her dignity as Mother of !od, the highest possible to
angels or $en, did not prevent 0er fro$ these acts of deepest hu$ility. Then, in the co$pany of saint Joseph, her
spouse, and of the fourteen thousand angels in procession, She returned with the divine #nfant to her lodging. They
re$ained, as # shall relate farther on, for so$e days in Jerusale$, in order to satisfy their devotion and during that ti$e
She spo*e a few ti$es with the priest about the $ysteries of the 2ede$ption and of the prophecies above $entioned.
"hen the $ost holy Mary and glorious saint Joseph returned fro$ the presentation of the #nfant Jesus in the te$ple,
they concluded to stay in Jerusale$ for nine days in order to be able each day to visit the te$ple and repeat the offering
of the sacred 5icti$, their divine Son, thus rendering fitting than*s for the i$$ense blessing for which they had been
singled out fro$ a$ong all $en. The heavenly (ady had a special veneration for this nu$ber in $e$ory of the nine
days, during which She had been prepared and adorned by !od for the incarnation of the "ord, as # have related in the
first ten chapters of this second part9 also in $e$ory of the nine $onths, during which She had borne Jesus in her
virginal wo$b. #n honor of these events She wished $a*e this novena with her divine Child, presenting 0i$ that $any
ti$es to the eternal 6ather as an acceptable offering for her lofty purposes. They began the devotions of the novena
every day before the third hour, praying in the te$ple until nightfall. They chose the $ost obscure and retired place,
$eriting thereby the invitation of the $aster of the banEuet in the !ospelD 6riend, go up higher.
As an answer to her petitions 0e conceded to 0er new and great privileges, a$ong which was also this one, that, as
long as the world should last, She should obtain all that She would ever as* for her clients9 that the greatest sinners, if
they availed the$selves of her intercession, should find salvation9 that in the new Church and law of the !ospel She
should be the Cooperatri? and Teacher of salvation with Christ her $ost holy Son. This was to be her privilege
especially after his Ascension into heaven, when She should re$ain, as ;ueen of the universe, as the representative and
instru$ent of the divine power on earth. This # will show $ore particularly in the third part of this history. Many other
favors and $ysteries the Most 0igh confir$ed upon the heavenly Mother in answer to her prayers. They, however, are
beyond the reach of spo*en language, and cannot be described by $y short and li$ited ter$s.
#n the course of these $anifestations, on the fifth day of the novena after the presentation and purification, while the
heavenly (ady was in the te$ple with the #nfant on her ar$s, the 4eity revealed #tself to 0er, although not intuitively,
and She was wholly raised and filled by the Spirit. #t is true, that this had been done to 0er before9 but as !od8s power
and treasures are infinite, 0e never gives so $uch as not to be able to give still $ore to the creatures. #n this abstractive
vision the Most 0igh visited anew his only Spouse, wishing to prepare 0er for the labors, that were awaiting 0er.
Spea*ing to 0er, 0e co$forted 0er sayingD My Spouse and $y 4ove, thy wishes and intentions are pleasing in $y
eyes and # delight in the$ always. +ut Thou canst not finish the nine daysJ devotion, which Thou hast begun, for # have
in store for Thee other e?ercises of Thy love. #n order to save the life of thy Son and raise 0i$ up, Thou $ust leave thy
ho$e and thy country, fly with 0i$ and thy spouse Joseph into /gypt, where Thou art to re$ain until # shall ordain
otherwiseD for 0erod is see*ing the life of the Child. The <ourney is long, $ost laborious and $ost fatiguing9 do thou
suffer it all for $y sa*e9 for # a$, and always will be, with Thee.
Any other faith and virtue $ight have been disturbed 'as the incredulous really have been) to see the powerful !od
flying fro$ a $iserable earthly being, and that 0e should do so in order to save his life, as if 0e, being both !od and
$an, could be affected by the fear of death. +ut the $ost prudent and obedient Mother advanced no ob<ection or doubtD
She was not in the least disturbed or $oved by this unloo*ed for order. Answering, She saidD My (ord and Master,
behold thy servant with a heart prepared to die for thy love if necessary. 4ispose of $e according to thy will. This only
do # as* of thy i$$ense goodness, that, overloo*ing $y want of $erit and gratitude, Thou per$it not $y Son and (ord
to suffer, and that Thou turn all pains and labor upon $e, who a$ obliged to suffer the$. The (ord referred 0er to
saint Joseph, bidding 0er to follow his directions in all things concerning the <ourney. Therewith She issued fro$ her
vision, which She had en<oyed without losing the use of her e?terior senses and while holding in her ar$s the #nfant
Jesus. She had been raised up in this vision only as to the superior part of her soul9 but fro$ it flowed other gifts, which
spiritualiGed her senses and testified to 0er that her soul was living $ore in its love than in the earthly habitation of her
,n account of the inco$parable love, which the ;ueen bore toward her $ost holy Son, her $aternal and co$passionate
heart was so$ewhat harrowed at the thought of the labors which She foresaw in the vision i$pending upon the infant
!od. Shedding $any tears, She left the te$ple to go to her lodgingBplace, without $anifesting to her spouse the cause
of her sorrow. Saint Joseph therefore thought that She grieved on account of the prophecy of Si$eon. As the $ost
faithful Joseph loved 0er so $uch, and as he was of a *ind and solicitous disposition, he was troubled to see his Spouse
so tearful and afflicted, and that She should not $anifest to hi$ the cause of this new affliction. This disturbance of his
soul was one of the reasons why the holy angels spo*e to hi$ in sleep, as # have related above, when spea*ing of the
pregnancy of the ;ueen. 6or in the sa$e night, while saint Joseph was asleep, the angel of the (ord appeared to hi$,
and spo*e to hi$ as recorded by saint MatthewD Arise, ta*e the Child and its Mother and fly into /gypt 9 there shalt
thou re$ain until # shall return to give thee other advice9 for 0erod is see*ing after the Child in order to ta*e away its
life. #$$ediately the holy spouse arose full of solicitude and sorrow, foreseeing also that of his $ost loving Spouse.
/ntering upon her retire$ent, he saidD My (ady, !od wills that we should be afflicted9 for his holy angel has
announced to $e the pleasure and the decree of the Al$ighty, that we arise and fly with the Child into /gypt, because
0erod is see*ing to ta*e away its life. /ncourage thyself, $y (ady, to bear the labors of this <ourney and tell $e what #
can do for thy co$fort, since # hold $y life and being at the service of thy Child and of Thee.
My husband and $y $aster, answered the ;ueen, if we have received fro$ the hands of the Most 0igh such great
blessings of grace, it is $eet that we <oyfully accept te$poral afflictions 'Job @, 1=). "e bear with us the Creator of
heaven and earth9 if 0e has placed us so near to 0i$, what ar$s shall be able to har$ us, even if it be the ar$ of
0erodI "herever we carry with us all our !ood, the highest treasure of heaven, our (ord, our guide and true light,
there can be no desert9 but 0e is our rest, our portion, and our country. All these goods we possess in having his
co$pany9 let us proceed to fulfill his will. Then $ost holy Mary and Joseph approached the crib where the #nfant Jesus
lay9 and where 0e, not by chance, slept at that ti$e. The heavenly Mother uncovered 0i$ without awa*ening 0i$9
then the heavenly Mother, falling upon her *nees, awa*ened the sweetest #nfant, and too* 0i$ in her ar$s. Jesus, in
order to $ove 0er to greater tenderness and in order to show 0i$self as true $an, wept a little ', wonders of the Most
0igh in things according to our <udg$ents so s$all)H 3et 0e was soon again Euieted9 and when the $ost holy Mother
and saint Joseph as*ed his blessing 0e gave it the$ in visible $anner. !athering their poor clothing into the cas*et and
loading it on the beast of burden which they had brought fro$ .aGareth, departed shortly after $idnight, and hastened
without delay on their <ourney to /gypt.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, what thou $ust especially learn fro$ this chapter is, that thou accusto$ thyself to hu$ble than*sgiving
for the benefits which thou receivest, since thou, a$ong $any generations, art so specially signaliGed by the riches of
grace with which $y Son and # visit thee without any $erit of thine. # was wont to repeat $any ti$es this verse of
4avidD "hat shall # render the (ord for all the things that he hath rendered to $eI '1s. 1C, 1@). #n such senti$ents #
hu$iliated $yself to the dust, estee$ing $yself altogether useless a$ong creatures. Therefore, if thou *nowest what #
did as Mother of !od, consider what then is thy obligation, since thou $ust with so $uch truth confess thyself
unworthy and undeserving of all thou receivest, and so poorly furnished for giving than*s and for $a*ing pay$ent.
Thou $ust supply thy insufficiency and thy $isery by offering up to the eternal 6ather the living host of his
onlybegotten Son, especially when thou receivest 0i$ in the holy Sacra$ent and possessest 0i$ within theeD for in this
thou shouldst also i$itate 4avid, who, after as*ing the (ord what return he should $a*e for all his benefits, answersD #
will ta*e the chalice of salvation9 and # will call upon the na$e of the (ord '1s. 11C, 1=). Thou $ust accept the
salvation offered thee and bring forth its fruits by the perfection of thy wor*s, calling upon the na$e of the (ord,
offering up his ,nlybegotten. 6or 0e it is who gave the virtue of salvation, who $erited it, who alone can be an
adeEuate return for the blessings conferred upon the hu$an race and upon thee especially. # have given 0i$ hu$an
for$ in order that 0e $ight converse with $en and beco$e the property of each one. 0e conceals 0i$self under the
appearances of bread and wine in order to acco$$odate hi$self to the needs of each one, and that each one $ight
consider 0i$ as his personal property fit to offer to the eternal 6ather. #n this way 0e furnishes to each one an oblation
which no one could otherwise offer, and the Most 0igh rests satisfied with it, since there is not anything $ore
acceptable nor anything $ore precious in the possession of creatures.
#n addition to this offering is the resignation with which souls e$brace and bear with eEuani$ity and patience the
labors and difficulties of $ortal life. My $ost holy Son and # were e$inent Masters in the practice of this doctrine. My
Son began to teach it fro$ the $o$ent in which 0e was conceived in $y wo$b. 6or already then 0e began to suffer,
and as soon as 0e was born into the world 0e and # were banished by 0erod into a desert, and his sufferings continued
until 0e died on the Cross. # also labored to the end of $y life, as thou wilt be infor$ed $ore and $ore in the writing of
this history. Since, therefore, "e suffered so $uch for creatures and for their salvation, # desire thee to i$itate 7s in
this confor$ity to the divine will as being his spouse and $y daughter. Suffer with a $agnani$ous heart, and labor to
increase the possessions of thy (ord and Master, na$ely, souls, which are so precious in his sight and which 0e has
purchased with his lifeBblood. .ever shouldst thou fly fro$ labors, difficulties, bitterness and sorrows, if by any of
the$ thou canst gain a soul for the (ord, or if thou canst thereby induce it to leave the path of sin and enter the path of
life. (et not the thought that thou art so useless and or that thy desires and labor avail but little, discourage thee9 since
thou canst not *now how the (ord will accept of the$ and in how far 0e shall consider 0i$self served thereby. At least
thou shouldst wish to labor assiduously and eat no unearned bread in his house 81rov. =1, @7).
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5###.
T0/ 6(#!0T T, /!31T.
,ur heavenly 1ilgri$s left Jerusale$ and entered upon their banish$ent while yet the silence and obscurity of night
held sway. They were full of solicitude for the 1ledge of heaven, which they carried with the$ into a strange and
un*nown land. Although faith and hope strengthened the$ 'for in no other beings could these virtues be $ore fir$ly
and securely established than in our ;ueen and her $ost faithful spouse), nevertheless the (ord afforded the$ occasion
for an?iety. Their love for the #nfant Jesus would naturally e?cite in the$ an?iety and suffering on an occasion li*e this.
They *new not what would happen during such a long <ourney, nor when it should end, nor how they would fare in
/gypt, where they would be entire strangers, nor what co$fort or convenience they would find there for raising the
Child, nor even how they would be able to ward off great sufferings fro$ 0i$ on the way to /gypt. Therefore the
hearts of these holy 1arents were filled with $any $isgivings and an?ious thoughts when they parted with so $uch
haste fro$ their lodgingBplace9 but their sorrow was $uch relieved when the ten thousand heavenly courtiers above
$entioned again appeared to the$ in hu$an for$s and in their for$er splendor and beauty, and when they again
changed the night into the brightest day for the holy 1ilgri$s. As they set forth fro$ the portals of the city the holy
angels hu$iliated the$selves and adored the incarnate "ord in the ar$s of the 5irgin Mother. They also encouraged
0er by again offering their ho$age and service, stating that it was the will of the (ord that they guide and acco$pany
0er on the <ourney.
#n this town of !aGa they re$ained two days, for saint Joseph and the beast of burden which carried the ;ueen were
worn out by the fatigue of the <ourney. 6ro$ that place they sent bac* the servant of saint /lisabeth, ta*ing care to
caution hi$ not to tell any one of their whereabouts. +ut !od provided still $ore effectually against this danger9 for 0e
too* away fro$ this $an all re$e$brance of what saint Joseph had charged hi$ to conceal, so that he retained only his
$essage to saint /lisabeth. Most holy Mary e?pended the presents sent by /lisabeth in entertaining the poor9 for She,
who was Mother of the poor, could not bear to pass the$ by unassisted. ,f the clothes sent to 0er She $ade a cloa* for
the divine #nfant, and one for saint Joseph, to shelter The$ fro$ the disco$forts of the season and of the <ourney. She
also used other things in their possession for the co$fort of her Child and of saint Joseph. The $ost prudent 5irgin
would not rely on $iraculous assistance whenever She could provide for the daily needs by her own diligence and
labor9 for in these $atters She desired to sub<ect 0erself to the natural order and depend upon her own efforts. 4uring
the two days which they spent in that city the $ost pure Mary, in order to enrich it with great blessings, perfor$ed
so$e wonderful deeds. She freed two sic* persons fro$ the danger of death and cured their ail$ents. She restored to
another person, a crippled wo$an, the use of her li$bs. #n the souls of $any, who $et 0er and conversed with 0er,
She caused divine effects of the *nowledge of !od and of a change of life. All of the$ felt the$selves $oved to praise
their Creator. +ut neither Mary nor Joseph spo*e a word about their native country, nor of the destination or ob<ect of
their <ourney9 for if this infor$ation had been added to the public notice caused by their wonderful actions, the attention
of 0erodJs agents $ight have been drawn toward the$, and they $ight have found sufficient induce$ent to follow
the$ after their departure.
,n the third day after our 1ilgri$s had touched !aGa, they departed fro$ that city for /gypt. Soon leaving the inhabited
parts of 1alestine, they entered the sandy deserts of +ersabe, which they were obliged to traverse for si?ty leagues in
order to arrive and ta*e their abode in 0eliopolis, the present Cairo in /gypt. This <ourney through the desert consu$ed
a nu$ber of days, for the distance they could travel each day was but short, not only on account of the laborious
progress over the deep sand, but also on account of the hardships occasioned by the want of shelter. There were $any
incidents on their way through this solitude9 # will $ention so$e of the$, fro$ which others can be con<ectured9 for it
is not necessary to relate all of the$. #n order to understand how $uch Mary and Joseph and also the #nfant Jesus
suffered on their pilgri$age, it $ust be re$e$bered that the Al$ighty per$itted his ,nlybegotten, with his $ost holy
Mother and saint Joseph, to suffer the inconveniences and hardships naturally connected with travel through this desert.
And although the heavenly (ady $ade no co$plaints, yet She was $uch afflicted, which was also true of her $ost
faithful husband. 6or both of the$ suffered $any personal inconveniences and disco$forts, while the Mother, in
addition thereto, was afflicted still $ore on account of the sufferings of her Son and of saint Joseph9 and the latter was
deeply grieved not to be able by his diligence and care to ease the hardships of the Child and his Spouse.
4uring all this <ourney of si?ty leagues through desert they had no other nightBshelter than the s*y and open air9
$oreover, it was in the ti$e of winter, for <ourney too* place in the $onth of 6ebruary, only si? days after the
1urification, as was indicated in the last chapter. #n the first night on these sandy plains they rested at the foot of a s$all
hill, this being the only protection they could find. The ;ueen of heaven with the Child in her ar$s seated 0erself on
the earth, and with her husband She ate of the victuals brought with the$ fro$ !aGa. The /$press of heaven also
nursed the #nfant Jesus at her breast and 0e on his part re<oiced his Mother and her husband by his content$ent. #n
order to furnish the$ with so$e *ind of shelter against the open air9 however narrow and hu$ble it $ight be, saint
Joseph for$ed a sort of tent for the divine "ord and $ost holy Mary by $eans of his cloa* and so$e stic*s. 4uring
that night the ten thousand angels who, full of $arvel, assisted these earthly 1ilgri$s in visible hu$an shapes, for$ed a
guard around their -ing and ;ueen. The great (ady perceived that her divine Son offered up to the eternal 6ather the
hardships and labors both of 0i$self and of Mary and Joseph. #n these prayers and in the other acts of his deified Soul,
the ;ueen <oined hi$ for the greater part of the night. The divine #nfant slept for a short ti$e in her ar$s, while She
continued wa*eful and engaged in heavenly colloEuies with the Most 0igh and his angels. Saint Joseph slept upon the
ground, resting his head upon the chest, which contained the clothing and other articles of their baggage.
,n the ne?t day they pursued their <ourney and their little store of fruit and bread was soon e?hausted, that they began
to suffer great want and to feel the hunger. Although Joseph was $ore deeply concerned, yet both of the$ felt this
privation very $uch. ,n one of the first days of their <ourney they partoo* of no sustenance until nine oJcloc* at night,
not having any $ore even of the coarse and poor food which until then had sustained the$ in their hardships and labor.
As nature de$anded so$e refresh$ent after the e?ertion and weariness of travel, and as there was no way of supplying
their want by natural $eans, the heavenly (ady addressed 0erself to the Most 0igh in these wordsD /ternal, great and
powerful !od, # give Thee than*s and bless Thee for thy $agnificent bounty9 and also that, without $y $erits, only on
account of thy $erciful condescension, Thou gavest $e life and being and preservest $e in it, though # a$ but dust and
a useless creature. # have not $ade a proper return for all these benefits9 therefore how can # as* for $yself what #
cannot repayI +ut, $y (ord and 6ather9 loo* upon thy ,nlybegotten and grant $e what is necessary to sustain $y
natural life and also that of $y spouse, so that # $ay serve thy Ma<esty and thy "ord $ade flesh for the salvation of
#n order that the cla$ors of the sweetest Mother $ight proceed fro$ yet greater tribulation, the Most 0igh per$itted
the ele$ents to afflict the$ $ore than at other ti$es and in addition to the sufferings caused by their fatigue, destitution
and hunger. 6or there arose a stor$ of wind and rain, which harassed and blinded the$ by its fury. This hardship
grieved still $ore the tenderBhearted and loving Mother on account of the delicate Child, which was not yet fifty days
old. Although She tried to cover and protect 0i$ as $uch as possible, yet She could not prevent 0i$ fro$ feeling the
incle$ency of the weather, so that 0e shed tears and shivered fro$ the cold in the sa$e $anner as other children are
wont to do. Then the an?ious Mother, $a*ing use of her power as ;ueen and Mistress of creatures, co$$anded the
ele$ents not to afflict their Creator, but to afford 0i$ shelter and refresh$ent, and wrea* their vengeance upon 0er
alone. And, as related once before, at the occasion of the birth of Christ and of the <ourney to Jerusale$, again the wind
i$$ediately $oderated and the stor$ abated, not daring to approach Mother and Child. #n return for this loving
forethought, the #nfant Jesus co$$anded his angels to assist his *indest Mother and to serve 0er as a shield against the
incle$ency of the weather. They i$$ediately co$plied and constructed a resplendent and beautiful globe round about
and over their incarnate !od, his Mother and her spouse. #n this they were protected and defended $ore effectually than
all the wealthy and powerful of the world in their palaces and rich gar$ents. The sa$e they did several ti$es during the
<ourney through the desert.
.evertheless, they were in want of food, and they were destitute of other things unprovidable by their own $ere hu$an
effort. +ut the (ord allowed the$ to fall into this need in order that, listening to the acceptable prayers of his Spouse,
0e $ight $a*e provision also for this by the hands of the angels. They brought the$ delicious bread and wellBseasoned
fruits, and $oreover a $ost delicious drin*9 all of which they ad$inistered and served with their own hands. Then all of
the$ together sang hy$ns of praise and than*sgiving to the (ord, who gives food to all creatures at opportune ti$es, in
order that the poor $ay eat and be filled '1s. 1=C, @C) whose eyes and hopes are fi?ed upon his *ingly 1rovidence and
bounty. ,f such a *ind was the delicate feast, with which the (ord regaled his three e?iled "anderers in the desert of
+ersabe '### #vings 1%, =), for it was the sa$e desert in which /lias, fleeing fro$ JeGabel, was co$forted by the hearth
ca*e, brought to hi$ by the angel in order that he $ight travel to 0oreb $ount.
So then the #nfant Jesus, with his Mother and saint Joseph, reached the inhabited country of /gypt. ,n entering the
towns the divine #nfant, in the ar$s of his Mother, raised his eyes and his hands to the 6ather as*ing for the salvation of
these inhabitants held captive by satan. And i$$ediately 0e $ade use of his sovereign and divine power and drove the
de$ons fro$ the idols and hurled the$ to the infernal abyss. (i*e lightning flashed fro$ the clouds they darted forth
and descended to the lower$ost caverns of hell and dar*ness '(u*e 1A, &). At the sa$e instant the idols crashed to the
ground, the altars fell to pieces, and the te$ples cru$bled to ruins. The cause of these $arvelous effects were *nown to
the heavenly (ady, for She united her prayers with those of her $ost holy Son as CoBoperatri? of his salvation. Saint
Joseph also *new this to be the wor* of the incarnate "ord9 and 0e praised and e?tolled 0i$ in holy ad$iration. +ut
the de$ons, although they felt the divine power, *new not whence this power proceeded.
The /gyptian people were astounded at these ine?plicable happenings9 although a$ong the $ore learned, ever since the
so<ourn of Jere$ias in /gypt, an ancient tradition was current that a -ing of the Jews would co$e and that the te$ples
of the idols would be destroyed. 3et of this prophecy the co$$on people had no *nowledge, nor did the learned *now
how it was to be fulfilledD and therefore the terror and confusion was spread a$ong all of the$, as was prophesied by
#saias '#s. %, 1). #n this disturbance and fear, so$e, reflecting on these events, ca$e to our great (ady and saint Joseph9
and, in their curiosity at seeing these strangers in their $idst, they also spo*e to the$ about the ruin of their te$ples and
their idols. Ma*ing use of this occasion the Mother of wisdo$ began to undeceive these people, spea*ing to the$ of the
true !od and teaching the$ that 0e is the one and only Creator of heaven and earth, who is alone to be adored, and
ac*nowledged as !od9 that all others are but false and deceitful gods, nothing $ore than the wood, or clay, or $etal of
which they are $ade, having neither eyes, nor ears, nor any power9 that the sa$e artisans that $ade the$, and any other
$an, could destroy the$ at pleasure9 since any $an is $ore noble and powerful than they9 that the oracles which they
gave forth were answers of the lying and deceitful de$ons within the$9 and that the latter had no power, since there is
but one true !od.
The heavenly (ady was so sweet and *ind in her words, and at the sa$e ti$e so full of life and force9 her appearance
was so char$ing, and all her intercourse was acco$panied by such salutary effects, that the ru$or of the arrival of these
strange 1ilgri$s Euic*ly spread about in the different towns, and $any people gathered to see and hear The$.
Moreover, the powerful prayers of the incarnate "ord wrought a change of hearts, and the cru$bling of the idols
caused an incredible co$$otion a$ong these people, instilling into their $inds *nowledge of the true !od and sorrow
for their sins without their *nowing whence or through who$ these blessings ca$e to the$. Jesus, Mary and Joseph
pursued their way through $any towns of /gypt, perfor$ing these and $any other $iracles driving out the de$ons not
only fro$ the idols, but out of $any bodies possessed by the$, curing $any that were grievously and dangerously ill,
enlightening the hearts by the doctrines of truth and eternal life. +y these te$poral benefits and others, so effectual in
$oving the ignorant, earthlyB$inded people, $any were drawn to listen to the instructions of Mary and Joseph
concerning a good and salutary life.
The traditions, which in $any parts of /gypt *ept alive the re$e$brance of wonders wrought by the incarnate "ord,
gave rise to differences of opinion a$ong the sacred and other writers in regard to the city, in which our /?iles lived
during their stay in /gypt. So$e of the$ assert that they dwelt in this city, so$e in another. +ut all of the$ $ay be
right and in accordance with facts, since each one $ay be spea*ing of a different period of the so<ourn of our 1ilgri$s
in Me$phis, or +abylon of /gypt, or in Matarieh9 for they visited not only these cities, but $any others. # for $y part
have been infor$ed that they passed through these and then reached 0eliopolis, where they too* up their abode. Their
holy guardian angels instructed the heavenly ;ueen and saint Joseph, that They were to settle in this city. 6or, besides
the ruin of the te$ples and idols, which, <ust as in other places, too* place at their arrival here, the (ord had resolved to
perfor$ still other $iracles for his glory and for the rescue of souls9 and the inhabitants of this city, 'according to the
good fortune already prognosticated in its na$e as City of the Sun), were to see the Sun of <ustice and grace arise
over the$ and shine upon the$. 6ollowing these orders, saint Joseph sought to purchase for a suitable price so$e
dwelling in the neighborhood9 and the (ord ordained that he should find a poor and hu$ble, yet serviceable house, at
s$all distance fro$ the city, <ust such as the ;ueen of heaven desired.
The $ost prudent (ady and her spouse, forsa*en and destitute of all te$poral help, acco$$odated the$selves <oyfully
to the poverty of their little dwelling. ,f the three roo$s, which it contained, they assigned one to be the sanctuary or
te$ple of the #nfant Jesus under the tender care of the $ost pure Mother9 there they placed the cradle and her bare
couch, until, after so$e days, by the labor of the holy spouse, and through the *indness of so$e pious wo$en, they
could obtain wherewith to cover it. Another roo$ was set aside for the sleeping place and oratory of saint Joseph. The
third served as a wor*shop for plying his trade. #n view of their great poverty, and of the great difficulty of sufficient
e$ploy$ent as a carpenter, the great (ady resolved to assist hi$ by the wor* of her hands to earn a livelihood. She
i$$ediately e?ecuted her resolve by see*ing to obtain needlewor* through the intervention of the pious wo$en, who,
attracted by her $odesty and sweetness, were beginning to have intercourse with 0er. As all that She attended to or
busied 0erself with was so perfect, the reputation of her s*ill soon spread about, so that She never was in want of
e$ploy$ent whereby to e*e out the slender $eans of livelihood for her Son, the true !od and $an.
#n order to obtain the indispensable victuals and clothing, furnish the house ever so $oderately, and pay the necessary
e?penses, it see$ed to our ;ueen that She $ust e$ploy all day in wor* and consu$e the night in attending to her
spiritual e?ercises. This She resolved upon, not for any $otives of gain, or because She did not continue in her
conte$plations during the day9 for this was her incessant occupation in the presence of the infant !od, as # have so
often said and shall repeat hereafter. +ut so$e of the hours, which She was wont to spend in special e?ercises, She
wished to transfer to the nightBti$e in order to be able to e?tend the hours of $anual labor, not being $inded to as* or
e?pect !odJs $iraculous assistance for anything which She could attain by greater diligence and additional labor on her
own part. #n all such cases we as* for $iraculous help $ore for our own convenience than on account of necessity. The
$ost prudent ;ueen as*ed the eternal 6ather to provide sustenance for her divine Son9 but at the sa$e ti$e She
continued to labor. (i*e one who does not trust in herself, or in her own efforts, She united prayer with her labors, in
order to obtain the necessities of life li*e other $en.
,n account of the e?cessive heat prevailing in /gypt, and on account of $any disorders ra$pant a$ong the people, the
diste$pers of the /gyptians were wideBspread and grievous. 4uring the years of the stay of the #nfant Jesus and his
$ost holy Mother, pestilence devastated 0eliopolis and other places. ,n this account, and on account of the report of
their wonderful deeds, $ultitudes of people ca$e to the$ fro$ all parts of the country and returned ho$e cured in body
and soul. #n order that the grace of the (ord $ight flow $ore abundantly, and in order that his *indest Mother $ight
have assistance in her wor*s of $ercy, !od, at the instance of the heavenly Mistress, ordained saint Joseph as her
helper in the teaching and healing of the infir$. 6or this purpose 0e was endowed with new light and power of healing.
The holy Mary began to $a*e use of his assistance in the third year of their stay in /gypt9 so that now he ordinarily
taught and cured the $en, while the blessed (ady attended to the wo$en. #ncredible was the fruit resulting fro$ their
labors in the souls of $en for her uninterrupted beneficence and the gracious efficacy of her words drew all toward our
;ueen, and her $odesty and holiness filled the$ with devoted love. They offered her $any presents and large
possessions, an?ious to see 0er $a*e use of the$D but never did She receive anything for 0erself, or reserve it for her
own use9 for they continued to provide for their wants by the labor of her hands and the earnings of saint Joseph. "hen
at ti$e the blessed (ady was offered so$e gift that see$ed serviceable and proper for helping the needy and the poor,
She would accept it for that purpose. ,nly with this understanding would She ever yield to the pious and affectionate
i$portunities of devout persons9 and even then She often $ade the$ a present in return of things $ade by her own
hands. 6ro$ what # have related we can for$ so$e idea how great and how nu$erous were the $iracles wrought by the
holy 6a$ily during their seven yearsJ stay in /gypt and 0eliopolis9 for it would be i$possible to enu$erate and
describe all of the$.
.either the tongue of creatures can describe nor intellect co$prehend, the vast $erits and increase of sanctity
accu$ulating in the $ost holy Mary through these continued and wonderful wor*s9 for in all things She acted with a
prudence $ore than angelic. "hat $oved 0er to the greatest ad$iration, love and praise of the Al$ighty was to see
how, at the intercession of 0erself and her Son for the holy #nnocents, his providence showed itself so liberal toward
the$. She *new as if She were present the great nu$ber of children that were *illed and that all of the$, though so$e
were only eight days, two or si? $onths old, and none of the$ over two years, had the use of their reason9 that they all
received a high *nowledge of the being of !od, perfect love, faith and hope, with which they perfor$ed heroic acts of
faith, worship, and love of !od, reverence and co$passion for their parents. They prayed for their parents and, in
reward for their sufferings, obtained for the$ light and grace for advance in spiritual things. They willingly sub$itted
to $artyrdo$, in spite of the tenderness of their age, which $ade their sufferings so $uch the greater and conseEuently
aug$ented their $erits. A $ultitude of angels assisted the$ and bore the$ to li$bo or to the boso$ of Abraha$. +y
their arrival they re<oiced the holy ancients and confir$ed the$ in the hope of speedy liberation. All these were effects
of the prayers of the divine Child and his Mother. Aware of all these wonders, She was infla$ed with ardor and
e?clai$edD 1raise the (ord, ye children9 and <oined with the$ in the praise of the Author of these $agnificent wor*s,
so worthy of his !oodness and ,$nipotence. Mary alone *new of the$ and appreciated the$ properly.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, in what thou hast written # wish that thou learn a lesson fro$ the very sorrow and apprehension with
which thou hast perfor$ed this tas*. "ellBfounded is thy sorrow to see how such a noble creature as $an, $ade
according to the li*eness and i$age of the (ord, endowed with such divine Eualities, and gifted with the power of
*nowing, loving, seeing, and en<oying !od eternally, should allow hi$self to be degraded and defiled by such brutal
and abo$inable passions as to shed the innocent blood of those who can do no har$ to any one. This should induce
thee to weep over the ruin of so $any souls9 especially in the ti$es in which thou livest, when that sa$e a$bition
which incited 0erod has *indled such great hatred and en$ity a$ong the children of the Church, occasioning the ruin
of countless souls and causing the waste and loss of the blood of $y $ost holy Son, poured out for the salvation of
$en. 4o thou bitterly deplore this loss.
+ut li*ewise be warned by what thou hast seen in others9 ponder the effects of passions ad$itted into the heart9 for if
once they have $astered the heart, they will either s$other it in lust when it finds success, or consu$e it with wrath at
$eeting any opposition. 6ear thou, $y daughter, this danger, not only on account of the results thou seest of a$bition in
0erod, but also on account of what thou seest going on every hour in other persons. +e very careful not to allow thyself
to be $astered by anything, be it ever so s$all9 for in order to start a great conflagration the s$allest spar* is sufficient.
# have often repeated to thee this sa$e warning, and # shall continue to do so $ore often in the future9 for the greatest
difficulty in practicing virtue consists in dying to all that is pleasurable to the senses. Thou canst not be a fit instru$ent
in the hands of the (ord, such as 0e desires thee to be, if thou dost not cleanse thy faculties even of the i$ages of all
creatures, so that they do not find entrance into thy desires. # wish it to be to thee an ine?orable law that all things,
e?cept !od, his angels and saints, be to thee as if they did not e?ist. These should be thy sole possession9 on this
account the (ord has opened to thee his secrets, honors thee with his fa$iliarity and inti$acy, and for this purpose also
do # honor thee with $ine, that thou neither live nor wish to live without the (ord.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 #:.
T0/ S"//T #.T/2C,72S/ ,6 J/S7S A.4 MA239 T0/#2
2/T72. 62,M /!31T.
4uring one of the conversations of Mary with Joseph concerning the $ysteries of the (ord, the #nfant Jesus, having
reached the age of one year, resolved to brea* the silence and spea* in plain words to Joseph, who so faithfully fulfilled
the duties of a fosterBfather. As # have already $entioned in chapter the tenth, 0e had thus conversed with his heavenly
Mother fro$ the ti$e of his +irth. The two holy Spouses were spea*ing of the infinite being of !od, of his goodness
and e?cessive love, which induced 0i$ to send his ,nlybegotten Son as the Teacher and Savior of $en, clothing 0i$
in hu$an for$ in order that 0e $ight converse with the$ and suffer the punish$ents of their depraved natures. Saint
Joseph was lost in wonder at the wor*s of the (ord and infla$ed by affectionate gratitude and e?altation of the (ord.
SeiGing upon this occasion the infant !od, resting upon the ar$s of his Mother as upon the seat of wisdo$, began to
spea* to saint Joseph in an intelligible voice, sayingD My father, # ca$e fro$ heaven upon this earth in order to be the
light of the world, and in order to rescue it fro$ dar*ness of sin9 in order to see* and *now $y sheep as a good
Shepherd, to give the$ nourish$ent of eternal life, teach the$ the way of heaven, open its gates, which had been closed
by their sins. # desire that you both be children of the (ight, which you have so close at hand.
These words of the #nfant Jesus, being full of divine life, filled the heart of the patriarch saint Joseph with new love,
reverence and <oy. 0e fell on his *nees before the infant !od with the profoundest hu$ility and than*ed 0i$ for having
called 0i$ father by the very first word spo*en to hi$. 0e besought the (ord with $any tears to enlighten hi$ and
enable hi$ to fulfill entirely his $ost holy will, to teach hi$ to be than*ful for the inco$parable benefits flowing fro$
his generous hands. 1arents who love their children very $uch are touched with consolation and pride to see their
children show great signs of wisdo$ and virtue9 and even when this is not the case, they are naturally inclined to e?tol
and $a*e $uch of their childish pran*s and sayings9 for all this is the result of their tender affection for their young
offspring. Although saint Joseph was not the natural, but the fosterBfather of Jesus, his love for 0i$ e?ceeded by far all
the love of parents for their children, since in hi$ grace, or even natural love, was $ore powerful than others, yea than
in all the parents together. 0ence the <oy of his soul is to be $easured by this love and appreciation of saint Joseph as
being the fosterBfather of the #nfant Jesus. 6or he at the sa$e ti$e heard hi$self called the father of the Son of the
eternal 6ather, and saw 0i$ so beautiful in grace, while listening to such e?alted wisdo$ and *nowledge in the Child.
4uring the whole of this first year his sweetest Mother had wrapped the infant !od in clothes and coverings usual with
other children9 for 0e did not wish to be distinguished in this fro$ others, and 0e wished to bear witness to his true
hu$anity and to his love for $ortals, enduring this inconvenience otherwise not reEuired of 0i$. 0is boundless love
for $ortals infla$ed 0er with loving gratitude toward the (ord and produced in her heroic acts of $any virtues. Seeing
that the Child Jesus desired no footgear and only one gar$ent, She said to 0i$D My Son and $y (ord, thy Mother has
not the heart to allow Thee to go barefoot upon the ground at thy tender age9 per$it $e, $y (ove, to provide so$e *ind
of covering to protect the$. # also fear that the rough gar$ent, which Thou as*est of $e, will wound thy tender body, if
thou per$it no linen to be worn beneath. My Mother, # will per$it a slight and ordinary covering for $y feet until the
ti$e of $y public preaching shall co$e, for this # $ust do barefooted. +ut # do not wish to wear linen, because it
fo$ents carnal pleasures, and is the causes of $any vices in $en. # wish to teach $any by $y e?a$ple to renounce it
for love and i$itation of Me.
#$$ediately the great ;ueen set diligently about fulfilling the will of her $ost holy Son. 1rocuring so$e wool in its
natural and uncolored state, She spun it very finely with her own hands and of it She wove a gar$ent of one piece and
without any sea$, si$ilar to *nitted stuff, or rather li*e twilled cloth9 for it was woven of twisted cords, not li*e
s$oothBwoven goods. She wove it upon a s$all loo$, by $eshes, crocheting it of one sea$less piece in a $ysterious
$anner 'John 1%, @=). Two things were wonderful about itD that it was entirely even and unifor$, without any folds, and
that, at her reEuest, the natural color was changed to a $ore suitable one, which was a $i?ture of brown and a $ost
e?Euisite silverBgray, so that it could not be called either, appearing to be neither altogether brown, nor silvery, nor
gray, but having a $i?ture of the$ all. She also wove a pair of sandals of strong thread, li*e he$pen shoes, with which
She covered the feet of the infant !od. +esides these She $ade a half tunic of linen, which was to serve as an
undergar$ent. #n the ne?t chapter # shall tell what happened when She clothed the #nfant Jesus.
6ro$ the ti$e the Child Jesus was on his feet 0e co$$enced to retire and spent certain hours of the day in the oratory
of his Mother. As the $ost prudent Mother was an?ious to *now his wishes in regard to her intercourse with 0i$, the
(ord responded to her $ute appeal, sayingD My Mother, enter and re$ain with Me always in order that thou $ayest
i$itate Me in $y wor*s for # wish that in thee be $odeled and e?hibited the high perfection which # desire to see
acco$plished in the souls. 6or if they had not resisted $y first intentions '# Ti$. @, &), they would have been endowed
with $y $ost abundant and copious gifts9 but since the hu$an race has hindered this, # have chosen thee as the vessel
of all perfection and of the treasures of $y right hand, which the rest of the creatures have abused and lost. ,bserve $e
therefore in all $y actions for the purpose of i$itating Me.
Thus the heavenly (ady was installed anew as the 4isciple of her $ost holy Son. Thenceforward passed such great and
hidden $ysteries between these Two, that not until the day of eternity will they be *nown. Many ti$es the divine Child
prostrated 0i$self on the ground, at others 0e was raised fro$ the ground in the for$ of a cross, earnestly praying to
the eternal 6ather for the salvation of $ortals. #n all this his $ost loving Mother i$itated 0i$. 6or to 0er were $anifest
the interior operations of his $ost holy soul, <ust as well as the e?terior $ove$ents of his body. ,f this *nowledge of
$ost pure Mary # have spo*en in other parts of this history and it is necessary to point it out often, because this was the
source of the light which guided 0er in her holy life. #t was such a singular blessing that all creatures together will not
be able to understand or describe it by their united powers. The great (ady did not always en<oy visions of the 4ivinity9
but always the sight of the $ost holy hu$anity and soul of her Son with all their activities. #n a special $anner She was
witness of the effects of the hypostatic and beatific union of the hu$anity with the 4ivinity. Although She did not
always see this glory and this union substantially9 yet She perceived the interior acts by which his hu$anity reverenced,
loved and $agnified the 4ivinity to which it was united9 and this privilege was reserved solely to $ost holy Mary.
,n these occasions it often happened that the Child Jesus in the presence of his $ost holy Mother wept and perspired
blood, for this happened $any ti$es before his agony in the garden. Then the blessed (ady would wipe his face
interiorly perceiving and *nowing the cause of this agony, na$ely the loss of the fore*nown and of those who would be
ungrateful for the benefits of their Creator and 2edee$er and in who$ the wor*s of the infinite power and goodness of
the (ord would be wasted. At other ti$es the blessed Mother would find 0i$ refulgent with heavenly light and
surrounded by angels that sang sweet hy$ns of praise9 and She was $ade aware, that the heavenly 6ather was pleased
in his beloved and ,nlybegotten Son 'Matth. 17, C). All these wonders co$$enced fro$ the ti$e when at the age of
one year 0e began to wal*, witnessed only by his $ost holy Mother, whose heart was to be the treasureBhouse of his
wonders. The wor*s of love, praise and worshipful gratitude, his petitions for the hu$an race, all e?ceed $y ability to
describe. # $ust refer the understanding of it to the faith and piety of the Christians.
Many of the children of 0eliopolis gathered around the Child Jesus, as it is natural with children of si$ilar age and
condition. Since they were free fro$ great $alice and were not given to inEuire, whether 0e was $ore than $an, but
freely ad$itted the heavenly light, the Master of truth welco$ed the$ as far as was befitting. 0e instilled into the$ the
*nowledge of !od and of the virtues9 0e taught and catechised the$ in the way of eternal life, even $ore abundantly
than the adults. As his words were full of life and strength. 0e won their hearts and i$pressed his truths so deeply upon
the$, that all those, who had this good fortune, afterwards beca$e great and saintly $en9 for in the course of ti$e they
ripened in the$selves the fruit of this heavenly seed sown so early into their souls.
The Child Jesus reached the end of his seventh year while in /gypt, which was also the ter$ set by the eternal "isdo$
for his $ysterious so<ourn in that land. #n order that the prophecies $ight he fulfilled, it was necessary that 0e return to
.aGareth. This decree the eternal 6ather inti$ated to his $ost holy Son on a certain day in the presence of his holy
Mother and while She was with 0i$ in prayer. She saw it $irrored in his deified soul and She saw how 0e sub$itted
to it in obedience to the 6ather. Therein the great (ady <oined 0i$, although they had already beco$e better acEuainted
and habituated to their present abode than to their own native city of .aGareth. .either the Mother nor the Son $ade
*nown to saint Joseph this new decree of heaven. +ut in that very night the angel of the (ord spo*e to hi$ in his sleep,
as Matthew relates 'Matth. @, 1%), and bade hi$ ta*e the Child and its Mother and return to the land of #srael for 0erod
and those who with hi$ had sought the life of the Child, were dead. So $uch value does the Al$ighty set on the proper
order in created things, that, though Jesus was the true !od and his Mother so highly e?alted above saint Joseph in
sanctity, 0e did not per$it the arrange$ents of this <ourney to proceed fro$ his Son nor fro$ his Mother, but fro$
saint Joseph, who was the head of this 6a$ily. !od intended to teach all $ortals, that 0e wishes all things to be
governed by the natural order set up by his 1rovidence9 and that the inferiors and sub<ects of the $ystical body of the
Church, even though they $ay e?cel in virtue and in certain other respects, $ust obey and sub$it to their superiors and
prelates in the visible order.
They departed for 1alestine in the co$pany of angels as on their way thence. The great ;ueen sat on the ass with the
divine Child on her lap and saint Joseph wal*ed afoot, closely following the Son and Mother. ,n account of the loss of
such great +enefactors their acEuaintances and friends were very sorrowful at the news of their departure9 with
incredible weeping and sighing they saw The$ leave, *nowing and loudly co$plaining, that they were now losing all
their consolation and refuge in their necessities. #f the divine power had not interfered, the holy 6a$ily would have
found great difficulty in leaving 0eliopolis9 for its inhabitants began to feel the night of their $iseries secretly setting
upon their hearts at the parting of the Sun, which had dispersed and brightened its dar*ness 'John 1, %). #n traversing the
inhabited country they passed through so$e towns of /gypt, where They scattered their graces and blessings. The news
of their passage spreading about, all the sic*, the afflicted and disconsolate gathered to see* The$ out, and they found
the$selves relieved in body and soul. Many of the sic* were cured, $any de$ons were e?pelled without their *nowing
who it was that thus hurled the$ bac* to hell. 3et they felt the divine power, which co$pelled the$ and wrought such
blessings a$ong $en.
They reached .aGareth, their ho$e, for the Child was to be called a .aGarene. They found their for$er hu$ble house in
charge of the devout cousin of saint Joseph, who, as # have $entioned in the twelfth chapter of the third boo*, had
offered to serve hi$ while our ;ueen was absent in the house of /lisabeth. +efore They had left Judea for /gypt, saint
Joseph had written to this wo$an, as*ing her to ta*e care of the house and what it contained. They found it all in good
condition and his cousin received The$ with great <oy on account of her love for the great ;ueen, though at the sa$e
ti$e she did not *now of her dignity. The heavenly (ady entered with her Son and saint Joseph, and i$$ediately She
prostrated 0erself in adoration of the (ord and in than*sgiving for having led The$, safe fro$ the cruelty of 0erod, to
this retreat, and preserved The$ in the dangers of their banish$ent and their long and arduous <ourneys. Above all did
She render than*s for having returned in co$pany with her Son, now grown both in years and in grace and virtue '(u*e
@, &A).
Ta*ing counsel with her divine Child She proceeded to set up a rule of life and regulate her pious practices9 not that She
had failed to observe a rule of life on her <ourney9 for the $ost prudent (ady, in i$itation of her Son, had always
observed the $ost perfect order according to circu$stances. +ut being now peacefully settled in her ho$e She wished
to include $any e?ercises, which on the <ourney were i$possible. 0er greatest solicitude was always to cooperate with
her $ost holy Son for the salvation of souls which was the wor* $ost urgently en<oined upon her by the eternal 6ather.
Toward this $ost high end our ;ueen directed all her practices in union with the 2edee$er, and this was their constant
occupation, as we shall see in the course of this second part. The holy Joseph also ordered his occupations and his wor*
so as $ost worthily to earn sustenance for the divine Child and his Mother as well as for hi$self. That which in other
sons of Ada$ is considered a punish$ent and a hardship was to this holy 1atriarch a great happiness. 6or while others
were conde$ned to sustain their natural life by the labor of their hands in the sweat of their brows, saint Joseph was
blessed and consoled beyond $easure to *now, that he had been chosen by his labor and sweat to support !od hi$self
and his Mother, to who$ belonged heaven and earth and all that they contain '/sther 1=, 1A).
The ;ueen of the angels herself undertoo* to pay the debt of gratitude due to saint Joseph for his labors and solicitude.
Accordingly She provided his $eals and attended to his co$forts with incredible care and $ost loving gratitude. She
was obedient to hi$ in all things and hu$bled 0erself before 0i$ as if She were his hand$aid and not his spouse, or,
what is $ore, not the Mother of the Creator and (ord of all. She accounted 0erself unworthy of e?istence and of being
suffered to wal* upon the earth9 for She thought it <ust, that She should be in want of all things. #n the consciousness of
having been created out of nothing and therefore unable to $a*e any return for either this benefit or, according to her
esti$ation, for any of the others, She established in 0erself such a rare hu$ility, that She thought 0erself less than the
dust and unworthy to $ingle with it. 6or the least favor She gave ad$irable than*s to the (ord, as to the first cause and
origin of the$ all, and to creatures as to the instru$ents of his bounty. To so$e She gave than*s because they conferred
favors upon 0er, to others because they had denied the$9 and to others again because they bore with 0er in patience.
She ac*nowledged 0erself as indebted to all of the$, though She filled the$ with the blessings of sweetness and placed
herself at the feet of all, see*ing ingenious $eans and artifices to let no instant and no occasion pass for practicing the
$ost perfect and e?alted virtues to the Ad$iration of the angels and the pleasure and the delight of the Most 0igh.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, while <ourneying at the co$$and of the (ord fro$ one country to another and during the wor*s en<oined
upon $e, $y heart was never troubled nor $y spirit cast down9 for # always held $yself prepared to fulfill entirely the
will of !od. Although the (ord $ade *nown to Me his high ends, yet this was not always done at the beginning, thus
per$itting $e to endure so $uch the greater sufferings9 for in obeying the (ord no further reason is necessary than that
the (ord Creator so co$$ands and disposes. The souls $ust accusto$ the$selves to loo* for this $otive alone and to
learn solely to please the (ord, without distinguishing between fortunate or unfortunate events and without loo*ing to
their own inclinations. #n this *ind of wisdo$ # wish that thou advance. #n i$itation of $e and to satisfy thy obligations
toward $y $ost holy Son, do thou receive prosperity or adversity in this $ortal life with un$oved countenance and
with eEuani$ity and peace or $ind. (et not the one grieve, nor the other vainly re<oice thee9 but attend only to all that
which the Al$ighty ordains according to his pleasure.
0u$an life is interwoven thus variously with both *inds of events9 so$e of the$ according, others contrary to the
li*ings of $ortals9 so$e which they, abhor others which they desire. As the hu$an heart is li$ited and narrow it
i$$oderately inclines to e?tre$es, boundlessly desiring what it loves and li*es, and, on the other hand, grieving and
sorrowing at what it abhors and disli*es. These changeful $oods and fluctuations create danger for all or $any virtues.
The disorderly love for one creature which it cannot attain, $oves the soul presently to desire another, e?pecting a bal$
for its disappoint$ent in the for$er. And if it is successful, the soul beco$es involved and flurried in the desire of
retaining what it possesses, thus casting itself by these velleities into still greater disorders and passions. Attend,
therefore, dearest, to this danger and attac* it at the root by preserving thy heart independent and riveted only on the
divine 1rovidence, without ever allowing it to incline toward what it desires or longs for, or to abhor what is painful to
it. (et the will of the (ord be thy only delight and <oy. (et neither thy desires draw thee on, nor thy fears dishearten
thee. (et not thy e?terior occupations, and $uch less thy regard or attention to creatures, ever i$pede thee or divert thee
fro$ thy holy e?ercises, attending always to $y e?a$ple. See* thou lovingly and diligently to follow in $y footsteps.
+,,- 6#5/
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"City of God"
+,,- 6#5/
Concerning the *erfection -ith -hich the most Holy Mary co&ied and
Imitated the Activity of the o#l of Christ; ho- the Incarnate 1ord
Instr#cted Her in the !a-s of grace$ the Articles of Faith$ the
acraments$ the Ten Commandments; and -ith -hat
Alacrity and 2o,le *rom&tit#de he Corres&onded+
Also concerning the Death of aint "ose&h$ the
*reaching of aint "ohn$ the call of the
First Disci&les and the 'a&tism
Of the 0irgin Mary$ o#r
'lessed !ady
C0A1T/2 #.
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Already Jesus, Mary and Joseph had settled in .aGareth and thus changed their poor and hu$ble dwelling into a
heaven. #n order to describe the $ysteries and sacra$ents which passed between the divine Child and his purest Mother
before his twelfth year and later on, until his public preaching, $any chapters and $any boo*s would be reEuired9 and
in the$ all, # would be able to relate but the s$allest part in view of the vastness of the sub<ect and the insignificance of
such an ignorant wo$an as # a$. /ven with the light given $e by this great (ady # can spea* of only a few incidents
and $ust leave the greater part unsaid. #t is not possible or befitting to us $ortals to co$prehend all these $ysteries in
this life, since they are reserved for future life.
Shortly after their return fro$ /gypt to .aGareth the (ord resolved to try his $ost holy Mother in the sa$e $anner as
0e had tried her in her childhood as the firstBborn 4aughter of the new (aw of grace, the $ost perfect copy of his ideals
and the $ost pliant $aterial, upon which, as on liEuid wa?, should be set the seal of his doctrine of holiness, so that the
Son and the Mother $ight be the two true tablets of the new law of the world '/?od. =1, 1F). 6or this purpose of the
infinite wisdo$ 0e $anifested to 0er all the $ysteries of the evangelical law and of his doctrine9 and this was the
sub<ect of his instructions fro$ the ti$e of their return fro$ /gypt until his public preaching, as we shall see in the
course of this history. #n these hidden sacra$ents the incarnate "ord and his holy Mother occupied the$selves during
the twentyBthree years of their stay in .aGareth. As all this concerned the heavenly Mother alone 'whose life the holy
/vangelists did not profess to narrate), the writers of the !ospel $ade no $ention of it, e?cepting that which was
related of the Child Jesus, when, in his twelfth year, he was lost in Jerusale$. 4uring all those years Mary alone was
the disciple of Christ.
#n order to rear in the heart of the purest 5irgin this edifice of holiness to a height beyond all that is not !od, the (ord
laid its foundations accordingly, trying the strength of her love and of all her other virtues. 6or this purpose the (ord
withdrew 0i$self, causing 0er to lose 0i$ fro$ her sight, which until then had caused 0er to revel in continual <oy
and delight. # do not wish to say, that the (ord left her bodily9 but, still re$aining with 0er and in 0er by an ineffable
presence and grace, 0e hid hi$self fro$ her interior sight and suspended the to*ens of his $ost sweet affection. The
heavenly (ady in the $eanwhile *new not the inward cause of this behavior, as the (ord gave 0er no e?planation.
Moreover her divine Son, without any forewarning showed 0i$self very reserved and withdrew fro$ her society.
Many ti$es 0e retired and spo*e but few words to 0er, and even these with great earnestness and $a<esty.
This unannounced and une?pected change was the crucible in which the purest gold of the love of our ;ueen was
cleansed and assayed. Surprised at what was happening, She i$$ediately too* refuge in the hu$ble opinion She had of
0erself, dee$ing 0erself unworthy of the vision of the (ord, who now had hidden 0i$self. She attributed it all to her
want of correspondence and to her ingratitude for the blessings She had obtained fro$ the $ost generous and e?alted
6ather of $ercies. The $ost prudent ;ueen did not feel so $uch the privation of his delightful caresses, as the dread of
having displeased hi$ and of having fallen short in his service. This was the arrow that pierced 0er heart with grief.
,ne filled with such true and noble love could not feel less9 for all delight of love is founded in the pleasure and
satisfaction given by the lover to the one beloved, and therefore 0e cannot rest, when he suspects that the beloved is not
contented or pleased. The loving sighs of his Mother were highly pleasing to her $ost holy Son. 0e was ena$ored with
0er anew and the tender affection of his only and chosen ,ne wounded his heart 'Cant. &, %). +ut whenever the sweet
Mother sought 0i$ out in order to hold converse with 0i$ 0e continued to show e?terior reserve. Just as the fla$e of
a forge or a conflagration is intensified by the application of insufficient water, so the fla$e of love in the heart of the
sweetest Mother was fanned to an intenser blaGe by this adversity.
The singleBhearted 4ove e?ercised 0erself in heroic acts of all the virtues. She hu$bled 0erself below the dust9 She
reverenced 0er Son in deepest adoration9 She blessed the 6ather, than*ing 0i$ for his ad$irable wor*s and blessings
and confor$ing 0erself to his wishes and pleasure9 She sought to *now his will in order to fulfill it in all things9 She
unceasingly renewed her acts of faith, hope and burning love9 and in all her actions and in all circu$stances this $ost
fragrant spi*enard gave forth the odor of sweetness for 0i$, the -ing of *ings, who rested in her heart as in his flowery
and perfu$ed couch 'Cant. 1, 11). She persevered in her tearful prayers, with continual sighing and longing fro$ her
in$ost heart9 She poured forth her prayers in the presence of the (ord and recounted her tribulation before the throne of
the !od '1s. 1&1, =).
7pon the reEuest of the loving Mother saint Joseph had $ade a couch, which She covered with a single blan*et and
upon which the Child Jesus rested and too* his sleep9 for fro$ the ti$e in which 0e had left the cradle, when they were
yet in /gypt, 0e would not accept of any other bed or of $ore covering. Although 0e did not stretch 0i$self out on
this couch, nor even always $ade use of it, 0e so$eti$es reclined in a sitting posture upon it, resting upon a poor
pillow $ade of wool by the sa$e (ady. "hen She spo*e of preparing for hi$ a better restingBplace, her $ost holy Son
answered, that the only couch upon which 0e was to be stretched out, was that of his Cross, in order to teach $en by
his e?a$ple '# 1et. @, @1), that no one can enter eternal rest by things beloved of +abylon and that to suffer is our true
relief in $ortal life. Thenceforward the heavenly (ady i$itated hi$ in this $anner of ta*ing rest with new earnestness
and attention. Thirty days passed in this conflict9 and they eEualled $any ages in the esti$ation of 0er, who dee$ed it
i$possible to live even one $o$ent without the love and without the +eloved of her soul. After such delay 'according
to our way of spea*ing), the heart of the Child Jesus could no longer contain itself or resist further the i$$ense force of
his love for his sweetest Mother9 for also the (ord suffered a delightful and wonderful violence in thus holding 0er in
such a suspense and affliction. #t happened that the hu$ble and sovereign ;ueen one day approached her Son Jesus,
and, throwing 0erself at his feet, with tears and sighs co$ing fro$ her in$ost heart, spo*e to 0i$ as followsD My
sweetest (ove and highest !ood, of what account a$ #, the insignificant dust and ashes, before thy vast powerI "hat is
the $isery of a creature in co$parison with thy endless affluenceI #n all things Thou e?cellest our lowliness and thy
i$$ense sea of $ercy overwhel$s our i$perfections and defects. #f # have not been Gealous in serving Thee, as # a$
constrained to confess, do Thou chastise $y negligence and pardon it. +ut let $e, $y Son and (ord, see the gladness of
thy countenance, which is $y salvation and the wishedBfor light of $y life and being. 0ere at thy feet # lay $y poverty,
$ingling it with the dust, and # shall not rise fro$ it until # can again loo* into the $irror, which reflects $y soul.
These and other pleadings, full of wisdo$ and ardent love, the great ;ueen poured hu$bly forth before her $ost holy
Son. And as his longings to restore her to his delights were even greater than those of the blessed (ady, 0e pronounced
with great sweetness these few words My Mother, arise. As these words were pronounced by 0i$, who is 0i$self
the "ord of the eternal 6ather, it had such an effect, that the heavenly Mother was instantly transfor$ed and elevated
into a $ost e?alted ecstasy, in which She saw the 4ivinity by an abstractive vision. #n it the (ord received 0er with
sweetest welco$e and e$braces of a 6ather and Spouse, changing 0er tears into re<oicing, her sufferings into delight
and her bitterness into highest sweetness. The (ord $anifested to 0er great secrets of the scope of his new evangelical
law. "ishing to write it entirely into her purest heart, the $ost holy Trinity appointed and destined 0er as his firstBborn
4aughter and the first disciple of the incarnate "ord and set 0er up as the $odel and pattern for all the holy Apostles,
Martyrs, 4octors, Confessors, 5irgins and other <ust of the new Church and of the law of grace, which the incarnate
"ord was to establish for the 2ede$ption of $an.
So$e days after our ;ueen and (ady with her $ost holy Son and saint Joseph had settled in .aGareth, the ti$e of the
year in which the Jews were obliged to present the$selves before the (ord in the te$ple of Jerusale$, was at hand.
This co$$and$ent obliged the Jews to this duty three ti$es each year, as can be seen in /?odus and 4euterono$y.
+ut it obliged only the $en, not the wo$en '/?od. @=, 17)9 therefore the wo$en could go or not, according to their
devotion9 for it was neither co$$anded nor prohibited to the$. The heavenly (ady and her spouse conferred with each
other as to what they should do in this regard. The holy husband $uch desired the co$pany of the great ;ueen, his
wife, and of her $ost holy Son9 for he wished to offer 0i$ anew to the eternal 6ather in the te$ple. The $ost pure
Mother also was drawn by her piety to worship the (ord in the te$ple9 but as in things of that *ind She did not per$it
0erself to decide without the counsel and direction of the incarnate "ord, her Teacher, She as*ed his advice upon this
$atter. They finally arranged, that two ti$es a year saint Joseph was to go to Jerusale$ by hi$self, while on the third
occasion They would go together. The #sraelites visited the te$ple on the feast of the Tabernacles '4eut. 1>, C), the
feast of the "ee*s, or 1entecost, and the feast of the unleavened +reads or the 1asch of the preparation. To this latter
the sweetest Jesus, $ost pure Mary, and Joseph went up together. #t lasted seven days and during that ti$e happened
what # shall relate in the ne?t chapter. 6or the other sole$nities saint Joseph went alone, leaving the Child and the
Mother at ho$e.
As # have said, Mary and Joseph repeated their visit to the te$ple at the feast of the unleavened +read every year. Also
when the divine Child was twelve years old and when it was ti$e to allow the splendors his inaccessible and divine
light to shine forth, They went to the te$ple for this feast '(u*e @, &@). This festival of the unleavened +read lasted
seven days, according to the co$$and of the divine law9 and the $ore sole$n days were the first and the last. ,n this
account heavenly 1ilgri$s re$ained in Jerusale$ during the whole wee*, spending their ti$e in acts of worship and
devotion as the rest of the Jews, although on account the sacra$ents connected with each of The$ their worship and
devotion was entirely different and greatly above that of the others. The blessed Mother and holy Joseph received
during these days favors and blessings beyond the conception of the hu$an $ind.
0aving thus spent all the seven days of the feast. They betoo* the$selves on their way ho$e to .aGareth. "hen his
parents departed fro$ Jerusale$ and were pursuing their way ho$eward, the Child Jesus withdrew fro$ the$ without
their *nowledge. 6or this purpose the (ord availed 0i$self of the separation of the $en and wo$en, which had beco$e
custo$ary a$ong the pilgri$s for reasons of decency as well as for greater recollection during their return ho$eward.
The children which acco$panied their parents were ta*en in charge pro$iscuously either by the $en or the wo$en,
since their co$pany with either was a $atter of indifference. Thus it happened that saint Joseph could easily suppose
that the Child Jesus had re$ained with his $ost holy Mother, with who$ 0e generally re$ained. The thought that She
would go without 0i$ was far fro$ his $ind, since the heavenly ;ueen loved and delighted in 0i$ $ore than any
other creature hu$an or angelic. The great (ady did not have so $any reasons for supposing that her $ost holy Son
was in the co$pany of saint JosephD but the (ord hi$self so diverted her thoughts by holy and divine conte$plations,
that She did not notice his absence at first. "hen afterwards She beca$e aware of her not being acco$panied by her
sweetest and beloved Son, She supposed that the blessed Joseph had ta*en 0i$ along and that the (ord acco$panied
his fosterBfather for his consolation.
Thus assured, holy Mary and Joseph pursued their ho$e <ourney for an entire day, as saint (u*e tells us. As the
pilgri$s proceeded onwards they gradually thinned out, each ta*ing his own direction and <oining again with his wife
or fa$ily. The $ost holy Mary and saint Joseph found the$selves at length in the place where they had agreed to $eet
on the first evening after leaving Jerusale$. "hen the great (ady saw that the Child was not with saint Joseph and
when the holy 1atriarch found that 0e was not with his Mother, the two were struc* du$b with a$aGe$ent and surprise
for Euite a while. +oth, governed in their <udg$ent by their $ost profound hu$ility, felt overwhel$ed with selfB
reproach at their re$issness in watching over their $ost holy Son and thus bla$ed the$selves for his absence9 for
neither of the$ had any suspicion of the $ysterious $anner in which 0e had been able to elude their vigilance. After a
ti$e they recovered so$ewhat fro$ their astonish$ent and with deepest sorrow too* counsel with each other as to what
was to be done '(u*e @, &C). The loving Mother said to saint JosephD My Spouse and $y $aster, $y heart cannot rest,
unless we return with all haste to Jerusale$ in order to see* $y $ost holy Son. This they proceeded to do, beginning
their search a$ong their relations and friends, of who$, however, none could give the$ any infor$ation or any
co$fort in their sorrow9 on the contrary their answers only increased their an?iety, since none of the$ had so $uch as
seen their Son since their departure fro$ Jerusale$.
Thus this sincerest 4ove persevered in her tears and groans without cessation or rest, without sleeping or eating
anything for three whole days. Although the thousand angels acco$panied 0er in corporeal for$s and witnessed her
affliction and sorrow, yet they gave 0er no clue to find her lost Child. ,n the third day the great ;ueen resolved to see*
0i$ in the desert where saint John was9 for since She saw no indications that Archelaus had ta*en 0i$ prisoner, She
began to believe $ore fir$ly, that her $ost holy Son was with saint John. "hen She was about to e?ecute her resolve
and was on the point of departing for the desert, the holy angels detained 0er, urging 0er not to underta*e the <ourney,
since the divine "ord was not there. She wanted also to go to +ethlehe$, in the hope of finding 0i$ in the cave of the
.ativity9 but this the holy angels li*ewise prevented, telling 0er that 0e was not so far off. Although the blessed
Mother heard these answers and well perceived that the holy angels *new the whereabouts of the Child Jesus, She was
so considerate and reserved in her hu$ility and prudence, that She gave no response, nor as*ed where She could find
0i$9 for She understood that they withheld this infor$ation by co$$and of the (ord. "ith such $agnani$ous
reverence did the ;ueen of the angels treat the sacra$ents of the Most 0igh and of his $inisters and a$bassadors '##
Mach. @, %). This was one of the occasions in which the greatness of her Eueenly and $agnani$ous heart was $ade
.ot all the sorrows suffered by all the $artyrs ever reached the height of the sorrows of $ost holy Mary in this trial9
nor will the patience, resignation and tolerance of this (ady ever be eEualled, nor can they9 for the loss of Jesus was
greater to 0er than the loss of anything created, while her love and appreciation of 0i$ e?ceeded all that can be
conceived by any other creature. Since She did not *now the cause of the loss, her an?iety was beyond all $easure, as #
have already said. Moreover, during these three days the (ord left 0er to her natural resources of nature and of grace,
deprived of special privileges and favors9 for, with the e?ception of the co$pany and intercourse with the angels, 0e
suspended all the other consolations and blessings so constantly vouchsafed to her $ost holy soul. 6ro$ all this we can
sur$ise what sorrow filled the loving heart of the heavenly Mother. +ut, , prodigy of holiness, prudence, fortitude and
perfectionH #n such unheard of affliction and sorrow She was not disturbed, nor lost her interior or e?terior peace, nor
did She entertain a thought of anger or indignation, nor allowed 0erself any i$proper $ove$ent or e?pression, nor fell
into any e?cess of grief or annoyance, as is so co$$on in great affliction with other children of Ada$, who allow all
their passions and faculties to be disarranged, yea even in s$all difficultiesH The Mistress of all virtue held all 0er
powers in heavenly order and har$ony9 though her sorrow was without co$parison great and had pierced her in$ost
heart, She failed not in reverence and in the praise of the (ord, nor ceased in her prayers and petitions for the hu$an
race, and for the finding of her $ost holy Son.
"ith this heavenly wisdo$ and with greatest diligence She sought 0i$ for three successive days, roa$ing through the
streets of the city, as*ing different persons and describing to the daughters of Jerusale$ the $ar*s of her +eloved,
searching the byways and the open sEuares of the city and thereby fulfilling what was recorded in the Canticles of
Solo$on 'Cant. C, 1A). So$e of the wo$en as*ed 0er what were the distinctive $ar*s of her lost and only Son9 and
She answered in the words of the SpouseD My +eloved is white and ruddy, chosen out of thousands. ,ne of the
wo$en, hearing 0er thus describing 0i$, saidD This Child, with those sa$e $ar*s, ca$e yesterday to $y door to as*
for al$s, and # gave so$e to 0i$9 and his grace and beauty have ravished $y heart. And when # gave 0i$ al$s, # felt
$yself overco$e by co$passion to see a Child so gracious in poverty and want. These were the first news the
sorrowful Mother heard of her ,nlybegotten in Jerusale$. A little respited in her sorrow, She pursued her Euest and
$et other persons, who spo*e of 0i$ in li*e $anner. !uided by this infor$ation She directed her steps to the hospital
of the city, thin*ing that a$ong the afflicted She would find the Spouse and the ,riginator of patient poverty a$ong his
own legiti$ate brethren and friends 'Matth. C, &A). #nEuiring at that place, She was infor$ed that a Child of that
description had paid his visits to the in$ates, leaving so$e al$s and spea*ing words of $uch consolation to the
The report of these doings of her +eloved caused senti$ents of sweetest and $ost tender affection in the heart of the
heavenly (ady, which She sent forth fro$ her in$ost heart as $essengers to her lost and absent Son. Then the thought
struc* 0er, that, since 0e was not with the poor, 0e no doubt tarried in the te$ple, as in the house of !od and of
prayer. The holy angels encouraged 0er and saidD ,ur ;ueen and (ady, the hour of thy consolation is at handD soon
wilt Thou see the (ight of thy eyes9 hasten thy footsteps and go to the te$ple. The glorious patriarch saint Joseph at
this $o$ent again $et his Spouse, for, in order to increase their chance of finding the divine Child, they had separated
in different directions. +y another angel he had now been li*ewise ordered to proceed to the te$ple. 4uring all these
three days he had suffered unspea*able sorrow and affliction, hastening fro$ one place to another, so$eti$es without
his heavenly Spouse, so$eti$es with 0er. 0e was in serious danger of losing his life during this ti$e, if the hand of the
(ord had not strengthened 0i$ and if the $ost prudent (ady had not consoled hi$ and forced hi$ to ta*e so$e food
and rest. 0is sincere and e?Euisite love for the divine Child $ade hi$ so an?ious and solicitous to find 0i$, that he
would have allowed hi$self no ti$e or care to ta*e nourish$ent for the support of nature.

#t was very near to the gate of the city, that the divine Child turned and hastened bac* through the streets. 6oreseeing in
his divine foreB*nowledge all that was to happen, 0e offered it up to his eternal 6ather for the benefit of souls. 0e as*ed
for al$s during these three days in order to ennoble fro$ that ti$e on hu$ble $endicity as the firstBborn of holy
poverty. 0e visited the hospitals of the poor, consoling the$ and giving the$ the al$s which 0e had received9 secretly
0e restored bodily health to so$e and spiritual health to $any, enlightening the$ interiorly and leading the$ bac* to
the way of salvation. ,n so$e of the benefactors, who gave 0i$ al$s, 0e perfor$ed these wonders with greater
abundance of grace and light9 thus fulfilling fro$ that ti$e on the pro$ise, which 0e was afterwards to $a*e to his
Church9 that he who gives to the <ust and to the prophet in the na$e of a prophet, shall receive the reward of the <ust
'Matth. 1A, &1).
0aving thus busied 0i$self with these and other wor*s of his 6ather, 0e betoo* 0i$self to the te$ple. ,n the day
which the /vangelist $entions it happened that also the rabbis, who were the learned and the teachers of the te$ple,
$et in a certain part of the buildings in order to confer a$ong the$selves concerning so$e doubtful points of holy
Scriptures. ,n this occasion the co$ing of the Messias was discussed9 for on account of the report of the wonderful
events, which had spread about since the birth of the +aptist and the visit of the -ings of the east, the ru$or of the
co$ing of the 2edee$er and of his being already in the world, though yet un*nown, had gained ground a$ong the
Jews. They were all seated in their places filled with the sense of authority custo$ary to those who are teachers and
considered as learned. The Child Jesus ca$e to the $eeting of these distinguished $en9 and 0e that was the -ing of
*ings, and (ord of lords 'Apoc. 1%, 1>), the infinite "isdo$ itself '# Cor. 1, @&), and who corrects the wise '"is. 7,
1C), presented 0i$self before the teachers of this world as an hu$ble disciple, giving the$ to understand that 0e had
co$e to hear the discussion and infor$ 0i$self on the Euestion treated of, na$elyD whether the Messias was already
co$e, or, if not, concerning the ti$e in which 0e should co$e into the world. Therefore the divine Child presented
0i$self to the disputants, $anifesting the grace poured out over his lips '1s. &&, =). 0e stepped into their $idst with
e?ceeding $a<esty and grace, as one who would propose so$e doubt or solution. +y his pleasing appearance 0e
awa*ened in the hearts of these learned $en a desire to hear 0i$ attentively.
The scribes and learned $en who heard 0i$ were all du$bfounded. Convinced by his argu$ents they loo*ed at each
other and in great astonish$ent as*edD "hat $iracle is thisI And what prodigy of a boyH "hence has 0e co$e and
who is the ChildI +ut though thus astonished, they did not recogniGe or suspect who it was, that thus taught and
enlightened the$ concerning such an i$portant truth. 4uring this ti$e and before Jesus had finished his argu$ent, his
$ost holy Mother and saint Joseph her $ost chaste spouse arrived, <ust in ti$e to hear hi$ advance his last argu$ents.
"hen 0e had finished, all the teachers of the law arose with stupendous a$aGe$ent. The heavenly (ady, absorbed in
<oy, approached her $ost loving Son and in the presence of the whole asse$bly, spo*e to 0i$ the words recorded by
saint (u*eD Son, why hast Thou done so to usI +ehold thy father and # have sought Thee sorrowing '(u*e @, &F). This
loving co$plaint the heavenly Mother uttered with eEual reverence and affection, adoring 0i$ as !od and $anifesting
her $aternal affliction. The (ord answeredD "hy is it that you sought MeI 4id you not *now that # $ust be about $y
6atherJs businessI
The /vangelist says that they did not understand the $ystery of these words '(u*e @, CA)9 for it was hidden at the ti$e
to $ost holy Mary and saint Joseph. And for two reasons9 on the one hand, the interior <oy now reaping what they had
sown in so $uch sorrow, and the visible presence of their precious Treasure, entirely filled the faculties of their souls9
and on the other hand, the ti$e for the full co$prehension of what had <ust been treated of in this discussion had not yet
arrived for the$. Moreover, for the $ost solicitous ;ueen there was another hindrance <ust at that ti$e, and it was, that
the veil, concealing the interior of her $ost holy Son had again intervened and was not re$oved until so$e ti$e later.
The learned $en departed, co$$enting in their a$aGe$ent upon the wonderful event, by which they had been
privileged to hear the teaching of eternal "isdo$ though they did not recogniGe it. +eing thus left al$ost alone, the
blessed Mother, e$bracing 0i$ with $aternal affection, said to 0i$D 1er$it $y longing heart, $y son, to give
e?pression to its sorrow and pain9 so that it $ay not die of grief as long as it can be of use to Thee. 4o not cast $e off
fro$ thy sight9 but accept $e as thy slave. #f it was $y negligence, which deprived $e of thy presence, pardon $e and
$a*e $e worthy of thy co$pany, and do not punish $e with thy absence. The divine Child received 0er with signs of
pleasure and offered 0i$self as her Teacher and Co$panion until the proper ti$e should arrive. Thus was the doveBli*e
and affectionate heart of the great (ady appeased, and They departed for .aGareth.
They arrived at .aGareth, where they occupied the$selves in what # shall record later on. The evangelist (u*e
co$pendiously $entions all the $ysteries in few words, saying the Child Jesus was sub<ect to his parents, na$ely $ost
holy Mary and saint Joseph, and that his heavenly Mother noted and preserved within her heart all these events9 and
that Jesus advanced in wisdo$, and age, and grace with !od and $en '(u*e @, C@), of which, as far as $y
understanding goes, # will spea* later on. Just now # wish only to $ention, that the hu$ility and obedience of our !od
and Master toward his parents were the ad$iration of the angels. +ut so was also the dignity and e?cellence of his $ost
blessed Mother, who thus $erited that the incarnate !od should sub<ect hi$self and resign 0i$self to her care9 so
$uch so, that She, with the assistance of saint Joseph, governed 0i$ and disposed of 0i$ as her own.
To the obedience and sub<ection of her $ost holy Son the great (ady on her part responded by heroic wor*s. A$ong
her other e?cellences She conceived as it were an inco$prehensible hu$ility and a $ost heartfelt gratitude for having
regained the co$panionship of her Son. This blessing, of which the heavenly ;ueen dee$ed 0erself unworthy, vastly
increased in her $ost pure heart her love and her an?iety to serve her divine Son. And She was so constant in showing
her gratitude, so punctual and solicitous to serve 0i$, *neeling before 0i$ and lowering 0erself to the dust, that it
e?cited the ad$iration of the highest seraphi$. Moreover, She sought with the closest attention to i$itate 0i$ in all his
actions as they beca$e *nown to 0er and e?erted 0erself $ost an?iously to copy the$ and reproduce the$ in her own
life. The plenitude of her perfection wounded the heart of our Christ and (ord, and, according to our way of spea*ing,
held hi$ bound to 0er with chains of invincible love ',see 11, &). 0is being thus bound as !od and as Son to this
heavenly 1rincess, gave rise to such an interchange and divine reciprocity of love, as surpasses all created
understanding. 6or into the ocean of MaryJs soul entered all the vast floods of the graces and blessings of the incarnate
"ord9 and this ocean did not overflow '/ccles. 1, 7), because it $ined the depth and e?panse necessary to receive the$.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, all the wor*s of $y $ost holy Son and $y own actions are full of $ysterious instruction and doctrine for
the $ortals who conte$plate the$ diligently and reverently. The (ord absented 0i$self fro$ $e in order that, see*ing
0i$ in sorrow and tears, # $ight find 0i$ again in <oy and with abundant fruits for $y soul. # desire that thou i$itate
$e in this $ystery and see* 0i$ with such earnestness, as to be consu$ed with a continual longing without ever in thy
whole life co$ing to any rest until thou holdst hi$ and canst lose 0i$ no $ore 'Can. C, &). #n order that thou $ayest
understand better this sacra$ent of the (ord, re$e$ber, the infinite "isdo$ $ade $en capable of his eternal felicity
and placed the$ on the way to this happiness, but left the$ in doubt of its attain$ent, as long as they have not yet
acEuired it and thus filled the$ with <oyful hope and sorrowful fear of its final acEuisition. This an?iety engenders in
$en a lifelong fear and abhorrence of sin, by which alone they can be deprived of beatitude and thus prevent the$ fro$
being ensnared and $isled by the corporeal and visible things of this earth. This an?iety the Creator assists by adding to
the natural reasoning powers, faith and hope, which are the spurs of their love toward see*ing and finding their last end.
+esides these virtues and others infused at +aptis$ 0e sends his inspirations and helps to *eep awa*e the soul in the
absence of its (ord and to prevent forgetfulness of 0i$ and of itself while deprived of his a$iable presence. Thus it
pursues the right course until it finds the great goal, where all its inclinations and longing shall be satiated.
0ence thou canst esti$ate the listless ignorance of $ortals and how few stop to consider the $ysterious order of the
creation and <ustification and all the wor*s of the Al$ighty tending toward this e?alted end. 6ro$ this forgetfulness
flow so $any evils endured by $en while they appropriate so $any earthly goods and deceitful delights, as if they
could ever find in the$ their ulti$ate end. The height of perversity opposed to the order of the Creator, is that $ortals
in this transitory and short life re<oice in visible things as if they were their last end, while they ought, on the contrary,
to $a*e use of creatures to gain, not to lose, the highest !ood. 4o thou, therefore, $y dearest, be $indful of this
dangerous hu$an folly. Consider all delights and <oys of the world as insanity, its laughing as sorrow, sensible
en<oy$ent as self deceit, as the source of foolishness, which into?icates the heart and hinders and destroys all true
wisdo$. (ive in constant and holy fear of losing eternal life and re<oice in nothing e?cept in the (ord until thou
obtainest full possession of 0i$.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ##.
J/S7S #.ST27CTS 0#S M,T0/2 #. T0/ (A" ,6 !2AC/
# have already said in for$er chapters, that our (ady was the first and specially privileged 4isciple of her $ost holy
Son, chosen a$ong all creatures as the $odel of the new evangelical law and its Author, according to which 0e was to
$ould all the saints of the new evangelical law and <udge of all the results of the 2ede$ption. #n regard to 0er the
incarnate "ord proceeded li*e a $ost s*illful artist, who understands the art of painting and that pertains to it $ost
thoroughly9 who, throwing all powers into one chosen wor*, see*s to gain fro$ it alone renown and fa$e as fro$ the
full e?position of his art. #t is certain that all the holiness and glory of the saints was the result of the love and $erits of
ChristD '/ph. @, =) but in co$parison with the e?cellence of Mary they see$ insignificant and as it were only rough
s*etches9 for in all the saints are found defects '# John 1, F). +ut this living i$age of the ,nlybegotten was free fro$ all
i$perfections9 and the first stro*es of his pencil in 0er were of greater beauty than the last touches in the highest angels
and saints. She is the $odel for all the perfection of holiness and virtues of all his elect, and the ut$ost li$it to which
the love of Christ can proceed in $ere creatures. .o one received any grace or glory that $ost holy Mary could not
receive, and She received all that others were incapable of receiving9 and her $ost blessed Son gave to 0er all that She
could receive and that 0e could co$$unicate.
The $ultitude and variety of the saints silently enhance the Artificer of their great sanctity, and the greatness of the
highest is $ade $ore conspicuous by the beauty of the lowestD but all of the$ together are a glorification of $ost holy
Mary. 6or by her inco$parable holiness they are all surpassed and they all parta*e of so $uch the greater felicity as
they i$itate 0er, whose holiness redounds over all. #f the $ost pure Mary has reached the highest pinnacle in the ran*s
of the <ust, She $ay also on this very account be considered as the instru$ent or the $otive power through which the
saints the$selves have reached their station. As we $ust <udge of her e?cellence 'even if only fro$ afar), by the labor
which Christ the (ord applied for her for$ation, let us consider what labor 0e spent upon 0er and how $uch upon the
whole Church. To establish and to enrich his Church 0e dee$ed it sufficient to spend only three years in preaching,
selecting the Apostles, teaching the people, and inculcating the evangelical law by his public life9 and this was a$ply
sufficient to acco$plish the wor* en<oined upon 0i$ by the eternal 6ather and to <ustify and sanctify all the true
believers. +ut in order to sta$p upon his $ost holy Mother the i$age of his holiness, 0e consu$ed not three years, but
ten ti$es three years, engaging in this wor* with all the power of his divine love, without ever ceasing hour after hour
to add grace to grace, gifts to gifts, blessings to blessings, and holiness to holiness. And at the end of all this 0e still left
0er in a state, in which 0e could continue to add e?cellence after his Ascension to his eternal 6ather as # will describe
in the third part. ,ur reason is unbalanced, our words fail at the greatness of this inco$parable (ady9 for She is elect as
the sun 'Cant. >, %)9 and her effulgence cannot be borne by terrestrial eyes, nor co$prehended by any earthly creatures.
Christ our 2edee$er began to $anifest his designs in regard to his heavenly Mother after they had co$e bac* fro$
/gypt to .aGareth, as # have already $entioned9 fro$ that ti$e on 0e continued to follow up his purpose in his Euality
as Teacher and as the divine /nlightener in all the $ysteries of the #ncarnation and 2ede$ption. After they returned
fro$ Jerusale$ in his twelfth year, the great ;ueen had a vision of the 4ivinity, not an intuitive vision, but one
consisting of intellectual i$ages9 one very e?alted and full of the new influences of the 4ivinity and of the secrets of
the Most 0igh. She was especially enlightened in regard to the decrees of the divine "ill concerning the law of grace,
which was now established by the incarnate "ord, and concerning the power, which was given to 0i$ in the consistory
of the $ost blessed Trinity. At the sa$e ti$e She saw for this purpose the eternal 6ather consigned to 0is Son the
sevenBsealed boo*, of which saint John spea*s 'Apoc. C, 1), and how none could be found either in heaven or on earth,
who could unseal and open it, until the (a$b bro*e its seals by his 1assion and 4eath and by his doctrines and $erits.
6or in this figure !od wished to inti$ate, that the secret of this boo* was nothing else than the new law of the !ospel
and the Church founded upon it in this world.
Then the heavenly ;ueen saw in spirit that, by decree of the $ost blessed Trinity, She was to be the first one to read
and understand this boo*9 that her ,nlybegotten was to open it for 0er and $anifest it all to 0er, while She was to put
it perfectly into practice9 that She was the first one, who was to acco$pany the "ord, and who was to occupy the first
place ne?t to 0i$ on the way to heaven, which 0e had opened up for $ortals and traced out in this boo*. #n 0er, as his
true Mother, was to be deposited this new Testa$ent. She saw how the Son of the eternal 6ather and of 0erself
accepted this decree with great pleasure9 and how his sacred hu$anity obeyed it with ineffable <oy on her account.
She issued fro$ this ecstatic vision and betoo* 0erself to her $ost holy Son, prostrating 0erself at his feet and sayingD
My (ord, $y (ight and $y Teacher, behold thy unworthy Mother prepared for the fulfill$ent of thy wishes ad$it $e
anew as thy disciple and servant and $a*e use of $e as the instru$ent of thy wisdo$ and power. /?ecute in $e thy
pleasure and that of thy eternal 6ather. 0er $ost holy Son received 0er with the $a<esty and authority of a divine
Teacher and instructed 0er in $ost e?alted $ysteries. #n $ost persuasive and powerful words 0e e?plained to 0er the
profoundest $eanings of the wor*s en<oined upon 0i$ by the eternal 6ather in regard to the 2ede$ption of $an, the
founding of the Church and the establish$ent of the new evangelical law. 0e declared and reaffir$ed, that in the
e?ecution of these high and hidden $ysteries She was to be his Co$panion and Coad<utri?, receiving and en<oying the
firstBfruits of grace9 and that therefore She, the $ost pure (ady, was to follow 0i$ in his labors until his death on the
Cross with a $agnani$ous and well prepared heart in invincible and unhesitating constancy. 0e added heavenly
instruction such as enabled 0er to prepare for the reception of the whole evangelical (aw, the understanding and
practice of all its precepts and counsels in their highest perfection. ,ther sacra$ental secrets concerning his wor*s in
this world the Child Jesus $anifested to his $ost blessed Mother on this occasion. And the heavenly (ady $et all his
words and intentions with profound hu$ility, obedience, reverence, than*sgiving and $ost ardent love.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//.
The Most 0igh who in sheer goodness and bounty given e?istence to all creatures and denies his providential care to
none, faithfully supplies all souls with light by which they can enter into the *nowledge of 0i$ and of eternal life
provided they do not of their own prevent and obscure this light by sin or give up the Euest of the *ingdo$ of heaven.
To the souls who$ according to his secret <udg$ents, 0e calls to his Church, 0e shows hi$self still $ore liberal. 6or
with the grace of +aptis$ 0e infuses into the$ not only those virtues, which are called essentially infused and which
the created cannot $erit by its own labors and efforts9 but also those, which are accidentally infused and which it can
$erit by its own labors and efforts. These the (ord gives freely beforehand, in order that the soul $ay be $ore prepared
Gealous in the observance of his holy (aw. #n other souls, in addition to the co$$on light of faith, the (ord, in his
cle$ency grants supernatural gifts of *nowledge and virtue for the better understanding of the evangelical $ysteries
and for the $ore Gealous practice of good wor*s. #n this *ind of gifts 0e has been $ore liberal with thee than with
$any generations9 obliging thee thereby to distinguish thyself in loving correspondence due to 0i$ and to hu$ble
thyself before 0i$ to the very dust.
#n order that thou $ayest be well instructed and infor$ed, # wish to warn thee as a solicitous and loving Mother of the
cunning of satan for the destruction of these wor*s of the (ord. 6ro$ the very $o$ent in which $ortals begin to have
the use of their reason, each one of the$ is followed by $any watchful and relentless de$ons. 6or as soon as the souls
are in a position to raise their thoughts to the *nowledge of their !od and co$$ence the practice of the virtues infused
by +aptis$, these de$ons, with incredible fury and astuteness, see* to root out the divine seed9 and if they cannot
succeed in this, they try to hinder its growth, and prevent it fro$ bringing forth fruit by engaging $en in vicious,
useless, or trifling things. Thus they divert their thoughts fro$ faith and hope and fro$ the pursuit of other virtues,
leading the$ to forget that they are Christians and diverting their attention fro$ the *nowledge of !od and fro$ the
$ysteries of the 2ede$ption and of life eternal. Moreover the sa$e ene$y instills into the parents a base neglectfulness
and carnal love for their offspring9 and he incites the teachers to carelessness, so that the children find no support
against evil in their education, but beco$e depraved and spoiled by $any bad habits, losing sight of virtue and of their
good inclinations and going the way of perdition.
+ut the $ost *ind (ord does not forget the$ in this danger and 0e renews in the$ his holy inspirations and special
helps. 0e supplies the$ with the holy teachings of the Church by his preachers and $inisters. 0e holds out to the$ the
aid of the Sacra$ents and $any other induce$ents to *eep the$ on the path of life. That those who wal* in the way of
salvation are the s$aller nu$ber, is due to the vice and depraved habits i$bibed in youth and nourished in childhood.
6or that saying of 4euterono$y is very trueD As the days of thy youth, so also shall thy old age be '4eut. ==, @C).
0ence the de$ons gain courage and increase their tyrannical influence over souls in the early years of $anJs life,
hoping that they will be able to induce $en to co$$it so $uch the greater and the $ore freEuent sins in later years, the
$ore they have succeeded in drawing the$ into s$all insignificant faults in their childhood. +y these they draw the$
on to a state of blind presu$ption9 for with each sin the soul loses $ore and $ore the power of resistance, sub<ects itself
to the de$on, and falls under the sway of its tyrannical ene$ies. The $iserable yo*e of wic*edness is $ore and $ore
fir$ly fastened upon it9 it is trodden underfoot by its own iniEuity and urged onward under the sway of the devil fro$
one precipice to another, fro$ abyss to abyss '1s. &1, F)D a chastise$ent $erited by all those, that allow the$selves to
be overco$e by evilBdoing in the beginning. +y these $eans (ucifer has hurled into hell so great a nu$ber of souls and
continues so to hurl the$ every day, rising up in his pride against the Al$ighty. #n this $anner has he been able to
introduce into the world his tyrannical power, spreading a$ong $en forgetfulness of death, <udg$ent, heaven and hell,
and casting so $any nations fro$ abyss to abyss of dar*ness and bestial errors, such are contained in the heresies and
false sects of the infidels. 4o thou therefore beware of this terrible danger, $y daughter, and let not the $e$ory of the
law of thy !od, his precepts and co$$ands, and the truths of the Catholic Church and the doctrines of the !ospels ever
fail in thy $ind. (et not a day pass in which thou dost not spend $uch ti$e in $editating upon all these9 and e?hort thy
religious and all those who listen to thee the sa$e. 6or thy ene$y and adversary is laboring with ceaseless vigilance to
obscure thy understanding in forgetfulness of the divine law, see*ing to withdraw thy will, which is a blind faculty,
fro$ the practice of <ustification. This, thou *nowest, consists in acts of living faith, trustful hope, ardent love, all
co$ing fro$ a contrite and hu$ble heart '1s. CA, 1%).
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 ###.
T0/ C,.T#.7/4 12A3/2S ,6 J/S7S A.4 MA23 6,2 MA.-#.4.
The $ore our li$ited discourse see*s to $a*e clear and e?tol the $ysterious wor*s of Christ, our 2edee$er, and of his
$ost holy Mother, the $ore evident it beco$es, that $ere hu$an words are far fro$ being able to co$pass the
greatness of these sacra$ents9 for, as /celesiasticus says, they surpass all our words of praise '/cclus. &, ==). .or can
we ever fatho$ or co$pass the$, and there will always re$ain $any greater secrets than those we have sought to
e?plain. 6or those which we do e?plain are very insignificant, and we do not deserve to co$prehend, nor to spea* about
the few, which we atte$pt to fatho$. #nadeEuate is the intellect of the highest seraphi$ to weigh and pierce the secrets
that passed between Jesus and Mary during the years in which They lived together. /specially is this true of the years,
of which # a$ now spea*ing, during which the Teacher of life instructed 0er in everything that was to happen in the
law of grace9 na$ely, how $uch this new law was to acco$plish in this the si?th age of the world, which includes these
si?teen hundred and fiftyBseven years and all the un*nown future until the end of the "orld. #n all this the $ost blessed
(ady was instructed in the school of her divine Son9 for 0e foretold 0er all by word of $outh, pointing out the ti$e and
place of each event, the *ingdo$s and provinces of their history during the e?istence of the Church.
All these hidden sacra$ents ordinarily transpired in that hu$ble oratory of the ;ueen, where the greatest of all
$ysteries, the #ncarnation of the divine "ord in her virginal wo$b, had ta*en place. Though it was such a narrow and
poorly furnished roo$, consisting $erely of the bare and rude walls, yet it enclosed the grandeur of 0i$ who is
i$$ense and shed forth all the $a<esty and sacredness, which since then is attached to the rich te$ples and
innu$erable sanctuaries of the world. #n this holy of holies the 0ighpriest of the new (aw ordinarily perfor$ed his
prayers, which always concluded with fervent intercessions for $en. At these ti$es also 0e spo*e to his 5irgin Mother
about all the wor*s of 2ede$ption and co$$unicated to 0er the rich gifts and treasures of grace, which 0e had co$e
to shower upon the children of light in the new Testa$ent and in his holy Church. Many ti$es did 0e beseech his
eternal 6ather not to allow the sins and the ingratitude of $en to hinder their 2ede$ption. As Christ in his
fore*nowledge was always conscious of the sins of the hu$an race and of the da$nation of so $any than*less souls,
the thought of dying for the$ caused 0i$ to sweat blood $any ti$es on these occasions. Although the /vangelists
because they never intended to relate all the events of his life, $ention this sweating of blood but once before his
1assion, it is certain that this happened $any ti$es and in the presence of his $ost holy Mother9 and has been inti$ated
to $e several ti$es.
4uring prayer our blessed Master so$eti$es assu$ed a *neeling posture, so$eti$es 0e was prostrate in the for$ of a
cross or at other ti$es raised in the air in this sa$e position which 0e loved so $uch. #n the presence of his Mother 0e
was wont to prayD , $ost blessed CrossH "hen shall thy ar$s receive $ine, when shall # rest on thee and when shall
$y ar$s, nailed to thine, be spread to welco$e all sinnersI 'Matth. %, 1=). +ut as # ca$e fro$ heaven for no other
purpose than to invite the$ to i$itate Me and associate with Me, they are even now and forever open to e$brace and
enrich all $en. Co$e then, all ye that are blind, to the light. Co$e ye poor, to the treasures of $y grace. Co$e, ye little
ones, to the caresses and delights of your true 6ather. Co$e, ye afflicted and worn out ones, for # will relieve and
refresh you 'Matth. 11, @F). Co$e, ye <ust, since you are $y possession and inheritance. Co$e all ye children of Ada$,
for # call upon you all. # a$ the way, the truth and the life '1=, >), and # will deny nothing that you desire to receive. My
eternal 6ather, they are the wor*s of thy hands, do not despise the$9 for # will offer Myself as a sacrifice on the Cross,
in order to restore the$ to <ustice and freedo$. #f they be but willing # will lead the$ bac* to the boso$ of thy elect and
to their heavenly *ingdo$, where thy na$e shall be glorified.
At all these prayers the beloved Mother was present, and in her purest soul, as in the purest crystal, the light of the
,nlybegotten was reflected. 0is interior and e?terior prayers reBechoed in 0er, causing 0er to i$itate his petitions and
prayers in the sa$e postures. "hen the great (ady for the first ti$e saw 0i$ sweat blood, her $aternal heart was
transfi?ed with sorrow and filled with astonish$ent at the effects caused in Christ, our (ord, by the sins and
ingratitudes co$$itted by $en, foreseen by the (ord and *nown to 0er. #n the anguish of her heart She turned to her
fellow $ortals and e?clai$edD , children of $enH (ittle do ye understand how highly the (ord estee$s his i$age and
li*eness in youH 6or, as the price of your salvation, 0e offers his own blood and dee$s it little to shed all of it for you.
, could # but unite your wills with $ine, in order that # $ight bring you to love and obey 0i$H +lessed by his right
hand be the grateful and the <ust a$ong $en, who will be faithful children of their 6atherH (et those be filled with light
and with the treasures of grace, who will respond to the ardent desires of $y (ord in regard to their salvation. "ould
that # could be the insignificant slave of the children of Ada$ and thereby induce and assist the$ to put an end to their
sins and their own da$nationH (ord and MasterH (ife and light of $y soulH "ho can be so hard of heart and hostile to
hi$self, that he should not feel hi$self urged on by thy blessingsI "ho can be so ungrateful and so unheedful, as to
ignore thy $ost burning loveI 0ow can $y heart bear with $en, who, being so favored by thy bounty, are so coarse
and rebelliousI , children of Ada$H Turn your inhu$an cruelty upon $e. Afflict $e and insult $e as $uch as you
will, only pay $y beloved (ord the reverence and love which you owe to his endear$ents. Thou, $y Son and (ord, art
(ight of light, Son of the eternal 6ather '0eb. 1, =), as everlasting, as i$$ense, as infinite as 0e, eEual to 0i$ in
essence and attributes, being with 0i$ one !od and one supre$e Ma<esty 'John 1A, =A). Thou art chosen a$ong
thousands 'Cant. C, 1A), beautiful above all the sons of $en, holy, innocent and without defect of any *ind. 0ow then,
eternal !od, can $ortals ignore the ob<ect of their $ost noble loveI The 1rinciple, which gives the$ e?istenceI The
/nd wherein consists their eternal true happinessI , that # could give $y life in order that all $ight escape their errorH
Many other senti$ents of burning love, far beyond the powers of $y heart and tongue, this heavenly (ady uttered in
her doveBli*e sincerity9 and in this love, and in profoundest reverence, She wiped the sweat fro$ the face of her
sweetest Son. At other ti$es She found 0i$ in Euite a different condition, shining with glory and transfigured as
afterwards on $ount Tabor 'Matth. 17, @), in the $idst of a great $ultitude of angels, who adored 0i$ and in the sweet
har$ony of their voices gave praise and than*sgiving to the ,nlybegotten of the 6ather $ade $an. These celestial
voices our blessed (ady heard and She <oined hers with the$. At other ti$es this happened while 0e was not
transfigured9 for the divine will ordained that the sensitive part of the divine hu$anity of the "ord should so$eti$es
have this solace, while at other ti$es it should en<oy also the transfiguring overflow of the glory of the soul into the
body9 yet this only at great intervals. +ut whenever the heavenly Mother found 0i$ in this state and beheld his
glorified body, or when She heard the hy$ns of the angels, She participated in these delights to such an e?tent, that, if
her spirit had not been so strong, and if her (ord and Son had not fortified 0er, She would have lost all her natural
powers9 and even as it was, the holy angels had to support the failing strength of her body on those occasions.
Many ti$es, when her divine Son was in one of these states of suffering or <oy,

and was praying to the eternal 6ather or,
as it were, conferring with 0i$ concerning the highest $ysteries of the 2ede$ption, the 1erson of the 6ather approved
or conceded his petitions for the relief of $en, or showed to the $ost holy hu$anity of Christ the secret decrees of
predestination, reprobation or conde$nation of so$e souls. All this our blessed (ady heard, hu$bling 0erself to the
dust. "ith uneEualed reverence and fear She adored the ,$nipotent, and acco$panied her Son in his prayers, petitions
and than*sgivings, offered up to the eternal 6ather for $an*ind in praise of all his inscrutable <udg$ents. Such secrets
and $ysteries the $ost prudent 5irgin conferred in her heart, and stored the$ up in her $e$ory, converting the$ into
the $aterial and nourish$ent of her fiery love. .one of these blessings and secret favors were in her unprofitable or
fruitless. To all of the$ She corresponded according to the in$ost desires of her (ord. #n all of the$ She fulfilled the
highest intentions of the Al$ighty, and all his wor*s found due response fro$ 0er as far as was possible fro$ a $ere
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, one of the reasons why $en should call $e Mother of $ercy, is the *nowledge of $y loving desire that
all be satiated with the flood of grace and taste the sweetness of the (ord as # $yself. # call and invite all to co$e with
$e to the fountain of the 4ivinity. (et the $ost poor and afflicted approach, for if they respond and follow $e, # will
offer the$ $y protection and help, and # will intercede for the$ with $y Son and obtain for the$ the hidden $anna,
which will give to the$ nourish$ent and life 'Apoc. @, @7). 4eny thyself and put off all the wor*s of hu$an wea*ness,
and, by the true light, which thou hast received concerning the wor*s of $y Son and $y own, conte$plate and study
thyself in this $irror, in order to arrive at that beauty, which the highest -ing see*s in thee.
Since this is the $ost powerful $eans for perfection in thy wor*s, # wish that thou write this advice into thy heart.
"henever thou $ust perfor$ interior or e?terior wor*, consider beforehand whether what thou art going to say or do
corresponds with the doings of thy (ord, and whether thou hast the intention thereby to honor thy (ord and benefit thy
neighbor. As soon as thou art sure that this is thy $otive, e?ecute thy underta*ing in union with 0i$ and in i$itation of
0i$9 but if thou findest not this $otive let the underta*ing rest. This was $y invariable course in pursuing the i$itation
of $y (ord and Teacher though in $e there was no reluctance toward the good but only the desire of i$itating 0i$
perfectly. #n this i$itation consists the fruit of his holy teaching, in which 0e urges us to do, what is $ost pleasing and
acceptable to the eternal !od. Moreover fro$ this day on be $indful not to underta*e any wor*, not to spea* or even
thin* any of anything, without first as*ing $y per$ission and consulting with $e as thy Mother and Teacher. And as
soon as # answer thee give than*s to the (ord9 if # do not answer after continued inEuiry, # pro$ise and assure thee on
the part of the (ord, that 0e will, nevertheless, give thee light as to what will be according to his $ost perfect will. #n
all things, however, sub<ect thyself to the guidance of thy spiritual director, and never forget this practiceH
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 #5.
T0/ 0A113 4/AT0 ,6 SA#.T J,S/10.
Already eight years saint Joseph had been e?ercised by his infir$ities and sufferings, and his noble soul been purified
$ore and $ore each day in the crucible of affliction and of divine love. As the ti$e passed his bodily strength gradually
di$inished and he approached the unavoidable end, in which the stipend of death is paid by all of us children of Ada$
'0eb. %, @7). #n li*e $anner also increased the care and solicitude of his heavenly Spouse, our ;ueen, assisting and
serving hi$ with unbro*en punctuality. 1erceiving, in her e?alted wisdo$, that the day and hour for his departure fro$
this cu$brous earth was very near, the loving (ady betoo* 0erself to her blessed Son and said to 0i$D (ord !od Most
0igh, Son of the eternal 6ather and Savior of the world, by thy divine light # see the hour approaching which thou hast
decreed for the death of thy servant Joseph. # beseech Thee, by thy ancient $ercies and by thy infinite bounty, to assist
hi$ in that hour by thy al$ighty power. (et his death be as precious in thy eyes, as the uprightness of his life was
pleasing to Thee, so that he $ay depart in peace and in the hope of the eternal reward to be given to hi$ on the day in
which Thou shalt open the gates of heaven for all the faithful. +e $indful, $y Son, of the hu$ility and love of thy
servant9 of his e?ceeding great $erits and virtues9 of the fidelity and solicitude by which this <ust $an has supported
Thee and $e, thy hu$ble hand$aid, in the sweat of his brow.
,ur Savior answeredD My Mother, thy reEuest is pleasing to $e, and the $erits of Joseph are acceptable in $y eyes. #
will now assist hi$ and will assign hi$ a place a$ong the princes of $y people '1s. 11C, 1C), so high that he will be
the ad$iration of the angels and will cause the$ and all $en to brea* forth in highest praise. "ith none of the hu$an
born shall # do as with thy spouse. The great (ady gave than*s to her sweetest Son for this pro$ise9 and, for nine days
and nights before the death of saint Joseph he uninterruptedly en<oyed the co$pany and attendance of Mary or her
divine Son. +y co$$and of the (ord the holy angels, three ti$es on each of the nine days, furnished celestial $usic,
$i?ing their hy$ns of praise with the benedictions of the sic* $an. Moreover, their hu$ble but $ost precious dwelling
was filled with the sweetest fragrance and odors so wonderful that they co$forted not only saint Joseph, but invigorated
all the nu$erous persons who happened to co$e near the house.
,ne day before he died, being wholly infla$ed with divine love on account of these blessings, he was wrapped in an
ecstasy which lasted twentyBfour hours. The (ord hi$self supplied strength for this $iraculous intercourse. #n this
ecstasy he saw clearly the divine /ssence, and, $anifested therein, all that he had believed by faith the
inco$prehensible 4ivinity, the $ystery of the #ncarnation and 2ede$ption, the $ilitant Church with all its Sacra$ents
and $ysteries. The blessed Trinity co$$issioned and assigned hi$ as the $essenger of our Savior to the holy
1atriarchs and 1rophets of li$bo9 and co$$anded hi$ to prepare the$ for their issuing forth fro$ this boso$ of
Abraha$ to eternal rest and happiness. All this $ost holy Mary saw reflected in the soul of her divine Son together with
all the other $ysteries, <ust as they had been $ade *nown to her beloved spouse and She offered her sincerest than*s
for all this to her (ord.
"hen saint Joseph issued fro$ this ecstasy his face shone with wonderful splendor and his soul was transfor$ed by his
vision of the essence of !od. 0e as*ed his blessed Spouse to give hi$ her benediction9 but She reEuested her divine
Son to bless hi$ in her stead, which 0e did. Then the great ;ueen of hu$ility, falling on her *nees, besought saint
Joseph to bless 0er, as being her husband and head. .ot without divine i$pulse the $an of !od fulfilled this reEuest
for the consolation of his $ost prudent Spouse. She *issed the hand with which he blessed 0er and as*ed hi$ to salute
the <ust ones of li$bo in her na$e. The $ost hu$ble Joseph, sealing his life with an act of selfBabase$ent, as*ed
pardon of his heavenly Spouse for all his deficiencies in her service and love and begged 0er to grant hi$ her
assistance and intercession in this hour of passing away. The holy $an also rendered hu$blest than*s to her Son for all
the blessings of his life and especially for those received during this sic*ness. The last words which saint Joseph spo*e
to his Spouse wereD +lessed art Thou a$ong all wo$en and elect of all the creatures. (et angels and $en praise Thee9
let all the generations *now, praise and e?alt thy dignity9 and $ay in Thee be *nown, adored and e?alted the na$e of
the Most 0igh through all the co$ing ages9 $ay 0e be eternally praised for having created Thee so pleasing in his eyes
and in the sight of all the blessed spirits. # hope to en<oy thy sight in the heavenly fatherland.
Then this $an of !od, turning toward Christ, our (ord, in profoundest reverence, wished to *neel before 0i$. +ut the
sweetest Jesus, co$ing near, received hi$ in his ar$s, where, reclining his head upon the$, Joseph saidD My highest
(ord and !od, Son of the eternal 6ather, Creator and 2edee$er of the "orld, give thy blessing to thy servant and the
wor*s of thy hand9 pardon, , $ost $erciful -ing, the faults which # have co$$itted in thy service and intercourse. #
e?tol and $agnify Thee and render eternal and heartfelt than*s to Thee for having, in thy ineffable condescension,
chosen $e to be the spouse of thy true Mother9 let thy greatness and glory be $y than*sgiving for all eternity. The
2edee$er of the world gave hi$ his benediction, sayingD My father, rest in peace and in the grace of $y eternal 6ather
and $ine9 and to the 1rophets and Saints, who await thee in li$bo, bring the <oyful news of the approach of their
rede$ption. At these words of Jesus, and reclining in his ar$s, the $ost fortunate saint Joseph e?pired and the (ord
hi$self closed his eyes. At the sa$e ti$e the $ultitude of the angels, who attended upon their -ing and ;ueen, intoned
hy$ns of praise in loud and har$onious voices. +y co$$and of the (ord they carried his $ost holy soul to the
gatheringBplace of the 1atriarchs and 1rophets, where it was i$$ediately recogniGed by all as clothed in the splendors
of inco$parable grace, as the putative father and the inti$ate friend of the 2edee$er, worthy of highest veneration.
Confor$ably to the will and $andate of the (ord, his arrival spread inutterable <oy in this countless gathering of the
saints by the announce$ent of their speedy rescue.
#t is necessary to $ention that the long sic*ness and sufferings which preceded the death of saint Joseph was not the
sole cause and occasion of his passing away9 for with all his infir$ities he could have e?tended the ter$ of his life, if to
the$ he had not <oined the fire of the intense love within his boso$. #n order that his death $ight be $ore the triu$ph
of his love than of the effects of original sin, the (ord suspended the special and $iraculous assistance by which his
natural forces were enabled to withstand the violence of his love during his lifeti$e. As soon as this divine assistance
was withdrawn, nature was overco$e by his love and the bonds and chains, by which this $ost holy soul was detained
in its $ortal body, were at once dissolved and the separation of the soul fro$ the body in which death consists too*
place. (ove was then the real cause of the death of saint Joseph, as # have said above. This was at the sa$e ti$e the
greatest and $ost glorious of all his infir$ities for in it death is but a sleep of the body and the beginning of real life.
The $ost fortunate of $en, saint Joseph reached an age of si?ty years and a few days. 6or at the age of thirtyBthree he
espoused the blessed 5irgin lived with 0er a little longer than twentyBseven years as her husband. "hen saint Joseph
died, She had co$pleted the half of her fortyBsecond year9 for She was espoused to saint Joseph at the age of fourteen
'as stated in the first part, boo* second, chapter twentyBsecond). The twentyBseven years of her $arried life co$pleted
her fortyBfirst year, to which $ust be added the ti$e fro$ the eighth of Septe$ber until the death of her blessed spouse.
The ;ueen of heaven still re$ained in the sa$e disposition of natural perfection as in her thirtyBthird year9 for, as
already stated in the thirteenth chapter of this boo*, She showed no signs of decline, or of $ore advanced age, or of
wea*ness, but always in that sa$e $ost perfect state of wo$anhood. She felt the natural sorrow due to the death of
saint Joseph9 for She loved hi$ as her spouse, as a $an preBe$inent in perfection and holiness, as her protector and
# perceive a certain difference in the graces given to this great 1atriarch and those vouchsafed to other saints9 for $any
saints were endowed with graces and gifts that are intended not for the increase of their own sanctity, but for the
advance of the service of the Most 0igh in other souls9 they were, so to say, gifts and graces freely given and not
dependent upon the holiness of the receiver. +ut in our blessed 1atriarch all the divine favors were productive of
personal virtue perfection9 for the $ysterious purpose, toward which they tended and helped along, was closely
connected with the holiness of his own life. The $ore angelic and holy he grew to be, so $uch the $ore worthy was he
to be the spouse of $ost holy Mary, the depository and treasureBhouse of heavenly sacra$ents. 0e was to be a $iracle
of holiness, as he really was. This $arvelous holiness co$$enced with the for$ation of his body in the wo$b of his
Mother. #n this the providence of !od hi$self interfered, regulating the co$position of the four radical hu$ors of his
body with e?tre$e nicety of proportion and securing for hi$ that evenly te$pered disposition which $ade his body a
blessed earth fit for the abode of an e?Euisite soul and wellBbalanced $ind '"isdo$ F, 1%). 0e was sanctified in the
wo$b of his $other seven $onths after his conception, and the leaven of sin was destroyed in hi$ for the whole course
of life, never having felt any i$pure or disorderly $ove$ent. Although he did not receive the use of his reason together
with this first sanctification, which consisted principally in <ustification fro$ original sin, yet his $other at the ti$e felt
a wonderful <oy of the 0oly !host. "ithout understanding entirely the $ystery she elicited great acts of virtue and
believed that her Son, or who$ever she bore in her wo$b, would be wonderful in the sight of !od and $en.
The holy child Joseph was born $ost beautiful and perfect of body and caused in his parents and in his relations an
e?traordinary delight, so$ething li*e that caused by the birth of saint John the +aptist, though the cause of it was $ore
hidden. The (ord hastened the use of his reason, perfecting it in his third year, endowing it with infused science and
aug$enting his soul with new graces and virtues. 6ro$ that ti$e the child began to *now !od by faith, and also by
natural reasoning and science, as the cause and Author of all things. 0e eagerly listened and understood profoundly all
that was taught hi$ in regard to !od and his wor*s. At this pre$ature age he already practiced the highest *inds of
prayer and conte$plation and eagerly engaged in the e?ercise of the virtues proper to his youth 9 so that, at the ti$e
when others co$e to the use of reason, at the age of seven years or $ore, saint Joseph was a perfect $an in the use of it
and in holiness. 0e was of a *ind disposition, loving, affable, sincere, showing inclinations not only holy but angelic,
growing in virtue and perfection and advancing toward his espousal with $ost holy Mary by an altogether
irreproachable life.
6or the confir$ation and increase of his good Eualities was then added the intercession of the blessed (ady9 for as soon
as She was infor$ed that the (ord wished 0er to enter the $arried state with hi$, She earnestly besought the (ord to
sanctify saint Joseph and inspire hi$ with $ost chaste thoughts and desires in confor$ity with her own. The (ord
listened to her and per$itted 0er to see what great effects his right hand wrought in the $ind and spirit of the patriarch
saint Joseph. They were so copious, that they cannot be described in hu$an words. 0e infused into his soul the $ost
perfect habits of all the virtues and gifts. 0e balanced anew all his faculties and filled hi$ with grace, confir$ing it in
an ad$irable $anner. #n the virtue and perfection of chastity the holy spouse was elevated higher than the seraphi$9 for
the purity, which they possessed without body, saint Joseph possessed in his earthly body and in $ortal flesh9 never did
an i$age of the i$purities of the ani$al and sensible nature engage, even for one $o$ent, any of his faculties. This
freedo$ fro$ all such i$aginations and his angelic si$plicity fitted hi$ for the co$panionship and presence of the
$ost 1ure a$ong all creatures, and without this e?cellence he would not have been worthy of so great a dignity and rare
Also in the other virtues he was wonderfully distinguished, especially in charity9 for he dwelt at the fountainhead of that
living water, which flows on to eternal life 'John &, 1&)9 he was in close pro?i$ity to that sphere of fire and was
consu$ed without resistance. The best that can be said of the charity of our saint is what # have already said in the
preceding chapter na$ely, that his love of !od was really the cause of his $ortal sic*ness and of his death. The $anner
of his death was a privilege of his singular love, for his sweet sighs of love surpassed and finally put an end to those of
his sic*ness, being far $ore powerful. As the ob<ects of his love, Christ and his Mother, were present with hi$ always
and as both of The$ were $ore closely bound to hi$ than to any of the wo$anBborn, his $ost pure and faithful heart
was unavoidably consu$ed by the loving effects of such a close union. +lessed be the Author of such great wonders
and blessed be the $ost fortunate of $ortals, saint Joseph, who so worthily corresponded to their love. 0e deserves to
be *nown and e?tolled by all the generations of $en and all nations since the (ord has wrought such things with no
other $an and to none has 0e shown such love.
The divine visions and revelations vouchsafed to saint Joseph, # have particularly $entioned in the course of this
history '5ol. ## &@@, &@=, &71)9 but there were $any $ore than can be described, and the greatest of the$ was his
having *nown the $ysteries of the relation between Christ and his Mother and his having lived in their co$pany for so
$any years as the putative father of the (ord and as the true spouse of the ;ueen of heaven. +ut # have been infor$ed
concerning certain other privileges conferred upon saint Joseph by the Most 0igh on account of his great holiness,
which are especially i$portant to those who as* his intercession in a proper $anner. #n virtue of these special privileges
the intercession of saint Joseph is $ost powerfulD first, for attaining the virtue of purity and overco$ing the sensual
inclinations of the flesh9 secondly, for procuring powerful help to escape sin and return to the friendship of !od9
thirdly, for increasing the love and devotion to $ost holy Mary9 fourthly, for securing the grace of a happy death and
protection against the de$ons in that hour9 fifthly, for inspiring the de$ons with terror at the $ere $ention of his na$e
by his clients9 si?thly, for gaining health of body and assistance in all *inds of difficulties9 seventhly, for securing issue
of children in fa$ilies. These and $any other favors !od confers upon those who properly and with good disposition
see* the intercession of the spouse of our ;ueen, saint Joseph. # beseech all the faithful children of the Church to be
very devout to hi$ and they will e?perience these favors in reality, if they dispose the$selves as they should in order to
receive and $erit the$.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, although thou hast described $y spouse, saint Joseph, as the $ost noble a$ong the princes and saints of
the heavenly Jerusale$9 yet neither canst thou properly $anifest his e$inent sanctity, nor can any of the $ortals *now
it fully before they arrive at the vision of the 4ivinity. Then all of the$ will be filled with wonder and praise as the
(ord will $a*e the$ capable of understanding this sacra$ent. ,n the last day, when all $en shall be <udged, the
da$ned will bitterly bewail their sins, which prevented the$ fro$ appreciating this powerful $eans of their salvation,
and availing the$selves, as they easily could have, of this intercessor to gain the friendship of the <ust Judge. The whole
hu$an race has $uch undervalued the privileges and prerogatives conceded to $y blessed spouse and they *now not
what his intercession with !od is able to do. # assure thee, $y dearest, that he is one of the greatly favored personages
in the divine presence and has i$$ense power to stay the ar$s of divine vengeance.
# desire that thou be very than*ful to the divine condescension for vouchsafing thee so $uch light and *nowledge
regarding this $ystery, and also for the favor which # a$ doing thee therein. 6ro$ now on, during the rest of thy $ortal
life, see that thou advance in devotion and in hearty love toward $y spouse, and that thou bless the (ord for thus having
favored hi$ with such high privileges and for having re<oiced $e so $uch in the *nowledge of all his e?cellences. #n
all thy necessities thou $ust avail thyself of his intercession. Thou shouldst induce $any to venerate hi$ and see that
thy own religious distinguish the$selves in their devotion. That which $y spouse as*s of the (ord in heaven is granted
upon the earth and on his intercession depend $any and e?traordinary favors for $en, if they do not $a*e the$selves
unworthy of receiving the$. All these privileges were to be a reward for the a$iable perfection of this wonderful saint
and for his great virtues9 for divine cle$ency is favorably drawn forth by the$ and loo*s upon saint Joseph with
generous liberality, ready to shower down its $arvelous $ercies upon all those who avail the$selves of his
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 0+
T0/ +(/SS/4 M,T0/2 ,66/2S 0/2 S,. AS 5#CT#M T, T0/
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The love of our great ;ueen and (ady for her divine Son $ust always re$ain the standard by which we $ust $easure
as well her actions as all her e$otions either of <oy or sorrow during her earthly life. +ut we cannot $easure the
greatness of her love itself, nor can the holy angels $easure it, e?cept by the love which they see in !od by the intuitive
vision. All that can ever be e?pressed by our inadeEuate words, si$iles and analogies, is but the least portion of what
this heavenly furnace of love really contained. 6or She loved Jesus as the Son of the eternal 6ather, eEual to 0i$ in
essence and in all the divine attributes and perfections9 She loved 0i$ as her own natural Son, Son to 0er in as far as
0e was $an, for$ed of her own flesh and blood9 She loved 0i$ because as $an 0e was the Saint of saints and the
$eritorious cause of all other holiness '4an. 11, @&). 0e was the $ost beautiful a$ong the sons of $en '1s. &&, =). 0e
was the $ost dutiful Son of his Mother, her $ost $agnificent +enefactor9 since it was 0e, that by his sonship, had
raised 0er to the highest dignity possible a$ong creatures. 0e had e?alted 0er a$ong all and above all by the treasures
of his 4ivinity and by conferring upon 0er the do$inion over all creation together with favors, blessings and graces,
such as were never to be conferred upon any other being.
These $otives and foundations of her love were established and as it were, all co$prehended in the wisdo$ of the
heavenly (ady, together with $any others, which only her e?alted *nowledge could appreciate. #n her heart there was
no hindrance of love, since it was the $ost innocent and pure9 She was not ungrateful, because her profoundest hu$ility
urged 0er to a $ost faithful correspondence9 She was not re$iss, because in 0er the $ost abundant grace wrought with
all its efficacy9 She was not slow or careless since She was filled with $ost Gealous and diligent fervor 9 not forgetful,
since her $ost faithful $e$ory was constantly fi?ed upon the blessings received and upon the reasons and the precepts
of deepest love. She $oved in the sphere of the divine love itself, since She re$ained in his visible presence and
attended the school of divine love of her Son, copying his wor*s and his doings in his very co$pany. .othing was
wanting to this peerless ,ne a$ong lovers for entertaining love without li$itations of $easure or $anner. This $ost
beautiful Moon then being at its fullness, and loo*ing into this Sun of <ustice <ust as it had risen li*e a divine aurora
fro$ height to height and reached the noontide splendor of the $ost clear light of grace9 this Moon, Mary, detached
fro$ all $aterial creatures and entirely transfor$ed by the light of this Sun, having e?perienced on her part all the
effects of his reciprocal love, favors and gifts, in the height of her blessedness, at a ti$e when the loss of all these
blessings in her Son $ade it $ost arduous, heard the voice of the eternal 6ather, calling 0er as once 0e called upon her
prototype, Abraha$, and de$anding the deposit of all her love and hope, her beloved #saac '!en. @@, 1).
The $ost prudent Mother was not unaware, the ti$e of her sacrifice was approaching9 for her sweetest Son had already
entered the thirtieth year of his life and the ti$e and place for satisfying the debt 0e had assu$ed was at hand. +ut in
the full possession of the Treasure, which represented all her happiness, Mary was still considering its loss as far off,
not having as yet had its e?perience. The hour therefore drawing near, She was wrapt in a $ost e?alted vision and felt
that She was being called and placed in the presence of the throne of the $ost blessed Trinity. 6ro$ it issued a voice of
wonderful power saying to 0erD Mary, $y 4aughter and Spouse, offer to Me thy onlybegotten Son in sacrifice. +y
the living power of these words ca$e to 0er the light and intelligence of the Al$ightyJs will, and in it the $ost blessed
Mother understood the decree of the 2ede$ption of $an through the 1assion and 4eath of her $ost holy Son, together
with all that fro$ now on would happen in the preaching and public life of the Savior. As this *nowledge was renewed
and perfected in 0er, She felt her soul overpowered by senti$ents of sub<ection, hu$ility, love of !od and $an,
co$passion and tenderest Sorrow for all that her Son was to suffer.
+ut with an undis$ayed and $agnani$ous heart She gave answer to the Most 0ighD /ternal -ing and o$nipotent !od
of infinite wisdo$ and goodness, all that has being outside of Thee e?ists solely for thy $ercy and greatness, and Thou
art undi$inished (ord of all. 0ow then dost Thou co$$and $e, an insignificant wor$let of the earth, to sacrifice and
deliver over to thy will the Son, who$ thy condescension has given $eI 0e is thine, eternal 6ather, since fro$ all
eternity before the $orning star Thou hast engendered 0i$ '1s. 1A%, =), and Thou begettest 0i$ and shalt beget 0i$
through all the eternities and if # have clothed 0i$ in the for$ of servant '1hilip @, 7) in $y wo$b and fro$ $y own
blood, and if # have nourished his hu$anity at $y breast and $inistered to it as a MotherD this $ost holy hu$anity is
also thy property, and so a$ #, since # have received fro$ Thee all that # a$ and that # could give 0i$. "hat then can #
offer to Thee, that is not $ore thine than $ineI # confess, $ost high -ing, that thy $agnificence and beneficence are so
liberal in heaping upon thy creatures thy infinite treasures, that in order to bind Thyself to the$ Thou wishest to receive
fro$ the$ as a free gift, even thy own onlybegotten Son, 0i$ who$ Thou begettest fro$ thy own substance and fro$
the light of thy 4ivinity. "ith 0i$ ca$e to $e all blessings together and fro$ his hands # received i$$ense gifts and
graces '"is. 7, 11)9 0e is the 5irtue of $y virtue, the Substance of $y spirit, (ife of $y soul and Soul of $y life, the
Sustenance of all $y <oy of living. #t would be a sweet sacrifice, indeed, to yield 0i$ up to Thee who alone *nowest his
value9 but to yield 0i$ for the satisfaction of thy <ustice into the hands of his cruel ene$ies the cost of his life, $ore
precious than all the wor*s of creation9 this indeed, $ost high (ord, is a great sacrifice which Thou as*est of his
Mother. 0owever let not $y will but thine be done. (et the freedo$ of the hu$an race be thus bought9 let thy <ustice
and eEuity be satisfied9 let thy infinite love beco$e $anifest9 let thy na$e be *nown and $agnified before all creatures.
# deliver 0i$ over into thy hands before all creatures. # deliver over into thy hands $y beloved #saac, that 0e $ay be
truly sacrificed9 # offer $y Son, the 6ruit of $y wo$b, in order that, according to the unchangeable decree of thy "ill,
0e $ay pay the debt contracted not by his fault, but by the children of Ada$, and in order that in his 4eath 0e $ay
fulfill all that thy holy 1rophets, inspired by Thee, have written and foretold.
This sacrifice with all that pertained to it, was the greatest and the $ost acceptable that ever had been $ade to the
eternal 6ather since the creation of the world, or ever will be $ade to the end, outside of that $ade by his own Son, the
2edee$er9 and hers was $ost inti$ately connected with and li*e to that, which 0e offered. #f the greatest charity
consists in offering oneJs life for the beloved, without a doubt $ost holy Mary far surpassed this highest degree of love
toward $en, as She loved 0er Son $uch $ore than her own life. 6or in order to preserve the life of her Son, She would
have given the lives of all $en, if She had possessed the$, yea and countless $ore. A$ong $en there is no $easure by
which to esti$ate the love of that heavenly (ady, and it can be esti$ated only by the love of the eternal 6ather for his
Son. As Christ says to .i*ode$us 'John 1C, 7)D so !od loved the world, that 0e gave his only Son in order that none of
those who believed in hi$ $ight perish9 so this $ight also be said in its degree of the love of the Mother of $ercy and
in the sa$e way do we owe to 0er proportionately our salvation. 6or She also loved us so $uch, that She gave her only
Son for our salvation9 and if She had not given it in this $anner, when it was as*ed of 0er by the eternal 6ather on this
occasion, the salvation of $en could not have been e?ecuted by this sa$e decree, since this decree was to be fulfilled
on condition, that the MotherJs will should coincide with that of the eternal 6ather. Such is the obligation which the
children of Ada$ owe to $ost holy Mary.
0aving accepted the offering of the great (ady, it was fitting that the $ost +lessed Trinity should reward and
i$$ediately pay 0er by so$e favor, which would co$fort 0er in her sorrow and $anifest $ore clearly the will of the
eternal 6ather and the reasons for his co$$and. Therefore the heavenly (ady, still in the sa$e vision and raised to a
$ore e?alted ecstasy, in which She was prepared and enlightened in the $anner elsewhere described '#, >@=), the
4ivinity $anifested #tself to 0er by an intuitive and direct vision. #n this vision, by the clear light of the essence of
!od, She co$prehended the inclination of the infinite !ood to co$$unicate his fatho$less treasures to the rational
creatures by $eans of the wor*s of the incarnate "ord, and She saw the glory, that would result fro$ these wonders to
the na$e of he Most 0igh. 6illed with <ubilation of her soul at the prospect of all these sacra$ental $ysteries, the
heavenly Mother renewed the offering of her divine Son to the 6ather9 and !od co$forted 0er with the lifeBgiving
bread of heavenly understanding, in order that She $ight with invincible fortitude assist the incarnate "ord in the wor*
of 2ede$ption as Coad<utri? and 0elper, according to the disposition of infinite "isdo$ and according as it really
happened afterwards in the rest of her life.
Then $ost holy Mary issued forth fro$ this e?alted rapture in the description of which # will not further detain $yself9
for it was acco$panied by the sa$e circu$stances as the other intuitive visions already $entioned. +ut by its effects
and the strength i$parted through it, She was now prepared to separate fro$ her divine Son, who had already resolved
to enter upon his fast in the desert in view of receiving his +aptis$. 0e therefore called his Mother and, spea*ing to 0er
with the to*ens of sweetest love and co$passion, 0e saidD My Mother, $y e?istence as $an # derive entirely fro$ thy
substance and blood, of which # have ta*en the for$ of a servant in thy virginal wo$b '1hil. @, 7). Thou also hast
nursed Me at thy breast and ta*en care of Me by thy labors and sweat. 6or this reason # account Me $ore thine own and
as thy Son, than any other ever ac*nowledged, or $ore than any ever will ac*nowledge hi$self as the son of his
$other. !ive Me thy per$ission and consent toward acco$plishing the will of $y eternal 6ather. Already the ti$e has
arrived, in which # $ust leave thy sweet intercourse and co$pany and begin the wor* of the 2ede$ption of $an. The
ti$e of rest has co$e to an end and the hour of suffering for the rescue of the sons of Ada$ has arrived. +ut # wish to
perfor$ this wor* of $y 6ather with thy assistance, and Thou art to be $y co$panion and helper in preparing for $y
1assion and 4eath of the Cross. Although # $ust now leave Thee alone, $y blessing shall re$ain with Thee, and $y
loving and powerful protection. # shall afterwards return to clai$ thy assistance and co$pany in $y labors9 for # a$ to
undergo the$ in the for$ of $an, which Thou hast given Me.
"ith these words, while both Mother and Son were overflowing with abundant tears, the (ord placed his ar$s around
the nec* of the $ost tender Mother, yet +oth $aintaining a $a<estic co$posure such as befitted these Masters in the art
of suffering. The heavenly (ady fell at the feet of her divine Son and, with ineffable sorrow and reverence, answeredD
My (ord and eternal !odD Thou art indeed $y Son and in Thee is fulfilled all the force of love, which # have received
of TheeD $y in$ost soul is laid open to the eyes of thy divine wisdo$. My life # would account but little, if # could
thereby save thy own, or if # could die for Thee $any ti$es. +ut the will of the eternal 6ather and thy own $ust be
fulfilled and # offer $y own will as a sacrifice for this fulfill$ent. 2eceive it, $y Son and as Master of all $y being9 let
it be an acceptable offering, and let thy divine protection never be wanting to $e. #t would be a $uch greater for $e,
not to be allowed to acco$pany Thee in thy labors and in thy Cross. May # $erit this favor, $y Son, and # as* it of
Thee as thy true Mother in return for the hu$an for$, which Thou hast received of $e. The $ost loving Mother also
besought 0i$ to ta*e along so$e food fro$ the house, or that 0e allow it to be sent to where 0e was to go. +ut the
Savior would not consent to anything of the sort, at the sa$e enlightening his Mother of what was befitting for the
occasion. They went together to the door of their house, where She again fell at his feet to as* his blessing and *iss his
feet. The divine Master gave 0er his benediction and then began his <ourney to the Jordan, issuing forth as the good
Shepherd to see* his lost sheep and bring the$ bac* on his shoulders to the way of eternal life, fro$ which they had
been decayed by deceit '(u*e 1C, C).
"hen our 2edee$er sought saint John in order to be baptiGed, 0e had already entered his thirtieth year, although not
$uch of it had yet passed9 for 0e betoo* 0i$self directly to the ban*s of the Jordan, where saint John was baptiGing
'Matth. =, 1=), and 0e received +aptis$ at his hands about thirty days after 0e had finished the twentyBninth year of his
life on the sa$e day as is set aside for its celebration by the Church. # cannot worthily describe the sorrow of $ost holy
Mary at his departure, nor the co$passion of the Savior for 0er. All words and description are far too inadeEuate to
$anifest what passed in the heart of the Son and Mother. As this was to be part of their $eritorious sufferings, it was
not befitting that the natural effects of their $utual loves should be di$inished. !od per$itted these effects to wor* in
The$ to their full e?tent, and as far as was co$patible with the holiness of both Mother and Son. ,ur divine Teacher
found no relief in hastening his steps toward the goal of our 2ede$ption, to which 0e was drawn by the force of his
i$$ense charity9 nor was the thought of what 0e intended a lessening of the sense of loss, which She sustained at his
departure9 for all this only $ade $ore certain and $ore conspicuous the tor$ents which 0e was to undergo. , $y
dearest (oveH "hy does not our ingratitude and hardness of heart allow us to $eet Thee with a responsive loveI "hy
does not the perfect uselessness of $an, and still $ore, his ingratitude, influence Thee to desistI "ithout us, , $y
eternal !oodness and (ife, Thou wilt be <ust as happy without us as with us, <ust as infinite in perfections, holiness and
glory9 we can add nothing to that which Thou hast in Thyself, since Thou art entirely independent of creatures. "hy
then, , $y (ove, dost Thou so an?iously see* us out and care for usI "hy dost Thou, at the cost of thy 1assion and the
Cross, purchase our happinessI "ithout doubt, because thy inco$prehensible love and goodness estee$s it as thy own,
and we alone insist in treating our own happiness as alien to Thee and to ourselves.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, # wish that thou ponder and penetrate $ore and $ore this $ystery of which thou hast written, so fi?ing it
in thy soul, that thou wilt be drawn to i$itate $y e?a$ple at least in so$e part of it. Consider then, that in the vision of
the 4ivinity which # had on this occasion, # was $ade to co$prehend the high value which the (ord sets upon the
labors, the 1assion and 4eath of $y Son, and upon all those who were to i$itate and follow Jesus in the way of the
Cross. -nowing this, # not only offered to deliver $y Son over to 1assion and 4eath, but # as*ed 0i$ to $a*e $e his
co$panion and parta*er of all his sorrows, sufferings and tor$ents, which reEuest the eternal 6ather granted. Then, in
order to begin following in the footsteps of his bitterness, # besought $y Son and (ord to deprive $e of interior
delights9 and this petition was inspired in $e by the (ord hi$self, because 0e wished it so, and because $y own love
taught $e and urged $e thereto. This desire for suffering and the wishes of $y divine Son led $e on in the way of
suffering. 0e hi$self because 0e loved $e so tenderly, granted $e $y desires9 for those who$ 0e loves, 0e chastises
and afflicts '1rov. =, 1@). # as his Mother was not to be deprived of this blessed distinction of being entirely li*e unto
0i$, which alone $a*es this life $ost esti$able. #$$ediately this will the Most 0igh, this $y earnest petition, began
to be fulfilledD # began to feel the want of his delightful caresses and 0e began to treat $e with greater reserve. That
was one of the reasons, why 0e did not call $e Mother, but "o$an, at the $arriageBfeast at Cana and at the foot of the
Cross 'John @, &, 1%, @>)9 and also on other occasions, when 0e abstained fro$ words of tenderness. So far was this
fro$ being a sign of a di$inution of his love, that it was rather an e?Euisite refine$ent of his affection to assi$ilate $e
to 0i$ in the sufferings which 0e chose 0i$self as his precious treasure and inheritance.
0ence thou wilt understand the ignorance and error of $ortals, and how far they drift fro$ the way of light, when, as a
rule, nearly all of the$ strive to avoid labor and suffering and are frightened by the royal and secure road of
$ortification and the Cross. 6ull of this deceitful ignorance, they do not only abhor rese$blance to ChristJs suffering
and $y own, and deprive the$selves of the true and highest blessing of this life but they $a*e their recovery
i$possible, since all of the$ are wea* and afflicted by $any sins, for which the only re$edy is suffering. Sin is
co$$itted by base indulgence and is repugnant to suffering sorrow, while tribulation earns pardon of the <ust <udge. +y
the bitterness of sorrow and affliction the vapors of sin are allayed9 the e?cesses of the concupiscible and irascible
passions are crushed9 pride and haughtiness are hu$iliated9 the flesh is subdued the inclination to evil, to the sensible
and earthly creatures is repressed9 the <udg$ent is cleared9 the will is brought within bounds and its desultory
$ove$ents at the call of the passions, are corrected9 and, above all, divine love and pity are drawn down upon the
afflicted, who e$brace suffering with patience, or who see* it to i$itate $y $ost holy Son. #n this science of suffering
are renewed all the blessed riches of the creatures9 those that fly fro$ the$ are insane, those that *now nothing of this
science are foolish.
"City of God"
C0A1T/2 5#.
+A1T#SM ,6 C02#ST. 0#S 6AST. MA23JS 4,#.!S 472#.! T0/S/ /5/.TS.
(eaving his beloved Mother in the poor dwelling at .aGareth, our 2edee$er, without acco$pani$ent of any hu$an
creature, but altogether ta*en up with the e?ercise of his $ost ardent charity, pursued his <ourney to the Jordan, where,
in the neighborhood of a town called +ethany, otherwise called +etharaba, on the farther side of the river, his 1recursor
was preaching and baptiGing. At the first steps fro$ the house, our 2edee$er, raising his eyes to the eternal 6ather,
offered up to 0i$ anew with an infinite love, whatever 0e was now about to begin for the salvation of $an*indD his
labors, sorrows, passion and death of the Cross, assu$ed for the$ in obedience to the eternal "ill, the natural grief at
parting as a true and loving Son fro$ his Mother and at leaving her sweet co$pany, which for twentyBnine years 0e
had now en<oyed. The (ord of all creation wal*ed alone, without show and ostentation of hu$an retinue. The supre$e
-ing of *ings and (ord of lords 'Apoc. 1%, 1>), was un*nown and despised by his own vassals, vassals so $uch his
own, that they owed their life and preservation entirely to 0i$. 0is royal outfit was nothing but the ut$ost poverty and
"hile proceeding on his way to the Jordan our Savior dispensed his ancient $ercies by relieving the necessities of body
and soul in $any of those who$ 0e encountered at different places. 3et this was always done in secret9 for before his
+aptis$ 0e gave no public to*en of his divine power and his e?alted office. +efore appearing at the Jordan, 0e filled
the heart of saint John with new light and <oy, which changed and elevated his soul. 1erceiving these new wor*ings of
grace within hi$self, he reflected upon the$ full of wonder, sayingD "hat $ystery is thisI "hat presenti$ents of
happinessI 6ro$ the $o$ent when # recogniGed the presence of $y (ord in the wo$b of $y $other, # have not felt
such stirring of $y soul as nowH #s it possible that 0e is now happily co$e, or that the Savior of the world is now near
$eI 7pon this enlighten$ent of the +aptist followed an intellectual vision, wherein he perceived with greater
clearness the $ystery of the hypostatic union of the person of the "ord with the hu$anity and other $ysteries of the
2ede$ption. #n the fulness of this intellectual light he gave the testi$onies, which are recorded by saint John in his
!ospel and which occurred while the (ord was in the desert and afterwards, when 0e returned to the ban*s of the
Jordan. The /vangelist $entions one of these public testi$onies as happening at the interpellation of the Jews, and the
other when the 1recursor e?clai$edD +ehold the la$b of !od, as # shall narrate later on 'John 1, =>). Although the
+aptist had been instructed in great $ysteries, when he was co$$anded to go forth to preach and baptiGe9 yet all of
the$ were $anifested to hi$ anew and with greater clearness and abundance on this occasion, and he was then notified
that the Savior of the world was co$ing to be baptiGed.
The (ord then <oined the $ultitude and as*ed +aptis$ of saint John as one of the rest. The +aptist *new 0i$ and,
falling at his feet, hesitated, sayingD # have need of being baptiGed, and Thou, (ord, as*est +aptis$ of $eI as is
recorded by saint Matthew. +ut the Savior answeredD Suffer it to be so now. 6or so it beco$eth us to fulfill all <ustice.
"hen saint John had finished baptiGing our (ord, the heavens opened and the 0oly !host descended visibly in the for$
of a dove upon his head and the voice of his 6ather was heardD This is $y beloved Son, in who$ # a$ well pleased
'Matth. =, 17). Many of the bystanders heard this voice, na$ely, those who were not worthy of such a wonderful favor9
they also saw the 0oly !host descending upon the Savior. This was the $ost convincing proof which could ever be
given of the 4ivinity of the Savior, as well on the part of the 6ather, who ac*nowledged 0i$ his Son, as also in to the
nature of the testi$ony given9 for without any reserve was Christ $anifested as the true !od, eEual to his eternal 6ather
in substance and in perfection. The 6ather hi$self wished to be the first to testify to the 4ivinity of Christ in order that
by virtue of his testi$ony all the other witnesses $ight be ratified. There was also another $ystery in this voice of the
eternal 6atherD it was as it were a restoration of the honor or Son before the world and a reco$pense for his having thus
hu$iliated 0i$self by receiving the +aptis$ of the re$ission of sins, though 0e was entirely free fro$ fault and never
could have upon 0i$ the guilt of '0eb. 7, @>).
(et us return now to the $ain sub<ect of this history, na$ely, to the occupations of our great ;ueen and (ady. As soon
as her $ost holy Son was baptiGed, although She *new by the divine light of his $ove$ents, the holy angels who had
attended upon their (ord brought 0er intelligence of all that had happened at the Jordan9 they were those that carried
the ensigns or shields of the passion of the Savior, as described in the first part. To celebrate all these $ysteries of
ChristJs +aptis$ and the public procla$ation of his 4ivinity, the $ost prudent Mother co$posed new hy$ns and
canticle of praise and of inco$parable than*sgiving to the Most 0igh and to the incarnate "ord. All his actions of
hu$ility and prayers She i$itated, e?erting 0erself by $any acts of her own to acco$pany and follow 0i$ in all of
the$. "ith ardent charity She interceded for $en, that they $ight profit by the sacra$ent of +aptis$ and that it $ight
be ad$inistered all over the world. #n addition to these prayers and hy$ns of than*sgiving, She as*ed the heavenly
courtiers to help 0er in $agnifying her $ost holy Son for having thus hu$iliated 0i$self in receiving +aptis$ at the
hands of one of his creatures.
"ithout delay Christ our (ord pursued his <ourney fro$ the Jordan to the desert after his +aptis$. ,nly his holy angels
attended and acco$panied 0i$, serving and worshipping 0i$, singing the divine praises on account of what 0e was
now about to underta*e for the salvation of $an*ind. 0e ca$e to the place chosen by 0i$ for his fastD a desert spot
a$ong bare and beetling roc*s, where there was also a cavern $uch concealed. 0ere 0e halted, choosing it for his
habitation during the days of his fast 'Matth. &, 1). #n deepest hu$ility 0e prostrated 0i$self upon the ground which
was always the prelude of his prayer and that of his $ost blessed Mother. 0e praised the eternal 6ather and gave 0i$
than*s for the wor*s of his divine right hand and for having according to his pleasure afforded 0i$ this retire$ent. #n a
suitable $anner 0e than*ed even this desert for accepting his presence and *eeping 0i$ hidden fro$ the world during
the ti$e 0e was to spend there. 0e continued his prayers prostrate in the for$ of a cross, this was his $ost freEuent
occupation in the desert9 for in this $anner 0e often prayed to the eternal 6ather for the salvation of $en.
After the Savior had begun his fast 0e persevered therein without eating anything for forty days, offering his fast to the
eternal 6ather as a satisfaction for the disorder and sins to which $en are drawn by the so vile and debasing, yet so
co$$on and even estee$ed vice of gluttony. Just as our (ord overca$e this vice so 0e also vanEuished all the rest,
and 0e $ade reco$pense to the eternal Judge and supre$e (egislator for the in<uries perpetrated through these vices by
$en. According to the enlighten$ent vouchsafed to $e, our Savior, in order to assu$e the office of 1reacher and
Teacher and to beco$e our Mediator and 2edee$er before the 6ather, thus vanEuished all the vices of $ortals and 0e
satisfied the offenses co$$itted through the$ by the e?ercises of the virtues contrary to the$, <ust as 0e did in regard
to gluttony. Although 0e continued this e?ercise during all his life with the $ost ardent charity, yet during his fast 0e
directed in a special $anner all his

efforts toward this purpose.
A loving 6ather, whose sons have co$$itted great cri$es for which they are to endure the $ost horrible punish$ent,
sacrifices all his possessions in order ward off their i$pending fateD so our $ost loving 6ather and +rother, Jesus
Christ, wished to pay our debts. #n satisfaction for our pride 0e offered his profound hu$ility9 for our avarice, his
voluntary poverty and total privation of all that was his9 for our base and lustful inclinations, his penance and austerity9
for our hastiness and vengeful anger, his $ee*ness and charity toward his ene$ies9 for our negligence and laGiness, his
ceaseless labors9 for our deceitfulness and our envy, his candid and upright sincerity and truthfulness and the sweetness
of his loving intercourse. #n this $anner 0e continued to appease the <ust Judge and solicited pardon for us disobedient
and bastard children9 and 0e not only obtained this pardon for the$, but 0e $erited for the$ new graces and favors, so
that they $ight $a*e the$selves worthy of his co$pany and of the vision of his 6ather and his own inheritance for all
eternity. Though 0e could have obtained all this for us by the $ost insignificant of his wor*s9 yet 0e acted not li*e we.
0e de$onstrated his love so abundantly, that our ingratitude and hardness of heart will have no e?cuse.
#n order to *eep infor$ed of the doings of our Savior the $ost blessed Mary needed no other assistance than her
continual visions and revelations9 but in addition to all these, She $ade use of the service of her holy angels, who$ She
sent to her divine Son. The (ord hi$self thus ordered it, in order that, by $eans of these faithful $essengers, both 0e
and She $ight re<oice in the senti$ents and thoughts of their in$ost hearts faithfully rehearsed by these celestial
$essengers9 and thus They each heard the very sa$e words as uttered by /ach, although both Son and Mother already
*new the$ in another way. As soon as the great (ady understood that our 2edee$er was on the way to the desert to
fulfill his intention, She loc*ed the doors of her dwelling, without letting any one *now of her presence9 and her
retire$ent during the ti$e of our (ordJs fast was so co$plete, that her neighbors thought that She had left with her
divine Son. She entered into her oratory and re$ained there for forty days and nights without ever leaving it and
without eating anything, <ust as She *new was done by her $ost holy Son. +oth of the$ observed the sa$e course of
rigorous fasting. #n all his prayers and e?ercises, his prostrations and genuflections She followed our Savior, not
o$itting any of the$9 $oreover She perfor$ed the$ <ust at the sa$e ti$e9 for, leaving aside all other occupations, She
thus profited by the infor$ation obtained fro$ the angels and by that other *nowledge, which # have already described.
"hether 0e was present or not, She *new the interior operations of the soul of Christ. All his bodily $ove$ents, which
She had been wont to perceive with her own senses, She now *new by intellectual vision or through her holy angels.
"hile the Savior was in the desert 0e $ade every day three hundred genuflections, which also was done by our ;ueen
Mary in her oratory9 the other portion of her ti$e She spent in co$posing hy$ns with the angels, as # have said in the
last chapter. Thus i$itating Christ the (ord, the 0oly ;ueen coBoperated with 0i$ in all his prayers and petitions,
gaining the sa$e victories over the vices, and on her part proportionately satisfying for the$ by her virtues and her
e?ertions. Thus it happened, that, while Christ as our 2edee$er gained for us so $any blessings and abundantly paid all
our debts, $ost holy Mary, as his 0elper and our Mother, lent us her $erciful intercession and beca$e our Mediatri? to
the fullest e?tent possible to a $ere creature.
Christ the Savior per$itted (ucifer to re$ain under the false i$pression, that 0e was a $ere hu$an creature though
very holy and <ust9 0e wished to raise his courage and $alice for the contest, for such is the effect of any advantages
espied by the devil in his attac*s upon the victi$s of his te$ptations. 2ousing his courage by his own arrogance, he
began this battle in the wilderness with greater prowess and fierceness than the de$ons ever e?hibited in their battles
with $en. (ucifer and his satellites strained all their power and $alice, lashing the$selves into fury against the superior
strength which they soon found in Christ our (ord. 3et our Savior te$pered all his actions with divine wisdo$ and
goodness, and in <ustice and eEuity concealed the secret source of his infinite power, e?hibiting <ust so $uch as would
suffice to prove 0i$ to be a $an so far advanced in holiness as to be able to gain these victories against the infernal
foes. #n order to begin the battle as $an, 0e directed a prayer to the eternal 6ather fro$ his in$ost soul, to which the
intelligence of the de$on could not penetrate, sayingD My 6ather and eternal !od, # now enter into battle with the
ene$y in order to crush his power and hu$ble his pride and his $alice against $y beloved souls. 6or thy glory, and for
the benefit of souls # sub$it to the daring presu$ption of (ucifer. # wish thereby to crush his head in order that when
$ortals are attac*ed by his te$ptations without their fault, they $ay find his arrogance already bro*en. # beseech Thee,
$y 6ather, to re$e$ber $y battle and victory in favor of $ortals assailed by the co$$on ene$y. Strengthen their
wea*ness through $y triu$ph, let the$ obtain victory9 let the$ be encouraged by $y e?a$ple, and let the$ learn fro$
Me how to resist and overco$e their ene$ies.
4uring this battle the holy angels that attended upon Christ were hidden fro$ the sight of (ucifer, in order that he $ight
not begin to understand and suspect the divine power of our Savior. The holy spirits gave glory and praise to the 6ather
and the 0oly !host, who re<oiced in the wor*s of the incarnate "ord. The $ost blessed 5irgin also fro$ her oratory
witnessed the battle in the $anner to be described below. The te$ptation of Christ began on the thirtyBfifth day of his
fast in the desert, and lasted to the end of the fast, as related by the /vangelists. (ucifer assu$ed the shape of a $an and
presented hi$self before the (ord as a stranger, who had never seen or *nown 0i$ before. 0e clothed hi$self in
refulgent light, li*e that of an angel, and con<ecturing that the (ord after his long fast $ust be suffering great hunger, he
said to 0i$D #f Thou be the Son of !od, co$$and that these stones be $ade bread 'Matth. &, =). +y thus cunningly
resting his advice on the supposition of his being the Son of !od, the de$on sought so$e infor$ation on what was
giving hi$ the greatest concern. +ut the Savior of the world answered only in these few wordsD .ot in bread alone
doth $an live, but in every word that proceedeth fro$ $outh of !od.
(ucifer found hi$self repulsed by the force or answer and by the hidden power which acco$panied it9 but he wished to
show no wea*ness, nor desist fro$ the contest. The (ord allowed the de$on to continue in his te$ptation and for this
purpose per$itted 0i$self carried by the devil bodily to Jerusale$ and to be placed on the pinnacle of the te$ple. 0ere
the (ord could see $ultitudes of people, though 0e hi$self was not seen by anybody. (ucifer tried to arouse in the
(ord, the vain desire of casting 0i$self down fro$ this high place, so that the crowds of $en, seeing 0i$ unhurt,
$ight proclai$ 0i$ as a great and wonderful $an of !od. Again using the words of the holy Scriptures, he said to
0i$D #f Thou be the Son of !od, cast Thyself down, for it is written '1s. %A, 11)D that 0e hath given his angels charge
over Thee, and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest perhaps Thou dash thy foot against a stone 'Matth. &, >).
The heavenly spirits who acco$panied their -ing, were full of wonder that 0e should per$it (ucifer to carry 0i$
bodily in his hands, solely for the benefit of $ortal $an. "ith the prince of dar*ness were gathered innu$erable
de$ons9 for on that occasion hell was al$ost e$ptied of its inhabitants in order to furnish assistance for this enterprise.
The Author of wisdo$ answeredD #t is also writtenD Thou shalt not te$pt the (ord thy !od '4eut. >, 1>). "hile giving
these answers the 2edee$er of the world e?hibited a $atchless $ee*ness, profoundest hu$ility, and a $a<esty so
superior to all the atte$pts of satan, as was of itself alone sufficient to crush (uciferJs arrogance and to cause hi$
tor$ents and confusion never felt before.
+eing thus foiled, he attac*ed our (ord in still another way, see*ing to rouse his a$bition by offering 0i$ so$e share
in his do$inion. 6or this purpose he too* the (ord upon a high $ount, fro$ whence could be seen $any lands, and said
to 0i$ with perfidious daringD All these will # give to Thee, if falling down, Thou wilt adore $e 'Matth. &, %).
/?orbitant boldness, and $ore than insane $adness and perfidyH ,ffering to the (ord what he did not possess, nor ever
could give, since the earth, the stars, the *ingdo$s, principalities, riches and treasures, all belong to the (ord, and 0e
alone can give or withhold the$ when it serves and pleases 0i$H .ever can (ucifer give anything, even not of the
things of the earth, and therefore all his pro$ises are false. The -ing and (ord answered with i$perial $a<estyD
+egone, satan, for it is writtenD The (ord thy !od thou shalt adore, and 0i$ only shalt thou serve. +y this co$$and,
+egone satan, Christ the 2edee$er too* away fro$ (ucifer per$ission further to te$pt 0i$, and hurled hi$ and all
his legions into the deepest abysses of hell. There they found the$selves entirely crushed and buried in its deepest
caverns, unable to $ove for three days. "hen they were per$itted again to rise, seeing the$selves thus vanEuished and
annihilated, they began to doubt whether 0e, who had so overwhel$ed the$, $ight not be the incarnate Son of !od. #n
this doubt and uncertainty they re$ained, without ever being able to co$e to certain conviction until the death of the
Savior. (ucifer was overco$e by hellish wrath at his defeat and was al$ost consu$ed in his fury.
,ur divine ConEueror Christ then sang hy$ns of praise and than*s to the eternal 6ather for having given 0i$ this
triu$ph over the co$$on ene$y of !od and $an9 and a$id the triu$phal songs of a $ultitude of angels, 0e was
borne bac* to the desert. They carried 0i$ in their hands, although 0e had not need of their help, since 0e could $a*e
use of his own divine power9 but this service of the angels was due to 0i$ in reco$pense for enduring the audacity of
(ucifer in carrying to the pinnacle of the te$ple and to the $ountaintop the sacred hu$anity of Christ, in which dwelt
substantially and truly the 4ivinity itself. #t would never have entered into the thoughts of $an, that the (ord should
give such a per$ission to satan, if it had been $ade *nown to us in the !ospels.
(et us return to .aGareth, where, in her oratory, the 1rincess of the angels had witnessed the battles of her $ost holy
Son. She had seen the$ all by the divine light already described and by the uninterrupted $essages of her angels, who
brought the$ bac* and forth between the Savior and the blessed ;ueen. She repeated the sa$e prayers as the (ord and
at the sa$e ti$eH She entered li*ewise into the conflict with the dragon, though invisibly and spiritually. 6ro$ her
retreat She anathe$iGed and crushed (ucifer and his followers coBoperating in all the doings of Christ in our favor.
"hen She perceived that the de$on carried the (ord fro$ place to place, She wept bitterly, because the $alice of sin
reduced the -ing of *ings to such $isusage. #n honor of all the victories, which 0e gained over the devil, She
co$posed hy$ns of praise to the 4ivinity and the $ost holy hu$anity of Christ, while the angels set the$ to $usic and
were sent with the$ to congratulate 0i$ for the blessings won for the hu$an race. Christ on his part sent bac* the
angels with words of sweet consolation and re<oicing on account of his triu$phs over (ucifer.
The Master directed his $ost faithful steps toward the Jordan, where his great 1recursor saint John was still preaching
and baptiGing. +y his presence and appearance there 0e wished to secure new testi$ony of his $ission and 4ivinity
through the $outh of saint John. Moreover 0e was drawn by his own love to see and spea* with hi$, for during his
+aptis$ the heart of the 1recursor had beco$e infla$ed and wounded by the divine love of the Savior, which so
resistlessly attracted all creatures. #n the hearts which were well disposed, as was that of saint John, the fire of love
burned with so $uch the greater ardor and violence. "hen the +aptist saw the Savior co$ing to hi$ the second ti$e,
his first words were those recorded by the /vangelistD +ehold the (a$b of !od, behold 0i$ who ta*eth away the sin
of the world. Saint John gave this testi$ony while pointing out the (ord with his finger to those who were listening to
his instructions and were receiving +aptis$ at his hands. 0e addedD This is 0e of who$ # saidD after $e there co$eth a
Man, who is preferred before $e9 because 0e was before $e. And # *new 0i$ not9 but that 0e $ay be $ade $anifest
in #srael, therefore # a$ co$e baptiGing with water.
The two first disciples of Christ who were with saint John at the ti$e, heard this testi$ony and, $oved by it and by the
light and grace interiorly i$parted to the$ began to follow the (ord. +enignantly turning to the$ the (ord as*ed the$,
what they sought 'John 1, =F). They answered that they wished to *now where 0e lived9 and the (ord bade the$
follow. They were with hi$ that day as saint John tells us. ,ne of the$, he says, was saint Andrew, the brother of saint
1eter9 the other he does not $ention. +ut # was $ade to understand that it was saint John hi$self, who in his great
$odesty, did not wish to give his na$e. These two, then, saint John and saint Andrew, were the first of the +aptistJs
apostolate, being the first of the disciples of the +aptist who followed the Savior in conseEuence of his e?press
testi$ony and without being outwardly called by the (ord. Saint Andrew i$$ediately sought his brother Si$on and
too* hi$ along, saying that he had found the Messias, who called 0i$self Christ. (oo*ing upon 1eter 0e saidD Thou
art the son of JonaD thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted 1eter. All this happened within the confines of
Judea and on the ne?t day the (ord entered !alilee. There 0e found saint 1hilip and called hi$ to his following. 1hilip
i$$ediately sought .athanael and brought hi$ to Jesus, telling hi$ what had happened and that they had found the
Messias in the 1erson of Jesus of .aGareth. .athanael, having spo*en with the (ord as recorded in the first chapter of
saint JohnJs !ospel, <oined as the fifth of the disciples of Christ.
"ith these five disciples, the first stones in the foundation of the new Church, Christ, the Savior, entered !alilee for the
purpose of beginning his public preaching and baptiGing. #n the Apostles thus called 0e en*indled, fro$ the $o$ent of
their <oining the Master, a new light and fire of divine love and showered upon the$ the sweetness of his blessings '1s.
@A, &). #t is not possible worthily to describe the labors undergone by the divine Teacher in the vocation and education
of these and of the other disciples, in order to found upon the$ the Church. 0e sought the$ out with great diligence and
solicitude9 0e urged the$ on freEuently by the powerful and efficacious help of his grace9 0e enlightened their hearts
and enriched the$ with inco$parable gifts and blessings9 0e received the$ with ad$irable *indness9 0e nourished
the$ with the sweetest $il* of his doctrines9 0e bore with the$ with invincible patience9 0e caressed the$ as a $ost
loving 6ather caresses his tender and darling sons. As our nature is base and uncouth $aterial for the e?alted and
e?Euisite aspirations of the Spirit, and as they were to not only perfect disciples, but consu$$ate $asters of perfection
in the world and in the Church, the wor* of transfor$ing and raising the$ fro$ their rough natural state into such a
heavenly and divine position by his instructions and e?a$ple, necessarily was a vast enterprise. #n the perfor$ance of
this wor* the (ord has left a $ost e?alted e?a$ple of patience, and charity for all the prelates, princes and whoever is
charged with the guidance of sub<ects. .ot less significant for us sinners are the proofs of his fatherly *indnessD for 0e
was not satisfied with si$ply bearing with their faults and defects, their natural inclinations and passions but 0e
allowed his tender *indness to overflow thus wonderfully toward the$, in order that we $ight be cheered on to trust
0i$ and not per$it ourselves to be dis$ayed a$idst the countless i$perfections and wea*nesses natural to our earthly
+y the $eans already $entioned the ;ueen of heaven was infor$ed of all the wonderful doings of our Savior in the
vocation of the Apostles and disciples and in his public preaching. She gave than*s to the eternal 6ather for these the
first disciples, ac*nowledging and ad$itting the$ in i$itation of her Son as her spiritual children, and offering the$ to
the divine Ma<esty with new songs of praise and <oy. ,n this occasion of the choice of the first disciples She was
favored by a new revelation of the Most 0igh in which She was infor$ed again of his holy and eternal decree
concerning the 2ede$ption of $an and of the $anner in which it was to be e?ecuted in the preaching of his $ost holy
The five disciples of the (ord begged 0i$ to grant the$ the consolation of seeing and reverencing his $other. #n
accordance with their petition, 0e <ourneyed directly to .aGareth through !alilee, continuing to preach and teach
publicly on the way and proclai$ing 0i$self as the Master of truth and eternal life. Many, carried away by the force of
his doctrines and by the light and grace overflowing into their hearts, began to listen to 0i$ and to follow 0i$9 though
0e did not, for the present, call any $ore to be his disciples. #t is worthy of notice that though the five disciples had
conceived such an ardent devotion to the heavenly (ady and though they saw with their own eyes how worthy She was
of her e$inent position a$ong creatures, yet they all $aintained strict silence about their thoughts.
The Savior then pursued his way to .aGareth instructing his new children and disciples not only the $ysteries of faith,
but in all virtues by word and e?a$ple, as 0e continued to do during the whole period of his evangelical preaching.
"ith this in view 0e searched out the poor and afflicted, consoled the sic* and sorrowful, visited the infir$aries and
prisons, perfor$ing $iracles of $ercy as well for body as for soul. 3et 0e did not profess 0i$self as the Author of
$iracles until he attended the $arriage feast at Cana as # shall relate in the ne?t chapter. "hile the Savior proceeded on
his <ourney his $ost holy Mother prepared to receive hi$ and his disciples at .aGareth9 for She was aware of all that
happened, and therefore hospitably set her poor dwelling in order and solicitously procured the necessary victuals
beforehand for their entertain$ent. Thus, <ust as the Son had in absence instilled into their $inds the reverence for the
dignity of his Mother, so the $ost prudent and faithful Mother, in the presence of her Son, wished to instruct the$ in
regard to the worship due to their divine Master, as to their !od and 2edee$er. The profound hu$ility and worship
with which the great (ady received Christ the Savior filled the disciples with new devotion and reverential fear for their
divine Master9 henceforth She served the$ as an e?a$ple and $odel of true devotion, entering at once into her office as
#nstructress and spiritual Mother of the disciples of Christ by showing then how to converse with their !od and
2edee$er. They were i$$ediately drawn toward their ;ueen and cast the$selves on their *nees before 0er, as*ing to
be received as her sons and servants. The first to do this was saint John, who fro$ that ti$e on distinguished hi$self in
e?alting and reverencing Mary before all the apostles, while She on her part received hi$ with an especial love9 for,
besides his e?celling in virginal chastity, he was of a $ee* and hu$ble disposition.
The great (ady received the$ all as her guests, serving the$ their $eals and co$bining the solicitude of a Mother with
the $odesty and $a<esty of a ;ueen, so that She caused ad$iration even in the holy angels. She served her divine Son
on her *nees in deepest reverence. At the sa$e ti$e She spo*e of the Ma<esty of their Teacher and 2edee$er to the
Apostles instructing the$ in the great doctrines of the Christian faith. 4uring that night, when the Apostles had retired,
the Savior betoo* hi$self to the oratory of his purest Mother as 0e had been wont to do, and She, the $ost 0u$ble
a$ong the hu$ble, placed 0erself at his feet as in the years gone by. #n regard to the practice of hu$ility, all that She
could do see$ed little to the great ;ueen, and $uch less than She ought to in view of his infinite love and the i$$ense
gifts received at his hands. She confessed 0erself as useless as the dust of the earth. The (ord lifted 0er fro$ the
ground and spo*e to 0er words of life and eternal salvation, yet Euietly and serenely. 6or at this period 0e began to
treat 0er with greater reserve in order to afford 0er a chance of $erit, as # have $entioned when # spo*e of this
departure for the desert and for his +aptis$.
",24S ,6 T0/ ;7//..
My daughter, # see thee $uch $oved to e$ulation and desire by the great happiness of the disciples of $y $ost holy
Son, and especially that of saint John, $y favored servant. #t is certain that # loved hi$ in a special $anner9 because he
was $ost pure and candid as a dove9 and in the eyes of the (ord he was very pleasing, both on account of his purity and
on account of his love toward $e. 0is e?a$ple should serve thee as a spur to do that which $y Son and # e?pect of
thee. Thou art aware, $y dearest, that # a$ the $ost pure Mother and that # receive with $aternal affection those who
fervently and devoutly desire to be $y children and servants in the (ord. +y the love which 0e has given $e, # shall
e$brace the$ with open ar$s and shall be their #ntercessor and Advocate. Thy poverty, uselessness and wea*ness shall
be for $e only a $ore urgent $otive for $anifesting toward thee $y $ost liberal *indness. Therefore, # call upon thee
to beco$e $y chosen and beloved daughter in the holy Church.
# shall, however, $a*e the fulfill$ent of $y pro$ise depend upon a service on thy partD na$ely, that thou have a true
and holy e$ulation of the love with which # loved saint John, and of all the blessings flowing fro$ it, by i$itating hi$
as perfectly as thy powers will allow. 0ence, thou $ust pro$ise to fulfill all that # now co$$and thee, without failing
in the least point. # desire, then, that thou labor until all love of self die within thee, that thou suppress all the effects of
the first sin until all the earthly inclinations conseEuent upon it are totally e?tinguished9 that thou see* to restore within
thee that doveBli*e sincerity and si$plicity which destroys all $alice and duplicity. #n all thy doings thou $ust be an
angel, since the condescension of the Most 0igh with thee was so great as to furnish thee with the light and intelligence
$ore of an angel than that of a hu$an creature. # have procured for thee these great blessings and, therefore, it is but
reasonable on $y part to e?pect thee to correspond with the$ in thy wor*s and in thy thoughts. #n regard to $e thou
$ust cherish a continual affection and loving desire of pleasing and serving $e, being always attentive to $y counsels
and having thy eyes fi?ed upon $e in order to *now and e?ecute what # co$$and. Then shalt thou be $y true daughter,
and # shall be thy 1rotectress and loving Mother.
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The Marriage at Cana; Ho- Most Holy Mary Accom&anied the %e-
deemer of the 1orld in His *reaching4 the H#mility sho-n ,y the
Heavenly (#een in regard to the Miracles 1ro#ght ,y Her
Divine on; The Transfig#ration of the !ord; His .ntrance
into "er#salem; His *assion and Death; His Tri#m&h
over !#cifer and his Demons ,y His Death on
the Cross; the Most acred %es#rrection
of the avior and His 1onderf#l As-
cension into Heaven
C0A1T/2 #.
MA23 ACC,M1A.#/S J/S7S ,. 0#S J,72./3S.

#t would not be foreign to the purpose of this history to describe the $iracles and the heroic wor*s of Christ, our
2edee$er and Master9 for in al$ost all of the$ his $ost blessed and holy Mother concurred and too* a part. +ut #
cannot presu$e to underta*e a wor* so arduous and so far above hu$an strength and capacity. 6or the /vangelist saint
John, after having described $any $iracles of Christ, says at the end of his !ospel, that Jesus did $any other things,
which, if they were all described, could not be contained in all the boo*s of the world 'John @1, @C). #f such a tas*
see$ed so i$possible to the /vangelist, how $uch $ore to an ignorant wo$an, $ore useless than the dust of the earthI
All that is necessary and proper, and abundantly sufficient for founding and preserving the Church has been written by
the four /vangelists9 it is not necessary to repeat it in this history. 3et in order to co$pose this history and in order not
to pass over in silence so $any great wor*s of the e?alted ;ueen, which have not been $entioned, it is necessary to
touch on a few particulars. Moreover, # thin* that to write of the$ and thus fasten the$ in $y $e$ory will be both
consoling and useful for $y advance$ent. The others, which the /vangelists recorded in their !ospels and of which #
have not been co$$anded to write, are better preserved for the beatific vision, where the saints shall see the$
$anifested to the$ by the (ord and where they will eternally praise 0i$ for such $agnificent wor*s.
6ro$ Cana in !alilee Christ, the 2edee$er, wal*ed to Capernau$, a large and populous city near the sea of Tiberias.
0ere, according to saint John 'John @, 1@), 0e re$ained so$e days, though not $any9 for as the ti$e of the 1asch was
approaching, 0e gradually drew nigh to Jerusale$ in order to celebrate this feast on the fourteenth of the $oon of
March. 0is $ost blessed Mother, having rid 0erself of her house in .aGareth, acco$panied 0i$ thenceforth in his
tours of preaching and of teaching to the very foot of the Cross. She was absent fro$ 0i$ only a few ti$es, as when the
(ord absented 0i$self on Mount Tabor 'Matth. 17, 1), or on so$e particular conversions, as for instance that of the
Sa$aritan wo$an, or when the heavenly (ady herself re$ained behind with certain persons in order to instruct and
catechiGe the$. +ut always after a short ti$e, She returned to her (ord and Master, following the Sun of <ustice until it
san* into the abyss of 4eath. 4uring these <ourneys the ;ueen of heaven proceeded on foot, <ust as her divine Son. #f
even the (ord was fatigued on the way, as saint John says 'John &= >1), how $uch $ore fatigued was this purest (adyI
"hat hardships did She not endure on such arduous <ourneys in all sorts of weatherI Such is the rigorous treat$ent
accorded by the Mother of $ercy to her $ost delicate bodyH "hat She endured in labors alone is so great that not all
the $ortals together can ever satisfy their obligations to 0er in this regard. So$eti$es by per$ission of the (ord, She
suffered such great wea*ness and pains that 0e was constrained to relieve 0er $iraculously. At other ti$es 0e
co$$anded 0er to rest 0erself at so$e stoppingBplace for a few days9 while again on certain occasions, 0e gave such
lightness to her body, that She could $ove about without difficulty as if on wings.
As # have already $entioned, the heavenly (ady had the whole doctrine of the evangelical law written in her heart.
.evertheless She was as solicitous and attentive as a new disciple to the preaching and doctrine of her divine Son, and
She had instructed her angels to report to 0er, if necessary, the ser$ons of the Master whenever She was absent. To the
ser$ons of her Son She always listened on her *nees, thus according to the ut$ost of her powers showing the reverence
and worship due to his 1erson and doctrine. As She was aware each $o$ent, of the interior operations of the Soul of
Christ, and of his continual prayers to the eternal 6ather for the proper disposition of the hearts of his hearers and for
the growth of the seed of his doctrine into eternal life, the $ost loving Mother <oined the divine Master in his petitions
and prayers and in securing for the$ the blessings of her $ost ardent and tearful charity. +y her attention and reverence
She taught and $oved others to appreciate duly the teaching and instructions of the Savior of the world. She also *new
the interior of those that listened to the preaching of the (ord, their state of grace or sin, their vices and virtues. This
various and hidden *nowledge, so far above the capacity of $en, caused in the heavenly Mother $any wonderful
effects of highest charity and other virtues9 it infla$ed 0er with Geal for the 0onor of the (ord and with ardent desires,
that the fruits of the 2ede$ption be not lost to the souls, while at the sa$e ti$e, the danger of their loss to the souls
through sin $oved 0er to e?ert 0erself in the $ost fervent prayer for their welfare. She felt in her heart a piercing and
cruel sorrow, that !od should not be *nown, adored and served by all his creaturesD and this sorrow was in proportion
to the uneEualed *nowledge and understanding She had of all these $ysteries. 6or the souls, that would not give
entrance to divine grace and virtue, She sorrowed with ineffable grief, and was wont to shed tears of blood at the
thought of their $isfortune. "hat the great ;ueen suffered in this her solicitude and in her labors e?ceeds beyond all
$easure the pains endured by all the $artyrs of the world.
All the followers of the Savior, and who$ever 0e received into his $inistry, She treated with inco$parable prudence
and wisdo$, especially those who$ She held in such high veneration and estee$ as the Apostles of Christ. As a Mother
She too* care of all, and as a powerful ;ueen She procured necessaries for their bodily nourish$ent and co$forts.
So$eti$es when She had no other resources, She co$$anded the holy angels to bring provisions for the$ and for the
wo$en in their co$pany. #n order to assist the$ toward advancing in the spiritual life, the great ;ueen labored beyond
possibility of hu$an understanding9 not only by her continual and fervent prayers for the$ but by her precious e?a$ple
and by her counsels, with which She nourished and strengthened the$ as a $ost prudent Mother and Teacher. "hen
the Apostles or disciples were assailed by any doubts, which freEuently happened in the beginning, or when they were
attac*ed by so$e secret te$ptation, the great (ady i$$ediately hastened to their assistance in order to enlighten and
encourage the$ by the peerless light and charity shining forth in her9 and by the sweetness of her words they were
e?Euisitely consoled and re<oiced. They were enlightened by her wisdo$, chastened by her hu$ility, Euieted by her
$odesty, enriched by all the blessings that flowed fro$ this storehouse of all the gifts of the holy !host. 6or all these
benefits, for the calling of the disciples, for the conversion and perseverance of the <ust, and for all the wor*s of grace
and virtue, She $ade a proper return to !od, celebrating these events in festive hy$ns.
As the /vangelists tell us, so$e of the wo$en of !alilee followed Christ the 2edee$er on his <ourneys. Saint Matthew,
saint Mar* and saint (u*e tell us that so$e of those who$ 0e had cured of de$oniacal possession and of other
infir$ities, acco$panied and served 0i$ 'Matth. @79 Mar* 1C9 (u*e F)9 for the Master of eternal life e?cluded no se?
fro$ his following, i$itation and doctrine. 0ence so$e of the wo$en attended upon 0i$ and served hi$ fro$ the very
beginning of his preaching. The divine wisdo$ so ordered it for certain purposes, a$ong which was also the desire to
provide proper co$panions for his blessed Mother during these travels. ,ur ;ueen interested 0erself in a special
$anner in these pious and holy wo$en, gathering the$ around 0er, teaching and catechising the$ and bringing the$
as listeners to the ser$ons of her divine Son. Although She herself was fully enlightened and instructed in the
evangelical doctrine and abundantly able to teach the$ the way of eternal life, nevertheless, partly in order to conceal
this secret of her heart, She always availed 0erself of the sayings of Christ in his public preaching as a te?t for her
instructions and e?hortations, whenever She taught these and $any other wo$en who ca$e to 0er either before or after
hearing the Savior of the world.
,ne of the great $iracles of divine o$nipotence and a wonder of wonders was the conduct of the $ost holy Mary
toward the Apostles and disciples of her Son and Savior Christ, A full account of her wisdo$ is i$possible to hu$an
tongue, and if # would wish to describe no $ore than what # have been $ade to understand concerning this $atter, #
would be obliged to write a large volu$e. # will touch upon it in this chapter and as occasion reEuires in the rest of this
history. All that # can say is very little, yet fro$ it the faithful can infer enough for their instruction. All those who$ the
Savior received into his divine school, were to see and treat fa$iliarly his $ost blessed Mother. 0ence 0e infused into
their hearts an especial reverence and devotion toward that blessed (ady. +ut though this infused reverence was
co$$on to all, it was not eEual in all the disciples9 for the (ord distributed his gifts according to his free will in
reference to their dispositions and in accordance with the duties and offices for which each one was destined. +y
conversation and fa$iliar intercourse with their great ;ueen and (ady their reverential love and devotion was to grow
and increase9 for the blessed (ady spo*e to all, loved the$, consoled the$, instructed and assisted the$ in their
necessities, without ever per$itting the$ to leave 0er conversation and presence unreplenished by interior <oy and
consolation greater than they had as*ed for. 3et the $easure of good fruit derived fro$ the$ was dependent upon the
disposition of the heart of those that received these favors.
They were all enabled to begin their intercourse with the Mother of !od in high ad$iration of her prudence, wisdo$,
purity, holiness and great $a<esty, and $ade sensible of a sweetness in 0er ine?pressibly hu$ble and pleasing. This
was so ordained by the Most 0igh, because as # have said in the fifth boo*, twentyBsecond, it was not yet ti$e to reveal
this $ystic Ar* of the new Testa$ent to the world. Thus, <ust as the (ord, however $uch 0e wished to brea* forth in
her praise, could not $anifest it in words and concentrated it within his heart9 so the holy Apostles, sweetly constrained
into silence, found a vent for their fervent feelings in a so $uch the $ore intense love of $ost holy Mary and praise of
her Ma*er. As the great (ady, on account of her peerless insight *new the natural disposition of each of the disciples,
his $easure of grace, his present condition and future office, She proceeded according to this *nowledge in her
petitions and prayers, in her instructions and conversings with the$, and in the favors She obtained for each in support
of his vocation. Such a loving Geal in the conduct of a $ere Creature so entirely pleasing to the wishes of his (ord,
e?cited a new and boundless ad$iration in the holy angels. ,f no less ad$iration was the hidden providence of the
Al$ighty by which the Apostles were $ade to correspond to the blessings and favors received by the$ at the
intercession of the $ost holy Mother. All this caused a divine har$ony of action, hidden to $en and $anifest only to
the heavenly spirits.
/specially signaliGed for the reception of these sacra$ental favors were saint 1eter and saint John9 the for$er because
he was destined to be the vicar of Christ and head of the $ilitant Church and because he therefore deserved the special
reverence and love of the holy Mother9 the latter because he was to ta*e the place of the (ord after his 1assion in
attending upon and conversing with the heavenly (ady upon earth. As therefore the govern$ent and custody of the
$ystic Church na$ely of Mary i$$aculate and of the visible $ilitant Church, na$ely the faithful on earth, was to be
divided between these two Apostles, it was no wonder, that they should be singularly favored by the great ;ueen of the
world. +ut as saint John was chosen to serve Mary and attain the dignity of an adopted son of the Mistress of heaven,
he at once began to e?perience special urgings of grace and signaliGe hi$self in the service of the $ost holy Mary.
Although all the Apostles e?celled in devotion to the ;ueen beyond our power of understanding or conception the
evangelist saint John penetrated deeper into the $ysteries of this City of !od and received through 0er such divine
enlighten$ent as to e?cel all the other Apostles. This is also evident fro$ his !ospel 'John @1, @A)9 all the divine
insight therein $anifested he received through the ;ueen of heaven, and the distinction of being called the beloved
disciple of Jesus, he gained by his love toward the $ost blessed Mother. As this love was reciprocated by the heavenly
(ady, he beca$e the $ost beloved disciple both of Jesus and Mary.
The /vangelist besides chastity and virginal purity, possessed so$e other virtues which were especially pleasing to the
;ueen9 a$ong then, were a doveli*e si$plicity, as is $anifest fro$ his writings, and a great gentleness and hu$ility,
which $ade hi$ $ost $ee* and tractable. The heavenly Mother always loo*ed upon the peaceful and the hu$ble as the
$ost faithful i$itators of her divine Son. ,n this account the blessed ;ueen favored saint John above all the other
Apostles and he hi$self beca$e $ore and $ore an?ious to serve 0er with ever increasing reverential love and
affection. 6ro$ the very first $o$ent of his vocation saint John co$$enced to e?cel all the rest in piety toward the
Mother and to fulfill the least of her wishes as her $ost hu$ble slave. 0e attended upon 0er $ore assiduously than the
rest9 and whenever it was possible he sought to be in her co$pany and ta*e upon hi$self so$e of the bodily labors
connected with her present life. So$eti$es it happened that the fortunate Apostle co$peted with the angels in his Geal
for thus assisting the great ;ueen9 while She still $ore eagerly sought to perfor$ these wor*s of hu$ility 0erself9 for
in this virtue She triu$phed over all other creatures and none of the$ could ever hope in the least to surpass or eEual
0er in acts of hu$ility. The beloved disciple was very diligent in reporting to the heavenly (ady the wor*s and
$iracles wrought by the Savior, whenever She herself could not be present, and in infor$ing 0er of the new disciples
converted by his teaching. 0e was constantly alert and studious to serve 0er in the least of her wishes, fulfilling each
one of the$ with a loving eagerness.
# will, however, say so$ething of that which has been $ade *nown to $e concerning the wic*ed Apostle Judas9 for it
belongs to this history and less is *nown of hi$. #t will at the sa$e ti$e be a warning to the obstinate and an
ad$onition for those little devoted to the $ost blessed Mary9 for it is a sad truth that there should be any $ortals who
entertain little love toward a Creature so lovable, and ,ne who$ the infinite !od hi$self loves without bound or
$easure9 who$ angels love with all their heavenly powers, the Apostles and saints fro$ their in$ost souls, who$ all
creatures should eagerly strive to love, and who never can be loved according to her $erits. 3et this unhappy Apostle
strayed fro$ the royal road of divine love and its blessings. The understanding, which has been given $e concerning
this defection for the purpose of $a*ing it *nown in this history, is contained in the following paragraphs.
Judas was attracted to the school of Christ our Teacher by his forceful doctrines, and was filled the sa$e good
intentions which $oved the others. 1owerfully drawn by these $otives, he as*ed the Savior to ad$it hi$ a$ong his
disciples, and the Savior receive hi$ with the bowels of a loving 6ather, who re<ects none that co$e to 0i$ in search of
truth. #n the beginning Judas $erited special favors and forged ahead of so$e of the other disciples, deserving to be
nu$bered a$ong the twelve Apostles9 for the Savior loved his soul according to its present state of grace and his good
wor*s, <ust as 0e did the others. The Mother of grace and $ercy observed the sa$e course with hi$, although by her
infused *nowledge She i$$ediately beca$e aware of the perfidious treachery with which he was to end his apostolate.
She did not, on this account, deny hi$ her intercession and $aternal love9 but she applied 0erself even $ore Gealously
to <ustify as far as possible the cause of her divine Son against this perfidious and unfortunate $an, in order that his
wic*edness, as soon as it should be put into action, $ight not have the shadow of an e?cuse before $en. "ell *nowing
that such a character as his could not be overco$e by rigor, but would only be driven by it to so $uch the greater
obstinacy, the $ost prudent (ady too* care, that none of the wants or the co$forts of Judas should be ignored and She
began to treat hi$, spea* and listen to hi$ $ore gently and lovingly than to all the rest. This She carried so far, that
Judas, when the disciples once disputed a$ong the$selves concerning their standing with the ;ueen 'as, according to
the /vangelist L(u*e @@, @&M, it happened also concerning the 2edee$er), never e?perienced the <ealousy or doubt in
this $atter9 for the blessed (ady in the beginning always distinguished hi$ by to*ens of special love and he, at that
ti$e, also showed hi$self than*ful for these favors.
+ut as Judas found little support in his natural disposition, and as the disciples, not being as yet confir$ed in virtue and
not as yet even in grace, were guilty of so$e hu$an failings, the i$prudent $an began to co$pli$ent hi$self on his
perfection and to ta*e $ore of the faults of his brethren than of his own '(u*e &, &1). 0e per$itted hi$self thus to be
deceived, $a*ing no effort to a$end or repent, he allowed the bea$ in his own eyes to grow while watching the
splinters in the eyes of others. Co$plaining of their little faults and see*ing, with $ore presu$ption than Geal, to the
wea*nesses of his brethren, he co$$itted greater sins hi$self. A$ong the other Apostles he singled out saint John,
loo*ing upon hi$ as an inter$eddler and accusing hi$ in his heart of ingratiating hi$self with the Master and his
blessed Mother. The fact that he received so $any special favors fro$ The$ was of no avail to deter hi$ fro$ this false
assu$ption. 3et so far Judas had co$$itted only venial sins and had not lost sanctifying grace. +ut they argued a very
bad disposition, in which he wilfully persevered. 0e had freely entertained a certain vain co$placency in hi$self9 this
at once called into e?istence a certain a$ount of envy, which brought on a calu$nious spirit and harshness in <udging
of the faults of his brethren. These sins opened the way for greater sins9 for i$$ediately the fervor of his devotion
decreased, his charity toward !od and $en grew cold, and his interior light was lost and e?tinguished9 he began to loo*
upon the Apostles and upon the $ost holy Mother with a certain disgust and find little pleasure in their intercourse and
their heavenly activity.
The $ost prudent (ady perceived the growth of this defection in Judas. /agerly see*ing his recovery and salvation
before he should cast hi$self entirely into the death of sin, She spo*e to hi$ and e?horted hi$ as her beloved child and
with e?tre$e sweetness and force of reasoning. Although at ti$es this stor$ of tor$enting thoughts, which had begun
to rise in the breast of Judas, was allayed9 yet it was only for a short ti$e, and soon it arose and disturbed hi$ anew.
!iving entrance to the devil into his9 heart, he per$itted a furious rage against the $ost $ee* 4ove to ta*e possession
of hi$. "ith insidious hypocrisy he sought to deny his sins or palliate the$ by alleging other reasons for his conductD
as if he could ever deceive Jesus and Mary and hide fro$ The$ the secrets of his heart. Thereby he lost his interior
reverence for the Mother of $ercy, despising e?hortations and openly reproaching 0er for her gentle words and
reasonings. This ungrateful presu$ption threw hi$ fro$ the state of grace, the (ord was highly incensed and
deservedly left hi$ to his own evil counsels. +y thus designedly re<ecting the *indness and the intercession of $ost
holy Mary, he closed against hi$self the gates of $ercy and of his only salvation. 0is disgust with the sweetest Mother
soon engendered in hi$ an abhorrence of his Master9 he grew dissatisfied with his doctrines and began to loo* upon the
life of an Apostle and intercourse with the disciples as too burdenso$e.
.evertheless divine 1rovidence did not abandon hi$ i$$ediately, but continued to send hi$ interior assistance,
although in co$parison with for$er helps they were of a *ind $ore co$$on and ordinary. They were, however, in
the$selves sufficient for his salvation, if he would have $ade use of the$. To these graces were added the gentle
e?hortations of the *indest Mistress, urging hi$ to restrain hi$self and to hu$ble hi$self and as* pardon of his divine
Master. She offered hi$ $ercy in his na$e and her own *ind assistance in obtaining it, pro$ising to do penance for
hi$, if he would consent to be sorry for his sins and a$end his life. All these advances did the Mother of grace $a*e in
order to prevent the fall of Judas. She was well aware, that not see*ing to arise fro$ a fall and to persevere in sin was a
$uch greater evil than to have fallen. The conscience of this proud disciple could not but reproach hi$ with his
wic*edness9 but beco$ing hardened in his heart, he began to dread the hu$iliation, which would have been to his
credit, and he fell into still greater sins. #n his pride he re<ected the salutary counsels of the Mother of Christ and chose
rather to deny his guilt, protesting with a lying tongue, that he loved his Master and all the rest, that there was no
occasion for a$ending his conscience in this regard.
#n order that # $ay not incur the bla$e of concealing what belongs to this chapter, # will $ention another cause of the
ruin of Judas. "hen the nu$ber of the Apostles and disciples increased, the (ord resolved to appoint one of the$ to
ta*e charge of the al$s received9 thus to supply the co$$on needs and pay the i$perial tribute. Jesus $ade *nown his
wishes to all indiscri$inately without addressing 0i$self to any one in particular. "hile all of the$ feared such an
office and sought to evade it, Judas i$$ediately strove obtain it. #n order to secure his appoint$ent he hu$bled hi$self
so far as to as* saint John to spea* to the holy ;ueen and induce 0er to arrange this $atter for hi$ with her Son. Saint
John yielded to the reEuest of Judas and spo*e to the $ost prudent Mother9 but She, *nowing that this reEuest of Judas
was not proper or <ust, but proceeded fro$ a$bition and avarice, did not wish to propose it to the divine Master. The
sa$e *ind of influence Judas sought to bring into play through saint 1eter and the other Apostles, without success9 for
the (ord in his goodness wished to stay his ruin, and <ustify his cause before $en, if 0e should grant the reEuest. At this
resistance the heart of Judas, already corrupted by avarice, instead of Euietly yielding, was consu$ed with unhappy
desires for the office, and the devil stirred up thoughts of vilest a$bition, such as would have been $ost i$proper and
wic*ed in any one, and hence were $uch $ore culpable in Judas, who had been a disciple in the school of highest
perfection and who had lived in the light of the Sun of <ustice and its beautiful Moon MaryH .either in the day of
abundant graces, when the Sun Jesus lighted his paths, nor in the night of te$ptations, when the Moon Mary disclosed
to hi$ the wiles of the poisonous serpent, could he have failed to beco$e aware of the wic*edness of such suggestions.
+ut, as he flew fro$ the light and cast hi$self willfully into dar*ness, he presu$ed to as* $ost holy Mary in a direct
$anner for her influence in obtaining his ob<ect. 0e had lost all fear and hid his avarice in the cloa* of virtue.
Approaching 0er, he said that he had $ade his reEuest through saint 1eter and saint John, with the sole desire of
diligently serving 0er and his divine Master, since not all would attend to the duties of this office with proper
solicitude9 and that, therefore, he now as*ed to obtain the position of purser for hi$ fro$ the Master.
The great (ady answered hi$ with e?tre$e gentlenessD Consider well, $y dearest, what thou as*est, and e?a$ine
whether thy intentions are upright. 1onder well, whether it is good for thee to see* which all thy brethren fear and