CHAPTER One Through Tent


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 Servants;
of the Lineage of the Just Men,
Finally Resulting in
the Immaculate Conception and Birth of the Queen of Heaven;
and of Her Life up to Her Presentation in the Temple.


1. I confess to Thee (Matth. 11, 25) and magnify Thee, King Most High, that in thy exalted Majesty Thou hast hidden these high mysteries from the wise and from the teachers, and in thy condescension hast revealed them to me, the most insignificant and useless slave of thy Church, in order that Thou mayest be the more admired as the omnipotent Author of this history in proportion as its instrument is despicable and weak.
2. After I had overcome the above mentioned reluctance and disorderly fears which caused so much timid hesitation, lest I suffer shipwreck in that sea of marvels, the most exalted Lord caused me to feel a virtue from on high, strong, sweet, efficacious and gentle; an enlightenment which illumined the intellect, subjected the rebellious will, tranquillizing, directing, governing and attracting the whole range of interior and exterior senses, thus subjecting my entire being to the will and pleasure of the Most High and directing it in all things toward his honor and glory alone. Being thus prepared, I heard a voice from the Almighty, which called me and raised me up toward Him, exalting my dwelling-place on high (Ecclus. 51, 13) and strengthening me against the lions, that hungrily roared about me in order to snatch my soul from the enjoyment of great blessings in the boundless mysteries of this holy Tabernacle and City of God. Surrounded by the sorrows of death and perdition (Ps. 17, 5) and beset by the flames of Sodom and Babylon, in which we live, it liberated me from the portals of sorrow, into which I was enticed to enter. My enemies, forming visions of fallacious and deceitful delights for the misleading of my senses and the capture of them by pretended pleasures, set their allurements about me, in order that I might blindly turn toward these flames and be consumed by them. But from all these snares, laid for my footsteps (Ps. 56, 7), the Most High has delivered me, elevating my spirit and teaching me by the most efficacious admonitions the way of perfection. He invited me to a life spiritualized and angelic, and obliged me to live so cautiously, that in the midst of the furnace, the fire touched me not (Eccli. 51, 6). He often liberated me from the impure tongue, when it sought to communicate to me its earthly fables (Ps. 118, 85). His Majesty invited me to rise from the dust and littleness of the law of sin, to resist the defections of sin-infected nature and restrain its disorders, combating them by his enlightening inspirations and raising myself above myself (Lam. 3, 28). He called me repeatedly, sometimes by the power of his omnipotence, sometimes with the correction of a Father, and at others with the love of a Spouse, saying: Arise, my dove, creation of my hands, make haste and come to Me (Cant. 2, 10), who am the light and the way (John 8, 12), he that follows Me, walks not in darkness. Come to Me, who am the secure truth, and unchangeable holiness, to Me, who am the Powerful and the Wise, and the Teacher of those that follow wisdom (Wis. 7, 15).
3. These words were like arrows of sweet love, which filled me with admiration, reverence, knowledge and dread of my sins and of my vileness, so that I retired from his presence, shrunken and annihilated in the knowledge of my nothingness. And the Lord spoke to me: "Come, O soul, come to Me, who am thy omnipotent God, and although thou hast been a prodigal child and a sinner, arise from the earth and come to Me, thy Father; receive the stole of my friendship and the ring of a spouse."
4. Still remaining in that secure retreat of which I have spoken, I saw on a certain day, six angels, whom the Almighty had appointed to assist and guide me in this undertaking and in other dangers. Coming toward me, they purified and prepared my soul, and then presented me before the Lord. His Majesty gave to my interior being a new light and, as it were, a participation in glory, by which I was made capable and desirous of seeing and understanding the things, which are above the powers of a mere terrestrial creature. Soon after, two other angels, of a still higher order, appeared to me and I felt within me the power of the Lord by which they called me. I understood that they were most mysterious envoys and that they wished to reveal to me high and hidden sacraments. Eagerly I responded, and desirous of enjoying the blessing which they pointed out to me, I declared to them, how ardently I longed to see what they wished to show me and yet so mysteriously concealed from me. Then they at once answered with great serenity: "Restrain thyself, O soul." I turned to the great princes of heaven and said: "Princes of the Almighty and messengers of the great King! Why do you now detain me contrary to my will and why do you defer my joy and my delight, after you have called me? What force is this of yours, and what power, which calls me, fills me with fervor, which allures and yet detains me, which attracts me to follow after the odor of my beloved Lord and of his ointments, and yet restrains me with strong bonds? Tell me the cause of all this!" They answered: "Because, in order to be instructed in all these mysteries, thou must needs, O soul, come with bare feet and despoiled of all thy desires and passions; for these mysteries do not accommodate or lend themselves to disordered inclinations. Take off thy shoes like Moses (Exodus 3, 5), for such was the command given to him before he could see the wonderful bush." "Princes of heaven and my lords," I answered, "much was asked of Moses, when he received the command to perform the works of an angel while yet living in mortal flesh: but he was a saint, and I am but a sinner full of miseries. My heart is disturbed and I am in conflict with the slavery and the oppression of sin, which I feel in my members, and which are opposed to the law of the spirit" (Rom. 7, 23). To which they rejoined: "Soul, it would in deed be for thee a most difficult enterprise, if thou hadst to execute it merely with thy own power; but the Most High, who wishes to see in thee this disposition, is powerful, and He will not deny to thee his help, if from thy heart thou ask his assistance and thou prepare thyself to receive it. And his power, which caused the bush to burn and at the same time prevented it from being consumed, can prevent also the fire of the passions which encompass and beset the soul, from consuming it, if it truly desires to be saved. His Majesty asks for that which He desires, and can execute what He asks. Strengthened by Him, thou canst do that which He commands (Phil. 4, 13); take off thy shoes and weep in bitter sorrow, call out to Him from the bottom of thy heart, in order that thy prayers may be heard and thy desires fulfilled."
5. Presently I saw a most precious veil covering a treasure and my heart burned with desire to see it raised and to look upon the sacred mystery which I understood was hidden beneath. My desire was answered in the following manner: "Obey, O soul, in what was enjoined and commanded thee; despoil thyself of thyself, and then this mystery will be revealed to thee." I resolved to amend my life and to overcome my appetite; I sighed and wept with many aspirations from my inmost soul for the manifestation of this blessing. While I made my good resolves, the veil which covered the treasure, began to be lifted. Presently the veil fell entirely and my interior eyes saw what I shall not know how to de scribe in words. I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: "This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, his angelic spirits, are full of astonishment. Contemplate and admire her prerogatives, record them in writing, because that is the purpose for which, according to the measure suitable to thy circumstances, they will be made manifest to thee." I was made to see such wonders, that the greatness of them took away my speech, and my admiration of them suspended my other faculties; nor do I think that all the created beings in this mortal life will ever comprehend them, as will appear in the sequel of my discourse.
6. On another day, while my soul sweetly tarried in the aforesaid habitation, I heard a voice from the Most High saying: "My spouse, I desire that thou rouse thy self in earnest to seek Me, and to love Me with fervor; that thou make thy life more angelic than human, and that thou forget entirely the terrestrial affairs. I wish to raise thee as one that is poor from the dust, and as one full of need from the dunghill (Ps. 112, 7), so that, while I exalt thee, thou mayest humiliate thyself, and the nard of thy sweet odor may remain in my presence; knowing thy own misery, be thou convinced from the bottom of thy heart, that thou meritest for thyself only tribulation and humiliation. Consider my greatness and thy littleness; remember that I am just and holy; I deal with thee considerately, making use rather of my mercy and not chastising thee as thou deservest. Strive to build upon this foundation of humility all the other virtues in order to fulfill my wishes. I appoint my Virgin Mother to teach, correct and reprehend thee. She will spur thee onward and accompany thy footsteps according to my liking and pleasure."
7. While the Most High spoke to me the Queen stood near by; and the heavenly Princess disdained not to accept the office which his Majesty assigned to Her. She accepted it benignly and said to me: "My daughter, I desire that thou be my disciple and my companion, and I will be thy Teacher; but remember that thou must obey me courageously and from this day on no vestige of a daughter of Adam must be found in thee. My conduct and my works during my pilgrimage on earth, and the wonders, which the arm of the Almighty wrought through me, shall be the mirror and the model of thy life." I prostrated myself before the throne of the King and Queen of the universe and I offered to obey Her in all things; I gave thanks to the Highest for the favor, which He, so much in excess of my merits, conferred upon me in giving me such a Guide and Protectress. Into Her hands I renewed the vows of my profession; I offered myself to Her and proposed to work anew at the amendment of my life. Again the Lord spoke to me: "Behold and see!" Turning I saw a most beautiful ladder with many rungs; around it were many angels, and a great number of them were ascending and descending upon it His Majesty said to me: "This is the mysterious ladder of Jacob, the house of God and the portal of heaven (Gen. 28, 17); if thou wilt earnestly strive to live irreprehensible in my eyes, thou wilt ascend upon it to Me."
8. This promise incited my desires, set my will aflame and enraptured my spirit; with many tears I grieved, that I should be a burden to myself in my sinfulness (Job. 7, 20). I sighed for the end of my captivity and longed to arrive where there would be no obstacle to my love. In this anxiety I passed some days, trying to reform my life; I again made a general confession and corrected some of my imperfections. The vision of the ladder continued without intermission, but it was not explained to me. I made many promises to the Lord and proposed to free myself from all terrestrial things and to reserve the powers of my will entirely for his love, without allowing it to incline toward any creature, be it ever so small or unsuspicious; I repudiated all visible and sensible things. Having passed some days in these affections and sentiments, I was informed by the Most High, that the ladder signified the life of the most Holy Virgin, its virtues and sacraments. His Majesty said to me: "I desire, my spouse, that thou ascend this stair of Jacob and enter through this door of heaven to acquire the knowledge of my attributes and occupy thyself in the contemplation of my Divinity. Arise then and walk, ascend by it to Me. These angels, which surround it and accompany it, are those that I appointed as the guardians of Mary, as the defenders and sentinels of the citadel of Sion. Consider Her attentively, and, meditating on her virtues, seek to imitate them." It seemed to me then, that I ascended the ladder and that I recognized the great wonders and the ineffable prodigies of the Lord in a mere Creature and the greatest sanctity and perfection of virtue ever worked by the arm of the Almighty. At the top of the ladder I saw the Lord of hosts and the Queen of all creation. They commanded me to glorify, exalt and praise Him on account of these great mysteries and to write down so much of them, as I might bring myself to understand. The exalted and high Lord gave me a law, written not only on tablets, as He gave to Moses (Exod. 31, 18), but one wrought by his omnipotent finger in order that it might be studied and observed (Ps. 1, 2). He moved my will so that in her presence I promised to overcome my repugnance and with her assistance to set about writing her history, paying attention to three things: First, to remember that the creature must ever seek to acknowledge the profound reverence due to God and to abase itself in proportion to the condescension of his Majesty toward men and that the effect of greater favors and benefits must be a greater fear, reverence, attention and humility; secondly, to be ever mindful of the obligation of all men, who are so forgetful of their own salvation, to consider and learn what they owe to the Queen and Mother of piety on account of the part assumed by Her in the Redemption, to think of the love and the reverence which She showed to God and the honor in which we are to hold this great Lady; thirdly, to be willing to have my spiritual director, and if necessary the whole world, find out my littleness and vileness, and the small returns which I make for what I receive.
9. To these my protestations the most Holy Virgin answered: "My daughter, the world stands much in need of this doctrine, for it does not know, nor does it practice, the reverence due to the Lord omnipotent. On account of this ignorance his justice is provoked to afflict and humiliate men. They are sunken in their carelessness and filled with darkness, not knowing how to seek relief or attain to the light. This, however, is justly their lot, since they fail in the reverence and fear, which they ought to have." Besides this the Most High and the Queen gave me many other instructions, in order to make clear to me their will in regard to this work. It seemed to me temerity and want of charity toward myself, to reject the instruction which She had promised me for narrating the course of her most holy life. It seemed equally improper to put off the writing of it, since the Most High had intimated this as the fitting and opportune time, saying to me in this regard: "My daughter, when I sent my Onlybegotten, the world, with the exception of the few souls that served Me, was in worse condition than it ever had been since its beginning; for human nature is so imperfect that if it does not subject itself to the interior guidance of my light and to the fulfillment of the precepts of my ministers by sacrificing its own judgment and following Me, who am the way, the truth and the life (John 14, 6), and by carefully observing my commandments in order not to lose my friendship, it will presently fall into the abyss of darkness and innumerable miseries, until it arrives at obstinacy in sin. From the creation and sin of the first man until I gave the law to Moses, men governed themselves according to their own inclinations and fell into many errors and sins (Rom. 8, 13). After having received the law, they again committed sin by not obeying it (John 7, 19) and thus they lived on, separating themselves more and more from truth and light and arriving at the state of complete forgetfulness. In fatherly love I sent them eternal salvation and a remedy for the incurable infirmities of human nature, thus justifying my cause. And just as I then chose the opportune time for the greater manifestation of my mercy, so I now select this time for showing toward them another very great favor. For now the hour has come and the opportune time to let men know the just cause of my anger, and they are now justly charged and convinced of their guilt. Now I will make manifest my indignation and exercise my justice and equity; I will show how well justified is my cause. In order that this may come to pass more speedily, and because it is now time that my mercy show itself more openly and be cause my love must not be idle, I will offer to them an opportune remedy, if they will but make use of it for returning again to my favor. Now, at this hour, when the world has arrived at so unfortunate a pass, and when, though the Word has become incarnate, mortals are more careless of their weal and seek it less; when the day of their transitory life passes swiftly at the setting of the sun of time; when the night of eternity is approaching closer and closer for the wicked and the day without a night is being born for the just; when the majority of mortals are sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness of their ignorance and guilt, oppressing the just and mocking the children of God; when my holy and divine law is despised in the management of the iniquitous affairs of state, which are as hostile as they are contrary to my Providence; when the wicked least deserve my mercy; in these predestined times, I wish to open a portal for the just ones through which they can find access to my mercy; I wish to give them a light by which they can dispel the gloom that envelops the eyes of their minds. I wish to furnish them a suitable remedy for restoring them to my grace. Happy they who find it, and blessed they who shall appreciate its value, rich they who shall come upon this treasure, and blessed and very wise those who shall search into and shall understand its marvels and hidden mysteries. I desire to make known to mortals how much intercession of Her is worth, who brought restoration of life by giving mortal existence to the immortal God. As recompense I desire that they look upon the wonders wrought by my mighty arm in that pure Creature, as upon a mirror by which they can estimate their own ingratitude. I wish to make known to them much of that, which according to my high judgment is still hidden concerning the Mother of the Word."
10. "I have not revealed these mysteries in the primitive Church, because they are so great, that the faithful would have been lost in the contemplation and admiration of them at a time when it was more necessary to establish firmly the law of grace and of the Gospel. Although all mysteries of religion are in perfect harmony with each other, yet human ignorance might have suffered recoil and doubt at their magnitude, when faith in the Incarnation and Redemption and the precepts of the new law of the Gospel were yet in their beginnings. On this same account the person of the incarnate Word said to his disciples at the last supper: "Many things have I to say to you; but you are not yet disposed to receive them" (John 16, 12). 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, much less was it prepared to be introduced into the mysteries of his Mother. But now, mankind has greater need for this manifestation, and this necessity urges Me to disregard their evil disposition. And if men would now seek to please Me by reverencing, believing, and studying the wonders, which are intimately connected with this Mother of Piety, and if they would all begin to solicit her intercession from their whole heart, the world would find some relief. I will not longer withhold from men this mystical City of refuge; describe and delineate it to them, as far as thy shortcomings allow. I do not intend that thy descriptions and declarations of the life of the Blessed Virgin shall be mere opinions or contemplations, but reliable truth. They that have ears to hear, let them hear. Let those who thirst come to the living waters and leave the dried-out cisterns; let those that are seeking for the light, follow it to the end. Thus speaks the Lord God Almighty!"
11. These are the words of the Most High on the occasion before mentioned. Obedient to the authority, which commands me, I will in the following chapter describe the manner in which I receive my information and enlightenment, and how I see the Lord. Thus complying with his orders, I will explain, once for all, the illuminations and the favors which are vouchsafed to me for this work and to which I will refer in the sequel of this history.




12. It seemed to me proper to preface this history with an explanatory chapter, describing and explaining once for all, as far as is given me and as far as I can, the manner in which the Lord manifested to me these wonders.
13. Ever since I have had the use of reason, I was conscious of especially one blessing, which in my estimation is the greatest of all those bestowed upon me by God's liberality; namely, a great and penetrating fear, lest I should lose Him. And this moved and urged me on to strive after the better and more secure way and to follow after it and implore it from the Lord day after day. He has wounded my flesh with the dart of fear of his judgments (Ps. 118, 120), and I live continually in the dreadful thought: Have I perhaps lost the friendship of the Most High or am I still in his friendship? My bread day and night have been the tears, which this fear has drawn from my eyes (Ps. 91, 4). On account of this dread, since it is more necessary than ever that the friends of the Lord should practice their virtues in secret and with out ostentation, I have in these latter times begun to send up earnest and heartfelt prayers and petitions to the Lord, asking also the intercession of the Queen and Virgin, that I may be guided and led along the secure paths hidden from the eyes of men.
14. In answer to these repeated prayers the Lord said: "Do not fear, soul, nor afflict thyself; for I will give thee a state of mind and show thee a path of light and security, which only its Author himself could know of or even conceive. Whatever is exterior and dangerous shall leave thee today and thy treasure shall be altogether hidden. Take care of it on thy part and preserve it by a perfect life. I will direct thee toward a hidden path, unobstructed, unfailing and pure; walk thou in it." And presently I felt a change within me and a highly spiritualized state of mind. To my understanding was given a new light, which illuminated it and infused into it a knowledge of all things in God, and of his operations as they are in themselves and as they are known and seen by God, according to the measure of his communication. It is a knowledge of light, holy, sweet and pure, subtle, penetrating, sure and agile, causing love of good and hatred of evil. It is a breath of the power of God and an emanation of a most subtle light, which acts as a mirror for my understanding. Thus the higher faculties and the interior perception of my soul began to expand in their activity. For the Object, by means of the light which flashed from It, showed Itself to be infinite, though the perception of It remained limited and the understanding finite. It is a vision as it were of the Lord seated on a throne of great majesty, where, always within mortal limitation, I perceive his attributes distinctly. A veil, which seems like purest crystal intervenes, through which the wonderful attributes and perfections of God appear distinctly and clearly perceptible; yet this vision is not entire, immediate or intuitive, or entirely free from obstruction, but always comes through a medium, which is nothing else than this crystalline covering above mentioned. The perception of that which it covers is not painful to the understanding,, but is marvelous, because the mind is aware that what is perceived is infinite, and that the one who perceives is finite. The mind reposes in the hope of once possessing that which it perceives, and of once seeing the veil removed and the medium done away with, as soon as the soul shall have been freed from the mortality of the body (II Cor. 4, 6).
15. In this vision there are three different ways or degrees, according to the different methods, by which the divine Will communicates it and according to the dispositions of the human will. Sometimes He manifests Himself more clearly, at other times less. At times some mysteries are revealed to the exclusion of others of great importance. This difference is usually in accordance with the dispositions of the soul; for if the soul does not preserve itself in peace or if it is guilty of some fault, no matter how small, it will not experience this vision in its fullness. In the one I have described the Lord is perceived so plainly and so securely, that there is not the least room for doubt. However, the conviction of the real presence of God in the vision always precedes and impresses itself upon the mind, before one understands fully that which his Majesty speaks. And this knowledge produces a pleasing constraint, powerfully and efficaciously urging the soul onward to love, serve, and obey the Most High. In this vision great truths are made clear; how estimable virtue is, and what a valuable treasure is its exercise and preservation. The beauty and security of virtue is exhibited and a powerful impulse given toward the good, while a hatred and disgust toward evil and all disorderly inclinations fills the soul, very often entirely subduing them. As long as the soul enjoys this vision and does not lose it, it will never be conquered (Wis. 7, 30), because it gives life, security, fervor and  joy. Strongly and lovingly it calls and urges the soul onward, gives it lightness and alertness, and establishes the superior part of the being firmly above the inferior. Even the body becomes agile and spiritualized during such times, freeing itself from its grossness and weight.
16. And beginning to perceive and feel these delightful sensations, the soul lovingly calls out to the Most High: "Trahe me post Te" (Cant. 1, 3) let us run together; for, united to its Beloved, it does not any more feel the doings of this earthly life. Seeking to fly after the odor of the ointments of its Beloved, it begins to live more where it loves, than where it lives. Having already left behind its lower nature, it turns back only for the purpose of reforming it and curtailing its animal appetites of the passions. If at any time they seek to rise in rebellion, the soul will subdue them with alacrity, for already "not I live, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2, 20).
17. To a certain extent, in all these holy operations and aspirations, is felt the assistance of the spirit of Christ, who is the God and the life of the soul (John 5, 11) and who is known as such by the fervor, by the enlightenment, by the holy desires, by the light, and by the facility of action inspired by Him. These are such, that only God can be the Author of them. One feels the uninterrupted activity of love which it causes, and of intimate conversation with God, living and continuous, which rivets the attention of the mind to the things of God and withdraws it from earthly things. Christ manifests Himself as living within the soul, exerting his power and dispersing the darkness by his light. This may be properly designated as standing in the entrance of the house of the Lord; for there the soul beholds the splendor emanating from the beaconlight of the Lamb of God (Apoc. 21, 23).
18. I do not say that this is the whole light, but it is part of it; and it consists in a knowledge superior to the capabilities and faculties of a creature. In furtherance of this vision the Most High animates the intellect by a certain subtlety and light, thus adapting it for the exalted knowledge. Moreover the knowledge thus given is accompanied by the certainty which is peculiar to faith, as experienced in regard to the more common truths of revelation. Faith accompanies the vision and the Omnipotent gives to the soul power to appreciate the value of the knowledge and the light, which He infuses. Its light is inextinguishable (Wis. 7, 10) and all good things and a nobility of great price come to me with it. This light goes before me, directing my ways (Wis. 8, 16) and I took possession of it unerringly, and I desired to communicate it without envy, nor have I concealed its excellence. It is a participation of the Divinity and its presence is a great delight and joy. It teaches great things freely and it disciplines the heart; with irresistible force it banishes and expels the deceitful things of this world, wherein, solely by looking upon them in this light, the spirit finds immeasurable bitterness. By it the soul leaves behind the perishable things and flies to the sacred refuge of eternal truths. It enters into the cellar of fermented wine (Cant. 2, 4) where the Most High orders in me most holy charity. And by it He urges me to be patient and without envy (I Cor. 13, 4), to be kind with out offense, to be free from pride and ambition or anger, thinking ill of nobody and suffering and tolerating all things. Its voice is ever within me (Prov. 8, 1) and secretly warns me powerfully to do what is most holy and most pure, teaching me in all things; and if I fall short in the slightest degree, it reprehends me without ever passing over the smallest point.  
19. This is the light, which at one and at the same time enlightens, raises to fervor, teaches and reprehends, chastens and enlivens, calls and deters, warns and compels, makes clear the distinction between good and evil, discloses the hidden and the profound, the length and the breadth (Eph. 3, 18); which reveals to me the world, its state, its inclinations, its deceits and the lies and fallacies of its lovers and clients. Above all, it teaches me to despise the world, to tread it under foot and to raise my self to the highest Lord and Governor of the universe. And in his Majesty I see and learn the ordering of all things (Wis. 7, 17), the power of the elements, the beginning, the middle and the end of time, its changes and variations, the onward course of the years, the harmony of all creatures and their innate qualities; all the secrets of men, their acts and their thoughts; how far they stray from the Lord; the dangers in which they live and the errors of their ways; the states and governments, their curtailed existence and their great instability, their beginning and their end, the true and the false principles which guide them. All this is learnt and seen distinctly in God through this light, even as far as pertains to the separate individuals and circumstances. But as soon as the soul descends to a lower condition and a more ordinary state, wherein it must make use only of the substance or acquired habit of this enlightenment and cannot enjoy its full splendor, this exalted knowledge of persons, of conditions, and of the secret thoughts before described is more circumscribed and limited. In this lower state I perceive only so much as is necessary to avoid danger and fly from sin, and to feel true compassion with other persons, though at the same time I am not permitted to speak clearly with any one about that which is revealed to me of their evil state. I could not do it if I tried, for  it seems as if I am made dumb, except at times, when the Author of this light gives me permission and commands me to admonish one of my neighbors. But even on such occasions I must not disclose the nature of my cognition, but I am constrained to speak to the heart, using plain arguments, simple, ordinary and charitable persuasion in God. At the same time I am urged to pray for their necessities, which for that object become known to me.
20. Although all these things were revealed to me with the greatest clearness, yet never has the Lord shown me the final ruin of any soul, which has damned itself. This knowledge is withheld from me by the providence of God, because He is so just, that He does not deem it befitting to reveal the damnation of a soul except for some great purpose; and if I were to come to the knowledge of such a great ruin, I think I should die of sorrow. This would doubtlessly be the effect of such a revelation, so great is the grief caused by the sight of a soul forever separated from God. I have besought Him not to show me any one who will damn himself. I would not refuse, at the cost of my life, to liberate any one who is in sin, nor would I object even to see the present state of such soul; but may I never see one, who is beyond redemption!
21. This light is given me, not that I may reveal my secrets in particular, but that I may make use of it with prudence and wisdom. Though it continues to be only accidental, it remains with me in the same way as some substance, that vivifies and comes from God himself; and in the manner of a habit, to insure the good government of my lower appetites and feelings. Moreover, in the superior part of my soul, I enjoy a vision and habitation of peace and I understand the mysteries and sacraments of the life of the Queen of heaven and of other mysteries of faith, which were thus continually made manifest and  present to me in this never failing light And if at any time I descend, creaturelike, to attend to human affairs, the Lord presently calls me with a sweet yet rigorous severity and again draws my attention to his words and teachings and to the conscious meditation of these sacraments, graces and virtues, and to the exterior and interior works of the Virgin Mother, as I will explain farther on.
22. Thus, when in the state of enlightenment afore said, I see also and recognize the same Queen and Lady as She speaks with me; also the holy angels, their nature and excellence. Sometimes I see and recognize them in the Lord, at other times I see them in themselves; but with this difference that in seeing them in themselves, I descend to a lower grade of knowledge. I perceive also this difference, which results from the object and from the kind of knowledge. In this lower degree of vision I see, speak and listen to the holy princes; they converse with me and explain many of the mysteries, which the Lord has shown me. The Queen of heaven likewise manifests and propounds to me the mysteries of her most holy life and of its admirable events. With great clearness I recognize each one of these holy persons, feeling the divine effects, which each one excites in the soul.
23. But when I see these same persons in the Lord, I perceive them as through a mirror placed freely by His Majesty, in which He shows to me the saints according to his pleasure, with great clearness and producing most exalted effects in my soul. For this admirable light, the Lord himself becomes known, as also the Saints and their excellent virtues and wonderful works; likewise the manner in which they exercised these virtues by the help of the graces, that made them capable of all this (Philip 4, 13). In this state of knowledge the creature is more abundantly and completely filled with a joy, that still further increases the power and satisfaction of the soul, and poises it as if on its center of gravity. For, the more intellectual and the less corporeal or imaginary the light, so much the more powerful and exalted are the effects, and so much the more substantial and certain is the knowledge attained. Yet also here there is a difference: for the vision or knowledge of God himself, of his attributes and his perfections is superior and its effects are most sweet and affable; while the vision and knowledge of the creatures, even in the Lord, is of an inferior order. This inferiority, it seems to me, arises in part from the soul itself; since its own vision is so limited, that it cannot attend to or perceive God so well, when seeing Him conjointly with creatures, as when seeing Him by Himself and without them. Also this vision of God by Himself is accompanied by a greater plenitude of joy than the vision of creatures in God. So delicate is this cognition of the Divinity, that to attend to any other thing in conjunction with it, impairs to a certain extent its clearness, at least so long as we shall be in our mortal state.
24. In the inferior state, which I have mentioned, I see the most holy virgin and the angels in themselves and their mode of teaching me, speaking to me, and enlightening me. I understand this to be similar to the mode in which the angels themselves enlighten, communicate and speak with each other, when the superior orders enlighten the inferior. The Lord is the first cause of this light, but the Queen who has received it in its highest plenitude, communicates it as through a channel to the superior part of my soul, so that I begin to know her excellence, her prerogatives and mysteries in the same manner as an inferior angel perceives that, which is communicated to him by the superior spirits. I recognize Her also by the doctrine which She teaches, by the efficacy peculiar to it, and by other qualities, which are felt and tasted and which indicate the purity, elevation and certainty of these visions. There, nothing impure, or obscure, or false, or suspected is met with; and nothing that is holy, pure and true is withheld from view. The same happens to me in its proper proportion, when conversing with the holy angels; for the Lord himself has often informed me, that they enlighten and communicate with me in the same manner as they converse with each other. Often it happens that the enlightenments pass through all these channels and conduits in succession: the Lord gives the intelligence or light, the most holy Virgin reveals it to me and the angels express it to me in words. At other times (and this is the most ordinary mode) the Lord communicates and teaches me his holy doctrine, sometimes the most holy Queen, and sometimes the holy angels. It also happens, that I receive only the under standing of things, and then I am left to find for myself the terms which befit that which I hold in the intelligence. In finding these terms I may err, if the Lord allows, for I am only an ignorant woman and I must rely on what I have heard. If any difficulties arise in the explanation of my visions, I take counsel with my master and spiritual guide, especially in more difficult and arduous matters.
25. In this condition and state I very seldom see corporeal visions, but imaginary visions I see sometimes; these are of a much lower grade than the exalted, more spiritual, or intellectual vision, of which I have until now spoken. But this I can assert with confidence: in all the spiritual enlightenments, which I receive, great and small, lower or higher, whether they come from the Lord, the most blessed Virgin, or the holy angels, in all of them I obtain most abundant light and help of salvation, enabling me to see and know the truth and the possibility of greater perfection and sanctity. I feel within me a divine force, which compels me to seek the greater purity of my soul, and advancement in the grace of the Lord, which makes me ready to die for it and to act in all things according to greater perfection. With the help of the different grades and kinds of intelligence already described, I learn to know all the mysteries of the life of the Queen of heaven to the great advancement and rejoicing of my spirit. For this I thank the Almighty with my whole heart and mind, I magnify Him, I adore and praise Him as the all powerful and holy God, strong and admirable, worthy of honor, magnificence, glory and reverence through all the ages. Amen.





26. O King, most high and most wise Lord: How incomprehensible are thy judgments, and inscrutable thy ways (Rom. 11, 24)! Invincible God, enduring for ever and whose beginning is unknown (Eccli. 18, 1)! Who can understand thy greatness and who can be worthy of thy most magnificent works, or who can tell Thee why Thou hast created them (Rom. 9, 20)? For Thou art exalted above all of them and our vision cannot reach Thee and our understanding cannot comprehend Thee. Mayest Thou be blest, magnificent King, because Thou has deigned to show me, thy slave and a vile worm of the earth, great sacraments and most sublime mysteries, exalting my habitation and raising my spirit to a height, in which I saw things unspeakable. I saw the Lord and Creator of all things; I perceived as it were the exaltedness of a Being existing in Itself, before It created any other thing; I do not know the manner in which It showed Itself to me, but I know what I saw and perceived. His Majesty, comprehending all things, is aware that, while I am speaking of his Deity, my thoughts stand still, my soul is troubled, my faculties cease their operations, and the superior part of my being deserts the lower and animal parts, despises that which is of the senses and flies toward its Beloved, leaving lifeless the body which it should keep alive. In these excursions and abandonments of love my eyes flow over in tears and my tongue becomes mute. O my most high and incomprehensible Lord, infinite Object of my understanding! How am I annihilated at the sight of Thee, the Measureless and the Eternal, and how my being grovels in the dust, scarcely knowing what I am! How can my insignificance and misery dare to admire thy magnificence and thy great majesty? Vivify, O Lord, my being; strengthen my vision and give the breath of life to my fear, so that I may be able to describe what I saw and thus obey thy command.
27. I saw the Most High, at the same time understanding how his Majesty is in Himself; I received a clear intelligence and a true perception of what is meant by a God, infinite in his substance and attributes, eternal, exalted above all, being three in Person, and one true God. Three in Person, because of the three activities of knowing, comprehending and loving each other; one, so as to secure the boon of eternal unity. It is the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Father is not made, nor created, nor begotten, nor can He be generated or have a beginning. I perceived, that the Son derives his origin from the Father alone by eternal generation; and that They are equal in their duration from eternity; and that He is begotten by the fecundity of the intelligence of the Father. The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son through love. In their indivisible Trinity there is nothing which can be called first or last, greater or smaller: all three Persons are equally eternal and eternally equal; there is unity of essence in a trinity of persons. Nor are the Persons mingled in order to form one God, nor the divine sub stance separated or divided in order to form three Persons, being distinct as the Father, as the Son and as the  Holy Ghost. They are nevertheless one and the same Divinity, equal in Each is the glory, and majesty, the power, the eternity, the immensity, the wisdom and sanctity, and all the attributes. And though there are three Persons, in whom these infinite perfections subsist, He is the one and true God, the Holy, the Just, the Powerful, the Eternal and the Measureless.
28. I also obtained an understanding of the manner in which this Trinity comprehends Itself by simple vision, so that no new or distinct cognition is necessary: the Father knows that, which is known to the Son, and the Son and the Holy Ghost know that which is in the intelligence of the Father. I understood how they love One another with one and the same immense and eternal love; how there is a single, indivisible and equal oneness of intelligence, love and action, how there is one simple, incorporeal and indivisible nature, a divine essence of the true God, in which are joined and united all the perfections in their highest and in an infinite degree.
29. I learnt also to understand the quality of these perfections of the highest Lord: that He is beautiful with out a blemish, great without quantity, good without need of qualification, eternal without the duration of time, strong without any weakness, living without touch of decay, true without deceit, present in all places, filling them without occupying them, existing in all things with out occupying any space. There is no contradiction in his kindness, nor any defect in his wisdom. In his wisdom He is inscrutable, in his decrees He is terrible, in his judgments just, in his thoughts most hidden, in his words most true, in his works holy, in his riches affluent. To Him no space is too wide, no narrowness causes restraint, his will does not vary, the sorrowful does not cause Him pain, the past has not passed for Him, nor  does the future happen in regard to Him. O eternal Immensity, what illimitable expansion have I seen in Thee? What vastness do I see in thy infinite Being? Vision does not terminate, nor ever exhaust itself in thy abyss of being. This is the unchangeable Essence, the Being above all other beings, the most perfect sanctity, the most constant truth; this is the infinite, the length, the breadth, the height and the depth, glory and its cause, rest without fatigue, goodness immeasurable. All this I saw at the same time, but the power to describe it more fully fails me.
30. I saw the Lord as He was before He had created anything and with great astonishment I looked to see where was the throne of the Most High, for the empyrean heavens were not, nor the lower ones, nor did the sun exist, nor the moon, nor the other stars, nor the elements, only the Creator was, without any of his creatures. All was void, without presence of angels, or men or animals. I saw how of necessity it must be admitted, that God has his being in Himself, and that He stands in want or need of none of the created things. For He is as infinite in his attributes before as He is after creating them, and He will possess and hold these attributes during the whole of eternity, because they exist in Him as in an independent increated Essence. No perfection which is in itself purely and essentially such, can be wanting to his Divinity: for the Godhead is the only thing that is, and contains all the perfection of created beings in an eminent and ineffable manner. All the other beings, in so far as they exist, have their existence solely in that infinite Being, as effects in their cause.
31. I understood, that the Most High was in the quiescent state of his own being, when the three Persons  (according to our way of understanding things), decreed to communicate his perfections as a free gift. For greater clearness, I must remark, that God comprehends in Himself all things by one indivisible, most simple and instantaneous act. He does not go on from the understanding of one thing to the understanding of another like we do, distinguishing and perceiving first one thing by an act of the understanding, and after that proceeding to the knowledge of others by their connection with those already known. God knows them conjointly all at once, without before or after, since all are together and at once contained in the divine and un created knowledge and science, just as they are comprehended and enclosed in his infinite Being, as in their first beginning.
32. In this knowledge of God, which primarily is called the knowledge of pure intelligence (scientia simplicis intelligentise), we must, according to the natural precedence of the intelligence before the will, not over look a certain succession, not indeed of time, but of nature. Hence we perceive that the act of intelligence preceded by its nature the act of the will For in our way of reflecting on things, we think of the act of intelligence by itself, abstractedly from the decree of wishing to create anything. In this first stage or instant the three Persons through an act of intelligence confirmed the opportuneness of the work ad extra and of all creatures, which have been, are, and are to be.
33. Though I am unworthy to know the order which He followed, or which we, as men, are enabled to perceive in the decree of creation, his Majesty nevertheless deigned to take notice of a request, which I made in this regard. I petitioned Him to make known to me the place which was held by the Mother of God and our Queen in the divine intelligence; and, as well as I can, I will state what He answered me and manifested to me and I will also say something of the order which I perceived by the help of God in these ideas. I divide them according to moments or instants, for it is impossible to accommodate the knowledge of this divine science to our capacity in any other way. This science is called the science of vision, constituting the divine ideas or images of the creatures, which God decreed to call into existence and which are a production of his mind. By them He knows creatures with an infinitely more precise knowledge, than we can ever have of them.
34. Although this divine knowledge is one, most simple and indivisible, nevertheless, since the things which I see are many, and since there is a certain order, by which some are first and some come after, it is necessary to divide the knowledge of God's intelligence and the knowledge of his will into many instants, or into many different acts, according as they correspond to the diverse orders of created things. For as some of the creatures hold their existence because of others, there is a dependence of one upon the other. Accordingly we say that God intended and decreed this before that, the one on account of the other; and that if He had not desired or included in the science of vision the one, He would not have desired the other. But by this way of speaking, we must not try to convey the meaning that God placed many acts of intelligence, or of the will; rather we must intend merely to indicate, that the creatures are dependent on each other and that they succeed one another. In order to be able to comprehend the manner of creation more easily, we apply the order of things as we see them objectively, to the acts of the divine intelligence and will in creating them.




35. I understood, that this order comprises the following instants. The first instant is: God recognizing his infinite attributes and perfections together with the propensity and the ineffable inclination to communicate Him self outwardly. This knowledge of God as being communicative ad extra comes first. The Majesty of God, beholding the nature of his infinite perfections, their virtue and efficacy operating with magnificence, saw that it was just and most proper, and, as it were, a duty and a necessity, to communicate Himself and to follow that inclination of imparting and exercising his liberality and mercy, by distributing outside of Himself with magnificence the plenitude of the infinite treasures, contained in the Divinity. For, being infinite in all things, it is much more natural that He communicate gifts and graces, than that fire should ascend, or the stone should gravitate toward its center, or that the sun should diffuse its light. This unfathomable depth of perfections, this affluence of treasures, this impetuous infinity of riches, is set in motion by its own inclinations to communicate it self. At the same time God is in Himself conscious that to distribute gifts and graces, is not to diminish his riches, but to increase them in the only possible way, by giving an outlet to the inexhaustible fountain of his riches.  
36. All this did God see in the first instant after the communication ad intra by means of the eternal emanations. Seeing this He found Himself, as it were, obliged, in Himself, to communicate Himself ad extra, perceiving that it was holy, just, merciful, and god-like to do so; hence nothing could impede Him. According to our mode of understanding, we can represent God to our minds as not being satisfied nor at rest with Himself until He reached the object of his desires, the creatures, where and with whom, by making them partakers of his divinity and perfections, He seeks his delight.
37. In this enlightenment and knowledge which I possess, two things hold my lukewarm heart in wonder and inflame it unto annihilation. The first is the inclination and urgent desire, which I see in God, and the strong will, to communicate his Divinity and the treasures of his grace. The second is the unspeakable and incomprehensible immensity of the good gifts, which I see He wishes to distribute according to this decree, assigning them for this purpose and yet remaining infinite, as if He had yet given nothing. In this desire and inclination, which fills his Majesty I see Him prepared to sanctify, justify, overwhelm with gifts and perfections all creatures together and each one in particular for itself. He would be ready to give to each of the creatures more than what is held by all the angels and seraphim together; even if all the drops in the ocean and the grains of sand on their shores, all the stars, the planets and the elements, and all creatures were capable of reason and of his gifts, they would receive them without measure, provided they would dispose themselves and place no obstacle toward receiving them. O fearful malice of sin, which alone is capable of holding up the impetuous stream of such great and eternal gifts!  
38. The second instant was to confirm and determine the object and intention of this communication of the Divinity ad extra, namely, that it should redound to his greater glory and to the exaltation of his Majesty and the manifestation of his greatness. This his own exaltation God saw as the end, for which He would communicate Himself, make Himself known by his liberality in the distribution of his attributes, and set in motion his Omnipotence in order that He might be known, praised and glorified.
39. The third instant consisted in selecting and determining the order and arrangement, or the mode of this communication, so as to realize in an adequate manner the most exalted ends The order namely, which it is proper should be maintained in regard to the communications of the Godhead and its divine attributes; so that this activity of the Lord may have its proper reasons and objects, and so that it might proceed with the most beautiful and admirable sequence, harmony and subordination. In this instant was decreed first of all, that the divine Word should assume flesh and should become visible. The perfection and the composition of the most holy humanity of Christ our Lord was decreed and modeled in the divine intelligence. Secondarily, also were formed the ideals of the rest of men in imitation of the First The divine mind prearranged the harmony and adornment of the human nature composed of an organic body and a vivifying soul, endowed with faculties to know and enjoy its Creator, to discern between good and evil, and with a free will to love that same Lord.
40. This hypostatic union of the second Person of the most holy Trinity I understood necessarily to have been the first incentive and object on account of which, before all others, the divine intelligence and will issued ad extra; and the reasons are most exalted, so that I cannot explain. One of these reasons is, that God, having in Himself known and loved Himself, should, according to right order, know and love that, which approaches most intimately to his Divinity, as is the case in the hypostatic union. Another reason is, that the Divinity, having communicated Itself ad intra, should also communicate Itself ad extra; for thus the divine will and intention would begin to execute its works with the highest end in view, and his attributes would be communicated in the most beautiful order. The fire of the Divinity expended itself in its fullest measure on that which was most immediately connected with It, namely, the hypostatically united humanity; and his Divinity communicated Itself in the highest and most excellent degree to Him, who was to be closest to God in divine knowledge and love, and share the works and the glory of the Deity. For God (speaking according to our lowly comprehension) could not endanger the attainment of this end, since He alone could be an object proportionate and worthy of so wonderful an operation. It was also befitting and, as it were, necessary, that if God should create many creatures, He should create them in such harmony and subordination, as would be the most admirable and glorious within the reach of possibility. In conformity with this therefore, they must be subordinate to a supreme Chief, who should be as far as possible united immediately with God, so that through Him they may have communication and connection with his Divinity. For these and for other reasons (which I cannot explain), the dignity of the works of God could be provided for only by the Incarnation of the Word; through Him Creation should possess the most beautiful order, which without Him was impossible.  
41. The fourth instant was to determine the gifts and graces, which were to be conferred upon the humanity of Christ, our Lord, in union with the Divinity. Here the Most High opened the liberal hands of his Omnipotence and his other attributes, in order to enrich the most sacred humanity and the soul of Christ with the highest possible plenitude of his gifts and graces. Then was fulfilled what afterward David said: "The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful" (Ps. 45, 5). When the stream of his gifts flowed toward the humanity of the Word, communicating to it all the infused science, the grace and goodness of which his blessed soul was capable, and which fitted that Being, which was to be God and true man, and at the same time, the Head of all creatures capable of grace and glory, in order that from this impetuous stream they might partake in the manner in which it afterwards really happened.
42. To this instant also, and, as it were, in natural sequence, pertain the decree and predestination of the Mother of the Divine Word incarnate; for here, I under stand, was ordained that pure Creature before aught else whatever. Thus, before all other creatures, was She conceived in the divine mind, in such manner and such state as befitted and became the dignity, excellence and gifts of the humanity of her most holy Son. To Her flowed over, at once and immediately, the river of the Divinity and its attributes with all its impetuosity, in as far as a mere creature is capable and as is due to the dignity of the Mother of God.
43. In the knowledge of these exalted mysteries and decrees, I confess myself ravished in admiration and transported beyond my proper self. Perceiving this most holy and pure Creature formed and conceived in the divine mind from the beginning and before all the ages, I  joyously and exultingly magnify the Omnipotent for the admirable and mysterious decree, by which He formed for us such a pure and grand, such a mysterious and godlike Creature, worthy rather to be admired and praised by all beings, than to be described by any one. In my admiration I can say with St.Dionysius the Areopagite: "If faith would not instruct me, and if the understanding of what I see would not teach me, that it is God, who has conceived Her in his mind, and who alone could and can in his Omnipotence form such an image of his Divinity, if this all were not present to my mind, I might begin to doubt, whether the Virgin Mother contain not in Herself Divinity."
44. O what tears flowed from my eyes, and what sorrowful astonishment possessed my soul, to see that divine prodigy not acknowledged and that wonder of the Most High not manifest to all the mortals. Much is known of it, but much more is unknown, as this sealed book has not been opened. I am ravished in the perception of this tabernacle of God, and I perceive that the Author of it is more admirable in her creation, than in that of all the rest of the world, although the diversity of the creatures manifests the wonderful power of their Creator. In this Queen alone are comprehended and contained more treasures than in all the rest of things joined together, and the variety and the preciousness of her riches honor the Lord above all the multitudes of the other creatures.
45. Here (according to our way of understanding) the promise and, as it were, the contract was made with the Word 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 God, in which his Majesty contemplated the graces and  merits, which She earned for Herself, as well as the fruits to be gathered for his people by the loving returns, which She was to make to his Majesty. In the same instant, and as it were in the third and last place, God determined to create a locality and an abode, where the incarnate Word and his Mother should converse and dwell. For Them primarily did He create the heaven and earth with its stars and elements and all that is contained in them. Secondarily the intention and decree included the creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the Head, and of whom He would be the King; in order that with kingly providence, all the necessary and befitting arrangements might be made beforehand.
46. I pass over to the fifth instant, although in reality I have found that, which I sought. In this fifth decree the creation of the angelic nature which is more excellent and more like unto the spiritual being of the Divinity, was determined upon, and at the same time the division or arrangement 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 God, to assist before his divine Majesty and to know and love Him, so secondarily they are ordained to assist, glorify and honor, reverence and serve the deified humanity of the eternal Word, recognizing Him as Head, and honoring Him also in his Mother, the most holy Mary, Queen of these same angels. Commission was given to these angels, "to bear them up in their hands" in all their ways (Ps. 90, 12). In this instant Christ our Lord earned for them by his infinite merits, present and foreseen, all the grace, which they were to receive. He was constituted as their Head, Exemplar and supreme King, of whom they should be subjects. Even if the number of angels had been infinite, the merits of Christ our highest Good, would be abundantly sufficient to supply them all with grace.  
47. To this instant belongs also the predestination of the good, and the reprobation of the bad angels. God saw in it, by means of his infinite science, all the works of the former and of the latter and the propriety of predestinating, by his free will and by his merciful liberality, those that would obey and give honor, and of reprobating by his justice those who would rise up against his Majesty in pride and disobedience on account of their disordered selflove. In the same instant also was decreed the creation of the empyrean heaven, for the manifestation of his glory and the reward of the good; also the earth and other heavenly bodies for the other creatures; moreover also in the center or depth of the earth, hell, for the punishment of the bad angels.
48. In the sixth instant was decreed the creation of a people and congregation of men for Christ, who was already formed in the divine mind and will, and according to whose image and likeness man was to be made, in order, that the incarnate Word might find brethren, similar but inferior to Himself and a people of his own nature, of whom He might be the Head. In this instant was determined the order of the creation of the whole human race, which was to begin from one man and woman and propagate itself, until the Virgin and her Son should be born in the predestined order. On account of the merits of Christ, our Savior, the graces and gifts were prearranged, and also original justice, if they would only preserve it. The fall of Adam was foreseen and in him that of all others, except of the Queen, who did not enter into this decree. As a remedy was it ordained, that the most holy humanity should be capable of suffering. The predestined were chosen by free grace, and the fore-known were reprobated with exact justice. All that was convenient and necessary for the conservation of the  human race and for obtaining the end of the Redemption and the Predestination, was preordained, without interfering with the free will of men; for such ordainment was more conformable to God's nature and to divine equity. There was no injustice done to them, for if with their free will they could sin, so also could they abstain from sin by means of grace and the light of reason. God violated the right of no one, since He forsook no one nor denied to any one that which is necessary. Since his law is written in the hearts of men, nobody is excused for not knowing and loving Him as the highest Good of all creation.
49. In the perception of these mysteries I saw with great clearness and force the high motives which caused God to manifest and magnify Himself and which should induce men to praise and adore the greatness of the Creator and Redeemer of all. I also saw how tardy they are in the acknowledgment of these obligations and in making return for these benefits; and I was made aware of the complaints and the indignation of the Most High on account of this forgetfulness. His Majesty commanded and exhorted me not to be guilty of such ingratitude, but to offer Him a sacrifice of praise, and a new song, and that I magnify Him in the name of all creatures.
50. O most high and incomprehensible Lord! Would that I had the love and the perfections of all the angels and the just in order to confess and praise worthily thy greatness! I acknowledge, great and mighty Lord, that such a vile creature as I cannot merit the memorable benefit of receiving this clear and exalted knowledge and light concerning thy exalted Majesty. At the sight of thy greatness I perceive my littleness, which before that happy hour was unknown to me; and I was ignorant of the greatness and excellence of the virtue of humility, which is learnt in this science. I do not wish to say that I now possess that virtue, but neither can I deny that I have been shown the certain path which leads to it. Thy light, O most high Lord, illumines me and thy lamp shows me the paths (Ps. 118, 105), so that I see what I have been and what I am, and fear what I may become to be. Thou hast lighted up, most high King, my understanding and inflamed my will with its most exalted object. Thou hast entirely drawn me on to seek Thee, and I wish to make this known to all mortals in order that they may leave me in peace and I them: I am for my Beloved (Cant. 2, 16), and (although I am unworthy), my Beloved is for me. Strengthen then, O Lord, my weakness that I may run after Thee, and reaching Thee, I may never leave Thee or lose Thee.
51. Very short and stammering is this chapter, for of this matter many books could be written; but I refrain, because I do not know how to speak and I am an ignorant woman. My sole object has been to explain, how the Virgin Mother has been formed and preordained in the divine mind before the ages (Ecclus. 24, 14). That which I have seen over and above concerning this highest mystery, transforms my interior, and in silent admiration makes me praise the Author of such magnificence in company with the blessed, saying: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Sabaoth (Is. 6, 3).




52. I will converse, O Lord, with Thy great Majesty, since Thou art the God of mercies, though I am only dust and ashes (Gen. 18, 17), and I will supplicate thy incomprehensible Immensity to look from thy exalted throne upon me, thy most vile and useless creature, and to be propitious to me by continuing to enlighten my under standing. Speak, O Lord, for thy servant heareth (I Reg. 3, 10). Then the Most High, the Corrector of the wise, spoke to me (Sap. 7, 15). He referred me to the eighth chapter of the Proverbs and gave me the under standing of its mysteries. First was given me the literal wording of the chapter, which is as follows (Prov. 8, 22):
53. Verse 22. "The Lord possessed me in the be ginning of his ways before He made anything from the beginning."
23. "I was set up from eternity and of old, before the earth was made."
24. "The depths were not as yet and I was already conceived: neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out."
25. "The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth."
26. "He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the earth."
27. "When He prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths."
28. "When He established the sky above and poised the fountains of the waters."
29. "When He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when He balanced the foundations of the earth."
30. "I was with Him forming all things: and was delighted every day, playing before Him all the times."
31. "Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men."

54. This is the portion of the Proverbs, of which the Most High gave me an understanding. I understood at first, that it treats of the ideas or decrees, which were in the Divine Mind before the Creation of the world; and that, in its literal sense, it speaks of the Person of the Incarnate Word and of his most holy Mother, while in its mystical sense it refers to the holy angels and prophets. For before decreeing or forming the ideals of the rest of the material creation, He formed and decreed their prototype, the most sacred humanity of Christ and of his purest Mother, and this is indicated by the first words.
55. "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways." In God there are no ways, and his Divinity does not need them: but He made use of them, in order, that by them we may know Him and that all of us creatures, who are capable of knowing Him, may tend toward Him. In this beginning, before He formed any other ideal in his mind, because He desired to create paths and open ways in his mind for the communication of the Divinity, He decreed, as a beginning, the formation of the humanity of the Word, who was to be the highway, by which the other creatures might come to the Father (Joan. 14, 6) . Joined with this decree was that of his most holy Mother, through whom his Divinity was to enter into the world, becoming man and being born from Her as God and man; therefore it is said: "God possessed me" since both were possessed by his Majesty: for as to his Divinity, He was the possession, the property, and the treasure of the Father without possibility of separation, because Father and Son are One, of the same substance and Divinity with the Holy Ghost; and also as to his humanity, the Father possessed the Son; because He himself knew and decreed the plenitude of grace and glory, which He was to bestow upon it at the moment of its creation and its hypostatical union. Moreover, as this decree and possession was to be brought about by the mediation of the Mother, who was to conceive and bring forth the Word (since He did not decide to create it out of nothing, nor form his soul and body out of any other material), it followed that He possessed Her, who was to give Him the human form. Thus He possessed and claimed Her as his own in the same instant, providing with solicitude, that in the order of grace neither the human race nor any other, should have at any time a right or a part in Her. He alone retained the full right in Her as his portion, and so much his portion as the dignity of Mother required. She alone was to call Him Son, and She alone was to be called Mother, a Mother worthy of having an incarnate God for a Son. Now as all this far surpassed in dignity the whole creation, so did it also take the precedence in the mind of the supreme Creator. Hence He says:
 56. "Before He made anything from the beginning, I was set up from eternity and of old." We, in our present state, conceive this eternity of God as an interminable time. But what were the things "of old," since none had been created? It is clear that the three Persons are here spoken of, namely, that She was foreseen from the eternal ages of the Divinity, by the Beings, which alone are ancient, namely, the indivisible Trinity (since all the rest, having a beginning, are recent), that She was foreseen when only the ancient Uncreated was, and before any ideals of the future creation were formed. Between these two extremes intervened the ideal of the hypostatic union which was to be verified ad extra through the intervention of most holy Mary. Both were ordained together, immediately next to God and before any other creature, and it was the most wonderful decree ever passed or ever to be passed. The first and most admirable image in the mind of God, next to the eternal generation, was that of Christ and next to it, that of his Mother.
57. And what other order could there be in God, in whom all that pertains to Him is present at one and the same time, so that no part of His being must await the perfection of another, or one perfection ever need succeed upon others? All is well ordered in his eternal nature, and so it was and will be forever. The new ordainment, however, was that the person of the Son should become incarnate and that from his deified humanity should begin the order of God's desires and of his decrees ad extra. He was to be the Head and Ideal of all other men and creatures; for this was the most appropriate order and harmony to be instituted among creatures, that they have One, who is the first and the highest, and that from Him should descend the order of all nature, and in a special manner, of the mortals. First among them all, however, was the Mother of the ManGod, as the Supreme among mere creatures, following immediately upon Christ, and, through Him, upon the Divinity. Thus the conduits, which led the crystalline fountains of the Divinity from the eternal throne, meet first in the humanity of the Word and immediately there after in his holy Mother in the degree and in the manner, as it was possible for a mere creature, and as it was proper for the Mother of the Creator. It was equitable, that all the divine attributes should exert themselves in Her, without reserve, so far as She was capable; and that She be inferior only to Christ our Lord. She was to be superior in the degree of his incomparable graces to all the rest of the creatures, that are deserving of graces and gifts. This then was the order, so well instituted by the eternal wisdom: that all was to commence with Christ and his Mother. Therefore the text adds:
58. "Before the earth was made; and the depths were not as yet and I was already conceived." This earth was that of the first Adam; for before his creation was decreed, and before the abysses of the ideas ad extra were formed in the divine mind, the likenesses of Christ and of his Mother were already conceived. The forms are called abysses, because there is an infinite distance between the being of God and that of creatures. This distance was measured (speaking according to our own way of understanding) , when the ideals of the creatures were formed; for then these very abysses were formed. Not only was the Word conceived before all these by eternal generation from the Father, but His temporal generation from the Virgin Mother full of grace, had already been decreed and conceived in the divine mind. Inasmuch as no efficacious and complete decree of this temporal generation could exist without at the same time including his Mother, and such a Mother, the most holy Mary, was then and there conceived within that beautiful Immensity, and Her eternal record was written in the bosom of the Divinity, in order that for all the ages it should never be blotted out. She was stamped and delineated in the mind of the eternal Artificer and possessed the inseparable embraces of his love.
59. "Neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out." The images and ideals of creatures had not yet sprung from their source and origin; for they had not yet broken from the fountains through the channels of God's goodness and mercy, through which the divine will was to be moved to create the universe and to communicate his divine attributes and perfections. In respect to the entire rest of the universe, these waters and fountains were still repressed and detained within the bounds of the immense ocean of the Divinity; in his own Being there were as yet no founts or currents for outward manifestation, not having until then met their proper object, namely, men. But when these were encountered, the sacred humanity of Christ and his Virgin Mother had already furnished proper objects of benevolence. And therefore it is added:
60. "The mountains with their huge bulk had not been established," for God had not as yet then decreed the creation of the high mountains, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs or the other saints of great holiness, and this was not yet exerting its full weight and force in the mighty and sweet manner (Sap. 8, 1) in which God executes his counsels and great works. And not only before the mountains (which are the great saints) but also "before the hills I was brought forth," which are the orders of the holy angels. Before them the divine Mind had conceived the most holy Humanity united hypostatically with the divine Word, and the Mother, who bore it. The Son and the Mother were conceived before the hierarchies of the angelic hosts, so, that, what David said in the eighth psalm, becomes intelligible: "What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lesser than the Angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor! Thou has set him over the works of thy hands; Thou hast subjected all things under his feet." Let all understand and know, that there is a Godman, who is above all angels and men, and that all are his inferiors and his servants, for being the first of men, He is God at the same time. He is the first in the divine Mind and in the divine Will, and with Him is associated and inseparably connected, one Woman and Virgin, his Mother, the exalted Queen of all creation.
61. And if man, as says the same psalm, was crowned with glory and was constituted above all the works of the hand of the Lord, it was because the Godman, his Chief, had merited both this crown, and also that, which is borne by the angels. The same psalm adds, that, after having made man a little less than the angels, He placed him over the works of his hands: yet these very angels were works of his hands. Thus David spoke to the whole human race, when he said: God made man a little less than the angels; but although man was inferior in his nature, one Man is found who is of superior make and is set over these same angels, who were works of the hand of God. This superiority is in the order of grace, not only as far as His Divinity united to the humanity is concerned, but also in regard to the humanity itself in so far as grace was conferred by the hypostatic union. In a proportionate degree his most holy Mother likewise attained this superiority, just as some saints in virtue of the same incarnate Lord can reach a station and throne superior to that of the angels.
62. It is further said: "I was brought forth" or born, which means more than being conceived; for the latter refers to the divine intellect of the Blessed Trinity at the instant, when the Incarnation was known and, as it were, weighed in regard to its propriety. But to be brought forth refers to the act of the divine Will, which determined upon this work, for the most holy Trinity, in its divine councils, resolved upon the efficacious execution of this work by determining, and preliminarily putting into effect, the wonderful decree of the hypostatic union and of calling into being Mary most holy. That is the reason for using first the word "conceived" and then the words "brought forth," or born; for in reality the work was at first conceived and then immediately afterwards determined upon and willed.
63. "He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the (earth) world." Before the creation of the second earth, namely, the earthly paradise (the sense in which the earth is mentioned a second time), into which the first man, after he had been created from the first earth of the Damascene plains, was placed, and where he sinned, the sacred humanity of the Word and the material from which it was to spring, namely the Virgin, was determined upon. For it was necessary, that God should provide beforehand against her participating in sin and against her being in any way subject to it. The rivers and poles of the earth are the militant Church and the gifts of grace which were to flow from the sources of the Divinity. These were to flow toward all men and with efficacy to the saints and the foreknown. Fixed in God as in their pole or pivot and being dependent upon Him they nevertheless move around Him in seeking after the virtues of faith, hope and charity, through which they sustain, vivify and direct themselves though yet entangled in human conversation. They are drawn toward their last end and toward the highest good, without swerving from the center about which they turn. Also the Sacraments and the institutions of the Church are here signified, her safety and stability, her beauty and sanctity without blot or wrinkle (Eph. 5, 27), for this is what is meant by this circumference and these rivers. Before the Most High prepared all this and ordained this mystical sphere and system, of which Christ was to be the center and head, He decreed the union of the Word with human nature, and foresaw his Mother, through whom He was to execute these wonders in the world.
64. "When he prepared the heavens, I was there." When He prepared and preordained the heaven and the reward, which was to be given to the just sons of the Church after their sojourn upon the earth, then already was decreed the union of the humanity with the Word, thereby meriting grace as their Head; and with Him his Mother most holy. Having destined the greater part of this grace for the Mother and the Son, He then disposed and arranged similar gifts of glory for the other saints.
65. "When with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths," namely, when He decided to close the abysses of his Divinity in the person of the Son according to a certain law and measure, which no living being can ever compass or understand. He delineated this sphere and circumference, where none could nor ever can enter, except only the Word (since none but Himself can ever fill his place). For thus He was able to empty (Phil. 11, 7) and humiliate his Divinity in the humanity, then, both humanity and Divinity, in the womb of the most holy Mary, afterwards, in the small quantity and species of the bread and wine, and finally, in the narrow space of sinful, mortal hearts. All this is indicated by the words: abysses, law and circle or limits. They are called "certain" on account of their vast bearing and also on account of the certainty, with which they were to be fulfilled (in spite of seeming impossibility), and on account of the difficulty of explaining them in words. It certainly did not appear feasible, that the Divinity should be subject to law, nor that It should enclose Itself within determined limits. But the wisdom and the power of that same Lord made it possible and has accomplished it by enclosing Himself in a designated created being.
66. "When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of the waters; when he encompassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters, that they should not pass their limits." He calls here the just "heavens," for that is what they are, as God remains and dwells within them by grace, and through it, according to each one's disposition, gives them courage and firmness to rise above the earth as long as they are pilgrims. Afterwards He gives them a place and a dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem according to their merits. For them He poised the fountains and has divided them, distributing to each one with equity. He weighs the gifts of glory, the virtues, the helps, and the perfections, according to the dispositions of his Wisdom. When He resolved to make the distributions of these waters of grace, He also resolved to give to the humanity united to the Divinity all the ocean of graces and gifts, which naturally flowed from the Divinity in its union with the Onlybegotten of the Father. Although this ocean was infinite, He placed confines to it, namely, the humanity, in which was to dwell the plenitude of the  Divinity (Col. 2, 9); and it was enclosed thirty-three years within these confines, in order that He might dwell among men, and in order that, what happened to the three Apostles on Tabor mount might not happen to all men. In the same moment in which this entire ocean and all the rivers of grace reached Christ our Lord as being nearest to the Deity, they also redounded in his most holy Mother as being nearest to her Onlybegotten Son. For without the Mother, and precisely such a Mother, the gifts and graces of her Son could not have been disposed of in such order and with such high perfection. Nor did the admirable harmony of the celestial and spiritual machinery, and the distribution of the gifts of the Church militant and triumphant rest on any other foundation.
67. "When he balanced the foundation of the earth, I was with him forming all things." The works ad extra are common to the three divine Persons, for They are one God, one wisdom, one power; therefore it was unavoidably necessary, that the Word, in whom according to the Divinity all things are made, should be in union with the Father in making them. But here more is meant, for also the incarnate Word was already present together with his most holy Mother in the divine Will. Thus, just as through the Word, as far as He is God, all things were made, so also for Him, in the first place and because He is the most noble and most worthy end, were created the foundations of the earth and all that is contained in it.
68. Therefore it is farther said: "And I was delighted every day, playing before him at all times, playing in the world." The incarnate Word diverted Himself at all times, because He knew all the ages and the lives of all the mortals, all being as one day in comparison with eternity (Ps. 89, 4). He was delighted, because the whole course of Creation had found its end, for when the ultimate day with all its perfection should arrive, men were to enjoy the affluence of grace and the crown of glory. He diverted Himself as it were, counting the days, when He should descend from heaven to earth and assume human flesh. He knew that all the works and thoughts of men were like a play, wherein all is mere burlesque and deceit. He saw also the just, who, though so weak and limited in their capacity, nevertheless would be fit for the manifestation and communication of God's glory and perfections. He compared his immutability with the changefulness of men, and how He was nevertheless to act in concert with them. He delighted in his own works, and especially in those, which He ordained in his most holy Mother. He took a great delight in the prospect of assuming the form of man within Her and in making Her worthy of so great a privilege. And be cause the conception of these ideals and the efficacious decree of the divine Will in their regard were to be followed by their actual fulfillment, therefore the divine Word adds:
69. "And my delight is to be with the children of men." My recreation is to work for them and show them favors: my contentment is to die for them and my joy is to be their Teacher and their Redeemer. My delight is to raise the needy one from the dust and to unite Myself with the lowly one (Ps. 112, 7); my pleasure is to unbend my Divinity for this purpose, and to clothe it with human nature, to constrain and debase Myself, and to suspend the glory of my body in order to make Myself capable of suffering and of meriting for men the friend ship of the Father; to be a Mediator between his most just indignation and the malice of men, and to be their Model and Head, whom they might imitate.  
70. O eternal and incomprehensible Goodness! how am I ravished with admiration, when I compare the immensity of thy immutable Being with the insignificance of man! When I see thy eternal love mediating between two extremes of such immeasurable distance; a love in finite, for a creature so insignificant and at the same time so ungrateful! Oh, on what a low and debased object, O Lord, dost Thou cast thy eyes, and on what a noble Object can and should man fix his thought and his affection in beholding such a mystery! Filled with admiration and with sadness of heart, I lament over the unhappy state of men, their darkness and blindness, since they do not make any effort to understand how much thy Majesty has been beforehand in looking down upon them and in offering them true felicity with such great love and care as if thy own consisted in it.
71. All his works, and the disposition of them, as they were to be called into being, the Lord had in his mind ab initio, and He numbered and weighed them according to his equity and rectitude. He knew the constitution of the world before its creation, as it is written in the book of Wisdom (7, 18 Seq.). He knew the beginning, the middle and the end of time, the changes of the years and the courses of the ages, the disposition of the stars, the powers of the elements, the nature of animals, the wrath of wild beasts, the force of winds, the difference of plants, the virtues of roots and the thoughts of men. All He weighed and counted (Sap. 11, 21), not only that which is literally true of the rational and irrational creatures, but He preordained also all that which is signified mystically by these creatures. But as this comes not within my scope at present, I do not speak of it in this place.




72. In regard to the significance of the doctrine contained in the last two chapters a doubt occurred to me, and I have often heard and been informed by learned persons, that the same is discussed also in the schools. The doubt was as follows: If the principal motive of the incarnation of the Word, was to make him Head and the Firstborn of all creation (Col. 1, 15) and, through the hypostatic union with human nature, to communicate his attributes and perfections, in a manner befitting his grace and glory, to the predestined; and, if to assume flesh capable of suffering and dying for man was his secondary motive: then, if these assumptions are true, how comes it, that there is such a diversity of opinion in regard to it in the holy Church? The most common assumption is, that the eternal Word descended from heaven expressly for the purpose of redeeming men through his most holy Passion and Death.
73. This doubt I proposed humbly to the Lord. After giving me an understanding and a great enlightenment, by which I perceived and understood many mysteries, He condescended to answer me. The mysteries themselves I cannot explain, because the words of the Lord comprehend and mean so much. But his answer was as follows: "My spouse and dove, hear: for as a Father and a Teacher I will solve thy doubt and instruct thee in thy ignorance.  Know, that the principal and legitimate end of the decree, which I had in view in resolving to communicate my Divinity in the hypostatic union of the Word with human nature, was the glory, which would redound to my name through this communication, and also that which was to redound to the creatures capable thereof. This decree would without doubt have been executed in the Incarnation, even if the first man had not sinned: for it was an express decree, substantially independent of any condition. Therefore, the intention of my will, which was primarily to communicate Myself to the soul and humanity of the Word, was to be efficaciously fulfilled. This was conformable to the justice and rectitude of my works, and, although it was subsequent in its execution, it was nevertheless antecedent in my intention. If I waited before sending my Onlybegotten, it was because I had resolved to prepare for Him beforehand a holy and select congregation of the just, who, presupposing the fall of mankind, would be like roses among the thorns, that is, the sinners. Foreseeing the fall of the human race, I determined, by an express decree, that the Word should come in a form capable of suffering and death for the Redemption of his people, whose head He was to be. Thus my infinite love for man could be so much the more known and manifest and a just satisfaction would be rendered to my equity and justice; and if he, who was to be first in existence, was a sinner: He that was to be first in dignity, would be the Redeemer (I Cor. 15, 21). Thus also men might come to know the gravity of sin, and love one and the same Creator, Vivifier, Redeemer, and Judge of all mortals. I also wished as it were, to compel them to make a proper return of gratitude and love. Refusing to punish them without reprieve, as I have punished the apostate angels, but pardoning them and looking upon them with mercy, I offered them an opportune remedy by executing the rigor of my justice upon my onlybegotten Son and reserving for man the kindness of my great mercy."
74. "And in order that thou mayest better understand the answer to thy doubt, remember, that there is neither any succession of time in my decrees, nor any need of it for the perception and the execution of them. Those that say that the Word became incarnate in order to redeem the world, say well; and those that say, that He would have become incarnate also, if man had not sinned, like wise speak well, only it must be understood in the right way. For if Adam had not sinned, Christ would have descended from heaven in that form, which would be suitable to the state of man's innocence; but as Adam sinned, I resolved by the secondary decree, that He should be made of passible nature; since foreseeing sin, it was proper, that it should be repaired in the way in which He has done it. And as you desire to know, how the mystery of the Incarnation would have taken place, if man had preserved the state of innocence, know, that the human substance would have been essentially the same as now, only it would be clothed with the gifts of impassibility and immortality, such as my Onlybegotten possessed after his Resurrection and before his Ascension. He would live and converse with men; the hidden sacraments and mysteries would all be manifest; and many times would his glory shine forth as it happened once in his mortal life (Mark 17, 1). He would, in that state of man's innocence, have become manifest to all men in the same manner as He once showed Himself to the three apostles in his mortal state. All those on the way to heaven would see the great glory of my Onlybegotten; they would be consoled by conversing with Him and they would place no obstacle to his divine workings, for they would be without sin. But all this was impeded and spoiled by the guilt of sin and on that account it was proper, that He should come in passible and mortal nature."
75. "The existence of different opinions regarding these sacraments and other mysteries in the Church, arises from the fact that I manifest and give light concerning one set of mysteries to some teachers, and illumine others concerning other mysteries; for mortals are not capable of receiving all the light. It is not expedient, that the knowledge of all things be given to one man, as long as men are viators. For also in the state of comprehensors, they obtain them in parts and according to the state and the merits of each. But the plenitude of all gifts is due only to the humanity of my Onlybegotten and to his Mother in proper proportion. The other mortals receive it neither entirely, nor is it always given so clearly, as to assure them altogether. Therefore they must acquire it by means of study and the use of letters and science There are also many truths revealed in holy Scriptures and to some men light is given from above. Yet, as I leave most men to work by their natural light, it must follow, that they understand these mysteries in different senses, and that there exist different explanations and different meanings regarding the different passages in Scripture; for each adheres to his opinion according to his understanding. Many have a good intention and the light and truth is essentially one, but it is made use of with diversity of judgment and inclinations, so that some adhere to these teachers, others to those and so the controversies arise among them."
76. "One of the reasons why the opinion, that the Word came from heaven mainly for the sake of redeeming the world, is more common can be partly explained by the fact, that the mystery of the Redemption with its object has already been consummated and has been mentioned so often in Scriptures, thus causing it to be better understood and manifested. The impassibility of Christ on the contrary was neither effected, nor was it simply and absolutely decreed. All that pertained to this state remains concealed and nobody could be sure of it, except those particular ones, whom I select for the reception of that light, and for the revelation of this decree of my love for man. And although this would certainly be capable of moving men, if they would ponder over it and penetrate it; yet the decree and the work of his Redemption from sin is more powerful and efficacious to move them toward some acknowledgment and return of my immense love; for this is the end, which prompts my works. Therefore I fittingly provide, that these motives and mysteries be kept especially before the mind and be more frequently expounded. Advert also, that in one work two results can well be intended, when one of them is conditional. Thus it was that the Word would not have descended in passible flesh, if man had not sinned, and if he would sin, He would come in a body capable of suffering: whatever would happen the decree of the Incarnation would not be left unfulfilled. I desire, that the sacraments of the Redemption be recognized and held in esteem and that they be always remembered, in order that they may bring the proper fruit. But just as much I desire, that the mortals recognize the Word as their Head and as the final Object of all Creation and of all the rest of the human race. For, conjointly with my own kindness, his formation was the principal motive for giving existence to the creatures. Therefore He should be honored, not only because He has redeemed the human race, but also because he furnished the motive for its creation."
77. "Take notice also, my spouse, that very often I permit and cause differences of opinions among the doctors and teachers. Thus some of them maintain what is true and others, according to their natural disposition, defend what is doubtful. Others still again are permitted to say even what is not true, though not in open contradiction to the veiled truths of faith, which all must hold. Some also teach, what is possible according to their supposition. By this varied light, truth is traced, and the mysteries of faith become more manifest. Doubt serves as a stimulus to the understanding for the investigation of truth. Therefore controversies of the teachers fulfill a proper and holy end. They are also permitted in order, to make it known, that real science dwells in my Church more than in the combined study of all the holy and perfect teachers, and that she can make them wise above the wisdom of the worldly wise; that there is above them One, who is the Prompter of the wise (Wis. 7, 15), namely, Myself; who alone knows all and comprehends all; who weighs and measures, without ever being measured or comprehended (Wis. 9, 13); that men, although they may search my judgments and testimonies ever so much, cannot attain them, unless I give the intelligence and light (Job 32, 8), who am the beginning and the Author of all wisdom and science. I desire that men, in acknowledging all this, give Me praise, exaltation, confession, supremity and glory forever."
78. "I desire also that the holy doctors acquire for themselves much grace, light and glory by their earnest, laudable and sacred study, and that the truth be more and more clearly detected and purified, and be traced to its source. By humbly investigating the mysteries and the admirable works of my right hand, they come to be partakers of them and of the bread of the understanding, the holy Scriptures (Eccli. 15, 3). I have especially shown my Providence in regard to doctors and teachers, although their opinions and doubts have been so diverse and for such different ends. Sometimes, for my greater glory and honor, sometimes for earthly purposes, they are permitted to dispute, and to contradict each other; and there is a great inequality in the manner in which they have proceeded and do proceed to show their emulation and earnestness. But with all this I have directed, governed and enlightened them, giving them my protection in such a manner, that the truth may be investigated and clearly manifested. The light has spread out, so that many of my perfections and wonderful works have been made known, and the holy Scriptures have been interpreted according to high standards, which has been very pleasing to Me. For this reason the fury of hell, with inconceivable envy (especially in these, our times), has raised its throne of iniquity, pretending to engulf the waters of the Jordan (Job 40, 18), and obscure the light of holy faith by heretical doctrines and seeking to sow its false seeds by the help of man (Matth. 13, 25). But the rest of the Church and its truths are in most perfect order; the Catholics, although much involved and blind in other respects, hold nevertheless the truths of faith and its holy light without diminution. I call all men with fatherly love to share this happiness, yet few are the elect, who choose to respond to my call."
79. "I also desire thee to understand, my spouse, how well my Providence disposes things in such a way, that the teachers, by the diversity of their opinions, and by their own diligent exertion and study, scrutinize more deeply my testimonies and thus lay bare the marrow of the holy Scriptures to wayfaring men. But it would be very pleasing to Me and in harmony with my service, if learned persons would extinguish and do away with pride, envy and ambition after vain honors; also all the other passions and vices, which arise from them, together with the bad seeds, that are likely to be generated from that sort of occupation (Matth. 13, 25). But I do not root out this bad seed at present, in order that the good may not be rooted out with the bad." All this the Lord spoke to me and many other things, which I cannot make manifest. May his Majesty eternally be blessed, who, without disdaining the insignificance of so insipient and useless a woman, deemed it proper to enlighten and to satisfy my ignorance in so bountiful and merciful a manner. May the blessed spirits and the just of the earth give Him praise and thanksgiving without end!



80. The Cause of all causes is God, who created all things that have being. His powerful arm gave existence to all his wonderful works ad extra when and how He chose. The beginning and succession of the work of Creation is described by Moses in the opening chapter of Genesis. Since the Lord has given me an understanding thereof, I will mention what I think useful for elucidating the mysterious origin of the Incarnation of the Word and of our Redemption.
81. The words of the first chapter of Genesis are as follows:
1. "In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
2. "And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.
3. "And God said: Be light made. And light was made.
4. "And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness.
5. "And he called the light day, and the darkness night;and there was evening and morning one day," etc.
Of the first day Moses says that "In the beginning God created heaven and earth." Though He himself is immutable in being, the almighty God, in calling creatures into existence, issued, so to say, forth from his own Self and gave to creatures a being of their own, in order that He might, as it were, rejoice in the works of his own hands, as being the perfect and adequate results of his operations. And before creating intellectual and rational creatures, desiring also the order of executing these works to be most perfect, He created heaven for angels and men; and the earth as a place of pilgrimage for mortals. These places are so adapted to their end and so perfect, that as David says of them, the heavens publish the glory of the Lord, the firmament and the earth announce the glory of the works of his hands (Ps. 18, 2). The heavens in their beauty manifest his magnificence and glory, because in them is deposited the predestined reward of the just. And the earthly firmament announced that there would be creatures and men to inhabit the earth and that men should journey upon it to their Creator. Before He created them the Most High wished to provide for them and create that which is necessary for the attainment of their end, and for living in the manner ordained for them. Thus all parts of the creation would be compelled as it were to obey and love their Maker and Benefactor and by his works to learn of his holy name and of his perfections (Rom. 1, 20).
82. Of the earth Moses says, that it was void, which he does not say of the heavens; for God had created the angels at the instant indicated by the word of Moses: "God said: Let there be light, and light was made." He speaks here not only of material light, but also of the intellectual or angelic lights. He does not make express mention of them, but merely includes them in this word, on account of the proclivity of the Hebrews to attribute Divinity to new things, even of much greater inferiority than the angels. But the metaphor of light was very appropriate to signify the angelic nature and mystically, the light of their science and grace, with which they were endowed at their creation. God created the earth conjointly with the heavens, in order to call into existence hell in its centre; for, at the instant of its creation, there were left in the interior of that globe spacious and wide cavities, suitable for hell, purgatory and limbo. And in hell was created at the same time material fire and other requisites, which now serve for the punishment of the damned. The Lord was presently to divide the light from the darkness and to call the light day and the darkness night. And this did happen not only in regard to the natural night and day, but in regard to the good and bad angels; for to the good, He gave the eternal light of his vision and called it day, the eternal day; and to the bad, the night of sin, casting them into the eternal darkness of hell. Thus we were to be taught the intimate relation between the merciful liberality of the Creator and Vivifier and the justice of the most just Judge in punishment.
83. The angels were created in the empyrean heavens and in the state of grace by which they might be first to merit the reward of glory. For although they were in the midst of glory, the Divinity itself was not to be made manifest to them face to face and unveiled, until they should have merited such a favor by obeying the divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones, remained only a very short time in the state of probation; for their creation and probation with its result were three distinct instants or moments, separated by short intermissions. In the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures. Then followed a short pause, during which the will of the Creator was propounded and intimated, and the law and command was given them, to acknowledge Him as their Maker and supreme Lord, and to fulfill the end for which they had been created. During 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, merited eternal happiness and the disobedient ones, rebelling against God, merited the punishment, which they now suffer.
84. Although all this of the second instant could have happened in a very brief time on account of the subtle nature of the angels and the power of God, nevertheless I understood, that the kind consideration of the Most High permitted a certain delay. With the inter-position of some intervals of time, He proposed to them the good and the bad, truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, divine grace and friendship as opposed to sin and enmity of God. They were enabled to see eternal reward and eternal punishment, the perdition of Lucifer and of those that would follow him. His Majesty showed them hell and its pains. They saw it all; for, by virtue of their superior and excellent nature, they understood the essence of other more qualified and limited creatures; so that, before falling from grace, they were clearly aware of the place of their chastisement. Although they did not know in the same manner the reward of glory, they had of it other knowledge and besides they had the manifest and express promise of the Lord The Most High had therefore justified his cause and proceeded with the greatest equity and justice. But as all this goodness and equity did not suffice to restrain Lucifer and his followers, they were chastised in their stubbornness and hurled into the depths of the hellish caverns, while the good angels were confirmed in eternal grace and glory. All this was consummated in the third instant, and thus it became truly manifest that no being outside of God himself is impeccable by nature, since the angel, who held such an exalted position and was adorned with so many great gifts of knowledge and grace, nevertheless sinned and was lost. What will become of human frailty, if the divine power does not defend it and if it forces God to forsake it?
85. It remains to investigate the motive, which urged Lucifer and his confederates to sin and what was the occasion of their disobedience and fall, for this is the point to which I wanted to come. In regard to this, it was made known to me that they could commit many sins as far as the guilt of sin (secundum reatum) is concerned, although they did not consummate them in acts. However, on account of those which they did actually commit freely and of their own depraved will, they acquired the disposition to all bad acts, inducing others to commit and approving in others those sins, which they could not commit themselves. Following the bad inclinations which from that time on filled Lucifer, he fell into a most disorderly selflove, which arose from the consciousness of being endowed with greater gifts and greater beauty of nature and grace, than the other inferior angels. He tarried with inordinate pleasure in this consciousness; and thus self-satisfied he became lax and remiss in the gratitude, which was due to God as the sole cause of all that he had received. Turning again and again in admiration toward himself, he took pleasure in his own beauty and grace, attributing them to himself and loving them as his own. This disorderly selflove not only caused him to exalt himself on account of the superior virtues, which he had received, but also induced him to harbor envy and covetousness for other gifts and for excellences not his own. Then, because he could not attain them, he conceived a mortal hatred and indignation against God, who created him out of nothing, and against all his creatures.
86. Hence arose his disobedience, presumption, injustice, infidelity, blasphemy, and perhaps also a certain kind of idolatry, for he coveted for himself the adoration and reverence due to God. He blasphemed the divine magnificence and holiness, he failed in the trust and loyalty due to Him; he plotted to destroy all the creatures, and presumed to be able to do all this and much more by his own power. Thus his pride ascends continually (Ps. 73, 23) and perseveres, though his arrogance is greater than his strength, for in this he can not increase (Is. 16, 6) and in sin, one abyss calls the other (Ps. 14, 8). The first angel who sinned was Lucifer, as is described in the fourteenth chapter of Isaias. He induced others to follow him and therefore he is called the prince of the demons; not on account of his natural gifts, for these would not secure to him that title, but on account of his guilt. Those that sinned were not all of one order or hierarchy, but among all hierarchies there were many who sinned.
87. It is proper, that I also explain what was made known to me concerning the kind of honor and excellence, which Lucifer aspired to and envied. As in the works of God there is measure, number and weight (Wis. 11, 21), his Providence decided to show to the angels, immediately after their creation and before they could incline to diverse ends, the purpose for which He had created them with such an exalted and perfect nature. Of all this I obtained the following information: At first they received a more explicit intelligence of the being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence and attributes. All subjected themselves to this command and obeyed it, but with a certain difference; the good angels obeyed through love and on account of the justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely admitting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other hand, submitted himself, because the opposite seemed to him impossible. He did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. In consequence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave him on account of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition began with them; for there remained with him a certain weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Lucifer, is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mortally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the precept of God; but this fulfillment was remiss and imperfect, springing more from a sense of overwhelming compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put himself in danger of falling.
88. In the second place, the angels were informed that God was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety and equity, of the justice and reasonableness of such a position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of the grace which they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief. These commands were at once given to the angels.
89. To this command all the obedient and holy angels, submitted themselves and they gave their full assent and acknowledgment with an humble and loving subjection of the will. But Lucifer, full of envy and pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist likewise, as they in reality did, preferring to follow him and disobey the divine command. This wicked prince persuaded them, that he would be their chief and that he would set up a government independent and separate from 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 among innumerable other angels.
90. Then happened that great battle in heaven, which St. John describes (Apoc. 12). For the obedient and holy angels, filled with an ardent desire of hastening the glory of the Most High and the honor of the incarnate Word, asked permission and, as it were, the consent of God, to resist and contradict the dragon, and the permission was granted. But also another mystery was concealed in all this: When it was revealed to the angels that they would have to obey the incarnate Word, another, a third precept was given them, namely, that they were to admit as a superior conjointly with Him, a Woman, in whose womb the Onlybegotten of the Father was to assume flesh and that this Woman was to be the Queen and Mistress of all the creatures. The good angels by obeying this command of the Lord, with still increasing and more alert humility, freely subjected them selves, praising the power and the mysteries of the Most High. Lucifer, however, and his confederates, rose to a higher pitch of pride and boastful insolence. In disorderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be consummated in him.
91. The decree constituting him inferior to the Mother of the Incarnate Word, our Mistress, he opposed with horrible blasphemies. Turning against the Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation and calling upon the other angels, he exhorted them, saying: "Unjust are these commands and injury is done to my greatness; this human nature which Thou, Lord, lookest upon with so much love and which thou favorest so highly, I will persecute and destroy. To this end I will direct all my power and all my aspirations. And this Woman, Mother of the Word, I will hurl from the position in which Thou hast proposed to place Her, and at my hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall come to naught."
92. This proud boast so aroused the indignation of the Lord that in order to humble it, He spoke to Lucifer: "This Woman, whom thou refusest to honor, shall crush thy head and by Her shalt thou be vanquished and annihilated (Gen. 3, 15). And if, through thy pride, death enters into the world (Wis. 2, 24), life and salvation of mortals shall enter through the humility of this Woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and thy followers have lost." To all this the dragon, filled with indignation against what ever he understood of the divine will and decrees, answered only with pride and by threatening destruction to the whole human race. The good angels saw the just indignation of the Most High against Lucifer and his apostates and they combated them with the arms of the understanding, reason and truth.
93. The Almighty at this conjuncture worked another wonderful mystery. Having given to all the angels a sufficiently clear intelligence of the great mystery of the hypostatic Union, He showed them the image of the most holy Virgin by means of an imaginary vision (I speak here according to our way of understanding such things). They were shown the perfection of the human nature in the revelation of an image representing a most perfect Woman, in whom the almighty arm of the Most High would work more wonderfully than in all the rest of the creatures. For therein He was to deposit the graces and gifts of his right hand in a higher and more eminent manner. This sign or vision of the Queen of heaven and of the Mother of the incarnate Word was made known and manifest to all the angels, good and bad. The good ones at the sign of it broke forth in admiration and in canticles of praise and from that time on began to defend the honor of the God incarnate and of his holy Mother, being armed with ardent zeal and with the invincible shield of that vision. The dragon and his allies on the contrary conceived implacable hatred and fury against Christ and his most holy Mother. Then happened all that which is described in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse, which I will explain, as far as it has been given me, in the following chapter.



94. The literal version of that chapter of the Apocalypse is as follows:
1. "And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:
2. And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
3. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns; and on his head seven diadems.
4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth and the dragon stood before the woman, who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.
5. And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.
6. And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7. And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels.
8. And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9. And the dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10. And I heard a loud voice saying: Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ; because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.
11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death.
12. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having a great wrath and knowing that he hath but a short time.
13. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man-child:
14. And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water as if it were a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the river.
16. And the earth helped the woman and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed the river, which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17. And the dragon was angry against the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
18. And he stood upon the sands of the sea."

95. Such are the words of the Evangelist. He speaks in the past, because at that time was shown to him a vision of that which had already happened. He says: "And a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars." This sign appeared really in the heavens by divine disposition and was shown to the good and the bad angels, in order that seeing it, they might subject their will to the pleasure and the commands of God. They saw it therefore before the good ones chose the good and before the bad ones had turned to evil. It was as it were a mirror of the wonderful perfection of the handiwork of God in creating human nature. Although He had already revealed this perfection to the angels in making known to them the mystery of the hypostatic union, yet He wished to reveal it to them also in a different manner by showing it to them in a mere Creature, the most perfect and holy which, next to the humanity of our Lord, He was to create. It was also a sign for the assurance of the good angels and for confusion of the bad, since it manifested to them that in spite of the offense which was committed, God would not let the decree of creating man be unfulfilled, and that the incarnate Word and this Woman, his Mother, would please Him infinitely more than the disobedient angels could ever displease Him. This sign was also like the rainbow, which appeared after the flood in the clouds of heaven, as a guarantee that even if men should sin like the angels and become disobedient, they were not to be punished like the angels without remission, but would be furnished with salutary medicine and  remedy by this wonderful sign. It was as if God said to the angels: I will not chastise in the same way the other creatures which I call into my existence, because this Woman, in whom my Onlybegotten is to assume flesh, belongs to that race. My Son shall be the Restorer of friendship and the Pacifier of my justice; He shall open the way to the felicity, which sin would close.
96. In further testimony of this, after the punishment of the disobedient angels, God made use of the sign in order to show that his anger, which the pride of Lucifer had occasioned, was appeased and placated. And according to our way of understanding, He rejoiced in the presence of the Queen thus represented in that image. He gave the angels to understand that, through Christ and his Mother, He would now divert upon men the grace which the apostates had lost through their rebellion. There was also another effect of that great sign among the good angels; namely, that since they had been, as it were, made sorrowful and made unhappy (speaking according to our way of understanding) the Most High now wished to rejoice them with the sight of that image and to increase their essential beatitude by this accidental pleasure merited by their victory over Lucifer. Seeing this Woman so full of clemency (Esther 4, 11), appearing to them as a sign of peace, they understood at once that the decree of punishment was not issued against them, since they had obeyed the precepts of the Lord and his divine will. Much of the mysteries and sacraments of the Incarnation, and those of the Church militant and its members, were made manifest to them in this sign. They understood also, that they were to assist and help the human race, by watching over men, by defending them against their enemies and by leading them to eternal felicity. They saw that they themselves would owe their felicity to the merits of the incarnate Word and that the Creator had preserved them also in grace through Christ preordained in the divine Mind.
97. Just as all this was a great joy and happiness for the good angels, so it was a great torment for the evil spirits. It was to the latter a part and the beginning of their punishment. For they saw at once, that having failed to profit by this sign, they were to be conquered and crushed by it (3, 15). All these mysteries, and many others, which I cannot explain, the Evangelist wished to comprehend in this chapter, and include in that great sign; although for us it will remain obscure and enigmatic until the proper time arrives.
98. The sun, which is mentioned as clothing the Woman, is the true Sun of Justice. The angels were to understand by it, that the Most High was to remain with this Woman by his grace in order to overshadow and defend Her by the protection of his invincible right hand. The moon was beneath her feet; for as the two planets, the sun and the moon, divide night and day, therefore the moon, being the symbol of the darkness of sin, is beneath her feet, and the sun, being the symbol of the light of grace, clothes Her for all eternity. Thus also the deficiencies of grace in all mortals must be beneath her feet, and never must rise either to her soul or to her body, which on the contrary were to be ever superior to all angels and men. She alone was to be free from the darkness and the waning's of Lucifer and of Adam, treading them under foot without their being able to gain any advantage over Her. And just as She rose above all the guilt and the effects of original and of actual sin, God now placed these in a symbolical manner under her feet, in order that the good angels might know, and the bad ones, (though they did not attain full knowledge of the mysteries), might fear this Woman even before She came into actual existence.
99. The crown of twelve stars are evidently all the virtues, with which that Queen of heaven and earth was to be adorned. But the mystery of its being composed of twelve stars has reference to the twelve tribes of Israel, by which all the elect and the predestined are designated, as is mentioned in the seventh chapter of the Apocalypse by the Evangelist (Apoc. 7,4). And since the gifts, graces and virtues of all the elect were to crown their Queen in a most eminent and exalted degree, a crown of twelve stars was placed around her head.
100. "And being with child." In the presence of all the angels, for the rejoicing of the good and for the punishment of the evil ones, who resisted the divine will and the fulfillment of these mysteries, it became manifest that the three Persons of the blessed Trinity had selected this wonderful Woman as the Mother of the Onlybegotten of the Father. And since the dignity of the mother of the Word was the principal beginning and foundation of all the great excellences of this great Mistress and of this her symbol, She was shown to the angels as being the resting place of the holy Trinity, represented in the divine personality of the Word incarnate. For on account of their inseparable union and co-existence, all the three Persons could not fail to be there, wherever any one of Them was present; although only the Person of the Word assumed human flesh and with Him alone was She pregnant.
101. "She cried travailing in birth." Although the dignity of this Queen and of that mystery was to be hidden in the beginning in order that God might be born humble, poor and unknown: yet afterwards the news of that Birth was proclaimed so loudly, that its first echo excited King Herod and filled him with uneasiness. It drew the Magi from their palaces and kingdoms in order to find Him (Matth. 2, 3). Some hearts were touched with fear, others moved to interior affection. The Fruit of this birth, growing until it was raised on the Cross, gave such loud voices, that It was heard from the rising to the setting sun (John 12, 32), and from farthest north to farthest south (Rom. 10, 18). So far then was heard the voice of that Woman who gave birth to the Word of the eternal Father.
102. "And was in pain to be delivered." He does not say this because She was to give birth in bodily pain, for that is not possible in this divine Parturition. But because it was to be a great sorrow for that Mother to see that divine Infant come forth from the secrecy of her virginal womb in order to suffer and die as a victim for the satisfaction of the sins of the world. For this Queen could know and did know all this beforehand by her knowledge of the holy Scriptures. On account of the natural love of such a Mother for such a Son, She must be deeply afflicted thereby, although in subjection to the will of God. In this pain was also foreshadowed the sorrow of this most gentle Mother at the thought of being deprived of the presence of her Treasure, after He should have issued from her virginal womb; for although her soul always enjoyed his presence as to his Divinity, yet She was to be a long time without his bodily presence, according to which He was exclusively her Son. The Most High had determined to exempt Her from guilt, but not from the labors and sorrows corresponding to the reward, which was prepared for Her. Thus the sorrows of this birth were not the effect of sin, as they are in the descendants of Eve, but they were the effect of the intense and perfect love of the most holy Mother for her divine Son. All these mysteries were motives of praise and admiration for the good angels and the beginning of punishment for the bad angels.
103. "And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns; and on his head were seven diadems, and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth." Thereupon followed the punishment of Lucifer and his allies; for after uttering his blasphemies against the Woman, who had been symbolized in the heavenly sign, he found himself visibly and exteriorly transformed from a most beautiful angel in to a fierce and most horrid dragon. He reared with fury his seven heads, that is, he led on the seven legions or squadrons of all those that followed and fell with him. To each principality or congregation of these followers he gave a head, commanding them to sin on their own account and undertake the leadership in the seven mortal sins, which are commonly called capital. For in these are contained the other sins and they constitute as it were the regiments that rise up against God. They are the sins called pride, envy, avarice, anger, luxury, intemperance and sloth. They are the seven diadems with which Lucifer, after being changed into a dragon, was crowned. This is the punishment with which he was visited by the Most High and which he acquired as a return for his horrible wickedness for himself and for his confederate angels. To all of them were apportioned the punishment and the pains, which corresponded to their malice and to the share which they had in originating the seven capital sins.
104. The ten horns were the triumphs of the iniquity and malice of the dragon, and the vain and arrogant glorification and exaltation which he attributed to himself in the execution of his wickedness. In his depraved desire of attaining the object of his arrogance, he offered to the unhappy angels his malicious and poisonous friendship and his counterfeit principalities, commanderships and rewards. These promises, full of bestial ignorance and error, were the tail with which the dragon drew after him the third part of the stars of heaven. These angels were the stars and if they would have persevered, they would have shone with the rest of the angels and the just, like the sun through the perpetual eternities (Dan. 12, 3). But the punishment which they merited drew them down to the earth of their unhappiness into its very centre, which is hell, where they will for all eternity be deprived of light and happiness (Jude 6).
105. "And the dragon stood before the woman, who was ready to be delivered; that when She should be delivered, he might devour her Son." The pride of Lucifer was so boundless that he pretended to place his throne on high, and with the utmost boasting he spoke in presence of the Woman symbolized in the heavenly sign: "This Son, which that Woman is to bring forth, is of lower nature than mine: I shall devour Him and destroy Him. I shall lead on my followers against Him, I shall spread my doctrines against his decrees and against the laws, which He shall set up. I shall wage perpetual war and contradiction against Him." But the answer of the most high Lord was that this Woman was to bring forth a Manchild, who was to reign over the nations with an iron rod. "This Man" (the Lord added) "shall be not only the Son of that Woman, but He shall also be my Son, true God and true man, gifted with power to overcome thy pride and crush thy head. He will be to thee and to all those who hear and follow thee, a powerful Judge, who shall rule thee with a rod of iron and bring to naught all thy vain and aspiring thoughts. This Son shall be taken up to my throne, where He shall be seated at my right hand as Judge, and I will place his enemies for a footstool beneath his feet in order to triumph over them (Ps. 2, 9). He will be rewarded as the Just man, who, being at the same time true God, has done so much for his creatures; all shall know Him and shall give Him reverence and honor (Ps. 109, 1). But thou, as the most unhappy, shalt know what is the day of the wrath of the Allpowerful (Sophon 1, 14). This Woman, too, shall be placed in solitude, where She will have a place assigned by Me" (Apos. 12, 6). This solitude, to which the Woman fled, is the position which our great Queen holds, as being only and alone, unsurpassed in sanctity and exempt from all sin. For She, being of the same nature as mortals, far excelled all the angels in grace, merits and gifts attained in common with them. Thus, She who was the only One and without a compeer among creatures, fled and was placed in a solitude exalted above all the rest. This solitude was so far removed from all sin that the dragon could not even attain sight of it, nor could he from the time of her Conception discern anything of Her. The Most High placed Her alone and as the only One in the world, who never had intercourse with, and never was in subordination to the serpent. On the contrary, with solemn promise and assurance He affirmed and decreed: "This Woman, from the first instant of her existence, shall be my only One, chosen for Myself; I exempt Her even now from the jurisdiction of her enemies and I will assign to Her a position of grace most eminent and incomparable, in order that there She may be nourished one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (Apos. 12, 6). That number of days the Queen was to remain in an interior and spiritual state of most exalted and extraordinary graces, which were to be more memorable and wonderful. This happened in the last years of her life, as, with the help of God, I will relate in its place. In that state She was nourished in such a divine manner, that our understanding will never be able to grasp it. And because these graces were in a certain measure the end toward which others of the life of the Queen of heaven were ordained, and, as it were, their culmination, the Evangelist makes a special mention of them.





106. "And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels." When the Lord had manifested these things to the good and to the bad angels, the holy prince Michael and his companions, with the per mission of God, gave battle to the dragon and his followers. It was a wonderful battle, for it was fought with the understanding and the will. Saint Michael, burning with zeal for the honor of God and armed with divine power and with his own humility, resisted the arrogant pride of the dragon, saying: "Worthy is the Highest of honor, praise and reverence, and of being loved, feared and obeyed by all creation. He is mighty to work whatever He desires. He that is increate and without dependence on any other being, cannot seek any thing that is not most just. To us He gave grace such as we have, creating us and forming us out of nothing. He can create other beings, as many and in what manner He pleases. It is reasonable that we, submissive and prostrate in his presence, adore his Majesty and kingly grandeur. Come then, ye angels, follow me, let us adore Him, and extol his admirable and secret judgments, his most perfect and holy works. God is most exalted and above all creatures, and He would not be the Most High, if we could attain or comprehend his great works. Infinite He is in wisdom and goodness, rich in the treasures of his benefits. As Lord of all and needing none, He can distribute them to whomsoever He wishes, and He cannot err in the selection. He can love and confer his favor to whomsoever He chooses, and He can love whom He likes; He can raise up, create and enrich according as it is his good pleasure. In all things He will be wise, holy and irresistible. Let us adore and thank Him for the wonderful work of the In carnation which He has decreed, and for his favors to his people and for its restoration to grace after its fall. Let us adore this Person endowed with the human and the divine nature, let us reverence It and accept It as our Head; let us confess, that He is worthy of all glory, praise and magnificence, and, as the Author of grace, let us give Him glory and acknowledge his power and Divinity."
107. With such arms St. Michael and his angels gave battle, fighting as it were, with the powerful rays of truth against the dragon and his followers, who on their hand made use of blasphemies. But Lucifer at the sight of the holy prince, not being able to resist, was torn with interior rage and sought to fly from his torments; it was the will of God, however, that he should not only be punished, but also conquered, in order that by his fall he might know the truth and power of God. Nevertheless he blasphemed and cried out: "Unjust is God in raising the human nature above the angelic. I am the most exalted and beautiful angel and the triumph be longs to me. It is I who am to place my throne above the stars and who shall be like unto the Highest; I will subject myself to no one of an inferior nature, and I will not consent that any one take precedence of me or be greater than I." In the same way spoke the apostate followers of Lucifer. But St. Michael answered: "Who is there like unto the Lord, who dwells in the heavens, or who to compare himself to Him? Be silent, enemy, cease thy dreadful blasphemies, and since iniquity has taken possession of thee, depart from our midst, wretch, and be hurled in thy blind ignorance and wickedness into the dark night and chaos of the infernal pains. But let us, O spirits of the Lord, honor and reverence this blessed Woman, who is to give human flesh to the eternal Word; and let us recognize Her as our Queen and Lady."
108. The great sign of the Woman served the good angels as a shield and as arms of battle against the evil ones; for at the sight of it, all their power of reasoning weakened and was brought to confusion and silence, since they could not endure the mysteries and sacraments contained in this sign. And just as by divine power this mysterious sign appeared, so also now the other figure or sign of the dragon appeared, in order that thus transformed he might be ignominiously hurled from heaven amid the fright and terror of his followers and amid the astonishment of the holy angels. All this was the effect of this new manifestation of the justice and power of God.
109. It is difficult to describe in words what passed in that memorable battle, since there is such a wide difference between our conceptions, founded on material objects, and those which would be appropriate to the nature and operations of such great spirits as these angels. "But the bad ones did not prevail" for injustice, lies, ignorance and malice could not prevail against equity, truth, light and goodness; nor could these virtues be overcome by vices. Therefore, it is also said: "From that time on their place was not found in heaven." Through the sins which these disgraced angels had committed, they made themselves unworthy of the eternal vision and company of the Lord. Their memory was blotted out from his mind, where they had been written by the excellences and graces of the nature given to them. Having lost the right to the places, which had been reserved for them, if they had obeyed, it passed over to mankind. To man these places were now transferred in such a way that the very vestiges of the apostate angels were blotted out and were no more found in heaven. O unhappy wickedness and never to be described misfortune, which drew after itself such a horrible and dreadful chastisement! The Evangelist adds:
110. "And the dragon was cast out, that ancient serpent who is called devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth and his angels were thrown down with him." The holy prince Michael hurled from heaven the dragon Lucifer with the invincible battle-cry: "Who is like unto God?" So powerful was this cry, that it sufficed to precipitate that proud giant and all his host to the earth and cast him in dreadful ignominy to the centre of the earth. From that time he began to be called dragon, serpent, devil and satan, imposed upon him by the holy archangel in that battle as a testimony of his iniquity and malice. Deprived of the happiness and honor, of which he had become unworthy, he was despoiled also of his names and honorable titles, acquiring in their stead such as designate his ignominy. The wicked plans which he proposed and enjoined upon his confederates, namely, that they should deceive and pervert all those that live in the world, manifest sufficiently his wickedness. He therefore, who intended to scourge the nations, was consigned to hellish regions, as Isaias says in the fourteenth chapter, to the profound abyss, and his cadaver was delivered to the moth and the worm of his own bad conscience; thus was fulfilled in Lucifer all that the prophet says in that chapter.
111. When the heavens had been cleared of the bad angels and the Divinity had been unveiled to the good and the obedient; when they were already admitted into glory and the bad ones chastised, then happened what the Evangelist farther says: "And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying: Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our Lord, and the power of his Christ; because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night." This voice, which the Evangelist heard was that of the Word, and all the holy angels heard and listened to it. Its echoes reverberated through the infernal regions and filled with trembling and fear the demons. They did not, however, understand its mystery in full, but only so much of it, as the Most High chose to manifest to them for their greater affliction and punishment. It was the voice of the Son, who in the name of the humanity, which He was to assume, was asking the eternal Father that the salvation, power and kingdom of his Majesty, and the reign of Christ might begin; since the accuser of the brethren of the same Christ our Lord, that is, of man, had been cast out. It was like a petition before the throne of the most holy Trinity, that the salvation and power and the mysteries of the Redemption and In carnation be put into execution. He asked that it be done so much the sooner as Lucifer, being filled with fury, envy and wrath against the human nature, which the Word was to assume, was now infesting the earth. Full of love and compassion the Word calls men his brethren. Lucifer is said to "accuse them day and night," because, both during the day in which he still enjoyed divine grace in the presence of the eternal Father and of the holy Trinity, he belittled us in his pride, and much more, in the night of his own darkness and of our fall, he pursues us unceasingly with slander and persecution as long as this world will endure. The Word calls the works and mysteries of the Incarnation and his Death "virtue," "power" and "reign," because in them, all these really had their beginning and in them was manifested his great virtue and power against Lucifer.
112. This was the first time in which the Word in the name of his humanity interceded for men before the Divinity, and in which, according to our mode of conceiving such things, the eternal Father conferred with the other Persons of the blessed Trinity in regard to this petition. He also partly revealed to the holy angels the decree of this divine consistory, saying, in regard to the sacraments resolved upon: "Lucifer has raised the banner of pride and sin and will persecute with all his malice the whole human race. With cunning he will pervert many men, availing himself of their own passions for their destruction. In the blindness of sin and vice men will prevaricate, heedless of danger. But his lying pride, his sins and vices, are infinitely distant from our nature and wishes. We will therefore bring out the triumph of virtue and sanctity; for this purpose the second Person will assume human nature; He will exalt and teach humility, obedience and all the virtues, and thus will secure the salvation of mortals. Being true God He will become humble and submissive. He will be the Just Man, the Model and Teacher of all virtues. These alone shall be accredited before our tribunal and shall always triumph over vices. We will raise up the lowly and humble the proud (Matth. 11, 28); we will make labors and endurance praiseworthy in our sight; we resolve to help the afflicted and the sorrowful. Let them be corrected by afflictions and thereby advance in our grace and friendship and, according to their capabilities, reach salvation in the practice of virtue. Blessed will be they that weep (Matth. 5, 3), and happy the poor and those that suffer for justice sake and for Christ, their Chief; and the insignificant ones shall be magnified, the meek of heart exalted. The peaceful shall be loved as our sons. Most dear shall those be to us, who forgive and suffer injuries and love their enemies. We will assign to them copious benedictions of our grace and an immortal glory in heaven. Our Onlybegotten will put in practice these decrees, and those that follow Him shall be our chosen ones, our cherished ones; they shall be refreshed and rewarded by Us; their good works shall be engendered in our own mind, which is the first cause of all virtue. We give permission to the bad ones to oppress the good, thus helping them to gain the crown, while for themselves they increase the punishment. Let there be scandals (Matth. 18, 7) for the common good; unhappy be those that cause them, and blessed they that are proved by them. The vain and the proud will afflict and despise the humble; the great and the powerful will oppress the lowly and abject ones. They will give benediction instead of curses (I Cor. 4, 12). While they are pilgrims, they shall be rejected by men, but afterwards they shall be ranked with the angelic spirits, our sons, and they will enjoy the seats and crowns, which the unfortunate and unhappy apostates have lost. The stubborn and the proud shall be condemned to eternal death, where they will recognize their foolish proceedings and their perverseness."
113. "In order that all may have a true model and superabundant grace, if they wish to use it, the Son will descend, capable of suffering and as a Redeemer, and He shall save men (whom Lucifer defrauded of their happy state); and He shall raise them up through his infinite merits. We have resolved and determined upon the salvation of men, through a Redeemer and Teacher, who shall be able to propitiate and to teach, who shall be born and live poor, shall die despised, condemned by men to a most ignominious and frightful Death; who shall be esteemed a sinner and a criminal, and yet shall satisfy our justice for the guilt of sin. On account of his foreseen merits We will show mercy and kindness. All will understand, that those who are humble and peaceful, those that practice virtue, that suffer and yet forgive, are the followers of Christ and our sons. No body will be capable of entering by his own free will into our kingdom, unless he denies himself, and, taking up his cross, follows his Chief and Master (Matth. 10, 22). Our kingdom shall be composed of the perfect, who have legitimately labored and fought, persevering to the end. These will take part in the reign of our Christ, now begun and determined upon. For the accuser of his brethren has been cast down; the triumph of Christ is secured; to Him belong exaltations and glory, since He is to wash and purify men with his blood. Therefore only He shall be worthy to open the book of the law of grace (Apoc. 5, 9), He is the way, the light, the truth and the life (Joan 14, 6), through which men may come to Me. He alone shall open the gates of heaven; He shall be the Mediator (I Tim. 2, 5) and the Advocate of mortals, in Him they will have a Father, a Brother (I Joan 2, 1), and Protector after having been freed from their accuser and persecutor. And the angels, who like true sons, have shared in the work of our salvation and power and have defended the reign of my Christ, shall likewise be honored and crowned through all the eternities of eternities in my presence."
114. This voice (which contains the mysteries hidden since the constitution of the world and manifested by the doctrine and the life of Jesus Christ), issued forth from the throne and imported more than I can explain. Through it were assigned the commissions, which the holy angels were to fulfill. Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel were appointed ambassadors of the incarnate Word and of Mary his Mother most holy; they were to be ministers for all the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption. With these two princes, many other angels were assigned to the same service, as I shall explain afterward (Nos. 201-206). Other angels the Almighty appointed as companions and guardians of the souls, to teach them and inspire them with the virtues and sanctity opposed to the vices, into which Lucifer had proposed to seduce mankind. They were to guard and defend the souls and to carry them in their hands (Ps. 90, 12), in order that the just might not hurt their feet against the stones, which are the snares and the traps laid by their enemies.
115. Also other things were decreed on this occasion of which the Evangelist says that the power, salvation, virtue and kingdom of Christ began. But among the mysterious works at this time was especially the designation and enumeration of the predestined in the secret tablets of the divine mind through the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Oh the mysteries and the inexplicable secrets, which then were evolved in the bosom of God! Oh, happy lot of the chosen ones! What can equal this in importance! What sacrament is so worthy of the Omnipotence of God! How great was the triumph of the power of Christ! Happy, infinitely happy, the members who then were assigned and united to such a Head! Oh great Church! Oh mighty people and holy congregation of such a Leader and Master! At the thought of such exalted mysteries the judgment of the creature is rendered powerless, my understanding is suspended, and my tongue becomes mute!
116. In the consistory of the three divine Persons the mysterious book spoken of in the Apocalypse was given and, as it were, delivered to the Onlybegotten of the Father; at that time it was written, closed, and sealed with the seven seals (Apoc. 5, 7), of which the Evangelist speaks. When He was made human flesh He opened it, solving in their order the seals by enacting the mysteries of his Birth, Life and Death unto the consummation of all things. That which the book contained were all the decrees of the holy Trinity after the fall of the angels; namely all that belongs to the Incarnation of the Word, and the law of grace, the ten Commandments, the seven Sacraments and all the articles of faith, and what is contained in them, the constitution of the whole militant Church. To the Word as having assumed human nature and as the High Priest and holy Pontiff (Heb. 6, 20), was given the power to communicate the necessary faculties and gifts to the Apostles and the other priests and ministers of the Church.
117. This was the mysterious beginning of the law of the Gospel. In a most secret consistory of the Trinity it was resolved and recorded in the divine mind, that those who would observe that law, shall be written in the book of life. Here was the beginning of that law and from the eternal Father the pontiffs and prelates have their power and their vicariate. From his infinite power flows the virtues of those that are meek, poor in spirit, humble and just. This is their most humble origin, and on that account it is true to say, that he who obeys the superior obeys God (Luc. 10, 16), and he who despises them, despises God. All this was decreed and conceived in the divine mind and to Christ was given the power to open in its proper time this book of decrees, which was until then to be closed and sealed. In the meanwhile the Most High gave his testament, that is the testimonies of his divine words in the natural laws and in the written laws, accompanying them with wonderful works and manifesting a part of his secrets through the Patriarchs and Prophets.
118. Through these testimonies and through the blood of the Lamb, it is said: "They (the just) over came him (the dragon)." For although the blood of Christ was entirely sufficient and superabundant to enable all the faithful to overcome the dragon, their accuser, and although the testimonies and teachings of the Prophets are of great power and help for eternal salvation; yet the just attain the fruit of the Passion and Redemption, by cooperating of their own free will with these divine helps, conquering their own selves and the demons, and making use of grace. They not only succeed in fulfilling the ordinary commandments and counsels of God, but they go to the extent of sacrificing their lives for the Lord (Apoc. 6, 9) in testimony of Him and in the hope of the crown and triumph promised by Christ, as the martyrs did in testimony of the faith and in defending his honor.
119. On account of all these mysteries the sacred text adds: "Therefore rejoice, O heaven, and all those that dwell therein." Rejoice, because thou art to be the dwelling place of the just, and of their Chief, Jesus Christ, and of his most holy Mother. Rejoice, O heaven, because of all the material and inanimate creatures none obtained a better lot, for thou art to be the house of God, who will endure through the eternal ages, and thou art to receive as thy Queen the most pure and most holy Creature, that emanated from the power of the Most High. Therefore rejoice, heaven and all that dwell therein, ye angels and ye just, since you are to be the companions and ministers of the Son of the eternal Father and of his Mother, and you are to be parts of that mystical body, whose head is Christ himself. Rejoice, ye holy angels, because ministering to them and serving them by your defense and custody, you increase your accidental joy. Let the holy Archangel Michael, the prince of the celestial hosts, rejoice in particular because he defended in battle the glory of the Most High and his adorable mysteries, and because he is to be the minister of the Incarnation of the Word and a particular witness of all its effect to the end. Let all his allies and all the defenders of Jesus Christ and his Mother rejoice, since during their ministry they do not lose the joys of essential glory already their own. On account of such divine sacraments let the heavens rejoice!


120. "Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time." Woe to the earth, where so many sins and such wickedness shall be perpetrated! Woe to the sea, which refused to pour forth its floods and annihilate the transgressors at the sight of so great offenses against its Creator, and to avenge the insults against its Maker and Lord! But more woe to the profound and raging sea of those that follow the demon, after he had descended in their midst in order to war against them with great wrath and with such unheard of cruelty! It is the wrath of the most ferocious dragon, and greater than that of the devouring lion (I Pet. 5, 8), who attempts to annihilate all creation and to whom all the days of the world seem a short time to execute his fury. Such is his hunger and thirst to do damage to the mortals, that all the days of their life do not satisfy him, for they come to an end, whereas he desires eternal ages, if possible, in order to wage war against the sons of God. But incomparably greater than against all others is his rage against that most blessed Woman, who was to crush his head (Gen. 3, 15). Therefore the Evangelist says:
121. "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the Woman, who brought forth the Man-child." When the ancient serpent saw the most unhappy place and state to which he had fallen, and that he was hurled from the empyrean heaven, he broke out in so much the greater rage and envy, like a wild beast tearing its own entrails. Against the Mother of the Word incarnate he conceived such a furious rage, as no human tongue or intelligence can ever describe or understand. But to a certain extent this anger can be surmised from that which followed immediately after that dragon found himself hurled with his hosts to the infernal regions. I will describe this event, as far as I can, and as far as it has been made plain to my understanding.
122. During the whole first week of the creation of the world and its contents Lucifer and the demons were occupied in machinations and projects of wickedness against the Word, who was to become incarnate, and against the Woman of whom He was to be born and made man. On the first day, which corresponds to Sunday, were created the angels; laws and precepts were given to them, for the guidance of their actions. The bad ones disobeyed and transgressed the mandates of the Lord. By divine providence and disposition then succeeded all the other events, which have been recorded above, up to the morning of the second day, corresponding to Monday, on which Lucifer and his hosts were driven and hurled into hell. The duration of these days corresponds to the small periods, or delays, which intervened between their creation, activity, contest and fall, or glorification. As soon as Lucifer with his followers entered hell, they assembled in general council, which lasted to the morning of Thursday. During this time Lucifer exerted all his astuteness and diabolical malice in conferring with the demons and concocting plans to offend God so much the more deeply, and to obtain revenge for the chastisement, to which he had been subjected. They came to the conclusion and resolved that the greatest vengeance and injury against God would be to impede the effects of the love, which they knew God bore toward mankind. This they hoped to attain by deceiving men, and persuading them, or even, as far as possible, compelling them to neglect the friendship of God, to be ungrateful toward Him, and to rebel against his will.
123. "This we must strive to do," said Lucifer, "toward this end we must apply all our forces, all our solicitude and knowledge. We will subject the human creatures to our influence and will, in order to destroy them. We will persecute this race of men and will deprive them of the reward promised to them. We will exert all our vigilance, to prevent them from arriving at the vision of God, which was denied us unjustly. I will gain great triumphs over them; I will destroy them all and subject them to my designs. I will sow new sects and errors, and set up laws contrary to those of the Most High in all things. I will raise up from among men false prophets and leaders, who will spread these doctrines (Act 20, 30) and I will scatter this seed through them and afterwards I will assign to them a place in these profound torments. I will afflict the poor, oppress the afflicted, and persecute the timid. I will sow discord, excite wars, and stir up nations against each other. I will raise up proud and haughty men to extend the dominion of sin and after they shall have executed my designs, I will bury them in this eternal fire, and in so much the greater torments, the more faithfully they followed me. This is my kingdom and this is the reward which I will give to those who follow me."
124. "I will wage fierce war against the incarnate Word, for although He is God, He is also man, and therefore of a lower nature than mine. I will exalt my throne and my dignity above his; I will conquer Him and will humble Him by my power and astuteness. The Woman who is to be his Mother shall perish at my hands. What is one Woman against my power and greatness? And you, ye demons, who were injured together with me, follow me and obey me in the pursuit of this vengeance, as you have followed me in disobedience! Pretend to love men, in order to destroy them; serve them, in order to ruin them and deceive them; help them, in order to pervert them and draw them into these my hellish regions." No human tongue can explain the malice and fury of this first council of Lucifer and his hosts against the human race, which although not yet in existence, was to be created. In it were concocted all the vices and sins of the world, thence proceeded lies, sects and errors; all iniquity had its origin in that chaos and in that abominable gathering, and all those that do evil are in the service of the prince of this assembly.
125. Having closed this meeting, Lucifer sought permission to speak with God, and his Majesty, for his own exalted ends, gave him permission. This was allowed in, the same manner in which satan spoke to God when he asked permission to persecute Job (Job 1, 6), and it happened on the day which corresponds to our Thursday. He addressed the Most High in the following words: "Lord, since Thou hast laid thy hand so heavily upon me in chastising me with so great cruelty, and since Thou hast predetermined all that Thou desirest to do for the men whom Thou art to create; and since Thou wishest to exalt and elevate so high the incarnate Word and enrich the Woman, who is to be his Mother, with all thy predestined gifts, be now equitable and just; as Thou hast given me permission to persecute the rest of men, give me also permission to tempt and make war against Christ, the Man-God and the Woman, who is to be his Mother; give me freedom to exert all my powers against Them." Other things Lucifer said on that occasion, and, in spite of the great violence occasioned to his pride by the humiliation, he humbled himself nevertheless in order to ask for this permission. His wrathful anxiety to obtain what he desired was so great that he was willing to subdue even his arrogance, thus forcing one iniquity to yield to another. He knew too well that without the permission of the omnipotent Lord he could attempt nothing. In order to be able to tempt Christ our Lord, and his most holy Mother in particular, he was willing to humiliate himself a thousand times, for he feared the threat, which had been made, that She should crush his head.
126. The Lord answered: "Thou must not, satan, ask such a permission as due to thee in justice, for the incarnate Word is God and Lord most high and omnipotent, though He is at the same time true man, and thou art his creature. Even if the other men sin and subject themselves to thy will, this will not be possible in my Onlybegotten made man. Though thou mayest succeed in making men slaves of sin, Christ will be holy and just, segregated from sinners. He will redeem them, if they fall. And this Woman against whom thou hast such wrath, although She is to be a mere creature and a true daughter of man, is to be preserved by my decree from sin. She is to be altogether mine forever and on no account or title shall any one else be allowed to have part in Her."
127. To this satan replied: "But what wonder that this Woman should be holy, since no one on this earth will be allowed to draw Her to the contrary, or persecute Her and incite Her to sin? This cannot be equity, nor just judgment, nor can this be proper and praise worthy." Lucifer added yet other blasphemies in his arrogance. But the Most High, who disposes all things with wisdom, answered him: "I will give thee permission to tempt Christ, so that He will be an example and a teacher in this to all the rest of men. I also give thee permission to persecute the Woman, but thou must not touch Her in regard to the life of her body. It is my will, that Christ and his Mother be not exempt from temptation, and that They be tempted by thee like the rest of men."

This permission was more pleasing to the dragon than that of being free to persecute all the rest of the human race. In this he resolved to use more care than in the pursuit of any other project, as after wards really happened. To no one else than himself was he resolved to confide its execution. Therefore the Evangelist proceeds to say:
128. "He persecuted the Woman, who brought forth the man-child." For with the permission of the Lord, he waged unheard of war and persecution against Her, whom he thought to be the Mother of God incarnate. But since these persecutions and battles will be described later (No. 692-697, Part II 340-71; III 451528), I will only say here, that they were beyond all conception of man. Equally admirable, was her glorious resistance and victory over them. Therefore in order to describe the manner in which She defended Herself, he says: "There were given to her two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times." These two wings were given to the most holy Virgin before She entered upon the combat, for She was prepared by 10 special gifts and favors. The one wing was an infused science, which revealed anew to Her vast mysteries and sacraments; the other was a new and sublime humility, as will be explained in its place (Part II 335-339, Part III 448-450). With these two wings She took her flight to the Lord, her proper habitation, for in Him alone She lived and in Him was centered all her attention. She flew like the royal eagle, without ever directing her flight towards the enemy, being alone in her flight and living in seclusion from all earthly things, solely in communion with her last End, which is the Divinity. In this solitude She "was nourished for a time and times," for though this nourishment lasted all her life, yet it was more abundant in the times of her great battles with satan. In those times She received favors more proportioned to the greatness of the conflict. By "time and times" is also understood the felicity, by which her victories were rewarded and crowned.
129. "And half a time from the face of the serpent." This half a time was that, in which the most holy Virgin was free from the persecution of the dragon and far from his sight during this life; for, having conquered him in her battles, She was, by divine providence and as Victress, freed from them. This freedom was conceded to Her in order that She might enjoy the peace and quiet, which She had merited after having conquered the enemy, as I will describe farther on (Part III, 526). Concerning the time of the combat the Evangelist says:
130. "And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water, as it were, a river, that he might cause her to be carried away; and the earth helped the woman and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river, which the dragon cast out of his mouth." All his malice and all his forces Lucifer exerted and directed against the Mistress; for all those, who were ever tempted by him, seemed to him of less importance than most holy Mary. With the same force as the current of a great swift river, so the malice, and the lies, and the temptations flowed from the mouth of that dragon against Her. But the earth helped Her; for the earth of her body and of her inclinations was not cursed, nor did the sentence and punishment, which God hurled against Adam and Eve, touch Her in any way. For in it our earth is cursed and produces thorns instead of fruit. It is wounded in its very nature by its inclination to sin "fomes Peccati" (Gen. 3, 17), which continues to assault us and causes opposition. The devil avails himself of these inclinations for the ruin of men, for he finds within us arms for his offensive warfare; and catering to our evil inclinations by his false representations and apparent sweetness and delight, he draws us toward sensible and earthly things.
131. But the most blessed Mary, the holy and sanctified earth without touch of bad inclinations or evil dispositions, was free from all danger of corruption arising from the earth. On the contrary, since all her inclinations were most orderly, composed and obedient to grace, the earth of her body was in perfect harmony with her soul. Thus this earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the stream of temptations which the dragon raised up for Her in vain; for he found that material indisposed and unfomented for sin, unlike the other offspring of Adam. Their terrestrial and disorderly passions are more adapted to produce the floods of temptation, than to absorb them, since our passions and our corrupt nature are always in opposition to virtue.  On account of the futility of his efforts against this mysterious Woman, Scripture says:
132. "And the dragon was angry against the Woman: and he went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The dragon, having been gloriously overcome in all things by the Queen of all creation and dreading the furious torments of his own confusion and the ruin of all hell power, fled from Her, determined to make cruel war against the other souls belonging to the generation and race of the most blessed Mother. These are the faithful, who are marked with the testimony and the blood of Christ in Baptism as keepers of his commands and constant witnesses. For all the wrath of the demon turned so much the more to ward the holy Church and its members, when he saw, that he would be unable to gain any advantage over Christ and his most holy Mother. Especially does he war against the virgins of Christ, and with a more particular hatred does he seek to destroy the virtue of virginity or chastity, this being the seed and the inheritance of the most chaste Virgin and Mother of the Lamb. On account of all this the Evangelist says:
133. "And he stood upon the sands of the sea." This is the contemptible vanity of the world, on which the dragon feeds and which he eats like hay. All this passed in heaven and many mysteries were made manifest to the angels in the decrees of the divine Will regarding the privileges reserved for the Mother of the Incarnate Word." I have been short in describing what I saw; for the multitude of the mysteries has made me poor and halting in the words needful for their manifestation.