Thomas A. Droleskey
The criminal act of
tampering with the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church
by the scions of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is one of the great felonies of all time. The harmony
and rhythm of the inherent order found in the calendar
of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church is laden
with deep theological meaning and full of material for spiritual reflection
and meditation. Such is the case with the feast that is celebrated today
in the calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Visitation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin, Saint Elizabeth, in the hill country
The calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church places
feasts at times of the year for very specific reasons. Today's feast,
the Visitation, a mystery we meditate upon every day if we pray all
fifteen decades of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary daily, is celebrated
eight days after the birth of Saint John the Baptist, that is, on the
day of the circumcision of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's cousin and precursor.
the day that Our Lady left the hill country of Judah to return
to Nazareth for the final six months of her own pregnancy. Thus, the
liturgical Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates
the end of her period of visiting Saint Elizabeth, a period
that had begun on April 2, which was eight days after Our Lady had been
told the news of Saint Elizabeth's pregnancy by Saint Gabriel the Archangel
at the Annunciation. Thus, the actual day of the Visitation was April
2. The period of Our Lady's visit lasted three months, meaning that
the first trimester of her carrying the preborn Jesus was spent away
from home helping her cousin prepare to deliver her own Divine Son's
precursor. The placement of this liturgical feast in the calendar of
the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service on May 31, therefore, makes no sense
whatsoever (other than randomly selecting a Marian feast to close the
Marian month of May).
God does nothing
by accident or happenstance. Our Lady was visited by Saint Gabriel the
Archangel on March 25, giving her perfect fiat to the will
of the Father so as to enflesh the Son by the power of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost.
She set off immediately for the hill country of Judah, a journey that
took her eight days to complete. Upon arriving for her three month period
of assisting Saint Elizabeth and Saint Zacharias, Our Lady heard Saint
Elizabeth was inspired by the Holy Ghost to complete the first part of the
Ave Maria had been begun by Saint Gabriel the Archangel eight days before.
Saint Gabriel said,
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. . Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with
thee. Blessed art thou amongst women. Saint Elizabeth said: Benedicta
tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui. Blessed art thou
amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. "Blessed
art thou amongst women." How can any Protestant say that the Angelic
salutation given by Saint Gabriel to Our Lady and continued by Saint
Elizabeth is unworthy of being on the lips of everyone who truly believes
in the Sacred Divinity of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made
Man, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? The exaltation of Our
Lady as being the Mother of God and thus the Blessed Mother of us all
is present in Saint Luke's Gospel for all who have the honesty and the
humility to see it and to recognize in Our Lady the very means by which
our salvation was made possible.
went on: "And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me. For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy." (Lk.
teaches us that it was at the moment Saint John the Baptist leapt for
joy in his mother's womb that he was freed of Original Sin. The moment
of Saint John's preborn ecstasy thus teaches us about the inviolability
of all innocent human life. The preborn Saint John heard the voice of
Our Lady, who was carrying within her the preborn Jesus, the One Whose
precursor Saint John was meant to be. This should serve as a fundamental
lesson to all Catholics everywhere about the inviolability of the fruit
of mother's wombs.
The God-Man placed Himself in total solidarity with
every child in every mother's womb when He was conceived as a helpless
embryo in Our Lady's womb by the power of the God the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et homo factus
est. That both Saint Elizabeth, who knew that the fruit of Mary's
womb was her Lord, and Saint John the Baptist, were exultant over the
fact of the Incarnation should remind us once more that the Incarnation
changes everything about human existence--and that there is not one
aspect of daily life that is not meant to be lived in the conscious
and public recognition that the Word became Flesh to dwell amongst us
and to win back for us on the tree of the Holy Cross what was lost for
us on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. This is a lesson that the naturalists among us, ever eager to speak and act as though the Incarnation and the entirety of the Deposit of Faith are matters of complete indifference to social order, ought to remember.
Our Lady went
on to proclaim her Magnificat, which is required under pain
of mortal sin in most instances to be prayed every evening by all priests
around the world near the close of vespers:
soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because He as regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold henceforth
all generations shall call me blessed.
He that is mighty, hath done great things for me; and holy is His name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear
hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit
of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath
exalted the humble.
hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty
away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
as He spoke to Abraham and his seed for ever. (Lk. 1: 46-55)
Dom Prosper Gueranger provided us with a superb commentary on Epistle that is read in today's offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
The Church introduces us into the depth of the mystery. What she has just been reading to us is the explanation of that word of Elizabeth's which sums up the whole of to-day's feast: 'When thy voice sounded in mine ear, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.' O voice of Mary, voice of the turtledove, putting winter to flight, and announcing springtime flowers and fragrance! At this sweet sound John's soul, a captive in the darkness of sin, casts off the badge of slavery, and suddenly developing germs of highest virtues, appears as beautiful as a bride decked in nuptial array: and, therefore, how Jesus hastes unto this well-beloved soul! Between John and the Bridegroom, oh! what ineffable outpourings ! what sublime dialogue passes between them, from womb to womb of Mary and Elizabeth! In this happy meeting, the sight, the hearing, the voice of the mothers belong less to themselves than to the blessed fruit each bears within her; thus their senses are the lattices through which the Bridegroom and the friend of the Bridegroom see one another, understand one another, speak one to the other!
The animal man, it is true, understands not in this language. 'Father," the Son of God will soon exclaim: "I give thee thanks for that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Let him, therefore, that hath ears to hear, hear; but, Amen, I say unto you, unless ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, nor know its mysteries.' Wisdom shall nevertheless be justified by her children, as the Gospel says. The simple-hearted in quest of light, with all the straightforwardness of humility, let pass unheeded those mocking shadows playing over the marshes of this world; they know that the first ray of the eternal Sun will disperse these phantoms, leaving emptiness before those who run in pursuit of them. These wise little ones already feed upon that which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, having a foretaste, here below, of eternal delights.
Ineffably is John the Baptist experiencing all this. Accosted by the divine Friend who has been beforehand in seeking him, his soul at once awakens to full ecstasy. Jesus, on this side, is now making his first conquest; for it is to John that is addressed amongst all creatures (Mary of course excepted) the sacred nuptial-song uttered to the soul of the Word made Flesh, making his divine Heart throb with emotion. To-day the prophecy of the Magnificat was first uttered, and to-day also the divine union expressed by the Holy Ghost in the Canticle of Canticles is fully realized. Never more fully than on this happy day shall the sacred transports of the Spouse be justified; never shall they find a more faithful response! Let us warm ourselves at these celestial fires; let us join our enthusiasm to that of eternal Wisdom, who makes his first step, this day, in his royal progress towards mankind. Let us unite with our Lord in imploring the Precursor at last to show himself. Were it not ordered otherwise from on high, his inebriation of love would verily have made him at once break down the wall that held him from appearing, then and there, to announce the Bridegroom. For he knows that the sight of his countenance, preceding the face of the Lord himself, will excite the whole earth to transports; he knows that his own voice will be sweet when once it has become the organ of the Word calling the bride to him.
Together with Elizabeth let us extol, in the Gradual, the Blessed Virgin to whom we owe all these joys, and within whom love still encloses him whom the whole world could not contain.
The prayer composed by Dom Prosper Gueranger at the conclusion of his commentary on this great feast is worth repeating in its entirety:
Who is she that cometh forth beautiful as the morning rising, terrible as an army set in array. O Mary, this is the day on which thine exquisite brightness, for the first time, gladdens the earth. Thou bearest within thee the Sun of justice; and his early beams, striking first the mountain tops whilst the vales below are yet left in darkness, at once enlighten the Precursor, who is said to be the greatest ever born of woman. The divine Son, swift in his ascending course, will soon bathe the lowly valleys in his radiant fires. But how full of race and beauty are these his first gleams peering through the veiling cloud! For thou, O Mary, art the light cloud, the hope of earth, the terror of hell. Contemplating from afar, through its heavenly transparency, the mystery of this day, Elias, the father of prophets, and Isaias, their prince, did both of them descry the Lord. They beheld thee speeding thy way across the mountains and they blessed God; 'for,' saith the Holy Ghost, 'when winter hath congealed the waters into crystal, withered the valleys, and consumed as with fire the green mountains, a present remedy to all is the speedy coming of a cloud.'
Haste, O Mary! Come thou to all of us; do not let the mountains alone, enjoy thy benign influence, bend thee down to those lowly, ignoble regions wherein the greater part of mankind but vegetates, helpless to scale the mountain heights; let thy kindly visit reach down even to the deepest abyss of human perversity wellnigh bordering on the gulf of hell; let the beams of saving life reach even there. Oh! would that from the thralldom of sin, from the plain where the vulgar throng is swaying to and fro, we were drawn to follow in thy train! How beauteous are thy footsteps along our humble pathways, how aromatic the perfumes wherewith thou dost inebriate earth this day! Thou wast all unknown, nay, thou was even an enigma to thyself, O thou fairest among the daughters of Adam, until thy first going forth led thee unto our poor hovels and manifested thy power. The desert, suddenly embalmed with heavenly fragrance, hails the passage, not of the figurative Ark, but of the 'litter of the true Solomon.' in these days of the sublime nuptials which he has vouchsafed to contract. What wonder, then, if at rapid pace thou dost speed across the mountains, since thou art bearing the Bridegroom who, as a giant, strideth from peak to peak.
Far different art thou, O Mary, from her who is portrayed in the sacred Canticle as hesitating, in spite of the heavenly call, to betake herself to active work, foolishly captivated by the sweets of mystic repose in such a way as to dream of finding it elsewhere than in the absolute good pleasure of the Beloved! Thou art not one, at the voice of the Spouse, to make difficulties about clothing thyself again with the garment of toil, of exposing thy feet, were it never so much, to be soiled within the dusty roads of the earth. Scarcely has he given himself to thee immeasurably as none else can know than, ever on thy guard against the mistake of remaining all absorbed in the selfish enjoyment of his love, thou thyself dost invite him to begin at once the great work which brought him down from heaven to earth: "Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the fields, let us rise up early to see if the vineyards flourish, to hasten the budding of the fruits of salvation in souls; there it is, that I wish to be all thine.' And leaning upon him, no less than he upon thee, without thereby losing aught of heavenly delights, thou dost traverse our desert; and the Holy Trinity perceiveth between Mother and Son sympathies, harmonious agreements, unknown until then even to thee; and the friends of the Bridegroom, hearing thy sweet voice, on their side also comprehend his love and partake in thy joy. With him, with thee, O Mary, ae after age shall behold sols innumerable who, swift-footed even as the roe and the young hart, will flee away from the valleys and gain the mountain heights where, in the warm sunshine, heaven's aromatic spices are ever fragrant.
Bless, O Mary, those whom the better part so sweetly attracts. Protect that Order whose glory is to honour in a special manner thy Visitation. Faithful to the spirit of their illustrious founders they still continue to justify their sweet title by perfuming the Church on earth with the fragrance of that humility, gentleness and hidden prayer which made this day's mystery so dear to the angels eighteen hundred years ago. Finally, O Lady, forget not the crowded ranks of those whom race presses, more numerous than ever nowadays, to tread in thy footsteps, mercifully seeking out every object of misery, teach them the way in which alone is possible to devote themselves to their neighbour without in any way quitting God; for the greater glory of god and the happiness of man multiply such faithful copies of thee. May all of us, having followed, in the degree measured out to us by him who divides his gifts to each one as he wills, meet together in our home yonder, to sing in one voice together with thee, an eternal Magnificat!
of Our Lady can be ignored only at the great peril of one who says, albeit falsely as Protestantism is not Christianity (as Father Frederick Faber noted, there is no Christianity where there is no Mass), he
follows Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ but who believes that honoring His Blessed Mother is somehow
un-Scriptural. "For behold henceforth all generations shall call
me blessed" either means what it says or it does not. We must pray
that those outside of the true Church that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock
of Peter, the Pope, will make the Magnificat their prayer and
come into the true Church, found today in the catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or to the ravenous wolves who dare to cast off dogmatic truths as they see fit to suit their own Modernist proclivities, to be devoted and totally consecrated sons
and daughters of Our Lady, the woman who made possible our salvation
and who was given to us by her Divine Son to be our Mother as He hung
dying on the wood of the Holy Cross to redeem us.
Those of us who are
Catholics have an obligation to meditate quite carefully on the Second
Joyful Mystery, which we celebrate liturgically today, July 2, 2012.
We must meditate upon the selflessness of Our Lady, who thought nothing
of making a journey immediately after receiving the news of the miraculous
conception of the Word as Flesh in her own virginal and immaculate womb
by the power of the Holy Ghost. We must have that same selflessness
to perform both the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy no matter
how much we are taxed physically as a result. If we are totally consecrated
to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, then we know that she
will use our unseen efforts and prayers and penances and sacrifices
in ways that will be made manifest to us only in eternity. And we must
learn from the Visitation that the assaults upon innocent human life
in the womb demand our prayers and our attention as we seek to plant
the seeds for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King
as the ultimate fruit of the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.
For just as the fruit of Our Lady's womb was recognized by Saint Elizabeth
and by Saint John the Baptist, so must the world recognize the fruit
of Our Lady's womb as its King in every aspect of its life and social
The great feast that we celebrate today beckons us to meditate upon the Joyful Mysteries of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. Indeed, we should try to pray all fifteen decades of the Rosary every day, should we not? And Saint Louis de Montfort, the great apostle of True Devotion to Mary, gave us a wonderful prayer with which to start the mystery of the Rosary that comprises today's glorious liturgical feast:
We offer you, Lord Jesus, this second decade in honour of the Visitation of your holy Mother to her cousin Saint Elizabeth. Through this mystery and the intercession of Mary we ask for a perfect love of our neighbour. . . .
(After the decade is completed:) May the grace of the mystery of the Visitation come into me and make me truly charitable.
And what is true Charity? It is to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of all those outside of the true Church into her maternal bosom, something that the counterfeit church of conciliarism eschews, meaning that true Charity, the Charity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that beat within the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of Our Lady as It was formed out of her own Immaculate Heart, so full of that true Charity, is not be found therein.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth, pray for us.
Saint Zachary, pray for us.
Saints Processus and Martinian, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
From The Mystical City of God on the Visitation
When the most holy Mother Mary arrived at the
house of Zacharias, the Precursor of Christ had completed the sixth month of his conception in the womb of saint Elisabeth. The body of the child John had
already attained a state of great natural perfection;
much greater than that of other children, on account of the miracle of his conception by a sterile mother and
on account of the intention of the Most High to make
him the depositary of greater sanctity than other men
(Matth. 11, 11). Yet at that time his soul was yet filled
with the darkness of sin, which he had contracted in
the same way as the other children of Adam, the first
and common father of the human race; and as, accord
ing to the universal and general law, mortals cannot
receive the light of grace before they have issued forth
to the light of the sun (Rom. 5, 7) ; so, after the first,
the original sin contracted by our nature, the womb of
the mother must serve as a dungeon or prison for all of
us, who have laden upon ourselves this guilt of our
father and head, Adam. Christ our Lord resolved to
anticipate this great blessing in his Prophet and Precursor by conferring the light of his grace and justification upon him six months after his conception by
saint Elisabeth, in order that he might be distinguished
as well in holiness, as he was in his office of Precursor
216. After the first salutation of Elisabeth by the
most holy Mary, the two cousins retired, as I have said
at the end of the preceding chapter. And immediately
the Mother of grace saluted anew her cousin saying: "May God save thee, my dearest cousin, and may his
divine light communicate to thee grace and life (Luke
1, 40). At the sound of most holy Mary's voice, saint
Elisabeth was filled by the Holy Ghost and so enlightened interiorly, that in one instant she perceived the
most exalted mysteries and sacraments. These emotions, and those that at the same time were felt by the
child John in the womb of his mother, were caused by
the presence of the Word made flesh in the bridal chamber of Mary s womb, for, making use of the voice of
Mary as his instrument, He, as Redeemer, began from
that place to use the power given to Him by the eternal
Father for the salvation and justification of the souls.
And since He now operated as man, though as yet of
the diminutive size of one conceived eight days before,
He assumed, in admirable humility, the form and posture of one praying and beseeching the Father. He
asked in earnest prayer for the justification of his future
Precursor and obtained it at the hands of the blessed
217. Saint John was the third one for whom our
Redeemer made special petition since his presence in
the womb of his mother. His Mother was the first
for whom He gave thanks and prayed to the Father;
next in order was her spouse, saint Joseph, for whom the
incarnate Word offered up his prayers, as we have said
in the twelfth chapter; and the third one was the Precursor saint John, whom the Lord mentioned by name in
his prayers to the Father. Such was the great good for
tune and privilege of saint John, that Christ our Lord
presented to the eternal Father the merits of his Passion
and Death to be endured for men; and in view thereof
He requested the sanctification of this soul. He appointed and set apart this child as one who is to be born
holy as his Precursor and as a witness of his coming into
the world (John 1, 7); as one who was to prepare the
hearts of his people in order that they might recognize
and receive Him as the Messias. He ordained that for
such an exalted ministry the Precursor should receive
all the graces, gifts and favors which are befitting and
proportionate to his office. All this the Father granted
just as the Onlybegotten had requested it of Him.
218. This happened before the most holy Mary had
put her salutation into words. At the pronunciation of
the words mentioned above, God looked upon the child
in the womb of saint Elisabeth, and gave it perfect use
of reason, enlightening it with his divine light, in order
that he might prepare himself by foreknowledge for the
blessings which he was to receive. Together with this
preparation he was sanctified from original sin, made an
adopted son of God, and filled with the most abundant
graces of the Holy Ghost and with the plenitude of all
his gifts; his faculties were sanctified, subjected and subordinated to reason, thus verifying in himself what the
archangel Gabriel had said to Zacharias; that His son
would be filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of
his mother (Luke 1, 17). At the same time the for
tunate child, looking through the walls of the maternal
womb as through clear glass upon the incarnate Word,
and assuming a kneeling posture, adored his Redeemer
and Creator, whom he beheld in most holy Mary as if
enclosed in a chamber made of the purest crystal. This was the movement of jubilation, which was felt by his
mother Elisabeth as coming from the infant in her
womb (Luke 1, 44). Many other acts of virtue the
child John performed during this interview, exercising
faith, hope, charity, worship, gratitude, humility, devotion and all the other virtues possible to him there. From
that moment he began to merit and grow in sanctity,
without ever losing it and without ever ceasing to exercise it with all the vigor of grace.
219. Saint Elisabeth was instructed at the same time
in the mystery of the Incarnation, the sanctification of
her own son and the sacramental purpose of this new
wonder. She also became aware of the virginal purity
and of the dignity of the most holy Mary. On this occasion, the heavenly Queen, being absorbed in the vision
of the Divinity and of the mysteries operated by it
through her most holy Son, became entirely godlike,
filled with the clear light of the divine gifts which She
participated; and thus filled with majesty saint Elisabeth
saw Her. She saw the Word made man as through a
most pure and clear glass in the virginal chamber, lying
as it were on a couch of burning and enlivened crystal.
The efficacious instrument of all these wonderful effects was the voice of most holy Mary, as powerful as
it was sweet in the hearing of the Lord. All this force
was as it were only an outflow of that which was contained in those powerful words: "Fiat mihi secundum
verbum tuum; by which She had drawn the eternal
Word from the bosom of the Father down to her soul
and into her womb.
220. Filled with admiration at what She saw and
heard in regard to these divine mysteries, saint Elisabeth was wrapt in the joy of the Holy Ghost; and,
looking upon the Queen of the world and what was
contained in Her, she burst forth in loud voice of praise,
pronouncing the words reported to us by saint L,uke: "Blessed are Thou among women and blessed is the
fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the
Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold
as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my
ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy, and blessed
art Thou, that has believed, because those things shall
be accomplished, that were spoken to Thee by the Lord."
In these prophetic words saint Elisabeth rehearsed the
noble privileges of most holy Mary, perceiving by the
divine light what the power of the Lord had done in
Her, what He now performed, and what He was to accomplish through Her in time to come. All this also
the child John perceived and understood, while listen
ing to the words of his mother; for she was enlightened for the purpose of his sanctification, and since he
could not from his place in the womb bless and thank
her by word of mouth, she, both for herself and for
her son, extolled the most holy Mary as being the instrument of their good fortune.
221. These words of praise, pronounced by saint
Elisabeth were referred by the Mother of wisdom and
humility to the Creator; and in the sweetest and softest
voice She intoned the Magnificat as recorded by saint
Luke (Ch. 1, 46-55).
46. My soul doth magnify the Lord;
47. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48. Because He hath regarded the humility of his
handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49. Because He that is mighty hath done great
things to me; and holy is his name.
50. And his mercy is from generation unto generation to them that fear Him.
51. He hath shewed might in his arm; He hath
scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
52. He hath put down the mighty from their seat
and hath exalted the humble.
53. He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He hath sent empty away.
54. He hath received Israel, his servant, being
mindful of his mercy;
55. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and
his seed forever.
222. Just as saint Elisabeth was the first one who
heard this sweet canticle from the mouth of most holy
Mary, so she was also the first one who understood it
and, by means of her infused knowledge, commented
upon it. She penetrated some of the great mysteries,
which its Authoress expressed therein in so few sentences. The soul of most holy Mary magnified the
Lord for the excellence of his infinite Essence; to Him
She referred and yielded all glory and praise (I Tim. 1,
17), both for the beginning and the accomplishment of
her works. She knew and confessed that in God alone
every creature should glory and rejoice, since He alone
is their entire happiness and salvation (II Cor. 10, 17).
She confessed also the equity and magnificence of the
Most High in attending to the humble and in conferring upon them his abundant spirit of divine love (Ps.
137, 6). She saw how worthy of mortals it is to perceive, understand and ponder the gifts that were conferred on the humility of Her, whom all nations were
to call blessed, and how all the humble ones, each one
according to his degree, could share the same good for
tune. By one word also She expressed all the mercies,
benefits and blessings, which the Almighty showered
upon Her in his holy and wonderful name; for She calls
them altogether "great things"; since there was nothing
small about anything that referred to this great Queen
223. And as the mercies of the Most High over
flowed from Mary s plenitude to the whole human race,
and as She was the portal of heaven, through which they
issued and continue to issue, and through which we are
to enter into the participation of the Divinity; therefore
She confessed, that the mercy of the Lord in regard to
Her is spread out over all the generations, communicating itself to them that fear Him. And just as the infinite mercies raise up the humble and seek out those
that fear God; so also the powerful arm of divine justice scatters and destroys those who are proud in the
mind of their heart, and hurls them from their thrones
in order to set in their place the poor and lowly. This
justice of the Lord was exercised in wonderful splendor
and glory upon the chief of all the proud, Lucifer and
his followers, when the almighty arm of God scattered
and hurled them (because they themselves precipitated
themselves) from their exalted seats which befitted their
angelic natures and their graces, and which they occupied according to the original (Isaias 14; Apoc. 12)
decree of the divine love. For by it He intended that
all should be blessed (I Tim. 2, 4) while they, in trying
to ascend in their vain pride to positions, which they
neither could attain nor should aspire to, on the contrary cast themselves from those which they occupied
(Isaias 14, 13). In their arrogance they were found opposed to the just and inscrutable judgments of the
Lord, which scattered and cast down the proud angel
and all his followers (Apoc. 12, 8). In their place were
installed the humble of heart through the mediation of
most holy Mary, the Mother and the treasure house of
his ancient mercies.
224. For the same reason this divine Lady says and
proclaims that God enriches the needy, filling them with
the abundance of his treasures of grace and glory; and
those that are rich in their own estimation and presumptuous arrogance, and those who satisfy their heart
with the false goods, which the world esteems as riches
and happiness, the Most High has banished and does
banish from his presence, because they are void of the
truth, which cannot enter into hearts filled and occupied
with falsehood and deceit. He received his servants and
his children, the people of Israel, remembering his mercies in order to teach them, wherein prudence, truth and
understanding (Bar. 3, 14), wherein free and abundant
life and nourishment, wherein the light of the eyes and
peace consists. He taught them the way of prudence
and the hidden paths of wisdom and discipline, which
is concealed from the princes of the gentiles, and is not
known to the powerful, who dominate over the beasts
of the earth and entertain themselves and play with the
birds of the air and heap up treasures of gold and silver.
Nor can the sons of Agar and the inhabitants of Teman,
who are the wise and the proudly prudent of this world,
ever attain this wisdom. But to those that are sons of
the light (Galat. 3, 7), and who are sons of Abraham by
faith, hope and obedience, the Most High distributes it;
for in this manner has it been promised to his posterity
and his spiritual children, made secure by the blessed
and happy Fruit of the virginal womb of the most holy
225. Saint Elisabeth looking upon Mary the Queen
of creation understood these hidden mysteries ; and not only those, which I am able to express here, did this fortunate matron understand, but many more and greater
sacraments, which my understanding cannot comprehend; nor do I wish to dilate upon all that have been
shown to me, lest I unduly extend this history. But the
sweet discourses and conversations, which these two holy
and discreet ladies held with each other, reminded me of
the two seraphim, which Isaias saw above the throne of
the Most High, repeating the divine and always new
canticle: Holy, holy, etc., while they covered their head
with one pair of wings, their feet with another, flew
with the third pair (Isaias 6, 2). It is certain that the
inflamed love of these two holy women exceeded that
of all the seraphim, and Mary by Herself loved more
than they all together. They were consumed in the flame
of divine love, extending the two wings of their hearts
in order to manifest to each other their love and in order
to soar into the most exalted intelligence of the mys
teries of the Most High. With two more wings of
rarest knowledge they covered their faces; because both
of them discussed and contemplated the sacrament of
the King (Tob. 12, 7), guarding its secrets within
themselves all their lives; also because they restrained
their discourse and subjected it to their devoted faith,
without giving scope to proud inquisitiveness. They also
covered the feet of the Lord and their own with the
third pair of seraphic wings, because they were lowered
and annihilated in their own humble estimation of themselves at the sight of such great Majesty. Moreover
since most holy Mary enclosed within her virginal womb
the God of majesty himself, we can with reason and
with literal truth say, that She covered the seat where
the Lord sat enthroned.
226. When it was time to come forth from their retirement, saint Elisabeth offered herself and her whole
family and all her house for the service of the Queen
of heaven. She asked Her to accept, as a quiet retreat,
the room which she herself was accustomed to use for
her prayers, and which was much retired and accommodated to that purpose. The heavenly Princess accepted the chamber with humble thanks, and made use
of it for recollecting Herself and sleeping therein, and
no one ever entered it, except the two cousins. As for
the rest She offered to serve and assist Elisabeth as a
handmaid, for She said, that this was the purpose of
visiting her and consoling her. O what friendship is
so true, so sweet and inseparable, as that which is
formed by the great bond of the divine love! How admirable is the Lord in manifesting this great sacrament
of the Incarnation to three women before He would
make it known to any one else in the human race! For
the first was saint Anne, as I have said in its place; the
second one was her Daughter and the Mother of the
Word, most holy Mary; the third one was saint Elisabeth, and conjointly with Her, her son, for he being yet
in the womb of his mother, cannot be considered as distinct from her. Thus "the foolishness of God is wiser
than men," as saint Paul says.
227. The most holy Mary and Elisabeth came forth
from their retirement at nightfall, having passed a long
time together; and the Queen saw Zacharias standing
before Her in his muteness, and She asked him for his
blessing as from a priest of the Lord, which the saint
also gave to Her. Yet, although She tenderly pitied
him for his affliction, She did not exert her power to
cure him, because She knew the mysterious occasion of
his dumbness; yet She offered a prayer for him. Saint
Elisabeth, who already knew the good fortune of the most chaste spouse Joseph, although he himself as yet
was not aware of it, entertained and served him with
great reverence and highest esteem. After staying three
days in the house of Zacharias, however, he asked permission of his heavenly Spouse Mary to return to Nazareth and leave Her in the company of saint Elisabeth
in order to assist her in her pregnancy. The holy husband left them with the understanding that he was to
return in order to accompany the Queen home as soon
as they should give him notice; saint Elisabeth offered
him some presents to take home with him; but he would
take only a small part of them, yielding only to their
earnest solicitations, for this man of God was not only a
lover of poverty, but was possessed of a magnanimous
and noble heart. Therewith he pursued his way back to
Nazareth, taking along with him the little beast of burden, which they had brought with them. At home, in
the absence of his Spouse, he was served by a neighboring woman and cousin of his, who, also when most
holy Mary was at home, was wont to come and go on
the necessary errands outside of the house.
INSTRUCTION WHICH THE QUEEN AND LADY GAVE ME.
228. My daughter, in order that thy heart may be
ever more and more inflamed with the desire of gaining
the grace and friendship of God, I wish very much
that thou grow in the knowledge of the dignity, excellence and happiness of a soul, that has been endowed
with this privilege; however, remember that it is so admirable and of so great a value that thou canst not comprehend it, even if I would explain it to thee; and much
less canst thou express it in words. Look upon the
Lord and contemplate Him by means of the divine light,
which thou receivest, and then thou wilt understand that
the Lord performs a greater work in justifying a soul
than in having created all the orbs of heaven and the
whole earth with all the beauty and perfection contained
within them. And if on account of the wonders which
creatures are able in part to perceive in these works by
the senses, they are impressed with the greatness and
power of God, what would they say and think if they
could see with the eyes of their soul the preciousness and
beauty of grace in so many creatures, who are capable
of receiving them?
229. There are no terms of human language equal to
the task of expressing what participations and perfections of God are contained in sanctifying grace. It is
little to say that it is more pure and spotless than the
snow; more refulgent than the sun; more precious than
gold or precious stones, more charming, more amiable
and pleasing than all the most delightful feasts and entertainments, and more beautiful than all that in its entirety can be imagined or desired by the creatures. Take
notice also of the ugliness of sin, in order that by the
opposite thou mayest come to so much the better under
standing of the beauty of grace; for neither darknesses,
nor rottenness, nor the most horrible, the most dreadful,
nor the foulest of creatures can ever be compared to sin
and to its ugliness. The martyrs and saints understood
much of this mystery (Heb. 11, 36), who in order to
secure the beauty of grace and preserve themselves
from the ruin of sin, did not fear fire, nor wild beasts,
nor the sword, nor torments, nor prisons, ignominies,
pains, afflictions, nor death itself, nor prolonged and perpetual suffering; for to escape all these must be counted
for little or nothing, and must scarcely be thought
of in comparison with one degree of grace, which souls
may attain, even though they be the most abject of the
whole world. All this the men, who esteem and seek
after the fugitive and apparent beauty of creatures, are
ignorant of; and whatever does not present to them
this deceitful beauty, is for them vile and contemptible.
230. Thou perceivest therefore something of the
greatness of the blessing, which the incarnate Word conferred upon his Precursor in the womb of his mother;
and because saint John recognized it, he leaped for joy
and exultation in the womb of his mother. Thou wilt
also see what thou thyself must do and suffer in order
to attain this happiness, and in order not to lose, or in
the least impair this most precious beauty by any fault,
nor retard its consummation by any imperfection, no
matter how small. I wish that in imitation of my cousin
Elisabeth, thou do not enter into any friendship with
any human creatures, except those, with whom thou
canst and shouldst converse about the works of the Most
High and of his mysteries, and with whom thou canst
learn to pursue the true path of his divine pleasure. Although thou art engaged in important undertakings and
works, do not forget or omit thy spiritual exercises and
the strictness of a perfect life; for this must not only be
preserved and watched over, when all things go
smoothly, but also under the greatest adversity, difficulty and labor; for imperfect human nature takes occasion of the slightest circumstance to relax its vigilance. (The Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God, Volume II: The Incarnation, pp. 174-186.)