The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 22A verses 661-693 Index

 Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary By Sor Marķa of Agreda

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 6 chapter 22A verses 661-693HOW OUR SAVIOR JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED ON MOUNT CALVARY; THE SEVEN WORDS SPOKEN BY HIM ON THE CROSS AND THE ATTENDANCE OF HIS SORROW FUL MOTHER AT HIS SUFFERINGS.

  INDEX            Book 6  Chapter  22A    Verses:  661-693


661 Our Savior then, the new and true Isaac, the
Son of the eternal Father, reached the mountain of
sacrifice, which is the same one to which his prototype
and figure, Isaac, was brought by the patriarch Abra
ham (Gen. 22, 9). Upon the most innocent Lamb of
God was to be executed the rigor of the sentence, which
had been suspended in favor of the son of the Patriarch.
Mount Calvary was held to be a place of defilement and
ignominy, as being reserved for the chastisement of con
demned criminals, whose cadavers spread around it their
stench and attached to it a still more evil fame. Our
most loving Jesus arrived at its summit so worn out,
wounded, torn and disfigured, that He seemed alto
gether transformed into an object of pain and sorrows.
The power of the Divinity, which deified his most holy
humanity by its hypostatical union, helped Him, not to
lighten his pains, but to strengthen Him against death;
so that, still retaining life until death should be permitted
to take it away on the Cross, He might satiate his love
to the fullest extent. The sorrowful and afflicted Mother,
in the bitterness of her soul, also arrived at the summit
of the mount and remained very close to her divine Son;
but in the sorrows of her soul She was as it were beside
Herself, being entirely transformed by her love and by
the pains which She saw Jesus suffer. Near her were
saint John and the three Marys ; for they alone, through
her intercession and the favor of the eternal Father,
had obtained the privilege of remaining so constantly
near to the Savior and to his Cross.
665. When the most prudent Mother perceived that
now the mysteries of the Redemption were to be ful
filled and that the executioners were about to strip Jesus
of his clothes for crucifixion, She turned in spirit to
the eternal Father and prayed as follows : "My Lord
and eternal God, Thou art the Father of thy onlybegotten
Son. By eternal generation He is engendered,
God of the true God, namely Thyself, and as man He
was born of my womb and received from me this
human nature, in which He now suffers. I have nursed
and sustained Him at my own breast; and as the best
of sons that ever can be born of any creature, I love
Him with maternal love. As his Mother I have a natural
right in the Person of his most holy humanity and thy
Providence will never infringe upon any rights held by
thy creatures. This right of a Mother then, I now yield
to Thee and once more place in thy hands thy and my
Son as a sacrifice for the Redemption of man. Accept,
my Lord, this pleasing offering, since this is more than
I can ever offer by submitting my own self as a victim
or to suffering. This sacrifice is greater, not only be
cause my Son is the true God and of thy own substance,
but because this sacrifice costs me a much greater sorrow
and pain. For if the lots were changed and I should
be permitted to die in order to preserve his most holy
life, I would consider it a great relief and the fulfillment
of my dearest wishes." The eternal Father received this
prayer of the exalted Queen with ineffable pleasure and
complacency. The patriarch Abraham was permitted
to go no further than to prefigure and attempt the sacri
fice of a son, because the real execution of such a sacrifice
God reserved to Himself and to his Onlybegotten. Nor
was Sara, the mother of Isaac, informed of the mystical
ceremony, this being prevented not only by the prompt
ness of Abraham s obedience, but also because he mis
trusted, lest the maternal love of Sara, though she was
a just and holy woman, should impel her to prevent the
execution of the divine command. But not so was it
with most holy Mary, to whom the eternal Father could
fearlessly manifest his unchangeable will in order that
She might, as far as her powers were concerned, unite
with Him in the sacrifice of his Onlybegotten.
666. The invincible Mother finished her prayer and
She perceived that the impious ministers were preparing
to give to the Lord the drink of wine, myrrh and
gall, of which saint Matthew and saint Mark speak
(Matth. 27, 34; Mark 15, 23). Taking occasion from
the words of Solomon : Give strong drink to the sorrow
ful and wine to those that suffer bitterness of heart, the
Jews were accustomed to give to those about to be exe
cuted a drink of strong and aromatic wine in order to
raise their vital spirits and to help them to bear their
torments with greater fortitude. This custom they now
perverted in order to augment the sufferings of the
Savior (Prov. 3, 6). The drink, which was intended to
assist and strengthen other criminals, by the perfidy of
the Jews was now mixed with gall, so that it should
have no other effect than to torment his sense of taste
by its bitterness. The blessed Mother was aware of their
intentions and in her maternal tenderness and com
passion asked the Lord not to drink of it. Jesus in defer
ence to the petition of his Mother, without rejecting en
tirely this new suffering, tasted of the mixture, but would
not drink it entirely (Matth. 27, 34).
667. It was already the sixth hour, which corresponds
to our noontime, and the executioners, intending to
crucify the Savior naked, despoiled Him of the seamless
tunic and of his garments. As the tunic was large and
without opening in front, they pulled it over the head of
Jesus without taking off the crown of thorns; but on
account of the rudeness with which they proceeded, they
inhumanly tore off the crown with the tunic. Thus they
opened anew all the wounds of his head, and in some of
them remained the thorns, which, in spite of their being
so hard and sharp, were wrenched off by the violence with
which the executioners despoiled Him of his tunic and,
with it, of the crown. With heartless cruelty they again
forced it down upon his sacred head, opening up wounds
upon wounds. By the rude tearing off of the tunic were
renewed also the wounds of his whole body, since the
tunic had dried into the open places and its removal was,
as David says, adding new pains to his wounds (Ps.
68, 27). Four times during the Passion did they despoil
Jesus of his garments and again vest Him. The first
time in order to scourge Him at the pillar; the second
time in order to clothe Him in the mock purple; the
third, when they took this off in order to clothe Him in
his tunic; the fourth, when they finally took away his
clothes. This last was the most painful, because his
wounds were more numerous, his holy humanity was
much weakened, and there was less shelter against the
sharp wind on mount Calvary ; for also this element was
permitted to increase the sufferings of his death-struggle
by sending its cold blasts across the mount.
668. To all these sufferings was added the confusion
>f being bereft of his garments in the presence of his
nost blessed Mother, of her pious companions, and in
full sight of the multitudes gathered around. By his
divine power He, however, reserved for Himself the
nether garment which his Mother had wound around
his loins in Egypt; for neither at the scourging, nor at
the crucifixion could the executioners remove it, and He
was laid in the sepulchre still covered with this cloth.
That this really happened, has been revealed to me
many times. Certainly, He desired to die in the great
est poverty and to take with Him nothing of all that He
created and possessed in this world. He would gladly
have died entirely despoiled and bereft of even this cov
ering, if it had not been for the desires and the prayers
of his blessed Mother, to which Christ wished to yield.
On her account He substituted this most perfect obedience
of a Son toward his Mother for extreme poverty at his
Death. The holy Cross was lying* on the ground and
the executioners were busy making the necessary prep
arations for crucifying Him and the two thieves. In
the meanwhile our Redeemer and Master prayed to the
Father in the following terms :
669. "Eternal Father and my Lord God, to the in
comprehensible Majesty of thy infinite goodness and
justice I offer my entire humanity and all that according
to thy will it has accomplished in descending from thy
bosom to assume passible and mortal flesh for the Re
demption of men, my brethren. I offer Thee, Uord, with
Myself, also my most loving Mother, her love, her most
perfect works, her sorrows, her sufferings, her anxious
and prudent solicitude in serving Me, imitating Me and
accompanying Me unto death. I offer Thee the little
flock of my Apostles, the holy Church and congregation
of the faithful, such as it is now and as it shall be to the
end of the world; and with it I offer to Thee all the
mortal children of Adam. All this I place in thy hands
as the true and almighty Lord and God. As far as my
wishes are concerned, I suffer and die for all, and I de
sire that all shall be saved, under the condition that all
follow Me and profit of my Redemption. Thus may
they pass from the slavery of the devil to be thy children,
my brethren and co-heirs of the grace merited by Me.
Especially, O my Lord, do I offer to Thee the poor, the
despised and afflicted, who are my friends and who fol
low Me on the way to the Cross. I desire that the just
and the predestined be written in thy eternal memory.
I beseech Thee, my Father, to withhold thy chastisement
and not to raise the scourge of thy justice over men;
let them not be punished as they merit for their sins.
Be Thou from now on their Father as Thou art mine.
I beseech Thee also, that they may be helped to ponder
upon my Death in pious affection and be enlightened
from above; and I pray for those who are persecuting
Me, in order that they may be converted to the truth.
Above all do I ask Thee for the exaltation of thy in
effable and most holy name."
670. This prayer and supplication of our Savior Jesus
were known to the most blessed Mother, and She imi
tated Him and made the same petitions to the eternal
Father in as far as She was concerned. The most
prudent Virgin never forgot or disregarded the first word
which She had heard from the mouth of her divine Son
as an infant : "Become like unto Me, my Beloved." His
promise, that in return for the new human existence
which She had given Him in her virginal womb, He
would, by his almighty power, give Her a new existence
of divine and eminent grace above all other creatures,
was continually fulfilled. To this favor was due also her
deep science and enlightenment concerning all the opera
tions of the sacred humanity of her Son, none of which
ever escaped her knowledge and attention. Whatever
She thus perceived She imitated ; so that She was always
anxious to study and penetrate them with deep under
standing, to put them promptly into action, and to prac
tice them courageously and zealously during all her life.
In this neither sorrow could disturb Her, nor anguish
hinder Her, nor persecution detain Her, nor the bitter
ness of her suffering
1 weaken Her. If the great Queen
had assisted at the Passion with the same sentiments as
the rest of the just, it would indeed have been admirable;
but not so admirable as the way in which She suffered.
She was singular and extraordinary in all her sufferings ;
for, as I have said above, She felt in her own virginal
body all the torments of Christ our Lord, both interior
and exterior. On account of this conformity we can
say, that also the heavenly Mother was scourged,
crowned, spit upon, buffeted, laden with the Cross and
nailed upon it; for She felt these pains and all the rest
in her purest body. Although She felt them in a differ
ent manner, yet She felt them with such conformity that
the Mother was altogether a faithful likeness of her Son.
Besides the greatness of her dignity, which in most holy
Mary must, on this account, have corresponded in the
highest possible degree with that of Christ, there was
concealed therein another mystery. This was, that the
desire of Christ to see his exalted love and benignity
as exhibited in his Passion copied in all its magnitude in
a mere creature, was fulfilled in Her, and no one pos
sessed a greater right to this favor than his own Mother.
671. In order to find the places for the auger-holes on
the Cross, the executioners haughtily commanded the
Creator of the universe, (O dreadful temerity!), to
stretch Himself out upon it. The Teacher of humility
obeyed without hesitation. But they, following their in
human instinct of cruelty, marked the places for the holes,
not according to the size of his body, but larger, having
in mind a new torture for their Victim. This inhuman
intent was known to the Mother of light, and the knowl
edge of it was one of the greatest afflictions of her chast
est heart during the whole Passion. She saw through the
intentions of these ministers of sin and She anticipated
the torments to be endured by her beloved Son when his
limbs should be wrenched from their sockets in being
nailed to the Cross. But She could not do anything to
prevent it, as it was the will of the Lord to suffer these
pains for men. When He rose from the Cross, and
they set about boring the holes, the great Lady approached
and took hold of one of his hands, adoring Him and
kissing it with greatest reverence. The executioners al
lowed this because they thought that the sight of his
Mother would cause so much the greater affliction to the
Lord ; for they wished to spare Him no sorrow they could
cause Him. But they were ignorant of the hidden mys
teries; for the Lord during his Passion had no greater
source of consolation and interior joy than to see in
the soul of his most blessed Mother, the beautiful likeness
of Himself and the full fruits of his Passion and Death.
This joy, to a certain extent, comforted Christ our Lord
also in that hour.
672. Having bored the three holes into the Cross, the
executioners again commanded Christ the Lord to
stretch Himself out upon it in order to be nailed to it.
The supreme and almighty King, as the Author of
patience, obeyed, and at the will of the hangmen, placed
Himself with outstretched arms upon the blessed wood.
The Lord was so weakened, disfigured and exhausted,
that if the ferocious cruelty of those men had left the
least room for natural reason and kindness, they could
not have brought themselves to inflict further torments
upon the innocent and meek Lamb, humbly suffering such
nameless sorrows and pains. But not so with them; for
the judges and their executioners (O terrible and most
hidden judgments of the Lord!) were transformed in
their malice and deathly hatred into demons, void of the
feelings of sensible and earthly men and urged on only
by diabolical wrath and fury.
673. Presently one of the executioners seized the hand
of Jesus our Savior and placed it upon the auger-hole,
while another hammered a large and rough nail through
the palm. The veins and sinews were torn, and the
bones of the sacred hand, which made the heavens and
all that exists, were forced apart. When they stretched
out the other hand, they found that it did not reach
up to the auger-hole; for the sinews of the other arm
had been shortened and the executioners had maliciously
set the holes too far apart, as I have mentioned above.
In order to overcome the difficulty, they took the chain,
with which the Savior had been bound in the garden, and
looping one end through a ring around his wrist, they,
with unheard of cruelty, pulled the hand over the hole
and fastened it with another nail. Thereupon they seized
his feet, and placing them one above the other, they
tied the same chain around both and stretched them with
barbarous ferocity down to the third hole. Then they
drove through both feet a large nail into the Cross. Thus
the sacred body, in which dwelled the Divinity, was
nailed motionless to the holy Cross, and the handiwork
of his deified members, formed by the Holy Ghost, was
so stretched and torn asunder, that the bones of his
body, dislocated and forced from their natural position,
could all be counted. The bones of his breast, of his
shoulders and arms, and of his whole body yielded to
the cruel violence and were torn from their sinews.
674. It is impossible for human tongue or words of
mouth to describe the torments of our Savior Jesus and
what He suffered on this occasion. On the last day alone
more will be known, in order that his cause may be
justified before sinners and the praise and exaltation of
the saints may be so much the greater. But at present,
while our faith in this truth gives us occasion and obliges
us to apply our reason (if such we possess), I ask, im
plore and beseech the children of the holy Church, each
one for Himself, to study this most venerable sacrament.
Let us contemplate it and weigh it with all its circum
stances, and we shall find powerful motives to abhor and
firmly resolve to avoid sin, as the cause of all this suffer
ing to the Author of life. Let us contemplate and look
upon his Virgin Mother, so afflicted in spirit and over
whelmed by the torments of her purest body, in order
that through this gate of light we may enter to see the
Sun that illumines our heart. O Mistress and Queen of
virtues! O true Mother of the immortal King of ages
become man! It is true, O my Lady, that the hardness
of our ungrateful hearts makes us very unfit and un
worthy of suffering thy pains and those of thy most
holy Son our Lord; but through thy clemency make us
partakers of this favor, which we do not deserve. Purify
and free us from this deadening lukewarmness and gross
neglect. If we are the cause of these sufferings, what
propriety or what justice can there be in visiting them
only on Thee and on thy Beloved? Let the chalice pass
from the lips of the Innocent, in order that it may be
tasted by the guilty who deserve it. But alas ! Where is
our good sense ? Where wisdom and knowledge ? Where
is the light of our eyes? Who has so entirely deprived
us of our understanding? Who has robbed us of our
human and sensible hearts? If I, O Lord, had not re
ceived from Thee this being according to thy image and
likeness; if Thou hadst not given me life and motion;
if all the elements and creatures, formed by thy hand for
my service (Eccli. 39, 30), were not giving me continual
notice of thy immense love: at least thy being nailed
so outrageously to the Cross, and all thy torments and
sorrows for my salvation, should have sufficed to draw
me to Thee with the bonds of compassion and gratitude,
of love and confidence in thy ineffable kindness. But
if so many voices cannot awaken me, if such love does
not enkindle mine, if thy Passion and Death do not move
me, if such great benefits cannot oblige me, what end
shall I expect as the result of my foolishness?
675. After the Savior was nailed to the Cross, the
executioners judged it necessary to bend the points of
the nails which projected through the back of the wood,
in order that they might not be loosened and drawn out
by the weight of the body. For this purpose they raised
up the Cross in order to turn, it over, so that the body
of the Lord would rest face downward upon the ground
with the weight of the Cross upon Him. This new
cruelty appalled all the bystanders and a shout of pity
arose in the crowd. But the sorrowful and compassionate
Mother intervened by her prayers, and asked the eternal
Father not to permit this boundless, outrage to happen
in the way the executioners had intended. She com
manded her holy angels to come to the assistance of their
Creator. When, therefore, the executioners raised up
the Cross to let it fall, with the crucified Lord face down
ward upon the ground, the holy angels supported Him
and the Cross above the stony and fetid ground, so that
his divine countenance did not come in contact with the
rocks and pebbles. Thus altogether ignorant of the
miracle the executioners bent over the points of the nails;
for the sacred body was so near to the ground and the
Cross was so firmly held by the angels, that the Jews
thought it rested upon the hard rock.
676. Then they dragged the lower end of the Cross
with the crucified God near to the hole, wherein it was
to be planted. Some of them getting under the upper
part of the Cross with their shoulders, others pushing
upward with their halberds and lances, they raised the
Savior on his Cross and fastened its foot in the hole
they had drilled into the ground. Thus our true life and
salvation now hung in the air upon the sacred wood in
full view of the innumerable multitudes of different
nations and countries. I must not omit mentioning an
other barbarity inflicted upon the Lord as they raised
Him : for some of them placed the sharp points of their
lances and halberds to his body and fearfully lacerating
Him under the armpits in helping to push the Cross into
position. At this spectacle new cries of protest arose
with still more vehemence and confusion from the mul
titude of people. The Jews blasphemed, the kind-hearted
lamented, the strangers were astounded, some of them
called the attention of the bystanders to the proceedings,
others turned away their heads in horror and pity ; others
took to themselves a warning from this spectacle of suf
fering, and still others proclaimed Him a just Man. All
these different sentiments were like arrows piercing the
heart of the afflicted Mother. The sacred body now shed
much blood from the nail wounds, which, by its weight
and the shock of the Cross falling into the hole, had
widened. They were the fountains, now opened up, to
which Isaias invites us to hasten with joy to quench our
thirst and wash off the stains of our sins (Is. 12, 3).
No one shall be excused who does not quickly approach
to drink of them; since the waters are sold without ex-
change of silver or gold, and they are given freely to
those who will but receive them ( Is. 54, 1 ) .
677. Then they crucified also the two thieves and
planted their crosses to the right and the left of the
Savior; for thereby they wished to indicate that He
deserved the most conspicuous place as being the greatest
malefactor. The pharisees and priests, forgetting the
two thieves, turned all the venom of their fury against
the sinless and holy One by nature. Wagging their heads
in scorn and mockery (Matth. 27, 39) they threw stones
and dirt at the Cross of the Lord and his royal Person,
saying: "Ah Thou, who destroyest the temple and in
three days rebuildest it, save now Thyself; others He
has made whole, Himself He cannot save; if this be the
Son of God let Him descend from the Cross, and we
will believe in Him" (Matth. 27, 42). The two thieves
in the beginning also mocked the Lord and said: "If
Thou art the Son of God, save Thyself and us." These
blasphemies of the two thieves caused special sorrow to
our Lord, since they were so near to death and were
losing the fruit of their death-pains, by which they
could have satisfied in part for their justly punished
crimes. Soon after, however, one of them availed him
self of the greatest opportunity that a sinner ever had
in this world, and was converted from his sins.
678. When the great Queen of the angels, most holy
Mary, perceived that the Jews in their perfidy and ob
stinate envy vied in dishonoring Him, in blaspheming"
Him as the most wicked of men and in desiring to blot
out his name from the land of the living, as Jeremias had
prophesied (Jer. 11, 19), She was inflamed with a new
zeal for the honor of her Son and true God. Prostrate
before the person of the Crucified, and adoring Him,
She besought the eternal Father to see to the honor of
his Onlybegotten and manifest it by such evident signs
that the perfidy of the Jews might be confounded and
their malice frustrated of its intent. Having1
presented
this petition to the Father, She, with the zeal and author
ity of the Queen of the universe, addressed all the irra
tional creatures and said: "Insensible creatures, created
by the hand of the Almighty, do you manifest your com
passion, which in deadly foolishness is denied to Him
by men capable of reason. Ye heavens, thou sun, moon
and ye stars and planets, stop in your course and suspend
your activity in regard to mortals. Ye elements, change
your condition, earth lose thy stability, let your rocks and
cliffs be rent. Ye sepulchres and monuments of the dead,
open and send forth your contents for the confusion of
the living. Thou mystical and figurative veil of the
temple, divide into two parts and by thy separation
threaten the unbelievers with chastisement, give witness
to the truth and to the glory of their Creator and Re
deemer, which they are trying to obscure."
679. In virtue of this prayer and of the commands of
Mary, the Mother of the Crucified, the Omnipotence of
God had provided for all that was to happen at the death
of his Onlybegotten. The Lord enlightened and moved
the hearts of many of the bystanders at the time of
these happenings on earth, and even before that time,
in order that they might confess Jesus crucified as holy,
just and as the true Son of God. This happened, for in
stance, with the centurion and many others mentioned in
the Gospels, who went away from Calvary striking their
breasts in sorrow. Among them were not only those who
previously had heard and believed his doctrine, but also
a great number of such as had never seen Him or wit
nessed his miracles. For the same reason Pilate was
also inspired not to change the title of the Cross which
they had placed over the head of the Savior in Hebrew,
Greek and Latin. For when the Jews protested and asked
Him not to write : Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews ;
but: This one says, He is King of the Jews; Pilate an
swered : What is written, is written, and I do not wish
it to be changed. All the inanimate creatures, by divine
will, obeyed the command of the most holy Mary. From
the noon hour until three o clock in the afternoon, which
was called the ninth hour, when the Lord expired, they
exhibited the great disturbances and changes mentioned
in the Gospels. The sun hid its light, the planets showed
great alterations, the earth quaked, many mountains were
rent; the rocks shook one against the other, the graves
opened and sent forth some of the dead alive. The
changes in the elements and in the whole universe were
so notable and extraordinary that they were evident on
the whole earth. All the Jews of Jerusalem were dis
mayed and astonished ; although their outrageous perfidy
and malice made them unworthy of the truth and hin
dered them from accepting what all the insensible crea
tures preached to them.
680. The soldiers who had crucified Jesus our Savior,
according to a custom permitting the executioners to take
possession of the property of those whom they executed,
now proceeded to divide the garments of the innocent
Lamb. The cloak or outside mantle, which by divine dis
position they had brought to mount Calvary and which
was the one Christ had laid aside at the washing of the
feet, thev divided among themselves, cutting it into four
parts (John 19, 23). But the seamless tunic, by a mys
terious decree of Providence, they did not divide, but
they drew lots and assigned it entirely to the one who
drew the lot for it; thus fulfilling the prophecy in the
twenty-first Psalm. The mysterious signification of the
undivided tunic is variously explained by the saints and
doctors; one of these explanations being, that though the
Jews lacerated and tore with wounds the sacred humanity
of Christ our Uord, yet they could not touch or injure
the Divinity which was enclosed in the sacred humanity;
and whoever should draw the lot of justification by par
taking of his Divinity, should thenceforward possess and
enjoy it entirely.
681. As the wood of the Cross was the throne of his
majesty and the chair of the doctrine of life, and as
He was now raised upon it, confirming his doctrine by
his example, Christ now uttered those words of highest
charity and perfection : "Father, forgive them, for they
know not what they do!" (Luke 23, 34.) This prin
ciple of charity and fraternal love the divine Teacher hacf
appropriated to Himself and proclaimed by his own lips
(John 15, 12; Matth. 15, 44). He now confirmed and
executed it upon the Cross, not only pardoning and lov
ing his enemies, but excusing those under the plea of
ignorance whose malice had reached the highest point
possible to men in persecuting, blaspheming and crucify
ing their God and Redeemer. Such was the difference
between the behavior of ungrateful men favored with
so great enlightenment, instruction and blessing; and the
behavior of Jesus in his most burning charity while suf
fering the crown of thorns, the nails, and the Cross and
unheard of blasphemy at the hands of men. O incom
prehensible love! O ineffable sweetness! O patience in
conceivable to man, admirable to the angels and fearful
to the devils! One of the two thieves, called Dismas.
Decame aware of some of the mysteries. Being assisted
it the same time by the prayers and intercession of most
holy Mary, he was interiorly enlightened concerning
lis Rescuer and Master by the first word on the Cross.
Moved by true sorrow and contrition for his sins, he
turned to his companion and said : "Neither dost thou
fear God, seeing that thou art under the same condemna
tion? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due re
ward of our deeds; but this Man hath done no evil."
And thereupon speaking to Jesus, he said: "Lord, re
member me when Thou shalt come into thy kingdom!"
(Luke 23, 40.)
682. In this happiest of thieves, in the centurion, and
in the others who confessed Jesus Christ on the Cross,
began to appear the results of the Redemption. But the
one most favored was this Dismas, who merited to hear
the second word of the Savior on the Cross: "Amen, I
say to thee, this day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise."
O fortunate thief, who, of all others, heard those words
so much desired by all the saints and just of the earth!
Such a word the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets did not
hear; they had judged themselves very happy to be al
lowed to descend into limbo and wait through the long
ages for paradise, which thou, in changing so happily thy
condition, didst acquire in one moment. Thou hast now
ceased to rob earthly possessions of thy neighbor, and
immediately snatchest heaven from the hands of thy
Master. Thou seizest it in justice and He yields it to
thee in grace, since thou wast the last disciple of his
doctrine on earth and the most alert of all in practicing
it after having heard it from his mouth. Thou hast lov
ingly corrected thy brother, confessed thy Creator, repre
hended those who blasphemed Him, imitated Him in
patient suffering, asked Him humbly as thy Redeemer
not to forget thy miseries; and He, as thy Exalter, has
at once fulfilled thy desires without delaying the guerdon
merited for thee and all the mortals.
683. Having thus justified the good thief, Jesus turned
his loving gaze upon his afflicted Mother, who with
saint John was standing at the foot of the Cross. Speak
ing to both, he first addressed his Mother, saying:
"Woman, behold thy son!" and then to the Apostle:
"Behold thy Mother!" (John 19, 26.) The Lord called
Her Woman and not Mother, because this name of
Mother had in it something of sweetness and consola
tion, the very pronouncing of which would have been a
sensible relief. During his Passion He would admit
of no exterior consolation, having renounced for that
time all exterior alleviation and easement, as I have men
tioned above. By this word "woman" he tacitly and
by implication wished to say : Woman blessed among all
women, the most prudent among all the daughters of
Adam, Woman, strong and constant, unconquered by
any fault of thy own, unfailing in my service and most
faithful in thy love toward Me, which even the mighty
waters of my Passion could not extinguish or resist
(Cant. 8, 7), I am going to my Father and cannot
accompany Thee further ; my beloved disciple will attend
upon Thee and serve Thee as his Mother, and he will
be thy son. All this the heavenly Queen understood.
The holy Apostle on his part received Her as his own
from that hour on ; for he was enlightened anew in order
to understand and appreciate the greatest treasure of the
Divinity in the whole creation next to the humanity of
Christ our Savior. In this light He reverenced and
served Her for the rest of her life, as I will relate farther
on. Our Lady also accepted him as her son in humble
subjection and obedience. Always practicing the highest
possible perfection and holiness without failing on any
occasion, and not permitting even the immensity of her
present suffering to weigh down her magnanimous and
most prudent heart, She promised then and there that
She would show him this obedience during her whole
life.
684. Already the ninth hour of the day was approach
ing, although the darkness and confusion of nature made
it appear to be rather a chaotic night. Our Savior spoke
the fourth word from the Cross in a loud and strong
voice, so that all the bystanders could hear it : "My God,
my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" (Matth. 27, 46.)
Although the Lord had uttered these words in his own
Hebrew language, they were not understood by all.
Since they began with : "Eli, eli," some of them thought
He was calling upon Elias, and a number of them mocked
Him saying: "Let us see whether Elias shall come to
free Him from our hands ?" But the mystery concealed
beneath these words was just as profound as it was un
intelligible to the Jews and gentiles ; and they have been
interpreted in many ways by the doctors of the Church.
I shall give the interpretation which has been manifested
to me. The dereliction of which Christ speaks, was not
one in which the Divinity separated from the humanity,
dissolving the hypostatic union, nor including a cessa
tion of the beatific vision in his soul ; for both of these
He enjoyed from the first moment of his conception by
the Holy Ghost in the virginal womb and could never
lose. But certainly the sacred humanity was in so far
forsaken by the Divinity as it did not ward off death or
the most bitter sorrows of his Passion; though, on the
other hand, the eternal Father did not forsake Him
entirely, since He showed his concern by causing the
changes in the visible creation in order to give witness
for his honor at his Death. Christ our Savior intimated
quite a different dereliction by these words of complaint,
one which originated from his immense love for men;
namely, from his love of the foreknown as lost and the
reprobate, which during his last hour caused in Him the
same anguish as it did during his prayer in the garden.
He grieved that his copious and superabundant Redemp
tion, offered for the whole human race, should not be
efficacious in the reprobate and that He should find Him
self deprived of them in the eternal happiness, for which
He had created and redeemed them. As this was to hap
pen in consequence of the decree of his Father s eternal
will, He lovingly and sorrowfully complained of it in
the words: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken
Me?" that is, in so far as God deprived Him of the
salvation of the reprobate.
685. In confirmation of this sorrow the Lord added :
"I thirst!" The sufferings of the Lord and his anguish
could easily cause a natural thirst. But for Him this
was not a time to complain of this thirst or to quench
it; and therefore Jesus would not have spoken of it so
near to its expiration, unless in order to give expression
to a most exalted mystery. He was thirsting to see the
captive children of Adam make use of the liberty, which
He merited for them and offered to them, and which so
many were abusing. He was athirst with the anxious
desire that all should correspond with Him in the faith
and love due to Him, that they profit by his merits and
sufferings, accept his friendship and grace now acquired
for them, and that they should not lose the eternal hap
piness which He was to leave as an inheritance to those
that wished to merit and accept it. This was the thirst
of our Savior and Master; and the most blessed Mary
alone understood it perfectly and began, with ardent
affection and charity, to invite and interiorly to call upon
ill the poor, the afflicted, the humble, the despised and
downtrodden to approach their Savior and thus quench,
at least in part, his thirst which they could not quench
entirely. But the perfidious Jews and the executioners,
evidencing their unhappy hard-heartedness, fastened a
sponge soaked in gall and vinegar to a reed and mock
ingly raised it to his mouth, in order that He might
drink of it. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of David:
"In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (John 16,
28; Ps. 68, 22). Our most patient Savior tasted of it,
partaking of this drink in mysterious submission to the
condemnation of the reprobate. But at the instance of
his blessed Mother He immediately desisted ; because the
Mother of grace was to be the portal and Mediatrix of
those who were to profit of the Passion and the Redemp
tion of mankind.
686. In connection with this same mystery the Savior
then pronounced the sixth word : "Consummatum est,"
"It is consummated" (John 19, 29). Now is consum
mated this work of my coming from heaven and I have
obeyed the command of my eternal Father, who sent Me
to suffer and die for the salvation of mankind. Now
are fulfilled the holy Scriptures, the prophecies and
figures of the old Testament, and the course of my
earthly and mortal life assumed in the womb of my
Mother. Now are established on earth my example, my
doctrines, my Sacraments and my remedies for the sick
ness of sin. Now is appeased the justice of my eternal
Father in regard to the debt of the children of Adam.
Now is my holy Church enriched with the remedies for
the sins committed by men ; the whole work of my com
ing into the world is perfected in so far as concerns Me,
its Restorer; the secure foundation of the triumphant
Church is now laid in the Church militant, so that noth
ing can overthrow or change it. These are the mys
teries contained in the few words : "Consummatum est."
687. Having finished and established the work of Re
demption in all its perfection, it was becoming1 that the
incarnate Word, just as He came forth from the Father
to enter mortal life (John 16, 8), should enter into
immortal life of the Father through death. Therefore
Christ our Savior added the last words uttered by Him :
"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." The
Lord spoke these words in a loud and strong voice, so
that the bystanders heard them. In pronouncing- them
He raised his eyes to heaven, as one speaking with the
eternal Father, and with the last accent He gave up his
spirit and inclined his head. By the divine force of these
words Lucifer with all his demons were hurled into the
deepest caverns of hell, there they lay motionless, as I
shall relate in the next chapter. The invincible Queen
and Mistress of all virtues understood these mysteries
beyond the understanding of all creatures, as She was the
Mother of the Savior and the Coadjutrix of his Passion.
In order that She might participate in it to the end, just
as She had felt in her own body the other torments of
her Son, She now, though remaining alive, felt and suf
fered the pangs and agony of his death. She did not die
in reality; but this was because God miraculously pre
served her life, when according to the natural course
death should have followed. This miraculous aid was
more wonderful than all the other favors She received
during the Passion. For this last pain was more intense
and penetrating; and all that the martyrs and the men
sentenced to death have suffered from the beginning of
the world cannot equal what the blessed Mary suffered
during the Passion. The great Lady remained at the
foot of the Cross until evening, when the sacred body
(as I shall relate) was interred. But in return for this
last anguish of death, all that was still of this mortal
life in the virginal body of the purest Mother, was more
than ever exalted and spiritualized.
688. Of many of the sacraments and mysteries con
nected with the doings of Christ our Savior on the
Cross the Evangelists make no mention; and we as
Catholics can only form prudent conjectures founded
upon the infallible certainty of our faith. But among
those which have been manifested to me in this history,
and concerning this part of the Passion, is a prayer,
which Christ addressed to his eternal Father before
speaking the seven words on the Cross recorded by the
Evangelists. I call it a prayer because it was addressed
to the Father; but in reality it was a last bequest or
testament, which He made as a true and most wise
Father in order to consign his possessions to his family,
that is, to the whole human race. Even natural reason
teaches us, that he who is the head of a family or the
lord over many or few possessions, would not be a pru
dent dispenser of his goods, and inattentive to his office
or dignity, if at the hour of his death he would not make
known his will in regard to the disposition of his goods
and his estate, in order that each one of his family may
know what belongs to him and may possess it justly
and peacefully without recourse to lawsuits. For this
very reason, and in order that they may set their minds
at ease in preparation for the hour of death, men of
the world make their last testaments. And even the
religious resign the things permitted them for daily use,
because in that hour earthly matters are apt to fill the
mind with anxieties and prevent them from rising to
ward their Creator. Although earthly things could not
disturb our Savior, since He neither possessed them, nor,
if He had possessed any, could He be embarrassed by
them in his infinite power; yet it was fitting, that He
should in that hour dispose of the spiritual riches and
treasures which He had amassed for mankind in the
course of his pilgrimage.
689. Of these eternal goods the Savior made his last
disposition on the Cross, distributing them and point
ing out those who should be legitimate heirs and those
who should be disinherited, and mentioning the reasons
for the one as well as the other. All this He did in
conference with his eternal Father, as the supreme Lord
and most just Judge of all creatures; for in this testa
ment are rehearsed the mysteries of the predestination
of the saints and of the reprobation of the wicked. It
was a testament hidden and sealed for mankind ; only
the blessed Mary understood it, because, in addition to
her being informed of the operations of the divine Soul
of Christ, She was also to be the universal Heiress of
all creation. As She was the Coadjutrix of salvation,
She was also to be the testamentary Executrix. For
the Son placed all things in her hands, just as the Father
had assigned the whole creation to Him. She was to
execute his will and she was to distribute all the treas
ures acquired and due to her Son as God on account of
his infinite merits. This understanding has been given
me as part of this history for the exaltation of our Queen
and in order that sinners might approach Her as the
Custodian of all the treasures gained by her Son and
our Redeemer in the sight of his eternal Father. All
help and assistance is in the hands of most holy Mary
and She is to distribute it according to her most sweet
kindness and liberality.
TESTAMENT MADE BY CHRIST OUR LORD ON THE CROSS
IN HIS PRAYER TO THE ETERNAL FATHER.
690. When the holy wood of the Cross had been
raised on mount Calvary, bearing aloft with it the in
carnate Word crucified before speaking any of the seven
words, Christ prayed interiorly to his heavenly Father
and said: "My Father and eternal God, I confess and
magnify Thee from this tree of the Cross, and I offer
Thee a sacrifice of praise in my Passion and Death ; for,
by the hypostatic union with the divine nature, Thou
hast raised my humanity to the highest dignity, that of
Christ, the Godman, anointed with thy own Divinity.
I confess Thee on account of the plenitude of the high
est possible graces and glory, which from the first in
stant of my Incarnation Thou hast communicated to my
humanity, and because from all eternity up to this pres
ent hour Thou hast consigned to me full dominion of
the universe both in the order of grace and of nature.
Thou hast made Me the Lord of the heavens and of
the elements (Matth. 28, 18), of the sun, the moon and
the stars; of fire and air, of the earth and the sea, of
all the animate and inanimate creatures therein; Thou
hast made Me the Disposer of the seasons, of the days
and nights, with full lordship and possession according
to my free will, and Thou hast set Me as the Head,
the King and Lord of all angels and men (Ephes. 1, 21),
to govern and command them, to punish the wicked and
to reward the good (John 5, 22) ; Thou hast given Me
the dominion and power of disposing all things from
highest heavens to deepest abysses of hell (Apoc. 20, 1).
Thou hast placed in my hands the eternal justification
of men, the empires, kingdoms and principalities, the
great and the little, the rich and the poor; and of all
that are capable of thy grace and glory, Thou hast made
Me the Justifier, the Redeemer and Glorifier, the uni
versal Lord of all the human race, of life and death, of
the holy Church, its treasures, laws and blessings of
grace : all hast Thou, my Father, consigned to my hands,
subjected to my will and my decrees, and for this I con
fess, exalt and magnify thy holy name."
691. "Now, at this moment, my Lord and eternal
Father, when I am returning from this world to thy
right hand through this death on the Cross, by which I
completed the task of the Redemption of men assigned
to Me, I desire that this same Cross shall be the tribunal
of our justice and mercy. Nailed to it, I desire to judge
those for whom I give my life. Having justified my
cause, I wish to dispense the treasures of my coming into
the world and of my Passion and Death to the just and
the reprobate according as each one merits by his works
of love or hatred. I have sought to gain all mortals
and invited them to partake of my friendship and grace ;
from the first moment of my Incarnation I have cease
lessly labored for them; I have borne inconveniences,
fatigues, insults, ignominies, reproaches, scourges, a
crown of thorns, and now suffer the bitter death of the
Cross; I have implored thy vast kindness upon all of
them; I have watched in prayer, fasted and wandered
about teaching them the way of eternal life. As far as
in Me lay I have sought to secure eternal happiness for
all men, just as I merited it for all, without excluding
any one. I have established and built up the law of
grace and have firmly and forever established the Church
in which all human beings can be saved."
692. "But in our knowledge and foresight We are
aware, my God and Father, that on account of their
malice and rebellious obstinacy not all men desire to
accept our eternal salvation, nor avail themselves of
Dur mercy and of the way I have opened to them by my
abors, life and death; but that many will prefer to
follow their sinful ways unto perdition. Thou art just,
ny Lord and Father, and most equitable are thy judg
ments (Ps. 68, 137) ; and therefore it is right, since
Thou hast made Me the Judge o-f the living and the dead,
of the good and the bad (Act 10, 3), that I give to the
good the reward of having served and followed Me, and
to sinners the chastisement of their perverse obstinacy;
that the just should share in my goods, and the wicked
be deprived of the inheritance, which they refuse to ac
cept. Now then, my eternal Father, in my and thy
name and for thy glorification, I make my last bequest
according to my human will, which is conformable to
thy eternal and divine will. First shall be mentioned my
most pure Mother, who gave Me human existence ; Her
I constitute my sole and universal Heiress of all the
gifts of nature, of grace and of glory that are mine.
She shall be Mistress and Possessor of them all. The
gifts of grace, of which as a mere creature She is capa
ble, She shall actually receive now, while those of glory
I promise to confer upon Her in their time. I desire
that She shall be Mistress of angels and men, claim over
them full possession and dominion and command the
service and obedience of all. The demons shall fear
Her and be subject to Her. All the irrational crea
tures, the heavens, the stars, the planets, the elements
with all the living beings, the birds, the fishes and the
animals contained in them, shall likewise be subject to
Her and acknowledge Her as Mistress, exalting and
glorifying Her with Me. I wish also that She be the
Treasurer and Dispenser of all the goods in heaven and
on earth. Whatever She ordains and disposes in my
Church for my children, the sons of men, shall be con
firmed by the three divine Persons; and whatever She
shall ask for mortals now, afterwards and forever, We
shall concede according to her will and wishes."
693. "To the holy angels, who have obeyed thy holy
and just will, I assign as habitation the highest heavens
as their proper and eternal abode, and with it the joys
of eternal vision and fruition of our Divinity. I desire
that they enjoy its everlasting possession together with
our company and friendship. I decree, that they recog
nize my Mother as their legitimate Queen and Lady, that
they serve Her, accompany and attend upon Her, bear
Her up in their hands in all places and times, obeying
Her in all that She wishes to ordain and command.
The demons, rebellious to our perfect and holy will, I
cast out and deprive of our vision and company; again
do I condemn them to our abhorrence, to eternal loss of
our friendship and glory, to privation of the vision of
my Mother, of the saints and of my friends, the just. I
appoint and assign to them as their eternal dwelling the
place most remote from our royal throne, namely the
infernal caverns, the centre of the earth, deprived of
light and full of the horrors of sensible darkness (Jude
6). I decree this to be their portion and inheritance,
as chosen by them in their pride and obstinacy against
the divine Being and decrees. In those eternal dun
geons of darkness they shall be tormented by everlasting
and inextinguishable lire."
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