The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 18 verses 265-282 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 1  Chapter  18    Verses:  265-282

265. The further wording of the twenty-first chapter
of the Apocalypse is as follows :
9. "And there came one of the seven angels, who
had the vials full of the seven last plagues, and spoke
with me, saying: Come, and I will show thee the
bride, the wife of the Lamb.
10. And he took me up in spirit to a great and
high mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusa
lem coming down out of heaven from God,
11. Having the glory of God; and the light thereof
was like to a precious stone, as to the jasper-stone,
even as crystal.
12. And it had a great wall and high, having twelve
gates ; and in the gates twelve angels, and names writ
ten thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes
of the children of Israel.
13. On the east, three gates; and on the north,
three gates ; and on the south, three gates ; and on the
west, three gates.
14. And the wall of the city had twelve founda
tions, and in them, the twelve names of the twelve
apostles of the Lamb.
15. And he that spoke with me had a measure of
reed, of gold, to measure the city and the gates there
of, and the wall;
16. And the city lieth in a four-square, and the
length thereof is as great as the breadth ; and he meas
ured the city with the golden reed for twelve thou
sand furlongs; and the length and the height and the
breadth thereof are equal.
17. And he measured the wall thereof a hundred
and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is
of an angel.
18. And the buildings of the wall thereof was of
jasper-stone; but the city itself pure gold,, like to pure
266. The angels of which the Evangelist speaks in
this place, are seven of those who attend in a special
manner at the throne of God and who have received
commission and power to punish some of the sins of
men. This vengeance of the wrath of the Omnipotent
(Apoc. 15, 1) will happen in the last ages of the world;
but it shall be a new punishment, greater than which
neither before nor after is possible during mortal exist
ence. But since these mysteries are deeply hidden and
since not all have been revealed to me, nor concern this
history, I do not consider it proper to expatiate upon
them, but I will pass on to what more closely concerns
my task. This angel, of which St. John speaks, is the
one through whom God will avenge with an especial
and dreadful chastisement the injuries committed against
his most holy Mother ; for the insane daring, with which
they have despised Her, has roused the indignation of
his Omnipotence. As the most holy Trinity has pledged
Itself to honor and exalt this Queen of heaven above all
human creatures and above the angels, placing Her in
this world as a Mirror of the Divinity and as the special
Mediatrix of mortals, God has taken it in a particular
manner upon Himself to avenge the heresies, errors,
outrages, and all injuries committed against Her, since
thereby men have not glorified, acknowledged and
adored Him in this tabernacle and have not made use of
this incomparable mercy. These punishments are proph
esied to the holy Church. Although the mysterious
words of the Apocalypse enshroud in obscurity the rigor
of this punishment, yet woe to the unhappy ones, that
shall be overtaken by it ! Woe to me, who have offended
a God so strong and powerful to chastise! I am over
whelmed in the expectation of the great calamity here
267. The angel spoke to the Evangelist saying:
"Come, and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the
Lamb," etc. The angel declares in this passage, that
the holy city of Jerusalem, which he showed to him, is
the espoused wife of the Lamb, referring by this meta
phor (as I have already said No. 248) to the most holy
Mary, whom St. John saw both as a Mother, or Woman,
and as a Spouse of the Lamb, that is Christ. The Queen
held and fulfilled in divine manner both offices. She was
the Spouse of the Divinity, the only One (Cant. 6, 8)
and incomparable on account of the unequalled faith and
love, with which the espousals were entered into and
accomplished ; and She was the Mother of the same Lord
incarnate, giving Him his mortal substance and flesh,
nourishing and sustaining Him in his existence as man,
which He derived from Her. In order to see and under
stand such high mysteries the Evangelist was exalted in
spirit to a great height of sanctity and light; for with
out going out of himself and being raised above human
weakness, he could not understand them; just as we,
imperfect, earthly and abject creatures, cannot encom
pass them for the same reason. Then elevated thus high,
he says: He showed me the holy city of Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven," for Mary was built up
and formed, not on earth, where She was like a pil
grim and a stranger, but in heaven, where the common,
earthly material was excluded. For though the material
of her being was taken from the earth, it was at the
same time so elevated in heavenly perfection as to be fit
for the building up of that mystical City in a celestial
and angelic, yea divine manner, effulgent with the Di
268. Therefore he adds: "Having the glory of God,"
for the most holy soul of Mary was favored with such a
participation of the Divinity and of its attributes and per
fections, that if it were possible to see Her in her own
essence, She would appear as if illumined with the
eternal splendor of God himself. Great and (Ps. 86, 3)
glorious things are said in the Catholic church of this
City of God, and of the splendor, which She has received
from that same Lord; but all of it is insignificant, and
all human words fall short of the truth. The created
intellect, entirely overcome, can but assert, that the most
holy Mary partakes of the Divinity more than can be
comprehended; confessing thereby the substance of the
reality as well as the incapability of the mind to express
in a proper manner, that which it wishes to confess.
She is formed in the heavens, and only the Artificer who
formed Her, is able to comprehend her greatness, He
alone can estimate her origin and the affinity, which He
contracted with most holy Mary, by perfecting her gifts
to a semblance of the attributes of his infinite greatness
and Divinity.
269. "And the light thereof was like to a precious
stone, the jasper-stone, even as crystal," etc. It is not so
difficult to understand how She can be similar at the
same time to two such dissimilar stones as crystal and
jasper, as it is to understand how She can be similar to
God. But from this comparison we derive a certain un
derstanding of similarity to God. The jasper sparkles
and glitters in colors of many different shades, while the
crystal is characterized by limpid and uniform transpar
ency; both combined form a rare and beautiful variety.
The most pure Mary, in her formation, was endowed
with the variety of virtues and perfections, which the
hand of God itself selected and interwove in her soul.
These graces and perfections made her soul like unto a
most pure crystal, without blemish or stain of guilt; in
her purity and transparency it scattered the enrapturing
rays of the Divinity, just as the crystal meeting the sun,
seems to absorb and again send forth its rays as if it
were itself the sun. Nevertheless this crystal-jasper
sparkles also in many-colored hues because She is a
Daughter of Adam and a mere creature, and all the
splendors of the Divinity contained within Her are only
a participation. Although it appears to be a divine light,
it is not a part of her nature, but communicated and con
ferred by grace. She is truly a creature formed and
shaped by the hand of God himself, but in a manner
befitting one who was to be his Mother.
270. "And it had a great wall and high, having twelve
gates." The mysteries enclosed in the walls and por
tals of this mystical City, most holy Mary, are so hidden
and great that I, an ignorant and obscure woman, can
with difficulty reduce to words that which was shown
to me. However, in order to proceed : At the first mo
ment of the Conception of the most holy Mary, when
the Divinity manifested Itself to Her in the vision above
referred to (No. 228-236), the whole blessed Trinity,
as if renewing the ancient decrees of her creation and
exaltation, made a kind of agreement or contract with
this Lady, without however making it fully known to
Her. It was as if the three Divine Persons conferred
among Themselves and spoke to each other in the fol
lowing manner:
271. "It is befitting to the dignity of our Bride and
the Mother of the Word, that She be constituted the
Queen and Mistress of all creation. Besides the gifts and
riches of the Divinity, which We give and confer upon
Her for her own sake, it is meet that She exercise the
right of distributing the treasures of our mercy, so that
She may communicate according to her pleasure the
graces and favors necessary to mortals, especially to
those who invoke Her as her children and clients, thus
enriching the needy, freeing the sinners, elevating the
just and affording a universal refuge to all men. And
in order that all creatures may recognize Her as their
Queen and Mistress, and as the Treasurer of our infinite
bounties, from whence they are to be distributed, We
entrust Her with the keys of our will and heart; She
shall be in all things the Executrix of our pleasure to
ward the creatures. Above all We shall give to Her do
minion and power over the dragon, our enemy, and over
all his allied demons. Let them fear her presence and
her name and in it, let their deceits be crushed and anni
hilated. Let all the mortals that fly to this City of
refuge, find in it a sure and certain protection, free from
all the dread of the demons and their snares."
272. Without revealing to the soul of the most holy
Mary all that is contained in this decree or proposal, the
Lord directed Her in that first instant to pray with great
love, to intercede for all the souls, and to solicit and
procure for them eternal life, especially for those, who
in the course of their lives should commend themselves
to her care. The blessed Trinity made known to Her that
before his most just tribunal nothing would ever be de
nied to Her; that She should command the devil and
that She should have power, by virtue of her commands,
to keep him away from souls, since She would have at
her disposal the arm of the Almighty. But the reason of
this favor was not made known to Her, nor the reason
for all her other gifts, and this reason was no other
than that She was to be the Mother of the Word. In
saying that this City was surrounded by a great and
high wall St. John refers to this godgiven prerogative
of his Mother, that She was to be the secret refuge, pro
tection and defense of all men, wherein they would find
all the security of a city of refuge and of a strong for
tress against their enemies. To this powerful Queen
and Lady of all creation and to this dispensatrix of all the
treasures of heavenly grace, all the sons of Adam were
to fly. He says that the walls are very high, for the
power of the most pure Mary to overcome the demon
and to raise the souls to grace is so great that it is in
ferior only to that of God himself. So well armed for
all this and so well defended and secure for Herself and
for all those, who seek her protection, is this City, that
not all the forces created by God outside of Her can
overthrow or surmount its walls.
273. "Having twelve gates," for the entrance into this
holy City is free to all nations and generations excluding
none, but inviting all; so that no one shall be deprived
of the mediation of this Queen of mercy for obtaining
the gifts and graces, nor the eternal glory of the Most
High. In the gates were twelve angels. These twelve
princes are those mentioned above as being among the
ones selected as the guardians of the Mother of the incar
nate Word. The service of these twelve angels, besides
attending to their Queen, was to assist especially and to
defend those souls who devoutly call on Mary, our
Queen, for help, and who distinguish themselves in their
devotion, veneration and love for Her. Therefore the
Evangelist says that he saw them in the gates of that
City; they are the ministers and as it were, the servants,
who are to help, encourage and accompany the mortals
in entering into the portals of piety, opened by the most
holy Mary to eternal happiness. Many times does She
send them with inspirations and favors in order to snatch
those from the dangers of body and soul, who invoke
Her and are her devout servants.
274. He continues: "And names written thereon,
which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children
of Israel;" for the angels receive their names according
to the ministry and service, for which they are sent to
the earth. And because these twelve princes are espe
cially attached to the service of the Queen of heaven in
order that they may assist in the salvation of men, and
because all the elect are included with the twelve tribes
of Israel, forming the holy people of God : therefore the
Evangelist says that the angels bear the names of the
twelve tribes of Israel. To each one of the twelve tribes
one of these angels is assigned. Under their charge and
protection are all those that from every nation and gen
eration enter through the portals of the intercession of
most holy Mary into the celestial Jerusalem.
275. Wondering at this exaltation of the most pure
Mary and that She should be the Mediatrix and the por
tal of all the predestined, I was given to understand
that this prerogative befits Her, who as Mother of Christ
was to do such great things for men conjointly with her
most holy Son. For She furnished Him from her own
purest blood and substance with a body, in which He
suffered and redeemed men. On account of her close
connection with his flesh and blood, She in a manner
died and suffered in Christ, freely of her own will ac
companying Him in his Passion and Death, suffering
with Him according to Her power with heavenly humil
ity and fortitude. Thus, as She cooperated in his Pas
sion and offered Herself as a victim for the human race,
so the same Lord made Her a participant in his dignity
of Redeemer and placed Her in charge of the merits
and fruits of the Redemption, to be distributed by her
own hand and communicated to the redeemed. O, ad
mirable Treasurer of God! How secure are in thy heav
enly and bountiful hands the riches of the Omnipotent!
Hence this City "had three gates on the east, three gates
on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates
on the west," etc. The three gates, corresponding to each
of the four quarters of the world, invite all the mortals
to draw near to Him, who is the Creator of all,
namely, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Each of
the three Persons, desires and ordains, that most holy
Mary should be in possession of the gates for soliciting
the divine treasures for mortals. Although there is but
one God in three Persons, each one for Himself con
cedes free entrance and admission to this most pure
Queen, in order that before the tribunal of the immu
table and triune Being She may intercede, solicit and re
ceive gifts and graces for those that seek Her and honor
Her in the world. Therefore as there are not one, but
three portals in every direction, none of the mortals any
where in the universe and of any nation and tribe shall
have an excuse. The entrance into free and open city
gates is so easy, that if any one fails to enter, it is not
because the gates prevent him, but because he himself
tarries and does not wish to seek safety. What then
shall the infidels, heretics and pagans say? and what ex
cuse have the bad Christians and the obstinate sinners?
If the treasures of heaven are in the hands of our
Mother and Lady, if She continues to call us and solicit
us through her angels, if She opens not one but many
gates to heaven, how is it that there are so many who
remain outside and so few who enter through them?
276. "And the walls of the city had twelve founda
tions, and in them the twelve names of the apostles of
the Lamb." The strong and unshakable foundations,
upon which God built up the holy City of Mary his
Mother, are her virtues, as governed and proportioned
in Her by the Holy Ghost. He enumerated twelve, cor
responding with the names of the Apostles, in order to
show that it is founded upon the surpassing sanctity of
the Apostles, who are the leaders among the saints. For
according to the saying of David, the foundations of the
city of God are placed upon the holy mountains, and also
inversely, the sanctity and wisdom of Mary grounded
and confirmed the Apostles after the Death and Ascen
sion of Christ. Although She was always their In
structress and model, yet in those times She alone was
the chief support of the primitive Church. Now, be
cause She was destined and endowed for this office by
the corresponding virtues and gifts from the moment
of her Immaculate Conception, therefore they are called
the twelve foundations of this City of God.
277. "And he that spoke with me had a measure of
reed, of gold, and he measured the city with the golden
reed for twelve thousand furlongs," etc. By these meas
urements the Evangelist alludes to the great mysteries of
the dignity, graces and gifts and merits contained in the
Mother of God. Although the measurements of the dig
nity and benefits, which the Almighty conferred upon
Her, were exceedingly great, yet they were within pos
sibility and they were also well proportioned. "And the
length thereof is as great as the breadth." From all
sides She is equally well formed, without a sign of de
ficiency, inequality or disproportion. I do not expatiate
thereon, but refer to what I will say about this in the
course of this history of her life. But I desire to men
tion that the measure of the dignity, the merits and
graces of most holy Mary, was none other than the hu
manity of her most blessed Son, united to the divine
278. The Evangelist calls the humanity of Christ a
"reed" because He assumed the frailty of our weak
and carnal nature, and "of
gold," on account of his Di
vinity. In accordance with the dignity of the true Godman,
Christ, and correspondingly with the gifts and
merits of the incarnate God, also his most holy Mother
was measured. He it was who measured Her with
Himself, and She, being thus proportioned, seemed in
her office as Mother, exalted to a dignity corresponding
to his. In the length of her gifts and graces, and in
the breadth of her merits, in all things did She seem
well proportioned without defect. She could not be
equal absolutely to her most holy Son with an equality
which the learned call mathematical; for Christ our
Lord was true God and man, whereas She was a mere
creature and thus the measure exceeded infinitely that
which was measured by it ; yet the most pure Mary was
adjusted according to a certain equality of proportion
to her divine Son. Just as there was wanting in Him
nothing that corresponds and belongs to his dignity as
the true Son of God, so nothing was wanting, nor was
there any defect in that, which was due to Her as true
Mother of that same God, in such a manner that to Her
as Mother of God, and to Christ as Son of God, were
conceded equal proportions of dignity, graces, gifts and
merits. There was no created grace in Christ, which
was not held in its proportion also by his most pure
279. The Evangelist says : "And he measured the city
with the golden reed for twelve thousand furlongs."
This measure of "stadia" and the number "twelve thou
sand" with which the heavenly Queen at her Conception
was measured, indicate most exalted mysteries. The
Evangelist calls the perfect measure, by which are meas
ured the high sanctity of the predestined, "stadia," there
by referring to the graces and gifts, which God in his
eternal foreknowledge decreed to communicate through
the incarnate Son, adjusting and pre-ordaining these
gifts with infinite equity and mercy. By these stadia
then are measured all the saints and the heights of their
virtues and merits. Most unhappy he who does not
come up to this measure and who cannot be measured
by it when the Lord shall measure him. The number
twelve thousand is used in order to include all the rest
of the elect and the predestined, headed in their thousands
by the twelve Apostles, the princes of the Catholic
Church. In the same way they are mentioned in the
seventh chapter of the Apocalypse under the leadership
of the twelve tribes of Israel. For all the elect must sub
mit to the teaching of the Apostles of the Lamb, as I
have already said above (No. 273).
280. From all this can be estimated the greatness of
that City of God, the most holy Mary. For if we as
sume that the stadium which the Evangelist mentions
measures at least 125 steps, then a city that extends
12,000 furlongs or stadia on each of its four sides aim
in its height, must appear of huge dimensions. The
measurement and number of stadia of all the predes
lined taken together was found to be equal to that of
our blessed Lady, the most holy Mary, and their length,
breadth and height was not greater than hers. For She
that was to be the Mother of God himself and the Queen
and the Mistress of all creatures, was equal to them
joined in one mighty host. In Her alone was contained
more than in all the rest of creation.
281. "And he measured the wall thereof a hundred
and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is of
an angel." This measure of the walls of the City of
God, was not of their length, but of their height. For
if the length and the width of the city were twelve thou
sand stadia, making a perfect square, it was certainly
necessary that the walls should extend still farther on
the outside in order to encompass the city. The meas
ure of one hundred and forty-four cubits (of whatever
length these might be) , was certainly too short for a city
of that extent; but that measurement would very well
fit the height of the walls and would be well adapted for
the security and defense of those dwelling therein. This
measurement of their height indicates the security of all
the gifts and graces which the Almighty conferred on
most holy Mary as befitting her dignity and sanctity. In
order to make this more plain, it is said that the height
was one hundred, forty, and four cubits, an unequal
number, referring to three walls : a high one, a medium
sized and a small one, and corresponding to the activity
of the Queen of heaven in great, in more ordinary and
insignificant things. Not that in Her there was anything
insignificant, but because the object matter of her actions
was of different kinds, and so were also her actions
themselves. Some were miraculous and supernatural,
others belonged to the sphere of the moral virtues, and
these latter again were either interior or exterior. All
of them She performed with such a plenitude of perfec
tion that She omitted not the unimportant obligations on
account of the important ones, nor did the latter suffer
on account of her exactitude in the former. She fulfilled
them all with such an exalted holiness, and with such
full approbation of the Lord that She was measured
with the standard of her most holy Son, as well in the
natural as in the supernatural sphere of her life. It was
the measure of the Godman himself, the Angel of the
great council, excelling all men and angels. With Him
She, as his Mother, was exalted above them in propor
tion to her dignity. The Evangelist continues and says :
282. "And the building of the wall thereof was of
jasper-stone." The walls of a city most conspicuously
strike and engage the eyes of the beholder. The variety
of colors and hues that distinguish the jasper-stone here
mentioned as composing the walls of Mary, the City of
God, bespeak the ineffable humility with which all the
excellencies and graces of the great Queen were clothed
and permeated. For although She was the worthy
Mother of her Creator, exempt from all stain of sin and
imperfection, She exhibits Herself to the view of mor
tals as dependent upon and as it were tinted with the
shades of the ordinary laws, to which the daughters of
Adam are subject; for She subjected Herself to the pen
alties and necessities of our common life, as I shall de
scribe later on. Nevertheless this wall of jasper, though
apparently displaying these color-tints of the rest of
womankind, was to serve as an invincible defense of the
city. Inside, as the Evangelist says, the city was of
"pure gold, like to most pure and flawless glass," for
neither in the formation of the most holy Mary, nor
afterwards, during her most innocent life, did She ever
admit any stain, which could obscure her crystalline
clearness. For just as any stain or blemish, even if only
the size of an atom, finding its way into glass during its
formation will never disappear so as to leave no visible
trace and will always interfere with its transparency and
purity; so, if the most pure Mary had contracted in her
Conception the blemish or stain of original sin, it would
always be discernible and forever degrade and prevent
her crystalline purity and transparency. Neither would
She be pure Gold, since her sanctity and gifts would con
tain the slack of original sin, lessening its fineness by
many carats; hence, this City was "gold, like the purest
glass," because She was most pure and like unto the
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