The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 8 chapter 20 verses 747-759 Index

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

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 8 chapter 20 verses 747-759THE BURIAL OF THE SACRED BODY OF THE MOST BLESSED MARY, AND WHAT HAPPENED THEREAT.

  INDEX            Book 8  Chapter  20    Verses:  747-759


747. In order that the Apostles, the disciples, and
many others of the faithful might not be too deeply op
pressed by sorrow, and in order that some of them might
not die of grief caused by the passing away of the most
blessed Mary, it was necessary that the divine power,
by an especial providence, furnish them with consolation
and dilate their heart for new influences in their incom
parable affliction. For the feeling, that their loss was
irretrievable in the present life, could not be repressed;
the privation of such a Treasure could never find a
recompense; and as the most sweet, loving and amiable
intercourse and conversation of their great Queen had
ravished the heart of each one, the ceasing of her pro
tection and company left them as it were without the
breath of life. But the Lord, who well knew how to
estimate the just cause of their sorrow, secretly upheld
them by his encouragements and so they set about the
fitting burial of the sacred body and whatever the occa
sion demanded.
748. Accordingly the holy Apostles, on whom this duty
specially devolved, held a conference concerning the
burial of the most sacred body of their Queen and Lady.
They selected for that purpose a new sepulchre, which
had been prepared mysteriously by the providence of her
divine Son. As they remembered, that, according to the
custom of the Jews at burial, the deified body of their
Master had been anointed with precious ointments and
spices and wrapped in the sacred burial cloths; they
thought not of doing otherwise with the virginal body of
his most holy Mother. Accordingly they called the two
maidens, who had assisted the Queen during her life and
who had been designated as the heiresses of her tunics,
and instructed them to anoint the body of the Mother of
God with highest reverence and modesty and wrap it
in the winding-sheets before it should be placed in the
casket. With great reverence and fear the two maidens
entered the room, where the body of the blessed Lady lay
upon its couch ; but the refulgence issuing from it barred
and blinded them in such a manner that they could
neither see nor touch the body, nor even ascertain in
what particular place it rested.
749. In fear and reverence still greater than on their
entrance, the maidens left the room; and in great excite
ment and wonder they told the Apostles what had hap
pened. They, not without divine inspiration, came to
the conclusion, that this sacred Ark of the covenant was
not to be touched or handled in the common way. Then
saint Peter and saint John entered the oratory and per
ceived the effulgence, and at the same time they heard
the celestial music of the angels, who were singing:
"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." Others
responded : "A Virgin before childbirth, in childbirth
and after childbirth." From that time on many of the
faithful expressed their devotion toward the most blessed
Mary in these words of praise ; and from them they were
handed down to be repeated by us with the approbation
of the holy Church. The two holy Apostles, saint Peter
and saint John, were for a time lost in admiration at
what they saw and heard of their Queen; and in order
to decide what to do, they sank on their knees, beseech
ing the Lord to make it known. Then they heard a voice
saying : "Let not the sacred body be either uncovered or
touched."
750. Having thus been informed of the will of God,
they brought a bier, and, the effulgence having dimin
ished somewhat, they approached the couch and with
their own hands reverently took hold of the tunic at the
two ends. Thus, without changing its posture, they
raised the sacred and virginal Treasure and placed it
on the bier in the same position as it had occupied on the
couch. They could easily do this, because they felt no
more weight than that of the tunic. On this bier the
former effulgence of the body moderated still more, and
all of them, by disposition of the Lord and for the con
solation of all those present, could now perceive and
study the beauty of that virginal countenance and of
her hands. As for the rest, the omnipotence of God
protected this his heavenly dwelling, so that neither in
life nor in death any one should behold any other part
except what is common in ordinary conversation, namely,
her most inspiring countenance, by which She had been
known, and her hands, by which She had labored.
751. So great was the care and solicitude for his most
blessed Mother, that in this particular He used not so
much precaution in regard to his own body, as that of
the most pure Virgin. In her Immaculate Conception
He made Her like to Himself; likewise at her birth, in as
far as it did not take place in the common and natural
manner of other men. He preserved Her also from im
pure temptations and thoughts. But, as He was man and
the Redeemer of the world through his Passion and
Death, He permitted with his own body, what He would
not allow with Hers, as that of a woman, and therefore
He kept her virginal body entirely concealed; in fact
the most pure Lady during her life had Herself asked
that no one should be permitted to look upon it in death ;
which petition He fulfilled. Then the Apostles consulted
further about her burial. Their decision becoming
known among the multitudes of the faithful in Jerusalem,
they brought many candles to be lighted at the bier, and
it happened that all the lights burned through that day
and the two following days without any of the candles
being consumed or wasted in any shape or manner.
752. In order that this and many other miracles
wrought by the power of God on this occasion might
become better known to the world, the Lord himself in
spired all the inhabitants of Jerusalem to be present at
the burial of his most blessed Mother, so that there
was scarcely any person in Jerusalem, even of the Jews
or the gentiles, who were not attracted by the novelty
of this spectacle. The Apostles took upon their shoul
ders the sacred body and the tabernacle of God and, as
priests of the evangelical law, bore the Propitiatory of
the divine oracles and blessings in orderly procession
from the Cenacle in the city to the valley of Josaphat.
This was the visible accompaniment of the dwellers of
Jerusalem. But besides this there was another invisible
multitude, that of the courtiers of heaven. It was com
posed of the thousand angels of the Queen, continuing
their celestial songs, which were heard by the Apostles
and disciples and many others, and which sweetly con
tinued for three days. In addition to these many other
spirits had descended from heaven, namely, many thou
sands or legions of angels with the ancient Patriarchs
and Prophets, among whom were saint Joachim, saint
Anne, saint Joseph, saint Elisabeth and the Baptist and
numerous other saints, who were sent by our Savior
Jesus to assist at the exequies and burial of his most
blessed Mother.
753. In the midst of this celestial and earthly accom
paniment, visible and invisible, the Apostles bore along
the sacred body, and on the way happened great miracles,
which would take much time to relate. In particular
all the sick, of which there were many of the different
kinds, were entirely cured. Many of the possessed were
freed from the demons; for the evil spirits did not dare
to wait until the sacred body came near the persons thus
afflicted. Greater still were the miracles of conversions
wrought among many Jews and gentiles, for on this occa
sion were opened up the treasures of divine mercy, so
that many souls came to the knowledge of Christ our
Savior and loudly confessed Him as the true God and
Redeemer, demanding Baptism. Many days thereafter
the Apostles and disciples labored hard in catechizing and
baptising those, who on that day had been converted to
the holy faith. The Apostles in carrying the sacred body
felt wonderful effects of divine light and consolation, in
which the disciples shared according to their measure.
All the multitudes of the people were seized with aston
ishment at the fragrance diffused about, the sweet music
and the other prodigies. They proclaimed God great and
powerful in this Creature and in testimony of their
acknowledgment, they struck their breasts in sorrow and
compunction.
754. When the procession came to the holy sepulchre
in the valley of Josaphat, the same two Apostles, saint
Peter and saint John, who had laid the celestial Treasure
from the couch onto the bier, with joyful reverence placed
it in the sepulchre and covered it with a linen cloth, the
hands of the angels performing more of these last rites
than the hands of the Apostles. They closed up the
sepulchre with a large stone, according to custom at other
burials. The celestial courtiers returned to heaven, while
the thousand angels of the Queen continued their
watch, guarding the sacred body and keeping up the
music as at her burial. The concourse of the people less
ened and the holy Apostles and disciples, dissolved in
tender tears, returned to the Cenacle. During a whole
year the exquisite fragrance exhaled by the body of the
Queen was noticeable throughout the Cenacle, and in
her oratory, for many years. This sanctuary remained
a place of refuge for all those that were burdened with
labor and difficulties; all found miraculous assistance, as
well in sickness as in hardships and necessities of other
kind. After these miracles had continued for some years
in Jerusalem, the sins of Jerusalem and of its inhabitants
drew upon this city, among other punishments, that of
being deprived of this inestimable blessing.
755. Having again gathered in the Cenacle, the
Apostles came to the conclusion that some of them and
of the disciples should watch at the sepulchre of their
Queen as long as they should hear the celestial music, for
all of them were wondering when the end of that miracle
should be. Accordingly some of them attended to the
affairs of the Church in catechizing and baptizing the
new converts; and others immediately returned to the
sepulchre, while all of them paid frequent visits to it dur
ing the next three days. Saint Peter and saint John, how
ever, were more zealous in their attendance, coming only
a few times to the Cenacle and immediately returning to
where was laid the treasure of their heart. Nor were the
irrational creatures missing at the exequies of the Mistress
of the universe ; for as the sacred body arrived near the
grave, innumerable large and small birds gathered in
the air, and many animals and wild beasts rushed from
the mountains toward the sepulchre, the ones singing
sorrowfully the others emitting groans and doleful sounds
and all of them showing grief in their movements as if
mourning over the common loss. Only a few unbelieving
Jews, more hardened than the rocks and more impious
than the wild beasts failed to show sorrow at the death
of their Restoratrix, as they had failed to do also at the
death of their Redeemer and Master.
INSTRUCTION WHICH THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, MOST HOLY
MARY, GAVE ME.
756. My daughter, in commemorating my natural
death and my burial, I wish that thou also die and be
buried to all worldly things, and this is to be the fruit
and the principal result of thy having known and written
my life. Many times in the course of thy writing have
I manifested to thee this as my desire and intimated it
to thee as my will, lest thou waste this singular favor
shown to thee by the Lord and by me. It is a foul offense
in any Christian, if, after dying to sin and after being
reborn in Christ by Baptism, knowing that the Lord
died for him, he returns again to the same faults; and
this will be a still greater wickedness in those souls, who
are called by special grace to be the most dear friends of
the Lord, as is the case with those, who for that very
purpose dedicate and consecrate themselves to his closer
service in religion, each one according to his condition
and state.
757. In these souls the vices of the world cause horror
in heaven itself, because the pride, the presumption, the
haughtiness, the want of mortification, the anger, the
covetousness, the conscious impurities and other wicked
ness in such souls force the Lord and the saints to with
draw from the sight of their monstrous distortion and
rouse them to greater wrath and offense than the same
sins in other souls. Therefore the Lord repudiates many
who unrighteously bear the name of being his spouses
and leaves them to their own bad counsels, because they
have so disloyally broken the fidelity promised to God and
to me in their vocation and profession. But if all souls
must fear this terrible infidelity, consider well, my daugh
ter, what abhorrence especially thou wouldst deserve
in the sight of God, if thou wert guilty of such disloyalty.
It is time that thou die to the visible things, and that thy
body be buried in thy self-knowledge and self-abasement,
while thy soul sink into the being of God. The days of
thy life in this world are coming to a close; and I shall
be the judge to execute the sentence of thy separation
from life and from the world : thou needst not any more
be seen with those who live in it, nor they with thee. The
writing of my life should be for thee the seal of thy death
to the world, as I have so often exhorted thee and as
thou hast repeatedly and expressly promised me, with
heartfelt tears.
758. I wish this to be the proof of my doctrine and of
its efficacy ; do not permit it to be discredited in thee to
my dishonor, but let heaven and earth perceive the force
of its truth and of my example in thy works. For this
thou must depend neither upon thy understanding nor
upon thy will, and still less upon thy inclinations and
passions, because all this for thee has come to a finish.
Thy law must be the will of the Lord and my own, and
the dictates of obedience. And in order that thou mayest
never mistake what is in them the most holy, the most
perfect and God-pleasing, the Lord has provided for thy
direction in all things, lavishing upon thee his own care,
mine, and that of the holy angels. Do not allege igno
rance, pusillanimity, or weakness, nor much less, fear.
Weigh thy obligation, estimate thy indebtedness, attend
to the continual light; operate with the grace thou re
ceivest, so that amid all these benefits there be no cross so
heavy, no death so bitter, as shall not be deemed by thee
very light and acceptable. In this consists all thy good,
and in it is to be thy delight; since, if thou dost not suc
ceed in dying to all things, besides that thy path will be
sown with thorns, thou shalt not reach the perfection
thou desirest, nor the state to which the Lord calls thee.
759. If the world will not forget thee, do thou forget
it; if it will not leave thee alone, remember that thou
hast forsaken it, and that I have separated thee from it.
If it follow thee, fly; if it flatter thee, despise it; if it
contemn thee, suffer it ; and if it seek thee, let it not find
thee except in so far as will be to the glory of the Most
High. But as regards all the rest, thou must not any
more bear it in mind, than the living remember the dead.
Forget it just as the dead forget the living, and I desire
that thou have no more intercourse with this world, than
the dead have with the living. It will not seem extraor
dinary to thee, that in the beginning, in the middle and
at the end of this history I repeat so often this doctrine,
if thou ponder what depends upon thy practicing it. Con
sider, my dearest, what persecutions the devil has roused
against thee in secret through the world and its inhabi
tants under different pretexts and appearances. If God
has permitted them for the purpose of trying thee and for
the exercise of his grace, it is proper, that, as far as thou
are concerned, thou take it as a lesson and a warning.
Remember that great is the treasure which thou carriest
in a fragile vessel (II Cor. 2, 7) , and that all hell conspires
and rises up against thee. Thou livest in mortal flesh,
surrounded and assailed by astute enemies. Be a Spouse
of Christ my divine Son, and I shall be thy Mother and
Instructress. Recognize, then, thy need and thy weak
ness, and correspond with me as a dearest daughter, as
an obedient and perfect disciple in all things.
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