The Work of God Apostolate

Virgin Mary Mystical City of God - Book 1 chapter 8 verses 94-105 Index

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


  INDEX            Book 1  Chapter  8    Verses:  94-105

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