Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 6  Chapter  2    Verses:  333-341

333. It would not be foreign to the purpose of this
history to describe the miracles and the heroic works of
Christ, our Redeemer and Master; for in almost all of
them his most blessed and holy Mother concurred
and took a part. But I cannot presume to undertake a
work so arduous and- so far above human strength and
capacity. For the Evangelist saint John, after having
described many miracles of Christ, says at the
end of his Gospel, that Jesus did many other things,
which, if they were all described, could not be con
tained in all the books of the world (John 21, 25). If
such a task seemed so impossible to the Evangelist, how
much more to an ignorant woman, more useless than
the dust of the earth? All that is necessary and proper,
and abundantly sufficient for founding and preserving
the Church has been written by the four Evangelists;
and it is not necessary to repeat it in this history. Yet
in order to compose this history and in order not to
pass over in silence so many great works of the exalted
Queen, which have not been mentioned, it is necessary
to touch on a few particulars. Moreover, I think,
that to write of them and thus fasten them in my
memory will be both consoling and useful for my ad-
vancement. The others, which the Evangelists recorded
in their Gospels and of which I have not been com
manded to write, are better preserved for the beatific
vision, where the saints shall see them manifested to
them by the Lord and where they will eternally praise
Him for such magnificent works.
334. From Cana in Galilee Christ, the Redeemer,
walked to Capernaum, a large and populous city near
the sea of Tiberias. Here, according to saint John
(John 2, 12), He remained some days, though not
many; for as the time of the Pasch was approaching,
He gradually drew nigh to Jerusalem in order to cele
brate this feast on the fourteenth of the moon of March.
His most blessed Mother, having rid Herself of her
house in Nazareth, accompanied Him thenceforth in
his tours of preaching and of teaching to the very foot
of the Cross. She was absent from Him only a few
times, as when the Lord absented Himself on Mount
Tabor (Matth. 17, 1), or on some particular conversions,
as for instance that of the Samaritan woman, or when
the heavenly Lady herself remained behind with certain
persons in order to instruct and catechize them. But
always after a short time, She returned to her Lord and
Master, following the Sun of justice until it sank into
the abyss of Death. During these journeys the Queen
of heaven proceeded on foot, just as her divine Son.
If even the Lord was fatigued on the way, as saint
John says (John 4, 6), how much more fatigued was
this purest Lady? What hardships did She not endure
on such arduous journeys in all sorts of weather? Such
is the rigorous treatment accorded by the Mother of
mercy to her most delicate body ! What She endured in
these labors alone is so great that not all the mortals
together can ever satisfy their obligations to Her in
this regard. Sometimes by permission of the Lord, She
suffered such great weakness and pains that He was
constrained to relieve Her miraculously. At other
times He commanded Her to rest Herself at some stop
ping-place for a few days; while again on certain occa
sions, He gave such lightness to her body, that She could
move about without difficulty as if on wings.
335. As I have already mentioned, the heavenly Lady
had the whole doctrine of the evangelical law written
in her heart. Nevertheless She was as solicitous and
attentive as a new disciple to the preaching and doctrine
of her divine Son, and She had instructed her angels to
report to Her, if necessary, the sermons of the Master
whenever She was absent. To the sermons of her Son
She always listened on her knees, thus according to the
utmost of her powers showing the reverence and wor
ship due to his Person and doctrine. As She was aware
at each moment, of the interior operations of the Soul
of Christ, and of his continual prayers to the eternal
Father for the proper disposition of the hearts of his
hearers and for the growth of the seed of his doctrine
into eternal life, the most loving Mother joined the
divine Master in his petitions and prayers and in secur
ing for them the blessings of her most ardent and tear
ful charity. By her attention and reverence She taught
and moved others to appreciate duly the teaching and
instructions of the Savior of the world. She also knew
the interior of those that listened to the preaching of
the Lord, their state of grace or sin, their vices and
virtues. This various and hidden knowledge, so far
above the capacity of men, caused in the heavenly
Mother many wonderful effects of highest charity and
other virtues; it inflamed Her with zeal for the Honor
of the Lord and with ardent desires, that the fruits of
the Redemption be not lost to the souls, while at the
same time, the danger of their loss to the souls through
sin moved Her to exert Herself in the most fervent
prayer for their welfare. She felt in her heart a pierc
ing and cruel sorrow, that God should not be known,
adored and served by all his creatures : and this sorrow
was in proportion to the unequaled knowledge and un
derstanding She had of all these mysteries. For the
souls, that would not give entrance to divine grace and
virtue, She sorrowed with ineffable grief, and was wont
to shed tears of blood at the thought of their mis
fortune. What the great Queen suffered in this her
solicitude and in her labors exceeds beyond all measure
the pains endured by all the martyrs of the world.
336. All the followers of the Savior, and whomever
He received into his ministry, She treated with incom
parable prudence and wisdom, especially those whom
She held in such high veneration and esteem as the
Apostles of Christ As a Mother She took care of
all, and as a powerful Queen She procured necessaries
for their bodily nourishment and comforts. Sometimes,
when She had no other resources, She commanded the
holy angels to bring provisions for them and for the
women in their company. In order to assist them
toward advancing in the spiritual life, the great Queen
labored beyond possibility of human understanding;
not only by her continual and fervent prayers for them
but by her precious example and by her counsels, with
which She nourished and strengthened them as a most
prudent Mother and Teacher. When the Apostles or
disciples were assailed by any doubts, which frequently
happened in the beginning, or when they were attacked
by some secret temptation, the great Lady immediately
hastened to their assistance in order to enlighten and
encourage them by the peerless light and charity shin
ing forth in Her; and by the sweetness of her words
they were exquisitely consoled and rejoiced. They
were enlightened by her wisdom, chastened by her
humility, quieted by her modesty, enriched by all the
blessings that flowed from this storehouse of all the
gifts of the Holy Ghost. For all these benefits, for the
calling of the disciples, for the conversion and persever
ance of the just, and for all the works of grace and
virtue, She made a proper return to God, celebrating
these events in festive hymns.
337. As the Evangelists tell us, some of the women of
Galilee followed Christ the Redeemer on his journeys.
Saint Matthew, saint Mark and saint Luke tell us that
some of those whom He had cured of demoniacal pos
session and of other infirmities, accompanied and served
Him (Matth. 27; Mark 15; Luke 8); for the Master
of eternal life excluded no sex from his following,
imitation and doctrine. Hence some of the women at
tended upon Him and served Him from the very begin
ning of his preaching. The divine wisdom so ordered
it for certain purposes, among which was also the de
sire to provide proper companions for his blessed
Mother during these travels. Our Queen interested
Herself in a special manner in these pious and holy
women, gathering them around Her, teaching and cate
chising them and bringing them as listeners to the ser
mons of her divine Son. Although She herself was
fully enlightened and instructed in the evangelical doc
trine and abundantly able to teach them the way of
eternal life, nevertheless, partly in order to conceal this
secret of her heart, She always availed Herself of the
sayings of Christ in his public preaching as a text for
her instructions and exhortations, whenever She taught
these and many other women who came to Her either
before or after hearing the Savior of the world. Not
all of them followed Christ, but through the efforts of
the heavenly Lady all of them received sufficient knowl
edge of the sacred mysteries for their conversion. Thus
She drew innumerable women to the knowledge of
Christ, to the way of eternal salvation and evangelical
perfection; though the Evangelists say no more of them
than that some of them followed Christ. It was not
necessary for the Evangelists to go into these particulars
in their histories. The admirable works of the blessed
Lady among the women stopped not short with merely
teaching them divine faith and virtues by word of
mouth, but She also taught them to practice the most
ardent charity by visiting the sick in the infirmaries,
the poor, the imprisoned and afflicted; nursing with her
own hands the wounded ; consoling the sorrowful and
giving aid to those in necessity. If I were to mention
all these works, it would be necessary to fill the greater
part of this history with discourse on them, or to make
it much more extensive.
338. Nor are the innumerable and vast miracles of
the great Queen during the public preaching of Christ
our Lord recorded in the Gospels or in other histories;
for the Evangelists spoke only of the wonders wrought
by Christ and in so far as was useful to establish the
faith of the Church. It was necessary that men should
first be well established and confirmed in this faith,
before the great deeds of the most holy Mother should
become manifest. According to what has been given
me to understand, it is certain that She brought about
not only many miraculous conversions, but She cured
the blind and the sick, and called the dead to life. That
this should be so was proper for many reasons : on the
one hand, She was the Assistant in the principal work
for which the incarnate Word came into the world,
namely in his preaching and his Redemption ; for thereby
the eternal Father opened up the treasures of his Omnip
otence and infinite Goodness, manifesting them in the
divine Word and in the heavenly Mother. On the
other hand, She as his Mother was to resemble her Son
in the working of miracles, increasing the glory of
Both; for in this way She accredited the dignity and
doctrine of her Son and eminently and most efficaciously
assisted Him in his ministry. That these miracles
should remain concealed, was due both to the disposition
of divine Providence and to the earnest request of
Mary herself; hence She performed them with such a
wise secrecy, that all the glory redounded to the exalta
tion of the Redeemer in whose name and virtue they
were wrought. The same course She also maintained in
her instructions; for She did not preach in public, nor
at any pre-arranged place or time, nor to those who
were attended to by the appointed teachers and min
isters of the divine word. The blessed Lady knew that
this kind of work was not incumbent upon women (I
Cor. 14, 34). She contented Herself with the assist
ance She could render by private instruction and con
versation, which She did with celestial wisdom and
efficacy. By this assistance and by her prayers, She se
cured more conversions than all the preachers of the
339. This will be better understood if we remember
that, besides the heavenly influence of her words, She
possessed a most intimate knowledge of the nature, dis
position, inclinations and bad habits of all men, of the
time and occasion best suited to bring all to the way of
eternal life, and that to this knowledge were added the
most fervent prayers and the exquisite sweetness of
her conversation. All these gifts were animated by
her most ardent charity and the desire to bring souls
to salvation and to the friendship of the Lord, and,
therefore, the results of her labors were exceedingly
great: She rescued innumerable souls, drawing them
on and enlightening them. None of her petitions were
denied Her and none of her efforts failed of the holy
effects which She asked for them. As, then, the work
of salvation was the principal object of all her endeavors,
She without a doubt performed greater deeds than can
ever be understood by men in this mortal life. In all
these labors the heavenly Lady proceeded with the great
est gentleness, like the simplest dove, with extreme pa
tience and forbearance, overlooking the imperfections and
rudeness of the new faithful ; enlightening the ignorance
of the vast number of those that came to subject them
selves to the doctrines of the Redeemer. On all occa
sions She preserved the quiet high-mindedness of a
Queen ; yet at the same time only She, in imitation of the
Savior, could ever have joined with it such perfection
of humility and sweetness. Between Themselves They
treated all with such great kindness and fullness of
charity, that no one could ever be excused from humble
subjection to such Teachers. They spoke and conversed
and ate with the disciples and with the women that
followed them (Matth. 9, 10; John 12, 2; Luke 5, 29;
7, 36), observing all due moderation and reserve, so that
no one found it strange, or doubted that the Savior
was a true man, the natural and legitimate Son of the
most holy Mary. It was for this purpose also, that the
Lord treated other guests with such affability, as is
recorded in the holy Gospels.
340. My daughter, it is true that I labored more than
is known or imagined by mortals in following and ac
companying my divine Son to the foot of the Cross; nor
were my anxieties for their welfare any less after his
death, as thou wilt be made to understand in writing the
third part of this history. Amidst all my labors and
hardships I was ineffably rejoiced in spirit to see the
incarnate Word working for the salvation of men and
opening the book sealed by the seven mysteries of his
Divinity and sacred humanity. The human race owes
me no less for my rejoicing at the welfare of each one,
than for my solicitude in procuring it, because both
sprang from the same love. In this I wish thee to imi
tate me, as I have so often exhorted thee. Although
thou dost not hear with thy bodily ears the sermons of
my divine Son, nor his own voice in preaching, thou
canst yet imitate me in the reverence with which I
listened to Him; for it is the same One that speaks to
thy heart, and who teaches thee the same doctrine.
Therefore, I exhort thee whenever thou recognizest the
enlightening voice of thy Spouse and Pastor, to kneel
down in reverence and listen to his words, adoring Him
full of thankfulness and writing his counsel in thy
heart. If thou happenest to be in a public place,
where thou canst not show this external reverence,
do it interiorly and obey Him in all things as if thou
wert present at his very preaching; for, just as hearing
Him then without obeying Him would not have made
thee happy, so thou canst now make thyself blessed by
executing that which Thou hearest Him say to thee
interiorly, even though thou dost not hear Him with
thy bodily ears. Great is thy obligation, since most
extraordinary is the kindness and mercy shown to thee
by the Most High and by me. Be thou not dull of heart,
lest thou remain poor amidst such riches of the divine
341. But not only to the interior voice of the Lord
must thou listen reverently, but also to the voice of his
ministers, preachers and priests, whose words are the
echoes of the Most High and the aqueducts through
which the blessed doctrine of life and the perennial
fountains of divine truth flow to the souls. In them
God speaks and the voice of his divine law resounds;
hear them with such reverence, that thou art unwilling
to look for any error, nor presume to pass judgment on
what they say. For thee all must appear wise and elo
quent, and in every one of them hear only the voice
of Christ, my Son and Lord. Be warned not to fall
into the foolish presumption of the worldly, who with
very reprehensible vanity and pride, most hateful in
the sight of God, despise his ministers and preachers,
because they do not speak in accordance with their de
praved taste. When they go to hear the divine truth,
they judge only of the expression and style, as if the
word of God were not simple and strong (Heb. 4, 12),
depending not on oratorical and artful arrangement of
words, adjusted merely to the weakness of those that
listen. Do not count this as an unimportant advice;
listen to all that I say to thee in this history, since, as a
careful Teacher, I wish to inform thee of little things
as well as of great, of unimportant as well as of im
portant points. Remember, that to perform anything
with perfection is always great. I also exhort thee to
treat affably the rich as the poor, without the accepta
tion of persons so common among the children of Adam.
My divine Son and I rejected and condemned all such
distinction, showing ourselves equally kind to all, and
even more so to those who were most despised, indigent
and afflicted (James 2, 2). Worldly wisdom looks upon
the person, not at the state of the souls, nor at virtue,
but at outward ostentation; but heavenly prudence con
siders the image of God in all. Just as little shouldst
thou wonder that thy sisters and neighbors perceive thy
defects of nature, such as are derived from the first sin,
thy infirmities, fatigues, thy appetites and other short
comings. Sometimes the hiding of these defects is hy
pocrisy and want of humility; the friends of God should
fear only sin and should desire to die rather than
commit it: all the other defects do not sully the con
science and it is not necessary to conceal them.
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