Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 7  Chapter  2    Verses:  10-25

10. It befitted the exalted dignity of saint John as
being appointed the son of most holy Mary by Jesus
on the Cross, that he should be the secretary of the
ineffable sacraments and mysteries of the great Queen,
which were kept concealed from other persons. For
this reason many of her mysteries were revealed to him
before her excursion into heaven, and he was made an
eye-witness of the hidden mysteries on the day of the
Ascension, when this sacred Eagle saw the divine Sun,
Christ (Isaias 30, 26), ascend in seven-fold light, as
Isaias said, and with it, the moon Mary shining as the
sun, on account of her likeness to Christ. The most
fortunate Evangelist saw Her ascend and seated at the
right hand of her Son; he saw Her also descend, as I
have said, with renewed astonishment; because he rec
ognized the change and renovation at her return to the
earth after having experienced the influences of the divine
glory and godlike attributes. As is said in the second
part, our Savior Jesus had already promised the Apos
tles, that before going to heaven He would arrange for
the stay of his most blessed Mother for the consolation
and direction of his holy Church. But the Apostle saint
John, during his first joy and wonder at seeing the great
Queen seated at the right hand of Christ our Savior,
forgot this promise and, absorbed in the consideration
of this unthought of event, he began to fear or get anx
ious, lest the heavenly Mother should remain in the glory
which She enjoyed. Agitated by this uncertainty, saint
John, amid the jubilee of his soul, felt also the afflicting
pangs of love at the loss ; and these lasted until he again
remembered the promises of his Master and Savior and
saw his most holy Mother descending to the earth.
11. The mysteries of this vision remained impressed
upon the memory of saint John, so that neither these, nor
all the others revealed to him by the Queen of the angels,
ever escaped his mind ; and the sacred Evangelist sought
to spread the knowledge of them in the holy Church. But
the humility of the most prudent Mary our Lady deterred
him as long as She lived and persuaded him to keep them
hidden within his bosom until the Most High should
command otherwise; for it was not opportune to mani
fest them to the world beforehand. The Apostle obeyed
the wishes of the heavenly Mother. Before his death,
at the time when God commissioned him to enrich the
Church with the hidden treasures of these sacraments, he
was instructed by the Holy Ghost to reveal them in
deeply metaphorical and enigmatic language, which, as
the Church itself confesses, is difficult to understand.
It was proper that they should not be open to all, but shut
up as the pearl is in nacre or in its shell, or as the gold is
hidden in the minerals of the earth. The holy Church,
gradually more enlightened and studying them diligently,
could draw upon these treasures as necessity required;
and in the meanwhile preserve them in deposit within the
obscurity, which the holy doctors have met with and ac
knowledge in the holy Scriptures, and especially in the
12. In the course of this history I have already spoken
of the providence of the Most High in concealing the
greatness of his most holy Mother in the primitive
Church, (Part II, 413) and I will offer no excuse for
pointing it out anew, because of the admiration it will
cause in those, who now come to know of it. In order to
moderate our doubts (if any should be entertained), we
need only consider what the various saints and doctors
have said anent the providential concealment of the body
and the burial of Moses (Deut. 34, 6). This was ordained
they say, in order that the people of the Jews, so given
to idolatry, might not be led astray into giving adoration
to the body of the Prophet, whom they esteemed so
highly, or that they might not begin to venerate him by
some superstitious and vain cult. For the same reason
they say, that Moses, writing of the creation of the world
and of all creatures, although the angels were the most
noble of all, did not expressly mention their creation, but
only indicated it by the words : "God created light ;" be
cause these words can be understood as well of the ma
terial light of this visible world, as also, by a hidden
metaphor, of those substantial and spiritual lights, the
holy angels, of whom a more open mention was at that
time not opportune.
13. If the Hebrews were subject to the danger of
idolatry because of the intercourse and vicinity of heath
enism and because of their blind inclination to attribute
Divinity to men or to whatever seemed great, powerful
or in any way superior; then, if, in the first preaching of
the Gospel and the faith of Christ our Savior, the great
excellences of his most holy Mother had been propounded
to them, the gentiles would have been in still greater
danger of this error. In corroboration of this we have
the saying of Dionysius the Areopagite, who, though
he was such a great philosopher that he had found out the
existence of the true God even by his natural acumen of
mind, openly maintained, after he had become a Catholic,
that, when he had seen and conversed with the most holy
Mary, he would certainly have esteemed and adored Her
as a God, if faith had not taught him otherwise. In this
danger then would have fallen, much more easily, the
ignorant, and they would certainly have confounded the
Divinity of Christ the Redeemer, which they were obliged
to believe together with the greatness of his most pure
Mother, thinking that, since they were propounded at
the same time and showed such similarity in holiness, She
was a God just as her Son. But this danger vanished
after the faith and practice of the Church had taken such
deep roots and after it had been so clearly established by
the teachings of the holy doctors and by so many miracles
wrought by God in testimony of the Redeemer. Enlight
ened by these testimonies we know that He alone is God
and true man, full of truth and grace; and that his
Mother is a mere creature, full of grace without possess
ing the Divinity and next to God above all the rest of
creation. In our times then, so enlightened by the divine
truths, the Lord knows when and how it is proper to
spread the glory of his most holy Mother by opening up
the enigmas and secrets of the holy Scriptures wherein
He holds them enshrined.
14. The mystery of which I am about to speak, with
many others concerning our great Queen, was recorded
by the Evangelist in the metaphors of the twenty-first
chapter of the Apocalypse ; especially introducing the most
holy Mary under the type of the holy Jerusalem and de
scribing Her under cover of all the circumstances men
tioned in that chapter. Although in the first part I have
explained it at length in three chapters, applying it, as it
was then given me to understand, to the mystery of the
Immaculate Conception of the blessed Virgin Mother;
yet it is necessary now to interpret it in relation to the
mystery of the descent of the Queen of angels after the
Ascension of the Lord. Let it not be objected that there
is a contradiction or repugnance in these different appli
cations; for both of them are legitimately founded on
the literal text of the Scriptures, and there can be no
doubt, that the divine Wisdom can comprehend in the
same and identical words many mysteries and sacraments.
As David said : In one word we can include more than
one thing, and God certainly included a double meaning
in the same words without equivocation or contradiction
(Ps. 61, 12). This is one of the sources of the difficul
ties found in holy Scripture, and one that was necessary
in order to make it more pregnant and precious in its
meaning and in order that the faithful may study it with
greater humility and reverence. That it should be so full
of enigmas and metaphors is necessary, since in that
style and wording, the sacred mysteries, which would be
strained by the more proper terms, can be expressed much
more fully.
15. This will be better understood in the mysteries
now under consideration, for saint John says that "he
saw the holy city of the new Jerusalem, prepared and
adorned as a bride, descending from heaven," etc. There
is no doubt that this metaphor of a city refers truly to
the most holy Mary, and points out her descent after
having ascended with her most blessed Son. At the
same time it also refers to her descent in the divine mind
by her Immaculate Conception, in which She was formed
as the new earth and the new heaven, as explained on in
the first part. The Evangelist included both these sacra
ments, when he speaks of this event in the twenty-first
chapter. Therefore it will be necessary to explain it in
this new sense, though this will imply a repetition of
the sacred text; but I will explain it more briefly on
account of what I have already said in the first part.
I will now speak in the name of the Evangelist, for the
sake of greater brevity.
16. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For
the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the
sea is now no more" (Apoc. 21, 1). He calls the most
sacred humanity of the incarnate Word and that of his
heavenly Mother, a new heaven and a new earth : a
heaven, on account of the inhabitation of the Divinity in
humanity, and a new one, on account of the renovation of
mankind. In Christ Jesus our Savior lives the Divinity
(Col. 2, 9), in a oneness of personality following from
the indissoluble substantial union ; while in Mary another
kind of union is effected, an extraordinary union of
graces. These heavens are now new; the passible hu
manity, which the Evangelist had seen wounded and dead
in the sepulchre, he now saw elevated and placed at the
right hand of the eternal Father, crowned with glory and
with the gifts merited by his life and death. He saw
also the Mother, who had given to Christ this passible
nature and had co-operated in the Redemption of the
human race, seated at the right hand of her Son (Ps. 44,
10) and absorbed in the ocean of the inaccessible light of
the Divinity, participating in the glory of her Son as his
Mother and meriting it in justice and on account of her
ineffable works of charity. He called also the earth of
the living a new heaven and a new earth, as it was re
newed by the lamp of the Lamb (Apoc. 21, 23), replen
ished with the spoils of his triumph and newly illumined
by the presence of his Mother; renewed also because as
Sovereigns They had taken possession of their reign
through all the eternities. They renewed it also by hav
ing afforded its inhabitants the opportunity to see Them
with their own eyes and to partake of their benefits, by
having populated this earth with the new children of
Adam as its citizens and their allies and by having turned
it over to them without any danger of loss. On account
of these different kinds of renewal he said that the first
heaven and the first earth had gone; not only because
the sacred humanity of Christ and that of most holy
Mary, in which He had lived as in the first heaven, had
betaken Themselves to the eternal habitations, bearing
with them also the earth of their human essence ; but also
because men themselves from the ancient heaven and
earth of their passible being, had passed to the state of
impassibility. Gone were the rigors of justice, and
blessed rest was attained. The winter of troubles had
fled (Cant. 2, 11) and the eternal springtime of joy and
delight had come. The first earth and heaven of all the
mortals had also vanished; for the celestial Jerusalem
had been barred and locked during five thousand two hun
dred years, so that none could enter and all the mortals
would have been confined to the old sin-stained earth, if
through the entrance of Christ and his most blessed
Mother these bars and locks had not been shattered and
the divine justice had not been satisfied.
17. In an especial sense the most blessed Mary was a
new heaven and earth and new earth by ascending with
her Son, the Savior Jesus, and by taking possession at his
right hand in the glory of body and soul without having
passed through the death common to all the sons of men.
Although even in her human condition upon earth She
was a heaven, whence She saw the Divinity; but this
condition of the great Lady passed away, to take the place
of another condition, making Her, by an admirable dis
position of the divine Providence, a new heaven, in
which God might dwell among all creatures in the high
est glory. In this new order of things, in this new hea
ven, there was no sea; for through Her the bitterness
and sorrows of labor had come to an end, if She would
have consented to remain from that time on in that most
happy state. In regard to the other saints, who in body
and soul, or only in the soul, remained in glory, all storms
and dangers of the first earth in mortal life now really
had an end.
18. The Evangelist proceeds: "And I John saw the
holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband/
I, an unworthy Apostle of Jesus Christ, am the one to
whom this hidden sacrament was revealed in order that
it might become known to the world : and I saw the
Mother of the Incarnate Word, the true mystical city of
Jerusalem, the vision of peace, descending from the
throne of God himself to the earth, and I saw Her clothed
as it were with the Divinity and adorned with a new
participation in God s attributes, his wisdom, power, holi
ness, immutability, and amiability, and resembling his
Son in her actions and behavior. She came as an instru
ment of his Omnipotence and taking the place of God by
a new participation. Although She came to the earth
in order to labor upon it for the benefit of the faithful
and for this purpose deprived Herself voluntarily of the
vision of eternal glory, nevertheless the Most High re
solved to send Her adorned and furnished with the power
of his own arm and to compensate Her for the beatific
vision She relinquished. Instead of it She was favored
with another sort of vision and participation in his in
comprehensible Divinity, suited to her present state of pil
grimage, but yet so divine and exalted, that it exceeds all
the thoughts of angels and men. He adorned Her with
gifts limited only by Herself and has prepared Her as a
Bride for her Spouse, the incarnate Word, enriching Her
so that no grace or excellence was wanting in Her. Nor
should her absence from his right hand deprive Her of
the presence and intercourse of her Man, who was to re
main in Her, as in his proper heaven and throne. Just
as the sponge receives and soaks up the fluids into its
hollow spaces, so, according to our mode of understand
ing, this great Lady was filled with influences and com
munications of the Divinity.
19. The text further states: "And I heard a great
voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of
God with men, and He will dwell with them. And they
shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be
their God." This voice proceeding from the throne, filled
all my mind with sweetness and joy. I understood how
the great Lady, before her death, attained possession of
the great reward merited as a singular favor and the
prerogative due only to Her among all the mortals.
None of these, after attaining possession of their glory,
had permission or authority to return to life; yet this
privilege was conceded to this only Bride for the increase
of her glory. She, in full possession of eternal beati
tudes and proclaimed by all the courtiers of heaven as
their legitimate Queen and Lady, wished of her own free
will to descend and become the Servant of her vassals,
educating and governing them as her children. On ac
count of this charity She deserved, to have all the mortals
as her subjects, and to be put in possession of the militant
Church, where She was to dwell, over which She was to
preside and draw the blessing, the mercy and forgiveness
of God; for in her bosom the Lord was sacramentally
present during the whole time in which She lived in the
primitive Church after her descent from heaven. If
there had been no other reason, her Son would have in
stituted the most holy Sacrament in the world in order
thus to dwell in Her; and through her merits and peti
tions He remained among men with new graces and bene
fits ; wherefore the Evangelist adds :
20. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their
eyes; and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor
crying." This great Lady came as the Mother of grace,
of mercy, of joy, and of life. She it is, that fills the
world with joy, that dries away the tears brought on by
the sin of our mother Eve. She turned mourning into
rejoicing, tears into new jubilee, clamors into praise and
glory, the death of sin into life for all who seek it. Now
the death of sin is at an end, and all the clamors and the
pains of the wicked are at an end, if only, before their
damnation, they will flee to this sanctuary and there find
pardon, mercy and consolation. The first ages, which
were not blessed with the presence of Mary, the Queen
of the angels, have fled and passed with all the sorrows
and sighs of those that sought Her and could not see Her ;
for now the world possesses Her for a refuge and help,
and for a shield of mercy against the divine justice that
hangs over the sinner s head.
21. "And He that sat upon the throne, said: Behold
I make all things new." This was the voice of the eter
nal Father, who gave me to understand, how He would
make all things new : a new Church, a new Law, new
Sacraments. Having conferred upon men such new bless
ings as to give them his Onlybegotten Son, He added
to this blessing by sending them the most holy Mary thus
renewed, endowed with such wonderful gifts and power
as to enable Her to distribute the treasures of the Re
demption, and by placing them altogether into her hands
to be scattered broadcast according to her most prudent
will. For this purpose did He send Her from the royal
throne, a faithful reproduction of his Son, and, like a
faithful copy of the Original, sealed Her, in as far as is
possible in a mere creature, with the attributes of the
Divinity. Her holiness was also to be copied by the new
evangelical Church.
22. "And He said to me : Write, for these words are
most faithful and true. And He said to me : It is done.
I am Alpha and Omega ; the beginning and the end. To
him that thirsteth, I will give of the fountain of waters,
freely. He that overcometh shall possess these things,
and I will be his God; and he shall be my son." The
Lord from his throne (says saint John), commanded me
to write down this mystery, in order to give witness to
the fidelity and truth of his words and of the works of
the most holy Mary, into whose hands He has pawned his
Omnipotence. And because these sacraments are so ex
alted and hidden, I announce them in figures and riddles,
leaving it to the Lord to manifest them in the world at
his own time, and letting all understand, that whatever
is possible has been done for the restoration and welfare
of mortals. In saying "it is done," God reminds men of
their obligations toward Him for sending his Onlybegotten
to suffer and die for them and to teach them his doc
trine; and for sending his Mother to assist and succor
the Church ; and for sending the Holy Ghost to promote
and enlighten, to strengthen and comfort it with the gifts
He had promised. And since the eternal Father had
nothing more to give us, He says: "It is done." As if
he had said: "All that is possible to my Omnipotence
and proper to my equity and bounty, I have given, and the
One who is the beginning and end of all that has being.
As the beginning, I give it by the omnipotence of my
will ; and as the end of all, I receive all things, providing
in my wisdom the means by which they attain their last
end. These means are all under the control of my most
divine Son and his Mother, my chosen and beloved One
among the children of Adam. In Her are the pure and
living waters of grace, from which all the mortals, who
thirst after their eternal salvation, may draw it as from
its fount and source (John 7, 37). For them these waters
are distributed gratis; since they could not merit them,
yet with his own life, my incarnate Son has merited them,
and his blessed Mother gains and merits them for those
that apply to Her. And whoever shall overcome the
hindrances to these waters of grace, that is: Whoever
overcomes himself, the world and the demon, shall find
Me a liberal, loving and mighty God; he shall possess
all my goods and whatever through my Son and his
Mother I have prepared for him; for I shall adopt him
as my child and as an inheritor of my eternal glory.
23. "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable,
and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the
pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second
death." To all the sons of Adam I give my Onlybegotten
as a Master, Redeemer, and Brother and his Mother
as a Protectress, Mediatrix and Advocate powerful be
fore Me; and as such I send Her again into the world,
that all may understand how much I wish them to avail
themselves of her protection. But those that do not over
come the repugnance of their flesh to suffering, or do not
believe my testimonies and wonders wrought in their be
half, or those witnessed by my holy Scriptures; and
those who, having believed, have entangled themselves
in the base impurities of carnal delights, the sorcerers,
idolaters, who forsake my true power and Divinity, fol
lowing the demon; all those that work deceit and malice,
shall have no other inheritance than what they thus
choose for themselves. This will be the dreadful fire of
hell, which is a pool of burning sulphur, full of darkness
and stench, where for each of the damned there shall be
different pains and torments according to the abomina
tions committed by each one; but all of them shall be
eternal and connected with the loss of the divine and
beatific vision enjoyed by the saints. This shall be the
second death, from which there shall be no salvation;
because those overtaken by it have not availed themselves
of the Redemption from the first death of sin through
the Redeemer and his blessed Mother in grace. Still de
scribing his vision the Evangelist proceeds :
24. "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." I saw that this angel and the
others were of the highest and closest to the throne of
the blessed Trinity; and that they were endowed with
special powers to chastise the presumption of men who
should commit the above-mentioned sins, after the mys
tery of the Redemption, the life, teaching and death of
the Savior had been proclaimed, and the excellence and
power of his most blessed Mother in assisting the sin
ners had become known. And as, in the course of time,
these sacraments, with their miracles and enlightenment,
with the example of the saints, and especially that of the
apostolic men, of the founders of religious communities,
and of the great number of martyrs and confessors, have
become more and more manifest: therefore the sins of
men in the last ages are more heinous and detestable,
their ingratitude toward such blessings is more abomi
nable and worthy of greater punishments. Consequently
they rouse so much the greater indignation and wrath of
the divine justice. Thus in the future times (which are
the present ones for us), God shall punish men with
greater rigor, sending upon them the plagues reserved
for the rapidly approaching days of the final judgment.
Let the reader refer to paragraph 266 in the first part.
25. "And he took me up in spirit t,o a great and high
mountain ; and he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God." I was raised by
the power of God to a high mountain of exalted intelli
gence and enlightenment concerning the hidden sacra
ments, and in this state I saw the Bride of the Lamb, his
Woman, like the city of Jerusalem; the Bride of the
Lamb, on account of her likeness in reciprocal love to
Him, who took away the sins of the world (John 1, 29) ;
his Woman, because She accompanied Him inseparably
through all his works and wonders, and because for Her
He came forth from the bosom of his eternal Father to
have his delight with the children of men, who were the
brethren of this Bride and, through Her, also his own
brethren. I saw Her also as the city of Jerusalem, who
enclosed Him within herself and afforded Him a spa
cious habitation, though He cannot be encompassed by
heaven or earth ; and because He placed in that City the
temple and the propitiatory, where He wished to be
sought and propitiated by mankind. And although on
earth She humiliated and prostrated Herself beneath the
feet of all, as if She had been the least of creatures, I
saw Her raised on high to the throne and the right hand
of her Onlybegotten, whence She again descended, pros
perous and bountiful, to enrich the faithful children of
the Church.
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