Mystical City of God - Virgin Mary

By Sor Maria of Agreda


  INDEX   Book 7  Chapter  15    Verses:  277-306

277. By the abundant testimony of holy Scriptures
and later, by the teaching of the holy doctors and masters
of the spiritual life, the whole Catholic Church and all
its children are informed of the malice and most vigilant
cruelty of hell against all men in seeking to draw them
to the eternal .torments. From the same sources we
know also how the infinite power of God defends us, so
that, if we wish to avail ourselves of his invincible friend
ship and protection, and if we on our part make ourselves
worthy of the merits of Christ our Savior, we shall walk
securely on the path of eternal salvation. In order to
assure us in this hope and to console us, all the holy
Scriptures, as saint Paul assures us, were written. But
at the same time we must exert ourselves, lest our hopes
be made vain through want of our co-operation. Hence
saint Paul joins one with the other; for, having admon
ished us to throw all our care upon the Lord who is so
licitous for us, he adds immediately: Be sober and
watch, because your adversary the devil goes about like
a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
278. These and other advices of the sacred Scripture
are given both in general and for each one in particular.
And although from them and from continued experience
the children of the Church might arrive at a more definite
and particular knowledge of the attacks and persecutions
of the devils against all men ; yet, because in their earthliness
and gross sensuality they are accustomed to attend
only to what they perceive by the senses and never lift
their thoughts to higher things, they live in a false se
curity, ignoring the inhuman and hidden cruelty with
which the devils solicit and draw them to perdition and
therein succeed. Men are ignorant also of the divine pro
tection by which they are surrounded and defended; and
like ignorant persons, they neither give thanks for this
blessing, nor pay any attention to their danger. Woe is
to the earth, says saint John in the Apocalypse (Apoc.
12, 12), because satan has come down to you with great
indignation of his wrath. This lamenting voice the
Evangelist heard in heaven, where, if the saints could feel
sorrow, they certainly would feel it for us on account of
the hidden war, which our powerful, and mortally en
raged enemy wages against men. But although the
saints cannot feel sorrow, they pity us for this danger;
while we, sunk in a formidable lethargy and forgetfulness,
have neither sorrow nor compassion for ourselves.
In order to rouse from their torpor those that read this
history, I understand, that throughout the course of these
revelations I have been enlightened concerning the hid
den schemes of malice concocted by the demons against
the mysteries of Christ, against the Church and her chil
dren. These I have described in many passages, particu
larly dilating upon some of the secrets of this terrible
war against men, which the devils wage in order to draw
us to their side. On this present occasion of the con
version of saint Paul, the Lord has shown to me this
truth more openly, enabling
1 me to describe and make
known the continual combat and strife, which goes on,
unperceived by our senses, between our angels and the
demons, and to make known the manner in which we are
defended by the divine power, either through our angels,
or through the most blessed Mary, or directly by Christ
or the omnipotence of God.
279. Of the altercations and contentions of the holy
angels in defending us against the hellish envy and malice
of the demons the holy Scriptures contain the most clear
testimony, to which, for my purpose, it will suffice mere
ly to refer. Well known is what the holy Apostle Judas
Thaddeus says in his canonical letter : that saint Michael
contended with the devil against his design of making
known the resting-place of the body of Moses, whom the
holy archangel, at the command of God, had buried in a
place concealed from the Jews. Lucifer wished to make
it known, in order to tempt the Jews to fall away from
the lawful worship into idolatry by inducing them to
offer sacrifices at his sepulchre; but saint Michael op
posed the attempt of satan to reveal it. The enmity of
Lucifer and his demons against man is as old as their
disobedience against God; and, as said in the first part,
their fury and cruelty, after they had come to know that
the eternal Word was to take flesh and to be born of that
Woman clothed with the sun (Apoc. 12, 1), are pro
portionate to their rebellious pride against God. Because
the proud angel rejected these decrees of God and would
not bow his neck in obedience, he conceived this hatred
against God and his creatures. As he cannot vent it upon
the Omnipotent, he executes it upon the works of his
right hand. Besides this, possessing the nature of an
angel, he resolves irrevocably and never ceases to strive
after what he has once determined to attain; hence, al
though changing the means to attain his end, he never
changes his will in regard to persecuting mankind. On
the contrary his hatred has increased and will increase in
proportion to the favors lavished by God upon the just
and upon the holy children of his Church, and in pro
portion to the victories gained by ,the seed of that
Woman, his Enemy, in whom God had threatened to
crush his head, while he should be able to do no more
than lie in ambush at her heels (Gen. 3, 15).
280. Moreover, this fiend is a pure spirit and is not
fatigued or ever in need of rest. Therefore he is so vigi
lant in persecuting us, that he commences the conibat
from the very first instant of our existence in the
mother s womb and he does not abate his fury and strife
against the soul until it leaves the body. The saying of
Job is verified : that the life of man on earth is a war
fare (Job 7, 1). This battle does not consist merely in
our being born in original sin and therefore subject to
the "fomes peccati" and the disorderly passions inclining
us to evil; but, besides fomenting the continual battle
within our own selves, the demon wages war against us on
his own account, availing himself of all his own astute
ness and malice, and, as far as his power goes, of our
own senses, faculties, inclinations and passions. Above
all he seeks to make use of other natural causes to de
prive us of salvation together with our life. And if he
does not succeed in this, he misses no chance of causing
us damage or leading us into sin and robbing us of grace,
even from the moment of our conception until that of
our death. Hence so long must last also our defense.
281. All this, especially with the children of the Church,
happens in the following manner. As soon as the demons
suspect that the conception of a human body is to take
place, he first notes the intention of the parents, and
whether they are in the state of grace or not, or whether
they have committed any excess in the act of generation;
he studies also the complexion of the humors of their
bodies, for ordinarily these humors influence also those
of the body generated. The demons also take note of the
particular as well as of the general natural causes and
conditions of nature, which unite in bringing about the
generation and the organization of the human body.
From these different concurring elements of generation,
the demons, with their vast experience, judge as much as
possible of the complexion or inclinations of the one con
ceived and they are wont to lay out great plans for future
action. If they fear good results, they seek to hinder as
much as possible the last generation or infusion of the
soul, waylaying the mother with dangers or temptations
to bring about an abortion before the creation of the
soul, which is ordinarily delayed forty or eighty days.
But as soon as they see God create or infuse the soul, the
wrath of these dragons exerts itself in furious activity
to prevent the creature from issuing to light, and from
attaining Baptism, if it is to be born where this Sacra
ment can easily be administered. For this purpose they
suggest and tempt the mothers to many disorders and ex
cesses, whereby the parturition is forced and a premature
birth or the death of the child in the womb might be
caused; for among Catholics and heretics, who still ad
minister Baptism, the demons content themselves with
depriving children of Baptism and thus withholding
them in limbo from the vision of God. Among pagans
and idolaters they are not so solicitous, because among
them damnation is in certain prospect.
282. Against their malign influence the Most High
provides defense and protection in various ways. The
most common is that of his vast and universal Provi
dence, which insures the proper effects of natural causes
in their time, independently of the perversion or hin
drance of the demons. For this is the limit set to their
power. Otherwise, if God would give free scope to their
implacable malice, they would overturn the whole world.
The goodness of the Creator will not allow this, nor does
He wish to deliver over his works or the government of
inferior matters, much less that of men, to his sworn
and mortal enemies. For the demons, in his scheme of
the universe, hold the places merely of vile executioners;
and even in this office they do no more than what is com
manded or permitted them. If depraved men would not
join hands with these enemies, entertaining their deceits
and by their sins meriting punishment, all nature would
preserve the common order of cause and effect both in
general and in particular ; and there would be no occasion
for such great misfortunes and losses among the faith
ful, in the diminution of crops, in contagious diseases, in
sudden deaths, and in other devastations invented by the
devil. All these and many other evils, happening even
at the birth of children through vices and disorders, we
merit ourselves by uniting with the demons for our own
chastisement and by delivering ourselves over to their
283. Besides this general providence of God for the
protection of his creatures must be mentioned the par
ticular protection of the angels, whom, according to
David, the Most High has commanded to bear us up in
their hands, lest we stumble into the slings of satan (Ps.
40, 12) ; and in another place of holy Scripture, it is
said, that He sends his angels to surround us with his
defense and free us from evils (Ps. 33, 8). This de
fense, like the persecution of the devil, commences from
the womb in which we receive being, and continues until
our souls are presented at the tribunal of God to be
adjudged to the state merited by each one. At the moment
in which a human being is conceived, the Lord com
mands the angels to stand guard over it and its mother.
Afterwards, at the right time, He assigns a particular
angel as its guardian, as I said in the first part of this
history (Part I, 114). From the very beginning the
angels enter into violent combat with the demons for the
protection of the souls committed to their care. The
demons contend that they have jurisdiction over the
creature, because it is conceived in sin, a child of male
diction, unworthy of grace and divine favor, and a slave
of hell. The angel refutes them by maintaining that it
was conceived according to the laws of nature, over
which hell has no power; that, if it is conceived in sin,
it was due to its human nature, by default of the first
parents and not of its own free will; and that, even if
conceived in sin, God has created it to know, praise and
serve Him, and, by virtue of his Passion, to merit eternal
glory; and that these high ends are not to be frustrated
by the mere will of the demons.
284. These enemies also argue, that in the begetting
of the human being its parents had not the proper inten
tion or rightful purpose, that they committed excess and
sin in the act of generation. This is the strongest argu
ment which the devils can advance for their right over
human creatures yet in the womb; for without a doubt,
sins make the child unworthy of divine protection and
justly hinder its conception. Yet, although this latter
often happens and a number of human beings are con
ceived without ever seeing the light, ordinarily the holy
angels prevent such a sad result. If they are legitimate
children, the angels allege, that the parents have received
the Sacraments and blessings of the Church; likewise,
that they have some virtues, such as having given alms,
being kind, having practised some devotions or good
works. The holy angels avail themselves of these things
as powerful arms to ward off the devils and defend their
charges. Over illegitimate children the combat waxes
more difficult; the enemy exercises a greater right, be
cause in the begetting of such children, wherein God has
been so grievously offended, the enemies obtain a greater
right and the parents justly deserve rigorous chastise
ment. Hence, in defending and preserving illegitimate
children, God manifests his most liberal mercy in a
special manner. The angels base their arguments against
the demon on this mercy, and that, after all, the children
are the results of natural causes, as I have said above. If
the parents have no merits of their own, neither any
virtues, but are sullied by sins and vices, then the holy
angels refer to the merits found in the forefathers of the
child, in its brothers or relations; to the prayers of its
friends and acquaintances, and that it is no fault of the
child if the parents are sinners or have committed ex
cess in its generation. They also contend, that those
children, if they live, may reach a high degree of virtue
and holiness, and that the demon has no right to hinder
them from arriving at the knowledge and love of their
Creator. Sometimes God manifests to them his design
of choosing them for some great work in the service of
the Church; and then the defense of the angels is most
vigilant and powerful; but also the demons exercise
greater fury in their persecution, being incited thereto by
the greater solicitude of the angels.
285. All these combats, and those we shall yet speak
of, are spiritual, for they take place between pure spirits,
the angels and the demons, and are conducted by weapons
appropriate to the angels and to the Lord. The most ef
fective arms against the malign spirits are the divine
truths and mysteries of the Divinity and of the most holy
Trinity, of Christ the Savior, of the hypostatic union,
of the Redemption, and of the immense love with which
the Lord, as God and man, seeks our eternal salvation;
likewise the holiness and purity of most holy Mary, her
mysteries and merits. All these sacraments they present
in ever new aspects to the view of the demons, so that
they are forced to understand and take notice of them
through the activity of the holy angels and of God him
self. And then happens, what saint James says, that the
devils believe and tremble (Jas. 2, 19), for these truths
terrify and torment them so much, that in order not to
be obliged to take notice of them, they take refuge in
deepest hell; and they are so tormented by their horror
of the mysteries of Christ, that they are wont to ask God
to take away the knowledge and remembrance of the
hypostatic union and other great wonders of divine love.
Hence the angels in their contentions with them often re
peat those words: "Who is like to God? Who is equal
to Christ, the true God and man, who died for the human
race? Who is to be compared to the most holy Mary,
our Queen, who was exempt from all sin, and gave flesh
and bodily form to the eternal Word in her womb, a
Virgin before and after?"
286. The persecutions of the demons and the defense
of the angels continue at the birth of the child. At that
hour the mortal hatred of this serpent exceeds itself,
especially with those children who might receive Bap
tism ; because he strives to hinder it by any means in his
power. Hence the innocence of the infant cries loudly
to the Lord in the words of Ezechias: "Lord, I suffer
violence, answer Thou for me" (Isaias 38, 14). For it
seems, that the angels, after the child has left the shelter
of its mother s womb and is unable either to protect itself
or to secure from its elders sufficient protection against
so many perils, are filled with great anxiety and thus be
gin to solicit for it direct interference of God. Hence
the care of the elders is very often supplemented by that
of the holy angels, shielding the child in its sleep, when
alone, and in other situations, in which many children
would perish, if they were not protected by their angels.
All of us, that attain the happiness of receiving Baptism
and Confirmation, possess in these Sacraments a most
powerful defense against the attacks of hell; because
through them we are marked as children of the holy
Church, being regenerated to justification as children of
God and heirs of glory. The virtues of faith, hope and
charity, and other virtues, adorn and strengthen us to
good works, and we participate in the other sacraments
and suffrages of the Church, wherein the merits of Christ
and his saints, and all the other great blessings are ap
plied to us. If we would avail ourselves of these ad
vantages, we would vanquish the demon, and hell would
have no part in any of the children of the Church.
287. But, O sad misfortune, that there should be so
few who on arriving at the use of reason do not lose the
grace of Baptism and join hands with the demon against
their God! In view of this it would seem just, that we
should be deprived and cut off from the protection of his
Providence and of his holy angels. He however does not
act thus : on the contrary, at the time when we begin to
be unworthy of it, He meets us with greater kindness in
order to manifest in us the riches of his infinite bounty.
Words cannot describe what and how great are the as
tuteness and diligence of the demon in order to ruin man
by inducing him to commit some sin, as soon as he comes
to the years of discretion and the use of reason. For
this they prepare from afar, seeking to accustom them to
vicious actions during the years of their infancy; to pre
sent to their ears and eyes the example of evil conduct
in their parents, their nurses, and older companions; to
make the parents neglectful in counteracting this bad ex
ample. For in this tender age, like in soft wax on the
unwritten tablet, all sensible impressions are deeply en
graved and thus afford the demons an opportunity to
move the inclinations and passions of the children; and
it is well known, that men ordinarily follow these incli
nations and passions, unless prevented by special in
fluences. Hence these children, coming to the use of
reason, will follow the bent of the inclinations and pas
sions in regard to sensible pleasures, with which their
imagination and phantasy are filled. As soon as they
fall into some sin, the demon immediately takes pos
session of their souls,- acquiring new right and power
for drawing them into other sins.
288. Not less active is the diligence and care of the
holy angels to prevent such damage and defend us from
the devil. They frequently inspire the parents with holy
thoughts, urging them to watch over the education of
their children, to catechize them in the law of God, to
enjoin upon them pious works and devotions, to with
draw from evil and exercise themselves in the virtues.
The same good thoughts they instil into the children as
they grow up, or according to the light given them by
God as to his intentions with the souls. In conducting
this defense they enter into great disputes with the de
mons; because those malign spirits allege all the sins of
the parents against the children and likewise the wrong
ful doings of the children themselves; for if they are
not guilty, the demons claim that their actions are the
result of his own activity and therefore that he has a
right to continue them in their souls. If the child, on
coming to the use of reason, commences to sin, they put
up a great fight to prevent the good angels from with
drawing them from evil. The good angels on their part
allege the virtues of the parents and forefathers, and the
good actions of the children themselves. Even if it were
no more than that of having pronounced the name of
Jesus or Mary as taught them by their parents, they bring
this as a defense as their having begun to honor the name
of their Lord and of their Mother; and likewise, if they
practice other devotions, or know the Christian prayers
and recite them. Of all this the angels avail themselves
as serviceable arms in our defense against the demon ; for
with each good action we rob the devils of some of the
right acquired over us by original sin, and still more by
actual sin.
289. As soon as man enters into the use of his reason
the battle between the demons and the angels becomes
still more bitter; for whenever we commit some sin, the
dragon exerts all his powers to deprive us of our lives
before we have time to do penance and thus to seal our
eternal damnation. In order that we may commit new
crimes, he besets all our ways with slings and dangers
peculiar to each one s state of life, and he overlooks none
of us, although he does not tempt one as dangerously as
the other. But if men would see into these secret work
ings of the demons just as they happen, and if they could
perceive the traps and pitfalls, which of their own fault
they permit the demon to prepare for them, all would live
in trembling and fear, many would change their state
of life, or would refuse to enter upon it, others would
forsake the positions, offices and dignities, which they
now esteem so highly. But in ignorance of their risk,
they live on in pernicious security; they do not know
enough to understand or believe more than is evident to
their senses and therefore they do not fear the hellish
traps and pitfalls set for their ruin. Hence the number
of fools is so great, and that of the truly prudent and
wise so small; many are called and few are chosen; the
wicked and the sinners are countless, while the virtuous
and the perfect are very scarce. In proportion as any
one multiplies his sins, in that proportion the devil
acquires positive rights over his soul, and if he cannot
put an end to the life of his victim, he at least seeks to
treat him as his vile slave. For he claims, that each day
this soul becomes more his own, and that of its own will
it so chooses; that therefore it cannot justly be snatched
from his hands, nor deserve the assistance which it will
not accept; that the merits of Christ should not be ap
plied to it, when it spurns them ; that it should not bene
fit from the intercession of the saints, when it entirely
forgets them.
290. By these and other pretenses, which cannot be all
mentioned here, the devil tries to cut short the time of
penance for those whom he claims as his own. If he
does not succeed in this, he tries to block the way of their
justification; and his attempts are successful with many
souls. But the protection of God and of the holy angels
is wanting to none of us and thus we are delivered from
dangers of death by innumerable ways; and this is so
certain that there is scarcely any one, who could not
verify it in the course of his life. They furnish us with
ceaseless inspirations and warnings ; they make us of all
occasions and means available for our admonishment and
exhortation. What is still more valuable, they defend us
against the rabid fury of the demons and set in motion
against them all that the intellect of an angel or of a
blessed spirit can devise, and all that their power and
their most ardent charity can command for our safety.
All this is necessary many times for some souls and at
times for all the souls, who have delivered themselves
over to the jurisdiction of the demons and who use their
liberty and their faculties only for such temerity. I do
not speak of the pagans, the idolaters and heretics.
These indeed, the angels likewise defend and inspire to
the practice of the moral virtues, which they afterwards
use as arguments against the devils; but ordinarily the
most they do for them is to protect their lives, in order
that God, having allowed them so much time for their
conversion, may be justified in his behavior toward them.
The angels also labor to prevent them from committing
such great sins as the demons incite them to; for the
charity of the angels exerts itself, so that at least they
may not incur such great punishments, as the malice of
the demons seeks to fasten upon them.
291. Within the mystical communion of the Church
however are fought the hardest battles between the angels
and the demons, according to the different state of souls.
All its members they commonly defend with the ordi
nary weapons furnished them by the sacramental char
acter impressed upon the soul in Baptism, by grace, by
virtues, by the performance of good and meritorious
works, by devotions to the saints, by the prayers of the
just, and by all the good movements Catholics may have
during their life. This defense of the just is most power
ful; for since they are in grace and friendship of God,
the angels obtain a greater right against the demons, and
thus they rout them by showing up the holiness and per
fection of these souls, which are so formidable to the
powers of hell ; and therefore this by itself ought to cause
us to esteem grace beyond all creation. There are other
lukewarm and imperfect souls who fall into sin and
occasionally rise again. Against these the demons obtain
more power to persecute them with their cruelty. But
the holy angels strenuously exert themselves in their
defense, so that, as Isaias tells us (Is. 42, 3) ; the brok
en reed may not be crushed, and the smoking flax be not
entirely extinguished.
292. There are other souls so unhappy and depraved,
that during their whole life after their Baptism they
have not performed one good work ; or if they have ever
risen from sin, they have returned to it with such eager
ness, that they seemed to have renounced their God, liv
ing and acting as if they had no hope of another life,
no fear of hell, no repentance for any of their sins. In
these souls there is no vitality of grace, no attempt at
true virtue, nor have the holy angels any good or avail
able grounds for their defense. The demons cry out:
This soul at least is altogether ours, subject to our com
mands, and has no part in grace. They point out to the
good angels all the sins, wickedness and vices of such
souls, which of their own free will serve such evil mas
ters. What then passes between the angels and the demons
is incredible and indescribable ; because the demons exert
all their fury to prevent such souls from receiving in
spirations and helps. As they cannot resist the divine
power, they seek at least with all their power to hinder
them from attending or yielding to the call of heaven.
With such souls ordinarily it happens, that whenever
God himself or through his holy angels sends them a
holy inspiration or movement, these demons must first
be put to flight and the soul snatched from their midst,
lest these birds of prey immediately pounce upon and
destroy the holy seed. This defense the angels usually
conduct with the words, which I have quoted above:
"Who is like unto God, that dwells on high? Who like
Christ, at the right hand of the eternal Father? Who is
like to the most holy Mary?" together with other sayings,
before which the infernal dragons take flight; sometimes
they are thereby hurled back into hell, although, not
abating in their fury, they again return to the conflict.
293. The hellish foes also strive with all their force
to induce men to multiply their sins, in order that the
measure of their sins may so much the sooner be com
plete and their time of penance and of life may come to
an end ; for then the demons would be enabled to carry
them off to eternal torments. But the angels, who are
rejoiced by the repentance of sinners (Luke 8, 12),
even though they may not be able to bring them to re
pentance, labor diligently to do away with occasions of
sin and to lessen the number of sins or prevent them
altogether. And when, with all their efforts, unknown
to mortals, they cannot bring back the souls from sin,
they resort to the intercession of the most holy Mother of
God, asking Her to be their Mediatrix with the Lord
and lend her aid in confounding the demons. In order
to move her merciful kindness the sooner, they induce
the souls of sinners to practice some special devotion or
perform some service in honor of the great Lady. Al
though it is true, that all good works performed in the
state of sin are dead and very weak weapons against
the devil, yet they always retain some remote appro
priateness, on account of the good end in view; and thus
the sinner is less indisposed toward grace than without
them. Moreover these good works, when presented by
the angels and especially by the heavenly Mother, possess,
in the eyes of the Lord, a certain life, or the resemblance
of it, altogether different from that given to them by
the sinners; and therefore though He does not bind
Himself to respond to them He nevertheless does it on
account of the One so asking.
294. In these different ways an infinite number of
souls come out of their sinful ways and are snatched
from the claws of the dragon; and as there are innum
erable souls who fall into such a dreadful state, that they
need a powerful aid, the most holy Queen interposes
hers, whenever the angels fail in their defense. The
demons are fiercely tormented by their own fury when
ever they perceive any sinner calling upon or remember
ing his Queen; since they know by experience how
kindly She receives sinners and how readily She makes
their cause her own. Without hope or spirit of resist
ance the devils immediately give themselves up as foiled
and vanquished. It often happens, when God desires
to bring about some special conversion, that the great
Queen herself peremptorily commands the demons to
withdraw from that soul and sink into the abyss, and her
commands are always obeyed. At other times, without
such peremptory orders, God permits them to see the mys
teries, the power, and holiness of his Mother, and this
new knowledge, filling them with consternation and con
fusion, puts them to flight. If the souls respond and
co-operate with the grace obtained for them by the
heavenly Sovereign, they are freed from the attacks of
the demons.
295. Yet though the intercession of the great Queen
and her power is so formidable to the devils and though
the Most High confers no favor upon the Church or
upon the souls without Her, there are nevertheless many
occasions in which the humanity of the incarnate Word
itself battles for us and defends us against Lucifer de
claring Himself openly with his Mother in our favor
and annihilating and vanquishing the demons. So great
is his love for men and for all that pertains to their
welfare, that this happens not only when the demons
are made to feel directly the virtues of Christ and his
merits through the operation of the Sacraments in the
souls, but also when, in other miraculous conversions,
He fills them with particular knowledge of one or more
mysteries to their confusion and rout. Of such a kind
was the conversion of saint Paul, of Mary Magdalen
and other saints; or whenever it is necessary to protect
some Catholic kingdom, or the Church, from the treach
ery and malice of hell for their destruction. On such
occasions not only his sacred humanity, but even the
infinite Divinity, armed with the omnipotence of the
Father, advances upon the demoniacal hosts, filling them
in the above-mentioned manner with the knowledge of
the mysteries and of his Omnipotence, by which He
overwhelms them and forestalls them in their real or
intended conquests.
296. Whenever the Lord thus interposes such power
ful aid the whole infernal reign of confusion is terror
ized and stricken down into the hellish abysses for many
days, giving forth howls of mournful despair and totally
unable to move from their places until the Lord again
gives them permission to rise. But as soon as they receive
permission, they again issue forth with their former fury
for the ruin of souls. Although it may not seem in har
mony with their pride and arrogance to enter into a new
contest with the One, by whom they have been over
thrown and vanquished, nevertheless their jealous fear
lest we come to the enjoyment of God and their furious
desire to prevent it, again prevail and urge them to con
tinue their persecutions to the end of our lives. I was
made to understand, that if God were not so outra
geously misused in his mercy, He would often interpose,
even miraculously, his divine Omnipotence in our be
half. Especially would He do this in defense of the
mystical body of the Church and of some Catholic gov
ernments, bringing to naught the counsels of hell for
the destruction of Christianity in our times. We do not
merit this protection of the infinite power, because all
are united in rousing the divine wrath and the whole
world has joined hands with the infernal fiends, into
whose power it has fallen on account of the blind and
insane pursuit of evil rampant among men.
297. In the conversion of saint Paul this assistance
of the Most High is openly manifest; for He had set
him apart even in the womb of his mother, and chosen
him as an Apostle and as a vase of election. Although
his life before the persecution of the Church was a series
of events, which deceived the demons just as he is de
ceived in many other souls, yet God watched him from
the moment of his conception and regulated his natural
character and the care of the angels in his defense and
protection. Hence the hatred of the devil and their de
sire of causing his death in the first years of his life
increased. As they failed in this, and as they later saw
him become a persecutor of the Church, they were solici
tous to preserve his life. When the holy angels found
themselves powerless to withdraw Paul from the error,
to which he had entirely dedicated himself, the powerful
Queen entered the combat and made his cause her own.
Through Her, Christ and the eternal Father interposed
his divine assistance and snatched him from the grasp of
the dragon. In one instant at the apparition of the Lord,
all the demons that accompanied saint Paul on the way
to Damascus, were hurled to the abyss.
298. On that occasion Lucifer and his cohorts felt
the lash of the divine Omnipotence ; filled with fear and
consternation they for some days lay lifeless in the
depths of the infernal caverns. But as soon as the Lord
took away from their minds the remembrance of the
divine mysteries, they began to breathe forth new wrath.
The great dragon called together the rest and spoke to
them : "How is it possible to rest, when every day I see
new injuries heaped upon me by this incarnate Word and
by this Woman, who conceived and bore Him as man?
Where is my strength? Where is my power, and of
what use is my fury and the triumphs which I gained
over Him among mortals ever since God without reason
cast me from the heavens to this abyss? It seems, my
friends, that the Omnipotent intends to seal up the
portals of these infernal regions and open up those of
heaven, which would be the destruction of our reign and
of all my coveted designs to drag to these torments the
rest of mankind. If God, besides having redeemed men,
works for them such miracles, if he shows them such
love and seeks to draw them to his friendship by such
powerful works of his right hand, they will permit them
selves to be overcome, even if they have the disposition
of wild beasts and hearts of adamant. All will love and
serve Him, if they are not more obstinate and rebellious
than we ourselves. What soul can be so callous as not
to be drawn to this Godman, who with such a tender love
seeks its eternal glory? Saul was our friend, a willing
instrument of my designs, subject to my will and com
mand, an enemy of the Crucified, and I had destined
him for most cruel torments in this hell. In the midst
of all this God suddenly snatches him from my hands,
and by his divine power raises this insignificant creature
of the earth to such high grace and favors, that we, his
enemies, are astounded. What has Paul done to deserve
such an exceeding good fortune? Was he not in my
service offending his God? If God has been so liberal
with him, what protection will He not lavish upon other
less grievous sinners? And even if He does not convert
them by such great miracles, He will gain them through
Baptism and the other Sacraments, by which they can jus
tify themselves day by day. This example of God s mighty
defense of the Church, at the time when I attempted to
destroy it through Saul, will draw all the world to his
service. Is it possible that I should see vile human kind
raised to the grace and happiness which I have lost, and
that it should occupy the heaven from which I have been
hurled ? This thought torments me more furiously than
the fires of hell. I am filled with a powerless rage
against myself for not being able to destroy myself in
my wrath. Would that God himself would do it, instead
of preserving me in these torments. But since this is
not to be, tell me, my vassals, what shall we do against
this so powerful God? Him we cannot injure; but
in those whom he loves so much, we can avenge ourselves,
because in them we can oppose his will. And since
my majesty is most offended and incensed against
this Woman, our Enemy, who gave him human
being. I wish to inaugurate new ways of destroying Her
and avenging ourselves for having robbed us of Saul and
cast us into these Abysses. I shall not rest until I shall
have vanquished Her. For this purpose I resolve to
execute all the plans formed against God and man after
my fall from heaven. Come, all of you, to help me in
my designs and to execute my will."
299. Such were the words of exhortation addressed to
the demons by Lucifer. Some of them answered : "Our
captain and leader, we are ready to obey thee, knowing
how much this Woman, our Foe, oppresses and torments
us; but it is possible that She by Herself without other
aid may resist us, despising all our efforts and attacks,
as we have seen on other occasions, when She showed
Herself altogether our superior in strength. What She
feels most, is to see us attack the followers of her Son;
because She loves them and is solicitous about them as a
Mother. Let us raise a general persecution against the
faithful, for we have at our service the whole of Juda
ism, now incensed against the new Church of the Cruci
fied; through the priests and pharisees we may succeed
in all our attempts against the faithful and thus vent our
wrath against this hostile Woman." Lucifer approved
of this counsel and showed favors to the demons, who
had given it. Thus agreed, they issued forth to destroy
the Church by the hands of others, just as they had at
tempted it through Saul. Thence resulted what I shall
relate further on, and also the battle of the most holy
Mary against the dragon and his hosts, wherein She
gained such great victories for the holy Church. To
this battle I referred in the sixth chapter of the first part,
and there stated, that I had reserved it for this place.
Of it I shall" speak in the next chapter.
300. My daughter, by no power of human words wilt
thou in this mortal life ever succeed in describing the
envy of Lucifer and his demons against men, or the
malice, astuteness, deceits and ruses, with which in his
wrath he seeks to bring them into sin and later on to the
eternal torments. He tries to hinder all good works,
and such as are performed he tries to minimize, or to
destroy and pervert as to their merits. All the malice of
which his own mind is capable, he attempts to inject
into the souls. Against these attacks God provides ad
mirable protection if men will only co-operate and corres
pond on their part. Hence the Apostle admonishes them
to walk carefully amid all these dangers and conflicts;
not like the foolish, but as wise, redeeming their time;
because the days of mortal life are evil and full of
dangers (Ephes. 5, 15). Again he exhorts them to be
fixed and constant in good works, because their labor
shall not be in vain before the Lord (I Cor 15, 58). The
truth of this our enemy knows and dreads, hence he
seeks with deepest malice to cause dismay in the souls
at the commission of one sin, in order that they may
ruin themselves by despair and leave off all good works ;
for thus would they throw aside the weapons with which
the angels can defend them and do battle with the
demons. Although these works in the sinner have not
the life of charity or of merit for grace or glory yet
they are very useful. Sometime it happens, that on account
of the habit of doing good the divine clemency furnishes
efficacious help for performing these works with greater
fervor, or with sorrow for sins and true charity, by
which the soul regains justification.
301. By all our good deeds as creatures we open up
ways to the blessed for defending us and for asking the
divine mercy to look upon us and snatch us from sin.
The saints also feel obliged to come to the assistance of
those that sincerely invoke them in danger and that show
them a special devotion. If the saints in their charity
are so inclined to favor men in the dangerous conflicts
with the devils, thou must not be surprised, my dearest,
that I am so merciful with the sinners who take refuge
in my clemency; for I desire their salvation infinitely
more than they themselves. Innumerable are those whom
I have saved from the infernal dragon because of their
devotion to me, even though they have recited only one
Ave, or have said only one word in my honor and in
vocation. So great is my love for them, that if they
would call upon me in time and with sincerity, none of
them would perish. But the sinners and the reprobate
do no such thing; because the wounds of sin, not being
of the body, do not distress them, and the oftener they
are committed, the less regret or sorrow do they cause.
The second sin is already like wounding a dead body
which knows neither fear, nor defense, nor sensation.
302. The result of this torpid insensibility to eternal
damnation, and to the deceits of the devils in fastening
it upon men, is dreadful. Without knowing upon what
they rest their false security, the sinners are asleep and
perfectly at ease as to their ruin, when they ought justly
to fear and take heed of the swiftly approaching eternal
death ; or at least seek help by praying to the Lord, or to
me, or the saints. But even this, which costs them so
little, they do not know how to begin, until the time, in
which the conditions of their salvation can be realized,
has, for many of them, passed away. If for some of
them I still procure salvation in the last agony, this
privilege cannot be common to all. Hence are lost so
many children of the Church, who in their ingratitude
and foolishness despise the many and powerful helps
given by the divine clemency in most opportune time.
Therefore also it will increase their confusion, when they
shall see, that, with the mercy of their God, my own
kindest wishes to save them, and the charity of the
saints before their eyes, they have robbed God of the
glory of their conversion; and not afforded me or to
the angels or saints the joy of saving them in answer to
their heartfelt invocation.
303. I wish, my daughter, to manifest to thee still
another secret. Thou already knowest, that my Son and
Lord in the Gospel says : That the angels have joy in
heaven whenever any sinner does penance and is con
verted to the way of life through his justification (Luke
15, 10). The same happens when the just perform
works of true virtue and merit new degrees of glory.
Now that which happens among the heavenly inhab
itants in the conversion of sinners and in the increase of
merit of the just, has a counterpart in what happens with
the demons at the sins of the just and the deeper falls
of sinners; for no sin is committed by men, however
small, in which the demons do not take pleasure; and
those that attend to the business of tempting mortals immediately
give notice to the demons in the eternal dun
geons of their successes. There they enjoy them and
record them for further use, both in order to press their
claims before the divine Judge, and in order that their
greater dominion and jurisdiction over sinners according
to the measure of the offense may be publicly known.
In this manner they show their treacherous hate of men,
whenever they succeed in deceiving them into sin by some
momentary and apparent pleasure. But the Most High,
who is just in all his works, ordained that also the con
version of sinners and the good works of the just should
redound to the torment of the envious demons, since
they rejoice so much at the perdition of man.
304. This sort of chastisement therefore causes great
torments to all the demons; because by it they are not
only confounded and oppressed in their mortal hatred of
men, but by the victories of the saints and the conversion
of sinners they are deprived of a great part of their
power over those, whom they have drawn into sin by
their plots. The new torments thus caused to them they
seek to vent upon the damned in hell; and just as there
is new joy in heaven at the penance and good works of
sinners, so, for the same reason, there arise new con
fusion and misfortune in hell at the good works of the
just. On such occasions, amid howls of despair, the
demons inflict new accidental torments upon all that
live in those dungeons of dismay and horror. Thus
heaven and hell are affected at the same time in contrary
ways by the conversion and justification of the sinner.
Whenever the souls justify themselves through the Sac
raments, especially by a truly sorrowful confession, it
often happens that the devils for a long time dare not
appear before the penitent, nor for many hours even
presume to look at him, if he himself does not again
encourage them by losing the divine favor and returning
again to the dangers and occasions of sin; for then the
demons quickly cast off the fear inspired by true peni
tence and justification.
305. In heaven there can be no sorrow or pain; but if
there could be, then the saints would feel it on account
of nothing in the world so much as to see the justified
souls falling back and losing grace, and the sinner
drawing away further or making it impossible for him
to regain divine favor. Sin of its own nature is just as
powerful to move heaven to sorrow and pain as penance
and virtue are to torment hell. Consider then, my dear
est, in what dangerous ignorance mortals ordinarily live,
depriving heaven of its joy in the justification of souls,
hindering the external glory connected therewith, hold
ing up the punishment due to the demons, and affording
them on the contrary the joyful triumph of the fall and
perdition of men. I desire that thou, as a faithful and
prudent handmaid, be guided by thy higher knowledge,
labor in compensating these evils. See that thou always
approach the sacrament of Confession with fervor,
esteem and veneration, and with a heartfelt sorrow for
thy sins; for this Sacrament inspires the dragon with
great terror and he exerts himself diligently to hinder
souls by his deceits, in order to cause them to receive
this Sacrament lukewarmly, out of mere habit, without
sorrow, and without proper disposition. He is so eager
in this matter not only because he wishes to cause the
loss of souls, but also to avoid the fierce torments of
being oppressed and confounded in his malignity by the
true penance and justification of his escaped victims.
306. Besides all this, my friend, I wish to remind thee,
that, although the infernal dragons are indeed the au
thors and masters of lies and although they deal with
men only in order to mislead and ruin them by their de
ceits, yet these enemies, whenever in their meetings they
confer among themselves in regard to misleading men,
are forced to admit certain truths, which they know and
cannot deny. They understand them, yet they communi
cate them to men, not in good faith, but obscured and
mixed with* their own errors and falsehoods for the
promotion of their own malicious designs. Since thou
hast in this chapter, and in the whole course of this
history, laid bare so many of their counsels, meetings and
secrets, they are highly enraged against thee; for they
flattered themselves, that these secrets and all their
machinations would never come to the knowledge of men.
Therefore they are furious to take vengeance upon thee ;
but the Most High will protect thee, if thou call upon Him
to crush the head of the dragon. Do thou also beseech
the divine clemency, that these advices and instructions
may help to undeceive mortals, and by the divine light
redound to their benefit. On thy own part do thou seek
faithfully to correspond, as being under greater obliga
tions to Him than all others living in the present age.
For if, understanding their malice, thou dost not exert
thyself to vanquish them with the assistance of the Most
High and of his holy angels, thy ingratitude and the
triumph of hell will grow in proportion to the favors thou
hast received.
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