21st November 1951.
Mary, in Her solitary little room, on the high terrace, all dressed in white linen, both in the dress that covers Her body, and in the mantle that, fastened at the nape of Her neck, falls down Her back, and in the very thin veil that hangs from Her head, is arranging Her garments and Jesus', which She has always kept. She picks the best ones. And they are few. Of Her own She takes the dress and the mantle She had on Calvary; of Her Son's, a linen tunic that Jesus used to wear on summer days, and the mantle that was found at Gethsemane, still stained with the blood He shed with the bloody perspiration of that dreadful hour.
After folding these garments carefully and kissing Jesus' mantle stained with blood, She goes towards the chest, in which for years have been gathered and kept the relics of the Last Supper and of the Passion. She gathers all these things in one compartment, the upper one, and She lays the clothes in the lower one.
She is closing the chest when John, who had gone up to the terrace silently and had looked in to see what Mary was doing, perhaps worried because of Her long absence from the kitchen, as She had gone upstairs to spend the morning hours, makes Her turn round suddenly by asking Her: « What are You doing, Mother? »
« I have put straight what is to be kept. All the souvenirs… Everything that is witness to His infinite love and sorrow. »
« Why, Mother, do You reopen the wounds of Your heart by looking again at these sad things? You are pale and Your hand is trembling… So You suffer seeing them » John says to Her, approaching Her, as if he were afraid that, wan and trembling as She is, She might feel ill and fall on the floor.
« Oh! that is not why I am wan and I am trembling. It is not because they reopen My wounds… They, in fact, have never been closed completely. And yet peace and joy are in Me, and they have never been so complete as they are now. »
« Never as now? I do not understand… The sight of those things, full of cruel memories, awakens in me the anguish of those hours. And I am only a disciple. You are the Mother… »
« And you mean that as such I should suffer more. And from a human point of view, you are right. But it is not So. I am accustomed to enduring the sorrow of being separated from Him. It was always sorrowful, because His presence and closeness were My Paradise on Earth. But I always suffered them willingly and serenely, because every action of His was wanted by His Father, it was obedience to the divine Will, and so I accepted it, because I also have always obeyed the will and plans of God for Me. Every time Jesus left Me, I suffered. Certainly. I felt lonely. Only God has measured in its most real intensity My sorrow when He, a boy, left Me secretly, for the dispute with the doctors of the Temple. And yet, with the exception of the fair question that I, His mother, asked Him, as He had left Me in that manner, I did not say anything else to Him. Likewise I did not hold Him back when He left Me to become the Master… and I was already a widow, and therefore all alone, in a town that, with the exception of a few people, did not love Me. And I showed no surprise at His reply at the banquet in Cana. He was doing the will of His Father. And I was leaving Him free to do it. I could dare make a suggestion or a request. A suggestion for His disciples, a request for some poor wretch. But more than that, no. I suffered every time He left Me to go into the world, hostile to Him and so sinful that to live in it was a great suffering to Him. But how much joy every time He came back to Me! It was really, so intense that it recompensed Me seventy times seven for the sorrow of the separation. The sorrow of the separation following from His Death was heart-rending, but with which words could I describe the joy I felt when He, risen from the dead, appeared to Me? Immense was the pain of the separation, which would end only when My earthly life would be completed, when He ascended to His Father. I am now rejoicing, immense is My joy as immense was My pain, because I feel that My life is completed. I have done what I had to do. I have completed My earthly mission. The other one, the celestial one, will have no end. God has left Me on the Earth until I also, like My Jesus, have accomplished everything of what I had to do. And I have in Me that secret joy, the only drop of balm in His extreme tortures full of bitterness, that Jesus had when He was able to say: "Everything is accomplished". »
« Joy in Jesus? At that moment? »
« Yes, John. A joy incomprehensible to men. But comprehensible to the spirits that already live in the light of God and see the deep things hidden under the veils that the Eternal spreads over His secrets as King, thanks to that Light. I, so distressed, so upset by those events, associated with Him, My Son, in the abandonment of the Father, did not understand then. The Light was extinguished for the whole world in that hour, for the whole world that had not wanted to receive it. And also for Me. Not as a just punishment, but because, as I had to be the Co-Redeemer, I also had to suffer the anguish of the abandonment of divine comforts, the darkness, the desolation, the temptation of Satan of not making Me believe any longer that what He had said was possible, everything that He also suffered, in His spirit, from Thursday to Friday. But later I understood. When the Light, that had risen for ever, appeared to Me, I understood. Everything. Also the secret extreme joy of the Christ, when He was able to say: "I have accomplished everything that the Father wanted Me to accomplish. I have filled the measure of divine charity by loving the Father even unto the sacrifice of Myself, by loving men even unto dying for them. I have accomplished everything that I had to accomplish. I am dying happily in My spirit, although lacerated in My innocent flesh". I also have accomplished everything that, ab aeterno, was written I should accomplish. From the generation of the Redeemer, to the help given to you, His priests, for your perfect formation. The Church is now formed and strong. The Holy Spirit enlightens it, the blood of the first martyrs cement it and multiply it, My assistance has cooperated in making It a holy organism, that the love towards God and the brothers nourishes and fortifies more and more, and in which hatred, ill-feelings, envy, slander, wicked plants of Satan, take no root. God is pleased with that, and He wants you to know that from My lips, as He wants Me to tell you to continue to grow in love in order to grow in perfection, and so also in number of Christians and in power of doctrine. Because the doctrine of Jesus is the doctrine of love. Because the life of Jesus, and also Mine, have always been guided and urged by love. We rejected nobody, we forgave everybody. One only we did not forgive, because he, already a servant to the Hatred, did not want our love that had no limits. Jesus in His last farewell before His death, gave you the commandment to love one another. And He also gave you the measure of the love that you had to have for one another, saying: "Love one another as I have loved you. From this it will be known that you are My disciples". The Church in order to live and grow, needs charity.
Charity above all in its ministers. If you did not love one another with all your strength, and likewise you did not love your brothers in the Lord, the Church would become sterile. And difficult and scanty would be the restoration an the super restoration of men to their rank of children of the Most High and coheirs to the Kingdom of Heaven, because God would cease helping you in your mission. God is love. Every action of His has been an action of love. From creation to the Incarnation. From this to the Redemption. And from this to the foundation of the Church. And finally from this to the celestial Jerusalem, that will assemble all the just so that they may rejoice in the Lord. I am telling you these things, because you are the Apostle of love and you can understand them better than the others… »
John interrupts Her saying: « Also the others love and love one another. »
« Yes. But you are preeminently the Loving One. Each of you had his peculiarity, as, after all, is the case of every creature. You, among the twelve, were always love, pure and supernatural love. Perhaps, no, certainly because you are so pure, you are so loving. Peter, instead, was always the man, the genuine impetuous man. His brother, Andrew, was as silent and timid as the other was not. James, your brother, was the impulsive one, so much so that Jesus called him the son of thunder. The other James, Jesus' brother, the just and heroical one. Judas of Alphaeus, his brother, the noble and loyal one, always. The Davidic extraction was obvious in him. Philip and Bartholomew were the traditionalists. Simon Zealot, the prudent one. Thomas, the peaceful one. Matthew, the humble one, who mindful of his past, strove to be unnoticed. And Judas of Kerioth, alas! the black sheep of the flock of Christ, the snake warmed by His love, was the satanic liar, always. But you, who are all love, can understand better and can become the voice of love for all the others, for those who are far away, to give them this last piece of My advice. You will tell them that they are to love one another and everybody, also their persecutors, in order to be one thing with God, as I was, so as to deserve to be elected spouse of the Eternal Love, in order to conceive the Christ. I gave Myself to God without limit, although I understood at once how much sorrow would come to Me for that. The prophets were present in My mind, and the divine light made their words very clear to Me. So from My first "fiat" to the Angel I knew that I was consecrating Myself to the greatest sorrow a mother can suffer. But nothing placed a limit to My love, because I know that it is, for those who make use of it, strength, light, magnet that attracts upwards, fire that purifies and beautifies what it burns, transforming and transhumanising those caught in its embrace. Yes. Love is really a flame. The flame, that although it destroys what is perishable, be it a wreck, some rubble, a poor wretch, makes a purified spirit of it, worthy of Heaven. How many wrecks, how many men stained, corroded, worn out you will find on your ways of evangelizers! Do not despise any of them. On the contrary, love them, so that they may reach love and be saved. Infuse love into them. Many a time man becomes wicked, because no one ever loved him or loved him badly. Do love them, so that the Holy Spirit, after the purification, may come to dwell again in those temples, that many things made empty and filthy. God, to create man, did not take an angel or choice materials. He took some mud, the most worthless material. Then infusing His breath into it, that is, His love again, He elevated the worthless material to the sublime rank of adoptive son of God. My Son, on His way, found many wrecks of men who had fallen into filth. He never trampled on them despisingly. On the contrary He gathered them and received them and He changed them into chosen souls of Heaven. Always bear that in your minds. And do as He did. Remember everything, the actions and the words of My Son. Remember His kind parables. Live them, that is, put them into practice. And write them, so that they may remain for future generations, to the end of time, and they may always serve as a guide for men of good will, to achieve life and eternal glory. You will certainly not be able to repeat all the bright words of the Eternal Word of Life and Truth. But write as many of them as you can. The Spirit of God, Who descended upon Me so that I might give the Saviour to the world, and Who descended also upon you a first and a second time, will help you to remember, and when you speak to the crowds, in order to convert them to the true God. You will continue that spiritual maternity that I began on Calvary to give many children to the Lord. And the same Spirit, speaking in the recreated children of the Lord, will fortify them so that it will be pleasant for them to die among tortures, to suffer exile and persecutions, to confess their love to Christ and join Him in Heaven, as Stephen and James, My James, have already done, and others as well… When you are the only one left, save this chest… »
John, growing pale and becoming upset, even more than he blanched since Mary said that She felt that Her mission was accomplished, interrupts Her exclaiming and asking: « Mother! Why do You say that? Are You not well? »
« No. I am well. »
« Do You want to leave me, then? »
« No. I shall be with you until I am on the Earth. But, My dear John, prepare yourself to be alone. »
« Then You are not well, and You want to conceal it from me!… »
« No, believe Me. I have never felt so strong, at peace, joyful, as I do now. But I have such a jubilation, such a fullness of supernatural life, that… Yes, that I think that I shall not be able to endure it while continuing to live. I am not eternal, on the other hand. You must understand that. My spirit is eternal. My body is not. And it is subject, like the flesh of every man, to death. »
« No! No! Don't say that. You cannot, you must not die! Your immaculate body cannot die like that of a sinner! »
« You are wrong, John. My Son died! And I shall die as well. I shall not suffer the disease, the agony, the pang of death. But as far as dying is concerned, I shall die. In any case, bear in mind, son, that if I have a desire, all Mine and only Mine, and that lasts since He left Me, it is just this one. This is My first, mighty desire, entirely Mine. I can even say: My first will. Everything else in My life was nothing but the consent of My will to the divine will. The will of God, put in My heart of a little girl by God Himself, the will to be a virgin. His will: My marriage with Joseph. His will: My virginal divine Maternity. Everything in My life was done by the will of God and by My obedience to His will. But this desire, of wanting to join Jesus, is a will entirely Mine. To leave the Earth for Heaven, to be with Him for ever and continuously! My desire of so many years! And now I feel it is on the point of becoming reality. Do not be so upset, John! Listen instead to My last wishes. When My body, deprived of the vital spirit, will lie in peace, do not subject Me to the customary embalmment of the Hebrews. Because I am no longer a Jewess, but a Christian, the first Christian, if one considers the situation properly, because I was the first to have Christ, Flesh and Blood, in Me, because I was His first disciple, because I was Co-Redeemer with Him and His continuator here, among you, His servants. No living being, with the exception of My father and mother, and those who assisted at My birth, has seen My body. You often call Me: "The living Ark that contained the divine Word". Now you know that the Ark can be seen only by the High Priest. You are a priest, and much holier and purer than the Pontiff of the Temple. But I want only the Eternal Pontiff to see My body at the right time. So, do not touch Me. In any case, see? I have already purified Myself, and I have put on a clean dress, the dress of the eternal wedding… But why are you weeping, John? »
« Because the storm of sorrow is stirring up in me. I know that I am about to lose You. How shall I be able to live without You? I feel my heart being torn to pieces at this thought! I shall not be able to stand this grief! »
« You will stand it. God will help you to live, and for a long time, as He helped Me. Because, if He had not helped Me, on Golgotha and on the Mount of Olives, when Jesus died and ascended, I would have died, as Isaac died. He will help you to live and to remember what I have told you before, for the welfare of everybody. »
« Oh! I will remember. Everything. And I will do what You wish, also for Your body. I understand as well that the Hebrew rites no longer serve for You, a Christian, and for You, the Most Pure Mother, Who, I am sure, will not be subjected to the corruption of the flesh. Your body, deified as no other mortal body, both because You have been exempted from the Sin of Origin, and even more because in addition to being the full of Grace, You contained in You Grace itself, the Word, whereby You are His most true relic, Your body cannot experience the decomposition, the rottenness of all dead flesh. This will be the last miracle of God on You, in You. And you will be preserved as You are… »
« Do not weep, then! » exclaims Mary looking at the upset face of the apostle, all washed by his tears. And She adds: « If I am preserved as I am, you will not lose Me. So, do not worry! »
« I shall lose You just the same, even if You remain incorrupt. I feel it. And I feel as if I were caught in a hurricane of sorrow. A hurricane that breaks me and knocks me down. You were everything for me, particularly since my relatives died, and the other brothers, both by blood and by mission, are far away, also beloved Marjiam, whom Peter has taken with him. I shall now be left alone, and in the strongest storm! » and John falls at Her feet, weeping even more bitterly.
Mary bends over him, She lays Her hand on his head shaken by sobs and She says to him: « No. Not so. Why are you grieving Me? You were so strong under the Cross, and it was an incomparable scene of horror, both because of the cruelty of His martyrdom and of the satanic hatred of the people! And you were so strong in comforting Him and Me, then! And today, or rather, this Sabbath evening, so serene and calm, and in front of Me Who am rejoicing for an imminent happiness of which I have a premonitory feeling, you are so upset?! Calm yourself. Imitate, even more, join what is around us and in Me. Everything is peaceful. Be at peace as well. Only the olive-trees, with their gentle rustling, break the absolute calm of this hour. But this gentle noise is so pleasant, that it sounds like the flight of angels around the house. And they are, perhaps, really here. Because angels, one or many, have always been near Me, when I have been in a special moment of My life. They were at Nazareth, when the Spirit of God made My virginal womb prolific. And they were with Joseph, when he was upset and uncertain about My state and how to behave with Me. And at Bethlehem a first and a second time, when Jesus was born, and when we had to flee to Egypt. And in Egypt when they ordered us to come back to Palestine. And - if not to Me, because the King of the angels Himself had come to Me, as soon as He had risen - and angels appeared to the pious women at the dawn of the first day after the Sabbath and gave them the order to tell you and Peter what you had to do. Angels and light always at the decisive moments of My life and of Jesus'. Light and ardour of love that, descending from the Throne of God to Me, His maid, and ascending from My heart to go God, My King and Lord, united Me to God and Him to me, so that what was written that was to be accomplished, should be accomplished, and also to create a veil of light spread over the secrets of God, so that Satan and his servants should not be aware of the accomplishment of the sublime mystery of the Incarnation, before the right time. Also this evening I feel the angels around Me, although I do not see them. And I feel a Light, an unsustainable light, grow within Me, like the light that enveloped Me when I conceived the Christ, when I gave Him to the world. A light that comes from an impetuosity of love more powerful than usual. Through a similar power of love, I snatched the Word from Heaven before time, so that He might become the Man and the Redeemer. Through a similar power of love, as the one that assails Me this evening, I hope that Heaven will abduct Me and carry Me where I long to go with My spirit to sing My imperishable "Magnificat" to God, for the things He has done to Me, His maid, with the people of the saints and the choruses of the angels, for ever and ever. »
« Probably not only with Your spirit. And the Earth will reply to You, and with its peoples and nations will glorify and honour and love You until the end of the world, as rightly Tobias predicted of You, although covertly, because You are really the One Who carried the Lord in Herself, and not the Holy of Holies. You have given God, by Yourself, as much love as all the High Priests and all the others of the Temple have not given Him throughout ages. Ardent most pure love. Because of that God will make You Most blessed. »
« And He will satisfy My only wish, the only thing I want. Because love, when it is so complete as to be almost perfect, as the love of My Son and God, achieves everything, even what, according to human opinion, would seem impossible to achieve. Remember that, John. And inform also your brothers of that. Men will fight against you so much! All kinds of obstacles will make you be afraid of defeat, massacres by persecutors and defections of Christians of… Iscariotic morality will dishearten your spirits. Be not afraid. Love, and be not afraid. In proportion to how you love, God will help you and will make you triumph over everything and everybody. Everything can be achieved, if one becomes a seraph. Then the soul, this wonderful eternal thing, which is the very breath of God, infused by Him into us, hurls itself towards Heaven, falls like a flame at the foot of the Divine Throne, speaks and is listened to by God, and obtains from the Almighty what it wants. If men knew how to love as is prescribed by the ancient Law, and how My Son loved and taught people to love, they would obtain everything. I love thus. That is why I feel that I shall cease to be on the Earth, I through excess of love, as He died through excess of sorrow. Well! The measure of My capacity of loving is full. My soul and My body are no longer able to contain it. Love overflows from it, it submerges Me and raises Me at the same time towards Heaven, towards God, My Son. And His voice says to Me: "Come! Come out! Ascend to our Throne and to our Trine embrace!" The Earth, what surrounds Me, disappears in the bright light that comes to Me from Heaven! Noises are drowned by this celestial voice! My moment for the divine embrace has come, My dear John! »
John, who had calmed down a little, although still somewhat upset, listening to Mary, and who at the last part of Her speech was looking at Her ecstatically, and almost enraptured as well, as pale in his face as Mary, Whose pallor, however, changes into a very white light, rushes towards Her to support Her, and in the meantime he exclaims: « You are like Jesus when He became transfigured on Tabor! Your flesh is shining like the moon, Your garments are as bright as a diamond sheet placed before a very white flame! You are no longer human, Mother! The heaviness and opacity of the flesh has disappeared! You are light! But You are not Jesus, He, being God, besides being Man, could stand also by Himself, there, upon Tabor, as He did here, on the Mount of Olives, when He ascended. You cannot. You cannot stand. Come. I will help You to lay Your tired blessed body on Your little bed. Rest. » And he lovingly leads Her towards the poor bed, on which Mary lies, without taking off even Her mantle.
Folding Her arms across Her breast, closing Her eyelids on Her kind eyes, bright with love, She says to John who is bent over Her: « I am in God. And God is in Me. While I contemplate Him and feel His embrace, say the psalms, and any other pages of the Scriptures becoming Me, particularly in this hour. The Spirit of Wisdom will point them out to you. Then say the prayer of My Son, repeat the words of the announcing Archangel and of Elizabeth to Me, and My hymn of praise… I will follow you with what I still have of Myself on the Earth…
John, struggling against the tears that rise from his heart, striving to control the emotion that upsets him, in his beautiful voice, which, as years have gone by, has become very like Jesus'- which Mary notices with a smile, saying: I seem to have My Jesus beside Me! » - intones psalm one hundred and eighteen, which he says almost entirely, then the first three verses of psalm forty-one, the first eight of psalm thirty-eight, psalm twenty-two and psalm one. He then says the Our Father, the words of Gabriel and Elizabeth, the canticle of Tobias, the twenty-fourth chapter of Ecclesiasticus, from verse eleven to forty-six. Lastly he intones the "Magnificat". But when he arrives at verse nine, he notices that Mary does not breathe any more, although She is still natural in Her posture and appearance, smiling, peaceful, as if She had not noticed that life had stopped.
John, with a heart-rending cry throws himself on the floor against the edge of the bed, and calls and calls Mary. He cannot convince himself that She is no longer able to reply to him, that Her body is now deprived of the vital soul. But he has to surrender to evidence! He bends over Her face, still fixed in an expression of supernatural joy, and tears stream copiously from his eyes on that sweet face, on those pure hands so gently folded on Her breast. It is the only washing that Mary's body had: the tears of the Apostle of love and of Her son of adoption by Jesus' will.
When the first transport of sorrow is over, John, remembering Mary's wish, picks up the edges of Her wide linen mantle, which were hanging from the sides of the little bed, and those of the veil, which were also hanging from the pillow, and he spreads the former over Her body, and the latter on Her head. Mary is now like a statue of white marble, laid on the cover of a sarcophagus. John contemplates Her at some length, and more tears fall from his eyes as he does so.
Then he rearranges the room, removing all superfluous furniture. He leaves only the bed, the little table against the wall and he places the chest with the relies on it, a stool, that he places between the door leading to the terrace and the bed on which Mary is lying, and a shelf, on which there is a lamp that John lights, as it is beginning to get dark.
Then he hurries down to Gethsemane, to pick as many flowers as he can, and some branches of olive-trees, with olives already on them. He goes back up to the little room, and in the light of the lamp he arranges the flowers and the branches around Mary's body, as if it were in the centre of a huge wreath.
While doing so, he speaks to the body on the bed, as if Mary could still hear him. He says: « You have always been the lily of the valley, the sweet rose, the beautiful olive-tree, the fruit-bearing vineyard, the holy ear of wheat. You have given us Your perfumes, and the Oil of Life, and the Wine of the strong, and the Bread that preserves the spirits from death, for those who worthily feed on it. These flowers look lovely here around You, as they are simple and pure like You, adorned with thorns like You and peaceful like You. Now let us put this lamp closer. So, near Your bed, that it may watch over You and keep me company while I watch You, while awaiting for at least one of the miracles that I am expecting and for whose fulfilment I pray. The first one is that, according to his wish, Peter, and the others, whom I will get Nicodemus' servant to inform, may see You once again. The second one is that You, as in everything You had the same lot as Your Son, may wake up, like Him, within the third day, in order not to leave me an orphan twice. The third is that God may give me peace, if what I hope may happen to You, as it happened to Lazarus, who was not like You, should not take place. But why should it not happen? Jairus' daughter, the young man from Nain, Theophilus' son, came back to life… It is true that then the Master acted… But He is with You, even if not in a manifest way. And You did not die of a disease like those who were raised by the deed of Christ. But are You really dead? Dead as every man dies? No. I feel it is not so. Your spirit is no longer in You, in Your body, and in that respect we could say it is death. But by the way Your passage took place, I think that Yours is only a temporary separation of Your soul, without sin and full of grace, from Your most pure and virginal body. It must be so! It is so! How and when the reunion will take place and life will come back to You, I do not know. But I am so certain of this that I will remain here, beside You, until God, either with His word, or with His action, will show me the truth on Your destiny. »
John, who has finished arranging everything, sits on the stool, placing the lamp on the floor, near the little bed; and he contemplates the body lying on it, praying.
646. The Assumption of Our Lady.
8th December 1951.
How many days have gone by? It is difficult to ascertain it. If one judges by the flowers that form a crown around the dead body, one should say that only a few hours have gone by. But if one judges by the olive branches on which the fresh flowers are lying, branches with leaves already withered, and by the other withered flowers lying like relics on the cover of the chest, one must conclude that some days have by now gone by.
But Mary's body is exactly the same as it was when She breathed Her last. There is no trace of death on Her face or on Her little hands. There is no unpleasant smell in the room. On the contrary an undefinable scent like that of incense, of lilies, of roses, of lilies of the valley, of mountain herbs, all mixed together, hangs in the air of the room.
John, who I wonder for how many days has been awake, has fallen asleep, overcome by tiredness, sitting on the stool, his shoulders leaning against the wall, near the open door that leads to the terrace. The light of the lamp, which from the floor shines upwards on him, allows one to see his tired face, which is also very pale, except around his eyes, red with weeping.
It must be already dawn, because in its faint light the terrace and the olive-trees surrounding the house are visible, a light that becomes stronger and stronger and that, penetrating through the door, makes more distinct also the objects in the room, of which, being far from the little lamp, it was previously possible to catch only a glimpse.
All of a sudden a strong light fills the room, a silvery light, shaded with blue, almost phosphoric, and it becomes more and more intense, making the light of dawn and of the lamp vanish. A light like the one that flooded the Grotto in Bethlehem at the moment of the divine Nativity. Then in this paradisiac light, angelic creatures show themselves, a light even brighter in the already strong light that appeared first. As it already happened when the angels appeared to the shepherds, a dance of sparks of all shades bursts forth from their gently moved wings, which emit a harmonious murmur, as sweet as if it were played by a harp.
The angelic creatures place themselves around the little bed, they bend over it, they lift the immobile body, and flapping their wings more vigorously, which increases the sound existing previously, through a passage opened miraculously in the roof, as miraculously Jesus' Sepulchre was opened, they go away, taking with them the body of their Queen, a Most Holy Body, it is true, but not yet glorified, and therefore still subject to the laws of matter, to which the Christ was not subject, because He was already glorified when He rose from the dead. The sound made by the angelic wings increases and it is now as powerful as the sound of an organ.
John, who, although still asleep, had moved twice or three times on his stool, as if he had been disturbed by the strong light and by the sound of the angelic wings, awakes completely because of that powerful sound and because of a strong current of air that, descending from the opened roof and going out through the open door, forms a vortex that shakes the covers of the bed, by now empty, and John's garments, blowing out the lamp and closing the door with a loud bang.
The apostle looks around, still half asleep, to realise what is happening. He notices that the bed is empty and that the roof is open. He understands that a wonderful event has taken place. He runs out on the terrace, and as if by spiritual instinct, or by a heavenly call, he raises his head, shading his eyes from the sun, in order to see, without being prevented from doing so by the rising sun.
And he sees. He sees the body of Mary, still deprived of life, and completely identical to that of a person asleep, that ascends higher and higher, supported by the angelic group. As a last gesture of farewell, a hem of the mantle and of the veil are agitated, probably by the wind caused by the rapid assumption and by the movement of the angelic wings; and some flowers, the ones that John had placed and renewed round the body of Mary, and that have certainly remained among the folds of the garments, rain on the terrace and on the ground of Gethsemane, while the mighty hosanna of the angelic group moves farther and farther away and thus becomes fainter.
John continues to stare at that body that rises towards Heaven and, certainly through a prodigy granted to him by God, to comfort him and to reward him for his love for his adoptive Mother, he distinctly sees Mary, enveloped now in the beams of the sun that has risen, come out of the ecstasy that had separated Her soul from Her body, become alive, stand on Her feet, as She also now enjoys the gifts typical of bodies already glorified.
John looks and looks. The miracle granted to him by God enables him, against all natural laws, to see Mary as She is now, while She rapidly ascends towards Heaven, surrounded, but no longer helped to ascend, by the angels singing hosannas. And John is enraptured by that vision of beauty that no pen of man, or human word, or work of artist will be ever able to describe or reproduce, because it is of indescribable beauty.
John, still leaning against the low wall of the terrace, continues to stare at that splendid shining form of God - because Mary can really be said to be so, formed in a unique manner by God, Who wanted Her immaculate, so that She might be the form for the Word Incarnate - while it ascends higher and higher. And the God-Love grants a last supreme prodigy to His perfect loving disciple: to see the meeting of the Most Holy Mother with Her Most Holy Son, Who splendid and shining as well, handsome with indescribable beauty, descends rapidly from Heaven, arrives at His Mother, presses Her to His heart, and together, more refulgent than two major planets, returns with Her whence He came.
John's vision is over. He lowers his head. On his tired face are visible both his sorrow for the loss of Mary and his joy for Her glorious destiny. But by now joy exceeds sorrow.
He says: « Thanks, my God! Thanks! I foresaw that this would happen. And I wanted to be awake, in order not to lose any episode of Her Assumption. But I had not slept for three days now! Sleep, tiredness, joined to sorrow, overcame and defeated me just when Her Assumption was imminent… But perhaps You wanted that Yourself, o God, so that I should not upset that moment and I should not suffer too much… Yes. You certainly wanted it, as now You wanted me to see what, without a miracle of Yours, I could not have seen. You have granted me to see Her again, although already so far, already glorified and glorious, as if She were close to me. And to see Jesus again! Oh! most happy, unhoped for and not to be hoped for vision! O gift of the gifts of Jesus-God to His John! Supreme Grace! To see my Master and Lord again! To see Him near His Mother! He like a sun, She like a moon, both most splendid, because they were glorious and happy to be reunited for ever! What will Paradise be like now that You both shine in it, You major planets of the heavenly Jerusalem? What is the jubilation of the angelic choruses and of the saints? It is such the joy that the vision of the Mother with Her Son has given me, a thing that cancels every pain of His, every pain of theirs, even more, also mine ceases, and peace takes over in me. Of the three miracles that I had asked of God, two have been accomplished. I have seen life come back to Mary, and I feel peace come back to me. All anguish of mine ends, because I have seen You reunited in glory. Thanks for that, O God. And thanks for having made it possible for me to see, even for a most holy creature, but still human, what is the lot of saints, what it will be after the last judgement; and the resurrection of the bodies, and their rejoining, their fusion with their spirits, that have ascended to Heaven at the moment of their death. I did not need to see to believe. Because I have always firmly believed every word of the Master. But many will doubt that, after ages and thousands of years, the flesh, that has become dust, can become a living body. I shall be able to tell them, swearing on the most sublime things, that not only the Christ became alive again, by His own divine power, but that also His Mother, three days after Her death, if death it can be called, came to life again, and with Her flesh joined to Her soul took up Her eternal abode in Heaven, beside Her Son. I shall be able to say: "Believe, O Christians, in the resurrection of bodies, at the end of time, and in the eternal life of souls and bodies, a blissful life of saints, horrible for unrepentant guilty people. Believe and live as saints, as Jesus and Mary lived, in order to have their same lot. I have seen their bodies ascend to Heaven. I can bear witness to that. Live as just people, so that one day you may be in the new eternal world, in body and soul, near Jesus-sun, and near Mary the Star of all stars". Thank You again, O God! And now let us put together what is left of Her. The flowers that fell from Her garments, the olive branches left on the bed, and let us keep them. They will serve… Yes, they will serve to assist and comfort my brothers, whom I have awaited in vain. Sooner or later I will find them… »
He picks up the petals of the flowers that had been shed in falling, he goes back into the room, holding them in a fold of his tunic. He then looks more carefully at the opening in the roof and exclaims: « Another miracle! And another wonderful proportion in the prodigies of the lives of Jesus and Mary! He, God, rose by Himself, and by His own will He overturned the stone of His Sepulchre, and only with His own power He ascended to Heaven. By Himself. Mary, the Most Holy Mother, but a daughter of man, by means of angelic help had the passage opened for Her assumption to Heaven, and always through angelic help She ascended there. In the Christ the spirit came back to animate His Body while it was still on the Earth, because it had to be so, to silence His enemies and to confirm all His followers in their faith. In Mary the spirit came back when Her most holy body was already at the threshold of Paradise, because there was no other need for Her. Perfect power of the Infinite Wisdom of God!… »
John now gathers in a piece of cloth the flowers and branches that were still on the little bed, he adds to them those that he had gathered outside, and lays them all on the cover of the chest. He then opens it and puts the little pillow of Mary and the coverlet of the little bed into it; he goes down into the kitchen, he collects other utensils used by Her - the spindle and distaff and Her kitchenware - and adds them to the other things.
He closes the chest and sits on the stool exclaiming: « Now everything is accomplished also for me! Now I can go freely wherever the Spirit of God will lead me. I can go! And sow the Divine Word that the Master gave me so that I may give it to men. And teach Love. Teach them so that they may believe in Love and in its power. Let them know what the God-Love has done for men. His Sacrifice and His perpetual Sacrament and Rite, by means of which, until the end of time, we shall be able to be united to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and renew the Rite and the Sacrifice as He ordered us to do. All the gifts of the perfect Love! Make them love the Love, so that they may believe in Him, as we believed and believe. Sow the Love so that the harvest and the catch may be abundant for the Lord. Love achieves everything, Mary told me in Her last conversation with me, whom She justly defined, in the Apostolic College, the one who loves, the preeminent loving one, the antithesis of the Iscariot, who was hatred, as Peter was impetuousness, and Andrew meekness, the sons of Alphaeus holiness and wisdom joined to nobility of manners, and so forth. I, the loving disciple, now that I no longer have the Master and the Mother to love on the Earth, will go and spread love among the nations. Love will be my weapon and my doctrine. And be means of it I will defeat the demon, heathenism and will conquer many souls. I will thus continue Jesus and Mary, Who were perfect love on the Earth. »
647. On the Passage, the Assumption and Royalty of the Blessed Virgin.
18th April 1948.
« Did I die? Yes, if you call death the separation of the choice part of the spirit from the body. No, if by death you understand the separation of the vivifying soul from the body, the corruption of the flesh no longer vivified by the soul, and before that, the lugubrious sepulchre, and before all these things, the pangs of death.
How did I die, or better, how did I pass from the Earth to Heaven, first with My immortal part, then with the perishable one? As it was fair for Her Who did not become acquainted with the stain of sin.
That evening, the Sabbatic rest had already begun, I was speaking to John. About Jesus and His things. The evening hour was full of peace. The Sabbath had abated all noises of human works. And the hour was abating every voice of man and bird. Only the olivetrees around the house were rustling in the evening breeze, and a flight of angels seemed to graze the walls of the solitary house.
We were speaking of Jesus, of the Father, of the Kingdom of Heaven. To speak of Love and of the Kingdom of Love, is to become lit with the living fire, consuming the bonds of matter to let the spirit free for its mystic flights. And if the fire is contained within the limits fixed by God to preserve creatures on the Earth, at His service it is possible to live and bum, finding in the ardour not the consumption, but the completion of life. But when God removes the limits and gives freedom to the divine Fire to assail and attract the spirit to Itself without any measure, then the spirit, replying in turn without measure to the Love, detaches itself from matter and flies where the Love urges and invites it. And it is the end of the exile and the return to the Fatherland.
That evening, the incontainable ardour, the measureless vitality of My spirit was joined by a sweet languor, by a mysterious sensation that matter was moving away from what surrounded it, as if My body, tired, were falling asleep, whilst My intellect, even livelier in its reasoning, was sinking, into the divine brightness.
John, the loving prudent witness of every action of Mine, since he had become My adoptive son, according to the will of My Only-Begotten Son, kindly convinced Me to rest on the little bed and he watched Me praying. The last sound I heard on the Earth was the murmur of the words of John, the virgin apostle. They were for Me like a lullaby of a mother near a cradle. And they accompanied My spirit in its last ecstasy, too sublime to be describe. They accompanied Me as far as Heaven.
John, the only witness of this sweet mystery, arranged Me by himself, enveloping Me in My white mantle, without changing My dress or veil, without any washing or embalming. The spirit of John, as is evident from his words of the second episode of this cycle that goes from the Pentecost to My Assumption, already knew that I would not decay, and it taught the Apostle what to do. And he, chaste, loving, prudent with regard to the mysteries of God and his remote companions, decided to keep the secret and to wait for the other servants of God, so that they could see Me again, and draw comfort and assistance from that sight for the pains and hardships of their mission. He waited, as if he were certain of their coming.
But the decree of God was different. Good as always for the Favourite. Just as usual for all the believers. He made the eyes of the former heavy with sleep, so that he might be spared the torture of seeing also My body abducted from him. He presented the believers with a further truth that would encourage them to believe in the resurrection of the flesh, in the reward of an eternal blissful
life granted to the just, in the most mighty and pleasant truths of the New Testament: My Immaculate Conception, My Divine virginal Maternity, in the divine and human Nature of My Son, true God and true Man, born not by human will but through divine nuptials and divine seed laid in My womb, and lastly, that they might believe that in Heaven there is My Heart of the Mother of all men, palpitating with anxious love for everybody, just people and sinners, eager to have you all with It in the blessed Fatherland for ever.
When I was taken out of the little house by the angels, had My spirit already come back to Me? No. My spirit was not to descend again on the Earth. It was, adoring, before the Throne of God. But when the Earth, the exile, the time and the place of the separation from My One and Trine Lord were left for ever, My spirit came back to shine in the centre of My soul, drawing the flesh from its sleep. So it is just to say that I ascended to Heaven in body and soul, not through My own capability, as it happened for Jesus, but through angelic help. I awoke from that mysterious and mystic sleep, I rose, I flew finally, because by now My flesh had achieved the perfection of glorified bodies. And I loved. I loved My Son, Whom I found again, and My Lord, One and Trine, I loved Him as is the destiny of all the eternal living beings. »
5th January 1944.
« When Her last hour came, like a tired lily that, after exhaling all its scents, bends under the stars and closes its snow-white calyx, Mary, My Mother, lay on Her little bed and closed Her eyes on everything surrounding Her, to collect Her thoughts in a last serene contemplation of God.
Bending over Her rest, the angel of Mary was anxiously waiting for the climax of the ecstasy to separate that spirit from the flesh, for the time decreed by God, and to separate it for ever from the Earth, while the sweet inviting command of God was already descending from Heaven.
John, an earthly angel, bent, in his turn, over that mysterious rest, was watching the Mother Who was about to leave him. And when he saw that She had breathed Her last, he continued to watch Her, so that, not violated by profane curious eyes, She should remain, even beyond death, the Immaculate Spouse and Mother of God, so placid and beautiful in Her sleep.
A tradition says that only flowers were found in the urn of Mary, when it was opened by Thomas. It is a sheer legend. No sepulchre swallowed the corpse of Mary, because there never was a corpse of Mary, according to human sense, because Mary did not die as whoever lived dies.
By divine decree, She was only separated from Her spirit, and
Her most holy flesh once again joined the spirit that had preceded it. By inverting the habitual laws, according to which an ecstasy ends when the rapture ceases, that is, when the spirit returns to its normal state, it was Mary's body that went to join the spirit, after a long rest on the funereal bed.
Everything is possible to God. I came out of the Sepulchre with no other help than My own power. Mary came to Me, to God, to Heaven, without experiencing the sepulchre with its horror of lugubrious rottenness. It is one of the most refulgent miracles of God. Not the only one, really, if we remember Enoch and Elijah who, being dear to the Lord, were abducted from the Earth, without experiencing death, and translated elsewhere, to a place known only to God and to the celestial inhabitants of Heaven. They were just, but always nothing as compared with My Mother, inferior, in holiness, only to God.
That is why there are no relics of the body or of the sepulchre of Mary. Because Mary had no sepulchre, and Her body was brought to Heaven. »
8th and 15th July 1944.
« The conception of My Son was an ecstasy. A greater ecstasy to give birth to Him. The ecstasy of ecstasies My passage from the Earth to Heaven. Only during the Passion no ecstasy made My cruel suffering endurable.
The house, from which I was abducted to Heaven, was one of the countless generosities of Lazarus, for Jesus and His Mother. The little house of Gethsemane, near the place of His Ascension. It is useless to look for its remains. In the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, it was devastated, and its ruins were scattered in the course of ages. »
18th December 1943.
« As the birth of My Son was an ecstasy to Me, and from the rapture in God that seized Me in that hour, I came to Myself and to the Earth with My Child in My arms, so My improperly called "death" was a rapture in God.
Relying on the promise I had received on the bright morning of Pentecost, I thought that the approaching of the last coming of the Love, to abduct Me with Him, should manifest itself with an increase of the fire of love that always burnt in Me. And I was not wrong.
As far as I was concerned, the more time passed, the more My desire to blend with the Eternal Love increased. I was urged by the desire to join My Son and by the certainty that I could never do so much for men as when I was at the foot of the Throne of God, praying and operating on their behalf. And with a motion more and more inflamed and rapid, I used to cry to Heaven with all the strength of My soul: "Come, Lord Jesus! Come, Eternal Love!".
The Eucharist, that was for Me like dew for a parched flower, was indeed life, but the more time passed the more it became insufficient to satisfy the irrepressible eagerness of My heart. It was no longer sufficient for Me to receive My Divine Creature in Me and carry Him within Me in the Sacred Species, as I had carried Him in My virginal body. My whole self wanted the God One and Trine, but not under the veils chosen by My Jesus to hide the ineffable mystery of the Faith, but as He was, is, and will be in the centre of Heaven. My Son Himself, in His Eucharistic transports, inflamed Me with embraces of infinite desire, and every time He came to Me, with the power of His love, He almost eradicated My soul at first, then He remained calling Me with infinite fondness: "Mother!", and I felt that He was anxious to have Me with Him.
I longed for nothing else. Even the desire to protect the newborn Church was no longer in Me, in the last days of My mortal life. Everything was cancelled by the desire to possess God, as I was convinced that one can do everything when one possesses Him.
Endeavour, O Christians, to arrive at such total love. Let all earthly things be of no value. Aim only at God. When you are rich in this poverty of desire, which is an immeasurable wealth, God will bend over your spirits, to teach them first, to take them later, and you will ascend with them to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit, to know them and love them for the blessed eternity and to possess their riches of graces for your brothers. Men are never so active for their brothers as when they are no longer among them, but they are lights reunited to the Divine Light.
The approach of the Eternal Love had the sign that I expected. Everything became devoid of light and colour, voice and presence in the brightness and the Voice that, descending from Heaven, open to My spiritual sight, were coming down upon Me to take My soul. People say that I would have rejoiced at being assisted, in that hour, by My Son. But My sweet Jesus was indeed present with the Father when the Love, that is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Eternal Trinity, kissed Me for the third time in My life, with a kiss so powerfully divine that My soul exhaled, becoming lost in contemplation, like a drop of dew absorbed by the sun in the calyx of a lily. And I ascended with My spirit singing hosannas to the feet of the Three, Whom I had always worshipped.
Then, at the right moment, like a pearl in a setting of fire, assisted at first, then followed by the procession of the angelic spirits who had come to assist Me in My eternal celestial birth, expected by My Jesus even before the threshold of Heaven, and on its threshold by My just earthly spouse, by the Kings and Patriarchs of My stock, by the first saints and martyrs, I entered as Queen, after so much grief and so much humility of the poor maid of God, into the kingdom of infinite delight. And Heaven closed again on the joy of having Me, of having its Queen, Whose flesh, the only one among all mortal flesh, was acquainted with glorification before the final resurrection and the last judgement. »
1st May 1946.
« There is difference between the separation of the soul from the body, through real death, and the temporary separation of the spirit from the body and from the vivifying soul, through ecstasy or contemplative rapture. While the separation of the soul from the body brings about death, the ecstatic contemplation, that is, the temporary flight of the spirit outside the barriers of senses and matter, does not bring about death. And that because the soul does not become completely detached and separated from the body, but it does so only through its better part, that plunges into the fire of contemplation.
All men, as long as they live, have a soul within themselves, dead or alive as it may be, through sin or justice; but only the deep loving souls of God arrive at real contemplation.
This proves that the soul, that keeps the body alive while it is united to it - and this peculiarity applies to all men in the same way - has in itself a more noble part: the soul of the soul, or spirit of the spirit, which in just people is very strong, whereas in those who cease to love God and His Law, even if only through their tepidness and venial sins, it becomes weak, depriving the person of the capability to contemplate and know God and His eternal truths, as far as a human creature can do so, according to the degree of perfection achieved. The more a creature loves and serves God with all its strength and power, the more the nobler part of its spirit increases its capacity to know, to contemplate and penetrate the eternal truths.
Man, gifted with a rational soul, is a capacity that God fills with Himself. As Mary, after the Christ, was the most holy of all creatures, She was a capacity so full of God, of His graces, charity and mercy, as to overflow on the brothers in Christ of all ages and until the end of time.
She passed away submerged by the waves of love. Now, in Heaven, where She has become an ocean of love, She overflows Her waves of charity on Her sons faithful to Her and also on Her prodigal ones, for their universal salvation, as She is the universal Mother of all men. »
« My humility could not allow Me to think that so much glory was reserved for Me in Heaven. In My mind there was the almost certainty that My human flesh, made holy by carrying God, would not have experienced decay, because God is Life, and when He sates and fills a creature with Himself, this action of His is like an aroma that preserves from the corruption of death.
I had remained not only immaculate, not only I had been united to God with a chaste prolific embrace, but I was sated, even as far as My innermost recesses, with the emanations of the Divinity concealed in My womb and intent on being veiled with mortal flesh. But that the kindness of the Eternal Father had reserved for His maid the joy of feeling again the touch of My Son's hand on My body, His embrace, His kiss, and of hearing again His voice with My ears, of seeing His face with My eyes, I could not think that this would be granted to Me, neither did I wish it. It would have been sufficient if these beatitudes had been granted to My spirit, and that would have filled My ego with blissful happiness.
But, in witness of His first creative thought concerning man, whom He, the Creator, had destined to live, passing away without death, from the earthly Paradise to the celestial one, in the eternal Kingdom, God wanted Me, the Immaculate, in Heaven, in body and soul, as soon as My earthly life ended.
I am the certain witness of what God had thought and wanted for man: an innocent life and unaware of sin, a placid passage from this life to eternal Life, whereby, like one who passes over the threshold of a house to enter a palace, man with his complete being, made of a material body and a spiritual soul, would pass from the Earth to Paradise, increasing the perfection of his ego, given to him by God, with the complete perfection, both of the body and of the spirit, which was, in the divine mind, destined to every creature who had remained faithful to God and to Grace. Man would have reached this perfection in the full light that is in Heaven and fills it, coming from God, the eternal Sun Who illuminates it.
God placed Me, elevated in body and soul to the glory of Heaven, before the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Saints, the Angels and the Martyrs and He said:
"Here is the perfect work of the Creator. This is what I created in My truer image and likeness among all the sons of man, the fruit of a divine creative masterpiece, the wonder of the Universe that sees closed in one only being the divine, in the eternal spirit like God and like Him spiritual, intelligent, free, holy, and the material creature in the most holy and innocent body, to which every other living being, in the three kingdoms of creation, is compelled to bow. This is the witness of My love for man, for whom I wanted a perfect organism and a blissful destiny of eternal life in My Kingdom. This is the witness that I have forgiven man whom, by will of the Trine Love, I granted to be reinstated and recreated in My eyes. This is the mystic stone of comparison, this is the link of junction between man and God, it is She Who takes the times back to the early days and gives My divine Eyes the joy of contemplating an Eve as I had created her, and now made even more beautiful and holy, because She is the Mother of My Word, and because She is the Martyr of the greatest forgiveness. For Her Immaculate Heart that never knew any stain, not even the lightest, I open the treasures of Heaven, and for Her head, that never knew pride, I make a wreath of My brightness and I crown Her, because She is most holy to Me, so that She may be your Queen".
There are no tears in Heaven. But in place of the joyful tears, that the spirits would have shed, if they were granted to weep - the liquid that trickles squeezed by an emotion - there was, after these divine words, a sparkling of lights, a changing of splendours into more vivid splendours, a burning of charitable fires in a more ardent fire, an unsurpassable and indescribable playing of celestial harmonies, which were joined by the voice of My Son, in praise of God the Father and of His Maid for ever blissful. »
Written by Maria Valtorta. From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, volume #5, pages 924-945.
Copyright 1990 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.