It all started about 12 years ago when after seeing a movie (I think it was “The Red Violin”) I commented to my wife that someone should make a movie on the life of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary based on visions of Sister Maria of Jesus (of Agreda, Spain). That very night I had an amazing dream that changed my life.
The first thing that made me realize that this was not an ordinary dream was when I saw what appeared to me to be television static. Like a TV that had completely lost it’s signal. Just as soon as I thought to myself “what kind crazy of dream is this” the static was gone and I saw a crystal clear full color image of veiled woman kneeling in prayer. Her head was tilted forward so with the veil so I could not see her face. I remember thinking “who is this woman?”?
No sooner had this second thought crossed my mind when the woman stood up and walked towards me. She was very young, and beautiful beyond words to describe. She wore cream colored veil and had auburn hair and violet blue eyes. The most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Glowing, full of love and innocence. An amazingly beautiful creature. She looked at me, it felt to me like she looked right into the depths of my soul and smiled. I felt my heart freeze, It felt as if my heart stopped beating at the very moment she looked at me with that beautiful smile. I awoke with a gasp.
I spent the next seven years extracting the screen play from Sister Maria’s visions as described in the “Mystical City of God”, now 277 pages.
I had began reading “Mystical City of God” after the recommendation of a woman I met who was also visiting the site of reported apparitions of “Our Lady of Light” in Northern Kentucky on the 8th day of the month in 1992 and 1993 during which I witnessed what appeared to me to be miraculous events. I even met the visionary, a woman named Sandy who held my hand tightly upon our greeting. The overwhelming feeling of the presence of Our Heavenly Mother during these apparitions seemed to touch us all in a very profound way. It took me several years to read all the “Cuidad de Dios” books for the first time. It was truly amazing journey to begin to understand how God’s plan to redeem his people was achieved through the immaculate conception and birth of of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and the heroic virtues of the patriarchs and prophets and the fervent prayers of many generations finally culminating in the fervent prayers of Saints Anne and Joachim who were found worthy to be the parents of sinless Virgin Mary. Holy Mary who alone among all women would be found worthy to conceive the God Man.
Without reading these books it would been impossible for me to even begin to understand how her heroic virtue could bring God to clothe Himself in human flesh. It my fervent desire to share this great treasure with all those who seek to know their Most Holy Queen and Mother and through Her, Jesus our King and Savior. So now let us begin our journey. Please be sure to click the link for the older comments first so you can start with Scene #1 and read the screen play in the correct sequence.
SCENE 1 EXT. 1645 AD. NIGHT. A DISCALCED CONVENTUAL FRANCISCAN CONVENT IN AGREDA, SPAIN. (If possible this should be filmed in the original setting. There should be an outside establishing shot before moving to the interior of the convent) Sister Maria (at the age of 43) is throwing volumes of a large manuscript on a fire while weeping. Once the last volume has been tossed into the flames and is being consumed she falls to the ground bitterly weeping. The camera fades to dark as she weeps.
SCENE 2 INT. DAY. THE SAME CONVENT AS DESCRIBED IN SCENE I SEVERAL DAYS LATER. Sister Mary of Jesus is being gently chastised by her Mother Superior for burning the original texts who commands her under the obedience required by her vows to begin the books again. She is threatened with censure from the order if she does not fulfill this command. MOTHER SUPERIOR “While I know and understand your concerns regarding your unworthiness to complete the task required of you by our Holy Mother Mary, with the approval of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I also know that throughout the history of the Divine Creator’s relationship with his creatures, he often chooses weak and sinful souls to assist in his redemptive works. By making use of these most lowly instruments it is made all the more evident that these works are of divine origin since the instrument used is completely incapable of these works without divine assistance. By the obedience you owe to me as your superior, and the obedience you owe our Holy Spouse Jesus, and our Holy Mother and Queen Mary, you now must begin again and complete this work”. SISTER MARY OF JESUS (bows her head weeping) “Yes Mother Superior.”
SCENE 3 EXT. DAY. THE TEMPLE AREA IN JERUSALEM. 36 BC. DAY. (DESCRIPTION OF ST. ANNE PROVIDED BY SR. ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH “SHE WAS NOT STRIKINGLY BEAUTIFUL, THOUGH PRETTIER THAN SOME OTHERS. HER BEAUTY WAS NOT TO BE COMPARED WITH MARY’S BUT SHE WAS EXTRAORDINARILY PIOUS, CHILDLIKE AND INNNOCENT.”) (DESCRIPTION OF ST JOACHIM BY SR. ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH “JOACHIM WAS A SHORT, BROAD, SPARE MAN. LIKE ST. ANNE HE HAD SOMETHING VERY DISTINGUISHED ABOUT HIM. BOTH WERE TRUE ISRAELITES; BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THEM THAT THEY THEMSELVES KNEW NOT, A YEARNING, A WONDERFUL EARNESTNESS. I HAVE RARELY SEEN EITHER OF THEM LAUGH, ALTHOUGH IN THE EARLY PART OF THEIR MARRIED LIFE THEY WERE NOT PARTICULARLY GRAVE. BOTH POSSESSED A CALM, UNIFORM DISPOSITION”. EVEN IN EARLY YOUTH, THEY WERE SOMETHING LIKE SEDATE OLD PEOPLE”. Anne and Joachim meet as their families have both made the trip to celebrate the feast of Passover. Catching site of each other in passing they make a favorable impression,
SCENE 4 INT. NIGHT. JOACHIM’S DWELLING PLACE IN NAZARETH, 36 BC. (the exact of age of Joachim is unknown at the time of this scene. He is assumed to be about the same age as St. Anne and to be of between 18 and 20 years old) (Joachim kneeling in prayer with his head bowed and fervently beseeching Yahweh) “Dearest Lord God of Israel, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and of all the Holy Prophets. I, your humble servant Joachim, ask that you now fulfill your promise to my ancestors and send the Messiah into the world to redeem your people. As you know human kind is now completely surrounded by the darkness of sin and has never been more needful and yet less worthy of your mercy, being mindful of your promise, I must continually beseech you for the fulfillment of your most Holy covenant with our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Please do not look on our unworthiness but be mindful of your promise. Send forth your Messiah to save his people Israel.”
SCENE 5 INT. NIGHT. ANNE’S DWELLING PLACE IN BETHLEHEM, 36 BC. (the same time and instant as Joachim’s prayer. Based on the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, St. Anne was 18 years on at the of this scene. The description by St. Anne from Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich is as follows: “She was not strikingly beautiful, though prettier than some others. Her beauty was not to be compared with Mary’s, but she was extraordinarily pious, childlike and innocent.”
SAINT ANNE (kneeling in prayerful humility) “Dearest Lord God of Israel, even though your chosen people of Israel have broken and dishonored your most Holy Covenant, please do not look upon our disgrace but recall your promise to our ancestors to send forth the Messiah to save your people. As you know I have now reached the age of espousal, being mindful of this, I also humbly beseech you to procure for me a just and upright husband who will help me to observe your ancient law and testament” The Archangel Gabriel appears before Anne with resplendent beauty. Disturbed and frightened Anne prostrates herself in profound reverence and humility before Gabriel.
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL “Do not be fearful, but rejoice for the Most High gives you his blessing. His Majesty has heard your petitions and wishes for you to persevere and continue to clamor for the coming of the Redeemer. It is His will that you accept Joachim as your spouse for he is a man of upright heart and acceptable to the Lord: In his company you will be able to persevere in the obedience of His law and in His service. Continue in your prayers and supplications and do not be solicitous for anything else, for the Lord will see that your prayers are answered. Walk in the straight paths of justice and let your soul converse with heaven continuing to pray for the Messiah and be joyful in the Lord who is your salvation.” Gabriel then disappears leaving Anne joyful and enlightened.
Scene 6 INT. NIGHT. JOACHIM’S HOME IN NAZARETH. The same night as the prior two scenes. Joachim is sleeping. The Archangel Gabriel speaks to Joachim while he is dreaming.
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL “Joachim, you are blessed by the right hand of the Most High! Persevere in your desires and live according to rectitude and perfection. It is the will of the Almighty, that you receive Saint Anne as your spouse, for the Lord has visited her with his blessing. Take care of her and esteem her as a pledge of the Most High and give thanks to his majesty, because he has given her into your charge.”
Scene 7 (OPTIONAL) EXT. DAY. 36 BC. Joachim and Anne are married in a traditional Jewish wedding feast of the time period. The details of a Jewish wedding feast of that time period can be provided from the “The Life of Jesus Christ” by the venerable Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich.
SCENE 8 INT: DAY. 16 BC. JEWISH TEMPLE IN NAZARETH. Joachim has arrived with two turtledoves to be sacrificed. RABBI ISACHAR (an inferior priest who reproaches Joachim) “Why do you, Joachim, come with your offerings and sacrifices, which are not pleasing in the eyes of God, since you are a useless man? Leave this company and depart; do not annoy God with your offerings and sacrifices, which are not acceptable to him.”
JOACHIM (in humble shame turns and walks away a short distance and falls to his knees and addresses the Lord by Saying) “Most High Lord and God, at Your command and desire I came to the temple: He that takes Your place, despises me, my sins merit this disgrace; but since I accept it according to your will, do not cast away the creature of your hands”. Joachim then hastens away from the temple to his farm full of sorrow.”
Scene 9 EXT: SUNSET. JOACHIM’S FARM NEAR NAZARETH.
JOACHIM (who would been about 47 years old is there alone, prays to the Lord saying) “Most High and eternal God, on whom depends the whole existence and the reparation of the human race, prostrate in your living presence, I supplicate your infinite goodness to look upon the affliction of my soul and to hear my prayers and those of your servant Anne. To your eyes are manifest all our desires, and if I am not worthy to be heard, do not despise my humble spouse. Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our first forefathers, do not hide your kindness from us, nor permit, since You are a Father, that I be numbered among the reprobate and the outcasts in my offerings, because you give me no children. Remember, O Lord, the sacrifices and oblations of your servants and prophets, my ancestors, and look upon their works, which were pleasing to your divine eyes. Since You command me, my Lord, to pray to You in confidence, grant me, according to the greatness of your mercy and power, that which at your wish I pray for. In beseeching You I fulfill your will and render the obedience, in which You have promised to grant my petition. If my sins hinder the exercise of your mercies, take away what displeases and hinders You. You are mighty, Lord God of Israel, and all that you wish You can accomplish without hindrance. Let my prayer reach your ears, and if I am poor and insignificant, You are infinite and always ready to execute mercy with the downcast. Where shall I flee from You, who are the King of kings and Lord of lords? You have filled your sons and servants with benedictions in their generations and You have instructed me to expect and desire from Your bounty what You have wrought in my brethren. If it is Your pleasure to yield to my petition, and grant me a child, I will offer it and consecrate it to Your holy temple in perpetual service. I have riveted my eyes and my will on Your holy will and have always desired to keep them free from the vanishing things of this world. Fulfill in regard to me, what is according to your pleasure, and rejoice our spirits with the accomplishment of our hopes. Look down from your throne upon this vile dust, and raise it up, in order that it may magnify You, and let in all things be fulfilled in Your will and not mine.
SCENE 10 INT: NIGHT. ANNE AND JOACHIM’S HOME IN NAZARETH. The archangel Gabriel appears to Anne and informs her that her prayer for a child, accompanied by her holy intentions and desires is pleasing to the Almighty. SAINT ANNE (recognizing the will of God and of her husband Joachim, prays in humble subjection and confidence) “Most high God, my Lord, Creator and Preserver of the universe, whom my soul reveres as the true God, infinite, holy and eternal! Prostrate in your real presence I will speak, though I am but dust and ashes proclaiming my need and my affliction. Lord God uncreated, make us worthy of your benediction, and give us holy fruit of the womb, in order that we may offer it to your service in the temple. Remember, O Lord, that Anne, your servant, the mother of Samuel, was sterile and that by your generous mercy she received the fulfillment of her desires. I feel within me a courage which incites and animates me to ask You to show me the same mercy. Hear then, O sweetest Lord and Master, my humble petition: remember the sacrifices, offerings and services of my ancestors and the favors, which your almighty arm wrought in them. I wish to offer You O Lord, an oblation pleasing and acceptable in your eyes: but the greatest in my power, is my soul, my faculties and inclinations given to You, and my whole being. If You look upon me from your throne giving me a child, I will from this moment sanctify and offer it for your service in the temple. Lord God of Israel, if it should be your pleasure and good will to look upon this lowly and impoverished creature, and to console your servant Joachim, grant me my prayer and may in all things be fulfilled your holy and eternal will”
SCENE 11 EXT. HEAVEN. (BRIGHT LIGHT). The prayers of Anne and Joachim as described in the preceding scenes reach the throne of the Holy Trinity at the same instant. The Holy trinity speaks in one voice to the angels and says.
HOLY TRINITY (spoken in a whisper like the sound of wind) We have in our condescension resolved, that the person of the Word shall assume human flesh and that through Him the race of mortals shall find a remedy. We have already manifested and promised this to our servants the Prophets, in order that they might announce it to the world. The sins of the living and their malice is so great, that We are much constrained by the rigor of justice. But our goodness and mercy is greater than all their evil doing, nor can it extinguish our love toward men. We will look with Mercy upon the works of our hands, which We have created according to our image and likeness, so as to enable them to become inheritors and participators in our eternal glory. We will consider the services and pleasures derived from our servants and friends and regard the multitude of those, who shall distinguish themselves in our praise and friendship. And above all have we before our eyes Her, who is to be the chosen One, who is to be acceptable above all creatures and singled out for our delight and pleasure; because she is to conceive the person of the Word in her womb and cloth Him with human flesh. Since there must be a beginning of this work, by which We shall manifest to the world the treasures of the Divinity, this shall be the acceptable and opportune time for its execution. Joachim and Anne have found grace in our eyes; We look upon them with pleasure and shall enrich them with the choicest gifts and graces. They have been faithful and constant in their trials and in simplicity and uprightness their souls have become acceptable and pleasing before Us. Let Gabriel as our ambassador bring tidings of joy for them and for the whole human race; let him announce to them, that in our condescension we have looked upon them and chosen them.” ARCHANGEL GABRIEL (Humbles himself before the throne of the Holy Trinity and reveres the divine majesty in a way that befits the most pure and spiritual substances) HOLY TRINITY (to Archangel Gabriel) “Gabriel, enlighten, vivify and console Joachim and Anne, our servants, and tell them, that their prayers have come into our presence and their petitions are heard in clemency. Promise them, that by the favor of our right hand they will receive the Fruit of benediction and that Anne shall conceive a Daughter to whom we will give the name of MARY.”
Scene 12 INT. NIGHT. JOACHIM’S GRAIN STORAGE HOUSE NEAR NAZARETH. Joachim is alone in prayer falls into a miraculous sleep when the Archangel Gabriel appears to him in resplendent light.
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL “Just and upright man, the Almighty from his sovereign throne has taken notice of your desires and has heard your sighs and prayers, and has made You fortunate on earth. Your spouse Anne shall conceive and bear a daughter, who shall be blessed among women. The nations shall know her as the blessed. He who is the eternal God, increate, and the creator of all, most upright in his judgments, powerful and strong, sends me to You, because your works and alms have been acceptable. Love has softened the heart of the Almighty, and has hastened his mercies, and in his liberality He wishes to enrich your house and your family with a Daughter, whom Anne shall conceive; the Lord has chosen for her the name of MARY. From her childhood let Her be consecrated to the temple, and in it to God, as you have promised. She shall be elect, exalted, powerful and full of the Holy Ghost; on account of the sterility of Anne her conception will be miraculous; She shall be a Daughter wonderful in all her doings and in all her life. Praise the Lord, Joachim, for this benefit and magnify Him, for in no other nation has He wrought the like. You shall go to give thanks in the temple in Jerusalem and in testimony of the truth of this joyful message, you shall meet in the Golden Gate, your sister Anne, who is coming to the temple for this same purpose. Remember that marvelous is this message, for the Conception of this Child shall rejoice heaven and earth”. Joachim awakens in great joy of soul and with solicitous and ingenuous prudence he concealed within his heart the sacrament of the King. With a lively faith and hope he poured forth his soul in the presence of the Most High, and full of tenderness and gratitude, he thanked and praised Him for his inscrutable judgments. In order to do this more appropriately he hastened to the temple as he had been ordered.
Scene 15 EXT (HEAVEN) BRIGHT LIGHT. The dialog if spoken should sound similar to the whisper of wind while the dialog text scrolls.
THE HOLY TRINITY “Now is the time to begin the work of our pleasure and to call into existence that pure Creature and that soul, which is to find grace in our eyes above all the rest. Let Us furnish Her with the richest gifts and let Us deposit in Her the great treasures of Our grace. Since all others, whom We called into existence have turned ungrateful and rebellious to our wishes, frustrating our intention and impeding by their own fault our purpose, namely that they conserve themselves in the happy state of their first parents, and since it is not proper, that our will should be entirely frustrated, let Us therefore create this being in entire sanctity and perfection, so that the disorder of the first sin shall have no part in Her. Let us create a soul according to our pleasure, a fruit of our attributes, a marvel of our infinite power, without touch or blemish of the sin of Adam. Let Us perfect a work which is the object of our omnipotence and a pattern of the perfections intended for our children, and the finishing crown of creation. All have sinned in the free will and resolve of the first man (Rom. 5, 12); let her be the sole creature in whom We restore and execute what they in their aberration have lost. Let her be a most special image and likeness of our Divinity and let Her be in our presence for all eternity the culmination of our good will and pleasure. In Her we deposit all the prerogatives and graces which in our first and conditional resolve we intended for the angels and men, if they had remained in their first estate. What they have lost We renew in that creature and we will add to these gifts many others. Thus our first decree shall not be frustrated, but shall be fulfilled in a higher manner through this our chosen and only one (Cant. 6, 8). And since We assigned and prepared the most perfect and estimable of our gifts for the creatures who have lost them, We will divert the stream of Our bounty to our Well-beloved. We will set her apart from the ordinary law, by which the rest of the mortals are brought into existence, for in Her the seed of the serpent shall have no part. I will descend from heaven into her womb and in it vest myself in her substance with human nature.” “It is befitting and due to the infinite goodness of our Divinity, that it be founded and enclosed in the most pure matter, untouched and unstained by fault. Nor is it proper that our equity and providence overlook what is most apt, perfect and holy, and choose that which is inferior, since nothing can resist our will (Ester 13, 9). The Word, which is to become man, being the redeemer and teacher of men, must lay the foundation of the most perfect law of grace, and must teach through it, that the father and mother are to be obeyed and honored and the secondary causes of the natural existence of man. The law is first to be fulfilled by the divine Word by honoring Her as his chosen mother, by exalting Her with a powerful arm, and lavishing upon Her the most admirable, most holy and excellent of all graces and gifts. Among these shall be the most singular honor and blessing of not subjecting Her to our enemy, nor to his malice; and therefore She shall be free of the death of sin”. “On earth the Word shall have a Mother without a father, as in heaven He has a Father without a mother. And in order that there may be the proper correspondence, proportion, and consonance in calling God his Father and this Woman his Mother, We desire that the highest correspondence and approach possible between a creature and its God be established. Therefore at no time shall the dragon boast of being superior to the Woman, whom God shall obey as his true Mother. This dignity of being free from sin is due and corresponds to that of being the mother of the Word, and it is in itself even more estimable and useful. It is a greater good to be holy than to be only mother; but all sanctity and perfection is nevertheless due to the motherhood of God. The human flesh, from which he is to assume form, must be free from sin. Since He is to redeem in it the sinners, He must not be under the necessity of redeeming His own flesh, like that of sinners. Being united to the divinity his humanity is to be the price of Redemption, wherefore it must be preserved from sin, and We have already foreseen and accepted the merits of the Word in this very flesh and human nature. We wish that for all eternities the Word should be glorified through this tabernacle and habitation of the human nature.” “She is to be the daughter of the first man; but in the order of grace She is to be singularly free and exempt from fault; and in the order of nature, She is to be the most perfect, and to be formed according to special providence. And since the incarnate Word is to be the teacher of humility and holiness and for this end is to endure labors, confounding the vanity and deceitful fallacies of mortals by choosing for Himself, sufferings as the treasure most estimable in our eyes. We wish that She, who is to be his mother, experience the same labors and difficulties, that she be singularly distinguished in patience, admirable in sufferings, and that She, in union with the Onlybegotten, offer the acceptable sacrifices of sorrow to Us for her greater glory.” “Now has the time arrived which was resolved upon by our Providence for bringing to light the Creature most pleasing and acceptable to our eyes. That Creature, in whom the human nature is freed from its first sin, who is to crush the head of the dragon who was typified by that singular sign, the woman that appeared in the heavens in our presence, and who is to clothe the eternal Word in human flesh. The hour is at hand, so blessed to mortals, in which the treasures of our Divinity are to be opened and for the gates of heaven to be unlocked. Let the rigor of our justice be softened by the chastisements, which We have until now executed upon the mortals; let the attributes of our mercy become manifest; let the creatures be enriched and let the divine Word merit for them the treasures of grace and of eternal glory.” “Now let the human race receive the Repairer, the Teacher, the Brother and Friend, to be life for mortals, a medicine for the sick, a consoler for the sorrowful, a balsam for the wounded, a guide and companion for those in difficulties. Let them know the prophecies of our servants and the promises made to them, that we would send a Savior to redeem them, be fulfilled. And in order that all may be executed according to our good pleasure, and that we may give a beginning to the mystery hidden since the constitution of the world, We select for the formation of Mary the womb of our servant Anne; in her be She conceived and in her let that most blessed Soul be created. Although her generation and formation shall proceed according to the usual order of natural propagation, it shall be different in the order of grace, according to the ordainment of our Almighty power.” “You do already know how the ancient serpent, since he saw the sign of this marvelous Woman, attempts to circumvent all women, and how, from the first one created, he persecutes all those, whom he sees excelling in the perfection of their works and life, expecting to find among them the One who is to crush his head. When he shall encounter this most pure and spotless creature, he shall find Her so holy that he will exert all his powers to persecute Her in pursuance of the concept which he forms of Her. But the arrogance of this dragon shall be greater than his powers; and it is our will that you have particular charge of this our Holy City and tabernacle of the incarnate Word, protecting, guarding, assisting and defending Her against our enemies, and that you enlighten, strengthen and console Her all due solicitude and reverence as long as She shall be a wayfarer among the mortals.” All the holy angels, prostrate before the royal throne of the most holy Trinity, avowed their promptitude and eagerness to obey the divine mandate.
ANGELS “Most High and incomprehensible God and Lord: You are worthy of all reverence, praise and eternal glory; and we are your creatures and made according your divine will. Send us, most powerful Lord, to execute your most wonderful and mysteries, in order that in all things your most just pleasure be fulfilled.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Then the Most High chose and appointed those who were to be occupied in this exalted service (the guardianship of Mary) from each of nine choirs of angels, He selected one hundred, being nine hundred in all. Moreover he assigned twelve others who in a special manner would assist Mary I corporal and visible forms; and they were to bear the emblems or escutcheons of the Redemption. These are the twelve which are mentioned in the twenty-first chapter of the Apocalypse as guarding the portals of the city. Besides these the Lord assigned eighteen other angels, from the highest ranks who were to ascend and descend by the mystical stairs of Jacob with the messages of the Queen to his Majesty and those of the Lord to Her. In addition to all these holy angels the Almighty assigned and appointed seventy seraphim, choosing them from the highest ranks and from those nearest to the Divinity. Among this number are included the sixty strong ones, which in the Canticles are mentioned as guarding the chamber or couch of Solomon, their loins girded with swords against the terror of the night. Altogether a thousand angels were chosen from the Seraphim and the lower orders of angels, and thus that City of God was superabundantly fortified against the infernal hosts. In order that this invincible warrior-troop be well appointed, Saint Michael, the prince of the heavenly militia was placed at their head, and although not always in the company of the Queen, he was nevertheless often near Her and often showed himself to Her.” Setting Guidance for the Birth of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary from the “The Life of Jesus Christ by Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. Several days previously, Anne informed Joachim that the time of her delivery was at hand. She sent messengers to her sister Maraha, at Sephoris, also to the widow Enue, Elizabeth’s sister, in the valley of Zabulon, and to her sister Sobe’s daughter Salome, the wife of Zebedee, of Bethsaida. The sons of Sobe and Zebedee, James the Greater and John, were not yet born. Anne sent for these three women to come to her. I saw them on their journey. Two of them were accompanied by their husbands who returned however when they had reached the neighborhood of Nazareth. Joachim had sent the men-servants off to the herds, and had otherwise disposed of the domestics not absolutely needed in the house. Mary Heli, Anne’s eldest daughter, now the wife of Cleophas, took charge of the household affairs. On the evening before the birth of the child, Joachim himself went to his herds in the field nearest his home. I saw him with some of his servants who were related to him. He called them brothers, but they were only his brother’s children. The pasture-grounds were beautifully divided off and hedged in. In the corners were huts wherein the servants were provided with food supplied from Anne’s house. There was also a stone altar before which they prayed. Steps led down to it, and the space around it was neatly paved with triangular stones. Behind the altar was a wall with steps at the sides. The whole place was surrounded by trees. Joachim, after praying here awhile, selected the finest lambs, kids, and bullocks from his herds, and sent them by his servants to the Temple as offerings. He did not return to his home before night. I saw the three women approaching Anne’s abode toward evening. When they arrived, they went straight to her apartment back of the fireplace. Anne embraced them, told them that her time drew near, and standing entoned with them a Psalm:
St. ANNE. “Praise God, the Lord. He has had pity on His people and has freed Israel. Truly, He has fulfilled the promise that He made to Adam in Paradise: The seed of the woman shall crush the serpent’s head.” I do not remember all, verse for verse, but Anne rehearsed the different types of Mary, and said: St. Anne. “The germ that God gave to Abraham has ripened in me. The promise made to Sara and the blossom of Aaron’s rod are fulfilled in me.” During all this time, Anne was shining with light. The room was full of glory, and over Anne hovered Jacob’s ladder. The women around her were amazed, entranced. I think they too saw the ladder. And now a slight refreshment was placed before the visitors. They ate and drank standing and toward midnight lay down to rest. But Anne remained up in prayer. After awhile, she went and roused the women. She felt that her time was near, and she desired them to pray with her. They all withdrew behind a curtain that concealed an oratory. Anne opened the doors of a little closet built in the wall. In it was a box containing sacred treasures, and on either side lights so contrived that they could be raised in their sockets at pleasure, and rested on upright supports. These lamps were now lighted. At the foot of the little altar was a cushioned stool. The box contained some of Sara’s hair, which Anne held in great reverence; some of the bones of Joseph, which Moses had brought with him out of Egypt; something belonging to Tobias, relics of clothing, I think; and the little, white, shining, pear-shaped cup from which Abraham drank when he received the Blessing from the angel, and which was later on taken from the Ark of the Covenant and given to Joachim along with the Blessing. This Blessing was like wine and bread, like a sacrament, like a supernatural, invigorating food. Anne knelt before the shrine, one of the women on either side, and the third behind her. Again I heard them reciting a Psalm. I think that the burning bush on Horeb was mentioned in it. And now a supernatural light began to fill the chamber and to hover around Anne. The three women fell prostrate as if stunned. Around Anne the light took the exact form of the thorn-bush on Horeb, so that I could no longer see her. The flame streamed inward, and all at once I saw Anne receiving into her arms the shining child Mary. She wrapped it in her mantle, pressed it to her heart, laid it on the stool before the relics, and went on with her prayer. Then I heard the child crying, and I saw Anne drawing forth some linen from under the large veil that enveloped her. She swathed the child first in gray and then in red, leaving the breast, arms, and head bare and then the luminous thorn-bush vanished. The holy women arose and in glad surprise received the new-born child into their arms. They wept for joy. All entoned a hymn of praise while Anne held the child on high. I saw the chamber again filled with light and myriads of angels. They announced the child’s name, singing: “On the twentieth day, this child shall be called Mary, “Then they sang Gloria and Alleluia. I heard all these words. Anne went to her chamber, and lay down upon her couch. The women bathed and swathed the child, and laid it by the mother. Next to the bed was a little portable basket-crib furnished with wooden pegs, by means of which it could be stuck into holes on the right or left, or at the foot of the bed as might be desired. One of the women went and called Joachim. He entered, knelt by Anne’s couch, and his tears fell in torrents over the child. Then he took it up, held it aloft, and entoned a canticle of praise like unto that of Zachary. He spoke words expressive of his longing now to die, and he alluded to the germ given by God to Abraham and perfected in himself, also to the root of Jesse. I noticed, though not till afterward, that Mary Heli was not among the first to see the child. She must at this time have been for some years the mother of Mary Cleophas. Still she was not present at Mary’s birth, because the Jewish custom does not permit the daughter to be with the mother at such a time. When Mary was born, I saw her at one and the same time before the Most Holy Trinity in heaven and on earth in Anne’s arms. I saw the joy of the whole heavenly court. I saw all her gifts and graces in a supernatural way revealed to her. I often have such visions, but they are for me inexpressible, for others unintelligible, therefore am I silent with regard to them. Mary was also instructed in innumerable mysteries. As this vision ended, the child cried upon earth. I saw the news of Mary’s birth announced also in limbo, and I beheld the transports of joy with which it was received by the Patriarchs, especially by Adam and Eve who rejoiced that the Promise made them in Paradise was now fulfilled. I saw also that the Patriarchs increased in grace, their abode became lighter and less constrained, and that they began to exercise a greater influence on earth. It was as if all their good works, all their penance, all the efforts of their life, all their desires and aspirations had at last brought forth fruit. All nature, animate and inanimate, men and beasts were stirred to joy, and I heard sweet singing. But sinners were filled with anguish and remorse. I saw, especially around Nazareth and in other parts of Palestine, many possessed souls who at the hour of Mary’s birth became perfectly furious. They uttered horrible cries, and they were tossed and dashed about. The devils cried out of them : “We must withdraw ! We must go out!” My greatest delight was to see the old priest Simeon in the Temple on this night of Mary’s birth. He was aroused by the fearful cries of the possessed confined in one of the streets on the Temple mountain. Simeon with others had charge of them. He went that night to the house in which they were, and asked the cause of those shrieks that roused every one from sleep. The possessed man nearest to the entrance cried out fiercely that he must get out. Simeon released him, and then the devil cried out: “I must go forth! We must go forth! A virgin is born, and there are upon earth so many angels who torment us. We must go forth, and never again shall we dare possess a human being!” Then I saw the poor creature horribly tossed to and fro by the devil who at last went out of him. Simeon was in prayer. I rejoiced greatly at seeing old Simeon then. I saw too Anna, the Prophetess, and another one of Mary’s future teachers in the Temple aroused and instructed in vision upon the birth of the child. They told each other what had happened. I think they knew of Anne. In the country of the Three Holy Kings, certain prophetesses had visions of the birth of the Blessed Virgin. They told their priests that a Virgin was born, to welcome whom many spirits had come down upon earth, but that other spirits were troubled. The star-gazing Kings also saw pictures of it in their stars. In Egypt, on the night of the birth, an idol was hurled from its temple into the sea, and another fell from its place and was dashed to pieces. Next morning I saw a great crowd from the neighborhood around the house along with Anne’s servants, male and female. The women in charge showed the child to them. Many of them were very much affected, and many wicked hearts were changed. They had gathered around the house because they had seen a light over it during the night and also because the birth of Anne’s child was looked upon as a great blessing. Later on other relatives of Joachim from the valley of Zabulon arrived, also the servants from a distance. The child was shown to all, and a repast as prepared in the house. On the following days people flocked in numbers to see the child Mary. Her little cradle, which was in the form of a boat, was placed upon a raised pedestal, something like a sawing-jack, in the front apartment. The lower coverlet was red, the upper one white, and on them lay the child swathed up to the arm-pits in red and transparent white. She had tiny, golden curls. I saw also Mary Cleophas, the child of Mary Heli and Cleophas, the grandchild of Anne. She was then a little girl of only a few years. She was playing with the infant Mary and caressing her. She was a stout, healthy child. She wore a little white, sleeveless dress bordered with red from which hung tiny red balls, like apples. Around her little bare arms were twined rows of white stuff, maybe feathers or silk or, wool. The child Mary had also a little transparent scarf around her neck.
THE CHILD RECEIVES THE NAME OF MARY I saw a great feast in Anne’s house, all was gladness. The wicker partitions in the front part of the house had been taken away, and a large room was thus made ready. All around it ran a low table upon which stood plates, glasses, etc., but as yet no eatables. In the middle of the room was an altar covered with red and white, and a stand upon which scrolls were laid. A small basket-cradle stood on the altar. It was shaped like a shell, and woven in white and red; the coverlet was sky-blue. Priests from Nazareth were present in their sacred vestments, among them was one robed more magnificently than the rest. Many of the female guests, relatives of Anne, were also in their holiday garments. Among them were Anne’s eldest daughter Mary Heli, espoused to Cleophas, Anne’s sister from Sephoris, and others. Several of Joachim’s relatives also were present. Anne was up, but she did not appear. She remained in her, chamber behind the fireplace. Enue, Elizabeth’s sister, brought the infant Mary, swathed as described in red and transparent white, and gave her to Joachim. The priests approached the altar, the attendants bearing the chief-priest’s train, and prayed from the scrolls. Joachim placed the child on the arms of the chief-priest, who held her aloft, prayed for awhile, and then laid her in the little cradle on the altar. Then he took a pair of scissors, furnished with a little box at the end for catching the clippings, (something like a pair of snuffers), and cut a little hair from both sides and from the middle of the child’s head. The hair thus removed, he burned, upon a pan, of coals. Then he took a box of oil and anointed the five senses of the child. With his thumb, he pressed the ointment upon the ears, the eyes, the nose, the mouth, and the heart of the child. He wrote the name Mary on a scrap of parchment, and laid it on the child’s breast. Then the little Mary was by Joachim given back to Enue, who took her to Anne. The women stood back during the ceremony, at the end of which other Psalms were sung. I saw then all kinds of table furniture, dishes, etc., that I had not before noticed. There were vessels on the table that were quite light, their covers pierced with holes. I think they were baskets into which flowers were put. On a side-table, I saw numbers of little white rods, as if of bone, also spoons.
SCENE 16 EXT.DAY. THE GATE OF THE HOLY TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “After the 60 days required for purification after childbirth, St. Anne with Mary in her arms presents to Simeon a one-year-old spotless lamb as a holocaust offering for the birth of Mary and a turtle done as an offering for the atonement of sin. Simeon is moved by the spirit and interiorly wonders if Mary might be the mother of the Messiah. St. Anne renews her vow to offer her first born to service in the temple upon arriving at the proper age. In her heart she hears a secret voice urging her to fulfill this vow and to offer her child to the temple within three years. Mary who is still a baby but has been privileged to be born with all her intellectual powers and special graces prays (the prayers should be the very soft, loving and innocent voice).”
HOLY MARY “Most high and incomprehensible God, my King and my Lord, worthy of all glory and reverence, I, abject dust but also a creature of your hand, adore You in this holy place and temple. I magnify and exalt You on account of your infinite Being and perfections, and I give You thanks in as far as my insignificance is worthy of your regard. For you have vouchsafed to permit my eyes too see this holy temple and house of prayer, where your holy Prophets and my forefathers have worshipped and blessed You, and where your generous mercy has wrought so many wonders and mysteries in their behalf. Accept me, O Lord, in order that I may serve You in this holy house according to your blessed will.”
A most resplendent light shines down from heaven, enveloping the mother and Child, filling them with new splendors of grace. St. Anne is was made aware that she would be expected to devote her Daughter to the temple within three years; she was given to understand the delight with which God looked forward to such an offer.
SCENE 17 EXT. DAY. 11 BC. NAZARETH, ISRAEL.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) “The three years time decreed by the Lord having been completed, Joachim and Anne set out from Nazareth, accompanied by a few of their kindred and bringing with them the true living Ark of the covenant, the most holy Mary, borne on the arms of her mother in order to be deposited in the holy temple of Jerusalem.” INT. DAY. 11 BC. THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM.
DESCRIPTION OF THE HOLD CHILD MARY”S DRESS FOR HER ENTRANCE INTO TEMPLE (from the LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST BY ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH) “A violet blue bodice, and over it a breast-piece embroidered in colors. The later was now fastened to the piece that that covered the back, caught to the plaited skirt, and fell below in a point. Over this fell a violet-blue mantle, full and magnificent, rounded in the back very much like a chasuble. When it was closed on the breast, it formed puffs on the arms, like arches, wherein they could rest, and yet be exposed to view. It had five rows of gold embroidery down the front, the middle one furnished with the buttons or hooks that fastened the mantle. It was also embroidered around the edge. A large changeable-colored veil was then put on, which glanced from white to violet blue. Upon this veil rested a crown, closed on top by five clasps. It was a thin, broad circlet lined with gold, the upper edge spreading into points tipped with little balls. A network of silk covered the outside, which was ornamented with small roses of the same material in whose center we fastened five pearls. The five points also were of silk and surmounted by a ball. The breastpiece was fastened behind, yet had cords also in front as if for lacing. Her mantle was caught first over the breast by a crossband which was prevented which was prevented from pressing on the breast ornament by a button with a long shank; it closed again under the bodice and fell behind the arms in folds.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (scene guidance optionally provided as narration) They arrive at the holy temple and St. Anne takes holy Mary by the hand and enters accompanied by Saint Joachim. All three offer a devout and fervent prayer to the Lord; the parents offering to God their daughter, and the most holy Child, in profound humility offering up Herself. She alone perceives that the Most High receives and accepts Her, and, amid divine splendor which fills the temple She hears a voice saying to Her:
GOD “Come, my Beloved, my spouse, come to my temple, where I wish to hear your voice of praise and worship”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (scene guidance optionally provided as narration) “Having offered their prayers, they arose and betook themselves to the priest. The parents consigned the child into his hands and he gave them his blessing. Together they conduct Her to the portion of the temple buildings, where many young girls lived to be brought up in retirement and in virtuous habits, until old enough to assume the state of matrimony. It was a place of retirement especially selected for the first-born daughters of the royal tribe of Juda and the sacerdotal tribe of Levi.” “Fifteen stairs lead up the entrance of these apartments. Other priests come down these stairs in order to welcome the Blessed Mary. The priest that had received them, according to the law one of the minor order, places her on the first step. Mary, with his permission, turns and kneels down before Joachim and Anne, asks their blessing and kisses their hands, and recommends herself to their prayers before God. The holy parents in tender tears give her their blessing. Mary then turns and joyfully ascends the fifteen steps without any assistance, She hastens upward with incomparable fervor and joy, without turning back, shedding any tears, nor showing any childish regret at parting from her parents exciting the admiration of all those present. The priests receive her among the rest of the maidens and St. Simeon then assigns her to her teachers, one of whom is the prophetess Anne who has been prepared by a special grace and enlightenment so that she joyfully takes charge of the child of Joachim and Anne. She considers the charge a special favor of divine providence and merited by her holiness and virtue to give Her as a disciple, who was to be the Mother of God and Mistress of all the creatures.” “Mary is brought to her teacher and kneels in profound humility before her and asks her blessing. She begs to be admitted among those under her direction, obedience and counsel, and asks her kind forbearance in the labor and trouble, which She would occasion. The prophetess Anne, her teacher, receives her with pleasure and says:”
PROPHETESS ANNE “My daughter, You shall find in me a helpful mother and I will take care of You and your education with all possible solicitude.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (scene guidance optionally provided as narration) The holy child Mary then proceeds to address Herself with the same humility to all the maidens who are present. She greets and embraces each one and offers Herself as their servant and requests of them being older and more advanced than her, to instruct and command Her. She also gives them thanks, since without Her merit they had admitted Her to their company.
SCENE 31 INT. DAY. THE HOLY TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM. ABOUT 19 MONTHS BC. (There should be an exterior establishing shot of the city of Jerusalem or temple prior to shooting the inside scenes.) MARY OF AGREDA (Optional Narration) On the very day when our Princess Mary completed the fourteenth year of Her life, the men, who at that time in the city of Jerusalem were descendants or the tribe of Judah and of the race of David, gathered together in the temple. The sovereign Lady, was also of that lineage. Among the number was Joseph, a native of Nazareth, and then living in Jerusalem; for he was one of the descendants of the royal race of David. He was then 33 years of age, of handsome person and pleasing countenance, but also of incomparable modesty and gravity; above all he was most chaste in thought and conduct, and most Saintly in all his inclinations. From his twelfth year he had made and kept the vow of chastity. He was related to the Virgin Mary in the third degree, and was known for the utmost purity of his life, holy and irreprehensible in the eyes of God and of men. All these unmarried men gathered in the temple and prayed to the Lord conjointly with the priests, in order to be governed by the Holy Spirit in what they were about to do. The Most High spoke to the heart of the high priest, inspiring him to place into hands of each one of the men a dry stick, with the command that each ask his Majesty with a lively faith, to single out the one whom He had chosen as the spouse of Mary. And as the sweet odor of her virtue and nobility, the fame of her beauty, her possessions and her modesty, and her position as the firstborn in her family was known to all of them, each one coveted the happiness of meriting Her as a spouse. Among them all only the humble and most upright Joseph thought himself unworthy of such a great blessing; and remembering the vow of chastity which he had made and resolving anew its perpetual observance, he resigned himself to God’s will, leaving it all to his disposal and being filled at the same time with a veneration and esteem greater than that of any of the others for the most noble maiden Mary. While they were thus engaged in prayer the staff which Joseph held was seen to blossom and at the same time a dove of purest white and resplendent with admirable light, was seen to descend and rest upon the head of the Saint, while in the interior of his heart God spoke:
GOD THE FATHER Joseph, my servant, Mary shall be your Spouse; accept Her with attentive reverence, for She is acceptable in my eyes, just and most pure in soul and body, and you should do all that She shall say to You.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) At this manifestation and token from heaven the priests declared Saint Joseph as the spouse selected by God himself for the maiden Mary. Calling Her forth for her espousal. The Chosen one issued forth like the sun, more resplendent than the moon, and She entered into the presence of all with a countenance more beautiful than that of an angel, incomparable in the charm of her beauty, nobility and grace; and the priests espoused Her to the most chaste and holy of men, Saint Joseph.” “The heavenly Princess, more pure than the stars of the firmament, with tearful and sorrowful countenance and as the Queen of majesty, most humble and yet uniting all perfections within Herself, took leave of the priests, asking their blessing, and her instructress and her companions, begging their pardon. She gave thanks to all of them for all the favors received at their hands during her stay in the temple. The humility of her behavior enhanced the prudence and aptness of her words for the performance of the last duties in the temple; on all occasions She spoke in few and weighty words. She took leave of the temple not without great grief on account of the sacrifice of inclinations and desires. In the company of attendants who were some of the more distinguished laymen in the service of the temple, She betook Herself with her spouse Joseph to Nazareth, the native city of the most fortunate married couple.
Scene 32 INT. DAY. THE HOME OF JOSEPH AND MARY IN NAZARETH. ABOUT 18 MONTHS BC. There should be an external establishing shot of the town of Nazareth and/or the home of the holy family.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) “Having arrived at their home in Nazareth, where the Princess of heaven had inherited the possessions and estates of her blessed parents, they were welcomed and visited by their friends and relatives with the joyful congratulations customary on such occasions. After they had in a most holy manner complied with the natural duties of friendship and politeness, and satisfied the worldly obligations connected with the conversation and intercourse of the fellowmen, the two most holy spouses, Joseph and Mary, were left at leisure and to their own council in their own house. Custom had introduced the practice among the Hebrews, that for the first few days of their married state the husband and wife should enter upon a sort of study of each other’s habits and temperament, in order that afterwards they might be able to make reciprocal allowance in their conduct one toward another.”
ST. JOSEPH “My spouse and Lady, I give thanks to the Lord most high for the favor of having designated me as your husband without my merits, though I judged myself unworthy even of your company; but his Majesty who can raise up the lowly whenever he wishes, showed this mercy to me, and I desire and hope, relying on your discretion and virtue, that You help me to make a proper return in serving Him with an upright heart. Hold me, therefore as your servant, and by the true love which I have for You, I beg of You to supply my deficiencies in the fulfillment of the domestic duties and of other things, which as a worthy husband, I should know how to perform; tell me, Lady, what is your pleasure in order that I may fulfill it.”
HOLY MARY “My master, I am fortunate, that the Most High, in order to place me in this state of life, has chosen You for my husband and that He has given me such evident manifestation of his will, that I serve You; but if you give me leave I will speak of my thoughts and my intentions, which I wish to manifest to You for this purpose.”
ST JOSEPH “Speak, Lady, your servant hears.”
MARY OF AGREDA (optional narration) “On this occasion the Mistress of the world was surrounded by the thousand angels of her guard, in visible form. She had asked them to be present in that manner, because the Lord, in order that the most pure Virgin might act with greater grace and merit had permitted her to feel the respect and reverence, with which She was bound to speak to her husband and left her to the natural shyness and dread, which she always felt when speaking to men alone; for She had never done this, except perhaps by accident to the high priest.” “The holy angels obeyed their Queen and, visible only to Her, stood in attendance, In this glorious company She spoke to her spouse to Saint Joseph, and said to him:” HOLY MARY “My lord and spouse, it is just that we give praise and glory with reverence to our God and Creator, who is infinite in goodness and incomprehensible in his judgments. To us, who are so needy, He has manifested his greatness and mercy in choosing us for his service. I acknowledge myself among all creatures as more beholden and indebted to Him than all others, and more than all of them together; for, meriting less, I have received from his liberal hand more than they. At a tender age, being compelled thereto by the force this truth, which, with the knowledge of the deceitfulness of visible things, his divine light made known to me, I consecrated myself to God by a perpetual vow of chastity in body and soul; his I am and Him I acknowledge as my Spouse and Lord, with fixed resolve to preserve for Him my chastity, I beseech You, my master, to help me in fulfilling this vow, while in all other things I will be your servant, willing to work for the comfort of your life so long as mine shall last, Yield, my spouse, to this resolve and make a like resolve, in order that, offering ourselves as an acceptable sacrifice to our eternal God, He may receive us in the odor of sweetness and bestow on us the eternal good for which we hope.”
SAINT JOSEPH “My Mistress, in making known to me your chaste and welcome sentiments, you have penetrated and dilated my heart. I have not opened my thoughts to You knowing your own. I also acknowledge myself under greater obligation to the Lord of creation than other men; for very early He has called me by his true enlightenment to love Him with an upright heart; and I desire You to know, Lady, that at the age of twelve years I also made a promise to serve the Most High in perpetual chastity. On this account I now gladly ratify this vow not to impede in your own; in the presence of his Majesty, I promise to aid You, as far is in me lies, in serving Him and loving Him according to your full desires. I will be, with the divine grace, your most faithful servant and companion, and I pray You to accept my chaste love and hold me as your brother, without ever entertaining any other kind of love, outside the one which You owest to God and after God to me”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) In this conversation the Most High confirmed anew the virtue of chastity in the heart of Saint Joseph, and the pure and holy love due to his most holy spouse Mary. This love the Saint already had in an eminent degree, and the Lady herself augmented it sweetly, dilating his heart by her most prudent discourse.” “By divine operation the two most holy and chaste Spouses felt an incomparable joy and consolation. The heavenly Princess, as one who is the Mistress of all virtues and who in all things pursued the highest perfection of all virtues, lovingly corresponded to the desires of Saint Joseph. The Most High also gave to Saint Joseph a new purity and complete command over his natural inclinations, so that without hindrance or any trace of sensual desires, but with admirable and new grace, he might serve his spouse Mary, and in Her, execute his will and pleasure. They immediately set about dividing the property inherited from Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, the parents of the most holy Virgin; one part they offered to the temple, where She had stayed, another they destined for the poor, and the third was left in the hands of the holy spouse Saint Joseph to be disposed of according to his judgment. Our Queen reserved for Herself only the privilege of serving Him and attending to the household duties. For from intercourse from outsiders and from the management of property, buying or selling, the most prudent Virgin always kept aloof.” In his former life Saint Joseph had learned the trade of carpentering as being a respectable and proper way of earning the sustenance of life. He was poor in earthly possessions. He therefore asked his most holy Spouse, whether it was agreeable to Her, that he should exercise his trade in order to be able to serve Her and to gain something for distribution to the poor; since it was necessary to do some work and not to remain idle. The most prudent virgin approved of this resolve, saying that the Lord did not wish them to be rich, but poor and lovers of the poor, desirous of helping them in as far as their means would allow. There then arose between the two spouses a holy contest as to who would obey the other as superior. But She, who among the humble was the most humble, won in this contest of humility; for as the man is the head of the family, She would not permit this natural order to be inverted. She desired in all things to obey her spouse Saint Joseph, asking him solely for permission to help the poor, which the Saint gladly gave. As Saint Joseph by divine enlightenment learned to know more and more the qualities of his spouse Mary, her rare prudence, humility, purity and all her other virtues exceeding by far his thoughts and estimates, he was seized with ever new admiration and, in joy of spirit, continued to praise and thank the Lord again and again for having given him a Companion and spouse so far above his merits. And in order that this work of the Most High might be entirely perfect (for it was the beginning of the greatest, which He was to execute by his Omnipotence) He ordained that the Princess of heaven, by her mere presence and intercourse, should infuse in the heart of her spouse a holy fear and reverence greater than words could ever suffice to describe. This effect was wrought on Saint Joseph by an effulgence or reflection of the divine light, which shone from the face of our Queen and which was mingled with an ineffable and always visible majesty. So much more was this due to Her than to Moses descending from the mountain (Exod. 24, 30) as her intercourse and conversation with God had been more extended and intimate. “Soon after most holy Mary had a vision of the Lord, in which God spoke to Her:”
GOD “My most beloved Spouse and Chosen one, behold how faithful I am to my promises with those who love Me. Correspond therefore to my fidelity by observing all the laws of a spouse, in holiness, purity and all perfection and let the company of my servant Joseph, whom I have given You, help You thereto. Obey him as you should and listen to his advice”.
HOLY MARY “Most High Lord, I praise and magnify You for your admirable disposition and providence in my regard, though I am so unworthy and poor a creature; I desire to obey You and please You as one having greater obligation to You than any other. Bestow upon me my Lord, your divine favor in order that I be assisted in all things and governed according to your pleasure, and also in order that I may attend to the duties of the state, in which You have placed me, never as Your slave erring from your commands and wishes. Show me Your good will and blessing and with it I will strive to obey and serve your servant Joseph, in such a manner as You, my Lord and Maker, command.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) “On such heavenly beginnings was founded the home and married life of the most holy Mary and Saint Joseph. From the eighth of September, when they were espoused, until the twenty-fifth of March following, when the Incarnation of the divine Word took place, the two spouses thus lived together, being prepared in the meanwhile for the work designated for them by the Most High.”
SCENE 33 INT.DAY. MARY AND JOSEPH HOUSE IN NAZARETH. 10 MONTHS BC. THE MOST HIGH BEGINS TO PREPARE IN MOST HOLY MARY THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION; THE EVENTS OF THE NINE DAYS PRECEDING THIS MYSTERY (POTENTIALLY PROVIDED AS NARRATION BY SISTER MARY OF JESUS)
SISTER MARY OF JESUS “In order that her most faultless life might be to all an example of the highest holiness, the Most High had placed upon our Queen and Mistress the duties of as spouse of Saint Joseph which was a position requiring more intercourse with her neighbors. The heavenly mistress finding Herself in this new estate, was filled with such exalted thoughts and sentiments in the fulfillment of her duties, and ordered all the activities of her life with such wisdom, that She was an object of admirable emulation to the angelic spirits and an unparalleled example to men. Few new Her and still fewer had spoken with Her: but these happy ones were so filled with that celestial influence of Mary, that with a wonderful joy and with unwonted flights of spirit they sought to express and manifest the light, which illuminated their hearts which they knew came from Her. The most prudent Queen was not unaware of these operations of the Most High; but neither was it yet time, nor would her most profound humility as yet consent to their becoming known to the world. She continually besought the Lord to hide them from men, to make all the favors of his right hand redound solely to his praise, and to permit Her to be ignored and despised by all the mortals, in as far as his infinite goodness would not be offended thereby.” “These prayers were accepted by her divine Spouse with great benignity and his providence arranged all things in such a manner, that the very light, which incited men to proclaim her greatness, at the same time caused them to be mute. Moved by divine power, they refrained from expressing their thoughts, inwardly praising the Lord for the light, which they felt within themselves. Filled with marvel they suspended their judgment, and leaving behind the creatures, they sought their Creator. Many turned from sin at the mere sight of Her; others amended their lives, all were affected at seeing her and experienced heavenly influences in their souls. But immediately they forgot the source of these influences; for if they could have remained in her presence, or could have retained the memory of her image, and if God had not prevented it by a mystery, nothing would have been able to divert their attention from Her and all would have sought Her without wavering.” “In such fruitful occupations and in augmenting the gifts and graces from which all the good proceeded, our Queen, the spouse of Joseph, busied Herself during the six months and seventeen days, which intervened between her espousal and the Incarnation of the Word (some text is omitted hear for the sake of brevity). In order to proceed with a dignity befitting Himself, God prepared Mary in a most singular manner during the nine days immediately proceeding this mystery, and allowed the river of his divinity to rush impetuously forth (Psalm 45, 5) to inundate this City of God with its floods.” “On the first day of this most blessed novena the heavenly princess Mary, after a slight rest, according to the example of her father David and according to the order and arrangement laid out for Her by the Lord, left her couch at midnight (Psalm 118, 62), and, prostrate (in the form of the cross) in the presence of the Most High, commenced her accustomed prayer and holy exercises. The angels who attended upon Her, spoke to Her and said:
MARY’S ATTENDING ANGELS “Spouse of our King and Lord, arise for his Majesty calls You.”
HOLY MARY “The Lord commands the dust to raise itself from the dust. Most high and powerful Master, what wishest You to do with me?”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) “At these words her most holy soul was raised in spirit to a new and higher habitation closer to the same Lord and more remote from all earthly and passing things,”
HIS MAJESTY “My spouse and my Dove, great is my desire of redeeming man from sin and my immense kindness is as it were strained in waiting for the time, in which I shall descend to repair the world; ask Me continually during these days and with great affection for the fulfillment of this desire. Prostrate in my royal presence let not your petitions and clamors cease, asking Me that the Only begotten of the Father descend in reality to unite Himself with the human nature.”
HOLY MARY “Lord and God eternal, whose is all the power and wisdom, whose wish none can resist (Ester 13, 9), who shall hinder your Omnipotence? Who shall detain the impetuous current of your Divinity, so that your pleasure in conferring this benefit upon the whole human race remain unfulfilled? If perhaps, O my beloved, I am a hindrance to such an immeasurable benefit, let me perish before I impede your pleasure; this blessing cannot depend upon the merits of any creature; therefore, my Lord and Master, do not wait, as we might later on merit so much the less. The sins of men increase and the offenses against You are multiplied; how shall we merit the very blessing, of which we become daily more unworthy? In You yourself, my Lord, exists the last cause and motive of our salvation; your infinite bounty, your numberless mercies incite You, the groans of your Prophets and of the Fathers of Your people solicit You, and all of them together call out to You; and if I, insignificant wormlet, on account on my ingratitude, am not unworthy of your merciful condescension, I venture to beseech You, from the bottom of my heart, to speed your coming and to hasten your Redemption for your greater glory.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) “When the Princess of heaven had finished this prayer, She returned to her ordinary and more natural state; but anxious to fulfill the mandate of the Lord, She continued during that whole day her petitions for the Incarnation of the Word and with the deepest humility She repeated the exercises of prostrating Herself to the ground and praying in the form of a cross. For the Holy Ghost, who governed Her, had taught her this posture, by which She so highly pleased the most blessed Trinity. God saw, in the body of the future Mother of the Word, as it were the crucified person of Christ and therefore He received this morning sacrifice of the most pure Virgin as an advance offering of that of his most holy son.”
Scene 34 INT. MARY’S HOUSE IN NAZARETH. MIDNIGHT. SECOND DAY OF THE NOVENA BEFORE THE ANNUNCIATION
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (optional narration) “On the second day of the novena, at the same hour of midnight, the Virgin Mary was visited in the same way as on the prior day. The divine power raised her up by the same elevations and illuminings to prepare Her for the visions of the Divinity. He manifested Himself again in an abstractive manner as on the first day, and she was shown all the works of the second day of creation. She learned how and when God divided the waters (Gen. 1,6), some above and others below, establishing the firmament, and above it the crystal known as the watery heaven. Her insight penetrated into the greatness, order, conditions, movements and all other qualities and conditions of the heavens.” “And in the most prudent Virgin this knowledge did not lay idle, nor remain sterile; for immediately the most clear light of the Divinity overflowed in Her, and enflamed and emblazed Her with admiration, praise and love of the goodness and power of God. Being transformed as it were with a godlike excellence, She produced heroic acts of all the virtues, entirely pleasing to his divine Majesty. And as in the proceeding first day God made her a participant in His wisdom, so on this second day, he made Her in a corresponding measure a participant in the divine omnipotence, and gave Her power over the influences of the heavens, of the planets and elements, commanding them all to obey Her. Thus was the great Queen raised to Sovereignty over the sea, the earth, the elements and the celestial orbs, with all the creatures, which are contained therein (some text is omitted her for the sake of brevity). “The most prudent Queen did not use her sovereignty of the elements and creatures indiscriminately and for her own alleviation and comfort; but she commanded the creatures not to suspend their activities and influences in as far as they would naturally be painful and inconvenient to Her. For in these things She was to be like her most holy Son and suffer conjointly with Him. Her love and humility did permit Her to withhold and suspend the inclemencies of the creatures in her regard, since She knew how valuable suffering is and how estimable in the eyes of the Lord.” “Only on some occasions, when She knew that it was not for her benefit but necessary for her Son and Creator, the sweet mother restrained the force of the elements and their influences, as we shall see farther on during the journey to Egypt and on other occasions, where She most prudently judged it proper, that the creatures recognize their Creator and reverence Him, or protect Him in some necessity.”
Scene 36 INT. MARY”S HOUSE IN NAZARETH. MIDNIGHT. The Most High continues His Favors To Most Holy Mary on the Fourth Day of the novena before the conception. SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Still the favors and most exalted mysteries of Most High toward our Queen and Lady in preparing Her for the approaching dignity of Motherhood continued. The fourth day of this preparation had arrived and at the same hour She was again raised to the abstractive vision of the divinity (some text is omitted here for the sake of brevity). The Most High manifested to her in this vision by most especial enlightenments, the new Law of grace which the redeemer of the world was to establish, the sacraments contained in it, the end for which He would leave them in his new Church of the gospel, the gifts and blessings prepared for men, and his desire, that all should be saved and that all should reap the fruit of the Redemption. And so great was the wisdom, which the most holy Mary drew from these visions, wherein She was taught by the highest Teacher and the Corrector of the wise (Wis 7, 15), that, if by any means man or angel could describe it, more books would have to be written of this science of our Lady than all those which have been composed in this world concerning all the arts and sciences, and all the inventions of men (some text is omitted here for the sake of brevity). “Joined with the sweetness of this divine science, our queen felt of loving, yet piercing sorrow which this very science continued to renew. She perceived in the Most High the ineffable treasures of grace and blessings, which he had prepared for mortals and She saw the weight of the Divinity as it were inclined toward the desire of seeing all men enjoy them eternally. At the same time She saw and considered the wicked disposition of the world, and how blindly mortals impeded the flow of these treasures and deprived themselves of participation of the Divinity. From this resulted a new kind of martyrdom full of grief for the perdition of men and of the desire of remedying such lamentable loss. This caused Her to offer up the most exalted prayers, petitions, sacrifices, humiliations and heroic acts of love of God and of men, in order that no one, if possible, should henceforth damn himself, and that all should recognize their Creator, and Redeemer, confess Him, adore and love Him. All took place in this very vision; but as these petitions were of the same kind as those already described, I do not expatiate on them here.” “In conjunction therewith, the Lord showed Her also the works of creation performed on the fourth day (Gen 1, 14-17). The heavenly Princess Mary learned how and when the luminaries of heaven were formed in the firmament for dividing day and night and for indicating the seasons, the days and the years; how for this purpose he created the great light of heaven, the sun, presiding as the lord of the day, and joined with it, the moon, the lesser light, which reigns over the darkness of the night. In like manner were formed the stars of the eighth heaven, in order that they might gladden the night with their brilliance and preside with their various influences over both the day and the night. She understood what was the material substance of these luminous orbs, their form, their size, their properties, their various movements and the uniformity as well as the inequality of the planets. She knew the number of the stars, and all their influences exerted upon the earth, both in regard to the living and lifeless creatures; the effects and changes, which they cause in them by these influences.” “This is not in conflict with what the Prophet says, (Psalm 146, 4), that God knows the number of stars and has called them by their names; for David does not thereby deny to his Majesty the liberty of conceding to a creature that as a privilege which He possesses by nature. It is plain that since this knowledge is communicable and since it would contribute to Mary’s excellence, it should not be denied to Her. Has He not conferred upon Her greater favors, and has He not made Her the Queen of the stars and of all other creatures? And this knowledge was as it were only a sequel of her dominion and sovereignty over the powers, influences and movements of all the celestial orbs, since they were commanded to obey Her as their Queen and Lady”. “In consequence of this command, which the Lord gave to the celestial orbs and in accordance with the dominion which the most holy Mary obtained over them, She possessed such power, that if she commanded the stars to leave their positions in heaven, they would obey Her instantly and would hasten to the regions which She chose to designate. The same is true of the sun and the planets: all would pause in their course and suspend their operations to execute the command of Mary.” “(Some text is omitted here for the sake of brevity) The most holy Mary issued from this vision still more inflamed and filled with the Divinity, entirely transformed by the knowledge of God’s attributes and perfections; and her advance in virtues kept pace with her progress in divine favors. She multiplied her requests, her fervent sighs, and her meritorious works, in order to hasten the incarnation of the Word and our salvation.”
SCENE 37 – INT. MARY’S HOUSE IN NAZARETH. His Majesty Manifests New Mysteries and Sacraments Together With The Works of the Fifth Day of the Creation to Most Holy Mary, and Her Highness continues to pray for the incarnation of The Word.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (Optional Narration) “The fifth day of the novena, which the most blessed Trinity celebrated in the temple of the most holy Mary, in order that the eternal Word might assume human shape in Her, had arrived. Just as in the preceding days She was elevated to an abstractive vision of the divinity, and as the veil fell more and more from the secrets of the infinite wisdom, She discovered new mysteries also during this day. For the preparations and enlightenments emitted ever stronger rays of light and divine graces, which flashed into her most holy body and emptied the treasures of divinity into her faculties, assimilating and transforming the heavenly Lady more and more to a likeness of her God in order to make Her worthy of being his mother. “ “In this vision, showing Himself to her with ineffable signs of affection, the Most High spoke to the heavenly Queen and manifested to Her additional secrets, saying:
The Most High ”My spouse and my Dove, in the secret of my bosom you have perceived the immense bounty, to which my love for the human race inclines Me, and the treasures which are secretly prepared for their happiness: so powerful is this love in Me, that I wish to give them my Onlybegotten for their instruction and salvation. You have seen something of the small returns, of their most listless gratitude and contempt, in which men hold my clemency and love. Yet, although I have shown You a part of their malice, I wish, my friend, that you shouldst once more know in Me, how small is the number of those who are to know and love me as my chosen ones; and how great and extended is the number of the ungrateful and the reprobate. The innumerable sins and abominations of these impure men and defiled men, whom I have foreseen in my infinite knowledge, retard my bounteous mercy and have locked up the treasure house of my Divinity, making the world entirely unworthy of receiving my gifts.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (Optional Narration) ”The Princess Mary, through these new words of the Most High, was instructed in the great mysteries regarding the number of the predestined and reprobate; and also regarding the hindrances and impediments by which sinful men delayed the coming of the eternal Word as man into the world. Having present before Herself the vision both of the infinite bounty and equity of the Creator and the measureless iniquity and malice of men, the most prudent Mistress, inflamed by the fire of divine love, spoke to his Majesty and said.” THE HOLY PRINCESS MARY (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “My Lord and infinite God of wisdom and incomprehensible sanctity, what mystery is this, which You have manifested to me? Without measure are the misdeeds of men, so that only your wisdom can comprehend them. But can all these and many more, perhaps, extinguish your bounty and love, or vie with them? No my Lord and Master, it must not be so; the malice of men must not detain your mercy. I am the most useless of all the human race; yet on its behalf I remind You of your fidelity. Infallibly true it is, that heaven and earth will come to naught, before your word can fail (Is. 51, 6), and it is also true, that You have many times given your word though the holy Prophets; and You have promised them by word of mouth, a Redeemer and our salvation. How then, my God, can these promises fail of fulfillment without conflicting with your infinite wisdom; or how can man be deceived without conflicting with your goodness? In order to induce You to fulfill your promise and to secure them eternal felicity through your incarnate Word, I have nothing to offer on the part of mortals nor can any creature oblige You; and if this blessing could be merited, then your infinite and bounteous clemency would not thereby be glorified. Only though your own Self can this obligation be imposed upon You; for only in God can a sufficient reason be found for his becoming man: in You alone was the reason and the motive for our creation, and therefore in You alone also the reason for our reparation after the fall. Do not seek, my God and most High King for merits, nor for greater motive, than your own mercy and the exaltation of your holy name”.
THE MOST HIGH GOD “It is true my Spouse, that on account of my goodness I bound Myself to the promise of vesting Myself in human nature and of dwelling among them, and that no one could merit in my sight such a promise; but the ungrateful behavior of men, so abominable in my sight and in my justice, does not merit the execution of this promise. For though I seek only their eternal happiness in return for my love, I perceive and find only obduracy, by which they are certain to waste and despise the treasures of my grace and my blessing. They will yield thorns instead of fruit, great insults for benefits, and base ingratitude for my unbounded and generous mercy; and the end of all these evils will be for them the privation of my vision in eternal torments. Take notice of these truths recorded in the secrets of my wisdom, my Friend, and weigh these great sacraments; for to You my heart is laid open, so that you can see the justice of my proceeding.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (Optional Narration) “It is impossible to describe the hidden secrets, which the most holy Mary then saw in the Lord; for She had perceived in him all the creatures of the past, present and the future, and the position of each one in creation, the good and the bad actions and the final ending of each one. If she had not been strengthened, She could not have preserved Her life under the effects and feelings caused by the knowledge and insight into these hidden sacraments and mysteries. But as his Majesty, in these new miracles and blessings had such high ends in view, He was not sparing but most liberal with the beloved One, whom He had chosen as his Mother. And as our Queen derived this science from the bosom of God itself, She participated also in the fire of his eternal Charity, which inflamed Her with the love of God and the neighbor, Therefore She continued her intercession.”
MOST HOLY MARY “Lord and eternal God, invisible and immortal, I confess your justice, I magnify your works, I adore your infinite Essence and I hold in reverence your judgments. My heart melts within me with tenderest affection, when I perceive your unlimited bounty toward men and their dark ingratitude and grossness toward You. For all of them, O my God, You seek eternal life; but there are few who are thankful for this inestimable benefit and many who will perish by their malice. If on this account, O my eternal Good, You relinquish your undertaking, we mortals are lost; but while You, in your divine fore-knowledge, perceive the sins and the malice of men who offend You so much, You also foresee your Onlybegotten made man and his works of infinite price and value in your sight; and these will counterbalance and exceed the malice of sin beyond all comparison. Through this Godman let your equity be conquered and on his account give us Him now! And in order to urge my petitions upon You once more in the name of the human race, I unite myself with the spirit of this Word already made man in your mind, and pray for his coming in fact and for the eternal life of men through his hands.” (Some guidance from Mary of Jesus is omitted her for the sake of brevity)
THE MOST HIGH GOD “My sweetest Spouse and chosen Dove, great is that which you ask of Me and little is that which obliges Me on the part of men; how then shall such a singular blessing be conferred on those unworthy ones? Leave Me, my friend to treat them according to their evil deserts.” MOST HOLY MARY “No, my Master, I will not desist from my importunity; If much I ask, I ask it of You, who are rich in mercies, powerful in action, and true in your words. My father David said of You and of the eternal Word: “The Lord hath sworn and He will not repent: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech” (Ps. 109, 4). Let then that priest come, who is at the same time to be the sacrifice for our rescue; Let Him come, since you can not repent of your promise; for You do not promise in ignorance. Let me be clothed, O my sweet love, with the strength of this Man God, which will not allow me to put a stop to my importunity, until You give me your blessing as to my father Jacob” (Gen. 32, 26). MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “In this contest (just as it once happened to Jacob) our Lady and Queen was asked, what was her name; and She said: MOST HOLY MARY “I am a daughter of Adam, formed by your hands from the insignificant dust.” THE MOST HIGH GOD “Henceforth You shall be called: Chosen for the Mother of the Onlybegotten.” SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) ”But the latter part of this name was heard only by the courtiers of heaven, while to Her it was hidden until the proper time. She therefore heard disposition of his divine wisdom and as far as served to inflame the heart of this elected One, the whole blessed Trinity gave to Mary, our most pure Queen, the explicit promise, that they would now send into the world the eternal Word made man. Filled with incomparable joy and exultation by this fiat, She asked and received the benediction of the Most High. Thus this strong Woman issued forth from the contest with God more victorious than Jacob; for She came out rich, strong, laden with spoils, and the one that was wounded and weakened (to speak in our way) was God himself; for he was drawn by the love if this Lady to clothe Himself in that sacred bridal chamber of her womb with the weakness of our passible nature. He was disguised and enveloped the strength of His divinity, so as to conquer in allowing himself to be conquered, and in order to give us life by his death. Let the mortals see and acknowledge, how most holy Mary, next to her most blessed Son, is the cause of their salvation.” “During this vision were also revealed to this great Queen the works of the fifth day of the creation in the manner in which they happened; She saw how, by the force of divine command, were engendered and produced in the waters beneath the firmament, the imperfect reptiles, which creep upon the earth, the winged animals that course through the air, and finny tribes that glide through the watery regions. Of all these creatures she knew the beginnings, the substance, the form and figure according to their kinds; She knew all the species of the animals that inhabit the fields and woods, their conditions, peculiarities, their uses and connections; She knew the birds of the heaven (for we so call the atmosphere), with the varied forms of each kind, their ornaments, feathers, their lightness; the innumerable fishes of the seas and rivers, the differences between the whales, their forms, composition and qualities, their caverns and the foods furnished them by the sea, the ends which they serve, the use to which they can be put in the world. And his Majesty especially commanded all these hosts of creatures to recognize and obey most holy Mary, giving Her the power to command all of them, as it happened on many occasions. Therewith She issued forth from the trance of this day and She occupied Herself during the rest of it in the exercises and petitions, which the Most High had pointed out to Her.”
SCENE 38. INT. MIDNIGHT. MARY’S HOUSE IN NAZARETH – THE MOST HIGH MANIFESTS TO MARY, OUR MISTRESS, ADDITIONAL MYSTERIES AND SHOWS HER THE WORKS OF THE SIXTH DAY OF CREATION
MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “While the Most High continued the proximate preparation of our heavenly Princess for the reception of the eternal Word in her virginal womb, She on her part, preserved without intermission in her fervent sighs and prayers to hasten his coming into the world. When the night of the sixth of these days, which I have begun to describe had arrived, when she had previously been elevated by still more profound illuminations, She was again called and invited in spirit to the abstractive vision of the Divinity. Although this happened in the same manner as at the other times, yet it was accompanied by more heavenly effects and by a profound insight into the attributes of the Most High. She remained nine hours in this trance and issued from it at the third hour. Yet, although the high vision of the essence of God ceased at that hour, the most holy Mary continued to enjoy another kind of vision and prayer. This was indeed inferior to the first, but in itself was most exalted and more excellent than that experienced by any of the Saints or the just. The gifts and favors so far described partook more and more of the divine during the last days preceding the Incarnation, without at the same time being a hindrance to the active occupations of her married state, for here Martha had no right to complain that Mary forsook her ministrations (Luc. 10, 40). “Having seen God in this vision She was immediately shown the works of the sixth day of creation of the world. She witnessed, as if She Herself had been present, how at the command of the Lord earth brought forth the living beings according to their kinds, as Moses says (Gen 1, 24). Holy scripture here refers to the terrestrial animals, which being more prefect than the fishes or the birds in life and activity, are called by a name signifying the more important part of their nature. She saw and understood the kinds and species of animals, which were created on the sixth day, and by what name they were called: some, beasts of burden, because they serve and assist man, others, wild beasts, as being more fierce and untamed; others, reptiles, because they do raise themselves or very little from the earth. She knew and comprehended the qualities of all of them: their fury, their strength the useful purposes which they serve, and all their distinctions and singularities. Over all of these She was invested with dominion and they were commanded to obey Her. She could without opposition on their part have trodden upon asps and basilisks, for all would have meekly borne her heel. Many times did some of these animals show their subjection to her commands, as when, at the birth of her most Holy Son, the ox and the ass prostrated themselves and by their breaths warmed the infant God at the command of his blessed Mother.” “In this plenitude of knowledge and science our heavenly Queen understood perfectly the secret ways of God in making all creation serve for the benefit of man, and how much man owes to his creator on this account. And it was most proper that She should possess this knowledge and understanding, so that with it She might be able to give fitting thanks for these blessings. Neither men nor angels have done so, failing to correspond and falling short of their duty in this regard. All these voids were filled by the Queen of all, and She satisfied for the debt of gratitude, which we could or would not pay. Through Her, divine equity was duly satisfied, considering Her as a medium between itself and the creatures. By Her innocence and gratitude She became more pleasing to his Majesty than all the rest of the creatures. The mysterious advent of God into the world was thus being prepared: for the last hindrance by the sanctification of Her who as to be his Mother. After seeing the creation of all the irrational creatures, She became aware, how the most blessed Trinity, if order to complete and perfect the world, said: “Let us make man to our image and likeness” (Gen. 1, 26), and how by virtue of this divine decree the first man was formed of the earth as the first parents of all the rest. She has a profound insight into the harmonious composition of the human body and soul and of their faculties, of the creation and infusion of the soul into the body and the intimate union of the soul with the body (some of the original text is omitted here for the sake of brevity). “The Lord manifested to Her also the happy state of original justice, in which He placed the first parents Adam and Eve; She understood their condition, beauty and perfection of innocence and grace, and for how short a time they preserved in it. She perceived how they were tempted and overcome by the astuteness of the serpent (Gen, 2, 51), and what were the consequences of their sin; and how great were the fury and the hate of demon against the human race. At the vision of all these things our Queen made great and heroic acts of virtue, highly pleasing to God. She understood she was a daughter of these first parents and that she descended from a nature so thankless to its Creator. In the remembrance of this She humiliated herself in the divine presence, thereby wounding the heart of God and obliging him to raise Her above all that is created. She took it upon herself to weep for the first sin, and for all the rest that followed from it, as if She herself had been guilty of them all. Hence, even at that time, that the first sin might be called a fortunate fault, which caused tears so precious in the eyes of the Lord, and which earned us such sureties and pledges of our Redemption.”
Note from screen play adapter: Additional text is omitted here, it seems likely that the best presentation of the novena before the conception will be to have narration by Mary of Jesus while showing all the days of the novena as a series if scenes moving quickly from one to another.
SCENE 40. INT. MIDNIGHT. MARY”S HOUSE IN NAZARETH – OUR GREAT QUEEN, IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, PLEADS FOR THE HASTENING OF THE INCARNATION AND THE REDEMPTION OF MAN, AND HIS MAJESTY YIELDS TO HER PRAYER,
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The heavenly Princess, most Holy Mary, had attained so much fullness of grace and beauty and the heart of God was so wounded by her tender affections and desires (Cant. 4, 9), that He was so to say irresistibly drawn to begin his flight from the bosom of the eternal Father to the bridal-chamber of her virginal womb and end the long delay of more than five thousand years. Nevertheless, since this new wonder was to be executed in the plenitude of wisdom and equity, the Lord arranged this event in such a way, that the Princess of the heavens Herself, being the worthy Mother of the incarnate Word, should at the same time be also the most powerful Mediatrix of his coming and the Redeemer of his people much more than Ester was for Israel (Ester ch. 7 and 8). In the heart of most holy Mary burned the flame, which God himself had enkindled, and without remission She prayed for the salvation of the human race. However, as yet the most humble Lady restrained Herself in modesty, knowing that on account of the sin of Adam, the sentence of death and of eternal privation from the vision of God had been promulgated (Gen 3, 19). “A heavenly strife thus arose in the most pure heart of Mary between her love and her humility, and lost in these sentiments, She repeated many times:
HOLY MARY “O who shall be able to secure the salvation of my brethren! Oh who shall be able to draw from the bosom of the eternal Father his Onlybegotten and make Him a partaker of our mortality! Oh who shall oblige Him to give our human nature the kiss of His mouth, for which the bride asks Him! (Cant 1, 1). But how can we, the descendents of the malefactor, who committed the crime, ask this favor? How can we draw Him toward us, whom our fathers repelled? Oh my Love, if I could but see You at the breasts of your Mother, the human nature! (Cant 8, 1). Oh Light of lights, God of the True God, would that You descend, bending down your heavens (Ps. 143, 5) and shedding your light upon those sitting in darkness! (Is. 9, 2). Would that You pacify your father, and, by your right hand that is his Onlybegotten, hurl the proud Aman, your enemy, the devil, from his height! Who shall be the mediatrix, who shall draw from the celestial altar, as with the tongs of gold (Is. 6. 6), that ember of the Divinity, for the purification of the world, as once did the seraphim, according to the word of the prophet Isaias!”
HIS MAJESTY “My Spouse and my Dove, come, my Chosen one, for the common law does not apply to You (Ester 15, 13). You are exempt from sin and you are free from its effects since the moment of your Conception. When I gave being to You, I turned away from You the scepter of my justice and laid upon your neck that of my great clemency, in order that the general edit of sin not touch You. Come to Me, and do not be dismayed in the conciousness of your human nature: I am He that raises the humble, and fills with riches those that are poor. You have Me for your Friend, and my mercies shall be at your disposal.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “These words our Queen heard intellectually and, as in the proceeding night, She presently felt Herself raised by the holy angels bodily to heaven, while in her stead remained her guard. Again She ascended to the presence of the Most High, so enriched by the treasures of his graces and gifts, so fortunate and beautiful, that She singularly excited and wonder of the supernal spirits. They broke out in praise of the Almighty, saying:”
THE HOLY ANGELS “Who is this that ascends from the desert overflowing with delights? (Cant. 8, 5). Who is She, that so attracts and compels her Beloved as to bear Him with Her to earthly habitation? Who is She, that rises as the dawn, more beautiful than the moon, chosen as the sun? (Cant. 6, 9). How refulgent doth She rise from the darkness of the earth? How is She so courageous and strong, being clothed in such fragile nature? How does She in her strength overcome the Almighty? And how comes it that the heavens, which are closed against the children of Adam, are thus thrown open to this singular Woman, sprung from the same race?”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS “The Most High received his holy and chosen Bride, most holy Mary into his presence. Although this happened not in intuitive, but in an abstractive vision of the Divinity, it was accompanied by incomparable of light and purification proceeding from the Lord himself, such as were especially reserved for this day. For they were so divine, that, in our way of speaking, God himself who wrought them, was astonished and was charmed with the word of his hand. As if entranced with love, He spoke to her and said:
THE MOST HIGH GOD “Revertere, Revertere, Salumitis, ut intreanur te” (Return, return, O Salumitis, that We may behold You). “My Spouse, my most perfect and beloved Dove, pleasing in my sight, turn and advance toward Us, that we may behold You and be charmed by your beauty. I do not regret to have created man and I delight in His formation, since you have been born of him. Let my celestial spirits see how justly I have desired and do desire to choose You as my Spouse and the Queen of all creatures. Let them see what good reason I have to rejoice in this my bridal chamber, from whence my Onlybegotten, next to that of my own bosom, shall derive the greatest glory. Let all understand, that if I justly repudiated Eve, the first queen of the earth, on account of her disobedience, I now place You and establish You in the highest dignity, showing my magnificence and power in dealing with your purest humility and self abasement”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS “This day was for the angels a day of jubilation and rejoicing greater than any since their creation. And when the most blessed Trinity thus chose and appointed his Spouse and Mother of the Word for the queen of the creatures, the holy angels, all the celestial court of spirits acknowledged and received Her as their Mistress and their Superior, and they sung sweet hymns of glory in her honor and in praise of her Author. During these hidden and admirable mysteries the heavenly Queen Mary was absorbed in the abyss of the Divinity and in light of His infinite perfections: and thereby the Lord prevented Her from attending to all that happened. Thus the sacrament of her Mothership of the Onlybegotten still remained hidden to Her until the proper time. Never did the Lord deal in such a manner with any nation (Ps. 147, 20), nor did He ever show Himself so great and powerful in any creature, as on this day in most Holy Mary. “ The Most High added yet other favors, saying to Her with extreme condescension:”
THE MOST HIGH GOD “My chosen Spouse, since You have found grace in my eyes, ask of Me without restraint, what you desirest, and I assure You, as the most faithful God and powerful King, that I shall not reject your petitions nor deny what you askest.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS “Our great Princess humiliated Herself profoundly and relying on the promise and royal of the Lord, and inspired by the highest confidence, She answered saying:”
THE MOST HOLY PRINCESS MARY “My Lord and my highest God, if I have found grace in your eyes (Gen. 18, 3, 27), although I am dust and ashes, I will speak in your divine presence and pour out to You my heart” (Ps. 61, 9). I do not ask, O Lord, for a part in your kingdom on my own behalf, but I ask You for the whole of it for all the race of men, who are my brothers. I beseech You, highest and powerful King, that according to your immense kindness You send us your Onlybegotten our Redeemer, in order that He may satisfy for the sins of all the world, that your people may gain the freedom so much desired, and that, through the satisfaction thus rendered to your justice, peace may be declared upon (Ezech. 34, 35) earth, and that the portals of heaven, closed by sin, may be thrown open for its inhabitants. Let all flesh see your salvation (Is. 52, 10); let peace and justice give each other that close embrace and the kiss which David asked for (Ps. 84, 11); let us mortals possess a Teacher, a Guide and a Savior (Is. 30, 20), a Chief, who shall live and dwell with us (Baruch. 3, 38). Let the day of your promises dawn upon us, O my God, let your words be fulfilled, and let the Messiah, expected for so many ages arrive. These are my most anxious desires, and for this I do breath forth my sighs, since You show me the condescension of your infinite clemency”. SISTER MARY OF JESUS “The highest Lord, who wished to bind Himself by her prayer, disposed and incited the petitions of his beloved Spouse; benignly He inclined toward Her and answered her with singular clemency.”
THE MOST HIGH LORD “Pleasing to my Will are your requests, and acceptable are your petitions; it shall be done as you ask. I desire my Daughter and Spouse what you seek; and as a pledge of this, I give You my word and promise You, that very shortly my Onlybegotten shall descend to the earth and shall vest Himself and unite Himself with the human nature. Thus your acceptable wishes shall be executed and fulfilled.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “With this assurance and divine promise our great Queen felt new enlightenment and security in her spirit, convincing Her, that the end of that long protracted and prolix night of sin and of the ancient Law was approaching and that the brightness of human Redemption was about to dawn. And because the rays of the Sun of Justice, whose dawn the was soon to arise from Her, so closely and intensely enveloped Her about, She became herself the most beautiful aurora, inflamed and refulgent as it were with fiery clouds of the Divinity, which transformed all things within Her. All afire with love and gratitude for the approaching Redemption, She gave unceasing praise to the Lord both in her own name and that of all mortals. In this occupation She passed the rest of that day, after the angels had again returned Her to the earth.”
SCENE 43. INT. DUSK. 9 MONTHS BC AT 6:00 PM. MARY’S HOUSE IN NAZARETH – MARY LISTENS TO THE MESSAGE OF THE HOLY ANGEL; THE MYSTERY OF THE INCARNATION IS ENACTED BY THE CONCEPTION OF THE ETERNAL WORD IN HER WOMB SISTER MARY OF JESUS “In order that the mystery of the Most High might be fulfilled, the holy archangel Gabriel, in the shape described in the preceding chapter and accompanied by innumerable angels in visible human forms and resplendent with incomparable beauty, entered into the chamber, where most holy Mary was praying. It was on a Thursday night at six o’clock in the evening and at the approach of night. The great modesty and restraint of the princess of heaven did not permit Her to look at him more than was necessary to recognize him as an angel of the Lord. Recognizing him as such, She, in her usual humility, wished to do him reverence; the holy prince would not allow it; on the contrary he himself bowed profoundly as before his Queen and Mistress, in whom he saw the heavenly mysteries of his Creator. At the same time he understood that from that day on the ancient times and custom of old whereby men should worship the angels, as Abraham had done (Gen, 28, 2), were changed. For as human nature was raised to the dignity of God himself in the person of the Word, men now held the position of adopted children, of companions and brethren of the angels, as the Evangelist Saint John, when he refused to be worshipped (Apoc. 19, 10). The holy archangel spoke to our and his Queen and said:
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL “Ave gratia plena, Dominus tecam, benedicta tu in mulieribus” (Luke 1, 28).”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Hearing this new salutation of the angel, this most humble of all creatures was disturbed, but not confused in mind (Luke 1, 29). This disturbance arose from two causes; first from her humility, was taken unawares at hearing Herself saluted and called the “Blessed among women;” secondly, when She heard this salute and began to consider within Herself how She should receive it, She was interiorly made to understand by the Lord, that He chose Her for his Mother, and this caused and even greater perturbance, having such a humble opinion of Herself. On account of this perturbance the angel proceeded to explain to Her the decree of the Lord, saying:
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL “Do not fear, Mary for you have found grace before the Lord (Luke 1, 30); behold you shall conceive a Son in your womb, and you shall give birth to Him, and you shall name him Jesus; He shall be great and He shall be called the Son of the Most High”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Our most prudent and humble queen alone, among all the creatures, was sufficiently intelligent and magnanimous to estimate at its true value such a new and unheard of sacrament; and in proportion she realized it’s greatness, so She was also moved with admiration. But She raised her humble heart to the Lord, who could not refuse Her any petition, an in the secret of her spirit She asked new light and assistance by which to govern Herself in such an arduous transaction; for, as we have said in the preceding chapter, the Most High in order to permit Her to act in this mystery solely in faith, hope and charity, left Her in the common state and suspended all other kinds of favors and interior elevations, which She so frequently or continually enjoyed. In this disposition She replied and said to the holy Gabriel what is later written in Luke:”
HOLY PRINCESS MARY “How shall this happen, that I conceive and bear; since I know not, nor can know, man?”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At the same time She interiorly represented the vow of chastity, which she had made and the espousal, which his Majesty had celebrated with Her.” “The holy prince Gabriel replied (Luke 1, 24):
HOLY PRINCE GABRIEL “Lady, it is easy for the divine power to make You a Mother without the cooperation of man; the Holy Spirit shall remain with You by a new presence and virtue of the Most High shall overshadow You, so that the Holy of holies can be born of You, who shall himself be called the Son of God. And behold your cousin Elizabeth has likewise conceived a son in her sterile years and this is the sixth month of her conception; for nothing is impossible with God. He that can make her conceive, who was sterile, can bring it about, that You, Lady, be his Mother, still preserving your virginity and enhancing Your purity. To the Son whom you shall bear, God will give the throne of his father David and his reign shall be everlasting in the house of Jacob. You are not ignorant, O Lady, of the prophecy of Isaias (Is. 7, 14), that a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, whose name shall be Emmanuel, God with us. This prophecy is infallible and it shall be fulfilled in your person. You know of the great mystery of the bush, which Moses saw burning without its being consumed by the fire (Exod. 3, 2). This signified that the two natures, divine and human, are to be united in such a manner, that the latter is not consumed by the divine, and that the Mother of the Messiah shall conceive and give birth without violation of her virginal purity. Remember also, Lady, the promise of the eternal God to the Patriarch Abraham, that, after the captivity of his posterity for four generations, they should return to this land; the mysterious signification of which was, that in this, the fourth generation, the incarnate God is to rescue the whole race of Adam through your co-operation from the oppression of the devil (Gen. 15, 16). And the ladder, which Jacob saw in his sleep (Gen. 28, 12), was an express figure of the royal way, which the eternal Word was to open up and by which mortals are to ascend to heaven and the angels to descend to earth. To this earth the Onlybegotten of the Father shall lower Himself in order to converse with men and communicate to them the treasures of the Divinity, imparting to them his virtues and his immutable and eternal perfections.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “With these and many other words the ambassador of heaven instructed the most holy Mary, in order that, by the remembrance of the ancient promises and prophecies of holy Writ, by the reliance and trust in them and in the infinite power of the Most High, She might overcome her hesitancy at the heavenly message. But as the Lady herself exceeded the angels in wisdom, prudence and in all sanctity, She withheld her answer, in order to be able to give it in accordance with the divine will and that it might be worthy of the greatest of all the mysteries and sacraments of the divine power. She reflected that upon her answer depended the pledge of the most blessed Trinity, the fulfillment of his promises and prophecies, the most pleasing and acceptable of all sacrifices, the opening of the gates of paradise, the victory and triumph over hell, the Redemption of all the human race, the satisfaction of the divine justice, the foundation of the new law of grace, the glorification of men, the rejoicing of the angels, and whatever was connected with the Incarnation of the Onlybegotten of the Father and his assuming the form of servant in her virginal womb (Philip 2, 7). *** Some text is omitted here for the sake of brevity *** “Therefore this great Lady considered and inspected profoundly this spacious field of the dignity of the Mother of God (Prov. 21, 11) in order to purchase it by her fiat; She clothed Herself in fortitude more than human, and She tasted and saw how profitable was this enterprise and commerce of the Divinity. She comprehended the ways of his hidden benevolence and adorned Herself with fortitude and beauty. And having conferred with Herself and with the heavenly messenger Gabriel about the grandeur of these high and divine sacraments, and finding Herself in excellent condition to receive the message sent to Her, her purest soul was absorbed and elevated in admiration, reverence and highest intensity of divine love. By the intensity if these movements and supernatural affections, her most pure heart, as it were by natural consequences, was contracted and compressed with such force, that it distilled three drops of her most blood, and these finding their way to the natural place for the act of conception, were formed by the divine and holy Spirit, into the body of Christ our Lord. Thus the matter, from which the most holy humanity of the Word for our redemption is composed, was furnished and administered by the most pure heart of Mary and the sheer force of her true love. At the same moment, with a humility never sufficiently extolled, inclining slightly her head and joining her hands, She pronounced these words, which were the beginning of our salvation:
HOLY PRINCESS MARY “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum” (Luke 1,31).
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) At the pronouncing if this “fiat,” so sweet to the hearing of God and so fortunate for us, in one instant, four things happen. First, the most holy body of Christ our Lord was formed from the three drops of blood furnished by the heart of most Holy Mary. Secondly, the most holy soul of the same Lord was created, just as other souls. Thirdly, the soul and the body united in order to compose his perfect humanity. Fourthly, the Divinity united Itself in the person of the Word with the humanity, which together became one composite being in hypostatic union; and thus was formed Christ true God and Man. Our Lord and Redeemer. This happened in the springtime on the twenty-fifth of March, at the break or dawning of the day, in the same hour, in which our first father Adam and in the year of the creation of the world 5199, which agrees also with the count of the Roman Church in her Maryrology under the guidance of the Holy Ghost. This reckoning is the true and certain one, as was told me, when I inquired at the command of my superiors. Conformable to this the world was created in the month of March, which corresponds to the beginning of creation. (some narration is omitted here). “In the same instant, in which the Almighty celebrated the nuptials of the hypostatic union in the womb of the most holy Mary, the heavenly Lady was elevated to the beatific vision and the Divinity manifested Itself to Her clearly and intuitively. ** Several chapters are omitted here which pertain the actioins of our Lord and Lady immediately after the incarnation since these do not contain dialog**
SCENE 44. INT.– OF THE ATTENTION AND CARE, WHICH THE MOST HOLY MARY BESTOWED UPON THE FRUIT OF HER WOMB AND SOME HAPPENINGS IN REGARD TO IT
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “As soon as our Lady and Queen issued from the trance, in which She had conceived the eternal Word, She prostrated Herself upon the earth and adored Him in her womb. This adoration She continued all her life, commencing it at midnight every day and repeating these genuflexions three hundred times, until the same hour the following night, and oftener, whenever She had the opportunity; in this She was even more diligent during the nine months of Her divine pregnancy. In order to comply entirely with the new duties consequent upon guarding this Treasure of the eternal Father in the virginal bridal chamber, She directed all her attention toward frequent and fervent prayer. She was solicitous in sending up many and reiterated petitions to be able to worthily preserve the heavenly Treasure confided to Her. Accordingly She dedicated anew to the Lord her soul and all her faculties, practicing all virtues in a heroic and supreme degree, so that She caused new astonishment in the angels. She also consecrated and offered up all the motions of her body to worship and service of the infant Godman within Her. Whether She ate, slept, labored or rested, She did it all for the nourishment and conservation of her sweetest Son, and in all these actions She was inflamed more and more within the divine love. “On the day following the Incarnation, the thousand guardian angels which attended upon the most holy Mary, appeared in their corporeal form and with profound humility adored their incarnate King in the womb of the Mother. Her they also acknowledged anew as their Queen and Mistress and rendered Her due homage and reverence saying: MARY’S HOLY ANGELS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Now, O Lady, You are the true Ark of the testament (Deut 10, 5), since You contain the Lawgiver himself and preserve the Manna of heaven (Heg. 9, 4), which is our true bread. Receive, O Queen, our congratulations on account of your dignity and happiness, for which we also thank the Most High; since He has befittingly chosen You for his Mother and his tabernacle. We offer anew to You our homage and service, and wish to obey You as vassals and servants of the supreme and omnipotent King, whose Mother You are.”
SCENE 45. INT. DAY MARY”S HOUSE IN NAZARETH – MOST HOLY MARY IS INFORMED OF THE WILL OF THE LORD, THAT SHE VISIT HOLY ELISABETH: SHE ASKS SAINT JOSEPH FOR PERMISSION TO GO. REMAINING SILENT ABOUT ALL THAT HAPPPENED TO HER
Sister Mary of Jesus (Narration) “By the words of the heavenly messenger, the archangel Gabriel, most holy Mary had been informed that her cousin Elisabeth (who was held to be sterile) had conceived a son and that She was already in the sixth month of her pregnancy. Afterwards, in one of the intellectual visions, the Most High revealed to Her, that in a miraculous birth, Elisabeth would bring forth a Son who would be great before the Lord (Luke 1, 15); a Prophet and the Forerunner of the incarnate Word; also other great mysteries of the holiness and of the personality of Saint John were revealed to Her. On this same occasion and on others the heavenly Queen was informed, that it would be agreeable and pleasing to the Lord, if She would visit her cousin, in order that as well as Elisabeth the child in her womb might be sanctified by the presence of their Redeemer; for his Majesty was anxious to communicate the benefits of his coming into the world and his merits to his Precursor, in order to make of him as it were the well seasoned first fruit of his redemption.” “At the news of this sacramental mystery the most prudent Virgin, with admirable jubilee of spirit, rendered thanks to the Lord for such great condescension and favor vouchsafed to the soul of the Precursor and Prophet and to his mother Elisabeth. Signifying her readiness to fulfill the divine pleasure, She spoke to his Majesty and said:”
HOLY MARY “Most High Lord, beginning and cause of all good, let your name be eternally glorified, acknowledged and praised by all the nations. I, the least of your creatures give You humble thanks for the liberal kindness, which you wish to show to your servant Elisabeth and to the son of your womb. If it is according to the promptings of your condescension, that I serve You in this work, I stand prepared, my Lord to obey eagerly your divine mandates.”
THE MOST HIGH GOD “My dove and My beloved, elect among creatures, truly I say to You, that on account of your intercession and your love, I will, as a father and most liberal God, take care of your cousin and of the son, who is to born of her: I will choose him as my prophet and as the Precursor of the Word, which is to be made man in You; I will look upon them as belonging to You and intimately connected with yourself. Therefore I wish, that my and your Onlybegotten go to see the mother, in order to free the son from the chains of the first sin and in order that, before the common and ordinary time decreed for other men, his voice and praise may sound up to my ears (Cant, 2, 14), and that the mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption may be revealed to his sanctified soul. Therefore I wish You to visit Elisabeth; for We three Persons of the blessed Trinity have chosen her son for great deeds conformable to our pleasure”.
HOLY MARY “You know, my Lord and my God, that all the desires of my heart seek but your divine pleasure and that I wish to fulfill diligently whatever You command to your humble servant. Allow me, my God, to ask this permission from my husband Joseph and that I make this journey according to his will and direction. And in order that I may not diverge from what is your pleasure, do You govern me during that Journey in all my actions, direct my footsteps to the greater glory of your name (Ps. 118, 113). Accept therefore the sacrifice, which I bring in going out into public and in leaving my cherished retirement. I wish to offer more than my desires, God and King of my soul, I hope to made able to suffer all that will conduce to your greater service and pleasure purely for your love, so that the longings of my soul may not remain entirely unfulfilled.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) When our great Queen came out of this vision, She called upon the thousand angels of her guard, who appeared to Her in bodily forms, and told them of the command of the Most High. She asked them to assist Her with careful solicitude in this journey, to teach Her how to fulfill all the commands according to the greater pleasure of the Lord, to defend Her and to guard Her from dangers so that She might conduct Herself in all things during that journey in the most perfect manner. The holy princes, with wonderful devotion, offered to obey and serve Her. In the same manner the Mistress of all prudence and humility was want to act also on other occasions. For though She was Herself more wise and more prefect in her deeds than the angels, She was always solicitous to attain the plenitude of perfection by consulting and asking for the aid of her guardian angels, though they were her inferiors in sanctity.” (some text is omitted here for the sake of brevity). “The humble Spouse proceeded immediately to ask the consent of Saint Joseph for executing the mandate of the Most High, and in her consummate prudence, She said nothing of these happenings, but simply spoke to him these words: HOLY MARY “My lord and spouse, by the divine light it was made known to me, that through condescension of the Most High the prayer of my cousin Elisabeth, the wife of Zacharias, has been heard; she has conceived a son, though she was sterile. Since she has obtained this singular blessing, I hope that through God’s infinite bounty, her son will greatly please and glorify the Lord. I think that on this occasion I am under obligation to visit her and converse with her on certain things for consolation and spiritual encouragement. If this is according your liking, my master, I will perform it with your permission, for I am entirely subject to your will and pleasure. Consider then what it best for me and command what I am to do.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “This prudent silence of the most holy Mary, so full of humble subjection, was very agreeable to the Lord; for She showed Herself thereby worthy and capable of receiving the deposit of the great sacraments of the King (Tob. 12, 7). Therefore on account of the confidence in his fidelity with which She proceeded, his Majesty disposed the most pure heart of Saint Joseph, giving him his divine light to act comformably to his will. This is the reward of the humble, who ask for counsel: that they will find it with certainty and security (Eccli. 32, 29). It is also the peculiar prerogative of a holy and discrete zeal to be able to give prudent advice to those who ask. Full of this holy counsel Saint Joseph answered our Queen:
SAINT JOSEPH “You know already, my Lady and Spouse, that my utmost desires are to serve You with all diligence and attention; for I am bound to have this confidence in your great virtue, that You will not incline toward anything, which is not according to the greater pleasure and glory of the Most High; and this is my belief in regard to this journey. Lest your making this journey alone without the company of the husband cause surprise I will gladly go with You and attend to your wants along the way. Do You appoint the day on which we shall depart together.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The most holy Mary thanked her prudent spouse Joseph for his loving solicitude and for his attentive cooperation with the will of God in whatever he knew to be for his service and honor. They both concluded to depart immediately on their visit to Elisabeth (Luke 1, 39), and prepared without delay the provisions, which consisted merely in a little fruit, bread and a few fishes, procured by Saint Joseph. In addition to these he borrowed a humble beast of burden, in order to carry their provisions and his Spouse, the Queen of all creation. Forthwith they departed from Nazareth for Judea; the journey itself I will describe in the following chapter. On leaving their poor dwelling the great Mistress of the world knelt at the feet of her spouse Joseph and asked for his blessing in order to begin the journey in the name of the Lord. The Saint was abashed at the rare humility of his Spouse, with which He had already been impressed by experience on so many other occasions. He hesitated giving Her his benediction; but the meek and sweet persistence of the most holy Mary overcame his objections and he blessed Her in the name of the Most High. The heavenly Lady raised her eyes and her heart to God, in order to direct her first steps toward the fulfillment of the divine pleasure and willingly bearing along in her womb the Onlybegotten of the Father and her own, for the sanctification of John and of his mother Elisabeth.
SCENE 46. EXT. DAY. THE JOURNEY OF THE MOST HOLY MARY ON HER VISIT TO SAINT ELISABETH AND HER ENTRANCE INTO THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS. THE HIGHWAY BETWEEN NAZARETH AND THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDEA AS WELL AS THE EXTERIOR AREA AROUND THE HOUSE OF ELISABETH AND ZACHARIAS IN THE TOWN OF JUDA.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Leaving behind then the house of her father and forgetting her people (Ps. 44, 11), the most chaste spouses, Mary and Joseph, pursued their way to the house of Zacharias in mountainous Judea. It was twenty-six leagues distant from Nazareth, and the greater part of the way was very rough and broken, unfit for a delicate and tender Maiden. All the convenience at their disposal for the arduous undertaking was a humble beast, on which She began and pursued her journey. (Some narration here is omitted for the sake of brevity). In the course of their journey, which lasted four days, the two holy pilgrims, Mary and Joseph, exercised not only the emotions which were interior and had God for their immediate object, but also many other outward acts of charity towards their neighbors; for Mary could not remain idle at the sight of want. They did not find the same hospitable treatment at all the inns of the road; for some of the innkeepers, being more rude, treated them with slight consideration in accordance with their natural disposition; others received them with true love inspired by divine grace. But the Mother of Mercy denied to no one such help as She could administer; and therefore, whenever She could decently do so, She hastened to visit and hunt up the poor, infirm and afflicted, helping them and consoling them, and curing their sicknesses. I will not stop to relate all that happened on the way, but will only mention the good fortune of a poor sick girl, whom our great Queen found in passing through a town on the first day of her journey. She was moved to tender compassion at the sight of her grievous illness; and making use of her power as Mistress of the creatures, she commanded the fever to leave the maiden and the humors to recompose and reduce themselves to their natural state and condition. At this command and at the sweet presence of the purest Mother, the sick maiden was suddenly freed and healed from the pains of body and benefited in soul; so that afterwards She lived more and more perfectly and attained the state of sanctity; for the image of the Authoress was stamped within her memory and her heart was enkindled with a great love toward the heavenly Lady, although She never again saw Her, nor was the miracle ever made public.” “Having pursued their journey four days, the most holy Mary and her spouse arrived at the town of Juda, where Zachary and Elisabeth then lived. (This was the special and proper name of the place, where the parents of Saint John lived for a while, and therefore specifies it calling it, by calling it Juda, although the commentators have commonly believed that was not the name of the town in which Elisabeth and Zacharias lived, but simply the name of the province, which was called Juda or Judea; just as for the same reason the mountains south of Jerusalem were called the mountains of Judea. Additional text is omitted here for the sake of brevity.)” “It was at this city of Juda and at the house of Zacharias that the most holy Mary and Joseph arrived. In order to announce their visit, Saint Joseph hastened ahead of Mary and calling out saluted the inmates of the house saying:
SAINT JOSEPH “The Lord be with you and fill your souls with divine grace”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Elisabeth was already forewarned, for the Lord himself had informed her in a vision that Mary of Nazareth had departed to visit her. She had also in this vision been made aware that the heavenly Lady was most pleasing in the eyes of the Most High; while the mystery of her being the Mother of God was not revealed to her until the moment, when they both saluted each other in private. But Saint Elisabeth immediately issued forth with a few of her family, in order to welcome most holy Mary, who, as the more humble and younger in years, hastened to salute her cousin saying:”
HOLY MARY “The Lord be with you, my dearest cousin”
SAINT ELISABETH “The same Lord reward you for having come in order to afford me this pleasure”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “With these words they entered the house of Zacharias”.
SCENE 47. INT DAY. THE HOUSE OF ELISABETH AND ZACHARIAS IN JUDEA. THE SALUTATION GIVEN TO SAINT ELISABETH BY THHE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, AND THE SANCTIFICATION OF JOHN
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “When the most holy Mother Mary arrived at the house of Zacharias, the Precursor of Christ of Christ had completed the six month of his conception in the womb of Saint Elisabeth. The body of the child John had already attained a state of great natural perfection; much greater than that of other children, on account of the miracle of his conception by a sterile mother and on account of the intention of the Most High to make him the depository of greater sanctity than other men (Math 11, 11). Yet at the same time his soul was yet filled with the darkness of sin, which he contracted in the same way as the other children of Adam, the first and common father of the human race; and as, according to the universal and general law, mortals cannot receive the light of grace before they have issued forth to the light of the sun (Rom. 5, 7); so, after the first, the original sin contracted by our nature, the womb of the mother must serve as a dungeon or prison for all of us, who have laden upon ourselves this guilt of our father and head, Adam. Christ our Lord had resolved to anticipate this great blessing in his Prophet and Precursor by conferring the light of his grace and justification upon him six months after his conception by Saint Elisabeth, in order that he might be distinguished as well in holiness, as he was in his office of Precursor and Baptist. After the first salutation of Elisabeth by the most holy Mary, the two great cousins retired and immediately the Mother of grace saluted anew her cousin saying:
HOLY MARY “May God save You, my dearest cousin, and may his divine light communicate to You grace and life” (Luke 1, 40).
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At the sound of most Mary’s voice, Saint Elisabeth was filled by the Holy Ghost and so enlightened interiorly, that in one instant she perceived the most exalted mysteries and sacraments. These emotions, and those that at the same time were felt by child John in the womb of his mother, were caused by the Word made flesh in the bridal chamber of Mary’s womb, for, making use of the voice of Mary as his instrument, He, as Redeemer, began from that place to use the power given to Him by the eternal Father for the salvation and justification of the souls. And since He now operated as man, though as yet of the diminutive size of one conceived eight days before, He assumed, in admirable humility, the form of one praying and beseeching the Father, He asked in earnest prayer for the justification of his future Precursor and obtained it at the hands of the blessed Trinity. (some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity) “Saint Elisabeth was instructed at the same time in the mystery of the Incarnation, the sanctification of her own son and the sacramental purpose of this new wonder. She also became aware of the virginal purity and of the dignity of the most holy Mary. On this occasion, the heavenly Queen, being absorbed in the vision of the Divinity and of the mysteries operated by it through her most holy Son, became entirely godlike, filled with the clear light of the divine gifts in which She participated; and thus filled with majesty Saint Elisabeth saw Her. She saw the Word made man as through a most pure clear glass in the virginal chamber, lying as it were on a couch of burning and enlivened crystal. (some narration text is omitted here for the sake of brevity) “Filled with admiration at what She saw and heard in regard to these divine mysteries, Saint Elisabeth was wrapt in the joy of the Holy Ghost; and, looking upon the Queen of the world and what was contained in Her, she burst forth in a loud voice of praise, pronouncing the words reported to use by Saint Luke:
SAINT ELISABETH “Blessed are You among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And whence is this, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy, and blessed are You, that has believed, because those things shall be accomplished, that were spoken to You by the Lord”.
HOLY MARY “My soul magnifies the Lord; And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. Because He has regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty has done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generation to them that fear Him. He hath shown the might in his arm; He has scattered the proud in their conceit of their heart. He has put down the mighty from their seat and has exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent away empty. He has received Israel, his servant, being mindful of his mercy; As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his chidren forever.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Just as Saint Elisabeth was the first one who heard this sweet canticle from the mouth of most holy Mary, so she was the first one who understood it and, by means of her infused knowledge, commented upon it. She penetrated some of the great mysteries, which its Authoress expressed in so few sentences. The soul of most holy Mary magnified the Lord for the excellence of his infinite Essence, to Him She referred and yielded all glory and praise (I Tim. 1, 17), both for the beginning and accomplishment of all her works. She knew and confessed that in God alone every creature should glory and rejoice, since He alone is their happiness and salvation (II Cor. 10, 17). She confessed also the equity and magnificence of the Most High in attending to the humble and in conferring upon them his abundant spirit of divine love (Ps. 137, 6). She saw how worthy of mortals it is to perceive, understand and ponder the gifts that were conferred on the humility of Her, whom all nations were to call blessed, and how all the humble ones, each once according to his degree, could share the same good fortune. (some narrative text is omitted for the sake of brevity) “When it was time to come forth from their retirement, Saint Elisabeth offered herself and her whole family and all her house for the service of the Queen of heaven. She asked Her to accept, as a quiet retreat, the room which she herself was accustomed to use for her prayers, and which was much retired and accommodated to that purpose. The heavenly Princess accepted the chamber with humble thanks, and made use of it for recollecting Herself and sleeping therein, and no one ever entered it except the two cousins. As for the rest She offered to serve and assist Elisabeth as a handmaid, for She said, that this was the purpose of visiting her and consoling her. O what friendship is so true, so sweet and inseparable, and that which is formed by the great bond of the divine love! How admirable is the Lord in manifesting this great sacrament of the Incarnation to three women before He would make it known to anyone else in the human race! For the first was Saint Anne, as I have said in its place; the second was her Daughter and the Mother of the Word, most holy Mary; the third one was Saint Elisabeth, and conjointly with Her, her son, for he being yet in the womb of his mother, can not be considered as distinct from her. Thus “the foolishness of God is wiser than men,” as Saint Paul says. “The most Holy Mary and Elisabeth came forth from their retirement at nightfall, having passed a long time together; and the Queen saw Zacharias standing before her in muteness, and She asked him for his blessing as from a priest of the Lord, which the Saint also gave Her. Yet, although She tenderly pitied him for his affliction, She did not exert her power to cure him, because She knew the mysterious occasion of his dumbness; yet She offered a prayer for him. Saint Elisabeth who already knew the good fortune of the most chaste Joseph, although he himself as yet was not aware of it, entertained and served him with great esteem. After staying there for three days in the house of Zacharias, however, he asked permission of his heavenly spouse Mary to return to Nazareth and leave Her in the company of Saint Elisabeth in order to assist her in her pregnancy. The holy husband then left them with the understanding that he was to return in order the accompany the Queen home as soon as they should give him notice; Saint Elisabeth offered some presents to take home with him; but he would take only a small part of them, yielding only to their earnest solicitations, for this man of God was not only a lover of poverty, but possessed of a magnanimous and noble heart. Therewith he pursued his way back to Nazareth, taking along with him the little beast of burden, which they had brought with them. At home, in the absence of his Spouse, he was served by a neighboring woman and cousin of his, who, was want to come and go on the necessary errands of the house.
SCENE 48. INT. DAY. MOST HOLY MARY ARRANGES THE ORDER OF HER DAILY EXCERCISES IN THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS; SOME INCIDENTS IN HER INTERCOURSE WITH SAINT ELISABETH SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “When the Precursor John had been sanctified and Saint Elisabeth, his mother, had been endowed with such great gifts and blessings, and when thus the principal object of Mary’s visit was fulfilled, the great Queen proceeded to arrange her daily life in the house of Zacharias; for her occupations could not be uniformly the same as those She was accustomed to in her own house. In order to direct her desire by the guidance of the Holy Ghost She retired and placed Herself in the presence of the Most High, asking Him as usual to guide Her and direct Her in that which she was to do during her stay in the house of His servants Elisabeth and Zacharias; so that she might in all things be pleasing to Him and entirely fulfill his pleasure. The Lord heard Her petition and answered Her saying:
THE MOST HIGH LORD (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “My Spouse and my Dove, I will direct all your actions and I will direct your footsteps in the fulfillment of my service and pleasure, and I will make known to You the day on which I wish You to return to your home. In the meanwhile remain in the house of my servant Elisabeth and converse with her. As for the rest, continue your exercises and prayers, especially for the salvation of men, and pray also, that I withhold my justice in dealing with their incessant offenses against my bounty. Conjointly with your prayers you shall offer to Me the lamb without spot (I Pet. 1,19) which you bear in your womb and which takes away the sins of the world (John 1, 291). Let these now be your occupations.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “In conformity with this instruction and new mandate of the Most High, the Princess of heaven ordered all her occupations in the house of her cousin Elisabeth. She rose up and midnight in accordance with her former custom, spending the hours in continued contemplation of the mysteries and giving to wake and sleep the time, which most perfectly and exactly agreed with the natural state and conditions of her body. In labor and repose She continued to receive new favors, illuminations, exaltation and caresses of the Lord. During these three months She had many visions of the Divinity mostly abstractive in kind. More frequent still were the visions of the most holy humanity of the Word in the hypostatic union; for her virginal womb, in which She bore him, served Her as her continual alter and sanctuary. She beheld the daily growth of that sacred body. By the experience and by the sacraments, which every day were made manifest to Her in the boundless fields of the divine power and essence, the spirit of this exalted Lady expanded to vast proportions. Man times she would have been consumed and died in the violence of Her affections, if She has not been strengthened by the power of the Lord. To these occupations, which were concealed from all, She added those, which the service and consolation of her cousin Elisabeth demanded, although She did not apply one moment more to them than charity required. These fulfilled, She turned immediately to her solitude and recollection, where she could put out more freely her spirit before the Lord. “Not less solicitous was She to occupy Herself interiorly, while she was engaged for many hours in manual occupations. And in all this the Precursor was so fortunate that the great Queen, with her own hands, sewed and prepared the swaddling clothes and coverlets in which he was to be wrapped and reared; for his mother Elisabeth, in her maternal solicitude and attention, had secured for Saint John this good fortune, humbly asking this favor of the heavenly Queen, Mary with incredible love and subjection complied with her request in order to exercise Herself in obedience to her cousin, whom She wished to serve as the lowest handmaid; for in humility and obedience most holy Mary always surpassed all men. Although Saint Elisabeth sought to anticipate Her in much that belonged to her service, yet, in her rare prudence and wisdom, Mary knew how to forestall her cousin, always gaining the triumph of humility.” “In this regard a great and sweat competition arose between the two cousins, which was very pleasing to the Most High and wonderful in the sight of the angels; for Saint Elisabeth was very solicitous and attentive in serving our Lady and Queen, and in commanding also the same service to be rendered to Her by all the inmates of the house. But She, who was the Teacher of all virtues, most holy Mary, being still more attentive and eager to serve, met and diverted the anxiety of her cousin saying:
HOLY MARY “My dear cousin, I find my consolation in being commanded and in obeying all my life; it is not good that your love should deprive me of the comfort I feel therein; since I am the younger one, it is proper that I serve not only You, as my mother, but all in your house; deal with me as with your servant as long as I am in your company”.
SAINT ELISABETH “My beloved Lady, it beseems much more proper that I obey You and that You command and direct me in all things; and this I ask of You with greater justice. For if You, the Mistress, wishest to exercise humility, I on my own part owe worship and reverence to my God and Lord, whom you bear in the virginal womb, and I know that your dignity is worthy of all honor and reverence.”
HOLY MARY “My Son and Lord did not choose me for his Mother, in order that I receive reverence as mistress; for his kingdom is not of this world (John 18, 36), nor did He come into it in order to be served; but to serve (Matth. 20, 28), and to suffer and to teach obedience and humility to mortals (Matth. 11, 29), condemning fastidiousness and pride. Since therefore his Majesty teaches me this and the Highest calls Himself the ignomy of men (Ps. 21, 22), how can I, who am his slave and do not merit the company of creatures, consent that you serve me, who are formed according to his image and likeness?” (Gen. 1, 27).”
SAINT ELISABETH “My Mistress and Protectress, this is true for those who do know the sacrament that is enclosed in You. But I, who have without merit been informed by the Lord, will be very blamable in his eyes, if I do not give Him reverence in You as his Mother; for it just that I serve Both, as a slave serves his masters.”
HOLY MARY “My dear sister, this reverence which you owest and desire to give, is due to the Lord, whom I bear within my womb, for He is the true and highest Good and our Redeemer. But as far as I am concerned, who am I mere creature and among creatures only a poor worm, look upon me as I am in myself, although you should adore the Creator, who chose my poor self as his dwelling, By his divine enlightenment you shall give unto God, what is due to Him, and allow me to perform what pertains to me, namely to serve and be below all. This I ask of You for my consolation and in the name of the Lord whom I bear within me.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “In such blessed and happy contentions most holy Mary and her cousin Elisabeth passed some of their time. But the divine prudence of our Queen caused in Her such an alertness and ingenuity in matters concerning humility and obedience, that She never failed to find means and ways of obeying and of being commanded. However, during all the time in which She stayed with Saint Elisabeth, all this was done in such a way that both according to their condition treated with the highest respect the sacrament of the King which had been entrusted to their knowledge, and which was deposited in most holy Mary. This high respect in Mary was such as befitted the Mother and Mistress of all virtue and grace, and in Elisabeth, such as was worthy of the prudent matron, so highly enlightened by the holy Spirit. By this light she wisely directed her behavior in regard to the Mother of God, yielding to her wishes and obeying Her in whatever she could, and at the same time reverencing her dignity, and in it, Her creator. In her inmost heart she made the intention that if she were obliged to give any command to the Mother of God, she would do it only in order to obey and satisfy her wishes; and whenever she did it, she asked permission and pardon of the Lord, at the same time never ordering anything by direct command, but always by request; and that she would use greater earnestness only in such things as were conducive to Mary’s convenience, as for instance, that She take some sleep and nourishment. She also asked Mary to make a few articles for her with her own hands; Mary complied, but Elisabeth never made use of them, except to preserve them with the greatest veneration. “From the time of her receiving the Lord as her Guest in her house, though yet in the womb of the Virgin Mother, the holy Elisabeth was much favored by God. By the continued conversation and the familiar intercourse with the heavenly Queen in proportion as she grew in the knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of the Incarnation, this great matron advanced in all manner of sanctity, as one who draws it from the very fountain. A few times She merited to see most holy Mary during her prayers, ravished and raised from the ground and altogether filled within divine splendor and beauty, so that she could not have looked upon her face, nor remain alive in her presence, if she had not been strengthened by divine power. On these occasions, and at others whenever she could be witness of them without attracting the attention of most holy Mary, she prostrated herself and knelt in her presence, and adored the incarnate Word in the virginal temple of the most holy Mother. All the mysteries which became known to her by the divine light and by the intercourse with the great Queen, Saint Elisabeth sealed up in her bosom, being a most faithful depository and prudent secretary of that which was confided to her. Only with her son John and with Zacharias, during the short time in which he lived after the birth of his son, Saint Elisabeth conversed to some extent concerning those sacraments which had become known to all. But in all this she acted as a courageous, wise and very holy woman.
SCENE 57 – INT. DAY. THE HOUSE OF MARY AND JOSEPH IN NAZARETH, SAINT JOSEPH BECOMES AWARE OF THE PREGNANCY OF HIS SPOUSE, THE VIRGIN MARY, AND IS FILLED WITH ANXIETY AS HE KNOWS THAT HE HAD NO PART IN IT
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The divine pregnancy of the Princess of heaven had advanced to its fifth month when the most chaste Joseph, her husband, commenced to notice the condition of the Virgin; for on account of the natural elegance and perfection of her virginal body, as I have already remarked (No. 115), any change could not long remain concealed and would so much the sooner be discovered. One day, when Saint Joseph was full of anxious doubts and saw Her coming our of her oratory, he noticed more particularly this evident change, without being able to explain what he saw so clearly with his eyes. The man of God was wounded to his inmost heart by an arrow of grief, unable to ward off the force of evidence, which at the same time wounded his soul. The principle cause of this grief was the most chaste, and therefore the most intense love with which he cherished his most faithful Spouse, and in which he had from the beginning given over to Her his whole heart. Moreover, her charming graces and incomparable holiness had captured and bound Her to his inmost soul. As She was so perfect and accomplished in her modesty and humble reticence, Saint Joseph, besides his anxious solicitude to serve Her, naturally entertained the loving desire of meeting a response of his love from his Spouse. This was so ordained by the Lord, in order that by the desire for this interchange of affection he might be incited to love and serve Her more faithfully.” “Saint Joseph fulfilled this obligation as a most faithful spouse and as a guardian of the sacrament, which as yet was concealed from him. In proportion as he was solicitous in serving and venerating his Spouse, and loving Her with a most pure chaste and holy love, in so far as increased his desire of finding a response to his affection and service. He never manifested or spoke of this desire, also on account of the reverence elicited by the humble majesty of his spouse and also because of the more than angelic purity, conversation and intercourse of the Virgin had given him apprehension in this regard. But when he found himself thus unexpectedly in the face of this disclosure, where the evidence of his senses allowed no denial, his soul was torn asunder by sorrowful surprise. Yet, though overwhelmed by the evidence of this change in his Spouse, he gave his thoughts no greater liberty than to admit what his eyes could not fail to perceive. For, being a holy and just man (Matth. 1, 19), although he saw the effect, he withheld his judgment as to the cause. Without a doubt, if the Saint had believed that his Spouse had any guilt in causing this condition, he would have died of sorrow.” “Besides all this was the certainty of his not having any part in this pregnancy, the effects of which were before his eyes; and there was the inevitable dishonor which would follow as soon as it became public. This thought caused so much the greater anxiety in him, as he was of a most noble and honorable disposition, and in his great foresight he knew how to weigh the disgrace and the shame of himself and his Spouse in each of the circumstances. The third and ultimate cause of his sorrow, and which gave him the deepest pain, was the dread of being obliged to deliver over his spouse to the authorities to be stoned (Lev. 20, 10), for this was the punishment of an adulteress convicted of the crime. ** Some narrative text is omitted her for the sake of brevity ** “In the midst of these tormenting anxieties, the holy Spouse Joseph appealed to the tribunal of the lord in prayer and placing himself in his presence, he said:
SAINT JOSEPH “Most high lord and God, my desires ands sighs are not unknown to You. I find myself cast about by the violent waves of sorrow (Ps. 31, 10) which through my senses have come to afflict my heart. I have given myself over to the Spouse whom you have given me. I have confided entirely in her holiness; and the signs of this unexpected change in Her are giving rise to tormenting and fearful doubts lest my confidence be misplaced. Nothing have I seen until now in Her which could give occasion for any doubt in her modesty and extraordinary virtue; yet at the same time I cannot deny that She is pregnant. To think that she has been unfaithful to me, and has offended You, would be temerity in view of such rare purity and holiness: to deny what my own eyes perceive is impossible. But it is not impossible that I die of grief, unless there is some mystery hidden beneath it which I cannot yet fathom. Reason proclaims Her as blameless, while the senses accuse Her. She conceals from me the cause of her pregnancy, while I have it before my eyes. What shall I do? We both have come to an agreement concerning our vows of chastity, and we have both promised to keep them for your glory; if it could be possible that She has yielded her fidelity toward You and toward me, I would defend your honor and would forget mine for love of You. Yet how could She preserve such purity and holiness in all other things if She had committed so grave a sin in this? And on the other hand, why does She, who is so holy and prudent, conceal this matter from me? I withhold and defer my judgment. Not being able to penetrate to the cause of what I see, I pour out in your presence my afflicted soul (Ps. 141, 3), God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Receive my tears as an acceptable sacrifice; and if my sins merit your indignation, let your own clemency and kindness move You not to despise my excruciating sorrow. I do not believe that Mary has offended You; yet much less can I presume that there is a mystery of which I, as her Spouse, am not to be informed. Govern You my mind and heart by divine light, in order that I may know and fulfill that which is most pleasing to You.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Saint Joseph persevered in this kind of prayer, adding may more affectionate petitions; for even though he conjectured that there must be some mystery in the pregnancy of the most holy Mary hidden from him, he could not find assurance therein.” ** Some narrative text is omitted her for the sake of brevity ** “All that passed in the heart of Saint Joseph was known to the Princess of heaven, who penetrated into its interior by the light of her divine science. Although her soul was full of tenderness and compassion for the suffering of her spouse, She said not a word in the matter; but She continued to serve him with all devotion and solicitude. The man of God watched Her without outward demonstration, yet with a greater anxiety than that of any man who ever lived. ** Some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity **
SCENE 50. INT. DAY. THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS AND ELISABETH IN JUDEA – SAINT ELISABETH ASKS THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN TO ASSIST AT HER CONFINEMENT AND IS ENLIGHTENED CONCERNING THE BIRTH OF JOHN
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Already two months has passed since the coming of the Princess of heaven into the house of holy Elisabeth; and the discrete matron was already filled with grief at the thought of the departure and of the absence of the Mistress of the world. She dreaded the loss of so great a blessing as her presence was, and with reason since she knew, that it could not come within the range of human merits; in her holy humility she scrutinized her heart, fearing that any fault of hers might be the cause of the setting of that beautiful moon and of the Sun of justice within the virginal Womb. Sometimes she wept and sighed in private, because she could not find the means of prolonging their stay, which had shed so much clear light and grace in her soul. She asked the Lord with many tears to inspire her Cousin, the most holy Lady Mary, not to forsake her; at least, not to withdraw so soon her sweet company, She served Her with great reverence and solicitude and studied to oblige Her. It is no wonder that so Saintly, attentive and prudent a woman should ask for that which even the angels coveted. For in addition to the divine light, which she had received from the Holy Ghost concerning the supreme dignity and sanctity of the Virgin Mother, she had the personal experience of her most sweet and conversation, and all this combined had ravished her heart, so that without divine aid, she could not have survived the parting after once having known and conversed with the blessed Lady.” “In order to find some consolation, Saint Elisabeth resolved to open her heart of the heavenly Lady, who was, however, not ignorant of her sorrow; and she said to Her in great submission and humility: SAINT ELISABETH “Cousin, dear Lady, on account of the respect and consideration, with which I am bound to serve You, I have not until now dared to speak of my desire and of the sorrow in my heart; give me now the permission to relieve it by making them known. The Lord has condescended in his mercy to send You here, in order that I might have the unmerited blessing of conversing with You and of knowing the mysteries, which His divine providence has entrusted to You, my mistress. Unworthy am I to praise Him eternally for this favor (Dan, 3, 53). You are the holy temple of his glory, the ark of the Testament, containing the Manna, which is the food of the angels (Heb. 9, 4). You are the tablet of the true law, written in his own Being (Ps. 77, 25). I appreciate in my lowliness how rich his Majesty has made me, that without my merit I should entertain in my own house the Treasure of heaven and Her, whom he has chosen as his Mother among all women. I justly fear that I displease You and the Fruit of your womb by my sins, and therefore you will forsake your slave, withdrawing the great blessing, which I now enjoy. Possibly, if it be your pleasure, I might have the happiness of serving You and remaining with You all the rest of my life. If it is a hardship for You to return to your dwelling, it would be most convenient for You to stay in my house. If You will call your holy spouse Joseph and live with him here as my masters, I will serve you with affectionate readiness of heart. Although I do not merit what I ask, I beseech You not to despise my humble petition, since the Lord can surpass by his mercies all my merits and desires.”
HOLY MARY “Dearest friend of my soul, your holy wishes are acceptable in the eyes of the Most High. I also thank You from my heart; but in all our undertakings and resolves it is necessary that we conform to the divine will and entirely subject ourselves to it. Although this is the duty of all creatures, you know, that it is my duty before all others, since by the power of his arm He has raised me from the dust and in boundless love has looked upon me (Luke 1, 53). All my words and movements must be guided by the divine will of my Lord and Son and I must not desire anything except what is according to his pleasure. Let us present to His Majesty your desires, and whatever He in his goodness shall ordain, then let us execute. I must also obey my spouse Joseph, for without his order and consent, I can neither decide upon my occupations, nor upon my dwelling place; it is just, my dearest, that we obey our superiors”. Setting guidance potentially provided as narration by Sister Mary of Jesus: “Saint Elisabeth yielded to the persuasive words of the Princess of heaven and answered with humble submission”:
SAINT ELISABETH “My Lady, I am ready to obey your will and revere your teaching. I wish only once more to comment to You my sincere affection and heartfelt devotion to your service, If my wishes can not be fulfilled and are contrary to the will of God, I desire at least, if possible, that You, my Queen, do not forsake me until my son shall come forth to the light; in order that, just as within my womb he has adored and recognized his Redeemer in your own, so he may enjoy his divine presence and enlightenment before any other creature; and that he may receive your blessing for the first advances in life (Prov. 16, 9) by the presence of Him, who is to direct his footsteps. And do You, the Mother of grace, present Him to the Creator and obtain from his goodness the perseverance in that grace, which he received at the sound of your sweetest voice, when it came to my unworthy ears. Let me behold my child in your arms, where the God, who made and preserves heaven, is likewise to rest (Is. 42, 5). Let not your maternal kindness be strained or diminished by my sins; deny not this consolation to me, nor to my son this great happiness, which as a mother I ask and unworthily desire for him”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS “Most holy Mary did not wish to refuse and she promised to pray to the Lord for fulfillment of this request of her cousin, asking her at the same time to unite her prayers with hers in order to know his most holy will. Accordingly the two mothers of the two most holy Sons born into the world betook themselves to the oratory of the heavenly Princess and presented their petitions to the Most High. Most pure Mary fell into ecstasy, where She was enlightened anew according life and dignity of the Precursor and concerning his in preparing the hearts of men for the reception of their Redeemer and Teacher, and She me made known to Saint Elisabeth these sacraments in as far as it was proper. She was informed of the great sanctity of her Saintly cousin, also, that she had only a short while to live and that Zacharias would die before her. The kind Mother lovingly besought the Lord to assist her at her death and to fulfill her wishes in regard to her son. In regard to the other fond desires, the most prudent Virgin made no request, for in her heavenly wisdom She immediately saw, that to live always in the house of her cousin was not advisable, nor according to the will of the Most High.” To these petitions his Majesty answered:
HIS MAJESTY (GOD THE FATHER) “My Spouse and my Dove, it is my pleasure that you assist and console my servant Elisabeth at her childbirth, which is to be very soon; for there are only eight days left before that event. After her son shall be circumcised, you shall return to your home with your spouse Joseph. After his birth you shall offer to Me my servant John in pleasing sacrifice; and continue, my beloved, to pray to Me for the salvation of souls.” SISTER MARY OF JESUS “Saint Elisabeth united her prayers with those of the Queen of heaven and earth, beseeching the Lord to command his Mother and Spouse not to forsake her during her confinement. During this prayer the Lord revealed to her, that her confinement was close at hand, and informed her also of many other things for her relief and consolation in her anxiety. Most Holy Mary issues from her trance and having finished their prayer, the two mothers conferred upon the nearness of the confinement of Saint Elisabeth as made known to them by the Lord; anxious to make sure of her good fortune, the holy matron asked our Queen: SAINT ELISABETH “My Lady, pray tell me, whether I shall have the happiness of your assistance at my impending confinement?” HOLY MARY “My beloved cousin, the Most High has heard our prayers and deigned to command me to assist on that occasion. This I will do, not only remaining till then, but also until the circumcision of your child, which will take place in fifteen days”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At this resolve of the most holy Mary the joy of her cousin was renewed; she acknowledged this great favor in humble thankfulness to the Lord and to the Holy Queen. Thus rejoiced and enlivened by mutual conferences, the holy matron began to prepare for the birth of her son and for the departure of her exalted cousin.
SCENE 51. INT. DAY. THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS AND ELISABETH IN JUDEA – THE BIRTH OF THE PRECURSOR OF CHRIST AND WHAT THE LADY MARY DID ON THIS OCCASION
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The hour for the rising of the morning star, which was to proceed the clear Sun of justice and announce the wished-for day of the law of grace, had arrived (John 5, 35). The time was suitable to the Most High for the appearance of his Prophet in the world; and greater than a prophet was John, who pointing out with his finger the Lamb (John 1, 29), was to prepare mankind for the salvation and sanctification of the world. Before issuing forth from the maternal womb the Lord revealed to the blessed child the hour at which he was commence his mortal career among men. The child had the perfect use of his reason, and of the divine science infused by the presence of the incarnate Word. He therefore new that he was to arrive at the port of a cursed and dangerous land, and to walk upon a world full of evils and snares, where many are overtaken by ruin and perdition. On this account the great child was as it were as it were in a state of suspense and doubt; for on the one hand, nature having nourished his body to the state of perfection, which is proper to birth, he recognized and felt, in addition to the express will of God, the compelling forces of nature which urged him to leave the retreat of the maternal womb. On the other hand he contemplated the risks of mortal life. Thus he hesitated between the fear of danger and the desire to obey. And he debated within himself: SAINT JOHN “If I meet this danger of loosing God, where shall it lead me? How can I safely converse with men, of whom so many are enveloped in darkness and wander from the path of life? I am in the obscurity of my mother’s womb, but I must leave it for a more dangerous darkness. I am imprisoned here, since I receive the light of reason; but more must I dread the unrestrained freedom of mortals. But let me, O Lord, fulfill your will and enter the world; for to execute it is always best. To know that my life and my faculties shall be consumed in your service, highest King will make it easier for me to come forth to the light and begin life. Bestow. O Lord your blessing for my passage into the world.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “By this prayer the precursor of Christ merited new graces and blessings at his birth. The fortunate child knew by the indwelling of God in his mind, that he was sent to perform great things and was assured of the necessary help. ** Some narrative text is omitted for the sake of brevity ** “Her time approaching, Saint Elisabeth felt the child in motion as if he wanted to place himself on his feet; but he was merely following the ordinary course of nature and the dictates of obedience. Some moderate pains overtook the mother and she informed the princess Mary. But she did not call Her to be present at the birth, because reverence for the dignity of Mary and for the Fruit within her womb, prudently withheld her from asking, what might seem befitting. Nor was the great Mistress in the same room, but she sent her the coverings and swaddling clothes, which She had made for the fortunate child. Presently thereafter he was born, very perfect and complete in shape, and by the freedom from impure showed signs of the purity of his soul. He was wrapped in the coverings sent by Mary, which therefore had already been great and venerable relics. Shortly after, when Saint Elisabeth had composed herself, most holy Mary, at the command of the Lord, issued from her oratory, in order to pay her visit to the mother and child and give them her blessing. “At the request of his mother the Queen received in her arms the new-born child and offered him as a new oblation to the eternal Father, and his majesty, well pleased, accepted it as the first-fruits of the Incarnation of the divine decrees. The most blessed child, full of the Holy Ghost, acknowledged his sovereign Queen, showing Her not only interior but outward reverence by a secret inclination of his head, and again he adored the divine Word, which was manifested to him in her womb by an especial light. And as he was also aware that he was privileged before all men, the grateful child preformed acts of fervent thanksgiving, humility, love and reverence of God and of his Virgin Mother. The heavenly Queen in offering him to the eternal Father, pronounced this prayer for him”:
HOLY MARY “Highest Lord and Father, all holy and powerful, accept in your honor this offering and seasonable fruit of your most holy Son and my Lord. He is sanctified by the Onlybegotten and rescued from the effects of sin and from the power of the ancient enemies. Receive this morning’s sacrifice, and infuse into this child the blessings of the Holy Spirit, in order that he may be a faithful minister to You and to your Onlybegotten.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “This prayer of our Queen was most efficacious in all respects, and She perceived how the Lord enriched the child, chosen as the precursor; and She also felt within Herself the effects of these admirable blessings. “While the Queen of the Universe held the infant in her arms, She was for a short time was secretly wrapt in sweetest ecstasy; during it She offered up this prayer for the child, holding it close to the same breast where the Onlybegotten of the Eternal and her own was soon to rest. This was the singular prerogative of the great Precursor, granted to none among the Saints.”
SCENE 58. INT. DAY. MARY AND JOSEPHS HOUSE IN NAZARETH – THE ANXIETIES OF SAINT JOSEPH INCREASE; HE RESOLVES TO LEAVE HIS SPOUSE, AND HE BETAKES HIMSELF TO PRAYER ON THIS ACCOUNT
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “In his tormenting doubts the most upright heart of Joseph sometimes prudently tried to find relief and ease for his sorrow by reasoning for himself that the pregnancy of his Spouse was as yet doubtful. But this self-deception vanished more and more every day on account of the increasing evidence of that state in the most holy Virgin. As this vain and fleeting consolation failed him more and more and finally changed into complete conviction as her pregnancy advanced, the glorious Saint found no haven of refuge in his anxieties, In the meanwhile the heavenly princess grew in loveliness and in perfect freedom from all bodily failings. Her charming beauty, healthfulness and gracefulness visibly increased before his eyes. All this only nourished the anxieties and torments of his most chaste love, so that his interior was involved by the turbulent waves of his loving sorrow in unutterable confusion and he was finally stranded on the shores of a sea of grief by the overpowering evidence of his senses in regard to the pregnancy of Mary. Although his spirit was always conformed to the will of God, yet his flesh in his weakness felt the excess of his interior trouble, which at last reached such a point that he did not any more know which way to turn. The strength of his body was broken and vanished away, not by a definite disease, but in weakness and emaciation. These effects of his profound sorrow and melancholy became openly visible in his countenance. Moreover, as he suffered all this alone without seeking relief or lessening his sorrow by communication with others as is customary with the afflicted, his suffering grew to be much more serious and incurable.” “In the meanwhile the sorrow which filled the heart of the most holy Mary was equally great. Yet, although her sorrow exceeded all bounds, the capacity of her generous and magnanimous soul was much greater and therefore She could conceal her grief more completely, and occupy her faculties in the loving care of Saint Joseph, her spouse. Her sorrow therefore only incited Her to attend so much the more devotedly to his health and comfort. Nevertheless, as the inviolable rule of the actions of the most prudent Queen all in the fullness of wisdom and perfection, She continued to conceal the mystery about the disclosure of which She had received no command. Though she alone could relieve her spouse by an explanation, She withheld it in reverence and faithfulness due to the sacrament of the heavenly King (Tob. 12, 7). As far as She herself was concerned, She exerted her utmost powers; She spoke to him about his health, She asked what she could do to serve him and afford him help in the weakness that so mastered him. She urged him to take some rest and recreation, since it was a duty to yield to necessity and repair the weakened strength, in order to be able to work for the Lord afterward, Saint Joseph observed all the actions of his heavenly Spouse, and pondering over such virtue and discretion and feeling the effects of her intercourse and presence, he said: SAINT JOSEPH “Is it possible that that a woman of such habits, and in whom such graces of the Lord are manifest, can bring over me such affliction? How can this prudence and holiness agree with these open signs of her infidelity to God and to me, who loved her so much? If I conclude to send Her away, or to leave Her, I lose her most loving company, all my comfort, my home and my tranquility. What blessing equal to Her can I find if I withdraw from Her? What consolation, if this one fails? But all of this weighs less than the infamy connected with this sad misfortune, and that I should come to be looked upon as her accomplice in crime. That this event remain concealed is not possible; since time will reveal all, even if I strive now to hide it. To pass as the author of this pregnancy will be a vile deceit and blotch on my good name and conscience. I cannot recognize it as caused by me, nor can I ascribe it to any other source known to me. Hence what I am to do in this dire stress? The least evil will be to absent myself and leave my house before the delivery comes upon Her; for then I would still be more confused and afflicted, I would then be obliged to live in my own house with a child not my own, without being able to find any outlet or expedient.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS “The Princess of heaven, becoming aware of the resolve of her spouse Saint Joseph to leave Her and absent himself, turned in great sorrow to her holy angels and said to them:
HOLY MARY “Blessed spirits and ministers of the highest King, who raised you to the felicity which you enjoy, and by his kind Providence accompany me as his faithful servants and as my guardians, I beseech you, my friends, to present before God’s clemency the afflictions of my spouse Joseph. Beseech the Lord to look upon him and console him as a true Father. And you also, who so devotedly obey his words, hear likewise my prayers; in the name of Him who is infinite, and to whom I am to give human shape in my womb, I pray, beseech and supplicate you, that without delay you assist and relieve my most faithful spouse in the affliction of his heart and drive from his mind and heart his resolve of leaving me”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The angels which the Queen had selected for this purpose obeyed immediately and instilled into the heart of Saint Joseph many holy thoughts, persuading him anew that his Spouse Mary was holy and most perfect, and that he could not believe anything wrong of Her; that God was incomprehensible in his works, and most hidden in his judgments (Ps. 33, 19); that He was always most faithful to those who confide in Him, and that He would never despise or forsake them in tribulation.” “Be these and other holy inspirations the troubled spirit of Saint Joseph was somewhat quieted, although he did know whence they came; but as the cause of his sorrow was not removed, he soon relapsed, not finding anything to assure and soothe his soul, and he soon returned to his resolve and withdrawing and leaving his Spouse. The heavenly Queen was aware of this and She concluded that it was necessary to avert this danger and to insist in earnest prayer on a remedy. She addressed Herself entirely to her most holy Son in her womb, and with the most ardent affection of her soul She prayed:”
HOLY MARY “Lord and God of my soul, with your permission, although I am but dust and ashes (Gen. 18, 27), I will speak in your kingly presence and manifest to You my sighs, that they cannot be hidden from You (Ps. 37, 10). It is my duty not to be remiss in assisting the spouse whom I have received from your hand. I see him overwhelmed by the tribulation, which You have sent him, and it would not be kind in me to forsake him therein. If I have found grace in your eyes, I beseech You, Lord and eternal God, by the love which obliged You to enter into the womb of your servant for the salvation of mankind, to be pleased to console your servant Joseph and dispose him to assist me in the fulfillment of your great works. It would not be well that I, your servant, be left without a husband for a protection and guardian. Do not permit, my lord and God, that he execute his resolve and withdraw from me”.
THE MOST HIGH (ANSWERED MOST HOLY MARY) “My dearest Dove, I shall presently visit my servant Joseph with consolation; and after I have manifested to him by my angel the sacrament, which is unknown to him, you may speak openly about all that I have done with You, without the necessity of keeping silent thenceforward in these matters. I will fill him with my spirit and make him apt to perform his share in these mysteries. He will assist You in them and aid You in all that will happen.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “With this promise of the Lord, most holy Mary was comforted and consoled, and She gave most fervent thanks to the same Lord, who disposes all things in admirable order, measure and weight. For besides the consolation, which the relief from this anxiety afforded Her, She also knew well how proper it was that the spirit of Saint Joseph be tried and dilated by this tribulation before the great mysteries should be entrusted to his care. “In the meanwhile Saint Joseph was anxiously debating within himself concerning the proper course of action, for he had borne his tribulation already for two months; and now overcome by the greatness of it, he argued with himself:
SAINT JOSEPH “I do not find a better way out of these difficulties than to absent myself. I confess that my Spouse is most perfect and exhibits nothing but what shows Her a Saint; but after all She is pregnant and of it I cannot fathom the mystery. I do not wish to injure Her reputation of holiness by involving Her in the punishment of the law; yet at the same I cannot stand by and witness the consequences of her pregnancy. I will leave her now, and commit myself to the providence of the Lord who governs me.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “He then resolved to depart during that night, and in order to prepare for this journey he packed some clothes and other trifles into a small bundle. Having claimed some wages due to him for his work, he retired to rest with the intention of leaving at midnight. But on account of the strangeness of his undertaking, and because he was in the habit of commending his intentions to God in prayer, after he had come to this resolve he spoke to the Lord:
SAINT JOSEPH (TO OUR LORD) “Highest and eternal God of our Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, You true and only refuge of the poor and afflicted, the grief and tribulation of my heart are well known to your clemency. You know also, O Lord (although I am unworthy), that I am innocent of that which causes my sorrow, and You likewise are aware of the infamy and danger consequent upon the condition of my Spouse. I do not believe Her an adulteress, because I see in Her great virtue and perfection; yet I certainly see Her pregnant. I do not know by whom or how it was caused; and therefore I find no way to restore my peace. In order to choose the least evil I will withdraw myself and, resigning myself to your Providence, I will pass my life in a desert. Do not forsake me, my Lord and eternal God, since I desire solely your honor and service.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Saint Joseph prostrated himself on the ground and made a vow to go to the temple of Jerusalem and offer up a part of the small sum of money which he had provided for his journey, in order that God might protect Mary his Spouse from the calamities of men and free Her from all misfortune; for great was the uprightness of that man of God, and the esteem in which he held the heavenly Lady. After this prayer he composed himself for s short sleep with the intention of departing in secret and at midnight from his spouse.”
SCENE 52. INT. DAY. HOUSE OF ZACHARARIAS AND ELISABETH IN JUDEA – THE GOOD COUNCIL AND INSTRUCTION, WHICH MOST HOLY MARY GAVE TO SAINT ELISABETH AT HER REQUEST, SAINT JOHN IS CIRCUMSIZED AND HE RECIEVES HIS NAME, ZACHARIAS PROPHESIES
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “After the birth of the Precursor of Christ the return of most holy Mary was unavoidable; and although the prudent Elisabeth had found consolation in resigning herself the divine will, she could not restrain her desire for securing for herself the good counsel and instruction of the Mother of wisdom. Therefore she spoke to her and said: SAINT ELISABETH “My mistress and Mother of the Creator, I know, that You are preparing to leave me and that I am to be deprived of your loving intercourse, help and protection. I beseech You, my Cousin, furnish me with some good counsel, which will help me to conform all my actions to the greater pleasure of the Most High. In your virginal womb You bear Him, who is the Corrector of the wise and the fountain of light (Wis. 7, 15); through Him You can communicate it to all. Let some of the rays which illumine your purest soul fall upon your servant, in order that I may be enlightened in the paths of justice, until I arrive at the vision of the God of gods in Zion.” (Ps. 22, 3).
HOLY MARY “My beloved cousin, the Lord has selected You for fulfillment of most exalted mysteries. He has condescended to enlighten You concerning them and wishes, that I should open to You my heart. Your name is written within it for remembrance before his Majesty. I will not forget the devoted kindness with which you have treated me, the most useless of creatures; and from my most holy Son and Lord I hope you shall receive a plentiful reward. “Keep your mind and spirit fixed on high and by the light of divine grace preserve the vision of the unchangeable and infinite being of God and the remembrance of his immense goodness, which moved Him to create out of nothing all the intellectual creatures in order to bestow upon them his glory and his gifts of grace. The extreme mercy of the Most high, in favoring us more than all the other creatures with his knowledge and light, ought to incite us to make up by our thankfulness for the blind ingratitude of mortals who are so far removed from acknowledging and praising their Creator. This shall be our task, that we keep our hearts free and unhindered in our advance towards the last end. Therefore, my beloved, I charge You to keep it unhampered and unburdened of all earthly things, free from even as such as pertain to your possessions, in order that, void of all earthly hindrances, it may attend to the divine calls. Hope in the coming of the Lord (Luke 12, 36), so that when He arrives, you may answer his call joyfully and not with convulsive violence at the thought of leaving your body and all earthly things. Now, while it is time to suffer and earn the crown, let us gain merit and hasten to be united intimately with our true and highest God.” “As long as your husband Zacharias lives, seek to love, serve and obey him with especial earnestness. Look upon your miraculous child as a continual sacrifice to his Creator; in God and for God you can love him as a mother; for he shall be a great Prophet, and in the spirit of Elias he shall defend the honor of the Most High and exalt his name. My most holy Son, who has chosen him as his Precursor and for the harbinger of his coming, will favor him with the special gifts of his right hand (Math. 11, 9) and make him great and wonderful among the nations, manifesting to the world his great sanctity.” “See that the holy name of your God and the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be honored and reverenced by all your house and family (Tob. 4). Above all be anxiously careful to relieve the needs of the poor, as far as is possible; enrich them with the temporal goods so lavishly given to You by your God; show a like generosity to the needy, knowing that these earthly goods are more theirs than yours, since we are the children of the heavenly Father to whom all things belong. It is not proper that the child of a rich father should live in superfluity, while his brethren live in poverty and need. In this you can make yourself especially pleasing to the Good of undying mercy, Continue in your former practices and follow out your plans of still greater clarity, since Zacharias has given this work into your hands. With his permission you can be generous. Confirm your hopes in all the tasks imposed upon You by the Lord, and with your fellow beings practice kindness, humility and patience in the joy of your soul, although some of them will give You occasion to increase your crown of merit. Bless God eternally for having manifested to You his exalted mysteries and pray for the salvation of souls with unabated love and zeal. Pray also for me, that his Majesty may govern and guide me worthily to preserve the sacrament confided by his goodness to a lowly and poor a servant as I am. Send for my husband in order that I may have his company while returning to Nazareth. In the meanwhile prepare for the circumcision of your child and call him John; for this name was given to him according to an unchangeable decree of the Most High.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONALLY NARRATIONS) ”These counsels of the most holy Mary together with other words of eternal life produced in the heart of Saint Elisabeth such divine affections, that for a time, she was lost in exalted teachings and sentiments of these heavenly doctrines and made mute by the force of the spiritual light infused into her. For the Lord, by the means of the living words of his most pure Mother, enlivened and renewed the heart of his servant. When the flow of tears had moderated, she answered:”
SAINT ELISABETH “My mistress and Queen of the universe, speech fails me in alternate sorrow and consolation. Hear the words of my inmost heart, which my tongue cannot express. My affections shall witness, what my lips leave unspoken. May the Lord, who is the enricher of our poverty, return to the You the favor you show me. I beseech You, who are the fountain of all help and the source of all my blessings, to obtain for me the grace to fulfill your counsels and to bear the great sorrow of losing your company.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) ”Then they spoke the arrangements for the circumcision of the child, for the time appointed by the law was approaching. Complying with the custom observed among the Jews, especially among the more distinguished, many relatives and the other acquaintances of the house of the Zacharias began to gather, in order to resolve upon the name to be given to the child; for, in addition to the ordinary preparations and consultations concerning the name to be given to a son, the high position of Zacharias and Elisabeth and the news of the miraculous fecundity of the mother naturally suggested the existence of some great mystery to the minds of all their relations. Zacharias was still dumb, and therefore it was necessary that Saint Elisabeth should preside at this meeting. Over and above the high esteem which she inspired, she now she exhibited such evident signs of the exalted renewal and sanctification of her soul, which resulted from the knowledge of the mysteries and from the intercourse with the Queen of heaven, that all her relatives and friends, noticed the change. For even in her countenance she exhibited a kind of effulgence which made her mysteriously attractive and was a reflection of the Divinity in whose presence she lived.“ “At this meeting was present also the heavenly Lady Mary, for Elisabeth earnestly besought Her and had even compelled Her by a sort of reverent and humble command. The great Lady obeyed, but she begged the Most High not to make known any of her great privileges, lest she draw upon Herself the applause and veneration of others. The desire of the most Humble of the humble was granted. And as the world persists in ignoring those who fail to use ostentation, nobody took particular notice of Her except for Saint Elisabeth, who looked upon Her with outward and inward reverence and who new, that on Her depended the success of this consultation. As is recorded in the Gospel of Saint Luke, some of those present in the meeting suggested that the infant be named after his father; but the prudent mother, seconded by the most holy Mary said:
SAINT ELISABETH “My son must be named John.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Her relatives objected, that none of their family bore that name; for the names of illustrious forefathers were always held in great esteem, and were preferred in order to incite their bearers to the imitation of ancestral virtues. Saint Elisabeth again expressed herself to the effect, that the child should be called John. “The relatives then appealed by signs to Zacharias who, being unable to speak, asked for pen and declared his will by writing upon the tablet: Saint John (writing on a tablet) “Johannes est nomen ejus” (John is his name).
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At the same time holy Mary, making use of her power over all nature, commanded the dumbness to leave him, his tongue was loosed, as the moment had arrived when it should bless the Lord. At this heavenly command he found himself freed from his affliction, and, to the astonishment and fear of all present, he began to speak, as narrated by the Evangelist. What I say here is not adverse to the Gospel narrative; for, although it is there related, that the angel foretold Zacharias that he should remain mute until his message should be fulfilled, yet God, when he reveals any decree of his will, absolutely unfailing as they are, does not always reveal the means or manner of their fulfillment, foreseen by Him in his infinite foreknowledge. Thus the archangel announced to Zacharias the punishment of his unbelief, but did not tell him that he should be freed from it by the intercession of the most holy Mary, although this had been foreseen and decreed.” “Therefore, just as the voice of our Lady Mary was the instrument for the sanctification of the child John and his mother, so her secret mandate and her intercession had the effect of loosening the tongue of Zacharias, filling him with the holy Spirit and the gift of prophecy. Hence be broke forth in the words (Luke 1, 68-79): ZACHARIAS 68. “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people: 69. And hath raised up a horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant: 70. And he hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning; 71. Salvation from our enemies, and from the hands of all who hate us: 72. To perform mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy testament, 73. The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us, 74. That being delivered fro the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear, 75. In holiness and justice before him, all our days. 76. And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways 77. To give knowledge of salvation to his people: unto the remission of their sins: 78. Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us: 79. To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace.”
SCENE 59. INT. NIGHT. MARY AND JOSEPHS HOUSE IN NAZARETH. THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SPEAKS TO SAINT JOSEPH IN HIS SLEEP AND MAKES KNOWN TO HIM THE MYSTERIES OF THE INCARNATION AND HIS BEHAVIOR THEREAFTER
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The sorrow of jealousy keeps such vigilant watch in those that are beset by it, that very often it not only awakens them from sleep, but drives away altogether the refreshment of slumber. (** Some narrative text is omitted for the sake of brevity **). Full of this sorrow, which had now become an intolerable pain, Saint Joseph after the saying the prayer mentioned above, composed himself for a short sleep, assured that he would wake up at the right time to leave his home at midnight, and, as he thought, without the knowledge of his Spouse. The heavenly Lady awaited the intervention of God, asking it of Him in most humble prayer. For She knew that the tribulation of her troubled spouse had reached such a high point, that the time of God’s merciful assistance must have arrived. The Most High sent his archangel Gabriel, in order to reveal to him during his sleep the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption in the words of the recorded Gospel. ** Some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity **
SAINT GABRIEL (TO SAINT JOSEPH IN HIS DREAM) “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because She has conceived what is in Her by the Holy Spirit. She is to give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Saint Joseph awoke with the full consciousness, that his Spouse was the true Mother of God, Full of joy on account of his good fortune and of his inconceivable happiness, and at the same time deeply moved by the sudden sorrow for what he had done, he prostrated himself to the earth and with many other humble, reverential and joyful tokens of his feelings, he performed heroic acts of humiliation and of thanksgiving. He gave thanks to the Lord for having revealed to him this mystery and for having made him the husband of Her, whom God had chosen for his Mother, notwithstanding that he was not worthy to be even her slave. Amid these recognitions and these acts of virtue, the spirit of Saint Joseph remained tranquil and apt for reception of new influences of the Holy Spirit. His doubts and anxieties of the past few months had laid in him the deep foundations of humility, which were necessary for one who should be entrusted with the highest mysteries of the Lord; and the remembrance of his experiences was to him a lesson which lasted all his life. The holy man began to blame himself alone for all that had happened and broke forth in the following prayer:”
SAINT JOSEPH “O my heavenly Spouse and meekest Dove, chosen by the Most High for his dwelling place and for his mother: how could your unworthy slave have dared to doubt your fidelity? How could dust and ashes ever permit itself to be served by Her, who is the Queen of heaven and earth and the Mistress of the universe? How is it, that I have not kissed the ground which was touched by your feet? Why have I not made it my most solicitous care to serve You on my knees? How can I ever raise my eyes in your presence and dare to remain in your company or open my lips to speak to You? O my Lord and God, give me grace and strength to ask her forgiveness; and move her heart to mercy, that She does not despise her sorrowful servant according to his guilt. Ah woe is me! Since She is full of light and grace and She bears within Herself the Author of light, all my thoughts were open to her sight, also that I had it in my mind actually to leave Her; hence it will be temerity on my part to appear in her presence. I now recognize my rude behavior and my gross error; since even with great holiness before my eyes I gave to way unworthy thoughts and doubts concerning her fidelity, which I did not deserve. And if in punishment your justice had permitted me to execute my presumptuous resolve, what would now be my misfortune? Eternally be thanked, Most High Lord for such great blessing! Assist me, most powerful King, to make some kind of reparation. I will go to my spouse and Lady, confiding in her sweetness and clemency; prostrate at her feet and ask her pardon, so that for her sake, You, my eternal Lord and God, may look upon me with the eyes of a Father and may pardon my gross error.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The holy spouse now left his little room, finding himself so happily changed in sentiments since the time he had composed himself for sleep. As the Queen of heaven always had kept herself in retirement, he did not wish to disturb her sweet contemplation, until She herself desired. In the meantime the man of God unwrapped the small bundle, which he had prepared, shedding many tears with feelings quite different from those with which he made it up. Weeping he began to show reverence for his heavenly Spouse, by setting the rooms in order, scrubbing the floors, which were to be touched by the sacred feet of Mary. He also performed other chores which he had been accustomed to leave to the heavenly Lady before he knew her dignity. He resolved to change entirely his relation toward Her, assume for himself the position of servant and leave to Her the dignity of Mistress. From that day on there arose a wonderful contention between the two, which of them should be allowed to show most eagerness to serve and most humility. All that happened with Saint Joseph the Queen of heaven saw, and not a thought or movement escaped her attention. When the time arrived, the Saint approached the oratory of Highness, and she awaited him with sweetest kindness and mildness.
SCENE 53. EXT. DAY. MOST HOLY MARY LEAVES THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS AND RETURNS TO HER HOME IN NAZARETH SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At the call of Saint Elisabeth, the most fortunate of handmaids, Saint Joseph had come to attend most holy Mary on her return to her home in Nazareth. On arriving at the house of Zacharias he had been welcomed with indescribable reverence and devotion by Saint Elisabeth and Zacharias; for now also the holy priest new that he was the guardian of the sacramental treasure of heaven, though this was yet unknown to the great patriarch Saint Joseph himself. His heavenly Spouse received him in modest and discrete jubilation, and, kneeling before him, She, as usual, besought his blessing, and also his pardon, for having failed so serve him for nearly three months during her attendance upon Saint Elisabeth. Though She had been guilty of no fault, not even of an imperfection in thus devoutly fulfilling the will of God in conformity with the wishes of her spouse, yet, by this courteous and endearing act of humility, She wanted to repay her husband for the want of her consoling companionship. The holy Joseph answered that as he now saw Her, and again enjoyed her delightful presence, he was relieved of then pain caused by her absence. In the course of a few days they announced the day of their departure.” Thereupon the princess Mary took leave of the priest Zacharias. As he had already been enlightened by the Lord concerning her dignity, he addressed Her with the greatest reverence as the living sanctuary of he Divinity and humanity of the eternal Word.
ZACHARIAS “My Mistress, praise and bless eternally your Maker, who in his infinite mercy has chosen You among all his creatures as his Mother, as the sole Keeper of all his great blessings and sacraments. Be mindful of me, your servant, before the Lord and God, that he may lead me in the peace which we hope for, and that through You I may merit the vision of his Divinity, which is the glory of the Saints. Remember also, O Lady, my house and family, especially my Son John, and pray to the Most High for your people.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The great Lady knelt before him and in profound humility asked him to bless Her. This Zacharias hesitated to do and instead asked Her to give him her blessing. But nothing could overcome the humility of Her who was the Teacher of that virtue and of all holiness; and She importuned the priest for his blessing until he yielded to the impulse of divine light. In the words of the Holy Scripture, he said to Her:
ZACHARIAS “The right arm of the almighty and true God assist You always, and deliver You from all evil (ps. 120, 7). Possess you the grace of His unfailing protection, and be filled with the dew of heaven and with the fruits of the earth, and let Him give You abundance of bread and wine (Gen. 27, 28); let the nations serve You and let the generations worship You, since You are the tabernacle of God (Eccl. 24, 12); be You the Mistress of your brethren, and let the sons of your mother kneel in your presence. Those that praise and bless You shall be honored and blessed; and those that bless and extol You shall not be cursed, In You let all nations know their God (Judith 13, 31), and through You let the name of the most high God of Jacob be glorified”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) ”In return for this prophetic blessing, most holy Mary kissed the hand of the priest and asked him to forgive Her the faults committed in his house. The Saintly old man was much moved by these parting words of the most pure and amiable of all creatures, and ever thereafter bore hidden within him the memory of the mysteries revealed to him concerning the most holy Mary.” “Leaving Zacharias in tears, Mary betook Herself to her cousin Elisabeth. As she was a cousin of Mary, of a tender heart, and as she had enjoyed so many days of sweet intercourse, and had received so many favors of the Mother of grace, she was almost overcome with grief at the mere thought of now losing the source whence so many blessings had flown and were yet to flow, if she could only retain it. Hence when the time for taking leave of the Mistress of heaven and earth finally arrived her heart was torn with sorrow, and she could only say a few words amid her copious tears and sighs revealing her inmost soul. The serene Queen, being superior to all inordinate movements of the natural passions, in affable modesty spoke to Elisabeth:”
HOLY MARY “My beloved cousin, do not grieve so much over my departure, since the charity of the Most High, in whom I truly love You, knows no distance of time or place. In Him I behold You, and I keep You in my mind; and you will also find me in the same presence. Short is the time of our bodily separation, since all the days of human life are so fleeting (Job. 14, 5), and if we gain the victory over our enemies we shall very soon see ourselves and enjoy ourselves in the celestial Jerusalem, where there is no sorrow, no weeping, no separation (Apoc. 21, 4). In the meanwhile you will find all blessings in the Lord and also me you will find and possess in Him. He will remain in You and console You.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Our most prudent Queen said no more to allay the grief of Saint Elisabeth; instead She knelt down at her feet and asked her blessing, and her pardon for what might have been disagreeable in her intercourse with her; not would Mary yield to the protests of Elisabeth until her petition was granted. Elisabeth then insisted on her part and asked the blessing of the heavenly Lady in return, and not wishing to deny her this consolation, most holy Mary complied.” “The Queen visited also the child John, received him in her arms and bestowed on him many mysterious blessings. The wonderful infant by divine dispensation spoke to the Virgin, although in a low and infantile voice:”
SAINT JOHN “You are the mother of God himself, the Queen of all creation, the Keeper of the ineffable Treasure of heaven, my help and my protection: grant me, your servant, your blessing, and may your intercession and favor never fail me.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Three times he kissed the hand of the Queen of heaven; likewise he adored the incarnate Word in her virginal Womb, and he asked Him for his benediction and grace. The infant God manifested his pleasure and benevolence toward his Precursor, while the most happy Mother Mary beheld and understood all that was passing. In all these things she acted with the plenitude of divine science, venerating all these mysteries according to their proper import; for She responded with a magnanimous heart to all the works of his divine wisdom (II Mach. 2, 9).” “The whole household of Zacharias had been sanctified by the presence of the most holy Mary and of the incarnate Word in her womb; all its inmates had been edified by her example, instructed by her conversations and teachings, and sweetly affected by her intercourse and modest behavior. While She had drawn toward Herself all the hearts of the happy family, She also merited and obtained for them from her most holy Son the plenitude of celestial gifts. Holy Joseph was held in high veneration by Zacharias, Elisabeth and John; for they had come to know his high dignity before he himself was aware of it. The blessed Patriarch, happy in his treasure, the full value of which he did not yet know, took leave of all and departed for Nazareth. But before they began their journey most holy Mary, on bended knees, besought Saint Joseph to bless Her, as she was accustomed to do on such occasions, and after She had received his blessing, they betook themselves on their journey.”
SCENE 54. EXT. DAY. THE ROAD BETWEEN JUDEA AND NAZARETH – THE JOURNEY OF MOST HOLY MARY FROM THE HOUSE OF ZACHARIAS TO HER HOME IN NAZARETH ** The scene is optional for the filming of the movie but does describe two acts of mercy by holy Mary on Her way back to Nazareth. . Some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity **
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Returning from the town of Judea to Nazareth the most holy Mary, the living tabernacle of God, pursued her way through the mountains of Judea, in the company her most faithful spouse Saint Joseph. The great Queen and Saint Joseph again consumed four days in their journey, as they had done on their coming. In the course of the journey the Mistress of the world performed some wonderful works, although always in secret. It happened that when they arrived at a place not far from Jerusalem some people from another town came to the same hostelry. They brought with them a young women seeking s cure for her sickness in the larger and more populous city. She was known to be very sick, but no one knew what was her sickness or the cause of it. This woman had lived a very virtuous life. On this account the enemy, who knew her character and her advanced virtues, began to direct his attacks especially against her, as he always does against the friends of God. He caused her to commit some sins and, in order to force her from one abyss into another, he tempted her with despondent thoughts and disorderly grief at her fall. Having thus upset her judgment this dragon found entrance into her body, and now he, with many other demons, had possession of her.” “The heavenly Princess saw her in the tavern and knew of her affliction, which was unknown to the others. Moved by motherly pity, She begged her most holy Son to give health of body and soul to the unfortunate woman. Perceiving that the divine will was inclined to mercy, She used her power as Queen and commanded the demons instantly to leave this creature never to return. Moreover, She banished them to the infernal depths, their lawful and appropriate dwelling. This command of our great Queen and Lady was not given vocally, but mentally in such a way as to be perceptible to the impure spirits. It was so powerful that Lucifer and his companions hastened to leave that body and hurl themselves into the infernal darkness.” ** Some narrative test is omitted here for the sake of brevity ** “Vast and furious was the wrath of Lucifer, when he found himself and his demons dispossessed and cast out from their abode by the mere word of this woman Mary. Full of wrathful astonishment, he exclaimed:”
LUCIFER “Who is this weak Woman, that commands and oppresses us with so much power? What new surprise is this, and how can my pride stand it? We must hold a council and see how we can unite to destroy Her.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Our pilgrims in the meanwhile came to another tavern, the master of which was a man of bad habits and character; and as a beginning of his happiness, God ordained that he should receive most holy Mary and Joseph with a good will and marks of kindness. He showed them more courtesy and good services than he was accustomed to show others. In order to return his hospitality with still greater kindness the great Queen, who knew the sad state of his interior, prayed for him, justifying his soul and causing him to change his life. Her prayers had also the effect of adding to his worldly possessions, for on account of the small favor done to his heavenly guests, God increased them from that time on. Many more miracles the Mother of grace wrought in this journey, for all her doings were divine (Cant, 4, 13),and all who were of proper disposition were sanctified by meeting Her. They finished their journey at Nazareth, where the Princess of heaven set her house in order and cleaned it with the assistance of her holy angels. For they vied with Her in humility and were anxious to serve and honor Her by taking part in these humble occupations. The holy Joseph applied himself to his ordinary daily work, providing for the sustenance of the Queen; and his trusting heart was not deceived in Her (Prov. 31, 11). ** Some narrative test here is omitted for the sake of brevity **
SCENE 55. INT HELL. – THE DEMONS HOLD A MEETING IN HELL IN ORDER TO TAKE COUNCIL AGAINST MOST HOLY MARY SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At the instant of the carnation of the Word, Lucifer and all hell felt the right arm of the Almighty which hurled them to the deepest of the infernal caverns. There they remained for some days, until the Lord in his admirable providence allowed them to come forth from this captivity, the cause of which they did not know. The great dragon then arose and scoured the earth, spying everywhere for new developments to which he might attribute the rout which he and all his satellites had experienced. This search the proud prince would not trust entirely to his companions, but he himself issued forth in their company to course about upon the globe, seeking with the most cunning malice to find what he wanted. He spent in this search three months and finally returned to hell just as ignorant of the true cause as when he had come forth. For the great mysteries of heaven were not intelligible to him at that time, because the darkness of his malice did not permit him either to rejoice in the wonderful effects or to glorify and bless their Author. This was reserved to us men, for whom redemption was inaugurated.” “The enemy of God was very much confused and aggrieved, without knowing how to account for it. In order to discuss the matter, he called together all the infernal hosts, without excusing or permitting a single one of the demons to be absent. In this convention, from a place of vantage, he addressed the meeting in this manner”
LUCIFER “You well know my subjects, with what great anxiety I, ever since God has cast us out from his dwelling and deprived us of our might, have sought to avenge myself and tried to destroy the power of the Almighty. Although I cannot do anything to injure Him, I have spartd no time or exertion in extending my dominion over men whom He loves. By my own strength I have peopled my reign (Job 41, 25) and many nations and tribes obey and follow me (Luke 4, 6). Day by day I draw towards myself innumerable souls, depriving them of the knowledge and possession of God, in order that they may not enjoy the happiness that we have lost. I ensnare them to these eternal pains which we suffer, since they will follow my teaching and guidance: on them I will wreak the vengeance which I have conceived against their Creator. But all this appears of small consequence to me in the face of the sudden overthrow which we have experienced; for an attack so powerful and ruinous has not happened to us since we were hurled from heaven. I must acknowledge that your as well AS my power has met a serious shock. This new and extraordinary defeat must have some new cause, and the weakness I fear is the beginning of our ruin.” “This matter will require renewed diligence, for my fury is unquenchable and my vengeance remains insatiable. I have scoured the whole earth, observed all its inhabitants with great care, and yet I have found nothing notable. I have watched and persecuted all the virtuous and perfect women who are of the race of Her whom I saw in heaven, and whom I expect to meet among them. But I find no sign of her having as yet been born; for I do not find one whom possesses the marks of Her who is to be the Mother of the Messiah. A Maiden whom I feared on account of her great virtues, and whom I persecuted in the temple, is already married; and therefore she cannot be the one whom we look for, since Isaiah says she is to be a Virgin (Is. 7, 14). Nevertheless I fear and detest this Maiden, since such a virtuous Woman might give birth to the Mother of the Messiah or to some great prophet. To this hour I have not been able to overcome Her in anything, and of Her life I understand less than that of the others. She has always valiantly resisted me, as She eludes my memory; or remembering Her, I cannot approach Her. I have not yet been able to decide whether these difficulties in regard to Her are miraculous, or arise from my forgetfulness, or whether they are the consequences of the contempt in which I hold such an insignificant Maiden. But I will consider this matter; for recently we could not resist the power of Her command, by which we were dispossessed of our right to dwell in those persons from which She drove us. This certainly requires satisfaction, and She merits my wrath solely on account of what she has shown Herself to be on these occasions. I resolve to persecute Her and overcome Her, and do you yourselves assist me in this enterprise with all your strength and malice; and those who will distinguish themselves in this conquest shall receive great rewards at my hands.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The whole infernal rabble which had listened attentively to Lucifer, praised and approved his intentions, and they told him not to worry of this Woman, for She could easily be overcome and he should not be without his triumphs over Her, since his power was so great and ruled all the world (John 14, 30). Then they set about discussing the means of entrapping most holy Mary, supposing Her to be a woman of distinguished and remarkable virtue and holiness, but not the Mother of the incarnate Word; for at that time, as I have said, the demons were ignorant of the hidden sacraments connected with Her. Accordingly Lucifer and his companions in malice immediately entered upon a mighty conflict with the heavenly Princess, this making it possible for Her to crush the head of the infernal dragon many times (Gen. 3, 15). Yet, though this was a great battle, and one of the most remarkable conflicts of her life, She fought another one later on after the Ascension of her most holy Son into heaven.
SCENE 62. INT. DAY. MARY AND JOSEPH’S HOUSE IN NAZARETH – SOME OF THE SAYINGS AND CONVERSATONS OF MOST HOLY MARY AND JOSEPH REGARDING DIVINE THINGS; OTHER WONDERFUL EVENTS
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Before Saint Joseph had been instructed in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Princess of heaven made use of opportune occasions for reading to him some of the passages of the holy Scriptures, especially those from the Prophets and from the Psalms. As a most wise Teacher She also explained them to him, and her holy spouse who was indeed capable of the exalted truths contained therein, asked Her many questions, wondering at and consoling himself with the heavenly answers of his Spouse; and thus both of them alternately praised and blessed the Lord. But after he had himself become instructed in the great sacrament, he conversed with our Queen, as with one, who was Herself to be the Coadjutrix of the admirable works and mysteries of our Redemption. For now they could more openly and clearly discuss the divine prophecies and oracles concerning the conception of the Word through a Virgin-Mother, of his birth, his bringing up, and his most holy life. All these things her Highness discussed and explained, delineating beforehand the course of action, which they were to pursue, when the longed-for day of the birth of the Child should have arrived, when She should hold Him in her arms, nourish Him at her breast with virginal milk, and when the holy spouse himself should share in this greatest of mortal blessedness. ** Some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity ** “Her most faithful and blessed husband was wholly inflamed by her sweet words and conversations, and with tears of joy he said to the heavenly Spouse:
SAINT JOSEPH “Is it possible, that in your most chaste arms I shall see my God and Redeemer? That I shall hear him speak, and touch Him, and that my eyes shall look upon his divine face, and that the sweat of my brow shall be so blessed as to be poured out in his service and for his sustenance? That He shall live with us, and that we shall eat with Him at the same table, and that we shall speak and converse with Him? Whence comes to me this good fortune which nobody can ever deserve? O how much do I regret that I am so poor! I wish I possessed the richest palaces for his entertainment and many treasures to offer Him”.
THE SOVEREIGN QUEEN (HOLY MARY) “My master and spouse, there is abundant reason that your desires extend to all things possible for the reception of your Creator; but this great God and Lord does not wish to enter into the world in the pomp of ostentatious riches and royal majesty. He has need of none of these (Ps. 15, 2), nor does He come from heaven for such vanities. He comes to redeem the world and to guide men on the path to eternal life (John 10, 10); and this is be done by means of humility and poverty; in these He wishes to be born, live and die, in order to destroy in the hearts of men the fetters of covetousness and pride, which keep them from blessedness. On this account he chose our poor and humble house, and desires us not to be rich in apparent, deceitful or transitory goods, which are but vanity of vanities and affliction of spirit (Eccles. 1, 24) and which oppress and obscure the understanding.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “At other times the Saint asked the most pure Lady to teach him the nature and essence of virtues, especially of the love of God, in order that he might know how to behave toward the Most High become man and in order that he might not be rejected as a useless and incapable servant. The Queen and Teacher of virtues complied with these requests and explained to him the meaning of true virtues and the manner of exercising them in all perfection. **Some narrative text here is omitted for the sake of brevity ** “Among other wonderful happenings in connection with his intercourse with most holy Mary during these days of her pregnancy, Saint Joseph one day saw many birds flocking around Her in order to pay their respect to the Queen and mistress of all creatures. They surrounded Her as if to form a choir and raised up their voices in songs of sweet harmony not less wonderful than their visit to the heavenly Lady. Saint Joseph had never seen this wonder until that day and, full of admiration and joy, he said to his sovereign Spouse:
SAINT JOSEPH “Is it possible my Mistress, that these simple birds and irrational creatures should understand and fulfill their obligations better than I? Surely it is reasonable, that if they recognize, serve and reverence You according to their powers, that You allow me to perform that which in duty I am bound to do.”
HOLY MARY “My master, in the behavior of these little birds the Creator offers us a powerful motive worthily to employ all our strength and faculties in his praise, just as they recognize and acknowledge their Creator in my womb. I, however, am but a creature and therefore I deserve no veneration, nor is it right that I accept it; it is my duty to induce all creatures to praise the Most High, since he has looked upon me, his handmaid, and has enriched me with the treasures of the divinity” (Luke 2, 48).
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “It was also not a few times that the heavenly Lady and her spouse found themselves so poor and destitute of means that they were in want of the necessities of life; for they were most liberal in their gifts to the poor, and they were never anxious to store up beforehand food or clothing, as is wont with the children of this world in their faint-hearted covetousness (Math. 6, 25). The Lord so disposed things that the faith and patience of his most holy Mother and of Saint Joseph should not be vain, for this indigence was a source of incomparable consolation to our Lady, not only because of her love of poverty, but also on account of her astonishing humility. She considered Herself unworthy of the sustenance of life, and that She above all others should suffer the want of it. She blessed the Lord for this poverty as far as it affected Her, while She asked the Most High to supply the needs of Saint Joseph, as being a just and holy man and well worthy of this favor of the Almighty. The lord did not did not forget his poor entirely (Ps. 73, 19), for while he permitted them to exercise virtues and gain merits, He also gave them nourishment in opportune time (Ps. 144, 15). This his Providence provided in various ways. Sometimes He moved the hearts of their neighbors and acquaintances to bring some gratuitous gift or pay some debt. At other times, and more ordinarily, Saint Elisabeth sent them assistance from her home; for ever since She had harbored in her house Queen of heaven this devoted matron insisted on sending them a gift from time to time, which the humble princess always acknowledged by sending in return some work of her hands. On some occasions, for the greater glory of the Most High, the blessed Lady availed Herself of the power given to Her as the Mistress of all creation; then She would command the birds of the air to bring some fishes from the sea, or fruits of the field and they would fulfill her commands to the point; sometimes also they would bring bread in their beaks, which the Lord had furnished them. Many times the most fortunate spouse Saint Joseph was a witness to all the happenings. ** The remainder of the narrative text from this SCENE is omitted for the sake of brevity **
SCENE 66. EXT. NIGHT. CAVE OUTSIDE OF BETHLEHEM – CHRIST OUR SAVIOR IS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY IN BETHLEHEM, JUDA SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The palace which the supreme King of kings and the Lord of lords had chosen for the entrance of his eternal and incarnate Son in this world was a most poor and insignificant hut or cave, to which most holy Mary and Joseph betook themselves after they had been denied the hospitality and the most ordinary kindness by their fellow men. This place was held in such contempt that though the town of Bethlehem was full of strangers in want of night shelter, none would demean or degrade himself so far as to make use of it for lodging; for there was none who deemed it suitable or desirable for such a purpose, except for the Teachers of humility and poverty, Christ our savior and his purest Mother. On this account the wisdom of the eternal Father had reserved it for Them, consecrating it in all its bareness, loneliness and poverty as the first temple of light (Malachy 4, 2, Ps. 111, 4) and as the house of the true Sun of justice, which was to arise for the upright of heart from the resplendent Aurora Mary, turning the night of sin into the daylight of grace. “Most holy Mary and Saint Joseph entered the lodging thus provided from them and by the effulgence of the ten thousand angels of their guard they could easily ascertain its poverty and loneliness, which they esteemed as favors and welcomed with tears of consolation and joy. Without delay the two holy travelers fell on their knees and praised the Lord, giving Him thanks for his benefit, which they knew had been provided by his wisdom for his own hidden designs. Of this mystery the heavenly Princess Mary had a better insight; for as soon as She sanctified the interior of the cave by her sacred footsteps She felt a fullness of joy which entirely elevated and vivified Her. She besought the Lord to bless with a liberal hand all the inhabitants of the neighboring city, because by rejecting Her they had given occasion to the vast favors, which She awaited in the neglected cavern. It was formed entirely of bare and course rocks, without any natural beauty or artificial adornment; a place intended merely for the shelter of animals; yet the eternal father had selected it for the shelter and dwelling place of his own son.” “The angelic spirits, who like a celestial militia guarded their Queen and Mistress formed themselves into cohorts in the manner of the court guards of a royal palace. They showed themselves in their visible forms also to Saint Joseph; for on this occasion it was befitting that he should enjoy such a favor, on the one hand in order to assuage his sorrow by allowing him to behold this poor lodging thus beautified and adorned by their celestial presence, and on the other, in order to enliven and encourage him for the events which the Lord intended to bring about during that night, and in this forsaken place. The great Queen and Empress who was already informed of the mystery to be transacted here, set about cleaning with he own hands the cave, which was soon to serve as a royal throne and sacred mercy-seat; for neither did She want to miss this occasion for exercising her humility, nor would She deprive her only-begottten Son of the reverence implied by the preparation and cleansing of his temple.” “Saint Joseph, mindful of the majesty of his heavenly Spouse, besought Her not to deprive him of this work, which he considered to be his alone; and he hastened to set about cleaning the floor and the corners of the cave, although the humble Queen continued to assist him therein. As the holy angels were then present in visible forms, they were abashed at such eagerness for humiliation, and they speedily emulated with each other to join in this work; or rather, in order to say it more succinctly, in the shortest time they had cleansed and set in order that cave, filling it with a holy fragrance. Saint Joseph started a fire with the material he had brought for that purpose. As it was very cold, they sat at the fire in order to get warm, They partook of the food which they had brought, and they ate this, their frugal supper, with incomparable joy of their souls. The Queen of heaven was so absorbed and taken up with the thought of the impending mystery of her divine delivery, that She would not have partaken of the food if She had not been urged to by obedience to her divine spouse.” “After their supper they gave thanks to the Lord as was their custom. Having spent a short time in this prayer and conferring about the mysteries of the incarnate Word, the most prudent Virgin felt the approach of the most blessed Birth. She requested her spouse Saint Joseph to betake himself to rest and sleep as the night was already far advanced. The man of God yielded to the request of his Spouse and urged Her to do the same; and for this purpose he arranged and prepared a sort of couch with the articles of wear in their possession, making use of a crib or manger, that had been left by he shepherds for their animals. Leaving most holy Mary in the portion of the cave thus furnished, Saint Joseph retired to a corner at the entrance, where he began to pray. He was immediately visited by the divine spirit and felt a most sweet and extraordinary influence, by which he was wrapt and elevated into an ecstasy. In it was shown him all that passed during that night in this blessed cave; for he did not return to consciousness until his heavenly Spouse called him. Such was the sleep which Saint Joseph enjoyed in that night, more exalted and blessed that that of Adam in paradise (Gen. 21, 2). “ “The Queen of all creatures was called from her resting-place by a loud voice of the Most High, which strongly and sweetly raised Her above all created things and caused Her to feel new effects of the divine power; for this was the most singular and admirable ecstasies of her most holy life. Immediately also She was filled with new enlightenment and divine influences, until She reached the clear vision of the Divinity. The veil fell and She saw intuitively the Godhead itself in such glory and plenitude of insight, as all the capacity of men and angels could not describe or fully understand. All the knowledge of the divinity and Humanity of her most holy Son, which She had ever received in former visions was renewed and, moreover, other secrets of the inexhaustible archives of the bosom of God were revealed to Her.” ** Some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity ** “The Most High announced to his Virgin Mother, that the time of his coming into the world had arrived and what would be the manner in which this was now to be fulfilled and executed. The most prudent Lady perceived in this vision the purpose of the exalted scope of these wonderful mysteries and sacraments, as well is in so far as related to the Lord himself and also in so far as they concerned creatures, for whose benefit they had primarily decreed. She prostrated Herself before the throne of his divinity and gave Him glory, magnificence, thanks and praise.” ** Some narrative text is omitted here for the sake of brevity ** “The most holy Mary remained in this ecstasy and for over an hour immediately proceeding her divine delivery. At the moment when She issued from it and regained the use of her senses She felt and saw that the body of the infant God began to move in her virginal womb; how releasing and freeing Himself from the place which in the course of nature He had occupied for nine months, He now prepared to issue forth from that sacred bridal chamber. This movement did not cause any pain or hardship, as happens with the others daughters of Adam and Eve in their childbirths; but filled Her with incomparable joy and delight, causing in Her soul and in Her virginal body such exalted and divine effects that they exceed all the thoughts of men. Her body became so spiritualized with the beauty of heaven that She seemed no more a human and earthly creature. Her countenance emitted rays of light, like a sun incarnadined, and shone in indescribable earnestness and majesty, all inflamed with fervent love. She was kneeling in the manger, her eyes raised to heaven, her hands joined and folded at the breast, her soul wrapped in the divinity and She herself was entirely deified. In this position, and at the end of the heavenly rapture, the most exalted Lady gave to the world the Onlybegotten of the Father and her own, our Savior Jesus, true God and man, at the hour of midnight, on a Sunday. ** Some narrative text here is omitted for the sake of brevity ** “The sacred evangelist Luke tells us that the Mother Virgin, having brought forth her firstbegotten Son, wrapped Him is swathing clothes and placed Him in a manger. He does not say the She received Him in her arms from her virginal womb; for this did not pertain to the purpose of his narrative. But the two sovereign princes, Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel were the assistants of the Virgin on this occasion. They stood by at a proper distance in human corporeal forms at the moment when the incarnate Word, issued forth to the light, and they received Him in their hands with ineffable reverence. In the same manner as the priest exhibits the host the people for adoration, so these two celestial ministers presented to the divine Mother her glorious and refulgent Son. All this happened in a short space of time. In the same moment in which the holy angels presented the divine Child to his Mother, both Son and Mother looked upon each other, and in this look, She wounded with love by the sweet Infant and was at the same time exalted and transformed in Him. From the arms of the holy princes the Prince of all the heavens spoke his holy Mother:
THE INFANT JESUS “Mother, become like unto Me, since on this day, for the human existence, which you have today given Me, I will give You another more exalted existence in grace, assimilating your existence as a mere creature to the likeness of Me, who am God and Man”.
Holy Mary “Trahe, me post Te, curremus in odorem unguentum tuorum” (Cant. 1, 3). Raise me, elevate me, Lord, and I will run after You in the odor of your garments”.
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The words which most holy Mary heard from the mouth of her most holy Son, served to make her understand at the same time the interior acts of his holiest soul united with the Divinity; in order that by imitating them She might become like unto him. This was one of the greatest blessings, which the most faithful and fortunate Mother received at the hands of her Son, the true God and man, not only because it was continued from that day on through all her life, but because it furnished Her the means of copying his own divine life as faithfully as was possible to a mere creature. At the same time the heavenly Lady perceived and felt the presence of the most holy Trinity, and She heard the voice of the eternal Father saying:”
THE ETERNAL FATHER “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am greatly pleased and delighted” (Matth. 17, 5).
HOLY MARY “Eternal Father and exalted God, Lord and Creator of the universe, give me anew the permission and benediction to receive in my arms the Desired of nations (Agg. 2, 8); and teach me to fulfill as your unworthy Mother and lowly slave, your holy will”
THE ETERNAL FATHER “Receive your onlybeggotten Son, imitate Him and rear Him; and remember you must sacrifice Him when I shall demand it of You”
HOLY MARY “Behold the creature of your hands, adorn me with your grace so that your Son and my God receive me for his slave; and if You will come to my aid with your Omnipotence, I shall be faithful in his service; and do you count it no presumption in your insignificant creature, that she bear in her arms and nourish at her breast her own Lord and Creator.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “After this interchange of words, so full of mysteries, the divine child suspended the miracle of his transfiguration, or rather He inaugurated the other miracle, that of suspending the effects of glory in his most holy body, confining them solely to his soul; and He now assumed the appearance of one capable of suffering, In this form the most pure Mother now saw Him and still remaining in a kneeling position and adoring Him with profound humility and reverence, She saw him in her arms, She spoke to Him and said:”
HOLY MARY “My sweetest Love and light of my eyes and being of my soul, You have arrived in a good hour into this world as the Sun of justice (Malach. 4, 2), in order to disperse the darkness of sin and death! True God of the true God, save your servants and let all flesh see Him, who shall bring upon it salvation (Is. 9, 2). Receive me your servant as your slave and supply my deficiency, in order that I may properly serve You. Make me, my Son, such as You desirest me to be in your service.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Then the most prudent Mother turned toward the eternal Father to offer up to Him his Onlybegotten, saying:
HOLY MARY “Exalted Creator of the Universe, here is the altar and the sacrifice acceptable in your eyes (Malachy 3, 4). From this hour on, O Lord, look upon the human race with mercy; and inasmuch as we have deserved your anger, it is now time that You be appeased in your Son and mine. Let your justice, now come to rest, and let your mercy be exalted; for on this account the Word has clothed itself in flesh (Rom 8, 3) and became a Brother of mortals and sinners (Phillip 2, 7). In this title I recognize them and I intercede with them from my inmost soul. You, Lord, have made me the Mother of the Onlybegotten without my merit, since this dignity is above all merit of a creature; but I partly owe to men the occasion of this incomparable good fortune; since it is on their account that I am the Mother of the Word made man and Redeemer of them all. I will not deny them my love, or remit my care and watchfulness for their salvation. Receive, eternal God, my wishes and petitions for that which is according to your good pleasure and good will.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “The Mother of mercy turned also toward all mortals and addressed them saying:
HOLY MARY “Be consoled ye afflicted and rejoice ye disconsolate, be raised up ye fallen, come to rest ye uneasy. Let the just be gladdened and the Saints be rejoiced; let the heavenly spirits break out in new jubilee, let the Prophets and Patriarchs of limbo draw new hope, and let all the generations praise and magnify the Lord, who renews his wonders. Come, come ye poor; approach ye little ones, without fear, for in my arms I bear the Lion made a lamb, the Almighty, become weak, the Invincible subdued. Come to draw life, hasten to obtain salvation, approach to obtain eternal rest, since I have this for all, and it will be given to all freely and communicated to you without envy. Do not be slow and heavy of heart, ye sons of men; and You, O sweetest joy of my soul, give me permission to receive from You that kiss desired by all creatures.”
SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “Therewith the most blessed Mother applied her most chaste and heavenly lips in order to receive the loving caresses of the divine Child, who on his part, as her true Son, had desired them from Her.” “Holding Him in Her arms She thus served as the alter and the sanctuary, where the ten thousand angels adored in visible forms their Creator incarnate. And as the most blessed Trinity assisted in an especial manner at the birth of the Word, heaven was as it were emptied of its inhabitants, for the whole heavenly court had betaken itself to that blessed cave in Bethlehem and was adoring their Creator in His garb and habit as a pilgrim (Phil. 2, 7). And in their concert of praise the holy angels intoned the new canticle:”
THE HOLY ANGELS “Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntaris” (Luke 2, 14). In sweetest and sonorous harmony they repeated it, transfixed in wonder at the new miracles then being fulfilled and at the unspeakable prudence, grace, humility and beauty of that tender Maiden of fifteen years, who had become the worthy trustee and Minister of such vast and magnificent sacraments.” SISTER MARY OF JESUS (OPTIONAL NARRATION) “It was now the time to call Saint Joseph, the faithful spouse of the most discrete and attentive Lady. He was wrapped in ecstasy, in which he was informed by divine revelation of all the mysteries of this sacred Birth during this night. But it was becoming that he should see, and, before all other mortals, should in his corporeal faculties and senses be present and experience, adore and reverence the Word made flesh; for he of all others had been chosen to act as the faithful warden of this great sacrament. At the desire of his heavenly Spouse he issued from his ecstasy and, on being restored to consciousness, the first sight of his eyes was the divine Child in the arms of the Virgin Mother reclining against her sacred countenance and breast. There he adored Him in the profoundest humility and in tears of joy. He kissed his feet in great joy and admiration, which no doubt would have taken away and destroyed life in him, if divine power had not preserved it; and he certainly would have lost all the use of his senses, if the occasion had permitted. When Saint Joseph had begun to adore he Child, the most prudent Mother asked leave of her Son to arise (for until then She had remained on her knees) and, while Saint Joseph handed Her the wrappings and swaddling-clothes, which She had brought, She clothed Him with incomparable reverence, devotion and tenderness. Having thus swathed and clothed Him, his Mother, with heavenly wisdom laid Him the crib, as related by Saint Luke (Luke 2, 7). For this purpose She had arranged some straw and hay upon a stone in order to prepare for the God-Man, his first resting-place upon earth next to that which He had found in her arms. According to the divine ordainment an ox from the neighboring fields ran up in great haste and, entering the cave, joined the beast of burden brought by the Queen. The blessed Mother commanded them, with what show of reverence was possible to acknowledge and adore their Creator. The humble animals obeyed their Mistress and prostrated themselves before the Child, warming Him with their breath and rendering Him the service refused by men. And thus the God made man was placed between the two animals, wrapped in swaddling clothes and wonderfully fulfilling the prophecy that “the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood.”