Mary Magdalene 1

Apparitions of Christ Our Savior to the Marys and to the Apostles

Adjust Voice Speed - Knob on the right
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...



To know who is Mary of Agreda –  see article here

After Jesus our Savior, arisen and glorified, had visited and filled with glory his most blessed Mother, He resolved, as the loving Father and Pastor, to gather the sheep of his flock, which the scandal of his sufferings had disturbed and scattered. The holy Patriarchs and all whom He had rescued from limbo continually remained in his company, although they did not manifest themselves and remained invisible during his apparitions; only our great Queen was privileged to see them, know them and speak to them all during the time intervening between the Resurrection and the Ascension of her divine Son.

Whenever the Lord did not appear to others, He remained with his beloved Mother in the Cenacle; nor did She ever leave this place during all the forty days. There She enjoyed the presence of the Redeemer of the world and of the choir of Prophets and Saints, by whom the King and Queen were attended. For the purpose of making his Resurrection known to his Apostles, He began by showing Himself to the women, not on account of their weakness, but because they were stronger in their belief and in their hope of the Resurrection; for this is the reason why they merited the privilege of being the first to see Him arisen.

The Evangelist Mark (Mark 15, 47) mentions the special notice, which Mary Magdalen and Mary Joseph took of the place where they had seen the body of Jesus deposited. Accordingly they, with other holy women, went forth on the evening of the Sabbath from the Cenacle to the city and bought additional ointments and spices in order to return, early the following morning, to the sepulchre, and show their veneration by visiting and anointing the holy body once more. On the Sunday, entirely ignorant of the grave’s having been sealed and placed under guard by order of Pilate (Matth. 27, 65), they arose before dawn in order to execute their pious design.

On their way they thought only of the difficulty of removing the large stone, which they now remembered had been rolled before the opening of the sepulchre; but their love made light of this hindrance, though they did not know how to remove it. When they came forth from the house of the Cenacle, it was yet dark, but before they arrived at the sepulchre the sun had already dawned and risen; for on that day the three hours of darkness which had intervened at the Death of the Savior, were compensated by an earlier sunrise. This miracle will harmonize the statements of saint Mark and of saint John, of whom the one says, that the Marys came after sunrise, and the other that it was yet dark (Mark 16, 2; John 20, 1); for both speak truly:

That they went forth very early and before dawn, and that the sun, by its more sudden and accelerated flight, had already risen at their arrival at the grave, though they tarried not on the short way. The sepulchre was in an arched vault, as in a cave, the entrance to which was covered by a large stone slab. Within, somewhat to one side and raised from the ground, was the hollow slab wherein the body of the Savior rested.

A little before the Marys thought and spoke of the difficulty of removing the stone, a violent and wonderful quaking or trembling of the earth took place; at the same time an angel of the Lord opened the sepulchre and cast aside the stone that covered and obstructed the entrance (Matth. 28, 2). At this noise and the earthquake the guards of the sepulchre fell prostrate to the earth, struck motionless with fear and consternation, although they did not see the Lord. For the body of the Lord was no more in the grave; He had already arisen and issued from the monument before the angel cast aside the stone.

The Marys, though in some fear, took heart and were encouraged by God to approach and enter the vault. Near the entrance they saw the angel who had thrown aside the stone, seated upon it, refulgent in countenance and in snowwhite garments (Mark 16, 5). He spoke to them saying: “Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him.” The holy women entered, and seeing the sepulchre vacant they were filled with grief; for as yet they were more deeply affected at seeing the Lord absent, than by the words of the angel. Then they saw two other angels seated at each end of the slab, who said to them: “Why seek you the Living with the dead? Remember how He spoke unto you, when he was yet in Galilee (Luke 26, 45), that He was to rise on the third day. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee, there shall you see Him” (Mark 16, 7).

Being thus reminded by the angels the Marys remembered what their divine Master had said. Assured of his Resurrection they hastened away from the sepulchre and gave an account to the eleven Apostles and other followers of the Lord. But many of these were so shaken in their faith and so forgetful of the words of their Master and Redeemer, that they thought this story of the holy women a mere hallucination (Luke 24, 11). While the holy women, full of trembling and joy, related to the Apostles what they had seen, the sentinels at the grave awoke from their stupor and regained the use of their senses.

As they saw the sepulchre open and emptied of the sacred body, they fled to give notice of the event to the princes and priests (Matth. 11, 14). These were cast into great consternation and called a meeting in order to determine what they could do in order to palliate the miracle, which was so patent that it could not remain hidden. They concluded to offer to the soldiers much money to induce them to say that during their sleep the disciples of Jesus had come and stolen the body from the grave. The priests, having assured the guards of immunity and protection, spread this lie among the Jews. Many were so foolish as to believe it; and there are some in our own day, who are obstinate and blind enough to give it credit and who prefer to accept the testimony of witnesses, who acknowledged that they were asleep during the time of which they testify.

Although the disciples and Apostles considered the tale of the Marys mere preposterous talk, saint Peter and saint John, desirous of convincing themselves with their own eyes, departed in all haste to the sepulchre, closely followed by the holy women (John 20, 3). Saint John arrived first, and without entering saw the windingsheets laid to one side. He waited for the arrival of saint Peter, who, passing the other Apostle, entered first. Both of them saw that the sacred body was not in the tomb. Saint John then was assured of what he had begun to believe, when he had seen the great change in the Queen of heaven, as I have related in the foregoing chapter, and he then professed his belief. The two Apostles returned to give an account of the wonder they had seen in the sepulchre.

The Marys remained in a place apart from the sepulchre and wonderingly commented on the events. Mary Magdalen, in great excitement and tears, reentered the sepulchre to reconnoitre. Although the Apostles had not seen the angels, she saw them and they asked her: “Woman, why dost thou weep?” (John 20, 5). She answered: “Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid Him.” With this answer she left the garden where the sepulchre was, and met the Lord. She did not know Him, but thought it was the gardener. And the Lord also asked her: “Woman, why weepest thou? Whom dost thou seek?” (John 15). Magdalen, ignorant of his being the Lord, answered Him as if He were the gardener and, without further reflection, said: “Sir, if thou hast taken Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Then the loving Master said: “Mary,” and in pronouncing her name He permitted Himself to be recognized by the tone of his voice.

As soon as Magdalen recognized Jesus she was aflame with joyous love and aswered saying: “Rabboni, my Master!” Throwing herself at his feet, she was about to touch and kiss them, as being used to that favor. But the Lord prevented her and said: “Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father whence I came; but return and tell my brethren, the Apostles, that I am going to my Father and theirs.” Then Magdalen left, filled with consolation and jubilee.

Shortly she met the other Marys. Scarcely had they heard what had happened to her and how she had seen Jesus arisen from the grave, and while they were yet standing together conferring with each other in wonder and tears of joy, He appeared to them and said: “God save you.” They all recognized Him and, as saint Matthew tells us, they worshipped his sacred feet. The Lord again commanded them to go to the Apostles and tell them, that they had seen Him and that they should go to Galilee, where they should see Him arisen (Matth. 22, 9). Jesus then disappeared and the holy women hastened to the Cenacle to tell the Apostles all that had happened to them; but the Apostles continued to hesitate in their belief (Luke 24, 11).

Then the women sought the Queen of Heaven in order to tell Her of the events. Although Mary knew all that had happened by intellectual vision, She listened to them with admirable tenderness and prudence. While listening to the Marys, She took occasion to confirm their faith in the mysteries and high sacraments of the Incarnation and in the passages of holy Scriptures pertaining thereto. But the heavenly Queen did not tell them what had happened, although She was the Teacher of these faithful and devout disciples, just as the Lord was the Teacher of the Apostles in holy faith.

The Evangelists do not state when the Lord appeared to saint Peter, although saint Luke supposes it; but it was after He had appeared to the women. He appeared to him in private as the head of the Church and before He appeared to all of the Apostles together or to anyone of them. This happened on that same day, after the holy women had informed him of his apparition to them. Soon after also happened the apparition of the Lord to the two disciples going that afternoon to Emmaus, which is related minutely by saint Luke (Luke 24, 13).

This town is sixty stadia from Jerusalem; four Palestinian miles and about two Spanish leagues. The one of them was called Cleophas and the other was saint Luke himself. It took place in the following manner: The two disciples left Jerusalem, after they had heard the reports of the women.

On the way they continued to converse about the events of the Passion, the holiness of their Master and the cruelty of the Jews. They wondered that the Almighty should permit so holy and innocent a Man to suffer such wrongs and torments. The one said: “When was ever such meekness and gentleness seen?” and the other coincided, saying: “Who ever saw or heard of such patience, without a word of complaint or the least sign of perturbation in outward appearance or bearing? His doctrine was holy, his life blameless, his words those of etemallife, his doings for the welfare of all. What then could the priests see in him to warrant such hatred ?” The other answered: “Truly He was wonderful in all respects; and no one can deny, that He was a great Prophet; He performed many miracles, gave sight to the blind, health to the sick, life to the dead, and conferred wonderful benefits upon all. But He said He would rise on the third day after his Death, which is today, and this we do not see fulfilled.” The other one replied: “He also said that He would be crucified, and it was fulfilled to the word” (Matth. 20, 19).

In the midst of this and similar conversation Jesus appeared to them in the habit of a pilgrim and as one who happened to meet them on the way. He saluted them and said: “Of what do you speak, for it seems to Me you are sad?” Cleophas answered: “Art Thou the only stranger in Jerusalem, that Thou dost not know what has happened during these days in the city?” The Lord said: “What has happened, then?” to which the disciple replied: “Dost thou not know what the princes and priests have done to Jesus of Nazareth, a Man holy and powerful in words and deeds; how they condemned and crucified him?

We had hopes that He would redeem Israel by rising from the dead; now the third day has already come, and we do not know what has happened. And some of the women of our party have terrified us, since they went early this morning to the sepulchre and did not find the body. They maintain that they saw some angels who told them that He had risen. Then some of our associates went to the grave and found true, what the women had said. We are going to Emmaus in order to await the drift of these events.” Then the Lord answered: “0 foolish and slow of heart to believe; since you do not understand, that it must be so, that Christ suffer all these pains and so frightful a death in order to enter into his glory!”

Following up these mysteries the divine Master then explained to them his life and death for the Redemption of the human race; He interpreted to them different types of holy Scripture: of the lamb which Moses commanded to be slain and eaten, after the thresholds should have been marked with its blood (Exod. 12, 7) ; the death of the highpriest Aaron (Numb. 20, 23), the death of Samson through the amours of his spouse Delila (Judges 16, 30), many psalms of David pointing out the wicked council, the crucifixion and the division of his garments (Ps. 21, 17, 19; 15, 10), and that his body shall not see corruption; what is said in Wisdom (Wisdom 2, 20) and more clearly in Isaias (Is. 53, 2) and Jeremias (11, 19) concerning his Passion; namely, that He should appear as a leper and a man of sorrows, that He should be borne to slaughter like a lamb without opening his mouth; and in Zacharias, who saw Him pierced with many wounds; and many other passages of the holy Prophets, which clearly manifest the mysteries of his life and death.

By the fervor of these arguments the disciples were gradually enkindled with love and enlightened in the faith, which they had permitted to be obscured. And when they were already near to the castle of Emmaus, the divine Master gave them to understand, that He was to pass on in his journey; but they eagerly begged Him to stay with them, as it was getting late in the evening. The Lord yielded and, invited by the disciples, sat down to supper with them according to the manner of the Jews. The Lord took the bread, blessing it and breaking it as usual, He imparted to them, with it, the certainty that He was their Redeemer and Master.

They knew Him, because He opened the eyes of their souls. In the same instant He disappeared from their bodily eyes and they saw Him no more. But they were left in a state of wonder and full of joy, conferring with each other about the ardors of charity they had felt on the way, when He had conversed with them and explained to them the Scriptures. Without delay they returned to Jerusalem (Luke 24, 33), although night had already set in.

They went to the house, where the rest of the Apostles had secreted themselves for fear of the Jews and they found them discussing the news of the risen Savior and how He had already appeared to Peter. To this the two disciples added all that had happened to them on the way to Emmaus, and how they had recognized the Savior at the breaking of the bread in the castle of Emmaus. At this meeting was present also saint Thomas, who, although hearing the arguments of the Apostles and the testimony of saint Peter asserting that he had seen the Master risen, refused credit to the three disciples and the women, persevering in doubt and unbelief. In a somewhat hasty manner, caused by his incredulity, he left their company. Shortly after, when Thomas had left and the doors had been locked, the Lord entered and appeared to the others. In their midst He saluted them, saying: “Peace be with you. It is I; do not fear.”

At this sudden apparition, the Apostles feared lest what they saw was a ghost or phantasm, and the Lord added: “Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle and see: for a spirit hath no flesh and bones, as you see Me have.” The Apostles were so excited and confused, that though they saw Him and touched the wounded hands of the Savior, they could not realize, that it was He to whom they spoke and whom they touched.

The loving Master in order to assure them stilI more, said to them: “Give Me to eat, if you have aught.” Joyfully they offered Him some fried fish and a comb of honey. He ate part of these, and divided the rest among them, saying: “Do you not know, that all that has happened with Me is the same that has been written by Moses and the Prophets, in the Psalms and holy Scriptures, and that all must necessarily be fulfilled in Me as it was prophesied?”

And at these words He opened their minds, and they knew Him, and understood the sayings of the Scriptures concerning his Passion, Death and Resurrection on the third day. Having thus instructed them, He said again: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you, in order that you may teach the world the knowledge of the truth, of God and of eternal life, preaching repentance for sins and forgiveness of them in my name.” Breathing upon them, He added and said: “Receive ye the Holy Ghost, in order that the sins which you forgive may be forgiven, and those which you do not forgive, may not be forgiven. Preach ye to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.” Then the Savior, having thus consoled and confirmed them in faith, and having given them and all priests the power to forgive sins, disappeared from their midst.

All this took place in the absence of Thomas; but soon after, the Lord so disposing, he returned to the assembly, and the Apostles told him what had happened during his absence. Yet, though he found them so changed in joyful exultation, he remained incredulous and obstinate, maintaining, that he would not believe what all of them affirmed, unless he himself should see with his own eyes and touch with his own hands and fingers the wounds of the Savior’s side and those of the nails (John 20, 25).

In this obstinacy the incredulous Thomas persevered for eight days, when the Savior again returned through locked doors and appeared in the midst of the Apostles including Thomas. He saluted them as usual, saying: “Peace be with you,” and then calling Thomas, He sweetly reprimanded him. “Come, Thomas, and with your hands touch the openings of my hands and of my side, and be not so incredulous, but convinced and believing.” Thomas touched the divine wounds and was interiorly enlightened to believe and to acknowledge his ignorance. Prostrating himself to the ground he said: “My Lord and my God!” to which the Lord replied: “Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed; but blessed are those who do not see Me and believe Me.” The Lord then disappeared, leaving the Apostles and Thomas filled with light and joy. They immediately sought most holy Mary in order to relate to Her what had happened, just as they had done after the first apparition of the Lord.

The Apostles were at that time not yet able to comprehend the great wisdom of the Queen of heaven and earth, and much less to understand the knowledge She had of all that happened to them and of all the works of her divine Son; She therefore listened to them with highest prudence and with the loving sweetness of a Mother and Queen. After the first apparition some of the Apostles told Her of the obstinacy of Thomas, and that he would not believe their unanimous testimony concerning the Resurrection of the Master.

During the eight days in which his incredulity continued, the indignation of some of the Apostles against him grew more intense. They went to the heavenly Lady and accused him before Her of being an obstinate and stubborn transgressor, a man too dull to be enlightened. The loving Princess listened to them sweetly, and seeing that the anger of the Apostles, who were as yet all imperfect, was still increasing, She spoke to those most indignant and quieted them by arguing that the judgments of the Lord were deeply hidden and that the incredulity of Thomas would occasion great benefit to others and glory to God; that they should wait and hope and not be disturbed so easily. The heavenly Mother offered up most fervent prayers and petitions for Thomas and on that account the Lord hastened the cure of the incredulous Apostle.

When He yielded and all of them brought the news to Mary, their Mistress and Lady, She confirmed them in their faith, at the same time admonishing and correcting them. She told them to give thanks to the Most High for this blessing, and to be constant in temptation, since all were subject to the danger of falling. Many other sweet words of correction, instruction and warning did She add, preparing them for what was yet to be done in the establishment of the new Church.

There were other apparitions and doings of the Lord, as the Evangelist saint John gives us to understand; but only those are mentioned, which suffice to establish the fact of the Resurrection. The same Evangelist describes the apparition of the Lord at the sea of Tiberias to saint Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples, which, as it is so mysterious, I thought I ought not pass over unmentioned in this chapter. The apparition happened in the following manner: the Apostles, after the above events in Jerusalem, betook themselves to Galilee; for the Lord had so commanded them and had promised, that they should there see Him. Saint Peter, happening to be with the seven Apostles and disciples on the shores of that sea, proposed that they pass the time in fishing, as that was his trade. All of them accompanied him and they spent the night in casting out their nets; but they caught not a single fish.

In the morning our Savior Jesus appeared on the bank without making Himself known. He was near the boat on which they were fishing and He asked them: “Have you something to eat?” They answered: “We have nothing.” The Lord replied: “Throw out your net on the right side, and you shall make a catch.” They complied and their net became so filled, that they could not lift it into the boat. This miracle caused saint John to recognize the Lord Christ, and going nearer to saint Peter, he said: “It is the Lord who speaks to us from the bank.” Then saint Peter likewise recognized Jesus; and immediately seized with his accustomed fervor, he hastily girded himself with the tunic, which he had laid off, and cast himself into the sea, walking on the waters to the Master of life, while the others followed in their boat.

They sprang ashore and found that the Lord had already prepared for them a meal; for they saw a fire and upon its glimmering ashes bread and a fish. The Lord however told them to bring some of those they had caught. Saint Peter then drew out the catch and found, that they had secured one hundred and fifty-three fishes; and that even with that great number the net had not been torn. The Lord commanded them to eat. Although He was so familiar and affable in his behavior to them, no one ventured to ask who He was; for the miracles and the majesty of the Lord filled them with great reverence. He divided among them the fish and the bread. As soon as they had finished eating, He turned to saint Peter and said to him: “Simon, son of John, dost thou love Me more than these do?”

Saint Peter answered: “Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” The Lord replied: “Feed my lambs.” Immediately He asked again: “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?” Saint Peter gave the same answer: “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” And the Lord put the same question the third time: “Simon, son of John, lovest thou me?” At this third repetition Peter grieved and answered: “Lord, Thou knowest all things, and also that I love Thee.” Christ our Savior then answered the third time: “Feed my sheep.” By these words he made Peter the sole head of his only and universal Church, giving him the supreme vicarious authority over all men. On this account He had questioned him so often concerning his love, as if that alone could make him capable of the supreme dignity, and of itself sufficed for its worthy exercise.

Then the Lord intimated to him the duties of the office He had given him and said: “Truly I assure thee, that when thou art old, thou shalt not gird thyself as now, nor shalt thou go where thou listest; for another shall gird thee and lead thee where thou wouldst not.” Saint Peter understood, that the Lord held in store for him the death of the cross in which he was to imitate and follow his Lord. But as saint John was so beloved, Peter was desirous of knowing what would become of him, and he asked the Savior:” And what shalt Thou do with this one so beloved by Thee?”

The Lord answered: “What is it to thee to know this? If I desire that he remain thus until I come again to the world, it will be in my hands. Follow thou Me, and do not concern thyself with what I desire to do with him.” On account of these words a report was spread among the Apostles, that John was not to die. But the Evangelist himself remarks, that Christ had not said positively, he should not die, as is plain from the words, but He seems to have expressly desired to conceal his will concerning the death of the Evangelist, reserving this secret to Himself at that time.

The most holy Mary, by her clear intuition so often mentioned, had a full intelligence of all these mysteries and apparitions of the Lord. Being the archive of the works of the Lord and the treasure house of the mysteries of his Church, She preserved and conferred them within her own most prudent and chaste heart. The Apostles, and especially her new son John, informed Her of all that happened to them. The great Lady persevered in her retirement for the forty days after the Resurrection and there enjoyed the sight of her divine Son and of the angels and saints. They in tum sang hymns to the Lord, which She composed; and the angels as it were gathered them from her mouth, celebrating the glories and the virtues of the Lord.



My daughter, the instruction which I shall give thee in this chapter shall be also an answer to thy desire of knowing why my divine Son appeared at one time as a gardener, at another as a stranger, and why He did not always make Himself known at first sight. Know then, my dearest, that the Marys and the Apostles, although they were followers of Christ and at that time privileged and perfect in comparison with the rest of men; yet they had withal arrived only at a low degree of perfection and holiness and not far enough advanced in the school of their Master.

They were weak in faith and in other virtues; they were less constant and fervent than was due to their vocation and to the graces they had received. The little faults in souls favored and chosen for the friendship and familiar intercourse with God weigh more in the scales of his most righteous equity, than some great ones in other souls not selected for these privileges. Hence, although the Apostles and the Marys were friends of the Savior, yet, on account of their faults and their weaknesses, their lukewarm and faltering love, they were not prepared for the immediate effects of the full knowledge and presence of their Master. In this paternal love

He therefore created in them the proper dispositions by enlightening them and enkindling them with words of eternal life before He manifested Himself to them. When their hearts had been thus prepared by faith and love, He made known and communicated to them the abundance of his Divinity together with other admirable gifts and graces by which they were renewed and raised above themselves. When they had enjoyed his favors, He again disappeared, in order that they might desire so much the more earnestly the sweetness of his communications and intercourse. This was the secret of his appearing in disguise to Magdalen, to the Apostles, and to the disciples at Emmaus. The same course He pursues respectively with many other souls, whom He chooses for intimate converse and communication.

By the consideration of these admirable tactics of divine Providence thou wilt be instructed and reprehended for the doubts and incredulity with which thou hast so often met the divine blessings and favors of my Son. Thou wilt learn that it is time thou moderate thy constant fears, lest thou pass from doubt to obstinacy and to slowness of heart in giving thanks. Thou wilt also draw a very useful lesson if thou worthily contemplate, how quickly the immense charity of the Most High responds to those who are contrite and humble of heart (Ps. 33, 19), and how ready He is, immediately to assist those who seek Him in love, who meditate and speak of his Passion and Death (Wis. 6, 13). All this thou seest well exemplified in saint Peter, Mary Magdalen and in the disciples.

Imitate then, my dearest, the fervor of Magdalen in search for her Master, who did not permit herself to be diverted even by the angels, or leave the sepulchre with the others, or rest until she found Him so full of sweetness and kindness. This she also earned by having accompanied Me through all the Passion with an ardent and unfaltering heart. Similar was also the conduct of the other Marys, who thus merited before so many others the joys of the Resurrection.

Next to them the humility and contrition of saint Peter in bewailing his denial, secured the same reward; immediately the Lord bent down to console him and commissioned the women to tell especially him of his Resurrection and shortly after, He visited him, confirmed him in faith and filled him with joy and the gifts of grace. Then before appearing to others, He showed Himself to the two disciples, because, although in doubt, they were conversing regretfully of his Death.

I assure thee, my daughter, that none of the works of men done with a good intention and righteous heart, shall remain without an immediate reward. For neither fire will in its greatest intensity so quickly consume the driest tow, nor will a stone, freed from hindrance, so quickly fall to its centre, nor the waves of the sea rush on with so great an impulse and force, as the goodness of the Most High and his grace to those souls, who are well disposed and have cleared away the hindrances of sin. This is a truth which causes the greatest wonder in the saints, who are made aware of it in heaven. Praise Him for this goodness and also for his drawing vast good out of evil, as He did out of the incredulity of the Apostles. For through it He manifested his mercy to them and has made his Resurrection plain to all men, and evident his kindness in pardoning the Apostles. He showed his willingness to forget their faults, his readiness to seek them and appear to them, dealing humanely with them as a father, enlightening them and instructing them according to their needs and the weakness of their faith.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *