Immaculate Heart of Mary 1 1

Some Hidden and Divine Mysteries in the Life of Mary during the Days after the Resurrection

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To know who is Mary of Agreda –  see article here

During the whole course of this history the abundance and vastness of its mysteries have made me feel destitute of proper words. Vast is that which is offered to the understanding in the divine light, and insignificant what can be expressed in language. On account of this inequality and defect arising from the fecundity of the intellect and the sterility of words, my faculties have suffered a great strain; for the want of correspondence between the results of the spoken word and the conception of the mind continually causes a mistrust and dissatisfaction with the words, as falling short of the meaning and as making me hopelessly incapable of correcting the deficiency or of filling up the discrepancy between the things said and those perceived. I find myself in this state just now, when I am to describe what has been made known to me concerning the hidden mysteries and exalted sacraments of the life of Mary during the forty days after the Resurrection of her Son and our Redeemer until the time He ascended into heaven.

The state in which the divine power placed Her after the Passion and Resurrection was new and more exalted: her operations were more mysterious, the favors conferred upon Her were proportionate to her eminent holiness and to the will of Him who wrought them; for according to this rule He proceeded. If I were obliged to describe all that has been manifested to me, it would be necessary to extend this history into many large volumes. From what I shall say something can be gathered concerning these most divine mysteries for the glory of that great Queen and Lady.

It has already been said at the beginning of the last chapter, that during the forty days after the Resurrection the Lord remained in the Cenacle and in the company of his most holy Mother whenever He was not absent in appearing to some of his chosen friends. All the rest of the time He spent in her presence. Anyone can prudently conjecture, that all this time, in which these two Sovereigns of the world were together, They spent in works altogether divine and above all the conceptions of the human mind. What has been made known to me of these works is ineffable; for often They would engage in sweetest colloquy of inscrutable wisdom and this conversation was for the loving Mother a joy, which though inferior to the beatific vision, was consoling and delightful beyond all that is imaginable.

At other times the great Queen, the Patriarchs and Saints, who there assisted in their glorified state, occupied themselves in the praise and exaltation of the Most High. Mary had a deep knowledge of all the works and merits of the saints; of the blessings, favors and gifts each one had received from the Omnipotent; of the mysteries, figures and prophecies which had gone before in the ancient Patriarchs. All this She was Mistress of, and it was present to her mind in contemplation more completely, than the Hail Mary is known to us for recitation. The exalted Lady considered all the great motives of these saints for praising and blessing the Author of all good. Though they, enjoying the beatific vision, fulfilled and are fulfilling this duty without cessation, yet in their conversations and intercourse with the heavenly Princess, they were constantly urged by Her to magnify and praise the divine Majesty for all these blessings and operations so evident to the eyes of her soul.

All this sacred choir of the saints joined with their Queen and began to engage in these divine exercises according to a stated order; so that all of them formed a choir, in which each one of the blessed recited a verse, while the Mother of wisdom answered with another. In their frequent exercise of these sweet alternating songs, the great Lady by Herself produced as many hymns and canticles of praise, as all the saints and angels together; for also the angels entered into this competition of new songs, admirable to them and to all the blessed. For the wise worship of God practiced by the heavenly Princess in this life exceeded that of all other creatures, including those who already enjoyed the beatific vision.

All that the blessed Mary did during these days is beyond the capacity and estimation of men. But her exalted thoughts and motives were prudently measured by her most faithful love; for, knowing that her divine Son tarried in this world principally in order to assist and console Her, She resolved to compensate Him as far as it was possible. Therefore She did all in her power to provide for the Lord the same praises and honors as the saints furnish Him in heaven. By concurring in these praises Herself She at once raised them to the highest worth and changed the house of the Cenacle into a heaven.

In such exercises She consumed the greater part of the forty days and during that time were composed more canticles and hymns than all the saints and Prophets have left for our use. Sometimes this heavenly gathering made use of the psalms of David or the prophecies of the Scripture, commenting, as it were, or expatiating on these so divine and profound mysteries; and the holy fathers, who had been the authors of the prophecies, when they recognized the gifts and favors of the right hand of God and the revelations of such numerous and great sacraments, referred them especially to our Queen.

Admirable was also the delight She drew from her conversation with her holy mother, her father Joachim, saint Joseph, saint John the Baptist, and the great Patriarchs. In mortal flesh no state can be imagined, which approaches so close to the beatific fruition as the one enjoyed at that time by the great Lady and Queen. Another wonder happened during those days, which was: that all the souls of the just who died in grace within those forty days, gathered in the Cenacle, and those who had no debt to pay, were there beatified. But those who were subject to purgatory were obliged to wait in the same place without seeing the Lord, some three, some five days, others again for a shorter or longer period. For the Mother of mercy satisfied for their defects by genuflections, prostrations or some work of satisfaction, but much more by the ardent charity with which She wrought for them and applied to them the infinite merits of her divine Son.

Thus She helped to abbreviate their punishment and the pain of not seeing the Lord ( for they suffered no sensible pains) and soon they were beatified and admitted to the choir of the saints. For each one that thus joined their ranks, the great Lady composed new hymns of praise to the Lord.

Amidst all these delights and jubilations the kindest Mother, with ineffable generosity, did not forget the misery and poverty of the children of Eve deprived of this glory; but like a true Mother of mercy, turning her eyes upon the condition of mortals, She offered for all of them her most fervent prayers. She besought the eternal Father for the spreading of the new Law through all the world; the multiplication of the children of the Church; for its defense and protection and for the extension of the fruits of the Redemption to all men. The fulfillment of this petition was regulated by the eternal decrees of the divine wisdom; but as far as the desires and affections of the most loving Queen were concerned She wished the Redemption and eternal life to be extended to the whole human race.

Besides these general petitions, She made special ones for the Apostles, and particularly for saint John and saint Peter: for the one, as her son; for the other, as the head of the Church. She prayed also for Magdalen and the Marys, and all the other faithful then belonging to the Church. Finally She prayed for the exaltation of the faith and of the name of her divine Son Jesus.

A few days before the Ascension of the Lord, while the blessed Mary was engaged in the one of the abovementioned exercises, the eternal Father and the Holy Ghost appeared in the Cenacle upon a throne of ineffable splendor surrounded by the choirs of angels and saints there present and other heavenly spirits, which had now come with the divine Persons. Then the incarnate Word ascended the throne and seated Himself with the other Two. The ever humble Mother of the Most High, prostrate in a corner of a room, in deepest reverence adored the most blessed Trinity, and in it her own incarnate Son. The eternal Father commanded two of the highest angels to call Mary, which they did by approaching Her, and in sweetest voices intimating to Her the divine will. She arose from the dust with the most profound humility, modesty and reverence.

Accompanied by the angels She approached the foot of the Throne, humbling herself anew. The eternal Father said to Her: “Beloved, ascend higher!” (Luke 14, 10). As these words at the same time effected what they signified, She was raised up and placed on the throne of royal Majesty with the three divine Persons. New admiration was caused in the saints to see a mere Creature exalted to such dignity. Being made to understand the sanctity and equity of the works of the Most High, they gave new glory and praise proclaiming Him immense, Just, Holy and Admirable in all his counsels.

The Father then spoke to the blessed Mary saying: “My Daughter, to Thee do I entrust the Church founded by my Onlybegotten, the new law of grace He established in the world, and the people, which He redeemed: to Thee do I consign them all.”

Thereupon also the Holy Ghost spoke to Her: “My Spouse, chosen from all creatures, I communicate to Thee my wisdom and grace together with which shall be deposited in thy heart the mysteries, the works and teachings and all that the incarnate Word has accomplished in the world.” And the Son also said: “My most beloved Mother, I go to my Father and in my stead I shall leave Thee and I charge Thee with the care of my Church; to Thee do recommend its children and my brethren, as the Father has consigned them to Me.”

Then the three Divine Persons, addressing the choir of holy angels and the other saints, said: “This is the Queen of all created things in heaven and earth; She is the Protectress of the Church, the Mistress of creatures, the Mother of piety, the Intercessor of the faithful, the Advocate of sinners, the Mother of beautiful love and holy hope (Eccli. 24, 24); She is mighty in drawing our will to mercy and clemency. In Her shall be deposited the treasures of our grace and her most faithful heart shall be the tablet whereon shall be written and engraved our holy law. In Her are contained the mysteries of our Omnipotence for the salvation of mankind. She is the perfect work of our hands, through whom the plenitude of our desires shall be communicated and satisfied without hindrance in the currents of our divine perfections. Whoever shall call upon Her from his heart shall not perish; whoever shall obtain her intercession shall secure for himself eternal life.

What She asks of Us, shall be granted, and We shall always hear her requests and prayers and fulfill her will; for She has consecrated Herself perfectly to what pleases Us.” The most blessed Mary, hearing Herself thus exalted, humiliated Herself so much the deeper the more highly She was raised by the right hand of the Most High above all the human and angelic creatures. As if She were the least of all, She adored the Lord and offered Herself, in the most prudent terms and in the most ardent love, to work as a faithful servant in the Church and to obey promptly all the biddings of the divine will. From that day on She took upon Herself anew the care of the evangelical Church, as a loving Mother of all its children; She renewed all the petitions She had until then made, so that during the whole further course of her life they were most fervent and incessant, as we shall see in the third part, where will appear more clearly what the Church owes to this great Queen and Lady, and what blessings She gained and merited for it.

By the favor now vouchsafed to Mary and by those conferred upon Her later, She was raised to a participation in the being of her Son beyond all possibility of words to explain; for He communicated his attributes and perfections to Her in correspondence to her ministry as Instructress and Mother of the Church and as supplying his own ministry. He elevated Her into a new state of knowledge and power, by means of which nothing was to be hidden from Her either of the divine mysteries or of the inmost secrets of the human heart. She was made to understand and know when and how She was to use this communicated power of the Divinity in her dealings with men, with the demons and with all creatures. In short, all that can possibly be conferred upon a mere creature was received and given over in all its fullness and excellence to our great Queen and Lady.

Of these sacramental operations saint John was to a certain extent made aware, in order that he might form an estimate, how much he was to esteem and appreciate the inestimable Treasure consigned to his care. From that day on he venerated and served the great Lady with new solicitude and reverence.

Other wonderful favors the Most High wrought for Mary in those forty days, and there was none of them, in which He did not show forth his beneficent power and holiness toward his Mother and his solicitude to enrich Her more and more before his Ascension into heaven. When the preordained time for the return of the eternal Wisdom to his Father had arrived, after having proved his Resurrection by many apparitions and by many arguments (as saint Luke says, Acts 1, 3), He resolved to appear and manifest Himself once more to that whole gathering of Apostles and disciples, numbering one hundred and twenty persons.

This apparition took place in the Cenacle on the very day of the Ascension and in addition to the one mentioned by saint Mark in the last chapter (Mark 16, 14); for all this happened on one and the same day. After the sojourn of the Apostles in Galilee, whither the Lord had commanded them to go and where He appeared to them close to the sea of Tiberias, after they had seen and adored Him on the mountain, as mentioned by Mark, and after He had been seen by the five hundred according to saint Paul, the disciples returned to Jerusalem in order to be present according to the wishes of the Lord, at his wonderful Ascension. While the eleven Apostles were reclining at their meal, as is related by saint Mark and saint Luke in the Acts, the Lord entered and ate with them, moderating, with admirable affability and condescension, the splendors of his beauty and glory in order that He might be looked upon by all. Having finished their meal He spoke to them in earnest yet sweetly tempered majesty.

 “Know ye, my disciples, that my eternal Father has given Me all power in heaven and on earth, and I wish to communicate it to you in order that you may establish my new Church throughout the whole world. You have been slow and tardy in believing my Resurrection; but it is now time that as true and faithful disciples, you be the teachers of the faith to all men. Preaching my Gospel as you have heard it from my lips, you shall baptize all that believe, giving them Baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son (who am I) and of the Holy Ghost. Those that shall believe and be baptized, shall be saved, and those that shall not believe, shall be damned.

Teach the believers to observe all that concerns my holy Law. In confirmation thereof the faithful shall perform signs and wonders; they shall cast out the demons from their habitations; they shall speak new tongues; they shall cure the bites of serpents; if they drink aught poisonous, it shall not hurt them; and they shall cure the sick by the laying on of hands.” Such miracles Christ our Savior promised for the foundation of the Church in the preaching of the Gospel; and all of them were verified in the first ages of the Church. For the propagation of the faith in the rest of the world and for the preservation of the Church where it exists, He continues the same signs, when and how his Providence deems it necessary; for He never will forsake the holy Church, his most beloved spouse.

On that same day, by divine dispensation, while the Lord was at table with the eleven Apostles, other disciples and pious women gathered at the Cenacle to the number of one hundred and twenty; for the divine Master wished them to be present at his Ascension. Moreover, just as He had instructed the Apostles, so He now wanted to instruct these faithful respectively in what each was to know before his leaving them and ascending into heaven. All of them being thus gathered and united in peace and charity within those walls in the hall of the last Supper, the Author of life manifested Himself to them as a kind and loving Father and said to them:

 “My sweetest children, I am about to ascend to my Father, from whose bosom I descended in order to rescue and save men. I leave with you in my stead my own Mother as your Protectress, Consoler and Advocate, and as your Mother, whom you are to hear and obey in all things. Just as I have told you, that he who sees Me sees my Father, and he who knows Me, knows also Him; so I now tell you, that He who knows my Mother, knows Me; he who hears Her, hears Me; and who honors Her, honors Me. All of you shall have Her as your Mother, as your Superior and Head, and so shall also your successors. She shall answer your doubts, solve your difficulties; in Her, those who seek Me shall always find Me; for I shall remain in Her until the end of the world, and I am in Her now, although you do not understand how.”

This the Lord said, because He was sacramentally present in the bosom of his Mother; for the sacred species, which She had received at the last Supper, were preserved in Her until consecration of the first Mass, as I shall relate further on. The Lord thus fulfilled that which He promised in saint Matthew: “I am with you to the consummation of the world” (Matth. 28, 20). The Lord added and said: “You will have Peter as the supreme head of the Church, for I leave him as my Vicar; and you shall obey him as the chief highpriest. Saint John you shall hold as the son of my Mother; for I have chosen and appointed him for this office on the Cross.” The Lord then looked upon his most beloved Mother, who was there present, and intimated his desire of expressly commanding that whole congregation to worship and reverence Her in a manner suited to the dignity of Mother of God, and of leaving this command under form of a precept for the whole Church.

But the most humble Lady besought her Onlybegotten to be pleased not to secure Her more honor than was absolutely necessary for executing all that He had charged Her with; and that the new children of the Church should not be induced to show Her greater honor than they had shown until then. On the contrary, She desired to divert all the sacred worship of the Church immediately upon the Lord himself and to make the propagation of the Gospel redound entirely to the exaltation of his holy name. Christ our Savior yielded to this most prudent petition of his Mother, reserving to Himself the duty of spreading the knowledge of Her at a more convenient and opportune time; yet in secret He conferred upon Her new extraordinary favors, as shall appear in the rest of this history.

In considering the loving exhortations, of their divine Master, the mysteries which He had revealed to them, and the prospect of his leaving them, that whole congregation was moved to their inmost hearts; for He had enkindled in them the divine love by the vivid faith of his Divinity and humanity. Reviving within them the memory of his words and his teachings of eternal life, the delights of his most loving intercourse and company, and sorrowfully realizing, that they were now all at once to be deprived of these blessings, they wept most tenderly and sighed from their inmost souls.

They longed to detain Him, although they could not, because they saw it was not befitting; words of parting rose to their lips, but they could not bring themselves to utter them; each one felt sentiments of sorrow arising amid feelings both of joy and yet also of pious regret. How shall we live without such a Master? they thought. Who can ever speak to us such words of life and consolation as He? Who will receive us so lovingly and kindly? Who shall be our Father and protector ? We shall be helpless children and orphans in this world. Some of them broke their silence and exclaimed: “0 most loving Lord and Father!

O joy and life of our souls! Now that we know Thee as our Redeemer, Thou departest and leavest us! I Take us along with Thee, 0 Lord; banish us not from thy sight. Our blessed Hope, what shall we do without thy presence? Whither shall we turn, if Thou goest away? Whither shall we direct our steps, if we cannot follow Thee, our Father, our Chief, and our Teacher?” To these and other pleadings the Lord answered by bidding them not to leave Jerusalem and to persevere in prayer until He should send the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, as promised by the Father and as already foretold to the Apostles at the last Supper. Thereupon happened, what I shall relate in the next chapter.



My daughter, it is just, that in thy admiration of the hidden favors vouchsafed to me by the right hand of the Almighty, thy love be awakened in eternal benedictions and praise of his wonderful operations. Although I withhold from thy knowledge many of them, which thou shalt know after leaving mortal flesh; yet I wish, that from now on thou consider it thy especial duty to praise and magnify the Lord, because, in spite of my being formed of the same material as Adam (Luke 1, 51), He has raised me from the dust and has manifested to me the power of his arm, operating in me such great things as can never be merited.

In order to exercise thyself in these praises of the Most High, repeat many times over the canticle of the Magnificat, in which I have briefly comprehended them. When thou art alone, say it prostrate and upon thy knees; and above all, let it be done with the sincerest love and veneration. This exercise shall be especially agreeable and pleasing in my eyes; and I shall present it to the Lord, if thou perform it in the manner I tell thee.

As thou art now again astonished, that the Evangelists should not have made any mention of these wonderful favors of the Lord toward me, I will repeat what I have already told thee; for I wish that all mortals should remember the reason for the reticence of the Gospels.

I myself have commanded the Evangelists not to write anything about my privileges except what is contained in the articles of faith and in the commandments of the divine law and what was necessary for the establishment of the Church. For, as the Teacher of the Church, I knew by the infused science of the Most High, what would then be proper for its beginning.

The manifestation of my prerogatives, being included in the dignity of Mother of God and in my being full of grace, was reserved by the divine Providence for a more opportune and convenient time; namely, when the faith should be better known and established. In the course of the centuries some mysteries pertaining to me have been made plain; but the plenitude of light has been given to thee, who art a poor and insignificant creature; and this has been done on account of the necessities and unhappy state of the world. God in his kindness wishes to offer this opportune remedy to men, in order that all of them may seek help and eternal salvation through my intercession.

This thou hast always understood, and thou shalt understand it still better. But above all I desire, that thou occupy thyself entirely in the imitation of my life and in the continual contemplation of my virtues and works, in order that thou mayest gain the desired victory over my and thy enemies.


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