THE FELICITOUS BIRTH OF THE MOST HOLY MARY OUR MISTRESS
The day destined for the parturition of saint Anne and for the birth
of Her, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the Mother of God,
had arrived: a day most fortunate for the world. This birth happened on
the eighth day of September, fully nine months having elapsed since the
Conception of the soul of our most holy Queen and Lady. Saint Anne
was prepared by an interior voice of the Lord, informing Her, that the
hour of her parturition had come. Full of the joy of the Holy Spirit at this
information, she prostrated herself before the Lord and besought the
assistance of His grace and His protection for a happy deliverance.
Presently she felt a movement in her womb similar to that which is
proper to creatures being born to the light. The most blessed child Mary
was at the same time by divine providence and power ravished into a
most high ecstasy. Hence Mary was born into the world without
perceiving it by her senses, for their operations and faculties were held
in suspense. As She had the use of her reason, She would have perceived
it by her senses, if they would have been left to operate in their natural
manner at that time. However, the Almighty disposed otherwise, in order
that the Princess of heaven might be spared the sensible experience
otherwise connected with birth.
She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby
demonstrating, that She was free from the law and the tribute of sin.
Although She was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, yet
her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace, that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker. At twelve o clock in the night this divine Luminary issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its pristine darknesses from the new day of grace, which now was about to break into dawn. She was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, though her soul dwelt in the Divinity; and She was treated as an infant, though She excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom. Her mother did not allow Her to be touched by other hands than her own, but she herself wrapped Her in swaddling clothes: and in this Saint Anne was not hindered by her present state of childbirth; for she was free from the toils and labors, which other mothers usually
endure in such circumstances.
So then saint Anne received in her arms Her, who was her Daughter, but at the same time the most exquisite Treasure of all theuniverse, inferior only to God and superior to all other creatures. With fervent tears of joy she offered this Treasure to His Majesty, saying
”Lord of infinite wisdom and power, Creator of all that exists, this Fruit of my womb, which I have received of thy bounty, I offer to Thee with eternal thanks, for without any merit of mine Thou hast vouchsafed it to me. Dispose Thou of the mother and Child according to Thy most Holy Will and look propitiously down upon our lowliness from Thy exalted throne. Be Thou eternally blessed, because Thou hast enriched the world with a Creature so pleasing to Thy bounty and because in Her Thou hast prepared a dwelling-place and a tabernacle for the eternal Word (Sap. 9,8). I tender my congratulations to my holy forefathers and to the holy Prophets, and in them to the whole human race, for this sure pledge of Redemption, which Thou hast given them. But how shall I be able worthily to treat Her, whom Thou hast given me as a Daughter? I that am not worthy to be her servant? How shall I handle the true ark of the Testament? Give me, O my Lord and King, the necessary enlightenment to know Thy will and
to execute it according to thy pleasure in the service of my Daughter.”
The Lord answered the holy matron interiorly, that she was to treat her heavenly Child outwardly as mothers treat their daughters, withoutany demonstration of reverence; but to retain this reverence inwardly,fulfilling the laws of a true mother toward Her, and rearing Her up with
all motherly love and solicitude. All this the happy mother complied with ; making use of this permission and her mother s rights without losing her reverence, she regaled herself with her most holy Daughter, embracing and caressing Her in the same way as other mothers do with
their daughters. But it was always done with a proper reverence and consciousness of the hidden and divine sacrament known only to the mother and Daughter.
The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother; they joined in heavenly music, some of which was audible also to blessed Anne. The thousand angels appointed as guardians of the great Queen offered themselves and dedicated themselves to her service. This was also the first time, in which the heavenly Mistress saw them in a corporeal form with their devises and habiliments, as I shall describe in another chapter (Ch. XXIII)and the Child asked them to join with Her in the praise of the Most High and to exalt Him in her name.
At the moment of the birth of our Princess Mary the Most High sent the archangel Gabriel as an envoy to bring this joyful news to the holy Fathers in limbo. Immediately the heavenly ambassador descended illumining that deep cavern and rejoicing the just who were detained
therein. He told them that already the dawn of eternal felicity had commenced and that the reparation of man, which was so earnestly desired and expected by the holy Patriarchs and foretold by the Prophets, had been begun, since She, who was to be the Mother of the Messias,
had now been born; soon would they now see the salvation and the glory of the Most High.
The holy prince gave them an understanding of the excellence of the most holy Mary and of what the Omnipotent had begun to work in Her, in order that they might better comprehend the happy beginning of the mystery, which was to end their prolonged imprisonment. Then all the
holy Patriarchs and Prophets and the rest of the just in limbo rejoiced in spirit and in new canticles praised the Lord for this benefit.
All these happenings at the birth of our Queen succeeded each other
in a short space of time. The first exercise of her senses in the light of
the material sun, was to recognize her parents and other creatures. The
arms of the Most High began to work new wonders in Her far above all
conceptions of men, and the first and most stupendous one was to send
innumerable angels to bring the Mother of the eternal Word body and
soul into the empyrean heaven for the fulfilling of his further intentions
regarding Her. The holy princes obeyed the divine mandate and
receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy Mother Anne, they
arranged a new and solemn procession bearing heavenward with
incomparable songs of joy the true Ark of the covenant, in order that
for a short time it might rest, not in the house of Obededon, but in the
temple of the King of kings and of the Lord of lords, where later on it
was to be placed for all eternity. This was the second step, which most
holy Mary made in her life, namely, from this earth to the
Who can worthily extol this wonderful prodigy of the Right Hand
of the Almighty ? Who can describe the joy and the admiration of the
celestial spirits, when they beheld this new and wonderful work of the
Most High, and when they gathered to celebrate it in their songs?
In these songs they acknowledged and reverenced as their Queen and
Mistress, Her, who was to be the Mother of their Lord, and the source of
the grace and glory, which they possessed ; for it was through His
foreseen merits, that they had been made the recipients of the divine
bounty. But above all, what human tongue, or what mortal could ever
describe or comprehend the heart-secrets of that tender Child during
these events? I leave the imagination of all this to Catholic piety, and
still more to those who in the Lord are favored with an understanding of
it, but most of all to those who, by divine bounty shall have arrived at
the beatific vision face to face.
Borne by the hands of the angels the child Mary entered the
empyrean heaven where She prostrated Herself full of love before the
royal throne in the presence of the Most High. Then (according to our
way of understanding), was verified what long before had happened in
figure, when Bethsabee entered into the presence of her son Solomon,
who, while presiding over his people of Israel, arose from his throne,
received her with honor and reverence, and seated her at his side as
Similarly, but in a more glorious and admirable manner, the person of
the divine Word now received the child Mary, whom He had chosen as
Mother, as Queen of the universe. Although her real dignity and the
purpose of these ineffable mysteries were unknown to Mary, yet her
infant faculties were strengthened by divine power for the proper
reception of these favors. New graces and gifts were bestowed upon Her,
by which her faculties were correspondingly elevated. Her powers of
mind, besides being illumined and prepared by new grace and light,
were raised and proportioned to the divine manifestation, and the
Divinity displayed Itself in the new light vouchsafed, revealing Itself to
Her intuitively and clearly in a most exalted manner. This was the first
time in which the most holy soul of Mary saw the blessed Trinity in
unveiled beatific vision.
The sole witnesses of the glory of Mary in this beatific vision, of
the sacraments then again revealed to Her, of the divine effect that
overflowed into her most pure soul, was God the Author of this unheard
of wonder, and the astounded angels, who in some measure perceived
these mysteries in God Himself. The Queen seated at the side of the
Lord, who was to be her Son, and seeing Him face to face, was more
successful in her prayer than Bethsabee (III Kings, 2, 21).
For She prayed, that He bestow the untouched Sunamite Abisag, His in
accessible Divinity, upon His sister, human nature; She prayed that His
promised coming from heaven to the earth and his marriage with human
nature by the hypostatic union be fulfilled in the person of the Word.
Many (times had He pledged Himself to it among men through
the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets and now Mary besought Him to
accelerate the reparation of the human race, expected for so many ages
amid the multiplied iniquity and the ruin of souls. The Most High heard
this most pleasing petition of His Mother, and acting more graciously than Solomon of old toward his mother, He assured Her
that soon His promises should be fulfilled, and that He should descend to
the world in order to assume and redeem human nature.
THE MYSTICAL CITY OF GOD VOLUME