The bitter Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ – Part 14

Apparitions on Occasion of the Death of Jesus.

Among the dead who rose from their graves, and who were certainly a hundred in
number, at Jerusalem, there were no relations of Jesus. I saw in various parts of the Holy
Land others of the dead appear and bear testimony to the divinity of Jesus. Thus I saw
Sadoch, a most pious man, who had given all his property to the poor and to the Temple,
appear to many persons in the neighbourhood of Hebron. This Sadoch had lived a century
before Jesus, and was the founder of a community of Essenians: he had ardently sighed for
the coming of the Messias, and had had several revelations upon the subject. I saw some
others of the dead appear to the hidden disciples of our Lord, and give them different
Terror and desolation reigned even in the most distant parts of Palestine, and it was not
in Jerusalem only that frightful prodigies took place. At Thirza, the towers of the prison in
which the captives delivered by Jesus had been confined fell down. In Galilee, where Jesus
had travelled so much, I saw many buildings, and in particular the houses of those Pharisees
who had been the foremost in persecuting our Saviour, and who were then all at the festival,
shaken to the ground, crushing their wives and children. Numerous accidents happened in
the neighbourhood of the Lake of Genazareth. Many buildings fell down at Capharnaum;
and the wall of rocks which was in front of the beautiful garden of the centurion Zorobabel
cracked across. The lake overflowed into the valley, and its waters descended as far as
Capharnaum, which was a mile and a half distant. Peter’s house, and the dwelling of the
Blessed Virgin in front of the town, remained standing. The lake was strongly convulsed; its
shores crumbled in several places, and its shape was very much altered, and became more
like what it is at the present day. Great changes took place, particularly at the south-eastern
extremity, near Tarichea, because in this part there was a long causeway made of stones,
between the lake and a sort of marsh, which gave a constant direction to the course of the
Jordan when it left the lake. The whole of this causeway was destroyed by the earthquake.
Many accidents happened on the eastern side of the lake, on the spot where the swine
belonging to the inhabitants of Gergesa cast themselves in, and also at Gergesa, Gerasa, and
in the entire district of Chorazin. The mountain where the second multiplication of the
loaves took place was shaken, and the stone upon which the miracle had been worked split
in two. In Decapolis, whole towns crumbled to the earth; and in Asia, in several localities,
the earthquake was severely felt, particularly to the east and north-east of Paneas. In Upper
Galilee, many Pharisees found their houses in ruins when they returned from keeping the
feast. A number of them, while yet at Jerusalem, received the news of what had happened,
and it was on that account that the enemies of Jesus made such very slight efforts against the
Christian community at Pentecost.
A part of the Temple of Garizim crumbled down. An idol stood there above a fountain,
in a small temple, the roof of which fell into the fountain with the idol. Half of the
synagogue of Nazareth, out of which Jesus had been drive, fell down, as well as that part of
the mountain from which his enemies had endeavoured to precipitate him. The bed of the
Jordan was much changed by all these shocks, and its course altered in many places. At
Macherus, and at the other towns belonging to Herod, everything remained quiet, for that
country was out of the sphere of repentance and of threats, like those men who did not fall
to the ground in the Garden of Olives, and, consequently, did not rise again.
In many other parts where there were evil spirits, I saw the latter disappear in large
bodies amid the falling mountains and buildings. The earthquakes reminded me of the
convulsions of the possessed, when the enemy feels that he must take to flight. At Gergesa,
a part of the mountain from which the devils had cast themselves with the swine into a
marsh, fell into this same marsh; and I then saw a band of evil spirits cast themselves into
the abyss, like a dark cloud.
It was at Nice, unless I am mistaken, that I saw a singular occurrence, of which I have
only an imperfect remembrance. There was a port there with many vessels in it; and near
this port stood a house with a high tower, in which I saw a pagan whose office was to watch
these vessels. He had often to ascend this tower, and see what was going on at sea. Having
heard a great noise over the vessels in the port, he hurriedly ascended the tower to discover
what was taking place, and he saw several dark figures hovering over the port, and who
exclaimed to him in plaintive accents: ‘If thou desirest to preserve the vessels, cause them to
be sailed out of this port, for we must return to the abyss: the great Pan is dead.’ They told
him several other things; laid injunctions upon him to make known what they were then
telling him upon his return from a certain voyage which he was soon to make, and to give a
good reception to the messengers who would come to announce the doctrine of him who
had just died. The evil spirits were forced in this manner by the power of God to inform this
good man of their defeat, and announce it to the world. He had the vessels put in safety, and
then an awful storm arose: the devils cast themselves howling into the sea, and half the city
fell down. His house remained standing. Soon afterwards he went on a great journey, and
announced the death of the great Pan, if that is the name by which our Saviour had been
called. Later he came to Rome, where much amazement was caused by what he related. His
name was something like Thamus or Thramus.

Guards are placed around the Tomb of Jesus.

Late on Friday night, I saw Caiphas and some of the chief men among the Jews holding
a consultation concerning the best course to pursue with regard to the prodigies which had
taken place, and the effect they had had upon the people. They continued their deliberations
quite into the morning, and then hurried to Pilate’s house, to tell him that, as that seducer
said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again,’ it would be right to command the
sepulchre to be guarded until the third day, as otherwise his disciples might come and steal him
away, and say to the people, ‘He is risen from the dead,’ and the last error would be worse that the
first. Pilate was determined to have nothing more to do with the business, and he only
answered: ‘You have a guard; go, guard it as you know.’ However, he appointed Cassius to keep
a watch over all that took place, and give him an exact account of every circumstance. I saw
these men, twelve in number, leave the town before sunrise, accompanied by some soldiers
who did not wear the Roman uniform, being attached to the Temple. They carried lanterns
fastened to the end of long poles, in order that they might be able to see every surrounding
object, in spite of the darkness of the night, and also that they might have some light in the
dark cave of the sepulchre.
No sooner had they reached the sepulchre than, having first seen with their own eyes that
the body of Jesus was really there, they fastened one rope across the door of the tomb, and a
second across the great stone which was placed in front, sealing the whole with a seal of
half-circular shape. They then returned to the city, and the guards stationed themselves
opposite the outer door. They were five or six in number, and watched three and three
alternately. Cassius never left his post, and usually remained sitting or standing in front of
the entrance to the cave, so as to see that side of the tomb where the feet of our Lord rested.
He had received many interior graces, and been given to understand many mysteries. Being
wholly unaccustomed to this state of spiritual enlightenment, he was perfectly transported
out of himself, and remained nearly all the time unconscious of the presence of exterior
things. He was entirely changed, had become a new man, and spent the whole day in
penance, in making fervent acts of gratitude, and in humbly adoring God.

A Glance at the Disciples of Jesus on Holy Saturday.

The faithful disciples of our Lord assembled together in the Cenaculum, to keep the eve
of the Sabbath. They were about twenty in number, clothed in long white dresses, and with
their waists girded. The room was lighted up by a lamp; and after their repast they
separated, and for the most part returned home. They again assembled on the following
morning, and sat together reading and praying by turns; and if a friend entered the room,
they arose and saluted him cordially.
In that part of the house inhabited by the Blessed Virgin there was a large room, divided
into small compartments like cells, which were used by the holy women for sleeping in at
night. When they returned from the sepulchre, one of their number lighted a lamp which
was hanging in the middle of the room, and they all assembled around the Blessed Virgin,
and commenced praying in a mournful but recollected manner. A short time afterwards,
Martha, Maroni, Dina, and Mara, who were just come with Lazarus from Bethania, where
they had passed the Sabbath, entered the room. The Blessed Virgin and her companions
gave them a detailed account of the death and burial of our Lord, accompanying each
relation with many tears. The evening was advancing, and Joseph of Arimathea came in
with a few other disciples, to ask whether any of the women wished to return to their
homes, as they were ready to escort them. A few accepted the proposition, and set off
immediately; but before they reached the tribunal of Caiphas, some armed men stopped
Joseph of Arimathea, arrested, and shut him up in an old deserted turret.
Those among the holy women who did not leave the Cenaculum retired to take their rest
in the cell-like compartments spoken of above: they fastened long veils over their heads,
seated themselves sorrowfully on the floor, and leaned upon the couches which were placed
against the wall. After a time they stood up, spread out the bedclothes which were rolled up
on the couches, took off their sandals, girdles, and a part of their clothing, and reclined for a
time in order to endeavour to get a little sleep. At midnight, they arose, clothed themselves,
put up their beds, and reassembled around the lamp to continue their prayer with the
Blessed Virgin.
When the Mother of Jesus and her pious companions had finished their nocturnal prayer
(that holy duty which has been practised by all faithful children of God and holy souls, who
have either felt themselves called to it by a special grace, or who follow a rule given by God
and his Church), they heard a knock at the door, which was instantly opened, and John and
some of the disciples who had promised to conduct them to the Temple, entered, upon
which the women wrapped their cloaks about them, and started instantly. It was then about
three in the morning, and they went straight to the Temple, it being customary among many
Jews to get there before day dawned, on the day after they had eaten the Paschal lamb; and
for this reason the Temple was open from midnight, as the sacrifices commenced very early.
They started at about the same hour as that at which the priests had put their seal upon the
sepulchre. The aspect of things in the Temple was, however, very different from what was
usually the case at such times, for the sacrifices were stopped, and the place was empty and
desolate, as everyone had left on account of the events on the previous day which had
rendered it impure. The Blessed Virgin appeared to me to visit it for the sole purpose of
taking leave of the place where she had passed her youth.
The Temple was, however, open; the lamps lighted, and the people at liberty to enter the
vestibule of the priests, which was the customary privilege of this day, as well as of that
which followed the Paschal supper. The Temple was, as I said before, quite empty, with the
exception of a chance priest or server who might be seen wandering about; and every part
bore the marks of the confusion into which all was thrown on the previous day by the
extraordinary and frightful events that had taken place; besides which it had been defiled by
the presence of the dead, and I reflected and wondered in my own mind whether it would
be possible ever to purify if again.
The sons of Simeon, and the nephew of Joseph of Arimathea, were much grieved when
they heard of the arrest of their uncle, but they welcomed the Blessed Virgin and her
companions, and conducted them all over the Temple, which they did without difficulty, as
they held the offices of inspectors of the Temple. The holy women stood in silence and
contemplated all the terrible and visible marks of the anger of God with feelings of deep
awe, and then listened with interest to the many stupendous details recounted by their
guides. The effects of the earthquake were still visible, as little had been done towards
repairing the numerous rents and cracks in the floor, and in the walls. In that part of the
Temple where the vestibule joined the sanctuary, the wall was so tremendously shaken by
the shock of the earthquake, as to produce a fissure wide enough for a person to walk
through, and the rest of the wall looked unsteady, as if it might fall down at any moment.
The curtain which hung in the sanctuary was rent in two and hung in shreds at the sides;
nothing was to be seen around but crumbled walls, crushed flagstones, and columns either
partly or quite shaken down.
The Blessed Virgin visited all those parts which Jesus had rendered sacred in her eyes;
she prostrated, kissed them, and with tears in her eyes explained to the others her reasons
for venerating each particular spot, whereupon they instantly followed her example. The
greatest veneration was always shown by the Jews for all places which had been rendered
sacred by manifestations of the Divine power, and it was customary to place the hands
reverently on such places, to kiss them, and to prostrate to the very earth before them. I do
not think there was anything in the least surprising in such a custom, for they both knew,
saw, end felt that the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, was a living God, and that
his dwelling among his people was in the Temple at Jerusalem; consequently it would have
been infinitely more astonishing if they had not venerated those holy parts where his power
had been particularly demonstrated, for the Temple and the holy places were to them what
the Blessed Sacrament is to Christians.
Deeply penetrated with these feelings of respect, the Blessed Virgin walked trough the
Temple with her companions, and pointed out to them the spot where she was presented
when still a child, the parts where she passed her childhood, the place where she was
affianced to St. Joseph, and the spot where she stood when she presented Jesus and heard
the prophecy of Simeon: the remembrance of his words made her weep bitterly, for the
prophecy was indeed fulfilled, and the sword of grief had indeed transfixed her heart; she
again stopped her companions when she reached the part of the Temple where she found
Jesus teaching when she lost him at the age of twelve, and she respectfully kissed the ground
on which he then stood. When the holy women had looked at every place sanctified by the
presence of Jesus, when they had wept and prayed over them, they returned to Sion.
The Blessed Virgin did not leave the Temple without shedding many tears, as she
contemplated the state of desolation to which it was reduced, an aspect of desolation which
was rendered still more depressing by the marked contrast it bore to the usual state of the
Temple on the festival day. Instead of songs and hymns of jubilee, a mournful silence
reigned throughout the vast edifice, and in place of groups of joyful and devout worshippers,
the eye wandered over a vast and dreary solitude. Too truly, alas, did this change betoken
the fearful crime which had been perpetrated by the people of God, and she remembered
how Jesus had wept over the Temple, and said, ‘Destroy the Temple and in three days I will
build it up again.’ She thought over the destruction of the Temple of the Body of Jesus which
had been brought about by his enemies, and she sighed with a longing desire for the
dawning of that third day when the words of eternal truth were to be accomplished.
It was about daybreak when Mary and her companions reached the Cenaculum, and
they retired into the building which stood on its right-hand side, while John and some of the
disciples re-entered the Cenaculum, where about twenty men, assembled around a lamp,
were occupied in prayer. Every now and then new-comers drew nigh to the door, came in
timidity, approached the group round the lamp, and addressed them in a few mournful
words, which they accompanied with tears. Everyone appeared to regard John with feelings
of respect; because he had remained with Jesus until he expired; but with these sentiments
of respect was mingled a deep feeling of shame and confusion, when they reflected on their
own cowardly conduct in abandoning their Lord and Master in the hour of need. John
spoke to everyone with the greatest charity and kindness; his manner was modest and
unassuming as that of a child, and he seemed to fear receiving praise. I saw the assembled
group take one meal during that day, but its members were, for the most part, silent; not a
sound was to be heard throughout the house, and the doors were tightly closed, although, in
fact, there was no likelihood of anyone disturbing them, as the house belonged to
Nicodemus, and he had let it to them for the time of the festival.
The holy women remained in this room until nightfall; it was lighted up by a single lamp;
the doors were closed, and curtains drawn over the windows. Sometimes they gathered
round the Blessed Virgin and prayed under the lamp; at other times they retired to the side
of the room, covered their heads with black veils, and either sat on ashes (the sign of
mourning), or prayed with their faces turned towards the wall; those whose health was
delicate took a little food, but the others fasted.
I looked at them again and again, and I saw them ever occupied in the same manner, that
is to say, either in prayer or in mourning over the sufferings of their beloved Master. When
my thoughts wandered from the contemplation of the Blessed Virgin to that of her Divine
Son, I beheld the holy sepulchre with six or seven sentinels at the entrance—Cassius
standing against the door of the cave, apparently in deep meditation, the exterior door
closed, and the stone rolled close to it. Notwithstanding the thick door which intervened
between the body of our Saviour and myself I could see it plainly; it was quite transparent
with a divine light, and two angels were adoring at the side. But my thoughts then turned to
the contemplation of the blessed soul of my Redeemer, and such an extensive and
complicated picture of his descent into hell was shown to me, that I can only remember a
small portion of it, which I will describe to the best of my power.

A Detached Account of the Descent into Hell.

When Jesus, after uttering a loud cry, expired, I saw his heavenly soul under the form of
a bright meteor pierce the earth at the foot of the Cross, accompanied by the angel Gabriel
and many other angels. His Divine nature continued united to his soul as well as to his
body, which still remained hanging upon the Cross, but I cannot explain how this was,
although I saw it plainly in my own mind. The place into which the soul of Jesus entered
was divided into three parts, which appeared to me like three worlds; and I felt that they
were round, and that each division was separated from the other by a hemisphere.
I beheld a bright and beautiful space opposite to Limbo; it was enamelled with flowers,
delicious breezes wafted through it; and many souls were placed there before being admitted
into Heaven after their deliverance from Purgatory. Limbo, the place where the souls were
waiting for the Redemption, was divided into different compartments, and encompassed by
a thick foggy atmosphere. Our Lord appeared radiant with light and surrounded by angels,
who conducted him triumphantly between two of these compartments; the one on the left
containing the patriarchs who lived before the time of Abraham, and that on the right those
who lived between the days of Abraham and St. John the Baptist. These souls did not at first
recognise Jesus, but were filled nevertheless with sensations of joy and hope. There was not
a spot in those narrow confines which did not, as it were, dilate with feelings of happiness.
The passage of Jesus might be compared to the wafting of a breath of air, to a sudden flash
of light, or to a shower of vivifying dew, but it was swift as a whirlwind. After passing
through the two compartments, he reached a dark spot in which Adam and Eve were
standing; he spoke to them, they prostrated and adored him in a perfect ecstasy of joy, and
they immediately joined the band of angels, and accompanied our Lord to the compartment
on the left, which contained the patriarchs who lived before Abraham. This compartment
was a species of Purgatory, and a few evil spirits were wandering about among the souls and
endeavouring to fill them with anxiety and alarm. The entrance through a species of door
was closed, but the angels rapped, and I thought I heard them say, ‘Open these doors.’
When Jesus entered in triumph the demons dispersed, crying out at the same time, ‘What is
there between thee and us? What art thou come to do here? Wilt thou crucify us likewise?’
The angels hunted them away, having first chained them. The poor souls confined in this
place had only a slight presentiment and vague idea of the presence of Jesus; but the
moment he told them that it was he himself, they burst out into acclamations of joy, and
welcomed him with hymns of rapture and delight. The soul of our Lord then wended its
way to the right, towards that part which really constituted Limbo; and there he met the
soul of the good thief which angels were carrying to Abraham’s bosom, as also that of the
bad thief being dragged by demons into Hell. Our Lord addressed a few words to both, and
then entered Abraham’s bosom, accompanied by numerous angels and holy souls, and also
by those demons who had been chained and expelled from the compartment.
This locality appeared to me more elevated than the surrounding parts; and I can only
describe my sensations on entering it, by comparing them to those of a person coming
suddenly into the interior of a church, after having been for some time in the burial vaults.
The demons, who were strongly chained, were extremely loth to enter, and resisted to the
utmost of their power, but the angels compelled them to go forwards. All the just who had
lived before the time of Christ were assembled there; the patriarchs, Moses, the judges, and
the kings on the left-hand side; and on the right side, the prophets, and the ancestors of our
Lord, as also his near relations, such as Joachim, Anna, Joseph, Zacharias, Elizabeth, and
John. There were no demons in this place, and the only discomfort that had been felt by
those placed there was a longing desire for the accomplishment of the promise; and when
our Lord entered they saluted him with joyful hymns of gratitude and thanksgiving for its
fulfilment, they prostrated and adored him, and the evil spirits who had been dragged into
Abraham’s bosom when our Lord entered were compelled to confess with shame that they
were vanquished. Many of these holy souls were ordered by our Lord to return to the earth,
re-enter their own bodies, and thus render a solemn and impressive testimony to the truth. It
was at this moment that so many dead persons left their tombs in Jerusalem; I regarded
them less in the light of dead persons risen again than as corpses put in motion by a divine
power, and which, after having fulfilled the mission entrusted to them, were laid aside in the
same manner as the insignia of office are taken off by a clerk when he has executed the
orders of his superiors.
I next saw our Lord, with his triumphant procession, enter into a species of Purgatory
which was filled with those good pagans who, having had a faint glimmering of the truth,
had longed for its fulfilment: this Purgatory was very deep, and contained a few demons
compelled to confess the deception they had practised with regard to these idols, and the
souls of the poor pagans cast themselves at the feet of Jesus, and adored him with
inexpressible joy: here, likewise, the demons were bound with chains and dragged away. I
saw our Saviour perform many other actions; but I suffered so intensely at the same time,
that I cannot recount them as I should have wished.
Finally, I beheld him approach to the centre of the great abyss, that is to say, to Hell
itself; and the expression of his countenance was most severe.
The exterior of Hell was appalling and frightful; it was an immense, heavy-looking
building, and the granite of which it was formed, although black, was of metallic brightness;
and the dark and ponderous doors were secured with such terrible bolts that no one could
behold them without trembling. Deep groans and cries of despair might be plainly
distinguished even while the doors were tightly closed; but, O, who can describe the
dreadful yells and shrieks which burst upon the ear when the bolts were unfastened and the
doors flung open; and, O, who can depict the melancholy appearance of the inhabitants of
this wretched place!
The form under which the Heavenly Jerusalem is generally represented in my visions is
that of a beautiful and well-regulated city, and the different degrees of glory to which the
elect are raised are demonstrated by the magnificence of their palaces, or the wonderful fruit
and flowers with which the gardens are embellished. Hell is shown to me under the same
form, but all within it is, on the contrary, close, confused, and crowded; every object tends
to fill the mind with sensations of pain and grief; the marks of the wreath and vengeance of
God are visible everywhere; despair, like a vulture, gnaws every heart, and discord and
misery reign around. In the Heavenly Jerusalem all is peace and eternal harmony, the
beginning, fulfilment, and end of everything being pure and perfect happiness; the city is
filled with splendid buildings, decorated in such a manner as to charm every eye and
enrapture every sense; the inhabitants of this delightful abode are overflowing with rapture
and exultation, the gardens gay with lovely flowers, and the trees covered with delicious
fruits which give eternal life. In the city of Hell nothing is to be seen but dismal dungeons,
dark caverns, frightful deserts, fetid swamps filled with every imaginable species of
poisonous and disgusting reptile. In Heaven you behold the happiness and peaceful union of
the saints; in Hell, perpetual scenes of wretched discord, and every species of sin and
corruption, either under the most horrible forms imaginable, or represented by different
kinds of dreadful torments. All in this dreary abode tends to fill the mind with horror; not a
word of comfort is heard or a consoling idea admitted; the one tremendous thought, that the
justice of an all-powerful God inflicts on the damned nothing but what they have fully
deserved is the absorbing tremendous conviction which weighs down each heart. Vice
appears in its own grim disgusting colours, being stripped of the mask under which it is
hidden in this world, and the infernal viper is seen devouring those who have cherished or
fostered it here below. In a word, Hell is the temple of anguish and despair, while the
kingdom of God is the temple of peace and happiness. This is easy to understand when
seen; but it is almost impossible to describe clearly.
The tremendous explosion of oaths, curses, cries of despair, and frightful exclamations
which, like a clap of thunder, burst forth when the gates of Hell were thrown open by the
angels, would be difficult even to imagine; our Lord spoke first to the soul of Judas, and the
angels then compelled all the demons to acknowledge and adore Jesus. They would have
infinitely preferred the most frightful torments to such a humiliation; but all were obliged to
submit. Many were chained down in a circle which was placed round other circles. In the
centre of Hell I saw a dark and horrible-looking abyss, and into this Lucifer was cast, after
being first strongly secured with chains; thick clouds of sulphureous black smoke arose from
its fearful depths, and enveloped his frightful form in the dismal folds, thus effectually
concealing him from every beholder. God himself had decreed this; and I was likewise told,
if I remember right, that he will be unchained for a time fifty or sixty years before the year of
Christ 2000. The dates of many other events were pointed out to me which I do not now
remember; but a certain number of demons are to be let loose much earlier than Lucifer, in
order to tempt men, and to serve as instruments of the divine vengeance. I should think that
some must be loosened even in the present day, and others will be set free in a short time.
It would be utterly impossible for me to describe all the things which were shown to me;
their number was so great that I could not reduce them sufficiently to order to define and
render them intelligible. Besides which my sufferings are very great, and when I speak on
the subject of my visions I behold them in my mind’s eye portrayed in such vivid colours,
that the sight is almost sufficient to cause a weak mortal like myself to expire.
I next saw innumerable bands of redeemed souls liberated from Purgatory and from
Limbo, who followed our Lord to a delightful spot situated above the celestial Jerusalem, in
which place I, a very short time ago, saw the soul of a person who was very dear to me. The
soul of the good thief was likewise taken there, and the promise of our Lord, ‘This day thou
shalt be with me in Paradise,’ was fulfilled.
It is not in my power to explain the exact time that each of these events occurred, nor can
I relate one-half of the things which I saw and heard; for some were incomprehensible even
to myself, and others would be misunderstood if I attempted to relate them. I have seen our
Lord in many different places. Even in the sea he appeared to me to sanctify and deliver
everything in the creation. Evil spirits fled at his approach, and cast themselves into the dark
abyss. I likewise beheld his soul in different parts of the earth, first inside the tomb of Adam,
under Golgotha; and when he was there the souls of Adam and Eve came up to him, and he
spoke to them for some time. He then visited the tombs of the prophets, who were buried at
an immense depth below the surface; but he passed through the soil in the twinkling of an
eye. Their souls immediately re-entered their bodies, and he spoke to them, and explained
the most wonderful mysteries. Next I saw him, accompanied by a chosen band of prophets,
among whom I particularly remarked David, visit those parts of the earth which had been
sanctified by his miracles and by his sufferings. He pointed out to them, with the greatest
love and goodness, the different symbols in the old law expressive of the future; and he
showed them how he himself had fulfilled every prophecy. The sight of the soul of our Lord,
surrounded by these happy souls, and radiant with light, was inexpressibly grand as he
glided triumphantly through the air, sometimes passing, with the velocity of lightning, over
rivers, then penetrating though the hardest rocks to the very centre of the earth, or moving
noiselessly over its surface.
I can remember nothing beyond the facts which I have just related concerning the descent
of Jesus into Limbo, where he went in order to present to the souls there detained the grace
of the Redemption which he had merited for them by his death and by his sufferings; and I
saw all these things in a very short space of time; in fact, time passed so quickly that it
seemed to me but a moment. Our Lord, however, displayed before me, at the same time,
another picture, in which I beheld the immense mercies which he bestows in the present day
on the poor souls in Purgatory; for on every anniversary of this great day, when his Church
is celebrating the glorious mystery of his death, he casts a look of compassion on the souls in
Purgatory, and frees some of those who sinned against him before his crucifixion. I this day
saw Jesus deliver many souls; some I was acquainted with, and others were strangers to me,
but I cannot name any of them.
Our Lord, by descending into Hell, planted (if I may thus express myself), in the spiritual
garden of the Church, a mysterious tree, the fruits of which—namely, his merits—are
destined for the constant relief of the poor souls in Purgatory. The Church militant must
cultivate the tree, and gather its fruit, in order to present them to that suffering portion of the
Church which can do nothing for itself. Thus it is with all the merits of Christ; we must
labour with him if we wish to obtain our share of them; we must gain our bread by the
sweat of our brow. Everything which our Lord has done for us in time must produce fruit
for eternity; but we must gather these fruits in time, without which we cannot possess them
in eternity. The Church is the most prudent and thoughtful of mothers; the ecclesiastical
year is an immense and magnificent garden, in which all those fruits for eternity are
gathered together, that we may make use of them in time. Each year contains sufficient to
supply the wants of all; but woe be to that careless or dishonest gardener who allows any of
the fruit committed to his care to perish; if he fails to turn to a proper account those graces
which would restore health to the sick; strength to the weak, or furnish food to the hungry!
When the Day of Judgment arrives, the Master of the garden will demand a strict account,
not only of every tree, but also of all the fruit produced in the garden.

The Eve of the Resurrection.

Towards the close of the Sabbath-day, John came to see the holy women. He
endeavoured to give some consolation, but could not restrain his own tears, and only
remained a short time with them. They had likewise a short visit from Peter and James the
Greater, after which they retired to their cells, and gave free vent to grief, sitting upon ashes,
and veiling themselves even more closely.
The prayer of the Blessed Virgin was unceasing. She ever kept her eyes fixed interiorly on
Jesus, and was perfectly consumed by her ardent desire of once more beholding him whom
she loved with such inexpressible love. Suddenly an angel stood by her side, and bade her
arise and go to the door of the dwelling of Nicodemus, for that the Lord was very near. The
heart of the Blessed Virgin leaped for joy. She hastily wrapped her cloak about her, and left
the holy women, without informing them where she was going. I saw her walk quickly to a
small entrance which was cut in the town wall, the identical one through which she had
entered when returning with her companions from the sepulchre.
It was about nine o’clock at night, and the Blessed Virgin had almost reached the
entrance, when I saw her stop suddenly in a very solitary spot, and look upwards in an
ecstasy of delight, for on the top of the town wall she beheld the soul of our Lord,
resplendent with light, without the appearance of a wound, and surrounded by patriarchs.
He descended towards her, turned to his companions, and presenting her to them, said,
‘Behold Mary, behold my Mother.’ He appeared to me to salute her with a kiss, and he then
disappeared. The Blessed Virgin knelt down, and most reverently kissed the ground on
which he had stood, and the impression of her hands and knees remained imprinted upon
the stones. The sight filled her with inexpressible joy, and she immediately rejoined the holy
women, who were busily employed in preparing the perfumes and spices. She did not tell
them what she had seen, but her firmness and strength of mind was restored. She was
perfectly renovated, and therefore comforted all the rest, and endeavoured to strengthen
their faith.
All the holy women were sitting by a long table, the cover of which hung down to the
floor, when Mary returned; bundles of herbs were heaped around them, and these they
mixed together and arranged; small flasks, containing sweet unctions and water of
spikenard, were standing near, as also bunches of natural flowers, among which I remarked
one in particular, which was like a streaked iris or a lily. Magdalen, Mary the daughter of
Cleophas, Salome, Johanna, and Mary Salome, had bought all these things in the town
during the absence of Mary. Their intention was to go to the sepulchre before sunrise on the
following day, in order to strew these flowers and perfumes over the body of their beloved