Extracts from the Mystical City of God
'With the help of the Almighty's grace, thou canst rise above thyself and make thyself a daughter of heaven, whence all grace comes.'
Our Lady's Words to Ven. Mary of Agreda, City of God, Vol. I, 310
Extracts from the Mystical City of God The following extracts are gathered from the four volumes works of the Mystical City of God for meditation and inspiration. Here follow portions of the introductory material, which may be read entirely in the facsimiles provided on Inspirational Books from the Saints.
CITY OF GOD
THE MIRACLE OF HIS OMNIPOTENCE
AND THE ABYSS OF HIS GRACE
THE DIVINE HISTORY AND LIFE OF THE VIRGIN
MOTHER OF GOD
OUR QUEEN AND OUR LADY, MOST HOLY MARY
EXPIATRIX OF THE FAULT OF EVE
AND MEDIATRIX OF GRACE
Manifested in these later ages by that Lady to her handmaid
SISTER MARY OF JESUS
Superioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception of the town
of Agreda, of the province of Burgos in Spain, under
obedience to the regular observance
of the seraphic father
For new enlightenment of the world, for rejoicing
of the Catholic Church, and encouragement of men.
Translation from the Original Authorised Spanish Edition
(Rev. Geo. J. Blatter)
Begun on the Feast of the Assumption
MARY OF AGREDA
She was the daughter of Francis Coronel and Catherine of Arana, born April 2, 1602, in the small town of Agreda near Tarazona in Spain. In 1617 she entered the convent of the discalced Franciscan Nuns in the Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Agreda and took her vows one year later. In 1625 she was chosen abbess, much against her wishes, and, except during a short intermission, was re-elected every three years until she died, in 1665. The fame of her prudence and foresight, not only in the government of her convent but in other matters, soon spread outside the convent walls and persons of the highest rank in state and Church were eager to obtain her counsel in important affairs. King Philip IV visited her several times in her convent and corresponded with her about national affairs for many years. But she was no less famous for her exalted virtues. In many respects her life was a faithful copy of that of St. Francis. The miracle of bilocation related of her is in fact more remarkable and lasted a longer time than that recorded anywhere in the lives of the saints. Her good sense, her truthfulness, her sincerity, her humility, her unselfish love of God and man eminently adapted her for the communication of messages from God to men.
WHAT INDUCED HER TO WRITE
In all writing that lays claim to private revelation, the motives of the writer must be closely scrutinized. If it appears to be a self-imposed task, for selfish ends, pecuniary or otherwise, tending to particularity in religious teachings or practice not approved by the established faith or written without knowledge or consultation of the rightful superiors, it ought to be rejected as spurious. God will reveal nothing for such purpose or under such circumstances, and He will permit human error and deceit and the sinister influence of hell to run their natural course. Nothing of all this appears in the writings of Mary of Agreda. Though she was urged interiorly and exteriorly to record the facts of history revealed to her concerning the Mother of God, she resisted for twelve years and was finally induced to write only through the positive commands of her superiors. Reluctantly she began her his story in the year 1637 and finished it in the year 1645, continually asking to be relieved from the task because she thought herself unworthy. As soon as the insistence of her superiors relaxed and an error of judgment on the part of an outside confessor gave her a plausible excuse, she burned all her writings, thus destroying the labor of many years.
When this came to the knowledge of the higher authorities and when they insisted on her rewriting the history which continued to be supernaturally made known to her, she again succeeded in delaying the task for ten years. Only the strictest command under obedience and the threat of censures finally induced her to write the manuscript which she began in 1655 and finished in 1665, and which is still preserved in the convent of Agreda.
HOW WAS "CIUDAD" RECEIVED?
As soon as the "City of God" appeared in print it was welcomed and extolled as a most wonderful work. The different translations found no less enthusiastic welcome in nearly all the European countries. It secured the immediate approbation and encomium of the ordinaries, the universities, the learned and eminent men of Christendom. There is probably no other book which was so closely scrutinized by those in authority, both civil and religious, and afterwards so signally approved as the "City of God."
By order of Innocent X., Alexander VII., Clement IX., Benedict XII., and Benedict XIV. it was repeatedly subjected to the closest scrutiny and declared authentic, worthy of devout perusal and free from error.
The title "Venerabilis" was conferred upon the author. A large sized volume would be required to record the praises and commendations written in favor of the great "City of God."
The great pope Benedict XIII, when he was archbishop of Benevent, used these revelations as material for a series of sermons on the Blessed Virgin. On Sept. 26, 1713, the bishop of Ceneda, Italy, objecting to the publication of the "City of God" was peremptorily ordered by the Holy Office to withdraw his objections as interfering with the decree of pope Innocent XI for the universal Church.
The Redemptorist Fathers published a new German translation in 1885, which was approved and highly recommended by the Bishop of Ratisbon in the following terms "We take pleasure in giving our episcopal approbation to the annotated translation of the Spanish original "Ciudad de Dios" of Mary of Jesus and recommend this book, which will surely edify all readers and be the occasion of great spiritual blessings."
A number of episcopal approbations, the recommendations of four renowned universities, namely, of Toulouse, Salamanca, Alcala and Louvain, and of prominent members of different orders, coincide in extolling the above-named work.
The learned and pious Cardinal Aguirre says that he considers all the studies of fifty years of his previous life as of small consequence in comparison with the doctrines he found in this book, which in all things are in harmony with the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Fathers and Councils of the Church.
The Venerable Superior-General of St. Sulpice, Abbe Emery, adds: "Only since I read the revelations of Mary of Agreda do I properly know Jesus and his Holy Mother."
Rome City, Ind., Aug. 24, 1912.
The Rev. George J. Blatter,
Dear Rev. Father:
My Imprimatur is herewith granted to your English translation of the work entitled "Ciudad de Dios." Wishing you every blessing, I remain
Devotedly in Domino,
H. J. AWARDING, Bishop of Fort Wayne.
Extracts from the Mystical City of God
Inspirational Books from the Saints
The Mystical City of God in Four Volumes