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Venerable Mother Mary of Agreda, was the Superioress of The Immaculate Conception Convent in the town of Agreda, Spain. She was picked by God to transcribe and publish the Divine History And Life Of The Virgin Mother Of God for the new enlightenment of the world, for rejoicing of the Catholic Church and the encouragement of men.

The Divine Manifestations that were revealed to Venerable Mary of Agreda, were published in a multi-volume work called: The Mystical City of God¹.

‘Much of the information contained in The City of God came to Mary of Agreda directly from the Queen of Heaven, some of it from the Holy Angels, and part of it immediately from God. All of it partakes of that intellectual and abstractive character, which absolutely excludes imaginary and visionary illusions.’

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part posting we focussed on the virtues and trials of the Blessed Virgin’s husband: the chaste and pure Saint Joseph. Please note, due to the length of this last narrative ‘Part 3’ will appear in four (4) separate posts labeled 3a, 3b, 3c and 3d.

Let us ponder further Saint Joseph’s internal disquiet and his great anguish in discovering the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary:

All that passed in the heart of Saint Joseph was known to the Princess of Heaven, who penetrated into its interior by the light of Her divine science.

Although Her soul was full of tenderness and compassion for the suffering of Her spouse, She said not a word in the matter;
but She continued to serve him with all devotion and solicitude.

The man of God watched Her without outward demonstration, yet with a greater anxiety that that of any man that ever lived.

The pregnancy of most holy Mary was not burdensome or painful to Her; but as the great Lady in serving him at table or any other domestic occupations, necessarily disclosed Her state more and more openly, Saint Joseph noticed all these actions and movements and with deep affliction of soul verified all his observations.

Notwithstanding his being a holy and just man, he permitted himself to be respected and served by the most holy Virgin after their espousal, claiming in all things the position of head and husband of the family, though with rare humility and prudence.

As long as he was ignorant of the mystery of his Spouse, he judged it right, within befitting limits, to show his authority in imitation of the ancient Fathers and Patriarchs.

For he knew that they demanded subjection and prompt obedience of their wives, and he did not wish to recede from their example.

He would have been right in this course if most holy Mary, our Lady, had been no more than other women.

Yet although there was such a great difference, no woman ever existed or will exist who was or will be so obedient, humble and devoted to her husband as the most exalted Queen was toward Her spouse.

She served him with incomparable respect and promptitude; although She knew his troubled thoughts and observations concerning Her pregnancy,

She omitted no service due to him, nor did She try to conceal or palliate Her state. For such evasion or duplicity would not have consorted with the angelic truthfulness and openness, nor with the nobility and magnanimity of Her generous heart.

Mother of our Creator, pray for us.

Virgin most prudent, pray for us.

Virgin most faithful, pray for us.

Seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Cause of our joy, pray for us.

Mystical rose, pray for us.

Tower of David, pray for us.

Ark of the covenant, pray for us.

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.

The great Lady could easily have asserted Her entire innocence and referred to the testimony of Saint Elizabeth and Zacharias; for, if Saint Joseph had any suspicion of guilt in Her, he could naturally have supposed it to have been incurred during Her stay with them.

Hence, through them and by other references, She could have justified Herself and quieted the anxieties of Saint Joseph without disclosing the mystery.

The Mistress of Prudence and Humility did nothing of the kind;

for these virtues did not allow Her to think of Herself, nor to trust the justification of her mysterious condition to her own explanation.

With great wisdom She resigned the whole matter into the hands of Divine Providence.

Although Her compassion for Her spouse and Her love for him made Her anxious to console and comfort him, She would not do it by clearing Herself or by concealing her pregnancy, but rather by serving him with more devoted demonstrations of love, and by trying to cheer him up, asking him what She could do for him and lovingly showing Her devoted and submissive affection.

Many times She served him on Her knees, and although this somewhat consoled Saint Joseph, yet on the other hand, it was also a cause for new grief.

For thus he only saw the motives of love and esteem multiplied and still remained uncertain whether She had been untrue or not.

The Heavenly Lady offered up continual prayers for him and besought the Most High to look upon him and console him;

as for the rest She submitted all to the will of His Majesty.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us and teach us how to pray.

Saint Joseph could not entirely conceal his cruel sorrow, and therefore he often appeared to be in doubt and sad suspense.

Sometimes, carried away by his grief, he spoke to his heavenly Spouse with some degree of severity, such as he had not shown before.

This was the natural effect of the affliction of his heart, not of anger or vengeful feelings; for these never entered his thoughts, as we shall see later.

The most prudent Lady, however, never lost the sweetness of Her countenance, nor showed any feeling; but merely redoubled Her efforts to relieve her husband. She served at table, offered him a seat, administered food and drink, and if, after all these services, which She performed with incomparable grace, Saint Joseph urged Her to sit down, he could convince himself more and more of Her pregnancy.

There is no doubt that all this was on of the greatest trials not only of Saint Joseph, but of the Princess of Heaven, and that it greatly manifested the most profound humility and wisdom of Her most holy soul.

The Lord thereby gave Her an opportunity of exercising and proving all Her virtues; for He had not only not commanded Her to conceal the sacrament of Her pregnancy, but contrary to His usual manner of proceeding, He had not even manifested to Her His pleasure in any way.

It seemed as if God had left this whole matter in Her hands and entrusted it all to the wisdom and virtue of His chosen Spouse, without giving Her special enlightenment of help.

The Divine Providence afforded the most holy Mary and Her most faithful spouse an opportunity to exercise in a heroic manner the gifts and graces which He had infused into them, and delighted (according to our way of speaking), in the faith, hope and love, in the hearts in the midst of their grievous affliction.

In order to increase their glory and furnish to the world an example of holiness and prudence, and in order to hear the sweet cries of His most holy Mother and of Her most chaste spouse, He became, as it were, deaf to their prolonged invocations and delayed answering them until His own opportune and fitting time.

Dear Virgin Mary, we beseech Thee to teach us how to be patient with Your Son when it seems that He is deaf to our invocations. May we have the graces to grow in holiness and prudence as we accept His perfect timetable and plans even as these remain mysterious to us. And, may we always conform our will to His will. Amen.

Approbations:

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.

Ratisbon, September 29, 1885

†Ignatius, Bishop of Ratisbon

Above permission to publish was given to the translator of the original Spanish edition to German.

Rome City, Ind., Aug. 24, 1912.

Dear Rev. Father George J. Blatter:

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. Alerding, Bishop of Fort Wayne.

Above approval given to the translator of the original Spanish edition to English

¹Imprimatur: † Edwin V. Byrne, D.D., Archbishop of Santa Fe, 9 February 1949 A.D.

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