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The Revelations of St. Elizabeth

So when that night had come to an end and day had just broken, Christ's handmaid, Elizabeth, began earnestly to lament and to be distressed by the offence which she had offered the majesty of the glorious Virgin the night before, as recounted above. She was very afraid that she would never be able to recover such great grace and consolation. The Blessed Virgin replied to her silent thought, appearing to her and saying again and again, "Do not be afraid, daughter, and do not distress yourself with any foolish uncertainty about losing me because of your past sin; for your sin has already been forgiven you through your penitence. And I have now come to you so that you may ask what you like, for I am ready to answer your questions on everything, according to the promise I had made."
 

Blessed Elizabeth immediately said, "Lady, I ask you to tell me what it was that prompted you to ask the Lord to promise, of his special grace, that you would see the birth of that virgin from whom his son was to be born."
 

She replied, "One day when I had had consolation from God, more wonderful than I had ever experienced before, and had come to myself, with most burning heart I began to consider whether I could do something, or have something in myself, on account of which God would permit me never to be separated from him, and this I began to strive. And with this thought I rose up and went to a book and began to read it. And on the first page of the book there met my eyes that text of Isaiah the prophet, 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive...' (Is 7:14). And while I considered and meditated on how greatly virginity pleased God, given that he wished his Son to be born of a virgin, in my heart I resolved at once to preserve my own virginity out of reverence for her and, if I should chance to live to see her, to serve her in virginity all the days of my life, wandering with her, if necessary, through the whole world.
 

"After this, therefore, on the following night, while I was praying to God with devout mind, asking that he would allow me to see that virgin of whom I have spoken before I died, suddenly so great a shining light appeared before my eyes, although I was in darkness, that the sun was nothing in comparison. And from out of that shining light I heard a voice saying to me, 'Virgin of the stock of David, you shall bear my Son.' And it added, 'Know with complete certainty that that honour and reverence which, out of love for me, you longed to pay another virgin, shall be paid to you by others. I wish you to be that virgin who is to bear my Son. And not only will you possess him through you and in you, but in right of marriage you will be able to give him to whomsoever you please. Anyone who has not loved you nor believed that you were the mother of my Son, who took flesh from you for the salvation of the human race, will not have my grace or love, nor will he enter my Son's kingdom. You alone will be able to offer to others my Son and his grace, which you will receive from me.'
 

"Having heard these words I was beside myself with excessive astonishment and wonder, and fell prostrate on my face as if dead, for I could not hold myself upright. But suddenly God's angels were there, raising me up from the ground and strengthening me and saying, 'Fear not, for you are blessed above all women and on you has alighted God's grace, through which can be easily fulfilled all that the Lord has said to you.' From that time forth I did not cease, day and night, to render praise to my creator with heart, mouth, and deed, looking forward with firm and certain confidence to the day and the hour that those things that had been revealed to me by the Lord should be fulfilled. I used to say to myself over and over again, 'Most kindly Lord, in that it is your pleasure to offer so great a grace to your unworthy handmaid, I ask that you give me the spirit of your wisdom,  by which I may worthily conceive your Son, the creator of heaven and earth, and serve him as he wishes. Give me the spirit of understanding, by which with enlightened mind I may have the strength to fulfill all his will,  insofar as is possible in this world. Give me the spirit of counsel, by which I may protect and guide him as is fitting while he is still crying in his human weakness, as yet unable to speak. Give me the spirit of strength, by which I may with courageous heart bear title of his dignity in my heart and constantly cleave to it. Give me the spirit of knowledge, by which I may instruct all those who will have to do with him and who will wish to imitate him. Give me the spirit of loving-kindness, by which [I may foster]  his human nature and delicate constitution as shall be fitting. Give me also the spirit of the fear of the Lord by which I may serve him with humble mind and proper reverence. My dearest daughter, all that I asked was granted me, as you can understand from the angelic greeting with which I was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel." 10
 








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