29: The Birth of Our Lord Jesus.
6th June 1944.
I still see the inside of the poor stony shelter, where Mary and Joseph have found refuge, sharing the lot of some animals.
The little fire is dozing together with its guardian. Mary lifts Her head slowly from Her bed and looks round. She sees that Joseph's head is bowed over his chest, as if he were meditating, and She thinks that his good intention to remain awake has been overcome by tiredness. She smiles lovingly and making less noise than a butterfly alighting on a rose, She sits up and then goes on Her knees. She prays with a blissful smile on Her face. She prays with Her arms stretched out, almost in the shape of a cross, with the palms of Her hands facing up and forward, and She never seems to tire in that position. She then prostrates Herself with Her face on the hay, in an even more ardent prayer. A long prayer. Joseph rouses. He notices that the fire is almost out and the stable almost dark. He throws a handful of very slender heath on to the fire and the flames are revived, he then adds some thicker twigs and finally some sticks, because the cold is really biting: the cold of a serene winter night that comes into the ruins from everywhere. Poor Joseph must be frozen sitting as he is near the door, if we can call a door the hole where Joseph's mantle serves as a curtain. He warms his hands near the fire, then takes his sandals off and warms his feet. When the fire is gaily blazing and its light is steady, he turns round. But he does not see anything, not even Mary's white veil that formed a clear line on the dark hay. He gets up and slowly moves towards Her pallet.
"Are You not sleeping, Mary?" he asks.
He asks Her three times until She turns round and replies: "I am praying."
"Is there anything you need?"
"Try and sleep a little. At least try and rest."
"I will try. But I don't get tired praying."
"God be with You, Mary."
"And with you, Joseph."
Mary resumes Her position. Joseph to avoid falling asleep, goes on his knees near the fire and prays. He prays with his hands pressed against his face. He removes them now and again to feed the fire and then he resumes his ardent prayer. Apart from the noise of the crackling sticks and the noise made now and again by the donkey stamping its hooves on the ground, no other sound is heard. A thin ray of moonlight creeps in through a crack in the vault and it seems a blade of unearthly silver looking for Mary. It stretches in length as the moon climbs higher in the sky and at last reaches Her. It is now on Her head, where it forms a halo of pure light.
Mary lifts Her head, as if She had a celestial call, and She gets up and goes on to Her knees again. Oh! How beautiful it is here now! She raises Her head, and Her face shines in the white moonlight and becomes transfigured by a supernatural smile. What does She see? What does She hear? What does She feel? She is the only one who can tell what She saw, heard and felt in the refulgent hour of Her Maternity. I can only see that the light around Her is increasing more and more. It seems to come down from Heaven, to arise from the poor things around Her, above all it seems to originate from Herself.
Her deep blue dress now seems of a pale myosotis blue, and Her hands and face are becoming clear blue as if they were placed under the glare of a huge pale sapphire. This hue is spreading more and more on the things around Her, it covers them, purifies them and brightens everything. It reminds me, although it is somewhat softer, of the hue I see in the vision of holy Paradise, and also of the colour I saw in the visit of the Wise Men.
The light is given off more and more intensely from Mary's body, it absorbs the moonlight. She seems to be drawing to Herself all the light that can descend from Heaven. She is now the Depository of the Light. She is to give this Light to the world. And this blissful, uncontainable, immeasurable, eternal, divine Light which is about to be given, is heralded by a dawn, a morning star, a chorus of atoms of Light that increase continuously like a tide, and rise more and more like incense, and descend like a large stream and stretch out like veils… The vault, full of crevices, of cobwebs, of protruding rubble balanced by a miracle of physics, the dark, smokey repellent vault, now seems the ceiling of a royal hall. Each boulder is a block of silver, each crack an opal flash, each cobweb a most precious canopy interwoven with silver and diamonds. A huge green lizard, hibernating between two stones, seems an emerald jewel forgotten there by a queen: and a bunch of hibernating bats is like a precious onyx chandelier. The hay from the upper manger is no longer grass blades: it is pure silver wires quivering in the air with the grace of loose hair.
The dark wood of the lower manger is a block of burnished silver. The walls are covered with a brocade in which the white silk disappears under the pearly embroidery of the relief, and the soil… what is the soil now? It is a crystal lit tip by a white light. Its protrusions are like roses thrown in homage of the soil; the holes are precious cups from which perfumes and scents are to arise. And the light increases more and more. It is now unbearable to the eye. And the Virgin disappears in so much light, as if She had been absorbed by an incandescent curtain…and the Mother emerges.
Yes. When the light becomes endurable once again to my eyes, I see Mary with the new-born Son in Her arms. A little Baby, rosy and plump, bustling with His little hands as big as rose buds and kicking with His tiny feet that could be contained in the hollow of the heart of a rose: and is crying with a thin trembling voice, just like a new-born little lamb, opening His pretty little mouth that resembles a wild strawberry, and showing a tiny tongue that trembles against the rosy roof of His mouth. And He moves His little head that is so blond that it seems without any hair, a little round head that His Mummy holds in the hollow of Her hand, while She looks at Her Baby and adores Him weeping and smiling at the same time, and She bends down to kiss Him not on His innocent head, but on the centre of His chest, where underneath there is His little heart beating for us… where one day there will be the Wound. And His Mother is doctoring that wound in advance, with Her immaculate kiss.
The ox, woken up by the dazzling light, gets up with a great noise of hooves and bellows, the donkey turns its head round and brays. It is the light that rouses them but I love to think that they wanted to greet their Creator, both for themselves and on behalf of all the animals.
Also Joseph, who almost enraptured, was praying so ardently as to be isolated from what was around him, now rouses and he sees a strange light filter through the fingers of his hands pressed against his face. He removes his hands, lifts his head and turns round. The ox, standing as it is, hides Mary. But She calls him: "Joseph, come."
Joseph rushes. And when he sees, he stops, struck by reverence, and he is about to fall on his knees where he is. But Mary insists: "Come, Joseph" and She leans on the hay with Her left hand and, holding the Child close to Her heart with Her right one, She gets up and moves towards Joseph, who is walking embarrassed, because of a conflict in him between his desire to go and his fear of being irreverent.
They meet at the foot of the straw bed and they look at each other, weeping blissfully.
"Come, let us offer Jesus to the Father" says Mary. And while Joseph kneels down, She stands up between two trunks supporting the vault, She lifts up Her Creature in Her arms and says: "Here I am. On His behalf, O God, I speak these words to You: here I am to do Your will. And I, Mary, and My spouse, Joseph, with Him. Here are Your servants, O Lord. May Your will always be done by us, in every hour, in every event, for Your glory and Your love."
Then Mary bends down and says: "Here, Joseph, take Him", and offers him the Child.
"What! I?… Me?… Oh, no! I am not worthy!" Joseph is utterly dumbfounded at the idea of having to touch God.
But Mary insists smiling: "You are well worthy. No one is more worthy than you are, and that is why the Most High chose you. Take Him, Joseph, and hold Him while I look for the linens."
Joseph, blushing almost purple, stretches his arms out and takes the Baby, Who is screaming because of the cold and when he has Him in his arms, he no longer persists in the intention of holding Him far from himself, out of respect, but he presses Him to his heart and bursts into tears exclaiming: "Oh! Lord! My God! » And he bends down to kiss His tiny feet and feels them cold. He then sits on the ground, and holds Him close to his chest and with his brown tunic and his hands he tries to cover Him, and warm Him, defending Him from the bitterly cold wind of the night. He would like to go near the fire, but there is a cold draft there coming in from the door. It is better to stay where he is. No, it is better to go between the two animals which serve as a protection against the air and give out warmth. Thus, he goes between the ox and the donkey, with his back to the door, bending over the New-Born to form with his body a shelter, the two sides of which are a grey head with long ears, and a huge white muzzle with a steaming nose and two gentle soft eyes.
Mary has opened the trunk and has pulled out the linens and swaddling clothes. She has been near the fire warming them. She now moves towards Joseph and envelops the Baby with lukewarm linen and then with Her veil to protect His little head. "Where shall we put Him now?" She asks.
Joseph looks round, thinking… "Wait" he says. "Let us move the animals and their hay over here, we will then pull down that hay up there and arrange it in here. The wood on the side will protect Him from the air, the hay will serve as a pillow and the ox will warm Him a little with its breath. The ox is better than the donkey. It is more patient and quiet." And he bustles about, while Mary is lulling the Baby, holding Him close to Her heart, and laying Her cheek on His tiny head to warm it.
Joseph makes up the fire, without economy this time, to have a good blaze, and he warms the hay and as it dries up, he keeps it near his chest, so that it will not get cold. Then, when he has gathered enough to make a little mattress for the Child, he goes to the manger and sorts it out as if it were a cradle. "It is ready" he says. "Now we would need a blanket, because the hay stings, and also to cover Him."
"Take My mantle" says Mary.
"You will be cold."
"Oh! It does not matter! The blanket is too coarse. The mantle is soft and warm. I am not cold at all. Don't let Him suffer any longer!"
Joseph takes the wide mantle of soft dark blue wool, he double folds it and lays it on the hay, leaving a strip hanging out of the manger. The first bed for the Saviour is ready.
And the Mother, with Her sweet, graceful gait, moves to the manger, lays Him in it, and covers Him with the strip of Her mantle. She arranges it also around His bare head, almost completely covered by the hay, from which it is protected only by Mary's thin veil. Only His little face, the size of a man's fist, is left uncovered. Mary and Joseph, bending over the manger, are blissfully happy watching Him sleep His first sleep, because the warmth of the clothes and of the hay has appeased His crying, and made Him sleepy.
Mary says: "I promised you that He would come to bring you His peace. Do you remember the peace you enjoyed at Christmas! When you saw Me with My Child? Then it was your time of peace. Now it is your time of pain. But you know by now. It is by means of pain that we achieve peace and every grace for ourselves and our neighbors. Jesus-Man became Jesus-God again, after the tremendous suffering of His Passion. He became Peace, once more. Peace from Heaven, from where He had come and from where He now pours out His peace for those who love Him in the world. But in the hours of His Passion, He, Peace of the world, was deprived of that peace. He would not have suffered if He had had it. And He had to suffer: and to suffer excruciatingly, to the very end.
I, Mary, redeemed woman by means of My divine Maternity. But that was only the beginning of woman's redemption. By refusing a human marriage in accordance with My vow of virginity, I had rejected all lustful satisfactions, deserving thus grace from God.
But it was not yet sufficient, because Eve's sin was a four branched tree: pride, avarice, gluttony and lust. And all four were to be cut off, before making the roots of the tree sterile.
By deeply humiliating Myself, I defeated pride.
I abased Myself before everybody. I am not referring to My humility towards God. Such humility is due to the Most High by every creature. Even His Word had it. It was necessary for Me, a woman, to have it. But have you ever considered what humiliation I had to suffer from men, without defending Myself in any way?
Even Joseph, who was a just man, had accused Me in his heart. The others, who were not just, had committed a sin of disparagement with regard to My condition, and the rumor of their words had come like a bitter wave to break up against My humanity. And they were the first of the infinite humiliations I was to suffer in My life as Mother of Jesus and of mankind.
Humiliations of poverty, of a refugee, humiliations for reproaches of relatives and friends who, being unaware of the truth, judged Me a weak woman with regard to My behavior as a Mother towards Jesus, when He was a young man, humiliations during the three years of His public life, cruel humiliations in the hour of Calvary, humiliation in having to admit that I could not afford to buy a place and the perfumes for the burial of my Son.
I overcame the avarice of the First Parents renouncing My Creature before the time.
A mother never renounces her creature unless she is forced to. Whether her heart is asked to renounce her creature by her country or by the love of a spouse or even by God Himself, she will resent and struggle against the separation. It is natural. A son grows in our womb and the tie that links him to us can never be completely broken. Even if the umbilical cord is cut, there is a nerve that always remains: it departs from the mother's heart and is grafted into the son's heart: it is a spiritual nerve, more lively and sensitive than a physical one. And a mother feels it stretching even to exceedingly severe pangs if the love of God or of a creature or the need of the country take her son away from her. And it breaks, tearing her heart, if death snatches her son from her.
And I renounced My Son from the very moment I had Him. I gave Him to God. I gave Him to you. I deprived Myself of the Fruit of My womb to make amends for Eve's theft of God's fruit.
I defeated gluttony, both of knowledge and of enjoyment, by agreeing to know only what God wanted Me to know, without asking Myself or Him more than what I was told. I believed unquestioningly. I overcame the innate personal delight of enjoyment because I denied Myself every sensual pleasure. I confined flesh, the instrument of Satan, together with Satan, under My heel and made of them a step to rise towards Heaven. Heaven! My aim. Where God was. My only hunger. A hunger which is not gluttony, but a necessity blessed by God, Who wants us to crave for Him.
I defeated lust, which is gluttony carried to the extreme of greed. Because every unrestrained vice leads to a bigger vice. And Eve's gluttony, which was already blameworthy, led her to lust. It was no longer enough for her to enjoy pleasure by herself. She wanted to take her crime to a refined intensity and thus she became acquainted with lust and was a mistress of lust for her companion.
I reversed the terms and instead of descending I have always ascended. Instead of causing other people to descend, I have always attracted them towards Heaven: of My honest companion, I made an angel.
Now that I possessed God and His infinite wealth with Him, I hastened to divest Myself of it saying: “Here I am: may Your will be done for Him and by Him.” He is chaste who chastises not only his flesh but also his affections and his thoughts. I had to be the Chaste One in order to annul the One who had been Unchaste in her flesh, her heart and her mind. And I never abandoned My reservedness, not even by saying of My Son: “He is Mine, I want Him”, since He belonged only to Me on earth, as He belonged only to God in Heaven.
And yet all this was not sufficient to achieve for woman the peace lost by Eve. I obtained that for you at the foot of the Cross: when I saw Him dying, Whom you saw being born. When I felt My bowels being torn apart by the cry of My dying Creature, I became void of all femininity. I was no longer flesh, but an angel. Mary, the Virgin Spouse of the Spirit, died that moment. The Mother of Grace remained, Who gave you the Grace She generated from Her torture. The female reconsecrated “woman” by me on Christmas night, achieved at the foot of the Cross the means to become a creature of Heaven.
This I did for you, depriving Myself of all satisfactions, even of holy ones. And whereas you had been reduced by Eve to females not superior to the mates of animals, I made of you, if you only wish so, saints of God. I ascended for you. As I had done for Joseph, I lifted you higher up. The 'rock of Calvary is My Mount of Olives. From there I took My leap to carry to Heaven the re-sanctified soul of woman together with My flesh, now glorified because it had borne the Word of God and had destroyed in Me the very last trace of Eve. It had destroyed the last root of that tree with four poisonous branches, a root stuck in the sensuality that had dragged mankind to fall and that will go on biting at your intestines until the end of time and to the last woman. From there, where I now shine in the ray of Love, I call you and I show you the Medicine to control yourselves: the Grace of My Lord and the Blood of My Son.
And you, My voice, rest your soul in the light of this dawn of Jesus, to gain strength for the future crucifixions which will not be spared you, because we want you here and one comes here through pain, because we want you here and the higher one comes the more one has suffered to obtain Grace for the world. Go in peace. I am with you."