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Can you help?

My wife died in , and I have had a monthly Mass said for her at a nunnery where her Aunt is, as well as other Masses on her birthday and the day she died. I hope that these help and comfort her. But I wonder about myself, and others, who will pass without anyone to request Masses be read for them. Also, from a practical manner, I have generally heard Mass intentions for one person, or a married couple If there are billions of souls in Purgatory, don't we "run out of Masses"?

Probably foolish questions, but thank you for answering them! Thank you and God Bless you for giving us this article on Purgatory as it seems to be unheard of in our Churches anymore; another work of the devil to keep Purgatory undercover. It is so important for us to pray and have Masses said for those that have left us, and it is also very important that we have Masses said for us while we are still living. We have just lost two very well known men, Chuck Colson and Tom Kincaid, and I see far too many comments that they are now with the Lord, a fact that none of us really know, which means that these people are not getting prayers said for their souls.

Thank you for this article. It brings to mind a question - I am a laywoman and for years I have offered daily Mass for the souls in Purgatory, but have not asked a Priest to offer the Mass for the souls. Is that as efficacious? Dale -- I have the same problem as you, worrying that there would be no one to offer Masses for me when I die. So, what I have done is prepaid Gregorian masses for myself through the Franciscans. Gregorian Masses are 30 masses said for 30 days straight. I have had them said for my deceased husband and for my parents. I have prepaid them for myself and they sent me a card that I have placed with my Will that my executor will send to them when I die and my masses will be said.

If you want more info go to www. I need to also say that you can also have a Mass said for the Souls in Purgatory or for deceased members of a family. Masses do not have to be for only one or two persons. Hi Dale, Firstly let me say welcome home to the Catholic Church! Like Rosanna kindly replied you can definitely prepay for masses.

In fact, you can normally do this as part of your will and the masses can be said at your own parish--my grandmother had it in her will that a certain sum was set aside to be paid for masses for herself at her death to be said at her our local parish, and they were said one every couple of months mostly weekday masses for 5 years after her death. As far as "running out of Masses", without a doubt there are many souls in Purgatory who have never had a Mass said for them. However, the Church in Her great wisdom and benevolence has a special day in honor of All Souls Novemeber 2 , where all the Masses said throughout the world on that day are for the poor souls in Purgatory.

Additionally, many people often have masses said on their own for all the souls in Purgatory--in fact, the mass this morning at my own parish Church was precisely for this intention! Best wishes and may God bless you and your loved ones, Glenn DAllaire. Hi Karen, You said: "Thank you for this article. By doing so there is a concrete action of giving and sacrificing. So this intention and offering obviously would have the most value. HOWEVER, the Church does encourage all the faithful present to offer the Mass for their own personal intentions also, and even moreso to receive holy Communion for this intention also.

So yes, the souls in Purgatory surely benefit from your private intention of offering the Mass for them, even though the Mass is not formally being aid for this intention. May God bless you and your loved ones! I don't think I would be presumptuous and ask for prayers to be released even if I end up being the "last one out is the rotten egg". Thank you so much for the replies, Rosanna and Glenn! I am going to call the Parish office on Monday and find out about offering a periodic Mass for all souls in Purgatory.

As well, I'll talk to my attorney about amending my Will to include offerings for Masses, and check out the Fransiscan option.. Though if the pious French woman needed Masses said, I'd better plan on a lot for me! Thank you also for the "Welcome Home" -- for many years, those had been Patti and my favorite words, because we both travelled a lot A wonderful site where you can have masses offered is the seraphic mass association. They are capuchin missionaries. God bless. Glenn, terrific article. Can an ordinary lay person offer up prayers and ask God, through his son Jesus Christ, that souls be released?

If you have absolute Faith that this is so, is it still efficacious? Thanks, Frank. Then, on other days, I say it for a soul in purgatory. The following is verbatim. The recitation of a third part only of the Rosary suffices; but the five decades must be recited continuously. The vocal recitation MUST be accompanied by pious meditation on the mysteries.

In public recitation the mysteries must be announced in the manner customary in the place; for private recitation, however, it suffices if the vocal recitation is accompanied by meditation on the mysteries. For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this devotion is not practiced, the Patriarchs can determine some other prayers in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary for those of the Byzantine rite, for example, the Hymn 'Akathistos' or the Office 'Paraclisis' ; to the prayers thus determined are accorded the same indulgences as for the Rosary. You are saying that there is universal salvation.

There is not - many are called, but few are chosen. This is a heresy that is being taught. My problem is it's so hard to think and wonder about the souls in purgatory because my eyes show me so much to worry and pray for on earth. I am a fervent believer in trying to gain a Plenary Indulgence for souls in Purgatory at each Holy Mass.

Last year I asked our dear Lord to free my mother-in-law non-Catholic, troubled woman in life but who thankfully had done kind deeds for people - since it troubled me that she still might not be free, I dared to ask for a sign - a communication either a phone call or a letter for my husband from one of his sisters they never contact him!

I made the Plenary Indulgence on the Saturday morning and then forgot all about it. Later on in the day my husband and I were walking the dog and we spoke of his mother. He had had a very difficult relationship with her and we said how sad her life had been. When we returned from the walk my husband went to fetch the mail - he had received a letter from his sister in Australia - he hadn't had a letter from her in 30 years!

Thanks be to God in His infinite mercy. I now believe her to be in heaven. A Catholic 'universal' Church that cannot allow 'universal salvation'. Now there's a paradox if ever there was one. Jesus talks about being known by their fruits. You'd think with all these devout Catholics getting so many special graces 'inside' the Church - the Church would be populated with near other Christs. Another enigma. Love casts out fear, yet we're being driven to Heaven through fear? Approach the throne of grace with great confidence.

St Paul. Therese of Lisieux understood this. She also spoke about God giving her very great - perhaps 'infinite' desires, and said that He would not inspire such desire in a soul if the same God did now allow that such desires be fulfilled. If desired with confidence in Him - with real faith. The Mass supposedly offers infinite merit. One Mass. If we believe those infinite merits of one Mass offered can benefit, by God's infinite Love - finite numbers of souls, all souls that ever were, are and will be - then approach the throne of infinite grace with such desire, longing - faith; and don't doubt God will respond in kind.

We won't get to Heaven walking backwards out of Hell. Love casts out fear. There is no fear in Love. Even some of these stories seem to suggest such. Souls don't get to Heaven straight away for lack of confidence. For those who worry about not having Mass offered when you depart this life. I'll have one offered for you. I believe when we pray, we can pray for those in the past and the future. As all are present at the Cross of Christ - so we being present with all at that gateway to eternity can pray for all - past, present and future.

Approach the Throne of Grace with confidence. Love alone counts. St Therese. Faith, Hope and Love. And the greatest of these is LOVE. And perfect LOVE cast out fear. If I be damned for such heresy, so be it. God bless us all. Been a while since I read anything of our good sister Therese. But found a link tonight which has some insight on this topic. Hope OK to add here. Prayer of St. Gertrude a vast number of souls leaving Purgatory and going to Heaven as a result of this prayer, which the Saint was accustomed to say frequently during the day.

Gertrude's life was the mystic life of the Cloister — a Benedictine nun. She meditated on the Passion of Christ, which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She did many penances and Our Lord appeared to her many times. She had a tender love for the Blessed Virgin and was very devoted to the suffering souls in Purgatory. She died in Her feast day is November 16th. It is also for the living, so you can register yourself, your family and friends.

The Purgatory Project exists to aid the souls in purgatory. Anyone can register the names of people who have died. Registering them here will help them. It is not hard to help these souls, it costs you no money and it is a very good and important thing to do. The prayer of St Gertrude. So nice. I recite that prayer every time at mass during the Consecration.

I come back on a previous comment saying that "Outside the Church there is no Salvation" and therefore many are called but few are saved. Indeed we cannot by ourselves go against that Magisterium's teaching, otherwise that would be a blatant heresy. Anyways the Magisterium doesn't forbid any catholic faithful to believe that God's Mercy is far greater than we think: If God the Father in His unfathomable Wisdom is able to shape His children from stones if he needs so, far more is He able to lead these chidren to Eternal Salvation even if those don't know Him nor His Son Jesus.

But I have to add: That's not our problem, but only God's business. Those who say aloud that everybody is saved whichever is one's religion are truly heretic and uncharitable to their non-believing brothers since they lead these brothers astray from the only Way to Salvation and even encourage them in staying igorant about the true Faith and in keeping worshipping false gods which is an abomination in His eyes.

Much will be asked by God from such heretics. A wonderful way to relieve the sufferings of the souls in purgatory is to pray the Stations of the Cross for them. Next to the Mass it is the most indulgenced prayed and very efficacious. How efficacious? They somehow made known to me how grateful they were for my prayers for them. All I can say is that I had a multitude of souls hover over my head who said thank you and then departed. The experience was unbelievable and lasted but a few seconds. Isn't every human being 'invincibly ignorant' to a large degree about God?

Other than Christ - what human being knows the infinite God? Not just invincibly ignorant - but near infinitely so. As to all being saved or not. I have no idea. I'd like to have enough charity, understand charity to the degree I could in all knowledge of it, in all confidence say to someone else, believe as I do, practice the faith as I do or you are going straight to hell. It is a good reminder for me to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

God bless you for helping others to pray for them! Go to www. Read Hebrews 9: , 14, 2 Corinthians , 4, Luke Something I've been taught Therefore, if you offer up the two parts of Consecrations for souls they will be more efficacious than any other prayer excepting offering up your communion. So something I do on a regular basis, is when the priest offers up the Precious Blood and speaks the words of Consecration, I will offer that for any Holy Souls in Purgatory He'd like to apply that to.

If you go to Daily Mass, and you offer up each Consecration and your Communion for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, you might be surprised on how many souls might greet you when you die. Part of me has wondered what would happen if each of us prayed specifically for the Souls of our Ancestors and then in return asked them upon reaching heaven to pray for ALL of their descendants Maybe we'd start to see more of those miracles that we need in these encroaching dark times.

It's a thought. Those for whom the mass is offered don't suffer, the time of their repentance is hastened, and they immediately go to heaven, because holy mass is the key which unlocks two doors--the door through which you enter purgatory, and the door to heaven through which you enter into eternity. The mass cannot possibly be both bloodless and the offering of blood at one and the same time. It can only be one or the other. If it is bloodless, then its effect is described as follows: "And according to the law almost all things are purifird with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Hebrews If the mass is bloodless, then it has no efficacy. If it is an offering of blood, this presents a twofold consideration: a a continuous or ongoing offering is evidence that there is no remission of sin, since there is no perfect sacrifice in view. This prevailed under the animal sacrifice code until Christ came, at which time: "Their sins I will remember no more.

Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. The priests always stood as the work was never done. When Christ had offered Himself, He sat down. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. He can neither die again nor can his sacrifice be offered or re-presented again. He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world, but now once at the end of the ages, He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews The Mass IS Calvary. One is not required to understand the theological depths of the Mystery to believe in its Truth.

Do you know what fruit you bear? What is the point of praying for dead persons if not to only feed your own greed to be wisked straight to heaven and save your self the pain. Such greed will only prolong your time there maby even indefinitely. Our prayers and masses are great help to empty purgatory let us all unite in this community for the holy souls.

Unlike the Old Testament sacrifices which could never take away sin, the perfect sacrifice of Christ is exactly that, perfect and which carries the force of complete. Official Catholic teaching affirms a distinction between the actual occurrence on Calvary and the mass which purports to represent or re-offer it.

They at least recognize that Calvary itself cannot be repeated. Apparently we may have to agree to disagree. But you are right that one position is false - and which I do appreciate. Your concern that I reject the Lord is commendable. I also have the identical concern for you because you accept as the Lord that which is not Him. It is good at least to know what one believes. Some people believe that everything is true and in which case, nothing would be true and discussion pointless.

It would be like saying that "nothing is true At least there are clear alternatives in view here. The mass is either a repetition of Calvary, or, with all due respect to sincerity and good faith, it is idolatry, as are other things the faithful are encouraged to pursue. I would say that only the saints will be in heaven with the rest in hell. So one may ask oneself: Am I a saint? Purgatory is an admission that the Church offers no clear knowable assurance of ultimate entrance to heaven. Salvation is to be found in commitment to Jesus Christ, not in a church, not yours, not mine.

He is the door to the church not vice versa. It is true that some apostles thought they had a monopoly but Jesus rebuked them for thinking and acting so. Is my church perfect? No it is not, nor would anyone in it say so.

A Church that claims absolute perfection of ex cathedra teaching needs only one provable exception to disprove the claim as is the case with all propositions based on always and never. But that could only be discussed where both parties agreed on what level of evidence constituted proof. Maybe this is too long for this forum. By the way, I have read Scott Hahn's book also titles by Karl Keating and Stephen Ray -also articles by Patrick Madrid and others- all very well and honestly written - so I have a degree of familiarity.

Very nice accounts that I recommend everyone to read. In fact it is a duty that our Holy Mother the Church entrusted us many centuries ago to read the lives of the saints because here we may find a number of graces that we couldn't get otherwise. By these accounts we may find the true desire of God, the true desire to go to Heavens to dwell here with His Son the Christ.

But there is one thing currentlylacking: The fear of Hell. I am apalled how many modernist faithfuls strongly denie the existence of Hell and even doubt that of the Purgatory because they say that God's love cannot make any among of his children to suffer. That is because they are forgetting that God is Love, yes. Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross was once and for all for our salvation through God's love.

But the sins we didn't atone enough on Earth should be atoned in Purgatory, so far as we begged Him to forgive us and repented before dying. Therese of Lisieux asked for prayers from St. Purgatory must truly exist, when a Soul first appears before the judgement throne of God, there it will see as if a video of it's entire life span on earth and that soul will know that it is unable to see God face to face in the Beatific Vision because of an earthly life of sin and imperfection that it would not be able to withstand such Perfection because of such sin and imperfection that must be expiated.

I would like to point out two things to people that believe only a Catholic can enter heaven. Who are we to say that Jesus and God have not prepared one,or numerous ways, for non-Catholics to enter heaven through Him after their time on earth. With Jesus and God, all things are possible. And many things possible that we can not even think of. Do not limit God, for He is limitless.

Purgatory is a trillion times better than hell because there, we have hope of seeing God someday. As mother angelica puts it: strive for heaven but accept purgatory with open arms. Prayer for All those Who Have Died I culled this beautiful prayer from the Internet, which was itself drawn from the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, and changed a few wordings. We are told this prayer reminds us that Christ's victory over death brings to all of us the possibility of eternal rest. So, we beseech You, give rest to your servants who have departed this life. Grant it to those who, from Adam until now, have adored you or have searched for you in the depths of their hearts, to our fathers and mothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men and women who have passed their road to You, by a thousand ways, in all conditions and ages, forgive their transgressions and, by the sufferings you have endured for our sake, make them all worthy to enter your heavenly kingdom.

Amen" I also want to share this prayer which I made and recite specifically for all those who died in miserable circumstances: "O FATHER GOD, hear your suffering children, especially the cries of those who died in miserable circumstances. We pray for those who died in war, those who died by deliberate or accidental violence. We pray for those who died feeling unloved, betrayed or bitter; for those who died by their own hand, feeling overwhelmed by too many problems; we pray for all those who died thinking that there is no God who knew and cared for them.

We pray for those who had remained in debasing poverty until their death; for those who died only after a long and painful sickness. We pray for those who died away from home; for those who died having no one to care for them; for those who died in lonely isolation; for those who died consumed by hatred or unforgiveness; we pray for those who died with a rage in their hearts, which questioned your very existence. May your mercy be upon them. May you give them the joy that eluded them in life. May Eternal Light shine upon them, and may they rest in Your peace.

Raoul, Thanks for sharing these two beautiful prayers! Glenn Dallaire. I have a question. Doesn't the bible say when you confess your sins, the GOD Will forgive make them as white as snow and remember them no more. I am a new Catholic and feel strongly called to pray for the dead, but did not know how to do so. There are many, many new Catholics who need basic help like this. Also, when I was in rcia, the nun who taught it didn't believe in confession and didn't teach it to candidates.

I would like to answer two questions which I will paraphrase here : a Isn't it greedy to say prayers for dead people because you actually only want to go to heaven? My personal answer : NO. Personally I long to go to heaven because my Lord and my King is there and my heart yearns to be with Him. And I feel pity for those in purgatory who are not allowed to be in His Presence. I believe that they, more than me, feel the pain of separation. This pain is all-encompassing and heartbreaking for me to the point of being unable to sleep sometimes.

If they in purgatory can feel it more keenly than me, then I truly pity them and I want them to be free of this pain. And so I pray for their release. If you have brothers and sisters caged in torment, wouldn't you do everything you could to free them? And if you're thinking whether or not I am crazy I am thinking why you aren't feeling the same. This has been answered in some of the other comments. In simple words, God is Love, Mercy and Justice. He is a very fair God. He loves us unconditionally and expects us to do the same.

But do we?? Therefore, there is expiation. Besides, dare any one of us say we are sinless? And if we have even the slightest stain of sin, how can we enter Heaven? Thanks Anonymous for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree!

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May God bless you and your loved ones, -Glenn Dallaire. Also, as someone else said, Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich's revelations support this. I would like to know which other mystics speak of non-Catholics in Purgatory, as these are all I know of. Great is His justice, but still more inconceivable is His mercy. He damns only those who are determined not to be converted; they who have a spark of good will are saved I have seen in Purgatory Protestants who were pious in their ignorance; they are very desolate, for no prayers are offered for them I saw that by our prayer and suffering, many a soul who labours not during life, can be converted and saved at the hour of death.

Who knows how many accept God in their final moments e. The Church's teaching about "no salvation outside the Church" is often misunderstood. Pope Pius IX and others have confirmed that those who labour in invincible ignorance which only God can determine can be saved this can be inferred from The Council of Trent's teachings on justification. How is this possible if they are not Catholic?

We are not told how this is the case, just as we are not told exactly how predestination works. What we do know is that all those who die in a state of grace which is offered to all by means of an act of perfect contrition are mystically united to the Church, which is One. Therefore, they are part of the Church. Read this from 'The Catechism Explained', : If, however, a man, through no fault of his own, remains outside the Church, he may be saved if he lead a God-fearing life; for such a one is to all intents and purposes a member of the Catholic Church.

The majority of men who have been brought up in heresy think that they belong to the true Church; their error is not due to hatred of God. A man who leads a good life and has the love of God in his heart, really belongs to the Church, and such a one is saved, not by his heresy, but by belonging to the Church. Peter said: "In every nation he that feareth God and worketh justice is acceptable to Him" Acts x. Gregory the Great, "embraces all the just from Abel to the last of the elect at the end of the world.

They do not belong to the body of the Church, that is, they are not externally in union with the Church, but they are of the soul of the Church, i. Thus the Catholic Church has members both visible and invisible. The visible members are those who have been received into the Church by Baptism The invisible members are those who without any fault of their own are outside the Church leading- God-fearing lives. William Most has written well in his article about how a pagan can be saved if he sins mortally.

This article can be found on EWTN. I want to share with you some good news. The Bible is God's word and gives you direction on how you get to Heaven. You do not need to fear death. You don't have to worry about someone praying you out of purgatory or attaining salvation through works. If you are serious about knowing the truth and learning about God through his Word not religion, please check out the many resources at AreYouSavedNow. Why not offer the Heroic Act of Charity for those in purgatory? This Heroic Act of Charity is the completely unselfish offering to God of all the satisfactory value of one's prayers and good works plus the value of any that might be offered for one after one's death for the benefit of the Souls in Purgatory, rather than for oneself.

The "satisfactory value" of a good work is its value with regard to making up for our sins and reducing our stay in Purgatory. However, the "meritorious value" of our good works is inalienable, i. Moreover, a person who has made the Heroic Act may still pray for himself, friends and other intentions. The Heroic Act is revocable at will and is not a vow.

Its actual ratification depends on the will of God. By making this act with purity of intention, one is relying upon the mercy of God and the prayers of the Communion of Saints to assist his soul after death. Using a spell is a very dangerous thing to do Beautiful post! I think it's helpful for people to keep in mind the dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.

There is, of course, the plausibility of invincible ignorance of the Catholic Church. However, VERY few people could boast that. I would recommend reading the words of the Popes, Church councils, and saints on this subject. Are the souls in Purgatory at a higher level than guardian angels? Though in Purgatory, we are spirits that have been saved and need additional purification. Guardian angels are higher only than the corporal humans.

I think there is a misunderstanding here of the words, outside the church there is no salvation. It does not mean that if you are not catholic you can not be saved. It only means that their salvation even if they do not share our faith will still be through the prayers and sacrifices of the catholic church, the bride of Christ. Outside the church they cannot go to heaven because it is through the power given to the church by Jesus that they will be loosed from purgatory.

I don't know if I missed it, but this is a good place to mention the prayer given by Jesus to St. Gertrude the Great, which, when said, releases a thousand souls from Purgatory: "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of thy Divine Son Jesus,in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal church, those in my own home and within my family.

If a soul receives no benefit from our prayers while they are in the lowest part of purgatory - what would then be the point of praying for them? This disturbs me because we don't know when or if they will ever benefit from sacrifices made for them. It would seem to me that would be the place they would be most of need of prayers, yet God withholds those benefits from them while they are there. Should I pray for my daughter anyway not knowing if she receives the benefit?

No prayer is ever wasted We as part of the Church Militant need only trust in the Lord and offer Him all our help. Your daughter's soul will be going through what it needs most People who i new died keep coming into my mind and i see there faces i do pray for them i have a strong faith my heart is sore for them is this normal joseph goddess. Suddenly, surprisingly, exactly how I still haven't discerned, there on my Smartphone's browser was the home page display of Joseph Moloney's post on Purgatory.

Since the St. Gertrude Prayer is all about releasing souls from Purgatory, and our own underestimation or forgetfulness of Purgatory's pains and duration tends to be chronic for most of us Catholics, presenting Mr. Maloney's post provides welcome reminders, both to pray as frequently as possible for the Poor Souls, and to clean up our own acts so as to have to spend little or no time in Purgatory on our final road to Heaven. Joseph Moloney 1. What is a state of grace? Mortal vs. Purgatory is a good place!

Not exactly Heaven, definitely not hell, but is akin to the gate to Heaven. Through confession, Jesus removes the nails of sin. Clement of Alexandria says that by punishment after death men must expiate every least sin before they can enter heaven. Purgatory is where we work out the "consequences" of our sin that have not been paid during our lifetime. Purgatory is a reminder to us that we are not free to do any evil we like in this life and then just repent when we die and go straight to heaven. Although God does not want to send anyone to Purgatory His Justice demands it. To receive an MS Word.

Yours in Christ, Steve Engel. Some comments above mention the use of indulgences to relieve the suffering souls. This comment excerpts with link an internet post seemingly giving all the rules of the traditional powerful method that the Roman Catholic Church offers--gaining a plenary indulgence either 1 to remit all our own punishment due to sin up till the current moment or 2 to request such remission of Our Lord for a deceased soul in Purgatory.

This means the full remission of all temporal punishment time spent in purgatory due to sin in one's entire lifetime up to that point. Plenary indulgences can also be requested of Our Lord for the deceased. There are additional conditions that must be met for the acquiring of a plenary indulgence: 1 that the person truly repudiate and be sorry for all sin, mortal and venial; 2 reception of Holy Communion on the day the indulgence is sought; 3 Sacrament of Penance several days not specified how many before or after the indulgence is sought; 4 prayer which can in the form of an Our Father and a Hail Mary for the intentions of the pope on the day the indulgence is sought.

Only one plenary indulgence per day can be obtained unless it is the hour of death—see indulgence number Gertrude the Great: Say this Prayer! Pass it On! Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the following prayer would release 1, souls from purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners, which would alleviate the temporal punishment accrued to them during their lives. Our Lord also told St. Gertrude the Great that each time we look at The Most Blessed Sacrament our place in heaven is raised forever.

Further, each time one person receives Holy Communion something good happens to every being in heaven, on earth and in purgatory. And still another promise of Christ to St. Gertrude, and an extraordinary incentive to attend daily MassFor each Mass we hear with devotion during our lifetime, Our Lord will send a saint to comfort us at our death. Two Points of Interest 1. The Catholic Church has granted permission to recite the prayer by officially granting the "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur". Cardinal Pahiarca of Lisbon, Portugal on March 4, ". Since the prayer is so short, when you do pray it, consider praying it multiple times.

In a test case, three repetitions, at 15 seconds each, took me 45 seconds, upping the total souls released from Purgatory as we Catholics believe who trust in that promise based on Church approval of the devotion from to for an extra 30 seconds of recitation time.

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It's where the Catholic Action is - a special spot for the those who are grateful to live in the Catholic City, wherever they may abide. Here you'll find articles on the Faith, Fatima, Secrets of the Catholic City, Catholic family life and homeschooling - all with what Hilaire Belloc called "the Catholic conscience of history. I do believe that some Protestants have had such experiences, but much goes unsaid as they have no context in which to discuss them.

I was praying for safe passage to God of a recently departed soul of an old lady I knew. While praying I had a vision that this lady was in a dark place and I saw yellow eyes watching. This is what prompted me to search for answers and I found this very interesting article. Was this perhaps purgatory that I saw in my vision? There are several levels in purgatory.

Who is to say what is at each level? But your vision of her is not a 'happy' one. I think you have been shown that you need to continue praying for her. What a fortunate lady to have a champion sending up prayers for her. Here you will find acceptable acts for combining with the general conditions. I have also donated enough money per month to the seraphic mass association. They are capuchin missionaries to have them say a novena of Masses for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

In regards to non-Catholics being unable to get to Heaven I believe it to be inconceivable that the infinite love of God would allow this. I don't wish to brag but I have said this prayer over , times: "O my [loving] Jesus, pardon us, save us from the fire of Hell and draw all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need. If you wish to verify this prayer search for Lucia's version of the decade prayer at Fatima.

To verify the decade prayer type: Lucia's version of the decade prayer at Fatima. I pray it very slightly altered because of better English grammar. I have shifted an "and" and included loving before "Jesus". Over the last 30 weeks I have endeavoured to save a soul from Purgatory every day and said the decade prayer hundreds of thousands of times.

I get the seraphic mass association. They are capuchin missionaries to say the Masses. After reading how efficacious Masses are for the Holy Souls I decided to do this indefinitely. Money well spent. Building up treasure in Heaven!! I am a practicing Catholic and in my daily rosary i offer one decade on behalf of the Holy Souls. When i wake up in the morning my first act is to offer up St Gertrude's prayer on behalf of the Holy souls and together with my daily morning prayers i offer up the novena on behalf of the Holy Souls.

This has been going on for many years. Three years ago i was diagnosed with Colon Cancer that had passed stage four. The prognosis was bad, very bad that a cure was out of the way. I left it in the hands of God and continued with all my prayers. Three years since then and up to now with three major surgeries, full Chemo and Radio therapy a temporary disability and other strong medications, i am almost fully cured with no permanent disability.

Words are inadequate to describe this miracle and i attribute it partly to the Holy Souls for whom i have never ceased to pray. This daily charitable act saved me and i know and feel that God accepted all my prayers on behalf of the Holy Souls. As long as i am alive i will do all that i can in my power to help the Holy Souls in the name of Jesus Christ, son of the Eternal father the author of all goodness. Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon them all.

A message to ALL God knows the true intent of your heart. The teaching magisterium of the church,tradition and sacred scripture are our guides, along with pray, reconciliation and the mass. Add to that the visions, miracles and prayers of the saints, we have an abundance of help to assist in our salvation and the salvation of others The goal of Satan is get us to STOP praying for ourselves and souls and to create doubt in our beliefs; the real presence in the Eucharist, praying the rosary.

He creates seeds of doubt in the belief systems of the church to lead us away from a deeper religious life. I have great respect for other Christians and pray for them. I know many know Christ and will find salvation. But Satan deceives even the good when he disguises himself as a angel of light - I read comments above that the Mass is idolatry as it re-sacrifices Christ; when His salvic work is done on Calvary. This is Protestant Reformation theology to deny the holyness of the mass. This is Satan's deception to diminish the value of the mass and the Holy Eucharist - The bible is not the sole vehicle necessary for salvation.

This is called Sola Scriptura, a belief system created by Martin Luther in the 16th century when he left the church. I am warning that Satan' deceptions were behind the split in the church and continues to deceive the world as to not seek God. The problem i deeper than the split in the church. He has deceived many into an ambiguous "spirituality" with no accountability, no sin and no punishment. Continue to pray and seek God everyday and continue to pray for the souls in Purgatory.

May the blessing of God be with you always and continue to put on the full armor of God Ephesians 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Hi Anonymous, Thank you for your excellent commentary. May God bless you and your loved ones, Glenn Dallaire. I am not religious, I do not pray but I have a new found fear after repeatedly sinning and being visited by someone watching me at the end of my bed.

He is a man but I can not see him other then his profile. He was watching me every night until a couple of weeks ago when I visited the most horrible place imaginable. There was levels and I was trying to climb my way up from the lowest. An elevator took me to these different levels where there were other people who were mad or insane or scared and in horrible torture. It was very dark. As you climb the levels it becomes less terrible as the very bottom I don't know if this was all just dreams or not but I can not get over what I seen I am scared.

From my personal experience, there is no random happening or 'useless' dream. God is wonderful and loves us all so much that He tries to save us in many different ways. I believe you have been gifted with a warning. It is up to you now whether you choose to ignore the warning or return to God. I say to you, do not worry. I need you. Help me. If you google: How to save a soul from Purgatory [with God's Approval] you will discover the method for saving a soul with the approval of God of course.

When my husband passed away I called an order of priests that had supposedly said the Gregorian masses for all of my departed relatives. To my surprise the Priest that I spoke to advised me that none of the masses had been said for my departed relatives. He stated that the money must have been used to run their parish, and not forwarded on to the "Missionary" side of their order!! So my question is: Our families intent was correct, but the masses weren't said as the order didn't follow through. Now I wonder are my deceased relatives languishing in purgatory?

I found another order who are Missionaries only for my husband, and a Friend, who have said the Gregorian Masses for them only. Status of my other relatives please? Prayers are never wasted. One must pray for the virtue of hope, trust God. He will apply your prayers as He sees fit. I just finished praying, but I did so in tears. I lost my dad 12 years ago and I see him in my dreams sometimes but he doesn't say much.

Most times he looks at me looking dumb as if he has no energy to utter a word. At first I thought it was because he left this world in lots of pains as he died of pancreatic cancer but now I understand better having read the above articles, that he probably is in the lowest part of purgatory and needs plenty of my prayers. Now I know I have to double my prayers for him and for all the souls in purgatory. I am bitterly and deeply kicking my self for not doing much for him in terms of prayers all these years, but I am glad for the opportunity this year's All Souls Day has given me, to make amends.

Glory to God in the highest for the communion of Saints and for forgiveness of sins.

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  8. His mercies endures forever. Purgatory is a lie from hell to deceive people that if they live wrong they still have a chance. This is unscriptural,if money can buy souls, why did Jesus spend six hours on the cross. These people are either lying,possessed by Satan, or demon incarnations. One thing im certain of there wont be purgatory for them, they will burn in everlasting flames, save they repent. To Anonymous, I do not understand the connection between money and souls and purgatory.

    Please clarify. Also please explain how it is unscriptural. You do nit have Maccabees in your bible? Google: How to save a soul from Purgatory [with God's approval] Here you will find a neat summary approved by the Church for saving a soul from Purgatory every day. The source sites of this summary are also included at the bottom of the document. So much crazy on the internet. If you're a Catholic and repeating, yet again, that there is no salvation outside the Church, then why are you on the internet stating what has already been said?

    Might it be self righteous pride? I would recommend you go to church, get on your knees, and do the stations of the cross and offer it for the conversion of those sinners that you are so ready to condemn to hell, and that the Lord may grant you humility. And it was for that purpose, more than any other, that Christ instituted one Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church with Peter, the most flawed of his faithful apostles, at it's head.

    Hail, Mary, thou new Cistern wherein is the salt which will sweeten that which is bitter! Concerning Mary as the loving mother of Jesus Cyril of Alexandria writes as follows : — " O my beloved, ye God-fearing people, open ye the ears of your hearts, and hearken unto [the story of] the honour of the Mother of God, the Queen of all women, the true Bride, whom the Son of God held in high esteem. He came and dwelt in her wombAfor nine months, and she brought Him forth for our sakes in Bethlehem.

    She wrapped Him in strips of ragged stuff, she laid Him in a cattle manger, and the beasts looked upon Him and recognized Him and protected Him. Thou didst stretch out thy right arm, thou didst take Him and make Him to lie on thy left arm. Thou didst bend thy neck, and let thy hair fall down over Him. Thou didst kiss His mouth as the Father kissed His mouth in heaven, and thou didst seat Him upon thy knees.

    He lifted up His eyes to thy face. He stretched forth His hand. He took thy breast, and He drew into His mouth the milk which was sweeter than manna. The savour of thy sacrifice was sweeter to Him than the savour of the sacrifice of Noah. He drank from thy im- maculate breasts. He called thee ' My Mother. And He, Jesus, the Very God, followed after her without trouble.

    He clung to her with His little fingers. He stopped from time to time, and He hung on to the skirts of Mary His mother — He upon Whom all creation hangeth! He used to look up into her face — He upon Whom the whole universe hangeth and by Whom it is sustained — and she would snatch Him to her body, and lift Him up in her arms, and carry Him along. Come, O all ye women, and look upon Mary, and behold God, Who clave her side, lifting up His face and kissing her! Walk on, walk on, O daughter of Sion, I mean thee, Mary.

    Behold, the King, the Christ, [resteth] on thee, for the King, the Christ, is with thee, He is sitting in thy arms! The angels are subject unto thee, for He loveth thee, and hath sojourned with thee because of thy purity. Lift up thine hands on high and receive from God the Father the Image of His Son and carry it on thy head. Hail, My holy Ark! Hail, thou who art the Sustainer of the life of the whole world! Hail, My holy Gar- ment, wherein I arrayed Myself! Hail, My Waterpot, which is full of holy water! Hail, thou who didst sustain the Life of the Universe in thy womb! Then our Saviour stretched out His right hand, which was full of blessing, and He blessed the womb of Mary, His Mother.

    And I [Bar- tholomew] saw the heavens open, and the Seven Firma- ments were opened together. I saw a man of light shining brightly, like unto a pearl upon which it was xxxviii Worship of the Virgi7i Mary i? And [I saw] also a hand of fire which was of the colour of snow, and it rested upon the belly of Mary and [her] breast. Now this hand was the right hand of the Father, and the right hand of the Son, and the right hand of the Holy Ghost. And He blessed. Thou shalt be called ' Pearl of the Father,' and on earth men shall call thee ' Mother of God ' and ' oar Salvation.

    The might of the Son shall overshadow thee. The joy of the Holy Spirit shall continue to remain with thee at all times. And when thou shalt come forth from the body I Myself will come with My Father, and Michael, and all the angels, and thou shalt be with Us in My kingdom. And over thy body I will make the Cheru- bim, having a sword of fire, to keep watch, and twelve hundred angels also shall watch over it until the day of My appearance and of My [kingdom].

    That such was the case is proved by the Discourses of many eminent spiritual heads, and from those which have come down to us in Coptic the fol- lowing passages are quoted : — Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, says : — " I beseech thee, O Virgin, Mother of God, to help me Epipha- nius, thy worthless servant, and to make supplication to Christ on behalf of all the people of my city, nay more, of the whole world, and to be nigh unto me at all times.

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    Budge, Coptic Apocrypha, p. Take us all to thyself, lest the Devil take delight in us and draw us down into the Gehenna of fire. He Who breathed breath into every created being called thee ' My Mother '! Thou art more exalted than the Cherubim and the Seraphim, thou art more blessed than the Thrones, because the Christ loved thee. He sojourned with thee because thou art Saint Mary, the perpetual Virgin. Communi- cation by caravans must always have been kept up between Syria and the more north-easterly parts of Ethiopia, or Abyssinia, and it is very probable that some knowledge of Christianity was carried into them before the time of Frumentius by caravans and traders of various nationalities.

    And individual travellers, like the eunuch whom St. Philip baptized, may well have carried back into Ethiopia the news of the Gospel. The Christians in Egypt were sufficiently numerous at the end of the second century to incur the wrath of the Romans, who started a general persecution of them in the reign of Severus. In process of time Christianity spread southwards, and during the Middle Ages there were four hundred churches in the kingdom of 'Aiwa, which was probably situated near the modern town of Khartum.

    Alvarez talked to a certain " John of Syria " who stated that there were still in the country one hundred and fifty churches which contained crucifixes and pictures of the Virgin Mary painted on the walls, and that they all were old. When the worship or cult of the Virgin began in Ethiopia cannot be stated with certainty, but there seems to be no reason for doubting that invocations were made to her as soon as her history was known and accepted by the people.

    Pictures of the Virgin must have been common in Egypt before the close of the third century, and it is probable that the figures of Isis and Horus sug-gestcd the form thev should take. In the fifth century pictures of Mary and the Child became commoner still, and this may have been the result of the overthrow of Nestorius and his heresy at the Council of Ephesus in The Monophysites, or Christians who believed that the divine and human were blended in one incarnate Nature in Christ, were convinced that Mary was the Mother of God, and the 1 See Butler's note in Abu Salih ed.

    Evetts , p. Wherever the knowledge of the Monophysite, or Jacobite, or Eutychian Faith pene- trated, there went pictures of the Virgin. Saint Augus- tine born , died did not believe that any of the existing portraits of the Virgin were authentic, but very great veneration was paid to the picture of the Virgin and Child which Eudocia Aelia born , died , wife of Theodosius, acquired in the Holy Land and sent to her sister-in-law Pulcheria in Constantinople.

    It was believed to be very old, and tradition asserted that it was painted from life. Many enthusiasts assumed that St. Luke was the painter. Be this as it may, in the sixth century the churches in Syria and Egypt were full of pictures of Christ and the Virgin, and saints and martyrs. During the second half of the seventh century the Copts held under the Arabs, the new masters of Egypt, many lucrative positions, and they were able to assist materially the offshoot Christian community of Ethiopia. It was probably about this time that many Coptic books, including the great service " Theotokia," whence was derived the Ethiopic Weddase Maryam, or " Book of Praise of Mary," were translated into Arabic and Ethiopic.

    Little is known of the Ethiopian Church, but its members suffered much at the hands of the Arabs when they extended their conquests in East Africa in general and in the Eastern Desert and Ethiopia in particular. Both the native pagans and the foreign Arabs attacked the Christians and burnt their churches and books, and during the rule of the eleven Zague a.

    When the rule of the Solomonic line of kings was restored in the second half of the thirteenth century, the monks brought from their hiding-places the few manuscripts that had escaped the fury of the xlii Worship of the Virgt7i Mary in Ethiopia Arabs, and such scribes as were available began to make copies from them. But the old Ethiopic versions of many books had been entirely destroyed, and new trans- lations had to be made from Arabic versions. There seems to have been increased literary activity in Ethio- pia during the XlVth century, and believers were greatly stimulated in their faith through the arrival there of a piece of the wood of the Cross on which Christ died ; this was in the reign of Wedem Asgari a.

    It is doubtful if any of the manuscripts written in the XlVth century have found their way into European Libraries, though some scholars have thought that the Brit. All that is certain about it is that it was written by one 'Abba 'Amha, for the Church of Golgotha, before the reign of Zar'a Ya'kob, or Con- stantine, i. Under the patronage of Zar'a Ya'kob a. He endowed an Abyssinian monas- tery at Jerusalem, and obtained permission from the Pope to establish another in Rome. He also encouraged public or semi-public discussions on religion, and on one occasion 'Abba George succeeded in overcoming in argument the European who was disputing with him.

    The European was probably Brancaleone, the Venetian painter, of whom more will be said presently. Zar'a Ya'kob was succeeded by his son Ba'eda Maryam a. See Wright, Catalogue, p. But his reign was disturbed by re- ligious quarrels among the clergy, for many of his people adopted the heresy of certain teachers who de- nied that Christ was very man, because His flesh was composed of some substance which was entirely differ- ent from that of ordinary men and women.

    A native Council condemned the heresy, and tortured its adher- ents, and killed many by starvation in the prisons. A more serious disturbance was caused in religious circles by a certain Niccolo Brancaleone, a Venetian painter, who was commonly called in the country " Macoreo " or " Marcoreos. Alvarez calls him Nicolas Brancoliam, and says that he " was a very honourable person, and a great gentleman, although a painter.

    This painter had been employed by Zar'a Ya'kob to decorate the churches with pictures of saints and of incidents and events described in the Bible, and he was greatly favoured by Ba'eda Maryam. This king was building, or rather restoring, a church dedicated to Mary the Virgin, and he commissioned Brancaleone to paint an altar piece for it, the subject to be the Virgin and Child. Now in the native pictures of the Virgin and Child the Child was represented as being encircled by His mother's right arm, as we may see from the annexed plate which is reproduced from a fifteenth- century Book of Miracles of the Virgin in Ethiopic in the British Museum.

    Brancaleone painted a very fine picture, and, according to the Italian fashion and that 1 Alvarez, F. When the clergy and the monks saw the picture they were fired with rage, partly because the picture was the work of Brancaleone, who had been mixed up with the heresy mentioned above, and partly because they thought that an insult had been offered to our Lord by him in representing the Child as encircled by Mary's left arm. As the Ethiopians used the left hand in washing the body it was regarded by them as " the hand of dishonour," and they saluted with the right hand only, and dipped the right hand only into the dish at meal times.

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    The king admired the picture, and gave his people to understand that their objections were absurd, and when the malcontents saw that their objections were not going to be considered, they ceased to complain and quickly disappeared. The picture was placed in the church of Mary, where it remained until the first half of the XVIIIth century, when it was de- stroyed, together with the church, by the Gallas. Many important manuscripts were copied in the XVth century, e.

    These Acts were translated from Coptic into Ethiopic A. Anthony Wright, Catalogue, p. That the worship of Mary was restored com- pletely is proved by the existence of the XVth century copy of the Weddase Maryam in the British Museum Add. This book is bound up with the Psalms of David and the Canticles and prayers for the canon- ical hours, and it is quite clear that it formed a promi- nent section of the daily service-book.

    More instructive still is the fine manuscript Oriental No. It was written for Zar'a Ya'kob a. On the upper margins are written deeds of gifts made by various kings down to A. Equally important for the study of the worship of Mary in Ethiopia is Orient. These are for the most part translations from the Coptic of miracles that were worked by the Virgin in Greece, Italy, Rum Byzantium , France, etc. Translations of all of them by me will be given in a forthcoming volume. In the XVth century there came into common use the service-book called 'Arganona Dengel, i.

    It is highly prized for the purity of its language, and for the variety and beauty of its metaphors, and the consum- mate knowledge of the Scriptures displayed therein. A translation of a few pages of it will be found on pp.

    The worship of the Virgin increased greatly in the XVIth century, probably as a result of the influence of the Church in Jerusalem and in Alexandria. These cities voiced the great, profound and widespread in- terest in Mary and her mother Hanna that sprang up in the East as a result of the Crusades, and the eager desire of the nations to know all that history, legend and tradition could tell them about these saints. Copies of the Apocryphal Gospels and legends of all kinds were multiplied freely, and the imaginations of devout scribes filled the lacunae which accident or wilful muti- lation had made in the manuscripts from which they worked.

    In the XVIIth century the Ethiopians de- manded from their teachers always more and more miracles, and, as though the words of the text were not sufficiently vivid or descriptive, they insisted on coloured illustrations being added. Kings and queens commis- sioned scribes and artists to produce large handsome manuscripts ; as specimens of these we may mention Brit. Copies of pictures that illustrated the mira- cles were frequently painted on large skins and hung on the walls of the churches. As at this time there were hundreds of churches in Ethiopia sacred artists were always busily employed, and probably well remunerated.

    The festivals of the Virgin Mary were numerous. A general festival was celebrated on the 21st day of each month. Her birth was celebrated on the loth of Mas- karram Sept. Some authorities state that thirty-two festivals of the Virgin were celebrated throughout the year. A complete Lectionary of this kind was in reality a Corpus of all the Mary- Literature, and a very good example of such a work is Erit. The perpetual vir- ginity of Mary was to them a sure proof of her divine origin. They made her to share divinity with Christ, and in some praises of her of an extravagant character she is grouped with the Persons of the Trinity as an equal.

    In later times even her mother Hanna was re- garded as semi-divine. They ascribed to Mary bound- less power in heaven and upon earth, and if in further- ance of her benevolent designs she asked her Son for help which was not given, they made her appeal to God Almighty Himself, Who at once granted her petitions. Her influence over the Father and the Son was, in their opinion, so great that they thought and believed she was, to all intents and purposes, the controller of the destiny of human souls in the Day of Judgement.

    Many of their services consisted of nothing but prayers to God the Father and prayers to the Virgin, and the number of manuscripts of the Weddase Maryam and the Maz- mura Dengel Virgin's Psalter , and the 'Arganona xlviii Worship of the Virgin Mary in Ethiopia Dengel Virgin's Lyre which have come down to us prove the universaHty and supremeness of her worship in Ethiopia. But the Ethiopians never lost sight of the humanity of Mary in their devotions, and they ap- pealed to her as the great and tender-hearted woman of sorrows and the loving mother, especially in all affairs of daily life.

    She was to them all-knowing, all-wise and all-understanding, as far as the weaknesses and sins of men and women were concerned, and they went to her shrines in simple faith, told their troubles to the pic- tures of her, and trusted to her all-embracing sympathy and pity to relieve their troubles and remove their afflictions. In their pictures they represent her as one of themselves, with thick, black, woolly hair, and eyes with jet-black pupils and large whites, and with the large breasts that are the joy of all mothers in Ethiopia and the Sudan.

    They are never tired of extolling her physical beauty, and some of their addresses to her mere resemble the rhapsodies of a lover than the devout glori- fying of the Mother of God. A xlix Introduction III. For thousands of years before St. Mark came to Alexandria to preach the Gospel of his Master Christ, the Egyptians believed in Osiris the Man-god who raised himself from the dead.

    He was held to possess the power of bestowing immortality on his followers because he had triumphed over Death, and had vanquished the Powers of Dark- ness. He was the Judge of souls and the supreme lord of the Judgement of the Dead ; he was all-wise, all- knowing, all-just, and his decrees were final and abso- lute. No man could hope to dwell with him in his king- dom unless he had lived a life of moral excellence upon earth, and the only passports to his favour were truth- speaking, honest intent, and the observance of the com- mands of the Law Maat , coupled with charity, alms- giving and humane actions.

    It is very probable that in the earliest form of the cult of Osiris the fulfilment of the Law was all that the god demanded from his fol- lowers, but in later times, and especially under the New Empire, when men had learned to make personal prayers to him, he certainly required from them the strict observance of the spirit as well as the letter of the Law. In the Vignettes of Chap. CXXV of the Book of the Dead we see him sitting in his shrine as supreme Judge, whilst the weighing of the heart of the dead man is carried out under the supervision of Thoth, the great Advocate, in the presence of a jury of gods and god- 1 Cults of Isis and Mary Compared desses.

    It is impossible not to think that Horus, the son of Isis, had some special in- fluence with Osiris, and that he possessed this influence because he was the son of Isis, who is always present in the shrine of Osiris when hearts are being weighed in the Great Balance. There were many goddesses in Egypt, but none save Isis, together with her shadowy dual counterpart, appears with Osiris in his shrine at the Judgement. It is clear that the Egyptians attributed to her powers and qualities which no other goddess pos- sessed, and what some of these were we may learn from the religious texts of all periods.

    Nothing is known about the cult of Isis in the early Neolithic Period in Egypt, but when the first king of all Egypt reigned, her position as the chief goddess in the land was generally recognized. During the Archaic Period she was regarded as the female counterpart of Osiris, and her forms, characteristics and powers changed as those of Osiris changed, but towards the close of the Dynastic Period she became the chief deity of all Egypt, and, in late times, her worship wholly eclipsed that of her male counterpart Osiris. Under the Ancient Empire Osiris and Isis and Set and Nephthys were regarded as the deified members of a human family, and Isis was the most powerful of them.

    The spread of their cult was largely caused by the annual perform- ance of the great Miracle Play at Abydos, in which the principal events in the life, death, funeral ceremonies, and resurrection of Osiris were represented. The Play was based on Legends which had been current in Egypt for untold centuries, and in it Isis was shown to be the faithful and loving wife, who brought away her hus- band's body from the battle-field, and saved it from falling into the hands of Set, the Arch-Enemy of Osiris, and the personification of Evil.

    Xln all these Legends great magical powers were attributed to her, for Thoth, the heart and intelligence of the God, had taught her the spells, incantations, magical names and words of power which he had employed in making the wishes of this God to take concrete form, and he had also taught her how to use them. By means of them Isis drew seed into herself from Osiris after his death, and conceived Horus, "the son of Isis " mentioned above. By these spells she, assisted by her son Horus and by Anubis, the divine physician, reconstituted and revivified the body of Osiris, and thus she created her son Horus, and re- created Osiris.

    She became the personification of the great feminine creative power which conceived and brought forth every living creature and thing ; what she brought forth she protected, and fed and nourished. Of the many Legends of Isis that existed there was none that appealed more to the imagination of the Egyptians of all periods than that which described her persecution by Set, and her flight to the Delta to hide from him.

    Set tried to seize the kingdom of Osiris and take possession of his wife Isis, who was then with child, as the result of her union with Osiris after his death. She escaped with difficulty from the place where he had shut her up and, accompanied by the Seven Scorpion- goddesses, fled to Per-sui near the Papyrus Swamps. She Hi Cults of I sis and Mary Compared applied for a night's lodging to a rich woman at Teb, who drove her from her door. Tefen, one of the seven goddesses, enraged at this, got under the door, stung a child to death, and set the house on fire. Isis restored the child to life and extinguished the fire.

    At the invi- tation of a peasant woman she went to her house and stayed there. Soon afterwards she brought forth Horus on a bed of papyrus-plants in the Swamps, and she hid him carefully, so that Set might not find him. But dur- ing her absence in the city of Am, where she had gone to buy food. Set, in the form of a scorpion, found the child and stung him, and when Isis returned she found him lying dead. When her first burst of grief was over she cried out to Ra, the Sun-god, who stopped his Boat and sent Thoth down to earth to help her.

    Thoth taught her certain words of power and how to use them, and as soon as she uttered them over Horus, the child was restored to life. Thoth ascended into the sky and took his place in the Boat, and the Sun-god resiTmed his journey. She made a model of a most deadly viper, endowed it with life and filled it with venom, and set it by the path of Ra in the heavens with instructions to attack the god as he passed by. This the serpent did, and Ra became sick unto death.

    Then Isis went to him and offered to drive the poison out of him if he would tell her his secret name, the name whereby he main- tained his existence in the sky. Text and translation were pub- lished bv Golenischeff, Die Metternichstele, Leipzig, A handy English rendering will be found in my Legends of the Gods, p. The great amulet of Isis, called " Tet," was made of blood-coloured or red stone, or red glass paste, and was worn by the living, and laid on the bodies of the dead ; and on many cofhns the right hand of the deceased is seen to be clasping the Tet.

    The rubric of Chap. CLVI of the Book of the Dead orders that it be steeped in water and placed on the neck of the deceased, and it is probable that this water, which was supposed to possess the same power as the blood of Isis, was used for ceremonial sprinklings of the dead. Towards the close of the XlXth dynasty the cult of Isis in her character of faithful and loving wife and tender mother increased greatly. One of the best proofs of the growth of this phase of her cult is afforded by the numerous small figures of the goddess that are found in the tombs of this period, and apparently not earlier.

    Usually the figures are made of bronze, and the goddess is represented seated on a throne, the symbol of her name, and suckling her son Horus, whom she clasps to her left breast. As time went on they were made of different kinds of valuable stones and gilded. A fine ex- ample in hard stone is that which was dedicated to Panub, the son of Nekht, who flourished in the reign of Psammetichus I ; see 5th Egyptian Room in the British Museum, No.

    Another example No. On the side of the throne is cut the symbol of " life," and on the back is the same symbol with the symbol of " strength " or " power " on each side of it. Figures of this kind were dedi- cated to the goddess by parents who desired offspring. In connection with this may be recalled the fact that the statue of Isis of Philas was solemnly taken by the Blemmyes year by year from Philae to various towns in Nubia in order that the women might make petitions to her for offspring.

    The Romans in their treaty with the Blemmyes agreed to allow this to be done, and the Blemmyes visited Philae and observed their ancient cus- toms in respect of Isis for at least fifty years after the famous Edict of Theodosius I. The position that Isis occupied among the goddesses of Egypt was unique, for none but she is ever repre- sented as a mother suckling her child, and none of them conceived a son under such circumstances, or reconsti- tuted her husband, or restored her son to life.

    Prototype of all beings. Queen of goddesses and women, Queen of the Dekan stars, Maker of the sunrise. Lady of heaven. Lady of bread and beer. Daughter of Keb and Nut i. Heaven and Earth , Daughter of Neb-cr-tcher i. Her spirit caused the star Sept, or Sothis, the Dog-Star, to rise annually to warn the Egyptians of the coming of the Inundation of the Nile, and it was believed that the Nile Flood it- self was the result of the tear-drop which Isis let fall into the Nile each summer. Like Oiiris, Isis had many shrines in Egypt, and she united in her own person the powers, qualities and attributes of all the great goddesses and of all the small local female deities throughout the land.

    Her names were many and in each great city she had a special name. She was the Queen of heaven, the Queen of all the goddesses both in Egypt and the Sudan, the Mother of the god, and the Lady of all women. Most important of all to the Egyptians, Isis was Queen of the Other World, and in the earliest times she shared the rule and authority of Osiris as " Khenti-Amentt," or " President of Amentt," as the Other World was called. Though only Osiris could admit souls into his kingdom, it was Isis who directed all matters connected with the maintenance of the Spirit-bodies who succeeded in reaching that region.

    As time went on men began to ascribe to her powers greater than those of Osiris, and, thanks to the action of the priests of Memphis in the seventh century b. And this result came about in this manner. Ptolemy found his shrine, but had some difficulty in obtaining a suitable statue for it.


    Finally a statue of Pluto, a god of Sinope, em- barked of its own accord in a ship, and came to Alex- andria, and Ptolemy placed it in the Serapeum which he built there. When the Egyptians at Alexandria were told that the statue represented Pluto, or Hades, they were content to call that god Asar-Hep, or Sarapis. But when it became known in the country generally that Osiris was identified with Pluto, his power and influence declined rapidly, for the Death-god could not be a " Giver of Life " nor a god " who made men and women to be born a second time.

    As soo n as the Greeks ob tained power over Egypt, the worship of Isis spread among the Islands of the Medi- terranean, e. The bas-reliefs, coins and other anti- quities found in Thessaly, Epirus, Megara, Corinth, Argos and other places prove that Isis and Osiris, and their son Horus the child Harpocrates , and Nephthys and Anubis were worshipped in many Grecian cities some four or five centuries before the Christian Era. In Ivii Legends of the Virgifi Mary the first century b. Isis was regarded as one of the principal goddesses of Rome, and many temples were built in her honour, and orders of priestesses were en- dowed to perform her " mysteries.

    The rapidity with which the cult of Isis and Osiris spread proves that it offered to peoples of many climes and tongues a form of worship of God which satisfied their needs.

    Facts of the Rosary

    Being of Egyptian origin it was mysterious, as well as ancient, and this added to its natural attraction for foreigners. The ceremonies con- nected with the worship of Isis impressed all beholders, and the acting of the miracle-play itself roused ideas and beliefs of an unusual character in their minds. The resurrection of Osiris taught them to believe in the resurrection of the dead, the conception and birth of Horus preached the doctrine of life arising out of death, the triumph of Horus over Set symbolized the ultimate victory of good over evil, and the sorrows of Isis and her tender mother-love touched all hearts.

    The old crude and semi-savage ideas that centred in Isis in early dy- nastic times were forgotten, and purer, more refined sublimated conceptions of the divine woman, the Queen of heaven, took their place. In answer to his prayer she says : — " Lo, Lucius, I am come. I, nature's mother, mistress of all the elements, the first-begotten of all the ages, of deities mightiest, queen of the dead, first of heaven's denizens, in whose aspect are blent the aspects of all gods and goddesses. With my rod I rule the shining heights of heaven, the health-giving breezes of the sea, the mournful silence of the Underworld.

    The whole earth worships my godhead, one and indi- Iviii Cults of Isis a7ia Mary Compared vidual, under many a changing shape, with varied rites, and by many diverse names. There the Phrygians, first- born of men, call me the mother of the gods that dwell at Pessinus ; there the Athenians, sprung from the soil they till, know me as Cecropian Minerva ; there the wave-beaten Cyprians style me Venus of Paphos ; the archer Cretans, Diana of the hunter's net; the Sicilians, with their threefold speech, Stygian Proserpine ; the Eleusinians, the ancient goddess Ceres. Others call me Juno, others Bellona, others Hecate, others the Rham- nusian, but those on whom shine the first rays of the Sun-god as each day he springs to new birth, the Arii and the Ethiopians, and the Egyptians, mighty in an- cient lore, honour me with my peculiar rites, and call me by my true name Isis the Queen.

    The original Isis was an African goddess who appeared in human form, and married the god-man Osiris, and conceived a son begotten by him after he had been murdered. Mary was a woman, the daughter of well-known parents, and although the circumstances that attended her conception were so unusual as to be miraculous, she was not divine. Mary became with child of the Holy Ghost, and when she had given birth to the Son of God she remained a virgin. The wander- ings of Mary during her flight from Herod's wrath re- call the wanderings of Isis, especially as both Isis and Mary raised the dead and worked other miracles.

    Horus was killed by a scorpion, and was raised up again through the spells of Thoth, but Jesus did not die until He was crucified. Osiris, more than Horus, resembles Jesus in respect of His murder by the Jews. The seven scorpion-goddesses who attended Isis seem to have their counterpart in the seven maidens who were associated with Mary in weaving the Veil of the Temple. Osiris was raised from the dead by the spells of Isis, which she had learned from Thoth, but Jesus raised Himself from the dead.

    Again, Osiris had to do battle with the powers of the Underworld in order to maintain his life and position therein ; but Jesus shattered the bolts of the gates of hell, and tore down the doors, and vanquished Death and his six sons and Satan, and extinguished the fiery cauldrons, in order to save Adam and his posterity and take them out of hell. Isis appears in the Judgement Hall of Osiris, presumably as co-judge with Osiris, but Mary only watches the Judgement of the Dead so that she may in certain cases entreat Christ and the Father to show mercy.

    In one particular Isis and Mary the Virgin have a common fate ; the grave of each is unknown. They were over a thousand in number, 1 and were covered with dust, and many of them had suffered greatly from damp, which had caused the leaves to stick together. The greater number of them were stolen by Theodore from the libraries and churches in various parts of the country of Abyssinia or Ethioqia , and from private owners of books, and he intended them to form the Library of the Church of Madhane 'Alam, i.

    No one had charge of the heap of manuscripts, and once having got them into his possession the king seems to have taken no further trouble about them. The British Army took possession of them as a matter of course, and took them away when they returned to the coast. On their way thither General Napier gave many of the copies of the Old and New Testaments and Service-Books to the archimandrites and priests who prayed to have their property restored to them, and in this way more than one half of the entire collection was disposed of.

    But, strange to say, whilst General Napier was doing his utmost to keep the manuscripts in the country, many of the inferior clergy were selling their books to British officers and privateers, who brought them to England where, scat- tered throughout the land, some hundreds of them now are. The portion of the Makdala Collection that came to the British Museum consisted of about three hun- dred and fifty manuscripts, and about one-seventh of this number contains texts concerning the Virgin Mary or her miracles, or homilies upon events in her life, or prayers or sermons that were written for her festivals.

    A very considerable number of the one hundred and seventeen Ethiopic MSB. The History of the Conception and Birth of the Blessed Virgin which was read on the ist day of the month Genbot, and on the 21st day of the month Sane Orient. The History of the Birth of the Virgin Mary. A Discourse for the 3rd of Tahsas Orient. On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Orient.

    Dialogue between Mary and the angel of the Annunciation. Ixii Ethiopic Liiterattire of the Virgi? The History of the Death of Mary as narrated on the authority of St. It is called 'Astar'eyo, and was read on the 21st day of the month Ter Orient. History of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Orient. Homily on the As- sumption of the Virgin Orient.

    A Discourse on the building of Mary's house Orient. Story of the discovery of the History of the Virgin Mary Orient. Dis- course by St. John the Evangelist on the Virgin Mary Orient. I ; Orient. Two Dis- courses on the Virgin Mary anonymous, Orient. I and 2. Prayers of the Virgin Mary at Gol- gotha Add. Salutations to the Ixiii Legends of the Virgi? Selections of the Miracles of the Virgin Mary are contained in a great many manu- scripts, and as these are all described in a companion volume to this nothing need be said about them here. In connection with this group of manuscripts refer- ence must be made to the extraordinary compilation contained in Add.

    It further describes their journey from Ethiopia, which they undertook by God's command, through the desert to Palestine, and what happened to them by the way. Both Mary and the Child worked many miracles, and were greatly beloved by the various peoples with whom they came in contact and to whom they did much good. The MS. Each page contains two columns of writing, with 24 lines in each. It was intended to be used as a Service-book, probably in connection with the Wepdase Maryam, or Book of Prayers to the Virgin Mary, for the text is divided into seven sections, one of which was to be read daily, beginning with Monday.

    The following brief sketch of the contents of the manu- script will enable the reader to judge for himself about the value of the work. The text opens with the statement that whilst Mary was fleeing from Herod, the Child always pronounced His blessing with His face turned towards the South 1 Cat. JEthiopici, p. By this act He indicated that He wished to go to the South, and thither, after months of wandering, and flight from city to city, and village to village, and suffering from repeated attacks of wild beasts and still wilder men, Mary directed her steps.

    In due course she arrived in Ethiopia, which the text describes as " the most glorious country under heaven. At length God told Joseph to return to Syria, but the people were most unwilling to let them go. On their way northwards the Holy Family came to Bet Barbaysadas, which was near the sea, and camped near the city gate. The people took them into a palace made of gold, and gave them bread, wine, honey, sugar, milk, etc.

    Whilst there the town was attacked by large numbers of mighty men and soldiers, and Christ,Whose name is written in red and black letters alternately, de- termined to help His hosts. Passing through Gedaberya, a region filled with cannibals, Fol. Here the Holy Family stayed for one month, and the Virgin Mary, with the Child's consent, raised to life, presumably from the cemeteries, , men, , women, and hundreds of thousands of old men and children Fol. Passing through Bet Te'e- man FoL 7a they came to another city of the dead, and here Mary raised up men, women, 50, virgins and old men Fol.

    In this neighbour- hood the people were kind to Mary and the Child, and she wished to do good to them in some way. Whilst she was pondering how she could do it, Gabriel appeared and told her to follow him and to bring the people with her. When she had gathered the people together Gabriel set out for the sea coast, and when he and his followers had arrived there he stood up and uttered these words of power : — Kibar'os Dermonad'es R6- BAM Me'er.

    Then straightway the sea was divided into two parts, one part going to the left and the other part to the right, leaving a dry road between them. Gabriel led the people down on to the bed of the sea and they took away from it houses of gold, 10, silver coins, 10, brass coins, beryls, 10, sapphires, gems, pearls, and a great number of other kinds of precious stones Fol. Passing on, Mary came to a region where she saw animals fourteen cubits high, with seven wings and seven legs Fol.

    She next came to a district where the women were barren and the cattle brought forth no young, but having prayed Mary be- stowed upon the women power to have children, and all the flocks and herds becameexceedingly prolific Fol. At a place called Semadar, a magician came out and re- viled her and cast a stone at her, but Mary caused the stone to be deflected in its course and, instead of striking her, it turned back and smote the people close by and killed 36 of them Fol.

    In another place a number of men attacked the Holy Family, and by the command of the Child a wild beast rushed upon them and slew of those who tried to hurt Mary Fol. From this point the text of the manuscript becomes much Ixvi Ethiopic Literature of the Virgin Mary confused, and it is difficult to follow the course of the Holy Family.

    The narrative describes the persecution of Herod Fol. At Mount Kona Mary fell asleep under a tree, and she had a vision in which the angels carried her soul up to heaven, and God the Father welcomed her and kissed her, and she saw David and the Prophets Fol. She next came to Gedras of Kohol, a city of Maksim arr a. Somewhere in this neighbourhood she had another vision, and an angel carried her away to show her heaven.

    Further wanderings in Mount Libanus followed this vision Fol. At Rofan the people stoned Mary, and as a punishment she caused horns two cubits long to grow out of their heads Fol. Mary stood up and uttered the following words of power : Yarosas Gebtomar Pila'os, and straightway a serpent 70 cubits long came forth from him.

    Mary next went to Mount Sika Fol. On Fol. At Mesaris there was a cave inhabited by a serpent Fol. Mary pronounced the following words of power : Kemaso'i Dabratkaon Kakaewos 'AsNABAS, and straightway Gabriel came down and cut the monster into sixteen pieces, and a devil in the form of a raven came out of its belly. The manuscript closes Ixvii Legends of the Virgin Mary with a prayer that mercy may be shown by Christ, through the prayers of Mary, on the man who had the book written, the scribe, and the reader and the trans- lator of it. The text seems to me to be a compilation made from comparatively modern legends of the Virgin current in Ethiopia by some imperfectly educated scribe, who made many mistakes, both in his facts and in his writing.

    Like many another Oriental scribe, he had no idea of the historical sequence of events in the world, and his geographical knowledge was very limited. He was an ardent lover of his own country, and says boldly that Ethiopia is the finest country under heaven. Though an orthodox Monophysite, he saw nothing un- usual in making the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary use magical formulas to bring about the perform- ance of their wishes. Service Books containing series of prayers and hymns to the Virgin Mary. The following are the most important of these : — i. The 'Arganona Den- gel, i.

    The reader will gain a general idea of the contents and character of the work from the transla- tion of a few folios which I have given on p. There are several copies of the 'Arganona in the British Museum Add. This book is arranged for the days of the week, but some MSS. Which arrange- ment is the older cannot be said ; there are several MSS. Many portions of this work Ixviii Ethiopic Literature of the Virgin Mary seem to have been translated from some Coptic text similar to that which was published by Tuki in his Book of Theotokia Rome, ?

    The greatest importance is attached to the Wed- dase Maryam in Ethiopia, and it seems to rank only second in importance to the Weddase 'Amlak, i. Copies of the work appear in manuscripts side by side with the Psalms of David, the Song of Solomon, and the Canticles, and the Weddase Marvam is considered. In Orient. The Weddase 'Amlak, or " Praises of God," is arranged ac- cording to the seven days of the week.

    The Mazmura Dengel, or Psalter of the Virgin Mary, is often found side by side with the Psalter of David, the Song of Songs, and the Canticles, but it was not considered a work of great importance Add. A work of similar character is the Mazmura Krestos, or Psalter of Christ, and in one manuscript Orient. Prayers for the dead, ascribed to the Virgin Mary, are found in Add. Ixix Introduction V. This section is the X result of a revision and rearrangement of the translation which I made from the unique MS. This MS. It is illustrated with pictures of an archaic character, all of which have been repro- duced photographically in this volume.

    This work shows that as early as the XVth century the deification of Hanna had begun in Ethiopia, and that her birth was regarded as having been brought about by miracu- lous means. It describes at length how Mary, in the form of a White Pearl, was inserted in the body of Adam by God, and how it passed from body to body until it entered Hanna, when it developed into the Lady Mary. A further proof of the equality of Hanna and Mary in the minds of the Ethiopians is the series of Salutations, or Greetings, to the members of Hanna's body.

    The Covenant of Mercy, i. He would forgive the sins of every one who remembered them and the salutation of Gabriel. Trans- lated from the Lady Meux MS. The text here translated is an extract from the Discourse which Theophilus is said to have pronounced on the Virgin Mary on the 6th day of the month of JHadar.

    In this Discourse the Arch- bishop described at considerable length the life of Mary, but as the greater part of his work is given more fully in the other sections printed herein I have only reproduced the words that the Virgin herself is said to have spoken to Theophilus. It was a well-known rhe- torical device, and was much used by great preachers among the Copts, to address Mary by name in the course of their discourses, and then to recite to the con- gregations what purported to be her answer.

    This translation is made from Brit. The most interesting portion of the narrative is that which describes the journey of the Holy Family to Egypt, and the troubles that came upon them as they travelled down the old caravan road by the sea- coast and across the desert to the Eastern Delta and Heliopolis.

    The writer held the view that they tra- Ixxi Legends of the Virgin Mary veiled southwards as far as Hermopolis Magna the Khemenu and Shmun of the Egyptians, and the modern Aslimiinen, or Eshmunen , which lies about i8o miles south of Cairo, but it is possible that some confusion between Heliopolis and Hermopolis occurred in the MSS. There was a very famous church of the Virgin at Ashmunen in the Xth century, and on one of its pillars there was said to be the impress of the hand of our Lord. The names of the places men- tioned in the narrative are too corrupt to be identifiable.

    The Annunciation of Gabriel to Mary, trans- lated from Brit. It was pronounced on the 29th day of Magabit, i. March 26, which is the day on which the festival of the Archangel Gabriel is celebrated, and it may have been, in an original form, written in honour rather of Gabriel than of Mary. Some parts of this composition seem to be derived from the Dialogue of Mary and the Angel which is found in a single manuscript of the XVth century.

    See Brit. This composition is based upon Coptic and Arabic versions of such works as the Protevangelium Jacobi and the Evangelium de N ativitate Marice. A Tract which describeth how the History of St. Mary was discovered, translated from Brit. This Tract is probably based upon an ancient tradition to the effect that the Ixxii The Translations Printed Herein libraries of the oldest monasteries on Mount Sinai, i. In its present form it seems to be a translation from the Coptic. This is a late Recension of the work called " 'Astar'yo," probably because it de- scribes the sudden appearance of the Apostles from the various countries wherein they were, together with myriads of archangels and angels, just before the depar- ture of the soul of Mary from this world.

    It is based upon very ancient traditions extant in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic and Arabic, and was read in all the churches on the 21st day of Ter January Mariae Virginis or Obitus S. Marias Virginis and the Assumptio S. Mariae Virginis on the same day, but the Ethiopians commemorate her death on the 21st day of Ter, and her Translation, or Ascent of her body into heaven, on the 1 6th day of Nahasse August 9. On this point see Ludolf, Hist. Commentarius, p.

    Another version of the life of the Virgin Mary after the Crucifixion, and her Death, and the ascension of her body into heaven. The title of the work in the manuscript gives no author's name, and it is not stated when it was to be read. Ixxiii Lege7ids of the Virgin Mary This work describes the persecution of Herod and his attempts to find Mary and the Child in order to slay them.

    Warned by an angel Joseph flees from the desert of Lebanon, whilst Herod is searching for the Child in the desert of Lebanon and Bartas Berut? Mary was greatly helped by Domitianus, the Governor of Syria, and by Gigar, who seems to have been his Deputy or Judge. Herod doubted the loyalty of Gigar, and tor- tured him because he befriended the Holy Family, and at length put him to death. H the statements in this work be historical, we must assume that Joseph and Mary fled to the desert east of the Jordan, and wan- dered about there, suffering great hardships, for some time before they set out for Egypt.

    If this be so they probably hid themselves until they could join one of the large caravans trading between Persia and Egypt, or Mesopotamia and Egypt. With the money with which Domitianus provided them this would be an easy mat- ter. I have not been able to find any ancient version of this History, and it is probably founded on native Ethiopian tradition. The Virgin, under the guidance of our Lord, visited the abode of the righteous and the place of punishment of the wicked, and in answer to her questions our Lord ex- plained to her the causes why some souls suffer one kind of punishment and some another.

    The narrative seems Ixxiv The Translations Printed Herein to be based on ancient Coptic legends which have made their way into Ethiopic through Arabic translations, for the Hell which is described in it is clearly derived from ancient Egyptian works. The title gives no directions as to the day on which the Vision is to be read, a fact which suggests that its appearance in Ethiopic is not very ancient. See page A specimen of the 'Arganona Weddase, trans- lated from Brit. It is, more- over, a good thing to tell the story of the begetting of our Lady Mary, the God-bearer, the Virgin, and it is sweeter far than honey and sugar.

    It is like sweet wine to the taste, and like ointment to the bones, and like the hearing of a word of wisdom Fol. Exalted then is the memorial of the praise of the Virgin, who became like a plant in the house of God, and like the cedar tree on Lebanus, and like the cypress tree on the mountains of Hermon, and like a palm tree on the river bank, Fol.

    The memorial of the praise of the Virgin is abundant like the flood of Pison and Euphrates, and is like unto the flood of Gihon i. Who hath such praise, who hath such glorifica- tion, who hath such sweetness as the woman whom Joachim begot? I desire greatly to be her servant, for I know that she will become unto me a counsellor for good, and that she will console me in my sorrow and affliction, and that through her I shall find affection with the multitude and honour with the elders Fol.

    I shall make myself to be considered marvellous before the face of the mighty, even though I hold my peace, and they shall wait until I speak. They shall draw nigh unto me, and I shall appear as a good man among the congregation ; for in sorrow and weeping there is nought but joy and gladness.

    The will of the Virgin is deathless, and her love for man is abundant, happiness and goodness are in her hands and never- ending riches, in her speech are doctrine, and know- ledge, and honour, and in her words are peace and love. For this reason I preach and I tell the story of the birth of our Lady Mary from the loins of Joachim, the staff of the kingdom, and from the womb of Hanna, the staff of the priesthood. Come then, O ye prophets of the Good God, and be ye my helpers Fol. We will ask you, and you shall inform us, for thus is it written in the Book, which saith, " Ask thy father, and he shall teach thee ; and thine elders, and they shall relate it unto thee " Deut.

    George spearing the Dragon. The text reads : " O Saint George bring me out of temptation of the body and soul — I Liswerawe, am thy beloved one. It is you whose bellies are filled full with the mystery of the hidden things of God, and your children who have been filled full are the Apostles, according to my belief. And again the Prophet saith, " Instead of thy fathers chil- dren shall be born unto thee, whom thou mayest estab- lish as angels for all the earth " Psalm xlv, Verily they have become filled full Fol.

    Come then, and gather yourselves together, O all ye nations, Fol. When the Virgin Mary Solyana , the daughter of Joachim and Hanna, gave birth unto Christ the King, the mountains became the bread of life, and the hills produced grapes of blessing, and the waters of the sea became milk and honey. In this house there are none of the many spirits of sickness that have been smitten with the sharp arrows of sin, and we The History of H anna declare that it is meet that we should be gathered to- gether in the marriage chamber, that is to say, in Fol.

    In the beginning God made the heavens that are above, and all that is therein, and He created this [earth], and after that the Garden of Life. And He also created the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the sea, and the abysses, and the fish, and the birds of the heavens which fly, and beasts great and small, and the winds, and the clouds, and rain and dew ; and He created everything and ordered it well. And when He had made an end of creating His creation. He created our father Adam in His own form and likeness, and He breathed upon him Fol.

    At that time Mary, the daughter of Joachim, existed in the belly of Adam in the form of a White Pearl, which shone in his right side, and was a perfect likeness [of her] ; and the similitude of her flew up into the heights of heaven. Again, God showed it unto Moses in the desert when He was telling him how to make the build- ing of her Tabernacle. And God commanded him to make a Tabernacle of wood that could not be eaten by worms, and to cover it over with gold, both the inside and the outside thereof.

    And above that Tabernacle was the mercy-seat of gold, and above Fol. And Solomon also built a Sanctuary in the form of this Tabernacle made of cedar wood and pine wood, and he covered the floor, and the roof, and the walls thereof The Mother of the Blessed Virgiii Mary with plates of gold, and on the doors thereof were en- graved figures of palm branches, and of animals that were like unto cherubs in fine gold.

    And Solomon made two Cherubim of red gold which overshadowed her with their wings, and God was wont to appear there, sometimes in visible form, and some- times FoL 65b in a dream, and sometimes in a vision, unto those to whom He wished to appear, from Moses to Zechariah. Then, after a few days, God spake unto the children of Israel, when they provoked Him to wrath, saying, " Where is the house which ye can build for My resting place? Where is the place [fit for] My habitation? Behold, the habitation whereunto I will come is that which the hand of man hath not made, and which shall be the salvation of Adam and his pos- terity " Isaiah Ixvi, i.

    Now, Matthat begat three daughters. The name of the eldest was Mary, the name of the second was Sophia, and the [name of the] third was Hanna. Similarly, Joseph was descended from David the king, for when Nathan, the brother of James, died, Matthat married his widow, so that he might raise up seed to his brother. And the 5 The History of H anna daughter of Joachim became the child of Kesra, Foh 66b the brother of Matthat, and Joseph was the son of the brother of Joachim her father ; therefore Joa- chim is said to be of the tribe of Judah, and of the family of David.

    Now Nathan begat two sons, that is to say, James and Joachim, and when Nathan died Mattatthias, the son of Levi, married his widow, who was of the family of Solomon of the tribe of Judah ; and he begat by her a son and called his name Eli.