31st May 1944.
After fifty-three days Mother shows Herself again in this vision which She tells me to put in this book. Joy is renewed in me. Because to see Mary is to possess joy.
I see the little orchard in Nazareth. Mary is spinning in the shade of a very thick apple-tree overloaded with apples which begin to redden and are so rosy and round that they look like so many cheeks of children.
But Mary is not rosy at all. The beautiful colour that brightened Her cheeks at Hebron has disappeared. Her face is as pale as ivory, only Her lips are a curve of pale coral. Under Her lowered eyelashes there are two dark shadows and Her eyes are swollen as if She had cried. I cannot see Her eyes, because Her head is bowed, intent on Her work and even more on a thought which is obviously distressing Her, in fact I can hear Her sighing like a person sad at heart.
She is all dressed in white, in white linen, because it is very warm, notwithstanding that the freshness, still intact, of the flowers makes me understand that it is morning. Her head is uncovered, and the sun playing among the apple-tree leaves, which are stirred by a very gentle breeze, filters with its thin rays down to the dark brown earth of the flower-beds and forms small circles of light on Her blond head, so that Her hair looks like pure gold.
There is no noise whatsoever from the house or from the neighbourhood. One can only hear the babbling of the tiny stream of water that runs down into the large basin at the bottom of the orchard.
Mary starts at a loud resolute knocking at the door. She lays the distaff and spindle down and rises to go and open. Although Her dress is loose and wide it does not conceal the rotundity of Her pelvis.
Joseph is standing in front of Her. Mary turns pale, also in Her lips. Her face is so bloodless that it looks like a host. Mary looks at Joseph with sad enquiring eyes. Joseph looks at Her with imploring ones. They are both silent, looking at each other. Then Mary says: « At this time, Joseph? Is there anything you need? What do you want to tell Me? Come in. »
Joseph enters and closes the door. He is still silent.
« Speak, Joseph. What is it you want from Me? »
« I want You to forgive me. » Joseph bends down as if he wanted to kneel down. But Mary, Who is always so reserved in touching him, seizes him resolutely by his shoulders and stops him.
Mary's face blushes and blanches in rapid succession, one moment it is all red and immediately afterwards it is as white as snow, as it was before. « You want Me to forgive you? I have nothing to forgive you, Joseph. I can but thank you once again for everything you have done here while I was away and for your love for Me. »
Joseph looks at Her, and I can see two large tears welling up in the cavity of his deep eyes, they remain there as if they were on the rim of a vase, and they then roll down on to his cheeks and his beard. « Forgive me, Mary. I mistrusted You. Now I know. I am not worthy of having such a treasure. I lacked in charity, I accused You in my heart, I accused You unfairly, because I did not ask You to tell me the truth. I sinned against God's law, because I did not love You as I loved myself… »
« Oh! no! You have not sinned! »
« Yes, I have, Mary. If I had been accused of such a crime, I would have defended myself. But You… I was not giving You the possibility of defending Yourself, because I was about to take a decision without questioning You. I have been unfair to You, because I offended You with my suspicion. Also a single suspicion is an offence, Mary. Who suspects does not know. And I did not know You as I should have done. But for the torment I suffered… three days of torture, forgive me, Mary. »
« I have nothing for which to forgive you. On the contrary, I ask you to forgive Me for the pain I caused you. »
« Oh! Yes, it was a great pain! What a torture! Look! I was told this morning that my temples are white haired and my face wrinkled. These past days have been more than ten years of my life! But why, Mary, have You been so humble as to conceal Your glory from me, Your spouse, and thus allow me to suspect You? »
Joseph is not on his knees, but he is bent so low that he is as good as kneeling down, and Mary lays Her tiny hand on his head and smiles. She seems to be absolving him. And She whispers: « If I had not been humble in the most perfect manner, I would not have deserved to conceive the Expected One, Who is coming to pay for the sin of pride that ruined man. And then I obeyed… God had requested such obedience. It cost Me so much… because of you, because of the pain that you were to suffer. But I could but obey. I am the Handmaid of the Lord, and servants do not discuss the orders they receive. They fulfill them, Joseph, even if they cause bitter tears. » Mary weeps quietly while speaking. So quietly that Joseph, bent down as he is, does not notice it until a tear falls on the floor.
He then lifts his head and – it is the first time I see him do this he presses Mary's little hands in his dark strong ones and he kisses the tips of the rosy slender fingers that protrude like fresh buds of a peach-tree from the circle formed by his own hands.
« Now we shall have to arrange for… » Joseph does not say anything else, but he looks at Mary's body and She becomes purple and sits suddenly, to avoid Her figure being exposed to eyes watching Her. « We shall have to make haste. I will come here… We will complete the wedding… Next week. Is that all right? »
« Whatever you do is all right, Joseph. You are the head of the family, I am your servant. »
« No. I am Your servant. I am the happy servant of my Lord Who is growing in Your womb. You are blessed amongst all the women of Israel. This evening I will warn my relatives. And after… when I am here, we will work to prepare everything to receive… Oh! How can I receive God in my house? God… in my arms? I will die of joy!… I will never dare touch Him! I will never be able…! »
« You will be able, as I will, by the grace of God. »
« But You are… I am a poor man, the poorest of God's children!… »
« Jesus is coming to us, poor people, to make us rich in God, He is coming to us two, because we are the poorest and we admit it. Rejoice, Joseph. The House of David has the King long waited for and our home will become more splendid than Solomon's palace, because Heaven will be here and we shall share with God the secret of peace that men will be acquainted with later. He will grow among us, our arms will be the cradle for the Redeemer and our work will procure bread for Him… Oh! Joseph! We will hear the voice of God calling us “father and Mother!” Oh!… » Mary cries with joy. Such happy tears!
And Joseph, who is now kneeling at Her feet, is weeping with his head almost hidden in Mary's wide dress, which falls in folds on to the plain pavement of the room. The vision ends here.
« No one must interpret My pallor erroneously. It was not caused by human fear. From a human point of view I should have expected to be stoned to death. But I was not afraid because of that. I was suffering because of Joseph's pain. Neither was I upset by the thought that he might accuse Me. I was only sorry and afraid that he might be lacking in charity if he should insist in his accusation. That is why all My blood rushed to My heart when I saw him. It was the moment when even a just man might have offended Justice by offending charity. And I would have been extremely upset if a just man were to commit an error since he never erred.
Had I not been humble to the very extreme limit, as I told Joseph, I would not have deserved to bear within Me Him Who was lowering Himself: God, to the humiliation of being a man in order to make reparation for the pride of the human race.
I have shown you that scene which is not described by any of the Gospels, because I want to draw the excessively misguided attention of men to the conditions which are essential to please God and receive His continuous calls to your hearts.
Faith: Joseph believed the heavenly messenger's words unquestioningly. He wanted but to believe, because he was sincerely convinced that God is good and that since he had hoped in the Lord, the Lord would not have reserved for him the torture of being betrayed, disappointed and sneered at by his neighbours. He asked for nothing, but to believe in Me, because, being honest, it was painful for him to think that other people were not honest. He lived according to the Law and the Law says: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” We love ourselves so much that we think we are perfect even when we are not. Can we therefore not love our neighbour simply because we think he is faulty?
Unrestricted Charity: A charity that knows how to forgive, that wants to forgive, and forgive in advance excusing wholeheartedly the imperfections of our neighbours. It is necessary to forgive immediately, accepting every extenuating circumstance.
Humility, as unrestricted as charity. You must admit that you can be faulty even in simple thoughts, and you must not be so proud as to refuse to say: “I made a mistake”, because such pride would be more harmful than the previous fault. Everybody makes mistakes, with the exception of God. Who can say: “I am never wrong”? And there is a more difficult humility: the one that knows how to keep silent about God's wonderful things in us, when it is not necessary to proclaim them for His glory, so that we might not discourage our neighbour who has not received such special gifts from God. If He wants, oh! if He only wants, God reveals Himself in His servant! Elizabeth “saw” Me for what I was, My spouse knew Me for what I was, when it was time for him to know.
Leave to the Lord the care of proclaiming you His servants. He is anxious to do so, because every creature that rises to a particular mission, is a new glory which is added to His infinite glory, and is a witness of what man is, as God wanted him to be: a lesser perfection that reflects its Author. Remain in shadow and silence, you who are beloved by Grace, so that you may hear the only words of “life”, that you may deserve to have on you and in you the Sun that shines eternally.
Oh! Most Blessed Light, God, joy of Your servants, do shine on those servants of Yours that they may exult in their humility, praising You, only You, because You disperse the proud but raise the humble, who love You, to the splendour of Your Kingdom. »