24th April 1947.
As the day dawns the eastern sky is tinged with a light rosy hue. Jesus is walking with His Mother along the slopes of Gethsemane. No words are spoken, only glances of indescribable love are visible. Words have probably already been spoken. Perhaps they were never uttered. The two souls have spoken: Christ's and Christ's Mother's. Now it is loving contemplation, reciprocal contemplation. The dewy nature, the pure morning light are acquainted with it, the kind creatures of God: the herbs, flowers, birds, butterflies are acquainted with it. Men are absent.
I feel even ill at ease being present at this farewell. « Lord, I am not worthy! » I exclaim among the tears falling from my eyes, as I look at the last hour of the earthly union of the Mother and Her Son, and I consider that we have come to the end of the loving fatigue, that is Jesus, Mary and the poor, little unworthy child, whom Jesus wanted as witness of all the Messianic time, and whose name is Mary, but whom Jesus loves to call « little John » or also the « sweet violet of the Cross. »
Yes. Little John. Little, because I am a nonentity. John, because I am really the one to whom God has done great favours, and because, in an infinitesimal measure – but it is all I possess, and by giving everything that I possess I know that I give in a perfect measure that pleases Jesus, because He is the « all of my nothing – and because in an infinitesimal measure, I, as the great beloved John, have given all my love to Jesus and to Mary, sharing tears and smiles with them, following them, anguished at seeing them distressed and at not being able to defend them from the hatred of the world at the cost of my very life, and now palpitating with the throbs of their hearts for what ends forever… »
Yes, sweet violet. A sweet violet that has tried to remain hidden among the grass so that Jesus should not avoid it, as He loved all created things so much, since they are the work of His Father, but He should press me under His divine foot, and I might die exhaling my light scent in the effort to sweeten His contact with the rough hard earth. Yes, sweet violet of the Cross. And His Blood filled my calyx even to make it bend on the ground…
Oh! my Beloved Who, first, filled me with Your Blood, making me contemplate Your wounded feet, nailed to the wood « … and at the foot of the cross there was a little plant of sweet-smelling violets in bloom, and drops of the divine Blood were falling on the little plant of sweet-smelling violets in bloom… » A remote recollection, and always so close and present! A preparation to what I was later: Your mouthpiece who is now completely besprinkled with Your Blood, with Your perspiration and tears, with the tears of Mary Your Mother, but who also knows Your words, Your smiles, everything, everything about You, and no longer smells of sweet-smelling violets but of You alone, my One and Only Love, of that divine perfume that yesterday evening lulled my sorrow, and comes to me, as sweet as a kiss, as comforting as Heaven itself, and makes me forget everything to live only in You…
I have Your promise in me. I know that I shall not lose You. You have promised me and Your promise is sincere: it is the promise of God. I will still have You, forever. Only if I sinned of pride, falsehood, disobedience, I should lose You, You said so, but You know that, with Your Grace supporting my will, I do not want to sin, and I hope that I will not sin, because You will support me. I am not an oak-tree. I know. I am a sweet violet. A frail stalk that can be bent by the foot of a little bird and also by the weight of a scarab. But You are my strength, o Lord. And my love for You is my wing.
I shall not lose You. You have promised me. You will come, entirely for me, to give joy to Your dying sweet violet. But I am not selfish, Lord. You know. You know that I should like You to be seen no longer by me, but to be seen by many more people, whom I should like to believe in You. You have already given me so much, and I am not worthy of it. You have really loved me as You alone know how to love Your beloved children.
I think of how pleasant it was to see You « live » as Man among men. And I think that I shall no longer see You so. Everything has been seen and said. I also know that You will not be cancelled out of my thought in Your actions of Man amongst men, and that I shall need no books to remember You as You really were: it will be enough for me to look within myself, where all Your life is fixed with indelible letters. But it was sweet, sweet…
Now You are going to ascend… The Earth will lose You. Mary of the Cross will lose You, Master Saviour. You will remain for her the most sweet God, and You will no longer pour Blood but celestial honey into the violet calyx of Your sweet violet… I am weeping… I have been Your disciple with the other women disciples along the roads of mountains and forests, along the barren dusty roads of the plains, on the lake and near the lovely river of Your Fatherland. You are now going away and only in my memory I shall see Bethlehem and Nazareth on their hills green with olive-trees, and Jericho burning in the sun and with its rustling palm-trees, and friendly Bethany, and Engedi, a pearl lost in the deserts, and beautiful Samaria, and the fertile plains of Sharon and Esdraelon, and the strange tableland beyond the Jordan, and the nightmare of the Dead Sea, and the sunny towns on the Mediterranean coasts, and Jerusalem, the town of Your sorrow, its roads uphill and downhill, the archivolts, the squares, the suburbs, the wells and cisterns, the hills and even the sad valley of the lepers, where so much of Your mercy was effused… And the house of the Supper room… the little fountain weeping nearby… the little bridge on the Kidron, the place where You sweated blood… the court-yard of the Praetorium…
Ah, no! everything that is Your sorrow is here. It will remain forever… I shall have to look for all the souvenirs to find them, but Your prayer at Gethsemane, Your scourging, Your ascent to Golgotha, Your agony and death, and the sorrow of Your Mother, no, I shall not have to look for them: they are always present. I may forget them in Paradise… and it seems impossible to me that they can be forgotten even there… I remember everything of those dreadful hours. Even the shape of the stone on which You fell. Even the bud of a red rose that knocked against the stone that closed Your sepulchre, and looked like a drop of blood on the granite… My most divine Love, Your Passion lives in my mind… and it breaks my heart…
The day has dawned completely. The sun is already high and the voices of the apostles can be heard. It is a signal for Jesus and Mary. They stop. They look at each other, One in front of the Other, then Jesus opens His arms and presses His Mother to His chest… Oh! He was really a Man, the Son of a Woman! To believe it is enough to watch this farewell! Love overflows in a shower of kisses for the beloved Mother. Love covers the beloved Son with kisses. They seem unable to part. When they seem to be on the point of doing so, another embrace joins them again and among the kisses words of reciprocal blessings are uttered… Oh! it is really the Son of Man Who is leaving Her Who gave birth to Him! It is really the Mother Who, in order to give Him back to the Father, dismisses Her Child, the Token of the Love for the Most Pure Mother… God Who kisses the Mother of God!…
Finally the Woman, as a creature, kneels at the feet of Her God, Who is also Her Son, and Her Son, Who is God, imposes His hands on the head of the Virgin Mother, of the Eternal Beloved, and blesses Her in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then He bends and lifts Her up, with a last kiss on Her forehead, which is as white as a petal of a lily under Her golden hair still so young-looking…
They go once again towards the house, and no one, seeing how calmly they proceed One beside the Other, would think of that wave of love that overwhelmed them shortly before. But how much difference there is also, in this farewell, from the sadness of other farewells of the past and from the torture of the farewell of the Mother to Her Son Who had been killed and was to be left all alone in the Sepulchre!… In the present case, although their eyes are shining with the natural tears of those who depart from their Beloved ones, their lips smile out of joy knowing that this Beloved is going to the Abode befitting His Glory…
« Lord! Out there, between the mountain and Bethany are all those that You told Your Mother You wanted to bless today » says Peter.
« All right. We will go to them now. But come first. I want to share the bread once again with all of you. »
They go into the room where ten days previously were the women for the supper of the fourteenth day of the second month. Mary accompanies Jesus so far, then She withdraws. Jesus remains with the eleven.
On the table there is some roasted meat, some cheese and small black olives, a small amphora of wine and a larger one with water, and some broad loaves of bread. A simple table, not set for an important ceremony, but only for the necessity of taking some food.
Jesus offers and makes the portions. He is in the centre between Peter and James of Alphaeus. He has called them to those places. John, Judas of Alphaeus and James are in front of Him, Thomas, Philip and Matthew are on one side, Andrew, Bartholomew and the Zealot are on the other. So everybody can see Jesus… A quick, silent meal. The apostles, who are at their last day with Jesus, notwithstanding that the subsequent apparitions, both collective and individual, from the Resurrection onwards, have been full of love, have never got out of that reserve and veneration that have characterised their meetings with the Risen Jesus.
The meal is over. Jesus opens His hands over the table, with His usual gesture when facing an unavoidable fact, and says:
« Well. The hour has come when I have to leave you to go back to My Father. Listen to the last words of your Master.
Do not go away from Jerusalem during these days. Lazarus, to whom I have spoken, has seen to the fulfillment of the desires of his Master, and he gives you the house of the Last Supper, so that you may have a residence where to hold meetings and concentrate in prayer. Remain there during these days and pray assiduously to be prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who will complete you for your mission. Remember that I, although I was God, prepared Myself with severe penance for My ministry of evangelizer. Your preparation will be easier and easier and shorter and shorter. But I do not exact anything else from you. It is sufficient that you pray assiduously, together with the seventy-two and under the guide of My Mother, Whom I entrust to you with the concern of a Son. She will be for you a Mother and Teacher of love and perfect wisdom.
I could have sent you elsewhere to prepare yourselves to receive the Holy Spirit, instead I want you to remain here, because it is Jerusalem, the denier, that must be astonished at the continuation of the divine prodigies, which are given in reply to its denials. Later, the Holy Spirit will make you understand the necessity that the Church should arise just in this town, that from a human point of view is the most unworthy of having it. But Jerusalem is always Jerusalem, even if sin overwhelms it and the deicide was accomplished here. Nothing will be of avail to it. It is condemned. But if it is condemned, not all its citizens are condemned. Remain here for the few just people who are in its bosom, and remain here because this is the royal town and the town of the Temple, and because, as predicted by the prophets, here, where the King Messiah has been anointed and acclaimed and raised, here is to begin His kingdom over the world, and here again, where the synagogue received the libel of repudiation from God for its too many horrible crimes, the new Temple is to arise, and the peoples of all countries will come to it. Read the prophets. Everything is predicted in them. My Mother first, the Spirit Paraclete later, will make you understand the words of the prophets for this period of time.
Remain here until Jerusalem repudiates you as it repudiated Me, and hates My Church as it hated Me, brooding over plots to exterminate it. Then take the see of this beloved Church of Mine elsewhere, because it must not perish. I tell you: not even hell shall prevail against it. But if God gives you the assurance of His protection, do not tempt Heaven by exacting everything from Heaven. Go to Ephraim as your Master went there because it was not the hour for Him to be caught by His enemies. I say Ephraim, meaning the land of idols and heathens. But it is not Ephraim in Palestine that you must choose as the see of My Church. Remember how many times, I spoke of this to you, all united or to one individually, foretelling you that you would go along the roads of the Earth to arrive at the heart of it and establish My Church there. It is from the heart of man that blood circulates through all the members. It is from the heart of the world that Christianity must spread all over the Earth.
At present My Church is like a creature that has already been conceived but is still forming in the matrix. Jerusalem is its matrix, and inside it the still tiny heart, around which the few members of the dawning Church gather, gives its small waves of blood to these members. But, when the hour marked by God comes, the stepmotherly matrix will expel the creature that formed in its womb, and it will go to a new land, and it will grow there becoming a great Body spread all over the Earth, and the throbs of the strong heart of the Church will propagate to all the great Body. The throbs of the heart of the Church, freed from all ties with the Temple, eternal and victorious over the ruins of the perished and destroyed Temple, living in the heart of the world, will tell Hebrews and Gentiles that God alone triumphs and wants what He wants, and that no hatred of men or group of idols can stop His will.
But this will happen later, and at that time you will know what to do. The Spirit of God will lead you. Be not afraid. For the time being hold the first meeting of the believers in Jerusalem. Then more meetings will take place as their numbers grow. I truly tell you that the citizens of My Kingdom will increase rapidly like seeds sown in very good soil. My people will spread all over the Earth. The Lord says to the Lord: “Because you have done this, and for My sake you have not spared yourself, I will bless you and I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies and in your descendants all the nations of the Earth shall be blessed.” My Name, My Sign and My Law are blessings, wherever they are known as sovereigns.
The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier is about to come and you will be replete with Him. Ensure that you are as pure as everything that is to approach the Lord. I also was Lord like Him. But I had put on a garment over My Divinity to be able to stay among you, and not only to teach you and redeem you with the organs and the blood of that garment, but also to bring the Holy of Holies among men, without it being unbecoming that every man, even an impure one, could lay his eyes on Him, Whom the Seraphim are afraid of looking at. But the Holy Spirit will come without the veil of flesh, and will alight on you and will descend in you with His seven gifts and will advise you. Now, the advice of God is such a sublime thing, that it is necessary to be prepared for it with a heroic will of a perfection that may make you resemble your Father and your Jesus, and your Jesus in His relationship with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, perfect charity and perfect love in order to be able to understand the Love and receive Him on the thrones of your hearts.
Get lost in the eddy of contemplation. Strive to forget that you are men and strive to change into Seraphim. Throw yourselves into the furnace, into the flames of contemplation. The contemplation of God is like a spark that flashes from the friction of steel on flintstone and gives fire and light. The fire that consumes the opaque and always impure matter and transforms it into bright and pure flame is purification.
You will not have the Kingdom of God in you, if you do not have love. Because the Kingdom of God is the Love, and appears with the Love, and through the Love it is established in your hearts in the brightness of a huge light, that penetrates and fecundates, removes ignorance and gives wisdom, devours man and creates the god, the son of God, My brother, the king of the throne that God has prepared for those who give themselves to God, in order to have God, God, God, God alone. So be pure and holy through fervent prayer that sanctifies man, because it plunges him into God's fire, which is charity.
You must be holy. Not in the relative meaning that this words has had so far, but in the absolute meaning that I gave it, as I proposed the Holiness of the Lord as its example and limit, that is, perfect Holiness. Among us the Temple is called holy, holy the place where the altar is, the Holy of Holies the veiled place where the ark and the propitiatory are kept. But I truly tell you that those who possess the Grace and live in holiness out of love for the Lord, are more holy than the Holy of Holies, because God does not only alight on them, as on the propitiatory that is in the Temple, to give His orders, but He lives in them to give them His love.
Do you remember My words of the Last Supper? I promised you the Holy Spirit. Well, He is about to come to baptise you, not with water, as John did with you, preparing you for Me, but with fire to prepare you to serve the Lord, as He wants you to do. So he will be here, within a few days. And after His coming your capabilities will increase immeasurably, and you will be able to understand the words of your King, and do the deeds that He told you to do, to spread His Kingdom all over the Earth. »
« So will You rebuild the Kingdom of Israel then, after the coming of the Holy Spirit? » they ask interrupting Him.
« There will no longer be a Kingdom of Israel, but My Kingdom. And it will be accomplished when the Father said. It is not for you to know the times and the moments that the Father has reserved for Himself in His power. But you, in the meantime, will receive the virtue of the Holy Spirit Who will come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judaea and in Samaria and as far as the boundaries of the Earth, establishing meetings where men meet in My Name; baptising peoples in the Most Holy Name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit, as I told you, so that they may have the Grace and they may live in the Lord; preaching the Gospel to everybody, teaching what I taught you, doing what I ordered you to do. And I shall be with you every day until the end of the world.
And I want also this: James, My brother, to preside over the meeting in Jerusalem. Peter, as head of all the Church, will often have to set out on apostolic journeys, because all the neophytes will wish to meet the Pontiff Supreme Head of the Church. But great will be My brother's ascendancy over the believers of this first Church. Men are always men and they see as men. They will think that James is a continuation of Me, only because He is My brother. I truly tell you that he is greater and more like the Christ because of his wisdom than through relationship. But it is so. Men, who did not look for Me while I was among them, will now look for Me in him who is a relative of Mine. And you, Simon Peter, are destined to other honours… »
« That I do not deserve, Lord. I told You when You appeared to me and I tell you again now in the presence of everybody. You are good, divinely good, besides being wise, and You rightly judged me, who denied You in this town, ill-suited to be its spiritual head. You want to spare me so many just derisions… »
« We were all the same, except two, Simon. I also ran away. Not because of this, but because of the reasons that He mentioned, the Lord has destined me to this place; but you are my Chief, Simon of Jonah, and I acknowledge you as such, and in the presence of the Lord and of all my companions I profess obedience to you. I will give you what I can to help you in your ministry, but I beg you, give me your orders, because you are the head and I the subject. When the Lord reminded me of a conversation of long ago, I bent me head saying: “Let Your will be done.” I will say the same to you, because, once the Lord has left us, you will be His Representative on the Earth. And we will love each other, helping each other in the sacerdotal ministry » says James, bowing from his place to pay homage to Peter.
« Yes. Love one another, helping one another reciprocally, because that is the new commandment and the sign that you really belong to Christ.
Do not be upset for any reason. God is with you. You can do what I want of you. I would not impose things on you if you could not do them, because I do not want your ruin, on the contrary I want your glory. Well. I am going to prepare your places beside My throne. Remain united to Me and to the Father in love. Forgive the world that hates you. Call sons and brothers those who come to you, or are already with you out of love for Me.
Be at peace knowing that I am always ready to help you to carry your crosses. I will be with you in the work of your ministry and in the hours of persecutions, and you will not perish, you will not succumb even if those who see with the eyes of the world think so. You will be oppressed, grieved, tired, tortured, but My joy will be in you, because I will help you in everything. I truly tell you that, when you have the Love as a Friend, you will understand that everything suffered and lived for My love becomes light, even if it is a heavy torture of the world. Because for him who clothes all his actions, whether they are voluntary or imposed, with love, the yoke of life and of the world changes into a yoke given to him by God, by Me. And I repeat to you that My load is always proportioned to your strength and My yoke is light, because I help you to carry it.
You know that the world does not know how to love. But from now on you are to love the world with a supernatural love, to teach it how to love. And if seeing you persecuted, they should say to you: “Is that how God loves you? Making you suffer, grieving you? Then it is not worth while being of God”, reply: “Sorrow does not come from God. But God allows it, and we know the reason and we are proud of having the part that Jesus Saviour, the Son of God, had.” Reply: “We are proud of being nailed to the cross and of continuing the Passion of our Jesus.” Reply with the words of Wisdom: “Death and sorrow were brought into the world by the envy of the demon, but God is not the maker of death and sorrow and He does not take delight in the sorrow of creatures. Everything coming from Him is life and wholesome.” Reply: “At present we seem persecuted and defeated, but on the day of God, when lots have changed, we just people, who were persecuted on the Earth, will stand gloriously in front of those who oppressed and despised us.” But also say to them: “Come to us! Come to the Life and Peace. Our Lord does not want your ruin, but your salvation. That is why He sent His beloved Son, so that you all might be saved.”
And rejoice at taking part in My sufferings, so that later you may be in the glory with Me. “I shall be your exceedingly great reward” the Lord in Abraham promised all His faithful servants. You know how the Kingdom of Heaven is conquered: by strength, and one arrives there through many tribulations. But he who perseveres as I persevered will be where I am. I have told you which is the way and which is the door that lead to the Kingdom of Heaven, and I was the first to walk along it and I have gone back to the Father by it. If there had been another one, I would have taught you it, because I take pity on your weakness as men. But there is no other one… And pointing it out to you as the only way and the only door, I also tell you, I repeat to you which is the medicine that gives strength to go along it and enter. It is love. Always love. Everything becomes possible when there is love in us. And the Love Who loves you will give you all the love, if in My Name you ask for so much love as to become athletes in holiness.
Now let us give each other the parting kiss, My beloved friends. »
He stands up to embrace them. They all imitate Him. But, while Jesus smiles peacefully, a smile really divinely beautiful, they weep, they are all upset, and John, throwing himself on Jesus' chest, shaken by all the sobs that are so violent as to break his chest, on behalf of everyone, as he realises everybody's wish, asks:« Give us at least Your Bread, that it may fortify us in this hour! »
« Let it be so! » Jesus replies to him. And taking a piece of bread, He breaks it, after offering and blessing it, repeating the ritual words. And He does the same with the wine, repeating then: « Do this in memory of Me » and He adds: « Who have left you this pledge of My love, to be still and always with you until you will be with Me in Heaven. » He blesses them and says: « And now let us go. »
They come out of the room, of the house…
Jonah, Mary and Mark are there outside, and they kneel down worshipping Jesus.
« May peace remain with you. And may the Lord reward you for what you have given Me » says Jesus, blessing them while passing by.
Mark stands up saying: « Lord, the olive-groves along the Bethany road are full of disciples awaiting You. »
« Go and tell them to go to the Field of the Galileans. »
Mark darts away with all the speed of his young legs.
« So, they have all come » say the apostles to one another.
Further aside, sitting between Marjiam and Mary of Clopas, there is the Mother of the Lord. And She stands up when She sees Him coming, worshipping Him with all the palpitations of Her heart of Mother and believer.
« Come, Mother, and you too, Mary… » says Jesus inviting them, when He sees them stand still, immobilised by His majesty that blazes as in the morning of the Resurrection. But Jesus does not want to overwhelm with His majesty, and He kindly asks Mary of Alphaeus: « Are you alone? »
« The other women… the others are ahead… With the shepherds and… with Lazarus and all his family… But they left us here, because… »
« Oh! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!… How shall I put up with not seeing You any more, blessed Jesus, my God, I who loved You even before You were born, I who wept so much over You when I did not know where You were after the slaughter… I who had my sun in Your smile after You came back, and all, all my blessings?… How many blessings! How many You have given me!… Now I am really becoming poor, a widow, all alone!… While You were here, there was everything!… I thought I had experienced all sorrow that evening… But the very grief, all the sorrow of that day had dulled my mind and… yes, it was not so deep as it is now… And then… there was the fact that You were going to rise. I seemed as if I could not believe it, but now I realise that I did believe it, because I did not feel what I am feeling now… » she says weeping and panting, so much do her tears choke her.
« My good Mary, you are worrying just like a little boy, who thinks that his mother does not love him and has abandoned him, because she has gone to town to buy him presents that will make him happy, and who will soon go back to him to cover him with kisses and gifts. And am I not doing so with you? Am I not going to prepare joy for you? Am I not going to come back and say to you: “Come, My dear relative and beloved disciple, mother of My beloved disciples”? Am I not leaving you My love? Shall I give you My love, Mary? You know whether I love you! Do not weep so, but rejoice, because you will no longer see Me despised and fatigued, no longer chased and rich only in the love of few people. And with My love I leave you My Mother. John will be like a son to Her, and I ask you to be a good sister to Her, as you have always been. See? My Mother is not weeping. She is aware that, if Her nostalgia for Me is the file that will consume Her heart, the wait will be always short as compared to the great joy of an eternal union, and She also knows that this parting of ours will not be so absolute as to make Her say: “I no longer have My Son.” That was Her cry of sorrow on that day of sorrow. Now hope sings in Her heart: “I know that My Son is ascending to His Father, but He will not leave Me without His spiritual love.” That is what you believe, and everybody… Here are the other men and women. Here are My shepherds. »
The faces of Lazarus and of his sisters among all the servants of Bethany, the face of Johanna like a rose under a veil of rain, and those of Eliza and of Nike, already marked by age – and wrinkles are now deepened by pain, always pain for creatures, even if the soul rejoices because of the triumph of the Lord – the face of Anastasica, the lily-like faces of the first virgins, and the ascetic face of Isaac, the inspired one of Matthias, and the virile face of Manaen, and the severe ones of Joseph and Nicodemus… Faces, faces, faces…
Jesus calls to Himself the shepherds, Lazarus, Joseph, Nicodemus, Manaen, Maximinus and the others of the seventy-two disciples. But He particularly keeps the shepherds close to Himself saying: « Here. You were near the Lord Who had come from Heaven, bent over His annihilation, You are to be near the Lord Who is going back to Heaven, with your souls rejoicing because of His glorification. You have deserved this place, because you did believe notwithstanding that all the circumstances were unfavourable, and you were able to suffer for your faith. I thank you for your faithful love. I thank all of you. You, My friend Lazarus, you, Joseph, and you, Nicodemus, who took pity on the Christ when to do so might have been very dangerous. You Manaen, who despised the filthy favours of an unclean man to follow Me on My way. You, Stephen, flowery crown of justice, who left what was imperfect for what was perfect and will be crowned with a garland, with which you are not yet acquainted, but will be announced to you by the angels. You John, for a short period of time brother to the most pure breast and who have come more to the Light than to the sight. You, Nicolaus, who, as a proselyte, have been able to console Me for the grief of the sons of this Nation. And you, good women disciples, stronger, in your kindness, than Judith. And you, Marjiam, My child, and from now on you will be called Martial, in remembrance of the Roman boy killed on the road and laid at Lazarus' gate with the defying script: “And now tell the Galilean to bring you back to life again, if He is the Christ and has risen from the dead”, the last of the innocents who lost their lives in Palestine to serve Me also unconsciously, and first of the innocents of every Nation who, having come to the Christ, will be hated for that and extinguished prematurely, like buds of flowers torn off the stems before blooming. And may this name, o Martial, show you your future destiny: be the apostle in barbarian countries and conquer them to your Lord, as My love conquered the Roman boy to Heaven. You are all blessed by Me in this farewell, as from the Father I invoke the reward for those who have comforted the sorrowful journey of the Son of Man. Blessed be Mankind in the chosen part there is among Hebrews and Gentiles, and that has manifested itself in its love for Me. Blessed be the Earth with its herbs and flowers, and its fruits that have given Me pleasure and refreshment so many times. Blessed be the Earth with its waters and its tepidness, for its birds and its animals that many a time exceeded man in giving relief to the Son of Man. May you be blessed, sun, and you, sea, and you, mountains, hills, plains. Blessed you, stars, My companions in My night prayers and in My sorrow. And you, moon, who illuminated Me as I wandered around in My pilgrimages of the evangelizer. May all you creatures be blessed, the works of My Father, My companions in this mortal hour, friendly to Him Who had left Heaven to relieve tortured Mankind of the troubles of the Sin that separates from God. And may you also be blessed, you innocent instruments of My torture: thorns, metals, wood, twisted hemp, because you have assisted Me in fulfilling the will of My Father! »
How thundering is Jesus' voice! It spreads through the tepid calm air, like a bronze gong that has been struck, it propagates in waves over the sea of faces looking at Him from all directions.
I say that there are hundreds of people around Jesus as He goes up, with His more beloved ones, towards the top of the Mount of Olives. But when Jesus arrives at the Field of the Galileans, in which there are no tents in this period of time between two festivities, He says to His disciples: « Stop the people where they are, and then follow Me. »
He climbs farther up, as far as the highest summit of the mountain, the one closer to Bethany, which it dominates from above, than to Jerusalem. Close to Him are His Mother, the Apostles, Lazarus, the shepherds and Marjiam. Farther away, in a semicircle, are the other disciples to hold the people back.
Jesus is standing on a large stone, that protrudes a little and stands out in its whiteness among the grass of a clearing. He is brightly illuminated by the sun that makes His garment shine as white as snow and His hair like gold. His eyes sparkle in a divine light. He opens out His arms in the gesture of an embrace. He seems to be wishing to press to His chest the multitudes of the Earth, whom His spirit sees represented in that crowd. His unforgettable inimitable voice gives the last order: « Go! Go in My Name to evangelize the peoples as far as the ends of the Earth. God be with you. May His Love comfort you, may His Light guide you, may His Peace dwell in you until you reach eternal life. »
He becomes transfigured in beauty. Handsome! As handsome and even more so than He was on Tabor. They all fall on their knees worshipping. While He is already rising from the stone on which He is standing, He looks once again for the face of His Mother, and His smile reaches a power that no one will ever be able to express… It is His last goodbye to His Mother. He rises, rises… The sun, now more free to kiss Him, as no foliage, not even a thin leaf, intercepts its beams, brightens with its splendour the God-Man, Who with His most Holy Body is ascending to Heaven, and displays His glorious Wounds that shine like living rubies. The rest is a pearly smile of light. And it is really the Light that is revealing itself for what it is, at this last moment as on Christmas night. Creation sparkles in the light of the Christ Who is ascending. A light exceeding that of the sun. A superhuman and most blissful light. A light descending from Heaven to meet the Light ascending to it… And Jesus Christ, the Word of God, disappears from the sight of men in this ocean of brightness…
On the earth, only two noises in the deep silence of the ecstatic crowd: the cry of Mary when He disappears: « Jesus! », and the weeping of Isaac. The others are struck dumb with religious astonishment, and they remain there, as if they were waiting, until two snow-white angelical lights, in human form, appear repeating the words mentioned in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.