8th December 1951.
How many days have gone by? It is difficult to ascertain it. If one judges by the flowers that form a crown around the dead body, one should say that only a few hours have gone by. But if one judges by the olive branches on which the fresh flowers are lying, branches with leaves already withered, and by the other withered flowers lying like relics on the cover of the chest, one must conclude that some days have by now gone by.
But Mary's body is exactly the same as it was when She breathed Her last. There is no trace of death on Her face or on Her little hands. There is no unpleasant smell in the room. On the contrary an undefinable scent like that of incense, of lilies, of roses, of lilies of the valley, of mountain herbs, all mixed together, hangs in the air of the room.
John, who I wonder for how many days has been awake, has fallen asleep, overcome by tiredness, sitting on the stool, his shoulders leaning against the wall, near the open door that leads to the terrace. The light of the lamp, which from the floor shines upwards on him, allows one to see his tired face, which is also very pale, except around his eyes, red with weeping.
It must be already dawn, because in its faint light the terrace and the olive-trees surrounding the house are visible, a light that becomes stronger and stronger and that, penetrating through the door, makes more distinct also the objects in the room, of which, being far from the little lamp, it was previously possible to catch only a glimpse.
All of a sudden a strong light fills the room, a silvery light, shaded with blue, almost phosphoric, and it becomes more and more intense, making the light of dawn and of the lamp vanish. A light like the one that flooded the Grotto in Bethlehem at the moment of the divine Nativity. Then in this paradisiac light, angelic creatures show themselves, a light even brighter in the already strong light that appeared first. As it already happened when the angels appeared to the shepherds, a dance of sparks of all shades bursts forth from their gently moved wings, which emit a harmonious murmur, as sweet as if it were played by a harp.
The angelic creatures place themselves around the little bed, they bend over it, they lift the immobile body, and flapping their wings more vigorously, which increases the sound existing previously, through a passage opened miraculously in the roof, as miraculously Jesus' Sepulchre was opened, they go away, taking with them the body of their Queen, a Most Holy Body, it is true, but not yet glorified, and therefore still subject to the laws of matter, to which the Christ was not subject, because He was already glorified when He rose from the dead. The sound made by the angelic wings increases and it is now as powerful as the sound of an organ.
John, who, although still asleep, had moved twice or three times on his stool, as if he had been disturbed by the strong light and by the sound of the angelic wings, awakes completely because of that powerful sound and because of a strong current of air that, descending from the opened roof and going out through the open door, forms a vortex that shakes the covers of the bed, by now empty, and John's garments, blowing out the lamp and closing the door with a loud bang.
The apostle looks around, still half asleep, to realise what is happening. He notices that the bed is empty and that the roof is open. He understands that a wonderful event has taken place. He runs out on the terrace, and as if by spiritual instinct, or by a heavenly call, he raises his head, shading his eyes from the sun, in order to see, without being prevented from doing so by the rising sun.
And he sees. He sees the body of Mary, still deprived of life, and completely identical to that of a person asleep, that ascends higher and higher, supported by the angelic group. As a last gesture of farewell, a hem of the mantle and of the veil are agitated, probably by the wind caused by the rapid assumption and by the movement of the angelic wings; and some flowers, the ones that John had placed and renewed round the body of Mary, and that have certainly remained among the folds of the garments, rain on the terrace and on the ground of Gethsemane, while the mighty hosanna of the angelic group moves farther and farther away and thus becomes fainter.
John continues to stare at that body that rises towards Heaven and, certainly through a prodigy granted to him by God, to comfort him and to reward him for his love for his adoptive Mother, he distinctly sees Mary, enveloped now in the beams of the sun that has risen, come out of the ecstasy that had separated Her soul from Her body, become alive, stand on Her feet, as She also now enjoys the gifts typical of bodies already glorified.
John looks and looks. The miracle granted to him by God enables him, against all natural laws, to see Mary as She is now, while She rapidly ascends towards Heaven, surrounded, but no longer helped to ascend, by the angels singing hosannas. And John is enraptured by that vision of beauty that no pen of man, or human word, or work of artist will be ever able to describe or reproduce, because it is of indescribable beauty.
John, still leaning against the low wall of the terrace, continues to stare at that splendid shining form of God – because Mary can really be said to be so, formed in a unique manner by God, Who wanted Her immaculate, so that She might be the form for the Word Incarnate – while it ascends higher and higher. And the God-Love grants a last supreme prodigy to His perfect loving disciple: to see the meeting of the Most Holy Mother with Her Most Holy Son, Who splendid and shining as well, handsome with indescribable beauty, descends rapidly from Heaven, arrives at His Mother, presses Her to His heart, and together, more refulgent than two major planets, returns with Her whence He came.
John's vision is over. He lowers his head. On his tired face are visible both his sorrow for the loss of Mary and his joy for Her glorious destiny. But by now joy exceeds sorrow.
He says: « Thanks, my God! Thanks! I foresaw that this would happen. And I wanted to be awake, in order not to lose any episode of Her Assumption. But I had not slept for three days now! Sleep, tiredness, joined to sorrow, overcame and defeated me just when Her Assumption was imminent… But perhaps You wanted that Yourself, o God, so that I should not upset that moment and I should not suffer too much… Yes. You certainly wanted it, as now You wanted me to see what, without a miracle of Yours, I could not have seen. You have granted me to see Her again, although already so far, already glorified and glorious, as if She were close to me. And to see Jesus again! Oh! most happy, unhoped for and not to be hoped for vision! O gift of the gifts of Jesus-God to His John! Supreme Grace! To see my Master and Lord again! To see Him near His Mother! He like a sun, She like a moon, both most splendid, because they were glorious and happy to be reunited forever! What will Paradise be like now that You both shine in it, You major planets of the heavenly Jerusalem? What is the jubilation of the angelic choruses and of the saints? It is such the joy that the vision of the Mother with Her Son has given me, a thing that cancels every pain of His, every pain of theirs, even more, also mine ceases, and peace takes over in me. Of the three miracles that I had asked of God, two have been accomplished. I have seen life come back to Mary, and I feel peace come back to me. All anguish of mine ends, because I have seen You reunited in glory.
Thanks for that, o God. And thanks for having made it possible for me to see, even for a most holy creature, but still human, what is the lot of saints, what it will be after the last judgement; and the resurrection of the bodies, and their rejoining, their fusion with their spirits, that have ascended to Heaven at the moment of their death. I did not need to see to believe. Because I have always firmly believed every word of the Master. But many will doubt that, after ages and thousands of years, the flesh, that has become dust, can become a living body. I shall be able to tell them, swearing on the most sublime things, that not only the Christ became alive again, by His own divine power, but that also His Mother, three days after Her death, if death it can be called, came to life again, and with Her flesh joined to Her soul took up Her eternal abode in Heaven, beside Her Son. I shall be able to say: “Believe, O Christians, in the resurrection of bodies, at the end of time, and in the eternal life of souls and bodies, a blissful life of saints, horrible for unrepentant guilty people. Believe and live as saints, as Jesus and Mary lived, in order to have their same lot. I have seen their bodies ascend to Heaven. I can bear witness to that. Live as just people, so that one day you may be in the new eternal world, in body and soul, near Jesus-sun, and near Mary the Star of all stars.” Thank You again, o God!
And now let us put together what is left of Her. The flowers that fell from Her garments, the olive branches left on the bed, and let us keep them. They will serve… Yes, they will serve to assist and comfort my brothers, whom I have awaited in vain. Sooner or later I will find them… He picks up the petals of the flowers that had been shed in falling, he goes back into the room, holding them in a fold of his tunic. He then looks more carefully at the opening in the roof and exclaims: « Another miracle! And another wonderful proportion in the prodigies of the lives of Jesus and Mary! He, God, rose by Himself, and by His own will He overturned the stone of His Sepulchre, and only with His own power He ascended to Heaven. By Himself. Mary, the Most Holy Mother, but a daughter of man, by means of angelic help had the passage opened for Her assumption to Heaven, and always through angelic help She ascended there. In the Christ the spirit came back to animate His Body while it was still on the Earth, because it had to be so, to silence His enemies and to confirm all His followers in their faith. In Mary the spirit came back when Her most holy body was already at the threshold of Paradise, because there was no other need for Her. Perfect power of the Infinite Wisdom of God!… »
John now gathers in a piece of cloth the flowers and branches that were still on the little bed, he adds to them those that he had gathered outside, and lays them all on the cover of the chest. He then opens it and puts the little pillow of Mary and the coverlet of the little bed into it; he goes down into the kitchen, he collects other utensils used by Her – the spindle and distaff and Her kitchenware – and adds them to the other things.
He closes the chest and sits on the stool exclaiming: « Now everything is accomplished also for me! Now I can go freely wherever the Spirit of God will lead me. I can go! And sow the Divine Word that the Master gave me so that I may give it to men. And teach Love. Teach them so that they may believe in Love and in its power. Let them know what the God-Love has done for men. His Sacrifice and His perpetual Sacrament and Rite, by means of which, until the end of time, we shall be able to be united to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and renew the Rite and the Sacrifice as He ordered us to do. All the gifts of the perfect Love! Make them love the Love, so that they may believe in Him, as we believed and believe. Sow the Love so that the harvest and the catch may be abundant for the Lord. Love achieves everything, Mary told me in Her last conversation with me, whom She justly defined, in the Apostolic College, the one who loves, the preeminent loving one, the antithesis of the Iscariot, who was hatred, as Peter was impetuousness, and Andrew meekness, the sons of Alphaeus holiness and wisdom joined to nobility of manners, and so forth. I, the loving disciple, now that I no longer have the Master and the Mother to love on the Earth, will go and spread love among the nations. Love will be my weapon and my doctrine. And be means of it I will defeat the demon, heathenism and will conquer many souls. I will thus continue Jesus and Mary, Who were perfect love on the Earth. »