Ven. Mary of Agreda, also known as Sister Mary of Jesus, was a 17th-Century Mystic in Spain who received supernatural revelations from Our Lady about her holy life, which she wrote and compiled into a magnificent four-volume work titled The Mystical City of God.
During this time of quarantine, one thing people perhaps miss most is embracing loved ones. It is one of the great natural consolations God gives us on this Earth.
Let us offer this separation in union with Our Lord’s victory in His Passion, Death and Resurrection for an end to this virus.
In order to hold us over until we can wholeheartedly embrace our loved ones, allow me to explain an event in which Ven. Mary of Agreda described in her book. This can simply be called the greatest hug that ever took place in the history of the universe.
This embrace between Our Lord and His Blessed Mother after His triumph on the Cross and descent into the abode of the patriarchs, where He liberated all the righteous souls held there, to free the just that had gone before Him.
Our Lord’s soul was then united once again to His body, endowing it with radiant splendor and unimaginable glory.
As Our Lord accomplished this, Ven. Mary describes Our Lady as “aware of all these mysteries…and participating in them from her retreat in the Cenacle (the Upper Room).”
She also describes what happened in Our Lady’s soul when Our Lord’s soul was reunited with His Body:
“In the same instant in which the most holy soul of Christ entered and gave life to His body, the joy her of immaculate soul overflowed into her immaculate body.
“This overflow was so exquisite in its effects, that she was transformed from sorrow to joy, from pain to delight, from grief to ineffable jubilation and rest.”
Finally, after the graces Our Lady received prepared her for an encounter with her Son….it happened.
The Lord of life, Jesus Christ, “arisen and glorious, in the company of all the saints and patriarchs, made His appearance. The ever humble Queen prostrated Herself upon the ground and adored her Divine Son; and the Lord raised Her up and drew Her to Himself.
“In this contact, which was more intimate than the contact with the humanity and the wounds of the Savior sought by Magdalen, the Virgin Mother participated in an extraordinary favor, which She alone, as exempt from sin, could merit.
“Although it was not the greatest of the favors she attained on this occasion, yet she could not have received it without the failing of her faculties, if she had not been previously strengthened by the angels and by the Lord Himself.”
Did you read that? The love that burst forth in this embrace was so strong Our Lady had to be strengthened by the angels to sustain it.
Ven. Mary continues:
“This favor was, that the glorious body of the Son so closely united itself to that of His purest Mother, that He penetrated into it or she into His, as when, for instance, a crystal globe takes up within itself the light of the sun and is saturated with the splendor of its beauty and light.
“In the same way the body of the most holy Mary entered into that of her divine Son by this heavenly embrace; it was, as it were, the portal of her intimate knowledge concerning the glory of the most holy soul and body of her Lord.”
During this most holy embrace, Ven. Mary states that Our Lady was blessed with an extraordinary grace of the Beatific Vision, where “she found complete, though only temporary, rest and reward for all her sorrows and labors.”
You might now be asking the question, how long did this heavenly embrace last? Ven. Mary provides the answer:
“For some hours, the heavenly Princess continued to enjoy the essence of God with her divine Son, participating now in His triumph as She had in His torments.
“Then by similar degrees, she again descended from this vision and found herself, in the end, reclining on the right arm of the most sacred humanity”
After this took place, Ven. Mary states that Our Lord and Our Lady conversed about the mysteries of His Passion and His glory. Since Our Blessed Mother suffered so much with Her Son in His Passion, she was rewarded with all the joys of Her Son’s victory.
Ven. Mary later describes Our Lady conversing with the holy patriarchs and saints who had accompanied Our Lord in His triumph, with such figures as Sts. Joseph, Joachim and Anne present.
Finally, Our Blessed Lady “invited all the angels and saints there present to praise the Victor over death, sin and hell. Whereupon all sang new songs, psalms, hymns of glory and magnificence, until the hour arrived, when the risen Savior was to appear in other places.”
What an amazing event! It can only simply be described as the greatest hug that ever has or will ever take place.
Ven. Mary of Agreda was a great witness to the Resurrection. Almost 250 years after her death in 1665, they opened her casket for the first time, finding her body incorrupt. Praise God!
May Our Lady and Our Lord watch over all of our families, especially those members we are separated from, so that we may all experience the eternal embrace of God’s love in the kingdom of the Heavenly Father and in the eternal joy of the risen Lord forever and ever.
Below is a prayer I recite daily for all of those I hold in my heart. Awareness of Our Lady’s protection over loved ones provides deep consolation to the soul.
An Old French Prayer for Friends”
“Blessed Mother of those whose names you can read in my heart, watch over them with every care. Make their way easy and their labors fruitful.
“Dry their tears if they weep; sanctify their joys; raise their courage if they weaken; restore their hope if they lose heart, their health if they be ill, truth if they err, and repentance if they fall.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, Alleluia! For He whom you did merit to bear, Alleluia! Has risen, as He said, Alleluia!