WHICH FOLLOWS UP THE PREVIOUS DISCOURSE BY THE EXPLANATION OF THETWELFTH CHAPTER OF THE APOCALYPSE.
94. The literal version of that chapterof the Apocalypse is as follows :
1.“And a great sign appeared in heaven:A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her
feet, and on her head a crown of twelvestars:
2. And being with child, she criedtravailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.
3. And there was seen another sign inheaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns; and onhis head seven diadems.
4. And his tail drew the third part ofthe stars of heaven and cast them to the earth and the dragon stood before thewoman, who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, hemight devour her son.
5. And she brought forth a man-child,who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God,and to his throne.
6. And the woman fled into thewilderness where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feedher a thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7. And there was a great battle inheaven ; Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon foughtand his angels.
8. And they prevailed not, neither wastheir place found any more in heaven.
9. And the dragon was cast out, that oldserpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; andhe was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10. And I heard a loud voice saying: Nowis come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of hisChrist; because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused thembefore our God day and night.
11. And they overcame him by the bloodof the Lamb and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their livesunto death.
12. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, andyou that dwell therein. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil is comedown unto you, having a great wrath and knowing that he hath but a short time.
13. And when the dragon saw that he wascast un to the earth he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man-child :
14. And there were given to the womantwo wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place,where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the face ofthe serpent.
15. And the serpent cast out of hismouth after the woman, water as if it were a river, that he might cause her tobe carried away by the river.
16. And the earth helped the woman andthe earth opened her mouth and swallowed the river, which the dragon cast outof his mouth.
17. And the dragon was angry against thewoman and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandmentsof God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
18. And he stood upon the sands of thesea.“
95. Such are the words of theEvangelist. He speaks in the past, because at that time was shown to him avision of that which had already happened.
He says: “And a great sign appeared inheaven ; a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and on herhead a crown of twelve stars.“ This sign appeared really in the heavens bydivine disposition and was shown to the good and the bad angels, in order thatseeing it, they might subject their will to the pleasure and the commands ofGod.
They saw it therefore before the goodones chose the good and before the bad ones had turned to evil. It was as itwere a mirror of the wonderful perfection of the handiwork of God in creatinghuman nature.
Although He had already revealed thisperfection to the angels in making known to them the mystery of the hypostaticunion, yet He wished to reveal it to them also in a different manner by showingit to them in a mere Creature, the most perfect and holy which, next to thehumanity of our Lord, He was to create.
It was also a sign for the assurance ofthe good angels and for confusion of the bad, since it manifested to them thatin spite of the offense which was committed, God would not let the decree ofcreating man be unfulfilled, and that the incarnate Word and this Woman, hisMother, would please Him infinitely more than the disobedient angels could everdisplease Him.
This sign was also like the rainbow,which appeared after the flood in the clouds of heaven, as a guarantee thateven if men should sin like the angels and become disobedient, they were not tobe punished like the angels without remission, but would be furnished withsalutary medicine and remedy by this wonderful sign.
It was as if God said to the angels : Iwill not chastise in the same way the other creatures which I call into myexistence, because this Woman, in whom my Only begotten is to assume flesh,belongs to that race.
My Son shall be the Restorer offriendship and the Pacifier of my justice; He shall open the way to thefelicity, which sin would close.
96. In further testimony of this, afterthe punishment of the disobedient angels, God made use of the sign in order toshow that his anger, which the pride of Lucifer had occasioned, was appeasedand placated.
And according to our way ofunderstanding, He rejoiced in the presence of the Queen thus represented inthat image.
He gave the angels to understand that,through Christ and his Mother, He would now divert upon men the grace which theapostates had lost through their rebellion.
There was also another effect of thatgreat sign among the good angels; namely, that since they had been, as it were,made sorrowful and made unhappy(speaking according to our way of understanding)the Most High now wished to rejoice them with the sight of that image and toincrease their essential beatitude by this accidental pleasure merited by theirvictory over Lucifer.
Seeing this Woman so full of clemency(Esther 4, 11), appearing to them as a sign of peace, they understood at oncethat the decree of punishment was not issued against them, since they hadobeyed the precepts of the Lord and his divine will.
Much of the mysteries and sacraments ofthe Incarnation, and those of the Church militant and its members, were mademanifest to them in this sign. They understood also, that they were to assistand help the human race, by watching over men, by defending them against theirenemies and by leading them to eternal felicity.
They saw that they themselves would owetheir felicity to the merits of the incarnate Word and that the Creator hadpreserved them also in grace through Christ preordained in the divine Mind.
97、Just as all this was a great joy and happiness for the good angels,so it was a great torment for the evil spirits. It was to the latter a part andthe beginning of their punishment.
For they saw at once, that having failedto profit by this sign, they were to be conquered and crushed by it (3, 15).All these mysteries, and many others, which I cannot explain, the Evangelistwished to comprehend in this chapter, and include in that great sign; althoughfor us it will remain obscure and enigmatic until the proper time arrives.
98. The sun, which is mentioned asclothing the Woman, is the true Sun of Justice. The angels were to understandby it, that the Most High was to remain with this Woman by his grace in orderto overshadow and defend Her by the protection of his invincible right hand.
The moon was beneath her feet; for asthe two planets, the sun and the moon, divide night and day, therefore themoon, being the symbol of the darkness of sin, is beneath her feet, and thesun, being the symbol of the light of grace, clothes Her for all eternity.
Thus also the deficiencies of grace inall mortals must be beneath her feet, and never must rise either to her soul orto her body, which on the contrary were to be ever superior to all angels andmen. She alone was to be free from the darkness and the wanings of Lucifer andof Adam, treading them under foot without their being able to gain anyadvantage over Her.
And just as She rose above all the guiltand the effects of original and of actual sin, God now placed these in asymbolical manner under her feet, in order that the good angels might know, andthe bad ones, (though they did not attain full knowledge of the mysteries),might fear this Woman even before She came into actual existence.
99. The crown of twelve stars areevidently all the virtues, with which that Queen of heaven and earth was to beadorned. But the mystery of its being composed of twelve stars has reference tothe twelve tribes of Israel, by which all the elect and the predestined aredesignated, as is mentioned in the seventh chapter of the Apocalypse by theEvangelist (Apoc. 7,4).
99. 十二颗星的冠冕显然是所有的圣德，上天和下地的元后将被冠以如此的圣德。然而十二颗星组成的奥秘指的是以色列的十二个支派，即所有选民和预定的人所设定的，正如圣史若望宗徒在《默示录》第七章中所提到的那样（默示录7：4） 。
And since the gifts, graces and virtuesof all the elect were to crown their Queen in a most eminent and exalteddegree, a crown of twelve stars was placed around her head.
100.“And being with child.” In thepresence of all the angels, for the rejoicing of the good and for thepunishment of the evil ones, who resisted the divine will and the fulfillmentof these mysteries, it became manifest that the three Persons of the blessedTrinity had selected this wonderful Woman as the Mother of the Only begotten ofthe Father.
100. 「她胎中怀了孕。」 在所有天使的面前，对好天使的奖赏和对堕落天使的惩罚–牠们反抗了天主的旨意，遂实现了这些奥秘，而这奥秘显明了，天主圣三选择了这个奇妙的女人，作为圣父独生子的母亲。
And since the dignity of the mother ofthe Word was the principal beginning and foundation of all the greatexcellences of this great Mistress and of this her symbol, She was shown to theangels as being the resting place of the holy Trinity, represented in thedivine personality of the Word incarnate.
For on account of their inseparableunion and coexistence, all the three Persons could not fail to be there,wherever any one of Them was present; although only the Person of the Wordassumed human flesh and with Him alone was She pregnant.
101.“She cried travailing in birth.”Although the dignity of this Queen and of that mystery was to be hidden in thebeginning in order that God might be born humble, poor and unknown : yetafterwards the news of that Birth was proclaimed so loudly, that its first echoexcited King Herod and filled him with uneasiness.
101. 「她在生产中，呼疼呻吟。」 尽管这位元后如此尊贵，但一开始就掩盖了那奥秘，为了使天主子生而卑微，贫穷和默默无闻：然而后来“诞生”的消息被如此大声地宣告，以至于诞生的第一个回音震惊了黑落德王，使他充满了不安。
It drew the Magi from their palaces andkingdoms in order to find Him (Matth. 2, 3). Some hearts were touched withfear, others moved to interior affection. The Fruit of this birth, growinguntil it was raised on the Cross, gave such loud voices, that It was heard fromthe rising to the setting sun (John 12, 32), and from farthest north tofarthest south (Rom. 10, 18).
［经文〈若望福音12：32〉：至于我，当我从地上被举起来时，便要吸引众人来归向我。 经文〈罗10：18〉：但我要问：难道他们没有听过吗？一定听过了。他们的声音传遍普世，他们的言语达于地极。 ］
So far then was heard the voice of thatWoman who gave birth to the Word of the eternal Father.
102.“And was in pain to be delivered.”He does not say this because She was to give birth in bodily pain, for that isnot possible in this divine Parturition.
102. 「在产痛和苦劳中（分娩）」 圣史若望宗徒不是说因为“她”要在产痛中分娩，因为在神性的“分娩”中是不可能（痛）的。
But because it was to be a great sorrowfor that Mother to see that divine Infant come forth from the secrecy of hervirginal womb in order to suffer and die as a victim for the satisfaction ofthe sins of the world.
For this Queen could know and did knowall this beforehand by her knowledge of the holy Scriptures. On account of thenatural love of such a Mother for such a Son, She must be deeply afflictedthereby, although in subjection to the will of God.
In this pain was also foreshadowed thesorrow of this most gentle Mother at the thought of being deprived of thepresence of her Treasure, after He should have issued from her virginal womb;for although her soul always enjoyed his presence as to his Divinity, yet Shewas to be a long time without his bodily presence, according to which He wasexclusively her Son.
The Most High had determined to exemptHer from guilt, but not from the labors and sorrows corresponding to thereward, which was prepared for Her. Thus the sorrows of this birth were not theeffect of sin, as they are in the descendants of Eve, but they were the effectof the intense and perfect love of the most holy Mother for her divine Son.
All these mysteries were motives ofpraise and admiration for the good angels and the beginning of punishment forthe bad angels.
103.“And there was seen another sign inheaven; and behold a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns; and onhis head were seven diadems, and his tail drew the third part of the stars ofheaven, and cast them to the earth.“
103. 「随着天上又出现了另一个异兆：有一条火红的大龙，有七个头，十只角，头上戴着七个王冠。牠的尾巴将天上的星辰勾下了三分之一，投在地上。 」
Thereupon followed the punishment ofLucifer and his allies; for after uttering his blasphemies against the Woman,who had been symbolized in the heavenly sign, he found himself visibly andexteriorly transformed from a most beautiful angel into a fierce and mosthorrid dragon.
He reared with fury his seven heads,that is, he led on the seven legions or squadrons of all those that followedand fell with him. To each principality or congregation of these followers hegave a head, commanding them to sin on their own account and undertake theleadership in the seven mortal sins, which are commonly called capital.
（评注：principality原文是统权天使，不过牠们这些堕落了之后，就不能再称为统权天使了，当然牠们仍有相当的权势能力。congregation一般称为会众，不过堕落后，牠们就是群党了。群党在中文中意为：结为朋党的人们。《管子·任法》：“群党比周，以立其私。” 汉朝刘向《说苑．君道》：“百吏党而多奸。” 汉朝王充 《论衡．谴告》：“恶其随非而与恶人为群党也。”这里的意思到正合牠们的本质。 ）
For in these are contained the othersins and they constitute as it were the regiments that rise up against God.They are the sins called pride, envy, avarice, anger, luxury, intemperance andsloth.
They are the seven diadems with whichLucifer, after being changed into a dragon, was crowned. This is the punishmentwith which he was visited by the Most High and which he acquired as a returnfor his horrible wickedness for himself and for his confederate angels.
To all of them were apportioned thepunishment and the pains, which corresponded to their malice and to the sharewhich they had in originating the seven capital sins.
104. The ten horns were the triumphs ofthe iniquity and malice of the dragon, and the vain and arrogant glorificationand exaltation which he attributed to himself in the execution of hiswickedness.
In his depraved desire of attaining the objectof his arrogance, he offered to the unhappy angels his malicious and poisonousfriendship and his counterfeit principalities, commanderships and rewards.
These promises, full of bestial ignoranceand error, were the tail with which the dragon drew after him the third part ofthe stars of heaven. These angels were the stars and if they would havepersevered, they would have shone with the rest of the angels and the just,like the sun through the perpetual eternities (Dan. 12, 3).
But the punishment which they meriteddrew them down to the earth of their unhappiness into its very centre, which ishell, where they will for all eternity be deprived of light and happiness (Jude6).
105. “And the dragon stood before thewoman, who was ready to be delivered; that when She should be delivered, hemight devour her Son.“ The pride of Lucifer was so boundless that he pretendedto place his throne on high, and with the utmost boasting he spoke in presenceof the Woman symbolized in the heavenly sign :
“ThisSon, which that Woman is to bring forth, is of lower nature than mine: I shalldevour Him and destroy Him. I shall lead on my followers against Him, I shallspread my doctrines against his decrees and against the laws, which He shallset up. I shall wage perpetual war and contradiction against Him.”
But the answer of the most high Lord wasthat this Woman was to bring forth a Man child, who was to reign over thenations with an iron rod. “This Man”(the Lord added) “shall be not only the Sonof that Woman, but He shall also be my Son, true God and true man, gifted withpower to overcome thy pride and crush thy head.
He will be to thee and to all those whohear and follow thee, a powerful Judge, who shall rule thee with a rod of ironand bring to naught all thy vain and aspiring thoughts.
This Son shall be taken up to my throne,where He shall be seated at my right hand as Judge,and I will place his enemiesfor a footstool beneath his feet in order to triumph over them (Ps. 2, 9).
He will be rewarded as the Just man,who, being at the same time true God, has done so much for his creatures; allshall know Him and shall give Him reverence and honor (Ps. 109, 1). But thou,as the most unhappy, shalt know what is the day of the wrath of the Allpowerful(Sophon 1, 14).
This Woman, too, shall be placed insolitude, where She will have a place assigned by Me“(Apos. 12, 6). This solitude,to which the Woman fled, is the position which our great Queen holds, as beingonly and alone, unsurpassed in sanctity and exempt from all sin.
For She, being of the same nature asmortals, far excelled all the angels in grace, merits and gifts attained incommon with them. Thus, She who was the only One and without a compeer amongcreatures, fled and was placed in a solitude exalted above all the rest.
This solitude was so far removed fromall sin that the dragon could not even attain sight of it, nor could he fromthe time of her Conception discern anything of Her. The Most High placed Heralone and as the only One in the world, who never had intercourse with, andnever was in subordination to the serpent.
On the contrary, with solemn promise andassurance He affirmed and decreed: “This Woman, from the first instant of herexistence, shall be my only One, chosen for Myself; I exempt Her even now fromthe jurisdiction of her enemies and I will assign to Her a position of gracemost eminent and incomparable, in order that there She may be nourished onethousand two hundred and sixty days“(Apos. 12, 6).
相反的，以庄严的应许和保证，天主肯定并下令：「这个“女人”从她存在的第一瞬间，将是我的“唯一”，是为我自己而被拣选的女人。我甚至现在就从“她”敌人的管辖中豁免“她”，我将赋予她最卓越和无与伦比的恩宠地位，以便在那里“她”可以得到一千二百六十天的供养（默示录 12：6）。 」
That number of days the Queen was toremain in an interior and spiritual state of most exalted and extraordinarygraces, which were to be more memorable and wonderful. This happened in thelast years of her life, as, with the help of God, I will relate in its place.
In that state She was nourished in sucha divine manner, that our understanding will never be able to grasp it. Andbecause these graces were in a certain measure the end toward which others ofthe life of the Queen of heaven were ordained, and, as it were, their culmination,the Evangelist makes a special mention of them.