• Home

Follow the instructions

On the contrary, The Church celebrates the feast of our Lady’s Nativity. Now the Church does
not celebrate feasts except of those who are holy. Therefore even in her birth the Blessed Virgin
was holy. Therefore she was sanctified in the womb.

I answer that, Nothing is handed down in the canonical Scriptures concerning the sanctification
of the Blessed Mary as to her being sanctified in the womb; indeed, they do not even mention her
birth. But as Augustine, in his tractate on the Assumption of the Virgin, argues with reason, since
her body was assumed into heaven, and yet Scripture does not relate this; so it may be reasonably
argued that she was sanctified in the womb. For it is reasonable to believe that she, who brought
forth “the Only-Begotten of the Father full of grace and truth,” received greater privileges of grace
than all others: hence we read (Lk. 1:28) that the angel addressed her in the words: “Hail full of
grace!”

Moreover, it is to be observed that it was granted, by way of privilege, to others, to be sanctified
in the womb; for instance, to Jeremias, to whom it was said (Jer. 1:5): “Before thou camest forth
out of the womb, I sanctified thee”; and again, to John the Baptist, of whom it is written (Lk. 1:15):
“He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb.” It is therefore with reason
that we believe the Blessed Virgin to have been sanctified before her birth from the womb.

Reply to Objection 1: Even in the Blessed Virgin, first was that which is natural, and afterwards
that which is spiritual: for she was first conceived in the flesh, and afterwards sanctified in the
spirit.

Reply to Objection 2: Augustine speaks according to the common law, by reason of which no
one is regenerated by the sacraments, save those who are previously born. But God did not so limit
His power to the law of the sacraments, but that He can bestow His grace, by special privilege, on
some before they are born from the womb.

Reply to Objection 3: The Blessed Virgin was sanctified in the womb from original sin, as to
the personal stain; but she was not freed from the guilt to which the whole nature is subject, so as
to enter into Paradise otherwise than through the Sacrifice of Christ; the same also is to be said of
the Holy Fathers who lived before Christ.

Reply to Objection 4: Original sin is transmitted through the origin, inasmuch as through the
origin the human nature is transmitted, and original sin, properly speaking, affects the nature. And
this takes place when the off-spring conceived is animated. Wherefore nothing hinders the offspring
conceived from being sanctified after animation: for after this it remains in the mother’s womb not
for the purpose of receiving human nature, but for a certain perfecting of that which it has already
received.

Whether the Blessed Virgin was sanctified before animation?

Objection 1: It would seem that the Blessed Virgin was sanctified before animation. Because,
as we have stated (A[1]), more grace was bestowed on the Virgin Mother of God than on any saint.
Now it seems to have been granted to some, to be sanctified before animation. For it is written (Jer.

3181

Saint Thomas AquinasSumma Theologica

START HERE:

1:5): “Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee”: and the soul is not infused
before the formation of the body. Likewise Ambrose says of John the Baptist (Comment. in Luc.
i, 15): “As yet the spirit of life was not in him and already he possessed the Spirit of grace.” Much
more therefore could the Blessed Virgin be sanctified before animation.

Objection 2: Further, as Anselm says (De Concep. Virg. xviii), “it was fitting that this Virgin
should shine with such a purity that under God none greater can be imagined”: wherefore it is
written (Canticles 4:7): “Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.” But the purity
of the Blessed Virgin would have been greater, if she had never been stained by the contagion of
original sin. Therefore it was granted to her to be sanctified before her flesh was animated.

Objection 3: Further, as it has been stated above, no feast is celebrated except of some saint.
But some keep the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Therefore it seems that in her
very Conception she was holy; and hence that she was sanctified before animation.

Objection 4: Further, the Apostle says (Rom. 11:16): “If the root be holy, so are the branches.”
Now the root of the children is their parents. Therefore the Blessed Virgin could be sanctified even
in her parents, before animation.

On the contrary, The things of the Old Testament were figures of the New, according to 1
Cor. 10:11: “All things happened to them in figure.” Now the sanctification of the tabernacle, of
which it is written (Ps. 45:5): “The most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle,” seems to signify
the sanctification of the Mother of God, who is called “God’s Tabernacle,” according to Ps. 18:6:
“He hath set His tabernacle in the sun.” But of the tabernacle it is written (Ex. 40:31,32): “After all
things were perfected, the cloud covered the tabernacle of the testimony, and the glory of the Lord
filled it.” Therefore also the Blessed Virgin was not sanctified until after all in her was perfected,
viz. her body and soul.

I answer that, The sanctification of the Blessed Virgin cannot be understood as having taken
place before animation, for two reasons. First, because the sanctification of which we are speaking,
is nothing but the cleansing from original sin: for sanctification is a “perfect cleansing,” as Dionysius
says (Div. Nom. xii). Now sin cannot be taken away except by grace, the subject of which is the
rational creature alone. Therefore before the infusion of the rational soul, the Blessed Virgin was
not sanctified.

Secondly, because, since the rational creature alone can be the subject of sin; before the infusion
of the rational soul, the offspring conceived is not liable to sin. And thus, in whatever manner the
Blessed Virgin would have been sanctified before animation, she could never have incurred the
stain of original sin: and thus she would not have needed redemption and salvation which is by
Christ, of whom it is written (Mat. 1:21): “He shall save His people from their sins.” But this is
unfitting, through implying that Christ is not the “Saviour of all men,” as He is called (1 Tim. 4:10).
It remains, therefore, that the Blessed Virgin was sanctified after animation.

Reply to Objection 1: The Lord says that He “knew” Jeremias before he was formed in the
womb, by knowledge, that is to say, of predestination: but He says that He “sanctified” him, not
before formation, but before he “came forth out of the womb,” etc.

3182

Saint Thomas AquinasSumma Theologica

As to what Ambrose says, viz. that in John the Baptist there was not the spirit of life when there
was already the Spirit of grace, by spirit of life we are not to understand the life-giving soul, but
the air which we breathe out [respiratus]. Or it may be said that in him as yet there was not the
spirit of life, that is the soul, as to its manifest and complete operations.

Reply to Objection 2: If the soul of the Blessed Virgin had never incurred the stain of original
sin, this would be derogatory to the dignity of Christ, by reason of His being the universal Saviour
of all. Consequently after Christ, who, as the universal Saviour of all, needed not to be saved, the
purity of the Blessed Virgin holds the highest place. For Christ did not contract original sin in any
way whatever, but was holy in His very Conception, according to Lk. 1:35: “The Holy which shall
be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.” But the Blessed Virgin did indeed contract original
sin, but was cleansed therefrom before her birth from the womb. This is what is signified (Job 3:9)
where it is written of the night of original sin: “Let it expect light,” i.e. Christ, “and not see
it”—(because “no defiled thing cometh into her,” as is written Wis. 7:25), “nor the rising of the
dawning of the day,” that is of the Blessed Virgin, who in her birth was immune from original sin.

Reply to Objection 3: Although the Church of Rome does not celebrate the Conception of the
Blessed Virgin, yet it tolerates the custom of certain churches that do keep that feast, wherefore
this is not to be entirely reprobated. Nevertheless the celebration of this feast does not give us to
understand that she was holy in her conception. But since it is not known when she was sanctified,
the feast of her Sanctification, rather than the feast of her Conception, is kept on the day of her
conception.

Reply to Objection 4: Sanctification is twofold. one is that of the whole nature: inasmuch as
the whole human nature is freed from all corruption of sin and punishment. This will take place at
the resurrection. The other is personal sanctification. This is not transmitted to the children begotten
of the flesh: because it does not regard the flesh but the mind. Consequently, though the parents of
the Blessed Virgin were cleansed from original sin, nevertheless she contracted original sin, since
she was conceived by way of fleshly concupiscence and the intercourse of man and woman: for
Augustine says (De Nup. et Concup. i): “All flesh born of carnal intercourse is sinful.”

Whether the Blessed Virgin was cleansed from the infection of the fomes?

Objection 1: It would seem that the Blessed Virgin was not cleansed from the infection of the
fomes. For just as the fomes, consisting in the rebellion of the lower powers against the reason, is
a punishment of original sin; so also are death and other corporeal penalties. Therefore the fomes
was not entirely removed from her.

Objection 2: Further, it is written (2 Cor. 12:9): “Power is made perfect in infirmity,” which
refers to the weakness of the fomes, by reason of which he (the Apostle) felt the “sting of the flesh.”
But it was not fitting that anything should be taken away from the Blessed Virgin, pertaining to the
perfection of virtue. Therefore it was unfitting that the fomes should be entirely taken away from
her.

3183

Saint Thomas AquinasSumma Theologica

END HERE.

Follow the instructions

2

WL 3386: Mary in the Christian Tradition

Spring 2022

FINAL EXAM

INSTRUCTIONS:

Please select two of the following passages (scroll all the way down to see the passages) and write two essays (of around 500 words each) that accomplish all the objectives listed in Roman numerals I-III. You may structure your essays however you wish as long as you cover all the required topics. Please reproduce the passage chosen at the beginning of your essay, or otherwise indicate for us which passage you are discussing. Remember to engage with ALL the important ideas expressed in the passage.

Make sure that you address at some point in your two essays at least 6 of the 20 readings we have covered in the second half of the semester. Quotes are fine but not required. When you do refer to the readings we have studied, please give us a page number (or paragraph number for the papal and Council documents).

You may discuss additional readings from the earlier part of the semester if you wish but do make sure to cover at least 6 (3 per essay) from the weeks since the midterm.

Remember that you have three hours to complete the exam, and budget your time accordingly.

I) Identify the text the passage is from, explain the significance of the passage for the complete text, and then discuss the theological elements of the passage.

II) Explain the significance of the ideas mentioned in the passage for the Marian tradition as a whole by comparing the passage to works from (at least) two other sources we have worked with in the second half of this semester. Note: if you discuss the passage plus two other works in each essay, you will have exactly the six sources we have required.

III) Explain what Marian principles the passage illustrates, and how it relates to historical, social, political, and/or cultural contexts.

List of works covered in the second half of the course:

René Laurentin, A Short Treatise on the Virgin Mary

Denis Farkasfalvy, The Marian Mystery: Outline of a Mariology

Martin Luther, Commentary on the Magnificat, Part 1

Council of Trent, 25th Session: Invocation of the Saints

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), Villancicos and devotional poems

Sor María de Jesús de Ágreda, Mystical City of God

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae IIIa, 27, (1-) 2

John Duns Scotus, “The Immaculate Conception and the Mediation of Christ”

Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus

John Henry Cardinal Newman, Letter to Pusey

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe,” and “May Magnificat”

Henry Adams, “The Dynamo and the Virgin” (from The Education of Henry Adams). Also “Prayers to the Virgin and the Dynamo”

Charles Cardinal Journet, Our Lady of Sorrows

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater

Luis Laso de la Vega, The Story of Guadalupe

Franz Werfel, The Song of Bernadette

Joris Karl Huysmans, The Crowds of Lourdes

Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus

Lumen Gentium, Ch. 8 (“The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church”)

Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary

PASSAGES TO CHOOSE FROM:

1. “The most perfect mediator would perform the most perfect act of mediation on behalf of any person for whom he mediated. But Christ is the most perfect Mediator…For no other person did he exhibit a more excellent degree of mediation than he did for Mary…But this would not have happened if he had not merited that she should be preserved from original sin.”

2. “Whoever, therefore, would show her the proper honor must not regard her alone and by herself, but set her in the presence of God and far beneath Him, must there strip her of all honor, and regard her low estate, as she says; he should then marvel at the exceedingly abundant grace of God, who regards, embraces, and blesses so poor and despised a mortal. Thus regarding her, you will be moved to love and praise God for His grace, and drawn to look for all good things to Him, who does not reject but graciously regards poor and despised and lowly mortals. Thus your heart will be strengthened in faith and love and hope.” 

3. “Understand, rest very much assured, my youngest child, that nothing whatever should frighten you or worry you. Do not be concerned, do not fear the illness, or any other illness or calamity. Am I, your mother, not here? Are you not under my protective shade, my shadow? Am I not your happiness? Are you not in the security of my lapfold, in my carrying gear? Do you need something more? Do not let anything worry you or upset you further.”

4. “And of all passions love is the most unmanageable; nay more, I would not give much for that love which is never extravagant, which always observes the proprieties, and can move about in perfect good taste, under all emergencies. What mother, what husband or wife, what youth or maiden in love, but says a thousand foolish things, in the way of endearment, which the speaker would be sorry for strangers to hear; yet they are not on that account unwelcome to the parties to whom they are addressed.”

5. All things rising, all things sizing

        25

Mary sees, sympathising

    With that world of good,

    Nature’s motherhood.

 

Their magnifying of each its kind

With delight calls to mind          30

    How she did in her stored

    Magnify the Lord.

6. “And when Jesus stopped to speak, she knew from the beginning that for her He would have no word. It was to the women of Jerusalem that He spoke. He did not wish that they should weep for Him. He wished for no natural consolation. Let them weep for themselves and for their children. But the Virgin, who wept in the midst of them – for her Child she had no need to weep. She must weep for other women’s children, for the children of those who were bringing her Son to His death. She had accepted fully, totally. But she must be broken anew, her nature more utterly crushed.”

7. “This blessing reaches its full meaning when Mary stands beneath the Cross of her Son (cf. Jn. 19:25). The Council says that this happened “not without a divine plan”: by “suffering deeply with her only-begotten Son and joining herself with her maternal spirit to his sacrifice, lovingly consenting to the immolation of the victim to whom she had given birth,” in this way Mary “faithfully preserved her union with her Son even to the Cross.” It is a union through faith- the same faith with which she had received the angel’s revelation at the Annunciation.”

Follow the instructions

2

WL 3386: Mary in the Christian Tradition

Spring 2022

FINAL EXAM

INSTRUCTIONS:

Please select two of the following passages (scroll all the way down to see the passages) and write two essays (of around 500 words each) that accomplish all the objectives listed in Roman numerals I-III. You may structure your essays however you wish as long as you cover all the required topics. Please reproduce the passage chosen at the beginning of your essay, or otherwise indicate for us which passage you are discussing. Remember to engage with ALL the important ideas expressed in the passage.

Make sure that you address at some point in your two essays at least 6 of the 20 readings we have covered in the second half of the semester. Quotes are fine but not required. When you do refer to the readings we have studied, please give us a page number (or paragraph number for the papal and Council documents).

You may discuss additional readings from the earlier part of the semester if you wish but do make sure to cover at least 6 (3 per essay) from the weeks since the midterm.

Remember that you have three hours to complete the exam, and budget your time accordingly.

I) Identify the text the passage is from, explain the significance of the passage for the complete text, and then discuss the theological elements of the passage.

II) Explain the significance of the ideas mentioned in the passage for the Marian tradition as a whole by comparing the passage to works from (at least) two other sources we have worked with in the second half of this semester. Note: if you discuss the passage plus two other works in each essay, you will have exactly the six sources we have required.

III) Explain what Marian principles the passage illustrates, and how it relates to historical, social, political, and/or cultural contexts.

List of works covered in the second half of the course:

René Laurentin, A Short Treatise on the Virgin Mary

Denis Farkasfalvy, The Marian Mystery: Outline of a Mariology

Martin Luther, Commentary on the Magnificat, Part 1

Council of Trent, 25th Session: Invocation of the Saints

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695), Villancicos and devotional poems

Sor María de Jesús de Ágreda, Mystical City of God

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae IIIa, 27, (1-) 2

John Duns Scotus, “The Immaculate Conception and the Mediation of Christ”

Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus

John Henry Cardinal Newman, Letter to Pusey

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe,” and “May Magnificat”

Henry Adams, “The Dynamo and the Virgin” (from The Education of Henry Adams). Also “Prayers to the Virgin and the Dynamo”

Charles Cardinal Journet, Our Lady of Sorrows

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater

Luis Laso de la Vega, The Story of Guadalupe

Franz Werfel, The Song of Bernadette

Joris Karl Huysmans, The Crowds of Lourdes

Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus

Lumen Gentium, Ch. 8 (“The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church”)

Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary

PASSAGES TO CHOOSE FROM:

1. “The most perfect mediator would perform the most perfect act of mediation on behalf of any person for whom he mediated. But Christ is the most perfect Mediator…For no other person did he exhibit a more excellent degree of mediation than he did for Mary…But this would not have happened if he had not merited that she should be preserved from original sin.”

2. “Whoever, therefore, would show her the proper honor must not regard her alone and by herself, but set her in the presence of God and far beneath Him, must there strip her of all honor, and regard her low estate, as she says; he should then marvel at the exceedingly abundant grace of God, who regards, embraces, and blesses so poor and despised a mortal. Thus regarding her, you will be moved to love and praise God for His grace, and drawn to look for all good things to Him, who does not reject but graciously regards poor and despised and lowly mortals. Thus your heart will be strengthened in faith and love and hope.” 

3. “Understand, rest very much assured, my youngest child, that nothing whatever should frighten you or worry you. Do not be concerned, do not fear the illness, or any other illness or calamity. Am I, your mother, not here? Are you not under my protective shade, my shadow? Am I not your happiness? Are you not in the security of my lapfold, in my carrying gear? Do you need something more? Do not let anything worry you or upset you further.”

4. “And of all passions love is the most unmanageable; nay more, I would not give much for that love which is never extravagant, which always observes the proprieties, and can move about in perfect good taste, under all emergencies. What mother, what husband or wife, what youth or maiden in love, but says a thousand foolish things, in the way of endearment, which the speaker would be sorry for strangers to hear; yet they are not on that account unwelcome to the parties to whom they are addressed.”

5. All things rising, all things sizing

        25

Mary sees, sympathising

    With that world of good,

    Nature’s motherhood.

 

Their magnifying of each its kind

With delight calls to mind          30

    How she did in her stored

    Magnify the Lord.

6. “And when Jesus stopped to speak, she knew from the beginning that for her He would have no word. It was to the women of Jerusalem that He spoke. He did not wish that they should weep for Him. He wished for no natural consolation. Let them weep for themselves and for their children. But the Virgin, who wept in the midst of them – for her Child she had no need to weep. She must weep for other women’s children, for the children of those who were bringing her Son to His death. She had accepted fully, totally. But she must be broken anew, her nature more utterly crushed.”

7. “This blessing reaches its full meaning when Mary stands beneath the Cross of her Son (cf. Jn. 19:25). The Council says that this happened “not without a divine plan”: by “suffering deeply with her only-begotten Son and joining herself with her maternal spirit to his sacrifice, lovingly consenting to the immolation of the victim to whom she had given birth,” in this way Mary “faithfully preserved her union with her Son even to the Cross.” It is a union through faith- the same faith with which she had received the angel’s revelation at the Annunciation.”

Follow the instructions

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The breadth of Adams’s reading and the number and variety of his connections
are reflected in the unusually wide range of references in the Education. It would
be impractical to gloss every item here, but the notes that follow identify the
major (and sometimes the minor) figures and events that play a central role in
Adams’s account. A useful adjunct to the present edition is that edited by Ernest
Samuels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973.

5 Editor’s Preface: written by Henry Adams; found in a sealed packet con-
taining a corrected copy of the privately printed 1907 edition with the ini-
tials ‘H.C.L.’ added to the preface with the puzzled approval of Senator
Henry Cabot Lodge, who was instructed by Adams in a letter of 1916 to
publish a posthumous edition. Lodge, a friend and former student of
Adams’s at Harvard, was also president of the Massachusetts Historical
Society in whom Adams had vested the copyright.

“Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres”: Adams’s study of Gothic architecture,
published in 1904. Adams is here rationalizing the composition of the
Education; however, it grew out of Mont-Saint-Michel and was not planned
simultaneously with it.

St. Augustine’s “Confessions”: Adams believed that St Augustine’s
Confessions (397–401) was his chief literary model. To William James on 17
February 1908 he wrote that among autobiographies, ‘I think St.
Augustine alone has an idea of literary form—a notion of writing a story
with an end and an object, not for the sake of the object, but for the form,
like a romance’ (Lett. vi. 119–20).

6 “A Letter to American Teachers”: a short book by Adams focusing on the
second law of thermodynamics and entropy as applied to history.

severe illness: Adams suffered a stroke on 24 April 1912 which left him par-
tially paralysed for several months. On his recovery he continued his ex-
tensive correspondence and undertook new research on the medieval
chanson. He wrote no more for publication, however.

1914: World War I began on 28 June 1914 when Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian
Serb, shot and killed Archduke Ferdinand of Austro-Hungary in Sarajevo.
By 3 August 1914 Germany declared war on France and the next day
German troops entered Belgium. 1914 seemed to confirm Adams’s most
pessimistic predictions. The war ended on 11 November 1918.

Henry Cabot Lodge: Adams affixed Lodge’s name to the preface as well as
the date, September 1918. Adams had written the preface in 1916, as he ex-
plained in a letter to Lodge dated 1 March 1916. Lodge had read the pre-
face and assented to the attachment of his name. He also respected Adams’s
wish to exclude any illustrations, especially portraits.

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

7 Jean Jacques Rousseau . . . ‘I was a better man!’ ”: Rousseau’s Confessions ap-
peared 1764–70. The translation appears to be Adams’s own.

Benjamin Franklin: (1706–90), American statesman, inventor, author,
printer, and scientist. His unfinished Autobiography, much admired for its
literary style and moral inspiration, was begun in 1771 and first published
in its entirety in 1868.

misfit of the clothes: use of the mannequin and image of the tailor recalls the
‘clothes philosophy’ of Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus, a favourite text of
Adams’s in his youth. Also see Ch. XXVII of the Education.

8 February 16, 1907: the date of Adams’s sixty-ninth birthday, suggesting
that he might have intended the book as a kind of birthday message to his
friends. A similarly symbolic date appears in the preface to his Letter to
American Teachers of History in 1910 on the occasion of his seventy-second
birthday.

9 John Hancock: (1737–93), the first signatory to the Declaration of
Independence and the first governor of the state of Massachusetts.

Beacon Hill: location of the State Capitol and the symbolic centre of old
Boston; State Street was the financial centre of the city.

troglodytic: characteristic of cave-dweller, especially of prehistoric times.

John Adams: second president of the United States and the great-grand-
father of Henry Adams, John Adams (1735–1826) returned from London
in 1789 after four years’ service as American minister to England. He had
earlier served in France, helping to negotiate the Treaty of Paris ending the
Revolutionary War. He was elected president in 1797 after serving as
Washington’s vice-president. When president, he appointed his son, John
Quincy Adams, minister to Berlin. After his defeat as president by Thomas
Jefferson in 1801, he returned to Washington as a congressman.

10 Gargantua-Napoleon-Bismarck: Gargantua: the giant in Rabelais’s comic
masterpiece Gargantua et Pantagruel (1552). Napoleon: (1769–1821),
Corsican-born graduate of the École Militaire; conqueror of Austria,
Piedmont, and Egypt who returned to France in 1799 to lead a coup and
declare himself first consul; crowned emperor in 1804 in Notre Dame
Cathedral. Reversals on several military fronts and a failing alliance led to
his exile in 1813 to Elba, from which he later escaped and returned to
France in 1815, forcing Louis XVIII to flee to Holland. He was defeated,
however, by Wellington at Waterloo on 18 June 1815 and later exiled to the
island of St Helena, where he died. Bismarck: (1815–98), Count Otto von
Bismarck, often called ‘the Iron Chancellor’, was first a Prussian legislator
who in 1859 was minister to St Petersburg and then Paris. He became
prime minister under Wilhelm I of Prussia; his expansionist military policy
led to the defeat of Denmark and then Austria and the reorganization of
Germany under Prussian leadership. He provoked the Franco-Prussian
War (1870–1), leading to the defeat of Napoleon III and Bismarck’s ap-
pointment as chancellor of the new German empire. Although he shaped

422 Explanatory Notes

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

imperial Germany at the end of the nineteenth century, a conflict with the
new German emperor, Wilhelm II, caused his resignation of the chancel-
lorship in 1890.

Notre Dame: leading Gothic cathedral of Paris located on the Île de la Cité,
built on the ruins of two earlier churches, predated by a Gallo-Roman tem-
ple dedicated to Jupiter. The foundation stone was laid in 1163 and the altar
consecrated in 1189; the western façade was completed in 1250, the date
also for the finished twin Gothic towers. The spire was added during nine-
teenth-century renovations. The three great rose windows date from the
thirteenth century.

Boston and Albany Railroad: the railway was extended from Boston to
Quincy in 1846.

11 his brothers: Henry Adams was the third of five brothers (there were also
two sisters): John Quincy (1833–94); Charles Francis (1835–1915); Henry
Brooks (1838–1918); Arthur (1841–46); Brooks (1848–1927). His sisters
were Louisa Catherine (1831–70) and Mary (1846–1928).

12 Cromwellian: Political references are to the struggles of the colony against
the British Crown and the short-lived dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell, the
English Puritan leader.

greatest grandmother: Edith Squires married the first Henry Adams in
England before emigrating to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1633.

14 Adams grandfather . . . Brooks grandfather: Adams grandfather: John Quincy
Adams (1767–1848), sixth president of the United States, who resided on
a 7-acre tract in Quincy, Massachusetts, 7 miles south of Boston and bor-
dering on the sea. The land was purchased by John Adams in 1787. In 1817
John Quincy Adams returned to the USA after helping to negotiate the
Treaty of Ghent in 1814 and then serving as minister to England. He was
elected president in 1825 and served until 1829. Brooks grandfather: reput-
edly the wealthiest man in New England, Peter Chardon Brooks (1767–
1849) made his fortune as a merchant and then turned to real estate, repre-
senting to his grandson Henry the power and influence of commerce in
Boston.

15 both died in 1848: Adams is incorrect: Peter Chardon Brooks died on 1
January 1849 as he notes at the opening of Ch. II.

17 President Polk: President James Polk’s support of the annexation of Texas
as a slave state angered John Quincy Adams, who objected to the Southern
expansionist policy. Polk was president from 1845 to 1849.

19 President Quincy: Josiah Quincy (1772–1864), president of Harvard
College from 1829 to 1845, was actually only five years younger than John
Quincy Adams, not ten as Henry Adams writes.

The Madam: Louisa Catherine Adams, wife of President John Quincy
Adams. Henry Adams worked on her voluminous memoirs in 1869 with
the thought of their publication. He discontinued the editing when he was
appointed to Harvard to teach in 1870.

Explanatory Notes 423

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

20 Romney portrait: George Romney (1734–1802) was a favourite painter of
the British aristocracy. His portraits of women were especially flattering.

Abigail: Abigail Smith Adams (1744–1818), an early American advocate of
rights for women and wife of John Adams, second President of the United
States. Her letters were edited in two volumes by her grandson, Charles
Francis Adams, Henry Adams’s father.

21 Federalist Party: Federalist president John Adams was defeated for re-
election by Thomas Jefferson in 1801. John Quincy Adams, the president’s
son, was then minister to Berlin, but was recalled home after his father’s
defeat.

Cent Jours: the ‘hundred days’ from 20 March 1815 to 28 June 1815 was the
period of Napoleon’s return to power in France after his exile on the island
of Elba. He was defeated at Waterloo on 18 June 1815.

Court of the Regent: the Prince of Wales (1762–1830) ruled as prince regent
for nine years after his father, George III (1738–1820), became ill in 1811.
On his father’s death in 1820, he became George IV.

back to Congress in 1833: The date is wrong, indicating Adams’s occasional
inaccuracy. John Quincy Adams was elected in 1830 to the 22nd Congress
and took his seat in 1831.

22 the battle of Bunker Hill: the bloodiest engagement of the entire American
Revolution. It took place on 17 June 1775 and was actually fought not on
Bunker Hill but on nearby Breed’s Hill.

hurt himself: John Quincy Adams suffered a slight stroke on 20 November
1846. He was back in his seat in Congress, however, by 12 February 1847.
He had a second stroke on the floor of the House of Representatives on 21
February 1848 and died on the 23rd.

Dr. Parkman: Dr George Parkman (1790–1849), prominent Bostonian who
donated the site of the Harvard Medical College.

P. P. F. Degrand: (d. 1855), originally a Philadelphia banker.
23 Stuart portraits: Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828), American portrait painter ac-

claimed for his portrait of George Washington. Studied in London under
Benjamin West. He also did portraits of John Adams and John Quincy
Adams.

Dr. Lunt: Revd William Parsons Lunt (1805–57) delivered the funeral ora-
tion at the commemorative services for John Quincy Adams on 11 March
1848.

Buckminster: John Stevens Buckminster (1784–1812), one of the first
Unitarian ministers in Boston and important contributor to biblical
scholarship in the United States.

Channing: William Ellery Channing (1740–1842), the most influential
spokesman of the Unitarian movement.

Faneuil Hall: Boston gathering-place for patriotic meetings before the
Revolution, known as ‘the cradle of liberty’.

424 Explanatory Notes

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

Edward Everett: (1794–1865), brother-in-law of Henry Adams’s mother
and a famous Unitarian preacher and congressman, minister to England,
and president of Harvard from 1846 to 1849.

Sam Adams’s father: (1689–1748), a first cousin of President John Adams’s
father, John Adams (1691–1761). Consequently, Sam Adams was a second
cousin of President John Adams.

State Street: the financial centre of Boston and chief support of the most
conservative elements in the Federalist party.

25 Andrew Jackson: President of the United States from 1829 to 1837, Jackson
defeated John Quincy Adams in a notorious campaign. Earlier, in the elec-
tion of 1824, Jackson won the larger popular vote but lost out to Adams in
the electoral college.

26 Quincy: the ancestral home of the Adamses which symbolized the political
ideals of the family, including a strong moral opposition to the pro-slavery
views of the conservative leaders of the State Street financial district.

Mr. Webster: Daniel Webster (1782–1852), senator from Massachusetts
after 1827 who in 1834, with Henry Clay, formed the Whig party out of
Republican followers of John Quincy Adams and the Democrats opposed
to Jackson’s abolition of the National Bank.

Mr. Seward: William Henry Seward (1801–72), senator from New York
known for his strong anti-slavery attitude who nevertheless supported the
Whig compromise candidates in 1848 and 1852. By 1860 Seward had be-
come the leader of the new Republican party.

27 a fair parallel: In 1776 John Adams declared his support with the American
Revolutionists against England.

29 Dr. Palfrey . . . O. W. Holmes: Dr. Palfrey: (1796–1881), family friend of the
Adamses who was also a congressman and historian. As editor of the North
American Review, he encouraged Henry Adams to write his first article for
the quarterly. President Walker: John Walker (1794–1874) was professor of
religion and after 1853, president of Harvard. R. W. Emerson: Ralph Waldo
Emerson (1803–82), foremost New England poet and essayist born in
Boston, educated at Harvard; in 1829 became pastor of a Unitarian church
in Boston but had to resign because of his controversial views. In 1833 trav-
elled to Europe where he met and befriended Thomas Carlyle; became the
leading spokesperson of the Transcendental movement. In his Journals he
criticized John Quincy Adams as ‘a bruiser [who] loves a melee . . . He is an
old roué who cannot live on slops, but must have sulphuric acid in his tea.’
Journals, ed. William H. Gilman and J. E. Parsons (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard Univ. Press, 1970), viii. 339. Boston ministers: All of these clergy-
men were influential in the growth of Unitarianism between 1800 and
1835. The first Unitarian congregation in the USA was established in 1782
at King’s Chapel, Boston. Theodore Parker: (1810–60), founded the Con-
gregational Society of Boston where he celebrated Transcendentalism, as
well as radical social and political reform. Brook Farm: From 1841 to 1847

Explanatory Notes 425

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

an experiment in cooperative community living near West Roxbury,
Massachusetts. philosophy of Concord: The philosophic and literary move-
ment which flourished from approximately 1836 to 1860 in Concord under
the leadership of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ticknor: George Ticknor (1791–
1871), the first Smith Professor of French and Spanish at Harvard and au-
thor of a massive history of Spanish literature. Prescott: William Hickling
Prescott (1796–1859), historian of the conquest of Mexico and Peru. Long-
fellow: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82), author of Hiawatha
(1855) and the most popular American poet of the nineteenth century.
Born in Maine and educated at Bowdoin College, he developed his skill as
a translator; accepted post at Harvard after study in Europe. ‘Paul Revere’s
Ride’ appeared in an 1863 collection, Tales of a Wayside Inn. Motley: John
Lothrop Motley (1814–77), Boston-born historian and author of The Rise
of the Dutch Republic, was also minister to Austria and England. He suc-
ceeded Charles Francis Adams as minister to England in 1869. President
Ulysses S. Grant recalled Motley from London in July 1870; failing to re-
sign, however, Motley was dismissed in December. Adams made use of this
incident in his anonymously published novel, Democracy (1880), in his por-
trayal of Nathan Gore. O. W. Holmes: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–94),
leading Boston literary figure as poet and novelist, author of Autocrat at
the Breakfast Table (1858) and father of Justice Holmes (see n. to p. 51,
below).

29 Mr. Winthrop: Robert Charles Winthrop (1804–94), descendant of the first
governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, was appointed senator to succeed
Daniel Webster when he became secretary of state. Defeated by Charles
Sumner in 1851.

Mr. Garrison: William Lloyd Garrison (1805–79), vitriolic editor of the
abolitionist paper the Liberator who attacked the constitution as a slave-
holder’s document and advocated a division of the Union.

30 Mr. Wendell Phillips: (1811–84), prominent Boston abolitionist and sup-
porter of Garrison.

Mr. Edmund Quincy: (1808–77), reformer and author closely associated
with Garrison and frequent contributor to anti-slavery publications.

set up a party of his own: ironic since Charles Francis Adams did not estab-
lish the Free Soil party, although he played an important role in its organ-
ization.

three: . . . Charles Sumner: Dr. John G. Palfrey: see note to p. 29 above.
Richard H. Dana: (1815–82), Boston lawyer and author of Two Years Before
the Mast, also active in Free Soil politics and defender of fugitive slaves.
Charles Sumner: (1811–74), elected to US Senate on Free Soil ticket and
the eloquent leader of New England opposition to ‘Slave Power’. He be-
came active in the impeachment proceedings against President Johnson.

William M. Evarts: (1818–1901), Boston-born New York lawyer active in
Republican politics who failed to win election to the Senate in 1861 but
later served as attorney general for a period in 1869 and then as secretary of

426 Explanatory Notes

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

state from 1877 to 1881. Henry Adams became a close friend when Evarts
was sent to London in 1863 to serve as legal adviser to Adams’s father, the
minister.

Edmund Burke: (1729–97), Dublin-born English statesman and political
philosopher whose 1775 speech on conciliation with the American colonies
made him a well-known name in the United States. Author of Philosophical
Inquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful (1756), which established the founda-
tion of aesthetics in England, and the influential Reflections on the French
Revolution (1790), popular throughout Europe. Adams owned a nine-
volume set of his work.

31 Beacon Street: centre of fashionable Boston running down Beacon Hill
from the State House.

Russell: George R. Russell (1816–90), Free Soil leader and aspirant for
Congress who withdrew from the race of 1858 to allow the nomination of
Henry Adams’s father.

Mr. Lodge: John Ellerton Lodge (1807–62), Boston merchant and father of
Henry Cabot Lodge.

32 newspaper: the Boston Daily Whig began publication six months before
Henry Adams’s father became editor and one of the owners.

“Works”: Works of John Adams (10 vols., Boston, 1850–6), ed. Charles
Francis Adams, who also wrote the Life contained in vol. 1.
Novanglus and Massachusettensis: pseudonym with which John Adams
signed his controversial articles in the Boston Gazette replying to the loyal-
ist essays signed ‘Massachusettensis’.

Ciceronian: the reference is to Cicero’s De Republica, a dialogue on the best
form of government.

Peter Harvey: (1810–77), Whig politician. The other contributors repres-
ented wealthy Bostonian families. See note p. 46.

33 Louis Philippe . . . Carlyle: Louis Philippe: (1773–1850), king of France
1830–48, a liberal monarch. Guizot. François Guizot (1787–1874), his-
torian and first minister of France who opposed parliamentary reform. de
Tocqueville: Count Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59), French historian and
political scientist; author of Democracy in America (2 vols., 1835–40), the
result of his 1831 visit to America initially to study the prison system; fo-
cused on the success of the democratic experiment so that France might be
better prepared for the transition to democracy. Robert Peel: (1788–1850),
British statesman and Tory prime minister from 1834–5, 1841–6. Was sec-
retary for Ireland (1812–18), then home secretary (1822–7, 1828–30), car-
rying through Catholic Emancipation Act. Also reorganized the London
police force. Macaulay: Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–59), historian
best known for his History of the Roman Empire and History of England.
Member of parliament who supported the reform bill for extending the
vote. John Stuart Mill: (1806–73), empiricist philosopher, social reformer
and economist, remembered as the author of On Liberty (1859), and his

Explanatory Notes 427

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

Autobiography (1873), as well as political essays and studies of political
economy. Carlyle: Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), author of Sartor Resartus,
which argued for the spiritual regeneration of society, and Heroes and Hero-
Worship. He was an early hero for Adams, who owned a number of his books
including The French Revolution, Past and Present, and Sartor Resartus. The
last of these echoes throughout the Education.

33 Karl Marx: (1818–83), German-born founder of communism who studied
law, history, and philosophy in Bonn and Berlin; author of the Communist
Manifesto (1848); settled in London in 1849 where he studied economics.
His major work, Das Kapital, appeared in 1867 as an extended critique of
the capitalist system.

“Were half the power . . . no need of arsenals or forts”: Longfellow, ‘The Arsenal
at Springfield’, published in Belfry of Bruges and Other Poems in 1845.

34 Octavius Frothingham: (1822–95), a Unitarian minister who later became an
independent clergyman and author of Transcendentalism in New England.

35 “Hosea Biglow”: protagonist of James Russell Lowell’s Biglow Papers (first
series 1847), whose rhymed ‘Epistles’ satirized the war with Mexico and
the evils of slavery.

37 yellow-legs: American shore-birds.

40 brother Charles: Charles Francis Adams, jun. (1835–1915), attended the
Boston Latin School and went on to Harvard and then read law. He fought
in the Civil War, becoming a colonel of the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry, a
black regiment. After the war he married; following a lengthy European
honeymoon, he returned to develop a specialty in railroads and their re-
form. By 1869 he was appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Railroad
Commissioners, becoming chair in 1872. Within six years, he became chair
of government directors of the Union Pacific Railroad and by 1884, presid-
ent of the railroad. Within six and a half years, his railroad career ended as
the company faced financial crises. Adams, however, remained an investor
and speculator, making enormous fortunes in real estate, largely bought in
Kansas City. He developed a strong interest in history and became the first
president of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the author of several
minor histories of Massachusetts communities. His biography of his father
appeared in 1900; his autobiography in 1916.

Henry Higginson: (1834–1919), became a leading Boston financier and
philanthropist; founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1881.

41 Turenne: (1611–75), a noted soldier who fought under Richelieu and
Mazarin and in 1660 became marshal general of France.

Henri IV: (1553–1610), King of Navarre, became King of France in 1589
and did much to reconcile Catholic and Protestant factions. He was assas-
sinated in 1610.

Fugitive Slave Law: Passed as part of the Compromise of 1850, the law pro-
vided for exclusive federal jurisdiction over runaway slaves. The day after

428 Explanatory Notes

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

its passage, the young Henry Adams witnessed a Boston mob trying to save
a runaway slave; they failed and he was taken to the wharf by a battalion of
US soldiers. The crowd was held back by the state militia.

Stamp Act: This stamp tax of 1765 required revenue stamps to be attached
to all documents and newspapers and was the first act of parliament to tax
American commodities directly for revenue purposes. It became one of the
major American grievances leading to the American Revolution.

Tea Tax: This levied an import duty on tea and led to the Boston Tea Party
of 1773 when demonstrators, disguised as Indians, dumped three tea car-
goes into the harbour.

Boston Massacre: occurred on 5 March 1770 when British soldiers fired on
a mob, killing four and wounding others. Captain Preston and the soldiers
were charged with murder. John Adams was asked to defend them and ob-
tained an acquittal from the jury. These episodes helped to precipitate the
American Revolution.

42 unfinished square marble shaft: the Washington monument, begun in 1848
but not completed until 1884.

43 Johnson blood: Refers to Louisa Catherine Johnson (1775–1852), who mar-
ried John Quincy Adams. She was Henry Adams’s grandmother.

Clay: Henry Clay (1772–1852), Virginia-born statesman who moved to
Kentucky, a leading figure in the passage of the Missouri Compromise of
1820 and the Compromise of 1850. A moderate on the slavery issue and re-
membered for his remark, ‘I had rather be right than be President.’

Calhoun: John Caldwell Calhoun (1782–1850), South Carolina statesman
who served as vice-president under President John Quincy Adams and a
leading political philosopher for the Southern states. Advocated dual sov-
ereignty. Adams’s recollection is wrong: Calhoun died late in March, two
months before Adams arrived in Washington.

Conklinian: Roscoe Conkling (1829–88), a senator from New York and a
Republican machine politician, flamboyant in manner and an eloquent
speaker, who was disliked by Adams for his opposition to civil-service re-
form. Later, one of the sources of Adams’s satire of Senator Ratcliffe in his
successful 1880 novel, Democracy.

44 President Taylor: Zachary Taylor (1784–1850), visited by Henry Adams
and his father on 4 June 1850, one month before the president’s death.
Confirming the account of the shabby condition of the White House is the
diary of Charles Francis Adams, Henry Adams’s father.

Free Soil Party: the Free Soil ticket of Martin van Buren and Charles
Francis Adams did not win a single state but their candidacies split the
Democratic ticket in New York, giving the state’s electoral vote to the Whig
candidate, General Zachary Taylor.

Nathaniel Gorham: (1738–96), president of the Continental congress, 1786
and the grandfather of Henry Adams’s mother on her mother’s side.

Explanatory Notes 429

Adams, H. (2009). The education of henry adams : Education of henry adams. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 13:56:59.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

44 Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Virginia estate, which has become a
national monument; Adams used it fictionally in his 1880 novel, Demo-
cracy.

45 John Marshall: (1755–1835), chief justice of the Supreme Court, 1801–35,
who fashioned its role in interpreting the constitution and established the
doctrine of judicial review.

46 Peter Harvey: (1810–77), a wealthy Boston merchant who served in both
houses of the Massachusetts legislature and was a close friend of Daniel
Webster.

Thurlow Weed: (1797–1882), publisher of the Albany Journal, 1830–63, be-
coming one of the most influential anti-slavery editors and politicians in
the Northeast.

Henry Wilson . . . Anson Burlingame: Henry Wilson: (1812–75), abolitionist
and US senator from Massachusetts; vice-president (1873–5), during
Grant’s second term. John B. Alley: (1817–96), congressman from
Massachusetts, 1859–67. Anson Burlingame: (1820–70), congressman from
Massachusetts, 1855–61, minister to China, 1861–7.

George S. Boutwell: (1818–1905), governor of Massachusetts, 1851–2, then
secretary of the treasury under Grant, 1869–73.

47 Tammany Hall: Tammany societies (named for a Delaware Indian chief
who supposedly welcomed William Penn) were patriotic societies that
flourished during the American Revolution. Only the New York society
lasted, with headquarters at Tammany Hall. It influenced the Democratic
party and represented party machinery and political corruption.

Caleb Cushing: (1800–79), first a Whig then a Democrat, who was later
nominated by Grant to become chief justice; his previous record prevented
his confirmation, however.

50 no one took Harvard College seriously: the Adamses consistently criticized
the intellectual life of Harvard College, although one of them usually
served on the examining committees or Board of Overseers.

51 Alexander Agassiz: (1835–1910), son of the great Swiss geologist who
taught at Harvard, later a successful geologist and mining engineer and
author of Coral Reefs of the Tropical Pacific (1903).

Phillips Brooks: (1835

Follow the instructions

Wild air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,
That each eyelash or hair
Girdles; goes home betwixt
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed
Snowflake; that’s fairly mixed
With, riddles, and is rife
In every least thing’s life;
This needful, never spent,
And nursing element;
My more than meat and drink,
My meal at every wink;
This air, which, by life’s law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race—
Mary Immaculate,
Merely a woman, yet
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess’s
Was deemèd, dreamèd; who

The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe

 T H A T N A T U R E I S A H E R A C L I T E A N F I …  T H E C A G E D S K Y L A R K 

denisedupont
Highlight
denisedupont
Highlight
denisedupont
Highlight

This one work has to do—
Let all God’s glory through,
God’s glory which would go
Through her and from her flow
Off, and no way but so.

I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe,
Since God has let dispense
Her prayers his providence:
Nay, more than almoner,
The sweet alms’ self is her
And men are meant to share
Her life as life does air.

If I have understood,
She holds high motherhood
Towards all our ghostly good
And plays in grace her part
About man’s beating heart,
Laying, like air’s fine flood,
The deathdance in his blood;
Yet no part but what will
Be Christ our Saviour still.
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him morning noon and eve;

denisedupont
Highlight
denisedupont
Highlight

Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn

Bethlem or Nazareth,
Men here may draw like breath
More Christ and baffle death;
Who, born so, comes to be
New self and nobler me
In each one and each one
More makes, when all is done,
Both God’s and Mary’s Son.

Again, look overhead
How air is azurèd;
O how! nay do but stand
Where you can lift your hand
Skywards: rich, rich it laps
Round the four fingergaps.
Yet such a sapphire-shot,
Charged, steepèd sky will not
Stain light.   Yea, mark you this:
It does no prejudice.
The glass-blue days are those
When every colour glows,
Each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it: this blue heaven
The seven or seven times seven
Hued sunbeam will transmit
Perfect, not alter it.
Or if there does some soft,
On things aloof, aloft,
Bloom breathe, that one breath more
Earth is the fairer for.
Whereas did air not make
This bath of blue and slake
Hi fi th ld h k

His fire, the sun would shake,
A blear and blinding ball
With blackness bound, and all

The thick stars round him roll
Flashing like flecks of coal,
Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt,
In grimy vasty vault.
So God was god of old:
A mother came to mould
Those limbs like ours which are
What must make our daystar
Much dearer to mankind;
Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man’s mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
And her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our sight.

Be thou then, thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
To wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round me lie
Fronting my froward eye
With sweet and scarless sky;
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God’s love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.

Study Guide
Print this poem

denisedupont
Highlight

Follow the instructions

MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE Our Lady’s Lawsuits in

TEXTS AND STUDIES
I.:Advocacie Nostre Dame

(Our Lady’s Advocacy) VOLUME 393
and

La Chapelerie Nostre Dame de Baiex

(The Benefice ofOur Lady’s· Chapel in Bayeux)

”Avocat en ciel et en terre”

Judith M. Davis and F.R.P. Akehurst

Translators

Based on the Text Edited by Girard Gros

ACMRS

(Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)

Tempe, Arizona

)'()11

Published by ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)

Tempe, Arizona

© 2011 Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University.

All Rights Reserved.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Our lady’s lawsuits in l’Advocacie nostre dame (Our lady’s advocacy) ; and, La

chapelerie nostre dame de Baiex (The benefice of our lady’s chapel in Bayeux)

I Judith M. Davis and F.R.P. Akehurst, translators; based on the text edited by

Gerard Gros.

p. cm. — (Medieval and Renaissance texts and studies; v. 393)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-0-86698-441-6 (alk. paper)

1. French literature–To 1500–Translations into English. 2. Mary, Blessed
Virgin, Saint–Legends. 1. Davis,Judith M . (Judith Mary) II. Akehurst, F. R. P.
TTL eros, Gerard. IV. Advocacie Nostre Dame. English. V. Chapelerie Nostre­
name de Baiex. English.

PQJ :;02.E5087 2011
l3-1] ‘. JO<)·-uc22

2011007174

Cover Image
Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, MS fr. 1103, f. 4Ov.
Published with the permission ofBibliotheque Nationale de France.

This book is made to last. It is set in Adobe Caslon Pro,
smyth-sewn and printed on acid-free paper to library specifications.
Printed in the United Stales ofAmcl’ica

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prefoce

Ilcknowledgements

Introduction to the Works

Dates and Authorship

Manuscripts

Editions

The Advocacie:

Genres, Audiences, Theological and Religious Contexts,

Sources, Legal Procedure

The Chapelerie:

Genres, Audience, Sources, Theological and Religious

Contexts, Historical Context, Legal Procedure

Translators’ Comments

1.’Ildvocacie Nostre DamelOur Lady’s Advocacy

Notes

I.a Chapelerie Nostre Dame de BaiexlThe Benefice ofOur Lady’s Chapel
ill Bayeux

Notes

1\ ihliography

VII

IX

Xl

Xlll

xv

XIX

XXI

XXXlll

XXXVlll

1

121

133

177

185

00

INTRODUCTION

Much French religious literature of the fourteenth century strikes a doleful note
of melancholy in that “calamitous” era of plague and warfare. Two Anglo-Nor­
luan narrative poems, however, stand out as exceptions: 1:Advocacie N ostre Dame
(Our Lady’s Advocacy) and its companion piece, La Chapelerie de Baiex (The Ben­
‘lice ofOur Lady’s Chapel in Bayeux). The Advocacie offers a sophisticated and dra­
Illatic rendering of theological debates about the nature of the Fall and Redemp­
(ion, emphasizing the role of the Virgin Mary in the economy of salvation. The
( :hapelerie offers an exceptional and critical insight into the contemporary strug­
~lc between church and crown over control of ecclesiastical revenues, highlight­
illg the putative role of the Virgin in preserving for the bishop the income from
(lie benefice of the church that bears her name. Written in octosyllabic rhyming
co uplets, the two works operate within a legal framework, treating a variety of
i ~ sues and procedures governed by both civil and canon law.

The importance of the Advocacie lies in its status as the first French ver­
1l:l <.: ular interpretation of an ancient theme: Satan making his claim to human
louIs before a heavenly court. The subject of this narrative is a trial in a court of
law where Jesus is judge; Satan is attorney on behalf of the plaintiffs, denizens
of Hell; and Mary acts as advocate for the defense. Satan seeks justice from the
,’ourt for having been deprived of the right to his share of souls, won by Hell­
lind lost to God – as he claims, through the sin of Adam and Eve. After Jesus
I ehuffs his attempt to bring a criminal suit against the human race, Satan pres­
(“1l tS a power of attorney from Hell which authorizes him to proceed in a civil
11I lit;Jesus finds it to be without error, accepts it, and sets the court date for Good
li’riday.

In a council of Heaven parallel to the council of Hell that gave Satan his
I’n:dentials as attorney, Mary accepts the role of advocate for the defense. The
Virgin asks God to deny the Devil’s claim, and although Satan is expert in canon
ilrld eivillaw, Mary proves to be an effective defense counsel. When Satan insists
1hat he must be restored to peaceful possession of the souls he previously held
hy right of adverse possession, Mary responds that Satan never had good title to
[host: souls but possessecl them in bad faith. A frustrated Satan then resorts to
divin e law, citing the Ge nesis (‘ale of the Fall; Mary counters that since he was
(h e t:au ~1O of’that Fall rha( argum ent should fail, otherwise Satan would benefit
1’1’ 0111 hi~; fraud.

xu Introduction

To make her case during her juridical battle with Satan, the Virgin cites cus­
tomary law and Roman law as well as canon law and papal decretals. For more
than half the proceedings, she conducts herself in the character of a highly ca­
pable advocate, although this competence includes ad hominem attacks on her
opponent. She vilifies Satan, frustrates his legal maneuverings, and presents her
case eloquently and forcefully. When her adversary persists, however, she throws
herself down before Jesus, appealing to him in a dramatically emotional pleading.
With the encouragement of her divine Son, she resumes her previous mode of re­
futing Satan’s arguments, stating that Christ’s death on the cross outweighed the
world’s sin, and that when humans repent, God extends mercy. She makes a final
tearful appeal to Jesus, after which there is no doubt of the outcome. Jesus deliv­
ers the verdict that all humans who have repented and confessed will be admitted
to Paradise. God the Father and the Holy Spirit concur. The Devil is beaten; the
court spectators rejoice and the affair ends with a resounding Salve Regina.

Like the Advocacie, the Chape/erie concerns opposing claims of title and pos­
session, this time involving two different bishops ofBayeux, Pierre de Benais and
Guillaume de Trie, who succeeded Pierre in office, and representatives of two
kings: Philip IV (reigned 1285-1314) for the first lawsuit and Philip V (reigned
1316-1322) for the second. At issue in this shorter work is the benefice or “living”
from the Virgin Mary’s chapel in Bayeux. The king’s men argue that the income
of the benefice derives from the chapel situated on the king’s property, his castle.
The bishops allege a two-hundred-year-old right to the income based on a char­
ter from William the Conqueror (reigned 1066-1087) granting the benefice to
their predecessor, his half-brother Odo, bishop ofBayeux.

The first case recounted in the Chape/erie is an appeal from the local author­
ity to the king’s Treasury, a court comparable to the Court of the Exchequer in
English law. Bishop Pierre represents his own interests and a prosecutor, Lau­
rent Herout, advances those of the crown. The bishop expresses publicly his wish
for the chastisement of anyone who would deprive Our Lady of her due; Herout
mocks him and is struck dead as soon as he returns to his townhouse. Inter­
preted as a sign of the Virgin’s punishment, Herout’s death inspires general pity
and fear. The officers of the Treasury Court, especially, find it prudent to render
a verdict in favor of the bishop.

Some time later, the king overrides the first verdict at the instigation of his
courtier, Adam d’Orleans, and bestows the benefice by fiat on a cleric named
Pierre l’Archier. Bishop Guillaume de Trie takes the lawsuit to the king’s court
at Paris and there demands to be put back in possession of Our Lady’s benefice.
In Paris, even before the two sides begin their pleadings, Bishop Guillaume asks
the Virgin Mary to expedite her case and demands how she can let enemies of
her Church live. His malediction takes effect. Adam d’Orleans becomes vio­
lently ill and dies after learning that the king’s court has rendered a judgment
in favor of Our Lady and her bishop. The real sentence in this case, however, is
pronounced by the author, who declares that both Herout and Adam deserved to

!lltroduction xm

die – spiritually as well as bodily – for daring to oppose the Virgin: she is the
advocate on earth as well as in heaven of all those who call upon her.

Of the two works, the Advocacie is by far the more entertaining and complex.
It refers with equal ease to canon and civil law, Marian legends, books of the Old
and New Testaments, and theological commentaries ranging from the fourth
l’Iuough the thirteenth centuries. The author combines elements of a courtroom
drama and a homiletic exegesis on the Atonement with an account of the Vir­
gin Mary’s miraculous mediation. Multigeneric and multivalent, the Advocacie
challenges modern readers esthetically and intellectually. In the Chape/erie, on
rhe other hand, the author refers to historically verifiable persons and lawsuits
conducted in both the regional court of Bayeux and the king’s court at Paris,
comparing the malefactors in his tale to New Testament evildoers but providing
little embellishment to his narrative. This work has more in common with Mar­
ian tales of the previous century – especially those that deal with Mary’s pun­
ishment of those who thwart her will- than with more erudite genres. Given its
mixture of history and legend, it may be classified as a miracle it clef

Dates and Authorship

We can be reasonably certain that both works were written between 1321 and
1124. Editors and historians alike have cited evidence of the two lawsuits that pit­
I(;d the bishops of Bayeux against representatives of the French king. The author
oC the Chape/erie, who identifies himself as an eyewitness to the second suit, states
ill line 675 that the verdict was rendered in 1321. The bishop involved in that ac­
I’ion was Guillaume de Trie, who held the bishopric until 1324. Most scholars
hdieve that both the Advocacie and the Chape/erie were written within that three­
year period, although it is possible that the Advocacie was written earlier. 1

There is good evidence and critical opinion that a single author wrote both
works. Gaston Raynaud stated that the two were “inseparable” and that the
Chape/erie was a “personal work” of the “translator who had put the Advocacie into

1 Gerard Gros, “LAdvocacie Nostre Dame et la Chapelerie Nostre Dame de Baiex par
I’anonyme de Bayeux” (Ph.D. diss., University of Paris IV, 1980), 20. Alphonse Chas­
‘ia11t, who published extracts from the Advocacie, was among the first to date both works:
I .:lft/vocacie Notre Dame ou La Vierge Marie plaidant contre Ie Diable (Paris: Aubry, 1855),
x ,~i, For a fuller treatment of dates based on the events recounted in the Chapelerie, see
C harles LanglOis, “L’Anonyme de Bayeux, auteur de quatre poemes en frano;:ais,” in His­
/ 0 ;/'(‘ Littemin de la j”mnce (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1926),35:385-94, here 390-93.
S~C; abo Ga~toll Raynaud’s preface to Anatole de Montaiglon, I.;Advocacie Nostre-Dame
d I,d Chi/pdail’ NO,l’tn’ …[)utll(‘ tI(‘ Ra;l’x (Paris: Academie des Bibliophiles, 1869; preface
“I H()h), v v ii. ‘

Sylvester Tan
Sylvester Tan
Sylvester Tan

XV XlV Introduction

rhyme.”2 Anatole de Montaiglon numbered the lines of the two works consecu­
tively, treating them as one. Charles Langlois believed that both works, as well as
the two poems that preceded them in the only manuscript in which both appear,
were written by the same author. 3 Gerard Gros’s study oflanguage and versifica­
tion indicates a single author. 4 Gros also noted that the first line of the Chapelerie
represents a transition from and completion of the Advocacie, observing that the
Virgin demonstrates her power in both heavenly and earthly courts. 5 We believe
that these arguments in favor of a single author appear convincing.

Exact identification of the author has eluded scholars thus far. During the
nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, some attributed authorship of
both works to one Jehan or Jean de Justice. Alphonse Chassant based his attri­
bution on the opinion of Victor Pezet, a jurist who had published the text of the
Chapelerie in 1848. 6 In a later article, Pezet describedJehan de Justice (d. 1353) as
a canon of the cathedral of Bayeux and a lawyer in the parlement of Paris. 7 Gas­
ton Raynaud was uncertain about the authorship.8 Charles Langlois observed
that Jean de Justice was a cleric in the service of the king, and if indeed he had
witnessed the events of the trial that ended in 1321, he would have exercised his
influence to thwart rather than support the claims of the bishop.9 Gerard Gros
agrees with Langlois, as does A. -F. Labie-Leurquin. 10

Other scholars speculated that the Advocacie, in particular, was the work of
a pre-eminent fourteenth-century jurist, Bartolo da Sassoferrato, the putative
author of a “Satan’s lawsuit” entitled Tractatus quaestionis ventilatae coram D. Jesu

2 Raynaud, “Preface,” v-vi.
3 Langlois, “L’Anonyme,” 394. Langlois observed that the Advocacie and Chape/erie

were assigned one incipit or beginning line by Arthur U.ngfors, Les lncipit des poemes
franrais anterieurs au XV!’ siecle (Paris: Champion, 1917),389.

4 Gros, “L’Advocacie,” 27-36.
5 Gerard Gros, “L’Avocate et sa vocation: Etude sur la dramatisation d’une propriete

mariale dans rAdvocacie Nostre Dame,” in LeJeu theatral, ses marges, sesfrontieres: Actes de la
deuxieme rencontre sur l’ancien theatre europeen de 1997, ed. Jean-Pierre Bordier et al. (Paris:
Champion, 1999), 125-40, here 128-29.

6 Chassant, I.:Advocacie, x-xi. Pezet’s edition of the Chapelerie appeared in the Re­
cueil des travaux de la Societe libre d’agriculture, sciences et arts de I’Eure, 2′ serie, 8 (1847­
1848): 314-49.

7 V[ictor] Pezet, “Notice Explicative sur un poeme manuscrit du commencement du
XIV’ siecle, ayant pour titre: La Chapelle de Baiex,” Bulletin de la Societe d’agriculture, sci­
ences, arts et belles-lettres de Bayeux 5 (1850-1851): 103-49, here 144.

8 Raynaud, “Preface,” vi. He did admit the possibility that Jean de Justice could have
been the author, however.

9 Langlois, “L’Anonyme,” 393-94.
10 Gros, “L’Advocacie,” 21; Anne-Frans:oise Labie-Leurquin, “Jean de Justice,” in

Dictionnaire des lettresfranraises: Le moyen age, ed. Genevi~ve Hasenohr and Michel Zink
(Paris: Fayard, 1992), 794-95.

f71 troduction

(;’/Jristo inter Virginem Mariam, ex una parte, et diabolum, ex alia parte (“A Trea­
lise on the Qyestions Raised in the Court of Our Lord Jesus Christ between
Ihe Virgin Mary, the Party of the First Part, and the Devil, the Party of the
Second Part”), also known as the Processus Satanae contra Beatem Virginem coram
judice Jesu (“The Case of Satan vs. the Blessed Virgin in the Court of Jesus the
,1l1dge”)Y The dating of this work, which bears a very close resemblance to the
.!Idvocacie, has proved problematic. Ifindeed the TractatuslProcessus is the work of
Bartolo da Sassoferrato, it postdates the Advocacie, for Bartolo was born in 1313
or 1314 and the Advocacie was written between 1321 and 1324. If the Tractatusl
1’1″ocessus is not the work of Bartolo, it may predate the Advocacie – but it may
he based on or constitute an elaboration of earlier Latin works. It is also possible
,hat the Advocacie circulated in learned circles and later was adapted by and at­
Iributed to Bartolo; both the Advocacie and the TractatuslProcessus Satanae employ
protracted and technical legal arguments to explicate Church doctrines regard­
ing the Fall and Atonement within the framework of a court trial. The two works
probably had a common Latin source (see below).

The author of the Advocacie and the Chapelerie, then, remains anonymous.
I Ie was in all probability a canon lawyer attached to the episcopal court of Bay­
ellx. Highly educated, undoubtedly a cleric, master of multiple discourses, he was
wdl versed in both canonical Scripture and apocrypha; Roman, canon, and cus­
mrnary law; theological treatises covering a wide range of time and topics; and
Marian hymns and literature, including her miracles. The Chapelerie testifies to
II is familiarity with contemporary events as well as Marian tales. He was certain­
ly privy to knowledge about the events of the first lawsuit he describes and had
Ii rst-hand knowledge of the second, as he often reminds his audience. He may
well have been the cleric who accompanied Guillaume de Trie to Paris. 12

Manuscripts 13

()f the manuscripts described below, only one contains the Chape/erie. The suc­
(.·<.: S8 enjoyed by the Advocacie both during and after the era of its composition was
11.0 doubt due in part to the appeal of its “Maryvs. Satan” theme and in part to the

II Bartolo da Sassoferrato, Tractatus quaestionis ventilatae coram D. Iesu Christo inter
Vilg il1em Mariam, ex una parte, et diabolum, ex alia parte, in Opera, vol. 11 (Venice: Giun­
r.. , l5 flO-1581), 127-29.

I)’ Based on the author/narrator’s first-person observations in the Chapelerie,
~. ;r(J s considers it likely that he was the clerk of Bishop Guillaume de Trie of Bayeux
( ” 1 :!llivocacie,” 20, 249).

1:1 M anuscript descriptions appear in Gros, “L’Advocacie,” 5-11 and are translated
IWI’c. I. \'(,s adds allo tlwr fi-agJn(‘I’lt (,(Hlla jIll’d in Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale n. acq. fr.
(0 001 (Gild nf’iI\(‘ (‘(“)\)’ nf’II1I’ I(‘xl .1(‘1’:1<‘111’.1 ( [‘nlll iliI’ Dijon manuscript). See G. Gros, Le

Sylvester Tan
Sylvester Tan

xx Introduction

Bibliophiles. Mai 1869. In-12, viii-136 pages. 200 copies on Holland paper, 10
on Chinese paper. On the back of the book there is a tailpiece bearing the motto
“En apprenant mourant,” “Dying while learning,” Montaiglon’s motto. Another
series (a reprint of the entire book or perhaps only a change of cover) carries in
the same place a banderole bearing the motto, “Encore plus de lumiere,” “More
light” – 1866.

Montaiglon had prepared and printed the text in 1869 for the Academie des
Bibliophiles but wanted to collate his text with that of the Dijon manuscript. He
died in 1895 before completing his work; Gaston Raynaud directed the publica­
tion of the text the following year, adding a preface of his own.

Montaiglon’s edition is a considerable improvement over Chassant’s, provid­
ing the complete texts of both the Advocacie and the Chapelerie and numbering
the lines consecutively for the two works. The transcription and the syntactic and
stylistic establishment of the text are for the most part accurate. Until the end
of the twentieth century, this edition – with its useful glossary and preface ­
served a limited readership well.

Gerard Gros, 1980

This edition was presented as a doctoral thesis to the University of Paris IV (Sor­
bonne) in 1980: “UAdvocacie Nostre Dame, suivie de La Chapelerie Nostre Dame
de Baiex, par l’Anonyme de Bayeux. Edition avec Introduction, Notes et Glos­
saire par Gerard Gros.” Typed manuscript, 278 pages. Gros wished to offer a
scholarly presentation of the text that incorporated variants from all the known
manuscripts, contained explanatory notes, and expanded the glossary – espe­
cially since the Montaiglon edition, limited and long out of print, was virtually
inaccessible in all but a few university libraries.

Like Montaiglon, Gros used the manuscript of Evreux (Bibliotheque Mu­
nicipale, MS . 8), the only one to present the totality of both the Advocacie and
the Chapelerie, as his texte de base. He examined this manuscript and the Paris
manuscript (Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. 1103) on site, consulting the Dijon
and Tours manuscripts in microfilm. His edition contains the text (A) of the two
works on the right-hand page. On the left-hand page are listed all of the vari­
ants (B, C, D) that, he believed, had the potential to alter the sense of a given
line. Gros numbered the lines of the Advocacie and the Chapelerie separately. Like
Montaiglon, he added some accents and diacritic marks that were seldom used in
the fourteenth century, such as the accent grave.

Following the notes to the Advocacie, the edition adds two appendices to this
work. The first compares the Advocacie with the Processus Sathanae attributed to
Bartolo da Sassoferrato; the second incorporates line references to the Roman
law D igest. The notes to the Chape/erie are followed by a brief list of proverbs and
folk sayings; a list of images taken from bestiaries; ail index of proper names; and
a glossary, all of which include references to both works.

Introduction xxi

TheAdvocacie: Genres, Audiences, Sources, Theological

And Religious Contexts, Law

Genres

Given the complexity of the Advocacie, it is difficult to assign it to anyone genre.
Twentieth-century scholars recognized the dramatic character of the work, but
there was no consensus regarding its intended audience or effect. Gerard Gros
calls it “semi-dramatic” and notes that the Dijon manuscript, in particular, delib­
erately separates the dialogue from the narration. 21 Moshe Lazar and Dan Terk­
la treat the Advocacie as a dramatic work. Lazar sees Satan and Notre Dame as
“characters in a popular scenario,” players in a “divine chess game [in which] the
White QIeen inevitably defeats the Black King”;22 he published large segments
of the Advocacie in modern French in the form of a prose drama. 23 Terkla places
it “under the sub-heading of what [Hope] Traver called a ‘processusjocoserius,’ that
is, a text which portrays a ‘humorous judicial procedure'” and calls it “a Basochian
proto-drama” which prefigured the fifteenth-century Basochian causes grasses
or burlesque lawsuits. 24 Jody Enders cites the Advocacie as an example of the
“letteraturizzazione of rhetoric” that “traditionally inspired rhetorico-dramatic

21 Gerard Gros, “Le Texte narratif au seuil de la dramatisation: L’Exemple de
LYldvocacie Nostre Dame (au Manuscrit de Dijon, Bib!. Mun ., 525),” in L’Economie du
dialogue dans I’ancien theatre europien, ed. Jean Bordier (Paris: Champion, 1999), 53-68,
here 60 .

22 Moshe Lazar, “Satan and Notre Dame: Characters in a Popular Scenario,” in A
Medieval French Miscellany, ed. Norris J. Lacy (Lawrence: University of Kansas Publica­
tions, 1972), 1-14, here 6. Like Lazar, Steven Taylor comments on Gautier de Coinci’s
use of chess imagery a century before the Advocacie, calling Mary “God’s Qyeen” in the
“cosmic chess game [that] was … a compelling one in the medieval cultural context”:
“God’s Qyeen: Chess Imagery in the Poetry of Gautier de Coinci,” Fifteenth Century
Studies 17 (1990): 403-19, here 411. See also Marilyn Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen
(New York: HarperCollins, 2004), chap. 7, “Chess and the Cult of the Virgin Mary.”

23 Moshe Lazar, L e Diable et la Vierge: Textes dramatiques du moyen age (Paris: Chris­
tian Bourgeois, 1990). In 1994, F.R .P. Akehurst prese nted segments of an English trans­
lation and legal commentary in “I.:Advocacie Nostre Dame: A Law Suit Made in Heave n” at
the 29’h International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, directing
some of his colleagues in a dramatic interpretation of the work.

24 Dan Terkla, “A Basochien Proto-Drama and Its Mariological Context: I.:Advocacie
Nostre Dame,” Medieval Perspectives 6 (1991): 87-100, here 91. Terkla points out (94)
that the Basoche was an organization of Parisian law clerks “and was founded sometime
around 1303, during the time of Philip the Fair (1268-1314).” For the fictitious, of­
ten burlesque case:; hrought by the Court of the Basoche, see Howard Graham Harvey,
Th e 1heatre q(thl” [la.vod/t·: ‘fb,. Contributioll q(the Law Societies to French Medieval Comedy
(C ambri.dge.; , MI\: 1llIlva1′<1 lJn i wr~ity Press, 1941). See also Hope Traver, “The Four
‘l)aughrCfS “(‘ e; ,,.I: 1\ Mil illl’ ,,(Ch:IIIJ.Cillj.( Doctrine.;,” PMLA 40 (1925): 44-92.

Sylvester Tan

XXU Introduction

forms,” identifying it as a “dialectical” work that “would encourage revelation of
a reflection on moral and theological truths.”25 Monique Leonard recognizes the
varieties of genre represented by the Advocacie and relates it to disputations, de­
bates, miracle tales, and prayers. 26

Contemporaries of the Advocacie’s author saw the dramatic potential in this
text. A fragment of a fourteenth-century manuscript found by Graham Runnalls
in the Bib1iotheque Municipa1e of Angers contains a play “more than one-third
of the lines [of which] … also appear in the Advocacie Nostre Dame.” 27 1his dra­
matization may have been influenced by the author’s knowledge of the Dijon
manuscript, also dating from the fourteenth century, that features rubrics desig­
nating different sequences of the work, functioning as chapter titles or signaling
the identity of the character who is speaking. 28

Dramatic tension in the Advocacie is heightened by the theological and legal
ramifications of the antagonists’ arguments: this is not merely a highly intellec­
tual disputatio, complete with references to Scripture, church fathers, theological
authorities, Marian devotions, canon law, and civi11aw. It is also a vivid illustra­
tion of the chicanery, insult-laden pleadings, and histrionic gestures that, we may
infer, often prevailed in medieval courts of law. 29

Barbara Newman has proposed “a new category of medieval writing, ‘imag­
inative theology’,” to describe “the pursuit of serious religious and theological
thought through the techniques of imaginative literature.”3o We believe that the

25 ]. Enders, Rhetoric and the Origins ofMedieval Drama (Ithaca and London: Cor­
nell University Press, 1992),33, 165-67. Enders calls the work a “literary trial” and ob­
serves that “the author commemorates simultaneously the passage from mnemonic to
dramatic image and from histrionic legal delivery to drama” (222), presenting a detailed
account of the plot (223-33).

26 M . Leonard, Le Dit et sa technique litteraire des origines it 1340 (Paris: Champion,
1996),28-32,324-31.

27 Graham Runnalls, “The Mystere de l:Advocacie Nostre Dame: A Recently Discov­
ered Fragment,” Zeitschriftfur Romanische Philologie 100 (1984): 41-77. Runnalls observes
that in no other French mystery play “does the Virgin Mary intervene on behalf of man­
kind and become involved in a threesided argument, placed in a legalistic context, with
God and the Devil” (44-45).

28 See Gros, “Le Texte Narratif,” 53-68. Gros also notes that 67.57 percent of the lines
in the narrative Advocacie – two-thirds of the text – consist of speeches: “L’Avocate,” 135.

29 Louis Cons recognized similarities in the depiction of legal procedure between
the Advocacie and La Farce de Pathelin: L:Auteur de la Farce de Pathelin (Princeton: Prince­
ton University Press, 1926), 152-53 . He dismissed the idea that either work originated
in the Basoche (154). Enders emphaSized the role of the actor in both the theater and the
courtroom in her chapter “From Legal Ritual to Dramatic Representation in Classical
Antiquity and the Middle Ages,” Rhetoric, 69-128.

30 B. Newman, God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry and Belief in the Middle Ages
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), 292-95.

Introduction XXUI

Advocacie is a work of imaginative theology that incorporates drama, doctrinal
interpretation, and illustrations oflegal procedure, both straightforward and slip­
pery. Satan, as befits his name (in Hebrew ha-satan, the accuser or adversary), op­
poses the Virgin Mary who embodies the definition of advocate (from the Latin
advocata, called to plead or intercede on behalf of another) in a clever exposition of
learned religion that is also accessible – through its burlesque of legal procedure
and the extravagant behavior of its antagonists – to a less learned audience. 31

Audiences

The courtroom setting of the Advocacie lends itself to “performative theology”
in its dramatic presentation of opposing doctrinal points of view. Performative
elements also entered into the delivery of sermons and the telling of pious tales,
encouraged by the Fourth Lateran Council to combat heresy and appeal to the
laity. 32 During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, in particular, the church
emphasized more affective means of reaching a lay audience whose members of­
ten lacked even rudimentary knowledge of their religion. 33

The drama as well as the theme of the Advocacie derive from a truly ancient
source: the rite of exorcism of catechumens prior to their baptism, usually per­
formed on Holy Saturday after a day of preparation on Good Friday. In this
paraliturgical performance, first described by Theodore of Mopsuestia in the late

31 The perennial opposition of Mary and Satan in medieval tales and plays was based
on Genesis 3:15, in which God says to the serpent (Satan), ”’1 will put enmity between you
and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you
will strike his heeL” Mary was considered the “new Eve” and Jesus , her Son, would defeat
the Devil through His death on the cross.

32 The dramatic elements of Christian ritual both suggest and illustrate theologi­
cal concepts: see, for example, O.B. Hardison, Jr., Christian Rite and Christian Drama
in the Middle Ages: Essays in the Origin and Early History of Modern Drama (Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1965). Evelyn Vitz has emphaSized the performative
aspects of medieval romance, hearing in the octosyllable an ideal line for recitation and
performance and emphasizing the importance of the voice in romance works: Orality and
Performance in Early French Romance (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1999). See also Adrian
P. Tudor, “Preaching, Storytelling, and the Performance of Short Pious Narratives,” in
Performing Medieval Narrative, ed. Evelyn Birge Vitz, Nancy Regalado, and Marilyn
Lawrence (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2005), 141-53.

33 Michel Sot, Jean-Patrice Boudet, and Anita Guerreau-Jalabert, Histoire culturelle
. de fa France: Le Moyen Age (Paris: Seuil, 1997), characterize the use of the vernacular,
in particular, as “a sey\c.; and mode of expression adapted to a public interested in the­
c)logy but ncc.: ding “~l1l ~ laJlI re illinders of the basic fundamentals of faith and dogma”
(1 5:1 – S4). .

XXtv Introduction

fourth century,34 “catechumens dress and behave in such a way as to emphasize
their miserable state of captivity under Satan.” The exorcists serve as advocates
for these prisoners, taking “the role of lawyers who plead with God in a suit on
behalf of their clients …. Satan is present as defendant, and God is the judge” in
this “courtroom drama.” God hands down a verdict condemning the Devil and
the candidates are free to renounce Satan, “all his angels, all his service, all his
illusion, and all his pomp.”35

The Advocacie would offer a similar dramatization in a much more accessible
vernacular form to an audience of catechumens, an “interpretive community”36
whose members would have been much better prepared to understand the rite

Follow the instructions

CHAPTER XXV

the dynamo and the virgin (1900)

Until the Great Exposition of 1900* closed its doors in November,
Adams haunted it, aching to absorb knowledge, and helpless to find it.

He would have liked to know how much of it could have been grasped

by the best-informed man in the world. While he was thus meditating

chaos, Langley came by, and showed it to him. At Langley’s behest, the

Exhibition dropped its superfluous rags and stripped itself to the skin,

for Langley knew what to study, and why, and how; while Adams

might as well have stood outside in the night, staring at the Milky Way.

Yet Langley said nothing new, and taught nothing that one might not

have learned from Lord Bacon,* three hundred years before; but
though one should have known the “Advancement of Science” as well

as one knew the “Comedy of Errors,”* the literary knowledge counted
for nothing until some teacher should show how to apply it. Bacon

took a vast deal of trouble in teaching King James I and his subjects,

American or other, towards the year 1620, that true science was the de-
velopment or economy of forces; yet an elderly American in 1900 knew
neither the formula nor the forces; or even so much as to say to himself

that his historical business in the Exposition concerned only the

economies or developments of force since 1893, when he began the
study at Chicago.

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it

accumulates in the form of inert facts. Adams had looked at most of the

accumulations of art in the storehouses called Art Museums; yet he

did not know how to look at the art exhibits of 1900. He had studied
Karl Marx and his doctrines of history with profound attention, yet he

could not apply them at Paris. Langley, with the ease of a great master

of experiment, threw out of the field every exhibit that did not reveal a

new application of force, and naturally threw out, to begin with, al-

most the whole art exhibit. Equally, he ignored almost the whole

industrial exhibit. He led his pupil directly to the forces. His chief in-

terest was in new motors to make his airship feasible, and he taught

Adams the astonishing complexities of the new Daimler* motor, and
of the automobile, which, since 1893, had become a nightmare at a
hundred kilometres an hour, almost as destructive as the electric tram

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

which was only ten years older; and threatening to become as terrible

as the locomotive steam-engine itself, which was almost exactly

Adams’s own age.

Then he showed his scholar the great hall of dynamos,* and ex-
plained how little he knew about electricity or force of any kind, even

of his own special sun, which spouted heat in inconceivable volume,

but which, as far as he knew, might spout less or more, at any time, for

all the certainty he felt in it. To him, the dynamo itself was but an in-

genious channel for conveying somewhere the heat latent in a few tons

of poor coal hidden in a dirty engine-house carefully kept out of sight;

but to Adams the dynamo became a symbol of infinity. As he grew ac-

customed to the great gallery of machines, he began to feel the forty-

foot dynamos as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the

Cross. The planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned,

deliberate, annual or daily revolution, than this huge wheel, re-

volving within arm’s-length at some vertiginous speed, and barely

murmuring—scarcely humming an audible warning to stand a hair’s-

breadth further for respect of power—while it would not wake the

baby lying close against its frame. Before the end, one began to pray

to it; inherited instinct taught the natural expression of man before

silent and infinite force. Among the thousand symbols of ultimate

energy, the dynamo was not so human as some, but it was the most

expressive.

Yet the dynamo, next to the steam-engine, was the most familiar of

exhibits. For Adams’s objects its value lay chiefly in its occult mechan-

ism. Between the dynamo in the gallery of machines and the engine-

house outside, the break of continuity amounted to abysmal fracture

for a historian’s objects. No more relation could he discover between

the steam and the electric current than between the Cross and the

cathedral. The forces were interchangeable if not reversible, but he

could see only an absolute fiat in electricity as in faith. Langley could
not help him. Indeed, Langley seemed to be worried by the same

trouble, for he constantly repeated that the new forces were anarchical,

and especially that he was not responsible for the new rays, that were

little short of parricidal in their wicked spirit towards science. His own

rays,* with which he had doubled the solar spectrum, were altogether
harmless and beneficent; but Radium denied its God—or, what was to

Langley the same thing, denied the truths of his Science. The force

was wholly new.

318 The Education of Henry Adams

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

A historian who asked only to learn enough to be as futile as Langley

or Kelvin,* made rapid progress under this teaching, and mixed him-
self up in the tangle of ideas until he achieved a sort of Paradise of

ignorance vastly consoling to his fatigued senses. He wrapped himself

in vibrations and rays which were new, and he would have hugged

Marconi* and Branly* had he met them, as he hugged the dynamo;
while he lost his arithmetic in trying to figure out the equation between

the discoveries and the economies of force. The economies, like the

discoveries, were absolute, supersensual, occult; incapable of expres-

sion in horse-power. What mathematical equivalent could he suggest

as the value of a Branly coherer? Frozen air, or the electric furnace, had

some scale of measurement, no doubt, if somebody could invent a

thermometer adequate to the purpose; but X-rays* had played no part
whatever in man’s consciousness, and the atom itself had figured only

as a fiction of thought. In these seven years man had translated himself

into a new universe which had no common scale of measurement with

the old. He had entered a supersensual world, in which he could meas-

ure nothing except by chance collisions of movements imperceptible

to his senses, perhaps even imperceptible to his instruments, but per-

ceptible to each other, and so to some known ray at the end of the scale.

Langley seemed prepared for anything, even for an indeterminable

number of universes interfused—physics stark mad in metaphysics.

Historians undertake to arrange sequences,—called stories, or

histories—assuming in silence a relation of cause and effect. These as-

sumptions, hidden in the depths of dusty libraries, have been astound-

ing, but commonly unconscious and childlike; so much so, that if any

captious critic were to drag them to light, historians would probably

reply, with one voice, that they had never supposed themselves re-

quired to know what they were talking about. Adams, for one, had

toiled in vain to find out what he meant. He had even published a

dozen volumes of American history for no other purpose than to sat-

isfy himself whether, by the severest process of stating, with the least

possible comment, such facts as seemed sure, in such order as seemed

rigorously consequent, he could fix for a familiar moment a necessary

sequence of human movement. The result had satisfied him as little as

at Harvard College. Where he saw sequence, other men saw something

quite different, and no one saw the same unit of measure. He cared

little about his experiments and less about his statesmen, who seemed

to him quite as ignorant as himself and, as a rule, no more honest; but

The Dynamo and the Virgin (1900) 319

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

he insisted on a relation of sequence, and if he could not reach it by one

method, he would try as many methods as science knew. Satisfied that

the sequence of men led to nothing and that the sequence of their soci-

ety could lead no further, while the mere sequence of time was arti-

ficial, and the sequence of thought was chaos, he turned at last to the

sequence of force; and thus it happened that, after ten years’ pursuit,

he found himself lying in the Gallery of Machines at the Great

Exposition of 1900, with his historical neck broken by the sudden ir-
ruption of forces totally new.

Since no one else showed much concern, an elderly person without

other cares had no need to betray alarm. The year 1900 was not the first
to upset schoolmasters. Copernicus* and Galileo* had broken many
professorial necks about 1600; Columbus had stood the world on its
head towards 1500; but the nearest approach to the revolution of 1900
was that of 310, when Constantine* set up the Cross. The rays that
Langley disowned, as well as those which he fathered, were occult,

supersensual, irrational; they were a revelation of mysterious energy

like that of the Cross; they were what, in terms of mediaeval science,

were called immediate modes of the divine substance.

The historian was thus reduced to his last resources. Clearly if he

was bound to reduce all these forces to a common value, this common

value could have no measure but that of their attraction on his own

mind. He must treat them as they had been felt; as convertible, re-

versible, interchangeable attractions on thought. He made up his mind

to venture it; he would risk translating rays into faith. Such a reversible

process would vastly amuse a chemist, but the chemist could not deny

that he, or some of his fellow physicists, could feel the force of both.

When Adams was a boy in Boston, the best chemist in the place had

probably never heard of Venus except by way of scandal,* or of the
Virgin except as idolatry; neither had he heard of dynamos or auto-

mobiles or radium; yet his mind was ready to feel the force of all,

though the rays were unborn and the women were dead.

Here opened another totally new education, which promised to be

by far the most hazardous of all. The knife-edge along which he must

crawl, like Sir Lancelot* in the twelfth century, divided two kingdoms
of force which had nothing in common but attraction. They were as

different as a magnet is from gravitation, supposing one knew what a

magnet was, or gravitation, or love. The force of the Virgin was still felt

at Lourdes,* and seemed to be as potent as X-rays; but in America

320 The Education of Henry Adams

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

neither Venus nor Virgin ever had value as force—at most as senti-

ment. No American had ever been truly afraid of either.

This problem in dynamics gravely perplexed an American his-

torian. The Woman had once been supreme; in France she still seemed

potent, not merely as a sentiment, but as a force. Why was she un-

known in America? For evidently America was ashamed of her, and

she was ashamed of herself, otherwise they would not have strewn fig-

leaves so profusely all over her. When she was a true force, she was

ignorant of fig-leaves, but the monthly-magazine-made American

female had not a feature that would have been recognized by Adam.

The trait was notorious, and often humorous, but anyone brought up

among Puritans knew that sex was sin. In any previous age, sex was

strength. Neither art nor beauty was needed. Everyone, even among

Puritans, knew that neither Diana of the Ephesians* nor any of the
Oriental goddesses was worshipped for her beauty. She was goddess

because of her force; she was the animated dynamo; she was reproduc-

tion—the greatest and most mysterious of all energies; all she needed

was to be fecund. Singularly enough, not one of Adams’s many schools

of education had ever drawn his attention to the opening lines of

Lucretius, though they were perhaps the finest in all Latin literature,

where the poet invoked Venus exactly as Dante invoked the Virgin:—

“Quae quoniam rerum naturam sola gubernas.”*

The Venus of Epicurean philosophy survived in the Virgin of the

Schools:—

“Donna, sei tanto grande, e tanto vali,

Che qual vuol grazia, e a te non ricorre,

Sua disianza vuol volar senz’ ali.”*

All this was to American thought as though it had never existed. The

true American knew something of the facts, but nothing of the feel-

ings; he read the letter, but he never felt the law. Before this historical

chasm, a mind like that of Adams felt itself helpless; he turned from

the Virgin to the Dynamo as though he were a Branly coherer. On one

side, at the Louvre and at Chartres,* as he knew by the record of work
actually done and still before his eyes, was the highest energy ever

known to man, the creator of four-fifths of his noblest art, exercising

vastly more attraction over the human mind than all the steam-engines

and dynamos ever dreamed of; and yet this energy was unknown to the

The Dynamo and the Virgin (1900) 321

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

American mind. An American Virgin would never dare command; an

American Venus would never dare exist.

The question, which to any plain American of the nineteenth cen-

tury seemed as remote as it did to Adams, drew him almost violently to

study, once it was posed; and on this point Langleys were as useless as

though they were Herbert Spencers* or dynamos. The idea survived
only as art. There one turned as naturally as though the artist were

himself a woman. Adams began to ponder, asking himself whether he

knew of any American artist who had ever insisted on the power of sex,

as every classic had always done; but he could think only of Walt

Whitman;* Bret Harte, as far as the magazines would let him venture;
and one or two painters, for the flesh-tones. All the rest had used sex

for sentiment, never for force; to them, Eve was a tender flower, and

Herodias an unfeminine horror. American art, like the American lan-

guage and American education, was as far as possible sexless.* Society
regarded this victory over sex as its greatest triumph, and the historian

readily admitted it, since the moral issue, for the moment, did not

concern one who was studying the relations of unmoral force. He

cared nothing for the sex of the dynamo until he could measure its

energy.

Vaguely seeking a clue, he wandered through the art exhibit, and, in

his stroll, stopped almost every day before St. Gaudens’s General

Sherman,* which had been given the central post of honor. St.
Gaudens himself was in Paris, putting on the work his usual intermin-

able last touches, and listening to the usual contradictory suggestions

of brother sculptors. Of all the American artists who gave to American

art whatever life it breathed in the seventies, St. Gaudens was perhaps

the most sympathetic, but certainly the most inarticulate. General

Grant or Don Cameron had scarcely less instinct of rhetoric than he.

All the others—the Hunts, Richardson, John La Farge, Stanford

White—were exuberant; only St. Gaudens could never discuss or di-

late on an emotion, or suggest artistic arguments for giving to his work

the forms that he felt. He never laid down the law, or affected the

despot, or became brutalized like Whistler by the brutalities of his

world. He required no incense; he was no egoist; his simplicity of

thought was excessive; he could not imitate, or give any form but his

own to the creations of his hand. No one felt more strongly than he the

strength of other men, but the idea that they could affect him never

stirred an image in his mind.

322 The Education of Henry Adams

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

This summer his health was poor and his spirits were low. For such

a temper, Adams was not the best companion, since his own gaiety was

not folle,* but he risked going now and then to the studio on Mont
Parnasse to draw him out for a stroll in the Bois de Boulogne, or dinner

as pleased his moods, and in return St. Gaudens sometimes let Adams

go about in his company.

Once St. Gaudens took him down to Amiens, with a party of

Frenchmen, to see the cathedral. Not until they found themselves ac-

tually studying the sculpture of the western portal, did it dawn on

Adams’s mind that, for his purposes, St. Gaudens on that spot had

more interest to him than the cathedral itself. Great men before great

monuments express great truths, provided they are not taken too

solemnly. Adams never tired of quoting the supreme phrase of his idol

Gibbon, before the Gothic cathedrals: “I darted a contemptuous look

on the stately monuments of superstition.”* Even in the footnotes of
his history, Gibbon had never inserted a bit of humor more human

than this, and one would have paid largely for a photograph of the fat

little historian, on the background of Notre Dame of Amiens, trying to

persuade his readers—perhaps himself—that he was darting a con-

temptuous look on the stately monument, for which he felt in fact the

respect which every man of his vast study and active mind always feels

before objects worthy of it; but besides the humor, one felt also the re-

lation. Gibbon ignored the Virgin, because in 1789 religious monu-
ments were out of fashion. In 1900 his remark sounded fresh and
simple as the green fields to ears that had heard a hundred years of

other remarks, mostly no more fresh and certainly less simple.

Without malice, one might find it more instructive than a whole lec-

ture of Ruskin. One sees what one brings, and at that moment Gibbon

brought the French Revolution. Ruskin brought reaction against the

Revolution. St. Gaudens had passed beyond all. He liked the stately

monuments much more than he liked Gibbon or Ruskin; he loved

their dignity; their unity; their scale; their lines; their lights and

shadows; their decorative sculpture; but he was even less conscious

than they of the force that created it all—the Virgin, the Woman—by

whose genius “the stately monuments of superstition” were built,

through which she was expressed. He would have seen more meaning

in Isis* with the cow’s horns, at Edfoo, who expressed the same
thought. The art remained, but the energy was lost even upon the

artist.

The Dynamo and the Virgin (1900) 323

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

Yet in mind and person St. Gaudens was a survival of the 1500’s; he
bore the stamp of the Renaissance, and should have carried an image of

the Virgin round his neck, or stuck in his hat, like Louis XI.* In mere
time he was a lost soul that had strayed by chance into the twentieth

century, and forgotten where it came from. He writhed and cursed at

his ignorance, much as Adams did at his own, but in the opposite sense.

St. Gaudens was a child of Benvenuto Cellini,* smothered in an
American cradle. Adams was a quintessence of Boston, devoured by

curiosity to think like Benvenuto. St. Gaudens’s art was starved from

birth, and Adams’s instinct was blighted from babyhood. Each had but

half of a nature, and when they came together before the Virgin of

Amiens they ought both to have felt in her the force that made them

one; but it was not so. To Adams she became more than ever a channel

of force; to St. Gaudens she remained as before a channel of taste.

For a symbol of power, St. Gaudens instinctively preferred the

horse, as was plain in his horse and Victory of the Sherman monu-

ment. Doubtless Sherman also felt it so. The attitude was so American

that, for at least forty years, Adams had never realized that any other

could be in sound taste. How many years had he taken to admit a no-

tion of what Michael Angelo and Rubens were driving at? He could

not say; but he knew that only since 1895 had he begun to feel the
Virgin or Venus as force, and not everywhere even so. At Chartres—

perhaps at Lourdes—possibly at Cnidos* if one could still find there
the divinely naked Aphrodite of Praxiteles—but otherwise one must

look for force to the goddesses of Indian mythology. The idea died out

long ago in the German and English stock. St. Gaudens at Amiens was

hardly less sensitive to the force of the female energy than Matthew

Arnold at the Grande Chartreuse.* Neither of them felt goddesses as
power—only as reflected emotion, human expression, beauty, purity,

taste, scarcely even as sympathy. They felt a railway train as power; yet

they, and all other artists, constantly complained that the power em-

bodied in a railway train could never be embodied in art. All the steam

in the world could not, like the Virgin, build Chartres.

Yet in mechanics, whatever the mechanicians might think, both en-

ergies acted as interchangeable forces on man, and by action on man all

known force may be measured. Indeed, few men of science measured

force in any other way. After once admitting that a straight line was the

shortest distance between two points, no serious mathematician cared

to deny anything that suited his convenience, and rejected no symbol,

324 The Education of Henry Adams

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

unproved or unproveable, that helped him to accomplish work. The

symbol was force, as a compass-needle or a triangle was force, as the

mechanist might prove by losing it, and nothing could be gained by ig-

noring their value. Symbol or energy, the Virgin had acted as the great-

est force the Western world ever felt, and had drawn man’s activities to

herself more strongly than any other power, natural or supernatural,

had ever done; the historian’s business was to follow the track of the

energy; to find where it came from and where it went to; its complex

source and shifting channels; its values, equivalents, conversions. It

could scarcely be more complex than radium; it could hardly be de-

flected, diverted, polarized, absorbed more perplexingly than other

radiant matter. Adams knew nothing about any of them, but as a math-

ematical problem of influence on human progress, though all were oc-

cult, all reacted on his mind, and he rather inclined to think the Virgin

easiest to handle.

The pursuit turned out to be long and tortuous, leading at last into

the vast forests of scholastic science. From Zeno* to Descartes, hand in
hand with Thomas Aquinas,* Montaigne,* and Pascal,* one stumbled
as stupidly as though one were still a German student of 1860. Only
with the instinct of despair could one force one’s self into this old

thicket of ignorance after having been repulsed at a score of entrances

more promising and more popular. Thus far, no path had led any-

where, unless perhaps to an exceedingly modest living. Forty-five

years of study had proved to be quite futile for the pursuit of power;

one controlled no more force in 1900 than in 1850, although the
amount of force controlled by society had enormously increased. The

secret of education still hid itself somewhere behind ignorance, and

one fumbled over it as feebly as ever. In such labyrinths, the staff is a

force almost more necessary than the legs; the pen becomes a sort of

blind-man’s dog, to keep him from falling into the gutters. The pen

works for itself, and acts like a hand, modelling the plastic material

over and over again to the form that suits it best. The form is never ar-

bitrary, but is a sort of growth like crystallization, as any artist knows

too well; for often the pencil or pen runs into side-paths and shape-

lessness, loses its relations, stops or is bogged. Then it has to return on

its trail, and recover, if it can, its line of force. The result of a year’s

work depends more on what is struck out than on what is left in; on the

sequence of the main lines of thought, than on their play or variety.

Compelled once more to lean heavily on this support, Adams covered

The Dynamo and the Virgin (1900) 325

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

more thousands of pages* with figures as formal as though they were
algebra, laboriously striking out, altering, burning, experimenting,

until the year had expired, the Exposition had long been closed, and

winter drawing to its end, before he sailed from Cherbourg, on January

19, 1901, for home.

326 The Education of Henry Adams

Adams, Henry. The Education of Henry Adams : Education of Henry Adams, edited by Ira Nadel,
Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=737338.
Created from southernmethodist on 2021-12-14 02:39:12.

C
o
p
yr

ig
h
t
©

2
0
0
9
.
O

xf
o
rd

U
n
iv

e
rs

ity
P

re
ss

U
S

A

O
S

O
.
A

ll
ri
g
h

ts
r

e
se

rv
e
d
.

Follow the instructions

MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE Our Lady’s Lawsuits in

TEXTS AND STUDIES
I.:Advocacie Nostre Dame

(Our Lady’s Advocacy) VOLUME 393
and

La Chapelerie Nostre Dame de Baiex

(The Benefice ofOur Lady’s· Chapel in Bayeux)

”Avocat en ciel et en terre”

Judith M. Davis and F.R.P. Akehurst

Translators

Based on the Text Edited by Girard Gros

ACMRS

(Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)

Tempe, Arizona

)'()11

Published by ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)

Tempe, Arizona

© 2011 Arizona Board of Regents for Arizona State University.

All Rights Reserved.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Our lady’s lawsuits in l’Advocacie nostre dame (Our lady’s advocacy) ; and, La

chapelerie nostre dame de Baiex (The benefice of our lady’s chapel in Bayeux)

I Judith M. Davis and F.R.P. Akehurst, translators; based on the text edited by

Gerard Gros.

p. cm. — (Medieval and Renaissance texts and studies; v. 393)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-0-86698-441-6 (alk. paper)

1. French literature–To 1500–Translations into English. 2. Mary, Blessed
Virgin, Saint–Legends. 1. Davis,Judith M . (Judith Mary) II. Akehurst, F. R. P.
TTL eros, Gerard. IV. Advocacie Nostre Dame. English. V. Chapelerie Nostre­
name de Baiex. English.

PQJ :;02.E5087 2011
l3-1] ‘. JO<)·-uc22

2011007174

Cover Image
Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, MS fr. 1103, f. 4Ov.
Published with the permission ofBibliotheque Nationale de France.

This book is made to last. It is set in Adobe Caslon Pro,
smyth-sewn and printed on acid-free paper to library specifications.
Printed in the United Stales ofAmcl’ica

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prefoce

Ilcknowledgements

Introduction to the Works

Dates and Authorship

Manuscripts

Editions

The Advocacie:

Genres, Audiences, Theological and Religious Contexts,

Sources, Legal Procedure

The Chapelerie:

Genres, Audience, Sources, Theological and Religious

Contexts, Historical Context, Legal Procedure

Translators’ Comments

1.’Ildvocacie Nostre DamelOur Lady’s Advocacy

Notes

I.a Chapelerie Nostre Dame de BaiexlThe Benefice ofOur Lady’s Chapel
ill Bayeux

Notes

1\ ihliography

VII

IX

Xl

Xlll

xv

XIX

XXI

XXXlll

XXXVlll

1

121

133

177

185

00

INTRODUCTION

Much French religious literature of the fourteenth century strikes a doleful note
of melancholy in that “calamitous” era of plague and warfare. Two Anglo-Nor­
luan narrative poems, however, stand out as exceptions: 1:Advocacie N ostre Dame
(Our Lady’s Advocacy) and its companion piece, La Chapelerie de Baiex (The Ben­
‘lice ofOur Lady’s Chapel in Bayeux). The Advocacie offers a sophisticated and dra­
Illatic rendering of theological debates about the nature of the Fall and Redemp­
(ion, emphasizing the role of the Virgin Mary in the economy of salvation. The
( :hapelerie offers an exceptional and critical insight into the contemporary strug­
~lc between church and crown over control of ecclesiastical revenues, highlight­
illg the putative role of the Virgin in preserving for the bishop the income from
(lie benefice of the church that bears her name. Written in octosyllabic rhyming
co uplets, the two works operate within a legal framework, treating a variety of
i ~ sues and procedures governed by both civil and canon law.

The importance of the Advocacie lies in its status as the first French ver­
1l:l <.: ular interpretation of an ancient theme: Satan making his claim to human
louIs before a heavenly court. The subject of this narrative is a trial in a court of
law where Jesus is judge; Satan is attorney on behalf of the plaintiffs, denizens
of Hell; and Mary acts as advocate for the defense. Satan seeks justice from the
,’ourt for having been deprived of the right to his share of souls, won by Hell­
lind lost to God – as he claims, through the sin of Adam and Eve. After Jesus
I ehuffs his attempt to bring a criminal suit against the human race, Satan pres­
(“1l tS a power of attorney from Hell which authorizes him to proceed in a civil
11I lit;Jesus finds it to be without error, accepts it, and sets the court date for Good
li’riday.

In a council of Heaven parallel to the council of Hell that gave Satan his
I’n:dentials as attorney, Mary accepts the role of advocate for the defense. The
Virgin asks God to deny the Devil’s claim, and although Satan is expert in canon
ilrld eivillaw, Mary proves to be an effective defense counsel. When Satan insists
1hat he must be restored to peaceful possession of the souls he previously held
hy right of adverse possession, Mary responds that Satan never had good title to
[host: souls but possessecl them in bad faith. A frustrated Satan then resorts to
divin e law, citing the Ge nesis (‘ale of the Fall; Mary counters that since he was
(h e t:au ~1O of’that Fall rha( argum ent should fail, otherwise Satan would benefit
1’1’ 0111 hi~; fraud.

xu Introduction

To make her case during her juridical battle with Satan, the Virgin cites cus­
tomary law and Roman law as well as canon law and papal decretals. For more
than half the proceedings, she conducts herself in the character of a highly ca­
pable advocate, although this competence includes ad hominem attacks on her
opponent. She vilifies Satan, frustrates his legal maneuverings, and presents her
case eloquently and forcefully. When her adversary persists, however, she throws
herself down before Jesus, appealing to him in a dramatically emotional pleading.
With the encouragement of her divine Son, she resumes her previous mode of re­
futing Satan’s arguments, stating that Christ’s death on the cross outweighed the
world’s sin, and that when humans repent, God extends mercy. She makes a final
tearful appeal to Jesus, after which there is no doubt of the outcome. Jesus deliv­
ers the verdict that all humans who have repented and confessed will be admitted
to Paradise. God the Father and the Holy Spirit concur. The Devil is beaten; the
court spectators rejoice and the affair ends with a resounding Salve Regina.

Like the Advocacie, the Chape/erie concerns opposing claims of title and pos­
session, this time involving two different bishops ofBayeux, Pierre de Benais and
Guillaume de Trie, who succeeded Pierre in office, and representatives of two
kings: Philip IV (reigned 1285-1314) for the first lawsuit and Philip V (reigned
1316-1322) for the second. At issue in this shorter work is the benefice or “living”
from the Virgin Mary’s chapel in Bayeux. The king’s men argue that the income
of the benefice derives from the chapel situated on the king’s property, his castle.
The bishops allege a two-hundred-year-old right to the income based on a char­
ter from William the Conqueror (reigned 1066-1087) granting the benefice to
their predecessor, his half-brother Odo, bishop ofBayeux.

The first case recounted in the Chape/erie is an appeal from the local author­
ity to the king’s Treasury, a court comparable to the Court of the Exchequer in
English law. Bishop Pierre represents his own interests and a prosecutor, Lau­
rent Herout, advances those of the crown. The bishop expresses publicly his wish
for the chastisement of anyone who would deprive Our Lady of her due; Herout
mocks him and is struck dead as soon as he returns to his townhouse. Inter­
preted as a sign of the Virgin’s punishment, Herout’s death inspires general pity
and fear. The officers of the Treasury Court, especially, find it prudent to render
a verdict in favor of the bishop.

Some time later, the king overrides the first verdict at the instigation of his
courtier, Adam d’Orleans, and bestows the benefice by fiat on a cleric named
Pierre l’Archier. Bishop Guillaume de Trie takes the lawsuit to the king’s court
at Paris and there demands to be put back in possession of Our Lady’s benefice.
In Paris, even before the two sides begin their pleadings, Bishop Guillaume asks
the Virgin Mary to expedite her case and demands how she can let enemies of
her Church live. His malediction takes effect. Adam d’Orleans becomes vio­
lently ill and dies after learning that the king’s court has rendered a judgment
in favor of Our Lady and her bishop. The real sentence in this case, however, is
pronounced by the author, who declares that both Herout and Adam deserved to

!lltroduction xm

die – spiritually as well as bodily – for daring to oppose the Virgin: she is the
advocate on earth as well as in heaven of all those who call upon her.

Of the two works, the Advocacie is by far the more entertaining and complex.
It refers with equal ease to canon and civil law, Marian legends, books of the Old
and New Testaments, and theological commentaries ranging from the fourth
l’Iuough the thirteenth centuries. The author combines elements of a courtroom
drama and a homiletic exegesis on the Atonement with an account of the Vir­
gin Mary’s miraculous mediation. Multigeneric and multivalent, the Advocacie
challenges modern readers esthetically and intellectually. In the Chape/erie, on
rhe other hand, the author refers to historically verifiable persons and lawsuits
conducted in both the regional court of Bayeux and the king’s court at Paris,
comparing the malefactors in his tale to New Testament evildoers but providing
little embellishment to his narrative. This work has more in common with Mar­
ian tales of the previous century – especially those that deal with Mary’s pun­
ishment of those who thwart her will- than with more erudite genres. Given its
mixture of history and legend, it may be classified as a miracle it clef

Dates and Authorship

We can be reasonably certain that both works were written between 1321 and
1124. Editors and historians alike have cited evidence of the two lawsuits that pit­
I(;d the bishops of Bayeux against representatives of the French king. The author
oC the Chape/erie, who identifies himself as an eyewitness to the second suit, states
ill line 675 that the verdict was rendered in 1321. The bishop involved in that ac­
I’ion was Guillaume de Trie, who held the bishopric until 1324. Most scholars
hdieve that both the Advocacie and the Chape/erie were written within that three­
year period, although it is possible that the Advocacie was written earlier. 1

There is good evidence and critical opinion that a single author wrote both
works. Gaston Raynaud stated that the two were “inseparable” and that the
Chape/erie was a “personal work” of the “translator who had put the Advocacie into

1 Gerard Gros, “LAdvocacie Nostre Dame et la Chapelerie Nostre Dame de Baiex par
I’anonyme de Bayeux” (Ph.D. diss., University of Paris IV, 1980), 20. Alphonse Chas­
‘ia11t, who published extracts from the Advocacie, was among the first to date both works:
I .:lft/vocacie Notre Dame ou La Vierge Marie plaidant contre Ie Diable (Paris: Aubry, 1855),
x ,~i, For a fuller treatment of dates based on the events recounted in the Chapelerie, see
C harles LanglOis, “L’Anonyme de Bayeux, auteur de quatre poemes en frano;:ais,” in His­
/ 0 ;/'(‘ Littemin de la j”mnce (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1926),35:385-94, here 390-93.
S~C; abo Ga~toll Raynaud’s preface to Anatole de Montaiglon, I.;Advocacie Nostre-Dame
d I,d Chi/pdail’ NO,l’tn’ …[)utll(‘ tI(‘ Ra;l’x (Paris: Academie des Bibliophiles, 1869; preface
“I H()h), v v ii. ‘

Sylvester Tan
Sylvester Tan
Sylvester Tan

XV XlV Introduction

rhyme.”2 Anatole de Montaiglon numbered the lines of the two works consecu­
tively, treating them as one. Charles Langlois believed that both works, as well as
the two poems that preceded them in the only manuscript in which both appear,
were written by the same author. 3 Gerard Gros’s study oflanguage and versifica­
tion indicates a single author. 4 Gros also noted that the first line of the Chapelerie
represents a transition from and completion of the Advocacie, observing that the
Virgin demonstrates her power in both heavenly and earthly courts. 5 We believe
that these arguments in favor of a single author appear convincing.

Exact identification of the author has eluded scholars thus far. During the
nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, some attributed authorship of
both works to one Jehan or Jean de Justice. Alphonse Chassant based his attri­
bution on the opinion of Victor Pezet, a jurist who had published the text of the
Chapelerie in 1848. 6 In a later article, Pezet describedJehan de Justice (d. 1353) as
a canon of the cathedral of Bayeux and a lawyer in the parlement of Paris. 7 Gas­
ton Raynaud was uncertain about the authorship.8 Charles Langlois observed
that Jean de Justice was a cleric in the service of the king, and if indeed he had
witnessed the events of the trial that ended in 1321, he would have exercised his
influence to thwart rather than support the claims of the bishop.9 Gerard Gros
agrees with Langlois, as does A. -F. Labie-Leurquin. 10

Other scholars speculated that the Advocacie, in particular, was the work of
a pre-eminent fourteenth-century jurist, Bartolo da Sassoferrato, the putative
author of a “Satan’s lawsuit” entitled Tractatus quaestionis ventilatae coram D. Jesu

2 Raynaud, “Preface,” v-vi.
3 Langlois, “L’Anonyme,” 394. Langlois observed that the Advocacie and Chape/erie

were assigned one incipit or beginning line by Arthur U.ngfors, Les lncipit des poemes
franrais anterieurs au XV!’ siecle (Paris: Champion, 1917),389.

4 Gros, “L’Advocacie,” 27-36.
5 Gerard Gros, “L’Avocate et sa vocation: Etude sur la dramatisation d’une propriete

mariale dans rAdvocacie Nostre Dame,” in LeJeu theatral, ses marges, sesfrontieres: Actes de la
deuxieme rencontre sur l’ancien theatre europeen de 1997, ed. Jean-Pierre Bordier et al. (Paris:
Champion, 1999), 125-40, here 128-29.

6 Chassant, I.:Advocacie, x-xi. Pezet’s edition of the Chapelerie appeared in the Re­
cueil des travaux de la Societe libre d’agriculture, sciences et arts de I’Eure, 2′ serie, 8 (1847­
1848): 314-49.

7 V[ictor] Pezet, “Notice Explicative sur un poeme manuscrit du commencement du
XIV’ siecle, ayant pour titre: La Chapelle de Baiex,” Bulletin de la Societe d’agriculture, sci­
ences, arts et belles-lettres de Bayeux 5 (1850-1851): 103-49, here 144.

8 Raynaud, “Preface,” vi. He did admit the possibility that Jean de Justice could have
been the author, however.

9 Langlois, “L’Anonyme,” 393-94.
10 Gros, “L’Advocacie,” 21; Anne-Frans:oise Labie-Leurquin, “Jean de Justice,” in

Dictionnaire des lettresfranraises: Le moyen age, ed. Genevi~ve Hasenohr and Michel Zink
(Paris: Fayard, 1992), 794-95.

f71 troduction

(;’/Jristo inter Virginem Mariam, ex una parte, et diabolum, ex alia parte (“A Trea­
lise on the Qyestions Raised in the Court of Our Lord Jesus Christ between
Ihe Virgin Mary, the Party of the First Part, and the Devil, the Party of the
Second Part”), also known as the Processus Satanae contra Beatem Virginem coram
judice Jesu (“The Case of Satan vs. the Blessed Virgin in the Court of Jesus the
,1l1dge”)Y The dating of this work, which bears a very close resemblance to the
.!Idvocacie, has proved problematic. Ifindeed the TractatuslProcessus is the work of
Bartolo da Sassoferrato, it postdates the Advocacie, for Bartolo was born in 1313
or 1314 and the Advocacie was written between 1321 and 1324. If the Tractatusl
1’1″ocessus is not the work of Bartolo, it may predate the Advocacie – but it may
he based on or constitute an elaboration of earlier Latin works. It is also possible
,hat the Advocacie circulated in learned circles and later was adapted by and at­
Iributed to Bartolo; both the Advocacie and the TractatuslProcessus Satanae employ
protracted and technical legal arguments to explicate Church doctrines regard­
ing the Fall and Atonement within the framework of a court trial. The two works
probably had a common Latin source (see below).

The author of the Advocacie and the Chapelerie, then, remains anonymous.
I Ie was in all probability a canon lawyer attached to the episcopal court of Bay­
ellx. Highly educated, undoubtedly a cleric, master of multiple discourses, he was
wdl versed in both canonical Scripture and apocrypha; Roman, canon, and cus­
mrnary law; theological treatises covering a wide range of time and topics; and
Marian hymns and literature, including her miracles. The Chapelerie testifies to
II is familiarity with contemporary events as well as Marian tales. He was certain­
ly privy to knowledge about the events of the first lawsuit he describes and had
Ii rst-hand knowledge of the second, as he often reminds his audience. He may
well have been the cleric who accompanied Guillaume de Trie to Paris. 12

Manuscripts 13

()f the manuscripts described below, only one contains the Chape/erie. The suc­
(.·<.: S8 enjoyed by the Advocacie both during and after the era of its composition was
11.0 doubt due in part to the appeal of its “Maryvs. Satan” theme and in part to the

II Bartolo da Sassoferrato, Tractatus quaestionis ventilatae coram D. Iesu Christo inter
Vilg il1em Mariam, ex una parte, et diabolum, ex alia parte, in Opera, vol. 11 (Venice: Giun­
r.. , l5 flO-1581), 127-29.

I)’ Based on the author/narrator’s first-person observations in the Chapelerie,
~. ;r(J s considers it likely that he was the clerk of Bishop Guillaume de Trie of Bayeux
( ” 1 :!llivocacie,” 20, 249).

1:1 M anuscript descriptions appear in Gros, “L’Advocacie,” 5-11 and are translated
IWI’c. I. \'(,s adds allo tlwr fi-agJn(‘I’lt (,(Hlla jIll’d in Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale n. acq. fr.
(0 001 (Gild nf’iI\(‘ (‘(“)\)’ nf’II1I’ I(‘xl .1(‘1’:1<‘111’.1 ( [‘nlll iliI’ Dijon manuscript). See G. Gros, Le

Sylvester Tan
Sylvester Tan

xx Introduction

Bibliophiles. Mai 1869. In-12, viii-136 pages. 200 copies on Holland paper, 10
on Chinese paper. On the back of the book there is a tailpiece bearing the motto
“En apprenant mourant,” “Dying while learning,” Montaiglon’s motto. Another
series (a reprint of the entire book or perhaps only a change of cover) carries in
the same place a banderole bearing the motto, “Encore plus de lumiere,” “More
light” – 1866.

Montaiglon had prepared and printed the text in 1869 for the Academie des
Bibliophiles but wanted to collate his text with that of the Dijon manuscript. He
died in 1895 before completing his work; Gaston Raynaud directed the publica­
tion of the text the following year, adding a preface of his own.

Montaiglon’s edition is a considerable improvement over Chassant’s, provid­
ing the complete texts of both the Advocacie and the Chapelerie and numbering
the lines consecutively for the two works. The transcription and the syntactic and
stylistic establishment of the text are for the most part accurate. Until the end
of the twentieth century, this edition – with its useful glossary and preface ­
served a limited readership well.

Gerard Gros, 1980

This edition was presented as a doctoral thesis to the University of Paris IV (Sor­
bonne) in 1980: “UAdvocacie Nostre Dame, suivie de La Chapelerie Nostre Dame
de Baiex, par l’Anonyme de Bayeux. Edition avec Introduction, Notes et Glos­
saire par Gerard Gros.” Typed manuscript, 278 pages. Gros wished to offer a
scholarly presentation of the text that incorporated variants from all the known
manuscripts, contained explanatory notes, and expanded the glossary – espe­
cially since the Montaiglon edition, limited and long out of print, was virtually
inaccessible in all but a few university libraries.

Like Montaiglon, Gros used the manuscript of Evreux (Bibliotheque Mu­
nicipale, MS . 8), the only one to present the totality of both the Advocacie and
the Chapelerie, as his texte de base. He examined this manuscript and the Paris
manuscript (Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. 1103) on site, consulting the Dijon
and Tours manuscripts in microfilm. His edition contains the text (A) of the two
works on the right-hand page. On the left-hand page are listed all of the vari­
ants (B, C, D) that, he believed, had the potential to alter the sense of a given
line. Gros numbered the lines of the Advocacie and the Chapelerie separately. Like
Montaiglon, he added some accents and diacritic marks that were seldom used in
the fourteenth century, such as the accent grave.

Following the notes to the Advocacie, the edition adds two appendices to this
work. The first compares the Advocacie with the Processus Sathanae attributed to
Bartolo da Sassoferrato; the second incorporates line references to the Roman
law D igest. The notes to the Chape/erie are followed by a brief list of proverbs and
folk sayings; a list of images taken from bestiaries; ail index of proper names; and
a glossary, all of which include references to both works.

Introduction xxi

TheAdvocacie: Genres, Audiences, Sources, Theological

And Religious Contexts, Law

Genres

Given the complexity of the Advocacie, it is difficult to assign it to anyone genre.
Twentieth-century scholars recognized the dramatic character of the work, but
there was no consensus regarding its intended audience or effect. Gerard Gros
calls it “semi-dramatic” and notes that the Dijon manuscript, in particular, delib­
erately separates the dialogue from the narration. 21 Moshe Lazar and Dan Terk­
la treat the Advocacie as a dramatic work. Lazar sees Satan and Notre Dame as
“characters in a popular scenario,” players in a “divine chess game [in which] the
White QIeen inevitably defeats the Black King”;22 he published large segments
of the Advocacie in modern French in the form of a prose drama. 23 Terkla places
it “under the sub-heading of what [Hope] Traver called a ‘processusjocoserius,’ that
is, a text which portrays a ‘humorous judicial procedure'” and calls it “a Basochian
proto-drama” which prefigured the fifteenth-century Basochian causes grasses
or burlesque lawsuits. 24 Jody Enders cites the Advocacie as an example of the
“letteraturizzazione of rhetoric” that “traditionally inspired rhetorico-dramatic

21 Gerard Gros, “Le Texte narratif au seuil de la dramatisation: L’Exemple de
LYldvocacie Nostre Dame (au Manuscrit de Dijon, Bib!. Mun ., 525),” in L’Economie du
dialogue dans I’ancien theatre europien, ed. Jean Bordier (Paris: Champion, 1999), 53-68,
here 60 .

22 Moshe Lazar, “Satan and Notre Dame: Characters in a Popular Scenario,” in A
Medieval French Miscellany, ed. Norris J. Lacy (Lawrence: University of Kansas Publica­
tions, 1972), 1-14, here 6. Like Lazar, Steven Taylor comments on Gautier de Coinci’s
use of chess imagery a century before the Advocacie, calling Mary “God’s Qyeen” in the
“cosmic chess game [that] was … a compelling one in the medieval cultural context”:
“God’s Qyeen: Chess Imagery in the Poetry of Gautier de Coinci,” Fifteenth Century
Studies 17 (1990): 403-19, here 411. See also Marilyn Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen
(New York: HarperCollins, 2004), chap. 7, “Chess and the Cult of the Virgin Mary.”

23 Moshe Lazar, L e Diable et la Vierge: Textes dramatiques du moyen age (Paris: Chris­
tian Bourgeois, 1990). In 1994, F.R .P. Akehurst prese nted segments of an English trans­
lation and legal commentary in “I.:Advocacie Nostre Dame: A Law Suit Made in Heave n” at
the 29’h International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, directing
some of his colleagues in a dramatic interpretation of the work.

24 Dan Terkla, “A Basochien Proto-Drama and Its Mariological Context: I.:Advocacie
Nostre Dame,” Medieval Perspectives 6 (1991): 87-100, here 91. Terkla points out (94)
that the Basoche was an organization of Parisian law clerks “and was founded sometime
around 1303, during the time of Philip the Fair (1268-1314).” For the fictitious, of­
ten burlesque case:; hrought by the Court of the Basoche, see Howard Graham Harvey,
Th e 1heatre q(thl” [la.vod/t·: ‘fb,. Contributioll q(the Law Societies to French Medieval Comedy
(C ambri.dge.; , MI\: 1llIlva1′<1 lJn i wr~ity Press, 1941). See also Hope Traver, “The Four
‘l)aughrCfS “(‘ e; ,,.I: 1\ Mil illl’ ,,(Ch:IIIJ.Cillj.( Doctrine.;,” PMLA 40 (1925): 44-92.

Sylvester Tan

XXU Introduction

forms,” identifying it as a “dialectical” work that “would encourage revelation of
a reflection on moral and theological truths.”25 Monique Leonard recognizes the
varieties of genre represented by the Advocacie and relates it to disputations, de­
bates, miracle tales, and prayers. 26

Contemporaries of the Advocacie’s author saw the dramatic potential in this
text. A fragment of a fourteenth-century manuscript found by Graham Runnalls
in the Bib1iotheque Municipa1e of Angers contains a play “more than one-third
of the lines [of which] … also appear in the Advocacie Nostre Dame.” 27 1his dra­
matization may have been influenced by the author’s knowledge of the Dijon
manuscript, also dating from the fourteenth century, that features rubrics desig­
nating different sequences of the work, functioning as chapter titles or signaling
the identity of the character who is speaking. 28

Dramatic tension in the Advocacie is heightened by the theological and legal
ramifications of the antagonists’ arguments: this is not merely a highly intellec­
tual disputatio, complete with references to Scripture, church fathers, theological
authorities, Marian devotions, canon law, and civi11aw. It is also a vivid illustra­
tion of the chicanery, insult-laden pleadings, and histrionic gestures that, we may
infer, often prevailed in medieval courts of law. 29

Barbara Newman has proposed “a new category of medieval writing, ‘imag­
inative theology’,” to describe “the pursuit of serious religious and theological
thought through the techniques of imaginative literature.”3o We believe that the

25 ]. Enders, Rhetoric and the Origins ofMedieval Drama (Ithaca and London: Cor­
nell University Press, 1992),33, 165-67. Enders calls the work a “literary trial” and ob­
serves that “the author commemorates simultaneously the passage from mnemonic to
dramatic image and from histrionic legal delivery to drama” (222), presenting a detailed
account of the plot (223-33).

26 M . Leonard, Le Dit et sa technique litteraire des origines it 1340 (Paris: Champion,
1996),28-32,324-31.

27 Graham Runnalls, “The Mystere de l:Advocacie Nostre Dame: A Recently Discov­
ered Fragment,” Zeitschriftfur Romanische Philologie 100 (1984): 41-77. Runnalls observes
that in no other French mystery play “does the Virgin Mary intervene on behalf of man­
kind and become involved in a threesided argument, placed in a legalistic context, with
God and the Devil” (44-45).

28 See Gros, “Le Texte Narratif,” 53-68. Gros also notes that 67.57 percent of the lines
in the narrative Advocacie – two-thirds of the text – consist of speeches: “L’Avocate,” 135.

29 Louis Cons recognized similarities in the depiction of legal procedure between
the Advocacie and La Farce de Pathelin: L:Auteur de la Farce de Pathelin (Princeton: Prince­
ton University Press, 1926), 152-53 . He dismissed the idea that either work originated
in the Basoche (154). Enders emphaSized the role of the actor in both the theater and the
courtroom in her chapter “From Legal Ritual to Dramatic Representation in Classical
Antiquity and the Middle Ages,” Rhetoric, 69-128.

30 B. Newman, God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry and Belief in the Middle Ages
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), 292-95.

Introduction XXUI

Advocacie is a work of imaginative theology that incorporates drama, doctrinal
interpretation, and illustrations oflegal procedure, both straightforward and slip­
pery. Satan, as befits his name (in Hebrew ha-satan, the accuser or adversary), op­
poses the Virgin Mary who embodies the definition of advocate (from the Latin
advocata, called to plead or intercede on behalf of another) in a clever exposition of
learned religion that is also accessible – through its burlesque of legal procedure
and the extravagant behavior of its antagonists – to a less learned audience. 31

Audiences

The courtroom setting of the Advocacie lends itself to “performative theology”
in its dramatic presentation of opposing doctrinal points of view. Performative
elements also entered into the delivery of sermons and the telling of pious tales,
encouraged by the Fourth Lateran Council to combat heresy and appeal to the
laity. 32 During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, in particular, the church
emphasized more affective means of reaching a lay audience whose members of­
ten lacked even rudimentary knowledge of their religion. 33

The drama as well as the theme of the Advocacie derive from a truly ancient
source: the rite of exorcism of catechumens prior to their baptism, usually per­
formed on Holy Saturday after a day of preparation on Good Friday. In this
paraliturgical performance, first described by Theodore of Mopsuestia in the late

31 The perennial opposition of Mary and Satan in medieval tales and plays was based
on Genesis 3:15, in which God says to the serpent (Satan), ”’1 will put enmity between you
and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you
will strike his heeL” Mary was considered the “new Eve” and Jesus , her Son, would defeat
the Devil through His death on the cross.

32 The dramatic elements of Christian ritual both suggest and illustrate theologi­
cal concepts: see, for example, O.B. Hardison, Jr., Christian Rite and Christian Drama
in the Middle Ages: Essays in the Origin and Early History of Modern Drama (Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1965). Evelyn Vitz has emphaSized the performative
aspects of medieval romance, hearing in the octosyllable an ideal line for recitation and
performance and emphasizing the importance of the voice in romance works: Orality and
Performance in Early French Romance (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1999). See also Adrian
P. Tudor, “Preaching, Storytelling, and the Performance of Short Pious Narratives,” in
Performing Medieval Narrative, ed. Evelyn Birge Vitz, Nancy Regalado, and Marilyn
Lawrence (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer, 2005), 141-53.

33 Michel Sot, Jean-Patrice Boudet, and Anita Guerreau-Jalabert, Histoire culturelle
. de fa France: Le Moyen Age (Paris: Seuil, 1997), characterize the use of the vernacular,
in particular, as “a sey\c.; and mode of expression adapted to a public interested in the­
c)logy but ncc.: ding “~l1l ~ laJlI re illinders of the basic fundamentals of faith and dogma”
(1 5:1 – S4). .

XXtv Introduction

fourth century,34 “catechumens dress and behave in such a way as to emphasize
their miserable state of captivity under Satan.” The exorcists serve as advocates
for these prisoners, taking “the role of lawyers who plead with God in a suit on
behalf of their clients …. Satan is present as defendant, and God is the judge” in
this “courtroom drama.” God hands down a verdict condemning the Devil and
the candidates are free to renounce Satan, “all his angels, all his service, all his
illusion, and all his pomp.”35

The Advocacie would offer a similar dramatization in a much more accessible
vernacular form to an audience of catechumens, an “interpretive community”36
whose members would have been much better prepared to understand the rite

Follow the instructions

MYSTICAL

City of God
THE MIRACLE OF HIS OMNIPOTENCE

AND THE ABYSS OF HIS GRACE
THE DIVINE HISTORY AND LIFE OF THE VIRGIN

MOTHER OF GOD

OUR QUEEN AND OUR LADY, MOST HOLY MARY
EXPIATRIX OF THE FAULT OF EVE

AND MEDIATRIX OF GRACE

Manifested in these later ages by that Lady to her handmaid

SISTER MARY OF JESUS

Superioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception of the town

of Agreda, of the province of Burgos in Spain, under

obedience to the regular obser^’ance

of the seraphic father

SAINT FRANCIS

For new enh”ghtenment of the world, for rejoicing
of the Catholic Church, and encouragement of men.

.
‘.W .

•it

Translation from the Original Authorized Spanish Edition

BY

FISCAR MARISON
Begun on the Feast of the Assumption

1902

INTRODUCTION
TO THE

LIFE OF THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN

GIVING THE REASON FOR WRITING IT, AND EXPLAINING
OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES IX CONNECTION THEREWITH.

1. I should not be astonished to hear myself con-

demned as audacious, foolhardy and presumptuous by

any person who will begin to realize (if realized it can

be) that I, a simple woman, who is of herself but sheer
weakness and ignorance and who is, on account of her

sins, most unworthy, has resolved and attempted to write

of divine and supernatural things. This condemnation

will be the more justified in these, our present times, in

which the holy Church, our mother, is so abundantly

supplied with teachers and holy men, so rich in doctrines

of the holy Fathers and Doctors ; in this our most oppor-
tune age, when even prudent and wise persons, full of

holy zeal in the spiritual life, are disturbed and troubled

at the least mention of a higher life, looking upon visions

and revelations as most suspicious and dangerous paths
for the pursuit of Christian perfection. If no excuse can

be found for such an enterprise in itself, or even for at-

tempting things that are so far above and superior to

what man can hope to compass, and so far beyond all
human capacities, then we can only conclude that to un-
dertake them is either a sign of perverse judgment or the
result of an activity far surpassing all the human power.

2. As faithful children of the holv Church we must

4 INTRODUCTION

confess that all the mortals, not only with the use of all

their natural powers, but with the simultaneous use of all

the common and ordinary graces, are but incapable and,
as it were, mute and ignorant weaklings for so difficult an

undertaking as to explain and describe the hidden mys-
teries and magnificent sacraments w^hich the powerful
arm of the Most High has wrought in that Creature

whom, as his Mother, He has designed to be an immense
ocean of grace and privilege and the Depositary of the

greatest treasures of the Divinity. How incapable must
our weakness acknowledge itself to be, when even the

angelic spirits confess that words fail them when at-

tempting to describe that which is so far above their

thoughts and capacities. The life of this Phoenix

among the works of God is a book so sealed up that none
is found among all the creatures of heaven and earth,

worthy to open it (Apoc. 4, 3). It is evident then, that

only the powerful Lord can unseal it ; He who made Her
more perfect than all the creatures; or She herself, the

Mistress, our Queen and Mother, who was worthy to re-
ceive and properly to appreciate her ineffable gifts. It

is in her power to select suitable instruments, and such as
for her glory seem capable of manifesting these gifts in

the proportion, at the time, and in the manner serviceable
to her Onlybegotten Son.

3. I would willingly maintain that these instruments
can be no other than the teachers and learned saints of

the Catholic Church, or the doctors of the schools, who
have all taught the way of truth and life. But the

thoughts and the judgments of the Most High are ex-
alted as much above ouf own as heaven is exalted above
the earth and no one knows his mind and no one can
counsel Him in his works (Rom. 11, 34) ; He it is that
holds the scales of the sanctuary in his hands (Apoc. 6,

INTRODUCTION 5

5), and who weighs the winds (Job 28, 25) ; who

grasps in his hands all the orbs (Is. 40, 12), and who,

by the equity of his most holy counsels, disposes of all

things with weight and measure (Wis, 11, 21), assign-

ing to each one opportune time and place. He dispenses
the light of wisdom (Ecclus. 24, Z7 ) and by his most

equitable bounty He distributes it, and no one can ascend
to the heavens to draw it down (Baruch 3, 29), or fetch
it from the clouds, or know its ways or investigate the
hidden paths thereof (Baruch 3, 31). He alone observes
it as it is in itself, and transfuses it as the vapor and

emanation of his immense charity (Wis. 7, 25) as the

brightness of his eternal light, as the flawless reflection

and image of his eternal bounty, through holy souls

among the nations in order to make them friends of the
Most High and constitute them as Prophets (Wis. 7, 27).
The Lord alone knows why and for what purpose He
thus prepared me, the last of his creatures; why He thus
called and raised me, obliged and compelled me, to write

the life of his most holy Mother, our Queen and Lady.
4. It is beyond the prudent surmise of any man that,

without this influence and power of the Most High, the

thought of such a work should enter into a human heart,
or such an enterprise should take shape in my mind. For
I acknowledge and confess myself to be a weak woman,

wanting in all virtue; therefore, it should be far from

my thoughts to approach such a work, but equally as far
from me to refuse it on my own account. In order that a
just estimate may be had in this matter I will mention in

simple truth something of that which happened to me re-

garding this histor\\

5 In the eighth year after the foundation of this con-

vent, in the twenty-fifth of my life, obedience imposed
upon me the office which I unworthily hold at the pres-

6 INTRODUCTION

ent day, namely to be the abbess of this convent. I found

myself much troubled, sorrowful and discouraged, be-
cause neither my age nor my inclinations were such as are
requisite for governing and commanding, but they were
rather such as befitted one who should be governed and

obey. I knew also, that in order to invest me wnth this
office a dispensation had been obtained. On account of
these and other just reasons, the terrors with which the

Most High has crucified me during all my life, were
much augmented. In addition thereto God left me in
dreadful doubt whether I was on the secure path or
whether I should obtain or lose his friendship and grace.

6. In this tribulation I cried to the Lord with all my
heart that He help me and if it be his will that I should
be freed from this danger and burden. Although it is

true that the Lord had prepared me sometime before-
hand and commanded me to accept the office, and al-

though when I tried to excuse myself on account of my
pusillanimity, He always consoled me and reiterated his
command, I nevertheless did not cease my petitions, but
rather augmented them. For I perceived and understood
in the Lord that, although He showed this to be his holy
will, which I could not hinder, yet I was aware at the

same time that he left me free to retire and resist, and, if
I wished, to act according to my weakness as a creature
and in the consciousness of my total insufficiency ; such is
the prudence of the Lord in his dealings with men. Re-

lying on this kindness of the Lord, I increased my efforts
to be relieved from this evident danger, which is so little

estimated by our human nature with its bad habits and

disorderly passions. The Lord, however, repeated con-

tinually that it was his will and He consoled me, admon-

ishing me through his holy angels to obey.
7. I fled in this affliction to our Queen and Lady as

INTRODUCTION 7

to my only refuge in all troubles, and after I had mani-
fested to Her my way of life and my desires, She deigned
to answer me in these sweetest of words : “My daughter,
console thyself and do not be disturbed in thy heart on

account of this labor; prepare thyself for it and I will be

thy Mother and Superior, whom thou shalt obey; and
the same I will be to thy subjects. I will supplement thy
deficiencies and thou shalt be my agent, through whom
the will of my Son and my God shall be fulfilled. In all
thy temptations and troubles thou shalt take refuge with

me, confer about them with me, and take the advice,
which I will give thee in all things. Obey me, and I will
favor thee and will continue to be attentive to thy afflic-

tion.” These were the words of the Queen, as consoling
as they were soothing to my soul. From that day on the
Mother of mercy multiplied her mercies toward me, her
slave

;
for She became more intimate with me and con-

tinued her intercourse with my soul, receiving me, listen-
ing to me, teaching me with ineffable condescension, giv-
ing me counsel and encouragement in my affliction, filling
my soul with the light and knowledge of eternal life and
commanding me to renew the vows of my profession in
her presence. Finally this our most amiable Mother and

Lady revealed Herself still more fully to her slave, with-

drawing the veil from the hidden sacraments and mag-
nificent mysteries which are contained, though unknown
to mortals, in her most holy life. And, although this

blessed and supernatural light was uninterrupted, and

especially clear on her festival days and on other occa-
sions when I was instructed in many mysteries ; yet it was
not so full, frequent and clear as that which was after-
wards vouchsafed to me when She added the command
that I write the history of her life according as her Ma-

jesty herself should dictate and inspire me. Particularly

8 INTRODUCTION

on one of these festivals of the most holy Mary the Most

High informed me that He had in reserve many hidden
sacraments and blessings, which He had conferred upon
this his heavenly Mother in the days of her pilgrimage
and that it was his intention to manifest them to me, in
order that I might write them down according to her^
guidance. This will of the Most High, though I resisted

it, was continually present to my mind for the space of
ten years, until I attempted the first writing of this divine

history.

8. Consulting about my doubts with the holy princes
and angels, whom the Most High had appointed to direct
this work of writing the history of our Queen, and mani-

festing to them how great was my disturbance and afflic-
tion of heart and how stuttering and mute was my tongue
for such an arduous task, they replied over and over

again that it was the will of the Most High that I write
the life of his most pure Mother and our Mistress. On
one day especially, when I made many objections and de-
clared to them my difficulties, and my incapability and
great fears, they spoke to me these words: “With good
reason thou fearest and art disturbed, O soul, doubtest
and hesitatest in a matter, where we angels ourselves
would do the same, as considering ourselves unable wor-

thily to describe the high and magnificent doings of the

Omnipotent in the Mother of Piety and our own Queen.
But remember, dearest soul, that the firmament, the

whole machinery of the world and all things created will

sooner fail, than the words of the Most High Many
times He has promised to his creatures, and in the holy
Scriptures it is recorded, that the obedient man shall

speak of victories over his enemies and shall not be repre-
hensible in obeying (Prov. 21, 28). And when Pie cre-
ated the first man and gave him the command not to eat

INTRODUCTION 9

of the tree of knowledge, he established the virtue of

obedience, and swearing He swore, in order to give
greater assurance to man. For the Lord has repeatedly
given such an oath ; for instance, when He promised to
Abraham that the Messias should descend from his race.
He added thereto the assurance of an oath (Gen. 22,
16) ; the same He did when He created the first man,
assuring him that the obedient shall not err. He also
repeated this oath, when He ordained that his most holy
Son should die (Luke 1, 73) ; and He gave a like assur-
ance to men that they, who should obey this second
Adam, imitating Him in the obedience, by which He re-
stored what the first lost through his disobedience, shall
live forever and that the enemy shall have no part in
them. Remember, Mary, that all obedience takes its rise
from God as from its first and principal source, and we

angels obey the power of his divine right hand and his
most just will. We cannot contravene or ignore it, be-
cause we see the immutable being of God face to face
and we perceive that his will is holy, pure and true, most

equitable and just. Now this certainty, which we angels
possess through the beatific vision, you mortals also pos-
sess in its proper proportion as wayfarers through the

words of the Lord concerning your prelates and supe-
riors : “He who hears you, hears Me ; and who obeys you,
obeys Me.” (Luke 20, 16). Now since obedience is ren-
dered on account of God, who is the principal Cause and
who is the Superior of all, it is befitting to his almighty
Providence that He take the consequences of obedience,
whenever that which is commanded is not in itself sin-
ful. Accordingly the Lord assures us of these things by
an oath, and He will sooner cease to exist, though this is
impossible, than that He will fail in his word. In the
same way as the children proceed from their parents, and

10 INTRODUCTION

all the living from Adam, multiplied from his natural

being in his posterity; so also all superiors are consti-

tuted by God as by the supreme Lord on whose account we

yield obedience to them ; human beings to their living su-

periors, we angels to our higher hierarchies of the same

nature, and all beings together, in their superiors, obey
the eternal God. Remember now, that all of these have
directed and commanded thee to do that, about which
thou still hesitatest; if thou now shouldst begin to write

by mistake, intending thereby to fulfill his commands in

obedience, then the Most High would do with thy pen the
same as He did with the knife of Abraham, when he was
about to sacrifice his son Isaac, for on that occasion the

Lord commanded one of us angels to withhold the arm
and the knife. He did not thus command us to withhold

thy pen, but has ordered us with lightest breath to speed it

on, and while gazing on his Majesty, to direct and assist

thee by illuminating thy intellect.”

9. Such encouragement and instruction my holy angels
and lords gave me at this time. On many other occa-
sions the prince saint Michael informed me of the same
wish and command of the Most High. By the continual

enlightenments, favors and instructions of this great

prince, I have understood great sacraments and mysteries
of the Lord and of the Queen of heaven ; for this angel
was one of those, who guarded and assisted Her and
who were delegated from the angelic choirs, as I will re-
late in its place (Part I, 201-206). He is at the same
time the general patron and protector of the holy Church.

He was a special witness and faithful minister of the mys-
teries of the Incarnation and Redemption. This I have

often heard of saint Michael himself, who showed me

singular favors in my troubles and dangers, and has
promised me his assistance and direction in this under-

taking.

INTRODUCTION 11

10. In addition to all this and other facts, which need
not here be mentioned, and in addition to what I shall say
farther on, the Lord has directly, in his own person, com-
manded and manifested to me his will many times, and in
words which I shall presently repeat. He said to me one
day on the festival of the Presentation of most holy
Mary in the temple : “My spouse, many mysteries per-
taining to my Mother and the saints have been made
manifest in the Church militant; but many are still hid-
den, especially the interior secrets of their lives, and these
I wish now to make known

;
and I desire thee to put them

down in writing according as thou art directed by the
most pure Mary. I will reveal and explain them to thee ;
for until now I have, according to the hidden designs of
my wisdom, kept them in reserve, because the time for
revealing them was not befitting or opportune to my
Providence. Now, however, it is, and it is my will that
thou write. Obey, soul!”

11. All these facts which I have mentioned, and many
more which I could mention, would not have been urgent
enough to rouse my will to an enterprise so arduous and
so foreign to my condition, if to them had not been added
the motive of obedience to my superiors, who are set to
govern my soul and teach me the way of truth. For cer-
tainly my mistrusts and fears were not so unimportant
as to permit me to come to a full decision without their
commands in so great a matter, when in resolving upon
others, also supernatural and vastly less difficult, I rely
so much on the guidance of obedience. As an ignorant
woman I have always sought this northstar, for it is a
duty incuml>ent on all to test all things, even though they
seem to be most noble and excellent beyond suspicion, by
the approbation of the teachers and ministers of the holy
Church, Such assurance I have been solicitous to pro-

12 INTRODUCTION

cure for the direction of my soul, and more particularly
in this undertaking of writing the life of the Queen of
heaven. I have frequently tried to prevent my superiors
from being moved by any accounts of my interior ex-
periences, disguising, as much as I could, many things,
and in tears begging the Lord to enlighten them and to

fill them with mistrust against me, to watch over them
lest they be deceived or lest they permit me to be deceived
or misdirected. Many times I have desired that the very
thought of allowing me to engage in this enterprise
would fade from their minds.

12. I will also confess that the demon, availing himself

of my natural dispositions and of my fears, has made
great efforts to hinder this work by seeking to terrify and
afflict me. He would no doubt have succeeded in keep-
ing me from it if the zeal and persistence of my superiors
had not counteracted my cowardice. In this persecution
the Lord, the most pure Virgin and the holy angels often

took occasion to renew their enlightenment, their tokens

and wonders. Nevertheless, in spite of all this, I de-

ferred, or to speak more appropriately, I resisted this un-

dertaking many years ; I refused compliance, as I will de-
scribe further on, not having the boldness to attempt the

execution of something so far above all my powers. And
I believe that this was not without special providence of

his Majesty; for in the course of those years so many
things have happened to me, and I may say, so many
mysterious and various difficulties intervened, that I

would not have been able to preserve the tranquillity and

quiet of spirit, which is necessary for retaining the

proper light and information; for not in all states of

mind, though they are of the highest and most advanced,
can the soul engage in that exalted activity which is

necessary to correspond to such exquisite and delicate in-

INTRODUCTION 13

Alienees. In addition to this, there was still another rea-

son, namely: During this protracted delay I could inform

myself and assure myself of the truth of these things not

only by means of the new enlightenment, which grew as

time passed on, and by the prudence which experience

gives, but also by the persevering insistence of the Lord,

of the holy angels and of my superiors, under whose
obedience I lived. Likewise an opportunity was given
me to quiet my fears and misgivings, to overcome my
cowardice and perplexity, and to trust that to the Lord,

which I would not trust to my weakness.
13. Confiding then in the great virtue of obedience, I

resolved in the name of the Lord and of my Queen and
Mistress to lay aside my reluctance. I call this virtue

great, not only because by it the most noble activities in

the faculties of a creature, namely the mind, the judg-
ment and free will, are offered as a holocaust to the

Lord ; but also because no other virtue ever assures suc-

cess more unfailingly than obedience ; for by it the crea-

ture then does not operate of itself alone, but also as an

instrument of him that governs and commands. This was

the assurance of Abraham, when he overcame the force
of the natural love for his son Isaac (Gen. 22, 3), And
if it was sufficient for such an act, and sufficient to detain

the sun and the heavens in their swift course (Josue
10, 13), it can certainly be sufficient to influence the

movement of the earth. Perchance if the hand of Oza
had been guided by obedience, he would perhaps not

have been punished as presumptuous in touching the ark.

Well do I know that I am more unworthy than Oza in

stretching out ray hand to touch, not the lifeless and fig-
urative ark of the old covenant, but the living Ark of the
New Testament, which contained the manna of the Di-
vinitv, the source of grace and the New Law. But if I

14 INTRODUCTION

remain silent, I fear with good reason to disobey most

high commands, and I could exclaim with Isaias : “Woe
is me because I kept my peace!” (Is. 6, 5). Therefore,
O my Queen and Lady, it is better that thy benignest
goodness and mercy and the blessings of thy liberal hand
should shine forth through my base and unworthy ef-
forts

;
it is better that I should experience thy blessings in

obeying thy commands, than that I should fall into thy
displeasure. I\ will be a work of thy clemency, O purest
Mother, to raise the poor from the earth and to execute

through a weak and unfit instrument, a work so difficult ;
for thereby Thou shalt magnify thy condescension and
the graces which thy most holy Son communicates to
Thee. Moreover Thou thereby shalt exclude that deceit-
ful presumption, which might make us imagine that by
human efforts, or by earthly prudence, or by the force
and authority of deep discussion, this work is accom-

plished. Thou thereby showest, that by divine virtue
Thou awakenest anew the hearts of the faithful, drawing
them toward Thee, Thou fountain of kindness and

mercy. Speak therefore, O Lady, that thy servant may
hear with an ardent desire fully to obey Thee (I Kings
3, 19). But how can my desires ever reach or equal my
indebtedness? A befitting response on my part will be
impossible, but if it were possible, I would desire to give
it. O powerful and exalted Queen, fulfill thy promises
by manifesting to me thy graces and attributes, in order
that thy greatness may be made known and heralded

through the nations and generations. Speak, O Lady,
for thy servant heareth ; speak and magnify the Most

High in the powerful and wonderful works, which his

right hand performed for Thee in thy most profound hu-

mility. Let them flow from the hollow of his hands

filled with hyacinths into thine (Cant. 5, 14), and from

INTRODUCTION IS

thine to thy devout servants, in order that the angels

may bless Him, the just magnify Him, and the sinners
seek Him. Let all of them see the example of thy high-
est sanctity and purity, and by the grace of thy most holy
Son, let me be favored with this mirror and efficacious
rule, by which I can set my life in order. For this is to
be the principal purpose and first object of my solicitude
in writing thy life. This Thou hast repeatedly intimated
to me, condescending to offer me a living pattern and a
mirror without flaw, in which I should see and according
to which I should adorn my soul, so as to become worthy
to be thy daughter and the bride of thy most holy Son.

14. This shall be my whole object and intention; and
therefore I shall not write as a teacher, but as a disciple ;
not as one instructing, but as one trying to learn, know-

ing that it is the duty of women to be silent in the holy
Church, and to listen to the teachers (I Cor. 14, 34).
But as an instrument of the Queen of heaven I will de-
clare what She deigns to teach me and whatever She
commands me ; for all the souls are capable of receiving
the Spirit, which her divine Son has promised to pour
out over men of all conditions (Joel 2, 28). The souls
are also able to communicate it in a befitting manner,
whenever a higher authority acting according to the dis-

pensations of Christ’s Church so disposes. I am now
convinced that the Church has authorized this history
through my superiors. That I should err is possible, and
to an ignorant woman, natural ; but then I err, while

obeying and not acting of my own free will ; thus I remit
myself and subject myself to those who are my guides
and to the correction of the holy Catholic Church, to

whose ministers I fly in all my difficulties. And I wish
that my superior, teacher and confessor be a witness and
a censor of this doctrine, which I receive, and also a

16 INTRODUCTION

severe and vigilant judge of the manner in which I put
it into practice, or fail in the fulfilling of the obligations

consequent upon this blessing.
15. Pursuant to the will of the Lord and the com-

mand of obedience, I have written for the second time
this heavenly history; for during the first writing of it,

though the light by which I perceived the mysteries was
abundant and fruitful in proportion as my shortcomings
were great, my tongue was unequal to the task of finding
the proper terms, and my pen not swift enough for a full
statement, I omitted some things, and with the lapse of

time and by the aid of new enlightenments, I found my-
self better prepared to write at this second time Nev-

ertheless there always remains much of what I imder-
stood and have seen, which I must leave unsaid; since to

say all will never be possible. Besides these reasons,

there was another known to me in the Lord, namely ;
That in my first writing my mind was much hindered
from attending to the matter and arrangement of this

work by my temptations and great fears. They raised
such tempests of contrary thoughts and suggestions with-

in me, that, deeming it the greatest presumption to have

attempted such an arduous task, I concluded to burn it.

And I believe that this did not happen without the per-
mission of the Lord, for in the turbulency of my soul I
could not present myself in a state entirely befitting and

desirable to the Lord for writing and engraving into my
heart and spirit his doctrine, as He commands me to do
now and as can be seen from the following event.

16. On one of the festival days of the Purification of
Our Lady, after having received the most holy Sacra-

ment, I wished to celebrate this holy festival, which was

the anniversary of my profession, with many acts of
thanksgiving and of total resignation to the Most High,

INTRODUCTION 17

who without any merits of mine had chosen me as his

spouse. While I was thus exciting these affections, I felt
in my interior a most powerful change accompanied by
abundant light which raised me and urged me strongly
and sweetly toward the knowledge of the essence of God,
his goodness, perfections and attributes, and to the dis-

closing of my own misery (Wis. 8, 1). And these dif-
ferent things, which were placed before my understand-
ing at one and the same time, produced in me various
effects : The first was that all the attention of my mind
and all my aspirations were raised on high ; the other
effect was, that I was humbled in mind to the very dust,
in such a way that it seemed to take away my own exist-
ence. At the same time I felt a most vehement sorrow
and contrition for my grievous sins, joined to the de-
termination to amend and to renounce all worldly things,
aspiring instead toward complete love of God. In these
affects I remained as if annihilated, and the greatest pain
seemed but consolation, and death, but life. The Lord
having pity on my faintness, in sheer mercy, spoke to
me: “Be not dismayed, my daughter and spouse, for in
order to pardon, to wash and to purify thee from thy
sins, I will apply my infinite merits and the blood, which
I shed for thee; animate thyself to desire all perfection
in imitation of the life of the most holy Mar\’. Write it
a second time in order that thou mayest supply what was

wanting and impress her doctrines on thy heart. Do not
again irritate my justice, nor show thyself thankless for
my mercy by burning what thou shalt have written. lest
my indignation deprive thee of the light which, without
thy merits, thou hast received for the manifestation of
these mysteries.”

17. I immediately thereupon saw the Mother of God,
who also spoke to me: “My daughter, as yet thou hast

18 INTRODUCTION

not derived becoming fruit for thy soul from the tree of

life, which was offered thee in the writing of my history,
nor didst thou enter into the substance of its contents.

Thou hast scarcely yet thought of this hidden manna,
nor hast thou attained that perfect and ultimate prepara-
tion, which the Almighty requires in order to engrave
and imprint, in a proper manner, my virtues into thy
soul. I am^to give thee the befitting qualities and per-
fections for that which the divine right hand is to accom-

plish in thee. I have asked Him that, through my inter-
cession and through the abundant graces conferred upon
me, I be permitted to adorn thee and compose thy soul,
so that thou mayest turn again to the writing of my life
with less attention to the material and more to the spir-
itual and substantial part of it. Remove the hindrances
which oppose the currents of divine grace flowing to
thee from the Almighty through me and make thyself ca-
pable of readily accepting the full portion assigned to thee

by the divine will. See that thou do not curtail or limit
i’- by thy shortcomings and imperfections.” Thereupon
I saw that the divine Mother clothed me in a garment
whiter than the snow and more shining than the sun ;
and She girded me with a most precious girdle and said :
“This is a participation of my purity.” I also asked for
the infused science of the Lord, which should serve me
as most beautiful hair for my adornment and for other
precious gifts and presents, the value of which I saw and
knew was great, but which I was not able fully to esti-
mate. After having thus adorned me, the heavenly Lady
said : “Work faithfully and earnestly to imitate me and
to be my most perfect daughter, engendered of my spirit,
nourished at my breast. I give thee my blessing, in
order that in my name and under my direction and assist-
ance thou mayest again resume thy writing.”

Follow the instructions

MYSTICAL

City of God
THE MIRACLE OF HIS OMNIPOTENCE

AND THE ABYSS OF HIS GRACE
THE DIVINE HISTORY AND LIFE OF THE VIRGIN

MOTHER OF GOD

OUR QUEEN AND OUR LADY, MOST HOLY MARY
EXPIATRIX OF THE FAULT OF EVE

AND MEDIATRIX OF GRACE

Manifested in these later ages by that Lady to her handmaid

SISTER MARY OF JESUS

Superioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception of the town

of Agreda, of the province of Burgos in Spain, under

obedience to the regular obser^’ance

of the seraphic father

SAINT FRANCIS

For new enh”ghtenment of the world, for rejoicing
of the Catholic Church, and encouragement of men.

.
‘.W .

•it

Translation from the Original Authorized Spanish Edition

BY

FISCAR MARISON
Begun on the Feast of the Assumption

1902

INTRODUCTION
TO THE

LIFE OF THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN

GIVING THE REASON FOR WRITING IT, AND EXPLAINING
OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES IX CONNECTION THEREWITH.

1. I should not be astonished to hear myself con-

demned as audacious, foolhardy and presumptuous by

any person who will begin to realize (if realized it can

be) that I, a simple woman, who is of herself but sheer
weakness and ignorance and who is, on account of her

sins, most unworthy, has resolved and attempted to write

of divine and supernatural things. This condemnation

will be the more justified in these, our present times, in

which the holy Church, our mother, is so abundantly

supplied with teachers and holy men, so rich in doctrines

of the holy Fathers and Doctors ; in this our most oppor-
tune age, when even prudent and wise persons, full of

holy zeal in the spiritual life, are disturbed and troubled

at the least mention of a higher life, looking upon visions

and revelations as most suspicious and dangerous paths
for the pursuit of Christian perfection. If no excuse can

be found for such an enterprise in itself, or even for at-

tempting things that are so far above and superior to

what man can hope to compass, and so far beyond all
human capacities, then we can only conclude that to un-
dertake them is either a sign of perverse judgment or the
result of an activity far surpassing all the human power.

2. As faithful children of the holv Church we must

4 INTRODUCTION

confess that all the mortals, not only with the use of all

their natural powers, but with the simultaneous use of all

the common and ordinary graces, are but incapable and,
as it were, mute and ignorant weaklings for so difficult an

undertaking as to explain and describe the hidden mys-
teries and magnificent sacraments w^hich the powerful
arm of the Most High has wrought in that Creature

whom, as his Mother, He has designed to be an immense
ocean of grace and privilege and the Depositary of the

greatest treasures of the Divinity. How incapable must
our weakness acknowledge itself to be, when even the

angelic spirits confess that words fail them when at-

tempting to describe that which is so far above their

thoughts and capacities. The life of this Phoenix

among the works of God is a book so sealed up that none
is found among all the creatures of heaven and earth,

worthy to open it (Apoc. 4, 3). It is evident then, that

only the powerful Lord can unseal it ; He who made Her
more perfect than all the creatures; or She herself, the

Mistress, our Queen and Mother, who was worthy to re-
ceive and properly to appreciate her ineffable gifts. It

is in her power to select suitable instruments, and such as
for her glory seem capable of manifesting these gifts in

the proportion, at the time, and in the manner serviceable
to her Onlybegotten Son.

3. I would willingly maintain that these instruments
can be no other than the teachers and learned saints of

the Catholic Church, or the doctors of the schools, who
have all taught the way of truth and life. But the

thoughts and the judgments of the Most High are ex-
alted as much above ouf own as heaven is exalted above
the earth and no one knows his mind and no one can
counsel Him in his works (Rom. 11, 34) ; He it is that
holds the scales of the sanctuary in his hands (Apoc. 6,

INTRODUCTION 5

5), and who weighs the winds (Job 28, 25) ; who

grasps in his hands all the orbs (Is. 40, 12), and who,

by the equity of his most holy counsels, disposes of all

things with weight and measure (Wis, 11, 21), assign-

ing to each one opportune time and place. He dispenses
the light of wisdom (Ecclus. 24, Z7 ) and by his most

equitable bounty He distributes it, and no one can ascend
to the heavens to draw it down (Baruch 3, 29), or fetch
it from the clouds, or know its ways or investigate the
hidden paths thereof (Baruch 3, 31). He alone observes
it as it is in itself, and transfuses it as the vapor and

emanation of his immense charity (Wis. 7, 25) as the

brightness of his eternal light, as the flawless reflection

and image of his eternal bounty, through holy souls

among the nations in order to make them friends of the
Most High and constitute them as Prophets (Wis. 7, 27).
The Lord alone knows why and for what purpose He
thus prepared me, the last of his creatures; why He thus
called and raised me, obliged and compelled me, to write

the life of his most holy Mother, our Queen and Lady.
4. It is beyond the prudent surmise of any man that,

without this influence and power of the Most High, the

thought of such a work should enter into a human heart,
or such an enterprise should take shape in my mind. For
I acknowledge and confess myself to be a weak woman,

wanting in all virtue; therefore, it should be far from

my thoughts to approach such a work, but equally as far
from me to refuse it on my own account. In order that a
just estimate may be had in this matter I will mention in

simple truth something of that which happened to me re-

garding this histor\\

5 In the eighth year after the foundation of this con-

vent, in the twenty-fifth of my life, obedience imposed
upon me the office which I unworthily hold at the pres-

6 INTRODUCTION

ent day, namely to be the abbess of this convent. I found

myself much troubled, sorrowful and discouraged, be-
cause neither my age nor my inclinations were such as are
requisite for governing and commanding, but they were
rather such as befitted one who should be governed and

obey. I knew also, that in order to invest me wnth this
office a dispensation had been obtained. On account of
these and other just reasons, the terrors with which the

Most High has crucified me during all my life, were
much augmented. In addition thereto God left me in
dreadful doubt whether I was on the secure path or
whether I should obtain or lose his friendship and grace.

6. In this tribulation I cried to the Lord with all my
heart that He help me and if it be his will that I should
be freed from this danger and burden. Although it is

true that the Lord had prepared me sometime before-
hand and commanded me to accept the office, and al-

though when I tried to excuse myself on account of my
pusillanimity, He always consoled me and reiterated his
command, I nevertheless did not cease my petitions, but
rather augmented them. For I perceived and understood
in the Lord that, although He showed this to be his holy
will, which I could not hinder, yet I was aware at the

same time that he left me free to retire and resist, and, if
I wished, to act according to my weakness as a creature
and in the consciousness of my total insufficiency ; such is
the prudence of the Lord in his dealings with men. Re-

lying on this kindness of the Lord, I increased my efforts
to be relieved from this evident danger, which is so little

estimated by our human nature with its bad habits and

disorderly passions. The Lord, however, repeated con-

tinually that it was his will and He consoled me, admon-

ishing me through his holy angels to obey.
7. I fled in this affliction to our Queen and Lady as

INTRODUCTION 7

to my only refuge in all troubles, and after I had mani-
fested to Her my way of life and my desires, She deigned
to answer me in these sweetest of words : “My daughter,
console thyself and do not be disturbed in thy heart on

account of this labor; prepare thyself for it and I will be

thy Mother and Superior, whom thou shalt obey; and
the same I will be to thy subjects. I will supplement thy
deficiencies and thou shalt be my agent, through whom
the will of my Son and my God shall be fulfilled. In all
thy temptations and troubles thou shalt take refuge with

me, confer about them with me, and take the advice,
which I will give thee in all things. Obey me, and I will
favor thee and will continue to be attentive to thy afflic-

tion.” These were the words of the Queen, as consoling
as they were soothing to my soul. From that day on the
Mother of mercy multiplied her mercies toward me, her
slave

;
for She became more intimate with me and con-

tinued her intercourse with my soul, receiving me, listen-
ing to me, teaching me with ineffable condescension, giv-
ing me counsel and encouragement in my affliction, filling
my soul with the light and knowledge of eternal life and
commanding me to renew the vows of my profession in
her presence. Finally this our most amiable Mother and

Lady revealed Herself still more fully to her slave, with-

drawing the veil from the hidden sacraments and mag-
nificent mysteries which are contained, though unknown
to mortals, in her most holy life. And, although this

blessed and supernatural light was uninterrupted, and

especially clear on her festival days and on other occa-
sions when I was instructed in many mysteries ; yet it was
not so full, frequent and clear as that which was after-
wards vouchsafed to me when She added the command
that I write the history of her life according as her Ma-

jesty herself should dictate and inspire me. Particularly

8 INTRODUCTION

on one of these festivals of the most holy Mary the Most

High informed me that He had in reserve many hidden
sacraments and blessings, which He had conferred upon
this his heavenly Mother in the days of her pilgrimage
and that it was his intention to manifest them to me, in
order that I might write them down according to her^
guidance. This will of the Most High, though I resisted

it, was continually present to my mind for the space of
ten years, until I attempted the first writing of this divine

history.

8. Consulting about my doubts with the holy princes
and angels, whom the Most High had appointed to direct
this work of writing the history of our Queen, and mani-

festing to them how great was my disturbance and afflic-
tion of heart and how stuttering and mute was my tongue
for such an arduous task, they replied over and over

again that it was the will of the Most High that I write
the life of his most pure Mother and our Mistress. On
one day especially, when I made many objections and de-
clared to them my difficulties, and my incapability and
great fears, they spoke to me these words: “With good
reason thou fearest and art disturbed, O soul, doubtest
and hesitatest in a matter, where we angels ourselves
would do the same, as considering ourselves unable wor-

thily to describe the high and magnificent doings of the

Omnipotent in the Mother of Piety and our own Queen.
But remember, dearest soul, that the firmament, the

whole machinery of the world and all things created will

sooner fail, than the words of the Most High Many
times He has promised to his creatures, and in the holy
Scriptures it is recorded, that the obedient man shall

speak of victories over his enemies and shall not be repre-
hensible in obeying (Prov. 21, 28). And when Pie cre-
ated the first man and gave him the command not to eat

INTRODUCTION 9

of the tree of knowledge, he established the virtue of

obedience, and swearing He swore, in order to give
greater assurance to man. For the Lord has repeatedly
given such an oath ; for instance, when He promised to
Abraham that the Messias should descend from his race.
He added thereto the assurance of an oath (Gen. 22,
16) ; the same He did when He created the first man,
assuring him that the obedient shall not err. He also
repeated this oath, when He ordained that his most holy
Son should die (Luke 1, 73) ; and He gave a like assur-
ance to men that they, who should obey this second
Adam, imitating Him in the obedience, by which He re-
stored what the first lost through his disobedience, shall
live forever and that the enemy shall have no part in
them. Remember, Mary, that all obedience takes its rise
from God as from its first and principal source, and we

angels obey the power of his divine right hand and his
most just will. We cannot contravene or ignore it, be-
cause we see the immutable being of God face to face
and we perceive that his will is holy, pure and true, most

equitable and just. Now this certainty, which we angels
possess through the beatific vision, you mortals also pos-
sess in its proper proportion as wayfarers through the

words of the Lord concerning your prelates and supe-
riors : “He who hears you, hears Me ; and who obeys you,
obeys Me.” (Luke 20, 16). Now since obedience is ren-
dered on account of God, who is the principal Cause and
who is the Superior of all, it is befitting to his almighty
Providence that He take the consequences of obedience,
whenever that which is commanded is not in itself sin-
ful. Accordingly the Lord assures us of these things by
an oath, and He will sooner cease to exist, though this is
impossible, than that He will fail in his word. In the
same way as the children proceed from their parents, and

10 INTRODUCTION

all the living from Adam, multiplied from his natural

being in his posterity; so also all superiors are consti-

tuted by God as by the supreme Lord on whose account we

yield obedience to them ; human beings to their living su-

periors, we angels to our higher hierarchies of the same

nature, and all beings together, in their superiors, obey
the eternal God. Remember now, that all of these have
directed and commanded thee to do that, about which
thou still hesitatest; if thou now shouldst begin to write

by mistake, intending thereby to fulfill his commands in

obedience, then the Most High would do with thy pen the
same as He did with the knife of Abraham, when he was
about to sacrifice his son Isaac, for on that occasion the

Lord commanded one of us angels to withhold the arm
and the knife. He did not thus command us to withhold

thy pen, but has ordered us with lightest breath to speed it

on, and while gazing on his Majesty, to direct and assist

thee by illuminating thy intellect.”

9. Such encouragement and instruction my holy angels
and lords gave me at this time. On many other occa-
sions the prince saint Michael informed me of the same
wish and command of the Most High. By the continual

enlightenments, favors and instructions of this great

prince, I have understood great sacraments and mysteries
of the Lord and of the Queen of heaven ; for this angel
was one of those, who guarded and assisted Her and
who were delegated from the angelic choirs, as I will re-
late in its place (Part I, 201-206). He is at the same
time the general patron and protector of the holy Church.

He was a special witness and faithful minister of the mys-
teries of the Incarnation and Redemption. This I have

often heard of saint Michael himself, who showed me

singular favors in my troubles and dangers, and has
promised me his assistance and direction in this under-

taking.

INTRODUCTION 11

10. In addition to all this and other facts, which need
not here be mentioned, and in addition to what I shall say
farther on, the Lord has directly, in his own person, com-
manded and manifested to me his will many times, and in
words which I shall presently repeat. He said to me one
day on the festival of the Presentation of most holy
Mary in the temple : “My spouse, many mysteries per-
taining to my Mother and the saints have been made
manifest in the Church militant; but many are still hid-
den, especially the interior secrets of their lives, and these
I wish now to make known

;
and I desire thee to put them

down in writing according as thou art directed by the
most pure Mary. I will reveal and explain them to thee ;
for until now I have, according to the hidden designs of
my wisdom, kept them in reserve, because the time for
revealing them was not befitting or opportune to my
Providence. Now, however, it is, and it is my will that
thou write. Obey, soul!”

11. All these facts which I have mentioned, and many
more which I could mention, would not have been urgent
enough to rouse my will to an enterprise so arduous and
so foreign to my condition, if to them had not been added
the motive of obedience to my superiors, who are set to
govern my soul and teach me the way of truth. For cer-
tainly my mistrusts and fears were not so unimportant
as to permit me to come to a full decision without their
commands in so great a matter, when in resolving upon
others, also supernatural and vastly less difficult, I rely
so much on the guidance of obedience. As an ignorant
woman I have always sought this northstar, for it is a
duty incuml>ent on all to test all things, even though they
seem to be most noble and excellent beyond suspicion, by
the approbation of the teachers and ministers of the holy
Church, Such assurance I have been solicitous to pro-

12 INTRODUCTION

cure for the direction of my soul, and more particularly
in this undertaking of writing the life of the Queen of
heaven. I have frequently tried to prevent my superiors
from being moved by any accounts of my interior ex-
periences, disguising, as much as I could, many things,
and in tears begging the Lord to enlighten them and to

fill them with mistrust against me, to watch over them
lest they be deceived or lest they permit me to be deceived
or misdirected. Many times I have desired that the very
thought of allowing me to engage in this enterprise
would fade from their minds.

12. I will also confess that the demon, availing himself

of my natural dispositions and of my fears, has made
great efforts to hinder this work by seeking to terrify and
afflict me. He would no doubt have succeeded in keep-
ing me from it if the zeal and persistence of my superiors
had not counteracted my cowardice. In this persecution
the Lord, the most pure Virgin and the holy angels often

took occasion to renew their enlightenment, their tokens

and wonders. Nevertheless, in spite of all this, I de-

ferred, or to speak more appropriately, I resisted this un-

dertaking many years ; I refused compliance, as I will de-
scribe further on, not having the boldness to attempt the

execution of something so far above all my powers. And
I believe that this was not without special providence of

his Majesty; for in the course of those years so many
things have happened to me, and I may say, so many
mysterious and various difficulties intervened, that I

would not have been able to preserve the tranquillity and

quiet of spirit, which is necessary for retaining the

proper light and information; for not in all states of

mind, though they are of the highest and most advanced,
can the soul engage in that exalted activity which is

necessary to correspond to such exquisite and delicate in-

INTRODUCTION 13

Alienees. In addition to this, there was still another rea-

son, namely: During this protracted delay I could inform

myself and assure myself of the truth of these things not

only by means of the new enlightenment, which grew as

time passed on, and by the prudence which experience

gives, but also by the persevering insistence of the Lord,

of the holy angels and of my superiors, under whose
obedience I lived. Likewise an opportunity was given
me to quiet my fears and misgivings, to overcome my
cowardice and perplexity, and to trust that to the Lord,

which I would not trust to my weakness.
13. Confiding then in the great virtue of obedience, I

resolved in the name of the Lord and of my Queen and
Mistress to lay aside my reluctance. I call this virtue

great, not only because by it the most noble activities in

the faculties of a creature, namely the mind, the judg-
ment and free will, are offered as a holocaust to the

Lord ; but also because no other virtue ever assures suc-

cess more unfailingly than obedience ; for by it the crea-

ture then does not operate of itself alone, but also as an

instrument of him that governs and commands. This was

the assurance of Abraham, when he overcame the force
of the natural love for his son Isaac (Gen. 22, 3), And
if it was sufficient for such an act, and sufficient to detain

the sun and the heavens in their swift course (Josue
10, 13), it can certainly be sufficient to influence the

movement of the earth. Perchance if the hand of Oza
had been guided by obedience, he would perhaps not

have been punished as presumptuous in touching the ark.

Well do I know that I am more unworthy than Oza in

stretching out ray hand to touch, not the lifeless and fig-
urative ark of the old covenant, but the living Ark of the
New Testament, which contained the manna of the Di-
vinitv, the source of grace and the New Law. But if I

14 INTRODUCTION

remain silent, I fear with good reason to disobey most

high commands, and I could exclaim with Isaias : “Woe
is me because I kept my peace!” (Is. 6, 5). Therefore,
O my Queen and Lady, it is better that thy benignest
goodness and mercy and the blessings of thy liberal hand
should shine forth through my base and unworthy ef-
forts

;
it is better that I should experience thy blessings in

obeying thy commands, than that I should fall into thy
displeasure. I\ will be a work of thy clemency, O purest
Mother, to raise the poor from the earth and to execute

through a weak and unfit instrument, a work so difficult ;
for thereby Thou shalt magnify thy condescension and
the graces which thy most holy Son communicates to
Thee. Moreover Thou thereby shalt exclude that deceit-
ful presumption, which might make us imagine that by
human efforts, or by earthly prudence, or by the force
and authority of deep discussion, this work is accom-

plished. Thou thereby showest, that by divine virtue
Thou awakenest anew the hearts of the faithful, drawing
them toward Thee, Thou fountain of kindness and

mercy. Speak therefore, O Lady, that thy servant may
hear with an ardent desire fully to obey Thee (I Kings
3, 19). But how can my desires ever reach or equal my
indebtedness? A befitting response on my part will be
impossible, but if it were possible, I would desire to give
it. O powerful and exalted Queen, fulfill thy promises
by manifesting to me thy graces and attributes, in order
that thy greatness may be made known and heralded

through the nations and generations. Speak, O Lady,
for thy servant heareth ; speak and magnify the Most

High in the powerful and wonderful works, which his

right hand performed for Thee in thy most profound hu-

mility. Let them flow from the hollow of his hands

filled with hyacinths into thine (Cant. 5, 14), and from

INTRODUCTION IS

thine to thy devout servants, in order that the angels

may bless Him, the just magnify Him, and the sinners
seek Him. Let all of them see the example of thy high-
est sanctity and purity, and by the grace of thy most holy
Son, let me be favored with this mirror and efficacious
rule, by which I can set my life in order. For this is to
be the principal purpose and first object of my solicitude
in writing thy life. This Thou hast repeatedly intimated
to me, condescending to offer me a living pattern and a
mirror without flaw, in which I should see and according
to which I should adorn my soul, so as to become worthy
to be thy daughter and the bride of thy most holy Son.

14. This shall be my whole object and intention; and
therefore I shall not write as a teacher, but as a disciple ;
not as one instructing, but as one trying to learn, know-

ing that it is the duty of women to be silent in the holy
Church, and to listen to the teachers (I Cor. 14, 34).
But as an instrument of the Queen of heaven I will de-
clare what She deigns to teach me and whatever She
commands me ; for all the souls are capable of receiving
the Spirit, which her divine Son has promised to pour
out over men of all conditions (Joel 2, 28). The souls
are also able to communicate it in a befitting manner,
whenever a higher authority acting according to the dis-

pensations of Christ’s Church so disposes. I am now
convinced that the Church has authorized this history
through my superiors. That I should err is possible, and
to an ignorant woman, natural ; but then I err, while

obeying and not acting of my own free will ; thus I remit
myself and subject myself to those who are my guides
and to the correction of the holy Catholic Church, to

whose ministers I fly in all my difficulties. And I wish
that my superior, teacher and confessor be a witness and
a censor of this doctrine, which I receive, and also a

16 INTRODUCTION

severe and vigilant judge of the manner in which I put
it into practice, or fail in the fulfilling of the obligations

consequent upon this blessing.
15. Pursuant to the will of the Lord and the com-

mand of obedience, I have written for the second time
this heavenly history; for during the first writing of it,

though the light by which I perceived the mysteries was
abundant and fruitful in proportion as my shortcomings
were great, my tongue was unequal to the task of finding
the proper terms, and my pen not swift enough for a full
statement, I omitted some things, and with the lapse of

time and by the aid of new enlightenments, I found my-
self better prepared to write at this second time Nev-

ertheless there always remains much of what I imder-
stood and have seen, which I must leave unsaid; since to

say all will never be possible. Besides these reasons,

there was another known to me in the Lord, namely ;
That in my first writing my mind was much hindered
from attending to the matter and arrangement of this

work by my temptations and great fears. They raised
such tempests of contrary thoughts and suggestions with-

in me, that, deeming it the greatest presumption to have

attempted such an arduous task, I concluded to burn it.

And I believe that this did not happen without the per-
mission of the Lord, for in the turbulency of my soul I
could not present myself in a state entirely befitting and

desirable to the Lord for writing and engraving into my
heart and spirit his doctrine, as He commands me to do
now and as can be seen from the following event.

16. On one of the festival days of the Purification of
Our Lady, after having received the most holy Sacra-

ment, I wished to celebrate this holy festival, which was

the anniversary of my profession, with many acts of
thanksgiving and of total resignation to the Most High,

INTRODUCTION 17

who without any merits of mine had chosen me as his

spouse. While I was thus exciting these affections, I felt
in my interior a most powerful change accompanied by
abundant light which raised me and urged me strongly
and sweetly toward the knowledge of the essence of God,
his goodness, perfections and attributes, and to the dis-

closing of my own misery (Wis. 8, 1). And these dif-
ferent things, which were placed before my understand-
ing at one and the same time, produced in me various
effects : The first was that all the attention of my mind
and all my aspirations were raised on high ; the other
effect was, that I was humbled in mind to the very dust,
in such a way that it seemed to take away my own exist-
ence. At the same time I felt a most vehement sorrow
and contrition for my grievous sins, joined to the de-
termination to amend and to renounce all worldly things,
aspiring instead toward complete love of God. In these
affects I remained as if annihilated, and the greatest pain
seemed but consolation, and death, but life. The Lord
having pity on my faintness, in sheer mercy, spoke to
me: “Be not dismayed, my daughter and spouse, for in
order to pardon, to wash and to purify thee from thy
sins, I will apply my infinite merits and the blood, which
I shed for thee; animate thyself to desire all perfection
in imitation of the life of the most holy Mar\’. Write it
a second time in order that thou mayest supply what was

wanting and impress her doctrines on thy heart. Do not
again irritate my justice, nor show thyself thankless for
my mercy by burning what thou shalt have written. lest
my indignation deprive thee of the light which, without
thy merits, thou hast received for the manifestation of
these mysteries.”

17. I immediately thereupon saw the Mother of God,
who also spoke to me: “My daughter, as yet thou hast

18 INTRODUCTION

not derived becoming fruit for thy soul from the tree of

life, which was offered thee in the writing of my history,
nor didst thou enter into the substance of its contents.

Thou hast scarcely yet thought of this hidden manna,
nor hast thou attained that perfect and ultimate prepara-
tion, which the Almighty requires in order to engrave
and imprint, in a proper manner, my virtues into thy
soul. I am^to give thee the befitting qualities and per-
fections for that which the divine right hand is to accom-

plish in thee. I have asked Him that, through my inter-
cession and through the abundant graces conferred upon
me, I be permitted to adorn thee and compose thy soul,
so that thou mayest turn again to the writing of my life
with less attention to the material and more to the spir-
itual and substantial part of it. Remove the hindrances
which oppose the currents of divine grace flowing to
thee from the Almighty through me and make thyself ca-
pable of readily accepting the full portion assigned to thee

by the divine will. See that thou do not curtail or limit
i’- by thy shortcomings and imperfections.” Thereupon
I saw that the divine Mother clothed me in a garment
whiter than the snow and more shining than the sun ;
and She girded me with a most precious girdle and said :
“This is a participation of my purity.” I also asked for
the infused science of the Lord, which should serve me
as most beautiful hair for my adornment and for other
precious gifts and presents, the value of which I saw and
knew was great, but which I was not able fully to esti-
mate. After having thus adorned me, the heavenly Lady
said : “Work faithfully and earnestly to imitate me and
to be my most perfect daughter, engendered of my spirit,
nourished at my breast. I give thee my blessing, in
order that in my name and under my direction and assist-
ance thou mayest again resume thy writing.”