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Chapter 28

The bride of Christ writes to Lord Bernard, archbishop of Naples, saying: ”Reverend Father and Lord! When that person, whom you know well, was praying suspended in a rapture of contemplation, the Virgin Mary appeared to her and said to her this:

'I, who speak to you, am the Queen of heaven. I am, as it were, a gardener of this world. For when a gardener sees the rise of a strong wind harmful to the little plants and the trees of his garden, at once he runs to them quickly and binds them fast with sturdy stakes as well as he can. And thus he comes to their aid, in various ways according to his ability, lest they be broken by the rushing wind or wretchedly uprooted.

I, the Mother of mercy, do the same in the garden of this world. For when I see blowing on the hearts of human beings the dangerous winds of the devil's temptations and wicked suggestions, at once I have recourse to my Lord and my God, my Son Jesus Christ, helping them with my prayers and obtaining from him his outpouring of some holy infusions of the Holy Spirit into their hearts to prop them up and savingly confirm them that they may be kept spiritually uninjured by the diabolic wind of temptations lest the devil prevail against human beings, breaking their souls and plucking them up by the stem in accord with his wicked desire.
And thus when, with humility of heart and active compliance, human beings receive these said stakes of mine and my assistance, at once they are defended against the diabolic onslaught of temptations; and remaining firm in the state of grace, they bear for God and for me the fruit of sweetness in due season. But as for those who scorn the aforesaid spiritual stakes of my Son and me and are swayed by the wind of temptations through consent to the devil and through action, they are uprooted from the state of grace and, through illicit desires and deeds, are led by the devil even to the profound and eternal pains and darkness of hell.

Now, however, know that in the Neapolitan citizenry many different horrible and secret sins are being committed which I am not relating to you. But instead I am speaking to you now about two kinds of open sins that greatly displease my Son and me and all the heavenly court.

The first sin is the fact that in this said city many buy pagans and infidels to be their slaves and that some masters of those slaves do not bother to baptize them and do not want to convert them to the Christian faith. And even if some of them are baptized, their masters bother no more, after the slaves' baptism, to have them instructed and trained in the Christian faith or to train them in the reception of the Church's sacraments than they did before the slaves' baptism and conversion. And so it results that the said convert slaves, after accepting the faith, commit many sins and do not know how to return to the sacraments of penance and communion or how to be restored in the state of salvation and of reconciliation with God and of grace.

Moreover, some keep their female servants and slaves in extreme abjection and ignominy, as if they were dogs - selling them and, what is worse, frequently exposing them in a brothel to earn money that is a disgrace and an abomination. Others, in fact, keep them in their own houses as prostitutes both for themselves and for others; and this is extremely abominable and hateful to God and to me and also to the whole heavenly court.
Some other masters so grieve and exasperate these said servants of theirs with abusive words and blows that some of the said servants come to a state of despair and want to kill themselves. Indeed these sins and acts of negligence much displease God and all the heavenly court.
For God himself loves them because he created them; and to save all, he came into the world, taking flesh from me, and endured suffering and death on the cross. Know too that if anyone buys such pagans and infidels with the intention of making them Christians and wants to instruct and train them in the Christian faith and virtues and intends, during his life or at his death, to set these slaves at liberty so that the said slaves may not pass to his heirs, such a master of slaves merits much by this and is acceptable in the sight of God. But know for very certain that those who do the contrary will be heavily punished by God.

The second kind of sin is that many men and women, with various inordinate marks of respect, keep about them and consult wicked fortune-tellers and diviners and the most evil of enchantresses. For sometimes they ask them to perform witchcraft and incantations in order that they may be able to conceive and beget children. Others require them to perform incantations and to make fetishes that will cause certain men and women, or even their temporal lords, to be enamored of them to the point of distraction and to love them with all their heart. Others, in fact, beg foreknowledge of the future from these same accursed witches.

Many others ask them to give them health in their infirmities through their art of enchantment and witchcraft. All indeed who keep these same warlock diviners or enchantresses in their households and at their own expense and all who seek from such people such wicked advice and diabolic remedies, and, indeed, all those same warlock diviners and enchantresses who promise the things mentioned above - all are cursed and hateful in the sight of God.
As long as they persevere in such a state and purpose, no infusion or grace of the Holy Spirit will ever descend or enter into their hearts. But nevertheless, if they repent and humbly amend their lives with the true purpose of not falling back again, they will obtain grace and mercy from my Son.' ”

However, when these things had thus been heard, this vision disappeared.



A certain bishop, who was the ruler of the March of Ancona on behalf of the holy Roman Church, asked Lady Bridget about the fact that he was pricked in conscience on the grounds that he was absent and too remote from his diocese because of his aforesaid office in the marquisate where he resided, and thus could not attend to the sheep entrusted to him in his diocese. And he wondered, therefore, whether it would be more pleasing to God that he reside in his office in the marquisate or that he return to rule the sheep entrusted to him in his diocese. And when at this request the abovesaid lady prayed for the aforementioned bishop, then Christ appeared to her and said to her the words that are contained below.




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