Blessed Angela’s Visions of the Mass

Angels

Bl. Angela of Foligno was a great mystic who was favoured with many visions, locutions and other mystical gifts. But most importantly, she loved God very much.

Her writings are beautiful. The revelations she received are also very beautiful. Here are a few of Bl. Angela’s visions relating to Holy Mass:

FIRST VISION

“… by virtue of His divine power, the Body of Christ could be upon every altar, a thing not to be comprehended in this present life… “But those who feel something of Me,” said God, “do understand more of it; nevertheless, neither the former nor the latter do fully understand, but the time cometh when ye shall understand.”

 After this I was enlightened and did comprehend… how God cometh in this Sacrament… together with a most beauteous company… the Thrones [“It was revealed to St. Mechtilde that three thousand angels from the seventh choir, the Thrones, are ever in devout attendance around every tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.” – Cochem]. That company was most bright, and was an exceeding numerous multitude… for it could not be measured either in length or breadth, but was ineffable.”

SECOND VISION

“Now whilst the Mass was being said, there was a priest who was celebrating near unto the time of the Communion. And as he was taking the Body of Christ and breaking the Host, I heard a voice weeping and saying, “Alas, many are there who break Me in pieces and who do even draw blood from My back!” I did therefore think that the priest was not in a state meet for receiving the Body of Christ, and I prayed, saying, “Grant that he may not be such a one,” and instantly it was answered me, “He shall not be thus eternally.”

FOURTH VISION

“And as I drew nigh unto the Communion, the voice [of God] spake again and said, “Now is the Son of God upon the altar, according both unto His divinity and His humanity, and with Him is a multitude of angels.” 

SIXTH VISION

“Another time I beheld Christ in the consecrated Host as a Child. He appeared certainly to be a child of twelve years of age, very lordly, as though He held the sceptre and the dominion. He appeared to hold something in His hand as an emblem of lordship, but I know not what, and although I saw it with my bodily eyes I cannot say what it was that He held in His hand…  Verily, His beauty and adornment cannot be described… And finally, my delight in that vision was so great that I asked no help of Him and spake neither good nor evil, for I was so absorbed in the delight of that beauty that I knew not what to say.”

SEVENTH VISION

“I have many times seen the Body of Christ in divers forms in this Blessed Sacrament. For sometimes I have seen the throat of Christ more splendid and beauteous than the sun, and by that beauty was it certified unto me that God Himself was here, seeing that it was incomparably greater than the sun both in beauty and quantity, wherefore doth it greatly grieve me that I cannot make it manifest. Sometimes I have seen two eyes of great splendour, and so large that I beheld nothing of the Host save the edge thereof. At the sight of both these things was I refreshed with so much joy that I cannot compare the one with the other, because both are so great that I do think I shall never lose them.”

Do We Value God’s Love As Our Only Good?

“I would a thousand times rather die than consent to anything which might displease Thee.”

– St. Veronica Giuliani

After reading the lives of the Saints, I am often left wondering: How is it that anyone could possess so much love?!

… After much prayer and consideration I am convinced that the only way to arrive at such love is to love. “We learn to love by loving,” says a Saint. And how exactly do we love God? By doing His will. And what is His will? Our Lord says the following: “Keep My commandments… Take up your cross and follow Me… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart…”

Charity unites us to God, who is Love itself. The closer the bond, the greater our love. Love is not merely act of the will, nor does it consist in “headwork”, but rather it is “… the result of accepting generously all sacrifices, in accepting with a loving heart all trials” (Saudreau).

After having been purged of their sinful affections, the Saints were able to comprehend the most sublime spiritual truths. Sin appeared to them in all its vileness as nothing more than a detestable thorn in the side of their Beloved; worldly goods and honour were despised as temptations to pride, vanity and self-love, which stain the soul, displease God, and take us far from the narrow gate that leads to eternal life. “No more sin! No more sin!” cried out St. Catherine of Genoa. “Enough of sin! LOVE HIM! LOVE HIM!” exclaimed Bl. Alexandrina. These are the words of souls in love with God; souls who knew that sin has frightful consequences, and that it has nothing to offer us but emptiness; for where sin is, there God is not.

St. Paul was able to exclaim: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in Me.” These are the words of one who has reached a state of sublime union with God! These words are not fitting for one who takes delight in sin, however small. It is only in uniting our will with God’s will that we allow His love to act within us, to transform us, and to carve us into beautiful statues fit for the Garden of Paradise!

Jesus suffered excruciating torments for 33 years so that we might give ourselves entirely to Him, just as He offered Himself to us without reserve. We lose nothing by such generosity; on the contrary, we stand to gain eternal life, happiness, the conversion of sinners, peace, and something – or rather, Someone -truly worth living for:

***

“Do you not actually possess all things if you have Him who possess all? Nothing is wanting to him to whom God is present, nothing is lacking to him for whom Christ is all-sufficient.”

-Peter de Blois (Serm. 42, in fest. OMnium Sanct. II, col. 691)

***

Daily Meditation

As it is impossible to value something that we do not know, let us make a resolution to meditate for at least 15 mins a day (if we do not already do so) on God’s love for us. (All the Saints recommend this, and charity demands it, considering that God’s showers countless graces upon us each day)… We may consider the graces that He has bestowed upon us, what He suffered for us, the countless times He has drawn us from sin to repentance etc. etc.

Here are some pertinent words from a Saint: “When the Blessed Angela of Foligno asked God what she could do to please Him more, He vouchsafed to appear to her several times, both sleeping and waking, always as crucified on the cross, and He told her to look at His wounds, and then showed her, in a marvellous manner, how He had endured all those things for her; and lastly, He said,

“What then can you do for Me which would be enough?”

Another time, as the Bollandists relate, He appeared to her, and said,

“Whosoever wishes to find grace, let him never take his eyes from the cross, whether My providence be visiting him with sorrow, or with joy.”

God can only will what is best for us. We please Him greatly when we place no small value on His love, which is no less in times of adversity than in times of consolation. The truth is, God is the source of all good; the more we come to know the love of God, the more we will see that in Him is everything we need and could possibly desire:

“Give me your heart to place in mine in order that you will have no other love but for me and for the things that are mine.”

– Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina

Pax Domine!