In Pope Benedict’s Christmas address to the Roman Curia in December, 2010 he cited a vision of St Hildegard of Bingen (1170), which is a most apt prophecy of the Church today.
The image in the prophecy includes:
- A beautiful woman stretching from earth to heaven and is so beautiful that the human mind cannot comprehend it.
- Her face shone with exceeding brightness and her gaze was fixed on heaven.
- Her shoes were of onyx.
- She had a “dazzling robe of white silk”.
- Her cloak was “adorned with stones of great price”.
1.This beautiful woman is the Church.
2. Her face is “stained with dust” – I guess with neglect and an unappreciation of her beauty.
3. Her shoes “had been blackened”.
4. Her robe was “ripped down the right side”.
5. Her cloak “had lost its sheen of beauty”.
- “She (the church) cries out in a loud voice:
- Hear heaven how my face is sullied;
- tremble abyss because my shoes are blackened
- mourn, earth, that my robe is torn.”
The vision also mentions the Bridegroom. This is Christ, whose Bride is the Church. “The Bridegroom’s wounds remain fresh as long as the wounds of men’s sins continue to gape”. (a reference to the robe which was ripped down the right side)
In the vision, “Christ’s wounds remain open because of the sins of priests”.
The vision continues:
“They (the priests) tear my robe, since they are violators of the Law, the Gospel and their own priesthood; …” (reference to the torn robe)
And in reference to the cloak: “they darken my cloak by neglecting, in every way, the precepts which they are meant to uphold..”
In reference to the shoes:
“…my shoes too are blackened, since priests do not keep to the straight paths of justice, which are hard and rugged, or set good examples to those beneath them.
Nevertheless, in some of them I find the splendour of truth.’(i.e. the shoes which still reveal their original beauty – of onyx.)
Sadly, the Roman Curia let this prophecy go right over their heads and they (the majority) took no notice!!
See the prophecy at: http://www.onepeterfive.com/about/
“In the year of our Lord’s incarnation 1170, I had been lying on my sick-bed for a long time when, fully conscious in body and in mind, I had a vision of a woman of such beauty that the human mind is unable to comprehend. She stretched in height from earth to heaven. Her face shone with exceeding brightness and her gaze was fixed on heaven. She was dressed in a dazzling robe of white silk and draped in a cloak, adorned with stones of great price. On her feet she wore shoes of onyx. But her face was stained with dust, her robe was ripped down the right side, her cloak had lost its sheen of beauty and her shoes had been blackened. And she herself, in a voice loud with sorrow, was calling to the heights of heaven, saying, ‘Hear, heaven, how my face is sullied; mourn, earth, that my robe is torn; tremble, abyss, because my shoes are blackened!’
And she continued: ‘I lay hidden in the heart of the Father until the Son of Man, who was conceived and born in virginity, poured out his blood. With that same blood as his dowry, he made me his betrothed.
For my Bridegroom’s wounds remain fresh and open as long as the wounds of men’s sins continue to gape. And Christ’s wounds remain open because of the sins of priests. They tear my robe, since they are violators of the Law, the Gospel and their own priesthood; they darken my cloak by neglecting, in every way, the precepts which they are meant to uphold; my shoes too are blackened, since priests do not keep to the straight paths of justice, which are hard and rugged, or set good examples to those beneath them. Nevertheless, in some of them I find the splendour of truth.’
And I heard a voice from heaven which said: ‘This image represents the Church. For this reason, O you who see all this and who listen to the word of lament, proclaim it to the priests who are destined to offer guidance and instruction to God’s people and to whom, as to the apostles, it was said: go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15)” (Letter to Werner von Kirchheim and his Priestly Community: PL 197, 269ff.).”
How apt that Pope Benedict would quote this;- as if he knew the sorrows and grief-rendering neglect that would tarnish the church ( even more than before!) As if he indeed had prior knowledge and is most certainly acquainted with prophecy…and this is not the first hint he has given!