Approbations of Great Cardinals, Bishops, and Theologians

Fr. Juan de Palma

He was the substitute confessor who had ordered Ven. Mary to burn the first writing, which she did. After she rewrote it word for word with a few minor additions (which Benedict XIV called a miracle), as Commissary General of Spain he read it and gave the following opinion:

“I firmly believe this book is a supernatural production, for its excellence is such that I doubt there is a theologian, however eminent he may be, who could translate it into our language [Latin – Ed.]. It is indeed wonderful that a creature, who by birth and education is comparatively ignorant, could explain the divine mysteries in terms so clear and precise. Theology has scarcely found terms in the entire Latin language to explain the things which she has treated, especially in the first part of the book. She knew how to explain in our common language the things which of their nature are superior to human reasoning, and with such precision that they can be easily comprehended. And many articles of faith which do not permit reasoning are explained by her in such a manner that there can be no doubt of their truth.”

Cardinal Joseph S. D’Aguirre, O.S.B.

He was made a Cardinal by Bl. Innocent XI in 1682 because the Holy Father said his equal in learning was not at that time to be found in the Church. He had been a great adversary of The Mystical City of God. Due to the decision of Bl. Innocent XI allowing the book to be read, he imitated His Holiness and read it himself. When asked for his opinion on the book by the King of France, he replied:

“I applied myself with attention and diligence to an examination of the contents of this book, and though I have passed my entire life in study, yet candor obliges me to admit that whatever I have acquired during the course of fifty years of constant application to every branch of science is nothing in comparison to the deep learning which I have discovered in it, and this in perfect conformity to Holy Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, and the Ecumenical Councils.”

Cardinal Victor-Auguste-Isidor Deschamps

He was Primate of Belgium and Archbishop of Mechelen. He said of The Mystical City of God:

“We exhort the pious faithful, and the clergy in particular, who desire a deeper insight into the grandeur of the most holy Virgin to take advantage of this publication, which they cannot read without edification and profit.”

It is interesting to note Cardinal Deschamps had a particular zeal for two dogmas defined in his time, the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility. Ven. Mary 200 years earlier had written to Rome urgently requesting the Supreme Pontiff to define these two dogmas. In fact, it was the magnificent defense of the Immaculate Conception in The Mystical City of God which drew the ire of the Jansenists, and the defense of Papal Infallibility in the book which drove the Gallicans to seek condemnation of the book in Rome.

Archbp. Franz de Paula Albert Eder

He was Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg and Primate of Germany. Regarding the book he said:

“According to the decrees of Popes Innocent XI and Clement XI, the book known as The Mystical City of God written by the Venerable Servant of God, Mary of Jesus of Agreda, may be read by all the faithful.

“Many episcopal approbations, the recommendations of four renowned universities, namely of Toulouse, Salamanca, Alcala and Louvain, and of prominent members of different religious orders, all coincide in extolling the above-named work. The Venerable Superior General of St. Sulpice, Abbé Emery, adds: „Only since I read the revelations of Mary of Agreda do I properly know Jesus and His Holy Mother.?

“We therefore do not hesitate in granting our episcopal approbation to The Mystical City of God, and wish to recommend it to the faithful, especially to our clergy.”

+Franz Albert, Archbishop Sept. 12, 1885

Bp. Ignatius von Senestréy

He was Bp. of Ratisbon (now Regensburg). When the Redemptorist Fathers published a new German edition of the book in 1885, he gave his approbation as follows:

“We take pleasure in giving our episcopal approbation to the annotated translation of the original Spanish of the Mystical City of God of Mary of Jesus, and recommend this book, which will surely edify all readers and be the occasion of great spiritual blessings.”

+Ignatius, Bishop of Ratisbon Sept. 29, 1885

Fr. Francis de Almada, S.J.

“In erudition [Ven. Mary] is most eminent; in effect, most brilliant; and in doctrine, most wise. In a word, she is a new and admirable product of grace. It seems evident her pen was guided by the impulse of the Mother of Wisdom.”

Fr. Antoine

Surnamed the very celebrated doctor, he wrote:

“This book has enchanted me. Every line is clear and full of life. In a word, all that it contains contributes to elevate the soul, inflame the heart, and excite profound devotion.”

Fr. Andrew Mendo, S.J.

He was a Professor of the University of Salamanca.

“This work aroused my admiration at every line. I have learned more from it than from all the books to which I have assiduously applied myself for many years. It is unparalleled for clearness, depth and sagacity. The exactness of expression with which the greatest difficulties are explained excites me to veneration and wonder. It is evident this doctrine is from heaven and the pen which wrote it was guided by a supernatural hand. This work enlightens the mind with a knowledge of the most sublime truths, and inflames the heart with divine love. Whosoever shall read this book with attention shall become learned, and whosoever shall meditate on it will be desirous of becoming a saint, for the truths which it contains dispel ignorance and excite one to heroic actions.

“The Seraphic Order of the great Patriarch St. Francis can well be proud of such a daughter, and although many other members of this order have amassed treasures of spiritual wealth, yet I think it can truly be said that Ven. Mary of Jesus of Agreda surpasses them all.”

Fr. Dydace de Sylva, O.S.B.

“The study of this work is most profitable. It possesses an admirable and efficacious virtue to persuade. All that can be said in its favor is below the truth. As soon as we begin to read it we are rapt in admiration. I feel, with lively regret, that I have need of the wisdom of an angel to express my meaning, my veneration, and my desires on this subject.

“I began the examination of this work solely in virtue of obedience, but before I finished it I marveled at its excellence. I began as a critic, but I finished as an admirer.”

Fr. Juan González Arintero, O.P.

This great Spanish Dominican theologian, a Professor at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome, did not hesitate to quote freely from The Mystical City of God in his masterpiece, The Mystical Evolution in the Development and Vitality of the Church.