Apocryphal Apocalypses or Revelations (1 of 2)

Author: Unknown

(NOTE: The electronic text obtained from The Electronic Bible Society was not completely corrected. EWTN has corrected all mistakes found.) Apocryphal Apocalypses or Revelations: Revelation of Moses Revelation of Esdras Revelation of Paul Revelation of John The Book of John concerning the Falling Asleep of Mary The Passing of Mary


ACCOUNT and life of Adam and Eve, the first-created, revealed by God to His servant Moses, when he received from the hand of the Lord the tables of the law of the covenant, instructed by the archangel Michael.

This is the account of Adam and Eve. After they went forth out of paradise, Adam took Eve his wife, and went up into the east. And he remained there eighteen years and two months; and Eve conceived and brought forth two sons, Diaphotus called Cain, and Amilabes(1) called Abel.

And after this, Adam and Eve were with one another; and when they lay down, Eve said to Adam her lord: My lord, I have seen in a dream this night the blood of my son Amilabes, who is called Abel, thrown into the mouth of Cain his brother, and he drank it without pity. And he entreated him to grant him a little of it, but he did not listen to him, but drank it all up; and it did not remain in his belly, but came forth out of his mouth. And Adam said to Eve: Let us arise, and go and see what has happened to them, lest perchance the enemy should be in any way warring against them.

And having both gone, they found Abel killed by the hand of Cain his brother. And God says to the archangel Michael: Say to Adam, Do not relate the mystery which thou knowest to thy son Cain, for he is a son of wrath. But grieve thyself not; for I will give thee instead of him another son, who shall show thee all things, as many as thou shalt do to him; but do thou tell him nothing. This God said to His angel; and Adam kept the word in his heart, and with him Eve also, having grief about Abel their son.

And after this, Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and brought forth Seth. And Adam says to Eve: Behold, we have brought forth a son instead of Abel whom Cain slew; let us give glory and sacrifice to God.

And Adam had(2) thirty sons and thirty daughters.(3) And he fell into disease, and cried with a loud voice, and said: Let all my sons come to me, that I may see them before I die. And they were all brought together, for the earth was inhabited in three parts; and they all came to the door of the house into which he had entered to pray to God. And his son Seth said: Father Adam, what is thy disease? And he says: My children, great trouble has hold of me. And they say: What is the trouble and disease? And Seth answered and said to him: Is it that thou rememberest the fruits of paradise of which thou didst eat, and grievest thyself because of the desire of them? If it is so, tell me, and I will go and bring thee fruit from paradise. For I will put dung upon my head, and weep and pray, and the Lord will hearken to me, and send his angel; and I Shall bring it to thee,(4) that thy trouble may cease from thee. Adam says to him: No, my son Seth; but I have disease and trouble. Seth says to him: And how have they come upon thee? Adam said to him: When God made us, me and your mother, for whose sake also I die, He gave us every plant in paradise; but about one he commanded us not to eat of it, because on account of it we should die. And the hour was at hand for the angels who guarded your mother to go up and worship the Lord; and the enemy gave to her, and she ate of the tree, knowing that I was not near her, nor the holy angels; then she gave me also to eat. And when we had both eaten, God was angry with us. And the Lord, coming into paradise, set His throne, and called with a dreadful voice, saying, Adam, where art thou? and why art thou hidden from my face? shall the house be hidden from him that built it? And He says, Since thou hast forsaken my covenant, I have brought upon thy body seventy strokes.(5) The trouble of the first stroke is the injury of the eyes; the trouble of the second stroke, of the hearing; and so in succession, all the strokes shall overtake thee.

And Adam thus speaking to his sons, groaned out loud, and said: What shall I do? I am in great grief. And Eve also wept, saying: My lord Adam, arise, give me the half of thy disease, and let me bear it, because through me this has happened to thee; through me thou art in distresses and troubles. And Adam said to Eve: Arise, and go with our son Seth near paradise, and put earth upon your heads, and weep, beseeching the Lord that He may have compassion upon me, and send His angel to paradise, and give me of the tree in which flows the oil out of it, and that thou mayest bring it to me; and I shall anoint myself, and have rest, and show thee the manner in which we were deceived at first.

And Seth and Eve went into the regions of paradise. And as they were going along, Eve saw her son, and a wild beast fighting with him. And Eye wept, saying: Woe's me, woe's me; for if I come to the day of the resurrection, all who have sinned will curse me, saying, Eve did not keep the commandment of God. And Eve cried out to the wild beast, saying: O thou evil wild beast, wilt thou not be afraid to fight with the image of God? How has thy mouth been opened? how have thy teeth been strengthened? how hast thou not been mindful of thy subjection, that thou wast formerly subject to the image of God? Then the wild beast cried out, saying: O Eve, not against: us thy upbraiding nor thy weeping, but against thyself, since the beginning of the wild beasts was from thee. How was thy mouth opened to eat of the tree about which God had commanded thee not to eat of it? For this reason also our nature has been changed. Now, therefore, thou shall not be able to bear up, if I begin to reproach thee. And Seth says to the wild beast: Shut thy mouth and be silent, and stand off from the image of God till the day of judgment. Then the wild beast says to Seth: Behold, I stand off, Seth, from the image of God. Then the wild beast fled, and left him wounded, and went to his covert.

And Seth went with his mother Eve near paradise: and they wept there, beseeching God to send His angel, to give(1) them the oil of compassion. And God sent to them the archangel Michael, and he said to them these words: Seth, man of God, do not weary thyself praying in this supplication about the tree in which flows the oil to anoint thy father Adam; for it will not happen to thee now, but at the last times. Then shall arise all flesh from Adam even to that great day, as many as shall be a holy people; then shall be given to them all the delight of paradise, and God shall be in the midst of them; and there shall not any more be sinners before Him, because the wicked heart shall be taken from them, and there shall be given to them a heart made to understand what is good, and to worship God only. Do thou again go to thy father, since the measure of his life has been fulfilled, equal to(2) three days. And when his soul goes out, thou wilt behold its dreadful passage.

And the angel, having said this, went away from them. And Seth and Eve came to the tent where Adam was lying. And Adam says to Eve: Why didst thou work mischief against us, and bring upon us great wrath, which is death, holding sway over all our race? And he says to her: Call all our children, and our children's children, and relate to them the manner of our transgression.

Then Eve says to them: Listen, all my children, and my children's children, and I shall relate to you how our enemy deceived us. It came to pass, while we were keeping paradise, that we kept each the portion allotted to him by God. And I was keeping in my lot the south and west. And the devil went into the lot of Adam where were the male wild beasts; since God parted to us the wild beasts, and had given all the males to your father, and all the females He gave to me, and each of us watched his own. And the devil spoke to the serpent, saying, Arise, come to me, and I shall tell you a thing in which thou mayst be of service. Then the serpent came to him, and the devil says to him, I hear that thou art more sagacious than all the wild beasts, and I have come to make thy acquaintance;(3) and I have found thee greater than all the wild beasts, and they associate with thee; notwithstanding, thou doest reverence to one far inferior. Why eatest thou of the tares(4) of Adam and his wife, and not of the fruit of paradise? Arise and come hither, and we shall make him be cast out of paradise through his wife, as we also were cast out through him. The serpent says to him, I am afraid test the Lord be angry with me. The devil says to him, Be not afraid; only become my instrument, and I will speak through thy mouth a word by which thou shalt be able to deceive him. Then straightway he hung by the walls of paradise about the hour when the angels of God went up to worship. Then Satan came in the form of an angel, and praised God as did the angels; and looking out from the wall, I saw him like an angel. And says he to me, Art thou Eve? And I said to him, I am. And says he to me, What doest thou in paradise? And I said to him, God has set us to keep it, and to eat of it. The devil answered me through the mouth of the serpent, Ye do well, but you do not eat of every plant. And I say to him, Yes, of every plant we eat, but one only which is in the midst of paradise, about which God has commanded us not to eat of it, since you will die the death. Then says the serpent to me, As God liveth, I am grieved for you, because you are like cattle. For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this; but rise, come hither, listen to me, and eat, and perceive the value of the tree, as He told us. But I said to him, I am afraid lest God be angry with me. And he says to me, Be not afraid; for as soon as thou eatest, thine eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods in knowing what is good and what is evil. And God, knowing this, that ye shall be like Him, has had a grudge against you, and said, Ye shall not eat of it. But do thou observe the plant, and thou shalt see great glory about it. And I observed the plant, and saw great glory about it, And I said to him, It is beautiful to the eyes to perceive; and I was afraid to take of the fruit. And he says to me, Come, I will give to thee: follow me. And I opened to him, and he came inside into paradise, and went through it before me. And having walked a little, he turned, and says to me, I have changed my mind, and will not give thee to eat. And this he said, wishing at last to entice and destroy me. And he says to me, Swear to me that thou wilt give also to thy husband. And I said to him. I know not by what oath I shall swear to thee; but what I know I say to thee, By the throne of the Lord, and the cherubim, and the tree of life, I will give also to my husband to eat. And when he had taken the oath from me, then he went and ascended upon it. And he put upon the fruit which he gave me to eat the poison of his wickedness, that is, of his desire; for desire is the head(1) of all sin. And I bent down the branch to the ground, and took of the fruit, and ate. And in that very hour mine eyes were opened. and I knew that I was stripped(2) of the righteousness with which I had been clothed; and I wept, saying, What is this thou hast done to me, because I have been deprived of the glory with which I was clothed? And I wept too about the oath. And he came down out of the tree, and went out of sight. And I sought leaves in my portion,(3) that I might cover my shame; and I did not find them from the plants of paradise, since, at the time that I ate, the leaves of all the plants in my portion fell, except of the fig alone. And having taken leaves off it, I made myself a girdle, and it is from those plants of which I ate. And I cried out with a loud voice, saying, Adam, Adam, where art thou? Arise, come to me, and I shall show thee a great mystery. And when your father came, I said to him words of wickedness, which brought us down from great glory. For as soon as he came I opened my mouth, and the devil spoke; and I began to advise him, saying, Come hither, my lord Adam, listen to me, and eat of the fruit of the tree of which God said to us not to eat of it, and thou shalt be as God. And your father answered and said, I am afraid lest God be angry with me. And I said to him, Be not afraid, for as soon as thou shalt eat thou shalt know good and evil. And then I quickly persuaded him, and he ate; and his eyes were opened, and he was aware, he also, of his nakedness. And he says to me, O wicked woman, why hast thou wrought mischief in us? Thou hast alienated me from the glory of God. And that same hour we heard the archangel Michael sounding his trumpet, calling the angels, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Come with me to paradise, and hear the word in which I judge Adam. And when we heard the archangel sounding, we said, Behold, God is coming into paradise to judge us. And we were afraid, and hid ourselves. And God came up into paradise, riding upon a chariot of cherubim, and the angels praising Him. When God came into paradise, the plants both of Adam's lot and of my lot bloomed, and all lifted themselves up; and the throne of God was made ready where the tree of life was. And God called Adam, saying. Adam, where art thou hidden, thinking that I shall not find thee? Shall the house be bidden from him that built it? Then your father answered and said, Not, Lord, did we hide ourselves as thinking that we should not be found by Thee; but I am afraid, because I am naked, and stand in awe of Thy power, O Lord. God says to him, Who hath shown thee that thou art naked, unless it be that thou hast forsaken my commandment which I thee to keep it? Then Adam remembered the word which I spake to him when I wished to deceive him, I will put thee out of danger from God. And he turned and said to me, Why hast thou done this? And I also remembered the word of the serpent, and said, The serpent deceived me. God says to Adam, Since thou hast disobeyed my commandment, and obeyed thy wife, cursed is the ground in thy labours. For whenever thou labourest it, and it will not give its strength, thorns and thistles shall it raise for thee; and in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat thy bread. And thou shall be in distresses of many kinds. Thou shall weary thyself, and rest not; thou shalt be afflicted by bitterness, and shall not taste of sweetness; thou shalt be afflicted by heat, and oppressed by cold; and thou shalt toil much, and not grow rich; and thou shalt make haste,(4) and not attain thine end; and the wild beasts, of which thou wast lord, shall rise up against thee in rebellion, because thou hast not kept my commandment. And having turned to me, the Lord says to me, Since thou hast obeyed the serpent, and disobeyed my commandment, thou shall be in distresses(1) and unbearable pains; thou shall bring forth children with great tremblings; and in one hour shale thou come to bring them forth,(2) and lose thy life in consequence of thy great straits and pangs. And thou shale confess, and say, Lord, Lord, save me; and I shall not return to the sin of the flesh. And on this account in thine own words I shall judge thee, on account of the enmity which the enemy hath put in thee; and thou shale turn again to thy husband, and he shall be thy lord.(3) And after speaking thus to me, He spoke to the serpent in great wrath, saying to him, Since thou hast done this, and hast become an ungracious instrument until thou shouldst deceive those that were remiss in heart, cursed art thou of all the beasts. Thou shale be deprived of the food which thou eatest; and dust shale thou eat all the days of thy life; upon thy breast and belly shale thou go, and thou shalt be deprived both of thy hands and feet; there shall not be granted thee ear, nor wing, nor one limb of all which those have whom thou hast enticed by thy wickedness, and hast caused them to be cast out of paradise. And I shall put enmity between thee and between his seed. He shall lie in wait for(4) thy head, and thou for his heel, until the day of judgment. And having thus said, He commands His angels that we be cast out of paradise. And as we were being driven along, and were lamenting, your father Adam entreated the angels, saying, Allow me a little, that I may entreat God, and that He may have compassion upon me, and pity me, for I only have sinned. And they stopped driving him. And Adam cried out with weeping, saying, Pardon me, Lord, what I have done. Then says the Lord to His angels, Why have you stopped driving Adam out of paradise? It is not that the sin is mine, or that I have judged ill? Then the angels, failing to the ground, worshipped the Lord, saying, Just art Thou, Lord, and judgest what is right. And turning to Adam, the Lord said, I will not permit thee henceforth to be in paradise. And Adam answered and said, Lord, give me of the tree of life, that I may eat before I am cast out. Then the Lord said to Adam, Thou shalt not now take of it, for it has been assigned to the cherubim and the flaming sword, which turneth to guard it on account of thee, that thou mayst not taste of it and be free from death for ever, but that thou mayst have the war which the enemy has set in thee. But when thou art gone out of paradise, if thou shalt keep thyself from all evil, as being destined to die, I will again raise thee up when the resurrection comes, and then there shall be given thee of the tree of life, and thou shalt be free from death for ever. And having thus said, the Lord commanded us to be cast out of paradise. And your father wept before the angels over against paradise. And the angels say to him, What dost thou wish that we should do for thee, Adam? And your father answered and said to the angels, Behold, you cast me out. I beseech you, allow me to take sweet odours out of paradise, in order that, after I go out, I may offer sacrifice to God, that God may listen to me. And the angels, advancing, said to God, Jael, eternal King, order to be given to Adam sacrifices(5) of sweet odour out of paradise. And God ordered Adam to go, that he might take perfumes of sweet odour out of paradise for his food. And the angels let him go, and he gathered both kinds--saffron and spikenard, and calamus(6) and cinnamon, and other seeds for his food; and having taken them, he went forth out of paradise. And we came to the earth.(7)

Now, then, my children, I have shown you the manner in which we were deceived. But do ye watch over yourselves, so as not to forsake what is good.

And when she had thus spoken in the midst of her sons, and Adam was lying in his disease, and he had one other day before going out of the body, Eve says to Adam: Why is it that thou diest, and I live? or how long time have I to spend after thou diest? tell me. Then says Adam to Eve: Do not trouble thyself about matters; for thou wilt not be long after me, but we shall both die alike, and thou wilt be laid into my place.(8) And when I am dead you will leave(9) me, and let no one touch me, until the angel of the Lord shall say something about me; for God will not forget me, but will seek His own vessel which He fashioned. Arise, rather, pray to God until I restore my spirit into the hands of Him who has given it; because we know not how we shall meet Him who made us, whether He shall be angry with us, or turn and have mercy upon us. Then arose Eve, and went outside; and falling to the ground, she said: I have sinned, O God; I have sinned, O Father of all; I have sinned to Thee, I have sinned against Thy chosen angels, I have sinned against the cherubim, I have sinned against Thine unshaken throne; I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned much, I have sinned before Thee, and every sin(1) through me has come upon the creation. And while Eve was still praying, being on her knees, behold, there came to her the angel of humanity, and raised her up, saying: Arise, Eve, from thy repentance; for, behold, Adam thy husband has gone forth from his body; arise and see his spirit carried up to Him that made(2) it, to meet Him.

And Eve arose, and covered her face with her hand; and the angel says to her: Raise thyself from the things of earth. And Eve gazed up into heaven, and she saw a chariot of light going along under four shining eagles--and it was not possible for any one born of woman(3) to tell the glory of them, or to see the face of them--and angels going before the chariot. And when they I came to the place where your father Adam was lying, the chariot stood still, and the seraphim between your father and the chariot. And I saw golden censers, and three vials; and, behold, all the angels with incense, and the censers, and the vials, came to the altar, and blew them up, and the smoke of the incense covered the firmaments. And the angels fell down and worshipped God, crying out and saying: Holy Jael, forgive; for he is Thine image, and the work of Thine holy hands.

And again, I Eve saw two great and awful mysteries standing before God. And I wept for fear, and cried out to my son Seth, saying: Arise, Seth, from the body of thy father Adam, and come to me, that thou mayst see what the eye of no one bath ever seen; and they are praying for thy father Adam.(4)

Then Seth arose and went to his mother, and said to her: What has befallen thee? and why weepest thou? She says to him: Look up with thine eyes, and see the seven firmaments opened, and see with thine eyes how the body of thy, father lies upon its face, and all the holy angels with him, praying for him, and saying: Pardon him, O Father of the universe; for he is Thine image. What then, my child Seth, will this be? and when will he be delivered into the hands of our invisible Father and God? And who are the two dark-faced ones who stand by at the prayer of thy father? And Seth says to his mother: These are the sun and the moon, and they are falling down and praying for my father Adam. Eve says to him: And where is their light, and why have they become black-looking? And Seth says to her: They cannot shine in the presence of the Light of the universe,(5) and for this reason the light from them has been hidden.

And while Seth was speaking to his mother, the angels lying upon their faces sounded their trumpets, and cried out with an awful voice, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord upon what He has made, for He has had compassion upon Adam, the work of His hands. When the angels had sounded this forth, there came one of the six-winged seraphim, and hurried Adam to the Acherusian lake, and washed him in presence of God. And he spent three hours(6) lying, and thus the Lord of the universe, sitting upon His holy throne, stretched forth His hands, and raised Adam, and delivered him to the archangel Michael, saying to him: Raise him into paradise, even to the third heaven, and let him be there until that great and dreadful day which I am to bring upon the world. And the archangel Michael, having taken Adam, led him away, and anointed him, as God said to him at the pardoning of Adam.

After all these things, therefore, the archangel asked about the funeral rites of the remains; and God commanded that all the angels should come together into His presence, each according to his rank. And all the angels were assembled, some with censers, some with trumpets. And the Lord of Hosts went up,(7) and the winds drew Him, and cherubim riding upon the winds, and the angels of heaven went before Him; and they came to where the body of Adam was, and took it. And they came to paradise, and all the trees of paradise were moved so that all begotten from Adam hung their heads in sleep at the sweet smell, except Seth, because he had been begotten according to the appointment of God.

The body of Adam, then, was lying on the ground in paradise, and Seth was grieved exceedingly about him. And the Lord God says: Adam, why hast thou done this? If thou hadst kept my commandment, those that brought thee down to this place would not have rejoiced. Nevertheless I say unto thee, that I will turn their joy into grief, but I will turn thy grief into joy; and having turned, I will set thee in thy kingdom, on the throne of him that deceived thee; and he shall be cast into this place, that thou mayst sit upon him. Then shall be condemned, he and those who hear him; and they shall be much grieved, and shall weep, seeing thee sitting upon his glorious throne.

And then He said to the archangel Michael: Go into paradise, into the third heaven, and bring me three cloths of fine linen and silk. And God said to Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael:(1) Cover Adam's body with the cloths, and bring olive oil of sweet odour, and pour upon him. And having thus done, they prepared his body for burial. And the Lord said: Let also the body of Abel be brought. And having brought other cloths, they prepared it also for burial, since it had not been prepared for burial since the day on which his brother Cain slew him. For the wicked Cain, having taken great pains to hide it, had not been able; for the earth did not receive it, saying: I will not receive a body into companionship(2) until that dust which was taken up and fashioned upon me come to me. And then the angels took it up, and laid it on the rock until his father died. And both were buried, according to the commandment of God, in the regions of paradise, in the place in which God found the dust.(3) And God sent seven angels into paradise, and they brought many sweet-smelling herbs, and laid them in the earth; and thus they took the two bodies, and buried them in the place which they had dug and built.

And God called Adam, and said: Adam, Adam. And the body answered out of the ground, and said: Here am I, Lord. And the Lord says to him: I said to thee, Dust(4) thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return. Again I promise thee the resurrection. I will raise thee up in the last day in the resurrection, with every man who is of thy seed.

And after these words God made a three-cornered seal, and sealed the tomb, that no one should do anything to him in the six days, until his rib should return to him. And the beneficent God and the holy angels having laid him in his place, after the six days Eve also died. And while she lived she wept about her falling asleep, because she knew not where her body was to be laid. For when the Lord was present in paradise when they buried Adam, both she and her children fell asleep, except Seth, as I said. And Eve, in the hour of her death, besought that she might be buried where Adam her husband was, saying thus: My Lord, Lord and God of all virtue, do not separate me, Thy servant, from the body of Adam, for of his members Thou madest me; but grant to me, even me, the unworthy and the sinner, to be buried by his body. And as I was along with him in paradise, and not separated from him after the transgression, so also let no one separate us. After having prayed, therefore, she looked up into heaven, and stood up, and said, beating her breast: God of all, receive my spirit.And straightway she gave up her spirit to God.

And when she was dead, the archangel Michael stood beside her; and there came three angels, and took her body, and buried it where the body of Abel was. And the archangel Michael said to Seth: Thus bury every man that dies, until the day of the resurrection. And after having given this law, he said to him: Do not mourn beyond six days. And on the seventh day, rest, and rejoice in it, because in it God and we the angels rejoice in the righteous soul that has departed from earth. Having thus spoken, the archangel Michael went up into heaven, glorifying, and saying the Alleluia:(5) Holy, holy, holy Lord, to the glory of God the Father, because to Him is due glory, honour, and adoration, with His unbeginning and life- giving Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.



IT came to pass in the thirtieth year, on the twenty-second of the month, I was in my house. And I cried out and said to the Most High: Lord, give the glory,(1) in order that I may see Thy mysteries. And when it was night, there came an angel, Michael the archangel, and says to me: O Prophet Esdras, refrain from bread for seventy weeks.(2) And I fasted as he told me. And there came Raphael the commander of the host, and gave me a storax rod. And I fasted twice sixty(3) weeks. And I saw the mysteries of God and His angels. And I said to them: I wish to plead before God about the race of the Christians. It is good for a man not to be born rather than to come into the world. I was therefore taken up into heaven, and I saw in the first heaven a great army of angels; and they took me to the judgments. And I heard a voice saying to me: Have mercy on us, O thou chosen of God, Esdras. Then began I to say: Woe to sinners when they see one who is just more than the angels, and they themselves are in the Gehenna of fire! And Esdras said: Have mercy on the works of Thine hands, Thou who art compassionate, and of great mercy. Judge me rather than the souls of the sinners; for it is better that one soul should he punished, and that the whole world should not come to destruction. And God said: I will give rest in paradise to the righteous, and I have become(4) merciful. And Esdras said: Lord, why dost Thou confer benefits on the righteous? for just as one who has been hired out, and has served out his time, goes and again works as a slave when he come to his masters, so also the righteous has received his reward in the heavens. But have mercy on the sinners, for we know that Thou art merciful. And God said: I do not see how I can have mercy upon them. And Esdras said: They cannot endure Thy wrath. And God said: This is the fate of such. And God said: I wish to have thee like Paul and John, as thou hast given me uncorrupted the treasure that cannot be stolen, the treasure of virginity, the bulwark(5) of men. And Esdras said: It is good for a man not to be born. It is good not to be in life. The irrational creatures are better than man, because they have no punishment; but Thou hast taken us, and given us up to judgment. Woe to the sinners in the world to come! because their judgment is endless, and the flame unquenchable. And while I was thus speaking to him, there came Michael and Gabriel, and all the apostles; and they said: Rejoice, O faithful man of God! And Esdras said:(6) Arise, and come hither with me, O Lord, to judgment. And the Lord said: Behold, I give thee my covenant between me and thee, that you may receive it. And Esdras said: Let us plead in Thy hearing.(7) And God said: Ask Abraham your father how a son pleads with his father,(8) and come plead with us. And Esdras said: As the Lord liveth, I will not cease pleading with Thee in behalf of the race of the Christians. Where are Thine ancient compassions, O Lord? Where is Thy long-suffering? And God said: As I have made night and day, I have made the righteous and the sinner; and he should have lived like the righteous. And the prophet said: Who made Adam the first-formed? And God said: My undefiled hands. And I put him in paradise to guard the food of the tree of life; and thereafter he became disobedient. and did this in transgression. And the prophet said: Was he not protected by an angel? and was not his life guarded by the cherubim to endless ages? and how was he deceived who was guarded by angels? for Thou didst command all to be present, and to attend to what was said by Thee.(1) But if Thou hadst not given him Eve, the serpent would not have deceived her;(2) but whom Thou wilt Thou savest, and whom Thou wilt Thou destroyest.(3) And the prophet said: Let us come, my Lord, to a second judgment. And God said: I cast fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. And the prophet said: Lord, Thou dealest with us according to our deserts. And God said: Your sins transcend my clemency. And the prophet said: Call to mind the Scriptures, my Father, who hast measured out Jerusalem, and set her up again. Have mercy, O Lord, upon sinners; have mercy upon Thine own creatures;(4) have pity upon Thy works. Then God remembered those whom He had made, and said to the prophet: How can I have mercy upon them? Vinegar and gall did they give me to drink,(5) and not even then did they repent. And the prophet said: Reveal Thy cherubim, and let us go together to judgment; and show me the day of judgment, what like it is. And God said: Thou hast been deceived, Esdras; for such is the day of judgment as that in which there is no rain upon the earth; for it is a merciful tribunal as compared with that day. And the prophet said: I will not cease to plead with Thee, unless I see the day of the consummation. And God said:(6) Number the stars and the sand of the sea; and if thou shalt be able to number this, thou art also able to plead with me. And the prophet said: Lord, Thou knowest that I wear human flesh; and how can I count the stars of the heaven, and the sand of the sea? And God said: My chosen prophet, no man will know that great day and the appearing(7) that comes to judge the world. For thy sake, my prophet, I have told thee the day; but the hour have I not told thee. And the prophet said: Lord, tell me also the years. And God said: If I see the righteousness of the world, that it has abounded, I will have patience with them; but if not, I will stretch forth my hand, and lay hold of the world by the four quarters, and bring them all together into the valley of Jehoshaphat,(8) and I will wipe out the race of men, so that the world shall be no more. And the prophet said: And how can Thy right hand be glorified? And God said: I shall be glorified by my angels. And the prophet said: Lord, if Thou hast resolved to do this, why didst Thou make man? Thou didst say to our father Abraham,(9) Multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea-shore;(10) and where is Thy promise? And God said: First will I make an earthquake for the fall of four-footed beasts and of men; and when you see that brother gives up brother to death, and that children shall rise up against their parents, and that a woman forsakes her own husband, and when nation shall rise up against nation in war, then will you know that the end is near.(11) For then neither brother pities brother, nor man wife, nor children parents, nor friends friends, nor a slave his master; for he who is the adversary of men shall come up from Tartarus, and shall show men many things. What shall I make of thee, Esdras? and wilt thou yet plead with me? And the prophet said: Lord, I shall not cease to plead with Thee. And God said: Number the flowers of the earth. If thou shalt be able to number them, thou art able also to plead with me. And the prophet said: Lord, I cannot number them. I wear human flesh; but I shall not cease to plead with Thee. I wish, Lord, to see also the under parts of Tartarus. And God said: Come down and see. And He gave me Michael, and Gabriel, and other thirty-four angels; and I went down eighty-five steps, and they brought me down five hundred steps, and I saw a fiery throne, and an old man sitting upon it; and his judgment was merciless. And I said to the angels: Who is this? and what is his sin? And they said to me: This is Herod, who for a time was a king, and ordered to put to death the children from two years old and under.(12) And I said: Woe to his soul! And again they took me down thirty steps, and I there saw boilings up of fire, and in them there was a multitude of sinners; and I heard their voice, but saw not their forms. And they took me down lower many steps, which I could not measure. And I there saw old men, and fiery pivots turning in their ears. And I said: Who are these? and what is their sin? And they said to me: These are they who would not listen.(13) And they took me down again other five hundred steps, and I there saw the worm that sleeps not, and fire burning up the sinners. And they took me down to the lowest part of destruction, and I saw there the twelve plagues of the abyss. And they took me away to the south, and I saw there a man hanging by the eyelids; and the angels kept scourging him. And I asked: Who is this? and what is his sin? And Michael the commander said to me: This is one who lay with his mother; for having put into practice a small wish, he has been ordered to be hanged. And they took me away to the north, and I saw there a man bound with iron chains. And I asked: Who is this? And he said to me: This is he who said, I am the Son of God, that made stones bread, and water wine. And the prophet said: My lord, let me know what is his form, and I shall tell the race of men, that they may not believe in him. And he said to me: The form of his countenance is like that of a wild beast; his right eye like the star that rises in the morning, and the other without motion; his mouth one cubit; his teeth span long; his fingers like scythes; the track of his feet of two spans; and in his face an inscription, Antichrist. He has been exalted to heaven; he shall go down to Hades.(1) At one time he shall become a child; at another, an old man. And the prophet said: Lord, and how dost Thou permit him, and he deceives the race of men? And God said: Listen, my prophet. He becomes both child and old man, and no one believes him that he is my beloved Son. And after this a trumpet, and the tombs shall be opened, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.(2) Then the adversary, hearing the dreadful threatening, shall be hidden in outer darkness. Then the heaven, and the earth, and the sea shall be destroyed. Then shall I burn the heaven eighty cubits, and the earth eight hundred cubits. And the prophet said: And how has the heaven sinned? And God said: Since(3) ... there is evil. And the prophet said: Lord, and the earth, how has it sinned? And God said: Since the adversary, having heard the dreadful threatening, shall be hidden, even on account of this will I melt the earth, and with it the opponent of the race of men. And the prophet said: Have mercy, Lord, upon the race of the Christians. And I saw a woman hanging, and four wild beasts sucking her breasts. And the angels said to me: She grudged to give her milk, but even threw her infants into the rivers. And I saw a dreadful darkness, and a night that had no stars nor moon; nor is there there young or old, nor brother with brother, nor mother with child, nor wife with husband. And I wept, and said: O Lord God, have mercy upon the sinners. And as I said this, there came a cloud and snatched me up, and carried me away again into the heavens. And I saw there many judgments; and I wept bitterly, and said: It is good for a man not to have come out of his mother's womb. And those who were in torment cried out, saying: Since thou hast come hither, O holy one of God, we have found a little remission. And the prophet said: Blessed are they that weep for their sins. And God said: Hear, O beloved Esdras. As a husbandman casts the seed of the corn into the ground, so also the man casts his seed into the parts of the woman. The first month it is all together; the second it increases in size; the third it gets hair; the fourth it gets nails; the fifth it is turned into milk;(4) and the sixth it is made ready, and receives life;(5) the seventh it is completely furnished; the ninth the barriers of the gate of the woman are opened; and it is born safe and sound into the earth. And the prophet said: Lord, it is good for man not to have been born. Woe to the human race then, when Thou shall come to judgment! And I said to the Lord: Lord, why hast Thou created man, and delivered him up to judgment? And God said, with a lofty proclamation: I will not by any means have mercy on those who transgress my covenant. And the prophet said Lord, where is Thy goodness? And God said: I have prepared all things for man's sake, and man does not keep my commandments. And the prophet said: Lord, reveal to me the judgments and paradise. And the angels took me away towards the east, and I saw the tree of life. And I saw there Enoch, and Elias, and Moses, and Peter, and Paul, and Luke, and Matthias, and all the righteous, and the patriarchs. And I saw there the keeping of the air within bounds, and the blowing of the winds, and the storehouses of the ice, and the eternal judgments. And I saw there a man hanging by the skull. And they said to me: This man removed landmarks. And I saw there great judgments.(6) And I said to the Lord: O Lord God, and what man, then, who has been born has not sinned? And they took me lower down into Tartarus, and I saw all the sinners lamenting and weeping and mourning bitterly. And I also wept, seeing the race of men thus tormented. Then God says to me: Knowest thou, Esdras, the names of the angels at the end of the world? Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, Zebuleon. Then there came a voice to me: Come hither and die, Esdras, my beloved; give that which hath been entrusted to thee.(7) And the prophet said: And whence can you bring forth my soul? And the angels said: We can put it forth through the mouth. And the prophet said: Mouth to mouth have I spoken with God,(8) and it comes not forth thence. And the angels said: Let us bring it out through thy nostrils. And the prophet said: My nostrils have smelled the sweet savour of the glory of God. And the angels said: We can bring it out through thine eyes. And the prophet said: Mine eyes have seen the back parts of God.(9) And the angels said: We can bring it out through the crown of thy head. And the prophet said: I walked about with Moses also on the mountain, and it comes not forth thence. And the angels said: We can put it forth through the points of thy nails. And the prophet said: My feet also have walked about on the altar. And the angels went away without having done anything, saying: Lord, we cannot get his soul. Then He says to His only begotten Son: Go down, my beloved Son, with a great host of angels, and take the soul of my beloved Esdras. For the Lord, having taken a great host of angels, says to the prophet: Give me the trust which I entrusted to thee; the crown has been prepared for thee.(1) And the prophet said: Lord, if Thou take my soul from me, who will be left to plead with Thee for the race of men And God said: As thou art mortal, and of the earth, do not plead with me. And the prophet said: I will not cease to plead. And God said: Give up just now the trust; the crown has been prepared for thee. Come and die, that thou mayst obtain it. Then the prophet began to say with tears: O Lord, what good have I done pleading with Thee, and I am going to fall down into the earth? Woe's me, woe's me, that I am going to be eaten up by worms! Weep, all ye saints and ye righteous, for me, who have pleaded much, and who am delivered up to death. Weep for me, all ye saints and ye righteous, because I have gone to the pit of Hades. And God said to him: Hear, Esdras, my beloved. I, who am immortal, endured a cross; I tasted vinegar and gall; I was laid in a tomb, and I raised up my chosen ones; I called Adam up out of Hades, that I might save(2) the race of men. Do not therefore be afraid of death: for that which is from me--that is to say, the soul--goes to heaven; and that which is from the earth--that is to say, the body--goes to the earth, from which it was taken.(3) And the prophet said: Woe's me! woe's me! what shall I set about? what shall I do? I know not. And then the blessed Esdras began to say: O eternal God, the Maker of the whole creation, who hast measured the heaven with a span, and who holdest the earth as a handful,(4) who ridest upon the cherubim, who didst take the prophet Elias to the heavens in a chariot of fire,(5) who givest food to all flesh, whom all things dread and tremble at from the face of Thy power,--listen to me, who have pleaded much, and give to all who transcribe this book, and have it, and remember my name, and honour my memory, give them a blessing from heaven; and bless him(6) in all things, as Thou didst bless Joseph at last, and remember not his former wickedness in the day of his judgment. And as many as have not believed this book shall be burnt up like Sodom and Gomorrah. And there came to him a voice, saying: Esdras, my beloved, all things whatever thou hast asked will I give to each one. And immediately he gave up his precious soul with much honour, in the month of October, on the twenty-eighth. And they prepared him for burial with incense and psalms; and his precious and sacred body dispenses strength of soul and body perpetually to those who have recourse to him from a longing desire. To whom is due glory, strength, honour, and adoration,--to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.


REVELATION of the holy Apostle Paul: the things which were revealed to him when he went up even to the third heaven, and was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words.(1)

There dwelt a certain nobleman in the city of Tarsus, in the house of St. Paul the apostle, in the government of Theodosius the worshipful king, and of the most illustrious Gratianus;(2) and there was revealed to him an angel of the Lord, saying: Upturn the foundation of this house, and lift up what thou shalt find. But he thought that he had had a dream. And the angel having persisted even to a third vision, the nobleman was compelled to upturn the foundation; and having dug, he found a marble(3) box containing this revelation; and having taken it, he showed it to the ruler of the city. And the ruler, seeing it sealed up with lead, sent it to the King Theodosius, thinking that it was something else.(4) And the king baring received it, and transcribed it, sent the original writing to Jerusalem. And there was written in it thus:--

The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Say to this people, Till when do you sin, and add to your sin, and provoke to anger the God who made you, saying that you are children to Abraham,(5) but doing the works of Satan, going on in speaking against God, boasting only in your addressing of God, but poor on account of the substance of sin? Know, ye sons of men, that the whole creation has been made subject to God; but the human race alone, by sinning, provokes God to anger. For often the great light, the sun, has come before God, saying against men: Lord God Almighty, how long dost Thou endure all the sin of men? Command me, and I will burn them up. And there came a voice to him: My long-suffering endures them all, that they may repent; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. And often also the moon and the stars have come before God, saying: Lord God Almighty, Thou hast given us the dominion of the night, and we no longer cover the thefts, and adulteries, and blood-sheddings of men; command us, and we shall do marvels against them. And there came a voice: My long- suffering bears with them, that they may turn to me; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. And in like manner also the sea cried out, saying: Lord God Almighty, the sons of men have profaned Thy holy name; command me, and I shall rise up and cover the earth, and wipe out from it(6) the sons of men. And there came a voice, saying: My long- suffering bears with them, that they may repent; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. You see, ye sons of men, i that the whole creation has been made subject to God, but the human race alone sins before God. On account of all these things, bless God without ceasing, and yet more when the sun is setting. For at this hour all the angels come to God to adore Him, and they bring before Him the works of men, of each what he has done from morning even to evening, whether good or evil. And one angel goes rejoicing on account of man when he behaves well, and another goes with a sad countenance. All the angels at the appointed hour meet for the worship of God, to bring each day's works of men. But do ye men bless God without ceasing Whenever, therefore, at the appointed hour the angels of pious men come, rejoicing and singing psalms, they meet for the worship of the Lord; and, behold, the Spirit of God says to them: Whence do ye come rejoicing? And they answered and said: We are here from the pious men, who in all piety spend their life, fearing the name of God. Command them, Lord, to abide even to the end in Thy righteousness. And there came to them a voice: I have both kept and will keep them void of offence in my kingdom. And when it came to pass that they went away, there came other angels with a cheerful countenance, shining like the sun. And behold a voice to them: Whence have ye come? And they answered and said: We have come from those who have held themselves aloof from the world and the things in the world for Thy holy name's sake, who in deserts, and mountains, and caves, and the dens of the earth, in beds on the ground, and in fastings, spend their life.(1) Command us to be with them. And there came a voice: Go with them in peace, guarding them. Moreover, when they went away, behold, there came other angels to worship before God, mourning and weeping. And the Spirit went forth to meet them, and there came a voice to them: Whence have ye come? And they answered and said: We have come from those who have been called by Thy name, and are slaves to the matter of sin.(2) Why, then, is it necessary to minister unto them? And there came a voice to them: Do not cease to minister unto them; perhaps they will turn; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. Know, sons of men, that all that is done by you day by day, the angels write in the heavens. Do you therefore cease not to bless God.

And I was in the Holy Spirit, and an angel says to me: Come, follow me, that I may show thee the place of the just, where they go after their end. And I went along with the angel, and he brought me up into the heavens under the firmament; and I perceived and saw powers great and dreadful, full of wrath, and through the mouth of them a flame of fire coming out, and clothed in garments of fire. And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he said to me: These are they who are sent away to the souls of the sinners in the hour of necessity; for they have not believed that there is judgment and retribution. And I looked up into the heaven, and saw angels, whose faces shone like the sun, girded with golden girdles, having in their hands prizes, on which the name of the Lord was inscribed, full of all meekness and compassion. And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he answered and said to me: These are they who are sent forth in the day of the resurrection to bring the souls of the righteous,(3) who intrepidly walk according to God.(4) And I said to the angel: I wish to see the souls of the righteous and of the sinners, how they go out of the world. And the angel said to me: Look to the earth. And I looked, and saw the whole world as nothing disappearing before me. And I said to the angel: is this the greatness of men? And he said to me: Yes; for thus every unjust man disappears. And I looked, and saw a cloud of fire wrapped over all the world; and I said: What is this, my lord? And he said to me:This is the unrighteousness mingled with the destruction of the sinners. And I wept, and said to the angel: I wished to see the departures of the righteous and of the sinners, in what manner they go out of the world. And the angel says to me: Paul, look down, and see what thou hast asked. And I looked, and saw one of the sons of men falling near death. And the angel says to me: This is a righteous man, and, behold, all his works stand beside him in the hour of his necessity.(5) And there were beside him good angels, and along with them also evil angels. And the evil angels indeed found no place in him, but the good took possession of(6) the soul of the righteous man, and said to it: Take note of the body whence thou art coming out; for it is necessary for thee again to return to it in the day of the resurrection, that thou mayst receive what God hath promised to the righteous. And the good angels who had received the soul of the righteous man, saluted it, as being well known to them. And it went with them; and the Spirit came forth to meet them, saying: Come, soul, enter into the place of the resurrection, which God hath prepared for His righteous ones. And the angel said to me: Look down to the earth, and behold the soul of the impious, how it goes forth from its tabernacle, which has provoked God to anger, saying, Let us eat and drink;(7) for who is it that has gone down to Hades, and come up and announced that there is judgment and retribution? And take heed, and see all his works which he has done standing before him. And the evil angels came and the good. The good therefore found no place of rest in it, but the evil took possession of it, saying: O wretched soul, pay heed to thy flesh; take note of that whence thou art coming forth, for thou must return into thy flesh in the day of the resurrection, that thou mayst receive the recompense of thy sins. And when it had gone forth from its tabernacle, the angel who had lived along with it ran up to it, saying to it: O wretched soul, whither goest thou? I am he who each day wrote down thy sins. Thou hast destroyed the time of repentance; be exceedingly ashamed. And when it came, all the angels saw it, and cried out with one voice, saying: Woe to thee, wretched soul! what excuse hast thou come to give to God? And the angel of that soul said: Weep for it, all of you, along with me. And the angel came up, and worshipped the Lord, saying: Lord, behold the soul which has dwelt in wickedness in its time, and in its temporary life; do to it according to Thy decision. And there came a voice to that soul, saying: Where is the fruit of thy righteousness? And it was silent,(8) not being able to give an answer. And again there came a voice to it: He who has shown mercy will have mercy shown to him;(1) he who has not shown mercy will not have mercy shown to him. Let this soul be delivered to the merciless angel Temeluch, and let it be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. And there was a voice as of tens of thousands, saying: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and righteous is Thy judgment.(2) And moreover I saw, and, behold, another soul was led by an angel; and it wept, saying: Have mercy upon me, O righteous Judge, and deliver me from the hand of this angel, because he is dreadful and merciless. And a voice came to it. saying: Thou wast altogether merciless, and for this reason thou hast been delivered up to such an angel. Confess thy sins which thou hast done in the world. And that soul said: I have not sinned, O righteous Judge. And the Lord said to that soul: Verily thou seemest as if thou wert in the world, and weft hiding thy deeds from men. Knowest thou not that whensoever any one dies, his deeds run before him, whether they are good or evil? And when it heard this, it was silent. And I heard the Judge saying: Let the angel come, having in his hands the record of thy sins. And the Judge says to the angel: I say to thee the angel, Disclose all. Say what he has done five years before his death. By myself I swear to thee, that in the first period of his life there was forgetfulness of all his former sins. And the angel answered and said: Lord, command the souls to stand beside their angels; and that same hour they stood beside them. And the lord of that soul said: Take note of these souls, and whether thou hast in any way sinned against them. And it answered and said: Lord, a year has not been completed since I killed the one and lived with the other. And not only this, but I also wronged it. And the Lord said to it: Knowest thou not that he who wrongs any one in the world is kept, as soon as he dies, in the place until he whom he has wronged come, and both shall be judged before me, and each receive according to his works? And I heard a voice saying: Let this soul be delivered to the angel Tartaruch, and guarded till the great day of judgment. And I heard a voice as of tens of thousands saying: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and righteous Thy judgment.

And the angel says to me: Hast thou seen all these things? And I answered: Yes my lord. And again he said to me: Come, follow me, and I shall show thee the place of the righteous. And I followed him, and he set me before the doors of the city. And I saw a golden gate, and two golden pillars before it, and two golden plates upon it full of inscriptions. And the angel said to me: Blessed is he who shall enter into these doors; because not every one goeth in, but only those who have single-mindedness, and guiltlessness, and a pure heart.(3) And I asked the angel: For what purpose have the in scriptions been graven on these plates? And he said to me: These are the names of the righteous, and of those who serve God. And I said to him: Is it so that their names have been inscribed in heaven itself while they are yet alive? And the angel said to me: ...(4) of the angels, such as serve Him well are acknowledged by God. And straightway the gate was opened, and there came forth a hoary-headed man to meet us; and he said to me: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God! and, with a joyful countenance, he kissed me with tears. And I said to him: Father, why weepest thou? And he said to me: Because God hath prepared many good things for men, and they do not His will in order that they may enjoy them. And I asked the angel: My lord, who is this? And he said to me: This is Enoch, the witness of the last day.(5) And the angel says to me: See that whatever I show thee in this place thou do not announce, except what I tell thee. And he set me upon(6) the river whose source springs up in the circle of heaven; and it is this river which encircleth the whole earth. And he says to me: This river is Ocean. And there was then a great light. And I said: My lord, what is this? And he said to me: This is the land of the meek. Knowest thou not that it is written, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth?(7) The souls of the righteous, therefore, are kept in this place. And I said to the angel: When, then, will they be made manifest? And he said to me: When the Judge shall come in the day of the resurrection, and sit down. Then, accordingly, shall he command, and shall reveal the earth, and it shall be lighted up; and the saints shall appear in it, and shall delight themselves in the good(8) that have been reserved from the foundation of the world. And there were by the bank of the river, trees planted, full of different fruits. And I looked towards the rising of the sun, and I saw there trees of great size full of fruits; and that land was more brilliant than silver and gold; and there were vines growing on those date-palms, and myriads of shoots, and myriads of clusters on each branch. And I said to the archangel: What is this, my lord? And he says to me: This is the Acherusian lake, and within it the city of God. All are not permitted to enter into it, except whosoever shall repent of his sins; and as soon as he shall repent, and alter his life, he is delivered to Michael, and they cast him into the Acherusian lake, and then he brings him in the city of God, near the righteous. And I wondered and blessed God at all that I saw. And the angel said to me: Follow me, that I may bring thee into the city of God, and into its light. And its light was greater than the light of the world, and greater than gold, and walls encircled it. And the length and the breadth of it were a hundred stadia. And I saw twelve gates, exceedingly ornamented, leading into the city; and four rivers encircled it, flowing with milk, and honey, and oil, and wine. And I said to the angel: My lord, what are these rivers? And he said to me: These are the righteous who, when in the world, did not make use of these things, but humbled themselves for the sake of God; and here they receive a recompense ten thousand fold.

And I, going into the city, saw a very lofty tree before the doors of the city, having no fruit, and a few men under it; and they wept exceedingly, and the trees bent down to them. And I, seeing them, wept, and asked the angel: Who are these, that they have not turned to go into the city? And he said to me: Yes, the root of all evils is vainglory. And I said: And these trees, why have they thus humbled themselves? And the angel answered and said to me: For this reason the trees are not fruit-bearing, because they have not withheld themselves from vaunting. And I asked the angel: My lord, for what reason have they been put aside before the doors of the city? And he answered and said to me: On account of the great goodness of God, since by this way Christ is going to come into the city, and that those who go along with Him may plead for these men, and that they may be brought in along with them. And I was going along, guided by the angel, and he set me upon the river. And I saw there all the prophets; and they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God. And I said to the angel: My lord, who are these? And he said to me: These are all the prophets, and these are the songs of all the prophecies,(1) and of whoever hath grieved his soul, not doing its will, for God's sake. Having departed, then, he comes here, and the prophets salute him. And the angel brought me to the south of the city, where the river of milk is. And I saw there all the infants that King Herod slew for the Lord's name's sake. And the angel took me again to the east of the city, and I saw there Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. And I asked the angel: My lord, what place is this? And he said to me: Every one who is hospitable to men comes hither when he comes out of the world, and they salute him as a friend of God on account of his love to strangers. And again he took me away to another place, and I saw there a river like oil on the north of the city, and I saw people there rejoicing and singing praises. And I asked: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who have given themselves up to God; for they are brought into this city. And I looked, and saw in the midst of the city an altar, great and very lofty; and there was one standing near the altar, whose face shone like the sun, and he had in his hands a psaltery and a harp, and he sung the Alleluia delightfully, and his voice filled all the city. And all with one consent accompanied him, so that the city was shaken by their shouting. And I asked the angel: Who is this that singeth delightfully, whom all accompany? And he said to me: This is the prophet David; this is the heavenly Jerusalem. When, therefore, Christ shall come in His second appearing, David himself goes forth with all the saints. For as it is in the heavens, so also upon earth: for it is not permitted without David to offer sacrifice even in the day of the sacrifice of the precious body and blood of Christ; but it is necessary for David to sing the Alleluia. And I asked the angel: My lord, what is the meaning of Alleluia? It is called in Hebrew, THEBEL, MAREMATHA--speech to God who founded all things: let us glorify Him in the same. So that every one who sings the Alleluia glorifies God.

When these things, therefore, had been thus said to me by the angel, he led me outside of the city, and the Acherusian lake, and the good land, and set me upon the river of the ocean that supports the firmament of the heaven, and said to me: Knowest thou where I am going? And I said: No, my lord. And he said to me: Follow me, that I may show thee where the souls of the impious and the sinners are. And he took me to the setting of the sun, and where the beginning of the heaven had been founded upon the river of the ocean. And I saw beyond the river, and there was no light there, but darkness, and grief, and groaning; and I saw a bubbling river, and a great multitude both of men and women who had been cast into it, some up to the knees, others up to the navel, and many even up to the crown of the head. And I asked: Who are these? And he said to me: These are they who lived unrepenting in fornications and adulteries. And I saw at the south-west of the river another river, where there flowed a river of fire, and there was there a multitude of many souls. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are the thieves, and slanderers, and flatterers, who did not set up God as their help, but hoped in the vanity of their riches. And I said to him: What is the depth of this river? And he said to me: Its depth has no measure, but it is immeasurable. And I groaned and wept because of mankind. And the angel said to me: Why weepest thou? Art thou more merciful than God? for, being holy, God, repenting over men, waits for their conversion and repentance; but they, deceived by their own will, come here, and are eternally punished. And I looked into the fiery river, and saw an old man dragged along by two, and they pulled him in up to the knee. And the angel Temeluch coming, laid hold of an iron with his hand, and with it drew up the entrails of that old man through his mouth. And I asked the angel: My lord, who is this that suffers this punishment? And he said to me: This old man whom thou seest was a presbyter; and when he had eaten and drunk, then he performed the service of God. And I saw there another old man carried in haste by four angels; and they threw him into the fiery river up to the girdle, and he was frightfully burnt by the lightnings. And I said to the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This whom thou seest was a bishop, and that name indeed he was well pleased to have; but in the goodness of God he did not walk, righteous judgment he did not judge, the widow and the orphan he did not pity, he was neither affectionate nor hospitable;(1) but now he has been recompensed according to his works. And I looked, and saw in the middle of the river another man up to the navel, having his hands all bloody, and worms were coming up through his mouth. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This whom thou seest was a deacon, who ate and drank, and ministered to God. And I looked to another place where there was a brazen wall in flames, and within it men and women eating up their own tongues, dreadfully judged. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who in the church speak against their neighbours, and do not attend to the word of God. And I looked, and saw a bloody pit. And I said: What is this pit? And he said to me: This is the place where are cast the wizards, and sorcerers, and the whoremongers, and the adulterers, and those that oppress widows and orphans. And I saw in another place women wearing black, and led away into a dark place. And I asked: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who did not listen to their parents, but before their marriage defiled their virginity. And I saw women wearing white robes, being blind, and standing upon obelisks of fire; and an angel was mercilessly beating them, saying: Now you know where you are; you did not attend when the Scriptures were read to you. And the angel said to me: These are they who corrupted themselves and killed their infants. Their infants therefore came crying out: Avenge us of our mothers. And they were given to an angel to be carried away into a spacious place, but their parents into everlasting fire.

And the angel took me up from these torments, and set me above a well, which had seven seals upon its mouth. And the angel who was with me said to the angel at the well of that place: Open the well, that Paul the beloved of God may see, because there has been given to him authority to see the torments. And the angel of the place said to me: Stand afar off, until I open the seals. And when he had opened them, there came forth a stench which it was impossible to bear. And having come near the place, I saw that well filled with darkness and gloom, and great narrowness of space in it. And the angel who was with me said to me: This place of the well which thou seest is cast off from the glory of God, and none of the angels is importunate in behalf of them; and as many as have professed that the holy Mary is not the mother of God, and that the Lord did not become man out of her, and that the bread of the thanksgiving and the cup of blessing are not His flesh and blood,(2) are cast into this well: and as I said before no angel is importunate in their behalf. And I saw towards the setting of the sun, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, many men and women there tormented. And I said to the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who say that there is no resurrection of the dead; and to them mercy never comes.

Having heard this, I wept bitterly; and looking up into the firmament, I saw the heaven opened, and the archangel Gabriel coming down with hosts of angels, who were going round about all the torments. And they who were judged in the torments seeing them, all cried out with one loud voice: Have mercy upon us, Gabriel, who standest in the presence of God; for we heard that there was a judgment: behold, we know it. And the archangel Gabriel answered and said: As the Lord liveth, beside whom I stand, night and day without ceasing I plead in behalf of the race of men; but they did not do any good when in life, but spent the period of their life in vanity. And now I shall weep, even I, along with the beloved Paul; perhaps the good Lord may have compassion, and grant you remission. And they assented with one voice: Have mercy upon us, O Lord. And they fell down before God, and supplicated, saying: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the sons of men whom Thou hast made after Thine image. And the heaven was shaken like a leaf, and I saw the four and twenty elders lying on their face; and I saw the altar, and the throne, and the veil; and all of them entreated the glory of God;(1) and I saw the Son of God with glory and great power coming down to the earth.(2) And when the sound of the trumpet took place, all who were in the torments cried out, saying: Have mercy upon us Son of God; for to Thee has been given power over things in heaven, and things on earth, and things trader the earth. And there came a voice saying: What good work have you done, that you are asking for rest? For you have done as you wished, and have not repented, but you have spent your life in profligacy. But now for the sake of Gabriel, the angel of my righteousness and for the sake of Paul my beloved, I give you a night and the day of the holy Lord's day, on which I rose from the dead, for rest. And all who were in the torments cried out, saying: We bless Thee, O Son of the living God; better for us is such rest than the life which we lived when spending our time in the world.

And after these things the angel says to me: Behold, thou hast seen all the torments: come, follow me, that I may lead thee away to paradise, and that thou mayst change thy soul by the sight of the righteous; for many desire to salute thee. And he took me by an impulse of the Spirit, and brought me into paradise. And he says to me: This is paradise, where Adam and Eve transgressed. And I saw there a beautiful tree of great size, on which the Holy Spirit, rested; and from the root of it there came forth all manner of most sweet-smelling water, parting into four channels. And I said to the angel: My lord, what is this tree, that there comes forth from it a great abundance of this water, and where does it go? And he answered and said to me: Before the heaven and the earth existed, He divided them into four kingdoms and heads, of which the names are Phison, Gehon, Tigris, Euphrates. And having again taken hold of me by the hand, he led me near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And he says to me: This is the tree by means of which death came into the world, and Adam took of the fruit of it from his wife, and ate; and thereafter they were cast out hence. And he showed me another, the tree of life, and said to me: This the cherubim and the flaming sword guard. And when I was closely observing the tree, and wondering, I saw a woman coming from afar off, and a multitude of angels singing praises to her. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord, who is in so great honour and beauty? And the angel says to me: This is the holy Mary, the mother of the Lord. And she came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God, and angels, and men; thou hast proclaimed the word of God in the world, and established churches, and all bear testimony to thee who have been saved by means of thee: for, having been delivered from the deception of idols through thy teaching, they come here.

While they were yet speaking to me, I gazed, and saw other three men coming. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the righteous forefathers. And they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God. ... God did not grieve us. But we know thee in the flesh, before thou camest forth out of the world. And in succession they told me their names from Abraham to Manasseh. And one of them, Joseph who was sold in Egypt, says to me: Hear me, Paul, friend of God: I did not requite my brethren who cursed me. For blessed is he who is able to endure trial, because the Lord will give him in requital sevenfold reward in the world to come.(3) And while he was yet speaking with me, I saw another coming afar off, and the appearance of him was as the appearance of an angel. And I asked the angel, saying: My lord, who is this? And he said to me: This is Moses the lawgiver, by whom God led forth the children of Israel out of the slavery of Egypt. And when he came near me, he saluted me weeping. And I said to him: Father, why weepest thou, being righteous and meek?(4) And he answered and said to me: I must weep for every man, because I brought trouble upon a people that does not understand, and they have not borne fruit; and I see the sheep of which I was shepherd scattered, and the toil which I toiled for the children of Israel has been counted for nothing; and they saw powers(5) and hosts in the midst of them, and they did not understand; and I see the Gentiles worshipping, and believing through thy word, and being converted, and coming here, and out of my people that was so great not one has understood. For, when the Jews hanged the Son of God upon the cross, all the angels and archangels, and the righteous, and the whole creation of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, lamented and mourned with a great lamentation, but the impious and insensate Jews did not understand; wherefore there has been prepared for them the fire everlasting, and the worm that dies not.

While he was yet speaking, there came other three, and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God, the boast of the churches, and model of angels. And I asked: Who are you? And the first said: I am Isaiah, whom Manasseh sawed with a wood saw.(1) And the second said: I am Jeremiah, whom the Jews stoned, but they remained burnt up with everlasting fire. And the third said: I am Ezekiel, whom the slayers of the Messiah pierced; all these things have we endured, and we have not been able to turn the stony heart of the Jews. And I threw myself on my face, entreating the goodness of God, because He had had mercy upon me, and had delivered me from the race of the Hebrews. And there came a voice saying: Blessed art thou, Paul, beloved of God; and blessed are those who through thee have believed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, because for them has been prepared everlasting life.

While this voice was yet speaking, there came another, crying: Blessed art thou, Paul. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This is Noah, who lived in the time of the deluge. And when we had saluted each other, I asked him: Who art thou? And he said to me: I am Noah, who in a hundred years built the ark, and without putting off the coat which I wore, or shaving my head; moreover, I practised continence, and did not come near my wife; and in the hundred years my coat was not dirtied, and the hair of my head was not diminished. And I ceased not to proclaim to men, Repent, for, behold, a deluge is coming. And no one paid heed; but all derided me, not refraining from their lawless deeds, until the water of the deluge came and destroyed them all.

And looking away, I saw other two from afar off. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are Enoch and Elias. And they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God! And I said to them: Who are you? And Elias the prophet answered and said to me: I am Elias the prophet, who prayed to God, and He caused that no rain should come down upon the earth for three years and six months, on account of the unrighteousness of the sons of men. For often, of a truth, even the angel besought God on account of the rain; and I heard, Be patient until Elias my beloved shall pray, and I send rain upon the earth.(2)



AFTER the taking up of our Lord Jesus Christ, I John was alone upon Mount Tabor,(1) where also He showed us His undefiled Godhead; and as I was not able to stand, I fell upon the ground, and prayed to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, who hast deemed me worthy to be Thy servant, hear my voice, and teach me about Thy coming. When Thou shall come to the earth, what will happen? The heaven and the earth, and the sun and the moon, what will happen to them in those times? Reveal to me all; for I am emboldened, because Thou listenest to Thy servant.

And I spent seven days praying; and after this a cloud of light caught me up from the mountain, and set me before the face of the heaven. And I heard a voice saying to me: Look up, John, servant of God, and know. And having looked up, I saw the heaven opened, and there came forth from within the heaven a smell of perfumes of much sweet odour; and I saw an exceeding great flood of light, more resplendent than the sun. And again I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, righteous John. And I directed my sight, and saw a book lying, of the thickness, methought, of seven mountains;(2) and the length of it the mind of man cannot comprehend, having seven seals. And I said: O Lord my God, reveal to me what is written in this book. And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. In this book which thou seest there have been written the things in the heaven, and the things in the earth, and the things in the abyss, and the judgments and righteousness of all the human race.(3) And I said: Lord, when shall these things come to pass? and what do those times bring? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John.(4) There shall be in that time abundance of corn and wine, such as there hath never been upon the earth, nor shall ever be until those times come. Then the ear of corn shall produce a half choenix,(5) and the bend of the branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and the cluster shall produce a half jar of wine; and in the following year there shall not be found upon the face of all the earth a half choenix of corn or a half jar of wine.

And again I said: Lord, thereafter what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall appear the denier, and he who is set apart in the darkness, who is called Antichrist. And again I said: Lord, reveal to me what he is like. And I heard a voice saying to me: The appearance of his face is dusky;(6) the hairs of his head are sharp, like darts; his eyebrows like a wild beast's; his right eye like the star which rises in the morning, and the other like a lion's; his mouth about one cubit; his teeth span long; his fingers like scythes; the print of his feet of two spans; and on his face an inscription, Antichrist; he shall be exalted even to heaven, and shall be cast down even to Hades, making false displays.(7) And then will I make the heaven brazen, so that it shall not give moisture(8) upon the earth; and I will hide the clouds in secret places, so that they shall not bring moisture upon the earth; and I will command the horns of the wind, so that the wind shall not blow upon the earth.(9)

And again I said: Lord, and how many years will he do this upon the earth? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Three years shall those times be; and I will make the three years like three months, and the three months like three weeks, and the three weeks like three days, and the three days like three hours, and the three hours like three seconds, as said the prophet David, His throne hast Thou broken down to the ground; Thou hast shortened the days of his time; Thou hast poured shame upon him.(1) And then I shall send forth Enoch and Elias to convict him; and they shall show him to be a liar and a deceiver; and he shall kill them at the altar, as said the prophet, Then shall they offer calves upon Thine altar.(2)

And again I said: Lord, and after that what will come to pass? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then all the human race shall die, and there shall not be a living man upon all the earth. And again I said: Lord, after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then will I send forth mine angels, and they shall take the ram's horns that lie upon the cloud; and Michael and Gabriel shall go forth out of the heaven and sound with those horns, as the prophet David foretold, With the voice of a trumpet of horn.(3) And the voice of the trumpet shall be heard from the one quarter of the world to the other;(4) and from the voice of that trumpet all the earth shall be shaken, as the prophet foretold, And at the voice of the bird every plant shall arise;(5) that is, at the voice of the archangel all the human race shall arise.(6)

And again I said: Lord, those who are dead froth Adam even to this day, and who dwell in Hades from the beginning of the world, and who die at the last ages, what like shall they arise? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. All the human race shall arise thirty years old.

And again I said: Lord, they die male and female, and some old, and some young, and some infants. In the resurrection what like shall they arise? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Just as the bees are, and differ not one from another, but are all of one appearance and one size, so also shall every man be in the resurrection. There is neither fair, nor ruddy, nor black, neither Ethiopian nor different countenances; but they shall all arise of one appearance and one stature. All the human race shall arise without bodies, as I told you that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God.(7)

And again I said: Lord, is it possible in that world to recognise each other, a brother his brother, or a friend his friend, or a father his own children, or the children their own parents? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, John. To the righteous there is recognition, but to the sinners not at all; they cannot in the resurrection recognise each other. And again I John said: Lord, is there there recollection of the things that are here, either fields or vineyards, or other things here? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. The prophet David speaks, saying, I remembered that we are dust: as for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he shall flourish: for a wind hath passed over it, and it shall be no more, and it shall not any longer know its place.(8) And again the same said: His spirit(9) shall go forth, and he returns to his earth; in that day all his thoughts shall perish.(10)

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then will I send forth mine angels over the face of all the earth, and they shall lift off the earth everything honourable, and everything precious, and the venerable and holy images, and the glorious and precious crosses, and the sacred vessels of the churches, and the divine and sacred books; and all the precious and holy things shall be lifted up by clouds into the air. And then will I order to be lifted up the great and venerable sceptre,(11) on which I stretched forth my hands, and all the orders of my angels shall do reverence to it. And then shall be lifted up all the race of men upon clouds, as the Apostle Paul foretold.(12) Along with them we shall be snatched up in(13) clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And then shall come forth every evil spirit, both in the earth and in the abyss, wherever they are on the face of all the earth, from the rising of the sun even to the setting, and they shall be united to him that is served by the devil, that is, Antichrist, and they shall be lifted up upon the clouds.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall I send forth mine angels over the face of all the earth, and they shall burn up the earth eight thousand five hundred(1) cubits, and the great mountains shall be burnt up, and all the rocks shall be melted and shall become as dust, and every tree shall be burnt up, and every beast, and every creeping thing creeping upon the earth, and every thing moving upon the face of the earth, and every flying thing flying in the air; and there shall no longer be upon the face of all the earth anything moving, and the earth shall be without motion.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall I uncover the four parts of the east, and there shall come forth four great winds, and they shall sweep(2) all the face of the earth from the one end of the earth to the other; and the Lord shall sweep sin from off the earth, and the earth shall be made white like snow, and it shall become as a leaf of paper, without cave, or mountain, or hill, or rock; but the face of the earth from the rising even to the setting of the sun shall be like a table, and white as snow; and the reins of the earth shall be consumed by fire, and it shall cry unto me, saying, I am a virgin before thee, O Lord, and there is no sin in me; as the prophet David said aforetime, Thou shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made pure; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.(3) And again he(4) said: Every chasm shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill brought low, and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough ways into smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.(5)

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall the earth be cleansed from sin, and all the earth shall be filled with a sweet smell, because I am about to come down upon the earth; and then shall come forth the great and venerable sceptre, with thousands of angels worshipping it, as I said before; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man from the heaven with power and great glory.(6) And then the worker of iniquity with his servants shall behold it, and gnash his teeth exceedingly, and all the unclean spirits shall be turned to flight. And then, seized by invisible power, having no means of flight, they shall gnash their teeth against him, saying to him: Where is thy power? How hast thou led us astray? and we have fled away, and have fallen away from the glory which we had beside Him who is coming to judge us, and the whole human race. Woe to us! because He banishes us into outer darkness.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then will I send an angel out of heaven, and he shall cry with a loud voice, saying, Hear, O earth, and be strong, saith the Lord; for I am coming down to thee. And the voice of the angel shall be heard from the one end of the world even to the other, and even to the remotest part of the abyss. And then shall be shaken all the power of the angels and of the many-eyed ones, and there shall be a great noise in the heavens, and the nine regions of the heaven shall be shaken, and there shall be fear and astonishment upon all the angels. And then the heavens shall be rent from the rising of the sun even to the setting, and an innumerable multitude of angels shall come down to the earth; and then the treasures of the heavens shall be opened, and they shall bring down every precious thing, and the perfume of incense, and they shall bring down to the earth Jerusalem robed like a bride.(7) And then there shall go before me myriads of angels and archangels, bearing my throne, crying out, Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.(8) And then will I come forth with power and great glory, and every eye in(9) the clouds shall see me; and then every knee shall bend, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth.(10) And then the heaven shall remain empty; and I will come down upon the earth, and all that is in the air shall be brought down upon the earth, and all the human race and every evil spirit along with Antichrist, and they shall all be set before me naked, and chained by the neck.

And again I said: Lord, what will become of the heavens, and the sun, and the moon, along with the stars? And I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, righteous John. And I looked, and saw a Lamb having seven eyes and seven horns.(11) And again I heard a voice saying to me: I will bid the Lamb come before me, and will say, Who will open this book? And all the multitudes of the angels will answer, Give this book to the Lamb to open it. And then will l order the book to be opened. And when He shall open the first seal, the stars of the heaven shall fall, from the one end of it to the other. And when He shall open the second seal, the moon shall be hidden, and there shall be no light in her. And when He shall open the third seal, the light of the sun shall be withheld, and there shall not be light upon the earth. And when He shall open the fourth seal, the heavens shall be dissolved, and the air shall be thrown into utter confusion, as saith the prophet: And the heavens are the works of Thy hands; they shall perish, but Thou endurest, and they shall all wax old as a garment.(1) And when He shall open the fifth seal, the earth shall be rent, and all the tribunals upon the face of all the earth shall be revealed. And when He shall open the sixth seal, the half of the sea shall disappear. And when He shall open the seventh seal, Hades shall be uncovered.

And I said: Lord, who will be the first to be questioned, and to receive judgment? And I heard a voice saying to me, The unclean spirits, along with the adversary. I bid them go into outer darkness, where the depths(2) are. And I said: Lord, and in what place does it lie? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. As big a stone as a man of thirty years old can roll, and let go down into the depth, even falling down for twenty years will not arrive at the bottom of Hades; as the prophet David said before, And He made darkness His secret place.(3)

And I said: Lord, and after them what nation(4) will be questioned? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. There will be questioned of Adam's race those nations, both the Greek and those who have believed in idols, and in the sun, and in the stars, and those who have defiled the faith by heresy, and who have not believed the holy resurrection, and who have not confessed the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: then will I send them away into Hades, as the prophet David foretold, Let the sinners be turned into Hades, and all the nations that forget God.(6) And again he said: They were put in Hades like sheep; death shall be their shepherd.(7)

And again I said: Lord, and after them whom wilt Thou judge? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then the race of the Hebrews shall be examined, who nailed me to the tree like a malefactor. And I said: And what punishment will these get, and in what place, seeing that they did such things to Thee? And I heard a voice saying to me: They shall go away into Tartarus, as the prophet David foretold, They cried out, and there was none to save; to the Lord, and He did not hearken to them.(8) And again the Apostle Paul said: As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in law shall be judged by means of law.(9)

And again I said: Lord, and what of those who have received baptism? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then the race of the Christians shall be examined, who have received baptism; and then the righteous shall come at my command, and the angels shall go and collect(10) them from among the sinners, as the prophet David foretold: The Lord will not suffer the rod of the sinners in the lot of the righteous;(11) and all the righteous shall be placed on my right hand,(12) and shall shine like the sun.(13) As thou seest, John, the stars of heaven, that they were all made together, but differ in light,(14) so shall it be with the righteous and the sinners; for the righteous shall shine as lights and as the sun, but the sinners shall stand in darkness.

And again I said: Lord, and do all the Christians go into one punishment?--kings, high priests, priests, patriarchs, rich and poor, bond and free? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. As the prophet David foretold, The expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.(15) Now about kings: they shall be driven like slaves, and shall weep like infants; and about patriarchs, and priests, and Levites, of those that have sinned, they shall be separated in their punishments, according to the nature(16) of the peculiar transgression of each,--some in the river of fire, and some to the worm that dieth not, and others in the seven-mouthed pit of punishment. To these punishments the sinners will be apportioned.

And again I said: Lord, and where will the righteous dwell? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then shall paradise be revealed; and the whole world and paradise shall be made one, and the righteous shall be on the face of all the earth with my angels, as the Holy Spirit foretold through the prophet David: The righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell therein for ever and ever.(17)

And again I said: Lord, how great is the multitude of the angels? and which is the greater, that of angels or of men? And I heard a voice saying to me: As great as is the multitude of the angels, so great is the race of men, as the prophet has said, He set bounds to the nations according to the number of the angels of God.(18) And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? and what is to become of the world? Reveal to me all. And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. After that there is no pain, there is no grief, there is no groaning; there is no recollection of evils, there are no tears, there is no envy, there is no hatred of brethren, there is no unrighteousness, there is no arrogance, there is no slander, there is no bitterness, there are none of the cares of life, there is no pain from parents or children, there is no pain from gold, there are no wicked thoughts, there is no devil, there is no death, there is no night, but all is day.(1) As I said before, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, that is, men who have been made like the angels through their excellent course of life; them also must I bring, and they will hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, one shepherd.(2)

And again I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, thou hast heard all these things, righteous John; deliver them to faithful men, that they also may teach others, and not think lightly of them,(3) nor cast our pearls before swine, lest perchance they should trample them with their feet.(4)

And while I was still hearing this voice, the cloud brought me down, and put me on Mount Thabor. And there came a voice to me, saying: Blessed are those who keep judgment and do righteousness in all time.(5) And blessed is the house where this description lies, as the Lord said, He that loveth me keepeth my sayings(6) in Christ Jesus our Lord; to Him be glory for ever. Amen.(7)



As the all-holy glorious mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, as was her wont, was going to the holy tomb of our Lord to burn incense, and bending her holy knees, she was importunate that Christ our God who had been born of her should return to her. And the Jews, seeing her lingering by the divine sepulchre, came to the chief priests, saying: Mary goes every day to the tomb. And the chief priests, having summoned the guards set by them not to allow any one to pray at the holy sepulchre, inquired about her, whether in truth it were so. And the guards answered and said that they had seen no such thing, God having not allowed them to see her when there. And on one of the days, it being the preparation, the holy Mary, as was her wont, came to the sepulchre; and while she was praying, it came to pass that the heavens were opened, and the archangel Gabriel came down to her and said: Hail, thou that didst bring forth Christ our God! Thy prayer having come through to the heavens to Him who was born of thee, has been accepted; and from this time, according to thy request, thou having left the world, shall go to the heavenly places to thy Son, into the true and everlasting life.

And having heard this from the holy archangel, she returned to holy Bethlehem, having along with her three virgins who ministered unto her. And after having rested a short time, she sat up and said to the virgins: Bring me a censer, that I may pray. And they brought it, as they had been commanded. And she prayed, saying: My Lord Jesus Christ, who didst deign through Thy supreme goodness to be born of me, hear my voice, and send me Thy apostle John, in order that, seeing him, I may partake of joy; and send me also the rest of Thy apostles, both those who have already gone to Thee, and those in the world that now is, in whatever country they may be, through Thy holy commandment, in order that, having beheld them, I may bless Thy name much to be praised; for I am confident that Thou hearest Thy servant in everything.

And while she was praying, I John came, the Holy Spirit having snatched me up by a cloud from Ephesus, and set me in the place where the mother of my Lord was lying. And having gone in beside her, and glorified Him who had been born of her, I said: Hail, mother of my Lord, who didst bring forth Christ our God, rejoice that in great glory thou art going out of this life. And the holy mother of God glorified God, because I John had come to her, remembering the voice of the Lord, saying: Behold thy mother, and, Behold thy son.(2) And the three virgins came and worshipped. And the holy mother of God says to me: Pray, and cast incense. And I prayed thus: Lord Jesus Christ, who hast done wonderful things, now also do wonderful things before her who brought Thee forth; and let Thy mother depart from this life; and let those who crucified Thee, and who have not believed in Thee, be confounded. And after I had ended the prayer, holy Mary said to me: Bring me the censer. And having cast incense, she said, Glory to Thee, my God and my Lord, because there has been fulfilled in me whatsoever Thou didst promise to me before thou didst ascend into the heavens, that when I should depart from this world Thou wouldst come to me, and the multitude of Thine angels, with glory. And I John say to her: Jesus Christ our Lord and our God is coming, and thou seest(3) Him, as He promised to thee. And the holy mother of God answered and said to me: The Jews have sworn that after I have died they will burn my body. And I answered and said to her: Thy holy and precious body will by no means see corruption. And she answered and said to me: Bring a censer, and cast incense, and pray. And there came a voice out of the heavens saying the Amen. And I John heard this voice; and the Holy Spirit said to me: John, hast thou heard this voice that spoke in the heaven after the prayer was ended? And I answered and said: Yes, I heard. And the Holy Spirit said to me: This voice which thou didst hear denotes that the appearance of thy brethren the apostles is at hand, and of the holy powers that they are coming hither to-day. And at this I John prayed.

And the Holy Spirit said to the apostles: Let all of you together, having come by the clouds from the ends of the world, be assembled to holy Bethlehem by a whirlwind, on account of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ; Peter from Rome, Paul from Tiberia,(1) Thomas from Hither India, James from Jerusalem. Andrew, Peter's brother, and Philip, Luke, and Simon the Cananaean, and Thaddaeus who had fallen asleep, were raised by the Holy Spirit out of their tombs; to whom the Holy Spirit said: Do not think that it is now the resurrection; but on this account you have risen out of your tombs, that you may go to give greeting to the honour and wonder-working of the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because the day of her departure is at hand, of her going up into the heavens. And Mark likewise coming round, was present from Alexandria; he also with the rest, as has been said before, from each country. And Peter being lifted up by a cloud, stood between heaven and earth, the Holy Spirit keeping him steady. And at the same time, the rest of the apostles also, having been snatched up in clouds, were found along with Peter. And thus by the Holy Spirit, as has been said, they all came together.

And having gone in beside the mother of our Lord and God, and having adored, we said: Fear not, nor grieve; God the Lord, who was born of thee, will take thee out of this world with glory. And rejoicing in God her Saviour, she sat up in the bed, and says to the apostles: Now have I believed that our Master and God is coming from heaven, and I shall behold Him, and thus depart from this life, as I have seen that you have come. And I wish you to tell me how you knew that I was departing and came to me, and from what countries and through what distance you have come hither, that you have thus made haste to visit me. For neither has He who was born of me, our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the universe, concealed it; for I am persuaded even now that He is the Son of the Most High.

And Peter answered and said to the apostles: Let us each, according to what the Holy Spirit announced and commanded us, give full information to the mother of our Lord. And I John answered and said: Just as I was going in to the holy altar in Ephesus to perform divine service, the Holy Spirit says to me, The time of the departure of the mother of thy Lord is at hand; go to Bethlehem to salute her. And a cloud of light snatched me up, and set me down in the door where thou art lying. Peter also answered: And I, living in Rome, about dawn heard a voice through the Holy Spirit saying to me, The mother of thy Lord is to depart, as the time is at hand; go to Bethlehem to salute her. And, behold, a cloud of light snatched me up; and I beheld also the other apostles coming to me on clouds, and a voice saying to me, Go all to Bethlehem. And Paul also answered and said: And I, living in a city at no great distance from Rome, called the country of Tiberia, heard the Holy Spirit saying to me, The mother of thy Lord, having left this world, is making her course to the celestial regions through her departure;(2) but go thou also to Bethlehem to salute her. And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me down in the same place as you. And Thomas also answered and said: And I, traversing the country of the Indians, when the preaching was prevailing by the grace of Christ, and the king's sister's son Labdanus by name, was about to be sealed by me in the palace, on a sudden the Holy Spirit says to me, Do thou also, Thomas, go to Bethlehem to salute the mother of thy Lord, because she is taking her departure to the heavens. And a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me down beside you. And Mark also answered and said: And when I was finishing the canon(3) of the third day in the city of Alexandria, just as I was praying, the Holy Spirit snatched me up, and brought me to you. And James also answered and said: While I was in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit commanded me, saying, Go to Bethlehem, because the mother of thy Lord is taking her departure. And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me beside you. And Matthew also answered and said: I have glorified and do glorify God, because when I was in a boat and overtaken by a storm, the sea raging with its waves, on a sudden a cloud of light overshadowing the stormy billow, changed it to a calm, and having snatched me up, set me down beside you. And those who had come before likewise answered, and gave an account of how they had come. And Bartholomew said: I was in the Thebais proclaiming the word, and behold the Holy Spirit says to me, The mother of thy Lord is taking her departure; go, then, to salute her in Bethlehem. And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, brought me to you.

The apostles said all these things to the holy mother of God, why they had come, and in what way; and she stretched her hands to heaven and prayed, saying: I adore, and praise, and glorify Thy much to he praised name, O Lord, because Thou hast looked upon the lowliness of Thine handmaiden, and because Thou that art mighty hast done great things for me; and, behold, all generations shall count me blessed.(1) And after the prayer she said to the apostles: Cast incense, and pray. And when they had prayed, there was thunder from heaven, and there came a fearful voice, as if of chariots; and, behold, a multitude of a host of angels and powers, and a voice, as if of the Son of man, was heard, and the seraphim in a circle round the house where the holy, spotless mother of God and virgin was lying, so that all who were in Bethlehem beheld all the wonderful things, and came to Jerusalem and reported all the wonderful things that had come to pass. And it came to pass, when the voice was heard, that the sun and the moon suddenly appeared about the house; and an assembly(2) of the first-born saints stood beside the house where the mother of the Lord was lying, for her honour and glory. And I beheld also that many signs came to pass, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lame walking, lepers cleansed, and those possessed by unclean spirits cured; and every one who was under disease and sickness, touching the outside of the wall of the house where she was lying, cried out: Holy Mary, who didst bring forth Christ our God, have mercy upon us. And they were straightway cured. And great multitudes out of every country living in Jerusalem for the sake of prayer, having heard of the signs that had come to pass in Bethlehem through the mother of the Lord, came to the place seeking the cure of various diseases, which also they obtained. And there was joy unspeakable on that day among the multitude of those who had been cured, as well as of those who looked on, glorifying Christ our God and His mother. And all Jerusalem from Bethlehem kept festival with psalms and spiritual songs.

And the priests of the Jews, along with their people, were astonished at the things which had come to pass; and being moved(3) with the heaviest hatred, and again with frivolous reasoning, having made an assembly, they determine to send against the holy mother of God and the holy apostles who were there in Bethlehem. And accordingly the multitude of the Jews, having directed their course to Bethlehem, when at the distance of one mile it came to pass that they beheld a frightful vision, and their feet were held fast; and after this they returned to their fellow-countrymen, and reported all the frightful vision to the chief priests. And they, still more boiling with rage, go to the procurator, crying out and saying: The nation of the Jews has been ruined by this woman; chase her from Bethlehem and the province of Jerusalem. And the procurator, astonished at the wonderful things, said to them: I will chase her neither from Bethlehem nor from any other place. And the Jews continued crying out, and adjuring him by the health of Tiberius Caesar to bring the apostles out of Bethlehem. And if you do not do so, we shall report it to the Caesar. Accordingly, being compelled, he sends a tribune of the soldiers(4) against the apostles to Bethlehem. And the Holy Spirit says to the apostles and the mother of the Lord: Behold, the procurator has sent a tribune against you, the Jews having made an uproar. Go forth therefore from Bethlehem, and fear not: for, behold, by a cloud I shall bring you to Jerusalem; for the power of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is with you. The apostles therefore rose up immediately, and went forth from the house, carrying the bed of the Lady the mother of God, and directed their course to Jerusalem; and immediately, as the Holy Spirit had said, being lifted up by a cloud, they were found in Jerusalem in the horse of the Lady. And they stood up, and for five days made an unceasing singing of praise. And when the tribune came to Bethlehem, and found there neither the mother of the Lord nor the apostles, he laid hold of the Bethlehemites, saying to them: Did you not come telling the procurator and the priests all the signs and wonders that had come to pass, and how the apostles had come out of every country? Where are they, then? Come, go to the procurator at Jerusalem. For the tribune did not know of the departure of the apostles and the Lord's mother to Jerusalem. The tribune then, having taken the Bethlehemites, went in to the procurator, saying that he had found no one. And after five days it was known to the procurator, and the priests. and all the city, that the Lord's mother was in her own house in Jerusalem, along with the apostles, from the signs and wonders that came to pass there. And a multitude of men and women and virgins came together, and cried out: Holy virgin, that didst bring forth Christ our God, do not forget the generation of men. And when these things came to pass, the people of the Jews, with the priests also, being the more moved with hatred, took wood and fire, and came up, wishing to burn the house where the Lord's mother was living with the apostles. And the procurator stood looking at the sight from afar off. And when the people of the Jews came to the door of the house, behold, suddenly a power of fire coming forth from within, by means of an angel, burnt up a great multitude of the Jews. And there was great fear throughout all the city; and they glorified God, who had been born of her. And when the procurator saw what had come to pass, he cried out to all the people, saying: Truly he who was born of the virgin, whom you have thought of driving away, is the Son of God; for these signs are those of the true God. And there was a division among the Jews; and many believed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in consequence of the signs that had come to pass.

And after all these wonderful things had come to pass through the mother of God, and ever-virgin Mary the mother of the Lord, while we the apostles were with her in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit said to us: You know that on the Lord's day the good news was brought to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel; and on the Lord's day the Saviour was born in Bethlehem; and on the Lord's day the children of Jerusalem came forth with palm branches to meet him, saying, Hosanna in the highest, blessed is(1) He that cometh in the name of the Lord;(2) and on the Lord's day He rose from the dead; and on the Lord's day He will come to judge the living and the dead; and on the Lord's day He will come out of heaven, to the glory and honour of the departure of the holy glorious virgin who brought Him forth. And on the same(3) Lord's day the mother of the Lord says to the apostles: Cast incense, because Christ is coming with a host of angels; and, behold, Christ is at hand, sitting on a throne of cherubim. And while we were all praying, there appeared innumerable multitudes of angels, and the Lord mounted upon cherubim in great power; and, behold, a stream of light(4) coming to the holy virgin, because of the presence of her only-begotten Son, and all the powers of the heavens fell down and adored Him. And the Lord, speaking to His mother, said: Mary. And she answered and said: Here am I, Lord. And the Lord said to her: Grieve not, but let thy heart rejoice and be glad; for thou hast found grace to behold the glory given to me by my Father. And the holy mother of God looked up, and saw in Him a glory which it is impossible for the mouth of man to speak of, or to apprehend. And the Lord remained beside her, saying: Behold, from the present time thy precious body will be transferred to paradise, and thy holy soul to the heavens to the treasures of my Father in exceeding brightness, where there is peace and joy of the holy angels,--and other things besides.(5) And the mother of the Lord answered and said to him: Lay Thy right hand upon me, O Lord, and bless me. And the Lord stretched forth His undefiled right hand, and blessed her. And she laid hold of His undefiled right hand, and kissed it, saying: I adore this right hand, which created the heaven and the earth; and I call upon Thy much to be praised name Christ, O God, the King of the ages, the only-begotten of the Father, to receive Thine handmaid, Thou who didst deign to be brought forth by me, in a low estate, to save the race of men through Thine ineffable dispensation; do Thou bestow Thine aid upon every man calling upon, or praying to, or naming the the name of, Thine handmaid. And while she is saying this, the apostles, having gone up to her feet and adored, say: O mother of the Lord, leave a blessing to the world, since thou art going away from it. For thou hast blessed it, and raised it up when it was ruined, by bringing forth the Light of the world. And the mother of the Lord prayed, and in her prayer spoke thus: O God, who through Thy great goodness hast sent from the heavens Thine only-begotten Son to dwell in my humble body, who hast deigned to be born of me, humble as I am, have mercy upon the world, and every soul that calls upon Thy name. And again she prayed, and said: O Lord, King of the heavens, Son of the living God, accept every man who calls upon Thy name, that Thy birth may be glorified. And again she prayed, and said: O Lord Jesus Christ, who art all-powerful in heaven and on earth, in this appeal I implore Thy holy name; in every time and place where there is made mention of my name, make that place holy, and glorify those that glorify Thee through my name, accepting of such persons all their offering, and all their supplication, and all their prayer. And when she had thus prayed, the Lord said to His mother: Let thy heart rejoice and be glad; for every favour(6) and every gift has been given to thee from my Father in heaven, and from me, and from the Holy Spirit: every soul that calls upon thy name shall not be ashamed, but shall find mercy, and comfort, and support, and confidence, both in the world that now is, and in that which is to come, in the presence of my Father in the heavens. And the Lord turned and said to Peter: The time has come to begin the singing of the hymn. And Peter having begun the singing of the hymn, all the powers of the heavens responded with the Alleluiah. And then the face of the mother of the Lord shone brighter than the light, and she rose up and blessed each of the apostles with her own hand, and all gave glory to God; and the Lord stretched forth His undefiled hands, and received her holy and blameless soul. And with the departure of her blameless soul the place was filled with perfume and ineffable light; and, behold, a voice out of the heaven was heard, saying: Blessed art thou among women. And Peter, and I John, and Paul, and Thomas, ran and wrapped up her precious feet for the consecration; and the twelve apostles put her precious and holy body upon a couch, and carried it. And, behold, while they were carrying her, a certain well-born Hebrew, Jephonias by name, running against the body, put his hands upon the couch; and, behold, an angel of the Lord by invisible power, with a sword of fire, cut off his two hands from his shoulders, and made them hang about the couch, lifted up in the air. And at this miracle which had come to pass all the people of the Jews who beheld it cried out: Verily, He that was brought forth by thee is the true God, O mother of God, ever-virgin Mary. And Jephonias himself, when Peter ordered him, that the wonderful things of God might be showed forth, stood up behind the couch, and cried out: Holy Mary, who broughtest forth Christ who is God, have mercy upon me. And Peter turned and said to him: In the name of Him who was born of her, thy hands which have been taken away from thee, will be fixed on again. And immediately, at the word of Peter, the hands hanging by the couch of the Lady came, and were fixed on Jephonias. And he believed, and glorified Christ, God who had been born of her.

And when this miracle had been done, the apostles carried(1) the couch, and laid down her precious and holy body in Gethsemane in a new tomb. And, behold, a perfume of sweet savour came forth out of the holy sepulchre of our Lady the mother of God; and for three days the voices of invisible angels were heard glorifying Christ our God, who had been born of her. And when the third day was ended, the voices were no longer heard; and from that time forth all knew that her spotless and precious body had been transferred to paradise.

And after it had been transferred, behold, we see Elisabeth the mother of St. John the Baptist, and Anna the mother of the Lady, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David, singing the Alleluiah, and all the choirs of the saints adoring the holy relics of the mother of the Lord, and the place full of light, than which light nothing could be more brilliant, and an abundance of perfume in that place to which her precious and holy body had been transferred in paradise, and the melody of those praising Him who had been born of her--sweet melody, of which there is no satiety, such as is given to virgins, and them only, to hear. We apostles, therefore, having beheld the sudden precious translation of her holy body, glorified God, who had shown us His wonders at the departure of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose(2) prayers and good offices may we all be deemed worthy to receive.(3) under her shelter, and support, and protection, both in the world that now is and in that which is to come, glorifying in every time and place her only-begotten Son, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.




In that time before the Lord came to His passion, and among many words which the mother asked of the Son, she began to ask Him about her own departure, addressing Him as follows:--O most dear Son, I pray Thy holiness, that when my soul goes out of my body, Thou let me know on the third day before; and do Thou, beloved Son, with Thy angels, receive it.(2) Then He received the prayer of His beloved mother, and said to her: O palace and temple of the living God, O blessed mother,(3) O queen of all saints, and blessed above all women, before thou carriedst me in thy womb, I always guarded thee, and caused thee to be fed daily with my angelic food,(4) as thou knowest: how can I desert thee, after thou hast carried me, and nourished me, and brought me down in flight into Egypt, and endured many hardships for me? Know, then, that my angels have always guarded thee, and will guard thee even until thy departure. But after I undergo suffering for men, as it is written, and rise again on the third day, and after forty days ascend into heaven, when thou shall see me coming to thee(5) with angels and archangels, with saints and with virgins, and with my disciples, know for certain that thy soul will be separated from the body, and I shall carry it into heaven, where it shall never at all have tribulation or anguish. Then she joyed and gloried, and kissed the knees of her Son, and blessed the Creator of heaven and earth, who gave her such a gift through Jesus Christ her Son.

In the second year, therefore, after the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most blessed Virgin Mary continued always in prayer day and night. And on the third day before she passed away, an angel of the Lord came to her, and saluted her, saying: Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord be with thee. And she answered, saying: Thanks to God. Again he said to her: Receive this palm which the Lord promised to thee. And she, giving thanks to God, with great joy received from the hand of the angel the palm sent to her. The angel of the Lord said to her: Thy assumption will be after three days. And she answered: Thanks to God.(6)

Then she called Joseph of the city of Arimathaea, and the other(7) disciples of the Lord; and when they, both relations and acquaintances, were assembled, she announced her departure to all standing there. Then the blessed Mary washed(8) herself, and dressed herself like a queen, and waited the advent of her Son, as He had promised to her. And she asked all her relations to keep beside(9) her, and give her comfort. And she had along with her three virgins, Sepphora, Abigea, and Zael; but the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ had been already dispersed throughout the whole world to preach to the people of God.

Then at the third hour(10) there were great thunders, and rains, and lightnings, and tribulation, and an earthquake,(11) while queen Mary was standing in her chamber. John the evangelist and apostle was suddenly brought from Ephesus, and entered the chamber of the blessed Mary, and saluted her, and said to her: Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord be with thee. And she answered: Thanks to God. And raising herself up, she kissed Saint John. And the blessed Mary said to him: O my dearest son, why hast thou left me at such a time, and hast not paid heed to the commands of thy Master, to take care of me, as He commanded thee while He was hanging on the cross? And he asked pardon with bended knee. Then the blessed Mary gave him her benediction, and again kissed him. And when she meant to ask him whence he came, and for what reason he had come to Jerusalem, behold, all the disciples of the Lord, except Thomas who is called Didymus, were brought by a cloud to the door of the chamber of the blessed Mary. They stood and went in, and saluted the queen with the following words, and adored her: Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord be with thee. And she eagerly rose quickly, and bowed herself, and kissed them, and gave thanks to God. These are the names of the disciples of the Lord who were brought thither in the cloud: John the evangelist and James his brother, Peter and Paul, Andrew, Philip, Luke, Barnabas, Bartholomew and Matthew, Matthias who is called Justus,(1) Simon the Chananaean, Judas and his brother, Nicodemus and Maximianus, and many others who cannot be numbered. Then the blessed Mary said to her brethren: What is this, that you have all come to Jerusalem? Peter, answering, said to her: We had need to ask this of thee, and dost thou question us? Certainly, as I think, none of us knows why we have come here to-day with such rapidity. I was at Antioch, and now I am here. All declared plainly the place where they had been that day. And they all wondered that they were there when they heard these things. The blessed Mary said to them: I asked my Son, before He endured the passion, that He and you should be at my death; and He granted me this gift. Whence you may know that my departure will be to-morrow.(2) Watch and pray with me, that when the Lord comes to receive my soul, He may find you watching. Then all promised that they would watch. And they watched and prayed the whole night, with psalms and chants, with great illuminations.

And when the Lord's day came, at the third hour, just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in a cloud,(3) so Christ descended with a multitude of angels, and received the soul of His beloved mother. For there was such splendour and perfume of sweetness, and angels singing the songs of songs, where the Lord says, As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters,(4) that all who were there present fell on their faces, as the apostles fell when Christ transfigured Himself before them on Mount Thabor, and for a whole hour and a half no one was able to rise. But when the light went away, and at the same time with the light itself, the soul of the blessed virgin Mary was taken up into heaven with psalms, and hymns, and songs of songs. And as the cloud went up the whole earth shook, and in one moment all the inhabitants of Jerusalem openly saw the departure of St. Mary.

And that same hour Satan entered into them, and they began to consider what they were to do with her body. And they took up weapons, that they might burn her body and kill the apostles, because from her had gone forth the dispersions of Israel, on account of their sins and the gathering together of the Gentiles. But they were struck with blindness, striking their heads against the walls, and striking each other.(5) Then the apostles, alarmed by so much brightness, arose, and with psalms carried the holy body down from Mount Zion to the valley of Jehoshaphat. But as they were going in the middle of the road, behold, a certain Jew,(6) Reuben by name, wishing to throw to the ground the holy bier with the body of the blessed Mary. But his hands dried up, even to the elbow; whether he would or not, he went down even to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, weeping and lamenting because his hands were raised to the bier, and he was not able to draw back his hands to himself. And he began to ask the apostles(7) that by their prayer he might be saved and made a Christian. Then the apostles, bending their knees, asked the Lord to let him loose. And he, being healed that same hour, giving thanks to God and kissing the feet of the queen of all the saints and apostles, was baptized in that same place, and began to preach the name of our God Jesus Christ.

Then the apostles with great honour laid the body in the tomb, weeping and singing through exceeding love and sweetness. And suddenly there shone round them a light from heaven, and they fell to the ground, and the holy body was taken up by angels into heaven.

Then the most blessed Thomas was suddenly brought to the Mount of Olivet, and saw the most blessed body going up to heaven, and began to cry out and say: O holy mother, blessed mother, spotless mother, if I have now found grace because I see thee, make thy servant joyful through thy compassion, because thou art going to heaven. Then the girdle with which the apostles had encircled the most holy body was thrown down from heaven to the blessed Thomas. And taking it, and kissing it, and giving thanks to God, he came again into the Valley of Jehoshaphat. He found all the apostles and another great crowd there beating their breasts on account of the brightness which they had seen. And seeing and kissing each other, the blessed Peter said to him: Truly thou hast always been obdurate and unbelieving, because for thine unbelief it was not pleasing to God that thou shouldst be along with us at the burial of the mother of the Saviour. And he, beating his breast, said: I know and firmly believe that I have always been a bad and an unbelieving man; therefore I ask pardon of all of you for my obduracy and unbelief. And they. all prayed for him. Then the blessed Thomas said: Where have you laid her body? And they pointed out the sepulchre with their finger. And he said: The body which is called most holy is not there. Then the blessed Peter said to him: Already on another occasion thou wouldst not believe the resurrection of our Master and Lord at our word, unless thou went to touch Him with thy fingers, and see Him; how wilt thou believe us that the holy body is here? Still he persists saying: It is not here. Then, as it were in a rage, they went to the sepulchre, which was a new one hollowed out in the rock, and took up the stone; but they did not find the body, not knowing what to say, because they had been convicted by the words of Thomas. Then the blessed Thomas told them how he was singing mass in India--he still had on his sacerdotal robes. He, not knowing the word of God, had been brought to the Mount of Olivet, and saw the most holy body of the blessed Mary going up into heaven, and prayed her to give him a blessing. She heard his prayer, and threw him her girdle which she had about her. And the apostles seeing the belt which they had put about her, glorifying God, all asked pardon of the blessed Thomas, on account of the benediction which the blessed Mary had given him, and because he had seen the most holy body going up into heaven. And the blessed Thomas gave them his benediction, and said: Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!(1)

And the same cloud by which they had been brought carried them back each to his own place, just like Philip when he baptized the eunuch, as is read in the Acts of the Apostles;(2) and as Habakkuk the prophet carried food to Daniel, who was in the lions' den, and quickly returned to Judaea.(3) And so also the apostles quickly returned to where they had at first been, to preach to the people of God. Nor is it to be wondered at that He should do such things, who went into the virgin and came out of her though her womb was closed; who, though the gates were shut, went in to His disciples;(4) who made the deaf to hear, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, gave sight to the blind,(5) and did many other wonderful things. To believe this is no doubtful matter.

I am Joseph who laid the Lord's body in my sepulchre, and saw Him rising again; and who, before the ascension and after the ascension of the Lord, always kept his most sacred temple the blessed ever-virgin Mary, and who have kept in writing and in my breast the things which came forth from the mouth of God, and how the things mentioned above were done by the judgment of God. And I have made known to all, Jews and Gentiles, those things which I saw with my eyes, and heard with my ears; and as long as I live I shall not cease to declare them. And her, whose assumption is at this day venerated and worshipped throughout the whole world, let us assiduously entreat that she be mindful of us in the presence of her most pious Son in heaven, to whom is praise and glory through endless ages of ages. Amen.(6)



1.(1) THEREFORE, when the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was hanging on the tree fastened by the nails of the cross for the life of the whole world, He saw about the cross His mother standing, and John the evangelist, whom He peculiarly loved above the rest of the apostles, because he alone of them was a virgin in the body. He gave him, therefore, the charge of holy Mary, saying to him: Behold thy mother! and saying, to her: Behold thy son!(2) From that hour the! holy mother of God remained specially in the care of John, as long as she had her habitation in this life. And when the apostles had divided the world by lot for preaching, she settled in the house of his parents near Mount Olivet.

2. In the second year, therefore, after Christ had vanquished death, and ascended up into heaven, on a certain day, Mary, burning with a longing for Christ, began to weep alone, within the shelter of her abode. And, behold, an angel, shining in a dress of great light, stood before her and gave utterance to(3) the words of salutation saying: Hail! thou blessed by the Lord, receive the salutation of Him who commanded safety to Jacob by His prophets. Behold, said He a palm branch--I have brought it to thee from the paradise of the Lord--which thou wilt cause to be carried before thy bier, when on the third day thou shalt be taken up from the body. For, lo, thy Son awaits thee with thrones and angels, and all the powers of heaven. Then Mary said to the angel: I beg that all the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ he assembled to me. To whom the angel said: Behold, to-day, by the power of my Lord Jesus Christ, all the apostles will come to thee. And Mary says to him: I ask that thou send upon me thy blessing, that no power of the lower world may withstand me in that hour in which my soul shall go out of my body, and that I may not see the prince of darkness. And the angel said: No power indeed of the lower world will hurt thee; and thy Lord God, whose servant and messenger I am, hath given thee eternal blessing; but do not think that the privilege of not seeing the prince of darkness is to be given thee by me, but by Him whom thou hast carried in thy womb; for to Him belongeth power over all for ever and ever. Thus saying, the angel departed with great splendour. And that palm shone with exceeding great light. Then Mary, undressing herself, put on better garments. And, taking the palm which she had received from the hands of the angel, she went out to the mount of Olivet, and began to pray, and say: I had not been worthy, O Lord, to bear Thee, unless Thou hadst had compassion on me; but nevertheless I have kept the treasure which Thou entrustedst to me. Therefore I ask of Thee, O King of glory, that the power of Gehenna hurt me not. For if the heavens and the angels daily tremble before Thee, how much more man who is made from the ground, who possesses no good thing, except as much as he has received from Thy benignant bounty! Thou art, O Lord, God always blessed for ever. And thus saying, she went back to her dwelling.

3. And, behold, suddenly, while St. John was preaching in Ephesus, on the Lord's day, at the third hour of the day, there was a great earthquake, and a cloud raised him and took him up from the eyes of all, and brought him before the door of the house where Mary was. And knocking at the door, he immediately went in. And when Mary saw him, she exulted in joy, and said: I beg of thee, my son John, be mindful of the words of my Lord Jesus Christ, in which He entrusted me to thee. For, behold, on the third day, when I am to depart from the body,(4) I have heard the plans of the Jews, saying, Let us wait for the day when she who bore that seducer shall die, and let us burn her booty with fire. She therefore called St. John, anti led him into the secret chamber of the house, and showed him the robe of her burial, and that palm of light which she had received from the angel, instructing him that he should cause it to be carried before her couch when she was going to her tomb.

4. And St. John said to her: How shall I alone perform thy funeral rites, unless my brethren and fellow-apostles of my Lord Jesus Christ come to pay honour to thy body? And, behold, on a sudden, by the command of God, all the apostles were snatched up, raised on a cloud, from the places in which they were preaching the word of God, and set down before the door of the house in which Mary dwelt. And, saluting each other, they wondered, saying: What is the cause for which the Lord hath assembled us here?(1)'

5. Then all the apostles, rejoicing(2) with one mind, finished their prayer. And when they had said the Amen, behold, on a sudden, there came the blessed John, and told them all these things. The apostles then, having entered the house, found Mary, and saluted her, saying: Blessed art thou by the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth. And she said to them: Peace be with you, most beloved brethren! How have you come hither? And they recounted to her how they had come, each one raised on a cloud by the Spirit of God, and set down in the same place. And she said to them: God hath not deprived me of the sight of you. Behold, I shall go the way of all the earth, and I doubt not that the Lord hath now conducted you hither to bring me consolation for the anguish which is just coming upon me. Now therefore I implore you, that without intermission you all with one mind watch, even till that hour in which the Lord will come, and I shall depart from the body.

6. And when they had sat down in a circle consoling her, when they had spent three days in the praises of God, behold, on the third day, about the third hour of the day, a deep sleep seized upon all who were in that house, and no one was at all able to keep awake but the apostles alone, and only the three virgins who were there. And, behold, suddenly the Lord Jesus Christ came with a great multitude of angels; and a great brightness came down upon that place, and the angels were singing a hymn, and praising God together. Then the Saviour spoke, saying: Come, most precious pearl, within the receptacle of life eternal.

7. Then Mary prostrated herself on the pavement, adoring God, and said: Blessed be the name of Thy glory, O Lord my God, who hast deigned to choose me Thine handmaid, and to entrust to me Thy hidden mystery. Be mindful of me, therefore, O King of glory, for Thou knowest that I have loved Thee with all my heart, and kept the treasure committed to me. Therefore receive me, Thy servant, and free me from the power of darkness, that no onset of Satan may oppose me, and that I may not see filthy spirits standing in my way. And the Saviour answered her: When I, sent by my Father for the salvation of the world, was hanging on the cross, the prince of darkness came to me; but when he was able to find in me no trace of his work,(3) he went off vanquished and trodden under foot. But when thou shall see him, thou shall see him indeed by the law of the human race, in accordance with which thou hast come to the end of thy life; but he cannot hurt thee, because I am with thee to help thee. Go in security, because the heavenly host is waiting for thee to lead thee in to the joys of paradise. And when the Lord had thus spoken, Mary, rising from the pavement, reclined upon her couch, and giving thanks to God, gave up the ghost. And the apostles saw that her soul was of such whiteness, that no tongue of mortals can worthily utter it; for it surpassed all the whiteness of snow, and of every metal, and of gleaming silver, by the great brightness of its light.

8. Then the Saviour spoke, saying: Rise, Peter, and take the body of Mary, and send it to the right hand side of the city towards the east, and thou wilt find there a new tomb, in which you will lay her, and wait until I come to you. And thus saying, the Lord delivered the soul of St. Mary to Michael, who was the ruler of paradise, and the prince of the nation of the Jews;(4) and Gabriel went with them. And immediately the Saviour was received up into heaven along with the angels.

9. And the three virgins, who were in the same place, and were watching, took up the body of the blessed Mary, that they might wash it after the manner of funeral rites. And when they had taken off her clothes, that sacred body shone with so much brightness, that it could be touched indeed for preparation for burial, but the form of it could not be seen for the excessive flashing light: except that the splendour of the Lord appeared great, and nothing was perceived, the body, when it was washed, was perfectly clean, and stained by no moisture of filth.(5) And when they had put the dead-clothes on her, that light was gradually obscured. And the body of the blessed Mary was like lily flowers; and an odour of great sweetness came forth from it, so that no sweetness could be found like it.

10. Then, accordingly, the apostles laid the holy body on the bier, and said to each other: Who is to carry this palm before her bier? Then John said to Peter: Thou, who hast precedence of us in the apostleship, shouldst carry this palm before her couch. And Peter answered him: Thou wast the only virgin among us chosen by the Lord, and thou didst find so great favour that thou didst recline upon His breast.(1) And He, when for our salvation He was hanging upon the stem of the cross, entrusted her to thee with His own mouth. Thou therefore oughtest to carry this palm, and let us take up that body to carry it even to the place of sepulture.(2) After this, Peter, raising it, and saying, Take the body, began to sing and say: Israel hath gone forth out of Egypt. Alleluiah. And the other apostles along with him carried the booty of the blessed Mary, and John bore the palm of light before the bier. And the other apostles sang with a most sweet voice.

11. And, behold, a new miracle. There appeared above the bier a cloud exceeding great, like the great circle which is wont to appear beside the splendour of the moon; and there was in the clouds an army of angels sending forth a sweet song,(3) and from the sound of the great sweetness the earth resounded. Then the people, baring gone forth from the city, about fifteen thousand, wondered, saying; What is that sound of so great sweetness? Then there stood up one who said to them: Mary has departed from the body, and the disciples of Jesus are singing(4) praises around her. And looking, they saw the couch crowned with great glory, and the apostles singing with a loud voice. And, behold, one of them, who was chief of the priests of the Jews in his rank, filled with fury and rage, said to the rest: Behold, the tabernacle of him who disturbed us and all our race, what glory has it received? And going up, he wished to overturn the bier, and throw the body down to the ground. And immediately his hands dried up from his elbows, and stuck to the couch. And when the apostles raised the bier, part of him hung, and part of him adhered to the couch; and he was vehemently tormented with pain, while the apostles were walking and singing. And the angels who were in the clouds smote the people with blindness.

12. Then that chief cried out, saying: I implore thee, Saint Peter, do not despise me, I beseech thee, in so great an extremity, because I am exceedingly tortured by great torments. Bear in mind that when, in the praetorium, the maid that kept the door(5) recognised thee, and told the others to revile thee, then I spoke good words in thy behalf. Then Peter answering, said: It is not for me to give other to thee; but if thou believest with thy whole heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, whom she carried in her womb, and remained a virgin after the birth, the compassion of the Lord, which with profuse benignity saves(6) the unworthy, will give thee salvation.(7)

To this he replied: Do we not believe? But what shall we do? The enemy of the human race has blinded our hearts, and confusion has covered our face, lest we should confess the great things of God, especially when we ourselves uttered maledictions against Christ, shouting: His blood be upon us, and upon our children.(8) Then Peter said: Behold, this malediction will hurt him who has remained unfaithful to Him; but to those who turn themselves to God mercy is not denied. And he said: I believe all that thou sayest to me; only I implore, have mercy upon me, lest I die.

13. Then Peter made the couch stand still, and said to him: If thou believest with all thy heart upon the Lord Jesus Christ, thy hands will be released from the bier. And when he had said this(9) his hands were immediately released from the bier, and he began to stand on his feet; but his arms were dried up, and the torture did not go away from him. Then Peter said to him: Go up to the body, and kiss the couch, and say: I believe in God, and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom she bore, and I believe all whatsoever Peter the apostle of God has said to me. And going up, he kissed the couch, and immediately all pain went away from him, and his hands were healed. Then he began greatly to bless God, and from the books of Moses to render testimony to the praises of Christ, so that even the apostles themselves wondered, and wept for joy, praising the name of the Lord.

14. And Peter said to him: Take this palm from the hand of our brother John, and going into the city thou wilt find much people blinded, and declare to them the great things of God; and whosoever shall believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, thou shalt put this palm upon their eyes, and they shall see; but those who will not believe shall remain blind. And when he had done so, he found much people blinded, lamenting thus: Woe unto us, because we have been made like the Sodomites struck with blindness.(1) Nothing now is left to us but to perish. But when they heard the words of the chief who had been cured speaking, they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and when he put the palm over their eyes, they recovered sight. Five of them remaining in hardness of heart died. And the chief of the priests going forth, carried back the palm to the apostles, reporting all things whatsoever had been done.

15. And the apostles, carrying Mary, came to the place of the Valley of Jehoshaphat which the Lord had showed them; and they laid her in a new tomb, and closed the sepulchre. And they themselves sat down at the door of the tomb, as the Lord had commanded them; and, behold, suddenly the Lord Jesus Christ came with a great multitude of angels, with a halo of great brightness gleaming, and said to the apostles: Peace be with you! And they answered and said: Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in Thee.(2) Then the Saviour spoke to them, saying: Before I ascended to my Father I promised to you, saying that you who have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His majesty, will sit, you also, upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.(3) Her, therefore, did I choose out of the tribes of Israel by the command of my Father, that I should dwell in her. What, therefore, do you wish that I should do to her? Then Peter and the other apostles said: Lord, Thou didst choose beforehand this Thine handmaid to become a spotless chamber for Thyself, and us Thy servants to minister unto Thee. Before the ages Thou didst foreknow all things along with the Father, with whom to Thee and the Holy Spirit there is one Godhead, equal and infinite power. If, therefore, it were possible to be done in the presence of the power of Thy grace, it had seemed to us Thy servants to be right that, just as Thou, having vanquished death, reignest in glory, so, raising up again the body of Thy mother, Thou shouldst take her with Thee in joy into heaven.

16. Then the Saviour said: Let it be according to your opinion. And He ordered the archangel Michael to bring the soul of St. Mary. And, behold, the archangel Michael(4) rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb; and the Lord said: Arise, my beloved and my nearest relation; thou who hast not put an corruption by intercourse with man, suffer not destruction of the body in the sepulchre. And immediately Mary rose from the tomb, and blessed the Lord, and falling forward at the feet of the Lord, adored Him, saying: I cannot render sufficient thanks to Thee, O Lord, for Thy boundless benefits which Thou hast deigned to bestow upon me Thine handmaiden. May Thy name, O Redeemer of the world, God of Israel, be blessed for ever.

17. And kissing her, the Lord went back, and delivered her soul to the angels, that they should carry it into paradise. And He said to the apostles: Come up to me. And when they had come up He kissed them, and said: Peace be to you! as I have always been with you, so will I be even to the end of the world. And immediately, when the Lord had said this, He was lifted up on a cloud, and taken back into heaven, and the angels along with Him, carrying the blessed Mary into the paradise of God. And the apostles being taken up in the clouds, returned each into the place allotted(5) for his preaching, telling the great things of God, and praising our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in perfect unity, and in one substance of Godhead, for ever and ever. Amen.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (ANF 8, Roberts and Donaldson). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.