ON HOW A CANAANITE WOMAN CAME TO BEG OUR LORD TO HEAL HER DAUGHTER, AND ON HOW HIS MAJESTY DELAYED SATISFYING HER REQUEST
After Our Lord had left that people of Samaria, he continued to preach the Gospel. Travelling on foot, and with infinite difficulty he went around the world. And, at one point, while he was travelling in the areas of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman who had heard that he was coming—an unbeliever, outside the Judaic law—and whose house lay in the vicinity, found herself in great distress and anguish. Yet knowing the great reputation of Our Lord, she decided to introduce herself to him and to ask him if he would relieve her suffering, for she had a daughter, whom she loved dearly, who was possessed by a wicked demon.
So, emerging from her house, the said Canaanite woman, with great heartache and distress, left her daughter alone inside, locking the door with a key, and hurried along the road upon which Our Lord was travelling in the company of a crowd of people.
So the said woman, seeing His Majesty from afar, began to let out great cries in order to make known her distress, saying: ‘Miserere mei, Domine, fili David!’, meaning: ‘O son of a merciful father, have pity on my suffering! Filia mea male a daemonio vexatur, for my daughter is tormented in her body and I in my soul. She emerged from my innards, and there do I feel the sharp pain of her suffering, and feel that pain as my own. Therefore, Sir, I ask you to have mercy on me, for by healing my beloved daughter you shall remove my suffering, for while she is unwell I am unable to achieve repose for an hour or even a minute. O Lord, your father David, who was so merciful, pardoned his enemy and spared the life of him who wished to spill his blood! I do not ask as much, Lord: I simply implore you to deliver my daughter from your enemy, for he torments her by means of cruel pains within her body. Non enim de foris venit, sed intus est expugnator; in se habet hostem et gladium; navis est quae de se concitat tempestatem; non invenio nomen passionis eius, for her suffering and tribulation comes not from without nor visibly: inside her lies her assailant; within herself does she bear her persecutor and his knife. O Lord, what ship is this that all by itself arouses the storm and the tempest! I find no adequate name by which to call the cruel illness and affliction of my dear daughter! I have no remedy for my distress other than to call on you, o fount of mercy, with the words: ‘Miserere mei, Domine, fili David!’
So Our Lord, who knew the great resolve of this woman, wished her patience to be confirmed and widely known, and therefore he let her cry out loud, and did not turn to her or say anything to her, but indicated instead that he did not wish to listen to her. So His Majesty entered a house and ordered the door to be shut.
Then the said Canaanite woman, completely untroubled by his disdain, and with the most fervent faith, approached the door, and knocking hard she said: ‘O Lord, so you cast me off and reject me! This wooden door you have closed on me, yet that of your heart you have opened to me, for you are the one who overcomes and who heals as much as you please! I, Lord, shall not tire, since I know for sure that you have said: “Pulsate, et aperietur vobis. Petite, et dabitur vobis; quaerite, et invenietis”, commanding me to knock with great confidence, for you, Lord, shall open this door to me, and thus I shall never leave here until I am entitled to see you in the flesh, and I shall ask constantly until you see fit to grant my request, and I shall not refrain from seeking your mercy until you render me worthy of finding it.
‘O kind Lord, open this irksome door which prevents me from seeing your divine face! Look at me, Sir, with eyes of mercy, for sorrow makes me cry aloud and love won’t let me rest! Need compels me to ask. Set me free, Lord, that I may return to my daughter, who torments my soul! My heart is riven: the greater part remains with my tormented daughter, the lesser with me. For never have I left her or ever forsaken her for a single hour until now, in order to come to you to ask for her salvation, and I shall not refrain from crying aloud, since I follow the counsel of Isaiah, who states: “Clama, ne cesses, quasi tuba exalta vocem tuam, et sanitas tua citius orietur, quia misericors est Dominus Deus tuus”, since, even if my bodily strength fails me, the pain in my heart shall make me cry out all the louder in the hope of obtaining that salvation so greatly desired. For I am convinced that you, my Lord and God, are infinitely merciful and kind, and you do not refuse those who seek you if they ask you at the proper time. And thus does Isaiah make the same claim: “Quaerite Dominum dum inveniri potest, invocate eum dum prope est”, encouraging sinners to seek you now that they can find you, for when you dwelt in the heights of Heaven nobody could go to you to ask for mercy, nor did sinners presume to have such audacity, for they knew that it was written: “Longe a peccatoribus salus, quia eos Deus non audit”, for salvation and eternal life was very remote and far away from sinners, and by you, merciful Lord, they were not heard. But now that you have decided to come down to earth clad in our own flesh, it is time for us to seek you and to ask your forgiveness, for you are so close that we can say to each other: “Ecce nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce nunc dies salutis”, meaning: “Behold, the acceptable time has come, as has the day of salvation on which man may speak and converse with his Lord and God.” Ideo descendisti, ideo carnem suscepisti ut ego loquar ad te et cum fiducia petam, for to this end, Lord, did you come down and have you taken on human flesh, so that I might dare to talk to you and with great confidence and audacity ask and say: Miserere mei, Domine, fili David!’
But Our Lord, delighting in the great constancy and resolve of this wise woman, wished to test her patience even further, so he ordered the doors of the house to be opened, seeking to depart therefrom, and he went on his way in a great hurry, saying not a word to the Canaanite woman nor making mention of her. Yet the woman, completely unaffected by the disdain which had been shown her, lifted herself up with a more fervent resolve, following Our Lord, and continuing her calls requesting mercy. She then approached the disciples, first one, then the other, grasping hold of them with great fervour of spirit, and saying: ‘O blessed are you, who are deemed worthy to accompany and follow this Lord! Be my intercessors, and beg him to have pity on my suffering, for I am convinced that it lies in his power to put a stop to my pain! And you, who are so intimate with this king of mercy and compassion, obtain this grace for me, that I may not die of thirst before the living fount of infinite sweetness!’
So the kind Apostles, with tears running down their faces, knelt in front of their Lord and Master, and begged His Majesty, saying: ‘Dimitte eam, quia clamat post nos’, meaning: ‘O Lord, may you set this woman free by giving her what she asks, for there exists no heart that is not rent by having seen and heard her suffering and her pitiful tears! O Lord, such a just cause demands that her daughter be healed! Why do you make her suffer so? You, Lord, who are so quick to employ mercy, why do you forget your custom and do something as unexpected as to deny the person who asks you? Utter, Lord, some word of comfort to her, for you already know that women are most loving, and that since they love, they wish to be loved, and they experience great sorrow if they encounter the opposite. And this Canaanite woman, freshly converted, has persevered with such faith and love in asking from you something so easy to accomplish, yet the fact that she has not heard a single pleasant word from Your Majesty is something which causes her much pain and suffering. Ubi sunt misericordiae tuae antiquae, Domine? Where, Lord, are your customary mercies of old, which have not been shown towards this woman?’
So Our Lord, the Son of God, replied to his Apostles, saying: ‘Consider this, my disciples: Non sum missus nisi ad oves, quae perierunt domus Israel, I was primarily sent only to the sheep who perish from the house of Israel, yet you wish me to perform a miracle upon this woman, an unbeliever, who stands outside the Judaic law!’
 The account given here is based on Matthew 15:21-28.
 Matthew 15:22.
 Matthew 15:22.
 Matthew 7:7.
 A conflation of Isaiah 58:1; 58:8 and Deuteronomy 4:31.
 Isaiah 55:6.
 A conflation of Psalm 118 :155 and John 9:31.
 2 Corinthians 6:2.
 Reputedly the words of Laurentius (fl. 5th-6th century), one-time Bishop of Novara and later Milan, with regard to the Canaanite woman. See P. Allix, Some Remarks upon the Ecclesiastical History of the Ancient Churches of Piedmont, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1821, Chapter 5, p. 29.
 Matthew 15:22.
 Matthew 15:23.
 Psalm 88:50 (Vulgate).
 Matthew 15:24.
ON HOW OUR LORD CROWNED HIS MOST HOLY MOTHER WITH THREE MOST EXCELLENT CROWNS GIVEN TO HER AS A WORTHY EMPRESS BY THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, AND HOW, WITH INESTIMABLE JOY, ALL ANGELS AND MEN GAVE PRAISE, HONOUR AND GLORY TO HER
Before Our Lord and his beloved mother were seated in those stately chairs, His Majesty said to his excellent mother: ‘Veni, coronaberis’, meaning: ‘Come, my dearest mother, and you shall be crowned by my hand before your departure, with three crowns sent by the entire Holy Trinity, so that my disciples, who are here in their mortal bodies and must remain on earth, may see some part of the glory and excellence that soon you are to possess as a most worthy empress and universal Mistress of all.’
So as the most humble Virgin knelt down before her son and eternal God, there appeared three angels who were among the greatest Princes of Paradise, each of whom was bearing one of the said crowns in a beautiful and highly wrought golden bowl, and kneeling with great reverence before Our Lord’s Majesty and that of his holy mother, they offered them to him.
So, taking the first and most excellent crown, Our Lord placed it on the head of Our Lady, his mother, saying: ‘Accipe coronam quam tibi Pater meus praeparavit in aeternum’, meaning: ‘My dearest mother, take this crown which His Majesty, my Father, sends to you, who had it fashioned and prepared for you by virtue of his great power before the world was created, so that it be worn by you for the first time today. In this worthy crown are set twelve carbuncles more resplendent than the sun, revealing how with twelve degrees of singular purity you gleam and sparkle above every creature. Upon this crown are strewn an innumerable multitude of pearls of most unusual beauty and size, showing your virtues and excellences to be so many that they cannot be counted or comprehended by anyone but him who has chosen to create you in this way by revealing in you the great magnitude of his divine power. And around this crown are inscribed letters in very costly enamel, disclosing your rank to observers, which letters read:
Sol es, virgo, eclipsim nesciens,
Sol in caelis de terra oriens,
Sol de caelis terram prospiciens,
Sol peccati nubes demoliens,
meaning: so that all who behold and contemplate may know and acknowledge your glory and excellence, whereby you, O Virgin most pure, are the brilliant sun that has never been darkened by the great eclipse of Original Sin, but rather have you always shone absolutely free of all blame. You are the sun which, having emerged from the earth, has shone brightly in the sky. And now shall you rise into the sky and cast the rays of your luminosity upon the earth like a most glorious sun which illuminates the inhabitants thereof, and by the intense heat of this sun shall be destroyed and obliterated the clouds representing the sins of those who shall invoke and call upon you, o bright sun. And therefore my Father wishes you to bear this title upon your excellent crown.’
So Our Lord and Redeemer, having placed the first crown on the head of his Most Serene Mother, then took the second crown, and placing it on top of the other in order to render it even more beautiful, said to the Virgin most pure: ‘Most Holy Mother of mine, out of love for me shall you wear this crown in which are set thirty-three diamonds of most unusual beauty and size, representing the thirty-three years I have remained in the world and during which you have served and accompanied me with such love that it is now fitting that upon your crown should shine forth the infinite merits you deserve for your most virtuous efforts.
‘O my Most Excellent Mother, the workmanship on this crown, which I took pleasure in painting and beautifying, is a mirror of my wisdom, and upon it there are twelve thousand and fifty-three enamels of various colours, representing the number of days which passed between the day when I took human flesh from you until the day my life ended. And for the great sorrows you underwent on my account on each of those days, shall you now have infinite joys without end. This crown is made and woven from myrtle leaves, wrought from a most singular gold, which renders your crown more beautiful. And the said leaves number one hundred and forty-four thousand seven hundred and thirty-three for precisely this number of hours passed between the moment when you, o mother of mine, conceived me until that point when, in your presence, I expired on the Cross. And because during each of these hours and the moments thereof your charity has been so ardent and inflamed in serving and loving me that you never ceased to perform services and deeds upon my body, services so lofty and so agreeable to me that they could not be rewarded on earth, now, on this day shall you receive the glory and exaltation that you deserve for such continuous, repeated and ardent works. And with supreme delight shall you be praised and extolled eternally and endlessly by every angelic and human nature. And, therefore, inscribed around this crown, in very bright letters of singular workmanship, are the words: “Te beatam laudare cupiunt omnes sancti, sed non sufficiunt, nam tot laudes tibi conveniunt, o Maria”, meaning that all the saints, with singular fervour, wish to praise and extol you, o blessed mother of mine, yet they do not succeed in properly explaining your glory and excellence, for to you belongs all the praise that can be uttered, o glorious Mary! For this gracious name of yours, o mother of mine, constitutes the delight and joy of angels and men, and invites them into your service and praise.’
After the Most Humble Virgin had been crowned with two such lofty crowns, Our Lord then took the third crown, which was of singular resplendence and beauty, and said to his excellent mother: ‘Most Ardent Mother of mine, the Holy Spirit sends you this crown, as his most worthy bride, so that you appear wearing three crowns in the presence of all your servants who shall be in attendance at this ceremony for you, so that they may know that you are the Great and Most Excellent Empress of Heaven and Earth. On this crown are set fifty very fine blazing rubies in order to represent the fifty days which passed between the time I was resurrected and when I sent the Holy Spirit upon your College, of which you had been Doctor and Rectress, and also because during that period your charity was so exercised in continual prayer requesting and asking for the said advent in order to comfort and strengthen my disciples. So, on account of this, that most ardent charity shall now shine forth from your excellent crown.
‘And, in order further to beautify that crown, one hundred and twenty pearls of most unusual beauty and whiteness are placed in singular order, to mark the number of tongues of fire which appeared at the said advent of the Holy Spirit and which separately positioned themselves above the heads of each of those who were in your company, so that it should be perfectly clear to all that the graces and gifts that the Holy Spirit distributes among all those he has chosen and loves, are, in you, o mother of mine, united in very great excellence and singularity. For your soul is disposed and prepared so as to receive the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit that he heaps and lavishes here below and by which he bestows his riches and magnificence without restraint. For you, o mother of mine, are the chest for his treasure and the very dear home of his repose and joy. And, therefore, around this crown is it written in very finely formed gilt lettering: ‘Haec est domus fidelis, hoc immortale templum, in quo Spiritus Sanctus requiescit’, with the aim of informing all those who behold or contemplate your most excellent crown that you are the most faithful house and temple of immortal memory in which the Holy Spirit rests and abides with singular pleasure.’
And when the Most Serene Virgin had been thus loftily crowned, Our Lord sat down in the chair which had been prepared for him, instructing Our Lady to sit at his right hand, very close to him, as his singularly beloved mother.
So all the angels and men there present, having been astonished at the level of glory and magnificence they had observed in the Most Excellent Mother of God prior to her departure, and having been convinced that she would not possess a great deal more when she was installed in her kingdom, with supreme joy began to sing before Our Lady the words: ‘Laetare, Maria virgo, laetitia inenarrabili in anima et corpore in proprio filio, cum proprio filio, per proprium filium’, meaning: ‘Most merciful Mary and purest Virgin, rejoice with untold delight in your soul and your body at your own son, who has prepared such glory for you, and take pleasure, o Lady, in him, whose company you are never in danger of losing! O how great is the glory and happiness that comes to you, o excellent Lady, through Our Lord, your own son! Quia haec est omnium laetantium pulchrum carmen, omnium regnantium sceptrum rectum, omnium peregrinantium panis vitae, et omnium expectantium merces summa, for he is the fair and charming song, the true delight, of all who rejoice! His Royal Majesty is the straight, sure and most steady sceptre of all who rule; just as he is the softest bread which imparts life and salvation to the pilgrims of this mortal life; and the supreme payment and most certain reward for all who have trust in his mercy. O my Lady, the joy that you feel at being mother of this most excellent son surpasses all knowledge, angelic or human. And, therefore, my Lady, you alone sense and savour this sovereign delight, while we all rejoice at what we are capable of knowing, and your joy, Most Serene Lady, shall we celebrate eternally in the glory of Paradise, where you shall very soon be installed.
So, having finished their singing, they all came one by one to kiss the hand of the Most Holy Mother of God, who showed to each one an immense amount of love, and took great delight in them.
 Song of Solomon 4:8.
 Text from a Gregorian chant: Common of several Virgins, Matins, Nocturn 1, Responsory 1.
 Part of a prayer to the Virgin Mary attributed to Petrus Netere of Strasbourg. See C. Blume and G. M. Dreves, Analecta Hymnica Medii Aevi, Leipzig, O. R. Reisland, 1899, pp. 188-90.
 In Latin, as in Catalan (and other Romance vernaculars), the word caelus (Cat. cel) signifies ‘sky’, ‘heaven’ and ‘the heavens’.
 365 × 33 = 12,045 + 8 (leap years) = 12,053 days.
 The correct number of hours is (approximately) 295,842 (including leap years and the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy).
 See Blume and Dreves, op. cit., p. 72.
 See below.
 An adaptation of Lactantius, Divinae institutiones, 4:14.
 Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea, Chapter CXIX, ‘De assumptione beatae Mariae virginis’, § 1, ed. Th. Graesse, Leipzig, 1850, p. 511; cf. St Augustine (incertus), De assumptione beatae Mariae virginis, VIII (PL 40: 1148).