Unveil the awe-inspiring visions of Saint Frances of Rome as she paints a vivid picture of Hell's terrors and Heaven's magnificence. Prepare to be captivated by her striking imagery and enlightening revelations.

A Vision Of Heaven

In The Visions of Saint Frances of Rome, the noble mystic leads readers through her visions of the horrors of Hell and the glories of Heaven with striking imagery and sobering revelations. In this excerpt, Saint Frances of Rome describes the beauty of Heaven that awaits the faithful.

The attention of Frances was then drawn to the souls which were taken from purgatory and brought to the Kingdom of Heaven. These were ones who had completed their assigned term of penance, purgation, and purification, and so, they had ascended to the very uppermost and lightest portion of the realm. The sight of a soul departing from purgatory was truly amazing and caused Frances’s heart to be filled with unbounded joy and wonder.

The glorious Queen of Heaven would descend on a cloud of golden light. She was robed in a garment of azure blue which glimmered like a sapphire, and upon her head, she wore her twelve-starred crown of celestial majesty. Her beauty was such that Frances could find no words to describe it, but which simultaneously far exceeded both the radiance of the noontide sun in all its splendor and the serenity of the moon as it floats through a tranquil sky.

The Mother of God, having descended to purgatory, would then lead the fortunate soul that had completed its time of purgation from there into heaven and take it to the choir of angels among which it had merited to be placed. As Blessed Mary, together with the soul, passed through the various angelic choirs, there would be immense joy and jubilation breaking out at the sight of another one of the beloved children of God being taken to its blessed and everlasting homeland. But the greatest rejoicing took place in the choir to which the soul was assigned as its destination. In that celestial choir, there would be a great festivity of exaltation and holy mirth.

As for Frances, she was given the grace to be able to witness the departure of many souls from purgatory and their ascent to heaven in the company of the Mother of God. When she revealed or described this to her spiritual father (which she frequently did under holy obedience), her face would begin to glow, as if set aflame with celestial fire. This came about particularly when she called to mind the ineffable sweetness of the singing of the angels, together with the chorus of the souls of the blessed. For the pure and mellifluous harmonies of this eternal hymn of praise exceeded all that the human mind could grasp or imagine. When Frances recollected this and attempted to describe it, it was as if her soul would melt with ecstatic joy, like a piece of soft wax liquifying in the warming presence of some heavenly fire.

She related that the souls of the blessed in heaven were of greater perfection and nobility than the angels. But the song of the angels remained more beautiful and purer, and the melodies which they sang were more subtle, agile, and sweet. Nevertheless, the song of the Queen of Heaven entirely transcended that of both the angelic multitude and all the souls of the saints.

But Frances confessed that there were many things in her visions of heaven which she could not comprehend, and that those things which she did witness, she perceived only in an unclear and obscure way. This was, she said, because she remained in the state of sinful mortal life and did not yet possess the complete purity which was requisite to behold these things perfectly.

The Beatific Vision itself, which is the experience of gazing upon the highest mystery and glory of the divine Trinity, was received in varying ways in the different choirs of angels and different ranks of the saints. For those who were higher and exalted enjoyed this wonderful vision with greater clarity and completeness, according to their rank and station. And the souls of those saints who had been more distinguished in merits and virtue during their earthly lives possessed more capacious and subtle powers of perception and comprehension in heaven and could therefore enjoy the Beatific Vision there more fully and gloriously.

This article is taken from a chapter in Visions of Saint Frances of Rome by St. Frances of Rome which is available from TAN Books



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