Apocalyptic Spirituality: Treatises and Letters of Lactantius, Adso of Montier-En-Der, Joachim of Fiore, the Franciscan Spirituals, Savonarola

By Bernard McGinn | Go to book overview

GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA The Compendium of Revelations 1

For a long time by divine inspiration I have predicted many future events in various ways. But because I remember that Our Savior Jesus Christ said, "Do not give what is holy to dogs or cast pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and the dogs turn and tear you,"2 I have always been sparing in speech and not gone further than what seemed necessary to men's salvation. Therefore, my proposals were limited, although the exhortations, persuasions, and proofs made were many. I never disclosed the manner and great number of the visions and many other revelations I had, because the Holy Spirit did not inspire me to, nor did I think it necessary for salvation. I did not think that men's minds were ready to accept them. Now necessity compels me to write down the coming events I publicly preached about, especially those that are more important and of greater weight. Many who tried to write these things down as I spoke from the pulpit have not expressed the full truth, but given one butchered and much mixed with error since the pen cannot keep up with the swiftness of the tongue. Some people, either through lack of understanding or wrong interpretation and malice, have spread my words among the crowd with additions, subtractions, and many distortions.

Therefore I will try to gather whatever I have publicly preached up till now about the future into a brief Compendium, leaving out the special manner in which each of the revelations was made and the scriptural proofs I used when I preached.

I do intend to introduce a full account of the vision I preached on the Octave of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary because many took it down imperfectly and corruptly and sent it to various parts of Italy. 3 I must write, because I cannot and will not for God's honor allow his mysteries to be derided or profaned, particularly by those who say

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