(d. 1164)
 (on the Fate of Origen)

Memling, nuns (image modified)


The nun, Elizabeth of Schonau (d. 1164), tells that one Christmas night, during a vision, she asked the Virgin Mary about this, at the instigation of her brother Egbert of Schonau, a Benedictine:

...in accordance with the counsel I had received from my brother who at that very moment was celebrating the office at our convent, I addressed her in this fashion:

“My Lady, I beg of you, kindly reveal to me something concerning the great doctor of the church, Origen, who in so many places in his works has sung your praises so magnificently. Is he saved or not? For the Catholic Church condemns him because of the many heresies found in his writings.”

To which she answered in these words:

“It is not the Lord's intention that much be revealed to you at this point. Know only that Origen's error did not come from bad will; it came from the excess of fervor with which he plunged into the depths of the Holy Scriptures he loved, and the divine mysteries which he was wont to scrutinize to an excessive degree.

For this reason the punishment he is undergoing is not severe. And because of the glory his writings have given to me, he is illuminated by a very special light on each feast commemorating me. As for what will happen to him on the last day, that must not be revealed to you, but must remain hidden among the divine secrets.”

translation and exerpt from from The Love of Learning and the Desire for God by Jean Leclercq, OSB.






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