Category Archives: What does Heaven look like? (St Lutgarde)


O all-holy and all-merciful Redeemer, Source of all graces, and our most kind Jesus! Out of incrompehensible love for us poor children of Eve, hast thou left thy seat on the right hand of thy Heavenly Father, and willed to clothe thyself with our helplessness and poverty.
Nay, the more surely to win us to love thee in return, thou hast made thyself helpless and poor beyond us all. No possible trouble, no possible toil, hast thou spared thyself in order to save us from the wicked enemy, and make us the children of thy Father in Heaven.
Bitterly do I grieve that up till now, I, a valueless and wretched worm of earth, have so little understood the excess of thy Love, and have given thee such poor thanks for all the hardships, pains and martyrdom thou hast bourne for me.
And therefore do I now offer up to thee this my unworthy prayer, in honour of thy most life and sufferings and death, and of every year and day and hour thou didst spend on earth for the salvation of lost and sinful men.
And I offer thee too, from the inmost depths of my heart, all the myriad acts of praise and love and gratitude of the nine Choirs of holy Angels, and indeed of all creatures from the first moment of their creation until now, and all the acts made by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with the greatest possible love and devotion since her Immaculate Conception to this very day, together with those she will not cease to make through all the instants of Eternity.
And I offer thee these acts that I may thank thee perfectly for all thou hast done for me:
1. For thy choice from all Eternity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God;
2. For her Immaculate Conception, and her preservation from every spot of original sin, in which all other mortals are conceived and born;
3. For the most pure nativity of thy Immaculate Mother, which shed a light over the whole world and caused joy in Heaven;
4. For thine own wonderful Conception by the power of the Holy Ghost in the virgin womb of thy chosen Mother which was announced by the Archangel Gabriel;
5. For the first journey thou didst take, hidden in the most pure womb of thy Holy Mother, a journey over the hills to thy cousin Elizabeth and her child John – John who, even as thou didst, then lay hidden;
6. For thy holy Nativity, when thou didst come into the world in the greatest poverty and wast born in a stable amid senseless beasts, without even a pillow on which to lay thy Sacred Head, or clothes wherewith to warm and protect thy tender limbs; 7. For thy first blood-shedding at the Circumcision, which thou didst suffer for our sakes and out of humble obedience to the Law of Moses;
9. For thy most holy Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem by thy Blessed Mother, in accordance with the Law of Moses;
10. For the bitter persecution which began even with thy tenderest years, and which drove thee into the godless land of Egypt and kept thee there for a long space of time;
11. For thy most dear Mother’s anxious search for thee, and then her joyful finding of thee amid the doctors in the Temple, after she had sought thee for three days with bitter grief and pain;
12. For the submission thou didst show to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth rendering them all manner of humble, filial services;
13. For all thy teaching and preaching, for thy hard and dangerous journeys, and especially for all the fatigue and toil thou didst undergo for our salvation;
14. For thy most holy fast of forty days, and thy constant, fervent prayers in the desert;
15. For thy great and glorious miracles, worked to convince the stubborn people;
16. For thine agonized prayer and bloody sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane, when shuddering and sorrowful unto death, thou wert yet perfectly resigned to thy Father’s Will;
17. For the false kiss with which the faithless Judas betrayed thee and delivered thee into the hands of wicked men;
18. For the painful bands and cruel cords of thine infamous captors, and for their grievous dragging and pulling of thee over stones and through water and briars;
19. For the many false accusations devised and brought against thy most holy Person before Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod;
20. For the most painful treatment meted out to thee when thou was ignominously drawn from one unjust Judge to another;
21. For the hard and worse than blasphemous blow thou didst receive on thy most Holy Face from a servant of the High Priest;
22. For the copious and most painful bloodshedding when every part of thy most holy Body was torn by the rods and scourges of the executioners;
23. For thy nakedness, and the bitter shame thou didst experience when most of thy garments were torn from thee and thou wert thus bound to the pillar before all the crowd;
24. For the jeering, scoffing, and mock genuflections by which godless people ridiculed thee to thy holy Face;
25. For the sharp pressure on thy sacred Head of the crown of thorns, which caused thy Precious Blood to flow down over thy Face;
26. For thy piteous appearance before Pilate, who by his exclamation “Behold the man” tried to move the people to compassion;
27. For the sentence pronounced on thee by Pilate, for the manner in which thou wast led forth to die, and for the heavy weight of the Cross;
28. For thy dolorous meeting with thy sorrow-stricken Mother and the other holy women who had followed thee on the Path to Calvary and shed tears of pity over thee;
29. For the painful removal of most of thy clothing to the renewal of thy wounds, and for the merciless nailing to the wood of the Cross,as also for all the priceless words spoken on the Cross, and the final surrender of thy Spirit;
30. For thy glorious Resurrection on the third day after thy sufferings, when thou didst appear to thy Mother, thy Disciples and Apostles, and after that to many others;
31. For thy wonderful Ascension into Heaven and glorious return to thy Heavenly Father, when thine earthly pilgrimage was ended and thou hadst triumphed victoriously over the world and Satan;
32. For the wonderful fiery Descent of the Holy Ghost on thy Disciples and Apostles and thy most beloved Mother on the holy Day of Pentecost;
33. For the lordly triumph thou didst celebrate when thou didst assume thy beloved Mother, body and soul, into Heaven;
34. For thy festival of joy, in which were associated the Father and the Holy Ghost, at the exaltation of thy most glorious Mother over all the Choirs of Angels, and at her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven;
For all these, and more especially for every beat of thy Heart and every act of love, for all thy thought and desires, for all the silent and the uttered prayers which thou didst offer on earth, and still dost offer in the thou didst offer while on earth, and still dost offer in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar – for all these I tender thee a thousand thanks, and ask thee most humbly that thou wouldst grant to me and to all who have commended themselves to my prayers, or for whom I ought to pray, perfect contrition for our sins and a firm determination never to offend thy Divine Majesty, together with the grace of final perseverance. Grant that I and all men may enjoy thy grace here, and after this toilsome life is over may be received into the company of thine elect, and be united with them to the Source of Eternal Joy – which is none but thou thyself, O dearest Lord. And may we be permitted to gaze at last on thy most holy Face, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.




One day in 1246, as St Lutgarde, a Sister of the Convent of St Clare at Wittichen in the Black Forest, earnestly besought God that He would show the Prayer that pleased Him best of all, a very beautiful Prayer was infused into her, which comprised in itself the whole of the life and sufferings of Christ. And forthwith her memory retained it so accurately that she repeated it every day with the greatest devotion. The Blessed Virgin told Lutgarde that she herself had begged the grace of this Prayer for her.
St Lutgarde used to exhort those whom she instructed as to the aforesaid God-revealed Prayer, to say a thousand Paters and as many Ave Marias, and Glorias, in honour of each of the thirty-four mysteries, and this too she doubtless had from God. But because the Prayer thus said might easily degenerate into an empty, mechanical repetition, the Saint advised that with every thousand Paters, Aves and Glorias, a short meditation be made on one of the thirty-four mysteries into which she had divided the whole of the life and sufferings of our Lord: and she wished these mysteries to be contemplated in the selfsame order in which she had arranged them. (While your lips pronounce the words of the prayers, let your mind picture the Mystery.)

This contemplation of the mysteries of Jesus was repeatedly enjoined on the on the Saint in her intercourse with Heaven as being the very soul of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. “If a man would take the direct path to my treasure-room,” said the Lord to her once, “let him exercise himself in meditating on My life and My love, and give up his own will. If a man would but consider what I have done for him and all I have given him, never Again would he so rouse My anger.”It followed as a matter of course that Lutgarde should before all things demand an inner, spiritual activity, before the Prayer revealed to her honour of the mysteries of Christ could find favour with God. This spiritual activity on the part of those who said it, was to find its outlet in considerations and loving contemplations. And in this way the outward form and construction of the Prayer could by no means be called superfluous or insignificant. Again and again had the Saint heard various oral prayers offered aloud and in common by members of the Society of the Heavenly Court, such as the Te Deum, Pange Lingua, Glory be to the Father, with many another; she could not possible, therefore, have attributed a purely subordinate importance to the oral prayers or outward form of the Devotion revealed to her.
Moreover, the Saint permitted an alteration to those who used the Devotion more frequently. Instead of the continued repetition of each thousand Our Fathers, they might either assist at a Holy Mass, or give an alms, or follow the Way of the Cross, Psalters, Novenas, and so forth, made with heartfelt devotion, would serve to merit the favours attached to the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.

The Prayer of the Heavenly Court has extraordinary power and efficacy

Quite remarkable are the words in which our Lord revealed to His servant Lutgarde the merit and power of the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and the exeeding great pleasure which He Himself took in it.
“Whosoever,” said He to her, “shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give thirty-four human souls; that is to say, for his sake I will rescue from everlasting death, thirty-four human souls who had otherwise died in sin.
“For his sake too, I will release thirty-four souls from Purgatory. But as for the man himself who had made this Prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field, whose blades no one can number.
“And even should such a man have always acted in times past against My Will, yet as soon as ever he begins this Prayer with grief and contrition for his sin, and a firm purpose of amendment, I will forgive all his iniquities; nor will I ever remember his misdeeds in Eternity, but will utterly remit and forget them.
“And if such a man, during the course of this Prayer, should be called to depart from this transitory life, then will I come with My Angels to accompany him on his last journey, and to the sound of celestial music will conduct his to the threshold of Eternity, where I Myself dwell, and where he shall rejoice for ever in the company of My Mother, the Constant Advocate of Sinners, and of all My Saints.”