Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Legend of the Leonine Prayers

It is a strange thing, the myth of Pope Leo XIII going into a trance, hearing God and the Devil having a chat, the latter being permitted to have his way with the twentieth century by the former (!), and then the Pope, recovered, going off to write the famous prayer to St Michael: for this legend turns out to have no substance.  I have tracked it back to accounts in two Italian sources in 1946 and 1947; while Jungmann mentions it in his Missarum Solemnia, which he was a-writing during World War II, as a weird story – not to be credited – already doing the rounds in the 1930's.

There is absolutely no contemporary evidence from the days of Leo XIII to shew that this story was current then; I have consulted clerical journals of the time which explain the new direction to read certain prayers after Mass, without breathing one word of any extraordinary events behind their sudden imposition; and it seems bizarre to think that the alleged incident, involving as different versions have it such affecting details as the Pope going into an insensible state in presence of sundry Cardinals, either while saying or hearing Mass, was somehow covered up till long after all those present were dead...

So, whence came this tale (which, as a staple of Traditionalist piety, I unhesitating accepted until I uncovered the lack of evidence for it)?  I believe it is a classic case of reification: making something abstract something concrete.  For Leo XIII, quoting the New Testament, certainly affirmed to a visiting bishop (I forget the name, alas) that he and the Church were not so much battling human foes, mere flesh and blood, as combatting the spiritual hosts of wickedness; and it is but a short step from such sober truth to such overblown lurid notions as the Pope going into a coma and overhearing a conversation between the Lord and Satan.

Of course we ought pray against demonic malice!  Of course the Devil and his fallen angels are real and out to get us!  Of course anyone could work out that the twentieth century was very much diabolically afflicted, given the lamentable catalogue of horrendous crimes committed!  Of course invoking St Michael Archangel is a very wise thing to do in the face of these sad truths!  But we need not bolster our devotions with legends without foundation.  I would be very surprised if any history or biography of Pope Leo XIII corroborates the widely-disseminated tale of his authoring his prayer to St Michael on account of any vision or locution.  As soon as I began searching out accounts of this putative event, I found that different versions didn't even agree on the date when it was said to have occurred.

Popes live quite public lives, and it seems incredible that Leo could have had visions and the like in such circumstances without them being reported till seventy years had passed.  On the contrary, the mere fact that such tales first appear once everyone who could have been present were dead (even a young priest in the mid-1880's would have been in his late nineties by the 1930's, and I expect that all who had worked at the Vatican in the 1880's were therefore dead by the thirties), must give rise to the suspicion that they were later inventions.

Note I am no Modernist denying the truth – on the contrary, I want to believe what is true, and I think it a disservice to Christians to turn a blind eye to what is not true, however diverting a tale.  If the Pope really had such a revelation, well and good; but so far as I can ascertain, he didn't – the myth of how he came to write his famous prayer to St Michael is rather a good example of Chinese whispers, or of folk etymology, or of a "Just So" story.  Produce proof – NOT curious accounts from odd Internet sites, as I quote further down – and I will of course be glad to accept this to be true.  But where are the official Vatican documents attesting to all this?

Herewith, the beautiful, richly Scriptural, and highly-recommended prayer to St Michael:
Sancte Míchaël Archángele, defénde nos in prœlio;
contra nequítiam et insídias diáboli esto præsídium.
Imperet illi Deus, súpplices deprecámur,
tuque, Princeps milítiæ cæléstis,
Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos,
qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in mundo,
divína virtúte in inférnum detrúde. Amen. 

Saint Michael the Archangel (cf. Jude 9), defend us in battle (cf. Rev 12:7);
be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil (cf. Eph 6:11).
May God rebuke him (cf. Jude 9), we humbly pray,
and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, (cf. Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; Josh 5:14; Lk 2:13)
by the power of God thrust into hell (cf. 2 Pet 2:4)
Satan (cf. Rev 20:1-3a) and all the other evil spirits,
who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls (cf. Job 2:2; 1 Pet 5:8b). Amen.
And here are the fruits of my researches about the Leonine Legend:

The Legend of the Leonine Prayers and the Vision of Leo XIII

Father Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, Chapter IX, Part 1 The Post Conciliar ‘Popes’ – from (accessed 6/10/05):
The story is told that the following events took place in 1884, just after Leo XIII (Pope between 1873 and 1903) finished saying Mass at St. Peter’s.  As he turned away from the high altar he heard voices speaking to one another.  One voice was deep and guttural, the other gentle and mild.  The first to speak was the guttural voice which said: ‘I can destroy your Church.’  the gentle voice replied: ‘You can?  Then go ahead and do so.’  Satan then said: ‘I need more time and more power.’  The gentle voice asked: ‘How much time?  How much power?’ 
The answer was: ‘75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.’  The gentle voice replied, ‘You have the time, you will have the power, do with them what you will.’  It was after this event that the Pope established the so-called ‘Leonine Prayers’ said at the foot of the altar after Mass - prayers which included the one to St. Michael (‘St. Michael […], defend us in the day of battle, […] Cast into hell Satan and all his evil angels who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls...’).
Note that this version of the legend has the Pope celebrating Mass at the high altar of St Peter’s – but if so, it would have been a high Mass, and the Pope would have been borne away on his throne, not turning aside to walk back to the sacristy as an ordinary priest would.  Neither could so extraordinary an event have been somehow ignored by reputable writers.

From Peter A. Kwasniewski, The Leonine Prayers After Mass’, Catholic Faith September/October 2001 (
But how did we end up with this particular prayer, prescribed to be said after every low Mass?  One day in 1884, Pope Leo XIII, having just finished celebrating Mass, was leaving the tabernacle when he suddenly collapsed.  The cardinals present rushed to him and took his pulse, fearing he was dead.  Some moments later, the Pope regained consciousness, and then related what he had experienced.  In front of the tabernacle, he had heard a confrontation between Jesus and Satan.  Satan boasted that if he had enough time and enough power, he could destroy the Church.  Jesus asked him: “How much time, and how much power?”  Satan replied that he would need but a century and greater influence over men who would give themselves to him.  Jesus said, “So be it.”  The twentieth century is the century given to Satan to do his best to destroy the Church.
Apparently, Leo was then permitted a horrible vision of the attacks that would be waged by evil spirits against souls and the Church, as well as a consoling vision of the Archangel Michael thrusting Satan and his legions back down into the abyss of hell.  The Pope was naturally shaken up by the experience.  After having spoken of it to those around him, he went to his room to compose a prayer of exorcism against the devil.  It is a shortened version of this prayer that has become familiar to us as the prayer Pope Leo XIII himself prescribed in the same year for recitation, along with the Marian prayers, after every low Mass throughout the Latin-rite Church.
Note the differences in the story, and the affecting details of the Pope as if dead, the Cardinals taking his pulse (what rubbish!): again, if this really occurred, it would be a matter of public record, noted in biographies of Leo XIII by reputable historians of his reign.  It amazes me how this inherently most implausible story is repeated so uncritically.  Compare it to the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, which was witnessed by tens of thousands and reported even in secular newspapers!  I have no hesitation in affirming that supernatural manifestation, but the evidence for Leo XIII's vision seems to be based on everybody quoting everybody else, with no reference to primary documents.

Here is the sober comment of Pope John Paul II ( (accessed 6/10/05)):
May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians, “Draw strength from the Lord and from his mighty power” (Eph 6 10).  The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Rev. 12:7).  Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St Michael throughout the Church. “St Michael the Archangel defend us in battle, be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil.”  Although today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it, and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.  [Pope John Paul II, Regina Caeli, 24 April 1994]
All that the late Pope says is that “Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene” of battle between St Michael and the devil – not that he had some vision.  This, I think, is the truth of the matter.

Leo XIII - a Vision of a Looming Crisis...
On October 13, 1884 Leo XIII had just completed a celebration of Mass in one of the Vatican’s private chapels.  Standing at the foot of the altar, he suddenly turned ashen and collapsed to the floor, apparently the victim of a stroke or heart attack.  However, neither malady was the cause of his collapse.  For he had just been given a vision of the future of the Church he loved so much.  After a few minutes spent in what seemed like a coma, he revived and remarked to those around him, “Oh, what a horrible picture I was permitted to see!”
What Leo XIII apparently saw, as described later by those who talked to him at the time of his vision, was a period of about one hundred years when the power of Satan would reach its zenith.  That period was to be the twentieth century.  Leo was so shaken by the spectre of the destruction of moral and spiritual values both inside and outside the Church, that he composed a prayer which was to be said at the end of each Mass celebrated anywhere in the Catholic Church. This prayer to Michael the Archangel was said continuously until the Mass was restructured in the Second Vatican council.  The prayer is as follows:
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.” 
While this prayer may now seem quaint and mildly embarassing to the modern reader with its reference to Satan and evil spirits, it should be noted that virtually all measures of social pathology and moral decline (things like the crime rate, percentage of unwed mothers, abortion rate, divorce rate, etc.) each started to rise sharply as the 1960’s ended... a few years after this prayer had ceased being used in Church liturgies.  Regardless, while the precise details of Leo’s visions are not known, it would certainly appear that his concern about the coming difficulties in his Church and the world in which it found itself were well founded.
This version of the legend gives a precise date for the vision, and a more sober account of it.  But note that it has the vision occurring in a private chapel, not at the high altar of St Peter's...

The Vision Of Pope Leo XIII
October 13, 1884
Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision.  When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar.  He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white.  Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere.  When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices – two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh.  They seemed to come from near the tabernacle.  As he listened, he heard the following conversation: 
The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: 
“I can destroy your Church.” 
The gentle voice of Our Lord: 
“You can?  Then go ahead and do so.” 
“To do so, I need more time and more power.” 
Our Lord: 
“How much time?  How much power?”
“75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those 
who will give themselves over to my service.”
Our Lord: 
“You have the time, you will have the power. 
Do with them what you will.”
Another more detailed version.  I wonder who was able to provide the ipsissima verba of both Our Lord and Satan?  It sounds contrived.  If all this were true, why are there no Vatican documents giving the official version of all this?  The 3rd Secret of Fatima is kept in the Vatican archives; yet I have never seen reference to the Vatican holding contemporary documentation of this surely more astonishing vision of Leo XIII!

It is said that after he had celebrated Mass in the presence of some Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff on October 13th, 1884, Pope Leo experienced a vision of the future concerning the Church in which the power of Satan would be unleashed for a period of 100 years.  He was so shaken by the spectre of the destruction of moral and spiritual values both inside and outside the Church that he composed a prayer to St Michael the Archangel which he ordered to be said at the end of each Mass throughout the Catholic Church.  This is the prayer – 
St Michael the Archangel defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.  May God restrain him, we humbly pray, and do thou, the prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.  Amen.
The prayer to St Michael was said consistently thereafter throughout the Church at the end of Low Mass (in the Tridentine rite) until the Mass was revised in the Novus Ordo at the end of the 1960s.  The prayer has continued, however, wherever Mass has been celebrated in the Tridentine rite.  Once more it is receiving popular support. 
The One Hundred Years 
No Catholic is bound to hold as true what has been privately revealed to an individual by God, even to a Pope.  The content of the Catholic faith is set forth by Holy Mother Church drawn from Revelation and Tradition. It is sufficient for our salvation.
Throughout the ages there have been so called 'private' revelations, some of which have been recognised by the authority of the Church.  They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history.  Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.67
No one is bound to believe, then, that Satan would have, or has had, power over the Church to harm it as is said to have been revealed to Pope Leo XIII.  Yet who could study the history of the Church during the course of the Twentieth Century and beyond and not wonder whether the vision had not been a true one?  Or not see in it some consolation for us who, as members of God’s Holy Church, have suffered with her for so long over the negligences, the derelictions of duty of those appointed as shepherds, of the loss of faith amongst her members and of the loss of standing of the Church in the world? 
To abstract from the appalling moral and physical evils which beset the Church in every country throughout the world today and look only at the state of Catholic belief, what impresses is the extent of the influence of the heresy of Modernism – the movement to conform the teaching of the Church to the standards of the atheistic and secular world.  This heresy is universal, a universality only matched by the extent to which its existence is denied or ignored amongst the faithful.  There is no mention of the heresy or of the encyclical which condemned it, Pascendi Dominici Gregis (September 8th 1907), in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  There is no mention there either of the Pope who condemned the heresy, the only Pope to be canonised in 400 years, St Pius X.
In the course of a homily on the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, in St Peter's, on 29th June 1972, Pope Paul VI remarked – I have the feeling that the smoke of Satan has penetrated the Temple of God through some crack or other.  How much worse has the situation in the Church become in the thirty years since he spoke! 
Assuming the truth of what was said to have been revealed to Pope Leo, then, the question arises: when did the 100 years begin?  When will they end?  God knows, and He alone.  As a working hypothesis, however, one might regard the death of the great Pope in 1903 as the beginning of the period.  If so, we may hope that the power of the Devil would begin to be diminished by the end of 2003.
In anticipation that this might prove to be the case and that we might cooperate with Almighty God in the overthrow of Satan's power in the Church, this web site has been set up.  In the words of yet another prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII we pray –
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy on Thy people who cry to Thee. Through the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of St Joseph, her spouse, and of all the saints in mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners and for the liberty and exaltation of our Holy Mother, the Church through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Michael Baker 
Need I say more?

The Prayer to the Archangel Michael was composed by Pope Leo XIII (d. 1903) after he had a vision of the battle between the "Woman clothed with the sun" and the great dragon who tried to devour her child at birth, in the Book of Revelation 12:1-4.
A much more sober version!  This could simply amount to the Pope reading the New Testament, as one assumes Popes do, and visualizing the events – which are indeed true representations of the spiritual combat between Our Lady and Satan.

This is remarkable in juxtaposition with a vision that Pope Leo had on October 13, 1884, in which he supposedly saw demons and heard the atrocious, guttural voice of Satan boasting to God that he could destroy the Church and drag the world to hell if he were given sufficient time and power.  According to the pontiff, Satan asked for between 75 and 100 years of enhanced worldly influence and it was granted.  Leo was further given to understand that if the devil didn't accomplish his purpose in the allotted time, he would suffer a crushing and humiliating defeat.  It was after this alleged vision that Leo penned the famous prayer to the Archangel Michael.
It is reported that this prayer was inspired by a vision regarding demons which Leo XIII experienced in the 1880s.  A journal from Rome published in 1947 contains the account of a priest who worked at the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII, Domenico Pechenino, who stated that while the Pope was attending Mass, he began to look upwards and displayed an unusual expression on his face.  He left Mass and went to his private office, and a short time later called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites, handing him a document.  This document contained the prayer to St. Michael.  The Pontiff requested that the prayer be disseminated to all Catholic ordinaries throughout the world to be recited, and that the congregation kneel when praying it.
The truth of this account is not fully known, but the prayer was indeed to sent to the ordinaries in 1886.  Moreover, in 1946 a cardinal reported that Pope Leo XIII truly experienced the vision and spoke about it with his private secretary Rinaldo Angeli.
Here two sources are given: a 1947 Roman journal (unspecified) with an account from a priest, Domenico Pechenino, who had been working in the Vatican during the time of Leo XIII (i.e. over 40 years earlier); and a Cardinal (unnamed) who reported that Leo XIII told the vision to his private secretary Rinaldo Angeli.  Both sources seem dubious – especially because the legend of the vision was already circulating in the early 1930’s.  "The truth of this account [of the vision] is not fully known" indeed – where is the official evidence?

This prayer was composed by Pope Leo XIII after he experienced a horrifying vision.  On October 13, 1884, while consulting with his cardinals after Mass, Pope Leo XIII paused at the foot of the altar and lapsed into what looked like a coma.  After a little while the Pope recovered himself and related the terrifying vision he had of the battle between the Church and Satan.  Afterwards, Pope Leo went to his office and composed this now famous prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and assigned it to be recited after Low Mass, a position it occupied until Vatican II. 
Another version of events.  Is there any historical evidence of Pope Leo XIII lapsing into a coma?  Or is the same "traditional tale" simply being retold again and again?

Transcribimos lo publicado por la revista Ephemerides Liturgicae en 1955 (pp. 58-59).
El padre Domenico Pechenino escribe: "No recuerdo el año exacto. Una mañana el Sumo Pontífice León XIII había celebrado la santa misa y estaba asistiendo a otra de agradecimiento, como era habitual. De pronto, le vi levantar enérgicamente la cabeza y luego mirar algo por encima del celebrante. Miraba fijamente, sin parpadear, pero con un aire de terror y de maravilla, demudado. Algo extraño, grande, le ocurría.
Finalmente, como volviendo en sí, con un ligero pero enérgico ademán, se levanta. Se le ve encaminarse hacia un despacho privado. Los familiares le siguen con premura y ansiedad. Le dicen en voz baja: "Santo Padre, ¿no se siente bien? ¿Necesita algo?" Responde: "Nada, nada". Al cabo de media hora hace llamar al secretario de la Congregación de Ritos y, dándole un folio, le manda imprimirlo y enviarlo a todos los obispos diocesanos del mundo. ¿Qué contenía? La oración que rezamos al final de la misa junto con el pueblo, con la súplica a María y la encendida invocación al príncipe de las milicias celestiales, implorando a Dios que vuelva a lanzar a Satanás al infierno".
En aquel escrito se ordenaba también rezar esas oraciones de rodillas. Lo antes escrito, que también había sido publicado en el periódico La settimana del clero el 30 de marzo de 1947, no cita las fuentes de las que se tomó la noticia. Pero de ello resulta el modo insólito en que se ordenó rezar esa plegaria, que fue expedida a los obispos diocesanos en 1886. Como confirmación de la que escribió el padre Pechenino tenemos el autorizado testimonio del cardenal Nasalli Rocca que, en su carta pastoral para la cuaresma, publicada en Bolonia en 1946, escribe:
"León XIII escribió él mismo esa oración. La frase [los demonios] "que vagan por el mundo para perdición de las almas" tiene una explicación histórica, que nos fue referida varias veces por su secretario particular, monseñor Rinaldo Angeli. León XIII experimentó verdaderamente la visión de los espíritus infernales que se concentraban sobre la Ciudad Eterna (Roma); de esa experiencia surgió la oración que quiso hacer rezar en toda la Iglesia. El la rezaba con voz vibrante y potente: la oímos muchas veces en la basílica vaticana. No sólo esto, sino que escribió de su puño y letra un exorcismo especial contenido en el Ritual romano (edición de 1954, tít. XII, c. III, pp. 863 y ss.). El recomendaba a los obispos y los sacerdotes que rezaran a menudo ese exorcismo en sus diócesis parroquiales. El, por su parte, lo rezaba con mucha frecuencia a lo largo del día".
We transcribed that published by the magazine Ephemerides Liturgicae in 1955 (pp. 58-59).
Father Domenico Pechenino writes: “I do not remember the exact year.  One morning Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII had celebrated holy mass and was attending another one of thanksgiving, as was habitual.  Suddenly, I saw him raise his head energetically and seem to watch something above the celebrant.  He watched fixedly, without blinking, but with an air of terror and wonder, altered.  Something strange, great, happened to him.
"Finally, as if returning to himself, with a slight but energetic gesture, he rises.  He was seen to direct himself towards a private office.  The relatives follow to him with prewalls and anxiety.  They say to him in low voice: 'Does the Holy Father not feel well?  Does he need something?'  He responds: 'Nothing, nothing'.  After half an hour he makes a call to the secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, giving a folio to him, he commands him to print it and to send it to all the diocesan bishops of the world.  What did it contain?  The prayer which we along with the people say at the end of the mass, with the plea to Mary and the fervent invocation to the prince of the celestial host, imploring God that he come to send Satan to hell”.
In that writing it was also ordered to say those prayers kneeling.  What is written above, which also had been published in the newspaper La settimana del clero 30th March 1947, does not mention the sources from which the news was taken.  But it mentions the unusual way in which it was ordered to say that prayer, which was sent to the diocesan bishops in 1886.  In confirmation of which Father Pechenino wrote we have the authorized testimony of Nasalli Cardinal Rocca who, in his pastoral letter for Lent, published in Bologna in 1946, writes:
“Leo XIII wrote himself that oration.  The phrase [the demons] “who wander through the world for perdition of the souls” has an historical explanation, that was referred to several times by his private secretary, Monsignor Rinaldo Angeli.  Leo XIII truly experienced a vision of the infernal spirits who concentrated themselves on the Eternal City (Rome); from that experience the prayer arose that he wanted to make us say in all the Church.  He said it with a vibrant and powerful voice: we often heard it in the Vatican basilica.  Not only this, but that he wrote by his own hand and letter a special exorcism contained in the Roman Ritual (1954 edition, tít. XII, c. III, pp. 863 and ss.).  He recommended to the bishops and the priests who often said that exorcism in their parishes and dioceses.  On the other hand, he very frequently said it throughout the day”.
More facts at last!  An account by was published in the newspaper La settimana del clero 30 of March of 1947, and another account appeared in the Lenten pastoral letter of Cardinal Nasalli Rocca (Giovanni Battista Cardinal Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano – born 1872; ordained priest 1895 for Rome; bishop of Gubbio 1907-1916; curial official 1916-1921; Archbishop of Bologna 1921-1952; appointed Cardinal 1923) published in Bologna in 1946.

"What is written above... does not mention the sources from which the news was taken" – one wonders what the sources for this may actually be.

But again, on closer examination the tale is controverted: Cardinal Rocca knows well that Leo XIII wrote the famous prayer to St Michael, but "experienc[ing] a vision of the infernal spirits who concentrated themselves on the Eternal City" may, or may not, imply that the Pope had a supernatural experience, and in any case does not confirm the full, most lurid legend of Leo falling into a trance at Mass, let alone a coma, while anxious Cardinals felt for his pulse!


n said...

An interesting investigation of the whole story. While I have my doubts of the story I would not dismiss it entirely. The archives of Leo XIII were only unsealed several years ago so perhaps there is somewhere in there a more full account. What we can say is that the prayer to St. Michael was composed by the Pope and sent out rather hurriedly to all the bishops. Your discussion herein only includes the short version of the prayer to St. Michael which in fact was not what Leo XIII originally wrote. That version is far more "colorful" and one is more inclined I think to believe that it may indeed have been the fruit of some unusual spiritual vision. That version was published in the Raccolta. A more exhaustive discussion of this controversy can be found at this link:



Linda said...

Thank you for this post, and for the comment following. I am researching an article on this subject. God bless!

Linda said...

Thanks for this post, and the comment! I'm researching an article on this subject. God bless!