The Speculum Humanae Salvationis – summary of the text

By Berthold Kress


This summary of the text of the Speculum is not meant to give all nuances of its very rich catechetic argument, but should indicate the rationale behind the choice of individual scenes.

The only edition of the Latin text is:
J. Lutz and P. Perdrizet, Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Kritische Ausgabe, Übersetzung von Jean Mielot (1448), Mühlhausen and Leipzig, 1907.

A Middle English translation is edited in:
Avril Henry, The mirour of mans saluacioun : a Middle English translation of Speculum humanae salvationis : a critical edition of the fifteenth-century manuscript, Aldershot 1986.


In most chapters ll. 1–2 or 1–4 give the heading of the preceding and the heading of the current chapter, and ll. 99–100 contain a short prayer. They are not mentioned individually. The texts in italics describe the images illustrating each chapter, as they appear in the earliest surviving manuscripts of the Speculum.

Introduction

Chapter 1: From the Fall of Rebel Angels to the Fall of Man

Chapter 2: The Fall and its Consequences

Chapter 3: The Annunciation of the Conception of Mary

Chapter 4: Nativity of Mary

Chapter 5: Presentation of Mary in the Temple

Chapter 6: Betrothal of Mary to Joseph

Chapter 7: Annunciation

Chapter 8: Nativity of Christ

Chapter 9: Adoration of the Magi

Chapter 10: Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Chapter 11: Fall of Idols during the Flight into Egypt

Chapter 12: Baptism of Christ

Chapter 13: Temptation of Christ

Chapter 14: Mary Magdalene anointing Christ’s feet

Chapter 15: Entry into Jerusalem

Chapter 16: Last Supper

Chapter 17: The Soldiers who came to arrest Christ fall to the Ground

Chapter 18: Betrayal of Christ

Chapter 19: Buffeting of Christ

Chapter 20: Flagellation of Christ

Chapter 21: Crowning with Thorns

Chapter 22: Christ carrying the Cross

Chapter 23: Christ nailed to the Cross

Chapter 24: Crucifixion

Chapter 25: The dead Christ mocked and pierced with a Lance

Chapter 26: Mary’s Sorrow over Christ’s Death

Chapter 27: Entombment of Christ

Chapter 28: Christ entering Limbo

Chapter 29: Christ vanquishing the devil in Limbo through His Passion

Chapter 30: Mary vanquishing the devil through her compassion with Christ

Chapter 31: Christ delivering the Fathers from Limbo

Chapter 32: Resurrection

Chapter 33: Ascension

Chapter 34: Pentecost

Chapter 35: Mary remains on Earth, yearning to meet Christ again

Chapter 36: Dormition, Assumption and Coronation of Mary

Chapter 37: Mary interceding for the Sinners

Chapter 38: Mary protecting the Faithful under her Cloak

Chapter 39: Christ and Mary interceding for the Faithful

Chapter 40: Last Judgment

Chapter 41: Hell

Chapter 42: Heaven

Chapter 43: The Hours of the Passion

Chapter 44: The Seven Sorrows of Mary

Chapter 45: The Seven Joys of Mary

 

Introduction

ll. 1–12: The book should teach both clerics and, through images, the unlearned.

ll. 13–20: The book goes from the Fall to the Redemption – it does not explain all storeys but only what is necessary for its argument.

ll. 21–58. A large oak-tree belonging to an abbey is felled, and every monk takes a different part that he can use for his allotted work. In a similar way, only the parts of Biblical history that are helpful for the given context are used in this book.

ll. 59–66: Scriptures are like wax that takes impressions of seals [so that Christ can impress Himself in many places and is still recognisable].

ll. 67–74: One and the same person, e.g. David, can sometimes stand for God and sometimes for the devil.

ll. 75–100: Sometimes sinners can nevertheless be types for Christ, e.g. Absalom, or Samson in Gaza.

 

Chapter 1: From the Fall of Rebel Angels to the Fall of Man

ll. 1–6: The Speculum discusses Fall and Redemption of Man.

ll. 7–22: After the Fall of Rebel Angels, the devil entered into a snake with a Virgin’s head in order to tempt man, he eventually tempted Eve when she was alone.
            Image 1a: Fall of Rebel Angels
            Image 1d: Eve alone tempted by the Serpent (Gen. 3:1–6)

ll. 23–34: God created Eve out of Adam’s rib to show that she is equal to him.
            Image 1b: Creation of Eve (Gen. 1:21–22)
            Image 1c: Marriage of Adam and Eve (cf. Gen. 1:23–25)

ll. 35–62: Eve was tempted by the devil, and Adam only took the fruit to please her. Therefore, Eve was more guilty than Adam, and women deserve to be treated badly by men. Likewise, Samson and Solomon had been tempted to sin by women.

ll. 63–84: Without the Fall, man would never have known any sickness, dangers, strife or sin.

ll. 85–100: God’s decisions are inscrutable for man.

 

Chapter 2: The Fall and its Consequences

ll. 3–24: Because of the Fall, man was expelled from Paradise into the misery of the world and became mortal.
            Image 2a: Adam and Eve tempted by the Serpent (Gen. 3:6)
            Image 2b: Expulsion from Paradise (Gen. 3:23)

ll. 25–42: Earthly joys are as pernicious as Judas’s kiss, but Tobias and Nabuchodonosor show that one can also use them for works of mercy.

ll. 43–52: Not wealth per se, but loving wealth and exceeding one’s station in life is sinful.

ll. 53–82: Outside Paradise, man is afflicted by disease, wild beasts and enemies.
            Image 2c: Adam and Eve toiling, with their children

ll. 83–98: Nevertheless, God redeemed man, as foreshown through the dove bringing an olive-branch to Noe in the Ark, and then through other examples of the Old Testament.
            Image 2d: The dove comes to the Ark of Noe carrying an olive branch (Gen. 8:11)

 

 

Chapter 3: The Annunciation of the Conception of Mary

ll. 1–4: The story of salvation begins with the conception of Mary.

ll. 5–32: In the parable a man is struck by robbers and left half dead, and neither a priest nor a Levite can help. Similarly, not the Old Covenant but only Christ could revive mankind that had been struck down by the Fall.

ll. 35–38: Christ decided to send His mother before him, and sent an Angel to announce her conception.
            Image 3a: Annunciation to Joachim

ll. 39–56: King Astyages had a vision of a vine growing out of his daughter’s womb, foretelling that she would give birth to a great king, Cyrus, who would deliver the Jews from Babylon. Similarly, Joachim’s daughter would deliver man from the captivity of the devil.
            Image 3b: Vision of Astyages

ll. 57–64: Praise of the Virgin Mary and the Trinity.

ll. 65–74: Solomon prophesied of a sealed fountain in the enclosed garden. Mary was sealed by the Trinity in Anne’s womb and became the true garden of delights and the well of the thirsty.
            Image 3c: Sealed fountain in the Hortus Conclusus (Cant. 4:12)

ll. 75–96: Balaam prophesied the star coming out of Juda, this is Mary, the guiding star who shows all men the way to God and turns our curses into prayers, as happened to Balaam.

ll. 97–98: One of the persons saved by this star was Theophilus.
            Image 3d: Bileam’s ass and the angel (Num. 22:22–30)

 

Chapter 4: Nativity of Mary


            Image 4a: Nativity of the Virgin Mary

ll. 3–73: Isaias prophesied the Tree of Jesse – its touch, smell, fruit, colour, leaves, sap and taste provide the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit against the seven mortal sins, all of which are explained individually.
            Image 4b: Tree of Jesse (Isa 11:1)

ll. 74–82: The closed gate in Ezechiel’s vision, through which only God would go, signifies that Christ was born in a way differently from anyone else.
            Image 4c: Closed Gate of the Temple (Ez. 44:1–3)

ll. 93–98: The three stories of Solomon’s Temple prefigure Mary’s status as Virgin, Martyr and Doctor, the white marble stands for her chastity, the ornaments for her charity, the stairs in the Temple signify that Mary is the stair into heaven.
            Image 4d: Temple of Solomon

 

Chapter 5: Presentation of Mary in the Temple

ll. 3–4: At the age of three years, Mary was presented to serve in the Temple.
            Image 5a: Presentation of the Virgin Mary

ll. 5–34: Once, fishermen found a table of pure gold and offered it to the temple of the sun, where it was seen by many people. Likewise, Mary was pure and precious and desired by angels and men, and it was through her that man received Christ, the divine food.
            Image 5b: Table of the sun being fished out of the sea (Valerius Maximus, IV.1. ext. 7)

ll. 35–54: Mary’s determination to serve God in virginity contrasts with Jephte’s daughter who mourned about being sacrificed by her father following a rash vow.
            Image 5c: Jephte sacrificing his daughter (Jud. 11:39)

ll. 55–60: In the Temple, Mary constantly contemplated heaven, as the Queen of Babylon always looked from the Hanging Gardens towards her home country.
            Image 5d: The Queen of Babylon looking out from the Hanging Gardens

ll. 61–98: Mary spent her time in the Temple praying, working and studying the Scriptures.

 

Chapter 6: Betrothal of Mary to Joseph


            Image 6a: Betrothal of Mary and Joseph

ll. 3–20: Seven reasons why Mary had to be betrothed to a man.

ll. 21–50: Eighth reason: Mary was virgin, wife and widow to show the value of all these stations. All of them have their own dignity, but virginity has the highest.

ll. 51–74: Sara remained a virgin despite having been married seven times because Asmodeus was killing all her husbands. Mary was married only once and remained a virgin because God protected her.
            Image 6b: Betrothal of Tobias and Sara (Tob. 7:16)

ll. 75–82: The tower Baris could be defended against all conquerors by only two men – Mary remained an unconquered virgin because of God’s protection.
            Image 6c: The tower Baris with its two guardians (Comestor on 2 Machabees)

ll. 83–98: Mary was protected against any concupiscence through her virtue as the tower of David was protected by a thousand shields.
            Image 6d: The tower of David covered with shields (Cant. 4:4)

 

Chapter 7: Annunciation

            Image 7a: The Annunciation (Lc. 1:26–38)

ll. 3–12: Whilst Joseph was preparing for his wedding, Mary was living in solitude at her parents’ house.

ll. 13–40: When Joseph heard of Mary’s pregnancy he was convinced that it was not the result of fornication because he knew of Mary’s secluded life. He recalled the prophecies of Isaias (Behold, a virgin shall conceive) and Balaam (A star shall rise out of Jacob) and so deduced that she would be the mother of Christ.

ll. 41–54: For this reason he regarded himself unworthy to live with her under one roof but was comforted by an angel.

ll. 55–64: God came into the bush that burnt but was not burnt in order to deliver Israel from Egypt, and this prefigures how He came into Mary, who became mother but did not lose her virginity, in order to deliver mankind from hell.
            Image 7b: Burning Bush (Exod. 3:4–4:17)

ll. 65–86: Mary was chosen as Gideon was chosen to deliver Israel through the fleece moistened by heavenly dew. The fleece prefigures the human nature put on by Christ: as the dew did not damage the wool so Mary preserved her virginity.
            Image 7c: Gideon and the Fleece moistened by dew (Jud. 6:37)

ll. 87–98: Gabriel was sent to Mary as Eliezer was sent to Rebecca; as Rebecca gave the camels to drink, so Mary opened the well of life to all men.
            Image 7d: Rebecca gives Eliezer and his camels to drink (Gen. 24:18)

 

Chapter 8: Nativity of Christ

ll. 3–20: The angels and the prophets yearned for Christ’s coming.

ll. 21–24: God had pity and became man to deliver man.
            Image 8a: Nativity of Christ (Lc. 2:7)

ll. 25–58: Pharao’s butler had a dream of a vine with three branches, promising his delivery from prison after the third day. Christ, the true vine, grew out of Mary and eventually delivered man from hell on the third day after the wine of His blood had been pressed through the Passion.
            Image 8b: Dream of the Butler (Gen. 40:9–11)

ll. 59–64: At Christ’s birth the vine of Engaddi was flowering.

ll. 65–80: Aaron’s rod miraculously flowered and prefigured that Christ was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary.
            Image 8c: Aaron’s rod (Num. 17:8–9)

ll. 81–98: The Sibyl showed Augustus a golden circle in the sky containing a virgin with her child, and afterwards he refused to be worshipped as god.
            Image 8d: Augustus and the Sibyl

 

Chapter 9: Adoration of the Magi
ll. 3–8: The Magi saw a star and heard a voice commanding them to go to Judaea.
            Image 9b: The Magi kneel to contemplate a star containing an image of Christ (cf. Mt. 2:2)

ll. 9–10: The Magi brought their gifts to Christ.
            Image 9a: One of the Magi kneels before the Christ Child, the other two point to the star (Mt. 2:11)

ll. 11–40: The three valiant men entered Bethlehem to bring water to David, so the Magi went to Bethlehem to find the water of life. They were transported quickly from the East to Bethlehem, as Habacuc had been transported quickly by an angel from Judaea to Babylon.
            Image 9c: The three valiant men presenting the water from Bethlehem to David (2 Kings 23:16)

ll. 41–52: The Queen of Saba brought gifts to Solomon.

ll. 53–86: Solomon’s throne of ivory and gold, with six steps, twelve small and two large lions a round top supported by two hands, prefigures the Virgin Mary.
            Image 9d: The Queen of Saba coming before the enthroned Solomon (3 Kings 10:10, cf. 10:18–20)

ll. 87–98: Significance of the gifts of the Magi.

 

Chapter 10: Presentation of Christ in the Temple

ll. 3–10: After Christ’s birth Mary underwent the ceremony of purification, not because she had become impure but because she wanted to obey the Law in its fullness.
            Image 10a: Presentation in the Temple (Lc. 2:22–38)

ll. 11–56: Because of her fidelity, Mary is signified by the Ark of the Covenant, its parts and its contents: the tablets with the Ten Commandments, the rod of Aaron and the vessel of Manna.
            Image 10b: The Ark of the Covenant with its contents (Exod. 25:10–22, Exod. 37:1–9, Hebr. 9:4)

ll. 57–74: Mary is also signified by the Seven-branched Candlestick, which stands for the seven corporal works of mercy.
            Image 10c: The Seven-branched Candlestick (Exod. 25:31–40, Exod. 37:17–23)

ll. 75–84: Christ is the perfect candle, offered here by Mary, and for this reason candles are carried on Candlemas.

ll. 85–98: Anna and Elcana offered their son Samuel, who had been born miraculously, to God. This prefigures that Christ, who was born against the laws of nature from a virgin, was offered in the Temple to His own Father.
            Image 10d: Samuel brought to the Tabernacle (1 Kings 1:24)

 

Chapter 11: Fall of Idols during the Flight into Egypt

ll. 3–6: When the Holy Family entered into Egypt, all idols and statues fell down.
            Image 11a: Flight into Egypt with collapsing idols (cf. Mt 2:14)

ll. 7–20: Jeremias had prophesized to the Egyptians that one day a mother with a child would come to Egypt and then all idols would fall down – hence the Egyptians made and worshipped an image of a mother with her child.
            Image 11b: Statue of a mother and child between candlesticks (source not clear)

ll. 21–64: When the foundling Moses was brought to Pharao he grabbed Pharao’s crown decorated with an image of the god Hammon and broke it. Pharao wanted to kill him, but he touched hot coals and so convinced the Egyptians that he had no understanding yet. Like Christ, Moses was persecuted as infant by a pagan king, both destroyed idols, and both delivered their people.
            Image 11c: Moses touches the burning coals, with Pharao’s crown lying broken on the ground (Comestor on Exodus)

ll. 65–98: King Nabuchodonosor dreamt of a stone that destroyed a large statue made of different metals and became a large mountain – this signifies Christ who destroyed all idols of Egypt and later became a mountain filling the whole world.
            Image 11d: Nabuchodonosor’s dream of the statue (Dan. 2:1, cf. Dan. 2:29–27)

 

Chapter 12: Baptism of Christ

ll. 3–8: Christ chose to be baptized in order to hallow the water for the baptism of the Christians.
            Image 12a: Baptism of Christ (Mt. 3:16 etc.)

ll. 9–46: The Jewish priests had to wash themselves in the Molten Sea before entering the Temple – hence baptism, through water, martyrdom, or intention, is essential for entering heaven.
            Image 12b: Molten Sea (3 Kings 7:23–26)

ll. 47–62: Naaman, who bathed in the Jordan seven times and was cleansed of his leprosy, signifies that Baptism will cleanse from all seven mortal sins.
            Image 12c: Healing of Naaman (4 Kings 5:14)

ll. 63–98: The Israelites entered the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan, which dried when the Ark of the Covenant was placed into it – hence, one cannot enter heaven but through Baptism. The ark placed in the midst of the Jordan prefigures Christ’s baptism in this river.
            Image 12d: The Israelites carry the Ark across the Jordan (Jos. 3:14)

 

Chapter 13: Temptation of Christ


ll. 3–14: The Spirit took Christ to the desert – this means that Christ went to the desert, not that He was carried through the air.

ll. 15–38: Christ wanted to be tempted in order to teach men, because no-one can live without temptations, and one has to have mercy with those who succumb to them.
            Image 13a: The three Temptations of Christ (Mt. 4:3–10)

ll. 39–53: The first temptation was the temptation of gluttony that had been successful with Adam.

ll. 54–72: Christ vanquishing the first temptation was prefigured by Daniel who discovered that the priests of Bel were secretly eating the food sacrificed to the idol, and who killed a sacred dragon by feeding it with sulphur and pitch.
            Image 13b: Daniel poisons the dragon, with the idol of the eating Bel standing next to him (Dan. 14:1–27)

ll. 73–88: The second temptation was the temptation of pride. Christ vanquishing pride was prefigured by the humble shepherd David killing the arrogant Goliath.
            Image 13c: David cuts off the head of dead Goliath (1 Kings 17:51)

ll. 89–93. The third temptation was the temptation of avarice. Christ vanquishing avarice was prefigured by David killing the rapacious lion and bear to defend his flock.
            Image 13d: David kills a lion and a bear (1 Kings 17:34)

ll. 94–98: After the temptations Christ was ministered by angels.

 

Chapter 14: Mary Magdalene anointing Christ’s feet

ll. 3–20: After His Baptism and Temptation Christ began to teach that sinners can through repentance enter God’s kingdom, and He cleansed Mary Magdalene from  seven demons, thus the seven mortal sins.
            Image 14a: Mary Magdalene anointing Christ’s feet (Mt. 26:7 etc.)

ll. 21–50: King Manasses committed innumerable sins and murdered the prophets, and was eventually taken prisoner. When he repented, God had mercy and restored his kingdom to him, thus showing that God forgives repentant sinners.
            Image 14b: King Manasses as prisoner (2 Par. 33:11–12)

ll. 51–80: The prodigal son was forced by penury to return to his father – so God tries in different ways to bring the sinners to repentance.
            Image 14c: Return of the prodigal son (Lc. 15:20–24)

ll. 81–88: Nathan told the penitent David immediately that God had forgiven him, indicating that God forgives all repentant sinners.
            Image 14d: Nathan talks to King David (2 Kings 12:7–12)

ll. 89–98: List of Biblical figures whom God forgave their sins.

 

Chapter 15: Entry into Jerusalem


ll. 3–20: Christ wept over Jerusalem, as Jeremias had lamented over the city’s destruction. Christ shows that we must have pity for our enemies, if they suffer.
            Image 15b: Jeremias lamenting over Jerusalem (Lamentations passim)

ll. 21–28: David, the vanquisher of Goliath, entered Jerusalem in triumph, foreshadowing Christ, the vanquisher of the devil.
            Image 15c: Entry of David into Jerusalem (1 Kings 17:54)

ll. 29–52: The actions of the inhabitants of Jerusalem welcoming Christ signify the deeds marking a good Christian life.
            Image 15a: Entry into Jerusalem (Mt. 21:7–9 etc.)

ll. 53–74: Christ expelled the merchants from the Temple. This was prefigured by angels beating Heliodorus who had attempted to steal the Temple’s treasures.
            Image 15d: Punishment of Heliodorus (2 Mach. 3:24–27)

ll. 75–98: The merchants were punished by Christ as a warning against usury.

 

Chapter 16: Last Supper


ll. 3–6: Christ instituted the Eucharist as permanent memorial of His Passion.
            Image 16a: Last Supper (Mt. 26:20–35)

ll. 7–50: The Eucharist is prefigured, albeit very imperfectly, in the properties of the Manna collected by the Israelites.
            Image 16b: Gathering of Manna (Exod. 16:14–18)

ll. 51–70: The way in which the Passover meal is to be prepared and eaten prefigures how the faithful have to be disposed to receive Communion fruitfully.
            Image 16c: The Israelites with the Passover Lamb on a roasting-spit (Exod. 12:8–9)

ll. 71–98: Through sacrificing bread and wine, Melchisedech prefigures the matter of the Eucharist but also the dignity of the priesthood.
            Image 16d: Abraham kneels before Melchisedech, who holds bread and wine (Gen. 14:19)

 

Chapter 17: The Soldiers who came to arrest Christ fall to the Ground


ll. 3–14: Judas leaving to betray Christ is a contrast to Christ willingly going to His Passion.

ll. 15–31: The soldiers fall down as soon as Christ speaks to them, showing His power.
            Image 17a: The soldiers fall down before Christ (Jn. 18:6)

ll. 32–74: Christ could have inflicted on the soldiers punishments as God had inflicted on many figures in the Old Testament, but instead He allowed them to rise again and arrest Him.

ll. 75–78: Samson and Samgar killed many of their enemies.
            Image 17b: Samson kills his enemies with an ass’s jawbone (Jud. 15:15–16)
            Image 17c: Samgar kills his enemies with ploughshares (Jud. 3:31)

ll. 79–98: David, who killed eight hundred enemies, was likened to a woodworm, thus he prefigured Christ who was compared to a worm and not a man in the Passion and was killed on the wood of the cross.
            Image 17d: David kills his enemies (2 King 23:8)

 

Chapter 18: Betrayal of Christ


ll. 3–6: Judas betrayed Christ through a kiss.
            Image 18a: Judas kissing Christ (Mt. 26:49 etc.)

ll. 7–16: Judas’s kiss was prefigured by Joab embracing Amasa with one hand and stabbing him with the other.
            Image 18b: Joab embracing and stabbing Amasa (2 Kings 20:9–10)

ll. 17–60: Lament over the betrayal and the ungratefulness of Judas.

ll. 61–82: Saul trying to kill David to whom he owed thanks prefigures Judas and the Jews who plotted to kill Christ.
            Image 18c: Saul throwing a spear at David (1 Kings 19:9–10, cf. 1 Kings 18:11)

ll. 83–98: Cain luring Abel with sweet words to a lonely place and then killing him out of envy prefigures Judas and the Jews entrapping Christ with a kiss and then killing Him, likewise out of envy.
            Image 18d: Cain and Abel sacrificing, Cain killing Abel (Gen. 4:3–8)

 

Chapter 19: Buffeting of Christ


ll. 3–6: Christ healed the ear of Malchus.

ll. 7–24: Christ was questioned in the house of Annas and there beaten by Malchus.

ll. 25–34: Christ was questioned in the house of Caiphas, where it was decided that He deserved death.

ll. 35–54: In the house of Caiphas, Christ was blindfolded, beaten and spat on.
            Image 19a: Buffeting of Christ (Mt. 26:67–68 etc.)

ll. 55–64:The Jews mocking Christ were similar to the idolatrous Jews who drowned Hur with spittle because he refused to make the Golden Calf.
            Image 19b: Hur is drowned in spittle (Comestor on Exodus)

ll. 65–80: Noe was mocked by Ham, but this was done while he was sleeping and inside the tent, and his two other sons pitied him. In contrast, Christ was mocked in public, while He was awake, and no-one came to His succour.
            Image 19c: Noe sleeps drunken, exposing himself. Ham points to him, ridiculing him, whilst Sem and Japheth cover him with a cloak (Gen. 9:22–23)

ll. 81–98: Samson was blinded and mocked by the Philistines, but he took revenge by throwing down the building in which they feasted. This prefigures Christ who will punish His enemies at the Last Judgment.
            Image 19d: Samson is mocked and throws down the building (Jud. 16:29–30)

 

Chapter 20: Flagellation of Christ

ll. 3–42: Christ was sent to Pilate and then to Herod. Herod questioned Him and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate questioned Him again and found Him without guilt.

ll. 43–48: In order to please the Jews, Pilate commanded to have Christ scourged, the Pharisees bribed the soldiers so that He was beaten harder than usual.
            Image 20a: Flagellation of Christ by two soldiers (Jn. 19:1 etc.)

ll. 49–58: Achior, who was bound to the tree because he had refused to say what Holofernes wanted to hear, prefigures Christ, who was bound to the column and scourged because he had reproached the Pharisees.
            Image 20b: Binding of Achior (Judith 6:9)

ll. 59–66: Lamech beaten by his two wives prefigures Christ who was scourged by the gentiles with scourges and by the Jews with words.
            Image 20c: Lamech beaten by his wives (Gen. 4:23–24)

ll. 67–78: Job struck by the devil and berated by his wife prefigures Christ being scourged by the gentiles with scourges and by the Jews with words.
            Image 20d: Job on the dunghill beaten by the devil and berated by his wife (Job 2:7–9)

 

Chapter 21: Crowning with Thorns


ll. 3–7: The Jews made sure that Christ was scourged harder than usual.

ll. 8–32: The Jews then gave Christ mock royal insignia – crown of thorns, cloak and rod – and insulted Him.
            Image 21a: Crowning with thorns (Jn. 19:2 etc.)

ll. 33–56: The Jews mocked Christ despite all good things God had done to them.

ll. 57–70: Apamene took away the king’s crown and smacked him, but he still loved her. This prefigures Christ whom the Jews humiliated with the crown of thorns and with beating, but who still loved them in patience.
            Image 21b: Apamene takes the crown from the king (3 Esdr. 4:30)

ll. 71–82: David, who patiently suffered Semei insulting him and throwing stones at him and forbade Abisai to kill Semei, prefigures Christ’s patience towards the Jews.
            Image 21c: Semei throws stones at King David (2 Kings 16:6–13)

ll. 83–98: Hanon the king of the Ammonites cut the clothes and the beards of David’s messengers, who came to offer peace. This prefigures Christ, who came to make peace between God and Man, and who was stripped and dishonoured by the Jews.
            Image 21d: King Hanon has the beards and clothes of the messengers cut (2 Kings 10:4)

 

Chapter 22: Christ carrying the Cross


ll. 3–18: After the Flagellation, Pilate wanted to dismiss Christ, but the Jews demanded His death. Pilate then washed his hands and declared, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that Christ was a just man.

ll. 19–32: After a dream, Pilate’s wife warned him not to have Christ killed. This dream was inspired by the devil who tried to prevent Christ’s Passion.

ll. 33–44: Afterwards, Christ was forced to carry the Cross, which was thus transformed from a sign of ignominy to a sign of salvation.
            Image 22a: Christ carrying the cross, accompanied by soldiers (Jn 19:17)

ll. 45–53: Isaac carried the wood to Moria, this prefigures Christ carrying the Cross. However, Isaac was saved by an angel, whereas Christ willed to die.
            Image 22b: Abraham and Isaac go up to Moria (Gen. 22:6–8)

ll. 54–66: Christ willed to become incarnate and to die in order to save man.

ll. 67–90: In the parable, the tenants of the vineyard killed the servants of the owner and at the end drove the owner’s son out and killed him. This signifies the Jews who lived in Jerusalem and killed the prophets, and eventually drove Christ out of Jerusalem and killed him.
            Image 22c: The son of the owner killed outside the vineyard (Mt. 21:38–39 etc.)

ll. 91–98: The two spies carrying the giant grape out of the promised land signify the Jews and the Gentiles who together brought Christ to Golgotha.
            Image 22d: The two spies with the grape (Num. 13:24)

 

Chapter 23: Christ nailed to the Cross


ll. 3–30: After Christ had carried the cross to Golgotha with the help of Simon of Cyrene, He was given vinegar and gall, and was stripped and nailed to the Cross, whilst He was praying for His persecutors.
            Image 23a: Christ is nailed to and stretched out on the Cross (Jn 19:19 etc.)

ll. 31–58: Whilst Tubal-Cain, the inventor of metalwork, was hammering, Jubal, the inventor of music, was inspired by this sound to a beautiful song. This prefigures Christ who prayed sweetly whilst being nailed to the Cross. Furthermore, Tubal-Cain stands for the Jews because they had invented nailing instead of binding someone to the cross.
            Image 23b: Tubalcain and an assistant are hammering, whilst Jubal is playing the harp in the background (Comestor on Genesis)

ll. 59–76: The Jews cut Isaias in two with a wooden saw. This prefigures that they separated Christ’s soul from His body – but they failed to separate His divinity from either.
            Image 23c: Isaias being sawn in two (Comestor on Isaias)

ll. 77–98: The king of Moab killed his son to end the siege of his city. This prefigures the Father giving Christ to death in order to end the siege of the demons against the world.
            Image 23d: The king of Moab beheads his son on the city wall (4 Kings 3:27)

 

Chapter 24: Crucifixion


            Image 24a: Christ on the Cross, with Mary, John, and the two thieves

ll. 3–58: Nabuchodonosor had a dream of a tree that was cut down, which predicted his temporary downfall into madness. Both the episodes of the dream and of Nabuchodonosor’s madness prefigure aspects of Christ’s crucifixion.
            Image 24b: Nabuchodonosor dreams of a large tree housing all animals and birds of the earth, which is cut down at the command of an angel (Dan. 4:10–14)

ll. 59–86: King Codrus of Athens was told by an oracle that the siege of Athens would only be broken after if he were killed by the enemies, so he sought death in battle disguised as a common soldier. This prefigures Christ who disguised Himself as man and allowed Himself to be killed in order to free man from the siege of demons.
            Image 24c: Codrus as king between two soldiers, and Codrus in disguise being killed by two soldiers

ll. 87–98: Eleazar died when he killed a war elephant by stabbing it from beneath – similarly Christ killed death by dying.
            Image 24d: Eleazar stabs the war elephant from beneath (1 Mach. 6:46)

 

Chapter 25: The dead Christ mocked and pierced with a Lance

ll. 3–4: Having killed Christ, the Jews also mocked His dead body.
            Image 25a: Christ’s side pierced with a lance, at the left and right men holding banderoles with text (Jn. 19:34–35)

ll. 5–26: Michol mocked David when he played the harp walking before the Ark of the Covenant. This prefigures Synagogue mocking Christ, who was stretched out on the Cross like the string of a harp and produced wonderful melodies through His last words.
            Image 25b: Michol watching David play the harp and then reproaching him (2 Kings 6:16 and 6:21–23)

ll. 27–40: Absalom, who had been already pierced with three lances, was nevertheless also wounded with a sword. So Christ who was already suffering of three pains – the wounds of the Passion, seeing the sorrows of His mother, and knowing that despite everything some sinners would not repent and go to hell – was still wounded by the Jews with the sword of their mouths, thus with their insults.
            Image 25c: Absalom, who is hanging from the tree by his hair and wounded with lances, is attacked with swords (2 Kings 18:15)

ll. 41–52: Evil-Merodach cut the dead body of his father Nabuchodonosor in 300 parts – in a similar way the Christians crucify Christ again through their sins.
            Image 25d: Evil-Merodach divides the body of his father Nabuchodonosor in 300 parts and feeds them to birds (Comestor on Daniel)

ll. 53–98: List that parallels different sins with the stations of the Passion.

 

Chapter 26: Mary’s Sorrow over Christ’s Death

ll. 3–6: When Mary witnessed Christ’s Passion, Simeon’s prophecy of a sword piercing her soul became true.

ll. 7–42: Jacob wept when he was given the bloodied coat of Joseph, one of his twelve sons, and was told that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast. Mary’s sorrow was even greater when she saw the lacerated body of her only son.
            Image 26b: Jacob sees the bloody coat of Joseph and tears his clothes (Gen. 37:32–35)

ll. 43–56: Adam and Eve mourned for Abel one hundred years, but, had Christ been dead for a hundred thousand years, Mary would never have stopped mourning.
            Image 26c: Adam and Eve hold the body of the dead Abel (Comestor on Genesis)

ll. 57–66: Mary received the dead body of Christ into her arms, like the bundle of Myrrh mentioned in the Song of Songs (Cant. 1:12).
            Image 26a: Descent from the Cross (Mt. 27:59 etc.)

ll. 67–98: The bitterness of the bundle of Myrrh is prefigured by Noemi who wanted to be called Mara, the bitter, after the death of her sons. Like Noemi, Mary mourned for two sons: Christ, her bodily son, and all mankind as her adopted son. She mourned for both because she saw Christ dying and knew that without Christ’s death all mankind would go to hell.
            Image 26d: Noemi, flanked by Ophra and Ruth, mourning (Ruth 1:5)

 

Chapter 27: Entombment of Christ

ll. 3–4: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped Christ’s body into a shroud and buried him.

ll. 5–32: Mary attended the entombment, mourning and caressing the limbs of her dead son.
            Image 27a: Christ’s body is placed into the sepulchre and caressed by Mary (Mt. 27:59–60 etc.)

ll. 33–46: After Abner had been treacherously murdered, David followed his bier and commanded everyone to mourn since the great leader of Israel had been killed – this prefigures Mary who could have exhorted all world to mourn.
            Image 27b: King David follows the bier of Abner (2 Kings 3:31–38)

ll. 47–66: Indeed, all nature mourned the death of Christ, the Athenian philosophers watched the eclipse and then constructed the altar to the unknown god.

ll. 67–92: The sons of Jacob threw Joseph into the cistern and sold him, but were later redeemed by him and worshipped him. This prefigures the death and burial of Christ because of the envy of the Jews, but many Jews later believed in Him.
            Image 27c: Joseph is lowered into the cistern by two of his brothers (Gen. 37:23–24)

ll. 93–98: Jonas was thrown into the sea and remained three days and nights in the belly of the sea-monster. This prefigures Christ resting for three days in the sepulchre.
            Image 27d: Jonas is thrown overboard, into the mouth of the sea-monster (Jon. 1:15 and 2:1)

 

Chapter 28: Christ entering Limbo

ll. 3–4: Immediately after His death, Christ descended into hell.

ll. 5–38: Hell contains four regions: into three of them, the hell of the damned, the limbus puerorum, and Purgatory, Christ did not descend.

ll. 39–62: The fourth region is the limbus patrum. Here, Christ entered, bringing with Him heavenly joy, and was greeted by its inhabitants.
            Image 28a: The four regions of Hell, with Christ in the top region, the limbus patrum

ll. 63–72: Christ entering the limbus patrum and bringing relief and joy to the fathers was prefigured by the angel bringing a cooling wind to the Three Hebrews in the fiery furnace.
            Image 28b: The angel protecting the Three Hebrews in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:49–50)

ll. 73–88: Daniel was thrown into the den to be devoured by seven lions but protected by God and fed by Habacuc. Thus, he prefigures the fathers who were in limbo protected by God from the demons attacking man through the seven mortal sins and finally nourished by Christ’s arrival.
            Image 28c: Daniel in the lions’ den, with Habacuc and the angel (Dan. 14:35–38)

ll. 89–98: King Solomon kept the chick of an ostrich in a glass vessel, the ostrich liberated it by catching a worm and squeezing it so that its blood would dissolve the glass. This prefigures Christ who delivered man through the blood squeezed out of Himself on the Cross.
            Image 28d: The ostrich squeezing the worm above the vessel containing the ostrich chick (Comestor on 3 Kings)

 

Chapter 29: Christ vanquishing the devil in Limbo through His Passion

ll. 3–12: Before Christ’s arrival no-one could have broken into hell, the devil’s realm, but Christ entered and vanquished him.
            Image 29a: Christ tramples the devil, hitting him with a cross and a flag

ll. 13–24: Banaias went into a cistern and there killed a lion with his stick, so Christ went into limbo and there vanquished the devil with the cross, which He then gave us as a stick to ward off demons.
            Image 29b: Banaias kills the lion with his staff (2 Kings 23:20)

ll. 25–48: The cross was an instrument of damnation and death, it has become the instrument of redemption.

ll. 49–66: Samson went to wed a Philistine woman who would betray him, and on the way to her he killed a lion. This prefigures Christ who became espoused to the Jews who would betray him and vanquished the devil.
            Image 29c: Samson tears the lion in two parts (Jud. 14:5–6)

ll. 67–98: Aod (Ehud) killed the stout King Eglon with his left hand, this prefigures Christ vanquishing the devil who had devoured all mankind.
            Image 29d: Aod stabs King Eglon with his left hand (Jud. 3:17–22)

 

Chapter 30: Mary vanquishing the devil through her compassion with Christ

ll. 3–16: Mary suffered everything together with Christ and armed herself with the instruments of the Passion against the devil.
            Image 30a: Mary, holding the instruments of the Passion, tramples the devil

ll. 17–76: Judith put on garments of gladness in order to seduce and kill Holofernes, so Mary put on the clothes Christ wore during His Passion and carried the bundle of Myrrh (cf. Cant. 1:12) that contained all instruments and episodes of the Passion like a shield before her.
            Image 30b: Judith beheads the sleeping Holofernes (Judith 13:10)

ll. 77–84: Jael killed Sisera with a nail, so Mary vanquished the devil with the nails of the cross.
            Image 30c: Jael drives a nail into the head of the sleeping Sisera (Jud. 4:21)

ll. 85–98: Tomyris put the head of the bloodthirsty Cyrus into a barrel of blood. This prefigures Mary throwing Satan into eternal damnation, which he had prepared for all men.
            Image 30d: Tomyris, having beheaded Cyrus, places his head in a barrel of blood

 

Chapter 31: Christ delivering the Fathers from Limbo

ll. 3–22: Christ’s soul entered limbo immediately after His death to comfort the fathers, and so also we are obliged to help the souls in Purgatory through prayer and masses.

ll. 23–24: However, Christ only delivered the fathers on Midnight of the third day, when He rose from the dead.
            Image 31a: Christ leads the fathers out of limbo (shown as a castle)

ll. 25–54: The prison of limbo was similar to the captivity of the Jews in Egypt. The individual episodes of their liberation prefigures episodes of Christ’s incarnation and Passion, so the slaughter of the Passover lamb His own death.
            Image 31b: Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt (shown as a castle, Exod. 12:51)

ll. 55–64: God delivered Abraham out of the fire into which the Chaldeans had thrown him, this prefigures Christ delivering the fathers from hell.
            Image 31c: God pulls Abraham out of the fire (Comestor on Genesis)

ll. 65–98: God delivered Lot from Sodom but the sinners in this city were burnt. This prefigures that only the good fathers were delivered from limbo, whilst the damned will eternally burn in hell. The command that Lot should walk up the mountains without looking back indicates the life of penance necessary to avoid hell, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt represents those who relapse into their sins.
            Image 31d: Lot, admonished by an angel, leaves Sodom with his daughters, whilst his wife is turned into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:17, 26)

 

Chapter 32: Resurrection

ll. 3–18: Description of the structure of the Holy Sepulchre.

ll. 19–24: The Jews had sealed the sepulchre and set a guard outside.

ll. 25–36: Christ resurrected and left the sepulchre, and only afterwards an angel came from heaven to remove the stone. The soldiers told this the Jews but were bribed to lie that Christ’s body had been stolen.
            Image 32a: Christ steps out of the sepulchre

ll. 37–47: Samson went into the city of his enemies, woke up at midnight and walked away, taking the doors of the city gate with him. This prefigures Christ who entered limbo, rose at midnight and then destroyed hell.
            Image 32b: Samson removing the doors of the gate of Gaza (Jud. 16:3)

ll. 48–56: At Christ’s death, many tombs were opened, but the dead only resurrected from them after Christ’s resurrection, and they eventually ascended together with Him.

ll. 57–70: Jonas who was on a ship, thrown overboard and eaten by the sea-monster prefigures Christ who lived on this stormy world, willingly suffered death and rose again.
            Image 32c: Jonas disgorged by the sea-monster (Jon. 2:11)

ll. 71–98: When Solomon’s Temple was built, one stone did not fit anywhere and was thus rejected. However, when at the end a cornerstone was needed to join two walls together, only this stone fitted. This prefigures Christ who was rejected at the Passion and then became the cornerstone joining Jews and Gentiles into the one church.
            Image 32d: Insertion of the corner-stone into the Temple (Ps. 117:22 Vulgate)

 

Chapter 33: Ascension

ll. 3–10: Forty days after the Resurrection, Christ ascended into heaven.
            Image 33a: Christ ascending into heaven (Acts 1:9–11)

ll. 11–26: Jacob saw a ladder reaching into heaven and angels descending and ascending on it. This prefigures Christ who descended to earth and then ascended again and so reconnected heaven and earth.
            Image 33b: Jacob dreams of the ladder (Gen. 28:11–22)

ll. 27–64: In a parable, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep to find the one lost sheep. Similarly Christ left the nine choir of angels and became incarnate to restore man, who had been lost, carrying him with the cross on His shoulders – therefore, there will be rejoicing in heaven for every man who truly repents.
            Image 33c: Christ brings the lost sheep back, with rejoicing angels (Lc. 15:4–6, cf. Lc. 15:7)

ll. 65–76: Elias preached against the idolaters, was persecuted, and deserved to be carried up into heaven – Christ deserved even more to be exalted to the highest place of heaven.
            Image 33d: Elias in the Chariot of Fire, throwing his cloak down to Eliseus (4 Kings 2:12–13)

ll. 77–98: All earthly tribulations will be nothing compared to the joys of heaven the faithful can expect.

 

Chapter 34: Pentecost

ll. 3–42: Christ had promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles before the Passion.

ll. 43–70: After the Ascension the Apostles stayed together until tongues of fire appeared, then Peter started preaching.
            Image 34a: Christ sends the Holy Spirit to Mary and the Apostles (Acts 2:1–4)

ll. 71–80: During the building of the Tower of Babel the languages of the peoples were confused, this was necessary for the miracle of Pentecost to happen. As God confused the builders of the tower through the division of languages, He confused the Jews through Peter being understood by everyone.
            Image 34b: Building of the Tower of Babel with God in a cloud (Gen. 11:1–4)

ll. 81–86: The Jews received the Law fifty days after the liberation from Egypt, so the Christians received the Holy Spirit fifty days after the liberation from hell.
            Image 34c: God giving the Ten Commandments (as ten scrolls) to the Israelites (cf. Exod. 24:12)

ll. 87–98: Through the prayers of Elias the oil of the widow never ran out. This prefigures that the Church, widowed since the Ascension, received never-ending abundance of the Holy Spirit.
            Image 34d: Elias and the widow pour oil from one jar into many (3 Kings 15–16)

 

Chapter 35: Mary remains on Earth, yearning to meet Christ again

ll. 3–38: After the Ascension Mary remained in Jerusalem, visiting all places of Christ’s life and Passion and mourning about His absence.
            Image 35a: Mary surrounded by objects hinting at events of Christ’s life

ll. 39–50: Anna, the wife of the old Tobias, was mourning and walking about restlessly after the young Tobias had embarked on his journey. In a similar way, Mary mourned and visited incessantly the places where Christ had lived.
            Image 35b: The old Tobias and Anna mourning whilst the young Tobias is walking away with Raphael (Tob. 5:22–28)

ll. 51–76: The woman who had lost one of her ten groats and lit a lamp to find it stands for Mary who had still the company of the nine choirs of angels but had lost Christ in His human nature. In a similar way, Christians must revisit in spirit the earthly life of Christ and light the lamp of a holy life.
            Image 35c: Woman holding the lamp, surrounded by the remaining nine groats (Lc. 15:8–10)

ll. 77–98: Michol, the wife of David, was saddened when Saul took her away from David and married her to Phalti, and she rejoiced when she was restored to David. This prefigures Mary who was saddened about the separation from Christ, her bridegroom, and rejoiced about being reunited with Him after her Assumption.
            Image 35d: Saul marries Phalti to Michol, who looks away in sadness (1 Kings 25:44)

 

Chapter 36: Dormition, Assumption and Coronation of Mary

ll. 3–18: It is unclear for how long Mary lived after Christ’s Ascension, but her time was filled with longing for her Son.

ll. 19–30: Christ left Mary on earth for so long so that she could comfort the apostles, and to give an example that one has to enter heaven through earthly tribulations.

ll. 31–32: After long exile, Mary was assumed into heaven.
            Image 36a: Coronation of the Virgin

ll. 33–68: David had brought the Ark of the Covenant, which was made of incorruptible wood and contained Manna, with rejoicing to his house. This prefigures Mary, who had born the bread of life and whose body did not see corruption (although she did die), being welcomed in heaven by her Son.
            Image 36b: David walks playing the harp before the Ark of the Covenant (2 Kings 6:16)

ll. 69–88: The Assumption of Mary was signified by the Apocalyptic Woman seen by John: the sun stands for Christ’s divinity, the moon under the feet for the changeable world left behind, the twelve stars for the Apostles present at Mary’s death, the wings for the Assumption.
            Image 36c: The Apocalyptic Woman (Rev. 12:1)

ll. 89–98: Solomon placed Bethsabee on a thrown at his right side and promised not to deny her any request. This prefigures Christ placing Mary at His right side and promising help to all who ask for her intercession.
            Image 36d: Bethsabee seated at Solomon’s right side (3 Kings 2:19)

 

Chapter 37: Mary interceding for the Sinners

ll. 3–34: Mankind is corrupted by Pride, envy and lust.

ll. 35–50: St Dominic dreamt that God wanted to throw three lances against the sinful word, Mary begged Him to stop and presented two champions to convert mankind, SS Francis and Dominic.
            Image 37a: Mary presents SS Francis and Dominic to Christ, who appears in the clouds holding three lances

ll. 51–68: Through his foolishness Nabal contracted David’s enmity, but Abigail reconciled him. So Mary tempers God’s wrath about our foolishness.
            Image 37b: Abigail kneels before David and his troops (1 Kings 25:23–31)

ll. 69–82: The woman of Thecua reconciled Absalom, who had killed his brother, with his father David. This means that Mary can also reconcile those who have voluntarily committed mortal sin.
            Image 37c: The woman from Thecua before King David (2 Kings 14:22)

ll. 83–98: When Joab besieged Abela, the city of David’s enemy Seba, a wise woman cut off Seba’s head and threw it over the wall, thus ending the siege. This prefigures Mary who allows man to cut off his pride and to regain Christ’s grace.
            Image 37d: The woman stands on the wall of besieged Abela, holding Seba’s head (2 Kings 2:22)

 

Chapter 38: Mary protecting the Faithful under her Cloak

ll. 3–4: Mary defends the faithful from the wrath of God, the attacks of the devil, and the temptation of the world.
            Image 38a: Mary protecting the faithful under her cloak

ll. 5–30: When Moses besieged Saba, he fell in love with Tarbis, the king’s daughter, married her and broke off the siege. So God, who had besieged the world for thousands of years, finally saw Mary who tempered His wrath.
            Image 38b: Moses coming to the walls of Saba and seeing there the king and his daughter Tarbis (Comestor on Exodus)

ll. 31–52: List of temptations of the devil with examples from the Old Testament.

ll. 53–68: When King Abimelech attacked the tower into which the inhabitants of Thebes had fled, a woman threw down a stone that crushed his head. Abimelech then asked his armour-bearer to stab him so that he would not be killed by a woman. So Mary defends the faithful who seek refuge in the Church against the attacks of the devil.
            Image 38c: Abimelech collapses in front of the tower, with his squire preparing to kill him and the woman atop still holding the stone (Jud. 9:50–54)

ll. 69–86: List of temptations of the world with examples from the Old Testament.

ll. 87–98: Michol, the daughter of Saul, let her husband David escape through the window when Saul wanted to kill him. This prefigures Mary protecting those who love her from all temptations of the world.
            Image 38d: Michol talks to Saul’s soldiers whilst David is escaping in a basket (1 Kings 19:12)

 

Chapter 39: Christ and Mary interceding for the Faithful

This chapter is unusual because it has not one principal image with three Figurae explaining it, but rather two pairs of principal image and Figura.

ll. 5–8: Christ intercedes for man with the Father, showing His wounds.
            Image 39a: Christ standing before the Father presenting His wounds

ll. 9–66: When Antipater was accused of being disloyal and cowardly he showed Caesar the scars he had received in battle, proving his loyalty and valour. This signifies Christ who was knighted through His Passion, when He carried the instruments of the Passion as armour, and presents His wounds to the Father, interceding for man.
            Image 39b: Antipater kneeling half-naked before Caesar

ll. 67–82: The Virgin Mary intercedes with Christ, presenting her breasts. Thus she complements Christ, the true Antipater, as the true Antifilia.
            Image 39c: Mary standing before Christ presenting her breasts

ll. 83–98: Assuerus made Esther queen, so God made Mary Queen of Heaven and gave her half of His kingdom, He rules with justice, she with mercy.
            Image 39d: Esther standing before the enthroned Ahasver (As the tituli indicate, this refers to Esther interceding for the Jews rather than her being made queen, the event described in the text, Esth. 5:1–2).

 

Chapter 40: Last Judgment

ll. 3–24: The parable of the pounds shows that Christ expects from everyone good works.
            Image 40b: The King praises the two servants who had multiplied the pounds given to them. The third servant, who had hidden his pounds, is lying bound on the ground (Lc. 19:15–26)

ll. 25–50: At the Last Judgment, Christ’s wounds, the Four Elements and the Guardian Angel will accuse the sinners, and even the intercession of Mary will not soften Christ’s judgment.
            Image 40a: Christ as judge, flanked by the instruments of the Passion. At His feet the blessed, beneath the damned (Mt. 25:31–45)

ll. 51–74: The parable of the wise and foolish virgins, in which the wise virgins refuse to share their oil with the foolish virgins, shows that even the saints will have no mercy for the condemned sinners.
            Image 40c: In the upper register the wise virgins with burning lamps, in the lower register the foolish virgins with extinguished lamps (Mt. 25:1–11)

ll. 75–98: The writing on the wall that appeared to King Balthasar spoke about measuring, numbering, and dividing. This prefigures that God will measure and count the good and bad deeds of everyone and then divide the damned from His company.
            Image 40d: Daniel stands before Balthasar, explaining the writing on the wall (Dan. 5:17–28)

 

Chapter 41: Hell

ll. 3–42: At the Last Judgment, body and soul will be re-united, and both will sent to eternal bliss or eternal punishment. The bodies of the sinners will be resurrected in an abhorrent and deformed way, the bodies of the just will shine.

ll. 43–78: The punishment of hell cannot be compared to all the suffering of the martyrs (some of whom are listed) because it is everlasting.
            Image 41a: A devil and several of the damned in cauldrons

ll. 79–84: The punishments of hell were prefigured in David’s punishment of the inhabitants of Rabbath, whom he had sawn into two, dismembered or run over with carts.
            Image 41b: Several men are sawed into two halves, mutilated or driven over with ploughs (2 Kings 12:31)

ll. 85–94: Gideon punished the men of Soccoth, who had derided him, with thorns and briars, thus Christ punishes the sinners who deride Him with their deeds.
            Image 41c: Several men are suspended upside-down and beaten with rods (Jud. 8:16)

ll. 95–98: Pharao and all Egyptians were closed in together by the Red Sea, so all devils and sinners are closed in together with Lucifer.
            Image 41d: Pharao and his army are drowned in the Red Sea (Exod. 14:28)

 

Chapter 42: Heaven

ll. 3–34: Description of the joys of heaven.

ll. 35–66: Comparison of the joys of heaven with the greatest earthly bliss.
            Image 42a: The saints adoring Christ in heaven

ll. 67–80: The Queen of Saba came to see Solomon and realized that his riches by far outshone what was spoken about them – this shows that the glory of heaven is beyond any human understanding. All nations wanted to see Solomon’s face, so all joy of heaven consists in seeing Christ’s face.
            Image 42b: The Queen of Saba before Solomon (3 Kings 10:6–7)

ll. 81–88: The feast of Assuerus, to which all his subjects were invited and which lasted hundred and eighty days, prefigures the heavenly banquet that will last forever.
            Image 42c: Feast of Assuerus with minstrels (Esth. 1:3–4)

ll. 89–98: In the feast of the children of Job, his seven sons stand for the saints of the Seven Ages of the World, the three daughters for the three times three choirs of angels, all of whom will enjoy the bliss of heaven.
            Image 42d: Feast of the children of Job (Job 1:4)

 

The last three chapters of the book have no typological structure, each has an introductory image showing a vision and then seven narrative scenes.

 

Chapter 43: The Hours of the Passion

ll. 5–8: In order to gain heaven, one has to serve God in the way most pleasing to Him.

ll. 9–26: A man who asked how he could serve God best had a vision of Christ carrying a cross, who admonished him to follow closely His Passion.
            Image 43a: Christ, carrying the cross, stands before the man’s cell

ll. 27–52: Vesper: Washing of the apostles’ feet with a prayer for humility, Last Supper.
            Image 43b: Last Supper

ll. 53–78: Compline: Christ was sweating blood in Gethsemane, was betrayed, arrested, questioned by Annas, and beaten.
            Image 43c: Agony in the Garden and Kiss of Judas

ll. 79–104: Mattins: Christ was questioned and beaten in the house of Caiphas.
            Image 43d: Christ before Caiphas

ll. 105–130: Prime: Christ was led from Caiphas to Pilate, then to Herod, and then back to Pilate.
            Image 43e: Christ before Herod (or Pilate)

ll. 131–156: Terce: Flagellation and Crowning with thorns.
            Image 43f: Flagellation and Crowning with Thorns

ll. 157–182: Sext: Pilate washing his hands, Carrying of the Cross and Nailing to the Cross.
            Image 43g: Pilate washes his hands and Christ takes the Cross

ll. 193–206: None: Christ dies, He is still mocked by the Jews and His side is pierced (with a prayer to serve God well in order to be accepted into heaven).
            Image 43h: Christ on the Cross

 

Chapter 44: The Seven Sorrows of Mary

ll. 5–26: A Dominican asked to share in Christ’s suffering and had a vision of being having his hands and feet pierced with nails, then he asked to share Mary’s suffering and had a vision of a sword piercing his heart.
            Image 44a: A Dominican with nails in his hands and feet anda sword in his heart

ll. 27–52: First Sorrow: Prophecy of Simeon.
            Image 44b: Presentation in the Temple

ll. 53–78: Second Sorrow: Flight into Egypt.
            Image 44c: Joseph’s dream, and Mary and the Child on a donkey led by Joseph

ll. 79–104: Third Sorrow: The twelve-year old Christ lost in the Temple.
            Image 44d: Christ discusses with the scribes, whilst Mary and Joseph stand outside

ll. 105–130: Fourth Sorrow: Mary learns that Christ was betrayed and questioned.
            Image 44e: Judas kissing Christ, and John speaking to Mary

ll. 131–156: Fifth Sorrow: Christ’s Crucifixion.
            Image 44f: Christ on the Cross, flanked by Mary (with a sword in her breast) and John

ll. 157–182: Sixth Sorrow: Mary receives the dead Christ after the Crucifixion
            Image 44g: Mary caresses the dead Christ when He is laid into the sepulchre

ll. 183–208:  Seventh Sorrow: Mary left behind on earth after the Ascension, yearning to see Christ again, and visiting the stations of His life.
            Image 44h: Mary surrounded by objects hinting at events of Christ’s life

 

Chapter 45: The Seven Joys of Mary

ll. 5–26: A priest who used to contemplate the Joys of Mary saw his end coming and feared for the salvation of his soul. Then Mary appeared to him, told him that she had enjoyed his devotions, and promised to lead him to everlasting joy.
            Image 45a: Mary, assisted by two angels, appears at the sickbed of a priest

ll. 27–52: First Joy: Annunciation – Mary is like the Ark of the Covenant or the Rod of Aaron.
            Image 45b: The Annunciation

l. 53–78 Second Joy: Visitation – Mary is like the Burning Bush and like Abisag.
            Image 45c: Mary and Elizabeth embracing each other

ll. 79–104: Third Joy: Nativity – Mary is like the Gate of Ezechiel and the Mountain in Nabuchodonosor’s vision from which the stone is cut without hands.
            Image 45d: Mary and Joseph hold the Christ Child

ll. 105–130: Fourth Joy: Adoration of the Magi – Mary is like the throne of Solomon.
            Image 45e: The Magi pointing to the star and kneeling before Christ

ll. 131–156: Fifth Joy: Presentation in the Temple.
            Image 45f: Mary and Simeon holding the Christ Child, beneath Joseph and Anna, all four holding candles

ll. 157–182: Sixth Joy: Finding of Christ in the Temple – Mary is linked to the Virgin who caught the unicorn as well as to tamers of wild beasts.
            Image 45g: Christ flanked by two scribes as well as Mary and Joseph

ll. 183–207: Seventh Joy: Coronation of Mary – Mary is like a well becoming a great river, like Esther, Abigail and Bethsabee.
            Image 45h: Christ crowning Mary