Sunday, April 5, 2015
Who was the First Person Christ Appeared to After His Resurrection?

Who was the first person the Risen Christ appeared to? His Mother!

No less than six doctors of the Church, including Sts. Ambrose (c. 340-97), Anselm (1033-1109), and Albert the Great (c. 1206-80) held that Our Lady was the first witness of the Resurrection. Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58) declared that this fact is “based on the tradition proclaimed by ancient architectural and liturgical monuments, starting from Jerusalem itself.”

This acknowledgment, Fr. Hardon contends, finds further expression in the famous Spiritual Exercises of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). The Spanish priest simply assumes that Jesus appeared in body and soul to His Blessed Mother immediately after rising from the dead. In fact, St. Ignatius makes this Marian mystery the first of 14 meditations on the risen life of Christ. It is the key meditation that introduces the capstone of the spiritual exercises, the “contemplation for obtaining divine love.”

Such an apparition is mentioned in the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich as well.

While the first recorded person that our Lord appeared to was St. Mary Magdalene, the Scriptures do not say that St. Mary Magdalen was the first person to see the Risen Lord. There is nothing contrary to Scripture to believe He first appeared to His Mother and such a mystical apparition was not mentioned in the Scriptures. After all, St. John clearly wrote that not all events concerning our Lord were written in the Gospels or else "if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25).

Such a truth is further expressed by the great Liturgist and scholar, Dom Gueranger, in his "Liturgical Year" work: "Meanwhile, our risen Jesus, seen by no other mortal eye, has sped to his most holy Mother. He is the Son of God; he is the vanquisher of death; but he is likewise the Son of Mary. She stood near him to the last, uniting the sacrifice of her mother’s heart with that he made upon the Cross; it is just, therefore, that she should be the first to partake of the joy of his Resurrection. The Gospel does not relate the apparition thus made by Jesus to his Mother, whereas all the others are fully described. It is not difficult to assign the reason. The other apparitions were intended as proofs of the Resurrection; this to Mary was dictated by the tender love borne to her by her Son. Both nature and grace required that his first visit should be to such a Mother, and Christian hearts dwell with delight on the meditation of the mystery. There was no need of its being mentioned in the Gospel; the tradition of the holy Fathers, beginning with St Ambrose, bears sufficient testimony to it; and even had they been silent, our hearts would have told it us. And why was it that our Saviour rose from the tomb so early on the day he had fixed for his Resurrection? It was because his filial love was impatient to satisfy the vehement longings of his dearest and most afflicted Mother. Such is the teaching of many pious and learned writers; and who that knows aught of Jesus and Mary could refuse to accept it?"

A blessed Easter to all!  Christ is Risen from the dead!  Alleluia!

3 comment(s):

del_button February 4, 2019 at 4:50 PM
Anonymous said...

Who is the author of the beautiful painting showing the meeting of christ with his mother ?

del_button February 4, 2019 at 5:56 PM
Matthew said...

Image Source: Picture with risen Christ and Madonna, with angels and saints, Italy Renaissance, seventeenth century

del_button February 5, 2019 at 5:14 AM
Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. God bless you.

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