That the Whole Nation May Not Perish


Let our Bridegroom ascend the wood of his bridal chamber; let our Bridegroom ascend the wood of his marriage bed. Let him sleep by dying. Let his side be opened, and let the virgin Church come forth. Just as when Eve was made from the side of a sleeping Adam, so the Church was formed from the side of Christ, hanging on the cross. For his side was pierced, as the Gospel says, and immediately there flowed out blood and water, which are the twin sacraments of the Church: the water, which became her bath; the blood, which became her dowry. In this blood the holy martyrs, friends of the Bridegroom, washed their robes, made them white, came as invited guests to the marriage of the Lamb (Rv 22:14), took the cup from the Bridegroom, drank, and gave their pledge to him. They drank the blood of him for whom they poured out their blood….


Rejoice, rejoice, bridal Church, for had not these things happened to Christ, you would not have been formed from him. Sold, he redeemed you; killed, he loved you: and since he loved you so much, he chose to die for you. Oh the great mystery of this marriage! How great the mystery of this Bridegroom and bride! Human words are not up to explaining it. From the Bridegroom, the bride is born. As she is being born, she is immediately united to him. At the very moment her spouse dies, the bride marries him…. At the moment he is raised above the heavens, she is made fruitful throughout the whole earth.



Saint Quodvultdeus († c. 450) was a bishop and Church Father who suffered exile after the Vandals captured Carthage in 439. His name means “what God wills.” / From Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation: Quodvultdeus of Carthage: The Creedal Homilies: Conversion in Fifth-Century North Africa. Translation and Commentary by Thomas Macy Finn. Copyright © 2004 by Thomas Macy Finn. Published by the Newman Press, an imprint of Paulist Press, Inc. New York/Mahwah, NJ. www.paulistpress.com. Used with permission.

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