Paradiso Canto XXXI

Paradiso 31

In form, then, of a luminous white rose
I saw the saintly soldiery that Christ,
with His own blood, took as His bride;

vv. 1-3

The Rose of Paradise.—St. Bernard.—Prayer to Beatrice.—The glory of the Blessed Virgin.

Dante continues to take in the supernatural beauties of the Empyrean. As he gazes upon the concentric tiers of saints, he notices angels whizzing back and forth like bees within the “great flower” of God’s splendor. Overcome with awe, he reflects on the difference between Heaven’s peaceful kingdom and the strife and corruption of his home city of Florence. Turning around to ask Beatrice a question, he meets instead with “an elder, robed … in glory.” This is Bernard, a saint who will guide Dante through the last few moments of his journey. Beatrice, meanwhile, has taken her seat among the choirs of the blessed. Dante sees her and spontaneously offers up a lyrical prayer of thanksgiving for all she has done. Beatrice, he now acknowledges, has freed him, starting from Inferno, from his own sinful ways and given him a new chance at salvation. He promises not to squander this gift, but to rejoin her someday in Heaven. Bernard now directs Dante’s gaze to the Virgin Mary, who sits as Queen of Heaven at the top of the outermost circle of saints. In silent reverence and delight, Dante looks upon what his faith tells him is the Mother of God.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

Canto adopted by Mario Boccaccini

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