Rorate Caeli

"Fear the Lord, and give him honour,
for the hour of his judgment is come."

So, where did the famous biblical warning that became some kind of a motto of Saint Vincent Ferrer comes from? Curiously enough, from his letter on the end of the world to Pedro de Luna (the antipope Benedict XIII, whom he saw as the legitimate pope for a considerable time).

Saint Vincent explains that this fragile world of ours is always hanging by a thread, spared by the mercy of God and the intercession of Saints, especially the Blessed Virgin, so that not all souls may be lost. Even in Paschaltide, let us beg the Lord, "parce nobis, Domine!" The hour of his judgment is coming, and will come for each of us also individually - let us always be prepared.

Bust-reliquary of Saint Vincent Ferrer
(Treasure of San Gennaro, Naples -
in temp. exhibition at the Musée Maillol, Paris)

[T]he whole duration of the world rests on a certain conditional prolongation obtained by the Virgin Mary in the hope of the correction and conversion of the world by the aforesaid Orders [the mendicant orders]. For Christ said to the Blessed Virgin: "Unless the world is corrected and converted by means of these Orders I will no longer spare it." Since, therefore, the conversion and correction of the world has not followed but rather the reverse, for greater crimes and wickedness abound, and, it must be regretfully admitted, these Religious Orders themselves, who have been given for the conversion and correction of the world, are in reality so moribund and relaxed that little religious observance is kept in them, the observant man must admit that this conclusion is amply proved

... [T]he same conclusion is drawn from a certain other revelation (a most certain one to my mind [Rorate note: Saint Vincent means it was made to himself]), made just over fifteen years ago to a religious of the Dominican Order. This religious was very ill indeed and was praying lovingly to God for his recovery so, that he might again preach the word of God as he had been wont to do with great fervor and ardor. At last, while he was at prayer, these two saints appeared to him as in a dream, at the feet of Christ making great supplication. At length, after they had prayed thus for a long while, Christ rose and, with one on either side, came down to this same religious lying on his bed. Then Christ, touching him caressingly with the finger of His most holy hand, gave him a most definite interior comprehension that, in imitation of these saints, he must go through the world preaching as the Apostles had done, and that He, Christ, would mercifully await this preaching for the conversion and correction of mankind, before the coming of Antichrist. At once, at the touch of Christ's fingers, the aforesaid religious rose up entirely cured of his sickness.

... "Fear the Lord and give Him honor, because the hour of His judgment is come. And adore ye Him that made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountain and the waters. Let him who is able understand." [Rev. xiv]

Saint Vincent Ferrer
Letter to "Benedict XIII" on the End of the World
July 7, 1412