The Spanish publishing house Ediciones San Juan, which has been publishing new Spanish translations of von Speyr’s works, now presents their latest volume—Apocalipsis de San Juan.
For von Speyr scholars, her commentary on the Book of Revelation continues to be a source of profound mystical insights and acute theological perceptions. What is also interesting about this commentary is not only that it was dictated while in a state of mystical prayer like her other commentaries. Rather than a collected, quiet dictation like the others, this one was dictated in apocalyptic anxiety. The visions and the dictation began in 1945 while von Balthasar and von Speyr were in Estavayer-le-Lac, which is on Lac-de-Neuchatel. They were giving the Ignatian spiritual exercises to their newly founded secular institute.
Von Balthasar says that on August 9, 1945 von Speyr had torrential mystical visions in which, “She was caught in a strange tension for she saw simultaneously the earthly evening sky, which was quite calm, and the other, totally agitated landscape [as in the Book of Revelation] which she was experiencing interiorly.” (von Balthasar, First Glance at Adrienne von Speyr, pgs. 90-91). These visions were “the beginning of that unique, truly apocalyptic dictation” (Ibid, pg. 93), which became her commentary on the Book of Revelation.
When I visited Estavayer-le-Lac, the calm town and turbulent weather gave me hint of the strange tension von Speyr felt. Here’s a picture of Lac-de-Neuchatel during my visit.
While English speakers will have to wait a while for this one, those that can read Spanish will delight in this translation. You can of course read Apokalypse in the original German. It’s worth it.