1. When it was late, the servants hurried away. Bagoas dismissed from the presence of his master those who were standing around, and closed the tent from the outside. All the men hurried to bed for they were tired from having drunk too much.

2. So Judith was left alone in the tent with Holofernes who, sodden with wine, had collapsed onto the bed.

3. Judith told her servant to stand outside the room and watch for her coming out because she would go out to pray, as she did each day. She also spoke to Bagoas in much the same way.

4. Everyone left the tent of Holofernes, not one - small or great - remained in the room. Judith, then, stood by Holofernes' bed and prayed in her heart, "Lord God all-powerful, help me now in what I will do for the glory of Jerusalem.

5. For now is the time to support the cause of your people and to ensure that my undertaking brings about the ruin of the enemies who are drawn up against us."

6. Then she moved towards the bedpost near Holofernes' head and took down the sword and,

7. approaching the bed, she seized the hair of his head saying, "O Lord God of Israel, give me strength, this very moment!"

8. Then with all her strength she struck his neck twice and cut off his head.

9. She then rolled his body from the bed and took off the hangings from the columns. Then she went out at once and gave the head of Holofernes to her servant

10. who put it in the bag in which she carried the food. Then they went out together as they used to do for prayer. After they had crossed the camp, they passed round the edge of the ravine, climbed the mountain to Bethulia and reached the gates of the town.

11. Judith called from a distance to those who were keeping guard at the gates, "Open, open the gates! God, our God, is with us! Today he has once again worked a miracle in Israel and exerted his power against our enemies."

12. As soon as the townsfolk heard her voice, they called the elders and hurried down to the gates of the town.

13. They all ran together, from the smallest to the greatest, for they were waiting for her return. They opened the gates and welcomed the two women; then, having lighted a fire so as to see them, they gathered around the two.

14. She said to them in a loud voice, "Praise God, praise him! Praise God who has not withheld his mercy from the House of Israel. This very night he has crushed our enemies by my hand."

15. And, taking out the head of Holofernes from the bag, she showed it to them saying, "Here is the head of Holofernes, general-in-chief of the Assyrian army, and here are the hangings under which he was lying in his drunkenness. The Lord has struck him down by the hand of a woman.

16. As truly as the Lord lives, it was my face that seduced him to his undoing, but the Lord has protected me. This man could not sin with me to disgrace or dishonor me."

17. All the people were greatly amazed, so they bowed down and worshiped God, saying with one voice, "Blessed are you, our God, who today have crushed the enemies of your people."

18. Uzziah said to her, "My daughter, may the Most High God bless you more than all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has led you to behead the leader of our enemies.

19. Never will people forget the confidence you have shown; they will always remember the power of God.

20. May God ensure your everlasting glory, and may he reward and bless you for you have risked your life when your race was humiliated. You chose instead to do the best before God in order to prevent our downfall." And all the people said, "Amen! Amen!"

“A meditação não é um meio para chegar a Deus, mas um fim. A finalidade da meditação é o amor a Deus e ao próximo.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina