The essential purpose of Rupescissa’s work was to prepare Christendom for the great persecution which he considered imminent and thus to assist believers in getting through it as well as possible. This determined not only his commentaries and treatises on prophecies but also his alchemical texts: 1 with the latter he intended to help believers make the material preparations for surviving the severe persecution to come. 2 Thus in his prophetic commentaries, Rupescissa wanted to demonstrate decisively that a terrible catastrophe was drawing nigh. Furthermore, he wished to enlighten readers as to the necessity of readying themselves for this catastrophe and to support them in their tribulations. These latter two motives are also clearly evident in the Vade mecum in tribulacione . There he expressly conceded that due to the brevity of the text he could only describe the impending calamity, but could not offer proof that it would in fact come to pass. Readers could, however, fi nd proof in his other works. 3 The aim of the Vade mecum was to alert all worthy believers to the coming cataclysm and to help them survive. 4 As a warning of the danger and as a guide to action, the
1 As was recently shown again in great detail by DeVun, Prophecy , passim. 2 That means to strengthen the body and to provide the necessary funds for fi ghting the Antichrist; on
the aim to preserve the body, cf. De quinta essentia 17 (cited according to Halleux, ‘Les ouvrages alchemiques’, 251): Que citra terminum vite nostre a Deo prefi xum possit corpus nostrum sine corruptione servare, sanare et conservare, infi rmum curare, deperditum restaurare, donec veniat ultima dies mortis in termino prefi xo a Deo. On the aim to provide the necessary funds, cf. Liber Lucis , 121: (. . .) ad solvendam gravem inopiam et paupertatem futuram populi sancti et electi Dei, cui datum est noscere misterium veritatis.