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The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

7. NIGHT TRAVEL OF THE KINGS.




[November 29 ^th to December 2 ^nd:] I was again with the kings on their journey in the night of Thursday, November 29 ^th, and during the following day. I cannot say enough how much I admired the order, nobility, and joyfulness which inspires all that they do. We are journeying through the night, always following the star, whose long tail reaches down to earth. These good men follow it with their eyes quietly and joyfully, talking to each other from their high saddles. Sometimes they sing short sentences by turns, in a very slow and beautiful melody, sometimes very high and sometimes deep in tone. It is very moving to hear it in the quiet night, and I feel all that they sing. They travel with perfect orderliness; first comes a big camel with boxes on each side of his hump covered with large carpets on which sits the leader with a goad in his hand and a sack at his side. Then follow smaller beasts, such as horses or big donkeys, carrying packages and ridden by the men belonging to this leader. Then comes another of the leaders on a camel and so on. The creatures walk so delicately with big steps, and put down their feet as if they were trying not to crush anything.

They carry their burdens with so little motion that it seems as though only their legs were alive, and the carriage of their heads on their long necks is wonderfully calm and quiet. The men, too, seem to do everything without having to take thought about it. Everything happens as in a quiet dream, peaceful and sweet. (I cannot help reflecting here how these good people, who as yet do not know the Lord, journey towards Him in such order, peace, and sweetness, while we, whom He has redeemed and loaded with graces, are so disorderly and disrespectful in our processions!) I think the region through which they passed tonight might well be the district between Atom, the home of Azarias, and the castle of the idolater, where I saw Jesus at the end of the third year of His ministry when He was journeying through Arabia on His way to Egypt.

On Friday, November 30 ^th, I saw the procession halting at night by a fountain in the fields. A man from a hut, of which there were several near by, opened the fountain for them. They watered their beasts and rested for a short time without unloading. On Saturday, December 1 ^st, I saw the kings, whose road had been going uphill the day before, on higher ground. On their right was a mountain range, and when their road descended again, they seemed to be in a place where houses, trees, and fountains often stood beside the road. It seemed to me to be the home of the people whom I had seen, last year and again lately, spinning and weaving cotton. They had stretched the threads between the trees and plaited broad coverings out of them. They worshipped images of oxen. They were generous in giving food to the rabble that followed the procession of the kings, but it surprised me to see that they never used the bowls again from which these had eaten.

On Sunday, December 2 ^nd, I saw the three holy kings near a place whose name I remember as something like Causur, a city of tents on stone foundations. [123] They were given hospitality here by another king, to whom this city belonged. His tent-dwelling stood a little distance before it. Since their meeting in the deserted city, they had now traveled fifty-three or sixty-three hours. They told the king of Causur all that they had seen in the stars. He was very astonished, and looked through a tube at the star that was guiding them and saw in it a little child with a cross. He begged them to tell him everything on their return, when he would erect altars to the King and make sacrifices to Him. I am curious to see if he will keep his word when they return. I heard them recounting to him the origin of their star-watching, and remember of their conversation what follows.











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