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

18. THE THREE HOLY KINGS APPEAR BEFORE HEROD.




[Sunday, December 23 ^rd:] Very early this morning Herod secretly summoned the three kings to his palace. [133] They were received under an archway and taken into a room, where I saw green branches and bushes arranged in vases to welcome them, with some refreshments. They remained standing for a while until Herod came in, and then, after bowing before him, they again asked him about the newborn King of the Jews. Herod concealed his uneasiness as well as he could and even pretended to be overjoyed. He still had some of the scribes with him. He inquired of the kings as to what they had seen, and Mensor described to him the last picture they had seen in the stars before setting off on their journey. This, he said, was a Virgin with a Child before her: on the right-hand side of the picture a branch of light grew forth, bearing on it a tower with several gates. This tower had grown into a great city, over which the Child had appeared as a king with crown, sword, and scepter. They had then seen themselves and the kings of the whole world come and bow down before the Child in adoration, for His kingdom was to conquer all other kingdoms. Herod told them that a prophecy of this kind about Bethlehem Ephrata did indeed exist and asked them to go there at once very quietly, and when they had found and adored the Child, to come back and bring him word, that he, too, might go and adore Him. The kings, who had not touched any of the food set out for them by Herod, went back again. It was very early, for I saw the torches in front of the palace still alight. Herod spoke to them in secret because of all the talk in the city. The day then began to break, and they made all preparations for their departure. The stragglers who had followed them to Jerusalem had dispersed about the city the night before.











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