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

12. JUTTAH. ELIZABETH TAKES JOHN INTO THE WILDERNESS.




[March 6 ^th:] Zechariah and Elizabeth had also received a message warning them of imminent danger. I think the Holy Family had sent them a trusty messenger. I saw Elizabeth taking the little John to a very hidden place in the wilderness, a few hours' distance from Hebron. [153] Zechariah accompanied them for only a part of the way, to a place where they crossed a small stream on a wooden beam. He then left them and went towards Nazareth by the way which Mary followed when she visited Elizabeth. I saw him on his journey to Nazareth, where he is probably going to obtain further details from Anna. Many of the friends of the Holy Family there are much distressed at their departure. Little John had nothing on but a lamb's skin; although scarcely eighteen months old, he was sure on his feet and could run and jump about. Even at that age he had a little white stick in his hand, which he treated as a plaything. One must not think of his wilderness as a great desert of waste sand, but rather as a desolate place with rocks, caves, and ravines, where bushes and wild fruits and berries grew. Elizabeth took the little John into a cave in which Mary Magdalen lived for some time after Jesus' death. I cannot remember how long Elizabeth remained here hidden with her young child, but it was probably only until the alarm about Herod's persecution had subsided. She then returned to Juttah, about two hours' distance away, for I saw her escaping again into the wilderness with John when Herod summoned the mothers with their little sons up to two years of age, which happened quite a year later.

[Catherine Emmerich, who had up to this point communicated pictures of the Flight day by day, was here interrupted by illness and other disturbances. On resuming her story a few days later she said:] I cannot distinguish the days so clearly now, but will describe the separate pictures of the Flight into Egypt as nearly as possible in the order in which I remember seeing them.











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