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

13. EPHRAIM BY THE MAMBRE WOODS.




I saw the Holy Family, after they had crossed some of the ridges of the Mount of Olives, going in the direction of Hebron beyond Bethlehem. They went into a large cave, about a mile from the wood of Mambre, in a wild mountain gorge. On this mountain was a town with a name which sounded like Ephraim. I think that this was the sixth halting-place on their journey. I saw the Holy Family arriving here very exhausted and distressed. Mary was very sad and was weeping. Everything they needed was lacking, and in their flight they kept to by-ways and avoided towns and public inns. They spent the whole day here resting. Several special favors were granted to them here. An angel appeared to them and comforted them, and a spring of water gushed forth in the cave at the prayer of the Blessed Virgin, while a wild she-goat came to them and allowed herself to be milked. A prophet used often to pray in this cave, and I think Samuel came here several times. David kept his father's sheep near here [154] ; he used to pray here, and it was here that he received from an angel the order to undertake the fight against Goliath. [155]











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