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

17. MARA (?). AN INHOSPITABLE DESERT.




The Holy Family always traveled a mile eastwards of the high road. The name of the last place they passed between Judea and the desert sounded very like Mara. It reminded me of Anna's home, but it was not the same place. The inhabitants here were rough and wild, and the Holy Family could obtain no assistance from them. After this they came into a great desert of sand. There was no path and nothing to show their direction, and they did not know what to do. After some time they saw a dark, gloomy mountain-ridge in front of them. The Holy Family were sorely distressed, and fell on their knees praying to God for help. A number of wild beasts then gathered round them, and at first it looked very dangerous; but these beasts were not at all evil, but looked at them in just the same friendly way as my confessor's old dog used to look at me when he came up to me. [159] I realized then that these beasts were sent to show them the way. They looked towards the mountain and ran in that direction and then back again, just like a dog does when he wants you to follow him somewhere. At last I saw the Holy Family follow these animals and pass over a mountain-ridge into a wild and lonely region.











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