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

20. THE DESERT. A SPRING ARISES FROM MARY'S PRAYER.




Next day they continued through waste and sandy deserts, and I saw them sitting on a sand-hill quite exhausted, for they had no water with them. The Blessed Virgin prayed to God, and I saw an abundant spring of water gush forth at her side and run in streams on the ground. Joseph leveled a little sand-hill and made a basin for the water, digging a little channel to carry off the overflow. They refreshed themselves with the water and Mary washed the Infant Jesus. Joseph watered the donkey and filled the water-skin. I saw tortoises, and ugly creatures like big lizards coming to drink at the water. They did the Holy Family no harm, but looked at them in a friendly way. The stream of water flowed in a wide circle, disappearing again in the ground near its source. The space which it enclosed was wonderfully blessed: it soon became green and produced the most delicious balsam shrubs, which grew big enough to give refreshment to the Holy Family on their return from Egypt. Later it became famous as a balsam garden. A number of people came to settle there; amongst them, I think, the mother of the leprous child who had been healed in the robbers' den. Later I had visions of this place. A beautiful hedge of balsam shrubs surrounded the garden, in the middle of which were big fruit trees. Later a deep well was dug there, from which an abundant supply of water was drawn by a wheel turned by an ox. This water was mixed with the water from Mary's well so as to supply the whole garden. The water from the new well would have been harmful if used unmixed. It was shown me that the oxen who turned the wheel did no work from midday on Saturday till Monday morning.











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