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

5. RELATIVES AND FRIENDS OF THE HOLY FAMILY WHO ALSO LIVE IN EPHESUS.




Amongst the holy women living in the Christian settlement near Ephesus and visiting the Blessed Virgin in her house was the daughter of a sister of Anna, the prophetess of the Temple. I saw her once traveling to Nazareth with Seraphia (Veronica) before Jesus' baptism. This woman was related to the Holy Family through Anna, for Anna was related to St. Anne and still more closely to Elizabeth, St. Anne's niece. Another of the women living in Mary's neighborhood, whom I had also seen on her way to Nazareth before Jesus' baptism, was a niece of Elizabeth's called Mara. She was related to the Holy Family in the following way: St. Anne's mother Ismeria had a sister called Emerentia, both living in the pasture-lands of Mara between Mount Horeb and the Red Sea. She was told by the head of the Essenes on Mount Horeb that among her descendants would be friends of the Messiah. She married Aphras, of the family of the priests who had carried the Ark of the Covenant. Emerentia had three daughters: Elizabeth, the mother of the Baptist, Enue (who was present as a widow at the birth of the Blessed Virgin in St. Anne's house), and Rhoda, whose daughter Mara was, as I have said, now at Ephesus. Rhoda had married far away from the home of her family: she lived first in the region of Shechem, then in Nazareth and at Casaloth on Mount Thabor. Besides Mara she had two other daughters, and the sons of one of these became disciples. One of Rhoda's two sons was the first husband of Maroni, who, when he died, married as a childless widow Eliud, a nephew of St. Anne, and went to live at Naim. Maroni had by this Eliud a son whom Our Lord raised from the dead in Naim after his mother had become a widow for the second time. He was the young man of Naim who became a disciple and received the name of Martial in baptism. Rhoda's daughter Mara, who was present at Mary's death at Ephesus, was married and lived near Bethlehem. At the time of Christ's birth, when St. Anne absented herself from Bethlehem on one occasion, it was to Mara that she went. Mara was not well off, for Rhoda had (like the rest of her family) left her children only a third of her property, the other two-thirds going to the Temple and the poor. I think that Nathanael, the bridegroom of Cana, was a son of this Mara, and received the name of Amator in baptism. She had other sons who all became disciples.











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