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

10. THE APOSTLES HOLD A SERVICE.




[August 12 ^th, 1821:] There are now not more than twelve men gathered together in Mary's house. Today I saw a service being held in her sleeping-alcove; Mass was said there. Her little room was open on all sides. A woman was kneeling beside Mary's couch and every now and then held her upright. I see this being done throughout the day, and I see the women giving the Blessed Virgin a spoonful of liquid from the bowl. Mary had across on her couch, half an arm's length long and shaped like the letter Y, as I always see the Holy Cross. The upright piece is somewhat broader than the arms. It seems to be made of different woods, and the figure of Christ is white. The Blessed Virgin received the Blessed Sacrament. After Christ's Ascension she lived fourteen years and two months.

[As Catherine Emmerich fell asleep that evening, she sang hymns to the Mother of God very softly and peacefully in a most moving manner. When she woke up again, the writer asked her what she was singing, and she answered, still heavy with sleep: I was following in the procession with that woman there: now she has gone!' Next day she again spoke of this singing. In the evening I was following two of Mary's friends on the Way of the Cross behind her house. Every day they take it in turns to go there, morning and evening, and I creep up quietly to join in behind them. Yesterday I could not help starting to sing and then everything was gone.']

Mary's Way of the Cross has twelve Stations. She paced out all the measurements, and John had the memorial stones set up for her. At first they were just rough stones to mark the places, afterwards everything was made more elaborate. There were now low smooth white stones with many sides--I think eight--with a little depression in the center of the surface. Each of these stones rested on a base of the same stone whose thickness was hidden by the close turf and the beautiful flowers surrounding them. The stones and their bases were all inscribed with Hebrew letters. These Stations were all in hollows like little round basins. They were enclosed, and a path encircled the stones broad enough for one or two people to approach in order to read the inscriptions. The spaces round the stones, covered with grass and beautiful flowers, varied in size. These stones were not always uncovered; there was a mat or cover fastened at one side which, when nobody was praying there, was pulled over the stone and held down on the other side with two pegs. These twelve stones were all alike, all engraved with Hebrew inscriptions, but their positions were different. The Station of the Mount of Olives was in a little valley near a cave, in which several people could kneel at prayer. The Station of Mount Calvary was the only one not in a hollow, but on a hill. To reach the Station of the Holy Sepulcher one went over this hill and came to the stone in a hollow. Still lower down at the foot of the hill, in a cave, was the Sepulcher in which the Blessed Virgin was buried. I believe that this grave must still exist under the earth and will one day come to light.

I saw that the Apostles, holy women, and other Christians, when they approached these Stations to pray before them, kneeling or lying on their faces, brought out from under their robes a Y-shaped cross about a foot long, which they set up in the hollow on the various stones by means of a prop at its back.











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