The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
12. HOW THE APOSTLES WERE CALLED TO MARY'S DEATHBED.
A short time before the Blessed Virgin's death, as she felt the
approach of her reunion with her God, her Son, and her Redeemer, she
prayed that there might be fulfilled what Jesus had promised to her in
the house of Lazarus at Bethany on the day before His Ascension. It was
shown to me in the spirit how at that time, when she begged Him that
she might not live for long in this vale of tears after He had
ascended, Jesus told her in general what spiritual works she was to
accomplish before her end on earth. He told her, too, that in answer to
her prayers the Apostles and several disciples would be present at her
death, and what she was to say to them and how she was to bless them. I
saw, too, how He told the inconsolable Mary Magdalen to hide herself in
the desert, and her sister Martha to found a community of women; He
Himself would always be with them.
After the Blessed Virgin had prayed that the Apostles should come to
her, I saw the call going forth to them in many different parts of the
world. At this moment I can remember what follows.
In many of the places where they had taught, the Apostles had already
built little churches. Some of them had not yet been built in stone,
but were made of plaited reeds plastered with clay; yet all those I saw
had at the back the semicircular or three-sided apse, like Mary's house
at Ephesus. They had altars in them and offered the holy sacrifice of
the Mass there.
I saw all, the farthest as well as the nearest, being summoned by
visions to come to the Blessed Virgin. The indescribably long journeys
made by the Apostles were not accomplished without miraculous
assistance from the Lord. I think that they often traveled in a
supernatural manner without knowing it, for I often saw them passing
through crowds of men apparently without anyone seeing them.
I saw that the miracles which the Apostles worked amongst various
heathen and savage peoples were quite different from their miracles
described in Holy Writ. Everywhere they worked miracles according to
the needs of the people. I saw that they all took with them on their
travels the bones of the Prophets or of martyrs done to death in the
first persecutions, and kept them at hand when praying and offering the
When the Lord's summons to Ephesus came to the Apostles, Peter, and I
think also Matthias, were in the region of Antioch. Andrew, who was on
his way from Jerusalem, where he had suffered persecution, was not far
from him. In the night I saw Peter and Andrew asleep on their journey
in different places but not very far apart from each other. Neither of
them were in a town, but were taking their rest in public shelters such
as are found by the roadside in these hot countries. Peter was lying
against a wall. I saw a shining youth approach and wake him by taking
him by the hand and telling him to rise and hurry to Mary, and that he
would meet Andrew on the way. I saw that Peter, who was already stiff
from age and his exertions, sat up and rested his hands on his knees as
he listened to the angel. Hardly had the vision vanished when he got
up, wrapped himself in his cloak, fastened his girdle, grasped his
staff, and set forth. He was soon met by Andrew, who had been summoned
by the same vision; later they met with Thaddeus, to whom the same
message had been given. Thus all three came to Mary's house, where they
James the Greater, who had a narrow pale face and black hair, came from
Spain to Jerusalem with several disciples, and stayed some time in
Sarona near Joppa. It was here that the summons to Ephesus reached him.
After Mary's death he went with some six others back to Jerusalem and
suffered a martyr's death.  The man who denounced him was
converted, was baptized by him, and beheaded with him.
Jude Thaddeus and Simon were in Persia when the summons reached them.
Thomas was of low stature and had red-brown hair. He was the farthest
off, and did not arrive until after Mary's death.  I saw the
summoning angel come to him. He was a very long way off. He was not in
any town, but in a reed-hut, where he was praying, when the angel told
him to go to Ephesus. I saw him alone in a little boat with a very
simpleminded servant crossing a wide expanse of water--then journeying
across country without, I think, touching at any town. He was
accompanied by a disciple. He was in India when he received the
warning, but before that he had decided to go farther north to Tartary,
and could not make up his mind to abandon this plan. (He always tried
to do too much and so often arrived too late.) So he went still farther
north, right across China, to where Russia is now, where he received a
second summons which sent him hurrying to Ephesus. The servant whom he
had with him was a Tartar whom he had baptized. This man played a part
in later events, but I forget what it was. Thomas did not return to
Tartary after Mary's death. He was killed in India by being pierced
with a lance. I saw that he set up a stone in that country on which he
knelt and prayed, and that the marks of his knees were imprinted upon
the stone. He foretold that when the sea should reach this stone,
another would come to that country preaching Jesus Christ.
John had been in Jericho a short time before; he often traveled to the
Promised Land. He usually stayed in Ephesus and its neighborhood, and
it was here that the summons reached him.
Bartholomew was in Asia, east of the Red Sea. He was handsome and very
gifted. His complexion was pale, and he had a high forehead, large
eyes, and black curly hair. He had a short black curly beard, divided
in the middle. He had just converted a king and his family. I saw it
all and will recount it in due course. When he returned there he was
murdered by the king's brother.
I forget where James the Less was when the summons reached him. He was
very handsome and had a great resemblance to Our Lord, whence he was
called by all his brethren the brother of the Lord.
About Matthew I again saw today that he was the son of Alpheus by a
former marriage, and was thus the stepson of Alpheus' second wife Mary,
the daughter of Cleophas.
I forget about Andrew.
Paul was not summoned. Only those were summoned who were relations or
acquaintances of the Holy Family.