HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







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

VII. MARRIAGE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN TO JOSEPH




The Blessed Virgin lived with other virgins in the Temple under the care of pious matrons. The maidens employed themselves with embroidery and other forms of decoration of carpets and vestments, and also with the cleaning of these vestments and of the vessels used in the Temple. They had little cells, from which they could see into the Temple, and here they prayed and meditated. When these maidens were grown-up, they were given in marriage. Their parents in dedicating them to the Temple had offered them entirely to God, and the devout and more spiritual Israelites had for a long time had a secret presentiment that the marriage of one of these virgins would one day contribute to the coming of the promised Messiah. [75]

When the Blessed Virgin had reached the age of fourteen and was to be dismissed from the Temple with seven other maidens to be married, I saw that her mother Anna had come to visit her there. Joachim was no longer alive and Anna had by God's command married again. When the Blessed Virgin was told that she must now leave the Temple and be married, I saw her explaining to the priests in great distress of heart that it was her desire never to leave the Temple, that she had betrothed herself to God alone and did not wish to be married. She was, however, told that it must be so.'

Hereupon I saw the Blessed Virgin supplicating God with great fervor in her praying cell. I also remember that I saw Mary, who was parched with thirst as she prayed, going down with a little jug to draw water from a fountain or cistern, and that she there heard a voice (unaccompanied by any visible appearance) and received a revelation which comforted her and gave her strength to consent to her marriage. This was not the Annunciation, for I saw that happen later in Nazareth. I must, however, once have thought that I saw the appearance of an angel here too, for in my youth I often confused this vision with the Annunciation and thought that I saw the latter happening in the Temple. [76]

I saw, too, that a very aged priest, who could no longer walk (it was doubtless the high priest), was carried on a chair by others before the Holy of Holies, and that while the incense-offering was being kindled, he read prayers from a parchment scroll lying on a stand in front of him. I saw that he was in a spiritual ecstasy and saw a vision, and that the forefinger of his hand was laid upon the passage of Isaiah in the scroll: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse; and a flower shall rise up out of his root." [ Is. 11.1.]

When the old priest came to himself again, he read this passage and apprehended something from it.

Then I saw that messengers were sent throughout the land and all unmarried men of the line of David summoned to the Temple. When these were assembled in large numbers at the Temple in festal garments, the Blessed Virgin was presented to them. Among them I saw a very devout youth from the region of Bethlehem; he had always prayed with great fervor for the fulfillment of the Promise, and I discerned in his heart an ardent longing to become Mary's husband. She, however, withdrew again into her cell in tears, unable to bear the thought that she should not remain a virgin.

I now saw that the high priest, in accordance with the inner instruction he had received, handed a branch to each of the men present, and commanded each to inscribe his branch with his name and to hold it in his hands during the prayer and sacrifice.

After they had done this, their branches were collected and laid upon an altar before the Holy of Holies, and they were told that the one among them whose branch blossomed was destined by the Lord to be married to the maiden Mary of Nazareth. While the branches lay before the Holy of Holies the sacrifice and prayer were continued, and meanwhile I saw that youth, whose name will perhaps come back to me, [77] in a hall of the Temple crying passionately to God with outstretched arms. I saw him burst into tears when after the appointed interval their branches were given back to them with the announcement that none had blossomed, and therefore none of them was the bridegroom destined by God for this maiden. The men were now sent home, but that youth betook himself to Mount Carmel, to the sons of the prophets who had lived there as hermits ever since the time of Elijah. From then on he spent his time in continual prayer for the fulfillment of the Promise.

I then saw the priests in the Temple making a fresh search in the ancestral tables to see whether there was any descendant of David's who had been overlooked. As they found that of six brothers registered at Bethlehem one was missing and unknown, they made search for his dwelling-place, and found Joseph not far from Samaria in a place beside a little stream, where he lived alone by the water and worked for another master. On the command of the high priest, Joseph now came, dressed in his best, to the Temple at Jerusalem. He, too, had to hold a branch in his hand during the prayer and sacrifice, and as he was about to lay this on the altar before the Holy of Holies, a white flower like a lily blossomed out of the top of it, and I saw over him an appearance of light like the Holy Ghost. [78] Joseph was now recognized as appointed by God to be the bridegroom of the Blessed Virgin, and was presented to her by the priests in the presence of her mother. Mary, submissive to the Will of God, accepted him meekly as her bridegroom, for she knew that all things were possible with God, who had accepted her vow to belong to Him alone, body and soul.











<|CONTENTS| |NEXT|>    | FOOTNOTES|














Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com