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

3. THE BIRTH OF JOHN. MARY RETURNS TO NAZARETH.




[On June 9 ^th, 1821, Catherine Emmerich discovered near her a relic of Christ's disciple Parmenas, and amongst other visions having reference to this saint she communicated the following, which belongs to this portion of her narrative.]

After the Blessed Virgin's return from Juttah to Nazareth I saw her spending several days in the house of the parents of Parmenas, Our Lord's future disciple, who was not yet born. [88] I think I saw this at the same time of year as it actually happened. I had that impression during my vision. In that case the birth of John the Baptist would have happened at the end of May or the beginning of June. Mary stayed for three months with Elizabeth, until after the birth of John, but was not present on the occasion of his circumcision. [Owing to interruptions, Catherine Emmerich did not relate anything further about John's birth or circumcision, and we therefore refer the reader to the words of the Gospel ( St. Luke 1.57-80).]

The Blessed Virgin returned home to Nazareth after John's birth and before his circumcision. Joseph came to meet her-half-way. [Catherine Emmerich was so ill and agitated that she did not tell who accompanied the Blessed Virgin till then, nor did she mention the place where she met Joseph. Perhaps this was Dothan, where they stayed on their journey to Elizabeth with the friend of Joseph's father. She was no doubt accompanied there by relations of Zechariah or by friends from Nazareth who were undertaking the same journey. What follows may be taken as confirming this supposition.]

When Joseph traveled back with the Blessed Virgin during the second half of her journey from Juttah to Nazareth, he noticed from her figure that she was with child, and was sore beset by trouble and doubt, for he knew nothing of the Angel's annunciation to the Blessed Virgin. Immediately after his marriage, Joseph had gone to Bethlehem to arrange about some inheritance; in the meantime Mary had gone to Nazareth with her parents and some of her play-fellows. The angelic salutation happened before Joseph returned to Nazareth. Mary in shy humility had kept God's secret to herself. Joseph, though greatly disquieted by what he had perceived, said nothing, but struggled in silence with his doubts. [89] The Blessed Virgin, who had foreseen this trouble, became thoughtful and serious, which only increased St. Joseph's uneasiness. When they came to Nazareth, I saw that the Blessed Virgin did not at once go into Joseph's house with him, but spent a few days with relations. These were the parents of a son, Parmenas (not yet born), who became a disciple of Jesus and was one of the seven deacons in the first community of Christians in Jerusalem. These people were related to the Holy Family, for the mother was a sister of the third husband of Mary Cleophas, the father of Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem. They had a house and a garden of spices in Nazareth. They were also related to the Holy Family through Elizabeth. I saw that the Blessed Virgin stayed for several days with these people before she came to Joseph's house. Joseph's uneasiness increased, however, to such an extent that, now that Mary was preparing to return to him in his house, he made up his mind to leave her and to disappear in secret. While he was harboring this thought, an Angel appeared to him in a dream and reassured him.











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