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

3. JOSEPH IS TOLD TO TRAVEL WITH MARY TO BETHLEHEM.




[November 12 ^th:] Joseph will arrive back in Nazareth today. He was in Jerusalem, taking beasts there for sacrifice. He left them at the little inn a quarter of an hour on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The house was kept by a devout old childless couple. It was a suitable lodging for quiet people. Joseph went from there to Bethlehem, but did not visit his relations in that town. He only wanted to find out about an enrolment and taxation of the people which made it necessary for everyone to betake himself to his birthplace. He did not, however, have himself inscribed as yet, because he intended to journey with Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem after the days of her purification, and then to go to Bethlehem and settle there. I do not know for certain what were his reasons, but Joseph did not like being in Nazareth. [91] He therefore looked about him in Bethlehem and made inquiries about stones and timber, for he had it in his mind to build himself a house there. Having found out what he wanted, he returned to the inn near Jerusalem, took his sacrifice to the Temple, and hurried home again.

As he was crossing the field of Chimki, [92] six hours from Nazareth, at midnight last night, an angel appeared to him and warned him that he was to go to Bethlehem with Mary at once, for it was there that she was to bear her child. He also indicated everything that she was to take with her for her use, explaining that they were to be few and simple things, and in particular no embroidered coverlets. Also, besides the ass upon which Mary was to sit, he was to take with him a she-ass one year old that had not yet had a foal. He was to let her run free and was always to follow whatever path she took. This evening Anna went with the Blessed Virgin to Nazareth; no doubt they knew that Joseph was arriving. But they do not seem to know that Mary would journey to Bethlehem from Anna's house. They thought no doubt that Mary would bear her child in her own house in Nazareth, for I saw them taking there, packed in saddle-bags, many of the things they had prepared. I saw amongst them several shawls of blue material with hoods. I think they were meant for wrapping the child in. Joseph arrived at Nazareth in the evening.











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