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

5.7 THEY STOP AT A SHEPHERD'S LARGE HOUSE.




[November 21 ^st:] Today I saw the holy travelers entering a big shepherd's house while it was still full day. This must be about three hours from John's baptizing place on the Jordan and about seven hours from Bethlehem. It is the same house in which thirty years later Jesus spent the night of October 11 ^th before the morning on which he passed near the Baptist for the first time after His Baptism. Near the house, and apart from it, was a shed in which were kept the agricultural implements and the shepherd's things. In the court was a fountain with baths round it, supplied with water from the fountain by pipes. The master of the house must have owned much land; it was a large establishment. I saw many menservants coming and going and having their meals there. The master of the house received the travelers in a very friendly way and was very ready to help. They were shown a comfortable room, and their pack-donkey was well looked after. A manservant was told to wash Joseph's feet at the fountain and to give him other clothes while his own were cleaned from dust and smoothed out. A maid did the same for the Blessed Virgin. They ate and slept here. The mistress of the house was rather perverse in character. She lived in a separate room and kept herself apart. She had surreptitiously examined the travelers, and as she was young and vain she was vexed by the beauty of the Blessed Virgin: she was also afraid that Mary might appeal to her to let her stay and be confined there, so she kept away in a hostile spirit and insisted that they should leave the next day. (This is the same woman whom Jesus found there in this house, blind and crippled, thirty years later on October 11 ^th, after His Baptism. After reproaching her for her inhospitality and vanity, He healed her.) There were also children in the house. The Holy Family spent the night here.











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