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

5.8 A HOUSE OWNED BY JOSEPH'S RELATIVES. THEY STAY AT AN INN CONDUCTING A FUNERAL.




[November 22 ^nd:] I saw the Holy Family leaving their place of shelter about midday. Some of the inmates of the house accompanied them for part of their way. After a short journey of about two hours westward they came to a place where scattered houses, with gardens and forecourts, stand in a long row on either side of a main road. Some relations of Joseph's lived here. They were, as far as I remember, sons by a second marriage of a stepfather or stepmother. I saw the house; it had a good situation and was quite large. They went, however, right through this place, and then turned right for half an hour, in the direction of Jerusalem, until they reached a large inn, in the court of which there was a big fountain with many pipes. A large company was assembled here, attending a funeral. The interior of the house, in the center of which was the fireplace and its chimney, had been made into one large ball by the removal of the low wooden screens which at other times divided it into separate rooms. Black curtains hung behind the hearth, in front of which stood a veiled black object like a coffin. A large assembly of men were praying round it. They wore long black garments with short white ones over them, and some had black fringed maniples hanging on one arm. In another room women completely veiled were sitting on the floor in low boxes and mourning.

The owners of the inn themselves, who were busy with the funeral, welcomed the travelers only from a distance. The servants of the house, however, gave them a very friendly reception and showed them every attention. A separate lodging was prepared for them by letting down mats which had been rolled up to the ceiling, so that they were in a kind of tent. There were many beds in this house rolled up against the wall, and mats could be let down to make many separate cells. Afterwards I saw the people of the house visiting the Holy Family and conversing with them in a friendly manner. They no longer wore the white garments over their black' ones. After Joseph and Mary had refreshed themselves and taken a little food, they prayed together and retired to rest.











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