The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
2. VISIONS OF ABRAHAM, HAGAR, AND ISHMAEL.
In the intervals between the visions of the three days during which I
saw what was happening on that wide pasture-land, I was shown much
about the places in which Abraham lived, but have forgotten most of it.
Once, in the distance, I saw the mountain on which Abraham was
preparing to sacrifice Isaac. Another time I was shown very clearly
Hagar and Ishmael in the desert, although this happened a long way from
here. I cannot remember in what connection this was. Abraham's first
dwelling-place was high up, and the lands of the three kings were below
and round it. I will here describe the picture of Ishmael and Hagar.
At the side of Abraham's mountain, more towards the lower part of the
valley, I saw Hagar and her son wandering about in the bushes; she
seemed quite beside herself. The boy was only a few years old and was
wearing a long dress. His mother was wrapped in a long cloak which
covered her head; under it she wore a short dress, the upper part of
which was tight round her body, and her arms, too, were tightly wrapped
round. She laid the child under a tree on a hill, and made signs on his
forehead, on the middle of his right upper arm, on his breast, and on
his left upper arm. When she went away I did not see the mark on his
forehead, but the other marks, which had been made on his clothing,
remained visible as if drawn in red-brown color. These marks were in
the form of a cross, but not an ordinary one. They were like a Maltese
cross, only the points of the four triangles were arranged in the shape
of a cross round a ring. In the four triangles she wrote signs or
letters, like hooks, whose significance I could not clearly retain in
my mind; I saw her also write two or three letters in the ring, in the
middle. She drew this very rapidly with some red color, which she
seemed to have in her hand (or perhaps it was blood). As she did this
she kept her thumb and forefinger pressed together. Thereupon she
turned round, gazed up to heaven, and did not look round again at her
son. She went about a gun-shot's distance away and sat down under a
tree. She heard a voice from heaven; rose up and went farther away.
Again she heard a voice, and saw a spring of water under the leaves.
She filled her leather water-bottle at the spring, and going back to
her son gave him to drink and led him to the spring, where she put
another garment over the one she had marked with crosses. That is what
I remember of this vision. I think that I saw Hagar in the desert twice
before, once before the birth of her son, and the second time with the
young Ishmael as now.