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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. [115]

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.











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