Birth of the Messiah as Seen Thru the Eyes of Bl. Anna Katherine Emmerick

Bl Anna Katherine Emmerick was born on Sept 8, 1774 and Died on Oct 9, 1824.  She was a Roman Catholic Augustinian Canoness Regular of Windesheime, beatified Oct 3, 2004 Pope John Paul II, and, was a stigmatist and mystic.

Birth of The Child Jesus

“I saw Joseph arranging a seat and couch for Mary in the so-called Suckling Cave of Abraham, which was also the sepulcher of Mar aha, his nurse.  It was more spacious than the cave of the crib.  Mary  remained there some hours, while

Joseph was making the latter more habitable.  He brought also from the city many different little vessels and some dried fruits.  Mary told him that the birth hour of the Child would arrive on the coming night.  It was then nine months since her conception by the Holy Ghost.  She begged him to do all in his power that they might receive as honorably as possible this Child promised by God, this Child supernaturally conceived; and she invited him to unite with her in prayer for those hard-hearted people who would afford Him no place of shelter

Joseph proposed to bring some pious women whom he knew in Bethlehem to her assistance;  but Mary would not allow it, she declared she had no need of anyone.  It was five o’clock in the evening when Joseph brought Mary back again to the Crib Cave.  He hung up several more lamps, and made a place under the shed before the door the the little donkey, which came joyfully from the fields to meet them

When Mary told Joseph that her time was drawing near and that he should now betake himself to prayer, he left her and turned toward his sleeping place to do her bidding.  Before entering his little recess, he looked back once toward that part of the cave where Mary knelt upon her couch in prayer, her back to him.

He saw the cave filled with the light that streamed from Mary, for she was entirely enveloped as if by flames.  It was as if he were Moses, looking into the burning bush.  He sank prostrate to the ground in prayer and looked not back again.

The glory around Mary became brighter and brighter, the lamps that Joseph had lit were no longer to be seen.  Mary knelt, her flowing white robe spread out before her.  At the twelfth hour, her prayer became more ecstatic, and I saw her raised so far above the ground that one could see it beneath her.  Her hands were crossed upon her breast, and the light around her grew even more resplendent.  I no longer saw the roof of the cave.

Above Mary stretched a pathway of light up to Heaven, in which pathway it seemed as if one light came forth from another, as if one figure dissolved into another, and from these different spheres of light other heavenly figures issued.  Mary continued in prayer, her eyes bent low upon the ground.

At that moment she gave birth to the Infant Jesus.  I saw Him like a tiny, shining Child, lying on the rug at her knees, and brighter far than all the other brilliancy.  He seemed to grow before my eyes.  But dazzled by the glittering and flashing of light, I know not whether I really saw that, or how I saw it.  Even inanimate nature seemed stirred.  The stones of the rocky floor and the walls of the cave were glimmering and sparkling, as if instinct with life.

Mary’s ecstasy lasted some moments longer.  Then I saw her spread a cover over the Child, but she did not yet take It up, nor even touch it.  After a long time, I saw the Child stirring and then heard It crying, and then only did Mary seem to recover full consciousness. She lifted the Child, along with the cover that she had thrown over it, to her breast and sat veiled, herself and Child quite enveloped.  I think she was suckling It.

I saw angels around her in human form prostrate on their faces.  It may, perhaps, have been an hour after the birth when Mary called St. Joseph, who still lay prostrate in prayer.  When he approached, he fell on his knees, his face to the ground in a transport of joy, devotion, and humility.  Mary again urged him to look upon the Sacred Gift from Heaven, and then did Joseph take the Child into his arms.

And now did the Blessed Virgin swathed the Child in red and over that in a white veil up as far as under the little arms. The upper part of his Body, from the armpits to the head, she wrapped up in another piece of linen.  She had only four swaddling cloths with her.

She laid the Child in the Crib, which had been filled with rushes and fine moss over which was spread a cover that hung down at the sides.  The crib stood over the stone trough, and at this spot the ground stretched straight and level as far as the side passage, where it made a broader flexure toward the south.  The floor of this part of the cave lay somewhat deeper than where the Child was born, and down to it, steps had been formed in the earth.  When Mary lad the Child in the Crib, both she and Joseph stood by it in tears, singing the praises of God.”

What Happened in the Temple and in Rome that Night

“I saw something very wonderful taking place in the Temple.  The writings of the Sadducees were more than once hurled by an invisible force from the places in which they were kept, which circumstance gave rise to unaccountable dread.  The fact was ascribed to sorcery, and large sums of money were paid to hush the matter up.

I saw that in Rome, across the river where numbers of Jews dwelt, a well of oil gushed forth spontaneously, to the wonder of all the witnesses.  And when Jesus was born, a magnificent statue of the god Jupiter fell with violence from its place.  All were struck with fear.  Sacrifices were offered and another idol, I think Venus, was interrogated as to the cause.  The devil was forced to speak by its mouth, and he proclaimed that it had happened because a virgin unmarried had conceived and brought forth a Son.  He told them also of the miracle of the oil well.  Where this took place there now stands a Church in honor of the Mother of God.  I saw that the pagan priests were deeply disturbed by the whole affair.  They searched their writings, and discovered the following history:

About seventy years previously this idol (Jupiter) had been greatly venerated.  It was magnificently ornamented with gold and precious stones, grand ceremonies were held in its honor, and numerous sacrifices offered to it.  But there was in Rome at that time an extraordinarily pious woman who lived on her own means.  I know not for certain whether she was a Jewess or not; but she had visions, uttered prophecies, and informed many persons as to the cause of their sterility.  This woman had thrown out words to the effect that they should not honor the idol at so great a cost, for that they would one day behold it burst asunder in their midst.”

This speech proved so offensive that she was imprisoned and tormented until by her prayers she obtained from God the information as to when that misfortune would happen.  The pagan priests demanded what had been revealed to her, and when at last she replied:  “The idol will be shattered when an Immaculate Virgin shall bring forth a Son,” they hooted at her , and released her as a fool.  And now the people recalled the fact and declared that the woman had spoken truly.

I saw also that the Roman consuls. of whom one was named Lentulus and who was a friend of St. Peter and an ancestor of the martyr-Priest Moses,  made notes of this occurence, as well as that of the bursting forth of the oil well.”