Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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Jesus Instructs Jews and Pagans


Besides the two streets belonging to the Jews, there was in the vicinity of Salamis an entire Jew­ish city. On one side of Salamis there was a round tower of extraordinary circumference, to which were attached all kinds of dependencies. It was like a citadel. The city possessed many temples, one of which was of uncommon dimensions, and to its ter­race one could mount either by an interior or an exterior flight of steps. In the temple were found numerous columns, some so large around that in them were cut steps and little apartments wherein the people could stand on high and look down on the religious ceremonies. A couple of hours from Salamis, I saw another important city.

Westward from the city I saw a caravan of strangers approaching, who encamped under tents. They must have come from the other side of the island; indeed, on account of the direction, I was inclined to think they had come from Rome itself. They had some women with them and a great num­ber of large, heavy oxen with broad horns and low heads. They were bound together, two and two, with long poles over their backs upon which they carried burdens. I think these strangers had come partly on account of the harvest. They brought with them mer­chandise which they wished to exchange for grain.

Next morning Jesus delivered, on the open square near the baptismal well, a lengthy instruction to both Jews and pagans. He taught of the harvest, the mul­tiplication of the grain, the ingratitude of mankind who receive the greatest wonders of God so indif­ferently, and predicted for these ingrates the fate of the chaff and weeds, namely, to be cast into the fire. He said also that from one seed-corn a whole har­vest was gathered, that all things came forth from one, Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, the Father and Supporter of all men, who would reward their good works and punish their evil ones. He showed them also how men, instead of turning


Life of Jesus Christ

 to God the Father, turn to creatures, to lifeless blocks. They pass coldly by the wonders of God, while they gaze in astonishment at the specious though paltry works of men, even rendering honor to miserable jugglers and sorcerers. Here Jesus took occasion to speak of the pagan gods, the ridiculous ideas enter­tained of them, the confusion existing in those ideas, the service rendered them, and all the cruelties related of them. Then He spoke of some of these gods individually, asking such questions as these: "Who is this god? Who is that other? Who was his father?" etc. To these questions He Himself gave the answers, exposing in them the confused genealogies and families of their pagan divinities and the abom­inations connected with them, all which facts could be found, not in the Kingdom of God, but only in that of the father of lies. Finally He mentioned and analyzed the various and contradictory attributes of these gods.

Although Jesus spoke in so severe and conclusive a manner, still His instruction was so agreeable, so suggestive of good thoughts to His hearers that it could rouse no displeasure. His teaching against paganism was much milder here in Salamis than it was wont to be in Palestine. He spoke too of the vocation of the Gentiles to the Kingdom of God and said that many strangers from the East and from the West would get possession of the thrones intended for the children of the house, since the latter cast salvation far from them.

During a pause in the instruction, Jesus took a mouthful to eat and drink, and the people enter­tained themselves on what they had just heard. Meanwhile some pagan philosophers drew near to Jesus and questioned Him upon some points not understood by them, also about something that had been transmitted to them by their ancestors as com­ing from Elias, who had been in these parts. Jesus gave them the desired information, and then began

Jesus Goes to the Jewish City


 teaching upon Baptism, also of prayer, referring for His text to the harvest and their own daily bread. Many of the pagans received most salutary impres­sions from Jesus' instructions and were led to reflec­tions productive of fruit. But others, finding His words not to their liking, took their departure.

And now I saw a great number of Jews baptized at the baptismal well, the waters of which Jesus blessed. Three at a time stood round one basin. The water in the ditches reached as high as the calf of the leg.

12. Jesus Goes to the Jewish City

Jesus afterward went with His followers and some of the Doctors to the separate Jewish city, about one half-hour to the north. He was followed by many of His late audience, and He continued to speak with several little groups. The route led over some more elevated places below which lay meadows and gar­dens. Here and there were rows of trees, and again some solitary ones, high and dense, up which the traveler might climb and find a shady seat. The view extended far around on several little localities and fields of golden wheat. Sometimes the road ran along broad, naked walls of rock, in which whole rows of cells had been hewn out for the field laborers.

Outside the Jewish city stood a fine inn and plea­sure garden. Here Jesus' own party entered, while He bade the rest of His escort return to their homes. The disciples washed Jesus' feet, then one another's, let down their garments, and followed their Master into the Jewish city. During the foot-washing, I saw near the inn on one side of the highroad that ran along the city, long, light buildings like sheds, in which were a great number of Jewish women and maid servants busied in selecting, arranging, and carefully preserving the fruits which female slaves, or domestics, carried thither in baskets from the


Life of Jesus Christ

 gardens around. The fruits were of all kinds, large and small, also berries. They separated the good from the bad, made all kinds of divisions, and even laid some wrapped in cotton on shelves one over another. Others were engaged in picking and pack­ing cotton. I noticed all the housewives lowering their veils as soon as the men appeared on the high­road. The sheds were divided into several compart­ments. They looked to me like a general fruitery, where the portion intended for the tithes and that for alms were laid aside. It was a very busy scene.

Jesus went with His party to the dwelling of the rabbis near the synagogue. The eldest rabbi received Him courteously, though with a tinge of stiff reserve in his manner. He offered Him the customary refresh­ments' and said a few words upon His visit to the island and His far-famed reputation, etc. Jesus' arrival having become known, several invalids implored His help, whereupon, accompanied by the rabbis and the disciples, He visited them in their homes and cured many lame and paralyzed. The latter, with their fam­ilies, followed Him out of their houses, and proclaimed His praise. But He silenced them and bade them go back. On the streets He was met by mothers and their children, whom He blessed. Some carried sick children to Him, and He cured them.

And so passed the afternoon away till evening, when Jesus accompanied the rabbis to an enter­tainment in His honor, which entertainment was likewise connected with the beginning of the har­vest. The poor and the laboring people were fed at it, a custom which drew from Jesus words of com­mendation. They were brought from the fields in bands and seated at long tables, like benches of stone, and there served with various viands. Jesus, from time to time, waited on them Himself with the disciples, and instructed them in short sentences and parables. Several of the Jewish Doctors were present at the entertainment; but, on the whole, this



 company was not so well disposed, not so sincere as the Jews around Jesus' inn near Salamis. There was a tinge of pharisaism about them and, after they had become heated, they gave utterance to some offensive remarks. They asked whether He could not conveniently remain longer in Palestine, what was the real object of His visit to them, whether He intended to stay any time among them, and ended by suggesting that He should create no disturbance in Cyprus. They likewise touched upon diverse points of His doctrine and manner of acting which the Phar­isees of Palestine were in the habit of rehearsing. Jesus answered them as He usually did on similar occasions, with more or less severity according to the measure of their own civility. He told them that He had come to exercise the works of mercy as the Father in Heaven willed Him to do. The conversa­tion was very animated. It gave Jesus an opportu­nity for delivering a stern lecture in which, while commending their goodness to the poor and what­ever else was praiseworthy in them, He denounced their hypocrisy. It was already late when Jesus left with His followers. The rabbis bore Him company as far as the city gate.

13. The Pagan Priestess Mercuria. The Pagan Literati

When Jesus had returned to the inn with the dis­ciples, a pagan came to Him and begged Him to go with him to a certain garden a few steps distant, where a person in distress was waiting to implore His assistance. Jesus went with the disciples to the place indicated. There He saw standing between the walls on the road a pagan lady, who inclined low before Him. He ordered the disciples to fall back a little, and then questioned the woman as to what she wanted. She was a very remarkable person, per­fectly destitute of instruction, quite sunk in pagan­ism,


Life of Jesus Christ

 and wholly given up to its abominable service. One glance from Jesus had cast her into disquiet, and roused in her the feeling that she was in error, but she was without simple faith, and had a very confused manner of accusing herself. She told Jesus that she had heard of His having helped Magdalen, as also the woman afflicted with the issue, of whom the latter had merely touched the hem of His gar­ment. She begged Jesus to cure and instruct her, but then again, she said perhaps He could not cure her as she was not, like the woman with the issue, phys­ically sick. She confessed that she was married and had three children, but that one, unknown to her husband, had been begotten in adultery. She had also intercourse with the Roman Commandant. When Jesus, on the preceding day, visited the last named, she had watched Him from a window and saw a halo of light around His head, which sight very power­fully impressed her. She at first thought that her emotion sprang from love for Jesus, and the idea caused her anguish so intense that she fell to the ground unconscious. When returned to herself, her whole life, her whole interior passed before her in so frightful a manner that she entirely lost her peace of mind. She then made inquiries about Jesus, and learned from some Jewish women of Magdalen's cure, also that of Enue of Caesarea-Philippi, the woman afflicted with the issue of blood. She now implored Jesus to heal her if He possibly could. Jesus told her that the faith of that afflicted woman was simple; that, in the firm belief that if she could touch only the seam of His garment she would be cured, she had approached Him stealthily and her faith had saved her.

The silly woman again asked Jesus how He could have known that Enue touched Him and that He healed her. She did not comprehend Jesus or His power, although she heartily longed for His assis­tance. Jesus rebuked her, commanded her to renounce

The Pagan Literati


 her shameful life, and told her of God the Almighty and of His Commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." He placed before her all the abominations of the debauchery (against which her nature itself revolted) practiced in the impure service of her gods; and He met her with words so earnest and so full of mercy that she retired weeping and penetrated with sorrow. The lady's name was Mercuria. She was tall, and about twenty-five years old. She was enveloped in a white mantle, long and flowing in the back but rather shorter in front, which formed a cap around the head. Her other garments also were white, though with colored borders. The mate­rials in which the heathen women dressed were so soft and clung so closely to the form that the latter could readily be traced by the eye.

The whole morning of the following day was devoted by the disciples to baptizing at the foun­tain, and I saw Jesus teaching both here and at the waterworks. His instructions were given principally in parables on the harvest, the daily bread, the manna, the Bread of Life that was to be given them, and the one, only God. The laborers were sent to the harvest in groups, and I saw Jesus instructing them as they passed before Him. The people here encamped under tents were also Jews, who had come hither especially on Jesus' account. They had brought their sick with them on beasts of burden, and now today they were placed on litters under awnings and trees in the vicinity of the place of instruction. Jesus cured about twenty lame and palsied.

On reaching the waterworks, He was accosted by several men, learned pagans, who had been present at His instructions of the preceding day. They begged for an explanation upon several points, spoke of their divinities, especially of one goddess that had risen here from the sea, and of another represented in their temple under the form of a fish. This latter was named Derketo. They questioned Him also about


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 a story circulating among the Jews and connected with Elias. It was to this effect, that Elias once saw a cloud rising out of the sea, which cloud was, in reality, a virgin. They would like to know, they said, where she had descended, for from her was to proceed a King. One that was to do good to the whole world. Now, according to calculation, it was time for this to happen. With this story they mixed up another concerning a star that their goddess had let fall upon Tyre, and they asked whether that could be the cloud of which they had spoken.

One of them said that there was a report current of an adventurer in Judea who was making capital of Elias' cloud and the circumstance of the fulfill­ment of time, in order to proclaim himself king. Jesus gave no intimation that He was the One in ques­tion, though He said: "That Man is no adventurer, nor does He proclaim what is false. Many untruths are spread against Him, and thou who now sayest these things, hast joined in calumniating Him. But the time has now come for the Prophecies to be ful­filled." Jesus' interrogator was an evil-minded man, a great tattler. He dreamed not, when talking with Jesus, that he was in the presence of Him whom he was slandering, for he had heard of Jesus only in a general way.

These men were philosophers. They had some intimation of the truth mixed up with faith in their own divinities, which they tried again to explain away by various interpretations. But all the personages and idols which they wanted to explain had, in the course of time, become so mixed up and confused in their minds that even the cloud of Elias and the Mother of God, of whom they knew nothing at all, had to be dragged by them into the general confu­sion. They called their goddess Derketo the Queen of Heaven. They spoke of her as of one that had brought to earth all that it had of wisdom and plea­sure. They said that her followers having ceased to

Jesus Instructs the Philosophers


 acknowledge her, she prophesied to them all that would befall them in the future; also that she would plunge into the sea and reappear as a fish to be with them forever. All this, they added, had actually come to pass, etc. Her daughter, whom she had conceived in the sacred rites of paganism, was Semiramis, the wise and powerful Queen of Babylon.

How wonderful! While these men were thus speak­ing, I saw the whole history of these goddesses, as if they had really risen before me and were still alive. I felt impatient to disabuse the philosophers of their gross errors. They appeared to me so aston­ishingly silly in not seeing them themselves that I kept thinking: "Now, this is so distinct, so clear that I'll explain it all to them!" Then, again, I thought: "How dare you talk about such things! These learned men must know better than you!" and so I tormented myself during that conversation of several hours.

Jesus explained to the philosophers the confusion and absurdity of their idolatrous system. He related to them the history of Creation, of Adam and Eve, of the Fall, of Cain and Abel, of the children of Noe, the building of the Babylonian Tower, the separa­tion of the bad and their gradual falling away into godlessness. He told them that these wicked people, in order to restore their relations with God from whom they had fallen, had invented all kinds of divinities and had by the evil one been seduced into the grossest error; nevertheless, the Promise that the seed of the women should crush the serpent's head was interwoven with all the poetry, customs, and ceremonies of their necromantic art. It was in consequence of this faint idea they had of the Promise that so many personages had from time to time appeared with the vain design of bringing salvation to the world; but they had given to it instead still greater sins and abominations drawn from the impure source from which they themselves had sprung. He told them about the separation of Abraham's family


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 from the rest of mankind; the education of a spe­cial race for the guarding of the Promise; the guid­ance, direction, and purification of the Children of Israel; and He concluded by telling them about the Prophets, about Elias and his Prophecies, and that the present time was to be that of their realization. Jesus' words were so simple, so convincing and im­pressive that some of the philosophers were greatly enlightened, while others, returning to their myth­ical accounts, were again entangled in their mazes. Jesus spoke with the philosophers until nearly one o'clock. Some of them believed and reformed their lives. These men were wrapped up in their appar­ently learned elucidations of all sorts of foolish and perplexing questions. Jesus had, however, let a ray of light fall upon their soul, when He proved to them that to the fallen race of mankind and their history there always remained a trace, more or less correct, of God's designs upon men. He showed them how they, living as they did in a kingdom of darkness and confusion, had caught at the manifold impro­prieties and abominations of idolatry which, in the midst of their folly, still offered the external glam­our of lost truth; but God, in His mercy toward mankind, formed from a few of the most innocent a nation from which the fulfillment of the Promise was to proceed. Then He pointed out to them that this time of grace was now arrived, that whosoever would do penance, amend his life, and receive Bap­tism, should be born anew and become a child of God.

Before this interview with the philosophers and immediately after the Baptism, Jesus had sent away Barnabas and some other disciples to Chytrus, a few hours distant, where the family of Barnabas dwelt. Jesus had with Him only the disciple Jonas and another disciple from Dabereth, when He went one half hour westward from Salamis to a rich, fertile region wherein lay a little village whose inhabitants

Jesus Instructs the Reapers


 were busied with the harvest. They were chiefly Jews, for their fields lay on this side of the city. The coun­try was very lovely, and agriculture was pursued in a manner different from ours. The grain was raised on very high ridges like ramparts, between which were grazing grounds surrounded by numerous fruit trees, olive trees, and others. They were full of cat­tle which, though penned up, could graze in the shade, and yet do no harm to the crops. These low meadows were likewise a sort of reservoir for dew and water. I saw a great many black cows without horns; oxen, humpbacked, heavy-footed, and very broad-horned, used as beasts of burden; numerous asses; extraordinarily large sheep with bushy tails; and, apart from the rest, herds of rams, or horned sheep. Houses and sheds lay scattered here and there. The people had a very beautiful school and a place for teaching in the open air, also a Doctor of the Law among them; but on the Sabbath they used to go to the synagogue in Salamis near Jesus' inn.

The road was very beautiful. As soon as ever the harvesters espied Jesus (they had already seen Him in the synagogue and at the Baptism), they left their work and their tools, cast off the piece of bark that they wore on their head as a protection from the sun's rays, and, hurrying in bands down from the high ridges, bowed low before Him. Many of them even prostrated on the ground. Jesus saluted and blessed them, after which they returned to their labor. As Jesus drew near the school, the Doctor, who had been apprised of His coming, went out with some other honorable personages to meet Him. He bade Him welcome, escorted Him to a beautiful well, washed His feet, removed His mantle, which was then shaken and brushed, and presented Him food and drink.

Jesus, with these people and others who had come from Salamis, went from field to field, here and there instructing the reapers in short parables upon sowing,


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 harvesting, the separation of the wheat from the tares, the building of the granary, and the casting of the ill-weeds into the fire. The reapers listened to him in groups, and then returned to their work, while Jesus passed on to another band.

The men used a crooked knife in reaping. They cut off the stalk about a foot below the ear, and handed it to the women standing behind to receive it. The latter tied the ears into bundles and carried them away in baskets. I saw that many of the low ears were left standing, and that poor women came along afterward, cut them and gathered up the fallen ones as their portion. These women wore very short garments. Their waist was wound with linen bands, and their tunic tucked up around the body forming a sack, into which they put the ears they gleaned. Their arms were uncovered, the breast and neck concealed by linen bands, and the head veiled, or simply protected by a chip hat, according as they were married or maidens.

Jesus went on in this way walking and teaching for about a half-hour's distance, and then returned to the well near the school. Here He found a colla­tion set out on a stone table for Himself and com­panions. It consisted of a thick sauce, honey, I think, in shallow dishes; long sticks of something from which they broke off little scraps and laid them on their bread, little rolls of pastry, fruits, and little jugs of some kind of drink. The well was extremely beau­tiful. Back of it was a high terrace filled with trees. One had to descend many steps to get to the well cistern, which was cool and shady. The female por­tion of the Doctor's family dwelt at some distance from the school. They were veiled when they brought the viands for the repast. Jesus gave instructions on the Our Father. In the evening, the reapers assem­bled in the school, where Jesus explained the para­bles He had related to them in the fields, and taught also of the manna, of the daily bread, and of the



 Bread from Heaven. He went afterward with the Doctor and others to visit the sick in their huts, and cured several of the lame and dropsical, who lay mostly in little cells built at the back of the houses. He thus visited a lady afflicted with dropsy. Her tiny apartment was only sufficiently large to accommodate her bed. It was open at her feet, thus allowing her to look out upon a little flower garden. The roof was light and could be raised to afford her a glimpse of the sky. Some men and women went with Jesus to the sick lady's hut. They removed the screen, and Jesus thus accosted the invalid: "Woman, dost thou desire to be relieved?" To which she answered humbly: "I desire what is pleasing to the Prophet." Then Jesus said: "Arise! Thy faith has helped thee!" The woman arose, left her little cell, and said: "Lord, now I know Thy power, for many others have tried to help me, but could not do it." She and her rela­tives offered thanks, and praised the Lord. Many came to see her, wondering at her cure. Jesus returned to the school.

I saw, on that day at Salamis, Mercuria the sin­ner walking up and down her apartments, a prey to deep sadness and disquietude. She wept, wrung her hands, and, enveloped in her veil, often threw her­self on the floor in a corner. Her husband, who appeared to me not very bright, thought like her maids that she had lost her mind. But Mercuria was torn by remorse for her sins; her only thought, her constant dream, was how she could break loose from her bonds and join the holy women in Palestine. She had two daughters of eight and nine years, and a boy of fifteen. Her home was near to the great tem­ple. It was large with massive walls and surrounded by servants' dwellings, pillars, terraces, and gardens. They called upon her to attend the temple, but she declined on the plea of sickness. This temple was an extraordinary building full of columns, chambers, abodes for the pagan priests, and vaults. In it stood


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 a gigantic statue of the goddess, which shone like gold. The body was that of a fish, and the head was horned like a cow. Before it was another figure of less stature, upon whose shoulders the goddess rested her short arms, or claws. The figures stood upon a high pedestal, in which were cavities for the burning of incense and other offerings. The sacri­fices in the goddess' honor consisted even of chil­dren, especially of cripples. Mercuria's house became subsequently the dwelling of Costa, the father of St. Catherine. Catherine was born and reared in it. Her father descended from a princely race of Mesopotamia. For certain services, he was rewarded with large possessions in Cyprus. He married in Salamis a daughter of the same pagan priestly fam­ily to which Mercuria belonged. Even in her child­hood, Catherine was full of wisdom, and had interior visions by which she was guided. She could not endure the pagan idols, and thrust them out of sight wherever she could. As a punishment for this, her father once put her in confinement.

The cities in these regions were not like ours, in which the houses stand apart. The buildings of those pagan cities were enormous, with terraces and mas­sive walls in which, again, abodes for poorer peo­ple were constructed. Many of the streets were like broad ramparts, and were planted with trees. Under these thoroughfares were found the abodes of num­bers of people. Great order reigned in Salamis. Each class of inhabitants had its own street. The school children also I saw for the most part in one par­ticular street, and there were others set apart for the beasts of burden. The philosophers had one large edifice of their own. It was surrounded by court­yards, and I saw them promenading in the street that belonged to them. Wrapped in their mantles, they walked in bands four or five abreast, and spoke in turn. They always kept to one side of the street in going, and to the other in returning. This order

Jesus Teaching


 was as a general thing observed in all the streets.

The square with the beautiful fountain, in which the Commandant held his interview with Jesus, was much higher than the adjacent streets. To reach it, one had to mount a flight of steps. Around this square were arcades filled with shops. To one side was the marketplace, near which were rows of dense, pyra­midal-shaped trees up which one could mount and sit in their bowerlike foliage. The Commandant's palace fronted on this square.

14. Jesus Teaching in Chytrus

On the following morning, Jesus again went through the harvest fields instructing the laborers. A remarkable fog hung over the country the whole day, so dense that one could scarcely see his neigh­bor, and the sun glimmered through it like a white speck. The fields ran northeastwardly between the rising heights until they terminated in a point. I saw innumerable partridges, quails, and pigeons with enormous crops. I remember also to have seen a kind of thick, gray, ribbed apple, the pulp streaked with red. It grew on wide spreading trees, which were trained on trellises.

Jesus taught in parables of the harvest and the daily bread, and He cured several lame children who lay on sheepskins in a kind of cradle, or trough. When some of the people broke out in loud praise of His teaching, Jesus checked them with words some­thing like these: "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not (that also which he thinketh he hath), shall be taken away from him."1

The Jews of this place had doubts upon divers points, upon which Jesus instructed them. They feared to have no part in the Promised Land, they thought that Moses had had no need to cross the Red Sea, and that there was no reason for his wan­dering so long in the desert since there were other


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 and more direct routes. Jesus met their objections with the reply that they could get possession of the Kingdom of God, and that there was no need, it was true, for so long a sojourn in the desert. He chal­lenged them, since they disapproved such proceed­ings in Moses, not to wander around themselves in the desert of sin, unbelief, and murmuring, but to take the shortest road by means of penance, Bap­tism, and faith. The Jews of Cyprus had intermar­ried freely with the pagans, but in such contracts the latter always became converts to Judaism.

On this walk of instruction through the harvest fields, Jesus and His companions reached the high­road which, running a couple of hours to the west of Salamis, connected the port on the northwestern coast of Cyprus to that on the southeast. Here stood a very large Jewish inn, and at it Jesus and His fol­lowers stopped. Not far off stood sheds and an inn with a well for the pagan caravans. The highway was always swarming with travelers. There was no female at the inn; the women dwelt apart by them­selves. Jesus had just washed His feet and taken some refreshments when the disciples, who had tar­ried in Salamis baptizing, arrived. Jesus' compan­ions now numbered twenty, He continued to teach out in the open air the people coming home from their work. They brought to Him some sick labor­ers who could no longer earn their bread. As they believed in His doctrine, Jesus cured them and bade them resume at once their daily labor.

Toward evening a caravan of Arabs arrived. They had with them, as beasts of burden, oxen yoked in couples. On two poles across their backs, they car­ried immense bales of goods that rose high above their heads. In narrow parts of the road they went one behind the other, still keeping their burden between them. I saw asses and camels also laden with bales of wool. These Arabs were from the region in which Jethro had dwelt. They were of a browner

The Arabs


 complexion than the Cypriotes, and had come hither with their goods in ships. In the mining districts through which they passed, they bartered some of their goods for copper and other metals, and they were now pursuing their course southward along the highroad, in order again to embark for home. The beasts bore the heavy metal in long chests, the pack­ages smaller than usual on account of their weight. I think the metal was in bars, or long plates. Some of it was already wrought into various vessels and kettles, which I saw, in packages round and of the form of a cask. The women were exceedingly indus­trious. During their journey, whether walking or rid­ing, they occupied themselves in spinning, and whenever they encamped, they set to work at weav­ing covers and scarves. They could, in consequence, maintain themselves on the journey and renew their own clothing. They used for their work the wool packed on the beasts of burden. While spinning, they fastened the wool to their shoulders, spun the thread with one hand and wound it on the spindle which they turned in the other. When the spindle was full, the thread was wound off upon a bobbin that hung at their girdle.

When these people had unloaded and cared for their beasts, they saluted Jesus and begged to be permitted to hear His doctrine. He commended them for their industry and took occasion from it to ask the question, for whom was all their trouble, for whom all their labor. From this He went on to speak of the Creator and Preserver of all things, of grat­itude to God, of God's mercy toward sinners and lost sheep that wander around not knowing their Shep­herd. He taught them in mild and loving words. They were touched and rejoiced, and wanted to bestow all kinds of presents upon Him. He blessed their children and left them. With His companions He then directed His steps more to the north toward Chytrus, situated between four and five hours from


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 this place and about six from Salamis. The way now became hilly.

I saw here in the country olive trees and cotton trees, also a plant from which I think they make a kind of silk. It did not look like our flax, but rather like hemp, and it furnishes a long, soft thread. But most conspicuous of all was a little tree with quan­tities of beautiful yellow flowers, most charming to behold. Its fruit was almost the same as that of the medlar, or persimmon; it appeared to me to be saf­fron. To the left, one had a beautiful view of the mountains covered with high forests. Cypresses were numerous, also little resinous bushes of delicious fragrance. Here too among the mountains descended a little stream that in one part formed a waterfall. Still farther on and higher up, there was on one side of the mountain a forest, on the other, the naked soil over which wound a path, and on either side were caves extending into the mountain. Out of these were mined copper and some kind of white metal like silver. I saw the miners boring into them, also from above. The metal must have been smelted on the spot, and that with a certain yellow something of which there was a whole mountain in the neigh­borhood. The workman kneaded the melted mass into great balls and then allowed them to dry. I heard it said on that occasion that the mountain sometimes caught fire.

After four hours' journey, Jesus reached an inn more than half an hour from Chytrus. All along the road, mines were still to be seen. Here Jesus and His companions halted and the father of Barnabas, along with some other men, received the Lord and extended to Him the usual acts of kindness. Jesus rested here and taught, after which He took a light repast with His companions.

Chytrus lay on a low plain. Jesus approached it from the side upon which were the mines. The pop­ulation was made up of Jews and pagans. All around

Jesus Among the Miners


 the city stood numerous single buildings. It looked like country workshops connected by gardens and fields.

I was very much troubled at the little fruit aris­ing from Jesus' great fatigue and labor in Cyprus. It was so small that, as the Pilgrim told me, noth­ing was known of that journey, no mention was made of it in Scripture, not even of Paul and Barnabas' labors there. Then I had a vision concerning it, of which I remember the following details: Jesus gained five hundred and seventy souls, pagans and Jews, in Cyprus. I saw that the sinner Mercuria and her children delayed not to follow Him, and that she brought with her great wealth in property and money. She joined the holy women; and at the first Chris­tian settlements between Ophel and Bethania, made under the deacons, she contributed largely toward the buildings and the support of the brethren. I saw also that in an insurrection against the Christians (Saul not yet being converted) Mercuria was mur­dered. It was at the time when Saul set out for Dam­ascus. Soon after Jesus' departure from the island, many pagans and Jews with their money and valu­ables left Cyprus and journeyed to Palestine, and little by little, transferred thither all their wealth. Then arose a great outcry among other members of these families who had not embraced Jesus' doctrine. They looked upon themselves as injured by the depar­ture of their relatives, and they scoffed at Jesus as an impostor. Jews and heathens made common cause together, and considered it a crime even to speak of Him. Many persons were arrested and scourged. The pagan priests persecuted those of their own belief, and forced them to offer sacrifice. The Commandant who had had an interview with Jesus was recalled to Rome and deposed from his office. They even went so far as to send Roman soldiers to take possession of the ports so that no one could leave the island. They did not remain long, but on their departure


Life of Jesus Christ

 they took with them some of the inhabitants.

On the way to Chytrus, Jesus instructed the min­ers in separate bands. Some of the mines were rented by pagans; others, by Jews. The laborers looked very thin, pale, and miserable. Their nude bodies were protected in several places with pieces of brown leather, in which they were encased like turtles in their shells. Jesus took as the subject of His instruc­tion the goldsmith, who purifies the ore in fire. The heathens and Jews were working on different sides of the road, so both could listen at the same time. There were some possessed, or grievously disturbed creatures that had to be bound with cords even when at work, and as Jesus drew near, they began to rage and cry. They published His name, and cried out to know what He wanted with them. Jesus commanded them to be silent, and they became quiet. Some Jew­ish miners now came forward complaining that the pagans had opened mines under the road in their district, thus encroaching upon their rights, and they begged Him to decide the point between them. Then Jesus directed a hole to be bored near the bound­ary through the part belonging to the Jews, and the workmen came to the pagan mines. There were found heaps of white, metallic scraps, I think zinc or sil­ver, which had tempted the pagans to overstep their limits. Jesus gave an instruction upon scandal and ill-gotten goods. The pagans were convicted, for the facts witnessed against them. But as the magistrate was not on the spot, nothing could be done, and the pagans withdrew muttering their dissatisfaction.

Chytrus was a very stirring place. The inhabi­tants, pagans and Jews, lived on easy terms with one another as I more than once saw, though the two sects dwelt in different quarters. The pagans had several temples, and the Jews, two synagogues. Intermarriages were very frequent among them, but in such cases the pagan party always embraced Judaism.

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

This document is: ACE_3_0351

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