Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

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A Fruitful Region


 places furnished with mossy seats and couches. The occupants were modestly clothed and wore blankets around them like mantles. At some distance I saw tent buildings, much larger and stronger than any I had hitherto seen. They were raised on a stone foundation, and had several stories reached by out­side steps. Between the first and the second hut was a well, by which Jesus seated Himself. The youths washed His feet, and then He was conducted to a house set apart for strangers. The people here were very good. They who had accompanied Jesus now left Him for their homes, taking with them provi­sions for the way.

This region of moss cabins was of very consider­able extent, and numberless dwellings such as described lay around among the meadows, fields, and gardens. The large tent palaces could not be seen from here, for they were still at quite a dis­tance; but they were plainly visible from the descent of the mountain. The whole country was extraordi­narily fruitful and charming. On the hills were numerous clusters of balsam trees, which when notched distilled a precious juice. The natives caught it in those stone vessels which looked something like iron pots, and which they found in the desert. I saw also magnificent wheat fields, the stalks as thick as reeds, vines, and roses, flowers as large and round as a child's head; and others remarkable for their great size. There were also little purling brooks clear and rapid, over arched by carefully trimmed hedges whose tops were bound together to form a bower. The flowers of these hedges were gathered with care, and those that fell into the water were caught in nets, spread here and there for that purpose, and thus preserved. At the places at which the blossoms were fished out there were gates in the hedges, which were usually kept closed. The people brought and showed to the Lord all the fruits they had.

When Jesus spoke to them of those men who had


Life of Jesus Christ

 followed the star, they told Him that on their return from Judea to the place from which they had first noticed the star, they built on the spot a lofty tem­ple in the form of a pyramid. Around it they erected a city of tents in which they dwelt together, although before that they had lived widely apart. They had received the assurance that the Messiah would even­tually visit them, and that upon His departure they too would leave the place. Mensor, the eldest, was still alive and well; Theokeno, the second, borne down by the weakness of old age, could no longer walk. Seir, the third, had died some years previously, and his remains, perfectly preserved, lay in a tomb built in pyramidal form. On the anniversary of his death, his friends visited it, opened it, and performed cer­tain ceremonies over the remains, near which fire was kept constantly burning. They enquired of Jesus after those of the caravan that had remained behind in Palestine, and sent messengers to the tent city, a couple of hours distant, to inform Mensor that they thought they had among them an envoy of that King of the Jews so desired by him and his people.

When the hour for the Sabbath approached, Jesus asked for one of the unoccupied cabins to be placed at the service of Himself and His disciples, and as there were here no lamps of Jewish style, they made one for themselves and celebrated their holy exercises.

7. Jesus Ceremoniously Escorted by Mensor to his Tent Castle

When the Kings received the news of Jesus' arrival, they made great preparations for His recep­tion. Trees were bound together so as to form cov­ered walks, and triumphal arches erected. These latter were adorned with flowers, fruits, ornaments of all kinds, and hung with tapestry. Seven men in white, gold-embroidered mantles, long and training, and with turbans on their heads ornamented with

The Tent City


 gold and high tufts of feathers, were dispatched to the pastoral region to meet Jesus and bear to Him a welcome. Jesus delivered in their presence an in­struction in which He spoke of right-minded pagans who, though ignorant, were devout of heart.

The dwelling place of the Kings was so commodious and so rich in ornamentation that words cannot describe it. It was more like a delightful pleasure garden than a real tent city. The principal tent looked like a large castle. It consisted of several stories raised upon a stone foundation. The lowest was formed of railings through which the eye could pen­etrate, and the upper ones contained the various apartments, while all around the immense building ran covered galleries and flights of steps. Similar tent castles stood around, all connected together by walks paved with colored stones ornamented with representations of stars, flowers, and similar devices. These walks, so clean and beautiful, were bordered on either side by grass plots and gardens whose beds, regularly laid out, were full of flowers, slen­der trees with fine leaves, such as the myrtle and dwarf laurel, and all kinds of berries and aromatic plants. In the center of the city, upon a grassy mound such as described, rose a very high and beautiful fountain of many jets. It was surmounted by a roof supported on an open colonnade around which were placed benches and other seats. The streams from the jets shot far around the central column. Back of this stood the temple, with its surrounding colon­nades, containing the vaults of the Kings, among which was the tomb of King Seir. This temple was open on one side, but closed on the others by the doors leading to the vaults. It was in shape a four cornered pyramid, but the roof was not so flat as those that I saw on the early part of the Lord's jour­ney. Spiral steps with railings ran up around the pyramid, whose summit was executed in openwork. I noticed also a tent house in one side of which


Life of Jesus Christ

 youths were being educated; and on the other, but entirely separate, girls were instructed in various branches. The dwellings of the females were all together and outside of this enclosure. They lived entirely separate from the men. Words cannot say with what elegance the whole city was laid out, and with what care it was preserved in its beauty, fresh­ness, and neatness. The buildings presented an airy appearance characterized by simplicity of taste. Beautiful gardens with seats for resting were every­where to be met. I saw an immense cage, more like a large house than a cage, filled from top to bottom with birds; further on, I saw tents and huts in which dwelt smiths and other workmen. I saw also stables and immense meadows full of herds of camels, asses, great sheep with fine wool, also cows with small heads and large horns, very different from those of our country.

I saw no mountain in this region, only gently ris­ing hills, not much higher than our pagan sepul­chral mounds. Down through these hills, through pipes inserted for that purpose, borings were made in search of gold. If the boring tube were brought up with gold on its point, the mine was opened in the side of the hill and the gold dug out. It was then smelted in the neighborhood of the mine in furnaces heated not with wood, but with lumps of something brown and clear, which too was dug out of the earth.

Mensor, who was under the persuasion that it was only an envoy from Jesus who had arrived, set all in motion to give him as solemn a reception as if it were the King of the Jews Himself who had come. He deliberated with the other chiefs and priests, and prescribed the various details of His reception. Fes­tal garments and presents were prepared, and the roads by which He was to come magnificently dec­orated. All was carried forward with joyous earnest­ness. Mensor, mounted on a richly caparisoned camel which was laden on both sides with small chests,

Mensor Salutes Jesus


 and attended by a retinue of twenty distinguished personages, some of whom had formed part of the caravan to Bethlehem, set out to meet Jesus who, with the three youths and seven messengers, was on His way to the tent castle, Mensor's party chanted, as they went along, a solemn, plaintive melody such as they had nightly sung during their journey to Bethlehem. Mensor, the eldest of the Kings, he of the brownish complexion, wore a high, round cap ornamented with some kind of a white puffed bor­der, and a white training mantle embroidered in gold. As a mark of honor, a standard floated at the head of the procession. It looked like a horse's tail fastened to a pole, the top of which was indented with points. The way led through an avenue across lovely meadows carpeted here and there with patches of tender white moss that glanced like dense fun­gus in the rays of the sun. At last, the procession reached a well covered by a verdant temple of artis­tically cut foliage. Here Mensor dismounted from his camel and awaited the Lord, who was seen approach­ing. One of the seven delegated to escort Jesus ran on before and announced His coming. The chests borne by the camels were now opened, and magnif­icent garments embroidered in gold, golden cups, plates, and dishes of fruit were taken out and deposited upon the carpet that was spread near the well. Mensor, bowed with age, supported by two of his retinue and attended by his train-bearer, went to meet Jesus. His whole demeanor was marked by humility. He carried in his right hand a long staff ornamented with gold and terminating in a scepter shaped point. At a glance from Jesus he experienced, as formerly at the Crib, an interior monition simi­lar to that which had drawn him, first of the three, down upon his knees. Reaching his staff to Jesus, he now prostrated again before Him, but Jesus raised him from the ground. Then the old man ordered the gifts to be brought forward and presented to Jesus,


Life of Jesus Christ

 who handed them to the disciples, and they were replaced upon the camel. Jesus did indeed accept the splendid garments, though He would not con­sent to wear them. The camel likewise was presented to Him by the old man, but Jesus thanked without accepting.

They now entered the bower. Mensor presented to the Lord fresh water into which he had poured some kind of juice from a small flask, and fruit on little dishes. In a manner inexpressibly humble, child­like, and friendly, Mensor questioned Jesus about the King of the Jews, for he still looked upon Him as an envoy, though he could not explain to himself his inward emotion. His companions conversed with the youths and wept for joy when they heard from Eremenzear that he was the son of one of those fol­lowers of the Kings that had remained behind and settled near Bethlehem. He was a descendant of Abraham by his second wife, Ketura. Mensor wanted Jesus to ride upon his camel when they were again starting for the tent castle, but Jesus insisted on walking, He and the young disciples heading the procession. In about an hour they reached the vast circular enclosure wherein stood Mensor's dwelling and its dependencies, and around which, in lieu of walls, was stretched white tent cloth. Under the tri­umphal arch before the entrance, Jesus and the dis­ciples were met by a troop of maidens in festive attire. They came forward, two by two, carrying bas­kets of flowers which they strewed over the way by which He had to pass until it was entirely covered with them. The path led through an avenue of shade trees whose top branches were bound together. The maidens wore under their upper garment which fell around them in the form of a mantle, wide white pantalets; on their feet, pointed sandals; around their heads, bands of some kind of white stuff; and on their arms and breast and around their necks were wreaths of flowers, wool, and glistening feathers.

A Tent Castle


 They were clothed very modestly, though they wore no veils. The shady avenue ended at a covered bridge which led across the moat, or brook, into the large garden around which the brook ran. In front of the bridge was erected a highly ornamented triumphal arch, under which Jesus was received by five priests in white mantles with long trains. Their robes were richly adorned with lace, and from the right arm of each hung a maniple to the ground. They wore on their head a scalloped crown in the front of which was a little shield in the form of a heart, and from which rose a point. Two of them bore a fire-pan of gold, upon which they sprinkled frankincense from a golden vessel shaped like a boat. They would not allow the trains of their mantles to be held up in Jesus' presence, but tucked them up in a loop behind.

Jesus received all these honors quietly, as He after­ward did those of Palm Sunday.

The magnificent garden was watered by many lit­tle streams and laid off in triangular flowerbeds by paths beautifully paved with ornamental stones. Through the center of it ran an embowered walk, likewise paved with colored stones in figures, to a second covered bridge. The trees and garden bushes were trained in all kinds of figures. I saw some cut to represent men and animals. The outside row was formed of high trees, but the inner ones were smaller, more delicate, and there were many shady resting places.

The second bridge once crossed, the way led to the middle of a large, circular place that formed the center of the surrounding enclosure. There on a mound entirely surrounded by water stood, over a well, an open edifice, like a little temple. The roof, formed of skins, was raised upon slender pillars. The whole island was one lovely garden, and opposite to it rose the large royal tent.

When Jesus crossed the second bridge, He was re­ceived by youths playing on flutes and tambourines.


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 They dwelt near the bridge in low, four-cornered tents which stretched right and left in arches. They must have been a kind of bodyguard, for they car­ried short swords and stood on guard. They wore caps garnished with something like a feather horn, and they had many kinds of ornaments hanging around them, among them the representation of a large half-moon, in which was a face regularly cut out. The procession halted before the little island of the well. The King dismounted from his camel and led Jesus and the disciples to the fountain, which consisted of a wellspring with many circles of jets one above another, all made of shining metal. When a faucet was turned, the streams of water spouted far around and ran down the mound in channels, through the green hedges, and into the surround­ing brook. All around the fountain were seats. The disciples washed Jesus' feet, and He theirs. A cov­ered tent avenue ran over the bridge from the foun­tain to the other side of the great, circular place and up to Mensor and Theokeno's tent castle. On one side of the tent castle stood, in the spacious enclosure around the fountain island, the temple, a four-cornered pyramid. It was not so high as the tent castle and was surrounded by a colonnade, in which was found the entrance to the vaults of the deceased Kings. Around the temple pyramid ran a flight of spiral steps up to the grated summit. Be­tween the temple and the fountain island, the sacred fire was preserved in a pit covered by a metallic dome upon which was a figure with a little flag in its hand. The fire was kept constantly burning. It was a white flame that did not rise above the mouth of the pit. The priests frequently put into it pieces of something that they dug out of the ground.

The tent castle of the Kings was several stories high. The lowest, that is, the one next above the solid foundation, was merely grated, so that one could see quite through it. It was full of little bushes and

Jesus Declares Himself the Messiah


 plants, and served as a garden for Theokeno, who could no longer walk. Covered steps and galleries ran around the tent castle from the ground up to the top. Here and there were openings like windows, though not symmetrically placed. The roof of the tent had several gables, all ornamented with flags, stars, and moons.

After a short time spent at the fountain, Jesus was escorted through the covered tent avenue to the castle and into the large octagonal hall. In the center rose a supporting column all around which, one above another, were little circular cavities in which various objects could be placed. The walls were hung with colored tapestry upon which were representations of flowers, and figures of boys hold­ing drinking cups, and the floor was carpeted. Jesus requested Mensor to conduct Him at once to Theo­keno, whose rooms were in the trellised basement near the little garden. He was resting on a cush­ioned couch, and he took part in the meal that was served up in dishes of surpassing beauty. The viands were prepared very elegantly. Herbs, fine and del­icate, were arranged on the plates to represent lit­tle gardens. The cups were of gold. Among the fruits was one particularly remarkable. It was yellow, ribbed, very large, and crowned by a tuft of leaves. The honeycombs were especially fine. Jesus ate only some bread and fruit, and drank from a cup that had never before been used. This was the first time that I saw Him eating with pagans. I saw Him teaching here whole days at a time, and but sel­dom taking a mouthful.

He taught during that meal and, at last, told His hosts that He was not an envoy of the Messiah, but the Messiah Himself. On hearing this, they fell pros­trate on the ground in tears. Mensor especially wept with emotion. He could not contain himself for love and reverence, and was unable to conceive how Jesus could have condescended to come to him. But Jesus


Life of Jesus Christ

 told him that He had come for the heathens as well as for the Jews, that He was come for all who believed in Him. Then they asked Him whether it was not time for them to abandon their country and follow Him at once to Galilee, for, as they assured Him, they were ready to do so. But Jesus replied that His Kingdom was not of this world, and that they would be scandalized, that they would waver in faith if they should see how He would be scorned and mal­treated by the Jews. These words they could not comprehend, and they inquired how it could be that things could go so well with the bad while the good had to suffer so much. Jesus then explained to them that they who enjoy on earth have to render an account hereafter, and that this life is one of penance.

The Kings had some knowledge of Abraham and David; and when Jesus spoke of His ancestors, they produced some old books and searched in them, to see whether they too could not claim descent from the same race. The books were in the form of tablets opening out in a zigzag form, like sample patterns. These pagans were so childlike, so desirous of doing all that they were told. They knew that circumci­sion had been prescribed to Abraham, and they asked the Lord whether they too should obey this part of the Law. Jesus answered that it was no longer nec­essary, that they had already circumcised their evil inclinations, and that they would do so still more. Then they told Him that they knew something of Melchisedech and his sacrifice of bread and wine, and said that they too had a sacrifice of the same kind, namely, a sacrifice of little leaves and some kind of a green liquor. When they offered it they spoke some words like these: "Whoever eats me and is devout, shall have all kinds of felicity." Jesus told them that Melchisedech's sacrifice was a type of the Most Holy Sacrifice, and that He Himself was the Victim. Thus, though plunged in darkness, these pagans had preserved many forms of truth.

Representation of the Crib


Either the night that preceded Jesus' coming or that which followed, I cannot now say which, all the paths and avenues to a great distance around the tent castle were brilliantly illuminated. Transpar­ent globes with lights in them were raised on poles, and every globe was surmounted by a little crown that glistened like a star.

8. Jesus in the Temple of the Kings. Feast of the Apparition of the Star.

The Lord's first visit to the temple of the Kings took place by day, and He was escorted to it from the tent castle by the priests in solemn procession. They now wore high caps. From one shoulder depended ribbons with numbers of silver shields, and from the opposite arm hung the long maniple. The whole way to the temple was hung with drap­ery, and the priests walked barefoot. Here and there in the neighborhood of the temple, women were sit­ting, anxious to see the Lord. They had little para­sols, little canopies on poles, to shade them from the sun. When Jesus passed in the distance, they arose and bowed low to the ground. In the center of the temple rose a pillar from which chevrons extended to the four walls, and from the highest point was suspended a wheel covered with stars and globes, which was used during the religious ceremonies.

The priests showed Jesus a representation of the Crib which, after their return from Bethlehem, they had caused to be made. It was exactly like that which they had seen in the star, entirely of gold, and surrounded by a plate of the same metal in the form of a star. The little child, likewise of gold, was sitting in a crib like that of Bethlehem, on a red cover. Its hands were crossed on its breast up to which from the feet it was swathed. Even the straw of the manger was represented. Behind the child's head was a little white crown, but I do not now


Life of Jesus Christ

 know of what it was made. Besides this crib there was no other image in the temple. A long roll, or tablet, was hanging on the wall. It was the sacred writings, and the letters were principally formed of symbolical figures. Between the pillar and the crib stood a little altar with openings in the sides, and they sprinkled water around with a little brush, as we do holy water. I saw also a consecrated branch, with which they performed all kinds of ceremonies, some little round loaves, a chalice, and a plate of the flesh of victims sacrificed. As they were show­ing all these things to Jesus, He enlightened them on the truth and refuted the reasons they advanced for their use.

They took Him also to the tombs of King Seir and his family, which lay in the vaults in the covered way that surrounded the pyramidal temple. They looked like couches cut in the wall. The bodies lay in long, white garments, and beautiful covers hung down from their resting places. I saw their half-cov­ered faces and their hands bare and white as snow; but I know not whether it was only their bones or whether they were still covered with dried skin, for I saw that the hands were deeply furrowed. This sepulchral vault was quite habitable, and there was a stool in each of the tombs. The priests brought in fire and burnt incense. All shed tears, especially the aged King Mensor, who wept like a child. Jesus approached the remains and spoke of the dead. Theo­keno, speaking to Jesus of Seir, told Him that a dove was frequently seen to alight on the branch which, according to their custom, they stuck on the door of his tomb, and he asked what it meant. Jesus in reply asked him what was Seir's belief. To this Theokeno answered: "Lord, his faith was like unto mine. After we began to honor the King of the Jews, Seir up to his death desired that all he thought and did, all that was to befall him, might ever be in accordance with the will of that King." Thereupon Jesus informed

A Memorial Feast


 him that the dove on the branch signified that Seir had been baptized with the baptism of desire.

Jesus drew for them on a plate the figure of the lamb resting on the Book with the Seven Seals, a little standard over its shoulder, and He bade them make one on that model and place it on the column opposite the crib.

Since their return from Bethlehem, the Kings had every year celebrated a memorial feast of three days in honor of that upon which, fifteen years before the Birth of Christ, they had for the first time seen the star containing the picture of the Virgin who held in one hand a scepter, and in the other a balance with an ear of wheat in one dish and a cluster of grapes in the other. The three days were in honor of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. They reverenced St. Joseph in a special manner, because he had received them so kindly and graciously. It was now time for this annual festival, but in their humility in pres­ence of the Lord, they wanted to omit the usual reli­gious ceremonies, and begged Him to give them an instruction instead. But Jesus told them that they must celebrate their feast, lest the people in their ignorance of what had just taken place might be scandalized at the omission. I saw many things con­nected with their religion. They had three images in the form of animals standing around outside the temple: one was a dragon with huge jaws; another a dog with a great head; and the third was a bird with legs and neck long, almost like a stork, only that it had a peaked bill. I do not think that these images were adored as gods. They served only as symbols of certain virtues whose practice they incul­cated. The dragon represented the bad, the dark principle in man's nature, which he must labor to destroy; the dog, which had reference to some star, signified fidelity, gratitude, and vigilance; and the bird typified filial love. The images embodied besides all kinds of deep, profound mysteries, but I cannot


Life of Jesus Christ

 now recall them. I know well however that no idol­atry, no abomination was connected with them. They were embodiments of great wisdom and humility, of deep meditation upon the wonderful things of God. They were not made of gold, but of something darker, like those fragments that were used for smelting the ore, or perhaps what remained after that process. Below the figure of the dragon I read five letters, A A S C C or A S C A S, I do not remember exactly which. The dog's name was Sur, but that of the bird I have forgotten.

The four priests delivered discourses in four dif­ferent places around the temple before the men, the women, the maidens, and the youths. I saw them open the dragon's jaws and I heard them say at the same time: "If, hateful and frightful as he is, he were now alive and about to devour us, who alone could help us but the Almighty God?"—and they gave to God some special name that I cannot now recall. Then they caused the wheel to be taken down from its place, put it on the altar in a track formed to receive it, and one of the priests made it revolve. There were several circles one inside the other all hung with hollow golden balls, which glittered and tinkled at every revolution, thus announcing the course of the constellations. This revolving of the wheel was accompanied by singing, the refrain being to this effect: "What would become of the world if God should cease to direct the movement of the stars?" This was followed by the offering of sacrifice before the golden Christ Child in the crib, and the burning of incense. Jesus commanded them to do away with those animals for the future, and to teach mercy, love of the neighbor, and the Redemption of the human race; as for the rest, they should admire God in His creatures, give Him thanks, and adore Him alone. On the evening of the first of these three festivals, the Sabbath began for Jesus; therefore, He withdrew with the three youths into a retired apart­ment

St. Serena, Martyr


 of the tent castle to celebrate it. They had with them white garments almost like grave clothes. These they put on, along with a girdle, ornamented with letters and straps, which they crossed like a stole over the breast. On a table covered with red and white stood a lamp with seven burners. When in prayer, Jesus stood between two of the youths, the third behind Him. No pagan was present at Jesus' celebration of the Sabbath.

During the whole of the Sabbath, the pagans were gathered together in the enclosure around their tem­ple, men, women, youths, and maidens—all had their respective tiers of seats. After Jesus had finished His celebration of the Sabbath, He went out to the pagans and then I witnessed a wonderful scene. In the center of the women's circle stood the image of the dragon. The women were very differently clothed according to their rank. The poorest wore under their long mantles only a short garment, very simple; but the more distinguished were arrayed like her whom I now saw step in front of the dragon. She was a robust-looking woman of about thirty. Under the long mantle, which she laid aside when seated, she wore a stiff, plaited tunic and a jacket very closely fitting around the neck and breast, and ornamented with glittering jewels and tiny chains. From the shoul­der to the elbow hung lappets like open half-sleeves, and the rest of the arms, like the lower limbs, was covered with lace and bracelets. On her head she wore a close-fitting cap that reached down to the eyes, partly concealed the cheeks and chin, and which was formed entirely of rows of curled feathers. Above the middle of the head, bent from the forehead back, arose a kind of roll or pad through which could be seen the hair, braided and ornamented. A great many long ornamental chains were pendent from the ears down to the breast.

Before the priest began his instruction, the woman, attended by many others, went in front of the dragon,


Life of Jesus Christ

 cast herself down and kissed the earth. She per­formed this action with marked enthusiasm and devo­tion. At this moment Jesus stepped into the middle of the circle and asked why she did that. She answered that the dragon awoke her every morning before day when she arose, turned toward the quar­ter in which the image stood, prostrated before her couch, and adored it. Jesus next asked: "Why dost thou cast thyself down before Satan? Thy faith has been taken possession of by Satan. It is true indeed that thou wilt be awakened, but not by Satan. It is an angel that will awake thee. Behold whom thou adorest!" At the same moment, there stood by the woman, and in sight of all present, a spirit in the form of a figure lank and reddish, with a sharp, hideous countenance. The woman shrank back in fright. Jesus, pointing to the spirit, said: "This is he that has been accustomed to awake thee, but every human being has also a good angel. Prostrate before him and follow his advice!" At these words of Jesus, all perceived a beautiful luminous figure hovering near the woman. Tremblingly she prostrated before him. So long as Satan stood beside the woman, the good angel remained behind her, but when he dis­appeared, the angel came forward. The woman, deeply affected, now returned to her place. She was called Cuppes. She was afterward baptized Serena by Thomas, under which name she was later on mar­tyred and venerated as a saint.

In His instruction to the youths and maidens who were assembled in the vicinity of the bird, Jesus warned them to observe due measure in their love of both human beings and the lower animals, for there were some among them that almost adored their parents, and others that showed more affec­tion for animals than for their fellow men.

On the last day of the festival, Jesus desired to deliver a discourse in the temple to the priests and Kings and all the people. That the aged King Theo­keno

Jesus Instructs Priests and Kings


 also might be among His hearers, Jesus went to him with Mensor, and commanded him to rise and accompany Him. He took him by the hand and Theokeno, nothing doubting, rose up at once able to walk. Jesus led him to the temple and from that time forward he retained the use of his limbs. Jesus ordered the doors of the pyramidal temple to be opened, that all the people outside could both see and hear Him. He taught sometimes outside among the men and women, the youths, the maidens, and the children, relating to them many of the parables that He had formerly recounted to the Jews. His auditors were privileged to interrupt Him in order to ask questions, for He had commanded them to do so. Sometimes also He called upon a certain one to say aloud before all the others the doubts that trou­bled him, for He knew the thoughts of everyone. Among the questions they asked was this: Why He raised no dead to life, cured no sick, as the King of the Jews had done? Jesus answered that He did not perform such miracles among pagans, but that He would send some men who would work many won­ders among them, and that through the bath of Bap­tism they should become clean. They should, He said, until that time take His words on faith.

Jesus then gave an instruction to the priests and kings alone, He told them that whatever in their doctrine bore an appearance of truth, was a mere lie: it had only the semblance, the empty form of truth, and the demon himself gave it that form. As soon as the good angel withdraws, Satan steps for­ward, corrupts worship, and takes it under his own guardianship. Heretofore, Jesus continued, they had honored all those objects to which they could attach some idea of strength, and of that worship they had omitted many things after their return from Beth­lehem. Now, however, He told them they should do away with those figures of animals, should melt them down: and He indicated to them the people to whom


Life of Jesus Christ

 their value should be given. All their worship, all their knowledge, He said, valued nothing. They should inculcate love and mercy without the aid of those images, and thank the Father in Heaven that He had so mercifully called them to the knowledge of Himself. Jesus promised them that He would send one who would more fully instruct them, and He directed them to remove the wheel with its starry representations. It was as large as a carriage wheel of moderate size and had seven concentric rims, on the uppermost and the lowest of which were fas­tened globes from which streamed rays. The central point consisted of a larger globe, which represented the earth. On the circumference of the wheel were twelve stars, in which were as many different pic­tures, splendid and glittering. I saw among them one of a virgin with rays of light flashing from her eyes and playing around her mouth, while on her forehead sparkled precious stones; and another of an animal with something in its mouth that emit­ted sparks. But I could not see all distinctly, because the wheel was constantly revolving. The figures were not all visible at the same time, for at intervals some were hidden.

Jesus desired to leave them some bread and wine blessed by Himself. The priests had, in obedience to His directions, prepared some very fine white bread like little cakes, and a small jug of some kind of red liquor. Jesus specified the shape of the vessel in which all was to be preserved. It was like a large mortar. It had two ears, a cover with a knob, and was divided into two compartments. The bread was deposited in the upper one; and in the lower one, in which there was a small door, the little jug of liquor was placed. The outside shone like quicksilver, but the inside was yellow. Jesus placed the bread and the wine on the little altar, prayed, and blessed, while the priests and the two Kings knelt before Him, their hands crossed on their breast. Jesus

A Symbol of Holy Communion


 prayed over them, laid His hands on their shoul­ders, and instructed them how they should renew the bread, which He cut for them crosswise, giving them the words and the ceremony of benediction. This bread and wine were to be for them a symbol of Holy Communion. The Kings had some knowledge of Melchisedech, and they questioned Jesus con­cerning his sacrifice. When He blessed the bread for them, He gave them some idea of His Passion and of the Last Supper. They should, He told them, make use of the bread and wine for the first time on the anniversary of their adoration at the Crib, and after that three times in the year, or every three months, I cannot recall it exactly.

Next day Jesus again taught in the temple wherein all were gathered. He went in and out, leaving one crowd to go to another. He allowed the women and children also to come and speak to Him, and He instructed the mothers how to rear their children and teach them to pray. This was the first time that I saw many children gathered together here. The boys wore only a short tunic, and the little girls, mantles. The children of the converted lady were present. She was a person of distinction and her spouse, a tall man, was near King Mensor. She had fully ten children with her. Jesus blessed them, lay­ing His hand not on the head as He did to the chil­dren of Judea, but on the shoulder.

He instructed the people upon His mission and His approaching end, and told them that His jour­ney into their country was unknown to the Jews. He had, He said, brought with Him as companions youths that would take no scandal at what they saw and heard, and who were docile to all His words. The Jews would have taken His life, had He not made His escape. But apart from all that, He was desirous of visiting them because they had visited Him, had believed in Him, hoped in Him, and loved Him. He admonished them to thank God for not


Life of Jesus Christ

 allowing them to be entirely blinded by idolatry and for giving them the true belief in Himself and the grace to keep His Commandments. If I do not mis­take, He spoke to them also of the time of His return to His Heavenly Father, when He would send to them His disciples. He told them too that He was going down into Egypt where as a child He had been with His Mother, for there were some people there who had known Him in His childhood. He would, however, remain quite unknown, as there were Jews there who would willingly seize Him and deliver Him to His enemies, but His time was not yet come.

The pagans could not understand the human fore­sight of Jesus. In their childlike simplicity, they men­tally asked themselves: "How could they do such things to Him, since He is truly God!" Jesus answered their thoughts by telling them that He was man also, that the Father had sent Him to lead back all the scattered, that as a man, He could suffer and be persecuted by men when His hour would have come, and because He was a man, He could be thus intimate with them.

He warned them again to renounce all kinds of idolatry and to love one another. In speaking of His own Passion, He touched upon true compassion. They should, He said, desist from their excessive care of sick animals, and turn their love toward their fel­low beings both as regards body and soul; and if there were in their neighborhood none that stood in need of assistance, they should seek at a distance for such as did, and pray for all their destitute brethren. He told them also that what they did for the needy, they did for Him, and He made them understand that they were not to treat the lower animals with cruelty. They had entire tents filled with sick animals of all kinds, which they even pro­vided with little beds. They were especially fond of dogs, of which I saw many large ones with enor­mous heads.

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
Vol 3

This document is: ACE_3_0531

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