Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
1774-1824
Vol 4

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Pious Celebration

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 the Lord's mild and loving manner, the calm joy of the two disciples even before they knew Him, and their rapture as soon as they recognized Him and after He had disappeared. Cleophas and Luke hur­ried back at once to Jerusalem.

On the evening of the same day, many of the dis­ciples and all the Apostles excepting Thomas assem­bled with Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea in the hall of the Last Supper, the doors being closed. They stood ranged in a triple circle under the lamp that hung from the center of the ceiling, and prayed. They seemed to be engaged in some after-celebration of mourning or thanksgiving, for the Paschal solemni­ties ended today in Jerusalem. All wore long white garments. Peter, John, and James the Less were vested in robes that distinguished them from the rest, and they held rolls of writing in their hands. Around their white, flowing garment, which was some­what longer behind than before, they wore a girdle more than a hand in breadth. From it depended to below the knees scalloped strips, black like the gir­dle, and covered with large white letters. The girdle was knotted in the back, the ends crossing and reach­ing as low down as the strips in front. The sleeves were very wide, and one served as a pocket in which the prayer rolls could be stuck. Above the elbow of the left arm hung a broad maniple tripped with tas­sels of the same color and embroidered in the same way as the girdle. Peter wore a stole around his neck. It was broader from the shoulders down than it was around the neck, and was crossed and fas­tened on the breast with a little blank shield in the form of a heart and ornamented with stones. The two other Apostles wore their stoles crossed under the arm, and had shorter strips to their girdles. When in prayer, all laid their hands crosswise on their breast. The Apostles occupied the inner circle under the lamp; the two others were formed by the disciples. Peter, between John and James, stood with

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 his back turned to the closed entrance of the house of the Last Supper; two only were behind him, and the circle was not closed in front of him, but open toward the Holy of Holies.

The Blessed Virgin was, during the whole cele­bration, with Mary Cleophas and Magdalen in the hall outside, which opened into the supper room. Peter preached at intervals during the prayers.

I was surprised to see that although Jesus had appeared to Peter, John, and James, yet the greater number of the Apostles and disciples would not fully believe in His Resurrection. They still felt uneasy, as if His apparition was not a real and corporeal one, only a vision, a phantom, similar to those the Prophets had had.

All had ranged again for prayer after Peter's instruction when Luke and Cleophas, hurrying back from Emmaus, knocked at the closed doors of the courtyard and received admittance. The joyful news they related somewhat interrupted the prayer. But scarcely was it again continued when I saw all pre­sent radiant with joyful emotion, and glancing in the same direction. Jesus was come in through the closed doors. He was robed in a long white garment simply girded. They did not appear to be really con­scious of His approach, until He passed through the circles and stood in their midst under the lamp. Then they became very much amazed and agitated. He showed them His hands and feet and, opening His garment, disclosed the Wound in His side. He spoke to them and, seeing that they were very much terrified, He asked for something to eat. I saw rays of light proceeding from His mouth. The Apostles and disciples were as if completely ravished.

And now I saw Peter going behind a screen, or hanging tapestry, into a recess of the hall which one might fail to remark, since the screen was like the entire wainscoting. In the center of this recess, on the Paschal hearth, stood the Blessed Sacrament.

The Risen Lord

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 There was a side compartment into which they had pushed the table, which was one foot high, after they had eaten reclining around it under the lamp. On this table stood a deep oval dish covered with a lit­tle white cloth, which Peter took to the Lord. In the dish were a piece of fish and some honey. Jesus gave thanks and blessed the food, ate and gave a portion of it some, but not to all. To His Holy Mother also and the other women, who were standing in the door­way of the outer hall, He likewise distributed some.

After that I saw Him teaching and imparting strength. The circles around Him were still triple, the ten Apostles forming the inmost. Thomas was not there. It appeared wonderful to me that part of Jesus' words and instructions was heard by the ten Apostles only, though I ought not to say heard, for I did not see Jesus moving His lips. He was resplen­dent. Light streamed over them from His hands, His feet, His side, His mouth, as He breathed upon them. It flowed in upon them. They became interiorly rec­ollected, and felt themselves endued with power to forgive sins, to baptize and heal and impose hands; and I saw that, if they drank any poisonous thing, it would be without receiving harm from it. But here I saw no talking with the mouth, no hearing with the ears. I knew not how it was, but I felt that Jesus did not impart these gifts with words, that He spoke not in words, and that all did not hear what He said; but that He infused these gifts substantially, with a substance as it were, with a flashing of light in upon their soul. Still, I do not know whether the Apostles felt that they had received them in this way, or whether they thought that they had simply heard the words uttered naturally. I felt, however, that it was only the innermost circle, the Apostles, that took or received these gifts. To me it was like an interior speech, but without a whisper, without the softest word.

Jesus explained to the Apostles several points of

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 Holy Scripture relative to Himself and the Blessed Sacrament, and ordered the Latter to be venerated at the close of the Sabbath solemnities. He spoke of the Sacred Mystery of the Ark of the Covenant; of the bones and relics of ancestors and their venera­tion, thus to obtain their intercession; of Abraham, and of the bones of Adam which he had had in his possession and which he had laid on the altar when offering sacrifice. Another point relating to Melchisedech's sacrifice, which I then saw, I have forgotten, although it was very remarkable. Jesus further said that the colored coat which Jacob gave to Joseph was an emblem of His own bloody sweat on the Mount of Olives. At these words, I saw that coat of many colors. It was white with broad red stripes. It had three black cords on the breast, with a yellow ornament in the middle. It was full around the body so that things could be put into it as into a kind of pocket, and girded at the waist. It was narrow below and had slits at the side to afford more room for walking. It reached to the ankles, was longer behind than before, and on the breast, was open down to the girdle. Joseph's ordinary dress reached only to the knee.

Jesus likewise told the disciples that Adam's bones, which had been preserved in the Ark of the Covenant, Jacob gave to Joseph along with the many colored coat. I saw then that Jacob gave them to Joseph without the latter's knowing what they were. Jacob's love prompted him to bestow them upon Joseph as a means of protection, as a treasure, because he knew that his brothers did not love him. Joseph carried the bones hanging on his breast in a little pouch formed of two leathern tablets, not square, but rounded on top. When his brothers sold him, they took from him only the colored coat and the undergarment, leaving him a bandage round his loins and a scapular on his breast. It was under the latter that the little pouch hung. On going into Egypt,

“We Shall Catch Fish”

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 Jacob questioned Joseph about that treasure and revealed to him that it was Adam's bones. Again I saw the bones under Mount Calvary. They were white as snow and still very hard. Some of Joseph's own bones were preserved in the Ark of the Covenant.

Jesus spoke too of the Mystery contained in the Ark of the Covenant. He said that that Mystery was now His Body and Blood, which He gave to them forever in the Sacrament. He spoke of His own Pas­sion and of some wonderful things relating to David of which they were ignorant and which He explained. Lastly, He bade them go in a couple of days to the region of Sichar, and there proclaim His Resurrec­tion. After that He vanished. I saw the Apostles and disciples going around among one another, perfectly intoxicated with joy. They opened the doors, went in and out, and assembled again under the lamp, to sing canticles of praise and thanksgiving.

7. The Apostles Preaching The Resurrection

On that same night a part of the Apostles, at Jesus' bidding, betook themselves to Bethania, while the rest set out for Jerusalem. The older disciples remained in Bethania to teach the younger and weaker in the Faith, which they did partly at the house of Lazarus and partly in the synagogue. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were staying at Lazarus'. The holy women were in a neighboring building surrounded by the same moat and court­yard that enclosed Lazarus' house. It had an entrance on the street, and was formerly occupied by Mag­dalen and Martha.

The Apostles went with a troop of disciples, among them Luke, in the direction of Sichar. Peter said joy­fully as they were setting out: "We shall go to the sea and catch fish," by which words he meant souls. They separated and went different ways, teaching

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 at the inns and in the public places of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. This was a preparation for the conversions of Pentecost.

They met together again at the inn outside Thanath-Silo. Thomas also, with two disciples, joined them as they were gathered at a meal prepared for them by Silvan's father, who had care of the inn. The Apostles told Thomas of the apparition of the risen Saviour in their midst. But he raised his hands to silence them, and said that he would not believe it until he had touched His wounds. He did the same before the disciples when they declared to him that they had seen the Lord. Thomas had kept a little aloof from the followers of Jesus, and was thereby somewhat weakened in faith.

Peter taught till late at night in the school of Thanath-Silo. He spoke out quite freely of how the Jews had dealt with Jesus. He related many things of His last predictions and teachings, of His unspeak­able love, of His prayer on Mount Olivet, and of Judas' treachery and wretched end. The people were very much amazed and troubled at all they heard, for they loved Judas, who in Jesus' absence, had assisted many by his readiness to serve them, and had even wrought miracles. Peter did not spare him­self. He recounted his flight and denial with bitter tears. His hearers wept with him. Then with still more vehement expressions of sorrow, he told of how cruelly the Jews had treated Jesus, of His rising again on the third day, of His appearing first to the women, then to some of the others, and lastly to all in general, and he called upon all present that had seen Him to witness to His words. Upwards of a hundred hands were raised in answer to his call. Thomas, however, remained silent and responded by no sign. He could not bring himself to believe. Peter then called upon the people to leave all things, to join the new Community, and to follow Jesus. He invited the less courageous to go to Jerusalem, where

Magdalen

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 the Faithful would share all they had with them. There was, he said, no reason to fear the Jews, for they were now themselves afraid. All were very much impressed by Peter's words, and many were con­verted. They wanted the Apostles to remain longer with them, but Peter said that they must go back to Jerusalem.

The Apostles cured many sick persons in Thanath­-Silo, among whom were some lunatics and some pos­sessed. They went about these cures just as Jesus had done, that is, they breathed upon the sick, they imposed hands while leaning over them. Some of these invalids Jesus had passed without curing on the occasion of His last visit to the place. The inhab­itants of Thanath-Silo were very friendly toward the Apostles. The disciples performed no cures, but they served the others, carrying, lifting, and leading the sick. Luke, who was a physician, now became quite a nurse.

I saw the Mother of God in Bethania. She was quiet and grave, more deeply absorbed in feelings of holy awe than in natural sorrow. Mary Cleophas was remarkably amiable and, of all the women, most like Mary. I often saw her leaning over her gently and consoling her in the most touching manner.

Magdalen, in her sorrow and love, was above all fear. She was perfectly heroic and without a thought of danger. She took no rest, but often left the house, hurried through the streets with streaming hair, and wherever she found listeners, whether in their homes or in public places, she accused them as the mur­derers of the Lord, vehemently recounting all they had done to the Saviour, and announcing to them His Resurrection. If she found no one to listen to her, she wandered through the gardens and told it to the flowers, the trees, and the fountains. Often­times a crowd gathered around her, some compas­sionating her, others insulting her on account of her past life. She was little esteemed by the crowd, for

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 she had once given great scandal. I saw that her present violent conduct scandalized some of the Jews, and about five of them wanted to seize her, but she passed straight through them and went on as before. She had lost sight of the whole world, she sighed only after Jesus.

During the dispersion of the disciples and the Pas­sion of the Lord, Martha had a heavy duty to ful­fill and she still discharged it. Though torn with grief, she had to see to everything, to lend a help­ing hand everywhere. She had to feed the dispersed and wandering, attend to their wants, provide nour­ishment for all. Her assistant in all this, as well as in the cooking, was Johanna Chusa, a widow whose husband had been a servant of Herod.

Simon of Cyrene was now in Bethania with the disciples, among whom he found his two sons. He was a pious man from Cyrene who was accustomed to sojourn in Jerusalem during the Paschal time, working for different families that knew him, doing up gardens and cutting hedges. He took his meals sometimes in this house, sometimes in that. He was perfectly silent and upright. His sons were already some time among strangers and with the disciples without his knowing it, as occasionally happens to the children of the poor.

In those days, the emissaries of the High Priests went throughout Jerusalem, visiting all the houses whose owners kept up communication with Jesus and the disciples, discharging them from whatever public employments they might happen to hold, and arresting any of Jesus' followers found there. Nicode­mus and Joseph of Arimathea had, since Christ's bur­ial, nothing more to do with the Jews. Joseph of Arimathea was something like an Elder of a congre­gation. He always stood among the Jews like a man who, by his unobtrusive merit and multiplied good works modestly performed, had won the esteem of even the wicked. What very much rejoiced me was

Jesus Appears in Many Places

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 to see how Veronica's husband condescended to her when she told him that she would rather separate from him than from the crucified Jesus. I saw that he too was discharged from his public office. But I was informed that he bore it more for love of his wife than for love of Jesus. The Jews, moreover, caused the ways and paths to the Holy Sepulcher on Mount Calvary to be obstructed by ditches and hedges, because they had become a resort for many, and diverse moving incidents and miracles took place in them.

Pilate's interior disquietude drove him from Jerusalem. Herod, a couple of days previously, had gone to Machaerus, but finding no rest there, he proceeded to Madian. Here, where they had once refused to receive the Lord, they now opened the gates to the murderer.

I saw Jesus appearing in many places during these days, and lastly in Galilee, in a valley across the Jordan in which was a large school. Many people were standing together, speaking about Him and expressing their doubts upon the report of His Res­urrection. He appeared among them, and vanished again after some words. I saw Him appearing in this way in different localities.

The Apostles very quickly returned from the region of Sichar. They sent a messenger on ahead to Betha­nia, to announce their return and to direct several of the disciples to go to Jerusalem for the Sabbath. Oth­ers were commanded to celebrate it in Bethania, for they already had a certain law and order. The Apos­tles only passed through the different places on the road without stopping. Thaddeus, James the Less, and Eliud went in their travelling dress, and ahead of the rest, to see the Blessed Virgin and Mary Cleophas at John Mark's. As they had not seen the newcomers for a considerable time, the holy women were very much rejoiced. I saw that James was carrying on his arm a priestly vestment, a mantle, which the holy women

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 in Bethania had made for Peter, and which he was taking to the house of the Last Supper.

It was so late when the Apostles assembled in the house of the Last Supper that they could not par­take of the meal prepared for them. They had to begin the Sabbath solemnities. They at once put on their robes of ceremony, preceded of course by the customary foot washing. The lamps were lighted, and I already remarked some departure from the Jewish Sabbatical ceremonies. First, the curtains were opened in front of the Holy of Holies, and the seat upon which Jesus had reclined at table at the institution of the Holy Eucharist was placed before it. They spread a cover over it, and laid upon it their prayer rolls. Peter knelt before it, John and James a little in the rear, the rest of the Apostles behind them, and then came the disciples. When they knelt they bowed their heads to the ground, burying their faces in their hands. The cover was removed from the chalice, but the white linen cloth was still left hanging over it. Only those disciples were present who were already initiated into the mystery of the Blessed Sacrament, just as those chiefly had been taken on the journey to Sichar who had seen the Lord after His Resurrection that they might be able to attest the fact.

Peter, with John and James at his side, delivered a meditation, or prayer, in which the holy Institu­tion of the Lord and also His Passion were consid­ered, and an interior sacrifice of prayer was offered. After that, standing under the lamp, they began the usual ceremonies of the Sabbath. When all was over, they took a repast in the outer hall. In the Supper Hall itself, I saw no more eating going on after the institution of the Holy Eucharist, excepting perhaps the taking of bread and wine.

On the occasion of His apparition through the closed doors, Jesus had taught the Apostles that addition to the service of the Sabbath which relates

The Second Love Feast

391

 to the Blessed Sacrament.

The Blessed Virgin was taken to Jerusalem by Mary Marcus; and Veronica, who now went round with her openly, accompanied them, along with Johanna Chusa from Bethania.

The Blessed Virgin liked to be in Jerusalem, for she could there go alone in the twilight and dark­ness over the Way of Jesus' Passion, pray and med­itate on the places upon which He had suffered or had fallen. And as she could not reach them all, on account of the Jews' having hedged some of them in and filled others up, she made the Holy Way at home, also, or in the open air, for she had all the distances and the numbers connected with it deeply engraven in her soul, and thus she constantly revived, in her compassionate contemplations, the whole of that sorrowful journey of her Son.

let is a certainty that after the death of her Son, the Blessed Virgin was the first to begin the devo­tion of the Way of the Cross and the practice of med­itating upon the bitter Passion, a practice that she ever after continued.

8. The Second Love Feast (Agape). Thomas Puts His Hand Into the Marks of Jesus' Wounds

After the close of the Sabbath, the Apostles hav­ing laid aside their robes of ceremony, I saw a great meal spread in the outer hall. let was a love feast, such as had taken place on the preceding Sunday. Thomas must have celebrated the Sabbath some­where in the neighborhood, for I did not see him come in till after the meal, when they had again returned to the Supper Room. let was still early in the evening; the lamps were not yet lighted. Sev­eral of the Apostles and disciples were in the hall, and I saw others entering. They robed themselves again in long white garments, and prepared for

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 prayer as on the preceding occasion. Peter, John, and James again put on the vestments that distin­guished them as priests.

While these preparations were being made, I saw Thomas entering the Supper Room. He passed through the Apostles who were already robed, and put on his own long white garment. As he went along, I saw the Apostles accosting him. Some caught him by the sleeve, others gesticulated with the right hand as they spoke, as if emphatically protesting against him. But he behaved like one in a hurry to vest and as if he could not credit the account given him of the wonderful things which had happened in that place. While all this was going on, a man entered the hall. He appeared to be a servant. He wore an apron and had in one hand a little lighted lamp, in the other a rod terminating in a hook. With the lat­ter he drew down the lamp that was suspended from the center of the ceiling, lighted it, and again pushed it up. Then he left the hall! And now I saw the Blessed Virgin, Magdalen, and another woman come into the house. The Blessed Virgin and Magdalen entered the hall, Peter and John going to meet them. The third woman remained in the antechamber. The entrance hall was opened into the Supper Room, also some of the side halls. The exterior doors lead­ing into the courtyard, as well as those of the court itself, were shut. A great many disciples were gath­ered in the side halls.

As soon as Mary and Magdalen entered, the doors were closed and all ranged for prayer. The holy women remained reverently standing on either side of the door, their arms crossed upon their breast. The Apos­tles kneeling before the Holy of Holies, prayed again as before; then standing under the lamp, they sang Psalms, choir and choir. Peter stood before the lamp, his face toward the Holy of Holies, John and James the Less at his side. Right and left of the lamp were the other Apostles. The side toward the Holy of Holies

Jesus Appears Again

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 was left free. Peter stood between the two, his back to the door, so that the two holy women were stand­ing behind him at some distance.

After some time there was a pause in the assem­bly, an intermission of prayer, or as if prayer was at an end, and they began to speak of going to the Sea of Tiberias and of how they would disperse. But soon they assumed an expression of rapt attention, called up by the approach of the Lord. At the same moment, I saw Jesus in the courtyard. He was resplendent with light, clothed in white garments and a white girdle. He directed His steps to the door of the outer hall, which opened of itself before Him and closed behind Him. The disciples in the outer hall saw the door opening of itself, and fell back on both sides to make room. But Jesus walked quickly through the hall into the Supper Room and stepped between Peter and John who, like all the other Apos­tles, fell back on either side.

Jesus did not enter walking properly so called, that is, in the usual way of mortals, and yet it was not a floating along, or hovering, as I have seen spir­its doing. It reminded me, as I saw them all falling back, of a priest in his alb passing through a crowded congregation. Everything in the hall appeared to become suddenly large and bright. Jesus was envi­roned with light. The Apostles had fallen back from the radiant circle, otherwise they would not have been able to see Him.

Jesus' first words were: "Peace be to you!" Then He spoke with Peter and John, and rebuked them for something. They had departed a little from His directions, in order to follow their own ideas about something, and consequently they had not met with success. It related to some of the cures they had sought to effect on their return from Sichar and Thanath-Silo. They had not followed Jesus' direc­tions to the letter, and therefore had not been entirely successful. They had done something accord­ing

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 to their own ideas. Jesus told them that if it happened again, they should act otherwise. Jesus now stepped under the lamp, and the Apostles closed around Him. Thomas, very much frightened at the sight of the Lord, timidly drew back. But Jesus, grasping his right hand in His own right hand, took the forefinger and laid the tip of it in the wound of His left hand; then taking the left hand in His own left, he placed the forefinger in the wound of His right hand; lastly, taking again Thomas' right hand in His own right, He put it, without uncovering His breast, under His garment, and laid the fore and middle fingers in the wound of His right side. He spoke some words as He did this. With the excla­mation: "My Lord, and my God!" Thomas sank down like one unconscious, Jesus still holding his hand. The nearest of the Apostles supported him, and Jesus raised him up by the hand. That sinking down and rising up had some peculiar signification.

When Jesus grasped Thomas' hand, I saw that His wounds were not like bloody marks, but like lit­tle radiant suns. The other disciples were very greatly touched by this scene. They leaned forward, without, however, crowding, to see what the Lord was allowing Thomas to feel. I saw the Blessed Vir­gin during the whole time of Jesus' stay, perfectly motionless, as if absorbed in calm, deep interior rec­ollection. Magdalen appeared more agitated, yet man­ifesting far less emotion than did the disciples.

Jesus did not disappear immediately after Thomas' declaration of faith. He still continued to speak to the Apostles, and asked for something to eat. I saw a little oval dish brought to Him again from the par­titioned recess in which the table stood. It was not precisely like that presented to Him the first time. There was on it something that looked like a fish, of which He ate, then blessed and distributed what was left to those around Him, beginning with Thomas.

Jesus then told them why He stood in the midst

Peter, the Shepherd of the Flock

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 of them, although they had abandoned Him, and why He did not place Himself nearer to those that had remained faithful to Him. He told them also that He had commissioned Peter to confirm his brethren, and explained why He had given him that charge. Then turning to them all, He told them why He wished to give them Peter for a leader, although he had so recently denied Him. He must, He said, be the shepherd of the flock, and He enlarged upon Peter's zeal.

John brought on his arm from the Holy of Holies the large, colored, embroidered mantle which James had received from Mary and on which, in those last days, the holy women had worked at Bethania. Besides that, he brought also a hollow, slender staff, high and bent at the top like a shepherd's crook. It was shining and looked like a long pipe. The man­tle was white with broad red stripes; and on it were embroidered, in colors, wheat, grapes, a lamb, and other symbols. It was wide, and long enough to reach to the feet. It was fastened over the breast with a little four-cornered metal shield, and bordered down the front with red stripes which were crossed by shorter ones on which were letters. It had a collar and a kind of hood, of a sky-blue color, which could be drawn up over the neck and head.

Peter next knelt down before Jesus, who gave him to eat a round morsel, like a little cake. I do not remember seeing any plate, nor do I know where Jesus got the morsel, but I do know that it shone with light. I felt that Peter received with it some special power, and I saw also strength and vigor poured into his soul when Jesus breathed upon him. This action of Jesus was not a simple, ordinary breathing. It was words, a power, something sub­stantial that Peter received, but no merely spoken words. Jesus put His mouth to Peter's mouth, then to his ears, and poured that strength into each of the three. It was not the Holy Spirit Himself, but

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 something that the Holy Spirit was to quicken and vivify in Peter at Pentecost. Jesus laid His hands on him, gave him a special kind of strength, and invested him with chief power over the others. Then He placed upon him the mantle that John, who was standing next to Him, was holding on his arm, and put the staff into his hand. While performing this action, Jesus said that the mantle would preserve in him all the strength and virtue that He had just imparted to him, and that he should wear it when­ever he had to make use of the power with which he had been endued.

Peter addressed the assembly in his new dignity. He had become as it were a new being, a man full of vigor and energy. His hearers were greatly moved; they listened with tears. He consoled them, alluded to many things that Jesus had before told them, and which were now being fulfilled. He told them, as I still remember, that Jesus, during His Passion of eighteen hours, had borne insult and outrage from the whole world. In that discourse mention was made of how much was wanting to the completion of Jesus' thirty-four years. While Peter was speaking, Jesus vanished. No alarm, no exclamations of surprise broke in upon the attention with which Peter's words were received. He appeared to be endowed with strength entirely new. The discourse ended, they sang a Psalm of thanksgiving. Jesus addressed neither His Blessed Mother nor Magdalen.

9. Jesus Appears to the Holy Apostles At the Sea of Galilee

Before going to the sea, the holy Apostles went over the Way of the Cross to Mount Calvary, and thence to Bethania, from which place they took with them some disciples. They went by different routes and in several companies to the Sea of Galilee. Peter went with John, James the Greater, Thaddeus,

“It Is the Lord!”

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 Nathanael, John Mark, and Silas, seven in all, to Tiberias, leaving Samaria to the left. All chose routes remote from cities. They went to a fishery outside Tiberias, which Peter had held on lease, but which was now rented by another man, a widower with two sons. They took a repast with this man, and I heard Peter saying that he had not fished here for three years.

They went aboard two ships, one somewhat larger and better than the other. They gave to Peter the choice of the former, into which he mounted with Nathanael, Thomas, and one of the fisherman's ser­vants. In the second ship were John, James, John Mark, and Silas. Peter would not suffer another to row. He wanted to do it himself. Although so distin­guished by Jesus, he was exceedingly humble and modest, especially before Nathanael, who was pol­ished and educated.

They sailed about the whole night with torches, casting the nets here and there between the two ships, but always drawing them in empty. At inter­vals they prayed and sang Psalms. When day was beginning to dawn, the ships approached the oppo­site side of the mouth of the Jordan, on the eastern shore of the sea. The Apostles were worn out and wanted to cast anchor. They had laid aside their gar­ments while fishing, retaining only a linen bandage and a little mantle. When about resuming their cloth­ing preparatory to taking a little rest, they saw a figure standing behind the reeds on the shore. It was Jesus. He cried out: "Children, have you any meat?" They answered: "No!" Then He cried out again, telling them to cast the net to the west of Peter's ship. They did it, and John had to sail round to the other side of the ship. And now the net was so heav­ily filled that John recognized Jesus, and called to Peter across the silent deep: "It is the Lord!" At these words Peter instantly girded his coat about him, leaped into the water, and waded through the reeds

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 to the shore where Jesus was standing. But John pushed on in a boat, very light and narrow, that was fastened to his ship. Two of this kind were hooked together. They pushed one before the other, and crossed over it to land. It held only one man, and was needed only for shallow water near the land.

While the Apostles were on the sea fishing, I saw the Saviour floating out of the Valley of Josaphat and surrounded by many souls of the ancient Patri­archs whom He had freed from Limbo, also by oth­ers that had been banished to different places, caves, swamps, and deserts. During the whole period of these forty days, I saw Jesus, when not among the disciples, with the holy souls. They were principally from Adam and Eve down to Noe, Abraham, and other ancient leaders of the people. He went over all places remarkable in His life, showing them all things, and instructing them upon what He had done and suffered for them, whereby they became inde­scribably quickened and through gratitude purified. He taught them, in a certain measure at this time, the mysteries of the New Testament, by which they were released from their fetters. I saw Him with them in Nazareth, in the Crib Cave and Bethlehem, and in every place in which anything remarkable had happened to Him. One could distinguish, by a certain weakness or vigor in the appearance of the souls, whether they animated men or women when on earth. I saw them in long, narrow garments that fell around them in shining folds, and floated behind in a long train. Their hair did not look like ordinary hair, but like rays of light, each of which signified something. The beards of the men were composed of similar rays. Though not distinguished by any external sign, yet I recognized the kings, and espe­cially the priests that from the time of Moses had anything to do with the Ark of the Covenant. In the journeys of the Saviour I always saw them floating around Him, so that here too the spirit of order

The Church Suffering and the Church Militant

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 reigned in everything. The movements of these apparitions were exceedingly graceful and dignified. They seemed to float along, not exactly in an upright position, but inclining gently forward. They did not touch the earth like bodies that have weight, but appeared to hover just above the ground.

I saw the Lord arrive at the sea in company with these souls while the Apostles were still fishing. Back of a little mound on the shore there was a hol­low in which was a covered fireplace, for the use of the shepherds, perhaps. I did not see Jesus kindling a fire, catching a fish, or getting one in any other way. Fire and fish and everything necessary appeared at once in presence of the souls as soon as ever it entered into the Lord's mind that a fish should here be prepared for eating. How it happened, I cannot say.

The spirits of the Patriarchs had a share in this fish and in its preparation. It bore some significa­tion relative to the Church Suffering, to the souls undergoing purification. They were in this meal bound to the Church Militant by visible ties. In the eating of this fish, Jesus gave the Apostles an idea of the union existing between the Church Suffering and the Church Militant. Jonas in the fish was typ­ical of Jesus' stay in the lower world. Outside the hut was a beam that served for a table.

I saw all this before Jesus crossed the mound and went down to the sea. Peter did not swim, he waded through the water. The bottom could be seen, although the water was tolerably deep. Peter was already stand­ing by Jesus when John came up. Those on the ship now began to cry to them to help draw in the net. Jesus told Peter to go bring in the fish. They drew the net to land, and Peter emptied it on the shore. In it were one hundred and fifty-three different kinds of fishes. This number signified that of the new believ­ers who were to be gained at Thebez. There were on the ships several people in the employ of the fisher­men

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Life of Jesus Christ

 of Tiberias, and they took charge of the ships and the fish, while the Apostles and disciples went with Jesus to the hut whither He invited them to come and eat. When they entered, the spirits of the Patriarchs had vanished. The Apostles were very much surprised to see the fire and a fish, not of their own catching, also bread and honeycakes.1 The Apos­tles and disciples reclined by the beam while Jesus played the host. He handed to each on a little roll a portion of the fish from the pan. I did not see that the fish became less. He gave to them also of the honey cakes and then reclined with them at table and ate. All this took place very quietly and solemnly.

Thomas was the third of those that had on the ship a perception of Jesus' presence. But they were all timid and frightened, for Jesus was more spirit like than before, and the whole meal and the hour had in them something full of mystery. No one dared ask a question. A feeling of holy awe stole over them and gave rise to solemn silence. Jesus was wrapped in a mantle, His wounds not visible.

After the meal, I saw Jesus and the Apostles rise from table. They walked up and down the shore, and at last stood still while Jesus solemnly addressed Peter: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these?" Peter timidly answered. "Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee!" Jesus said to him: "Feed My lambs!" And at the same instant I saw a vision of the Church and the Chief Pastor, I saw him teach­ing and guiding the first Christians, and I saw the baptizing and cleansing of the new Christians, who appeared like so many tender lambs.

After a pause, Jesus again said to Peter: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?" (They were walking all the time, Jesus occasionally turning and paus­ing while they regarded Him with attention). Peter very timidly and humbly, for he was thinking of his

1. Sister Emmerich says they were toasted cakes of flour and honey. A larger one lay between two smaller ones. They were called honey-rusks.

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
1774-1824
Vol 4

This document is: ACE_4_0381

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