09 February 2009

Blessed Anna Katharina Emmerick

On this day, February 9 in 1824, Anna Katharina Emmerick, a mystic, stigmatist and visionary died. She was an Augustinian nun who on October 3, 2004 was beatified by Pope John Paul II. It’s no surprise that someone with such supernatural gifts would be scrutinized and investigated. An Episcopal Commission conducted an investigation and concluded that her sanctity was genuine. Many of her visions are published in the book: “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Her account of Jesus in the Garden of Olives is one that when read by the Victorian poet and Catholic convert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, he could not stop crying.

Here is part of her vision:
He [Jesus] said to the three Apostles: “Stay you here and watch with Me. Pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Jesus went a few steps to the left, down a hill, and concealed Himself beneath a rock, into a grotto about six feet deep, while the Apostles remained in a species of hollow above. The earth sank gradually the further you entered this grotto, and the plants which were hanging from the rock screened its interior like a curtain from persons outside.

His sorrow and anguish of soul continued to increase, and He was trembling all over when He entered the grotto to pray… but the awful visions pursued Him even there, and became more and more clear and distinct. Alas, this small cavern appeared to contain the awful picture of all the sins which had been or were to be committed from the fall of Adam to the end of the world, and the punishment which they deserved. It was here, on Mount Olivet, that Adam and Eve took refuge when driven out of Paradise to wander homeless on earth, and they had wept and bewailed themselves in this very grotto.

He [Jesus] fell on His Face, overwhelmed with unspeakable sorrow, and all the sins of the world displayed themselves before Him… He took them all upon Himself, and in His prayer offered His own Person to the justice of His Heavenly Father, in payment for so awful a debt. But Satan, who was enthroned amid all these horrors, and even filled with diabolical joy at the sight of them, let loose his fury against Jesus, and displayed before the Eyes of His Soul increasing awful visions, at the same time addressing His adorable Humanity in words such as these: “Takest Thou even this sin upon Thyself? Art Thou willing to bear its penalty? Art Thou prepared to satisfy for all these sins?”

And now a long ray of light, like a luminous path in the air, descended from Heaven; it was a procession of angels who came up to Jesus and strengthened and reinvigorated Him… That adorable Heart, which was so filled with the most perfect love for God and man, was flooded with anguish, and overwhelmed beneath the weight of so many abominable crimes. He [Satan] reproached Him [Jesus] with the faults of His disciples, the scandals which they had caused, and the disturbances which He had occasioned in the world by giving up ancient customs… he reproached Jesus for having been the cause of the massacre of the Innocents, as well as of the sufferings of His parents in Egypt, with not having saved John the Baptist from death, with having brought disunion into families, protected men of despicable character, refused to cure various sick persons… for it was hidden from him that Jesus was the Son of God, and he tempted Him only as the most just of men.

This story continues in much greater detail but from this snippet we can certainly see how much our dear Lord endured for us and how diabolical the enemy is.