18. The Annunciation of Elizabeth's Pregnancy to Joseph.

25th March 1944. prev home next

The little house of Nazareth appears to me with Mary in it. Mary, a young girl, as when the Angel of God appeared to Her. This simple sight fills my soul with the virginal perfume of the house. The scent still remains in the room where the Angel gently waved his golden wings. That divine perfume was all concentrated on Mary to make a mother of Her and it now emanates from Her.

It is evening, because shadows begin to invade the room into which so much heavenly light had descended.

Mary is kneeling near Her little bed and is praying with Her arms crossed over Her breast and Her face bowed down very low. She is still dressed as She was at the moment of the Annunciation. Everything is exactly as it was then. The flowery branch is in its vase, the furniture in the same position. Only the distaff and the spindle are now leaning in a corner, the former with its flax, the latter with its bright thread wrapped around it.

Mary stops praying and stands up, Her face is flushed as if it were lit up by a flame. Her lips are smiling, but Her eyes are shining with tears. She takes the oil lamp and lights it with a flint. She checks that everything is in good order in the room. She straightens up the blanket on the bed as it had been displaced. She adds some water to the vase containing the flowery branch and She places it outside, in the cool of the night. She then comes back in. She takes the folded embroidery from the bookcase and the lamp and goes out closing the door. She takes a few steps in the little kitchen garden, along the side of the house and then goes into the little room where I saw the parting goodbye of Jesus and Mary. I recognise it although some pieces of furniture which were there previously are now missing.

Mary disappears into another small adjoining room, taking the lamp with Her, and I am left alone in the company of the embroidery work laid on the corner of the table. I can hear Mary's light steps moving to and fro, She then makes a noise with water as if She were washing something. Then there is the noise of broken sticks and I understand that She is lighting the fire.

Then She comes back and goes into the little garden. She comes in once again with some apples and vegetables. She puts the apples on the table, on an engraved metal tray, possibly made of copper. She goes back into the kitchen, (for the kitchen is certainly over there). Now the flames of the fireplace are merrily casting light through the open door into this room and make dancing shadows on the wall.

Some time goes by and Mary comes in with a small brown loaf and a bowl of hot milk. She sits down and dips some small slices of bread into the milk. She eats them slowly. Then leaving half of the bowl of milk, She goes into the kitchen and comes back with the vegetables on which She pours some oil and She eats them with the bread. She quenches Her thirst with the milk. She then takes an apple and eats it. The meal of a little girl.

Mary eats and thinks, and She smiles at some inner thought. She looks up and all around the walls and seems to be telling them a secret. Now and again, She becomes serious, almost sad. But soon Her smile is back on Her lips again.

There is a knocking at the door. Mary gets up and opens it. Joseph comes in. They greet each other. Then Joseph sits on a stool in front of Mary, on the opposite side of the table.

Joseph is a handsome man in the prime of life. He must be thirty-five years old at most. His face is framed by his dark brown hair and a beard of the same colour and his eyes are very sweet and very dark, almost black. His forehead is large and smooth, his nose thin and slightly aquiline, his cheeks are roundish of a brown hue, but not olive-coloured, on the contrary they are rosy near the cheek-bones. He is not very tall, but he is strong and well built.

Before sitting down he has taken off his mantle and it is the first I have seen of its kind, because it is a full circle. It is held close at the neck by a kind of hook and it has a hood. The colour is light brown and it seems to be made of a cloth of coarse wool proof against water. It looks like the mantle of a mountaineer suitable to shelter from inclement weather.

Also before sitting down he offers Mary two eggs and a bunch of grapes, somewhat withered, but well preserved. And he smiles saying: « The grapes were brought to me from Cana. I was given the eggs by a Centurion for some repair work I did to his cart. A wheel was broken and their carpenter is ill. They are new laid. He took them from the hen house. Drink them. They will do You good. »

« Tomorrow Joseph. I have just finished My meal. »

« But You can take the grapes. They are good, as sweet as honey. I carried them very carefully, so that they would not get spoiled. Eat them. There are plenty more. I'll bring them to-morrow in a little basket. I couldn't this evening, because I came straight from the Centurion's house. »

« Well, then, you have not had any supper yet. »

« No, I haven't, but it does not matter. »

Mary gets up at once and goes into the kitchen and She comes back with some milk, some olives and cheese. « I have nothing else » She says. « Take an egg. »

But Joseph does not want it. The eggs are for Mary. He eats with relish his bread and the cheese and he drinks the lukewarm milk. He then accepts an apple. And his supper is over.

Mary takes Her embroidery after cleaning the table and Joseph helps Her and he remains in the kitchen even when She comes back here. I can hear him putting things away. He pokes the fire because it is a cool evening. When he comes in, Mary thanks him.

They speak to each other. Joseph tells Her how he spent the day. He talks of his little nephews and he takes an interest in Mary's work and in Her flowers. He promises to bring Her some beautiful flowers which the Centurion has promised him. « They are flowers we haven't got here. They were brought from Rome. And he promised me some little plants. Now, when the moon is in the right quarter I will plant them for You. They have lovely colours and a beautiful scent. I saw them last year, because they bloom in summer. They will scent the whole house for You. Then I will prune the trees when the moon is right. It is time. »

Mary smiles and thanks him. Then there is silence. Joseph looks at Mary's fair head bowed over Her embroidery. A look of angelical love. Certainly, if an angel were to love a woman with the love of a husband, he would look at her thus.

Then Mary, as if She were taking a sudden decision, lays the embroidery on Her lap and says: « I also have something to tell you. I never have anything to say, because you know how retired I live.

But today I have some news. I heard that our relative Elizabeth, Zacharias' wife, is about to have a child... »

Joseph opens his eyes wide and exclaims: « At her age? »

« At her age » replies Mary smiling. « The Lord can do everything, and now He is giving this joy to our relative. »

« How do you know? Is the news certain? »

« A messenger came. One who would not tell lies. I would like to go to Elizabeth's, to help her and tell her that I am rejoicing with her. If you will allow Me... »

« Mary, You are my lady and I Your servant. Whatever You do is well done. When would You like to go? »

« As soon as possible. But I shall be away for some months. »

« And I will count the days waiting for You. Go and don't worry. I will look after the house and Your little garden. You will find the flowers as beautiful as if You had taken care of them. Only... wait. Before Passover I must go to Jerusalem to buy certain things for my work. If You can wait for a few days, I will come with You as far as Jerusalem. I can't go any farther, because I must hurry back. But we can go there together. I will be happier if I know that You are not on the road by Yourself. When You want to come back, You can let me know and I will come and meet You. »

« You are so good, Joseph. May the Lord reward you with His blessings and keep sorrow away from you. I always pray Him for that. »

The chaste couple smile at each other angelically. There is silence again for a little while. Then Joseph gets up. He puts his mantle on and he covers his head with the hood. He says goodbye to Mary Who has also got up, and he goes out.

Mary looks at him going out and She sighs rather sadly. She then lifts Her eyes to Heavens. She is certainly praying. She closes the door carefully. She folds the embroidery. She goes into the kitchen, puts out or covers up the fire. She makes sure that everything is in order. She then takes the oil lamp and goes out closing the door. With Her hand She shields the feeble flame that flickers in the cool evening breeze... She enters Her room and prays once again. The vision ends thus.

Mary says:

« My dear daughter, when I came back to the reality of earthly life after the ecstasy that had filled Me with inexpressible joy, My first thought was for Joseph: a thought as sharp as a rose thorn, that pierced My heart enraptured among the roses of Divine Love, Who had become My Spouse only a few moments before.

By this time I loved My holy and provident guardian. Since the time when by the will of God, manifested to Me by the word of the Priest, I had become married to Joseph, I had the possibility of knowing and appreciating the holiness of that Just man. When I became united to him, My dismay at being an orphan disappeared and I no longer regretted the lost retreat of the Temple. He was as sweet as My deceased father. With him I felt as safe as with the Priest. All perplexity had disappeared, nay it had been forgotten, so far it was from My virginal heart. I had in fact understood that there was no reason whatsoever for hesitation or fear with regard to Joseph. My virginity entrusted to Joseph was safer than a child in his mother's arms.

But now, how could I tell him that I was a Mother? I endeavoured to find suitable words to give him the news. A difficult task, as I did not want to boast of God's gift and on the other hand there was no way of justifying My maternity without saying: “The Lord has loved Me amongst all women and has made Me, His servant, His Bride.” Neither did I wish to deceive him by concealing My condition from him.

And while I was praying, the Spirit of Whom I was full, said to Me: “Be silent. Entrust Me with the task of justifying You with Your spouse.” When? How? I did not ask. I had always relied upon God, and I had always allowed Myself to be led by Him exactly as a flower is led away by running water. The Eternal Father had never abandoned Me without His help. His hand had always supported, protected and guided Me so far. It would do so also now.

O My daughter, how beautiful and comforting is faith in our Eternal Good God! He holds us in His arms as in a cradle, like a boat He steers us into the bright harbour of Goodness, He warms our hearts, comforts and nourishes us, He bestows rest and happiness, light and guidance on us. Reliance in God is everything, and God grants everything to those who trust in Him: He gives Himself.

That evening I elevated to perfection My reliance as a creature. Now I was able to do so, because God was in Me. Before I had the confidence of a poor creature, such as I was: a mere nothing, even if I was so much loved as to be the Faultless One. But now I had a divine confidence, because God was Mine: My Spouse, My Son! Oh! What a joy! To be One with God. Not for My own glory, but to love Him with a total union and say to Him: “You, only You are in Me: please assist Me with Your Divine perfection in everything I do.”

If He had not said to Me: “Be silent!”, I would probably have dared say to Joseph, with My face bowed to the ground: “The Spirit has penetrated Me and now the Embryo of God is in Me,” and he would have believed Me, because he held Me in high esteem and because like those who never lie, he could not believe that others lied. Yes, to avoid hurting his feelings in future, I would have overcome My reluctance to praise Myself. But I obeyed the divine command. And for months after that moment, I felt the first wound pierce My heart.

It was the first pain in My destiny of Co-Redeemer. I offered and suffered it in atonement and to give you a guidance for similar circumstances in life, when it is necessary to suffer in silence for an event that casts a bad light on you in relation to those who love you.

Entrust God with the protection of your reputation and affections. If you deserve God's protection with a holy life, you can proceed safely. Even if the whole world is against you, He will defend you with regard to those who love you and will cause the truth to be known.

Now rest, My dear, and be more and more My dear daughter. »

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