19. Mary and Joseph Set Out for Jerusalem.

27th March 1944. prev home next

I see their departure to go to St. Elizabeth's.

Joseph has come with two little donkeys to fetch Mary: one for himself, the other for Mary: one of the little animals has the usual saddle with a strange gadget attached to it. Later I gather that it is a kind of a luggage-rack on which Joseph fastens a small wooden casket, a small trunk we would call it nowadays, which he brought for Mary's clothes, to prevent them from getting wet.

I hear Mary thank Joseph wholeheartedly for the provident gift, in which She packs what She takes out of a parcel She had made up previously. They close the door of the house and start off. It is daybreak, for I can see the rosy dawn in the east. Nazareth is still asleep. The two early travellers meet only a shepherd who is driving forward his little sheep, which are trotting along, one against the other, jammed in close flock. They are all bleating. The little lambs with their shrill sharp voices bleat more than the others, and want their mothers' breasts even while moving. But the mothers are hurrying towards the pastures and with their louder bleatings they urge the little ones to follow them.

Mary looks and smiles and since She has stopped to let the herd go by, She bends on the saddle and caresses the mild little beasts that pass near Her donkey. When the shepherd arrives carrying a newly-born little lamb in his arms and he stops to speak to Mary, She smiles and caresses the pinkish little face of the lamb, that is bleating desperately and She exclaims: It's looking for its mother. Here is your mother. She won't leave you, of course she won't, little lamb. In fact the ewe rubs herself against the shepherd, then stands up on her hind legs and licks the face of her little one.

The herd passes by making the noise of water drops falling on leaves. Behind it there is the dust raised by the trotting feet of the sheep and the patterns of their footprints on the dusty road.

Joseph and Mary take to the road again. Joseph is wearing his large mantle, Mary has on a kind of a striped shawl, because it is a very cool morning.

They are now in the country and they are proceeding one beside the other. They seldom speak. Joseph is thinking of his business, Mary is following Her own thoughts and in Her concentration She smiles at them. At times She looks around and smiles at the things She sees. Now and again She looks at Joseph and then an expression of sad gravity darkens Her face; then She smiles again, still looking at Her provident spouse who speaks so little and when he does speak it is only to ask Her whether She is comfortable and whether She needs anything. By now there are many people on the road, particularly near and inside villages. But Mary and Joseph do not pay much attention to the people they meet. They proceed on their trotting donkeys, in the midst of the noise of the harness bells, and they stop only once in the shade of a thicket, to eat some bread and olives and to drink at a well that runs down from a grotto. They stop later to take shelter from a sudden heavy downpour from a very dark cloud.

They have taken cover under the mountain, against a protruding rock that protects them from most of the heavy rain. Joseph wants Mary to put on his big mantle, which is proof against water and he insists so much that Mary is obliged to yield to the insistence of Her spouse, who to reassure Her of his own immunity, covers his head and shoulders with a small grey blanket which was on the saddle. Probably the donkey's blanket. Now Mary looks like a little monk, with Her face framed by the hood and the mantle closed round Her neck and covering all Her body.

The shower slackens and turns into a tedious drizzling rain. Mary and Joseph start off again along a muddy road. But it is springtime and after a short while the sun makes the journey more comfortable. Also the two little donkeys are now trotting more happily along the road.

I do not see anything else because the vision ends here.

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