Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) was born in Germany to a devout peasant family. From a young age she received divine knowledge imparted to her through extremely detailed visions of the lives of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. As a child her guardian angel often appeared to her, and Jesus himself visited her while she was tending sheep. The suffering souls in purgatory often called upon her assistance to offer prayers and penances on their behalf. At the age of 28, after many years of longing for the religious life, Anne Catherine entered the novitiate with the Augustinians. She devoted her life to waging a spiritual battle for suffering souls, and in her great charity she accepted extreme physical, yet supernatural, sufferings which ultimately left her bedridden. This strange phenomena of physical suffering for the spiritual condition of other souls was not always accepted by others, and she endured much ridicule due to the astonishing manner in which her experiences displayed themselves. Her daily visions gave her special insight into the spiritual realm which have been recorded into now-popular books, and were used to discover what is believed to be the house of Mary in Ephesus. Her feast day is February 9th.
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