Anne Catherine Emmerich was born in humble conditions to a very devout couple so she learnt from an early age to love her Faith. But Anne's life was not like that of other children her age in that she was the recipient of visions and messengers of God from her youth.
God blessed Anne with many gifts including that of reading hearts, the hidden stigmata, and she survived only on the Eucharist for many years. This remarkable young girl would also converse with her guardian Angel and also come under attack by the demonic forces, none of which affected her Faith except for it to grow even more depthful than it already was.
Venerable Anne would also be visited by our Lord Jesus and our Lady where upon she received messages for the world, warning all people to once again embrace and live their Faith.
Some of these messages given to Anne were, 'that every parish and diocese, each city and country has its own particular and powerful guardian angel.' Anne Catherine was to see and be told many things including these messages from Heaven, She revealed that to gain an indulgence we must approach the Sacraments with true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment–or we do not gain it. She deposes that it is more holy to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory than for sinners who are still alive, for Anne had a particular love and devotion for the poor souls in Purgatory. She was also told that 'more Protestant souls stayed in Purgatory the longest not because they were worse than anyone else, but because so few people prayed for the repose of their souls or offered up Masses for their soul.'
Anne went on to describe what she has seen and 'describes the nature, extent and power of victim souls, and their role in the life of the Church. She describes the condition of St. Lydwine of Schiedam, a victim soul during the time of "three popes," and how her body came apart into three pieces, joined only by the slenderest of sinews. She saw only 6 victim souls in her time working like herself on behalf of the Universal Church, and about 100,000 Catholic people worldwide who were great in their faith.'
This great Saint went on to experience mystical visions and receive even more prophecies for our troubled world including these, 'She saw the strong link–even long after their deaths–between holy souls in Heaven and their descendants here on earth, lasting even centuries. And that Enoch and Elias are in Paradise where they await their return to the world to preach at the End of Time. Also this too, she revealed that Our Lord suffered from the wound in His shoulder more than from any other.'
And a warning for the world for those would listen to the signs of the times, she said that, "a false church, and wicked men scheming against the Catholic Church and doing much harm–both in her own time and in the future. And actually saw in a vision this, the enemies of the Church tearing it down and trying to build a new one on strictly human plans–but none of the saints would lend a hand. Later, this church of men is destroyed and the saints of God join in to rebuild the true Church of God, which becomes more glorious than ever before".
But once again our Lord leaves us with hope through this most pious of souls as Anne was told, that the there would be a revival in the Priesthood and the Religious order after a period of great decadence.
Anne also describes seeing this in her words, "All over the world I saw numberless infusions of the Spirit; sometimes, like a lightning-stroke, falling on a congregation in church, and I could tell who among them had received the grace; or again, I beheld individuals praying in their homes, suddenly endowed with light and strength. The sight awoke in me great joy and confidence that the Church, amid her ever-increasing tribulations, will not succumb; for in all parts of the world I saw defenders raised up to her by the Holy Ghost. Yes, I felt that the oppression of the powers of this world serves but to increase her strength."
Anne also went on to say what had been revealed to her, "what is most painful for me to repeat, that if only one priest offered the Unbloody Sacrifice as worthily and with the same sentiments as the Apostles, he could ward off all calamities from the Church." "Owing to the spirit of the world and tepidity, if the Savior returned to earth today to announce His doctrine in person, He would find as many opponents as He did among the Jews."
And though Anne Catherine suffered much not only physically but also from the disdain of her fellow Religious Sisters, still she lived a life of quiet humility and holiness.
I would encourage all to read more about this great Saint of the Church, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich.
Copyright © 2007 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.