The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
13. END OF THE FEAST OF THE CONSECRATION OF THE TEMPLE.
[December 14 ^th to 18 ^th: With the Sabbath the Feast of the
Consecration of the Temple came to an end, and Joseph ceased lighting
the little lamps. On Sunday the 16 ^th and Monday the 17 ^th people
from the neighborhood once more came to the Crib. The unruly beggars,
too, were heard at the entrance. This was because people were now
returning from the festival.
On the 17 ^th two servants came from Anna with food and other things.
Mary is much quicker than I am in distributing things, and everything
was soon given away. I see Joseph beginning to tidy and clear up in the
Cave of the Nativity, the side-caves, and grave of Maraha, and he has
brought in provisions. They are awaiting Anna's visit, and Mary is
expecting the kings to arrive soon.
[December 17 ^th:] Today, late in the evening, I saw the kings arrive
in a little town of scattered houses, many of which were surrounded by
high fences. It seemed to me that this was the first Jewish town they
came to. Bethlehem was in a straight line from here, but they went off
to the right, I suppose because the only road led in that direction.
 As they approached this place they sang particularly loudly and
beautifully, and were full of joy, for the star shone unusually
brightly here. It was like moonlight and one could see quite clearly
the shadows which it cast. The inhabitants seemed either not to see the
star or to take no special interest in it, but they were good people
and extremely helpful. Some of the travelers had dismounted, and the
inhabitants helped them to water their beasts. (It made me think of
Abraham's times, when all men were so good and helpful.) Several of the
inhabitants, bearing branches, led the travelers through the town and
went some of the way with them. I did not see the star always shining
brightly before them; sometimes it was quite dim. It seemed to shine
more brightly in places where good people lived, and when the travelers
saw that it was very brilliant, they were greatly excited and thought
that perhaps the Messiah might be in that place.
[December 18 ^th:] This morning they passed by a dark, misty city
without stopping, and soon after crossed a river flowing into the Dead
Sea. In the last two places many of the rabble which had followed them
stayed behind. (I had a distinct impression that someone had taken
refuge in one of these two places in a conflict before the reign of
Solomon.  ) They crossed the river this morning and now came on to
a good road.