The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
5. PERSONAL NOTES: PRAYER DURING THE SEASON OF THE MARTYRDOM OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS.
[This evening at dusk Catherine Emmerich fell asleep and after a few
minutes said, without any apparent reason: God be thanked a thousand
times that I came at the right moment! What a blessing that I was
there! The poor child is saved; I prayed that she should bless and kiss
it, and after that she could no longer have thrown it into the pond.'
The writer, on hearing this sudden exclamation, asked,' Whom do you
mean?' She continued: It is an unfortunate girl who has been seduced.
She was going to drown her newborn child not far from here. During the
last few days I have besought God so earnestly that no poor innocent
child should die without being baptized and blessed. I prayed thus
because the time of the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents is drawing
near. I adjured God by the blood of His first blood-witnesses. One must
profit by the times and seasons, and every year. When the rosebuds open
in the garden of the Church Triumphant, one must pluck them on earth.
God has heard my prayer and enabled me to help the mother and her
child. Perhaps one day I shall see that child.' This is what she said
immediately after her vision, or rather after the action she took in
spirit. Next morning she said: My guide took me quickly to M. Near
there I saw a girl who had been seduced who had just given birth to her
child behind a bush. She carried it in her apron towards a deep pond on
which green scum was floating, meaning to throw the child into the
water. I saw a tall dark figure beside her from which a dreadful kind
of light was thrown; I think it was the evil one. I went close up to
her, praying with my whole heart, and saw the dark figure withdraw.
Then she took the child and kissed and blessed it, after which she
could no longer bring herself to drown it. She sat down again, weeping
most terribly and not knowing where to turn. I comforted her and gave
her the idea of going to her confessor and begging him to help her. She
did not see me, but her guardian angel gave her this advice. Her
parents were, I think, far away. She seemed to belong to a middle-class