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The Birth Of Christ


THE light which surrounded the Blessed Virgin became more and more brilliant : the light of the lamp prepared by Joseph could not be seen. When the hour of midnight arrived Mary was transported in an ecstasy. I saw her raised a certain height from the ground ; she had her hands crossed upon her breast. The light kept increasing around her ; everything seemed to feel a joyful emotion, even things inanimate. The rock which formed the floor and the wall of the grotto were, as it were, alive with light. But soon I saw no more of the roof; a luminous path, whose brightness continually increased, went from Mary to the highest heaven. Then was there a marvelous movement of the celestial glories, which, approaching nearer and nearer, appeared distinctly under the form of the angelic choirs. The Blessed Virgin, raised from the earth in her ecstasy, prayed and turned her eyes to her God, of whom she had become the mother, and who, a feeble new-born infant, was lying on the ground before her.

I saw Our Savior like a little shining infant, whose brilliance eclipsed all the surrounding splendor, lying upon the rug before the knees of the Blessed Virgin. He seemed to me very small, and to grow larger before my eyes ; but this was only the radiance of a light so dazzling that I can scarcely say how I could see it. The Blessed Virgin remained some time in ecstasy. Then I saw her place a linen cloth over the child ; but she did not touch Him nor take Him yet into her arms. After a short time I saw the Infant Jesus move, and I heard Him cry. It was then that the Blessed Virgin recovered the use of her senses. She took the child, wrapped it in the linen cloth with which she had covered it, and took it in her arms against her breast. I believe that she suckled it. I then saw angels around her in human form prostrate themselves before the new-born and adore Him.

About an hour had elapsed since the birth of the child, when Mary called St. Joseph, who was still praying with his face to the ground. Approaching, he prostrated himself, full of joy, humility, and fervor. It was only when Mary had induced him to press to his heart the sacred gift of the Most High, that he rose, received the Infant Jesus in his arms, and returned thanks to God with tears of joy.

Then the Blessed Virgin swathed the Infant Jesus. Mary had only four linen cloths with her. I then saw Mary and Joseph sitting on the ground near each other. They did not speak, but seemed absorbed in contemplation. Before Mary, swathed as an ordinary child, was laid the new-born Jesus, beautiful and bright as lightning. " Ah ! " I exclaimed, " this place contains the Salvation of the whole world, and no one can doubt it."

They then placed the infant in the crib. They had re-filled it with rushes and beautiful plants, on which they had spread a coverlet. It was above the trough, hollowed in the rock to the right of the entrance to the grotto, which became larger there in a southerly direction. When they had placed the infant in the crib they both stood at the side, shedding tears of joy and chanting songs of praise. Joseph then arranged the sleeping couch and seat of the Blessed Virgin by the side of the crib. I saw her, both before and after the birth of Jesus, dressed in a white garment, which completely covered her. I saw her during the first days sitting, kneeling, standing, or even lying on her side, and sleeping ; but neither ill nor fatigued.







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