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Concerning The Marriage And The Wedding Dress Of Mary And Joseph


SISTER EMMERICH, in her daily visions on the ministry of Our Lord, saw on Monday the 24th of September, 1821, Jesus teaching in the synagogue of Gophna, and there staying with the family of a chief of the synagogue, a relative of Joachim. She heard on this occasion two widows, daughters of this man, conversing together on the marriage of the parents of Jesus, at which they had assisted in their youth, with other relatives, and she communicated what follows. As the two widows referred in their conversation to the marriage of Mary and Joseph, I saw a picture of the marriage, and I was struck with the beauty of the nuptial dress of the Holy Virgin. The marriage of Mary and Joseph, which was kept up for seven or eight days, was celebrated at Jerusalem, in a house near Mount Sion, which was frequently let for similar occasions. Besides the witnesses and companions of Mary in the School of the Temple, there were many relatives of Anne and Joachim, and amongst others a family of Gophna, with two daughters. The marriage was solemn and sumptuous. Many lambs were killed and offered in sacrifice. I saw Mary very distinctly in her bridal dress. She had a very large gown, open in front, with large sleeves. This gown had a blue ground strewed with red, white, and yellow roses, intermingled with green leaves, like the rich chasubles of ancient times the lower border was trimmed with fringe and tassels. Over her dress she wore a mantle of celestial blue, which had the appearance of a large sheet. Besides this mantle, the Jewish women frequently carry also on certain occasions a species of mourning mantle with sleeves the mantle of Mary fell back over her shoulders and terminated in a train.

She carried in her left hand a small crown of red and white roses made of silk. In her right hand she held, in form of a scepter, a beautiful gilt candlestick, without a foot, surmounted by a little dish where something was burning, which produced a white flame.

The virgins of the Temple arranged the hair of Mary many of them were engaged at it, and it was done in an incredibly short time. Anne had brought the wedding dress, and Mary, in her humility, would not consent to wear it after her marriage her hair was fastened round her head, and they put on her a white veil, which hung below her shoulders, and a crown was placed over this veil. The Holy Virgin had an abundance of hair of a light gold color ; her eyebrows black and elevated ; large eyes, habitually cast down, with long black eye lashes ; a nose of a beautiful form, rather long ; a noble and graceful mouth, and a slender chin. She was of middle stature. She walked, clad in her rich costume, with much grace, elegance, and gravity. She afterwards put on for her marriage another dress, less splendid, of which I possess a small piece among my relics. She wore this striped dress at Cana and on other solemn occasions. She sometimes put on her marriage dress to go to the Temple. There were rich people who changed their dress three or four times for their marriage. In her dress of ceremony Mary rather resembled certain illustrious ladies of later times ; for instance, the Empress St. Helen and even St. Cunegonda, though she differed from them in the cloak which Jewish women usually wear, and which more resembled that of the Roman ladies. There were at Sion, in the neighborhood of the cenacle, a certain number of women who prepared beautiful stuffs all kinds which I remarked in consequence of these dresses.

Joseph had a long and very wide robe of a blue colour ; the sleeves, which were very large, were fastened at the side with strings. Round the neck he wore a kind of brown collar, or rather a large stole, and over his breast two white bands hung down. I have seen all the ceremonies of the marriage of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin the marriage feast and other solemnities.







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