Blessed Catherine Emmerich was born September 8th, 1774 in West Germany. She was born to a small farming family. Her parents were poor but very devout and pious. As a child she spent much of her time working as a maid and a seamstress. She was a very frail child and though she suffered much sickness she remained very pious. She often had visions of Jesus, and because these visions happened so frequently, she thought that all children could see the Child Jesus, their guardian angels and the souls in purgatory.
In November of 1803 she entered the Augustinian Order, and while she still suffered from poor health, her enthusiasm for the religious life was great. During this time she began to experience many ecstasies at her time in the church or in her personal cell.
In 1812, the convent in where she was living, closed, and she moved in with an old widow to be her servant, but due to her increasingly failing health, she was unable to work and became bedridden instead. During this time her visions increased and she asked the Lord for a share in His suffering. In December of 1812 she received the wounds of Christ on her hands, her feet and her side. At one point Jesus had visited her and had shown her a crown of flowers and a crown of thorns and asked her which one she would like to receive, she chose the crown of thorns and suffered a great deal of pain, yet through it all, she continued to offer her agonies for the Lord and the suffering holy souls.
At this time the government often investigated her. They imprisoned her and threatened her. She was placed under twenty-four hour guard because of her stigmata, and they were insistent about proving her a fake. Yet they could find no wrong doing on her behalf. They stopped their investigation, and when further questioned about their findings, they lied and said she was a fraud. Due to all the trouble caused by the stigmata, Catherine asked the Lord to please remove it, and He did, for the most part. It disappeared and would return during Holy Week and Good Friday.
For the last twelve years of her life, Blessed Catherine subsisted on nothing but the Eucharist. In fact, if she even tried to eat anything else, included plain broth, she would become violently ill and vomit. While bedridden, a poet came to visit. Catherine had been shown in a vision that he was to write down her visions for her. Three books were written that she dictated. In 1833, . This was followed in 1852, by , and a three-volume from 1858 to 1880. These books are considered treasures by many and have helped many in their religious lives.
Blessed Catherine Emmerich should be a model for us all. She gave herself completely to the Lord and His Will for her. She bore His wounds, uniting her blood with His…for the suffering souls. What an awesome thought!.. When we offer our suffering to the Lord, we are uniting ourselves with Him… and He accepts this…from us..though sinful creatures that we are…and allows it to be used..so that in a small way we are partaking in the suffering He bore for us…for the world…He is allowing us to unite our souls to His…and to be truly, a shining example…a ray… in the light of Christ, for the world.
Glory and praise be to God, Forever.