Meet a Mystic: Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) is famous for her mystical phenomena and revelations.  

Gaudium Press English Edition

Newsdesk (12/02/2022 3:02 PM, Gaudium Press) Anne Catherine was born in Flamschen, near the town of Coesfeld.

She had a short schooling, but impressed everyone with her knowledge, especially in religious matters.

She liked to visit churches, attend mass, and she also prayed the Stations of the Cross in the streets.

She wanted to enter a convent, but could not fulfill her dream, so she returned to her paternal home, where she worked as a seamstress.

Finally, in 1802, she entered the convent of Agnetenburg in Dulmen, together with her friend Klara Sontgen. She was always willing to do the hardest work. At first she was not held in high esteem because of her humble background; some of her sisters criticized her very rigid adherence to the rule. She bore her sufferings with serenity of spirit.

From 1802 to 1811 she was frequently ill, suffering from many pains.

In 1811 she left the convent in Agnetenburg because of secularization. A refugee priest from France in Dulmen, Father Lambert, employed her as housekeeper, but soon after, she fell ill and became bedridden, bringing in her younger sister, Gertrude, to take care of the house.

Concerned about others

At that time she received the stigmata of Jesus Christ; in fact, she had already been receiving the pain of the wounds of Christ in a mystical way. She was a great devotee of the Virgin.

She was very concerned about the welfare of others. When she was bedridden, she made dresses for needy children. She received many visitors with great charity.

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She became famous, among other reasons, because of her stigmata. Many figures of the early 19th century renewal movement visited her: Clemens August, Baron de Droste zu Vischering, Bernhard Overberg, Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg, Johann Michael Sailer, Christian and Clemens Brentano, Luise Hensel, Melchior and Apollonia Diepenbrock.

Of special importance was the meeting with Clemens Brentano, who visited her for the first time in 1818. From then on, he stayed in Dulmen for 5 years; he visited Anne Catherine every day to write down her visions, which were later published.

In the summer of 1823, the Blessed became weaker and weaker, yet she always united her sufferings to those of the Lord. She died on February 9th, 1824.

With information from Vatican.va.

Compiled by Roberta MacEwan

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