Anne Catherine Emmerich
1st Station: Jesus is condemned to death
Of the visions of her childhood Sister Emmerich tells us: “When in my sixth year I reflected on the first article of the Apostles’ Creed, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth," there passed before my soul innumerable pictures of the creation of Heaven and earth. I saw the Fall of the angels, the creation of the earth and Paradise, that of Adam and Eve, and the Fall of man. I thought everyone saw this as we do other things around us, and I spoke of it freely to my parents, brothers, sisters, and playmates. But they laughed at me. They asked me whether I had a book containing all these things, and so I began to keep silence concerning them. I thought, though without much reflection, that perhaps it was not proper to speak on such subjects.
I had these visions by night and by day, in the fields, in the house, sitting or walking, and when engaged in all kinds of employments. One day at school, I happened to speak of the Resurrection, describing it differently from what we had been taught. I felt certain that everyone knew it just as I did. I did not dream that there was anything peculiar in my account of it. But the children gazed at me in wonder and laughed, while the master reproved me gravely, and warned me not to indulge such imaginations. My visions continued, but I kept them to myself. I was like a child looking at a picture book, explaining the pictures in its own way, but not thinking much about their meaning. They represented the saints or scenes from Sacred History, sometimes in one way, sometimes in another. They produced no change in my faith, they were merely my picture book. I gazed upon them quietly and always with the good thought: All to the greater glory of God! In spiritual things, I have never put faith in anything but what God the Lord has revealed to the Catholic Church for our belief, whether it be written or not. I have never believed so firmly what I have seen in vision. I looked upon the latter as I devoutly regard, here and there, the various Cribs at Christmas. I feel no annoyance at their difference in style, for in each I adore the same dear little Infant Jesus. And so it is with those pictures of the creation of Heaven, earth, and man. In them I adore God the Lord, the Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth.”
1. Fall of the Angels
I saw spreading out before me a boundless, resplendent space, above which floated a globe of light shining like a sun. I felt that It was the Unity of the Trinity. In my own mind, I named It the ONE VOICE, and I watched It producing Its effects. Below the globe of light arose concentric circles of radiant choirs of spirits, wondrously bright and strong and beautiful. This second world of light floated like a sun under that higher Sun.
These choirs came forth from the higher Sun, as if born of love. Suddenly I saw some of them pause, rapt in the contemplation of their own beauty. They took complacency in self, they sought the highest beauty in self, they thought but of self, they existed but in self.
At first all were lost in contemplation out of self, but soon some of them rested in self. At that instant, I saw this part of the glittering choirs hurled down, their beauty sunk in darkness, while the others, thronging quickly together, filled up their vacant places. And now the good angels occupied a smaller space. I did not see them leaving their places to pursue and combat the fallen choirs. The bad angels rested in self and fell away, while those that did not follow their example thronged into their vacant places. All this was instantaneous.
Then rising from below, I saw a dark disc, the future abode of the fallen spirits. I saw that they took possession of it against their will. It was much smaller than the sphere from which they had fallen, and they appeared to me to be closely crowded together.