Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich was born on September 8, 1774. As a child, Anne was often visited by her guardian angel, and when she was tending the sheep, the Good Shepherd Himself would appear to her. Since her childhood Anne was known to have divine knowledge that was imparted to her from visions she had of the Mother of God, Jesus, and the saints. Anne Catherine was often called upon by the suffering souls in purgatory to assist them. At the age of 28, after many years of longing to join the convent, Anne Catherine entered her novitiate. Anne Catherine devoted her life to suffering for souls. She continued to experience many phenomena that were not always accepted by her fellow sisters, and endured much ridicule due to the unusual and astonishing manner these spiritual experiences displayed themselves. Among these phenomena were her detailed visions of the lives of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus.