Anne Catherine Emmerich is best known as the Augustinian nun who received visions of the Passion of Christ and of the lives of the Holy Family and various saints. She also bore the Five Sacred Wounds and the Crown of Thorns.
She is, perhaps, less well-known for the intense sufferings she endured for the sake of souls.
During her time in the convent, she asked for and was granted the privilege of taking on the sufferings of people who were drawing near to death; when her body was afflicted with their illnesses, they grew well enough to prepare themselves spiritually for death. When she struggled with their temptation, they gained the strength to overcome it.
In one instance of this unique suffering for others, Anne Catherine displayed every symptom of serious consumption. Her bodily torments were so great that those who cared for her expected and even prayed that she would die. It was evident, during her fever, that she was battling against animosity toward a person she had once known.
Finally she sat up in bed and asked the person sitting with her to join her in praying the Litany for the Dying. When the prayer was finished, a man entered the room and asked Anne Catherine to pray for his sister, who had just passed away from consumption.
His sister, he said, had been unable to prepare for death for a long time due to an enmity she harbored against another person. During her last two weeks, however, she had grown better, and was able not only to receive her last sacraments, but to make peace with her enemy also. At her death, that former enemy stood by and helped her.
At this news, Anne Catherine’s consumption disappeared completely.
Anne Catherine devoted her life and health to bringing souls ever closer to Jesus. She left us an incredibly detailed account of The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as she witnessed it. This account will renew your love for our crucified Lord and your gratitude for the great sufferings He endured for us. Especially excellent for Lenten reading! Get your copy today at The Catholic Company!