ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH and her alleged visions and revelations

Anne Catherine Emmerich was born in 1774 in Germany and she became an Augustinian nun. She was a stigmatic and she was watched very closely in 1819 to see if there was any evidence of fraud. None was found. But magicians could have fooled her observers. God gave her a cross on her breast shaped like a t and a y forcing dirty doctors to look at it which is a strange thing for God to do.

She wrote a book on her revelations but a layman, Clemens Brentano, rewrote them so we can’t be sure of them anymore (page 18, Twenty Questions about Medjugorje). If God went to the trouble of giving her long visions and had Brentano taking notes meaning he wanted them to be preserved why didn’t he find some way to preserve the authentic account? The revelations have to be false when God failed. The Holy Shroud and Four Visions argues that that Bretano turned the notes he took as she dictated into poetical language resulting in inaccuracies but it says that since her visions of the suffering of Jesus match the Turin Shroud the errors are few (page 16). But the Turin Shroud does not depict Christ. If the Shroud is a miracle then Christ was a fraud. The Shroud cannot be the winding sheet of Jesus and its existence would be evidence that miracles prove nothing at all and can mislead. Jesus said his miracles proved what he was saying was true and with the Shroud we would have physical evidence against him. And physical evidence for him is something that we don’t have even with the gospels which only give questionable and too brief testimonies for him. Why then did Brentano get rid of the original notes? Catherine got a revelation saying that God wanted Bretano to write her notes so if he lied it is more her fault than his. She called him the Pilgrim because he had the role of being pilgrim to the sacred place of her side from which revelations from Heaven were to be received.

According to her visions, the cross of Jesus was the usual shape but Christ was fastened to two arms going upwards in a Y shape. But the victims of crucifixion carried one beam to the execution site but this kind of cross would be ready made and the whole thing would have to be carried. Also it is unnecessarily ornate. Catherine’s vision of the cross seems to have more to do with the Y shaped cross in her parish chapel than Jesus. She described a scourging at the pillar that is so horrific (page 27, The Holy Shroud and Four Visions) that it is strange the gospels did not say that and which is inconsistent with the gospel that Pilate was anxious to save Jesus and too bad a scourging could kill. Yet her revelation says the gospels are infallible in all matters.

She reports as fact the fictitious story that was made up centuries after the Church began that Veronica wiped the face of Jesus. Veronica means true icon so she was made up for there was a picture of Jesus on cloth that some wished to link with the time of Christ.

Emmerich claimed that the leg of Jesus was broken out of its socket to make it stretch on the cross for a hole for the nail was too far away for the leg to reach. Death rapidly ensued if the legs were unable to support. But Jesus was on the cross for a few hours. The Turin Shroud is supposed to back this up which if correct is another reason it is not Jesus’ cloth. Emmerich saw the arms being stretched unnaturally and it is thought that the Shroud man had arms broken out of the sockets. This makes it all worse for her claims. These details are on page 39 to 44 of The Holy Shroud and Four Visions.

Mark recorded Pilate’s surprise that Jesus died so soon. Mark made no effort to prove the resurrection and he just said it happened. Don’t you think he would have said if the stretching had killed his Lord prematurely? The evidence must have been confused and unconvincing when Mark could find so little to say.

What was Emmerich doing with stigmata in her palms if she saw Jesus nailed through the wrists? She never saw this at all. When God gave her a cross on her breast to match the cross in the vision it follows the stigmata would match the vision too.

In her visions of the Virgin Mary’s house at Ephesus she reports that there was a tabernacle containing an image of this cross. Why would Mary use a tabernacle for a cross? Moreover, tabernacles did not come in till much later. And St John gives the dying Virgin the wafer and no chalice which did not come in for hundreds of years later. The apostles use altar lamps and altars and chrism and blessed salt – later inventions of the Church. The work is full of anachronisms. The Church might speculate that God led the apostles to privately use these emblems of a later Church but the fact remains that they are more likely to be anachronisms. Strangely, the apostles have nothing with them to drink but tiny flasks on their belts and tiny loaves. And we are to believe they travelled a long way with just that! There were even rich vestments that they put on for the final Mass for Mary! And of course the account climaxes with the Virgin being assumed into Heaven from her tomb - a legend that did not appear till long after the apostles. She had a vision of the true Church dwindling to just a few families which could lead to schism. She never hinted this vision was conditional and apostasy is wide-scale today.

Even if Brentano invented many of these things it is certain that many of these errors were originally Catherine’s. Now if stigmata is meant to be a miracle that provides evidence for the faith and it is accompanied by visions then it must bear witness to the visions as well. If the visions are false then the stigmata was faked even if there is no physical proof. Her visions and wonders really undermine the Church so if her stigmata and visions and ability to live for years without food are real the Catholic Church is not the true Church of God.

Emmerich hid her stigmata and swore those who bandaged them to secrecy but the doctors spilled the beans. Stigmata would not prove she was a saint so what had she to be ashamed of – exposure? 


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