JESUS APPEARS TO THE HOLY APOSTLES AT THE SEA OF GALILEE
FROM THE VISIONS OF BLESSED ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH
Before going to the sea, the holy Apostles went over the Way of the Cross to Mount Calvary, and thence to Bethania, from which place they took with them some disciples. They went by different routes and in several companies to the Sea of Galilee. Peter went with John, James the Greater, Thaddeus, Nathanael, John Mark, and Silas, seven in all, to Tiberias, leaving Samaria to the left. A11 chose routes remote from cities. They went to a fishery outside Tiberias, which Peter had held on lease, but which was now rented by another man, a widower with two sons. They took a repast with thls man, and I heard Peter saying that he had not fished here for three years. They went aboard two ships, one somewhat larger and better than thle other. They gave to Peter the choice of th'e former, into which he mounted with Nathanael, Thomas, and one of the fisherman's servants. In the second ship were John, James, John Mark, and Silas. Peter would not suffer another to row. He wanted to do it himslelf. Although so distinguished by Jesus, he was exceedingly humble and modest, especially before Nathanael, who was polished and educated.
They sailed about the whole night with torches, casting the nets here and there between the two ships, but always drawing them in empty. At intervals they prayed and sang Psalms. When day was beginning to dawn, the ships approached the opposite side of the mouth of the Jordan, on the eastern shore of the sea. The Apostles were worn out and wanted to cast anchor. They had laid aside their garments while fishing, retaining only a linen bandage and a little mantle. When about resuming their clothing preparatory to taking a little rest, they saw a figure standing behind the reeds on the shore. It was Jesus. He cried out: " Children, have you any meat? " They answered: " No! " Then He cried out again, telling them to cast the net to the west of Peter's ship. They did it, and John had to sail round to the other side of the ship. And now the net was so heavily filled that John recognized Jesus, and called to Peter across the silent deep: " It is the Lord! " At these words Peter instantly girded his coat about him, leaped into the water, and wad'ed through the reeds to the shore where Jesus was standing. But John pushed on in a boat, very light and narrow, that was fastened to his ship. Two of this kind were hooked together.
They pushed one before the other, and crossed over it to land. It held only one man, and was needed only for shallow water near the land. While the Apostles were on the sea fishing, I saw the Saviour floating out of the Valley of Josaphat and surrounded by many souls of the ancient Patriarchs whom He had freed from limbo. also by others that had been banished to different places, caves, swamps, and deserts. During the whole period of these forty days, I saw Jesus, when not among the disciples, with the holy souls. They were principally from Adam and Eve down to Noe, Abraham, and other ancient leaders of the people. He went over all places remarkable in His life, showing them all things, and instructing them upon what He had done and suffered for them, whereby they became indescribably quickened and through gratitude purified. He taught them, in a certain measure at this time, the mysteries of the New Testament, by which they were released from their fetters. I saw Him with them in Nazareth, in the Crib Cave and Bethlehem, and in every place in which anything remarkable had happened to Him. One could distinguish by a certain weakness or vigor in the appearance of the souls whether they animated men or women when on earth. I saw them in long, narrow garments that fell around them in shining folds, and floated behind in a long train. Their hair did not look like ordinary hair, but like rays of light each of which signified something. The beards of the men were composed of similar rays. Though not distinguished by any external sign, yet I recognized the kings, and especially the priests that from the time of Moses had any thing to do with the Ark of the Covenant. In the journeys of the Saviour I always saw them floating around Him, so that here too the spirit of order reigned in everything. The movements of these apparitions were exceedingly graceful and dignified. They seemed to float along, not exactly in an upright position, but inclining gently forward. They did not touch the earth like bodies that have weight, but appeared to hover just above the ground.
I saw the Lord arrive at the sea in company with these souls while the Apastles were still fishing. Back of a little mound on the shore there was a hollow in which was a covered fireplace, for the use of the shepherds, perhaps. I did not see Jesus kindling a fire, catching a fish, or getting one in any other way. Fire and fish and every thing necessary appeared at once in presence of the souls, as soon as ever it entered into the Lord's mind that a fish should here be prepared for eating. How it happened, I can not say.
The spirits of the Patriarchs had a share in this fish and in its preparation. It bore some signification relative to the Church Suffering, to the souls undergoing purification. They were in this meal bound to the Church Militant, by visible ties. In the eating of this fish, Jesus gave the Apostles an idea of the union existing between the Church Suffering and the Church Militant. Jonas in the fish was typical of Jesus' stay in the lower world. Outside the hut was a beam that served for a table.
I saw all this before Jesus crossed the mound and went down to the sea. Peter did not swim, he waded through the water. The bottom could be seen, although the water was tolerably deep. Peter was already standing by Jesus when John came up. Those on the ship now began to cry to them to help draw in the net. Jesus told Peter to go bring in the fish. They drew the net to land, and Peter emptied it on the shore. In it were one hundred and fifty-three different kinds of fishes. This number signified that of the new believers who were to be gained at Thebez. There were on the ships several people in the employ of the fishermen of Tiberias, and they took charge of the ships and the fish, while the Apostles and disciples went with Jesus to the hut whither He invited them to come and eat. When they entered, the spirits of the Patriarchs had vanished. The Apostles were very much surprised to see the fire and a fish, not of their own catching, also bread and honey-cakes. 1 The Apostles and disciples reclined by the beam while Jesus played the host. He handed to each on a little roll a portion of the fish from the pan. I did not see that the fish became less. He gave to them also of the honey-cakes and then reclined with them at table and ate. All this took place very quietly and solemnly.
Thomas was the third of those that had on the ship a perception of Jesus' presence. But they were all timid and frightened, for Jesus was more spirit-like than before, and the whole meal and the hour had in them something full of mystery. No one dared ask a question. A feeling of holy awe stole over them and gave rise to solemn silence. Jesus was wrapped in a mantle, His wounds not visible. After the meal, I saw Jesus and the Apostles rise from table. They walked up and down the shore, and at last stood still while Jesus solemnly addressed Peter: " Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these? " Peter timidly answered: " Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee! " Jesus said to him: " Feed My lambs1 " And at the same instant 1 saw a vision of the Church and the Chief Pastor. I saw him teaching and guiding the first Christians, and I saw the baptizing and cleansing of the new Christians who appeared like so many tender lambs.
After a pause, Jesus again said to Peter: " Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me? " (They were walking all the time. Jesus occasionally turning and pausing while they regarded Him with attention). Peter very timidly and humbly, for he was thinking of his denial, again answered: " Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Theel " Jesus again addressed him solemnly: " Feed My sheepl" Again I had a vision of the rising Church and her persecutions.
I. Sister Emmerich says they were toasted cakes of flour and honey. A larger one lay between two smaller ones. They were called honey-rusks.
I saw the Chief Bishop gathering together the numerous scattered Christians, protecting them, providing them with shepherds, and governing them. After another pause and still walking, Jesus said once more: " Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me?" I saw that Peter grew troubled at the thought that Jesus asked him so often as He doubted his love. It reminded him of his thrice repeated denial, and he answered: " Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee! " I saw fiat John was thinking: " Oh, what love must Jesus have, and what ought a shepherd to have, since He thrice questions Peter, to whom He confides His flock, concerning his love! " Jesus again said: " Feed My sheep! Amen, amen, I say to thee: ,when thou wast younger, thou didst gird thyself, and didst walk where thou wouldst. But when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not. Follow Me! " Jesus turned again to go on. John walked with Him, for Jesus was saying something to him alone, but what it was I could not hear. I saw that Peter, noticing this, asked the Lord while pointing to John: " Lord. what will become of this man? " Jesus, to rebuke his curiosity, answered: " So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? Follow thou Me! " And Jesus turning again, they went forward.
When Jesus said for the third time: "Feed My sheep! " and that Peter would in his old age be bound and led away, I had a vision of the spreading Church. I saw Peter in Rome bound and crucified, also the martyrdom of the saints. Peter too had a vision of his own martyrdom and of John's future sufferings. While Jesus was predicting his death' to Peter, the latter glanced at John and very naturally thought: " Shall not this man whom Jesus loves so dearly be crucified like Him? " Putting the question to Jesus, he was answered with a rebuke. I had at this moment a vision of John's death in Ephesus. I saw him stretch himself out in his grave, address some words to his disciples, and die. After his death I saw his body no longer on earth, but in a place as resplendent as the sun off toward the southeast, and it seemed as if John here received something from above that he transmitted to the earth. I became aware also that some understand these words of Jesus false1.y and think they mean: " I will that he so remain, " or " If I will that he so remain. " But they mean: " If I will that he remains. " They therefore that heard these words thought that John would not die. But he did die. I had on this occasion, as I have said, a vision of his death and his subsequent sojourn.
The Apostles and disciples went on a little farther with Jesus who was instructing them upon their future conduct. He then vanished before them eastward of the sea toward Gerasa and they returned to Tiberias, though not by a route that would lead them past the place in which Jesus had given them to eat. Of the fish that the Apostles caught, none were used at that meal. When Jesus said that they should bring thein ashore, Peter threw them in rows at Jesus' feet, that they might be numbered. By this it was acknowledged that they had caught the fish not by themselves and for themselves, but by His miraculous power and for Him. When the fish were deposited on the shore, Jesus said to the Apostles: " Come and eat l " and conducted them .over the little hill, or mound, where the sea could no longer be seen, to the mud hut over the furnace. Jesus did not at once place Himself at table, but went to the pan and brought to each a portion of fish on a piece of bread.
He blessed the portions and they shone with light. The honey-cakes were not in the pan. They were already prepared, and lay in a pile one above the other. Jesus distributed them and, when all were served, He too ate with them. There was only one fish in the pan, but it was larger than any they had caught. There was some mystery connected with this meal. The presence of the souls of the Patriarchs and others, their participation in the preparation of the meal, and the subsequent call of Peter, gave me to understand that in this spiritual meal the Church Suffering, the holy souls, should be committed to Peter's care, should be incorporated with the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, in short, that they should occupy a third place in the Church as a whole. I can not explain how this was to be done, but I had in vision this intimate conviction. It was in reference to this also that Jesus closed with the prophecy of Peter's death and John's future.