Clemens Brentano was a well-known and well-to-do German poet and writer. After he had met the German nun and mystic, Anna Emmerich, on September 24, 1818, he was so amazed, he decided to be her stenographer. He later wrote, "I feel that I must stay here, that I must not leave this admirable creature before her death. I feel that my mission is here, and that God has heard the prayer I made when I begged him to give me something to do for His glory that would not be above my strength. I shall endeavor to gather and preserve the treasures of grace that I have here before my eyes." So, daily, for six years, this writer sublimated his career to take dictation. Why? Because he could see that this was God's work.
Beginning in 1818, Anna Katharina Emmerich dictated to Clemens Brentano over a period of 6 years various details about the life of Jesus Christ in chronological order. She had additional visions of "celebrated" events such as Christmas, Easter, and Saints Holidays when those feast days occurred in the Catholic Church. Anna's visions, as the reader will see, are quite detailed. Internal biblical "contradictions" are often straightforwardly explained away, though Anna, appears unaware that she does so. For example, the genealogy of Jesus is given both in Luke 3:28-38 and Matthew 1:1-16, and they obviously differ. However, by compiling the relationships that Anna relates in this text, it can be seen that one gospel is stating Jesus' genealogical descent through Jesus' foster-father, Joseph, and the other, through Mary.
The primary additions to this new edition of The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary are:
1. Woodcut figures that were included in the German 1852 edition have been included.
2. Archaic word usage and all spelling has been revised to modern American English.
3. All place names and proper names have been updated to modern spelling norms.
4. Textual omissions of previous editions have been corrected.5. German section titles, omitted by the English translator, have been translated and included.
6. Some new footnotes have been added.
Footnotes are typically concluded with initials in parenthesis. Footnotes without initials or initialed "Tr." are from Michael Palairet, CB are from Clemens Brentano, and SB from Sebastian Bullough.
Donald R. Dickerson, Jr.
12 November 2007