"the dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ"


Does anyone know, is this book accepted by the Church? :confused:
I’ve heard conflicting information…

I have the book and I’ve read parts of it, and I’m wondering if I should read the whole thing.

thanks :slight_smile:


Well, considering the Church beatified the author of the book (Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich), I’d say it’s accepted. :wink:

The book would fall under the realm of private revelation. It is not necessary for any Catholic to accept the book as historically accurate. However, there is no problem in reading the book for devotional purposes. I would highly encourage it. :thumbsup: It’s a great book! Mel Gibson used it when making his movie The Passion of the Christ. This book is what inspired some of the touching scenes such as Mary wiping up the blood of Jesus that was on the ground after he had been scourged.

In short, there is no Church condemnation of this book, and it’s author has been beatified. That’s never a bad thing! :wink:


Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich was beatified because she demonstrated heroic patience and firm faith in dealing with years of ill health. Nothing was said about her visions.

Not calling you out or anything, Joe, just supplementing. :wink:


It needs to be remembered that the writings of saints are not on the same level as dogma nor of Scripture. They may contain nothing contrary to Church teaching, but their visions/insights are to be understood as just that–theirs. They don’t speak for the Church in the place of the Magisterium. So, they may contain errors in historical matters or be opinionated/biased towards their own likes/dislikes, etc. They are good, spiritual reading but should never be thought finally authoritative.


Thanks for the clarification. :wink:

Of course you are correct. The Church never guarantees that the writings of a saint are infallible. I was offering a simple answer to illustrate the point that there is no problem with reading the book. Of course, her visions should not be placed at the same level as or above the Gospel accounts. Nor should it be taken as an authoritative pronouncement of the Church that this is exactly how Christ’s Passsion happened.

However, it is a great devotional book that, IMHO, can be beneficial to one’s prayer life. (It’s a great book to read during Lent, especially.) Not that every Catholic has to read it. But there’s nothing in it (that I’ve found) that would lead one into heresy.

I guess I thought it went without saying to avoid the mentality that private revelation can take the place of public revelation. But it never hurts to state it anyway. :slight_smile:


thanks everyone :slight_smile:


Loved that book. You cant go wrong with it.


Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I “composed” a prayer chaplet to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich a couple of years back:



I like how you referred to Jesus in that chaplet as “The Most Holy Lamb of God,” for this title reflects His Passion.


thanks for sharing! :slight_smile:


Saint Catherine’s chapters on the Crucifixion really brought home to me the reality of the Sacrifice and Suffering of Christ. It has been said that this book on the Passion had been able to move the hardest hearts of some notable French and German skeptics back in the 19th Century when it was published. I am almost positive, and maybe I’ll look for it, there is a point in the book where St. Catherine Emmerich states that her collected reflections would sometime go on to manifest great work in the future after her death. (I can’t remember what chapter it was in).

God Bless.:slight_smile:


Oh yes, the sanctification of Catherine Emmerich was done Without taking her visions into account. When Father Gumpel, a postulator for certain candidates to sainthood in the Vatican office, was interviewed for one book on the making of saints and was asked about Padre Pio, I believe the interviewer (Kenneth Woodward Making Saints) understood that Saint Pio’s spiritual gifts were absolutely not taken in any way into consideration and it almost looked to Woodward as if the whole question of spiritual gifts of candidates to sainthood to Father Gumpel sometimes complicated the path to sainthood to a little extent. (i.e. more studying of personal virtues).

God Bless.


This thread just illustrates the value of Catholic Answers. :smiley: I had developed an interest in Anne Catherine Emmerich after discovering her books in the Leaflet Missal and had exactly the same question as the originator of the thread. LM offers one or two single volumes and a four volume set called The Life of Jesus Christ. It totals 2,000 plus pages ! … so I called and asked customer service how that book was produced. The person I reached told me she had the set, and had not read everything but found it valuable for her spiritual life. She said it skipped around a bit, I think. It was dictated evidently - and I think I recall reading this in the article at the Original Catholic Encyclopedia. If anyone has any further clarification, great.


The Church has not judged the revelations of Anne, so they are unapproved. I once thought they were condemned, but than I learned they were just unapproved.

More here (not entire article):

The Mel Gibson movie The Passion of The Christ has caused new interest in the writings of the Catholic mystics Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, and Venerable Mary of Agreda. Although the source of the movie is the Gospels, Gibson nonetheless appears to have taken some inspiration for his artistry from the writings of these two holy Catholic women, whose writings he acknowledges were important to the spiritual journey which lead him to make the movie.

Anne Catherine Emmerich was an Augustinian nun who was born 8 September 1774 at Flamsche, in the Diocese of Münster, in Germany and who died at Dulmen on 9 February 1824. During her life she experienced the mystical phenomenon of the stigmata, the wounds of Christ, which after a study ordered by her bishop were judged by a panel of physicians and clergy to be authentic. In addition she had mystical visions, the content of which came to be written down by Clemens Brentano, a man who served as her secretary in this regard. Among the most famous of her writings is the The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 1892, well after her death, her Cause for Beatification was introduced by the bishop of Münster. She subsequently attained to the title of Venerable, indicating Rome’s recognition that she lived a life of heroic virtue. However, in 1928 Rome suspended the Cause of Beatification when it was suspected that Brentano fabricated material attributed to her. The Holy See has since permitted the Cause to be re-opened on the sole issue of her life, without reference to the possibly doctored writings. On 2 July 2003 a decree of a miracle was promulgated by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, opening the way for her Beatification (L’Osservatore Romano N. 29, 16 July 2003, 2).

Source: ewtn.com/expert/expertfaqframe.asp


Cool article, Eucharisted :).


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