Emmerich became a nun, at the age of 29, in the Convent of Agnetenberg, at Dulmen, Germany. She supposedly received the “favour from the Lord” (8) to receive “stigmas” or wounds in her flesh in order to bleed and suffer “to expiate the sin by suffering” (15) for others, as well as “to feel a portion of the sufferings which were endured by her Divine Spouse on the Cross” (16). She spent most of her life in bed, her body constantly (and literally) bleeding from the brow, hands, feet and side (29, et al.). She also received visions from God and at times was translated to various locations, especially Jerusalem, to observe how things happened in history. Thus does she tell in vivid detail of the life of Christ.
Her visions of what happened to Christ are given as a supposed eye witness and are thoroughly Catholic in the constant emphasis on the “Holy Eucharist” and “holy blood” (84) and praise of “The Blessed Virgin” and “Immaculate Mother of God” (200, et al.). I list what space permits: The upper room is converted into a Catholic altar and Mary miraculously appears to receive mass (84); the chalice was used by Adam, Noah on the ark, and Abraham (70); The Catholic Church is the second Eve (109) and all other churches are “hellish” and keep souls from heaven by not giving them “the Holy Sacrament” (117); Mary suffered in her own garden (118); an angel gave Jesus Holy Communion in Gethsemane (122); Jesus was chained, dragged, thrown into Kidron so that His handprints remained on the rocks for the “veneration” of believers (136); Mary’s handprints are also left at many places for the same reason (174, 255, 353); Pilate’s wife gave linen to “The Mother of God” to save the “sacred blood” (224-5); Emmerich was there also, “anxious for a drop of our Lord’s blood to fall upon me, to purify me” (232); Mary traveled the Via Dolarosa before Jesus did (and afterward) as “the first to show forth the deep veneration felt by the Church” (200); the veil of Veronica was left with the imprint of Jesus’ face (259) as the grave clothes left bodily imprints (323); Jesus was on the cross only 3 hours (268 & 294); the veil of the temple was rent by accident (298); the water and blood from His side (“vivifying waters of baptism”) splashed on a soldier, forgiving him of sin (304); Jesus descended to “Purgatory” and “Limbo” so that the Church can pray for them (351); Jesus appears first to Mary on three separate occasions (353, 358, 361); and numerous other details of pain and sufferings which are added to the biblical account. The book comes with a sticker which says, “The book that inspired Mel Gibson to film The Passion Of The Christ.”