They prayed for a baby, tender and mild…
Anne, weaving, closes her eyes.
Older and stately, humble and wise.
Her little nephew comes into the room,
grabs a hold of his aunt and says, “Anne, I love you.”
Up from the loom she brings him out for some grapes.
Laughing and smiling, juice all over his face.
Back to the house where she’s baked a surprise —
honey cakes for her nephew light up his eyes.
And with a shiny red apple, Joachim appears,
gives the gift to the boy, then wipes Anne’s tears.
You see, late in their lives, no child have they.
“Do hope,” says Joachim, “together we’ll pray.”
Off to Jerusalem for the Festival of Lights.
Camping under the stars on an October night.
Anne is hopeful over the dream she’s had
that this time next year they’ll be Mom and Dad.
Yes, with one more day to offer their prayers above
they shall gain God’s favor through their faithful love.
Now it’s the Spring and Anne’s back at the loom.
Her beautiful song fills up the room.
Her spirit is dancing, words are filled with zeal
and they reach her Joachim out in the field
who runs in with a smile wondering, “What’s going on?”
Listen, she says, as I sing you my song.
“Glory to the Almighty Lord
Whose supreme grace has visited me.
Glory, glory, glory to the Lord
Who has love for the children of David.
Like an old tree who’s born a new branch
I’ve been blessed by the Lord and for that I give thanks.
“At the Feast of Lights hope scattered the seed.
Now the fragrance of Spring sees it germinating.
Like an almond tree adorned with flowers in Spring
who feels she’s bearing fruit in the evening.
On the branch there’s a rose, a most sweet apple.
There’s a bright star, an innocent child…”
With these last words Anne’s eyes open wide.
Her arms are out, hands up to the sky.
“I’m a mother, my darling!” she exclaims with joy
and they both close their eyes, giving thanks to the Lord.
Each with a peaceful smile on their face
as they hold each other in the most chaste embrace.
Then he asks, “Have you known for long?
What happened today to make you sing your song?”
She says, “Back in October’s when I first learned
that, as you said, our prayers would be heard.
Then today I felt the most precious thing —
the kick of a child, so I started to sing.
“You see I was alone in the Temple at the Festival of Lights.
And I prayed so hard on that final night.
I could not leave until receiving the grace,
when in the darkness of the sacred place,
from on the veil just under the Angel’s feet,
a star lit up and it came to me.
I saw this light, this beautiful spark of light,
as the moon is white, as pearls and gems are bright.
Then a heavenly voice whispered in the room,
‘May what you ask for, come to you.’
What child of ours could this ever be
who is revealed by the light of a star to me?”
Well, they prayed for a baby, tender and mild.
It is the Mother of God who is to be their child.
The Visions of Maria Valtorta