Mary tells Joseph about Elizabeth


“How do you know?  Is the news certain?”

– Joseph, after hearing from Mary that Elizabeth was pregnant in her old age

“A messenger came.  One who would not tell lies.”

– Mary, speaking of Gabriel


18. The day after Gabriel’s announcement to Mary, She awaits Joseph’s arrival for supper.  He comes to the door and they greet each other.  Then Joseph sits on a stool in front of Mary, on the opposite side of the table.

Joseph is a handsome man in the prime of his life.  His face is framed by his dark brown hair and a beard of the same color and his eyes are very sweet and very dark, almost black.  His forehead is large and smooth, his nose thin, his cheeks are roundish and of a brown hue.  He is not very tall, but he is strong and well built.

Before sitting down he offers Mary two eggs and a bunch of grapes, somewhat withered, but well preserved.  And he smiles saying, “The grapes were brought to me from Cana.  I was given the eggs by a Centurion for some repair work I did to his cart.  A wheel was broken and their carpenter is ill.  They are new laid.  He took them from the hen house.  Drink them.  They will do You good.”

“Tomorrow, Joseph.  I have just finished my meal.”

“But You can take the grapes.  They are good, as sweet as honey.  I carried them very carefully, so that they would not get spoiled.  Eat them.  There are plenty more.  I’ll bring them tomorrow in a little basket.  I couldn’t this evening, because I came straight from the Centurion’s house.”

“Well, then, you have not had any supper yet.”

“No, I haven’t, but it does not matter.”

Mary gets up at once and goes into the kitchen and She comes back with some milk, some olives and cheese.  “I have nothing else,” She says.  “Take an egg.”

But Joseph does not want it.  The eggs are for Mary.  He eats with relish his bread and the cheese and he drinks the lukewarm milk.  He then accepts an apple.  And his supper is over.

Mary takes Her embroidery after cleaning the table and Joseph helps Her and he remains in the kitchen putting things away, as She comes back out.  He pokes the fire because it’s a cool evening.  When he comes in, Mary thanks him.

They speak to each other.  Joseph tells her how he spent the day.  He talks of his little nephews and he takes an interest in Mary’s work and in Her flowers.  He promises to bring Her some beautiful flowers which the Centurion has promised him.  “They are flowers we haven’t got here.  They were brought from Rome…”  Mary smiles and thanks him.  Then there is silence.

Then Mary, as if she were making a sudden decision, lays Her embroidery on Her lap and says, “I also have something to tell you.  I never have anything to say, because you know how retired I live.  But today I have some news.  I heard that our relative Elizabeth is about to have a child…”

Joseph opens his eyes wide and exclaims, “At her age?”

“At her age,” replies Mary smiling.  “The Lord can do everything, and now He is giving this joy to our relative.”

“How do you know?  Is the news certain?”

“A messenger came.  One who would not tell lies.  I would like to go to Elizabeth’s, to help her and to tell her that I am rejoicing with her.  If you will allow me…”

“Mary, You are my lady and I Your servant.  Whatever You do is well done.  When would you like to go?”

“As soon as possible.  But I shall be away for some months.”

“And I will count the days waiting for you.  Go and don’t worry.  I will look after the house and Your little garden…”

Next: Joseph, after the Dream

The Visions of Maria Valtorta

Print Friendly, PDF & Email