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Published by Quo Primum

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Published by: Quo Primum on Feb 23, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Conversion of Zacchaeus.
By Maria Valtorta 
17th July 1944.I see a large square, which looks like a market and is shaded by  palms and other lower leafy trees. he palm!trees grow here and there, without any order and their top lea"es rustle in the warm upper bree#e, which raises a reddish dust, as if it came from a desert or from unculti"ated places of reddish earth. he other trees, instead, form shady porches along the sides of the square, and "endors and buyers ha"e taken shelter under them, in a restless shouting din.In a corner of the square, e$actly where the main road leads into it, there is a primiti"e e$cise office. here are scales and measures, and a bench at which is sat a little man who o"ersees, watches and deals in cash and to whom e"erybody speaks, as if he were "ery well known. I know that he is %acchaeus, the e$ciseman, as many people address him, some to ask about the e"ents of the town, and they are mainly strangers, some to pay their ta$es. &any are surprised at seeing him worried. 'e seems in fact absent!minded and engrossed in thought. 'e replies in monosyllables and at times with gestures, which ama#es many, who know that %acchaeus is usually talkati"e. (ome ask him
whether he is not feeling well or if any of his relati"es is ill. )ut he says no.*nly twice he shows keen interest. he first time when he questions two people who ha"e come from Jerusalem and are speaking of the +a#arene, of 'is miracles and teaching. %acchaeus then asks many questions - Is 'e really as good as they say /nd do 'is words correspond to facts 0oes 'e really make use of the mercy which 'e preaches *n behalf of e"erybody, also of publicans Is it true that 'e does not reect anybody 2 /nd he listens, thinks and sighs. he second time when someone points out to him a bearded man, who is passing  by with a little donkey laden with household goods. - (ee, %acchaeus hat is %acharias, the leper. 'e li"ed in a sepulchre for ten years. +ow that he is cured, he has bought the furnishings for his house, which was emptied according to the 3aw, when he and his relati"es were declared lepers. 2- all him. 2%acharias comes.- 5ere you a leper 2- I was and so were my wife and my two children. &y wife was the first to be infected and we did not notice it at once. he children became infected sleeping with their mother, and I, when I approached my wife. 5e were all lepers6 5hen it was found out, they sent us away from the "illage hey could ha"e
left us in our house, as it was the last one at the end of the street. 5e would not ha"e caused any trouble I had already grown a "ery high hedge, so that we might not e"en be seen. It was already a sepulchre but it was our home hey sent us away. /way6 /way6 +o town wanted us. /nd quite rightly6 +ot e"en our own town had wanted us. 5e stayed near Jerusalem, in an empty sepulchre. &any poor wretches are there. )ut the children died, in the cold of the ca"e. he disease, cold and star"ation soon killed them hey were two boys they were  beautiful before the disease. hey were strong and beautiful, dark brown like two blackberries in /ugust, curly and li"ely. hey had become two skeletons co"ered with sores hey had no hair left, their eyes were sealed with scabs, their feet and hands were falling off in white scales. I watched the bodies of my children waste away6 hey no longer looked like human  beings the morning they died one after the other within a few hours I buried them under a little earth and many stones, like the carrion of animals, while their mother screamed / few months later their mother died and I was left alone I was waiting to die and no one would dig a hole to bury meI was almost blind when one day the +a#arene passed by. rom my sepulchre I shouted :Jesus6 (on of 0a"id, ha"e mercy on me6: / beggar, who was not afraid to bring me his bread, had told me that he had been cured of his blindness, by shouting that in"ocation. /nd he said :'e did not only gi"e me the sight of

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