Book Review: “The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics” by Raphael Brown with Foreword by Rev. Edward A. Ryan, S.J.

Raphael Brown, The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics: Compiled from Revelations of St. Elizabeth of Schoenau, St. Bridget of Sweden, Ven. Mother Mary of Agreda, Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich, with Foreword by Rev. Edward A. Ryan, S.J., Dr. En Sc. Hist. Professor of Church History, Woodstock College  (Bruce, Milwaukee, 1951). 292 pages.

Book Review

A friend gave me this book last week. I started reading it last 16 March and finished it last 19 March on the Feast of St. Joseph. This 292-page pocketbook is difficult to put down.

It is hard to imagine what daily life in a holy family is like, with Mary as Mother, Jesus as Son, and Joseph as Father.  But the book describes these things in detail.

For Mary and Joseph, whenever Joseph pass by Mary, he would genuflect and he would not allow her to serve him, until he was told by his guardian angel to allow Mary to serve him, and interiorly treat her with highest reverence.  Joseph and Mary worked not for gain but for charity or to supply a need: they left the payment to their employers and accepted it as a freely given alms rather than an earned reward.  They divide their earnings into three parts: one part for the temple, one part for the poor, and one part for themselves.

For Jesus and Joseph, when Jesus was born, Joseph prostrated himself before Jesus.  Then upon Mary’s bidding, Joseph “kissed the Babe’s feet, and held little Jesus in his arms, pressing Him to his heart, while tears of happiness moistened his cheeks.”  In Jesus’s hidden life, he helped Joseph in his carpentry work.  When Joseph says to Jesus “‘Do this” or “Do that”, Jesus did it at once out of obedience.

For Jesus and Mary, the relationship is more intimate, so close that Mary becomes a reflection of her Son.  After Jesus’s birth, Jesus can already speak, but he speaks only at first to Mary and many years later to Joseph.   Jesus continuously instructs Mary on His mission on earth and how Mary becomes part of that mission.  Even during Jesus’s public ministry, Mary follows Jesus physically or through a vision.  Jesus always introduce his new apostles and disciples to Mary, so that she also becomes their spiritual mother.  What Christ suffered from his Agony in the Garden to his Crucifixion, Mary also suffered vicariously, even while only following the Stations of the Cross years after Jesus’s death.  Mary gathered the apostles during Pentecost.  When the Gospels were being written Mary requested the evangelists to write only as few as possible about her, so that the first Christians will not worship her as God.




  1. Private Revelations
  2. St. Elzabeth of Schoenau
  3. St. Bridget of Sweden
  4. Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus of Agreda
  5. Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich
  6. Summary
  7. This Compilation


  1. St. Ann and St. Joachim
  2. The Nativity of Mary
  3. Infancy
  4. Presentation
  5. In the Temple
  6. The Espousals
  7. Preparation for the Annunciation
  8. The Annunciation
  9. The Visitation
  10. Trials
  11. Mary and Joseph in Nazareth
  12. The Journey to Bethlehem
  13. The Nativity
  14. The Adoration of the Shepherds
  15. The Circumcision
  16. The Adoration of the Magi
  17. The Purification
  18. The Flight to Egypt
  19. The Holy Family in Egypt
  20. The Return to Nazareth
  21. The Boy Jesus in the Temple
  22. The Hidden Life in Nazareth
  23. The Death of St. Joseph
  24. Preparation for the Public Life
  25. The Wedding at Cana
  26. Mary During the Public Ministry
  27. Judas
  28. Prelude to the Passion
  29. Holy Thursday
  30. The Passion
  31. The Crucifixion
  32. The Resurrection
  33. The Ascension
  34. Pentecost and the Early Church
  35. Mary’s Last Years
  36. The Dormition
  37. The Assumption and Crowning



About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

4 Responses to Book Review: “The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics” by Raphael Brown with Foreword by Rev. Edward A. Ryan, S.J.

  1. Sr. Mary says:

    To Whom It May Concern,

    Please dear Editor, could you e-mail me more details and summary of the first 5 chapters of ‘The Life of Mary by the Mystics’. Hoping to get it from you as soon as possible. Thanks for your courtesy.

  2. Ludwina says:

    Dear Sister Mary,
    Go to and click on texts. Write up the title of any Catholic book you would like. And you will be able to read at you leisure. The Catholic Church for some reason has donated all it’s books to the Canadian library. And you are able to access them, on line.

  3. this book is my guiding light in my own motto OF FAITH thru life’s trials and hardships and dryness of my soul…………………… ” AS YOU LEARNED TO LOVED MARY MOST HOLY, YOU LEARNED TO LOVED GOD ………AVE MARIA”

  4. To everyone seeking for the real truth about the divinity of Jesus Christ, the role of the Blessed Mother and the truthfulness of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity this is a must-to-read book.

    I got this book sometime before 2000 and had read it again recently. My wife have her own copy and my son just completely read it. My daughter will have her own copy soon.

    I hope non-Catholics will read this book with an open heart and mind. Though I have my doubt they will (particularly our brethren from one Philippine-based church) as knowing them they will just look for every loopholes without considering whether the book speaks out the truth. They will just criticize this book left and right since it is a Catholic book because anything that is Catholic is an outright no no to them. They are such a closed-minded church bound to total obedience and submission to their founder/heirs. But then again, I hope I am wrong on this assumption and I pray I am.

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