A Saint for Our Times (graphic art)

This is a picture I took from Wikimedia Commons of a statue of Julian of Norwich, an English anchoress from medieval times who is regarded as an important Christian mystic. Julian (1343-after 1416) wrote Revelations of Divine Love after seeing visions (or “shewings“) of the Passion of Christ. She was on her deathbed at the time of the visions, but she recovered and wrote about the visions sometime later.

Julian wrote anonymously and lived in permanent seclusion, so not much is known about her. However, Revelations, her book of devotions, is known to be the earliest surviving example of a book written by an English woman. In the book, Julian says her visions showed her the immense love of God, and she frequently uses motherly language and imagery for God. That’s a big break from the usual patriarchal imagery of the Christian God.

I listened to the audiobook of Revelations and really liked it. The most famous line from the book, which could be used as a mantra, is “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”.

The title of my post (A Saint for Our Times) comes from many articles written over the past year or so. Julian lived through very tumultuous times, including the Black Death of 1348-50 and a peasant’s revolt. Many religious thinkers over the past year have used her wisdom while we’ve been going through the pandemic and political turmoil.

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