Julian of Norwich
May 8 – Julian of Norwich (1342-c.1416)
Known to us almost only through her book, The Revelations of Divine Love, which is widely acknowledged as one of the great classics of the spiritual life, she is thought to have been the first woman to write a book in English which has survived.
We do not know Julian’s actual name but her name is taken from St. Julian’s Church in Norwich where she lived as an anchoress for most of her life. We know from the medieval literary work, The Book of Margery Kempe, that Julian was known as a spiritual counselor. People would come to her cell in Norwich to seek advice. Considering that, at the time, the citizens of Norwich suffered from plague and poverty, as well as a famine, she must have counselled a lot of people in pain. Yet, her writings are suffused with hope and trust in God’s goodness.