Christina the Astonishing: From Laura Swan, “The Wisdom of the Beguines”

(of which more soon) Once, while visiting the Benedictine nuns at St. Catherine's near Sint-Truiden and speaking of Christ, the nuns reported that "suddenly and unexpectedly she [Christina] would be ravished in the spirit and her body would whirl around like a hoop in a children's game. She whirled around with such extreme violence that the individual limbs of her body could not be distinguished. When she had whirled around for a long time in this manner, it seemed as if she became weakened by … [Read more...]

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“The Wisdom of the Beguines”: Commonweal Book Review on Medieval Laywomen Mystics

with tons of fascinating stuff: In the twelfth century, single women began moving in large numbers from farms to cities of the Low Countries to work in the textile industry. Many of these women formed communal living arrangements that offered safe, affordable accommodation, and a life of service to their neighbors. According to Laura Swan’s recent book, The Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women’s Movement, the beguines, who flourished for several hundred years, were one … [Read more...]

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“Six Saints with Superpowers Straight from the Marvel Universe”

"Though we think the real unsung hero of this story was his audience. If he was preaching the whole time he was walking around headless, then somebody was presumably listening. We have enormous respect for anyone who sees a headless guy walking toward them with blood spurting from a ragged neck stump, carrying a head that is offering them an inspirational message of salvation, and is able to actually listen to and absorb what the head is saying." Cracked, so the usual warnings apply.And … [Read more...]

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