Saint Juliana of Norwich
St. Julian/Juliana of Norwich (1342–1416) is a Benedictine nun who lived as a recluse in Norwich, England. Little is known of her life with certainty. At the age of 30 she was suddenly struck by a severe illness which almost took her life. During this illness she received a series of visions of Jesus Christ in sixteen separate revelations. When she recovered from her illness the visions stopped. Fifteen years later, Our Lord appeared to her to give her the meaning of her visions. St. Julian wrote her visions down in a book called Revelations of Divine Love, the earliest surviving book in the English language known to have been written by a woman. After these revelations she began to live a solitary life as an anchoress in a little cell built into the wall at the church of St. Julian in Norwich, not far from London. During her life the Church was in schism, and England was caught in a long war with France. The book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence. She received visitors to her cell and gave them guidance on the spiritual life, becoming a spiritual mother to many. St. Julian is an important medieval mystic whose response to the problem of evil is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Her feast day is May 13th.
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