Saturday, January 24, 2015

Patron Saint 2015--Julian of Norwich

If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.  --Bl. Julian of Norwich

When I came into the Catholic Church in 2013, I chose Kateri Tekakwitha as my Confirmation name, and she was my official patron saint for 2014. She certainly hasn't been replaced by any means, but for 2015 my focus is upon the patronage of Julian of Norwich. I came across her name recently in a book on Christian mysticism and was reminded of a previous interest in her.

Julian is venerated in the Lutheran, Anglican, and Catholic Churches, though as far as I'm aware, she has never been formally canonized. She is traditionally regarded as "Blessed Julian".  A medieval anchoress and English mystic, Julian is known mostly through her Revelations of Divine Love, the first book written by a woman in the English language.

When I first learned of Julian on my journey to the Catholic Faith, I was puzzled as to why, when an English major at The Ohio State University, I had never heard of her. She has been a primary influence as I endeavor to write my own spiritual memoir with a focus on the Virgin Mary and the sacred feminine in Christianity.

I am currently reading a large and engaging spiritual biography called Julian's Gospel by Veronica Mary Rolf, which reconstructs the times in which Julian lived in the city of Norwich and her likely place in society, with reflections on her visions. Since Bl. Julian was both a female mystic and writer, she seems a fitting choice to guide me as I endeavor to produce my own work of mystical literature.

Who is your patron saint and why? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

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