Julian of Norwich

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Feast Day: May 13
Venerated: Popular Devotion


As a young woman, Julian, who was born about 1342, became an anchorite at the Church of St. Edmund and St. Julian in Norwich. Until her death in about 1420, at the age of 78, Julian stayed in her simple room. Like most anchorites, she probably prayed, fasted, did penance, studied, sewed clothing for the poor, and advised the village people.

But, like several other anchorites at that time, Julian also wrote a book, Revelations of Divine Love. In it, she described her 16 visions of Jesus. As she wrote this book about God’s great compassion for us, Julian developed a special vocabulary. She called the Creator our mother and our father. She called Jesus the Redeemer our brother.

At the time of Julian’s death, people from all over Europe traveled to her room, or cell, to ask her advice. Everyone recognized that she was close to God. The Church never formally declared her a saint, but through the ages, people have called her “Blessed.”

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