And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

May 13th is the Feast Day of Julian of Norwich: 14th century mystic, theologian, anchoress, and author of the first English language book known to have been written by a woman.

An anchoress was a hermit of a sort, confined to an enclosure: often merely a cell, or at most a tiny cottage with a tiny solitary enclosed garden. By the Middle Ages, a Rule of Life had been developed for the anchoress (there were anchorites, but it was primarily a practice of women), and the cell was typically attached to a parish church. The structure would include a tiny window for hearing the Mass and receiving communion, as well as another window to communicate with an assistant and speak with members the community who may visit for advice and prayers.

AnchoressThe Enclosure of an Anchoress

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