Mother Julian of Norwich Mother Julian of Norwich  

Pope marks 650th anniversary of revelations of Mother Julian of Norwich

Pope Francis sends a message to Catholic and Anglican pilgrims who are commemorating the 650th anniversary of the Shewings, or Revelations of the Passion of Christ, of Mother Julian of Norwich.

By Francesca Merlo 

Pope Francis on Friday sent a message to pilgrims from across the world who throughout the year are gathering in the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals of the English city of Norwich to mark the 650th anniversary of the Shewings of Mother Julian of Norwich.

The Pope assured pilgrims of his spiritual closeness to those taking part in the various ecumenical celebrations.

Julian of Norwich was an English anchoress of the Middle Ages who received a series of visions or "shewings" of the Passion of Christ in 1373. Her writings on the subject, now known as the Revelations of Divine Love, are thought to be the earliest surviving English-language works by a women.

The significace of this English mystic

In his message, Pope Francis said, “the profound significance of this English mystic for the Christian tradition speaks to us from across the centuries and is increasingly being acknowledged and celebrated.”

Indeed, he added, “her maternal influence, humble anonymity, and profound theological insights stand as timely reminders that faith in God’s loving providence and holiness of life expressed in generous service to our brothers and sisters in need, are timeless truths underpinning not only the life of Christian discipleship but the very fabric of a just and fraternal society.”

Pope Francis went on to stress that of particular note is Julian’s generosity in welcoming those who sought spiritual counsel and encouragement.

He explained that “this willingness to sacrifice self-convenience for the sake of others is especially needed in responding to the endemic problems of isolation and loneliness felt by so many in the more materially affluent nations of the world.”

Relevance today

Bringing his message to a close, Pope Francis noted how Mother Julian's message of God’s mercy and compassion continues to be vital for today’s world.

In her Revelations of Divine Love, we learn that she was taught through God’s grace that, despite the presence of evil in our midst, “all manner of thing shall be well.”

In this regard, the Pope concluded, “I pray that all who face the pressing challenges of war, injustice, ecological disaster or spiritual poverty, may be consoled and strengthened by these enduring words of wisdom.”

Finally, as is customary, the Holy Father imparted his Blessing to all those participating in the commemorative events.

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15 May 2023, 18:19