All Shall be Well

Saint Julian of Norwich. I love this saint. I love what she has written. Her most famous quote is powerful and could have been written by a modern, prayerful Catholic. Saint Julian was a mystic, spiritual writer and an anchoress, called to a solitary  life of  prayer, contemplation and counselling. Her home was a small room, or cell, attached to the Church of S. Julian, Bishop of Le Mans, just off one of the main streets of Norwich. There was a ‘Rule of Life’ associated with this order drawn up in the 13th century, which stated that the cell should have 3 windows that opened; one into the Church, so she could hear Mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament; one to communicate with her servant, who would have lived close at hand and would have been responsible for the chores; one to give advice to those who sought it.
What is remarkable is that she could write these words even though she had nursed the sick and dying during the Black Plague in England, a horrific experience since Julian lived right in the middle of the second largest city in England at the time.
She could remain confident in the Love of  God because

she received powerful visions of God’s Love for all mankind when she was around 30 years old.

10 thoughts on “All Shall be Well

  1. I like the three window idea. An anchoress is a woman hermit. Just shows how being a hermit doesn’t mean forsaking conversation with others when necessary. It’s marvelous that God preserved her health during the plague.


  2. I should also say for ponder anew that anchorites are covered under canon law and are an official Church vocation with a special relationship to the bishop of the diocese they reside in. A bishop can tell an anchoress he doesn’t want her in his diocese and she will have to find another bishop. The reason we don’t hear much about hermits these days is that a) there aren’t that many of them, b) the nature of their vocation is to be withdrawn from daily commerce with the world, and c) this doesn’t give the vocation a lot of publicity. It’s a difficult and special calling from God. We have five hermits in our diocese but I had no idea until I corresponded with a hermit I know in another diocese.


    1. really? fascinating. A friends brother who was a top notch surgeon became a Trappist priest and lives onan island in the Maritimes; we have asked him various questions through the internet. l
      One anchorite has endorsed me on linkedin and by doing so connected me to an iconographer on my province of Ontario, 3 hours drive away


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