Saint Julian of Norwich: Mystic, writer, hermitess, and cat lady
Not much is known about Julian, other than that she lived in Norwich, England, from 1342-1416, published the first book in English written by a woman, and spoke to Margery Kempe (medieval mystic who wrote the first autobiography to be published in English, go women!) in person.
At age 30, Julian became very ill and almost died. During this time, she had visions of Jesus Christ. She wrote these down immediately when she became well, in what would become Revelations of Divine Love.
Her vision of God was that of a compassionate one who loved all of his creations. He wanted to save all of humanity and that he possessed no wrath—only humans did. She believed God was both father and mother. Sin was to be seen as a “learning process,” a natural part in growing in life.
Her feast is celebrated on the 8th of May in the Anglican and Lutheran traditions, and on the 13th of May in the Catholic Church. She is portrayed many times with a hazelnut, due to a description found in her book, or with a cat.
“God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.” —from Revelations of Divine Love