The date was 8 May 1373 and in Norwich an obscure woman, now know as Julian, about 30 years old, was approaching the end of her life. Stricken with the plague, a priest was called to administer the last rites. The priest held up a cross. And the visions began!
Later, Julian remembered that “it was all dark about me in the chamber, as if it had been night, save in the image of the cross whereon I beheld a common light; and I wist not how. All that was away from the cross was of horror to me, as if it had been greatly occupied by the fiends.”
To Julian’s astonishment her pain disappeared and she recovered. But it was at least 20 years before she wrote a full version of her visions, as well has her thoughts about love and sin and hope. Her book, best known under the title Revelations of Divine Love, is the first book published in English known to have been written by a woman.