"Revelations to one who could not read a Letter, Anno Dom. 1373" : this work provides almost all the information that is known about Julian. It is an account of visions, primarily ones she declares to have occurred on the 13th and 14th of May 1373, during a severe illness when she was thirty years old, written down nearly twenty years later by a scribe. There have been many translations of this work from archaic English, and thus many variants of the statements exist and somewhat different interpretations of their meanings have arisen. .
This is a Revelation ofthat, our endless bliss, made in Sixteen Shewings, or Revelations particular. Of the which the First is of His precious crowning with thorns; and therewith was comprehended and specified the Trinity, with the Incarnation, and unity betwixtand man’s ; with many fair shewings of endless wisdom and teachings of love: in which all the Shewings that follow be grounded and oned. .
Our Lord God willeth we have great regard to all the deeds that He hath done: in the great nobleness of the making of all things; and the excellency of man’s making, which is above all his works; and the precious Amends that He hath made for man’s sin, turning all our blame into endless worship. In which Shewing also our Lord saith: Behold and see! For by the same Might, Wisdom, and Goodness that I have done all this, by the same Might, Wisdom, and Goodness I shall make well all that is not well; and thou shalt see it. And in this He willeth that we keep us in the Faith and truth of Holy Church, not desiring to see into His secret things now, save as it belongeth to us in this life. .
Our Lord is the Ground of our Prayer. Herein were seen two properties: the one is rightful prayer, the other is steadfast trust; which He willeth should both be alike large; and thus our prayer pleaseth Him and He of His Goodness fulfilleth it. .
These Revelations were shewed to a simple creature unlettered, the year of our Lord 1373, the Thirteenth day of May. Which creature afore desired three gifts of God. The First was mind of His Passion; the Second was bodily sickness in youth, at thirty years of age; the Third was to have of God’s gift three wounds. .
As to the First, methought I had some feeling in the Passion of Christ, but yet I desired more by the grace of God. Methought I would have been that time with Mary Magdalene, and with other that were Christ’s lovers, and therefore I desired a bodily sight wherein I might have more knowledge of the bodily pains of our Saviour and of the compassion of our Lady and of all His true lovers that saw, that time, His pains. For I would be one of them and suffer with Him. Other sight nor shewing of God desired I never none, till the soul were disparted from the body. The cause of this petition was that after the shewing I should have the more true mind in the Passion of Christ. .
The Second came to my mind with contrition; Freely desiring that sickness so hard as to death, that I might in that sickness receive all my rites of Holy Church, myself thinking that I should die, and that all creatures might suppose the same that saw me: for I would have no manner of comfort of earthly life. In this sickness I desired to have all manner of pains bodily and ghostly that I should have if I should die, (with all the dreads and tempests of the fiends) except the outpassing of the soul. And this I meant for I would be purged, by the mercy of God, and afterward live more to the worship of God because of that sickness. And that for the more furthering in my death: for I desired to be soon with my God. .
These two desires of the Passion and the sickness I desired with a condition, saying thus: Lord, Thou knowest what I would, — if it be Thy will that I have it — and if it be not Thy will, good Lord, be not displeased: for I will nought but as Thou wilt. .
For the Third, by the grace of God and teaching of Holy Church I conceived a mighty desire to receive three wounds in my life: that is to say, the wound of very contrition, the wound of kind compassion, and the wound of steadfast longing toward God. And all this last petition I asked without any condition.These two desires aforesaid passed from my mind, but the third dwelled with me continually. .
When I was thirty years old and a half, God sent me a bodily sickness, in which I lay three days and three nights; and on the fourth night I took all my rites of Holy Church, and weened not to have lived till day. And after this I languored forth two days and two nights, and on the third night I weened oftentimes to have passed; and so weened they that were with me. And being in youth as yet, I thought it great sorrow to die; — but for nothing that was in earth that meliked to live for, nor for no pain that I had fear of: for I trusted in God of His mercy. But it was to have lived that I might have loved God better, and longer time, that I might have the more knowing and loving of God in bliss of Heaven. For methought all the time that I had lived here so little and so short in regard of that endless bliss, — I thought nothing. .
I understood by my reason and by my feeling of my pains that I should die; and I assented fully with all the will of my heart to be at God’s will. Thus I dured till day, and by then my body was dead from the middle downwards, as to my feeling. Then was I minded to be set upright, backward leaning, with help, — for to have more freedom of my heart to be at God’s will, and thinking on God while my life would last. .
My sight began to fail, and 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 After this the upper part of my body began to die, so far forth that scarcely I had any feeling; — with shortness of breath. And then I weened in sooth to have passed. And in this suddenly all my pain was taken from me, and I was as whole (and specially in the upper part of my body) as ever I was afore. I marvelled at this sudden change; for methought it was a privy working of God, and not of nature. And yet by the feeling of this ease I trusted never the more to live; nor was the feeling of this ease any full ease unto me: for methought I had liefer have been delivered from this world. .
Then came suddenly to my mind that I should desire the second wound of our Lord’s gracious gift: that my body might be fulfilled with mind and feeling of His blessed Passion. For I would that His pains were my pains, with compassion and afterward longing to God. But in this I desired never bodily sight nor shewing of God, but compassion such as a kind soul might have with our Lord Jesus, that for love would be a mortal man: and therefore I desired to suffer with Him. .
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