Feast of Hadewijch of Brabant (April 22)   1 comment

Above:  The Duchy of Brabant

Image in the Public Domain

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HADEWIJCH OF BRABANT (1200-1248)

Roman Catholic Mystic

Hadewijch of Brabant comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Episcopal Church’s Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018.

Documentation about the life of Hadewijch of Brabant is scarce, unfortunately.

Hadewijch, born in 1200, in the Duchy of Brabant (modern Belgium), left an influential literary legacy.  She, an upper-class figure, was well-read in philosophy and Christian theology.  She was, for a time, a Beguine, a member of a semi-monastic community of women.  Our saint apparently disagreed with Mechthild of Magdeburg (circa 1207-circa 1282/1285), another female Roman Catholic mystic.  Hadewijch seems to have left her Beguine community involuntarily.

Hadewijch was an important literary figure, especially in Dutch literature.  She, also fluent in French and Latin, wrote poems of courtly love.  Furthermore, our saint composed the Book of Visions, a dialogue with Christ.  She, perhaps inspired by the characterization of divine wisdom as feminine in the Book Proverbs, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach/Ecclesiasticus, wrote of love as female.

Hadewijch’s direct influence faded by the 1500s.  However, her indirect influence via Meister Eckhart (circa 1260-1327/1328), who read her, has continued.  Scholarly interest in Hadewijch’s writings has revived.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN NIEMOLLER, GERMAN LUTHERAN MINISTER AND PEACE ACTIVIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT JORDAN OF PISA, DOMINICAN EVANGELIST

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM BRIGHT, ANGLICAN CANON, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER

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Triune God of Love, overwhelming and all-encompassing,

visit us in our solitude and in our companionship,

and draw us ever more deeply into union with you,

who are ever present and ever mysterious,

that we, like your servant Hadewijch,

might know you ever more fully,

even as we have been fully known.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Psalm 119:129-136

John 19:31-37

Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, 245

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One response to “Feast of Hadewijch of Brabant (April 22)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Mechthild of Magdeburg, St. Mechthild of Hackeborn, and St. Gertrude the Great (July 28) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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