Beatrice of Nazareth

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Beatrice of Nazareth
Beatrijs de Nazareth.jpg
Blessed Beatrix
Bornc. 1200
Tienen, Belgium
DiedJuly 29, 1268
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast July 29

Blessed Beatrice of Nazareth or in Dutch Beatrijs van Nazareth (c. 1200 1268) was a Flemish Cistercian nun. She was the very first prose writer using an early Dutch language, a mystic, and the author of the notable Dutch prose dissertation known as the Seven Ways of Holy Love. She was also the first prioress of the Abbey of Our Lady of Nazareth in Nazareth near Lier in Brabant.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Flanders Community and region of Belgium

Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, and the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as (Flemish) culture and education.

Mysticism Practice of religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness

Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies, together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.

Contents

Sources

Evidence for her life comes from both her biography, published as Lilia Cistercii, the origins, lives and deeds of the holy virgins of Cîteaux, ed Chrysostomus Henriquez, (Douai 1633), and from her own work TheSeven Ways of Holy Love (Seven Manieren van Heilige Minnen). The latter is a work of early mystic literature that describes seven stages of love, as it is purified and transformed, before it can return to God. It has a simple and balanced prose style, [1] and is associated with the emergence of the 'bridal mysticism' movement.

Crisóstomo Henríquez was a Spanish Cistercian monk and scholar of church history, who belonged to the Spanish Congregation of that Order, and who worked in the Spanish Netherlands.

Brautmystik, literally 'bride-mysticism', often rendered 'bridal mysticism' or 'nuptial mysticism' in English, was a thirteenth-century Christian spiritual movement associated with the Low Countries.

Life

Beatrice was born in Tienen, Belgium, of a wealthy family. At the age of seven, her mother died, and she was sent to live with the Béguines in nearby Zoutleeuw, where she attended the local school. A little over a year later, her father arranged for her to return home. [2]

Tienen Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Tienen or Thienen is a city and municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Tienen proper and the towns of Bost, Goetsenhoven, Hakendover, Kumtich, Oorbeek, Oplinter, Sint-Margriete-Houtem and Vissenaken. On January 1, 2017, Tienen had a total population of 34,365. The total area is 71.77 km2 (27.71 sq mi) which gives a population density of 444 inhabitants per km².

Beguines and Beghards religious order

The Beguines and the Beghards were Christian lay religious orders that were active in Northern Europe, particularly in the Low Countries in the 13th–16th centuries. Their members lived in semi-monastic communities but did not take formal religious vows. That is, although they promised not to marry "as long as they lived as Beguines," to quote one of the early Rules, they were free to leave at any time. Beguines were part of a larger spiritual revival movement of the thirteenth century that stressed imitation of Christ's life through voluntary poverty, care of the poor and sick, and religious devotion.

Wishing to join a monastery, her father took her to the Cistercian nuns at Bloemendaal/Florival, where at the age of ten, she became an oblate. She continued her education at the monastery in Florival. [2] At the age of fifteen, Beatrice asked to be allowed to enter the novitiate, and was initially refused due to her young age and delicate health. However, the following year she was admitted as a novice. [2]

Cistercians Catholic religious order

The Cistercians, officially the Order of Cistercians, are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also known as Bernardines, after the highly influential St. Bernard of Clairvaux ; or as White Monks, in reference to the colour of the "cuccula" or white choir robe worn by the Cistercians over their habits, as opposed to the black cuccula worn by Benedictine monks.

Bloemendaal Municipality in North Holland, Netherlands

Bloemendaal[ˈblumə(n)daːl](listen) is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Bloemendaal is, together with Wassenaar, the wealthiest place in the Netherlands.

In Christian monasticism, an oblate is a person who is specifically dedicated to God or to God's service.

Later, in 1236, she was sent to commence the new foundation at Nazareth, a hamlet near Lier, Belgium. She practised very severe austerities, wearing a girdle of thorns and compressing her body with cords. In her visions, Jesus is said to have appeared to her and to have pierced her heart with a fiery dart. Her devotion to the Eucharist resulted in bleeding and physical collapse. [3]

Hamlet (place) small settlement in a rural area

A hamlet is a small human settlement. In different jurisdictions and geographies, hamlets may be the size of a town, village or parish, be considered a smaller settlement or subdivision or satellite entity to a larger settlement. The word and concept of a hamlet have roots in the Anglo-Norman settlement of England, where the old French hamlet came to apply to small human settlements. In British geography, a hamlet is considered smaller than a village and distinctly without a church.

Poverty state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money

Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

Jesus Central figure of Christianity

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity and is widely described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.

She died in 1268 and was buried at the convent of Nazareth. Legend says that after Nazareth was abandoned during a time of disturbance, the body of Beatrice was translated by angels to the city of Lier.

Translation (relic) movement of a holy relic from one location to another

In Christianity, the translation of relics is the removal of holy objects from one locality to another ; usually only the movement of the remains of the saint's body would be treated so formally, with secondary relics such as items of clothing treated with less ceremony. Translations could be accompanied by many acts, including all-night vigils and processions, often involving entire communities.

Lier, Belgium Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. It is composed of the city of Lier proper and the village of Koningshooikt. The city center is surrounded by the river Nete, which also cuts through it. Per January 1, 2010 Lier had a total population of 33,930. The total area is 49.70 km² which amounts to a population density of 669 inhabitants per km². Lier is known for its beers, its patron saint St. Gummarus and Lierse vlaaikes cake. It is also home to the world headquarters of Van Hool, a global bus and coach manufacturer. Lier's two principal football clubs are K. Lyra-Lierse and Lierse Kempenzonen.

Veneration

She is known as Blessed within the Roman Catholic church. Her feast day is 29 July.

Related Research Articles

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Mechthild of Magdeburg German mystic

Mechthildof Magdeburg, a Beguine, was a Christian medieval mystic, whose book Das fließende Licht der Gottheit described her visions of God. She was the first mystic to write in German, as she did not know how to write in Latin.

Beatrix is a given name, most likely derived from Viatrix, a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator which meant "voyager, traveller" and later influenced in spelling by association with the Latin word beatus or "blessed". It is pronounced in British English and the same or in North American English. Another North American English pronunciation however approximates that of most other languages: BAY-ə-triks, as shown by US dictionary entries for the former queen of the Netherlands.

Beatrice (given name) Name list

Beatrice is a name derived from the French name Béatrice, which came from the Latin Beatrix, which means "she who makes happy".

John of Ruusbroec Flemish mystic

The Blessed John van Ruysbroeck was one of the Flemish mystics. Some of his main literary works include The Kingdom of the Divine Lovers, The Twelve Beguines, The Spiritual Espousals, A Mirror of Eternal Blessedness, The Little Book of Enlightenment, and The Sparkling Stone. Some of his letters also survive, as well as several short sayings. He wrote in the Dutch vernacular, the language of the common people of the Low Countries, rather than in Latin, the language of the Church liturgy and official texts, in order to reach a wider audience.

Flemish literature is literature from Flanders, historically a region comprising parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Until the early 19th century, this literature was regarded as an integral part of Dutch literature. After Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830, the term Flemish literature acquired a narrower meaning and refers to the Dutch-language literature produced in Belgium. It remains a part of Dutch-language literature.

Mechtilde Saxon Christian saint

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Conceptionists

The Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionists, are a contemplative religious order of nuns. For some years, they followed the Poor Clares Rule, but in 1511 were recognized as a separate Catholic religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of Order of Immaculate Conception.

Cistercian nuns

Cistercian nuns are female members of the Cistercian Order, a religious order belonging to the Roman Catholic branch of the Catholic Church.

Beatrijs Dutch medieval poem

Beatrijs is a poem written in last quarter of 14th century (ca.1374), possibly by Diederic van Assenede, and is an original Dutch poem about the legend of a nun, Beatrijs, who deserted her convent for the love of a man, lives with him for seven years and has two children. When their money is low he deserts her and she becomes a prostitute to support her children for another seven years. One day she is near her old convent, so she inquires discreetly what has become of the nun Beatrijs, and learns that people think Beatrijs is still at the convent. One night a voice urges her to return to the convent, and when she returns, Beatrijs learns that Mary has been acting in her role at the convent, and she can return without anyone knowing of her absence.

Lutgardis Flemish saint

Saint Lutgardis of Aywières is a saint from the medieval Low Countries. She was born in Tongeren, known as Tongres in French, and entered into religious orders at the age of twelve. During her life various miracles were attributed to her, and she is known to have experienced religious ecstasies. Her feast day is June 16.

Brecht Abbey, also known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Nazareth, is an abbey of Trappistine nuns located in Brecht, in the Campine region of the province of Antwerp. Life in the abbey is characterized by prayer, reading and manual work, the three basic elements of Trappist life.

Ida of Nivelles was a beatified Cistercian nun and mystic.

References

  1. Miejer (1992:16-17).
  2. 1 2 3 Lindemann, Kate. "Beatrice of Nazareth 1200 - 1268 CE", Women-Philosophers
  3. Knuth, Elizabeth T. (1992). "The Beguines". Archived from the original on 5 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-10.

Further reading

Modern editions

Secondary sources