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HolyFeastandHolyFast

THENEWHISTORICISM:STUDIESINCULTURALPOETICS GeneralEditor,StephenGreenblatt HolyFeastandHolyFast:TheReligiousSignificanceofFoodtoMedievalWomenbyCarolineWalkerBynum TheGoldStandardandtheLogicofNaturalism:AmericanLiteratureattheTurnoftheCenturybyWalterBennMichaels NationalismandMinorLiterature:JamesClarenceManganandtheEmergenceofIrishCulturalNationalismbyDavidLloyd

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FRONTISPIECE.InthisFlemishretableoftheKinshipofSt.Anne fromabout1500wefindfeedingthemesassociatedwithJesus'femalerelatives. InthecenterMarypresentsherchildtoAnne,whooffershimgrapes(a eucharisticsymbol),whileinthelowerleftanotherwomannursesababy. (Anne'slefthandandthegrapeshavebeenrestored.)Worshipersatmasswould haveseenapriestelevatingthehostjustinfrontofthisdepictionofholy womenofferingfood:bothgrapes(wineorblood)andChristhimself(breador flesh).MuseduPareduCinquantenaire,Brussels.CopyrightA.C.L., Brussels.

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HolyFeastandHolyFast
TheReligiousSignificanceofFoodtoMedievalWomen
CarolineWalkerBynum

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Disclaimer: SomeimagesintheoriginalversionofthisbookarenotavailableforinclusioninthenetLibraryeBook. UniversityofCaliforniaPress BerkeleyandLosAngeles,California UniversityofCaliforniaPress,Ltd. London,England 1987by TheRegentsoftheUniversityofCalifornia Firstpaperbackprinting1988 LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData Bynum,CarolineWalker. Holyfeastandholyfast. Includesindexes. 1.FoodReligiousaspectsChristianity.2.Women HistoryMiddleAges,5001500.3.FoodhabitsHistory. I.Title. BR253.B961987248.4'68528896 ISBN0520063295(alk.paper) PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica 789 ThepaperusedinthispublicationmeetstheminimumrequirementsofAmericanNationalStandardforInformationSciencesPermanenceofPaperforPrinted LibraryMaterials,ANSIZ39.481984.

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TOTHEMEMORYOF MERLEBERNICEGRUBBSWALKER (19111979)

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CONTENTS
ListofPlates Preface Introduction PartI TheBackground 1 ReligiousWomenintheLaterMiddleAges NewOpportunities FemaleSpirituality:DiversitiesandUnity 2 FastandFeast:TheHistoricalBackground FastinginAntiquityandtheHighMiddleAges AMedievalChange:FromBreadofHeaventotheBodyBroken PartII TheEvidence 3 FoodAsaFemaleConcern:TheComplexityoftheEvidence QuantitativeandFragmentaryEvidenceforWomen'sConcernwith Food Men'sLivesandWritings:AComparison 4 FoodintheLivesofWomenSaints TheLowCountries FranceandGermany Italy 5 FoodintheWritingsofWomenMystics HadewijchandBeatriceofNazareth CatherineofSienaandCatherineofGenoa

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13

14 23 31

33 48

73

76

94 113

115 129 140 150

153 165

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PartIII TheExplanation 6 FoodAsControlofSelf WasWomen'sFastingAnorexiaNervosa? FoodAsControlofBody:TheAsceticContextandtheQuestionof Dualism 7 FoodAsControlofCircumstance FoodandFamily FoodPracticesandReligiousRoles FoodPracticesAsRejectionofModeration 8 TheMeaningofFood:FoodAsPhysicality FoodandFleshAsPleasureandPain TheLateMedievalConcernwithPhysicality 9 WomanAsBodyandAsFood WomanAsSymbolofHumanity Woman'sBodyAsFood 10 Women'sSymbols TheMeaningofSymbolicReversal Men'sUseofFemaleSymbols Women'sSymbolsAsContinuity Conclusion Epilogue ListofAbbreviations Notes GeneralIndex IndexofSecondaryAuthors

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194 208

219

220 227 237 245

246 251 260

261 269 277

279 282 288 294 297 303 307 421 435

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LISTOFPLATES
Frontispiece.RetableoftheKinshipofSt.Anne.MuseduParcduCinquantenaire,Brussels.CopyrightA.C.L.,Brussels. followingp.142 1.RetableoftheMysticalMillcentralpanel.UlmMuseum.CourtesyFotographieIngeborgSchmatz. 2.RetableoftheMysticalMillwingsclosed.UlmMuseum.CourtesyFotographieIngeborgSchmatz. 3.MassofSt.Gregory,bytheMasteroftheHolyKinship.MuseumoftheCatherineconvent,Utrecht.CopyrightStichtingHetCatharijneconvent. 4.ChristwithEarofWheatandGrapeVine,fromthestudioofFriedrichHerlin.Stadtmuseum,Nrdlingen.CourtesyFotohausHirsch. 5.SilkembroideryofChristinthewinepress.GermanischesNationalmuseum,Nrnberg.CopyrightGermanischesNationalmuseum. 6.RetableofMaryandtheUnicorn.TheCathedral,Lbeck.CourtesyHerbertJger. 7.MaryAltarwithsaintsCatherineandBarbara.HolyGhostHospital,Lbeck. followingp.302 8.TheMiracleofSt.Elizabeth,SieneseSchool.Pinacoteca,Perugia.CourtesyAlinari/ArtResource,N.Y. 9.ElizabethofHungarywithroses(namelaterreplacedbythatofRoseof

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Viterbo),byBenozzodiLese,calledGozzoli.MuseodiS.Francesco,Montefalco.CourtesyAlinari/ArtResource,N.Y. 10.WoodcutfromJohnBrugman'sVitaalmeVirginisdeSciedam,1498.MuseumoftheCatherineconvent,Utrecht.CopyrightStichtingHetCatharijneconvent. 11.ThreeminiaturesfromaLifeofColettemadebyMasterJehanBonifacebetween1468and1477forMargaretofYork.Manuscript8,fols.34r,68v,75v,ofthe ConventofClaresatGhent. 12.Miniatureofimagomuliebris,frompart2,vision6,ofHildegardofBingen'sScivias.Plate15inHildegardofBingen,Scivias,ed.AdelgundisFhrktterandA. Carlevaris,Corpuschristianorum:continuatiomediaevalis43,2vols.(Turnhout:Brepols,1978),1:228ff.Madefromahandcoloredphotocopy(19271933)ofthe lostoriginal.CourtesyBrepols. 13.Viergeouvrante,closedandopen.TheMetropolitanMuseumofArt,giftofJ.PierpontMorgan,1917. 14.MadonnaandChildbeforeaFirescreen,byRobertCampin.TheNationalGallery,London.CourtesytheTrustees,TheNationalGallery,London. 15.Charity,byLucasCranachtheElder.Mused'Histoireetd'Art,Luxembourg. 16.FountainoftheVirtues,Nrnberg.Photographbyauthor. 17.Ecclesialactansstandingoverthecardinalvirtues,byGiovanniPisano.Detailfromapulpit.TheCathedral,Pisa. 18.DetailoftheRetableofSt.BernardbytheMasterofPalma.SociedadArqueolgicaLuliana,PalmadeMallorca. 19.DetailoftheRetableofSt.IldefonsobytheMasterofOsma.TheCathedral,ElBurgodeOsma,Soria. 20.TheRestontheFlightintoEgypt,byGerardDavid.NationalGalleryofArt,Washington,AndrewW.MellonCollection.CopyrightNationalGalleryofArt. 21.VirginandChildinaLandscape,byJanvanHemessen.NationalMuseum,Stockholm.CourtesyNationalMuseum,Stockholm. 22.TheHolyKinship,byMaertendeVos.MuseumofFineArts,Ghent. 23.VirginandChild,HeuresdeMilan,fol.120r.MuseoCivico,Turin.CopyrightMuseoCivicodiTorinocourtesyAgentFoto,Turin.

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24.LuccaMadonna,byJanvanEyck.StdelschesKunstinstitut,Frankfurt. 25.TheSavior,byQuiriziodaMurano.Accademia,Venice.CourtesyO.Bhn. 26.ChristandCharity,byanorthwestGermanmaster.WallrafRichartzMuseum,Cologne. 27.TheManofSorrows,byJacobCornelisz.MayervandenBerghMuseum,Antwerp.CopyrightA.C.L.,Brussels. 28.ChristandtheVirginIntercedingwithGodtheFather,''TurinMilanHours."CabinetdesDessins,MuseduLouvre,Paris.CourtesyDocumentation photographiquedelaRuniondesmusesnationaux. 29.TheLastJudgment,byJanProvost.Groeningemuseum,Bruges. 30.TriptychofAntoniusTsgrootenbyGoswynvanderWeyden.KoninklijkMuseumvoorSchoneKunsten,Antwerp.

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PREFACE
PartofthisbookwaswritteninapleasantofficeonthetopflooroftheBuntingInstituteofRadcliffeCollegeinCambridge,Massachusetts.Iamgratefultomy colleaguesattheBunting,manyofwhomreadportionsofthemanuscriptorarguedwithmeaboutmyideas.IwouldespeciallyliketothankLindaGordon,Ellen Bassuk,NancyMiller,EveSedgwick,MarilynMassey,MarthaAckelsberg,BettinaFriedl,AnnBookman,andDebbieMcDowell,whocareddeeplyaboutmywork butneverletmeforgetthatthemedievalwomenIstudiedsoundeddecidedlypeculiartomodernears.IwouldalsoliketothanktheNationalEndowmentforthe HumanitiesforaFellowshipforAdvancedStudyandResearchandtheUniversityofWashingtonforsabbaticalleavein19831984. NotallofthisbookwaswritteninthescholarlyleisureoftheBuntingInstitutenoramidtherichesofHarvardUniversity'sWidenerLibrary.Muchofitwascomposed inacubbyholeonthetopfloorofSuzzalloLibraryattheUniversityofWashington.Otherswhohavestruggledwiththeinevitablylimitedlibraryresourcesofa relativelynewinstitutionwillunderstandhowmuchIowetolibrariansformakingmyresearchpossible.KristiGreenfieldofSuzzalloAcquisitionsandRuthKirkand AnnaMcCauslandofInterlibraryBorrowingServicesfoundbooksforme,overandoveragain,withanenthusiasmthatwentbeyondprideinajobwelldoneand becameprideinscholarshipitself.Withoutthem,thisbookwouldnotexist. Thecolleagues,formerteachers,andfriendswhohaveinfluencedmyideasonthehistoryofspiritualityareafarflungnetwork.IwouldespeciallyliketothankGiles Constable,JohnBoswell,NatalieZ.Davis,LesterLittle,ElizabethA.R.Brown,RichardKieckhefer,PaulMeyvaert,AnnFreeman,CharlesT.Wood,andMarkR. Silkfortheirinspirationandtheirhelp.JoanJacobsBrumbergandRachelJacoffhave

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generouslyassistedwithtranslationsandcitations.DavidPinkney,RuthMellinkoff,PatriciaFortiniBrown,WalterCahn,andAnnaKartsonistaughtmehowtotrack downarthistoricalinformation.MaryMartinMcLaughlin,whoseworkhaslongbeenanexampleandaninspirationtome,readtheentiremanuscriptandoffered adviceinbothsmallmattersofdetailandlargemattersofinterpretation.KenRosetypedwithcareandenthusiasm.ElizabethGoolianandmyeditor,SheilaLevine,not onlyhelpedmeputthebooktogetherbutalso,intheprocessofdoingso,offeredmeintellectualstimulationandfriendship. Mydeepestthanksgotothreepeople:JudithVanHerikmyhusband,GuentherRothandPeterBrown.JudithVanHerikhelpedmeworkoutmypositionsbothin relationtotheseveralcurrentsofrecentfeministtheoryandinrelationtopsychoanalyticinterpretationsoffood.GuentherRothspottediconographicalevidenceforme inmuseums,arguedwithmeaboutwhatImeanby"cause,"andsavedmefrommyworstinstinctsinthematterofadjectives.PeterBrownispartlyresponsibleforthe factthatthisstudyexistsatall.NotonlydidheurgemetoletitbecomeabookwhenIwasstrugglingtoforceitintothecompassofafiftypagearticlehealsostarted meonthesearchforaconvincinginterpretationofmedievalasceticismwhenheaskedme,morethanfiveyearsago,atellingquestionaboutthenunsofHelfta. WhileIwasatworkonthisbook,RudolphM.BellofRutgersUniversitywasinvestigatingasimilartopic.Itwasfairlylateintheprocessofourrespectiveresearches thatweeachlearnedoftheother'slabors.Whenwedidexchangeportionsofourmanuscripts,wediscoveredhowdifferentourapproacheswere.ProfessorBell's book,HolyAnorexia(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1985),coversamorelimitedgeographicalareaandalongertimeperiod.Hissubjectisabstinence, treatedwithoutreferencetothepositivesignificanceoffoodinChristianpractice.Hisresearchismorequantitativethanmine.Hisexplanatorymodelispsychological. WhereasBellhasbeeninterestedinwomen'sfastingbehavior,puttingitintoapsychologicalcontext,Ihaveconcentratedonwomen'suseoffoodassymbol,puttingit intoaculturalcontext.Itismyhope,asitisProfessorBell's,thatreadersofourbookswillfindourworkcomplementary.HolyAnorexia,withitssophisticated statisticalcomparisons,strengthensmyargumentthatfoodpracticesandfoodsymbolscharacterizedwomen'sexperiencemorethanmen's.Iamgrate

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fultoagenerousandlivelyfellowscholarwho,ratherthanwarningmeoffhisterritory,sharedhismanuscriptandhisideas. Themethodandthepaceofthisbookalsorequiresomeprefatorycomment.Inmethodthebookisaninterpretativeessayinsocialandreligioushistory.Althoughit makesextensiveuseofhagiographicalmaterial,itisnotatechnicalcontributiontothelongestablishedfieldofhagiography.WherepossibleIhaveusedthebest editionsofmedievaltextsandinvestigatedthemostpressingproblemsrelatingtothereliabilityofhagiographicalaccounts.ButIhavedeliberatelychosennotto provideexhaustivebibliographiesonthewomentreatedhereortofolloweveryscholarlydebateconcerningeithereventsortextsdownthetwistingbywaysofrecent literature.InsomeinstancesIhaveevencitedoldereditionsalongsidenewonestoaidscholarswhodonothavereadyaccesstothelargestandfinestlibraries. Concerningpace,itseemsworthnotingthatthisbookunfoldsslowly.Thetwobackgroundchaptersareleisurelyintheirdevelopment.Thelongmiddlechapters chapters4and5tellmanystoriesandrefertomanynamesandplaces.Thoughthetempoquickensinthefinalchapters,astheanalysisbecomesevermore complicated,Irepeatedlybreaktheflowbycitingexamples.Therearetworeasonsforthispatternofexposition.ThefirstissimplythatIamcommitted,asahistorian, toprovingratherthanmerelyillustratingmycase.Toconvincemodernreadersofthedecidedlybizarrebehaviorofsomemedievalwomen,itisnecessarytogivethe evidence.Butreaderswhoareinterestedonlyinmyexplanationofthatbehaviormightdowelltostartwithchapter6.Thesecondreasonformydeliberatepace, especiallyinthefirsthalfofthebook,isthebreadthandcomplexityoftheanalysisinthesecondhalf.NotonlydoImove,inthelastfivechapters,onseveralanalytical levelsIalsoadvancetheoriesaboutthenatureofasceticismandaboutwomen'suseofsymbolsthatarefarreachingintheirimplicationsforwomen'shistoryandfor thehistoryofreligions.Bothtoknowledgeablemedievalistsandtocommittedfeministsalthoughfordifferentreasonsthesetheorieswillseemtobeaudacious reversalsofreceivedwisdom.Suchtheoriescannotbeconvincingindeed,shouldnotbeconvincingunlesstheyexplainindividualliveswithoutviolatingtheir specificity.Thus,beforesiftingmedievalexperiencethroughthefinemeshofmyanalyticalsieve,Ihavetriedtoletparticularwomensuch

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asBeatriceofNazareth,ElizabethofHungary,AngelaofFoligno,LidwinaofSchiedam,DorothyofMontau,andCatherineofSienahaveafewparagraphsoreven afewpagesinwhichtotelltheirstories. Thisbookisdedicatedtothememoryofmymother,MerleWalker.Abrilliantphilosopher,poet,scholar,andteacher,shewasascircumscribedasanyfourteenth centurywomanbyhersociety'sassumptionsaboutfemalenurturingandselfsacrifice.Onlythosewhoknewherwillunderstandfullythewaysinwhichthisbookisa tributetoherandanexplorationofthepainandtriumphofherlife.Butthisbookismore.Forthebooksmymothermighthavewrittenneverappeared.Myactof writingisthereforemypledgetohergranddaughter,AntoniaWalker,andtohergranddaughter'sgenerationthatwomen'screativityshallnotinthefuturebesilenced.It isalsoanexpressionofhopethatthosefuturegenerationsofwomenwillnotlosethecompassion,thealtruism,andthemoralcouragethatmadeMerleWalker'slife notatragedyofselfabnegationbutatriumphovermeaninglessnessandsuffering.

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INTRODUCTION
St.BernardcomparedthisSacrament[theeucharist]withthehumanprocessesofeating,whenheusedthesimilesofchewing,swallowing,assimilation,anddigestion.Tosome peoplethiswillseemcrude,butletsuchrefinedpersonsbewareofpride,whichcomesfromthedevilahumblespiritwillnottakeoffenseatsimplethings. JOHNTAULER (FOURTEENTHCENTURY)1

Recentstudiesofthirteenthandfourteenthcenturyspiritualityhavefocusedonpovertyandchastityasthebasicmotifsofreligiouslife.Overthepastfiftyyears, povertyhasbeenstudiednotonlyasthedoctrinalissuethatsplittheFranciscanorderapartbutalsoastheessentialingredientinliteral"imitationofChrist"andasthe basicmetaphorfortherenunciationofwealthandpowerpracticedbytheupperandmiddleclassesofmedievalEurope.2 Chastityhasbeenemphasizedasthesine quanonofreligiousstatus,asthereflectiononearthofthelifeoftheangels,andasarequirementthatlaidaheavyburdenofselfhatredonthoseindividuals especiallywomenwhowereunabletoassertcontrolovertheirownlives.3 Sexandmoney...againandagainmodernscholarshaveemphasizedtheguiltengenderedbytheirseductiveness,theawesomeheroismrequiredfortheir renunciation.YetthismodernfocusmaytellusmoreaboutthetwentiethcenturythanaboutthelateMiddleAges.Inourindustrializedcorneroftheglobe,wherefood suppliesdonotfail,wescarcelynoticegrainormilk,everpresentsupportsoflife,andyearnratheraftermoneyorsexualfavorsassignsofpowerandofsuccess.But evenintoday'sworld,itisnoteverywhereso.Forthehungry,foodforcesitselfforwardasaninsistentfact,aninsistentsymbol.Guidedbyourknowledgeof impoverishedmoderncountries,weshouldnotreallybesurprisedtofindthatfoodwas,inmedievalEurope,afundamental

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economicandreligiousconcern.Medievalpeopleoftensawgluttonyasthemajorformoflust,fastingasthemostpainfulrenunciation,andeatingasthemostbasic andliteralwayofencounteringGod.PeterBrownhascommentedthateventhoughPauldiscountedtheimportanceoffoodandfoodpracticesforChristians(Rom. 14:17),"inthestraitenedMediterranean[world],thekingdomofheavenhadtohavesomethingtodowithfoodanddrink."4 IntheEuropeofthelaterthirteenthandfourteenthcenturiesfaminewasontheincreaseagain,afterseveralcenturiesofagriculturalgrowthandrelativeplenty.5 Viciousstoriesoffoodhoardingmerchants,ofcannibalism,ofinfanticide,ofsickadolescentslefttodiewhentheycouldnolongerworksurviveinthesources, suggestingaworldinwhichhungerandevenstarvationwerenotuncommon.6 Thepossibilityofovereatingandofgivingawayfoodtotheunfortunatewasamarkof privilege,ofaristocraticorpatricianstatusaparticularlyvisibleformofwhatwecallconspicuousconsumption,whatmedievalpeoplecalledmagnanimityorlargesse. 7 Smallwonder,then,thatgorgingandvomiting,luxuriatinginfooduntilfoodandbodywerealmostsynonymous,becameinfolkliteratureanimageofunbridled sensualpleasure8 thatmagicvesselsforeverbrimmingoverwithfoodanddrinkwerestaplesofEuropeanfairytalesthatoneofthemostcommoncharitiesenjoined onreligiousorderswastofeedthepoorandill,pilgrimsandwanderersorthatsharingone'sownmeagerfoodwithastranger(whomightturnouttobeanangel,a fairy,agod,orChristhimself)was,inhagiographyandfolktalealike,astandardindicationofheroicorsaintlygenerosity.9 Smallwonder,too,thatselfstarvation,the deliberateandextremerenunciationoffoodanddrink,seemedtomedievalpeoplethemostbasicasceticism,requiringthekindofcourageandholyfoolishnessthat markedthesaints.Torepresseatingandhungerwastocontrolthebodyinadisciplinefarmorebasicthananyachievedbysheddingthelessfrequentandessential gratificationsofsexormoney.AsChristsupposedlysaidinavisiongrantedtoMargaretofCortona(d.1297):"Inthislife,Christianscannotbeperfectunlessthey restraintheirappetitesfromvices,forwithoutabstinencefromfoodanddrinkthewarofthefleshwillneverendandtheyfeelandsuffermostfromtherebellionofthe fleshwhorefusethissavingremedy."10OrasGuntherofPairis,theCistercianhistorianandpoet,saidinatreatiseonprayerandfastingwrittenabout1200:"Fastingis usefulforexpellingdemons,excluding

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evilthoughts,remittingsins,mortifyingvices,givingcertainhopeoffuturegoodsandaforetaste[perceptio]ofcelestialjoys."11Inthelatefourteenthcentury, CatherineofSweden'shagiographerattributedtohertheopinionthat"abstinenceprolongslife,preserveschastity,pleasesGod,repulsesdemons,illuminesthe intellect,strengthensthemind,overcomesvices,overpowerstheflesh,andstirsandinflamestheheartwithloveofGod."12Ananonymoussatireonhypocritical monks,probablyfromthehighMiddleAges,statesexplicitlythatfoodanddrinkarehardertorenouncethansex:"Manywhoarenotluredbymoreseriousfaultsare castdownbyoverindulgenceinfoodanddrink....Indeed,thinnedbyfastingorvigilsandrepeatedprayers,thestomachthinksnotofawomanbutoffoodit meditatesnotonlustbutonsleep."13 EatinginlatemedievalEuropewasnotsimplyanactivitythatmarkedofffinecalibrationsofsocialstatusandasourceofpleasuresointenseandsensualthatthe renunciationofitwasatthecoreofreligiousworlddenial.Eatingwasalsoanoccasionforunionwithone'sfellowsandone'sGod,acommensalitygivenparticular intensitybytheprototypicalmeal,theeucharist,whichseemedtohoverinthebackgroundofanybanquet.14BecauseJesushadfedthefaithfulnotmerelyasservant andwaiter,preparerandmultiplierofloavesandfishes,butastheverybreadandwineitself,toeatwasapowerfulverb.Itmeanttoconsume,toassimilate,to becomeGod.ToeatGodintheeucharistwasakindofaudaciousdeification,abecomingofthefleshthat,initsagony,fedandsavedtheworld.Thus,toreligious menandwomen,renunciationofordinaryfoodpreparedthewayforconsuming(i.e.,becoming)Christ,ineucharistandinmysticalunion.MechtildofMagdeburg(d. 1282?),whospokeofecstaticexperiencesas"eatingGod,"saidofthemass:
YetI,leastofallsouls, TakeHiminmyhand EatHimanddrinkHim AnddowithHimwhatIwill!15

ThethirteenthcenturyFlemishmysticHadewijchwrote:
IntheanguishorthereposeorthemadnessofLove, ....................... Theheartofeachdevourstheother'sheart. ....................

Page4 AshewhoisLoveitselfshowedus Whenhegaveushimselftoeat ............... ...love'smostintimateunionIs througheating,tasting,andseeinginteriorly.16

JohnTauler,preachingonJohn6:56("Formyfleshismeatindeed"),said:
ThereisnokindofmatterwhichissoclosetoamanandbecomessomuchapartofhimasthefoodanddrinkheputsintohismouthandsoGodhasfoundthiswonderfulwayof unitingHimselfwithusascloselyaspossibleandbecomingpartofus.17

AndWilliamofSt.Thierry(d.ca.1148)spokethusofthemeaningoftheIncarnation:
Itisyourbreasts,OeternalWisdom,thatnourishtheholyinfancyofyourlittleones.18 Itwasnottheleastofthechiefreasonsforyourincarnationthatyourbabesinthechurch,whostillneededyourmilkratherthansolidfood,...mightfindinyouaformnot unfamiliartothemselves.19

Notonlywasfoodamoresignificantmotifinlatemedievalspiritualitythanmosthistorianshaverecognized,foodwasalsoamoreimportantmotifinwomen'spiety thaninmen's.Forcertainlatemedievalwomen,fastingbecameanobsessionsooverwhelmingthatmodernhistorianshavesometimesthoughttheirstoriespreservethe earliestdocumentablecasesofanorexianervosa.WomenalloverEuropeservedChristbyfeedingothers,donatingtothepoorthefoodthathusbandsandfathersfelt proudtobeabletosaveandconsume.Theeucharistandrelateddevotions,suchasthosetothebody,wounds,heart,andbloodofChrist,wereattheverycenterof women'spiety.EatingGodinthehostwasbothasweettastingthatfocusedandtranscendedallhungerandanoccasionforparamysticalphenomenaofthemost bizarreandexuberantsort. InthisbookIexploretheimplicationsoffoodrelatedreligiouspracticesandoffoodimagesinthepietyofmedievalwomen.AlthoughIhavetriedtociteenoughcases todemonstratethecentralityoffoodinbothpracticeandtexts,myconcernhasbeenlesstocollectmetaphorsortocountcasesoffoodasceticism,eucharistic devotion,orfeedingmira

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clesthanithasbeentoshowthemanifoldmeaningsoffoodanditspervasivenessinreligioussymbolism.Ratherthanmentioneverywomanwhofastedorsawvisions oftheChristchildinthechalice,Ihaveconcentratedonwomenwhoselifestoriesandwritingssurviveinsufficientdetailforustotrace,acrossthedistancecreatedby manycenturiesandbyvastlydifferentmodernassumptions,therichandparadoxicalmeaningsofeatingandnoteating.AlthoughIamawareofmodernclinical definitionsoffoodobsession,Ihaveavoidedusingthem,atleastinitially,becauseIfindthatmedievalattitudestowardfoodarefarmorediversethanthoseimpliedby themodernconceptsofanorexianervosaandhysteria.Toreligiouswomenfoodwasawayofcontrollingaswellasrenouncingbothselfandenvironment.Butitwas more.Foodwasflesh,andfleshwassufferingandfertility.InrenouncingordinaryfoodanddirectingtheirbeingtowardthefoodthatisChrist,womenmovedtoGod notmerelybyabandoningtheirflawedphysicalitybutalsobybecomingthesufferingandfeedinghumanityofthebodyonthecross,thefoodonthealtar.However absurdorvulgarsomemedievalpracticesandlanguagemayseemtocasualmodernobservers,wedowelltoheedTauler'swarning(quotedabove)nottotake offense.Deeperstudyofthese"simplethings"suggeststhatfoodandbodycanbepowerfulwaysofencounteringsufferingandfecundityaspectsofthehuman conditionfromwhichevenweinthetwentiethcenturycannothidecompletely. BecauseIintendthisbookbothformedievalistsandforreaderswithageneralinterestinthehistoryofwomenorthehistoryofChristianity,Ihaveprovided backgroundmaterialforbothgroups.Thefirstchapterisabriefaccountofthereligiousoptionsavailabletomedievalwomenthesecondexplainsthemajorfood practicesofmedievalChristiansfastingandeucharisticdevotionwithattentiontotheirrootsinearlyChristianity.Bothchapterscontainmuchmaterialthatwillbe familiartospecialists,althoughIhavepresenteditinanewway.Thethirdchapter,whichdiscussesthenatureoftheevidence,isprovidedprimarilyforscholars.It examinessomeoftheproblemsraisedbytheuseofhagiographicalmaterialitalsogivesaclosereadingofseveralmalefigurestostrengthenthecaseforcharacterizing foodpracticesandmetaphorsas"female."Thefourthandfifthchapterspresentthestoriesaboutwomenandthewritingsbythemonwhichthisbookisbased.Ihave chosentotellsomeofthesestoriesasstoriesbeforeturningtoa

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moreanalyticaldiscussionbecauseitisonlybyrecountingthestoriesthemselvesthatIcandemonstratetoandevokeforreaderstheextenttowhichmanyfood motifstendtobewovenintoasinglelife.Thelastfivechaptersaretheheartoftheargument.InthemIprovidewhatmightbecalled,respectively,afunctionalistanda phenomenologicalexplanationoftheprominenceoffoodmetaphorsandfoodpracticesinwomen'spiety.Inotherwords,Ishow,first,howwomenwereabletouse foodpracticestoshapetheirexperienceandtheirplaceinbothfamilyandcommunityand,second,whatfoodrelatedbehaviorandsymbolsactuallymeantto medievalwomen.Indoingthis,Isuggestbothanewinterpretationoflatemedievalasceticismandanewunderstandingofthesignificanceofgenderinmedieval religion. Thelastfivechaptersindeedbecomeacomplexrefutationofthestandardinterpretationofasceticismasworldrejectionoraspracticaldualismandofthestandard pictureofmedievalwomenasconstrainedoneverysidebyamisogynytheyinternalizedasselfhatredormasochism.Rather,Iarguethatmedievaleffortstodiscipline andmanipulatethebodyshouldbeinterpretedmoreaselaboratechangesrunguponthepossibilitiesprovidedbyfleshlinessthanasflightsfromphysicality.Ialso demonstratetheextenttowhichreligiouswomenderivedtheirbasicsymbolsfromsuchordinarybiologicalandsocialexperiencesasgivingbirth,lactating,suffering, andpreparinganddistributingfood.Theidentificationofthischaracteristicofwomen'ssymbolswhichcontrastssharplywiththeenthusiasmcontemporarymalesfelt forsymbolsofreversal(especiallytherenunciationofwealthandpower)enablesmetoraisefundamentalquestionsaboutdifferencesinmaleandfemalereligiosity. Threeintroductorycommentsmaybehelpful.Thefirstconcernschronology.Despitethefactthatsomeofthemostspectacularcasesoffastingoreucharisticfrenzy discussedbelowcomefromthefifteenthcentury,Ihavelimitedthebulkofmyanalysisto,andtakenmostofmyexamplesfrom,thethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies. Ihavechosenthischronologicalfocusbecausemygoalistoexplaintheoriginsofaparticularemphasiswithinwomen'spiety.Ihavenottriedtofollowthatpietydown intothesixteenthandseventeenthcenturies,althoughonecouldarguethatitpersistedthatlong(andevenlonger)inEurope,especiallyrural,CatholicEurope.Ishall, however,leavethesubsequenthistorytoothers.Mypurposeistoputtheinceptionofthatpietyintoas

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broadacontextaspossible,toshowthattopicssuchaseucharisticdevotion,fasting,andmiraculousbodilychangesshouldnotbediscussedinisolationfromeach other.Todemonstratetheinterconnectionofdevotionalpracticesandsymbolsinoneperiod,Ihadtoavoidcarryingthehistoryofanyofthemtoofarforwardintime. Ihavealsoconcentratedmoreondelineatingtheoverallpatternofsymbolswithintheculturethanonferretingoutchronologicalchange.Ihavefeltthistobenecessary inordertomakethepatternclear,butIhopeIhavenotignoredchangeentirely. Second,IamfullyawarethatmostofthewomenIamdiscussingareexceptional.MaryofOignies(d.1213)andCatherineofSiena(d.1380)arenomoretypicalof religiouswomen(orofwomengenerally)thanTheCanterburyTalesandTheDivineComedyaretypicalofmedievalliteratureorofmedievallife.Indeed,medieval hagiographerspointedoutrepeatedlythatsaintsarenotevenprimarily''models"forordinarymortalsthesaintsarefartoodangerousforthat.LikeChristhimself,they couldnotandshouldnotbeimitatedintheirfullextravaganceandpower.Rather(sotheiradmirerssay),theyshouldbeloved,venerated,andmeditateduponas momentsinwhichtheotherthatisGodbreaksthroughintothemundaneworld,saturatingitwithmeaning.Andyet,inthediscussionthatfollows,Imovefromthese particular,exceptionalwomentotheirreligiousandsocialworlds,explainingthewomenbytheircontextandthecontextbythewomen.Twothings,speakingvery generally,justifythisendeavor.Thefirstisthattheevidencewecangarnerfromchronicles,lawcodes,sermons,andsoonsuggeststhatsomeofthepracticesof exceptionalwomentheirfasting,fooddistribution,psychosomaticchanges,etc.werefoundinordinaryreligiouswomenaswell.Thebehaviorofsaintssuchas ElizabethofHungary(d.1231)orCatherineofGenoafindsdozensofmundaneparallelsinwomensuchasthemotherofPeterofLuxembourg(d.1387),the fourteenthcenturylaywomanMargeryKempe(d.after1438),andthefastinggirlsnoticedinpassingbysixteenthcenturybroadsidewriters.Thesecondjustification isthatthoseholywomenofwhomwehaverecords,especiallythosewhowerecanonizedorwidelyrevered,werechosenbytheircontemporariesasheroines, mirrors,andlessonsaslensesthroughwhichGod'spowerandhumanaspirationswerefocusedtowardeachother.Likeapoemorromancewhosemanuscript traditionatteststhatitwaswidelyread,womensuchasCatherineofSienareflectwhatat

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leastsomeoftheircontemporariesfoundvaluableandaweinspiring.Itisthereforenotunwarrantedtotakethestoriesmostcommonlytoldaboutsaintlywomen howeveratypicalorabnormaltheymayappeartomedievalormoderncommonsenseasimportantevidenceabouttheassumptionsofthepeoplewhoadmiredthe saints.20 Finally,itshouldhardlybenecessarytocommentthatIamnotconcernedwithwhethermedievalaccountsofphenomenasuchasstigmata,levitation,miraculous bodilychanges,extendedinedia,visions,andfoodmultiplicationmiraclesare"true."Asaphenomenologistwouldsay,I"bracket"thequestionofcause,eithernatural orsupernatural,forsuchevents.IaminterestedinwhatmedievalpeopleexperiencedandwhileIhaveahistorian'sskepticismaboutallevidence,Ialso,asa historian,prefertostartmystudyofthepastwithwhatpeopleinthepastsaidthemselves.Medievalpeoplehadseveraldifferentmodelsforunderstandingphenomena suchaseucharisticvisionsorextendedandtotalabstinence.Wheretheythemselvessuggestthatwhatsomeseeasamiracleisfraudordemonicpossessionorillness, Iaminterestedintheirmodelswheretheynotethedifferencebetweenmeditationandvision,orbetweenvisionsoftheinnerandtheoutereyes,Iamcuriousabout whytheyfoundsuchdistinctionsimportant.Butwhentheydonotemploycategoriesorexplanationsthatmodernpeoplefindnecessary,Itrytoavoidsuch terminology.ThuswhenIsay,forexample,thatacertainholywomanlivedforyearswithouteating,Idonotmeantoimplythatthisstatementistrue(orfalse)by twentiethcenturystandardsofreportingorofscientificverification.Imeanthatsuchastoryinterestedmedievalpeopleenoughforthemtorecorditandthatit expressedawayoffindingvalueandgivingmeaningthatholywomen,theirchroniclers,andtheiradmirersallshared.21 Myworkhasimplicationsformodernproblemsandobsessionsthatwillnotbelostonmanyofitsreaders.Ihavetouchedontheseinmyepilogue.Ihave,moreover, triedtowriteinamannerthatisaccessibletothosewhoarenotmedievalists.Thisisnonethelessascholarly,notapopular,book.22Itisabookaboutthen,notabout now.Itisanimatedmostfundamentallyneitherbyhorrorattheproblemsofwomeninthemodernworldnorbydelightattheiradvances,whateverImayfeelofboth emotions.Mycommitment,vision,andmethodarehistoricalIintendtorevealthepastinitsstrangenessaswellasitsfamiliarity.My

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pointistoarguethatwomen'sbehaviorandwomen'swritingmustbeunderstoodinthecontextofsocial,economic,andecclesiasticalstructures,theologicaland devotionaltraditions,verydifferentfromourown.Ifreadersleavethisbooksimplycondemningthepastaspeculiar,Ishallhavefailed.ButIshallhavefailedjustas profoundlyifreadersdrawdirectanswerstomodernproblemsfromthelivesIchronicle.

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I THEBACKGROUND

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1 ReligiousWomenintheLaterMiddleAges
SomeofthesewomendissolvedwithsuchaparticularandmarvelouslovetowardGodthattheylanguishedwithdesireandforyearshadrarelybeenabletorisefromtheirbeds. Theyhadnootherinfirmity,savethattheirsoulsweremeltedwithdesireofhim,and,sweetlyrestingwiththeLord,astheywerecomfortedinspirittheywereweakenedinbody.... Thecheeksofonewereseentowasteaway,whilehersoulwasliquifiedwiththegreatnessofherlove.Manyhadthetasteofhoneysensiblyintheirmouthsbecauseofthegiftof spiritualsweetnessintheirhearts....Another'sflowoftearshadmadevisiblefurrowsdownherface....Othersweredrawnwithsuchintoxicationofspiritthatinsacredsilence theywouldremainquietawholeday....sothattheycouldnotberousedbyclamororfeelablow....Someinreceivingthebreadofhimwhocamedownfromheavenobtainednot onlyrefreshmentintheirheartsbutapalpableconsolationintheirmouthssweeterthanhoneyandthehoneycomb....[They]languishedwithsuchdesireforthesacramentthat theycouldnotbesustained...unlesstheirsoulswerefrequentlyrefreshedbythesweetnessofthisfood.Lettheinfidelhereticsblush,whodonotpartakeofthisfoodeitherbyfaith orbylove. JAMESOFVITRY (EARLYTHIRTEENTHCENTURY)1

ThelaterMiddleAges,especiallytheperiodfromthelatetwelfthtotheearlyfourteenthcentury,witnessedasignificantproliferationofopportunitiesforwomento participateinspecializedreligiousrolesandofthetypeofrolesavailable.Thenumberoffemalesaints,includingmarriedwomensaints,increased.Women'spiety whethermonasticorlaytookoncertaindistinctivecharacteristicsthatpowerfulmales,bothsecularandclerical,noted,sometimeswithaweandsometimeswith

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suspicion.Indeed,forthefirsttimeinChristianhistory,wecanidentifyawomen'smovement(thebeguines)andcanspeakofspecificallyfemaleinfluencesonthe developmentofpiety.Ifwearetograspthesignificanceoffoodasanunderlyingthemeinwomen'sspirituality,weneedtounderstandthegeneralchangesinwomen's religiousexperiencethroughouttheperiod.2 NewOpportunities BeinganunwasalmosttheonlyspecializedreligiousroleavailabletowomenintheearlyMiddleAges.(Canonesses,whoappearedintheCarolingianperiod,were similartonunsbuttooklessstrictvowsofpoverty.)Thehistoryofearlymedievalnunsisacomplexone,andrecentresearchsuggeststhattherewasmorevariation overtimethanearlierhistoriansnoticed,bothintheinfluenceofnunneries(andabbesses)onthesurroundingsocietyandinsociety'srespectforthepietyofmarried laywomen3 .Buthoweverpowerfulcertainearlymedievalladiesmayhavebeeneitherasabbessesorassaintlyqueens,specializedreligiousrolesforwomenwere usuallyrestrictedtothehigharistocracy.InthetenthandearlyeleventhcenturiesagrimperiodofwarandhardshipforwesternEuropefewfemalemonasteries werefounded,andreligiousleadersshowedlittleconcernforencouragingwomen'sreligiosity.Themajormonasticreformoftheperiod,Cluny,foundedscoresof malemonasteriesbutonlyonehousefornunsbefore1100,anditspurposewastoprovidearetreatforwomenwhosehusbandswishedtobecomeCluniacmonks.4 AlthoughwehavenoideawhatproportionofthepopulationofmedievalEuropebelongedtoreligioushouses(or,indeed,whatthesizeoftheEuropeanpopulation was),wearecertainthatbefore1200,monksvastlyoutnumberednuns.5 Overthecourseofthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturies,especiallyintheRhinelandandLow Countries,thisratiobegantochange.6 Theproliferationinthelateeleventhandtwelfthcenturiesofwanderingpreacherswhoattractedbandsoffollowersdeterminedto"imitatetheapostoliclife"inpoverty andpenitencehadsuchasignificantimpactonwomenthatcontemporarychroniclerscommentedonthephenomenon,withasmuchtrepidationasadmiration.7 WomenflockedafterwanderingevangelistssuchasNorbertofXanten(d.1134)andRobert

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ofArbrissel(d.11161117),andthesepreachersambivalentaboutitinerantpreachingevenforthemselvesandclearlyhostiletoitasaformoffemalepiety foundedmonasteriesforthem.Socalleddoublemonasteries(i.e.,communitieswithbothmaleandfemalehouses,oftensidebyside)emergedagaininEngland,where therewasalsoasignificantincreaseinthenumberoffemalerecluses(womenwhovowedthemselvestoalifeofwithdrawalinlittlecellsattachedtochurches).Onthe continent,twoofthemostprestigiousnewordersofthetwelfthcentury,thePremonstratensiansandtheCistercians,foundthenumberofwomen'shousesintheir ranksgrowingatanalarmingrate.Thestoryoffemaleenthusiasminstitutionalizedasstrictmonasticismrepeateditselfintheearlythirteenthcentury,whenClareof Assisi(d.1253)triedtofollowFrancisinthemendicant(i.e.,begging)lifebutwasforcedtoacceptastrictlycloisteredrole. Womenwerenotonlyfollowers,manipulatedandcircumscribedintheirreligiousidealsbypowerfulclerics,theywerealsoleadersandreformers.Inthethirteenth century,whenBenedictinemonasticismformenwaseclipsedbythemendicantmovement(i.e.,thefriars),anItalianwoman,SantucciaCarabotti,foundedaconvent nearGubbio,enforcedastrictinterpretationoftheBenedictineRulethere,andlaterreformedandsupervisedtwentyfourothermonasteries,takingthemunderher direction.8 IntheearlyfifteenthcenturyColetteofCorbie(d.1447),whobeganherreligiouslifeasahermit,reformedmanyconventsofPoorClaresinFranceand Flandersandfoundedothers.9 Therapidgrowthofwomen'shousesstrainedtheresourcesoftheneworders,whichhadtoprovideclergyforthewomen'sspiritualdirectionandsacramentalneeds. ThePremonstratensianswerethefirsttopasslegislationcurtailingwomen'smonasteriestheCisterciansfollowed.AsR.W.Southernhasmadeusaware,misogyny amalefearoffemalesexualitythatwasaprojectionofmalefearofmalesexualitywassometimesthearticulatedmotiveforsuchrepression.Thenotoriousopinion, attributedtothePremonstratensianabbotConradofMarchtal,that"thewickednessofwomenisgreaterthanallotherwickednessoftheworldand...thepoisonof aspsanddragonsismorecurableandlessdangeroustomenthanthefamiliarityofwomen"maybespurious.Butanumberoftwelfthcenturymonasticleadersfeared thatcelibatemaleswouldbecontaminatedbywomenandwerewillingtolimitwomen'sreligiousopportunitiesinordertoprotectfragilemalevirtue.Bernard

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ofClairvaux(d.1153)warnedhismonks:"Tobealwayswithawomanandnottohavesexualrelationswithherismoredifficultthantoraisethedead.Youcannotdo thelessdifficultdoyouthinkIwillbelievethatyoucandowhatismoredifficult?"10 Recentresearchhas,however,shownthatmalereluctanceandoppositiondidlittletoslowthegrowthofwomen'sreligiouslife.11Ineasternareas(suchasFranconia andBavaria),womenevencontinuedtoattachthemselvestothePremonstratensianorder.12TheCisterciandecreeof1228forbiddingtheincorporationofanymore conventsremainedadeadletter,andthroughoutthethirteenthcenturyCisterciannunneriesproliferated(oftenwithsupportfromlocalDominicans)intheLow CountriesandthelowerRhineland.Althoughsomemonks,canons,andfriarsdidresisttakingresponsibilityforthepastoralcareofnuns,somereligiousauthorities, frompopestolocalclergy,andsomeprominentlaymensupportedandendowedwomen'shouses.13BothSantucciaandColettereceivedsignificantsupportfrom popesandpapallegates.Inthethirteenthandearlyfourteenthcenturies,thesewomen'smonasteriesformedinfluentialspiritualnetworksamongthemselvesand producedcollectionsofthesisters'livesandvisionsthatwereoftenreadinbothfemaleandmalehousesasaformofspiritualinstruction.14InsomepartsofEurope, wheremalehousesdeclinedfairlysteadilybothineconomicbaseandinreligiousfervor,nunswereamajorityofthecloisteredreligiousbythefifteenthcentury.15 InthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturiesnewformsofreligiouslifeforwomenappearedalongsidetheoldBenedictinenunneriesandthefemalemonasteriesofthenew orders.Someofthesereligiousopportunitieswereheterodox,andhistoriansarestilldebatingtheextenttowhichwomenwereproportionatelyoverrepresentedinthe majorheresiesofthetwelfththroughthefourteenthcentury.16Althoughtheseheresiessharedmanycharacteristics,scholarsusuallydividethemintothreegroups: dualists,antisacerdotalreformers,andaberrantmystics.Thefirstgroup,knownasCatharsorAlbigensians,appearedprimarilyinthesouthofEuropeandrapidly cametofollowanindependentandalternativereligionbasedonatheologyofabsolutedualism.IncontrasttothemonismoforthodoxChristiantheology,Cathars believedtherewasawarinthecosmosbetweengoodandevilandaparallelwarintheindividualbetweenspiritandflesh.Thesecondgroup,whichincludedsuch movementsastheWaldensians,theHumiliati,theNewApostles

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ofGerardSegarelli,andlatertheLollards,werereformerswhosepuritanicalzealbecameanticlericalismandthen,underthepressureofpersecution,denialofthe sacraments.17Thethirdgroup,whichemergedasathreatintheearlyfourteenthcentury,wasknownastheFreeSpirit.18Theseindividualscarriedpersonalmystical experiencetothepointofantinomianism(therejectionofallrulesandexternalreligiouspractices)andselfdeification.Butthecontemporarynotionthattheywerea formalmovement,akindofconspiracy,mayhavebeeninlargepartafantasygeneratedbyorthodoxfearoftheimplicationsofmysticism. Itseemsclearthatwomenwerepowerfullydrawntosuchmovements,atleastuntiltheytoodevelopedhierarchicalstructuresthattendedtoexcludefemaleleadership. Butitalsoseemsclearthatthesemovementswhichwereofteninitiallylabeledheresiesforreasonsofecclesiasticalpolitics,notdoctrineexpressedmanyofthe basicthemesfoundinwomen'sreligiosityinitsorthodoxforms:aconcernforaffectivereligiousresponse,anextremeformofpenitentialasceticism,anemphasisboth onChrist'shumanityandontheinspirationofthespirit,andabypassingofclericalauthority.19Thuswomenmayhaveflockedtotheheresiesnot(assomehave argued)becausetheyfeltneglectedbyoralienatedfromthechurchbutbecausecertainspiritualimpulsesthatcharacterizedbothheterodoxandorthodoxmovements appealedespeciallytowomenandweregeneratedinsignificantpartbythem. Indeed,thesameimpulsesthatissuedinthevarioushereticalmovementswerethesourceofnewquasireligiousrolesforwomenwithinthechurchrolesthatwere notsomuchnovelinstitutionalarrangementsassimplywaysofgivingreligioussignificancetowomen'sordinarylives.InthenorthofEurope(especiallynorthern France,theLowCountries,Switzerland,andtheRhineland),wefindwomencalledbeguines.(Theetymologyofthewordisdebatedbutitmaybeaslur,derived fromAlbigensian,i.e.,heretic.)Thesewomensetthemselvesapartfromtheworldbylivingaustere,poor,chastelivesinwhichmanuallaborandcharitableservice werejoinedtoworship(whichwasnot,however,rigidlyprescribedasitwasinconvents).Initially,atleast,theirpracticecontrastedsharplywithtraditional monasticism,sincetheytooknovowsandhadnocomplexorganizationandrules,noorderlinkingthehouses,nohierarchyofofficials,nowealthyfoundersorleaders. InthesouthofEurope(especiallyItaly),wefind,parallelingthebeguincs,thetertiariesindividualswholivedintheworldbutwereaffiliated

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withoneofthegreatmendicantorders(usuallyFranciscanorDominican)andfollowedalifeofpenitentialasceticism,charitableactivity,andprayer.InSpain,women insuchquasireligiousstatuseswereknownasbeatas.And,alloverEurope,evenordinarylaywomensometimesfound,throughpilgrimage,awayoftemporarily settingthemselvesofffromthedemandsoftheworldinaspecialreligiousroleofdevotion,service,andpenitence.20Althoughthereisnowayofestimatingthe numberofwomeninEuropewhoadoptedsuchquasireligiousstatus,statisticsforafewnortherncitiessuggesthowpopularthevocationwas.Thethousandwomen livinginbeguinecommunitiesinColognein1320accountedforabout15percentoftheadultfemalepopulation(andthisfigureexcludesbeguineslivingalone).In StrasbourgandBasel,othercentersofthemovement,beguinesaccountedforabout2.5percentofthetotalpopulationinthesameperiod.21 Earlyinourowncentury,somehistoriansarguedthatthewanderingevangelistsofthetwelfthcentury(heterodoxandorthodox)andthemendicants,tertiaries, beguines,andFreeSpiritsofthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturiesrepresentedmovementsofprotestbythenewurbanlowerclasses.22Thesehistorianssawtertiary andbeguinegroupsasfemaleguilds,withessentiallyeconomicfunctions.Morerecently,scholarshavetakenthereligiousnatureofsuchmovementsseriouslyandhave disprovedtheclaimsofpredominantlylowerclassmembership.Butitseemsclearthatthenewgroupscanbeassociatedwithspecificsocialstatuses.Althoughthe newordersandmovementsofthetwelfthcenturybeganwitharistocraticclericsandrecruitedfrombothtownandcountryside,thirteenthcenturybeguines,tertiaries, andeventosomeextentCisterciannunstendedtobedrawnfromthenewbourgeoisieorfromalowernobilityassociatedwiththetowns.Thuswomenwhojoinedthe newtypesofreligiouslifeavailableinthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturiesoftencamefromsocialgroupsthatwererisingandcanbeshowntohavefeltanxietyabout theirnewwealthandstatus.Theiridealastheirmostdistinguishedhistorian,HerbertGrundmann,pointedoutyearsagowasnotsimplyausteritybut,rather, renunciationofcomfortandwealth.Womenfromtheoldnobilitywereapttojointraditionalmonasticestablishments(Benedictinenunneriesorhousesof canonesses),whichrequiredlargedowriesfromentrants.23 Twoexplanationsfortheemergenceofnewtypesoffemalereligiouslifehaverecentlybeenpopular.Onesuggestsdemographiccauses:reli

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giouswomenwerethedaughtersforwhomnohusbandscouldbefound.24Theotherexplanationarguesthatthewomenwhobecamebeguines,tertiaries,orheretics weresimplyareligioussurplus,leftonthefringestoattemptsomekindofquasireligiouslifeafterCistercianandPremonstratensiandoorsclosedandthefriarsshowed reluctancetoexpandtheirpastoratetolargenumbersofnuns.25Bothexplanationsareplausible.Demographicfactorsinfactlaybehindalllatemedievalreligious movements.Thestructureofthemedievalfamilyandofinheritancepatternsnecessitatedalternativestotheroleofmarriageandprocreationforalargeportionofthe population.Andinthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturiesthevalueofdowrieswentupsharply,makingthemarriageofdaughters(oreventheendowingofaplacefor theminoneofthetraditionalmonasteries)sometimesprohibitivelyexpensive.Contemporariesthemselveswereawareofsuchsocialmotives.Adocumentfromearly fourteenthcenturyGhentstatesthat,ahundredyearsearlier,


JeanneandhersisterMargaret,successivecountessesofFlandersandHainault,observedthatthesecountiesteemedwithwomenwhoweredeniedsuitablemarriagesbecauseof theirownsituationorthatoftheirfriends,andthatdaughtersofrespectablemen,ofbothnobleandordinarybirth,desiredtolivechastelyinmonasteriesbut,onaccountofthe numbersofthemorofthepovertyoftheirparents,wereunabletodosoeasily.Furthermore,respectabledemoisellesandimpoverishednoblewomenhadtobegorpursuealife embarrassingtothemselvesandtheirkinunlessaproperremedywasprovided.Thus,underdivineinspiration,orsoitispiouslybelieved,theyroundedinvariouspartsof Flanders,havingfirstsoughtthecounselandapprovalofdiocesanandotherworthyauthorities,spaciousplacescalledbeguinages[quevocanturBeghinarumcurie].Herethese women,girls,ordemoiselleswerereceivedtopreservetheirchastitybyvoworwithoutvowandtoprovidethemselveswithfoodandclothingwithoutembarrassmentto themselvesorthecontrivingoftheirfriends.26

Moreover,themaleresistancetothepastoralcareofreligiouswomenthatisreflectedinthePremonstratensianandCisterciandecreesreferredtoabovecontinuedin thefourteenthandfifteenthcenturies.27 Yetitseemswrongtointerpretthebeguines,tertiaries,andfemalehereticsofthelaterMiddleAgesassurpluswomen,settlingforquasireligiousrolesbecauseneither husbandsnormonasteriescouldbefound.Onthecontrary,saints'livesincludemanycaseswherenoblewomenwho

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couldhaveaffordedtoentermonasteriesinsteadchosebeguineortertiarystatus.TherecentresearchofJohnFreedhasdemonstratedthat,farfrominhibitingthe growthofnunneries,friarsandlocalclergyoftenencouragedthem.Itisnotclearthattherewasagreatshortageofplaces,atleastinCistercianconvents.28Itthus appearsthatthebeguineswerelessanunintendedresultofpastoralnegligencethananewandattractivealternativetotraditionalcloisteredlife.Moreover,formany girls,itwasthepresence,nottheabsence,ofaprospectivebridegroomthatactivateddesireforperpetualchastity.Althoughsomeyoungwomenunquestionably desiredtoleavemonasteriestowhichtheyhadbeengiven,therewerealsomanydaughtersforcedintomarriageorthreatenedwithitwhosawtheconventasan escape.Thedangersofchildbirthandthebrutalityofmanymarriagesdisadvantagespointedoutbymedievalmoralistsledsomewomentoprefercelibacy. Virginitywasnot,however,merelyameansofescapefromfamily.Itwasseenbybothmenandwomenasapositiveandcompellingreligiousideal.29Setapartfrom theworldbyintactboundaries,herfleshuntouchedbyordinaryflesh,thevirgin(likeChrist'smother,theperpetualvirgin)wasalsoabride,destinedforahigher consummation.Shescintillatedwithfertilityandpower.Intoherbody,asintotheeucharisticbreadonthealtar,pouredtheinspirationofthespiritandthefullnessof thehumanityofChrist. Theperiodfrom1100to1400sawnotonlythecreationofnewtypesofreligiouslifeforwomenbutalsoanincreaseinthenumberoffemalesaintsaclearindication ofthegrowingprominenceofwomenbothinreflectingandincreatingpiety.Ofcourse,therewasalwaysresistanceonthepartofchurchauthoritiestothe canonizationofwomen.Althoughthenumberofcanonizationinquiriesforwomenrose,aconsistentlysmallerpercentageoffemalesthanofmalesconsideredfor canonizationactuallyachievedit.30Nonetheless,recentscholarlyinvestigations,bothofactuallycanonizedsaintsandofthosewhoweresimplypopularlyrevered, suggestthattheproportionoffemalesaintsrosefromlessthan10percentintheeleventhcenturytoabout28percentinthefifteenth.AccordingtoWeinsteinandBell, thebigrisecamebetweenthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturies,whenthepercentageoffemalesaintsalmostdoubled(from11.8to22.6percent).Thetrendpeakedin thefifteenthcentury(at27.7percent),despitethefactthatthetotalnumberofsaintsdeclined.Inthesixteenthandseventeenthcenturies,when

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thetotalnumberofsaintsturnedslightlyupward,thepercentageofwomendroppedsharply(to18percentinthesixteenthcentury,14.4percentintheseventeenth).
31

Notonlydidthepercentageoffemalesaintsclimbbetweenthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturiesthepercentageofmarriedsaintsroseaswell.32Throughouttheperiod, womenrepresentedaconsistentlyhigherpercentageofthemarriedsaintsthandidmen,althoughWeinstein,Bell,andVauchezsuggest,onthebasisofqualitative evidence,thatanewambivalenceaboutmarriageemergedinthefifteenthcentury.33Theriseinthenumberandpercentageofwomensaintscorrelatesalsowitha broadeningoftheclassbaseofsaints(althoughahigherpercentageofsaintlywomenthanofsaintlymenwereupperclass)andwithanincreaseinthepercentages bothofsaintsfromurbanareasandofsaintsaffiliatedwithmendicantorders(althoughthecanonizationofmendicantwomenalwaysmetwithstiffresistance).34 Theriseofthewomansaintcorrelatesmostdramatically,however,withtheriseofthelaysaint.Indeed,bytheendoftheMiddleAgesthelaymalesainthadvirtually disappeared.Nuns(theonly''nonlay"femalerole)continued,ofcourse,tobecanonizedbutbythesixteenthcenturyalmostallthemalescanonizedwereclerics,and themodelofholybehaviorofferedtotheCatholiclaitywasalmostexclusivelyfemale.AccordingtoVauchez,50percentofthelaitycanonizedinthethirteenth century,and71.4percentofthosecanonizedafter1305,werefemale.35 Connectedtotheemergenceofnewquasireligiousopportunitiesforlaywomenandtotheincreasingvenerationofcertainlaywomenasholyweretwoothertrends: thedeclineanddisappearanceofquasiclericalrolesforwomen,andtheincreasedsuspicion,fromtheearlyfourteenthcenturyon,ofexactlythosepropheticand visionarypowersofholywomenthatcontrastedmostsharplywithmaleclericalauthority,basedasitwasonordination.36Inthechurchofthetenthtothetwelfth century,womendidexercisesome"clerical"roles:preaching,hearingconfessionsfromnunsunderthem,bestowingblessings,andsometimesadministeringcommunion tothemselvesinritualsknownas"masseswithoutpriests."37Butsuchthingswereincreasinglycriticizedandsuppressed.ThedecretalistBernardofParma,inhis commentary(ca.1245),arguedthatwhatevermightbefoundinearlierpracticewomencouldnotteachorpreach,touchsacredvessels,veilorabsolvenuns,or exercisejudgmentandthat"ingeneral,theofficeofamanisforbidden

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towomen."38ThepowerfulabbessesoftheearlyMiddleAgesareseldomfoundinthelaterperiod.Thosedoublemonasteriesoverwhichwomenruledhadmostly beeneliminatedbythethirteenthcentury.Althoughwomenintheworldwhowerereveredassaintsweremorelikelythansaintlymentocomefromthehighestsocial ranks,thosereveredwithinmonasteriesorbeguinageswereoftennotabbessesorprioressesbut,rather,ordinarysistersblessedwithparamysticalandvisionary experiences.39 Thus,fromthethirteenthcenturyon,wefindreligiouswomenlosingrolesthatparalleledorapedmaleclericalleadershipbutgainingboththepossibilityofshapingtheir ownreligiousexperiencesinlaycommunitiesandaclearalternativethepropheticalternativetothemalerolebasedonthepowerofoffice.Itisworthnotingthat suchatrendparallelsseculardevelopmentsinthesameperiod.Betweenthetwelfthandfourteenthcenturies,aristocraticwomen'sabilitytomanagelargeestatesand toruledeclinedwhileordinarywomenclearlygainedopportunitiesforindependenceandeconomicprofitinthesmallcrafts,shops,andbusinessesofthenew towns.40Suchcomplexchangesinthekindsofopportunitiesandsourcesofauthorityavailabletowomen,aswellasinthekindsofwomenforwhomopportunities wereavailable,makegeneralizationsabout"thestatusofwomen"statementstowhichhistorianshavesometimesbeentemptedpresumptuousandilladvised.41 Thefemalereligiousrolehadonlytobecomeclear,however,tobemetwithsuspicion.Aftertheearlyfourteenthcentury,theformsandthemesofwomen'sreligiosity arousedincreasedhostility.In1310awomanmystic,MargaretPorete,wasaccusedoftheFreeSpiritheresyandburnedinParis.Thebeguinesweresuppressedby theCouncilofViennein13111312,althoughthedecreeremainedunenforcedforseveralyearsand,aftermidcentury,thewomen'smovement(inafarmore "monasticized"i.e.,institutionalizedform)wasonceagainpermitted.Thespiritualfriendshipsandnetworksofthirteenthandearlyfourteenthcenturywomen attenuatedasthefourteenthcenturyworeon.Collectivebiographiesofwomenbywomendisappeared.42Fewerholywomenwrote.Malesuspicionofvisionary womenwasarticulatedinaseriesofinfluentialworks,byJohnGersonandothers,onthetestingofspirits.43Inlatefourteenthandfifteenthcenturyhagiography,holy womenappearmoreandmoreisolatedandmaleoriented.Theirstoriesarenowusuallytoldbytheirconfessors,whomtheydominateasspiritual

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mothersandclingtoasvulnerableadvisees,needfulofaguaranteeoforthodoxy.Althoughholywomenwere,bythefourteenthandfifteenthcenturies,morelikelyto belayandmarried,toresideintheworld,andtohaveopportunitiesforsignificantgeographicalmobilitythroughpilgrimage,theywerealsomoresubjecttomale scrutinyandingreaterdangerofbeingaccusedofheresyorwitchcraft.BythetimeofCatherineofSiena,BridgetofSweden,andJoanofArctheinfluenceeventhe survivalofpiouswomendependedalmostwhollyonthesuccess,inecclesiasticalandsecularpolitics,oftheirmaleadherents.44 Suspicionofpropheticwomenreflectedthegeneralfourteenthcenturysuspicionofpopularreligiousmovementsandofmysticism.Theperiodwasoneofdeep hostilitytovisionaryandmysticalmalesaswell.Buttheambivalenceofchurchauthoritiesandtheologiansaboutwomenmysticsalsoreflectedvirulentmisogynya misogynythatissuedbothintheactualwitchaccusationsandinthewitchhuntingtheologyofthefifteenthcentury.By1500,indeed,themodelofthefemalesaint, expressedbothinpopularvenerationandinofficialcanonizations,wasinmanywaysthemirrorimageofsociety'snotionofthewitch.45Eachwasthoughttobe possessed,whetherbyGodorbySataneachseemedabletoreadthemindsandheartsofotherswithuncannyshrewdnesseachwassuspectedofflyingthroughthe air,whetherinsaintlylevitationorbilocation,orinawitches'Sabbath.Moreover,eachboremysteriouswounds,whetherstigmataorthemarksofincubi,onherbody. Thesimilarityofwitchandsaintatleastintheeyesofthetheologians,canonlawyers,inquisitors,andmalehagiographerswhoare,bythefifteenthcentury,almost ouronlysourcesfortheirlivessuggestshowthreateningbothweretoclericalauthorities.46Woman'sreligiousroleasinspiredvesselhadcometoseemutterly differentfromman'sroleaspriest,preacher,andleaderbyvirtueofclericaloffice.Andbecauseitseemedsodifferent,ittitillatedandwasbothencouragedand feared. FemaleSpirituality: DiversitiesandUnity Canonesses,nunsofoldandneworders,beguines,tertiaries,recluses,Cathars,Waldensians,pilgrims,ordinarylaywomeninshopsandkitchensthereweremany kindsofpiouswomeninlatermedievalEurope.Yettheincreasinglysharpcontrastbetweenlayfemalesaintandclerical

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malesaintsuggeststhatbehindthewidevarietyofwomen'srolesaunitycanbefound.Andwecaninfactdelineatesomeconsistentdifferencesbetweenmaleand femalereligiousexperiences.47 Atleastsomeofwomen'sformsoflife(e.g.,tertiaries'andbeguines')werelessinstitutionalizedthanmen's.Indeed,thetendencyoflaterhistorianstoidentifypious womenwithaparticularorderhasobscuredtheextenttowhich,especiallyinthethirteenthcentury,institutionalaffiliationandstructurewere,towomen,unimportant orconstantlychanging.48ThethirteenthcenturysaintJulianaofCornillon,forexample,wanderedfromreligioushousetoreligioushousehercontemporary,Christina theAstonishing(ChristinaMirabilis)despitelatereffortstoclaimherasBenedictine,Cistercian,orPremonstratenstratensianwassimplyalaywomanseekingto followChristandthesaintsMargaretofYpres(d.1237),althoughontheedgeofDominicancircles,soughtnotaparticularorderwithitsarticulatedgoalsbutamale protectorwhomshecouldlove.49Theveryfactthatmalechroniclersfelttheyoughttotellthestoryofthefoundingofthebeguinesasifthe"order"hadaleaderanda rulelikethoseofcontemporarymonasticormendicantorderssuggeststhatwomen'smoreinformalarrangementsforgivingreligioussignificancetoordinarylife seemedoddanddangeroustomalesensibilities. Moreover,thelifepatternsofholywomenshowbasicdifferencesfromthoseofmen.Intheirrecentquantitativestudyofsaints'lives,WeinsteinandBellhave demonstratedthatingeneral,women'ssaintlyvocationsgrewslowlythroughchildhoodandintoadolescenceadisproportionatepercentageoffemalesaintswere certainoftheircommitmenttovirginitybeforeageeight.Despitethefactthatbothchastityandmaritalstatusweremoreprominentthemesinthevitae(writtenlives)of womenthanofmen,malesaintsweremorelikelytoundergoabruptadolescentconversions,involvingrenunciationofwealth,power,marriage,andsexuality.Crisis anddecisivechangeweremoresignificantmotifsinmalethaninfemalevitaethroughoutthelaterMiddleAges,50inpartbecausemedievalmenhadmorepowerthan womentodeterminetheshapeoftheirlives.Forexample,MaryofOigniesandClareofAssisi,wishingtorenounceproperty,werevirtuallyforcedtoretainincome andservantsMargaretofCortona,UmilianadeiCerchi(d.1246),andAngelaofFoligno(d.1309)hadtowaitfortheirhusbandsorloverstodiebeforetheycould espousechastitythevisionaryJulianaofCornillonandthe

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holyinvalidLidwinaofSchiedam(d.1433)wereascruellypersecutedandneglectedattheendoftheirlivesasduringthechildhoodandadolescentstirringsoftheir vocations.51Indeed,hagiographersoperatedwithasomewhatinconsistentdoublemodelofthefemaleadolescent.Thevirtuousgirlmightdemonstratehervirtue eitherbyheroicallyinsistingonchastity(andtherebyrebellingagainstherfamily)orbyobedientlymarryingatherparent'scommand(andtherebyretreatingfromwhat thechurcharguedtobeahighergood).Frequently,insaints'lives,shedidbothwithnoexplanationofwhatthechangefromonebehaviortotheothermeanttoher orcosther.52 Itisbecausewomenlackedcontrolovertheirwealthandmaritalstatusthattheirlifestoriesshowfewerheroicgesturesofcastingasidemoney,property,andfamily. Butwomen'slivesalsoseemtobecharacterizedbyearliervocationsbycontinuityratherthanchangebecause,asweshallseebelow,menandwomentendedto tellstories,tousesymbols,andtounderstandinnerdevelopmentaccordingtodifferentmodels.Menwereinclinedtotellstorieswithturningpoints,tousesymbolsof reversalandinversion,andtoexternalizemotivesinevents(particularlywhentalkingaboutmen).Womenmoreoftenusedtheirordinaryexperiences(of powerlessness,ofserviceandnurturing,ofdisease,etc.)assymbolsintowhichtheypouredeverdeeperandmoreparadoxicalmeanings.Womentendedtotellstories anddeveloppersonalmodelswithoutcrisesorturningpoints.53Andbothmenandwomensawfemalesaintsasmodelsofsufferingandinnerspirituality,malesaintsas modelsofaction.54 Whenwecomparethewritingsaswellasthevitaeofmenandwomen,wefindnopiouspracticesordevotionalthemesthatareexclusivelyfemaleorexclusively male,althoughtherearecertainmiraclesthatoccuronlytopriests(becausetheyareconnectedtosacerdotalfunctions)andcertainmiracles(e.g.,stigmataorbodily elongation)thatoccurfarmorefrequentlytowomen.55MenandwomenoftenthoughtinthesamemetaphorssincetheyreadthesameScripturesandspiritual treatisesandoftenheardthesamesermonsandevenspiritualthemesthatmoderncommentatorshaveassumedtobegenderspecificarefoundinthevisionsand writingsofbothsexesintheMiddleAges.Forexample,ifwomenmoreoftenhadvisionsofnursingtheChristchild,thereisatleastonemonkwhoreceivedthebaby athisbreastifmenmoreoftennursedfromtheVirgin,somewomentoowerefedwithMary'smilk.56

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Butrecentcomparativestudyofvisionliterature,saints'lives,andmysticaltreatisesbywomenandmensuggeststhatthepatternsofmalepietydifferfromthoseof femalepiety. Mysticismwasmoreprominentinwomen'sreligiosityandclaimstosanctitythaninmen'sandparamysticalphenomena(trances,levitation,stigmata,etc.)werefar morecommoninwomen'smysticism.Thereputationsofholywomenweremoreoftenbasedonsupernatural,charismaticauthority,especiallyvisionsandsupernatural signs.Women'sdevotionwasmorecharacterizedbypenitentialasceticism,particularlyselfinflictedsuffering.Women'swritingwas,ingeneral,moreaffective,although malewritingtoobrimsoverwithtearsandsensibilityerotic,nuptialthemes,whichwerefirstarticulatedbymen,weremostfullyelaboratedinwomen'spoetry.And certaindevotionalemphases,particularlydevotiontoChrist'ssufferinghumanityandtotheeucharist(althoughnot,asisoftensaid,totheVirgin),werecharacteristicof women'spracticesandwomen'swords.57(Someofthesedifferencesbecomeimportantinthechaptersthatfollow.) Indeed,recentscholarshipsuggeststhatdifferencesbetweenthesexesoverrideallotherfactors(suchaschronologyorsocialandeconomicstatus)inshaping women'spiety.Apiouspeasantwomanandapiousnobleoneweremorelikeeachotherinreligiositythaneitherwaslikethemalesaintofequalsocialstatus.58But differencesamongwomencanalsobedelineated.Recentwork,forexample,suggestscertainregionalpatterns.ScholarssuchasWeinstein,Bell,Vauchez,and KieckheferagreethatwomensaintsinthenorthofEuropeweremorearistocraticandcontemplative,morelikelytobenunsorreclusesandtofindabasisfortheir sanctityinwithdrawalandprayer.FemalesaintsinthesouthofEurope,particularlyItaly(whichaccountedforaboutathirdofthesaintsofthelaterMiddleAges), tendedtobeurban,middleclass,andmoreactiveinworksofcharity.ReclusesweremorecommoninEnglandmysticalcommunitiesinwhichmanynunsexperienced thesameorsimilarvisionsweremorecommonintheRhineland(especiallyinthethirteenthcentury)charitableservice,particularlycareofthepoorandsick,was especiallycommonamongItalianwomenaffiliatedwiththeDominicanandFranciscanorders.59 Moreover,thereweredifferencesinwomen'sspiritualitythatstemmedfromtheirdifferentreligiousstatusesandlifeexperiences.Astudyofwomen'sownwritings suggeststhatwomenwholivedintheworld

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(eitherastertiariesandbeguinesoraslaywomen)andwomenwhoconvertedasadultsdifferedfromnunsraisedinconventsbyhavingasharpersenseofmale/female differences,asenseof"thefemale"closertothenegativestereotypefoundinthemisogynistclericaltradition,andalessintensesenseofcommunity.Theyweremore awareoftheprohibitionofsacramentalfunctionsandteachingtowomen,morelikelytoseethefemaleasweakandvulnerable,moremaleoriented(i.e.,more dependentonconfessorsorpowerfulmalereligiousleaders,nottomentionhusbandsandfathers),andmoreconcernedwithmalepowerandmaleroles(althoughthe concernwasoftenacritique).Forexample,thethirteenthcenturyItaliantertiaryAngelaofFolignospokefarmorefrequentlyofherspiritual"sons"thanofanyfemale companions.Convertedasanadultafterthedeathsofhermother,husband,andchildren,Angelachanneledhermaternalandspiritualimpulsesintocriticizingand advisinglocalfriars.TheGermanbeguineMechtildofMagdeburg,whofledherfamilyandfriendsinyoungadulthood,directedherconsiderablerhetoricalabilities towardcastigatingthelocaldiocesanclergyandfriars.ThetwelfthcenturyrecluseChristinaofMarkyate,whoranawayonherweddingnight,receivedmostofher visionsandpropheciesforthebenefitofpowerfulmales.Andinthefourteenthandfifteenthcenturies,thetertiaryCatherineofSienaandlaywomenasdifferentas BridgetofSweden(lateranun)andJoanofArcwereadvisersandleadersofmen.60 Incontrast,womeninconventsandbeguinages,especiallythosewhohadbeenraisedthere,hadastrongsenseofspiritualnetworksorfamiliesofwomen.Michael Goodichhaspointedoutthatmysticalwomeninthethirteenthandearlyfourteenthcenturies,especiallyinGermanyandtheLowCountries,existedinclusters, whereasmalemysticsweremoreoftenisolatedandlessinfluential.Socommonhadtheclusteringofmysticalwomenbecomebytheearlyfourteenthcenturythat contemporariestendedtoreverehouses,likeTossandEngelthal,ratherthanindividuals.61Forthosewhohadexperiencedsuchcommunity,liketheFlemishbeguine Hadewijch,whowasevictedfromherbeguinage,thegrievingforformercompanionswasintenseandneverhealed.62 Weshouldnot,however,maketoomuchofregionaldiversity,ofcontrastsbetweennunsandquasireligious,orofdifferencesbetweenchildoblatesandadult converts.CertaintownsofthethirteenthcenturyLowCountriesandRhinelandproducedapietymorelikethatofthe

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ItalianfemaletertiariesthantheworkofVauchez,Weinstein,andBellsuggests.63Thesharpcontrastbetweenamorecontemplativeandmysticallifefornorthern womenandthemoreactivecharitypracticedinthesouthblurswhenwereadwomen'sownwordsandfindthatastressonserviceandecstaticencounterunderlies bothkindsoflives.64Moreover,howeverquerulousandapologeticsomemedievalwomenoccasionallyseem(andthisqualitybecomesmorepronouncedinthe fifteenthandsixteenthcenturies),theydifferedfromoneanotherrelativelylittleinselfimage,andtheirvulnerabilityseldominhibitedtheconfidencewithwhichthey approachedGod.CloisteredwomenwereaslikelyaswomenintheworldtousegraphicdomesticimagesforselfandGod.65WomensuchasGertrudeofHelfta(d. 1301or1302)whoenteredtheconventastinygirlsequaledwomenintheworld,suchasGertrudevanOosten(d.1358)orMargeryKempe,intheirmaternal tendernesstowardthebabyJesusandtheireroticyearningstowardthebeautifulyoungChrist.66And,whileitistruethatnunsweremorelikelytouseimagery androgynouslyandtoadviseotherswithselfconfidence,tertiariesandlaywomeninfactcastigated,counseled,andcomfortedothersjustaseagerlyandeffectively. Moreover,whatevertheirstatusordegreeofvulnerability,religiouswomenfeltnonecessitytoacquiremetaphoricalmalenessinthecourseoftheirspiritualjourney.67 Malebiographersfrequentlypraisedwomenforspiritual"virility,"andwomensuchasCatherineofSienasometimesurgedotherwomen(andmen)tobehave "manfully."68Butwomen'smostelaborateselfimageswereeitherfemale("mother"tospiritualchildren,"bride"ofChrist)orandrogynous(''child"toaGodwhowas motheraswellasfather,"judge"and"nurse"tothesoulsintheirkeeping). Mostofourinformationonlatemedievalwomencomesfrommalebiographersandchroniclers.Theproblemofperspectiveisthusacute.Someofthestoriesmen lovedtotellaboutwomenreflectednotsomuchwhatwomendidaswhatmenadmiredorabhorred.Forexample,CaesariusofHeisterbach,writinginthethirteenth centuryformaleCistercians,presentedacollectionofexempla(moraltales)organizedaccordingtotypesofChristianvocation.Writingaboutconfessors,Caesarius simplyexplainedwhatexperiences,especiallymiraclesandvisions,happenedtoconfessors(allofwhomweremale).Butwhenheturnedto"theorderofvirgins"(by whichhemeantfemalevirgins),hisaccounttookacuriousturn.Apparentlyunconsciously,heslippedintowriting

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notaboutthevisionsandmiraclesthathadoccurredtothevirgins(onlytwostoriesoutofnine)butaboutvirginswhohadappearedinvisionstomen(theremaining sevenstories).ItisalmostasifCaesariuscouldnotimaginethewomenortheirvirginitybeingimportanttothemselves.69 Malebiographersromanticizedandsentimentalizedfemalevirtuefarmorethanmale,especiallybydescribingit(asdoesJamesofVitryinthepassagequotedabove asepigraph)inheightenedanderoticimagery.70Theywerealsofarmorelikelytoattributesexualorbodilytemptationtofemalenaturethantomale(men'ssexual yearningscouldalwaysbeblamedonthepresenceofwomenastemptresses)andtoseewomenstrugglingunsuccessfullytoovercometheflesh.71Forexample,as JohnAnsonhasargued,thecommonstoryofthewomanwhomasqueradesasamaninordertoenteramonasteryappearstoreflectmaleanxietymorefrequently thanitdoeshistoricalreality.72Itisthereforecrucialnottotakeaswomen'sownselfimagethesentimentalizingorthecastigatingofthefemaleinwhichmedievalmen indulged.Ifwewishtounderstandwhatitmeanttomedievalwomentobe"bridesofChrist"orsymbolsofeithermercyorfleshliness,wemustpayparticularattention towhatwomensaidanddid,avoidingtheassumptionthattheysimplyinternalizedtherhetoricoftheologians,confessors,orhusbands. Sortingouttheimagesof"woman"andtheexperiencesofwomeninlatemedievalreligion,withappropriateattentiontothedifferingvantagepointsfromwhichmen andwomenviewedthesematters,isfarfromeasy.Butrecentresearchhasdonemuchtoretrievestoriesofwomenandtodescribewomen'spiety.Ithas,however, tendedtofocusontherenunciationofwealth,privilege,andsexualityinwomen'sreligiosityasinmen's,largelybecauseithasproceededfromtwoperspectivesthat ofthefeministandthatofthetraditionalmedievalist.Feministscholarshiphastendedtoconcentrateonthenegativestereotypingofwomen'ssexualityandonwomen's lackofworldlypowerandsacerdotalauthority.73Ithasdonesobecausetheseissuesareofsuchpressingmodernconcern.Traditionalmedievalists,although attemptingtostartfromthevantagepointofmedievalpeoplethemselves,haveinfacttendedtousemalereligiosityasamodel.Whenstudyingwomen,theyhave tendedtolooksimplyforwomen'sanswerstoquestionsthathavealwaysbeenaskedaboutmenquestionsgeneratedinthefirstplacebyobservingmale religiosity.74Becausemedievalmenweredeeplyconcerned,for

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themselvesandforwomen,withtherenunciationofsexualgratificationandofeconomicandpoliticalpower,medievalistshaveseenthesesamerenunciationsascentral inwomen'spiety.Thusrecentworkonmedievalwomenhastendedtohaveeitherpresentistissuesormalemodelsbuiltin.Foodhasbeenignoredchieflybecauseit isnot,inmoderneyes,aprimaryconcern,butalsobecause,tomedievalmen,itwasoneamongmanyreligioussymbolsandpiousrenunciations. Yetfoodwascrucialtothereligiousexperienceofmedievalwomen,inwayssorichandcomplicatedthatitwilltakemeawholebooktoexplainthem.Forfoodwas apowerfulsymbol.Likebody,foodmustbebrokenandspilledforthinordertogivelife.Maceratedbyteethbeforeitcanbeassimilatedtosustainlife,foodmirrors andrecapitulatesbothsufferingandfertility.Thusfood,bywhatitis,seemstosymbolizesacrificeandservice.75And,inChristiandoctrine,thesuffering,broken, crucifiedbodyonthecross,fromwhichspringshumankind'ssalvation,isfood.Butfoodwasnotmerelyapowerfulsymbol.Itwasalsoaparticularlyobviousand accessiblesymboltowomen,whoweremoreintimatelyinvolvedthanmeninthepreparationanddistributionoffood.Women'sbodies,intheactsoflactationandof givingbirth,wereanalogousbothtoordinaryfoodandtothebodyofChrist,asitdiedonthecrossandgavebirthtosalvation. Foodis,ofcourse,onlyonethreadintheskeinofwomen'sspirituality,butbyfollowingitwetouchonmanyaspectsofwomen'sexperiences.Moreover,bystudying thefoodpracticesandimagesofmedievalwomen,webegintoconsidertheirpietynotbyaskinghowitanswersquestionsposedbypresentistconcernsormale perspectivesbutbyallowingthewomenthemselvestogeneratequestionsaswellasanswers.

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2 FastandFeast: TheHistoricalBackground
WeordertoyouthisfastofDecember...becauseitconformstopietyandtojusticetorenderthankstoGodafterhavingreceivedthefruitsoftheearthandtoofferhimthesacrifice ofmercywiththeimmolationoffast.Leteachonerejoiceinthecopiousnessoftheharvest...butinsuchawaythateventhepoorrejoiceinitsabundance....Letallmakeaccount oftheirrichesandthosewhohavemoregivemore.Lettheabstinenceofthefaithfulbecomethenourishmentofthepoorandlettheindigentreceivethatwhichothersgiveup. POPELEOTHEGREAT (FIFTHCENTURY)1

FoodsymbolizedmanythingstomedievalChristians.ButthemostimportantChristianfoodpracticeswerefastingandeucharist.Christiansmaleandfemalepaid tributetoGodspowerandacknowledgedtheirownsinfulnessbyrenouncingfood.AndChristiansmaleandfemalereceivedtheirGodmostintimatelyinthatholymeal inwhichhebecamebreadandwine. Therootsoflatemedievaleucharisticpietyandfoodasceticismlieintheearlychurch.WhenthemedievalauthorsBernardofClairvaux,MechtildofMagdeburg, Hadewijch,andJohnTaulerspokeofeatingandbeingeatenbyGod,2 theirlanguageechoedwordsvoicedcenturiesbefore.AugustineofHippo(d.430)andHilary ofPoitiers(d.367)hadsaidthatweareallpresentinthesacrificeandResurrectionofthecross,thatChrist,indying,digestsandassimilatesus,makingusnewfleshin hisflesh.3 WhenAlanofLille(d.1203)wroteinhisSummaforpreachersthatafaster"musttakelittlefoodatmealssothatpartcangototheneedsofhisneighbor", hewasrepeatinginlessresonantandexpansivelanguageLeotheGreat'sexhortationtoChristians(quotedabove)tocoupleabstinencewithalmsgiving.4 when ThomasAquinas(d.1274)

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discussedfastingandabstinenceinhisSummatheologiae,hecarefullyexaminedthepatristicnotionthathumankindfellfromparadisethroughthesinofgluttony.5 Thereisatleastsuperficialsimilaritybetweenthefoodmetaphorsemployedbypatristicpoetsandthoseoflatemedievaleucharistichymns.Thehymnusedfor MondayLaudsandattributedtoAmbrose(d.397)reads:


Christusquenobissitcibus, potusquenostersitfides laetibibmussobriam ebrietatemSpiritus. (LetChristbeourfoodandfaithourdrinkletushappilydrinkthesoberinebriationofthespirit.)6

ThegreateucharistichymnonceattributedtoInnocentIV(d.1254),theAveverumcorpus,echoessuchimagery:
Aveverumcorpus,natum/exMariavirgine, Verepassum,immolatum/incruceprohomine, Cujuslatusperforatum/verofluxitsanguine, Estonobispraegustatum/mortisinexamine. (Hailtruebody,bornofMarytheVirgin,thattrulysufferedandwasofferedassacrificeonthecrossforhumankind,andfromwhosepiercedsidepouredforthrealblood.Betous intheextremityofdeathaforetaste[ofheaven].)7

Downthroughthecenturies,eatingandfastinghavebeentoChristianscomplexsymbolsandcomplexacts. YetthereligioussignificanceoffastandfoodchangedgreatlybetweenthedaysoftheearlychurchandthelaterMiddleAges.Bythefourteenthcenturythegreatfasts thatintheearlydayshadboundthechurchintoacommunitybecamemattersforattenuationanddispensation.Communion,onceacommunalmealandtheheartof themass,becameseparatedfromconsecrationdevotionpivotedincreasinglynotaroundeatingthehostbutaroundthemomentatwhichtheelementsofbreadand winebecame,inthehandsofthepriest,Christ'sbodyandblood.Christ'sfastinthegardenandhissacrificeonthecrosswerespokenoflessaspartofacosmic dramainwhichhellwasforcedtovomitforththeindigestiblebreadofChristthanasmomentsofterriblesufferingthatgavesignificancetoallhumanexperience becausethemanwho

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sufferedwasGod.Abstinencewasseenlessasselfcontrol,offeredtoGodinpropitiationforAdam'ssinofgreedanddisobedience,thanasaneversatedphysical hungerthatmirrorsandrecapitulatesinbodilyagonybothChrist'ssufferingonthecrossandthesoul'sunquenchablethirstformysticalunion.Thebreadofheaven, whichtoCyprian(d.258)symbolizedthechurch,8 wasreplacedinlatemedievalhymns,poems,andpaintingsbythefleshofChrist,rippedopenandspillingforth pulsatingstreamsofinsistent,scarletblood,towashandfeedtheindividualhungrysoul. Inordertounderstandwhyfoodwassoimportantasymboltolatemedievalwomen,wemustfirstlookathowthereligioussignificanceoffoodchangedforall WesternChristiansinthehighMiddleAges.Wemustexaminehowfastingchangedinmeaningandcontextandhowboththeritualofthemassandthetheologyofthe eucharistalteredaswell. FastinginAntiquityandtheHighMiddleAges ToaChristianoftheMediterraneanworldinthefourthcentury,feastandfastdefinedthechurch.FastingandSundayeucharistwerewhateveryonehadincommon. Toreceivethebreadandwineofcommunionwasnotonlytobemysticallyandindividuallyfedwiththebreadofheaven,itwasalsotobepresentatasacrificethat wasthevictoryandtriumphofthechurch,adeaththatwassimultaneouslygloryandresurrection.Itwas,inCyprian'swords,tobeunitedwithone'sfellowChristians asthegrainsofwheatareunitedintheloafofbread.TofasteitherinpreparationforthisSundaymeal,inLentenanticipationofthecomingofthebridegroom,orin seasonalresponsetotheharvestwastojoinwithscarcityinorderthatplentymightcome.Tofastwas,asGregorytheGreatexplained,tooffertoGodatitheofthe year.9 Itwastoembracehunger,tojoinwiththevulnerabilitytofaminethatthreatenedalllivingthings,inordertoinducefromthecreatorandproviderofblessingsthe giftsoffertility,plenty,andsalvation.Itwaseven,asLeotheGreatstressed,tojoinoneselfwiththecharityandfertilityofGod:fastingprovidedthealmsthatfedone's neighbor.Indeed,infasting,"Christisfed"(asbothLeoandJohnChrysostomsaid),forwhatonedeniedtooneselfinfastwasgiventoChrist'sownbody,

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hischurch.10ThusfastandfeastnotonlyjoinedChristiantoChristiantheyjoinedChristiantotherhythmofnatureaswell. Fastandfeast,inthissense,arefoundinmanyreligions.Anthropologistsandstudentsofcomparativereligion,whooncelookedforasinglecauseormotivefor religiousresponses,arenowcontenttoseemanycomplexstrandsinfastingbehavior.Butitseemsclearthatinpreindustrialsocieties,whereresourcesarelimited, menandwomenfrequentlyrespondtotherhythmofplentyandscarcity,harvestandfamine,bydecidingtocontrolitthroughvoluntaryfastingandbelievethatthey caninthiswaycoercefromthegodsdreamsandvisions,health,goodfortune,orfertility.11Theearliestformsoffastingwereoftenconnectedwithfertilitycults,with goddesses,andwithwomen'sphysiologicalprocesses.12Penitentialorpropitiatoryfastingseemstoarisefromthissenseofnature'srhythm:ifnatureerraticallyand unpredictablyhumblesonethroughhunger,onemaypunishorhumiliateoneselfbeforeGodthroughsimilarhumbling.Thissenseoffoodasasignofvulnerability,a reminder(throughflatulenceandhungerpangs)ofthetollthebodycanexact,canleadtotheasceticimpulsethedesiretodefycorporeallimitsbydenyingbodily needs.Suchanunderstandingoffoodabstentionasinducementoffertility,aspenitence,andasflightfrommatterwaspresentintheMediterraneanworldbeforethe comingofChristianity.13Noristhesenseoffastasanactivitythatbindspeopletooneanotherandtonaturesurprisinginaworldwhoseliferhythmswerestill determinedbytheseasonalrhythmsoftheearth.Nomatterhowlargeandcosmopolitansomeancientcitiesbecame,theywerelessproducersofwealththrough commerceandindustrythangiganticparasitesonthecountryside,asdependentontheharvestasanycountryvillage. TherearereferencestofastinginearlyChristiantexts.TheScripturesthemselves,bothOldandNewTestaments,providedsomemodels.Butfastingasanimportant religiousbehavior,definingtheChristiancommunityandsignalingtheindividual'spurityofheartbeforeGod,didnotemergeclearlyuntilthelatethirdandearlyfourth centuries.14Inearlyreferencestobothindividualandcorporatefasts,manymotivesintermingle.Fasting(e.g.,thefastbeforebaptism)couldbereligiouspreparationit couldbepurificationorexorcismofevilspiritsitcouldexpressmourningforthedepartureofthebridegroom(as,e.g.,inthefastoftwoorthreedaysbeforeEaster). Itwasalsoameritoriouswork

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forGodandneighbor.Moreover,fastingcouldbepenitential.AsithadbeenfortheancientHebrews,foodabstentionwasanexpressionofgriefandrepentance,a pleafordeliverancefromsometestorchastisement,asignofconfidenceinGod'smercy,anintercessionandapreparationformeetingGod.Assuch,fastingwas intenselycorporate,acompaniontoprayerandalmsgiving,arecapitulationofaswellasapreparationfortheeucharisticsacrifice.Byfasting,theChristianjoinedwith Christ,who,inthegardenandonthecross,kepttheruleofabstinencethatAdamhadviolatedinparadiseandbecamehimselfsacrificialfood,propitiatingGodand savingsinners.AugustinewroteinaLentensermon:


Alms,inGreek,isthesameasthewordformercy.Andcanoneconceiveofagreatermercythanthatwhichcamedownfromthesky...?EqualtotheFatherineternity,hemade himselfequalwithusinmortality....Breadhimself,heexperiencedhungertotallysatisfied,heexperiencedthirsthealthitself,hemadehimselfweak...andallthistonourishour hunger,irrigateourdryness,succorourinfirmity....Sohecommandsus,throughalms,togivebreadtothosewhohunger...toreceivethestranger,althoughhe[Christ]cameto usandwedidnotreceivehim....Andsoletoursoulspraisehim...letusgivealmsoften.15

Connectingfastingexplicitlytocharity,Augustinealsoexhortedhisreaders:
Aboveallbemindfulofthepoorsothatyoulayupintheheavenlytreasurywhatyouwithholdfromyourselvesbyamorefrugalmodeoflife.ThehungryChristwillreceivethat fromwhichthefastingChristianabstains.16

Augustine'scontemporaryMaximusofTurin(d.ca.420)wrote:"Whatthefirstmanlostbyeating,thesecondAdamrecoveredbyfasting.Andhekeptinthedesert thelawofabstinencegiveninparadise."17HymnsattributedtoGregorytheGreat(d.604)andstillusedbytheRomanCatholicchurchduringLentexpressthissense of"fruitfulfast,"offastasselfcontrolthatenablesonetopropitiateGodandaidone'sneighbor:


Siccorpusextraconteri donaperabstinentiam, ieiunetutmenssobria alabeprorsuscriminum. Praesta,beataTrinitas, concede,simplexunitas,

Page36 utfructuosasinttuis ieiuniorummunera. (Thusgrantthatthebodybesubjectedfromwithoutbyabstinenceinorderthatthesobermindmayfastcompletelyfromthestainofsin.Grant,blessedTrinityandundivided Unity,thatthesacrificeoffastsmaybefruitfultoyourservants.)18

Intheseventhcentury,IsidoreofSeville,whosummarizedmuchofpatristictradition,spokeoffastingasunionwiththeangels:"Fastisaholything,aheavenlywork, thedoorwaytothekingdom,theformofthefuture,forhewhocarriesitoutinaholywayisunitedtoGod,exiledfromtheworld,andmadespiritual."19 AsthepassagefromIsidoresuggests,thefastoftheearlychurchwasnotmerelythefastofmourning,propitiation,purification,andpenitence.Itwasnotmerelya shadowofthecommunityofheaven.Itwasalsoascetic.PatristicwritersthemselvescitednotonlytheOldTestamentmodelsofDavid,Esther,andJudith,whoby fastingofferedpureheartstoGod,butalsoclassicalstoriesofthewondrousabstentionsofEpimenidesandPythagoras.AsRudolphArbesmannhassaid:"Inthe backgroundtherealways[loomed]thevisionofanidealworldinwhichmanwouldbeabletolivewithoutanyearthlyfood."20Christianwritersdrewsupportfor fastingfrompaganwriters,whohadstressedhygienic,social,andutilitarianmotives.BehindtheChristianpraiseoffastingasawayofmoderatinglust,cleansingthe brainandbody,andpreparingthesoulforGod'sinspirationlayaPythagoreanandneoPlatonicdesiretoescapethebodythatdraggedthespiriteverdownward.In thewordsofClementofAlexandria(d.ca.215):"Fastingemptiesthesoulofmatterandmakesit,withthebody,clearandlightforthereceptionofdivinetruth."21A workattributedtoabbotNilus(d.430)addstotheideathatAdam'ssinwasgluttonythenotionthatmatterweighsdownspirit:
ItwasthedesireoffoodthatspawneddisobedienceitwasthepleasureoftastethatdroveusfromParadise.Luxuryinfooddelightsthegullet,butitbreedsthewormoflicense thatsleepethnot.Anemptystomachpreparesoneforwatchingandprayerthefulloneinducessleep.22

AmidfourthcenturytreatiseforvirginsbytheauthorwecallpseudoAthanasiusargues:"Fasting...curesdisease,driesupthebodilyhumors,putsdemonstoflight, getsridofimpurethoughts,makesthemind

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clearerandtheheartpurer,thebodysanctified,andraisesmantothethroneofGod."23Manypatristicwritersassociatedfoodwithlustandurgedabstinenceasa methodofcurbingsexualdesire.24JohnCassian,writingformonksintheearlyfifthcentury,said:"Itisimpossibletoextinguishthefiresofconcupiscencewithout restrainingthedesiresofthestomach."25Andthatindefatigablepropagandistforasceticism,Jerome(d.420),inaletterofadvicetoawidow,summedupthematter byquotingTerence:"SineCerereetLiberofrigetVenus."26 Fromsuchprecedentsandbeliefscamethegreatcorporatefastsofthechurch.ModeledontheJewishfastsofMondayandThursday,thesocalledstations(the WednesdayandFridayfasts)emergedveryearly,perhapsbeforethesecondcentury.Later,intheWest,SaturdaywasaddedtoFridayasanextrafast(or superpositio)andWednesdayoftendroppedout.ThefastofseveraldaysbeforeEaster,afastofmourningforthosehours"inwhichthespousewastakenaway", alsodevelopedasearlyasthesecondcentury.Lent,orquadragesima,distinctfromthisEasterfastandseenasatimeofpurification,emergedinthefourthcentury duringtheseventhcentury,intheWest,itwasexpandedfromthirtysixtofortydays.AsecondLent(theLentofPentecost,endingonPeterandPaul'sday,June29) emergedintheEastinthefourthcentury.Athirdperiodoffast,beginningNovember14,alsodeveloped,althoughatfirstitwasnotaperiodofanticipationorAdvent, asweknowit,butratheranexpressionofpenitenceofferedattheyear'send.27Fastingwasearlyprescribedasapreparationforbaptismandholycommunionas well,butdirectevidenceforthisusagecomesonlyfromthelatefourthcentury.Thesocalledquarterdays(quattuortempora)latercalledinEnglishEmberDays wereprobablyaddedtothecalendartocounteractandreplacepaganharvestfestivalstheyappearedintheWestinRomeandspreadslowlyduringtheseventh century.28Speciallitaniesandfastsappearedinvariouslocalities,andgraduallytheideaspreadthatthegreatfeastsofthechurchshouldbeprecededbyfasts. Strictlyspeaking,tofastmeanttorefrainfromeating,andtherearestoriesintheearlychurchofmonkssuchasSimeonStylitesgoingwithoutfoodforallofLent.29 ButearlyChristianfoodasceticismwasextremelydiverse.Fastingusuallymeantabstainingentirelyfromcertainfoods(thelistcouldvarygreatly)andlimitingoneselfto asinglemealeachday,takenafterVespers.Abstinencefromparticularfoodsthustendedtofusewithfasting(i.e.,noteating)intoasingleconcept.

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Abstinence,strictlyinterpreted,meantsocalleddryeatingi.e.,takingonlybread,salt,andwater,thoughvegetablesandfruitsweresometimespermitted.Some monasticgroupspracticedmoreorlesspermanentabstinenceofthistype.ThemonksofPachomius'smonasteries,forexample,abstainedfrommeat,wine,andfish throughouttheyear.Someindividuals,particularlyhermits,practicedraweatingi.e.,theyatenocookedfood.Strictdryorraweatingneverbecameanelementof ordinaryChristianfastingintheWest,howeverandWesternmonasticrules(withtheexceptionofIrishones)weregenerallylessausterethanEastern.30The BenedictineRule,forexample,permittedamoderateamountofwineandprohibitedonlythemeatoffourleggedanimals,althoughthemonksateonlyonemealaday formorethanhalftheyear.31 ThethirdandfourthcenturiesthuswitnessedtheemergenceoffastingandabstinenceasextensivecorporatepracticesamongChristians.Bothintheperiodsof temporaryfoodrenunciationurgedbypopesandbishopsonallbelieversandinthelivesofpermanentselfdenialundertakenbymonks,foodabstentionwasagroup practice.Butthesamecenturiesalsosawthebeginningsofvirtuosoperformancesbyindividualascetics.Leadersofcenobiticalorhermitgroups(forexample,Basil) sometimespracticedfargreaterausteritythantheylegislatedfortheirfollowers.32Theverynotionofsuperpositio(theaddedonfast)suggeststhatindividualscould multiplymeritbymultiplyingtheirausterities.Preachersmightcontinuetoinsist,asJohnChrysostomdid,thatfastingisabstinencenotfromfoodalonebutalsofromsin andthat''Christdidnotsay:'CometomebecauseIfasted...,'but'becauseIammeekandhumbleofheart.'"33Still,particularlywithinthemonasticcontext, individualswereincreasinglydeterminedtorootoutthepleasureoffoodbyanymeans.GregoryofNyssa(d.395)describedtasteas"themotherofallvice."34 Origen,Cyril,andBasilallsuggestedthatoneshouldinflictpainononeselfinordertodestroypleasureandtoforcethebodytowardvirtue.35Insomequarters, particularlyEgyptandSyriaand,later,Ireland,competitiveasceticismdeveloped.InPalladius'sHistoriaLausiacawhichismoreahistoricalnovelthanafactual accountbutforexactlythatreasonanexcellentreflectionofwhatnonasceticsadmiredintheirasceticheroesandheroineswelearn,forexample,ofoneMacarius ofAlexandria.WhenheheardthatthemonksofTabennisiatenocookedfoodforallofLent,helivedonrawfoodforsevenyears.Whenheheardthatacertain asceticateonlyapoundofbreadaday,heputhisbreadintoanarrowmouthedjarandlivedonwhathecould

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pulloutinasinglehandful.Andfinally,whenheheardoftheseverefastingofthehermitsintheThebaid,hedecidedtoeatonlyafewcabbageleavesonSundays.36 Femaleasceticsalsopracticedheroicausterities.JohnChrysostomdescribeswomen"whoevenatatenderagegowithoutfoodandsleepanddrink,mortifyingtheir bodies,crucifyingtheirflesh,sleepingontheground,wearingsackcloth,lockedinnarrowcells,sprinklingthemselveswithashesandwearingchains."37 Butforalltheindividualism,competition,andspiritualathleticismofcertainlateantiquemenandwomen,wemustnotforgetthatfastingwasmostbasicallysomething thatbroughtChristianstogetheringratitudeforGod'sgiftoftheharvestinobediencetoGod'scommandofabstinence,violatedintheGardenofEdenbutfulfilled onthecrossincharitytowardtheneighborswhowouldbenefitfromalmsandinforetasteofunionwiththesaintsinheaven.Itisthissenseoffastingandoffoodthat wefindinRomanostheMelodist'sremarkablecollectionofhymnswrittenforlaygatheringsattheendofthefifthorthebeginningofthesixthcentury. Behindthesehymnsliestherhythmoftheseasons,ofscarcityfollowedbyabundance.WritingofEliasandthewidow(3Kings17),Romanosseesfastofferedin reparationfordisobedience.38Thusfastisajoiningwithfamine,death,andhunger.ItisachoosingoflackthatinducesGodtosendplenty:rain,harvest,andlife. Hungerislessdeprivationorsufferingthanvulnerability,andtheimplicationisthatGodwillrespondtovulnerability,toman'schosenlack,withfood.Writingofthe threechildreninthefieryfurnace,thepoetseesabstinenceascoercingselfdenialfromnature.39Thusfireforgetsitsaccustomedrole,becomesa"spring,""watering thechildreninsteadofconsumingthem,""keepingthemlikeavineherharvest."40Man'schoiceofhungerisachoiceofselfcontrol,anditarousesinnaturean answeringselfcontrol.Theangelsays:
Holychildren,hearmywords.IdoasIhavebeenordered,youdoasyouhavebeentaught.AsIholdbacktheflame,youholdbackyourtongues....Donotfear.Thefirewilldo younoevilitwillturnonyourenemies.Ihavegiventheorderthatitfastasyouhavefastedandthatitdevourgreedilythegluttonswhodonotsingwithyou.41

Hymningthemiracleoftheloavesandfishes,Romanosbeginswithaprayerfordeliveryfromfamine,picturestheassembledcrowdfastinginexpectationofthebread ofangels,andthendescribesthemultiplication

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itselfasatypeoftheIncarnation.AstheVirgingavebirthtonewflesh,sothefiveloavesmiraculouslygivebirthtonewbread.42Insharpcontrasttothelatemedieval emphasisonChrist'sbodyasbrokenandbleeding,RomanoswritesoftheIncarnationasfreshbreadthatfeedsthehungrypeopleofGod. WhenRomanosspeaksoftheCrucifixionandResurrection,hisimageis,onceagain,ofbread.Ingraphicallyphysicallanguage,hespeaksofAdamwaitinginhell"as theearthwaitsforrain",whilehellexultsthatithasdevouredChristasitearlierdevouredsinfulhumanity.43ButAdamanswers:


Heenduredmypunishmentforme,bearingmyflesh.Hewhomthecherubimdidnotdaretolookatwaspiercedformeinthesideandthewaterthatpoureddownputoutmy torment.HewhomyoubelieveyouwillholdbecauseheisamanyouwilldevourbecauseheismortalbutasheisGodyouwillvomithimupafterthreedays.44

ThefoodmetaphorsinRomanosareanexpressionofcosmicdrama.Jesusisthe"celestialbread"thathell"cannotdigest".(Inanotherhymn,Jesusforceshelltoempty itsbowelswhenheraisesLazarusfromthedead.)45Insatiable,devouringhungerisevil,desirerunoutofcontrol,thegreedcharacteristicofhellandSatan.Butif humanhungeriscontrolled,itwillbemetwiththebreadofheaven,newfleshtoredeemthefleshofAdam.Thereisherenoneofthelatemedievalsensethatman imitatesthecrossinsuffering,nosenseoflimitlesshungerasametaphorfortheChristiandesireforGod.Butaroundthefastoftheindividualworshipercirclesa fastingcommunity,anaturalorderwithitsowncyclesofwantandplenty,andevenacosmicdramainwhichthebreadthatChristbecameattheLastSupperandon thecrosspurgeshellitself.46Itisthisnatural,corporate,andcosmiccontextthatfellawayfromfastinginthelaterMiddleAges,leavingthefoodasceticismofheroic individualstobecomemoreandmoreextreme. ThroughouttheMiddleAges,theLentenfastsandweeklyfastdays,especiallyFridays,remainedbasicmarksoftheChristian.47Inthethirteenthandfourteenth centuriesaChristianwas,asaminimaldefinition,someonewhoreceivedyearlycommunion,fastedonFridaysandinLent,paidtithes,andhadhisorherchildren baptized.Inthefollowingstoryfromatwelfthcenturychronicle,wecanseethewayinwhichfoodpracticesdefinedtheChristian.OneofthebastardsonsofArnold theElder,founderofthelineofArdres,becamea"Saracen"intheEast.

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Hewas,however,acceptedbackintohisfather'shousewhenhereturned.ItwasonlywhenheinsistedoneatingmeatonFridaythatthefullimpactofhisapostasy wasbroughthome,andthefamilykickedhimout.ToviolatetheFridayfastwastheclearest,mostvisiblewayofrejectingthefaith.48 Medievalcookbookssuggestthatthearistocracyobservedfastingstrictly,iflegalistically.Meatdayandfishdayrecipeswerenotseparatedinmedievalrecipe collections,astheywereinlater,betterorganizedcookbooks.Butthemostbasicdishesweregiveninfastdayaswellasordinarydayversions.Forexample,athin splitpeapure,sometimesenrichedwithfishstockoralmondmilk(producedbysimmeringgroundalmondsinwater),replacedmeatbrothonfastdaysandalmond milkwasageneral(andexpensive)substituteforcow'smilk.49 Bythethirteenthcentury,however,theunderstandingoffastandabstinenceputforwardbycanonlawyersandtheologianswasamuchattenuatedversionoftheideals oftheancientwriters.50TheLentenfastwasnowunderstoodtoterminatenotatVespersbutatNonebythefourteenthcenturyitterminatedatmidday,andasmall eveningmealwaspermitted.Abstinencewassometimesunderstoodassimplyabstinencefrommeat,althoughitusuallyincludedcertainanimalproducts(especially milkandeggs)aswell.AuthoritiesdiscussedwhichcategoriesofChristianswereexemptfromfasting.ThomasAquinas,forexample,exemptedchildren,theold, pilgrims,workers,andbeggars,butnotthepoorwhohadroofsovertheirheads.51Dispensationsforcertaingroupsandundercertaincircumstancesbecame common.MedievalcookbookssuggestthatthearistocracydinedsumptuouslyonthefishpermittedinLent."Fish"indeedincludedwhale,dolphin,porpoise,andalso beaver'stailandbarnaclegoose(becausebeaversandgeesewerethoughttostaymostofthetimeinwater).Cooksconcoctedimitationeggsfromfishroeandmade "ham"or"bacon"slicesfromdifferenttypesofgroundorshreddedfish.52ThefoodinsomeBenedictinemonasteriesbecameverylavish.Whereastheaverage twelfthorthirteenthcenturyaristocratatemealsoffourorfivecourses,someblackmonksenjoyedasmanyasthirteentosixteencoursesonmajorfeastdays.53 Awareofsuchlegalisticobservance,ThomasAquinasclearlyfearedthatgluttonymighttainttheabstinenceofsomeChristians.Greed,heobserved,includedeating rich,expensivedishesaswellaseatingtoomuchfoodorfoodprohibitedbythechurch.54 WhilethefastingrequirementsforordinaryChristiansandBenedic

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tinemonksgrewlessstringent,however,somenewmonasteriesadoptedextraordinaryrigor.MonasticfastinghadalmostdisappearedinthecentralMiddleAges, withtheadditionofmanyfeastdaystothecalendar,butthenewordersoftheeleventhandtwelfthcenturiesturnedtoincreasedausterities.55Thefoodasceticismof eleventhcenturyItalianhermits,forexample,imitatedandequaledthatoftheearlymonksofSyria,andpropagandistssuchasPeterDamianspreadtheirfame.The newordersnotonlypracticedgreaterausterity,theyalsodefinedanddifferentiatedthemselvesinpartbytheirparticularrulesofabstinence.TheCistercians,for example,addedtotheBenedictineRuleafastofbreadandwateronFridaysinLent.TheCarthusians,whofastedthreetimesaweekonbread,water,andsalt(with permission),cameovertimetodefinetheirperpetualabstinencefrommeat(evenforthesick)assocrucialacharacteristicoftheorderthatviolationofthisprohibition meantexpulsion.Buttheearlyausterityofmanyorders,suchasthePremonstratensiansandDominicans,waslaterrelaxed,sometimestobefollowedafterhundreds ofyearsbyreformmovementsthatreturnedtotheearlierstrictness.(TheTrappistswhoreformedtheCisterciansintheseventeenthcentury,forexample,rejectedthe fourteenthcenturyrelaxation.)56 Whatchangedmostoverthelongperiodfromthesixthtothetwelfthcenturywasthetoneofthediscussionbypreachers,lawyers,andtheologians.Asfoodbecame increasinglyamatteroflegislationanddispensation,concernwiththeabusesoflegalismandliteralismalsogrew.Thirteenthandfourteenthcenturywriters,busy definingexactlywhoshouldfastwhen,urgedspiritualmorethanphysicalabstinence.Theystressedtheneedformoderationinobservance.57Andrenunciation whetheroffoodorofvicewasinvariablyseenasmoresignificantfortheindividualsoulinitsinmostrecessesthanforthecommunity. WefindsuchaninterpretationoffoodasceticisminoneoftheadditionstotheVitismystica(TheMysticalVine)ofBonaventure(d.1274):
Thevirtueofabstinenceisintwoparts.Oneiswithin,inthemindtheotherwithout,inbehavior.Andthatwhichisinthemindistobeobservedalways,butthatwhichisin behavioristobedisplayedaccordingtocircumstances.IndeedJohn,whowasapureman,practicedabstinenceasmuchinmindasinbodyinorderthathenotbedespisedbut Jesus,whoistrulyourhumanity[homonosterverus],whowasincapableofsin,

Page43 usedfoodanddrinkforatime....Norshouldyoubelieveinanywaythatitisagreatervirtuetoabstainfromfoodthantomakeuseoffoodinmoderation.58

ThemonasticwriterPeterofCelle(d.1183),inasermononfasting,alsoexplainedthatonecanfastfromfoodandfromevil.Abstinencefromevilmustneverbe relaxed,butabstinencefromfoodcanbe.Fasting,hewrote,"isrightlydonewhenitisdonetowipeoutvicesforthefullnessoffoodheatsupthebody."59Ina treatiseforpreachers,PetertheChanter(d.1197)explained:


Paulthefirsthermitalwaysfasted,andbreadwassenttohimfromtheskies....AndJeromewascontentwithmeanvegetables,bread,andwater.Butthishardestfastwearenot capableofbecauseofourcorruption.Letourobservanceberational,forwedonotwanttobedespoiledbut,rather,clothed.Forthreethingsarenecessarytotheass[i.e.,the body]:food,thatitbesustainedtherod,lestitbestubbornburdens,thatitmaybeusefultoitsmaster.Concerningthefirst,itissaid:"Noonehateshisownbody"[Eph.5:29], foritiscreatedbyGod,notbythedevil,asManichaeussaid....Butconcerningthesecond,theapostlesaid:"Ichastisemybody..."[ICor.9:27].Andconcerningthethird,he said:"Bearoneanother'sburdens"[Gal.6:2].60

Fastingwasattimesalmostcompletelyallegorizedorspiritualized.Forexample,thegreatmonasticreformerBernardofClairvaux,whohimselfpracticedsevere abstinence,wroteinaLentensermon:
Howcanonebe,Ishallnotsayamonk,butaChristian,whodoesnotfast,whenChristgaveusthepractice?ForifChristfasted,itwastogiveusanexample....ForLentisa sacramentofalltime[andfastingasignofallabstinence].Ifonlythetonguesinned,thenitonlywouldfast,andthatwouldsuffice.Buttheothermemberssin.[Sotheymust fast.]...Theeyesshouldfastfromcuriosity...,theearsfromtalesandrumors,thetonguefromdetractionandmurmuringandfromvainandscurrilouswords,...thehandsfrom lazysignsandfromallunnecessarybusynessbutmostofall,thesoulfromvicesandthewillfromitsowndesire.61

HenrySuso,oneofthemostextravagantlyasceticoffourteenthcenturysaints,warned:
Inreadingthelivesoftheancientfathersourlukewarmbloodcurdlesatthethoughtoftheirausterities,butweremainstrangelyunimpressedby

Page44 theessentialpoint,namely,theirdeterminationtodoGod'swillinallthings,painfulorpleasant.ThesemenoffirethoughtitpossibletodotheimpossiblewhenhelpedbyGod.... However,wemustnotforgetthatsomeoftheseancientfathersdidnotpracticeseverebodilyausteritiesandneverthelessattainedgreatholinessoflife.62

Aboveall,wesenseinthetheologiansofthetwelfthtothefourteenthcenturyanefforttogivenotonlyprecisiontorulesbutalsodignityandspiritualsignificancetothe practiceofawidespectrumofChristians.InthechapteronfastinginhisSummaforpreachers,AlanofLillearguedthatabstinencemustbeinnerandouter,thatmere obediencetothelawisnotenough.Simplygoingwithoutfood,asthesickdo,ismorallyindifferent."Fastmaceratestheflesh,elevatesthesoul,restrainsthesparkof concupiscence,andexcitesreason....Forwhatcanitprofitifthemouthrejectsfoodwhilethetonguelapsesintomendacity?"Alanretainssomesensethatpractice bindsChristianstogetherandhassocialsignificance.HearguesthatbyfastingtheChristiangainsheaven,repairsthesinsofhisancestors,preparesforeucharist,and givesalmstothepoor.ButAlan'semphasisisonpersonaldevotionandindividualobservance:


Fastismedicinetosoulandbody.Itpreservesthebodyfromdisease,thesoulfromsin.Aboutitsmedicinaleffects,earthlyandheavenlyphilosophyagree.IfAdamhadfastedin paradise...,hewouldnothavebeenexiledintodamnation.IfEsauhadfasted...,hewouldnothavelosthisbirthright.IfNoahhadfasted...,hewouldnothavelosthis modesty.Therefore,throughfastingthebodyispurgedthatitmayreceivetheeucharistsacramentally,andthespiritthatitmayreceiveitspiritually....Andthreethingsshould informfasting:goodintention,almsgiving,andlove....Ohman,considertheFathers,whoateonlyonceortwiceaweek....Butifyouarenotmovedbyancientexamples,be movedatleastbythetaleofSt.Nicholasthebaby,whotookonlyonebreastontheWednesdayandFridayfasts.Andletnotadultsblushtofastwhentheyseewhatchildren havedone.63

ThomasAquinas'sextendedtreatmentofabstinenceintheSummatheologiae,writtensomeyearslater,soundsasimilarnote.Stressingmoderation,Thomasquotes Jerome,whosaid:"Byeatingandsleepingtoolittleyouareofferingasacrificeofstolengoods....Rationalmanforfeitshisdignityifhesetsfastingbeforechastity,or nightwatchingbe

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forethewellbeingofhissenses."AndThomasexplainsthisbysaying:"Rightreasondoesnotrefusefoodtotheextentofrenderingusincapableofdischargingour duties."Thegoaloffastingistobridlelust(whichisparticularlyexcitedbymeat),tomakesatisfactionforsin,andtohelpthemindrisefromearthtoheaven.Like Alan,Thomashassomesenseofthesocialsignificanceoffastingandofitscorporatesetting.ButinhisdiscussionoftheEmberDays(whichPopeLeoIsawasa sacrificeofferedinreturnforanabundantharvest),weseehowmuchthenotionofChristendomhaschanged.ToThomas,fastingisappointedonthequarterdays becausetheyaretimesofordination,atwhich"boththeordainerandthecandidatesforordinationandeventhewholepeople,forwhosegoodtheyareordained," abstaininordertobeready.64ThusthefastunitesnotaChristiancommunitytotherhythmsofnaturebutapeopletoitsleader,thepriest.Andthisleaderstandsfor thepeopleinhiseatingaswellashisnoteating.ThomasAquinas,likeotherthirteenthandfourteenthcenturytheologians,sawthepriestinthemassasreceivingfor thepeopleanideathatbecameoneamongseveraljustificationsforwithdrawingthecupfromthelaity.65 ThissamesenseofthesignificanceofrulesandofaChristiancommunitysubsumedinthepriesthoodreverberatesinthegreathymnsforCorpusChristithatare associatedwithAquinas'sname.Againandagain,thepoetsingsofaChristwho"obeysfullythelawconcerningfood[i.e.,thePassoverritual]andgiveshimselfas foodwithhisownhands,"who"gavehisbrothersthelambandtheunleavenedbread,accordingtothelawofourforefathers.'"66Againandagainhestressesthe comingofthewholeChristtotheindividualChristian,whoseesbyfaiththebodyandbloodinthefragmentofbread.ButevenashepraisesthemagnanimityofaGod whogiveshimselfintothehandsandteethofthelowly,heunderlinesthatthegivingandtheunioncomethroughthepowerofpriests:
Sicsacrificium Istudinstituit, Cujusofficium Committivoluit Solispresbyteris, Quibussiccongruit Utsumantetdentceteris.

Page46 Panisangelicus Fitpanishominum: Datpaniscaelicus Figuristerminum: Oresmirabilis: ManducatDominum Pauper,servus,ethumilis. (Soheinstitutedthesacrificeandwishedittobeperformedonlybypriests,thatpriestsreceiveitthemselvesandgiveittoothers.Thebreadofheavenbecomesman'sbreadthe breadofheavenputsanendtotypes[i.e.,foreshadowings].Ohwhatamarvelousthing!Thepoorman,theservant,thelowlypersoneatsGod.)67

Aglanceattwelfthtofourteenthcenturyexemplamoraltalesusedbypreacherstoeducatebothmonasticandlayaudiencestellsthestoryofattenuatingpractice. OfthirteenexemplaconcerningabstinencelistedinTubach'srecentindex,fivesimplyurgethepractice,twoareattacksonhypocrisy,andthreeurgemoderation.Of thirtythreestoriesthatconcernfasting,onlyfifteenreallyadvocateitorexpressadmirationforasceticfeats(andseveralofthesestoriesaremerelyrepeatedfrom patristictexts).Twotalesstressthedifficultyoffastingsevenurgetheavoidanceofhypocrisyorpreferaninner,spiritualresponsetolegalisticobservancesixadvise moderation.Thereisastrongnoteofwarningagainstnotonlyexcessbutfraudandselfdelusionaswell.Abstinenceisseenasausefultoolforconqueringlustand,in onecase,forconvertingordefeatinghereticsbutnotaleplacesthepracticewithinacosmicdrama,concernsagroupfast(beyondonepatristicstoryofagroupof hermits),speaksofmourningorofthepenitenceoftheChristiancommunity,orsuggeststhatfastingshouldissueinalmsgiving.Practiceisoftenallegorizedor spiritualized.Gossipingissaidtobeworsethanbreakingfastfeedingthepoorisbetterthanobservingit.Weareeventoldofmonkswhobreaktheirfastoutof charityinordernottoscandalizetheirneighborsortaxthembeyondtheirstrength. Amongtheexemplathatdealwithfood,noclearpatternemerges.Afewtalesexpressabhorrenceofstealingorhoardingfood,seefastingasinducingmiracles,or connectholinessandfoodmultiplication.Butwhenwelistentothevoicesofthesepreachers,wehearnoinsistentconcernwitheatingeitherastheactnecessaryfor survivalorasa

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metaphorforthewayinwhichGodismet.68Asintreatisesandhymns,sotoointhesemoraltalesforordinaryChristians,weseemtoseeachurchstrainingto enforceminimumobservance.Yetwealsoseeanefforttogivesuchobservanceadignifiedmeaningsensitivetotheneedsofindividuallivesandtemperaments,sothat hypocrisyandselfdelusionmaybeavoided,spiritualgrowthmayabound. Asinthethirdandfourthcenturies,however,therewerethoseinthelaterMiddleAgestowhomsuchcounselseemedweakness.Theyrespondedtothepastoral concernoftheologiansandlawyerswithapassionateconvictionthatevilwasdarkerthanthemoderatessupposedandcouldberootedoutonlybydrasticmeans.The majorityofthesenewvirtuosiwerewomen.Insomewaystheymaybeseenasrespondingtoatwelfthandthirteenthcentury"triumphofChristianity"asstrikingas thetriumphofthefourthcentury.Likeearlyascetics,theyfoundonlycompromiseandfailureinachurchcharacterizedbyanewbureaucracy,anewdefinitionofitself, anewpastoralpolicy,anewability(throughtherequirementofyearlycommunionandconfession)totouchordinaryChristians,andnew,minimalrequirementsfor observance.WordssuchasthoseoftheVitismystica"Norshouldyoubelieveinanywaythatitisagreatervirtuetoabstainfromfoodthantomakeuseoffoodin moderation"musthaveannoyedsomepeopleeveniftheycomfortedothers.SuchChristiansresponded,astheyhadinthefourthcentury,withextravagant asceticism,ahauntingsenseofhumanevilandalienation,andatheologyofsacrificeandselfsacrifice.69Theyrevivedancientmodels,citingJeromeontheconnection betweenfoodandlust,competingwiththeDesertFathersinmarathonfasts.Theyalsostruggledtorecreateintheirliveswhattheycouldnotquitefindin contemporarytheology:thecorporatesenseoftheearlychurch.Althoughlatemedievalwomenremainedindividualandoftenidiosyncraticintheirfastingbehavior, theyconnectedfastwithfeedingandabstinencewithfertilityassurelyasLeotheGreathaddone,inaverydifferentcontext. Butthefoodasceticismoflatemedievalpeopleespeciallywomenwasnotmerelyarevivalofthelifeofthedesertorafranticgraspatpurityinthefaceofachurch withmoderaterequirements.Itwasalsoimitationofthecross.ThebasicsignificanceofChrist,andofChristasfood,hadchangedandintheshadowofthischange abstinencetookonnewmeaning.InordertounderstandthenewsenseofJesusassufferingflesh,wemustconsiderthehistoryofeucharisticdevotion.

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AMedievalChange: FromBreadofHeaventotheBodyBroken AlthoughChristiansevolvedafixedliturgyfortheirholymealonlyveryslowly,theeucharistwasby200thecentralactofthechurch:asacrificeofpraiseanda memorialofredemption.ItissignificantthatasinglemealoneconsistingofthetwobasicelementsoftheMediterraneandiet,breadandwinerosetoprominence, fortheolderMediterraneantraditionsoffeastinglastedthroughouttheMiddleAges,invariousformsofcarnival.70NotalltheFathersagreedwithAugustine,who triedtoeliminatebanquetsanddrunkenrevelryfromthefestivalsofthemartyrs.71ThemissionarieswhocarriedChristianitytothenorthernlandspermittedlavish mealsonsaints'days,aslongasthemeatwasnotsacrificedtotheoldgods.72 ButthecentralChristianmealwasnotthecarnival,notthebacchanal,notanexuberantrevelexpressingabundanceandfertility.73Thecentralmeal,thecentral liturgicalact,wasafrugalrepast,evokinglesstheluxurious,proliferatingrichnessofthenaturalworldthanthehumanlifeitsupported.Indeed,Christhadsaiditwas humanlife,wasbodyandblood.Fromtheverybeginningtheeucharisticelementsstoodprimarilynotfornature,forgrainandgrape,butforhumanbeingsboundinto communitybycommensality. EarlyChristianwriterssawtheeucharistasspiritualrefreshmentandasapledgeofthechurch'sunity,asthebreadofheavenandtheonebodyofChrist.74For example,theSyriacwriterEphremofNisibis(d.373)linkedtheeucharistwiththechurchnotsomuchbecauseheexplicitlyidentifiedthechurchwithChrist'sbodyas becausehesawtheeucharistinthechurchunitingChristians:
Andbecausehe[Christ]lovedhisChurchgreatly hedidnotgiveherthemannaofherrival HebecametheBreadofLife forhertoeathim.

LikeCyprianearlierandRomanostheMelodistlater,Ephremsawinbreadapowerfulsymbolofmany(fragments,crumbs,loaves,etc.)unitedintooneandagraphic pledgeoftheresurrection:
Hisbread,beyonddispute, bearswitnesstoourresurrection,

Page49 for[if]heblessedthefood, howmuchmorethosewhoeat! Inthetwelveloaves whichheblessedandmultiplied, heblessedandmultipliedhisTwelve. Andhetookbreadandbrokeit, another,onlyone[loaf], thesymbolofthebody, theOnlybegotten,[born]ofMary.75

TheanthropologistGillianFeeleyHarnikhasrecentlypointedoutthattheearlyChristiansnotonlytookoverJewishnotionsoffoodastheembodimentofGod's wisdombutalsosignaledanexpansionofcommunitybyexpandingcommensality.FromtheChristianpassovernolongeraprivate,domesticmealnonewas excluded.Richandpoor,JewandGentile,cowardandhero,allcelebratedtogether.EatingChrist'sbodywasaninclusiveact,onethatcreatedcommunity.76 Forallthetalkofsignandsacrament,typeandsymbol,noearlywriterdoubtedthatasacredrealitylaybehindthebreadandwineandinthethirdandfourth centuriesincreasingcarewastakenoftheelementsthemselvesasthe''bodyoftheLord."77AsanearlyEasterhymn(fourthtosixthcentury)expressesit:


Adcenamagniprouidi, ........... Cuiussacrumcorpusculum inaracrucistorridum cruorecuiusroseo gustandouiuimusDeo. .......... iampaschanostrumChristusest, quiinmolatusagnusest sinceritatisazyma caroeiusoblataest. ([Weare]lookingforwardtothesupperofthelamb...whosesacredbodyisroastedonthealtarofthecross.Bydrinkinghisrosyblood,welivewithGod....NowChristisour passover,oursacrificiallambHisflesh,theunleavenedbreadofsincerity,isofferedup.)78

OrasaslightlylaterIrishhymnputsit:

Page50 Sanctiuenite,Christicorpussumite, sanctumbibentes,quoredemptisanguinem. saluatiChristicorporeetsanguine, aquorefectilaudesdicamusDeo. hocsacramentocorporisetsanguinis omnesexutiabinfernifaucibus. ............... prouniversisinmolatusDominus ipsesacerdosexstititethostia .............. caelestempanemdatesurientibus, defonteuiuopraebetsitientibus. (Come,holypeople,eatthebodyofChrist,drinkingtheholybloodbywhichyouareredeemed.WehavebeensavedbyChrist'sbodyandbloodhavingfeastedonit,letusgive thankstoGod.Allhavebeenrescuedfromthejawsofhellbythissacramentofbodyandblood....TheLord,offeredassacrificeforusall,wasbothpriestandvictim....He givesthecelestialbreadtothehungryandoffersdrinkfromthelivingfountaintothethirsty.)79

ExactlyhowChristwaspresentinthebreadandwinewasnotaquestionthatanimatedearlytheologians.Betweentheninthandtwelfthcenturies,however,itbecame suchaquestion.PreachersandschoolmenarguedoverwhatsortsofmetaphorswereacceptableforexpressingthenatureofGod'spresence.80Themajorityclearly favoredlanguagethatwasfranklyliteralandphysical.WhentheFourthLateranCouncil(1215)statedinphrasesneitherasscholasticnorasAristotelianasthey mighthavebeenthatChristispresentinsubstanceonthealtarattheconsecration,itwasmerelymakingexplicitwhattheologiansandlayfolkhadassumedfor centuries:


Thereisoneuniversalchurchofthefaithful,outsidewhichnooneatallissaved.Inthischurch,JesusChristhimselfisbothpriestandsacrifice,andhisbodyandbloodarereally containedinthesacramentofthealtarunderthespeciesofbreadandwine,thebreadbeingtransubstantiatedintothebodyandthewineintothebloodbythepowerofGod,so thattocarryoutthemysteryofunityweourselvesreceivefromhimthebodyhehimselfreceivesfromus[accipiamusipsidesuo,quodaccepitipsedenostro].81

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Theproliferatingeucharisticmiraclesofthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturiesinwhichthehost,lyingonthepaten,shutawayinthetabernacle,orraisedonhighinthe priest'shands,turnedvisiblyintoChristwerenot(assomehaveargued)theresultofthedoctrineoftransubstantiation.Rather,theywereanexpressionofthesortof pietythatmadesuchdoctrinaldefinitionseemobviouslytrue.82AsPeterofPoitiers(d.1205)putit:Christispresentbeneaththeveilofthespecies"likeahandina glove."PetertheChanterevenwentsofarastoask:"Ifweconcede,withoutreservation,thatthebodyofChristiseaten,asAugustinesays,whynotsayabsolutely thatoneseesGod?"(ButPeterdidnotquitedaretoanswerthat,yes,thefaithfuldoliterallyseeGodthroughtheelementsasthroughatransparentveil.)83 TheconvictionthatGodwaspresentintheeucharistmoreliterallythaninanyothersacrament,thatbehindtheveilofthe"accidents"of"wineredness"or "crumbliness"laythesubstanceofthebodyofGod,raisedcertainproblemsfortheologians.HowcouldthetotusChristusbepresentinphysicalelementsso distressinglyfluidorbreakable?WouldnotthepiousdrawtherisibleconclusionastheyunquestionablydidonoccasionthatlittlebitsofJesusfelloffifcrumbs werespilledorthatonehurtGodbychewingthehost?Desiringtoavoidtheimplication,foundinsomeeleventhandtwelfthcenturysupportersoftherealpresence, thatthefaithfuldoeatlittlepiecesofGod'sflesh,theologianssuchasAquinasaffirmedthatChrist'sentirebodywaspresentineveryparticle.Thushisbodywasnot physicallybrokeninthefractionofthehost.Theyalsoelaboratedthedoctrineof''concomitance"theideathatboththebodyandthebloodofChristarepresentin eachelement.Facedwithgrowingdevotiontothebreadandwinethemselves,exactlybecausethecrumbsanddropsmasked(thinly)thesubstanceofChrist, theologiansstruggledtoretainafirmemphasisonChrist'sbodyasone,becauseonechurchandonehumanityaresavedinit.84IntheCorpusChristihymns associatedwithAquinas,wehearechoingagainandagainnotonlythedoctrineoftransubstantiationbutalsotheinsistenceononeChristintwospecies.Onlythusis totalhumannature(sensualaswellasspiritual)saved:
Verbumcaropanemverumverbocarnemefficit FitquesanguisChristimerumet,sisensusdeficit, Adfirmandumcorsincerumsolafidessufficit.

Page52 (TheWordmadefleshbyawordchangestruebreadintoflesh,andwinebecomesthebloodofChristandifsenseisdeficient[inperceivingthechange],faithalonesufficesto makethesincereheartfirm[inbelievingit].)85 Postagnumtypicum,expletisepulis, Corpusdominicumdatumdiscipulis, Sictotumomnibus,quodtotumsingulis, Ejusfatemurmanibus. (After[theyhadeaten]thelamb,whichisatype[i.e.,aforeshadowing],andwhenthemealwasover,thebodyoftheLordwasgiventothedisciplesinsuchawaythatthewhole wasgiventoallandthewholegiventoeach,andthiswasdonebyhisownhands.)86 Quibussubbinaspecie Carnemdeditetsanguinem Utduplicissubstantiae Totumcibarethominem. ([Tohisdisciples]hegave,undertwospecies,hisfleshandblood,sothatitmightfeedthewholeman,whoisoftwofoldsubstance.)87

Sometimesthehymnsbecomeveritabletheologicaltractates:
Subdiversisspeciebus, Signistantumetnonrebus, Latentreseximiae. Carocibus,sanguispotus, ManettamenChristustotus Subutraquespecie. ........... Fractodemumsacramento Nevacilles,sedmemento Tantumessesubfragmento Quantumtototegitur. (Underthedifferentspecies,whichareonlysigns,notthings[i.e.,realities],liehiddenwonderfulthings.Thefleshisfood,thebloodisdrink,andyetthewholeChristremains undereachspecies....Finally,whenthesacramentisbroken,donotdoubt,butremember:thereisasmuchhiddeninafragmentasinthewhole.)88

Thetheologicalquestionsoftransubstantiationandconcomitancewerenotmerelyschoolroomproblems.Theyarosefromandhadgrave

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implicationsforChristianpractice,asisdemonstratedbyacontroversythateruptedinParisinthelatertwelfthcenturyyearsbeforetransubstantiationwasdefined. ThequestionwaswhetherChristwaspresentfromthemomentofthefirstwordsofinstitution:"Hocestenimcorpusmeum."Sinceabodycannotexistwithoutblood andsincethebloodwasclearlynotyetpresent,thewinenothavingbeenconsecrated,PetertheChanterconcludedthatthebodycouldnotbepresentuntilthewords overthewineweresaid.BothelementswerenecessaryforChristtobepresent.Indeed,Peterheld,bothelementswerenecessaryfortheconsecrationofeitherto occur.If,duringthemass,thepriestdiscoveredthathehadforgottentoputwineinthechalice,hehadtorepeattheentireconsecration. Peter'sargumentmetwithoutragedrebuttalinsermons,intheologicalanalyses,andevenintheglossesprovidedtoaccountsofmiracles.Itannoyedbothlearnedand popularopinion,partlybecauseitranafoulofcommonliturgicalpractice(whichwassimplytofilluptheemptychaliceandgoon)butmostlybecause,asGuyof Orchellessaid,itmadeexistingpietyintoidolatry.Priestandpeoplealikehadbeguntopracticeadorationofthehostfromthemomentofitsconsecration.Ifitwasnot yetChrist,thenthefaithfulwereworshipingflour.WhilenooneinvolveddeniedthattheelementswereinsomesenseChrist'sbodyandblood,theexactmomentof thechangematteredenormouslybecausepeoplewerebehavingasifChristappeared,substantiallyandtotally,inthewaferwhenthewords"Hocestcorpusmeum" weresaid.89 Thisratherminortheologicaldebatereflectsagreatmedievalchange.Bythethirteenthcenturytheeucharist,onceacommunalmealthatboundChristianstogetherand fedthemwiththecomfortofheaven,hadbecomeanobjectofadoration.Thephysicalappearanceoffoodonthealtarwasinfactaveilthroughwhichholyfleshwas spirituallyormysticallyseen.SinceChristarrivedatthemomentofconsecration,notofcommunion,hearrivedinthehandsofthepriestbeforeheappearedonthe tongueoftheindividualbeliever.Whetherornotoneheldortastedthewafer,onecouldmeetChristatthemomentofhisdescentintotheelementsadescentthat paralleledandrecapitulatedtheIncarnation. Despitethenewfocuson"seeing"ratherthan"receiving,"onconsecrationratherthancommunion,medievalmenandwomendidnotlosetheirsenseofthereligious significanceoffoodandhunger,bothasfacts

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andasmetaphors.Ifanything,foodbecameayetmorepowerfulandawefulsymbol,forthebreadandwinethatlayonthealtarwerenowevenmoregraphically seentobeGod.Butthemeaningoffoodandhungerchanged.Topatristicpoetsandtheologians,thefoodonthealtarhadsuggestedthatChristhimselfcameas breadtohungryhumankindorthathe"digested"Christians,bindingthemtohimashisbodyi.e.,thechurch.Hungermeanthumanvulnerability,whichGod comfortedwithfood,oritmeanthumanselfcontrol,adoptedinanefforttokeepGod'scommandments.Inthesermonandsong,theologyandstory,ofthehigh MiddleAges,however,thefoodonthealtarwastheGodwhobecamemanitwasbleedingandbrokenflesh.Hungerwasunquenchabledesireitwassuffering.To eatGod,therefore,wasfinallytobecomesufferingfleshwithhissufferingfleshitwastoimitatethecross. Manychangesinpietysomecomingasearlyastheninthcenturyforeshadowed,accompanied,andreflectedtheshiftfromcommuniontoconsecrationasthefocal pointofdevotion.EarlymedievalChristianshadsometimesreservedthesacramentonthealtarinapyx(forcarryingtothesick)andhadcombineditwithor substituteditforrelicsintheconsecrationofchurches.Perhapsasearlyastheeleventhcentury,atBecandatCanterbury,theyvenerateditwithgenuflection,incense, andprocession.Butthecultofthesacrament,ofdevotiontotheconsecratedhostitself,didnotreallybeginuntilthetwelfthcentury.Itthendevelopedrapidly.The pyxesandreliquariesinwhichthehostwasreservedbecamemoreandmoreelaborate,bothtoprotectthehostfromprofanationandtoallowthefaithfultoadoreit outsidethemass.Lampsandcandleswereburnedbeforeit.Small,usuallycircularopenings(oculi),wereplacedintheexteriorwallsoftheapse,sothatthepious couldlookdirectlyintotheeucharisticchestandveneratethehostfromoutsidethechurch.90FromGermanycomestoriesofknightsandpeasantsgallopingupon horsebacksothatthehorsesmightadoreGodalso,inakindofequinecommunionknownastheUmritt.91Perhapsasearlyastheninthcentury,recluseshadtheir cellsinchurchespositionedsotheycouldadorethehosteachday.92Visitstothehostbeganinthetwelfthcenturysomewriterssuggestedthatsuchvisitsmight substituteforgoingoncrusade. ThefirstevidencefortheelevationofthehostafterconsecrationcomesfromParisabout1200.93Thepracticespreadrapidly,andwithittheconvictionthatseeingthe hosthadspiritualvaluethatitwasa

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"secondsacrament,"alongsidereceiving.Prayerswerecomposedforthemomentofseeing,whichwashonoredbytheringingofbells,genuflection,andincense.By thethirteenthcenturywefindstoriesofpeopleattendingmassonlyforthemomentofelevation,racingfromchurchtochurchtoseeasmanyconsecrationsaspossible, andshoutingatthepriesttoholdthehostuphigher.94Anaccountevensurvivesofguildmembersbringingchargesagainstapriestforassigningthemplacesinchurch fromwhichtheycouldnotseetheelevatedhost.95WhenJohnMarienwerder,DorothyofMontau'sconfessor,wrotehisaccountofhervisionsandteachings,he especiallyemphasizedthesaint'sdevotionto"seeing"Christ:


Thespouse[ofChrist],compelledbytheodorofthisvivifyingsacrament,hadfromherchildhoodtotheendofherlifethedesiretoseetheblessedhost.Andifshemanagedto viewitahundredtimesinoneday,assometimeshappened,shestillretainedthedesiretoviewitmoreoften.96

Thecultoftheeucharistichostwasfullyestablishedbythelatethirteenthcentury,withtheinstitutionin1264ofthefeastofCorpusChristi(revealedtoJulianaof CornillonandlongworkedforbyJulianaandherfriendsEvaofSt.MartinandIsabelleofHuy).97DespitetheintenseeucharisticenthusiasmoftheareaaroundLige, Juliana'shome,thefeastmadelittleheadwayatfirst,inpartbecausesomearguedthataspecialfestivalforChrist'sbodymightimplylessreverenceforitatevery mass.Butafterthefeastwasrepromulgatedin1311/12,andagainin1317,itspreadrapidly.Inthefourteenthcentury,"showing"wasseparatedentirelyfromthe mass,withtheintroductionofthemonstrance,aspecialvesselfordisplayingtheconsecratedwafer.ThehostwasnowcarrieduncoveredinprocessiononCorpus Christiandleftexposedonthealtarforadoration,sometimesfortheentireoctave.Bythefifteenthcenturycertainfeastsendedwiththeexpositionandbenedictionof theblessedsacrament.EvenbeforethepromulgationofCorpusChristi,ordersandconfraternitiesappearedwhosepurposewastopromotethecultofthehostandto makereparationforthesacrilegeofheretics.Onesuchconfraternity,itselfperhapsnotthefirst,wasthegraypenitentsofAvignon,foundedin1226.98 Elevationofthechaliceemergedmoreslowly.ThefeastsoftheSacredHeartandofthePreciousBloodwereestablishedonlyinmoderntimes.Buttherootsofthese festivalsgobacktotheintensedevotionto

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theheartofJesusfoundamongtheSaxonnunsandFlemishholywomenofthethirteenthcentury.99Andasweshallsee,latemedievalspiritualtextswereawashin referencestothebloodofthelamb. Inthemassitself,receptionandconsecrationwereincreasinglyseparated,andtheelementstreatedwithincreasingawe.Moreandmoretherhythmoftheservice itself,theliturgicalpracticessurroundingit,andeventhearchitectureofchurchessuggestedthatGodcame"through"andevenprimarily"to"priests.Intheearlychurch thealtarhadbeenasimpletable,andthepriesthadcelebratedfacingthepeople.Bythetwelfthcenturythealtarstoodagainstthewalloftheapseandwasoften surmountedbyaretable.Across(usuallynotyetacrucifix)andcandlesadornedit.Thepriestcelebratedwithhisbacktothepeople,recitingthecanonofthemassin aninaudiblewhisper,whilethepeopleengagedinallsortsofpersonaldevotions(ordaydreaming)looselyconnectedwiththeceremony.Communionwasgiven before,after,orcompletelyapartfrommass.Monksandnunsmightgotothehighaltarlayfolkusuallyreceivedatthesidealtar,wherethesacramentwassometimes placedbeforehand.Womenhadbeenprohibitedsincethedaysoftheearlychurchfromreceivingintheirbarehands.Fromtheninthcentury,womenandlaymen usuallyreceiveddirectlyonthetongue.BytheeleventhcenturyonlypriestscouldtakeGodintheirhands.100 Moreover,changesinthephysicalelementsthemselvesmadethemseemmoreawesome,magical,andremote.Sincetheninthcenturythewaferhadbeenmadefrom unleavenedbread,perhapsbecauseitadheredmoreeasilytothetonguethandidleavenedbread.Intheearlytwelfthcenturythehostbegantobestampedwith picturesofChristratherthanwiththesimplemonogramscommonearlier.101Inthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturiesthechalicesometimescontainedmerelyadropof thepreciousbloodmixedwithunconsecratedwine(thesocalledlaychalice).Thecupwassometimeswithheldentirely.Inthethirteenthcenturythepeoplewere sometimesofferedsimplyacupofunconsecratedwineforcleansingthemouthaftercommunion.Theinterchangeofthevariouschalicesoftenwentunnoticed,and theologiansarguedoverwhetherthefaithfulshouldbetaughtthattheyreceivedthebodyandbloodinthewaferandmerewineinthechalice,orwhetherthecupofthe laityindeedheldthebloodoftheLord.102ThomasAquinasjustifiedthewithholdingofthecupbypointingoutthatthepriestreceivedbothspecies.103

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Thetheorythatthepriestreceivedforthepeoplewaselaboratedgradually.OttoofBamberg(d.1139)saidthattheconvertedPomeraniansshouldcommunicate throughtheirpriestsiftheycouldnotreceivethemselves.BertholdofRegensburg(d.1272)explainedthatthecommunicatingpriest"nourishesusall,"forheisthe mouthandwearethebody.WilliamDurandustheElder(d.1296)suggestedthatthefaithfulreceivethreetimesayear"becauseofsinfulness"but"priests[receive] dailyforusall."LudolfofSaxony(d.1377)arguedthattheeucharistiscalledourdailybreadbecauseministersreceiveitdailyforthewholecommunity.104 NotonlywasthepriestthechannelthroughwhichGoddescended,hewasalsoseenasassimilatedtoChrist(ortheVirginMary)intheactofconsecration,asdeified atthemomentinwhichGodarrivedbetweenhishands."Ohrevereddignityofpriests,inwhosehandstheSonofGodisincarnatedasintheVirgin'swomb,"readsan oftencitedtwelfthcenturytext.105AndthefollowinglineshavebeenattributedtothewanderingpreacherNorbertofXanten,whofoundedanorderofclerics:


Priest,youarenotyou,becauseyouareGod. Youarenotyours,becauseyouareChrist'sservantandminister. Youarenotofyourselfbecauseyouarenothing. Whatthereforeareyou,ohpriest?Nothingandallthings.106

Intheearlythirteenthcentury,FrancisofAssisiexpressedthesameaweofpriests:
IfitisrighttohonourtheBlessedVirginMarybecausesheborehiminhermostholywombifSt.JohntheBaptisttrembledandwasafraideventotouchChrist'ssacredheadif thetombwherehelayforonlyashorttimeissoveneratedhowholy,andvirtuous,andworthyshouldnotapriestbehetouchesChristwithhisownhands....Apriestreceives himintohisheartandmouthandoffershimtootherstobereceived.107

Astheroleofthepriestwasexalted,thegapbetweenpriestandpeoplewidened.BythelateMiddleAgesinnorthernEurope,elaboratescreenswereconstructedto hidethepriestandthealtar.108Thus,atthepivotalmomentofhiscoming,Christwasseparatedandhiddenfromthecongregationinasanctuarythatenclosed togetherpriestandGod. Insuchanatmosphere,deepambivalencedevelopedaboutthereceptionofcommunion.109Ontheonehand,theologiansandcanonlawyers

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encouragedfrequentreception.TherequirementofatleastyearlyconfessionandcommunionestablishedattheFourthLateranCouncil(1215)wasintendedtoset forthaminimumofobservance.Andanumberofthenewmonasticordersrequiredfrequentcommunion.But,ontheotherhand,theologiansfearedthatfrequent receptionmightleadtolossofreverence,tocarelessness,eventoprofanationoftheelements.Familiaritymightbreedcontempt.AlberttheGreat,forexample,who supportedthepracticeofdailycommunion,arguedagainstitforwomen,fearingthatfrequentreceptionwouldtrivializeresponse.110Theologiansoftenassertedthat abstainingoutofawewasequaltoreceivingwithconfidenceandjoy.QuotingAugustine,theyurgedaninteriorseeingandfeeding,whichbecamethenotionof "spiritualcommunion."111 Facedwithsuchambiguousadvice,manypiouspeopleinthelaterMiddleAgesdeveloped,alongwithafrenziedhungerforthehost,anintensefearofreceivingit. MargaretofCortona,forexample,pledfranticallywithherconfessorforfrequentcommunionbut,whengiventheprivilegebyChrist,abstainedoutofterrorather unworthiness.112GertrudetheGreatexpressedasenseofChristandsacramentastrulyawefulwhenshewrote:


You,whoarethesplendorandthecrownofcelestialglory,youappearedtodescendfromtheimperialthroneofyourmajestywithamovementfullofsweetness,andfloodedthe widthoftheskywithasweetliquorsothatthesaintshastenedtodrink... Andyouaddedthisunderstanding[tothevisionjustrecounted]:thatoneoughttoapproachthesacramentofyourbodyandbloodinsuchloveforyourcommunion(even beyondtheloveforyourglory,ifthatispossible)thatonewouldbewillingtoeatthesacramenttoone'sowncondemnation.113

GertrudetookcomfortforherownfeelingsofunworthinessfromwordsthatGodsupposedlysenttoherwhenshetriedtoexplainwhyafriendabstained:"Iheard your[i.e.,God's]blessedresponse:'Itisimpossiblethatanyonereceivingwithsuchanintention[i.e.,theintentiontoabstainfromfear]couldbeirreverent.'"114 Foralltheterrortheeucharistinspired,however,receptionofGodasfoodbetweenone'slipsremainedauniquelyimportantmodeofspiritualencounter.Late medievalsaints,especiallywomen,frequentlyreceived

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fromconfessors,oreventhepopehimself,theprivilegeofdailycommunionasanalmostofficialrecognitionoftheirreputationsforsanctity.115Religioussuperiors, bishops,andcanonlawyerslegislatedagainstreceptionduringecstasy,inanefforttocontrolthewavesoffrenzyfortheeucharistthatshookreligioushouses.116The deathbedsofpiouspeoplesometimesbecamethesettingforbitterstrugglebetweenpriestandrecipientoverhowoftentheholyfoodcouldbetaken.117Indeed,as themomentofconsecrationbecameincreasinglyfraughtwithmeaning,asthepowerofpriestsgrewevermoreawesome,asthenotionofeatingGodseemedmore andmoreaudaciousandthedrinkofChrist'sbloodwaspermanentlywithdrawn,someofthedevoutfoundthattheirhunger,seasonedandimpelledbyfear,merely intensified.118Themorechurcharchitecture,liturgicalpractice,andpriestlypowercontrivedtomaketheelementsseemdistant,themoresomepeopleluxuriatedin theminprivate,ecstaticexperiences.JamesofVitry'sdescriptionoftheeucharisticpietyofMaryofOigniescouldbematchedbydozensofsimilardescriptionsfrom thenexttwohundredyears:


Thus[Mary]languishedinexile.Thesoleandhighestremedywasthemannaofcelestialbread,untilshecouldcometothepromisedland[heaven].Init,theanxietyanddesireof herheartweretemperedinit,allhersorrowswereappeased....Inthehighestandmostexcellentsacrament,shepatientlyboreallthehardshipsofherenforcedwandering... Theholybreadstrengthenedherhearttheholywineinebriatedher,rejoicinghermindtheholybodyfattenedherthevitalizingbloodpurifiedherbywashing.Andshecould notbeartoabstainfromsuchsolaceforlong.ForitwasthesametohertoliveastoeatthebodyofChrist,andthisitwastodie,tobeseparatedfromthesacramentbyhavingfor alongtimetoabstain...Indeed,shefeltalldelectationandallsavorofsweetnessinreceivingit,notjustwithinhersoulbuteveninhermouth...Sometimesshehappily acceptedherLordundertheappearanceofachild,sometimesasatasteofhoney,sometimesasasweetsmell,andsometimesinthepureandgorgeouslyembellishedmarriagebed oftheheart.Andwhenshewasnotabletobearanylongerherthirstforthevivifyingblood,sometimesafterthemasswasovershewouldremainforalongtimecontemplating theemptychaliceonthealtar.119

DespitetheauraofmajestythatsurroundedtheeucharistinthelaterMiddleAges,itseemedtothefaithfultoofferitselftotheirsenseswithastonishingfamiliarity.120It rangwiththemusicofbells,glowedwith

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light,dissolvedonthetongueintohoneycomborbloodyflesh,andannounceditspresence,whenprofanedorsecretedaway,byleavingatrailofblood.Christ appearedagainandagainonthepatenandinthechaliceasababy,agloriousyouth,orableedinganddyingman.121 Thechangesinliturgy,theology,andevenarchitecturediscussedabovehelpexplainwhysomanyvisionsofChristcameatmass.Inanatmospherewhereconfessors andreligioussuperiorscontrolledaccesstotheeucharistandstressedscrupulousandawefilledpreparation,recipientsnaturallyapproachedtheelementsina spirituallyandpsychologicallyheightenedstate.When,aftermumblinginaudibly,thepriestsuddenlyandtotheaccompanimentofincenseandbellsraisedonhigha thin,shimmeringwaferofunleavenedbreadembossedwiththeimageofChrist,itissmallwonderthatthepioussometimes"saw"Jesus.When,afterhoursofself examinationanddoubt,anxiousnunsorlaypeopletookGodontheirtongues,itissmallwonderthatthebitofbreadsometimesswelled"withmarveloussweetness" tochokethem.Gazingaloftatahangingpyxshapedintheformofadove,somemysticsthoughttheysawtheHolySpiritwingingtowardthem,thewaferinhisbeak. Contemplatingthenewdevotionalobject,thecrucifix,indimanddampchurches,piouspeoplesometimesthoughtitdrippedbloodbecauseoftheirownprivatesins. Deniedthecuporeventhehostbyecclesiasticalregulation,manyofthedevoutthought,whentheyatleastobtainedreleasefromtheirinnerdistressandlonging,that thecomfortofChristwasintheirmouthsorheartsimmediatelywithoutthepriest'senablinghandsorwords. Aglanceatbasicmedievalattitudestowardfoodalsohelpsustounderstandcertainaspectsofeucharisticdevotion.Asculinaryhistorianshaverecentlyobserved,the characteristicmedievalmealwasthefeast,anditwasmoreanaestheticandsocialeventthanagastronomicone.122Thefeastwasabanquetforallthesenses indeed,foodwasalmostanexcuseforindulgingsensesotherthantaste.Medievalchroniclerswhodescribefeastsdonotgivemenus,althoughtheylavishattentionon theentertainmentprovided.Theydescribetheappearanceofdishes,nottheflavorthesequenceofevents,notofcourses.Medievalcookbooksmakeitclearthat visualeffectsweremoreimportanttoamedievaldinerthantasteandthatvividcolors(forexample,greendyefromspinachorleeks,orgoldandsilverleafgarnish) wereoftenappliedattheexpenseofflavor.Insomeaccountsofbanquets,itishardtotellwhetherthelavish

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pastryconstructions,scenes,andpuppetshows(knowninEnglishas''sotelties")displayedbetweencoursesweremeanttobeeatenornot.Medievalcookbooks providedetailedinstructionsonhowtoconstructillusionsortricksfortheeye,suchasimitationmeatconcoctedfromfish,orroastfowlsewnbackintoitsplumagein ordertoappearalive,orpies(likethatinthenurseryrhyme)withlivebirdsbakedinside.123 Givensuchassumptionsaboutandexpectationsoffood,itissmallwonderthatmedievalmysticsconsideredsoundsandsightsascrucialtotheeucharisticbanquetas eating,orthattheysometimesfeltthey"ate"or"received"withtheireyesorintheirmindsandhearts.ItisnoaccidentthatChrist'sfeastinvolvedallthesenses,since secularbanquetsdidso.Norisitsurprisingthatonetaste(bread)changedeasilyintoanother(flesh,blood,meat,honey,etc.)inthemouthforordinaryfood,atits mostsumptuousandexciting,wasoftenillusion. Eventhelegalismofmedievalfastingpracticesmightencouragetheassumptionfoundbothincookbooksandintreatisesontransubstantiationthatthingswerenot reallywhattheyseemed.WhenanEnglishdinerinthe1460shadbarnaclegooseservedtohimasfish,hewrotethat"wehadtoeatitasfish,butinmymouthitturned tomeat."124Hisremarkwaspresumablyanironiccommentonhypocrisyorcasuistry,butmysticsusedsimilarphrasessimplyandsincerely.Whenthey"tasted" God'sbody,whattheyfoundwassometimesnotwhattheyanticipated,andtheyencountereditwithmorethanthesenseoftaste.Inaworldwherenotonlypoetsbut ordinaryfolkaswelltreatedthesensesasfarlessdiscretethanwedoandtheitemsofthephenomenalworldasmorefluidinidentityorsignificance,itishardly surprisingthatthosewhoateGod,likethosewhoateblackbirdpie,weresometimesastonished,titillated,ordisturbedbytheexperience. Historiansandtheologians,bothProtestantandCatholic,havecustomarilyseenlatemedievaleucharisticpietyasindividualisticasquietlybutsometimesinsidiously bypassingbothpriestandcommunity.125Suchinterpretationshaveemphasized(andsometimesdeplored)thelossofaliturgicalcontextfordevotiontotheelements andthedisappearanceofanysensethatChristianswereunitedinaholymealorinacommunalsacrificetoGod.Butitisnotquitetruethatlatemedievaleucharistic devotionlostallcorporateelements,narrowingtosimplytheindividual'sinnerexperienceofChrist.ExactlybecausethehostbecamesoinsistentlyChrist'sbody whosefirmoutlineshadbeenviolatedbyRoman(or

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Jewish)spearsandnailsitremainedapowerfulcorporatesymbol,asymbolofhumankind,ofChristendom,andofthechurch. Twoconservativetheologiansofthetwelfthcentury,forexample,describedtheeucharistasthesalvationnotmerelyoftheindividualwhoreceivesitbutofall humanity,becauseitrecapitulatestheIncarnation.HildegardofBingen(d.1179)receivedavisioninwhichWomanasEve,symboloffallenhumankind,andasthe church,symbolofsavedhumanitycollectsChrist'sbloodinachaliceandhearsavoicesaying:"EatanddrinkthebodyandbloodofmySontoabolishthe prevaricationofEveandreceiveyourtrueinheritance."Hildegard'svisionwasnotaprivate,sensoryexperiencebutatheologicalstatement.Hermessageisclear: ChristianswhoeatGodeattogether,anditishumankindthatissaved.126Expressingthesamesensibility,RupertofDeutz(d.1135)wrote:


TotheoneandonlySonofGodandSonofMan,asiftoitshead,allthemembersofthebodyarejoinedallarereceivedinthefaithofhissacramentandthefullnessofhis charityandthusonebody,oneperson,oneChrist,theheadwithallitsmembers,ascendsintothesky...[Andheshowshimselftobe]twoinoneflesh.Agreatsacramentis this!ThefleshofChrist...thussatisfies[implevit]thewholeworld,sothatitmakesintoonechurchalltheelectwhohavebeenfromthebeginningsoftheworldorshallbeuntil theendoftime,joiningGodandmaneternally.127

Moreover,someoftheeucharisticvisionsseenbylatemedievalnuns,beguines,orlaywomenhavecorporateelementsorimplications.Forexample,whenMechtildof Hackeborn(d.1298or1299)received"theimprintofresemblance"toGodin"thehourofcommunion,"shereceivedalsoChrist'sheartintheformofacup marvelouslychiseled."Bymyheart,''sheheardhimsay,"youwillpraisemealwaysgo,offertoallthesaintsthedrinkoflifefrommyheartthattheymaybehappily inebriatedwithit."128Mechtild'ssisternunGertrudetheGreatreceivedavisioninwhichthosenunswhomovedtowardGodholdingthehandsofothers(i.e.,trusting intheprayersofothersforthem)werethefirsttoreachthesplendorsoflightfromChrist'sheart.129 Thehostwasapowerfulsymbolnotjustofhumankindorofthemonasticcommunitybutalsoofthechurch.WilliamofSt.Thierryexplainedthatthebodyonthealtar isChristintercedingforus:itisthe

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physicalbody,bornofMaryitisalsothemysticalbody,thechurch.BaldwinofFord(d.1190)stressedthatcommunionunitesusnotonlywithJesusbutalsowith thewholechurchincommunity.130ArnoldofBonneval(d.after1156),inoneoftherareeucharisticprayersthatsurvivefromtheperiod,expressestheidentification ofeucharistandchurch(althoughhisemphasisisonthecomplexsignificanceofthesacramentfortheindividualChristian):


Christcallsthissacramentsometimesfleshandblood,sometimesbread,andsometimeshisbody.Itiscalledbreadbecauseitisthenourishmentoflife,fleshandbloodbecauseof thetruthofitsnature,bodybecauseofitsunityofsubstance.Byhisbodyhemeanttoindicatebothhimselfandhischurch,ofwhichheisthehead,andwhichheunitesbythe communionoffleshandblood.Andweindeed,whenweeatthefleshandblood,willnotbereformedinthecorruptandinfirmnatureofourbodyandsoulnorreturnedtolikeness withGodunlessasuitablepoulticeisplacedonsin.131

Indeed,latemedievaleucharisticdevotion,parallelingthetheologicaldiscussionsofconcomitanceandofthetotusChristusineveryparticleofbread,cameto expressanalmostfranticsenseofthewholeness,theinviolability,ofChrist'sbodyandatremendousfearofrendingandbreaking.Tubach'sindexofexemplalistsfifty threemiracleshavingtodowiththehostandonlythreeconcerningthechalice.132Itishardtoavoidtheconclusionthatthisemphasisonthehostreflectedafearthat themysticalbody,thechurch,wouldberentbyitsenemies. Insistentlythehostforceditselfontothesensesofbelieversasfleshwithfirmboundaries.Themanymiraclesofconsecratedwafersoozingorstreamingdropsofblood wereunderstoodtobeannouncingnotjustthesinsofindividualChristiansbutalsoattacksbyoutsiders,especiallyhereticsandJews.Miraclesofbleedinghosts, whichproliferatefromthetwelfthcenturyon,sometimeshavesinisterovertones.Thehostbecomesfleshtoannounceitsviolationthebleedingisanaccusation.When thenunWilburgis(d.1289)tookthehosttoherenclosuretohelpheravoidsexualtemptation,itrevealeditself,inaquitecommonmiracle,asabeautifulbabywho spokethewordsoftheSongofSongs.133Butwhenanothernunhidahostthatshedarednotswallowbecauseshewasinmortalsin,itturnedintoflesh.134The secondmiraclesoundsathreateningnotenotpresentinthefirst.Similarly,PeterDamiantellsofahost

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thatprotesteditsabusewhenusedsuperstitiously:awomanwhotriedtoconjurewithitfoundthathalfofitturnedintoflesh.135CaesariusofHeisterbachreportsthat whenanotherwomantriedtousetheconsecratedwaferasalovecharmandthenguiltilyhiditinachurchwall,itturnedtofleshandbled.136Beginninginthelate thirteenthcentury,Jewswerefrequentlychargedwithviolatingthehost,whichannouncedsuchviolationbymiraculousbleeding.LionelRothkrughasrecently underlinedtheconnectionbetweeneucharisticdevotionandantiSemitism.Intheyearsbefore1350anumberofJewsweremurderedforallegeddesecrationsofthe host.137 Moreover,eucharisticmiracleswereexplicitlyseenasvindicationsoforthodoxdoctrine.Eleventh,twelfth,andthirteenthcenturypreacherssuchasPeterDamian, EckbertofSchnau,andAlanofLilleembellishedtheirsermonsagainsttheCatharswithstoriesofbleedinghosts.138Severalthirteenthcenturytheologians,suchas thehagiographersJamesofVitryandThomasofCantimpr,supportedtheincreasingfrenzyofwomen'seucharisticpietyasacountertothehereticaldenialthatGod couldbepresentinmatter.139 TheabstinenceofLutgardofAywires(d.1246)reflectsasimilarfearthatGod'sbodymightbebreachedbyheresy.LutgardbothidentifiedwithChristonthecross byfastingforsevenyearsand,attheVirgin'scommand,offeredherfastasareparationtoGodforthedepredationsoftheAlbigensians.140WhenGertrudetheGreat madetheeucharistichostintomanycrumbsinhermouth,thinkingthateachparticlestoodforasoulintheflamesofpurgatory,sheseemedtobeequatingthe crumblinessofbreadnotwiththeunityofChristians(asdidAugustine)butwiththeirindividualness,theirseparateness,theirsuffering.Gertrude,whooftenfearedto takecommunion,wasawareoftheaudacityofthusviolatingtheintegrityofthebodyofGod.141Asimilarnoteofwarningsoundsinavisionofcrumbsreceivedby FrancisofAssisi.WhenFranciswasorderedtogatherupthecrumbsandmakethemintoonehostforthebrethren,healsosawinvisionthatthosebrotherswhodid notreceivethegiftdevoutlywereafflictedwithleprosy.Thejoiningof"finecrumbs"intoahostheresymbolizesunity,butthehostthenstandsforaRuleandthose whoobserveitimproperlyaremadeillbyit.Thesymbolofunityexcludesassurelyasitjoins.142 Ifbread/body/flesh,withitsfirmboundaries,symbolizedspiritualrefreshmentand,atleasttosomeextent,church,bloodwasanaltogether

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morecomplexandambivalentsymbol.AsthelettersofCatherineofSienasuggest,143bloodwaslifeitself,coursingthroughChrist'sveins,leapingforwardfromhis violatedside.Itwasfood,bothbecauseblooditselffeedsfleshandbecauseblood(processedintomilk,accordingtomedievalphysiologicaltheory)144feedsthe young.Itwasapurgingbath.Itwasbloodshed,thepalpablesignofattackonGod.GertrudetheGreatsaidtheeucharistredeems"evenblood,"whichshecalled"the mosthorribleofnaturalobjects."145Itisnotsurprising,therefore,thatbloodbecameamorecommonandinsistentsymbolasthefourteenthcenturyworeon.The increasedclericaldeterminationtowithholdthecup(theblood)fromthelaitymaythushaveadeeperreasonthantheoneusuallycited:fearofprofanationthrough spilling.Toassociatethelaitydirectlywithsuchapowerfulsymbolofviolationaswellasofsalvationmaysimplyhavebeenfraughtwithtoomuchsignificance.Indeed, thedemandoftheUtraquists,whopushedforcommunioninbothkinds(subutraquespecie),mayhaveseemednotonlyadeliberaterejectionofthedoctrineof concomitanceandanationalistprotestagainsttheheadshipoftheRomanchurch(whichitcertainlywas)butalsoadangerousdemocratizationofanextraordinarily potentandcomplexsymbol. Thecorporateimplicationsoflatemedievaleucharisticsymbolismarethusatleastpartlydefensive.WhereasCyprianhadseenthebreadofheavenasasymbolof Christ'schurchpreciselybecausethegrainsofwheatweregatheredintoawhole,latermedievaltheologiansandvisionariessawinChristasbleedingfleshnotonlythe redemptionofhumankindbutalsoanentityunderattack.AndhoweverpowerfullytheentitysometimessuggestedtheChristiancommunity,eitherunitedinloveor violatedbyenemies,itwasbasicallynotacorporatesymbolatall.ThebreadonthealtarwasthesufferingfleshoftheGodmanwhodiedthebloodandwaterthat pouredfromthebrokenbodyfedandcleansedtheindividualChristian.Incertainways,thepriest,nottheeucharist,wasthepowerfulcorporatesymbol.Hewasthe "mouth"ofthechurch,asBertholdofRegensburgsaid.ButasDurandusimplied,healsowasthechurchhereceivedforall.Certaintwelfthcenturytextssuggested thatinsofarasthepriestwasthe"womb"withinwhichChristwasconsecrated,hestoodforallhumanity. Itisthusaccuratetosaythatlatemedievaleucharisticpietywasindividualistic.Theemphasiswasincreasinglyonexperienceontasting,seeing,andmeetingGod. Forthemostpart,theelementsofcosmic

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dramafellawayfromeucharistichymnsandstories.Andasencounterwiththeeucharistcametomeanbindinguntooneselfeithertheinebriatingjoysofmysticalunion ortheunspeakablepainofGod'ssuffering,hungerbecameapowerfulmetaphorfordesire.InearlyChristianhymns,hungerseemstomeanhumanvulnerability(either inflictedbynature'srhythmofscarcityandplentyorespouseddeliberatelyinfasting)theimplicationis,therefore,thatthehungrywillbesatisfied.Inthespiritualityof eleventhandtwelfthcenturyEurope,however,hungerbegantomeanacravingthatcanneverbefilled.Thustheauthorofthefamoushymn"DulcisJesumemoria" wrote:


DulcisJesumemoria Dansveracordigaudia: Sedsupermeletomnia Ejusdulcispraesentia. .......... Quitegustant,esuriunt, Quibibunt,adhucsitiunt Desidarenesciunt NisiJesumquemdiligunt. ............ Jesusdecusangelicum, Inauredulcecanticum, Inoremelmirificum Cordepigmentumcaelicum. (SweetistheremembranceofJesusinthetruejoyoftheheart.Buthispresenceissweetbeyondhoneyandallthings...Theywhotasteyou[Jesus]stillhunger,andtheywho drinkyoustillthirst.TheyarenotabletodesireanythingexceptJesus,whomtheylove...Jesus,gloryoftheangels,[youare]asweetsongintheears,inthemouthwonderful honey,thespicedwineofheavenintheheart.)146

TheLettertoSeverinus,byacertainbrotherIvo(latetwelfthorearlythirteenthcentury)expressesthesamesensibility:
Thuslovesalovingsoul...Itsdesireeverincreases.Forhecanneverbesatiatedwhosedesireisonlytodesire.Desireisthehungerofthesoul...Godsays:Theythateatme shallyethunger[Eccles.24:29].OhGod,toloveyouistoeatyou.Yourefreshthosewholoveyousothattheyhungermore,forareyounotsimultaneouslyfoodandhunger?He who

Page67 doesnottasteyouwillnotknowatallhowtohungerforyou.Forthisonlydoyoufeedus,inordertomakeushunger.147

Inthethirteenthcentury,asthecravingforexperienceofGodintensified,Hadewijchspokethusoflove:
Todieofhungerforher[i.e.,LoveofGod]istofeedandtaste Herdespairisassurance ........... Hertendercareenlargesourwounds ................ Hertableishunger.148

Thus,bythethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,theemphasisofhymn,sermon,andstorywaslessonthebreadofheaventhanonflesh(i.e.,meat)andblood.Toeat Godwastotakeintoone'sselfthesufferingfleshonthecross.ToeatGodwasimitatiocrucis.ThatwhichoneatewasthephysicalityoftheGodman.Iftheflesh wassweetaswellasbitter,thatwasbecauseallourhumanness,includingourfleshliness,wasredeemedinthefactoftheIncarnation.Iftheagonywasalsoecstasy,it wasbecauseourveryhungerisunionwithChrist'slimitlesssuffering,whichisalsolimitlesslove. ThissenseofGodasfoodpermeatedspiritualityoutsideaswellaswithintheeucharisticcontext.ColetteofCorbie,forexample,receivedonenight,assheprayedto theVirgin,avisionof


adishcompletelyfilledwithcarvedupfleshlikethatofachild.Andsheheardthisreply:"ThisiswhatIrequestofmybelovedonaccountofthehorriblesins,injuries,and offensesthatpeopledoagainsthim,offensesthattearhimintosmallerpiecesthanthefleshcutupuponthisplate."Andbecauseofthisvisionsheboreforalongtimeinher heartsadnessandpain.149

IdaofLouvain(d.1300?)supposedlytastedtheWordasfleshonhertonguewheneversherecited"Verbumcarofactumest"(John1:14).150Incontrasttoearly medievalmonastictexts,whichfrequentlyspeakofreadingandmeditatingaschewingthewordofGodbutlaynoclaimtoaphysicalexperience,151Ida'sbiographer tellsusthattheWordshechewedwaslikehoney,"notaphantasmbutlikeanyotherkindoffood." ThethemeofGodasfoodwasalsoacommoniconographicmotif.Forexample,afifteenthcenturySwabianaltarpiecedepictingtheso

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called"mysticalmill"showsMaryemptyingsacksofwheatintoafunnel,fromwhichemergeboththeChristchildandthehost(seeplate1).152Inpaintingsofthe massofSt.Gregory(basedonanearlymedievalstorythatgainedpopularityinlatermedievalart),Christappearsatthemomentofconsecration,sometimesbleeding graphicallyintothechalicetoprovidefoodanddrinkforChristians(seeplate3seealsoplates26,27,and30).153Anevenmorestunningdepiction,fromthestudio ofFriedrichHerlinin1469,showsChristasableedingmanofsorrowswithagrainshoot(representingbread)andavine(representingwine)growingoutofthe woundsinhisfeetandhands(seeplate4).154 Feastandfast,andthemetaphorsinwhichtheywerehymnedandpreached,thuschangedbetweenthetimeoftheearlychurchandthehighMiddleAges.Toearly Christianpreachers,fastandfeastjoinedthebelievertotherhythmoftheseasons.Virtuosoasceticperformancewasadmired,butitwasonlyavariationonthe corporatepracticeofthechurch.TheindividualbelieverreceivedthesweetnessofGod'sbodyinconcertwithotherbelievers,inacommunitysymbolizedqua communitybythebreadofheaven.155BythelaterMiddleAges,despiteeffortstoenforceauniform,moderateobservance,thesettinggiventofastingbypreachers andtheologianswaslesscorporateandcosmicthepracticeofsomeindividualswasincreasinglyidiosyncraticandextreme.DevotiontoGod'sbodywasalsoatleast partlycutloosefromacorporatesetting.Notonlydidreceptionitselffrequentlyoccuraftermassthebelieversometimesencounteredthefleshandbloodthrough privatevisionaswell,atthemomentofelevationorevencompletelyapartfromtheliturgy. Suchchangesmayinpartreflectthemassivesocialandeconomicchangesbetweenantiquityandthemedievalworld.Inthesmall,busy,merchantdominatedcitiesof themedievalurbanrevival,wheretheneweucharisticpietyflourished,foodwasperhapsmoreacommodity,cutofffromtherhythmofvillagelife,thaniteverwasin thevastcitiesoftheRomanEmpire,sodependentonthecountrysideforgrain.Thusitwaseasierforthedaughtersandsonsofthesemerchantsorurbanaristocratsto thinkoffoodasanobjecttobemanipulatedratherthanasanecessityoflifesobasicthatitdefinedandwasdefinedbycommunityexperience.Perhaps,then,itisnot surprisingthatinaperiodofintenseworldrejection,thiscommodityobtrudeditselfasaprivilegetoberenounced.Norisitsurprisingthatvirtuosofastsgrewmore commonasfamine

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andmalnourishmentbegan,fromthelaterthirteenthcentury,tobenoticeableaspectsofEuropeanlife. Whatevertheconnectionbetweeneconomicfactsandreligiosity,however(andthereiscertainlynodirectcorrelationbetweentheshiftsinChristianpietyand Europeaneconomicconditions),thesechangesinsensibilityandpracticewerelargechanges.TheytouchedallChristians.Indeed,socrucialafacetofhuman experienceasfoodcouldhardlyhavehadsignificanceforonlyonesocialgrouporonegender.ButcarefulexaminationoftheevidencesuggeststhatinthelaterMiddle Ages,bothfeastandfastweremorecentraltowomen'sspiritualitythantomen's.Againstthebackgroundsketchedhereoffoodpracticesandmetaphorsinthehigh MiddleAges,andtheirrootsinearliertradition,Iwishnowtoexplorewhatfoodmeanttopiouswomenandwhyitmeantwhatitdid.

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II THEEVIDENCE

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3 FoodAsaFemaleConcern: TheComplexityoftheEvidence
AndblessedMarysaidto[Alpas]:"...because,dearsister,youborelongstarvationinhumilityandpatience,inhungerandthirst,withoutanymurmuring,Igrantyounowtobe fattenedwithanangelicandspiritualfood.Andaslongasyouareinthislittlebody,corporealfoodanddrinkwillnotbenecessaryforthesustainingofyourbody,norwillyou hungerforbreadoranyotherfood...becauseafteryouhaveoncetastedthecelestialbreadanddrunkofthelivingfountainyouwillremainfattenedforeternity...."Andsoit was....Butinorderthatthetumultofgossipbequieted,sincesomesaidshehadadevilshewhoneitheratenordranktwoorthreetimesaweekshewasaccustomedtoaccept somemorsel.Andshewouldrollitaroundforatimeinhermouth...andthenspititbackwhole....AndIgivethisonmyowntestimonysinceIreceivedinmyownhandalittlebit ofmasticatedfishshespitout....Thus,rejoicingasifpossessed,shefrequentlyvomitedfromtoomuchfood,asifherdrunkennessandinebriationwereincreasedbyanything beyondatinybit.Andthiswashowandofwhatsortherpreservationwas,howandofwhatnaturewerethebeginningsofherconversion,andhowGodunderlinedhermeritsand virtueswithmiracles...bywhichmiraclesmanifestsignsaregiventothereaders[ofthisstory]. LIFEOFALPASOFCUDOT(D.1211)1

InthespiritualityoflatemedievalEurope,eatingandnoteatingwerepowerfulsymbols.Bothmenandwomenfastedoradulteratedwhatfoodtheyateinorderto destroyanypleasuretheymightexperienceinit.BothmenandwomenadoredChristinthebreadandwineonthealtar,receivedeucharisticvisions,andworkedto propagateeu

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charisticpiety.Bothmenandwomengavealmsandfoodtothepoor.MensuchasDominic(d.1221),RichardofChicester(d.1253),andVincentFerrer(d.1419) andwomensuchasClareofAssisi,AgnesofMontepulciano(d.1317),andCatherineofSienaweresaidtoperformmiraclesinwhichtheymultipliedfoodforothers orhadtheirsanctityrewardedbymannasentfromheaven.2 Poetsandexegetesbuiltelaborateallegoricalconstructsaroundthethemesofmilkandmeat,honeyand thehoneycomb,breadandwine,feedingornursing.Visionsinwhichinstruction,comfort,grace,andsalvationwereseenasmilkorbloodpouringfromthebreastsof theVirgin,ofChrist,orofreligiousleaderssuchastheapostlePaulorFrancisofAssisiwerereceivedbybothmenandwomenbetweenthethirteenthandfifteenth centuries.3 Butdespitethepervasivenessoffoodassymbol,thereisclearevidencethatitwasmoreimportanttowomenthantomen. Itmayseemsurprisingthatthisfacthasnotbeennotedbefore,especiallysinceboththemorebizarrecasesoffastinggirls4 andthedeepdevotionofwomentothe eucharisthavebeenfairlyfrequentlydiscussedbyscholars.InthelatenineteenthandearlytwentiethcenturiesbothmedicaldoctorsandCatholictheologianswere deeplyinterestedinthephenomenonofwomen(usuallyadolescentgirls)whoclaimedtolivewithouteating.Thisinterestwasforeshadowedintheeighteenthcentury whenPopeBenedictXIV(d.1758)commissionedanappendixforhisgreatworkoncanonizationtoconsiderwhethertheextendedfastsclaimedforcertainCatholic women,severalofthemstigmatics,couldbenatural.5 Bythelate1800sanumberofCatholicscholarswerefascinatedbysuchphenomena,6 andearlierinthis century,CatholicsstimulatedinpartbythecaseofTheresaNeumannofKonnersreuth(d.1962)continuedafairlyheateddiscussionofwhethertheabilitytolive withouteatingneedbeinanysensearesultofsupernaturalpowerand,therefore,asignofsanctity.(Giventhestrangebehaviorofcertainfastinggirls,many theologianswishedtoanswerthatitisnot.)7 NineteenthcenturydoctorssuchasW.A.HammondandRobertFowlerattackedtheclaimsoffastingwomenwith considerablebadtemper8 andtheinterestofthemedicalprofessioninfastingledinthelatenineteenthandearlytwentiethcenturiestofoodfadsandtoscientific experiments,culminatinginatestbytheCarnegieInstitutein1912todeterminehowlonghumanbeingscouldsurvivewithoutfood.9 Theearly1980ssawa

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flurryofinterestbothinthepopularpressandamongdoctorsinsocalledfemaleeatingdisorderswithouttheleastawarenessofthereligiouscontextinwhich,until veryrecently,similarbehaviorsoccurred.10 Therolethatthirteenthandfourteenthcenturywomenplayedinthepropagationofeucharisticdevotionhasalsobeennotedbyscholars,oftenratherincidentally.11 Buthistorianshavetendedtocorrelateeucharisticconcernwithfactorsotherthangenderforexample,withreligiousorder(particularlyCistercianorDominican),12 withregion(particularlytheLowCountriesorsouthernGermany),13orwithtypeofreligiouslife(particularlymonasticoranchoritic).14Theoverwhelmingtendency amonghistoriansofspirituality,untilrecently,hasbeentostudyfiguresinthecontextoftheorderswithwhichtheywereaffiliated,thusobscuringbroadertrendsinthe historyofpietyandsometimesleadingtorathersteriledebatesoverprecedence.15Therecentextensiveworkonmedievalsaints,someofitdeeplyinterestedinsocial context,has,withafewexceptions,beenmoreconcernedwithclassorregionaldifferencesthanwithgender.16Ithas,moreover,sometimesbeensoconcernedwith socialorpsychologicalissuesastoloseanyfinegrainedsenseofspiritualthemes.17Thustheextenttowhichwomenofalllifestylesandaffiliationsreveredthe eucharistlaywomen,recluses,tertiaries,beguines,nunsofallorders,andthosewomen(especiallycommonintheearlythirteenthcentury)whowanderedfromone typeoflifetoanotherhasbeenobscured,althoughtheevidencehaslongbeenavailable. Basically,however,women'sconcernwiththereligioussignificanceoffoodhasbeenignoredbecausephenomenasuchaseucharisticdevotion,fasting,food multiplicationmiracles,andlactationvisionshavebeentreatedinisolationfromoneanother.Justasdoctorsandpsychiatriststendtotreatfastingundersuchrubricsas fearofmutilation,rejectionofthemother,andbattleforcontrolforgettingthat,whateverelseitis,itisafoodpracticesotheologiansandhistorianshavefailedto noticethatfoodmiracles,eucharisticpiety,andabstinenceareallfoodpractices.OnceonenoticesthateatingandnoteatingarecentralthemesinmedievalEuropean culture,asinmanycultures,muchofthelongavailableevidenceonspiritualityappearsinnewpatterns,andnewevidencebeginstoemerge.Itisthenthatthereligious significanceoffoodforwomenbecomesclear.

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QuantitativeandFragmentaryEvidenceforWomen'sConcernwithFood Anumberofrecentworksonsanctityprovidequantitativeevidencethatfoodisamoreimportantmotifinwomen'spietythaninmen's.DonaldWeinsteinandRudolph Bell,intheirstudyof864saintsfrom1000to1700,demonstrateconclusivelythatalltypesofpenitentialasceticism,includingfasting,aresignificantlymorecommonin femalereligiosity.Althoughonly17.5percentofthosecanonizedorveneratedassaintsfrom1000to1700werewomen,womenaccountedforalmost29percentof thosesaintswhoindulgedinextremeausterities,suchasfasting,flagellation,orsleepdeprivation23.3percentofthosewhodiedfromsuchpracticesand53.2 percentofthoseinwhoselivesillnesswasthecentralfactorinreputationforsanctity.18RichardKieckhefer,inhisexaminationoffastingbyfourteenthcenturysaints, citesalmostasmanyexamplesofwomenasofmen,despitethefactthatfewerthan30percentofthosereveredassaintswerewomen.Kieckheferalsofindsthat,in theperiodhehasstudied,HenrySusoisalmosttheonlymaletoreceiveeucharisticvisions.19AndrVauchez,inhisstudyoflatemedievalcanonizations,suggeststhat fastingwasimportantforonlyonetypeofmalesaintthehermit(whowasoftenalayman)whereasitwasacrucialcomponentofthereputationofholywomen.20 TheolderworkofHerbertThurston,whichattemptsa''scientific"approachnolongerfashionable,nonethelessassemblesawiderangeofcases.Itis,therefore,worth notingthatThurston'sdiscussionof"authentic"foodmultiplicationmiracleslistsalmostasmanyperformedbywomenasbymen.21 PeterBrowe'sworkontheeucharistindicates,moreover,thattheeucharisticmiracleisalmostentirelyafemalegenre.22IfoneacceptsBrowe'scategories(oftwenty typesofeucharisticmiracle),onlytwotypesoccurprimarilytomales,andbothoftheseareassociatedwiththeactofconsecration,whichcouldbeperformedonlyby men.Thetwomaletypesarethemiracleofthespiderinthechalice,traditionallytoldofpriests,andthemiracleoftransformationatthemomentofconsecration,which wasbydefinitionlimitedtopriests.Atleasteighttypesofeucharisticmiracle,however,arepredominantlyorexclusivelyfemale.Fourtypesoccuralmostexclusivelyto women:miraclesinwhichtherecipientbecomesacrystalfilledwithlight,miraclesinwhichtherecipientdistinguishesconsecratedandunconsecratedhosts,miraclesin

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whichworthyandunworthyrecipientsandcelebrantsaredistinguished,andmiraclesinwhichtheeucharisthasaspecialeffectonthesenses(smellingsweet,ringing withmusic,fillingthemouthwithhoney,announcingitspresencewhenhiddenawayorhoarded,etc.).Predominantlybutnotexclusivelyfemalearemiraclesinwhich thehostorchalicechangesintoabeautifulbabymiraclesthatsometimes(butnotalways)havehighlyeroticovertonesforbothmenandwomen.Moststrikingofall, thereisonlyonemaleexample(afterthepatristicperiod)ofthecommonstoryofthesaintwholiveslargelyorentirelyontheeucharist.Thereareveryfewmalecases ofthevariousdistributionmiracles,inwhichtheeucharistisbroughtbydovesorangelsorfliesbyitselfthroughtheair,andthesearemostlytoldoflowstatusmales laybrothersoraltarboys.AndthereappearstobeonlyonemalecaseofthemiracleinwhichChristbecomesthepriestandoffershimselfasfoodanactsometimes accomplishedwithfrighteningliteralism,aswhenhetearsoffthefleshfromthepalmofhishandforAdelheidofKatharinental.23Notonlyarethesepatternsstrikingin themselves,itisalsoclearthatthemalemiraclesunderlinethepowerofthepriest,whereasinatleasthalfofthewomen'smiraclesitisthequalityoftheeucharistas foodthatisstressed.24Theeucharistisofferedasfleshorhoneycombitaffectsthetasteitsustainslifeitisvomitedoutifunconsecrated. AcursoryglanceatthehistoryofeucharisticpietyindicatesthatwomenwereprominentinthecreationandspreadofspecialdevotionssuchasthefeastofCorpus Christi(revealedtoJulianaofCornillon)25orthedevotiontotheSacredHeart(foundespeciallyintheFlemishsaintLutgardofAywiresandthemanyvisionsofthe nunsoftheSaxonmonasteryofHelfta).26Soimportantwastheeucharistthatsomethirteenthcenturywomen(e.g.,IdaofNivellesandtheViennesebeguineAgnes Blannbekin)madevocationaldecisionsorchangedordersoutofdesiretoreceiveitmorefrequently.27Storiesofpeoplelevitating,experiencingecstasyduringthe mass,orracingfromchurchtochurchtoattendasmanyeucharisticservicesaspossibleareusuallytoldofwomenforexample,ofHedwigofSilesia(d.1241), DoucelineofMarseilles(d.1274),andseveraloftheFlemishholywomendescribedbyJamesofVitry(seetheepigraphtochapter1above).28TheworkofImbert Gourbeyre,despiteitsscantydocumentationandnotoriouslyuncriticalstance,nonethelessprovidesarevealingideaofwhatthepious

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expectedofreligiousheroesandheroines.ImbertGourbeyreculledfromsaints'livesninecasesofmiraculousabstinence,allofthemfemale,andfiftytwocasesof miraculouscommunion(betweenthethirteenthandsixteenthcenturies),ofwhichfortyfivearefemale.29 Eveninaccountswrittenbymedievalmalesformaleaudiences,wefindtheeucharistandtheattendantthemeofthehumanityofChristassociatedespeciallywith women.Forexample,CaesariusofHeisterbach,writingintheearlythirteenthcenturyformalenovicesanddrawingonhisownmaleworld,ingeneraltold overwhelminglymalestories.Inhistreatmentofdying,intheDialogueonMiracles,hegivesfiftyfourstoriesaboutmenandeightaboutwomenonpunishmentofthe dead,hegivesfortysevenmalestoriesandeightfemaleonsuchtopicsaslustanddespair,hepreservesasimilarratio.Butwefindasmanycasesofnunsasof monksreceivingtheinfantJesusinvisions,andtherearemorethanhalfasmanyappearancesofthecrucifixtowomenastomen.Inthesectionontheeucharist,where heturnsfromcelebrant(allmalestories,ofcourse)torecipient,wefindalmostasmanymiraclesoccurringtowomenastomen.30Althoughseveralearlycollectionsof exemplaaddressedtomen(forexample,ConradofEberbach's,PetertheVenerable's,andGeraldofWales's)containstoriesonlyaboutmales,31bothJamesof VitryandThomasofCantimpr,writinginthethirteenthcentury,givefemaleaswellasmaleexamplesofeucharisticmiraclesanddevotion.32Tubach'sindexof exemplaliststhirtytwomiraclesconcerningthehostthatoccurredtomen,twentytowomen.Ofthemalemiracles,twelveoccurredtopriests.33 Exemplaaboutfastingorabstinenceshowasimilarpattern.About10percentofthestoriesinTubach'sindexconcernwomen.34(Thestorieswere,ofcourse,toldby preachersi.e.,bymen.)Women,however,figureinasignificantlyhigherpercentageofthestoriesconcerningfoodpractices.Exemplaaboutabstinencearefew fourteencases,elevenofwhichtellofamanorwomanpracticingabstinence.Nonetheless,oftheeleven,four(36percent)areaboutwomenandsevenaboutmen.35 Moreover,thefourstoriesaboutwomenseemtoexpressanxietyaboutfemalepractice,fortwourgemoderationandtwo(theonlytwowiththismotif)show individualstrickedbythedevilintooroutofabstinence.36Thethirtythreestoriesoffasting(twentysixofwhichareaboutthefoodpracticesofindividuals)are predominantlyaboutmen,althoughcasesoffemalesare19percentofthetotal(fiveoutoftwentysix)stillabove

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thepercentageofwomen'sstoriesgenerally.37Whenwelookmorecloselyatthecasesoffasting,however,severalinterestingfactsemerge.Thelongestfastsare thoseofwomen.(Onelastedthirtyyears,anotherthree,whereasthelongestmalefastwasseventyeightweeks).38Womenprovidebothofthecasesoffastinguntil death.39Furthermore,ofthetwentysixstoriesaboutindividuals,onlynineteenareactuallyaboutfasting.(Theothersareaboutfailuretofast.)Sinceallthefemale casesareaboutfasting,womenaccountfor26percent(fiveoutofnineteen)ofthestoriesofpeoplewhofast. Notonlydidpreacherstelladisproportionatenumberofstoriesaboutwomenandfoodpracticestheyalsotendedtoadvisewomenaboutbothfastandfeast.Evenin thepatristicperiod,writerswhoaddressedwomentendedtoassociatefoodandlustandtodevoteaninordinateamountoftherelativelylittlewritingtheydirected towardwomentothesetopics.TwoofJerome'smostextensivediscussionsoffoodasincentivetolicentiousnesswereaddressedtowomen,40andFulgentiusof Ruspe(d.533),adiscipleofAugustine,wroteseverallettersonfastingtowomen,urgingafinebalancebetweenabstinenceandmoderation:


Wemustpracticesuchmoderationinfastingthatourbodyisnotexcitedbythefullsatisfactionoftheappetiteorenfeebledbytoomuchprivation.Itisnecessarythenthatthe fastofvirginsbefollowedbyeatingsuchthatthebodyisnotdrawnbythepleasuresofeatingnorexcitedbyitsfulfillment.41

MedievalpreacherssuchasPetertheChanterrepeatedJerome'sadvicetowomenandcitedpatristicexamplesoffemaleasceticsandfasters.42 InmonasticcirclesinthehighandlaterMiddleAges,wefindsomeevidencethatmoralistsassociatedfoodwithmenmorethanwithwomen.Butthefoodbehavior especiallyassociatedwithmenwasgluttony,notabstinenceorfoodprovidingoreucharisticfervor.Forexample,ashortbutpopularantimonasticparodyfromthe laterMiddleAges,theDemonachiscarnalibus(OnWorldlyMonks),survivesinthreeversions,oneanadaptationfornuns.Althoughthemonks'versionspresenta fairlyunpleasantpictureofthemonkwho"asksnomorethanthathisgutsbefilled,"thenuns'versioneliminatesmostofthefoodreferences,suggestingthatvanity aboutlooksandclothesisagreatertemptationtowomenthanmeals.43Thisconcernwithgreedasaviceofmonks,whichbecomesathemeinmedievalsatire,44 probablyreflectsthefactthatsome

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latemedievalmonastichousessetlavishtables.45Ingeneral,malehouseswerebothwealthierandlargerthanfemalehouses,andgluttonywas,infact,agreater possibilityand,therefore,temptation.46 ThroughouttheMiddleAges,however,preachersassociatedreligiousfoodpracticesespeciallycharitablefooddistribution,fasting,andeucharisticfervorwith women.Inthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,theologianssuchasAlberttheGreat,DavidofAugsburg,andJohnGersontendedtoworryaboutwomen's eucharisticpietyandtheirfoodasceticism,althoughwriterssuchasJamesofVitry,ThomasofCantimpr,JohnTauler,andGersonhimselfalsofoundtheseaspectsof women'sspiritualityusefulinpolemicagainsthereticsoragainsttheapatheticorthodox.47Gerson,whoperhapsmorethananyothermalewriterstressedtheeucharist asexperientialreceptionofGod,feltthatMaryreceivedmysticaleucharisticexperiencesbeyondthoseofallothermortals.Moreover,hedescribedtheecstasiesof bothmaleandfemalemysticsinstrikingfemininemetaphors:


Inhim[Christ]isthetruevine,whosewinegeneratesvirginsandnotonlygeneratesthembutimpregnatesthem.Lethimgivethatwine,lethimgivethesoberinebriationofthe spiritasdrink.Heintroducesmeintothecellarofthevineyard.Whatdoyouwant,ohmysoul?Alittlewhileagoyousaid(afteraskingforthekissofhismouth):thybreastsare sweeterthanwine....Whydoyounowseekwine?ButIshallanswerforyouthatheisbothwineandmilktoyou....Hecalls:Eat,myfriend,anddrinkandbeintoxicated....He willbesweetfruittoyourthroat.48

Maletheologianswrotemuchontheeucharist,andcertainformaltheologicalconsiderationsofthesacramentwere(likeallscholastictheology)exclusivelymale genres.ButitisstrikinghowmanyimportanttreatisesontheeucharistoronthecloselyconnectedthemeofthehumanityofChristwereaddressedbymentowomen. Onethinks,forexample,oftheworksofJanvanRuysbroeck(d.1381),RichardRolle(d.1349),HenrySuso,andDionysiustheCarthusian(d.1471).49Itisalso noteworthythatmanyofthepreacherswhowerecentralinelaboratingeucharisticpietypreachedmostoftentowomen(forexample,GuiardofLaon[d.1248]and JohnTauler).50Moreover,manyoftheearliesttextsrecommendingfrequentcommunionweredirectedtowomen,although,ingeneral,littletheologicalinjunctionwas writtenforthem.Intheelev

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enthcentury,JohnofFcamp,PeterDamian,andPopeGregoryVIIallrecommendedtowomeneucharisticdevotionandfrequentreception.51 Iconographicevidencealsosuggeststhatmedievalpeopleofbothsexesassociatedfoodandfastingwithwomen.Inparticular,theeucharistwasassociatedwith femalesaints.ThecommunionoftheVirgin,ofMaryMagdalen,andofMarytheEgyptianwasafairlycommonthemeinpainting.52Thesaintsmostfrequently depictedoneucharistictabernaclesweretheVirgin,theMagdalen,Christopher,andlittleSaintBarbara,asshewasknownfromtheGoldenLegend.53Dumoutet commentsthatBarbarawasprobablythesaintmostfrequentlyassociatedwiththeeucharistiniconography.(Seeplate7foraretablewithsaintsBarbaraand Catherine.)PopularwisdomheldthatBarbara'sdevoteeswouldnotdiewithoutachancetoreceivethesacramentattheend.54MaryMagdalenwasthesaintmost closelylinkedwithfasting,owingtotheversionofherlegendthatcirculatedintheMiddleAgesandattributedtoherafastofmanyyearsinthedesertnear Marseilles.55AsthecultofthehostgrewinthelaterMiddleAges,tabernaclescametoassociatetheconsecrationwiththeIncarnation,andthereforewiththeVirgin Mary.TheCisterciansgenerallystressedtheassociationofMarywiththesacrament,andatCteauxthepyxwasheldbyanimageoftheVirgin.56Theangel'swords ofsalutationtoMaryweresometimesreproducedontabernacles.57Inhisexplanationofthemass(12851291),WilliamDurandussaidthatthepyxortabernacleor reliquaryinwhichthehostiskeptsignifiesMary'sbody.58ThereisevenanextanttabernaclethatexplicitlyidentifiesthecontainerwithMary.(Itissurmountedby Anne,Mary'smother,andthussuggeststhatitisMaryherself.)59Asretablesdeveloped,theyalsotendedtolinkthemomentofconsecration(sometimesdepictedas theMysticalMillorthebabyChristinthechalice)withtheAnnunciationorsomeotherscenesuggestingtheIncarnationorthereceptionofChristforexample,the Virgincapturingtheunicorn,meetingwithhercousinElizabeth,ornursingtheChristchild(seefrontispieceandplates1,6,and7).60Depictionsoftheiconographic motifsoftheEucharisticManofSorrowsorChristintheWinepress(seeplates1,5,25,26,and30)oftenincludenunsorotherfemalefigures(MaryorCaritas),not onlyasrecipientsoffoodbutalsoasprovidersorcelebrants.61 Quantitativepatterns,therefore,suggestthatfoodpracticesweremorecentraltofemalespiritualitythantomaleinthelaterMiddleAges.Quantitativeevidenceis, however,theleastreliabletypeofevidenceon

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thismatter.Thisissonotonlybecausethetotalnumberofrecordedeucharisticmiracles,exempla,saints'lives,causesforcanonization,retablesandpyxes,and treatisesonasceticismissometimestoosmallforpercentagestobetrustworthyindices.Itisalsobecausethestoriesthemselvesaremisleading.Tosaythisisnotto raisethequestionofwhetherthemiraclesreportedinthesewritings"reallyhappened."Mypointhereismerelythatthenumerouspassingreferencestoeucharistic devotionandfoodasceticisminsaints'vitaeandothersourcesmustbeviewedwithskepticism,because,iftheyareonlypassingreferences,thereisadistinct possibilitythattheauthorsthemselvesmaynothavemeantthemliterally.Thereisreasontosuspectthatfastingandvisionsweresometimesdescribedorattributed whereneitherwasexperiencedand,conversely,thattheyweresometimesdiscouragedinindividualswhoweredrivenobsessivelytowardthem.Boththesepoints deserveelaboration. AmongearlyChristianwriters,bothJeromeandCassianhadtaughtthatmeatandwineexcitedsexuallustandthatgluttonywasthebasicsourcefromwhichflowed othersins.62AnumberoftheDesertFathers(forexample,Anthony,Hilarion,SimeonStylites,andGerasimus)weresaidtohavepracticedextremefoodasceticism, combinedwithintenseeucharisticpiety.63Manyhagiographersandsaintsfromtheeleventhtothefifteenthcenturyborethismodelinmind.PeterDamiantoldof ItalianhermitswhomimickedPaulandAnthony.64InthevitaofMaryofOignies,JamesofVitryunderlinedthewaysinwhichMaryimitatedtheDesertFathers,and RaymondofCapuamadethesamepointaboutCatherineofSiena.65PeterofVauxclaimedthatColetteofCorbiesurpassedtheFathersinherfoodasceticism.66 HenrySusopostedthesayingsoftheFathersonthewallsofhiscell,andanumberoftheaphorismshechosedealtwithfasting.67 BythehighMiddleAges,fastingandeucharisticdevotionwereexpectedofsaints,especiallyhermitsaintsandwomen.68Those,suchasRichardRolle,whowerenot abletomaintainfastswerecriticizedfortheirfailureandawriterlikeTaulerwhodidnothavethegiftoffoodasceticismfeltitnecessarytoapologizeforthelack.69 Witnessesincanonizationproceedingsregularlytestifiedtothefastingofcandidatesforsanctity,althoughadditionalevidencesometimessuggeststhatthetestimony wasnottrue.Vauchezcites,forexample,witnesseswhodeposedthatPhilipofBourges(d.1261)andThomasofCantilupe(d.1282)practicedabstinence,although aclericofPhilip'sdioceserefusedtobe

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lieveinhissanctitybecausehe"drankandatenormally,"andseveralotherwitnessestestifiedthatThomasdidnottrytobebetterthanothermen.70Atvariouspoints inRaymondofCapua'saccountofCatherineofSienahetellsusthat"afterthis"she"atenothing"butlaterinthenarrativethereisclearevidenceofeatingperhaps evenofbingeeating.Forexample,twowitnessesrecountthatsheoncebrokeafastoffiftyninedaysbyeatinglargeamountsoffoodonthefeastoftheAscension.71 AlpasofCudot'shagiographerreportssimultaneouslythatshelivedwithoutcorporealfoodandthatshesuckedmorselsoffoodthreetimesaweektoquellgossip.72 "Eatingnothing"inhagiographicalaccountsoftenmeans''noteatingnormally."73 Hagiographerswerethusexpectedtoincludeatleastpassingreferencestofoodabstentionandeucharisticpietyintheiraccountsofpiouspeople.Thereis,moreover, somereasontothinkthatwomen'svitaeinthelaterMiddleAgeswereevenmorestereotypicalthanmalevitae.Inpartthismaybebecausewomen'sliveswerein factlessdiverseandbecausewomenoftenlearnedpatternsofpietyfromoneanother.74MichaelGoodichhassuggestedthatreligiouswomen,morethantheirmale counterparts,tendedtobeassociatedingroupsandtocomefromsociallyandgeographicallyhomogeneousbackgrounds.Inthethirteenthcentury,forexample, severalconventsintheLowCountries(Aywires,Ramey,andSalzinnesinNamur),themonasteryofHelftainSaxony,andClare'sconventatSanDamianoeach containedagroupoflearnedandmysticalwomen.Indeed,inthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturiestheisolatedwomanecstaticwasrareusuallythesourcesshowus severalwomeninabeguinage,convent,orhospital,orinagroupsurroundingaparticularlysaintlytertiaryorrecluselearningmysticalpracticestogetherand(albeit veryhesitantly)sharingtheirvisions.SimoneRoisinhaspointedoutthatinthisperiod,thereputationsoffemalemysticshadmoreinfluenceoutsidetheircloistersthan didthereputationsofmalemysticstheirvitaewerefrequentlyreadinmaleaswellasfemalehouses.Thuswomen'svitaeandtheirdailylivesborrowedpatternsfrom eachother.Bythelatethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,anumberofcollectivebiographieswrittenintheRhinelandthesocalledNonnenbchergivedozensof vignettesofecstatic,visionary,orpiouswomenwhobeararemarkableresemblancetooneanother.Sostandardizedhadtheexpectationsbecomethatinthe fourteenthcenturytheauthorofoneofthesebooks,ChristinaEbner,commentedthatshewaspuzzledby

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thepresenceatherhouse,Engelthal,ofanunwhodidnothavevisionsandecstasies.75Bythelatefourteenthandfifteenthcenturies,whenholywomenhadbecome moreisolatedfromeachotherandwereincreasinglydominatedbytheirconfessors,whoweremoreandmorefrequentlytheirbiographers,aprototypicalfemalevita (forexample,thatofCatherineofSiena)wasoftenthemodelaccordingtowhichbiographerswroteandwomenlived.76 Toholypeoplethemselves,fasting,meditation,andeucharisticdevotionwereoftenmerelystepstowardGod,partofthepreparationforcontemplation.Totheir adherents,however,abstinenceortrancesweresignsandsourcesofsupernaturalpower.Thuswesometimesfindthatthefurtheranaccountofasaintisfromthesaint herself,themoreherfoodasceticismorparamysticalphenomenaareemphasized.Forexample,thebiographerofthepeasantsaintAlpas,whosupposedlylivedfor fortyyearsontheeucharistalone,devotesmuchattentiontothesaint'svisionsandspiritualteaching,whereasthecontemporarychroniclersandcollectorsofexempla whopickedupherstoryfocusedalmostexclusivelyonthemiraculousnoneating,includingclinicaldetailsaboutherfailuretoexcreteandtheemptinessofher intestines.77InthesecondbookoftheHeraldofDivineLove,GertrudetheGreatstrainedtoexpressanultimatelyinexpressibleunion,moreorlessignoringthe paramysticalphenomenathatdominatetheotherfourbooks,whichshedidnotwrite.78SimoneRoisinhasfoundthatingeneral,thirteenthcenturysaints'vitaewritten forthelaitycontainmoremiraculouselements,whereasthosecomposedforthecloisteredstressinnerspiritualdevelopmentandmysticalunion.79Cullingreferencesto fastsandeucharistfrombiographiesofholypeoplethustellsusmoreaboutthestereotypesofholinessheldbydifferentaudiencesthanabouttheexactdistributionof asceticorpiouspractices. Ifadherentsencouragedfeatsandmiraclesofabstinence,churchauthoritiesontheotherhandwereoftensuspicious,especiallyoftheabstinenceandpietyofwomen. AsIexplainedinchapter2,thetwelfthandthirteenthcenturiessawthecuriousconjunctionofanewwaveofextremeasceticpracticeswithrepeatedexhortationsto moderation.SpiritualwriterssuchasBernardofClairvauxstressedinnerratherthanoutwardresponse,whiletheologianssuchasPetertheChanterandAquinasurged commonsenseand"rationality."Thesecallsforreasonablenessandinterioritywereclearlyinpartaresponsetosuchalarming

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austeritiesaswearingironplates,mutilatingone'sfleshandrubbingliceintothewounds,orevenjumpingintoovensorhangingoneself.80Buttheausteritieswerein partaresponsetotheinjunctionstomoderation.Insuchanenvironment,women'sasceticismoftencameinforparticularcriticism. ThesuspicionofasceticpracticesorofmarvelsthatwefindinmedievaltextssometimesmerelyreflectswhatRichardKieckheferhascalledthe"imitation wonderment"toposinsaints'vitae.81Authorswerefondofexhortingreaderstoadmire(wonderat)ratherthantoemulate(imitate)saintlyasceticism,ortoimitatethe virtuesrevealedinthedeedsofthesaintsbecausethedeedsthemselveswerebeyondthelimitedabilitiesofordinaryfolk.ThusJamesofVitryurgedreadersnotto copybut,rather,toveneratethesaintlywomenwhosestorieshetold.82ThenunwhocompiledGertrudetheGreat'svisionsreportedthatChristhimselfrefused Gertrude'sprayerthatasisterbegivenwonderworkingpowersitwaspreferable,heexplained,thatthepiouslearnfromthespiritualteachingofthosewhohad "tastedthekingdom"inmysticalunionratherthanthattheybeenticedandoverwhelmedbysignsandmiracles.83 Buthostilitytowardwomen'sasceticpracticesoftenwentbeyondtheadviceofpreachersorhagiographersthatthefaithfulshouldadmireratherthanimitate.Abelard inthetwelfthcenturyandHenrySusointhefourteenthwarnedtheirbelovedspiritualdaughtersthatsevereasceticismwasunwiseforthe"weakersex."84Susowrote toElsbetStagel:
Deardaughter...discontinuetheseexcessiveausteritieswhichareunsuitabletoyoursexandunnecessaryforyourdisposition....ThegoodJesusdidnotsay,"Takeupmy cross,"but"Leteveryman[mensch]takeuphiscross."Consequentlyyoushouldaim,notatimitatingtheausteritiesoftheancientfathersorofyourspiritualfather,butat crucifyingyourbadhabitswithoutdetrimenttoyourhealth.85

AndFrancisofAssisiintervenedtogetClaretomodifyherfasts.86Thirteenthandfourteenthcenturytheologianssometimesscoffedatwomen'seucharisticvisions andcurtailedtheiraccesstotheeucharist.AlberttheGreat,forexample,opposeddailycommunionforwomenbecauseoftheir"levity"andcommentedthatnuns' visionsofsucklingJesuswere"silly,"althoughhedefendedthemagainstthedangerouschargeofheresy.87DavidofAugsburgsuggestedthatsomefemalevisions were

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merelyindulgenceoferotic"ticklings."88Itistruethatbytheearlyfourteenthcenturycertainmysticalresponsesweredangerousformenaswellasforwomenand thatmenfrequentlyurgedorforcedmentomodifytheirpractices.89Butthirteenthandfourteenthcenturyliteratureofspiritualcounselcontainsaspecificandgrowing suspicionoffemaleasceticismandfemaleecstasiesthatreflectsageneralsuspicionoffemalecharacter.Indeed,WeinsteinandBellsuggest,onthebasisoftheirsurvey oflatemedievalvitae,thatfemalesaintsweredepictedasthemorallyweakersexgenerallyandthathagiographerstendedtoattributethesinsorlapsesofwomento innerfaults,whereasmalelapseswereapttobeattributedto"perniciousoutsideinfluences"(including,ofcourse,women).90 Womensometimesinternalizedsuchsuspicionoftheirpietyorevidencedadeepambivalenceabouttheirownyearningstowardsupernaturalpowerorextraordinary penitentialpractices.ClareofAssisi,herselfapractitionerofextremefooddeprivation,encouragedAgnesofPraguetomildnessandprudenceinfasting.91Angelaof Folignocalledtheideathatshegiveupeatinga"temptation."92BeatriceofNazarethandColumbaofRietifearedthattheireucharisticdevotionandasceticismwere inspiredbythedevil.93LutgardofAywireswasrequiredbyherownabbesstoomitfrequentcommunion,andCatherineofSiena'sfellowtertiariesatonepointurged thatshebedeprivedofreceptionandejectedfromthechurchbecauseofherexuberantecstasies.94MargaretofCortona,thoughrepeatedlyurgedbyChristhimself todailycommunion,wentthroughagoniesofuncertaintythatledherrepeatedlytoabstain.95GertrudetheGreatworriedaboutthedangersofprivaterevelationifshe introducednewprayersontheauthorityofvisionsalone,shereasoned,thenthecommunitywouldhavenoprotectionagainstfalsesisterswhoclaimedsimilar inspiration.96 Medievalpeoplewere,moreover,acutelyattunedtothedangersofconfusingdespair,pride,exhibitionism,orillnesswithpiety.Thebiographersandinquisitorswho investigatedsanctityandprovidedglossesonitstressed,forexample,thatfoodabstinencemustbevoluntary,ameanstoselfabnegation.Taken,alone,itwasnot necessarilygood.Itmightbedisease,depression,ordelusion.CatherineofSienainsistedthatherinabilitytoeatwasaninfirmity,notanasceticpracticeatallina visionsheheardChristcommandhertoreturntothetableandeatwithherfamily.(The"infirmity"hadprogressedsofarthatshewas

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unabletodoso.)97EvenCatherine'sbiographer,Raymondwhoemphasizedherfastingpartlybecausehefeltguiltyabouthisownfailuretofast,partlyas propagandafortheObservantreformtowhichhewasdeeplycommittedexhortedhisreadersthattruemeritliesnotinfastsbutincharity.98Awitnessinthe canonizationproceedingsofanextremeascetic,JohntheGood(d.1249),testifiedthatJohnsometimes,inthepresenceofall,"atemorethananyotherbrotherand morequickly,"inordertoprovethathisabstinencewasunderhiscontrol.99ColumbaofRieti,whowascriticizedbothforabstinenceandforfrequentcommunion, defendedherselfbyeatingagrapebeforewitnessestosquelchrumorsthatshelivedonlyontheeucharist.100Thus,justaspopularenthusiasmforfeatsofascetic prowessandtraditionalassumptionsaboutthehermitrolemayhaveledtothewidespreadpresuppositionthatfastingandvisionswentwithholiness,soclerical suspicionofecstasiesandextremeasceticism,particularlyinwomen,mayhaveinducedmanypiouspeopletohideoreventomodifyselfmortificationstowhichthey weredrawn. Tabulatingreferencestopietyinhagiographicalliteraturecan,therefore,bemisleading.Allusionstofastingoreucharisticdevotionwereoftensimplyclichs,and clichscanobscureaswellasrevealdevotionalpractices.Furthermore,asiswellknown,miraclestoldofonesaintwereoftenborrowedandtoldofothers:as GregoryofTourshadsaidcenturiesearlier,thesaintsshareonelifeinGod.101Yetitisdifficulttoavoidtheconclusionthatabstinencefromfoodanddevotiontothe eucharistweremoreimportanttosaintlywomenthantosaintlymen.Indeed,thediscussionabovesuggeststhatmen'sreputationsforabstinenceweremorelikelytobe exaggeratedthanwomen's,whereaswomenweremoreapttodoubttheirasceticpracticesasprideordelusion.Moreover,hagiographicalmaterialsandchronicles frequentlygiveusglimpsesofthemoreordinaryfolkwhosurrounded,admired,anddoubtedthesaints.Theseglimpsessupporttheargumentthatfoodasceticism,like charitablefooddistributionandperformanceoffoodrelatedmiracles,wasparticularlytheroleofwomeninthehighMiddleAges. Thereisnoevidencethatmothersweregenerallymoresupportiveoffuturesaintsthanwerefathers,anditcanbedemonstratedthatdaughters'vocationsmetwith moreparentaloppositionthansons'.102Nonetheless,anumberofsaints'vitaesuggestthatmothersorsurrogatemotherstaughttheirchildrenfastingandeucharistic devotion.AelredofRie

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vaulx(d.1167)reportsthatKingDavidofScotland(d.1153)learnedfastingandeucharisticdevotionfromhismother,herselfasaint.103PeterofLuxembourg,one ofthefewmaleswhobrokehishealthwithfasting,hadmodelsofasceticisminbothmotherandfather.ButPeter'sbiographertellsusthathismotherwasmoreactive incharity,providingmealsfortheneedythreetimesaweekandsendingdelicaciesfromherowntabletowomeninchildbirth.Peterlaterfollowedtheexampleofboth parents,givingmoneyandfoodtothepoor.104TheauthorofthevitaofColetteofCorbieimpliesasimilarcontrastbetweenmaleandfemalepracticewhenhenotes thatColette'sfathergavemoneytothepoor,especiallyreformedprostitutes,whereashermotherlivedparsimoniously,undertookmanypenances,meditatedevery dayonthelifeofChrist,andwenttoweeklyconfessionandcommunion.105Itappearstohavebeenaclichofhagiographythatpiousfathersgavealmswhilepious mothersgave(andgaveup)food.Moreover,inpraisingthepatiencedisplayedbysaintlygirlstowardunsympatheticmothers,hagiographersoftenrevealthatthegirls werecarryingtoextremesdevoutpracticeslearnedfromotherwomen.WhenlittleDorothyofMontauwishedtopracticetheseverefastingshesawhermother perform,conflictflaredbetweenmotheranddaughter.106JulianaofCornillon,taughtfastingbythereligiouswomanwhowascaringforher,waspunishedwhilea childfortakingtheteachingtoomuchtoheart.107ElizabethofHungarymayhavefoundamodelforherextremefastingandcompulsivefooddistributioninthe behaviorofherfuturemotherinlawSophia,whoraisedher(althoughsubsequentcommentatorssuggestonlythattherewastensionbetweenElizabethandher surrogatemother).108 Othervignettesfromchroniclesandsaints'vitaesuggestthatfoodabstinencefrequentlycharacterizedwomenwhowerenotconsideredsaints.CatherineofSiena's fastingdevelopedinthecourseofconflictwithherparentsaboutherreligiousvocation,butherbiographertellsofanothergirlinthefamilywhoseselfstarvationbegan inresponsetothedissolutebehaviorofheryounghusband.109TheearlyfifteenthcenturyEnglishlaywomanMargeryKempe,uponChrist'sadvice,manipulatedher husbandintoacceptingcontinencebyofferingtogiveupthepublicfastswithwhichshewasembarrassinghimbeforetheneighbors.110 Becausemedievalpeoplelovedmarvels,chroniclersoftenpreservedstoriesofstrangeeatingbehavior.Mostofthesurvivingtalesareaboutwomen.Ninthcentury chroniclesreport,withoutmuchdetail,twocases

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oftwelveyearoldgirlswhorefusedtoeatforthreeyears.111Inoneofthesestories,toldbyEinhardandpickedupbyanumberofotherchroniclers,thegirlbegan herfast"firstfrombreadandthenfromallfoodanddrink"afterreceivingEastercommunionfromthepriest.Readersarethentoldsimplythat,afterthreeyears,she "begantoeatagain.112 FarmoreinterestingaretwohealingmiraclesrecountedintheearliestvitaofWalburga(d.779),writtenbyWolfhard,priestofEichsttt,aboutahundredyearsafter herdeath.113ManyfoodrelatedthemesclusteraboutWalburga'slife.ThatsheherselffastedandsometimesremainedinthechurchafterVesperswhiletheother nunstooksupperintherefectoryisoneoftherelativelyfewdetailsweknowaboutherownpiety.114Shewasalsooneofthemostfamousmyroblytes,oroil producingsaints,curingtheafflictedformorethanathousandyearsafterherdeathwithanaromaticfluidthatflowedfromthestoneonwhichherrelicsrestedsome saidfromherbreastbone.115Thesymbolofearsofcornwithwhichsheisassociatediconographicallyseemstohavebeenborrowed,alongwithotherdetails,froman earlierfertilitycult,thatofWalborgorWalpurg,theearthgoddess.116Notsurprisingly,then,twoofWalburga'searlyposthumousmiracleswerecuresofwhatcan quiteaccuratelybecalled"eatingdisorders."WolfhardrecountsthatamannamedIrchinbaldwasindangerofbecomingagluttonuntilhewassuddenlyseizedwith loathingforfood.Hethenwentfortwentysevenweekswithoutbreadormeat,takingonlyafewvegetablesoralittleeggyolk.Whenhehadbecomeemaciatedand extremelyill,heheardavoicetellinghimtogotoMonheim(towhichsomeofWalburga'srelicshadbeentranslated),topraytoWalburgaandtodrinkfromthe consecratedchalicethatwouldbeofferedtohimbythreenunsstandingnearthealtar.Assoonashedrank,hefelthungryforbread.Asimilarstoryistoldofaservant girlnamedFriderade.But,inhercase,theselfstarvationwasnotcured.Rather,itwaselaboratedintoamiracle.117 Friderade,sothestorygoes,sufferedfromavoraciousappetitesheateuntilshegrewenormouswithgoutordropsy.WhenshevisitedWalburga'sshrineherswollen feetwerecured,butnotherappetite.ShethenconfessedtoasisterDeithildaandreceivedconsecratedbreadfromthepriest.Afterthisshefeltaloathingforallfood excepttheeucharist.Deithilda,whoworriedabouther,persuadedhertodrinkalittlebeer,butitmerelygushedoutagainfromhermouthandnose.Friderade subsequentlypassedthreeyearswithouteating.Apriestwhoobserved

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herforthelocalbishoptestifiedthatsheindeedsurvivedwithoutfood.Thus,inthesetwoninthcenturymiracles,aman'sloathingforfoodwascuredbyasacreddrink administeredbynuns,whereasawoman'sgreedwascuredbysacredbreadadministeredbyapriest.Asthehagiographertellsthestory,Irchinbald'stransitionfrom gluttonytostarvationisnaturalitishisreturntoeatingthatisthemiraculouscure.Incontrast,Friderade'slossofappetiteisthemiracle.Theimplicationisthather subsequentreturntoeatingneedsnoexplanation. Bythetwelfthcenturysuchreportsweremorecommon.Oneofthemostinterestingisfound,likeWalburga'scures,inasaint'slifethathasovertonesoffertilitycult.In thevitaofBridgetofKildare(d.ca.525),foodisacentraltheme.Bridgetsupposedlyturnedastoneintobreadintimeoffamine.(Butwhentwoofhernunswere discontent,wantingmeat,thebreadturnedintoserpents.)Shegaveawaybutter.Thecowsshemilkedproducedenormousamounts.Sheisassociated iconographicallywithacowandalargebowl.118LawrenceofDurham,writingaversionofherlifesixhundredyearsafterherdeath,foundinthechapteronher babyhoodanopportunityforinsertingacontemporarymarvel.Bridget,henotes,wasallergictocow'smilk.Onceshewasweanedshecouldnotkeepmilkdown.But shegrewanyway,asifshewereeating.
Althoughherstomachwasindignantandrejectedallfood...,nonethelessherbodygrewandwasbeautiful,asifshehadfood.AndletnoonebesurprisedbecauseIknowof suchathingfromourowntime.TherewasavirginfromthesouthofEnglandwholivedinherfather'shousefortwentyyearswithoutacceptinganyfood,withthisexceptionthat everySundayshefedherbodyonthecommunionoftheLord'sbodyandbecausethemorselcouldhardlypassdownherthroatshewasaccustomedtoacceptalittleholywater tomakethiseasier.Andonfeastdayssheonlytastedthewaterbutdidnotswallow,andthroughthecourseoftheseyearssheneithertookfoodordrinknordidshehaveany appetiteforfoodanddrink.Andherbodythusdestituteofstrength,shelosttheabilitytogrow,buthermindremainedfirmandhermemberswellcoordinatedandshedidnotlose theabilitytospeak.Andsincethisthing,whichismoreremarkable,isprovedbymorewitnessestoitstruththantherewereinhabitantsintheplacewherethegirllived,weshould believesuchathingallthemoreofSt.Bridget,sinceitisalessermarvel.119

Similarstoriesarefoundinotherlivesandchronicles.RogerofWendoverandMatthewParisreportedfortheyear1225:

Page91 InthatsameyearinthecityofLeicesteracertainreclusediedwho,forsevenyearsbeforeherdeath,hadnevertastedfoodexceptthatshereceivedthebodyandbloodofthe LordincommuniononSundays.WhenthebishopofLincoln,HughofLincoln,heardofthismiracle,hedidnotbelieveit.Completelyincredulous,hethereforehadherstrictly guardedforfifteendaysbypriestsandclericsuntilitwasfoundthatshereallytooknonutrimentforherbodyinallthattime.Andshealwayshadafacewhiterthanalilybutwith arosytint,asasignofhervirginalpurityandmodesty.120

JamesofVitrycoupledwithhisaccountofAlpasareferencetoareclusefromNormandywho"formanyyears""ateanddranknothing,norfromhermouthnorfrom anyoftheothernaturalorgansdidanythinggoout."121CaesariusofHeisterbachalsotoldthestoryofAlpasalongsideanotheraccount,thisoneofawomanwho livedonSundaycommunionalone"withoutbodilyhunger"andpassedthetestofidentifyinganunconsecratedhost.122Alittlelater,RogerBacondescribedawoman ofthedioceseofNorwichwho


didnoteatfortwentyyearsandshewasfatandofgoodstature,emittingnoexcretionfromherbody,asthebishopprovedbycarefulexamination.Norwasthismiraculousbut, rather,aworkofnature,forsomebalance[constellatio]wasatthattimeabletoreducetoastateofalmostcompleteequilibriumtheelementsthatwerebeforethatinherbodyand becausetheirmixturewasfromtheirpropernaturesuitabletoabalancenotfoundinothermakeups,theiralterationhappenedinherbodyasitdoesnotinothers.123

Bythefifteenthcenturysuchcasesservedtheologicalpurposesandwerecarefullytestedbytheauthorities,whooccasionallyunmaskedfrauds.ThomasNetter(d. 1430),inatreatiseagainsttheLollards,toldthestoryofJoantheMeatlessasproofofthedoctrineoftherealpresence:
IfEliascouldliveonalittlebreadandwaterbroughtbyangelsforfortydays,howmuchmorecanpeopleliveonthefleshandbloodofChrist?...Butifanyonedoesnotbelieve this,Iwillciteacasefromourowntimeandexperience.InthenorthernpartofEngland,calledNorfolk,whichisveryrichinbothtemporalandspiritualthings,thererecentlylived adevoutChristiangirlcalledinthevulgartongueJoantheMeatless(thatis,"withoutfood"),becauseitwasproventhatshehadnottasted

Page92 foodordrinkforfifteenyears,butonlyfedwiththegreatestjoyeverySundayonthesacramentoftheLord'sbody.Andwhatisevenmoreremarkable,shecoulddistinguisha consecratedhostfromunconsecratedonesamongathousandbreadsallalikeandcouldnotbedeceivedaboutthetruthofthesacrament.Andwhatmanythoughtwasmore wonderfulstill,shedidthisnotsomuchbydivineinspirationbutbyacertainskillofhersenses,sinceshehadsuchahorrorofallbodilyfoodthatshecouldnottolerateitstaste orsmellandturnedfromitevenatadistance.124

CanonizationinquiriesforColetteofCorbie(d.1447)uncoverednotonlythesaint'sown"miraculous"fastsbutalsostoriesofColetteherselfrejectingafraudulent fasterandcuring,withwaterfromherrelics,anunwhohadnotbeenabletoeatforthirteenyears.125Thereareatleastsevencasesof"fastinggirls"inthesixteenth centurytheirselfstarvationisreportedbothasevidenceforcanonizationandasascientificcuriosity.126Alsofromthesixteenthcenturycomesthefirstcaseinwhich theclaimsofafasterareunmasked,notasfraudbutasdisease.JohnWeyer(d.1588),wellknownforhisskepticismaboutwitchcraft,discoveredthatatenyearold crippledgirl,BarbaraKremers,whosemotherclaimedthatsheneitheratenorexcretedandwhosemarvelousabstinencehadbeencertifiedauthenticbyherlocal towncouncil,wasbeingsecretlyfedbyhertwelveyearoldsister.AfterpersuadingBarbaratoeatnormallyandtogiveuphercrutches,Weyersentherhomeunder ducalprotection.Theoutrageddukeinsisted,however,thatallcertificatesandtestimonialsaboutthemarvelousfastingbeburnedinthemarketplace,andhe reprimandedthetowncouncil.127 BetweentheearlyMiddleAgesandthefifteenthcentury,whentheilliterateSwisshermitNicholasofFle(d.1487)becamefamousforlivingtwentyyearsonthe eucharistalone,suchstoriesarenottoldofmen.128PeterofLuxembourgandJamesOldo(d.1404),whobeganextremefasts,resumedeatingatthecommandof theirsuperiors.129ThemaleexamplesclosesttothesefemalecasesofextendedstarvationarethecaseofayoungmonkintwelfthcenturyEngland,whowentfor morethanayear"eatingverylittle,"130therathersimilaraccountofAelredofRievaulx,131andapassingchroniclereferencetoFacioofCremona(d.1272),who supposedlyneitheratenordrankforseventytwodays,duringwhichtimehetwicereceivedcommunion.132Thereis,atSt.Mary'sinBurySt.Edmonds,theeffigy andtombofoneJohnBaret(d.1463),aboutwhomtraditionholdsthathediedfromimitatingJesus'

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fastoffortydaysandsimilartraditionshavebeenattachedtoeffigiesinotherchurches.Butthesestoriesmayhavearisensimplyfromtheemaciatedappearanceofthe carvedcorpse.133 Animpressivearrayofexamplescanthusbecollectedtoshowthatfastingandeucharisticmiraclesweremoreprominentinwomen'sreligiositythaninmen's.Butmy purposeinthisbookisnotsimplytocountcasesofmaleandfemalebehavior.Itis,rather,todemonstratethatfoodwasanobsessiveandoverpoweringconcernin thelivesandwritingsofreligiouswomenbetweenthetwelfthandthefifteenthcentury.Itwaswomen,notmen,whowerereputedtoliveforyearsontheeucharist aloneorwhoseabstinencewentsofarthatnormalbodilyfunctionssuchasexcretionceased.Itwaswomenwhoinstoryafterstorydrankpusorfilthfromthesick theycaredfor,whileabstainingfromordinaryfood.Moreover,itwaswomenwhodevelopedeucharisticpiety,includingthecultoftheSacredHeartandthefeastof CorpusChristiwomenwhoinvisionaftervisionsawChristinthehostorchalicewomenwhogavethefoodfromtheirtablestothesickorthepoor,frequentlyin defianceofhusbandorfamilywomenwhosemiraclesinlifemultipliedfoodforothersandwhosebodiesafterdeathexudedhealingliquid.Finally,itwaswomenwho intheirwritingsrepeatedlyusedbread,blood,hunger,andeatingastheirdominantimagesforunionwithGodandneighborlanguagewhichappearsinmalewriters butisnevercentraltotheirpiety. Quantitativepatternsarethusnomorethanthebeginningofmyinquiry.Indeed,suchpatternsobscureevenwhiletheyelucidate.For,inordertobecounted, phenomenamustbecutapartfromeachotherandputintocountablecategories.Whatisreallyimportanttoanunderstandingofwomen'spiety,however,isnotthe numberoffoodmiraclesorfastsorthefrequencyofeucharisticecstasies,butthewayinwhichfoodasapolysemoussymbolofsufferingandfertilityliesatthecenter ofhowwomenthoughtandhowtheysurvived.Intherestofthisbook,therefore,Ishallbeconcernedwithparticularlivesandparticulartexts,inalltheircomplexityof livedandliterarymetaphor.Ishalltrytodemonstrate,byexploringwomen'sstories,thatfoodwasanoverwhelmingconcern,thatdenialanddevotionfastand feastwereconnectedinbasicandcomplexways,andthatthecausesofwomen'spietyliedeepwithinthestructuresofmedievalassumptionsandmedievalsociety. Inordertodemonstratethis,Ishallfirstbrieflyexaminethemalepietytowhichwomen'sreligiositymustbecompared.

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Men'sLivesandWritings: AComparison Theclaimthatfoodandfoodimageryarenotcentraltomalespiritualitymayseemodd,for,aschapter2makesclear,theoriesoffastandfeastintheearlychurch wereformulatedbymen,andmedievaltraditionsoffoodasceticismwentbacktotheDesertFathersofantiquity.AlthoughmedievalwomensometimestookMary MagdalenasamodeloffastingorpenitenceandCatherineofAlexandriaasamodelofwisdomorofecstaticunion,confessorsandhagiographersusuallyclaimedthat bothpiousmenandpiouswomenimitatedmalemodels.134Allstoriesfromtheearlychurchofindividualswhosurvivedontheeucharistaloneweretoldofmen.It wasClementofAlexandriawhointhesecondcenturyelaboratedtheexplicitlyeucharisticimageofChristasamotherfeedingthesoulfromhisbreasts,135andthe directsourceinthelaterMiddleAgesforsuchimagerywasthewritingsofAnselm(d.1109)andofseveraltwelfthcenturyCistercianmonks,amongthemBernard, GuerricofIgny,andWilliamofSt.Thierry.136AsJohnTaulerimplies(inthepassagequotedastheepigraphtotheIntroductionabove),thelocusclassicusof metaphorsoftastinganddevouringwasBernardofClairvaux'scommentaryontheSongofSongs,whichdescribesformationintheimageofChristas''being swallowedanddigestedbyhim."137Whatcanitmean,therefore,toclaimthatfoodsymbolismwasmoreimportanttowomenthantomen? Clearlysuchaclaimdoesnotmeanthatfoodmetaphorsandfoodpracticesweretheexclusivepreserveofpiouswomen.AsVauchezandKieckheferamply demonstrate,malesaintspracticedbothfoodasceticismandpassionateeucharisticdevotion.DodoofHascha(d.1231),LawrenceofSubiaco(d.1243),Johnthe GoodofMantua(d.1249),thepioushermitwhobecamePopeCelestineV(d.1296),PeterofLuxembourg,andJamesOldoareexamplesofdevoutmenknownfor theirfoodausterities.138But,asVauchezhaspointedout,fastsandecstasiesarecharacteristiconlyoftheminorityofmalesaintswhoarelay.Andevenmaleswho belongedtothiscurrentoflay,ofteneremitical,pietybarelyapproachedeithertheeucharisticfrenzyortheselfstarvationoftheirfemalecontemporaries.Menwho usedelaboratefoodmetaphorsintheireucharistictreatisesandsermonsdidnotcarrythoseimagesoverintotheirotherspiritualwritingascentralmetaphorsfor encounterwith

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God.Itisinwomen'svitae,notmen's,thateating/noteatingsometimesbecomesboththeleitmotivtyingthestorytogetherandtheunderlyingpsychologicaltheme.In ordertounderstandthis,wemustexplorethevitaeandwritingsofafewlatemedievalmenwhodidfast,displayunusualeucharisticfervor,ordevelopfood metaphorsinacontextofaffectivespirituality.Suchanexplorationshowsverypreciselythatfoodis,atbest,atheme,notthetheme,inmalelivesandsensibilities.For example,FrancisofAssisi,themostinfluentialmalesaintofthelaterMiddleAges,insistedonretaininglaystatusanddisplayedanintenselyaffectivepietybutneither feastnorfastwasacentralconcerninhisdevotion.DespiteFrancis'srepeateddescriptionsofhimselfandofthe"goodfriar"aswomanandmother,139hedidnotin factdisplaytheconcernwithfoodmetaphorssomarkedinthepietyofthirteenthcenturywomen. TheextensivematerialthatsurvivesonFrancisandhisearlyfollowershasgivenrisetoscholarlycontroversiesaboutthebasiccharacteristicsofhisreligiosity.Itis clear,however,thatfastingandabstinencewerenotcentralaspectsofFrancis'sconcernfor"purityofheart."Hedid,ofcourse,practiceharshfoodasceticismhimself, butneitherhisownwritings,thestoriesofthethreecompanions,thevitaeandmiraclecollectionsbyThomasofCelano,norBonaventure'svitaediscussitinmuch detail.140AlltheseaccountsagreethatFrancisrarelyatecookedfoodand,whenhedid,hemixeditwithwaterorashestospoilitsflavor141(apracticelaterimitated byotherFranciscanssuchasFrancisofFabriano[d.1322]).142Hedrankwineonlywhenhewasillandeventooklittlewater.Passingreferencesinthevitae indicatethathesometimesfastedtothepointofweaknessandprobablypermanentlydamagedhishealthbysodoing.143ThomasofCelano,intheFirstLife, describesFrancispretendingtoeatbutdroppingthefoodintohislap.144ButneitherFrancis'sownwritingsnortheearlybiographies,whichpresenthimasan exampleforteachingothers,suggestthatfooddenialwasanimportantpracticetohim.HisRuleof1223saysmerelythatthebrothersaretofastonFridaysandin AdventandLentbut"arenotboundtofastatothertimes."TheymayfastafterEpiphanyiftheywish.But"incaseofmanifestnecessity[they]arenotboundto corporalfast."145TheonlyreferencestofoodpracticesinhisearliestRule(1221)areanadmonitiontothesicknottofeelhesitantaboutseekingmedicines,an injunctionto

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thebrotherswhopracticegreaterrigornottodespisethosewhopracticeless,andthereminderthat"incaseofnecessity,thefriars,nomatterwheretheyare,caneat ordinaryfood."146 ThemessageinFrancis'sownwritingsisclearandfarclosertothetoneoftheNewTestamentthantothatoftheDesertFathersofthethirdandfourthcenturies. Francis'sdeepestconcerniswithdetachment,whichhecallspurityofheart,andwithteachingbytheexampleofone'sownlife.Thegoodfriarmustbetrulypoor,as thenewurbanpoorarepoorhemusthavenosecurity,noguaranteeforthemorrow.Thepatternofhislifemustcomfortratherthanscandalizeitmustdisplay Christ'sloveinthemidstoftheneedy.ThusFrancis'stwoRulesquoteRomans14:3,"Letnothimthateatethdespisehimthateatethnotandhethateatethnot,lethim notjudgehimthateateth,"andLuke10:8,"Eatwhatissetbeforeyou."147ThesefragmentaryRulesargueagainstcarryingasceticismtoextremes,lestthebodybe harmed,lesthypocrisybeencouraged,lestthosewhocannotbeargreatasceticismbemadetofeelinferiorbythosewhocan.Likethetwelfthcenturypreachersof moderation,Francishimselflinksactualandmetaphoricalfastinginhislettertothefaithfulhemerelyenjoinsthat"wearealsoboundtofastandavoidviceandsin, takingcarenottogivewaytoexcessinfoodanddrink."148Indeed,sinceFrancis'scentralconcernisforapovertythatmeanscompletevulnerabilitytocircumstance, itisnotsurprisingthatcorporateorevenindividualisticfoodasceticismshouldhavelittleimportancetohim.Periodicrenunciationofcertainfoodsormealsdepends, afterall,upontheregularityofthesustenanceandcommensalitybeingrenounced.InatonethatechoesPaulandJesus,Francisdenigratesnoteatingasamarkof religiouscommitment,substitutinginsteadavulnerabilitytowantandhungerthatjoinstheonewhobegstothelowliestoftheworld. InFrancis'sownwords,therefore,foodisnotthechiefsymbolfortheworldonerenounces,norishungeranimageofdetachment.Rather,theirregularitywithwhich foodcomestoabeggarisoneofthemarksofthe"poverty"and"nakedness"thatareFrancis'smajorimages.ThusitisnotsurprisingthatdespiteFrancis'spersonal abstinence,mostoftheearlystoriesabouthisfoodpracticesdealwithhiseating.ThematerialthatprobablyderivesfromBrotherLeoandwasreworkedinThomas ofCelano'sandBonaventure'svitaeofFrancisnotonlystatesexplicitlythatFranciswas"prudent"withhisfriarsyet"austere"himself,149italso

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instructsbyhisexample,first,thatwemustneveruseourasceticismtocensorothersand,second,thatwemustalwayshavefaiththatGodwillfeedusinourneed. InonestoryabrotherwakesinthenightveryhungryandFranciseatswithhiminordertoshowthat"weareboundtobewareofsuperfluityoffood...butwemust shuntoogreatabstinenceevenmore."150InanotherstoryFranciseatsgrapesinordertoinduceasickbrothertofollowhisexample.151Inyetanotherstorythe friarslayaverypoortableforavisitingdoctorbutinresponsetoFrancis'strustinGodawealthyladyarriveswithafeastfortheassembledcompany.152When Francishimselfissick,wearetold,fish,parsley,wine,andevenmarzipanmiraculouslyappear.153Storiesoffoodsentforthehungrybrothersrecordnotexactly feedingmiraclesperformedbyFrancisbut,rather,occasionsonwhichhebothpredictsthefutureandoffershisconfidenceinGodasamodelforothers. SometimesFrancis'seatingispresentedprimarilyasawarningagainsthypocrisyagainwithanalmostNewTestamentcondemnationofprideinreligiousobservance. OntwooccasionswhenFranciswasveryill,forexample,heatethemeatorlardheneededtosurvive.Oncerecovered,heconfessedtheeatinginextravagantself denigrationincludingstrippinghimselfnakedandaskingabrothertoleadhimbyaropebeforethepeople.Suchdisplayswereintended,apparently,togivean examplebothofhumilityandoftakingfoodinnecessity.154ThomasofCelanosaysthatFrancischaracterizedhypocritesaspeoplewho"sellthepallorofthefaceof fastingforruinouspraises,thattheymayappeartobespiritualmen,"andthatheexplicitlyenjoinedsuperiorstotakeextrafoodiftheyneededitinpublic,notin private,sothatotherswouldnotbe"ashamed"toprovidefortheirbodies.155Thomaseventellstheoddstoryofafriarwhoworriedabouteatingmeatwhen ChristmasfellonaFriday.ButFrancisurgedthebrothersnotonlytoeatbuteventosmearthewallswithmeatsothattheverybuildingwouldfeastonthedayofthe Lord'sbirth.156 InBonaventure'slatervitae,whichglossthematerialsoastominimizemanyofFrancis'sausterities,wefindsimilarstoriesofFranciseatinginordertoencourage otherstodoso.ThemostextremeasceticismintheLegendamaioristhatofsomeoneFranciscures,notofFrancishimself.157Moreover,foodisnot,in Bonaventure'saccount,afrequentorapowerfulsymbol.WhenFrancishasavisionofhimselffeedinghis

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brotherswithcrumbs,forexample,thefoodisanimageofsomethingunrelatedtonurtureorsustenanceitstandsfortheRule.Thepointofthestory,asBonaventure glossesit,isthewickednessofthosewhorefusetoaccepttheRulewithreverence.WhenBonaventurerecountsanoccasiononwhichfoodcameasmiraculousalms, hispointisnottocommendorcommentuponthefriars'fastingbut,rather,toemphasizepovertyandmendicancy.158 ItthusseemsclearthatdespiteFrancis'sownabstinence,povertywasafarmorebasicvaluetohimthanfasting,andnakedness/clothingamoreimportantmetaphor. M.D.Lambert,MichelMollat,LesterLittle,andothershaveelaboratedthecomplexwaysinwhichvoluntarypovertythatis,renunciationofownershipandmoney, andofthepowermoneybringswerecentralpracticesandimagesinthespiritualityofFrancisandhisfollowers.159AsThomasofCelanoandBonaventure describedhim,FrancisnotonlymarriedLadyPoverty,hewasLadyPoverty.160Andforthedenudingofpoverty,nakednesswasakeymetaphor.Atthecrucial turningpointsinFrancis'slife,hecastoffhisgarmentsasaliteralsignofrenunciationoftheworld.Whenherejectedhisearthlyfather,forexample,hetookoffhis clothesandhisshoesandthrewawayhismoney.Whenhepreparedfordeath,heagainremovedhisclothesinordertomeethisheavenlyfathernaked.161TheLeo materialincludesatleasttwootherstoriesofFrancisstrippinghimselfasasignofhumilityorpenitence.162ThomasofCelanointheSecondLifereportsthatFrancis metabrotherwhobeggedhimforhistunic(presumablyasarelic)Francisgaveitawayatonce,leavinghimselfnakedinthecold.163Thomas'sFirstLifeofFrancis liststhirtysixhealingmiracles,onlyoneofwhichisperformedwithfood164buttheSecondLifelistsatleastsevenoccasionsonwhichFrancisgavehisclothestothe poor.165WhenFrancisservedandkissedlepers,hiscrucialactwasgivingthemalmsandclothingthemwithhisowngarments,notdrinkingthepusoftheirsores(a favoriteasceticismoflaterfemaletertiaries).166IntheLegendamaior,Bonaventuresuggeststhecentralityofdenudingasanimageofdetachmentandgenerosity whenhesays:
Francisnowdevelopedaspiritofpoverty....Hehadneverbeenabletostandthesightoflepers...butnowinordertoarriveatperfectselfcontemptheservedthem devotedly...becausetheprophetIsaiastellsusthatChristcrucifiedwasregardedasaleperanddespised.Hevisited

Page99 theirhousesfrequentlyanddistributedalmsamongthemgenerously,kissingtheirhandsandlipswithdeepcompassion.Whenhewasapproachedbybeggars,hewasnot contentmerelytogivewhathehadhewantedtogivehiswholeselftothem.Attimeshetookoffhisclothesandgavethemaway,orrippedandtorepiecesfromthem,ifhehad nothingelseathand.167

Althoughitmaybeimpossible,asmanyhaveargued,toseparateFrancishimselffromthecolorfulstoriesthatcirculatedsoearlyabouthim,whatmattersformy purposesisthattheearlyfriarsdidnotseethemanwhocalledhimself"mother"asonewhofedthemwithhislife'sbloodorclosedhisbodyoffmiraculouslytofood. Rather,theysawhimasanimageofthepoorandnakedChristassomeoneeverreadytogivehisraggedtunictoanother,beggingfrommealtomeal,trustinginthe providenceofGod. Nor,forallhisdeepreverenceforthesacrament,washolyfeastcentraltoFrancis'sspirituality.HishagiographersassureusthathereveredtheBodyoftheLord, communicated"frequently,"andwantedtohearmassonceaday.168Inhisownwordsthereechoesadeepawebothbeforetheeucharistandbeforepriestswhocan holdGodintheirhands.Buttheeucharistwas,toFrancisastomanyaround1200,morearevelationthanameal.Hespoke,withprofoundreverence,notof receivingbutof"seeing"thehost.HewasawestruckbeforeGod"comedown"intoaVirgin,"hidingundertheformofalittlebread."169Hesenthisfriarsfromchurch tochurchwithpyxesto''house"Christ(i.e.,theconsecratedwafer)reverently,justashesentthemtopickupandcareforallbooksinwhichthenameofJesusmight beinscribedortorepairthecrumblingstonesofanychapelsinwhichGodwasworshiped.170Althoughhiseucharisticfervor(whichhemayinparthavecopiedfrom thedevotionofcontemporarywomenintheLowCountries)171wassincereandinfluencedlaterFranciscans,heseemstohavereveredthehost,ratherasherevered Bibles,asarelicofChrist.HisconcerntoseeGodatthemomentofincarnationinthehandsofpriestsdidnotemphasizethequalityoftheeucharistasfood,linkfeast andfastaspractices,orflowerintometaphorsofeating,drinking,intoxication,orassimilationaswaysofspeakingaboutthesoul'sunionwithGod. Foodwas,however,centraltoClareofAssisi,thewomanwhochosetofollowFrancisinasceticismandwhofoughtunsuccessfullymostofherlifefortherightto imitatehispoverty.Wehave,ofcourse,farless

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materialaboutClare,andherrangeofactivitywasfarmoreconstrainedthanFrancis's.172But,incontrasttotheevidenceconcerningFrancis,theearlyevidence aboutClareThomasofCelano'svita,theprocessforcanonization,thebullofcanonizationitself,andevenThomas'sdescriptionsofherandhersistersinthevitae ofFrancisdoesnottreatherfoodasceticismmerelyinpassingoraspartofacatalogueofausterities.Rather,Clare'sfoodpracticesarecentraltotheargument madeforherholiness.BothThomas'svitaandthebullofcanonizationunderlineherdevotiontotheeucharistandherfoodasceticism.Thomaswrote:


DuringtheseLents[i.e.,thefortydayspriortoEasterandtheperiodfromNovember11toChristmas],shetooknofoodwhateveronthreedaysoftheweek,Monday,Wednesday, andFriday.Thusthedaysofhermeagerfareandthedaysofherstrictmortificationfollowedoneupontheotherinsuchwisethatavigilofperfectfastwasendedbyafeastof breadandwater!ItisnotremarkablethatsuchaseveritymaintainedoveralongperiodmadeClaresubjecttoinfirmities,consumedherstrength,andunderminedherbodilyvigor.

ThomassaysthatFrancishimselfandthebishopofAssisifinallyforbadeherpracticeofkeepingthreedaysoftotalfastandforcedhertotakeanounceandahalfof breadofday.173TheaccountthusmakesitclearthatClareunlikeFrancis,whodesiredtobeindifferenttofoodandnevermadeapointofeatingnothingfoundit importanttokeepa"perfectfast,"thatis,tocloseherbodyentirelytofood. Clare'sadvicetohersisterswasharsherthanFrancis's.HerRuledoesrepeatFrancis'sadmonitiontomoderation("intimesofmanifestnecessitysistersshallnotbe boundtocorporalfasting"),174andinalettertoAgnesofPragueshedidrecallthatFrancisurgedhisfollowerstocelebratefeastsbyachangeinfoodandtobe lenientinrecommendingfoodpracticesfortheweakandinfirm.175Nonethelessshealsostatedunequivocally:"Atalltimesthesistersaretofast[i.e.,totakeonlyone mealaday]"176and"wewhoarewellandable[should]alwayseatLentenfood."177WhensheheardthatAgneshadundertakenfoodausteritiessimilartoherown, shefeltcompelledtorecommendsomerelaxation(asFrancishaddonewithher).''Iaskandbegyou,"shewrote,"torefrainwiselyanddiscreetlyfromanyindiscreet andimpossibleausterityintheabstinencewhichIknowyoutohaveadopted."178Buttakentogether,Clare'sandAgnes'spracticesandClare'sownRulesuggestthat food

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austeritieshadgreaterprominenceinthedailylivesofearlyFranciscannunsthaninthelivesofthefriars. OtherfoodmotifsareimportantinClare'sstoryaswell.Sheshedtearsbeforetheholyfoodoftheeucharistandapproacheditwithawe.179Sheonceputanenemy toflightwiththehost.180Hericonographicmotifisthemonstrance.Sheisthusassociatedvisuallyaswellasinwrittenevidencewiththeemergingcultofthe consecratedhost.181Furthermore,servingespeciallyfeedingothersisamajorthemeinClare'svita.Asidefromafewmiraculouscures,hermajormiraclesduring herlifetimewerethemultiplicationofbreadononeoccasionandofoilonanother.182Sheservedthesistersattableandcleanedupthefilthofthesickwithout complaint.183Partofherenthusiasmforholypovertyseemstohavestemmedfromthefactthatbeggingbrothersbroughtbackmerecrumbsforthesisters'meals Thomastellsusshewas"almostsorry"whenbeggingproduced"wholeloaves."184Ononeoccasion,whenPopeGregoryIXissuedabullwhoseresultwouldhave beentoprovidelesspreachingtoherconvent,Clareseemstohavethreatenedakindofhungerstrike.InanyeventorsoThomastellsusshedrewananalogy between''foodforthesoul"(i.e.,preaching)andearthlybread:ifthepopeforbadepreacherstocome,shesaid,thesisterswouldrefusetoacceptthemundanebread providedbythebeggingbrothers.185 AfinalfoodmotifintheClarematerialappearsintheprocessforcanonization,wheretwowitnessesrecountalactationmiracle.186Accordingtothefullestofthe reports,ClareoncesawFrancisinavisionandtookhimajugofhotwaterandatowel.Whenshereachedhim,hebaredhisbreastandgavehersuck,andthe substancewas"sweetanddelightful"and"suchpureshininggoldthatshesawherreflectioninit."Itisreasonabletothinkthatthisvisionwasinfluencednotonlybythe extensiveuseofnursingasametaphorforinstructingandcounselingintwelfthcenturyspiritualliteraturebutespeciallybyFrancis'sownnotionofhimselfandanygood friaras"mother"anotionfoundrepeatedlyintheearliestFrancismaterial.187Nonetheless,theappearanceofsuchavisiontoClareratherthantoFrancis'smale followers,togetherwithotherevidenceofClare'semphasisonservingandfeedingotherswhileherselfnoteating,suggeststhatfoodwastoClarewhatclothingand moneyweretoFrancis:abasicsymbolofbothsacrificeandservice. ThisbriefcomparisonofClareandFrancissuggests,farmorevividlythandoanystatistics,thedistinctiveemphasesofmaleandfemalepie

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ties.RaisedinthesamesmallItaliancity,tributarytothesamespiritualcurrents,influencedbyeachother,ClareandFrancisexpressedthesamecravingforself abnegationandworlddenial.Buttheyexpresseditindifferentbehaviorsandmetaphors.OnlytoClarewasfoodcrucial.FrancisrenouncedwealthClarerenounced food.Francisrepairedchurches,clothedthepoor,begged,andpreachedinthestreetsofthetownClare,bothmiraculouslyandprosaically,servedandfedhersisters inthecloister.ToFrancis,"nakedness"wasthesymbolofthepovertyandhumilityofChrist.Clare'smostferventdenudingofselfwasabstinence. AnotherpieceofthirteenthcenturyevidencesuggeststhatcontemporariesrecognizedthiscontrastbetweenFrancisandhisfemaledisciples.AnanonymousFrench FranciscanwhotranscribedacollectionofmaterialsonElizabethofHungarycastFrancisandElizabethindistinctiverolesassociatedbothwithgenderandwithfood. Hewrote:"[Francis]wasthefatherofthefriarsminorand[Elizabeth]wastheirmother.Andheguardedthem[custodiebateos]likeafather,shefedthem[nutriebat eos]likeamother."188IfweturntothosefourteenthcenturymenwhosepietyisatfirstglancemostnearlyparalleltothatoffourteenthcenturywomenHenry Suso,JohnTauler,RichardRolle,andJanvanRuysbroeckwefindclearevidenceofthedifferencebetweenmaleandfemalepietysuggestedbytheanonymous Franciscan'scomparisonoffatherFrancisandmotherElizabeth. HenrySusowasboththemostextremefoodasceticamongfourteenthcenturymenandoneofthefewmalesaintsoftheperiodgiftedwitheucharisticvisions.189He wasdeeplyinfluencedbywomenbothhispracticesandhiswritingswereveryclosetothefemalespiritualityofhisday.YetSuso'sfastingneverbecameafood fixationoradenialofordinaryhungersensationshunger,eating,andfoodwerenotbasicmetaphorsinhiswriting.Insofarasnursingwas,forhim,afundamentalmotif, itexpressedthecentralitynotsomuchoffoodasofwomenandmothersinhisemotionalworld.ApassagechosenalmostatrandomfromSuso'sLittleBookof Wisdomfindshimdescribingpatienceinsuffering(abasicfourteenthcenturymotif)asalivingsacrifice,asweetodor,avaliantknightintournament,acupof wholesomedrink,andaglitteringruby.190SucharangeofimagesistypicalofSusoeatinganddrinkingarenomoreorlessimportantherethanelsewhereinhis spiritualwriting. Suso'sorientationwasalmostentirelytowardwomen.Heexplicitly

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identifiedwithhismother'spietyratherthanhisfather'sworldliness191heservedasadvisertoseveralcommunitiesofnunshisvita(whichwasdraftedinpartby ElsbetStagel,inpartbysomeoneelse,perhapsalsoanun)192makesitclearthathesoughtfemalefollowers,thatmorewomenthanmencametohimforadvice,and thatthispopularityledtounpleasantgossip.193Moreover,despitehislikingforchivalricmetaphors,Susooftensawhimselfinfemaleimages.Althoughtheearliest extantaccountofhislifewascompiledbywomenandtherefore,presumably,coloredbytheirchoiceoflanguage,itishardtoavoidtheconclusionthatthefeminine metaphorsemployedtodescribeSusoreflecthisselfperception,sinceboththereportedvisionsandhisownproseinotherworksrepeatedlycasthiminfemaleroles. HesupposedlyoncesaidtoGod:"Peoplecallmethefatherofthepoor...itismypolicytoweepwiththetearfulandmournwiththesorrowladenasamother smoothestheruffledbrowofafeverishchild."194Suchlanguage,inwhichotherscallSuso"father"buthehimselfclaimsamaternalresponsibility,istypicalofhisvita. WhenGodofferedhimavisionofhimselfasaknight,hetriedtorejectit.195Inanotherworkhewrote:"Lord,yourtreatmentofmeispuzzling:Ilookeverywherefor yourdivinitybutyoushowmeonlyyourhumanityIdesireyoursweetnessbutyouoffermeyourbitternessIwanttosucklebutyouteachmetofight."196Buthe welcomedJesus'descriptionofhiminavisionasamaidenpickingroses.197Speakingforallsouls,hewailed:"TheheavenlyFathercreatedmemorelovelythanall merecreaturesandchosemeforhistenderlovingbride,butIranawayfromhim''"formerlyIwascalledhisdearbride,butnow,sadtosay,Idonotdeservetobe calledhispoorlaundress."198Moreover,Susorepeatedlydescribedhimselfasanursingbaby.199Thefollowinglinesfromhisvitaaretypical,andthemetaphormay behisown:"WhenheenjoyedthefamiliarpresenceofEternalWisdomhefeltlikeasmilingbabeheldsecurelyonitsmother'slap,hungrilynuzzlingitsheadagainsther breast."200Sometimeshisdesiretosucklewasexpressedinmorethanmetaphor.Onenight,afterhehadsteppedasideforapoorwomanbecausehe"reveredMary inher,"Maryappearedtohiminavisionandlethimdrinkliquid"flowingfromherheart."201 Susothusclearlyidentifiedwithwomenandchildrenandwithfemalepiety.Nonetheless,hediscouragedwomenfromexactlythoseausteritiesinwhichhegloried.His wordstoElsbetStagelreflectafeelingofsu

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perioritytopiouswomenandasomewhatdefensiveprideinhisownasceticattainments:"Discontinuetheseexcessiveausteritieswhichareunsuitabletoyoursex.... [Donot]aim...atimitatingtheausteritiesof...yourspiritualfather."202Moreover,althoughhefrequentlylikenedhisownsoultomaidenormother,hesometimes used"woman"asanimageofmoralweakness(ratherthanhumility)whenaddressingactualwomen.203Toaspiritualdaughterhewrote:"Knowthatyoucannotteach yourselfyouareweakerthanEveinparadise,andyetyouwanttoleadotherstoGod!"204Andheurgedhertoact"virilely,''tobea"knight"forGod,andeven likenedhimself,inteachingher,toaknighttraininganewsquire.205 Fromageeighteentoforty,Susopracticedextremeausterityintheuseoffoodanddrinkaspartofageneralprogramofbodilymortification,whichincludedfrequent scourgings,wearingahairshirt,andcarvingthenameofJesusintohisbarechestwithastylus.206Yetthroughouthisintensefastsandthirsts,heneverlosthistastefor foodanddrink.207Once,afterhavingabstainedfrommeatformanyyears,hegaveintoacravingforitasaresult,hewasattackedbydemonsandsufferedakindof lockjawforthreedays.208 Acharmingstoryfromchaptersevenofhisvitamakesitclearthathisfoodasceticismwasmerelyoneaspectofageneraltraininginselfdenialratherthanthe keystoneofhisasceticvocation.Suso,sothestorygoes,lovedfruit.Inordertocurehimofthiscraving,Godsentavisionofanapplethatsaid:"Eatme!"Suso replied,"No."Butthen,rememberingthathealwaystookanextraportionwhenfruitwasserved,hevowedtoeatnofruitfortwoyears.Becausetherewasfor severalyearsapoorharvest,fruitwasinanycasescarceyetwhenitbecameavailable,Susostillcravedadoubleportion.Atthepointwherehungerhadalmost conqueredhiswill,he"madeabargainwithGod."IfGodwantedhimtosatisfyhiscraving,Godwouldsendhimmuchfruit,Susosaidtohimself.Itseemedanunlikely possibility,inviewoftheshortage,butearlythenextmorningastrangerbroughtasumofmoneytothemonasterywiththestipulationthatitbespentforapples.Suso wasdelighted.209 Thus,despiteSuso'sidentificationwithfemalepietyandhisprideinhisextremeausterities,heneverlostthedesireforfoodassomanyasceticwomendid.Evenin hisyouth,fastingwasnotatthecoreofhis

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determinationtoimitateChristandtosufferinpatience,ashismotherhaddone.Norwasfoodapowerfulimagetohim.210Theeucharisticvisionhereceived"many times"issurprisinglylackinginvividdetail,letalonefoodimagery.Hemerelysawraysemanatingfromthehost,andhissoulmeltedaway,piercedwithsweetness.211 Thedescriptionofhistablemanners,whichsoamusedandannoyedthegreathistorianHuizinga,makesitclearthattoSuso,foodpracticesfrequentlyevokedother religiousconcerns,whereasotherpracticesorsymbolsseldomevokedfood.WhenSusodrank,forexample,heswallowedfivetimesforthewoundsofJesus.Heate thefirstandlastmorselsofeachmealinhonoroftheheartofJesus.Hecutanylargefruitintofourparts,threefortheTrinityandthefourthpartforMaryheleftthe fourthpartunpeeledforMary'sbaby,becausechildrendonotpeelfruit.212InsuchpracticestheemphasisisonthebodyorthebabyhoodofChristandnotonthe factthatselfdisciplineisachievedthroughfood.Suso'sonlypersistentandelaboratedfeedingorfoodimageisnursingwhichseemstoexpressnotafixationonfood butaprofoundneedtobecaredfor,asachildiscaredforbyitsmother. FrancisofAssisiandHenrySusoareprobablythethirteenthandfourteenthcenturymenwhosepietyismost"feminine"ifweusethetermfeminine,ashistoriansof spiritualityhavedone,tomeanaffective,exuberant,lyrical,andfilledwithimages.Itis,therefore,deeplysignificantthatdespitetheaustereasceticismandeucharistic fervorofthesetwosaints,metaphorsotherthanfoodandpracticesotherthanfastingdominatetheirpiety.ThespiritualityofthreeothermalewriterstheEnglish hermitRichardRolle,JohnTauleroftheRhineland,andJanvanRuysbroeckfromtheLowCountrieswasalso,inthissense,"feminine."Allthreeelaboratedthe devotiontoChrist'shumanitysocentralinwomen'spiety.AllthreeRollemostofallvoicedtheemotionalidentificationwiththeeventsofChrist'searthlylifethat characterizedecstaticwomensuchasMaryofOignies,Hadewijch,ElsbetStagel,andMargeryKempe.213RuysbroeckandTaulerwerecrucialfiguresinthe developmentofeucharisticdevotion,andallthreewerecloselyassociatedwithcloisteredwomen.Yetfornoneofthethreewasfoodasceticismamajorreligious practicefornoneofthemwasfoodafundamentalmetaphorforencounterwithGodorserviceofneighbor.Nonechosehungerashisbasicsynonymfordesire,and tononewaseatingamajormetaphor

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forbecomingonewithChrist'ssufferings(asitwasforHadwijch),forthedelightsofmysticalunion(asitwasforMechtildofMagdeburg),orforthesavingofsouls (asitwasforCatherineofSiena). Allthreeofthesewritersadvisedwomen,wroteforthem,andwereinfluencedbythem.Rolle'sFormofLiving,likehisothertwoEnglishepistles,waswrittenfora woman.Ruysbroeck'sMirrorofEternalSalvation,whichcontainsatreatiseontheeucharist,wasprobablycomposedforMargaretofMeerbeke,towhomhe addressedhisBookoftheSevenCloisters.AndRuysbroeck,likeSuso,wasdeeplyinfluencedbyhismother,whofiguredprominentlyinthevisionshereceived beforeheresolvedhisvocationalcrisisandenteredthehermitageatGroenendael.214MostofTauler'ssermonswerepreachedinGermantonuns.215 Onsomelevel,however,TaulerandRolledislikedwomen.Rollewascloselyassociatedwithanunneryduringhislifeasahermit,andhesymbolizedhisconversionby puttingonahabitmadeofhissister'sdresses.Hisvitawaspreparedbynuns,andheperformedthegreatmajorityofhismiraclesforwomen.216YetRolle,possibly becauseofadeepattachmenthehaddevelopedtowardawomanwhowastotallyignorantofhisfeelings,judgedwomenharshly.Hesawthem,inKnowles'swords, as"agreatdanger...,anoccasionofsin,deceitful,foolish,andweakinreasoning."217Taulertoo,likehisfellowDominicanandcontemporarySuso,viewedthenuns headvisedwithacertainambivalence.HesawwomenascreatedinGod'simage218anddescribedMaryasthemeansbywhichhumankindretrievedthelikenessto GodlostinEden.219Herecognizedthateucharisticpietywasaparticularcharacteristicofwomen.220Nevertheless,herepeatednegativestereotypesofthefemale:
Weareallwomeninourfrailty,amanlikeme,nolessthanyouwomengiddyweare,andunstable.ButIhavebeenincountrieswheretheyactlikemen,showinggreatstrengthin theirconversions,andgreatsteadfastness.ThewordofGodproducesgreaterandfinerfruitsthereinasingleyearthanintenwholeyearswithus.Miraclesandgreatgraceareto beseenthereamongsuchblessedpeople.Inothercountriestheyallbehavelikewomen.Whatevertheiropportunitiestheymakenothingofthem.Iknowthatyouwillnotliketo hearmespeakinthiswayaboutwomen,but,mydearchildren,wemustallbecomemenanduseourstrengthtoturntoGod,ifwearetobeofanyuse.221

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UnlikeSuso,TaulerfeltnogreatneedtodescribehimselforGodinfemaleimagesalthough,likeallspiritualwriters,hecallsthesoul"abride."222ToTauler, tendernessaswellasharshnessandrigorwasincorporatedintothenotionoftheGodheadthroughthemaleimagesof"lovingfather"and"goodshepherd."223But whenheneedednotonlytosymbolizeutterselfabasementbutalsotourgeitastheonlypathtoGod,hechosetheCanaanitewomanfromMatthew15:2128and toldofacontemporarywomanwhoofferedtogotohellinordertodebaseherselfbeforetheCreator.224 TaulerandRollerejectedsevereasceticismasinappropriateattentionto"works"andwereslightlydefensiveaboutbeingthemselvesunabletopracticeit.Rolle'svita includesapassingreferencetofasting:


Hespurnedtheworldtoowithitsriches,beingcontentwithonlythebarenecessitiesoflife....Hemortifiedhisfleshwithmanyfasts,withfrequentvigils,andrepeatedsobsand sighings,quittingallsoftbedding...fixinghismindalwaysonheaven,anddesiringtodeparttobewithChrist,hismostsweetBeloved.225

ButRolle'sownwordsclearlyindicatethathedidnotpracticeextraordinaryfoodasceticismandthathewascriticizedbycontemporariesforfailingtofitthe recognizedhermitpattern. IntheMelodyofLoveRolleclaimsthathehasbeenattackedunfairlybysomewhoattributethemysticalfavorshereceivestodrunkennessorafullstomach. Althoughhedescribeshimselfaspracticingpenance,avoidingwomen,andmaceratinghisflesh,headmitsthathehasfounditnecessarytoeatandthat"althoughIam gratifiedwiththeheavenlymelody,someholdmeforamanofnothing.Theseeviltonguessaythat,liketherich,Ilivewell.AndtheywishtoconvinceeveryonethatI amunworthyofGod."226IntheFireofLovehecommentsthatitisbettertoeatalittletoomuchbymistakeifitisdone"withgoodintenttosustainnature"thanto fastuntilonebecomestoofeebletosingwithloveofGod.


EatenhaveIanddrunkenofthisthatseemedbest,notbecauseIlovedpleasantnessbutbecausenaturemustbesustainedintheserviceofGod....IdaresaywithblessedJob: "Foolshavedespisedme...,"neverthelesstheyshallbeashamedwhentheyseemethathavesaidthatIwouldnotabidebutwhereImightbedelicatelyfed.227

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RollecriticizesthosewhoputawaynotmerelysuperfluitiesbutalsonecessitiesorwhodesiretopleaseGodby"toomuchabstinenceandnakedness":
Andthoughpalenessoffacebethebeautyofsolitaryman,neverthelesstheirserviceisnotrightlyorderedforiftheybebiddentochastisetheirbodiesandbringthemintothe serviceofthespirit,yetoughttheynottoslaytheirbodies,butkeepthemforthehonourofGod.228

LikeFrancisofAssisi,Rolleseemstohaveconceivedoftrueasceticismasthestateofbeingatthemercyofothersratherthanasrigorouscontrolanddenialofself. Thushestressedtheirregularityofsustenancemorethanitsabsence,writing:"Ifreelypraisethegiverofthelaw...becauseinthislifeIamwithoutpowernordoI haveanythingwhenIhungerexceptwhatothersgivetomeandIeatnotwhenIwillitbutatthewillofothermen."229 Tauler,likeRolle,wasbothunabletofastandunimpressedwiththespiritualvalueofextremefoodasceticism.HeadvisedthefaithfultoacceptthesufferingGod sendsratherthanseekoutmorebitternessthroughselfimposedausteritiesorthe"busyness"of"works":


Setyourheartatrest.Whetheryouhavedeserveditornot,takeyoursufferingascomingfromGod,thankhimforitandbeatpeaceandatrest....[Butsomepeople]wanttotake stillmore[bitterness]uponthemselves.Theymakethemselvesillandqueerinthehead,anditisallofnoavail.Thereasonwhytheyderivenogracefromtheireffortsandmakeno progressisthatthewholeperformanceisselfdetermined,whethertheyaredoingpenance,fasting,prayingormeditating.TheyexpectGodtofallinwiththeirideas.230

Taulerarguedthatthevalueofsufferingliesinselfabnegationthereforesilenceisthebestausterity,moreusefulthanfastingorvigilsorselfflagellation.231Hecalled thetendencytojudge(oreventopayattentionto)theasceticpracticesofothersa"murderer"and"thief"thatrobsGodofproperhonoranddevotion,232andhe warnedthatasceticismcanleadtopride:


Dearchildren,whatarethesedelightsandsatisfactionsthatwehavetobedetachedfrom?Theyarethingslikefasting,keepingvigils,praying,observingtheRuleoftheOrder thesearethedelightswhichithasnotbeenourLord'swillformetofindinourOrder.233

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TaulerevenadvisedthefaithfultorejoiceinGod'screationsolongasitsbeautiesdonotdistractthemfromthehigherbeautiesofGodhimself:
NordoImean[thatweshoulddespise]thosethingswhichservetheneedsofournature.Whenwearehungryorthirstywewillnaturallyenjoyeatinganddrinking,atiredman willnaturallylookforwardtoagoodrest....Evenso,ifwedesirethesethingsgreedilyasmeresourcesofpleasure,andnotbecauseweneedthemorfindthemuseful,theycan hinderthebirthofGodinoursouls.234

Urginganinnerpoverty,areposebeyondworksandbusyness,TaulerjustifiedhisowninabilitytopracticeasceticismasitselfascourgesentbyGodandatthesame timearguedforadeeperandhighersurrenderthatwentbeyondallpracticesevenbeyonddiscursivemeditationonChrist'sPassion:235
ButGod...oftenbreaksdownwhateverrestsonsuchafoundationasthis[i.e.,piouspractices]byfrequentlyarrangingthingswhichruncontrarytomen'sdesires.Iftheywant tokeepvigil,theyareobligedtosleep,againsttheirwilliftheyliketofast,theyaremadetoeat....Forjustasworldlyandsinfulpersonsareseducedbysensualpleasures,so thesepeopleareheldbackbycomplacencyinwhattheydoorwhattheyfeel,andarethushinderedfromanabsoluteandsimplesurrendertoGod.236

TheFlemishmysticRuysbroeck,anxious(likeTauler)tocounteranysuggestionofquietismorantinomianism,alsomaderoomformeditationonthePassion,for fastingandabstinence,andevenforphysicalmanifestationsoflikenesstoChristsuchasstigmata.ButhepreferredahigheranddeeperunionwithChrist'sdivinity, beyondworksandbusynessandconcernforpractice.237InhisBookoftheSevenCloisters,writtenforanun,hepraisedthe"poorconvent,"warnedagainstexcess infoodanddrinkasthe"rootofallsins,"andpointedoutthatAdamfellthroughgreedalthoughhewasnothungry,whereasChrist,hungryandtemptedbythedevil, resistedfood,saying"Mandoesnotlivebybreadalone"(Matt.4:4).Buthealsowarnedagainsteatingtoolittleanddamagingthebody,whichshouldbeourservant, andpointedoutthatwisereligiousleaderssuchasAugustineandFrancis,whilestrictforthemselves,werelenienttowardthehumanneedsoftheirfollowers.238 Moreover,HenryPomer,inhislifeofthesaint,laysnostresswhatsoeveron

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foodasceticism.239HeevensuggeststhatwhatwasremarkableaboutRuysbroeck'sdevotiontotheeucharistwasthefactthathedidnottreatitlikefood.Unlike othercelebrants,Ruysbroeckseemedtoabsorbthehostwithoutopeninghislipsorchewingorrollingitonthetonguerather,hewastransportedtoGodfromthe momenthetouchedtheelements.240 Despitetheirprofounddevotiontotheeucharist,neitherTauler,Rolle,norRuysbroeckusesfoodasabasicimage.Ruysbroeck,althoughinfluencedbyHadewijch,to whomfoodimageryandeucharisticdevotionwerecrucial,241makeslittleuseofanyimagefromanimatenature,althoughhisworkisfilledwithmetaphorsoflightand water,sunandsea.242Eveninthelittleeucharistictreatisefoundinchapters4to17oftheMirrorofEternalSalvation,hungerandthirst,althoughoccasionally metaphorsfordesireforGod,arenotthemostcommonimages.RuysbroeckranksthemfourthamongthesevenblessingsofthosewhoattainunionwithGod.243The onlypassageinwhichhungerbecomesanimageofinsatiable,consumingdesireisadiscussionofChrist'sdevouringofoursins.244OnlyintheBookoftheTwelve BeguinesdowefindrepeatedpassagesinwhichdesireforGodistreatedasinsatiablehunger,ashellitself,245andanoccasionalearthyimage(likethosesocommon inRuysbroeck'scontemporary,CatherineofSiena)ofChristasroastedmeatandwarmdrink.246AndtheBookoftheTwelveBeguinesnotonlyputssuchimages intothemouthsofwomen,itisalsosometimesdirectlyimitatedorevenborrowedfromHadewijch.247 ToRolle,heatandmelodyarethedominantimages,astheverytitlesofhisworksindicate.248Evenwherehequotesbiblicalpassagesthatsuggestimagesofeatingor drinking,Rolleavoidselaboratingthem.Commenting,forexample,onPsalm77:25("Manhaseatenthebreadofangels"),Rollewrites:"Thesoundofpraiseisangels' food."249 Tauler'sbasicthemes,oftenadoptedfromEckhart,areofthesoul'sfreedomfrom"works"andworldlyconcerns,itstrue"patience"beforeGod,itsfinal"illumination" and"transformation"intoGod.HeusestraditionalBernardianlanguageof"eating''and"beingeaten"todescribethesacrament,butsuchimageryexpressesnotso muchyearningasrepose.NeitherChrist'sbody,hisflesh,hishumanityas"food"norourdesireas"hunger"iscentralinthesepassages,but,rather,anEckhartiansense ofourdeification:"250

Page111 WefeeduponourGod[WiressentunsernGot].HowwonderfulandinexpressibleisthisloveofHisthatfoundthismarvelouswayforHimtocometous.251 ItisGodHimself,andnointermediary.ThereisnodifferencebetweenitandGod.InthisgiftHegivesHimselftousdirectlyandnotinanyfigurativewayHeisunited,simplyand purely,withus.Thisisafeastindeed."252 Alltheotherfoodweeatisabaseandlifelessthing,derivingitsworthonlyfromthedignityofhumanlifewhichitsupports.Butthisnoblefoodislivingitself,andisthelifeof men.Allthosewhoarerefreshedandnourishedbyitliveeternally.253

Tauler,likeRolleandRuysbroeck,allowsbiblicalpassagestosuggestfoodmetaphorstohim.Forexample,whenhepreachesonJohn7:37("Ifanymanthirst,lethim cometomeanddrink"),hesaysthattheHolySpiritgivesusthirstforGodandthatonceweshakeoffearthlythings,wearejubilantandinebriatedwithGod.But evenhereheweavesthirstinginamongotherimages(suchasthatofhoundspursuingthehart),andheshiesawayfromthesortofhungerimagesthatdelighted fourteenthcenturywomenimagesinwhichhungerisinsatiablelonging.254Rather,hespeaksoftakingtherichandtastydishesofGodpreparedinthekitchenorof aworkmanstoppingtoeatinordertogoonworking.255Foodisrefreshmentorrespiteitisnotacentralimageeitherofourcravingformysticalunionorofsuffering inimitationofChrist.Awareoftheeucharisticpietyofthewomenofhisday,heholdsbackalittlefromadvocatingitsenthusiasms.InaCorpusChristisermonon John6:5("Hethateatsmyfleshanddrinksmybloodabidesinme"),hewarns:


Hedoesthis[giveshimselfasbread]sothathemaycomeintous,sinkintous,becomeapartofus,socloselyandintimatelythateventhesensescangraspandunderstandit. Hadhewished,hecouldhavedonethisinamuchgranderandmoresplendidway,illuminingandtransfiguringus.IndeedSt.Hildegardwrotethatthisdoeshappeneveryday, thoughinvisibly.AsisterofourOrderupinthemountainshadavisionofthisverythingshesawanamazinglightsurroundingthepriestandthealtar,agreathostofangelsand manylovelythings.ShesawallthiswithherbodilyeyesbutthisisnotthewayinwhichourLordgivesHimselftoyouandme.256

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MensuchasFrancisofAssisi,RichardRolle,andHenrySusoareoftenseenasthemostextremeexamplesoftheaffectivespiritualitythatcharacterizedmanylate medievalwomen.AnditiscertainlytruethattheiremotionalidentificationwithscenesfromChrist'slife,especiallyhisNativityandCrucifixion,wasbothliteraland extravagantalthoughsomemedievalwomen,suchasMaryofOigniesandDorothyofMontau,exceeditinexuberance.Inanycase,therewasnothingexclusively "feminine"abouttearsorecstasies,aboutvisionsorpoetry,inthelaterMiddleAges.Yetthemenwhodisplayedsuchcharacteristicswerefrequentlyadvisersof womenandcloselyinfluencedbythem,andthecharacteristicsweremoreoftenfoundinwomen'sreligiosity.257IndiscussingFrancis,Suso,Tauler,Rolle,and Ruysbroeck,Ihavelookedbrieflyatthosethirteenthandfourteenthcenturymenwhoweremostinfluencedbywomenandwhosepietymostresembledtheirs.Itis thussignificantthattheirdevotionshowednomarkedinterestinfood,eitherasasceticrenunciationorasmetaphorforencounterwithGod.Itisalsosignificantthat theyexplicitlyassociatedeucharisticdevotionandfastingwiththeirfemalefollowersandbothadmiredandcastigatedinwomentheextravagantvisionaryandascetic experiencestheythemselvesfounditimpossibletoachieve.258

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4 FoodintheLivesofWomenSaints
[Avoicesaid:]"Believe,daughter,andyoushalleat.Andletnooneputawayfromyoutheconsolationofsufferingforme,becauseyouwillnotlackmeindeed,youhavemenow andbecauseyouloveme,nowyouhavewhatyoulove....Trusttherefore,daughter,andhastentoLukardis,yoursister,andjoinyourselfthustohersothatyourmouthcanreceive breathfromhers...."[Agnesobeyed,andLukardisblewinhermouth.]...Inthatmoment,[Agnes]feltinhermouthasifshehadthesacramentofthehostgiventoherbythehand ofapriest.Throughthis,sheafterwardsasserted,agreatsavorofthesweetnessofdivinegracepenetratedheratthisveryhour...sothat,herinnereyebeingillumined...,shesaw openlymanymiraculousthingsworkedwithintheservantofGod,hersister,byGod.AndamongmanyotherthingsshesawcelebratedintheheartofthehandmaidenofChristthe deliciousbanquetofGod....There,ifitispermittedtosayit,sheknewtheholyTrinityinunityofessenceasifitcelebratedmass....Andeach[sister]sawherselfintheotherasif inamirrorandknewtheremarvelousthingsinthelightofdivineunderstanding. LIFEOFLUKARDISOFOBERWEIMAR (EARLYFOURTEENTHCENTURY)1

InthehighMiddleAgesdevoutChristiansfastedbeforecommunionandreceivedtheirGodasfood.Because,inthisoneritualmoment,foodactuallybecameGod, foodwasapowerfulsymbol.MysticsandpreachersfromAugustineandJohnChrysostomtoBernard,Tauler,andGersonusedfoodasametaphorforgraceand inspiration,fastasasymbolofpenanceandpreparation.Someholywomencarriedthereligioussignificanceoffoodmuchfurther.Notonlydidabstinenceand eucharistlieattheheartoftheirpractice,eachtookamoreradicalform,fastsometimeslengtheningintoyearswithouteating,communionsoar

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ingintodaysoffrenzyortrance.Moreover,asthepassagefromtheLifeofLukardissuggests,eatingandnoteatingbecamemorethanmetaphorsforgraceand desire.Theybecameactualmodesofexperiencing.Andsuchexperiencingwasnotlimitedtothecontextofthemass.TobothLukardisandAgnes,revelationand healingweregivenfromnuntonunasfood.Anygracemighttastelikethesacramentanycommunionorsharingmightbeabanquetanygiftmightbegivenbyorinto themouth. Itisonlythroughcloseanalysisofanumberofmedievalstoriesthatwecanseethewayinwhichfoodthemesinteractandinterweaveinwomen'slives.Suchanalysis indicatesthatwomen'swaysofservingtheirfellowChristiansandofunitingwithGodwerecloselytiedtofood,bothsymbolicallyandinfact.Medievalwomenfed others.Theyabstainedinordertofeedothers.Theyfedotherswiththeirownbodies,which,asmilkoroil,becamefood.Theyateordrankthesufferingoftheir fellowcreaturesbyputtingtheirmouthstoputrifyingsores.Moreover,womenachievedecstaticunionbyfusingwithaGodwhobecamefoodonthealtar.Inafierce imitationofthecrossthatincludedselfflagellation,selfstarvation,andacuteillness,womenbecamethemaceratedbodyoftheSavior,thebleedingmeattheyoften sawineucharisticvisions.IneroticunionwiththeadorablebodyofJesus,theyfeltgracewithinasinebriatingdrinkorasameltinghoneycomb. Thisassociationofthecontemplative,theascetic,andthecharitableactivitiesofwomenwithfoodbothactualfood,eatenanddistributed,andfoodasasymbolof giftorfleshrunsthroughoutthevitaeofwomensaints.Someofthesevitae,particularlythecollectivelivesknownasNonnenbcher,werewrittenbywomen, thoughthemajorityofextantdescriptionsofholywomenwerecomposedbymen.Thusitwouldseemthatbothmenandwomencontributedtothetendencyto describewomen'sexperiencesandwomen'sbodiesinfoodimagery.Theguidanceofconfessorsandpreachersaswellasofabbessesandspiritualfriendslaybehind thestrikingpatternoffeedingmiracles,eucharisticvisions,andextendedfaststhatcharacterizedwomen'slives.Theanalysisthatfollowsdemonstrateshowimportant foodwastowomen,bothassymbolandasfact.Italsosuggeststhattheassociationofwomanwithfood,especiallythenotionthatwoman'sbodyisfood,was importanttobothmenandwomenfromthethirteenthtothesixteenthcentury,andperhapsbeyond.

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TheLowCountries ThecentralityoffoodinfemalespiritualityfirstemergedinaremarkablegroupofLowCountrywomeninthelatetwelfthandthirteenthcenturies.Mostlythedaughters ofwealthyurbanfamilies,frequentlysufferingintenseadolescentconflictovertheirparents'desireforthemtomarry,oftenofquasireligiousstatusratherthanaffiliated withanyestablishedorder,thesewomencombinedacontemplativeorientationwithintensespiritualfriendships.2 Theydisplayedaquietsenseofservingothers throughprayerandsometimesthroughmoreactivecharities.ThemostfamousisthebeguineMaryofOignies,precursorinmanydevotionalpracticesofFrancisof Assisi.Numerousothersemergefromthesourceswithdistinctivepersonalities:thelearnedandaccomplishedwritersBeatriceofNazareth(d.1268)andHadewijch MargaretofYpres(d.1237),whodiedyoungandneverreallyfoundthespiritualadvisershecravedIdaofNivelles(d.1231),IdaofLouvain,andIdaofLau(d. latethirteenthcentury),withtheireucharisticfervorthesufferingleperAliceofSchaerbeke(d.1250)JulianaofCornillon,whowanderedinsearchofareligious house,neverfindingadequatesupportforhergreatvisionofthefeastofCorpusChristiLutgardofAywires,quiet,reclusive,butsoughtoutbyothersasareaderof heartsandChristinatheAstonishing,whosevitaisfilledwithsomeofthemostvividandimprobablemiraclesofthethirteenthcentury.Intheirvitaewrittenbytwo remarkableclericalbiographers,JamesofVitryandThomasofCantimpr,andseverallesswellknown,sometimesevenanonymous,authorsfoodmetaphorsare prominent.Themaleauthorsfoundextravaganteatingimageryusefulindescribingtheecstaticexperiencesoftheirsubjectsthewomenthemselveswhenwehear theirvoicesrecountingvisionsordeliveringpithyopinionsusedeatingimagerynotmerelyfortheeucharistbutforotherspiritualexperiencesaswell.3 MaryofOignies,whofrequentlyexperiencedthetasteofhoneyinhermouthatmass,alsoreceivedsensationsofbeingfulloroftastingsweetnesswhensheheard wordsofspiritualadvice.4 Whenherbiographer,JamesofVitry,wonderedwhyherfrequentvigils,fasts,andeffusionsoftearsdidnotcauseheadaches,Mary replied:"Thesetearsaremyfeast[refectio]theyaremybreaddayandnightthey...feedmymindratherthanemptyingandafflictingmyhead,theybringsatietyto

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mysoul."5 LutgardofAywires,harassedbysuitorsinheryouth(oneevenattemptedtoabductandrapeher),6 spokethustoaprospectivehusband:"Goawayfrom me,foodofdeath,nutrimentofvillainy,sinceIamheldbackbyanotherlove."7 Asmarriagewasthefoodofdeath,sodeath,toLutgard,wasthefoodoflife.Five yearstothedaybeforeherdeath,uponhearingthegospelparableofamanwhopreparedagreatfeast,shetoldSybilofGagesthatonthatverydayshe"wouldgoto themealofthespouseofthelamb."8 IdaofLouvain,likeMaryofOignies,experiencedbizarresensationsofeatingwhennofoodwaspresent.Shereceivedthe"food ofspiritualreading"intoherstomach,felttheeucharistslipdownherthroatlikeafish,saidtotheothernunsbeforecommunion,''LetusgodevourGod,"andfound hermouthfilledwithhoneycombwheneversherecitedJohn1:14:"Verbumcarofactumest."9 Whenoneofherbloodsisterscalledhertocomeawayfromprayerand smellthesweetwineherfatherofferedforsale,Idasaid,"Winewillprovokemetotears,"but,saidherhagiographer,she"didnotmeanmaterialwine."10Julianaof Cornillon,whopracticedextremefastsandfeltpassionatecravingfortheeucharistduringadolescence,wasteasedanddisciplinedforherexcesses.Whenhernurse andsisterstoreherawayfromprayer,callinghertoeat,shetoldtheminajollyway,"Iwantbetterandmorebeautifulfood,"butshehidherrealmeaningfrom them.11 SuchpassagessuggestthatthesewomenquiteunselfconsciouslythoughtofGodasfood.Moreover,thebiographerswhorepeatedtheircommentspersistentlyused extendedfoodmetaphorstoelaboratethesignificanceofwomen'spractices.JamesrepeatedlydescribedMary'secstasiesasinebriation,ashungerandfullness,as receiving"milkandhoneyfromthelipsofthespouse."12ThomasofCantimprspokeofMargaretofYpresasaccepting,chewing,andsavoringGod.13The anonymousauthorofAliceofSchaerbeke'svitadescribedherasrestoredbyliquidfromthebreastsofChrist,asinebriatedwithhissweetness.14Hewrotethusof Alice'sseclusionbecauseofdisease:
Thefirstdayshewentintothe[littlehousebuilttoisolateherfromtheothersisters],theLordappearedtoherandtookherinhisarmswithanembraceandsaid:"Welcome, daughter!Ihavelongdesiredthistabernacle.Aslongasyouareinthisbody,Iwillremainwithyou.AndIwillbeyourcellarer[themonasticofficialinchargeoffood]toprovide youwithwhatyouneed."15

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TheauthorofthebriefvitaofthebeguineGertrudevanOostenechoedJamesofVitry'svitaofMaryofOignieswhenhesaid:"Andsodayafterdaytearswereher fooddayandnight,andifshetookanycorporealfooditwasonlyalittleandneverwithoutweepingandwailing."16 Foodwasnot,however,merelyametaphorforinteractionwiththedivine.Itwasattheheartofreligiouspractice.TheprimarydevotionalemphasisintheseLow Countryvitaeisthesubstitutionofholyfood(eucharist)forordinaryeating.Whetherornotpenitentialasceticismingeneralcharacterizedtheirlives,thewomenall fastedinordertopreparethemselvesforChrist'sbodyandblood.SeveralofthemwereincapableofeatingordinaryfoodwhentheyexperiencedthefillingofChrist. MaryofOigniesvomitedoutanunconsecratedhostandcompulsivelywashedhermouthtoridherselfofthetaste.17IdaofLaurepeatedlyexperiencedfitsand tranceswhichshefoughttocontrol,becausenewlegislationhadbeenpasseddenyingthecuptoanyonesufferingfromfrenzy.18Whileoutofhersensesshecouldnot swallowordinaryfoodevenifitwasplacedonhertongue,andevenwhileinhersensesshefeltnonormalhungerondayswhenshehadtheeucharist.19Margaretof Yprescouldtastenothingexcepttheeucharistduringthelastyearofherlife.20IdaofLouvainandChristinatheAstonishingwerebothconsideredinsaneandwere chainedupbytheirfamiliesbecauseoftheireucharisticcravings.21 Themass(and/orreceptionoftheeucharist)wasfrequentlytheoccasiononwhichthesewomenreceivedecstaticunionwithChrist.Andthesweetnessofecstasywas oftenexperiencedaspalpablefood.WhenIdaofLouvain,forexample,begantofeelstrongerandstrongerdesireforfrequentcommunion,shewastoomodesteither tobringthematterupwithherconfessorortoreceivetheeucharistwithouthispermission.Thus,wroteherhagiographer:
Itfrequentlyhappenedatthattimethat,whenthepriestreceivedtheholycommunionatthealtar,asthecustomwas,she,intheintensityofherdesire,receivedwithhermouthat theselfsamemomentthemostsacredpledgeofthehostoftheSavior(brought,webelieve,byaministeringangel)anddiscerneditwiththesenseoftasteandevencheweditwith herteeth.22

UnlikeFrancis,Suso,andRuysbroeckwhosemostintenseeucharisticexperienceswereweepingatthe"sight"oftheLordorexperiencingthe

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eucharistas"light"orasavaguesweetnesswithinIdareceivedherLordasfoodbetweenherlips.23 Whenreligioussuperiorsdeniedthecuporthehosttowomen,sometimesindirectresponsetotheirextravagantbehavior,Christoftenfedthemdirectlyinvisions.For example,IdaofLauwasdeniedthechalicebecauseoffrenzyandAlicebecauseofleprosy.24IdaofLouvainwasdeniedthecupbecauseofnosebleedsand,at anothertime,wasdeniedreceptionbecauseofherstatusasnovice.25Lutgard'sabbessforbadeherweeklycommunion,probablybecauseofthejealousyoftheother nuns.26Inconsequence,allwerecomforted,fed,andvindicatedbyChrist.IdaofLouvainandLutgardhadvividexperiencesofnursingfromChrist'sbreast.27 Thomastellsusthatonce,whenLutgardstoodbeforethecrucifixduringoneofherillnesses,shesuddenly"sawChristwithhiswoundallbleeding.Andshesucked suchsweetnesswithhermouthathisbreastthatshecouldfeelnotribulation."Onanotheroccasionthefigureonthecrucifixleaneddownandpickedherup,holding hertohissidetonurse.YetanothertimeChristcameasalambtoherandsuckedfromhermouthamarvelouslysweetsong.28Thomasalsodescribesafourthvision inwhichLutgardencounteredGod(orGod'srepresentative)inagraphicallymouthtomouthembracethatbroughtcomfortindeprivation.ShesawJohnthe EvangelistasaneaglesuckingfromChrist'sbreasttheeaglethenflewtoher,insertedhisbeakbetweenherlips,andfilledhersoulwithsplendors.29Theauthorofthe vitaofIdaofLaumakesitquiteclearthatGodsubstitutesheavenlyfeedingwhenwomen'spassionatedevotionisdeniedbyearthlyauthorities.
Andmanygrieved[whentheablutionscupwasprohibitedtonuns],thirstingwithunquenchablethirst,...andtheyobservedthesentencegivenbecauseofthegoodof obedience,althoughtheyburnedagainstit....[But]listentowhatthephilosophersays:Whogivesalawtolovers?Loveistheirparamountlaw.ThereforeblessedIda..., afflictedbyarigidsentencewhichwasthewayoftheorder,prostrateasmuchinbodyasinspirit,...lifteduphervoicetoGodsaying:"Youknow,ohLord,thatIdarenotcome toyoubutyoucanstillcometome."Whichthingsbeingsaid,thefatherofmercies...filledherdesireslovinglyandquickly.And...hevisitedherthroughthewholeyearon Sunday,givinghersweetnessandsavormorefullythanshehadhadbeforewhenshehadreceivedthebodyoftheLord.30

Theheavenlyfoodthesewomencravedwasnotonlysweetness,inebriation,joyitwasalsoidentificationwiththesufferingofthecross.

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FilledwithChrist,therecipientwassimultaneouslycrucifiedwithhisagony.IntenselyliteralintheirimitatioChristi,desiringtofusewiththephysicalbodyofChrist thattheychewedandconsumed,thesewomenprovidesomeoftheearliestexamplesofthenovelmiracleofstigmata.MaryofOigniesrespondedtohereucharistic cravingandtoguiltabouteatingafteranillnessbymutilatingherselfintheformofChrist'swounds.31IdaofLouvainreceivedstigmataatthemomentinherlifethat wasthehighpointbothofeucharisticfrenzyandofconflictwithherfamilyalthoughsheaskedtohavetheoutersignsremoved,theinnerpainremained.32Therecluse ElizabethofSpalbeek(orHerkenrode)(d.after1274),whoimitatedthePassionofChristinelaboratepantomimeandselftorture,supposedlyreceivedinherbody "veryclearly...withoutanysimulationorfraud"thefivestigmataoftheLordasrecentwounds,"whichfrequently,andespeciallyonFridays,emittedastreamof blood."33Moreover,likeChrist'sdeathonthecrossitself,suchimitationhadevangelicalovertones.Lutgard,Aliceandothersofferedtheirexcruciatinghungerfor Christ'sbodyandbloodinexchangeforthesalvationofthesoulsoftheirfellowChristians.34 ExtremefastingisathemeineveryfemalevitafromtheLowCountries.Whenthewomenlivedintooldage,fastingwasusuallymostintenseinadolescence.Itwas oftencombinedwithsleeplessnessandhyperactivity.ThevitaeofMaryofOignies,JulianaofCornillon,IdaofLouvain,IdaofLau,ElizabethofSpalbeek,and MargaretofYpresmakeitclearthatthewomenreachedapointwheretheywereunabletoeatnormally,wherethesmellandsightoffoodcausednauseaandpain. MaryofOignies,whomutilatedherfleshoutofguiltovereating,thenembarkedonaprogramofextendedfast.Sheateonlyonceaday(atVespersoratnight)she tooknowineandnomeatoftensheateonlycoarseblackbreadthattoreherthroatandmadeitbleed.Once,afterthirtyfivedaysoftotalabstinenceandsilence,she "camebacktoherself"andtriedtoconsumeearthlyfood.Butshecouldnotbearitsodorandcouldsiponlywinefromtheablutionscup.IdaofLouvain,whorefused toacceptanythingfromhermerchantfatherexcepttheroomshelivedin,workedatnighttoprovidefoodforherselfandforthepoorwhocametoherforaid.Sheate onlymoldybreadand,iffoodwasservedtoher,shemixedittogetherinordertodestroyanypleasanttasteitmighthave.Onceshewentforelevendayseatingonly thelittleflowersofthelimetree.JulianaofCornillon,whowaspunishedforexcessivefastingasachild,triedtohideherrefusaltoeatduringado

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lescence,butsheconsumedsolittlethathersisterswonderedhowshelived.35WhenLutgard,duringoneofhersevenyearfasts,wascommandedtoeat,thefood refusedtopassdownherthroat.36PhilipofClairvauxreportsthatElizabethofSpalbeekatealmostnothing.Shecondescended,withobviousreluctance,tolapupa littlemilk,butsheabhorredfood.Whenrelativesorcompanionsputfruit,meat,orfishtoherlips,shesuckedalittlejuicebuttookinnothingof"thegrossermatter."A doveconsumedmoreinasingleswallow,saysPhilip,thanElizabethwaswillingtodrinkofthewineshewasoffered,andheremarks:"Sheateanddrankmoreto satisfythewillofothersthanbecauseofherownwillorevenbecauseofnecessity."37 Suchfastingwasinterpretedbybiographersasrenunciationoftheworld.ThomasofCantimprcommentsthatChristinatheAstonishingcamefromafamilysopoor thatshehadnothingtogiveupexceptfoodanddrink.38Butfastingwasoftenspecificallyaresponsetoguiltoverthewealthandconspicuousconsumptionpracticed bymerchantfamilies.MaryofOignies,Lutgard,andIdaofLouvain(whosefathersoldwine)struggledtoavoidtheprosperousmarriagesplannedforthem.Julianaof Cornillonfastedaspartofabattlewiththesuperiorsofherlittlemonasticdependency,whoweretoolenientforhersevereadolescenttaste. Fastingwasseldomexplicitlylabeled,eitherbywomenorbytheirhagiographers,asanattackonthebody,anexertionofcontroloverit,oranefforttodestroyits sensationsorresponses.Hagiographersoccasionallypraisedwomen'sasceticfeatsandcomparedtheirsubjectsfavorablytotheDesertFathersofantiquity.39But theyalmostneverdrewadichotomybetweenfleshandspirit,nordidtheyjustifyfastingbyreferencetoaconnectionbetweenfoodandlust.Rather,theyspokeof abstinenceaspreparatorytoandsimultaneouswithtruefeedingbyChrist.ItwasidentificationwithChrist'ssufferingitwasaffective,evenerotic,unionwithChrist's adorableself.Itwasalsoserviceofothers. ThehagiographersandthewomenthemselvessawselfstarvationandillnessasextensionsbothofChrist'ssufferingonthecrossandofthepainsofpurgatory. Purgatorywasnotprimarily,tothesewomen,aphysicalplacesomewhere,alogicalcomplementtoheavenandhellitsimplywassufferingredemptivesuffering whichwassimultaneouslyChrist'sandthesinner's.Thussufferingonearthcouldreplacesufferinglater,andbysufferingonecouldredeemothersaswellasoneself. Mar

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garetofYpresdesiredthetormentsofherdeathtolastuntiltheyconsumedhertimeinpurgatory,andChristinavisionguaranteedthatthishadalreadyhappened.40 LutgardtoldafriendthatChristhadpromisedherthatherblindness,patientlyaccepted,wouldreplacethepangsofpurgatory.41 Suchsufferingalsoservedone'sneighbors.AliceofSchaerbekeofferedupforspecificgoalsthelossofvariouspartsofherbodytoleprosy.42Lutgard,attheVirgin Mary'scommand,undertookthreefastsofsevenyearseach(onbreadandbeer)inordertorelievesoulsinpurgatoryandtoquietChrist'sangeroverheresy.43Ona lessuniversalnote,MaryofOigniesfastedfortydaystodriveademonoutofanafflictednun.44Speakingtoabelovedcompanionafterlosingherrighteyetoleprosy, AliceofSchaerbekevoicedthenotionofsufferingthatsustainedmanyreligiouswomen:"Dearsister,donotgrieve[forme]anddonotthinkthatIsufferforor expiatemyownsinsIsufferratherforthosewhoarealreadydeadandintheplaceofpenitence[i.e.,purgatory]andforthesinsoftheworld."45 Fastingwasnottheonlyformofservicethesewomenpracticed.Theyalsocareddirectlyforthesickandthepoor,oftenbyprovidingfood.MaryofOignies,who neverachievedthecompletepovertyshewanted,gaveherowngoodstothepoor,beggedinordertofeedthem,andworkedfortheirfoodandclothing.46Christina beggedinordertoshareherfood.47EvenlittleJulianaofCornillonfedhersistersbyrequestingthejobofcowherdandproducingmoreinmilkingthecowsthan anyoneelsehadbeenabletodo.48 AcharmingstoryfromthelifeofIdaofLouvainillustratesnotonlyIda'scommitmenttofeedingthepoorbutalsoherstrangeeatinghabits,herecstasies,andher conflictwithherfather.Moreover,itshowsthewayinwhichsuchmotifstendtobewoventogetherinthesevitae.Oneday,sothestorygoes,Idawassnatchedinto ecstasywhilereturningfromVespersandsawMarycarryingJesusonherbreast.Shefelldowninthestreetasifdeadand"agreatwaveofcorpulence"invadedher body.Shebegantoshake,alarminghercompanion.Atthisverymoment,however,apoormanwasbeingdeniedhospitalitybyIda'sfather.Whenthepauper, mutteringtohimself,madehiswaypastIdainthestreet,shecamebacktoherself,wenttoherfather,andobtainedalmsforthebeggar.Shethenreturnedtoherroom anddalliedinspiritualdelightsforthirteendays.Duringthistimeshetookmaterialfoodonlyonce,when

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breadlyingbesideherbedbegantosmellunnaturallysweet.Thenshesnatcheditupandateit"bydivinepurpose,thatherbody,whichwastakingnomaterialbread, mightbestrengthenedduringthesethirteendays."49 ThereligiouswomenoftheLowCountriesfedothersthroughmiraclesaswellasbytheworkoftheirhands.IdaofLouvaincuredthereligiousdoubtsofayounggirl bychangingbeerintowine.OnoneoccasionthebreadonIda'stablegrewratherthandiminishedduringthecourseofthemeal,inordertohelpthepoorandsickto whomitwastobedistributed.50Lutgardtwicecuredgirlswhofeltacravingformeat,whichThomasinoneinstancelabeledan"infirmity."51ThefruitJulianaof Cornillongavetoafriendwassubsequentlydiscoveredtohavesupernaturalsweetness.52 Mostremarkableofall,thewomen'sbodiesthemselvesbecameasourceoffood.Theyexudedoil,milk,orsweetsalivathathadthepowertocureothers.Such extraordinaryexudingwasclearlypredicatedonunusualclosure.Hagiographersconnectedfailuretoeatordinaryfoodorexcreteordinaryfluidswithexuding extraordinaryliquids.ThomasofCantimprmentioned,forexample,themomentatwhichLutgardceasedtomenstruate.53HealsoreportedthatChristonce commandedhertogetupfromafeverishsweatinwhichshewaslanguishingandgodirectlytochurch."Whyareyoulyingthere?"heasked."Youmustdo penance...notindulgeinsweat."When,afterthisreprimand,sherantoMatinsshesawChristinthedoorwayofthechurch,andshenursedfromhisside.54Philipof ClairvauxcombineswithhisdiscussionofElizabethofSpalbeek'sinediatheinformationthat"neithersalivanorsputumemanatedfromhermouthnoranymucusor otherfluidfromhernostrils."55Itisexactlyinthosevitaethatstressbothwomen'sexudingsandthelactatingChristthatunusualclosurealsocomesinforspecial attention. ExudingcuringfluidisparticularlyathemeinThomasofCantimpr'swritings.56Hetellsus,forexample,thatChristinatheAstonishingfledintotheremotedesert, whereshebecameveryhungry.Sosheprayed,andGodmadehervirginbreastsswellwithmilk,fromwhichshefedherselffornineweeks.Later,whenshewas persecutedbysistersandfriendswhothoughthermadandchainedherinthecellar,herbreastsfilledagainandranwithoil.Whentheoilprovedacuringsalve

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thathealed,amongotherills,thesoresofoneofhersisters,hertormentorsreleasedherfromthecellar.57 AnotherofThomas'sheroines,Lutgard,alsoexudedoil,althoughinhercaseitcamefromthefingertips.Theincidentispresentedasherresponsetothevision (discussedabove)inwhichJohntheEvangelistdrankfromChrist'sbreastandthenbreathedintohermouth.LutgardrepeatedlynursedfromChristandsawothersdo so.Ononeoccasion,afterChrist(intheformofalamb)suckedfromherlips,hervoicebecamemoresolemnandwiseonanotheroccasion,aftershehadnursed fromChrist'sbreast,herownsalivabecamesweettothetaste.58Hercharacteristiccureswereperformedbytouchorsaliva."Thosewhohadillnessinhandorfoot orothermemberswerecuredatoncebycontactwithherhandorhersaliva,"Thomassays."Butthisdrewmanypeopletoher,andsheaskedGodtotake[thegift] away."59 JamesofVitry'sbiographyofMaryofOigniesreflectsasimilarconcernwithmiraculousfluids.JamesrecountsthatMarythoughtshesawmilk(notoil)flowingfrom relicsonanaltardedicatedtoNicholasofMyra,themostfamousmedievalmyroblyte.60Alaterbeguineandstigmatic,GertrudevanOostenwhodisplayedso ferventadevotiontotheinfantJesusthatthedevilsometimesappearedtoherasacryingchildfoundthatherbreastsfilledwithmilkwhenshemeditatedonthe Nativity.61Moreover,unusualbleeding(incontrastwiththeordinarybleedingofmenstruation)wasasignofholinessinmanyoftheseLowCountryvitae.Idaof Louvain,IdaofLau,MaryofOignies,Lutgard,andBeatriceofNazarethallsufferedviolentnosebleedsduringeucharisticecstasies,andtheirhagiographerssawthe bleedingasasignofmysticalfavors.Lutgard'svariousbiographersreportthatevenherhairdrippedwithbloodwhencut.62Notonlydothehagiographersattribute stigmatatoseveralofthesewomentheyalsoclaim,inthecasesofElizabethofSpalbeekandGertrudevanOosten,thatthewoundsbledinaperiodicpattern. Holywomencontinuedtofeedothersmiraculouslyfrombeyondthegrave.Indeed,indeaththeysometimesachievedaquasisacerdotalfeedingroledeniedtothemin life.Bythelatetwelfthcentury,womenwereprohibitednotonlyfromordinationbutevenfromcontactwithaltarvesselsbythelatethirteenthcentury,laypeople weredeniedthechalice.Yetafterdeathholywomenoccasionallyreappearedinvisionstooffer

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communionandtheyappearedtomenaswellastowomen.AfterMaryofOignies'sdeathshecametoaCistercianmonk,and,Jamestellsus,agoldenchalicethat issuedfromhermouthgavedrinktotwoofthemonk'sfriends.63JulianaofCornillonwasseenafterherdeathassistingChristwiththecupatthealtar.Thewoman whoreceivedthisvisionwascuredofagreatdesireforfoodanddrink"whichtheweaknessofthefleshhadgivenher"andfeltherself"inebriated"with"spiritual refreshment"sothatshedidnotneedtodrinkwine.64Althoughmalebiographersmayhaveoveremphasizedtheimportanceofwomensaintstomalefollowers,while neglectingtheirimpactonotherwomen,65suchvisionsmakeitclearthatholywomenservedbothmalesandfemalesbytheirfastingandbytheirfeeding.Thevisions alsodemonstratetheextenttowhichbothmenandwomeninthethirteenthcenturyassociatedwomenwithfeedingandwithfood. TwohundredyearsafterMaryofOigniesandmorethanahundredyearsaftertheFlemishholywomenIdaofLauandIdaofLouvain,apoorlaywomaninwhatis nowHollandgainedbothrespectandnotorietyforaverysimilartypeoffemalespirituality.InthestoryofLidwinaofSchiedam,whodiedin1433attheageoffifty three,suchthemesascharitablefooddistribution,feedingmiraclesandvisions,fastandillness,miraculouslysweetbodilyeffluvia,andeucharisticdevotionaretightly interwoven.66AsinthelivesofMaryofOignies,LutgardofAywires,andIdaofLouvain,foodisclearlythedominantfactandthedominantsymbolinLidwina'slife. SeveralhagiographicalaccountsofLidwinaexist,incorporatinginformationprovidedbyherconfessors67moreover,thetownofficialsofSchiedam,whohadher watchedforthreemonths,promulgatedadocumentthatsurvives.SuggestingthatLidwina'smiraculousabstinencewastheaspectofherlifethatmostcapturedpublic attention,thedocumentsolemnlyatteststohercompletelackoffoodandsleepandtothesweetodorgivenoffbythebitsofskin,bone,andentrailsshesupposedly shed.68HerbiographersalsoreportthatPhilipofBurgundy'ssoldiers,whileoccupyingthecity,setaguardaroundLidwinatotestherfasts,whichtheythen authenticated.69OnanotheroccasionfoursoldiersofthesamePhilipbrokeintoherhouse,seriouslyinjuredherniece,andridiculedandabusedLidwina,claimingthat herswollenbodywaspregnantbythelocalpriest.70Theincidentcorroboratestheimpressionthatherprolongedsurvivalinextremeillnessandwithouteatingwas what

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mostattractedcontemporaryadmiration,makingenemiesofhercityfearthepowerofherprayers. TheaccountsofLidwina'slifesuggestthattheremayhavebeenearlyconflictbetweenmotheranddaughter.Whenherterribleillnessputaburdenonthefamily's resourcesandpatience,ittookamiracletoconvincehermotherofhersanctity.71Oneofthefewstoriesthatsurvivefromherchildhoodshowshermotherannoyed withherchildishdawdling.Lidwina,whowasrequiredtocarryfoodtoherbrothersatschool,slippedintochurchonthewayhometosayaprayertotheVirgin.The incidentshowshowgirlishpietycouldprovidearespitefromhouseholdtasksinthiscase,asinsomanycases,thetaskoffeedingmen.72WealsolearnthatLidwina wasupsettodiscoverthatshewaspretty,thatshethreatenedtoprayforadeformitywhenplanswerebroachedforhermarriage(herehermotherdefendedher),and that,afteranillnessatagefifteen,shegrewweakanddidnotwanttogetupfromhersickbed.Theaccountthussuggeststhatshemayhavebeencultivatingillness perhapsevenrejectingfoodbeforetheskatingaccidentsomeweekslaterthatproducedsevereinternalinjuries.Inanyevent,Lidwinaneverrecoveredfromherfall ontheice.Herhagiographersreportthatshewasparalyzedexceptforherlefthand.Sheburnedwithfeverandvomitedconvulsively.Herbodyputrefiedsothatgreat piecesfelloff.Frommouth,ears,andnoseshepouredblood.Andshestoppedeating.73 Lidwina'shagiographersgointoconsiderabledetailaboutherabstinence.Atfirstshesupposedlyatealittlepieceofappleeachday,althoughswallowingbreaddipped intoliquidcausedhermuchpain.Thenshereducedherintaketoabitofdateandwateredwineflavoredwithspiceslatershesurvivedonwateredwinealoneonly halfapintaweekandshepreferredriverwatercontaminatedwithsaltfromthetides.Whenshestoppedtakinganysolidfood,shealsostoppedsleeping.Finally sheceasedtoswallowanythingatall.74AlthoughLidwina'sbiographerspresentherabstinenceasevidenceofsaintliness,shewassuspectedbysomeduringher lifetimeofbeingpossessedbyadevilinsteadsheherselfseemstohaveclaimedthatherfastingwasnatural.Whenpeopleaccusedherofhypocrisybecauseshefound joyinherillness,sherepliedthatitisnosintoeatandthereforenoglorytobeincapableofeating.75 FastingandillnesswerethusasinglephenomenontoLidwina.Andsincesheperceivedthemasredemptivesuffering,sheurgedbothon

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others.WearetoldthatacertainGerardfromCologne,atherurging,becameahermitandlivedinatree,fedonlyonmannasentfromGod.76Wearealsotoldthat LidwinaprayedforhertwelveyearoldnephewtobeafflictedwithanillnesssothathewouldberemindedofGod'smercy.Notsurprisingly,theillnessitselfthen camefrommiraculousfeeding.ThenephewbecamesickafterdrinkingseveraldropsfromapitcherofnewbeeronatablebyLidwina'sbedsidebeerthathad overnightbecomemarvelouslyaromaticandsweet.77 Likethebodiesofmanyotherwomensaints(suchasChristinatheAstonishingandLutgard),Lidwina'sbodywasclosedtoordinaryintakeandexcretionbut producedextraordinaryeffluvia.78TheauthenticatingdocumentfromthetownofficialsofSchiedamtestifiesthatsheshedskin,bones,andevenportionsofintestines, whichherparentskeptinavaseandthesegaveoffasweetodoruntilLidwina,worriedbythegossiptheyexcited,insistedthathermotherburythem.ThusLidwina's bodyshedholypiecesexactlyasdidthebodyofChrist,whichonceleftbehindamiraculoushostafterappearinginavision.79Moreover,Lidwina'seffluviacured others.AmaninEnglandsupposedlysentforthewatershewashedherhandsintocurehisdiseasedleg.80Thesweetsmellfromherlefthandledoneofher confessorstoconfesshisownsins.81 Lidwinaevennursedothers,inanactthatsheherselfexplicitlysawasanalogoustotheVirgin'snursingofChrist.82OneChristmasseason,allherhagiographerstell us,acertainwidowCatherine,whotookcareofher,hadavisionthatLidwina'sbreastswouldfillwithmilk,likeMary's,onthenightoftheNativity.Whenshetold Lidwina,Lidwinawarnedhertoprepareherself.ThenLidwinasawavisionofMarysurroundedbyahostoffemalevirginsandthebreastsofMaryandofallthe companyfilledwithmilkthatpouredoutfromtheiropentunics,fillingthesky.WhenCatherineenteredLidwina'sroom,Lidwinarubbedherownbreastandthemilk cameoutandCatherinedrankthreetimesandwassatisfied(nordidshewantanycorporealfoodformanydaysthereafter).83OneofLidwina'sbiographersadds thatwhenthesamegracewasgiventoheragain,shefedherconfessor,JohnWalter84buttheothertwohagiographicalaccountssaythattheconfessorwasnotthere attheappointedhouranddidnotreceivethegift. Lidwinaalsofedothersbycharityandbyfoodmultiplicationmiracles.Althoughshedidnotherselfeat,shechargedthewidowCatherinetobuyfinefishandmake fragrantsaucesandtogivethesetothepoor.

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Themeatandfishshegaveasalmssometimeswentmuchfurtherthananyonehadexpected.85Shegavewater,wine,andmoneyforbeertoanepilepticburningwith thirstshesentawholeporkshouldertoapoorman'sfamilysheregularlysentfoodtopoororsickchildren,forcingherservantstouseforothersmoneyorfoodshe wouldnotherselfconsume.86Whenshesharedthewineinherbedsidejug,itseemedinexhaustible.SopleasedwasGodwithhercharitythathesentheravisionofa heavenlybanquettableladenwiththefoodshehadgivenaway.87 LidwinaclearlyfeltthathersufferingwasservicethatitwasonewithChrist'ssufferingandthatitthereforesubstitutedforthesufferingofothers,boththeirbodilyills andtheirtimeinpurgatory.Indeed,accordingtoatleastoneofherhagiographers,herbodyquiteliterallybecameChrist'smaceratedandsavingflesh,for,likeIdaof Louvain,shereceivedstigmata.88JohnBrugman,intheVitaposterior,notonlyunderlinestheparallelbetweenLidwina'swoundsandthoseonthemiraculous bleedinghostshereceivedhealsostatesexplicitlythatinherstigmata,Christ''transformedhisloverintohislikeness."89Herhagiographerstellusthatthefeversshe sufferedalmostdailyformanyyearsbeforeherdeathreleasedsoulsfrompurgatory.90Thisnotionofsubstitutionisreflectedquiteclearlyinthestoryofanevilmanin whosesteadLidwinamadeconfessionshethentookuponherselfhispunishmenttotheincrementofherownbodilyanguish.91Weseesubstitutionofanotherkindin thestoryofLidwinatakingoverthetoothacheofawomanwhowailedoutsideherdoor.92 Thus,inLidwina'sstory,fasting,illness,feeding,andsufferingfuse.Lidwinabecomesthefoodsherejects.Herbody,closedtoordinaryintakeandexcretionbut spillingoverinmilkandsweetputrefaction,becomesthesustenanceandthecurebothheavenlyandearthlyofherfollowers. ButholyeatingisathemeinLidwina'slifeaswell.Theeucharistwasatthecoreofherdevotion.Duringherpatheticfinalyears,whenshewasalmostunableto swallow,shereceivedfrequentcommunion(asoftenaseverytwodays).Herbiographersemphasizethatduringthisperiod,onlytheholyfoodkeptheralive.93But formuchofherlifeshewasembroiledinconflictwiththelocalclergyoverhereucharisticvisionsandhunger.Oneincidentinparticularshowsnotonlytheimportance ofChrist'sbodyasfoodinLidwina'sspiritualitybutalsotheway

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inwhichawoman'scravingforthehost,althoughitkeptherunderthecontroloftheclergy,couldseemtothatsameclergyathreatbothbecauseitcriticizedtheir behaviorandbecauseifthwarted,itcouldbypasstheirpower.94 OnceanangelcametoLidwinaandwarnedherthatthenextdaythepriestwouldbringheranunconsecratedhosttotesther.Thenthepriestcameandpretendedto adorethehost,butLidwina,whenshereceivedit,vomiteditout,declaringthatshecouldeasilytelltheLord'sbodyfromunconsecratedbread.Thepriestsworethat thehostwasconsecrated,however,andreturnedangrilytothechurch.Lidwinathenlanguishedforalongtime,cravingcommunionbutunabletoreceiveit.About threeandahalfmonthslater,Christappearedtoher,firstasababy,thenasableedingandsufferingyouth.Angelsappeared,bearingtheinstrumentsofthePassion, andthen(accordingtoonehagiographer)raysfromChrist'swoundedbodypiercedLidwinawithstigmata.Whenshesubsequentlyaskedforasign,ahosthovered overChrist'sheadandanapkindescendedontoherbed,containingamiraculoushostmarkedwithdropsofblood,whichremainedandwasseenbymanypeoplefor daysthereafter.95ThepriestreturnedandorderedLidwinatokeepquietaboutthemiraclebutfinallyagreed,atherinsistence,tofeedherthemiraculoushostas communion.LidwinawasconvincedthatitwastrulyChristbecauseshe,whowasusuallystifledbyfood,atethisbreadwithoutpain.Thenextdaythepriestpreached inchurchthatLidwinawasdeludedandthatherhostwasafraudofthedevil.But,heclaimed,Christwaspresentinthebreadheofferedbecauseitwasconsecrated withallthemajestyofthepriesthood.Lidwinaprotestedhisinterpretationofherhost,butsheagreedtoacceptaconsecratedwaferfromhimandtoprayforhissins. SubsequentlythepriestclaimedthathehadcuredLidwinafrompossessionbythedevil,whileLidwina'ssupporterscalledherhostamiracle.AlthoughLidwina's hagiographersdonotgivethefulldetails,theyclaimthatthebishopcametoinvestigatethematter,thatheblessedthenapkinfortheserviceofthealtar,andthatthe priesthenceforthgaveLidwinathesacramentwithouttestsorresistance. Asthestoryworksitswayout,itsthemeisnotsubversiveofclericalauthority.Theconflictbegins,afterall,becauseLidwinawantsaconsecratedhost,anditresultsin herreceivingfrequentcommunion,humblyandpiously.Accordingtooneofherhagiographers,themoralofthestoryisthatthefaithfulcanalwayssubstitute"spiritual communion"

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(i.e.,meditation)iftheactualhostisnotgiven.96Butthestoryhasradicalimplicationsaswell.ItsuggeststhatJesuscancomedirectlytothefaithfulifpriestsare negligentorskeptical,thatapriest'swordmaynotbeauthoritativeonthedifferencebetweendemonicpossessionandsanctity,thatvisionarywomenmighttestpriests. OtherstoriesinLidwina'slifehavesimilarimplications.Sheforbadeasinningpriesttocelebratemassshereadtheheartofanotherpriestandlearnedofhis adultery.97Hervisionsofsoulsinpurgatoryespeciallyconcernedpriests,andshesubstitutedhersufferingsfortheirs.98OneAshWednesdayanangelbroughtashes forherforeheadbeforethepriestarrived.99EvenifLidwinadidnotrejecttheclergy,shesometimesquietlybypassedorjudgedthem. LidwinafocusedherloveofGodontheeucharist.Inreceivingit,invisionandcommunion,shebecameonewiththebodyonthecross.EatingherGod,shereceived hiswoundsandofferedhersufferingforthesalvationoftheworld.Denyingherselfordinaryfood,shesentthatfoodtoothersandherbodygavemilktonurseher friends.FoodisthebasicthemeinLidwina'sstoryselfasfoodandGodasfood.ForLidwina,asforthemanyFlemishholywomenbeforeher,eatingandnoteating werethus,finally,onetheme.BothfastingandeatingthebrokenbodyofChristwereactsofsuffering.Andtosufferwastosaveandbesaved. FranceandGermany ThevariousvitaeofLidwinaofSchiedamdonotshowthepiouswomancollectingalargenumberofdisciples,maleorfemale.100Indeed,Lidwinahadfewparallels orimitatorsinherownregion,eitherinherdayoroverthenexthundredyears.ButifweturnfromtheLowCountriestotherestofEurope,wefindthatfood metaphors,foodmiracles,andfoodpracticescharacterizedthelivesofwomensaintswellintothesixteenthcentury.Despitethesuggestionofrecentscholarsthatthe natureoffemalesanctitychangedbetween1200and1500anddisplayeddifferentpatternsinnorthandsouth,thethemesfoundinLowCountryspirituality,from MaryofOigniestoLidwinaofSchiedam,echothroughoutfourteenthandfifteenthcenturyEurope. Femalerolesdiffered,tobesure,accordingtoregionandperiod.Somewomen,especiallyItalianlaywomenandtertiaries,centeredtheir

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livesonactivecharity,whereasothers,usuallynorthernnunsorrecluses,centeredtheirsonecstasyandprayer.Butfoodassymbolandasfactremainedcrucialin boththeseroles,inallregionsandinallperiods.Tothemorecontemplativenun,fastingandillness(thetwowerefrequentlyindistinguishable)werepreparationand occasionformysticalunion,forbeingfedbyChrist.Forthoseinwhoselivesservingwasmoreimportant,fastingandeucharistweretheselfdenialandself replenishmentthatmadethefeedingofotherspossible.Moreover,asthelifeofLidwinaofSchiedamsuggests,thetworolesweresometimesnotsodifferentafterall. AliceofSchaerbeke,languishinginhercellwithleprosy,andLutgardofAywires,fleeingfromcrowds,wereclearlycontemplatives,whileMaryofOigniesleda moreactivelife,nursingthesickandbegging.ButLidwina,lyingparalyzedonherbedandofteninecstasy,orderedmuchfoodsenttothepoorandsawhersuffering asservice.EvenMaryofOigniesandLutgardcombinedecstasyandcuring. Withdrawalandaction,prayerandservice,thustendedtofuseasvaluesinwomen'slives,despitetheirvaryinginstitutionalframeworksandemphases.Andfoodwas acentralmetaphorforthisfusion.Tomedievalwomen,"feeding"wasabasicreligiouscommitment,atransitiveandanintransitiveverb.Medievalwomenfedothers (pascere)theyalsofedonGod(pasci).IfwesurveysomeofthemanystoriesofFrenchandGermanholywomenfromthethirteenthtothefifteenthcentury,itis easytoseethatfoodthemesareasprominentthereastheyareinthelivesofMaryofOignies,LutgardofAywires,IdaofLouvain,andLidwinaofSchiedam.As prominent,andascomplicated.Here,too,eating,feeding,fasting,hungering,andbeingfoodfuseintoasinglethemeathemethatexpressesthewoman'sloveof neighborandloveofGod. EucharisticdevotionfigurescentrallyinawidevarietyofvitaefromGermanandFrenchspeakingareas,andtheecstasiesthateitheraccompaniedreceptionofthe hostorsubstitutedforitunderlineitsqualityasfood.Forexample,BeatriceofOrnacieux,whoseLifewasprobablywrittenbyMargaretofOingt(d.1310),received manyvisionsofChristinthehostattheelevation.101OneChristmas,whenshehadworkedherselfintoanagonizedfeelingofunworthinessbeforereceiving,acrumb ofthebreadremainedinhermouthandswelled,almostchokingher.Shewasunabletoeatforalongtimeafter.102ThenunsofTss,Unterlinden,andEngelthal, whosecollectivebiographiesorNonnenbcherwerecom

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posedintheearlyfourteenthcentury,repeatedlyreceivedeucharisticvisions.ChristappearedtoasicknunatTssonaplatterasfood,andanothersicksisternursed atthebreastoftheVirginMary.103AnunatUnterlindensawChristinavisioncelebratingmassafterthecelebration,sheandallthesistersoftheconventwent forwardandreceivedthesacramentfromtheLord'sownhand.104AnunatEngelthaladdressedthebabyJesus,whoappearedinavision:"IfIhadyou,I'deatyou up,Iloveyousomuch."105AdelheidLangmann,alsoofEngelthal,thoughtshemarriedJesuswiththehostratherthanwithaweddingring.106Inanevenmore startlinguseoffoodimages,AdelheidalsoclaimedthatJesussaidtoherinseveralvisions:"Yourmouthtasteslikerosesandyourbodylikeviolets""Mysugarsweet andhoneysweetlove,mytenderone,mypureone,youaremineandIamyours."107 InmanyothervitaeofFrenchandGermanwomenfromthesameperiod,theeucharistservesasmarvelouslysustainingfood,replacingallothernurture.JaneMaryof Maill(d.1414),whofastedandpunishedherbody,issaidtohavelookedrosy,wellfed,andhappyaftercommunion,108whileFloraofBeaulieu(d.1347),after beingsplashedinavisionwiththeliquidfromagoldenchalice,wentfordayswithouteating.109Florafrequentlyexperiencedeucharisticecstasiesthatleftherunable towalkortoswallowsincesheassumedthatothersweresimilarlyaffectedbyreceivingorhandlingthehost,shemarveledthatanypriestcouldfailtoachieve mysticaldelightswhencelebratingmass.110ThemouthsofbothFloraandJaneMaryofMaillfilledmiraculouslywithChrist.JaneMaryfoundbloodinhermouth whensheprayedforadrinkfromthechaliceFlorareceivedaportionofthehostwhenthepriestwhowascelebratingdiscoveredthatithaddisappearedfromthe paten.111 ThepatternofeucharisticfoodarrivingmiraculouslyandreplacingordinarynurtureisfoundthroughouttheremarkablevitaofLukardisofOberweimar(d.1309), whosestory,likethatofhercontemporary,IdaofLouvain,isdominatedbymotifsofofferingandreceivingfood.Inaseriesofvividvisions,Lukardiswas miraculouslyfedbyChristandMary.Christoften,wearetold,broughtherdeliciousdrinkwhenshewasthirsty.112Oncewhenshewastooweaktogotothechapel tomeditate,shehadherselfcarriedtherebytwosisterswhenthedoorwasclosedMaryappeared,nursingJesus,andsaid,"Askforwhatyoudesire.""Seeingyouis enough,"repliedLukardis.ButMaryinsisted.SoLukardisansweredthatshewishedtobefedfromMary'sbreast.After

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shewasthusfed,"Lukardislayinherbedforthreedaysandnightswithouttakingfoodordrinkorseeingthelightofthesky.Forshelayasifdead,butherfacewas ruddy."113 Onanotheroccasion,afterLukardishadfastedseverely,Christappearedasabeautifulyouthandblewintohermouth."Shewasinfusedwithsuchsweetnessand suchinnerfruitionthatshefeltasifdrunk"andonceagaincouldnoteatforthreedays.114Onyetanotheroccasion,whenLukardiswasintheinfirmaryatEaster,her desirefortheeucharistgrewandgrew.Asistersawherstruggleintothechoirandstandthere,movinghermouthasifchewing.Afterthemass,whenthepriorasked herifshewishedtocommunicate,shesignedthatshehadalreadydonesoandshecontinuedtochewallday.115FromcommunicatingeverySundayandfeastday, sheprogressed,atdivinecommand,tocommunicatingeveryFridayandeverydayinLentaswell.Whenseveralofhersistersmurmuredthatthiswasanunheardof innovation,wordcamethatanuninanothermonasteryhadreceivedavisionvindicatingLukardis'spractice.116 NotonlydidLukardisprepareforGodbyfastingandsuffering,receivehimpalpablyasfood,andfindordinarynourishmentunnecessaryaftershewasmiraculously filled,shealsofusedwithChristinafrenzyofpenitentialsuffering,andtheidentificationspilledoverintobothstigmataandfeedingmiracles.AsChristhadfedherwith hisbreath,soLukardisfedafellownunbybreathingtheeucharistintohermouth.117Lukardisalsofunctionedasspiritualadvisertoanunwhosufferedagoniesof indecisionaboutwhethershemightreceivecommunion.118Moreover,LukardisreceivedChrist'swoundsinwardlyinavision,andafterwardssheinducedvisible stigmatabycompulsivelydiggingherfingersintoherownflesh.119WhenalocalDominicanhadavisionofLukardisandtwoothersnailedtocrosses.Godtoldhim thatLukardiswastheonetobeidentifiedwithChrist."Theonewhosuffersmost[isgreatest],"Godsaid,"formyPassionbringsredemptiontothewholeworld."120 TothenunsofLukardis'sconvent,foodwassonaturalametaphorandmeansofgracethathealingandrevelationcouldbeexperiencedasahostblownfrommouth tomouth.OtherthirteenthandfourteenthcenturywomenalsoconsideredfoodandeatingbasicmetaphorsandevenmorethanmetaphorsforunionwithGod andserviceofneighbor.ThenunsoftheSaxonmonasteryofHelfta,forexample,thought

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thatmanyoftheirsistersdrankfromJesus'sideorheartinecstasyandGertrudetheGreatsupposedlytooktheinfantChristtoherownbreastinseveralvisions.121 ThebeguineMechtildofMagdeburg,whotookrefugeatHelftainoldage,reflectsnotonlythetendencytodescribeunionineatingimagerybutalsotheconfidence, foundinLukardisandLidwinaaswell,thatGodwillfeedhisfollowersdirectlyifhumansfailtodoso.When,ononeoccasion,Mechtildlamented,"MustIbewithout massthisday?"shereceivedavisioninwhichJohntheBaptistcelebratedmassforher:


Thenthemaid[Mechtild]wentuptothealtarwithgreatloveandwidelyopenedsoul.JohntheBaptisttookthewhitelambwiththeredwoundsandlaiditonthemouthofthe maid.ThusthepureLamblaiditselfonitsownimageinthestallofherbodyandsuckedherheartwithitstenderlips.122

Mechtild,whoseownwordssurvive,althoughrearrangedbytranslators,sawherselftastingGodinmysticalunionandfeedingothersbyhersuffering.Shewroteof botheucharistandecstasyas"eatingGod."123ShecomposedalovelydialoguebetweenthesoulandthesensesinwhichthesensesurgedhertorestatMary'sknee, watchingtheangelsdrinkMary'smilkbutsherefused,turningtoJesus'bloodasthehigherfood.124Shespokeofherloveandhersufferingforsoulsinpurgatorynot justasfeedingbutasnursingfeedingwithherblood:"Imustgivethemmyheart'sbloodtodrink.IfIprayforthem,becauseoftheirgreatneedandseethebitterfate theymustsufferforeverysin,thenIsufferasamother."125Overandoveragain,insuchvisions,Christisfood,desireisinsatiablehungerorthirst,servingisfeeding ornursing,and(howeveroddthismayseemtomodernsensibilities)themouthisafundamentalwayofmeetingGod. IntheNonnenbcherandwomen'svitaeofthethirteenthtothefifteenthcentury,fasting(sometimesinducedbyillness,sometimesleadingtoit)wasclosely intertwinedwithheavenlyfeast.NoteatingwaspreparationforeucharistitwasalsorenunciationoftheworldandunionwiththeagonyofChrist'sredeemingdeath. Indeed,theauthorofthenuns'bookofUnterlindencalledfastingimitatioChristiandthegloryofthemartyrs.126SaintssuchasDoucelineofMarseilles(d.1274) andJaneMaryofMaillfastedasanaspectofeucharistdevotion.Doucelinewentintoecstasyeverytimeshereceivedcommunion,sawprayerasa

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substituteforeating,andinavisionenteredthetabernacleto"taste"Christ'ssweetness.127JaneMary,whoconvincedherhusbandontheirweddingnighttoobserve chastity,sufferedpatientlyfromillnessintheearlyyearsofhermarriage.Afterherhusband'sdeathshecaredforthepoor"likeMartha,"sendingdelicaciesfromher tabletothesick,theold,andthepregnant,andfastedonbrownbreadanduncookedherbsuntilherbodywaspaleandskeletal.ButChristhimselfsummonedherto theeucharist,appearedinvisionswithhiswoundsallbleeding,changedwaterintowineforher,andkeptherrosyandbeautifulwithhimselfasfood.(Shelivedtobe eightytwo.)Hercharitablefeedingofotherswasrewardedwhenshefedanangelindisguise.128 ManyoftheFrenchandGermanvitae,likethosefromtheLowCountries,depictwomenwhoapparentlybecameunabletoeatnormally.AlpasofCudot,who supposedlylivedfortyyearsontheeucharistalone,beganher"fast"duringasevereillness(perhapsleprosy),inwhichsheswelledandstankandwasleftfordeadby herfamily.129CuredbyMary,whotoldherthatshewouldneverneedtoeatordrinkagain,Alpasafterwardstookonlytinybitsoffood,whichshechewedforthe juice,spittingoutthepulp.HerCistercianhagiographerunderlinedtheinterdependenceinherlifeofeucharisticfeastandbodilyfast,ofaclosedandshriveledearthly bodyandthe"fattening"ecstasiessentfromheaven.130Alpas,whowasparalyzed,clearlydevelopedphysicaldifficultiesinswallowingatonepointshewasacutely afraidoftakingevenawholehostintoherthroat,untilJohntheEvangelistcameinavisiontohelpher.131Althoughshesawherinediaasaninfirmity,sheclearly valueditasaspiritualgiftaswell,andshethoughtitwasatemptationofthedeviltodesireitcured.132Herchroniclersemphasizethefactthatherbody,whichearlier ranwithstinkingsores,closedupafterdeathherintestineswerealmostempty.133 Despite(andalsobymeansof)herbodilyagony,Alpasservedotherswithvisions,advice,andevenfood.Aninterestingaddendumtooneofthemanuscriptsofher vitasaysthatwhenthepriorofCudotbroughtherbitsofporktosucksheatethemallandwashorrifiedbyhergreed,forsheusuallysentwhatwasleftonhertable toanoldwomanintheneighborhoodwholackedeventhenecessitiesoflife.Thenextdayshesentalltheporkmorselstotheoldwomanandthatnightsawavision ofthedevilasacook,bearingfood.134Thesuggestioninthisstorythatasaintlyabstainermightlosecontrolandslip,almostagainstherwill,

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intogluttonyfindsechoesinafewlaterlives(forexample,thoseofElsbetAchlerofReute[d.1420],CatherineofSiena,andColumbaofRieti)thatgiveevidenceof surreptitiousandcompulsivegorgingbyfemalefasters.135 Behindthelivesdiscussedhere,whethersharplyindividualizedliketheportraitofAlpasorstereotypedlikethenuns'bookfromTss,wefindacommonpattern.Like outcroppingsofrockthatmaytakedifferingandsometimestwistedformsbutarebuiltonthesamecrystallinestructure,thesestorieshaveaunifyingthemebehindtheir flamboyantvarietyofdetail.Inthem,Godisfoodandselfisfood.ThecommunicationofGodtohumanityandthegivingofoneselftoanotherthroughsufferingor serviceisunderstoodas"feeding"animpartingoffleshthatnurturesasitisconsumed.Suchacomplicatedexchangeoffleshrequiresfastingfromordinaryfoodas thestandardprerequisite.Thusclosingandopening,abstainingandeating,arethebasicpatternsorganizingsuchnarrativesandsuchlives. ThiscommoncrystallinestructureunderliesthestoriesoffourofthegreatestreligiouswomenofthenorthofEuropeElizabethofHungaryorThuringia,Margaretof Hungary(d.1270or1271),DorothyofMontau,andColetteofCorbie.Toallfour,obsessivefasting,accompaniedbysleeplessnessandfreneticactivity,becamea focalpointofpiety.Allfourstruggledforcontrolovertheirvocations.Allfourfedothers.Yetdespitethelargeamountofscholarshipdevotedtotheirlives,the commonpatternhasgoneunnoticed.Itwillthereforebeusefultotakeafewparagraphstotelltheirstories. ThelifeofElizabethofHungary,marriedatfourteentothesonofthedukeofThuringiaandwidowedattwenty,hasbecomesoencrustedwithlegendthatitishardto decipher.136Theimportanceofhersternconfessor,ConradofMarburg,ininducingherobsessionwithfoodisimpossibletoassessatthisdistance.137Itisclear, however,thatshefeltintenseguiltaboutherhusband'swealthandprobablyaboutherloveforhimaswell.Itisalsoclearthatsheceasedeatingthefoodfromher husband'stableforfearithadbeenacquiredimmorallyandthatshehidheracutefasting,crumblingherbreadtomakeitappearshehadeatenandspendingherdowry tobuyalittleuntaintedfoodforherselfandherservants.Onceshetookthehabitofatertiary,sheperformedextremefastswhilecookingforandservingothers. Throughoutherlife

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shecompulsivelygaveawayfood.138Afterdeath,herbodyoozedhealingoil.139Thestoriesanddescriptionsthataccumulatedaroundhereventhosethatare clearlyapocryphal(likethelegendofbreadturnedtoroses)stressedherfooddistributiontothepoorandhermotherly"nourishing"ofhersons,thefriars.140 Anotherroyalsaint,MargaretofHungary,anunfromgirlhoodwhoferociouslyrefusedoffersofmarriage,141practicedsimilarfoodasceticism.Shetoowasfreneticin theserviceofothers,evencleaninglatrinesandcarryingtheexcrementandvomitfromseriouslyillnuns.142Toavoideating,Margaretseveraltimesservedhersisters atthebeginningofthemeal,escapedtothechapeltopray,andreturnedtoservethemagain143shefrequentlycoveredherfacewithaclothduringmeals.144Shehid herownillnesses,lestshebesenttotheinfirmaryandofferedmeat,andherbodywasso"emaciatedandpale"fromfastingthatallmarveled.145Yetsheinsistedon cookingforothers,freezingherhandsincoldwaterandcuttingthemonfishscales,andshewentintoecstasyatcommunion,remainingforhoursafterwardinthe churchandrefusingordinaryfood.146Moreover,herbodyitself,whichsherefusedtowashorcarefor,curedthesick.Washwaterfromherhair,whenheldinthe mouthorswallowed,curedillsistersandevenabrotherinanothermonastery.147 ThelaywomanDorothyofMontau(orPrussia),whosefoodasceticismbeganearlyandbroughtherintosevereconflictwithhermother,148feltagoniesofguiltover enjoyingthreesmallfishes,developednauseaatthesightorsmelloffood,atesolittlesheceasedexcreting,andwouldhavegonewithoutfoodentirelyatonepointin herlifehadnotherconfessorintervened.149Shewaspassionatelydevotedtotheeucharist,aroundwhichhermostelaboratevisionsandimagesclustered,andshe developedakindofmysticalpregnancyorswellinginpreparationforcommunion.150Anxioustobefreeofherhusbandandhousework,sheenjoyedbegging,and onecannothelpsuspectingthatamongitsattractionswasthefactthat,likeherfrequenttrances,itrelievedherofthejobofpreparingfood.151Oneofherhusband's fiercecomplaintswasthatwhileshewasinecstasysheforgottoshop,orcookedtheeveningmealwithoutscalingthefishorcleaningthevegetables.152Her descriptionsofeucharistictrances,writtendownbyherconfessor,JohnMarienwerder,notonlymentionsensibleeffectssuchasvisionsofChristbleedingonthecross orofferingaheavenlybanquet,153theyalsomakeitclearthatshesawtheagonyofactualhungerforthehostasanecessaryprepara

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tionfortheproperreceptionofcommunionandastheextension,inthislife,ofthepainsofpurgatory.ShereportedthatChristsaidtoher:
Thosepeoplewhoreceiveme[inthehost]becauseitiscustomarytodosoorinordertowinfavororpraisefromothersreceivegreatdamnationintakingme,fortheydonothave theintensedesireoflove.IndeedIjustsaidtoyouthathewhodoesnothungerformybody...doesnotreallydesireeternallife.Foritisnecessarythatmanclamorandlaborfor me,thathewailaloudeitherhereinthisworldorinpurgatory.Andyoumusthaveforme,beforeconsumingthesacrament,agreatlaborandhungerandafternoon[i.e.,afterthe mass],youmusthaveagreathungerandlaborforeternallife....Hewhodoesnothungergreatlyformewillnotbefilledbymenorhavedelightinme.Forhowcananyonehave sweetnessanddelectationinthatfoodwhohasnothungeredforit?Andhowcanhebesatiatedandcontentedfromfoodinwhichhehasnotplacedallhishopeofdelight?154

OfDorothy'seucharisticcraving,Johnwrote:
Often,indeed,becauseofthefrenzy[aestus]ofthisdesireshewasnotabletoprayherheartgrievedsothatitseemedtoherasifshewantedtodieifshewasnotpermittedto receivethesacramentonthatday.Sometimes...shecouldhardlystandorwalk....Often...sheremainedinbedasifoppressedwithagraveillness.[SoGodorderedher confessortogivehercommunionthreetimesaweek.]...Butherdesirewasnotsatisfiedbythisfornowshehungeredinsuchintensedesireanddestitutionofallstrengththatit appearedtoherthatshecouldneverexpressherhungeroracceptintohermouthanycorporealfood....Andthisdesiregrewnightandday.155

Indeed,Dorothyfrequentlytoyedwiththeideaofextendingherexcruciatingfaststothehostitselffordespitehercravingfortheeucharist,sheexperienced overwhelmingsensationsofunworthinessandhadtobereassuredrepeatedlybyChristthathedesiredhertopartakeofthepreciousfoodofhisbody.156 OnefinalstoryfromthenorthofEuropeunderlineshowcentralfoodmotifshadbecomeinwomen'slivesbythefifteenthcentury.ColetteofCorbiewasfirstahermit andthentheinfluentialreformeroftheClares.157Shetraveledfrommonasterytomonasteryworkingforstrictobservanceandevenwithmalesupportdabbledin papalpolitics.ShewasanexactcontemporaryofLidwinaofSchiedam,whodiedin

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1433attheageoffiftythree,and,aswithLidwina,theseveralsurvivingvitaeseemtobeembroideredwithcertainthemesthathagiographersandreadersconsidered appropriatetofemalesaints.158LikeLidwina,Colettesupposedlywentforlongperiodsoftimewithouteatingorsleeping.Herhagiographer,PeterofVaux, commentsproudlythatshe''wentbeyondtheFathers,"forshespentfortydaysandnightswithoutfoodordrink,"somethingthatisimpossibleoragainstnature...but notimpossibletooragainstGod."159LikeLidwina,Coletteexperiencedeucharisticecstasies.Likeherfastingcontemporary,shesupposedlyreceivedstigmata.160 AcopyofColette'sownexhortationtohernunssurvives.Whileitmentionsfastingamongothersevereausterities,itlaysnoparticularstressonfoodasceticism.161 Butinthehagiographicalaccounts,foodisacentraltheme.Colettesupposedlybegantofastasachild,givingawayherdinnertootherschoolchildren,runningfrom thefamilytabletowelcomebeggarsatthedoorandpressthemtoacceptherfood.Fromgirlhoodsheatenomeat.Throughoutherlifeshesentfoodfromhertableto thoseinthesurroundingcityandcountryside,andsometimesshemiraculouslymultipliedfoodorwineforhermonasteries.162Moreover,sheeffectedcureswithfood, puttingbreadshehadchewedintothemouthsoftwosicksistersor,onanotheroccasion,curingwithacrumbofbread.163Herkisshealedalepershewascuredby receivingtheVirgin'skissinavisionasicknunonceclaimedthatsherecoveredbecauseColetteappearedtoherinavisionandofferedhera"beautifulfruit"to eat.164Colettehealedanotherwomanbyblowingoverthewoman'scancerousfacewatershehadheldinhermouth.165Duringherlifetimeshecuredanunwho, possessedbythedevil,sufferedaterribleboutofbodilyrigidityandcouldnoteatordrink.166Afterherdeathwaterfromherrelicssupposedlyhealedawomanwho hadscarcelyeatenforthirteenyears.(Asadditionalevidenceoftheimportanceoffoodritualsinthisculture,weshouldnotethatthecuredwomanherselffirst acceptedthefoodoftheeucharistandthenfastedinthanksgivingforherrecovery.)167Colette'sbiographerstressesthatshenevermenstruated,"aspecialgracenot heardofinothers,"andthatbothinlifeandindeathherbodygaveoffonlysweetodors.168 SoimportantwastheeucharistinColette'spietythatsheheardmasseverydayandcommunicatedfrequentlybutshepreferredtodosoinprivatebecauseshecould notcontrolherweepingandtrances,anda

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crowdoftengatheredtogawk.ShefrequentlysawChristinvisionsattheelevationandsometimes,outofreverenceandfrenzy,shewasalmostunabletoswallowthe host.Shecouldnoteataftermassandoftenremainedraptinecstasyformanyhours.169Once,whenthepriestfilledthechalicewithwaterbymistake,sheknewthat Godwasnotpresentatthemomentofconsecration.Onanotheroccasion,whenthepriestforgottoconsecrateahostforher,Christbroughtthewaferwithhisown hand.Aminiatureofthisscene,paintedbetween1468and1477forMargaretofYork,wifeofCharlestheBoldofBurgundy,showshowsuchanimmediateand individualrelationshipbetweenGodandthesoulcouldseemtobypassclericalauthority(seeplate11).170Onanotheroccasion,ColettesawavisionoftheChrist childonadish,carveduplikeapieceofmeatafterwards,asshebroodedoverthehorrifyingvision,sheknewthatitrepresentedChrist'sreparationforoursins.171 Imitatingthismaceratedfleshinherownbody,shebeatandstarvedherselfandsometimesbrieflydisplayedonherbodythemarksofChrist'sPassion.172 ThustheactiveandforcefulreformerColette,likehermorepassiveandpitifulcontemporaryLidwina,notonlyfastedfromordinaryfood,shealsofeastedonheavenly food.Indeed,Colettebecamefood.Inherasceticismandhertrances,shewasthetorturedfleshofChrist'sbrokenbody,offeredupforsin.Andasshemoved amonghersistersoramongthepoor,shenurturedtheminanotherway,throughhercomfortingpresence.Withherownmouthsheprovidedfoodtohealtheilland needy. Toamodernsensibility,thereisagreatdifferencebetweeninnermeditationthatvisualizesGodinfoodimagesandwhatpsychologiststodaycallsomatizationthat is,manifestationsinone'sbodyofemotionalandspiritualreactions(suchasstigmata,sweetmucusinthemouth,feelingsofbeingfilledorstifled,orspontaneous exudingsofsweatormilk).ButtoaGertrude,aLukardis,oraFloraofBeaulieu,suchexperiencesweremerelydifferingpointsonacontinuumthatwasencounter withGod.Tomedievalpeople,MechtildofHackeborn'svisionofthecommunioncupasChrist'sheartwasnotsimplyapoeticimageofatheologicaltenet,173nor wasColette'sinabilitytoeataftercommunionsimplyabodilyresponsetomentalexcitement.Whatisstrikingformypurposesthereforeisthatwhethertheyare ineffableexperiencesdescribedinpoeticlanguage,visionsseenwiththeeyesof

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thebody,orfullbodilymanifestationsthemeetingswithGodthatmedievalwomenreceivedwereofteneatings,tastings,andsavorings.Themouth(breathing, kissing,spitting,swallowing,andsucking)wasawayofunitingwithGodandservingneighbor.DesireforChristwasfeltinmind,soul,andentrailsasinsatiablehunger orthirst.Abstinencefromordinarysustenancewasnotsomuchagoalinitselfasatributetotheoverwhelmingsweetness,theexhilaratingpain,ofthemeatanddrink thatGodwas. Italy MorevitaeofwomensaintscomefromItalythanfromanyotherregioninthelaterMiddleAges.Perhapsforthisveryreason,asscholarssuchasVauchez,Petroff, Weinstein,andBellhaverecentlyemphasized,Italianlivesfallintoaconsistentandpredictablepattern.Theyplaceastrongemphasisoncharitableactivityinthe world,lacedwithmiracle.Theyarealsostronglymaleoriented:thesewomensaintsoftensimultaneouslydominateandaredominatedbytheconfessorswho eventuallywritetheirbiographies.Thus,incontrastwithLowCountrywomenofthethirteenthcenturyorGermannunsoftheearlyfourteenth,Italianfemalesaints seemtobemoreisolatedfromotherwomen,withoutthesupportoforganizedfemalecommunities.Yet,asinnorthernstories,theunderlyingcrystallinestructureis there.Afewexampleswillshowtheprominenceofeucharisticdevotion,foodasceticism,feedingmiracles,andfoodimagesintheseItalianlives. EucharisticpietyisasignificantthemeinthevitaeofGherardescaofPisa(d.1260or1267),MargaretofCortona,AngelaofFoligno,AldaofSiena(d.1310),Agnes ofMontepulciano,CatherineofSiena,RitaofCascia(d.midfifteenthcentury),ColumbaofRieti,andCatherineofGenoa.AlthoughearlierItalianvitae,suchasthose ofGherardescaandUmiltaofFaenza(d.1310)sometimesdepicttheeucharistascleansingwatermorethannourishingbloodandstressseeingovereating,women's storiesingeneralmaketheroleofChrist'sbodyandbloodasholyfoodveryclear.174MargaretofCortona,AngelaofFoligno,ColumbaofRieti,andCatherineof Genoa,forexample,cravedfrequentreceptionandsubstitutedtheeucharistquiteexplicitlyforthefoodtheydeniedthemselvesinlongfasts.175

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MargaretofCortona,oneofthemostinterestingofwomensaintsbecauseofherlowlyorigins,wasdirectedbyChristtocenterherpietyindailycommunionshe focusedonthehostbothheragonizedsenseofunworthinessandherdesperateneedforJesus'speciallove.Shecravedreceptionbutwasoftentooterrifiedtogo forwardtoreceive.176Sheadoredpriests.Jesussupposedlysaidtoherinavision:


Daughter,Icomplaintoyoubitterlyabouttheirreverenceofpriestswhotouchmedailyinsuchgreatnumberswithoutknowingorlovingme.Foriftheytrulyknewmetheywould knowthatthereisnobeautyinthecreatedworldsimilartothatofthosepriestswhocelebrate.Andtheywouldnotcometotouchmewithpollutedhands.177

Margaretwasgiventhegiftofdetectingbytasteunconsecratedhostsorthoseconsecratedbyunworthyclerics.178Jesuswarnedherinavisionnotonlyto"clingto thebreastsofconsolation"buttojoinwiththesorrowsofthecrossaswell.Inanothervisionhesaidtoher:"Youwishtobemydaughterofmilkbutyouwillbemy daughterofpoison,becauseofthepainsyousuffer."179ShespokerepeatedlyofChristas"livingbread"andsawherselfasanexampletoothers,bothofabstinence fromearthlyfoodandofheavenlyeatinganeatingthatwasexperiencedsimultaneouslyassufferingandasjoy.180 OtherItalianwomenalsolookedtotheeucharistwithobsessiveconcentrationofpurposeandhope.AngelaofFolignoacontemporaryofMargaretwho,like Margaret,wasreleasedtofollowareligiouslifebythedeathofamandescribedthehostassweeterthananyotherfood.Shesaidshewouldhavelikedtokeepit onhertongueagreatwhilelonger,ifshehadnotheardthatonemustswallowitinstantly:


Shesaidthenthatsometimes,whenshemadecommunion,thehostexpandedinhermouthandshetastedneitherthebreadnorthe[ordinary]meatwhichweknow.Certainlyit hadthesavorofmeatbutwithacompletelydifferenttaste,which"Idonotknowhowtocomparetoanythingelseinthisworld."Itwentdownwithgreateaseandsweetnessand notwiththedifficultytowhichshewasaccustomed.Shesaidthatitsoftenedquicklyandwasnothardasitusuallywas.Andithadsuchsweetnessthat"hadInothearditsaid thatapersonoughttoswallowquicklyIwouldhavehelditfreelyinmymouthwithgreatdelay.ButatsuchtimesIremembersuddenlythatIoughttoswallowquickly,andthe bodyofChristgoesdownwholewiththatsavorofunknownmeat,nor

Page142 doIneedtodrinkanythingafterwards.ButthisdoesnotnormallyhappenandsoImakeagreateffortthatnocrumbofthehostremainsbetweenmyteeth.Butwhenitdoes descendinthisway,itgivesmeagreatfeelingofpeace.Andthisisdiscernedoutwardlyinmybody,becauseitmakesmetrembleviolently,sothatonlywithgreateffortamIable tograspthechalice."181

AngelarepeatedlyreferredtoChristas"ourfood"and"ourtable,"andinavisionsawhimputthefriarsofFoligno,her"sons,"intohisside,whencetheyemergedwith lipsrosyfromdrinkingblood.182OnanotheroccasionChristappearedtoherallbleedingandgaveherhiswoundtosucksheprayedtobeallowedtodrinkhis sufferinganddeathbutknewshewasnotworthytodieamartyr.183 ThevitaofAlda(orAldobrandesca)ofSiena,whichsurvivesonlyinasixteenthcenturyversion,showsasimilarconcernwiththeeucharistasnurturingblood.Inone ofhereucharisticvisions,AldatastedadropofbloodfromChrist'ssideonanotheroccasionthedropfellontohergirdleandshesuckeditoutwithhermouth.In honorofsuchvisions,Aldahadapicturepaintedthat,reversingtheusualimageofthenursingmadonna,showedMarydrinkingfromChrist'ssidewhileholdinghimin herarms.184 FoodasceticismisalsocommonintheseItaliantexts,asselfdiscipline,aspreparationforeucharist,orasunionwiththecross.MargaretofCortona,forexample, undertookextendedfastsandstruggledtoconquerthirst.Sherefusedtokeepforherselfmorethancrumbsfromherbegging,givingthewholeloavestothepoor.She spokeofhereffortstoeatlessandlessasawaragainstthebodyinwhichnotreatyofpeacewaspossible.185Sofixatedonfooddidhergreedandguiltbecomethat thedeviltorturedherwithphantasmsandodorsofdelicaciesshehadneverevenseen.186 Somewomen,suchasCatherineofSiena,CatherineofGenoa,andColumbaofRieti,quicklybecameunabletoeat.Villanade'Botti(d.1361),likeAngelaof Foligno,foundthatshelostherappetiteforcorporealfoodwhenshewaspraying.187RitaofCascia,whoinheryouthtriedtotameandexpiatetheviolenceofherill temperedhusbandbyfastsandserviceofthepoor,atehardlyatallinlaterlifeherreligiouscompanionsbelievedshewassustainedbyfrequentcommunion.188But otherwomenfoundhungerdifficulttoconquer.ClareGambacortaofPisa(d.1419),whomixedasheswithherfoodtospoilthetasteandate

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onlythescrapsleftonothers'plates,hadtoinflictpainonherselftodivertherattentionfromheraching,growlingstomach.189 Abstinenceandeucharisticdevotionarenotmerelyincidentalthemesinthesetexts.Wecanseehowintegraltheyareandhowintegrallytiedonetotheotherin AngelaofFoligno'sBookoftheExperienceoftheTrueFaithfulorBookofDivineConsolation,which,althoughwrittendownbyherconfessor,frequently includesherownwords.190Thebooktreatsfoodinpartasasymbolofhumancorruption.WhenAngelawantedtodeclareherformerhypocrisypublicly,she proposedtoparadethroughthestreetswithrottingmeatandfishtiedaroundherneck.191WhenshebegantoreceivethecomfortofGod'spresence,shefound,she tellsus,thatshescarcelyneededtoeatatall.Sometimesshewishedthatshemightbereleasedentirelyfromfoodinordertorevelonlyinthesweetnessofprayerand eucharist.192 ButfoodwasmoretoAngelathansimplyasymbolofhumancorruption.FoodwasphysicalityandAngelaunderstoodChristtobesayingtoherinvisionaftervision thatshemustfusewith,notflee,thephysicalitythatsufferedandbledonthecross.SoAngeladecidedtorejectthe"temptation"bothtoexhibitherguiltinthe symbolismofrottingfoodandtoceaseeatinginordertodallywithChrist.193Shecametoseeherdesiretoparadethroughthestreetsasthesinofdespair.Shelater saidofthisepisode,inoneofherfewextantletters:
Iwantedtoputacordaroundmythroatandhavemyselfledthroughpublicplaces...whilepeoplejeered:"SeethegreatmiracleofGodhehasmademanifestalltheiniquities andevildeeds,thehypocriticalactsandsins,whichshekepthiddenthroughherwholelife."YouknowthatIwastheninsuchdesolationthatIdespairedcompletelyofGodand hisgiftsandenteredintostrugglewithhim.194

Angelacamethroughherdespairtoavisionoftruehumility.ShearguedthatChristvaluedmeeknessofheartmorethanthe"works"offasting,abstinence,and poverty.ShereportedthatJesussaidtoherinavision:"Yourwholelifeyoureatinganddrinkingandsleepingandeverythingyoudoinlivingispleasingtome[if youloveme],"andshewrote:


Ohmysons,listen....[Christ]didnotsay:"Learnfastingfromme"...nor"Learn...poverty..."nor"Learntoworkmiracles,"...buthesaidonlythis:"LearnfrommeforIam meekandhumbleofheart."

Page144 Fortrulyhemadethishumilityofheartandpropercomportmentofbodythefoundationandmostfirmrootofallvirtuesbecauseneitherabstinencenortheharshnessoffasting, norexternalpovertyandvileclothing...norvirtuosityinmiraclesisworthanythingwithouthumilityofheart.Butwhenfoundedonthisroot,blessedareabstinenceand harshnessandvileclothingblessedandlivingaresuchworks.195

Fromadichotomyinwhichhumanfoodwasnegativeanddivinefoodareplacement,Angelaseemstohavemovedtoanotionthatonemusteatthebloodofsuffering, afoodbothearthlyanddivine.Oncethecrisisofherconversionwasover,foodasceticismbecamelessimportantinherspirituality.Bloodanddrinkingwereher dominantimagesforencounterwithGod.TheeucharistshetookcametobenotsomuchareplacementforearthlyfoodasthedyingfleshofJesus,withwhichshe mergedininfinitesweetnessandinfinitesuffering.196Shetoldherconfessor:


Once,whenIwasatVespersandwascontemplatingthecrucifix,...suddenlymysoulwasliftedintolove,andallthemembersofmybodyfeltaverygreatjoy.AndIsawandfelt thatChrist,withinme,embracedmysoulwiththatarmbywhichhewascrucified...andIfeltsuchgreatsecuritythatIcouldnotdoubtitwasGodevenifallmentoldmeto doubt....SoIrejoicewhenIseethathand,whichheholdsoutwiththesignsofthenails,sayingtome:"BeholdwhatIboreforyou." NowIcanfeelnosadnessatthePassion...forallmyjoyisinthatsufferingGodMan.AnditseemstomysoulthatitenterswithinthatwoundinthesideofChristandwalks therewithdelight.197

Shealsowrote:
Themomentofcommunionapproached....AndIwaspresent[withtheangels],asIhadasked....AndIsawhim,withtheeyesofthespirit,veryclearly,firstliving,fullof suffering,bloodyandcrucifiedandthen[Isawhim]deadonthecross.IfeltitIhadsolivelyasadnessatthepitifulsightthatmyheartseemedalmosttobreak.Butontheother handIfeltgreatdelightsandavastjoyatthepresenceoftheangels.198

Inherdaytodayactivities,Angela,likemanyotherItaliantertiaries,cametoexpressthisimitatiocrucisbyfeedingandcaringforthesick.199Heretoo,perhaps becauseshecaredfortheirbodiesasasubstituteforJesus'own,sheusedmetaphorsofeatingquiteliterally.LikeCatherineofSiena,whodrankpus,andCatherine ofGenoa,whoatelice,Angela

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drankwaterthatcamefromwashingthesoresoflepers.Oneofthescabsstuckinherthroat,shesaid,andtasted"assweetascommunion."200 InmanyoftheotherItalianvitae,asinAngela's,abstinencefromfoodanddevotiontotheeucharistareconnectedtothefeedingandservingofotherseitherby charityorbymiracle.MargaretofCortonaservedasadvisertomanyafflictedlikeherselfwithscrupulosity.201Shecaredforthesick.Shedetectedandexcoriated corruptclergy.202Christhimselfcommandedhertobeanexampleofabstinence,fasting,andpatience.203UmiltofFaenzawhosepiety,likeMargaret's,was characterizedbyeucharisticdevotionandabstinenceperformedafoodmultiplicationmiraclethat,accordingtoherhagiographer,shelikenedtothegospelmiracleof theloavesandfishes.204Umilt'sdiscipleMargaretofFaenza(d.1330)miraculouslymadewateredwinesweetandmultipliedloavesforworkmenatthe monastery.205AldaofSienacuredthesickservedthepoor,especiallyinheroldagedistributedtheproducefromherfarmtothedestituteandtwicechangedwater intowine.206AgnesofMontepulcianosawherprayersrewardedwitharainofmannafromheaven,andasimilarshowerblessedaspringshevisited.207She frequentlymultipliedoil,wine,andbreadforhersistersandoncechangedmeatintofishtomakeitmoreappropriateLentenfare.208CatherineofSienaherself reportedthatGodenabledAgnesandeighteennunstosurviveforthreedaysongreensalone,afterwhichhehelpedAgnesfeedthesistersfortwomealsonfivelittle rolls.209AfterherdeathAgnes'sbodyexudedsweetoilfromhandsandfeet,andtheoileffectedmanycures.210 ThethemeofexudingappearsinseveralItalianvitae,asitdoesinthosefromtheLowCountriesandGermany.Flemishwomenweremoreapttoexudemilk,Italian andGermanwomenoilormannabutinvitaefromallregionsthethemeisclear.RitaofCascia,forexample,whoclosedherbodytoordinaryeating,developeda permanentlyrunningsoreonherforehead(supposedlymadebythecrownofthorns)afterdeathsheexudedasweetodor.211Inasimilarstory,wearetoldthat MargaretofCittdiCastelloexudedoilafterdeathshealsosupposedlyeffectedcuresthroughthreepreciousstonesfoundinherheartduringautopsy.212Thebody ofRoseofViterbo(d.ca.1252)wasfoundatexhumationtohaveproduced"mannalikesweetsmellingoil."213Whetheroil,milk,ormanna,theprecioussubstance exudedbythewoman'sbodywasusuallyseenascuringandfeeding.Moreover,theexudingofex

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traordinaryfluidswasaccompaniedbyextraordinaryclosure.Awomanwhosebodywascommunicatedtootherswasusuallyawomanwhoherselfateonlythe specialfoodofGodtheeucharist. InItaly,asintheLowCountriesandFrance,thevitaeoflatefourteenthandfifteenthcenturyabstainersareoftenmoreelaboratethanthirteenthcenturytexts.Their extravagantdetailstendtosuggesttomodernreaderseitherpathologyonthepartoftheirsubjectsoruncontrolledimaginationonthepartoftheirauthors.Yetitis fromtheselatetextsthelivesofLidwina,Colette,andColumbaofRietithatwegetourclearestsenseofthecrystallinestructureunderlyingnotmerelythebehavior ofsaintlywomenbutalsotheexpectationsofordinarywomenandmen,whichshapedthatbehavior.ThusthesixteenthcenturyvitaofColumbaofRieti(d.1501) canserveasasummaryofthepatternwehavelearnedtorecognizeintextsfromtheprecedingperiod.214Strugglingtocontrolherenvironmentthroughfasting,like RitaofCasciaandDorothyofMontau,consumedwithdesirefortheeucharist,likeMargaretofCortonaandIdaofLouvain,givingawayeverything,likeMargaretof Hungary,andafflictedwithdiabolicalvisionsoffood,likeAlpas,ElsbetAchler,andAngelaofFolignoColumbaofRietistarvedherselftodeathattheageofthirty four. Columba'shagiographerbeginshisstorybyunderliningthethemeoffood.HesuggeststhatColumba'sfuturesanctitywasforeshadowedbyhermother'sabstinence fromallfoodanddrinkexceptgreens,vinegar,andwildgrapesduringherpregnancy.LikeRoseofViterbo'shagiographer,hepresentstheholygirlasabstainingwhile stillababyatthebreast.215Atagefive,hetellsus,Columbamadeherselfahairshirtandwasteasedbyhermother'sfriendsforrefusingtoeat.216 Columba'sfoodasceticismhadapparentlyledtoaconflictofwillswithhermotherevenbeforeherparentsdecidedtofindahusbandforher.Thatdecision precipitatedfurtherconflict,duringwhich,likeClareandCatherineofSiena,Columbacutoffherhair.217Aspartofthisstruggle,shebegantofasttwodaysaweek andfiveLentsayear,takingonlywaterandbreadorunripefruit.Shealsopracticedflagellationandsleepdeprivation,andshegaveawaysomuchfamilyfoodthather mothercametoheroncetosaythattherewasnothingtoeat,atwhichpointColumbaperformedafoodmultiplicationmiracle.Whenhermotherandherconfessor triedtoenticeherwithherbsorvegetables,shemixedashes,dirt,orwaterintothefoodtospoilthetaste.218Shefell

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intotranceswhiledoinghousework,onceevendroppingababyintothefire.219Herharassedmotherexclaimed:"Youdespisedahusband,youneglectyour householdchores,andnowyouremainatleisureforyourownpleasure.Daughter,Isayyoumustwork."ButColumbasawavisionofJesus,whosaid,"Followme." ShereturnedtohersenseswithgaietyandpointedouttohermotherthatGod'scommandsoverridethoseofparents.220Throughoutherlifetheextravagantself denialcontinued,asdidthepassionateserviceofothersandthestubbornnessaboutdecidingforherself.Sheclearlylosttheabilitytodealnormallywithbodily sensationsand,althoughfeelinghorroroffoodanddrink,sometimesdrankvinegarorlickedthedirtydisheswaitingtobewashed,withoutknowingwhatshewas doing.221 Columba'sfastingwasconnectedtoacravingfortheeucharist,whichshewaseventuallypermittedtoreceivedaily.222Althoughshecouldneverarticulateherjoyat receivingGod'sbody,shesometimescriedwhenshereturnedtohercellaftermassandfelthorrorwhenshecomparedordinaryfoodwiththecelestialsweetness.223 Thedevil,whocameinuglyvisionstotemptherwithbreadandfruitandwithanudemalebody,eventriedtoinduceinherdoubtsabouttransubstantiation.Whenhe toldhershewasguiltyofhomicidebecauseshewasstarvingherself,shecriedoutthatshewasonlydiscipliningtheflesh."Heeatsallthingswhorefresheshimselfon God,"sheasserted,"sinceinhimallthingsarecontained.""That'swhatyouthink!"repliedthedevil."Itcontainsonlyseeds,likeflourandbread."Butthenextday ColumbareceivedcomfortintheformofavisionofJesushangingonthecrossabovethechalice.Onanotheroccasion,afteranexhaustingsetofvisionsinwhichthe devilrepeatedlyforcedfoodtohermouth,shesuddenlylaughedandcriedout,''InthenameofJesus,takeitawayyoueat!"224 Columba,likeMargaretofCortona,reveredpriestsfortheirpowerovertheeucharistandevenshedtearsofloveandaweforherownspiritualfather.225Buther eucharisticvisionssometimesbypassedpriestlycontrol.Onenightshewasledtocommunionbythesaintsinavision,andthenextday,whenherconfessoraccused herofneglectingtheeucharist,shesaid,"Why,father,yougavemecommunionthismorningatthebigaltar."Hedeniedit,butwhenhelookedforthehost,hefoundit haddisappeared.226 Ifwereadbetweenthelinesofthevita,itisclear,inpartbecauseofthebiographer'sdefensiveness,thatshewasmuchcriticizedbyreligious

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peopleanddidnotalwayssubmit.227Agroupofnunsoncetriedtoforcehertoeat,suspectingthatshestarvedherselfbecauseofunrequitedlove.228Althoughshe ateagrapeanddrankwaterbeforevisitorstodisproverumorsthatshewassubsistingontheeucharistalone,sheobeyedimmediatelywhenDominicorderedherina visiontoeatonlythesacrament.229Herpriestscouldnotdissuadeher.Receivingnothingbeyondthehostnotevenpurewatershedied. Likeotherfastingsaints,Columbafedandservedothers,bothbymiracleandbytheworkofherhands.Shenursedthesickduringtheplague.Shewashedher companions'feetatmeals.Whenapoorwidowlackedfood,Columbatoldhertogohomeandlookagain,andthewomanfoundsustenance.Onanotheroccasion Columbacausedalittlebitofflourtomakemuchbread.230 Withtheclinicaldetailthattellsusweareinthesixteenthcenturyratherthanthethirteenth,Columba'shagiographerunderlinesasthebiographersofAlpas,Colette, andLutgardhaddoneearlierthedryingupoftheascetic'sbody.AttemptingtoproveboththatColumbawaskepthealthybytheeucharistandthatherbodygave noevidencethatshehadeaten"heavy"food,especiallymeat,thebiographerdetailsherlovelysmell,herfailuretosweat,thepurityofherfingernails,thestrengthof herlimbsandteeth,andthebeautyofhercountenance.Hereportsthatshetoldherprioressthatshedidnotmenstruate.Healsoclaimsthatwaterranrightthrough herwhenshedrankandthatsheonlyoccasionallyeliminatedatinybitofyellowfecalmatter.231Butnomatterhowclosedandcontrolledherbodywas,the investigatorswhoopenedherchestfivedaysafterherdeathdiscoveredaroundherdryheartastreamofpureandlivingblood.232 ThusinColumba'slife,asinmanyotherfemalelivesfromalloverEurope,eucharisticdevotion,charitablefooddistribution,feedingmiracles,abstinence,andself starvationweremajorthemes.Suchvitaeclearlyindicatethatfastingandeucharisticpietywerecentralpracticesinwomen'ssearchforunionwithGod.Moreover, theselivessuggestthathagiographers,thosewhoreadtheirstories,andthosewhoreveredtheirsubjectsassociatedfasting,eating,andfeedingotherswiththe religiosityofwomen.AccountssuchasthevitaeofMaryofOignies,IdaofLouvain,LukardisofOberweimar,AngelaofFoligno,DorothyofMontau,Lidwinaof Schiedam,ColetteofCorbie,andColumbaherselfarenotmerelyfragmentsofdocumentationaboutasceticismanddevo

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tion.Theyarepiecesofliteraturewhosedramaandpathosarewovenaroundthecentralmotifofbodiesasfood:God'sbody,dyinginorderthatChristiansmayeat andlive,andwomen'sbodies,receivingfood,refusingfood,becomingfood. Yethagiographynomatterhowelegantitsstructureisnotoriouslystereotypicalandexaggerated.Thestoriesofsaintssometimesexpressmoreclearlythe expectationsofauthorsandreadersthanthehopesandfearsintheheartsoftheirretiringandearnestsubjects.Wemustthereforeaskwhetherwomen'sownwritings suggestthesamefixationonfoodthattheirconfessorsandbiographersoftenbuiltintotheirvitae.Theanswer,asweshallseeinthenextchapter,isthattheydo.

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5 FoodintheWritingsofWomenMystics
Lethimkissmewiththekissofhismouth:forthybreastsarebetter thanwine, Smellingsweetofthebestointments.Thynameisasoilpouredout: thereforeyoungmaidenshavelovedthee. Drawme:wewillrunaftertheetotheodourofthyointments.The kinghathbroughtmeintohisstorerooms:wewillbegladand rejoiceinthee,rememberingthybreastsmorethanwine. .......................... Isatdownunderhisshadow,whomIdesired:andhisfruitwassweet tomypalate. Hebroughtmeintothecellarofwine:hesetinordercharityinme. Staymeupwithflowers,compassmeaboutwithapples:becauseI languishwithlove. SONGOFSONGS1:13,2:35 Igaveyoumilktodrink,notmeatforyouwerenotableyet.But neitherindeedareyounowableforyouareyetcarnal. 1CORINTHIANS3:2

LatemedievalmysticsborrowedfromScripture,particularlyfromtheSongofSongs,thenotionofusingimagesoffoodandeatingtotalkaboutthesoul'sdesirefor God.Whentheythoughtabouteucharistoraboutmysticalunionitself,theythoughtofthesweetnessofthebridegroom'sbreasts,ofmilkandthehoneycomb,of flowingoil,andofthecellarofwine.Moreover,drawingonPaul'swords,theyconceivedofspiritualinstruction,evenofdivineillumination,asmilkofferedtothosenot yetgrowntoadulthood.ThustheysometimessawJesusortheapostlesandsaintsasnursingmothersorasabanquetofrefreshmentandlove.1 Tomedievalexegetesandspiritualwriters,suchthemeswerenotmere

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metaphors.Intellect,soul,andsensoryfacultieswerenotdivided,withaseparatevocabularytorefertoeach.Rather,Godwasknownwithsensesthatwereafusion ofallthehumanbeing'scapacitiestoexperience.WhenmedievalwritersspokeofeatingortastingorsavoringGod,theymeantnotmerelytodrawananalogytoa particularbodilypleasurebut,rather,todenotedirectlyanexperiencing,afeeling/knowingofGodintowhichtheentirepersonwascaughtup.Themysticalwriter RudolphBiberach(d.ca.1350)pointedoutthatsapientia(wisdom,goodtaste)andsapere(totasteorsavor)arerelatedetymologically:"totaste"is"toknow."2 As WilliamofSt.Thierryputitinthetwelfthcentury:''...gustare,hocestintelligere."3 Thusalmostallmedievalmysticssometimesspeakof"tastingGod,"andtheverbitselfisakindofbridgebetweenthephysicalactofeatingthehostandtheinner experienceofrestinginthesweetness(fruitio)ofmysticalunion.ItisexactlybecausemysticsexperiencedGodwithmorethanintellect,andfeltcomfortableusing sensuallanguagetoexpresstheexperience,thattheyandtheirhagiographerssometimesdifferedoverwhetheravisionwasseenwiththeeyesofthebodyortheeyes ofthemind.Aninner,glorious,wordlessmoment,describedinhighlyaffectivelanguagetoasisteroraconfessor,easilybecameavisionoranapparitionoramiracle asitwasretoldbyoneexcitedhearerafteranother.BernardofClairvaux,forexample,saidthatthingscomefromGodwithoutimages,andGertrudeofHelfta's biographersquotedBernardinanefforttoexplainthatGertrude'svisionsweremerelyChrist'swayofteachingherwhatultimatelysurpassesallsenses.Gertrude's sisters,however,weresureshereceivedChrist'sheartasfoodanddrink,hidinitasthedoveintherocks,ornursedfromitthroughhisside.4 Becauseofexegeticaltraditionandbecauseofthecentralplaceoftheeucharistintheliturgy,verbssuchasmanducare(tochew),pascere,pasci(tofeed),sapereor gustare(totaste),edere(todevour),esurire(tohunger),andfruor(todelightin,withconnotationsoftofructify)camenaturallytolatemedievalspiritualwriters.But manyotherequallysensualverbswereavailableforexpressingthesearchforandenjoymentofGodverbsofseeing,ofhearing,oftouchingandthesewordstoo reverberatewithcomplexbiblicalandliturgicalresonances.Godcouldbelight,water,heat,word,orsong,aswellasthebreadofangelsorsweetwine.5 TheSongof Songssuggestedmetaphorsofsexualunionandfertilityatleastasmuchasmetaphorsofdrunkennessandfeasting.6 .

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Andmanyhighlyaffectivewriters,suchasRuysbroeck,Rolle,andSuso,seemtohavepreferredimagesoftheseaorofmelodytoimageryoffood,despitetheir eucharisticpiety.YetwomenmysticsinthelaterMiddleAgeswereparticularlyfondnotonlyofimagesoftastinganddevouringbutalsoofextended,elaborate metaphorsofhungerandofbread,blood,andfood.Ifhandbooksandsurveyaccountsofthehistoryofpietyhavetendedtoassociatefemalespiritualitywithnuptial oreroticmetaphors,7 itappearstobemorebecausemodernsensibilitiesaretitillatedbysuchimagesthanbecausetheyarewomen'smostcommonmetaphorsfor unionwiththedivineorbecausetheyrepresentadistinctivelyfemalepatternofexpression.Whatdoesseemmorecharacteristicofwomenmysticsthanofmen, however,ishungeringforGod. InthepagesthatfollowIanalyzethewordsthatwomenthemselveswroteorspoke.Imighthavechosenotherfiguresfordetailedconsiderationforexample,Angela ofFolignoorMechtildofMagdeburg.IhavedecidedtotreatHadewijch,BeatriceofNazareth,andthetwoItalianCatherinesinpartbecauseIcaninthatwaylimit myselftotworegions,treatingtworepresentativeseachofnorthernandsouthernpiety.IhavealsochosenthesefourfiguresbecauseIcan,ineachsection,couplea womanwhoseownwritingsurvives,articulatedinseveraldistinctgenres,withawomanwhoseideaswerepartiallymediatedbutbynomeansentirelymaskedby thosewhorecordedthem. Atfirstglancethischaptermayseemmerelytocontinueexplanationanddepictionofthemestreatedinchapter4.Thisisnotso.Thewomenconsideredinthe previouschapterareseen,sotospeak,fromtheoutside.Occasionallytheir"sayings"havebeenrecordedbyhagiographerssometimesafewlettersordirectaccounts ofvisionshavesurvived.Butforthemostpart,theirvoicesaresilent.ThusIhadtoinducetheirtheologyfromtheirbehavioranenterpriseofuncertainreliability,as medievalinquisitorialrecordsshowonlytooclearly.Incontrast,thewomenIconsiderinthepresentchaptertellushowtheygavemeaningtotheirexperiences.They articulateamysticaltheologyofconsiderablepowerandbeauty.Andinthattheologytheytellusthattoofferandtobecomefood(i.e.,macerated,torn,andnurturing flesh)istoserveandtosave.Itisnecessarytolistenwithsomecaretotheirvoices,foralthoughthesewomenhavebeenmuchstudiedbyscholars,thecomplexityof theirideashasseldombeenunderstood.8 .

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HadewijchandBeatriceofNazareth Sometimeswefindimageryofeating,devouring,andhungeringinmysticalwritersofwhoselivesweknowlittle.ThisisthecasewithHadewijch,9 thefirstgreatpoet intheFlemishlanguage,whoprobablywrotebetween1220and1240,wasprobablytheleaderofabeguinegroupfromwhichshewasatsomepointexiled,andwas perhapsactuallyaccusedofquietism,achargesheseemstohavebeenanxioustorefute.10Ofherownreligiouspracticesweknowonlywhatissuggestedbyobscure autobiographicalfragmentsinherpoems,letters,andvisions.Shewarnsagainstgluttony,urgingherdaughtersthattheyshouldneverhave"taste"foranythingoutside God,11andshewasclearlydeeplydevotedtotheeucharist,thereceptionofwhichismentionedasprovidingtheoccasionforatleastfourofherthirteenrecorded visions.12ButeventhoughweknowlittleofHadewijch'sspiritualpractices,wecanseethepoweroffoodasanimageinherwriting.Hungeringanddevouring,ifnot hercentralmetaphors,arenonethelessrepeatedlyusedinherpoemsandletterstotalkaboutthe"love"thatishercentralconcernalovethatisbothGodandthe searchforGod.13Moreover,asPaulMommaersandJ.Reynaerthavepointedout,themysticalonenesssheachievesnotanecstatictranscendingofhumannessbut ajoiningwithJesus'"concrete,disconcerting,humanHumanity"isanexperienceshecalls''tasting":
TheCountenancewhichhetheremadevisiblewasinvisibleandinaccessibletothesightforallcreatureswhoneverlivedhumananddivineloveinonesimpleBeing,andwho couldnotgrasporcherishintheundividedtastetheonenature.14 Iwaschosen[toreceiverevelations]inorderthatImighttasteManandGodinoneknowledge[daticmenscheendegodineenreconstsmakensoude].15

TheuniontowardwhichHadewijchstrainedwitheveryfiberofherbeingwasbestspokenofinparadoxes,shefelt,becauseitwasthesoul'sonlygoal,yetimpossible ofmorethanmomentaryattainment.Thusitwasbestarticulatedinthecriesofpain,theimagesofhellandloneliness,thatreflectthemystic'sfailuretoretainit. Hadewijchwrotebothsomeofthemostaffective,sensual,eveneroticdescriptionsofunionwith

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Christeverpennedandsomeofthefiercestcriticismofaffectivespirituality,denyingthatloveiseversweetness,joy,orpeace.Exactlybecausefinalrestisnever possibleinthislife,HadewijchagainandagainchallengedherspiritualdaughterstofusewiththehumanityofChristbeforeattemptingto"becomeGodwithGod"(i.e., torestinsweetness).16TheHadewijchwhocoulddescribehersoulmeltingeroticallyintothebeautifulhumanJesusatthemomentofeatinganddrinkinghisbodyin communionalsowrote:


Hellistheseventhname OfthisLovewhereinIsuffer. ForthereisnothingLovedoesnotengulfanddamn. ....................... AsHellturnseverythingtoruin, InLovenothingelseisacquired Butdisgustandtorturewithoutpity Forevertobeinunrest, Foreverassaultandnewpersecution Tobewhollydevouredandengulfed[alverslonden endealverswolghen] Inherunfathomableessence, Tofounderunceasinglyinheatandcold, Inthedeep,insurmountabledarknessofLove. Thisoutdoesthetormentsofhell.17

ToHadewijch,onesoughtunionwithahumanChristinafrenzyofsufferingthatincludedandtranscendedpleasureandpain. Forsuchunion,bothhungerandeatingwerepowerfulimages.Hadewijchwishedtoexpressthetotalincorporationofhumanityintohumanitydivinity(eatingofGod bytheselfandoftheselfbyGod),yetshealsofeltanachingdesirethatyearnedforafillingbeyondsatiety.Tohungerandtodevour,forher,hadclearovertonesof physicalityjoiningphysicality.Toeatmeantbothtofusewith,ineroticunionofmouthtomouth,andtobecomepregnantwith,tohavegrowwithinone'sbelly.Yet suchunionwasunionwithsufferingfor"frenzieddevouring"carriedwithitconnotationsoffailureevertobefilled,evertostaytheagonizedlongingthatreturnedand returnedandreturned. HadewijchsometimesspeaksofthesoulasfedbyChristintheeucharistorinecstasy.SheborrowsfromWilliamofSt.Thierrytheimage

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ofthesoulrearedbyChrist,"nursedwithmotherlycare...[and]disciplinedbytherodoffatherlymercy."18Shesayslove"nourishes[thehumble]withherfood."19 Andshedescribesthebeginningsofherownmysticallifeinlanguagethatusesdevour,swallow,anddrinktoexpressasweetengulfingofselfinGod:
SinceIwastenyearsoldIhavebeensooverwhelmedbyintenselovethatIshouldhavedied,duringthefirsttwoyearswhenIbeganthis,ifGodhadnotgivenmeotherformsof strength....AndthroughallthesetokenswithwhichImetintheintimateexchangeoflovebetweenhimandmeforasitisthecustomoffriendsbetweenthemselvestohide littleandrevealmuch,whatismostexperiencedistheclosefeelingofanother,whentheyrelish,devour,drink,swallowupeachother[Endeindoersmakene,Endeindoeretene, Endeindoerdrinckene,Endeinverswelgheneelcanderen]bythesetokensthatGod,myLove,impartedtome...hegaveme...confidenceinhim....SometimesLoveso enlightensmethatIknowwhatiswantinginmethatIdonotcontentmyBelovedaccordingtohissublimityandsometimesthesweetnatureofLoveblindsmetosuchadegree thatwhenIcantasteandfeelher[teghesmakeneEndetegheuoelne]itisenoughforme.20

Sometimes,drawingontheSongsofSongs,sheweavestogetherlanguageofkissingandeatingandflowingoil,expressingaclearsensethatthefoodbodyGodgives intheeucharistisreceivedbyChristiansasbotheroticandnourishingsweetness:
Hedelivereduptodeathhissubstance,thatistosayhisholyBody...andhegavehimselftobeeatenanddrunk,asoftenaswewill....Yes,muchsmallerthananatom comparedtotheentireworldiswhatwereceivefromGodcomparedtowhatwecouldhavefromGod,ifwetrustedinhimandwouldreceiveitfromhim.Alas,howmanysoulsnow remainthusunfed,andhowfewconsumehimamongthosewhohavetherighttoeatanddrink! Herelaxedtimethatis,heispatienttowaitforouradvancetoagoodlifewhenwewill.Weseehismouthbroughtclosetoustokisshimwhowishesit.Hisarmsareoutstretched: Hewhowishestobeembracedmaythrowhimselfintothem.21

Theunionofmouthtomouthshedescribesissometimesfranklyerotic,underliningtheextenttowhichallthesensesareinvolvedinthisknowingandexperiencingof God:

Page156 Theypenetrateeachotherinsuchawaythatneitherofthetwodistinguisheshimselffromtheother.Buttheyabideinoneanotherinfruition,mouthinmouth,heartinheart,body inbody,soulinsoul.22

Inherpoem"Love'sSevenNames"sheassertsthatwedoeatGod:
...love'smostintimateunion Isthrougheating,tastingandseeinginteriorly. Heeatsuswethinkweeathim, Andwedoeathim,ofthiswecanbecertain.23

Inthesestanzas,eatingisacentralmetaphornotmerelybecausetheeucharististheplaceinChristianritualinwhichGodismostintimatelyreceivedbutalsobecause toeatandtobeeatenexpressthatinterpenetrationandmutualengulfing,thatfusionoffleshlyhumannesswithfleshlyhumanness,thatHadewijchsawasnecessaryfor unitingwithaGodwhoisman.Moreover,inoneofhervisionsHadewijchherselfexperiencedwhatsheevokesinherpoetry.HeraccountofthismeetingwithGod readslikeadescriptionofsexualorgasm(anditisonlyourmodernsensibilitythatmakesthesuggestionashockingone):


HecameintheformandclothingofaMan,ashewasonthedaywhenhegavehisBodyforthefirsttime...hegavehimselftomeintheshapeoftheSacrament,initsoutward form...andthenhegavemetodrinkfromthechalice....Afterthathecamehimselftome,tookmeentirelyinhisarms,andpressedmetohimandallmymembersfelthisinfull felicity,inaccordancewiththedesireofmyheartandmyhumanity[namierehertenbegherten.namieremenscheit].SoIwasoutwardlysatisfiedandfullytransported.Alsothen, forashortwhile,Ihadthestrengthtobearthisbutsoon,afterashorttime,Ilostthatmanlybeautyoutwardlyinthesightofhisform.Isawhimcompletelycometonoughtand sofadeandallatoncedissolvethatIcouldnolongerdistinguishhimwithinme.Thenitwastomeasifwewereonewithoutdifference.

Hadewijchgoesontosuggestthatsuchinner"dissolving"isonewiththe"outward"seeing,feeling,andtastingofthesacrament.24 Eatingorbeingfedisnot,toHadewijch,merelyaunioninwhichGodtakestheinitiative,aswallowingordevouringofthesoulbyGod.Thesoultoogivesfood.It "suckles"whatitloves.AnditreachesouttotasteandmasticatethesweetnessoftheLord.Inthepoemhereditorcalls"WereIButLove,"Hadewijchspeaksofour ownlovingasakindoffeeding:

Page157 IgreetwhatIlove Withmyheart'sblood. .......... Ilong,Ikeepvigil,Itaste[Jchake,icwake,ic smake] ..................... Isuffer,Istriveaftertheheight, Isucklewithmybood[Jcsoghemetminnenbloede] Igreetthesweetnessthatcan Alleviatemymadness[orewoede]ofLove.25

Inherpoem"Love'sGrowth"shespeaksofbeingpregnantwithLove,asweetchild,whichiscarriedandnourishedinpainandfinally"whollyengulfsfromwithin"the motheringsoul.26Thus,toHadewijch,biologicalimagesfortheloveofferedandreceivedbytheselfareimagesoftheutmostintimacy.Toloveistogiveone'sbodily fluidasfood,tocarryafoetuswithinoneself,tochewortobecheweditisnotmerelytokissbutalsotofeeltheotherwithinone'sownbowelsorheart.Toloveisto engulfandbeengulfed,tomasticateandtoassimilate,toflowoutwithnurturesothatone'sbodybecomesfoodforanother. ButmetaphorsofeatingareusuallytoHadewijchnotmetaphorsofengulfingandincorporatingbutmetaphorsofemptinessandhunger.Nomatterhowmuchone "tastes,"oneisneverfull.ThemoreprofoundtheintimacywithGod,thegreatertheunrequitedcraving.Hadewijchwrites:


WhenanyoneseeksLoveandundertakesherservice,hemustdoallthingsforherglory,forduringthistimeheishumanandneedyandthenhemustworkchivalrouslyinall things,begenerous,serve,andshowmercy,foreverythingfailshimandleaveshiminwant.27

ThusHadewijchdoesnotconcludeherpoem"Love'sSevenNames"withassurancesofheavenlynurture.Shecontinues:
Andwedoeathim,ofthiswecanbecertain. Butbecauseheremainssoundevoured, Andsountouched,andsoundesired, Eachofusremainsuneatenbyhim Andseparatedsofarfromeachother. Butlethimwhoisheldcaptivebythesechains Notceasetoeathisfill,

Page158 Ifhewishestoknowandtastebeyondhisdreams TheGodheadandtheManhood!28

AndherpoembuildstoLove'sseventhname:
HewhoknowsLoveandhercomingsand goings Hasexperiencedandcanunderstand Whyitistrulyappropriate ThatHellshouldbethehighestnameof Love.29

Ultimately,toHadewijch,loveismostcloselyapproachedinparadox.Thushercentralfoodimagesareimagesofaneatingthatleavesonehungry,ofanunfulfilled cravingthatneverthelessistheonlyfood.
WhatissweetestinLoveishertempestuousness, Herdeepestabyssishermostbeautifulform .................... Todieofhungerforheristofeedandtaste Herdespairisassurance Hersorestwoundingisallcuring Towasteawayforhersakeistobeinrepose .................... Hertendercareenlargesourwounds ................ Hertableishunger.30

ToHadewijch,thedeepestdangerforthesoulwouldbetotrytoescapeorbypasssuchfrenzyandpain.Toherdaughtersshewrote:
WeallindeedwishtobeGodwithGod,butGodknowstherearefewofuswhowanttoliveasmenwithhisHumanity,orwanttocarryhiscrosswithhim,orwanttohangonthe cross....ButbeforeLovethusburstsherdikes,andbeforesheravishesmanoutofhimself...,hemustofferhernobleserviceandthelifeofexile.31

Inavision,shereceivedachalicefullofbloodwhenshedrankit,sherealizeditwasthechaliceofpatience.32AndinthesamevisionGodtoldher:"Sinceyouarea humanbeing,liveinmiseryasman[mensch]."33Shespokeofexpandinghersuffering,herterriblecravingforGod,intosuchcompassionforothersthatshewould havebravedGod'scondemnationtobringthemtolovehim.Heragonywasthusakindofservice,

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whichonceevenmanagedtocoerceGodintoreleasingsoulsfromtheirdeservedjudgment.34ButshelearnedthatthepowerofGod'sawfuldecisionlaybeyond eventheserviceofsuffering.Shewrote:
IhaveneverexperiencedLoveinanysortofwayasrepose....ForIwasahumancreature,andLoveisterribleandimplacable,devouringandburning....Nowforpersons,my reposelayinlovingeachoftheminwhatwaspropertohim....AsforpersonswhofailedGodandwerestrangerstohim,theyweighedheavyonme.ForIwassoladenwithhis loveandcaptivatedbyitthatIcouldscarcelyendurethatanyoneshouldlovehimlessthanI.Andcharityforotherswoundedmecruelly,thatheshouldletthesesoulsbesuch strangerstohim....Iwouldgladlyhavepurchasedloveforthembyacceptingthatheshouldlovethemandhateme....ButthesovereignpowerthatisactualLovesparesno one....ThispowerheldmebackonceagainwhenIhadwishedtofreeallmen.35

Thus,toHadewijch,thesoulshouldstrivenotsomuchtorestinsatietyastosufferadeeperhungerbeyondfilling.Forthetruestsatietyisthepainofdesirethetruest reposeisthehorrorofGod'spower.AndallweattainfullnessorhungeristhegiftofLove.
ForIdependwhollyon[Love], IfIshalleverascendcleartohersummit. WhateverelseIdid, Myhunger[hongher]wouldremainasstrongasever: Didshenotgivemefullsatisfactioninher. SoIremainonLove'sside, Whatevermayhappentomeafterthat: Thepainofhungerforher,thejoyofsatisfactioninher, Notodesires,oryestodelight.36

Hadewijch'sreasonforstressinghungerratherthanreposeisnotmerelyexperiential.Itdoesnotliesimplyinhersensethatdesiregrowsevergreaterasittastesmore oftheineffablesweetness.ForHadewijch'slanguagereflectsdoctrineaswell.ItreflectsherconvictionthattheGodwemeetishumanityaswellasdivinity,and nowheremorehumanthanwhenhisfleshbecomesfood.37"Dearchild,"shewrotetoadisciple,"youhavemuchtodoifyouaretolivetheDivinityandthe Humanity."38"[Christsaid]:'IfyouwishtobelikemeinmyHumanity,asyoudesiretopossessmewhollyinmyDivinityandHumanity,youshalldesiretobepoor, miserable,anddespisedbyallmenandallgriefswilltaste

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sweetertoyouthanallearthlypleasures.'"39Hunger,then,toHadewijch,isincorporationwithChrist'ssufferinghumanity,whichisourpathtohisdivinity.Themore wehungerwithChrist,themorewearefilled.Themoreweunitewith"eat"theloneliness,thedeath,thebodyofChristonthecross,themorefullyGodunites withus,swellingourfullnessandourdesire.


Inseparablesatietyandhunger AretheappanageoflavishLove .............. Satiety:forLovecomes,andtheycannotbearher Hunger:forshewithdraws,andtheycomplain. ..................... HowdoesLove'scomingsatiate? Filledwithwonder,wetastewhatsheis, Shegrantspossessingofhersublimethrone: Sheimpartsthegreattreasureofherriches. HowdoesLove'srefusalcreatehunger? Becausewecannotcomeatwhatwewishtoknow Orenjoywhatwedesire: Thatincreasesourhungeroverandover. ................... Maynewlightgiveyounewardor Newworks,newdelightstothefull NewassaultsofLove,newhungersovast ThatnewLovemaydevourneweternity!40

ThusweseethatthefoodmetaphorsinwhichHadewijchspeaksofhermysticalcravingexpressherconfidencethatweexperienceGodthroughalloursenses.Our knowingisatasting,aswelling,abeingfull,aflowingoutthatengagesallourhumanity.SuchmetaphorsalsoexpressherconvictionthatthesweetnessofGod's comingisinfinitepain,evenmadness,forhowevermuchwetaste,wecravemore.Thefullerourdesire,thehungrieroursoul.And,finally,suchmetaphorsofbodily encounterconjuringupastheydoteethandmouths,bowelsandbreasts,fleshchewedandswallowedandmadeintonewfleshrevealhowmuch,toHadewijch, theGodwhoistheinfiniteabyssbeyondalllanguageandmetaphorisalsofleshlyhumanityahumanitythatsuffersandfeeds. Hadewijch'ssenseofunionwithGodasfrenzy,likehereucharisticfer

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vorandherpassionateimagesofdevouringanddesire,findsaparallelinthevitaofherFlemishcontemporary,BeatriceofNazareth.InBeatrice,thefrenzybecomes illness,"insanity,"inimageandinfacttheeucharistbecomesacascadeofblood,withwhichthewoman'sbodyunitesitself.AboutBeatrice'slifeweknowenoughto seethatasceticismandeucharisticdevotionwerecentraltoheractualpiety,thatshesoughthysteriaasameansoffusingwithChrist'scross,andthatfromthisfusion camehealth,whichspilledoverintobledintoserviceforothers. Beatricecamefromareligiousfamily.Whenshewassevenhermotherdied,andherfathercommittedhertothebeguinesofLautolearnherletters.Shewaslater educatedatoneoftheCistercianmonasteriesherfatherhadfounded,andshemadeherprofessionthereatsixteen.Ataboutagethirtysevenshebecameprioressat Nazareth,yetanotherofherfather'sfoundations,andservedinthiscapacityuntilherdeathatsixtyeight.41Beatricewrotedownherspiritualexperiences,inserting amongthemshortessaysonasceticormysticaltopics,atleastoneofwhichhassurvivedintheoriginallanguage.Thewholeformsakindofspiritualautobiography. AfterBeatrice'sdeath,ananonymousconfessorofNazarethtranslatedtheautobiographyintoaLatinthat,wherewecancompareittoherFlemishoriginal,appears bothfloridandessentiallytruthful.42ThisautobiographymakesitclearthatBeatricetorturedherbodyinextremeasceticismflagellatingherself,sleepingonstones, walkingonice,bindingthornsbetweenherbreastsandaroundherloins,and,eveninillness,eatingonlydrybreadandthatdevotiontotheeucharistwasattheheart ofherpiety.43 ToBeatrice,illness,whichischieflyinsanity(orewoetinFlemish,insaniaamorisoraestusinLatin),istheessentialthelivedmetaphorforunionwithChrist.44 Forthisillness,however,food/drinking/bloodisamajorimageandbothfood/drinking/bloodandfrenzy/hysteria/insanityare,toBeatrice,imagesofphysicality,of unionwiththeagonizedhumanbodyofChristonthecross.SuchunioncametoBeatricemostfrequentlyatreceptionofcommunion,areceptionthatproducedillness andhealth,45foritledthebodytolanguishbeyondconsciousnessandyettopouroutinbloodforthesisters.46 Beatrice'sfrenziedcenteringofherlifeintheeucharist,hervacillationbetweenjoyandterror,reflectstheambivalenceaboutcommunionfoundinthirteenthcentury theology.Aswesawinchapter2above,theologiansoftheperiodbothurgedandwarnedagainstfrequentreception.Bea

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tricelikeGertrudetheGreatandMargaretofCortonarespondedtosuchwarningsbothwithagonizedfeelingsofunworthiness,offearofChristthejudge,and withcravingsfortheholyfood.47Beatrice'sunionwithChristintheeucharistwasthusbothawefulandintimate,intenselyeroticandexcruciatinglypainfulas paradoxicalastheimagesofloveinHadewijch'spoems.Once,onthesecondSundayinEpiphany,whensheproposedtogotocommunion,she"sawhim[i.e., Jesus],thesweetestspouseofthesoul,standingonthealtar,"withhisoutstretchedarms,drawinghertohim,andshe"desiredthesavingreceptionofhisbody,in marveloustasting."


Refreshedbythismosthealthgivingcommunion,inthemarvelousembraceofthesamedivinity,shesuddenlyfeltherwholesoul,diffusedthroughallthemembersofherbody, soviolentlycaughtupthatthesamelittlebodyfeltitselfinallitsindividualmembersstronglygatheredintotheembrace.Indeed,intheunionofthissweetembrace,theLord appliedtheheartofhischosenonetohisownheart,andheabsorbedherwholespiritwithinhimselfandthesoulofBeatricetastedthereaheavenlyfloodofcharity....Atthis taste,losingtheuseofhercorporealsenses,shefelltoearthandherfeetcouldnotholdher....Andthenunwhocaredforherinhersicknesswentbeforeherholdingherbyher arms...,and[shefelldown].Andafterwards,whenshecamebacktoherself,thenunputherinherbedwhereshelayforawholedayinebriatedininestimablesweetnessofmind, jubilantandexulting,intranquilpeaceofconscience,restingwithChrist.48

OnotheroccasionsherdesireforChristwassuchtorturethatshefearedtodieofit.Drawingonherowndescription,herhagiographertellsusthatshelanguished morethanayearinthefollowingway:
Thefervorofthisdesireinflamedhermindsomuchthatasoftenassheremembered[Christ'sdeathandherownexile,shecried].Andherheart,foralongperiodoftimelaidopen bydesire,andherarteries,alsoopened,frequentlybrought[toher]ahorrorofdeath,sincetheycouldnotbebroughtbacktotheirnaturalcondition,becauseoftheimpedimentof herdesire....Indeedsuchwasthewoundeddevotion[sauciatadeuotio]ofthisholywoman,suchthedesireforcelestialjoys,suchtheaffection,atoncewoundedand languishinginlove[vulneratasimuletamorslanguens],that,inthefervorofherdesire,riversofcopiousbloodfrequentlypouredfromhermouthandnostrils....Sofinallythis violentdesirecontinuallydominatedinhermind,evergrowing,untilveryoften,des

Page163 tituteoftheobedienceofhercorporealsenses,shewasnotabletodiscernbytheirserviceswhatwasoutsideher....Howeveronegreatsolaceremained:...thevivifying consolationofthesacramentoftheLord'sbodyandblood....Thiswasthehighestsolaceoftheholywoman,thisheroneandonlyrefugefromallthemiseriesofthehuman condition,thisatoncethenourishmentthatsustainedher[sustentationispabulum],andthesavingprovision[viaticum]onthewayofpresentexile,andafoodofmedicinalvalue inherviolentseizuresandoutbursts.49

OccasionallyBeatrice'sdesireliterallychokedher.Once,uponhearingthewordpreachedintheconvent,''herheartwasshattered.""Desertingitsnaturalplaceitrose uptoherthroatandremainedthereforalongspaceoftime,tremblingandpalpitating,fromwhichshecontractedagreatillness."50Afterherfirstmysticaltrance,her laughterbecamesouncontrolledthatGodhadtoputoutthebedroomlampbyamiracletohidethecontortionsofherfacefromhersisters.51Afewyearslater,she begantomeditateon"howChristfedherwiththemilkofconsolationandmaternalaffection,"andshebegantothinkthatiftheLorddidallthosebenefitsforher,then alsohesufferedallhispainsforher.Soshestrove"todiscoverhowtoshapeherselftosuchtorture[orinsanity]...andsofollowperfectlyChrist'sfootsteps."And sheconsultedherspiritualadviseraboutthedesirabilityof"moldingherselftothewayof...madnessorfoolishness"forChristi.e.,ofdrivingherselfmad.Buther advisercounseledagainstit.52 AccordingtoBeatrice'sbiographer,shecameaftermanyyearstoastateinwhichthesacramentcuredherfromallsickness,inwhichherinebriationandjoyinChrist flowedoutintooverpoweringcompassion.Shethenservedthesickandthepoor,readingtheheartsofthoseindistressandevenarguingthecasesofcriminalsbefore thelocaljudge.53Moreover,Beatrice'sownwordssuggestthatsheherselfsawsuchapatterninherlife,amovementfromsicknesstoservice.Inherlittletreatiseon thesevenstepsoflove,whichsurvivesinherownversion,shedescribesthestagesas:(1)thesearchforpurity,(2)disinterestedlove,(3)torturebecauseonecannot loveenough,(4)thefirstexperienceofabsorptioninGod,(5)insanity[orewoet],(6)triumphantlove,and(7)theviolentdeathofloveeternal,thefinalfusionwith Christ.Thestepsalternatebetweentortureandpeace.54ThefinalstageisasparadoxicalasHadewijch'snotionofloveashell.Init,"theheartbecomescrazywithin," themindis"suspended,"andthesenses"aredrawntoward

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joy.""Lovecalls[thesoul]anddismissesit,sweetensitandtorturesit,givesdeathandofferslife,giveshealthandthenwoundsagain,givesinsanityandwisdom."55 Alongthewaytoultimateunion,however,thesoulisdescribedinimagesofserving.Atthesecondstageitisaservingmaidatthesixthstage,amotherrulingalarge family.56 ThroughoutBeatrice'swriting,drinkingisacentralimageofunion,bleedingacentralimageofbothsufferingandjoy.Beatricespeaksofthefourthstageofloveasa cupbrimmingover.57Ofthefifthstageshewrites:


Meanwhilelove,whichmovessoviolentlyandtumultuouslyintheheart,growsbeyondmeasureandoverflowssointhesoulthattheheartthinksitselfmuchwounded,and thesewoundsaredailyrenewedandmademorepainful....Andthusitseemstoherthatherveinsareopenedandherbloodflows,hermarrowisweakened,...andherchest burnsandherthroatdriesup....Inthistimeshefeelsherheartpiercedbyanarrowuptothethroatandfinallyeventothebrain....Andbyallthese[assaults]sheismuch wounded,andherhearttrulyrejoicesandlosesallitsstrength.Andtrulyhersoulisnourished,andherloveisfed,andhermindissuspended....Andalwayshersoulismore andmoreexcitedandluredonward,neversaturatedorsatiated.Forthemoreitistorturedandwounded,themoreitisrenewedandcalmed,andthatwhichprofoundlywoundsit alonegivestoithealth.58

Shefrequentlysawvisionsofbloodatmass.Once,whenshereceivedthesacramentandmeditatedonChrist'swounds,she"sawthatallthebloodwhichflowedfrom thosewoundsfloodedintoherheart...sothatshewaswashedperfectlyclean....Andinthisfireoflovewhichburnedwithinheracertainspecialfriendwas broughtintothesightofherheartandbothwereunitedsoinChristthatonespiritwasmadefromtwo."59Inanothersetpiece,aChristmasmeditationonthe mysteriesoftheIncarnation,Beatrice'sbasicmetaphorisdrinkingChrist,asrivulets,asstreams,orasamightyriver.Thosewhodrinkrivuletsarethosewhostrivefor virtuesthosewhodrinkstreamsarethosewhosecompassiongrowsinmemoryofthePassion.Buthighestarethosewhoimitateandfusewiththecross,forthey drinkChristhimself.60 Thus,toBeatrice,insanitywhichisalsohealthwasbothanimageofunionandawayoflife.DrinkingJesus'bloodwasbothametaphorforimitatioChristianda ritualact(thereceptionofcommunion)thatlayattheheartofreligiouspractice.Bleedingwasametaphorforpainand

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lossofselfcontrolitwasalsoametaphorforjoyandredemption.Anditwasabodilyfunctionofthewomanmysticwholayinbed,outofhersenseswithinebriation, andwhorosetoadvisetroubledsistersandvisitorsfromtheworldoutsidetheconvent. ToHadewijch,hungeranddevouringwerepowerfulandcentralimagesforthelovethatisunion.Tohercontemporary,Beatrice,drinkingandbleedingwereimages fortheinsanitythatisunion.Bothmysticsthusproceedtodivinitythroughahumanitythatisintenselyphysical.TheirlanguageexpressesaspiritualityinwhichGodis notmerelydescribedasifhewereabodybutiseatenanddrunkbecauseheisabody.AndbecausethepainofGod'sbodilinessistheinstrumentofsalvation, imitationofthatGodisthroughthewounds,laughter,tears,suffocation,andhungerthatoccurintheself(bodyandsoul)ofthemysticstrugglingtowardecstasy. CatherineofSienaandCatherineofGenoa Ifwemoveonahundredyearsormoreandmanymilestothesouth,wefindinthetwogreatestwomenwritersofmedievalItaly,CatherineofSiena(d.1380)and CatherineofGenoa(d.1510),asimilarconcentrationoneatinganddrinking,onbreadandblood,asthecrucialimagesforencounterwithGod.Inbothcases,we knowenoughaboutthewomen'sactuallivestobesurethatobsessivefastingandeucharisticpietywerekeyelementsintheirreligiouspractices.Wealsoknowthat fastingandfeedingbecamelivedmetaphorsforthem,asillnessandbleedingdidforBeatriceofNazareth.BothCatherinesfedthedestitute,byordinarycharityand bymiracle.Bothatethefilthofthesicktheytended.BothfeltthatitwasintheexcruciatingpainofmorethanearthlyhungerthattheyfusedwiththeagonyofChriston thecrossandofferedupsuchagonyforthesalvationoftheworld. ManycontemporaryandnearcontemporaryaccountsofthelifeandmiraclesofCatherineofSienasurvive61andwehave,inaddition,herownwritings(dictatedbut certainlyauthentic)i.e.,theDialogue,hervoluminouscorrespondence,andsomeofherprayers.62Notsurprisingly,thesematerialssometimesgivedivergent interpretations,particularlyofhermiraclesandvisions.Andtwentiethcenturyscholarshavedebatedthedatesofcertainkeyeventsinherlife(particularlyinher adoles

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cence).63Nevertheless,somethingsarenotindoubt.ItisclearthatnoteatingwasacentralelementinCatherine'sbehavior,thateucharisticpietywasatthecoreof herreligiouspractice,64thatfoodespeciallybloodasfoodwasthecentralmetaphorinherprolixmetaphoricalwriting,andthather(predominantlymale)advisers andfollowerssawnoteating,eating,andfeedingashighlysignificantaspectsofherimpactonothers.65 ThereisreasontosuspectthatRaymondofCapuawhosebiographyofCatherinemostscholarshavepreferredasthebasicsourceforherlifehadhisown reasonsforemphasizingherdecidedlyoddeatingbehavior.Raymondhimselfhadpoorhealthandfeltmuchguiltabouthisowndifficultiesinfasting.Hewas, moreover,apropagandistforstrictDominicanpracticeandfoundCatherineusefulasamodeloffasting,vigils,andselfabnegation.Raymondhimselfwasclearlyless criticalofCatherine'sinabilitytoeatthanherpreviousconfessorshadbeeninpartbecauseofhisowndistrustofdoctors.66Heenjoyedassociatingbothfastingand miraculousfeedingwithwomensaints.HenotonlywroteabiographyofAgnesofMontepulciano,inwhoseliferainsofmannaarethecharacteristicmiracle,67healso introducedAgnesintohisvitaofCatherine,68andhemayhavebeenoneofthereasonsforCatherine'sinterestinAgnes,whichisreflectedinherletters,inthe Dialogue,andinhervisitstoAgnes'smonastery.69HisLifeofCatherinecertainlylaysmorestressonherinabilitytoeatthansheherselfdoesinherletters.For example,althoughRaymondandCatherineagreeontheimportancetoherofMaryMagdalen,RaymondsaysatleastthreetimesthattheMagdalenisamodelfor CatherinebecausetheMagdalenfastedforthirtythreeyears,70whereasCatherineherselfalwayspresentsMaryMagdalenasamodelbecauseshestoodunderthe crossandwasinundatedwiththebloodofChrist.71Furthermore,Raymond'saccountmayemphasizenursingandfeedingmiraclesandvisionssomewhatmorethan othersources.Raymond,forexample,placesavisionofChristasnursingmotherjustafterthecrucialmomentinwhichCatherinedrinkspusfromthediseasedbreast ofthetertiaryAndrea,whereastheanonymousMiracoli(Miracles)placesatthisturningpointavisionofmarriagewithChrist.72But,inthiscase,thereisnogreat needforskepticismCatherine'sownlettersarefilledwithimagesofnursingfromthebreastofChrist.73Thus,regardlessoftheinterestRaymondandothermale advisersmayhavehadinassociatingimagesoffeedingandnursingwith

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womensaintsorinreveringtheirselfsacrificethroughfasting,boththewidevarietyofextantsourcesandCatherine'sownwordsmakeclearthecentralityoffoodin herspirituality. IfwecantrustRaymond'saccount,CatherinewashermotherLapa'stwentythirdchild,theonlyoneLapanursedatherownbreastandlaterherfavorite.Catherine's twinsister,Giovanna,wassentouttoawetnurseanddied.Thelastchild,borntoLapawhenCatherinewasweaned,wasgiventhenameofthedeadtwin.No particularlysubtlepsychologicalanalysisisnecessarytosuggestthatsuchaconfigurationofevents(i.e.,thedeathofone'ssisterbecauseonewaschosenfornursing andtheconstantreminderthenofthedeadtwininthenameoftheverychildwhosupplantedoneastheyoungest)mightpreconditionafavoredgirlchildtoguiltand guiltassociatedwithfoodandnursing.Moreover,Raymondreports(andthereisnoreasontodoubtthis)thatCatherine'soldersisterBonaventurastarvedherselfafter marriagebecauseofthedissolutebehaviorofherhusband74afastingthatsuccessfullymanipulatedtheyoungmanintoreformandthatthissameBonaventura latertemptedCatherineintodisplayingthemildvanityofelegantdress.ShortlyafterCatherineagreedtomakeherselfpretty,Bonaventuradiedinchildbirth.(Lapa's lastchild,Giovanna,calledNanna,diedaboutthesametime.)75CatherinethushadinherbelovedsisterBonaventuraagraphicillustrationofthesuccessthatfasting couldachieveandofthedangersofmarriageandpregnancy.ItdoesnotseemsurprisingthatwhatevertheexactchronologyofCatherine'semergingvocation,she rejectedmarriageandfood.76Furthermore,sinceonesourcereportsthattherewastalklaterofmarryinghertoBonaventura'swidower,wemayalsosuspectthat Catherinefeltguiltaboutsurvivingasareplacementforbothhersistersandthusdeterminedtosubstitutefortheirsufferingratherthanfortheirpleasure.77 Catherineclearlybeganfastingasachildanddevelopedadistasteformeatquiteearly.78ShetooktheDesertFathersasmodels.(Severalsourcestellofherrunning awaytoacaveasalittlegirl.)79Shethendevelopedanintenseadolescentconflictwithherfamily,especiallyhermother,overherasceticismandherrefusalto considermarriageattheheightofthisconflictshecutoffherhair,shescaldedherselfatthehotbathstowhichshewastakenonvacation,andshedevelopedapox fromwhichshemadenoefforttorecover.Inthecourseofthestrugglewithherfamily,Catherinewentthroughaperiodofwithdrawalduring

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whichshepracticedextremesleepdeprivationaswellasselfstarvation.BothRaymondofCapuaandThomasAntoniideSenis(alsoknownasCaffarini)associate foodvisionsvisionsoffruittreesorofnursingfromthesideofChristwiththisperiodofherlife,althoughtheydonotgivethesamefoodvisions.80 RaymondreportsthatChristsummonedCatherineoutofherwithdrawalbycommandinghertoeatagainwithherfamilyattable,somethingshewasphysicallyunable todo.81Hesaysthatshespokeofthepainofeatingas"dealingoutjustice[i.e.,punishment]tothismiserablesinner[i.e.,herself]"82andthatshefocusedallher hungerontheeucharist.83SeveraleyewitnessesalongwithRaymondreportseeinghershovetwigsdownherthroattobringupthefoodshecouldnotbeartohave restinherstomach.Otheraccountsreportspontaneousvomiting.TheMiracolidescribesCatherine,likeAlpas,chewingandsuckingmorselsoffoodwhichshethen spitout.84Raymondwrote:


Thehabitofreceivingcommunionpracticallyeverydaystruckrootinherandbecamepartofherlife....Herlongingformoreandmorefrequentcommunionwassointensethat whenshecouldnotreceiveitherverybodyfeltthedeprivation,andherforcesseemedtodroop....Afterthevisionjustdescribed[i.e.,thevisionofdrinkingfromthewoundin Christ'sside],andespeciallywhenevershereceivedHolyCommunion,averytorrentofheavenlygracesandconsolationsfloodedhersoul.Theseweresoabundantthattheir effortsbrimmedoveruponherbodyalso,checkingthenaturalflowofitsvitaljuices,andsoalteringtheactionofherstomachthatitcouldnolongerassimilatefood.Indeed,the takingoffoodbecametohernotmerelyunnecessarybutactuallyimpossible,excepttotheaccompanimentofgreatbodilysuffering.Iffoodwaseverforceddownherthroat, intensepainfollowed,nodigestiontookplace,andallthathadbeenviolentlyforceddownwasviolentlyforcedbackagain. ...Imyselfsawithappen,notonce,butagainandagain,thatheremaciatedbodywouldbereducedtothelastextremity,unabletotakeanythingtorestoreitsforcesbutadrink ofcoldwater...andthensuddenlyshewouldseize...anopportunityoftakingonsomeworkforthehonorofGod'snameorthegoodofsouls,andlikeaflash,withoutthehelp ofanyotherrestorative[i.e.,withouteating],...allherforceswouldrevive.85

Catherinesaidinherownlettersthatshecouldnoteat.Theconditionwas,shesaid,an"infirmity"(infermit).86Butshealsodefendedherself

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toananonymousdetractor(probablyin1373or1374)bysayingthatshemadeanefforttoeatonceortwiceadayandsuggestingthatGodsenttheinfirmitytocure her"gluttony"(elvitiodellagola).87RudolphBellhascarefullydocumentedthestagesofherinedia.Fromaboutagesixteen,shesubsistedonbread,water,andraw vegetables.Fromabouttwentythreeshegaveupbread,survivingontheeucharist,coldwater,andbitsoffood(mostlybitterherbs)thatshesuckedandthenspitout orswallowedandvomitedup.(Raymondcallsthis"eatingnothing.")InJanuary,1380,whenshewasaboutthirtythreeyearsold,shegaveupwaterforanentire month,offeringhersufferingasexpiationforthecrisisofthechurchinItaly.AlthoughsheendedhertotalfastinFebruary,shediedonApril29,1380,emaciatedand wrackedbystomachpains.88 Catherineclearlylosttheabilitytoreadbodilysensationsinwhatweconsideranormalmanner.Forexample,sheseemstohaveseenanyhungerpangsas"greed,"to havelosttheabilitytofeel"cold,"andtohavefeltpanicatthepassageofanyfooddownherthroat.89Sometimessheseemscutloosefromanyordinarysenseofego boundariesatall,aswhensheblamesherselfforRaymond'scowardiceorforalltheillsoftheworld.90Herhagiographerscommentonher"restlessenergy"and sleeplessness,whichincreasedassheatelessandless.91Onemightinterpretasbingeeatingherpatternoflongfastsfollowedbyeatingseveraltimesaday92orher practiceofforcingherselffirsttoeatandthentovomit.Moreover,shedevelopedacomplexcasuistryaboutherselfstarvation,arguingtoherfirstconfessorandlater toRaymondthat,sinceeatingcausedhertorture,itwasthesinofsuicideforhertoeatafarworsehomicideoftheselfthanstarvingoneself,becauseitwas homicidebygreed.93Sympatheticscholarshavesometimessuggestedthatsheprogressedfromviewingasceticpracticesasanendtoseeingthemasameanstokill thewill,andherletterssuggestthis.94ButalthoughshewrotetoheranonymouscorrespondentthatsheprayedtoGodtoremovehereatinginfirmity,itwasexactly herconsideredandmatureunderstandingofitasaninfirmity(ratherthanavoluntarypracticeoradelusionofthedevil)thatallowedhertoretainthebehaviorwithout anyefforttoalterit.ApassageintheDialoguewhereshesaysthatAgnesofMontepulcianowasabletosurviveonvegetablesaloneonlybecauseshewas''perfect" suggeststhatCatherinemayhaveseen(andcultivated)herownnoneatingasamarkofGod'sfavor,despiteherprotestations

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thatitwasanabnormalphysicalcondition,notareligiouspracticeatall.95 AfterCatherine'speriodofwithdrawalintoacellinherfather'shouse,96sherejoinedherfamilyandplungedintoacombinationoffasting,sleeplessness,and hyperactivity,particularlyfrenetichouseworkandfeedingofothers.Shedidthelaundryatnight.Whenthehouseholdservantgotsick,Catherinecarriedoutthe servant'sworkandnursedherinherillnessaswell.97Shegaveawaygreatquantitiesoffood,andononeoccasion,whensheangeredherfatherbygivingawaythe bestwine,Godmiraculouslymadethecaskflowagain.98Thetenyearsofherextremeinediawere,byallaccounts,filledwithcaringforthepoorandsick,oftenby preparingfoodforthematoddhours,99andherchiefandrepeatedmiracleswerecuresofillness(thechiefmiracleperformedbyallsaints,ofcourse)andmiraculous feedingsorfoodmultiplications.100Raymonddrawstheanalogybetweenoneofhermiraclesandthegospelfeedingofthefivethousand.101InthemiracleofAlessia's corn,thefoodmultiplicationwasthreefold:first,sourwheatturnedsweetsecond,theflourmademorebreadthanitshouldhavefinally,theloavesthemselves multiplied.102CatherineherselfintheDialoguerevealsherowninterestinfeedingmiraclesbyrecountingthoseofDominicandAgnes,althoughherbasicconcernin thetreatiseisspiritualteaching,notmiracles.103ThomasAntoniideSenisreportstwooccasionsonwhichshemiraculouslyrestoredbreastmilktowomenwhose breastshadgonedry.104Moreover,Catherineoftencombinedhealingwithfeeding.Forexample,shegavewinetosomeoneshecured,andshediagnoseda possessedmanasneedingfood.105Inthemostvividlydescribedofthemiraclesthatfollowedherdeath,Catherinemiraculouslypreparedthefamilydinnerfora womanwhohadgonetochurchinsteadofcookingforhersons.106Raymond,inrecountingherfeedingmiracles,underlinesboththecontrastbetweenherownclosed bodyandherbountyinfeedingothers,andthefactthatfeedingisamaternalroleparalleltogivingbirth.Hesays:
Thewholecitywasincommotion.Everybody...flockedtocatchsightofher."Whatawoman!"theysaid."Onewhodrinksnowineherself,butcanbyamiraclefillwithwinean emptycask!"107 Takenote,dearReader[ofthismiracleinwhichbreadismultiplied].HowgreatmusthavebeenthemeritofthismaidenwhentheQueenofHeavenherselfassistedherinmaking breadforherchildren.Insodoing

Page171 theMotheroftheWordofGodgaveustounderstandthat,asthroughCatherineshesupplieduswithsuchwholesomebreadtofeedourbodies,sotooshepurposedbymeans ofhertosupplyusalsowiththewordofsalvationwhichisthebreadthatfeedsthespirit.Andindeedallofus,asifimpelled...by...God,habituallycalledCatherine "mother."...Shetrulywasamothertous,whocontinuallygavebirthtousfromtheuterusofhermind,enduringforusthegroansandpangsoflabor[nosnonabsquegemitibus etanxietatibusparturiebatexuterosuaementis],andfedus[nosnutriebat]assiduouslyonthebreadofsoundandsavingdoctrine.108

Indeed,Catherinesawhersuffering(whichincludedherpainfulandgrowinginabilitytoeat)asservice.Severalsourcesreporthermiraculous"death"and "resurrection,"andtheMiracolisaysexplicitlythatsheagreedtocontinuelivingonlybecausetheVirginMarypromisedthatGodwouldfreesoulsfrompurgatory becauseofherpain.109Shetriedtosubstituteherownagoniesforherfather'stimeinpurgatory.110Ontheoccasionofhermother's''death"withoutconfession CatherinesimplyinsistedthatGodbringLapabacktolifebecauseGodhadalreadyagreedtosaveCatherine'sfamilyasarewardforhersuffering.111Like Hadewijch,Lutgard,BeatriceofNazareth,LukardisofOberweimar,andMargaretofCortona,CatherinesawhersufferingasquiteliterallymergedbothwithChrist's agonyonthecrossandwiththepainsofpurgatory.Shethereforeknewwithutterconfidencethatherpainsdidsavesouls. ServingaswellassufferingthuslayattheheartofCatherine'slifebothwereexplictlyunderlinednotonlybywhatshedidbutalsobythemaleswhochronicledher storyandcorrespondedwithher.Repeatedlytheyemphasizeherfoodasceticism,usuallyadmiringlyrepeatedlytheycallher"mamma"repeatedlytheyspeakofher innursingmetaphors.Forexample,inhispanegyricwrittensoonafterherdeath,WilliamFlete,anEnglishhermitofconsiderablereputation,reportedthesweetodor thatcamefromherclothesduringlife,thebloodthatflowedfromhermouthinhereucharisticecstasies,theagonyshesufferedwhensheattemptedtoeat,andthe "food"sheofferedtoher"sons"byherholywords.112 AccountsofCatherine'slifeaccentuatenotonlyherfoodabstentionandfeedingofotherstheyalsounderlinehersubstitutionofthefilthofdiseaseandthebloodof Christ'sagonyforordinaryfood.Severalofherhagiographersreportthatshetwiceforcedherselftoovercomenausea

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bythrustinghermouthintotheputrifyingbreastofadyingwomanorbydrinkingpus,andthereportsstresstheseincidentsasturningpointsinherdevelopinginedia, hereucharisticcraving,andhergrowingcompulsiontoserveothersbysuffering.113ShetoldRaymond:"NeverinmylifehaveItastedanyfoodanddrinksweeteror moreexquisite[thanthispus]."114


[And]onthenightfollowing...avision[ofChristwithhisfivewounds]wasgrantedtoherasshewasatprayer...."Mybeloved,"[Christ]saidtoher,"youhavenowgone throughmanystrugglesformysake....Previouslyyouhadrenouncedallthatthebodytakespleasurein....Butyesterdaytheintensityofyourardentloveformeovercame eventheinstinctivereflexesofyourbodyitself:youforcedyourselftoswallowwithoutaqualmadrinkfromwhichnaturerecoiledindisgust....Asyouthenwentfarbeyond whatmerehumannaturecouldeverhaveachieved,soItodayshallgiveyouadrinkthattranscendsinperfectionanythathumannaturecanprovide...."Withthat,hetenderly placedhisrighthandonherneck,anddrewhertowardthewoundinhisside.''Drink,daughter,frommyside,"hesaid,"andbythatdraughtyoursoulshallbecomeenraptured withsuchdelightthatyourverybody,whichformysakeyouhavedenied,shallbeinundatedwithitsoverflowinggoodness."Drawnclose...totheoutletoftheFountainof Life,shefastenedherlipsuponthatsacredwound,andstillmoreeagerlythemouthofhersoul,andtheresheslakedherthirst.115

Fromthattimeon,saysRaymond,shecouldnotdigestordinaryfood.116But,althoughshecouldswallownocorporealfood,shefeastednotonlyonpusbutalsoon theeucharist.117 ThevariousaccountsofCatherine'slifeallstresshereucharisticdevotion.Likeotherfastingwomen,Catherinesubstitutedfrequentcommunionforordinaryeating, althoughsheencounteredcriticismforthisfromconfessors,family,andherfellowtertiaries.118LikeMargaretofCortona,shedetectedanunconsecratedhost,yet alsolikeMargaretshereveredpriestspassionatelyfortheirabilitytocelebratemass.119Raymondrecountsherecstasies,trances,frenzies,bleedings,andtearsatthe eucharist,andheassociateshercravingforChrist'sblood,likeherdrinkingofpus,withanursingChrist.120HereportsoneoccasiononwhichGodinspiredher confessortocelebratebecauseofCatherine'sdesperateneedtocommunicate.LaterCatherinesupposedlysaid(inatraditionalmetaphor,found,forexample,inthe AncreneRiwleandtheRevelationsofGertrudeofHelfta):

Page173 Father,doyouknowwhattheLorddidtomysoulthatday?Hebehavedlikeamotherwithherfavoritechild.Shewillshowitthebreast,butholditawayfromituntilitcriesas soonasitbeginstocry,shewilllaughforawhileandclaspittoherand,coveringitwithkisses,delightedlygiveitherfullbreast.SotheLordbehavedwithmethatdayhe showedmehismostsacredsidefromafarandIcriedfromtheintensityofmylongingtoputmymouthtothesacredwound.Afterhehadlaughedforalittlewhileatmytearsat leastthatiswhatheseemedtodohecameuptome,claspedmysoulinhisarms,andputmymouthtowherehismostsacredwoundwas,thatistosay,thewoundinhisside. ThenwithitsgreatlongingmysoulenteredrightintothatwoundandfoundsuchsweetnessandsuchknowledgeoftheDivinitytherethatifyoucouldeverappreciateityou wouldmarvelthatmyheartdidnotbreak,andwonderhoweverImanagedtogoonlivinginthebodyinsuchanexcessofardourandlove.121

WhenwecompareRaymond'saccountofCatherine'swordswithCatherine'sownletters,wefindthatRaymondhasnotmisledus.TheimageofthenursingChristis oneofherfavoritemetaphorsandiscloselyassociatedwiththeeucharist.122ButinCatherine'swordsthereisadifferentemphasis,onereminiscentofAngelaof Foligno's.MuchmorethaninRaymond'sparaphrase,Catherineherselfstressesservice,thedrinkingofpainaswellascomfort,andtheactiveseekingofbreast (Christ)bytheinfant(soul).123ShewritestoaFlorentineabbess:


Wecannotnourishothersunlesswenourishourselvesatthebreastsofdivinecharity....Yes,mother,wemustdoasalittlechilddoeswhowantsmilk.Ittakesthebreastofits mother,appliesitsmouth,andbymeansofthefleshitdrawsmilk.Wemustdothesameifwewouldbenourished.WemustattachourselvestothebreastofChristcrucified, whichisthesourceofcharity,andbymeansofthatfleshwedrawmilk.ThemeansisChrist'shumanitywhichsufferedpain,andwecannotwithoutpaingetthatmilkthatcomes fromcharity.124

AgainandagaininthelettersandintheDialogue,CatherinedescribestheholysoulclimbingupChrist'sbody,seekingthebreast,anddrinkingbitternessaswellas comfort,likethemedicineasickchildsometimestakesinwithitsmother'smilk.125IntheDialoguesheputsthefollowingwordsintoGod'smouth:
NowAdam'ssinoozedwithadeadlypus,butyouweretooweakenedtodrainityourself.Butwhenthegreatdoctorcame(myonlybegottenson)hetendedthatwound,drinking himselfthebittermedicine....Andhe

Page174 didasthewetnursewhoherselfdrinksthemedicinethebabyneeds....Mysonwasyourwetnurse,andhejoinedthebignessandstrengthofhisdivinitywithyournatureto drinkthebittermedicineofhispainfuldeathonthecrosssothathemighthealandgivelifetoyouwhowerebabiesweakenedbysin.126

InadditiontothemanyeucharisticmiraclesandvisionsrecountedbyCatherine'shagiographers,wehaveCatherine'sowndescriptionsofthecentralityoftheeucharist. Sheurgesanumberofhercorrespondentstofrequentcommunion.127IntheDialogue,shetells,inrichlymetaphoricallanguage,ofhervisions.Shespeaksofsmelling thestenchofsin,oftastingthefragranceofthesacramentshesaysthatthetasteofbloodwas"wonderfullypresentto[her]mouthandbodilytasteforseveraldays" afterreceiving.128ShesaysexplicitlythatGodprovidestheeucharistasasubstitutefor"heavyphysicalbread,"whichexcitesgluttonyandlust.Shealsosaysexplicitly thatministers,whomsherespectsandfearsbecauseoftheircontroloftheholyfood,sometimesdenythesoulthefooditcraves.129Andshetellsoftwomiraclesin whichChristfedherdirectlyinvisionsbecauseserversorcelebrantswouldnot.130 ThevisionsthatCatherine'sbiographersassociatedwithturningpointsinherlifeallhadastheircentralthemetheredemptionofhumanityasphysicalitybythe substitutionofChrist'sfleshforhumanfleshliness.Raymondreported,forexample,thatJesusexchangedheartswithCatherineandtookatunicoutofhissidetokeep herwarm.131JustasChristenabledLutgardofAywiresandDoucelineofMarseillestoavoidordinarybodilycontactwithothers,yetdrewthemintohisown physicalitythroughthefusionofmouthtomouthandhearttoheart,soChristenabledCatherinetofusewithhisbody.132Noteveryvisionisreportedbyall biographersandnotallareemphasizedbyCatherineherself,133butwherewecancompareherowndescriptionswiththoseofherhagiographers,theemphasison redeemedfleshandphysicalitybecomesevenmorestriking.Forexample,severalsourcestellusthatasachildshesawavisionofChristasbridegroomandpope(or bishop),andthat,aftershemarriedChrist(aneventclearlymodeledonCatherineofAlexandria'smysticalmarriage),sherejectedearthlybridegrooms.134Inher hagiographers'accounts,Catherinewasmarriedwitharingofsilverorgoldandjewels,whichRaymondsaysshecouldalwayssee.ButCath

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erineherself,inletterafterletter,sayswedonotmarryChristwithgoldorsilverbutwiththeringofChrist'sforeskin,givenintheCircumcisionandaccompaniedby painandthesheddingofblood.135ThusthosewhoadmiredCatherinesawherasputtingonquiteliterallythefleshofChrist,which,asholyflesh,protectedherfrom theordinarybodilysensationsofhungerandthirstandcold.ButCatherineherselfsawthatfleshlessassubstituteandprotectionthanasbloodandagony,shedforthe sakeoftheworld. AlthoughCatherineabhorredherownflesh,condemningitasa"dungheap,"136shesawthefleshlinessofChristnotassomesortofmiraculousprotectiontosaveus fromhumanvulnerabilitybutasthe"way"or"bridge"toleadustosalvationthroughsuffering.137SheevensaidthattheringoffleshwithwhichChristmarriesusinthe Circumcisionisasignthatheisthespouseofourhumanity.138Thus,hatefulasbodymayhavebeentoCatherine,itwasbodythatshesawasunitingustothebody ofGod.AnditunitedustoGodbysuffering.139 Thethemeofsuffering,whichringsthroughoutCatherine'svoluminouscorrespondence,is,ofcourse,atraditionalChristiantheme.Indeedthereisprobablynota singleoriginalimageinallthehundredsofletters.ButnoonewhohasreadCatherine'sworkcanfailtorealizethateatingandbloodweresoprominentinher interpretationofreligiousexperienceastogiveauniquenotetoherwriting,despiteitsessentiallyderivative,evenmonotonous,content. Metaphorsofeating,drinking,hungering,andvomiting,offood,blood,tables,andservantsarecentralinCatherine'swritings.140ToeattoCatherinemeanstobeor tobecome,totakeinortolove.HerstandardformulationofChristianobligationisto"eatatthetableofthecrossthefoodofthehonorofGodandthesalvationof souls."141Mostfundamentally,forCatherinetoeatandtohungerhavethesamemeaning:oneeatsbutisneverfull,desiresbutisneversatiated.142Bothareactive, notpassive,images.143Bothstresspainmorethanjoy.144Bothmean,mostbasically,tosufferandtoservetosufferbecauseinhungeronejoinswith,"eats,"Christ onthecrosstoservebecausetohunger/sufferistoexpiatethesinsoftheworld.ForCatherine,thehungeringofordinaryChristiansisservicebecauseitfusesnot onlywiththesufferingsofthoseinpurgatorybutalsowiththedeaththroesofChristthatarealsothebleeding/feedingofanursingmother.145ToalaymanCatherine wrote:

Page176 Seatyourselfatthetableofthecross....There,allinebriatedwiththepreciousblood,takethefoodofsouls,sufferingpain,opprobrium,curses,villainy,hunger,thirst,and nudity....Youmustsufferpainandbeinshadow.Mysoulknowsit,anditishungryforyoursalvation.146

Toalaywomanshesaid:
[Jesus]madeofhisbloodadrinkandhisfleshafoodforallthosewhowishit.Thereisnoothermeansformantobesatisfied.Hecanappeasehishungerandthirstonlyinthis blood....Amancanpossessthewholeworldandnotbesatisfied(fortheworldislessthanman)untilbloodsatisfieshim,foronlythatbloodisunitedtothedivinity....Eight daysafterhisbirth,ChristspilledalittleofitintheCircumcision,butitwasnotenoughtocoverman....Thenonthecrossthelance...openedhisheart.TheHolySpirittellsus tohaverecoursetotheblood.... Andthenthesoulbecomeslikeadrunkenmanthemorehedrinks,themorehewantstodrinkthemoreitbearsthecrossthemoreitwantstobearit.Andthepainsareits refreshmentandthetearswhichithasshedforthememoryofthebloodareitsdrink.Andthesighsareitsfood.147

TothreewomenofNaples,Catherinewrote:
DearestmotherandsistersinsweetJesusChrist,I,Catherine,slaveoftheslavesofJesusChrist,writetoyouinhispreciousblood,withthedesiretoseeyouconfirmedintrue andperfectcharitysothatyoubetruenursesofyoursouls.Forwecannotnourishothersiffirstwedonotnourishourownsoulswithtrueandrealvirtues....Doasthechild doeswho,wantingtotakemilk,takesthemother'sbreastandplacesitinhismouthanddrawstohimselfthemilkbymeansoftheflesh.So...wemustattachourselvestothe breastofthecrucifiedChrist,inwhomwefindthemotherofcharity,anddrawfromtherebymeansofhisflesh(thatis,thehumanity)themilkthatnourishesoursoul....Foritis Christ'shumanitythatsuffered,nothisdivinityand,withoutsuffering,wecannotnourishourselveswiththismilkwhichwedrawfromcharity.148

Catherinerepeatedlyexhortedtheclergytosufferandtoserve.149ShewrotetoCardinalPeterofOstia:
Divinegoodnesshasplacedyouinthemysticalbodyoftheholychurch,hasnourishedyouonthebreastofthisgentlespouse,sothatyoucaneatonthetableofthecrossthe holyfoodofthehonorofGodandthesalvationofsouls.Itwantsyoutobenourishedonlybythecross,byfatiguesofbodyandanguishesofdesire.150

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Toanothercardinalsheexplained:"GivethebloodofChristtoyoursoulthatitmaybearoused...andruntothebattletofightmanfully....Lether[yoursoul]seat herselfatthetableofthecrossandlethertheretakethefoodofsoulsforthehonorofGod,sufferingwithpatience,bearingthefaultsofneighboringreatcompassion, andacceptingallinjustice."151 Catherinestressesexplicitlythatoneshould"eatsoulsonthetableofthecross"inplaceofordinaryfood.152ShedescribesherprayersandsufferingforRaymondby saying:"Sweetestfather,yoursoul...hasbecomefoodtomeandnomomentpassesinwhichIdonottakethisfoodonthetableofthesweetsacrificedLambwith ardentlove."153Sometimesthespiritualfoodofwhichshespeaksisbreadormeat.ShecallsChristthebreadofangels.154Sheevenspeaksoftheeucharisticlamb as"roastednotboiled"onthe"spitofthecross.''155AndinseveralletterssheelaboratestheunusualTrinityoftable(Father),food(Son),andservant(Holy Spirit).156ButmuchmorefrequentlyinCatherine'susagethesoul"eats"liquidsmilkorwineorblood.AndbloodisCatherine'scentralimage.Almostallherletters beginwithgreetingsinthesacredblood,andshescreamedout"Blood!blood!"onherdeathbed.157AlthoughdevotiontothebloodofChristhadalonghistoryinlate medievalItalyandChrist'sbloodwas,toearlierdevotees,mostfundamentallyasymbolofthewashingawayofsin,bloodtoCatherinewasfoodorlife.158Blood "feeds"or"iseaten"inherlettersalmostasfrequentlyasit"cleanses"or"washes."159TwoaspectsofthereligiousworldofthefourteenthcenturyasCatherine experiencedithelpexplainwhybloodasfoodwascentraltoherthought:herreverencefortheclergy,andherdevotiontothehumanityofChrist. Catherinereveredpriestsas"littlechrists"herawe,likeMargaretofCortona's,centeredontheircontroloftheeucharist,whichshecraved.160ButinCatherine'sday thecupwasdeniedtothelaityaltogether,andCatherine'sextravagantrespectforpriests'authoritythusfocusedontheircontrolofandaccesstotheawesomeand taboochalice.Itissignificantthatsherepeatedlyreferredtoclergyas"ministersoftheblood,"not"ofthebody."161Shecalledthepope"vicarofChrist'sblood"and saidthatheheld"thekeysoftheblood."162Ineucharisticmiracles,itwasbloodthatremainedinhermouthorpouredfromit,althoughwhatsheactuallyreceivedwas bread(interpreted,ofcourse,asbothelementsinthetheologicaldoctrineofconcomitance).163 Bloodmayalsohavehad,toCatherine,otherassociationswithan

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authorityandpowersheherselfwieldedonlyindirectly,throughprayerorpersuasion.Bloodwasingeneralamorepublicandsocialsymbolthanbread,aswellasa moreambivalentsymbol.Breadsymbolizedhouseholdandcharityandsupportoflife,butbloodsymbolizedwar,civilstrife,andexecutions.Moreover,itwasthe supportoflifeevenmorebasicallythanbread,becauseitcoursedthroughtheveinsaslifeitself.164InthefamousincidentinwhichCatherinestoodbeneaththe scaffoldtoreceivetheheadofayoungmanexecutedforapoliticalcrime,thebloodthatcoveredherandsmelledsosweetwasclearlyasymbolofpoliticsandthe publicarena,ofsufferingandinjustice,andoflifeitselfallofwhichcouldberedeemedonlybyassimilationtoChrist'sinnocentblood,onwhichwefeedinsuffering andservice.165 Catherine'scravingforbloodwasnotmerelyacravingforencounterinChristwithallthatwasdeniedhersociallyandpolitically:thechalice,thepoweroftheclergy, thepublicarena.ShealsocravedbloodbecauseshecravedidentificationwiththehumanityofChrist,andshesawthishumanityasphysicality.Althoughscholarshave sometimesseenthespiritualityofalllatemedievalwomenas"erotic"or"nuptial,"166Catherine'ssenseofthefleshisextremelyunerotic.Shewrites,especiallyto women,of"puttingonthenuptialgarment,"butthephrasemeanssuffering.167InherrepeateddescriptionsofclimbingupChrist'sbodyfromfoottosidetomouth,the bodyiseitherafemalebodythatnursesorapieceoffleshthatoneputsononeselforsinksinto.168PhysicalityistheforeskinoftheCircumcisionfleshthat bleeds.169CatherineunderstoodunionwithChristnotasaneroticfusingwithamalefigurebutasatakinginandatakingonabecomingofChrist'sfleshitself. Infact,CatherineclearlyassociatedChrist'sphysicalitywiththefemalebody,underliningtherebybothhercapacityforassimilationtoChristandhercapacity,likehis, forservice.Shecalledhumanity"Adam"aswellas"Eve,"ofcourse.170But,adoptingboththegenderstereotypesofherdayandtheageoldChristiannotionof femaleweakness,sheassociatedfleshlinessandsensualityespeciallywith"woman."171ShestressedrepeatedlythatMaryprovidedinherwombthestuff(i.e.,the menstrualmatter)fromwhichtheSpiritfashionedChrist'shumanbody.172AndsherepeatedlycalledChrist'swoundabreast.173Indeed,toCatherineChristwasa nursingmothermoreoftenthanabridegroom. Catherine'simageofChristasmaternal,whichhadalongancestryintwelfthandthirteenthcenturyspirituality,mustbeunderstood

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againstthebackgroundofcontemporaryphysiologicaltheory.174Medievalnaturalphilosophersthoughtthatbreastmilkwasblood.Thusbloodwasthequintessential foodanditwaspouredoutasfoodorprovidedasthebasicstuffoflifeonlybyfemalebodies.Therefore,asIshalldiscussatgreaterlengthinchapter9,thefemale bodywasanobviousimageforaGodwhodiedtogivebirthtotheworldandbledtofeedallsouls.Catherineherselfnotedexplicitlythatthefemalebodyisfoodand thereforeanappropriateimageforbothmaleandfemaleselfsacrifice.WhenshewrotetoherownnaturalbrotherabouthisobligationstoLapa,shestressedthata mother'sbodygivesfleshtoandfeedsitschild.175Shecontinuedthisthemewhenshedescribedcharity:


Onhowsweetamotherischarity!Shenourishesonherbreastthechildren[i.e.,thevirtues]towhomshegivesbirth....Sheisafood,whichnurturesthesoulinitshunger.... Andthesoul,consumedinthisfurnace,wantstoeatthefoodforever,andthemoreiteatsthemoreithungers.176

Shewrotetoacleric:"Befaithful.RunwithMary'sdesiretohonorGodandsavesouls....Guardyourownsoulandbodysoyoucannourishothersoulsandgive birthtothem."177 AttheheartofCatherine'sunderstandingof"eating,""hungering,"and"bleeding,"therefore,wasidentificationofservingwithsuffering.Forexample,Catherinewrote totheQueenofHungaryaboutacrusade:


Truly,noblemother,whenthesoulbeholdsthelambonthewoodoftheholycross,becauseofitsineffableloveforcreation,sheconceivessuchagreatloveforthesalvationof soulsthatshewouldgiveherselfupahundredthousandtimestodeathtosaveevenonesoulfrometernaldeath.AndonecannotmakeasacrificemorepleasingtoGodthanthis. Youknowthathelovesthisnourishmentsomuchthathedidnotfear,intakingiton,bitterness,suffering,death,oroutrage.Evenouringratitudedidnotstophimfromrunning, inebriatedandpassionateforoursalvation,totheopprobriumofthecross.SoIinviteyou...tothisfood.Youhavefoundtheplacewhereonemusttakeitandthefruitisripe.... TheplaceisthegardenofHolyChurch,andthereisplantedthetreeonwhichhangsthefruit,Christ.178

ToCatherine,sufferingwasservingbecauseChristhadbecomefleshafleshthat,bybleedinganddying,savedtheworld.Notresurrectionthenbutincarnationwas atthecenterofhertheology.179Itwasinsuf

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fering,notintriumph,thatshesawherselfbecomingChristChristasfoodandChristasredemption.Heragoniesofstarvation,illness,andstigmataweretheagonies ofthecrossandofpurgatory.Suchsufferingwasfertileandgenerative,foritwasthesourceofsalvation.Asshewrotetooneofherconfessors:"Theimmaculatelamb [Christ]isfood,table,andservant."Thistable,saidCatherine,offeredthefruitsoftrueandperfectvirtues."Andwewhoeatatthattablebecomelikethefood[i.e., Christ],actingnotforourownutilitybutforthehonorofGodandthesalvationofneighbor."180 Thus,throughoutCatherine'sletters,herconcernforsavingsoulsthroughherownagonywasexpressedinthepairedmetaphorsoffeedingandfasting.Feedingand fastingwerecentralpracticesinherlifeaswell.Catherinerejectedfood,assherejectedherownfleshyetshegavefoodtothepoorandhungry.Andsheateboth pusandtheeucharist,confidentthatthebodyofGodandthebodiesofherneighborswere,forherselfandforothers,thewayofsalvation.Whenweturntotheother greatItalianCatherine,CatherineofGenoa,thetheoristofpurgatory,wefindasimilarconceptionofsufferingasservice.TothislaterCatherine,astoherforerunner, foodisthefundamentalmetaphorforsuffering,forservice,andforlove. ThreeworkssurvivethatreflectCatherineofGenoa'steachings,althoughnonewaswrittenbyher.Allthreewereputtogethershortlyafterherdeath,andtwo,the LifeandtheDialogue,arepartlyautobiographical.TheLifeisbasedonheractsandsayings,takendownafter1495byherconfessor,Marabotto,herspiritualson, EttoreVernazza,andpossiblyothers.TheDialogue,whichtreatsherinnerhistory,isprobablyacombinationofthreeworks.Inthelastpartanunknownauthor recountsandinterpretsCatherine'sfinalillnessanddeathinexcruciatingdetail.Thefirsttwopartsgenerallyagreedtobeofhigherliteraryqualityarealsoof uncertainauthorship.AnearlytraditionattributesthefirstparttoCatherineherself,butsomescholarsarguethatsheisunlikelytohavedictatedsuchasophisticated useofdialogueform.AllscholarsagreethatTheTreatiseonPurgatoryreflectsherownideasonpurgation,atleastinitsoriginalform(i.e.,thefirstsevenchapters). ItwasprobablywrittendownbyVernazzacertaintheologicalglosseswereintroducedbeforetheofficialpublicationin1551.181Thus,althoughnosinglesentenceof Catherine'sworkcanbetrustedasherownlanguage,thetreatisestakentogethergiveaclearpictureoftheinnerandouter

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lifeofawomaninwhosepietyfasting,eucharist,andsufferingwerethecentralfoci.182 Bornin1447andrefusedpermissiontoenteraconventatthirteen,Catherinewasplungedintodepressionbyhermarriageatagesixteentoayoungnobleman, GiulianoAdorno.Herdespairatthemarriage,intowhichshewasforcedforfinancialandpoliticalreasonsbyanolderbrothertwoyearsafterherfather'sdeath,was perhapsincreasedbothbythefactthatGiuliano'sfamilywasanenemyofherownandbywhatlaterscholarshavecalledGiuliano'swastefulanddissolutebehavior. (Although"dissoluteness"ishardtoevaluateacrossthecenturiesandmightwellbeexacerbatedbyawife'sdepression,itiscertainthatGiulianosquanderedhisfamily money,forhewentbankruptabout1474,andthathehadamistressandanillegitimatechild.)Afterfiveyearsofsevereaccidiaandwithdrawal,Catherinemadean efforttoreturntosociallife.ShecollapsedintoevenmoreacutedepressionatChristmas1472.Anumberofthingsthenhappened. Manyscholars,wishingtoorganizemysticalandsaintlybiographiesaroundturningpointsandintoneatstages,seeasuddenconversionatherLentenconfessionof March,1473,andhersubsequentvisionofChristcarryingthecross.Itismoreaccurate,however,toseeaperiodofaboutthreeyears(orperhapslonger)during whichcertainexternalconstraintsonCatherine'slifewereremovedandsheforgedforherself,outofaperiodofsevereselfabnegation,anewlifepatterninwhich fasting,eucharisticdevotion,serving,andunionwithChristwerethecentralmotifs.183Thefirstmonthsaftertheconfessionandvisionof1473weremonthsofvirulent asceticism,includingacutefooddeprivationandillness.Then,betweenMarch,1473,andMarch,1476,Catherine'shusbandwentbankruptandCatherinelearnedof hismistressandillegitimatechild.Theseeventsnormallydeeplyhumiliatingwereperhapsfreeingtoawomanwhohatedhermarriage.Inanycase,theyprovided forheranopportunitytothrowherselfintocareofthepoorandsickandidentificationwiththeirsufferinganddestitution.By1476Giulianohadagreedtoachaste marriageby1478hejoinedherinvoluntarypovertyandinthehospitalworkinwhichtheyspenttherestoftheirlives.ItwasduringtheseyearsthatCatherine developedaregularpatternoffastingandeucharisticcravingshewaspermitteddailycommunionfrom1474on.184Thispatternlasteduntilshewasfiftytwoyears old,atwhichpointsherelaxedherrigidfastingbehaviorsimultaneously

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withrelinquishingresponsibilityforhersoulintothehandsofaconfessorandspiritualdirector.185(Shehadspentheradultyearswithoutone.)Shediedatsixtythree, inanacuteillnessthatonceagainmadeeatingimpossible.186 LikeAngelaofFolignoandCatherineofSiena,CatherineofGenoainthelongperiodbetween1476and1499combinedperiodicinediawitheatingbothfilthand thebodyofGod.Moreover,likehertwopredecessors,sheexplicitlyconnectstheseformsofeatingandnoteating.Catherinetookinillnessandfilthbymouth.187 Shekissedatertiarysufferingfromplagueandcaughtthedisease.Sherubbedhernoseinpusandatescabsandliceinordertoovercomehernauseaatillness.188In theinitialcrisisafterMarch,1473,sheattackedherbodyferociously,adulteratingherfoodtokillhersenseoftaste.Shealmostcompletelyceasedtoeatandshetried tostopsleeping.Shewasafflictedwithatrocioushungerandthirst.After1476shesettledintoapatternoffastingeveryAdventandLentononlywater,vinegar,and salt,duringwhichperiodshewasunabletokeepfoodinherstomachwithoutvomiting.Sheappearstohaveworriedaboutherinedia,fearingitmightbeprideor morbidselfpunishment,foroneversionoftheLifereportsinpassingthatsheaskedherconfessorwhethersheshouldforceherselftoeat.189LikeCatherineofSiena, shedevelopedwhatappearstousabizarrerelationshiptobodilysensations,experiencingburningorextremecold,heaviness,convulsions,andinvisiblestigmata.190 Shesometimesbitorburnedherselfwhileintrances.191Shefelthungerandthirstsoextremeshelickedtheearthinagony,yetsheclaimedsheexperiencednodesire toeat.192Shespokeexplicitlyoftheneedtodestroywhatwewouldcalltheegoorbreakitsboundaries,insistingonusingweinsteadofthepronounIorher name.193YetboththeLifeandtheDialogueinsistonthecentralitytoherofeatingholyfood.Shetellsusthatthreedaysafterherconfessionof1473she"feltthepull ofHolyCommunion,whichfromthatdayneverlefther."194OneversionoftheLifeattributestohersentimentsthat,whetherauthenticorinauthenticforCatherine herself,aretypicaloflatefifteenthcenturyreligiouswomen:
WhenshewasatmassshewasoftensooccupiedinteriorlywithherLord,thatshedidnothearawordbutwhenthetimecametoreceivecommunionsheaccusedherself,and wouldsay:"Oh!myLord,itseemstomethatifIweredead,Ishouldcometolife,inordertoreceivethee,and

Page183 ifanunconsecratedhostweregiventome,thatIshouldknowitbythetaste,asoneknowswinefromwater."195

Shesaidrepeatedlythatshefelthungeronlyforcommunion.196 ThesecondofCatherine'sspiritualdialoguesweavestogetherthesethemesofeatingandnoteatinginawaythatclearlyimpliesthateatingpainandeatingChrist substituteforeatingordinaryfood.197Inthisdialogue,thepersonificationHumanity(i.e.,humanfrailty)firstattacksitsownneedforfriendsandforfood.Onceit conquersordinaryhunger,itallowsitselftodesiretruenourishment,andGodgivescommunion.HumanityisthensoinebriatedwithsweetnessthatSoul(another personification)isfrightenedandasksGodtoremovethefeelingsofbliss.CatherinecommentsthatSouldoesnotwantsweetnessorreward,butGodsendsit.She alsosuggeststhatGodsendsserviceofthesicktogiveHumanitysomethingtodo,198andshespeaksofservinginfoodmetaphors,as"kneadingbread"or "fasting,"199justbeforeshetellsofeating"liceasbigaspearls""manytimes."200Thus,inCatherine'slife,assheherselfinterpretsitintheDialogue,ordinaryfoodisa symbolforinept,rebelliousbody(whichsheoftencalls''humanity"[umanit]).201ButfoodisalsoasymbolofGod.Forfoodiseucharist,thatcelestialsweetness throughwhichthesoulachievesmysticalunion.Andfoodisthefilthandhorrorofsuffering,throughwhichonealsojoinsGodandservesone'sfellowcreatures.Desire forGodishungerinsatiablehunger.202ThefoodthatisGodandthefoodthatisneighborarethusthenourishmentwecrave,inebriatedyetunfilled. AtthecoreofCatherine'sspiritualityissuffering,thatparadoxicalsufferingwhichforher,asforHadewijchandBeatrice,isultimatepainandtheecstasybeyond.The sufferingispurgatory,andinasense,therefore,purgatoryitselfisbothChrist'sdeathagoniesonthecrossandtheagoniesofthesoulasitisannihilatedinthefiery bliss,thedevouringmouth,ofGod.203Catherine'spurgatoryisChrist'slove,withwhichwecanneverfullyjoin.ItisimitatioChristi,butanimitationeverfully achieved.Itexpiatesoursinsandthoseofothers,butitisnotsomuchaplaceoratimeasanexperienceofpurging,andwecouldnotwishitamomentshorter,for ourselvesorforothers.Catherinewrites:
Inpurgatory,greatjoyandgreatsufferingdonotexcludeoneanother....Andifthelivingweretoofferalmsforthebenefitofthesoulsinpurgatory,toshortentheassignedtime oftheirpurgation,stillthosesouls

Page184 couldnotturnwithaffectiontowatch,butwouldleaveallthingstoGod,whoispaidashewishes....Whathewillsforthemiswhatgivesthemjoy.204

ToCatherine,purgingisasufferingsovastthatinitfuseone'sowncleansing,one'sneighbor'sexpiation,andthedeathagoniesofChrist.Insufferingoneistherefore servingneighborandhungeringforGod. Catherinesaysexplicitlythatofallthemetaphorsonemightchooseforthismomentwhichisattheheartoftheuniverse,themetaphorsheprefersisthatofhungerfor bread.IntheTreatiseonPurgatoryshewrites:


JoyinGod...istheendofthesesouls....Noimageormetaphorcanadequatelyconveythistruth.Oneexample,however,comestomind.Letusimaginethatinthewholeworld therewasbutonebreadandthatitcouldsatisfythehungerofall.Justtolookatitwouldbetonourishoneself.Thatbreadiswhatahealthyman,withanappetite,wouldseek andwhenhecouldnotfinditoreatit,hishungerwouldincreaseindefinitely.Awarethatthatbreadalonecouldassuagehishunger,hewouldalsoknowthatwithoutithishunger couldneverabate.Suchisthehellofthehungrywho,theclosertheycometothisbread,themoretheyareawarethattheydonotasyethaveit.Theiryearningforthatbread increases,becauseitistheirjoy.Weretheytoknowthattheywouldneverseethebread,thatwouldbeperfecthell,thecaseofthedamnedsoulswhonolongerhopetoseethe truebreadandthetrueGod.Thehungrysoulsinpurgatory,however,thoughtheydonotseeasmuchofthebreadastheywouldwish,hopetoseeitandfullyenjoyitoneday. This,then,istheirsuffering,thewaitingforthebreadthatwilltakeawaytheirhunger.205

ThroughoutCatherine'steachings,hungerandfire(reflectingherownbodilyexperiencesofatrocioushungerandburningflashes)arethebasicimagesfordesireand forencounterwithGod.IntheLifeasinthePurgatory,wefindeatingbreadasanelaboratespiritualmetaphor.Inchapter32(ofthe1551edition)theannihilationof ordinaryfoodbyadevouringbodybecomesanimageforthepurificationevenannihilationoftheselfinmysticalunion.HeretherecorderofCatherine'ssayings reports:


"Takealoaf,"saidthesaint,"andeatit,andafteryouhaveeatenit,itssubstancegoestothenutrimentofthebody,andwhatissuperfluous

Page185 passesawayforifnatureretainedit,havingnoneedofit,thebodywoulddie.Nowifthatbreadshouldsaytothebody:Whydoyoudeprivemeofmyexistence,forbymy natureIamnotsatisfiedtobethusreducedtonothingness?IfIcould,Iwoulddefendmyselffromthee,foritisnaturalforeverycreaturetopreserveitself,thebodywould answer:Bread,thybeingisdesignedformysupport,whichismoreworthythanthee,andhencethoushouldstbemorecontentwiththeendforwhichthouwastcreated,than withthyownbeingforifitwerenotforthyend,thybeingwouldhavenovaluebuttobethrownaside,assomethingworthlessanddead.Itisthyendwhichgivestheeadignity towhichthoucanstnotattainbutbymeansofthyannihilation.Ifthouwouldstliveforthyend,thouwouldstnotcareforthybeing,butwouldstsay:Quickly,quickly,takeme frommyself,andletmeattainmyendforwhichIamcreated."206

Christ'sblood,bothasdrinkandascleansingwater,wasalsoakeymetaphortoCatherine.ShereceivedavisionofthebleedingChristafterhertraumaticLenten confessionof1473.AndtheredactorofherLifereportsthat:
filledwithcompassionfortheblindnessofman,shesaid"Ifbytakingmybloodandgivingittomantodrink,Icouldmakeknowntohimthistruth[aboutlove],Iwouldgiveitall forloveofhim.Icannotendurethethoughtthatman,createdforthegoodthatIseeandknow,shouldloseit....IfIknewhow,Iwouldleavenothingundonetomakeknownhow dreadfulathingisthisprivationoftheloveofGod."207

ThusCatherineofGenoausedhungerasametaphorforinsatiabledesire,eatingasametaphorforlove,andbreadasasymbolofselfandofGod.Sheconsciously andexplicitlychosefoodashercentralimageformysticalunion.Moreover,Catherinelivedthesefiguresofspeech.Fasting,feedingothers,andfeastingonthe eucharistwerenot,toher,occasionalpractices.TheywerethewayshelovedherneighboranddrewnearherGod. Notallwomenwriters,ofcourse,madefoodsocentralanimageasdidHadewijch,Beatrice,andthetwoCatherines.TotheGermanmysticsHildegardofBingen, ElizabethofSchnau,GertrudetheGreat,andMechtildofHackebornitwasausefulmetaphorbutnotacentralonenorwasfoodacrucialimagetoJulianof NorwichorMargaretofOingt.AndMargaretPorete,whoseMirrorofSimpleSoulswascondemnedintheearlyfourteenthcentury,rejectedthewholetraditionof affective

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spiritualitywithanattackon"works"(suchasfastingandcommunion)thatwentfarbeyondTauler'sorEckhart's.But,toallthesewriters(exceptMargaretPorete), thehumanityofChrist,understoodasphysicality,wascrucialandeucharisticdevotionwasimportanttothemall.208Moreover,thereareotherwomenwritersfrom theperiod,forexampleMechtildofMagdeburg,AngelaofFoligno,andMargeryKempe,towhomfoodpracticesandfoodimageswerefundamental.209Andinthe fourgreatwritersexaminedhere,food,hunger,eating,andfeedingwerefarmorevibrantandcompleximagesthantheyeverweretomalewriters,eventhosesuchas RuysbroeckandTaulerwhohelpedelaboratelatemedievaleucharisticdevotion.210Furthermore,toeachwomantheimageresonatedwithitsownparticularpower. Hadewijch'sunionwithGodwaseroticandanguishedherbasicfoodmetaphorwashunger.Beatrice'sunionwasinsaneandfrantichermetaphorsweredrinkingand bleeding.CatherineofSiena'sencounterwithGodwasinsufferingandservingherrichimagesrevolvedmostbasicallyaroundeatingandblood.ToCatherineof Genoa,unionwassuffering,evenannihilationthemetaphorwaseatingandbeingeaten.Whattiesthesedistinctivespiritualitiestogetheristhesamepatternwefindin women'slives,asseenbythemselvesandbymalebiographers.Itisathreefoldpattern:womenfast,womenfeedothers,andwomeneat(butneverordinaryfood). Womenfastandhungerbecomesanimageforexcruciating,neversatiatedloveofGod.Womenfeedandtheirbodiesbecomeanimageofsufferingpouredout forothers.Womeneatandwhethertheydevourthefilthofsickbodiesorthebloodandfleshoftheeucharist,thefoodsareChrist'ssufferingandChrist'shumanity, withwhichonemustjoinbeforeapproachingtriumph,glory,ordivinity.

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III THEEXPLANATION

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6 FoodAsControlofSelf
Itisanoftendiscussedquestionwhyanorexianervosaissoconspicuouslylessfrequentinmalesthaninfemales.Itmaywellberelatedtopubescenceitself,tothepsychological effectsofthemalesexhormones....Itisquitepossiblethatthecharacteristicslavelikeattachmentofachildtothemotherismoreapttodevelopinagirlandeffortstosolve psychologicalproblemsthroughmanipulationofthebodyarealsoconsideredcharacteristicallyfemale.Itisprobablethatitisunusualforaboytobecaughtinthisdevelopmental impasse.Inaddition,malepubescencewillfloodaboy,evenonewhohasthistypeofattachment,withsuchpowerfulnewsensationsofamoreaggressiveselfawarenessthatthe eventofpubertymakesanewselfassertionpossible. HILDEBRUCH EatingDisorders (1973)1

Whyisfoodsocentralathemeinthereligiosityofmedievalwomen?Theansweriscomplicated,anditwillnotdotorushtoasingleexplanation.Indeed,the remainderofthisbookprovidesseveralanswersandgroupsthemintotwokinds.Inthischapterandthenext,Idescribethevariousfunctionsfoodservedfor womenthemanifoldwaysinwhicheating,feeding,andnoteatingenabledthemtocontroltheirbodiesandtheirworld.Inthelastthreechapters,Itreatthesymbolic meaningsfoodheldforwomenandthesignificance,forbothsexes,ofthenotionthatwomanisfood.Ifthereasoninginchapters6and7attimesfinds,inwordsand deeds,importthatmedievalpeoplewouldnothaverecognized,thefinalchapterstakeseriouslythesignificancesmedievalwomenandmenattributedtotheirown experience. Myfullexplanation,then,ismultifaceted.ButIcanbeginsimply.Foodisimportanttowomenreligiouslybecauseitisimportantsocially. Itisafactcrossculturallythatfoodisparticularlyawomancontrolledresource.Inthemajorityofcultures,foodpreparationisawom

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an'srole.2 ItwascertainlysoinmedievalEurope.OneoftheearliestextantFrenchcookbooks,thefourteenthcenturyViandier,assumesthatbasiccookeryisdone bywomen.Theauthorsayshedoesnotdescribethepreparationofcertainitems,suchascabbage,leeks,andvealwithsaffronandpeppersauce,because"women andtheirmistressesandeveryoneknowhowtocookthem."3 But,beyondwomen,"everyone"didnotknow.WhenanelderlyParisianhusbandwroteanowfamous bookofhousekeepingadviceforhisyoungbrideabout1392,hisbookrevealedthathehimselfwasnotacook.Arecenthistorianpointsoutthathe"describescertain aspectsofcookeryanyworkingcookwouldhavetakenforgranted."4 Althoughthefirstcookbookswerewrittenbymenandthejobofchefinthewealthiest householdswenttomales,everyoneagreedthatthebasicsocialresponsibilityforfoodpreparationwaswoman's5 Indeed,cookingwassomuchawoman'srolethatitappeared,tomen,notmerelyarcanebutthreatening.Whenmedievalmenprojectedtheirhostilitytowardwomen intosuspicionofwhatwentoninthewomen'squarters,theyfrequentlyspokeofwomen'scontroloffood.6 Mensuspectedwomen(especiallywives)ofmanipulating thembyaddingpotionsorpoisonstotheirmeals.TheDecretumofBurchardofWorms,compiledbetween1008and1012,liststhespellsandincantationsresorted tobywomenmostoftheminvolvemanipulatingfoodforexample,increasingordecreasingthesexualardorofahusbandbyaddingtohisfoodsuchthingsas menstrualblood,semen,ordoughkneadedwithawoman'sbuttocks.7 Therearemanyreasonsfortheassociationofwomenandfoodpreparationthatisfoundinsomanycultures.Onereasonseemstobethebiologicalanalogy.Through lactation,womanistheessentialfoodproviderandpreparer.AsthenovelistEliasCanettiexpressesit:
Inafamilythehusbandcontributesfoodandthewifepreparesitforhim.Thefactthathehabituallyeatswhatshehaspreparedconstitutesthestrongestlinkbetweenthem. Themother...isthecoreandveryheartofthisinstitution.Amotherisonewhogivesherownbodytobeeaten.Shefirstnourishesthechildinherwombandthengivesither milk.Thisactivitycontinuesinalessconcentratedformthroughoutmanyyears....Herpassionistogivefood.8

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Indeed,inanumberofcultures(e.g.,modernLatinAmerica,Indonesia)womenprepareandservefoodbutdonoteatwiththefamily.Inmostcomplexsocieties, evenupperclasswomenwhoarefreedfromthetaskoffoodpreparationstillhavetheresponsibilityofsupervisingthosewhocook.Thereiscertainlyreasontothink thateatingintheEuropeanMiddleAgeswasstereotypedasamaleactivityandfoodpreparationasafemaleone.Thesexeswereoftenseparatedatmedieval banquets,andwomenweresometimesrelegatedtowatchingfromthegalleries.9 ThehistoryofWesterncooking,asreflectedincookbooks,diaries,andmemoirs, suggeststhat"heavy"food,especiallymeat,wasseenasmoreappropriateformenandlighterfoodforwomen,10inpartbecausemeathad,forathousandyears, beenseenasanaggravatoroflust.11Cookbookscameincreasinglytosuggestthatwomenwhopreparedthemealshardlyneededtoeatatall.12Wenowknow thatsuchnotions,bythenineteenthcentury,actuallyproduceddietarydeficienciesinwomen13indeed,thetwentiethcenturyWesterncrazeforfemaledietingmay owesomethingtothisolderassumptionthatwomenpreparefoodandmeneatit. Thistraditionalassociationofwomenwithfoodpreparationratherthanfoodconsumptionhelpsustounderstandcertainaspectsofthereligioussignificanceoffood. Topreparefoodistocontrolfood.Moreover,foodisnotmerelyaresourcethatwomencontrolitistheresourcethatwomencontrolbothforthemselvesandfor others.InthelongcourseofWesternhistory,economicresourceswerecontrolledbyhusbands,fathers,uncles,orbrothers.Yethumanbeingscanrenounce,ordeny themselves,onlythatwhichtheycontrol.Thus,inperiodssuchasthelaterMiddleAgesinwhichworlddenialwasafavoritereligiousresponse,womenfounditeasier torenouncefoodthananythingelse(forexample,money,sexualactivity,orfamilyties).14Itwasfarmoredifficulttofleeone'sfamily,todenyafather'splansforone's betrothal,ortorefusesexualrelationstoahusbandthanitwastostopeating.Inperiodsinwhichcharityandserviceweredeeplyvalued,womenfoundfoodthe easiestthingtogiveaway.Slippingoutofthekitchenorbanquethallwithfoodforthepoorwasthemostconvenient,theleastostentatious,service.Moreover,both women'sfooddistributionandtheirfastingappearedculturallyacceptableformsofasceticism,becausewhatwomenordinarilydidmostvisiblyashousewives, mothers,orthemis

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tressesofgreatcastleswastoprepareandservefoodratherthantoeatit.Yetifwomen'sfooddistributionorfoodavoidancebecameacuteenoughtodisrupttheir roleasfoodpreparer,itcouldwreakhavocwithsocialrelations.ItcouldthereforeapointtowhichIshallreturnbeanextremelyeffectiveformofmanipulation. Atthesimplestlevelofexplanation,therefore,wecansaythatmedievalwomenfastedandfedothersbecausepreparationanddistributionoffoodwerewomen's specialconcerns.Itisworthnotingthatinmanycultures,fastingasareligiousactivityisdoneprimarilybywomen,althoughfastingasscientificexperimentoras politicalprotestisusuallyperformedbymen.AmongEskimos,forexample,itiscustomaryforthehusbandtogooutfishingwhilethewiferemainsathomefastingfor agoodcatch.15InOldTestamentJudaism,fastingisalmosttheonlyreligiousactforwhichwomen(e.g.,Judith,Esther,Sarah,themothersofSamuelandSamson) areprominentmodelsofpiety.InIndia,wherethehungerstrikewasusedveryeffectivelybyGandhiandhisfollowersasapoliticalweapon,fastingisperformed primarilybywomenwhenitisofferedasareligiousactforprivateorfamilialgains.(Themostcommonpatternisforawomantofastinordertogainaspecific benefitforamalerelative.)16Gandhiinfactlearnedfastingfromhisdevoutmother,whoaddedfaststothealreadystrictHinduschedule.17IntheEuropeantradition also,thehungerstrikehasbeeneffectivelyusedbymenforpoliticalpurposes.ItsrecentpopularitywiththeIrishRepublicanArmyhasalongandspecifictradition behindit.MedievalIreland(likemedievalIndia)hadanactuallegalprocedureof"fastingtodestrain,"inwhichacreditorfastedagainstadebtortogainrepaymentora manfastedagainsthisadversarytogainrestitution.18InTudor/StuartEnglandandamongthePuritansintheNewWorld,publicfasts,proclaimedbythegovernment toexpiateorprotestparticularevents,becameincreasinglypolitical.The1774fastoftheMassachusettsandVirginiacoloniststoexpressdissatisfactionwithEngland wasthefirstmodernmasspoliticalprotestbyfasting.19But,aswehaveseen,fastingasanindividualactofworldrenunciationhasbeenmorecentralinthereligiosity ofEuropeanwomenthanofmen.20 Fastingandcharitablefooddistribution,andtheirmiraculouscounterpartssurvivingontheeucharistalone,foodmultiplicationmiracles,thefemalebodythatexudes foodorcuringliquidwerethus,inonesense,religiousexpressionsofsocialfacts.Theymanifestedinreligious

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behaviorthesexualdivisionoflabor.Sincelatemedievalspiritualityvaluedbothrenunciationandservice,eachgenderrenouncedanddistributedwhatitmost effectivelycontrolled:mengaveupmoney,property,andprogenywomengaveupfood.Moreover,suchadivisionofreligiousresponseclearlysuitedmedievalmen. Severalscholarshavepointedoutthatlatetwelfthandearlythirteenthcenturywomen(e.g.,ClareofAssisiandMaryofOignies)whowishedtofollowthenewideal ofmendicantpovertythatis,torenounceeconomicsupportsweresimplynotpermittedeitherbytheirfamiliesorbyreligiousauthoritiestodoso.21Theolder aristocracyandthenewurbanpatriciatemightalloworencouragedaughterstowithdrawintoconventsorhermitcellsortoperformfastsandvigilsundertheirfathers' oruncles'orhusbands'roofs,butwomenwanderingandbeggingandlivingwithoutservantswenttoofar.SowomensuchasMaryandClareandIdaofLouvain substitutedfastingforotherwaysofstrippingtheselfofpleasureandsupport.ThethirteenthcenturyhagiographerThomasofCantimprcommentedexplicitlythat ChristinatheAstonishinggaveupfoodbecauseshehadnothingelsetogiveupforChrist.22Betweenthetwelfthandthesixteenthcentury,beguines,tertiaries,devout laywomenwhoresidedinthehousesoffathersorspouses,andevennunswhoseconventlifeseemedtotheminsufficientlyausterewereabletorenouncetheworldin themidstofabundancebyrefusingtoeatordrinkanythingthatwaspaidforbyfamilywealth.MargeryKempefastedatherhusband'stableCatherineofSienaand IdaofLouvainrefusedfoodprovidedbytheirfathersElizabethofHungarylivedamongherhusband'srelativesbutrefusedtoeatanyfoodexceptthatpurchasedwith herdowry.23Becausefoodpreparationwaswoman'ssphere,foodasceticismandfooddistributionwereforwomenobviousmodesofimitatingthevulnerabilityand generosityofChrist.Moreover,fastingandfeedingwereactsofcharityandofselfdenudingthatcouldbeperformedevenwhenawomanwasunabletodetermine theframeworkofinstitutionsoreconomicsupportswithinwhichshelived. Theissueofcontrolis,however,muchmorebasicthanthisanalysissuggests.Foodrelatedbehaviorwascentraltowomensociallyandreligiouslynotonlybecause foodwasaresourcewomencontrolledbutalsobecausebymeansoffoodwomencontrolledthemselvesandtheirworld.Bodilyfunctions,sensations,fertility,and sexualityhusbands,mothers,fathers,andchildrenreligioussuperiorsandconfessorsGodinhismaj

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estyandtheboundariesofone'sown''self"allcouldbemanipulatedbyabstainingfromandbestowingfood.Inordertounderstandthis,wemustlookcloselyat women'sfastingandfeedingbehavior.ItseemswisetobeginwiththequestionIearlierpostponed,thequestionoftheapplicabilityofmodernpsychologicalormedical models.Forinthefloodofrecentwritingonfood"disorders,"theissueofcontrolhasbeencentral.And,asseveralrecentwritershavenoticed,thefastingbehaviorof somemedievalwomenclearlyfitsratherwellthemodernsyndromeknownasanorexianervosa.Howhelpful,then,aremodernclinicaldefinitionsforour understandingoflatemedievalpiety? WasWomen'sFastingAnorexiaNervosa? Theideathatsomesaintlyormysticalwomenofthelatemedieval/earlymodernperiodwereanorecticsisnotnew.Infact,historiansofmedicinehaveviedwitheach otherinfindingtheearliestcasesofeatingdisorders.Onemedicalhistorianhasarguedthatitisonlyintheseventeenthcenturythatwefindanaccountoffemalefasting sufficientlydetailedtofitmodernclinicaldefinitions.24Butsomehaveseenanorecticoranorexialikebehaviorinearliercases.25Inabizarrecommunicationtoa Britishmedicaljournal,onedoctorrecentlyarguedthatthelegendofthebeardedfemalesaintWilgefortiswhichwasexplainedbythegreatBollandistscholar Delehayeasspringingfrommisperceptionofaveiledcrucifixisanearlyandcompletedescriptionofthecomplexoffeatures(includinghirsutism)consideredby psychologiststocharacterizeanorexia.26EarlierinthiscenturyCatholicscholarssuchasPaterandThurstonstrovetodifferentiate"natural"(whichsometimesmeant pathological,i.e.,anorecticorhysterical)and"miraculous"(i.e.,supernaturallyproduced)fasting.27Andanumberofrecentscholarshavementionedinpassing sometimesquitedefensivelythepossibilitythatprominentmedievalsaintssuchasCatherineofSienaandCatherineofGenoasufferedfromanorexianervosa. RudolphBellhasrecentlypublishedacarefulanddetailedstudyofanorexiaamongItalianwomenfromtheeleventhtotheseventeenthcentury.28 Manyofthesediscussions,whethertheygrantorrefusethelabelanorexianervosatoearlycasesoffemalefasting,seemtoassumethatweareinthepresenceofa trendwhichwecancalleitherthe"seculariza

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tion"orthe"medicalization"ofbehavior.29Theyassume,thatis,thatmedievalpeoplegavetheologicalsignificancetobehaviorthatpsychiatristsanddoctorstodaysee insecularterms,whethermedical,psychoanalytical,orpsychodynamic.Thustheysometimessuggestthatmedievalwomenandtheirconfessorsattributenoteatingto divineordemonicinspirationwhereasmodernwomenandtheirtherapistsblameiteitheronpsycheoronbiochemistry.(Thisclaimcanbeusedeithertosupportthe notionthatsuchfastingisanorexianervosa,becauseitisthesamephenomenondifferentlyinterpreted,ortodenythenotionthatsuchfastingisanorexia,because "anorexia"isamodernculturalconstruct.)Theargumentisrelatedtotheidea,whichhasbeenmuchfoughtoverbyhistoriansofpsychiatry,thatlatemedievalwitches and/ortheirvictimswerefrequentlythesociety'smentallyilloftenhystericsandsometimesanorecticswhosebehaviorwasattributedbytheologianstobothmoral failinganddemonicpossession.30But,inordertounderstandmedievalbehavior,thefirstthingwemustnoteisthatsuchaclaimisnotquiteright.Itisnotquitetrue (althoughthereareelementsoftruthinit)tosaythatfastingwastheologizedintheMiddleAgesandissecularizedormedicalizedtoday.AsthecasesIdiscussabove makeclear,medievalpeopledidnotseeallrefusaltoeatas"fasting"(i.e.,asceticism)orallextendedabstinenceasmiraculous.Andthecaseofthemodernmystic SimoneWeilandhermanyadmirers,likethecaseoftheGermanstigmaticTheresaofKonnersreuth,makesitclearthatnotallfemaleabstinenceinthetwentieth centuryismedicallyorpsychologicallyinterpreted.31 Medievalwritershadinfactanumberofparadigmsforexplainingextendedperiodsofnoteating.Noteatingwassometimesseenassupernaturallycausedeither miraculousordemonic.Itwassometimesseenasnaturallycausedassuch,itwassometimesbutbynomeansalwaysinterpretedasaconditiontobecured.(Both miraculousandnaturalisticexplanationsweresometimesusedbytheologiansastheCouncilofTrentusedthecaseofNicholasofFluetoprovethedoctrineof transubstantiation.)Noteatingwassometimesinterpretedasdeliberatefraudorasselfdelusion.Wecanfindallthreeparadigmseveninearlysaints'livesand chronicles.Thenotionthatrefusaltoeatcanbefraudulentorattentiongettingbehavior,orillness,wasnonewdiscoveryinthesixteenthandseventeenthcenturies. Inediaappearsinanumberofmedievaldocumentsassimplyaphys

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iologicalcondition.TheauthoroftheninthcenturylifeofWalburga,forexample,presentsacaseofloathingforfoodasanillness,whichthesaintcures.Afifteenth centurylifeofColetteofCorbiealsotreatsinabilitytoeatasanillness.32RogerBaconsaidofathirteenthcenturyEnglishwomanthathersurvivalwithouteatingwas notmiraculous,"butratheraworkofnature,"andgaveasomewhattorturedbutingeniousexplanationofhowthebalanceofelementsinherbodymightmakethis possiblesincenothingcameinasfood,butnothingwentoutasexcrement.ThomasNetter,inafifteenthcenturytheologicaltreatise,arguedthatJoantheMeatless distinguishedconsecratedfromunconsecratedhostsbyanaturalskill,becauseherconditionwassuchthatshecouldnotbearanybodilyfood.CatherineofSiena herselfreferredtoherinabilitytoeatasan"infirmity,"notavoluntaryreligiouspractice.LidwinaofSchiedamclaimedthatshedeservednopraiseforabstinencesince shewasinfactunabletoeat.AlpasofCudotindicatedherunderstandingofherconditionasanillness(whichwastobepatientlyborne)byhavingavisionofthedevil asadoctorwhoofferedtocureit.Asearlyastheninthcentury,chroniclerswerebusycollectingstoriesoffreaksandmarvelsanddidnotpresentallcasesofwomen whorefusedtoeatasexamplesofsanctityorillustrationsofGod'spower.TheveryfactthatsupposedsaintssuchasJohntheGoodofMantuaandColumbaofRieti sometimesatebeforeanaudiencetodemonstratethattheycouldeati.e.,thattheirabstinencewasvoluntarysuggeststhatmedievalinterpretersdrewaclear distinctionbetweeninabilitytoeatandasceticism.Someauthorsfoundonlythelatteramarkofsanctity,althoughsome(forexample,ElsbetAchler'shagiographer)did presentanysurvivingwithouteatingasamarkofdivinefavor. Medievalpeoplethemselvesthoughtthatselfstarvationwassometimesadelusionandsometimesacarefullyorchestratedfraud.Whenwenotethechargesagainst whichholywomendefendedthemselvesweseequiteclearlywhatanumberoftheircontemporariessuspected.CatherineofSienawasaccusedofbeingdeluded, evenofbeingawitch.ColumbaofRietiwasaccusedofmerelywastingawayfromlovesickness.BothCatherineandColumbadefendedthemselvesagainstthe chargethattheirrefusaltoeatwasaformofsuicideandthereforeamortalsin.ItwasCatherine'sowndefinitionofherbehaviorasaninfirmitythatenabledherto claimthateatingwouldbeanevenmoregrievoussuicide.Moreover,ifElsbetAchlerdidnothidefoodunderherbed,someone

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elsehidittheretocreatetheillusionofthefraudhersisterssuspected.33Andinthefifteenthandsixteenthcenturiesseveralfraudulentfasterswereunmasked.34The factthattherewere"frauds"indicatesthatthosewho"pretended"expectedtogainprestigewhetherasfreakorassaint.Buttheratherdefensivetoneof hagiographers(suchasthebiographerofColumbaofRieti)whoclaimedthatfastingsaintsshowednosignsofemaciationindicatesthat"miraculousabstinences"were asregularlydoubtedasapplauded. Itthusappearsthatmedievalwritersthemselvesspokeratherdifferentlyoffastingasvoluntarypenanceandofcasesofwomen,especiallyyounggirls,whowere unabletoeat.Iftheydidnottreattheselattercasesasmattersfordoctorsalone,theyalsodidnotseethemsimplyasaspectsofpenitentialasceticism.Medieval peoplethemselveswereclearaboutthedifferencebetweenchoosingtorenouncefood,oneofthepleasuresofcivilization,andbeinginthethroesofabehaviorpattern thatmadeeatingimpossible.TheyevenoccasionallysawsaintssuchasColetteandWalburga,whochosenottoeat,aspatronsandcurersofthosewhosufferedfrom whatwewouldcallfooddisorders.Ifmedievalchroniclersreportedcertainrefusalstoeatasfreakishbehaviornotnecessarilyconnectedtoreligiosity,whatthenisto preventusfromseeingthemascasesofanorexianervosa,having,assomecurrentmedicalopinionargues,abiochemicalbasis? Twentiethcenturyworkonanorexiaandthecloselyrelateddisorderbulimia(bingeeating)offersmanyexplanationsofthesyndrome.Psychodynamicinterpretation relatesthebehaviortoneurosis,generatedfundamentallybyanovercontrollingparentbehavioristtheoryseesbingeingorselfstarvationaslearnedbehavior socioculturaltheoryrelatesfooddisorderstotheculturalrequirementsofslimnessandnurturingimposedonwomen.Biochemicalexplanationshavebeenparticularly popularrecently.Onecurrentvariantseesanorexiabulimiaasatypeofbiologicallycauseddepressionwithapharmacologicalcure.(Inthepastfewyearsresearchers havehadnotablesuccesscuringbingeeatingwithdrugslongusedtotreatbiochemicallycauseddepression.)35Moreover,researchonthephysiologicalbasesof psychologicaldifferencesbetweenthesexessuggeststhatdifferencesinmaleandfemalemetabolismmakeiteasierforwomentofast,andeventhatmenandwomen cravedifferenttypesoffood(particularlyproteinandcarbohydrates,respectively)becausethesefoodsactuallytastedifferenttothemandareusedbytheir

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bodiesindifferentways.36Thereisthusevidencethatsomeeatingbehaviorthatdepartssignificantlyfromtheordinarydoesinfacthaveaphysiologicalbasis,and nothingonecouldadduceaboutmedievalpeoplewouldeitherconfirmordenythisconclusion.37 Evenforthemodernperiod,however,therearefactsthatconfutearigidlybiochemicalexplanation.Mostresearchersagreethattheincidenceofbulimiaandanorexia isincreasingrapidlytoday,althoughrecenttalkofan"epidemic"maybejournalisticoverreaction.38Nobehaviorwithapurelybiologicalcausecouldfluctuateas drasticallyinincidenceasanorexiaisagreedtodo.Thebehavior,then,whateverbasisitmayinsomecaseshaveinthephysiologyandthefamilyhistoryofindividuals, isalso,intheveryparticularformittakes,learnedanditislearnedfromaculturethathascomplexandlongstandingtraditionsaboutwomen,aboutbodies,and aboutfood.Whateverbiologicalorpsychologicalunderpinningsitmayhave,twentiethcenturyanorexiahasaculturalcontext.39 Thesameistrueformedievalcasesoffooddelusionandmiraculousabstinence.Althoughsomemedievalwomenforexample,AlpasandLidwinaofSchiedam wereunabletoeatforgravephysicalreasons,thereismuchevidencetosuggestthatthevirtuosofastingbehaviorofwomenmustbeexplainedprimarilyinacultural context.Thefirstandmostbasicargumentforaculturalexplanationcomesfromthedistributionofmedievalcases. Miraculousabstinenceitselfisattributedonlytomeninthepatristicperiod.SeveraloftheDesertFathersofthethirdandfourthcenturiesweresaidtosubsistonthe eucharistalone.Whensuchstoriesaretakenupbytheologiansinthefifteenthcenturyasproofofdoctrinalmatterstheybeginonceagaintobetoldoccasionallyof men.Butinthelonginterveningmedievalperiodtheyaretoldonlyofwomen.40Nobiologicalcausecouldpossiblyexplainsuchdiscrepanciesindistribution.Evenif weassumethattheincidenceofabehaviorremainsconstantandmerelythereportingofitchanges(anassumptionwearehardlyentitledtomake),thenthereporting itselfbecomestheinterestingandretrievablephenomenon.Andwhatischosenforreportingisclearlyculturallyconditioned.Moreover,themedievalevidencesuggests thatculturalmodelsarecrucialinproducingfoodrelatedbehavior. Whereextendedabstinenceisreportedformen,themodeloftheDesertFathersisclearlyatwork.Thestory,toldinLidwina'svita,ofa

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certainGerardwhowentfromColognetoEgypt,climbedatree,andlivedtheremiraculouslyforyearsonmannafromheavenissoobviouslyaretellingofpatristic materialthatitdeserveslittlecredenceascontemporaryreporting.Andmanythirteenth,fourteenth,andfifteenthcenturywomen(forexample,MaryofOignies, CatherineofSiena,Colette)wereseenbytheiradmirersthroughlensesshapedbypatristiclegend.Thisisaculturalmodelinthemostobvioussense.Theninth centurylifeofWalburgasuggestsafarmoresubtleshapingofbehaviorbyculturalexpectation.ThestoriesofIrchinbaldandFrideradetoldthere(seeabove,pp.89 90)arebothstoriesofindividualswho,forreasonsthatareundoubtedlypartlyphysiological,haveuncontrollablefoodreactionsfirsthunger,thenrevulsion.The actionofthesaint'srelicsandtheexpectationsofobserversproduceoppositeresultsinthetwocases,however.Walburga"cures"themanshefailsto"cure"the woman,andanotherinterpretationisthenplacedonthewoman'sbehavior.Asthestorygoes,theman'sgluttonyisfollowedbyloathingforfood,andthesaint'srelics thenenablehimtoreturntonormaleating.Butthegirl'sgluttony,whichdidnotenduntilsheconfesseditasaterribleguilt,wasfollowedbyfoodrevulsionthata sympatheticnuncouldnotcure.Thosearoundthegirlthencametoseethenoteatingasamarvelandhaditattestedtobyapriest.Itseemslikelythatthedivergent outcomesofthetwostorieshadsomethingtodowiththeexpectationsofthosewhoviewedthetwoafflictedpeople.Noteatingseemedtothemamoreappropriate storyforawoman.Asgluttonyinawomanwasamoreterribleguilt,soinher,noteatingwaslesslikelytobe"cured"orinneedof"cure."Thustheprevalenceofnot eatingamongwomenseemstohavesomethingtodowithwhichbehaviorstheculturesawasbehaviors"tobecured.'' Whatdetermineswhetheranepisodeisseenassomething"tobecured"inagivencultureiscomplex.ButforthelateMiddleAgesthereisclearevidencethat behaviorandoccurrencesthatbothweandmedievalpeopleseeas"illnesses"arelesslikelytobedescribedassomething"tobecured"whentheyhappentowomen thanwhentheyhappentomen.Women'sillnesswas"tobeendured,"not"cured."Patientsufferingofdiseaseorinjurywasamajorwayofgainingsanctityforfemales butnotformales.AsWeinsteinandBellhavedemonstrated,womenaccountforonly17.5percentofthosecanonizedinthelaterMiddleAges,buttheyaccountfor 53.2percentofthosesaintsinwhoselivespatientbear

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ingofinfirmitywasthecentralfactorinreputationforsanctity.ErnstBenzhascataloguedtheprominenceofsicknessasathemeinwomen'svisions.41Indeed,the vitaeofsomewomensaints,suchasSerafinaofSanGimignano(d.1253),haveastheirsolethemethesaint'sillness.42Andmanyholywomendesiredtobeill. Villanade'BottirefusedprayersforreliefofsicknessGertrudeofHelftaembracedheadachesasasourceofgraceBeatriceofNazareth,whodesiredthetormentsof illness,washealedalmostagainstherwishesMargaretofYpressodesiredtojoinwithChrist'ssufferingthatsheprayedforherinfirmitiestolastbeyondthegrave.43 DauphineofPuimichel(d.1360)evensuggestedthatifpeopleknewhowusefuldiseaseswereforselfdiscipline,theywouldpurchasetheminthemarketplace.44 JulianofNorwichaskedforandreceivedthegraceofsicknessanddeathinliteralimitatioChristi.Inherthirtiethyear,she"died"andreturnedtolife,whilereceiving avisionoftheCrucifixionwith"theredbloodrunningdown...,hotandflowingfreelyandcopiously,alivingstream."45 Notjustillnessingeneralbutthespecificillnessofnotbeingabletoeatwasembracedbymedievalwomen.AlpasandLidwinarejoicedintheirinediaandsawthe desiretobecuredasa,temptation.CatherineofSienarefutedchargesofsuicideorstubbornnessbyinterpretinghereatingbehaviorasinfirmity. Ofcourse,noteveryonesawillnessasdesirable.Lidwinaherselfhatedherillnesswhenshewasfirstafflicted.Theheroicembracingofsicknesscharacterizedonly saints.Butitseemstohavecharacterizedsaintlywomenfarmoreoftenthansaintlymen. ThegrowingincidenceofcasesoffemaleabstinenceinthelaterMiddleAgesoccursinthecontextofothernewmiracles.Miraculousabstinenceincreasesasfemale eucharisticdevotionincreasesandassuchdevotionbecomesmoreandmoreliterallytheconvictionthattakingtheeucharistisfeedingonthebodyofGod.Miraculous abstinencealsoincreasesmarkedlyinthecenturiesinwhichstigmataandothermiraclesofbodilymanipulationfirstappear.Betweenthelatetwelfthcenturyandthe sixteenth,manywomenwerereportedtoexperiencethewoundsofChristappearingupontheirbodiesandbleedingamiracleneverbeforereported.46Francisof Assisi(andthemodernfigurePadrePio)aretheonlymaleswhoarebelievedtohavepossessedallfiveofChrist'swoundsinvisiblestigmataandtheyarenotsaidto havedisplayedperiodicbleeding.47ButmanycaseswerereportedinthelateMiddleAges

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ofwomenwhodisplayedfullstigmatawhichbledinarhythmicpatternmostfrequently,onFridays.Allcasesofredmarks(calledespousalrings)appearing miraculouslyaroundfingersare,nottoosurprisingly,female.Mostcasesofbodilyelongationarefemale.Andinthemedievalandmodernperiodsmoststoriesof sweetsmellingbodies,livinganddead,aretoldaboutwomen,although(liketalesofsurvivingontheeucharist)suchstoriesaretoldofmeninantiquity.48Ishall returntothesignificanceofthesenewmiraclesbelow.Mypointhereisthatabstinencebecomesanimportantcharacteristicofwomen'spietyinthesameperiodthat seesanincreaseinseveraltypesoffemalemiraclesofbodilymanipulationandanincreaseintheextentandliteralismofwomen'sdevotiontoholyfood.Thuscultural aswellasbiologicalcausesclearlyliebehindwomen'sfasting,forfastingisonlyoneaspectofabroadspectrumofbehaviorsthatappearinthelaterMiddleAges becauseofchangingculturalvaluesandimages. Doesitmakesense,however,toapplythelabelanorexianervosatothefastingbehavioroflatemedievalwomenifweuseapsychologicalratherthanabiochemical understandingofanorexia?Theanswerdependsinpartonwhichdefinitionofanorexiawechoose.Currentpsychologicaldefinitionsdiffer,andmanyaresonarrow andcultureboundastobequiteobviouslyinapplicabletowomen'sbehaviorbeforethenineteenthcentury.49Ifanorexiaisdefinedas"therelentlesspursuitof thinness"oras"dieting"thathasgoneoutofcontrol,thenanorexiacanbediagnosedonlyinculturesthatassociatethinnesswithbeauty.50Anddietingwasnot,of course,amedievalpractice,northinnessamedievalvalue.51Butotherpsychologicaldefinitionsofanorexiaareconsiderablysubtlerandmoreflexiblethanthosethat connectitnarrowlytotwentiethcenturynotionsoffemaleattractiveness. TheGermanAmericanpsychiatristHildeBruchdescribesanorexiaas"selfinflictedstarvationintheabsenceofrecognizableorganicdiseaseandinthemidstofample food."52TheItalianpsychiatristMaraSelviniPalazzoliseesanorexia/bulimiaasadeliberatestruggleagainstpersistenthunger,althoughthehungerisusuallydeniedor disguised.Theactofeating,saysPalazzoli,fillsanorectics"withfearandanxiety,and...theyconsider[it]degradingandselfdefeating,"althoughtheyoften compulsivelyurgefoodonothers.53Theseexpertsagreethatthephysicalsymptomsofanorexia,whichmaybesimplytheresultsofstarvation,arefatigue,anemia, andamenorrhea.Thepsychologicalsymptomsaredis

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turbanceinbodyconcept,disturbanceinperceptionofbodilyfunctions(oftencombinedwithsleeplessnessandfoodrelatedhyperactivity),and"aparalyzingsenseof ineffectiveness."Anorecticstypicallyfeelthemselvestobepuppets,manipulatedbyothers,unabletoassertthemselvesagainstortopleaseacontrollingparent usuallyanenergeticandlovingmother.Noteatingis,forthem,anexperienceofcontrolcontrolofself,whichtheysubstituteforthecontrolofcircumstancestheyare unabletoachieve.Theytendtoseetheselfassplitortoloseallsenseof"ego."Theyarenotoriouslydifficulttotreatinpsychotherapybecausetheylieandtheextent oftheirdishonestysuggeststhattheyareincapableofperceivingtheirbodilyurgesandtheirfoodrelatedbehaviorrealistically.Theyareafraidoftouchingandbeing touched,andtheyfearanddisliketheirowncorporality.Theonsetofthesyndromecomestypicallyforgirlswhoarethevastmajorityofthevictimsatpuberty. Menstruation,likehunger,isseenasshameful,violating,andthreateningbody,likefood,isseenasfrighteningandpowerfulsexualmaturationisseenasvulnerability, aslossofwhatlittlecapacityforselfdeterminationthechildhadpossessed.Modernpsychodynamicexplanationsofanorexia/bulimiathusseecontrolasthebasic issue.In"typical"anorexia,thewomanstarvesherselfasawayofassertingpowerovermanipulatingherbody,whichishatedandfeared.Andprimaryanorexiais thusdistinguishedfromatypicalanorexia(whichsomewriters,forexampleBruch,alsocall"hysteria"),inwhichthewomanisobsessivelyconcernedwithfoodandits significancebutmanipulationofbodysizeisincidental.Treatmentofanorexia,whetherinindividualorfamilytherapy,focusesonintrafamilydynamics,particularlythe motherdaughterrelationshipittriestorestoretothegirl,whohasspentherlifepleasingothers,somesenseofsettingandmeetingherownstandards.54 Howwelldoesthismorecomplexdelineationofanorexianervosadescribemedievalbehavior?Somemedievalvitaedepictextravagantfastingthatappearscloserto atypicalanorexia(orhysteria)thantoprimaryanorexia."Hysteria"isnolongerrecognizedbypsychiatristsasadiagnosis,andthehystericalbehaviorsomuchstudied inthenineteenthandearlytwentiethcenturiesbyCharcotandFreudis,inthelatetwentiethcentury,foundonlyintheThirdWorldorinveryruralareasofEurope.55 Butsomemedievalsaintsinwhoselivesfoodwasacentralobsessionseemclosertoclassicnineteenthcenturyhystericsthantomod

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erncasesoftypicalanorexia.ThetermhystericalseemstofitatleastsomeofthebehaviorofBeatriceofOrnacieuxandBeatriceofNazareth,whoexperiencedthe kindofchokingsensations,knownasglobushystericus,oftencharacteristicofhysteriaoracuteanxiety.56ThetermalsoappearstodescribeIdaofLouvainand RitaofCascia,whosebodiesbrokeoutinsores(sometimesstigmata)thatappearedordisappearedwithvariouslevelsofreligiousexcitement,aswellasIdaofLau, ChristinatheAstonishing,andthemanyotherwomenwhoexperiencedtrances,"fits,"andnosebleedsbroughtonbymysticaldesire.Thespasmsdescribedinthevita ofLukardisofOberweimar,inwhichherspinewasarchedandherlegsandheaddrawnbacksotightlythatherbodynearlyformedacircle,arearecognizedformof hystericalbehaviorknownasopisthotonos.(Twofamousmodern"fastinggirls,"MargaretWeisandSarahJacobs,sufferedfromsimilarattacks.)57Moreover,in somecasesofextendedstarvation,theinediaappearstobemerelyonemanifestationofgeneraldepression.JaneMaryofMaill,AngelaofFoligno,andCatherineof Genoa,forexample,themselvesconnectedtheirinabilitytoeattowhatmedievalpeoplecalledaccidiaakindofspiritualslothordespair.Andtheyseemtohave recognizedmarriageasitscause.Suchwomenmightperhapsbetterbelabeleddepressivesthananorectics.Butthedistinctionisunimportant.AsInotedabove,some recentmedicalresearchhypothesizesthatanorexia/bulimiaisaformofdepression. Despitethefactthatsomeextendedstarvationseemsbetterdescribedasdepressionorhysteria,apsychologicalorpsychodynamicdefinitionofanorexiaseemsatfirst glanceapplicabletosomemedievalwomen,amongthemMaryofOignies,JulianaofCornillon,MargaretofYpres,JaneMaryofMaill,ElizabethandMargaretof Hungary,ElsbetAchler,AngelaofFoligno,MargaretofCortona,CatherineofSiena,ColumbaofRieti,andCatherineofGenoa.Thesewomenwentthroughintense periodsofinabilitytoeat,oftenbeginninginadolescence.Theyateandvomiteduntiltheydamagedtheirthroatsanddigestivesystems.Someofthem(forexample, AngelaofFolignoandCatherineofGenoa)later"recovered,"atleastpartly,fromtheirfastingsome(forexample,ElsbetAchler,CatherineofSiena,andColumbaof Rieti)died.Likemodernanorectics,manyofthesesaintslost"normal"bodyconceptorperception.Theysometimesexperiencedstrangesensationsofswellingor flying.DorothyofMontauandIdaofLouvain,forexample,swelledas

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ifpregnantwithChrist58DoucelineofMarseilleslevitatedBeatriceofOrnacieuxmovedmiraculouslythroughoroverwalls.BothCatherineofSienaandCatherine ofGenoalosttheabilitytogaugetemperature CatherineofGenoaexperiencedextremeandmysteriousperiodsoffreezingorburningandonoccasionCatherineofSiena,ColumbaofRieti,andLidwinaof Schiedamallfailedtoperceivefireashot.Manyofthesewomensteadfastlydeniedbeinghungryalthoughtheiractionsbetrayedagoniesofgreedandthirst,whichthey focusedontheeucharist.IdaofLouvainattackedalockedpyxwithherbarehands,desperateforthehost.59CatherineofGenoa,ColumbaofRieti,andElsbet Achlerseemnottohaveknownthattheywerelickingdirtydishes,drinkingvinegar,orhoardingfoodtoassuagethehungertheydeniedfeeling. Manyofthesewomendisplayedtheeuphoria,thesleeplessnessandhyperactivity,andthecasuistrycharacteristicofpresentdayanorectics.Anumberoffemalesaints (forexample,MaryofOigniesandColette)supposedlydidnotsleepatall,andthetownofficialsofSchiedamtestifiedthatLidwinadidnotsleep.Aswesawin chapter5,CatherineofSienapreparedfoodforherfamilyanddidtheirlaundryatnightwhenhermothertriedtoforcehertogotobed,shesurreptitiouslysubstituted aboardforthemattress.MaryofOignies,ElizabethofHungary,MargaretofHungary,andAngelaofFolignofedothersfranticallyandobsessivelyandElizabeth,like modernanorectics,rivetedattentiononhereatingbehaviorbyinquiringintothesourceofeverymorseloffood.CatherineofSienaandColumbaofRietideveloped intenseandtheologicallyelaboratedefensesoftheirrefusaltoeat.Manyofthesefastingwomenalsocombinedselfdenialwithanacutesenseofunworthinessand inabilitytoact.MargaretofCortona,BeatriceofNazareth,andJulianaofCornillon,forexample,sufferedrepeatedperiodsofselfdoubtCatherineofGenoa developedthetheorythatoneshoulddestroytheegosocompletelythatthefirstpersonsingularpronounwoulddisappearaltogetherfromone'sspeech.60 Itthusseemspossibletoapplytosomeextendedfastingdonebymedievalwomenthemodernpsychologicallabelsanorexianervosaandbulimia.Thereare, however,problemswithsuchapplication.Thefirstproblemisthemostobvious:ourinformationaboutthebehaviorofthesewomenisoftentoofragmentarytoallow usto"diagnose"(orclassify)themproperlyortoextrapolatefrombehaviortocause,yetthepsychodynamicdefinitionassumesacauseinfamilysituationand interac

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tions,particularlyintherelationshipofmotherandchild.Someofthemedievalcasesthatlookmostlikemodern"fooddisorders"mayhaveoriginsthathavenothingto dowithfamilydynamics.Forexample,Alpas,Lidwina,andDorothyofMontaurefusedtoeatandfeltaguiltoverhungersensationsthatresemblesmodernanorectic behavior.Allthreeexperiencedconflictwiththeirmotherswhenyoung.ButtheyclearlysufferedfromotherseriousdiseasesinAlpas'scasepossiblyleprosy,in Lidwina'sgangrene,inDorothy'ssomesortofdefectintheautoimmunesystem.61Thusitisimpossible,fromtheevidencewehave,toknowtowhatexactlyone shouldattributetheiroddsenseofbodilyfunctions,theirfoodcravingandvomiting.Moreover,modernresearchershavebeenaware,sincetheCarnegieInstitute experimentsoftheearlyyearsofthiscentury,thatstarvationorfastingitselfproducesqueerbehaviorpatternsandmentalreactionssuchasexaggeratedand exhibitionistclaims,paranoia,sleeplessness,inabilitytogaugebodytemperature,andeuphoria.62Itisthuspossiblethatsomemedievalwomenwhochosetofast developed,asaresultofstarvation,thosepsychologicalcharacteristicsthatsomerecenttherapistsseeassymptomsoreven"causes"ofthementaldiseaseanorexia nervosa.63 Thepsychodynamictheoryofanorexia/bulimiais,moreover,likeotherdiagnosticconceptsinmodernpsychiatry,bothreductionistandindividualisticinitsapproachto causation.Justasrecentbiochemicaldefinitionsofanorexia/bulimiadisplaythemodernWesterntendencytoreducementalandemotionalexperiencetophysiological phenomena,sopsychodynamicdefinitionsreduceittodynamicsinthepsycheorthepsyche'spersonalhistory.Suchdefinitionsassumethattheinterpretationgiven tobehaviorbythebehaverisanepiphenomenon.Whatagirlorwomansaysabouthereatingbehavioristhuslabeled"rationalization"or"symptom."Accordingto suchinterpretation,CatherineofGenoa'snotionthatherthirstwasdiabolicallyinducedorCatherineofSiena'sargumentthateatingissuicidecanbeseenas"casuistry" or"avoidancetactics"andthereforeasfurtherevidenceoftheinaccurateperceptionofbodilysensationsthatcharacterizesanorectics.Suchlabelingis,inonesense, quiteplausible,ofcoursethetwoCatherinesdoseemoccasionallytohaveusedreligiouscategoriestodistancethemselvesfromtheirownbehavior.Buteveninthese twoexamplessuchexplanationdismissesideas(theconceptsofthedevilandsuicide)thatwouldneedhistoricalandculturalexplanationiftakenseriously.Moreover, themysticaltheory

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advancedbythetwoCatherines,BeatriceofNazareth,MaryofOignies,andHadewijch(likethetheoriesofthemodernmysticSimoneWeil)shouldsurelynotbe treatedas(i.e.,reducedto)casuistryorlossofegoboundaries.Thenotionofsubstitutingone'sownsufferingthroughillnessandstarvationfortheguiltanddestitution ofothersisnot"symptom"itistheology. Finally,explanationsthatworkbackwardfromagivenbehaviortolocateitssourcesinfamilydynamicscan,ascriticsofpsychoanalysisoftenpointout,explainonly individualcases.SuchexplanationscanaccountfortheguiltanddepressionofparticularwomenforAngelaofFoligno'sorMargeryKempe'sshameoversexin marriage,forexample,orCatherineofSiena'sguiltaboutherpositionasfavoritechildandsurvivor.64Suchexplanationscannot,however,accountforawidespread patternofwomenwhorefusetoeat,becausetheexplanationsdonottakeseriouslyenoughthesymbolsinvolved"food"and"body"orseethattheirmeaningqua symbolscomesfromtheculture,notfromtheeventsofaspecificlife.Thecourseofanindividuallifecanneverexplainwhythedepressionorguiltinthatlifeexpresses itselfinsymbolssuchas"blood"and"hunger"orwhyaparticulartheologicalnotion,suchastheideaofservicethroughsuffering,emergesasasolution.Wecannot understandthevoluntarystarvationofanyparticularwomanunlessweunderstandfullywhatfoodmeanstothoseamongwhomshelives.Ifwetakeseriouslythe imagesandsymbolsinwhichguilt,responsibility,joy,andunhappinessmanifestthemselves,sociologicalandculturalexplanationsarenecessary.Modern psychodynamicdefinitionscutaportionofthebehaviorofmedievalwomenofffromitsbroaderandrichercontext. ThuswhateverphysiologicalandpsychodynamicfactorsmayhaveinfluencedmedievalbehaviorandIdismissneithersetoffactorsculturalsettingwascrucial. Biology,psyche,andcultureinterpenetratedandinfluencedeachother.Thismeansthat"medievalanorexia"isnotquitetherighttopicforhistoricalinvestigation.We shouldnotisolatetheratherrarephenomenoncalledbycontemporaries"miraculousabstinence"or"fastinggirls"fromthebroaderphenomenonoftheoverpowering concernwithfoodwithfeastaswellasfastthatcharacterizesthelivesandwritingsofmedievalwomen.Notonlydidmedievalwomendenythemselvesfood,they alsobecamefoodintheirowneyesandintheeyesofmaleadmirers.AndwhentheyateGod,theywere

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notmerelyfocusingtheirhungersensations(otherwiseunrecognized)ontheeucharist.Theywerealsoreversingtheirordinaryculturalroleoffoodpreparersandfood abstainers.Theywere"eating"aGodwhoseediblebodyanursingbodywasinsomesenseseenasfemaleandthereforeasfood.Moreover,womenmanipulated farmorethantheirownbodiesthroughfasting.Theymanipulatedtheirfamilies,theirreligioussuperiors,andGodhimself.Fastingwasnotmerelyasubstitutionof pathologicalandselfdefeatingcontrolofselfforunattainablecontrolofcircumstance.Itwaspartofsufferingandsufferingwasconsideredaneffectiveactivity,which redeemedbothindividualandcosmos.Women'sinediawasthereforenotsomuchbizarrebehaviorafflictingafewindividuals,aspartofabroaderpatternthat includedeucharisticdevotion,foodmultiplicationmiracles,devotiontoChrist'shumanity,thetheologyofpurgatory,andcareofthesick.Suchfastingcanbe understoodonlyifweunderstandthelatemedievalnotionofimitatioChristiasfusionwiththesufferingphysicalityofChrist,andlatemedievalnotionsofthefemale asflesh. ThusitisnotparticularlyhelpfultoknowthatCatherineofSienacanbesaidtobe,inthemodernsense,anorecticorevenbulimic(althoughthestatementisclearly true).Thequestionis:whyisfoodsocentraltowomen?Moderndefinitionsofanorexia,whilehelpfulinpointingoutthat"control"isakeyissueinanorecticbehavior, obscureourperceptionofsuchbehaviorbyglossingoverthefactthatfoodandcorporalityareatstake.Psychologiststodaynotethatanorecticsareusuallyfemale andthatwomentendtomanipulatetheirbodieswhereasmenmanipulatetheirenvironments.65But,asthequotationwithwhichIopenedthischaptersuggests,they donotknowwhy.Becausetheydonottakeseriouslythesymbolsusedinwomen'sexperienceortheideologiesformulatedaboutit,theyhavecutthephenomenonof refusaltoeatofffromitscontextoffoodrelatedbehavior.Moreover,theyhaveneglectedfemaleattitudestowardsufferingandgenerativity.Yetonesuspectssuch attitudestobepartofthecontextinwhichmoderngirls,aswellasmedievalones,viewbothbodiesandfood. Iwill,then,leaveasidethefactthatsomeofthefastingbehavioroflatemedievalwomencanbedescribedbythemodernpsychologicalandmedicaltermanorexia nervosaandaddress,rather,thequestionofwhysomuchofthereligiousbehaviorandthereligiouslanguageofthesewomenrevolvedaroundfood.

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FoodasControlofBody: TheAsceticContextandtheQuestionofDualism Isuggestedabovethatwomenusedfoodinawidevarietyofwaysbecausefoodwasthebasicresourceoverwhichtheyhadmostcontrol.Womendidnotmerely abstainfromfood.Theyalsodistributedfood,bothprosaicallyandmiraculously.TheymergedwithChristthroughfood.Inmiraculousexuding,theybecamefood.In short,womenhadmanywaysofmanipulatingandcontrollingselfandenvironmentthroughfoodrelatedbehavior,forfoodformedthecontextandshapeofwomen's worldoftheirresponsibilitiesandprivilegesmorefundamentallythanitdidtheworldofmen.Tosaythis,however,ismerelytoskimthesurface.Italmostreduces tosayingthatwomenusedfood,asfactandassymbol,becauseitwastheretobeused.Clearly,then,wemustprobebeyondthis.Wemustaskonadeeperlevel aboutboththefunctionandthemeaningofeatingandnoteating. Todosoistoconfrontdirectlysomeextremelydifficultproblemsinhistoricalinterpretation.Itisultimatelytoconfrontboththequestionofthenatureofasceticismand thequestionofthebasicstructurespsychological,social,andreligiousofwomen'slivesinthelaterMiddleAges.Inansweringthesequestions,Imustpropose someverylargerevisionsofwhathasalwaysbeenassumedaboutwomenandmedievalChristianity.Toputitverysimply,intheselastfivechaptersIarguethatthe extremeasceticismandliteralismofwomen'sspiritualitywerenot,atthedeepestlevel,masochismordualismbut,rather,effortstogainpowerandtogivemeaning.I alsoarguethatalthoughmenandwomenagreedinseeingfoodasafemaleconcern,thesymbolhadprofoundlydifferentandasymmetricalmeaningstothetwosexes becausemenandwomenhaddifferentsocial,psychological,andreligiousexperiences. Letmebegin,then,withthewaywomenexertedcontrolovertheirownbodiesthroughfasting,forwhateverotherfunctionfoodhadformedievalwomen,itwas clearlyameansbywhichtheymanipulatedphysicality.Theinterpretationhistoriansofreligionhavegiventothisphenomenonhasbeenmonolithicsomuchsothatit hascometoseemcommonsense.Latemedievalwomenhatedtheirbodiesandtheirsexuality,wearetold,andpunishedthemthroughfastingandotherformsofself mutilation.Theyinternalizedamisogynytowhichthephilosophical,scientific,theological,andfolktraditionsandthestructuresof

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churchandsocietyallcontributed.66Somehistorianshaverespondedtowomen'sasceticpracticeswithembarrassmentorevenangerothershaverespondedwith compassion.Conservativehistoriansoftheologyhavesometimesblamedthewomen.67Historiansofmedicineorpsychiatryhavesometimesblamedsociety.68 Marxistandfeministhistorianshaveoftenblamedthechurch.69But,whateveritscause,women'sasceticismhasseemedtomodernscholarsselfevidentlydualistic andpathologicalanefforttofleeordestroythefleshsothatthespiritmightreturntoGod.Ithasgenerallymetwithrepugnanceor,occasionally,withvoyeuristic prurience.Thosewhohavefeltitnecessarytodefendthepast(alwaysariskyundertaking)havethushadeithertotaketheoffensiveandblameinstitutionsor individualswho''oppressed"womenortoignorethefullrangeandextremismoftheselftorturingbehaviorandconcentrateonotheraspectsofwomen'sspirituality.70 Butwhenweplaceeventhemostextravagantfastingandselfmutilationinitsmedievalcontextitisnotclearthatsuchbehaviorwasrootedeitherinselfhatredorin dualism.71 Thereisnoquestionthattheexperiencingofpainwasaprominentaspectofthespiritualityofbothlatemedievalwomenandlatemedievalmen.Thereisnoquestion alsothatitwasmoreprominentinwomen'sreligiosity.IpointedoutabovethecentralityofillnessselfinducedorGodgiveninwomen'sclaimstosanctity.And womenwhowerenotill(forexample,MechtildofMagdeburgandHadewijch)frequentlydesiredtoidentifywithChristthroughlonelinessandpersecution.Some Italiansaintsdrankpusorscabsfromlepers'sores,eatingandincorporatingdisease,andthedesireforillnessisacommonthemeintheNonnenbcher,wherethe sistersexposethemselvestobittercoldorpraytobeafflictedwithleprosy.72Moreover,thecentralthemeinwomen'svisions,increasingfromthethirteenthtothe earlyfifteenthcentury,wasfusionwiththecrucifiedbodyofChrist.Thesevisionsstreamwithblood.Andinthefrenzyoftranceorecstasy,piouswomensometimes mutilatedthemselveswithknives,asMaryofOigniesdid,or,likeBeatriceofNazarethandElizabethofSpalbeek,drovethemselvestowhattheyandtheir companionssawas"insanity."73 Deliberateandsystematicphysicalpunishmentwaspartofthedailyroutineformanyreligiouswomen.74ThesixteenthcenturyaccountofthelifeofAldaofSiena,for example,saysthatthesaintsleptonabedofpavingstones,whippedherselfwithchains,woreacrownofthorns,

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andcarvedforherself,asanobjectofdevotion,awoodennailliketheonethatpiercedChrist'sfeet.75DorothyofMontauputherselfthroughapantomimeofthe Crucifixionthatinvolvedprayingwithherarmsextendedintheformofacrossandlater,inimitationofChrist'sburial,lyingprostratewiththeentireweightofherbody supportedonlybytoes,nose,andforehead.76JaneMaryofMaillstuckathornintoherheadinremembranceofChrist'scrownofthorns.77Readingthelivesof fourteenthandfifteenthcenturywomensaintsgreatlyexpandsone'sknowledgeofLatinsynonymsforwhip,thong,flail,chain,etc.Asceticpracticescommonly reportedinthesevitaeincludewearinghairshirts,bindingthefleshtightlywithtwistedropes,rubbingliceintoselfinflictedwounds,denyingoneselfsleep,adulterating foodandwaterwithashesorsalt,performingthousandsofgenuflections,thrustingnettlesintoone'sbreasts,andprayingbarefootinwinter.Amongthemorebizarre femalebehaviorswererollinginbrokenglass,78jumpingintoovens,hangingfromagibbet,79andprayingupsidedown.(Inthelattercase,thenun'sskirtsclung, modestlyandmiraculously,aroundherankles.)80Theauthorofthenuns'bookofUnterlindenintheAlsacewrote:


InAdventandLent,allthesisters,comingintothechapterhouseafterMatins,orinsomeothersuitableplace,hackatthemselvescruelly,hostilelylaceratingtheirbodiesuntilthe bloodflows,withallkindsofwhips,sothatthesoundreverberatesalloverthemonasteryandrisestotheearsoftheLordofhostssweeterthanallmelody.

Andshecalledtheresultsofsuchdisciplinestigmata.81 Thusfastingwaspartofabroaderpatternofconductthatappearstomoderneyestobeasystematicattackontheflesh.Moreover,fastingwaspartofapatternof pietyinwhichwhatwewouldcallpsychologicalmanipulationofthebodyisaprominenttheme.Whereasextremepenitentialasceticismisfoundinmaleaswellas femalesaints(forexample,FrancisofAssisi,HenrySuso,JamesOldo,PeterofLuxembourg),psychosomaticmanipulationisalmostexclusivelyfemale.Wounds imitatingthoseonChrist'sfeet,hands,side,orheadorsometimeseventhescourgemarksonhisbackappearedonthebodiesofmanyfemalesaintsinthethirteenth, fourteenth,andfifteenthcenturies.82Redmarksknownasespousalringssometimesappearedonwomen'sfingers.Andwomen'swoundsoftenappeared,orbled,at thedayandhouroftheCrucifixion.Storiesareeventoldofmiraculouselongationofwomen'sbodiesandof

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womenlevitatingmanyfeetintheairorflyingoverwalls.83Evenafterdeaththebodiesofsaintlywomenwerediscoveredtohavebeencontrolledandmarkedin strangeways.Intestinesandstomachswerefoundtobeempty,heartswerediscoveredtobeetchedwiththesignsofChrist.Althoughsomewomen,forexample GertrudeofHelfta,receivedthewoundoflove"inwardly,"otherswerethoughttobecomeChristmoreliterally.ClareofMontefalco'sspiritualsisterscametobelieve sointenselythatChristhadplantedhiscrossinherheartthatatherdeathin1308theythrewthemselvesuponherbody,toreoutherheart,andfoundinciseduponit theinsigniaofthePassion.84 Thebodiesofholywomenwerefrequentlyseenbymedievalpeopleasexudingmiraculousfluids,substances,orodors.Ofthethreemostfamousmyroblytesofthe MiddleAges,two(CatherineofAlexandriawhosupposedlybledmilkwhenbeheadedandElizabethofHungary)werewomen,andalthoughresearchremainsto bedoneonthedistributionofthisphenomenon,adisproportionatenumberofmedievalmyroblytesappeartohavebeenwomenforexample,Walburga,Hedwigof Silesia,AgnesofMontepulciano,andLutgard.85Womenalsoseemtoaccountforthemajorityofcasesofbodiesthatexudedsweetodors,eitherfromwoundsor soresthatappearedduringlifeorfrombodies(whichsometimesalsobecameyoungandbeautiful)afterdeath.86FlemishholywomensuchasChristinathe Astonishing,GertrudevanOosten,andLidwinafedotherswithmilkthatflowedfromtheirvirginbreasts,oftenduringmeditationsontheNativity,andtheirItalian counterpartssometimeseitherexudedorcalleddowncloudsofmanna.87Moreover,hagiographersfrequentlypointoutthatholywomendonotexcreteor menstruate.Sofardoesthisconcernwithexudingextraordinaryeffluviaandrepressingordinaryonesgothatbythesixteenthcentury,biographers(suchasColumba ofRieti'shagiographer)arguethatholywomendonotsweatorhavesourbreath.88And,introducinganewly"scientific"noteintothegrowingconcernwiththeclosing offoffemalebodies,anaccountpublishedin1603ofJaneBalamoftheareaaroundPoitiersstatesexplicitlythatthisfastinggirlexcretedneitherfecesnorurine,did notmenstruate,neversweatedexceptfromthearmpits,dischargednofilthordandrufffromherhair,andonlyoccasionallygaveforthspittlefromhermouthortears fromhereyes.89 Tomedievalpeoplethemselves,whatmoderneyesseeasselfpunishmentorpsychosomaticmanipulationwasimitatioChristiafusionwith

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Christ'sagonyonthecross.Thusmedievalwriterswereoftenuninterestedincertaindistinctionsthatintheearlymodernandmodernperiodshavefascinatedcanon lawyers,theologians,andpsychiatristsdistinctions,forexample,betweenmiraculousandselfinducedorbetweenvisibleandinvisible.ToGertrudetheGreat, Lutgard,FrancisofAssisi,Lukardis,orCatherineofSiena,thepointwasthepainofstigmataorofthewoundintheheart,notthevisibilityofthescars.Thepointwas painbecausethepainwasChrist's.Visiblewoundscouldbeanembarrassment.ToRitaofCasciaandJaneMaryofMaillthethornwoundstheysufferedwere imitatioChristi.ThefactthatRita'sappearedbyautosuggestionandJaneMary'scamefromarealthornwasnotanimportantdifference.WhenBeatriceof Ornacieuxthrustanailthroughherhand,shewassaidtoreceivestigmata.LukardisofOberweimar'shagiographersaysthatshedrovethemiddlefingerofeachhand, hardasanail,throughthepalmoftheoppositehand,untiltheroomrangwiththesoundofhammering,andstigmata"miraculously"appeared.90Onlyafewdaysafter asisternunaskedinnocentlywhyLukardisdidnotalsobearthemarksofthethornsonherforehead,these,also"miraculously,"appeared.Bothbecausemedieval peopledidnotdividebodyandmindsosharplyaswedoorthesensesfromoneanother,andbecausethesignificanceof"stigmata''wastheexperienceofpain,notits source,accountsofsuchbodilychanges,particularlyinthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,telluslessaboutwhatcausedthemorhowtheylookedthanabouttheir meaning. Thusitisclearthatmedievalwomenintendedtoproducepainwhentheyperformedmanyoftheirreligiouspractices.Itisalsoclearthattheyweresomewhatmore likelythanmentoinflictinjuryonthemselvessystematicallywithflailsorthorns,stonesornettles,andthattheywereagreatdealmorelikelythanmentohavetheir desireforpainresultinsomaticchangesandtohavethesechangesscrutinizedandrecordedbyadmirersandbiographersofbothsexes,whofoundfemalebodies fascinating.91Doesthismeanthatwomenwishedtoeschewphysicalityandbecomespirit?Doesitmeanthatfemalefastingwasanefforttopunishtheflesh,to destroyordenyitsurges,torepressitssexuality?Thereiscertainlysomeevidencetosupportsuchaninterpretation. Malebiographers(frequently)andwomenthemselves(occasionally)suggestthatbodyshouldbedisciplined,defeated,orevendestroyed,inordertoreleaseor protectspirit.Somewomenactuallyreflectthevery

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oldMediterraneannotionofthefemalebodyaspolluting.Inthefourteenthcentury,forexample,BridgetofSwedenprohibitedhernunsfromtouchingaltarclothswith theirbarehands.92Severallatemedievalsaintsforexample,DoucelineofMarseillesandLutgardofAywiresseemtohavedevelopedanobsessivefearofany bodilycontact.ClareofMontefalcosaidshewouldratherspenddaysinhellthanbetouchedbyaman.93Lutgardpanickedatanabbot'sinsistenceongivingherthe kissofpeaceJesushadtointerposehishandinavisionsothatshewasnotreachedbytheabbot'slips.Sheevenaskedtohaveherowngiftofhealingbytouchtaken away.94DoucelineofMarseilles,whoperformedmanymiraclesbytouch(sometimesinadvertently),95wasdeeplyantagonistictoanybodilycontactwithaman.96 Whenshewasachild,Christhadtoforcehertoovercomeherabhorrenceofthemalebodybyappearinginavisionwithadisgustingsicknessanddemandingthat shetouchhischest.97Althoughsheforcedherselfandhersisterstocarefortherepulsivelyill,shebeatasevenyearoldgirlbrutallyforlookingataworkman.98 ChristinaofStommein(d.1312),whofellintoalatrinewhileinatrance,awokeinfurybecausethelaybrotherwhorescuedhertouchedherinordertodoso.99In thelivesofmanywomen,particularlythose,likeLutgard,whohadexperiencedphysical(especiallysexual)brutality,thetouchofChrist'sbodycameasahealing experiencetoreplaceallothertouching,whichwasabhorrent.100 Manyholywomenwereprofoundlyafraidofthesensationsoftheirbodiesespeciallyhungerandthirst.MaryofOignies,forexample,wassoafraidoftaking pleasureinfoodthatChristhadtomakeherunabletotaste.InthesadlittlestoryofAlpassendingawaythefewmorselsofporkgivenhertosuck,weseeabizarre fearthatanyenjoymentoffoodmightmushroommadlyintogluttonyorlust.WomensuchasIdaofLouvain,ElsbetAchler,andColumbaofRieti,whosometimes snatchedupfoodandatewithoutknowingtheyweredoingso,clearlydirectedtheirhungertowardtheeucharistpartlybecauseitwasanacceptableobjectofcraving andpartlybecauseitwasaselflimitingfood.Suchwomenfeltdesperatelyvulnerablebeforebodilyneedsandusedasceticismtodestroythem. Itisalsopossiblethatsomefastinghadasagoalothersortsofbodilycontrol.Thereissomesuggestionintheaccountsofbiographersthatfastingwomenwere admired(asarefastingwomeninIndiatoday)forsuppressingexcretoryfunctions.101Severalhagiographerscommentwith

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approvalthatholywomenwhodonoteatalsoceasetoexcrete,andRogerBaconusedthephenomenonaspartofhisnaturalisticexplanationofinedia.102 Moreover,atleastthreehagiographerspointoutexplicitlythatthemenstruationoftheirsaintlyheroinesceases.103Medievaltheologywasprofoundlyambivalent aboutmenstruationapointtowhichIshallreturnbutnaturalphilosophersandtheologianswereawarethatfastingdoesinfactsuppressmenstruation.104Albert theGreatnotedthatsomeholywomenceasedtomenstruatebecauseoftheirfastsandausteritiesandcommentedthattheirhealthdidnotappeartosufferasa consequence.105AlthoughmedievalwomensuchasBeatriceofNazareth,MargaretofYpres,Lutgard,IdaofLouvain,Lukardis,andRitaofCasciadelightedinthe abnormalbleedingfromnose,mouth,orstigmaticwoundsthataccompaniedtrancesandmysticalunion,itdoesnotseemunreasonabletosuggestthattheymayalso havedesiredcessationofthatmoreordinaryfemalebleedingthattheirreligioninterpretedambivalentlyatbest.FiguressuchasJulianaofCornillon,MaryofOignies, CatherineofSiena,andCatherineofGenoa,whethermarriedornot,escalatedtheirfoodasceticismmarkedlyatpuberty. Moreover,incontrollingeatingandhunger,medievalwomenweresometimesexplicitlycontrollingsexuality.EversinceJerome,malewritershadwarnedreligious womenthatfoodwasdangerousbecauseitexcitedlustandthemedievalauthorsoftheologicalsummaeandmanualsofreligiouspracticeforvirginsrepeatedthese warnings.106Somelatemedievalhagiographersremarkedthatwomen(forexample,AldaofSiena)fastedinordertoquellsexualdesire.107Thispointshouldnotbe exaggerated.AsWeinsteinandBellpointout,malebiographersgenerallyoveremphasizedwomen'ssexualtemptations,becauseculturalstereotypessuggestedthat womenwerefarmorevoracioussexuallythanmenwere.108Womenwritersactuallypaidlittleattentiontolust,andevenauthorsofMirrorsforVirginsinthehigh MiddleAgesdevotedlessattentiontofoodasanarouseroflustandtolustitselfthanonewouldexpectfromtheinterestofmodernhistoriansinthesubject.109But therewerewomen(forexample,MargaretofCortona,CatherineofSweden)whoassociatedfoodabstinencewithchastityandgreedwithsexualdesire.110In ColumbaofRieti'spainfulandgraphicvisions,foodandnakedbodieswereinterwoventemptations,astheyhadbeenforJeromesomanycenturiesearlier.Andina charmingstorythatassociatesfoodandsexualityonadeeperlevel,thebabyCatherineofSwedenrefusednot

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onlythebreastofhersinfulwetnursebuteventhebreastofhersaintlymother,Bridget,wheneverBridgethadhadconjugalrelationsthenightbefore.111 Medievaltextsthussuggestthatwomensometimesabstainedfromfoodinordertosubvertlust.Italsoseemsthatsomewomenpunishedtheirfleshforenjoyingsexual pleasure,andsome,forwhomsexualactivitywasatorment,punishedthebodythatwasunwillinglysubjectedtoit.Somewomen(forexample,AldaofSiena,Umilt, AngelaofFoligno,MargeryKempe)feltguiltyinlaterlifebecausesexualactivitywithinmarriagehadbeenenjoyable,andsomesaints,suchasElizabethofHungary, lovedtheirhusbands.112Butevenwomeninhappymarriagesoftenfeltguiltyabouttheirsexuality.TheconfessorofEllenofUdine(d.1458)recordsherown explanationofherpenitentialasceticism:


IwearahairshirtbecauseofthesilkenundergarmentsandpreciousstuffswithwhichIusedtoclothemyself....ThirtythreestonesIputinthesolesofmyshoesbecauseI havesooftenoffendedGodwithmyleapinganddancing....IflagellatemybodyfortheimpiousandcarnalpleasureswithwhichIindulgeditduringmymarriageandoutof regardformyLordwhowaswhippedatthepostforme.113

Somewomen,suchasMaryofOignies,JaneMaryofMaill,RitaofCascia,DorothyofMontau,andCatherineofGenoa,hatedtheirmarriages.Althoughtheexact reasonsareoftenimpossibletoretrievenow,dislikeofsexwasclearlyone.FrancescaRomanade'Ponziani(d.1440),forexample,vomitedwhenevershewas forcedtohavesexualrelationswithherhusband.YvetteofHuy(d.1228)said,afterherhusband'sdeath,thatnothingcouldcompelhertothesexualactagain.114 Andmedievalmarriageswereoftenbrutal.Foreverywifewhopersuadedherhusbandtoacceptcontinenceontheweddingnightorafter,thereisastoryofawoman (forexample,ClareofAssisi'ssister)beatenalmosttodeathbyahusbandwhomsherefusedtoaccept.115Thusitseemsreasonabletosuggestthatsomemedieval womenrenouncedfoodbecauseofoverpoweringanddeeplyrootedfearsofsexuality.WhenwomensuchasMargeryKempeandAngelaofFolignofasted,they werediscipliningbodiesthathadpreviously,theyfelt,runoutofcontrolinhungerandthirstanderoticdesire.WhengirlssuchasRitaofCasciaandCatherineof Genoafasted,theywereexertingcontroloverfleshbecausefleshwas

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infactwhateveritsemotionalresponseactedupon,bythedemandsofthemaritaldebt,inwaysabhorrenttoitsinhabitor. Thefoodpracticesofmedievalwomenthussometimesappeartobeeffortsnotjusttocontrolbuteventoattackorpunishthebody.And,aschapter2demonstrates, therewasclearlyanelementofdualisminthefastingpracticesoftheFathers,whichmedievalwomeninherited.Althoughthereweremanystrainsinantiquefasting,the notionofdiscipliningorevenpunishingthebodywasclearlyone.SomeoftheFathersexplicitlysawtheasceticallifeasasubstituteformartyrdomorasahurtingof thebodytoforceittovirtuousdeeds.Gluttonywasseenasthecauseofmoreserioussins.AsJohnClimacusputit:thesonsofgluttonyarefornication,hardeningof theheart,andsleepwithimpurethoughtsitsdaughtersincludelaziness,loquacity,scurrility,andboldness.116Thusfasting,aspseudoAthanasiussays,purifiesthe bodyandthemind,dryingupbodilyhumorsandputtingimpurethoughtstoflight.117TheSayingsoftheFathersreportsthewordsofacertainDaniel:"Asthebody waxesfat,thesoulgrowsthinandasthebodygrowsthin,thesoulbysomuchwaxesfat.118JohnChrysostomrelatedsuchargumentsparticularlytowomenwhenhe said:"Nothingisworsethanadissipatedwomannothingworsethanadrunkenwoman.119Thesenotionswererepeatedbylatermedievalpreachersandspiritual advisers.PeterDamian,forexample,writingofapenitentwhocarriedhisfastingbeyondLent,saidthatitwasdoneto"crucifythecarnalpassions,"to"breakthetaste andextinguishthefervorofconcupiscence."PetertheChanterwarnedthatwemustmakeourbodiespure,"forthestomachandthegenitalsareclosetogether''thus "wemustbearthestigmataofChristinourbodies(Gal.5:6)byabstinenceandpenitence."120 Onestraininmedievalmoralteachingthusassociatedfastingwithakindofpractical(notphilosophical)dualism.Accordingtothisstrain,abstinencewasrejectionof body.Moreover,thereissomereasontoarguethatwomenweremoredrawntosuchfastingthanmenbecausewomenwereespeciallyassociatedwiththeevilsof body,whichneededtobepunishedorexpiated.BorrowingfromJerome,Augustine,andGregorytheGreat,amongothers,medievalmoralteachingsawwomenas especiallyafflictedwiththeweaknessoftheflesh. Antiqueandmedievalmisogynyanditsrootsindualismarephenomenatoowellknowntoneedmuchexplanationhere.121Fromthescientificandphilosophical traditioncamethenotionofwomanasanincomplete

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orinferiormaleandtheideathat,intheprocessofconception,womanprovidedthematterfromwhichthefoetuswasshapedwhereasmancontributedtheshapingor animatingformorprinciple.FromtheFathersofthethirdandfourthcentury,newlyconcernedwithsexualdesireastheparadigmforhumanevil,camethenotionof womanasfleshandmanasspirit.Itistrue,asseveralrecentscholarshavestressed,thatAugustinebelievedtherewasfriendshipwithinmarriageandspokeof marriageastheredemptionofthesexualact.122Buthealsotreatedsexualdesireasthemostbasicsymbolofwillfulnessandsawthefemaleasthesymbolofaflesh thatmustbesubjecttothemale(spiritorreason).Suchviewsledtotheassumptionoflatermedievaltheologiansthatvirtuewasharderfor"weak"womentoachieve. Themedievalchurchitselfelaboratedakindoffunctionalinferiorityofwomentocomplementthephysiologicalandontologicalinferiorityelaboratedbyearlier philosophicalandtheologicaltradition.Althoughsome(forexample,Aquinas)arguedthatwomenwereunfitforpriesthoodbecauseoftheirnaturalstateofsubjection andsome(forexample,Bonaventure)disqualifiedwomenbecauseofChrist'smalesex,woman'sincreasedexclusionfromclericalleadershipandfromcertainnew typesofevangelicalreligiouslife(forexample,mendicantpoverty)wasconnectedtothenotionofherinferiorityi.e.,herfleshlinessandweakness.123Eventhefolk tradition,initscarnivalritualsofreversedsexrolesanditslewdtalesofcuckoldedhusbands,expressedaclearsenseofthefemaleasdisorderlyandsexually voracious.124Itthusseemspossibletosuggest,asthevastmajorityofhistorianshavedone,thatwomenunderstoodthemselvestobesymbolsoftheflesh,sawfasting andotherformsofasceticismasweaponsforroutingthatflesh,andthereforeadoptedextremestarvationandotherformsofselfmutilationinanefforttorisetothe levelofspiritandtobecome,metaphoricallyspeaking,male.C Tomakesuchanargumentappears,however,toinvolveaprofoundmisunderstandingoflatemedievalreligiouslife.Idonotdenythatdualismwasoneelementin asceticismorthatmisogynywasoneelementinwomen'sselfperception.Andanegativesenseofthefemalebodyclearlyunderlaybehaviorsthatweredirected towardshuttingoffmenstruation,excretion,hunger,sexualresponse,andeventheordinarysensationsofwarmthandtouchandsleepiness.Butlatemedieval asceticismwasnot,atitsmostbasiclevel,dualistic,norwasinternalizedmisogynythedominantelementinwomen'sconceptionoftheirreligiousrole.Wemustgo

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beyondtheinterpretationsthatseewomen'sfoodbehaviorasprimarilypunishmentorcontrolofbody.Andwemustdothisforthreereasons.First,women'sfood behaviorfastingandfeedingwasaneffectivewayofmanipulatingtheenvironmentinaworldinwhichfoodwaswoman'sprimaryresource.Second,women's radicalasceticismwaslessaninternalizingofthechurch'snegativeviewsoffleshandfemalethanarebellionagainstthemoderationofthehighmedievalchurch,which wasmovingtowardamorepositivesenseofthebody.Third,foodasceticism,fooddistribution,andeucharisticdevotiondidnot,tomedievalpeople,meanself torturerather,theywerewaysoffusingwithaChristwhosesufferingsavestheworld. Inthenextchapter,Iconsiderindetailthefirsttwoofthesethreearguments.Iconsider,thatis,howwomencontrolledandmanipulatedtheirenvironmentthroughtheir controloffood,andwhytheyneededtodoso.AndIarguethatwomen'sradicalasceticismwasnotonlyarejectionofaworldinwhichtheyhadlittlecontrolover theirbodiesandtheirdestiniesbutalsoarejectionofachurchwhich,asittouchedmoreandmoreoflifeandprovidedordinaryfolkwithappropriatewaystobe religious,seemedathreataswellasanopportunitytothosepiouswomenwhowanted,withoutcompromiseormoderation,toimitateChrist.

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7 FoodAsControlofCircumstance
Astheycamebyacross,herhusbandsatdownunderthecross[andsaid]:"Margery,grantmemydesire,andIwillgrantyouyourdesire.Myfirstdesireisthatweshallstilllie togetherinbedaswehavedonebeforethesecond,thatyeshallpaymydebts,ereyegotoJerusalem[onpilgrimage]andthethird,thatyeshalleatanddrinkwithmeonthe Fridayasyewerewonttodo." "Nay,sir,"saidshe,"tobreaktheFriday,IwillnevergrantyouwhilstIlive." "Well,"saidhe,"thenIshallmeddlewithyouagain." Sheprayedhimthathewouldgiveherleavetosayherprayers,andhegranteditkindly.... ThenOurLordJesusChristwithgreatsweetnessspoketoher,commandinghertogotoherhusband,andprayhimtograntherwhatshedesired,"andheshallhavewhathe desireth.For,mydearworthydaughter,thiswasthecausethatIbadetheefast,sothatthoushouldstthesoonerobtainandgetthydesire,andnowitisgrantedtothee.Iwillno longerthatthoufast.ThereforeIbidtheeintheNameofJesus,eatanddrinkasthyhusbanddoth." ThenthiscreaturethankedOurLordJesusChristforhisgrace,andgoodness,androseupandwenttoherhusband,sayingtohim: "Sir,ifitpleaseyou,yeshallgrantmemydesireandyeshallhaveyourdesire.Grantmethatyewillnotcomeintomybed,andIgrantyoutorequiteyourdebtsereIgoto Jerusalem.MakemybodyfreetoGodsothatyenevermakechallengetome,byaskinganydebtofmatrimony.Afterthisday,whilstyelive,IwilleatanddrinkontheFridayatyour bidding." Thensaidherhusband:"AsfreemayyourbodybetoGod,asithathbeentome." THEBOOKOFMARGERYKEMPE(1436)1

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Tostresswomen'sfoodpracticesandconcernsascontrolofbodyistofocustoonarrowlyonfastingonnoteating.Infact,aswehaveseen,women'sfastingwas partofabroaderpatternofbehaviorinwhichfeedingothersandeatingGodwerealsocentral.Women'sfastingwasexplicitlyseen,bywomenthemselvesandby theirconfessorsandadvisers,aspreparationbothforreceivingtheeucharistandforalmsgiving.Womengavetothepoorandsickthefoodtheydeniedthemselves womencleansedtheirbodiesofprosaicfoodinordertoreadythemforthecomingofthefoodthatwasChrist. Whenwelookatwomen'svariousfoodpracticestogether,wefindthatvoluntarystarvation,charitablefooddistribution,andeucharisticdevotionwereallmeansby whichwomencontrolledtheirsocialandreligiouscircumstancesquitedirectlyandeffectively.Farfromsubstitutingcontrolofselfforcontrolofcircumstanceor destroyingegoandbodywhileattemptingtodirecttheattentionofotherstowardthem,women'sfoodpracticesfrequentlyenabledthemtodeterminetheshapeof theirlivestorejectunwantedmarriages,tosubstitutereligiousactivitiesformoremenialdutieswithinthefamily,toredirecttheuseoffathers'orhusbands'resources, tochangeorconvertfamilymembers,tocriticizepowerfulsecularorreligiousauthorities,andtoclaimforthemselvesteaching,counseling,andreformingrolesfor whichthereligioustraditionprovided,atbest,ambivalentsupport. FoodandFamily InthestoriesItoldinchapters4and5,itisveryclearthatwomenoftencoercedtheirfamiliesboththroughfastingandthroughfeedingothers.2 Toanaristocraticor risingmerchantfamilyoflatemedievalEurope,thevoluntarystarvationofadaughteroraspousecouldbedeeplyperplexingandhumiliating.Thecharitableactivities offemalefamilymemberscouldappeartoberejectionofthefamily'ssuccessandofitsvalues.Awoman'sfastingandfooddistributioncouldthereforebeeffective meansofcriticizing,manipulating,educating,orconvertingfamilymembers. Letmebeginwithafewexamplesinwhichfoodpracticeshadveryspecificresults.Oneofthemostcharming,fromtheautobiographyof

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thefourteenthcenturyEnglishwomanMargeryKempe,isquotedintheepigraphabove.Inthispassage,Margery,speakingofherselfinthethirdperson,describesa discussionwithChristaboutherasceticpractices.Theexchangehassomethingofthetoneoftwohousewivesgossipingabouthowtomanageadifficultandchildish husband.ChristandMargerydecidethatalthoughMargerywishestopracticebothfoodabstentionandsexualcontinence,sheshouldoffertotradeonebehaviorfor theother.Themostinterestingaspectofthepassage,forourpurposes,isthefactthattheploywassuccessful.Margery'shusband,whohadmarriedherinaneffortto risesociallyinthetownofLynnandwasobviouslyashamedofherqueerpenitentialclothesandfoodpractices(aswellasbeinginneedofhermoney),finallyagreed togranthersexualabstinenceinprivateifshewouldreturntonormalcookingandeatinginfrontoftheneighbors. Otherexamplesofsuccessfulmanagementoffamilymembersthroughfoodpracticesareeasytofind.RitaofCasciaandCatherineofSiena'ssisterBonaventura,who apparentlyreactedtoprofligateyounghusbandsbywastingaway,weretherebyabletotamedisorderlymalebehavior.MaryofOigniesandCatherineofGenoa eventuallywonovertheirhusbandstolivesofchastityandcharitybythemodeloftheirownbehavioramodelmademoreconvincingbytheheroicseverityoftheir selfdenial.ColumbaofRietiandCatherineofSienarebelledagainsthouseholdtasks(andagainstthemotherswhoimposedthem)byrefusingtoeat.Columba, CatherineofSiena,andIdaofLouvainalsousedtrancesatwhatwere,tothefamily,veryinconvenientmomentsinordertoavoiddomesticroles:bothCatherineand Columbasupposedlyletbabiesfallintothefirewhiletheywereraptinmysticalecstasy. Wivesaswellasdaughtersusedfasting,charity,andecstasyasmeanstoescapetheroleoffoodpreparerornurturer.DorothyofMontau,likeMargeryKempe, madeelementarymistakesincookery(suchasfailingtoscalethefishbeforefryingthem)orforgotentirelytocookandshopwhileshewasinmysticaltrances.The ItaliantertiaryMargaretofCortonarefusedtocookforherillegitimateson(aboutwhomsheobviouslyfeltagonizingambivalence)because,shesaid,itwoulddistract herfromprayer.3 Butsheenergeticallyfedthepoorandsickbothbymiracleandbycharity.WearetoldbyRaymondofCapuathatCatherineofSiena,afterher death,miraculouslycookedforawomandevoteewhohadgone

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tochurchinsteadofpreparingdinnerforhersons.Catherinethus,frombeyondthegrave,blessedandapprovedbymiracleawoman'sescapefromtheordinary maternaldutyoffoodpreparation. Sincefoodpracticessosuccessfullymanipulatedandembarrassedfamilies,itisnotsurprisingthatvoluntarystarvationandcharitablefooddistributionoftenoriginated orescalatedatpubertythetimeatwhichfamiliesbegannegotiationsforhusbandsfortheirdaughters.FemalesaintssuchasCatherineofSiena,Columba,Lidwina, FrancescaRomana,andMargaretofHungarysometimescutofftheirhairtomakethemselvesugly,longedfordiseaseasanescapefrommarriage,orthreatenedself mutilationifthatwastheonlywaytoavoidahusband.MargaretofHungary,forexample,whenofferedasuitor,threatenedtocutoffhernose.4 Itthusseemslikely thatfastingwassometimesanefforttoavoidorpostponeanunwantedmarriagebybecomingphysicallyunattractive.Fromthemomentmarriagewassuggestedtoher, LidwinaofSchiedamwantedtobeugly,andshemayhavebeencultivatingphysicalproblemsbeforeherfallontheiceandhermiraculousabstinence. Butfastingandgivingawayfamilypropertywerenotmerelywaysofappearinguglyandintractable,andtherebypresentingoneselfasunpromisingmaritalmaterial. Theywerealsowaysofdefiningoneselfbychoosingaverydifferentlifefromthatofone'sfamily.Andtheywereeffectiveways.Somegirls,suchasChristinaof Markyate,Lutgard,MechtildofMagdeburg,andElsbetAchler,hadtofleetohermitages,beguinages,orconventsinordertoescapefamilyothers,suchasCatherine ofSienaandLidwina,createdpartlybytheirextravagantfasting,charity,andeucharisticdevotionanalternativetomarriagewithouteverleavinghome.5 Giventhe optionsopentomedievalgirls,whocouldhardlypicktheirhusbandsortheirfuturesdirectly,suchbehaviorswereoftenconstructivewaysofescapingfromunwanted suitorsandchoosingtoserveandinfluenceabroaderworldthanthatofthekitchenandthenursery. Wemustnotforgetthatavoidingmarriagewasnoteasy.Manygirlswereforcedtoaccepthusbands.FrancescaRomana,forexample,eventuallyacceptedmarriage andboreseveralchildren,althoughshehadfeltagreatabhorrenceofmensincechildhoodandhadsufferedfromparalysisatpubertywhenherfatherrefusedher permissiontoenteraconvent.6 Onceagirlwasmarried,sheoftenhadtowaitlongyearsuntildeathordisasterstruckherhusbandbeforeshecouldpursuethe

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religiouspracticesshecraved.(Onesuspectsthat,withoutherhusband'sbankruptcy,CatherineofGenoa'sreligiousgeniusmightneverhaveacquiredvoice.)A comparisonofmaleandfemalesaints'vitaesuggeststhatmedievalparentswerelesswillingtoacceptthereligiousvocationsofdaughtersthanthoseofsons.7 Even thereligioustraditionpresentedgirlswithcontradictoryidealsthatofthedutifuldaughter,whopatientlyacceptedtheparents'choiceofhusband,andthatofthe heroicvirgin,whoboreanytortureratherthansurrenderhervirginity.Thefactthatthevitaeofwomensaints(incontrasttothoseofmen)showapatternofvocations tovirginityemerginginchildhoodperhapssuggeststhatgirlswhomanagedtodefinetheirownstatusesparticularlyastertiariesandbeguines,setapartbyvirginitybut livingintheworldhadtostartpreparingthewayearlyforfamilyacceptanceoftheirvocations.8 Severalscholarshaverecentlysuggestedthatconflictbetween parentsandchildrenoverreligiousvocationincreasedinthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies.9 Fastingandcharitablefooddistributionseemtohavefunctionedas weaponsgirlsdeployedintheintrafamilywar. Indeed,women'sfoodpracticeswereinsomesensearejectionoffamily.AsDavidHerlihyhassaid,afamilyisagroupofpeoplewhoresideandespeciallyeat together.Torefusecommensalityisbothtorefusethemealassymboloffamilialbondandtorefusethemostbasicsupportthatafather'smoneyandamother's householdskillcanprovide:food.10Togiveawaythecontentsoffamilycupboardsandcellarsistorejectthecomfort,thesecurity,andthesocialstatusthatthelabors ofthefamilyprovideitisalsotorejectthevaluesofparentswhoclingtosuchstatusandcomforts.Manymedievalgirlsseemtohaveexpressedsuchrejection,both oftheirownfamiliesandofthestateofmarriage,throughfastingandfooddistribution.11ColumbaofRieti,forexample,oncegaveawaythefamily'sfooduntilthere wasnothinglefttoeat.Somefamilies,understandingthemessageofrejection,respondedwithrageorridiculeorpersecution.ChristinatheAstonishing,forexample, soangeredhersistersbyhercharityandasceticismthattheylockedherup.Somefamilies,however,gavegrudgingandpuzzledacceptance,evensupport,totheir daughters'desiresforreligiouslife,thusmanifestingtheirownambivalenceaboutmarriageandfamilies.LidwinaofSchiedam'smother,forexample,althoughshewas annoyedwithherdaughter'sneglectofdomesticduties,supportedherinherhesitationsaboutmarriage.InthelifeofCatherineofSienaweseefoodpracticesasa

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quitesuccessfuldevicebywhichagirlavoidsbecominganobjectinthemarriagemarketasheroldersistershaddone.ButCatherine'sfoodpracticesweremorethey werealsothegirl'sselfdefinitionandherintenserejectionofparental,especiallymaternal,values. Catherine'svitashowshowconstrictedlifecouldbecomeforagirlonceshecametoherparents'attentionasmarriageable.Asachild,Catherinehadbeenpermitted towanderaroundthecityandplayinthestreetssofreelythat,ononeoccasion,noonenoticedherdaylongabsencefromhome.12Atpubertyshesuddenlyfound herselfpressuredtogroomherselftoattractmenandallowedoutofthehouseonlywithachaperone.SmallwonderthatCatherineandherparentsthenbegantofight overbothherphysicalappearanceandherrighttoprivacy.Catherinerejectedherparents'ambitionsforherbycuttingoffherhairandstarvingherselfherparents respondedbydenyingheraroomofherown,aspacewithinwhichshecouldpracticetheprayerandasceticismthatdefinedherasreligious.Whenforcedtosharea bedwithhermotherbecauseofherrefusaltosleepandherbusynessallnight,Catherineputaboardunderthemattressorcreptoutofbedtolieonthefloor.When takenagainstherwillonaholiday,Catherinescaldedherbodyinthehotbathsofthevacationspot.Thus,byaseriesofasceticbehaviors,Catherineslowlyforgedfor herself,withouteverleavinghome,alifewhosevalueswereutterlydifferentfromthoseofherwealthymerchantfatherandherdoting,efficientmotherwithabroodof twentychildren.Ittookamiracletobringherfathertoacceptanceofherlifeandhermotherwhounderstoodonlytoowellwhatitmeantseemsnevertohave beencompletelyreconciledtoit. ItishardnottoseeintenseconflictwithfamilyinCatherine'sbehavior,aconflictinwhichfastingwascrucial.Similarlyitishardnottosee,inElizabethofHungary's practiceofgivingawayfoodfromherhusband'stable,intenserebellionagainstherhusband'sfamily,bywhomshehadbeenraised.Herrefusaltoeat(orfeedher servants)anyfoodexceptthatpurchasedwithmoneyfromherdowryseemstoreflectadeepsensethatonlypropertyfromherownpaternalline(i.e.,fromthefamily thathadnotraisedher)couldbetrustedasmorallyuntainted.AlthoughthewellknownstorythatElizabeth'sbasketofbreadforthepoorturnedintoroseswhenher husbandaccostedherisapocryphalanduntruetoallweknowofLouis'sattitude,itissignificantthatthestory,withits

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implicationsofintrafamilyconflict,wastoldandtoldnotjustofElizabethbutofatleastfivewomensaintsinthelaterMiddleAges.13 ForIdaofLouvain,whosevitaisinterwovenwithfoodmotifsofallkinds,rejectingdrinkwasarejectionoffamilyvaluesinamorespecificsense.Ida'sextreme fasting,herfascinationwiththeinebriatingdelightsofChrist'sblood,herrepeatedmiraclesthatchangedotherfluidsintowine,herrefusaltoacceptanyfoodor economicsupportfromherfamilyotherthantheroomshelivedin,andherobsessionwithgivingawayfoodanddrinksurelyowesomethingtothefactthather merchantfather,whosevaluesshewasrejecting,soldwine.Rejectionoffamilyauthorityandvaluescould,moreover,focusonsurrogatefamiliesaswellasbiological ones.JulianaofCornillon,whowasraisedbyanursecalledSapientiainasmallcelldependentonareligioushouseandwasdisciplinedasachildforwhather confessorsawaswillfulandexcessivefasting,returnedtoselfstarvationinadolescence.Onesuspectsthatthisbehavior,andthestubborn,enigmaticresponsesthat shemadetohersistersconcerningit,wereinpartexpressionsofhostilitytowardthereligious"family"thathadrearedher. HistoriansofthemodernandearlymodernworldsuchasLawrenceStone,PhilippeAris,andPeterLasletthavelongarguedthattheMiddleAgeshadlittle conceptionofchildhoodandnoneofadolescence,thatthecloseknitaffectivefamilywasaproductofthelateseventeenthandeighteenthcenturygentryand bourgeoisie,thatmedievalfamilieswereextendedratherthannuclear,andthatmedievalparentsoftenhadlittletodowithrearingtheirchildren.14Ifthiswereso,one couldhardlyexpectfamilydynamicstoplayaroleinthefoodpracticesofmedievalgirls.ButhistoriansoftheMiddleAgeshaverecentlyobjectedtothispicture.15 Theysuggest,partlyonthebasisofthesaints'livesIdescribeaboveinchapters4and5,thatthenuclearfamilywithtightaffectivebondsdidexistintheMiddleAges, particularlyinurbanareasinthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies.16Theyalsosuggestthatagnaticorpatrilinealprincipleswerereplacingthebilinealfamilyinthelater MiddleAges,makingthesituationofdaughtersmoreproblematicbutnoteclipsingafamilysenseofresponsibilityforthem.17Ifdaughterswereincreasinglyaproblem forfamilies,itstandstoreasonthatfamilywasincreasinglyaproblemfordaughters. Recentresearchdemonstratestheproblemveryclearly.After1200,

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women'slifeexpectanciesoutranmen's.Womenbecameasurplusinthepopulation.Thetypicalagediscrepancybetweenhusbandandwifeincreased.(Onaverage, menmarriedat30,womenat15to17.)Thedowrynowthedaughter'sonlyclaimonthefamilyproperty,aspatrilinealprinciplestriumphedinflatedwildly.Bythe fourteenthcentury,asDantetellsus,thebirthofadaughtercouldbringdespairtoafather'sheartifhecontemplatedwhatitwouldcosttoprovideforher.18But exactlybecausehedidfeelsomeobligationtohisfemalechildren,aprosperousfatherpushedtoarrangeearlymarriagesfordaughters.Itthusseemsreasonableto suspectthatdaughtersresentedthepressure,feelingguiltyaboutthestraintheirdowriesputonfamilyresourcesandyetangryaboutthefactthatthisonelarge paymentboughtofftheirparents'obligationtothem.Eveninthethirteenthcentury,ElizabethofHungary'srefusaltouseorconsumeanythingderivedfromtheproperty ofherhusband'sfamily,whoraisedher,canbeinterpretedasherwayofclingingtoherdowrytheonlythingsheretainedfromthefamilythathadsentherawayto beraisedinaforeignland.Suchsocialfactssuggestthatsomegirlsmayhaveseenbetrothalandmarriageasabandonmentbytheirownfamilies.Itisthusnot surprisingthatadolescentssuchasFrancescaRomana,LidwinaofSchiedam,andCatherineofGenoareactedwithawildanger,whichturnedinwardtoward themselvesasselfhatredordespair,whensuitorswereproposed. Marriageforawomanwasalifethreateningundertaking,andsomefemalehesitationneedsnomorecomplexexplanationthanthis.Daughtersgrewupexposedtothe drudgeryofhouseholdtasksandaware,throughtheexperiencesofoldersistersaswellasmothers,ofthepainanddangersofchildbirthapointpreachersdidnot failtorefertoinsermonsandtreatisesonvirginity.19Forexample,CatherineofSiena'smomentarysurrendertohersister'sinsistencethatshemakeherselfprettyto attractmenwasbroughttoastunningconclusionwhenthatsamesisterdemonstratedtowhatitallreallyledbydyinginchildbirth.Itisthushardlysurprisingthatsome girlsrejectedmarriageandsomebridesstruggledfiercelyanddesperatelyforcontinence.Norisitsurprisingthatparentsandhusbandsthemselvesambivalentabout familyandmarriageforthesameculturalreasonsthatconvincedtheirdaughtersandwivessometimesgavesupporttowomenwhoescapedtoreligioushousesor wholived,undertheirownroofs,alifesetapart.Moreover,asseveralscholarshaveunderlined,thebehaviorofmedieval

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merchantsoftensuggestsambivalence,evenguilt,aboutthewealththeysoeagerlygarnered.20Permittingawifeoradaughtertogiveawaythiswealthmight exacerbatesuchambivalencebutitmightalsoassuageguilt.Somefamiliesandhusbandsclearlyexpressedtheirreligiousimpulsesthroughtheirdaughters'andwives' asceticism.Andsomehusbands,suchasCatherineofGenoa'sandMaryofOignies's,evenespousedchastity,charity,andfastinginimitationoftheirpiouswives. Thuswomen'sfoodpracticeswereeffectivewaysofshapingtheirlives,ofrejectingrolestheydidnotdesire,ofcriticizingandredirectingthevaluesofhusbandsand parents.21Butitwasnotmerelyfamilywhowereinfluencedbysuchpracticesfoodbehaviormanipulatedandcontrolledreligiousauthoritiesaswell.Bytheir eucharisticvisions,theircharity,theirfoodmiracles,andtheirfasting,medievalwomenbypassedcertainformsofclericalcontrolthatstoodbetweenthemandGod. Theyalsoforgedforthemselvesrolesashealers,teachers,andsaversoftheirfellowChristiansthatwereinexplicitcontrasttothecharacteristicformsofmale leadership. FoodPracticesandReligiousRoles Whenweturnfromthefunctionoffoodpracticeswithinthefamilytothefunctionoffoodpracticeswithinthechurch,itiscrucialtonotethatfasting,feasting,and feedingaremerelyaspectsofthesamephenomenon:thereligioussignificanceoffood.Theseaspectswerecloselyintertwinedinthedailylivesofholywomen. Whetherawomanwaswithdrawnfromtheworldorlivinginit,whethershesawherselfasacontemplativeorasaservantofthepoor,shetendedbothtorejectfood andtoseeitasapowerfulsymbolofunion.Girlsandwomenwhofastedhungeredfortheeucharistandreceived,alongwithit,visionsandsupernaturalsignsthat bestowedpoweruponthem.Fastingwomengave,totheneedy,food,alms,andotherlesstangiblebutevenmoresignificantbenefits,suchasremissionofpurgatory orinsightintothetruestateofthesoul. Takentogether,thefoodpracticesofholywomensometimesbypassedtheclergy,sometimesexposedtheirfailures,andsometimesfranklyusurpedtheirauthority notsomuchbyclaimingpriestlyofficeasbysimplyallowingChristorthespirittospeakthroughthe''weakerves

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sel."22Itiseasiesttoseethewayfoodpracticesmanipulatedreligiousauthoritiesbylookingateucharisticmiracles,especiallythosemiracles,toldalmostexclusively ofwomen,inwhichunconsecratedhostsorunchastecelebrantswereidentified.Suchmiraclesgrewdirectlyoutoffemalefasting.Observersagreedthatfastinggirls generallyvomitedoutanyfoodtheyweremadetoreceive.Theabilityofsuchgirlstotolerateeucharisticbread(whichsometimesturnedtohoneyorfleshintheir mouths)wasindeedsometimesusedbytheologianssuchasThomasNettertoprovethedoctrineoftransubstantiation.23Ifordinarybreadcouldnotbetolerated,then thatwhichwasswallowedmustbethefleshofChristifnootherfoodwasevertaken,theweeklyordailymorselthatalonesustainedlifemustbethebodyofGod. Whetherapiouswomanswallowedorvomitedthusbecameatestofthepriestwhoprovidedthewafer.IfatrulyholywomansuchasMaryofOignies,Lidwinaof Schiedam,orJoantheMeatlessvomitedoutahost,suspicionimmediatelyturnedonthepriestwhohadofferedit.Thefaithfulassumedthathehadgiventhegirlan unconsecratedhost,eitherbymistakeorbydishonesty.Goingfurther,theymightseethepiouswoman'srejectionofthehostasareasonforquestioningthepriest's actofconsecration.Howevertheologicallyunsoundtheconclusionmightbe,theytendedtodeducethatinsomeunspecifiedwayhewasdisqualifiedbyimmorality (usuallysexualimmorality).IntheconflictofLidwinaofSchiedamwithherpriest(discussedabove,pp.12829),suchamiracleproveddecisive.Lidwina'sgaggingon thehostwastakenbysomeadherentsasproofofthepriest'sdeviousnesshehadnotinfactofferedherthehost,theythought,buthadattemptedtotrickherinstead. Lidwinaherselfthenpresentedherabilitytoswallowadifferenthostasproofofitsdivinesource.AndthelessonthatthissecondhostarriveddirectlyfromChristto replacethepriest'sfraudulentofferingwasnotlostonthosewhoflockedtoseethemiraculousdropsofbloodwhichgracedit.Lidwinanotonlyachieved,throughthis drama,thefrequentcommunionshecravedthroughthisandotherinsightssherepeatedlycriticizedthepriestandestablishedageneralimpressionofhis dissoluteness.24 Women'seucharisticvisions,liketheirsenseoftaste,wereakindoflitmustestforclericalimmoralityornegligence.Womenfrequentlysawthecorruptionoftheclergy atthemomentofconsecrationorelevation.

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MargaretofCortona,forexample,sawthehandsofanunchastepriestturnblackwhenheheldthehost.Whenthepriestbroughtanunconsecratedwaferbymistake, Margaretvomiteditout.MaryofOigniesandIdaofLouvainalsoknewmiraculouslywhencelebrantswereunchasteorunauthorizedtoofficiate.ColetteofCorbie wasaware,asifbymiracle,whenthepriestforgottofillthechalicewithwineduringmass.25Womensometimesalsosaw,ineucharisticvisions,thefailingsoftheir fellowChristians.AnunofEngelthal,forexample,sawthehostturnintotheChristchild,whothencamedownfromthealtarandapproachedhersisterswithbehavior thatvariedaccordingtotheirrespectivedegreeofpurity.26 Clericswerenotmerelypassivelymanipulatedbysuchvisions.Theyactivelysought,inholywomen,bothastandardofpietyandawindowopentothedivine. Religiouswomenwereseenbymenasanalternativetoandacriticismofwealth,power,andoffice.Intheirvisionsanddevotions,womenmysticswerethepoint wherethepowerfulmalefoundareversalandacritiqueofexactlythosethingsaboutwhichhefeltgreatestambivalence.27Woman,inotherwords,was"liminal"to meninthetechnicalsensegiventhetermbytheanthropologistVictorTurner.28ThomasofCantimpr,JamesofVitry,andTauler,amongothers,deliberatelyused storiesoftheeucharisticdevotionofholywomentoshametheclergyforlukewarmpiety.JamesandThomasalsospokeofthewomenwhosestoriestheychronicled as"mothers"toclericsanddescribedtheirinspirationofmenasaformof''preaching."29ThebiographersoftheItaliantertiariesAngelaofFolignoandMargaretof Cortonasawthemasspiritualmotherswhohadonly"sons"(theFranciscanfriars).ThirteenthcenturyhereticalgroupssuchastheGuglielmitesinItalyandthe followersofBloemardineintheLowCountries,whotriedtosetupafemalechurchorpreachafemaleGod,hadmalefollowersandmay,asheresies,havebeenmale creations.30Inspiredcriticismofmaleespeciallyclericalcorruptionwasunderstood,bybothmenandwomen,tobeafemalerole.MechtildofMagdeburg,for example,whodidnotscrupletohurlabusiveepithetsatlocalcanonsandfriars,sawvisionsinwhichhellandthelowercirclesofpurgatorywerepopulatedentirelyby men(withtheimportantexceptionofprincessespresumably,toMechtild,theonlypowerfulandthereforedangerousfemalerole).31Thefunctionofpointingout uncomfortabletruthstosociety

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wassometimesseenaspossessionbydemonsratherthaninspirationbyChrist,butwhetherdemonicordivine,itissuedprimarilyfromwomen,whoweremarginalto therolestheycriticized.32 Women'svisionscamemostfrequentlyinaeucharisticcontext.Andwomen'sspecialandintimaterelationshiptotheholyfoodwasitselfoftenawayofrejectingor bypassingecclesiasticalcontrol.Latemedievaltheologiansandconfessorsattemptedtoinculcateaweaswellascravingfortheeucharist,andwomennotonly receivedambiguousadviceaboutfrequentcommunion,theywerealsosometimesbarredfromreceivingitatexactlythepointatwhichtheirfastingandhungerreached feverpitch.33Insuchcircumstances,manywomensimplyreceivedinvisionwhatthecelebrantorconfessorwithheld.AliceofSchaerbeke,deniedthecupbecauseof leprosy,wasreassuredbyChristinimpeccablethirteenthcenturytheologythatshereceivedbothbodyandbloodinthehost,34butitwasfarmorecommonforChrist toprovidethedesiredcommunioninavisionthantoreassurethewomanaboutitsabsence.WhenLutgardofAywireswasrequiredbyherabbesstoomitfrequent communion,Godengineeredeventssothatthebenefitwasrestored.35WhenlittleImeldaLambertini(d.1333)wasdeniedcommunionbecauseshewastooyoung, thehostflewdownfromheavenandhoveredoverher,andthepriestwasforcedtogivehertheeucharist.36WhenIdaofLau'sCisterciansuperiors(inaneffortto curbwomen'sdevotion)passedlegislationdenyingaccesstothecuptoanynunwhowentoutofhersenses,ChristprovidedIdawithcommunion.37IdaofLouvain, deniedcommunionbecauseshewasanovice,hadtheimpressionthatsheslipped(whetherbodilyorinavisionsheneverknew)intotheranksofthenunstoreceive thehostonanotheroccasion,whentherewasnoservice,shewasmiraculouslytransportedintothetabernacletotasteGod.38StoriesofChristasapriestbringing thehostorthechalicetosickwomenareverycommon.Thenuns'bookofTss,forexample,describesavisionseenbyanuntoosicktoswallowtheeucharist:a tableclothdescendedtoherwithChrist'sbodyonaplatterinabeautifullight,ahandappearedfromheavenandgaveher"ourLord""justasifshereceivedhimfrom thealtar."39 Boththevisionarywomenandtheirconfessorswereacutelysensitivetotheproblematicimplicationsofsuchvisions.Bypassingclericalauthoritymightbetakento implythatpriestswereunnecessary.ThusJamesofVitry,inhisHistoriaoccidentalis,tellsofafastingwomanwho

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receivedcommunionfromadoveandaddsthatshereceiveditthenextdayfromapriestatthedove'scommand,"lestitbebelievedthatshewasdeprivedofthe receptionofthetruesacramentbyaphantasm."40Storiesofwomenwhoreceivedeithercommunionorabsolutioninavisionarefrequentlyglossedwithassurances thattheyhadrecoursetoapriestassoonastheywereable.InthevisioncollectionsproducedbythenunsofHelfta,forexample,thevisionitselffrequentlyexhortsits recipienttohastentoactualcommunion.41Butsometimesthewomanwhoisstrickenwithfaintingfits,paralysis,ornosebleedsatmassandexperiencesa"filling"by Christ,accompaniedbysensationsofchewingandsweetnessonthetongue,prefersthemysticalcommunion.IdaofLouvainandLukardisofOberweimarclearly preferrednursingatMary'sbreastorrestingwithinthearmsofChristandhadnodesireafterwardstoreceivetheactualelements. Somewomenwentevenfurtherintheirvisions:notmerelybypassingclericalmediation(andtherebyimplyingittobeunnecessary),theyactuallyclaimedakindof priestlyrole.Weseesuchachallengetothepriesthoodachallengethatalwaystreadsthethinedgeoforthodoxyinsomeofthevisionsofthethirteenthcentury nunGertrudetheGreat.WhenGertrudeassuredhersistersthattheywereforgivenbyChristandbadethemgotocommunion,avisioninformedherthatthosewho followedheradvicewereclosertoChristthaneitherthosewhoabstainedbecausenoconfessorwasavailableorthosewhocommunicatedwithoutconsulting Gertrude.42WhenGertrudeworriedabouthersins,Christtoldherthatherenewedinhersoul"allsevensacramentsinoneoperationmoreefficaciouslythananyother priestorpontiffcandobysevenseparateacts."43WhenGertrudereceivedthepowertodiscriminatebetweenguiltyandinnocent,"discerningthroughChrist'sspirit," Christinavisioncalledit"thepowerofbindingandloosing"anddescribeditasanalogoustoordination.44WhenChristinavisiontoldGertrudethathewouldbring topasswhatevershepromisedinhisname,hetouchedhertongue,saying,''Behold,Igivemywordsintoyourmouth,"andexplained:
IsnotthefaithoftheuniversalchurchthatpromiseoncemadetoPeter:Whateveryoubindonearthwillbeboundinheaven[Matt.16:19]?Andfirmlyshebelievesthistobe carriedoutbyallecclesiasticalministers.ThereforewhydoyounotequallybelievebecauseofthisthatIcanand

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Noelementinthesevisionscontradictsorthodoxteachingonconfessionorcommunion,forGertrudeherselforthenunswhowroteofherexperiencescarefullygloss eachincidentsothatGertrudemerelyannouncesforgiveness,guilt,orinnocence,whicharefreegiftsorjudgmentsofGod.Butthebypassingofsacramentsandpriest isclear,asisGertrude'sownextraordinarypowertogivecounselintheirstead,andtheanalogyoffemalemystictopriestisrepeatedlydrawn. Itwasparticularlyintheireucharisticvisionsthatmysticalwomensawthemselvesin"priestly"imagesandclaimedrolesandopportunitiesotherwiseprohibitedtothem. Somewomenreceived,invisions,thepowertodistributetheeucharistandtotouchaltarvesselsapowertheywereforbiddenbecauseoftheirgender.46Some receivedtheconsecratedchalice,whichtheyweredeniedbecauseoftheirlaystatus.Forexample,awomanwhohadlovedJulianaofCornillonverymuchinherlife sawherafterdeathatmassthefriendthenreceivedfromChristthehighpriestarichandbeautifulchalice,andJulianahishandmaidenassistedhimwithhervirgin hands.MechtildofHackebornthoughtshereceivedfromChristhisheartintheformofacupmarvelouslychiseled,andhesaid:"Bymyheartyouwillpraiseme alwaysgo,offertoallthesaintsthedrinkoflifefrommyheartthattheymaybehappilyinebriatedwithit."AngelaofFoligno,feelingthatthecelebrantwasunworthy, hadavisionofChristbleedingonthecross,andangelssaidtoher:"OhyouwhoarepleasinganddelicioustoGod,behold,hehasbeenadministeredtoyouandyou havehimpresent.Moreover,heisgiventoyouinorderthatyoumayadministerandpresenthimtoothers."LukardisofOberweimarbroughttheeucharisttoafellow nunbyblowingintohermouth.47IdaofLouvain,whohadbeencriticizedbythechaplaintoherconvent,was"clothedinsacerdotalclothesorpricelessornaments" andmiraculouslyreceivedthehostwhilehecelebrated,unawareofherpresence.Moreover,onthefollowingday,sheagainmiraculouslyreceivedthesacrament duringamassatwhich''noonewasusuallyadmittedtoreceivethehostwiththeexceptiononlyoftheministerwhocelebrated."BenevenutaofBojano(d.1292)and MechtildofHackebornbothsawvisionsoftheVirginMaryadministeringthechalice.48CatherineofSiena,likemanyofherholypredecessors,repeatedlyreceiveda

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sensationofbloodinhermouthwhenshetookthewafer.49Therewasnothingtheologicallyincorrectinsuchmiracles,forthefaithfulweretaughtinthedoctrineof concomitancethatbodyandbloodwerereceivedtogether.Furthermore,visionsofchalicesorflyinghostscouldalwaysbeinterpretedasimagesofgraceorcharity. Buttheinsistenceonreceivingbloodandondistributingtheelementsthatwefindinwomen'svisionsappearstoreflectakeendesireforthatwhichthewoman becauseofhergenderandbecauseofherlaystatuswasnotpermittedtodo. Thus,intheireucharisticvisions,womennotonlyreceivedGodasholyfood,theyalsosometimesclaimedforthemselves,atleastmetaphorically,boththepriest's proximitytoGodandthesacerdotalroleofmediatorbetweenhumananddivine.Moreover,themostextremeimplicationsofsuchfemalevisionswereoccasionally extrapolated,probablymorebymalethanbyfemaleadherents,intoheterodoxclaimssuchasthoseofthefollowersofBloemardineorGuglielmaforafemale clergy,afemalechurch,orperhapsevenafemalemanifestationofGodonearth.50Suchoccurrenceswereveryrare,however.Forthemostpart,womenclaimedthe priesthoodonlybyanalogyorinveryprivateandcarefullyglossedvisions.Indeed,holywomensuchasthenunsofHelfta,CatherineofSiena,andColumbaofRieti oftenfeltextravagantregardfortheclergy.Catherinecalledthem"littlechrists."Some,suchasMargaretofCortona,trembledbeforethepriestlypowertoconsecrate anddistribute(and,therefore,withhold)thesacrament.Itisthusincorrecttoseewomen'secstaticreligiosityprimarilyasapingclericalpower.Rather,womenforged, throughcharity,miracle,andfasting,analternativeroleanessentiallylayandcharismaticroleauthorizednotbyordinationbutbyinspiration,notbyidentification withChristthehighpriestbutbyimitationofChristthesufferingman.Women'scharismatic,propheticrolewasanalternativeto,andthereforeacritiqueofanda substitutefor,thecharacteristicmaleformofreligiousauthority:theauthorityofoffice. Towomen'scharismaticrole,foodwascentral.ThecharitablefooddistributionofaristocraticandbourgeoiswomensuchasIdaofLouvain,ElizabethofHungary, Lidwina,andJaneMarywasalifesavinggifttothestarvingpooroftownandcountryside.Andsuchgenerositycapturedthepopularimaginationbyitscourage.To emptyfamilycupboardsindefianceofhusbandsandfathers,torenouncefamilysupport,towork

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orbeginordertofeedthepoorthesewereheroicandsometimesdangerousacts.Moreover,womenfedtheneedywithmiraculousfoodaswell.Sometimes,like UmiltandMargaretofFaenza,theymultipliedfoodbothforthosewithintheconventandforthoseoutsideitswallssometimesGodrewardedtheirsanctity,ashedid AgnesofMontepulciano's,byrainsoffoodfromheavensometimes,likeLutgard,Lidwina,orChristinatheAstonishing,theyweremiraculouslychangedintofood itself,feeding,healing,andsavingwiththeliquidsfromtheirbreastsorfingertips.Theteaching,healing,andcounselingsopowerfullyandfrequentlyperformedbyholy womenwereoftenaccompaniedbyfoodsymbolism.ColetteofCorbie,forexample,curedthesickbyplacingintheirmouthscrumbsoffoodthatshehadchewed withherownteeth.IdaofLouvainandLidwinaofSchiedamconvertedthedoubtingbyfoodmiracles. Moreover,thefemalefastingthatmovedfathersandhusbands,confessorsandbishops,alsomovedGod.WomenmadedemandsonGodbytheirabstinence. CatherineofSienademandedthathereturnhermothertolife,becauseCatherinehadalreadydonetherequisitesuffering.MaryofOigniesfastedtomakeademon leaveapossessednun.Lutgard,atthecommandoftheVirginMary,undertookthreesevenyearfastsagainsthereticsandtheenemiesofGod.Manyholywomen weregrantedbyChristthepowertoremoveaspecificnumberofsoulsfrompurgatorythroughfastingandpain.AliceofSchaerbeke,dyingintormentfromleprosy, wasassuredbyChristthathersuffering,includinghersufferingatthelossofcommunion,releasedsoulsfrompurgatory.51Andwomenundertooktheholyeating,for whichfastingprepared,asaformofserviceaswell.Whenthedoctrineofvicariouscommunioni.e.,thenotionthatonepersoncanreceivecommunionfor anotherwasdevelopedinthethirteenthcentury,somemonasteriesofwomenwereespeciallyattractedtoit.Althoughmaletheologiansexpressedthedoctrinein clericalform,arguingthatthepriestreceivesforthechurch,womenassertedthepossibilityofofferinguptheircommunionsforothers.AbeguineinStrasbourgin 1317arguedthatthecommunionofalaypersonwouldprofitasmuchfortheredemptionofadepartedsoulasthemassofapriest.52Inaparticularlyliteralminded versionofsuchanotion,wefindGertrudeofHelftathinkingthatsheshouldchewthecommunionwaferintoasmanycrumbsaspossiblesothatChristwouldsave exactlythatmanysoulsfrompurgatory.53

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Thusholywomenfedothersnotmerelythroughcharityandmiraclebutalsothroughtheirownfastingandeating.Whenwelistentothewordsofmysticssuchas Hadewijch,CatherineofSiena,andCatherineofGenoa,weseethatbothfastingandcommunion(whetherthewaferistakenonthetongueortheelevatedhostis adoredwiththeeyes)arepartofaneverfilledcravingforGod.Thiscravingispainaswellasglory.Itispainsovastthatitfuseswithallpain.Itisthereforethepain ofpurgatory. Purgatorywastothesewomennotprimarilyaplaceinthecosmosoracountinghousewheredeedsaremeasuredandexchanged.Imageryofthemarketplace howevermuchitmaydominatecontemporarymalewritingisalmostabsentfromtheirpoetryandvisions.Purgatorywas,rather,thefactofsuffering.54Formystics suchasMechtildofMagdeburg,JulianofNorwich,andCatherineofGenoa,purgatorywaslesspunishmentthanlossoralienation.Purgatorywasbeingwithout(or, rather,veryfarawayfrom)God.Inthissenselife,too,waspurgatory.Fastinganddiseaseandeucharisticfrenzywereallpurgatory.Andifthepainwastheretobe endured,eddyingaroundonewheneverthegloryfadedasitalwaysdidfadethenonemightdecreaseitforothersbyenduringmoreoneself.Mysticalwomen substitutednotonlytheircommunionsforthehungerofothersbuttheirpainforthepunishmentofothersaswell.Hadewijchevenwrotethatshehadbeentoo audaciousinherclaimsforhersufferingandherlove,forshehadwishedtosnatchfromhellitselffourwhomGodhadcondemned.SotolerantwasGodofher ignorance,shesaid,thatheactuallyallowedherto"deliverfromdespair"and"spiritualdeath"thefourforwhomshehadenduredallmannerofagonyandalienation.55 ThesavingandservingrolethatmysticalwomencreatedforthemselvesinthelaterMiddleAgeswasthereforeneitherapingoftheclergynoropenrebellionagainst clericalprerogative.Itwassimplyanothermodelacharismaticmodel,alaymodel.Womensawthemselvesasauthorizedtoteach,counsel,serve,andhealby mysticalexperienceratherthanbyoffice.Despiteoccasionalvisionsinwhichtheythemselvesreceivedsacerdotaltrappings,femalemysticsusuallysawthemselvesas laityratherthanpriests,recipientsratherthanconsecrators.BothJulianaofCornillonandMechtildofMagdeburg,forexample,inspiredbyGodtoleadandtocriticize hischurch,suggestedthatheshouldsendclericsinsteadtheyboth,however,cametoaccepttheirpropheticandvisionary

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roleasanalternative.56GertrudeofHelfta,tougherandmoreandrogynousinherselfimage,enviedprieststheirabilitytohandleGodbutsaidthatitmightbemore dangerousthanusefultotheirownspiritualstate.57AlreadyinthetwelfthcenturythetheologianHildegardofBingenexplainedthedifferentandfullycomplementary rolesofmenandwomen,underliningboththeirequalandmutualcontributionstothebiologicalprocessofconceptionandtheirpairedreligiousrolesasmysticonthe onehandandpriestontheother.58GherardescaofPisa(d.1269),inoneofhervisions,expressedthissenseofmanaspriest,womanasrecipient:"OnSundays, BlessedJohn[theEvangelist]celebratesthemysteriesofthemass,withallholyclericsofeveryreligiousorderbeingpresentfortheoffice,andtheBlessedMary receivestheeucharistoftheLordseventimesforallsinners....NoneexceptSaintJohndarestosingmassthere[inheaven],nordoesanyonedaretotake communion,excepttheBlessedVirgin."59CatherineofSienainthefourteenthcenturywastoldbyChristinavisionthatsheneednotdressasaman,forChristhad chosentospeakthroughher,theweakervessel.60 Eventhedistributionofeucharisticmiraclesmakesitclearthatbothmenandwomenincreasinglyviewedtheroleofrecipient,ofpiouslayperson,asafemalerole.As Ipointedoutabove,almostallmedievalmiraclesthatspecificallyconcernreceptionoftheeucharistoccurredtowomen,61andalmostthreefourthsofthelaysaints fromthelaterMiddleAgeswerewomen.62(ItissignificantthattheoccasionalmalewhoreceivestheeucharistdirectlyfromChristorangelsoradovei.e.,whose actofreceivingisgivenspecialemphasisisinvariablynotapriestbutalayman,andalaymanoflowstatus.Receivingi.e.,eating,ratherthanpreparing,holy foodandlaystatusthustendtogotogether,andneitherisassociatedwithpowerfulandadmiredmales.)63Thepatternofmiracles,likethepatternofcanonizations, underlinesthedichotomy:menarepriests,whoseactofconsecratingGodshimmerswithunearthlypowerwomenarerecipients,whoseactofeatingisdignifiedwith thereassurancethatthefoodtheytakeisreallyGod. Inwomen'sreligiosity,however,theroleofvessel,ofrecipient,waselevatedtonewsignificance.Whereasmaletheologianssawthepriestasdivinizedintheactof consecrationandevenattemptedtoidentifypriestwithchurch,womensawtheiractofreceiving,ofeating,aspregnantwithsalvation.Womensubstitutedtheir communionsforthenegligenceofthosewhodidnotorcouldnoteatwomenofferedtheirsuffering

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inhungerordiseaseforthesufferingofthesinfulinpurgatory.Indeed,somewomen'svisionselevatedthestatusofrecipientabovethatofpriest:JulianaofCornillon advisedapriesttobearecipientAgnesBlannbekinsawtheeucharistdepartfromacorruptpriestandflyintoherownmouth.64 Thuswomen'sfoodpracticescontrolledtheirreligiouscircumstancesaswellastheirdomesticones.Notonlydidwomensuccessfullyavoidmarriageorshapeitmore totheirlikingbyrefusingcommensalityandgivingawayfamilyfoodtheyalsotestedclergybytheirfoodmiracles,tookondirectserviceoftheirfellowChristians throughfooddistribution,andbypassedecclesiasticallimitationsontheirintimacywithGodinastonishingencounterswithChristhimselfasnursingmother,chalice bearer,orbleedingmeat.Moreover,elevatingtheirfastingandhungerforGodintocosmicsignificance,womenofferedtheirsufferingforthesalvationofsinnershere onearthandbeyond,inthefarreachesofpurgatory,aswell.Foodwasnotmerelyadevicebywhichwomenmanipulatedthosefathers,husbands,confessors, priestswhohadgreaterauthoritythantheyrather,foodobservances,foodmiracles,andfoodmetaphorswereameansbywhichwomenshapedforthemselves complex,spirituallyeffective,anddistinctiveroleswithinthemedievalchurch. FoodPracticesAsRejectionofModeration Whenweseeclearlythearrayoffunctionsthatwomen'sfoodpracticesperformedinlatemedievalsociety,weunderstandhowmyopicitistoviewfemalefastingas primarilyanattackonbody.Thecounselingandhealingmedievalwomenpracticedthroughtheireucharisticvisionsandmiracles,thecriticismsofthechurchthey announcedininspiredutterances,thesalvationtheyofferedtotheirfellowsthroughdiseaseandsufferingarefarmoreemphasizedinwomen'sownwordsandfarmore prominentinstoriesaboutthemthananythemeofdualismbetweenbodyandspiritoranynotionofthefemaleasweakorevil. Itisnotenough,however,toargueagainsttheconventionalinterpretationofwomen'sreligiosityasinternalizeddualismormisogynybypointingoutthatother,social functionscanbefoundforwomen'sasceticism.Thereisadeeperproblemwiththeinterpretationthatstates

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thatwomen'sfastingandfeasting,theirselfpunishment,miraculousbodilymanipulation,andeucharisticfrenzywereinternalizationsofmedievalstereotypesoftheflesh andthefemaleasnegative.Theproblemisthis.Intheperiodinwhichthischaracteristicfemalespiritualityemerges,theologywasdevelopinginpreciselytheopposite direction.Thetheologiansofthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturychurchwerebusymakinganhonoredplaceintheschemeofthingsforthelaity,forwomen,forthe femalebody,andformarriage.Itwaspreciselythesetheologianswho,asIindicatedinchapter2,arguedformoderationinasceticismandineucharisticdevotion, warningwomenagainstextensivefastsandprohibitingthefamiliarityoftoofrequentcommunion.ThustheextremismofreligiouswomeninthelaterMiddleAgescan hardlybeaninternalizingoftheviewsmaletheologiansheldeitheroffoodpracticesorofthefemale.Yettwelfthandthirteenthcenturytheologyandreligiouslife suppliedthecontextwithinwhichwomen'sextravagantasceticismandeucharisticdevotionwereforged.Itseemslikely,therefore,thatwomen'sreligiositywasa reactionagainstthemoderationurgedbychurchleaders,againstneweffortstomakeaplacebutasecondaryplaceforwomenandforthelaitywithinaChristian universe.Inordertoexplainthis,alittlemoremustbesaidaboutthedirectionoftwelfthandthirteenthcenturytheology. MuchattentionhasrecentlybeengiventothewaysinwhichpreachersofthetwelfthtotheearlyfourteenthcenturyexpandedthenotionofChristianroleswithin society.Althoughcanonlawyersincreasinglydefinedtheclergyassetapartbylifestyleandprerogativesandtoalargeextentequatedthechurchwiththeclergy, preacherswroterepeatedlybothaboutandforthevarietyofwhattheycalled"orders"(statuses)insocietyanddevotedmuchcaretoexplaininghoweachwas religious.65TheanonymoustwelfthcenturyauthoroftheLibellusdediversisordinibus,forexample,arguedthatGodintendsadiversityofwaysofservinghimto existtogether,"asaharmonyisachievedfromdifferentchords."66JamesofVitrywrotethatclerics,priests,marriedpeople,widows,virgins,soldiers,merchants, peasants,craftsmen,and"othermultiformtypesofmen,''eachgrouphavingitsownrulesandinstitutions"accordingtothediversetypesoftalents,"makeup collectivelythebodyofthechurchunder"theabbotChrist."67Justasfeudallawyersbusiedthemselvesinclassifyingthemanydegreesof"freedom"thatis,of

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privilegeandobligationthatcharacterizedthewidevarietyofrolesandstatusesinmedievalsociety,somoralistsandtheologians,fromthetwelfthcenturyon,busied themselvesinsayingwhythesediversestatuseswereallvaluable(althoughnot,ofcourse,allequal)beforeGod.Corporatemetaphors,classicalandPaulineinorigin ("therearemanymembersbutonebody"),andparaphrasesofJohn14:2("therearemanymansionsbutonehouseofGod")becameincreasinglypopular.68 ThegrowingsensethataworldlyrolesuchascraftsmanormarriedwomanmighthavearuleoflifedefiningitandmightwinforitspractitionersmeritbeforeGodwas reflectedinwhatsomescholarshavecalledthe"riseoflayspirituality."69Fromthelatertwelfthcenturyon,thechurch,increasinglyorganizedhierarchicallyunderthe papacy,feltagreaterandgreaterresponsibilityforordinarylayfolk,devotedmoreattentiontodefiningforthemtheircharacteristicformsofdevotion,andcanonized moreandmorelay(evenmarried)saints.Theologiansdefinedmarriageasasacramentanddidnotinthisprocess,asGeorgesDubyhaspointedout,totallyspiritualize itifitsbasicsignificancelayinthecommitmentofthepartners,itwasacouplingofbodiesaswell.PreachersromanticizedtheHolyFamilyandthemarriageofMary andJoseph.70TheologiansevendebatedwhethertheVirginMarymenstruatedandonegroupamongthemdecidedthatshedid,givingnewandpositivesignificance toaphysiologicalprocessonceconsideredacurseandapunishment.71 Thesesametheologiansandcanonlawyers,whopermittedandevengave(somewhatgrudging)spiritualsignificancetosexualityandchildbearing,modifiedearlier notionsoffastinginparttomakeitpossibleforthelaitytomeettheminimumrequirements.Inthethirteenthtothefifteenthcentury,thenumberofcategoriesof exemptionfromfastingincreased,andthestandardfastcametobebrokenearlierintheday.Fastingwasoftentreatedbypreachersandexegetesassymbolrather thanact.Itwasseldomspokenofasanattackonthebody.Aquinas,forexample,sawfastingasameanstocurbthedemandsofthebodynotarejectionofmatter butalimitedrenunciationofoneofthegoodsofGod'screation."Tostarvethebody"wouldbe,saidAquinas,tostealfromwhatitshouldbeandoffertoGodonly "stolengoods."Tofastintoillhealthwoulddestroyone's"dignity"asaperson.72Anearlyexampleofthekindofpressureformoderationthatcharacterizesthe

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medievalchurchcanbefoundinalateeleventhcenturyletterfromGeoffrey,abbotofVendme,toacertainbrotherRobert,whohadtakenonhimselfwhatGeoffrey consideredinappropriateabstinence:
Ifyoulovetofast,Ipraisethis,thatyoumayeatbyfastingandabstainbyeating.Forheeatsbyfastingandabstainsbyeatingwhoeatsthusdailywhatinnowaysatisfiesthe stomach.Fortoabstainonedayandonanothereatfullydoesnotseemlaudable.Onthedaysonwhichpeopleeatnothingtheymurmurmuchandthenondayswhentheyeat muchtheyfeelinappropriatejoy.Thereforeitisbetterthatwerecognizeneedanddailysustainourselvesandrefrainfromvice....Forgainingeternallife,abstinenceofthebody isnotenoughunlessthefastofthesoulismarriedtoabstinence.73

Thetoneoflatemedievalpreachersandtheologiansoftenhasthisnoteofrationality,sobriety,anddecency,thissortofconcernforsteady,moderateobservance, especiallywhenaddressingwomen.Eventhose,likeAbelardandSuso,whohadreasontoknowthatsomewomenwerecapableofgreatdevotionandasceticism, advisedthatextravagantausteritieswere"unsuitabletoyour[i.e.,thefemale]sexandunnecessaryforyourdisposition."74 GeorgesDubyhasrecentlysuggestedthatthosemenandwomenwhoturnedtoheresyinthetwelfthandthirteenthcenturieswereinpartreactingagainstachurch whichtriedtocontrolanddomesticatemarriageachurchwhichmadeaplaceintheschemeofthingsforwomenandsexuality,butasecondaryplace.75Whetheror notthisisacorrectanalysisoftheimpulsetorejecttheinstitutionalchurch,itappearstopresentacluetotheextravaganceofwomen'sspirituality.Whilepreachers werebusyformulatingsermonsadordinesthatcarefullydefinedaplaceforeverysortandconditionofperson,whilelawyerspressedforcanonizationofeverytype ofsaintinpartsothatamodelmightbeavailableforeverytypeofChristian,whilemoralistsurgedmoderationinasceticpracticesothatthechurchmightbebroad enoughforallpiouswomenelaboratedareligiositythatwasinnowaymoderate,asenseofselfthatwasinnowaysecondary.Instead,immoderateandfrantic, womenmysticssoaredbeyondallcarefulgradationsanddistinctionsintotheimmediatepresenceofGod. Theextenttowhichwomen'sspiritualitywasitselfarejectionofasuccessfulandmoderatechurch,withitscozydomesticationofwomen

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andofthelaity,canbeseeninthealarmwithwhichpreachersviewedit.TheologianssuchasGersonandDavidofAugsburg,whosawtheextravaganceofwomen's religiosityandsometimesthemselvesdescribeditinextravagantlanguage,wereupsetbyitsexuberanceanditssensuality.76AlberttheGreat,althoughhewouldnot allowittobeattackedasheresy,denigrateditasridiculous.TaulerwarnedthatalthoughGodsometimescametopiouswomeninvisions,thiswasnot,andshouldnot be,thenormalwayofmeetinghim.77Intheearlyfourteenthcentury,somewomenmysticswhorejectedthemoderate,decentspiritualityofcarefullygradedworks andprayersas"inferior"(andrejectedaswelltheaffectivereligiousresponsesofsomeoftheirsistermystics)werecondemnedorburned.78 Moreover,womenthemselvessometimessuggested,intheirstridentrefusaltoacceptcounselsofmoderation,thatmoderationwasexactlywhattheyobjectedto. ColumbaofRieti,whoonceattemptedtopacifycriticismbyeating,refusedtotakeanythingbutthesacramentonceDominicappearedinavisionandauthorizedher behavior.CatherineofSiena,whoobedientlytriedtoeatwhencommandedbyherconfessorandwhodefendedherselftoamaledetractorbysayingthatherinedia wasmerelyaninfirmityandwithoutspiritualsignificance,revealedwhatwasprobablyhertrueunderstandingofasceticismwhenshesaid,ofAgnesofMontepulciano, thatsurvivalwithouteatingischaracteristicof"theperfect."Hadewijch,whosometimesinherlettersandvisionsapologizedforheraudacity,alsoluxuriatedinthe powerthatheragonyachieved.ShereportedthatChristsaidtoher:"Beautifulrevelationsandmiracleshavehappenedtoyouduringyourdays...morethantoany personwhowasbornsinceIdied."79Healso,shetellsus,addressedher:
Ostrongestofallwarriors!Youhaveconqueredeverythingandopenedtheclosedtotality[i.e.,theunionofhumanityanddivinityinChrist],whichwasneveropenedby creatureswhodidnotknow,withpainfullywonanddistressedLove,howIamGodandMan!Oheroine,sinceyouaresoheroic,andsinceyouneveryield,youarecalledthe greatestheroine!Itisright,therefore,thatyoushouldknowmeperfectly.80

Amoreimmoderatevisioncouldhardlybeimagined.81 Theimmoderatenessofwomen'sspiritualityisfoundintheirnotionsofselfabasementaswellasintheirmysticalheights,theirsenseofbeingspecialtoGod.So tortureddidsomewomenbecomenotonlywiththeir

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ownawarenessofunworthinessbutalsowiththeircompassionforotherswhowerealienatedfromGodthattheyofferedtogotohellitself.GertrudetheGreat claimedthatoneshouldbewillingtotaketheeucharisttoone'sowncondemnationifsuchanactcontributedtoGod'sglory.82MechtildofMagdeburgcriedoutin anguishtoaskChristhowhecouldallowsoulstolanguishinhell,andsherepeatedlyprayedfortheirrelease.83Hadewijch,whohadconfidencethathersuffering liftedhertolikeness("GodpromisedmesomuchsufferingforthesakeoflikenesstohimselfthatI,inpreferencetoallmenandmorethanallmen,shouldsufferthisin ordertocontenthimandliveasaperfecthumanbeing"),84alsousedhersufferingtobeatagainstGod'sjusticeanddemandthereleaseofcondemnedsouls.


InonethingIdidwronginthepast,tothelivingandthedead,whomIwithdesirewouldhavefreedfrompurgatoryandfromhellasmyright.Butforthisbeyou[God]blessed: Withoutangeragainstme,yougavemefouramongthelivingandthedeadwhothenbelongedtohell.Yourgoodnesswastolerantofmyignorance....ForIdidnotthenknow yourperfectjustice....ThroughloveIwishedtosnatchthelivingandthedeadfromalldebasementofdespairandofwrongdoing,andIcausedtheirpaintobelessened,and thosedeadinhelltobesentintopurgatory,andthoselivinginhelltobebroughttotheheavenlymodeoflife.85

ThestorythatTaulertoldasanexampleofhumilitytothenunsheadvised,ringstrueasevidenceofboththeradicalselfabnegationandthesoaringtriumphof contemporaryfemalespirituality:
Youwillnevergainwhatyouwantuntilyouwantnothingcreated,butonlytheCreator....Children,thereisnothingfurtherIwanttosaytoyou,excepttotellyoualittlestory whichillustrateswellwhatImean.IknowaCanaanitewoman[cf.Matt.15:2128]letuscallherthatbecausetheincidentIamgoingtotellyouabouthappenedlessthanfour yearsago,andsheisstillalive.Sheonceexperiencedrapture,andwastransportedsothatshecouldseeGodandourLadyandallthesaints.Atthesametimeshesawherself placedunutterablyfarawayfromGod.Thenthissoul,insuchunspeakabletorment,turnedtoourLadyandtoallthesaintsandbeggedthemalltohelpher.Butthenshesawthat theydidnotpaytheslightestattentiontoherentreatytheywereinsuchgreatjoyandblissthattheyneitherheardnorheededherprayers.Then,aswemortalsdo,sheinvoked thePassionanddeathandwoundsofourLordJesusChrist,butforanswershewasaskedhowshecouldinvokewhatshehadneverhonored.WhenshesawthatourLadyand thesaintsand

Page243 theblessedPassionofourLordwereofnohelptoher,sheturnedtotheLordHimself,andthishumansoulsaid:"OhLord,sincenoonewillhelpme,see,mylovingGod,thatIam YourpoorcreatureandYouaremyGod,andthenjudgemeaccordingtoYouradorablewill.IfitisYourwillthatIshouldbeforeverinthedeepesttormentsofhell,Isubmittoit all,dearLord,asYourblessedwill."Andsosheutterlyabandonedherselfforalleternitybutshehadhardlymadethisactofselfabandonmentwhenshewasatoncetakenup, faraboveallintermediaries,andwasdrawnutterlyintoGod'sabyss,trulysubmergedinHismarvelousdivinity.86

Suchexuberanceandextremismsometimescarriedwomenintopositionsthattheologianssawasheterodoxas"dualist"or"quietist"or"antinomian."And,despite theconvincingeffortsofbothmedievalandmoderntheologianstospellouttheopposingphilosophiesandtheologiesbehind"heterodox"and''orthodox"positions,the twopositionsfusetogethersocloselyinactualmysticalwritingthatthesamephrasecanoftenbeinterpretedbothways.InHadewijch,forexample,bothreligious affectivityandadeepcritiqueofaffectivitycryoutinthesamepoeticlinesothatquietismandevenantinomianismcanbesuspectedinhernotionthatGod,the infinitelylovableanddesirable,isbeyondallpossibleeffortordesire.InCatherineofSiena'sdescriptionofAgnesas"perfect"becauseofhervegetarianismandattack onthebody,wefindaterminologythatmightoccurinCatharliteratureaswell.Itseemsthatweashistoriansshouldavoidadoptingthemedievalcategoriesof "heterodox"and"orthodox"asourcategoriesofanalysisnotonlybecause,asscholarssuchasGrundmannhaveargued,87thesameparticularthemesfrequentlyoccur inbothtypesofreligiosity,butalsobecause,behindwomen'softenquitedivergentreligiouspracticesandideas,layacommonextremismofreactionthatsuggests dissatisfactionwithclericaladvisersandtheircounselsofsweetreasonableness. Inconclusion,then,wecansaythatwomen'sfoodpracticesfunctionedasawayofcriticizingandcontrollingthoseinauthority.Theyalsoprovidedadistinctiveway forwomentoservetheirfellowsandmeettheirGod.Buttheydidmore.Bytheirveryextravagance,audacity,andmajesty,theyrejectedthesuccessofthelate medievalchurch,rejectedforawider,moresoaringvisionaninstitutionthatmadeatidy,moderate,decent,secondrateplaceforwomenandforthelaity.88Like thedesertasceticsofthefourthcenturywhomtheysometimestookasmodels,womenmysticsfromthetwelfthtothefourteenthcentury

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wereincertainwaysreactingagainstthe"triumph"ofthechurch.And,likethoseearlymonksandascetics,womenoftenexpressedtheirdissatisfactionwithwhatthey sawastheirreligion'sworldlinessandcompromisenotbyleavingtheinstitutionbutbyfulfillingitspreceptswithavehemencethatfrightenedandtitillateditsleaders. Foodpracticesfunctionedinalltheseways.Butfunctionisnotmeaning.Itistimetolookatwhatthewildsoaringvisionactuallymeant.

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8 TheMeaningofFood: FoodAsPhysicality
Theimmaculatelamb[Christ]isfood,table,andservant.Andthistableoffersthefruitsoftrueandperfectvirtues....Andthetableispiercedwithveins,whichrunwith blood....Ohmyson,runtothistable[anddrink]....Andwhen[thesoul]hasdrunk,itspitsupthebloodontheheadsofitsbrothers[becauseitistoofullwithhotandinebriating wine]andisthuslikeChristwhocontinuallypoursouthisbloodnotforhisutilitybutforours.Andwewhoeatatthattablebecomelikethefood[i.e.,Christ],actingnotforour ownutilitybutforthehonorofGodandthesalvationofneighbor. CATHERINEOFSIENA(D.1380), WRITINGTOONEOFHERCONFESSORS1

AsthewritingsofCatherineofSienamakeclear,toeatChrististobecomeChrist.TheChristonebecomes,inthereceptionofcommunionandintheimitatioof asceticism,isthebleedingandsufferingChristofthecross.ThefleshofJesusbothfleshasbodyandfleshasfoodisattheverycenteroffemalepiety.Andthis fleshissimultaneouslypleasureandpain. Wecannotunderstandmedievalreligiosityuntilwerealizehowdifferentsuchprobingandembracingofbodyaspainpleasureisfrommostmodernnotionsofbody,in whichpleasureandpainareseenasoppositesandthecultivationofpainisrejectedaspathological.Inunderstandingthisdifferenceitishelpfultorememberhowlittle medievalpeoplecoulddotomitigatediscomfortofanykind.Thusmedievalmetaphorsandsymbolsexpresstheexperiencingofbodymorethanthecontrollingof it.2 Sensationsandsensesthatwedifferentiatefromoneanothertendtobefusedinmedievalpiety,wheresatiationisdescribedas"hungry"anddiscomfortiscalled "delicious."Todenybodilyresponsestowardtheworldisoften,toamedievalwriter,toreleasetorrents

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ofbodilyenergytowardGod.Anapproachtothebodysoalientoourmodernoneneedsfurtherexplanationforthetwentiethcenturyreader. FoodandFleshAsPleasureandPain AsIexplainedinchapter6,thefastingandeucharisticfrenzy,charityandselfdenial,ofpiouswomenfrequentlybroughtexcruciatingpain.Yetwomendidnot ordinarilyspeakofthesepracticesaspunishmentorasescapefromthebody.AngelaofFolignofoundthetasteofpus"assweetascommunion"BeatriceofNazareth spokeofJesus'tormentas"healthywounds"theauthorofthenuns'bookofUnterlindendescribedthesoundofselfflagellationasmelody,risingsweettotheearsof theLordofHosts.Women'sownviewofphysicalitywasnot,mostbasically,dualistic.Whenwomenspokeofabstinence,ofeucharisticecstasy,ofcuringandhealing throughfood,theycalleditimitatioChristi."Imitation"meantunionfusionwiththatultimatebodywhichisthebodyofChrist.Thegoalofreligiouswomenwas thustorealizetheopportunityofphysicality.Theystrovenottoeradicatebodybuttomergetheirownhumiliatingandpainfulfleshwiththatfleshwhoseagony, espousedbychoice,wassalvation.LuxuriatinginChrist'sphysicality,theyfoundtheretheliftinguptheredemptionoftheirown. ThehumanityofChrist,understoodasincludinghisfullparticipationinbodiliness,wasacentralandcharacteristicthemeinthereligiosityoflatemedievalwomen.3 Oftenithaderoticorsensualovertones.Forexample,MargeryKempewassointenselyattractedtoChrist'smalenessthatsheweptwhenevershesawamalebaby inhervisionsshecuddledwithChristinbedandwasboldenoughtocaresshistoes.4 AngelaofFoligno,AdelheidLangmann,andCatherineofSiena,amongothers, marriedChristineucharisticvisions.UnderliningtheextenttowhichthemarriagewasafusionwithChrist'sphysicality,Adelheidreceivedthehostasapledgerather thanaweddingring,whileCatherinereceived,nottheringofgoldandjewelsthatherbiographerreportsinhisbowdlerizedversion,buttheringofChrist'sforeskin. ManylatemedievalwomenhadvisionsofbathingornursingtheChristchild.Tosome(forexample,IdaofLouvain,AgnesofMontepulciano,andMargaretof Faenza),thepleasurewassointensethattheyrefusedtosurrenderthebabyagaintohismotherMary.5 ThebeautifulyoungChristwho

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appearedtoLutgard,MargaretofYpres,andMargaretofOingt,baringhisbreast,wasbothnursingmotherandsensualmalelover.6 Hadewijchdescribedencounter withthisChrist,mouthonmouth,bodyonbody,inlanguagethatseemstoreporttheexperienceoforgasm(seeabove,p.156).Thetwelfthcenturyauthorofthe storyofChristinaofMarkyatereportsasimilarlysensualencounter:


Dayandnightshekneltinprayer,weeping,andlamenting,andbeggingtobefreedfrom[sexual]temptation....ThentheSonoftheVirginlookedkindlydownuponthelow estateofHishandmaidandgrantedhertheconsolationofanunheardofgrace.ForintheguiseofasmallchildHecametothearmsofhissorelytriedspouseandremainedwith herawholeday,notonlybeingfeltbutalsoseen.SothemaidentookHiminherhands,gavethanksandpressedHimtoherbosom.AndwithimmeasurabledelightsheheldHim atonemomenttohervirginalbreast,atanothershefeltHispresencewithinhereventhroughthebarrierofherflesh.Whoshalldescribetheaboundingsweetness...?Fromthat momentthefireoflustwassocompletelyextinguishedthatneverafterwardscoulditberevived.7

MargeryKempethoughtChristsaidtoher:
"Daughter,thoudesirestgreatlytoseeMe,andthoumayestboldly,whenthouartinthybed,takeMetotheeasthyweddedhusband,asthydearworthydarling,andasthy sweetson,forIwillbelovedasasonshouldbelovedbythemother,andIwillthatthoulovestMe,daughter,asagoodwifeoughttoloveherhusband.Thereforethoumayest boldlytakeMeinthearmsofthysoulandkissMymouth,Myhead,andMyfeet,assweetlyasthouwill.AndasoftenasthouthinkestofMe,orwouldstdoanygooddeedto Me,thoushalthavethesamerewardinHeaven,asifthoudidstittoMineownPreciousBodywhichisinHeaven."8

Italianwomentooreporteroticvisions.AngelaofFolignoburnedsoinpenitencethatshestrippedbeforethecrucifixandofferedherselfnakedtoChrist,pledging perpetualchastity.9 ShedescribedherunionwithChristthus:


Once,duringLent,feelingherselfverydry,sheaskedGodtogivehersomethingofhimself....Andhereyeswereopened.Shesawlove,whichcamesweetlytowardher.Shesaw itsbeginningbutnotitsend[caputetnonfinem],butitwascontinuous.Andshedidnotknowhowto

Page248 compareittoanycolor.Butallatoncewhenitcametoher,itseemedtoherthatshesawitclearlywiththeeyesofthesoul,moreclearlythanshewasabletoseewithbodilyeyes, andintouchingofheritseemedtotaketheformofasickle[uniusfalcissimilitudo].Notthattherewasanymeasurablelikeness.Lovetooktheappearanceofasickle,because thenatoncelovewithdrewitself,notconferringitselfasmuchassheexpected....Thusitmadeherlanguishallthemore....andsheunderstooditastheoperationofgrace. Andthenatonceshewasfilledwithloveandinestimablesatiety,which,althoughitsatiated,generatedatthesametimeinestimablehunger[fameminextimabilem],sothatallher memberswereunstrungandhersoullanguishedanddesiredtoflyaway[omniamembratuncdisjungebanturetanimalanguebatetdesiderabatpervenire].Andshewished neithertoseenortofeelanycreature.Andshedidnotspeakanddidnotknowwhethershecouldspeak,butwithinshespoke,clamoringthatGodnotletherlanguishinsucha death,forshethoughtlifetobedeath.10

Umilt,inafragmentthatsupposedlyreproducesoneofherownsermons,speaksofJohntheEvangelistinvivideroticimagery:
Inrenewinglove,youhavethrustthatknife[oflove]inmeanew.Youhaveboundmetoyousofirmlythatitisimpossibleformetobepulledawayorcarriedawayfromyourlove. OmostbelovedJohn,youhaveboundmewithchainsofgold,andyouhavemarriedmewitharing.11

Scholarshave,ofcourse,suggestedthatsuchreactionsweresublimatedsexualdesire,butitseemsinappropriatetospeakof"sublimation."12Intheeucharistandin ecstasy,amaleChristwashandledandlovedsexualfeelingswere,ascertaincontemporarycommentators(forexample,DavidofAugsburg)realized,notsomuch translatedintoanothermediumassimplysetfree.13 Inwomen'swritingandvisions,suchimagesofmarriageandsexualconsummationoftendescribeexactlythetormentandsufferingthatwomensawasimitatio Christi.Inoneofthemosttouchingofallthirteenthcenturyvitae,ananonymousbiographerdescribesAliceofSchaerbeke:


Andalittleafterthis,...asshesurpassedinvirtueswhatcouldbeexpectedfromthenumberofheryears,Godwishedtopurgeherwithin...fromallstrifeandiniquityofthis world,notbecauseofanycrimeordefectinherbutbecauseshewashisspouse....AndsothatshewouldbefreetorestwithGodaloneanddallyinthecubicleofhermindasin

Page249 abridalchamberandbeinebriatedwiththesweetnessofhisodor...,hegaveheranincurabledisease,leprosy.Andthefirstnightwhenshewassequesteredfromtheconvent becauseofthefearofcontagion,shewasafflictedwithsuchsadnessherheartwaswounded....[SoshecriedandprayedatGod'sfeet]...andthetenderLordseeingthehumility ofhishandmaidenwiththeeyeofhismercywantedtorestoreher....Andhefilledherwiththesweetodorofdivinity...andsosheremained,visitedonlybyGod....Andwhen shehadlearnedfromwhatsheexperiencedtotakerefugeinthemostsecureharborofGod,sherantoChrist'sbreastsandwounds,ineverytribulationoranguish,every depressionordryness,likealittlechilddrinkingfromitsmother'sbreasts,andbythatliquidshefelthermembersrestored.14

JulianaofCornillon'sbiographersays(quotingtheSongofSongs)thatsinceshecouldnotliterallydiewithChristasshewished,shesufferedinspiritwithhimonthe crossandheldthispainbetweenherbreasts"likeabundleofmyrrh."15MargaretofOingtwritesthat,meditatingonthecrucifix,shetookoutthenailsandcarried Christ'sbodybetweenthearmsofherheart,andkissedandswoonedoverthewounds.16Indeed,Margaretreceivedavisionthatgraphicallyexpressedawareness thatherpietyimpliedsensualencounterwithChrist:thebranchesofadryanddeadtree(presumablyMargaretherself)floweredwhentheywerefloodedbyagreat riverofwater,andonthebrancheswerewrittenthewordssight,hearing,taste,smell,andtouch.17ShealsoreportsavisionofJesusasadoorwaythroughwhich thesoulmustpassandsaysthe"person"whoreceivedthevisionthenvowedtosayfiftyPaterNostersinmemoryofChrist'swounds.Butwhenthe"person"prayed, sheofferedfivePaterNostersnotonlyforeachofthefivewoundsbutforotherpartsofhisbodyaswellhead,eyes,ears,nose,andmouthbathingandanointing "inspirit''hispreciousbody.18ThefranksensualityofMargaret'sdevotiontoJesus'sufferingfleshhasnotescapedmoderncommentators,whohavevehemently disapproved.19 SuchresponsetothebodyofJesuscontainedelementsofterroraswellasofjoy.Somewomenweredriventowhattheircontemporariescalledinsanityandothers mutilatedthemselveswhileinecstasy.Buthoweverextravagantsomeofthesereactionsmayhavebeen,noneisaccuratelydescribedasflightfrommatteroras "decadent"or"literalminded"symbolism.20Inareligiositywherewoundsarethesourceofamother'smilk,fataldiseaseisabridalchamber,painorinsanityclings

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tothebreastlikeperfume,physicalityishardlyrejectedortranscended.Rather,itisexploredandembraced.Eventheabhorrenceoftouchorwarmthorfood,which womensuchasMaryofOignies,Lutgard,Douceline,CatherineofSiena,andCatherineofGenoadevelopedaftermeetingthefire,thekisses,andthefleshofChrist, werenotrejectionofthebody.Theywere,rather,anumbingoftheordinarysensesleftbythetransfixingencounterwithGod.Insuchreligiosity,bodilyimpulsesand emotionstheperson'sfullsensualitywerereleasedintonewexperience.Physicalitywasfreedandtransfigured.ButithadtobearousedbyGod.21 Women'sfoodimagesoftenevokedsuchtransfiguringofbodyandsuggestedanalmostphysicalunionwiththedivine.Inboththemetaphorsofpoetryandthe experiencesoftranceandvision(andthesefrequentlyflowedtogether),womenmetGodasfleshtakeninto,eatenby,flesh.ThusHadewijch,Mechtildof Magdeburg,andIdaofLouvainspokeofencounterwithGodas"eating"him,andAnnaVorchtlinsaidtotheinfantJesusinthesortofaffectionateteasingmothers haveusedwithbabiesforcenturies"Iwouldeatyouup,Iloveyousomuch."CatherineofSienarepeatedlyspokeofservingandsavingothersaseating.She describedthesoulascendingtoGodasababyreachingforthematernalbreast.Andsheemphasizedthebreastassymbolnotonlyofcharitybutalsoofthefleshthat isourhumanness.22 Foodwasamultifacetedsymbolinmedievalspirituality.Yet,asthesophisticatedrhythmsofHadewijchandthetheologyofCatherineofSienasuggest,foodmost basicallymeantfleshfleshmeantsuffering(sometimesecstatic,delicioussuffering)andsufferingmeantredemption.Fasting,feeding,andfeastingwerethusnotso muchoppositesassynonyms.Fastingwasflightnotfrombutintophysicality.Communionwasconsuming,i.e.,becoming,aGodwhosavesthroughphysical,human agony.Tofeedotherswastoofferone'sownsufferingasfood.Whetherecstaticallyanddefiantlyconfidentinthegloryofdivinity,towhichphysicalitywas inextricablylinked,ortorturedintheparadoxicaldarknessofhumanity,whichistruerthanglorybecausegloryisbeyondmedievalwomenwenttoGodthrough suffering.Theyfrequentlycalledthisjourney"eating"or"hungering,"becausetoeatistojoinwithfoodandGodisfood,whichisflesh,whichissuffering,whichis salvation. Latemedievaltheologyitself,ofcourse,providedthebasicequation:

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foodequalsbody.Ittaughtthat,atthecentralmomentofChristianritual,themomentofconsecration,Godbecamefoodthatisbody.Thismomentthenrecapitulates boththeIncarnationandtheCrucifixion.Inbecomingflesh,Godtakesonhumanity,andthathumanitysaves,notbybeingbutbybeingbroken.Thefoodonthealtar wasthusforallChristiansasymbolbothofassimilationandofrending.Toeatwastoconsume,totakein,tobecomeGod.AndtoeatwasalsotorendandtearGod. Eatingwasahorriblyaudaciousact.Yetitwasonlybybleeding,bybeingtornandrent,bydying,thatGod'sbodyredeemedhumanity.Tobecomethatbodyby eatingwasthereforetobleedandtosavetoliftone'sownphysicalityintosufferingandintoglory. Theparticularimplicationsthatlatemedievaltheologygavetotheeucharistwerethemselves,however,historicallyconditioned.Aswesawinchapter2,thesacrament itselftookonmanymeaningsoverthelongcourseoftheMiddleAges.ItcouldunderlinethepowerofthesacrificingpriestandofthepropitiatedGod.Itcould symbolizethechurch,eitherasbelieversgatheredintoonebodythroughcommensalityorasaunitydefendedagainstthosewhowouldrenditassunderbyheresyor apostasy.ItcouldreflectamomentinthecosmicwarofgoodandevilthemomentatwhichGodtrickedthedevilbyofferinghimselfasbait.Itcouldstandforthe transformationofsufferingintosalvation.TheeucharistcouldthusrecapitulateeithertheIncarnation(Godbecomeshumanity),theCrucifixion(Goddiesforhumanity), ortheResurrection(humanityisglorified).Inordertounderstandwhythefoodpracticesandimagesoflatemedievalwomenweresuchaconsistentprobingofand exultinginhumanity(understoodasfullphysicality),wemustlookfurtheratthewayslatemedievalpeopleofbothsexesshowedincreasingconcernwithmatterand corporalityasreligiousissues.Forintheperiodbetween1200and1500,physicalitycametotheforefrontasareligiousconcern. TheLateMedievalConcernwithPhysicality NotionsoftheeucharistshiftedinfundamentalwaysfromthedaysoftheearlychurchtothelaterMiddleAges.Althoughtheologiansandvisionariesneverforgotthat thebreadonthealtarwasthememorialofacommunal,passovermealandofOldTestamentsacrifice,theyincreas

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inglyemphasizedtheeucharistassufferingandbleedingflesh.Asthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturiesworeon,theologianscametoplacethesavingmomentof ChristianhistoryintheCrucifixionratherthanintheIncarnationorResurrectionvisionariessawChristintheelevatedhostorchalicenotasregallord,lavishlyrobed priest,orwarrioragainstSatan,butascrucifiedmanpoetsandsaintsusedhungerandabstinencelessasmetaphorsforselfcontrolorfordependenceonthebounty ofGodthanasimagesforneversatiated,sensual,andagonizedyearning.Behindtheseshiftsinmetaphorandintheologyliesaheightenedconcernwithmatter,with corporality,withsensuality.Although,aswehaveseen,someambivalenceaboutmatter,somesharpandagonizingdualism,remainsinlatemedievalreligiosity,no otherperiodinthehistoryofChristianityhasplacedsopositive(andthereforesocomplexandambiguous)avalueonthebodilinessofChrist'shumanity. ThelatemedievalconcernwithmatterandphysicalitywasinpartanexplicitmoveinChristendom'swaronheresy.Amorepositivesignificancewasgiventobodyin theologybecausevariousextremeChristianandquasiChristianpositionsseemedtodenouncefleshandmatter.Inthethirteenthcentury,theologiansthemselvessaw thefullphilosophicalandtheologicaldualismoftheCatharsasthemajorthreattoChristianorthodoxy.Startingfromthepremiseofacosmicdichotomybetweenspirit andmatter,theCatharsrejectedthedoctrineoftheIncarnation,arguedthattheholyor"perfect"mustfleethefleshinthislife,andchallengedthenotionsof resurrectionofthebodyandofpurgatory.Inthefourteenthcentury,variousformsofintensemysticismweredefinedasheresybecausetheyseemedtoignoreorreject thefleshinotherways.Incertainquietistforms,mysticismsometimesseemedtodenyallspiritualandmoralstrivingbytranscendingallsufferingandalienationall humanness.Initsmoreantinomianforms,mysticismsometimesthreatenedtopermitthebodyalllicensebecauseittookbodyasfundamentally"unreal."Thus,the variouslatemedievalheterodoxies,diversethoughtheywere,seemedtocontemporariestohaveincommonadenigrationofthebody,adenialthatitmightbeeithera sourceorarecipientofsalvation.Manytwelfth,thirteenth,andfourteenthcenturytheologiansandpreachers(includingthefirstgreatwomantheologian,Hildegardof Bingen)arguedexplicitlythatdenialoftheeucharist(i.e.,ofthenotionthatGodbecomesfleshandfood)wasoneofthechiefdangersofallkindsofheresy.23

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Modernhistorianshavesuggestedthattheformulationofthedoctrineoftransubstantiation,thespreadofdevotiontothehostascorpusChristi,andthechurch's enthusiasticencouragingofmiraclesinwhichthehostturnedintofleshwerepartofageneralefforttocounterheresy.24Medievalauthorssometimessaidasmuch. JamesofVitryandThomasofCantimpr,writingaboutthefemalemysticalmovementoftheLowCountries,heldupwomensaints,withtheirreverenceforChrist's bodyandblood,asanalternativetotheCatharviewthatthephysicalisthecreationofanevilGod.25ThecardinallegatewhohelpedJulianaofCornillonpropagate thefeastofCorpusChristisupporteditexplicitlyasaweaponagainstdualism.26PreacherssuchasPeterDamian,EckbertofSchnau,andAlanofLillechosestories ofbleedinghoststoembellishtheirdiatribesagainstheretics.27And,asIexplainedinchapter2,eucharisticmiraclesthemselvessometimesdenouncedsuperstition, apostasy,orunbelief.ItisalsoquitepossibletoreadtheeucharisticdevotionofthehighMiddleAgesasamovetocounterheresybyincreasingclericalcontrol.Some confessors(forexample,MargaretofCortona'sandDorothyofMontau's)seemtohaveurgedwomentowardfrequentcommunionnotonlyasanefforttokeeptheir devotionallifeorthodoxbutalsoasawayoftyingthemmorefirmlyintotheecclesiasticalsupervisionwhichconfessionrepresented.28 Wemust,however,lookbeyondanyconsciouseffortsatpropagandaagainstCathardualismoraberrantmysticismifwearetounderstandtheattentionpaidtomatter andfleshinlatemedievalspirituality.Aconcerntogivethepropersignificancetofleshwasnotsomuchaconcernthatcharacterizedorthodoxasopposedto heterodox,asitwasaconcernthatboundallreligiousreactionsoftheperiodtogether(howevermuchtheymightdifferoverwhatthepropersignificancewas).Itis sometimesimpossibleforus,asitwasforcontemporaries,todrawalinebetweenCatharandorthodoxasceticisms(bothstressedfastingandcontinence,for example)orbetweenquietistandorthodoxmysticism(both,forexample,valueddesireforGodmorethan"works").Thisfactindicatesthatallthereligiosityofthe periodwasanimatedindeepwaysbytheneedtotakeaccountof(ratherthanmerelytodeny)matter,body,andsensualresponse. Indeed,whereverweturninthelaterMiddleAgesweseemtofindthethemeofbodyandofbodyinallitsaspects,pleasureaswellaspain.Forexample,the effortsoftheologiansandcanonlawyerstodefine

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marriageasasacrament,toseeinfamilyasourceofgrace,toacceptandevensentimentalizefemalebodilyfunctionssuchaslactation,atleastintreatingJesus' mother,allindicateanewacceptanceofbody.Thepietyofthemendicants,especiallytheFranciscans,waspermeatedbyattentiontothefactofbody,bothinintense union(throughasceticism)withChrist'ssufferingandinaviewofallcreationasthetracesandfootprintsofGod.FrancisofAssisi,asiswellknown,rejoicedbothin punishingwhathecalled"theass"(hisbody)inimitatioChristiandinfindingGod'sgloryinbirds,flowers,sun,andmooninallthecreaturesoftheuniverse.Oneof themostimportantphilosophicalformulationsofthethirteenthcentury,ThomasAquinas'sstatementofthehylomorphiccompositionofthehumanperson,wasanew attempttocometotermswithmatter.Thedoctrinesaysthatwhatthepersonis,theexistingsubstanceman,isformandmatter,soulandbody.ToAquinas,the personishisbody,notjustasoulusingabodytheresurrectionofthebodythusbecame,forthefirsttime,notmerelytheologicallybutalsophilosophicallynecessary.


29

WomenwerenotusuallydirectlyintouchwithsuchabstracttheologicalorphilosophicalspeculationasThomas'sideaofhylomorphism,buttheynonethelessreflected intheirvisionsageneralsenseofbodyasnecessaryforsalvation.Thesameauthorswholiftedbodilyagonytowardthedivinethroughmetaphorsoflove,marriage, sweettasting,anddelightalsospokeofthegloriesofmatterandcreation.Theauthorofthenuns'bookofUnterlinden,whodescribedflagellationasmusic, commentedthathomo(ourhumanity)reallyincludesallcreatures.30MargaretofOingt,whoglorifiedtheselfinducedstigmataofBeatriceofOrnacieuxandoffered tobecomealeperifGodsowilled,sawChrist'shumanityasaclearmirrorinwhichisreflectedallthebeautyofcreation.31MechtildofHackeborn,whorolledin brokenglass,sawavisionofthecelebratingpriestinwhichhisvestmentswerecoveredwitheverybladeandtwig,everyhairandscale,ofthefloraandfaunaofthe universe.Asshelookedinsurprise,shesawthat"thesmallestdetailsofcreationarereflectedintheholyTrinitybymeansofthehumanityofChrist,becauseitisfrom thesameearththatproducedthemthatChristdrewhishumanity."32Suchvisionsmakeitquiteclearthat"humanity"includednotmerelysensesandagoniesbutbones andflesh,evensticksandstones,aswell.Forbetterorworse,forpainorpleasure,bodywasbecomingmoreandmoreofanissueintheologyandinpiety.

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Behindsuchlatemedievalideas,wehearechoingfundamentalshiftsindevotionthatcameinthelongspanofyearsbetweenantiquityandthetwelfthcentury.More thananyotherfactor,itwasthecultofsaintsthatintroducedintoChristiantheologyandpracticeasenseofthepowerofbody.33BeginninginaRomanworldthat fearedthedeadaspollutingandlegislatedagainsttheirremovalordismemberment,aChristianenthusiasmforbodies,especiallymutilateddeadbodies,aslociof divinepowermadesteadyheadwaythroughouttheearlyMiddleAges.Indeed,those(suchasGuibertofNogentinthetwelfthcentury)whoopposedthecult understoodpreciselywhatwasatstake:thecultofrelicsnotonlyabolishedadistinctionbetweenspiritandmatteringivingterrifyingpowertoboneandsinew,it forcedanewlookatwhatitmeantforeveryhumantobeabody.34 Thissenseofbodyaslocusofthedivinehadbecomesopowerfulbythethirteenthcenturythattheconsecratedhostwasfrequentlycomparedtothebodiesofthe saintsandreveredasarelicofChrist.Notonlydidthepracticeofreservingthehostinpyxesortabernaclesspreadrapidlyafter1200,thehostwassometimes actuallyreservedinareliquaryordisplayed,inapyx,alongsidereliquaries.Mobiletabernacleswereoftenmodeledonreliquaries.Thepracticeofburningcandlesor lampsbeforethehostwasclearlyborrowedfromthemannerinwhichrelicsweretreated,andthepracticeofvisitingthehostasifitwerearelicspreadrapidly, probablyhavingbegunwithfemalerecluses.35AparticularlyvividexampleofthisparallelismofeucharistandrelicsisprovidedinthebehaviorofHugh,Bishopof Lincoln,whochewedoffapieceofMaryMagdalen'sarmwhilevisitingFcampanddefendedhimselftothehorrifiedonlookersbyreplyingthatifhecouldtouchthe bodyofChristinthemass,hecouldcertainlyapplyhisteethtotheMagdalen'sbones.36 ThisemphasisonthefactthatChrist'shumanityistrulyfleshandbloodledtoanincreasinglyliteralsenseofwhat"imitation"ofChristmeant.Bythelatetwelfth century,imitatioasaspiritualthemehadmovedfarbeyondtheCisterciannotionofaffectivemeditationontheeventsofthelifeofJesus.37Thegreatestspiritual writerofthetwelfthcentury,BernardofClairvaux,hadtaughtthatweidentifywithChristbyextendingourcompassiontohishumanitythroughpityingthesuffering humanityofourneighbors.38Butby1200FrancisofAssisiandMaryofOigniesactuallyreceivedintheirbodiesthewoundsofChrist

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whileaseraphlookedon.About1275,PhilipofClairvauxdescribedarecluse,ElizabethofSpalbeek,whoactedoutthepersecutionofChristeverytwentyfour hours,draggingherselfabout,beatingherself,andbleedingfromstigmaticwoundsandfromunderherfingernails.39Inthefourteenthcenturyholywomensuchas DorothyofMontau,RitaofCascia,andJulianofNorwichandholymensuchasHenrySusoandRobertofSalentino(d.1341)actedoutthePassioninelaborate pantomimesorprayedforliteraldeathinimitationoftheCrucifixion.40 Somedescriptionsofholywomenstressedexplicitlythatimitatioisfact,notmemoryorimagination.Wearetold,forexample,thatMargaretofCortonaand LukardisofOberweimarbecameonewiththeCrucifixionratherthansimplyrememberingorpityingChrist'ssuffering.41MargaretofYpres'sextremeselfflagellation asameansofjoiningwithChristwascalledarecordatio(remembrance),butinsuchapassagethemeaningofthewordrememberhaschanged.42Beatriceof Nazareth,moretheologicallysophisticatedthanmanyofherfellowwomenmystics,spokeofthreegradesofmovingtowardChrist:turningtowardgracegrowingin thememoryofChrist'sPassionand,finally,inheringinJesus.43 By1350,preacherswereincreasinglyemphasizingimitatioasliterally"shapingoneselfto."44WhenLudolfofSaxony,inhisLifeofChrist,explainedhowChristians shouldconformthemselvestoChrist(actusconformationis),hesaidtheyshouldnot,forexample,merelymeditateonhowChristwasslappedbutshouldinstead slapthemselves.(Theslapshould,however,be"moderate.")45SusoexplainedhowliteralcopyingofChrist'sagoniessavedbothneighborandself:
AndI...desirefromthisdayforthtostandbeforeyourthroneasthetrustyrepresentativeofallsufferers....Ifsufferingbroughtwithitnoothergainthanthatbyourgriefsand painswegrowinlikenesstoChrist,ourprototype,itwouldstillbeapricelessbenefit....EvenifGodshouldchoosetogivethesameeternalrewardtothosewhosufferandto thosewhodonot,weshouldneverthelesspreferafflictionsasourearthlyportioninordertoresembleourleader.46

Thissenseofimitatioasbecomingorbeing(notmerelyfeelingorunderstanding)layinthebackgroundofeucharisticdevotion.Theeucharistwasanespecially appropriatevehiclefortheefforttobecomeChristbecausetheeucharistisChrist.Thedoctrineoftransubstantiation

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wascrucial.OnebecameChrist'scrucifiedbodyineatingChrist'scrucifiedbody.Thusthereceptionoftheeucharistledsonaturallytostigmata,visibleorinward, thatcontemporarieshardlyworriedabouthowtoaccountfortheirappearance.Imitatiowasincorporationoffleshintoflesh.Bothpriestandrecipientwereliterally pregnantwithChrist.ThemetaphorofthegoodsoulasChrist'smother,whichhadanancestrygoingbacktoMark3:35,becameinthethirteenthcenturymorethan metaphor.CaesariusofHeisterbachdescribedapriestwhoswelledupattheconsecration,pregnantwithChrist.47ChristinaEbnerdreamedofbeingpregnantwith Jesus.BythefourteenthcenturyDorothyofMontauwasalmostrequiredbyherconfessortoexhibitmysticalpregnancyaspartofherpreparationforcommunion.48 Inotherinstancesofsuchliteralism,thedyingJulianaFalconieriwasobservedtoincorporatetheeucharistbyhavingitfadeintoherchest49andClareofMontefalco's sistersclaimedtoseetheinsigniaofChrist'sPassionetcheduponthemuscleofherheartafterdeath.50 NothinginlatemedievalnotionsofimitatioimpliedthatChrist'shumanitywasmerelybodyorthatChristwasmerelyhuman.Repeatedly,betweenthethirteenthand thefifteenthcentury,mysticsstressedthattheChristencounteredintheeucharistwasfullyhuman,soulaswellasflesh,andfullyGod.GuiardofLaoninhisDe eucharistia,composedintheearlythirteenthcentury,arguedthattherewerethreefruitsoftheeucharistbecauseofitsthreeelements:body,soul,anddivinityof Christ.51Inthelatefourteenthcentury,CatherineofSiena,inherDialogue,putthefollowingwordsintothemouthofGod:
IamthatSun,Godeternal,whenceproceedtheSonandtheHolySpirit....ThepersonoftheincarnateWordwaspenetratedandkneadedintoonedoughwiththelightofmy Godhead,thedivinenature.... Whattastesandseesandtouchesthissacrament?Thesoul'ssensitivity.Howdoessheseeit?Withhermind'seye....Thiseyeseesinthatwhiteness[ofthebread]thedivine naturejoinedwiththehumanwhollyGod,whollyhumanthebody,soulandbloodofChrist,hissoulunitedwithhisbodyandhisbodyandsoulunitedwithmydivinenature, neverstrayingfromme. ...AndatthewordsofconsecrationIrevealedmyselftoyou.Yousawarayoflightcomingfrommybreast,liketheraythatcomesforthfromthesun'scircleyetneverleavesit. Withinthislightcameadove,

Page258 anddoveandlightwereasoneandhoveredoverthehost....Yourbodilyeyescouldnotendurethelight,andonlyyourspiritualvisionremained,butthereyousawandtasted thedepthoftheTrinity,whollyGod,whollyhuman,hiddenandveiledunderthatwhiteness.52

ThejoymysticsfeltinphysicalunionwithChrist'shumanitywasneveradenialofChrist'sdivinity.BecomingChristphysicallywas,rather,awayofbeingsnatchedup intohisdivinity.Themoretheologicallysophisticatedofmysticalwriters(forexample,theHelftanuns,Hadewijch,andthetwoCatherines)insistedrepeatedlyonthe twonaturesofChrist.53ButasHadewijchputit(inherownsubtlelanguagewhichitissodangeroustoquoteoutofcontext),wecannotjust"beGodwithGod,"we mustalso"behumanwithChrist."54OrasAngelaofFolignoputit(inherbiographer'sparaphraseofherteaching):


[Thesoulinthispresentlifesees,feels,andknows]thelesserinthegreaterandthegreaterinthelesser,foritdiscoversuncreatedGodand"humanated"God[Deum humanatum],thatisdivinityandhumanity,inChrist,unitedandconjoinedinoneperson....Andsometimes,inthispresentlife,thesoulreceivesgreaterdelightinthelesserthan inthegreater.ForthesoulismoreconformedandadaptedtothelesserwhichitseesinChrist,theincarnateGod,thanitistothatwhichitseesinChrist,theuncreatedGod becausethesoulisacreaturewhoisthelifeofthefleshandofallthemembersofitsbody.ThusitdiscoversbothGod"humanated"andGoduncreated,Christthecreatorand Christthecreature,andinthatChristitdiscoverssoulwithfleshandbloodandwithallthemembersofhismostsacredbody.Andthisiswhy,whenthehumanintellectdiscovers, sees,andknowsinthismysteryChristthemanandChristGod,ordainerofthemystery,thisintellectfeelsdelightandexpandsinhim,becauseitseesGod"humanated"andGod uncreatedconformed,andmadelikeitselfbecause,thatis,thehumansoulseesthesoulofChrist,hiseyes,hisflesh,andhisbody.But,whileitlooks...,itshouldnotforget alsototurntothehigher...,thedivine.55

Thereisnothingspecificallyfemaleaboutthelatemedievalconcernwithmatterandbodyorabouttheextravaganceofcertainfourteenthandfifteenthcenturyefforts atimitatio.Physicalityasproblemandopportunitywasabasicthemethroughoutlatemedievalreligiosity.Butthisthemewastakenupespeciallyintenselyinwomen's livesandwomen'swritingandwasexpressedthereespeciallyineucharisticdevotionandinothersortsoffoodimagery.Forthistherearespecificculturalas

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wellaspsychologicalandsocialreasons.Toputitsimply,theweightoftheWesterntraditionhadlongtoldwomenthatphysicalitywasparticularlytheirproblem, nurturingparticularlytheiropportunity. Inordertoplacewomen'sfoodpracticesintheirfullhistoricalcontext,itisthereforenecessarytocomeatlasttothevexedquestionofthe''imageofwoman."In chapters9and10,Iexplorehowthelongstandingassociationof"woman"with"body"andwith"food"contributedtothedistinctiveemphasesinwomen'spietythat arethesubjectofthisbook.Ialsoarguethatthenotionofwomanasfoodandfleshhaddifferentimplicationsformedievalwomenthemselvesandfortheirmale admirersanddetractors.

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9 WomanAsBodyandAsFood
Andthusmanandwomanaredependentoneachothersothateachisnecessarytotheotherbecausemanisnotcalled"man"withoutwomannoriswomannamed"woman" withoutman.Forwomanisnecessarytoman,andmanistheconsolationofwomanandneitherofthemcanbewithouttheother.AndmantrulysignifiesthedivinityoftheSonof God,andwomanhishumanity. ForthesameGodcreatedmanstrongandwomanweak,andherweaknessgaverisetosin.AnddivinityisstrongbutthefleshoftheSonofGodisweak,andthroughittheworldis restoredtoitsfirstlife.Fortrulythatflesh,immaculateandinviolate,likeaspouse,proceedsfromthevirginwomb. HILDEGARDOFBINGEN(TWELFTHCENTURY)1

LatemedievaltheologyandpietyemphasizedChristassufferingandChrist'ssufferingbodyasfood.Recentscholarlyworkonspiritualityhasnotignoredthis emphasisindeed,itwouldbeimpossibletodoso.Yetscholarshavenotalwaysnoticedthatsuchconcernsweremoreprominentinwomen'sreligiositythaninmen's. Wheretheyhavenoticedthefact,onlyinternalizedmisogynyhascometomindasanexplanation.Butseriousmisunderstandingsofmedievalreligionareinvolvedin suchadescriptionofwomen'spiety.Ihavearguedaboveatlengththatthenatureofmedievalfamiliesandmarriagepatterns,thenatureofclericalauthority,andthe sexualdivisionoflaborallhelptoexplainwhythepietyofwomenhaddifferentemphasesandthemesfromthatofmenandwhyfoodpracticesaswellasfood metaphorswerecrucialtowomen.Butinordertounderstandwomen'sreligiositywemustalsoprobemoredeeplyintothenatureofsymbol.Foritseemslikelythat womenweredrawntoidentifywithChrist'ssufferingandfeedingfleshbecausebothmenandwomensawthefemalebodyasfoodandthefemalenatureasfleshly. BothmenandwomendescribedChrist'sbody

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initssufferinganditsgenerativityasabirthingandlactatingmotherandmayatsomealmostunconsciouslevelhavefeltthatwoman'ssufferingwasherwayoffusing withChristbecauseChrist'ssufferingfleshwas"woman."Thequestionofwhatthefemalemeantassymbolinlatemedievalthoughtmust,however,beapproached withgreatcare. WomanAsSymbolofHumanity Thesocalledimageofwomanhasbeenmuchandheatedlydiscussedbyrecentstudentsofmedievaltheology.2 Someofthediscussionhasbeenmoreobfuscating thanhelpful.Somemoderncommentatorshave,forexample,deploredthefactthatcertainpatristicfigures(suchasTertullianandAugustine)arguedthatwomanqua womanwasnotcreatedinGod'simage,althoughwomanquahumanbeingwas.Themeaningofsuchstatementsinpatristicwritingis,however,quitecomplicated.3 Andbythethirteenthcenturysucharguments,usedintheologicalandlegalwriting,oftenreferredtowoman'ssocialrole(i.e.,hersubordinationtomaninthefamily)as wellastoheranatomicalorbiologicalrole.4 Thustoarguethatwomanaswife(acreatureruledbyman)couldnotbeanimageofthekingshipofGodmightbecome notsomuchaproofoffemaleinferiorityasanargumentforrebellionagainstfamilyandasourceofconfidenceforwomenwhoretainedvirginityoraspiredto continence.Inanycase,thenotionthatwomanwas"notinGod'simage"wasnotabsorbedbymedievalwomen,evenmarriedwomen,asaprohibitionoftheir approachtoGod.Onthecontrary,thewritingofwomenmysticsisfullofreferencestobeingcreatedinGod'simage.GertrudetheGreat,MargaretofOingt, DoucelineofMarseilles,andBeatriceofNazarethallrejoicedintheircreationintheimageandlikenessofGodandsawthisimageasthebasisonwhichimitatiois built.5 Inavision,MechtildofHackebornsawChristplacehishandsonhersandgiveher"theimprintofresemblancelikeasealinwax."6 AndCatherineofSiena wrote,addressingGod:"BythelightofunderstandingwithinyourlightIhavetastedandseenyourdepth,eternalTrinity,andthebeautyofyourcreation.ThenwhenI consideredmyselfinyou,IsawthatIamyourimage.''7 Anotheraspectofmedievaltheologicalviewsofwomanhasalsobeendeploredbymodernscholars,andthereisreasontothinkthatthisnotion

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didinfluencemedievalwomen.Thisisthenotionthat,allegoricallyspeaking,"womanistomanasmatteristospirit."Thuswomanorthefemininesymbolizesthe physical,lustful,material,appetitivepartofhumannature,whereasmansymbolizesthespiritual,orrational,ormental.Aswesawaboveinchapter6,therootsofthis ideaweremultiple,scientificaswellastheological.Ancientscientistshadarguedfrequentlythatatconception,womancontributesthestuff(orphysicalnature)ofthe foetus,manthesoulorform.8 Patristicexegeteshadregularlyseenwoman(orEve)asrepresentingtheappetites,man(orAdam)asrepresentingsoulorintellect.9 WhencombinedwiththenegativeviewofmarriageandsexualitythatcharacterizedmuchearlyChristianthought,suchviewscouldanddidencouragemisogyny.They weresubtleviews,ofcourse.AndoftenwriterssuchasTertullianandAugustinewhovoicedthemhadinmindprimarilytheintegrationofvariousaspectsintoasingle personalitywhentheyspokeof"masculine"and"feminine."Thesepatristicthinkersoftenrejectedmarriagemoreasawayofrejectingfamilythanasawayofrejecting bodyorwoman.10ButbythelaterMiddleAges,aswesawinchapter1,suchrhetoricdidsometimesjustifythesuppressionofwomen'sreligiouslifesimplybecause women,evenchastewomen,wereseenasatemptationtotheclericswhosupervisedthem.Italsoprovidedabasisforthewitchhuntingtheologythatlabeledelderly womenasfleshlyandirrational,evendiabolical.Moreover,asWeinsteinandBellhavepointedout,itlednotonlytheologiansbutalsomalehagiographerstocomment onwomen'sweakness,tofocusonsexualtemptationintellingwomen'sstories,andtoattributethefailingsofmentowomenratherthantothementhemselves.11 Thenotionthatwomanistomanasmatteristospiritwassometimesusedbymaletheologiansandbiographersnotonlytodenigratewomenbuttocastigatemale failureaswell.Theargumentwentthus:ifwomen,whoweremorevulnerabletosinthanmen,lessrationalandstrong,couldrevereChristintheeucharistorflagellate theirbodiesintosubmissionandecstaticunion,howheinousbycomparisonwerethecrimesofmaleselfindulgenceandclericalcorruption!Moreover,menwent beyondtheuseof"thefemale"asawaytocastigatethemselves.Theywereaccustomedtoinverttheimageofwomanandseeherasnotonlybelowbutalsoabove reason.12TheysomewhatsentimentallysawasanapotheosisoffemaleweaknessandunreasonMary'sloveforsoulsandhermercytowardeventhewickedwho superstitiouslyreveredher.They

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encouragedwomen'svisionsasspecial,suprarationalcontactwiththedivineandromanticizedwomen'smysticisminexoticrhetoric.Sometimestheyevenused womanasasymbolofthesoulcherishedbyGodandcalledthemselvesthe"brides"ofChrist.13 Womenwriterswereawareoftheideathatwomanistomanasfleshistospirit.Thefirstgreatfemaletheologian,HildegardofBingen,knewthetraditioninbothits exegeticalandscientificformsand,indeed,arguedagainstsomeofitsimplications.14Somelatemedievalwomen(forexample,MechtildofMagdeburgandCatherine ofSiena)didfallintoaregularpatternofusingmanormanlytomeanstrong,whiledescribingthemselvesas"weak"or"despised"women,"beggars,"''poormaids," "littlegirls,"etc.15Byandlarge,however,womendidnotdrawfromthetraditionalnotionofasymbolicdichotomybetweenmaleandfemaleanysenseofincapacity forvirtue,forspiritualgrowth,orforsalvation.Womenwriterstendedeithertoignoretheirowngender,usingandrogynousimageryfortheself(asdidGertrudethe GreatandHadewijch),ortoembracetheirfemaleness(asdidMargeryKempe)asasignofclosenesstoChrist.CatherineofSiena,forexample,althoughsheurged hermaleandfemalecorrespondentstobemenratherthanweakwomen,receivedavisionfromChristinwhichhetoldherthatsheneednottakeonmaledressasa signofherpowertospeakforGod.16Herusualimagesforherselfwereeitherfemaleorandrogynous:shewasthebridetoJesusthebridegroom,orachildtoJesus thenursingmother.Ifanything,womendrewfromthetraditionalnotionofthefemaleasphysicalanemphasisontheirownredemptionbyaChristwhowassupremely physicalbecausesupremelyhuman.InfluencedbythegrowingconcernwithChrist'shumanityasbodiliness,theysometimesevenextrapolatedfromthenotionthat maleistofemaleasspiritistofleshthenotionthat,inChrist,divinityistohumanityasmaleistofemale.Whereasmalewritersusedthetraditionaldichotomyofmale andfemaletocriticizeparticularwomenandtodifferentiatesharplybetweenmaleandfemaleroles,maleandfemalecharacteristics,womenusedthedichotomy differently.Towomen,thenotionofthefemaleasfleshbecameanargumentforwomen'simitatioChristithroughphysicality.Subsumingthemale/femaledichotomy intothemorecosmicdichotomydivine/human,womensawthemselvesasthesymbolforallhumanity. InmakingthissymbolicequationofhomoorhumanitaswithEve,Mary,ormulier,womenwere,ofcourse,aidedbytheveryslipperiness

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ofthenotionofhumanity.ArecenttranslatorofCatherineofGenoahaspointedoutthat,inherwork,theallegoricalmeaningofumanittendstoslipbackandforth between"humanness"and"flesh"or"fleshlyurges."17Theauthorofthenuns'bookofUnterlindenevenusedhomotomeanallcreatures.18Intheeroticpassagefrom Hadewijchquotedaboveinchapter5,humanity(menscheit)clearlyimpliesbody:"andallmymembersfelthisinfullfelicity,inaccordancewiththedesireofmy heartandmyhumanity."Suchusagetendedbothtoobscureanysharpsenseofabody/souldichotomy(forbothbodyandsoulwerehuman)andtoimplythat humannessintimatelyinvolvedphysicality.Itwasthissenseofhumanityasentailingbodiliness(althoughnotreducibletoit)thatwomenexpressedinexpandingthe male/femaledichotomyfromspirit/fleshtodivine/human. FromHildegardofBingenandElizabethofSchnautoCatherineofSienaandJulianofNorwich,womentheologiansinthelaterMiddleAgesusedwomanto symbolizehumanity.ToElizabethofSchnauthehumanityofChristappearedinavisionasafemalevirgin.19ToHildegardofBingen,Christ'shumanitywasto Christ'sdivinityaswomanistoman,andmulierrepresentedhumankind,falleninEve,restoredinecclesiaandMaria.Inthepassagequotedasepigraphtothis chapter,Hildegardnotonlywritesexplicitlythat"mansignifiesthedivinityoftheSonofGod,andwomanhishumanity,"shealsoarguesthatthetwoare complementaryinoursalvationasmaleandfemalearenecessarytoeachotherinreligiouslifeandinthebiologicalprocessofprocreation.Repeatedlyinherwork, HildegarddescribesthatwhichisredeemedbyChristthehumanity(includingphysicality)thatcomesfromMaryasfeminineandsheunderlinestheassociationof womanhumanitywithfleshlinessbyarguingthatAdamiscreatedfromclaybutEvefromflesh.ThusEve'screationnotfromseedbutfromflesh(nonexseminebut carodecarne)isaparalleltotheIncarnationofChrist.20Moreover,theparallelwomanhumanityChristisenhancedbyHildegard'ssensethatChrist'sbodyisalso ecclesia("church"afemininenouninvariablysymbolizediconographicallybyafemalefigure).Inafamouseucharisticvision,Hildegardsawwhatshecalledthe "figureofwoman"(muliebrisimago)receivingfromChrist,hangingonthecross,adowryofhisblood,whilebelowthecrossstoodanaltarwiththechaliceand aroundthechalicewererevealedasinamirrortheeventsofChrist'searthlylife(seeplate12).AndHildegardheardthewords:"Eatanddrinkthebodyandbloodof mySontoabolishtheprevaricationofEveandreceiveyour

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trueinheritance."Althoughthepriesthoodwas,toHildegard,reveredandessential(andlimitedtomen),thepriestentersthiseucharisticvisiononlyafterholychurch. Theimageofbothsinfulandsavedhumanityistheimageofwoman.21 Moreover,towomenwriterssuchasHildegard,MechtildofMagdeburg,andCatherineofSiena,MarywasthesourceandcontainerofChrist'sphysicality:theflesh Christputonwasinsomesensefemale,becauseitwashismother's.Therootsofsuchtheologicalinterpretationliepartlyinscientifictheory.Aristotelianphysiological doctrineheldthatthemotherprovidesthestuffofthefoetus,thefathertheformoranimatingprinciple,whereasamoreGalenicinterpretation(whichHildegard,for example,reflected)heldthatthemaleandfemaleseedstogetherproducetheinfant.22Butwhichevertheoryofconceptionamedievaltheologianheld,Christ(whohad nohumanfather)hadtobeseenastakinghisfleshfromMary.ThissensethatChristasbodyisformedfromMary'sbodyledHildegardtoarguethatitisexactly femalefleshtheveryweaknessofwomanthatrestorestheworld.Thusfleshistoher,inhervisionsandinthetheologicalexegesistheystimulate,symbolizedby woman.Christ'sflesh(hismother'sflesh)ishisspouse:"trulythatflesh,immaculateandinviolate,likeaspouse,proceedsfromthevirginwomb."Acenturyafter Hildegard,MechtildofMagdeburgwentfurtherandimpliedthatMarywasakindofpreexistenthumanityofChristastheLogoswashispreexistentdivinity. MechtildarguedthattheIncarnationjoinedtheLogos(thepreexistentSonofGod)withapurehumanity,createdalongwithAdambutpreservedaspureinMary aftertheFall.23Otherwomenwritersimplythesamething.CatherineofSiena,whousuallyreferredtohumanityas"Adam,"24sometimesassociateditwiththeflesh ofMary.Shewrote,speakingofMary'ssorrowattheCrucifixion:
Ohsweetestlove,whichwastheswordthatpiercedtheheartandsoulofthemother!TheSonwasbrokeninbody,andthemothersimilarly,forhisfleshwasfromher.Indeeditis justthatshesufferedinwhatbefellhimforhetookhisimmaculatefleshfromher....Hehadtheformoffleshandshe,likehotwax,receivedtheimprintofdesireandloveforour salvationfromthesealingoftheHolySpirit,andbymeansofthissealthedivineWordwasincarnate.25

MargaretofOingt,likeHildegard,wrotethatMaryisthetunicahumanitatis,theclothingofhumanity,thatChristputson.26

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InaveryunsettlingreflectionofthisemphasisonChristasassumingMary'sflesh,afourteenthcenturywomanfromMontaillousaidshecouldnotbelieveinthereal presence:
OnedayasIwasgoingtothechurchoftheHolyCrosstohearmass,Iheardsomewomen...sayingthatawomanhadgivenbirthontheroadside....Hearingthis,Ithoughtof thedisgustingafterbirththatwomenexpelinchildbearingandwheneverIsawthebodyoftheLordraisedonthealtarIkeptthinking,becauseofthatafterbirth,thatthehostwas somethingpolluted.That'swhyIcouldnolongerbelieveitwasthebodyofChrist.27

TheagonizedskepticismofthiswomanAudeaboutthesacramentsandevenaboutGodsprangfromrootssodeepwecannomorediagnosethemthancouldthe inquisitorwhoexaminedherforsymptomsofCatharheresy.Butitisclearthatherobsessionwiththehostasawoman'splacentaaroseinthecontextofaspirituality thatlaidgraphicemphasisontheconsecratedwaferasaproductof,afragmentandexudingof,thefemalewomb. Suchideaslieinthebackgroundofthetheologyof"God'smotherhood,"developedbyJulianofNorwichinthelatefourteenthcenturyandmuchcommenteduponby recentscholars.28Theuseofmotheringasadescriptionforthenurturingandloving(eventhedisciplining)thatthesoulreceivesfromGodisnotnewwithJulian,nor areJulian'sextendedimagesofJesusaslactatingandbirthingmother.Jesus'birthpangshadbeenextensivelydescribedbyMargaretofOingtinthethirteenthcentury, andhisnursingofthesoulwaselaboratedby,amongothers,GuerricofIgnyinthetwelfthcenturyandCatherineofSienaandtheanonymousmonkofFarneinthe fourteenth.29WhatisnewinJulianistheideathatGod'smotherhood,expressedinChrist,isnotmerelyloveandmercy,notmerelyredemptionthroughthesacrifice ofthecross,butalsoatakingonofourphysicalhumanityintheIncarnation,akindofcreationofus,asamothergivesherselftothefoetusshebears.Inavery difficultpassage,JulianexplainsthatthesecondpersonoftheTrinityisourmotherbecauseinhim/herwearedouble,substantialandsensual(thatis,whatweareis human,andthiskindofasoulahumansoulisonethatknowsandfeelsinabody)."Oursubstanceisthehigherpart,whichwehaveinourFather,GodAlmighty andthesecondpersonoftheTrinityisourMotherinnatureinoursubstantialcreation,inwhomwearefoundedandrooted,andheisourMotherof

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mercyintakingoursensuality."30Inotherwords,thefullcreaturethatweare,bodyaswellassoul,isredeemedinChristbecauseChristisfullyhuman.This fundamentalfactofsalvationisappropriatelysymbolizednotby"father,"whorelatestoandisresponsibleforthesoulorreasonorspiritofthechild,butby"mother," fromwhomthechild'sphysicalitycomesandwhoseexistencethereforemakespossibleitswholeness.So,asJulianputsit,inourmother"ourpartsarekept undivided."ToJulian,therefore,MaryisourmotherbecauseherfleshisChrist'sbutsheisashadowofthetruermother,Christhimself,whogivestousourhumanity bytakingiton:


ForinthesametimethatGodjoinedhimselftoourbodyinthemaiden'swomb,hetookoursoul,whichissensual,andintakingit,havingenclosedusallinhimself,heuniteditto oursubstance.Inthisunionhewasperfectman,forChrist,havingjoinedinhimselfeverymanwhowillbesaved,isperfectman. SoourLadyisourmother,inwhomweareallenclosedandbornofherinChrist,forshewhoismotherofourSaviorismotherofallwhoaresavedinourSaviorandourSavioris ourtrueMother,inwhomweareendlesslybornandoutofwhomweshallnevercome.31

Malewritersweremostapttouse"male"and"female"asdichotomousimages,representing,forexample,nurtureversusdiscipline,orweakversusstrong,or inspirationversustheauthorityofofficeandmalewriterssawGod'smotherhoodinhisnursingandlovingratherthan(asJuliandid)inthefactofcreation.32Butmale writerstooassociatedthefleshofChristwithMaryandthereforewithwomen.RobertGrosseteste(d.1253)wrotetothemonksofPeterborough:"Inyourmonastery continuallydwellstheKingofheaven,notonlybyhisdivinitybutalso,inthesacramentoftheeucharist,bythetruesubstanceoftheflesh,whichhetookfromthe Virgin."33AndmalewritersoccasionallysawthefemaleassymbolofChrist'shumanity.InacomplexpassagethatequatesAdamwithallhumanitybutseesthat humanityasthebrideofChrist,Ruysbroeckwrote:


ThisbridegroomisChristandman'snatureisthebride....[Andthedevildeceivedtheman]inwhomhumanityfirstexisted.Andbyfalsecounselheseducedher,Nature,the brideofGod.Andshewasdrivenoutintoastrangeland....ButwhenGodthoughtittime...thenhesenthisonlybegottenSononearth,intoasplendidcourtandintoa glorioustemple,whichwasthebodyofthegloriousmaidenMary.There

Page268 heespousedthisbride,ournature,andunitedherwithHisPersonbythenoblevirgin'smostpureblood.34

Thushumannature,falleninAdam,istakenon,married,andredeemedbyChristthebridegroominMary'sbody.Itisthebrideitissymbolizedbythefemale.Andif ournatureisnotMaryherself(thesecondEve)asitappearstobetoMechtilditsmarriagetoChristisnonethelessmadepossibleonlybythebodyandbloodof woman.35 TheassociationofChrist'sfleshwithwomanwasreinforcediniconography,whereMaryhadaplaceofhonoroneucharistictabernacles.Themodernhistorian DumoutethasdescribedanumberoflatemedievalinstancesinwhichafigureofMaryactuallyisthetabernacleinwhichtheconsecratedhostisreservedand,asI explainedabove,retablestendedtoassociatetheconsecrationwiththeIncarnationbydepictingtogethertheofficiatingpriestandscenesoftheAnnunciationorof Marywithherbaby.36InthesocalledViergesouvrantes(plate13),statuesofMaryopenedtorevealtheTrinityinside,thusunderliningthenotionthatMaryisthe container(i.e.,thewomb,thetabernacle,thereliquary)withinwhichreststhebodyofGod.37WilliamDurandustheElderinhisRationaledivinorumofficiorumof 12851291saidthatthereliquary(capsa)intowhichthepriestputtheconsecratedhostwas,symbolicallyspeaking,thebodyofMary.38FrancisofAssisi,inhis "SalutationoftheBlessedVirgin,"addressedMarythus:
Hail,his[i.e.,Christ's]Palace. Hail,histabernacle. Hail,hisrobe. Hail,hisHandmaiden.39

AndSusocalledhertheshrineinwhichWisdomreposes.40InoneofBernardofClairvaux'ssermonsonthePurification,theparallelbetweenthechildinMary's wombandthehostofferedonthealtarisexplicitlydrawn.BernardsuggeststhatMary,motherandcelebrant,providesandpresentstothefaithfulthebodythatistheir salvation:"Offeryourson,sacredVirgin,andpresenttheblessedfruitofyourwombtoGod.Offertheblessedhost,pleasingtoGod,forthereconciliationofusall."41 Indeed,sincewoman'sbodywasseenastheplacewheretheIncarnationhappens,theconsecratingpriestwassometimesdescribedasapregnantwoman:Caesarius ofHeisterbachdescribedapriestwhoswelledinmysticalpregnancyanoftenquotedtwelfthcenturytextpraisedthedignity

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ofpriestsbecauseintheirhandsChristisincarnated"asintheVirgin'swomb."42 Thesymbolicassociationofhumanitywiththefemalethusderivedstrengthbothfromtheassociationofhumanitywithphysicality(andwomanwasthesymbolofflesh) andfromtheassociationofChrist'shumanitywithhismother.Itisinthiscontextthatwemustunderstandwomen'sdevotiontoMary,forwomen'sdevotionwasless toMary'ssocialorreligiousroleaswomanthantoherphysicalroleasbearerofhumanity.Thisexplainsarathercuriousfact,notedbyrecenthistorians.43Maryisnot reallyasimportantasonemightexpectinwomen'sspirituality. AstheworkofSimoneRoisinhassuggested,Marywasprobablymoreimportantinmen'svisionsthaninwomen'sinthelaterMiddleAges.44Moreover,Weinstein andBellhavedemonstratedthatthehumanityofChristwasamoreprominentemphasisinwomen'spietythanwasdevotiontotheVirgin.45Thisisnottosaythat Marywasunimportanttowomen.ParticularlyinsouthernEuropeansaints'vitae,thethemeofimitatioMariaeisstrong.ThebiographerofDoucelineofMarseilles, forexample,seesherasimitatingthepovertyofMary,whereasherbelovedFrancisimitatedthepovertyofChristdirectly.46AndMargeryKempeclearlyidentified withMaryandwished,likeher,totakeChristinherarms.Butwefrequentlyfindthatitismalebiographersofwomenwhostressthethemeofwomen'simitationof Mary(andofotherwomen).47Somewomensaintsdo,itistrue,seethemselvesinvisionsswooningwithMarybeforethecross.Butallwomensaintsswoononthe crosswithChristhimself.48ThereverenceforMarythatwefindinwomenmysticsislessareverencefora"representativewoman"thanareverenceforbody,forthe bearerandconduitoftheIncarnation.ThusdevotiontoMarytendedtobeapreludetodevotiontoherchild.IfMarywasimportantinHadewijch'smysticism,for example,orinJulianofNorwich'stheology,itwasbecauseChrist'sbodywastheoccasionforhumanredemptionandMary'sbody,thesourceofChrist'sbody,was thesymbolofthebodilinessofusall.49 Woman'sBodyAsFood Medievalpeopledidnotsimplyassociatebodywithwoman.Theyalsoassociatedwoman'sbodywithfood.Womanwasfoodbecause

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breastmilkwasthehumanbeing'sfirstnourishmenttheonefoodessentialforsurvival.Medievalwritersandartistswerefondofthetheme,borrowedfromantiquity, oflactationofferedtoafatherorotheradultmaleasanactoffilialpiety.50ThecultoftheVirgin'smilkwasoneofthemostextensiveinlatemedievalEurope.51A favoritemotifinartwasthelactatingVirgin(see,forexample,plates14,21,22,23,24).TheallegoricalfigureCharitywasfrequentlydepictedasanursingmother, andsometimestheothervirtuesalsowererepresentedaswomenwithflowingbreasts(seeplates15and16).52TheallegoricalfigureEcclesiawasalsofrequently shownasanursingmother(seeplate17).53Eventhebodiesofevilwomenwereseenasfood.Witchesweresupposedtohavequeermarksontheirbodies (supernumerarybreasts)atwhichtheynursedincubi.54 Maleandfemalewritersusednursingimageryindifferingways.Menweremorelikelytouseimagesofbeingnursedwomen,metaphorsofnursing.Whenmale writersspokeofGod'smotherhood,theyfocusedmorenarrowlyonthesoulbeingsuckledatChrist'sbreast,whereaswomenwereapttoassociatemotheringwith punishing,educating,orgivingbirthaswell.55MostvisionsofdrinkingfromthebreastofMarywerereceivedbymen(themostfamousarethevisionsofBernardof Clairvauxseeplates18and19andHenrySuso),althoughthereareatleasttwocasesofGermannunsreceivingthesamevisioninthelatethirteenthcentury.56In contrast,women(forexample,IdaofLouvainandMargeryKempe)sometimesidentifiedwithMaryasshesuckledJesusorreceivedvisionsoftakingtheChristchild totheirbreasts. Bothmenandwomen,however,drankfromthebreastofChrist,invisionandinimage.BothmenandwomenwovefromPaulinereferencestomeatandmilkand fromtherichbreastandfoodimagesoftheSongofSongsacomplexsenseofChrist'sbloodasthenourishmentandintoxicationofthesoul.57Bothmenand womenthereforesawthebodyonthecross,whichindyingfedtheworld,asinsomesensefemale.Again,physiologicaltheoryreinforcedimage.Tomedievalnatural philosophers,breastmilkwastransmutedblood,andahumanmotherlikethepelicanthatalsosymbolizedChristfedherchildrenfromthefluidoflifethatcoursed throughherveins.58Asearlyasthesecondcentury,ClementofAlexandriahadspokenofChristasmother,drawingouttheanalogybetweenaGodwhofeeds humankindwithhisownbloodintheeucharistandahumanmotherwhosebloodbecomesfood

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forherchild.59Inthetwelfthcentury,nursingimageryoftenreferredtomilkandhoney,butbythethirteenthandfourteenthcenturiestheimageofthenursingJesus regularlystressedbloodmorethanmilkasthefoodofthesoul.60MechtildofMagdeburg,forexample,notonlydrewaparallelbetweenbloodandmilk,shealso spokeofbloodassuperiorfoodandsawherownprayerandsufferingforothersoulsasnursingthemwithblood.61WhenCatherineofSienaspokeofdrinkingblood fromthebreastofmotherJesus,sheexplicitlyglossedbloodassufferingbothJesus'sufferingandherown.62 SuchanassociationofChrist'swoundswithwoman'sbodyandofwomanwiththefoodoftheeucharistisalsofoundinlatemedievalart.Medievalartistsexplicitly associatedthelactatingVirginwiththeeucharist.ThebreastoftheVirginwasassociatedvisuallywiththegrapeandtherebywithpassagesfromtheSongofSongs thatwereinterpretedaseucharisticreferences(seeplates20,21,22),andthenursingVirginwasalsodepictedasatableoranovenonwhichthechild(i.e.,thebody orthefood)wasofferedorbaked(seeplates14,24).63Inthosepictureswherethechilddoesnothimselfnursebut,rather,seemstoinvitetheviewertowardthe breast(seeplates14and23),someassimilationofMary'smilkandthebloodoftheeucharistmaybeintended.BarbaraLanehaspointedout,forexample,thatina miniatureofabout13801385fromtheTurinMilanBookofHours(seeplate23),thechildmakesnoattempttonurse,andMary'sgestureofpressingmilkfromher breastisdirectedtowardakneelingsupplicantwhoseemsfarmoreanxiousforthefoodthandoesthechild.64 Artists,however,wentfurtherthanmerelyassociatingthebreastsofMarywitheucharisticfeedingofthesoul.Thereareafewlatemedievalpaintingsthatsuggest (eveniftheydonotdirectlydepict)thelactatingJesusfamiliarfromdevotionaltexts.Wefindthissuggestionmoststrikinglyinanobscurepaintingoverwhichthegreat historianGougaudpuzzledagenerationago(seeplate25).65Thepainting(nowintheAccademiainVenice)wasmadeinthefifteenthcenturybyacertainQuiriziofor themonasteryofSt.ClareontheislandofMurano.Quirizio(oneofwhoseotherextantpaintingsalsodepictsaeucharistictheme)showsayoung,tooureyes somewhatfeminine,andverybeautifulChristdisplayingthewoundinhisrightside,locatedhighup,whereanipplewouldbe.66Heliftsupandoffersthewoundwith twofingersofhislefthand,justastheVirginoffersherbreasttotheinfantChristinhundreds

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ofmedievalpaintings.Withhisrighthandhegivesthehosttoakneelingnun.AndaroundhimiswritteninphrasesborrowedfromtheSongofSongs:"Cometome, dearlybelovedfriends,andeatmyflesh"and"Cometome,mostbeloved,inthecellarofwineandinebriateyourselfwithmyblood."Quirizio'spaintingisrelated iconographicallytothosedepictionsthatarthistorianscallthe"eucharisticManofSorrows"(seeplates26,27,30),andinatleastoneofthesegraphicimagesof Christ'sflowingbloodasfoodthefemalefigureCharity(herselfoftendepictedwithflowingbreasts)receivesthesavingliquidinachaliceasthenuninQuirizio's picturereceivesthewafer.67Thesepaintingsremindusofthepicture(notextant)whichasixteenthcenturyhagiographerreportsAldaofSienatohave commissionedapictureofastunningreversal,inwhichMarydrinksfromthebreastofChristwhileholdinghiminherarms.68 TheparallelismofChrist'swoundandMary'sbreastsuggestedinQuirizio'spaintingissometimesmadeexplicitinmedievalart.AnimageoftheVirginpresentingher breastoftenaccompaniesthefigureofChristexposinghiswound,toformthesocalledDoubleIntercession.Forexample,inamidfifteenthcenturyminiaturefrom theTurinMilanBookofHours,Marytouchesherbreast,whichshedoesnotdointhestandardportrayaloftheMadonnaofHumility(seeplate28).69InaLast JudgmentbyJanProvost(earlysixteenthcentury),theVirginandChristbareandliftuptheirbreastsinexactlyparallelgestures(seeplate29).70Insomesuch depictions,itisnotmerelythebreastassymbolofcompassionorcharity(andthereforeofintercession)thatisoffereditisthebreastasfood,paralleltothebleeding (i.e.,nurturing)wound.InanearlysixteenthcenturydepictionofChristastheManofSorrows,forexample,Christinthecentralpanelliftsupableedingwoundwhile ontherighthandpaneltheVirgin,standingbesideBernardwhomshenursed,liftsupherbreastinanidenticalgesture(seeplate30).Thepictureremindsusthat literaryaccountsofthemiracleofthelactationofBernarddescribeBernardaschoosingbetweenthebleedingwoundofChristandtheflowingbreastofhismother.71 SinceChrist'sbodywasabodythatnursedthehungry,bothmenandwomennaturallyassimilatedtheordinaryfemalebodytoit.WomenmysticssuchasMechtildof MagdeburgandCatherineofSienausedthemetaphorofthenursingmothertodescribetheirownsufferingfor

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others,sometimesclearlyimplyingthattheirspillingofbloodmilkwasimitatioofChrist'snurturingandinebriatingwoundsbreasts.Moreover,miraculouslactating, exuding,andfeedingwerecharacteristicfemalemiraclesinthelaterMiddleAges.MalehagiographerssuchasThomasofCantimprsawwomensaintsdrippingholy fluidfrombreastsorfingertips.SeveralpiousvirginsfromtheLowCountriesChristinatheAstonishing,GertrudevanOosten,andLidwinaofSchiedam supposedlynursedtheiradherentsorcuredotherswiththeirbreastmilk.Womenmysticsthemselveshadvisionsoffeedingothers,includingtheChristchild.Theunion ofmouthtomouth,whichmanywomen(forexample,Lutgard,BeatriceofNazareth,Lukardis,MargaretofFaenza)gainedwithChrist,becamealsoawayoffeeding. 72Lutgard'ssalivacuredthesickLukardisblewtheeucharistintoasister'smouthColetteofCorbiecuredwithcrumbsshechewedandplacedinthemouthsof others.Inagesturethatseemseroticaswellascomfortingandnurturing,MargaretofFaenzakissedherfriendBenevenuta,whowasrecoveringfromatranceinduced bythemass,andreceivedconsolation.


SisterMargaretplacedherfaceonher[friend's]faceandkissedher:andthenshefeltsuchsweetnessandconsolationgooutfromher[friend]andenterintoher,thatitseemedto herthatalltheconsolationsoftheworldcouldnotbeequaltothis.AndthisconsolationremainedinSisterMargaretformanydays,withagreatabundanceoftears.73

Asnotedabove,legendsofmiraculousexudingafterdeathseemtohavebeenattachedmorefrequentlytowomen'sbodiesthantomen'saftertheeleventhcentury.74 Andwheremarvelouseffluviawerepartofasaint'spower(asinthecases,forexample,ofNicholasofMyra,Walburga,AgnesofMontepulciano,Elizabethof Hungary,MargaretofCittdiCastello,RoseofViterbo,andMaryMagdalende'Pazzi),foodandnursingmotifstendedtobeofstrikingimportanceinthesaint's story.ThelegendaryCatherineofAlexandria,forexample,fromwhosetombonMountSinaiholyoilwascarriedallovertheWesternworld,wassupposedtohave bledmilkratherthanbloodfromherseveredveinswhenbeheaded.75Indeed,onesuspectsthatstigmataappearedmostfrequentlyonwomen'sbodiesbecause stigmata(likethemarksonthebodiesofwitchesandthewoundsinthebodyofChrist)werenotmerelywoundsbutalsobreasts.Inthisliteralbecomingofthe crucifiedbody,

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whichafemalemysticmightachievebyecstasyorbyeatingthebleedinghostwhichfeedshumankind,woman'swoundsbreastsrecapitulatedthewoundsbreastsof Christ. Thusthefemalebodywasseenaspowerfulinitsholyormiraculousexuding,whetherofbreastmilkorofbloodorofoil.Suchextraordinaryflowingoutwas predicatedonextraordinaryclosure.Holywomenwereoftensaidneithertoeatnortoexcrete.Stigmaticsormyroblyteswereoftenmiraculousfastersforexample, MaryofOignies,LutgardofAywires,ChristinatheAstonishing,ElizabethofHungary,AgnesofMontepulciano,ElsbetAchler,CatherineofSiena,Lidwinaof Schiedamandtheologiansunderlinedthefactthatthosewhobledorexudedunusualfluidsdidnotexcreteinordinaryways.Theemphasisofhagiographers,who pointedoutthatsaintsneitherexcretednormenstruated,andofearlymodernpamphleteers,whopraisedthesocalledfastinggirlsfornotexudingsomuchassweat ordandruff,seemsbasedonsomenotionofbalance.InthethirteenthcenturyRogerBacontriedtoexplainsuchphenomenanaturalisticallybyarguingthatthemattera fastingwomandidnotexcretemightenablehertosurvivewithouteatingbut,takentogether,thestoriesofpiouswomensuggestadeeper,symbolicbalance:a balanceofeatingwithnoteating,exudingwithnotexuding.ClosingherselfofftoordinaryfoodyetconsumingGodintheeucharist,theholywomanbecameGod's body.Andthatbodyflowedout,notintheinvoluntaryeffluviaofurineormenstrualbloodordandruff,butinachosensuffering,achosenexcreting,thatwashed,fed, andsavedtheworld. Theextremeinterestinphysicalityandthecloseassociationofwomanwithbodyandfoodthatcharacterizedlatemedievalcultureseemtoliebehindnotonlywomen's eucharisticpietyandfoodasceticismbutalsothestartlingnumberofwomen'smiraclesthatinvolvebodilychange.Women'sbodiesgaveoffsweetsmellsaswellas healingeffluvia,indulgedinecstaticnosebleedsandtrances,displayedabruptchangesinsizeandappearance,andbrokeoutinmiraculousphysicalmarksrangingfrom espousalringstostigmata.OncewetakeasseriouslyasmedievalpeopledidtheideathatonthealtarGodbecomesfood(tornandbleedingmeat),wecanseeas neverbeforehowmuchofsuchpietywasliterallyimitatioChristi.Thesomaticchangeswomenunderwentparalleltoastrikingextentthesavors,aromas,marks,and alterationsthatoccur

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intheconsecratedhost.Nowonderwomenmanipulatedtheirbodiesindoingso,theybecameGodaGodwhofeedsandsaves.76 ManyassumptionsinthetheologyandcultureofEuropeidentifiedwomanwithfleshandwithfood.Thissametheologytaughtthattheredemptionofallhumanitylayin thefactthatChristwasfleshandfood.Moreover,bothChristandwomenwerefoodinsofarastheywerebodies.God,likewoman,fedhischildrenfromhisown body,andifGoddidnotmakehischildrenfromhisownflesh,hesavedthembytakingforhimselfabodyfromtheirhumanity.Thuswomenfounditveryeasyto identifywithadeitywhoseflesh,liketheirs,wasfood.Inmysticalecstasy,incommunion,inasceticimitatio,womenateandbecameaGodwhowasfoodandflesh. AndineatingaGodwhosebodywasmeatanddrink,womenbothtransfiguredandbecamemorefullythefleshandthefoodthattheirownbodieswere.77 Anexplorationofwhatwomanmeanttolatemedievalmenandwomen,ofwhatsymbolsandassumptionsclusteredaroundthefemale,thushelpsustounderstand whycertainmetaphorsweresoprominentinwomen'sspiritualwritingandwhywomennotonlypracticedcertainreligiousbehaviorsbutalsooccasionallycarried thosebehaviorstoextraordinarylengths.Ishould,however,closethisefforttoexplainwhywomenchosecertainimagesandpracticeswithanobviousbutnecessary warning.Symboldoesnotdeterminebehavior.TheimagesIhavediscussedherewerefartoocomplex,toomultivalent,todictateanyspecificresponse.Justas women'sfoodpracticesmanipulatedtheirenvironmentwithdivergentandunpredictableresults,sowomen'sattemptstoimitateChrist,tobecomethesufferingand feedingbodyonthecross,issuedinawidevarietyoflifestories.Althoughmostreligiouswomenseemtohaveunderstoodtheirdevotionalpracticesasinsomesense servingaswellassuffering,theyactedinverydifferentways.Some,suchasCatherineofGenoa,ElizabethofHungary,andMaryofOignies,expressedtheirpietyin feedingandcaringforthepoor.Some,suchasAlpas,AliceofSchaerbeke,andElsbetAchler,layraptinmysticalcontemplationastheirbodiesdecayedindiseaseor inselfinducedstarvationthatwasofferedforthesalvationofothers.Some,suchasBeatriceofNazareth,grewfromaperiodofwithdrawal,insanity,anddiseaseinto alaterphaseofconfidentleadershipsome,suchasMargaretofHungaryandDorothyofMontau,spenttheirlivesinabusycombinationof

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charitableactivitiesandacute,selfpunishingasceticism.Itismisleadingtotrytosketchacompositelifestoryforreligiouswomen.78Anditimpliesamisunderstanding ofthefundamentalnatureofsymbolstosuggestthattheycompelledspecificbehaviors.79Instead,symbolsenabledwomentoexpressandgivemeaningtocertain basicrealitiesthatallsocietiesface:therealitiesofsufferingandtherealitiesofserviceandgenerativity. Yet,womenchosecertainsymbolsespeciallyeatingandpainmorefrequentlythandidmen.Andthemedievalnotionofthefemaleasbodyandfoodseemsto havesuggestedthattherealitiesofsufferingandservice,althoughuniversalaspectsofthehumancondition,somehowpressedmoreheavilyonwomenorthatwomen foundinthemaspecialsignificance.Indeed,theassociationofwomanwithbodyandfoodwascharacteristicoftextswrittenbybothwomenandmen.This associationthusnotonlyhelpsustounderstandthemultifacetedbehaviorofmedievalwomen,italsoraisesprofoundquestionsaboutwhethermenandwomenused symbolsinthesameway.For,ifmenandwomenlivedtogetherinasocietyinwhichmaleandfemalenotonlysymbolizeddifferentthingsbutalsohadasymmetrical (thatis,unequalandnonparallel)values,itisreasonabletoaskwhetherthetwosexesmadethesameuseofgenderrelatedimages,orindeedofanyimages.Didthe notionoffemaleasfoodorbody,weaknessorunreason,meantoapersonwhowasfemalewhatitmeanttoapersonwhowasnot?Inconclusion,therefore,letme turntothequestionofhowwomen'simagesoffoodandbodysymbolizedself,makingtheanswermoreprecisebydelineating,ascomparison,howmen'sreligious behaviorandimagesreflectedmen'sselves.

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10 Women'sSymbols
Godhasnowheretoputhisgoodness,ifnotinme...noplacetoputhimselfentire,ifnotinme.AndbythismeansIamtheexemplarofsalvation,andwhatismore,Iamthe salvationitselfofeverycreature,andthegloryofGod....ForIamthesumofallevils.ForifofmyownnatureIcontainwhatisevil,thenIamallevil....NowifIamallevil,andhe isallgoodness,andonemustgivealmstothepoorestbeing,orelseonetakesawaywhatishersbyright,andGodcandonowrong,forotherwisehewouldundohimselfthenIam hisgoodnessbecauseofmyneediness....Ineedtohavethewholeofhisgoodness,thatmyevilmaybestaunched:mypovertycannotmakedowithless.Andhisgoodness,being powerfulandprevailing,couldnotenduremybegging,andIwouldperforcehavetobegifhedidnotgivemeallhisgoodness....SoitisclearlyevidentthatIamthepraiseofGod forever,andthesalvationofhumancreaturesforthesalvationofanycreatureisnothingbutknowingthegoodnessofGod....NorcanIeverlosehisgoodness,sinceIcannever losemyevil. MARGARETPORETE(D.1310)1 MyMeisGod. CATHERINEOFGENOA(D.1510)2

InwesternEuropeintheMiddleAges,asinmanyculturestoday,womencookedandmenate.Oneofthestrongestsociallinksbetweenmaleandfemalelayinthe factthatwifeorservantcookedwhathusbandandlordprovidedandintheevenmoreconsequentialfactthatmother'swombandmother'smilkguaranteedsurvival forthenextgeneration.AsEliasCanettisays:''Amotherisonewhogivesherownbodytobeeaten."Thisisnot,ofcourse,tosaythatwomenneverateorthatonly malechildrenwerenourishedfromthefemalebody.Itis,rather,tosaythatsocialarrangementsandculturalsymbolsstereotypedreceptionofnurtureasamale activity,provisionofnurtureasafemaleone. Itisagainstthisbackgroundthatwemustlocatethefoodsymbolism

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ofmedievalChristianity.AndwhenweunderstandChristianity'sfundamentalsymbolsinsuchacontext,theyburstuponuswithstunningandunexpectedimport.Forin themassthepriestpreparesfood,andthefooditselfisabodythatfeedswithitsownfluidsandsaveswiththefleshlycoveringitprovides.Ifmedievalpeopleturned totheMadonnaandchildasasymbolthattheawfulnessandmercyofGodhavealreadyreachedacrosstheabysscreatedbythesinofhumankind,howmuchmore confidentlydidtheyturntoGodhimself,lactatingonthecross,bearingthesoulinhiswomb,feedingthefaithfulfromthehandsofhisspecialcooksandservants,the clergy?WhenCatherineofSienaspokeofGodastable,Christasroastedflesh,andtheHolySpiritaswaiterandservant,shewasnotindulginginanoddfeminine needtousedomesticimagesshewasexpressingastartlingreversalattheheartofChristianimagery.Whenmedievaltextsandmedievalvisionsspokeofclericsas pregnantwithJesus,theyexpressednotgenderconfusiononthepartofmaleauthorsandworshipersbutthepolysemous,fertile,paradoxicalqualitythatChristian symbolssharewithallsymbols.Inthemass,priestandGodaresymbolicallywoman(althoughtheyareotherthingsaswell)womanasfoodpreparer,womanas food. MedievalworshipersknewthatwomenwerebarredfromclericalordersandfromplacesnearthealtarwhereGodwashandledtheyknewthatonejustificationfor suchprohibitionwasthegenderofthehumanbodybornofMary.3 Increasinglyfromthetwelfthtothefifteenthcentury,theysawwomanasquintessentialrecipient, manasquintessentialcelebrant,makerandcontrollerofthebodyofGod.YettheyoccasionallysawtheNewTestamentaccountofthePresentationintheTempleas amomentatwhichMarythevesselthatboreGod'sbodywaspriest.4 Morethanoccasionallytheysawthecelebrantaspregnantwiththehost.Andinthecultof theSacredHeart,theyfrequentlysawGod'sbodyitselflactating,givingbirth,clothingourhumannesswiththespotlesshumannessofGod.Inexactlythatperiodof medievalspiritualitythatscholarshavedismissedas"literal"and"degenerate,"symbolsfloweredintoacomplexitythatliftedthefullpanoramaofhumanexperience towardthedivine.Priestwaskingandcook.Godwasfatherandmother,powerandnurture,swordandbreast.Ifthemalemonopolyofreligiousleadershipand descriptionsofGodasmalemirroredsocialhierarchy,descriptionsofGodasfemaleandthestartlingreversalattheheartof

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themassprovidedanalternativetoandacritiqueoftheasymmetrybetweenthesexesintheordinaryworkadayworld. Havingsaidallthis,havewe,however,saidenough?Werethefoodsymbolsofmedievalreligionsimplyreversals?Andwerethey,asreversals,perceivedandusedin similarwaysbywomenandmen?Inparticular,didthemedievalwomenwhoselivesIchronicleherefindtheirmostprofoundselfexpressionandtheirmostsuccessful accesstoGodthroughelevationbyreversedimagesintomaleroles,freedoms,andcapacities?Theanswerisclearlyno.Howeverunexpectedandprofoundthe reversalattheheartofthemass,thatreversaldoesnotexpressthedeepestselfperceptionofthewomenwhosevisionsandwordsformtheheartofthisbook.If HildegardofBingen,Hadewijch,MechtildofMagdeburg,andthetwoItalianCatherinessoaredfarabovethehumilitysuggestedbytheirconventionalreferencesto themselvesas"poorlittlewomen,""unlettered"and"soft,"itwasnotbecausetheyclaimedmalepowerandauthorityorfoundtheirdeepestreleaseinasenseof receivingselfwaitedonbypriestascook,HolySpiritaswaiter,orGodasmother.ItwasbecausetheyknewGodactedthroughthelowly.Women'ssymbolsdidnot reversesocialfact,theyenhancedit.ThusHadewijchcouldconceiveofherignorantselfaswrenchingsoulsoutofhellCatherineofGenoacouldclaimpowerthrough sufferingwhenshespokeofher''Me"as"God"MargaretPorete(burnedatthestakeforherconfidenceintheannihilationofsoulsindivinity)couldclaim"I becauseIamlowlyamtheexemplarofsalvation."Women'ssymbolsexpressedthefactthatwomanaswhatsheissoft,unwise,poor,andhumanislovedand savedbyGod. Inordertounderstandtheimportofthisobservation,somemethodologicalandtheoreticalbackgroundisnecessary. TheMeaningofSymbolicReversal Anthropologists,whohaveprovidedtwentiethcenturyhistorianswithimportanttoolsforunderstandinghowsymbols"mean,"havesuggestedthatinritualandin narrative,reversalofsymbolsoftenmarkscrucialmomentsorturningpoints.Theseanthropologistshavetended

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toseesuchsymbolicreversalsasprovidinga"liminality"amomentofescapefromroleandstatus,acrossingofboundariesormarginsintoanoppositeroleor perhapsintorolelessnessthatultimatelyreinforcesnormalsocialstructures.5 Ontheotherhand,historianssuchasNatalieDavishavefrequentlyseenarevolutionary potentialoratleastapowerfulsocialcritiqueinsuchsymbolicreversals.6 TheanalysisofmedievalsymbolsIhavegivenabovesupports,tosomeextent,bothsuchinterpretations.Medievalwomenwhosawthemselvesinvisionsas distributorsofthechalice,aspreachers,orashearersofconfessionwereclearlycarryingoutsymbolicinversions,asweremedievallaypeoplewhosevisionsclaimed thecup,thebloodofChrist,astheirown.7 Andsuchinversionswere,asthestoryofLidwinaofSchiedamandthemiraculoushostsuggests,botheffectiverebellions againstclericalcontrolandescapevalves,sotospeak,thatbyprovidingameansofbypassingauthorityatmomentsofcrisisactuallyreinforcedthenormaldistribution ofauthorityatnoncrisismoments.Thuswomen'suseofsymbolicreversalscanbeseenasadefianceofmaleauthority.Buttheprevalenceofsuchreversalsin medievalreligioncanalsobeseenasformingacontextwithinwhichconventionalasymmetriesbetweenmenandwomen,clergyandlaity,wereundergirdedand reinforced. Suchinterpretationsofsymbolarehelpfulinreadingmedievalexperience.ButIwishtoquestionthemonadeeperlevel,formystudyoffoodandfleshassymbolin latermedievalspiritualwritingandpracticesuggeststhatsymbolsasdichotomies,andthereforesymbolicreversals,arelessimportantinwomen'sspiritualitythanin men's. Letmebeginwithaclarification.Thenotionofrenunciationoftheworldi.e.,followingthenakedandsufferingChristbyrenouncingstatus,power,personalcomfort, andfamilywasattheheartoflatemedievalChristianity.Increasingly,asmanyhistorianshavenoticed,suchrenunciationwaspracticedwithintheworld.Friars, tertiaries,andevenlaypeoplerejectedthewealthandstatustheirfamiliesmighthaveprovidedtheypracticed,sometimesevenwithinmarriages,notonlysexual continencebutalsoastudiedignoringofthespecialdemandsoffamilyloveandloyalty.Latemedievalwomen,likemen,sawacertainrupturewithordinaryworldly lifeasamarkofreligiouscommitment.ThemiraculousabundanceoftearsgiventoMargeryKempe,herwhiteclothes,andherhardwoncontinencewerealay equivalentofthevows,veils,andconventwallsthatsetnunsapartfromsociety.Inarguingthatmen

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andwomenthoughtdifferentlyaboutalifeofreligiouscommitment,andespeciallythatwomenrepresentedthereligiouslyinspiredsoulinmetaphorsthatsuggesta profoundcontinuitybetweenwomen'sbiologicalandculturalroleintheworldandwomen'sspiritualvocations,Iamnotignoringthefactthatforwomen,asformen, somedeparturefromordinarysocialroleswasnecessarytomakeareligiouslifepossible.ChristinaofMarkyateandIdaofLouvain,likeFrancisofAssisi,hadto escapefromtheordinaryexpectationstheworldheldforrichmerchants'children.ThenunswhomHildegardofBingendressedasbrides,8 thevirginsoulsJohn GersondescribedaspregnantwithChrist,9 wereofcourseabletodevotetheirattentiontovenerationoftheeucharistandprayersforthoseinpurgatorybecausethey eitherneverborechildrenandcookedforhusbandsorwereatlastabletoescapefromdoingso.Thequestionthatconcernsmehereisnotthepracticalwaysreligious rolesfreedpeopleofbothgendersfromcertainworldlyburdensandpleasuresbuttheparticularsymbolsthatmenandwomenchosetodescribethisfreedom. Ourquestionisthereforetwofold.First,domenandwomenmakethesame,orsimilar,useofsymbolicreversal?Toaskthisistoaskwhethermenandwomenmean thesamethingbymaleandfemale,whethereachsexusesreversedgenderimagery,andwhethereachsexachievesbysuchuseareleasefromordinarycultural expectationswomenacquiringanimageofselfaspublicleader,menacquiringtheselfimageofnurturerandsufferer.Thequestionalsoinvolvesasecondelement: domenandwomenmakeequaluseofdichotomoussymbols?Forreversalispredicatedupondichotomytoreverseorinvertone'simageofselfistomovefromone poletoitsopposite.Yetnotallsymbolsaredichotomous.Symbolsmaymakeuseofandrefertocontradictionsandmutualexclusions,buttheymayalsobe paradoxes(inwhichcontradictionsoccursimultaneously)orsyntheses(inwhichcontradictionsarethemselvesnegatedinfusion).10Ifmenmakegreaterusethan womenofsymbolicinversion,thisfactmayberelatedtoatendencytoconstruemanyaspectsofrealityintermsofeither/or.Itisthusnownecessarytolookatmen's useofimagesaswellaswomen'sinordertoquestiontheprominenceinbothusagesofreversalanddichotomy.Theanalysisofmalewritersinchapter3willbeuseful here,especiallysincethemenconsideredtherearethosewho,intheirsensibilitiesandintheirlives,cameclosesttoafemalespirituality.

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Men'sUseofFemaleSymbols WhenwelookatmalewritinginthelaterMiddleAgeswefindthatsymbolicdichotomiesandreversalswereatitsveryheart.Mentendedtousethemale/female dichotomytounderlinemale/femaledifferences(fatherversusmother,teacheranddisciplinarianversusnurturer,toughversussoft,etc.)andtocastigateorromanticize femaleweakness.AsIhavedemonstratedelsewhere,mentendedtoassociateaclearlydelineatedsetofsocialandbiologicalcharacteristicswitheachgender,even whentheywereusinggenderasasymbol,andtheytendedtoseethesesetsofcharacteristicsasopposites.Forexample,GuerricofIgny(d.ca.1157)wrote:"The Bridegroom[Christ]...hasbreasts,lestheshouldbelackinganyoneofalldutiesandtitlesoflovingkindness.Heisafatherinvirtueofnaturalcreation...andalsoin virtueoftheauthoritywithwhichheinstructs.Heisamother,too,inthemildnessofhisaffection,andanurse."11AnanonymousFranciscan,describingFrancisand ElizabethofHungaryasparentsofthefriarsminor,wrote:"Hewasthefather...andshewastheirmother.Andheguardedthemlikeafather,shefedthemlikea mother."12Intheirsymbolicuniverse,mentendedtousethemale/femaledichotomynotonlyassymbolofauthority/nurture,spirit/flesh,law/mercy,strong/weak,butin abroadersenseasawayofexpressingthecontrastbetweenGodandsoul,divinityandhumanity,clergyandlaity.13Tomedievalmen,Godwas(ashehasbeento mostofthepiousthroughoutthelongChristiantradition)metaphoricallymalefatherorjudge,bridegroomorfriendandthesoul(partlybecauseofthelinguistic genderofanima)wasfrequentlysymbolizedordescribedasfemale.Moreover,thegenderdichotomieswefindinmen'swritingswerereinforcedbyothergender dichotomiesthatwereimplicitinthewayspeoplelived.Menwerefoodreceivers,womenfoodpreparersandgenerators.Menwerepriestsandwomenlaity.Men wereauthoritativebyofficeorordinationwomen'sreligiouspowerderivedfrominspiration,fromecstaticvisitation. Whateverotherpatternsliebehindthesedichotomies,oneisclear.Ifmaleistofemaleasspiritistoflesh,foodreceivertofoodgenerator,clergytolaity,officeto inspiration,lawtomercy,anddivinetohuman,thenthatwhichissymbolizedbymaleisinsomesenseaproductofculture,cutofffromnatureorbiology.Thus, althoughitmayatfirstappearincoherentorevencontradictorythatthefemaleshouldsymbolize

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bothinspirationversusofficeandfleshversusspirit,thereisaconsistentdichotomybehindthesepairs.Thefundamentalcontrastseemstobebetween(a)constructs oflaws,patterns,forms,erectedatsomedistancefrom,ifnotinoppositionto,nature,and(b)amoreinstinctual,internal,biological"humannature."Inthissense,flesh isnaturalandspiritculturaljustaspropheticinspirationisinterior,subjective,natural,whereasclericalauthorityisanexternal,culturalstructureindependentofpersonal moral,experientialqualifications. Structuralistanthropologistshaverecentlytaughtustoseesuchadichotomyasabasiccontrastinhumansymbolsystems.Ihavebeeninfluencedbytheirformulations, aboveallbySherryOrtner's,14butIdonotmeanherewhattheymean.IagreewithOrtner'scriticsthathertheoryisuniversalistinundesirableways,ignoringthe possibilitythatsubgroupsinasociety,especiallywomen,mayholddifferingandevendisagreeingperspectivesonthesymbolicdichotomiesusedbydominantcultural groups.15ThusIamnotheresayingthattheculture/naturedichotomywasanobjectivelytruedichotomybetweenmaleandfemale.NoramIsayingthatmedieval womenespousedsuchadichotomy.Iammerelypointingoutthatthisisthepatternsymbolsfellintoinmalewritingandreligiouspracticebetween1200and1500. Suchasymbolicpatternwas,tomen,profoundlydisturbing.Forthesamemalewriterswhocametoseethechurchastheclergy,toseetheirgenderasthesymbolfor God'sdivinity,toarguethatmale,clericalmediationwasthenecessarybridgebetweenheavenandearth,knewtheypartookoffallenhumanity.TheyknewChristhad preached:"Blessedarethemeek."Theirpietyreflectedtheirambivalence.IncreasinglytheystressednotGod'sauthoritybutJesus'accessibility,notJudgmentDayor Resurrectionbutamanlayingdownhislifeforhisfriends.Theyhadrecoursetovisionarywomenforcomfortandcounselandforthedirectinspirationtheywere afraidtheynolongerreceived.16Andtheyspoke(asadefinitelysubordinatebutnonethelesshighlychargedtheme)ofJesusasmotherandofthemselvesaswomen. Sometimes,incallingthemselveswomen,malewritersusedwomanasatermofopprobrium.HelinandofFroidmontcastigatedhisbrothers:"BeholdGodcompares mentowomen...andnotmerelytowomen,buttomenstruatingwomen!"17ButmorefrequentlytheyusedwomanasasymbolofdependenceonGodbothasa wayofdescribingthemselvesascaredforbyGodandasawayofunderliningtheirownrenun

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ciationofworldlypowerandprestige.Inhis"LettertoalltheFaithful"FrancisofAssisisaid,describingvirtuousfriars:
Itistheywhoarethebrides,thebrothersandthemothersofourLordJesusChrist.ApersonishisbridewhenhisfaithfulsoulisunitedwithJesusChristbytheHolySpiritwe arehisbrotherswhenwedothewillofhisFatherwhoisinheaven[Matt.12:50],andwearemotherstohimwhenwecarryhiminourheartsandbodiesbylovewithapureand sincereconscience,andgivehimbirthbydoinggooddeedswhichenlightenothersbyexample.18

Speakingoffriarswhogoingroupsofthreeorfourtohermitages,hewrote:
Twooftheseshouldactasmothers,withtheothertwo,ortheotherone,astheirchildren.ThemothersaretoleadthelifeofMarthatheothertwo,thelifeofMaryMagdalen.... Thefriarswhoaremothersmustbecarefultostayawayfromoutsiders....Thefriarswhoaresonsarenottospeaktoanyoneexcepttheirmotherortheircustos[superior].19

Susosawhimselfasamaidenpickingroses,ababynuzzlingitsmother'sbreast.Ruysbroeckwrote:"Man'snatureisthebride[ofChrist]."20 Whenamalewriterdescribedanothermanasawoman(forexample,BonaventurespeakingofFrancisofAssisi)orwhenaman(forexample,RichardRolleorSuso) describedhimselfthatway,hewasusingsymbolicreversal.Manbecamewomanmetaphoricallyorsymbolicallytoexpresshisrenunciationorlossof"male"power, authority,andstatus.Hebecamewoman,asEckhartsaid,inordertoexpresshisfecundity,hisabilitytoconceiveGodwithin.21Suchreversalseemednecessaryina religionatwhoseheartlaycontradictionandIncarnation:Godbecomeman.WhenTaulersoughtasymbolofthesoul'sutterselfabasementbeforeGod,itsutter denudingandemptying,henotonlychosethepoorCanaanitewomanofMatthew15:2128,whoreferredtoherselfaslowerthanadog,healsociteda contemporarywomanwhoreceivedavisioninwhichshewasabandonedbyallintermediariesbetweencreationandCreatorandwhothereforecriedaloudtoGod thatshewouldacceptcondemnationtohellitselfifitwashiswill.22Insuchasermon,"woman"isasymbolandanexamplenotonlyoftheutterlycontemptibleandof theredeemedbutalsoofthegreatreversalattheheartofthegospel:thefactthatitisthecontemptiblewhoareredeemed. ThefoodandfleshimageryIexamineinthisbookis,asIhave

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explainedabove,aparticularcaseofsuchsymbolicinversion.Muchaboutthepriest'sroleandaboutthetheologyofimitatioChristiinthelaterMiddleAgesinvolves areversalofculturalassumptionsaboutgender.Ontheonehand,ofcourse,giventhesymbolicpatterns,thepriestwas"male"andthecommunicant"female"the priestwasGodandtherecipienthuman.Asiswellknown,Bonaventurearguedthatwomencouldnotbepriestsbecausethepriesthood,theauthorityofGod,hadto besymbolizedbyamale.23But,inanothersense,asIhavedemonstrated,God'sdyingbodywasfemaleabirthingandlactatingmotherandthepriestwasfemale too.HewasMary,forinhishands,asinherwomb,Christwasincarnate24hewasfoodprepareranddistributortorecipientswhoate.Inthecentralmomentofthe massthemalecelebrantwaited,readytocareforanddistributeaheavenlyfood,avulnerablebody,providedbyafathermotherGodforthebenefitofhuman children. Iconographicevidencetoosuggeststhatthemassimpliedgenderreversal.PicturesofChristdistributingfoodandwashingthefeetofguestsattheLastSupper outnumbervisualrepresentationsofChristaskingorpriestinthelaterMiddleAges.InsuchpaintingsChristisdepictedinoneofsociety'smostadmiredfemaleroles: theroleoffoodpreparerandservant.AfifteenthcenturyretablefromUlm(plates1and2)showsjustsuchareversal.Ontheouterwings(whenclosed),wefind Christasservantandfooddistributor,testingJudaswiththewafer(asmanymysticalwomentestedfalsepriests).Whenopened,theretabledisplaystheeucharist representedbothasababyinthechaliceandasflourgroundthroughamill.Maryandthefourevangelistspourthegrainintothefunnel(i.e.,celebrate).Apostlesturn thecrank.Itistheprelatesofthechurch,garbedinalltheirsplendor,whowaitquietlybelowasrecipients. Thusmalewriters,artists,worshipers,andpriestsinthelaterMiddleAgesmadeuseofsharpsymbolicdichotomies,andmanyoftheirmostprofoundandmoving imagesweresymbolicreversals.Moreover,men'sownlifestoriestendedtobestoriesofcrisisandconversion.Theyenactedthereversalstheyusedassymbols, strippingthemselvesnaked(asdidFrancisofAssisibeforehisfather),puttingontheclothingofachild,abeggar,orawoman(asRichardRolledidinbecominga hermit),suddenlyanddramaticallyrenouncingwealth,influence,andwifetotakeuppovertyandchastity(asdidJohnColombini).25AsIpointedoutinchapter1, manymoremedievalmenthanwomenunderwentabrupt

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changesoflifestyleduringadolescence.Havinggreateraccesstopowerandfamilywealth,menwereabletoabandonthemmoreabruptlyandflamboyantly,and medievalboysseemtohavebeenolderonaveragethangirlswhenstrickenbytheimpulsetoabandontheworld. Manyexplanationscanbesuggestedforthefactthatmentendtouseimages,andlivelives,ofcontrast,opposition,andreversal.Structuralistanthropologistshave sometimesarguedthatdichotomousimagesofhard/soft,male/female,law/mercy,reason/unreasontendtoappearincultureswithstronglypatrilinealinheritance patterns,becausethefemale(althoughnecessaryforprocreation)tendsinfacttobeadisruptiveforceinsuchsocieties,aforceoutsidelawandstructure.26Such explanation,thoughplausible,appearstoreflectnoneofthesubtletyoflatemedievalimagery,anditdoesnotexplainreversal,althoughitmayexplaindichotomy. Anotherwayofrelatingimagerytosocialstructureseemsmoreconvincing.ThisissimplytonotethatmostgradationsofstatusinthelaterMiddleAgeswere gradationsofmalestatus.Thegrowingconsciousnessofthemultiplicityofstatusesandrolesthatcharacterizestwelfthandthirteenthcenturywritingispredominantly agrowingawarenessofavarietyofmaleroles.AsGeorgesDubyhaspointedout,womenwereoutsidethe"threeorders"ofmedievalsociety:thosewhopray,those whofight,andthosewhotillthesoil.27Eveninthechurch,althoughnunswere"clergy"inonesense(thatis,theywere"regular''theytookvows),inanothersenseall womenwerelaitythatis,outsideorders.Women,asIsaidinchapter1,oftenshiedawaythemselvesfromhighlystructuredinstitutionalforms,avoidingrulesand vowsandmalecharacterizationofwomenwasusuallyaccordingtotheirmaritalorsexualstatuswidow,virgin,marriedwomanratherthantheirinstitutional affiliation.Thuswomenwerenot"on"aladderofrolesandstatusesinthesamesensethatmenwere.28Itishardlysurprisingthereforethatcompleximageryofrole reversal,ofinversionofpowerandstatusoffoolbecomeking,boybecomepope,manbecomewomanorwomanbecomemanappealedmoretomen,forwhom theprecisegradationsofsocietywereselfdefinitionsthatmightbeardownwithapsychologicalweightthatdemandedperiodicrelease. Theremayalsobepsychologicalandtheologicalreasonsformen'spreferencefordichotomyandreversal.Asseveraltheoristshaverecentlypointedout,the maturationofaboy(inWesternculture,medievalandmodern)requiresafundamentalbreakinselfimage:aboymustlearn

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thathecannotbethemotherwhoishisfirstprojectionofself,hisfirstlove,hisfirstmodel.29Aboy'sgrowingupisthereforealearningtobeotherthanfemalea learningbothtoreversehisowndesiresandselfdefinitionandtoseethefemaleas"other."Smallwonderthereforethatreversalsandconversionsbecomecentralin malewaysofthinkingaboutandsymbolizingspiritualgrowth. Moreover,thenatureofthesymbolicdichotomiesmengeneratedcontainedwithinitselfpressureforreversal.NotonlydidChristiantheologystatethatthehumble,the lowly,"thelast,"wereeventuallytocomefirst,thusdictatingthatmenmustfindreversedsymbolstospeakofprogresstowardGod(forexample,thesoulaswoman, child,fool).30Themalesymbolsthemselves,inreferringtothatwhichiscutofffromnature,thatwhichisculturalconstruct,forcedrecognitionoftheiropposites,for menknewthemselvestobenotmerely"divine,""clerical,''"spirit,"and"authority."Becausethesymbolsassociated"themale"withculture,with"morethan"and"other than"humannature,thesesymbolsimpliedthatinordertobehumannaturethemalemusttakeoppositestohimselfinsymbol.Theparticulargroupofcultural activities,responsibilities,andsymbolsassociatedwiththemalebymenitselfimpliedcontrastandreversal.Thesetofactivities,responsibilities,andsymbols associatedwiththefemaledidnot,inthesameway,implyitsobverse.Thatwhichthefemalesymbolizednurture,body,laity,humanity,innerinspirationdidnot requireanythingelseforexample,power,spirit,office,divinityinordertoconjureupperson.Nordiditimplythatreversalwasnecessaryinorderforperson,for thatwhichis,tobegivenreligiousmeaning.Womanalreadywasthatwhichis,inChristianity,givenreligiousmeaning.Forwomanwas,infactaswellassymbolically, human. Thustheverysetofdichotomoussymbolsthatclusteredaroundmale/femaleintheWesterntraditionsuggestedthatmenpowerful,clerical,authoritative,rational, "divine"menneededtobecomeweakandhuman,yetspiritual,"women"inordertoproceedtowardGod.AndmalewritersinthelaterMiddleAgesusedmuch suchreversedimageryforself.Moreover,theyoftenassumedthatreversedimageryanddichotomoussymbolswereappropriatewaysofreflectingonfemale experience.Malewritersurgedwomento"becomemale"or"virile"intheirrisetoGod.31Malehagiographersandchroniclerswerefascinatedbystoriesofwomen's crossdressinginordertoenterreligioushousesprobablyto

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thepointoffabricatingsuchincidents.32Malewritersdevotedmuchattentiontofemaleweakness,bothbyunderliningwomen'ssexualtemptationsandbyexpatiating upontheinappropriatenessofasceticismtowomen'ssoft,tender,andinconstantbodies.Susowrotetoaspiritualdaughter:"YouareweakerthanEveinparadise." ThecompileroftheLifeofIdaofLouvainpraisedherbysayingshewas"notawomanorlazy,butlikeamaninconstancy."33 Thereismuchevidencethatreligiousmeninthethirteenth,fourteenth,andfifteenthcenturieswerefascinatedbywomenbothbythefemalevisionarieswhobecame, throughtheirverylowliness,themouthpiecesofGodonhighandbytheordinarymothers,housewives,laundresses,andmaidservantswhoweresignsofthedepthsto whichJesusstoopedinredeeminghumankind.AsIsuggestedinchapter3above,malemysticssuchasBernard,Francis,Rolle,Suso,Tauler,Eckhart,andGerson advisedwomen,admiredwomen,andabhorredwomen.Theyadoptedtheimageofwomanwomanwhowasmorehumbleandmorefleshlythantheytospeakof theirownapproachtoGod.Indescribingthemselvesasnursingmothersorsucklingbabes,thesemenweredescribingtheselftheybecameinconversionasthe oppositeofadultandmale.Inspeakingoftheirconversionsastheespousingofnakedness,poverty,suffering,andweakness,theywere,evenmoregenerally, renouncingandreversingtheprerogativesofwealth,strength,andpublicpowerthattheirworldconnectedtoadultmalestatus.Ifmalewriterswerefondofseeing themselvesasbrides,mothers,andchildren,suchreversedimageswereonlyonesetofmetaphorsinasymbolicworldinwhichthemanhadtoseehisbasicreligious commitmentasflightfrompowerandgloryforJesushimselfhadfledpower,nomatterhowmuchkingsandprelatesmightwielditinhisname. Women'sSymbolsAsContinuity Femalewriters,expressingtheirreligiousdesiresandfearsinthesamesymbolictraditionasmenandworshipinginthesamerituals,alsoinsomewaysusedand reflectedtheclustersofdichotomiesIhavejustdescribed.Someofwomen'simagesoffoodandfleshwerenotonlyexpressionsofsuchdichotomiesbutprofound reversalsaswell.Inbotheucharistandmysticalunion,womeninvertedwhatthecultureassumed

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themtobe.JustasChrist'sdeathonthecrosswasasymbolicreversalforhebecame,notmale(kingorpriestorrecipientofnurture),butfemale(alactatingand birthingmother,nurturerofothers)sothefemalecommunicantexperiencedgenderreversal.Shebecamenotnurturerandfeederofothersbutreceiver.Inthemass, therolesofclergyandlaityreversedordinarysocialroles.Thecelebrantbecamefoodpreparer,thegeneratoroffood,thepregnantmotheroftheincarnateGodthe womanrecipientfeasted,witheyesandpalate,onafoodshedidnotprepareorexude.Woman'sjubilant,visioninducing,intoxicatedeatingofGodwastheopposite oftheordinaryfemaleactsoffoodpreparationandofbearingandnursingchildren.34 Yet,onadeeperlevel,women'seatingofGodwasnotareversalatall.Forinthemassandinmysticalecstasywomenbecameafullerversionofthefoodandflesh theywereassumedbytheirculturetobe.InunionwiththedyingChrist,womanbecameafullyfleshlyandfeedingselfatonewiththegenerativesufferingofGod. Woman'seating,fasting,andfeedingothersweresynonymousacts,becauseinallthreethewoman,bysuffering,fusedwithacosmicsufferingthatreallyredeemedthe world.Andthesethreesynonymousactsandsymbolswerenotfinallysymbolicreversalsbut,rather,atransfiguringandbecomingofwhatthefemalesymbolized:the fleshly,thenurturing,thesuffering,thehuman. Women'sfoodimagesandfoodpracticesthusreflectalargerpattern.Forwomen'swayofusingsymbolsandofbeingreligiouswasdifferentfrommen's.Itappears asakindofsubtextwithinalargertext,dominatedbydichotomoussymbolsandsymbolicinversions,anditisalwaysawareofmale/femaleoppositionsandofimages ofreversal.Butwomen'ssenseofreligiousselfseemsmorecontinuouswiththeirsenseofsocialandbiologicalselfwomen'simagesaremostprofoundlydeepenings, notinversions,ofwhat"woman"iswomen'ssymbolsexpresscontradictionandoppositionlessthansynthesisandparadox.35 Thisqualityofwomen'sreligiouswritingshasbeenconsistentlynotedbythegreatestscholarswhohavestudiedthem,althoughithasnotbeenplacedinatheoretical framework.BaronvonHgel,commentingonCatherineofGenoa'suseofsimultaneityofoppositesorparadoxes,says,"Foritwastheelementofsimultaneity,of organicinterpenetrationoftheGodlikeTotumSimul,whichchieflyimpressedherinthesedeepestmoments."36BrantPelphrey,inhisexpositionofthetheologyof Julian

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ofNorwich,suggeststhatJuliansawsinasanecessary(ifpainful)partofbeinghumanandthathertheoryofunionwithGoddidnotinvolve"stages"thesoul"passed beyond"but,rather,acontinuityofself,abecomingfullyhumanwithJesus.37PeterDronke,writingonMargaretPoreteandthefemalehereticsofMontaillou, commentsbothontheoriginalityofwomen'sapproachtoevilandonthelackof"apriorism"inwomen'swritings,pointingouttheiravoidanceofrulesofeither/orand theirsubstitutionofsingular,existentiallyappropriatesolutions.38 Allthisisnottosaythatmalemysticsneveruseparadox(onethinksofNicholasofCusa)orthatmaletheologiansneverpushsuchparadoxicalsynthesistothepoint ofreconcilingheavenandhell(onethinksofOrigen)orthatmalepenitentsneversubstitutecontinuityofselfinJesusforpassageupthehierarchyofthecosmostoGod (onethinksofFrancis).39ButtheexplosionofparadoxinaHadewijch,aMargaretPorete,oraCatherineofGenoa,theagonizedrejectionoftheexistenceofhellina MechtildofMagdeburgoraJulianofNorwich,thedeliciousgrovelinginthehumiliationsofbeinghumanthatcharacterizesvirtuallyeveryreligiouswomanofthelater MiddleAgestheseformaconsistentpatternthatisfoundonlyinfrequentlyinreligiousmen.Andbehindthepatternliesaconfidencethatallisoneallis,asJulian said,ahazelnutheldinthepalmofGod'shandbecauseitisfinallythehumanitythatwemostdespicablyarethatisredeemed.40Itisour"Me"thatbecomesGod.41 Toarguethisistoarguethatreligiouswomensawthemselvesashumanbecausetheywerewomen,asredeemablebecausetheywerewomen.Itmayappearavery oddargumentinlightofcertainrecentfeministclaims.JoAnnMcNamara,RosemaryRuether,MarieDelcourt,andMarinaWarnerhave,forexample,arguedthat becausemalewasinWesternculturesuperiortofemale,womanhadtotakeonsymbolicmaleness(or,attheveryleast,abandonmentoffemaleness)inorderto signifyspiritualadvance.42Theycitenotonlyafewscatteredreferencesinthepatristicperiodtowomenseeingtheircourageas"male"butalsothemany (predominantlypatristic)storiesoftransvestitesaintsofwomenmasqueradingasmen,andsometimesevengrowingbeards,inordertoescapemarriage(orrape)or toentermonasteries.TheyalsociteJoanofArc.Suchworktendstosuggestthatgenderreversalwasapowerfulsymboltowomen.Moreover,recentresearch demonstratesthatcrossdressingbymaleswasextremelyrareintheMiddleAges(and

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sometimespersecutedassexualperversion).43AlthoughhistorianswhofocusonJoanofArchavenottendedtofindparallelstohercrossdressinginthelater MiddleAges(thusweakeningtheircase),itisinfacttruethatlatemedievalwomendidadoptmaledress,especiallyinordertorunawayfromtheirfamiliesortogoon pilgrimages.44Why,then,doIsuggestthatreversals,especiallygenderreversals,werenotcrucialinwomen'sreligiosity? Myargumentisbasicallythatcrossdressingwasforwomenprimarilyapracticaldevice,whereastomenitwasprimarilyareligioussymbol.Womensometimesput onmaleclothesinordertoescapetheirfamilies,toavoidthedangersofrapeandpillage,ortotakeonmalerolessuchassoldier,pilgrim,orhermit.But,oncefreed fromtheworldbyconventwallsorhermitage,bytertiarystatus,bythepracticeofcontinence,bymysticalinspiration,orevenbymiraculousinedia,womenspokeof theirlivesinfemaleimages.Theysawthemselves,metaphoricallyspeaking,notaswarriorsforChristbutasbrides,aspregnantvirgins,ashousewives,asmothersof God.Perhapsexactlybecausecrossdressingwasaradicalyetpracticalsocialstepforwomen,itwasnotfinallytheirmostpowerfulsymbolofself.Formen,onthe contrary,whodidnotcrossdressasapracticalstepandcouldhavegainednothingsociallybyitexceptopprobrium,genderreversalwasahighlycharged,even frighteningsymbol.45 Inanycase,whateverthereasonforthefascinationfeltbymedievalmenwithfemalecrossdressingafascinationapparentlysharedbymodernhistoriansofboth genderstheevidenceconcerningimageryisclear.Women'sbasicimagesofreligiousselfwerenotinvertedimages,notmaleimages.Wherewomenusedgenderas imagetheyusuallyspokeofthemselvesasfemaletoamaleGodorasandrogynous.MechtildofMagdeburg,HildegardofBingen,CatherineofSiena,andMargery Kempereferredtothemselvesaspoorwomen,unletteredandweak.Hildegardactuallydressedhernunsasbrideswhentheywenttoreceivecommunion.Margery gloriedinrelatingtoGodaswifeandmother.46Catherinereportedthatshehadwanted,asachild,toimitateoneoftheearlytransvestitesaints,butasanadultshe hearddirectlyfromChristinavisionthatsuchreversalwasnotnecessary:Godpreferredhertoteachandinspireothersasalowlywoman.47 AsIexplainedinchapter9,women'suseoffemaleimagesdidnotexpressanyincapacityforgodlinessorforapproachtoGod.Indeed,

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PeterDronkehaspointedoutthatthetoposofthe"poorlittlewoman"wassometimesanironicclaimtodivineinspiration,tobeingthevesselormouthpiecechosenby God.48Andsomewomenwriterspassedbeyondevensuchirony.JulianofNorwich,forexample,deletedherreferencetofemaleincapacitywhensheexpandedher Showingsintotheirlonger,moretheologicallyaudaciousandsophisticatedversion.49Moreover,women'simagesforselfwerefrequentlyandrogynous,forthey frequentlyincludedqualitiesthelargerculturestereotypedasmale(suchasdisciplineorjudgment)intheirunderstandingof"motherly"or"womanly."Gertrudeof Helfta,Hadewijch,CatherineofSiena,andJulianofNorwichallmixgenderimagesandpersonalitycharacteristics(suchastenderness,severity,love,discipline)so thoroughlyindescribingboththesoulandGodthatonecanonlyintermittentlyseeintheirwritingsthecommonassociationofsoulwithfemaleandGodwithmale. Finally,wherewomen'sownsymbolsdidassociatewithselfactivitiesorcharacteristicsthatthebroaderculturesawasfemale(forexample,lactationandfood preparation,weaknessandfleshliness),womentendedtobroadenthesesymbolstorefertoallpeopleratherthantounderlinetheoppositionofmale/female.Aswe sawabove,women'ssenseofthemselvesassymbolizingthe"humanityofChrist"carriedtheconcepthumanbeyondanymale/femaledichotomy.50 HildegardofBingen,forexample,didwritethatmaleandfemalearedifferentinsocial,biological,andreligiousroles(althoughevenhereshestressedcomplementarity morethandidthemaletheologiansofherday).Buthermostprofounduseofwomanassymboldrewnocontrasttomenatall."Woman"waswhatmodernwriters sometimescall"mankind."InHildegard'svisionofsalvation,the"imageofwoman"thatis,humanitystandsbelowthecrossandreceivesChrist'sblood(seeplate 12).Twocenturieslater,CatherineofSienadidcriticizewomenasweak.Butshesaid,ofherselfandotherwomen,thattheywereallchildren,drawingthemilkof sufferingfromthebreastofChrist'shumanity.AndbysufferingshemeantChrist'ssufferingandtheirown.Thusthesoulwasasucklingchildwhobecameonewitha motherwhosefeedingwassuffering,andthatsufferingsavedtheworld.Thechildwasthemothertheeatingwasfeedingothersthesufferingwasfertility.Such imagesgobeyonddichotomies,yettheyarisefromandexpressordinaryfemaleexperiences.Women'simages,althoughinformedandmadepos

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siblebythesymbolicoppositionsofthedominanttheologicaltradition,arethemselvesneitherdichotomiesnorinversions. Justasmen'slivesshowmuchactualconversionandreversal,parallelingthestronglydichotomousnatureoftheirsymbols,sowomen'sactuallifestoriesshowless reversal,parallelingtheiruseofsymbolsofcontinuity.AsInotedinchapter1,WeinsteinandBellhavedemonstratedthatthepatternofwomen'slivesshowsfewer rupturesinstead,thereisgraduallydawningvocation,voicedearlierandconsolidatedfarmoreslowly.51Thisdifferencedoesnotappeartobeentirelyamatterof women'sgreaterpowerlessness,oftheextremedifficultytheysometimesfacedinrejectingsuitors,husbands,children,orparentaldictatesifavocationtochastityor deprivationcametotheminadolescenceoradulthood.Surveyofalargenumberofmedievalsaints'livessuggeststhatgirls(unlikeboys)oftenknewbeforetheageof eightthattheywishedtoavoidmarriage.Tosuchwomen,virginityandhumbleserviceoffamilymembersorofsisternunswasasmuchacontinuationofchildhoodas itwasanescapefromtheadultstatus"marriedwoman." ThesamesortofexplanationIsuggestedformaleuseofsymbolsmayexplainfemaleusagesaswell.Girls'morecontinuousselfdevelopment,involvingno fundamentalneedtodevelopaconceptof"other,"mayhelpexplainwomen'savoidanceofdichotomousimageryandtheirtendencytoelaborateassymbolsaspectsof lifeclosertoordinaryexperience(eating,suffering,lactating).Recentfeministpsychologicaltheoryhassuggestedthattheprofoundlyasymmetricalpatternsofchild rearinginWesternculturemayinfluencefemalechildrentowardalessacutesenseofbinaryoppositionsandof"otherness."52Moreover,women'splaceinsomesense outsidetheordines(statuses)oflatemedievalEuropemaysuggestwhyimagesofstatusreversalseemedtothemlesspertinentandinteresting.Structuralist anthropologistshaverecentlyshownthewaysdichotomoussymbolsespeciallythefundamentaldichotomyculture/naturetendtoexpressandsupportthepower ofthoseidentifiedwith"culture."53 Whateverexplanationoneproposes,itisclearthatwomen'swayofusingandlivingsymbolswasdifferentfrommen's.Thedifferencelaynotmerelyinwhatsymbols werechosenbutalsoinhowsymbolsrelatedtoself.Wheremenstressedmale/femalecontrastsandusedimageryofreversaltoexpresstheirdependenceonGod, womenexpressedtheir

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dependenceonGodinimageryatleastpartlydrawnfromtheirowngenderandavoidedsymbolicreversals.Althoughmenwroteaboutthenatureofwoman,women tendedtowrite,notaboutgender(maleversusfemale),butaboutthesoulorabouthumanity.Thereisthusasenseinwhichwomen'suseofmetaphorsandimages tookashapeofitsown,obliquetoamaletraditionofspiritualwritinginwhichthemale/femaledichotomywasasymbolformanyotheroppositions.Andyetitisclear thatwomen'ssenseofselfwasformedwithinandinfluencedbythesymbolicdichotomiesofthedominanttheologicaltradition.ItwasfromageoldnotionsthatGod, mind,andpoweraremalewhereassoul,flesh,andweaknessarefemalethatwomendrewinspirationforaspiritualityinwhichtheirownsufferinghumanityhadcosmic significance. Conclusion Inexploringthereligioussignificanceoffoodtomedievalwomen,Ihavetouchedupontwolargerissues:thenatureofmedievalasceticism,andthesignificanceof genderinmedievalreligion.Althoughthisbookdoesnomorethanraisetheseissuesandsuggestthedirectionnewinterpretationofthemmighttake,itiswellto underlinetheminclosing.For,ifIamrightonthesetwoissues,wemustrevisesomeofthereceivedwisdomabouttheMiddleAges. Ihavesuggestedthroughoutthediscussioninchapters6,7,8,and9thatmedievalasceticismshouldnotbeunderstoodasrootedindualism,inaradicalsenseofspirit opposedtoorentrappedbybody.Theextravagantpenitentialpracticesofthethirteenthtothefifteenthcentury,thecultivationofpainandpatience,theliteralismof imitatiocrucisare,Ihaveargued,notprimarilyanattempttoescapefrombody.Theyarenottheproductsofanepistemologyorpsychologyortheologythatsees soulstrugglingagainstitsopposite,matter.Thereforetheyarenotashistorianshaveoftensuggestedaworlddenying,selfhating,decadentresponseofasociety wrackedbyplague,famine,heresy,war,andecclesiasticalcorruption.Rather,latemedievalasceticismwasanefforttoplumbandtorealizeallthepossibilitiesofthe flesh.ItwasaprofoundexpressionofthedoctrineoftheIncarnation:thedoctrinethatChrist,bybecominghuman,savesallthatthehumanbeingis.Itaroseina religiousworldwhosecentralritualwasthecomingofGodintofoodas

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maceratedflesh,anditwascompatiblewith,notcontradictoryto,newphilosophicalnotionsthatlocatedthenatureofthingsnotintheirabstractdefinitionsbutintheir individuatingmatterorparticularity.ThusFrancisofAssisitellinghisdisciplesthatbearingsare"perfecthappiness,"BeatriceofOrnacieuxdrivingnailsthroughher palms,DorothyofMontauandLukardisofOberweimarwrenchingtheirbodiesintobizarrepantomimesofthemomentofCrucifixion,andSerafinaofSanGimignano, reveredbecauseshewasparalyzed,weretotheirowncontemporariesnotdepressingorhorrifyingbutglorious.Theywerenotrebellingagainstortorturingtheirflesh outofguiltoveritscapabilitiessomuchasusingthepossibilitiesofitsfullsensualandaffectiverangetosoareverclosertoGod.54 JustasIhavesuggestedinthelastfivechaptersthatmedievalasceticismwasnotprimarilydualism,soIhavearguedthatmedievalwomenarenotbestunderstoodas creaturesconstrainedandimpelledbysociety'snotionsofthefemaleasinferior.Women'spietywasnot,fundamentally,internalizeddualismormisogyny.Although misogynistwritingdidcertainlysometimesequatewomanwithsexualtemptationandunderlinethemale/femalecontrastasadichotomyofsuperior/inferior, strong/weak,spirit/flesh,Iconsideritmistakentotaketheideasofmaletheologiansandbiographersaboutwomenasthenotionsofwomenaboutthemselves.Women andmenexisted,ofcourse,inthesameuniverseofsymbolsanddoctrineandweretaughtbythesamescriptures,thesamepreaching.Womenwereclearlyawareof theirsupposedinferioritysomecommenteduponitorevenappropriateditasawaytoGod.Ihaveshownabovehowsomewomencastigatedthemselvesfortheir sexualimpulses.Butfromamongthesymbolsanddoctrinesavailabletothem,womenandmenchosedifferentsymbolsmenrenouncingwealthandpower,women renouncingfood.Theyusedsymbolsindifferentways.Men,whoweredominant,usedsymbols(amongthemthemale/femaledichotomy)torenouncetheir dominance.Reversalsandoppositionswereattheheartofhowsymbolsworkedformen.Theimageofwomanascontrastedtothatofmanwas,inthelaterMiddle Ages,atopicofprimaryinteresttomen.Towomen,however,male/femalecontrastswereapparentlyoflittleinterestsymbolsofselfwereingeneraltakenfrom biologicalorsocialexperienceandexpressednotsomuchreversalorrenunciationofworldlyadvantageasthedeepeningofordinaryhumanexperiencethatcame whenGodimpingeduponit.

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Intheirsymbolswomenexpandedthesuffering,givingselftheywereascribedbytheirculture,becomingevermorewonderfullyandhorriblythebodyonthecross. Theybecamethatbodynotasflightfrombutascontinuationofself.AndbecausethatbodywasalsoGod,theycouldsumuptheirloveofGodinparadox:"Hellisthe highestnameofLove,"asHadewijchsaid,orasMargaretPoreteputit,"Iamthesalvationitselfofeverycreature....ForIamthesumofallevils." Inthefinalanalysis,itiswrongtoseemedievalwomenasinternalizingtheideaoftheirgenderasinferior,becausecontrastsofmale/female,superior/inferior,spirit/flesh seem,ascontrasts,tohavebeenlessimportanttowomenthantomen.Ifitisinaccuratetoseelatemedievalasceticismasselfhatingbecauseitiswrongtothinkthat medievalpeoplesawfleshprimarilyasopposedtospirit,itisdoublyinaccuratetoseefemaleasceticismasbasedindualism,becausealldualitieswerelessimportant towomen.Womensawthemselvesnotasfleshopposedtospirit,femaleopposedtomale,nurtureopposedtoauthoritytheysawthemselvesashumanbeingsfully spiritandfullyflesh.AndtheysawallhumanityascreatedinGod'simage,ascapableofimitatioChristithroughbodyaswellassoul.Thustheygloriedinthepain, theexudings,thesomaticdistortionsthatmadetheirbodiesparalleltotheconsecratedwaferonthealtarandthemanonthecross.Intheblindinglightoftheultimate dichotomybetweenGodandhumanity,allotherdichotomiesfaded.Menandwomenmightagreethatfemalefleshwasmorefleshlythanmaleflesh,butsuch agreementledbothsexestoseethemselvesasinsomesensefemalehuman.Foritwashumanbeingsashuman(notassymbolofthedivine)whomChristsavedin theIncarnationitwasbodyasflesh(notasspirit)thatGodbecamemostgraphicallyonthealtaritwashumansuffering(nothumanpower)thatChristtookonto redeemtheworld.ReligiouswomeninthelaterMiddleAgessawintheirownfemalebodiesnotonlyasymbolofthehumannessofbothgendersbutalsoasymbol ofandameansofapproachtothehumanityofGod.

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EPILOGUE
Itmaybethatvice,depravityandcrimearenearlyalways...attemptstoeatbeauty,toeatwhatweshouldonlylookat.Evebeganit.Ifshecausedhumanitytobelostbyeatingthe fruit,theoppositeattitude,lookingatthefruitwithouteatingit,shouldbewhatisrequiredtosaveit. IfIgrowthinfromlabourinthefields,myfleshreallybecomeswheat.IfthatwheatisusedforthehostitbecomesChrist'sflesh.Anyonewholabourswiththisintentionshould becomeasaint. SIMONEWEIL(D.1943)1 Ifculturalemphasisfollowedthephysiologicalemphasis,girls'[puberty]ceremonieswouldbemoremarkedthanboys'butitisnotso.Theceremoniesemphasizeasocialfact:the adultprerogativesofmenaremorefarreachingineveryculturethanwomen's,andconsequently...itismorecommonforsocietiestotakenoteofthisperiodinboysthaningirls. RUTHBENEDICT(1934), QUOTEDBYACONTEMPORARYANORECTIC, SHEILAMcLEOD(1981)2

TheresaNeumannofKonnersreuth,aBavarianpeasantwomanwhodiedin1962,supposedlydisplayedbothstigmataandmiraculousabstinence.LikeLidwinaof Schiedam,shewasobservedbyacommissionwhichsolemnlyauthenticatedherinediaastotalandextended.3 SimoneWeil,aphilosopherandmysticwhodiedin 1943,undertookfatalselfstarvationinanefforttoidentifywiththepoorandoppressedoftheworld.LikeCatherineofGenoa,Weilspokeofgluttonyasametaphor forsinandusedthenotionofselfbecomingfoodasanimageforpersonalsufferingthatfuseswiththeredemptivesufferingofChrist.Westillfind,inthetwentieth century,examplesofthefemalepietythatemergedinthirteenthandfourteenthcenturyEurope. Yetforthemostpart,women'sconcernwithfoodinourowncentury

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occursinadifferentcontext.WomencultivatenotclosenesstoGodbutphysicalattractivenessbyfoodabstinence,whichtheycalldieting.Therecentincreaseofself starvationamongwhite,privileged,adolescentfemalesisnotcalledfastingorasceticismbythemedicalprofessionintowhosepurviewitcomes,butanorexia nervosa.Thenotionthatfoodandeatingareproblemstowomenhasbecomeaclich.4 WhenthepopularfeministmagazineMs.devoteditsOctober,1983,issueto food,ittreatedarangeofissuesfromdeformitiessupposedlyproducedbycontaminatedmeattobulimiaamongcollegestudentsthejoyofcookingoreatingwas noticeablyabsent.5 Latetwentiethcenturystudiesofwomenandfoodthatgobeyonddescribingthenexususuallyassociaterefusaltoeatwiththequestionofcontrol. Culturalinterpretationsofanorexianervosafocusonwaysthemediaurgewomentocontrolbodysizepsychodynamicinterpretationsconcentrateonthegirl'sefforts torebelagainstanovercontrollingmotherevenbiologicalexplanationsrelateanorexiatofemaledepression,whichmanifestsitself(whateveritscause)infeelingsof powerlessnessandworthlessness.6 Modernattentiontothetopic''womenandfood"appearstobeverymuchmoreonesidedthanmedievalpracticeandsymbolism.Itisthereforenotsurprisingthat recenthistorianshavetakenlittlenoticeofthereligioussignificanceoffoodnorthatthesmallattentionthatthetopichasbeguntoreceivehasfocusedonmedieval parallelstothemoderndiseaseentitiesanorexianervosaandbulimia.Buttostudyfastingwithoutstudyingritualsofeating,toconsiderthepainofasceticismwhile ignoringtheexplicitwordsofitspractitionersisnotthemostfruitfulwaytoapproachthehistoryofourEuropeanpast.Formedievalfoodbehaviorwasserviceof othersaswellasrendingandsacrifice.Religiousritualcenteredoneatingaswellasonabstaining. AsIhaveshownabove,medievalwomensometimesrejectedbothbodyandfamilythroughfoodpractices.Foodbehaviorshelpedgirlstogaincontroloverselfas wellasovercircumstance.Throughfasting,womeninternalizedaswellasmanipulatedandescapedpatriarchalfamilialandreligiousstructures.Buttheselfstarvation ofsomethirteenth,fourteenth,andfifteenthcenturywomenhadaresonanceandacomplexitythatarenotcapturedbytheanalogytomoderndiseaseentities.My purposeinthisbookhasbeentoputthebehavior,thesymbols,andtheconvictionsofwomenandmeninthedistantpastintotheirfullcontext.Onlybyconsideringall themeaningsandfunctionsofme

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dievalpracticeandbeliefcanweexplainmedievalexperiencewithoutremovingitscreativityanddignity. Myapproachclearlyassumesthatthepracticesandsymbolsofanyculturearesoembeddedinthatcultureastobeinseparablefromit.Thus,justasIhaveargued thatthenotionofanorexianervosa,whichemergedinthelatenineteenthcenturytodescribeonetypeofinedia,shouldnotbewrenchedfromitsmoderncontextand appliedtothefourteenthandfifteenthcenturies,soIwouldarguethatmedievalsymbols,behaviors,anddoctrineshavenodirectlessonsforthe1980s.7 Theywere producedbyaworldthathasvanished.NorwouldIwantustoreturntotheMiddleAges.HoweverbeautifultheproseofCatherineofSienaorthepoetryof Hadewijch,theactuallivesofsomelatemedievalwomenmustgiveuspause.Althoughwemaywishforanenrichingofoursymbolicuniverse,itishardtowant,for ourselvesorourdaughters,alifelikeLidwina'sorAlpas's,orevenlikeTheresaNeumann'sorSimoneWeil's.Noonecouldwishtoreturntoasocietyinwhichthe horrorsofleprosy,gangrene,orstarvationcanbemitigatedonlybysymbolsthatglorifypainandsacrifice.Thoserecentscholarswhohaveattemptedtourgemedieval devotionsonthemodernchurchruntheriskofignoringthesavageryofsomemedievalasceticism,thesentimentalityofmuchmedievalpreaching,thesexismof medieval(andmodern)society,andtheinappropriatenessofeventhemostgenerousfourteenthcenturynotionsofmothertoaworldwithmoderntechnology.8 On theotherhand,thosescholarswhohaveattackedthepietyoflatemedievalwomenfornotmeetingmodernneedshavemerelypointedouttheobvious,while sometimesmakingitharderforustounderstandthewellspringsofideasthat,intheirowncontext,hadgreatpowerandbeauty. Arethere,then,anyimplicationsofmystudyfortwentiethcenturyculture,inwhichtheassociationofwomanandfoodisstillsostriking,yetthemeaningofthe associationissodifferent?Themostbasicimplication,Ithink,isthis.Althoughmedievallifestylesanddevotionsseeminapplicable(withoutgreatrevision)tomodern problems,therangeandrichnessofmedievalsymbolshavesomethingtoteachusabouttheimpoverishmentofourown.Comparedtotherangeofmeaningsin medievalpoetryandpiety,ouruseofbodyandfoodassymbolsisnarrowandnegative.Andbecauseourunderstandingoffoodandfleshisfearfulandawkward,our therapiesforthosewhosufferfrom"eatingdisorders"

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arenarrowandawkwardtoo.Ouranswertothosewhoseenobeautyorhopeinthefactofembodimentisaconcentrationontheissueofcontrol.9 Andsucha concentrationappearstometoreflectexactlytheculturalemphasisthatproducestheproblem. Medievalpeoplesawfoodandbodyassourcesoflife,repositoriesofsensation.Thusfoodandbodysignifiedgenerativityandsuffering.Food,whichmustbe destroyedinordertogivelife,andbody,whichmustbetorninordertogivebirth,becamesynonymousinidentifyingthemselveswithboth,womenmanagedtogive meaningtoaphysical,humanexistenceinwhichsufferingwasunavoidable.Religiouswomeninthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,whowithdrewfromthetasksof childbearingandnurturingwhichthecultureassignedtofemales,nonethelessexpressedthroughtheirimageryawiderangeofpositiveresonancesforbothphysicality andfood. Incontrast,modernpeopleseefoodandbodyasresourcestobecontrolled.Thusfoodandbodysignifythatwhichthreatenshumanmastery.Theysignifythe untamed,therebellious,theexcessive,theproliferating.Messagesmodernwomenabsorbfromthepopularcultureofmagazineadvertisementsandtelevisionurge themtocontroltheirbodieswithdeodorants,tranquilizers,headacheremedies,diets,etc.Breastsarenot,tomodernpeople,symbolsoffood.Theonsetofpubertyis notanoccasionforrejoicingbyanadolescentgirlorherparents.Menstruationislessapreludetocreativityandaffectivitythanafrighteningsignofvulnerability.Body andfoodarethussymbolsofthefailureofoureffortstocontrolourselves. Bodyandfoodhavebecomesuchsymbols,ofcourse,becauseweareinmanywaysabletocontrolbasicaspectsofbodilyexperienceespeciallyfertilityandpain.I wouldnotwanttosuggestthatwerelinquishthatcontrol.Ithasbroughtanestheticsandantisepticstostillbodilysuffering,reproductivefreedomtoopenwomen's livesandthoseofmenandchildrentonewformsofcreativityandfulfillment,advancesinnutritionandfertilizerstomakehungerlessacuteinatleastaportionof theglobe.Butourmodernimagesoffoodandbody,particularlyfemalebody,asallthatthreatensmasteryseemtomeunattractiveandevendangerousintwovery differentways. First,ourmodernassumptionsobscurethefactthatfoodisfoodandbodyisbody.Twentiethcenturydiscussionsofanorexianervosa,forexample,seemtohave assumed,whenFreudian,thatbodymeans

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sexuality10and,whennonFreudian,thateatingmeanscontrol.Theseassumptionsarenotcompletelyunhelpful.Yettherefusaloffemaleteenagerstoeatseemsmost obviouslyrelatedbothtothephysiologicalchangesofpuberty,whichsignalthepossibilityofmotherhood,andtothebasicassumptioninourculturethatwomenare foodpreparers,notfoodconsumers.ThemethodIhavefollowedinthisbook,ofrelatingvariousfoodpracticesandsymbolswithinasocietytoeachother,suggests thatmodernanalystsmightgainimportantinsightsintomodernbehaviorpatternsbyseeingfoodasfoodandplacingitinitsculturalcontext. Second,ourmodernuseoffoodandbodyassymbolsofallthatweseektocontrolseemstomeavainefforttohidefromourselvesthefactthatourcontrolisnot cannotbetotal.AndIdonotreferheremerelytotheobviousfailuresofoursocialpoliciesandourtechnologythatarerepresentedbythestarvationofpartsofthe ThirdWorld.Imeanthatthesortofcontrolweappeartowantisimpossibleunlesswecancontroldeathitself.Forunlessweconquerdeath,sufferingmustalwaysbe areminderofitaforetasteofourowndeathandofthelossofthosewelove.Unlessweconquerdeath,fertility(howeverfrighteningitmaybe)willbenecessaryfor oursurvival:newlife,issuingfromwomen'sbodies,willbeourcollectiveimmortality. Butwehavenotconquereddeath.Thereisthusbravado,tragicandpatheticbravado,intheassumptionthatmentalhealthandhappinessdependuponsuppressing fertilityandsufferingthebasicremindersthatdeathiseverinourmidst.Perhaps,then,ourculturecannotaffordtoconsidertheissueofwomenandfoodmerelyasa casestudyinhealthyandunhealthycontrol.Perhapswecannotaffordtoseebody,especiallyfemalebody,andnourishmentmerelyasthreatstohumanmastery. Indeed,ourverytendencytothinkintermsofcontrolmayencourageviolencetowardfemalebodiesandcallousnesstowardanypainwecannotmanagetoassuage. Thuswemay,morethanwerealize,needpositivesymbolsforgenerativityandsuffering.Ourculturemayfinallyneedsomethingofthemedievalsense,reflectedso clearlyintheuseofbirthingandnursingassymbolsforsalvation,thatgenerativityandsufferingcanbesynonymous.11Perhapsweshouldnotturnourbacksso resolutelyaswehaverecentlydoneeitheronthepossibilitythatsufferingcanbefruitfuloronfoodandfemalebodyaspositive,complex,resonantsymbolsofloveand generosity.

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Isaidabovethatmedievallivesandrhetorichavenodirectrelevancetoours.Butevenmedievalsymbolsarenosolutiontomodernwoes.Wecannotadoptsuch symbolsasananswertotheimpoverishmentoftwentiethcenturyimages.ThatiswhyIhaverelegatedthoughtsonthemodernworldtoanepiloguethatisinnowaya conclusion.Butadeeperunderstandingofwhattheideasandlivesofmedievalwomenreallymeantnotonlyhelpsusexplainwhytheywereastheywere,italso rescuesthemfromoblivionandilluminatestheirhumanity.Andsuchilluminationgivesusmuchtoadmireaswellasmuchtoabhor.Bycomparison,wemaythusseea littlemoreclearlywhattoadmireandabhoraboutourselves.Inthissense,then,thefemalelivesIhavechronicledherearerelevanttoourown.Iftheirimagesand valuescannotbecomeouranswers,theycannonethelessteachusthatweneedricherimagesandvalues.Perhapsalsotheycanpointthedirectioninwhichweshould search.

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ABBREVIATIONS
Sourcesfrequentlycitedinthisworkarereferredtobytheabbreviationslistedbelow.TheIndexofSecondaryAuthorsdirectsthereadertothefirst,full,bibliographic citationofeachoftheotherworksmentionedintheNotes. AASSJ.BollandusandG.Henschenius,Actasanctorum...editionovissima,ed.J.Carnandetetal.(Paris:Palm,etc.,1863).Notallthevolumesinthisseries areintheirthirdedition,buttheseriesasawholeisthethirdedition. ABAnalectaBollandiana(Brussels:SocitdesBollandistes,1882). AFTheFathersofSt.Bonaventure'sCollege,eds.,Analectafranciscana,siveChronicaaliaquevariadocumentaadhistoriamFratrumminorumspectantia (Quaracchi:CollegiumS.Bonaventurae,1885). AngelaofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudryAngelaofFoligno,LeLivredel'expriencedesvraisfidles:Textelatinpublid'aprslemanuscritd'Assise,ed.and trans.M.J.FerrandL.Baudry(Paris:Droz,1927). Aquinas,STThomasAquinas,Summatheologiae,Blackfriarsed.,61vols.(NewYork:McGrawHill,19641981). Baker,MWDerekBaker,ed.,MedievalWomen:DedicatedandPresentedtoProfessorRosalindM.T.Hill...,StudiesinChurchHistory,Subsidia1(Oxford: Blackwell,1978). Braun,AltarJosephBraun,DerchristlicheAltarinseinergeschichtlichenEntwicklung,2vols.(Munich:Koch,1924). Browe,DieWunderPeterBrowe,DieEucharistischenWunderdesMittelalters,BreslauerStudienzurhistorischenTheologie,NF4(Breslau:MllerundSeiffert, 1938). BSBibliothecasanctorum,12vols.(Rome:IstitutoGiovanniXXIIIdellaPontificiaUniversitLateranense,19611969). Bynum,JMCarolineWalkerBynum,JesusasMother:StudiesintheSpiritualityoftheHighMiddleAges,PublicationsoftheCenterforMedievaland RenaissanceStudies,UCLA,16(BerkeleyandLosAngeles:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1982).

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Bynum,"WomenMystics"CarolineWalkerBynum,"WomenMysticsandEucharisticDevotionintheThirteenthCentury,"Women'sStudies11(1984):179214. Caesarius,DialogusCaesariusofHeisterbach,Dialogusmiraculorum,ed.JosephStrange,2vols.(Cologne:Heberle,1851). CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonziUmileBonzidaGenova,ed.,S.CaterinaFieschiAdorno,vol.2:Edizionecriticadeimanoscritti cateriniani(Turin:Marietti,1962). CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.CavalliniCatherineofSiena,IlDialogodellaDivinaProvvidenzaovveroLibradellaDivinoDottrina,ed.GiulianaCavallini (Rome:EdizioniCateriniane,1968). CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.MisciattelliCatherineofSiena,LeLetteredeS.CaterinadaSiena,ridotteamigliorlezione,einordinenuovodisposteconnote diNiccolTommaseoacuradiPieroMisciattelli,6vols.(Siena:GiuntiniyBentivoglio,19131922). DHGEDictionnaired'histoireetdegographieecclsiastiques(Paris:LetouzeyetAn,1912). DMADictionaryoftheMiddleAges,ed.JosephStrayer(NewYork:Scribner's,1982). Dronke,WWPeterDronke,WomenWritersoftheMiddleAges:ACriticalStudyofTextsfromPerpetua(+203)toMargueritePorete(+1310)(Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress,1984). DSDictionnairedespiritualit,asctiqueetmystique,doctrineethistoire,ed.M.Villeretal.(Paris:Beauchesne,1932). DTCDictionnairedethologiecatholique,ed.A.Vacantetal.,15vols.andTablesgnrales(Paris:LetouzeyetAn,19091950). Dumoutet,CDEdouardDumoutet,CorpusDomini:Auxsourcesdelapiteucharistiquemdivale(Paris:Beauchesne,1942). EngelthalKarlSchrder,ed.,DerNonnenvonEngelthalBchleinvonderGenadenberlast,BibliothekdesliterarischenVereinsinStuttgart108(Tbingen: LiterarischerVereininStuttgart,1871). Goodich,VPMichaelGoodich,VitaPerfecta:TheIdealofSainthoodintheThirteenthCentury,MonographienzurGeschichtedesMittelalters25(Stuttgart: Hiersemann,1982). Gougaud,DAPLouisGougaud,DevotionalandAsceticPracticesintheMiddleAges,trans.G.C.Bateman(London:BurnsOatesandWashbourne,1927). Grundmann,BewegungenHerbertGrundmann,ReligiseBewegungenimMittelalter:UntersuchungenberdiegeschichtlichenZusammenhngezwischender Ketzerei,denBettelordenundderreligisenFrauenbewegungim12.und13.Jahrhundert...(1935repr.withadditions,Hildesheim:Olms,1961). ImbertGourbeyre,StigmatisationAntoineImbertGourbeyre,LaStigmatisa

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tion:L'ExtasedivineetlesmiraclesdeLourdes:Rponseauxlibrespenseurs,2vols.(ClermontFerrand:LibrairieCatholique,1894). JohnMarienwerder,Vitalatina,ed.WestpfahlJohnMarienwerder,VitaDorotheaeMontoviensisMagistriJohannisMarienwerder,ed.HansWestpfahl, ForschungenundQuellenzurKirchenundKulturgeschichteOstdeutschlands1(Cologne:Bhlau,1964). Julian,BookofShowings,ed.ColledgeandWalshJulianofNorwich,ABookofShowingstotheAnchoressJulianofNorwich,ed.EdmundColledgeandJames Walsh,StudiesandTexts35,2parts(part1containstheShortText,part2theLongText)(Toronto:PontificalInstituteofMedievalStudies,1978). Kieckhefer,UnSRichardKieckhefer,UnquietSouls:FourteenthCenturySaintsandTheirReligiousMilieu(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1984). McDonnell,BeguinesErnestW.McDonnell,TheBeguinesandBeghardsinMedievalCulture,withSpecialEmphasisontheBelgianScene(NewBrunswick, N.J.:RutgersUniversityPress,1954repr.ed.1969). MGH.SSMonumentaGermaniaehistorica.ScriptoresrerumgermanicarumandScriptores...novaser.(Hannover:HahnscheBuchhandlung,etc.1826). MGH.SSRMMonumentaGermaniaehistorica.Scriptoresrerummerovingicarum(Hannover:HahnscheBuchhandlung,1885). OBBernardofClairvaux,SanctiBernardiopera,ed.J.Leclercq,C.H.Talbot,andH.M.Rochais(Rome:EditionesCistercienses,1957). OeuvresdeMargueriteMargaretofOingt,LesOeuvresdeMarguerited'Oingt,ed.andtrans.AntoninDuraffour,PierreGardette,andPauletteDurdilly, Publicationsdel'InstitutdeLinguistiqueRomanedeLyon21(Paris:BellesLettres,1965). OmnibusMarionA.Habig,ed.,St.FrancisofAssisi:WritingsandEarlyBiographies:EnglishOmnibusofSources,3ded.(Chicago:FranciscanHeraldPress, 1973). Pater,MAThomasPater,MiraculousAbstinence:AStudyofOneoftheExtraordinaryMysticalPhenomena,CatholicUniversityofAmericaStudiesinSacred Theology100(Washington,D.C.:CatholicUniversityofAmericaPress,1946). PGJ.P.Migne,ed.,Patrologiaecursuscompletus:seriesgraeca,162vols.(Paris:Migne,18571866). PLJ.P.Migne,ed.,Patrologiaecursuscompletus:serieslatina,221vols.(Paris:Migne,etc.,18411864). Roisin,L'HagiographieSimoneRoisin,L'HagiographiecisterciennedanslediocsedeLigeauXIII'sicle(Louvain:Bibliothquedel'Universit,1947).

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SC,Sr.mon.Sourceschrtiennes(Paris:EditionsduCerf,1941),Sriedestextesmonastiquesd'Occident(Paris:EditionsduCerf,1958). Schiller,IconographyGertrudSchiller,IconographyofChristianArt,trans.JanetSeligman,2vols.[thefirsttwovols.ofIkonographie](London:Humphries, 19711972). Schiller,IkonographieGertrudSchiller,IkonographiederchristlichenKunst,4vols.(Gtersloh:Mohn,19661980). Suso,DeutscheSchriftenHenrySuso,HeinrichSeuse:DeutscheSchriftenimAuftragderWrttembergischenKommissionfrLandesgeschichte,ed.Karl Bihlmeyer(Stuttgart:Kohlhammer,1907). Tauler,DiePredigtenJohnTauler,DiePredigtenTaulers:AusderEngelbergerundderFreiburgerHandschriftsowieausSchmidtsAbschriftender ehemaligenStrassburgerHandschriften,ed.FerdinandVetter(Berlin:WeidmannscheBuchhandlung,1910). Thurston,PPHerbertThurston,ThePhysicalPhenomenaofMysticism(Chicago:Regnery,1952). TssElsbetStagel,DasLebenderSchwesternzuTssbeschriebenvonElsbetStagel,ed.FerdinandVetter,DeutscheTextedesMittelalters6(Berlin: WeidmannscheBuchhandlung,1906). Tubach,IndexFredericC.Tubach,Indexexemplorum:AHandbookofMedievalReligiousTales,FFCommunications204(Helsinki:FinnishAcademyof SciencesandLetters,1969). "Unterlinden"JeanneAnceletHustache,ed.,"Les'VitaeSororum'd'Unterlinden.EditioncritiqueduManuscrit508delaBibliothquedeColmar,"Archives d'histoiredoctrinaleetlittrairedumoyenge5(1930):317509. Vauchez,LaSaintetAndrVauchez,LaSaintetenOccidentauxdernierssiclesdumoyenged'aprslesprocsdecanonisationetlesdocuments hagiographiques,Bibliothquedestudesfranaisesd'AthnesetdeRome241(Rome:EcoleFranaisedeRome,1981). ViedeDoucelineJ.H.Albans,ed.andtrans.,LaViedeDouceline,fondatricedesbguinesdeMarseille(Marseilles:Camoin,1879). VitaBeatricisL.Reypens,ed.,VitaBeatricis:DeAutobiografievandeZ.BeatrijsvanTienenO.Cist.12001268(Antwerp:RuusbroecGenootschap,1964). WeinsteinandBell,SSDonaldWeinsteinandRudolphM.Bell,SaintsandSociety:TheTwoWorldsofWesternChristendom,10001700(Chicago:University ofChicagoPress,1982).

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NOTES
Introduction 1.JohnTauler,Sermon31,SecondSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.310E.ColledgeandSisterM.Jane,trans.,SpiritualConferences(St. Louis:Herder,1961),p.258. 2.Forexample,MalcolmDavidLambert,FranciscanPoverty:TheDoctrineoftheAbsolutePovertyofChristandtheApostlesintheFranciscanOrder, 12101323(London:SPCK,1961)andLesterK.Little,ReligiousPovertyandtheProfitEconomyinMedievalEurope(Ithaca:CornellUniversityPress, 1978).SeealsoJohnV.Fleming,AnIntroductiontotheFranciscanLiteratureoftheMiddleAges(Chicago:FranciscanHeraldPress,1977),pp.73109and below,chap.3n.159. 3.Forrecentexamples,seeJohnBugge,Virginitas:AnEssayintheHistoryofaMedievalIdeal,Archivesinternationalesd'histoiredesides,sriesminor17(The Hague:Nijhoff,1975)andWeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.7399.LeoSteinberg,"TheSexualityofChristinRenaissanceArtandinModernOblivion,"October25 (Summer1983):1222(publishedinbookform,NewYork:Pantheon,1983),providesafascinatingcounterpointtotheargumentinthisbook.Steinbergsees Christ'ssexuality(bywhichhereallymeansChrist'sgenitality)asabasicsymbolofhishumanity.HethereforestressesthemalenessofChristinfifteenthcenturyart andpiety,whereasI,beginningwithfoodsymbolism,findaChristwhosehumanityissymbolizedinfemaleaswellasmaleimages. 4.PeterBrown,"Response"toRobertM.Grant,"TheProblemofMiraculousFeedingsintheGraecoRomanWorld,"CenterforHermeneuticalStudies:Protocol oftheFortySecondColloquy(Berkeley:GraduateTheologicalUnionandUniversityofCalifornia,1982),p.23. 5.AsFernandBraudelpointsout,povertywasattheheartofthelongcourseofMediterraneanhistory,andfaminewasrecurrent,thenaturaloutcomeofageneral shortageofresources.SeeFernandBraudel,TheMediterraneanandtheMediterraneanWorldintheAgeofPhilipII,trans.SinReynolds,2vols.(NewYork: HarperandRow,197273),vol.1,esp.pp.24156.Onlatermedievaleconomichistory,seeTheCambridgeEconomicHistoryofEurope,vol.1,2ded.,ed. M.M.Postan(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1966),andvols.2and3,ed.M.M.Postanetal.(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1952,1963) RobertBoutruche,LaCrised'unesocit:SeigneursetpaysansduBordelaispendantlaguerredecentans(1947Paris:BellesLettres,1963)Robert

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Brenner,''AgrarianClassStructureandEconomicDevelopmentinPreIndustrialEurope,"PastandPresent70(February1976):3075andthesymposium articlesonBrenner'sworkinPastandPresent7897(February1978November1982).Theextentoftheeconomiccrisisoftheearly(i.e.,preplague) fourteenthcenturyhasbeengreatlydebated,especiallyforEnglandseethesummaryofthedebateinIanKershaw,"TheGreatFamineandAgrarianCrisisin England13151322,"inR.H.Hilton,ed.,Peasants,KnightsandHeretics:StudiesinMedievalEnglishSocialHistory(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press,1976),pp.85132(repr.fromPastandPresent59[May1973]). 6.See,forexample,FritzCurschmann,HungersnteimMittelalter:EinBeitragzurdeutschenWirtschaftsgeschichtedes8.bis13.Jahrhunderts(Leipzig: Teubner,1900),esp.pp.5960,110,112,142WilhelmAbel,AgrarkrisenundAgrarkonjunkturinMitteleuropa,3ded.(Hamburg:Parey,1978)Marie JospheLarenaudie,"LesFaminesenLanguedocauxXIVeetXVesicles,"AnnalesduMidi64(1952):2739ElisabethCarpentier,"Autourdelapestenoire: Faminesetpidmiesdansl'histoireduXIVesicle,"Annales:Economies,socits,civilisations17.5(1962):106292H.S.Lucas,"TheGreatEuropeanFamine of1315,1316and1317,"inE.M.CarusWilson,ed.,EssaysinEconomicHistory,vol.2(London:Arnold,1962),pp.4972(repr.fromSpeculum5[1930]) andKershaw,"GreatFamine."Salimbene'schroniclefor1286givesagraphicexampleofathirteenthcenturymanwhobecameobsessedwithfearoffamineand hoardedfood.Children,angeredbyhisgreedandhypocrisy,exactedrevengeonhiscorpse.SeetheexcerptfromSalimbene'schronicleinG.G.Coulton,FromSt. FrancistoDante:TranslationsfromtheChronicleoftheFranciscanSalimbene...,2ded.(1907repr.Philadelphia:UniversityofPennsylvaniaPress,1972), pp.16364seealsoibid.,pp.19091.ThomasofCelano'ssecondLifeofFrancisofAssisispeaksofanearlythirteenthcenturyfaminesobadthatbreadwasmade fromthebarkoftreesanddeadchildrenwereeatenseeThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.23,par.53,inAF,vol.10,pp.16364.Twosaints discussedinchap.4,below,providefurtherexamplesofhardship.Alpas'sparents,attheurgingofherbrothers,lefthertostarvebecauseshewastooilltocart manureMargaretofCittdiCastello,bornweakandblind,wasabandonedbyherfamily. 7.Foranextraordinaryexampleofdifferencesindietbasedonclassorstatusdifferences,seethepassagefromLeDespitauvillainquotedinRobertGottfried,The BlackDeath:NaturalandHumanDisasterinMedievalEurope(NewYork:FreePress,1983),pp.99100.Onthispoint,seealsoConstanceB.Hieattand SharonButler,eds.,IntroductiontoCuryeonInglysh:EnglishCulinaryManuscriptsoftheFourteenthCentury(Includingthe"FormeofCury"),EarlyEnglish TextSociety(London:OxfordUniversityPress,1984),pp.56andJackGoody,Cooking,CuisineandClass:AStudyinComparativeSociology(Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress,1982),pp.13844. 8.See,forexample,MikhailM.Bakhtin,RabelaisandHisWorld,trans.H.Iswolsky(Cambridge:M.I.T.Press,1968)andPieroCamporesi,IlPaneselvaggio (Bologna:IlMulino,1980),esp.pp.2544. 9.See,forexample,C.H.Talbot,ed.andtrans.,TheLifeofChristinaofMarkyate:ATwelfthCenturyRecluse(Oxford:ClarendonPress,1959),pp.18289, whereChristinaandacertainMargaretfeedamysteriouspilgrim(i.e.,Christ).Oneofthesignsofhisholinessisthathe"tastesratherthaneats."Forasimilarstoryof feedingamysterious

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strangerwhoseextraordinarinessisprovenbythefactthathedoesnotreallyeat,seeViedeDouceline,chap.8,pars.69,pp.6669. 10.LifeofMargaretofCortona,chap.3,par.51,AASSFebruary,vol.3(Paris,1865),p.313.ReadersshouldnotethatIgivedateofdeathandidentifying informationthefirsttimeanindividualismentioned.SeetheGeneralIndexforthepagewherethatfirstreferenceoccurs. 11.GuntherofPairis,Deoratione,jejunioeteleemosynalibritredecim,bk.12:Dejejunio,chap.3,PL212,col.210.OnGunther,seeDictionnairedes auteurscisterciens,ed.EmileBrouette,AnselmeDimier,andEugneManning,LaDocumentationcistercienne16(Rochefort,Belgium:AbbayeNotreDamedeSt. Remy,197578),vol.1,fasc.3,cols.32425. 12.LifeofCatherineofSweden,chap.1,par.4,AASSMarch,vol.3(Paris,1865),p.504. 13.TractatusbeatiGregoriipapecontrareligionissimulatores,chap.69,inMarvinColker,ed.,AnalectaDublinensia:ThreeMedievalLatinTextsinthe LibraryofTrinityCollegeDublin(Cambridge:MedievalAcademyofAmerica,1975),p.47seealsop.6forthedating. 14.Foradiscussionofrecentanthropologicalstudiesoffoodpractices,seeGillianFeeleyHarnik,TheLord'sTable:EucharistandPassoverinEarlyChristianity (Philadelphia:UniversityofPennsylvaniaPress,1981),pp.618andGoody,Cooking,CuisineandClass,pp.1039.Forapsychoanalyticinterpretationoffood ritual,seeMaryEllenRossandChery1LynnRoss,"Mothers,Infants,andthePsychoanalyticStudyofRitual,"Signs:JournalofWomeninCultureandSociety9.1 (1983):2639.AlthoughausefulcorrectivetoFreud,thisarticledoesnottakeusveryfarinunderstandingthemass. 15.MechtildofMagdeburg,OffenbarungenderSchwesterMechtildvonMagdeburgoderDasFliessendeLichtderGottheit,ed.GallMorel(Regensburg: Manz,1869repr.Darmstadt,1963),bk.2,chap.22,p.43trans.LucyMenzies,TheRevelationsofMechtildofMagdeburg(12101297)orTheFlowing LightoftheGodhead(London:Longmans,1953),p.48.OnMechtild'sdeathdate,seeHansNeumann,"BeitrgezurTextgeschichtedes'FliessendenLichtsder Gottheit'undzurLebensgeschichteMechtildsvonMagdeburg,"NachrichtenderAkademiederWissenschafteninGttingen,PhilologischhistorischeKlasse (1954),p.70. 16.Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,ed.J.VanMierlo,LeuvenseStudinenTekstuitgaven(Antwerp:N.V.StandaardBoekhandel,1954),poem16,p.79trans. ColumbaHart,Hadewijch:TheCompleteWorks(NewYork:PaulistPress,1980),p.353. 17.JohnTauler,Sermon30,FirstSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.293trans.ColledgeandSisterM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.100. Inthissermon,TauleractuallymovesquicklyawayfromoureatingGodasanimageofuniontoadiscussionofGod'seatingus("gnawingatourconsciences")asan imageofpunishment(DiePredigten,pp.29495). 18.WilliamofSt.Thierry,ExpossurleCantiquedescantiques,ed.J.M.Dchanet,SC82,Sr.mon.8(1962),chap.38,p.122trans.ColumbaHart,The WorksofWilliamofSt.Thierry,vol.2:ExpositionontheSongofSongs,CistercianFathersSeries6(Spencer,Mass.:CistercianPublications,1970),p.30.

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19.WilliamofSt.Thierry,Meditativaeorationes,chap.10,PL180,col.236trans.SisterPenelope,TheWorksofWilliamofSt.Thierry,vol.1:On ContemplatingGod...,CistercianFathersSeries3(Spencer,Mass.:CistercianPublications,1971),pp.15253.Forotherexamplesoffoodimagery,seeJ. Huizinga,TheWiningoftheMiddleAges:AStudyoftheFormsofLife,ThoughtandArtinFranceandtheNetherlandsintheXIVthandXVthCenturies, trans.F.Hopman(1924repr.GardenCity:Doubleday,1956),pp.197200. 20.Allfiveoftheimportantrecentworksonmedievalsaintsdealwiththisissue.SeePierreDelooz,SociologieetCanonisations(Lige:Facultdedroit,1969), whichissummarizedinidem,"TowardsaSociologicalStudyofCanonizedSainthoodintheCatholicChurch,"inStephenWilson,ed.,SaintsandTheirCults: StudiesinReligiousSociology,FolkloreandHistory(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1983),pp.189216Vauchez,LaSaintetWeinsteinandBell, SSGoodich,VPandKieckhefer,UnS.Onthewayinwhichaholypersonservesasanexemplarormodelforasociety,seealsoPeterBrown,"TheSaintas ExemplarinLateAntiquity,"Representations1.2(Spring1983):125.Forabibliographyofrecentworksonsanctityandhagiography,seeWilson,Saintsand TheirCults,pp.309417.Forbasicbiographicalandbibliographicalinformationonindividualsaints,thebestreferenceworkisnowBibliothecasanctorum.The standardguidetoeditionsistheBollandists,eds.,Bibliothecahagiographicalatinaantiquaeetmediaeaetatis,Subsidiahagiographica6,2vols.(18981901 repr.Brussels:SocitdesBollandistes,1949). 21.Hagiography,byitsnature,ismorereliableasevidenceforwhatpeoplebelievedthanasevidenceforthedetails(especiallythechronology)ofindividuallives. Indeed,theprocessofapplyingmodernpsychologicalormedicalmodelstomedievallivesoftentemptshistorianstotrusttheparticularsofmedievalaccountsmore thaniswise.Understandingthisshouldnot,however,leadonetofallintotheoppositeerrorofignoringthedistinctionbetweenclearlylegendarymaterial,ontheone hand,andfairlytrustworthycontemporaryaccounts,ontheother.Seebelow,chap.6n.82.Forasplendiddiscussionofthesemethodologicalproblems,see SiegfriedRingler,"DieRezeptionmittelalterlicherFrauenmystikalswissenschaftlichesProblem,dargestelltamWerkderChristineEbner,"inPeterDinzelbacherand DieterR.Bauer,eds.,FrauenmystikimMittelalter,WissenschaftlicheStudientagungderAkademiederDizeseRottenburgStuttgart,22.25.Februar1984,in Weingarten(OstfildernbeiStuttgart:Schwabcnverlag,1985),pp.178200. 22.Afewminordetailsofformatfollowfromthisapproach.First,inordertoaidscholarswhowishtotrackdownreferencesandmayhavetoresorttodifferent editionsfromthoseIuse,Icitemedievalworksbychapterandparagraph(wheretheseareavailable)aswellasbypagenumber.Second,whenIgiveadditional materialinthefootnotes,Iusuallycitethetextsintheoriginallanguage.Thesefurtherexamplesareintendedforscholars,butitmayinterestthegeneralreaderaswell toseethevarietyofvernacularlanguagesinwhichwomen'sideassurvive.Third,Iprovideinthenotessomehistoriographicalcommentonthedifferencesbetweenmy interpretationsandthoseofotherscholars,somediscussionofmethodology,andanoccasionalsuggestionforfurtherresearch.Exceptforthetreatmentofanorexia nervosainchapter6,however,Ihaverefrainedfromclutteringthetextwithdiscussionofmoderninterpretations.Oneother

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matterofformatisalsoworthmentioning.Ioccasionallyrepeatanexamplewhenitservestodemonstratetwoverydifferentanalyticalpoints.Insuchcases,Ido notrepeatthedocumentation,butreaderscanfindthefirstoccurrenceoftheexamplebyusingtheGeneralIndex.Incrossreferences,anotenumberstanding alonereferstothesamechapterwhenacrossreferenceistoadifferentchapter,thechapternumberisgivenaswell. 1 ReligiousWomenintheLaterMiddleAges 1.JamesofVitry,LifeofMaryofOignies,prologue,pars.68,AASSJune,vol.5(Paris,1867),p.548translationadaptedinpartfromtranslationsbyHenry OsbornTaylor,TheMedievalMind:AHistoryoftheDevelopmentofThoughtandEmotionintheMiddleAges,2vols.,4thed.(London:Macmillan,1925), vol.1,pp.47778andMcDonnell,Beguines,p.330. 2.Muchofchapter1willappearunderthesametitlebutinsomewhatdifferentforminTheEncyclopediaofWorldSpirituality,vol.17:ChristianSpirituality: HighMiddleAgesandReformation,ed.JillRaitt(NewYork:Crossroad,1987).ItappearsherewithpermissionoftheCrossroadPublishingCompany. 3.SuzanneF.Wemple,WomeninFrankishSociety:MarriageandtheCloister,500to900(Philadelphia:UniversityofPennsylvaniaPress,1981). 4.RichardW.Southern,WesternSocietyandtheChurchintheMiddleAges,PelicanHistoryoftheChurch2(Harmondsworth:Penguin,1970),pp.31831. 5.SeeRosalindB.BrookeandChristopherN.L.Brooke,"St.Clare,"inBaker,MW,p.276ChristopherN.L.BrookeandWimSwaan,TheMonasticWorld (London:Elek,1974),pp.167,17778,254n.2. 6.Inthemodernworldthereareroughlythreewomeninreligiousorderstoeveryman(BrookeandBrooke,"St.Clare,"p.276),thoughrecentlythenumberofnuns intheUnitedStateshassharplydeclined(see"VowsofDefiance,"Newsweek,19March1984,pp.97100).Thechangefromwomenasaminorityofthosein religiousorderstoalargefemalemajorityseemstohavecomeinthelaterMiddleAges. 7.Onreligiouswomen,thebasicworksareKarlBcher,DieFrauenfrageimMittelalter,2ded.(Tbingen:Laupp,1910)JosephGreven,DieAnfngeder Beginen:EinBeitragzurGeschichtederVolksfrmmigkeitunddesOrdenswesensimHochmittelalter,VorreformationsgeschichtlicheForschungen8(Mnster: Aschendorff,1912)Grundmann,BewegungenPhilibertSchmitz,HistoiredeI'ordredesaintBenot,7vols.(Maredsous:EditionsdeMaredsous,19421956), vol.7:LesMonialesStephanusHilpisch,DieDoppelklster:EnstehungundOrganisation(Mnster:Aschendorff,1928)idem,Geschichteder Benediktinerinnen,BenediktinischesGeistesleben3(St.Ottilien:EosVerlagderErzabtei,1951)MichelinePontenaydeFontette,LesReligieusesl'geclassque dudroitcanon:Recherchessurlesstructuresjuridiquesdesbranchesfmininesdesordres(Paris:Vrin,1967)andRobertE.Lerner,"BeguinesandBeghards," DMA,vol.2(1983),pp.15762.Forfurtherbibliography,seeC.EricksonandK.Casey,"WomenintheMiddleAges:A

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WorkingBibliography,"MedievalStudies37(1975):34059andBynum,JM,pp.916,182n.33. 8.SeeAASSMarch,vol.3(Paris,1865),pp.36163theBenedictinesofParis,Viesdessaintsetdesbienheureux...,vol.3forMarch(Paris:LetouzeyetAn, 1941),p.481. 9.Forotherexamplesofwomenwhofoundedorders,seeGoodich,VP,p.174. 10.TheConradofMarchtaltextisquotedbySouthern,WesternSocietyandtheChurch,p.314andbyA.Erens,"LesSoeursdansI'ordredePrmontr,' AnalectaPraemonstratensia5(1929):10n.20.Thereisnomanuscriptcopyofthiscondemnation,whichfirstappearsinasixteenthcenturyworkofdubious reliability.SeeNorbertBackmund,MonasticonPraemonstratenseidest,HistoriacircariarumatquecanoniarumcandidietcanoniciOrdinis Praemonstratensis,3vols.(Straubing:Attenkofer,19491956),vol.1,p.85n.5andCarolNeel,"Women'sRolesinMedievalMonasticLife:DoubleMonasteries andtheTwelfthCenturyReform,"paperdeliveredtotheSixthBerkshireConferenceontheHistoryofWomen,13June1984,n.4oftypescript.Forthequotation fromBernard,seeSermonessuperCanticacanticorum,Sermon65,par.4,inOB,vol.2(1958),pp.17475.(Bernardoften,however,wrotetoindividual womenwithtactandgraciousness.)SeealsoGilesConstable,"AelredofRievaulxandtheNunofWatton:AnEpisodeintheEarlyHistoryoftheGilbertineOrder,"in Baker,MW,pp.20526. 11.JohnB.Freed,"UrbanDevelopmentandthe'CuraMonialium'inThirteenthCenturyGermany,"Viator3(1972)31127idem,TheFriarsandGerman SocietyintheThirteenthCentury,MedievalAcademyofAmericaPublications86(Cambridge:MedievalAcademyofAmerica,1977)andFrederickStein,"The ReligiousWomenofCologne,11201320"(Ph.D.dissertation,YaleUniversity,1977).SeealsomapsandindextoFrdricVanderMeer,Atlasdel'ordre cistercien(Amsterdam:Elsevier,1965)andBrookeandBrooke,"St.Clare,"p.276n.2. 12.SeeNeel,"DoubleMonasteries."Premonstratensiandoublehousesdid,however,disappearinwesternEurope. 13.Freed,"UrbanDevelopment." 14.MichaelGoodich,"ContoursofFemalePietyinLaterMedievalHagiography,"ChurchHistory50(1981):2032idem,VP,pp.17385BrendaM.Bolton, "VitaeMatrum:AFurtherAspectoftheFrauenfrage,"inBaker,MW,pp.25373Roisin,L'Hagiographie,pp.113,129. 15.See,forexample,RichardC.Trexler,"LeClibatlafindumoyenge:LesReligieusesdeFlorence,"Annales:Economies,socits,civilisations27(1972): 132950Freed,"UrbanDevelopment."Regionalvariationsinthetypesofreligiousstructuresavailabletowomenarecurrentlybeingexploredinamajorresearch projectconductedbyMaryMartinMcLaughlinandSuzanneWempleatBarnardCollege.Astudyoftheextenttowhichwomenwereoverrepresentedaswitnesses andadherentsincanonizationproceedings,regardlessofthesexofthesaint,wouldbeinstructiveasanotherindexoffemalereligiosity.Someofthematerialin Goodich,VP(esp.pp.163,209)suggeststhattheywereinfactoverrepresented,althoughGoodichdoesnotpursuethepoint. 16.GottfriedKoch,FrauenfrageundKetzertumimMittelalter:DieFrauenbewegungimRahmendesKatharismusunddesWaldensertumsundihresozialen Wurzeln:12.14.Jahrhundert,ForschungenzurmittelalterlichenGeschichte9(Berlin:AkademieVerlag,1962)EleanorC.McLaughlin,"LesFemmesetl'hrsie mdivale:UnProblmedans

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l'histoiredelaspiritualit,"Concilium111(1976):7390RichardAbelsandEllenHarrison,"ThePositionofWomeninLanguedocianCatharism,"Medieval Studies41(1979):21551. 17.Thereisaverylargeliteratureontwelfthandthirteenthcenturyheresy.Fortworecentinterpretations,seeMalcolmLambert,MedievalHeresy:Popular MovementsfromBogomiltoHus(NewYork:HolmesandMeier,1977)andR.I.Moore,TheOriginsofEuropeanDissent(NewYork:St.Martin'sPress, 1977). 18.SeeRobertE.Lerner,TheHeresyoftheFreeSpiritintheLaterMiddleAges(BerkeleyandLosAngeles:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1972)EleanorC. McLaughlin,"TheHeresyoftheFreeSpiritandLateMedievalMysticism,"MedievaliaetHumanistican.s.4(1973):3754. 19.ThiswasbasicallyGrundmann'sinterpretationseeBewegungen. 20.Inadditiontotheworkscitedinn.11above,seeMcDonnell,BeguinesBrendaM.Bolton,"Mulieressanctae,"inStudiesinChurchHistory,vol.10:Derek Baker,ed.,SanctityandSecularity:TheChurchandtheWorld(1973),pp.7795andKasparElm,"DieStellungderFrauinOrdenswesen,Semireligiosentum undHresiezurZeitderheiligenElisabeth,"inUniversityofMarburg,ed.,SanktElisabeth:Frstin,Dienerin,Heilige:Aufstze,Dokumentation,Katalog (Sigmaringen:Thorbecke,1981),pp.728. 21.Lerner,"BeguinesandBeghards,"p.160Stein,"ReligiousWomenofCologne." 22.SeeBcher,FrauenfrageandGreven'ssummaryofearlierliteratureinAnfnge,pp.127.Formorerecenteconomicandsocialinterpretations,seeDayton Phillips,BeguinesinMedievalStrasburg:AStudyoftheSocialAspectofBeguineLife(Stanford:StanfordUniversityPress,1941)andErnstWernerandMartin Erbstsser,IdeologischeProblemedesmittelalterlichenPlebejertums.DiefreigeistigeHresieundihresozialenWurzeln(Berlin:AkademieVerlag,1960). 23.SeeWernerandErbstsser,IdeologischeProblemeEvaG.Neumann,RheinischesBeginenundBegardenwesen:EinMainzerBeitragzurreligisen BewegungamRhein,MainzerAbhandlungenzurmittlerenundneuerenGeschichte4(MeisenheimamGlan:Hain,1960)Freed,"UrbanDevelopment."Seealso Lerner,HeresyoftheFreeSpirit,p.231. 24.See,forexample,Bcher,FrauenfrageandDavidHerlihy,"WomeninMedievalSociety,"repr.inTheSocialHistoryofItalyandWesternEurope,700 1500,Variorumreprints(London,1978). 25.Forthereligioussurplusexplanation,seeGreven,AnfngeGrundmann,BewegungenSouthern,WesternSocietyandtheChurch,pp.31831Bolton, "Mulieressanctae." 26.Ghentmemorialof1328,inPaulFredericq,CorpusdocumentorumInquisitionishaereticaepravitatisNeerlandicae,vol.1(Ghent:Nijhoff,1889),p.176 trans.adaptedinpartfromMcDonnell,Beguines,p.83. 27.Seeabove,n.10.Onmisogynygenerally,seeDianeBornstein,"Antifeminism,"DMA,vol.1(1982),pp.32225. 28.Freed,"UrbanDevelopment"idem,FriarsandGermanSocietyStein,"ReligiousWomenofCologne." 29.AliceA.Hentsch,Delalittraturedidactiquedumoyenges'adressantspcialementauxfemmes(Cahors:Coueslant,1903)andMatthusBernards, SpeculumVirginum:GeistigkeitundSeelenlebenderFrauimHochmittelalter(Cologne:Bhlau,1955).Seealso

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ClarissaAtkinson,"'PreciousBalsaminaFragileGlass':TheIdeologyofVirginityintheLaterMiddleAges,"JournalofFamilyHistory8.2(Summer1983): 13143andPeterBrown,VirginityandSociety:Men,WomenandRenunciationinLateAntiquity,forthcoming. 30.Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.21618.Ifoneconsidersallkindsofsaintstogether,menaccountfor81.7percentoftheproceedingsand85.7percentofthe canonizationswomenaccountfor18.3percentoftheproceedingsand14.3percentofthecanonizations.Onlyinthecategoryoflaysaintsdidwomenfareslightly betterthanmen.Between1198and1431,womenaccountfor41.2percentoftheproceedingsand44.5percentofthecanonizations,menfor58.8percentofthe proceedingsand55.5percentofthecanonizations. 31.WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.22021.SeealsoVauchez,LaSaintet,pp.24349,31618,40210JaneTibbettsSchulenberg,"SexismandtheCelestial Gynaeceumfrom500to1200,"JournalofMedievalHistory4(1978):11733andGoodich,VP,p.173.Schulenberg,usingtheBibliothecasanctorum, estimates15percentby1250,24percentby1300.Vauchez,usingcanonizationproceedings,calculatesthat16.3percentofsaintsinthethirteenthcenturyand27.3 percentintheperiodfrom1305to1431werewomen. 32.MarcGlasser,"MarriageinMedievalHagiography,"StudiesinMedievalandRenaissanceHistoryn.s.4(1981):334,esp.p.32n.58Vauchez,LaSaintet, p.442.WeinsteinandBell'stables(SS,pp.12337)indicatethatahigherpercentageoffemalethanofmalesaintsweremarriedafactthatpartlyexplainsthelarger percentageofholywomenwhoexperiencedconflictarisingfromtheirsexuallives(ibid.,p.97). 33.WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.9799,22527Vauchez,LaSaintet,p.44045. 34.WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.194219,221(table)Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.24349,317.AccordingtoVauchez,womenaccountfor21.4percentofthe proceedingsamongmendicantsbutforonly12.5percentofthecanonizations. 35.Vauchez,LaSaintet,p.317. 36.IhavediscussedthistrendinBynum,JM,pp.921,25054.Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.24360,40210,discussesthefeminizationoflaypiety,especially undermendicantauspices,andtheclericalizationofmalepiety. 37.SeeBynum,JM,p.15JeanLeclercq,"MedievalFeminineMonasticism:Realityvs.RomanticImages,"Benedictus:StudiesinHonorofSt.Benedictof Nursia,StudiesinMedievalCistercianHistory8(Kalamazoo:CistercianPublications,1981),p.61andJosefJungmann,TheMassoftheRomanRite:ItsOrigins andDevelopment(MissarumSollemnia),trans.F.A.Brunner,2vols.(NewYork:Benziger,1951,1955),vol.2,p.386n.95. 38.QuotedinFrancineCardman,"TheMedievalQuestionofWomenandOrders,"TheThomist42(1978):596.SeealsoIdaRaming,TheExclusionofWomen fromthePriesthood:DivineLaworSexDiscrimination?trans.N.R.Adams(Metuchen,N.J.:ScarecrowPress,1976),pp.8182. 39.AccordingtothetablesinGoodich,VP,pp.21140,144of518saintswhoflourishedbetween1215and1334werewomen.Ofthesefemalesaints,mostwere religiousorquasireligious.(Goodichlists131asbeingaffiliatedwithanorder,butthisnumberisprobablytoohigh[seeatn.48below].)Only36,however,arelisted aseitherabbessesorprioressesanother5aredescribedasfoundersoforders.SeealsoBynum,

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JM,pp.24762,esp.p.249WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.22138.Themostextravagantpractitionersofpenitentialasceticismandecstasieswerealmostby definitiondisqualifiedfrommajoradministrativepositions. 40.SeeEileenPower,"ThePositionofWomen,"inG.C.CrumpandE.F.Jacobs,eds.,TheLegacyoftheMiddleAges(Oxford:ClarendonPress,1926),pp. 40134JoAnnMcNamaraandSuzanneWemple,"ThePowerofWomenthroughtheFamilyinMedievalEurope,5001100,"FeministStudies1(1973):126 41idem,"SanctityandPower:TheDualPursuitofMedievalWomen,"inRenateBridenthalandC.Koonz,eds.,BecomingVisible:WomeninEuropeanHistory (Boston:HoughtonMifflin,1977),pp.90118andthevariousarticlesinHerlihy,SocialHistoryofItaly. 41.Forrecent,convincingcritiquesofthenotionofa"status"ofwomen,seeMartinKingWhyte,TheStatusofWomeninPreindustrialSocieties(Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress,1978),esp.pp.11617MichelleZimbalistRosaldo,"TheUseandAbuseofAnthropology:ReflectionsonFeminismandCrossCultural Understanding,"Signs:JournalofWomeninCultureandSociety5(1980):401NaomiQuinn,"AnthropologicalStudiesonWomen'sStatus,"AnnualReviewof Anthropology6(1977):18183andPennySchineGold,TheLadyandtheVirgin:Image,AttitudeandExperienceinTwelfthCenturyFrance(Chicago: UniversityofChicagoPress,1985),preface. 42.Forexamplesofthesecollectivebiographies,see"Unterlinden"TssEngelthalAnnavonMunzingen,"ChronikdesKlostersAdelhausen,"ed.J.Knig, FreiburgerDizesanArchiv13(1880):13193A.Birlinger,ed.,"LebenheiligeralemannischerFrauendes14./15.Jahrhunderts,4:DieNonnenvonKirchbergbei Hagerloch,"Alemannia11(1883):120F.W.E.Roth,ed.,''AufzeichnungenberdasmystischeLebenderNonnenvonKirchbergbeiSulz,"Alemannia21(1893): 10348H.ZeIlerWerdmllerandJ.Bchtold,eds.,"DieStiftungdesKlosterstenbachunddasLebenderseligenSchwesterndaselbst,"ZrcherTaschenbuch N.F.12(1889):21376A.Birlinger,ed.,"LebenheiligeralemannischerFrauendes14./15.Jahrhunderts,5:DieNonnenvonSt.KatharinenthalbeiDieszenhofen," Alemannia15(1887):15084andKarlBihlmeyer,ed.,"MystischesLebenindemDominikanerinnenklosterWeilerbeiEsslingenim13.und14.Jahrhundert," WrttembergischeVierteljahrsheftefrLandesgeschichteN.F.25(1916):6193.SomeoftheseworksarecitedanddiscussedinBrowe,DieWunderWalter Muschg,DieMystikinderSchweiz,12001500(Frauenfeld:Huber,1935),pp.20541andLouisCognet,Introductionauxmystiquesrhnoflamands(Paris: DescledeBrouwer,1968),pp.196201andpassim. 43.Dumoutet,CD,p.125.Gerson,acentralfigureinthefourteenthandfifteenthcenturydebateoverwomen'svisions,wassuspiciousofBridgetofSwedenbut sympathetictoJoanofArc.Ingeneral,hefeltthatwomen'sreligiousenthusiasmwasexcessiveandsuspectseeJohnGerson,Deexaminationedoctrinarum,pt.1. considerations2aand3a,inJohnGerson,JoannisGersonii...omniaopera,ed.LouisElliesDupin,5vols.(Antwerp,1706),vol.1,pp.1426quotedinJulian, BookofShowings,ed.ColledgeandWalsh,vol.1,p.151.ButGerson'sDeprobationsspiritumprovidedtestsforauthenticatingvisions. 44.Lerner,HeresyoftheFreeSpiritVauchez,LaSaintet,pp.43948WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.22832.Onmalesuspicionofvisionarywomen,seealso OttoLanger,"ZurdominikanischenFrauenmystikimsptmittelalterlichenDeutschland,"andDieter

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R.Bauer,"Diskussionberblick,"inDinzelbacherandBauer,Frauenmystik,pp.34146,373. 45.OnmedievalmisogynyseeHentsch,LaLittraturedidactiqueAugustWulff,DiefrauenfeindlichenDichtungenindenRomanischenLiteraturendes MittelaltersbiszumEndedesXIII.Jahrhunderts,RomanischeArbeiten,ed.CarlVoretzsch,vol.4(Halle:Niemeyer,1914)VernL.Bullough,"MedievalMedical andScientificViewsofWomen,"Viator4(1973):48793EleanorC.McLaughlin,"EqualityofSouls,InequalityofSexes:WomeninMedievalTheology,"in RosemaryRuether,ed.,ReligionandSexism:ImagesofWomenintheJewishandChristianTraditions(NewYork:SimonandSchuster,1974),pp.21366 MarieThrsed'Alverny,"Commentlesthologiensetlesphilosophesvoientlafemme?"LaFemmedanslescivilisationsdesXeXIIIesicles:Actesducolloque tenuPoitiersles2325septembre1976,Cahiersdecivilisationmdivale20(1977):10529andBornstein,''Antifeminism."Therecentbibliographyon witchcraftisenormous:seeH.C.ErikMidelfort,"Witchcraft,MagicandtheOccult,"inStephenOzment,ed.,ReformationEurope:AGuidetoResearch(St. Louis:CenterforReformationResearch,1982),pp.183209.Forthetheorythattheromanticizationofwomen(inthecultoftheVirginandincourtlylove)maybe causallylinkedtothepersecutionofwomen,seeJeffreyB.Russell,WitchcraftintheMiddleAges(Ithaca:CornellUniversityPress,1972),p.284butseealsoE. W.Monter,"ThePedestalandtheStake:CourtlyLoveandWitchcraft,"inBridenthalandKoonz,BecomingVisible,pp.11936.Foradiscussionofthewitchasan imageofdisorderor"misrule"(i.e.,aninversionofordinarysocialstructuresandvalues),seeStuartClark,"Inversion,MisruleandtheMeaningofWitchcraft,"Past andPresent87(May1980):98127.Responsiblescholarshiponwitchcrafthaspaidsurprisinglylittleattentiontotheimagesofwomanentailedinbothwitchbelief andwitchpersecution.Fortwoworksthatdotreatthistopic,seeThomasForbes,TheMidwifeandtheWitch(NewHaven:YaleUniversityPress,1966)and ChristinaLarner,EnemiesofGod:TheWitchHuntinScotland(London:ChattoandWindus,1981),esp.pp.34.OntheMalleusmaleficarumitself,themost extremeexampleofmedievalmisogyny,seeSydneyAnglo,"EvidentAuthorityandAuthoritativeEvidence:TheMalleusMaleficarum,"inS.Anglo,ed.,The DamnedArt:EssaysintheLiteratureofWitchcraft(London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1977),pp.131. 46.Anumberofwomensaintsweresuspectedofwitchcraftordemonicpossessione.g.,CatherineofSiena,LidwinaofSchiedam,andColumbaofRieti,all discussedinchapters4and5below. 47.Twentiethcenturyscholarshiphasbeeninagreementonthebasiccharacteristicsofwomen'sspirituality.See,forexample,Taylor,MedievalMind,vol.1,pp. 45886Leclercq,"MedievalFeminineMonasticism,"pp.6566andtheworkscitedinBynum,JM,pp.1419,17073,24762.Thequantitativeworkof Vauchez,LaSaintet,andWeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.22038,basicallysupportstheseearlierinterpretations.WeinsteinandBellargue(SS,p.237)thattherewas a"masculinetype"ofsaint(aholderoftemporalorecclesiasticalpower,amissionaryorpreacher,aheroicpublicfigure),calledmasculinebecausesuchapattern waslimitedtomen.Buttheycallthecontrastingtypeofsaint(characterizedbypenitentialasceticism,mysticalecstasy,andsupernaturalsigns,especiallyvisionsand miraculousbodilychanges)"androgynous"ratherthan"feminine"becausesuchspiritualconcerns,althoughmoreprominentinwomen'slives,arefound

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inmen'salso.If,however,apietycanbecharacteristicofwomenonlyifitislimitedtothembycanonlaworsocialconvention,therecanbenopietycharacteristic ofwomenbecausethereisnoreligiousroleexclusivetothem(nunbeingonlyafemaleversionofmonkandbeguinehavingamalecounterpart,beghard).Itseems better,therefore,tospeakofawomen'spietywhenwefind,aswedointhethirteenthtothefifteenthcentury,certaindevotionalemphases(forexample,suffering) significantlymorepopularwithwomen,especiallyiftheseemphasesare(asIargueinchapter9below)closelytiedtoculturalstereotypesof"thefemale."The compositepictureofwomenmysticsinElizabethPetroff,ConsolationoftheBlessed(NewYork:AltaGaiaSociety,1979),pp.182,overinterpretsthe evidenceinitstheoryof"sevenstages"andoveremphasizesthe"feminine"elementinvisions,butithasbrilliantinsights.Onthegeneralquestion,seethewise wordsofDronke,WW,pp.xxi.SeealsoPeterDinzelbacher,''EuropischeFrauenmystikdesMittelalters.Einberblick,"inDinzelbacherandBauer, Frauenmystik,pp.1123. 48.Boltonmakesthispointin"VitaeMatrum,"p.260. 49.Seebelow,chap.4andSimoneRoisin,"LaMthodehagiographiquedeThomasdeCantimpr,"MiscellaneahistoricainhonoremAlbertideMeyer,2vols. (Louvain:BibliothquedeI'Universit,1946),vol.1,p.552. 50.WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.1947.Thetablesonpp.12337indicatethatofthe646malesaintssurveyed,357(55percent)convertedasteenagersandonly96 (15percent)aschildrenof172femalesaints,55(31percent)convertedaschildrenand58(34percent)asadolescents.Ihavediscussedthesignificanceofthis findingatgreaterlengthinCarolineW.Bynum,"Women'sStories,Women'sSymbols:ACritiqueofVictorTurner'sTheoryofLiminality,"inFrankReynoldsand RobertMoore,eds.,AnthropologyandtheStudyofReligion(Chicago:CenterfortheScientificStudyofReligion,1984),pp.10525.Seealsobelow,chap.10n. 51. 51.Seebelow,chap.4.OnUmilianadeiCerchi,seeVauchez,LaSaintet,p.244. 52.See,forexample,thecaseofFrancescade'PonzianiofRome,inWeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.3940. 53.SeeBynum,"Women'sStories,Women'sSymbols." 54.WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.22038Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.24356. 55.Seebelow,pp.7677,200201,and21011. 56.AttheprayersofTiedalaofNivelles,amonkofVillersreceivedtheChristchildathisbreastseeMcDonnell,Beguines,p.328andBrowe,DieWunder,p. 106.ElizabethPetroff(Consolation,p.74)pointsoutthattheItalianwomensaintsshehasstudiednursedonlyfromChrist,neverfromMary,intheirvisions.Anun ofTss,however,receivedthe"pure,tenderbreast"ofMaryintohermouthtosuckbecauseshehelpedMaryreartheChristchild(Tss,pp.5455).AndLukardis ofOberweimarhadavisionofMarynursingJesusuponasking,shereceivedMary'sbreasttodrinkfromandtasted"greatdelightbeyondhumansweetness"(Lifeof Lukardis,AB18[1899]:31819).FormenwhonursedfromMary,seebelow,chap.9n.56. 57.Seeabove,n.47ErnstBenz,DieVision:ErfahrungsformenundBilderwelt(Stuttgart:Klett,1969)andPeterDinzelbacher,VisionundVisionsliteraturim Mittelalter(Stuttgart:Hiersemann,1981),pp.22628.Onthebasisofthetablesonpp.12337ofWeinsteinandBell,SS,itappearsthatwomensaints,whowere about18percentof

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thosecanonized,accountforabouthalfofthesaintswhowereespeciallydevotedtoJesusbutforonlyaboutathirdofthesaintscharacterizedbydevotionto Mary.Suchastatisticdoesnotsupportthenotionthatwomenturnedespeciallytofemalefiguresasmediators.Insofarasthesewomendiddisplaysomewhat moreattachmenttoMarythandidmen,thefactseemsaccountedforbythegreateraffectivityoffemalepietygenerally:womenweremoreinterestedinall membersoftheHolyFamily(includingJoseph,Anne,andJoachim)thanweremen.Roisin,L'Hagiographie,pp.108,111120,hasfoundthatinthirteenth centuryCistercianvisionsfromthenorthofEurope,theVirginismoreimportanttomen.ThehumanityofChristis,however,moreimportanttowomen. 58.WeinsteinandBell,SS,p.216. 59.Vauchez,LaSaintetWeinsteinandBell,SSKieckhefer,UnSGoodich,"ContoursofFemalePiety."Onreclusesandtheeremiticallife,seeLouisGougaud, Ermitesetreclus:Etudessurd'anciennesformesdeviereligieuse(Ligug:AbbayeSaintMartindeLigug,1928),andL'EremitismoinOccidenteneiSecoliXI eXII,Pubblicazionidell'UniversitcattolicadelSacroCuore,MiscellaneadelCentrodiStudiMedioevali4Contributi3ser.,Varia4(Milan:SocietEditriceVitae Pensiero,1965). 60.OnAngela,seebelow,chap.4onMechtild,seeBynum,JM,pp.22847onChristina,seeTalbot,LifeofChristinaofMarkyate,andChristopherJ. Holdsworth,"ChristinaofMarkyate,"inBaker,MW,pp.185204onCatherineofSiena,seebelow,chap.5. 61.SeeBynum,JM,pp.24047,25255Goodich,"ContoursofFemalePiety"Roisin,L'Hagiographie,pp.113,129. 62.SeeColumbaHart,IntroductiontoHart,Hadewijch:Works,p.4.OnHadewijch,seebelow,chap.5. 63.Vauchezindeedadmitsthis(LaSaintet,pp.25556). 64.Seebelow,chap.4,fortheFlemishsaints,especiallyLidwinaofSchiedam,andchap.5forthetwoItalianCatherines,ofSienaandofGenoa,andforBeatriceof Nazareth. 65.Homeyimagesareverycommoninwomen'svisions.See,forexample,mydiscussionofthenunsofHelftainBynum,JM,pp.170262ElsbetStagel'saccount ofthevisionsofthenunsofTssinTssthevisionsofthelaywomanMargeryKempe,inS.B.MeechandHopeEmilyAllen,eds.,TheBookofMargeryKempe, EarlyEnglishTextSociety212(London:OxfordUniversityPress,1940)andPetroff'sdiscussionofItaliannunsandtertiariesinConsolation.Forexamplesof women'svisionsofJesusasbaby,seeBynum,"WomenMystics,"p.189.Menalsousedhomeyimagerysee,forexample,thediscussionofSusoinchap.3below. 66.OnGertrudeofHelfta,seeBynum,JM,pp.186209onGertrudevanOosten,seebelow,chap.3,andonMargeryKempe,below,chap.7. 67.Seebelow,pp.26367and29093. 68.Forexamplesofmalewriterswhosawwomenasweakandurgedthemtospiritualvirility,seeJohnTauler,Sermon33,FourthSermonforCorpusChristi,in Tauler,DiePredigten,pp.12930LifeofIdaofLouvain,AASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),p.159,wheretheanonymous(almostcertainlymale)compiler, workingfrommaterialprovidedbyIda'sconfessor,saysthatIda"wasnotawomanorlazybutlikea

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strongmaninconstancy"andthatthedevilwasfrustratedbyher"manlyboldness"LifeofJulianaofCornillon,AASSApril,vol.1(Paris,1866),p.442,wherea maleauthorwritesthatJulianahastenedtoperfection,"hersexforgotten,"althoughshe"hadcorporealfragilitybehindwhichmanyhidetheircowardiceand lukewarmness''LifeofIdaofLau,AASSOctober,vol.13(Paris,1883),p.112,whereamaleauthorsaysIda"waslikeamanseizingweapons"andfoughtthe devil"virilely,notinawomanlyway."ThomasofCelano,inhisprefatoryletter(addressedtoPopeAlexanderIV)totheLifeofClareofAssisi(inFrancesco Pennacchi,ed.,LegendasanctaeClaraevirginis,SocietinternazionaledistudiFrancescaniinAssisi[Assisi:Tipografiametastasio,1910],pp.13),callsClare a"modelfortheweakersex"andstressesherimitatioMarine(incontrasttoFrancis'simitationofJesus),althoughClare'sownwritings,editedinthesame volume,stressimitatioChristi.Seealsochap.5belowonCatherineofSienaandUmbertoMattioli,"LaTipologia'virile'nellabiografiaenellaletteratura cateriniana,"Atti,CongressoInternazionalediStudiCateriniani,SienaRoma,2429Aprile1980(Rome:CuriaGeneraliziaO.P.,1981),pp.198222. 69.Caesarius,Dialogus,Distinctio8,chaps.7178,vol.2,pp.14148,areonconfessorsDist.8,chaps.7989,vol.2,pp.14856,areaboutvirgins. 70.Seeabove,n.1,andbelow,chap.2atn.119. 71.Seeabove,n.68andWeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.23536. 72.JohnAnson,"TheFemaleTransvestiteinEarlyMonasticism:TheOriginandDevelopmentofaMotif,"Viator5(1974):132. 73.See,forexample,theworksonthequestionofordinationcitedinn.38aboveMcNamaraandWemple,"PowerofWomen"idem,"SanctityandPower"E. McLaughlin,"EqualityofSouls"RosemaryRuether,"MisogynismandVirginalFeminismintheFathersoftheChurch,"inRuether,ReligionandSexism,pp.15083 MarinaWarner,AloneofAllHerSex:TheMythandtheCultoftheVirginMary(NewYork:Knopf,1976)idem,JoanofArc:TheImageofFemaleHeroism (NewYork:Knopf,1981)CarolP.Christ,"HereticsandOutsiders:TheStruggleoverFemalePowerinWesternReligion,"Soundings61.3(1978):26080and Petroff,Consolation. 74.Arelatedproblemisthetendencyofrecentwritersonspiritualitytoignorewomen'sperspective.Vauchez,LaSaintet,andWeinsteinandBell,SS,forexample, treatthenotionofwomanassexualtemptation,foundinmisogynistwriting,asthekeyreligiousconcernbearingdownonwomen.GeorgesDuby,TheKnight,the LadyandthePriest:TheMakingofModernMarriageinMedievalFrance,trans.BarbaraBray(NewYork:Pantheon,1983),treatsmarriageastheexchangeof womenbymen.Allthreeauthors,althoughanimatedbyarhetoricallyheightenedconcernforwomen'ssuffering,treatwomanasobject,viewedby,manipulatedby, subjugatedby,oradmiredbymen,ratherthanassubject,generatingherownspirituality. 75.Forapsychoanalyticinterpretationofwhyfoodisasymbolofmutilationandaggression,seeLillianMalcove,"BodilyMutilationandLearningtoEat," PsychoanalyticQuarterly2(1933):55761.SeealsoPeggyReevesSanday,DivineHungerandCannibalMonsters:CannibalismasaCulturalSystem (Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,forthcoming).Sandayshowstheconnection,inanumberofcultures,betweencannibalism(actualormetaphorical)and widespreaduseofsymbolstakenfromphysiological

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processes.Forastartlingevocationoftheeucharistascannibalism,seeFrancineduPlessixGray,WorldwithoutEnd(NewYork:PBJ,1982),pp.13637. 2 FastandFeast: TheHistoricalBackground 1.PopeLeotheGreat,Sermon20,NinthSermonfortheDecemberFast,pars.23,PL54,cols.18990.OnLeo'snotionoffasting,seeAlexandreGuillaume, JeneetcharitdansI'gliselatinedesoriginesauXIIesicleenparticulierchezsaintLonleGrand(Paris:EditionsS.O.S.,1954).Forthesamesentiment, seePeterChrysologus(d.450),Sermon41,PL52,col.317:"Fratres,sintdeliciaepauperumnostrajejunia,uttemporalejejuniumnostruminaeternaspossitnobis deliciasimmutari." 2.Seeabove,pp.1and34. 3.Augustine,CityofGod,bk.10,chap.6,PL41,col.284CHilary,TractatusinCXXVpsalmum,par.6,PL9,col.688BCidem,DeTrinitate,bk.8,chaps. 1314,PL10,cols.24647,esp.col.246:"Eosnunc,quiinterPatremetFiliumvoluntatisingeruntunitatem,interrogoutrumnepernaturaeveritatemhodieChristus innobissit,anperconcordiamvoluntatis?SienimvereVerbumcarofactumest,etverenosVerbumcarnemcibodominicosumimusquomodononnaturaliter manereinnobisexistimandusest,quietnaturamcarnisnostraejaminseparabilemsibihomonatusassumpsit,etnaturamcarnissuaeadnaturamaeternitatissub sacramentonobiscommunicandaecarnisadmiscuit?Itaenimomnesunumsumus,quiaetinChristoPaterest,etChristusinnobisest.QuisquisergonaturaliterPatrem inChristonegabit,negetpriusnonnaturalitervelseinChristo,velChristumsibiinessequiainChristoPater,etChristusinnobis,unuminhisessenosfaciunt.Sivere igiturcarnemcorporisnostriChristusassumpsit,etverohomoille,quiexMarianatusfuit,Christusest,nosqueveresubmysteriocarnemcorporissuisumimus(etper hocunumerimus,quiaPaterineoest,etilleinnobis)quomodovoluntatisunitasasseritur,cumnaturalispersacramentumproprietas,perfectaesacramentumsit unitatis." 4.AlanofLille,Summadeartepraedicatoria,chap.34:Dejejunio,PL210,col.177D. 5.Aquinas,ST,II,IIae,q.148:Degula,art.3,vol.43,pp.12224.ForthepatristicnotionthatAdam'ssinwasgluttony,seeHerbertMusurillo,"TheProblemof AsceticalFastingintheGreekPatristicWriters,"Traditio12(1956)17n.43. 6.Ambrose,Hymn3:Splendorpaternaegloriae,inA.S.Walpole,EarlyLatinHymns(London:CambridgeUniversityPress,1922),p.38.BecauseLatinhymns losesomuchinliteraltranslationandmaybefamiliartomanyreaders,Ihavecitedthemintheoriginal. 7.ClemensBlume,ed.,Analectahymnicamediiaevi,vol.54(Leipzig:Reisland,1915),p.257trans.adaptedfromJosephConnelly,HymnsoftheRoman Liturgy(Westminster,Md.:NewmanPress,1957),p.130.Forothereucharisticsequencesofthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,seeBlume,Analectahymnica, vol.54,pp.258ff. 8.Cyprian,Letter63,PL4,cols.37289,esp.384B:"Quoetipsosacramentopopulusnosterostendituradunatusut,quemadmodumgranamultainunumcollecta etcommolitaetcommistapanemunumfaciunt,sicinChristo,quiestpaniscoelestis,unum

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sciamusessecorpus,cuiconjunctussitnosternumerusetadunatus."SeealsoAdalbertHamman,"Mystreeucharistique,"inDS,vol.4,pt.2(1961),cols.1570 71. 9.ForCyprian,seeabove,n.8GregorytheGreat,40homiliaruminEvangelia,Homily15,par.5,PL76,col.1137.AquinasquotesGregoryinST,II,IIae,q. 147,art.2,vol.43,p.94. 10.ForLeo,seeabove,n.1andseeGuillaume,Jene,p.83. 11.SeeJ.A.MacCullough,"Fasting,"EncyclopediaofReligionandEthics,ed.JamesHastingsetal.,13vols.(NewYork:Scribner's,19081927),vol.5,pp. 75965HenriLeclercq,"Jenes,"Dictionnaired'archologiechrtienneetdeliturgie,ed.FernandCabrolandHenriLeclercq,vol.7,pt.2(Paris:Letouzeyet An,1927),cols.2481504A.Villien,''Abstinence,"inDictionnairededroitcanonique,vol.1(Paris:LetouzeyetAn,1935),cols.12935PlacideDeseille, "Jene,"inDS,vol.8,pt.2(1974),cols.116479F.Mugnier,"Abstinence,"inDS,vol.1,cols.11233RudolphArbesmann,"FastingandProphecyinPaganand ChristianAntiquity,"Traditio7(19491951):172Goody,Cooking,CuisineandClass,pp.11619andEricN.Rogers,Fasting:ThePhenomenonofSelf Denial(Nashville:Nelson,1976),aninterestingpopularaccountthat,unfortunately,lacksadequatedocumentation. 12.MacCullough,"Fasting,"p.760Deseille,"Jene,"col.1165Arbesmann,"FastingandProphecy,"pp.78. 13.Seeworkscitedinn.11above,andMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"pp.164. 14.Seeesp.Musurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.62.Ofcourse,theearlyChristianswerealsoreactingagainstJewishfoodprohibitionsand,therefore,againstfood prohibitionsasameansofgroupdefinition.MarcelSimon("Del'observancerituellel'ascse,"RevuedeI'histoiredesreligions193[1978]:77)suggeststhatfree accesstofoodwasboughtbytherenunciationofmarriage.ButcompareGoody,Cooking,CuisineandClass,pp.14445. 15.Augustine,Sermon207,ThirdSermonforLent,par.1,PL38,col.1043. 16.Augustine,Sermon210,SixthSermonforLent,chap.10,par.12,PL38,col.1053.Onthenewawarenessofthepoorinthelateantiqueworld,seeEvelyne Patlagean,PauvretconomiqueetpauvretsocialeByzance:4e7esicles(Paris:Mouton,1977). 17.Maximus,Sermon50a,par.3,ed.AlmutMutzenbecher,Corpuschristianorum,serieslatina23(Turnhout:Brepols,1962),p.203. 18.Walpole,Hymns,pp.32021. 19.IsidoreofSeville,Deecclesiasticisofficiis,bk.1,chap.44,PL83,col.776B. 20.Arbesmann,"FastingandProphecy,"p.3. 21.ClementofAlexandria,Eclogaepropheticae,14.2,ClemensAlexandrinus,ed.OttoSthlin,vol.3,DiegriechischenchristlichenSchriftstellerderersten Jahrhunderte17(Berlin:AkademieVerlag,1970),p.140quotedandtrans.byMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.13. 22.AbbotNilus,Tractatusdeoctospiritibusmalitiae,chap.1,PG79,col.1145Bquotedandtrans.byMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.16. 23.[Pseudo]Athanasius,Devirginitate,chap.7,ed.EduardF.vonderGoltz,TexteundUntersuchungenzurGeschichtederaltchristlichenLiteraturN.F.14 (Leipzig:Hinrichs,1905),p.41quotedandtrans.byMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.17. 24.AlineRousselle,"AbstinenceetcontinencedanslesmonastresdeGaulemri

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dionalelafindeI'antiquitetaudbutdumoyenge:Etuded'unrgimealimentaireetdesafonction,"HommageAndrDupont:Etudesmdivales languedociennes(Montpellier:FdrationHistoriqueduLanguedocMediterranenetduRousillon,UniversitPaulValery,1974),pp.23954. 25.JohnCassian,Institutionscnobitiques,bk.5,chap.11,ed.JeanClaudeGuy,SC109,Sr.mon.17(1965),p.206.CassianevenattributedSodom'sfallto gluttonyseeJohnBoswell,Christianity,SocialToleranceandHomosexuality:GayPeopleinWesternEuropefromtheBeginningsoftheChristianErato theFourteenthCentury(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1980),p.98. 26.Jerome,Letter54,par.9,SanctiEusebiiHieronymiepistulae,pt.1,ed.IsidoreHilberg,Corpusscriptorumecclesiasticorumlatinorum54(Vienna:Tempsky undFreytag,1910),p.476. 27.Seeworkscitedabove,n.11,andF.Cabrol,"Carme,"inDictionnairededroitcanonique,vol.2(1937),cols.134554. 28.EmberDayswereWednesday,Friday,andSaturdayfasts,observedinthefourth,seventh,andtenthmonthsoftheyear.SeeArbesmann,"Fastingand Prophecy,"p.44. 29.Arbesmann,"FastingandProphecy,"pp.35,3437. 30.SeeMugnier,"Abstinence."OnIrishpractice,seeLouisGougaud,ChristianityinCelticLands:AHistoryoftheChurchesoftheCelts,TheirOrigin,Their Development...,trans.MaudJoynt(London:SheedandWard,1932),pp.9699andJohnRyan,IrishMonasticism:OriginsandEarlyDevelopment(London: Longmans,Green,1931),pp.38697.Ryan(p.392)tellsofthreeIrishmonkswhodiedfromfasting. 31.RuleofSt.Benedict,chaps.3941,43,49,inTimothyFryetal.,eds.,RB1980(Collegeville,Minn.:LiturgicalPress,1981),pp.23840,24244,252.(See alsop.433.)Inadditiontothefastsprescribedbythechurch,Benedictalsoprescribesfastsi.e.,daysonwhichthebrothersdonoteatuntilafterNone(about3:00 P.M.)onWednesdaysandFridaysfromPentecosttoSeptember14andoneveryweekdaythereafteruntilLent.SeeDavidKnowles,"TheDietofBlackMonks," DownsideReview52,n.s.33(1934):27390,esp.p.276reprintedinidem,TheMonasticOrderinEngland:AHistoryof1tsDevelopmentfromtheTimesof St.DunstantotheFourthLateranCouncil,9401216(19402ded.,Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1963),pp.45665.Thedietaryregimeof WesternmonksbeforeBenedictwasmoresevere:seeRousselle,"Abstinence,"p.246. 32.Mugnier,"Abstinence,"col.122. 33.JohnChrysostom,HomilyonMatthew4647,PG58,col.480quotedandtrans.byMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.41.Johngoesontosaythathedoesnot wishtodenigrateortrivializefastingbut,rather,topointoutthatfastingisnotsufficientforsalvationifotherpracticesandvirtuesareneglected. 34.GregoryofNyssa,Devirginitate,chap.21,PG46,col.401CquotedbyMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.40. 35.Musurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"pp.5051. 36.CuthbertButler,ed.,TheLausiacHistoryofPalladius...,2vols.(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,18981904),vol.2,p.52.SeeArbesmann, "FastingandProphecy,"p.34 37.JohnChrysostom,Destudiopraesentium,Homily5,PG63,col.489quotedand

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trans.byMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"p.7.Chrysostomgoesontopointoutthatthesewomencaredforthesickandpreparedfoodforothers.Womenalso advisedfoodasceticism.IntheSayingsoftheFathers,acertainSyncleticaisreportedasurgingherfollowersnottobeseducedbythedelightsoftheworld.She admonishes:"Othersholdasvaluabletheartofcookingbutyou,throughfastsandvilefood,gobeyondtheminabundanceofnourishment"(Apopththegmata Patrum,sayingsofSyncletica,par.5[87],PG65,col.422C). 38.RomanosMelodes,Hymnes,ed.JosGrosdidierdeMatons,5vols.,SC99,110,114,128,283(19641981),vol.1,pp.32837. 39.Ibid.,pp.364403. 40.Ibid.,p.390. 41.Ibid.,pp.39294. 42.Ibid.,vol.3,pp.11031. 43.Ibid.,vol.4,p.550. 44.Ibid.,p.556. 45.Ibid.,vol.3,p.168. 46.Foramodernstatementofthissensibility,seeAlexandreSchmemann,"Jeneetliturgie,"Irenikon27(1954):292301. 47.Ingeneral,WesternChristiansthroughouttheMiddleAgeswererequiredbothtofast(thatis,torefrainfromeatinguntileveningormidafternoon)andtoabstain frommeatand,usually,fromotherfoodofanimaloriginonallFridaysandSaturdays,onthequarterdays,onthevigilsofafewgreatfeasts(e.g.,Christmas),andon allthedaysofLentexceptSundays.Completefastwasrequiredbeforereceptionofcommunion.Forabriefdiscussion,seeP.M.J.Clancy,"FastandAbstinence," NewCatholicEncyclopedia(NewYork:McGrawHill,1967),vol.5,pp.84650.Onabstinence,seeAquinas,ST,II,IIae,q.147,art.8,vol.43,pp.11416. AsAquinasnotes,therewaslocalvariationinwhetherabstinencefromeggs,milk,andmilkproductswasrequired. 48.Lambert,HistoryoftheCountsofGuines,chap.113,MGH.SS,vol.24(1879repr.ed.NewYork:KrausReprint,1964),p.615citedinDuby,The Knight,theLadyandthePriest,p.263. 49.BarbaraKetchamWheaton,SavoringthePast:TheFrenchKitchenandTablefrom1300to1789(Philadelphia:UniversityofPennsylvaniaPress,1983),pp. 1214andBridgetAnnHenisch,FastandFeast:FoodinMedievalSociety(UniversityPark:PennsylvaniaStateUniversityPress,1976),pp.2858.Fora descriptionofmedievaltreatmentsoffoodfromamedicalpointofview,seeLynnThorndike,"ThreeTractsonFoodinBaselManuscripts,"BulletinoftheHistory ofMedicine8(1940):35556. 50.Mugnier,"Abstinence,"cols.12329E.Vacandard,"Carme,jenede,"inDTC,vol.2,cols.173744Guillaume,Jene,pp.15563GerdZimmermann, OrdenslebenundLebensstandard.Die"CuraCorporis''indenOrdensvorschriftendesabendlndischenHochmittelalters,BeitrgezurGeschichtedesalten MnchtumsunddesBenediktinerordens32(Mnster:Aschendorff,1973),pp.4051. 51.Aquinas,ST,II,IIae,q.147,art.4,vol.43,pp.98104. 52.Wheaton,SavoringthePast,p.12.Seealsobelow,n.124. 53.SeeColker,AnalectaDublinensia,p.57andKnowles,"Diet,"pp.28082. 54.Aquinas,ST,II,IIae,q.148,arts.46,vol.43,pp.12434.

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55.Zimmermann,Ordensleben,pp.4041. 56.Mugnier,"Abstinence,"cols.12329.SeealsoPeterDamian'saccountsofSaintsRomuald,Venerius,andRudolph,PL144,cols.96162,97475,1011and idem,DeQuadragesimaetQuadragintaduabusHebraeorummansionibus,PL145,cols.54345. 57.OnthispointseeGilesConstable,AttitudestowardSelfInflictedSufferingintheMiddleAges,NinthStephenJ.Brademas,Sr.,Lecture(Brookline,Mass.: HellenicCollegePress,1982),pp.2122. 58.Bonaventure,Vitismystica,additamentum5,chap.42,par.135,Operaomnia,vol.8(Quaracchi:CollegiumS.Bonaventurae,1898),pp.21617.Theconcern for"circumstances"herereflectsadesiretoavoidscandalizingothers. 59.PeterofCelle,Sermon15,PL202,col.681CD.SeealsotheLentenSermonsofIsaacofStella,PL194,cols.1787f.,esp.col.1791. 60.PetertheChanter,Verbumabbreviatum:Opusmorale,chap.133,PL205,col.328. 61.BernardofClairvaux,Sermon3forLent,pars.24,PL183,cols.175C76C. 62.QuotedfromSuso'slettertoElsbetStagelinLifeofSuso,inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,p.107trans.M.AnnEdwardinTheExemplar:LifeandWritingsof BlessedHenrySuso,O.P.,ed.NicholasHeller,2vols.(Dubuque:PrioryPress,1962),vol.1,p.103. 63.AlanofLille,Summa,chap.34,PL210,cols.17678quotedpassagesat176D77A,178AC. 64.Aquinas,ST,II,IIae,qq.14647,vol.43,pp.82117,esp.pp.92,106. 65.Seebelowatnn.1034. 66.Quoted,respectively,fromthe"Pange,lingua":"Observatalegeplene/Cibusinlegalibus,/Cibumturbaeduodenae/Sedatsuismanibus"(AquinasByrnes,ed.,The HymnsoftheDominicanMissalandBreviary[St.Louis:Herder,1943],p.168)and"Sacrissolemniis":"Noctisrecolitur/Cenanovissima,/QuaChristus creditur/Agnumetazyma/Dedissefratribus/Juxtalegitima/Priscisindultapatribus"(ibid.,p.172). 67.Ibid.,p.174.Seealso"Lauda,Sion,Salvatorem"inibid.,pp.18088. 68.Tubach,Index.Seeentriesfor"abstinence,""fasting,""bread,""loavesandfishes,"''meat,""host,"and"chalice." 69.Onearlymonasticism,seeDerwasJ.Chitty,TheDesertaCity:AnIntroductiontotheStudyofEgyptianandPalestinianMonasticismundertheChristian Empire(1966repr.London:Mowbray,1977).Forapsychoanalyticinterpretationofmonasticismasasubstituteformartyrdom,seeCarlA.Mounter,"Guilt, MartyrdomandMonasticism,"JournalofPsychohistory:AQuarterlyJournalofChildhoodandPsychohistory,9.2(Fall1981):14571. 70.SeeP.Brown,"ResponsetoGrant." 71.SeeVictorSaxer,Morts,martyrs,reliquesenAfriquechrtienneauxpremierssicles:LesTmoignagesdeTertullien,CyprienetAugustinlalumire deI'archologieafricaine,Thologiehistorique55(Paris:Beauchesne,1980),pp.14149. 72.See,forexample,Bede'saccountofPopeGregory'sletterof601tothemissionaryMellitusBede,AHistoryoftheEnglishChurchandPeople,bk.1,chap. 30,trans.LeoSherleyPriceandR.E.Latham(rev.ed.,Harmondsworth:Penguin,1968),p.87.SeealsoRonaldC.Finucane,MiraclesandPilgrims:Popular BeliefsinMedievalEngland(Totowa:RowmanandLittlefield,1977),pp.3132.

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73.WayneA.Meeks(TheFirstUrbanChristians:TheSocialWorldoftheApostlePaul[NewHaven:YaleUniversityPress,1983],p.158)pointsoutthat festivemealswerecommoninthevoluntaryassociationsoftheMediterraneanworldandthatourearliestevidenceaboutChristianitysuggeststhatoutsiderssawthe eucharistinthisway. 74.A.Hamman,E.Longpr,E.Bertaud,etal.,"Eucharistie,"inDS,vol.4,pt.2(1961),cols.15531648,esp.cols.156896. 75.RobertMurray,SymbolsofChurchandKingdom:AStudyinEarlySyriacTradition(London:CambridgeUniversityPress,1975),pp.7679,quoted passagesonpp.77and76,respectively.OnCyprianandRomanos,seeabove,nn.8,3845. 76.FeeleyHarnik,Lord'sTable,pp.13964.Meeks(FirstUrbanChristians,pp.15763)alsostressestheextenttowhich"thesingleloafusedintheritual symbolizestheunity...ofthecommunity."Heemphasizesthat"PaulusesthesymbolismoftheSupperritualnotonlytoenhancetheinternalcoherence,unity,and equalityoftheChristiangroup,butalsotoprotectitsboundariesvisvisotherkindsofculticassociation"(p.159). 77.SeeHamman,"Mystreeucharistique,"cols.155386,andJ.H.Strawley,"Eucharist,"EncyclopediaofReligionandEthics,vol.5,pp.54063. 78.Walpole,Hymns,pp.35051. 79.Ibid.,pp.34546.The"Sancti,uenite"istheoldesteucharistichymninexistence. 80.Dumoutet,CDF.BaixandC.Lambot,LaDvotionl'eucharistieetIeVIIecentenairedelaFteDieu(Gembloux:Duculot,1964)PeterBrowe,Die VerehrungderEucharistieimMittelalter(Munich:Hueber,1933)JulesCorblet,Histoiredogmatique,liturgiqueetarchologiquedusacrementde l'eucharistie,2vols.(Paris:SocitGnraledeLibrairieCatholique,18851886). 81.DecreesoftheFourthLateranCouncil,inHenryDenzinger,Enchiridionsymbolorum:Definitionumetdeclarationumderebusfideietmorum,34thed.,ed. A.Schnmetzer(Freiburg:Herder,1967),document802,p.260.Notethecloseconnectionbetweenthenotionoftheunityandexclusivityofthechurchandthe doctrinethattheeucharistisGod'sbodyandblood. 82.SeeBrowe,DieWunderDumoutet,CD.SeealsoEdouardDumoutet,LeDsirdevoirI'hostieetlesoriginesdeladvotionauSaintSacrement,Universit deStrasbourg(Paris:Beauchesne,1926). 83.Dumoutet,CD,pp.10910. 84.SeeAquinas,ST,III,qq.7576,vol.58,pp.52122.SeealsoDumoutet,CD. 85."Pange,lingua"inStephenGaselee,ed.,TheOxfordBookofMedievalLatinVerse(repr.Oxford:ClarendonPress,1937),p.144andByrnes,Hymns,p. 168trans.adaptedfromConnelly,Hymns,p.120.InwritingtheofficeforCorpusChristi,Thomasborrowedfromanearlieroffice.Theextentofhis"authorship"of thesehymnsisindoubtseeBaixandLambot,LaDvotion,pp.8991.SeealsoF.T.E.Raby,AHistoryofChristianLatinPoetryfromtheBeginningstothe CloseoftheMiddleAges,2ded.(Oxford:ClarendonPress,1953),pp.40214. 86."Sacrissolemniis,"inByrnes,Hymns,p.172trans.adaptedfromConnelly,Hymns,pp.12123. 87."Verbumsupernumprodiens,"inGaselee,MedievalLatinVerse,p.145trans.adaptedfromConnelly,Hymns,p.123.

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88."Lauda,Sion,Salvatorem,"inGaselee,MedievalLatinVerse,pp.14647andByrnes,Hymns,pp.18088trans.adaptedfromConnelly,Hymns,p.126. 89.Dumoutet,CD,pp.150. 90.Seetheworkscitedinnn.74and80,above,esp.EmileBertaud,"Dvotioneucharistique:Esquissehistorique,"DS,vol.4,pt.2,cols.1621ff. 91.LionelRothkrug,"PopularReligionandHolyShrines:TheirInfluenceontheOriginsoftheGermanReformationandTheirRoleinGermanCulturalDevelopment," inJamesObelkevich,ed.,ReligionandthePeople,8001700(ChapelHill:UniversityofNorthCarolinaPress,1979),pp.3032. 92.LouisGougaud,"Etudesurlarclusionreligieuse,"RevueMabillon13(1923):8687. 93.SeeBaixandLambot,LaDvotion,p.67.Inhissynodalstatutes,OdoofSully,bishopofParis(11961208),requiredhisprieststoelevatethehost.The practiceexistedintheCistercianorderbefore1210seeMcDonnell,Beguines,p.311.SeealsoBrowe,DieVerehrung,p.35M.CamilleHontoir,"LaDvotionau saintSacrementchezlespremierscisterciens(XIIeXIIIesicles),"StudiaeucharisticaDCCanniaconditofestosanctissimiCorporisChristi(Antwerp:De NederlandscheBoekhandel,1946),pp.13256andAntonL.Mayer,"DieheilbringendeSchauinSitteundKult,"inOdoCasel,ed.,Heiligeberlieferung: AusschnitteausderGeschichtedesMnchtumsunddesheiligenKultes:...[fr]IldefonsHerwegen,BeitrgezurGeschichtedesAltenMnchtumsunddes Benediktinerordens,Supplementband(Mnster:Aschendorff,1938). 94.Browe,DieVerehrungJungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.1,pp.11921,andvol.2,pp.206ff. 95.TheincidentiscitedbyRothkrug,"PopularReligion,"p.36,andbyAntonMayer,DieLiturgieindereuropaischenGeistesgeschichte:GesammelteAufstze, ed.E.vonSeverus(Darmstadt:WissenschaftlicheBuchgesellschaft,1971),p.45,referringtoEdouardDumoutet,L'lconographiedeI'introitduIerdimanchede I'avent...(1925),pp.3436,whichIhavebeenunabletoconsult. 96.SeeJohnMarienwerder,SeptililiumB.Dorotheae,treatise3:Deeucharistia,chap.2,ed.FranciscusHipler,inAB3(1884):409.Inhisworkonthelifeof Christ,LudolfofSaxonyassimilated"eating"to"seeing":''VeniasetnihilominusquotidieutvideasJesusinpraesepiospiritual,scilicetinaltari,utcarnissuaefrumento mereariscumanimalibussanctisrefici"(quotedinMaryImmaculateBodenstedt,The"VitaChristi"ofLudolphustheCarthusian,CatholicUniversityofAmerica StudiesinMedievalandRenaissanceLatinLanguageandLiterature16[Washington,D.C.:CatholicUniversityofAmericaPress,1944],p.133n.94). 97.Seeesp.BaixandLambot,LaDvotion,pp.75ff.andBertaud,"Dvotioneucharistique,"cols.162137. 98.Bertaud,"Dvotioneucharistique,"col.1632. 99.BaixandLambot,LaDvotion,pp.11323Gougaud,DAP,pp.75130andBynum,JM,pp.13233,173n.12,19193. 100.TheodorKlauser,AShortHistoryoftheWesternLiturgy:AnAccountandSomeReflections,trans.JohnHalliburton(2ded.,Oxford:OxfordUniversity Press,1979),pp.98103,120Jungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.2,pp.37480C.N.L.Brooke,

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"ReligiousSentimentandChurchDesignintheLaterMiddleAges,"BulletinoftheJohnRylandsLibrary,50.1(Autumn1967):1333. 101.Klauser,WesternLiturgy,p.110Jungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.2,pp.38182BaixandLambot,LaDvotion,pp.4041Corblet,Histoire dogmatique,vol.1,pp.18891Browe,DieWunder,pp.9798. 102.Jungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.2,pp.38185,41214.AmongCisterciansandDominicans,anablutionscupwasgiventocommunicants(usually aftermasswasover),anditsusecontinuedafterthechalicewaswithdrawninthelaterthirteenthcentury.SeeArchdaleKing,LiturgiesoftheReligiousOrders (London:Longmans,1955),pp.12930,372. 103.Aquinas,ST,III,q.80,art.12,replyobj.3,vol.59,pp.8485.SeealsoIII,q.76,art.2,vol.58,pp.96100. 104.Jungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.2,p.364. 105.QuotedinYvesCongar,"ModlemonastiqueetmodlesacerdotalenOccidentdeGrgoireVII(10731085)InnocentIII(1198),"Etudesdecivilisation mdivale(IXeXIIesicles):MlangesoffertsEdmondRenLabande(Poitiers:C.E.S.C.M.,1973),p.159. 106.Quotedinibid. 107.FrancisofAssisi,"LettertoaGeneralChapter,"inFrancis,OpusculasanctipatrisFrancisciAssisiensis,ed.theFathersofSt.Bonaventure'sCollege, BibliothecaFranciscanaAsceticaMediiAevi1,2ded.(Quaracchi:CollegiumS.Bonaventurae,1949),pp.1023trans.B.FahyinOmnibus,p.105. 108.Brooke,"ReligiousSentiment." 109.JosephDuhr,"Communionfrquente,"DS,vol.2(1953),cols.123492,esp.cols.123671. 110.AlberttheGreat,CommentariiinIVSententiarum,dist.13,art.27,inAlbert,Operaomnia,ed.AugustBorgnet,vol.29(Paris:LudovicusVivs,1894),pp. 37880andLiberdesacramentoEucharistiae,Dist.4,tract.4,chap.3,inOperaomnia,vol.38(1899),p.432:"Dehisautemquimulieresomnidie communicant,videturmihiquodacriterreprehendendisunt:quianimiousuvilescerefaciuntsacramentum,velpotiusexlevitatemulierumputaturessedesideriumquam exdevotionecausatum."SeealsoDuhr,"Communionfrquente,"col.1260. 111.ThecrucialtextfromAugustine,quotedoverandoverinthediscussionsoffrequentcommunion,is"Credeetmanducasti,"Tractate25ontheGospelofJohn, chap.12,PL35,col.1602.AlberttheGreat,forexample,citesitinhiscommentaryontheFourthBookoftheSentences,Dist.9,Operaomnia,vol.29,p.212.In theMiddleAges,itwasoftenusedtoargueforsubstituting"spiritualcommunion"(i.e.,innermeditation)forreception.SeeDuhr,"Communionfrquente,"col.1246. 112.LifeofMargaretofCortona,AASSFebruary,vol.3,pp.341,344.Desirefortheeucharistandobsessivefearofreceivingitunworthilyarethemesthroughout Margaret'svita(seepp.30463passim). 113.GertrudetheGreat,Oeuvresspirituelles,ed.PierreDoyere,vol.2:LeHraut,SC139,Sr.mon.25(1968),pp.3037. 114.Ibid. 115.Seebelow,chap.4,forthecasesofMargaretofCortona,IdaofLouvain,Lid

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winaofSchiedam,DorothyofMontau,AlpisofCudot,andColetteofCorbie.SeealsoDuhr,"Communionfrquente,"cols.126263,1268,forexamplesof latemedievalwomenwhoobtainedfrequentcommunionorweredeniedit. 116.IdaofLauwasdeniedthecupwhentheCistercianspassedlegislationforbiddingittonunswhowentintoecstasyatcommunion(LifeofIdaofLau,AASS October,vol.13,pp.11314)seeMcDonnell,Beguines,p.315n.140.SeealsoLifeofJulianaofCornillon,AASSApril,vol.1,pp.44546. 117.SeethecaseofDorothyofMontau,discussedbyKieckhefer,UnS,pp.2223. 118.JohnMarienwerdercommentsthatDorothyofMontau'shungerfortheeucharistwassovastthat,ifshehadbeenpermitted,shewouldhavesnatchedthehost fromthehandsofthepriestwithherteeth(SeptililiumB.Dorotheae,treatise3,chap.2,inAB3,p.409). 119.JamesofVitry,LifeofMaryofOignies,AASSJune,vol.5,p.568.Seealsoepigraphtochap.1andBynum,"WomenMystics." 120.Browe,DieWunderBynum,"WomenMystics." 121.Thenewemphasison"seeing"Godisreflectedintheincreasingnumberofmiraclesconnectedwithelevationratherthanreception.Inorders(e.g.,Franciscan nunsortertiaries)wherecommunionwasinfrequent,ecstasiestendedtocomeattheelevation.Eucharisticmiraclescouldeveninvolveknowingwhether"Christ"(i.e., theconsecratedhost)waspresentonthealtar,orbeingtransported,whentherewasnoservice,intothetabernacletotasteChrist.SeeLifeofJulianaofCornillon, AASSApril,vol.1,p.450ViedeDouceline,pp.13335LifeofIdaofLouvain,AASSApril,vol.2,p.172.Idaalsoknewmiraculouslytheexactmomentof consecration,eveniftheelementswerenotelevated(ibid.,p.173). 122.Wheaton,SavoringthePast,pp.126ReayTannahill,FoodinHistory(NewYork:SteinandDay,1973),pp.20933. 123.Wheaton,SavoringthePast,pp.12,1516,21.Onsotelties,seealsoConstanceB.HieattandSharonButler,PleynDelit:MedievalCookeryforModern Cooks(Toronto:UniversityofTorontoPress,1976),p.156Henisch,FastandFeast,pp.20636.ForexamplesofmedievalfoodsandfeastsseeLynnThorndike, "AMedievalSauceBook,"Speculum9(1934):18390andHieattandButler,CuryeonInglysch. 124.Wheaton,SavoringthePast,p.13Henisch,FastandFeast,pp.4849.ABaselmanuscriptinafifteenthcenturyhand,describedbyThorndike("Three TractsonFood,"p.364),givesadescriptionoffoodforFridaysandLentthatmakesitclearthattheabsenceoffleshmeatdidnotnecessarilymeanareductioninthe varietyoreleganceofmeals.Foracatalogueofmiraclesinwhichonekindoffoodturnsintoanother,seeC.GrantLoomis,WhiteMagic:AnIntroductionofthe FolkloreofChristianLegend,MedievalAcademyofAmericaPublication52(Cambridge:MedievalAcademyofAmerica,1948),p.57. 125.See,forexample,Duhr,"Communionfrquente,"cols.125459C.W.Dugmore,TheMassandtheEnglishReformers(London:Macmillan,1958)Strawley, "Eucharist"Brooke,"ReligiousSentiment." 126.OnHildegard'svision,seebelow,pp.26465andplate12. 127.RupertofDeutz,Dedivinisofficiis,bk.2,chap.11,PL170,col.43.OnRupert'seucharisticteachinggenerally,seeUrsmerBerlire,L'Ascsebndictine desoriginesla

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finduXII sicle:Essaihistorique(Paris:DescledeBrouwer,1927),pp.8691.SeealsoJohnH.VanEngen,RupertofDeutz(BerkeleyandLosAngeles: UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1983). 128.RevelationesGertrudianaeacMechtildianae,vol.2:MechtildofHackeborn,SanctaeMechtildisvirginisordinissanctiBenedictiLiberspecialisgratiae (Paris:Oudin,1877),bk.1,chap.1,pp.710. 129.RevelationesGertrudianaeacMechtildianae,vol.1:GertrudetheGreat,SanctaeGertrudismagnaevirginisordinissanctiBenedictiLegatusdivinae pietatis...(Paris:Oudin,1875),bk.4,chap.1,p.286.Butthisspiritualityisalsoveryindividualistic:weareassuredthateachsisterwhoreposedonChrist'sbreast enjoyedhimsofullythathemighthavebeengiventoheralone(ibid.,p.287). 130.SeeHontoir,"LaDvotion,"pp.13435,137.SeealsoRothkrug,"PopularReligion,"p.41. 131.JeanLeclercq,"LesMditationseucharisriquesd'ArnaulddeBonneval,"Recherchesdethologieancienneetmdivale13(1946):53. 132.Tubach,Index,pp.59,7576,20712,4012. 133.Browe,DieWunder,p.104.Onbodysymbolismgenerally,seeMaryDouglas,NaturalSymbols:ExplorationsinCosmology,withnewintro.(NewYork: Pantheon,1982). 134.Browe,DieWunder,p.124. 135.Ibid.,p.119.Foranother,somewhatthreateningbloodmiracle,seeAdamofEynsham,TheLifeofSt.HughofLincoln,ed.andtrans.DecimaL.Douieand HughFarmer,2vols.(London:Nelson,1961),bk.5,chap.4,vol.2,pp.9394.InthiscaseapriestrecountstoHughhow,whenhecelebratedaftercommittinga mortalsin,thehostturnedintofleshandblood,freezinghimwithfear.OtherboundaryreinforcingbloodmiraclescanbefoundinCorblet,Histoiredogmatique,vol. 1,pp.447515passim. 136.CaesariusofHeisterbach,DieFragmentederLibriVIIIMiraculorumdesCaesariusvonHeisterbach,bk.1,chap.1,ed.AloysMeister,Rmische QuartalschriftfrchristlicheAlterthumskundeundfrKirchengeschichte,Supplement,vol.13(Rome:Spithver,1901),pp.46.Fortheuseofthehostasamagical charm,seePeterBrowe,"DieEucharistiealsZaubermittelimMittelalter,"ArchivfrKulturgeschichte20(1930):13454. 137.Rothkrug,"PopularReligion,"p.29.SeealsoBrowe,DieWunder,pp.128ff. 138.Browe,DieWunder,pp.11516Jungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.1,pp.119ff.,andvol.2,p.210.Foranotherexampleofbloodavenging desecration,seeHenryofHuntingdon'schronicle,bk.8,chap.22,HenriciArchidiaconiHuntendunensisHistoriaAnglorum,ed.ThomasArnold,Rerum BritannicarumMediiAeviScriptores74(London:Longman,1879),p.277,wherehereportsthatbloodbubbledoutofthewallsofachurchbeingheldasacastle andsaysthathesawthephenomenonwithhisowneyes.YetanotherexampleoccursinastoryaddedtotheLittleFlowersofSt.Francis,pt.3,chap.5,trans. RaphaelBrown,inOmnibus,pp.148182.AwellknownpassagefromFroissart'schroniclethatdescribestheflagellantsandassociatesthecollectingoftheir "miraculousblood"with"foolishwomen"isquotedinGottfried,BlackDeath,p.70. 139.SeeJamesofVitry,LifeofMaryofOignies,AASSJune,vol.5,pp.54750,56263,56566.Foreucharisticdevotionasacountertoheresy,see McDonnell,Beguines,pp.310,315,330,415andBolton,"VitaeMatrum,"pp.26768.

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140.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgardofAywires,AASSJune,vol.4(Paris,1867),pp.196,197,205. 141.GertrudetheGreat,Oeuvres,vol.3:LeHraut,SC143,Sr.mon.27,bk.3,chap.18,pp.1024.Seealsoaboveatnn.11314. 142.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.159,par.209,AF10,pp.25051.Breadissometimessimplyasymbolofblessingandunity(seeibid., chap.163,par.217,p.255). 143.OnCatherine,seebelow,pp.17580. 144.Onmedievalmedicaltheory,whicharguedthatbreastmilkisprocessedblood,seeMaryM.McLaughlin,"SurvivorsandSurrogates:ChildrenandParentsfrom theNinthtotheThirteenthCenturies,"inL.DeMause,ed.,TheHistoryofChildhood(NewYork:PsychohistoryPress,1974),pp.11518MichaelGoodich, "BartholomaeusAnglicusonChildRearing,"HistoryofChildhoodQuarterly:TheJournalofPsychohistory3(1975):80andCharlesT.Wood,"TheDoctors' Dilemma:Sin,SalvationandtheMenstrualCycleinMedievalThought,"Speculum56.4(October1981):719. 145.GertrudetheGreat,Oeuvres,3:LeHraut,bk.3,chap.30,p.142. 146."DulcisJesumemoria,"inGaselee,MedievalLatinVerse,pp.11113.OnthishymnseeAndrWilmart,"Le'Jubilus'surlenomdeJsusditdesaintBernard," Ephemeridesliturgicae:Analectahistoricoascetica57,n.s.27(1943):3285,whichgivesaslightlydifferentversionofsomelines.SeealsoRaby,Christian LatinPoetry,pp.32631. 147.Ivo,letter,chap.2,pars.1415,inIves:EptreSverinsurlacharit.RicharddesaintVictor:Lesquatredegrsdelaviolentecharit,ed.Gervais Dumeige,Textesphilosophiquesdumoyenge3(Paris:Vrin,1955),pp.6163. 148.Seebelow,chap.5n.30. 149.PeterofVaux,LifeofColetteofCorbie,trans.StephenJuliacus,chap.10,par.84,AASSMarch,vol.1(Paris,1865),p.558. 150.LifeofIdaofLouvain,chap.4,pars.2324,AASSApril,vol.2,p.164. 151.Onthesemetaphorsinmonastictexts,seeJeanLeclercq,Etudessurlevocabulairemonastiquedumoyenge,StudiaAnselmiana48(Rome:Herder,1961), pp.13438andidem,TheLoveofLearningandtheDesireforGod:AStudyofMonasticCulture,3ded.,trans.CatherineMisrahi(NewYork:Fordham UniversityPress,1982),p.73. 152.SeeSchiller,Ikonographie,vol.4,pt.1:DieKirche(1976),p.62.ThismotifisrelatedtothemotifofChristinthewinepress.Forexample,inplate5,asilk embroideryfromtheearlyfifteenthcentury,weseeJesuswithhisbreastbareandhiswoundbleedingunderhisclothesintothepress.Akneelingnunreceivesthe bloodinachalice.SeeSchiller,Iconography(1972),vol.2:ThePassionofJesusChrist,pp.22829.AsJamesH.Marrowpointsout,medievaldepictionsofthe winepressshiftedfromthetwelfthcenturyimageofChristtreadingthegrapesinthepresstothefourteenthandfifteenthcenturymotifofChristasvictimpressed beneaththecrossbeam(PassionIconographyinNorthernEuropeanArtoftheLateMiddleAgesandEarlyRenaissance:AStudyoftheTransformationof SacredMetaphorintoDescriptiveNarrative[Kortrijk:VanGhemmert,1979],p.85).Similarly,earlydepictionsofthemysticalmillshowChristorGodasmiller: Schiller,Ikonographie,vol.4,pt.1:DieKirche,p.62.SeealsoBraun,Altar,vol.2,plate336.

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153.ForamedievalvisionthatparallelsthemassofSt.Gregoryandmakesitperfectlyclearthatthebloodisfood,seethevisionofJohnofAlvernadiscussedbelow, chap.7n.49.SeealsoSchiller,Iconography,vol.2:Passion,pp.22628andBraun,Altar,vol.2,plate269. 154.Schiller,Iconography,vol.2:Passion,p.206. 155.Itisnotcertainthatthereare,inpatristicwritings,anyclaimstoreceiveChrist'sbodysensuallyseeE.Longpr,"Eucharistieetexpriencemystique...,"DS, vol.4,pt.2,col.1596. 3 FoodAsaFemaleConcern: TheComplexityoftheEvidence 1.LifeofAlpasofCudot,bk.1,chaps.23,AASSNovember,vol.2,pt.1(Brussels,1894),pp.178,180seebelow,n.77. 2.SeeE.CobhamBrewer,ADictionaryofMiracles:Imitative,RealisticandDogmatic(Philadelphia:Lippincott[1896]),pp.14550Tubach,Index,entries 76667,1732,2566,pp.6364,141,202andThurston,PP,pp.385ff. 3.BernardofClairvauxwassupposedlynursedbyMaryinavisionseeLonDewezandAlbertvanIterson,"LaLactationdesaintBernard:Lgendeet iconographie,"CteauxindeNederlanden7(1956):16589.ClareofAssisisupposedlynursedfromFrancis'sbreastinavisionseebelowatn.186.Forother lactationvisions,seebelow,chap.9n.56.ForlegendsthatbothPaulandCatherineofAlexandriabledmilkwhenbeheaded,seeBynum,JM,p.132n.76. 4.Forlistsofcasesof"miraculous"orextendedinedia,seeThurston,PP,passim,esp.pp.363ff.Pater,MAW.B.Gerish,intro.toTheHartfordshireWonderor StrangeNewsfromWare:BeinganExactandTrueRelationofoneJaneStretton...,HertfordshireFolklore5(London:J.Clark,1669repr.withGerish's intro.,Bishop'sStortford,1908),pp.58HyderE.Rollins,"NotesonSomeEnglishAccountsofMiraculousFasts,"JournalofAmericanFolklore34.134 (OctoberDecember1921):35776Rogers,Fasting,pp.932andH.Schadewaldt,"MedizingeschichtlicheBetrachtungenzumAnorexieProblem,"Anorexia Nervosa:Symposium24./25.April1965inGttingen,ed.J.E.MeyerandH.Feldmann(Stuttgart:Thieme,1965),pp.114. 5.BenedictXIV,DeservorumDeibeatificationeetbeatorumcanonizatione,bk.4,pt.1,chap.26,andapp.byJ.B.Beccaritobk.4,pt.1(newed.,Naples: JohannisFranciscusPacus,17731775),vol.8,pp.21929,andvol.15,pp.89127. 6.SeeJrmeRibet,LaMystiquedivine,distinguedescontrefaonsdiaboliquesetdesanalogieshumaines,2vols.,newed.(Paris:Poussielgue,1895),esp. vol.2,p.510andImbertGourbeyre,Stigmatisation. 7.SeeThurston,PPandPater,MA. 8.WilliamA.Hammond,FastingGirls:TheirPhysiologyandPathology(NewYork:Putnam,1876)RobertFowler,ACompleteHistoryoftheCaseofthe WelshFastingGirl(SarahJacob)with...ObservationsonDeathfromStarvation(London:Renshaw,1871).OnthisliteratureseeJoanJ.Brumberg,"'Fasting Girls':ReflectionsonWritingtheHistoryofAnorexiaNervosa,"inHistoryandResearchinChildDevelopment,ed.Alice

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B.SmutsandJohnW.Hagen,MonographsoftheSocietyforResearchinChildDevelopment(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1986),pp.93104. 9.Rogers,Fasting,pp.10732. 10.Seebelow,chap.6. 11.See,forexample,Duhr,"Communionfrquente,"cols.125668andGougaud,DAP,pp.11314.SeealsomydiscussioninBynum,JM,pp.17072,193n. 58,257. 12.Hontoir,"LaDvotion,"pp.13256idem,"LeSeptimeCentenairedelaFteDieu:SainteJulienneetlescisterciennes,"CollectaneaordinisCisterciensis reformatorum8(1946):10916Browe,DieWunder,passim,esp.pp.2324Rothkrug,"PopularReligion,"p.28. 13.Seetheworkscitedabove,n.12McDonnell,Beguines,pp.299330andRoisin,L'Hagiographie,pp.10622. 14.SeeBaixandLambot,LaDvotion,p.70Bertaud,"Dvotioneucharistique,"cols.162324,fortheclaimthateucharisticdevotionappealedespeciallytonuns andrecluses.Fortheclaimthatitappealedtobeguines,seeGreven,Anfnge,p.69HerbertGrundmann,"ZurGeschichtederBeginenim13.Jahrhundert,"Archiv frKulturgeschichte21(1931):314E.Neumann,BeginenundBegardenwesen,p.91.Bolton("VitaeMatrum,"p.267)haspointedoutthatthedevotion cannotbeidentifiedwithanyparticularstyleoflife,andVauchez(LaSaintet,p.427)pointstolayinterestintheeucharist. 15.Onthispoint,seeAndrVauchez,LaSpiritualitdumoyengeoccidentalVIIIeXIIesicles,CollectionSUP(Paris:PressesUniversitairesdeFrance,1975), pp.58andBynum,JM,p.4. 16.ThisistrueofKieckhefer,UnS,and,toalesserextent,ofVauchez,LaSaintetWeinsteinandBell,SSandGoodich,VP. 17.Kieckhefer'sUnquietSouls,whichemphasizesreligiousconcerns,isawelcomecorrectivetothistendency. 18.WeinsteinandBell,SS,table18,p.234. 19.Kieckhefer,UnS,p.172.Ruysbroeckalsoreceivedecstasies(ifnotactualvisions)whilecelebratingseebelow,nn.24and240.Allsortsofvisionsweremore commonwithwomenthanwithmeninthisperiodseeDinzelbacher,VisionundVisionsliteratur,pp.15155,22628. 20.Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.22426,34748,4056,45051. 21.Thurston,PP,pp.38591.Thurston,whoincludesmodernsaintsaswell,liststwentythreemenandtwentywomen.Onthecommonhagiographicalmotifof women'sdistributionofbreadthatturnsintoroses,seebelow,chap.7n.13. 22.ThefollowingparagraphisbasedonBrowe,DieWunder.Forothermiracles,seeCorblet,Histoiredogmatique,vol.1,pp.447515. 23.Browe,DieWunderp.23. 24.Foranearlyexampleofthekindofeucharisticmiraclethatsupportspriestlyauthority,seetheearlyninthcenturyLifeofEvurtiusinCataloguscodicum hagiographicorumlatinorumBibliothecanationaliParrisiensi,Subsidiahagiographica2,vol.2(Brussels:TheBollandists,1890),pp.31718andthelater versionintheLibersanctiJacobi,ed.JeanneVielliard,inLeGuideduplerindeSaintJacquesdeCompostelle(Mcon:Protat,1938),pp.5860.Inthismiracle thehandofGodappearedovertheheadofthecelebratingpriest,imitatinghisactions(andtherebydemonstratingthatChristoffersthe

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sacrificeineverymass).Forafourteenthcenturyexample,seetheLifeofJanvanRuysbroeckbyHenryUtenBoghaerde(HenryPomer),whichisbk.2of"De originemonasteriiViridisvallisunacumvitisB.JoannisRusbrochiiprimipriorishujusmonasteriietaliquotcoaetaneorumejus"(AB4[1885],chap.28,pp.302 3).InthisaccountwearetoldthatRuysbroeck,oldandblind,wasforbiddenbyhissuperiortocelebratebecauseofhisfeebleness.Ruysbroekdefendedhimself, claimingthatthefeeblenesswasecstasyandthatJesushadcometohimtosay,"Tuesmeusetegotuus." 25.SeeMcDonnell,Beguines,pp.30515Hontoir,"SainteJulienne"BaixandLambot,LaDvotion,pp.7580andtheLifeofJulianaofCornillon,AASSApril, vol.1,pp.44275. 26.CyprienVagaggini,"LaDvotionauSacrCoeurchezsainteMechtildeetsainteGertrude,"CorJesu:CommentationesinlitterasencyclicasPiiPP.XII 'Haurietisaquas,'2vols.(Rome:Herder,1959),vol.2,pp.3148UrsmerBerlire,LaDvotionauSacrCoeurdansl'ordredesaintBenot,CollectionPax 10(Paris:Lethielleux,1923)Gougaud,DAP,pp.75130. 27.McDonnell,Beguines,p.313.OnAgnesBlannbekinandthescandalcausedbythepublicationofherrevelationsin1731,seeG.Allmang,"AgnsBlannbekin," DHGE,vol.1(1912),col.977andPeterDinzelbacher,"Die'VitaetRevelationes'derWienerBegineAgnesBlannbekin(&dagger1315)imRahmenderVitenund OffenbarungsliteraturihrerZeit,"inDinzelbacherandBauer,Frauenmystik,pp.15277. 28.Jungmann,MassoftheRomanRite,vol.2,pp.2021Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.43132Duhr,"Communionfrquence,"cols.125668. 29.ImbertGourbeyre,Stigmatisation,vol.2,pp.183,4089.ForcriticismsofImbertGourbeyre,seePierreDebongnie,"EssaicritiquesurI'histoiredes stigmatisationsaumoyenge,"Etudescarmlitaines,21.2(October1936):2259andE.Amann,"Stigmatisation,"DTC,vol.14,pt.1(1939),cols.261719. 30.Caesarius,Dialogus.Bk.11concernsdyingbk.12concernsthepunishmentofthedead.Inbk.8(visions),therearethreeappearancesoftheChristchildto women(chaps.3,7,8)andtwotomen(chaps.2,5)eightappearancesofthecrucifixtomen(chaps.11,13,14,17,18,20,21,23)andfourtowomen(chaps10, 15,16,22onemightalsocountchap.9).Theopeningandclosingchaptersofbk.9(ontheeucharist)dealwithcelebrantsandtheproofoftransubstantiationandare aboutmaleschaps.3351(whichdealwiththelaity)haveninevisionstowomen(chaps.33,34,35,36,39,40,46,47,50)andtentomen(chaps.37,38,41,42, 43,44,45,48,49,51)ofthescatteredremainingchaptersonrecipients,threeareaboutmales(chaps.24,63,64)andoneaboutafemale(chap.25). 31.ConradofEberbach,Exordiummagnumcisterciense,ed.BrunoGriesser,Seriesscriptorums.ordiniscisterciensis2(Rome:EditionesCistercienses,1961) PetertheVenerable,Liberdemiraculis,PL189,cols.851954GeraldofWales,GemmaecclesiasticainGeraldofWales,Opera,ed.J.S.Brewer,vol.2 (London:Longman,1862). 32.SeeJamesofVitry,TheHistoriaoccidentalisofJacquesdeVitry:ACriticalEdition,ed.JohnF.Hinnebusch,SpicilegiumFriburgense17(Fribourg, Switzerland:UniversityPress,1972)andThomasofCantimpr,Liberquidiciturbonumuniversaledeproprietatibusapum(Cologne:JohanKoelhoff,ca.1479). Theeucharistis,however,unimportantinJames'ssermonesvulgaresseeJamesofVitry,TheExemplaorIllustrativeStories

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fromtheSermonesVulgaresofJacquesdeVitry,ed.ThomasF.Crane,PublicationsoftheFolkloreSociety26(London:Nutt,1890). 33.Tubach,Index,pp.20712. 34.Women'sstoriesareahigherpercentageofthoseaboutcloisteredreligious.Of252storiesconcerningmonksandnuns,61(or24percent)areaboutwomen. 35.Tubach,Index:storiesofmalesaretoldinentries3237,2058storiesoffemalesinentries33,38,40(twostories). 36.Ibid.Entries33and38urgemoderation.Entry40concernstwowomentrickedbythedevil. 37.Ibid.Women'sstoriesaretoldinentries1176,1983,1990,3198,3718. 38.Ibid.Entry1983tellsofawomanwhofastedthreeyears.Entry3198saysMaryMagdalenfastedthirtyyears.Themonkinentry1982fastedseventyeight weeks. 39.Ibid.,entries1990,3718. 40.Jerome,Letter54,AdFuriadeviduitateservanda,inSanctiEusebiiHieronymiepistulae,pt.1,ed.Hilberg,pp.46685andidem,Letter22,Ad Eustochium,chaps.1718,PL22,cols.4045.Jerome'sothermajordiscussionoffasting,food,andlustisinContraJovinianum,bk.2,chaps.517,PL23, cols.290312.JeromealsourgedwomentoavoidexcessiveabstinenceseeArbesmann,"FastingandProphecy,"pp.3839. 41.FulgentiusofRuspe,Letter3,chap.13,PL65,col.332.SeealsoPL65,col.132. 42.PetertheChanter,chapteronfastingfromVerbumabbreviatum,PL205,cols.32728. 43.SeeA.GeorgeRigg,"'MetradeMonachisCarnalibus':TheThreeVersions,"MittellateinischesJahrbuch15(1980):13442. 44.SeeColker,AnalectaDublinensia,pp.47,57,andthepassagecitedinn.13ofmyintro.ThetwelfthcenturymonkofEvesham,whoreceivedavisionofthose sufferinginpurgatory,showednospecialconcernwithfoodabuses,however.Seebelow,n.130. 45.SeeKnowles,"Diet,"andabove,chap.2n.53. 46.EileenPower,MedievalEnglishNunneries,c.1275to1535,CambridgeStudiesinMedievalLifeandThought(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress, 1922),pp.161236. 47.Seeabove,chap.2nn.110,139andBrowe,DieWunder,pp.11011. 48.JohnGerson,CollectoriumsuperMagnificat,Treatise9,inJohnGerson,Oeuvrescompltes,ed.PalmonGlorieux,vol.8:L'Oeuvrespirituelleetpastorale (Paris:Descle,1971),pp.39798andseeLongpr,"Eucharistieetexpriencemystique,"cols.16024. 49.RichardRolle'sFormofLiving,likehistwootherEnglishepistles,waswrittenforawoman.HenrySuso'sLittleBookofEternalWisdom,theheartofwhichis meditationsonChrist'sdeath,isaddressedchieflytonuns,asishisBookofLetters.ThesecondpartofRuysbroeck'sMirrorofEternalSalvationisatreatiseon theeucharistthatwasprobablywrittenforMargaretofMeerbeke.HealsoaddressedhisBookoftheSevenCloisterstoher.DionysiustheCarthusianwrotesix sermonsontheeucharistforMechtildofNimgueandotherecstatics. 50.OnGuiard,seeP.C.Boeren,LaVieetlesoeuvresdeGuiarddeLaon,1170env.1248(TheHague:Nijhoff,1956),pp.15758.Taulerpreachedmostofhis sermons,whichstressmysticismandfrequentcommunion,inGermantonunsseeKarlBoeckl,EucharistieLehrederdeutschenMystikerdesMittelalters (Freiburg:Herder,1924),pp.74122.

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51.BaixandLambot,LaDvotion,pp.4852. 52.Corblet,Histoiredogmatique,vol.2,passim,esp.pp.51351. 53.Dumoutet,CD,pp.7780.Agnes,Catherine,andDorothywerealsocommonfiguresonretablesseeBraun,Altar,vol.2,p.493. 54.Dumoutet,CD,p.80andCorblet,Histoiredogmatique,vol.2,p.550. 55.VictorSaxer,LeCultedeMarieMadeleineenOccidentdesorigineslafindumoyenge,Cahiersd'archologieetd'histoire3,2vols.(Auxerre:Socit desFouillesArchologiquesetdesMonumentsHistoriquesdel'Yonne,1959). 56.Hontoir,"LaDvotion,"p.152andCorblet,Histoiredogmatique,vol.1,pp.557,563.SeealsoBraun,Altar,vol.2,p.624,foraneleventhcenturyminiature fromPraguethatassociatestheAnnunciationwithapyx,thussuggestingthatreservationofthesacramentrecapitulatesthemomentoftheIncarnation. 57.Dumoutet,CD,p.79. 58.WilliamDurandustheElder,Rationaledivinorumofficiorum,bk.1,chap.3,sect.25(Venice:MattheusValentinus,1580),fol.11rseealsoplate13. 59.Dumoutet,CD,p.79. 60.SeeBraun,Altar,vol.2,plates329,333,334,336,346,360,361.OntheMaryAltarinplate7seeCarlGeorgHeise,LbeckerPlastik(Bonn:Cohen, 1926),pp.1112. 61.Seeabove,p.68,andbelow,pp.27172and285. 62.Seeabove,nn.4041,andchap.2nn.2526andMusurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"pp.1319. 63.Musurillo,"AsceticalFasting,"pp.2539Arbesmann,"FastingandProphecy,"pp.3438Browe,DieWunder,pp.4950. 64.Seeabove,chap.2n.56. 65.JamesofVitry(LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chap.5,AASSJune,vol.5,p.552),says,speakingofMary'sstigmataandfasting,thatthosewhoadmireSimeon StylitesandAnthonyshouldadmiresuchasceticismin"theweakersex."RaymondofCapua(LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.3,pars.6365,AASSApril [Paris,1866],vol.3,pp.87778)mentionsPaul,Anthony,andotherfasters,andsaysthatalthoughCatherinelivedinherownhome,notinamonasteryorinthe desert,shenonethelesssurpassedthesesaints"inthematterofabstinence."SeealsoRaymond,LifeofCatherine,pt.2,chap.5,p.905. 66.PeterofVaux(LifeofColetteofCorbie,chap.17,par.166,AASSMarch,vol.1,p.573)comparesColettetotheFatherswho"livedincavesandpracticed austerities."But,headds,Colette"wentbeyondtheFathers." 67.LifeofSuso,chaps.20,35inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,pp.60,1037.AmongtheaphorismsincludedbySusoare:"Thefirstdutyofaspiritualbeginneristo showhimselffirminthefightagainstgluttony(Anthony)""Palefeatures,aleanbodyandahumblebearingarethebestornamentsofaspiritualperson(Helias)""An unchastebody,likeanunrulyhorse,mustbetamedbydeprivingitoffood(Hilarion)."Trans.Edward,Exemplar,vol.1,pp.1003. 68.Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.347413andT.E.Bridgett,HistoryoftheHolyEucharistinGreatBritain,2vols.(London:KeganPaul,1881),vol.2,pp.177ff. 69.Seebelow,pp.1079. 70.Vauchez,LaSaintet,pp.34748. 71.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.5,par.170,AASS

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April,vol.3,p.905LetterofStefanoMaconiinCatherineofSiena,L'OperedellaseraficasantaCaterinadaSiena,ed.GirolamoGigli,vol.1(Siena:Bonetti, 1707),pp.46089,esp.p.473andAugustaTheodosiaDrane,TheHistoryofSt.CatherineofSienaandHerCompanions...,4thed.,2vols.(London: Burns,OatesandWashbourne,1915),vol.1,pp.199202,forasummaryofvariouscontemporaryaccountsofhereatingandvomiting. 72.Seetheepigraphtothischapter. 73.Inmanycultures''noteating"ismoreadescriptionofanemotionalstatethanafactualclaim.AnthropologistKarenBrownofDrewUniversitytellsme,for example,thatinHaiti"Ihaven'teatentoday"means"Iamdepressed"andthatinbothHaitiandNigeria"Haveyoueaten?"isagreetingthatmeans"Howareyou?" 74.ForwhatfollowsseeGoodich,"ContoursofFemalePiety"Roisin,L'Hagiographie,pp.113,129andabove,chap.1n.42. 75.FelixVernet,MedievalSpirituality,trans.theBenedictinesofTalacre(London:SandsandCo.,1930),p.61. 76.TheLifeofColumbaofRieti,writtenbyherconfessor,SebastianPerusinus,suggestsboththatColumbaconsciouslyimitatedCatherineofSienafromchildhood andthatherbiographerunderlinedparallelstoCatherineashewroteColumba'svita.See,forexample,AASSMay,vol.5(Paris,1866),pp.155*59*.Onfemale saintswhomodeledthemselvesonCatherineofSiena,seeGabriellaZarri,"LeSanteVive.Perunatipologiadellasantitfemminilenelprimocinquecento,"Annali dell'IstitutoStoricoItaloGermanicoinTrento6(1980):371445. 77.Alpas'svitawaswrittenafter1180byaCistercianofEcharlissheisalsomentionedbyRobertofAuxerre,RalphCoggeshall,CaesariusofHeisterbach,James ofVitry,andStephenofBourbon.TheselatterreferencesallfocusonthemiraculousinediaJamesandCaesariusbothassociateherwithothercasesofmiraculous abstinence.SeeJamesofVitry,Historiaoccidentalis,ed.Hinnebusch,pp.8788Caesarius,Dialogus,bk.7,chap.20,andbk.9,chap.47,vol.2,pp.25,201 2andAASSNovember,vol.2,pt.1(Brussels,1894),pp.167209,whichprintsalltheearlyreferences. 78.SeeBynum,JM,pp.199201. 79.Roisin,L'Hagiographie. 80.See,forexample,Constable,SelfInflictedSuffering. 81.Kieckhefer,UnS,pp.1214. 82.JamesofVitry(LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chap.1,AASSJune,vol.5,p.550)saysthatweshould"admirethefervornotimitatetheworks."Theauthorof theLifeofJamesofPorto(inAF,vol.3[1897],p.620)saysJames'sausterelifeis"magisadmirandamquamimitandam."RaymondofCapua(intheLifeof CatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.16,par.310,p.939)underlinesthesamecontrast.SpeakingofamiracleinwhichGodfirstmultipliedwineandthenturneditsour,he saysthefirsteventshowshowhighlyGodthoughtofCatherine,thesecondhowhumblyshethoughtofherself.Thefirstteachesustohonorher,thesecondtoimitate her:"inprimodeditnobismateriamipsamhonorandi,insecundoipsamimitandi."Itwasmorecommon,however,forbiographerstourgereaderstoimitatethesaints. See,forexample,LifeofJulianaofCornillon,prologue,AASSApril,vol.1,p.442andbelow,chap.8n.43.Bonaventure'sLifeofFrancisofAssisigivesan interestingtwisttothetheme.Bonaventuresuggests

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thatspectatorsatoneofFrancis'sextravagantdisplaysofselfabasementdismissedhisbehavioras"magisadmirabilemquamimitabilem"(Bonaventure,Legenda maior,pt.1,chap.6,par.2,inAF,vol.10,p.583). 83.Legatus,bk.5,chap.7,RevelationesGertrudianaeacMechtildianae,vol.1,p.543. 84.OnAbelard'sviewofwomen,seeMaryM.McLaughlin,"PeterAbelardandtheDignityofWomen:TwelfthCentury'Feminism'inTheoryandPractice,"in PierreAbelard,PierreleVenerable:Lescourants...,ColloquesinternationauxduCentreNationaldelaRechercheScientifique546(Paris:EditionsduCentre NationaldelaRechercheScientifique,1975),pp.287333JohnBenton,"Fraud,FictionandBorrowingintheCorrespondenceofAbelardandHeloise,"inibid.,pp. 469506andd'Alverny,"Commentlesthologiens...voientlafemme." 85.LifeofSuso,chap.35,inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,p.107trans.Edward,Exemplar,vol.1,pp.xxxiv,103.PresumablySusoisnotimplyingthatmensch refersonlytomalesbutsuggestingthatdifferentindividualshavedifferentcrossestobear. 86.ThomasofCelano,LifeofClareofAssisi,chap.11,par.18,inPennacchi,Legenda,pp.2627. 87.Seeabove,chap.2n.110andGrundmann,Bewegungen,p.414.AlbertsaidthattheclaimofanuntonurseJesus"fatuitasestverbrribuspotiusquamverbis corrigenda"(ibid.,p.414n.128). 88.Ibid,p.413. 89.Forexample,PeterofLuxembourg,whotriedtoliveonbreadandwateraloneandtositattablewithouteating,wasononeoccasioncommandedbythepopeto eatanddidsoobediently.(Hishealthwas,however,alreadyruined.)SeeLifeofPeter,chap.4,pars.2223,AASSJuly,vol.1(Paris,1867),p.451Processof canonization,chap.4,inibid.,pp.47075. 90.WeinsteinandBell,SS,pp.23536. 91.WalterSeton,ed.,"TheLettersfromSaintClaretoBlessedAgnesofBohemia,"ArchivumFranciscanumhistoricum17(1924):51617. 92.AngelaofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudry,par.21,p.24:"PosteahabuisentimentaDei,ethabebamtantamdelectationeminoratione,quodnonrecordabarde comestione.Etvoluissemquodnonopportuissetmecomedere,utpossemstareinillaoratione.Etintermiscebatsehicquedamtemptatio,scilicetquodnon comederem,vel,sicomedebam,quodcomedereminparvoponderevaldesetcognoviessetemptationem."SeealsotheinadequateeditioninAASSJanuary,vol.1 (Paris,1863),chap.1,par.34,p.190.ChristhimselfsupposedlytoldAngelathatsleeping,eating,anddrinkingareacceptableifdoneinloveforhim:"Etdixerat michiperviamineundoA[s]sisiumita:'Totavitatua,comedereetbibere,dormireetomnetuumviveremichiplacet'"(AngelaofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudry,par. 35,p.54).Angelaherselfwrotethatahumbleheartwasmoreimportantthanfastingorpoverty(ibid.,par.180,p.418). 93.VitaBeatricis,bk.2,chap.15,pp.1034.LifeofColumbaofRieti,chap.5,par.31,AASSMay,vol.5,p.162*. 94.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.14,AASSJune,vol.4,p.198.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.5.pars.16869, AASSApril,vol.3,p.904allofpt.2,chap.5,dealswithCatherine'sdetractors. 95.Seeabove,chap.2n.112.

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96.Legatus,bk.4,chap.14,pp.34344. 97.Seebelow,chap.5. 98.RaymondofCapua,(LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.5,par.173,p.905),mentionsMaryMagdalenandtheFathersasexamplesofextremefasting, addingthat"sanctitydependsoncharitynotfasting."ForRaymond'sowndifficultieswithfasting,seeDrane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.1,p.223Hyacinthe MarieCormier,LeBienheureuxRaymonddeCapoue...savie,sesvirtues,sonaction,2ded.(Rome:ImprimerieVaticane,1902),pp.11316andConeth Kearns,trans.,TheLifeofCatherineofSiena(Wilmington,Del.:Glazier,1980),p.xv.InalettertoPhilipofAlenon,CardinalofOstia,Raymondsomewhat guiltilydefendedhimselffromthechargethathewasahypocritebecauseheurgedotherstofastbutfailedtofasthimself.Hisshortcoming,heargued,wasdueto physicalincapacityatleast,headded,heassistedthesaintswhoprovidedmanyworthyexamples.Healsosuggestedthatthecriticismofhiseatingwasdeflectingthe unfairattacksthathadbeenmadeonabstainers(H.M.Cormier,B.RaymundiCapuani...opusculaetlitterae[Rome:ExTypographiaPolyglottaS.C.de PropagandaFide,1899],pp.6668).ForRaymond'sLifeofCatherineaspropagandaforObservantreform,seeRobertFawtier,SainteCatherinedeSienne: Essaidecritiquedessources:Sourceshagiographiques,BibliothquedesEcolesFranaisesd'AthnesetdeRome121(Paris:deBoccard,1921),pp.11830. AlthoughFawtierisexcessivelyskepticalaboutsomeofthedetailsinRaymond'saccount,hispictureofRaymond'smotivesisuseful.Onthecontroversyoverthe CatherinelegendgeneratedbyFawtier,seeKearnsinLifeofCatherineofSiena,pp.lxlxx. 99.SeeJohnofMantua,Processofcanonization,AASSOctober,vol.9(Brussels,1858),pp.816,840. 100.LifeofColumbaofRieti,chap.12,par.110,AASSMay,vol.5,p.184*. 101.SeeGregoryofTours,LibervitaePatrum,prologue,MGH.SSRM,vol.1,pt.2,ed.W.ArndtandB.Krusch(1885),pp.66263.Onthispoint,seeH. Delehaye,TheLegendsoftheSaints:AnIntroductiontoHagiography,trans.Mrs.V.M.Crawford(London:Longmans,1907)andRenAigrain, L'Hagiographie:SesSources,sesmthodes,sonhistoire(Paris:BloudetGay,1953).Plate9aboveillustratesthepointbyshowinghowartiststransferred iconographicalmotifsfromonesainttoanothersimplybychangingthename. 102.WeinsteinandBell,SS,p.46. 103.AelredofRievaulx,GenealogiaregumAnglorum,PL195,col.715.Susolearnedpenitentialasceticismfromhismother(LifeofSuso,chap.42,inSuso, DeutscheSchriften,pp.14243).IdaofLouvainwastakentomassbyhermother(Life,bk.1,chap.1,AASSApril,vol.2,p.159).Herhagiographer,who workedfromrecordskeptbyherconfessor,stressesherreactionagainstherfather'swealth. 104.PeterofLuxembourg,Processofcanonization,chap.1,arts.210,andchap.4,andLifeofPeter,chap.3,par.19,andchap.4,par.29,AASSJuly,vol.1, pp.46465,47075,457,459.Peter'sfatherfastedandgaveawaymoneyhismothergaveawayfood.BothparentsdiedwhenPeterwasquiteyoung. 105.PeterofVaux,LifeofColette,chap.1,par.10,AASSMarch,vol.1,p.542. 106.JohnMarienwerder,VitaLindana,chap.1,pars.15,17,AASSOctober,vol.13(Paris,1883),pp.5056seealsochap.2,par.44,p.515.SeeKieckhefer, UnS,pp.2526.

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LidwinaofSchiedam,however,hadamodeloffastinginhergrandfatherseeVitaprior,chap.1,par.5,AASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),p.271. 107.LifeofJuliana,bk.1,chap.1,AASSApril,vol.1,pp.44344. 108.AccordingtoAnceletHustache,thereisnoreasontobelievethetraditionthatSophia,whowaspious,persecutedElizabeth(seeJeanneAnceletHustache, SainteElisabethdeHongrie[Paris:Editionsfranciscaines,1946],pp.12324). 109.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.1,par.25,AASSApril,vol.3,p.869. 110.Seebelow,epigraphtochap.7. 111.Browe,DieWunder,p.50. 112.Einhard,Annalesfor825,inMGH.SS,vol.1,ed.G.H.Pertz(1826repr.NewYork:KrausReprint,1963),p.214.CitedinSigibert,Chronica,foryear823, inMGH.SS,vol.6,ed.Pertz(1844),p.338andinHugh,Chroniconforyear823,inMGH.SS,vol.8,ed.Pertz(1848),p.353. 113.AASSFebruary,vol.3(Paris,1865),pp.52977,givessixshortvitaeofWalburgathatbyWolfhardisonpp.52948.SeealsoFrancescaM.Steele,The LifeofSt.Walburga(London:HeathCranton,1921). 114.Wolfhard,LifeofWalburga,chap.1,pars.34,p.530. 115.Steele,LifeofWalburga,pp.13336.OneofWalburga'slaterhagiographers,BishopPhilipofEichsttt,claimed(in1306)tohavebeencuredbytheoiland alsoassertedthatitflowedmorecopiouslyduringmassseePhilip,LifeofWalburga,chap.7,pars.3738,AASSFebruary,vol.3(Paris,1865),pp.56768. 116.SeeSteele,LifeofWalburga,p.151andHerbertThurston,ed.,Butler'sLivesoftheSaints,vol.2(London:Burns,OatesandWashbourne,1930),pp. 33839. 117.ThestoriesofIrchinbaldandFrideradearefoundinWolfhard,LifeofWalburga,bk.1,chap.6,par.23,p.534andbk.4,chap.3,pp.54648,respectively. 118.SeeAgnesB.C.Dunbar,ADictionaryofSaintlyWomen,vol.1(London:Bell,1904),pp.13235.(Dunbar'swork,thoughquiteuncritical,isusefulfor summarizinglegends.) 119.LawrenceofDurham,LifeofBridgetofKildare,chap.3,par.14,AASSFebruary,vol.1(Paris,1863),p.174. 120.MatthewParis,HistoriamajorjuxtaexemplarLondinense1571verbatimrecusa,ed.WilliamWats(London:RichardHodgkinson,1640),p.327.Forthis period,MatthewdrawsmostlyfromRogerofWendover'sFlowersofHistory. 121.JamesofVitry,Historiaoccidentalis,ed.Hinnebusch,pp.8788. 122.Caesarius,Dialogus,bk.9,chap.47,vol.2,pp.2012cf.bk.7,chap.20,vol.2,pp.2528. 123.RogerBacon,Opusminor,inFr.RogeriBaconoperaquaedamhactenusinedita,ed.J.S.Brewer,vol.1(London:Longman,Green,LongmanandRoberts, 1859),pp.37374. 124.ThomasNetter[Waldensis],Opusdesacramentis,inquodoctrinaeantiquitatumfideiEcclesiaecatholicaecontraWitclevistas,Hussitaseteorum asseclasLutheranosaliosquehaereticoscontinentur(Salamanca:ApudIoannemMariamdaTerranovaetIacobumArcharium,1557),fols.111v112r.Thestory ofJoanisfollowedbyanaccountofLidwinaofSchiedamthatemphasizesherinediaandseveremedicalproblems.

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125.Forthefraudulentfaster,seeFlaminioMariaAnnibalidaLatere,VitadellaVergineSantaColeta...(Rome:AntonioFulgoni,1805),p.87.Forthecure,see Miracula(compiled1471),par.7,AASSMarch,vol.1(Paris,1865),p.594. 126.SeePater,MARollins,"NotesonSomeEnglishAccounts"Schadewaldt,"MedizingeschichtlicheBetrachtungen"andGerish,intro.toTheHartfordshire Wonder,p.6. 127.Schadewaldt,"MedizingeschichtlicheBetrachtungen,"p.7andGregoryZilboorgwithGeorgeM.Henry,AHistoryofMedicalPsychology(NewYork: Norton,1941),pp.20710. 128.SeeBrowe,DieWunder,p.50.Thestoryofahermitwholivedinatreeandwasfedonmannafromheaven,toldinthevitaofLidwinaofSchiedam,isso clearlyabitofromanticfictionthatIhavenotcounteditseebelow,p.126.NorhaveIcountedthefourteenthcenturystoryofFrancisofAssisifastingforfortydays seebelow,n.140. 129.OnPeterofLuxembourg,seeabove,n.89.LifeofJamesOldo,chap.2,pars.1415,AASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),p.6034. 130.EdwardArber,ed.,TheRevelationtotheMonkofEvesham:1196,CarefullyEditedfromtheUniqueCopynowintheBritishMuseumoftheEdition [of]...WilliamdeMachliniaabout1482(London:5QueenSquare,Bloomsbury,n.d.),pp.19,27modernEnglishtrans.byValerianPaget,TheRevelationto theMonkofEveshamAbbey(NewYork:JohnMcBride,1909),pp.35,61.Themonk'srefusaltoeatistreatedasillnessratherthanasceticism.Itisalsopertinent tonotethatthemonk'sownvisionofsoulsinpurgatoryshowsnointerestinfoodabuses.Greedismentionedinpassingasoneofthesinsofreligiousmen (Revelation,ed.Arber,chap.3,p.73). 131.SeeWalterDaniel,LifeofAelred,inTheLifeofAelredofRievaulxbyWalterDaniel,ed.andtrans.F.M.Powicke(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress, 1951),pp.48ff.WalterstressesAelred'sfoodasceticismforthefouryearsbeforehisdeath:"Necmirum,siquidemparumcomedensetminusbibensciborum appetitumabstinencieinediaincredibilisextinxitomninoinseipso."HealsosaysthatAelredtookmedicinesoutofhismouthandthrewthemontheground(p.48)and atenofoodatallforseveraldaysbeforehisdeath(p.59).Thisdoesnotquiteamounttoaclaimtomiraculousabstinence. 132.ChronicapontificumetimperatorumMantuanaforyear1256,MGH.SS,vol.24(Hannover,1879),p.216.OnFacioofCremona,seeAndrVauchez, "SaintetlaqueauXIIIesicle:LaViedubienheureuxFaciodeCrmone(v.11961272),"Mlangesdel'EcoleFranaisedeRome:Moyengetemps modernes84.1(1972):1353. 133.SeeGerish,introductiontoTheHartfordshireWonder,p.5. 134.See,forexample,RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.1,pars.27,31,33,38(asachild,CatherineimitatedtheFathersbyretreatingto acave,andthoughtofimitatingEuphrosyne,oneofthetransvestitesaints)chap.3,pars.57,6364(sheimitatedDominicbyscourgingherself,andtheDesert Fathersbyfasting)chap.7,pars.11417(JesusmarriedherwitharingtheparalleltoCatherineofAlexandriaisexplicitlydrawn)pt.2,chap.5,pars.17273(her fastingisseenasparalleltobothMaryMagdalen'sandthatoftheDesertFathers)(AASSApril,vol.3,pp.86972,87678,89091,905).Seealsoabove,nn.65 67andchap.1n.68. 135.Bynum,JM,pp.126,128. 136.Ibid.,pp.11325.

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137.SeeBernardofClairvaux,SermonessuperCanticaCanticorum,Sermon71,OB,vol.2(1958),pp.21424.WolfgangRiehle(TheMiddleEnglishMystics, trans.B.Standring[London:RoutledgeandKeganPaul,1981],pp.10710)seemstosuggestthatsuchmetaphorsfiguremoreprominentlyinwomen'swritings. 138.SeeVauchez,LaSaintet,pp.38183andKieckhefer,UnS,pp.4041,141.OnPeterofLuxembourgandJamesOldo,seeabove,n.129.Seealso Constable,SelfInflictedSuffering. 139.Franciscallshimselfa"mother"inhislettertoLeoseeTheFathersofSt.Bonaventure'sCollege,ed.,OpusculasanctipatrisFrancisciAssisiensis,Bibliotheca FranciscanaAsceticaMediiAevi1,2d.ed.,(Quaracchi:CollegiumS.Bonaventurae,1949),p.116trans.FahyinOmnibus,p.118.ForexamplesofFrancis's repeateddescriptionofthegoodfriarasmother,seebelow,chap.10,nn.1819.ThomasofCelanoalsoquotesbothFrancishimselfandhisfriarsascallingFrancis "mother"seeThomas,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,par.137,inAF,vol.10,p.209andchap.136,par.180,inibid.,p.233.Francisdoesnotseemtoreferto himselfas"father,"althoughThomasdoessorepeatedly.BonaventurealsodescribesFrancisas"mother"seeLegendaminor,chap.3,seventhandeighthlessons,in AF,vol.10,pp.66465.OdoofCheriton,inasermonrecordedin1219,attributedtoFrancistheclaimthat"hewasawomanwhomtheLordimpregnatedbyhis wordandthushebroughtforthspiritualchildren''seeCajetanEsser,OriginsoftheFranciscanOrder,trans.AcedanDalyandI.Lynch(Chicago:Franciscan HeraldPress,1970),pp.11,208. 140.Ihavenothereconsideredthefourteenthcenturymaterial,butitisworthnotingthattheLittleFlowersofSt.Francis(chap.7)claimsthatFrancispassedone Lenteatingonlyhalfaloaf.TheFlowersalsoattributes(chap.33)afoodmiracletoClareandtells(chap.15)ofamealClareandFrancissharedatwhichneitherone ate(IFiorettidiSanFrancesco,ed.FaustaCasolini[Milan:GiacomoAgnelli,1926],pp.2932,13334,5659).Seebelow,chap.10n.7.Thereisauseful concordanceoftheearlyFrancismaterial,compiledbyT.DesbonnetsandD.Vorreuxandtrans.byM.A.HabiginOmnibus,pp.161965. 141.OnFrancis'sfoodasceticism,seeThomasofCelano,FirstLifeofFrancisofAssisi,bk.1,chap.19,par.51,AF,vol.10,pp.3940Bonaventure,Legenda maior,pt.1,chap.5,par.1,p.577andidem,Legendaminor,chap.3,firstlesson,p.662.SeealsoJordanJosephSullivan,FastandAbstinenceintheFirst OrderofSt.Francis:AHistoricalSynopsisandaCommentary,CatholicUniversityofAmericaCanonLawSeries374(Washington,D.C.:CatholicUniversityof AmericaPress,1957). 142.LifeofFrancisofFabriano,chap.1,par.6,AASSApril,vol.3(Paris,1866),p.993seealsoibid.,p.90. 143.See,forexample,ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.80,par.114,p.198,andchap.160,pp.25152.SeealsotheLeomaterial,chaps. 3and9,inRosalindB.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,RufinietAngeliSociorumS.Francisci:TheWritingsofLeo...(Oxford:ClarendonPress,1970),pp.92,102. 144.ThomasofCelano,FirstLifeofFrancis,bk.1,chap.19,par.51,pp.3940. 145.FrancisofAssisi,Ruleof1223,chap.3,Opuscula,p.66trans.Fahy,Omnibus,pp.5960. 146.FrancisofAssisi,Ruleof1221,chap.9,Opuscula,pp.3638trans.Fahy,Omnibus,pp.3940.

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147.FrancisofAssisi,Ruleof1221,chap.9,Opuscula,p.38,andRuleof1223,chap.3,Opuscula,p.67,respectively. 148.FrancisofAssisi,LettertoAlltheFaithful,Opuscula,p.91trans.Fahy,Omnibus,p.95.Sullivan(FastintheFirstOrderofFrancis,p.6)pointsoutthat fastingwasrelaxedintheorderduringFrancis'slifetime. 149.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chap.2,p.90.Sullivan(FastintheFirstOrderofFrancis,p.6)commentsthatFrancisrequiredmuchlessfastingthandidmany contemporaryreligiousorders. 150.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chap.1,pp.8890.SeealsoBonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.5,par.7,pp.57980. 151.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chap.5,p.94ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.133,par.176,p.231. 152.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chap.26,pp.13436ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.15,par.44,p.158. 153.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chaps.29,101,pp.140,26668seealsostory4inBrooke'sappendix,pp.29698.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk. 2,chap.23,pp.16264andTreatiseontheMiraclesofFrancis,chap.5,AF,vol.10,pp.28486.Bonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.5,par.10,p.581, andpt.1,chap.7,par.12,ibid.,p.591. 154.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chaps.3940,pp.15660.ThomasofCelano,FirstLifeofFrancis,bk.1,chap.19,par.52,p.40Thomas,SecondLifeofFrancis, bk.2,chaps.48,94,pp.17778,207.Bonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.6,par.2,pp.58283. 155.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.138,par.183,p.235trans.PlacidHermann,Omnibus,p.508.SeealsoThomas,SecondLifeof Francis,bk.2,chap.139,par.186,pp.23637. 156.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.151,par.199,p.244. 157.Seeabove,n.154andBonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.4,par.8,pp.57475. 158.Bonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.4,par.11,p.576,andchap.4,par.1,pp.57172. 159.SeeLambert,FranciscanPovertyFleming,IntroductiontoFranciscanLiteratureandLittle,ReligiousPoverty.Lambertisespeciallyusefulforexplaining howFrancisthoughtinimagesorstories,notlegalcategories.Muchrecentwork,emanatingfromM.Mollat'sseminarattheSorbonne,hasstressedtheimportanceof povertyasareligiousconcernagainstitssocialbackgroundsee,forexample,MichelMollat,ed.,Etudessurl'histoiredelapauvret(moyengeXVIesicle),2 vols.(Paris:PublicationsdelaSorbonne,1974). 160.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.60,par.93,pp.18586Bonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.7,par.6,p.589. 161.SeeThomasofCelano,FirstLifeofFrancis,bk.1,chap.6,par.15,pp.1415SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chaps.16263,pp.25356.Bonaventure, Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.2,par.4,andchap.14,par.3,pp.56465,62122. 162.Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chap.39andappendix,chap.3,pp.15658,29496. 163.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.137,par.181,pp.23334.

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164.ThomasofCelano,FirstLifeofFrancis,bk.3,chap.2,pars.12750,pp.10414.Onlyinpar.133(p.106)isfoodaninstrumentofhealing. 165.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chaps.5357,59,137,pp.18285,23334. 166.Inearlyaccounts,Francissimplykissesaleper,ashamedbecausehehasearlierscornedtheirfoulsmell(ThomasofCelano,FirstLifeofFrancis,bk.1,chap.7, par.17,p.16),oreatswiththem(Brooke,ScriptaLeonis,chap.22,pp.12426).InThomas'sSecondLifeofFrancis(bk.1,chap.5,par.9,pp.13536),Francis kissestheleperandgiveshimalms.InBonaventure'sLegendamaior(pt.1,chap.1,pars.56,pp.56263),Franciskissesandgivesalmstolepersandtearsoffhis clothesforbeggars.OnlyinBonaventure'sLegendaminordowebegintofindanemphasisontheplacingofthemouthonthepusoflepers'sores(chap.1,eighth lesson,pp.65758)theaspectofFrancis'sasceticismthatItalianwomenwouldlaternotonlyechobutalsoheightenconsiderably. 167.Bonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.1,par.6,pp.56263trans.Fahy,Omnibus,p.639. 168.ThomasofCelano,SecondLifeofFrancis,bk.2,chap.152,par.201,p.245Bonaventure,Legendamaior,pt.1,chap.9,par.2,p.598.Francis's eucharisticdevotionisnotstressedintheearliestmaterial. 169.FrancisofAssisi,Admonitions,number1ontheBodyofChrist,Opuscula,pp.35andLetter2,Opuscula,p.103. 170.Seeabove,n.169alsoFrancisofAssisi,ConcerningReverencefortheBodyofChristandCleanlinessoftheAltar,Opuscula,pp.2223andLetter5toAll SuperiorsoftheFriarsMinor,Opuscula,pp.11315.Franciswrites:"Et,siinaliquolocosanctissimumcorpusDominifueritpauperrimecollocatum,iuxtamandatum Ecclesiaeinlocopretiosoabeisponaturetconsigneturetcummagnavenerationeporteturetcumdiscretionealiisministretur.NominaetiametverbaDominiscripta, ubicumqueinvenianturinlocisimmundis,colliganturetinlocohonestodebeantcollocari"(p.114).SuchanattitudemakesthehostandtheBibleparallelandtreats bothasholyobjectsthestancereflectsnosensitivitytoeucharistasfood. 171.P.Hilarion,"S.Francisetl'eucharistie,"EtudesFranciscaines34(1922):52037. 172.OntheearlydocumentsconcerningClare,seeMariaFassbinder,"UntersuchungenberdieQuellenzumLebenderhl.KlaravonAssisi,"Franziskanische Studien23.3(1936):296335. 173.ThomasofCelano,LifeofClareofAssisi,chap.11,par.18,inPennacchi,Legenda,pp.2627trans.inTheLegendandWritingsofSaintClareofAssisi (St.Bonaventure,N.Y.:FranciscanInstitute,1953),pp.3132.SeealsoBullofcanonization,pars.5354,AASSAugust,vol.2(Paris,1867),p.750,andThomas, FirstLifeofFrancis,bk.1,chap.8,pars.1920,pp.1718Thomaslistspoorfoodandclothing,andabstinencefromfoodandspeech,astwoofthesixvirtuesof Clare'sfollowers. 174.ClareofAssisi,Rule,chap.3,par.10,inSeraphicaelegislationistextusoriginales...(Quaracchi:CollegiumS.Bonaventurae,1897),p.56. 175.ClareofAssisi,ThirdLettertoAgnes,inSeton,"LettersfromSaintClare,"p.517. 176.ClareofAssisi,Rule,chap.3,par.6,Seraphicaelegislationistextus,p.56. 177.Clare,ThirdLettertoAgnesinSeton,"LettersfromSaintClare,"p.517.

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178.Ibid. 179.ThomasofCelano,LifeofClareofAssisi,chap.17,par.28,inPennacchi,Legenda,pp.3940. 180.Ibid.,chap.13,par.21,pp.3031. 181.DonaldAttwater,ed.,ThePenguinDictionaryofSaints(Harmondsworth:Penguin,1965),p.87andCorblet,Histoiredogmatique,vol.2,p.551. 182.ThomasofCelano,LifeofClareofAssist,chaps.910,pars.1516,inPennacchi,Legenda,pp.2326.SeealsoBullofcanonization,par.56,p.750. 183.ThomasofCelano,LifeofClareofAssisi,chap.7,par.12,pp.1920.Seealsoibid.,chap.24,par.38,pp.5253. 184.Ibid.,chap.8,par.14,p.23. 185.Ibid.,chap.23,par.37,pp.5052. 186.ZeffirinoLazzeri,ed.,"IlProcessodicanonizzazionediS.Chiarad'Assisi,"inArchivumFranciscanumHistoricum13(1920),3dwitness,par.29,p.458. Seealso6thwitness,par.13,p.466. 187.SeeBynum,JM,pp.11069andabove,n.139. 188.AlbertHuyskens,QuellenstudienzurGeschichtederhl.ElisabethLandgrfinvonThringen(Marburg:Elwert,1908),p.70n.3. 189.Seeabove,n.19. 190.HenrySuso,BchleinderEwigenWeisheit,chap.13,inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,pp.25152. 191.LifeofSuso,chap.42,inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,pp.14243.Susoborehismother'snameratherthanhisfather'stheprologueofthe1512editionofhis workssuggeststhathemadethischoiceinordertoimitatehervirtuesmoreeasily.SeeHeller,introductiontoEdward,trans.,Exemplar,vol.1,pp.xxxviixxxviii. 192.Suso'svitaseemstohavebeencompiledbysomeonewhoreworkedElsbetStagel'snotesitincorporatessomeofSuso'scorrespondence,butthatalsocanbe demonstratedtohavebeenreworkedseeHeller,intro.toEdward,trans.,Exemplar,vol.1,pp.xviiixliandAigrain,L'Hagiographie,p.314. 193.See,forexample,LifeofSuso,chaps.28,3738,inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,pp.8283,11430. 194.Ibid.,chap.29,pp.8485trans.Edward,Exemplar,vol.1,pp.8081.LifeofSuso(chap.22,p.63)reportsthatacertainAnnareceivedavisionofSuso withchildrenhangingontohisclothingchap.33(p.99)reportsElsbet'sownwordstoSuso,comparinghimtoapelicanwhofeedsheryoungwithherownblood. WhilethesetwopassagesmightindicatethatSuso'stwofemalefollowerssuggestedthefemininemetaphorsinthevita,Suso'sownvisionscontainother,farmore explicitlymaternalimages. 195.Ibid.,chap.20,pp.5556.Suso,meditatingonJob7:1,sawavisionofayoungmanofferinghimknightlygarb.Onceclothedinthismilitaryattire,Suso complained:"Wafengot!wieistesmirergangen,wazistussmirworden!Solichnuritensin?Ichpflegehinnanfrvillieberminsgemaches."Heagreedtoacceptthe knightlyrolewhenheunderstoodthatitmeantstruggleandpain,notglory. 196.Suso,Bchlein,chap.2,inDeutscheSchriften,p.204trans.Edward,Exemplar,vol.2,p.9.

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197.LifeofSuso,chap.20,pp.5859. 198.Suso,Bchlein,chap.5,pp.21112trans.Edward,Exemplar,vol.2,pp.1718.InLifeofSuso(chap.10,p.30)hereceivestheChristchildtocuddlefrom MarybutisdescribedasSimeon. 199.LifeofSuso,chap.3,p.15andSuso,Bchlein,chap.6,p.216.Inthelatterpassage,Susospeaksofthesoulasafawnthathasleftthemotherdoe. 200.LifeofSuso,chap.3,p.15trans.Edward,Exemplar,vol.1,p.12.SusoratherlikedtheimageofGodasmotherseeSuso,Sermon1inSuso,Deutsche Schriften,p.498. 201.LifeofSuso,chap.18,pp.4950.AlthoughthepassagedoesnotexplicitlysaySusonursed,itdrawsananalogybothtoasickclericdescribedbyVincentof BeauvaisandtoJohnChrysostom,whodid. 202.Ibid.,chap.35,p.107.Seealsoabove,n.85. 203.Indeed,Susoonceusedwomanasatermofdisapprobationwhendescribinghimselfseeibid.,chap.44,pp.14952. 204.Suso,Briefbchlein,Letter4inSuso,DeutscheSchriften,p.369.WeshouldnotforgetthatthecompileroftheExemplarperhapsanunreworkedthese letters. 205.Ibid.,p.370.Susoalsousedfemaleimagesfortheholysoulwhenheaddressedwomen.See,forexample,Suso,Letter14(GrossesBriefbuch,inSuso, DeutscheSchriften,pp.44748),whereSusosaysGodhastaughtustopracticeausterityandhasraisedusfromkitchenservantsintoqueens. 206.Seeesp.LifeofSuso,chaps.4,1318,29,31,pp.1517,3453,8486,9092. 207.Suso'sfoodvisionsandmetaphorsmostlyinvolvefruit.Seeibid.,chaps.7,11,pp.2425,3132.InBchlein(chap.23,p.303),headdressestheeucharistas fruit,jewel,pomegranate,andgrapeinchap.19(p.276)heseesChristlyingdeadunderthecrossasfruit:"Herr,...alleminsinnewerdentgespisetvondiesersuzen *vruhtunderdisemlebendenbome*desKrzes."TheprominenceoffruitasanimagereflectsnotonlySuso'spersonaltastebutalsohisawarenessthathumankind firstfellthrougheatingfruitseeibid.,chap.16,pp.26566,whereMary,thesecondEve,isseenasaparadiseinwhichthesavingfruitgrows. 208.LifeofSuso,chap.20,p.61.Chap.7(p.25)alsopointsoutthathishungerandthirstsometimesgotoutofcontrol. 209.Ibid.,pp.2425. 210.ToSuso,foodwasjustoneofmanyimagesofGod'sgoodness.Forexample,inBchlein(chap.5,pp.21116),Wisdomsaystosoul:"IamyourBrother, yourSpouse....Batheyourselfinmyblood....Iwillgiveyoutheringofbetrothalandnewgarments....Iwillgiveyoumedicine,"etc.Inchap.23(pp.290303), whereeucharistandthereforefoodisemphasized,thesoulisseenasbathedandcladaswellasfed. 211.Suso,Briefbchlein,Letter8,pp.38586. 212.LifeofSuso,chap.7,pp.2425.SeeHuizinga,Waning,p.152. 213.SeeMaryFelicitasMadigan,The"PassioDomini"ThemeintheWorksofRichardRolle:HisPersonalContributioninitsReligious,Cultural,and LiteraryContext,SalzburgStudiesinEnglishLiterature,ElizabethanandRenaissanceStudies79(Salzburg:Institut

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frenglischeSpracheundLiteratur,UniversittSalzburg,1978)andKieckhefer,UnS,pp.89121. 214.HenryPomer,LifeofJanvanRuysbroeck,"DeoriginemonasteriiViridisvallis...,"bk.2,chap.3,AB4,28485. 215.Seeabove,n.50andEricColledge,intro.toColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,pp.412. 216.OnRolle,seeHopeEmilyAllen,WritingsAscribedtoRichardRolle,HermitofHampole,andMaterialsforHisBiography,ModernLanguageAssociation ofAmericamonographseries3(NewYork:Heath,1927)FrancesM.M.Comper,TheLifeofRichardRolleTogetherwithanEditionofHisEnglishLyrics (London:Dent,1928)andNicoleMarzac,RichardRolledeHampole(13001349):Vieetoeuvresetditioncritique...duTractatussuperApocalypsim, Thsepour...UniversitdeParis:FacultdesLettresetSciencesHumaines(Paris:Vrin,1968).TheOfficepreparedforRolleisinS.W.Lawley,ed.,Breviarium adusuminsignisecclesieEboracensis,vol.2,PublicationsoftheSurteesSociety75(Durham:Andrews,1883),cols.785820.Onthemiracles,seethetablein Comper,LifeofRolle,pp.31114.Allthemiraclesarecures.Ofthoseforadults,13areforwomen,7formen.Ofthesevenmiraclesconcerningchildren,sixare formalechildrenandoneforafemalechild,butsomeofthoseforboysareperformedatamother'sbehest. 217.DavidKnowles,TheEnglishMysticalTradition(London:BurnsandOates,1961),p.62.TheconjectureaboutthereasonforRolle'smisogynyisKnowles'. 218.JohnTauler,Sermon12forTuesdayinPassionWeek,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.58trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.64.(The variouseditionsofTaulernumberthesermonsdifferently.IhaveusedVetter'snumbering.ThereisaconcordancetotheeditionsinGeorgHofmann,ed.,Johannes Tauler:Predigten[Freiburg:Herder,1961],pp.62834). 219.Tauler,Sermon49fortheNativityofMary,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.220.InSermon37(p.142),commentingonLuke15:8,heseesthewomanwho searchesforalostkidasasymbolofGod'sdivinityandthelampsheholdsasChrist'shumanity. 220.Tauler,Sermon31:SecondSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.31011foratranslationseebelow,p.111. 221.Tauler,Sermon33:FourthSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.130trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.274. 222.Tauler,Sermon81:FirstSermonforTriduumofSt.Cordula,DiePredigten,pp.43132. 223.Tauler,Sermon27:ThirdSermonforPentecost,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.11014.Forharsherimages,seetheendofSermon37(pp.14447),where TaulerseesGodasastiffbroomthreshingusandscrubbingusclean(cf.n.219above).InSermon11forMondayinPassionWeek(ibid.,pp.5354),Taulerspeaks ofGodasafatherthrashinghischildrenwithagoodstoutstick. 224.SeeTauler,Sermon9forSecondSundayinLent,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.4046.Ishallreturntothesignificanceofthissermonbelow,pp.24243. 225.OfficeofRolle,Reading5,inBreviarium,vol.2,cols.79596trans.Comper,LifeofRolle,p.304. 226.RichardRolle,LeChantd'amour(Melosamoris),ed.E.J.F.Arnouldandtrans.

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thenunsofWisques,2vols.,SC16869,Srmon.3233(1971),chap.34,vol.2,pp.2426.Seealsoibid.,chap.42,pp.92100. 227.RichardRolle,Incendiumamoris,chap.11,inRichardRolle,The"IncendiumAmoris"ofRichardRolleofHampole,ed.,MargaretDeanesly,Publications oftheUniversityofManchester,HistoricalSeries26(Manchester:UniversityPress,1915),p.175trans.anded.byF.ComperfromRichardMisyn'stextinThe FireofLoveorMelodyofLoveandtheMendingofLife...translatedbyRichardMisyn...(London:Methuen,1914),pp.5354.SeealsoE.J.Arnould, "RichardRolleofHampole,"inJamesWalsh,ed.,PreReformationEnglishSpirituality(Bronx,N.Y.:FordhamUniversityPress,n.d.),p.143andthetableof themescitedbelow,n.248. 228.Rolle,Incendiumamoris,chap.39,pp.26566trans.ComperfromMisyninFireofLove,p.176. 229.Rolle,Chantd'amour,chap.40,vol.2,pp.7880. 230.Tauler,Sermon3forEpiphany,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.1819trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,pp.8283. 231.Tauler,Sermon31:SecondSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.313:"Unddisewise,wiemansichallecreaturensollossenjagenunddaz lidenrechtergelossenheitundswiglicheit,dasgotberalleubunge*,vastenoderwachenoderbettenoderhalsbergetragenodertusentruten*ufdirzerslagen." 232.Tauler,Sermon27:ThirdSermonforPentecost,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.112. 233.Tauler,Sermon65:FourthSermonfortheExaltationoftheHolyCross,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.355trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences, p.104. 234.Tauler,Sermon49fortheNativityoftheVirgin,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.22021trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.170. 235.SeeTauler,Sermon40:FirstSermonfortheNativityofJohntheBaptist,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.166. 236.Tauler,Sermon21:FourthSermonforAscension,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.8687trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,pp.9798. 237.SeeJanvanRuysbroeck,TheSpiritualEspousals,trans.EricColledge,ClassicsoftheContemplativeLife(NewYork:Harper,n.d.),bk.2,chap.17,p.135, andchap.43,pp.17172.ThestandardeditionsofRuysbroeckareJanvanRuusbroec:WerkennaarhetstandaardhandschriftvanGroenendaal,ed.J.B. Poukensetal.,4vols.,HetRuusbroecGenootschapteAntwerpen(AmsterdamandMechlin:DeSpieghelandHetKompas,1932),andJanvanRuysbroeck,Opera omnia,ed.J.Alaertsetal.,10vols.,Studinentekstuitgavenvanonsgeestelijkerf20(Tielt:Lannoo,1981).SeealsoStephenAxters,LaSpiritualitdesPays Bas:L'Evolutiond'unedoctrinemystique,BibliothecaMechliniensis,2dser.,vol.1(LouvainandParis:NauwelaertsandVrin,1948),pp.4160. 238.JanvanRuysbroeck,"LesSeptCltures,"chap.8,OeuvresdeRuysbroeckl'Admirable,trans.theBenedictinesofSt.PauldeWisques,vol.3,3ded. (Brussels:Vromant,1921),pp.16972. 239.HenryPomer(inhisLifeofRuysbroeck,chap.22,p.299)citesasevidenceofRuysbroeck'sgreatobediencehisacceptanceofhissuperior'scommandthathe notdrinkwhilegravelyill.Onthisoccasionheclearlycravedadrink,andthereisnosuggestionthathenormallypracticedfoodasceticism.ThestatementofLoomis (inWhiteMagic,pp.23,141n.102)thatRuysbroeckfastedfromthebreastasachildisamistake.The

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parallelPomerdrawstoSt.Nicholas(inchap.1,p.283)isnottofastingbuttoanothermiracle. 240.LifeofRuysbroeck,chap.29,pp.3034.Ruysbroeckmadeapointofcelebratingmassdailyhewasloathtorelinquishthispracticeeveninillhealthandold age(chaps.2728,pp.3023). 241.SeeJeanBaptistePorion,"Hadewijch,mystiqueflamandeetpotesse,13esicle,"DS,vol.7,pt.1(1969),cols.1822EricColledge,intro.toRuysbroeck, SpiritualEspousals,pp.1011andColumbaHart,intro.toHadewijch:Works,pp.1416. 242.Seeesp.Ruysbroeck,SpiritualEspousals(bk.2,chaps.920,pp.96143)forimagesofwaterandheat.Chap.17(pp.12634)discussesthesacrament, withverylittleeatingimagery.Inbk.2(chap.21,pp.13942)Ruysbroeckusesunquenchablehungerasanimageofdesire,butthepassagequicklyreturnstoimages oftouchandfire.RuysbroeckdoesstresstheimportanceofChrist'shumanityastheredemptionofourown,andheusuallysymbolizesthishumanityinfemaleimages (seeprologue,p.43). 243.Ruysbroeck,"LeMiroirdusalutternel,"chap.3,Oeuvres,pp.6566. 244.Ibid.,chap.7,pp.7980. 245.Ruysbroeck,LeLivredesXIIbguines,trans.PaulCuylits(Brussels:LibrairieSpcialedesBeauxArts,1900),pp.7576,99. 246.Ibid.,p.80. 247.SeeRuusbroec:Werken,vol.4,p.4nn.2,7,andp.5n.6.InRuysbroeck'sfirstwork,TheKingdomofLovers,heborrowedoneofHadewijch'smost extendedfoodmetaphors(PoemsinCouplets,number16,lines3140seeHartinHadewijch:Works,p.14. 248.SeeFranoisVandenbroucke,Tableofthemes,inRolle,Chantd'amour,vol.2,pp.277321,esp.pp.287,295,3079.Riehle(Mystics,pp.1078)has pointedouttheabsenceofaeucharisticemphasisinRolle,ashasVandenbrouckeinChantd'amour,vol.2,p.308. 249.Rolle,Incendiumamoris,chap.32,p.237.Foranextendedexampleofeatingimagerybecomingimageryofsong,seeRolle,Chantd'amour,chap.43,p. 110.SeealsoVandenbroucke(Chantd'amour,vol.2,p.285),whopointsoutthatsensoryexperiencesareinterchangeableinRolle'svocabularyandRiehle, Mystics,p.120. 250.SeeTauler,Sermons3033forCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.11831,29298,31016.Forquotationsseeabove,pp.1and4. 251.Tauler,Sermon30:FirstSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.293trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.258. 252.Tauler,Sermon32:ThirdSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,p.118trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.264. 253.Tauler,Sermon32,p.119,trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.265. 254.Tauler,Sermon11forMondayinPassionWeek,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.5056. 255.Tauler,Sermon24:SecondSermonfortheSundayafterAscension,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.97101andSermon7forSeptuagesima,pp.3031. 256.Tauler,Sermon31:SecondSermonforCorpusChristi,inTauler,DiePredigten,pp.31011trans.ColledgeandM.Jane,SpiritualConferences,p.259. SeealsoSermon

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33(pp.12526),whereTaulerwarnsthatspiritualcommunionmaybepreferabletoactualreceptionifthereceptionisautomaticorhurried. 257.Suso,atleastonce,callstears"womanly"whenhemeanssomethingnegativebytearsi.e.,whiningandweaknessseeLifeofSuso,chap.44,inSuso, DeutscheSchriftenpp.14952. 258.Cf.RaymondofCapua,whowasmoreunambiguousinadmiringanasceticisminwomenthathewasunabletoattainseeabove,n.98. 4 FoodintheLivesofWomenSaints 1.LifeofLukardisofOberweimar,AB18,pp.33738. 2.Bolton,"Mulieressanctae,"pp.7795idem,"Vitaematrum,"pp.25373McDonnell,BeguinesRoisin,L'Hagiographieidem,"L'Efflorescencecistercienne etlecourantfminindepitauXIIIesicle,"Revued'histoireecclsiastique39(1943):34278R.DeGanck,"TheCistercianNunsofBelgiumintheThirteenth Century,"CistercianStudies5(1970):16987andBynum,''WomenMystics."TothegroupofLowCountrywomenItreatbelowonemightaddYvetteofHuy(d. 1228)seeAlbertD'Haenens,"Ivetta,"BS,vol.7,cols.99293. 3.Thereisreasontothinkthathagiographers,inrevisingearliermaterialorwritinguptheirpersonalknowledgeofasubject,wereespeciallycarefultopreservethe sayings,orlogia,ofholypeopleexactlyastheyheardorreadthem.Thereforethewordsattributedtowomenmaybeespeciallytrustworthyevidence.SeeMartinus Cawley,"TheLifeandJournalofLutgardofAywires...,"VoxBenedictina1.1(January1984):2022.TheauthoroftheLifeofIdaofLau,forexample, preservessomeofherphrasesinthevernaculartheVitapriorofLidwinaofSchiedamalsopreservesafewvernacularwords. 4.JamesofVitry,LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chap.4(AASSJune,vol.5,p.556)saysthatMarysometimesheardthewordsofothers"asifhoneywasinher mouth"sheoncereceivedsuchconsolationfromspiritualadvicethatshecouldnoteatmaterialfoodforawholeday.Bk.2,chap.10(p.566)speaksofMary's spiritualcommunionas"eating,""drinking,"and"beingfilled."Seealsop.59above. 5.Ibid.,bk.1,chap.1,p.551.Jameswasawarethatfastingnormallyproducesheadachesseeibid.,chap.2,p.552. 6.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgardofAywires,bk.1,chap.1,AASSJune,vol.4,p.192.Thestoryisagraphicone.AlthoughLutgardmanagedtoescape, theman'sservantsaccusedhimofrapeandLutgardwasjeeredasarapevictimwhensherodeintothetownofSt.Trond.ForearlierversionsofthelifeofLutgard, seeG.Hendrix,"PrimitiveVersionsofThomasofCantimpr'sVitaLutgardis,"Cteaux:Commentariicistercienses29(1978):153206.(Thisincidentis recordedonpp.16263and17778.)HendrixarguesconvincinglythatboththeshorterLatintext(VA)andasecondLatintextonwhichtheFrenchtext(FL)is basedareolderthanThomas'slife.Ontheotherhand,MartinusCawley("LifeandJournalofLutgard,"pp.2022)hasarguedthatThomas'stextgivesusbetter accesstoLutgard'slifebecauseVAtendstoomitany

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referencestosurvivors.IhavecitedThomas'svitabelowunlessdifferencesamongthetextsmakeitnecessarytociteallthree. 7.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.1,chap.1,p.191. 8.Ibid.,bk.3,chap.6,p.205. 9.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.4,AASSApril,vol.2,pp.16465.Thepassagenotonlycallsreading"eating,"italsodrawsaparallelbetweeneatingand beingpregnant.ThevitaofIda,ofuncertaindateandwrittenbyananonymousauthorwhoclaimstobedrawingonearliermanuscripts,isnotaveryreliablehistorical account.Forexactlythisreason,itisausefulindicationofwhatmiraclesandbodilymanifestationsconfessorsandchurchofficialsconsideredtypicalofand appropriatetofemalesaints.Seebelow,n.32. 10.Ibid.,bk.1,chap.6,p.168. 11.LifeofJulianaofCornillon,bk.1,chap.2,AASSApril,vol.1,p.445.AccordingtoJuliana'shagiographer,sheatesolittlematerialfoodthathersistersinsisted nohumancreaturecouldsubsistonsolittle,butshelivedfromthesweetnessofprayerandeucharisticdesire.OnthevitaofJuliana,seeC.Lambot,"UnPrcieux ManuscritdelaviedesainteJulienneduMontCornillon,"inMiscellaneahistoricainhonoremAlbertideMeyer,UniversitdeLouvain,Recueildetravaux d'histoireetdephilologie,3esr.,22fasc.,vol.1(Louvain:Bibliothquedel'Universit,1946),pp.60312. 12.JamesofVitry,LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.2,chap.10,pp.56668. 13.LifeofMargaretofYpres,chap.24,ed.G.G.Meersseman,in"FrresprcheursetmouvementdvotenFlandreauXIIIesicle,"ArchivumFratrum Praedicatorum18(1948):11819. 14.LifeofAliceofSchaerbeke,chap.2,pars.911,AASSJune,vol.2(Paris,1867),pp.47374. 15.Ibid.,chap.2,par.12,p.474. 16.LifeofGertrudevanOosten("oftheWest")orofDelft,chap.2,par.7,AASSJanuary,vol.1(Paris,1863),p.350.OnGertrude'sfoodasceticism,seeibid., par.9,p.350. 17.JamesofVitry,LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.2,chap.12,p.571.Cf.JamesofVitry,Historiaoccidentalis,ed.Hinnebusch,chap.38,p.207,whichreferstothe sameincident. 18.LifeofIdaofLau,chap.2,pars.1920,pp.11314. 19.Ibid.,chap.2,par.18throughchap.3,par.26,pp.11215. 20.LifeofMargaretofYpres,chap.40,inMeersseman,"Frresprcheurs,"p.122. 21.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.3,AASSApril,vol.2,pp.16263.LifeofChristinatheAstonishing,chap.2,par.17,AASSJuly,vol.5(Paris,1868),p. 653. 22.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.6,p.163. 23.Insomecaseseucharisticdevotionbeganveryyoung.MargaretofYpresexperiencedextraordinarydesireforthehostandsweetsmellsaccompanyingitatage fiveseeherLife,chap.2,inMeersseman,"Frresprcheurs,"p.107.Amalechildsaintfromthesameperiodandgeographicalareaalsoexpressedextraordinary eucharisticpiety:Acher(orArchas)ofTurnhout(d.ca.1222)seeThomasofCantimpr,BonumUniversale,bk.2,chap.27(notfoliated). 24.LifeofAlice,chap.2,pars.910,AASSJune,vol.2,47374LifeofIdaof

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Lau,chap.2,pars.1920,AASSOctober,vol.13,pp.11314.SeealsoLifeofJuliana,chap.2,AASSApril,vol.1,pp.44546. 25.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.4,andbk.3,chap.1,AASSApril,vol.2,pp.164,18283. 26.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.1,par.14,AASSJune,vol.4,pp.19899cf.VAinHendrix,"PrimitiveVersions,"p.168.Thevindictive noteinthestorymaynotbealateradditionbyBrotherBernard,astheBollandistssuggest:seeHendrix,"PrimitiveVersions,"p.161.Accordingtoalltheearlylives, Lutgardsaid,"Ishallobey...butChristwillvindicatethisinjuryinyourbody."Theabbesswasafflictedwithpainuntilsherelaxedtheprohibition. 27.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.2,chap.3,p.173ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.1,chaps.12,pp.19294. 28.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.1,chaps.12,pp.19294.TheFrenchvita(ed.Hendrix,"PrimitiveVersions,"p.181)hasLutgardsuckingthesong fromthelamb'slips.Theseexperiencesofcomforttendedtocomeafterperiodsoftrial.Lutgard'snursingvisionscameaftershehadexperiencedattemptedrapeand humiliation.IdaofLouvainreceivedanextendedvisionofChristasababyaftershewasaccusedofhavingbeenmadepregnantbyalocalfriarseeLifeofIda,bk.2, chaps.45,pp.17577. 29.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.1,chap.2,par.15,p.194.TheFrenchlifedescribesthevisionmoregraphicallyseeHendrix,"PrimitiveVersions,"p. 180.Ontheimportanceofthemouthinthisvita,seeCawley,"LifeandJournalofLutgard,"pp.4044. 30.LifeofIdaofLau,chap.2,par.20,AASSOctober,vol.13,pp.11314. 31.LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chap.2,pp.55152. 32.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.3,pp.16263.AlaterLowCountrywoman,GertrudevanOosten,supposedlyreceivedallfivestigmatain1340whenshe prayedbeforeacrucifix.ThewoundsbledseventimesadaywhileGertrudeexperiencedecstasy.ShelateraskedGodtotakeawaythebleeding,butthescars remained.SeeLifeofGertrudevanOosten,AASSJanuary,vol.1,pp.34953andViesdessaintsetdesbienheureux...,vol.1(1935),pp.12830.For doubts,partlyhistoricalandpartlytheological,aboutthesecases,seeDebongnie,"Stigmatisations,"pp.34,4950. 33.PhilipofClairvaux,LifeofElizabeth[ofSpalbeek],"nunofHerkenrode,"intheBollandists,eds.,CataloguscodicumhagiographicorumBibliothecaeregiae Bruxellensis,Subsidiahagiographica1,vol.1,pt.1(Brussels:TypisPolleunis,CeuterickandLefbure,1886),pp.363,378.Despitethereferencetoherasanun, Elizabethappearstohavebeenarecluseinherpaternalhome:seeDebongnie,"Stigmatisations,"pp.3031. 34.OnLutgard'sthreesevenyearfastsforthesakeofothers,seeThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.1,pars.1,9,andbk.3,chap.4,pp.196, 198,205.TherearereferencestoLutgard'sfoodasceticismthroughoutthevita.OnthesavingeffectsofAlice'ssuffering,seeLifeofAlice,AASSJune,vol.2,pp. 47177. 35.LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chaps.24,pp.55156LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.2,pp.16062LifeofJuliana,bk.1,chaps.13,pp.44347Life ofIdaofLau,chap.4,par.136,andchap.6,par.54,pp.118,123andLifeofMargaretofYpres,chaps.3,16,40,inMeersseman,"Frresprcheurs,"pp.108, 114,122.Juliana'sbiogra

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pherreportsthatonce,inanefforttoachievepeacewithhersisters,sheputfoodintohermouth,toreitwithherteeth,andturneditoverinhermouth,but"she wasnotabletoswallowamorselofit"(bk.1,chap.3,p.447). 36.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.1,par.2,p.196.TheauthoroftheLifeofIdaofLauexplainedsuchphenomenathus:"Shouldwemarvel that,tosomeonewhowasfedbyprayerandmeditation,eatingearthlyfoodintherefectorywouldbeodious?"(chap.3,par.26,p.115). 37.PhilipofClairvaux,LifeofElizabeth[ofSpalbeek],Cat.cod.hag.Bruxellensis,vol.1,pt.1,p.378.SeeDebongnie,"Stigmatisations,"p.33n.1. 38.LifeofChristina,chap.2,par.22,AASSJuly,vol.5,p.654. 39.Seeabove,chap.3n.65. 40.LifeofMargaretofYpres,chaps.43,48,inMeersseman,"Frresprcheurs,"pp.123,125. 41.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.3,chap.1,p.204. 42.LifeofAlice,chap.2,pars.2223,andchap.3,par.27,pp.47576. 43.Seeabove,n.34. 44.LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chap.3,p.553. 45.LifeofAlice,chap.3,par.26,p.476. 46.LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.1,chap.4,p.555.SeealsoBolton,"VitaeMatrum,"pp.25759. 47.LifeofChristina,chap.2,par.22,p.654. 48.LifeofJuliana,bk.1,chap.1,pp.44445. 49.LifeofIdaofLouvain,bk.1,chap.5,p.167.Wecanoftensee,inaccountsoffastingwomen,thatfoodwasreadilyavailableifthewomanwantedit. 50.Ibid.,bk.1,chap.5,pp.16566,andbk.2,chap.5,p.178. 51.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.2,pars.1920,25,pp.200201. 52.LifeofJuliana,bk.1,chap.6,p.451. 53.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.2,par.21,p.200.Theearlierversionsspeakmerelyofahemorrhagefromwhichshesuffered. 54.Ibid.,bk.1,chap.1,par.23,p.193. 55.PhilipofClairvaux,LifeofElizabeth[ofSpalbeek],Cat.cod.hag.Bruxellensis,vol.1,pt.1,p.378:"deoreipsiusnecsalivanecsputum,necdenaribusejus aliqueemunctionismateriaauthumoraliquisemanavit." 56.Theconcernisnot,however,apeculiarityofThomas's,foritisalreadypresentintheearlierversionorversionsofLutgard'svita.SeethetextsinHendrix, "PrimitiveVersions." 57.LifeofChristina,chap.1,par.9,andchap.2,par.19,pp.652,65354. 58.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.1,chap.1,par.13throughchap.2,par.19,pp.19394. 59.Ibid.,bk.1,chap.1,par.12,p.193. 60.LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.2,chap.10,p.567.OnNicholas,seeCharlesW.Jones,SaintNicolasofMyra,Bari,andManhattan:BiographyofaLegend (Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1978). 61.LifeofGertrudevanOosten,chap.3,par.14,p.350thelactationsupposedly

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lastedfromChristmastothefeastofthePurification(Feb.2).Forherloveofchildrenandhertemptationbythedevilintheformofababy,seechap.2,par.11, p.350. 62.ThomasofCantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.2,par.23,p.200. 63.LifeofMaryofOignies,bk.2,chap.12,p.572. 64.LifeofJuliana,bk.2,chap.9,p.475. 65.ThomasofCantimpr,forexample,emphasizestheimportanceofLutgardas"motherandnurseofthefriars."Butmanyofhermiraclesduringlifeandallofher miraclesafterdeathwereperformedforwomenseeThomas,LifeofLutgard,pp.189210. 66.Asherhagiographerspointout,Lidwina'sveryname,takenfromlydandwyt(i.e.,paterelate)meant"tosufferprofusely." 67.JohnGerlach,Lidwina'srelativeandsacristanofthemonasteryatWindesheim,wrotehervitainDutch.AsecondLife(theVitaprior)inLatinisbasedon Gerlach'sandaugmentedwithinformationfurnishedbyJohnWalterofLeiden,Lidwina'slastconfessor,andothers.Thisvita,withtheadditionsindicatedinbrackets, isgiveninAASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),pp.271301,alongwithasecond,longerLifebyJohnBrugman(Vitaposterior),ibid.,pp.30260.TheBollandists attributedboththeVitapriorandtheVitaposteriortoBrugman,butthemorerecenteditoroftheVitaposteriordisagrees,basinghisargumentonthedivergences ofstylebetweenthetwoaccounts.SeeJohnBrugman,IohannisBrugmanO.F.M.VitaAlmeVirginisLidwine,ed.A.deMeijer,RijksuniversiteitteUtrecht tekstenendocumenten2(Groningen:Wolters,1963),pp.vxiii.Afourthvita,byThomasKempis,isanabridgementofBrugmanwithsomeaddeddetailsthat ThomasculledatSchiedamseeThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,inThomasKempis,Opereomnia,ed.H.Sommalius,vol.3(16001601newed.Cologne: Krakamp,1759),pp.11464.SeealsoJ.K.Huysmans,SainteLydwinedeSchiedam,16thed.(Paris:Plon,1909),whichmustbeusedwithcautionand Debongnie,"Stigmatisations,"pp.5556.MuchofthefollowingdiscussionhasappearedinCarolineBynum,"Fast,Feast,andFlesh:TheReligiousSignificanceof FoodtoMedievalWomen,"Representations11(August1985):125.IhavecitedtheVitaposteriorinboththeAASSeditionandthedeMeijeredition. 68.Forthedocument,seeAASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),pp.3045. 69.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.6,pars.22526,AASSApril,vol.2,pp.34748(deMeijered.,pp.13135). 70.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.6,pars.21821,p.346(deMeijered.,pp.13031). 71.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.1,chap.2,par.19,p.308(deMeijered.,pp.2021).Cf.ThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.1,chap.5,pp.11819. 72.Vitaprior,chap.1,par.9,AASSApril,vol.2,p.272seealsoThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.1,chap.2,pp.11617. 73.Vitaprior,chaps.12,pp.27275Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.1,chaps.12,pp.3059(deMeijered.,pp.1221).Seealsoplate10,anearlyillustrationof Lidwina'slife,whichmaybethefirstpictureofskatesfromtheNetherlands. 74.Seethedocumentcitedinn.68aboveandVitaprior,chaps.23,pp.27377,andchap.7,par.76,p.286.TheauthorsofboththeVitapriorandVita posteriorgiveextensiveandhorrifyingmedicaldetails.

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75.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.1,par.72,p.319seealsoibid.,pt.1,chap.4,par.33,p.311(deMeijered.,pp.29,52).Itisalsoimportanttonotethat LidwinaatfirstrespondedtoherterribleillnesswithangeranddespairandhadtobeconvincedthatitwasasavingimitationofthePassionseeVitaprior,chap.5, pp.27981andThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.2,chap.1,pp.13233. 76.Vitaprior,chap.9,pars.99103,pp.29091. 77.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.1,par.152,p.334(deMeijered.,p.97). 78.Vitaprior,chap.7,par.77,p.286:"usqueadmortem,neculloutebaturvelcibovelpotuvelsomno,sednecnaturaliasuperfluacorporisemittebat,praeterquam pervomitum." 79.Vitaprior,chap.11,pars.12122,pp.29495Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.8,pp.32931(deMeijered.,pp.8285)seealsobelow,n.94. 80.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.10,par.146,p.133(deMeijered.,pp.9293).Brugman(Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.1,par.157,p.335deMeijered., p.99)pointsoutthatachildwashealedmerelybybeingplacedonLidwina'sbed. 81.Vitaprior,chap.10,pars.1079,p.292. 82.Brugman(Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.4,par.194,p.342deMeijered.,p.118)underlinesthepowerofdevotiontoMarythatbringssweetmilkfromarotting bodyandfoodfromavirgin. 83.Vitaprior,chap.6,pars.5860,p.282Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.4,pars.19394,pp.34142(deMeijered.,pp.11718)ThomasKempis, LifeofLidwina,pt.2,chap.4,pp.13536.BoththeauthoroftheVitapriorandThomasKempiscommentthatthelactatingmeansthatallthevirginswereworthy tonursethebabyJesus. 84.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.4,par.194,p.342(deMeijered.,p.118).Cf.theothertwoaccountscitedinn.83,above.Itmaybethattwodifferent confessorsarereferredto. 85.SeeThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.1,chaps.19,22,pp.128,13031. 86.Vitaprior,chap.7,par.74,p.285,andchap.8,pars.8086,pp.28788Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chaps.23,pp.32023(deMeijered.,pp.55 63)ThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.1,chaps.1923,pp.12831. 87.ThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.1,chap.23,p.131. 88.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chaps.8,10,pp.32931,33334(deMeijered.,pp.8285,9194).SeeDebongnie,"Stigmatisations,"pp.5556.The referencetostigmata,whichseemstobeBrugman'sembroideryonthestory,shouldnotbetakenliterally.Butitisimportantasareflectionofwhatsome contemporariesexpectedofholywomen. 89.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.10,par.145,p.333(deMeijered.,p.92). 90.Vitaprior,chap.3,par.29,p.276,andchap.11,par.128,p.296.Wearetoldthatherrelativesandfriendsespeciallybenefited.Theauthorsaysexplicitly(p. 296):"Abhinc[1421]autemusqueadmortemsuam[1433],communiterpatiebaturfebresquartanas,etinterdumquotidianas,prosublevationeanimarumin purgatorio." 91.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.1,pars.15355,pp.33435(deMeijered.,pp.9799). 92.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.1,par.156,p.335(deMeijered.,p.99).

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93.SeeVitaprior,chap.11,par.128,p.296.Seealsoibid.,chap.5,pars.4245,pp.27980andThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.2,chap.22,pp.155 56. 94.Vitaprior,chap.11,pp.29497Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chaps.710,pp.32834(deMeijered.,pp.7794)ThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt. 2,chap.22,pp.15556.Thomasgivesaveryshortversion,inwhichLidwinafirstseesacrucifiedboy,thenawoundedhostthehostdescends,andfinallyLidwina receivesitfromthepriest.SeealsoHuysmans,Lydwine,chap.7. 95.Differentpeoplesupposedlysawdifferentpatternsinthehost,dependingontheirdegreeofholiness. 96.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.7,par.121,p.328(deMeijered.,p.79). 97.Vitaprior,chap.10,pars.1079,p.292Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.5,pars.1067,andnotec,pp.32526(deMeijered.,pp.7071). 98.SeeVitaprior,chaps.910and12passim,pp.28998Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chaps.46,pp.32327,andpt.3,chap.2,pp.33638(deMeijer ed.,pp.6477,1017).ShewasalsoabletospothypocrisyinreligiouswomenseeBrugman,Vitaposterior,pt.2,chap.3,pars.9293,pp.32223(deMeijer ed.,pp.6263). 99.Vitaprior,chap.7,par.73,p.285ThomasKempis,LifeofLidwina,pt.1,chap.18,p.128. 100.AlthoughLidwina'ssmallgroupoffollowersdoesnotseemtohavebeenpredominantlyfemale,shedidperformmiraclesforotherwomen,someofthempathetic victimsofcruelhusbandsorgrindingpoverty.SeeVitaprior,chap.9,par.106,pp.29192.Seeesp.Brugman,Vitaposterior,pt.3,chap.5,pars.200201,p. 343(deMeijered.,pp.12122),whereLidwinapersuadesawoman,marriedtoabruteofaman,nottocommitsuicidefromdespairandconvertsthemanto tendernessbyherprayers. 101.MargaretofOingt,LifeofBeatriceofOrnacieux,esp.chaps.67,inOeuvresdeMarguerite,pp.11823.Thebiographertellsusthatforalongperiod BeatricesawthebodyofChrist"likealittlechild"everydayattheelevationofthehost. 102.Ibid.,chap.7,pars.8998,pp.12023.OnanotheroccasionBeatriceprayedbeforeapyxorportabletabernacleand,inheranguish,askedGodfordeath.A voicespoketoherfromthetabernacleandsherealizedthatherillness,particularlytheterribleheadachesfromwhichshesuffered,couldcontributetoherserviceof Christ(ibid.,chap.3,pars.6266,pp.11011). 103.Tss,pp.32,5354.AgnesBlannbekinofViennaspokeofdrinkinga"refreshingspiritualdrink"fromthewoundinJesus'sideseeGougaud,DAP,p.107. 104."Unterlinden,"p.440.AnothernunwasgivenawhitelambbyJohntheBaptistwhenshehadtointerruptherdevotionsandleavethechoironconventbusiness, andshereceivedtheeucharistdirectlyfromChristwhenshewasill(ibid.,pp.44950).Thissamenuninflictedgreatcrossshapedwoundsonherchestwithapiece ofwood"inordertoretainamemoryofChrist'spassion."ThenunsalsoreceivedmanyvisionsofChristasableedingyoungmanorasababy.Inoneparticularly touchingcase,awomanwhohadabandonedhertwoyoungchildren"scarcelyoutofthecradle"toenterthemonasteryhadavisionofChristasanewbornbaby cryingbeforeher(ibid.,p.403). 105.Engelthal,p.36:"Undhetichdich,ichgezdichvorrehterlieb!" 106.AdelheidLangmann,DieOffenbarungenderAdelheidLangmann,Klosterfrauzu

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Engelthal,ed.PhilippStrauch,QuellenundForschungenzurSprachundKulturgeschichtedergermanischenVlker26(Strasbourg:Trbner,1878),pp.11 12. 107.Ibid.,pp.26,47:"deinmuntsmektnochrosenunddeinleipnochviol""meinzukersezzezundmeinhonigsezzezlip,meinzarte,meinreine,dupistmeinund ichpindein."CitedbyBrowe,DieWunder,pp.10910.TheimagerycomesfromtheSongofSongs. 108.LifeofJaneMaryofMaillbyherconfessor,MartinofBoscoGualteri,chap.2,par.14,andchap.4,esp.par.28,AASSMarch,vol.3(Paris,1865),pp. 737,73940.AwitnessinthecanonizationproceedingstestifiedthatJaneMary'sbodywaslikeskinandbonesfrommortificationwhenshedied,butthenbecame beautiful(Processofcanonization,chap.2,par.14,ibid.,p.747). 109.LifeofFloraofBeaulieu,chap.2,par.24,AASSJune,vol.2(Paris,1867),app.p.46*.SeealsoC.Brunel,ed.,"VidaemiraclesdeSanctaFlor,"AB64 (1946),Vida,chap.8,pp.1920. 110.LifeofFlora,chap.2,par.25,AASSJune,vol.2,p.46*,andchap.3,par.47,p.50*,andpassim.SeealsoVida,ed.Brunel,chaps.9,19,pp.20,27. 111.LifeofFlora,chap.3,par.48,AASSJune,vol.2,p.50*ProcessofcanonizationforJaneMaryofMaill,chap.5,par.54,AASSMarch,vol.3,pp.754 55.ChristinaEbnerreceivedavisionduringmassinwhichshesuckedfromthewoundsinChrist'sdivineheartasabeesucksfromflowers(Kieckhefer,UnS,p. 173). 112.LifeofLukardis,chap.6,AB18,p.313.Cf.chap.45,p.334,wheresheexperiencestheeucharistasasweetsmell. 113.Ibid.,chap.16,pp.31819. 114.Ibid.,chap.28,p.324. 115.Ibid.,chap.29,p.324.Ontwootheroccasions(chap.19,p.320,andchap.26,p.323),wearetold,LukardisrecoveredonEasterfromacondition resemblinghystericalparalysis,inordertotaketheeucharist. 116.Ibid.,chap.14,p.317. 117.Ibid.,chap.51,pp.33738. 118.Ibid.,chap.88,p.360.OnceLukardiscomfortedthesister,hersadnessleftandshedidnotfeelitnecessarytoreturntoherconfessor. 119.Ibid.,chaps.712,pp.31315.AfteroneofthenunsaskedLukardiswhyshedidnothavethewoundsofthecrownofthorns,sheacquiredthem(ibid.,chap. 72,p.353). 120.Ibid.,chap.55,p.340.Inasimilarincident,anunataconventfivemilesawayhadavisionofChristwithasternface.Hetoldherthatheexhibitedthisstern facetoallthosewhodidnotbelieveinthemiracleshedidthroughLukardis,whomhehadsignedwithstigmata(ibid.,chap.63,p.347). 121.Gertrude,Oeuvres:vol.2:LeHraut,bk.2,chap.6,pp.25658ibid.,chap.16,pp.29096passim.SeealsoBynum,JM,p.192n.57Gertrude,Oeuvres: vol.3:LeHraut,bk.3,chaps.18,73pp.1024,302andLegatus,bk.4,chap.21,pp.36164.AnotherHelftanun,MechtildofHackeborn,receivedChrist's heartasacupatcommunionandfeltherselfurgednotonlytodrinkbutalsotoofferthesavingdrafttohersisternunsseeMechtildofHackeborn,Liberspecialis gratiae,bk.1,chap.1,pp.710. 122.MechtildofMagdeburg,Licht,bk.6,chap.36,p.210trans.Menzies,Light,p.

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199.Onthisvision,seeBynum,JM,p.237.ThereareexcerptsfromMechtild,welltranslatedbyJohnHoward,inKatharinaM.Wilson,ed.,MedievalWomen Writers(Athens,Ga.:UniversityofGeorgiaPress,1984),pp.15385. 123."Dassintdennegotessenmag"(quotedinRiehle,Mystics,p.107).SeealsoMechtildofMagdeburg,Licht,bk.2,chap.4,pp.3033,andbk.2,chap.22, p.43. 124.MechtildofMagdeburg,Licht,bk.1,chap.44,pp.2122. 125.Ibid.,bk.5,chap.8,p.136trans.Menzies,Light,p.133.SeealsoMechtildofMagdeburg,Licht,bk.3,chap.10,p.72andBynum,JM,p.236. 126."Unterlinden,"chap.5,pp.34142.Thedescriptionalsoreferstoflagellationandotherausterities. 127.ViedeDouceline,chap.9,pp.8591,onherecstasieschap.10,pp.13334,ontastingGodinthetabernaclechaps.6,9,pp.57,71,101,105onher inabilitytoeat.InDouceline'scase,thenoteating,thefearoftouch,andtheecstasieswerealsopreparationforhealingmiracles.Forafoodmultiplicationmiracleby thesaint,seeibid.,chap.12,p.183. 128.LifeofJaneMary,AASSMarch,vol.3,pp.73444andProcessofcanonization,pp.74462passim.LifeofJaneMary(chap.2,par.13,p.736)contains thestoryoftheangel,whoisidentifiedassuchbytheeditorsofthevitabutnotinthetext. 129.ForaccountsofAlpas,seeabove,chap.3n.77. 130.Seeabove,epigraphtochap.3. 131.LifeofAlpas,bk.4,chap.2,AASSNovember,vol.2,pt.1,p.200.Onhereatingdifficulties,seealsobk.2,chap.1,pp.18283. 132.AtleasttwiceAlpassawthedevilinavisionasadoctorofferingmedicine.Hetoldherthatifshewouldtakeit"likeordinarywomen"shewouldbecuredand wouldbeabletoeatordinaryfood(seeibid.,bk.3,chap.4,pp.19697,andbk.4,chap.1,p.198). 133.See,forexample,theaccountinthechronicleofRobertofAuxerre(AASSNovember,vol.2,pt.1,p.167),whichemphasizestheemptinessofAlpas's intestines,andtheaccountbyRalphCoggeshall(ibid.,p.168),whichstressesproofofherinedia. 134.Addenda,chap.4,AASSNovember,vol.2,pt.1,p.208. 135.SeethediscussionsofColumbaofRietiandCatherineofSienabelow,pp.147and16770.TheclearestcaseoffoodstealingbyamiraculousfasterisElsbet Achler.Elsbet'svitaiseditedbyKarlBihlmeyerin"DieSchwbischeMystikerinElsbethAchlervonReute(&dagger1420)unddieberlieferungihrerVita,"in GeorgBaeseckeandFerdinandJosephSchneider,eds.,FestgabePhilippStrauchzum80.Geburtstagam23.September1932,HermaeaAusgewhlteArbeiten ausdemDeutschenSeminarzuHalle31(Halle:Niemeyer,1932),pp.88109andbyAntonBirlingerin"LebenheiligeralemannischerFrauendesXIVXV Jahrhunderts,1:DiterstBchlynistvonderSeligenKlusenerynvonRthy,diegenantwazElizabeth,"Alemannia9(1881):27592.SeealsoC.Schmitt,"Elisabeth deReute,"DHGE,vol.15(1963),cols.22021.Proddedbyherconfessorintoadolescentselfrighteousness,Elsbetbecamearecluseafterconflictwithherparents, whodisownedher.Givenpermissionbothbyherconfessorhagiographerandbyanelderlyfemalerecluse,Elsbetpassedthreeyears"withouteating."Ifweread betweenthelinesofhervita,itseemslikelythatshebecameacompulsivesecreteater,vomitingupstolenfood.Asisterwhoworkedinthekitchenevenjoked,when meatdisappeared:

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"Itwasstolenbythecatwithtwolegs."Severalincidentssuggestsurreptitiousgorging.Wearetold,forexample,thatthedevildisguisedhimselfasherspiritual motherandgaveherfoodthatmadeherviolentlyill.Onanotheroccasionthedevilsupposedlyhidmeatandsaltunderherbed,makingitlookasifshehad secretedthemthere(seeesp.LifeofElsbetinBirlinger,"KlusenerynvonRthy,"p.280). 136.ThebasictextsareinHuyskens,Quellenstudien.SeeAnceletHustache,Elisabeth,pp.1729,andPaulG.Schmidt,"Diezeitgenssischeberlieferungzum LebenundzurHeiligsprechungderheiligenElisabeth,"inUniversityofMarburg,SanktElisabeth,pp.16.ForanexcellentsurveyofthebackgroundtoElizabeth's experience,seeKasparElm,"DieStellungderFrau,"pp.728. 137.AnceletHustache,Elisabeth,passim,esp.pp.2016,31418andMattiasWerner,"DieheiligeElisabethundKonradvonMarburg,"inUniversityof Marburg,SanktElisabeth,pp.4569.ItwasConradwhoorderedhernottoeatfoodgainedbyexploitationofthepoorattimeshealso,tobreakherwill,forbade hertodistributealmsorbread. 138.Seethedepositionsof1235inHuyskens,Quellenstudien,pp.11240,esp.pp.11516,11921,12729,137andConradofMarburg'sletter(1233) concerningherlife,inibid.,pp.15560. 139.Huyskens,Quellenstudien,pp.5152.Elizabeth,NicholasofMyra,andCatherineofAlexandriawerethethreemostfamousmyroblytes(oilexudingsaints).It isalsoworthnotingthatawomandreamedofoilflowingfromDoucelineofMarseilles,althoughDoucelinedidnotactuallybecomeamyroblyteseeViede Douceline,p.131. 140.Huyskens,Quellenstudien,p.70n.3andseebelow,chap.7n.13. 141.GarinofGuyl'Evque,LifeofMargaretofHungary(writtenin1340),chap.4,AASSJanuary,vol.3(Paris,1866),p.518.SeealsoProcessofcanonizationof 1276inVilmosFrakni,ed.,MonumentaRomanaepiscopatusvesprimiensis(11031526),vol.1(Budapest:CollegiumHistoricorumHungarorumRomanum, 1896),pp.214,220,247. 142.LifeofMargaretofHungary,chaps.14,pp.51618Processofcanonization,ed.Frakni,passim,esp.pp.16768,219,240. 143.LifeofMargaretofHungary,chap.3,p.517Processofcanonization,ed.Frakni,p.227. 144.Processofcanonization,ed.Frakni,p.171LifeofMargaretofHungarychap.3,p.517.Onesisterdeposed(ed.Frakni,p.263)thatMargaretgaveher foodtoothersandrose,fasting,fromthetable. 145.LifeofMargaretofHungary,chap.3,p.517. 146.Ibid.,chap.1,p.516Processofcanonization,ed.Frakni,pp.213,260,264. 147.Inoneveryinterestingdeposition,asisterclaimedthatshewashealedfromaseriousillnesswhenMargaretappearedbyherbedandsaid,"Getup,sister,and eatsomething."ShealsoclaimedtohavebenefitedwhenwashwaterfromMargaret'shairwasplacedinhermouth(Processofcanonization,ed.Frakni,pp.237 38).Cf.ibid.,pp.267,288,whichsuggeststhatwaterfromMargaret'shairwasregularlyusedforhealing.Itsefficacymayhavebeenperceivedasderivedfromthe factthatMargaretrefusedtowasheitherherhairorherbodyfrequently,saying"Iwantthewormstopunishmybody"(ibid.,p.266). 148.Seeabove,chap.3n.106.ForadiscussionofthevoluminousmaterialonDor

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othy,perhapsthebestdocumentedsaintofthethirteenthandfourteenthcenturies,seeKieckhefer,UnS,p.210n.2. 149.SeeJohnMarienwerder,VitaLindana,chap.1,par.15chap.2,par.44chap.3,par.72andchap.4passim,AASSOctober,vol.13,pp.505,515,527, 53543JohnMarienwerder,Vitalatina,ed.Westpfahl,bk.5,chaps.1621,pp.23645. 150.SeeRichardStachniketal.,eds.,AktendesKanonisationsprozessesDorotheasvonMontauvon1394bis1521,ForschungenundQuellenzurKirchenund KulturgeschichteOstdeutschlands15(Cologne:Bhlau,1978),pp.214,277andJohnMarienwerder,Vitalatina,ed.Westpfahl,bk.6,chap.21,pp.31820.I havebeeninfluencedbyafineunpublishedpaper(''ACultoftheMaternal:DorothyofPrussia[134794],")byStephenP.BenschoftheUniversityofCaliforniaat Berkeley.BenschstressesnotonlyDorothy'sspiritualpregnancybutalsotheimportanceofpregnancyandbirthingasimagestoher. 151.JohnMarienwerder,VitaLindana,chap.2,par.40,andchap.3,par.69,AASSOctober,vol.13,pp.514,52526. 152.Ibid.,chap.3,par.63,p.523.Forafullerdiscussion,seeKieckhefer,UnS,pp.2728. 153.SeptililiumB.Dorotheae,treatise3:Deeucharistia,chaps.2526,AB3,pp.43941. 154.Ibid.,chap.6,p.418. 155.Ibid.,chap.3,pp.41011. 156.Ibid.,chap.10,p.425.ChristclearlyunderstoodDorothy.Hetoldher,"Idon'twantyoutoabstain,forifyouabstainyouwilljustbemoreanxiousthanbefore." Onherfrenzyfortheeucharistatdeath,seeJohnMarienwerder,Vitalatina,ed.Westpfahl,bk.7,chaps.2627,pp.36468. 157.AASSMarch,vol.1(Paris,1865),givesaLatintranslationofthevitaebyPeterofVaux(pp.53888),andPetrinaofBalme(pp.600618).Ihavebeen unabletoconsultUbaldd'Alenon,LesViesdeSteColetteBoyletdeCorbie...critesparsescontemporainsleP.PierredeReims,ditdeVaux,etSoeur PerrinedelaRocheetdeBaume,Archivesfranciscaines4(Paris:Picard,1911). 158.Inneithercase,forexample,istheclaimtostigmatawelldocumented. 159.PeterofVaux,LifeofColette,chap.17,par.166,p.573. 160.TherearealsoparallelsbetweenColetteandanotherexactcontemporary,ElsbetAchler,whodiedin1420attheageofthirtyfour(seeabove,n.135).After Elsbet'sthreeyearsoftotalfast,shewasunabletokeepfoodinherstomach.Asshebecamesickandbedridden,herbodybrokeoutinsoresthatparalleledChrist's wounds.ThewoundsoozedbloodeveryFriday.SeeLifeofElsbetinBirlinger,"KlusenerynvonRthy,"pp.28183. 161.Colette'sexhortationisinapp.2toE.SainteMariePerrin,LaBelleViedesainteColettedeCorbie(13811447)(Paris:Plon,1921),pp.27477.Abrief letterofColette'sisinibid.,pp.27374. 162.PeterofVaux,LifeofColette,chap.13,pp.56365seealsochap.11,par.105,p.562,andchap.17,par.166,p.573. 163.Ibid.,chap.20("Demiraculis"),par.232,p.584,andchap.11,par.104,p.562.Seealsochap.20,addenda,par.257,p.587. 164.Ontheleper,seeibid.,chap.20,par.228,p.584.OntheVirgin'skiss,which

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curedColetteofseverepaininthetongue,seechap.14,par.127,pp.56667.Onthesicknun'svision,seechap.20,par.227,p.584. 165.Ibid.,chap.20,par.233,p.584. 166.Ibid.,chap.17,par.175,p.575. 167.AccountofmiraclesperformedafterherdeathintheconventofGhent,pars.810,AASSMarch,vol.1,pp.59394. 168.PeterofVaux,LifeofColette,chap.9,par.61,pp.55455.PetertellsusthatbadsmellsbotheredColettegreatlybecauseofherpurity,butthatsheborethem patiently,asChristhaddone.Healsotellsusthatshewentforayearwithoutsleep(chap.17,p.573)andwasgreatlyafflictedbyheatandcold(chap.14,par.123, pp.56566). 169.Ibid.,chap.12,pp.56263PetrinaofBalme,LifeofColette,chap.6,pars.6162,p.612. 170.SeePeterofVaux,LifeofColette,chap.12,pars.109,113,pp.56563andUbaldd'Alenon,Miniaturesetdocumentsartistiquesdumoyengerelatifs SainteColettedeCorbie,Archivesfranciscaines5(Paris:Picard,1912),plate13(reproducedaboveasplate11c).Forapaintingwithasimilariconographic motif,seePeterMeller,"LaBeataColombadaRietiinunDipintodiBernardinodiMariotto,"AntichitViva2.910(1963):2430. 171.PeterofVaux,LifeofColette,chap.10,par.84,p.558. 172.Ibid.,chap.11,pp.56062PetrinaofBalme,LifeofColette,chap.4,pars.38,42,pp.6078. 173.Seeabove,n.121. 174.ForGherardesca'svisionsconcerningtheeucharist,seeLifeofGherardescaofPisa,chap.3,par.27chap.4,par.36andchap.6,par.57,AASSMay,vol.7 (Paris,1867),pp.16667,169,173.HerhagiographerreportsavisionofwaterflowingfromChrist'sbreast(chap.7,par.66,p.175).Thereisonevisionthat stressesbloodandmouths(chap.6,par.56,p.173):GherardescawantedtopullthenailfromChrist'sbleedingfootwithherteethandputitintoherownbody.For Umilt'seucharisticpiety,whichisnotmuchemphasized,seeLifeofUmiltofFaenza,chap.1,par.10,AASSMay,vol.5(Paris,1866),pp.2089.Her hagiographerreportsthathercellwasconstructedsothatshecouldlookintothechurchandseeandreceivethesacrament.WefindanemphasisonseeingChristin thepatheticlifeoftheblindgirlMargaretofCittdiCastello,whosupposedly"saw"Christincarnatequiteclearly(asababywithhisparents)wheneverthehostwas elevatedseehervita,chap.6,AB19(1900),p.26AASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),p.191andM.H.Laurent,"LaPlusAncienneLgendedelaB.Marguerite deCittdiCastello,"ArchivumFratrumPraedicatorum10(1940):12526. 175.OnColumba,seebelow,pp.14648CatherineofSienaandCatherineofGenoaaretreatedinchapter5below.ThelivesandthefoodpracticesofMargaret ofCortonaandAngelaofFolignohavenowbeentreatedinmuchgreaterdetailthanIattemptherebyRudolphBellinHolyAnorexia(Chicago:Universityof ChicagoPress,1985).HistreatmentofItalianwomenisfullerthanmineandinsomecasesbasedoneditionsnotavailabletomeIreferreaderstoit.Idiscussthe differencesbetweenBell'smethodandmineinchap.6,below. 176.LifeofMargaretofCortona,byherconfessor,JunctaBevegnati,AASSFebruary,vol.3,pp.30463,esp.chap.7,pp.33845.Inansweringherneedfor reassurance,

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Christsupposedlysaidtoher(chap.4,par.63,p.315):"Tuesfiliamea,quiamihiobedis:tuessponsamea,quiamesolumdiligis:tuesmatermea,quiavolutatem Patrismei,inquantumviressufficiunt,imples."SouncertainwasMargaretthatshefearedevenhereucharisticcravingmightoffendChrist(seechap.4,par.65,p. 316):"Etquiafervoremsaepecommunicandipraereverentiailliusinaccessibilislucisinterponerenecretardarevalebat,dixit:Offendote,Dominemi,inillasiti avidissima,quamdefrequenticommunioneCorporisetSanguinistuiconcepi.ResponditDominusdicens:...valdemihideipsaplaces."AngelaofFolignoalso fearedcommunionseeAngeloofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudry,par.63,p.126. 177.LifeofMargaretofCortona,chap.7,par.179,p.340. 178.Inibid.,chap.7,par.187,p.341,Margaretseesavisionofapriestwithblack(i.e.,sinful)handsholdingababyboy.Inpar.197,p.343,sherecognizesan unconsecratedhostbecauseshefeelsnosweetnessuponreceiving. 179.Ibid.,chap.5,par.135,p.330,andpar.106,p.325,respectively. 180.Ibid.,chap.7passim,esp.pp.339,342,345.OnMargaretseealsoJohnMoorman,AHistoryoftheFranciscanOrderfromItsOriginstotheYear1517 (Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1968),p.223FatherCuthbert,ATuscanPenitent:TheLifeandLegendofMargaretofCortona(London:BurnsandOates, n.d.)andthesomewhatfullerversionofJunctaBevegnati'sLifeofMargaretgiveninLodovicodaPelago,ed.,LeggendadellavitaedeimiracolidiS.Margherita diCortonascrittainlingualatinadaldileiconfessoreFr.GiuntaBevegnati...etraduzioneItaliana...(Rome:TipografiaMonaldi,1858). 181.AngelaofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudry,par.80,p.166seealsoAngelaofFoligno,L'AutobiografiaegliscrittidellabeataAngeladaFoligno,ed.and trans.M.FalociPulignaniandMariaC.Humani(CittdiCastello:"IlSolco,"1932),pp.14042.Adifferentversionofthepassageisfoundinpar.118oftheLifeof AngelaofFolignoinAASSJanuary,vol.1(Paris,1863)p.205.Inpar.50(pp.9094oftheFerrandBaudryedition),Angeladescribesherecstasyatthe elevationofthehostandsaysthatherjointsbecameunstrung(cf.LifeofAngela,AASS,p.205).Inpar.41(FerrandBaudryedition,pp.6466),sheexplainshow shesawChristinthehostandwasunabletokneel.Sogreatwasherdelightthatshedidnotknowwhethersheranforwardorremainedstill(cf.LifeofAngela, AASS,p.204).Pars.16671(FerrandBaudryedition,pp.38092)givewhatpurportstobeAngela'steachingontheeucharist,preservedinItalian(Angela'sown language)intheAssisiandSubiacomanuscriptsbutpresentedinascholasticmodeunlikelytobehers.Thepassagestressestherealpresenceofthephysicalhuman Christandrefersseveraltimestothepowerofthehandsofthepriest.Pars.11316(FerrandBaudryedition,pp.22426)reportmoreeucharisticvisions.Thereis nocriticaleditionofAngela'swritings,whichshedictatedtoherconfessorbutwhichoftenseemtoretainherownwords.IhaveusedtheFerrandBaudryandthe PulignaniandHumanieditions.TheAASSeditionisunreliable,butwheretherelevantpassagesarepresent,Ihavegivenreferencestothemtoaidreaderswhodonot haveaccesstotherarereditions.IhavebeenunabletoconsulttheeditionbyPaulDoncoeur,LeLivredelaBienheureuseAngledeFoligno:TexteLatin(Paris: ArtCatholique,1925).MaryG.SteegmanhaspublishedanextremelymisleadingEnglishtranslationofasixteenthcenturyItaliantranslationofAngela'slife,titledThe BookofDivineConsolationoftheBlessedAngelaofFoligno(repr.ed.,NewYork:CooperSquarePublishers,1966).

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182.Par.135,ed.FerrandBaudry,pp.29094(cf.LifeofAngela,par.127,AASS,p.206)seealsopar.147,FerrandBaudryed.,pp.32022andpars.51 52,ibid.,pp.96102.AfragmentcitedinthePulignaniandHumaniedition(par.204[3],pp.33032)says:"Deushabensamoremevisceratumanimae,datei blanditias,idestdulcedines,sentimentaethuiusmodi,quaeegovocoblanditias,quasanimanondeberetappetere:nontamensuntspernendaequiafaciuntanimam currere,etsuntcibuseius:etexhiisanimaascenditadamandumDeum,etinnititurtransformariinAmatum"(emphasisadded). 183.Par.17,ed.FerrandBaudry,p.16:"ettunc[Christus]vocavitmeetdixitmichiquodegoponeremosmeuminplagamlaterissui.Etvidebaturmichiquodego videremetbiberemsanguinemejusfluentemrecenterexlateresuo....EtrogaviDominumquodfaceretmetotumsanguinemmeumpropteramoremsuum,sicut feceretipseprome,spargere.Etdisposuimepropteramoremsuumquodvolebamquodomniamembrameapaterenturmortemaliampassionesua,scilicetmagis vilem."Cf.PulignaniandHumaniedition,p.16,andpar.28,AASS,p.189.Seealsopar.66,FerrandBaudryedition,p.138:"EttotaletitiaestmodoinistoDeo hominepassionato.Etaliquandovideturanime,quodcumtantaletitiaetdelectationeintretintusinilludlatusChristietcumtantaletitiavaditintusinlatusChristi,quod nullomodopossetdicivelnarrari." 184.LifeofAldaofSiena,chap.2,par.21,AASSApril,vol.3(Paris,1866),p.474.Inanotherincident,whichrevealsasimilardevotiontoChrist'sblood,Alda sawapriestspilladropof"thesacredbloodofChrist"ontothepaten.Whenshescreamedouttohim,"Lickitup,"itbegantoglowandcuredaneyeinfectionshe hadsufferedfrom(chap.2,par.15,p.474).Forothereucharisticecstasiesseechap.2,par.14,p.474.(TheLatintextinAASSistranslatedfromasixteenth centuryItalianlifebasedonthirteenthcenturydocuments.) 185.LifeofMargaretofCortona,chaps.23,AASSFebruary,vol.3,pp.30513.Seeesp.chap.3,par.51,whereMargaret'sconfessorquotesherassaying: "Patermi,cumfoeduspacisinteranimammeametcorpushabituranonsim,necunquamsibiparcerevelim,sinatismesineciborummutationeipsumatterere,quiatoto temporevitaemeae,donecdeficiat,nonquiescam:necipsumcredatisitamortificatumetdebile,utapparet:quiahocagit,utextinguamdebitum,quodcontraxitin seculo,dumvacavitdelicisetvoluptatibussuis." 186.Ibid.,chap.5,par.82,pp.31920.Therearemanyotherexamplesofsuchbehavior.UmiltofFaenzaateonlyonemealadayandlimitedthattowaterand threeouncesofbread(LifeofUmilt,chap.1,par.11,AASSMay,vol.5,p.209).(Onfeastdayssheexpandedherdiettoincludeafewcookedbitterherbs.) AgnesofMontepulcianodeprivedherselfoffoodandsleepforyearsandreceivedcommunionfromanangel(seeRaymondofCapua,LifeofAgnesof Montepulciano,chap.2,par.17chap.3,par.26andchap.6,par.54,AASSApril,vol.2[Paris,1865],pp.793,795,801).AldaofSienaateonlyonceaday, sometimestakingonlygrassesandbeansandabstainingevenfrombreadshedrankonlywater.OnFridaysshesometimesateonlyvinegarandgallormyrrhto imitateChrist.Herbiographerattributesthisasceticismtoremorseforsexualtemptation.SeeLifeofAlda,chap.2,pars.1012,p.473.ClareofMontefalco(d. 1308)carriedoutprolongedfasts(seeVauchez,LaSaintet,p.405).MargaretofCittdiCastelloalsopunishedherselfwithfasts(seeLifeofMargaretofCitt

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diCastello,chap.2,AB19,p.24andLaurent,"LgendedelaB.Marguerite,"p.121).AndseeLifeofGherardesca,chap.1,par.2,AASSMay,vol.7,p. 162. 187.LifeofVillanade'Botti,chap.1,pars.3,8,AASSAugust,vol.5(Paris,1868),pp.86566.Shesupposedlysaidtoherconfessor:"EgocumepistolasPauli lego,autdivinisassistoeloquiis,mentesicreficior,utomnisillicodiffugiatcibicorporalisappetitus:itaChristicrucifiximeditationeabsorbeor,utnullaomninosit asperitastamdura,quaenonmihiamoenissimavideatur."SeealsoStefanoOrlandi,LaBeataVillana,terziariadomenicanafiorentinadelsec.XIV(Florence:"Il Rosario,"1955).Andcf.AngelaofFoligno,par.21,ed.FerrandBaudry,p.24(LifeofAngela,par.34,AASS,p.190). 188.NocontemporaryvitaofRitasurvives.SeeLifeofRitaofCascia,AASSMay,vol.5(Paris,1866),pp.22628. 189.LifeofClareGambacortaofPisa,chap.1,par.3,AASSApril,vol.2(Paris,1865),p.507.Clareimposedsuchstrictfastingonherselfthatsherefusedfruit evenwhenitwasinabundantsupply(ibid.,par.5,p.507)sheatethegarbageleftoverfrommealsand,likeFrancis,sprinkledashesonherfood(ibid.,chap.2,par. 21,p.510).Clare'svitawaswrittenbyasisterofherconvent. 190.ForeditionsofAngela'sbook,seeabove,n.181.WeknowfewdetailsofAngela'sbiographysheseemstohaveundergoneaconversionataboutageforty afteralifeasamarriedwomanandmother.SeeM.J.Ferr,"LesPrincipalesDatesdelavied'AngledeFoligno,"Revued'histoirefranciscaine2(1925):2134 PaulDoncoeur,"AngledeFoligno(Bienheureuse),"DS,vol.1(1932),cols.57071Dronke,WW,pp.21517andchap.7n.11,below. 191.Thirdletter,inAngelaofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudry,pp.49498:"Istaestquedamhumilitasinquasuminabyssata....Setgaudebamimaginarialiquem modumuteassimulationesetiniquitatesetpeccatameapossemmanifestare.Etvellemireperplateasetcivitatesnuda,etappendereadcollummeumpiscesetcarnes dicendo:'Hecestillavilissimamulier.'"Seealsoibid.,par.101,p.200,whereAngeladescribesaperiodduringwhichshewastorturedbyfeelingsofunworthiness andwasunabletoeat. 192.SeeAngelaofFoligno,par.21,ed.FerrandBaudry,p.24,andpar.108,p.218. 193.Seeabove,chap.3n.92. 194.Thirdletter,inAngelaofFoligno,ed.FerrandBaudry,p.498. 195.Seeibid.,par.180,pp.41820,andpar.35,p.54. 196.Seeibid.,par.35,pp.5254:AngelawishedtoremainwithChristinecstasybuthewithdrew,andshefeltterriblepain.Sohegaveherasignofhislovethe crosswhichshefeltbothinherbodyasarealcrossandinhersoul.Seealsothepassagescitedinnn.18182above. 197.Ibid.,par.66,pp.13840.ButAngelaalsostressesChrist'ssufferingseeibid.,pars.12729,pp.25060par.140,pp.31214andpar.179,pp.41216. 198.Ibid.,par.151,p.326. 199.Ibid.,par.53,pp.1046seealsoPulignaniandHumaniedition,pp.9092andLifeofAngela,par.137,AASS,p.208. 200.AngelaofFoligno,par.53,ed.FerrandBaudry,p.106:"etbibimusdeillalotura.Ettantamdulcedinemsensimusquodpertotamviamvenimusinmagna suavitateacsicommunicavissemus.Etvidebaturmichirectequodegocommunicassemquia

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sauvitatemmaximamsentiebam,sicutsicummunicassem[sic].Etquiaquedamscarpulaillarumplagarumeratinterpositaingutture,egoconabaradglutiendum eam,etreprehendebatmeconscientiaexpueresicutsicommunicassem,quamvisnonexpueremadej[i]ciendumsetaddeponendumeamdegutture."Theshock valueofsuchbehaviormayhavebeenincreasedbythefactthateatingblood,scabs,etc.,wastabooseeBurchardofWorms,Decretum,bk.19,chaps.84,91, PL140,cols.10023. 201.See,forexample,LifeofMargaretofCortona,chap.9,par.226,241,AASSFebruary,vol.3,pp.349,352. 202.Seeabove,n.178,andLifeofMargaretofCortona,chap.9,AASS,pp.34956. 203.LifeofMargaretofCortona,chap.7,par.190,AASS,p.342.ChristcalledMargareta"motherofsinners"anda"ladderforsinners":''CuiChristusdixit: 'Scalampeccatorumtefeci,utperexemplavitaetuaepergantadme.'EtMargaritarespondit:'Inquovirtutisexemplopeccatoresimitarimepossunt?'EtDominusad eam:'Imitabunturabstinentiastuas,jejuniatua,humilitatem,ettribulationes,quasamoremeialacriterrecepisti.'" 204.LifeofUmilt,chap.3,par.24,AASSMay,vol.5,pp.21213.Accordingtothehagiographer,piecesofaloafofbreadmultipliedinthenuns'mouthsafter Umiltblessedit,andmorepieceswereleftoverthanhadoriginallybeenplacedinfrontofthesisters. 205.JohnofFaenza,RevelationsandMiraclesofMargaretofFaenza,chap.2,par.7(xiixiii),AASSAugust,vol.5(Paris,1868),p.853.BothvitaeofMargaret usefoodmetaphorstodescribeherecstasies.John(Revelations,chap.1,par.3[v],p.852)describesJesustouchinghertonguewiththekissofpeace.Inthevitaby PetertheFlorentine(chap.2,pars.810[xiixiv],p.849),sheisdescribedasreceivinginvisiblestigmata. 206.LifeofAlda,chap.2,par.16,p.474,andchap.3,pp.47476. 207.RaymondofCapua,LifeofAgnesofMontepulciano,chap.2,pars.1718,andchap.6,pars.5657,pp.79394,8012.OnRaymond'sdescriptionofAgnes inhisLifeofCatherineofSiena,seechap.5n.68,below. 208.RaymondofCapua,LifeofAgnesofMontepulciano,chap.3chap.4,par.38andchap.7,pars.6061,pp.79598,802. 209.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.149,pp.42829seealsoLetter58,inCatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1(1913),pp.265 67,whichdiscussesAgnesasanexampletoothernuns. 210.RaymondofCapua,LifeofAgnesofMontepulciano,chap.9,pars.7881,p.806. 211.OnRitaseeabove,n.188. 212.LifeofMargaretofCittdiCastello,chap.8,AB19,pp.2728seealsoM.H.Laurent,"LgendedelaB.Marguerite,"pp.12728.Itisinterestingtonote thatthenailAldaofSienahadcarvedasadevotionalobjectsupposedlyexudedsapthreehundredyearsafteritwascarved(LifeofAlda,chap.2,par.17,p.474). 213.LifeofRoseofViterbo,AASSSeptember,vol.2(Paris,1868),pp.43339.ForarecentcriticalexaminationofRose'slife,seeGiuseppeAbate,"S.Rosada Viterbo,terziariaFrancescana(12331251):Fontistorichedellavitaelororevisionecritica,"MiscellaneaFrancescana52,fasc.12(JanuaryJune1952):112 278.ThevitainAASS,

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composedtwocenturiesafterRose'sdeathaspartoftheProcessofcanonization,isacompendiumoffeedingthemesborrowedinsomeinstancesexplicitly fromthelivesofothersaints.OflittlevalueasasourceofinformationaboutRoseherself,itisanimportantindexoffifteenthcenturysensibility.Wearetoldthat babyRosefastedfromthebreastfortwodayseachweek(likeNicholasofMyra),thatwhilestillachild,shebegantomacerateherbodyinseverefastsinorder togivefoodtothepoor,thatthebreadinherapronturned(likeElizabethofHungary's)intoroseswhenherfatheraccusedherofwastingfamilygoods,thatshe fedthebirdswithherownhands(likeFrancisofAssisi),andthatherbody(likeElizabeth'sandAgnes's)producedmanna.Seealsoplates8and9. 214.IntheLifeofColumbaofRietibyherconfessor,SebastianPerusinus(chap.13,par.128,AASSMay,vol.5,p.190*),Sebastiandrawsparallelsnotonly betweenColumbaandCatherineofSienawhomshewasobviouslyawareofimitating(seeibid.,chap.1,par.8,p.155*)butalsobetweenColumbaand MargaretofHungary,AgnesofMontepulciano,JoanofOrvieto,andMargaretofCittdiCastello.Allthewomen,hesays,experiencedecstasiesinwhichtheyleft theirsenses,levitated,andmirroredintheirbodiesthePassionofChrist,withtheirarmsstretchedoutandtheirnecksextended.OnJoanofOrvieto,seeAntonino Silli,"Giovanna(Vanna)diOrvieto,"BS,vol.6(1965),cols.55657.OnCatherineofSienaasmodel,seeabove,chap.3n.76. 215.LifeofColumbaofRieti,chap.1,par.1,p.153*,andpar.6,p.154*.Herhagiographersays:"TemporeauteminfantilisinnocentiaepiaColumba,Spiritus Sanctidonasortita,adversumcarnemindicitbellum,etpugnumaggreditur."OnColumba,seealsoBaleoneusAstur[AstorreBaglioni],ColombadaRieti:"La secondaCaterinadaSiena"14671501(Rome:EdizioniCateriniane,1967),whichusesavernacularversionofSebastian'slifeofColumba. 216.SebastianPerusinus,LifeofColumba,chap.1,par.7,p.154*.TheexcerptsfromtheProcessofcanonization(par.2,AASSMay,vol.5[Paris,1866],p. 223*)alsoemphasizeherpenitence,herextendedabstinence,andhereucharisticfervor. 217.LifeofColumbaofRieti,chaps.14,pp.153*61*.Itisinterestingtonotethatthehagiographersaysthestruggleturnedhermotherintoa"harshmotherin law"andleftColumba"anorphan"(par.14,p.157*). 218.Ibid.,chap.2,pars.10,12,p.156*. 219.Ibid.,chap.4,par.27,p.161*. 220.Ibid.,par.28,p.161*. 221.Ibid.,chap.17,par.162,p.200*. 222.Ibid.,chap.4,pars.2122,p.159*:herhagiographerpointsoutthatshetriedtogiveupallfoodbutgreenfruit,breadandwater(andsometimesevenbread), butsheyearnedavidlyfor"thattruebread,theeucharist,"whichsustainscelibacy,comfortsthesoul,excitesustowar,repelsdemons,andgivesusaforetasteof glory.Seealsochap.5,pp.162*64*,andchap.13,par.119,p.187*. 223.Ibid.,chap.20,par.189,p.208*. 224.Ibid.,chap.5,par.31,p.162*.Seealsochap.3,pars.1920,p.159*. 225.Ibid.,chap.5,par.31,p.162*.Seealsochap.20,pars.18789,p.208*. 226.Ibid.,chap.5,par.32,p.162*. 227.Ibid.,chap.13,pp.186*90*,andchap.15,pars.15152,p.197*.

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228.Ibid.,chap.8,par.71,p.171*. 229.Ibid.,chap.12,par.110,p.184*andchap.20,pars.191ff.,pp.209*12*. 230.Ibid.,chap.17,par.163,p.200*andchap.7,pars.49and51,p.167*. 231.Ibid.,chap.13,par.122,p.188*. 232.Ibid.,chap.22,par.217,p.217*. 5 FoodintheWritingsofWomenMystics 1.Seeabove,chap.2nn.13840,151,155. 2.SeeRiehle,Mystics,pp.10410andpassim.Riehlesays(pp.10910):"Forthemysticaffectivecontemplationimpliesreceivingwisdomandsavouringdivinelove atthesametime.Theideaofknowledgeandwisdomwhicharesensualandwhichcanbesavouredwaswidelyacceptedandcompletelytakenforgranteduntilthe seventeenthcentury,andissomethingwhichwetoday,whoaresousedtotheideaofthe'dissociationofsensibility'touseEliot'sfamousphrasehavelongsince lost."Forausefulwarningagainstreadingliteraryimagesasdirectevidenceoflifesituation,seeLillianHerlandsHornstein,"AnalysisofImagery:ACritiqueofLiterary Method,"PublicationsoftheModernLanguageAssociationofAmerica57.3(1942):63853. 3.WilliamofSt.Thierry,Denaturaetdignitateamoris,chap.10,par.31,PL184,col.399:"Haecest,inquit,vitaaeterna,utcognoscanttesolumverum Deum...(John17:3).Beatascientia,inquacontineturvitaaeterna.Vitaistaexillogustuest,quiagustare,hocestintelligere.Exhocgustuperhuncsaporeminhac sapientiaminimusilleApostolorumsatiatus,exhilaratus,confirmatus,Mihi,inquit,...dataesthaecgratia...(Ephes.3:818)."Andseeabove,chap.2atnn.146 47. 4.SeeBynum,JM,pp.186209,esp.p.200n.91. 5.SeeRiehle,Mystics,passim,andabove,pp.10212. 6.RosemaryHerde,"DasHoheliedinderlateinischenLiteraturdesMittelaltersbiszum12.Jahrhundert,"Studimedievali3.8.2(1967):9571073JeanLeclercq, MonksandLoveinTwelfthCenturyFrance:PsychoHistoricalEssays(Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,1979). 7.SeeBynum,JM,pp.17074. 8.Forexceptions,seebelow,chap.10nn.3638. 9.ThereisverylittlegoodrecentworkonHadewijchexceptinDutch.ThebestdiscussionsinotherlanguagesareJ.VanMierlo,"Hadewijch,unemystiqueflamande du13esicle,"Revued'asctiqueetdemystique5(1924):26989,380404Porion,"Hadewijch,"DS,vol.7,cols.1323PaulMommaers,Preface,and ColumbaHart,introductiontoHart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.xiii42.ForrecentDutchbibliography,seeHart,Hadewijch:Works,andJ.Reynaert,DeBeeldspraak vanHadewijch,Studinentekstuitgavenvanonsgeestelijkerf21(Tielt:RuusbroecGenootschap,1981). 10.SeeLetter17inHart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.8284. 11.Letter15inHart,Hadewijch:Works,11.7581,p.79:"Thefourthpoint[ofninepointsforthepilgrimtravelingtowardGod]is:Youmustkeepyourselffrom gluttony,

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thatis,fromanyworldlyselfsatisfaction:letnothingoutsideofGodeversufficeyouorhaveanytasteforyou,beforeyouhavetastedhowwonderfullysweetheis (Ps.33:9).Oh,rememberthis,andbearitalwaysinmind:Whateveranyonetakespleasurein,otherthanGodAlone,isallgluttony."SeeHadewijch,Brieven,ed. JanVanMierlo,vol.1(Antwerp:N.V.StandaardBoekhandel,1947),p.127.Hadewijchclearlyusesgluttonyprimarilymetaphorically. 12.Hart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.263305.Vision1comeswhenthesacramentisbroughttoherbedsidevision3comesafterreception(Hadewijch'scharacteristic wayofexpressingthisis"IhadgonetoGod")vision4comesatmass,duringtheepistlevision6comesasshefeelsgreatdesiretoreceiveinvision7she experiencesfullphysicalunionwithChristwhenhegiveshercommunioninbothkindsinavision(thevision,however,comesatMatins)vision12comesduringmass. 13.Forrecentdebateoverwhatexactlyminne(love)meanstoHadewijch,seeNorbertDePaepe,HadewijchStrofischeGedichten:Eenstudievandeminnein hetkaderder12een13eeeuwsemystiekenprofaneminnelyriek(Ghent:KoninklijkeVlaamseAcademie,1967),andHart,IntroductiontoHart,Hadewijch: Works,p.8.Forimagesoftasting,hungering,andinnersweetnessinHadewijch,seeReynaert,Beeldspraak,pp.20220. 14.SeeReynaert,Beeldspraak,pp.20810,andMommaers,Preface,inHart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.xxiiixiv.Mommaers'stranslationdifferssomewhatfrom Hart'sseeibid.,p.303.Forthetext,seePaulMommaers,ed.,DeVisioenenvanHadewijch:Middelnederlandsetekst...,Spiritualiteit15,supplement (Nijmegen:B.Gottmer,1979),vision14,11.7273:"inerenaturensmakeonghescedenmettergheheelregodheit"(editionnotpaginated). 15.Vision14,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,p.305Mommaers,DeVisioenen,supplement,vision14,11.14143. 16.See,forexample,Letter6inHart,Hadewijch:Works,11.22735,p.61:"NowadaysthisisthewayeveryoneloveshimselfpeoplewishtolivewithGodin consolationandrepose,inwealthandpower,andtosharethefruitionofhisglory.WeallindeedwishtobeGodwithGod,butGodknowstherearefewofuswho wanttoliveasmenwithhisHumanity,orwanttocarryhiscross."SeeVanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,p.64.SeealsoHart,Hadewijch:Works,vision1,11.288ff.and 341ff.,pp.268and269:"He[Christ]continued:'...IfyouwishtobelikemeinmyHumanity,asyoudesiretopossessmewhollyinmyDivinityandHumanity,you shalldesiretobepoor,miserableanddespisedbyallmenandallgriefswilltastesweetertoyouthanallearthlypleasures....''Since,then,youareahumanbeing, liveinmiseryasman....Feelyourselfasmaninallthehardshipspropertothehumancondition,exceptsinalone.'"SeeMommaers,DeVisioenen,supplement, vision1,11.25460and31118. 17.PoemsInCouplets,poem16:Love'sSevenNames,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,p.356Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,p.83. 18.Letter18,pp.10311,inHart,Hadewijch:Works,p.87andinVanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,p.156.Seeibid.,vol.2,pp.2225,fortheborrowingsfrom WilliamofSt.Thierry. 19.PoemsinStanzas,poem39:Love'sBlows,1.18,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,p.240seeE.RombautsandN.DePaepe,eds.,Hadewijch:Strofische Gedichten:Middelneder

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landsetekstenmodernebewerking...,KlassiekenuitdeNederlandseLetterkunde...(Zwolle:W.E.J.TjeenkWillink,1961),p.274.SeealsoLetter22,in Hart,Hadewijch:Works,11.22426,p.99. 20.Letter11,inHart,Hadewijch:Works,11.1045,p.69VanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,pp.9395. 21.Letter22,inHart,Hadewijch:Works,11.14359,p.97VanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,19394.Bothhereandat11.25163,HadewijchquotesSongof Songs1:12. 22.Letter9,inHart,Hadewijch:Works,11.711,p.66VanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,pp.7980. 23.PoemsinCouplets,poem16:Love'sSevenNames,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,11.3740,p.353Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,p.79.Butseebelow,nn.28and 29. 24.Vision7,inHart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.28182seeMommaers,DeVisioenen,supplement. 25.PoemsinCouplets,poem15,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,11.12,33,3740,pp.35052Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,pp.7274. 26.PoemsinCouplets,poem14,esp.11.13234,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.34550Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,pp.6571. 27.Letter17,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,p.84VanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,pp.14344. 28.PoemsinCouplets,poem16,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,11.4048,p.353Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,p.79. 29.PoemsinCouplets,poem16,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,11.16568,p.357Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,pp.8384. 30.PoemsinCouplets,poem13:TheParadoxesofLove,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,11.12,47,27,29,p.344Hadewijch,Mengeldichten,pp.6162. 31.Seen.16above. 32.Vision1,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,p.266. 33.Ibid.,p.269Mommaers,DeVisioenen,supplement,vision1,11.30910:"NadiendattumenschebestSoeleveellendechalsmensche." 34.Seevision5,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.27677. 35.Vision11,ibid.,pp.29192.Thereremainsthroughout,however,astrongemphasisonHadewijch'sserviceofothers.Invision13,ibid.,p.301,Christtellsher hesendsherbackintoherbodyafterfruition"forthesakeofthosewhomyouhavechosentobecomefullgrownwithyouinthis,butwhoarenotyetfullgrown." 36.PoemsinStanzas,poem39:Love'sBlows,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,verses9and10,p.242RombautsandDePaepe,StrofischeGedichten,p.280. 37.SheevenhadavisioninwhichChrist,asayoungchild,gaveher"hisBody"(i.e.,thehost)toeat:vision7,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,p.281thevisionoccursjust beforethevisionofChristasamandescribedinn.24above. 38.Letter18,ibid.,11.110,p.85VanMierlo,Brieven,vol.1,pp.15152. 39.Seen.16above. 40.PoemsinStanzas,poem33,Hart,Hadewijch:Works,pp.22123RombautsandDePaepe,StrofischeGedichten,pp.23438. 41.OnBeatrice,seeJanVanMierlo,"BatricedeNazareth,"DS,vol.1(1932),cols.131014,andVitaBeatricis,LatinsummaryofDutchintro.,pp.39.

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42.VitaBeatricis,pp.15779,givesaliteralLatintranslationofBeatrice'svernaculartextoftheSevenStepsofLovealongsidehertranslator'sversionofit.Forthe vernaculartextseeL.ReypensandJ.VanMierlo,eds.,BeatrijsvanNazarethsevenmanierenvanMinne(Louvain:VlaamscheBooekenhalle,1926). 43.Onherasceticism,seeVitaBeatricis,bk.1,chaps.47,pp.2635onhereucharisticdevotion,seebk.1,chaps.1314,18,bk.2,chaps.1516,andbk.3, chaps.2,5,pp.5257,6364,1037,12627,13334. 44.SeeVanMierlo,"Batrice,"col.1311andVitaBeatricis,bk.1,chap.11,p.48,bk.3,chap.6,pp.13436,bk.3,chap.14(whichgivesBeatrice'sown treatiseonthesevensteps),pp.16870.Inthislastpassage,Beatricesays,speakingofthefifthstepoflove:"Hocipsumquodmagiseamcruciatatquevulnerat, idipsummagisintegratetlenit,etquodeamprofundisvulnerat,hocsolumdateisanitatem."Inbk.3,chap.6,p.136,Beatriceiscalledinsanaorfatua(foolish)for love.Hadewijchalsospeaksofecstasyasinsanity(orewoet)seeabove,n.25.PhilipofClairvauxintheLifeofElizabethofSpalbeek(Cat.cod.hag.Bruxellensis, vol.1,pt.1,p.364)callsElizabeth'secstasyimbecillitas. 45.Beatrice'sbiographercommentsattheendofbk.1,chap.18,pp.6364,thatinearlylifeshewasliquifiedandmadeillbythedelightsofthesacramentbutlater shewascuredfromallsicknessbyit,andthisshouldnot,hesays,surprisethereader,forthesamesacramentis"milkandmeat." 46.InVitaBeatricis,bk.3,chap.15,pp.18083,thebiographeremphasizesherloveandserviceofothersthroughprayer,advice,andcompassion. 47.Seeabove,pp.58,13839,and14142.InVitaBeatricis,bk.2,chap.15,pp.1034,thehagiographerprovidesatheologicalglossonthesubjectoffrequent communion,sayingbothdevotion[spiritualisaffectio]andfear[timor]arenecessary.HealsoreportstheeffortsofthedeviltoconvinceBeatricethatbecauseof hersordidthoughtssheisunworthytoreceivefrequently. 48.VitaBeatricis,bk.3,chap.2,pp.12627.Thereisasimilardescriptioninbk.3,chap.5,p.133. 49.Ibid.,bk.2,chap.16,pp.1057. 50.Ibid.,bk.3,chap.13,pp.15455. 51.Ibid.,bk.1,chap.11,pp.4549.Thepreviouschaptermakesitperfectlyclearthatthesistersdiscussedsuchexperiencestogetheranddesiredthemandthat oldernunstaughtyoungersisterstoexpectthem.ThehagiographerfrequentlydescribesBeatrice'sreactionstothevisitationofthespiritasimmoderatelaughter(as wellasimmoderateweeping)seebk.1,chap.18,11.1617,p.63,andbk.2,chap.13,1.54,p.99. 52.Ibid.,bk.2,chap.6,pp.13436.Heradvisertoldherthathedidnot,however,thinkitwasasuggestionofthedevil. 53.Ibid.,bk.3,chap.15,pp.18083. 54.Ibid.,bk.3,chap.14,pp.15779. 55.Ibid.,p.174.Theparadoxicallanguage,especiallythenotionof"healthywounding,"ismoreprominentinBeatrice'sowntextthaninhertranslator'sversion. Similarlanguageisusedtodescribestepfive,p.170seebelow. 56.Ibid.,the"secondstepoflove,"p.161,andthe"sixthstep,"p.171. 57.Ibid.,p.166.

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58.Ibid.,pp.16970. 59.Ibid.,bk.3,chap.12,pp.15253. 60.Ibid.,bk.3,chap.7,pp.13740. 61.ThebasicsourceforCatherineistheLegendamaiorbyherconfessor,RaymondofCapua,inAASSApril,vol.3,pp.861967.ThereisarecentEnglish translationbyConlethKearns,LifeofCatherine.AcontemporaryaccountwhichRaymondprobablydidnotknowistheanonymousIMiracolidiCaterinadi JacopodaSienadiAnonimoFiorentineacuradiFrancesoValli(Siena:R.UniversitdiSiena,CattedraCateriniana,1936).Othermajorsources,whichwere influencedbyRaymond'swork,aretheLegendaminor(anabridgmentofRaymond)andtheSupplementum,byThomasAntoniideSenis(alsocalledCaffariniand TommasoNaccidaSiena),andtheProcessofcanonization,begunin1411,knownastheCastellanoProcessortheProcessofVenice.SeeThomasAntoniide Senis,LeggendaminorediS.CaterinadaSiena(eletteredeisuoidiscepoli),ed.FrancescoGrottanelli(Bologna:PressoGaetanoRomagnoli,1868)idem, Libellusdesupplemento:LegendeprolixeVirginisBeateCatherinedeSenis,ed.GiulianaCavalliniandImeldaForalosso(Rome:EdizioniCateriniane,1974)and M.HyacintheLaurent,ed.,IlProcessoCastellano...conappendicedidocumenti...,FontesvitaeS.CatharinaeSenensishistorici9(Milan:FratelliBocca Editori,1942).ThecontroversylaunchedbyRobertFawtierin1921overthereliabilityofthesurvivingsourcesonCatherinehasproducedafloodofpainstaking researchseeRobertFawtier,SainteCatherine:Essaidecritique:Sourceshagiographiques,andidem,SainteCatherine:Essaidecritique:Lesoeuvres, BibliothquedesEcolesFranaisesd'AthnesetdeRome121and135(Paris:deBoccard,1921and1930)and,onthecontroversy,seeKearns,Lifeof Catherine,pp.IxIxx,andBell,HolyAnorexia,chap.2n.3.ForafairlyrecentbibliographyseeLinaZanini,BibliografiaanaliticadiS.CaterinadaSiena, 19011950(Rome:EdizioniCateriniane,1971).ForafullertreatmentofthechronologyofCatherine's"eatingdisorders,"seeBell,HolyAnorexia,pp.2353. WhereBellhasbeeninterestedinCatherine'sbehavior,IhavebeenmoreinterestedinCatherine'ssymbolsandtheology.Neitherofushastreatedatmuchlengthher importantpublicroletowardtheendofherlife.UsefulbiographiesofCatherineincludeInnocenzoM.Taurisano,SantaCaterinadaSiena:Patronad'Italia(Rome: F.Ferrari,1940),andArrigoLevasti,MyServant,Catherine,trans.DorothyM.White(London:Blackfriars,1954),unfortunatelywithoutfootnotes. 62.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.CavalliniEngl.trans.SuzanneNoffke,CatherineofSiena:TheDialogue(NewYork:PaulistPress,1980).Fortheletters, seetheincompleteeditionbyEugenioDuprTheseider,EpistolariodiSantaCaterinadaSiena,vol.1,Fontiperlastoriad'Italia,pubblicatedalR.IstitutoStorico ItalianoperilMedioEvo(Epistolari:SecoloXIV)(Rome:Sededell'Istituto,1940),andCatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli(Siena,19131922)(theFlorence 193940reprinthasdifferentpagination).Fortheprayers,seeCatherineofSiena,LeOrazioni,ed.GiulianaCavallini(Rome:EdizioniCateriniane,1978)translated bySuzanneNoffkeasThePrayersofCatherineofSiena(NewYork:PaulistPress,1983). 63.SeeFrancescoValli,L'InfanziaelapueriziadisantaCaterinadaSiena:esamecriticodellefonti,Bibliotecadi"StudiCateriniani"(Siena:IstitutodiStudi CaterinianinellaRegiaUniversitdiSiena,1931).Ihavebeenunabletoconsultidem,L'AdolescenzadiSantaCaterinadaSiena:esamecriticodellefonti(Siena, 1934).

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64.ForCatherine'sinedia,seeespeciallyRaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.3,par.38,p.872,andchap.6,pars.5860,pp.87677pt. 2,chap.4,par.164,p.903pt.2,chap.5,pars.16577,pp.9037pt.3,chap.6,par.400,p.960andIMiracoli,chaps.49,2829,pp.59,2325.Onher eucharisticdevotion,seeRaymond,LifeofCatherine,pt.2,chap.5,pars.17071,pp.9045,andpt.2,chap.6,pars.181,18792,pp.907,909ThomasAntonii deSenis,Libellusdesupplemento,pt.2,tract.6,pp.75120andIMiracoli,chaps12,13,pp.1112. 65.RudolphBellhascollectedanumberofcontemporaryreferencestoCatherine'sinediaseeHolyAnorexia,p.195n.10. 66.Seeabove,chap.3n.98.IntheLifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.6,par.60,p.877,Raymondseemsalsotobereflectingonhisownexperiencewith fasting. 67.Seeabove,chap.4nn.186,207,208,and210. 68.Raymond,LifeofCatherine,pt.2,chap.12,pars.32428,pp.94244.RaymondreportsthatwhenCatherinevisitedAgnes'sbody,shereceivedarainof mannaasamiracle,and,hesays,"therewasareasonwhythisparticularkindofmiracleshouldhappenthere.ForwhileAgneswasalive,arainofmannafallingonher wasausualthing." 69.Seeabove,chap.4n.209. 70.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherine,pt.1,chap.3,par.64,pp.87778pt.2,chap.5,par.173,pp.9056pt.2,chap.6,pars.18384,p.908. 71.See,forexample,Letter61,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1,pp.27477,andLetter163,ibid.,vol.3,p.43.OnthispointseeKearns,Lifeof Catherine,p.177n.23. 72.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.4,pars.16263,pp.9023andpt.3,chap.6,par.414,p.963IMiracoli,chap.29,pp.2425. Fawtier,Catherine:Sourceshagiographiques,p.97,pointsoutthatvisionsofChristortheangelsfeedingCatherinearelesscommoninIMiracolithanin Raymond'saccount.ItisalsoworthnotingthatRaymondismoreapttocallthewoundinChrist'ssidea"fountain"whereasCatherine'sownwordsstressitasa "breast"cf.pars.163and191.SeealsoRobertFawtierandLouisCanet,LaDoubleExpriencedeCatherineBenincasa(sainteCatherinedeSienne)(Paris: Gallimard,1948),p.38. 73.IMiracoliandRaymondofCapua'sLifeofCatherineofSienagiveindependentaccountsofherincreasinginedia(seen.64above)andanumberofher contemporariesnoticedit(seen.65above).Thepapalbullof1461authorizinghercanonizationmakesexplicitmentionofherextraordinaryfastingseeAASSApril, vol.3(Paris,1866),p.983. 74.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.1,par.25,p.869.Theincidentismentionedonlyinpassing. 75.Ibid.,pt.1,chap.4,pars.4145,pp.87374.SeealsoBell,HolyAnorexia,chap.2. 76.Bell,HolyAnorexia,pp.3852,makesaconvincingcaseforCatherine'ssenseofguiltasasurvivorformingamajor(subconscious)motiveforhertheologyof sufferingandherincreasingselfstarvation. 77.IMiracoli,chap.6,p.6cf.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.4,par.46,p.874. 78.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.3,par.38,p.872.

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79.Ibid.,pt.1,chap.2,pars.3334,pp.87071IMiracoli,chap.3,pp.34seealsoValli,L'Infanzia,pp.4849,7376.Oneshouldperhapspointoutthat manyoftheincidentsofchildishpietythatRaymondreportsstrikethemodernreaderasexactlythesortofplayandfantasizingchildrendoengagein. 80.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.9,pars.89ff.,pp.884ff.ThomasAntoniideSenis,Libellusdesupplemento,pt.1,tract.1,sect.5, pp.1415. 81.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.1,pars.11924,pp.89293,andpt.2,chap.5,pp.9037. 82.Ibid.,pt.2,chap.5,par.177,pp.9067. 83.Seebelow,n.85,andseeLifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.12,par.315,p.940,whereCatherinecriesouttoRaymond(aboutherdesirefortheeucharist): "OsisciretisPaterquantumesurio!" 84.IMiracoli,chaps.49,2829,pp.59,2325LetterofStefanoMaconicitedabove,chap.3n.71ThomasAntoniideSenis,Libellusdesupplemento,pt.2, tract.2,sect.6,pp.3435,andpt.2,tract.6,sects.42,43,pp.1013Bell,HolyAnorexia,chap.2andDrane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.1,pp.199ff. 85.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.5,pars.16667,171,pp.9034,905trans.Kearns,LifeofCatherine,pp.16061and164.In CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.142,pp.39499,Catherinewritesofdesirefortheeucharistasintensehunger. 86.Letter19(number92inTommaseonumbering),DuprTheseider,Epistolario,vol.1,pp.8082.SeealsoRaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2, chap.5,par.174,p.906,wherehereportsthatCatherinesaid:"Deuspropterpeccatameapercussitmesingulariquadampassionesiveinfirmitate,perquamacibi sumptionesumtotaliterimpedita:etegolibentissimevellemcomedere,sednonpossum"(emphasisadded). 87.Letter19,DuprTheseider,Epistolario,vol.1,pp.8182:"MandastimidicendochesingularmenteiopregassiDioch'iomangiassi.Eiovidico,padremio,e dicovelonelcospettodiDio,cheintuttiquantie'modich'iopotutitenere,sempremiso'sforzata,unavoltaodueeld,diprendareelciboepregato continovamenteepregoDioepregarchemidiagratia,cheinquestoattodelmangiareiovivacomel'altrecreature,s'eglisuavolont&grave,perchelamiaci. Edicovicheassaivolte,quand'iofattocich'iopotuto,eioentrodentrodameaconosciarelamiainfermiteIdio,chepersingularissimagratiam'abifatto correggiareelvitiodellagola,dogliomimoltoch'io,perlamiamiseria,nonI'correttaperamore." 88.Bell,HolyAnorexia,chap.2.InLifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.12,par.311,p.939,RaymondreportsthatsomesaidCatherinecommunicateddailyand livedontheeucharistalonebutthiswas"notquitetrue." 89.Seeabove,nn.85,87IMiracoli,chap.8,p.9andRaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.3,par.137,p.896. 90.See,forexample,Letter267,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.4,pp.17884,andLetter214,vol.3,pp.28892.SeealsoRaymondofCapua, LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.4,par.149,pp.899900,wherewefindherblamingonherownsinsthepettinessofthesickwomanPalmerina.

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91.SeeRaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.5,par.171,p.905. 92.Seeibid.,pt.2,chap.5,par.170,pp.9045,andDrane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.1,p.203. 93.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.5,par.167,p.904.Itispertinenttonotethat,withamoresympatheticconfessoroneinfactinawe ofherprowessatfastingCatherinebecamesomewhatmoretractable,morewillingatleasttomakeapretenseofeatingseeibid.,pt.2,chap.5,pars.17677,pp. 9067.Inotherwords,shewassomewhatmorewillingtomodifyherbehavior(atleastsuperficially)iftheinterpretationofitssignificanceremainedinhercontrol,but shestillmanagedthingssothatshereceivedlittlerealnourishment. 94.SeeCanet,pt.2,inFawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,pp.31112,comparingherlettersoftheearly1370swithherlettersof1378to1380.See especiallyLetter64tothehermitWilliamFlete,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1,pp.28694,whereshesays:"Prdonoloromedesimi, spogliandosi,dell'uomovecchio,ciodellapropriasensualitevestonsidell'uomonuovoCristodolceGesseguitandolovirilmente.Questisonochesipasconoalla mensadelsantodesiderio,echehannopostopilasollicitudineinucciderelapropriavolont,cheinuccidereoinmortificareilcorpo"(pp.29192). 95.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.149,pp.42629. 96.Thesourcesseemtodiffersomewhataboutthelengthofherretreat.IMiracoli,chap.6,p.7,sayssevenyears(probably13621370)RaymondofCapua,Life ofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.6,pars,5763,pp.87677,andchap.9,pars.8283,pp.88283,suggestsitwasthreeyears.Buttheremaybenoconflictin fact,fortheretreatwasnottotal,andRaymondissimplygivingamoredetailedaccountofitsvariousaspects. 97.Wecanseesomethingoftheproblemherbehaviorposedforherfamilyinpt.2,chap.2,pars.13537,pp.89697,wherewehaveastoryofCatherinegiving awayotherpeople'sclothesandthepassingremarkthatherfamilyhadtokeepeverythinglockeduptopreventherfromgivingitaway. 98.DepositionofBrotherBartholomewDominiciinLaurent,IlProcesso,pp.29092.AnotherversionofthestoryoranotherstoryistoldbyRaymondofCapuain LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.3,pars.14041,pp.89798.Drane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.1,p.82,reportsthatcitizensofSienastillcallsomething thatnevercomestoanend"acaskofSt.Catherine."SeealsoRaymond,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.16,pars.298310,pp.93639,onmiraculousfood multiplications. 99.Catherinebecameatertiaryinherlateteens(probablyin1364or65).HerfatherdiedinAugust,1368,andafterthisthefamilyhomeasCatherinehadknownit cametoanendandthefamilyfortunesdeclined.Catherine,asiswellknown,tookonanincreasinglypublicroleasadviserandexhorterofecclesiasticshistorians havedifferedintheirestimatesofhersuccess. 100.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chaps.24,617,pp.895903,90739. 101.Ibid.,pt.2,chap.16,par.303,p.937. 102.Ibid.,pt.2,chap.16,pars.29899,p.936. 103.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.149,pp.42529.Raymond

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himselfdrawstheparallelbetweenDominic'sfoodmultiplicationmiraclesandCatherine'sLifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.16,par.305,pp.93738. 104.ThomasAntoniideSenis,Libellusdesupplemento,pt.2,tract.4,sects.1314,pp.6264. 105.SeedepositionofFrancescoMalavoltiinLaurent,IlProcesso,pp.39496andDrane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.2,pp.6164.SeealsoRaymondof Capua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.13,par.276,p.930. 106.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.3,chap.4,pars.37076,pp.95456.Semia,forwhomCatherineperformsthemiracle,criesout:''Omater meadilecta!Venistiaddomummeamclausisjanuisadfaciendummihicoquinam.Nuncscioverequiasanctaes."ItisworthnotingthatCatherinesometimesherself escapeddomesticchoresthroughecstasies,althoughatothertimessheinsistedondoingmorethanhershareofthehousework.SeeLifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2, chap.2,pars.12627,pp.89394,wherehersisterinlawLisafindsherinecstasywhensheoughttobeturningthespittoroastmeat."Quodadvertens... Lysa...sciensmodumvirginis,coepitipsavertereveru,etpermisiteamcoelestissponsifruiamplexibus.Cumquecoctiscarnibusillisetfactacoenacunctorum domesticorum,adhuciliainextasipermaneretLysapraefata,perfectiscunctisquaevirgosacrafaceresolebatservitiis,ipsampermisitadlibitumdivinispotirisolatiis." 107.Ibid.,pt.2,chap.16,par.308,p.938trans.Kearns,LifeofCatherine,p.285. 108.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.16,par.300,pp.93637trans.Kearns,LifeofCatherine,pp.27879,withmychanges. 109.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.8,pars.21218,pp.91416IMiracoli,chap.27,pp.2223andseeCanetinFawtierand Canet,DoubleExprience,pp.337ff.,esp.pp.35455. 110.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.9,pars.22023,pp.91617pt.3,chap.7,par.417,p.964. 111.Ibid.,pt.2,chap.11,pars.24144,pp.92223seealsoFawtier,Catherine:Sourceshagiographiques,p.135. 112.See,forexample,above,n.108LetterofStefanoMaconiinCatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.6,Lettersofdisciples.Letter12,p.81("per ch'iocredoveramenteecosconfesso,chelaMammanostrabenignissimamammaefermasperanzacheognidconpichiarolumecredareconfessarcon maggioreefficacia,leiesseremamma")andthepanegyricofWilliamFlete,quotedinDrane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.2,p.214,andvol.1,pp.17679.(On WilliamFleteseealsoFawtier,Catherine:Sourceshagiographiques,pp.5381.)SeealsoBell,HolyAnwexia,chap.2. 113.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.4,pars.155,16263,pp.901,9023,andpt.3,chap.7,pars.412,414,p.963IMiracoli, chaps.3233,pp.2829ThomasAntoniideSenis,Libellusdesupplemento,pt.2,tract.2,sect.4,p.34. 114.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.4,par.162,p.902. 115.Ibid.,par.163,p.903trans.Kearns,LifeofCatherine,pp.15556. 116.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.3,chap.7,par.414,p.963. 117.CatherinealsoexperiencedwhatRaymondcallsanexchangeofheartswithChrist,andfromthenceforthshefeltasifshelivedwithoutherheartseeibid.,pt.2,

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chap.6,par.179,p.907.(LutgardofAywiresinthethirteenthcenturysupposedlyexperiencedasimilarsensation.). 118.Seeabove,nn.64,72,85,88. 119.DepositionofBrotherFrancesoofLuccainLaurent,IlProcesso,pp.36869.ForCatherine'srespectforpriests,whomshecalls"christs,"seeCatherineof Siena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chaps.14,23,11318,pp.3742,5154,27486andpassim,andThomasAntoniideSenis,Libellusdesupplemento,pt.2,tract. 6,sects.126passim,pp.7688. 120.ForthethemeofdrinkingfromChrist'ssideinRaymond'saccount,seeLifeofCatherineofSiena,pars.16263(thevisiondiscussedabove),pp.9023par. 187(anothervisionofdrinkingfromChrist'sbreast),p.909par.191(visiondiscussedbelow,n.121),p.909andpar.199(avisionsupposedlyreportedbyher earlierconfessor,ThomasdellaFonte,ofCatherinenursedatthebreastsoftheVirgin),p.911.Seealsoabove,n.72. 121.RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.6,pars.18891,p.909trans.GeorgeLamb,TheLifeofSt.CatherineofSienabyBlessed RaymondofCapua(London:HarvillPress,1960),p.173,withminorchanges.(Lamb'stranslationismuchhardertoobtainthanKearns'butisoftenmoreliteraland accurate.)Forthehistoryofthemetaphor,seeAndrCabassut,"UneDvotionmdivalepeuconnue:Ladvotion'JsusnotreMre,'"MlangesMarcelViller, Revued'asctiqueetdemystique25(1949):23445Bynum,JM,pp.11069EleanorC.McLaughlin,"'ChristMyMother':FeminineNamingandMetaphorin MedievalSpirituality,"NashotaReview15(1975):22648Julian,BookofShowings,ed.ColledgeandWalshprefaceandintro.toJulianofNorwich: Showings,trans.ColledgeandWalsh,introductionbyJeanLeclercq(NewYork:PaulistPress,1978)andValerieLagorio,"VariationsontheThemeofGod's MotherhoodinMedievalEnglishMysticalandDevotionalWritings,"Studiamystica8(1985):1537.SeealsoGabriellaAnadol,''LeImmaginidellinguaggio caterinianoelelorefonti:LaMadre,"Rassegnadiasceticaemistica22(1971):33743.InhispsychologicalportraitofCatherine,RudolphBell(HolyAnorexia, chapter2)makesmuchofherpictureofnursingandweaningasincludingbitternessandpain.HecitesthispassageandespeciallyLetter81(Tommaseonumber239) toPopeGregoryXI(DuprTheseider,Epistolario,pp.33233)andcallsattentiontoLapa'sinexperienceatweaning,whichhedocumentsbyreferenceto Raymond,LifeofCatherineofSiena,par.26,p.869.ItmaybethatCatherine'spersonalexperienceofweaningwasapainfulone(althoughonemustpointoutthat wehavenoevidenceofthis),butweshouldalsonotethatmanymedievalwritersspeakofmothersasteasinganddiscipliningtheirbabies. 122.SeeCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chaps.14(bothpriestsandChristseenasnursingmothers),96(Christasnursingmother),141(theHolySpirit asmothernotanextendedimage),and151(Godspeaksasanursingmother),pp.3742,22530,39293,440andseeLetter1*,CatherineofSiena,Letters, ed.Misciattelli,vol.6,pp.14(charityisamotherwhonursesherchildrensheisalsoafoodthatnurturesthesoul)Letter86,ibid.,vol.2,pp.8188(wemust nurseatthebreastofcharitythesoulmustfeedonthepainsofthecross,whicharesweet)Letter260,ibid.,vol.4,pp.13741,esp.13940(Christisthenurse whodrinksbittermedicineinordertofeedthechild)andLetter2*,ibid.,vol.6,pp.59(Christisthenurseofthesoul).Seealsothe

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lettertoGregoryXIcitedabove,n.121,inwhichthepopeisurgednottoturnawayfromthebreastbecausethemilkisbitter(i.e,becausethevirtuouspathisa painfulone).BecauseCatherine'slettersinLetters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.6,arenumberedseparately,Ihaveusedastar(*)afterthenumberingforthatseries. 123.CanetinFawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,pp.3046,makesthispoint. 124.Letter86,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.2,pp.8182.IntranslatingCatherine'sItalianIhavebeenaidedbytheFrenchtranslationofE. Cartier,LettresdesainteCatherinedeSienne,4vols.,BibliothqueDominicaine,2ded.(Paris:EditionsTqui,1886).IamalsogratefultoRachelJacoffof WellesleyCollegeforassistance. 125.SeeLetter81,DuprTheseider,Epistolario,pp.33233CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.96,pp.22530,andchap.151,p.440Canetin FawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,pp.332,3046andabove,n.122. 126.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.14,pp.4041,trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.52. 127.See,forexample,Letter184,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,p.146(hereshedescribesChristonthecrossas"arrostitoinsulacroceal fuocodell'ardentissimacarit")Letter358,vol.5,p.284. 128.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.124,p.314trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.239. 129.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.142,pp.394400,esp.p.394seealsochaps.12829,pp.33245,whereCatherinediscussespriestswho onlypretendtoconsecrateorwhosaythewordsofconsecrationincorrectly. 130.Ibid.,chap.142,pp.39699. 131.SeeRaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.2,chap.6,pars.17982(CatherineandChristexchangehearts),pp.9078,andpt.2,chap.2,pars. 13537,pp.89697(ChristclothesCatherinewithatunictakenoutofhissidetokeepherwarm).Andseeabove,n.120,forvisionsinwhichCatherinejoinswith Christ'sbodybynursingathisbreast. 132.IntheDialogueoneofCatherine'sdominantimagesisChrist'sbodyasabridgeupwhichweclimb.WhenshespeaksofthesoulreachingChrist'smouth, however,sheimpliesnotprimarilythatwereposethereinakiss(astheSongofSongssuggests)butthatweeatwithChristwebecomehismouthandwhatwe eatissuffering(i.e.,rejectionofourphysicalityandsalvationofourneighborsbyvicarioussuffering).See,forexample,CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini, chaps.26,5155,andesp.76,pp.5759,11425,16871seebelow,n.141,foraquotation. 133.ItissignificantthatCatherineherselfchoosestoreporttwokindsoffoodmiraclesintheDialoguetheeucharisticmiraclesreferredtoabove,n.130,andthe foodmultiplicationmiraclesmentionedabove,n.103althoughshedoesnotreportothermiracles. 134.IMiracoli,chaps.36,29,pp.37,2425RaymondofCapua,LifeofCatherineofSiena,pt.1,chap.1,par.29,p.870,andchap.7,pars.11417,pp. 89091.SeealsoFawtierinFawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,p.38. 135.Letter221,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,p.337:"Benvedituchetuseisposa,echeeglit'hasposata,eteeognicreaturaenonconanello d'argento,

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maconanellodellacarnesua."Letter50,vol.1,p.236:"Vedibene,cheilFigliuolodiDiotutticisposnellacirconcisione,quandositaglilacarnesua,dandoci quantounastremitd'anello,insegnochevolevasposarel'umanagenerazione."Letter261,vol.4,p.146:"Equestofal'animache,essendoliberatadalla servitudinedeldimonio,ricomperatadelsanguediCristocrocifisso,nond'oroned'argento,madisangue...e,avendolaDiofattasposadelVerbodelsuo Figliuolo,ilqualedolceGeslasposconlacarnesua(perocch,quand'eglifucirconciso,tantacarnesilevnellacirconcisionequantaunaestremitd'uno anello,insegnochecomesposovolevasposarel'umanagenerazione)edellaamandoalcunacosafuoradilui,opadreomadre,osorellaofratelliocongiuntio ricchezzeostatidelmondo,diventaadultera,enonsposalealenfedelealspososuo.''AndseeLetter143,vol.2,pp.33738.SeealsoPrayer25:"you[God] espouseoursoulstoyouwiththeringofyourflesh[orcharity]."Noffke,Prayers,11.5052,pp.215,219n.8theItaliantexthas"charity,"theLatinhas"flesh." OnRaymond'sbowdlerization,seeCanetinFawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,pp.24546,whopointsoutthatCatherine,likeBridgetofSweden,was devotedtotherelicoftheCircumcision.TheViennesebeguineAgnesBlannbekinwasalsodevotedtotheforeskin,afactthatcreatedscandalwhenher revelationswerepublishedintheeighteenthcenturyseeAllmang,"AgnsBlannbekin,"col.977. 136.SeeCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.13,p.37(trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.50),whereshesaysGod'sIncarnationis"veiling" hisdivinityin"thewretcheddungheapofAdam."Seealsochap.98,p.234,andchap.123,p.307,whereshespeaksofsensualityas"filth." 137.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.96,p.226trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.179:"Thesoulwhohasreachedthisfinalstage[of unionwithGod]restsonthebreastofmy[i.e.,God's]divinecharityandtakesintothemouthofherholydesirethefleshofChristcrucified.Inotherwords,she followshisteachingandhisfootsteps,becauseshehadlearnedinthethirdstagethatshecouldnotfollowafterme,theFather.Fornopaincanbefallme,theeternal Father,butitcanbefallmybelovedSon....Andyoucannotwalkwithoutpain,butmustachieveprovenvirtuethroughsuffering."Seealsobelow,n.142. 138.Seethepassagesquotedabove,n.135. 139.CatherinealsolaysmuchemphasisonourcreationintheimageofGodandstressesthatthisimageisthebasisofourpossibilityofreturningtoGodCatherineof Siena,Dialogue,Cavallini,chap.12,pp.3133.Moreover,theimageisinsomesensehumanity,becausethatiswhatweandChristhaveincommon."I[God]gifted youwithmyimageandlikeness.Andwhenyoulostthelifeofgracethroughsin,torestoreittoyouIunitedmynaturewithyou,hidingitinyourhumanity.Ihadmade youinmyimagenowItookyourimagebyassuminghumanform"(trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.46). 140.Vomiting,forexample,istoCatherinenotonlyabasicimageforpurgingoremptyingbutapositiveimageaswell,forthesoulthatvomitsisreadyagaintohunger for(desire)God.SeeCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chaps.95,151,pp.22223,437andLetter208,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol. 3,p.256:"Adempiteilmiodesiderioinvoi,sicchiofaccialaPasqua,comedetto.Efatecomecoluichemoltobevecheinebbriaeperdesmedesimo,enonsi vede.Ese'lvinomolto

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glidiletta,anconebevepiintantoche,riscaldatolostomacodalvino,nolputenere,esi'lvomicafuore.Veramente,figliuolo,cheinsuquestamensanoi troviamoquestovinociol'costatoapertodelFigliuolodiDio."TheletteralsocallsChrist"food,table,andservant,"discusseshungerforChristasinsatiable, andconcludesthat,byeatingChrist,wetoobecomefoodandbleedforothers. 141.See,forexample,CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.76,pp.16869trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.140:"[Thesoul]runsontothe thirdstair[ofChrist],thatis,tohismouth,whereitisclearthatshehasarrivedatperfection....Nowshehasarrivedathismouth,andsheshowsthisbyfulfillingthe mouth'sfunctions.Themouthspeakswithitstongueandtastesflavors.Themouthtakeswhatisofferedtothestomach,andtheteethchewit....Soitiswiththe soul.Firstshespeakstomewiththetongueofholyandconstantprayerthatisinthemouthofherholydesire.Thistonguehasanexternalandaninteriorlanguage. Interiorly,thesouloffersmetenderlovingdesiresforthesalvationofsouls.Externally,sheproclaimstheteachingofmyTruth....Sheeatsthefoodofsoulsformy honoratthetableofthemostholycross....Andshechewsit...withhatredandlove,thetworowsofteethinthemouthofholydesire.Thereshetakesthisfood andchewsitwithhatredforherselfandloveforvirtueinherselfandinothers."SeealsoLetter208,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,pp.25558 Letter11,vol.1,p.44Letter340,vol.5,pp.15866andbelowatnn.146,150. 142.See,forexample,CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.92,p.213trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.170:"Themoreshe[thesoul] hungers,themoresheisfilled,andthemoresheissated,themoreshehungers."AndCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.101,pp.24445trans. Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,pp.19293:"Thesoul[whichhasbeenofferedthepledgeofeternallife]beginstohungerfor...God...Andbecausesheis hungryshefeastsonthatcharityforherneighborswhichshesohungersandlongsfor....Sheremainsinsatiablyandcontinuallyhungry.Thus,likeapledge,this hungerisabeginningofthecertaintyIgivethesoul....WhenIsaythatthispledgeisnotperfect,Imeanthatthesoulwhoenjoysithasnotyetreachedthesortof perfectionthatwillknownosufferinginherselforinothers....Myservants[inthislife]findtheirnourishmentatthetableofholydesire,andtheyareatonceboth happyandsorrowful,justasmyonlybegottonSonwasonthewoodofthemostholycross." 143.SeeLetter208,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,pp.25558Letter34,vol.1,p.157Letter8,pp.3438andLetter75,vol.2,pp.2124, whichmakesitclearthat,toCatherine,hungerandthirstareinfiniteandinsatiableandthattheyrepresentreachingoutandgrasping,notwaitingpassively. 144.See,forexample,Letter227,ibid.,vol.3,p.364. 145.InCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.131,p.352,Catherinesaysexplicitlythattoeatistoserve,explainingthatpriestsadministerthebloodand takecareofsoulsandthisis"thetaskofeatingsouls." 146.Letter329,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.5,pp.1067. 147.Letter87,ibid.,vol.2,pp.9092. 148.Letter2*,ibid.,vol.6,pp.56. 149.See,forexample,CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chaps.14,23,

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113ff.,pp.3742,5154,274ff.SeealsoLetter270,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.4,pp.19293,inwhichsheurgesthepopetobeamother tosouls. 150.Letter11,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1,p.44. 151.Letter293,ibid.,vol.4,pp.29192. 152.SeeLetter242,ibid.,vol.4,pp.5051,andLetter296,vol.4,pp.30510.Thislatterletteractuallyusesthemetaphorofcannibalismtodescribehungerfor souls:"Epregovichepigliatequestifigliuoli,morti,insulamensadellasantissimacroce,einemangiatequestocibo,bagnatinelsanguediCristocrocifisso"(p.309). 153.Letter273,ibid.,vol.4,pp.21718:"Dolcissimopadre,l'animavostra,laqualemis'fattacibo(enonpassapuntoditempo,cheiononprendaquestocibo allamensadeldolceAgnellosvenatocontantoardentissimoamore)."Thislettergoesontomixtogetherimagesofwashinganddrinking(oreating)asdescriptionsof theeffectsofChrist'ssacrifice. 154.See,forexample,Letter262,ibid.,vol.4,p.148,andCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.110,p.265trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue, p.206:"ThepersonoftheIncarnateWordwaspenetratedandkneadedintoonedoughwiththelightofmyGodhead....AndtowhomhaveIentrustedit?Tomy ministers...sothatyoumighthavelifewhentheygiveyouhisbodyasfoodandhisbloodasdrink."SeealsoCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.135, p.373. 155.Letter266,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.4,p.175,andLetter52,ibid.,vol.1,pp.24243.Thephrasealsooccursinaletterfrom FrancescoMalavoltitoNeridiLandoccioaproofboththatCatherine'slanguageinfluencedothersandthatsuchgraphicdescriptionswerenotoffensiveto fourteenthcenturyreadersseeCanetinFawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,p.244,andLetter40,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.6,Lettersof disciples,p.145("Pace,gaudioeletizianelSignore,condesideriodilavarelemaculcdellenostreiniquitnelsanguedelloisvenatoAgnello,arrostitopernoisullegno dellasantissimacroce").HuizingacitesasimilarphraseinaworkbyoneJeanBerthelemyseeJ.Huizinga,HerfsttijderMiddeleeuwen...(Haarlem:TjeenkWillink andZoon,1921),p.293,citingamanuscriptwork(1912)byCh.Oulmont. 156.Letter75,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.2,p.23andLetter73,p.14.AndseeCatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.78,p.177. 157.SeeDrane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.2,p.271andFawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,pp.23032,268. 158.FawtierandCanet,DoubleExprience,pp.26873Gougaud,DAP,pp.75130andM.D.Chenu,"SangduChrist,"DTC,vol.14(1939),cols.109497. 159.See,forexample,Letter143,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.2,pp.33738,whereChristmarrieshumankindwiththeringoffleshofthe Circumcision,andthebloodChristshedonthecrossissaidbothtowashawaysinandtoprovideaweddingfeastfromGod'sownbody.Seealsoabove,n.153. 160.Seeabove,n.119Letter28,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1,pp.11524andLetter2,ibid.,vol.1,pp.511. 161.Forexample,CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.14,pp.3738(ministersdrinkfromthebreastsofthechurchandserveup"themilkandblood ofthebride")chap.23,pp.5153(theyshepherdsoulsbyadministeringtheblood)chap.115,

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pp.27678(thechurchisthewinecellar,whichcontainstheblood,andfromthebloodallthesacramentsderive)chap.131,pp.35254(priestsareespecially entrustedwiththetaskof"eatingsouls"becausetheyhavethe"ministryoftheblood").Drane,HistoryofSt.Catherine,vol.1,p.261,pointsouthowoftenshe referstopriestsas"chalices.'' 162.Forexample,CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.115,p.278,whereshesays:"Christonearth[i.e.,thepope],then,hasthekeystothe blood"(trans.Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.215).AndseeLetter346(toUrbanVI),CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.5,p.202. 163.CatherineofSiena,Dialogue,ed.Cavallini,chap.124,pp.31314.Herlongdiscussioninchap.110,pp.26369,ofthedoctrineofconcomitanceappearsto revealsomeanxietyaboutthecrumblinessofthehost.Herinterestinthedoctrineseemstostemfromherdesiretobesureshereceivestheblood(whichisdenied her)alongwiththewafersheisregularlygiven. 164.See,forexample,ibid.,chaps.2324,pp.5156. 165.CatherineherselfdescribestheincidentinalettertoRaymondLetter273,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.4,pp.21723.SeealsoThomas AntoniideSenis,Legendaminore,pt.2,chap.7,p.94. 166.SeeBynum,JM,p.18n.25. 167.Letter215,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,pp.29297Letter54,vol.1,pp.24951Letter262,vol.4,pp.14550(seeesp.p.148, wherethenuptialchamberisthewoundinChrist'sside).WeshouldalsonotethatinLetter112(vol.2,pp.197202),wheresheoffersChristasasubstitutetoa marriedwomanwhohaslosttwohusbands,sheoffershimnotasbridegroombutasfood. 168.Seeabove,nn.122,125,141,143. 169.Seeabove,n.135. 170.Seeabove,n.136. 171.See,forexample,Letter205,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,pp.24243,andNoffke,introductiontoCatherine:TheDialogue,p.21.See alsobelow,pp.21617and26169.WeshouldnotforgetthatalthoughCatherinethinksfemininemeansweak,andvirile,strong,sheappliesbothadjectivesto bothsexesandexhortswomenaswellasmentoboldness(clearlyassumingittobeattainable).InLetter215,Catherine,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,p.296,for example,sheexhortswomentobe"knights"instrengthanddetermination. 172.Letter30,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1,pp.13542seealsoLetter144,vol.2,pp.34142. 173.Seeabove,atnn.12426. 174.Seebelow,pp.265,270. 175.Letter18,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.1,p.75. 176.Letter1*,ibid.,vol.6,pp.12. 177.Letter342,ibid.,vol.3,p.174. 178.Letter145,ibid.,vol.2,pp.34849. 179.Manycommentatorsnotethissee,forexample,Noffke,Catherine:TheDialogue,p.206n.3. 180.Letter208,CatherineofSiena,Letters,ed.Misciattelli,vol.3,pp.25557:"QuestalaPasquach'iovogliochenoifacciamociodivederciallamensa dell'Agnello

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immancolato,ilqualecibo,mensaeservitore.Insuquestamensasonoe'fruttidellevereerealivirt....Questaunamensaforata,pienadiveneche germinanosangueetraglialtrivihaunocanale,chegittasangueeacquamescolatoconfuoco....OfigliuolodolcissimoinCristoGes,corriamocon sollicitudineaquestamensa....Equandoeglihabenebevutoedegli'lgittasopra'lcapode'fratellisuoi:edhaimparatodacoluichecontinuamenteinmensa versanonpersuautilit,mapernostra.Noidunque,chemangiamoallamensapredetta,conformandocicolcibo,facciamoquellomedesimononpernostrautilit, maperonorediDio,eperlasalutedelprossimo."Forafullertranslationofthepassageseebelow,epigraphtochapter8,andseeabove,n.140. 181.ThefundamentalworkonCatherineofGenoaremainsFriedrichvonHgel,TheMysticalElementofReligionasStudiedinSaintCatherineofGenoaand HerFriends,2vols.(London:Dent,1908),althoughvonHgelwasmisledbyhisopinionthatthe1551edition(ofManuscriptAplusadditions)ofthesaint'sworks wasthemosttrustworthytext.FormanuscriptsDandD*,todayconsideredthebestmanuscripts,seeUmileBonzidaGenova,S.CaterinaFieschiAdorno,vol.1: TeologiamisticadeS.CaterinadaGenovaandvol.2:Edizionecriticadeimanoscritticateriniani(Turin:Marietti,19611962).OnCatherine'slifeandonthe controversysurroundingtheauthorshipofherworks,seealsoUmileBonzidaGenova,"L'OpusCatharinianumetsesauteurs.Etudecritiquesurlabiographieetles critsdesainteCatherinedeGnes,"Revued'asctiqueetdemystique16(1935):35180P.Debongnie,"CatherinedeGnes(sainte),"DHGE,vol.11(1949), cols.150615idem,"SainteCatherinedeGnes,vieetdoctrine,d'aprsdestravauxrcents,"Revued'asctiqueetdemystique38(1962):40946UmileBonzi daGenovaandMarcelViller,"CatherinedeGnes(sainte),"DS,vol.2(1953),cols.290325andBenedictGroeschel,introductiontoCatherineofGenoa: PurgationandPurgatory...,trans.SergeHughes(NewYork:PaulistPress,1979),pp.167. 182.ThemostIclaimbelowthereforeisthattheimageofCatherineheldbythoseclosetoherincludedbothextravagantfoodpracticesandtheologicalsayingsin whichmetaphorsoffoodandhungerwereprominent.Theearlyprintedvita,whichIhavecitedinthe1568Florenceedition(seebelow,n.189),differsgreatlyfrom thevariousmanuscripts(seeCatherineofGenoa,ed.UmileBonzi,Edizionecritica)onthecorrelationsandlacunaeofthevariousversions,seevonHgel,Mystical Element,vol.1,pp.38890,44951. 183.Vita,chaps.15,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.10720onherconversion,fasts,andeucharisticdevotion,seevonHgel, MysticalElement,vol.1,pp.1049,11316,13537,andvol.2,pp.2840.SeealsoDebongnie,"SainteCatherine,"pp.42728. 184.ScholarshavedifferedsomewhatonthebeginningandenddatesofthisperiodoffastinganddailycommunionseeGroeschel,intro.,inHughes,Catherineof GenoaPurgation,pp.57Debongnie,"SainteCatherine,"pp.43133vonHgel,MysticalElement,vol.1,pp.10913,13537UmileBonzi,S.Caterina, vol.1:Teologia,pp.3033.Itisimportanttonotethat,whetherCatherinewastwentysixortwentynineattheonsetofthisbehaviorpattern,itwasnotan adolescentdevelopment. 185.Itissignificantthatsheexperiencedspontaneousremissionofherextravagantinedia(i.e.,ofhereffortsatextraordinarycontrolofbody)ataboutthesametime assheacceptedaspiritualdirector(i.e.,spiritualcontrolexercisedbyanotherego).

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186.Debongnie,"SainteCatherine,"pp.44041,discusseswhethertheillnesswas"supernatural,"psychosomatic,orsomekindofcancer.Adiagnosisisnotpossible atthisdistance.Contemporarieswere,however,fascinatedbythefactthatshecouldswallowonlytheeucharistseeIlDialogospirituale,inCatherineofGenoa, Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.43367. 187.InVita,chap.5,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.120,thereislanguagethatsuggeststhatCatherinejoinedwithChrist'sbreastand mouthinavision.Debongnie,"SainteCatherine,"pp.43031,suggeststhatthisisnotCatherine'sspirituality,forsheordinarilyinsistsonbypassingthe"humanity"of Christ,exceptforreceptionoftheeucharist.VanHgel(MysticalElement,vol.2,pp.3940)makesasimilarpointwhenhesuggeststhatCatherinedidnotreceive stigmata,despiteherpsychologicaldispositiontowardparamysticalphenomena,becauseshedidnotdisplaygreatdevotiontothehumanityofChrist. 188.SeeIlDialogosprituale,inCatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.42227trans.Hughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,pp.12932. AndVita,chap.12,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.14041. 189.VitamirabileetdoctrinasantadellabeataCaterinadaGenova...[hereafterVitamirabile](Florence:Giunti,1568repr.1580),chap.41,p.137(this editionreproducesthe1551Genoeseeditionexceptforcorrectingcertaindialectforms).Inreplyherconfessorcriticizedherforworryingaboutpracticesandmotives andurgedhertosurrendercompletelytoGod:"Chiequello,chesiimpaccia,etparladimangiare,ononmangiaresottospeciedistimolotaci,taci,cheticonosco,et nonmipuoiingannare." 190.Vita,chaps.711,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.12240,andIlDialogospirituale,inibid.,pp.400,4023,40611. 191.Vitamirabile,chap.42,p.143. 192.SeeVita,chap.5,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.119,andbelow,n.196. 193.SeeVita,chap.10,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,p.135,andIlDialogospirituale,inibid.,pp.4023.Onherfamousstatement"inDioilmio essere,ilmioME,"usuallyrendered"MyMeisGod,"seebelow,chap.10n.2. 194.IlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.389. 195.Vitamirabile,chap.3,p.11trans.byMrs.G.Ripley,LifeandDoctrineofSaintCatherineofGenoa(NewYork:CatholicPublicationSociety,1875),p. 31.ButseeVita,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.6263,12122. 196.IlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.432,describingherlastillness("equandoessanonsicommunicava,restava tuttoquelgiornoaffamata,eparevachenonpotesseviveresenzaquestosacramento"),andpp.40611,wherewehaveadescription,indialogueform,ofher responsetothevisionofthebleedingJesus.Hereshestopseating,acquiresafranticneedforcommunion,andbegsGodtotakeawayallfeelings.Butatthereception ofcommunion,herhumanitycriesout:"Horaquestomodoiopotrviver!" 197.TheSpiritualDialogue,pt.2,inHughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,pp.11533.HereCatherine'sdepressionbeforeherconversionisdescribedasa periodinwhichshecouldnoteatafterherconversionsheisdescribedashavingnotastefor

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anythingbutloveofGod.Inthisconditionherhumanitycriesoutthatitmusthavefood,butithastroublefindingnourishmentinthatwhichsatisfiesthesoul.The communioncomesasfoodforboth,althoughSoulisworriedabouttheblissthataccompaniesitandasksGodtotake"feelings"away."OSignore,oSignore,io nonvoglioprovaalcunadite,perchnoncercosentimenti,malifuggocomedemonij,perchsonocosemoltoimpeditivealpuroamoreperchl'huomoselepu attachareconlospiritoeconl'humanitasottospeciediperfettione.Eperchl'amoredeveesserenudo,percitiprego,oSignore,anonmidarepisimilcose, perchnonfannoperme"(IlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.411). 198.IlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.42021:"Ecosfufatto,perchlamiseintantapovert,chenonpotcva vivereseDiononlehavesseprovedutoperviadielemosine.Eledisse:Acciochtutipossiesercitare,tulavoreraipervivere....Nonvogliochetumaihabbia propriaelettione,masemprefarailavolutd'altri." 199.SpiritualDialogue,pt.2,inHughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,p.130IlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,EdizioneCritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p. 424. 200.Seeabove,n.188. 201.OnCatherine'suseofumanit,seeHughes,"Notesonthetranslation,"CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,p.49,andPierreDebongnie,trans.,LaGrande Damedupuramour:SainteCatherinedeGenes.14471510,vieetdoctrine...,LesEtudesCarmlitaines(Paris:DescledeBrouwer,1960),p.xxii.Forher closeassociationoffoodandbody,seeIlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.370,whereshedescribesthecapitulationof BodytoSoulasturningtothefoodofpigsandotheranimals:"esiandavaancoraleipascendodecibideporciebestiali,comeilcorpo." 202.Seeabove,n.196.ItisalsoworthnotingthatintheopeningpagesoftheDialoguefoodisCatherine'sordinarywordforgoal,i.e.,forthatwhichisdesired,and hungerortasteherusualsynonymfordesireIlDialogospirituale,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.35575.See,forexample,p.357 (SoultoBody:"Setrovassemocibochecipascessetuttidue,comefaremo?"AndBodytoSoul:"Masarebbetroppograncosachesitrovassecibochecontentasse duechehavesserogusticontrarij")andp.363(SoultoBody:"perchgustandoquestecoseterrene,dubitochemialenterilgustodellecosespirituali"). 203.Hughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,pp.8182TrattatodelPurgatorio,inCatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.34344: "L'amorediDiocheridondanell'anima(secondocheiovedo),leduncontentochenonsipuesprimeremaquestocontentoaquell'animechesononelPurgatorio, nonlevaunastilladipenamapiprestoquestoamorechesitrovaritardato,quellochelefalapena,tantograndequantolaperfettionediessoamore,delquale Diol'hafattacapace.Schel'animenelPurgatoriohannocontentograndissimoepenagrandissima,el'unononimpediscel'altro." 204.Hughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,pp.8283TrattatodelPurgatorio,inCatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.34445. 205.Hughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,pp.7677TrattatodelPurgatorio,inCatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,pp.33233. 206.Vitamirabile,chap.32,pp.1067trans.Ripley,LifeandDoctrine,chap.28,pp.

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12930.VonHgelsaysofthischapter:"[it]isnowonelongDiscoursewhichincorporatessomeshortbutimportantauthenticsayings"(VonHgel,Mystical Element,vol.1,p.450).Thelengthydiscourseisnotintheearliestmanuscript.ItisimpossibletoknowhowmuchofitisCatherine'sownlanguage,butthe evidenceoftheTrattatodelPurgatorio(above,nn.203205)suggeststhatthebasicmetaphorisauthentic. 207.Vita,chap.27,CatherineofGenoa,Edizionecritica,ed.UmileBonzi,p.297,andinVitamirabile,chap.43,pp.14647trans.Ripley,LifeandDoctrine, chap.33,pp.14344. 208.Itistrue,asvonHgelsuggests(seeabove,n.187),thatCatherineofGenoashowednospecialdevotiontoChrist'shumanityeitheraneroticattachmenttohis body(likeHadewijch's)orasentimentalidentificationwithhislifestory(likeMargaretofOingt's)butherattachmenttotheeucharistwasadevotiontoGod encounteredthroughphysicality:bodyandblood,breadandwine.AndshewasdeeplydevotedtothesufferingofChrist'searthlybody.Moreover,someofthemost affectiveofwomenmystics(likeHadewijch)sawclearlythedangersofmeresentimentality.ThedarksideofthespiritualityofaHadewijchoraCatherineofGenoa i.e.,itsemphasisonsufferingisinpartanefforttokeeptheapproachtodivinitythroughhumanityfrombecomingmereindulgenceinpleasantfeelings. 209.EvenMargaretPorete,inrejectingthisspirituality,nonethelessdescribesitaccurately.Elaboratinga"freedom"beyondallcategoriesinsanityandwisdom, illnessandhealth,fastandfeast,loveandlossMargaretdescribesasalowerway(thereligiosityofthe"marred")aspiritualityofaffectivityanderoticism,fastingand works,prayersandeucharist.SeeRomanaGuarnieri,"II'Miroirdessimplesmes'diMargheritaPorete,"Archivioitalianoperlastoriadellapiet4(1965):513 635. 210.Formalewritinginwhich"eating"isanimportantimage,seeabove,pp.1,4,6667,74,andn.155,andGuigoIItheCarthusian,Epistoladevita contemplativa(Scalaclaustralium),chap.13,andMeditatio4,inE.ColledgeandJ.Walsh,eds.,Lettresurlaviecontemplative...DouzeMditations,SC 163,Sr.mon.29(1970),pp.11012,14246. 6 FoodAsControlofSelf 1.HildeBruch,EatingDisorders:Obesity,AnorexiaNervosaandthePersonWithin(NewYork:BasicBooks,1973),p.304. 2.SeePeggyReevesSanday,FemalePowerandMaleDominance:OntheOriginsofSexualInequality(Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress,1981), passim,esp.pp.7677,andGoody,Cooking,CuisineandClass,p.193. 3.Wheaton,SavoringthePast,p.22. 4.Ibid. 5.Ibid.,pp.95111,124,163,209.OnthispointseealsoPhilippaPullar,ConsumingPassions:BeinganHistoricInquiryintoCertainEnglishAppetites (Boston:Little,Brown,1970),pp.13640.Forcookbooksaddressedtowomenbefore1746,seeWheaton,SavoringthePast,p.299n.49. 6.Duby,TheKnight,theLadyandthePriest,pp.7072,106.

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7.Seeibid.andBurchardofWorms,Decretum,bk.20,chap.152,PL140,cols.101213. 8.EliasCanetti,CrowdsandPower,trans.CarolStewart(NewYork:Viking,1962),p.221.Canettigoesontostressthemother'sfeedingaspower,whichhecalls "domination." 9.Wheaton,SavoringthePast,p.2. 10.NicolasdeBonnefous,LeJardinierfranois(1651),suggeststhatwomenareparticularlydrawntofruitseeWheaton,SavoringthePast,p.123.Rousseauin Emilelistsas"tastesproperfor[thefemale]sex"dairyproductsandsweets,especiallydesserts,butnotmeat,wine,orstrongliquorsseeWheaton,Savoringthe Past,p.226. 11.Forthisviewofmeat,seeJohnChrysostom,Homily27onActs,par.2,PG60,col.207(whichwarnswomenagainstwineandmeat)Aquinas,ST,II,IIae,q. 147,art.8,vol.43,pp.11417andabove,chap.2nn.2426andchap.3n.40.Itmayactuallybetruethat,forreasonsofdifferencesinmetabolism,womenneed morecarbohydratesandmenmoreproteinseebelow,n.36. 12.SeeLauraShapiro,PerfectionSalad:WomenandCookingattheTurnoftheCentury(NewYork:Farrar,StrausandGiroux,1986). 13.JoanJacobsBrumberg,"ChloroticGirls,18701920:AHistoricalPerspectiveonFemaleAdolescence,"ChildDevelopment53.6(December1982):146877. 14.Iamingeneralsuspiciousoftheoriesofreligionthatseeitasevolvingthroughvariousstages,butonesuchevolutionaryinterpretation,RobertN.Bellah's "ReligiousEvolution"(AmericanSociologicalReview29[1964]:35874),isusefulinpresentingabriefandclearstatementoftheideathattheMiddleAgeswasthe periodofWesternreligioninwhichworldrejectionasavaluewasatitsheight. 15.MacCullough,"Fasting,"p.763. 16.SeeBarronHolland,comp.,PopularHinduismandHinduMythology:AnAnnotatedBibliography(Westport,Conn.:Greenwood,1979),pp.12021.Iam gratefultoJohnS.HawleyoftheUniversityofWashingtonforthisinformationandreference. 17.Rogers,Fasting,p.77.Goody,Cooking,CuisineandClass,p.118,says,"whereasmen'sfastsaremostlydirectedtowardimprovingorupholdingtheirown purityandspiritualstatus,thefastsofwomenarelargelyaimedatenhancingandmaintainingauspiciousnessfor'thesocialcollective,'thatis,forthefamily." 18.Gougaud,DAP,pp.14758Loomis,WhiteMagic,p.130FredNorrisRobinson,"NotesontheIrishPracticeofFastingasaMeansofDistraint,"Putnam AnniversaryVolume(CedarRapids,Iowa:TorchPress,1909),pp.56783(cataloguedseparatelyinWidenerLibrary).TheIrishtraditionalsoshowscasesof fasting"upon"or"against"bothGodanddevilseeibid.,pp.57880. 19.Rogers,Fasting,passim,esp.pp.7176. 20.Thefastingofthesuffragettes(seeibid.,pp.8388)was,ofcourse,aselfconscioususeofthehungerstrikebywomenforpoliticalgoals.Butbeforethemodern periodorganized,selfconsciousgroupstarvationbywomenseemsnottohavebeenusedasaweapontogainpoweroverothers.Thesources,however,doprovide occasionalsuggestionsofrebellionagainstauthoritiesbyrefusaltoeat.See,forexample,ClareofAssisi'sthreatthatsheandhersisterswillnoteatifthepoperefuses toprovidepreaching(above,chap.3atn.185)andthecaseofCecilyRidgeway,whoin1357fastedand

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remainedmuteforfortydaystoavoidpleadinginamurdertrialGerish,introductiontoTheHartfordshireWonder,p.5,andRollins,"NotesonSomeEnglish Accounts,"p.360.AparticularlyinterestingexampleoccursintheLifeofUmilt,chap.2,par.13,AASSMay,vol.5,p.210,whereUmiltimprisonsoneofher nunsfornotdoingherassignedjobproperly,andthewomanrefusestoeat. 21.OnMary,seeBolton,"VitaeMatrum,"pp.25759onClare,seeBrookeandBrooke,"St.Clare,"pp.27587.AndonthispointgenerallyseeBynum, "Women'sStories,Women'sSymbols." 22.LifeofChristinatheAstonishing,chap.2,par.22,AASSJuly,vol.5,p.654. 23.MuchoftheevidencetowhichIshallmakepassingreferenceinchapters6to8hasbeenextensivelyexploredinchapters3to5aboveIhavenotrepeated documentationthathasbeenprovidedelsewhere.Hence,ifnofootnoteisgiven,thereadermayexpecttofindspecificreferencesbyturningtotheearlierdiscussionof thesaintinquestionorbyusingtheindex.OnMargeryKempe,seebelow,chap.7n.1. 24.Schadewaldt,"MedizingeschichtlicheBetrachtungen,"pp.114,esp.p.10.Themodernclinicaldefinitionofanorexianervosawasframedinthenineteenth centuryseeBrumberg,"'FastingGirls.'"SchadewaldtdiscussesearlierGermanliteratureonthehistoryofextendedinediathatisnotreadilyavailableinthiscountry. 25.JohnPutnamDemos,EntertainingSatan:WitchcraftandtheCultureofEarlyNewEngland(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1982),pp.16465,has arguedthatsomewitches'victimsatSalemwereanorectic.Thurston,PP,passim,suggestsmodernpsychiatricdiagnosesofanumberofearlymiraculousabstainers, stigmatics,etc.WeinsteinandBell,SS,p.235,callthesixteenthcenturyFlorentinevisionaryMaryMagdalende'Pazziananorectic. 26.J.HubertLacey,"AnorexiaNervosaandaBeardedFemaleSaint,"BritishMedicalJournal285(1825December1982):181617.SeealsoDelehaye, Legends,pp.10910. 27.Seeabove,chap.3atnn.410.Thurston,whodefendsasatleastpossiblysupernaturallycausedcertainverybizarrephenomena,says(PP,p.365):"JustasI shouldliketohearofastigmaticwhohadnobadfamilyhistoryandhadalwaysherselfbeenathoroughlyhealthysubject,freefromneurosesofanykind,sointhe considerablelistofthoseholypeoplewhoarereportedtohavelivedforlongperiodswithnoothernourishmentbuttheBlessedSacrament,onelooks,butlooksin vain,forthenameofonewhowasfreefromstrangeinhibitionsinthematterofdietandwhomtheneuropathspecialistwouldhavepronouncedtobeperfectlysound andnormal." 28.See,forexample,BenedictJ.Groeschel,introductiontoHughes,CatherineofGenoa:Purgation,p.11,andPetroff,Consolation,p.41.RudolphBell,Holy Anorexia,arguesforananorectictypeoffemalesaintinthelaterMiddleAgesBellusesmodernpsychologicalmodels,althoughheiscarefultopointoutdifferences betweenthelateMiddleAgesandthetwentiethcentury.Seeabove.Prefaceandchap.5n.61. 29.Brumberg,"'FastingGirls,'"andZilboorg,MedicalPsychology. 30.IlzaVeith,Hysteria:TheHistoryofaDisease(Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1965),passim,esp.pp.5675GregoryZilboorg,TheMedicalManand theWitchduringtheRenaissance(Baltimore:JohnsHopkins,1935),p.58ThomasS.Szasz,TheManufactureofMadness:AComparativeStudyofthe InquisitionandtheMentalHealthMovement(NewYork:HarperandRow,1970),pp.68ff.

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31.Seebelow,Epilogue. 32.TheoppositekindofcaseispresentedinthevitaeofLutgardofAywiresandJulianaofCornillon,wherethesaintscurewomenwhocannotfastseeThomasof Cantimpr,LifeofLutgard,bk.2,chap.2,pars.1920,25,AASSJune,vol.4,pp.200201LifeofJuliana,bk.2,chap.9,AASSApril,vol.1,p.475. 33.Seeabove,chap.4nn.135,160. 34.Seeabove,chap.3atnn.12527.Browe,DieWunder,p.54n.23,describesawomaninthedioceseofMetzinthemidthirteenthcenturywhoclaimed stigmataandmiraculousinediaandwasunmaskedasafraud. 35.SeeHarrisonG.PopeandJamesHudson,NewHopeforBingeEaters:AdvancesintheUnderstandingandTreatmentofBulimia(NewYork:Harperand Row,1984).Foragoodsummaryofthevarioustheories,seeElissaEly,"RxforBulimia,"HarvardMagazine(NovemberDecember1983):53ff.Recentpopular booksonanorexianervosaincludeKimChernin,TheObsession:ReflectionsontheTyrannyofSlenderness(NewYork:HarperandRow,1981)Janice Cauwels,Bulimia:TheBingePurgeCompulsion(GardenCity,N.Y.:Doubleday,1983)MarleneBoskindWhiteandWilliamC.White,Jr.,Bulimarexia:The BingePurgeCycle(NewYork:Norton,1983)R.L.Palmer,AnorexiaNervosa(NewYork:Pelican,1981)andSusieOrbach,FatIsaFeministIssue(New York:Berkley,1980). 36.See"AppendixB:SexDifferencesinDeath,DiseaseandDiet,"inKatharineB.HoyengaandK.T.Hoyenga,TheQuestionofSexDifferences:Psychological, CulturalandBiologicalIssues(Boston:Little,Brown,1979),pp.37290,andAnneScottBeller,FatandThin:ANaturalHistoryofObesity(NewYork: Farrar,StrausandGiroux,1977).Alreadyinthetwelfthcentury,Heloisearguedthat"Natureherselfhasprotectedoursexwithagreaterpowerofsobriety.Itis indeedknownthatwomencanbesustainedwithlessnourishment,andatmuchlessexpense,thanmen."SeeDronke,WW,p.132. 37.AnneWaltneroftheUniversityofUtah,inherunpublishedpaper"T'anYangtzu:AMingDynastyAvataroftheQueenMotheroftheWest,"hasuncovered importantevidenceofanorexialikebehaviorinsixteenthcenturyChina.AndpresentdayIndiapresentsparallelcasesseebelow,n.101.Isuspectthatasmore workisdoneonfemalepietyinvariousreligioustraditions,crossculturalevidenceforthegreaterpropensityofwomenforselfstarvationwillgrow.Suchevidence strengthensthecaseforsomephysiologicalbasistoeatingbehaviorbutdoesnotproveit,becausecertainpredisposingculturalfactorsarealsopresentinthesocieties inquestion,especiallytheassumptionthatwomanisfoodpreparerandnurturer. 38.Onthespreadofanorexia,seeA.H.Crispetal."HowCommonIsAnorexiaNervosa?APrevalenceStudy,"BritishJournalofPsychiatry128(1976):549 54MayDuddle,"AnIncreaseinAnorexiaNervosaintheUniversityPopulation,"BritishJournalofPsychiatry123(1973):7