Two lesser known, but very passionate medieval mystics, Mechthilde of Magdeburg and Hadewijch of Antwerp, will be spotlighted in March when the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods host their final Coffee with the Mystics sessions of 2020.

The first session will take place on March 21, with a repeat session on March 24, both hosted by Sister Cathy Campbell in the Providence Spirituality & Conference Center.

The March 21 session is scheduled 10 a.m. to noon and the March 24 session from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Both mystics are known for their “passionate connection with the Divine in prayer,” Sister Cathy said. 

“Mechthilde and Hadewijch lived in the low countries of northern Europe in the 12th and 14th centuries. They were part of the Beguine movement, communities of upper class women who gathered for prayer and spiritual growth. They did not profess vows, but lived together in chastity often in groups of as many as 60 at a time.

“They reached out to others in service. They typically supported themselves by nursing, sewing or lacemaking.”

Sister Cathy said all attendees will learn more about the Beguine movement and explore some of the writings from Mechthilde and Hadewijch, especially their poems and accounts of some of their visions. All will have an opportunity to reflect on how these women contributed to the development of feminine spirituality as it evolved in the Catholic Church in Medieval time and how scholars are rediscovering and promoting these texts in Christian churches today.

“Mechthilde and Hadewijch became known for their writings, including erotic poetry,” Sister Cathy said. “They also authored manuscripts sharing their vision and encounters with the Divine.”

Cost is $10, and the registration deadline is March 18 for the March 21 workshop and March 21 for the March 24 workshop.

Register online at Events.SistersofProvidence.org or by calling 812-535-2952 or emailing jfrost@spsmw.org.

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