Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Mary of Oignies: Mother of Salvation

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Mary of Oignies: Mother of Salvation

Article excerpt

Mary of Oignies: Mother of Salvation. Edited by Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker; translated by Margot H. King and Hugh Feiss, and with additional contributions by Brenda Bolton and Suzan Folkerts. [Medieval Women: Texts and Context, 7.] (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers. 2006. Pp. xii, 260, euro60,00; $89.00.)

This is the first sustained study in English of the holy woman from the diocese of liège, Mary of Oignies (d. 1213). Her name is normally linked and discussed in association with the preacher Jacques de Vitry However, in this study Mary is center stage, not as a footnote to the life of the great preacher, but as the most important icon of the early beguine movement.

The book is a group effort that brings together a number of primary sources and short articles that illuminate the riveting contours of Mary's life and contribution to the early beguine movement. Mulder-Bakker provides a helpful introduction outlining the life and times of Mary of Oignies. The introduction is fleshed out by the inclusion of various translations of key primary sources. Some of these sources were originally published in the unfortunately defunct series Peregrina Publications, but now they are conveniently brought together in this one volume. These sources are The Life of Mary of Oignies by James of Vitry (translated by Margot H. King), The Supplement to James of Vitry's Life of Mary Oignies, History of the Foundation of the Venerable Church of Blessed Nicholas of Oignies and the Handmaid of Christ Mary of Oignies, and The Liturgical Office of Mary of Oignies by Goswin of Bossut (translated by Hugh Feiss). The liturgical office of Mary of Oignies contains a special Mass and eight offices of the liturgy of the hours. It was produced at the Cistercian monastery of Villers in the early thirteenth century and indicates the intensity of the local devotion to Mary.

The Liturgical Office of Mary of Oignies is followed by two articles that delve into the cult of Mary of Oignies and its dissemination. …

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