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Two Female Apostolic Mystics: Catherine Of Siena And Madame Jeanne Guyon

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on the lives, claims, and fates of two mystical female apostles: Catherine of Siena in fourteenth-century Italy and Madame Jeanne Guyon in seventeenth-century France. A significant aspect of the Christian story that made it possible for some women to claim, or have claimed for them, the status of apostola is the fact that there was one very well-known example in Christian origins of a female apostle, the apostola apostolorum, Mary Magdalene. In one sense, Mary Magdalene offered a more accessible model than the Virgin Mary, whose life was sinless and who lacked any public role. Catherine of Siena, co-patron of Italy and since 1970 a Doctor of the Church, was a woman who aspired to follow the model of Mary Magdalene and combine active preaching and contemplative rapture.

Keywords: active preaching; Catherine of Siena; contemplative rapture; Madame Jeanne Guyon; Mary Magdalene; mystical female apostles



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