Mechthild of Magdeburg, Mechthild of Magdeburg poetry, Christian, Christian poetry, Catholic poetry,  poetry,  poetry Mechthild of Magdeburg
Germany (1207 - 1297) Timeline
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Poems by Mechthild of Magdeburg
Books - Links

Mechthild of Magdeburg was born around the year 1207, probably into a noble family in northern Germany.

She had a defining ecstatic experience at the age of twelve, where she saw "all things in God and God in all things."

In 1235, when Mechthild was in her twenties, she joined the Beguine sisterhood, as many women mystics of the time did in Germany and the Low Countries. As a Beguine she led a life of simplicity, service, and spiritual practice.

Her confessor, Heinrich of Halle, convinced her to write down her ongoing mystical visions. This project took many years as it was interrupted by periods of sickness and also attacks by religious critics. She finally completed the work in about 1282, a few years before her death, and just after she joined an order of Cistercian nuns at Helfta.

Her book, The Flowing Light of the Godhead, describes experiences of unio mystica (mystical union) as the sacred marriage, with the soul as the Bride and Christ as the Bridegroom. Her poetry stands out as among the most elevated mystical love poetry in the German language, drawing comparisons to the Sufi poets of the Middle East and the Bhakti poets of India.

The great Italian poet Dante is said to have been greatly inspired by Mechthild's writing, and some have suggested that that he based his character Matilda in his Divine Comedy on her.

Poems by Mechthild of Magdeburg

Recommended Books: Mechthild of Magdeburg

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry German Mystical Writings: Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme, and others The Mystic in Love: A Treasury of Mystical Poetry
Mechthild of Magdeburg: The Flowing Light of the Godhead (Classics of Western Spirituality) Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies throughout the Ages The Soul as Virgin Wife: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart Ecstatic Transformation: Transpersonal Psychology in the Work of Mechthild of Magdeburg Meditations from Mechthild of Magdeburg
Meister Eckhart and the Beguine Mystics: Hadewijch of Brabant, Mechthild of Magdeburg, and Marguerite Porete Sacred Voices: Essential Women's Voices Through the Ages

Related Links

Mechthild of Magdeburg

Brief biography, some links and books, several poems on-line.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Mechtild of Mageburg

Brief biography.

Mystical Writers: Frauenmystics

A brief biography of Mechthild of Magdeburg in English, accompanied by a selection of verses in German.
Mechthild of Magdeburg