Beatrice of Nazareth
Blessed Beatrix
Born c. 1200, Tienen
Died 1268
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast July 29

Blessed Beatrice of Nazareth or in Dutch Beatrijs van Nazareth (1200 Tienen – 1268) was a Flemish Cistercian nun. She was the very first prose writer using the Dutch language, a mystic, and the author of the notable Dutch prose dissertation known as the Seven Ways of Holy Love. She was also the first prioress of the Abbey of Our Lady of Nazareth in Nazareth near Lier in Brabant.

The Seven Ways of Holy Love (Seven Manieren van Heilige Minnen) is a work of early mystic literature that describes seven stages of love, as it is purified and transformed, before it can return to God. It has a simple and balanced prose style.[1]

Beatrice was also known as Blessed within the Roman Catholic church. She came of a wealthy family, but when her mother died she was sent to become a nun. At the age of seven she went to live with the Béguines. She afterwards joined the Cistercian nuns at Bloemendaal/Florival where she was sent to commence the new foundation at Nazareth, Belgium.

She practised very severe austerities, wearing a girdle of thorns and compressing her body with cords. In her visions, Jesus is said to have appeared to her and to have pierced her heart with a fiery dart. She died in 1268 and was buried at the convent of Nazareth. Her devotion to the Eucharist resulted in bleeding and physical collapse.[2]

After Nazareth was abandoned during a time of disturbance, the body of Beatrice was believed to have been translated by angels to Lier. Her feast day is 29 July. Her biography is recorded by Chrysostomus Henriquez in Lilia Cistercii, the origins, lives and deeds of the holy virgins of Cîteaux (Douai 1633).

External links


  1. Miejer (1992:16-17).
  2. Knuth, Elizabeth T. (1992). "The Beguines". Retrieved 2006-04-10. 

Further reading

  • Beatrice of Nazareth, Seven Ways of Holy Love, as translated by Wim van den Dungen, (1997, 1998, 2006) [1]
  • Chrysostomus Henriquez, Lilia Cistercii, the origins, lives and deeds of the holy virgins of Cîteaux (Douai 1633).hu:Beatrijs van Nazareth

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