Margery Kempe, Mystic

9 November -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of any Saint, page 513

Margery Kempe was born in Lynne in Norfolk in the late fourteenth century, a contemporary of Julian of Norwich. She received many visions, several of them of the holy family, one of the most regular being of the crucifixion. She also had conversations with the saints. She was much sought after as a visionary, was endlessly in trouble with the Church, rebuked by the Archbishop and was more than once imprisoned. Following the messages in her visions, she undertook pilgrimages to many holy places, including Walsingham, Canterbury, Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem, often setting out penniless. She was blessed with the gift of tears and seems to have been favoured with singular signs of Christ's love, whereby for long periods she enjoyed consciousness of a close communion with him and developed a strong compassion for the sins of the world. Her autobiography, The Book of Margery Kempe, recounts her remarkable life. She died towards the middle of the fifteenth century.