The Happy Trinity is her home: nothing can trouble her joy.
She is the bird that evades every net: the wild deer that leaps every pitfall.
Like the mother bird to its chickens or a shield to the arm’d knight: so is the Lord to her mind, in His unchanging lucidity….
She may walk among lions and rattlesnakes: among dinosaurs and nurseries of lionets.
He fills her brim-full with immensity of life: he leads her to see the world’s desire.
C.S. Lewis, from The Great Divorce
This post won’t be a long one, for I’ve not much to discuss, but I do hope you’ll enjoy this lovely little announcement of mine.
Anyway, the New Year has already brought with it so many new things, and I am already beginning to find a new person in myself. We’ve only just begun!
There’s quite a bit going on here in my little lavender-painted room: writing, reading, Bible studying, German speaking, extensive amounts of Earl Grey drinking, and the occasional playing of the Doctor Who and Sherlock scores for random bits of inspiration (The Madman with a Box is such a clever little song).
In the middle of all this, however, I did something that I could no longer put off. For the last year or so, I’ve been feeling so compelled (most likely commanded by God himself) to study the lives and actions of the many women who have come before me: to study the stories and legends of the female saints.
So on Thursday, in a sudden fit of frenzy before work, I bought a book. 😉
Isn’t it beautiful? I’m in love with the cover alone.
And already, I have found such a solace in the lives of these women, and a treasure trove of beautiful holiness in their stories. Martyrs, mothers, virgins, warriors: all of these women were so incredibly different but had one commonality.
They all loved Christ with their entire hearts, and dedicated their lives to Him willingly. Their examples of daring faith, unashamed zeal, quiet modesty, and unbridled passion for God inspire me immensely, and by the end of this year, I want to have been acquainted with each one of them intimately.
We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.
St. Teresa of Avila
And these women weren’t perfect. They had struggles, vices, and trials just as I do, and that’s what makes their stories so beautiful: they could overcome them then, and I can overcome mine now. Learning from their victories and defeats strengthens me for my own. As St. Teresa said, those who are closest to Christ are the ones who had to bear the hardest trials. These women did not lead easy lives; they suffered, and their suffering brought them so close to Jesus.
So, in short: be ready for some saint spam hitting your inbox in the coming months.
Oh my goodness.
That is… oh, I can’t find the words.
#saintspam coming to a theater near you. Oh, that makes my heart laugh!
But really, friends. As I study the saints over the course of this year, I will be blogging about it regularly. The manner in which I do is not currently decided, but I know that I will be doing a lot of reading and writing about my heroes. My cloud of female witnesses.
And, of course.
These people are women!
Powerful, graceful, modest, strong women who loved Christ courageously and against every norm their society had given them. In a time when women want to be empowered, the stories of the female saints are honestly ones that every twenty-first century woman should turn to. Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Mary the mother of Christ…
The list gets long as you already know. 😉
Christ made these women strong and impactful. And he made them so during eras and dynasties that were male-dominated. Many of them remained virgins; Christ was enough for them, and they didn’t need to be married to find fulfillment. And many of them were mothers; Christ gave them the strength to raise their children and love their husbands in dangerous time periods of antiquity.
And their stories fill me with inspiration; I feel empowered as I enter the world with Christ shining bright through my eyes and upon my chest.
And most importantly, I want to better live within the unspoken motto of many of these courageous women. A Latin phrase: Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Quite simply, they are Mary’s words when she was chosen to bear Jesus: “Let it be done to me according to Thy Word.”
And this is the most prevalent reason that I have chosen to study these stories: I want my heart to soften and melt as I learn to willfully let these words pass from my lips when I know what Christ has called me to.
Let it be done to me according to Thy Word.
I’m pretty excited about it.
And I hope you all are ready, too! The command to study this has been pressing on my heart for so long a time, and I just cannot put it off anymore. I can’t not.
So you all are my accountability partners. 😉
I’ve had conversations with some of you lovely readers about just how much I love these dear saintly ladies, and I know you’re looking forward to this just as much as I am. (*nods at Kate and Maribeth*)
And, of course, we will be talking a lot about Renaissance/Medieval art, too (because for some reason I just cannot understand, Renaissance/Medieval artists were obsessed with the saints *sarcasm initiated*).
And art makes my heart smile.
Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.
St. Clare of Assisi
Get ready for some serious saint spam…
Sorry, I just dearly love alliteration. 😀
6 thoughts on “Fiat Mihi Secundum Verbum Tuum: What I Intend to Learn from the Lives of Female Saints”
Lovely post my Emmy!
Oh, Emily, I’m SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!! That book sounds wonderful. I looked at it on Amazon today, and I maaaaaaaaaay put it on my birthday wishlist 😉
I’m also going to copy that Latin phrase and keep it where I can see it. I’m already using Luke 1:45, Elizabeth’s blessing on Mary, as my verse for 2020, but “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum” needs to be in the forefront of my mind as well.
Yeeeee! Definitely put it on your birthday wishlist, friend! It’s a lovely little book, and I’m already so in love with just the first few saints I’ve read about.
And yes, that Latin phrase is my motto for 2020 as well. It’s such a beautiful reminder of why we are here…and who we are here for. I have it up on my wall, too, as a reminder!
Serious saint spam, *snickers*.
Honestly, I find researching the saints of old to be a tricky thing. The more legends surround the person, the less I feel I can know them.
But I love church history, and am looking forward to what you have to say.
‘Let it be done to me according to Thy Word.’ Beautiful. This phrase inspires me… but also convicts me.
Have you heard of the book Radiant: Fifty Remarkable Women in Church History by Richard M. Hannula? I haven’t read it myself, but I intend to do so.
Isn’t church history wonderful? It’s so nice to find another soul who feels the same way about these things as I do! It’s such a beautiful thing to study those who have come before us.
And no, I have not read that book you mentioned! Or heard of it! I’ve just written it down on my desk, though, so I will definitely be investigating it!