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Spiritual Writings of Sister Margaret of the Mother of God (1635-1643)

In 1635, as directed by her confessor so that he might understand “the state of her soul,” Margaret Van Noort, a lay sister of the royal convent of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Brussels, composed her spiritual autobiography. This text was followed by two diaries in 1636 and 1637 recording the workings of her inner life and relation to God, and reflecting the cosmopolitan Catholic tradition of her homeland. Now gathered in this volume, these works illustrate Margaret’s development from a troubled young lay sister into a woman of spiritual experience and authority.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Abbreviations xiii
Introduction 1
Translations and Transformations: Sister Margaret of the Mother of God beyond the Brussels Carmel. An Essay by Paul Arblaster 47
Translator’s Note 61
Sister Margaret of the Mother of God (1587–1646)
Autobiography of 1635 65
Diary of 1636 133
Diary of 1637 175
Letter to Her Confessor (1643) 235
Devotions 239
Appendix A: Report of the Last Illness and Death of Our Sister Margaret of the Mother of God, Lay Nun in the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites of Brussels 251
Appendix B: Testimonies to Sister Margaret’s Virtues 259
Appendix C: Signs after Death from Sister Margaret 273
Appendix D: Letters concerning Sister Margaret’s Writings 277
Glossary 287
Bibliography 293
Index 311

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