Gertrude von HELFTA (+ 1302)
Three centuries before Ignatius of Loyola, this German begin proposes the Spiritual Exercises in seven stages, a sort of retreat in everyday life.
HEILBIG- HELWING (14th)
She was “magistra” of the group of nine Beguines from Schwednitz, called by the people “moniales capuciatae“, who for over thirty years lived in a spirit of freedom and voluntary poverty. The community was based on its own statutes. They practiced the profession of guilt and blood scourging. The novices had to practice a very hard asceticism, but once they became “perfect” they could refresh themselves at will. Another mortification practiced by them was the use of lying down on the threshold when they left the house, to allow themselves to be trampled on by each other. Due to their closeness to the Free Spirit movement they were tried in 1332. A head of Schwednitz claims of herself: “Sicut Deus est deus. Ita ipsa est deus cum Deo; et sicut Christus numquam separatus est a Deo. Sic nec ipsa (How God is god. Thus she is god with God; and as Christ is never separated from God, neither is she ).”
Source : GUARNIERI Romana (a cura di), Il movimento del Libero Spirito. Testi e documenti, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, Roma, 1965, pp 395-396 e 435.
Lutgarde de TREVES (+1231)
Probably the first beguine to be condemned to the stake in 1231.
Metza von WESTENHOVE (+ 1366)
Judged being “relapsa” (felt again in the heresy) almost half a century after the first sentence, this old beguine was burned in Strasbourg in 1366
Source : Guarnieri Romana (a cura di), Il movimento del Libero Spirito. Testi e documenti, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, Roma, 1965, p.451)