Who we are

In the Beguinage of Dendermonde (Termonde)

 

Hello. My name is Silvana Panciera and with the help of my friend Philippe Hensmans I decided to create this web site in order to share the fruits of my many years of research on the beguinal movement. This is a “open free” information, but thank you to quote the source.

My interest in the Beguines began in the exhibition The Closed Garden of the Soul (Brussels, 1994), which dealt with various forms of female spirituality. On a panel of the exhibition I read: “Would the beguinal movement perhaps be the first feminist movement? “. This question was the starting point of a research that has continued since then, which for two years has led me to visit what remains today of all the Belgian beguinages and which has pushed me more and more to want to make known and rehabilitate this feminine history. A form of posthumous justice towards the great protagonists, women fought, repressed, ignored, ignored and sometimes even derided.
Here are the steps.

In 2009, Fidélité Editions published the book Les béguines, which was very successful and was printed again in 2012.

In 2010, the four languages DVD (EN-FR-IT-NL), All om all. Discovering the Beguinal Movement in Europe, which is also found on Youtube.

In 2011 Gabrielli published the Italian version of the book, Le Beghine. Una storia di donne per la libertà, with the preface by Marco Vannini.
In 2013, two other translations appeared in English and German. The first The Beguines is available as an ebook. The German edition Die beginen (Ed.Octopus) is released in paper version in April 2014.

In 2015, in collaboration with the iconographer Martina Bugada, I published Tre Voci per l’amore (Three Voices for Love), where the icons and an anthology of texts were found of three famous Beguines: Mechthild di Magdeburg, Hadewijch and Marguerite Porete.

Since 2014, I have circulated the News Letter Beguines, information about the beguinal movement of yesterday and today.

Antwerpen Beguinage
Statue of Beguine

Since 2016, I’m preparing this website, whose realisation would involved me for a long time. It is an homage to the thousands of women who, from the end of the twelfth century to the end of the twentieth century, have lived an existential adventure that was opposed by many, ignored by too many, and even derided by some. The Beguines would instead have much to teach to us men and women of the twenty first century about deep love and sainthood in freedom.

 

The Newsletter

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Tongeren beguinage visited by Graham Keen (04-08-2021)

(Thanks to Graham Keen for this great report that you can read in full at http://beguines.info/?page_id=3141&lang=en)

Last week I visited the beguinage in Tongeren. What a delightful surprise.
The beguinage is in a quiet part of town but still within the old town walls. Indeed the area along the river Jeker has been renovated, making a delightful walk with a view of several of the main buildings: the brewery,  the Cloth Makers’ Tower, the infirmary and the St Ursula Chapel . But the best part was my visit of the Beghina museum. This interesting collection of objects and a film about several beguinages is housed in a beautiful building, dating back to 1660. The museum stands next to another fine renaissance building.  Mr Vandersmissen had this house built for his two twin daughters and it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the town. It survived the fire in 1677 and also the revolutionary French wave of destruction at the end of the 18th century. I read that the beguines were spared by bribing the French authorities but I haven’t yet found out what form the bribe took ! The museum building still has the enclosed garden with a high wall separating the house from the street, this being typical of the more wealthy properties in Flemish beguinages. This charming garden has a statue which one assumes is a beguine.
All the houses in Tongeren beguinage,including the museum, are privately owned as opposed to many other beguinages, where the CPAS / OCMW (city social authority) has remained in charge since the French revolution. Today the beguinage in Tongeren comprises 8 streets. In its heyday at the beginning of 18th century there were nearly 100 buildings housing over 300 beguines. In 1995 the Franciscan monastery (Frères Mineurs) was taken over by Poverello, a social institution founded in the 1970’s by a Flemish doctor. Today they serve 60 meals a day to the needy. I read that the town, who owns the St Catherine’s church (currently closed), has sold it to Poverello for 1 Euro. The town will finance most of the restoration and Poverello will look after it as a place for prayer and cultural activities. Most other buildings are in good condition. For example the St Ursula chapel has been renovated for receptions, exhibitions and other special events. Next door is the former infirmary, today a restaurant simply called “de Infirmerie”. The former slaughterhouse (abattoir) has been converted into a youth hostel. The former Agnetenklooster, just outside the beguinage, was a monastery founded in 15th century, rebuilt in 16th, now converted into a bed and breakfast hostel.
The Flemish often mix the old and the new with taste.

Book of Hours (21-7-2021)

I thank very much Eileen Engel for sending such interesting news on a manuscript dated on the 15th century (1445-1460).
It is a “Book of Hours”, also known as a psalter, a book of prayers for daily life.They often contained the psalms, prayers, liturgical calendars, and lists of saints and feast days. Often written in a vernacular language, most beguines memorized their contents. Illustrations in them were sometimes used as guideposts. Some were lavishly decorated, while others had folk art or few if any, pictures at all. You can see the mentionned book by going to the website: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll58/id/48884
This special edition stems from a research project managed  by Sabina Zonno at the University of Southern California (USC). The precious manuscript once belonged to a Beguine who probably lived in the Beguinage of St. Elisabeth in Ghent, Belgium, and who at the moment of her death, as in use, probably left it to another Beguine. By going to the site, you can browse the 196 pages, with their precious miniatures. A $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities ’Office of Digital Humanities will allow the researchers to take thousands of pictures and working with the USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, design a three-dimensional experience allowing viewers to turn pages and truly merge the reader with the book’s surroundings.

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

Marcella Pattiyn four-handed (14-04-2021)
Marcella and her crafts

Marcella Pattijn, who died in Courtrai on 14th April 2013, was the last “historical” beguine in the world. With her ended the beguinal movement born in the diocese of Liège at the end of the 12th century. A movement that has known many variations over the centuries according to the environments of life and the historical transitions. Today it is perhaps manifesting itself in other ways.
I personally met this lovely beguine  when she was still living in the beguinage of Courtrai, before moving into a retirement home in the same city. Although she was almost blind, she retained her good humour and her passion for the accordion. There is a book in Flemish dedicated to her: Claude Bouckaert, De Laatste der Begijnen, Uitgeverij Groeninghe, 2000. The beguinage of Breda has on its website a short video commemorating 70 years of  her beguinal promises. You can see her still playing the accordion. https://www.begijnhofbreda.nl/laatste-twee-traditionele-begijnen-nederland-en-belgie/
Graham also writes
Marcella Pattyn was still young when she perceived her desire for a consecrated life. She dreamed of joining a religious order of missionaries. But she was almost blind, and still wanted to work. She realized that this would hardly be possible in an ordinary religious community.She encountered several refusals, then with the help of one of her aunts in 1941, at the age of 21, she was able to enter one of the Flemish beguinages, that of Mont-Saint-Amand near Ghent. She later joined, in 1960, the beguinage of Kortrijk (Courtrai).
Like the other beguines, she dedicated her life to prayer and service, in chastity but without taking religious vows. Her near-blindness did not prevent her from working: she knitted baby clothes and worked on the manual loom, with the basket of wool next to her chair, chatting and laughing with the other beguines.
Besides prayer and work, Marcella Pattyn was a musician. She played the piano, organ and accordion. She led this life of a beguine until 2008 when she retired aged 87, and moved to the Sint-Jozef retirement home in Kortrijk, where she died on 14th April 2013.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

Marcella Pattiyn four-handed (14-04-2021)

Marcella Pattijn, who died in Courtrai on 14th April 2013, was the last “historical” beguine in the world. With her ended the beguinal movement born in the diocese of Liège at the end of the 12th century. A movement that has known many variations over the centuries according to the environments of life and the historical transitions. Today it is perhaps manifesting itself in other ways.
I personally met this lovely beguine  when she was still living in the beguinage of Courtrai, before moving into a retirement home in the same city. Although she was almost blind, she retained her good humour and her passion for the accordion. There is a book in Flemish dedicated to her: Claude Bouckaert, De Laatste der Begijnen, Uitgeverij Groeninghe, 2000. The beguinage of Breda has on its website a short video commemorating 70 years of  her beguinal promises. You can see her still playing the accordion. https://www.begijnhofbreda.nl/laatste-twee-traditionele-begijnen-nederland-en-belgie/
Graham also writes
Marcella Pattyn was still young when she perceived her desire for a consecrated life. She dreamed of joining a religious order of missionaries. But she was almost blind, and still wanted to work. She realized that this would hardly be possible in an ordinary religious community.She encountered several refusals, then with the help of one of her aunts in 1941, at the age of 21, she was able to enter one of the Flemish beguinages, that of Mont-Saint-Amand near Ghent. She later joined, in 1960, the beguinage of Kortrijk (Courtrai).
Like the other beguines, she dedicated her life to prayer and service, in chastity but without taking religious vows. Her near-blindness did not prevent her from working: she knitted baby clothes and worked on the manual loom, with the basket of wool next to her chair, chatting and laughing with the other beguines.
Besides prayer and work, Marcella Pattyn was a musician. She played the piano, organ and accordion. She led this life of a beguine until 2008 when she retired aged 87, and moved to the Sint-Jozef retirement home in Kortrijk, where she died on 14th April 2013.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Book of Hours (21-7-2021)

I thank very much Eileen Engel for sending such interesting news on a manuscript dated on the 15th century (1445-1460).
It is a “Book of Hours”, also known as a psalter, a book of prayers for daily life.They often contained the psalms, prayers, liturgical calendars, and lists of saints and feast days. Often written in a vernacular language, most beguines memorized their contents. Illustrations in them were sometimes used as guideposts. Some were lavishly decorated, while others had folk art or few if any, pictures at all. You can see the mentionned book by going to the website: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15799coll58/id/48884
This special edition stems from a research project managed  by Sabina Zonno at the University of Southern California (USC). The precious manuscript once belonged to a Beguine who probably lived in the Beguinage of St. Elisabeth in Ghent, Belgium, and who at the moment of her death, as in use, probably left it to another Beguine. By going to the site, you can browse the 196 pages, with their precious miniatures. A $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities ’Office of Digital Humanities will allow the researchers to take thousands of pictures and working with the USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, design a three-dimensional experience allowing viewers to turn pages and truly merge the reader with the book’s surroundings.

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

Marcella Pattiyn four-handed (14-04-2021)
Marcella and her crafts

Marcella Pattijn, who died in Courtrai on 14th April 2013, was the last “historical” beguine in the world. With her ended the beguinal movement born in the diocese of Liège at the end of the 12th century. A movement that has known many variations over the centuries according to the environments of life and the historical transitions. Today it is perhaps manifesting itself in other ways.
I personally met this lovely beguine  when she was still living in the beguinage of Courtrai, before moving into a retirement home in the same city. Although she was almost blind, she retained her good humour and her passion for the accordion. There is a book in Flemish dedicated to her: Claude Bouckaert, De Laatste der Begijnen, Uitgeverij Groeninghe, 2000. The beguinage of Breda has on its website a short video commemorating 70 years of  her beguinal promises. You can see her still playing the accordion. https://www.begijnhofbreda.nl/laatste-twee-traditionele-begijnen-nederland-en-belgie/
Graham also writes
Marcella Pattyn was still young when she perceived her desire for a consecrated life. She dreamed of joining a religious order of missionaries. But she was almost blind, and still wanted to work. She realized that this would hardly be possible in an ordinary religious community.She encountered several refusals, then with the help of one of her aunts in 1941, at the age of 21, she was able to enter one of the Flemish beguinages, that of Mont-Saint-Amand near Ghent. She later joined, in 1960, the beguinage of Kortrijk (Courtrai).
Like the other beguines, she dedicated her life to prayer and service, in chastity but without taking religious vows. Her near-blindness did not prevent her from working: she knitted baby clothes and worked on the manual loom, with the basket of wool next to her chair, chatting and laughing with the other beguines.
Besides prayer and work, Marcella Pattyn was a musician. She played the piano, organ and accordion. She led this life of a beguine until 2008 when she retired aged 87, and moved to the Sint-Jozef retirement home in Kortrijk, where she died on 14th April 2013.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

Marcella Pattiyn four-handed (14-04-2021)

Marcella Pattijn, who died in Courtrai on 14th April 2013, was the last “historical” beguine in the world. With her ended the beguinal movement born in the diocese of Liège at the end of the 12th century. A movement that has known many variations over the centuries according to the environments of life and the historical transitions. Today it is perhaps manifesting itself in other ways.
I personally met this lovely beguine  when she was still living in the beguinage of Courtrai, before moving into a retirement home in the same city. Although she was almost blind, she retained her good humour and her passion for the accordion. There is a book in Flemish dedicated to her: Claude Bouckaert, De Laatste der Begijnen, Uitgeverij Groeninghe, 2000. The beguinage of Breda has on its website a short video commemorating 70 years of  her beguinal promises. You can see her still playing the accordion. https://www.begijnhofbreda.nl/laatste-twee-traditionele-begijnen-nederland-en-belgie/
Graham also writes
Marcella Pattyn was still young when she perceived her desire for a consecrated life. She dreamed of joining a religious order of missionaries. But she was almost blind, and still wanted to work. She realized that this would hardly be possible in an ordinary religious community.She encountered several refusals, then with the help of one of her aunts in 1941, at the age of 21, she was able to enter one of the Flemish beguinages, that of Mont-Saint-Amand near Ghent. She later joined, in 1960, the beguinage of Kortrijk (Courtrai).
Like the other beguines, she dedicated her life to prayer and service, in chastity but without taking religious vows. Her near-blindness did not prevent her from working: she knitted baby clothes and worked on the manual loom, with the basket of wool next to her chair, chatting and laughing with the other beguines.
Besides prayer and work, Marcella Pattyn was a musician. She played the piano, organ and accordion. She led this life of a beguine until 2008 when she retired aged 87, and moved to the Sint-Jozef retirement home in Kortrijk, where she died on 14th April 2013.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

IThe Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

Please, read below the recent News with, between brackets, the date of their sending :

Saint Barbe Beguinage (03-05-2021)

Just as the beguinal movement sprang up in the past in the diocese of Liège, so today a new beguinal bud is starting to blossom in that region: the beguinage of Saint Barbe. Stephan Delfanne is an engineer and expert in the renovation of rural properties. He and  his wife Marie-Claire are working to achieve a truly fascinating beguinal experience for senior citizens. It combines many elements that they would like to achieve in everyday life and which are inspired by the encyclical “Laudato si”. They are starting with the renovation of a farm which appears in the inventory of Walloon Heritage, located in an area of environmental beauty and archaeological interest, 9 independent and autonomous housing units are being built. The co-ownership which is envisaged will also provide agreement on internal regulations including shared values such as community life in an ecumenical spirit, frugality, respect for the environment and many other aspects that you can discover in the site: https://demeuresetlieux.wixsite.com/beguinage-ste-barbe
Sainte Barbe is protector of the workers of quarries,which are found in the region, and will be the patron of this future beguinage which will also have a chapel. A statue of her has already been recovered from a closed church in Molenbeek. At the end of 2021 the project will begin. The timing will depend on the development of sales, but everything will be fully operational by 2024. Interested parties should note that six units are still available today. Contact friendly Stephan on:  demeuresetlieux@gmail.com
I really appreciated his competence and enthusiasm during our zoom meeting on Tuesday 20th April . Thank you and good luck.

New English edition (08-02-2021)

During the pandemic I have found time to write a new edition of my work on the world of the beguines. The information in my previous book actually ended in 2009, while my research continued without stopping. These 10 additional years of study and in-depth research helped me to discover many more important aspects to convey and answers to fundamental questions that I had been asked. The new editions in French and Italian will appear during this year 2021 and the one in Spanish is already available. Today Graham and I are happy to announce the publication of the English version. You will find it on the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Beguines-search-sanctity-within-freedom-ebook/dp/B00HWFFINK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1612793261&s=books&sr=1-3

But who is Graham? you will probably ask yourself. He is, dare I say, the Angel translator of the new edition from French to English. He is most valuable, because he generously agreed to translate this book out of his interest for the beguines and for the sake of their historical rehabilitation. We are really on the same wavelength. He is British and has been living in Brussels for more than 40 years. Since his retirement he has been deeply involved in the world of the beguines, to the point of having visited all the beguinages in Belgium, and taken several groups to visit them, which he plans to continue when circumstances permit. He has contacts with the two modern beguinages in Belgium: the small beguinage of La Lauzelle in Louvain-La-Neuve and the beguinage of Béthel in Brussels.
Graham is spurred on by his ecumenical faith and, like me, met the beguines through cultural connections (a slideshow from a friend in his case, an exhibition in my case), and since then he has continued discovering their spiritual power. and their fascinating history. Thanks Graham.

Beguines & Witches (21-01-2020)

It has sometimes been said that beguines are also witches. False. Although the beguinal world and that of witchcraft were predominantly and typically feminine, the two are not comparable, even if they have endured sometimes similar accusations. As proof, Canon Félix Hemmerlin (+1458), who deals with both beguines and witches, cites no example of a witch beguine. A clear distinction can also be found in the Formicarius by Dominican Jean Nider (+1438). Urban the  beguines, rural the witches, the latter are generally also poor women, while in the beguinal world social stratification is well represented. And again, the exclusive trait of the so-called witch is to have evil power due to her alliance with the devil.
About 40 km from where I live, in the Municipality of Nave (BS), lived Benvegnuda Pincinella, a woman who was burned as a witch in 1518. Five hundred years later, that is in 1918, the Municipal administration has placed a rehabilitating plaque on her house recognizing her skills as a healer. The plaque also recognizes that stereotypes, injustice and discrimination were at the origin of her martyrdom. With my friend Laura, on this plaque we have placed a flower in her memory.

New beguinal group in Switzerland (22-11-2020)

You will undoubtedly agree with me that this Newsletter also aims to promote contacts. I am therefore sending you the good news that I have just received: a new beguinal group is born in Switzerland. The text below of its presentation was discussed by the group itself and it was sent to me by Myriam and Franziska. It is important to know that new béguinale initiatives are born here and there and to help them to know each other. Many wishes of good journey to our beguines from Bern and Langenthal by the Beguines Newsletter:

“In autumn 2019, a few Swiss women (all German speakers: Myriam, Franziska, Kristina. Rosemarie and others, from Bern and Langenthal), who consider themselves “modern beguines”, met in Bern and decided to keep in touch. We had planned to meet twice a year, but unfortunately, given the corona virus, this has not been possible since. But the web helps us as we keep in touch electronically by sending us news from time to time. Our motivation is to live a modern and active Christian spirituality, while maintaining our institutional and intellectual independence. We all have a mature age – 50 years or more – and a certain taste for autonomy. Our togetherness is not Institutionalized. We support each other through our practice of prayer and daily meditation, each for herself but knowing that the others are also committed on this path. We live our Christian commitment  (for ex. in our parish, by paying particular attention to disadvantaged people in our professional meetings, by being involved in special meetings, etc.) as independent women, anchored to the earth, open to heaven, rooted in daily life, wherever we happened to live. The two Beguines of Bern are members of the German “Dachverband der Beginen e.V.”. We are happy to benefit from an international network.” The group has a website (in German): www.beginen.ch. If you want to have a contact or other information, you can write to: beginen-bern@beginen.ch

Beguinal calendar 2021 (27-10-2020)

The general assembly of the members of “Nel giardino delle Beghine” (In the Beguines’ garden) held in Mantova on Saturday 24 October reported the second year of life of this new and dynamic association. All the places authorized by the anti Covid measures, about twenty, were occupied, but to broaden the participation, the kind Alessia also made a recording now available on Youtube.
A pleasent surprise:  in this occasion the 2021 calendar of the Beguines was presented. Each month describes a beguine (traditional or contemporary) who in that month was born or reborn through death to another life. You will find below the list of the beguines mentioned for the different months with the inclusion in August of their influencer Bernard of Clairvaux. We are not sexsite, after all !
If you want to get it, please pay the sum of 7 euros (shipment within Italy) to the IBAN account IT76S0501811200000016754582 in the name of the Garden of the Beguines, via Dugoni 12 – Mantova, clearly indicating your address for the subsequent sending and as reason indicate “2021 calendar”.  For other countries, please write to nelgiardinodellebeghine@gmail.com
In the recording available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9v5K3fbPOQ my speech entitled “The mysticism of the beguines” is also outlined, lasting from the 30th to 82th minutes. Note a small correction: the Concil that reaffirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation is Lateran IV in the year 1215.
Despite these difficult times, as Miss Marx would say: “Always ahead

Las Beguinas. Mujeres por la libertad (22-09-2020)

For my seventieth birthday which falls in September, I made myself a very special gift: the publication also in Spanish of my work about beguines. After a first edition in French in 2009, various translations followed with related editions: in Italian (2011), in English (2013), in German (2014). Now one also in Spanish. The presence of the Beatas in Catalonia and throughout Spain, as well as the encouragement of Sandra (translator of the text from French, thanks Sandra) and Roberto’s precious help for the cover convinced me in step … doble! The edition that you will find at this link https://www.amazon.com/Las-Beguinas-Mujeres-libertad-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08JKC4W63/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=silvana+panciera&qid=1600754659&s=books&sr=1-1 , however, is not the translation of the original text, but a real new edition, much richer and more thorough than the previous one, which anticipates those that will follow in Italian, French and English. The linguistic order of the editions is now chronologically different of the first  but the aim remains the same: to tell the greatest number of people, and therefore in different languages, this compelling story of women enraptured with love and with “sanctification in freedom”. Thank you for joining me in making this story known.

Reading the Newsletters of the year 2020
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2019
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2018
Reading the Newsletters of the year 2017

The Newsletter “Beguines” informs about beguinages and beguines, both traditional and modern. You can also collaborate by sending news to info@beguines.info

To suscribe is also a way to touch in contact. For that, please do it yourself by https://tinyletter.com/Beguines or send your email to info@beguines.info

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