Whether they are famous or not, in this repertoire all the beguines I’ve encountered are here mentioned. We want to pay tribute to all these weavers of the beguinal movement.
Sometimes the traits of their vocation are inaccurate or may change with time, because life itself is modifiable and the beguinal choice offers multiple ways of living. In addition, lay and religious elements intertwine in beguinal life, and ecclesiastical pressures are not absent
A short biography of each of them is (will be) presented and whenever possible a blue link refers to a wider description of their life. I have written in red the traits that allow us to include them among the beguines or near the beguinal movement. Some biographies have been prepared by other scholars whom I thank for their generous collaboration. In this case, their name is mentioned.
Both traditional and modern beguines, but only the dead ones, are remembered, because they all belong to the same history. The list will always be incomplete because the memory is still being reconstructed, but with the women whom we find here, we are really in good company.
Here they are:
Today only Belgium still retains a significant number of beguinages and since 1998 thirteen of them have been classified by UNESCO as world heritage of humanity . There are also two in the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Breda, and one in France, in Cambrai, and some traces in French Flanders. The rest is only a reconstruction of history and cartography.
What we commonly call “beguinage” was established in Flanders (now the Netherlands and Belgium) from 1240 as the main community form of beguinal life. It can be seen that where the buguinages have become parishes, they have had more guarantees of continuity. This is one of the reasons why, although the first groups of beguines were born in the diocese of Liège, it is mainly in the Flemish territory of Belgium that there are still important traces.
However, we must remember that the places where beguines lived were various: near a monastery or a leper house, in contiguous houses on the same street, in nearby hermitages up to solitary forms of life in a cell or within their own family and even a wandering life, quickly forbidden by the Church.
Here we present the historical beguinages. As the state of research is very incomplete, the reality of the beguinal world, still too hidden, is certainly superior to that presented here. For Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland more information are available underneath. For modern beguines, click on the beguinal movement today.
The most recent works of Pascal Majérus have documented 300 beguinages in Belgium, with different connotations between Flanders and Wallonia
For the most part they have been founded between 1230 and 1280, the XIII century is the golden age of the Beguinal movement. About 30 of them survived the destructions. Of these, only two are in Wallonie (Liège and Enghien), two in the Brussels region (Anderlecht and Brussels) and 26 in the Flemish region as follows:
province of Antwerp (Antwerp, Herentals, Hoogstraten, Ivy, Mechelen (great beguinage and little beguinage) and Turnhout;
province of Limburg: Borgloon, Saint-Trond, Tongeren and Hasselt;
province of East Flanders: Aalst, Dendermonde, Ghent (great beguinage, small beguinage and beguinage of Mont-Saint-Amand-lez-Ghent) and Oudenarde;
province of West Flanders: Bruges, Diksmuide and Kortrijk;
province of Flemish Brabant: Aarschot, Diest, Leuven (Great Beguinage and Little Beguinage), Overijse and Tienen.
Various beguinages, especially in the north, eixsted among which Aire sur la Lys, Arras, Bailleul, Beaune (at the service of the famous hospital founded by Nicolas Rolin), Cambrai, Castelnaudary, Douai, Lille, St. Omer (21 convents with 395 women living there by 1322) and Valenciennes. Laura Swam writes: “ Between 1245 and 1355, fifteen beguinages were established in Douai “ among them Champfleury , with its flourishing hospial, “ that grew to include at list one hundred beguines” (The winsdom of beguines, p.32)
In Paris, the famous “Grand beguinage” was founded in 1260 by Louis IX himself and was closed in 1471. It could accommodate about 400 women, widows or young singles. At that time, Paris also counted dozens of other minor beguinages. Today, in this historic place the Lycée Charlemagne sets up, accessible from the street of the same name. Nearby, the old church of Saint Paul and Saint Louis, already existing at the time of the beguinage. Not far from there, “Place de l’Hôtel de Ville”. In 1310, it was called “Place de Grève” and knew the martyrdom at the stake of Marguerite Porete. Nothing remembers this tragic abuse, if not by chance a café at a corner of the square which is called “Café Marguerite”. .
Going south, there are Belfort and then Narbonne, Digne and Beziers. The only French beguinage preserved today would be that of Saint-Vaast located at Cambrai.
Beginning in the 80s, the historical beguinage presence was rediscovered thanks to extensive studies and a research methodology per spatial sectors promoted by the Federation. This enabled an impressive number of beguinal locations to be identified, as it can be seen in cartography by Frank-Michael Reichstein, presented on the Federation’s website (Kartographische Darstellung aus: Frank-Michael Reichstein: Das Beginenwesen in Deutschland, Berlin 2001). The Brita Lieb Interview published in Neue Wege 7.8.2018 offers an overview of historical research in Germany and other European countries.
Three traditions of “beguinal life” are present in the Italian context: in the North, the Humiliate (especially in Lombardy); at the Center (especially in Umbria) a multiplicity of spiritually committed secular life expressions that are grouped under the term Bizzoche or Pinzocchere. We owe to the scholars Romana Guarnieri and Mario Sensi the production of numerous historical researches on these realities. Finally, in the South, especially since the 16th century, a particular form of beguinal life called “monache di casa” (house nuns who lived in the family or alone) develops. These women insisted to express their choice of voluntary celibacy through “religious” clothes. The “house nuns” will then be distinguished in “bizzoche professed” and “ bizzoche non-professed or devotional ones”. Others, called “monache di conservatorio”, live together in institutions of social aids, under a civil or an ecclesiastical jurisdiction. (See the works of Gabriele Tardio, Adriana Valerio and Giulia Boccadamo)
Walter Simons, in his magnificent book Cities of Ladies, points out that in the years 1240-1280 communities of beguines were established in about one hundred places in the Netherlands. (cited by E.Wagenmakers, https://www.begijnhofbreda.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Wagemakers-inleiding-Frans.pdf)
The gradual disappearance of these enclosures is due on the one hand to the abandonment and destruction caused during the Dutch revolt against Spain (1565) and on the other hand to the devastation wrought by the Calvinists during the wars of religion. Only two very beautiful beguinages remain today: Amsterdam and Breda, which have been protected by the Orange-Nassau family.
Amsterdam is the destination of many tourists who visit it daily and it is a reference point for Catholics who live in the historic center. According to the statutes, its houses must be intended for single women, preferably Catholics. (From an interview of May 5, 2012 with Van Heyst, rector of the beguinage, published by Paola De Groot-Testoni in http: // www. zenit.org/article-30499?l=italian).
Breda is small and harmonious. Its central lawn was originally used for washing fabrics and wool and later become “hortus sempliciorum” for the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants. The beguinage maintains its original function as a place of residence for the women. It also has an important museum function.
There are documents that attest both in Sweden and in Denmark to the presence of beguines, who however lived preferably outside the cities and near male monasteries. Also in these countries they organized infirmaries for the poor. Thanks to the works of Laura Swam, we have traces in Denmark: beguines were present in Roskilde from 1260 onwards, in Copenhagen from 1270 and in Ribe (on the North Sea) from 1290.
In Sweden, Ingrid of Skänninge (+1282) was part of a group of beguines who then embraced Dominican spirituality. In 1388, Bishop Nicolaus Hermansson of Linköping agreed that the Beguines of the surroundings of Vadstena continue their lifestyle. However, in 1412 they were condemned by the bishop Johan of Uppsala and in 1506 pushed off from the Bridgettine Order’s monks who wanted to expand on their lands.
According to the medievalist Hans Joachim Schmidt, professor at the University of Freiburg, there were beguinages in the towns of Freiburg (in Romon near Freiburg ” béguines street”), Einsiedeln, Lausanne, Zurich, Berne and Basel, the better known, with 22 houses of beguines in the middle of the XIVth century. It seems that there were even some in the rural places, but historical research is difficult. (Source: “A vue de l’Esprit” programs, RSR, Swiss-French radio, by Bernard Litzler, from 23 to 27 January 2012).
For further informations, here the very interesting paper Beguines in Switzerland presented by Brita Lieb during the Beguinenreise 2018 in Switzerland (transaltion by Gabi Bierkl) and the text of Martina Wehrli-Johns Beguines and Beghards in the Historical Dictionnary of Switzerland.
Beguinages are also metionned in Austria, England, Hungary, Luxembourg and Poland.
Although survival beguinages have similar spatial features, each one of them has a style of its own. In the smallest one in Anderlecht, next to Saints Peter and Guidon’s church, were lodged eight Beguines. In the largest ones, such as the Ten Hove in Leuven or the Saint Elizabeth’s in Gent, hundreds were lodged. The closeness of a river made textile and wool washing easier.
The spatial model of the beguinage is square or in regular echelon or a combination of both; it is circled by a wall and in some cases also by a moat.
At the main entry, a doorkeeper Beguine controls the access. At closing time all the Beguines have to be in and all visitors out. The statue of the patron or patroness of the beguinage is usually placed above the main door; at the centre is the church. All around there are one-storey dwellings with a small garden and devotional decorations to give the entrance a personal flavour. The convent is the communal dwelling of those who have no property, and the house of the Grande Dame is generally prominent.
One can also find an infirmary, the Table of the Holy Spirit and several elements of devotion scattered here and there: small chapels, Pietà, statues, calvaries, to create an atmosphere of concentration and prayer. If the beguinage makes its living out of agriculture, then sheds and other related buildings can also be found.
Today visitors of a historical beguinage feel a sense of interiority, calm and rest, due, among other things, to the construction standards that made them the first places of concerted urban planning. But if even the stones may have a memory, it is also the spirituality of these women that survives through these vestiges.
Information sources available on the web, classified by the following 5 categories:
1 Articles and books 2 Blog & Facebook & Twitter 3 Information web sites 4 Podcast 5 Videos on Youtube
You also might contribute to improve this list, by sending other more bibliography references to: email@example.com
1 Articles and books (in descending chronological order)
Huanan Lu, Le béguinage Ste-Élisabeth à Valenciennes (XIIIe-XIVe siècles), Doctoral thesis in History and Civilizations, under the supervision of Sylvain Piron., defended on 30-09-2021 in Paris, EHESS, as part of the Doctoral School of the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences. Online consultation here
BAUMER-DESPEIGNE Odette, Le mouvement béguinal au XIIIe siècle en Belgique, Frauenfeld – Suisse, 1987, texte polycopié
BEATRICE de Nazareth, 7 degrés d’amour, Ed.Claude Martingay, Génève, 1972.
BEATRICE de Nazareth, I sette modi di amare Dio. Via di Beatrice, edizioni Paoline,2016
BLASUCCI A., CALATI B., GREGOIRE R., La spiritualità del medievo, volume 4 della Storia della spiritualità, Borla
BOUCKAERT Claude, De laatste der begijnen, Uitgeverij Groeninghe, Kortrijk, 2000
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA ON CD ROM, Beguine & Beghards
COMMODI Bernardo, Beata Angelina da Monegiove, Editrice Velar, Gorle, 2014
CRÉ Marleen, The Mirror of Simple Souls, in Middle English Revisited: M.N. and the compiler of London, Westminster Cathedral Treasury, MS 4
DE DACIE Pierre, La vie de Christine de Stommeln, suivie de Lettres de Pierre et de Christine, William Blake and Co., 2005
DE JAEGHER Paul, s.j., Anthologie mystique, Desclée De Brouwer, Paris, 1933
DELHEZ Charles (sous la direction de), Collection “Sur la route des saints” Julienne De Cornillon, Ed Fidélité, Namur,1996
DELLA CROCE Giovanna, I mistici del nord, Ed.Studium, Roma, 1981
DELMELLE Joseph, Abbayes et béguinages, Rossel édition, BXL, l973
De VITRY Jacques, Vie de Marie d’Oignies, avec supplément de Thomas Cantimpré, traduction et préface par André Wankenne, Société des études classiques, Namur, 1989
d’HAENENS Albert (avec une équipe du Centre de recherche sur la communication en histoire de l’UCL), Béguinages de Belgique, Ed.Belgique points ARTIS.
DINZEBACHER Perter – BAUER Dieter R. (a cura di), Movimento religioso e mistica femminile nel Medioevo, Ed. Paoline, 1993
DUFRASNE Dieudonné, Donne moderne del Medioevo, Jacabook, 2009; Libres et folles d’amour, éd. Thomas Mols, Bierges, 2007
FEVERATI Lucia, Tra successo e sospetto. Le beghine nell’Europa del duecento e trecento, Tesi di laurea di primo ciclo, Facoltà di storia e beni culturali della Chiesa, Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2018-2019
FESTA Gianni e RAININI Marco (a cura di), L’ordine dei Predicatori. I Domenicani : storia, figure e istituzioni (1216-2016), Editori Laterza, 2016
FICHE et MARTIN, L’histoire de l’Église, Tome 9, Blond & Gay, 1946
FILANNINO Anna Clotilde, La Contessa con gli zoccoli. Angelina da Montegiove nobile, penitente e francescana, Edizioni Porziuncola, Assisi, 2006 (prefazione di Mario Sensi)
FOZZER Giovanna, Nello specchio di Margherita, Firenze, 2001
GALASSO Giuseppe e Adriana VALERIO (a cura di), Donne e religione a Napoli. Secoli XVi-XVIII, Franco Angeli. 2001, in particolare il testo di Giuliana BOCCADAMO, Monache di casa e monache di conservatorio, p139-191
GIULIANA Di Norwich, Libro delle rivelazioni, Ancora, Milano, 2003
GRUNDMANN, H. Movimenti religiosi nel Medioevo, Il Mulino, Bologna 1980
GUARNIERI Romana (a cura di), Il movimento del Libero Spirito. Testi e documenti, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, Roma, 1965, pp. 708
GUARNIERI Romana, Amiche mie, beghine, in Ruah, Il femminile di Dio, Piccola biblioteca Millelire, n.14, Stampa alternativa
GUARNIERI Romana, Pinzochere, Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione 6 (1980), 1721-49
GUARNIERI Romana, Donne e chiesa tra mistica e istituzioni(secoli XIII-XV), Edizioni di storia e letteratura, Roma, 2004 (pp.417)
HADEWIJCH d’Anvers, Ecrits mystiques des Béguines, Ed.Seuil,Paris, l954
HADEWIJCH d’Anvers, Lettres spirituelles, Ed Claude Martingay, Genève,1972
HADEWIJCH d’Anvers, Visions, Collection Les deux rives, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1987 ; HADEWIJCH d’Anvers, Les Visions, traduction, présentation et notes de Georgette Epiney-Burgard, éditions Ad.Solem, Genève, 2000
HADEWIJCH d’Anversa, Lettere. Dio amore e amante. Traduzione dal mediolandese di Rocco Berardi, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), Edizioni Paoline, 1986.
HADEWIJCH d’ANVERSA, Poesie, visioni, lettere, scelte e tradotte da Romana Guarnieri, Marietti Editore, 2000
Hadewijch : The Complete Works(Classical of Western Spirituality), translation by Mother Columba Hart OSB, preface by Paul Mummers, S.J, 1980
HADEWIJCH d’Anvers, Les chants, Éditions de Veerle Fraeters et Franck Willaert avec une reconstitution des mélodies par Louis Peter Grijp, Préface de Jacques Darras, Traduction du (moyen) néerlandais par Daniel Cunin, Albin Michel, 2019
HADEWIJCH di Anversa, I canti, tradotti da Francesca Barresi con la collaborazione di Lorenzo Nespoli e prefazione di Chiara Frugoni, prima edizione italiana integrale, Marietti, 240 pag
HARVEY Andrew(translated by), Love is Everything. A year with Hadewijch of Antwerp, Matthew Fox (Foreword), Laurence Freeman (Foreword), 2022
HOORNAERT R.(Chanoine), Ce que c’est qu’un béguinage, Desclé de Brouwer, 1921
HOORNAERT R.(Chanoine), La plus ancienne règle du béguinage de Bruges, Ed.De Plancke, Bruges, l930
HOORNAERT R.(Chanoine), Le béguinage princier de Bruges, le passé, le présent, Ed. de la vigne, Bruges, 1938
KELEN Jacqueline, Hadewijch d’Anvers ou la voie glorieuse, Albin Michel, 2011
KINER Aline, La nuit des béguines , éditions Liana Levi, 2017 ; La notte delle beghine, Neri Pozza, 2018
LAFITTE Serge, Les béguines. Insoumises de l’amour divin, dans Le monde des religions, mai-juin, 2007
LELOUP Jean-Yves, Les dits de la femme qui brûle. Marguerite Porete, Ed. Almora, 2018
LEMMENS Joseph, Une révolution du monachisme en Belgique, XIIIe-XVIIe siècles, Le cri histoire, Bruxelles, 2009, (chpitre IV : les Béguines et les Beguins)
LES BÉGUINES, Dossier, dans Lumière & Vie, janvier-mars 2013
LESGRETAIN Claire, L’étonnante modernité des béguinages, La Croix, 12 –12-2002
LIEB Brita Begine, Beginen und die werke der Barmherzigkeit, Parzellers Buchverlag, Fulda, 2016
MAISONNEUVE Roland, L’univers visionnaire de Julian of Norwich, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1987
MASSIGNON Louis, Ecrits mémorables, Tome I, Laffont, Paris, 2009
McDONNEL Ernest W., The Beguines and Beghards in Medieval Culture: With Special Emphasis on the Belgian Scene, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1954
MAES Pierre, Les béguinages, dans Trésors des béguinages, Catalogue de l’exposition au Musée des Beaux Arts à Gand, avril – juin 1961, édité par Snoeck-Ducaju, Gand, l96l.
MAETERLINCK Maurice, L’ornement des noces spirituelles de Ruysbroeck l’admirable, Les éperonniers, Bruxelles, 1990.
MAJERUS Pascal, Fondateur ou formateur ? Maître Guidon et l’établissement des proto-béguines à Nivelles, dans Revue d’histoire religieuse du Brabant-Wallon, Tome 12, 1998
MAJERUS Pascal, A l’ombre des enclos béguinaux, Revue d’histoire religieuse du Braban wallon, 13, 1999, 2, p.144-151.
MAJERUS Pascal, Les béguinages de Belgique : au-delà du mythe, Bulletin de Dexia banque, 2000/3 , p.33-53.
MAJERUS Pascal, Ces femmes qu’on dit béguines. Guides des béguinages de Belgique, Bibliographie et sources d’archives, Archives Générales du Royaume, 1997, Tomes 1 et 2
MARGUERITE PORETE, Le Mirouer des simples ames, edité par R. Guarnieri
MARGARETAE PORETE, Speculum animarum simplicium, cura et studio P. Verdeyen , (CCCM 69), Turnholti, Brepols, 1986.
MATON Gérard, Eléments pour une histoire de la congrégation Notre Dame du Fief, Texte polycopié.
Mc DONNEL E.W., The beguines and beghards in medieval culture, New Brunswick-New Jersey, 1954
MECHTILDE di Magdebourg, La luce fluente della divinità, Ed Giunti, Firenze, 1991
MENESTÒ Enrico (ed.), Le terziarie francescane della beata Angelina: origine e spiritualità. Atti del convegno (Foligno, 13-15 luglio 1995), Centro Ital. di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, Spoleto 1996, pp. VIII-360, tavv. f.t. 47 (Biblioteca del Centro per il collegamento degli studi medievali e umanistici in Umbria 17).
MENS A. (a cura di) Beghine, Begardi, Beghinaggi, Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione I, 1165-1180
MOMMAERS Paul, Hadewijch d’Anvers, adapté du néerlandais par Camille Jordens, CERF, Paris, 1994
MONTUSCHI Lea, Umiltà di Faenza.Una santa di ieri per oggi, Ed Paoline,
PSEUDO-HADEWIJCH, Poesie miste, tradotte da Alessia Vallarsa con la coll. Di Joros Reynaert, Marietti Editore, Genova-Milano, 2007
PSEUDO MASTER ECKHART, Diventare Dio. L’insegnamento di sorella Katrei, a cura di Marco Vannini, Adelphi edizioni, Milano, 2006
RASENBERG M.M.M., Viering 750 jaar Begijnhof Breda, Begijnhot Breda, 2017
REATI Fiorenzo,ofm, L’amicizia profumo della vita, Arca, Trento, 2004
RICHIR Luc, Marguerite Porete. Une âme au travail de l’Un , Ed.OUSIA, Bruxelles, 2002
ROQUET Claude-Henri, Petite vie de Ruysbroeck, Desclée de Brouwer, Paris, 2003
RUYSBROEC, Le livre des XII Béguines, œuvres de Ruysbroeck l’admirable, Tome VI, Vroment & C°, Bruxelles, 1938
SALVADORI Patrizia, Travolta da divina passione, dans Medioevo, ottobre 2004
SALVANESCHI Nino, L’anima del Belgio, Milano, 1927
SALVARANI Renata, Anime in amore di Dio, in Medioevo, ottobre 2009.
SBROGIÓ Adriana e CAZZANIGA Marco (a cura di), Le nuove beghine, Identità e differenza, Spinea, 2014
SCARAFFIA Lucetta, Spose di Dio, in Ruha, il femminile di Dio, Piccola biblioteca mille lire, n.14, Stampa alternativa
SCARAFFIA Lucetta, La santa degli impossibili, Vita e pensiero, Milano, 2014
SCHMITT Jean-Claude, Mort d’une hérésie.L’Église et les clers face aux béguines et aux bégards du Rhin supérieur du XIVe au XVe siècle, Mouton éditeur, Paris, 1978
SEBASTIANI Lucia, Da bizzocche a monache in Il monachesimo femminile in Italia dall’alto medioevo al secolo XVII a confronto con l’oggi, a cura di Gabrielle Zarri, Gabrielli Editori, 1977
SENSI Mario, Storie di bizzoche tra Umbria e Marche, prefazione di Romana Guarneri, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, Roma, 1995 ; Mulieres in Ecclesia . Storie di monache e bizzzoche, 2 tomi, Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, Spoleto, 2010
SIMON Pierre Arnold, Spiritualités et prophétisme dans les traditions judéo-chrétiennes, conférence organisée par Anjali, Bruxelles, 1989
SIMONS Walter, Cities of Ladies. Beguine communities in the Medieval Low Countries. 1200-1565, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001
SOLETI Maria Alessandra, Margherita porete: un processo ancora aperto. Una voce mistica nell’europa tardomedievale, Ed. Il Poligrafo, 2011
SOULAINE Aude, Marguerite Porete, dans Sept semaines avec les maîtres spirituels, Le supplément de La Vie du 4 mars 2004 (propos de Luc Richir)
STABLER MILLER Tanya, The Beguines of Medieval Paris. Gender, Patronage, and Spiritual Authority,University of Pennsylvania Press, 304 pages, 2014 (Kindle ebook), 2017 (paper)
STIENNON Jacques, Abbayes et des béguinages, Centre d’action culturelle de la communauté d’expression française, mai-juin 1973
SWAN Laura, The Wisdom of the Beguines, Bluebridge Press, 2015
TALEB Mohammed, La révolution des béguines, dans Le monde des religions, mars-avril, 2011.
TOMSIN Nathalie, Béguines et béguinages liégeois, Ed.Lecture et liberté, Liège, l984
TRIEST Monika, Grote Madammen. Het Sint-Elisabeth begijnhof van Gent en Sint-Amandsberg. Uitgeverij Averbode, 2011
VALLARSA Alessia, Nell’alta conoscenza del nudo amore. Un testo anonimo della mistica brabantina del XIV secolo: le Mengeldichten 17-29, Tesi di dottorato di ricerca, Università di Padova – Universiteit Gent, 2010
VANDEN BOSSCHE Hugo, Begijnen, begijnhoven en het begijnhof van Turnhout. De Vrienden van het Begijnhof van Turnhout, Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, 2013
VANDENBROECK Paul (sous la direction), Le jardin clos de l’âme, Société des expositions, Bruxelles, 1994 (catalogue de l’expo du 25 février au 22 mai 1994)
VAN AERSCHOT Suzanne & Michiel Heriman, Les béguinages de Flandre, Service des monuments et sites du Ministère de la Région Flamande, Editions Racine, 2001( a préparé le dossier pour la reconnaissance par l’UNESCO des béguinages comme patrimoine mondial de l’humanité ), édition originale en néerlandais parue chez Uitgeverij Davidsfond, Leuven, 2001
VAUCHEZ André, La spiritualité du Moyen Age occidental, Seuil, Point, Paris, l994
VAUCHEZ André, Les laïcs au Moyen Age. Pratiques et expériences religieuses, CERF, Paris, l987
VERDEYEN Paul s.j. Les activités de Ruusbroec à Bruxelles, conférence donnée à Bruxelles le 14 février 1998, texte polycopié
VERHOEVEN Alice, Le grand Béguinage de Bruxelles, Ed. Verhoeven, Bruxelles, 1995
VERRET Sylvain, Béguines et béguinages liégeois, Revue du Clergé français, Tome XXVIII, 1900-1901
With the death of the last Beguine in the world, Marcella Pattijn, on April 14, 2013, in the Sint-Jozef home in Kortrijk (Belgium), the historical epic of the Beguinal movement comes to an end. The movement sprang up in religious fervor which marked the end of the twelfth century and especially the thirteenth and helped to promote that the eminent medievalist historian Raoul Manselli calls “the second evangelization of Europe“.
Still little known or badly known despite its incisive historical heritage, the movement of the beguines seems to regain breath today through some modern experiences of community life that are inspired by it. Sometimes they refer to it by their denomination as for example the Garden of Beguinage in Etterbeek or the Beginenhof in Berlin. At other times, they integrate into the new experiments one or more dimensions which have characterized the very life of historical Beguines.
We will therefore list by geographical zone the emerging initiatives that are inspired by the Beguinal movement in their daily life:
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