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Marguerite Porete (? – 1310.)

Continuing with my Heretics theme (which will go on until Halloween- broken up by some witches too) Marguerite was a French mystic and author of The Mirror of Simple Souls. The details of her life are somewhat biased as it is only described in her trial records. She was highly educated which means she was probably born into the upper class of northern France.

Her first book was written in the 1290’s, and was immediately deemed heretical- it was publicly burned and she was ordered to never spread her ideas again. That did not stop Marguerite- she kept writing. In 1310, a commission of 21 theologians examined her work and again, deemed it heretical.

The book itself states that when the Soul is truly full of God’s love, it is united with God. When one’s soul is at this unified state, it cannot sin because it is wholly united with nature.  ” I am God, says Love, for Love is God and God is Love, and this Soul is God by the condition of Love. I am God by divine nature and this Soul is God by the condition of Love. Thus this precious beloved of mine is taught and guided by me, without herself, for she is transformed into me, and such a perfect one, says Love, takes my nourishment.”

No one is all that sure why she was such a target and why all the effort was put into her trial (21 men?!?!?) but it was most likely due to the growing hostility within different political groups at the time.

She was burned at the stake for heresy in 1310 in Paris.