Julian of Norwich (circa 1342 to circa 1416) was an English anchoress who is regarded as one of the most important Christian mystics. [UPDATED]
She is venerated in the Anglican and Lutheran churches, and is one of England’s most important mystics.
During a severe illness, Julian had a series of intense visions of Jesus Christ. She wrote them down immediately. Later, around 1395, she added theological explorations of the meaning of her visions. Read our biography of Julian.
Those explorations are her work, Revelations of Divine Love. It is a widely celebrated work because of the clarity and depth of her visions. It is one of the 25 Books Every Christian Should Read. And it is the first book in the English language known to have been written by a woman.
Consider reading Revelations of Divine Love as an investment in your faith. It will be spiritually edifying, an immersion in one of the greatest works in all of Christian history, and a wonderful adventure.
Julian of Norwich wrote in a straightforward Middle English. It would have been pretty easy for people living in her day to understand what she wrote. But that was more than six centuries ago.
Since then, the English language has changed a great deal. In our day, most people would find her writings very difficult to read.
We need a more contemporary edition.That brings us to one of the biggest challenges in reading historic books: selecting a translation.
As of this writing, we find six translations online of the Revelations of Divine Love:
- Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trüber & Co. (1902), at the Internet Archive
- Grace Warrack (1902), at Bible Hub
- Grace Warrack (1902), at Christian Classics Ethereal Library
- Ticknor and Fields (1864)
- Julia Bolton Holloway (2002), at Umilta
- Georgia Ronan Crampton (1994), at the University of Rochester
CHAPTER 1. A revelation of love — in sixteen showings
In this opening chapter, Julian outlines 16 different ways that God has showed his divine love for us.
In their beauty and diversity, these 16 manifestations can touch every person.
CHAPTER 2. A simple person to whom God gave three gifts
Julian shares three gifts she received from God:
- to be in love with Jesus Christ
- her own bodily sickness, and
- receiving the stigmata
CHAPTER 3. I desired to suffer with Him
Julian tells of her grave illness at age 30. She glimpsed the shortness of life.
Like St. Paul, she desired to share in the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
CHAPTER 4. I saw Jesus in his passion and I was filled with joy
Jesus Christ personally reveals to Julian his own suffering on the cross.
At that very moment, the Holy Trinity filled her with JOY.
This was the first revelation.
CHAPTER 5. God, give me yourself — You are my All
Julian is shown that Jesus Christ is our everything. She sees the entire created universe as a fragile little thing.
God made it and loves it and keeps it.
CHAPTER 6. Trusting in the goodness of God
Julian urges us to trust in the goodness of God. He is delight and grace, help and tender love. He does not disdain us.
CHAPTER 7. This revelation is Faith, nothing but faith
This revelation is Faith, nothing but faith.
Julian sees that Jesus Christ is high and mighty, yet he comes alongside us as our brother and close friend.
By faith, we too can know him in those ways.
CHAPTER 8. That other Christians may see and know
Julian desires that her fellow Christian believers could see and know the the revelations she was given.
It would comfort them and help them love God more fully.
CHAPTER 9. God loves us all
Julian shares that even though she was given the “Revelations of Divine Love,” God does not love her more than he loves other people.
Rather, he loves us all.
THE SECOND REVELATION
CHAPTER 10. God wishes us to seek him
God wishes us to seek him. Julian beholds Jesus Christ. And wants him.
Our continual seeking of God pleases him greatly. Seeking is as good as beholding.
THE THIRD REVELATION
CHAPTER 11. Consent to enjoying God
Julian is shown the nature of sin. God is always at work.
We should focus on beholding him, and consent to enjoying him.
THE FOURTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 12. The blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Julian sees Jesus Christ after he was scourged.
His blood is like the ocean. It is precious yet plentiful, and fully able to cleanse us.
THE FIFTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 13. The enemy is overcome
The Lord Jesus Christ shows Julian that he has overcome the enemy.
The good Lord desires that all be saved.
THE SIXTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 14. Three types of bliss in heaven
Julian says that heaven will be filled with joy and love.
The Lord will honor our faith. We will experience three types of bliss:
- the worshipful thanking of our Lord God
- all creatures in heaven will see that worshipful thanking
- that thanking will last without end
THE SEVENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 15. God wishes us to have endless enjoyment, not sorrow
Julian is given alternate experiences of joy and of sorrow.
God desires for us to have endless enjoyment, not sorrow.
THE EIGHTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 16. The final parts of his Passion
Julian sees Jesus Christ on the cross. His final suffering was that the blood drained out of his face and his flesh dried out.
CHAPTER 17. Empathizing with Christ’s pain
Julian empathizes with Christ her Love, in his great pain. His pain is so much more than ours.
CHAPTER 18. When He was in pain, we were in pain
Julian sees that Mary and the disciples felt pain as Jesus Christ suffered.
In fact, all who love him will have empathy for his suffering.
CHAPTER 19. I learned to choose Jesus for my heaven
Julian choses Jesus on the cross as her gateway to heaven and bliss without end.
CHAPTER 20. He suffered for us all
Julian is shown that Jesus Christ chose to suffer for all the sins and sorrows of us all.
CHAPTER 21. Christ’s countenance brings us bliss and joy
Julian beholds Jesus Christ as he suffers on the cross. His countenance changes her, giving her bliss and joy.
In heaven, all will be joy.
THE NINTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 22. The love that made him suffer
Jesus Christ tells Julian that his suffering was bliss and joy.
It pleased God the Father and won our salvation.
CHAPTER 23. The Glad Giver
Julian is shown that through the suffering of Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity has endless joy and satisfaction.
And so should we.
THE TENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 24. Our Lord looked his wounds and rejoiced
The Lord Jesus Christ beholds his own wounded side.
He rejoices. His wounds lead to a place where all can be saved.
THE ELEVENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 25. See my mother
The Lord Jesus shows Julian that when we look at Mary, we see a reflection of how much God loves us.
THE TWELFTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 26. I am your everything
The Lord Jesus tells Julian that he is her love, her highest good, her highest joy, her bliss, her desire, her everything.
THE THIRTEENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 27. All will be well
Julian wonders why didn’t God prevent us from falling into sin?
The Lord Jesus tenderly said to her that all will be well.
CHAPTER 28. Our compassion is Christ’s compassion working in us
Julian glimpses the compassion of Jesus Christ for us.
When we have compassion for others, it is his compassion working in us.
CHAPTER 29. The harm of sin versus the glory of Satisfaction
Julian is stunned by how harmful as Adam’s sin was.
The Lord Jesus shows her that the Satisfaction that he accomplished is far greater.
CHAPTER 30. We do not know everything about Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ shows Julian that while much we know things about him.
We should accept that there is much we do not know.
CHAPTER 31. Jesus thirsts for us to be saved
The Lord Jesus Christ tells Julian that he has a spiritual thirst. It is that we:
- Be saved, and
- be altogether whole
CHAPTER 32. All manner of things shall be well
The Lord Jesus Christ tells Julian that all manner of things shall be well.
This is true even though it might seem otherwise.
CHAPTER 33. Let God determine the results
Julian says God wants us to behold his great works.
However, we must let go of what we think the results should be.
CHAPTER 34. The Lord will show us what we need to know.
The Lord Jesus shows Julian that many things are hidden from our knowledge.
But the Lord will show us what we need, and when we need it.
CHAPTER 35. The fullness of joy is to behold God in all
Julian realizes that It is best to behold God in a general way.
When the time is right, he will show us everything, and all will be well.
CHAPTER 36. Our sin does not hinder God from working
he Lord God shows Julian that our sins do not hinder him from working. This is due to his love for us.
He desires that we all be saved.
CHAPTER 37. Our beastly willpower versus our godly willpower
God shows Julian that we have two wills:
- Our beastly will wants to sin
- Our godly will never consents to sin
CHAPTER 38. Sin is replaced by worship
God shows Julian that in heaven, sin and shame will be turned into bliss and worship.
CHAPTER 39. Sin is our worst setback
Julian says that sin is the sharpest scourge. It is our worst setback.
But when we confess our sins, we are forgiven and set aright.
CHAPTER 40. God wills that we love ourselves and other people
Julian says when we repent, God forgives our sins.
He wills that we endlessly love ourselves. And other people.
THE FOURTEENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 41. I want you to ask things of me
God shows Julian that we do not trust him to answer our requests. We feel unworthy.
But he wills that we ask, and that we have it.
CHAPTER 42. Oneness with God and the fullness of joy
Julian says prayer is based on longing and trust. It leads to:
- oneness with God, and
- the fullness of joy
CHAPTER 43. Prayer unites us with God
Julian says prayer helps us behold God. The more we see God, the more we desire him.
EXPANDING ON THE FIRST FOURTEEN REVELATIONS
CHAPTER 44. Limitless truth and wisdom and love (expands on the first revelation)
Julian says God gave us truth and wisdom and love. Those point us back to God. In him we find our delight.
This chapter expands on the First Revelation.
CHAPTER 45. Two divine judgments
Julian says God’s first judgment is according to his own righteousness. And we are doomed.
His second judgment is based on Jesus Christ. And we are accepted.
CHAPTER 46. We have sinned
Julian says we need to know that we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God who is our bliss.
CHAPTER 47. Reverently marvel over God.
Julian says when we sin, we lose sight of God. And our relentless desires are still unfulfilled.
We should reverently marvel over God.
CHAPTER 48. Mercy and grace are rooted in love
Julian says mercy is tender love in action.
And grace is royal lordship in courteous action.
CHAPTER 49. Delivered from wrath and given peace
Julian says God makes us one with himself. He delivers us from wrath and gives us peace.
CHAPTER 50. God always sees us as Saved
We feel burdened by our sins.
But Julian says in the sight of God, we have always been saved.
CHAPTER 51. He is the head of the body
Julian says God the Father will not blame us.
That is thanks to Jesus Christ the suffering Servant.
CHAPTER 52. Endless love made him suffer
Julian sees that Jesus Christ dwells within us. Endless love made him suffer for us.
Julian reminds us of this verse:
Colossians 1:27. to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
CHAPTER 53. Loved and restored
Julian says even though we sin, in God’s eyes, we are endlessly loved and blissfully restored.
CHAPTER 54. God dwells in us
Julian says God dwells within us.
We are enclosed within the Persons of the Holy Trinity.
CHAPTER 55. Jesus Christ will restore us
Julian says Jesus Christ takes great joy in restoring us and presenting us to God the Father.
CHAPTER 56. Nearer to us than ourselves
Julian says God is the ground of our being.
He is nearer to us than our own Soul.
CHAPTER 57. Christ unites our two natures
Julian sees that in Jesus Christ, our two natures are united:
We are made whole.
CHAPTER 58. The Holy Trinity in our life
Julian shares mystical insights into the involvement of the Holy Trinity in our life.
CHAPTER 59. Jesus Christ is our “Mother”
Julian says we have our being in Jesus Christ.
In that way, he is our Mother.
CHAPTER 60. The kind loving Mother
Julian says Jesus Christ is known by motherly qualities such as mercy and grace and love.
CHAPTER 61. Love without end
Julian says is we sin, God’s strong and marvelous love will not be broken.
CHAPTER 62. God’s nature is goodness
Julian says God’s nature is goodness. He is the ground of our being, our Father and Mother.
CHAPTER 63. Jesus will heal us of sin
Julian says sin is contrary to our nature and unnatural. But Jesus will heal us, his children.
THE FIFTEENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 64. We will be taken up to Jesus
Julian says we will be taken from this world of pain and suffering, and taken up to Jesus.
CHAPTER 65. Assured of eternal life
Julian of Norwich says no matter what we do, we are endlessly loved.
We can be be sure of eternal life.
CHAPTER 66. Paranormal phenomenon
Julian of Norwich sees a crucifix bleed. And she is attacked by Satan.
All the while she trusts in the Lord.
THE SIXTEENTH REVELATION
CHAPTER 67. Jesus dwells within us
Julian saw that our hearts and lives are like a city. Jesus endlessly resides in the center.
CHAPTER 68. You will not be overcome
Jesus tells Julian that by his grace, when we face trials and temptations, we will not be overcome.
CHAPTER 69. Christ delivered her from Satan
Julian was spiritually attacked by the enemy. But she was delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ.
CHAPTER 70. Keep the faith
The Savior told Julian to keep the faith, to trust it, and to find comfort in it.
CHAPTER 71. Find our JOY in the Lord
Julian says the Lord beholds us and is glad. He wills that we find our true joy in him.
Julian reminds us of these verses:
Isaiah 58:14. then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father:” for the LORD’s mouth has spoken it.
Habakkuk 3:18. yet I will rejoice in the LORD. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
CHAPTER 72. Sin distances us from Christ
Julian says sin distances us from the endless bliss of knowing Jesus Christ.
CHAPTER 73. Impatience and Despair
Julian says impatience and despair give us a lot of trouble.
CHAPTER 74. No fear except Reverential Fear
Julian says the only fear in our life should be the reverential fear of God.
CHAPTER 75. He is working in our lives
Julian says God loves us, longs for us, and fulfills us.
In eternity, we will see that fully.
CHAPTER 76. Love Jesus and hate sin
Julian says for those who love Jesus Christ, to sin is the worst kind of hell.
CHAPTER 77. Don’t make yourself miserable
Julian says don’t drag yourself down with penances or guilt. The goal is love and peace.
CHAPTER 78. We are feeble and fall into sin
Julian says even if we are high contemplatives, we are feeble and can fall into sin.
CHAPTER 79. Jesus is our salve and our life
Julian says we fall into sin, again and again. Yet Jesus is still our salve and our life.
This echoes a teaching from St. Paul. He distinguishes between “good” sorrow that leads us to repentance, and “bad” sorrow that leads to misery:
2 Corinthians 7:10. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world produces death.
CHAPTER 80. Three spiritual anchors
Julian says God gives us three anchors:
- natural human reason
- the church, and
- the Holy Spirit
CHAPTER 81. Joy and Bliss is our “Penance”
Julian says God longs for us. He lives in our souls.
Let’s live joyfully and blissfully!
CHAPTER 82. One Divine Love
Julian says through all our many ups and downs, we are preciously kept in one divine Love.
CHAPTER 83. Live, Love, and Light
Julian says God reaches to us with life and love and light.
We see those by the light of faith.
CHAPTER 84. Love
Julian says God is love. He created us out of love. He put love within us.
All will be love.
CHAPTER 85. Secret things revealed
Julian says in eternity, God will show us clearly the secret things now hidden from us.
CHAPTER 86. Love was our Lord’s meaning
Julian says the Lord wants us to know his love. It is all about his love for us.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.