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The Life of Christina Mirabilis depicts a series of self-inflicted torments which are seemingly unique in medieval devotional literature in that they leave no outward evidence on her body. This essay examines the self-healing nature of Christina's wounds and the importance of their invisibility in a culture which typically emphasises the visibility of the broken body. It considers the ways in Christina’s resurrected body (in both the Latin (c. 1232) and English (c. 1420) versions of her Life) contributes to thirteenth and fifteenth-century purgatorial and Eucharistic theologies, and suggests a correlation between the bodies of Christina and Christ which allows her body to function as a symbolic Eucharist.

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Copyright © 2017 Sarah Macmillan