Matelda and the Cloister of Hellfde
by Frances Bevan
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Mechthild von Magdeburg, a German mystic of the 13th century, recorded descriptions
of her visions of God in her book The Flowing Light of Divinity. More often
than not, Mechthild recounted her visions in poetry rather than in prose. Passionately
and exuberantly, she wrote of Heaven, Hell, and her unique and powerful love of
Christ. Some scholars conjecture that Dante alluded to the German nun in his Divine
Comedy with the character of Matelda. Frances Bevan, translator of German hymns
by Gerhard Tersteegen and others, offers here an English translation of selections from