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The image
of a courageous woman

 L’immagine di una donna coraggiosa  DCM-003
05 March 2022

In 1984, Spain printed the commemorative stamp ‘XVI centanario del viaje de la monja Egeria al Oriente Bíblico, 381-384’ [XVI centenary of the journey of the nun Egeria to the Biblical East, 381-384], recalling the journey of Egeria and the centenary of the discovery of her diary. The famous pilgrim is portrayed there on the back of a mule, wearing a red dress, and light blue cloak. Nothing is actually known about Egeria, only hypothesis about her that emerge from analyzing the text in Latin that she left behind. What is on the cover of Women Church World, therefore, is not her real face, but an artist’s impression of the woman who in the 4th century left from Galicia to reach the Holy Land, leaving to the world a precious travel book, found 1500 years later in Arezzo. According to the monk Valerius, the Spanish seventh century ascetic, who was also a writer and chronicler of his time, she was a nun and the diary is a long letter to her sisters. Other scholars, who have taken into account the length of the journey, which was four years, and the costs incurred, believe that she must have been a rich middle-class woman, with a cultural formation, and Christian. Egeria paid particular attention to the liturgy and the description of that of Holy Week used in Jerusalem is of great interest to scholars. (WCW)