Oignt, Marguerite d' (d. 1310)

views updated

Oignt, Marguerite d' (d. 1310)

Mystic and writer of Poletins. Name variations: Marguerite de Duyn. Died in 1310 at priory of Poletins, near Lyons, France; never married; no children.

Marguerite d'Oignt was a holy woman of France in the Middle Ages. Although the details of her early life are unclear, she probably came from a wealthy family, for she was made a prioress, a position usually held by a noblewoman. She joined the new Carthusian order of nuns as a young woman, and was highly educated at the priory of Poletins near Lyons where she gained renown for her piety and mystical visions. In a few years, she was elected prioress of the house. Her fame spread as she began publishing her revelations and meditations, in which she revealed her visions and stressed the need for total self-abnegation in order to find God.

In the biography written of her by a contemporary, it is reported that Marguerite wrote and published to enlighten others, but more important she wrote for her own health. After a mystical experience, Marguerite would become so ill it seemed to others she was near death; but when she forced herself to write down what she had seen and heard, she would be completely cured. Marguerite wrote both in Latin and in French, so that academics and clerics as well as less educated people could benefit from her words. Among her works were a Life of St. Beatrice, a book of meditations, and several revelations of her visions.


Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane, ed. A History of Women in the West: Silences of the Middle Ages. Vol. II. Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1992.

Laura York , Riverside, California

More From encyclopedia.com