Women’s History Month – Part 4

ImageDuring March, 2012, we honor the women who used their gifts of communication to become influential writers and propel the Gospel forward with their words. Some of these writers include:

Faltonia Betitia Proba (4th century AD) – a Christian poet.

Kassia (810-867) – a Greek poet and hymn writer. 49 hymns have been attributed to Kassia, the majority of which are currently used in the Eastern Orthodox liturgy.

Hildegard (1088-1179) – a theologian who wrote about natural history and the medicinal use of plants. As a script writer, Hildegard saw some of her plays performed in the convent she organized.

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) – Yes, Julian was a woman who wrote about the motherhood of God.

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) was born in England, married at 16 and sailed to America. As an early colonist, she and her family struggled through many hardships, but kept their faith intact.  Anne became one of the premier Christian poets of the 17th century.

Sarah Osborn (1714-1796) – a Christian leader and writer.

Hannah More (1745-1833) wrote for stage performances and then became a philanthropist. She wrote tracts and books, describing social injustices and in 1805 published a book titled, “Hints Towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess.”

Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784) – a poet.

Hannah Adams (1755-1831) – a famous Christian writer. To help her family survive during the Revolutionary War period, Hannah made lace and tutored college-bound men. Then she wrote “An Alphabetical Compendium of the Various Sects”, an encyclopedia of world religions. With sales from this book, Hannah became the first American woman to support herself through the income of writing.

Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was the founder of the Sisters of Charity. During her lifetime, she wrote prolifically in her journals which recorded the struggles and victories of a life of faith. She also translated several French works, including “The Life of St. Vincent de Paul.”

Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874) – an evangelist and a writer.

Most of us know the name of Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) who was a famous hymn writer.

Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) used her writing skills in conjunction with her gift of evangelism. One of her most beloved books is “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.”

Patricia St. John (1919-1993) – a popular writer of Christian children’s books including “Treasures of the Snow.”

The list grows into the 20th and 21st century. God’s daughters continue to use their giftings for the furtherance of the Kingdom. Whether they write, serve as missionaries or raise the next generation of Christians – the month of March reminds us to celebrate women and their roles in history. Since Jesus valued us and died for us, we know we can go forward to write, speak, teach, nurture and evangelize our world. As Christ has loved us, so we love him and make our own places in history as women, servants and the bride of Christ.