The medieval mystics with a hotline to God

They ate lepers' scabs, starved themselves to the brink of death, and had themselves permanently bricked into solitary cells. Hetta Howes gives six examples of the extreme lengths to which some believers were prepared to go to get closer to Jesus in the Middle Ages...

A portrait of Catherine of Siena, who in the 1360s experienced a vision from God during which – according to her biographer, Raymond of Capua – she drank the water from the wound in Christ’s side. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

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