Women's history has often been relegated to the shadow world: felt but not seen. Yet many of our church fathers became prominent because of women. Early church histories frequently make brief mention of women dwelling in the desert, living as urban solitaries, or residing in our near monastic communities. Palladius, in his Lausiac History, estimated that the women outnumbered the men two to one, yet it is the stories of the men that are preserved and told. Laura Swan seeks to correct this inequity in retelling the saying, stories and lives of some of these early Christian women.
"Laura Swan illuminates the desert mothers' stories and teachings with the insights drawn from her own experience of the same struggles in the context of modern religious life. There are surely lessons here for every reader." -Jo Ann McNamara, Professor Emerita, Hunter College
Laura Swan, O.S.B., holds graduate degrees in theology and spirituality. She is currently prioress of Saint Placid Priory, a Benedictine monastery in the Pacific Northwest.