When Julian was about 30, she became extremely ill and nearly died. She in fact received the last rites; The last rites are a religious ceremony performed by a Christian priest for a dying person. 3
When it seemed like her dying moment had come, the priest suggested that she fix her eyes on the crucifix. As she began to lose her sight, the cross was all she could see. Suddenly, the pain left her, and she felt this was a sign that her dying would be less agonizing. As she drew close to death, she recalls praying that she might share Christ’s passion.
As she lay in her bed, Julian claimed to have received fifteen revelations – showings on one day in 1373 and another on the following day. She saw visions of the sufferings of Christ and of the Trinity.
The first, second, fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth of these showings were directly concerned with the Passion of Christ. They are described by Julian with great realism using homely concrete images drawn from daily life as well as vivid detail inspired by contemporary stained-glass windows and other art forms.
The series began when the dying woman saw the crucifix on which she was gazing come alive, as it were: