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On 29 Dec 1998, Christopher Crockett wrote:

> Re your suggestion that her visions were the result of ergot in her diet,
> further thought (such as it is) leads me to think that, on the contrary,
> regarding *her* we may have at least one case of visionary experiences 
> which we can be reasonably *sure* was *not* caused by ergot.
> 
> My understanding is that true, honest-to-Dog ergot poisoning is a 
> serious, serious matter, with extensive, painful and life-threatening symptoms
> (e.g., inflamed and burning extremities, esp. the lips, nose, ears and eyes). 

True, and it's a very pertinent point.
 
> That Our Lady was able to cure Hugo Farsit's patients in Soissons was thought
> no small accomplishment.
> (BTW St. Nicholas was also specific for St. Vitis' [is it?] Fire, I believe:
> perhaps someone knows something more on this??)

I believe St Vitus was the patron of choice for a nervous condition called
St Vitus' Dance.  Of Nicholas, deponent further saith not.
 
> So, not only would she have to have been consuming quantities of
> ergot-contaminated rye (also on wheat, no??) over time, but also would have
> presented obvious and quite debilitating symptoms---as would 
> **everyone else** in the community who consumed the same bread.
 
Again, a quite sensible idea. But it does make me wonder about later German 
convents--Helfta, obviously--in which numbers of nuns experienced visions 
concurrently!

John P.



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