Mariken of Nimwegen

201607121428NijmegenMariken by her uncle, with whom she lives in the house, sent to Nimwegen to do the market shopping. In the evening it’s too late to go back home safely, but her aunt Nimwegen will offer her no shelter and chases her away. Desperate Mariken goes down in a hedge. As a stranger speaks to her, the devil disguised as a man. He is known as “Moenen with one eye” and promises her knowledge and wealth if she will go with him. But she needs to change her name, because he does not like getting to a certain Mary to be reminded. Mariken now Emmeken (a name that means little M, and therefore still refers to her own name). Emmeken and Moenen travel to Antwerp, where they lead a long wild and sinful life for seven years. Then Emmeken want to see her family. They go to Nimwegen and see there on the street the staging of a play about God’s grace. Emmeken repents. The devil takes her high into the air and let her fall in order to break her neck and taking her soul to hell. But she survived the fall because her uncle for her prayers. With him, she travels to the pope to find forgiveness for her sin of years. The pope gives her metal rings around her neck and arms. If the rings will fall off, that will be the sign that God has forgiven her. Mariken goes to the monastery. After many years of penance appears an angel that removes the rings in her sleep. If Mariken died two years later, the rings are placed over her grave.

Statue of Mariken on the market square in Nimwegen, in front of the porch (AD 1605) leading to the Saint Stephan Church (AD 1274).

Picture: July 12, 2016

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