Icon with Adronicus, Saint Athanasius, and Saint Junia, Wikipedia photo.
Icon with Adronicus, Saint Athanasius, and Saint Junia, Wikipedia photo.

Whispering Judean Desert winds, musical
Waves on Galilee Sea, Gospel of Saint Junia
Revealed, insights recorded on papyri, buried
In clay urns, her account of Christ and his
Teachings, lost to timeless sands, shifting
And exposing ancient brick walls, histories
The patriarchal church denied.

Her love unique, Junia’s Christophany was
Envisioned before Paul, noted amongst apostles,
Imprisoned with Andronicus of Pannonia for
Her beliefs. Spiritual gifts, Junia, glimpsed
Divinity, woman of God, passions shining for
Christ, God fleshed in redeeming love, her
Heart divinely pierced by his plangent voice.

From this spiritual awakening, Junia began to
Write, inspired words sipped from holy founts,
Life and love elevated by Holy Spirit Mother,
Invisible perfection, divine matro-pater, record
Of all thoughts, before and after Christ, divinity
Touched Junia whilst in prayerful solitude on
Judean Desert hillsides.

Archaeologist’s trowels uncovered clay vessels,
Fragmentary papyri preserved and translated,
Her devotion to Christ realized, love of man and
God as one, savior walking in sandaled feet,
Teacher, healer, and provider, complementing
And conflicted with Jewish religious thought,
Rome-imposed occupation and laws.

“For those in Christ are of one mind,” Junia
Wrote, “Divine union of heart and soul, eternal
Koinonia, fellowship and giving, transcending
Earthly love, Jews, Gentiles, and Hellinites.”
“Christ is a spiritual partner, divine marriage of
Shameless love, beyond temptation of stones
To bread, mortal kingdoms from pinnacles seen.”

Papyrus 66, Gospel of John, Wikipedia photo.
Papyrus 66, Gospel of John, Wikipedia photo.

As biblical archaeologists discovered, Junia
Did not write in isolation, her beliefs discussed
With other apostles at secret meeting places, days
Safe from persecution and prison, cryptic signs,
Palindromic words. Junia found spiritual solace
With her savior, Coptic papyric writings, inclusion
Of Nomina divina, holy textual abbreviations.

Beyond meager accounts, no records exist of
Junia’s life. Because of her divergent teachings,
Some believe she died in prison or was stoned
To death. However surviving papyri, suggest
For decades, Junia followed Christ’s path, oft
Writing in safe seclusion, like her papyri, her
Bones are buried in a time-lost desert crypt.

A mix of biblical fact and fiction, this poem tells of a female apostle whose life and teachings were dismissed by the church and her name masculinized to “Junius.” For more on Saint Junia, see this link: http://www.stjuniashouse.com/html/about.html 
For more in-depth study, see: “Junia: The First Woman Apostle” by Eldon Jay Epp, Augsburg Fortress Press, 2005.

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