Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lilian Staveley: a Hidden Saint

Lilian Staveley was born 1878 and died in 1928. Her body was buried in a Dorsetshire village.

Between these dates, Lilian grew up, was married to the Brigadier General William Cathcart Staveley, and came into a profound inner experience and knowledge that has since been compared with Saint Francis of Assisi and SrI rAmakRshNa.

Surprisingly, many people who knew Lilian unaware were of what was going on (including her husband). In short, Lilian was a hidden saint, and while outwardly, for example, she may have been found "shopping on London's Bond Street for a sensible pair of shoes" - inwardly she was absorbed in the deepest prayer.

Fortunately for us all, Lilian wrote three books: The Golden Fountain (1919), The Romance of the Soul (1920) and The Prodigal Returns (1921). These were published (anonymously, of course) by John M. Watkins of London.

Here is a brief excerpt on God-Consciousness, from the recent volume entitled A Christian Woman's Secret, that beautifully weaves Lilian's somewhat loosely written books into a more coherent whole:

The life of conscious connection with God is true living as far as we may know it in the flesh, an enormous increase over the petty and lacking life of the world. For in this life of God-consciousness is an immense sanity and poise, a balance between soul and body and heart and mind never achieved in the "normal" and "natural" life. Therefore the God-conscious life is not to be named an abnormal but the complete, full, and only truly normal life: a life in which both soul and creature have found their center, and the whole being in all its parts is brought to evenness, to harmony, to peace, and a greatly magnified intelligence. If all men and women attained this state, this world would automatically become Paradise. In this true life living and feeling alter their characteristics and surpass anything that can be imagined by the uninitiated mind.


  1. Thank you Nathan. Lilian seems a very sensible sort.

  2. I agree, and not just about her shoes! Thank you, Mystic Tourist.


  3. Is it possible to find out where she is buried in Dorset?
    Thanks SB

  4. Burstock Dorset St Andrews Parish