The 13th century was the golden age of French verse hagiography, and more than half of the 200 extant French saint's lives date from this period. Among the saints exalted are 13 female martyrs and hermits of early Christianity. In "The Lady as Saint", Brigitte Cazelles offers an English translation of these lives and provides commentary on the portrayal of female spirituality and perfection in the literary context of 12th-and 13th-century France. In her analysis, Cazelles poses two key questions. First, why this preference for heroines of a bygone era at the expense of more contemporary models of female spiritual perfection? Second, what did these early martyrs and hermits have in common with their 13th-century audience? Gazelles contends that the woman saint depicted in verse hagiography and the courtly lady depicted in secular literature share certain common characteristics: visibility, passivity and silence.