This book is concerned with the concepts of Christian holiness and spirituality, notably as expressed in hagiographical literature, from Late Antiquity through to the Middle Ages. The first group of articles focuses on the Desert Fathers, the following ones examine key figures in the monastic history of the medieval West, dealing above all with England and with Bede and Anselm of Canterbury. Throughout, Benedicta Ward's aim has been to find an approach that makes full sense of Christian hagiography, miracles and all. It should not be seen, she argues, simply as biography, not as a quarry for information on social history, valuable though it may be for those purposes. The primary object of these Lives - as of the people about whom they were written - was religious: in the accounts of saints in any age there is a pattern integral to their subject, and this is to highlight the Christ-likeness of the saint; to neglect this meaning is to risk fundamentally misunderstanding these texts.