When Wise Women Were Witches

The wiping out of women healers in medieval Europe

Old painting of a witch being tortured

“Do you heal sick persons?” the imposing interrogator asked the frail, aging woman.

“Yes, sir,” replied Gostanza da Libbiano, a 60-year-old nun who practiced as a midwife and healer in Tuscany, Italy. It was 1594 and Gostanza was on trial for witchcraft.