Reactions to medieval lepers were often extreme. Medieval romance-writers depict them as not only disease-ridden but filthy, and morally suspect to boot. Saints, on the other hand, ran around kissing them. More ordinary people just asked lepers to pray for them. Why? And if you lived in thirteenth-century Chartres, why shouldn't you eat dinner with the leper next door?
Bird, Jessalynn Lea. “Medicine for Body and Soul: Jacques de Vitry’s Sermons to Hospitallers and their Charges.” In Religion and Medicine in the Middle Ages, 91-108. Ed, Peter Biller and Joseph Ziegler. Rochester, NY: York Medieval Press, 2001.
Farmer, Sharon. “The Leper in the Master Bedroom: Thinking Through a Thirteenth-Century Exemplum.” In: Framing the Family: Narrative and Representation in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, 79-100. Edited by Rosalynn Voaden and Diane Wolfthal. Temple, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005.
Lester, Anne E. “Cares Beyond the Walls: Cistercian Nuns and the Care of Lepers in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Northern France.” In: Religious and Laity in Western Europe 1000-1400: Interaction, Negotiation, and Power, 197-224. Edited by Emilia Jamroziak and Janet Burton. Turnhout: Brepols, 2006.
Rawcliffe, Carole. Leprosy in Medieval England. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2006.
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)