The Sunday Obituary No. 6

Marcella Pattyn was the last of them, ending a way of life that had endured for 800 years. These places were not convents, but beguinages, and the women in them were not nuns, but Beguines. In these communities, which sprang up spontaneously in and around the cities of the Low Countries from the early 13th century, women led lives of prayer, chastity and service, but were not bound by vows. They could leave; they made their own rules, without male guidance…

via Marcella Pattyn | The Economist.

 

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