The missionary spirit of enclosed nuns
in English Benedictine nuns in exile in the seventeenth century
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Despite their enclosure and their lack of geographical mobility, Benedictine nuns were an integral part of the Catholic missionary effort which was in full flow in seventeenth-century England. This chapter shows that the Benedictines demonstrated a keen interest in everything concerning the affairs of the English mission. They kept each other informed of the conditions of their co-religionists in their homeland, they wrote letters of spiritual guidance and ministered to their families, they offered their prayers to the cause of the faith, and were aware of all current controversies and disputes, partly thanks to their close connections with missionaries. As staunch royalists, some of them even played an active political role in support of the Stuart dynasty.


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