Claire, with different preachers who advocated the doctrine of Lutheranism (68). These efforts turned out to be problematic because the teachings of the Lutheran preached Christian freedom, and the idea that the laws of the Church and oaths of religious orders were invalid, and no one was obligated to keep them (68). The Protestant Reformation was a period where numerous convents had lost their spiritual focus because of the Lutheran preaching’s. Some women were placed In convents against their will because of their families not being able to afford the high marriage dowries (Whisper, 211).
Therefore, many nuns took advantage of this freedom and “threw of their robes and habits” (68), wore secular clothing and leery, entertained visitors, ate fancy food, and left the convent to visit their family and friend (Wellness, 210). The reformation sought to close the monasteries through persuasion, political pressure and physical intervention by townspeople and First, it is evident through Perimeter’s writings in her Journals that her convent did not lose their spiritual focus.
Before writing her response to the Nursery reform, she sought advice of her sisters’ and then submitted an appeal to the City council to prevent them from succeeding with their decision. She begins the letter by offering to the council members as “prudent, wise, kind dear gentlemen” displaying her humble respect towards them. She further pleads for the council to consider the letter without prejudice and graciously make a fair and Just decision. This portrays a significant difference in terms of the social and gender hierarchy present during this time between the educated and wealthy, poor and illiterate, and, male and female.
A woman’s writing was always Judged because of her gender, and her class hierarchy played a role in speaking out against religious convictions. Pricklier, because of longing to a prominent and respected family, raised her voice and showed remarkable courage in defending her cloister. Although she came from a respected family, she refers to herself as a “poor, miserable” child (18) because of her status after Joining the convent. Upper-class families supported women in their family when they decided to stay unmarried and devote themselves to religious activities (Whisper, 222).
Pricklier gave up her high-class position and amounted to a lower status because of her strong belief in attaining salvation in the convent. Next, it is important to understand that women did not live communally, but detained their own income, clothing and food (Whisper, 211). Many nuns entered into a convent for economic and social security, so they did not have to fight legal battles with other heirs, but could simply deed their goods and properties to the convents (Whisper, 211). Women were required to play certain roles and lead life in a respectable manner (Whisper, 211).
Pricklier stated to have followed and obeyed all the rules and expectations of the City council, going as far as making an account of how they managed their holdings, obligations and household accounts (70). The roof of their accounts and interests to the council is a comparison to other religious orders to prove that they have been obedient, as the role of a woman requires her to do so. Further into the appeal, she states that the nuns have only kept a “few worldly possessions” (19), and they have no hope of salvation outside the cloister and “wish to remain in the calling to which God has ordered” (21).
This point validates that they have not lost their spiritual focus, and are not living in the cloister for the means of a good life, or in other words, for economic or social security, but simply because it is he wish of God. According to SST. Pall’s teachings, not marrying and being a virgin is better because the nuns are serving only God that way (20). Pricklier and the nuns have followed this teaching of SST. Paul, and in the early middle ages, women who were regarded as holy were almost all virgins (Whisper, 212).
This portrays their strong sense of devotion to the life of a nun and teachings of their Franciscan preachers and readings that “illustrate Christian simplicity” (20). Before the Protestant Reformation, women were suspects if they were not under male supervision and did not take formal vows (Whisper, 211). Numerous attempts were made to forbid women from living together unless they were cloistered in a convent, and they were required to choose between male figures such as their husband, father or God.
Pricklier, defends her rights and her sisters’ to be able to to God alone, and not to men (Whisper 214). If a woman chose a cloistered life of a nun, it was a God given right to obey her conscience, and God was seen as the only man who could Judge the actions of everyone on Judgment day. Based on this, the convents religious actions should be private and only Judged by God. In accordance, he asserts that they do not trust in their own good works but rather in their faith in the crucified Christ, and yet they believe with SST. James that faith without good works is dead (20).
She constantly defends the right of conscience in religious matters that they have made their vows to God, and these vows can’t be changed or renounced. Pricklier expressed her strong faith in her cloister and in the teachings of Gospel, Old and New Testament, SST. Paul and other readings that didn’t trouble their conscience. It is worth noting that her last words to the council were an appeal for God’s mercy towards the council, and for god’s grace towards her cloister, which is a sign that her faith remained strong even to the end.
In conclusion, Caracas Pricklier, defended her cloister and her faith when the Reformation was forcefully accepted by the City council. She refused to renounce her vows and leave the convent despite considerable pressure from the City council. She showed courage and determination. Despite allegations that many of the nun’s were forced to stay at the convent, it was abundantly made clear, that no nun was held back by force or kept from her family by force.
They did not condemn anyone, but let everyone make their own decision of what their path in life is, whether it be of salvation or other things like marriage. She states in the appeal to not be forced to do something that her cloister would not want to do, as they have not forced anyone against their will to serve only God. Her true belief in her religion and services to God remain intact throughout the appeal and hold a very strong and determinant position, which later brought the council members to the conclusion that the nuns of SST. Claire would remain in their house, but could not take new novices (67).