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The Nuns of Sant'ambrogio : The True Story of a Convent in Scandal
by Hubert Wolf and Ruth Martin


Overview -

A true, never-before-told story--discovered in a secret Vatican archive--of sex, poison, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth-century convent.

In 1858, a German princess, recently inducted into the convent of Sant'Ambrogio in Rome, wrote a frantic letter to her cousin, a confidant of the Pope, claiming that she was being abused and feared for her life.  Read more...


 
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More About The Nuns of Sant'ambrogio by Hubert Wolf; Ruth Martin
 
 
 
Overview

A true, never-before-told story--discovered in a secret Vatican archive--of sex, poison, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth-century convent.

In 1858, a German princess, recently inducted into the convent of Sant'Ambrogio in Rome, wrote a frantic letter to her cousin, a confidant of the Pope, claiming that she was being abused and feared for her life. What the subsequent investigation by the Church's Inquisition uncovered were the extraordinary secrets of Sant'Ambrogio and the illicit behavior of the convent's beautiful young mistress, Maria Luisa. Having convinced those under her charge that she was having regular visions and heavenly visitations, Maria Luisa began to lead and coerce her novices into lesbian initiation rites and heresies. She entered into a highly eroticized relationship with a young theologian known as Padre Peters--urging him to dispense upon her, in the privacy and sanctity of the confessional box, what the two of them referred to as the "special blessing."

What emerges through the fog of centuries is a sex scandal of ecclesiastical significance, skillfully brought to light and vividly reconstructed in scholarly detail. Offering a broad historical background on female mystics and the cult of the Virgin Mary, and drawing on written testimony and original documents, Professor Wolf--Germany's leading scholar of the Catholic Church, and among the very first scholars to be granted access to the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the office of the Inquisition--tells the incredible story of how one woman was able to perpetrate deception, heresy, seduction, and murder in the heart of the Church itself.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780385351904
  • ISBN-10: 0385351909
  • Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 476
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.86 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Religion > Christianity - Catholic
Books > Religion > Christianity - History - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-11-24
  • Reviewer: Staff

This sordid tale of sexual indecency, false saints, and murder within a 19th-century convent in Rome has all the trappings of a good thriller. What begins with a 1859 complaint by a German noblewoman against Sant'Ambrogio (specifically, against the corrupt practices of novice mistress Maria Luisa) soon becomes a full-blown scandal: the subsequent investigation implicates prominent clergy in practices that blur the line between mysticism and the carnality. Behind the lurid story, however, are deeper historical conflicts. Both the rise of Romanticism—and its attendant fascination with the supernatural—and struggles over the direction of the modern Church explain the extent of the scandal and the passion with it was investigated. Wolf (Pope and Devil), a professor of ecclesiastical history at the University of Münster, adds detailed historical context and careful explanations to elevate this tale beyond sensationalism into a more serious study of a fascinating real-life melodrama. (Jan.)

 
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