"Beguines": women were disguised as nuns

The women's movement called "Beguines" occupies a special place in the life of Europe. Although Beguines often killed and their communities have been persecuted here and there, many girls and women leaving the house (sometimes even just running away), to join the Beguines. Béguines vows of chastity, not as nuns, opened the business, not included in any of the shops, wandering on the roads, although they were not piligrimkami. And yet Béguines - idols of modern feminists and suffragettes a century ago, although words such as "women's rights", does not know.

The nuns without monastery

Community of Beguines largely copied convents: Béguines went to a single form, resembling robes, every day prayed together, all the money and other property owned jointly submitted to the abbess, cared for free of sick citizens and travelers, begging and, most importantly, made a vow chastity. Nevertheless, they were all laywoman. Why so complicate your life?

Traditionally, the answer looking at the inaugural "contribution", which demanded the monasteries: he was supposed to all high. However, this explanation does not explain anything. If the monasteries could only get a lot of money (or something that they should be), no one would ever have heard of a peasant woman who took monastic vows - and they existed. If in the Beguines were only on poverty, there could not be detected daughters of noble families of the rich - and they are there enough. But the most surprising - why women continue to engage in Béguines even in the years of persecution, knowing the danger of attacks including murder?

It should be understood that for European women generally left in nun, besides, of course, hot and belief no less hot aversion to sin (especially lust). Firstly, it was one of the few opportunities to make a career (except for the monastery still existed court service maid of honor, but for a very narrow circle of the ladies). Yes, some women of the past, too, would like to see in the life of more than a heavy daily work around the house, with the children romp and hike on the market. The monasteries have been taught to read, write, sing, and sometimes - embroidery or painting; each nun could grow to the abbess or do unusual for secular women interesting work.

In the second place, it was approved by the company a way to get himself out of participation in the process of procreation. Although in reality the woman died in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is not as common as it is accepted to represent (as each took a severe natural selection is still a girl and before childbearing age survived, mostly, very strong), still among the girls met the fear of death in childbirth. Third, for women with physical problems, the monastery was a chance to get away from ridicule because of the "ugliness" and the inability to find a husband. Finally, fourthly and not-past, the monastery was a chance for the women to withdraw from the authority of the relatives with whom she was in a conflict or a situation threatening to murder (not necessarily because of politics - sometimes simply due to property disputes). Fifth, finally, the monastery gave shelter and food guaranteed.

Now imagine that all this can be obtained in some places in Europe, not for burning all the bridges. After all of the Beguines could safely leave to marry - because the vow of chastity was given only for the life of the community. Nuns to engage in labor and prayers all day - the Beguines common prayer and household work (performed in turn "on duty" for some women at once) occupied only part of the day, and how to fill in the rest of the time, Beguines was completely free.

The Prioress chose together, so get there by accident under the power of some very rare anger was almost impossible. While all master what is taught in the monastery, it was possible here: the more educated sisters were taught the less educated but inquisitive. And it was, again, a matter of only desire and a teacher and a student.

slag, heretic, razbivatelnitsy families

About how there were Beguines, there are two theories. One says that the order is based out of sympathy for the women who do not take to the monastery, the priest Lambert le Running. The other - that the creation of self-managed communities wives of knights who died in the Crusades, who do not want to create a new family, and they also introduced the practice of inviting the general confessor for the community.

The theories of origin Beguines names are different, too. Some associate it with le jogging, other -.. With the Order Beghards, ie literally "begging", the third - with the words begaan (enter anywhere) or begijnen (run from somewhere), the fourth - to the fact that initially Béguines wore beige (beige) clothes.

Usually, the community of Beguines to redeem a few houses standing side by side on the street, it is desirable - not far from the church. Often these homes for the safety run-out single by a high wall. Sometimes it built a single building, such as a hostel - Beguinage; his door marked with white cross. Each entered into the community to make a contribution at its discretion; it was expected that payment will be more affluent sisters. Inside commune in Beguines property and the fact that it was possible to carry (combs, prayer books, and so on) was common. The biggest béguinages (of course, not a single building) totaled two thousand women!

In order to fit into society, get a certain status, as well as personal beliefs, Béguines actively engaged in charity: care for sick and elderly people, were given shelter to travelers and shelter - abandoned wives, grown and trained orphans. To get to build a hospice homes, schools and chapels inside the Beguinage money Béguines walked the roads, begging for alms, asked for help from rich citizens or were some simple business. The first two hundred years of existence Beguines lived quietly, but gradually they began to be exposed here and there to harassment and attacks, both church and laity. Tom had a lot of reasons, and the most simple are the church. Firstly, the Beguines, without asking, gave food and shelter fleeing cultists court. Secondly, they have developed a different philosophy, which looked for the church heresy: that you can get closer to God alone righteous way of life and prayer. It's like the church and the priesthood made it unnecessary: ​​this was simply not possible.

Anger as ordinary laymen and secular authorities was much understandable. Although loud attacking Beguines repeated after the church of their heresy, or accused them in secret lesbian and mass debauchery, it was entirely different things. Independent, well-organized women's community with its internal infrastructure was suspicious to the authorities and irritated inhabitants. Furthermore, among the Beguines hiding rebellious daughter, and many of the abandoned wives who sought shelter and food, really do leave their husbands, unable to endure beatings and bullying (and not having a lover, which could, in extreme cases, to escape) .

High community organization allowed to conduct Béguines business is particularly effective in some areas sostavlyatt competition not so organized workshops inside - here still need to remember that in the late Middle Ages and in the era of the shop Renaissance, which allowed only men to actively "squeezed out" themselves for the sake of expanding clientele and profit before such female occupations like tailoring or manufacture of beer. In general, the Beguines were not understood at all levels of society, no matter how their cases were good. Their communities expelled and killed Béguines otherwise seemed a good deed. Nevertheless, in spite of the forced wanderings through Europe in search of a quiet corner, the eternal dissatisfaction with those in power, bad rumors, Beguines communities have existed for a long time - too much had women willing to live to move in constant readiness, but not to go home, to tyrants, fathers or relatives who are ready to kill for not rich legacy. Last Beguines died in 2013, and in Europe are still here and there you can see the buildings of the former beguinages.