Princess to Prioress–the book begins

La Trinité, Caen

Spring 1080

 

Twelve-year-old Princess Adele stabbed a bronze needle through the linen that stretched on the frame in front of her and imagined piercing the black heart belonging to Sister Euphemia. Friday afternoon in the convent school of La Trinité was dedicated to sewing and embroidery. All the resident students, most of the postulants, and many novices gathered in the dayroom to work on altar cloths and other religious items. The majority of nuns spent the afternoon in the chapter house, the room attached to the church, handling convent business.

Adele loathed all needlework, and she detested Sister Euphemia who taught it. Sister Euphemia had no respect for Adele’s position in life and in this convent. After all, Adele’s mother and father founded La Trinité. Adele deserved to be treated with deference and not the constant disdain spilling from Sister Euphemia’s mouth.

Later, Adele and the other students would file into the chapel to make their weekly confession and then do penance. Going to confession was the best part of the afternoon. Some weeks Adele wished she had more to confess. During her stays at La Trinité she found daily life regulated and unremarkable. Days flowed one into another, lessons broken up by religious services, or perhaps religious services interrupted by lessons.

Adele learned and accepted the routine and rules of the school and convent as a necessary burden of being a royal princess. The good sisters, except for Sister Euphemia, were preparing her for a future as a royal wife.

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