Every pillar had a story.
History was like that and not always kind in the memories it held.
The tears wept were held within each pillar as the past was captured within the marble and mortar.
The sixteen-year-old girl banished by her family to a life in the nunnery, the punishments metered out to extract penance from her, the unwanted affections of the Novice Mistress and the trauma of the Bishop’s assistant as he ‘counselled’ her privately in administering absolution.
Then the unwanted intrusion by the parish priest who insisted on attending the weekly chapter of faults where each sister would bow before the mother superior and admit her sins. He liked to watch the humiliation, then make lewd suggestions as to how the said sister might cleanse her soul before God.
The old nun who frequented the cloister and hide behind the furthest pillar and there cried for the loss of a life she sacrificed to give pretend love and affection to a God who never answered her prayer. She grew desperate as she aged and one day they found her on the ground below the cloister she had thrown herself from.
If only the pillars could talk such tales they would tell that would shake the very foundations of a saintly faith they purported to uphold.
“Through suffering, we grow the sisters were told”, but in reality, many grew old and died, never any happier than the day they entered the repressive life of servitude to a religion that demanded they give and never receive.