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A nun is a woman
Woman
A woman , pl: women is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent...

 who has taken vows committing her to live a spiritual life. She may be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream
Mainstream
Mainstream is, generally, the common current thought of the majority. However, the mainstream is far from cohesive; rather the concept is often considered a cultural construct....

 society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 and live her life in prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 and contemplation in a monastery
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 or convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

. The term "nun" is applicable to Catholics – both eastern and western traditions – Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Jains
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, Buddhists, Taoists, and Hindus. While in common usage the terms nun and sister are often used interchangeably, in some cases they are differentiated, a nun being a religious woman who lives a contemplative cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

ed life of prayer and meditation, while a sister, in Christian denominations, lives an active vocation of prayer and service, often to the needy, sick, poor, and uneducated.

Buddhism


All Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 traditions have nuns, although their status is different among the various Buddhist countries. The Buddha is reported to have allowed women into the sangha
Sangha
Sangha is a word in Pali or Sanskrit that can be translated roughly as "association" or "assembly," "company" or "community" with common goal, vision or purpose...

 only with great reluctance, predicting that the move would lead to Buddhism's collapse after 500 years, rather than the 1,000 years it would have enjoyed otherwise (this prophecy occurs only once in the Canon and is the only prophecy involving time in the Canon, leading some to suspect that it is a late addition.) Fully ordained Buddhist nuns (bhikkhuni
Bhikkhuni
A bhikkhuni or bhikṣuṇī is a fully ordained female Buddhist monastic. Male monastics are called bhikkhus. Both bhikkhunis and bhikkhus live by the vinaya...

s) have more Patimokkha
Patimokkha
In Buddhism, the Patimokkha is the basic Theravada code of monastic discipline, consisting of 227 rules for fully ordained monks and 311 for nuns . It is contained in the Suttavibhanga, a division of the Vinaya Pitaka.- Parajika :...

-rules than the monks (bhikkhu
Bhikkhu
A Bhikkhu or Bhikṣu is an ordained male Buddhist monastic. A female monastic is called a Bhikkhuni Nepali: ). The life of Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis is governed by a set of rules called the patimokkha within the vinaya's framework of monastic discipline...

s). The important vows are the same, however.

As with monks, there is quite a lot of variation in nuns' dress and social conventions between different Buddhist cultures in Asia. Chinese nuns possess the full bhikkuni ordination, Tibetan nuns do not, and in Theravada
Theravada
Theravada ; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India...

 countries female renunciates are discouraged from even wearing saffron robes. Disparities may often be observed in the amount of respect and financial resources given to monks viz. nuns, with nuns receiving less of both in all countries with the possible exception of Taiwan
Buddhism in Taiwan
Buddhism is a major religion in Taiwan. Many Taiwanese people practice the Chinese traditional religion which integrates Buddhist elements, Confucian principles, local practices and Taoist tradition....

. Despite barriers, some nuns succeed in becoming religious teachers and authorities.

Thailand



In Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, a country which never had a tradition of fully ordained nuns (bhikkhuni), there developed a separate order of non-ordained female renunciates called mae ji
Mae ji
Mae ji are Buddhist laywomen in Thailand occupying a position somewhere between that of an ordinary lay follower and an ordained monk. It is illegal for women to take ordination in Thailand. And they are expected to work essentially as maids to ordained monks, rather than receiving training and...

. However, some of them has played an important role in dharma-practitioners' community. There are in Thai Forest Tradition
Thai Forest Tradition
The Thai Forest Tradition is a tradition of Buddhist monasticism within Thai Theravada Buddhism. Practitioners inhabit remote wilderness and forest dwellings as spiritual practice training grounds. Maha Nikaya and Dhammayuttika Nikaya are the two major monastic orders in Thailand that have forest...

 foremost nuns such as Mae Ji Kaew Sianglam, the founder of Nunnery of Baan Huai Saai, who is believed to be enlightened
Enlightenment in Buddhism
The English term enlightenment has commonly been used in the western world to translate several Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese terms and concepts, especially bodhi, prajna, kensho, satori and buddhahood.-Insight:...

 as well as Upāsikā Kee Nanayon. At the beginning of the 21st century, some Buddhist women in Thailand have started to introduce the bhikkhuni sangha in their country as well, even if public acceptance is still lacking. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni
Dhammananda Bhikkhuni
Chatsumarn Kabilsingh , ordained Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, is a Thai Buddhist nun. On February 28, 2003, Kabilsingh received full bhikkhuni ordination in Sri Lanka making her the first Thai woman to receive full ordination as a Theravada nun in Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage...

, formerly the successful academic scholar Dr. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh, established a controversial monastery for the training of Buddhist nuns in Thailand.

Taiwan


Chinese Buddhism possesses a full bhikkuni tradition. Thanks largely to the efforts of Master Cheng Yen
Cheng Yen
Cheng Yen is a Taiwanese Buddhist nun , teacher, and philanthropist. She is often called the "Mother Teresa of Asia." In 1966, Cheng Yen founded the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, commonly known as Tzu Chi; its motto is "instructing the rich and saving the poor"...

 of the Buddhist charity Tzu Chi
Tzu Chi
The Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means "compassionate relief," is an international humanitarian organization and the largest non-governmental organization in the Chinese-speaking world....

 (which utterly dominates philanthopic giving in Taiwan), Taiwan's nuns nowadays probably receive more public respect and support than monks.

Researcher Charles Brewer Jones estimates that since 1952, when the Buddhist Association of the ROC organized public ordination, female applicants have outnumbered males by about three to one. He adds:
"All my informants in the areas of Taipei and Sanhsia considered nuns at least as respectable as monks, or even more so. [...] In contrast, however, Shiu-kuen Tsung found in Taipei county that female clergy were viewed with some suspicion by society. She reports that while outsiders did not necessarily regard their vocation as unworthy of respect, they still tended to view the nuns as social misfits."

Tibet



The August 2007 International Congress on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha
International Congress on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha
The International Congress on Buddhist Women's Role in the Sangha: Bhikshuni Vinaya and Ordination Lineages, took place on July 18–20, 2007, was an historic event. It was a meeting of internationally recognized Buddhist scholars specializing in monastic discipline and history, as well as...

, with the support of H. H. XIVth Dalai Lama, reinstated the Gelongma
Gelongma
Gelongma or Gelong is the Tibetan word for a fully ordained monastic observing the entire vinaya....

 (Dharmaguptaka
Dharmaguptaka
The Dharmaguptaka are one of the eighteen or twenty early Buddhist schools, depending on one's source. They are said to have originated from another sect, the Mahīśāsakas...

 vinaya
Vinaya
The Vinaya is the regulatory framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha, based in the canonical texts called Vinaya Pitaka. The teachings of the Buddha, or Buddhadharma can be divided into two broad categories: 'Dharma' or doctrine, and 'Vinaya', or discipline...

 bhikkhuni) lineage, having been lost, in India and Tibet, for centuries. Gelongma ordination requires the presence of ten fully ordained people keeping exactly the same vows. Because ten nuns are required in order to ordain a new one, the effort to establish the Dharmaguptaka bhikkhu tradition has taken a long time.

It is permissible for a Tibetan nun to receive bhikkhuni ordination from another living tradition, e.g. in Vietnam. Based on this, Western nuns ordained in Tibetan tradition, like Thubten Chodron
Thubten Chodron
Thubten Chodron is an American Tibetan Buddhist nun and a central figure in reinstating the Bhikshuni ordination of women. She is a student of H. H...

, took full ordination in another tradition.

The ordination of monks and nuns in Tibetan Buddhism distinguishes three stages rabjung-ma, getshül-ma and gelong-ma. The clothes of the nuns in Tibet are basically the same as those of monks, but there are differences between novice and gelong robes.

Catholic



In the Catholic Church, a nun is a woman who has taken solemn vow
Solemn vow
In Roman Catholic canon law, a solemn vow is a vow that the Church has recognized as such....

s (the male equivalent is often called a monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 or friar
Friar
A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

, although the positions actually entail very different duties of the church). The main distinction between a nun and a sister is that nuns have solemn vows and sisters have simple vows, which allows them to inherit property, unlike a nun. Also, as monastics, nuns commit themselves to the daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the hours
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings...

 throughout the day in church, usually in a solemn manner. Thus, for those making this commitment, they are distinguished within the monastic community under the title of choir nuns, as opposed to "lay Sisters", who are entrusted with the upkeep of the monastery, or even running errands outside the cloister.

Nuns are usually cloistered or enclosed to the degree established by the rule of the religious institution they enter; exceptions include one branch of Visitandines and the Ursulines
Ursulines
The Ursulines are a Roman Catholic religious order for women founded at Brescia, Italy, by Saint Angela de Merici in November 1535, primarily for the education of girls and the care of the sick and needy. Their patron saint is Saint Ursula.-History:St Angela de Merici spent 17 years leading a...

. This is another distinction from Religious Sisters, as these are usually involved in some form of apostolic
Apostolic
Apostolic may refer to:An Apostle meaning one sent on a mission*The Twelve Apostles of Jesus, or something related to them, such as the Church of the Holy Apostles...

 work or ministry, traditionally that of nursing or teaching, which requires them to be out among the public.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, there are a large number of different orders
Religious order
A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of initiates and, in some...

 of nuns and Sisters, each with its own charism
Charism
In Christian theology, a charism in general denotes any good gift that flows from God's love to man. The word can also mean any of the spiritual graces and qualifications granted to every Christian to perform his or her task in the Church...

 or special character.

In general, when a woman enters a convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

, monastery or abbey, she first undergoes an initial period of testing the life for a period of six months to a year called a postulancy. If she, and the order, determine that she may have a vocation
Vocation
A vocation , is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.-Senses:...

 to the life, she receives the habit
Religious habit
A religious habit is a distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognisable as a religious habit has also been worn by those leading the religious eremitic and anachoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform...

 of the order (usually with some modification,normally a white veil instead of a black, to distinguish her from professed nuns) and undertakes the novitiate
Novitiate
Novitiate, alt. noviciate, is the period of training and preparation that a novice monastic or member of a religious order undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether they are called to the religious life....

, a period (that lasts one to two years) of living the life of a nun without yet taking vows. Upon completion of this period she may take her initial, temporary vows. Temporary vows last one to three years, typically, and will be professed for not less than three years and not more than six. Finally, she will petition to make her "perpetual profession", taking permanent, solemn vows.

In the various branches of the Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 tradition (Benedictines, Cistercians, Camaldolese
Camaldolese
The Camaldolese monks and nuns are part of the Benedictine family of monastic communities which follow the way of life outlined in the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the 6th century...

, and Trappist
TRAPPIST
TRAPPIST is Belgian robotic telescope in Chile which came online in 2010, and is an acronym for TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope, so named in homage to Trappist beer produced in the Belgian region. Situated high in the Chilean mountains at La Silla Observatory, it is actually...

s among others) nuns take vows of stability (that is, to remain a member of a single monastic community), obedience (to an abbess
Abbess
An abbess is the female superior, or mother superior, of a community of nuns, often an abbey....

 or prioress), and "conversion of life" (which includes poverty and chastity). The "Poor Clares" (a Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 order) and those Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 nuns who live a cloistered life take the threefold vows of poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

, chastity
Chastity
Chastity refers to the sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion....

 and obedience
Vow of obedience
The Vow of Obedience in Catholicism concerns one of the three counsels of perfection. It forms part of the vows that Christian monks and nuns must make to enter the consecrated life, whether as a member of a religious institute living in community or as consecrated hermit...

. Most orders of nuns not listed here follow one of these two patterns, with some orders taking an additional vow related to the specific work or character of their order (for example, to undertake a certain style of devotion, praying for a specific intention or purpose).

Cloistered nuns (Carmelites
Carmelites
The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain...

, for example) observe "papal enclosure" rules and their monasteries typically have walls separating the nuns from the outside world. The nuns rarely leave (except for medical necessity, or occasionally for purposes related to their contemplative life) though they may have visitors in specially built parlors, often with either a "grill" or half-wall separating the nuns' side from the visitors', that allow them to meet with outsiders. They are usually self-sufficient, earning money by selling jams or candies or baked goods by mail order, or by making liturgical items (such as vestments, candles, or hosts to be Consecrated at Mass for Holy Communion).

They often undertake contemplative ministries—that is, a monastery of nuns is often associated with prayer for some particular good or supporting the missions of another Order by prayer (for instance, the Dominican nuns of Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

, N.Y. pray in support of the priests of the Archdiocese of New York. Yet Religious Sisters can also do this form of ministry, e.g., the Maryknoll
Maryknoll
Maryknoll is a name shared by three organizations that are part of the Roman Catholic Church and whose joint focus is on the overseas mission activity of the Catholic Church in the United States...

 Missionary Sisters have small houses of contemplative Sisters, some in mission locations, who pray for the work of the priests, brothers and other Sisters of their Congregation; the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master are also cloistered Sisters who pray in support of their sister congregation, the Daughters of St. Paul
Daughters of St. Paul
The Daughters of St Paul is a Roman Catholic international religious congregation founded in 1915 in Italy.The congregation is part of the worldwide Pauline family, consisting of ten orders and lay institutes, all founded by Blessed Giacomo Alberione, and operates in 50 countries around the world....

 in their media ministry.

A canoness is a nun who corresponds to the male equivalent, a canon
Canon (priest)
A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule ....

. The origin and rules of monastic life are common to both. As with the canons, differences in the observance of rule gave rise to two types: the canoness regular, who lives in a religious house, taking the traditional religious vows, and the secular canoness, which was primarily a way of leading a pious life by daughters of aristocratic families who did not wish to take religious vows, and thus remained free to own property and leave to marry, should they choose. This latter way of life has disappeared in the modern age.

A nun who is elected to head her religious house is termed an abbess if the house is an abbey, with the exception of Poor Clares who have an abbess but no abbey perhaps from St. Clare's beginning her religious life "train" by the Benedictines, to whom St. Francis entrusted her, who have abbesses, a prioress if it is a monastery, or more generically may be referred to as the Mother Superior
Abbess
An abbess is the female superior, or mother superior, of a community of nuns, often an abbey....

 and styled "Reverend Mother". The distinction between abbey and monastery has to do with the terms used by a particular order or by the level of independence of the religious house. Technically, a convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

 is any home of a community of sisters—or, indeed, of priests and brothers, though this term is rarely used in the U.S. The term "monastery" is often used by communities within the Benedictine family, and "convent" (when referring to a cloister) is often used of the monasteries of certain other orders.

Traditional cloistered nuns' clothing consists of a tunic which is tied around the waist with a cloth or leather belt. Over the tunic some nuns wear a scapular which is a garment of long wide piece of woolen cloth worn over the shoulders with an opening for the head. Some wear a white wimple which "encircles" the face and a veil the most significant and ancient aspect of the habit. Some nuns such as Poor Clares wear a large rosary on their belt. Benedictine Abbesses wear a cross or crucifix on a chain around their neck.
After the second Vatican Council, many orders chose to no longer wear the traditional habit, and as well did away with choosing a religious name. However, Catholic Church or Canon Law states (669.1) "As a sign of their consecration and as a witness to poverty religious are to wear their habit in accordance with the institute's own law."

Distinction between a nun and a religious sister


During the first millennium, nearly all communities of men and women were dedicated to prayer and contemplation. These monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

, abbey
Abbey
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...

s, or convent
Convent
A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

s were built in remote locations or were separated from the world by means of a cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

. The mendicant orders
Mendicant Orders
The mendicant orders are religious orders which depend directly on the charity of the people for their livelihood. In principle, they do not own property, either individually or collectively , believing that this was the most pure way of life to copy followed by Jesus Christ, in order that all...

, founded in the 13th century, combined a life of prayer and dedication to God with active works of preaching, hearing confessions, and service to the poor, and members of these orders are known as friars rather than monks. At that time, Church law did not allow women to leave the cloister
Cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

 if they had taken religious vows. Female members of the mendicant orders (Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

, Augustinian
Order of Saint Augustine
The Order of St. Augustine —historically Ordo Eremitarum Sancti Augustini", O.E.S.A.), generally called Augustinians is a Catholic Religious Order, which, although more ancient, was formally created in the thirteenth century and combined of several previous Augustinian eremetical Orders into one...

 and Carmelite nuns and Poor Clares) continued to observe the same enclosed life as members of the monastic orders
Monasticism
Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

.

Originally, the vows taken by profession in any religious institute approved by the Holy See were classified as solemn
Solemn vow
In Roman Catholic canon law, a solemn vow is a vow that the Church has recognized as such....

. This was declared by Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 (1235–1303). The situation changed in the 16th century. In 1521, two years after the Fourth Lateran Council had forbidden the establishment of new religious institutes, Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 appointed a religious rule with simple vows for those tertiaries
Third order
The term Third Order designates persons who live according to the Third Rule of a Roman Catholic religious order, an Anglican religious order, or a Lutheran religious order. Their members, known as Tertiaries, are generally lay members of religious orders, i.e...

 attached to existing institutes who undertook to live in a community. In 1566 and 1568, Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

 rejected this class of congregation, but they continued to exist and even increased in number. After at first being merely tolerated, they afterwards obtained approval. Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

 recognized as religious all men and women who took simple vows. Their lives were oriented not to the ancient monastic way of life, but more to social service and to evangelization
Evangelization
Evangelization is that process in the Christian religion which seeks to spread the Gospel and the knowledge of the Gospel throughout the world. It can be defined as so:-The birth of Christian evangelization:...

, both in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and in mission areas. Their number increased further in the upheavals brought by the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and subsequent Napoleonic invasions of other Catholic countries, depriving thousands of religious of the income that their communities held because of inheritances and forcing them to find a new way of living the religious life. But members of these new associations were not recognized as "religious" until Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

's Constitution "Conditae a Christo" of 8 December 1900.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law reserved the term "nun" (Latin: monialis) for women religious who took solemn vows or who, while being allowed in some places to take simple vows, belonged to institutes whose vows were normally solemn. It used the word "sister" (Latin: soror) exclusively for members of institutes for women that it classified as "congregations"; and for "nuns" and "sisters" jointly it used the Latin word religiosae (women religious). The same religious order could include both "nuns" and "sisters", if some members took solemn vows and other simple vows.

The current Code of Canon Law has dropped those distinctions, but some continue to apply them as if still in force. However, in popular speech, the terms "nun" and "sister" are used interchangeably for any woman religious.

Eastern Orthodox


In the Eastern Orthodox Church there is no distinction between a monastery for women and a monastery for men. In Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, and other Eastern European languages, both domiciles are called "monasteries" and the ascetics who live therein are "Monastics". In English, however, it is acceptable to use the terms "nun" and "convent" for clarity and convenience. The term for an abbess is the feminine form of abbot (hegumen
Hegumen
Hegumen, hegumenos, igumen, or ihumen is the title for the head of a monastery of the Eastern Orthodox Church or Eastern Catholic Churches, similar to the one of abbot. The head of a convent of nuns is called hegumenia or ihumenia . The term means "the one who is in charge", "the leader" in...

)—Greek: hegumeni; (Igumanija); Russian: игумения, (igumenia). Orthodox monastics do not have distinct "orders" as in Western Christianity. Orthodox monks and nuns lead identical spiritual lives. There may be slight differences in the way a monastery functions internally but these are simply differences in style (Gr. typica
Typica
The term Typica may be used among Orthodox Christians with two distinct meanings: a description of the fact that within the Church there are a variety of liturgical practices, and a specific service that is read on days when the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated.-Variety of liturgical...

) dependent on the Abbess or Abbot
Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

. The Abbess is the spiritual leader of the convent and her authority is absolute (no priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

, bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

, or even patriarch
Patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

 can override an abbess within the walls of her monastery.) There has always been spiritual equality between men and women in the Orthodox Church . Abbots and Abbesses rank in authority equal to bishops in many ways and were included in ecumenical council
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

s. Orthodox monasteries are usually associated with a local synod of bishops by jurisdiction, but are otherwise self governing. Abbesses hear confession
Confession
This article is for the religious practice of confessing one's sins.Confession is the acknowledgment of sin or wrongs...

s (but do not absolve
Absolution
Absolution is a traditional theological term for the forgiveness experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This concept is found in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Anglican churches, and most Lutheran churches....

) and dispense blessing
Blessing
A blessing, is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, divine will, or one's hope or approval.- Etymology and Germanic paganism :...

s on their charges, though they still require the services of a presbyter
Presbyter
Presbyter in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, then a synonym of episkopos...

 (i.e., a priest) to celebrate the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, use the same term...

 and perform other priestly functions, such as the absolution of a penitent.

Orthodox monastics, in general have little or no contact with the outside world, especially family. The pious family whose child decides to enter the monastic profession understands that their child will become "dead to the world" and therefore be unavailable for social visits.

There are a number of different levels that the nun passes through in her profession:

  • Novice—When one enters a monastery the first three to five years are spent as a novice
    Novitiate
    Novitiate, alt. noviciate, is the period of training and preparation that a novice monastic or member of a religious order undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether they are called to the religious life....

    . Novices may or may not (depending on the abbess's wishes) dress in the black inner robe (Isorassa
    Cassock
    The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

    ); those who do will also usually wear the apostolnik
    Apostolnik
    An apostolnik or epimandylion is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic nuns. It is a cloth veil that completely covers the head , neck, and shoulders similar to the hijab worn by Muslim women, it is usually black, but sometimes white...

     or a black scarf tied over the head (see photo, above). The isorassa is the first part of the monastic "habit
    Religious habit
    A religious habit is a distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognisable as a religious habit has also been worn by those leading the religious eremitic and anachoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform...

    " of which there is only one style for Orthodox monastics (this is true in general, there have been a few slight regional variations over the centuries, but the style always seems to precipitate back to a style common in the 3rd or 4th century). If a novice chooses to leave during the novitiate period no penalty is incurred.
  • Rassaphore—When the abbess deems the novice ready, the novice is asked to join the monastery. If she accepts, she is tonsure
    Tonsure
    Tonsure is the traditional practice of Christian churches of cutting or shaving the hair from the scalp of clerics, monastics, and, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, all baptized members...

    d in a formal service during which she is given the outer robe (Exorassa
    Cassock
    The cassock, an item of clerical clothing, is an ankle-length robe worn by clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Church, Lutheran Church and some ministers and ordained officers of Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Ankle-length garment is the meaning of the...

    ) and veil (Epanokamelavkion
    Epanokamelavkion
    An epanokamelavkion is an item of clerical clothing worn by Orthodox Christian monastics who are rassophor or above, including bishops...

    ) to wear, and (because she is now dead to the world) receives a new name. Nuns consider themselves part of a sisterhood; however, tonsured nuns are usually addressed as "Mother" (in some convents, the title of "Mother" is reserved to those who enter into the next level of Stavrophore).
  • Stavrophore—The next level for monastics takes place some years after the first tonsure when the abbess feels the nun has reached a level of discipline, dedication, and humility. Once again, in a formal service the nun is elevated to the "Little Schema" which is signified by additions to her habit of certain symbolic articles of clothing. In addition, the abbess increases the nun’s prayer rule, she is allowed a stricter personal ascetic practice.
  • Great Schema—The final stage, called "Megaloschemos" or "Great Schema" is reached by nuns whose Abbess feels they have reached a high level of excellence. In some monastic traditions the Great Schema is only given to monks and nuns on their death bed, while in others they may be elevated after as little as 25 years of service.


Anglican Communion


Anglican religious orders are organizations of laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

 and/or clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 in the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 who live under a common rule. The term "religious orders" must be distinguished from Holy Orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 (the sacrament of ordination
Ordination
In general religious use, ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination itself varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is...

 which bishops, priests, and deacons receive), though many communities do have ordained members.

The structure and function of religious orders in Anglicanism roughly parallels that which exists in Roman Catholicism. Religious communities are divided into orders proper, in which members take solemn vows and congregations, whose members take simple vows.

Religious communities throughout England were destroyed by King Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 when he separated the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 from the papacy during the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 (see Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

). Monasteries were deprived of their lands and possessions, and monastics were forced to either live a secular life or flee the country.

With the rise of the Catholic Revival and the Oxford Movement
Oxford Movement
The Oxford Movement was a movement of High Church Anglicans, eventually developing into Anglo-Catholicism. The movement, whose members were often associated with the University of Oxford, argued for the reinstatement of lost Christian traditions of faith and their inclusion into Anglican liturgy...

 in Anglicanism in the early 19th century came interest in the revival of "religious life" in England. Between 1841 and 1855, several religious orders for nuns were founded, among them the Community of St. Mary at Wantage
Wantage
Wantage is a market town and civil parish in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire, England. The town is on Letcombe Brook, about south-west of Abingdon and a similar distance west of Didcot....

 and the Community of St. Margaret at East Grinstead
East Grinstead
East Grinstead is a town and civil parish in the northeastern corner of Mid Sussex, West Sussex in England near the East Sussex, Surrey, and Kent borders. It lies south of London, north northeast of Brighton, and east northeast of the county town of Chichester...

.

In the United States and Canada, the founding of Anglican religious orders of nuns began in 1845 with the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion (now defunct) in New York.

In the Episcopal Church in the United States, there are two recognized types of religious communities, called Religious Orders and Christian Communities. The differences are as follows:

A Religious Order of this Church is a society of Christians (in communion with the See of Canterbury) who voluntarily commit themselves for life, or a term of years, to holding their possessions in common or in trust; to a celibate life in community; and obedience to their Rule and Constitution. (Title III, Canon 24, section 1)


A Christian Community of this Church is a society of Christians (in communion with the See of Canterbury) who voluntarily commit themselves for life, or a term of years, in obedience to their Rule and Constitution. (Title III, Canon 24, section 2)


In some Anglican orders, there are sisters who have been ordained and can celebrate the Eucharist.

Fiction and dramatizations featuring


Nuns play an important role in the public's imagination. The following list, of works with Wikipedia articles where nuns play a major part, ranges from A Time for Miracles
A Time for Miracles
A Time For Miracles is a 1980 made for TV film chronicling the life story of America's first native born saint, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. It was produced by ABC Circle Films for the American Broadcasting Company and telecast December 21, 1980 as a Christmas special. The film was created by...

 which is literally hagiography
Hagiography
Hagiography is the study of saints.From the Greek and , it refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically to the biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders. The term hagiology, the study of hagiography, is also current in English, though less common...

 to realistic accounts by Kathryn Hulme
Kathryn Hulme
Kathryn Hulme was an American author and memoirist most noted for her novel The Nun's Story. The book is often, mistakenly, understood to be semi-biographical.-Writing:...

 and Monica Baldwin
Monica Baldwin
Monica Baldwin was a British nun for 28 years, a niece of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. After leaving her enclosed order, she wrote of her experiences.-Life:...

 to the blatant nunsploitation
Nunsploitation
Nunsploitation is a subgenre of exploitation film which had its peak in Europe in the 1970s. These films typically involve Christian nuns living in convents during the Middle Ages. The main conflict of the story is usually of a religious or sexual nature, such as religious oppression or sexual...

 of Sacred Flesh
Sacred Flesh
Sacred Flesh is a 1999 British nunsploitation film. It is set in an indeterminate past, and consists of a series of loosely connected vignettes that depict pseudo-lesbian sexuality and some sado-masochistic activity.-Synopsis:...

. All the works use Catholic nuns save Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus is a 1947 film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden...

 (Anglican). All are outsiders' views with the exceptions of Dead Man Walking
Dead Man Walking (film)
Dead Man Walking is a 1995 American drama film directed by Tim Robbins, who adapted the screenplay from the non-fiction book of the same name...

, a film based on a non-fiction book of the same title by Helen Prejean
Helen Prejean
Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., is a Roman Catholic religious sister, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, who has become a leading American advocate for the abolition of the death penalty.-Death row ministry:...

, and The Nun's Story
The Nun's Story
The Nun's Story is the title of a 1956 novel by Kathryn Hulme. The book was a Book of the Month selection and reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list....

, a book by Kathryn Hulme relating the experiences of ex-nun Marie Louise Habets
Marie Louise Habets
Marie Louise Habets was the Belgian nun and ex-nun fictionalised as Sister Luke in The Nun's Story, a bestselling 1956 book by American author Kathryn Hulme...

.

  • Agnes of God
    Agnes of God
    Agnes of God is a play by John Pielmeier which tells the story of a novice nun who gives birth and insists that the dead child was the result of a virgin conception. A psychiatrist and the mother superior of the convent clash during the resulting investigation...

  • Alucarda
    Alucarda
    Alucarda is a 1978 Mexican horror film directed by Mexican horror filmmaker Juan López Moctezuma, starring Tina Romero in the title role...

  • Angels of the Streets
    Angels of the Streets
    Angels of the Streets was the first feature film directed by Robert Bresson. Made in 1943, nine years after his comedy short Les affaires publiques, it was Bresson's only film released during the German occupation of France.Unlike the films Bresson is most famous for, Angels of the Streets was...

  • Anna
    Anna (1951 film)
    Anna is a 1951 Italian drama film directed by Alberto Lattuada and starring by the same trio as Bitter Rice: Silvana Mangano as Anna, the sinner who becomes a nun; Raf Vallone as Andrea, the rich man who loves her; and Vittorio Gassman as Vittorio, the wicked waiter who sets Anna on a dangerous...

  • The Assisi Underground
    The Assisi Underground
    The Assisi Underground: The Priests Who Rescued Jews is a 1978 novel written by Alexander Ramati based on a true-life account, told by Father Rufino Niccacci, of events surrounding the effort to hide 300 Jews in the town of Assisi, Italy during World War II.-Plot:In the Italian town of Assisi...

  • The Bells of St. Mary's
    The Bells of St. Mary's
    The Bells of St. Mary's is a 1945 American film which tells the story of a priest and a nun at a school who set out, despite their good-natured rivalry, to save the school from being shut down. It stars Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman...

  • Black Narcissus
    Black Narcissus
    Black Narcissus is a 1947 film by the British director-writer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden...

  • Brides of Christ
  • Change of Habit
    Change of Habit
    Change of Habit is a 1969 musical drama film starring Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore. It was Presley's 31st and final film acting role; his remaining two film appearances were concert documentaries. It was also Moore's fourth and final film under her brief Universal Pictures contract; she...

  • Christmas Lilies of the Field
    Christmas Lilies of the Field
    Christmas Lilies of the Field is a 1979 made-for-TV sequel to the classic film Lilies of the Field. In this sequel, directed by Ralph Nelson, Homer Smith returns to the Arizona desert where he had built the chapel for the nuns. This time Smith is played by Billy Dee Williams instead of Sidney Poitier...

  • Christmas Tree, The
    The Christmas Tree (film)
    The Christmas Tree is a 1996 ABC made-for-TV film, and the television directorial debut of Sally Fields.-Synopsis:A story about a forming friendship between an elderly nun, Sister Anthon , and New York's Rockefeller Center's head gardener Richard Reilly , who wants to fell a tree she's been growing...

  • Come to the Stable
    Come to the Stable
    Come to the Stable is a 1949 American film which tells the story of two French nuns who come to a small New England town and involve the townsfolk in helping them to build a children's hospital...

  • Conspiracy of Hearts
    Conspiracy of Hearts
    Conspiracy of Hearts is a 1960 British film. It stars Lilli Palmer, Sylvia Syms and Albert Lieven. Its plot involves Italian nuns smuggling Jewish children out of an internment camp near their convent to save them from the Holocaust. It was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting...

  • Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, The
    The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
    The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys is a 2002 independent comedy-drama film directed by Peter Care. The film stars Emile Hirsch, Kieran Culkin, Jena Malone, Jodie Foster, and Vincent D'Onofrio...

  • Dark Waters
  • Dead Man Walking
    Dead Man Walking (film)
    Dead Man Walking is a 1995 American drama film directed by Tim Robbins, who adapted the screenplay from the non-fiction book of the same name...

  • Demonia
    Demonia (film)
    -Plot:A Canadian archaeological team in Sicily accidentally unleashes vengeful ghosts of five demonic nuns whom were murdered 500 years earlier and the ghosts now set out to kill the group and townspeople alike.- External links :...

  • Devils, The
    The Devils (film)
    The Devils is a 1971 British historical drama directed by Ken Russell and starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave. It is based partially on the 1952 book The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley, and partially on the 1960 play The Devils by John Whiting, also based on Huxley's book...

  • Doubt
    Doubt (play)
    Doubt: A Parable is a 2004 play by John Patrick Shanley. Originally staged off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club on November 23, 2004, the production transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway in March 2005 and closed on July 2, 2006 after 525 performances and 25 previews...

  • Entre tinieblas
    Entre tinieblas
    Dark Habits is a 1983 Spanish black comedy film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar and starring Julieta Serrano, Marisa Paredes and Chus Lampreave. The plot follows a cabaret singer who finds refuge in a convent of eccentric nuns...

  • Evelyn
    Evelyn (film)
    Evelyn is a 2002 drama film, loosely based on the true story of Desmond Doyle and his fight against the Irish courts to be reunited with his children. The film stars Sophie Vavasseur in the title role, Pierce Brosnan as her father and Aidan Quinn, Julianna Margulies and Stephen Rea as supporters to...

  • Faustina
  • Flying Nun, The
    The Flying Nun
    The Flying Nun is an American sitcom produced by Screen Gems for ABC based on the 1965 book The Fifteenth Pelican, by Tere Rios, which starred Sally Field as Sister Bertrille...

  • Girls Town
    Girls Town
    Girls Town is a 1959 film produced by MGM, starring Mamie Van Doren, Mel Tormé and Ray Anthony; Paul Anka also appears in his first acting role. Van Doren stars as a juvenile delinquent who is sent to a girls school run by nuns, where she finds herself unable to help her sister...

  • Hawk the Slayer
    Hawk the Slayer
    Hawk the Slayer is a sword and sorcery movie directed by Terry Marcel and starring John Terry and Jack Palance. The protagonist is Hawk, a hero in the Dark Age, where the Evil ruled the world.-Plot summary :...

  • Haxan
    Häxan
    Häxan is a 1922 Swedish/Danish silent horror film written and directed by Benjamin Christensen...

  • Heaven Help Us
    Heaven Help Us (film)
    Heaven Help Us is a 1985 comedy-drama film starring Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kevin Dillon, Donald Sutherland, Wallace Shawn, Stephen Geoffreys, John Heard, and Patrick Dempsey.-Story:...

  • Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
    Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
    Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is a 1957 CinemaScope film which tells the story of two people stranded on an island in the Pacific Ocean during World War II....

  • Household Saints
    Household Saints
    Household Saints is a 1993 film starring Tracey Ullman, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Lili Taylor. It was based on the novel by Francine Prose and directed by Nancy Savoca. The film explores the lives of three generations of Italian-American women over the course of the latter-half of the 20th century...

  • Killer Nun
    Killer Nun
    Killer Nun is an Italian nunsploitation film directed/co-written by Giulio Berruti and co-written by Alberto Tarallo...

  • La Religieuse
  • Last Relic, The
  • Les Miserables
    Les Misérables
    Les Misérables , translated variously from the French as The Miserable Ones, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims), is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century...

  • Lilies of the Field
    Lilies of the Field
    Lilies of the Field, a 1963 film adapted from the 1962 novel with the same name by William Edmund Barrett, starring Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Stanley Adams, and Dan Frazer, was adapted by James Poe from the novel. It was produced and directed by Ralph Nelson. The title comes from a portion of...

  • Little Boy Lost
    Little Boy Lost
    Little Boy Lost is a 1953 Paramount Pictures black-and-white drama motion picture starring Bing Crosby. Others in the cast include Claude Dauphin, Christian Fourcade, Gabrielle Dorziat, and Nicole Maurey....

  • Little Witches
    Little Witches
    Little Witches is a 1996 horror film directed by Jane Simpson and written by Brian DiMuccio and Dino Vindeni. It has a similar plot to The Craft, released in the same year; though Little Witches had a much smaller budget.-Plot:...

  • Madeline
    Madeline
    Madeline is a children's book series written by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian author. The books have been adapted into numerous formats, spawning telefilms, television series and a live action feature film...

  • Magdalene Sisters, The
    The Magdalene Sisters
    The Magdalene Sisters is a 2002 film written and directed by Peter Mullan about teenage girls who were sent to Magdalene Asylums, otherwise known as the 'Magdalene Laundries': homes for women who were labeled as "fallen" by their families or society...

  • Makiusap ka sa Diyos
    Makiusap ka sa Diyos
    Makiusap ka sa Diyos is a 1991 Filipino film starting Ruffa Gutierrez, Christopher de Leon and Gabby Concepcion. It was director Lino Brocka's final movie prior to his death in a car accident.- Plot :...


  • Mother Joan of the Angels
    Mother Joan of the Angels
    Mother Joan of the Angels is a 1961 drama film on demonic possession, directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, based on a novella of the same title by Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz...

  • Night of the Demons 2
    Night of the Demons 2
    Night of the Demons 2 is the 1994 sequel to Night of the Demons. It stars Amelia Kinkade, Cristi Harris, Rick Peters, Jennifer Rhodes, Christine Taylor, Darin Heames, Bobby Jacoby, Merle Kennedy, Rod McCary, Johnny Moran, Zoe Trilling, and Ladd York. Released on home video in 1994 by Republic...

  • Nun and the Sergeant, The
    The Nun and the Sergeant
    The Nun and the Sergeant is a 1962 Korean War war film starring Anna Sten and Robert Webber in the title roles. It was produced by Sten's husband Eugene Frenke who had produced Heaven Knows, Mr Allison that was also a pairing of a Catholic nun and a U.S. Marine...

  • Nunsense
    Nunsense
    Nunsense is a musical comedy with a book, music, and lyrics by Dan Goggin. Originating as a line of greeting cards, Goggin expanded the concept into a cabaret that ran for 38 weeks, and eventually into a full-length musical...

  • Nuns on the Run
    Nuns on the Run
    Nuns on the Run is a 1990 British comedy film starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane, also featuring Camille Coduri and Janet Suzman. It was written and directed by Jonathan Lynn and produced by HandMade Films. Many of the outdoor scenes were shot in Chiswick...

  • The Nun's Story
    The Nun's Story (film)
    The Nun's Story is a 1959 Warner Brothers film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Audrey Hepburn. Based upon the 1956 novel of the same title by Kathryn Hulme, the story tells of the life of Sister Luke , a young Belgian woman who decides to enter a convent and make the many sacrifices...

  • One Pound Gospel
  • Quiet as a Nun
    Quiet as a Nun
    Quiet as a Nun is a thriller novel, written by Antonia Fraser. First published in 1977, it features Fraser's sleuthing heroine Jemima Shore as she revisits the convent where she was schooled following the mysterious death of one of the nuns...

  • Rosary Murders, The
    The Rosary Murders
    The Rosary Murders is a 1987 neo-noir mystery film starring Donald Sutherland as Father Koesler, based upon the novel by William X. Kienzle....

  • Runner Stumbles, The
    The Runner Stumbles
    The Runner Stumbles is a 1979 film directed and produced by Stanley Kramer, based on the Broadway play by Milan Stitt. The film stars Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, Maureen Stapleton, Tammy Grimes, Beau Bridges and Ray Bolger.-Plot:...

  • The Sands of Time
  • Sacred Flesh
    Sacred Flesh
    Sacred Flesh is a 1999 British nunsploitation film. It is set in an indeterminate past, and consists of a series of loosely connected vignettes that depict pseudo-lesbian sexuality and some sado-masochistic activity.-Synopsis:...

  • Saint Tail
    Saint Tail
    , is a magical girl manga and anime series. Originally a twenty-four part manga by Megumi Tachikawa, the story was brought to television anime by producer Tokyo Movie Shinsha, with forty-three episodes and one short, broadcast by ABC...

  • Satan Never Sleeps
    Satan Never Sleeps
    Satan Never Sleeps , a film directed by Leo McCarey , is his final film. It is about a priest, Father O'Banion , who arrives at a mission-post in China accompanied by a young native girl, Siu Lan , who has joined him along the way...

  • Scandal at Scourie
    Scandal at Scourie
    Scandal at Scourie is an American drama movie released in 1953 and starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon "above the title", and co-starring Donna Corcoran.- Plot :...

  • School of the Holy Beast
    School of the Holy Beast
    is a film in the nunsploitation sub-genre of Pinky violence made by Toei Company in 1974.-Plot:A young woman becomes a nun at the Sacred Heart Convent to find out what happened to her mother years earlier. She encounters a lesbian mother superior, lecherous archbishops, and uncovers many dark...

  • The Sentinel
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night
    Silent Night, Deadly Night
    Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 slasher film produced by Ira R Barmak, directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr. and starring Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley, Britt Leach, and Leo Geter...

  • Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
    Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
    Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is the 1987 sequel to the 1984 slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night.-Plot:The sequel picks up on Christmas Eve some years after the first one, with the 18 year-old brother of the killer in the first movie, Ricky Caldwell, being held in a mental hospital,...

  • The Singing Nun
    The Singing Nun (film)
    The Singing Nun is a 1966 American semi-biographical film about the life of Jeanine Deckers, a nun who recorded the chart-topping hit song "Dominique". It starred Debbie Reynolds in the title role. It was Henry Koster's final directing job....

  • Sister Act
    Sister Act
    Sister Act is a 1992 American comedy film released by Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Emile Ardolino, it features musical arrangements by Marc Shaiman and stars Whoopi Goldberg as a Reno lounge singer who has been put under protective custody in a San Francisco convent and has to pretend to be a...

  • Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
    Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
    Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit is a 1993 comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by Bill Duke, and released by Touchstone Pictures, it is the sequel to the successful 1992 film Sister Act...

  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You
    Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You
    Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You is a play by Christopher Durang first performed on December 14, 1979, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City. It was performed on a bill with one-act plays that included works by David Mamet, Marsha Norman, and Tennessee Williams...

  • Sister Rose's Passion
    Sister Rose's Passion
    "Sister Rose's Passion" is a 2004 short documentary film directed by Oren Jacoby. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and won the Best Documentary Short Award at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival....

  • Song of Bernadette, The
    The Song of Bernadette (film)
    The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film which tells the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who, from February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported 18 visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was directed by Henry King....

  • Sound of Music, The
    The Sound of Music (film)
    Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical film directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is based on the Broadway musical The Sound of Music, with songs written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, and with the musical...

  • Story of the First Christmas Snow, The
  • Tales from the Leather Nun
    Tales from the Leather Nun
    Tales from the Leather Nun was a American underground comic published by Last Gasp in 1973. It was a one-shot anthology of bizarre, violent and perverted stories featuring nuns by Dave Sheridan, Robert Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, Jaxon, Roger Brand, and Pat Ryan....

  • Tears of the Sun
    Tears of the Sun
    Tears of the Sun is a 2003 American war film, depicting a United States Navy SEAL team rescue mission amidst a civil war in the West African country of Nigeria. Lt. A.K. Waters commands the team sent to rescue U.S. citizen Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks from the civil war en route to her jungle hospital...

  • Thérèse (film)
  • Thunder on the Hill
    Thunder on the Hill
    Thunder on the Hill is a 1951 mystery drama film made by Universal International Pictures. It was directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Michael Kraike, from a screenplay by Oscar Saul and Andrew Solt, based on the play Bonaventure by Charlotte Hastings. The music score was by Hans J. Salter and...

  • A Time for Miracles
    A Time for Miracles
    A Time For Miracles is a 1980 made for TV film chronicling the life story of America's first native born saint, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. It was produced by ABC Circle Films for the American Broadcasting Company and telecast December 21, 1980 as a Christmas special. The film was created by...

  • To the Devil a Daughter
    To the Devil a Daughter
    To the Devil... A Daughter is a 1976 horror film made by Hammer Film Productions, taken from the novel of the same name by Dennis Wheatley, directed by Peter Sykes. It stars Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee, Honor Blackman, Nastassja Kinski and Denholm Elliott...

  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre
  • Trouble with Angels, The
  • Viridiana
    Viridiana
    Viridiana is a 1961 Spanish-Mexican motion picture, directed by Luis Buñuel and produced by Mexican Gustavo Alatriste. It is loosely based on Halma, a novel by Benito Pérez Galdós....

  • Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows
    Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows
    Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is a movie comedy starring Rosalind Russell and Stella Stevens. The film is a sequel to The Trouble with Angels and was written by Blanche Hanalis from a story by Jane Trahey, and directed by James Neilson....

  • White sister, The
    The White Sister
    The White Sister is a 1933 American romantic drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable and Helen Hayes. It was based on the 1909 novel by F. Marion Crawford...

  • Wide Awake
  • World Without End


Sources

  • Simpson J. A. & Weiner, E. S. C. (1989) The Oxford English Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford

External links