With economic and aging population crises upon us, I wonder if bringing back some version of the bequine would help women to form a sisterhood and support each other and society? / Opatija, Croatia / May 2005
“... for centuries they managed to live independently from overweening male control. Their legacy is deserving of respect and can still be felt in the unusual communities they devised, even as they themselves have all but vanished.”
~ excerpted from “A Lost World Made by Women" by Richard B. Woodward
Starting in the 13th century, Catholic women banded together to live and pray within an enclave called a beguine. Essentially an autonomous lay religious community they gave women some independence and control while serving the poor and needy. Some of the women were thought to be mystics, some were called heretics, some found a home and a sisterhood.
“There are among us women whom we have no idea what to call, ordinary women or nuns, because they live neither in the world nor out of it.” (Franciscan Friar Gilbert of Tournai, 1274; Sisters Between)