1. The nun who secretly gave birth to a child and was forced to give it up for adoption.
When it comes to religion, there are a lot of deep, dark secrets behind the walls of convents. Many women become nuns at older ages nowadays, but some start their journey in their late teens. This one nun did exactly that but ‘strayed’ off the path a little and ended up being forced to either leave the convent or give up the child for adoption. She chose the latter in fear that should wouldn’t go to heaven.
2. The nun who was physically and emotionally abused by the Mother Superior.
It’s no secret that there is a real dark side to every religion. In more recent years, it’s come out that there has been a lot of abuse going on in the Catholic church, but we don’t hear as much about what goes on behind the scenes of a convent. Well things can be just as bad.
3. The nun who discovered that the convent was using donated funds for illegal purposes.
You know what they say, money is the root of all evil. But most people would think that wasn’t the case when it comes to convents and they would be wrong! There is corruption in every part of life, even the people you would expect it the least from. A nun in New Jersey was caught funnelling money into a human trafficking gang back in the 90s – something that was covered up by the media.
4. The nun who had a forbidden romance with a priest.
You can’t help who you fall in love with can you? Nuns and priests spend their lives devoted to God and a higher purpose in life but we’re all human & we all get urges, some that we can’t control. This unlikely couple met at church and it did not go down well with anybody around them, in fact the pair were made to leave their churches and the nun was expelled from her convent.
5. The nun who struggled with addiction and turned to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Addiction is no joke and it can affect anyone. A nun from England joined her convent to be absolved of her sins but her issues caught up with her unfortunately and she quickly got swept back up with her addiction issues and turned to alcohol and drugs to deal with what was going on in her mind.
6. The nun who was forced to undergo harsh physical punishments for breaking the convent’s rules.
When nuns used to run schools back in the day, they were known for being strict, taking no bullsh** and often terrifying some of the teachers around school. But many nuns were actually subjected to their own harsh punishment if they ever strayed off the path. Canes were used to whip nuns legs and hands over and over as punishment for break convent rules.
7. The nun who was ostracized by the other nuns for having a mental illness.
Even in 2023, mental illness is still quite a taboo subject, with people often being treated differently because of their struggles. The nuns in a convent in Austria didn’t know how to deal with their colleague, so ostracized her until she left the convent on her own accord.
8. The nun who discovered that the convent was involved in illegal activities such as money laundering or human trafficking.
Another case of a convent being involved in illegal activity was in New Zealand, where nuns were found guilty for being involved in a drug money scandal. Money was laundered through the convent as well as used in a huge human trafficking scandal that was covered up for years.
9. The nun who secretly struggled with her faith and questioned her beliefs.
Now, I’m sure there are many nuns, priests and other religious people who have questioned and still experience times where they question their faith. They spend so much of their lives dedicated to a God that can sometimes come across quite evil at times.
10. The nun who was blackmailed by the Mother Superior into doing something she didn’t want to do.
Nuns report to their Mother Superiors, they’re the leaders of the convent and often have to delegate tasks out. But just like anywhere, even convents have their bully’s and in this one instance, a Mother superior found out something about one of her nuns pasts and blackmailed her.
11. The nun who was made to work long hours without adequate rest or food.
There’s always instances of being overworked and underpaid in a most jobs, but when you’re working 20 hour days and being mistreated, it’s a real problem. A nun in Massachusetts was found unconscious at her convent after being mistreated for over 3 months.
12. The nun who was punished for standing up to the Mother Superior and speaking out against her.
“Never go against the family”, this might be a famous saying from the Godfather but it works for convents as well. A convent of nuns are basically a family, they’re all they have so it’s easy for things to be brushed under the carpet or forgotten about. So when this nun spoke out against her Mother Superior, she paid the price for it.
13. The nun who was forced to hide her true identity and take on a new name upon entering the convent.
Nuns are often women who have had a calling from God to serve him and his people, however, there are others who join their convents to repent from their sins or escape their ‘past lives’. There are a few that can be found that were forced to change their identity after escaping danger and who want to live the rest of their days hiding from that danger & serving their lord.
14. The nun who was punished for showing compassion to someone outside the convent, such as a sick or homeless person.
In some countries, the homeless are seen as the bottom of the pile, like they’re waste, not worth anyone’s time and even some convents don’t like to deal with sick of homeless people. Even though it goes against most religious beliefs there is one convent in India, where the Mother superior actually punished one of her nuns for helping a sick, homeless man.
15. The nun who was forced to undergo exorcisms or other spiritual rituals against her will.
A nun in Germany who was punished over and over again for, what we now know as a mental illness, was forced to undergo an exorcism against her will. As well as battling with Schizophrenia, she was forced to battle against severe spiritual rituals as well.
16. The nun who was denied medical care when she became ill or injured.
In some cases, certain nuns don’t believe in modern medicine and if any of them get ill, they often think that it is an act from God and a form of punishment for any wrongdoing. Nuns have be denied medical care from their Mother superiors and left to battle will serious illnesses alone.
17. The nun who discovered that the convent was engaging in financial fraud or corruption.
Another example of corruption in convents was in Switzerland, where a convent was found to have dealings with drug lords overseas. Money was laundered and cleaned through the convent, with more than one nun actually having full knowledge of it.
18. The nun who was coerced into giving up her possessions or inheritance upon entering the convent.
Most people know that when you join a convent, you give up everything you own and the convent becomes your family. A lady in Scotland who joined a convent was told that she must get rid of any material possessions, even family heirlooms, as well as her inheritance if she wanted to be a part of the convent…take a guess where the money ended up.
19. The nun who was made to feel guilty for having natural human needs or desires.
We all have natural human needs and desires, some a little darker than others but in the most part, it’s completely normal. Nuns too experience these needs and desires but instead are made to feel guilty for sometimes things as little as a thought.
20. The nun who was isolated and cut off from the outside world, unable to contact her family or friends.
The convent is their family, and a lot of the time, nuns don’t have a family because they’ve not been allowed to marry etc. But in some cases, when they join at a later age, they have kids, ex partners and parents still. However, in Cuba, a convent told their nun that she could no longer contact her family or friends if she wanted to stay working as a nun – and thats exactly what she did.
21. The Nun who was murdered & the murder was covered up
After confiding in her Mother superior about some dodgy findings at their convent, a nun from Cork, Ireland was killed in a mysterious way, where by her body was found in her room & her cause of death was a drug overdose – a drug only found in hospitals.
22. The Nun who decided to turn to the dark side
Many people make mistakes in their lives, some worse than others and then decide to join a convent to repent their sins. It’s not usually the other way around, but in this instance it is. A nun in Philadelphia was found guilt for molesting children at her local hospital.
23. The Nun who was caught with unsavoury pictures
Another example of a nun gone bad is this one in France, whereby a convent was found to have been covering up the fact that one of their nuns had photos of underaged children in her dorm room.
24. The Nun who was banned from visiting schools
Nuns can be known for being extremely strict, especially back in the day and this is a great example of it. A nun in Belarus was actually told not to return to her local school in 2013 after she was found hitting a child because he had made a mistake on one of his papers.
25. The Nun who was actually a fugitive running from the law
Much like the Sister Act story but swap Whoopi Goldberg for a law breaking, thief then this story is pretty similar. A nun was found in Idaho after 13 years on the run. The Colorado born criminal had escaped prison by the skin of her teeth after the police linked her to a nu chain of high end thefts.
26. The Nun who spoke out against the church but was silenced
A nun from Wisconsin was banned and basically ostracised from her community for speaking out against the church in which she had been a part of for most of her life and even got in touch with news reporters to try and tell her story. However, every paper she contacted shut her down & she eventually gave up.
27. The Nun who had a dark secret which she kept from everyone
Last year, sister Joan from Long Beach, California was found to have actually had a criminal past. When she joined the convent, she never told them any of her background and just that she wanted to become a nun so that she could be closer to God. The convent allowed to to stay after making her promise that she had no other dark secrets.
28. The Nun who had already been kicked out of one convent
When a nuns gone bad, they’re usually made to leave the convent they’re at, but on this occasion, this nun just moved states and joined a different convent. Until that is, she was found to have had a checkered past, affairs with outsiders, even blackmail – she was then kicked out of her new convent and never to be seen or heard from again.
29. The Nun who ended up on the run
Nuns are usually very calm, understanding people, but not always. Everyones human and people only have a certain amount of patience before they crack and this one cracked for sure. After serving as a nun for 5 years, Nun Carmelle from Bolivia went on the run after running a local down and accidentally killing them.
30. The Nun who dropped her whole family for God
I’ve heard of people joining a convent at and older age, after they’ve had their families, but it’s rare to hear about somebody leaving their young children in the care of a neighbour, so they could join a convent 3 hours away. This is exactly what happened in Ohio, USA and the lady involved in this story never saw her kids again.
31. Some Nuns Grow Up To Be A Voice Against Nuns
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When you’re forced into a convent, there’s no guarantee you’re going to like it, after all. That was the case with at least one nun, who was sent to a convent at the age of 11 by her parents and then grow up to be a radical voice against nuns and everything wrong with being confined.
32. Some Men In History Exiled Their Wives To Nunneries
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As we all know, women have always had a hard time, and especially at the hands of husbands in olden times when they controlled their wives. The mistress of a king was once sent to a nunnery by her abusive husband – where she then teamed up with another nun to play pranks and try to escape.
33. Katy Perry Once Had A Long Legal Battle With Some Nuns
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Did you know singer Katy Perry was once involved in a legal battle with nuns over property that ended in death? Perry wanted to buy a piece of land, but the nuns weren’t having it, and wanting more money from a different buyer. During the back and forth, one of the nuns actually dropped dead. Maybe the stress of it all?
34. Nuns Can Be Naked Under Their Habit
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It’s actually up to the nun herself what she wants to wear under her official habit – and many modern day nuns opt for something comfortable and casual, like a t-shirt or even a pair of sneakers. But some nuns of course choose to go full commando, and wear nothing underneath.
35. God Doesn’t Care About Strict Diets
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While there are a lot of rules and restrictions in place for nuns about what they can and can’t do, apparently those rules are quite relaxed when it comes to food and sweet treats. Nuns like to indulge in more unhealthy junk food from time to time – because they don’t have to worry about the perfect body image, after all.
36. And They Do Get Drunk. A Lot.
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You might think, of all the things nuns aren’t allowed to do, drinking alcohol would be one of them. But apparently nuns do drink – and they can drink a lot. They always make sure to have some alcohol or another present in their eating halls, or at least somewhere in their convent.
37. Nuns Can Be Mean Girls
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Just like your favorite high school popular girls, nuns can also be very, very clicky – and very catty. Gossip and mean girls vibes can happen within nun circles, and it’s actually no surprise with all those women being in close quarters for all that time together. They’re bound to start feeling mean about something.
38. Nuns Had A Hand In Forming Alcoholics Anonymous
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Which makes sense if they have experience of drinking themselves. Back in the 1930s, a man who was suffering from alcohol addiction turned to a nurse working in a hospital he was in for help, who happened to be a nun. She suggested he should think of alcoholism as a psychological illness that needed to be worked through – the basis of the Alcoholics Anonymous’ philosophy.
39. The ‘Know Nothing’ Party Was Dangerous For Nuns
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Back in the 1800s in America it was extremely dangerous to be a nun, owing to a party known as the ‘Know Nothing’. This particular group was very anti-Catholic and even anti-immigrant, which meant bad news for any nuns they came across, who they dealt with using violence.
40. Some Nuns Disguise Themselves To Infiltrate Criminal Rings
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Some nuns aren’t just sat in convents saying their prayers – they’re actually on the frontlines tackling crime. A group of Catholic nuns called the Talitha Kum actually operate in disguise in countries that have human trafficking, in order to infiltrate the criminal ring.
41. A Nun Named Christina The Astonishing Died And Came Back To Life
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As her name rightly suggests, she was very astonishing indeed. She died at the age of 21, only to come back to life – and some even say she was ‘floating’ when she did so. She then developed a sort of ‘can’t touch me’ attitude, getting into all sorts of dangerous situations, until she died (for good) at the age of 74.
42. Some Nuns Are Warriors Sent To Prison
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Many nuns from different cultures and countries are warrior nuns, such as the case with Tibetan warrior nuns. Some of these freedom fighters actually end up doing jail time for their actions – and one such nun spent over 20 years in many different prisons. Far from what you’d expect a nun’s life to be!
43. Some Nuns Take Care Of ‘Jesus’ Dolls As Their Babies
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As we know, nuns forego their right to have their own children and raise their own family – at least where Christian nuns are concerned, anyway. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like dolls. Apparently, on certain Holy days, they would carry around a ‘Jesus’ baby doll as their ‘child’.
44. Nunneries Weren’t Always Cut Off From The Rest Of The World
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Although that’s what you automatically presume these days – that most convents and nunneries are located away from the rest of the world so they can leave in peace and without temptation – it wasn’t always the case. Before 1298, nuns would be part of other communities.
45. The Nun Who Joined The FBI
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You might not have ever contemplated life for a woman after being a nun – because of course nuns should remain faithful for the rest of their days. But one ex-nun actually became employed by the FBI in the 1970s. She eventually left the FBI because they kept passing her over for a promotion!
46. There Was A Rumor That Shakespeare’s First Love Was A Nun!
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Could she have been the one who inspired so much poetry in the bard himself? In some retellings of Shakespeare’s life, it’s claimed he had a passionate affair with a nun – breaking vows to say the least. But if you’re going to break your vows, you might as well do it with someone famous.
47. Galileo Sent His Daughter To A Nunnery Because He Couldn’t Afford Her
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Famous Italian astronomer and engineer Galileo wasn’t very good at stopping having children – and at supporting the children he shouldn’t really be having. He couldn’t afford the upkeep of his daughter, so he sent her off to a nunnery when she was only 13 years old.
48. There’s A Ghost Of A Nun In Canada Who Was Said To Be Beheaded
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Known tastefully as ‘The Headless Nun’, it’s said the ghost is that of a nun named Sister Marie Inconnue, who had her head viciously chopped off by sailors after she refused to reveal the location of some treasure. It’s claimed she now haunts Miramichi, New Brunswick.
49. The Nun Who Spent 14 Years In Exile
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It’s not plain sailing for all these nuns, is it? One nun in the 60s rented out one of her rooms to some Brazilians – but it turns out they were guerrilla warfare members. The nun was arrested when it was thought she was a conspirator, and she went to prison, and spent 14 years in exile in Brazil.
50. And The Nun Who Murdered Another Nun
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Nuns aren’t averse to committing the worst possible crimes, either. One nun who worked hard with everyday people on the street was murdered by a fellow nun, after it was believed the woman who murdered her didn’t approve of her helping the street communities!