A cloistered nun and a friar fall in love after only one meeting: they start a new, married life together
January 26, 2023
There are some love stories that truly feel like the script from a romantic movie because they are so incredible. The story we are about to tell you about here is undoubtedly a good example of romanticism: after having just met, a nun and a friar decided to leave the church and get married. It's certainly not one of those stories you hear about every day, is it? In any case, love knocks on everyone's door when we least expect it and the two subjects of this story know this very well. But let's see what the details are:
Sister Mary Elizabeth was convinced that she had a vocation in the church from a very early age: at the age of 19, in fact, she entered the order of Carmelite nuns, an ancient order of nuns in the Roman Catholic Church. It is an order of cloistered nuns, dedicated to a very simple and spartan life. Sister Mary Elizabeth, who had once been called Lisa Tinkler, lived for 24 years in the order, speaking little and being "sheltered from the outside world" for much of the time. One day, however, something changed: a visit to the convent by a friar named Robert, from Oxford. The two were alone in the same room for a few minutes and when Sister Mary Elizabeth led him out the door, the sleeves of their robes touched. That almost imperceptible touch somehow jolted both of them:
"I just felt amazing chemistry at the time, and I was kind of embarrassed. And I thought, gosh, he felt it too. And as I let him out the door it was kind of awkward," Lisa recalled many years later (and who is no longer a cloistered nun).
A week later, Friar Robert sent her a note asking her to leave the order and marry him.
"I was a little shocked," recalls Lisa, "I was wearing a habit, so he never knew the color of my hair. He didn't know anything about me, nothing about my upbringing. He didn't even know my name in the real world." Unlike Robert, she had seen him celebrate mass occasionally, though Lisa hadn't been particularly impressed at the time. For a woman who had lived most of her life in seclusion, being able to speak only on very rare occasions during the day, her feelings of romantic attraction to another were almost alien: "I didn't know what it felt like to be in love and I thought the other sisters could read it on my face. I got very nervous. I could feel the change in me and it scared me," she said. Robert, for his part, was also frightened: how could he start a new life at 53 years of age?
"It was so difficult because we both felt so alone and so isolated and didn't know which way to turn. But we just held fast to our love and made it in the end," they both recalled. The two got married and now live happily in the village of Hutton-Rudby in North Yorkshire (UK), where Robert has been appointed vicar of the local church.
This is a love story that how strong romantic feelings can be.