Maria Monk (June 27, 1816 – summer of 1849) was a Canadian woman who claimed to have been a nun who had been sexually exploited in her convent. She, or ghost writers who used her as their front, wrote a sensational book about these allegations.
The book Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, or, The Hidden Secrets of a Nun’s Life in a Convent Exposed was published in January 1836. In it, Monk claimed that nuns of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph of the Montreal convent of the Hôtel-Dieu, whom she called "the Black Nuns", were forced to have sex with the priests in the seminary next door. The priests supposedly entered the convent through a secret tunnel. If the sexual union produced a baby, it was baptized and then strangled and dumped into a lime pit in the basement. Uncooperative nuns disappeared.
Monk’s errors began early in her story. In her account, she stated that there were three convents in Montreal: "1st. The Congregational Nunnery. 2d. The Black Nunnery, or Convent of Sister Bourgeoise. 3d The Grey Nunnery." She was, however, confused even on the nature of the orders. The Congregational Nuns were the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal, founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys, not the Sisters of Charity, as Monk stated at the beginning of her text; the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, whose habits were black but who were not typically called "Black Nuns", operated the Hotel-Dieu, where Monk claimed that she entered and suffered, and it was not founded by "Sister Bourgeoise [sic]"; and it was the Sisters of Charity who were commonly known as the Grey Nuns...
Quotes by Maria Monk
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