Cecilia Penifader Research Paper

659 Words3 Pages
Cecilia Penifader and Popular Religion Cecilia Penifader lived on the English manor of Brigstock in the early fourteenth century. She was not a princess, nor was she of noble blood. She was, in fact, a peasant. While many people today would consider her poor and lowly just because of that title, she was actually rather successful in life and was one of the wealthier peasants of her time. Although it is quite impossible to know precise numbers, the Penifaders were very fortunate. Cecilia’s religious world was built around Christianity. Included in this religious world was not just Cecilia and her family, but all of the peasants around her. Right in the center of Brigstock today, just as in Cecilia Penifaders time, lies the church of St.Andrew. This church and its happenings were a big part of peasant life. From Cecilia’s brother who became a priest, to the sermons, and to the few peasants with pagan beliefs, the religion of medieval peasants was central to their…show more content…
Most peasants were illiterate and most of the services were held in Latin. Cecilia and her fellow peasants probably learned a lot by looking at the walls made from stained glass. They also gained some of their knowledge by looking at the statues surrounding the church. The Church was not only of cultural significance but social as well. Cecilia’s brother, William, left Brigstock in 1308 and returned in 1317 with the title of Magister. He likely got a degree from Oxford or Cambridge. He may not have met the criteria to be a parish clerk, or a deacon, but he certainly was well educated enough to be a priest. This was highly u`nlikely for any peasant, even for a peasant from a more fortunate family. Like Cecilia, William never married, though he did father an illegitimate son to whom he willed his lands upon his death. As an adult, William lived next door to Cecilia, sharing a wall of his house with
Open Document