Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Inside the secret world of Valletta’s Cloistered nuns

Inside the secret world of Valletta’s Cloistered nuns

If you’re walking around the capital city of Malta, Valletta, you might be forgiven for dismissing the Monastery of Saint Ursula as yet another stunning Neoclassical gem of architecture. And while from the outside it may seem like any other convent that is found in many European countries, this monastery is home to a community of 12 cloistered nuns.

The monastery was first established in Vittoriosa by the Knights of the Order of Saint John, but was eventually moved to Valletta in 1595. Much about the life of these nuns has remained elusive to the outside world for centuries, but I have been granted the great privilege to enter inside this secret world by the Prioress of the convent Sister Agnese, and spend a day living alongside these extraordinary women.

Prioress Agnese (on the left), opened her heart to the idea of sharing the lives of her order with the outside world through this collection of photographs.  The nuns live alone with very minimal contact with the outside world – but cats are always welcome.

The nuns never leave the sanctuary of the convent apart from serious medical purposes. They live exclusively from donations by the outside world, with the Maltese community supplying them with their daily food requirements.

Cloistered nuns have no personal possessions and lead a simple and humble life. Each one has their own room, and spend most of their time in contemplation.

Many hours of the day are dedicated to prayer, which is not solely confined to a chapel. Each nun evokes a strong sense of spiritualty, that emphasises a personal inner journey that is full of dedication and serenity.

X