A beautiful 17th-century convent in the Tuscan Hills has been forced to close down after a 40-year-old nun praised for her ‘incredible energy’ fell in love with a local man.
The Convent of the Cappuccini Fathers in Sansepolcro has been closed ‘definitively,’ according to the website.
The 40-year-old nun left the convent, meaning only an 80-year-old and two novices remained, as reported by The Daily Mail via The Daily Telegraph.
The paltry number of remaining members would not be able to keep up with the work started by Sister Maria, who was well-liked in the area for turning the convent into a community hub.
The convent – dedicated to Bernardo Tolomei, a 14th-century saint – offers 19 beds in the main building for pilgrims, and a large space dedicated to religious ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms.
Sister Maria, allegedly involved in the romance, told La Repubblica: ‘They are in tears and I’m also crying.’
She added that the end of her time at the monastery was not related to the alleged romance.
The mother superior said: ‘They wanted to tell that story, let’s leave them doing that.’
‘The story is much more complicated than it seems.’
The monastery was assigned to Benedettine Olivetane in 2015 following years of abandonment.
Arezzo’s Bishop Riccardo Fontana said: ‘I have nothing to do with that. There was an intervention of the Holy See and everything ended there’
He added: ‘This is a very painful situation for all involved.’