Collection: Instruments of penance: cilice, discipline and others

Formerly, in contemplative communities, certain mortifications and bodily penances were prescribed on certain days of the year. Thus, in the Carmels, discipline was given to each other every Friday evening during miserere. During Lent, it was also taken on Wednesdays. And from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday, we gave it to each other for three miserere. This could cause bleeding.

If a nun or a nun wanted to use an instrument of penance : disciplines (kind of whip of strings), cilices (horsehair belt or chain bristling with hooks) or if she wanted to do another"mortification", she first had to obtain the permission of his or her superior.

This kind of penance could be imposed following a fault committed during the week, such as breach of silence, poverty, etc.

instruments of penance