The Second Nun’s Tale

In this article will discuss The Second Nun’s Tale Summary in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

This Nun tells the story of Cecilia, who was afraid of losing her virginity, so she never wanted to marry. She was a Roman by birth but had converted to Christianity. She was a pure and devout Christian.

She marries Valerian, and on the night of the marriage, he tells him that she has an angel lover who would slay him if he tries to touch her vulgarly. He agrees to believe her if he can see this angel.

She asks him to go to Via Appia and meet Pope Urban in order to be able to see the angel. When Pope would purify him of his sins he’d be able to see the angel.

When Pope Urban begin to purify him, he sees an old man becoming visible to his eyes who’s wearing white clothes and is with the gold-lettered book. The old man asks him if he believes what Cecilia has told him. Pope Urban baptizes him when he says he does.

On reaching back home, he sees the angel with Cecilia carrying two crowns made up of flowers which could only be seen to those having pure and chaste souls and heart. Valerian asks the angel to bless his brother, Tibertius, who could smell the flowers but cannot see them.

Valerian explains his new faith and the miracle and asks him to be baptized too. However, Tibertius refuses to join them in their new faith and warns them about the burning of Pope Urban if he is ever found. Valerian explains him not to fear death for the real-life lies elsewhere.

Cecilia tells him about the Holy Trinity and other miracles. He eventually agrees to make a journey to Pope Urban to get baptized. He becomes Christian and they lived happily until the time somebody tells on two brothers to Almachius, the perfect.

They are brought to the court and are sentenced execution but during their execution, a sergeant, Maximus, comes to tell his dream in which he sees both of the brothers entering the heaven.

Many people who are present there convert to Christianity having heard his dream. Almachius orders his death too and he buried next to Valerian and Tibertius.

Cecilia is summoned to the court but she refuses. She is given two options to either leave Christianity or perform a sacrifice, she refuses both. She refuses to admit any guilt and accuses Almachius of worshipping fake gods.

He orders her to be boiled to death but she stays cold in the water which is boiling over the fire. He then orders her head to be cut off. He hit her throat thrice but couldn’t slay her. She stayed there, bleeding and alive.

Christians soak the blood with sheets and even then she keeps preaching Christianity until she dies after three days. Her dead body is taken to Pope Urban who has her buried by the night. A Church is consecrated in her name and people still worship in the Church of St. Cecilia.