A wife like a dog

As a young woman, Pope Joan, a ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female to serve as pope, decided never to get married.

One reason was the words she heard when a friend got married, explains Donna Woolfolk Cross in her historical novel Pope Joan.

The priest performing the ceremony declared to the bride: “Let her copy the behavior of a dog who always has his heart and his eye upon his master; even if his master whip him and throw stones at him, the dog follows, wagging his tail….Wherefore for a better and stronger reason, a woman should have a perfect and indestructible love for her husband.”

Thank goodness that we don’t live in the ninth century.

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