Cloelia the Hostage

Although the details widely differ in the several versions of Cloelia’s legend, the core narrative about this heroic girl remains consistent. In the 6th c. BCE, Cloelia was part of a group of hostages given by Rome to the Etruscan king Lars Porsena. The group of ten young noblemen and ten maidens was intended to secure a peace treaty. Girls and women throughout history have been used as collateral to secure political and social alliances.

Little Virgin Mary

According to Christian theology, Mary was visited by the Archangel Gabriel, who told her that she was pregnant with the son of God. Mary was only fourteen at the time and recently betrothed to Joseph. They continued with their marriage and, while pregnant, relocated to Bethlehem — where Jesus was born.

Blinded by the Light Lucy

During a trip to the tomb of Saint Agatha, Lucy saw a vision of St. Agatha and her mother’s longstanding illness was miraculously cured. Her mother converted to Christianity and agreed to end her marriage, but Lucy’s bridegroom was displeased. He denounced her to the Roman governor as a Christian, at a time when being a Christian which was a crime punishable by death. When Lucy refused to become a Pagan, she was sentenced to forced prostitution and, later, to death.

Towering Barbara

Barbara was the daughter of a wealthy man named Dioscorus, who kept her locked in a tower to keep her away from avid suitors — a popular motif in many morality tales. As a symbol of the Holy Trinity, Barbara had three windows added to her bathhouse, revealing to her father that she had become a Christian.

Joan the Farm Girl

Joan was a peasant farmer’s daughter from eastern France. The third of five children, Joan grew up with no education other than religion. From a young age, Joan heard the voices of saints, including St. Margaret. The saints ordered her to lead the French resistance to the English invasion in the Hundred Years War and assist the King of France in regaining his kingdom.

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