What is an accommodating female Motherless
Beyond this, there is their status as members of the aristocracy.
Obstacles of access and accommodation I have discussed elsewhere (Whiting, 2016) the paradox that existed between the ideal of monastic seclusion and the Christian duty of charity and hospitality.
One of the earliest accounts of female pilgrims to the Holy Land is contained within a letter of Athanasius of Alexandria (“Letter to Virgins who went and Prayed in Jerusalem and Returned”), dating to the third quarter of the fourth century.
As you were leaving this holy Bethlehem, you travelled quite rightly in many tears from your heart’s distress because you recalled that beautiful way of life…
For example, women were forbidden from entering the enclosure where St Simeon the Elder Stylite lived atop his column. This obstacle of access could persist even after a saint’s death if his shrine lay within the confines of the monastery.
This is made clear from an episode in the Since no woman enters within, the woman remained for three days and nights in front of the monastery, fasting and praying continuously; each evening she took holy oil from the tomb of the saint and drank the liquid from his inextinguishable lamp. 74) This remains the practice even to the present day at the monastery of St Sabas, also in the Judean Desert.