Heroines of the Past

April 2, 2007, Published by Amy Puetz; P.O. Box 429; Wright, WY 82732

Amy’s Corner


It is with great pleasure that I introduce this first ‘expanded’ Heroines of the Past to you. Several dedicated writers have stepped up and offered their talent. In the Bible Study portion of the newsletter Rita Rice has shared a wonderful mother/daughter Bible study called Maidens of Virtue. We will also get an in depth look at what life was like for a girl in the Middle Ages in Annalisa Perry’s, A Day in the Life of a Girl from the Middle Ages. There is also an article about Queen Clothilde who lives during the early Medieval Era by yours truly and several book reviews for further study. I hope you enjoy and are blessed.

I would like to say a special "thank you" to Sue and Jill for helping with editing.

Check out Heroines of the Past Writer’s Guide if you would like to contribute. There is also a list of themes for upcoming newsletters.

In Christ,
Amy Puetz

Heroines of the Past
P.O. Box 429
Wright, WY 82732
Heroines of the Past

Queen Clothilde

By Amy Puetz

In the fifth century there lived a virtuous woman. She was a model of Christian virtue, but she was married to an unbeliever. Through patience and love she tried to share the love of the Savior with her husband but all her efforts fell on deaf ears. Her husband had no interest in such matters. The good woman, in no way discouraged, did the most powerful thing a woman can do, she began praying for her husband. As the Good Book says, one plants, another waters, but it is the Lord who makes things grow. Clothilde, for that was her name, planted the seed in her husband’s heart, and she watered it with the reverent prayer that she poured out to the Master of her soul. This couple were the King and Queen of the Franks.

Unlike his wife, King Clovis was a violent and vindictive man. The King and his followers, the Franks, went out to fight the Alemanni, a fierce Germanic tribe. In the battle things started to go against King Clovis and it appeared that the day might be lost. Hopelessly King Clovis looked around but there was no one to help him. His men were being pushed back. Then in a moment of despair he called upon the God of his wife, "Most Mighty God whom my Queen Clothilde worships and adores with all her heart and soul, I pledge my perpetual service to your faith. Please give me now the victory over my enemies." When he had finished his prayer, he looked up and saw his army, who had moments before been retreating, now fighting with power. The king of the enemy was killed, and his followers lost heart. The Lord brought about a great victory for King Clovis that day. At a celebration banquet, King Clovis made a humble declaration, "Lords of the Franks, it seems to me highly profitable that ye should know, first of all, that the gods we formerly worshiped are false and powerless. There is only one God and one power over man. Know of a surety that this same God, the one whom our queen embraces, is my God now. He it was who delivered us when all was lost on the battlefield. He gave us victory and now the kingdom of the Franks is united. Lift therefore, your hearts in just hope and ask the Sovereign Defender that He give you all that which you desire, that He save your souls and give us victory over our enemies." King Clovis and 3000 of the Franks were baptized. The simple prayers of a virtuous woman changed the country.

There is power in prayer. The Lord hears the prayers of the righteous. Be brave! Be daring! PRAY!!!!

Maidens of Virtue

"What is a Maiden of Virtue?"

By Rita Rice

Keep a notebook handy to write down your answers to the questions or to just jot down ideas that you want to remember.

A Promised Bride
If you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are His promised bride living in preparation for a glorious wedding!

I. Marriage - a reflection of the union between Christ and His church
Eph. 5:25-32

II. You are espoused to Christ
2 Cor. 11:2, Hosea 2:19-20
"Espoused" - betrothed, promised in marriage by contract, married, united intimately (Webster’s 1828)

III. The Marriage Covenant and Bride Price
Jeremiah 31: 31-34, 1 Peter 1:18-2, 1 Cor. 6:19-20

IV. Your Heavenly Bridegroom’s Pledge and Seal
John 14:1-3, Ephesians 1:12-14

V. Your Preparation
How does a bride look/feel as she approaches her wedding day?
Isaiah 61:10, Heb. 10:22-23
Colossians 3:1-17 (What to put off, what to put on)
Titus 2:11-14
Matthew 25:1-13 (watch, be ready!)
*** Espoused to Christ, you have taken His name as your own (Christian).
How are you representing that name? (Psalm 79:9)

VI. Your Presentation at the Marriage Supper
Revelation 19:6-9

A Maiden’s Mission
Write down and discuss with your mother 3 ways you will practice making your life a purity statement.

A Day in the Life of a Girl from the Middle Ages

By Annalisa Perry

Oh, you startled me! What are you doing here, right outside my village so early in the morning? The sun isn’t even up yet! What am I doing? I want to practice with my bow and arrows before anyone else gets up. Girls aren’t supposed to know how to shoot. They don’t need to because the men are the ones that get to hunt and fish. The women and girls have to do the sewing and spinning and cooking and cleaning. The boys have all the fun!

The work is hard and we don’t play much but I love life in my little village. You don’t look like a peasant! You’ve never been to a medieval village? Come with me and I’ll show you what a normal day is like. Oh, and please don’t tell anyone about my bow or I might get in trouble. It’ll be our little secret. The sun is starting to rise. I must go to the well for water.

"Abigail! Where are you?" There is my mother, calling me from our cottage. Please come in. This half of our cottage is the bedroom. See the straw covered with blankets? And this half is the kitchen.

"Mind the porridge carefully," Mother warns me. Sometimes I daydream and it burns. Then everyone is angry with me. Sir John is the lord of the manor. Father has already gone to work in his fields, along with all the other serfs. Lord John is a kind master and one day a week we may work on our own little strip of land. Mother eats something and makes her way to the fields, after reminding me to keep my brothers out of trouble.

"Luke, Thomas, and Peter! Breakfast is ready!" I call.

My brothers come in from the garden and sit at the table. They are making a mess, spilling the porridge on their only suit of clothes. I scold them. Since Father and Mother must both work in the fields in the summertime, it is up to me to do the housework. I make my brothers go out to play and begin. First, the house must be swept and I must fetch clean straw for the beds. I prepare some pea porridge and set it over the fire to cook. The wooden trenchers and spoons must be washed thoroughly. When that is done, I hurry outside into the sunshine where I feed the chickens and geese and collect their eggs. Our cow, Daisy, has wandered away again. Before evening I must search for her. Why are you staring? Haven’t ever mucked out a stall before?

Now it is time for my favorite chore. I count the eggs and put half of them in a basket. Because we are serfs, we must give Lord John half of our eggs besides a certain amount of firewood and taxes each month.

My village is mostly filled with peasant’s cottages. There is also a church and an alehouse. At one end of the village is the forest. The peasants may collect firewood there but a very severe punishment will follow if you shoot deer there without Lord John’s permission. On the other side of the village stands the big white house where Lord John and his wife live. It is made of smooth stone and has many rooms. I love this place; there is always so much going on. I hurry past the talking groomsman and servants, into the kitchen.

"Hello, Abby! Greetings to thee. Hast thou twenty eggs? I’ll be needing them."

Hannah the cook is my friend. She is very busy this morning. Lord John has gone on a hunting party with his friends and when he returns he will expect a feast. Hannah has prepared bread, meat pie, vegetables, and a wide variety of meat from fowl to deer, which is roasting over the fire. Poor James, the page, has to keep turning the spit round and round until it is cooked and brown.

"I will save thee some of the scraps," Rosie promises me.

"Oh!" I suddenly remember. "I left some porridge boiling! I must go! Fare thee well!"

The streets are empty and I run home even though it is not proper. Don’t tell!

Only one person sees me- Master Andrew is standing in the door of his inn. He laughs as I go by. The cows grazing on the village green are the only others that see me go by. The porridge is nearly boiled dry and I quickly add some more liquid. It needs more seasoning; I can’t quite reach the basil and rosemary hanging from the ceiling, get it down for me, thank you!

By early afternoon Father is still working in the fields. Mother spins wool in the house but my brothers and I go out to weed the garden. Phew! That sun is hot! This is my least favorite chore but it is the most productive. We will need all these vegetables when it is winter.

No, please DON’T step on the cabbage plants or you’ll have to answer to Father! He will be very cross if we serve him flat cabbages. At four o’clock I walk on the outskirts of my village looking for our cow. I find an apple tree in the woods and fill my skirt with the ripe red fruit. What a treat! Finally I discover Daisy near the stream. I give her a swat and lead her home. Thomas and I feed the animals.

"Abigail!" Mother calls from the kitchen. "Come help me!" She is getting the trenchers from the cupboard and preparing for our second and last meal of the day.

"Look at the apples I found, Mother, when I was looking for Daisy." She is pleased and lets me make a pie with them.

"Abby, where are you?"

"I’m hungry!"

"Look at this frog I found in the stream!"

My brothers have come in, ready to eat. Soon it is time for our evening meal and Father comes home. "Lord John had a fine hunt," he says.

I hurry to put the food on the table. Before we eat, we sing a Latin song and my father says grace. My Mother is very pleased that the chores have been finished. Father says the porridge is well done.

"Thou wilt make a good housewife yet, Abby!" he says, proudly. I am pleased until I see the look that passes between my Father and Mother. Soon I am to be betrothed to a young man from our village. I am frightened by this thought but push it to the back of my mind.

Help yourself to the barley bread and here’s a plump chicken neck. Don’t be shy! When dinner is finished and the dishes are washed, I am allowed to go out to play. I hurry out to the spot where my bow and arrows are hidden and practice for a while. Soon the sun will go down and it will be time for bed and after that another day. I climb to the top of a hill that overlooks the peaceful village.

You want to go back to America, you say? Funny name for a village! Where may that be? Master Andrew will be taking a wagonload of supplies to town tomorrow. Mayhap he will let you ride in the back of his cart.

God’s blessing on thee and thy trip! Fare thee well!


Heroines of the Past

A to Z Designs

Word Puzzle

Match these famous people from the Middle Ages with the country where they lived. One country is used twice. Answers are at the bottom of the page.

____ 1. Lady Godiva
____ 2. Marco Polo (before his travels)
____ 3. William Tell
____ 4. Tamerlane
____ 5. El Cid
____ 6. John Gutenberg
____ 7. Benedict
____ 8. St. Francis
____ 9. William Wallace
____ 10. Queen Isabella
____ 11. Duke Wenceslas
____ 12. Joan of Arc

(a) Mongolia
(b) Italy
(c) Assisi
(d) Germany
(e) Spain
(f) Switzerland
(g) Venice
(h) Scotland
(i) France
(j) England
(k) Bohemia

Book Reviews

The Black Arrow
By Robert Louis Stevenson
Reviewed by Annalisa Perry

The main character in this story is Richard (Dick) Shelton, who lives in England in the 1400’s, during the War of Roses. Dick, a brave though rash boy, is the ward and page of Sir Daniel, whom he looks up to in every way. Near the beginning of the story Dick is horrified to learn that Sir Daniel was responsible for the death of his father. As Dick gets deeper and deeper into the mystery, Sir Daniel decides that his page must be disposed of- but Dick escapes and joins "The Black Arrow," a gang of outlaws who live in the woods. Like all of Robert Louis Stevenson’s books, adventure and danger lay on every page. But this book has one point over Treasure Island and Kidnapped -a brave and beautiful heroine! Joanna is betrothed to a rich old man so that Sir Daniel can make a fortune even though she loves Dick. Dick’s father must be avenged and his true love must be rescued before we can enjoy a happy ending.

Robin Hood
Reviewed by Annalisa Perry

They live in Sherwood Forest, wearing clothes of Lincoln green and eating the plump, forbidden deer. Their motto is "Steal from the rich and give to the poor."

Who is it but Robin Hood and his merry band!

The story is set in Medieval times when King Richard has gone to war and his brother, greedy Prince John, has stolen the throne. The rich landlords of that day cheat the penniless serfs, making their lives miserable until Robin Hood comes to their rescue Robin’s sweetheart, a courageous and beautiful damsel named Marion, runs away to the forest and takes part in some of the adventures, though they decide not to get married until King Richard returns to England. The Sheriff of Nottingham hates Robin Hood and is determined to catch him. Will Robin be able to escape all his crafty traps? Will King Richard return to England before it is too late to claim his throne?

There have been many books and ballads written about Robin Hood. My favorite version is The Adventures of Robin Hood (Everyman’s Library Children’s Classics) by Roger Lancelyn Green.

Answers to Word Puzzle

1. Lady Godiva (j) England
2. Marco Polo (g) Venice
3. William Tell (f) Switzerland
4. Tamerlane (a) Mongolia
5. El Cid (e) Spain
6. John Gutenberg (d) Germany
7. Benedict (b) Italy
8. St. Francis (c) Assisi
9. William Wallace (h) Scotland
10. Queen Isabella (e) Spain
11. Duke Wenceslas (k) Bohemia
12. Joan of Arc (i) France

Copyright 2011 Amy Puetz amypuetz.com