The Canterbury Tales: Novel Summary: The Second Nun's Tale

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The Second Nun's Tale

Cecelia, a virtuous Roman woman, refuses to indulge in sex when she is married.  She directs her husband to a tomb and when he prays he is heard by Saint Urban, who had been hiding there, and is praised.  Her husband converts to Christianity and chastity after this miracle.  Valerian, her husband, returns and is blessed by the presence of an angel, who grants him the favor of having his brother convert to Christianity.  Cecelia and Valerian convert his brother.  They went to a pagan temple and refused to worship pagan gods as an act of faith, and they converted the priest there, who was flogged and killed for his disobedience.  Cecelia is taken to the ruler of the area, Almachus, and she is condemned to die in fire.  However, for three days, she is not killed or harmed by the fire.  Then, an executioner was sent to decapitate her, but he did not fully sever her neck, and she lived three more days before she died.  Saint Urban consecrates her body and a church in her honor. 

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