Sister Wendy Beckett Dead at 88

Sister Wendy Beckett Dead at 88

Sister Wendy Beckett Dead at 88
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Beckett was unmoved by her personal success and continued to live a modest life.

Sister Wendy Beckett, a Roman Catholic nun and an art historian who surprised everyone by becoming an unlikely television star during her senior years, has died.[/tweetit] She was 88 years old. The Quidenham located Carmelite Monastery confirmed her death. She lived a trailer life in England during her latter years. Her place of death was East Harling, England.

Sister Wendy Beckett Dead at 88[/tweetthis]

The nun became a household name in the United Kingdom during the 1990s when she hosted a series of extremely popular art programs commissioned by the BBC. The Oxford graduate had made a total of three television series. Beckett also wrote 15 books related to religion and art and was a celebrity not only in the United Kingdom but the United States as well. Such was her popularity that fans mobbed her and her name regularly cropped up in articles.

The nun came late to the world of media. She was a model of renunciation until she reached 61 years of age. Beckett lived in a trailer without any windows on the Carmelite Monastery grounds in East Anglia. Her principal food was skimmed milk. Interaction with the outside world was sparse and seven hours every day was spent in prayer. The nun went out only to check out the offerings of the nearest mobile library van or to attend Mass. One aspect about her life was sure though: she loved art and read anything concerned with the subject voraciously. She published her first book in 1988, titled Contemporary Women Artists.

Beckett had indeed all the trappings of a star except an advisor on what to wear. She had a publicist, and an agent kept on the express purpose of negotiating contracts and fees. The nun also did promotional interviews with Bill Moyers and Charlie Rose and met high profile dignitaries like Pope John Paul II and John Major, the then British Prime Minister, at his 10 Downing Street residence cum office. The pope commended her for spreading a positive image of Christian churches.

Beckett was unmoved by her personal success. She continued to live a nun’s subtracted life, with all prayer commitments and solitude with poverty vows. All money earned went to her Carmelite order, and she made it a point to daily attend Mass, even during days when she traveled.


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