The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
In the early part of the 12th century lived a priest of outstanding learning. A theologian, philosopher and teacher, he was pre-
Héloïse, an intellectually gifted young woman, in the wardship of Canon Fulbert (her uncle), sought to improve her education. It appeared that only one teacher was up to the standard to fulfil this task. On their meeting, not only were their intellects mutually intertwined but they became passionate for one another on the physical level. They lost no opportunity to sustain their desires until the redoubtable Canon Fulbert discovered their trysts.
Inevitably, Héloïse became pregnant. The couple fled to Brittany. They were discovered and a secret marriage was arranged. Fulbert had his thugs attack Abelard in Paris, who was ‘unmanned’ forcefully. Héloïse fled to a convent at Argenteuil. A son called Astrolabe was born. The future of the boy is not known.
Héloïse became a nun and for the next 20 years the pair were in correspondence with each other. Peter Abelard founded the monastery of the Oratory of the Paraclete at Ferreux-
The term ‘Paraclete’ is from the Greek. It means essentially ‘one who consoles’. This may be a fitting outcome for the activities of the lovers. Extension of the definition includes ‘advocate’ -