In the Middle Ages, what was a penance?


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Penance, in the Roman Catholic Church, means to be forgiven your sins by doing something good. In medieval times, the priests taught that people needed to frequently do a penance if they wanted to get into heaven. An acceptable penance would be the giving of money, food, clothes, shelter, or something else someone might do to reestablish their good relationship between themselves and God, especially gifts of money, food, clothes and shelter to someone in the church, such as local priests, nuns, and visiting friars. Another good penance was to pay for religious play or a fair for all the people in the manor or town to enjoy. 

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