Discovered in a secret Vatican archive, this is the true, never-before-told story of poison, murder, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth century convent. In 1858, Katherina von Hohenzollern, a German princess recently inducted into the convent of Sant'Ambrogio in Rome, wrote a frantic letter to her cousin, a confidant of the Pope, claiming that she was being abused and feared for her life. The subsequent investigation by the Church's Inquisition uncovered the extraordinary secrets of Sant'Ambrogio and the illicit behavior of the convent's beautiful young mistress, Maria Luissa. What emerges through the fog of centuries is a sex scandal of ecclesiastical proportions, skillfully brought to light and vividly reconstructed in scholarly detail by one of the world's leading papal historians. Offering a broad historical background on female mystics and the cult of the Virgin Mary, and drawing upon written testimony and original documents, Hubert Wolf tells an incredible story of deception, heresy, seduction, and murder in the heart of the Catholic Church.