5 best Sister Monica Joan moments from Call The Midwife

Programme Name: Call The Midwife - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 3) - Picture Shows: L-R Sister Monica Joan (JUDY PARFITT), Sister Julienne (JENNY AGUTTER)
Programme Name: Call The Midwife - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 3) - Picture Shows: L-R Sister Monica Joan (JUDY PARFITT), Sister Julienne (JENNY AGUTTER) /

We shared a list of five times Sister Monica Joan was the smartest woman in the room in Call The Midwife.

Call The Midwife is a wholesome show that leaves you with a warm, wonderful feeling. If you haven’t been watching Call The Midwife, you’re missing out on a truly heart-warming series.

The first season is set in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Each subsequent season shows progression, and as the decades pass, we see the changes in fashion, hairstyles, politics, and music. In fact, it can be argued that the background score and the city of East London are characters on the show, just as the actors.

Though countless character departures have left a void, consistent great new additions to the cast have helped the series retain its magic. The show must go on, as they say.

In a list of well-written characters, Sister Monica Joan continues to be a fan favorite. She suffers from Alzheimer’s and is frequently lost, either figuratively in conversation or literally, but that doesn’t stop her from delivering the wittiest and most poignant lines in the show.

As a true bibliophile, she demonstrates her great love for literature and poetry by quoting beautiful excerpts at opportune moments that make viewers catch their breath and then scramble to google the source. She also demonstrates her love for cake, as she indulges in a slice or two from the pantry and then feigns innocence.

There was a treasure trove to choose from, but these are five of my favorite Sister Joan moments from the show:

1. Jenny kissed me

It was a tearful departure when Jenny is leaving Nonatus House. Everyone bids her farewell in their own way and wishes her the best of luck, but Sister Joan quotes a lovely little poem:

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in!

Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,

Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,

Say I’m growing old, but add,

Jenny kiss’d me.

It seems an innocuous spur of the moment bit of poetry. Her delivery, and the emotion brimming in her eyes, threatening to spill over, create a painful lump in your throat.

But if you delve a little deeper, you’ll find that it was penned by the English author, Leigh Hunt, one of his most famous poems, no less. Most importantly, the poem served its purpose, there was not a dry eye in Nonatus House by the time sister Joan was done.

2.  “I do not believe in weeds – look at that glorious color – a weed is simply a flower someone decides is in the wrong place. ”

What an eloquent way to tell someone to be who they are. We are all flowers and we all need love to bloom. Don’t let the expectations of others pressure you. She writes this on a note to Patsy Mount. Patsy hasn’t told anyone she’s a lesbian, but Sister Joan is astute. She sees more than most people, and she always chooses the right words to comfort.

3. “The hands of the almighty are so often to be found at the end of our own arms.”

Louder! For the people in the back! Like the Beatles said, “The movement you need is on your shoulder.”

Sometimes you need to be your own savior. Faith is a miraculous thing, but sometimes a little bit of a push is needed. You have to roll up your sleeves and get in the muck. This is a relevant and pragmatic observation in these times of “thoughts and prayers.”

4. “You are no better than Plato, who believed a woman’s womb would roam her body provoking psychological disease. I have put Plato here, next to Freud, so they can be companions in their ignorance.”

How can you not love this woman, this insightful, sagacious, naive, wonderful force of nature?

In one fell swoop, she discredits the theories of both Plato and Freud, each as ignorant as the other. She also puts Sister Evangelina in her place. It’s a masterclass in the art of the retort.

5. “We are the great sprawl, that growing mass of alchemy. Some of us are golden, some of us are base. But you are golden. And though they may not know it, the young need you now more than ever.”

This is one of our favorite quotes from one beloved character to another equally beloved character.

When Sister Julienne doubts her abilities and her station, when she needs someone to tell her she is more than capable of leading this group of determined, compassionate women, Sister Joan rises to the occasion with the most sententious, impassioned prose.

Call the Midwife premiered on Jan. 15, 2012 and there has been no looking back since. It’s been eight wonderful seasons and fans will be happy to know the show has been renewed for three more seasons!

You can watch the series on Netflix!

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