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Abbess of the Adepta Sororitas

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The Abbess of the Adepta Sororitas is the the head of the Adepta Sororitas and at certain times a member of the High Lords of Terra[4], although the position is currently vacant.[Needs Citation]


The original head of the Adepta Sororitas was Alicia Dominica, who led the organisation in the centuries following the Age of Apostasy. Following Dominica's martyrdom there was a void left in the organisation as none of the other leaders felt they were adequate to follow in her footsteps. Eventually Ecclesiarch Equitus XI was forced to intervene, he ordered the leaders of each of the Orders to elect one of their number to lead the Sisterhood. After debates lasting many weeks, Sister Palmiro of the Order of the Holy Word was elected by majority to take up the role of Abbess.[Needs Citation]

Unfortunately, Sister Palmiro was an extremely humble woman and declined to take up the post. Instead she stated that her intention was to depart on a pilgrimage to San Leor. After further debate, it was decided that Sister Palmiro should, in fact, complete her pilgramage - but that she would take up the position of Abbess on her return and regard it as a suitable penance. After barely a century it became a tradition that the post of Abbess go to the candidate who least desired the role and that they should consider the position a penance rather than a privilege and that, before taking up the post, she should undertake a pilgrimage to San Leor.[Needs Citation]

For the best part of four millennia, this tradition was upheld - up until the election of Sister Sabrina of the Order of the Ermine Mantle, who disappeared during her pilgrimage and never returned to Terra. Until Sabrina is found, or her fate is determined, Ecclesiastical law states that the post of Abbess must remain vacant.[Needs Citation]

Known Abbesses

Canon Conflict

Older sources state:

The Abbess Sanctorum is the commander of the Convent Sanctorum as well as the overall leader of the Adepta Sororitas. Acting as both the Sororitas military and spiritual leader, the Abbess Sanctorum is often a member of the High Lords of Terra and oversees the Sororitas from their Convent on Terra. She is assisted by the Prioress of Convent Prioris based on Ophelia IV, who acts as her second-in-command.[1]

However this is contradicted by more current materials which have moved the Convent Sanctorum to Ophelia VII and Convent Prioris to Terra[2], and that both convents are overseen by a Prioress.[3]