Since the 17th century the history of deaconesses in the Church has been the subject of numerous monographs. What is most evident about the history of deaconesses, however, is how complex the whole subject is. In this exhaustive and thoroughly researched work, Martimort presents a very readable analysis that has become the standard study of the role of women deaconesses in the early Church. He presents in as complete and objective fashion as possible the history, who and what these deaconesses were and what their functions were.
"An excellent book on the topic of ordination of women to the diaconate. A masterpiece of research, and the thorough footnotes and index will increase its value for scholarly work."—The Priest
"This book can be considered the last word on the subject of deaconesses. It deserves a wide readership since there is so much interest in the ordination of women."—Homiletic & Pastoral Review