Prior Robert has spent so much of his time inside an abbey, he has very little familiarity with the outside world – to the extent that Abbot Radulfus sends Cadfael with Robert to Wales, because “you know far more of the world and are much more sensible about it.” Robert has fixed ideas of how things ought to be, based on his experiences with them—including his opinions on the saints, reverence, and church policy. He interprets things in a personal manner, insisting on their right to remove a saint from Wales because “you have mistreated her, ignored her,” and have not been reverent toward her martyrdom. Per the superstitions of the time, he places a great deal of faith in the Church, in religious symbols, in visions, and holy interpretations, but has very little tolerance for the broader picture, changing his mind, or indulging new interpretations. He is all about discipline and rules, reminding others of their place, trusting the hierarchy of monks, assuming his efficiency will earn him a position as the next abbot (this is sorely misguided, but he is diplomatic enough to defer to Abbot Radulfus’ arrival), and entrusted with keeping the monks and novices in line. He does so with logical detachment, and is willing to compromise when necessary for the greater good, but he can also be arrogant, dismissive of the poor (especially when they intrude upon places meant for monks alone), and unemotional. Robert has not much compassion for others and can be terse with them. He has a great deal of ambition, and certain things he cares about very much.

Enneagram: 3w4 so/sp

Prior Robert is nothing if not self-important. Unlike his little minion Jerome, he cares less about the moral ‘right’ than he does in appearing to be good. He does not hesitate to welcome rich patrons into the fold and takes pride in eating the spoils from their table, as his ‘shared due’ in the abbot’s place. He arrogantly assumes the Welsh should give up their saint to a ‘superior’ abbey such as Shrewsbury, because the Lady herself paid one of their monks a visitation. His insistence on this point and elitist demeaning of her current burial status successfully aggravates the locals and turns them against him (his 4 wing bringing an element of superiority). Jerome shifts between making himself look bad with his pompous behavior, and knowing how to be diplomatic and save face.