New Instruction on the vocation and witness of consecrated virgins

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 4 July 2018 released an Instruction on the vocation and witness of consecrated virgins, entitled Ecclesiae Sponsae imago (“The image of the Church as the Bride”). In briefly outlining the history of consecrated virgins and how the Church again recognized their special significance in the Christian community at the time of the Second Vatican Council, the Instruction notes (no. 10) that “there has been a real revival of the Ordo virginum [Order of Virgins], whose vitality is evident in the rich variety of personal charisms placed at the service of the Church’s development and of the renewal of society in the spirit of the Gospel. The phenomenon appears to be very significant, not only for the number of women involved, but also for its diffusion throughout all continents, in many countries and Dioceses and in very diverse geographic areas and cultural contexts.”

It is estimated there are about 60 or more women in Canada and some 5,000 internationally who while living “in the world”, that is, in their ordinary circumstances of life, have been admitted to consecration by their diocesan Bishop and are entrusted to his pastoral care, thus “emphasizing the special link that has been established between consecrated virgins and the particular and universal Church”.

Text of the new Instruction

Official presentation (in English only) by the Prefect of the Congregation, His Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz

Reflection carried by Vatican News on the new Instruction