Virgin (title)

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Procession of virgin martyrs bearing wreaths (master of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, 6th century) Meister von San Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna 002.jpg
Procession of virgin martyrs bearing wreaths (master of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, 6th century)

The title Virgin (Latin Virgo, Greek Παρθένος) is an honorific bestowed on female saints and blesseds in both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Beatification recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person

Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Beati is the plural form, referring to those who have undergone the process of beatification.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

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Chastity is one of the seven virtues in Christian tradition, listed by Pope Gregory I at the end of the 6th century. In 1 Corinthians, Saint Paul suggests a special role for virgins or unmarried women (ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἡ παρθένος ἡ ἄγαμος) as more suitable for "the things of the Lord" (μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ κυρίου). [1] In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul alludes to the metaphor of the Church as Bride of Christ by addressing the congregation "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ".

Chastity sexual conduct of a person that is deemed praiseworthy and virtuous

Chastity is a virtue related to temperance, one of the seven virtues and it is defined as refraining from any sexual conduct or romantic relationships. Chastity is usually defined within the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization or religion. The term is closely associated with sexual abstinence, especially in the context of premarital and extramarital sex.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines virtue as "a habitual and firm disposition to do the good." Traditionally, the seven Christian virtues or heavenly virtues combine the four classical cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and courage with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. These were adopted by the Church Fathers as the seven virtues.

Pope Gregory I Medieval pope from 590 to 604

Pope Gregory I, commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 3 September 590 to 12 March 604 AD. He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. Gregory is also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as Pope. The epithet Saint Gregory the Dialogist has been attached to him in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. English translations of Eastern texts sometimes list him as Gregory "Dialogos", or the Anglo-Latinate equivalent "Dialogus".

In the theology of the Church Fathers, the prototype of the sacred virgin is Mary, the mother of Jesus, consecrated by the Holy Spirit at Annunciation. [2] Although not stated in the gospels, the perpetual virginity of Mary was widely upheld as a dogma by the Church Fathers from the 4th century.

Church Fathers group of people who were ancient influential Christian theologians

The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers. There is no definitive list. The era of these scholars who set the theological and scholarly foundations of Christianity largely ended by AD 700.

Holy Spirit, is a term found in English translations of the Bible that is understood differently among the Abrahamic religions. The term is also used to describe aspects of other religions and belief structures.

Annunciation Christian celebration and artistic theme

The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox celebration of the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking His Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yeshua, meaning "YHWH is salvation".

Virgin martyrs

Saint Euphemia with crown, lily and palm branch (Andrea Mantegna, 1454) Mantegna, santa eufemia, capodimonte.jpg
Saint Euphemia with crown, lily and palm branch (Andrea Mantegna, 1454)

In the hagiography of Christian martyrs of the late 1st to early 4th centuries, virgin martyrs (Latin virgo et martyr, Greek παρθένος-μάρτυρας, Russian дева-мученица) are Christian virgins, often persecuted for their refusal to enter a worldly marriage after having vowed to keep their virginity. The historicity of these early saints cannot be established, the dates given are from hagiographical tradition.

Hagiography biography of a Christian saint

A hagiography is a biography of a saint or an ecclesiastical leader. The term hagiography may be used to refer to the biography of a saint or highly developed spiritual being in any of the world's spiritual traditions.

Christian martyrs Person killed for their testimony of Jesus

A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their testimony of Jesus. In years of the early church, this often occurred through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Koine word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness" or "testimony".

Felicula saint

Felicula was an early virgin martyr. She was the foster sister of Saint Petronilla. She was arrested after Petronilla refused to marry a Roman official. After Petronilla's death, Felicula had no food and water in prison. She was thrown into a sewer, where she eventually died. Saint Nicomedes recovered her body.

Saint Petronilla Roman Catholic saint

Saint Petronilla is an early Christian saint. She was venerated as a virgin martyr by the Catholic Church. She died in Rome at the end of 1st century, or possibly in the 3rd century.

Saint Cecilia roman saint, martyr and patron saint of music

Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. It is written that as the musicians played at her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". Her feast day is celebrated in the Latin Catholic, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches and in the Anglican Communion on November 22. She is one of seven women, in addition to the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

Post-Nicean Virgin martyrs:

Other virgin saints

The first known formal consecration is that of Saint Marcellina, dated AD 353, mentioned in De Virginibus by her brother, Saint Ambrose. Another early consecrated virgin is Saint Genevieve (c. 422 c. 512).

Saint Margaret of Hungary (1242–1270) is noted as a nun and virgin, as she received a separate consecration as a virgin in spite of already having taken monastic vows; this was done in order to dissuade her father, king Béla IV of Hungary, from trying to have her vows rescinded by the pope for the purposes of a political marriage.

According to Raymond of Capua, Catherine of Siena (c. 1347–1380) at the age of twenty-one (c. 1368) experienced what she described in her letters as a "Mystical Marriage" with Jesus, later a popular subject in art as the Mystic marriage of Saint Catherine .

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897), canonized in 1925.

Consecrated virgins

The tradition of the rite of consecration dates back to the 4th century. The rite for virgins living in the world has been reintroduced under Pope Paul VI in 1970. [3] The reintroduction of the rite of consecration of virgins for women living in the world was notably campaigned for by Anne Leflaive (1899–1987), who had been consecrated as a virgin in 1924, and who campaigned for the formal recognition of the rite of consecration during the 1920s to 1960s. [4]

The number of consecrated virgins ranges in the thousands. While the Holy See does not keep official statistics, estimates derived from diocesane records range at around 5,000 consecrated virgins worldwide as of 2018. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Agnes of Rome Christian martyr

Agnes of Rome is a virgin martyr, venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism. She is one of seven women who, along with the Blessed Virgin, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

Margaret the Virgin saint (275–304) usually shown with a dragon

Margaret, known as Margaret of Antioch in the West, and as Saint Marina the Great Martyr in the East, is celebrated as a saint on July 20 in the Western Rite Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, on July 17 by the Eastern-Rite Orthodox Church and on Epip 23 and Hathor 23 in the Coptic Churches.

September 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

September 22 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - September 24

May 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

May 17—Eastern Orthodox Church calendar—May 19

June 8 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

June 7 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - June 9

July 11 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

July 10 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - July 12

Consecrated virgin

In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity as an exclusive spouse of Christ. Consecrated virgins are consecrated by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite. The consecrated virgins are to spend their time in works of penance and mercy, in apostolic activity and in prayer, according to their state of life and spiritual gifts.

August 5 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

August 4 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - August 6

October 8 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

October 7 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - October 9

January 5 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

January 4 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - January 6

January 9 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

January 8 – Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar – January 10

January 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

January 17 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - January 19

February 12 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

February 11 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - February 13

March 1 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

February 28 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - March 2

Saint Pelagia, Pelagia of Antioch, Pelagia the Penitent or Pelagia the Harlot was a legendary Christian saint and hermit in the 4th or 5th century.

November 25 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

November 24 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - November 26

October 30 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

October 29 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - October 31

December 10 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

December 9 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - December 11

References

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:34 "There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband." (KJV).
  2. Pope Benedict XVI. "Address to the Participants in the International Congress of the Ordo Virginum", May 15, 2008, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  3. Ordo Consecrationis Virginum (31 May 1970), AAS 62 (1970) 650 = EDIL 2082-2092 = DOL 294 no. 3352. English translation: The Rites of the Catholic Church 2 (n. 29, p. 81), 132-164, DOL 395 nos. 3253-3262.
  4. Jacqueline Roux, Summary of Anne Laflaive: One Life for the Reawakening of a Forgotten Vocation [ year needed ]
  5. Bernadette Mary Reis, "Church reproposes Order of Virgins 50 years after its restoration", Vatican News, 4 July 2018.