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Karen wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have heard conflicting information on whether a person can take the Consecrated Virgin (CV) vows as a preparation to entering religious life. Some say one can; and others say you can't but can take the CV vows at the time of their profession.  I wanted to know what the Holy See's position is regarding this issue.

  • Do they say, yes, one can take the CV vows before they enter religious life if they want to do as a preparation before entering religious life?
  • Do they say, no, one has to wait until they make their CV vows at their profession?

I am thinking of pursing a CV vocation as a preparation before entering the religious life and want to make sure that the Holy See says that this is OK before doing this.

If possible can you show me a Vatican document that contains this information.

Thank You and God Bless!


  { When can someone contemplating entering religious life take their consecrated virgin vows? }

Mary Ann replied:

Karen —

A Consecrated Virgin is a distinct canonical state within the Church. It is a state of life taken with the permission of the bishop, who receives the vow.

It is distinct from religious life, which is vowed virginity lived in common according to the rule of an order.

One does not become a Consecrated Virgin in preparation for religious life. One may, however, make a private vow of virginity, under the guidance of a spiritual director, as a form of preparation for religious life.

Mary Ann

Therese Ivers, a visitor to the site commented:

Hi, Mike —

Mary Ann's answer is a little off.

No vows are taken in this vocation. The bishop does not "receive the vow". He consecrates and an ontological change is made on the virgin, so that she becomes the bride of Christ. Again, no vows are taken (unless you are also a nun, secular institute member or hermit, in which case, the vows will be incorporated into the ceremony).

Think of it this way. A man does not make a vow and that makes him a priest. A woman does not make a vow and that vow makes her a consecrated virgin. A man receives the sacrament of ordination. A female virgin receives the sacramental of consecration.

Thank you.

Therese Ivers, JCL (JCD-abd), OCV (Order of Virgins)

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