Consecrated virginity: new life for an ancient charism

Consecrated virginity: new life for an ancient charism

Vatican, May. 16, 2008 ( - Consecrated virginity is a powerful form of Christian witness that "flowered anew in the Church after Vatican II," Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) remarked in a May 15 address to 500 members of the Ordo Virginum order who were on a pilgrimage to Rome.

Consecrated virginity, the Pontiff said, is "a charism which is as luminous and fruitful in the eyes of the faith as it is obscure and futile in the eyes of the world." The ancient roots of this way of life, he said, reflect the "unprecedented novelty" in which some women of the early Church discovered their "desire to give one's entire being to God, which had had its first extraordinary fulfilment in the Virgin of Nazareth and her 'Yes.'"

The Pope encouraged the women to life their vocation with "the intensity, but also the freshness, of its origins." The choice of virginity, he said, testifies to "the transitory nature of earthly things and an anticipation of future good." The members of Ordo Virginum, he said, should be witnesses of hope in a future joy, and of "the peace that belongs to those who abandon themselves to the love of God."

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