In 2019, I accidentally came across a youtube video of a ceremony of a lady consecrated as a virgin. It was both solemn and intriguing as I saw her before the Altar alone in a bridal dress. Since I am also discerning of being a religious or a single, I got curious, how about guys? Can men be consecrated virgins?
No. A consecrated virgin is a woman who belongs to Christ alone, pledging her whole life to Him through the bishop in the presence of the Church.
In the Rite of Consecration and Catechism, it is emphasized that consecrated virginity is a vocation exclusively reserved for women.
Rite of Consecration
Here is an excerpt from the Rite as spoken by the Bishop.
that through me, his servant,
the Lord may consecrate
the resolution you have formed in your hearts.”
The term “daughters” explicitly indicates female characters.
Here is another example of an address by the Bishop.
“And now we speak to you, dear daughters. Our words are not words of command but encouragement from the heart. The life you seek to follow has its
home in heaven. God himself is its source.”
Additionally, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states.
CCC 924 “As with other forms of consecrated life,’ the order of virgins establishes the woman living in the world (or the nun) in prayer, penance, service of her brethren, and apostolic activity, according to the state of life and spiritual gifts given to her. Consecrated virgins can form themselves into associations to observe their commitment more faithfully….”
This is clear. The consecrated virginity is a vocation only for women.
If you are discerning consecrated virginity, you might want to check this guide.
For men, there are other alternatives you can consider as follows.
- Religious Brother- If you are not called to be a priest, you might want to discern being a religious brother. They are part of the congregation but do not administer the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. To discern Religious Brotherhood, this complete guide will help you.
- Deacon- You can also consider being a Deacon. Deacons are ordained by the Church. Their role is to help priests in Parish duties like visiting the sick, offering spiritual guidance, performing baptisms, and distributing Holy Communion.
- Single- Men can also choose to be single. In this way of life, you will live by yourself while serving the Church in your own way. You can volunteer and be part of your Church’s ministry while doing secular work. To know more about Single Life, you can visit this guide.
As men of the Catholic faith, we can help our Church in our own ways. This is not about what vocation we choose. At the end of the day, it is about how we live it.
Whether you are a priest, a religious brother, a deacon, or a single, you are called by God to love. And that is what really matters.
For vocation discernment, you might want to check these resources out.
Loving Mother, pray for us.