Sponsa Christi

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The apostolic constitution Sponsa Christi ( Latin Bride of Christ ) of November 21, 1950 was approved by Pope Pius XII. issues and deals with the call to the virgin life of consecrated women and their mystical engagement to Christ .

Characteristics of the consecrated virgin life

The first part of this constitution deals with the historical development of the vocation to virginity and the development of the monastic convents from the associations of the consecrated virgins of the early church and deals in particular with the contemplative life. Pius XII. describes the characteristics of the consecrated life of women and explains:

“Because of their consecration by the diocesan bishop , they acquire a special bond with the Church, to whose service they dedicate themselves, even if they remain in the world. Alone or in community they present a special eschatological picture of the heavenly Bride and the life to come, when the church will finally live the love for her bridegroom Christ in fullness. "

The service of the Liturgy of the Hours is essential to consecrated virgins . The word of God and the liturgy are the sources from which consecrated virgins should draw in order to know the will of God and to bind themselves to it in freedom and love. In the same part of the Pope sets out provisions governing the conclave of nuns established. With this constitution fixed rules for religious orders are laid down, furthermore a guideline is given to the consecrated virgins living in the world .

Foundations of Canon Law

In the second part, the statutes valid according to canon law are specified:

  • Article I. Sections 1–3 Establishing religious orders for women
  • Article II. Sections 1–3 Special forms of monastic religious life
  • Article III. Sections 1–3 Affiliation and Consecration to the Virgin
  • Article IV. §§ 1–5 Major and minor papal retreats
  • Article V. Sections 1–4 Obligation to publicly celebrate the hours of worship in the choir
  • Article VI. §§ 1–3 Hierarchy and order in women's monasteries
  • Article VII. Sections 1–3 Approval procedure by the Holy See
  • Article VIII. Sections 1–3 Monastic work for the maintenance of the monasteries
  • Article IX. Final provisions and exhortation for strict compliance with these regulations

Through the apostolic constitution Vultum Dei quaerere - on the contemplative life in the women's order of Pope Francis of June 29, 2016, the Statuta generalia Monialium (general statutes concerning nuns) were repealed.

Individual evidence

  1. see also (John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata - on Consecrated Life and Its Mission in Church and World (No. 7) of March 25, 1996.
  2. Vultum Dei Quaerere - on the contemplative life in women's orders of June 29, 2016 [1] , Art. 1, p. 39


  • Carl Andresen and Georg Denzler : dtv dictionary of church history (religious order) . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1982.

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