“Your vocation is a sign of the inexhaustible and manifold richness of the gifts of the Spirit of the Risen Lord, who makes all things new (cf. Rev 21:5). It is likewise a sign of hope, pointing to the fidelity of the Father, who even today awakens in the hearts of some women the desire to be consecrated to the Lord in virginity, lived out in a concrete social and cultural setting, rooted in a particular Church, and expressed in a way of life that is ancient, yet modern and ever new.”

Those are the words of Pope Francis included in his message issued on Pentecost 2020 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of the revised Rite of Consecration of Virgins.

“Fifty years after the renewal of the Rite, I would say this to you: do not extinguish the prophetic nature of your vocation!” the Pope wrote to the Virgins. “You have been called, not because of your own merits, but by God’s mercy, to make your lives a reflection of the face of the Church, the Bride of Christ. The Church is a virgin because, albeit composed of sinners, she continues to preserve the faith intact, to bring forth new life, and to foster the growth of a new humanity.

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