THE ORDER OF VIRGINS
From the beginning of the Church there were virgins who wished to consecrate their virginity to Christ and to the service of the Church. They were accepted to the life of virginity by a bishop who consecrated them publicly during a special ceremony.
The most ancient consecration rite in the Church dates back to the year 353A.C. It was the rite used by the Popes in Rome. The new rite was promoted by the Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in May 31, 1970 and made possible for women living in the world to receive consecration. This rite “is one of the most precious treasures in the Roman liturgy” (Decree from May 31st 1970).
The order of virgins is laid down in the Code of Canon Law in the article 604. In this Canon it is characterized as “the order of virgins, who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are mystically espoused to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.”
The Ordo Virginum has no other founder than the Church, which took inspiration from the life of the Spouse himself our Lord Jesus Christ and from the life of the Virgin Mary.
As distinct of the religious orders and secular institutes the Ordo Virginum has no firm rules or structures of a common life but “virgins can be associated together to fulfill their pledge more faithfully and to assist each other to serve the Church in a way that befits their state” (Art. 604, B). They live in the world without “being from the world”.
In September 1st 2009 the Archbishop Mons. Pawl Cremona has approved the Guide Lines and the formation program for those who desire to live this specific consecrated life. Mons. Cremona has delegated Fr. Charlò Camilleri, O.Carm. for the Ordo Virginum. Fr. Camilleri is taking care of the formation program through personal meetings, retreats and seminars.
The Decree of the Ordo Virginum in Malta by H.E. Mons. Paul Cremona
The Decree of the Delegate in Malta by H.E. Mons. Paul Cremona
Ms Anna Galea OV (Moderator)
Rev. Charlò Camilleri, O.Carm. (Delegate)
Priory of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,