Vow of Enclosure

The vow of enclosure is a religious vow taken by some Poor Clares in addition to the three religious vows of obedience, poverty and chastity.[1]


When a Poor Clare takes this vow, she may not leave the monastery except for doctor's appointments, civil duties, or emergencies. The sisters known as 'extern sisters' do not take this vow due to be able to handle some of the community's needs outside the papal enclosure.

The Poor Clares constitute the second branch of the Franciscan Order, founded in the thirteenth century by St. Clare under the inspiration of St. Francis of Assisi.[2]


  1. ^ "Poor Clare vow of enclosure". www.thepoorclares.org. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  2. ^ "Poor Clare | religious order". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-06-06.

Abbot, meaning father, is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not the head of a monastery. The female equivalent is abbess.

Consecrated virgin

In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity as an exclusive spouse of Christ. Consecrated virgins are consecrated by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite.

The consecrated virgins are to spend their time in works of penance and mercy, in apostolic activity and in prayer, according to their state of life and spiritual gifts.

The rite of consecration of virgins living in the world was reintroduced in 1970, under Pope Paul VI, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. It is based on the template of the practice of the velatio virginum going back to the Apostolic era, especially the early virgin martyrs. The rite of consecration of virgins for nuns who have made their final profession of vows has always existed in various forms from the time of St. Scholastica. This is not to be confused with the Rite of Profession; it was an additional consecration.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law and the 1996 Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata by John Paul II speak of a reflourishing "Order of Virgins" (Ordo Virginum), the members of which represent an image of the church as heavenly Bride.

The number of consecrated virgins ranges in the thousands. While the Holy See does not keep official statistics, estimates derived from diocesan records range at around 5,000 consecrated virgins living in the world as of 2018.

In view of growing interest in the vocation, and of the upcoming 50th anniversary of its formal institution, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life issued the instruction Ecclesia Sponsae imago in July 2018..

While consecrated virginity resembles married life, a consecrated virgin may be part of a monastic community or continue live “in the world” to be a part of her local parish, under the authority of her bishop, in service to the people of God in her diocese and globally.

Consecrated virgins should not be confused with consecrated anchorites or hermits, who have a different vocation.


A hermit (adjectival form: eremitic or hermitic) is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons. Hermits are a part of several sections of Christianity, and the concept is found in other religions as well.

Lyre Abbey

Lyre Abbey (French: L'abbaye Notre-Dame de Lyre) was a monastery in Normandy, founded in 1046 at what is now the village of La Vieille-Lyre. From the mid-12th century it was a Benedictine house. It was abolished at the French Revolution and the abbey buildings mostly destroyed.

Master of novices

In the Roman Catholic Church, the master of novices or novice master is someone who is committed the training of the novices and the government of the novitiate of a religious institute.


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