Private Vow of Celibacy


I’ve done some reading and I came across “private vows of celibacy.” How does one enter into a private vow of celibacy? How binding is it? Could someone provide me with the text of a private vow of celibacy?

P.S. I’m talking about a permanent vow of celibacy, not a stepping stone to priesthood or religious life.


You just say something along the lines of “I solemnly vow to you, God, that I will remain unmarried for Your sake all the days of my life. Holy Mary, Virgin of Virgins, pray for me.” It doesn’t even have to be that stylistic.

With that said, I do not recommend taking vows of this gravity without having first consulted with a spiritual director; these vows are binding under penalty of mortal sin (unless one explcitly binds oneself under penalty of venial sin), as is any vow taken concerning grave matters.

I hope this was helpful,
Benedicat Deus,


Private vows should be made in consultation with a spiritual director. I also suggest that you first make a temporary vow, renewable every year, for at least three years before asking your spiritual director if you should make it a perpetual (permanent) vow.


I agree with previous posters that one should not make a private vow or vows without spiritual direction … and on an ongoing basis for the life of the vow(s). I agree also with previous posts that wording of the private vow(s) is very much up to the person making the vow.

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