Vow of chastity


I think I’ve written about this before, so my apologies for repetition.

I made a vow of chastity when I was 12, after reading about Jesus telling His disciples that some were enunch for the sake of the Kingdom of God. I didn’t know what enunch meant, but I wanted to serve God, so I made a vow of chastity. At the time, too, I really wasn’t sure what chastity meant; I thought it just meat no sex. But now I know it means purity, a virteous life.

So, since I made a vow of chastity, dose that mean I must remain single or dose my vow extend into marriage?


Most likely your vow is not binding at all because of the age at which you made it. Speak with your priest.



You haven’t taken a vow of chastity - you had a funny notion when you were a child. Of course you don’t have to remain single or have a chaste marriage. You should talk to a priest if this is troubling you.


Thanks. I’ll talk to my spiritual director.


For a vow to be valid you must meet certain requirements:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of what one is promising.

  2. Complete freedom to make such a promise.

A child who does not know what the word means can’t meet the first requirement.

In addition, chastity is not the same as celibacy. Celibacy can be part of chastity if that is the intent. But chastity usually means purity of heart, mind and body.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


I’m curious, would a married couple who only have relations with each other be considered chaste?


Yes. Actually when you become confirmed, you are expected to remain celebrate until marriage. So a person who remains celibrate until marriage and then only has relations with his/her spouse is chaste.



All people are called to chastity. Some are blessed with the gift of celibacy and some of us (those in vows) are blessed with the gift of consecrated chastity, where Christ is our only source of love and the sole object of love, without the medium which is usually a spouse and family.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


I would say yes.

The basic meaning of chastity is the proper use of sex.

Seems that Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical on the matter called Castis Conubi–Chaste Marriage.


Add to your list of references John Paul’s THEOLOGY OF THE BODY.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


I just found this in my notes.
To live chastely means being respectful of the gift of sexuality.


I found this in my notes.
To live chastely means being respectful of the gift of sexuality.


I like that.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


Anyone not married and is a dedicated Catholic is bound to be celibate (unmarried) and chaste (in this case meaning abstaining from all sex) as much as any priest or other religious who has made a vow.

I sometimes think it would be nice to have a secular order that could make some sort of vow. Like, in my case (I’m nearly 60) and I intend never to marry so I’ll be living like a religious anyway only in a secular setting.



They don’t belong to any particular secular order, but there are consecrated virgins.
Celibate means to abstain from all sex while chastity limits its practice to the marital state.


There are secular orders. You have three in your country:

Franciscans, Dominicans, and Carmelites.



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