Why no male virgin Saints?

Just curious…if you know the answer to my question please let me know…I noticed that all Saints that mentioned “virgin” were female and am just wondering why there are no men. I concede that males cannot be medically tested to verify virginity but I doubt that all female Saints given the title “virgin” have been medically tested. I am making an assumption here that the Holy Church took these wonderful women at their word that they were indeed virgins and wonder why they don’t do that for our beloved and wonderful male Saints.

I am not critical of the church here, just thinking maybe we are missing out on an oppportunity? I would LOVE to show my son a book of saints that had a male Saint with the word “virgin” on the page! Our poor young men have to endure so much temptation and a strong male role model that is proud of his virginity wouldn’t hurt.

Again, just curious perhaps I am missing something. Thanks for helping.

I believe they are depicted holding a lily when they are considered virgin’s, even the men.

Haha, I totally know what you mean! Women aren’t the only ones who should be celebrated for being chaste.

The Latin word “virgo” means “maid”. Strictly speaking, a virgin is only a woman. A man should be called otherwise.

I thought it was typically assumed that, unless a man in married, he is a virgin Saint in the eyes of the Church.

But, there is a rather modern young Italian Man, from the 19th or 20th Century who was a virgin. Young Man. …He may be a Blessed, though, at this point.

I’m not sure, but i think the title virgin (except for Mary) are for women saints who died trying to protect their chastity.

Medically tested? You do realize there is no way to prove that someone is a virgin, correct? Even if your hymen is not intact, it does not mean that a woman has had sex.

Just posting because I’d like to know more about this as well. I’ve always just thought that male saints were virgins if they weren’t married or if there was no mention of their past prior to becoming a christian or surrendering themselves to God.

But OP is right. I don’t think in any of the children’s books on the saints that I read when I was a kid did they ever mention men who were virgins. They always mentioned virgin women, though.

On a side note - One can’t always tell if a woman is a virgin just by medically testing them, unless I’m thinking of a different medical test. Sometimes their hymen might have been broken during strenuous exercise, falling on the bike bar (I know a girl where it happened to her when we were around 11 or 12 - the seat was too high and she slipped off, landed very hard on the bar below the seat and really hurt herself.), etc.

Virginity is typically associated with women, because virgin means maid. But there are certainly chaste men, like St. Joseph and Don Bosco (and pretty much all the priest saints).

I didn’t know St. Joseph was a virgin.

http://members.chello.nl/~l.de.bondt/SaintJosephG.jpg

Perhaps I am missing something. I would much rather show my son the word “Saint” than the word “virgin”…we are all sinners…and in the end it matters more that we convert and turn our hearts to God more than what our past sin was. I know in this day and age the sin of the flesh is a huge temptation…for girls by the way and guys…as a parent we are called in this day and age to be a stronger spiritual Mother than ever. So if the word “virgin” is not specifically mentioned on the page ~ the moral life of the saints will lead your son to where you want him to be…trust in that.

OK, I have two relevant stories.

The first one is St. Imre, the son of St. Stephen the Hungarian king who converted the pagan Hungarians to Christianity and established the country Hungary in the year of 896. St. Stephen had only one son, Imre. He was expected to inherit the throne and the very serious responsibility of keeping the newly Christianized nation on track and defend the newly established country Hungary from invaders. His father found him a bride from Christian Germany, from royal blood. They were supposed to have sons, to carry on the royal dynasty. However, Imre’s wife did not fall pregnant and one year into the marriage, Imre was tragically killed by a wild boar in a hunting accident. It should be mentioned that he had been a devout Christian and a man of prayer. At this point, his widow came forward and testified that they never had sexual relations, that’s why she never became pregnant. Then, Imre’s old personal servant also testified about something that he knew but had to keep as a secret previously: One night, the young Imre entered the church in the royal city of Esztergom, to pray. He was only accompanied by his old servant. He asked God in prayer, what should he offer for God’s greater glory. Then, he had a vision or an appearance of God, who replied to him: Offer your virginity for my glory! This obviously happened before Imre was married. Then, Imre solemnly vowed to stay a virgin and offer it for God’s greater glory, but only his old servant knew this, as well as his German bride who was also beatified or canonized by the Church (I don’t remember for sure). Here we can see, St. Stephen the king had a human plan for Hungary that made human logical sense, and called for the marriage of his son St. Imre so that he could have offspring on the throne of Hungary. However, God had a different plan, perhaps that we Hungarians should have a Virgin Saint in the Heaven who will keep praying for our country. In modern times, Hungary is very secular and afflicted by lack of chastity among the youth in general, similar to the USA. St. Imre is a shining example for those (and not only for Hungarians) who are attentive to God’s calling and do not wish to walk in the ways of the world, because going against the prevailing social attitudes takes a heroic commitment to God and to his ways which often seem foolish from a worldly perspective. One thing that intrigues me, why didn’t St. Imre tell his father that he made a vow of virginity, when he wanted him to marry? My hypothesis is that either his vow was secret and he promised to God to keep it secret (with the exception of his servant, who was with him in the church on that night), or maybe such was the degree of his humility and filial obedience that he couldn’t contradict his father’s wishes, or perhaps both of the above.

The other story is from Joan Carrol Cruz’s book, The Incorruptibles. This book tells the story of about 200 saints whose bodies were spared corruption (chemical-biological decomposition) after their death. This is the story of one of the earliest martyr saints of the Church from the time of the Roman Empire, her name is St. Cecilia. The point is that not only her, but also her husband stayed virgins. St. Cecilia came from a noble family, she became Christian and made a vow of virginity, but her father who was pagan, insisted that she marry. Her father found a groom for her, from another noble Roman family. What’s amazing, this groom who was not a Christian, had such a noble character, that he listened to St. Cecilia’s pleading that she wanted to stay a virgin for life since she vowed so. Thus, St. Cecilia’s husband also became a Christian, along with his brother. Then, It was found out that they were Christians, and all three of them were martyred by the authorities. St. Cecilia was mortally wounded with an axe, they tried to decapitate her but her head was only partially detached from her body after being struck thrice. She lay in agony for about three days before she died. There’s a famous Baroque sculpture by Stefano Maderno, it depicts her in the position in which her incorrupt body was found in 1599, some 14 centuries after her martyrdom which occurred in the year of 177. But the original point is, her husband Valerian of Trastevere also stayed virgin (unless he had sexual relations before, which seems out of character with the rest of his life). Here are links about St. Cecilia:

wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/maderno/cecilia.html
members.chello.nl/~l.de.bondt/IncorruptBodies.htm
sacred-destinations.com/italy/rome-convent-of-santa-cecilia-in-trastevere.htm

And here is St. Maximilian Kolbe, a virgin saint with an amazing story of two crowns, one white and one red (written by Br. John Neumann M.I.C.M., see this website for full story):

catholicism.org/maximilian-kolbe.html

Our Lady especially loves little children. They are so guileless, so direct. Their faith is so simple and chaste, their hope so aspiring and inspiring, their charity so warm and sincere, that She could not help but love them above the rest of men. No doubt that is why She so often chooses them to convey Her heavenly messages to the world.

But sometimes Her apparitions to children are meant to be very private and very intimate. One such highly personal visitation occurred shortly after the turn of the present century.

It happened in Poland. The ten year-old child who received this exceptional blessing was not exceptional himself - at least not in virtue. For he was as mischievous as any other boy of his age. Perhaps even more so. His name was Raymond Kolbe, born January 8, 1894. But while he might not have been called exceptional, neither was he average. Raymond was a bright little fellow with a notable inclination toward science.

Unfortunately his talents were applied to common mischief far too frequently to suit the patience of his poor mother, and he received many a just reprimand from her. Exasperated, she one day intoned that typical expression which many a weary mother has used dozens of times over: “What is going to become of you?” she asked her youthful prankster. Poor Raymond took the question quite to heart, gravely reflecting on the implication that his habits of misbehavior were leading him to a disastrous end. So moved was he, in fact, that a complete change came over him from that moment.

And it was very noticeable. Maria Kolbe began to observe her son spending long hours at their little altar of Our Lady of Czestochowa praying and weeping. Naturally concerned about what was troubling the boy, she asked him what was the matter. Raymond was reluctant to open his heart until his worried mother insisted that he tell her under pain of disobedience. Then he confided that her critical question about the hope for his future had been the start of it all: “I felt very sad and went to the Blessed Virgin and asked Her what would become of me. After that, I asked Her again in church. Then the Blessed Virgin appeared to me, holding two crowns. One was white, and the other red.” The white crown represented purity, and the red one martyrdom. Our lady then asked him which he would choose. “I choose them both,” was his eager answer. The Queen of Heaven then smiled and disappeared.

Thus Maria Kolbe became the only person to share the beautiful secret of this future saint before his death. And having been taken into his confidence, she related years later, “His face aglow, he would often talk to me of martyrdom, his great dream.”

But how was this dream to be fulfilled? The vision was brief, and the only apparent instruction that Our Lady gave Raymond was that he be obedient and She would take care of everything else.

(rest of story on website)

also see: fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationkolbe.html

St. Aloysius was renowned for his chastity as well. From his earliest childhood he kept the utmost purity.

(Though sometimes the stories about him are extreme – saying he wouldn’t even look his mother in the eye, because of his purity, for example. However, I find stories like this for a lot of saints, and sometimes I wonder if the writers are just trying to make the story more incredible than it already is … who knows.)

I love this picture, JPUSC.
I have seen this picture statue in our church at back right side,
And once I dreamed an angel appeared in our church back right side window into the azure sky;
and my imagination admired such a vision.

:smiley:

There are some male saints who are noted for the efforts to which they went to preserve their chastity and the emphasis they placed on bodily purity and virginity.

One being St Thomas Aquinas who fled in horror from his bedroom when someone sent a prostitute in to him to tempt him to break his vow of chastity. Another St Francis of Assisi who roled in thorn bushes to rid himself of sexual temptations.

A third being St Padre Pio who frankly discussed the sexual temptations he endured at times, but never succumbed to.

Hahaha, reminds me when Matt, the Catholic guy from MTV’s The Real World New Orleans ran and tried to hide when Julie, the Mormon girl, wanted a kiss.

Matt is a GREAT guy! He does lots of talks about chastity and living the Catholic faith.

Just to remind everyone, the term “virginity” ALSO means “fully integrated”. This is in reference to Mary who did not experience the rupture of body and soul through sin.

am missing something. I would much rather show my son the word “Saint” than the word “virgin”…we are all sinners…and in the end it matters more that we convert and turn our hearts to God more than what our past sin was. I know in this day and age the sin of the flesh is a huge temptation…for girls by the way and guys…as a parent we are called in this day and age to be a stronger spiritual Mother than ever. So if the word “virgin” is not specifically mentioned on the page ~ the moral life of the saints will lead your son to where you want him to be…trust in that.

I was kinda thinking this too. I mean, one can be not be a virgin and still be chaste. One can be married and be chaste, it is the virtue of chastity that we should be after not necessarily to be a virgin. To loose one’s virginity in marriage is a very holy and chaste thing.

BUT I do know what you mean by wanting to show your son an example of a male virgin, since it is pretty much just assumed these days that men especially, after the age of 18 or so, aren’t virgins. If they are they are likely trying very hard not to be. I happen to know of 2 men in their late 30’s that are, and they are amazing living examples. I wish there were seas more (of women too).

BTW there is no medical way to ‘prove’ virginity, just FYI.

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