[Ed. – Is that like a confirmed bachelor?]
The Holy See has issued new guidance on consecrated virginity in response to growing interest across the world in the little-known spiritual “vocation”.
Consecrated virgins are unmarried women who pledge to remain celibate for their entire lives, eschewing romantic or sexual relationships to devote themselves exclusively to being mystical “brides of Christ”.
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Unlike nuns, they take on no role within the church. Instead of joining a religious order, they continue to live in their own homes and work in conventional jobs.
There are thought to be up to 5,000 consecrated virgins across the world, including an estimated 200 in the UK.
While rare and little-known even within the church, the lifestyle is considered to be Christianity’s oldest form of total devotion to God, with roots in ancient Rome.