From a reader…
Easter blessings Father! God has given me the gift of widowhood and I feel He is calling me to offer it back to Him as a dedicated or consecrated widow. Is there and current progress in the US towards that end? My spiritual director suggested I try to find some rules of life for those forging ahead in this area to try to present something to my Archbishop. Any help is appreciated. God bless you.
First, your attitude is exemplary.
For those who don’t know, in the ancient Church there were orders of lay people such as virgins (this has been revived), widows and even gravediggers. They were especially concerned with works of mercy.
I know that the Holy See was studying the revival of consecrated widows. I don’t know where they are at with it. I recall also that a diocese in Italy was once experimenting with this.
At this time I don’t know of any efforts in these USA to foster an order of widows.
I can’t for the life of me think of why there hasn’t been more movement on this. There are a heck of a lot of widows out there, living good lives, faithfully participating in their parishes.
Why should virgins get all the love? (If you get my drift.)
I suppose with the help of a pastor or a bishop one could start a Consorority of St. Monica (or some other great widow saint… Frances of Rome, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Ksenia Blazhennaya Peterburzhskaya*, Margaret the Barefoot…).
Here’s a thought.
Pope Francis seems to react well when approached personally.
How about all you widows out there put pen to paper and write to Pope Francis and ask him to revive the ancient order of widows?
I suspect that it he got hundreds of letters from around the world, he’d sit up and take notice. This seems like the sort of thing that he might take personal interest in.
“¡Hagan lío!”, after all. Right?
Back in 2013 Pope Francis said:
Jesus has, “the capacity to suffer with us, to be close to our sufferings and make them His own,” said Pope Francis, who began his reflections with the encounter between Jesus and the widow of Naim, of which Tuesday’s Gospel reading tells. He pointed out that Jesus, “had great compassion” for this widow who had now lost her son. Jesus, he went on to say, “knew what it meant to be a widow at that time,” and noted that the Lord has a special love for widows, He cares for them.” Reading this passage of the Gospel, he then said, that the widow is, “an icon of the Church , because the Church is in a sense widow”:
“The Bridegroom is gone and she walks in history, hoping to find him, to meet with Him – and she will be His true bride. In the meantime she – the Church – is alone! The Lord is nowhere to be seen. She has a certain dimension of widowhood … and that makes me makes me think of the widowhood of the Church. This courageous Church, which defends her children, like the widow who went to the corrupt judge to [press her rights] and eventually won. Our Mother Church is courageous! She has the courage of a woman who knows that her children are her own, and must defend them and bring them to the meeting with her Spouse.”
Pope Francis might say and write some weird stuff but that was pretty good!
Such a letter might include, along with a very brief description of the circumstances of one’s life…
- There was in the ancient Church an order of widows.
- Since Vatican II the ancient order of virgins has been revived.
- There are many widows living good and faithful lives who would benefit from such a consecration.
- Local churches could benefit from their prayers and works of mercy.
End with a promise of prayers for the Pope.
Keep it BRIEF… on one side of one sheet of paper.
Casa Santa Marta
00120 Vatican City
*Russian Orthodox but, hey!, a great name! A little hard to fit on a procession banner, though.