Do nuns actually get married to Jesus?

I heard this from nuns themselves. They said they actually are literally married to Jesus. (I actually always knew this, but when I told my parents they didn’t believe me.) So are they really married to Him?


You may find an answer to your question at the following address:

No, nuns are not actually married to Jesus. It’s a form of figurative speech to say nuns are the spouses of Christ.

In reality, as members of the Church, the Bride of Christ, we are all called to be “spouses” of Christ. Now since religious have taken vows not to marry a human spouse so that they may focus on Lord, they are an external witness to that unity with Christ to which we are all called. Their celibacy enables them to “thinketh on the things of the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:34) and is an encouragement and example to us non-religious of the detachment we should have from creatures and the attachment of love we should have for Christ.

“In the consecrated life particular importance attaches to the spousal meaning, which recalls the Church’s duty to be completely and exclusively devoted to her Spouse, from whom she receives every good thing. This spousal dimension, which is part of all consecrated life, has a particular meaning for women, who find therein their feminine identity and as it were discover the special genius of their relationship with the Lord.” (Vita Consecrata, no. 34)

To sum up, the religious more perfectly lives the spousal relationship with Jesus to which we are all called as members of the Church, the Bride of Christ. Nevertheless, the terms marriage, spouse, *spousal, *etc. are only symbolic terms used to describe spiritual realities.


In some Orders, yes. That is the wording of the Vows, and it is far more than spiritual or symbolic.

Well, not really. The term marriage is figurative or symbolic of the spiritual reality of unity with Christ. It is not proper to Christ to be married to anyone. “For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt. 22:30)


Marriage=Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

Not ‘the wording of the vows’. They are never actually married to Christ.

It is a very powerful statement about their life. But nothing more. That’s just an odd idea to me.

I beleive that they are married to Christ. Some orders also receive wedding rings at their final vows.

Spiritual marriage does exist…and it can lead to spiritual ecstasy…which is divine intimacy. There is a statue of St Theresa of Avila who experienced this (her heart was also taken from her body at her death and there was a arrow mark in it) and they wanted the statue removed as it looked a little too ‘passionate’ and it was afraid that it would cause scandal. Her ‘ecstasy’ from what I understand can be just as euphoric as sexual ecstasy…just in it purest form.

It’s still only symbolic of a spiritual reality that is superior to the material reality of marriage.

The term spiritual marriage is still only a symbolic term of a spiritual reality indescribable in human terms. It’s similar to our use of the terms father and son to describe two of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity: They are not truly a father and a son, but those terms are the closest we can get, in our extremely limited human expressions, to describe the relationship of those two Persons.


I’m gonna ask a friend of mine whose a nun and see what her opinion is. Then I’ll tell you guys.:thumbsup:

This depends on the Order… and it is in those cases where the Vows read as they do and where there is a ring yes, brides of Christ, married to Him eternally. In every sense of the word. .

To many yes, an “odd idea” in these days.

To those who are Brides of Christ, a physical reality.

NB I did check this with an Abbess, who confirms all I have said…

bear in mind that the priest, who is in the person of Christ at his ordination becomes the bridegroom, with Christ, of the Church. The marriage analogy comes from St. Paul. So consecrated religious women who take vows reprepsent the Church as bride of Christ.

check out the ring:

“I Will Espouse You”

The Origin, History and Meaning

of a Religious Profession Ring

Sr. Hildegard Magdalen Pleva, OSsR

“Receive this ring, for you are betrothed to the Eternal King; keep faith with your bridegroom so that you may come to the wedding feast of eternal joy.” (Foley, 183)
In the Rite of Solemn Religious Profession every Redemptoristine nun receives with these words a visible and lasting sign of her resolve “to live for God alone, in solitude and silence; in persevering prayer and willing penance, in humble work and holiness of life.” (OSsR Profession Formula) The nun responds in song, “My Lord Jesus Christ has betrothed me with this ring; and adorned me as his spouse.”

The presentation of profession rings to be worn as noticeable signs of commitment to vows of poverty, chastity and obedience is not at all unusual among orders and congregations of women religious. The profession ring of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer, however, bears a design that is unusual and strikingly meaningful in its symbolism. The top of the ring, what jewelers refer to as the bezel, is molded in the shape of clasped hands. The origin and history of this design was all but lost to most Redemptoristines by the 2006, two hundred and seventy-five years since the beginning of the Order. Those years saw the gradual spread of the Order to six continents and the adaptation of its small monasteries to a variety of times and cultures. Today’s monasteries are a far remove from the Neapolitan beginnings in the hillside town of Scala, Italy in 1731. The nuns in my own monastery could tell me nothing about their ring except that, to the best of their knowledge, it had been used from the earliest days of their founding. The design of the ring was not mentioned in the Rule approved for use in 1935 nor in the Constitutions and Statutes guiding the order since 1985.

…read more here:

Not an answer to your question, but a little tale I would like to relate.
Sister Leonilla at our son’s school shared this story with me:

A child saw the ring on her finger and asked her, “Sister, did you really marry Jesus?”

She told the little girl, “Yes, as a matter of fact I did.”

The little girl replied, “So where did you go on dates?”

Thankfully, Sister Leonilla has a delightful sense of humor, so after after collecting herself, she explained to the girl the ‘dating’ aspect of her relationship with Christ.:wink:

Erm, it’s not marriage in the sense of whatever people contract on Earth under Canon Law, it’s a different thing we’re talking about. The difference must be noted. Marriage between humans is monogamous and needs offspring, just to start a broad collection of things. You may call it spiritual reality, but please note that it’s not the actual sacrament of matrimony. Jesus does not marry any woman in the human sense, period.

The terms, the prayers, and the ring are ALL symbolic! Jesus is God! He does not marry any human! It’s really absurd to say nuns truly marry Jesus; that would mean Jesus had multiple wives! Ridiculous.



Very few outside religious life understand… that is fine. But those who espouse the Lord Jesus Christ know this truth as His Brides.

I have a little more acquaintance with the religious life than you might think. I’ve wanted to be a nun ever since I was 9, and I have every intention of becoming one! That means I’ve already visited several communities, and never once did the nuns imply that their marriage to Christ was anything other than a figurative explanation of a superior spiritual reality (and just in case some of you others were wondering: these nuns wore rings!).


I am sorry if my words offended y ou and assure you that this was never my intention.

But as I have said, these days, especially since vatican 2, there are huge differences between religious orders.

Some are as you say, but many others, who did not make sweeping changes, are as I say.

They tend to be the enclosed, contemplative orders.

Can we simply not agree to see that there is this wonderful range of commitments?

And cherish all of them?

Many Nuns are true Brides of Christ and their rings and vows are not simply symbolic. Like the Abbess I referred to.

If you are still in discernment may you be blessed and find an Order where you are content to be.

No need to apologize; your words did not offend me.

The ones I visited did not make sweeping changes. A sampling: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Sister Servants of the Eternal Word, Dominican Monastery of St. Jude, Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.

I’ve been to five cloistered monasteries.

No, we cannot agree that some orders have marriage to Christ while others don’t. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman directed to begetting children. Nuns make a vow of chastity (i.e., not to get married) in order that they may “thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit” (1 Cor. 7:34). And because this consecrated celibacy is undertaken for the precise reason of being able to concentrate on loving God, it is likened to a marriage covenant. But the nuns do not vow to take Jesus as their husband; they vow chastity. The Church does not recognize the former but the latter.

I don’t know how else to explain it. Marriage, spouse, etc. are used all the time to describe the relationship of a consecrated person to Christ, and it’s sometimes hard to see that it’s only figurative language. But I still maintain that it’s similar to our use of father and son to designate the First and Second Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

The vows are not symbolic, but the ring is. So are the terms marriage, etc.

Thank you. :slight_smile:


It has been said more than once that priests are married to the Church…and also said that they beget many more children by ministering to God’s people. That being said, I still believe that the marriage is exactly that. I think most people are thinking sexually…but there are different kinds of marriages, are they not? I have heard couples who marry and retian the vow of chastity to become closer to God in their marriage…even if there is no consummation.

The consummation that the nuins experience (those who strive for it) is the consummation of the the soul with Jesus. Even the imagery is the same in the sense that the Holy Spirit enters into one’s soul, etc. St John of the Cross explains that beautifully…