See this online text:

  • “’Mystically Espoused to Christ, the Son of God (c. 604 §1)’: The Basis for Proposing Juridic Principles to Guide the Development of Norms for the Ordo virginum”, by Judith M. Stegman, CPA, JSD. Dissertation, School of Canon Law, Catholic University of America (2019). Available in pdf format on this page of the Catholic University of America.
    • Note: This text is a dissertation best suited for specialists and advanced students of canon law and theology. General or lay readers are invited to read, instead or in preparation, the following text by the same author:

See also these related texts:

On the Feast of Saint Margaret the Virgin in the Maronite Church. For other texts and ebooks, you may access the List of Free eBooks (Arranged by Title), the List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject), the List of Worth-It Catholic Books & eBooks, and the main page of the Catholic eBooks Project.

“About virgins, I have no command from the Lord; but I give you my opinion, as one who is, under the Lord’s mercy, a true counsellor.

“This, then, I hold to be the best counsel in such times of stress, that this is the best condition for man to be in…. [T]he time is drawing to an end; nothing remains, but for those who have wives to behave as though they had none; those who weep must forget their tears, and those who rejoice their rejoicing, and those who buy must renounce possession; and those who take advantage of what the world offers must not take full advantage of it; the fashion of this world is soon to pass away.

“And I would have you free from concern. He who is unmarried is concerned with God’s claim, asking how he is to please God; whereas the married man is concerned with the world’s claim, asking how he is to please his wife; and thus he is at issue with himself. So a woman who is free of wedlock, or a virgin, is concerned with the Lord’s claim, intent on holiness, bodily and spiritual; whereas the married woman is concerned with the world’s claim, asking how she is to please her husband.

“I am thinking of your own interest when I say this. It is not that I would hold you in a leash; I am thinking of what is suitable for you, and how you may best attend on the Lord without distraction… Thus, a man is well advised to give his ward in marriage, and still better advised not to give her in marriage. As for a wife, she is yoked to her husband as long as he lives; if her husband is dead, she is free to marry anyone she will, so long as she marries in the Lord. But more blessed is she, if she remains as she is, in my judgement; and I, too, claim to have the Spirit of God.” 

(I Corinthians vii, 25-35)