Tag Archives: Virginity

#397 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Problem of Jovinian

The controversy over the relative merits of marriage and virginity heats up again with the rise of Jovinian and his “new heresy”.

Links:

Image of Projecta Casket from the British Museum

Ambrose and Siricius on Jovinian – pages 280, 282

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#397 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Problem of Jovinian

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#380 – A History of the Catholic Church – Virgin and Mother

The debates over the comparative worth of marriage and virginity in Rome, not suprisingly, also lead to debates over the Christian understanding of Mary as a model of the faith and the early steps toward the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

Links:
Gold-glass image of Mary with Saints Peter and Paul by Rama

The Protoevangelium of James

Jerome’s The Perpetual Virginity of Mary Against Helvidius

Hunter, David G. (Spring 1993). “Helvidius, Jovinian, and the Virginity of Mary in Late Fourth-Century Rome”. Journal of Early Christian Studies. Johns Hopkins University Press. Vol. 1 (number 1): pp. 47–71

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#380 – A History of the Catholic Church – Virgin and Mother

#379 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Holy Women of Rome

Saint Jerome takes advantage of his time in Rome to promote the consecrated life, especially among Rome’s upper class. These women: Marcella, Paula, Lea, Eustochium and Blaesilla – will, in turn, play a major role in the history of the Church. However, Jerome will also find himself caught in the ecclesiastical politics of Rome, much to his detriment.

Links:
Painting of Saint Jerome with Saints Paula and Eustochium by Francisco de Zurbarán

Jerome’s letter on Marcella

Jerome’s letter on Paula the Elder

Jerome’s letter to Eustochium on virginity

Jerome’s letter to Laeta about her daughter Paula

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#379 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Holy Women of Rome

#378 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Velatio

The rise of virginity in the West runs up against traditional Roman support for marriage and children. Saint Ambrose, however, strives to change the minds of the Western Christians and makes an important connection between virginity and our understanding of the Church.

Links:
Saint Ambrose and his sister, Saint Marcellina by Giovanni Dall’Orto

Ambrose’s Concerning Virginity

Nathalie Henry, “The Song of Songs and the Liturgy from the Velatio in the Fourth Century: From Literary Metaphor to Liturgical Reality”, Continuity and Change in Christian Worship: Papers Read at the 1997 Summer Meeting and the 1998 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, ed. R. N. Swanson, Rochester: The Boydell Press, 1999, pp. 18-28.

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#378 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Velatio

#377 – A History of the Catholic Church – Brides of Christ

The rise of the ascetical movement brought with it the rise of the debate over the relative virtue of marriage versus celibacy. This debate became even more intense as the number of ascetics rapidly expanded in the fourth century and Virgins move to occupy an important position in the life of the Church.

Links:
Saint Piamun and her mother in an Egyptian village by Charles-Antoine Coypel

Tertullian On Exhortation to Chastity

Cyprian of Carthage On the Dress of Virgins

Gregory of Nyssa On Virginity

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#377 – A History of the Catholic Church – Brides of Christ