Rome – Italy (Tuesday, 12/30/2014, Gaudium Press) A year ago, in Rome, the “Ordo Viduarum” (Order of Widows) was established to set up the rules for widows who wish to consecrate themselves to the full service of God and of the Church.
It was on December 28, 2013 when eight widows consecrate themselves to God in the hands of Auxiliary Bishop, Guerino Di Tora. They became the first widows consecrated to the service of the Church in the Diocese of Rome.
One year later the number of consecrated widows has increased significantly, as the coordinator of the Order, Grazia D’Anna, explains. “There are presently at least 12 women who find themselves in a spiritual path towards the consecrated life” she said.
The preparation process consists mainly in a program of long term studies with monthly meetings which includes prayers and conviviality to strengthen the bonds of friendship between them.
They practice the vow of perpetual chastity as a sign of the Kingdom of God among them, as well as a life of prayer and service to the Church according to the guidelines described in the Apostolic Exhortation “Vita Consecrata” authored by Pope Saint John Paul II.
The nature of the consecrated life for widows requires that the candidate freely decides to “adopt a lifestyle in which coexist more deeply their baptismal consecration and their confirmation” in the same way as with spouses in the sacrament of marriage to “acquire a particular identity in the Church,” as explained by the Liturgical Office of the Diocese of Rome.
According to Roman Liturgical Office currently many widows are living on their own with the intention of serving God, by serving their families and the Christian community.
This service becomes more concrete by serving the Church with charitable works including visiting the sick at home or in hospitals, following the liturgical activities and serving on the altar and, above all, through their testimony. (GPE / LMI)
From the editors desk of Gaudium Press, with information from RomaSette.it and the Liturgical Office of the Diocese of Rome