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Why My Franciscan Sister Wears a Veil

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Have you ever wondered why nuns wear a veil? Well, If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram, you know that my sister, Sr. Francesca, is a Franciscan Sister.

My older sister and I at ages 7 and fresh out of the womb!

My older sister and I at ages 7 and fresh out of the womb!

After achieving her Chemistry degree Barnard College/Columbia University in New York City, she entered the Community Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. (What’s the quote about if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans??? Hmmmmm….lol)

In her order, she wears a full habit (she only gets TWO of them). Her order focuses on the OG (aka: the original) rule of St. Francis: Which means embracing charity, obedience, and poverty. 

There are a LOT of cool things about her way of life (that only I know because she’s my sister) so of course I must share it with you! 

I have learned, thanks to her, that there is SO MUCH MORE MEANING behind what they wear (known as  a habit).

One element of her habit I have always found  completely mesmerizing is… her veil!

I mean, look at that!! WOW!

I mean, look at that!! WOW!

Overlooking the rocks in Sedona, AZ.

Overlooking the rocks in Sedona, AZ.

Today though, I’d like to just talk about her veil (because it really is worth its own post). And there are 4 Facts about it that I think are SO fascinating that give you a glimpse of WHY a Franciscan sister wears a veil.

A sign of consecration

The veil for a religious sister is a sign of consecration, it’s a sign of being set apart for God. You can sort of compare it to a married woman’s wedding ring.

The veil itself is very bridal

Since a religious sister is the spouse (bride) of Christ, it is her way of  wearing her bridal veil -- and bridal gown -- every day of her life.” 

The veil is also Biblical, and has Jewish roots

You might be familiar with how Orthodox Jewish women, once they’re married, shave their heads and wear wigs. Only their husband and their father who are allowed to see their uncovered head. Sisters are not the first people to come up with this. 

Following St. Claire

Her Franciscan order chooses to follow what St. Claire did. When she wanted to leave the world and live her life for God, St. Francis and the early brothers brought her to a little church, Our Lady of the Angels. To show that she was renouncing the world, the brothers cut off all her hair. She had long, lovely hair (you can still see her beautiful curls at the basilica in Asisi in Santa Chiara), so it’s a big deal! So once they cut her hair, she wore a veil and that was to show she had stepped outside of the world and into the service of Christ.

Here at  Our Lady of Good Counsel  where she received her final vows and I made my marriage vows!

Here at Our Lady of Good Counsel where she received her final vows and I made my marriage vows!

And there you go! Some food for thought for you this week that’s a little outside the usual style advice. Even though this is a very radical way of living out your faith through your clothing, it does show how what we wear CAN also carry a message for others and be a message to ourselves to stick closer to Christ (and to the ones we love).

Question: Which religious order’s habit do you like the most?

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