Saturday 5 February 2011

Building Religious Communities (1)




Ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu!


Anthony S. Layne said...

"femineo sexu" ... I'm not very Latinate, but does that mean "mulieribus"? :^)=)

Doc Hannon said...

Interesting question. Short answer: yes. Slightly longer answer is that it means the devout of the feminine sex but there is some disagreement as to what that means, either pious ladies or women 'in vows'.

In the Raccolta it is attributed to St. Augustine and appears in a number of his sermons (108 and 194). Of course, it fails to recognise non-ordained male religious.

I seem to remember from my badly learned Latin that femina and vir were used for more genteel occasions and mulier and homo for general use. It was like using the vous form and the tu form. That was the reason, so I believe, that the modern Latin Latin Languages prefered femina to mulier.

You'll ask about the 'Ave' and the Gospel's use of mulier for Our Lord speaking of Our Lady and I can't really assist.

I remember reading about the differentiation in use by the classical authors but I don't think I've ever read a similar discussion on St. Jerome's use of the words.

St. Thomas makes reference to te difference as reflecting the Hebrew linguistic distinction between the virgin and the non-virgin (we distinguish lady saints as either virgins or widows). Certainly both the old and new Vulgates use 'mulier' for, for example, the words of Our Lord at Cana (Jo. ii:2).

Can anyone else be more precise?

Shandon Belle said...

Eh ok guys. Anyway, nice to see 'muscular' Christianity is not just for the boys!

Anonymous said...

These women are really inspiring no matter what the latin word for them. Did anybody see the nuns of La Barroux on the BBC last night?

Zara Folch said...

Amazing clips. Pity you have to go outside the site.