All that debate about Jesus having a wife can now be squashed: He has not one, but three new brides, all from the Detroit area. In a first for the Archdiocese of Detroit, Theresa Jordan, Karen Ervin, and Laurie Malashanko became what the Catholic Herald terms "brides of Christ" in front of a crowd of hundreds at Detroit's Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Saturday. Donning wedding dresses and rings, the women promised to remain as virginal as Jesus' mother was purported to be as part of their vow to dedicate themselves as "a spouse to Him." In doing so, they became the first consecrated virgins in the Archdiocese of Detroit and are "mystically betrothed to Christ" under Catholic canon law, reports the Detroit Free Press.
"It's a promise that we make to be faithful to Christ all our life," says Jordan, 40. Ervin, 42, adds that in "making a resolution to live in perfect chastity my whole life, I get to testify that God satisfies. He is enough." Consecrated virgins date back to the church's earliest days, though they became obsolete in the 12th century. In 1970, however, the church decided to again consecrate women dedicated to Christ but who carry on lives outside of a nunnery. In Detroit, the women first had to submit character references, a biography, and a statement of intent before they were approved by the archbishop. The United States Association of Consecrated Virgins says there are about 250 consecrated virgins in the US and 4,000 around the world.