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Ask Fr. Francis: What is the meaning of the veil?

The following is an excerpt from Fr. Francis Ching, CC answers tough questions about the Catholic faith.

Fr. Francis Ching PortraitQuestion:

Some ladies wear a veil to mass but most don’t. Some wear black and some wear white. What is the meaning of the veil?

Fr. Francis' answer:

This is from 1 Cor. 11, where St. Paul talks about how a man must not cover his head but a woman must, because man is from God but woman is from man. (I did not make this up. Read the chapter.)

While I believe Paul is here speaking out of his own cultural bias, and I’m strongly leaning on St. Paul having his theology mistaken here, I dare not say the scripture here fails. So let me explain a few things here.

The practice of women veiling their hair dated before this letter. The reason is that women of that time would richly decorate their hair to draw attention. This practice was referred to in 1 Peter as well as by writers of the time. Women who covered their hair therefore were signifying to others that they had given up their beauty for piety...

Read the full answer here!

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