Virgnes Dei or Christi
Virgnes Dei or Christi is a common name for nuns (q.v.). As early as the 2nd century bodily mortification and a contemplative life were regarded by many persons as indications and means of extraordinary piety. In the age of Cyprian and Tertullian the Sacred Virgins of the Church, or Canonical Virgins, were recognised as a distinct class, and celibacy was extolled as a piece of super eminent piety. Such superstition made rapid progress, and continues to hold its place in the minds of many to the present time. SEE VIRGINITY.