My Bride: The Church

St. John Fisher Seminary
There are no children without a father and a mother. Therefore, the spousal relationship precedes paternity. This is every bit as true for the priest as it is for any other spouses. The brides are different – most men have a single woman for a bride, while a priest’s bride is the Church herself. Think of some of the qualities of a good husband. We can find out a lot about the spousal relationship of a priest by looking at the original spousal relationship of Adam and Eve. As this is true of earthly spouses, so also is it true of the union of a priest with his Bride the Church.
“The presentation of the the Bride of Christ, as a heavenly love interest seems to have appealed to certain priests and monks, who may not have felt entirely comfortable with the idea of having Christ as their Bridegroom. Thus began the devotion to the Bride as the wife of priests and monks, and the accompanying practice of “mystical marriage” to the Church. This provided some male mystics with their own equivalent to mystical marriage to Christ, common among their female counterparts. While Saint Gertrude the Great and other medieval nuns engaged in marriage to the Divine through Christ, many of their male contemporaries sought mystical espousal to the Divine through the Church as the Bride of Christ.”
Adapted from the works of:
Peter Herambourg, Saint John Eudes: A Spiritual Portrait, trans. Ruth Hause (Dublin: Gill, 1960)