Linda Leblanc will enter the Order of Consecrated Virgins during a Mass at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on June 12. Having begun her professional career as a nurse and now osteopath, Linda says this commitment is the reflection of her desire ‘‘to be a witness in the world of the Bride of Christ,’’ which is ‘‘not an individual, it is the Church.’’
As a person ‘‘who was always somehow on the path of the Church,’’ whether with family members bearing witness or through her Bible studies or else on her travels in Israel, Linda was always seeking God and her personal vocation among the various religious communities. One day, she met a brother who suggested she look into the Order of Consecrated Virgins: ‘‘When he said that, it went in one ear and out the other!’’ she exclaims. Nevertheless, a second person, and then a third spoke to her about the Order of Consecrated Virgins.
‘‘I always wanted to get married, always. I had even grown impatient and unhappy that the Lord would not let me find someone. But today I give thanks to God, I thank God for keeping me apart so that I could enter the Order of Consecrated Virgins.’’
She met Rose-Marie Boranian, another consecrated virgin, who in accordance with the custom will accompany her throughout her journey. "It all worked out and here I am! I've been with them for three or four years now, and I will be consecrated on my 61st birthday."
"I realize that my whole life I have been looking for this, and now there is no human spouse who can replace the love I have for Christ.’’
Being a Consecrated Virgin in 2021
Members of the Order of Consecrated Virgins do not live communally: ‘‘We are like the salt of the earth; and the salt of the earth should not be all together in the same place, it has to be spread out in the world.’’
Linda Leblanc is as down to earth a person as one can find. ‘‘I laugh, I make fun, I love life, I love gardening, sitting down to a meal with company.’’ But ‘‘although we are not of this world, we are in the world, and we are witnesses of the marriage of Christ. This is what I think will be the change in my life,’’ Linda explains. Her commitment is definitive and ‘‘irrevocable.’’
The vocation of consecrated virgin is one of the oldest since the time of Christ. "In the first centuries there were consecrated virgins and this has been forgotten. The subject was raised again during Vatican II, and in 1970 the Order of Consecrated Virgins was reborn. In 2020, the Order celebrated its 50th anniversary.’’
The four identifying signs of the consecrated virgin which also form part of the celebration are the veil at the "marriage," (which Linda is making herself), a wedding ring, a book of daily prayer and a lighted lamp. "You know, the highlight of this celebration is when I prostrate myself in the form of the cross and that will be my embrace of my Royal Bridegroom.’’
"If I have one thing to say before God after my death, it will be to glorify Him for choosing me to be a bride of Christ. It seems as though all my life I was seeking and now I have truly found.’’
Linda Leblanc will be consecrated at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on June 12 at 10:00 a.m. by Archbishop Lépine. The theme will be: "All for the Glory of Christ my Bridegroom." The celebration, which "is like a wedding," will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Montreal’s channel.
Watch LIVE the Consecration as a consecrated Virgin
Date: Saturday, June 12, 2021