FAQ’s about the Marian Sisters

1) Why are the Sisters’ habits blue? The Sisters I remember wore black...
2) What is the difference between your order and other orders?
3) Why do you still wear the habit?
4) Do you always wear the habit?
5) Why do the Sisters all have “Mary” in their names? Why don't they keep their old names?
6) Don't you miss the world and everything it offers?
7) What is the symbolism of the habit?



1) Why are the Sisters’ habits blue? The Sisters I remember wore black habits...

The Sisters of Mary Immaculate Queen wear blue habits in honor of the Blessed Virgin, to whom the Congregation is devoted in a special way. There have always been many different kinds and colors of Sisters’ habits, for there have always been many different Sisterhoods within the Catholic Church. Each order has its own particular habit, as well as its own spirituality and external work, such as teaching, nursing, missionary work, etc.

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2) What is the difference between your order and other orders?

The Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI) is dedicated to spreading the message Our Lady gave to the world at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, and to preserving the traditional Catholic Faith as it has been handed down through the centuries since the time of the apostles. The Sisters attend only the Tridentine Latin Mass. The Congregation upholds the traditional values of religious life, which many modern orders have abandoned: the holy vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; the spirit of prayer, silence, humility, modesty, and detachment from worldly goods; and the discipline of the convent schedule of prayer, silence and work.

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3) Why do you still wear the habit?

The religious habit sets the Sister aside as one consecrated body and soul to God. It symbolizes her renouncement of the world and serves as a constant reminder to herself and to others that she belongs now wholly to God, so that all of her actions, words, and even thoughts, should reflect that unique relationship.

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4) Do you always wear the habit?

Yes, the Sisters always wear the habit — not just for special occasions or when they are in public.

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5) Why do the Sisters all have “Mary” in their names? Why don’t they keep their old names?

When a Sister receives the habit, she also receives a new name in religion. Because the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen is devoted in a special way to the Blessed Virgin, the Sisters’ names all contain some form of the name of Mary. This custom has been common to many religious orders for centuries. The other name she receives is that of a saint who become her special patron and intercessor.

The reason that Sisters receive a new name is to remind them that they have left the world to serve God. As the ceremony of profession states, the Sister is now “dead to the world”; she is beginning a new life in Christ. Not only has she left behind her home, her family, her worldly possessions, but she must renounce even herself and live only for God.

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6) Don’t you miss the world and everything it has to offer?

A Sister does not cease to be human once she receives her habit or takes the vows. She may miss her home, her family and friends, her personal freedom, and many other aspects of life in the world very much. But she has given her heart to her Divine Spouse, and committed herself to live a life of sacrifice for love of Him and to save souls, who are now her “spiritual children.” Religious life is not a dismal and dreary existence, for Christ Himself assured us, “Amen, I say to you... every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother... or lands for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting” (Matt. 19:29).

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7) What is the symbolism of the habit?

Habit: The habit is like the wedding garment the Sister wears to remind her that she is the bride of Christ, and that she must therefore live a life of simplicity, poverty and humility. Its blue color reminds her that she must live as another Mary, bringing Christ to the world and the world to Christ.

Veil: The Scriptures tell us that a woman’s hair is her glory. By her veil, the Sister makes a sacrifice of this aspect of her womanly beauty — and perhaps her vanity as well. Her veil, then, is a symbol of humility and modesty. Like the habit, it is a constant reminder to herself and others that she now belongs to Christ; that she has pledged herself to live in Him and for Him alone; that like Him, she must live a life of poverty, simplicity and obedience, seeking only His Will, and not her own personal gain.

Ring: At the ceremony of her perpetual profession, which takes place after a total of at least four years of temporary vows, the Sister is arrayed as a bride on her wedding day in a beautiful white dress. During the ceremony, the bishop places a ring on the third finger of her left hand to symbolize her union with Christ. The ring, a simple band, is also a symbol of eternity, and it is made of gold, which symbolizes love. Inscribed inside it are the words she pronounces after receiving it: “To Jesus, my heart, my all, forever.”

Medal: Hanging from a simple blue cord around the Sister's neck is the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Miraculous Medal. The Blessed Virgin appeared to a young Sister in Paris around 1830 and asked her to have this medal made. She desired that it be worn around the neck, and promised that great graces would be granted to those who wear it with confidence. As it came to pass, the flood of heavenly favors let loose as a result of this medal was so abundant that it soon became known as the “Miraculous Medal.”

Rosary: The Rosary was given to St. Dominic in 1214 by the Blessed Virgin, who told him that it was the “weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world.” And at Fatima in 1917, Our Lady repeatedly asked for the daily Rosary to obtain world peace and the conversion of sinners.

Crucifix: The crucifix reminds us that Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life for us: “Greater love than this no man hath, to lay his life down for a friend.” By her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Sister too has placed herself on the cross. As a bride of Christ, she must live a life of self-denial, so that she, like St. Paul can say: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of my Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom the world is crucified to me, and I am crucified to the world.”

Scapular: Although most of the time the Sisters wear blue scapulars with their blue habits, on Sundays and special feast days they wear large brown scapulars in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This sacramental, too, came to us from the Blessed Virgin, who appeared in 1246 to St. Simon Stock, General of the Carmelite Order, and gave him the Scapular as a pledge of her protection. The Brown Scapular is a sign of consecration to Our Lady.