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Catholic Dictionary




The distinctive garb of a man or woman religious, its use dating back to the beginnings of monasticism. The habit was prescribed for religious by the Second Vatican Council: "The religious habit, an outward mark of consecration to God, should be simple and modest, poor and at the same time becoming. In addition, it must meet the requirements of health and be suited to the circumstances of time and place and to the needs of the ministry involved" (Perfectae Caritatis, 17).