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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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POSTULANT

A person taking the first step in religious life before entering the novitiate and receiving the habit. The purpose of the postulancy is to acquire some knowledge of the religious life and of the particular institute through personal experience. It enables one to become better known to the superiors of the community, and to develop such virtue as will qualify the candidate for acceptance into the novitiate. The length of the postulancy varies, but normally it is not less than six months. (Etym. Latin postulatum, a thing demanded; postulatio, supplication, intercession.)