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Catholic Dictionary




A woman who does not remarry after the death of her husband. Widows have been the special object of the Church's care since apostolic times (Acts 6). The early Church formed bodies of such consecrated women. St. Paul's teaching is very detailed about widows who are older, while he recommends that younger widows remarry (I Timothy 5:3-16). The Council of Trent declared that objectively widowhood (as celibacy) is more commendable than remarriage (Denzinger 1810). Each case, however, must be judged on its own merits.