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I’m trying to understand why it’s important to wear the veil. I came across this and I don’t understand it.

“Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head—it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels.” —1 Corinthians 11:4–10

I kind of resent being told I was created for man. I don’t understand why that’s the reason to have a veil on my head. And what does it mean by “because of the angels”?


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Outline of the Answer
• Introduction
• Social Dignity
• Demonic Influence
• Social Acceptance
• Angels and Fallen Angels
• The Example of Mary
• Woman is the Glory of Man
• To Wear a Veil Properly
• Summary

This passage is often misunderstood. Not only will you find that many women today who wear a chapel veil at Mass cannot explain the real reason for covering their heads, but also you will find contemporary Biblical commentators trying to “explain away” this passage by saying that it refers to an ancient social custom that no longer has any relevance to today’s world; then they will say that they don’t have a clue as to what Saint Paul meant about “the angels”.

The truth is, Saint Paul was emphasizing a mystical principle here that is just as relevant today as it was in his own time; moreover, being mystical, not secular, this principle has no sexist implications.

To understand the passage, we need to distinguish two separate concepts: (a) social dignity, and (b) lust as one form of demonic influence.

Social Dignity

In the ancient world, even the pagans recognized the value of human dignity and used clothing to protect that dignity. Slaves may have gone around nearly naked, but respectable citizens wore fine clothes to mark their social status. Moreover, slaves may have had their heads shorn to facilitate their menial labors—or to strip them of their individuality and dignity—but respectable women kept their hair long as a statement that they had the freedom and the means to care for their beauty. Respectable women also kept their heads covered as a form of natural and social protection.

Notice carefully: protection, not mere custom.

For both men and women, head coverings protected the hair and face from natural elements such as sun, wind, and dust. Furthermore, head coverings protected women in particular from the social danger of men’s lust.

Note that, in a paradoxical twist of psychology, an ordinary veil tends to cover something only to incite the viewer to wonder what is behind the veil. When a veil is used as a head covering, however, it serves a function different from an ordinary veil. Rather than hide a woman’s head from view, the veil makes a psychological and spiritual statement about the woman’s dignity and thereby protects her from any lustful gaze.

Keep in mind here that all humans have a basic human dignity as individuals created by God, but that men and women also have a particular dignity deriving from their gender. Men have the dignity of being fathers, and women have the dignity of being mothers.


For the Jews, these gender roles derived from God Himself, and the male-female bond in marriage symbolized God’s personal care for humanity. Christianity heightened the meaning of this bond, pointing to its penitential, prayerful, and sacrificial nature of personal renunciation for the sake of the Kingdom of God. 


Consequently, a woman—whether pagan, Jew, or Christian—of Saint Paul’s time protected her social, feminine dignity by shielding her head from the gaze of men, to signify that she was, or intended to be, a mother,[1] and that she was not a slave to lust.

Saint Paul referred to this concept of social dignity when he said that a woman, like a slave, loses her dignity when her hair is shorn, but the point he makes about a woman covering her head during prayer takes us a step beyond the social level into the mystical realm of demonic influence.

Demonic Influence

Chapter 6 of the Book of Genesis tells the story of the origin of the Nephilim. Biblical commentators tend to dismiss this account as something borrowed from ancient mythology and therefore of no real theological value. Sadly, they miss an important point.

Nevertheless, Anne Catherine Emmerich, in her mystical visions of ancient Biblical history, brings us right to the point of the story of the Nephilim.


I saw Cain’s descendants becoming more and more godless and sensual. They settled further and further up that mountain ridge where were the fallen spirits. Those spirits took possession of many of the women, ruled them completely, and taught them all sorts of seductive arts. Their children were very large. They possessed a quickness, an aptitude for everything, and they gave themselves up entirely to the wicked spirits as their instruments. And so arose on this mountain, and spread far around, a wicked race which by violence and seduction sought to entangle Seth’s posterity likewise in their own corrupt ways. Then God declared to Noe His intention to send the Deluge.



The Life of Jesus Christ
Vol. 1, Sin and Its Consequences, Ch. 5
as told by the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich


The point of this story is not just that wicked spirits—that is, fallen angels, or demons—can exert a powerfully negative spiritual influence over us, but that one primary pathway of this demonic influence is seductiveness and lust. 


We know that lust is a sin because it is one of the seven deadly sins [2]. Lust is a sin precisely because it makes a person into an object; that is, it sees another person in terms of whatever pleasure that person can bring to you. Whereas love wishes good to someone,[3] lust seeks your good at the use of someone. You can use a person in actuality or in your imagination, but, either way, lust, being the opposite of love, is an act of hatred.


And the underlying motive for this seductiveness and lust is social acceptance.

Social Acceptance

Children, as infants, need acceptance from their parents in order to receive from them the resources necessary for their survival. Moreover, throughout childhood they continue to need parental acceptance so that they can grow and thrive. But as they progress through childhood and adulthood, men and women, because of their natural God-given differences, develop different identities from which to gain acceptance from the world in general.

Traditionally, men get acceptance through their minds, using mental strategy for mastery in business and science. They also get acceptance through their bodies, using physical strength for mastery in such things as athletics and combat.

Traditionally, women get acceptance through their minds, using emotional sensitivity for success in such things as raising children, teaching, and health care. They also get acceptance through their bodies, using physical beauty to attain mastery in social status and seduction.

Notice, however, that none of these paths to social acceptance can impress God. Military power and athletic prowess mean nothing to almighty God, and business and science are trifles to the all-knowing God. Similarly, emotional sensitivity and physical beauty are unsurpassed in the spiritual realm, and so they, too, cannot impress God.

In fact, nothing we do can impress God. Nor do we have to impress God; God accepts us purely out of His love. All we need to do to receive God’s love is not push it away by committing sin. Therefore, if men and women take pride in making themselves socially accepted, they push God’s love away because pride is a sin—like lust, one of the seven deadly sins—and an act of hatred for the divine.


This danger of pride is why military and police uniforms, athletic insignia, and showy jewelry cause scandal during divine liturgy.


To the demons, military power, athletic prowess, business, science, and emotional sensitivity are meaningless; demons are not intimidated by any of these things. But physical attractiveness is something they do notice. The demons feed on lust and pride and the hatred underlying these sins. Thus when physical beauty is used as an attraction to gain social acceptance, the demons are drawn to it like sharks are drawn to blood in the water.

Consequently, both men and women need to present themselves before God—and to protect themselves from demons—with reverent humility and with reverent modesty. Moreover, in church especially, where we open our hearts in deep vulnerability to Christ, women need to protect themselves from demons by covering their heads, the apex of their physical beauty, with a holy veil, to renounce the desire to use feminine beauty to make themselves be accepted by others. Otherwise, the pernicious and desperate desire to be accepted by others will become a pathway for demons to “accept” them and enter their vulnerable hearts.


Note that a woman’s beauty per se is not a spiritual danger. Demons do not feed on innocent beauty; they feed on the corruption in a woman’s heart that results from her using her beauty as a lure to attract others and be accepted by them.


Angels and Fallen Angels

The Church has always known that angels exist. The Bible recounts many stories about the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Moreover, even today in the Angelus we recall how an angel announced the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin, and even today, at Mass, we affirm that angels carry our sacrifice to heaven. We also know that demons exist because Christ cast out demons as a regular and on-going aspect of His healing ministry.


Many persons today—even many priests—propagate the false idea that when Jesus cast out demons He was really curing a mental illness. But the truth is, Jesus well knew the difference between a demon and a psychological or medical problem. How could the Lord Himself not know His own creation?


Saint Paul, too, knew that fallen angels exist, and he knew of their demonic influence. He knew that fallen angels can take possession of women, rule them completely, and teach them all sorts of seductive arts. That’s why he warned women to cover their heads when they pray. He knew that if a woman in prayer covers her head, she protects herself from the gaze of the fallen angels and thereby denies them the opportunity to feed upon feminine immodesty and pride. Therefore, when a woman covers her head in prayer she takes a noble stand in the great spiritual battle against evil. 


The entire Church Militant is faced with this spiritual battle—but it cannot be fought just with a manual of prayers to recite with your lips. Christ Himself taught us that the real weapon against evil must come from deep within the heart: for the love of God, renounce your desire to sin.[4].


The Example of Mary

Consider the following passage from the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich who, in the course of her extensive spiritual visions, witnessed the actions of the Blessed Virgin just before the Annunciation.


Anne seemed to be very busy about the household affairs, and for a time she moved about here and there, while the Blessed Virgin ascended the steps to her room. There she put on a long, white, woolen garment, such as it was customary to wear during prayer, a girdle around her waist, and a yellowish-white veil over her head. The maid entered, lighted a branched lamp, and retired. Mary drew out a little, low table, which stood folded by the wall, and placed it in the center of the room. . . . When the little table was prepared, Mary laid a small, round cushion before it and, resting both hands on the leaf, she gently sank on her knees, her back turned to her couch, the door of the chamber to her right. Mary lowered her veil over her face, and folded her hands, but not the fingers, upon her breast. I saw her praying for a long time with intense fervor. . . .



The Life of Jesus Christ
Vol. 1, The Most Holy Incarnation, Ch. 3 (The Annunciation)
as told by the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich


Now, if Mary wore a veil simply for social reasons, then why would she bother to put on a veil to pray when she was alone and hidden from human eyes? Well, she wore the veil for spiritual reasons, not for human reasons, and every woman today would do well to take her as an example.

Woman is the Glory of Man

Still, many persons today say, “This is all ridiculous. Let’s bring Christianity into the modern world!” 

Well, in order to further its anti-Christian progressive liberal agenda, our culture of insanity has been working for decades to undermine reverence for God by defiling the natural, God-created differences between men and women. Today we are all being taunted by demonic influence to blur gender differences,[5] and even Christians are becoming blind to the pernicious cultural insanity surrounding them and slowly infiltrating the Church and the core of faith itself.

Jacques Lacan, in his writing (see the book Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the école freudienne and the chapters “God and the Jouissance of The Woman” and “A Love Letter”) speaks of the psychoanalytic concept of “lack.” Although he uses some complicated mathematical imagery and abstruse psychoanalytic language to describe the matter, this concept of “lack” could be summed up theologically by saying that we cope psychologically with our human brokenness—that is, our separation from God—by using illusions to create for ourselves experiences of comfort in the midst of our misery. The illusions are varied, such as food, drugs, romance fantasies, sexual activity, sports, militarism, and politics, and the comfort can take the form of pleasure, pain relief, social acceptance, and personal valuation.

Lacan points out that one “side” of life is characterized by the use of this dynamic of illusions/comfort as an unconscious compensation for our brokenness. Moreover, Lacan demonstrates that there is another “side” of life that isn’t trapped in lack but that experiences something very real, albeit “unknown.” Lacan speaks of this experience as something that many women have encountered; it’s an ecstasy they experience without knowing what it is, and so Lacan refers to it as something “beyond sex” and thus as something mystical. Furthermore, Lacan states that even though most men are trapped on the “lack” side of life, some of them also encounter the mystical experience.

Note carefully that Lacan spoke as a psychoanalyst who was concerned with issues of neuroticism and sexuality, and so he didn’t elaborate on his ideas as theological concepts. Nevertheless, to speak theologically, it can be said that the side of life not trapped in lack is the place of mystical religious experience, and that it is characterized not by futile efforts of compensation for what is lacking but by a real experience of a fulfillment of a yearning for God.

Hence we can define mystical ecstasy as a prescient experience of a complete union with God.

Because the mystical experience is beyond sex, both men and women can be mystics; nevertheless, more women than men tend to have mystical experiences. This can be explained by the fact that anyone who preoccupies himself or herself with illusions of compensation is obstructing the mystical experience. In the past this was true of most men, and it is still true of most men today. And, in the past, many women were not drawn to these illusions. But today, sadly, because of feminixt efforts in regard to “women’s liberation,” more and more women are being “liberated” into sin and are crossing over into the use of illusions typically used by men.

Still, women who value the supernatural—rather than shake it off as a burden—can have a special role in their spiritual influence on men. In the book of Genesis we are told that the desires of man’s heart are evil from his youth (see Genesis 8:21). In other words, both men and women are prone to all illusions as a fact of (fallen) life, just as much today, in the modern world, as in the past. Women, however, can be the glory of man (see 1 Corinthians 11:7). “Woman is the glory of man” means that when women seek the mystic way of life—that is, a way of life governed not by an attempt to compensate for lack and limitation but by a profound embrace of the fullness of God’s love—they renounce illusions for the sake of an experience that is beyond sex, and so they take up a God-given spiritual authority to relate to men with a real love that puts men in their proper spiritual place of loving God rather than loving illusions.

Consequently, by wearing a veil a woman is declaring that she renounces the love of illusions because of her love for God. But, although the veil is worn over her head, a woman must pray for it to cover her heart, as the fulfillment of her renunciation of illusions about sexuality; thus her veil will be real protection, not just a rote obligation.

So let’s consider how a veil can be worn properly.

To Wear a Veil Properly

The 1917 Code of Canon Law (Can. 1262 §2) says that women are required to cover their heads in church; today, liberals and feminists say that the 1983 Code of Canon Law abrogated the rule of head coverings. But traditionalists say that because the 1983 Code of Canon Law makes no mention of head coverings and does not specifically change the old law, then, pointing to Cann. 20, 21, and 28 of the 1983 Code,[6] they say that Can. 1262 §2 of the 1917 Code has not been abrogated and is still in effect today. 

But we really do not have to be obsessed with these legal arguments. A chapel veil should not be worn to fulfill a law or to avoid fear of mortal sin; a chapel veil should be worn as protection from the spirit of lust and as protection from demons who feed on lust.

To wear a veil properly, then, wear it for the love of God, not for the sake of duty.[7] Wear it for protection from all that is impure. But let the veil be a proper veil, such as an elegant scarf or shawl covering your shoulders and head, rather than a flimsy piece of lace precariously balanced on the top of your head. Similarly, a cropped lace “veil” that exposes the back of your head fails in the true function of a veil of protection. For the same reason, a hat also is not liturgically appropriate. Furthermore, a hat can just as well be worn socially to increase a woman’s attractiveness, so wearing a hat in church has no protective purpose for a woman. 


Because hats are socially acceptable for women in all circumstances, a woman of lukewarm faith might wear a hat in church to fulfill the “duty” of covering her head while comfortably knowing that she will not lose the acceptance—and suffer the scorn—of oppositional women [8] who refuse to wear a veil.


A chopped veil that falls short as a proper veil.

A good lace veil that covers the back of her head and neck.

An elegant use of a scarf as a chapel veil.

Put on the veil before entering the church and don’t remove it until you have left the church. Why? Well, remember that Christ is physically present in every Catholic and Orthodox church, and to encounter Him with chaste respect a woman veils her head before stepping into His presence. The veil brings protection and honor to any woman’s deep, prayerful encounter with the holy; the veil is not just a “duty” of the Mass itself. 

Consequently, it is also most beneficial for a woman to wear a veil even when praying outside a church, whether in public (such as in a prayer group, in a Eucharistic Procession, or outside an abortion facility) or privately in her own home (as did the Blessed Virgin herself).

Moreover, let the veil be a true affirmation of modesty, such that all of your clothing is elegant, modest, and reverent.

If a woman desires to be modest and reverent, she will protect the contours of her body by not wearing any tight clothing. This is especially true in regard to avoiding leggings, jeans, and slacks; hence, for the sake of modesty and reverence, a woman will wear a long (below the knees) loose skirt to protect her lower body. A woman who wears leggings, jeans, or slacks (instead of a loose skirt) while wearing a veil resembles an ostrich with its head buried in the sand while its butt is pathetically exposed [9] for all to see.

An ostrich veil.

Furthermore, if a woman desires to be modest and reverent, she will protect her bare skin by covering her shoulders and avoiding V necklines and low necklines, which point attention down to her breasts.

Hence, regardless of how they perceive themselves in their own minds, and regardless of what “everyone else” does, women who forsake modesty and reverence have forsaken their supernatural feminine glory, and so they make themselves into sex toys in the eyes of men.


Think of what occurred in the mid-20th century: liturgical ceremony declined; reverence for the Blessed Sacrament declined; devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary declined; the beauty of Gregorian chant was neglected; women stopped covering their heads when they prayed—and demons frolicked in the Church.

When stripped of its divine dignity, Christianity is reduced to the intellectual nakedness of humanistic sentimentality. In that forlorn place, truth becomes nothing more than diversity. “What’s impurity?” we say. “God is love. God created everything. Everything is good and pure.” With purity diluted to the point of irrelevance, belief collapses. And where, then, does that leave faith? That’s what Jesus asked. “But when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (see Luke 18:8).

So where is our help now? Well, if women revere chastity, dress modestly at all times, and act with humility in all things, they will be a holy influence on men and society, and if they cover their heads when praying they will protect themselves spiritually from the gaze of demons who feed upon pride, irreverence, and impurity.

Women have a crucial mission—a supernatural mission of purity—in liberating themselves, the Church, and society in general from the oppression of pride, irreverence, and impurity that, day by day, are increasingly attacking us all.

Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth—and Who made woman as the glory of man, to honor her and protect man from himself.


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1. Nevertheless, some women may willingly renounce marriage and motherhood for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Infertility, however, is another matter.

2. The seven deadly sins are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, and lust.

3. To love is to wish the good of another. See Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I–II, 26, 4. Saint Thomas acknowledged that this definition of love came from the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. (See Aristotle, Rhetoric ii, 4).

4. Consider that Dante’s Divine Comedy begins with Dante lost in a dark woods; he tries to escape by climbing over a beautiful mountain but is driven back by three fierce animals, a leopard (symbolizing lust), a lion (symbolizing violence) and a wolf (symbolizing malice). He then has to face his inability to guide himself and, renouncing his cowardice, agrees to follow Virgil down into hell as the path to Purgatory. Allegorically, this means that in order to attain holiness we must all descend into the inner hell of a “will to sin” that lurks in the unconscious of us all and that will lead us to our doom unless we encounter it and pass beyond it with a courageous desire for purification. For more information about the psychological aspects of this healing process, see my book Healing.

5. For example, the feminist ideal for women today is to forsake feminine modesty, throw off the yoke of the “supernatural,” and adorn themselves with lust and anger. To get on the fast track of social success, women are pushed into competing with men by dressing in the same uniforms as men, to compete with other women as sex objects, and to compete with both men and women in business by acting like hostile, cold-hearted men. 

6. Can. 20: “A later law abrogates or derogates from an earlier law, if it expressly so states, or if it is directly contrary to that law, or if it integrally reorders the whole subject matter of the earlier law. A universal law, however, does not derogate from a particular or from a special law, unless the law expressly provides otherwise.”
    Can. 21: “In doubt, the revocation of a previous law is not presumed; rather, later laws are to be related to earlier ones and, as far as possible, harmonised with them.”
    Can. 28: “Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 5, a custom, whether contrary to or apart from the law, is revoked by a contrary custom or law. But unless the law makes express mention of them, it does not revoke centennial or immemorial customs, nor does a universal law revoke particular customs.” 

7. In its psychological sense, duty has nothing to do with love. When you act out of duty you are trying either to gain someone’s approval or to avoid losing someone’s approval. Love, in contrast, has no ulterior goal; the purpose of love is love. Love is its own reward.
    Nevertheless, it is possible to speak of one’s “duty” to love and worship God, but when used in this unique theological sense the word duty simply points us to a need to avoid being careless about, or ungrateful for, the ineffable love which God bestows upon us. 

8. Such as women fallen under the influence of feminixm. And feminixm, in turn, is an ideology fallen under demonic influence. So a woman who refuses to wear a chapel veil is really wearing a Satanic “veil”: the occult veil of demonic influence. 

9. It’s also pathetic for a woman because if the demons cannot make a frontal attack because of her veil they will come up from the rear (literally) to attack where her defenses are weak.

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