Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here
Start your mornings with the good, the beautiful, the true... Subscribe to Aleteia's free newsletter!
Sign me up!

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia

Subscribe

Aleteia

A guide to recognizing religious and monastic habits at first sight

TRAPPIST MONKS
WITT Pierre | Hemis | AFP
Share

Even if the habit does not make the monk, it can surely help you identify the order he belongs to.

Click here to launch the slideshow

Religious habits (most of them consisting of a tunic covered by a scapular and a cowl) come in many different colors. How can we tell a Benedictine from a Franciscan, or a Dominican from a Carthusian? We will give you the answer, in images.

Brown, black, white, or black tunics; leather belts or ropes; pointed or rounded hoods… sometimes it might be just a bit too difficult to clearly identify what kind of a monk or a friar has just crossed your path. Even if most of the major religious orders (Benedictines, Cistercians, Carmelites, Franciscans, or Dominicans) often wear very distinctive clothes, they may also share some main common traces. These traces can be explained by either their geographical location (it is known Benedictines, for instance, who always wear black, tend to use white tunics in hot climates and regions), but also by the different devotions and charismas of each religious community. But even if habits are different, and their colors and shapes change, they all point at one single thing: a person’s decision to renounce the world and embrace a life of service.

 

Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]
Readers like you contribute to Aleteia's Mission.

Since our inception in 2012, Aleteia’s readership has grown rapidly worldwide. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life. That's why we want our articles to be freely accessible to everyone, but we need your help to do that. Quality journalism has a cost (more than selling ads on Aleteia can cover). That's why readers like you make a major difference by donating as little as $3 a month.