Throughout history, women and girls have kept their heads covered to protect them from the weather but also to show honor to God. A girl’s long, beautiful hair is like a princess’ crown. It crowns her with glory and makes her special. God designed every girl to be one of His most beautiful creatures. When a girl covers her hair it does not make her less beautiful, it makes her more special. She is showing that she is special and God’s princess, but also set apart for God.
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, has always appeared with her head covered. She is the most beloved and special of any woman to ever have lived or that ever will live. Her veil is a symbol of her fiat, her saying the most precious “yes” to God. Mary said yes not just to being Jesus’ mother, but to serving God always in every way. She gave her whole self to God for His Plan, that is why she is most blessed.
When women and girls veil it is not to draw attention to themselves but to draw attention to God and that in turn makes them even more beautiful and radiant. Mantillas are beautiful works of art in themselves. They are a unique and attractive way that God sets girls apart and shows how precious they are. The beauty of the lace conceals and amplifies, or make better, the beauty of the girl wearing it.
As it says above, generations and generations of girls and women covered their heads. In the south of Europe, it is very hot most of the year. So, mantillas were created because they were a way to show modesty and honor, but the light, lacy fabric made them more comfortable to wear in the heat. Popularity of mantillas for worship spread throughout the world and became the standard way that Catholic women and girls covered their heads. In America, the tradition ended a few decades ago, but it beginning to come back again. In Spain, mantillas are still worn for all of Holy Week, to bull fights, and other religious ceremonies and worship.
Traditionally, young and unmarried girls wore white mantillas, and married women and widows wore black. However, today there are so many colors to choose from. Many different styles, colors, shapes, and variations of mantillas exist but all for the same purpose, to veil the sacred and special. Until recently, everything in the Church that was most special was veiled in exquisite lace and quality fabrics. The most decorative veils were reserved for the Tabernacle, where Christ is present in the Eucharist, and the precious vessels that hold the consecrated Hosts for Communion, which is also the living Jesus.
If you see someone with a mantilla and you want to ask questions, do so politely, I am sure that she would love to explain why she wears it, where she bought it, and what the devotion means to her. If you are interested in wearing a mantilla yourself, talk to your mom and look online. There are so many, many shops online that offer beautiful mantillas in all different price ranges. The most important thing to remember about wearing the veil is that it is a devotion to God and an outward sign of an inner commitment to serve and love Him with all you have. You may feel a little self conscious at first, especially if not many other girls are veiling, but I think you will quickly see that the veil draws your attention to the altar and your thoughts to God, and soon you will be so involved in the Mass you will forget about what anyone else thinks.
If any girls have questions, please leave them in the comment box or email me. I am happy to answer or I could have my daughter answer. Thanks and have a blessed week.