The office of Good Friday in which the virgins are mentioned after the porters, and the Litany of the Saints, in which they are invoked with the widows, shows traces of this classification. The great founders or reformers of monastic or more generally religious life, saw their rules adopted by women.
One who put on the religious habit, and lived for some time among the professed, was herself considered as professed.
Continence and a certain religious profession were required of married women whose husbands were in Sacred Orders, or even received episcopal consecration.
This canonical life was led also by women, who retired form the world, took vows of chastity, dressed modestly in black, but were not bound to give of their property.
The constitution "Conditae" of Leo XIII (8 December, 1900) charges bishops not to permit sisters to open houses as hotels for the entertainment of strangers of both sexes, and to be extremely careful in authorizing congregations which live on alms, or nurse sick persons at their homes, or maintain infirmaries for the reception of inform persons of both sexes, or sick priests.
The Holy See, by its Regulations (Normae) of 28 June, 1901, declares that it does not approve of congregations whose object is to render certain services in seminaries or colleges for male pupils, or to teach children or young people of both sexes; and it disapproves their undertaking the direct care of young infants, or lying-in women.