Esto Castus ~ It’s Latin for…WHAT!?

Esto Castus ~ It’s Latin for…WHAT!?

Esto castus ring ~ Photo by Brent Zupp
Esto castus ring
~ Photo by Brent Zupp

I took my teen son to a camp a few summers ago that happened to be Christian based. Our family is not religious, but the camp looked wonderful and welcoming and we felt confident he’d have a good time.

As my son participated in the various activities, I spent a good amount of time wandering the camp and noticed a lot of the older teens wearing a thick pewter ring with some Latin inscription on the outside. It had an old, almost primitive look to it, and I took a liking to it. I later noticed it on sale at the camp store. My son wasn’t interested in the ring, but I bought one for myself and began wearing it around camp.

My mother-in-law, who is a very committed Catholic, worked as camp nurse and noticed the ring on my finger and asked: “Do you know that the inscription on the outside of the ring means?”

I didn’t. The outside of the ring was inscribed…

“Esto Castus”

And as I examined the ring more closely I noticed  an inscription on the inside of the ring that said:

“Thou wilt be pure”

Noticing my puzzled look, my mother-in-law explained that Christian teens wore the ring as a sign of their commitment to remain a virgin until marriage–to remain “pure.”

I laughed so hard.

A less ambiguous translation for “esto castus” is…

Be chaste

And the fact my son wasn’t interested in the ring isn’t lost on me 🙂

esto castus – be chaste

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