503. II. THAT VIRGINITY IS THE CROWN OF CHASTITY AND THE TOKEN OF CONJUGIAL LOVE. Virginity is called the crown of chastity because it crowns the chastity of marriage and is also the sign of chastity. Therefore, in the marriage ceremony the bride has a crown on her head. It is also a sign of the holiness of marriage; for after the virgin flower, the bride gives and devotes her whole self to the bridegroom, then her husband, and the husband in turn gives his whole self to the bride, now his wife. Virginity is also called the token of conjugial love because it is a part of the covenant, the covenant being that love shall unite them into one man or one flesh. Moreover, before the marriage, men regard the virginity of the bride as the crown of her chastity, the token of conjugial love, and the very dainty from which the delights of that love are to commence and to continue. From this, and from what has preceded, it is evident that after the zone* has been taken away and the virginity tasted, the virgin becomes a wife, and if not a wife, she becomes a harlot; for the new state into which she is then inducted is a state of love for her man, and if not for her man, it is a state of lust.
* Zona, a term used by the old anatomists to signify the hymen.