As a theologian and swimmer, I take an interest in how various religious groups deal with modesty during recreational activities like swimming. I was especially intrigued by the nuns since I always see them in habits and was unsure whether they have beachwear for swimming. I decided to visit a Catholic church to conduct more research on whether nuns swim and even visited a beach near the church to see if I could spot some nuns. Last week, in my online Christian forum, one of my colleagues asked whether nuns visit public beaches to swim. Another wondered whether nuns are allowed to swim. Having first-hand information from the
Church, I had all the right answers at my fingertips. So, can nuns go swimming?
Yes. Though nuns dedicate their lives to Christ, most swim just like regular people. They wear one-piece swimsuits while swimming and always try to be modest. However, not all nuns swim. Some go to the beach with their usual habits and watch over children as they swim.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we look at what nuns wear swimming. Keep reading to find out whether nuns wear regular swimsuits, if they can go to public beaches, and much more!
What do nuns wear when swimming?
Most nuns wear attire that is appropriate for swimming. However, they must observe modesty even as they enjoy swimming. Therefore, most nuns wear one-piece swimsuits that do not reveal too much skin. Additionally, some nuns wear swim caps to cover their hair as they swim in place of the veil.
Since every religious order has its standards, not every nun that wants to swim may be allowed to wear a one-piece swimsuit. For instance, the Norbertine nuns swim while wearing their habit. Others wear trunks and shirts while swimming.
Can nuns wear regular swimsuits?
Yes. Since Catholic doctrine does not dictate which parts of the body a nun should cover when they go swimming, most nuns try to find fairly modern swimsuits for this activity. However, their swimsuits are not too revealing since they fear being viewed as sexual objects.
Nuns’ swimsuits are usually plain in color and have no flashy patterns. Most of them are white or black. Do not expect to see a nun in a bikini while swimming since this is viewed as too worldly.
Can nuns go to public beaches to swim?
Yes. Most religious orders allow their nuns to go to public beaches to swim, especially on vacation. However, some nuns do not like swimming on public beaches since they believe they should not swim close to males.
Some nuns prefer swimming in private places like in a lake to avoid many people. Others have a private above-ground pool where they live for this recreational activity. Such pools are only accessible to sisters and nuns. You may spot some nuns on public beaches, not swimming but watching kids swim.
Why are nuns banned from public beaches in France?
France banned nuns from the beaches of Nice following the burkini ban on Muslims. Before the ban, Muslims used to visit public beaches in burkinis. Then photos of French police officers forcing a woman wearing a burkini to remove some of her clothing emerged. The woman was accused of not wearing an appropriate outfit to the beach and was fined.
After the photos circulated on social media, people shared various views online. Some felt that the French officers were biased since they allowed Catholic nuns to go to public beaches in habits. Since this incident, nuns were also banned from public beaches wearing habits in the country.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.