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Viaticum

Name

Among the ancient Greeks the custom prevailed of giving a supper to those setting out on a journey. This was called hodoiporion "Convivium, quod itineris comitibus præbetur" (Hedericus, "Lex. græc-lat."). The provision of all things necessary for such a journey, viz. food, money, clothes, utensils and expense, was called ephodion . The adjectival equivalent in Latin of both these words is viaticus , i.e. "of or pertaining to a road or journey" ( Facciolati and Forcellini, "Lexicon"). Thus in Plautus (Bacch., 1, 1, 61) we read that Bacchis had a supper prepared for his sister who was about to go on a journey: "Ego sorori meæ coenam hodie dare volo viaticam", and (Capt. 2, 3, 89), "Sequere me, viaticum ut dem trapezita tibi", and in Pliny (VII, ep. 12, in fine), "Vide ut mihi viaticum reddas, quod impendi". Subsequently the substantive "viaticum" figuratively meant the provision for the journey of life and finally by metaphor the provision for the passage out of this world into the next. It is in this last meaning that the word is used in sacred liturgy .

Formerly it meant anything that gave spiritual strength and comfort to the dying and enabled them to make the journey into eternity with greater confidence and security. For this reason anciently not only any sacrament administered to persons at the point of death, baptism (St. Basil, "Hom. in sac. Bapt."; St. Gregory Nazianzen, "Orat. de bapt."), confirmation, penance, extreme unction (Moroni, "Diz. di erudizione stor.-eccl.), Eucharist (Fourth Counc. of Carthage, cap. 78, calls it "viaticum Eucharistiæ"), but even prayers offered up or good works performed by themselves or by others in their behalf, e.g. alms-deeds ( St. Cyprian ), and finally anything that tended to reconcile the dying with God and the Church came under this designation. In the course of time "viaticum" was applied to the Eucharist generally, but finally it acquired its present fixed, exclusive, and technical sense of Holy Communion given to those in danger of death. The Catechism of the Council of Trent (De Euch. sacr., n. 3) says: "Sacred writers call it the Viaticum as well because it is the spiritual food by which we are supported in our mortal pilgrimage, as also because it prepares for us a passage to eternal glory and happiness ". As early as A. D. 325 the Holy Eucharist given to the dying was called the "last and most necessary Viaticum" (Counc. of Nice, can. 13). Although Aubespine, Bishop of Orléans, in his note on this canon says that "viaticum" here means only the reconciliation and absolution granted at the hour of death to public penitents who had not performed the prescribed canonical penance, yet Macri (Hierolexicon) declares that it means simply "Sacramentum Eucharistic, cui antonomastice nomen veri muniminis convenit". Innocent I (402-17), in "Ad Exsuperium", and the First Council of Orange, 441, employed this word in the same sense.

Minister

Formerly Viaticum was administered not only by bishops and priests, but also by deacons and clerics of inferior orders and even by lay people. During the persecutions lay people carried consecrated particles to their homes and administered Holy Communion to themselves, and it is natural to conclude that they received it as Viaticum in the same manner. Dionysius of Alexandria ("Ep. ad Fabium Antioch." in Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", VI, xliv) relates that Serapion, an old man in danger of death, received Viaticum from his nephew, a mere boy, who had received the consecrated particle from a priest. From a Decree of the Council of Reims (Regino, "De eccl. disc.", I, cxx) it appears that sometimes even females carried the Viaticum to the dying, which practice the Council strictly forbade. Apparently for a while it was difficult to eliminate this abuse, for Hincmar, Archbishop of Reims , required the diocesan visitors to inquire whether the priests gave Communion to the sick with their own hands or by others', "per se et non per quemlibet", and whether they gave the consecrated particle to any lay person, "cuiquam laico", to carry it home for the sake of giving it to the dying (Martène, "De antiq. eccl. rit.", I, I, v, 2). After the tenth century no mention is made of lay persons carrying Viaticum to the dying, but deacons regularly administered it, and from two manuscript codices in the monastery of Casalis Benedicti it is evident that subdeacons carried it to the house of the sick person, but that the priest administered it (Martène, ibid .). At present only parish priests or their assistants carry and administer it to the dying. In case of necessity a deacon my be delegated, and if the necessity be urgent this delegation need not be waited for (Lehmkuhl, II, 135).

Subject

All, even children who have reached the age of reason (Decr., "Quam singulari", præscriptio VIII, 8 Aug., 1910), are bound by Divine precept to receive the Viaticum when they are in danger of death, according to the opinion of theologians and the rule of the Church ; though it is disputed whether one who is now in danger of death and who has within the last few days received Holy Communion is so bound by Divine precept. The obligation in the latter case is not clear, as the previous Communion in all probability satisfies the Divine law (Slater II, v, 1; Lehmkuhl, II, n. 146). St. Liguori says that according to the more probable opinion the obligation exists (VI, n. 285, dub. 2, sec. sent.). If a person becomes dangerously ill on the day on which he received Holy Communion out of devotion, it is disputed whether he may, or is bound to, receive it as Viaticum (Slater and Lehmkuhl, ibid.). Benedict XIV (De syn. dioec., VII, xi, n. 2) leaves the decision of this question to the prudent discretion of the priest, but St. Liguori (ibid., tertia sent.) thinks that the sick person is bound to receive it if the danger comes from an external cause, but not if he were already ill or if the danger already existed in some internal though unknown cause, as might be presumed in case of sudden illness, e.g. apoplexy and the like. Viaticum, like Holy Communion , out of devotion, may not be given to persons who are insane and who have never had the use of reason (Rit. Rom., Tit. IV, n. 10). To persons labouring under insanity from fever or other causes and at the time incapable of sentiments of piety, Communion cannot be administered; if, however before they became insane they evinced pious and religious sentiments and led a good life and it is apprehended that they will not recover their reason until they are dying, Viaticum may be administered to them in their delirium provided there be no danger of irreverence (Catech. of Council of Trent, II, vi, n. 64). It should not be administered when there is danger of irreverence to the sacrament from incessant coughing, difficulty of breathing or swallowing, and frequent vomiting. In all these cases, a little food or drink may be given first, to try whether the person can receive without danger of rejecting the Sacred Host. The same may be done in case of delirium also. Many recommend the trial to be made with an unconsecrated particle (O'Kane, "On the Rubrics " n. 782). Public sinners ("Publici usurarii, concubinarii, notorie criminosi, nominatim excommunicati aut denuntiati"-Rit. Rom., Tit. IV, cap. iv, n. 1) are not allowed to receive Viaticum until they have repaired, as far as circumstances will permit (the confessor must decide in each case the nature and extent of this obligation ), the injuries and scandals of which they have been the cause.

Species

Formerly Viaticum was usually administered under the species of bread, because the Blessed Sacrament, which was to be carried to the house of the dying person, was customarily reserved under this form only. The incident, related above, of the aged Serapion would indicate this, for the boy was instructed by the priest to dip the consecrated particle into water before giving it to his uncle. To this rite the Fourth Council of Carthage (Can. 76) seems to allude, because it states "infundatur ori eius Eucharistia" when Viaticum was to be given to dying persons, who, on account of the parched state of the throat, were unable to swallow the Host. About the twelfth century the custom of receiving Holy Communion out of devotion under both species began to be disused ( Chardon, "Storia dei sacramenti", I, III, vii). It cannot be doubted that, as long as this custom prevailed, Viaticum was often administered in the same manner when it was given after Mass, celebrated in the room of the dying person, which was frequently done. Menard, in his notes on the "Gregorian Sacramentary" says that it contained two separate forms for the administration of Viaticum, "Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat te in vitam æternam" and "Sanguis Domini nostri Jesu Christi redimat te in vitam æternam". Sometimes the Host was dipped into the Precious Blood , as is evident from many ancient Rituals, and the Council of Tours prescribes "Sacra oblatio (Host) intincta debet esse in Sanguine Christi, ut veraciter presbyter possit dicere-Corpus et Sanguis Domini proficiat tibi" ( Martène, ibid. ). Although anciently it was the custom to receive Holy Communion during Mass under both species (also Viaticum after Mass), yet it was never believed that those who communicated under the species of bread only did not receive, whole and entire, the Body and Blood of Christ. At present Viaticum is administered, at least on the Latin Church, under the form of bread only.

Rites and Ceremonies

Things to be prepared.-(a) By the priest.-The pyx, a small corporal, and a purificator in small burse, a white (even on Good Friday ) stole, and a Ritual. (b) In the sick room.-A table (near the foot of the bed, or in some other position in which it is easily visible to the sick person ), a crucifix (although this is not prescribed by the rubric ), two lighted wax candles, a wineglass containing a little water for purifying the priest's fingers, a clean cloth or napkin for the sick person, a vase containing holy water, and a sprinkler of box or other wood. (c) On the altar.-Two lighted wax candles, the key of the tabernacle and a burse with a large corporal (if the particle is to be transferred from the ciborium to the pyx in this case also an ablution cup and a finger towel). It frequently happens that all the necessary things are not prepared in the sick room, therefore it will be expedient for the priest to carry with him two wax candles, holy water, and a small communion-cloth.

The priest, having placed the pyx in the burse, which should hang on his breast by a cord round his neck goes to the sick person's house, reciting on the way the "Miserere" and other psalms and canticles he may know by heart. At the door of the sick-room he says: "Pax huic domui" and if there be no one to answer, he replies himself: "Et omnibus habitantibus in ea", enters the room, puts on his stole, takes out the pyx, places it on the table, genuflects, and rises. Then he takes the holy water and sprinkles first the sick person in the form of a cross, i.e. in front of himself, then on his (own) left, then on his (own) right, after which he sprinkles some around him on the floors and walls of the room and on those present, saying in the meantime: "Asperges me . . . dealbabor", to which he adds the first verse of the "Miserere", "Gloria Patri" "Sicut erat", and then repeats the antiphon "Asperges me", etc. which must not be changed during Paschal time. He immediately subjoins the versicles "Adjutorium", etc. and the prayer "Exaudi nos", etc.

If the sick person has not previously confessed, the priest should ask those present to leave the room; then he hears the confession, imposes a light penance, and may recall the sick person's attendants. Even if the priest had previously heard the confession, he should not administer Viaticum until he has given the sick person an opportunity to confess again, if he desires it. The priest then goes to the table, genuflects, and uncovers the pyx, and the communion-cloth or napkin is adjusted under the chin of the sick person who recites the "Confiteor", if he be able; if not, it is said in his name by one of the bystanders, or, when there is no one able to do this, by the priest himself. After the "Confiteor" the priest genuflects, rises, and turns towards the sick person, taking care, however, not to turn his back to the Blessed Sacrament . In this position he says "Misereatur" and "Indulgentiam" using the words tui, tuis, tuorum, and tibi. (The singular is used when Communion is given to one who is sick, except in the rare case in which it is given during Mass, when the plural form is used. "Sacrorum Rituum Cong.", 16 Nov., 1906.) The priest then turns to the table, genuflects, and takes the particle between the thumb and index finger of the right hand and holds the pyx in his left hand under the particle. The "Ecce Agnus Dei " and the "Domine non sum dignus" are said as prescribed for the ordinary Communion in the church. The sick person should say the "Domine non sum dignus" with the priest, at least once, in a low tone (Rit. Rom. Rubr., 19). Instead of the "Corpus Domini", the form "Accipe frater (soror)" etc. is used, whether the sick person is fasting or not, for it is always used when the sick person is in probable danger of death. It is a very probable opinion that Communion may be administered the next day, and even every day, and while the danger continues the form should always be "Accipe frater" (O'Kane, op. cit ., 777). If difficulty is experienced in swallowing the Host on account of the parched condition of the throat, a little water may be given to the sick person before he receives Holy Communion, or the Host may be placed in some wine or water in a spoon or a little wine or water may be given immediately after receiving the Host.

If the danger of death be imminent, but the person be able to receive, all the prayers, as far as the "Misereatur", may be omitted. In case of extreme necessity the priest may even omit the "Misereatur" and the following, and give Communion immediately. In these cases the prayers which were omitted are not supplied afterwards, even though the state of the sick person should allow this. If it be feared that the person will be unable to swallow the Host before death, it should not be given. If it be given and death ensue before he can swallow it, it should be removed from his tongue and placed either in a corporal or in some vessel and kept in some secure place and in due time put into the sacrarium. Should the Host not be visible in the mouth, nothing further need be done (Dunne, "The English Ritual Explained", 67; De Herdt, III, n. 191; O'Kane, op. cit., n. 823). If the priest, after bringing the Blessed Sacrament, finds unexpectedly that the sick person is unable to communicate, he may give benediction with it to the sick person. But he is never allowed to bring the Blessed Sacrament for this purpose when he knows that the person will be unable to receive. Should the sick person he unable to retain the Sacred Host, it should be removed and carried to the church in a corporal or clean vessel. There it should be kept in a becoming place until it corrupts, when it should be put into the sacrarium.

After the Communion the priest purifies the pyx and his fingers in a small glass of water, and the water is given by the priest, or one of the attendants, to the sick person to drink. If the latter be unable or unwilling to take it, it may be thrown into the sacrarium or into the fire at the house. The priest may, if he wish, purify the pyx and his fingers by rubbing them with one part of the little purificator previously moistened with water. The purificator should then not be used again before it is washed. The priest then says "Dominus vobiscum and the prayer "Domine sancte", etc. If no particle remains in the pyx he blesses the sick person with his hand in the same manner as after Communion in the church, using the form "Benedictio Dei", etc. O'Kane (n. 835) thinks that since we use "tui" instead of "vestri" in the "Misereatur", there is sufficient reason to justify the use of "super te"instead of "super vos" in this blessing ; the rubric "eum manu benedicit" seems to favour this opinion, although authors who give the form in full say it ought to be "super vos". If a particle remain in the pyx, the priest genuflects, puts the pyx in the burse, and, without saying anything, gives the blessing with the pyx, puts off his stole and surplice, and returns to the church reciting on the way the Psalm, "Laudate Dominum de coelis", etc. (This rubric ought to be observed, when the priest is obliged to give Viaticum to person in different houses, until the last particle is given, for the rubric says: "Si altera particula Sacramenti superfuerit".) Having arrived at the church he places the pyx on the corporal, genuflects, descends to the lowest step and there recites the versicles "Panem de coelo", etc. and "Dominus vobiscum and the prayer "Deus qui nobis", etc., after which he announces the indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines to those who accompanied the Blessed Sacrament with a light, and five years and five quarantines to those who accompanied it without a light. He then ascends to the predella, genuflects, gives the blessing to the assembled people in the church with the pyx and places the latter in the tabernacle in the customary manner.

From the Mass of Maundy Thursday till the Mass of Holy Saturday the colour of the stole must be white, the "Gloria Patri" is recited at the end of the Psalms, and the blessing with the pyx may be given in the room of the sick person, but not in the church. It may happen that Viaticum is to be given during Mass, e.g. to a criminal about to be executed, in an hospital or private house, when the sick person is in view of the altar. The rites and ceremonies observed in such cases are exactly the same as when Communion is given in the church, except that the form will be "Accipe frater (soror)". The colour of the vestment will be suited to the Mass. When Viaticum is administered to two or more persons at the same time, it is given to them successively, as in the church, provided they be in the same apartment or in apartments opening into each other. In this case "Misereatur vestri . . . vestris" and "Indulgentiam . . . vestrorum . . . vobis" are said; the ablution may be given to any one of them, and need not be divided; in the prayer "Domine sancte" the words "fratri nostro" or "sorori nostræ" are changed into "fratribus nostris", or, if all are females, "sororibus nostris", and at the end the blessing with the pyx is given only once to all together.

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In ancient Rome a red veil, or a veil with red stripes, distinguished newly-married women from ...

Veit, Philipp

Painter, b. at Berlin, 13 Feb., 1793; d. at Mainz, 18 Dec., 1877. Veit was a grandson of the ...

Veith, Johann Emanuel

Preacher, b. of Jewish parents at Kuttenplan, Bohemia, 1787; d. at Vienna, 6 Nov., 1876. In ...

Velazquez, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y

Spanish painter, b. at Seville 5 June, 1599 (the certificate of baptism is dated 6 June); d. at ...

Venezuela

A republic formed out of the provinces which, under Spanish rule, constituted the captaincy ...

Veni Creator Spiritus

The "most famous of hymns " (Frere), is assigned in the Roman Breviary to Vespers (I and II) ...

Veni Sancte Spiritus Et Emitte Coelitus

The sequence for Pentecost (the "Golden Sequence "). It is sung at Mass from Whitsunday until ...

Veni Sancte Spiritus Reple

A prose invocation of the Holy Ghost . The Alleluia following the Epistle of Whitsunday ...

Venice

Venice, the capital of a province in Northern Italy, is formed of a group of 117 small islands ...

Venosa

(VENUSIN.) Diocese in Southern Italy. The city is situated on a high precipitous hill, one of ...

Ventimiglia

(VENTIMILIENSIS) Located in the Province of Porto Maurizio, northern Italy. The city is ...

Ventura di Raulica, Gioacchino

Italian pulpit orator, patriot, phyilosopher, b. at Palermo, 8 Dec., 1792; d. at Versailles, 2 ...

Venturino of Bergamo

Preacher, b. at Bergamo, 9 April, 1304; d. at Smyrna, 28 March, 1346. He received the habit of ...

Venusti, Raffaele

(VENOSTA.) Born at Tirano, Valtellina, northern Italy, about the end of the fifteenth ...

Vera Cruz

(VERAE CRUCIS or JALAPENSIS). Diocese of the Mexican Republic, suffragan of the Archbishopric ...

Verapoly, Archdiocese of

(VERAPOLITANA.) Located on the Malabar Coast, India, having the Diocese of Quilon as ...

Verbiest, Ferdinand

Missionary and astronomer, b. at Pitthem near Coutrai, Also spelled "Kortrijk" Belgium, 9 ...

Verbum Supernum Prodiens

The first line of two hymns celebrating respectively the Nativity of Christ and the Institution ...

Vercelli

(VERCELLENSIS). Archdiocese in the Province of Novara, Piedmont, Italy. The city of Vercelli ...

Vercellone, Carlo

Biblical scholar, born at Biella, Milan ; died at Rome, 19 January, 1869. He entered the Order ...

Verdaguer, Jacinto

Poet, b. at Riudeperas, Province of Barcelona, Spain, 17 April, 1845; d. at Vallvidrera, ...

Verdi, Giuseppe

Composer, b. at Le Roncole, Parma, Italy, 10 October, 1813; d. at S. Agata, near Busseto, 27 ...

Verdun, Diocese of

(VIRODUNENSIS.) Comprises the Department of the Meuse. Suppressed by the Concordat of 1802, ...

Verecundus

sentence --> Bishop of Junca, in the African Province of Byzacena, in the middle of the ...

Vergani, Paolo

Italian political economist, b. in Piedmont, 1753; d. in Paris, about 1820. As a student, he ...

Vergerio, Pier Paolo, the Elder

Humanist, statesman, and canonist, b. at Capodistria, 23 July, 1370; d. at Budapest, 8 July, 1444 ...

Vergil, Polydore

Born at Ubino about 1470; died there probably in 1555. Having studied at Bologna and Padua, he ...

Vergilius of Salzburg, Saint

Irish missionary and astronomer, of the eighth century. Vergilius (or Virgilius, in Irish ...

Vering, Friedrich Heinrich

A German canonist, b. at Liesborn in Westphalia, 9 March, 1833; d. at Prague, 30 March, 1896. ...

Vermont

One of the New England states, extends from the line of Massachusetts, on the south 42° 44' N. ...

Verna, La

An isolated mountain hallowed by association with St. Francis of Assisi, situated in the centre ...

Vernazza, Tommasina

Born at Genoa, 1497; died there, 1587. Her father, Ettore Vernazza, was a patrician, founder of ...

Verne, Jules

Novelist, b. at Nantes, France, 1828; d. at Amiens, 1905. His first literary venture was a ...

Vernier, Pierre

Inventor of the instrument which bears his name, b. at Ornans, Franche-Comte, c. 1580; d. there, ...

Veroli, Diocese of

(VERULANA). Located in the Province of Rome. The city of Veroli (Verulae) is situated on the ...

Verona

(VERONENSIS.) Diocese in Venetia (Northern Italy ). The city, situated on both branches of ...

Veronica Giuliani, Saint

Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Citt` di Castello, 9 July, 1727. ...

Veronica, Saint

In several regions of Christendom there is honored under this name a pious matron of ...

Verot, Augustin

Third Bishop of Savannah, first of St. Augustine, b. at Le Puy, France, May, 1804; d. at St. ...

Verrazano, Giovanni da

Navigator, b. about 1485, of good family, at Val di Greve, near Florence ; executed at Puerto ...

Verreau, Hospice-Anthelme

A French-Canadian priest, educator, and historian, b. at l'Islet, P.Q., 6 Sept., 1828, of Germain ...

Verri, Count Pietro

Economist, b. at Milan, Dec., 1728; d. there, 29 June, 1797. After studying at Monza, Rome, and ...

Verrocchio, Andrea del

Born at Florence, 1435; d. at Venice, 1488. He was called Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' ...

Versailles

(VERSALIENSIS). Diocese ; includes the Department of Seine-et-Oise, France. Created in ...

Versions of the Bible

Synopsis GREEK : Septuagint; Aquila; Theodotion; Symmachus; other versions. VERSIONS FROM THE ...

Versions of the Bible, Coptic

DIALECTS The Coptic language is now recognized in four principal dialects, Bohairic (formerly ...

Verstegan, Richard

( Alias ROWLANDS). Publisher and antiquarian, born at London, about 1548; died at Antwerp ...

Vertin, John

Third Bishop of Marquette, U.S.A. b. at Doblice, Diocese of Laibach (Carniolia), Austria, 17 ...

Vertot, Réné-Aubert, Sieur de

French historian, b. at Benetot, Normandy, 25 Nov., 1655; d. in Paris, 15 June, 1735. He was for ...

Veruela

A celebrated Cistercian monastery and church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. It is situated ...

Vesalius, Andreas

(WESALIUS.) The reorganizer of the study of anatomy ; b. at Brussels, 31 Dec., 1514; d. in a ...

Vespasian

(TITUS FLAVIUS VESPASIANUS). Roman Emperor, b. at Reate (now Rieti ), the ancient capital of ...

Vespasiano da Bisticci

( Or FIORENTINO.) Florentine humanist and librarian, b. in 1421; d. in 1498. He was ...

Vespers

This subject will be treated under the following headings: I. Vespers in the sixth century; II. ...

Vespers, Music of

The texts (e.g. antiphons, psalms, hymn ) sung in Vespers vary according to the feast or the ...

Vespers, Sicilian

The traditional name given to the insurrection which broke out at Palermo on Easter Tuesday, 31 ...

Vespucci, Amerigo

A famous Italian navigator, born at Florence, 9 March, 1451; died at Seville, 22 February, 1512. ...

Vessels, Altar

The chalice is the cup in which the wine and water of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is contained. ...

Vestibule (in Architecture)

A hall projecting in front of the façade of a church, found from the fifth century both ...

Vestments

IN WESTERN EUROPE By liturgical vestments are meant the vestments that, according to the rules ...

Veszprém

(VESPRIMIENSIS.) Diocese in Hungary, suffragan of Gran, one of the sees founded about 1009 by ...

Veto, The Royal

(In the appointment of Bishops in Ireland and England.) Although the penal laws enacted ...

Vetter, Conrad

Preacher and polemical writer, b. at Engen in the present Grand Duchy of Baden, 1547; d. at ...

Veuillot, Louis

Journalist and writer, b. at Boynes, Loiret, 11 Oct., 1813; d. in Paris, 7 April, 1883. He was ...

Vexiö, Ancient See of

(WEPIONENSIS.) The Ancient See of Vexiö, in Sweden, comprised the County of Kronoberg ...

Vexilla Regis Prodeunt

This "world-famous hymn, one of the grandest in the treasury of the Latin Church " (Neale), and ...

Vezzosi, Antonio Francesco

Member of the Theatine Congregation and biographical writer, born at Arezzo, Italy, 4 October, ...

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Vi 116

Via Crucis

(Also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa). These names are used to signify ...

Via Dolorosa

(Also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa). These names are used to signify ...

Viader, José

Born at Gallimes, Catalonia, 27 August, 1765. He received the habit of St. Francis at Barcelona ...

Vianney, Saint Jean-Baptiste-Marie

Curé of Ars, born at Dardilly, near Lyons, France, on 8 May, 1786; died at Ars, 4 ...

Viaticum

Name Among the ancient Greeks the custom prevailed of giving a supper to those setting out on a ...

Viator, Clerics of Saint

St. Viator, lector of the cathedral at Lyons, France, lived in the fourth century and is the ...

Viborg, Ancient See of

(VIBERGAE, VIBERGENSIS.) The ancient See of Viborg, in Denmark, comprised the Province of ...

Vicar

( Latin vicarius , from vice , "instead of") In canon law, the representative of a person ...

Vicar Apostolic

(1) In the early ages of the Church, the popes committed to some residentiary bishops the ...

Vicar Capitular

The administrator of a vacant diocese, elected by a cathedral chapter. On the death of a ...

Vicar of Christ

(Latin Vicarius Christi ). A title of the pope implying his supreme and universal ...

Vicar-General

The highest official of a diocese after the ordinary. He is a cleric legitimately deputed to ...

Vicari, Hermann von

Archbishop of Freiburg in Baden, b. at Aulendorf in Wurtemberg, 13 May, 1773; d. at Freiburg, ...

Vicariate Apostolic (Updated List)

The following is an account of the newly-erected vicariates Apostolic and of those changed so ...

Vice

( Latin vitium , any sort of defect) is here regarded as a habit inclining one to sin. It is ...

Vicelinus, Saint

Bishop of Oldenburg, apostle of Holstein, b. at Hameln about 1086; d. 12 Dec., 1154. Orphaned ...

Vicente, Gil

Portuguese dramatist, b. about 1470; he was living in 1536. He took up the study of law but ...

Vicenza, Diocese of

(VICENTINA). The city is the capital of a province in Venetia (Northern Italy ). The ...

Vich, Diocese of

(Vicensis, Ausonensis). Suffragan of Tarragona, bounded on the north by Gerona, on the east ...

Vico, Francescoe de

Astronomer, b. at Macerata, States of the Church, 19 May, 1805; d. at London, England, 15 Nov., ...

Victimae Paschali Laudes Immolent Christiani

The first stanza of the Easter sequence. Medieval missals placed it on various days within the ...

Victor

Bishop of Tunnunum (Tonnenna, Tunnuna) in Northern Africa and zealous supporter of the Three ...

Victor I, Pope Saint

(189-198 or 199), date of birth unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" makes him a native of Africa ...

Victor II, Pope

(GEBHARD, COUNT OF CALW, TOLLENSTEIN, AND HIRSCHBERG.) Born about 1018; died at Arezzo, 28 ...

Victor III, Pope Blessed

(DAUFERIUS or DAUFAR). Born in 1026 or 1027 of a non-regnant branch of the Lombard dukes of ...

Victor IV

Two antipopes of this name. I. Cardinal Gregory Conti, elected in opposition to Innocent II ...

Victor of Capua

A sixth-century bishop about whose life nothing is known except what is found in his epitaph ...

Victor Vitensis

An African bishop of the Province of Byzacena (called VITENSIS from his See of Vita), b. ...

Victoria

(VICTORIEN. IN INS. VANCOUVER.) Diocese in southwestern British Columbia, of which province it ...

Victoria Nyanza, Northern

The Mission of Victoria Nyanza, founded in 1878 by the White Fathers of Cardinal Lavigerie, was ...

Victoria Nyanza, Southern

Vicariate apostolic erected from the mission of Nyanza, 13 June, 1894, lies north of the ...

Victorinus, Caius Marius

(Called also VICTORINUS MARIUS, or MARIUS FABIUS VICTORINUS, and frequently referred to as ...

Victorinus, Saint

An ecclesiastical writer who flourished about 270, and who suffered martyrdom probably in 303, ...

Vida, Marco Girolamo

Italian Humanist, b. at Cremona about 1490; d. in 1566. He came to Rome under Julius II ; a ...

Vieira, Antonio

Missionary, diplomat, orator, b. at Lisbon, 6 February, 1608; d. at Bahia, Brazil, 18 July, 1697. ...

Viel, Nicholas

Died 1625, the first victim of apostolic zeal on the shores of the St. Lawrence. After ...

Vienna

Vienna -- the capital of Austria-Hungary, the residence of the emperor, and the seat of a Latin ...

Vienna, University of

Foundation of the University Next to the University of Prague that of Vienna is the oldest ...

Vienne, Council of

Pope Clement V, by the Bull "Regnans in coelis" of 12 Aug., 1308, called a general council to ...

Vierthaler, Franz Michael

A distinguished Austrian pedagogue, b. at Mauerkirchen, Upper Austria, 25 September, 1758; d. ...

Vieta, François

(VIÈTE.) Father of modern algebra, b. at Fontenay-le-Comte (Poitou), 1540; d. in ...

Viger, Denis-Benjamin

French-Canadian statesman and writer, b. at Montreal, 19 Aug., 1774; d. 1861. After studying ...

Viger, Jacques

French-Canadian antiquarian and archaeologist, b. at Montreal, 7 May, 1787; d. 12 Dec., 1858. ...

Vigevano

(VIGLEVANENSIS.) Diocese in Lombardy, Province of Pavia. The city is a great agricultural ...

Vigilius

Bishop of Tapsus, in the African Province of Byzacena. Mentioned in the "Notitia" appended to ...

Vigilius, Pope

Reigned 537-55, date of birth unknown; died at Syracuse, 7 June 555. He belonged to a ...

Vigilius, Saint

Bishop of Trent, martyr, patron of Trent and of Tyrol, b. c. 353; d. 26 June, 405; feast 26 ...

Vignola, Giacomo Barozzi da

A theoretical and practical architect of the Transition Period between the Renaissance and ...

Vigor, Simon

French bishop and controversialist, b. at Evreux, Normandy, about 1515; d. at Carcassonne, 1 ...

Vikings

The Scandinavians who, in the ninth and tenth centuries, first ravaged the coasts of Western ...

Villalpandus, Juan Bautista

Born at Cordova, Spain, in 1552; entered the Society of Jesus in 1575; died on 22 May, 1608. His ...

Villani, Giovanni

Florentine historian, b. about 1276; d. of the plague in 1348. Descended from a wealthy family ...

Villanovanus, Arnaldus

(ARNALDUS OF VILLANUEVA, or VILLENEUVE, or BACHUONE). Celebrated in his day as a physician, ...

Villefranche, Jacques-Melchior

Publicist, b. at Couzon-sur-Saone, 17 Dec., 1829; d. at Bourg, 10 May, 1904. After excellent ...

Villehardouin, Geoffroi de

Maréchal de Champagne, warrior, and first historian in the French language, b. about 1150; ...

Villeneuve-Barcement, Jean-Paul-Alban

Vicomte de, b. at Saint-Auban, Var, 8 Aug., 1784; d. at Paris, 8 June, 1850. After having taken ...

Villermé, Louis-René

French economist, b. at Paris, 10 March, 1782; d. there, 16 Nov., 1863. He was devoted to ...

Villers, Cistercian Abbey of

Situated on the confines of Villers and Tilly, Duchy of Brabant, present Diocese of Namur ...

Vilna

(VILENSIS). Vilna, the capital of Lithuania, is situated at the junction of the Rivers ...

Vincent de Paul, Saint

Born at Pouy, Gascony, France, in 1580, though some authorities have said 1576; died at Paris, ...

Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Charity of Saint

A congregation of women with simple vows, founded in 1633 and devoted to corporal and ...

Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Charity of Saint (New York)

(Motherhouse at Mt. St. Vincent-on Hudson, New York; not to be confused with the Sisters of ...

Vincent de Paul, Society of Saint

An international association of Catholic laymen engaging systematically in personal service of ...

Vincent Ferrer, Saint

Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 ...

Vincent Kadlubek, Blessed

(KADLUBO, KADLUBKO). Bishop of Cracow, chronicler, b. at Karnow, Duchy of Sandomir, Poland, ...

Vincent of Beauvais

Priest and encyclopedist. Little is known of his personal history. The years of his birth and ...

Vincent of Lérins, Saint

Feast on 24 May, an ecclesiastical writer in Southern Gaul in the fifth century. His work is ...

Vincent, Saint

(MALDEGARIUS). Founder and abbot of the monasteries of Hautmont and Soignies, b. of a noble ...

Vincent, Saint

Deacon of Saragossa, and martyr under Diocletian, 304; mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, 22 ...

Vincentians

A congregation of secular priests with religious vows founded by St. Vincent de Paul. The ...

Vincenzo de Vit

Latinist, b. at Mestrina, near Padua, 10 July, 1810; d. at Domo d'Ossola, 17 Aug., 1892. He made ...

Vinci, Leonardo di Ser Piero da

(LEONARDO DI SER PIERO DA VINCI) Florentine painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and ...

Vindicianus, Saint

Bishop of Cambrai - Arras, b. if tradition is to be believed, perhaps at Beaulaincourt, near ...

Vineam Domini

An Apostolic Constitution issued by Clement XI against the Jansenists on 16 July, 1705. It ...

Violence

Violence ( Latin vis ), an impulse from without tending to force one without any concurrence on ...

Viotti, Giovanni Battista

Founder of the modern school of violinist, b. at Fontanetto, Piedmont, 23 May, 173; d. 3 ...

Viraggio, Jacopo di

( Also DI VIRAGGIO). Archbishop of Genoa and medieval hagiologist, born at Viraggio (now ...

Virgilius, Saint

(VIRGILE). Archbishop of Arles, died c. 610. According to a life written in the eighth ...

Virgin Birth of Christ

The dogma which teaches that the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ was a virgin before, during, ...

Virgin Mary, Devotion to the

Down to the Council of Nicaea Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be ...

Virgin Mary, Name of

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God. The Hebrew ...

Virgin Mary, The

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God. In general, the ...

Virginia

Surnamed "The Old Dominion", "The Mother of States and of Statesmen", one of the thirteen original ...

Virginity

Morally, virginity signifies the reverence for bodily integrity which is suggested by a virtuous ...

Virtue

The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Definitions; II. Subjects; III. ...

Virtue, Heroic

The notion of heroicity is derived from hero, originally a warrior, a demigod; hence it connotes a ...

Vischer, Peter

Sculptor and metal founder, b. at Nuremberg about 1460; d. in 1529. His father Hermann, who ...

Visdelou, Claude de

Born at the Château de Bienassis, Pléneuf, Brittany, 122 Aug., 1656; died at ...

Visigoths

One of the two principal branches of the Goths. Until 375 their history is combined with that of ...

Visions

This article will deal not with natural but with supernatural visions, that is, visions due to ...

Visit ad Limina

(Sc. Apostolorum ) The visit ad limina means, technically, the obligation incumbent on ...

Visitation Convent, Georgetown

Located in the District of Columbia , United States of America . This convent was founded by ...

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I. THE EVENT Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place about the vernal ...

Visitation Order

The nuns of the Visitation of Mary, called also Filles de Sainte-Marie, Visitandines, and ...

Visitation, Canonical

The act of an ecclesiastical superior who in the discharge of his office visits persons or ...

Visitors Apostolic

Officials whom canonists commonly class with papal legates. Visitors differ from other Apostolic ...

Visits to the Blessed Sacrament

By this devotional practice, which is of comparatively modern development, the presence of ...

Vitalian, Pope Saint

(Reigned 657-72). Date of birth unknown; d. 27 January, 672. Nothing is known of Vitalian's ...

Vitalini, Bonifazio

(DE VITALINIS). Jurist, b. at Mantua, Italy, about 1320; d. at Avignon after 1388. After ...

Vitalis and Agricola, Saints

Martyred at Bologna about 304 during Diocletian's persecution. Agricola, who was beloved for ...

Vitalis of Savigny, Saint

Founder of the monastery and Congregation of Savigny (1112), b. at Tierceville near Bayeaux ...

Vitalis, Saint

Martyr. His legend, which is of little historical value, relates that he was martyred by order ...

Vitelleschi, Muzio

Born at Rome 2 Dec., 1563; died there 9 Feb., 1645. He belonged to a distinguished family but ...

Vitellius, Lucius

Proclaimed Roman Emperor by the soldiers at Cologne during the civil war of A.D. 69; d. at Rome, ...

Vitensis, Victor

An African bishop of the Province of Byzacena (called VITENSIS from his See of Vita), b. ...

Viterbo and Toscanella

(VITERBIENSIS ET TUSCANENSIS). The city of Viterbo in the Province of Rome stands at the foot ...

Vitoria

(VICTORIENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of Burgos, in Spain, bounded on the north by the Bay of ...

Vittorino da Feltre

(VITTORINO DE' RAMBALDONI). Humanist educator, b. at Feltre, 1397; d. at Mantua, 1446. He was ...

Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia, Saints

According to the legend, martyrs under Diocletian ; feast, 15 June. The earliest testimony for ...

Viva, Domenico

Writer, b. at Lecce, 19 Oct., 1648; d. 5 July, 1726. He entered the Society of Jesus 12 May, ...

Vivarini

A family of Italian painters. Alvise Vivarini Born in 1446 or 1447; died in 1502. He was the ...

Vives, Juan Luis

Spanish humanist and philosopher, b. at Valencia, 6 March, 1492; d. at Bruges, 6 May, 1540. ...

Viviers

(VIVARIUM). Diocese ; includes the Department of Ardèche, France. It was suppressed ...

Vivisection

Defined literally the word vivisection signifies the dissection of living creatures; ordinarily it ...

Vizagapatam, Diocese of

Located in the east of India, suffragan to Madras. It is bounded on the north by the River ...

Vizeu

(VISENSIS). Diocese in north central Portugal. The bishopric dates from the sixth century and ...

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Vl 1

Vladimir the Great, Saint

(VLADIMIR or VOLODOMIR). Grand Duke of Kieff and All Russia, grandson of St. Olga, and the ...

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Vocation, Ecclesiastical and Religious

An ecclesiastical or religious vocation is the special gift of those who, in the Church of God, ...

Vogüé, Eugène-Melchior, Vicomte de

Critic, novelist, and historian, born at Nice, 25 February, 1848; died in Paris, 24 February, ...

Vogler, George Joseph

Theorist, composer and organist, b. at Würzburg, 15 June 1749, d. at Darmstadt, 6 May, ...

Volk, Wilhelm

(Pseudonym, LUDWIG CLARUS). Born at Halberstadt 25 Jan., 1804; died at Erfurt 17 March, 1869. ...

Volksverein

(PEOPLE'S UNION) FOR CATHOLIC GERMANY. A large and important organization of German Catholics ...

Volta, Alessandro

Physicist, b. at Como, 18 Feb., 1745; d. there, 5 March, 1827. As his parents were not in ...

Volterra

(VOLTARRANENSIS). Diocese in Tuscany. The city stands on a rocky mountain 1770 feet above the ...

Volterra, Daniele da

(RICCIARELLI). Italian painter, b. at Volterra, 1509; d. in Rome, 1566. Ricciarelli was called ...

Voluntarism

Voluntarism ( Latin voluntas , will) in the modern metaphysical sense is a theory which ...

Voluntary

Wilful, proceeding from the will. It is requisite that the thing be an effect of the will ...

Voluntary Association, Right of

I. LEGAL RIGHT A voluntary association means any group of individuals freely united for the ...

Von Gagern, Max, Freiherr

Born at Weilburg (in Nassau), Germany, 25 March, 1810; died at Vienna, 17 October, 1889. He was ...

Vondel, Joost van Den

Netherland poet and convert, b. at Cologne, 17 Nov., 1587, of parents whose residence was ...

Voragine, Jacopo de

( Also DI VIRAGGIO). Archbishop of Genoa and medieval hagiologist, born at Viraggio (now ...

Votive Mass

( Missa votiva ) A Mass offered for a votum , a special intention. So we frequently find ...

Votive Offerings

The general name given to those things vowed or dedicated to God, or a saint, and in ...

Votive Offices

A votive office is one not entered in the general calendar, but adopted with a view to satisfying ...

Vows

I. GENERAL VIEW A vow is defined as a promise made to God. The promise is binding, and so differs ...

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Vrau, Philibert

"The holy man of Lille ", organizer of numerous Catholic activities; b. at Lille, 19 Nov., ...

Vrie, Theodoric

Historian of the Council of Constance . He describes himself as a brother of the Order of ...

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