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Virginity

Morally, virginity signifies the reverence for bodily integrity which is suggested by a virtuous motive. Thus understood, it is common to both sexes, and may exist in a women even after bodily violation committed upon her against her will. Physically, it implies a bodily integrity, visible evidence of which exists only in women. The Catholic Faith teaches us that God miraculously preserved this bodily integrity, in the Blessed Virgin Mary , even during and after her childbirth (see Paul IV, "Cum quorundam", 7 August, 1555). There are two elements in virginity: the material element, that is to say, the absence, in the past and in the present, of all complete and voluntary delectation, whether from lust or from the lawful use of marriage; and the formal element, that is the firm resolution to abstain forever from sexual pleasure. It is to be remarked, on the one hand, that material virginity is not destroyed by every sin against the sixth or ninth commandment, and on the other hand that the resolution of virginity extends to more than the mere preservation of bodily integrity, for if it were restricted to material virginity, the resolution, at least outside the married state, might coexist with vicious desires, and could not then be virtuous.

It has been sometimes asked whether there is a special virtue of virginity; and in spite of the affirmative answer of some authors, and of the text of St. Thomas, II-II:152:3, the statement of which cannot be taken literally, the question must be answered in the negative. Formally, virginity is but the purpose of perpetually preserving perfect chastity in one who abstains from sexual pleasure. Ordinarily this purpose is inspired by a virtue superior to that of chastity ; the motive may be religious or apostolic. Then the superior virtues of charity or religion will ennoble this purpose and communicate to it their own beauty; but we shall not find in it any splendour or merit of another virtue. The resolution of virginity is generally offered to God under the form of a vow. The counsel of virginity is expressly given in the New Testament ; first in Matt., xix, 11, 12, where Christ, after reminding His disciples that besides those who are unfit for marriage by nature, or by reason of a mutilation inflicted by others, there are others who have made the same sacrifice for the kingdom of heaven , recommends them to imitate these. "He that can take, let him take it." Tradition has always understood this text in the sense of a profession of perpetual continence. St. Paul again, speaking ( 1 Corinthians 7:25-40 ) as a faithful preacher of the doctrine of the Lord (tamquam misericordiam consecutus a Domino, ut sim fidelis), formally declares that marriage is permissible, but that it would be better to follow his counsel and remain single; and he gives the reasons; besides the considerations arising from the circumstances of his time, he gives this general reason, that the married man "is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided"; whereas he that is without a wife directs all his care to his own bodily and spiritual sanctification, and is at liberty to devote himself to prayer.

The Church, following this teaching of St. Paul, has always considered the state of virginity or celibacy preferable in itself to the state of marriage, and the Council of Trent (Sess. XXIV, Can. 10) pronounces an anathema against the opposite doctrine. Some heretics of the sixteenth century understood Christ's words, "for the kingdom of heaven ", in the text above quoted from St. Matthew, as applying to the preaching of the Gospel; but the context, especially verse 14, in which "the kingdom of heaven" clearly means eternal life, and the passage quoted from St. Paul sufficiently refute that interpretation. Reason confirms the teaching of Holy Scripture . The state of virginity means a signal victory over the lower appetites, and an emancipation from worldly and earthly cares, which gives a man liberty to devote himself to the service of God. Although a person who is a virgin may fail to correspond to the sublime graces of his or her state, and may be inferior in merit to a married person, yet experience bears witness to the marvellous spiritual fruit produced by the example of those men and women who emulate the purity of the angels.

This perfect integrity of body, enhanced by a purpose of perpetual chastity, produces a special likeness to Christ, and creates a title to one of the three "aureolæ", which theologians mention. According to the teaching of St. Thomas (Supplement, 96) these "aureolæ" are particular rewards added to the essential happiness of eternity, and are like so many laurel wreaths, crowning three conspicuous victories, and three special points of resemblance to Christ: the victory over the flesh in virginity, the victory over the world in martyrdom, and the victory over the devil in the preaching of the truth. The text of St. John ( Revelation 14:1-5 ) is often understood of virgins, and the canticle which they alone may sing before the throne denotes the "aureola" which is given to them alone. It is most probable that the words in the fourth verse, "These are they who were not defiled with women : for they are virgins", are really spoken of virgins, though there are also other interpretations; perhaps, those who "were purchased from among men, the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb: And in their mouth there was found no lie: (loc. cit., 4, 5) are the martyrs ; they are declared to be without spot, as in an earlier chapter (vii, 14); they are said to "have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb".

In the article NUNS it is shown how Christian virgins have been one of the glories of the Church since the first ages, and how very ancient is the profession of virginity. Under RELIGIOUS LIFE is treated the difficulty of proving the strict obligation of perseverance before the fifth century, when we meet with the letter of Innocent V (404) to Vitricius (chapters xiii, xiv; cf. P.L., XX, 478 sqq.). Even at an earlier period still, the bishop presided at the clothing, and the consecration of virgins became a sacramental rite, in which the prayers and benedictions of the Church were added to the prayers and merits of those who presented themselves, in order to obtain for them the grace of fidelity in their sublime profession. In the fourth century no age was fixed for the consecration ; virgins offered themselves quite young, at ten or twelve years of age. As there were children offered by their parents to the monastic life, so also there were children vowed to virginity before their birth, or very shortly after. Subsequently the law was passed which forbade consecration before the age of twenty-five years.

The ceremony prescribed in the Roman Pontifical is very solemn, and follows, step by step, that of an ordination. It is reserved to the bishop, and can never be repeated. The days fixed for the solemnity were at first the Epiphany, Easter week, and the feasts of the Apostles. The third Council of the Lateran gave permission to consecrate virgins on all Sundays, and custom sometimes extended the permission (C. Subdiaconos, 1, De temp. ordinat., 1, 10). The ceremony takes place during Mass; the archpriest certifies the worthiness of the candidates, as he does that of the deacons. After the introductory hymns, the pontiff first asks them all together if they are resolved to persevere in their purpose of holy virginity; they answer: "Volumus" (we are). Then he asks each on severally: "Dost thou promise to preserve perpetual virginity"? and when she answers, "I do promise", the pontiff says, "Deo gratias". The litany of the saints is then sung, with a double invocation on behalf of the virgins present: "Ut præsentes ancillas benedicere ... sanctificare digneris" ("That though wouldst vouchsafe to bless and sanctify thy handmaidens here present"). It is to be remarked that the third invocation, "et consecrare digneris" ("That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to consecrate them"), which is added for major orders, is ommitted here. The hymn "Veni Creator" follows, after which the pontiff blesses the habits, which the virgins put on. He then blesses the veil, the ring, and the crown. After the singing of a very beautiful preface, the bishop gives three articles to the virgins with the formulæ used in ordinations, and the ceremony ends with a benediction, some prayers, and a long anathema directed against any persons who attempt to seduce the virgins from their holy profession. Sometimes after the Mass, the bishop gave them, as also to the deaconesses, the Book of Hours, to recite the Office.

From the fourth century the virgins wore a modest dress of dark colour; they were required to devote themselves to prayer (the canonical hours ), manual labour, and an ascetic life. After the eighth century, as enclosure became the general law for persons consecrated to God, the reason for this special consecration of persons, already protected by the walls of the monastery and by their religious profession, ceased to exist. Secret faults committed before or even after admission to the monastery led to questions which were very delicate to decide, and which became the subject of controversy. Was one who had lost her virginity to make the fact known at the price of her reputation ? Was it enough to present herself as a virgin in order to be able to receive consecration ? (See for example "Theol. moralis Salmaticensium", Q. xvi de 6 et 9 præcepto, i, n. 75; or Lessius, De justitia", etc., IV, ii, dub. 16.) The ceremony became more and more rare, though examples were found still in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; but it was not practiced in the Mendicant orders. Saint Antoninus knew it in the fifteenth century; while St. Charles Borromeo in vain tried to revive it in the sixteenth. The abbess alone received and still receives a solemn benediction.

Virginity is irreparably lost by sexual pleasure, voluntarily and completely experienced. "I tell you without hesitation", writes St. Jerome in his twenty-second Epistole to St. Eustochium, n. 5 (P.L., XXII, 397) "that though God is almighty, He cannot restore a virginity that has been lost." A failure in the resolution, or even incomplete faults, leave room for efficacious repentance, which restores virtue and the right to the aureola. Formerly virginity was required as a condition for entrance into some monasteries ; at the present day, in most congregations, a pontifical dispensation is necessary for the reception of persons who have been married (the Order of the Visitation however is formally open to widows ); but bodily integrity is no longer required. If the candidate's reputation is intact, the doors of monasteries are open to a generous repentance as to a generous innocence. (See NUNS; RELIGIOUS LIFE; VOWS; RELIGIOUS VEIL.)

More Volume: V 294

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Vácz, Diocese of

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Vaast, Abbey of Saint

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Ve 75

Vecchietta, Lorenzo di Pietro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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