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Venerable Cesare Baronius

Cardinal and ecclesiastical historian, born at Sora in the Kingdom of Naples, 30 August, 1538; died at Rome, 30 June, 1607; author of "Annales Ecclesiatici", a work which marked an epoch in historiography and merited for its author, after Eusebius, the title of a Father of Ecclesiastical History.

Baronius was descended from the Neapolitan branch of a once powerful family, whose name, de Barono , was changed by Cesare himself to the Roman form, Baronius. His parents, humble citizens of Sora in the Sabines, some sixty miles east of Rome, could bestow no ancestral wealth and power upon their only son. He was, however, to possess qualities which better proclaim nobility -- a deeply religious spirit, a charity to which selfishness was painfuly repgunant, a firmness of will tempered in humble obedience, and a keenness and vigour of mind scrupulously dedicated to the cause of truth. These qualities distinguished Baronius as a peer in sanctity and scholarship among many saintly and learned contemproraries. He inherited his more vigorous traits of character from his father Camillo, a worldly and ambitious man, whose strong will and tenacity of purpose were one day to clash with like qualities in his equally determined son. To the influence of his pious and charitable mother, Portia Phaebonia, whose devotion to Cesare's religious interests was intensified by what she considered his miraculous deliverance from death in infancy, he owed his conspicuous tender qualities and childlike simplicity of faith. To this latter was due his vivid realization of God's guidance, vouchsafed often in visions and dreams. Baronius received his early education from his intelligent parents and in the schools of nearby Veroli. His intense love of study and intellectual maturity encouraged his father to send him, at the age of eighteen, to the school of law at Naples. There, after a few months of confusion due to the Franco-Spanish war for Italian dominion compelled him to remove to Rome, where, in 1557, he became a pupil of Cesare Costa, a master in civil and canon law.

He was there but a short time when he met one who was potently to influence his destiny and determine, even to details, his career and occupations. It was Philip Neri, a priest remarkable for his sanctity and for the spirit of piety and charity with which he inspired a little group of priests and lay-men whom he had formed into a confraternity of good works at the church of San Girolamo della Carità. The importance of this meeting cannot be overestimated; a Baronius the world might have had, but the Baronius of history is the creature of St. Philip Neri. He was impressed by the serious law student of such transparent innocence of life and finding in him a responsive subject, enrolled him in his little band. This did not prevent Baronius from continuing the studies for which he came to Rome, but in all else his surrender of self to Philip's guidance was spontaneous and complete. It was not without its sacrifices. In token of renunciation he burned a volume of his own Italian verses in the composition of which he had shown marked proficiency; the same fate later befell his doctorate diploma. For three years, in his zeal, he yearned to become a Capuchin friar, but Philip restrained him. More distressing still was the bitter antagonism of his father, who saw in all this but folly and the frustration of his paternal ambition. He feared, too, the extinction of his family, whose hope for a brilliant revival was centred alone in Cesare. Father and son were firm. Camillo cut off his scanty allowance and Cesare was compelled to live on the hospitality of one of Philip's friends. For six years Baronius led a semi-religious life with the community of San Girolamo, the nucleus of the Congregation of the Oratory. From Philip he received direction in study and spiritual guidance, and at his bidding gave all his spare time to charitable work among the sick and poor.

During the year 1558 Philip assigned to him the important work of preaching at the conferences given often during the week in the church of San Girolamo. In 1564 he received priestly ordination and resolved to cast his lot with Philip's little band, but so intense was his ardor for the religious life that he had already taken vows of poverty, chastity, humility, and obedience to Philip as to a superior. Of his will he was to be the yielding instrument for yet twenty-five years. That time was to be given to the preparation of his work on ecclesiastical history, about which Baronius' life-interest henceforth centres.

The credit of its conception belongs to Philip, as Baronius testifies with filial devotion in the "Annals". The saint shared keenly in the distress and dismay caused in Catholic circles by the publication of the "Centuries of Magdeburg" (Ecclesiastica Historia: integram ecclesiae Christi ideam complectens, congesta per aliquot studiosos et pios viros in urbe Magdeburgica, 13 vols., Basle, 1559-74). The purpose of this work was to commit history to the cause of Protestantism by showing how far the Catholic Church had departed from primitive teaching and practices, in contrast to the consonance therewith of the Reformed Church. It was conceived in 1552 by Mathias Flach Francowiez (Flacius Illyricus) and, with the collaboration of several Lutheran scholars and the co-operation of evangelical princes and other wealthy Protestants, was hurriedly completed. Its thirteen volumes dealt each with a century of the Christian Era, whence the name "Centuriators" applied to the authors. Though the work had the great merit of being the pioneer in the field of modernized church history, and displayed considerable critical spirit, its unscrupulously partisan colouring of Lutheran claims and its misrepresentations of Catholicity predestined it to but ephemeral honour. It is of interest only as a sunken landmark in the field of historical literature, and as the stimulus of Baronius's genius. The publication of its initial volumes, however, at a time when its polemical value made it acceptable to Protestants, provided the Reformers with a most formidable weapon of attack on the Catholic Church. It did much harm. The feasibility of a counter attack appealed to Catholic scholars, but nothing adequate was provided, for the science of history was still a thing of the future. Its founder was as yet but twenty-one years of age and knew very little of history. It was in that youth that St. Philip Neri discerned a possible David who would rout the Philistines of Magdeburg. He forthwith directed Baronius to devote his conferences at San Girolamo exclusively to the history of the Church. Baronius was disconcerted. History had no attraction for him. His youthful zeal would rather vent itself in the fiery moral conferences which he had creditably given during the preceding year. But he obeyed, and within three years summarily covered the field of church history in his conference and developed a keen interest in historical studies. Twice he gave the course before his ordination to the priesthood, and five times again did he repeat it during the following twenty-three years, perfecting his work with each succeeding series. The early historians and the Fathers became his familiars. The libraries of Rome yielded to his diligent quest a host of unpublished documents. Monuments, coins, and inscriptions told to him unsuspected stories.

What he did in and about Rome willing correspondents did for him elsewhere, and the name of Baronius came to be known over Europe as a synonym for unprecedented historical penetration, power of research, and zeal for verification. Philip's plan for arranging in lasting form the material thus garnered must have been made known to Baronius before 1569, but despite the importance of the work, he was compelled by his master to share in all the exercises of the now growing Oratory. At the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. which he served from 1564 to 1575, he had his part in the parish ministrations and took his turn in the menial domestic services. "Baronius coquus perpetuus" was the legend he playfully inscribed in the Oratory kitchen, where he often received distinguished visitors. To the many mortifications imposed by Philip he added generously, and thereby provoked the digestive disorders that often racked his body in life and ultimately precipitated his death. Despite all obstacles, his prodigious capacity for work and contentment with but four to five hours sleep a night made possible an amazing progress in his researches. After the canonical foundation of the Oratory (15 July, 1575) he took up his residence at Santa Maria in Vallicella, definitive home of the new congregation, and led the same busy life. In the early eighties plans were matured for the publication of the new church history, and by 1584, a quarter of a century since he began his preparation, Baronius had the work well under way, when his patience suffered a new trial. Gregory XIII confided to him the revision of the Roman Martyrology. The work was necessary because of confusion in feast-days due to the Gregorian calendar-reform (1582); besides, it was an opportune time to correct the many errors of copyists long accumulating in the Martyrology. Baronius gave two years to the wide research amd keen criticism the work demanded. His annotations and corrections were published in 1586, and in a second edition he corrected several errors which he was chagrined to have overlooked in the first (Martyrologium Romanum, cum Notationibus Caesaris Baronii, Rome, 1589).

The difficulties which beset Baronius in the publication of the "Annals" were many and annoying. He prepared his manuscript unaided, writing every page with his own hand. His brother Oratorians at Rome could lend him no assistance. Those at Naples, who helped him in revising his copy, were scarcely competent and almost exasperating in their dilatoriness and uncritical judgment. The proofs he read himself. His printers, in the infancy of their art, were neither prompt nor painstaking. In the Spring of 1588 the first volume appeared and was universally acclaimed for its surprising wealth of inforomation, its splendid erudition, and its timely vindication of papal claims. The "Centuries" were eclipsed. Those highest in ecclesiastical and civil authority complimented the author, but more gratifying still was the truly phenomenal sale the book secured and the immediate demand for its translation into the principal European languages. It was Baronius' intention to produce a volume every year; but the second was not ready until early in 1590. The next four appeared yearly, the seventh late in 1596, the other five at still-longer intervals, up to 1607, when, just before his death, he completed the twelfth volume, which he had foreseen in a vision would be the term of his work. It brought the history down to 1198, the year of the accession of Innocent III.

Baronius' student life during the twenty years of publication was even more disturbed than formerly. His growing repute brought heavy penalties to one of his humility. Three successive popes would have made him a bishop. In 1593 he became superior of the Oratory, succeeding the aged Philip, on whose death, in 1596, he was re-elected for another triennial term. In 1595 Clement VIII , whose confessor he was, made him protonotary Apostolic and, on 5 June, 1596, created him cardinal. Baronius bitterly regretted his removal from the Oratory to reside at the Vatican, or even away from Rome when the papal court was absent from the city, a circumstance doubly distressing as it prevented active work on the "Annals". In 1597 Clement paid the highest possible tribute to his erudition by naming him Librarian of the Vatican. This office, together with the charge of the newly founded Vatican press and his duties in the Congregations, left still less time for his "Annals". Troubles he had of another order. His zeal for the liberties of the church had early invited the disfavour of Philip II of Spain , who, because he was the strongest Catholic sovereign in Europe, was striving to exercise undue influence on the papacy. He incurred Philip's further displeasure by supporting the cause of his enemy, the excommunicate Henry IV of France, whose absolution Baronius warmly advocated. The "Annals" were condemned by the Spanish Inquisition. Later on, when he published his treatise on the Sicilian Monarchy, proving the prior claim of the papacy to that of Spain in the suzerainty of Sicily and Naples, he provoked the bitter hostility of both Philip II and Philip III. He found solace, however, in the thought that the enmity of Spain would prevent the growing possibility of his being made pope. This hope was severely tried in the two conclaves of 1605. Baronius was the choice of a majority of the cardinals and, despite Spanish opposition, might have been elected had he not turned his diplomacy to encompass his own defeat. Thirty-seven votes out of a necessary forty in the first conclave and a violent attempt to precipitate his "adoration" in the second attest the esteem in which he was held.

In the spring of 1607 Baronius returned to the Oratory, for a vision had warned him that his sixty-ninth year would be his last, and he had reach the portended last volume of the "Annals". Soon, critically ill, he was removed to Frascati, but, discerning the end, he returned to Rome, where he died 30 June, 1607. His tomb is at the left of the high altar in the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova).

Cardinal Baronius left a reputation for profound sanctity which led Benedict XIV to proclaim him "Venerable" (12 January, 1745). The restorations which he made in his titular church of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus and in St. Gregory's on the Coelian still feebly bespeak his zeal for decorous worship. But the "Annals" constitute the most conspicuous and enduring monument of his genius and devotion to the Church. For three centuries they have been the inspiration of students of history and an inexhaustible storehouse for research. No one work has treated so completely the epoch with which they deal. Nowhere are there to be found collected so many important documents. Unbiased scholars recognize in them the foundation-stone of true historical science, and in their author the qualities of the model historian: indefatigable diligence in research, passion for verification, accuracy of judgment, and unswerving loyalty to truth. Even in the bitter controversies which the early volumes aroused, Baronius' most scholarly critics acknowledged his thoroughness and honesty. But this does not imply that the work was faultless or final, Master though he was, Baronius was a pioneer. Gifted with a critical spirit which was, to say the least, much keener than that of his contemporaries, his exercise of it was tentative and timid. Yet he stimulated a spirit of criticism which would infallibly advance the science of history far beyond the reaches attainable by himself. With this wider vision his successors have been enabled to subject the "Annals" to no little corrective criticism. His scanty knowledge of Greek and Hebrew limited his resources in dealing with Oriental questions. Despite his care, he cited many documents as authentic which a more enlightened criticism has rejected as apocryphal. His most serious defects were incident to the very accuracy he essayed in casting his history in the strictly annalistic form. The attempt to assign to each successive year its own events involved him in numerous chronological errors. Baronius himself recognized the possibility of this and made many corrections in his second edition (Mainz, 1601-05); and later it was by his allies, and not by his enemies, that the most thorough efforts at chronological revision were made, a point seemingly lost on those who refer to Pagi's "refutation" of Baronius' errors. One has but to recall the diversity of opinion in matters of chronology among the chief exponents of historical science today to find palliation for the mistakes of that science's founder. Whatever must be said in justice to Baronius, it remains true that the present-day value of his work is to be measured in the light of these defects, and it is to the critical editions of the "Annals" that the student will profitably refer, bearing always in mind that the mistakes of Baronius affect but little the value of the precious lecacy his industry and genius handed down to later historians. The most extensive work of emendation is that of the Pagi: "Critica historico-chronologica in Annales", etc. (3d ed., Antwerp, 1727, 4 vols.). Its preface contains a good study of the early criticsim of the "Annals".

To the original twelve volumes of the "Annals" there have been added continuations in the style of Baronius. The most worthy are those of the three Oratorians : Raynaldus, ablest of the continuators, who with material accumulated by Baronius carried the history to the year 1565 (Rome, 1646-77, 9 vols.); Laderchi, who continued it thence to 1571 (Rome, 1728-37, 3 vols.); and August Theiner, to 1583 (Rome, 1856). Less notable are the continuations of the Polish Dominican, Bzovius, 1198 to 1571 (Cologne, 1621-30, 9 vols.), and the French bishop, Sponde, 1198 to 1647 (Paris, 1659). There is a good study of the work of the continuators by Mansi in the Bar-le-Duc edition of Baronius, XX, p iii-xi. Many epitomes of the work have been made, the best being that of Sponde (Cologne, 1690, 2 vols.). As an exemplar of recent scientific working of a small portion of the field covered by Baronius may be cited, Rauschen, "Jahrbücher der Christlichen Kirche unter dem Kaiser Theodosius dem Grossen. Versuch einer Erneuerung der Annales Ecelesiastici des Baronius für die Jahre 378-395" (Freiburg im Br., 1897). The best editions of Baronius are those of Lucca (1738-59, 38 vols.) and Bar-le-Duc (1864-83, 37 vols.); the former contains the continuations of Raynald and Laderchi, the critique of Pagi and others, and is enriched by the notes of Archbishop Mansi ; the latter contains what is best in the former and the editorial additions of Father Theiner, whose continuation was to be included. Publication was suspended with the history of the year 1571. Baronius published many lesser works, most of which found place in the "Annals". His life of St. Gregory Nazianzen is in Acta SS., XV, 371-427.

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Ve 75

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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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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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