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Brahminism

By Brahminism is meant the complex religion and social system which grew out of the polytheistic nature-worship of the ancient Aryan conquerors of northern India, and came, with the spread of their dominion, to be extended over the whole country, maintaining itself, not without profound modifications, down to the present day. In its intricate modern phases it is generally known as Hinduism.

I. BRAHMIN TEXTS

Our knowledge of Brahminism in its earlier stages is derived from its primitive sacred books, originally oral compositions, belonging to the period between 1500-400 B.C.

First of all, there are four Vedas ( veda means wisdom) dating from 1500 to 800 B.C., and consisting

  • of a collection of ancient hymns ( riks ),the so-called Rig-Veda, in praise of the many gods;
  • of the Sama-veda, compiled from parts of the Rig-Veda as a song-service for the soma-sacrifice;
  • of the Yajur-Veda, a liturgy composed partly of ancient hymns and partly of other prayers and benedictions to be used in the various forms of sacrifice; and
  • of the Atharva-Veda, a collection of popular exorcisms and magical incantations largely inherited from primitive Aryan days.
  • Next in order are the Brahmanas (about 1000-600 B.C.). They are a series of verbose and miscellaneous explanations of the texts, rites, and customs found in each of the four Vedas, composed expressly for the use of the Brahmins, or priests. They are followed (800-500 B.C.) by the so-called Upanishads, concerned chiefly with pantheistic speculations on the nature of deity and the end of man ; and lastly, by the Sutras (600-400 B.C.), which are compendious guides to the proper observance of the rites and customs. The most important are the Grhya-Sutras, or house-guides, treating of domestic rites, and the Dharma-sutras, or law-guides, which were manuals of religious and social customs. Being meant for layman as well as priest, they reflect the popular, practical side of Brahminism, whereas the Brahmanas and Upanishads show us the religion on its priestly, speculative side. Closely related to the law-guides is the justly famed metrical treatise, Manava-Dharma-Sastra, known in English as the Laws of Manu. It belongs probably to the fifth century B.C. These, together with the two sacred epics of a later age, the "Ramayana," and the "Mahabharata," embrace what is most important in sacred Brahmin literature.

    II. EARLY BRAHMINISM OR VEDISM

    The religion of the Vedic period proper was comparatively simple. It consisted in the worship of many deities, great and small, the personified forces of nature. Prominent among these were

    • Varuna, the all-embracing heaven, maker and lord of all things and upholder of the moral law ;
    • the sun-god, variously known as
      • Surya, the enemy of darkness and bringer of blessings ; as
      • Pushan the nourisher;
      • Mitra, the omniscient friends of the good, and the avenger of deceit; as
      • Savitar the enlightener, arousing men to daily activity, and as
      • Vishnu, said to have measured the earth in three great strides and
      to have given the rich pastures to mortals;
    • the god of the air, Indra, like Mars, also, the mighty god of war, who set free from the cloud-serpent Ahi (or Vritra), the quickening rain;
    • Rudra, later known as Siva, the blessed one, the god of the destructive thunderstorm, an object of dread to evil-doers, but a friend to the good;
    • Agni, the fire-god, the friend and benefactor of man, dwelling on their hearths, and bearing to the gods their prayers and sacrificial offerings;
    • Soma, the god of that mysterious plant whose inebriating juice was so dear to the gods and to man, warding off disease, imparting strength and securing immortality.
    There were no temples in this early period. On a small mound of earth or of stones the offering was made to the gods, often by the head of the family, but in the more important and complicated sacrifices by the priest, or Brahmin, in union with the householder. The object of every sacrifice was to supply strengthening food to the gods and to secure blessings in return. Human victims, though rare, were not wholly unknown, but animal victims were at this period in daily use. First in importance was the horse, then the ox or cow, the sheep, and the goat. Offerings of clarified butter, rice, wheat, and other kinds of grain were also very common. But dearer to the gods than any of these gifts, and rivaling the horse-sacrifice in solemnity, was the offering of the inebriating juice of the Soma-plant, the so-called Soma-sacrifice. Hymns of praise and petitions, chiefly for the good things of life, children, health, wealth, and success in undertakings, accompanied these sacrificial offerings. But the higher needs of the soul were not forgotten. In hymns of Varuna, Mitra, and the other gods there are striking texts expressing a sense of guilt and asking for forgiveness. At a time when the earlier Hebrew scriptures were silent as to the rewards and punishments awaiting man in the future life, we find the ancient rik-bards giving repeated expression to their belief in a heaven of endless bliss for the just, and in an abyss of darkness for the wicked.

    Devotion to the Pitris (Fathers), or dead relatives, was also a prominent element in their religion. Although the Pitris mounted to the heavenly abode of bliss, their happiness was not altogether independent of the acts of devotion shown them by the living. It could be greatly increased by offerings of Soma, rice, and water; for like the gods they were thought to have bodies of air-like texture, and to enjoy the subtile essence of food. Hence, the surviving children felt it a sacred duty to make feast-offerings, called Sraddhas, at stated times to their departed Pitris. In return for these acts of filial piety, the grateful Pitris protected them from harm and promoted their welfare. Lower forms of nature-worship also obtained. The cow was held in reverence. Worship was given to trees and serpents. Formulae abounded for healing the diseased, driving off demons, and averting evil omens. Witchcraft was dreaded, and recourse to ordeals was common for the detection of guilt.

    III. POPULAR BRAHMINISM

    In the period that saw the production of the Brahmanas and the Upanishads, the Vedic religion underwent a twofold change. On the practical side there was an exuberant growth of religious rites and of social restrictions and duties, while on the theoretical side, Vedic belief in the efficacy of personal deities was subordinated to a pantheistic scheme of salvation. Thus the earlier religion developed on the one hand into popular, exoteric Brahminism, and on the other hand into priestly, esoteric Brahminism. The former is reflected in the Brahmanas and the Sutras; the latter in the Upanishads.

    The transformation to popular Brahminism was largely due to the influence of the Brahmins, or priests. Owing to their excessive fondness for symbolic words and forms, the details of ritual became more and more intricate, some assuming so elaborate a character as to require the services of sixteen priests. The sacrifice partook of the nature of a sacramental rite, the due performance of which was sure to produce the desired end, and thus became an all-important center around which the visible and invisible world revolved. Hence it merited liberal fees to the officiating priests. Still it was not a mere perfunctory rite, for if performed by an unworthy priest it was accounted as both useless and sacrilegious. In keeping with this complicated liturgy was the multitude of prayers and rites which entered into the daily life of both priest and layman. The daily recitation of parts of the Vedas, now venerated as divine revelation, was of first importance, especially for the Brahmins. It was a sacred duty for every individual to recite, morning and evening, the Savitri, a short prayer in honor of the vivifying sun. A scrupulous regard for ceremonial purity, surpassing even that of the Jewish Pharisee, gave rise to an endless succession of purifactory rites, such as baths, sprinkling with water, smearing with ashes or cow-dung, sippings of water, suppressions of breath--all sacramental in character and efficacious for the remission of sin. There is reason to believe that the consciousness of guilt for sin committed was keen and vivid, and that in the performance of these rites, so liable to abuse, a penitential disposition of soul was largely cultivated.

    In popular Brahminism of this period the idea of retribution for sin was made to embrace the most rigorous and far-reaching consequences, from which, save by timely penance, there was no escape. As every good action was certain of future recompense, so every evil one was destined to bear its fruit of misery in time to come. This was the doctrine of karma (action) with which the new idea of rebirth was closely connected. While the lasting bliss of heaven was still held out to the just, different fates after death were reserved for the wicked, varying, according to the nature and amount of guilt, from long periods of torture in a graded series of hells, to a more or less extensive series of rebirths in the forms of plants, animals, and men. From the grade to which the culprit was condemned, he had to pass by slow transition through the rest of the ascending scale till his rebirth as a man of honorable estate was attained.

    This doctrine gave rise to restrictive rules of conduct that bordered on the absurd. Insects, however repulsive and noxious, might not be killed; water might not be drunk till it was first strained, lest minute forms of life be destroyed; carpentry, basket-making, working in leather, and other similar occupations were held in disrepute, because they could not be carried on without a certain loss of animal and plant life. Some zealots went so far as to question the blamelessness of tilling the ground on account of the unavoidable injury done to worms and insects. But on the other hand, the Brahmin ethical teaching in the legitimate sphere of right conduct is remarkably high. Truthfulness, obedience to parents and superiors, temperance, chastity, and almsgiving were strongly inculcated. Though allowing, like other religions of antiquity, polygamy and divorce, it strongly forbade adultery and all forms of unchastity. It also reprobated suicide, abortion, perjury, slander, drunkenness, gambling, oppressive usury, and wanton cruelty to animals. Its Christianlike aim to soften the hard side of human nature is seen in its many lessons of mildness, charity towards the sick, feeble, and aged, and in its insistence on the duty of forgiving injuries and returning good for evil. Nor did this high standard of right conduct apply simply to external acts. The threefold division of good and bad acts into thought, words, and deeds finds frequent expression in Brahmánic teaching.

    Intimately bound up in the religious teaching of Brahminism was the division of society into rigidly defined castes. In the earlier, Vedic period there had been class distinctions according to which the warrior class (Kshatriyas, or Rajanas) stood first in dignity and importance, next the priestly class (Brahmins), then the farmer class (Vaisyas), and last of all, the servile class of conquered natives (Sudras). With the development of Brahminism, these four divisions of society became stereotyped into exclusive castes, the highest place of dignity being usurped by the Brahmins. As teachers of the sacred Vedas, and as priests of the all-important sacrifices, they professed to be the very representatives of the gods and the peerage of the human race. No honor was too great for them, and to lay hands on them was a sacrilege. One of their chief sources of power and influence lay in their exclusive privilege to teach the youth of the three upper castes, for education then consisted largely in the acquisition of Vedic lore, which only priests could teach. Thus the three upper castes alone had the right to know the Vedas and to take part in the sacrifices, and Brahminism, far from being a religion open to all, was exclusively a privilege of birth, from which the despised caste of Sudras was excluded.

    The rite of initiation into Brahminism was conferred on male children only, when they began their studies under a Brahmin teacher, which took place generally in the eighth year of the Brahmin, and in the eleventh and twelfth years for the Kshatriya and the Vaisya respectively. It consisted in the investiture of the sacred cord, a string of white cotton yarn tired together at the ends, and worn like a deacon's stole, suspended on the left shoulder. The investiture was a sort of sacrament in virtue of which the youth was freed from guilt contracted from his parents and became Dvi-ja , twice-born, with the right to learn the sacred Vedic texts and to take part in the sacrifices. The period of studentship was not long for members of the warrior and farmer castes, but for the young Brahmin, who had to learn all the Vedas by heart, it consumed nine years or more. During this period, the student was subjected to severe moral discipline. He had to rise before the sun, and was not allow to recline until after sunset. He was denied rich and dainty foods, and what he ate at his two daily meals he had to beg. He was expected to observe the strictest chastity. He was bound to avoid music, dancing, gambling, falsehood, disrespect to superiors and to the aged, covetousness, anger, and injury to animals.

    Marriage was held to be a religious duty for every twice-born. It was generally entered upon early in life, not long after the completion of the time of studentship. Like the initiation rite, it was a solemn sacramental ceremony. It was an imperative law that the bride and groom should be of the same caste in the principal marriage; for, as polygamy was tolerated, a man might take one or more secondary wives from the lower castes. For certain grave reasons, the household might repudiate his wife and marry another, but a wife on her part had no corresponding right of divorce. If her husband died, she was expected to remain for the rest of her life in chaste widowhood, if she would be honored on earth, and happy with him in heaven. The later Hindu practice known as the Suttee, in which the bereaved wife threw herself on the funeral pyre of her husband, seems at this period to have been unknown. All knowledge of the Vedic texts was withheld from woman, but she had the right to participate with her husband in the sacrifices performed for him by some officiating priest. One important sacrifice remained in his own hands--the morning and evening offering of hot milk, butter, and grain to the fire on the hearth, which was sacred to Agni, and was kept always burning.

    A strong tendency to asceticism asserted itself in the Brahminism of this period. It found expression in the fasts preceding the great sacrifices, in the severe penances prescribed for various kinds of sin, in the austere life exacted of the student, in the conjugal abstinence to be observed for the first three days following marriage and on certain specified days of the month, but, above all, in the rigorous life of retirement and privation to which not a few devoted their declining years. An ever increasing number of householders, chiefly Brahmins, when their sons had grown to man's estate, abandoned their homes and spent the rest of their lives as ascetics, living apart from the villages in rude huts, or under the shelter of trees, eating only the simplest kinds of food, which they obtained by begging, and subjecting themselves to extraordinary fasts and mortifications. They were known as Sannyasis , or Yogis , and their severity of life was not so much a penitential life for past offenses as a means of acquiring abundant religious merits and superhuman powers. Coupled with these mortifications was the practice of Yogi (union). They would sit motionless with legs crossed, and, fixing their gaze intently on an object before them, would concentrate their thought on some abstract subject until they lapsed into a trance. In this state they fancied they were united with the deity, and the fruit of these contemplations was the pantheistic view of religion which found expression in the Upanishads, and left a permanent impress on the Brahmin mind.

    IV. PANTHEISTIC BRAHMINISM

    The marked monotheistic tendency in the later Vedic hymns had made itself more and more keenly felt in the higher Brahmin circles till it gave rise to a new deity, a creation of Brahmin priests. This was Prabjapati, lord of creatures, omnipotent and supreme, later known as Brahmá, the personal creator of all things. But in thus looking up to a supreme lord and creator, they were far removed from Christian monotheism. The gods of the ancient pantheon were not repudiated, but were worshiped still as the various manifestations of Brahmá. It was an axiom then, as it has been ever since with the Hindu mind, that creation out of nothing is impossible. Another Brahmin principle is that every form of conscious individuality, whether human or Divine, implies a union of spirit and matter. And so, outside the small school of thinkers who held matter to be eternal, those who stood for the supreme personal god explained the world of visible things and invisible gods as the emanations of Brahmá. They arrived at a personal pantheism. But speculation did not end here. To the prevailing school of dreamy Brahmin ascetics, whose teachings are found in the Upanishads, the ultimate source of all things was not the personal Brahmá, but the formless, characterless, unconscious spirit known at Atman (self), or, more commonly Brahmâ. (Brahmâ is neuter, whereas Brahmá, personal god, is masculine.) The heavens and the earth, men and gods, even the personal deity, Brahmá, were but transitory emanations of Brahmâ, destined in time to lose their individuality and be absorbed into the great, all-pervading, impersonal spirit. The manifold external world thus had no real existence. It was Maya, illusion. Brahmâ alone existed. It alone was eternal, imperishable.

    This impersonal pantheism of the Brahmin ascetics led to a new conception of the end of man and of the way of salvation. The old way was to escape rebirths and their attendant misery by storing up merits of good deeds so as to obtain an eternal life of conscious bliss in heaven. This was a mistake. For so long as man was ignorant of his identity with Brahmá and did not see that his true end consisted in being absorbed into the impersonal all-god from which he sprang; so long as he set his heart on a merely personal existence, no amount of good works would secure his freedom from rebirth. By virtue of his good deeds he would, indeed, mount to heaven, perhaps win a place among the gods. but after a while his store of merits would give out like oil in a lamp, and he would have to return once more to life to taste in a new birth the bitterness of earthly existence. The only way to escape this misery was through the saving recognition of one's identity with Brahmâ. As so as one could say from conviction, "I am Brahmâ," the bonds were broken that held him fast to the illusion of personal immortality and consequently to rebirth. Thus, cultivating, by a mortified life, freedom form all desires, man spent his years in peaceful contemplation till death put an end to the seeming duality and he was absorbed in Brahmâ like a raindrop in the ocean.

    V. EARLY HINDUISM

    The pantheistic scheme of salvation just described, generally known as the Vedanta teaching, found great favor with the Brahmins and has been maintained as orthodox Brahmin doctrine down to the present day. But it made little progress outside the Brahmin caste. The mass of the people had little interest in an impersonal Brahmâ who was incapable of hearing their prayers, nor had they any relish for a final end which meant the loss forever of conscious existence. And so, while the priestly ascetic was chiefly concerned with meditation on his identity with Brahmâ, and with the practice of mortification to secure freedom from all desires, the popular mind was still bent on prayer, sacrifices, and other good works in honor of the Vedic deities. But at the same time, their faith in the efficacy of these traditional gods could not be but weakened by the Brahmin teaching that freedom from rebirth was not to be obtained by acts of worship to personal deities who were powerless to secure even for themselves eternal conscious bliss. The result was popular development of special cults of two of the old gods, now raised to the position of supreme deity, and credited with the power to secure a lasting life of happiness in heaven.

    It was in the priestly conception of the supreme personal Brahmá that the popular mind found its model for its new deities. Brahmá was not a traditional god, and seems never to have been a favorite object of cult with the people. Even today, there are but two temples to Brahmá in all India. His subordination to the great impersonal all-god did not help to recommend him to the popular mind. Instead we find two of the traditional gods honored with special cults, which seem to have taken rise independently in two different parts of the country and, after acquiring a local celebrity, to have spread in rivalry over the whole land. One of these gods was the ancient storm-god Rudra, destructive in tempest and lightning, renewing life in the showers of rain, sweeping in lonely solitude over mountain and barren waste. As the destroyer, the reproducer, and the type of the lonely ascetic, this deity rapidly rose in popular esteem under the name of Siva, the blessed. The other was Vishnu, originally one of the forms of the son-god, a mild beneficent deity, whose genial rays brought gladness and growth to living creatures. His solar origin was lost sight of as he was raised to the position of supreme deity, but one of his symbols, the discus, points to his earlier character.

    These two rival cults seem to have arisen in the fourth or fifth century B.C. As in the case of the personal god Brahmá, neither the worship of Siva nor of Vishnu did away with the honoring of the traditional gods and goddesses, spirits, heroes, sacred rivers and mountains and trees, serpents, earth, heaven, sun, moon, and stars. The pantheism in which the Hindu mind is inevitably cast saw in all these things emanations of the supreme deity, Siva or Vishnu. In worshiping any or all, he was but honoring his supreme god. Each deity was credited with a special heaven, where his devotees would find after death an unending life of conscious happiness. The rapid rise in popular esteem of these cults, tending more and more to thrust Brahminism proper in to the background, was viewed by the priestly caste with no little concern. To quench these cults was out of the question; and so, in order to hold them iN at least nominal allegiance to Brahminism, the supreme god Brahmá was associated with Vishnu and Siva as a triad of equal and more or less interchangeable deities in which Brahmá held the office of creator, or rather evolver, Vishnu of preserver, and Siva of dissolver. This is the so-called Tri-murti (tri-form), or trinity, altogether different from the Christian concept of three eternally distinct persons in one Godhead , and hence offering no legitimate ground for suggesting a Hindu origin for the Christian doctrine.

    More remarkable was the intimate association of other new deities --the creations of the religious fancies of the common people--with the gods Siva and Vishnu. With Siva two popular gods came to be associated as sons. One was Ganesha, lord of troops and mischievous imps, who has remained ever since a favorite object of worship and is invoked at the beginning of every undertaking to ensure success. The other was Scanda, who seems in great measure to have replaced Indra as the god of battle. Beyond the doubtful derivation of the name Scanda from Alexander, there is nothing to indicate that either of these reputed sons of Siva had ever lived the lives of men. NoT so the gods that enlarged the sphere of Vishnu's influence. In keeping with Vishnu's position as god of the people, two of the legendary heroes of the remote past, Rama and Krishna, whom popular enthusiasm had raised to the rank of gods, came to be associated with him not as sons, but as his very incarnations. The incarnation of a god descending from heaven to assume a human of animal form as a sort of savior, and to achieve some signal benefit for mankind, is known as an avatar. The idea antedates Buddhism and, while applied to Siva and other gods, became above all a characteristic of Vishnu. Popular fancy loved to dwell on his avatar as a fish to save Manu from the devastating flood, as a tortoise to recover from the depths of the sea precious possessions for gods and men, as a boar to raise the submerged earth above the surface of the waters, but most of all as the god-men Rama and Krishna, each of whom delivered the people from the yoke of a tyrant. So popular became the cults of Rama and Krishna that Vishnu himself was largely lost sight of. In time the Vishnuites became divided into two rival schisms :the Ramaites, who worshiped Rama as supreme deity, and the Krishnaites, who gave this honor rather to Krishna, a division that has persisted down to the present day.

    The evidence of the early existence of these innovations on Brahmin belief is to be found in the two great epics known as the "Ramayana" and the "Mahabharata." Both are revered by Brahmins, Sivaites and Vishnuites alike, particularly the latter poem, which is held to be directly revealed. In the "Ramayana," which belongs to the period 400-300 B.C., the legendary tales of the trials and the triumphs of the hero Rama and his faithful wife Sita were worked into a highly artificial romanbtic poem, largely in the interests of Vishnu worship. The "Mahabharata," the work of many hands, was begun about the fifth century B.C. under Brahmin influence, and in the folowing centuries received additions and modifications, in the interests now of Vishnuism now of Sivaism, till it assumed its final shape in the sixth century of the Christian Era. It is a huge conglomeration of stirring adventure, popular legend, myth, and religious speculation. The myth centers chiefly around the many-sided struggle for supremacy between the evil tyrants of the land and the hero Arjuna, aided by his four brothers. The role that Krishna plays is not an integral part of the story and seems to have been interpolated after the substance of the epic had been written. He is the charioteer of Arjuna and at the same time acts as his religious advisor. Of his numerous religious instructions, the most important is his metrical treatise known as the "Bhagavad-gita," the Song of the Blessed One, a writing that has exercised a profound influence on religious thought in India. It dates from the second or third century of the Christian era, being a poetic version of a late Upanishad, with its pantheistic doctrine so modified as to pass for a personal revelation of Krishna. While embodying the noblest features of Brahmin ethics, and insisting on the faithful performance of caste-duties, it proclaims Krishna to be the superior personal all-god who, by the bestowal of special grace helps on his votaries to the attainment of eternal bliss. As an important means to this end, it inculcates the virtue of Bhakti, that is a loving devotion to the deity, analogous to the Christian virtue of charity.

    Unhappily for the later development of Vishnuism, the Krishna of the "Bhagavad-gita" was not the popular conception. Like most legendary heroes of folk-lore, his character was in keeping with the crude morals of the primitive age that first sounded his praises. The narrative portions of the epic show him to have been sly and unscrupulous, guilty in word and deed of acts which the higher Brahmin conscience would reprove. But it is in the fuller legendary story of his life as given in the so-called "Hari-vansa," a later supplement to the epic, and also in some of the Puranas of the ninth and tenth centuries of our era, that the character of the popular Krishna appears in its true light. Here we learn that Krishna was one of eight sons of noble birth, whom a Herod-like tyrant was bent on destroying. The infant god was saved from the wicked designs of the king by being secretly substituted for a herdsman's babe. Krishna grew up among the simple country-people, performing prodigies of valor, and engaging in many amorous adventures with the Gopis, the wives and daughters of the herdsmen. Eight of these were his favorites, but one he loved best of all, Radha. Krishna finally succeeded in killing the king, and brought peace to the kingdom.

    Between this deified Hindu Hercules and Our Divine Lord, there is no ground for comparison, one only for contrast. That the idea of incarnate deity should be found in pre-Christian Hindu thought is not so remarkable when we consider that it answers to the yearning of the human heart for union with God. But what is at first sight astonishing is to find in the religious writings subsequent to the "Mahabharata" legendary tales of Krishna that are almost identical with the stories of Christ in the canonical and apocryphal Gospels. From the birth of Krishna in a stable, and his adoration by shepherds and magi, the leader is led on through a series of events the exact counterparts of those related of Our Divine Lord. Writers hostile to Christianity seized on this chain or resemblances, too close to be mere coincidence, in order to convict the Gospel writers of plagiarism from Hindu originals. But the very opposite resulted. All Indianists of authority are agreed that these Krishna legends are not earlier than the seventh century of the Christian Era, and must have been borrowed from Christian sources.

    VI. LATER, OR SECTARIAN HINDUISM

    The steady weakening of Brahmin influence, in consequence of the successive waves of foreign conquest, made it possible for the religious preferences of the huge, heterogeneous population of India to assert themselves more strongly. Both Sivaism and Vishnuism departed more and more strongly from traditional Brahminism, and assumed a decidedly sectarian character towards the older religion and also towards each other. With this weakening of Brahmin influence they absorbed the grosser elements of low-grade popular worship, and became abused by the accretion of immoral rites and groveling superstitions. While, on the one hand, the practice of asceticism was pushed to its utmost extremes of fanaticism, on the other the doctrine of bhakti was perverted into a system of gross sexual indulgence, for which the amours of Krishna and the Gopis served as the model and sanction. The Brahmin-caste distinctions were broken down, and an equality of all men and women was asserted, at least during the ceremonies of public worship. The Brahmin rites were in great measure replaced by others particular to each cult and held to be all-sufficient for salvation. Everywhere splendid temples arose to Siva, Vishnu, and his two human avatars ; idols and phallic symbols innumerable filled the land; and each rival cult lauded its own special deity as supreme, subordinating all others to it, and looking down with more or less contempt on forms of worship other than its own. One factor which contributed strongly to the degradation of these sectarian forms of religion was the veneration of the Sakti , or female side, of these deities. Popular theology would not rest until each deity was supplemented with a wife, in whom the active nature of the god was personified. With Brahmá was associated an ancient river-goddess, Sarasvati, honored as the patroness of letters. Vishnu's Sakti was Sri, or Lakshmi, patroness of good fortune. With Siva the destroyer there was associated the terrible, blood-thirsty, magical goddess Durga, or Kali, formerly delighting in human victims, now appeased with sacrifices of goats and buffaloes. Rama had his consort, Sita, and Krishna his favorite Gopi, Radha. The worship of these Saktis, particularly Siva's consort Durga-Kali, degenerated into shocking orgies of drunkenness and sexual immorality, which even today are the crying scandal of Hinduism.

    Such were the sectarian developments of post-epic times. They found expression in the inferior, quasi-historic Puranas, of the seventh and following centuries, and in the Tantras, which are more modern still, and teach the symbolic magic of Sakti-worship. Neither of these classes of writings is regarded by orthodox Brahmin as canonical.

    Of the two hundred million adherents of Hinduism today, only a few hundred thousand can be called orthodox Brahmin worshipers. Sivaism and Vishnuism have overshadowed the older religion like a rank growth of poisonous weeds. In their main outlines, these two great sects have retained the characteristics of the Purana period, but differences of view on minor points have lead to a multiplication of schismatic divisions, especially among Vishnu-worshipers. Both sects, which today are fairly tolerant of each other, have a number of devotional and liturgical practices that are alike in kind, though marked by differences in sectarian belief. Both Sivaite and Vishnuite lay great stress on the frequent recital of the numerous names of their respective supreme gods, and to facilitate this piety, each carries with him, often about his neck, a rosary, varying in material and the number of beads according as it is dedicated to Siva or Vishnu. Each sect has an initiation rites, which is conferred upon the young at the age of reason and in which the officiating guru puts a rosary around the neck of the applicant and whispers into his ear the mantra , or sacred motto, the recital of which serves as a profession of faith and is of daily obligation. Another rite common to both is that in which the presiding officer brands on the body of the worshiper with hot metal stamps the sacred symbols of his sect, the trident and the linga of Siva, or the discus and conch-shell (or lotus) of Vishnu.

    But in their highest act of ceremonial worship the two sects differ radically. The Sivaite takes his white stone pebble, the conventional phallic emblem which he always carries with him, and while muttering his mantra , sprinkles it with water and applies to it cooling Bilva leaves. Owing to its simplicity and cheapness, this rite is much in vogue with the ignorant lower classes. The Vishnu rite is less degrading but more childish. It consists of an elaborate and costly worship of the temple image of Vishnu, or more often of Rama, or Krishna. The image is daily awakened, undressed, bathed, decked with rich robes and adorned with necklaces, bracelets, crowns of gold and precious stones, fed with choice kinds of food, honored with flowers, lights, an incense, and then entertained with vocal and instrumental music, and with dancing by the temple girls of doubtful virtue, consecrated to this service. As Krishna is generally worshiped in the form of a child-image, his diversion consists largely in the swinging of his image, the spinning of tops, and other games dear to the heart of the child.

    Siva, too, has his temples, vying in magnificence with those of Vishnu, but in all these, the holy place is the linga-shrine, and the temple worship consists in the application of water and Bilva leaves to the stone symbol. The interior walls of these, and of Vishnu temples as well, are covered with shocking representations of sexual passion. and yet, strange to say, these forms of religion, while giving a sanction to the indulgence of the lowest passions, at the same time inspire other devotees to the practice of the severest asceticism. They wander about in lonely silence, naked and filthy, their hair matted from long neglect, their bodies reduced to mere skin and bones by dint of incredible fasts. They will stand motionless for hours under the blazing son, with their emaciated arms uplifted toward heaven. Some go about with face ever turned upwards. Some are known to have kept their fists tightly clenched until their growing nails protruded through the backs of their hands.

    VII. REFORM MOVEMENTS

    Enlightened Hindus of modern times have made attempts to institute a reform in Hinduism by rejecting all idolatrous and immoral rites, and by setting up a purely monotheistic form of worship. Of these, the earliest and most noted was the so-called Brahmá Samaj (Congregation of Brahmá), founded in Calcutta in 1828, by the learned Rammohun Roy. He tried to combine a Unitarian form of Christianity with the Brahmin conception of the supreme personal God. After his death in 1833, differences of view as to the nature of God, the authority of the Vedas, and the obligation of caste-customs caused the society to split up into a number of small congregations. At present there are more than a hundred independent theistic congregations in India. Some, like the Arya Samaj, rest on the sole authority of the Vedas. Others are eclectic, even to the extent of choosing for devotional reading in their public services passages from the Avesta, Koran, and Bible. Few of them are altogether free from the taint of pantheism, and, being more like clubs for intellectual and moral improvement than for ritualistic forms of worship, they make but little progress in the way of conversion.

    In short, Brahminism cannot succeed in reforming itself. Its earlier sacred books are steeped in the polytheism out of which it grew, and the pantheistic view of the world, to which it was afterwards committed, has been like a dead weight dragging it hopelessly into the stagnant pool of superstition, pessimism, and immorality. In virtue of its pantheistic attitude, there is no form of religion, high or low, that cannot be tolerated and incorporated into its capacious system. The indifference of Brahminism to the gross buses of Hinduism is, after all, but a reflex of the indifference of its supreme god. Sin loses most of its hideousness when it can be traced ultimately to the great impersonal Brahmâ. There is but one form of religion that has any prospect of reforming the religious life of India, and that is the Roman Catholic. For the shadow, pantheistic deity it can set form the One, Eternal, Personal Spirit and creator; for the crude Tri-murti, the sublime Trinity; and for the coarse and degrading avatars of Vishnu, the incarnation of the Son of God. It can replace the idolatrous and immoral Hindu rites with its own imposing liturgy, and substitute the Cross for the abominable linga.

    Brahminism, being a natural religion and a privilege of Hindu birth, has never made any concerted attempt at proselytizing in foreign lands. But some years ago steps were taken by a few individuals of England to foist upon English-speaking people a new religious system embodying the pantheistic belief and magical superstition of the Vedanta school of Brahminism. This new system, known as Theosophy, was to embrace within its fold members of every form of religion, reconciling all differences of creed in the pantheistic view that all deities, high and low, are but transitory emanations of the supreme, incomprehensible Reality, devotion to which was the highest religion. This quasi-cult, which also made pretensions to the exercise of magical powers, soon met the ridicule and obloquy it deserved. It is practically obsolete at the present day.

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    A Portuguese exegete and preacher, born at Lisbon in 1543; died at Coimbra in 1615. In 1558 he ...

    Barral, Louis-Mathias, Count de

    Archbishop of Tours, France, born 26 April, 1746, at Grenoble ; died 7 June, 1816, at Paris. ...

    Barrande, Joachim

    French palæ ontologist, b. at Sangues (Haute-Loire), 11 August, 1799; d. at Frohsdorff, ...

    Barrasa, Jacinto

    ( Or Barraza). Born at Lima, Peru, early in the seventeenth century; died there, 22 Nov., ...

    Barre, Antoine-Lefebvre, Sieur de la

    Tenth French Governor-General of Canada, b. at Paris in 1622; d. in 1690. De la Barre was made ...

    Barreira, Balthasar

    A Portuguese Jesuit missionary, born at Lisbon, 1531; died 1612, on the mission of Angola, ...

    Barrientos, Lopez de

    A Spanish Dominican bishop, patriot, and diplomat, b. at Medina del Campo, Kingdom of Leon ...

    Barron, Edward

    A missionary, born at Waterford, Ireland, 1801; died at Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. 12 Sept., ...

    Barros, João de

    Historian, b. in Portugal, 1496; d. 20 October, 1570. Of his early youth little is known. In ...

    Barrow, John

    Priest, descended from a family of stanch Catholic yeomen, b. 13 May, 1735, at ...

    Barrow, William, Venerable

    ( Alias Waring, alias Harcourt). An English Jesuit martyr, born in Lancashire, in 1609, ...

    Barruel, Augustin

    Controversialist and publicist, born at Villeneuve de Berg (Ardeche); 2 October, 1741; died at ...

    Barry, John

    Captain in the United States navy, b. at Tacumshane, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1745; d. at ...

    Barry, John

    Second Bishop of Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A.; b. 1799 in the parish of Oylegate, Co. Wexford, ...

    Barry, Patrick

    Horticulturist, b. near Belfast, Ireland, May, 1816; d. at Rochester, New York, U.S.A., 23 June, ...

    Barry, Paul de

    Born at Leucate in 1587; died at Avignon, 28 July, 1661. He was a member of the Society of ...

    Barthélemy, Jean-Jacques

    A celebrated French numismatologist and writer, b. at Cassis (Provence), 1716; d. in Paris, ...

    Barthel, Johann Caspar

    A German canonist, b. 10 June, 1697, at Kitzingen, Bavaria ; d. 8 April, 1771. He was the son of ...

    Bartholi, Francesco della Rossa

    Friar Minor and chronicler, died c. 1372. Little is known of his life save what may be gathered ...

    Bartholomaeus Anglicus

    Franciscan encyclopedist of the thirteenth century. An Englishman by birth he had been professor ...

    Bartholomew

    "APOSTLE OF ARMENIA." Also called Bartholomaeus Parvus (the Little), born at Bologna, year not ...

    Bartholomew of Braga, Venerable

    Born at Verdela, near Lisbon, May, 1514; died at Viana, 16 July, 1590. Bartholomew Fernandez, ...

    Bartholomew of Braganca

    Born about 1200; died 1 July, 1271. He made his studies at Padua, receiving there the habit of the ...

    Bartholomew of Brescia

    An Italian canonist, b. probably in the second half of the twelfth century at Brescia ; d. ...

    Bartholomew of Edessa

    Syrian apologist and polemical writers. The place of his birth is not known, it was probably ...

    Bartholomew of Lucca

    (Or de Fiadonibus, sometimes abbreviated Ptolomeo or Tolomeo) Historian, b. about 1227 at Lucca ...

    Bartholomew of Pisa

    Friar Minor and chronicler. The fact that there were two Friars Minor named Bartholomew living ...

    Bartholomew of San Concordio

    (Also of Pisa ) Canonist, and man of letters, b. at San Concordia, near Pisa about ...

    Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Saint

    This massacre of which Protestants were the victims occurred in Paris on 24 August, 1572 (the ...

    Bartholomew, Saint

    One of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists ( Matthew 10:3 ; Mark ...

    Bartholomites

    The name given to Armenian monks who sought refuge in Italy after the invasion of their country ...

    Bartoli, Daniello

    An historian and littérateur , born at Ferrara, 12 February, 1608; died in Rome, 12 ...

    Bartolocci, Giulio

    A Cistercian monk and learned Hebrew scholar, b. at Celleno in the old kingdom of Naples, 1 ...

    Bartolommeo, Fra

    An Italian painter and a member of the Dominican Order, b. in 1475 in the territory belonging ...

    Bartolozzi, Francesco

    An engraver, etcher, and painter, b. at Florence, 1727; d. at Lisbon, 1815. His father was a ...

    Barton, Elizabeth

    Born probably in 1506; executed at Tyburn, 20 April, 1534; called the "Nun of Kent." The career of ...

    Baruch

    ( Hebrew Barûkh , blessed, Benedict; Septuagint Barouch ). The disciple of ...

    Barzynski, Vincent

    Born at Sulislawice, Sandomir, Russian Poland, 1838; d. at Chicago, 2 May, 1899. The son of ...

    Bas-relief

    A sculpture executed upon and attached to a flat surface. The usual impression produced by an ...

    Basil of Amasea

    (Basileus or Basilius) Bishop and Martyr. In St. Jerome's Latin version of the Chronicle of ...

    Basil of Seleucia

    Bishop and ecclesiastical writer, date of birth uncertain; d., probably, between 458 and 460; ...

    Basil the Great, Saint

    Bishop of Caesarea, and one of the most distinguished Doctors of the Church. Born probably 329; ...

    Basil, Liturgy of Saint

    Several Oriental liturgies, or at least several anaphoras, have been attributed to the great ...

    Basil, Rule of Saint

    I. Under the name of Basilians are included all the religious who follow the Rule of St. Basil. ...

    Basilians

    (Priests of the Community of St. Basil) During the French Revolution, Mgr. D'Aviau, the last ...

    Basilica

    ( Stoa basilike , or basileios ). The term basilica can indicate either the ...

    Basilides

    The earliest of the Alexandrian Gnostics ; he was a native of Alexandria and flourished under ...

    Basilides

    Martyrs bearing the name of Basilides are mentioned in the old martyrologies on three different ...

    Basilinopolis

    A titular see of Asia Minor. Originally a small village in Bithynia Prima, it obtained the rank ...

    Basilissa

    Various female martyrs, attributed to different localities yet bearing the common name of ...

    Basins, Ecclesiastical Use of

    Basins were extensively used in the Jewish Ritual and were in early use in Christian churches ...

    Basle, Council of

    Convoked by Pope Martin V in 1431, closed at Lausanne in 1449. The position of the pope as the ...

    Basle-Lugano

    Basle-Lugano is the largest Catholic diocese of Switzerland. It is composed of the two Dioceses ...

    Bassein

    A town situated twenty-nine miles north of Bombay in British India, and now of much historic ...

    Bassett, Joshua

    Convert and controversialist, Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, England, under James II, ...

    Bassi, Matthew of

    Founder and first Superior-General of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins, the principal branch ...

    Bassianus

    Bishop of Ephesus (444-448). As a priest of Ephesus the charities of Bassianus so won the ...

    Bastiat, Claude-Frédéric

    A French economist, b. at Mugron, a small city in the Department of Landes, 29 June, 1801; d. at ...

    Baston, Guillaume-André-Réné

    A French theologian, b. at Rouen, 29 November, 1741; d. at Saint-Laurent, 26 September, 1825. He ...

    Basutoland

    (Prefecture Apostolic of Basutoland) Basutoland, a mountainous district of South Africa, is ...

    Batavia

    (Vicariate Apostolic of Batavia) When the Portuguese took possession of the island of Java, of ...

    Bath Abbey

    The first religious house in Bath was a monastery of nuns founded by King Osric, A.D. 676. This ...

    Bath and Wells

    B ADONIENSIS ET W ELLENSIS (Bath, Aquae Solis, Bathonia, Bathensis, Bathoniensis ; Wells, ...

    Bathe, William

    Writer on music and education, b. at Dublin, Ireland, 2 April, 1564; d. at Madrid, 17 June, ...

    Bathilde, Saint

    (Or BATILDE). Wife of Clovis II, King of France, time and place of birth unknown; d. ...

    Bathurst

    Diocese situated in New South Wales, Australia, in the ecclesiastical Province of Sydney, ...

    Battaglini, Marco

    A historian of the councils, b. at Rimini, Italy, 25 March, 1645; d. at Cesena, 19 September, ...

    Batteux, Charles

    Abbé and writer on philosophy and æsthetics, b. near Vouziers, France, 6 May, ...

    Battista, Giovanni Giuda Giona

    (His original name was Jehuda Jona Ben-Isaac). Born of Jewish parents at Safed in Galilee, ...

    Battle Abbey

    Founded by William the Conqueror on the site of the Battle of Senlae or Hastings (1066), nearly ...

    Bauberger, Wilhelm

    German physician, novelist, and poet, b. at Thannhausen in Swabian Bavaria, 3 March, 1809; d. at ...

    Baudeau, Nicolas

    Regular Canon and economist, b. at Amboise, France, 25 April, 1730; d. in 1792. He became a ...

    Baudouin, Michel

    Italian missionary, born in Quebec, Canada, 8 March, 1692, entered the Society of Jesus in ...

    Baumgartner, Alexander

    Poet and writer on the history of literature, b. at St. Gall, Switzerland, 27 June, 1841; d. at ...

    Baumgartner, Gallus Jacob

    A Swiss statesman, b. 18 October, 1797, at Altstätten, Switzerland ; d. 12 July, 1869, at ...

    Baunard, Louis

    Educator, b. at Bellgarde (Loiret), France, in 1828. He was one of the clergy of ...

    Bauny, Etienne

    Theologian, b. in 1564 at Mouzon, Ardennes, France ; d. 3 December, 1649, at Saint Pol de ...

    Bausset, Louis-François de

    A French cardinal, writers, and statesman, b. in 1748 at Pondichery, where his father held an ...

    Bautain, Louis-Eugène-Marie

    Philosopher and theologian, b. at Paris, 17 February, 1796; d. there, 15 October, 1867. After a ...

    Bautista, Fray Juan

    Born at Mexico, 1555; date of death unknown, but probably between 1606 and 1615. He joined the ...

    Bavaria, The Kingdom of

    I. POLITICAL CONSTITUTION, AREA, POPULATION The present Kingdom of Bavaria -- named after the ...

    Bawden, William

    (Or Baldwin). An English Jesuit, born at Cornwall, 1563; died at St.-Omer, 28 September, ...

    Bayer, Adèle

    ( née Parmentier) Eldest daughter of Andrew Parmentier, b. in Belgium, 4 July, 1814, ...

    Bayeu y Subias, Francisco

    Born at Saragossa, 9 March, 1734; died Madrid, 4 August, 1795, a distinguished religious and ...

    Bayeux

    DIOCESE OF BAYEUX (B AJOCÆ ). Coextensive with the Department of Calvados; suffragan to ...

    Bayley, James Roosevelt

    First Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.; eighth Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland ; b. ...

    Baylon, Saint Pascal

    Born at Torre-Hermosa, in the Kingdom of Aragon, 24 May, 1540, on the Feast of Pentecost, called ...

    Bayma, Joseph

    Jesuit mathematician and scientist, b. in Piedmont, Italy, 9 November, 1816; d. at Santa Clara, ...

    Bayonne

    (Lapurdum) The Diocese of Bayonne comprises the Department of Basses-Pyrenees. Reorganized in ...

    Baysio, Guido de

    (Baisio) An Italian canonist, b. about the middle of the thirteenth century of a noble ...

    Bazin, John Stephen

    Third Bishop of Vincennes (now the Diocese of Indianapolis ), b. at Duerne, near Lyons, ...

    × Close

    Be 246

    Beads, Use of, at Prayers

    Beads variously strung together, according to the kind, order, and number of prayers in certain ...

    Beards

    Among the Jews, as among most Oriental peoples, the beard was especially cherished as a symbol of ...

    Beardsley, Aubrey

    English artist, born at Brighton, 1872; died at Mentone, France, 16 March, 1898. It has been ...

    Beatific Vision

    The immediate knowledge of God which the angelic spirits and the souls of the just enjoy in ...

    Beatification and Canonization

    HISTORY According to some writers the origin of beatification and canonization in the Catholic ...

    Beatitudes, Mount of

    This name is given to the place where Our Saviour delivered the "Sermon on the Mount", beginning ...

    Beatitudes, The Eight

    The solemn blessings ( beatitudines, benedictiones ) which mark the opening of the Sermon on ...

    Beaton, David

    (Or Bethune) Cardinal, Archbishop of St. Andrews, b. 1494; d. 29 May, 1546. He was of an ...

    Beaton, James

    (Or Bethune) A Scottish Archbishop ; b. c. 1473; d. at St. Andrews, 1539, was the sixth and ...

    Beaton, James

    (Or Bethune) Archbishop of Glasgow, b. 1517; d. 24 April, 1603; the son of James Beaton of ...

    Beatrix

    (Or B EATRICE ). The name Beatrix has been borne by a certain number of holy persons, but no ...

    Beaufort, Lady Margaret

    Countess of Richmond and Derby, b. 1443; d. 1509, daughter and heiress of John Beaufort, first ...

    Beaulieu Abbey

    ( Abbatia quae vocitatur Bellus Locus ) Beaulieu Abbey was a Cistercian house in ...

    Beaune, Renaud de

    A French Bishop, b. in 1527, at Tours ; d. 1606 in Paris. Before entering the ecclesiastical ...

    Beauregard, Jean-Nicolas

    Celebrated French pulpit orator, born at Metz in Lorraine, 4 December, 1733; died at the ...

    Beauregard, Pierre Gustave Toutant

    Soldier, b. near New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. 28 May, 1818; d. there 20 February, 1893. He ...

    Beauvais

    (Bellovacum) A suffragan diocese of the archiepiscopal See of Reims. The Dioceses of ...

    Beauvais, Gilles-François-de

    Jesuit writer and preacher, born at Mans, France, 7 July, 1693; died probably at Paris about ...

    Beauvais, Jean-Baptiste-Charles-Marie de

    A French bishop, b. at Cherbourg, 17 October, 1731; d. at Paris, 4 April, 1790. The sermons he ...

    Bec, Abbey of

    The Benedictine Abbey of Bec, or Le Bec, in Normandy, was founded in the earlier part of the ...

    Becan, Martin

    (Verbreck, van der Breck). Controversialist, born at Hilvarenbeck, Brabant, Holland, 6 ...

    Beccaria, Giovanni Battista

    A physicist, born at Mondovì, 3 October, 1716; died at Turin, 27 May, 1781. At the age ...

    Beccus, John

    Patriarch of Constantinople in the second half of the thirteenth century, one of the few Greek ...

    Beche, Blessed John

    ( Alias THOMAS MARSHALL). English Benedictine abbot and martyr ; date of birth unknown; ...

    Beckedorff, George Philipp Ludolf von

    Born at Hanover, 14 April, 1778; died at Grünhof, 27 February, 1858. He first studied ...

    Becker, Thomas Andrew

    Sixth Bishop of Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. b. at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, 20 December, 1832; ...

    Becket, Saint Thomas

    Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury, born at London, 21 December, 1118 (?); died at Canterbury, 29 ...

    Beckx, Pierre-Jean

    Twenty-second General of the Society of Jesus , born at Sichem, Belgium, 8 February, 1795; died ...

    Becquerel, Antoine-César

    French physicist, b. at Chatillon-sur-Loing (Loiret), 7 March, 1788; d. at Paris, 18 January, ...

    Bede

    (Or B EAD , whence Bedehouse, Bedesman, Bederoll). The old English word bede (Anglo-Saxon ...

    Bede, The Venerable

    Historian and Doctor of the Church , born 672 or 673; died 735. In the last chapter of his great ...

    Bedford, Gunning S.

    Medical writer and teacher, b. at Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. of a distinguished family in ...

    Bedford, Henry

    Writer, educator, b. in London 1 October, 1816; d. in Dublin, Ireland, 21 May, 1903. With the ...

    Bedingfeld, Frances

    ( alias Long) Superioress of the English Institute of Mary , b. 1616 of a gentle family ...

    Bedingfeld, Henry, Sir

    Knight; b. 1509; d. 1583. He was the grandson of Sir Edmund Bedingfeld who had served in the Wars ...

    Bedini, Cajetan

    Italian Cardinal and diplomat; born at Sinigaglia, Italy, 15 May, 1806; died at Viterbo, 6 ...

    Bedlam

    (An English abbreviation of BETHLEHEM). A London hospital originally intended for the poor ...

    Beelen, Ian Theodor

    Exegete and Orientalist, b. at Amsterdam, 12 January 1807; d. at Louvain, 31 March 1884. After a ...

    Beelphegor

    ( Or BAALPEOR.) Beelphegor was the baal of Mt. Phogor, or Peor, a mountain of Moab. ...

    Beelzebub

    1. Old Testament Beelzebub, or Baalzebûb, the Philistine god of Accaron (Ekron), ...

    Beesley, George, Venerable

    (Also spelled Bisley). Martyr, born at The Hill in Goosnargh parish, Lancaster, England, of an ...

    Beethoven, Ludwig van

    Born at Bonn, probably on 16 December, 1770; died at Vienna, 26 March, 1827. The date of his ...

    Begnudelli-Basso, Francesco Antonio

    A canonist who lived at the end of the seventeenth century; died at Freising, 9 October, 1713. ...

    Beguines & Beghards

    The etymology of the names Beghard and Beguine can only be conjectured. Most likely they are ...

    Behaim, Albert von

    (Known also as Albertus Bohemus) Born c. 1180, probably at Boheiming, in the Diocese of Passau ...

    Behaim, Martin

    (Martinus de Bohemia ) A German cartographer and navigator, b. at Nuremberg in 1459; d. at ...

    Beirut

    In Phoenicia, a titular Latin see, and the residential see of several prelates of Oriental ...

    Beja

    Diocese in Portugal, suffragan of Evora. It was created 10 June, 1770, and numbers 175,000 ...

    Belasyse, John

    B ARON B ELASYSE Born about 1614; died 1689, a loyal Catholic English nobleman, second son ...

    Belchiam, Venerable Thomas

    A Franciscan martyr in the reign of Henry VIII, date of birth uncertain; d. 3 August 1537. He ...

    Belem do Pará, Archdiocese of

    In South America, formerly (after 4 March, 1719) a suffragan diocese of Bahia (San Salvador), ...

    Belfry

    The upper part of the tower or steeple of a church, for the reception of the bells ; or a ...

    Belgium

    I. THE NAPOLEONIC ERA The victory of Fleurus, gained by the French army over the Austrian forces, ...

    Belgrade and Smederevo

    Titular (united) sees of Servia. The history of these sees is as confused as their present plight ...

    Belgrado, Giacopo

    Italian Jesuit and natural philosopher, born at Udine, 16 November, 1704; died in the same ...

    Belial

    Found frequently as a personal name in the Vulgate and various English translations of the ...

    Belief

    ( be and lyian , to hold dear). That state of the mind by which it assents to ...

    Belin, Albert (Jean)

    French prelate and writer, b. in Besançon early in the seventeenth century; d. 29 April, ...

    Bell, Altar

    A small bell placed on the credence or in some other convenient place on the epistle side ...

    Bell, Angelus

    The triple Hail Mary recited in the evening, which is the origin of our modern Angelus, was ...

    Bell, Arthur, Venerable

    ( alias F RANCIS ) Friar Minor and English martyr, b. at Temple-Broughton near Worcester, 13 ...

    Bell, James

    Priest and martyr, b. at Warrington in Lancashire, England, probably about 1520; d. 20 April, ...

    Bellamy, Jerome

    Jerome Bellamy of Uxenden Hall, near London, England, d. 1586, a member of an old Catholic family ...

    Bellarini, John

    Barnabite theologian, b. at Castelnuovo, Italy, in 1552; d. at Milan, 27 August, 1630. He was ...

    Bellarmine, St. Robert

    (Also, "Bellarmino"). A distinguished Jesuit theologian, writer, and cardinal, born at ...

    Bellasius, Edward

    Serjeant-at-Law, b. 14 October, 1800; d. 24 January, 1873; was one of the most able and respected ...

    Bellecius, Aloysius

    Jesuit ascetic author, born at Freiburg im Breisgau, 15 February, 1704; died at Augsburg, 27 ...

    Bellenden, John

    (Ballenden, or Ballantyne) A Scotch poet, b. at Haddington or Berwick in the latter part of ...

    Belleville

    The Diocese of Belleville comprises that part of southern Illinois, U.S.A. which lies south of ...

    Belley

    Diocese of Belley (Bellicium) Coextensive with the civil department of Ain and a suffragan of ...

    Bellings, Sir Richard

    (Or Belling) Irish historian, b. near Dublin early in the seventeenth century; d. in 1677. He ...

    Bellini

    Giacomo (Jacopo) Bellini Father of Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, b. about 1400; d. 1471. ...

    Belloy, Jean-Baptiste de

    Cardinal - Archbishop of Paris, b. 9 October, 1709, at Morangles in the Diocese of Beauvais ; ...

    Bells

    The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Origin; II. Benediction; III. Uses; IV. ...

    Belluno-Feltre

    (Diocese of Belluno-Feltre). Belluno, which was anciently called Bellunum, the metropolis of ...

    Belmont, François Vachon de

    Fifth superior of the Sulpicians at Montreal, b. at Grenoble, France, 1645; d. 1732. He went ...

    Belshazzar

    (Or, as found in the Septuagint Baltasár .) Baltasar is the Greek and Latin name for ...

    Belson, Venerable Thomas

    Martyr, b. at Brill in Oxfordshire, England, dated uncertain; d. 5 July 1589. He was at the ...

    Belsunce de Castelmoron, Henri François Xavier de

    Bishop of Marseilles, b. 1671 at the Château de la Force, in Périgord; d. 1755 at ...

    Belzoni, Giambattista

    An Egyptian explorer, b. at Padua, Italy, in 1778; d. Gato, Africa, 3 Dec., 1823. His father ...

    Bembo, Pietro

    A famous Italian scholar and Cardinal, b. of a noble family at Venice, 20 May, 1470; d. at ...

    Benadir

    Prefecture Apostolic in Africa ; lies between 8° and 12° N. lat., and between 42° ...

    Benavides, Fray Alonzo

    (Benavidez) Archbishop of Goa in the Portuguese Indies. Although a prelate of high rank, the ...

    Bench, Communion

    An adaptation of the sanctuary guard or altar-rail. Standing in front of this barrier, in a ...

    Benda

    A titular see of Albania. Its history is closely connected with that of the Sees of Narenta and ...

    Benedict Biscop, Saint

    An English monastic founder, born of a noble Anglo-Saxon family, c. 628; died 12 January 690. ...

    Benedict I, Pope

    Of the first Pontiff who bore the name of Benedict practically nothing is known. The date of his ...

    Benedict II, Saint, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; died 8 May, 685; was a Roman, and the son of John. Sent when young to the ...

    Benedict III, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; d. 17 April, 858. The election of the learned and ascetic Roman, Benedict, ...

    Benedict IV, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; died in the summer of 903. The Popes Benedict from the fourth to the ...

    Benedict IX, Pope

    The nephew of his two immediate predecessors, Benedict IX was a man of very different character ...

    Benedict Joseph Labre, Saint

    Born 26 March, 1748 at Amettes in the Diocese of Boulogne, France ; died in Rome 16 April, 1783. ...

    Benedict Levita

    Benedict Levita (of Mainz ), or Benedict the Deacon, is the name given to himself by the author ...

    Benedict of Aniane, Saint

    Born about 745-750; died at Cornelimünster, 11 February, 821. Benedict, originally known as ...

    Benedict of Nursia, Saint

    Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino , 543. The only ...

    Benedict of Peterborough

    Abbot and writer, place and date of birth unknown; d. 1193. He was educated at Oxford, and was ...

    Benedict of San Philadelphio, Saint

    (Or B ENEDICT THE M OOR ) Born at San Philadelphio or San Fradello, a village of the ...

    Benedict V, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; died 4 July, 965. Benedict V was elected pope (May, 964) in very ...

    Benedict VI, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; d. August, 974 (see Ricobaldi of Ferrara, Compil. Chron., in Rer. Ital. SS. ...

    Benedict VII, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; d. c. October, 983. Acting under the influence of Sicco (see BENEDICT VI ...

    Benedict VIII, Pope

    Date of birth unknown; d. 9 April, 1024. The first of the Tusculan popes, being the son of ...

    Benedict X

    The bearer of this name was an antipope in the days of Nicholas II, 1056-61.

    Benedict XI, Pope

    (Nicholas Boccasini) Born at Treviso, Italy, 1240; died at Perugia, 7 July, 1304. He entered ...

    Benedict XII, Pope

    (J ACQUES F OURNIER ) Third of the Avignon popes, b. at Saverdun in the province of ...

    Benedict XIII, Pope

    (PIETRO FRANCESCO ORSINI) Born 2 February, 1649; died 23 February, 1730. Being a son of ...

    Benedict XIV, Pope

    (P ROSPERO L ORENZO L AMBERTINI .) Son of Marcello Lambertini and Lucretia Bulgarini, b. ...

    Benedict, Medal of

    A medal, originally a cross, dedicated to the devotion in honour of St. Benedict. One ...

    Benedict, Rule of Saint

    This work holds the first place among monastic legislative codes, and was by far the most ...

    Benedictbeurn, Abbey of

    Situated in the Bavarian Alps, about thirty miles south of Munich. It was formerly in the ...

    Benedicti, Jean

    A Franciscan theologian of the sixteenth century belonging to the Observantine Province of ...

    Benedictine Order

    The Benedictine Order comprises monks living under the Rule of St. Benedict, and commonly known ...

    Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

    One of the most generally popular of Catholic services is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, ...

    Benedictional

    ( Benedictionale ). A book containing a collection of benedictions or blessings in use in ...

    Benedictus Polonus

    A medieval Friar Minor missionary and traveller (c. 1245) companion of Giovanni da Piancarpino, ...

    Benedictus, The

    The Benedictus, given in Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three great canticles in the opening ...

    Benefice

    ( Latin Beneficium , a benefit) Popularly the term benefice is often understood to denote ...

    Benefit of Clergy

    The exemption from the jurisdiction of the secular courts, which in England, in the Middle ...

    Benettis, Jeremiah

    Friar Minor Capuchin and historical writer, d. in 1774. He belonged to the Province of Piedmont ...

    Benevento, Archdiocese of

    (BENEVENTANA). Benevento, the ancient Beneventum, the principal city of the province of the ...

    Bengtsson, Jöns Oxenstjerna

    (JOANNES BENEDICTI). Archbishop of Upsala, Sweden, b. 1417; d. in 1467. He was a member of ...

    Bengy, Anatole de

    A martyr of the French Commune, b. at Bourges, 19 September, 1824; d. in Paris, 26 May, 1871. ...

    Benignus of Dijon, Saint

    Martyr honoured as the patron saint and first herald of Christianity of Dijon (Divio) an old ...

    Benignus, Saint

    Date of birth unknown; d. 467, son of Sesenen, an Irish chieftain in that part of Ireland which ...

    Benin

    (Vicariate Apostolic of the Coast of Benin. Also called Oræ Benini). Includes an ...

    Benjamin

    ( Hebrew binjamin , "son of the right hand"). (1) The youngest son of Jacob born of ...

    Benkert, Franz Georg

    German theologian and historical writer, b. 25 September, 1790, at Nordheim, near the mountain ...

    Benno II

    Bishop of Osnabrück, b. at Luningen in Swabia; d. 27 July, 1088, in the Benedictine ...

    Benoît, Michel

    Born at Autun (or Dijon ), France, 8 October, 1715; died at Peking, 23 October, 1774, a ...

    Benthamism

    Jeremy Bentham an English jurist and reformer, born at Houndsditch, London, 15 February, 1748; ...

    Bentivoglio, Family of

    Originally from the castle of that name in the neighbourhood of Bologna, Italy. They claimed ...

    Bentley, John Francis

    English architect, b. at Doncaster, Yorkshire, in 1839; d. in London, February, 1902. From early ...

    Bentney, William

    ( Alias Bennet). An English Jesuit priest born in Cheshire, 1609; died 30 October, 1692. He ...

    Benziger, Joseph Charles

    Founder of the Catholic publishing house that bears his name, b. at Einsiedeln, Switzerland, ...

    Benzoni, Girolamo

    Born at Milan about 1519. He went to America in 1541 and successively visited the Antilles and ...

    Berach, Saint

    Of Termonbarry, d. 595; a disciple of St. Kevin and a celebrated Irish saint, whose memory is ...

    Berard of Carbio, Saint

    (Or BERALDUS). Friar Minor and martyr ; d. 16 January, 1220. Of the noble family of ...

    Berardi, Carbo Sebastiano

    Canonist, b. at Oneglia, Italy, 26 August, 1719; d. 1768. Having studied theology at Savona ...

    Bercharius, Saint

    (BERERUS). Abbot of Hautvillers in Champagne, b. 636; d. 28 March, 696. Descended from a ...

    Bercheure, Pierre

    (BERCHOIRE, BERSUIRE). A learned French Benedictine, b. 1290 at St. Pierre du Chemin ...

    Berchmans, Saint John

    Born at Diest in Brabant, 13 March, 1599; died at Rome, 13 August, 1621. His parents watched ...

    Berchtold, Blessed

    (BERTHOLD). Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of Engelberg in Switzerland ; date of ...

    Berdini of Sarteano, Blessed Albert

    Franciscan Friar and missionary, born at Sarteano, in Tuscany, 1385; died at Milan, 15 August, ...

    Berengarius of Tours

    Born at Tours about 999; died on the island of St. Cosme, near that city, in 1088. Having ...

    Berenice

    A titular see of Egypt which was situated at the end of Major Syrtis where Bengazi stands ...

    Bergamo

    (Diocese of Bergamo). The city, called by the ancients Bergonum, is capital of the province of ...

    Bergen, Ancient See of

    (BERGA, BERGENSIS.) The diocese included the Provinces of Nordre and Sondre Bergenhus, and ...

    Bergier, Nicolas-Sylvestre

    French theologian, b. 31 December, 1715 at Darney in Lorraine ; d. at Versailles, 9 April, 1790. ...

    Berin, Saint

    Confessor, first Bishop of Dorchester (in what is now the County of Oxford, not Dorchester, ...

    Berington, Charles

    Titular Bishop of Hiero-Caesarea, b. at Stock, Essex, England, 1748; d. 8 June, 1798. His life ...

    Berington, Joseph

    One of the best known Catholic writers of his day, b. at Winsley, in Herefordshire, 16 January, ...

    Berisford, Humphrey

    Confessor (c. 1588) of whom the only extant account occurs in the manuscript marked "F", ...

    Berissa

    (Berisa or Verissa) A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus, in Asia Minor which Kiepert and ...

    Beristain y Martin de Souza, José Mariano

    Mexican bibliographer, b. in Puebla, Mexico, 22 May, 1756; d. at Mexico, 23 March, 1817. He went ...

    Berlage, Anton

    Dogmatic theologian, b. 21 December, 1805, at Münster, Westphalia ; d. there, 6 December, ...

    Berland, Pierre

    Archbishop of Bordeaux, b. 1375 in Médoc; d. 1457 at Bordeaux. Being of humble ...

    Berlanga, Fray Tomás de

    Bishop of Panama, b. at Berlanga in Spain, date uncertain; d. there 8 August, 1551. He was ...

    Berlin

    Capital of the German Empire and of the Kingdom of Prussia, and residence of the German ...

    Berlioz, Hector

    French composer, b. at La Côte Saint-André, near Grenoble, 11 December, 1803; d. at ...

    Bernal, Agostino

    Spanish theologian, born at Magallon in Aragon in 1587; died at Saragossa, 13 September, 1642. ...

    Bernard Guidonis

    Inquisitor of Toulouse against the Albigenses and Bishop of Lodève, b. at ...

    Bernard of Besse

    Friar Minor and chronicler, a native of Aquitaine, date of birth uncertain; he belonged to the ...

    Bernard of Bologna

    ( Also Bernardine; Flovitano Toselli). Friar Minor Capuchin and Scotist theologian, born at ...

    Bernard of Botone

    Generally called Parmensis from his birthplace, Parma in Italy, a noted canonist of the ...

    Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint

    Born in 1090, at Fontaines, near Dijon, France ; died at Clairvaux, 21 August, 1153. His ...

    Bernard of Cluny

    Bernard of Cluny (or of Morlaix), a Benedictine monk of the first half of the twelfth century, ...

    Bernard of Compostella

    (1) Bernard of Compostella (Antiquus) A canonist of the early thirteenth century, a native of ...

    Bernard of Luxemburg

    Dominican theologian, controversialist, and Inquisitor of the Archdioceses of Cologne, Mainz, ...

    Bernard of Menthon, Saint

    Born in 923, probably in the castle Menthon near Annecy, in Savoy ; died at Novara, 1008. He ...

    Bernard of Pavia

    A noted canonist, provost of the cathedral chapter of Pavia, and, in 1190, promoted to the ...

    Bernard Tolomeo, Saint

    Founder of the congregation of the Blessed Virgin of Monte Oliveto, born at Siena in Tuscany ...

    Bernard, Alexis-Xyste

    Bishop of St. Hyacinth, P.Q., Canada. b. at Beloeil, P.Q., 29 December, 1847. He made his ...

    Bernard, Claude

    A French ecclesiastic known as "the poor priest " ( le pauvre prêtre ), b. at Dijon 23 ...

    Bernard, Claude

    French physiologist, b. 12 July, 1813 at Saint Julien near Villefranche, France ; d. at Paris, ...

    Bernard, Saint

    (BARNARD.) Archbishop of Vienne, France. Born in 778; died at Vienne, 23 January, 842. His ...

    Bernardine of Feltre, Blessed

    Friar Minor and missionary, b. at Feltre, Italy, in 1439 and d. at Pavia, 28 September, 1494. He ...

    Bernardine of Fossa, Blessed

    Of the Order of Friars Minor, historian and ascetical writer, b. at Fossa, in the Diocese of ...

    Bernardine of Siena, Saint

    Friar Minor, missionary, and reformer, often called the "Apostle ofItaly ", b. of the noblefamily ...

    Bernardines, The

    Title of certain sisters of the order of Cîteaux who at the end of the sixteenth and in ...

    Berne

    The fourth city of Switzerland in population, capital of a canton of the same name which is the ...

    Berni, Francesco

    An Italian comic poet, b. at Lamporecchio (Florence) 1497 or 1498; d. at Florence, 26 May, ...

    Bernier, Etienne-Alexandre

    French Bishop, b. at Daon (Mayenne), 31 October, 1762; d. at Paris, 1 October, 1806. He was a ...

    Bernini, Domenico

    Son of the famous artist Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini , lived in the early part of the eighteenth ...

    Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo

    One of the most vigorous and fertile of Italian architects and sculptors, b. at Naples in 1598; ...

    Bernini, Giuseppe Maria

    A Capuchin missionary and Orientalist, b. near Carignan in Piedmont ; d. in Hindustan in 1753. ...

    Bernis, François-Joachim-Pierre de

    A French cardinal and statesman, b. 1715 at Saint-Marcel-d'Ardèche; d. at Rome, 1794. ...

    Berno

    (Apostle of the Obotrites), in the latter half of the twelfth century. The Obotrites were one of ...

    Berno (Abbot of Reichenau)

    Famous as orator, poet, philosopher, and musician, born (date unknown) at Prüm near Trier ...

    Bernold of Constance

    Historian and theologian, b. in Swabia about 1054; d. at Schaffhausen, 16 September, 1100. He ...

    Bernward, Saint

    Thirteenth Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany, b. about the middle of the tenth century; d. 20 ...

    Beroea

    (Later, Berrhoea, Beroie, and Beroe ). A titular see of Macedonia, at the foot of Mount ...

    Berosus

    ( Berosós or Berossós ) The name of a native historian of Babylonia and a ...

    Beroth

    (B EEROTH ) A city in Chanaan, one of the confederation of cities under the headship of ...

    Berrettini, Pietro

    (Called Pietro da Cortona) A distinguished Italian painter, architect, and writer, b. at ...

    Berruguete, Alonso

    For his mastery of the arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture, sometimes called the ...

    Berruyer, Isaac-Joseph

    Born at Roueb, 7 November, 1681; died at Paris, 18 February, 1758. He entered the Society of Jesus ...

    Berryer, Pierre-Antoine

    French advocate, orator, and statesman, son of Pierre-Nicolas Berryer, an advocate, b. at Paris, ...

    Bersabee

    ( Bar sb‘ or Beersheba ) A town on the southern extremity of Palestine, one of the ...

    Bertha

    Of the various holy women bearing the name of Bertha, five are more particularly worthy of ...

    Berthier, Guillaume-François

    A Jesuit professor and writer, born at Issoudun, 1704; died at Bourges, 1782. He taught ...

    Berthold

    Bishop, Apostle of the Livonians, killed 24 July, 1198, in a crusade against the pagan ...

    Berthold of Chiemsee

    A German bishop and theological writer, b. 1465 at Salzburg, Austria ; d. 19 July, 1543, at ...

    Berthold of Henneberg

    Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, b. 1441; d. 21 December, 1504. Having completed his education ...

    Berthold of Ratisbon

    A Franciscan of the monastery of that city and the most powerful preacher of repentance in the ...

    Berthold of Reichenau

    A Benedictine monk and chronicler of the celebrated Abbey of Reichenau on the Lake of ...

    Berti, Giovanni Lorenzo

    An Italian theologian, b. 28 May, 1696, at Sarravezza, Tuscany ; d. 26 March, 1766, at Pisa. His ...

    Bertin, Saint

    Abbot of St. Omer, b. near Constance about 615; d. about 709. At an early age he entered the ...

    Bertinoro

    Bertinoro, anciently called Forum Truentinorum, and, at the time of the Gothic war, Petra ...

    Bertonio, Ludovico

    An Italian missionary, born 1552 at Rocca Contrada near Ancona ; died at Lima, Peru, 3 ...

    Bertrand, Louis, Saint

    Born at Valencia, Spain, 1 Jan., 1526; died 9 Oct., 1581. His patents were Juan Bertrand and ...

    Bertrand, Pierre

    (1) A French Cardinal, theologian, and canonist, b. 1280 at Annonay in Vivarais; d. 1348 or 1349 ...

    Bertulf, Saint

    Abbot of Bobbio, date of birth unknown; d. 639 or 640. He was the son of a pagan nobleman in ...

    Bervanger, Martin de

    A French priest, founder of charitable institutions ; b. at Sarrelouis, 15 May, 1795; d. at ...

    Besançon

    Archdiocese coextensive with the departments of Doubs, Haute-Saône, and the district of ...

    Besange, Jerome Lamy, O.S.B

    Born at Linz, 1726; died 1781. For twenty-four years he taught Scripture at Salzburg. He ...

    Beschefer, Theodore

    Jesuit missionary in Canada, born at Châlons-sur-marne, 25 May, 1630; died at Reims, 4 ...

    Beschi, Costanzo Giuseppe

    Born at Castiglione in the Venetian Republic, 1680; died at Manapar c. 1746. He entered the ...

    Beseleel

    (Beçál'el, in the shadow of God). I. The son of Uri and grandson of Hur of the ...

    Besoigne, Jérôme

    A Jansenist writer, b. at Paris, 1686; d. 1763. Ordained in 1715, he received the doctorate of ...

    Besoldus, Christopher

    A German jurist and publicist, b. of Protestant parents in 1577 at Tübingen, ...

    Bessarion, Johannes

    (Or B ASILIUS ). Cardinal ; b. at Trebizond, 1389, or according to others, 1395, but most ...

    Bessel, Johann Franz

    (In religion Gottfried ) Benedictine, abbot, and historian, b. 5 September, 1672, at ...

    Beste, Henry Digby

    Miscellaneous author, b. at Lincoln, England, 21 October, 1768; d. at Brighton, 28 May, 1836. He ...

    Bestiaries

    Medieval books on animals, in which the real or fabulous characteristics of actually existent or ...

    Betanzos, Fray Domingo

    A Dominican missionary, d. at Valladolid, Sept., 1549. One of the most illustrious Dominicans ...

    Betanzos, Fray Pedro de

    A Franciscan missionary, b. at Betanzos in Galicia; d. at Chomez, Nicaragua, 1570. He was one ...

    Betanzos, Juan de

    Unfortunately very little is known as yet of this official, who has left such valuable works on ...

    Bethany

    ( Bethania ). A village of Palestine, fifteen furlongs, or one mile and three-quarters, east ...

    Bethany Beyond the Jordan

    ( Bethania peran tou Iordanou ). In the text of St. John's Gospel, i, 28, the author locates ...

    Betharan

    A city of the Amorrhites in the valley-plain east of the Jordan, about twelve miles from ...

    Bethdagon

    Name of two cities in Palestine. (1) A city ( Joshua 15:41 ) of the tribe of Juda "in the plains", ...

    Bethel

    ( Hebrew word meaning "house of God "). An ancient Cansanitish town, twelve miles north of ...

    Bethlehem

    A titular see of Palestine. The early name of the city was Ephrata; afterwards Bethlehem, "House ...

    Bethlehem

    The old Hebrew name bêth lehem , meaning "house of bread", has survived till the present ...

    Bethlehem

    An architectural term used in the Ethiopic Church for the oven or bakehouse for baking the ...

    Bethlehemites

    MILITARY ORDERS There were two military orders dedicated to Our Lady of Bethlehem and known ...

    Bethsaida

    Bethsaida is: a city, or perhaps two cities, on the shore of the Lake of Genesareth, the ...

    Bethsan

    ( Hebrew Beth Shean , or Beth Shan , "place of rest"). A city within Issachar, but assigned to ...

    Bethulia

    (Greek Betuloua ). The city whose deliverance by Judith, when besieged by Holofernes, forms ...

    Betrothal

    ( Latin sponsalia ). The giving of one's troth — that is, one's true faith or promise. ...

    Bettiah

    Prefecture Apostolic in northern India, includes as part of its jurisdiction the entire native ...

    Betting

    A bet may be defined as the backing of an affirmation or forecast by offering to forfeit, in ...

    Beugnot, Auguste-Arthur, Count

    French historian and statesman, b. at Bar-sur-Aube, 25 March, 1797; d. at Paris, 15 March, 1865. ...

    Beuno, Saint

    Abbot of Clynnog, d. 660(?), was, according to the "Bucced Beuno", born in Powis-land and, after ...

    Beverley Minster

    A collegiate church at Beverley, capital of the East Riding of Yorkshire, served by a chapter ...

    Beyerlinck, Lawrence

    Belgian theologian and ecclesiastical writer, b. at Antwerp, April, 1578; d. at the same place, ...

    Bezae, Codex

    (CODEX CANTABRIGIENSIS), one of the five most important Greek New Testament manuscripts, and the ...

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    Bi 63

    Bianchi, Giovanni Antonio

    Friar Minor andtheologian, b. at Lucca, 2 October, 1686; d. at Rome, 18 January, 1768. At the age ...

    Bianchini, Francesco

    A student of the natural sciences, and an historian, b. at Verona, Northern Italy, 13 December, ...

    Bianchini, Giuseppe

    (Giuseppe Blanchini). Italian Oratorian, Biblical, historical, and liturgical scholar, b. ...

    Bianconi, Charles

    Merchant and philanthropist, b. 26 September, 1785, in the duchy of Milan ; d. near Clonmel, ...

    Biard, Pierre

    Jesuit missionary, born at Grenoble, France, 1576; died at Avignon, 17 November, 1622. In 1608 ...

    Bibbiena

    (Bernardo Dovizi) An Italian Cardinal and comedy-writer, known best by the name of the town ...

    Bibiana, Saint

    The earliest mention in an authentic historical authority of St. Bibiana (Vibiana), a Roman ...

    Bible Societies

    Protestant Bible Societies, established for the purpose of publishing and propagating the Bible ...

    Bible, Authenticity of the

    The authenticity or authority of Holy Writ is twofold on account of its twofold authorship. ...

    Bible, Coptic Versions of the

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

    Bible, Editions of the

    In the present article we understand by editions of the Bible the printed reproductions of its ...

    Bible, Inspiration of the

    The subject will be treated in this article under the four heads: I. Belief in Inspired books; ...

    Bible, Manuscripts of the

    Manuscripts are written, as opposed to printed, copies of the original text or of a version ...

    Bible, The

    A collection of writings which the Church of God has solemnly recognized as inspired. The ...

    Bible, Versions of the

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

    Bibles, Picture

    In the Middle Ages the Church made use of pictures as a means of instruction, to supplement ...

    Bibles, Rhymed

    The rhymed versions of the Bible are almost entirely collections of the psalms. The oldest ...

    Biblia Pauperum

    (BIBLE OF THE POOR). A collection of pictures representing scenes from Our Lord's life with ...

    Biblical Accommodation

    We shall consider (1) what is meant by biblical accommodation; (2) its use in Sacred Scripture; ...

    Biblical Antiquities

    This department of archæology has been variously defined and classified. Some scholars have ...

    Biblical Commission, The

    A committee of cardinals at Rome who, with the assistance of consultors, have to secure the ...

    Biblical Introduction

    A technical name which is usually applied to two distinct, but intimately connected, things. ...

    Bickell, Gustav

    Orientalist, b. at Cassel, 7 July, 1838; d. at Vienna, 15 Jan., 1906. His father, Johann Wilhelm ...

    Bickerdike, Robert, Venerable

    Martyr, a Yorkshire layman, b. at Low Hall, near Knaresborough (date unknown), but residing at ...

    Bicknor, Alexander

    Archbishop of Dublin, date of birth unknown; d. 1349. As his surname suggests he came from a ...

    Bidermann, James

    A poet and theologian of great learning and sanctity, b. at Ebingen, Germany, in 1578; d. at ...

    Biel, Gabriel

    Called "the last of the Scholastics ", b. at Speyer, Germany, c. 1425; d. at Tübingen, ...

    Biella

    The city of Biella, the see of the diocese of that name, is an important industrial centre ...

    Bielski, Marcin

    (Or Wolski) A Polish chronicler, b. of noble parentage on the patrimonial estate of Biala ...

    Bienville, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de

    French Governor of Louisiana and founder of New Orleans, b. in Montreal, Canada, 24 February, ...

    Bigamy (in Canon Law)

    According to the strict meaning, the word should signify the marrying of a second after the death ...

    Bigamy (in Civil Law)

    ( French bigamie , from Latin bis , twice, and Greek gamos , marriage) Bigamy, in civil ...

    Bigne, Marguerin de la

    (Binius, Bignaeus) French theologian and patrologist, b. about 1546 at ...

    Billart, Saint Julie

    ( Also Julia). Foundress, and first superior-general of the Congregation of the Sisters of ...

    Billick, Eberhard

    ( Also Steinberger, Latin Latomus, Lapicida ). German theologian, opponent of the ...

    Billy, Jacques de

    (Billi) A French patristic scholar, theologian, jurist, linguist, and a Benedictine abbot, ...

    Bilocation

    (Latin bis , twice, and locatio , place.) I. The question whether the same finite being ...

    Bination

    The offering up of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass twice on the same day by the same celebrant. ...

    Biner, Joseph

    Canonist, historian, and theologian, b. at Gluringen, Switzerland, 1697; d. at Torrenburg, ...

    Binet, Etienne

    Jesuit author, born at Dijon, France, 1569; died at Paris, 1639. He entered the Society of ...

    Binet, Jacques-Philippe-Marie

    French mathematician and astronomer, b. at Rennes, in Brittany, 2 February, 1786; d. in Paris, ...

    Binius, Severin

    Historian and critic, b. in 1573 in the village of Randerath, Western Germany ; d. 14 February, ...

    Binterim, Anton Joseph

    Born at Düsseldorf, 19 September, 1779; died at Bilk, 17 May, 1855, a theologian of repute ...

    Biogenesis and Abiogenesis

    According to their Greek derivation these two terms refer to the origin of life. Biogenesis is ...

    Biology

    (From bios , life and logos , reason, account, reasoning) Biology may be defined as the ...

    Biondo, Flavio

    A distinguished Italian arch æologist and historian, b. at Forli in 1388; d. at Rome in ...

    Biot, Jean-Baptiste

    A physicist and mathematician, born at Paris, France, 21 April, 1774; died. there, 3 ...

    Birds (in Symbolism)

    Many kinds of birds are used in Christian symbolism. The first to be so employed was the Dove ...

    Biretta

    A square cap with three ridges or peaks on its upper surface, worn by clerics of all grades from ...

    Birinus, Saint

    Confessor, first Bishop of Dorchester (in what is now the County of Oxford, not Dorchester, ...

    Birkowski, Fabian

    Polish preacher, b. at Lemberg, 1566; d. at Cracow, 1636. He completed his studies at the ...

    Birmingham

    (BIRMINGHAMIA, BIRMINGHAMIENSIS) One of the thirteen dioceses erected by the Apostolic ...

    Birnbaum, Heinrich

    (Also known as DE PIRO, the latinized form of this German name) A pious and learned ...

    Birth, The Defect of

    (ILLEGITIMACY) A canonical impediment to ordination. When used in this connection, the word ...

    Birtha

    A titular see of Osrhaene, probably identical with Birejik (Zegma) on the left bank of the ...

    Bisarchio, Diocese of

    Situated in Sardinia, in the province of Sassari, district of Nuoro, and suffragan to the ...

    Biscop, Saint Benedict

    An English monastic founder, born of a noble Anglo-Saxon family, c. 628; died 12 January 690. ...

    Bishop

    (Anglo-Saxon Biscop, Busceop , German Bischof ; from the Greek episkopos , an overseer, ...

    Bishop's Crook

    (Or PASTORAL STAFF). The crosier is an ecclesiastical ornament which is conferred on bishops ...

    Bishop, Auxiliary

    A bishop deputed to a diocesan who, capable of governing and administering his diocese, is ...

    Bishop, William

    The first superior in England in episcopal orders since the old hierarchy died out in the ...

    Bismarck, Diocese of

    (BISMARCKIENSIS). In North Dakota, this diocese was erected on 31 December, 1909, and is ...

    Bisomus

    A tomb large enough to contain two bodies. The ordinary tombs ( loci ) in the galleries of ...

    × Close

    Bl 34

    Black Fast, The

    This form of fasting, the most rigorous in the history of church legislation, was marked by ...

    Blackburne, Robert

    An English Catholic who suffered imprisonment in the closing years of the seventeenth, and ...

    Blackfoot Indians

    An important tribe of the Northern Plains, constituting the westernmost extension of the great ...

    Blackwood, Adam

    Author, b. at Dunfermline, Scotland, 1539; d. 1613. He was a great-nephew of Robert Reid, Bishop ...

    Blaise, Saint

    Bishop and martyr. The ninth-century martyrologies of Europe in their lists, which are ...

    Blanc, Anthony

    Fifth Bishop, and first Archbishop, of New Orleans, La., U.S.A. b. at Sury, near Lyons, ...

    Blanchard, Jean-Baptiste

    (Duchesne). A French Jesuit and educator, born 12 October, 1731, at Tourteron in the ...

    Blanchet, Augustin Magloire

    Brother of François Norbert Blanchet , first Bishop of Walla Walla-Nesqually, State of ...

    Blanchet, Franç Norbert

    Missionary and first Archbishop of Oregon City, U.S.A. son of Pierre Blanchet, a Canadian ...

    Blandina, Saint

    Virgin and martyr. She belongs to the band of martyrs of Lyons who, after some of their ...

    Blane, Saint

    ( Or BLAAN). Bishop and Confessor in Scotland, b. on the island of Bute, date unknown; d. ...

    Blasphemy

    Blasphemy (Greek blaptein , "to injure", and pheme , "reputation") signifies etymologically ...

    Blastares, Matthew

    A monk of the Order of St. Basil, living in the fourteenth century, who applied himself to the ...

    Blathmac, Saint

    A distinguished Irish monk, b. in Ireland about 750. He suffered martyrdom in Iona, about ...

    Blemmida, Nicephorus

    (B LEMMYDES ) A learned monk and writer of the Green Church, b. about 1198, at ...

    Blenkinsop

    Peter Blenkinsop Catholic publisher, b. in Ireland ; married a sister of Archbishop Oliver Kelly ...

    Blessed Sacrament, Congregation of the

    An enclosed congregation and a reform of the Dominican Order devoted to the perpetual adoration ...

    Blessed Sacrament, Exposition of the

    Exposition is a manner of honouring the Holy Eucharist, by exposing It, with proper solemnity, to ...

    Blessed Sacrament, Reservation of the

    The practice of preserving after the celebration of the Liturgy a portion of the consecrated ...

    Blessed Sacrament, Sisters of the

    One of the most recent congregations of religious women in the Catholic Church and one of ...

    Blessed Sacrament, The

    Since Christ is present under the appearances of bread and wine in a sacramental way, the ...

    Blessed Sacrament, Visits to the

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

    Blessed Virgin Mary, The

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

    Blessed, The

    There are at present two ways in which the Church allows public worship to be paid those who ...

    Blessing

    In its widest acceptation this word has a variety of meanings in the sacred writings: It has ...

    Blessing, Apostolic

    The solemn blessing ( urbi et orbi ) which, before 1870, the Holy Father himself gave from the ...

    Blind, Education of the

    Although the education of the blind as a class dates back no further than the year 1784, ...

    Blois

    DIOCESE OF BLOIS (BLESENSIS). Coextensive with the civil department of Loir-et-Cher and a ...

    Blomevenna, Peter

    (PETER A LEYDIS) Carthusian, b. at Leyden, in Holland in 1466; d. 30 September, 1536. Owing to ...

    Blood Indians

    A group of North American aborigines forming part of the Blackfeet Tribe, which, with the ...

    Blosius, François-Louis

    (Also called de Blois ). A Benedictine abbot and spiritual writer, born at Donstienne, ...

    Bluetooth, Harold

    (B LAATAND ) Born 911; died 1 November, 985 or 986. He was the son of King Gorm the Old of ...

    Blyssen, Heinrich

    Born at Cologne or Bonn, Germany in 1526; died at Graz, 24 April, 1586. He entered the Society ...

    Blyth, Francis

    English Carmelite, reviser of the Douay Bible, born c. 1705; d. in London, 11 December 1772. ...

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    Bo 148

    Bobadilla, Nicolaus

    Born at Valencia, Spain, 1511; died at Loretto, Italy, 23 September, 1590. After having taught ...

    Bobbio, Abbey and Diocese of

    The diocese ( Ebovium , or Bobium ; Dioecesis Eboviensis , or Bobiensis ), which is ...

    Bobola, Saint Andrew

    Martyr, born of an old and illustrious Polish family, in the Palatinate of Sandomir, 1590; ...

    Boccaccino

    Boccaccio Boccaccino An eminent Italian painter, b. at Cremona, 1460, and d. probably in 1525 ...

    Boccaccio, Giovanni

    Italian novelist, b. in Paris, 1313; d. in Certaldo, 21 December, 1375. His father, a merchant ...

    Bocking, Edward

    (or B OKKYNG ). English Benedictine, b. of East Anglian parentage, end of fifteenth century; ...

    Bodey, Ven. John

    Martyr, b. at Wells, Somerset: 1549; d. at Andover, Wilts., 2 November, 1583. He studied at ...

    Bodin, Jean

    Born at Angers, 1520, probably of Jewish origin: died at Laon, 1596. He studied and taught ...

    Bodone

    A titular see of Albania. The name is a dialectic form of Dodone, in Epirus, near Janina at the ...

    Boece, Hector

    (Also BOYCE and BOETHIUS) Chronicler and one of the founders of the University of Aberdeen, b. ...

    Boeri, Petrus

    (BOHIER) A french benedictine canonist and bishop, b. during the first quarter of the ...

    Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus

    Roman statesman and philosopher, often styled "the last of the Romans", regarded by tradition as ...

    Bogotá

    ARCHDIOCESE OF SANTA FÉ DE BOGOTÁ (BOGOTENSIS) The city of Bogotá, capital ...

    Bohemia

    (Germ. Böhmen , or formerly Böheim ; Latin Bohemia or Bojohemum ), a cisleithan ...

    Bohemian Brethren

    (MORAVIAN BRETHREN, or UNITAS FRATRUM). DEFINITION AND DOCTRINAL POSITION "Bohemian Brethren" ...

    Bohemians of the United States

    A traveler who has seen the natural beauties of Bohemia, its vast resources, and the thrift of ...

    Boiano

    Diocese in the province of Benevento, Italy, suffragan to the Archbishopric of Benevento. The ...

    Boiardo, Matteo Maria

    An Italian poet, b. about 1434, at, or near, Scandiano (Reggio-Emilia); d. at Reggio, 20 ...

    Boileau-Despréaux, Nicholas

    French poet, b. at Paris, 1 November, 1636; d. there, 13 March, 1711. He was educated at the ...

    Bois-le-Duc

    The Diocese of Bois-le-Duc ( Buscoducensis ) lies within the Dutch province of Brabant, and ...

    Boise

    Diocese of Boise ( Xylopolitana ) Created by Leo XIII, 25 August, 1893, embraces the ...

    Boisgelin, Jean de Dieu-Raymond de Cucé de

    French prelate and cardinal, b. of an ancient family at Rennes in Brittany, 27 February, ...

    Boisil, Saint

    Superior of Melrose Abbey , d. 664. Almost all that is known of St. Boisil is learnt from Bede ...

    Bokenham, Osbern

    (Bokenam) English Augustinian friar and poet, b. 1393 (the year in which the most famous of ...

    Bolanden, Conrad von

    (Joseph Bischoff) A German novelist, son of a rich merchant, b. 9 August, 1828, at ...

    Bolgeni, Giovanni Vincenzo

    Theologian and controversialist, b. at Bergamo, Italy, 22 January, 1733; d. at Rome, 3 May, ...

    Bolivia

    A South American republic which lies between longitudes west of Greenwich 57 deg. 30' and 74 deg., ...

    Bollandists, The

    An association of ecclesiastical scholars engaged in editing the Acta Sanctorum. This work is a ...

    Bollig, Johann

    Distinguished Orientalist, born near Düren in Rhenish Prussia 23 August, 1821; died at ...

    Bologna

    ARCHDIOCESE OF BOLOGNA HISTORY Bologna is the principal city in the province of the same name, ...

    Bologna, Giovanni da

    Flemish Renaissance sculptor, b. at Douai, in Flanders, about 1524; d. at Florence in 1608. ...

    Bologna, University of

    A tradition of the thirteenth century attributed the foundation of this university to Theodosius ...

    Bolsec, Jérôme-Hermès

    A theologian and physician, b. probably at Paris, date unknown; d. at Lyons c. 1584. He ...

    Bolton, Edmund

    Historian, antiquary, and poet, born c. 1575; died c. 1633. The genuine loyalty in the Catholic ...

    Bolzano, Bernhard

    Austrian mathematician and philosopher, b. at Prague, 5 October, 1781; d. 18 December, 1848. As ...

    Bombay

    (BOMBAYENSIS) The Archdiocese of Bombay comprises the Island of Bombay with several outlying ...

    Bommel, Cornelius Richard Anton van

    Bishop of Liège, born at Leyden, in Holland on 5 April, 1790; died 7 April 1852. He was ...

    Bon Secours, Institutes of

    I. INSTITUTE OF BON SECOURS (DE PARIS) The first of the congregations of nursing sisters, gardes ...

    Bona Mors Confraternity, The

    (Bona Mors = "Happy Death"). The Bona Mors Confraternity was founded 2 October, 1648, in the ...

    Bona, Giovanni

    A distinguished cardinal and author, b. of an old French family at Mondovì, in ...

    Bonagratia of Bergamo

    (Or PERGAMO) Friar Minor , theologian, and canonist, date of birth unknown; d. at Munich, ...

    Bonal, François de

    Bishop of Clermont, b. 1734 at the castle of Bonal, near Agen ; d. at Munich, 1800. He had ...

    Bonal, Raymond

    French theologian and founder of the Congregation of the Priests of St. Mary (Bonalists), b. ...

    Bonald, Louis-Gabriel-Ambroise, Vicompte de

    French statesman, writer, and philosopher, b. at Monna, near Millau, in Rouergue (Aveyron) 2 ...

    Bonald, Louis-Jacques-Maurice de

    Cardinal, b. at Millau, in Rouergue (now Aveyron), 30 October, 1787, d. at Lyons, 25 Feb., 1870. ...

    Bonaparte, Charles-Lucien-Jules-Laurent

    Prince of Canino and Musignano, ornithologist, b. in Paris, 24 May, 1803; d. in the same city 29 ...

    Bonaventure, College of Saint

    At Quaracchi, near Florence, Italy, famous as the centre of literary activity in the Order of ...

    Bonaventure, Saint

    Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Albano, Minister General of the Friars Minor, born at ...

    Boncompagni, Balthasar

    Italian mathematician, b. at Rome, 10 May, 1821; d. 13 April, 1894. He was a member of the ...

    Bonet, Juan Pablo

    A Spanish priest and one of the first to give attention to the education of the deaf and dumb ...

    Bonet, Nicholas

    Friar Minor, theologian, and missionary,date of birth uncertain; d. 1360. Probably a Frenchman by ...

    Bonfrère, Jacques

    Biblical scholar, born at Dinant, Belgium, 12 April, 1573; died at Tournai, 9 May, 1642. He ...

    Boni Homines

    (Or BONSHOMMES). This name was popularly given to at least three religious orders in the ...

    Boniface Association

    (B ONIFATIUSVEREIN ). The Boniface Association, one of the most successful Catholic ...

    Boniface I, Pope Saint

    Elected 28 December, 418; d. at Rome, 4 September, 422. Little is known of his life antecedent to ...

    Boniface II, Pope

    Elected 17 September, 530; died October, 532. In calling him the son of Sigisbald, the "Liber ...

    Boniface III, Pope

    Pope Boniface III, of Roman extraction and the son of John Cataadioce, was elected to succeed ...

    Boniface IV, Pope Saint

    Son of John, a physician, a Marsian from the province and town of Valeria; he succeeded Boniface ...

    Boniface IX, Pope

    Elected at Rome, 2 November, 1389, as successor of the Roman Pope, Urban VI ; d. there, 1 ...

    Boniface of Savoy

    Forty-sixth Archbishop of Canterbury and son of Thomas, Count of Savoy, date of birth ...

    Boniface V, Pope

    A Neapolitan who succeeded Deusdedit after a vacancy of more than a year; consecrated 23 ...

    Boniface VI, Pope

    A Roman, elected in 896 by the Roman faction in a popular tumult, to succeed Formosus. He ...

    Boniface VII, Antipope

    (Previously B ONIFACE F RANCO ) A Roman and son of Ferrucius; was intruded into the ...

    Boniface VIII, Pope

    (B ENEDETTO G AETANO ) Born at Anagni about 1235; died at Rome, 11 October, 1303. He ...

    Boniface, Saint

    (WINFRID, WYNFRITH). Apostle of Germany, date of birth unknown; martyred 5 June, 755 (754); ...

    Bonizo of Sutri

    (Or BONITHO). Bishop of Sutri in Central Italy, in the eleventh century, an adherent of ...

    Bonn, University of

    (RHEINSCHE FRIEDRICH-WILHELMS-UNIVERSITÄT). An academy was founded at Bonn in 1777 by Max ...

    Bonnard, Ven. Jean Louis

    A French missionary and martyr, b. 1 March, 1824 at Saint-Christôt-en-Jarret ( Diocese of ...

    Bonne-Espérance, The Abbey of

    Situated near Binche, province of Hainault, Diocese of Tournai, Belgium. It owes its foundation ...

    Bonnechose, Henri-Marie-Gaston Boisnormand de

    Cardinal and senator, b. at Paris, 1800; d. 1883. Entering the magistracy, he became ...

    Bonner, Edmund

    Bishop of London, b. about 1500; d. 1569. He was the son of Edmund Bonner, a sawyer of Potter's ...

    Bonnetty, Augustin

    A French writer, b. at Entrevaux (dept. of Basses-Alpes) 9 May, 1798, d. at Paris, 26 March, ...

    Bonosus

    Bishop of Sardica, a heretic in the latter part of the fourth century. Against the common ...

    Bonvicino, Alessandro

    (Called Il Moretto, or Moretto da Brescia). One of the finest North Italian painters of the ...

    Book of Common Prayer

    I. HISTORY On 21 January, 1549, the first Act of Uniformity was passed imposing upon the whole ...

    Book of Kells

    An Irish manuscript containing the Four Gospels, a fragment of Hebrew names, and the Eusebian ...

    Book of Martyrs, Foxe's

    John Foxe was born at Boston in Lincolnshire, England, in 1516, and was educated at Magdalen ...

    Books, Index of Prohibited

    The Index of Prohibited Books, or simply "Index", is used in a restricted sense to signify the ...

    Boré, Eugène

    Orientalist, b. at Angers, 15 Aug., 1809; d. at Paris, 3 May, 1878. From the college of Angers ...

    Bordeaux

    (BURDIGALA). Archdiocese ; comprises the entire department of the Gironde and was established ...

    Bordeaux, University of

    The University of Bordeaux was founded during the English domination, under King Henry VI , in ...

    Bordone, Cavaliere Paris

    An eminent painter of the Venetian school, b. at Treviso, 1500 d. at Venice, 1570. A member of ...

    Borgess, Caspar Henry

    Third Bishop of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. b. at Kloppenburg, Hanover, Germany, 1 August, ...

    Borgia, Stefano

    Cardinal, born at Velletri, 3 December, 1731; died at Lyons, 1804; Italian theologian, ...

    Borgo San-Donnino

    Diocese in the province of Parma, Italy. The city takes its name from St. Domninus, who fled to ...

    Borgo San-Sepolcro

    Diocese situated in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy. The city is believed by some to ...

    Borgognone, Ambrogio

    (Real name AMBROGIO STEFANI DA FOSSANO). A distinguished Italian painter and architect, b. ...

    Borie, Pierre-Rose-Ursule-Dumoulin

    Bishop-elect of Acanthus, Vicar Apostolic of Western Tongking and Martyr ; b. 20 February, ...

    Borneo

    I. DUTCH BORNEO The former Vicariate of Bavaria was composed of Sumatra, Java, and the other ...

    Borras, Francisco Nicolás

    A distinguished Spanish painter, born at Cocentaina, 1530; died at Gandia, 1610. Going to ...

    Borromeo, Andrea

    An Italian missionary, born on the first half of the seventeenth century, at or near Milan ; ...

    Borromeo, Federico

    Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan, cousin and successor of St. Charles Borromeo, born at Milan ...

    Borromeo, Saint Charles

    St. Charles Borromeo -- Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal-Priest of the Title of St. Prassede, ...

    Borromeo, Society of Saint Charles

    (Borro-Mäusverein). A German Catholic association for the encouragement and diffusion ...

    Borromini, Francesco

    Architect and sculptor ; born 25 September, 1599, at Bissone; died ( by his own hand ) 1 ...

    Borrus, Christopher

    (Borri, Burrus) Missionary, mathematician, and astronomer, born at Milan in 1583; died at ...

    Bosa, Diocese of

    In the province of Cagliari, The city numbers about 35,000 inhabitants. St. Gregory the Great, ...

    Bosch, Peter van der

    Bollandist, born at Brussels, 19 October, 1686; died 14 November, 1736. After studying the ...

    Bosco, Saint Giovanni (John)

    ( Or St. John Bosco; Don Bosco.) Founder of the Salesian Society. Born of poor parents in ...

    Boscovich, Ruggiero Giuseppe

    A Dalmatian Jesuit and well-known mathematician, astronomer, and natural philosopher, b. at ...

    Bosio, Antonio

    Known as "The Columbus of the Catacombs ", b. in the island of Malta about the year 1576; d. ...

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina form the north-western corner of the Balkan Peninsula. Taking the two ...

    Boso

    First Bishop of Merseburg, in the present Prussian Province of Saxony, and Apostle of the ...

    Boso (Breakspear)

    Third English Cardinal, date of birth uncertain, d. at Rome, about 1181. He was a Benedictine ...

    Bossu, Jacques le

    French theologian and Doctor of the Sorbonne, born at Paris 1546; died at Rome 1626. He ...

    Bossuet, Jacques-Bénigne

    A celebrated French bishop and pulpit orator, born at Dijon, 27 September, 1627, died at ...

    Boste, Saint John

    (Or JOHN BOAST.) Priest and martyr, b. of good Catholic family at Dufton, in Westmoreland, ...

    Boston

    Archdiocese ; comprises Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Plymouth counties in the State ...

    Bostra

    Titular see of Syria. Bostra, "The fortress", is neither Bosor of Reuben and Moab ( ...

    Bothrys

    A titular see situated in Phoenicia. Bothrys is the Greek name of a city founded by Ithobaal, ...

    Botticelli, Sandro

    A famous Florentine painter. Born at Florence about 1447; died in the same city, 1510. ...

    Botulph, Saint

    (Or BOTOLPH.) Abbot, date of birth unknown; died c. 680. St. Botulph, the saint whose name ...

    Boturini Benaducci, Lorenzo

    A native of Milan in Lombardy who went to Mexico in 1736 by permission of the Spanish ...

    Boucher, Pierre

    Born at Lagny, a village near Mortagne in the Perche, France, 1622, died at Boucherville, 1717. ...

    Bougaud, Louis-Victor-Emile

    Bishop of Laval in France, b. at Dijon, 28 February 1823, d. at Laval 7 November, 1888. He ...

    Bougeant, Guillaume-Hyacinthe

    Born at Quimper in Brittany, in 1690; died at Paris, 1743. He entered the Society of Jesus ...

    Bouhours, Dominique

    French Jesuit author, born at Paris, 15 May, 1632; died 27 May, 1702. Entering the Society of ...

    Bouillart, Jacques

    A Benedictine monk of the Congregation of St.-Maur, b. in the Diocese of Chartres, 1669; ...

    Bouillon, Cardinal de

    (Emmanuel Thédore de la Tour d'Auvergne) French prelate and diplomat, b. 24 August, 1643, ...

    Bouix, Marie Dominique

    One of the best known and most distinguished of modern French canonists, b. 15 May, 1808, at ...

    Boulainvilliers, Henri, Count of

    Born at Saint-Saire (Seine-Inférieure) France, 11 October, 1658; died at Paris, 23 ...

    Boulanger, André de

    (PETIT-PÈRE ANDRÉ). A French monk and preacher, b. at Paris in 1578; d. 27 ...

    Boulay, César-Egasse du

    (BULÆUS). A French historian, b. in the beginning of the seventeenth century at ...

    Boulogne, Etienne-Antoine

    French bishop, b. at Avignon, 26 December 1747; d. at Troyes, 13 March, 1825. He was the son of ...

    Bouquet, Martin

    A learned Benedictine of the Congregation of St.-Maur, b. at Amiens, France, 6 August, 1685; ...

    Bouquillon, Thomas

    Born at Warneton, Belgium, 16 May, 1840; died at Brussels, 5 November, 1902; a Belgian ...

    Bourassé, Jean-Jacques

    Archæologist and historian, b. at Ste.-Maure (Indre-et-Loire), France, 22 December, 1813; ...

    Bourchier, Thomas

    Born 1406; died 1486, Cardinal, was the third son of William Bourchier, Earl of Eu, and of Lady ...

    Bourdaloue, Louis

    Born at Bourges, 20 August, 1632; died at Paris, 13 May, 1704. He is often described as the ...

    Bourdeilles, Hélie de

    Archbishop of Tours and Cardinal, b., probably, towards 1423, at the castle of Bourdeilles ...

    Bourdon, Jean

    Born at Rouen, France, 1612; died at Quebec, 1668. In 1634 he went to Canada and became the ...

    Bourgade, François

    A French missionary and philosopher, b. 7 July, 1806, at Gaujan, department of Gers; d. 21 May, ...

    Bourges

    ARCHDIOCESE OF BOURGES (BITURICÆ). Coextensive with the departments of Cher and Indre. ...

    Bourget, Ignace

    First Bishop of Montreal, P.Q., Canada, and titular Archbishop of Martianopolis, b. at Point ...

    Bourgoing, François

    Third Superior general of the Congregation of the Oratory in France and one of the early ...

    Bourke, Ulick Joseph

    Irish scholar and writer, b. 29 Dec., 1829, at Castlebar, Co. Mayo ; d. there, 22 Nov., 1887; ...

    Bourne, Gilbert

    Last Catholic Bishop of Bath and Wells , England, son of Philip Bourne of Worcestershire, ...

    Bouvens, Charles de

    French pulpit orator, b. at Bourg in 1750; d. in 1830. At an early age he embraced the ...

    Bouvet, Joachim

    Jesuit missionary, born at Le Mans, France (date unknown), died at Peking, China, 28 June, 1732. ...

    Bouvier, Jean-Baptiste

    Bishop of Le Mans, theologian, b. At St. Charles-la-Forêt, Mayenne, 16 January, 1783; d. ...

    Bouvier, Jeanne-Marie, de La Motte-Guyon

    A celebrated French mystic of the seventeenth century; born at Montargis, in the Orléanais, ...

    Bova

    DIOCESE OF BOVA. Situated in the civil province of Reggio, in Calabria, Italy, suffragan to ...

    Bovino

    Diocese in the province of Foggia, Italy, suffragan to the Archdiocese of Benevento. The city, ...

    Bowyer, Sir George

    Baronet, an eminent English writer on jurisprudence, as well as a prominent defender of the Holy ...

    Boy-Bishop

    The custom of electing a boy-bishop on the feast of St. Nicholas dates from very early ...

    Boyce, John

    Novelist, lecturer, and priest, well known under the assumed name of "Paul Peppergrass", born in ...

    Boycotting

    The name of boycotting was first aplied to a practice which had its origin in Ireland during the ...

    Boyle Abbey

    A celebrated Cistercian house situated on the River Boyle, nine miles northwest of Elphin, in ...

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    Br 135

    Brébeuf, Jean de

    Jesuit missionary, born at Condé-sur-Vire in Normandy, 25 March, 1593; died in Canada, ...

    Bréhal, Jean

    A French Dominican theologian of the convent of Evreux ; died c. 1479. He was made Doctor of ...

    Brück, Heinrich

    Ecclesiastical historian and bishop, born at Bingen, 25 October, 1831; died 4 November, 1903. He ...

    Brünn

    Suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Olmutz, embracing the south-western part of Moravia, an ...

    Bracken, Thomas

    Poet, journalist, politician, b. in Ireland 21 December, 1843; d. at Dunedin, New Zealand , 16 ...

    Bracton, Henry de

    Also called HENRY OF BRACTON. A famous English juridical writer, the Blackstone of the ...

    Bradley, Denis Mary

    First Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire , U.S.A. b. 25 February, 1846, at Castle-island, ...

    Bradshaigh, Edward

    An English Carmelite friar known in religion as Elias à Jesu; b. in Lancashire, ...

    Bradshaw, Henry

    English Benedictine and poet, b. in the City of Chester, England, date unknown; d. 1513. From ...

    Brady, William Maziere

    Ecclesiastical writer, b. in Dublin, 8 January, 1825; d. in Rome, 19 March, 1894. He was nephew ...

    Braga, Archdiocese of

    (Bracara Augusta, Civitas Bracarensis). Braga is situated in a flat fertile tract of land ...

    Braga, Councils of

    Many councils were held in Braga, some of them important. The authenticity of the so-called ...

    Bragança-Miranda, Diocese of

    (Brigantiensis.) This diocese is situated in the northeastern part of the Kingdom of ...

    Brahminism

    By Brahminism is meant the complex religion and social system which grew out of the ...

    Braille, Louis

    French educator and inventor, born 4 January 1809, at Coupvray, Seine-et-Marne, France ; died 6 ...

    Bralion, Nicolas de

    French Oratorian and ecclesiastical writer, born at Chars-en-Vexin, France, c. 1600; died at ...

    Bramante, Donato

    (Also called D 'A GNOLO after his father Angelo) Italian architect and painter, b. about ...

    Brancaccio

    An ancient and illustrious Neapolitan family, from which the "Brancas" of France were descended. ...

    Brancati di Lauria, Francesco Lorenzo

    Cardinal, Minor conventual, and theologian, b. at Lauria in the then Kingdom of Naples, 10 ...

    Brancati, Francesco

    Born in Sicily in 1607; he entered the Society of Jesus in 1624 and went to the Chinese ...

    Branch Sunday

    One of the medieval English names for Palm Sunday. The difficulty of procuring palms for that ...

    Brandenburg

    Formerly an electoral principality (the Mark of Brandenburg), and a diocese in the heart of the ...

    Branly, Edouard

    French physicist and inventor of the coherer employed in wireless telegraphy, born at Amiens, 23 ...

    Brantôme, Seigneur de Bourdeille, Pierre de

    One of the most famous of French writers of memoirs, b. in 1539, or a little later; d. 15 July, ...

    Brant, Sebastian

    A German humanist and poet, born at Stasburg in 1457 or 1458; died at the same place, 1521. He ...

    Brasses, Memorial

    Just when memorial brasses first came into use is not known; the earliest existing dated ...

    Brasseur de Bourbourg, Charles Etienne, Abbé

    Born at Bourbourg (Département du Nord), France, 1814; died at Nice in January, 1874. He ...

    Brassicanus, Johann Alexander

    A German humanist, born probably at Cannstatt, 1500; died at Vienna, 25 November, 1539. He was ...

    Brassicanus, Johann Ludwig

    Younger brother of Johann Alexander (b. at Tübingen, 1509; d. at Vienna, 3 June, 1549) went ...

    Braulio, Saint

    Bishop of Saragossa, date of birth unknown, d. at Saragossa c. 651. In 631 he succeeded his ...

    Braun, Placidus

    A Bavarian historian, b. at Peiting near Schongau in Upper Bavaria, 11 February, 1756; d. at ...

    Braunschweig

    A duchy situated in the mountainous central part of Northern Germany, comprising the region of the ...

    Bravo, Francisco

    As far as known, author of the first book on medicine printed in America. His "Opera Medicinalia ...

    Brazil

    (T HE U NITED S TATES OF B RAZIL ) A vast republic of central South America covering an ...

    Bread, Liturgical Use of

    In the Christian liturgy bread is used principally as one of the elements of the Eucharistic ...

    Breadboxes, Altar

    These are made of wood, tin, britannia, silver, or other metal. In order that the breads may not ...

    Breads, Altar

    Bread is one of the two elements absolutely necessary for the sacrifice of the Eucharist. It ...

    Breast, Striking of the

    Striking of the breast as a liturgical act is prescribed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ...

    Breda

    (BREDANA) Diocese situated in the Dutch province of Brabant and suffragan of Utrecht. The ...

    Brehon Laws, The

    Brehon law is the usual term for Irish native law, as administered in Ireland down to almost ...

    Bremen

    Formerly the seat of an archdiocese situated in the north-western part of the present German ...

    Brenach, Saint

    An Irish missionary in Wales, a contemporary of St. Patrick, and among the earliest of the ...

    Brenan, Michael John

    An ecclesiastical historian, born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1780; died at Dublin, February, ...

    Brendan, Saint

    St. Brendan of Ardfert and Clonfert, known also as Brendan the Voyager, was born in Ciarraighe ...

    Brentano, Klemens Maria

    A German poet, one of the most prominent members of the Romantic School. He was born at ...

    Brescia

    The Diocese of Brescia takes its name from the principal city in the province of the same name in ...

    Breslau

    Prince-Bishopric seated at Breslau, on the River Oder in the Prussian Province of Silesia. ...

    Bressani, Francesco Giuseppe

    An Indian missionary, born in Rome, 6 May, 1612; died at Florence, 9 September, 1672. He entered ...

    Brest, Union of

    Brest -- in Russian, Brest-Litovski; in Polish, Brzesc; in the old chronicles, called Brestii, or ...

    Brethren of the Lord, The

    A group of persons closely connected with the Saviour appears repeatedly in the New ...

    Breton, Raymond

    A noted French missionary among the Caribbean Indians, b. at Baune, 3 September, 1609; d. at Caen, ...

    Bretton, Venerable John

    (Or Bretton). A layman and martyr, of all ancient family of Bretton near Barnsley in ...

    Breviary

    This subject may be divided, for convenience of treatment, as follows: I. DEFINITION; II. ...

    Breviary, Aberdeen

    This breviary may be described as the Sarum Office in a Scottish form. The use of the ancient ...

    Breviary, Reform of the Roman

    By the Apostolic Constitution "Divino Afflatu" of Pius X (1 November, 1911), a change was made ...

    Brewer, Heinrich

    A German historian, born at Puffendorf in Germany, 6 September, 1640; died at the same place ...

    Briçonnet

    (1) Guillaume Briçonnet A French cardinal, b. at Tours, date of birth unknown; d. at ...

    Briand, Joseph Olivier

    Seventh Bishop of Quebec, b. in 1715 at Plérin, Brittany; d. 25 June, 1794. He studied ...

    Briant, Saint Alexander

    English Jesuit and martyr, born in Somersetshire of a yeoman family about 1556; executed at ...

    Bribery

    The payment or the promise of money or other lucrative consideration to induce another, while ...

    Bridaine, Jacques

    Preacher, b. at Chusclan, France, 21 March, 1701; d. at Roquemaure, 22 December, 1767. Having ...

    Bridge-Building Brotherhood, The

    During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, we hear of the existence of various religious ...

    Bridget of Sweden, Saint

    (Also Birgitta). The most celebrated saint of the Northern kingdoms, born about 1303; died 23 ...

    Bridgett, Thomas Edward

    Priest and author, b. at Derby, England, 20 January, 1829, of Protestant parents ; d. at St. ...

    Bridgewater Treatises

    These publications derive their origin and their title from the Rev. Francis Henry Egerton, eighth ...

    Bridgewater, John

    Known also as AQUAPONTANUS, historian of the Catholic Confessors under Queen Elizabeth, b. in ...

    Briefs and Bulls

    A bulla was originally a circular plate or boss of metal, so called from its resemblance in ...

    Brieuc, Saint

    (Briocus, Brioc, or Bru). A Celtic saint of Brittany who received his education in Ireland ...

    Brigid of Ireland, Saint

    (Incorrectly known as BRIDGET). Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near ...

    Brigidines, Institute of the

    (SISTERS OF ST. BRIGID.) The Institute of the Brigidines was established by Most Rev. Dr. ...

    Brigittines

    The Brigittine Order (also, ORDER OF ST. SAVIOUR) was founded in 1346 by St. Brigit, or Bridget, ...

    Brignon, John

    Born at St. Malo in 1629; died at Paris, 12 June, 1712. He was a member of the Society of Jesus ...

    Bril, Paulus

    A brilliant Flemish painter and engraver, born at Antwerp, 1556; died in Rome, 7 October, 1626. ...

    Brillmacher, Peter Michael

    Born at Cologne in 1542, died at Mainz, 25 August, 1595. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1558, ...

    Brindholm, Ven. Edmund

    (Or B RYNDEHOLME .) Martyr and parish priest of Our Lady's Church at Calais, accused of ...

    Brindisi

    Brindisi—called by the Romans Brundusium or Brundisium , by the Greeks Brentesion ...

    Brinkley, Stephen

    Confessor of the Faith, imprisoned and tortured as manager of a secret press for the ...

    Brisacier, Jacques-Charles de

    Orator and ecclesiastical writer, b. at Bourges in 1641, d. at Paris, 23 March, 1736. At the ...

    Brisacier, Jean de

    Controversialist, b. at Blois, France, 9 June, 1592; entered the Society of Jesus in 1619, d. at ...

    Brisbane

    Comprises that part of the State of Queensland, Australia, which lies south of the 24th parallel ...

    Brischar, Johann Nepomucene

    Church historian, born at Horb in Würtemberg in 1819, studied theology at the University ...

    Bristol, Ancient Diocese of

    (BRISTOLIA, BRISTOLIENSIS). This English diocese, which takes its very origin from measures ...

    Bristow, Richard

    Born at Worcester, 1538, died at Harrow-on-the-Hill, 1581. He went to the University of Oxford ...

    British Columbia

    British Columbia is the westernmost province of the Dominion of Canada. Territorially, it is also ...

    Britius, Francis

    An orientalist, and a monk of Rennes in Brittany; date of birth and death unknown. He entered ...

    Brittain, Thomas Lewis

    Born near Chester, England, 1744; died at Hartpury Court, 1827. His parents were Protestants, ...

    Britto, Blessed John de

    Martyr ; born in Lisbon, 1 March, 1647, and was brought up in court; martyred in India 11 ...

    Britton, Venerable John

    (Or Bretton). A layman and martyr, of all ancient family of Bretton near Barnsley in ...

    Brixen

    A Prince-Bishopric of Austria, suffragan of Salzburg, embracing the greater part of Northern ...

    Brogan, Saint

    Flourished in the sixth or seventh century. Several persons in repute for holiness seem to have ...

    Broglie, Auguste-Théodore-Paul de

    Abbé, professor of apologetics at the Institut Catholique at Paris, and writer on ...

    Broglie, Jacques-Victor-Albert, Duc de

    French statesman and historian, b. at Paris, 13 June, 1821; d. there 19 January, 1901. After a ...

    Broglie, Maurice-Jean de

    Born in Paris, 5 September, 1766; d. there, 20 June, 1821. He was the son of the Field-Marshal, ...

    Brogny, Jean-Allarmet de

    (Or JEAN-ALOUZIER). A French Cardinal, b. in 1342 at Brogny, in Savoy ; d. at Rome, 1426. ...

    Bromyard, John

    Theologian, d. about 1390. He takes his name from his birthplace in Herefordshire, England. He ...

    Brondel, John Baptist

    First Bishop of Helena, Montana, U.S.A. b. at Bruges, Belgium, 23 February, 1842; d. at ...

    Brookby, Anthony

    ( Or Brorbey). Friar Minor and English martyr, died 19 July 1537. Brookby was lecturer in ...

    Brookes, James

    Last Catholic Bishop of Gloucester, England, b. May, 1512, in Hampshire, d. 1560. Proceeding to ...

    Brooklyn

    Comprises the counties of Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk, or all of Long Island, in the State ...

    Brosse, Jean-Baptiste de la

    A Jesuit missionary, born 1724 at Magnac, Angoumois, France ; died 1782. He studied classics ...

    Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God

    St. John of God, the founder of this religious institution, was born 8 March, 1495, at Montemor ...

    Broughton, Richard

    ( alias Rouse) Born about 1558 at Great Stukeley, Huntingdonshire; died according to ...

    Brouwer, Christoph

    (Browerius). Historian, born 12 March, 1559, at Arnheim, Holland ; died in 1617, at Trier, ...

    Brown, William

    A naval officer of the Republic of Argentina, b. 1777, in the County Mayo, Ireland ; d. 3 May, ...

    Browne, Charles Farrar

    (ARTEMUS WARD). Humorist, b. at Waterford, Oxford County, Maine, U.S.A. 26 April, 1834; d. ...

    Brownson, Orestes Augustus

    Philosopher, essayist, reviewer, b. at Stockbridge, Vermont, U.S.A., 16 September, 1803; d. at ...

    Brownson, Sarah

    Daughter of Orestes A. Brownson, b. at Chelsea, Massachusetts, 7 June, 1839; married William ...

    Brownsville

    Vicariate Apostolic, erected 1874. Previous to this date the entire State of Texas was under ...

    Bru, Saint

    (Briocus, Brioc, or Bru). A Celtic saint of Brittany who received his education in Ireland ...

    Bruel, Joachim

    (Brulius). A theologian and historian, born early in the seventeenth century at Vorst, a ...

    Brueys, David-Augustin de

    A French theologian and dramatic author, born at Aix in 1640; died 25 November, 1723, at ...

    Brugère, Louis-Frédéric

    Professor of apologetics and church history, born at Orléans, 8 October 1823; died at ...

    Bruges

    The chief town of the Province of West Flanders in the Kingdom of Belgium. Pope Nicholas I in ...

    Brugière, Pierre

    A French priest, Jansenist, and Juror, born at Thiers, 3 October, 1730; died at Paris, 7 ...

    Brugman, John

    A renowned Franciscan preacher of the fifteenth century, b. at Kempen in the Diocese of Cologne, ...

    Brumidi, Constantino

    An Italian-American historical painter, celebrated for his fresco work in the Capitol at ...

    Brumoy, Pierre

    Born at Rouen in Normandy, 1688; entered the Society of Jesus in 1704; died in Paris, 1742. ...

    Brunellesco, Filippo

    (Or Brunelleschi) An architect and sculptor, born at Florence, 1377; died there 16 April, ...

    Brunetière, Ferdinand

    A French critic and professor, born at Toulon, 19 July, 1849; died at Paris, 9 December, 1906. ...

    Brunforte, Ugolino

    Friar Minor and chronicler, born c. 1262; died c. 1348. His father Rinaldo, Lord of Sarnano in the ...

    Bruni, Leonardo

    An eminent Italian humanist, b. of poor and humble parents at Arezzo, the birthplace of ...

    Brunner, Francis de Sales

    The founder of the Swiss-American congregation of the Benedictines, b. 10 January, 1795, at ...

    Brunner, Sebastian

    A versatile and voluminous writer, b. in Vienna, 10 December, 1814; d. there, 27 November, 1893. ...

    Bruno of Querfurt, Saint

    (Also called BRUN and BONIFACE). Second Apostle of the Prussians and martyr, born about ...

    Bruno the Saxon

    (SAXONICUS.) A German chronicler of the eleventh Century and author of the "Historia de Bello ...

    Bruno, Giordano

    Italian philosopher, b. at Nola in Campania, in the Kingdom of Naples, in 1548; d. at Rome, ...

    Bruno, Saint

    Bishop of Segni, in Italy, born at Solero, Piedmont, about 1048; died 1123. He received his ...

    Bruno, Saint

    Confessor, ecclesiastical writer, and founder of the Carthusian Order. He was born at Cologne ...

    Brunswick

    A duchy situated in the mountainous central part of Northern Germany, comprising the region of the ...

    Brus, Anton

    Archbishop of Prague, b. at. Muglitz in Moravia, 13 February, 1518; d. 28 August, 1580. After ...

    Brusa

    A titular see of Bithynia in Asia Minor. According to Strabo, XII, iv, the city was founded by ...

    Brussels

    (From Bruk Sel , marsh-castle; Flemish Brussel , German Brussel , French Bruxelles ). ...

    Bruté de Rémur, Simon William Gabriel

    First Bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, U.S.A. (now Indianapolis ), b. at Rennes, France, 20 March ...

    Bruyas, Jacques

    Born at Lyons, France, 13 July, 1635; died at Sault St. Louis, Canada, 15 June 1712. He ...

    Bryant, John Delavau

    Physician, poet, author, and editor, b. in Philadelphia, U.S.A. 1811; d. 1877. He was the son of ...

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    Bu 67

    Bubastis

    A titular see of Lower Egypt, on the right bank of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, near the ...

    Bucelin, Gabriel

    (Buzlin). A Benedictine historical writer, born at Diessenhofen in Thurgau, 29 December, ...

    Bucer, Martin

    (Also called BUTZER.) One of the leaders in the South German Reformation movement, b. 11 ...

    Bucharest

    (B UCHAREST ; B UCARESTIENSIS ; Rumanian, B UCHARESCI "City of enjoyment") Comprises the ...

    Buck, Victor De

    Bollandist, born at Oudenarde, Flanders, 21 April, 1817; died 28 June, 1876. His family was one ...

    Buckfast Abbey

    The date of the foundation of the monastery of Our Lady of Buckfast, two miles from ...

    Buckley, Sir Patrick Alphonsus

    A soldier, lawyer, stateman, judge, born near Castletownsend, County Cork, Ireland, in 1841; died ...

    Buckley, Venerable John

    ( Alias John Jones; alias John Griffith; in religion, Godfrey Maurice). Priest and martyr, ...

    Budé, Guillaume

    (Budaeus). A French Hellenist, born at Paris, 1467; died there 22 August, 1540. He studied at ...

    Buddhism

    The religious, monastic system, founded c. 500 B.C. on the basis of pantheistic Brahminism. The ...

    Budweis

    (Czech, BUDEJOVICE; Latin BUDOVICIUM; BOHEMO-BUDVICENSIS). A diocese situated in Southern ...

    Buenos Aires

    The federal capital of the Argentine Republic , and the second city of the Latin races in the ...

    Buffalo

    Diocese established 23 April, 1847, now comprises the counties of Erie, Niagara, Genesee, ...

    Buffier, Claude

    A philosopher, and author, born in Poland, of French parents, 25 May, 1661; died in Paris, 17 ...

    Buglio, Louis

    A celebrated missionary in China, mathematician, and theologian, born at Mineo, Sicily, 26 ...

    Buil, Bernardo

    (Also Boil or Boyal.) A Friar Minor. The fact that there were two religious of the name of ...

    Buildings, Ecclesiastical

    This term comprehends all constructions erected for the celebration of liturgical acts, whatever ...

    Bukarest

    (B UCHAREST ; B UCARESTIENSIS ; Rumanian, B UCHARESCI "City of enjoyment") Comprises the ...

    Bulgaria

    A European kingdom in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, bounded by the Black Sea, ...

    Bull-Fight, The Spanish

    Overview Neither the English term nor the German ( Stiergefecht ) used to designate this ...

    Bulla Aurea

    (Golden Bull ). A fundamental law of the Holy Roman Empire; probably the best known of all ...

    Bullaker, Ven. Thomas

    ( Also John Baptist). A Friar Minor and English martyr, born at Chichester about the ...

    Bullarium

    Bullarium is a term commonly applied to a collection of bulls and other analogous papal ...

    Bullion, Angélique

    Born in Paris, at commencement of the seventeenth century, her parents being Guichard Favre and ...

    Bulls and Briefs

    A bulla was originally a circular plate or boss of metal, so called from its resemblance in ...

    Bulstrode, Sir Richard

    A soldier, diplomatist, and author, born 1610; died 1711, was the second son of Edward Bulstrode ...

    Bunderius, Joannes

    (VAN DEN BUNDERE). A Flemish theologian and controversialist, born of distinguished parents ...

    Buonarroti, Michelangelo

    Italian sculptor, painter, and architect, b. at Caprese in the valley of the upper Arno, 6 March, ...

    Burchard of Basle

    (Also of HASENBURG or ASUEL, from his ancestral castle in Western Berne, Switzerland ). ...

    Burchard of Würzurg, Saint

    First bishop of Würzurg, b. in England of Anglo-Saxon parents, date unknown; d. in ...

    Burchard of Worms

    Bishop of that see, b. of noble parents in Hesse, Germany, after the middle of the tenth ...

    Burckmair, Hans

    (Or Burgkmair). A painter of the Swabian school, b. at Augsburg in 1473; d. in 1531. He was ...

    Burgis, Edward Ambrose

    A Dominican historian and theologian, b. in England c. 1673; d. in Brussels, 27 April, 1747. ...

    Burgoa, Francisco

    Born at Oaxaca about 1600; d. at Teopozotlan in 1681. He entered the Dominican Order 2 August, ...

    Burgos

    (B URGENSIS ) The Archdiocese of Burgos (from burgi, burgorum , signifying a ...

    Burgundy

    (Latin Burgundia , German Burgund , French Bourgogne ). In medieval times ...

    Burial, Christian

    The interment of a deceased person with ecclesiastical rites in consecrated ground. The Jews ...

    Buridan, Jean

    French scholastic philosopher of the fourteenth century, b. at Béthune, in the district of ...

    Burigny, Jean Lévesque de

    Historian, b. at Reims, 1692; d. at Paris, 1785. In 1713, with his brothers, Champeaux and ...

    Burkard, Franz

    The name of two celebrated German jurists. One died suddenly at Rain, 9 December 1539. He began to ...

    Burke, Edmund

    First Vicar Apostolic of Nova Scotia, b. in the parish of Maryborough, County Kildare, Ireland, ...

    Burke, Thomas

    (THOMAS DE BURGO) Bishop of Ossory, b. at Dublin, Ireland, about 1709; d. at Kilkenny, 25 ...

    Burke, Thomas Nicholas

    A celebrated Dominican orator, b. 8 September, 1830, in Galway ; d. 2 July, 1882, at ...

    Burleigh, Walter

    (Also: Walter Burley; Burlæus). Friar Minor and medieval philosopher, b. in 1275 and d. in ...

    Burlington

    (Burlingtonensis). Diocese established 14 July, 1853; comprises the whole State of Vermont , ...

    Burma

    Before its annexation by the British Burma consisted of the kingdoms of Ava and Pegu. In 1548 St. ...

    Burnett, Peter Hardeman

    First American Governor of California, U.S.A. b. in Nashville, Tennessee, 15 Nov., 1807, of ...

    Burns, James

    Publisher and author, b. near Montrose, Forfarshire, Scotland, 1808; d. in London, 11 April, ...

    Burse

    ( Bursa , "hide", "skin"; whence "bag" or "purse"). A receptacle in which, for reasons of ...

    Bursfeld, The Abbey of

    In the Middle Ages on of the most celebrated Benedictine monasteries in Germany was the ...

    Bury St. Edmund's, The Abbey of

    The first religious foundation there was established by Sigebert, King of the East Angles, who ...

    Busée, Pierre

    (Busæus or Buys). A Jesuit theologian, born at Nimwegen in 1540; died at Vienna in ...

    Bus, Venerable César de

    A priest and founder of two religious congregations, b. 3 February, 1544, at Cavaillon, Comtat ...

    Busembaum, Hermann

    Moral theologian, born at Notteln, Westphalia, 1600; died at Münster, 31 January, 1668. He ...

    Busiris

    A titular see taking its title from one of the many Egyptian cities of the same name. This ...

    Buskins

    (Caligæ). Ceremonial stockings of silk, sometimes interwoven with gold threads, and even ...

    Buss, Franz Joseph, Ritter von

    Jurist, b. 23 March, 1803 at Zell in Baden ; d. 31 January, 1878, at Freiburg im Breisgau. He ...

    Bustamante, Carlos María

    Mexican statesman and historian, b. at Oaxaca, Mexico, 4 November, 1774; d. in Mexico, 29 ...

    Buston, Thomas Stephen

    (or Busten) A Jesuit missionary and author, born 1549, in the Diocese of Salisbury , ...

    Bute, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, Third Marquess of

    Born at Mountstuart, Bute, 12 September, 1847; d. at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, 9 October, 1900, ...

    Buteux, Jacques

    French missionary in Canada. Born at Abbeville, in Picardy, 11 April, 1600; slain by the ...

    Butler, Alban

    Historian, b. 10 October, 1710, at Appletree, Northamptonshire, England ; d. at St-Omer, ...

    Butler, Charles

    One of the most prominent figures among the English Catholics of his day, b. in London, 1750, d. ...

    Butler, Mary Joseph

    First Irish Abbess of the Irish Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Grace, at Ypres, Flanders, ...

    Butler, Sir William Francis

    Born at Suirville, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, 31 October, 1838; died 7 June, 1910, was the son of ...

    Buttress

    A pilaster, pier, or body of masonry projecting beyond the main face of the wall and intended to ...

    Buxton, Ven. Chrisopher

    Priest and martyr, b. in Derbyshire; d. at Canterbury, 1 October, 1588. He was a scholar of ...

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    Byblos

    A titular see of Phoenicia. Byblos is the Greek name of Gebal "The Mountain", one of the oldest ...

    Bye-Altar

    An altar that is subordinate to the central or high altar. The term is generally applied to ...

    Byllis

    A titular see of Epirus Nova (Albania), whose title is often added to that of Apollonia among ...

    Byrd, William

    English composer, born in London in 1542 or 1543; died 4 July, 1623. He was the son of a ...

    Byrne, Andrew

    Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A. b. at Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland, 5 December, 1802; ...

    Byrne, Richard

    Brevet brigadier general, United States Army, b. in Co. Cavan, Ireland, 1832; d. at Washington, ...

    Byrne, William

    Missionary and educator, born in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1780; died at Bardstown, Kentucky, ...

    Byzantine Architecture

    A mixed style, i.e. a style composed of Graeco-Roman and Oriental elements which, in earlier ...

    Byzantine Art

    The art of the Eastern Roman Empire and of its capital Byzantium, or Constantinople. The term ...

    Byzantine Empire, The

    The ancient Roman Empire having been divided into two parts, an Eastern and a Western, the Eastern ...

    Byzantine Literature

    To grasp correctly the essential characteristics of Byzantine literature, it is necessary first ...

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