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Demonology

As the name sufficiently indicates, demonology is the science or doctrine concerning demons. Both in its form and in its meaning it has an obvious analogy with theology, which is the science or doctrine about God. And with reference to the many false and dangerous forms of this demonic science we may fitly adapt the well-known words of Albertus Magnus on the subject of theology and say of demonology, A daemonibus docetur, de daemonibus docet, et ad daemones ducit ("It is taught by the demons, it teaches about the demons, and it leads to the demons "). For very much of the literature that comes under this head of demonology is tainted with errors that may well owe their origin to the father of falsehood, and much of it again, especially those portions which have a practical purpose (what may be called the ascetical and mystical demonology) is designed to lead men to give themselves to the service of Satan.

There is, of course, a true doctrine about demons or evil spirits , namely, that portion of Catholic theology which treats of the creation and fall of the rebel angels, and of the various ways in which these fallen spirits are permitted to tempt and afflict the children of men. But for the most part these questions will be dealt with elsewhere in this work. Here, on the contrary, our chief concern is with the various ethnic, Jewish, and heretical systems of demonology. These systems are so many that it will be out of the question to deal with them all or to set forth their doctrines with completeness. And indeed a full treatment of these strange doctrines of demons might well seem somewhat out of place in these pages. It will be enough to give some indication of the main features of a few of the more important systems in various lands and in distant ages. This may enable the reader to appreciate the important part played by these ideas in the course of human history and their influence on the religion and morals and social life of the people. At the same time some attempt may be made to distinguish the scattered elements of truth which may still be found in this vast fabric of falsehood -- truths of natural religion, recorded experience of actual facts, even perhaps remnants of revealed teaching that come from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures or from primitive tradition. This point has some importance at the present day, when the real or apparent agreement between heathen legend and Christian theology is so often made a ground of objection against the truth of revealed religion.

Perhaps the first fact that strikes one who approaches the study of this subject is the astonishing universality and antiquity of demonology, of some belief in the existence of demons or evil spirits , and of a consequent recourse to incantations or other magical practices. There are some things which flourished in the past and have long since disappeared from the face of the earth; and there are others whose recorded origin may be traced in comparatively modern times, and it is no surprise to find that they are still flourishing. There are beliefs and practices, again, which seem to be confined to certain lands and races of men, or to some particular stage of social culture. But there is something which belongs at once to the old world and the new, and is found flourishing among the most widely different races, and seems to be equally congenial to the wild habits of savages and the refinements of classical or modern culture. Its antiquity may be seen not only from the evidence of ancient monuments, but from the fact that a yet more remote past is still present with us in the races which remain, as one may say, in the primitive and prehistoric condition. And even amid these rude races, apparently innocent of all that savours of science and culture, we may find a belief in evil spirits, and some attempts to propitiate them and avert their wrath, or maybe to secure their favour and assistance. This belief in spirits, both good and evil, is commonly associated with one or other of two widespread and primitive forms of religious worship -- and accordingly some modern folklorists and mythologists are led to ascribe its origin either to the personification of the forces of nature -- in which many have found a "key to all the mythologies" -- or else to Animism, or a belief in the powerful activity of the souls of the dead, who were therefore invoked and worshiped. On this last theory all spirits were at first conceived of as being the souls of dead men, and from this aboriginal Animism there were gradually developed the various elaborate systems of mythology, demonology, and angelology. But here it is well to distinguish between the facts themselves and the theory devised for their interpretation. It is a fact that these rude forms of worship are found among primitive peoples. But the manner in which they began and the motives of the first prehistoric worshippers are and must remain matters of conjecture. In the same way, with regard to the later phases, it is a fact that these primitive beliefs and practices have some features in common with later and more elaborate ethnic systems -- e.g. the Iranian demonology of the Avesta -- and these again have many points which find some counterpart in the pages of Scripture and Catholic theology ; but it by no means follows from these facts that these facile theories are right as to the nature of the connection between these various ethnic and Christian systems. And a further consideration of the subject may serve to show that it may be explained in another and more satisfactory manner.

Assyrian and Akkadian Demonology

Some idea of the antiquity of demonology and magical practices might be gathered from notices in the Bible or in classic literature, to say nothing of the argument that might be drawn from the universality of these beliefs and practices. But still more striking evidence has been brought to light by the decipherment of the cuneiform hieroglyphics which has opened a way to the study of the rich literature of Babylon and Assyria. In consequence of their bearing on the problems of Biblical history, attention has been attracted to the evidence of the monuments in regard to such matters as the cosmology, the tradition of the Deluge, or the relations of Assyria and Babylon with the people of Israel. And possibly less interest has been taken in the religious beliefs and practices of the Assyrians themselves. In this question of demonology, however, some of the Assyrian monuments may be said to have a special importance. From certain cuneiform texts which are more especially described as "religious", it appears that besides the public and official cult of the "twelve great gods" and their subordinate divinities, the Assyrians had a more sacred and secret religion, a religion of mystery and magic and sorcery. These "religious" texts, moreover, together with a mass of talismanic inscriptions on cylinders and amulets, prove the presence of an exceedingly rich demonology. Below the greater and lesser gods there was a vast host of spirits, some of them good and beneficent and some of them evil and hurtful. And these spirits were described and classified with an exactness which leads some to liken the arrangement to that of the choirs and orders of our own angelic hierarchy. The antiquity and importance of this secret religion, with its magic and incantations of the good spirits or evil demons, may be gathered from the fact that by order of King Assurbanipal his scribes made several copies of a great magical work according to an exemplar which had been preserved from a remote antiquity in the priestly school of Erech in Chaldea. This work consisted of three books, the first of which is entirely consecrated to incantations, conjurations, and imprecations against the evil spirits . These cuneiform books, it must be remembered, are really written on clay tablets. And each of the tablets of these first books which has come down to us ends with the title, "Tablet No. - of the Evil Spirits". The ideogram which is here rendered as kullulu -- "accursed" or "evil" -- might also be read as limuttu -- "baneful". Besides being known by the generic name of udukku -- "spirit" -- a demon is called more distinctly ecimmu , or maskimmu. One special class of these spirits was the sedu , or divine bull, which is represented in the well-known figure of a man-headed bull so common on the Assyrian monuments. This name, it may be remarked, is probably the source of the Hebrew for demon. The Assyrian sedu , it is true, was more commonly a beneficent or tutelary spirit. But this is hardly an obstacle to the derivation, for the good spirits of one nation were often regarded as evil by men of rival races.

Iranian Demonology

In many ways one of the most remarkable demonologies is that presented in the Avesta, the sacred book of the Mazdean religion of Zoroaster. In this ancient religion, which unlike that of the Assyrians, still exists in the Parsee community, the war between light and darkness, good and evil comes into greater prominence. Over against the good God, Ahura Mazda , with his hierarchy of holy spirits, there is arrayed the dark kingdom of demons, or daevas , under Anro Mainyus (Ahriman), the cruel Evil Spirit, the Demon of Demons ( Daevanam Daeva ), who is ever warring against Ahura Mazda and his faithful servants such as Zoroaster. It may be remarked that the name of Daeva is an instance of that change from a good to a bad sense which is seen in the case of the Greek word daimon . For the original meaning of the word is "shining one", and it comes from a primitive Aryan root div , which is likewise the source of the Greek Zeus and the Latin deus. But while these words, like the Sanskrit deva , retain the good meaning, daeva has come to mean "an evil spirit ". There is at least a coincidence, if no deeper significance, in the fact that, while the word in its original sense was synonymous with Lucifer , it has now come to mean much the same as devil . There is also a curious coincidence in the similarity in sound between daeva , the modern Persian dev , and the word devil . Looking at the likeness both in sound and in significance, one would be tempted to say that they must have a common origin, but for the fact that we know with certainty that the word devil comes from diabolus ( diabolos -- diaballein ) and can have no connection with the Persian or Sanskrit root.

Although there are marked differences between the demons of the Avesta and the devil in Scripture and Christian theology (for Christian doctrine is free from the dualism of the Mazdean system), the essential struggle between good and evil is still the same in both cases. And the pictures of the holiness and fidelity of Zoroaster when he is assailed by the temptations and persecutions of Anro Mainyus and his demons may well recall the trials of saints under the assaults of Satan or suggest some faint analogy with the great scene of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. Fortunately for English readers, a portion of the Vendidad (Fargard xix), which contains the temptation of Zoroaster, has been admirably rendered in a doctrinal paraphrase in Dr. Casartelli's "Leaves from my Eastern Garden". The important part played by the demons in the Mazdean system may be seen from the title of the Vendidad, which is the largest and most complete part of the Avesta, so much so that when the sacred book is written or printed without the commentaries it is generally known as Vendidad Sade which means something that is "given against the demons " -- vidaevodata , i.e. contra daimones datus or antidaemoniacus.

Jewish Demonology

When we turn from the Avesta to the Sacred Books of the Jews, that is to say to the canonical Scripture, we are struck by the absence of an elaborate demonology such as that of the Persians and Assyrians. There is much, indeed, about the angels of the Lord, the hosts of heaven, the seraphim and cherubim, and other spirits who stand before the throne or minister to men. But the mention of the evil spirits is comparatively slight. Not that their existence is ignored, for we have the temptation by the serpent, in which Jews as well as Christians recognize the work of the Evil Spirit. In Job, again, Satan appears as the tempter and the accuser of the just man ; in Kings it is he who incites David to murder the prophet ; in Zacharias he is seen in his office of accuser. An evil spirit comes upon the false prophets. Saul is afflicted or apparently possessed, by an evil spirit. The activity of the demon in magic arts is indicated in the works wrought by the magicians of Pharaoh, and in the Levitical laws against wizards or witches.. The scapegoat is sent into the wilderness to Azazael, who is supposed by some to be a demon (see ATONEMENT, DAY OF), and to this may be added a remarkable passage in Isaias which seems to countenance the common belief that demons dwell in waste places: "And demons and monsters shall meet, and the hairy ones shall cry out one to another, there hath the lamia lain down, and found rest for herself" ( Isaiah 34:14 ). It is true that the Hebrew here rendered by "demons" may merely mean wild animals. But on the other hand, the Hebrew which is rendered very literally as "hairy ones" is translated "demons" by Targum and Peshitta, and is supposed to mean a goat shaped deity analogous to the Greek Pan. And "lamia" represents the original Lilith, a spirit of the night who in Hebrew legend is the demon wife of Adam.

A further development of the demonology of the Old Testament is seen in the Book of Tobias, which though not included in the Jewish Canon was written in Hebrew or Chaldean, and a version in the latter language has been recovered among some rabbinical writings. Here we have the demon Asmodeus who plays the part assigned to demons in many ethnic demonologies and folk-legends. He has been identified by some good authorities with the Aeshmo Daeva of the Avesta ; but Whitehouse doubts this identification and prefers the alternative Hebrew etymology. In any case Asmodeus became a prominent figure in later Hebrew demonology, and some strange tales told about him in the Talmud are quite in the vein of "The Arabian Nights". The rabbinical demonology of the Talmud and Midrashim is very far from the reticence and sobriety of the canonical writings in regard to this subject. Some modern critics ascribe this rich growth of demonology among the Jews to the effects of the Captivity, and regard it as the result of Babylonian or Persian influence. But though in its abundance and elaboration it may bear some formal resemblance to these external systems, there seems no reason to regard it as simply a case of appropriation from the doctrines of strangers. For when we come to compare them more closely, we may well feel that the Jewish demonology has a distinctive character of its own, and should rather be regarded as an outgrowth from beliefs and ideas which were present in the mind of the chosen people before they came into contact with Persians and Babylonians. It is certainly significant that, instead of borrowing from the abundant legends and doctrines ready to their hand in the alien systems, the rabbinical demonologists sought their starting point in some text of their own scriptures and drew forth all they wanted by means of their subtle and ingenious methods of exegesis. Thus the aforesaid text of Isaias furnished, under the name of Lilith, a mysterious female night spirit who apparently lived in desolate places, and forthwith they made her the demon wife of Adam and the mother of demons. But whence, it may be asked, had these exponents of the sacred text any warrant for saying that our first father contracted a mixed marriage with a being of another race and begot children other than human? They simply took the text of Genesis, v: "And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son to his own image and likeness". This explicit statement they said, plainly implies that previous to that time he had begotten sons who were not to his own image and likeness; for this he must needs have found some help meet of another race than his own, to wit a demon wife, to become the mother of demons. This notice of a union between mankind and beings of a different order had long been a familiar feature in pagan mythology and demonology, and, as will presently appear, some early Christian commentators discovered some countenance for it in Genesis, vi, 2, which tells how the sons of God "took to themselves wives of the daughters of men". One characteristic of Jewish demonology was the amazing multitude of the demons. According to all accounts every man has thousands of them at his side. The air is full of them, and, since they were the causes of various diseases, it was well that men should keep some guard on their mouths lest, swallowing a demon, they might be afflicted with some deadly disease. This may recall the common tendency to personify epidemic diseases and speak of "the cholera fiend", "the influenza fiend", etc. And it may be remarked that the old superstition of these Jewish demonologists presents a curiously close analogy to the theory of modern medical science. For we now know that the air is full of microbes and germs of disease, and that by inhaling any of these living organisms we receive the disease into our systems.

Demonology of the Early Christian Writers

Whatever may be said of this theory of the Rabbis, that the air is full of demons, and that men are in danger of receiving them into their systems it may certainly be said that in the days of the early Christians the air was dangerously full of demonologies, and that men were in peculiar peril of adopting erroneous doctrines on this matter. It must be remembered, on the one hand, that many of the Gospel miracles, and particularly the casting out of devils, must in any case have given the faithful a vivid sense of the existence and power of the evil spirits. At the same time, as we have seen, Scripture itself did not furnish any full and clear information in regard to the origin and the nature of these powerful enemies; on the other hand, it may be observed that the first Christian converts and the first Christian teachers were for the most part either Jews or Greeks, and many of them were living in the midst of those who professed some or other of the old Oriental religions. Thus, while they naturally wished to know something about these matters, they had but little definite knowledge of the truth, and on the other hand their ears were daily filled with false and misleading information. In these circumstances it is scarcely surprising to find that some of the earliest ecclesiastical writers, as St. Justin, Origen, and Tertullian, are not very happy in their treatment of this topic. There was, moreover, one fruitful source of error which is rather apt to be forgotten. Now that common consent of Catholic commentators has furnished a better interpretation of Genesis, vi, 2, and conciliar definitions and theological arguments have established the fact that the angels are purely spiritual beings, it may seem strange that some early Christian teachers should have supposed that the phrase, sons of God , could possibly mean the angels or that these pure spirits could have taken unto themselves wives of the daughters of men. But it must be borne in mind that the old commentators, who read the Septuagint or some derivative version, did not put this interpretation on the passage; the word itself was in the text before them, that is to say, the old Greek Bible expressly said that "the Angels of God took wives of the daughters of men". This unfortunate reading was certainly enough to give a wrong direction to much of the demonology of early Christian writers and those who went astray in other matters also naturally adopted peculiar ideas on this subject. In some ways one of the most remarkable examples of this mistaken demonology is that to be found in the pseudo-Clementine Homilies (Hom. viii, ix). The writer gives a very full account of the mysterious episode of Genesis, vi, 2, which, in common with so many others, he takes to be the origin of the demons who were in his view, the offspring of the supposed union of the angels of God and the daughters of men. But on one point, at any rate, he improves the story and does something to lighten our initial difficulty. The first objection to the legend was, that the angels as pure spirits, were plainly incapable of feeling sensual passions ; and it was possibly a keen sense of this difficulty that led some who had adopted the story to deny the spirituality of the angelic nature. But the moralist evades it in a more ingenious manner. According to his account, the angels were not overpowered with the passion of sensual love while they were as yet in their purely spiritual state; but when they looked down and witnessed the wickedness and ingratitude of men whose sins were defiling the fair creation of God, they asked of their Creator that they might be endowed with bodies like those of men, so that coming down to earth, they might set things right and lead a righteous life in the visible creation. Their wish was granted, they were clothed in bodies and came down to dwell on earth. But now they found that with their raiment of mortal flesh they had acquired also the weakness and passions which had wrought such havoc in men, and they too, like the sons of men, became enamoured of the beauty of women and, forgetting the noble purpose of their descent to earth, gave themselves up to the gratification of their lust, and so rushed headlong to their ruin. The offspring of their union with the daughters of men were the giants -- the mighty men of superhuman build and superhuman powers, as became the sons of incarnate angels, yet at the same time mortal, like their mortal mothers. And when these giants perished in the Flood their disembodied souls wandered through the world as the race of demons.

Medieval and Modern Demonology

Throughout the Christian Middle Ages the external systems of demonology among the uncultured races or in the ancient civilizations of the East continued their course, and may still be found flourishing in the home of their origin or in other lands. Within the Catholic fold there was less scope for the worse form of the old errors. The early heresies had been cast out, and theological speculation had been directed in the true way by the decision of the Fifth Ecumenical Council (545), which condemned certain Origenist errors on the subject of demons. But while the theologians of the great scholastic period were setting forth and elucidating the Catholic doctrine concerning angels and devils there was withal a darker side in the popular superstitions, and in the men who at all times continued to practise the black arts of magic, and witchcraft, and dealing with the devil. In the troubled period of the Renaissance and the Reformation there appears to have been a fresh outbreak of old superstitions and evil practices, and for a time both Catholic and Protestant countries were disturbed by the strange beliefs and the strange doings of real or supposed professors of the black arts and by the credulous and cruel persecutors who sought to suppress them. In the new age of the Revolution and the spread of practical ideas and exact methods of science it was at first thought by many that these medieval superstitions would speedily pass away. When men, materialized by the growth of wealth and the comforts of civilization, and enlightened by science and new philosophies, could scarce find faith to believe in the pure truths of revealed religion, there could be little room for any belief in the doctrines of demons. The whole thing was now rudely rejected as a dream and a delusion. Learned men marvelled at the credulity of their fathers, with their faith in ghosts, and demons, and black magic, but felt it impossible to take any serious interest in the subject in their age of enlightenment. Yet in fact there was still stranger delusion in the naive faith of the early Rationalists, who fondly fancied that they had found the key to all knowledge and that there were no things in heaven or earth beyond the reach of their science and philosophy. And much of the history of the last hundred years forms a curious comment on these proud pretentions. For far from disappearing from the face of the earth, much of the old occultism has been revived with a new vigour, and has taken new form in modern Spiritism At the same time, philosophers, historians, and men of science have been led to make a serious study of the story of demonology and occultism in past ages or in other lands, in order to understand its true significance.

Conclusion

With all their variations and contradictions, the multitudinous systems of demonology yet have much in common. In some cases this may be accounted for by the fact that one has freely borrowed from another. Thus, the demonology of early Christian writers would naturally owe much both to the systems of Jewish and Greek demonology, and these in their turn can hardly have been free from other foreign influences. And since not only heretical opinions, but orthodox teaching on this subject has at any rate some elements in common with the ethnic systems -- from the Animism of the simple savage to the elaborate demonology of the Chaldeans and Iranians -- the mythologist or folklorist bids us come to the conclusion that all are from the same source, and that the Biblical and Catholic doctrine on evil spirits must be no more than a development from Animism and a more refined form of ethnic demonology. But it may be well to observe that at best this solution is but a plausible hypothesis and that the facts of the case may be explained just as well by another hypothesis which some philosophic writers do not seem to have considered, to wit: the hypothesis that the teaching of revealed religion on this topic is true after all. Can it be said that if this were so there would be no trace of belief in demons among races outside the Christian fold or in religious systems older than the Bible ? If, as our theology teaches, the fallen angels really exist and are permitted to try and tempt the sons of men, should we not expect to find some belief in their existence and some traces of their evil influence in every land and in every age of human history? Should we not expect to find that here as elsewhere the elements of truth would be overlaid with error, and that they should take different shapes in each nation and each succeeding age, according to the measure of knowledge, and culture, and new ideas current in the minds of men? This hypothesis, to say no more, will fit well all the facts -- for instance, the universality of the belief in evil spirits and any evidence adducible for actual influence on men, whether in the records of demonic possession and magic in the past or in the phenomena of modern Spiritism. And we can scarcely say the same of the other hypothesis.

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A titular see of Greece. Daulis, later Daulia, Dauleion, often Diauleia, even Davalia, was a ...

Daumer, Georg Friedrich

German poet and philosopher, b. at Nuremberg, 5 March, 1800; d. at Wurzburg, 14 December, 1875. ...

Davenport

DIOCESE OF DAVENPORT (DAVENPORTENSIS) The Diocese of Davenport, erected 8 May, 1881, embraces ...

Davenport, Christopher

Also known as FRANCISCUS À SANCTA CLARA and sometimes by the alias of FRANCIS HUNT and ...

David of Augsburg

(DE AUGUSTA). Medieval German mystic, b. probably at Augsburg, Bavaria, early in the ...

David of Dinant

A pantheistic philosopher who lived in the first decades of the thirteenth century. Very little ...

David Scotus

A medieval Irish chronicler, date of birth unknown; d. 1139. Early in the twelfth century ...

David, Armand

Missionary priest and zoologist, b. 1826; d. 1900. He entered the Congregation of the Mission ...

David, Gheeraert

Son of John David, painter and illuminator, b. at Oudewater, South Holland, c. 1450, d. 13 ...

David, King

In the Bible the name David is borne only by the second king of Israel, the great-grandson of ...

David, Saint

(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on ...

Davies, Venerable William

Martyr, one of the most illustrious of the priests who suffered under Queen Elizabeth, b. in ...

Dawson, Æneas McDonnell

Author, b. in Scotland, 30 July, 1810; d. in Ottawa, Canada, 29 Dec., 1894. He studied at the ...

Dax, Diocese of

An ancient French diocese which was suppressed by the Concordat of 1801, its territory now ...

Day of Atonement

( Hebrew Yom Hakkippurim . Vulgate, Dies Expiationum , and Dies Propitiationis — ...

Day, George

Bishop of Chichester ; b. in Shropshire, England, c. 1501; d. 2 August, 1556. He was graduated ...

Day, John Charles, Sir

Jurist, b. near Bath, England, 1826; d. 13 June, 1908, at Newbury. He was educated at Rome and ...

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De 133

De L'Orme, Philibert

Celebrated architect of the French Renaissance, born at Lyons, c. 1515 or a little later; died at ...

De La Croix, Charles

Missionary, b. at Hoorbeke-St-Corneille, Belgium, 28 Oct., 1792; d. at Ghent, 20 Aug., 1869. He ...

De Lisle, Ambrose Lisle March Phillipps

Born 17 March, 1809; died 5 March, 1878. He was the son of Charles March Phillipps of Garendon ...

De Paul University

DePaul University, Chicago, is the outgrowth of St. Vincent's College, which opened in Sept., ...

De Profundis

("Out of the depths"). First words of Psalm 129. The author of this Psalm is unknown; it was ...

De Rossi, Giovanni Battista

A distinguished Christian archaeologist , best known for his work in connection with the Roman ...

De Smet, Pierre-Jean

Missionary among the North American Indians , b. at Termonde (Dendermonde), Belgium, 30 Jan., ...

De Soto, Hernando

Explorer and conqueror, born at Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain, 1496 or 1500; died on the ...

De Vere, Aubrey Thomas Hunt

Poet, critic, and essayist, b. at Curragh Chase, County Limerick, Ireland, 10 January, 1814; died ...

Deaconesses

We cannot be sure that any formal recognition of deaconesses as an institution of consecrated ...

Deacons

The name deacon ( diakonos ) means only minister or servant, and is employed in this sense ...

Dead Sea

The name given to the lake that lies on the south-eastern border of Palestine. The Old Testament ...

Dead, Prayers for the

This subject will be treated under the following three heads: I. General Statement and Proof of ...

Deaf, Education of the

Education essentially includes the process of encouraging, strengthening, and guiding the ...

Dean

(Gk. déka , ten; Latin decanus ). One of the principal administrative officials of ...

Dean, William, Venerable

Born in Yorkshire, England, date uncertain, martyred 28 August, 1588. He studied at Reims and ...

Dease, Thomas

Born in Ireland, 1568; died at Galway, 1651. He sprang from an ancient Irish family at one ...

Death Penalty

The infliction by due legal process of the penalty of death as a punishment for crime. The ...

Death, Dance of

(French, Dance Macabre , German Todtentanz ) The "Dance of Death" was originally a ...

Death, Preparation for

The basic preparation for death When should a priest be called? Winding up our earthly affairs ...

Debbora

Prophetess and judge: she was the wife of Lapidoth and was endowed by God with prophetic gifts ...

Debt

( debitum ) That which is owed or due to another; in general, anything which one person is ...

Decalogue

(Greek deka , ten and logos , word). The term employed to designate the collection of ...

Decapolis

(From Greek Deka , ten, and polis , city) Decapolis is the name given in the Bible and ...

Dechamps, Adolphe

Belgian statesman and publicist, brother of Cardinal Dechamps, born at Melle near Ghent, 17 ...

Dechamps, Victor Augustin Isidore

Cardinal, Archbishop of Mechlin, and Primate of Belgium ; born at Melle near Ghent 6 Dec., ...

Decius

(C AIUS M ESSIUS Q UINTUS T RAJANUS D ECIUS ). Roman Emperor 249-251. He was born, ...

Decker, Hans

A German sculptor of the middle of the fifteenth century. Very little is recorded concerning ...

Declaration, The Royal

This is the name most commonly given to the solemn repudiation of Catholicity which, in ...

Decorations, Pontifical

Pontifical decorations are the titles of nobility, orders of Christian knighthood and other ...

Decree

( Latin decretum , from decerno , I judge). In a general sense, an order or law made by a ...

Decretals, Papal

I. DEFINITION AND EARLY HISTORY (1) In the wide sense of the term decretalis (i.e. epistola ...

Dedication

A term which, though sometimes used of persons who are consecrated to God's service, is more ...

Dedication, Feast of the

Also called the Feast of the Machabees and Feast of Lights ( Josephus and Talmudic ...

Deduction

( Latin de ducere , to lead, draw out, derive from; especially, the function of deriving truth ...

Deer, Abbey of

A once famous Scotch monastery. According to the Celtic legend St. Columcille, his disciple ...

Defender of the Matrimonial Tie

( Defensor matrimonii ) The Defender of the Matrimonial Tie is an official whose duty is to ...

Definitions, Theological

The Vatican Council (Sess. iv, cap. iv) solemnly taught the doctrine of papal infallibility ...

Definitor (in Canon Law)

An official in secular deaneries and in certain religious orders. Among regulars, a definitor is ...

Definitors (in Religious Orders)

Generally speaking, the governing council of an order. Bergier describes them as those chosen to ...

Deger, Ernst

Historical painter, born in Bockenem, Hanover, 15 April, 1809; died in Düsseldorf, 27 ...

Degradation

( Latin degradatio ). A canonical penalty by which an ecclesiastic is entirely and ...

Deharbe, Joseph

Theologian, catechist, b. at Straburg, Alsace, 11 April, 1800; d. at Maria-Laach, 8 November, ...

Dei gratia; Dei et Apostolicæ Sedis gratia

( By the grace of God; By the grace of God and the Apostolic See ) A formulæ added ...

Deicolus, Saint

(DICHUIL) Elder brother of St. Gall, b. in Leinster, Ireland, c. 530; d. at Lure, France, 18 ...

Deism

( Latin Deus , God ). The term used to denote certain doctrines apparent in a tendency ...

Deity

( French déité ; Late Latin deitas ; Latin deue , divus , "the divine ...

Delacroix, Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène

French painter, b. at Charenton-St-Maurice, near Paris, 26 April, 1798; d. 13 August, 1863. He was ...

Delaroche, Hippolyte

(Known also as P AUL ) Painter, born at Paris, 17 July, 1797; died 4 November, 1856. A pupil ...

Delatores

( Latin for DENOUNCERS) A term used by the Synod of Elvira (c. 306) to stigmatize those ...

Delaware

Delaware, one of the original thirteen of the United States of America. It lies between ...

Delaware Indians

An important tribal confederacy of Algonquian stock originally holding the basin of the Delaware ...

Delcus

A titular see of Thrace, suffragan of Philippopolis. The Greek name of the place was Delkos or ...

Delegation

( Latin delegare ) A delegation is the commission to another of jurisdiction, which is to be ...

Delfau, François

Theologian, born 1637 at Montel in Auvergne, France ; died 13 Oct., 1676, at Landevenec in ...

Delfino, Pietro

A theologian, born at Venice in 1444; died 16 Jan., 1525. He entered the Camaldolese ...

Delilah

(Or Dalila ). Samson, sometime after his exploit at Gaza ( Judges 16:1-3 ), " loved a ...

Delille, Jacques

French abbé and litterateur , born at Aigueperse, 22 June, 1738; died at Paris, 1 May, ...

Delisle, Guillaume

Reformer of cartography, born 28 February, 1675, in Paris ; died there 25 January, 1726. His ...

Delphine, Blessed

A member of the Third Order of St. Francis, born in Provence, France, in 1284; died 26 ...

Delrio, Martin Anton

Scholar, statesman, Jesuit theologian, born at Antwerp, 17 May, 1551; died at Louvain, 19 ...

Delta of the Nile, Prefecture Apostolic of the

The Prefecture Apostolic of the Delta of the Nile is situated in the north of Egypt and ...

Deluge

Deluge is the name of a catastrophe fully described in Genesis 6:1 - 9:19 , and referred to in the ...

Demers, Modeste

An apostle of the Pacific Coast of North America, and the first Catholic missionary among most ...

Demetrius

The name of two Syrian kings mentioned in the Old Testament and two other persons in the ...

Demetrius, Saint

Bishop of Alexandria from 188 to 231. Julius Africanus, who visited Alexandria in the time of ...

Demiurge

The word means literally a public worker, demioergós, demiourgós, and was ...

Democracy, Christian

In Christian Democracy , the name and the reality have two very different histories, and ...

Demon

(Greek daimon and daimonion , Latin daemonium ). In Scripture and in Catholic ...

Demoniacs

( See also DEMONOLOGY, EXORCISM, EXORCIST, POSSESSION.) (Greek daimonikos, daimonizomenos, ...

Demonology

As the name sufficiently indicates, demonology is the science or doctrine concerning demons. ...

Dempster, Thomas

Savant, professor, author; b., as he himself states at Cliftbog, Scotland, 23 August, 1579; d. at ...

Denaut, Pierre

Tenth Bishop of Quebec, b. at Montreal, 20 July, 1743; d. at Longueuil in 1806. After studying ...

Denifle, Heinrich Seuse

( Baptized JOSEPH.) Paleographer and historian, born at Imst in the Austrian Tyrol, 16 Jan., ...

Denis, Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael

Bibliographer and poet, b. at Schärding, Bavaria, 27 September, 1729; d. at Vienna, 29 ...

Denis, Joseph

( Baptized JACQUES). Born 6 November, 1657, at Three Rivers , Canada ; died 25 January, ...

Denis, Saint

Bishop of Paris, and martyr. Born in Italy, nothing is definitely known of the time or place, ...

Denman, William

Publisher, b. in Edinburgh, Scotland, 17 March, 1784; d. in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. 12 ...

Denmark

( Latin Dania ). This kingdom had formerly a much larger extent than at present. It once ...

Denonville, Seigneur and Marquis de

(JACQUES-RENE DE BRISAY, SEIGNEUR AND MARQUIS DE DENONVILLE) Born in 1638 at Denonville in the ...

Dens, Peter

Theologian, b. at Boom, near Antwerp, Belgium, 12 September, 1690; d. at Mechlin, 15 February, ...

Denunciation

Denunciation ( Latin denunciare) is making known the crime of another to one who is his ...

Denver

(D ENVERIENSIS ). A suffragan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fé, erected in 1887 and ...

Denys the Carthusian

(D ENYS VAN L EEUWEN, also L EUW or L IEUWE ). Born in 1402 in that part of the ...

Denza, Francesco

Italian meteorologist and astronomer, b. at Naples, 7 June, 1834; d. at Rome, 14 December, 1894. ...

Denzinger, Heinrich Joseph Dominicus

One of the leading theologians of the modern Catholic German school and author of the ...

Deo Gratias

("Thanks be to God "). An old liturgical formula of the Latin Church to give thanks to God ...

Deposition

A deposition is an ecclesiastical vindictive penalty by which a cleric is forever deprived of ...

Deprés, Josquin

Diminutive of "Joseph"; latinized Josquinus Pratensis . Born probably c. 1450 at ...

Derbe

A titular see of Lycaonia, Asia Minor. This city was the fortress of a famous leader of ...

Dereser, Anton

(Known also as THADDAEUS A S. ADAMO). Born at Fahr in Franconia, 3 February, 1757; died at ...

Derogation

(Latin derogatio ). The partial revocation of a law, as opposed to abrogation or the ...

Derry

DIOCESE OF DERRY (DERRIENSIS). Includes nearly all the County Derry, part of Donegal, and a ...

Derry, School of

This was the first foundation of St. Columba, the great Apostle of Scotland, and one of the three ...

Desains, Paul-Quentin

Physicist, b. at St-Quentin, France, 12 July, 1817; d. at Paris, 3 May, 1885. He made his literary ...

Desault, Pierre-Joseph

Surgeon and anatomist, b. at Magny-Vernois a small town of Franche-Comté, France, in ...

Descartes, René

(Renatus Cartesius), philosopher and scientist, born at La Haye France, 31 March, 1596; died at ...

Deschamps, Eustache

Also called M OREL , on account of his dark complexion; b. at Vertus in Champagne between 1338 ...

Deschamps, Nicolas

Polemical writer, born at Villefranche (Rhône), France, 1797; died at Aix-en-Provence, ...

Desclée, Henri and Jules

Henri (1830-); Jules (1828-1911). Natives of Belgium, founders of a monastery and a ...

Desecration

Desecration is the loss of that peculiar quality of sacredness, which inheres in places and ...

Desert

The Hebrew words translated in the Douay Version of the Bible by "desert" or "wilderness", and ...

Desertion

The culpable abandonment of a state, of a stable situation, the obligations of which one had ...

Deshon, George

Priest of the Congregation (or Institute) of St. Paul the Apostle , b. at New London, Conn., ...

Desiderius

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

Desiderius of Cahors, Saint

Bishop, b. at Obrege (perhaps Antobroges, name of a Gaulish tribe), on the frontier of the ...

Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, Jean

A French dramatist and novelist, born in Paris, 1595, died there, 1676. Early in life he held ...

Desolation, The Abomination of

The importance of this Scriptural expression is chiefly derived from the fact that in Matthew ...

Despair

(Latin desperare , to be hopeless.) Despair, ethically regarded, is the voluntary and ...

Despretz, César-Mansuète

Chemist and physicist, b. at Lessines, Belgium, 11 May, 1798; d. at Paris, 11 May, 1863. He ...

Desservants

The name of a class of French parish priests. Under the old regime, a priest who performed the ...

Desurmont, Achille

Ascetical writer, b. at Tourcoing, France, 23 Dec., 1828; d. 23 July, 1898. He attended first the ...

Determinism

Determinism is a name employed by writers, especially since J. Stuart Mill, to denote the ...

Detré, William

Missionary, b. in France in 1668, d. in South America, at an advanced age, date uncertain. ...

Detraction

(From Latin detrahere , to take away). Detraction is the unjust damaging of another's good ...

Detroit

(Detroitensis) Diocese established 8 March, 1838, comprises the counties of the lower ...

Deus in Adjutorium Meum Intende

"Deus in adjutorium meum intende," with the response: "Domine ad adjuvandum me festina," first ...

Deusdedit, Cardinal

Born at Todi, Italy ; died between 1097 and 1100. He was a friend of St. Gregory VII and ...

Deusdedit, Pope Saint

(Adeodatus I). Date of birth unknown; consecrated pope, 19 October (13 November), 615; d. 8 ...

Deusdedit, Saint

A native of Wessex, England, whose Saxon name was Frithona, and of whose early life nothing is ...

Deuteronomy

This term occurs in Deuteronomy 17:18 and Joshua 8:32 , and is the title of one of the five ...

Deutinger, Martin

Philosopher and religious writer, b. in Langenpreising, Bavaria, 24 March, 1815; d. at ...

Devas, Charles Stanton

Political economist, b. at Woodside, Old Windsor, England, of Protestant parents, 26 August, ...

Devereux, John C.

Born at his father's farm, The Leap, near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland, 5 Aug., 1774; died ...

Devereux, Nicholas

Born near Enniscorthy, Ireland, 7 June, 1791; died at Utica, New York, 29 Dec., 1855, was the ...

Devil

(Greek diabolos ; Latin diabolus ). The name commonly given to the fallen angels, who are ...

Devil Worship

The meaning of this compound term is sufficiently obvious, for all must be familiar with the ...

Devil's Advocate

("Advocate of the Devil" or "Devil's Advocate"). A popular title given to one of the most ...

Devolution

( Latin devolutio from devolvere ) Devolution is the right of an ecclesiastical ...

Devoti, Giovani

Canonist, born at Rome, 11 July, 1744; died there 18 Sept., 1820. At the age of twenty he ...

Devotions, Popular

Devotion, in the language of ascetical writers, denotes a certain ardour of affection in the ...

Deymann, Clementine

Born at Klein-Stavern, Oldenburg, Germany, 24 June, 1844; died at Phoenix, Arizona, U. S. A., 4 ...

Deza, Diego

Theologian, archbishop, patron of Christopher Columbus, b. at Toro, 1444; d. 1523. Entering the ...

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Dh 1

Dhuoda

Wife of Bernard, Duke of Septimania. The only source of information on her life is her "Liber ...

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Di 100

Diaconicum

(Greek diakonikon ) The Diaconicum in the Greek Church is the liturgical book specifying ...

Diakovár

(Croatian, Djakovo ). See of the Bishop of the united Dioceses of Bosnia or ...

Dialectic

[Greek dialektike ( techne or methodos ), the dialectic art or method, from dialegomai ...

Diamantina

DIOCESE OF DIAMANTINA (ADAMANTINA). Located in the north of the State of Minas Geraes, Brazil, ...

Diana, Antonino

Moral theologian, born of a noble family at Palermo, Sicily, in 1586; died at Rome, 20 July, ...

Diano

(D IANENSIS ) Diocese and small city in the province of Salermo, Italy ; the ancient ...

Diario Romano

( Italian for "Roman Daybook") A booklet published annually at Rome, with papal ...

Diarmaid, Saint

Born in Ireland, date unknown; d. in 851 or 852. He was made Archbishop of Armagh in 834, but ...

Dias, Bartolomeu

A famous Portuguese navigator of the fifteenth century, discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope; ...

Diaspora

(Or DISPERSION). Diaspora was the name given to the countries (outside of Palestine) through ...

Dibon

A titular see in Palæstina Tertia. Dîbîn (Septuagint, Daibon or Debon ) ...

Dicastillo, Juan de

Theologian, b. of Spanish parents at Naples, 28 December, 1584; d. at Ingolstadt 6 March, 1653. ...

Dicconson, Edward

Titular Bishop of Malla, or Mallus, Vicar Apostolic of the English Northern District; b. 30 ...

Diceto, Ralph de

Dean of St. Paul's, London, and chronicler. The name "Dicetum" cannot be correctly connected with ...

Dichu, Saint

The son of an Ulster chieftain, was the first convert of St. Patrick in Ireland. Born in the ...

Dicuil

Irish monk and geographer, b. in the second half of the eighth century; date of death ...

Didache

(D OCTRINE OF THE T WELVE A POSTLES ) A short treatise which was accounted by some of the ...

Didacus, Saint

[Spanish = San Diego .] Lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor, date of birth uncertain; ...

Didascalia Apostolorum

A treatise which pretends to have been written by the Apostles at the time of the Council of ...

Didon, Henri

Preacher, writer, and educator, b. 17 March, 1840, at Touvet (Isère), France ; d. 13 ...

Didot

Name of a family of French printers and publishers. François Didot Son of Denis Didot, ...

Didron, Adolphe-Napoleon

Also called Didron aîné ; archaeologist; together with Viollet-le-Duc and Caumont, ...

Didymus the Blind

Didymus the Blind, of Alexandria, b. about 310 or 313; d. about 395 or 398, at the age of ...

Diego y Moreno, Francisco Garcia

First bishop of California, b. 17 Sept., 1785, at Lagos in the state of Jalisco, Mexico; d. 30 ...

Diekamp, Wilhelm

Historian, b. at Geldern, 13 May, 1854; d. at Rome, 25 Dec., 1885. Soon after his birth the ...

Diemoth

Diemoth, an old German word for the present "Demuth", the English " humility ", was the name of ...

Diepenbeeck, Abraham van

An erudite and accomplished painter of the Flemish School, b. at Bois-le-Duc in the ...

Diepenbrock, Melchior, Baron von

Cardinal and Prince-Bishop of Breslau, b. 6 January, 1798, at Boeholt in Westphalia ; d. at the ...

Dieringer, Franz Xaver

Catholic theologian, b. 22 August, 1811, at Rangeningen (Hohenzollern-Hechingen); d. 8 September, ...

Dies Irae

This name by which the sequence in requiem Masses is commonly known. They are the opening words of ...

Dietenberger, Johann

Theologian, b. about 1475 at Frankfort-on-the-Main, d. 4 Sept., 1537, at Mainz. He was educated ...

Diether of Isenburg

Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, b. about 1412; d. 7 May, 1482, at Aschaffenburg. He studied at ...

Dietrich von Nieheim

(N IEM ). Born in the Diocese of Paderborn , between 1338 and 1340; d. at Maastricht, 22 ...

Digby, George

Second Earl of Bristol, b. at Madrid, Spain, where his father, the first earl, was ambassador, ...

Digby, Kenelm Henry

Miscellaneous writer, b. in Ireland, 1800; d. at Kensington, Middlesex, England, 22 March, 1880. ...

Digby, Sir Everard

Born 16 May, 1578, died 30 Jan., 1606. Everard Digby, whose father bore the same Christian name ...

Digby, Sir Kenelm

Physicist, naval commander and diplomatist, b. at Gayhurst (Goathurst), Buckinghamshire, England, ...

Digne

(D INIA ; D INIENSIS ) Diocese comprising the entire department of the Basses Alpes; ...

Dignitary, Ecclesiastical

An Ecclesiastical Dignitary is a member of a chapter, cathedral or collegiate, possessed not only ...

Dijon

The Diocese of Dijon comprises the entire department of Côte-d'Or and is a suffragan of ...

Dillingen, University of

Located in Swabia, a district of Bavaria. Its founder was Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, ...

Dillon, Arthur-Richard

A French prelate, b. at St-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, 1721; d. in London, 1806. The fifth son ...

Dimissorial Letters

( Latin litteræ dimissoriales , from dimittere ), letters given by an ecclesiastical ...

Dingley, Ven. Sir Thomas

Martyr, prior of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, found guilty of high treason 28 April, ...

Dinooth, Saint

(DINOTHUS, DUNAWD, DUNOD). Founder and first Abbot of Bangor Iscoed (Flintshire); flourished ...

Diocaesarea

(SEPPHORIS) (1) A titular see in Palestina Secunda. Diocaesarea is a later name of the town ...

Diocesan Chancery

That branch of administration which handles all written documents used in the official government ...

Diocese

( Latin diœcesis) A Diocese is the territory or churches subject to the jurisdiction of ...

Diocese (Supplemental List)

Pope Pius X, recognizing how necessary it is for the Church to develop in proportion to the ...

Dioclea

A titular see of Phrygia in Asia Minor . Diocleia is mentioned by Ptolemy (V, ii, 23), where ...

Diocletian

(V ALERIUS D IOCLETIANUS ). Roman Emperor and persecutor of the Church, born of parents ...

Diocletianopolis

A titular see of Palaestina Prima. This city is mentioned by Hierocles (Synecdemus, 719, 2), ...

Diodorus of Tarsus

Date of birth uncertain; d. about A.D. 392. He was of noble family, probably of Antioch. St. Basil ...

Diognetus, Epistle to

(EPISTOLA AD DIOGNETUM). This beautiful little apology for Christianity is cited by no ...

Dionysias

A titular see in Arabia. This city, which figures in the "Synecdemos" of Hierocles (723, 3) and ...

Dionysius Exiguus

The surname E XIGUUS , or "The Little", adopted probably in self-deprecation and not because he ...

Dionysius of Alexandria

(Bishop from 247-8 to 264-5.) Called "the Great" by Eusebius, St. Basil, and others, was ...

Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite

By "Dionysius the Areopagite" is usually understood the judge of the Areopagus who, as related in ...

Dionysius, Pope Saint

Date of birth unknown; d. 26 or 27 December, 268. During the pontificate of Pope Stephen ...

Dionysius, Saint

Bishop of Corinth about 170. The date is fixed by the fact that he wrote to Pope Soter (c. ...

Dioscorus

Antipope, b. at Alexandria, date unknown; d. 14 October, 530. Originally a deacon of the ...

Dioscorus

(Also written Dioscorus; Dioscurus from the analogy of Dioscuri ). Bishop of Alexandria ...

Diplomatics, Papal

The word diplomatics , following a Continental usage which long ago found recognition in ...

Diptych

(Or diptychon , Greek diptychon from dis , twice and ptyssein , to fold). A ...

Direction, Spiritual

In the technical sense of the term, spiritual direction is that function of the sacred ministry by ...

Directories, Catholic

The ecclesiastical sense of the word directory , as will be shown later, has become curiously ...

Discalced

( Latin dis , without, and calceus , shoe). A term applied to those religious congregations ...

Discernment of Spirits

All moral conduct may be summed up in the rule: avoid evil and do good. In the language of ...

Disciple

This term is commonly applied to one who is learning any art or science from one distinguished by ...

Disciples of Christ

A sect founded in the United States of America by Alexander Campbell. Although the largest ...

Discipline of the Secret

(Latin Disciplina Arcani ; German Arcandisciplin ). A theological term used to express ...

Discipline, Ecclesiastical

Etymologically the word discipline signifies the formation of one who places himself at school ...

Discussions, Religious

(CONFERENCES, DISPUTATIONS, DEBATES) Religious discussions, as contradistinguished from ...

Disibod, Saint

Irish bishop and patron of Disenberg (Disibodenberg), born c. 619; died 8 July, 700. His life was ...

Disparity of Cult

( Disparitas Cultus ) A diriment impediment introduced by the Church to safeguard the ...

Disparity of Worship

( Disparitas Cultus ) A diriment impediment introduced by the Church to safeguard the ...

Dispensation

( Latin dispensatio ) Dispensation is an act whereby in a particular case a lawful superior ...

Dispersion of the Apostles

( Latin Divisio Apostolorum ), a feast in commemoration of the missionary work of the Twelve ...

Dissen, Heinrich von

Born 18 Oct., 1415, at Osnabrück, in Westphalia ; died at Cologne, 26 Nov., 1484. After ...

Dissentis, Abbey of

A Benedictine monastery in the Canton Grisons in eastern Switzerland, dedicated to Our Lady of ...

Distraction

Distraction ( Latin distrahere , to draw away, hence to distract) is here considered in so far ...

Distributions

Distributions (from Lat. distribuere ), canonically termed disturbtiones quotidianae , are ...

Dithmar

(Thietmar). Bishop of Merseburg and medieval chronicler, b. 25 July, 975; d. 1 Dec., 1018.He ...

Dives

(Latin for rich ). The word is not used in the Bible as a proper noun; but in the Middle ...

Divination

The seeking after knowledge of future or hidden things by inadequate means. The means being ...

Divine Attributes

In order to form a more systematic idea of God, and as far as possible, to unfold the ...

Divine Charity, Daughters of

Founded at Vienna, 21 November, 1868, by Franziska Lechner (d. 1894) on the Rule of St. ...

Divine Charity, Sisters of

Founded at Besançon, in 1799, by a Vincentian Sister, and modelled on the Sisters of ...

Divine Charity, Society of

(SOCIETAS DIVINAE CHARITATIS). Founded at Maria-Martental near Kaisersesch, in 1903 by Josepth ...

Divine Compassion, Institute of the

Founded in the City of New York, USA, by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Stanislaus Preston. On 8 September ...

Divine Nature and Attributes, The

I. As Known Through Natural ReasonA. Infinity of GodB. Unity or Unicity of God C. Simplicity of ...

Divine Office

("Liturgy of the Hours" I. THE EXPRESSION "DIVINE OFFICE" This expression signifies ...

Divine Providence, Sisters of

I. SISTERS OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL Founded at Molsheim, in Diocese of ...

Divine Redeemer, Daughters of the

Motherhouse at Oedenburg, Hungary ; founded in 1863 from the Daughters of the Divine Saviour of ...

Divine Savior, Society of the

Founded at Rome, 8 Dec., 1881, by Johann Baptist Jordan (b. 1848 at Gartweil im Breisgau), ...

Divine Word, Society of the

(S OCIETAS V ERBI D IVINI ) The first German Catholic missionary society established. ...

Divisch, Procopius

Premonstratensian, b. at Senftenberg, Bohemia, 26 March, 1698; d. at Prenditz, Moravia, 21 ...

Divorce (in Civil Jurisprudence)

Divorce is defined in jurisprudence as "the dissolution or partial suspension by the law of ...

Divorce (in Moral Theology)

See also DIVORCE IN CIVIL JURISPRUDENCE . The term divorce ( divortium , from ...

Dixon, Joseph

Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, born at Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, in 1806; died at Armagh, 29 ...

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Dl 1

Dlugosz, Jan

( Latin LONGINUS). An eminent medieval Polish historian, b. at Brzeznica, 1415; d. 19 May, ...

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Do 85

Dobmayer, Marian

A distinguished Benedictine theologian, born 24 October, 1753, at Schwandorf, Bavaria ; died 21 ...

Dobrizhoffer, Martin

Missionary, b. in Graz, Styria, 7 Sept., 1717; d. in Vienna, 17 July 1791. He became a Jesuit ...

Docetæ

(Greek Doketai .) A heretical sect dating back to Apostolic times. Their name is ...

Docimium

A titular see of Phrygia in Asia Minor. This city, as appears from its coins where the ...

Doctor

( Latin docere , to teach) The title of an authorized teacher. In this general sense the term ...

Doctors of the Church

( Latin Doctores Ecclesiae ) -- Certain ecclesiastical writers have received this title on ...

Doctors, Surnames of Famous

It was customary in the Middle Ages to designate the more celebrated among the doctors by ...

Doctrine of Addai

( Latin Doctrina Addoei ). A Syriac document which relates the legend of the conversion ...

Doctrine, Christian

Taken in the sense of "the act of teaching" and "the knowledge imparted by teaching", this term ...

Dogma

I. DEFINITION The word dogma (Gr. dogma from dokein ) signifies, in the writings of the ...

Dogmatic Fact

(1) Definition By a dogmatic fact , in wider sense, is meant any fact connected with a dogma ...

Dogmatic Theology

Dogmatic theology is that part of theology which treats of the theoretical truths of faith ...

Dogmatic Theology, History of

The imposing edifice of Catholic theology has been reared not by individual nations and men, ...

Dolbeau, Jean

Recollect friar, born in the Province of Anjou, France, 12 March, 1586; died at ...

Dolci, Carlo

Painter, born in Florence, Italy, 25 May, 1616; died 17 January, 1686. The grandson of a ...

Doliche

A titular see of Commagene (Augusto-Euphratesia). It was a small city on the road from ...

Dolman, Charles

Publisher and bookseller, b. at Monmouth, England, 20 Sept., 1807; d. in Paris, 31 December, ...

Dolores Mission

(Or Mission San Francisco De Asis De Los Dolores) In point of time the sixth in the chain of ...

Dolphin

( Latin delphinus ). The use of the dolphin as a Christian symbol is connected with the ...

Dome

( Latin domus , a house). An architectural term often used synonymously with cupola. ...

Domenech, Emmanuel-Henri-Dieudonne

Abbé, missionary and author, b. at Lyons, France, 4 November, 1826; d. in France, June, ...

Domenechino

Properly DOMENICO ZAMPIERI. An Italian painter, born in Bologna, 21 Oct., 1581; died in ...

Domesday Book

The name given to the record of the great survey of England made by order of William the ...

Domicile

( Latin jus domicilii , right of habitation, residence). The canon law has no independent ...

Dominic of Prussia

A Carthusian monk and ascetical writer, born in Poland, 1382; died at the monastery of St. ...

Dominic of the Mother of God

(Called in secular life D OMENICO B ARBERI ) A member of the Passionist Congregation and ...

Dominic, Saint

Founder of the Order of Preachers , commonly known as the Dominican Order ; born at Calaroga, ...

Dominical Letter

A device adopted from the Romans by the old chronologers to aid them in finding the day of the ...

Dominican Republic

(SAN DOMINGO, SANTO DOMINGO). The Dominican Republic is the eastern, and much larger ...

Dominicans

As the Order of the Friars Preachers is the principal part of the entire Order of St. Dominic, we ...

Dominici, Blessed Giovanni

(BANCHINI or BACCHINI was his family name). Cardinal, statesman and writer, born at ...

Dominis, Marco Antonio de

Dalmatian ecclesiastic, apostate, and man of science, b. on the island of Arbe, off the coast ...

Dominus Vobiscum

An ancient form of devout salutation, incorporated in the liturgy of the Church, where it is ...

Domitian

(T ITUS F LAVIUS D OMITIANUS ). Roman emperor and persecutor of the Church, son of ...

Domitilla and Pancratius, Nereus and Achilleus, Saints

The commemoration of these four Roman saints is made by the Church on 12 May, in common, and ...

Domitiopolis

A titular see of Isauria in Asia Minor. The former name of this city is unknown; it was called ...

Domnus Apostolicus

(DOMINUS APOSTOLICUS) A title applied to the pope, which was in most frequent use between the ...

Don Bosco

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

Donahoe, Patrick

Publisher, born at Munnery, County Cavan, Ireland, 17 March, 1811; died at Boston, U.S.A., 18 ...

Donatello Di Betto Bardi

(DONATO DI NICOLÒ DI BETTO BARDI) One of the great Tuscan sculptors of the ...

Donation (in Canon Law)

(IN CANON LAW) Donation , the gratuitous transfer to another of some right or thing. When it ...

Donation (in Civil Law)

(IN CIVIL JURISPRUDENCE) Donation, the gratuitous transfer, or gift ( Latin donatio ), of ...

Donation of Constantine

( Latin, Donatio Constantini ). By this name is understood, since the end of the Middle ...

Donatists

The Donatist schism in Africa began in 311 and flourished just one hundred years, until the ...

Donatus of Fiesole

Irish teacher and poet, Bishop of Fiesole, about 829-876. In an ancient collection of the ...

Donders, Peter

Missionary among the lepers, b. at Tilburg in Holland, 27 Oct., 1807; d. 14 Jan., 1887. He ...

Dongan, Thomas

Second Earl of Limerick, b. 1634, at Castletown Kildrought, now Celbridge, County Kildare, ...

Donlevy, Andrew

Educator, b. in 1694, probably in Sligo, Ireland ; date and place of death uncertain. Little ...

Donnan, Saint

There were apparently three or four saints of this name who flourished about the seventh century. ...

Donner, Georg Raphael

Austrian sculptor, b. at Essling, Austria, 25 May, 1692; d. at Vienna, 15 February, 1741. It is ...

Donnet, Ferdinand-François-Auguste

A French cardinal, b. at Bourg-Argental (Loire), 1795; d. at Bordeaux, 1882. He studied in the ...

Donoso Cortés, Juan Francesco Maria de la Saludad

Marquess of Valdegamas, author and diplomat, born 6 May, 1809, at Valle de la Serena in the ...

Donus, Pope

(Or D OMNUS ). Son of a Roman called Mauricius; he was consecrated Bishop of Rome 2 Nov., ...

Doorkeeper

(Also called DOORKEEPER. From ostiarius , Latin ostium , a door.) Porter denoted among ...

Doré, Pierre

(AURATUS) Controversialist, b. at Orléans about 1500; d. at Paris, 19 May, 1559. He ...

Dora

A titular see of Palestina Prima. The name ( Dôr ) in Semitic languages means ...

Dorchester, Abbey of

Founded in 1140 by Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln, for Canons of the Order of St. Augustine (or ...

Doria, Andrea

Genoese admiral and statesman, b. at Oneglia, Italy, 1468; d. at Genoa, 1560. His family ...

Dorman, Thomas

Theologian, b. at Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, England, date uncertain; d. at Tournai, 1572 or ...

Dornin, Bernard

First publisher in the United States of distinctively Catholic books, b. in Ireland, 1761; d. ...

Dorothea, Saint

(1) Virgin and martyr, suffered during the persecution of Diocletian, 6 February, 311, at ...

Dorsey, Anne Hanson

Novelist, born at Georgetown, District of Columbia, U.S.A. 1815; died at Washington, 26 ...

Dorylaeum

A titular see of Phrygia Salutaris, in Asia Minor. This city already existed under the kings ...

Dositheans

Followers of Dositheus, a Samaritan who formed a Gnostic - Judaistic sect, previous to Simon ...

Dosquet, Pierre-Herman

Fourth Bishop of Quebec, b. at Liège, Flanders, 1691; d. at Paris, 1777. He studied at ...

Dossi, Giovanni

Actually named GIOVANNI DI NICOLO DI LUTERO, but also called Dosso Dossi. An Italian painter, ...

Dotti, Blessed Andrea

Born 1256, in Borgo San Sepolero, Tuscany, Italy ; d. there 31 August, 1315. He was of noble ...

Douai

(Town and University of Douai) (D OUAY, D OWAY ) The town of Douai, in the department of ...

Douay Bible

The original Douay Version, which is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic ...

Double Altar

An altar having a double front constructed in such a manner that Mass may be celebrated on ...

Double Monasteries

Religious houses comprising communities of both men and women, dwelling in contiguous ...

Doubt

(Latin dubium, Greek aporí, French doute, German Zweifel ). A state in which the ...

Douglas, Gavin

Scottish prelate and poet, born about 1474; died 1522; he was the third son of Archibald, Fifth ...

Doutreleau, Stephen

Missionary, born in France, 11 October, 1693; date of death uncertain. He became a Jesuit ...

Dove

(Latin columba ). In Christian antiquity the dove appears as a symbol and as a Eucharistic ...

Dowdall, George

Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, in 1487; d. at London, 15 August, ...

Dowdall, James

Martyr, date of birth unknown; executed for his faith at Exeter, England, 20 September, 1600. ...

Dower

( Latin doarium ; French douaire ) A provision for support during life accorded by law ...

Dower, Religious

( Latin dos religiosa ). Because of its analogy with the dower that a woman brings to ...

Down and Connor

Diocese of Down and Connor (Dunensis et Connorensis) A line drawn from Whitehouse on Belfast ...

Downside Abbey

Near Bath, Somersetshire, England, was founded at Douai, Flanders, under the patronage of ...

Doxology

In general this word means a short verse praising God and beginning, as a rule, with the Greek ...

Doyle, James Warren

Irish bishop ; b. near New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, 1786; d. at Carlow, 1834. He belonged ...

Doyle, John

Born in Dublin, Ireland, 1797; died in London, 2 January, 1868; English portrait-painter and ...

Doyle, Richard

English artist and caricaturist, b. in London, September, 1824; d. there 11 December, 1883. The ...

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Dr 26

Drach, David Paul

Convert from Judaism, b. at Strasburg, 6 March, 1791; d. end of January, 1868, at Rome. ...

Drachma

(Gr. drachmé ), a Greek silver coin. The Greeks derived the word from drássomai, ...

Dracontius, Blossius Æmilius

A Christian poet of the fifth century. Dracontius belonged to a distinguished family of ...

Drane, Augusta Theodosia

In religion MOTHER FRANCIS RAPHAEL, O.S.D.; b. at Bromley near London, in 1823; d. at Stone, ...

Dreams, Interpretation of

There is in sleep something mysterious which seems, from the earliest times, to have impressed ...

Drechsel, Jeremias

( Also Drexelius or Drexel.) Ascetic writer, b. at Augsburg, 15 August, 1581; entered the ...

Dresden

The capital of the Kingdom of Saxony and the residence of the royal family, is situated on both ...

Dreves, Lebrecht Blücher

Poet, b. at Hamburg, Germany, 12 September, 1816; d. at Feldkirch, 19 Dec., 1870. The famous ...

Drevet Family, The

The Drevets were the leading portrait engravers of France for over a hundred years. Their fame ...

Drexel, Francis Anthony

Banker, b. at Philadelphia, U.S.A. 20 June, 1824; d. there 15 Feb., 1885. He was the oldest son ...

Drexel, Jeremias

( Also Drexelius or Drexel.) Ascetic writer, b. at Augsburg, 15 August, 1581; entered the ...

Drey, Johann Sebastian von

A professor of theology at the University of Tübingen, born 16 Oct., 1777, at Killingen, in ...

Dromore

(DROMORENSIS, and in ancient documents DRUMORENSIS) Dromore is one of the eight suffragans of ...

Drostan, Saint

(DRUSTAN, DUSTAN, THROSTAN) A Scottish abbot who flourished about A.D. 600. All that is ...

Droste-Vischering, Clemens August von

Archbishop of Cologne, born 21 Jan., 1773, at Münster, Germany ; died 19 Oct., 1845, in ...

Druidism

The etymology of this word from the Greek drous , "oak", has been a favorite one since the ...

Druillettes, Gabriel

(Or DREUILLETS) Missionary, b. in France, 29 September, 1610; d. at Quebec, 8 April, 1681. ...

Drumgoole, John C.

Priest and philanthropist, b. at Granard, Co. Longford, Ireland, 15 August, 1816; d. in New ...

Drury, Robert

Martyr (1567-1607), was born of a good Buckinghamshire family and was received into the ...

Drusilla

Drusilla, daughter of Herod Agrippa I , was six years of age at the time of her father's death ...

Drusipara

A titular see in Thracia Prima. Nothing is known of the ancient history of this town, which, ...

Druys, Jean

( Latin DRUSIUS) Thirtieth Abbot of Parc near Louvain, Belgium, b. at Cumptich, near ...

Druzbicki, Gaspar

Ascetic writer, b. at Sierady in Poland, 1589; entered the Society of Jesus, 20 August 1609; d. ...

Druzes

Small Mohammedan sect in Syria, notorious for their opposition to the Marionites, a Catholic ...

Dryburgh Abbey

A monastery belonging to the canons of the Premonstratensian Order (Norbertine or White ...

Dryden, John

Poet, dramatist, critic, and translator; b. 9 August, 1631, at Oldwinkle All Saints, ...

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Du 62

Du Cange, Charles Dufresne

Historian and philologist, b. at Amiens, France, 18 Dec., 1610; d. at Paris, 1688. His father, ...

Du Coudray, Philippe-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Tronson

Soldier, b. at Reims, France, 8 September, 1738; d. at Philadelphia, U.S.A. 11 September, ...

Du Lhut Daniel Greysolon, Sieur

(DULUTH). Born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye about 1640; died at Montreal, 26 Feb., 1710. He first ...

Dualism

(From Latin duo , two). Like most other philosophical terms, has been employed in different ...

Dublin

(DUBLINIUM; DUBLINENSIS). Archdiocese ; occupies about sixty miles of the middle eastern coast ...

Dubois, Guillaume

A French cardinal and statesman, born at Brive, in Limousin, 1656; died at Versailles, 1723. ...

Dubois, Jean-Antoine

French missionary in India, b. in 1765 at St. Remèze (Ardèche); d. in Paris, 17 ...

Dubois, John

Third Bishop of New York, educator and missionary, b. in Paris, 24 August, 1764; d. in New ...

Dubourg, Louis-Guillaume-Valentin

Second Bishop of Louisiana and the Floridas, Bishop of Montauban, Archbishop of ...

Dubric, Saint

(DYFRIG, DUBRICIUS) Bishop and confessor, one of the greatest of Welsh saints ; d. 612. He ...

Dubuque

Archdiocese of Dubuque (Dubuquensis), established, 28 July, 1837, created an archbishopric, ...

Duc, Fronton du

(Called in Latin Ducæus.) A French theologian and Jesuit, b. at Bordeaux in 1558; ...

Duccio di Buoninsegna

Painter, and founder of the Sienese School, b. about 1255 or 1260, place not known; d. 3 August, ...

Duchesne, Philippine-Rose

Founder in America of the first houses of the society of the Sacred Heart, born at Grenoble, ...

Duckett, John, Venerable

A Martyr, probably a grandson of Venerable James Duckett , born at Underwinder, in the parish ...

Duckett, Ven. James

Martyr, b. at Gilfortrigs in the parish of Skelsmergh in Westmoreland, England, date uncertain, ...

Ducrue, Francis Bennon

Missionary in Mexico, b. at Munich, Bavaria. of French parents, 10 June 1721; d. there 30 March, ...

Dudik, Beda Franciscus

Moravian historian, b. at Kojetein near Kremsier, Moravia, 29 January, 1815; d. as abbot and ...

Duel

( Duellum , old form of bellum ). This word, as used both in the ecclesiastical and ...

Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan

Politician and author, b. at Monaghan, Ireland, 12 April, 1816; d. at Nice, France, 9 Feb., ...

Duhamel, Jean-Baptiste

A French scientist, philosopher, and theologian, b. at Vire, Normandy (now in the department of ...

Dulia

(Greek doulia ; Latin servitus ), a theological term signifying the honour paid to the ...

Duluth

DIOCESE OF DULUTH (DULUTHENSIS) Diocese, established 3 Oct., 1889, suffragan of the ...

Dumas, Jean-Baptiste

Distinguished French chemist and senator, b. at Alais, department of Gard, 14 July, 1800; d. at ...

Dumetz, Francisco

Date of birth unknown; died 14 Jan., 1811. He was a native of Mallorca (Majorca), Spain, where he ...

Dumont, Hubert-André

Belgian geologist, b. at Liège, 15 Feb., 1809; d. in the same city, 28 Feb., 1857. When ...

Dumoulin, Charles

(Or DUMOLIN; latinized MOLINAEUS). French jurist, b. at Paris in 1500; d. there 27 December, ...

Dunbar, William

Scottish poet, sometimes styled the " Chaucer of Scotland ", born c. 1460; died c. 1520(?). He ...

Dunchadh, Saint

(DUNICHAD, DUNCAD, DONATUS) Confessor, Abbot of Iona ; date of b. unknown, d. in 717. He ...

Dundrennan, Abbey of

In Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland ; a Cistercian house founded in 1142 by King David I and ...

Dunedin

(DUNEDINENSIS) Dunedin comprises the provincial district of Otago (including the Otago part, ...

Dunfermline, Abbey of

In the south-west of Fife, Scotland. Founded by King Malcolm Canmore and his queen, Margaret, ...

Dungal

Irish monk, teacher, astronomer, and poet who flourished about 820. He is mentioned in 811 as an ...

Dunin, Martin von

Archbishop of Gnesen and Posen, born 11 Nov., 1774, in the village of Wat near the city of Rawa, ...

Dunkeld

(DUNKELDENSIS) Located in Scotland, constituted, as far back as the middle of the ninth ...

Dunkers

( German tunken , to dip) A Protestant sect thus named from its distinctive baptismal rite. ...

Duns Scotus, Blessed John

Surnamed DOCTOR SUBTILIS, died 8 November, 1308; he was the founder and leader of the famous ...

Dunstan, Saint

Archbishop and confessor, and one of the greatest saints of the Anglo-Saxon Church ; b. near ...

Dupanloup, Félix-Antoine-Philibert

Bishop of Orléans, France, b. at Saint-Félix; Savoie, 2 June, 1802; d. at ...

Duperron, Jacques-Davy

A theologian and diplomat, born 25 Nov., 1556, at St-Lô (Normandy), France ; died 5 ...

Dupin, Louis Ellies

(also DU PIN) A theologian, born 17 June, 1657, of a noble family in Normandy ; died 6 ...

Dupin, Pierre-Charles-François

Known as BARON CHARLES DUPIN. A French mathematician and economist, b. at Varzy, ...

Duponceau, Peter Stephen

A jurist and linguist, b. at St-Martin de Ré, France 3 June, 1760; d. at Philadelphia, ...

Dupré, Giovanni

Sculptor, b. of remote French ancestry at Siena, 1 Mar., 1817; d. at Florence, 10 Jan., 1882. ...

Duprat, Antoine & Guillaume

(1) Antoine Duprat Chancellor of France and Cardinal, b. at Issoire in Auvergne, 17 January, ...

Dupuytren, Baron Guillaume

French anatomist and surgeon, born 6 October, 1777, at Pierre-Buffière, a small town in ...

Duquesnoy, François

(Called also FRANÇOIS FLAMAND, and in Italy IL FLAMINGO). Born at Brussels, Belgium, ...

Duran, Narcisco

Born 16 December, 1776, at Castellon de Ampurias, Catalonia, Spain ; died 1 June, 1846. He ...

Durand Ursin

A Benedictine of the Maurist Congregation, b. 20 May, 1682, at Tours ; d. 31 Aug., 1771, at ...

Durandus of Saint-Pourçain

Philosopher and theologian, b. at Saint-Pourçain, Auvergne France ; d. 13 September, ...

Durandus of Troarn

French Benedictine and ecclesiastical writer, b. about 1012, at Le Neubourg near Evreux ; d. ...

Durandus, William

(Also: Duranti or Durantis). Canonist and one of the most important medieval liturgical writers; ...

Durandus, William, the Younger

Died 1328, canonist, nephew of the famous ritualist and canonist of the same name (with whom he is ...

Durango

(DURANGUM) Archdiocese located in north-western Mexico. The see was created 28 Sept., 1620, ...

Durazzo

ARCHDIOCESE OF DURAZZO (DYRRACHIENSIS). The Archdiocese of Durazzo in Albania, situated on the ...

Durbin, Elisha John

The "Patriarch-priest of Kentucky ", born 1 February, 1800, in Madison County, in that State, of ...

Durham

Ancient Catholic Diocese of Durham (Dunelmensis). This diocese holds a unique position among ...

Durham Rite

The earliest document giving an account of liturgical services in the Diocese of Durham is the ...

Durrow, School of

( Irish Dairmagh , Plain of the Oaks) The Durrow is delightfully situated in the King's ...

Duty

The definition of the term duty given by lexicographers is: "something that is due", ...

Duvergier de Hauranne, Jean

(Or D U V ERGER ), J EAN ; also called S AINT -C YRAN from an abbey he held in ...

Duvernay, Ludger

A French-Canadian journalist and patriot, born at Verchères, Quebec, 22 January, 1799; ...

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Dw 1

Dwight, Thomas

Anatomist, b. at Boston, 1843; d. at Nahant, 8 Sept., 1911. The son of Thomas Dwight and of Mary ...

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Dy 4

Dyck, Antoon (Anthonis) Van

Usually known as S IR A NTHONY V AN D YCK . Flemish portrait-painter, b. at Antwerp, ...

Dymoke, Robert

Confessor of the Faith, date of birth uncertain; d. at Lincoln, England, 11 Sept., 1580. He ...

Dymphna, Saint

(Also known as Dympna and Dimpna). Virgin and martyr. The earliest historical account of ...

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