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René Descartes

(Renatus Cartesius), philosopher and scientist, born at La Haye France, 31 March, 1596; died at Stockholm, Sweden, 11 February 1650. He studied at the Jesuit college of La Flèche, one of the most famous schools of the time. In 1613 he went to Paris, where he formed a lasting friendship with Father Mersenne, O.F.M. , and made the acquaintance of the mathematician Mydorge. He afterwards enlisted in the armies of Maurice of Nassau, and of the Duke of Bavaria. On 10 November, 1619, he felt a strong impulse to set aside the prejudices of his childhood and of his environment, and to devote his life to the restoration of human knowledge, which was then in a state of decadence; and for him this mission took on quite a mystical character. He had a dream which he interpreted as a revelation, and he became convinced that "it was the Spirit of Truth that willed to open for him all the treasures of knowledge ". After much journeying in Brittany, Poitou, Switzerland, and Italy, he returned to Paris in 1625. There he remained for two years during which it was his fortune to meet Cardinal Bérulle who encouraged him in his scientific vocation. But as Paris offered neither the peace nor the independence his work demanded, he set out in 1629 for Holland, and there in the midst of a commercial people he enjoyed the advantage of living as quietly as in a desert. From this retreat he gave to the world his "Discours de la méthode" (1637), "Méditations" (1641), "Principes" (1644), and "Passions"(l649). "Le Monde" had been completed in 1633, but the condemnation of Galileo frightened Descartes who preferred to avoid all collision with ecclesiastical authority. He deferred the publication of this clever work without, however, losing hope of eventually bringing it out. In 1649, yielding to the entreaties of Queen Christina, he went to Sweden, and died at Stockholm of inflammation of the lungs.

Descartes' work is important rather because of its quality than of its quantity. Let us see first of all wherein his method is new. He observed, as Bacon had already done before him, that there is no question on which men agree. "There is nothing", he says "so evident or so certain that it may not be controverted. Whence then this widespread and deep-rooted anarchy ? From the fact that our inquiries are haphazard" (Règles pour la direction de l'esprit, 4e Règle). The first problem, then, is to discover a scientific method. How is success in this difficult task to be assured? To begin with, we must cease to rely on authority; and for two principal reasons. "In whom can we trust " when "there is hardly a statement made by one man, of which the opposite is not loudly supported by some other?" And even "if all were agreed, the knowledge of their teaching would not suffice us." "Had we by rote all the arguments of Plato and Aristotle, we should not be any the more philosophers unless we were able to bring to bear on any given question a solid judgment of our own. We should have indeed learned history but not mastered a science " (3e Règle) Philosophy presupposes the understanding of problems--and consequently its method cannot be external, it must be essentially immanent. The true method is to seek for reasonable evidence and the norm of such evidence is to be found in the science of mathematics (Discours de la méthode, 2e partie). "It is not that arithmetic and geometry are the only sciences to be learned, but that he who would progress on the road to truth must not delay over any object about which he cannot have a certainty equal to that given by arithmetical and geometrical demonstrations" (2e Règle).

Is everything, then, capable of being known in this way, and consequently can human knowledge become the complete counterpart of reality? Descartes says so over and over again; it is his controlling idea ; and he endeavours to prove it both from the nature of our thought and from the universal connexion of things. The mind is equally intelligent however diverse the objects it considers; and those objects because of their perfect enchainment are always equally intelligible. There is, therefore, no question "so far removed from us as to be beyond our reach or so deeply hidden that we cannot discover it", provided only that we persevere and follow the right method (Disc. de la méth. 2e partie; 4e Règle). Such is the rationalism of Descartes, surpassing even that of Plato, in which under the name of "the Infinite " three-fourths of reality remains for ever unknowable. How then is this mathematical evidence to be obtained. Two methods, dangerous at once and sterile, must be avoided. We cannot build on the experience of our senses; "for they are often deceptive", and consequently need a control which they have not in themselves. Bacon was misled on this point (2e Règle). Neither can we adopt the syllogistic method; for this is not, as was formerly thought, a means of discovery. It is simply a process in which, two terms being given, we find by means of a third that the former two are linked together, i.e. that they have some common characteristic. Now if they have this common characteristic it is useless to search for it with any light other than their own. Let them pass under direct scrutiny ; let their natures be studied, and in time the common trait will reveal itself. This is the mind's straight road to discovery, passing on from one idea to another without the aid of a third. The syllogism is of no use until the discovery has been made; it simply serves the purpose of exposition (14e Règle). There are but two ways leading to mathematical evidence: intuition and deduction (3e Règle). Intuition "is the conception formed by an attentive mind so clear and distinct that it admits of no doubt : or what amounts to the same thing, it is the clear conception of a sound and attentive mind, the product of unaided reason " (3e Règle). Intuition is not, therefore, perception by the senses--it is an act of the understanding brought to bear on an idea. The senses do not supply the object but merely the occasion. A movement, for instance, awakens in us the idea of motion, and it is that idea we must regard as the object of intuition. In very simple matters intuition acts quickly; thus "everyone can know intuitively that he exists; that a triangle is terminated by three angles, neither more nor less, and that a globe has but one surface" (3e Règle; 12e Règle; Rép. aux deux objections). In the case of objects more or less complex, intuition proceeds by way of analysis. Since it deals with ideas, and ideas are but one aspect of thought, everything must be reduced to clear and distinct elements, to ultimate or "indecomposable" parts. These ultimate parts must be inspected one after another, until the object is exhausted, "by passing from those that are easily known to those that are less easily known" (6e Règle). In the long run everything will be spread out in full light.

Deduction is the process in which by a continuous movement of thought we draw from a thing that we certainly know the conclusions that of necessity flow from it. This procedure may be carried on in two ways. "If, for instance, after various calculations I discover the relation between the quantities A and B, between B and C, between C and D, and lastly between D and E, I do not yet know the relation between A and E"; but I can infer it by retracting the several steps of the series. This is the first form of deduction (7e Règle). There is a second form in which, the connecting links of the series being too numerous to enter the mental field of vision all at once, we are content to draw conclusions from the general impression we have of the series (7e Règle). Deduction is an intellectual process, but it differs from intuition by bringing in memory as a factor. And this is noteworthy in view of the important role that memory plays in the Cartesian explanation of certitude, and the desperate effort he makes to defend this procedure. From the conspicuous place that reason holds in the Cartesian method, one might infer that there was no room for experience. Nothing could be less true. For Descartes, as for Bacon, the one purpose of science is utility. He also expects from it a continual betterment of the conditions of human life, and his hopes in that direction go very far, as, for instance, when he says of medicine that in the end it would procure us the boon of immortality (Disc. de la méth. 6e partie). And as he who wills the end wills the means also, Descartes accepts in its entirety the experimental part of the Baconian method (letter to Mersenne, 1631), and acts accordingly. He put himself in touch with all the experimental work of his day (letter, April, 1632), urged others to take up research (letter to Mersenne, 1632), and carried on experiments of his own that covered a wide range of subjects: the weight of air (letter, 2 June, 1631), the laws of sound and light (letter, 1633); the essential differences between oils, spirits, eaux-de-vie, common waters, aquafortis, and salts. He dissected the heads of various animals to show the workings of memory and imagination (cf. letters to Mersenne, 1633 April, 1637; 13 November, 1639; 4 January, 1643, ed. Cousin, Paris, 1826). There was hardly a fact that escaped this apologist of Reason nor anything into whose hidden nature he did not inquire; even the "Chasse de Pan" he followed with his accustomed ardour.

But if the mind, moving as it does in the realm of intelligible objects, have a power of intuition sufficient to master them all, why these researches? Are they not a hindrance rather than a help? Let deduction but go on to the end, and it must assuredly attain that exhaustive knowledge which is the goal of investigation, but such is not the case. Experiment helps reasoning in more ways than one. It supplies the fact that calls forth in our intelligence the idea of the problem to be solved. That idea once aroused, the intelligence takes hold of it, and may produce many others, according to the nature of which experience and reason play reciprocal, yet different, roles. The idea of a problem may be so simple as to allow a mathematical deduction of the properties of the object in question and nothing more. In this case experiment is called in only by way of illustration, as happens, for instance, in the study of the laws of motion. (Cf. Principes, 2e partie.) But again the idea of a problem may be so complex as to suggest various hypotheses, since principles as a rule are so fruitful that we can draw from them more than we see in the world around us. We must then choose from among the hypotheses presented by the intellect that which corresponds most nearly to the facts: and experiment is our only resource. It acts as a sort of guide to rational deduction. It sets up, so to say, a number of sign-posts which point out, at the cross-roads of logic the right direction to the world of facts. Finally, we may be confronted with two or more hypotheses equally applicable to the known facts, observations must then be multiplied until we discover some peculiarity which determines our choice: and thus experiment becomes a real means of verification (Principes, 4e partie.) In every case experiment is, as it were, the matter, while calculation becomes the form. In the physical world there is nothing but motion and extension, nothing but quantity. Everything can be reduced to numerical proportions, and this reduction is the final object of science. To understand means to know in terms of mathematics. When this final stage is reached, intelligence and experience unite in closest bonds: the intellect setting its seal on experience and endowing it with intelligibility.

Such is the method of Descartes. There remains to be seen what use he makes of it. Recourse must be had to provisional doubt as the only means of distinguishing the true from the false in the labyrinth of contradictory opinions which are held in the schools and in the world at large. We must needs imitate those builders who, in order to erect a lofty structure, begin by digging deep, so that the foundations may be laid on the rock and solid ground (Remarques sur les 7es objections, ed. Charpentier, Paris ; cf. Disc. de la m´thode, 3e partie.) And this provisional doubt goes very deep indeed. We may reject the evidence of the senses for they are deceptive, "and it is but the part of prudence never to trust absolutely what has once deceived us" (1re Méditation). We may even question whether there be "any earth or sky or other extended body"; for, supposing that nothing of the sort exist, I can still have the impression of their existence as I had before; this is plain from the phenomena of madness and dreams. What is more, the very simplest and clearest truths are not free from suspicion." How do I know that God has not so arranged it that I am deceived each time I add two and three together, or number the sides of a square, or form some judgment still more simple, if indeed anything more simple can be imagined " (3e Méditation). What then remains intact? One thing only, the fact of my thought itself. But if I think it is because I exist, for from the one to the other of these terms we pass by simple inspection-- Cogito, ergo sum : Behold the long-sought rock on which the edifice of knowledge must be built (Disc. de la méth., 4e partie, 2e Méd.). But how is this to be done? how are we to make our way out of the abyss into which we have descended? By analysing the basic fact, i.e. the content of our thought. I observe that, since my thought gropes amid doubt, I must be imperfect: and this idea calls forth this other, viz. of a being that is not imperfect, and therefore is perfect and infinite (Disc. de la méth., 4e partie.) Let us consider this other idea. It must necessarily include existence otherwise something would be wanting to it; it would not be perfect or infinite. Therefore, God exists, and "I know no less clearly and distinctly that an actual and eternal existence belongs to His nature than I know that whatever I can demonstrate of any figure or number belongs truly to the nature of that figure or number" (Disc. de la méth., 4e partie; 5e Médit.; Rép. aux premières obj.).

God, therefore, is known to us at the outset, the moment we take the trouble to look into the nature of our own minds ; and this is enough to eliminate the hypothesis of an evil genius that would take pleasure in deceiving us; it is enough also to secure the validity of all our deductions, whatever be their length, for "I recognize that it is impossible that He should ever deceive me, since in all fraud and deceit there is a certain imperfection" (4e Méd.). Otherwise how would this idea of God be anything more than an idle fancy? It has immensity; it has infinity, and therefore it must of itself be capable of existing. Spinoza, and after him Hegel, will teach that the possible infolds, as it were, an essential tendency to existence, and that this tendency is greater in proportion as the possible is perfect. It is on this principle that they will build their vast synthetic systems. Descartes anticipates them and when closely pressed he replies just as do these later philosophers. (Rép. aux premières objections.) It is a fact worth noting with reference to the genesis of modern systems.

The presence in us of this idea of God must also be explained; and here we find a new ray of light. The objective reality of our ideas must have some cause, and this is readily found when there is question of secondary qualities; these may be illusory or they may result from the imperfection of our nature. The question also can be solved without too much difficulty when it concerns primary qualities. May not these arise perchance from some depth of my own mental being that is beyond the control of my will? But such explanations are of no avail when we try to account for the idea of a being infinite and perfect. I myself am limited, finite; and from the finite, turn it about as we may, we can never derive the infinite the lesser never gives us the greater (3e Méd. cf. Princ., 7e partie). Considered from any and every point of view, the idea of God enlightens us as to His existence. Whatever the manner of our questioning it gives us always from the depth of its fulness the one reply, Ego sum qui sum . Since then the veracity of God Himself guarantees our faculties in their natural exercise, we may go forward in our inquiry; and the first question that meets us concerns the subject in which the process of thought takes place, i.e. the soul. Understanding, conceiving, doubting, affirming, denying, willing, refusing, imagining, feeling, desiring--these are the activities of what I call my soul. Now all these activities have one common quality : they cannot take place without thought or perception, without consciousness or knowledge. Thought then is the essential attribute of the soul. The soul is "a thing that thinks" (2e Méd., Princ., 1re partie) and it is nothing else. There is no substratum underlying and supporting its various states; its whole being issues in each of its activities; thought and soul are equivalent (12e Règle).

Is thought, then, always in some mode of activity? Descartes leans to the belief that it is. "I exist", he says, "but for how long? Just as long as I am thinking; for perhaps if I should wholly cease to think, I should at the same time altogether cease to be" (2e Méd.). It is only with reluctance and under the pressure of objections that he concedes to the soul a simple potentia or power of thinking (5es Obj.); and, as may be easily seen, the concession is quite illogical. Thought, though in itself a unitary process, takes on different forms; it begins with confused ideas or perceptions which require the co-operation of the body; such are the feelings of pleasure and pain, sensations imagination, and local memory. Then the soul has clear and distinct ideas, which it begets and develops within itself as immanent activities. Under this head come the ideas of substance, duration, number, order extension, figure, motion, thought, intelligence, and will (6e Méd.; Princ., I).

These clear and distinct notions constitute of themselves the object of the understanding, and one may say that they are all involved in the idea of perfect being. Whether I understand, or pass judgment or reason, it is always that idea which I perceive and my understanding could have no other object, seeing that its sphere of action is always the infinite, the eternal and the necessary. To advance in knowledge is to progress in the knowledge of God Himself. (Rep. aux 2es obj.) But thought has another dominant form, viz. freedom. For Descartes this function of the mind is a fact "of which reason can never convince us", but one which "we experience in ourselves", and this fact is so evident" that it may be considered one of the most generally known ideas " (Rep. aux 3es obj.; Rep. aux 5es obj.- Princ., 1re partie). Not only is this freedom a primordial and undeniable datum of consciousness : it is, in a way, infinite like God, "since there is no object to which it cannot turn". (4e Méd.; Princ., 1re partie.) It does not creep round in a sort of semi-ignorance, as St. Thomas Aquinas holds, but it grows as the influencing motives become clearer; indifference is but its lowest stage (letter to Mersenne, 20 May, 1630). The part it plays in our lives is considerable: it enters into each of our judgments, and it is the formal cause of all our errors. It makes itself felt in every part of our organism, and through this it influences the external world. Nevertheless, the sum total of motion in the world is always constant; for while our wills may change the direction of movement they do not affect its quantity. (Letter to Regius.) Confronting the soul is the external world: but the soul does not see it as it really is. Heat, odour taste, light, sound, resistance, weight are qualities which we attribute to bodies but which are really in ourselves, since we only conceive them in relation to ourselves. In reality there is nothing in the physical world but motion and extension. Motion imitates as far as possible the immutability of God who is its first cause; hence its principal laws viz. that the sum of motion in the world is always constant; that a body will continue in its actual state unless disturbed by some other body outside itself; that "once a body is in motion we have no reason for thinking its present velocity will ever cease provided it impinges on no other body which would slacken or destroy its motion". All movement is primarily rectilinear (on this point Aristotle was mistaken). When two bodies moving in different directions collide, a change takes place in their directions, but "such change is always the least possible". When two moving bodies impinge on each other, one cannot transmit any motion to the other without losing what it transmits (Princ., 2e partie). Extension is not infinite in duration but it is infinite in space. "It seems to me that one cannot prove or even conceive that there are limits to the matter of which the world is composed, for I find it is composed of nothing but extension in length, breadth, and depth. So that whatever possesses these three dimensions is a portion of such matter": and however far back in imagination we push the limits of space we still find these three dimensions; they are bounded by no limits (letter to Chanut; letter to Marus). Extension is therefore one block, continuous from end to end; and this proves at the same time that there is no such thing as a vacuum, either in bodies or between them. Moreover extension is divisible ad infinitum since the divided particles, however small, are still extended. It is everywhere homogeneous, since it is made up of spatial dimensions only, and these of themselves give rise to no qualitative differences. And this brilliant idea suggested to Descartes many hypotheses that were to prove fruitful. In his view the matter of the earth and of the stars was the same; and spectrum analysis subsequently proved that he was correct. He held that the primordial state of the sun and planets was nebulous, that under the influence of a cooling process the heavenly bodies formed their crusts, and to changes in these crusts is due the variation in brilliance of the stars and the emergence of the continents on our earth. (Cf. Traité du Monde; Princ., 3e and 4e p.) It does not follow that the world is self-sufficient; but the finality, of which so much is said, leads to nothing. God gave matter a first impulse and the rest followed in the course of nature's laws. "Even if the chaos of the poets be granted, one could always show that, thanks to the laws of nature, this confusion would eventually work itself out to our present order"; the laws of nature being such that "matter is constrained to pass through all the forms of which it is capable".

The older Descartes grew, the more he busied himself with morals, and his aim was to end up with a treatise on ethics. As a matter of fact, we have his treatise on the passions, and a few brief disquisitions scattered among his letters to Chanut and to the Princess Elizabeth. The passions are perceptions generated and nurtured in the soul "through the medium of the nerves" (Passions, 1re partie, art. 3-22). The nerves are bundles of fine threads: these threads contain the animal spirits which are the subtlest parts of the blood: and they all meet at the pineal gland which is the seat of the soul. By means of this mechanism the thinking subject receives impressions from the world without, perceives them, and transforms them into passions (Pass., 1re p, art. 31). And though our organism thus contains the cause of our passions, it is not their subject either entirely or partially; on this point also Aristotle was mistaken. There are perceptions arising from the body and localizing themselves in one or other portion of it--such as hunger, thirst, pain--but the passions are different. They originate in the body, but belong to the soul alone; they are purely psychological facts (Passions, 1re p., art.25). There are as many passions as there are ways in which objects capable of affecting our senses may be hurtful or profitable to us. The primary passions to which all others may be reduced are the six following:

  • admiration or surprise, produced by an object as to which we are as yet ignorant whether it is useful or hurtful;
  • love and hate, caused by the impression produced on our organs of sense by objects which are already known to us as beneficial or harmful;
  • desire, which is but the love or the hate we bear an object considered as future;
  • joy and sadness, which result from the presence of an object that is loved or hated (Passions, 2e partie, art. 52).
Perhaps on the whole St. Thomas and Bossuet will be found to have surpassed Descartes, by reducing all the passions to love. In the Cartesian teaching the passions are good in themselves, but they must be kept in subjection to the law of moral order. What this law is he does not clearly indicate; he gives only some scattered precepts in which one may discern a noble effort to build up a Stoico - Christian system of ethics.

The foregoing account may perhaps give the impression that Descartes was a great savant rather than a great philosopher ; but the significance of his scientific work should be properly understood. What remains of value is not so much his theories, but the impetus given by his genius, his method, his discoveries. His quantitative conception of the world is being gradually abandoned, and today men's minds are turning to a philosophy of nature wherein quality plays a controlling part.

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Dominican, theologian, Orientalist, b. at Subirats, Catalonia, c. 1220; d. after July, 1284. In ...

Raymond Nonnatus, Saint

(In Spanish SAN RAMON). Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia ...

Raymond of Peñafort, Saint

Born at Villafranca de Benadis, near Barcelona, in 1175; died at Barcelona, 6 January, 1275. He ...

Raymond of Sabunde

(SABONDE, SEBON, SEBEYDE, etc.) Born at Barcelona, Spain, towards the end of the fourteenth ...

Raymond VI

Count of Toulouse, b. 1156; d. 1222; succeeded his father, Raymond V, in 1195. He was a ...

Raymond VII

Count of Toulouse, son of Raymond VI, b. at Beaucaire, 1197; d. at Milhaud, 1249; had espoused a ...

Raynaldi, Odorico

Oratorian, b. at Treviso in 1595; d. at Rome, 22 January, 1671. Of patrician birth, he studied ...

Raynaud, Théophile

Theologian and writer, b. at Sospello near Nice, 15 Nov., 1583; d. at Lyons, 31 Oct., 1663. He ...

Raynouard, Françpois-Juste-Marie

A French poet, dramatist, and philologist, b. at Brignoles, Var, 8 September, 1761; d. at Passy, ...

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Re 118

Reading Abbey

Reading Abbey in Surrey, England, was founded by Henry I in 1121, who built it, writes ...

Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

In this article we shall consider: the fact of the Real Presence , which is, indeed, the central ...

Realism, Nominalism, Conceptualism

These terms are used to designate the theories that have been proposed as solutions of one of the ...

Reason

GENERAL MEANINGS Both in ordinary life and in philosophical discussions the term reason is of ...

Reason, Age of

The name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally ...

Recanati and Loreto

DIOCESE OF RECANATI AND LORETO (RECINETENSIS) Province of Ancona, Central Italy, so called ...

Rechab and the Rechabites

Rechab was the father of Jonadab who in 2 Kings 10:15-28 , appears as a fervent supporter of ...

Recollection

Recollection, as understood in respect to the spiritual life, means attention to the presence of ...

Reconciliation, Sacrament of

Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins ...

Rector

(From the Latin regere , to rule). Priests who preside over missions or quasi- parishes ...

Rector Potens, Verax Deus

The daily hymn for Sext in the Roman Breviary finds its theme in the great heat and light of ...

Recusants, English

The first statute in which the term "Popish Recusants" is used is 35 Eliz. c. 2, "An Act for ...

Red Sea

(Hebrew Yâm-Sûph; Septuagint ‘e ’eruthrà thálassa; ...

Redeemer, Feast of the Most Holy

The feast is found only in the special calendar of some dioceses and religious orders, and ...

Redeemer, Knights of the

A secular community founded in 1608 by the Duke of Mentone, Vincent Gonzaga, on the occasion of ...

Redemption

The restoration of man from the bondage of sin to the liberty of the children of God ...

Redemption in the Old Testament

Redemption means either strictly deliverance by payment of a price or ransom, or simply ...

Redemptions, Penitential

Penitential redemptions are the substitution of exercises (especially alms-deeds), either easier ...

Redemptoristines

The cradle of the Redemptoristines is Scala, not far from Amalfi, Italy. Father Thomas Falcoia, of ...

Redemptorists

(CONGREGATION OF THE MOST HOLY REDEEMER) A society of missionary priests founded by St. ...

Redford, Sebastion

Born 27 April, 1701; died 2 January, 1763. Educated at St. Omer , Watten, and Liège, ...

Redi, Francesco

Italian poet, b. at Arezzo, 18 February, 1626; d. at Pisa 1 March, 1698. After taking his ...

Reding, Augustine

Prince-Abbot of Einsiedeln and theological writer, born at Lichtensteig, Switzerland, 10 ...

Reductions of Paraguay

The Jesuit Reductions of Paraguay, one of the most singular and beautiful creations of Catholic ...

Referendarii

The papal office of the referendarii (from refero , to inform) existed at the Byzantine ...

Reform of a Religious Order

Reform of a Religious Order, in the true sense of the word, is a return or bringing back of the ...

Reformation, The

The usual term for the religious movement which made its appearance in Western Europe in the ...

Reformed Churches

The name given to Protestant bodies which adopted the tenets of Zwingli and, later, the ...

Refuge, Cities of

Towns which according to the Jewish law enjoyed the right of asylum and to which anyone who had ...

Refuge, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the

The Institute of Our Lady of Charity was founded (1641) by [St. Jean] Eudes, at Caen, Normandy, ...

Regale, Droit de

( jus regaliœ, jus regale, jus deportus; German Regalienrecht ) Droit de Regale ...

Regalia

According to the usage current in the British Isles the term regalia is almost always employed to ...

Regeneration

(Latin regeneratio ; Greek anagennesis and paliggenesia ). Regeneration is a ...

Regensburg

DIOCESE OF RATISBON (RATISBONENSIS), also called REGENSBURG. Suffragan of Munich-Freising. It ...

Regesta, Papal

Papal Regesta are the copies, generally entered in special registry volumes, of the papal ...

Reggio dell' Emilia

DIOCESE OF REGGIO DELL' EMILIA (REGINENSIS) Suffragan of Modena in central Italy. The city is ...

Reggio di Calabria

ARCHDIOCESE OF REGGIO DI CALABRIA (RHEGIENSIS). Archdiocese in Calabria, southern Italy. The ...

Regina

DIOCESE OF REGINA (REGINENSIS) A newly created (4 March, 1910) ecclesiastical division, ...

Regina Coeli

The opening words of the Eastertide anthem of the Blessed Virgin, the recitation of which is ...

Reginald of Piperno

Dominican, theologian, companion of St. Thomas Aquinas, b. at Piperno about 1230; d. about 1290. ...

Regino of Prüm

Date of birth unknown; d. at Trier in 915. According to the statements of a later era Regino was ...

Regionarii

The name given in later antiquity and the early Middle Ages to those clerics and officials of ...

Regis, John Francis, Saint

Born 31 January, 1597, in the village of Fontcouverte (department of Aude); died at la Louvesc, 30 ...

Registers, Parochial

One having the cure of souls is commanded by Divine precept to know his subjects (Conc. Trid., ...

Regnault, Henri Victor

Chemist and physicist, b. at Aachen, 21 July, 1810; d. in Paris, 19 Jan., 1878. Being left an ...

Regulæ Juris

("Rules of Law") General rules or principles serving chiefly for the interpretation of laws. ...

Regulars

( Latin regula, rule). The observance of the Rule of St. Benedict procured for the monks ...

Reichenau

Reichenau, called Augia Dives in medieval Latin manuscripts and possessing a once ...

Reichensperger, August

Politician and author, born at Coblenz, 22 March, 1808; died at Cologne, 16 July, 1895. He studied ...

Reichensperger, Peter

Jurist and parliamentarian, b. at Coblenz, 28 May, 1810; d. at Berlin, 31 December, 1892. He ...

Reifenstein

A former Cistercian abbey in Eichsfeld, founded on 1 August, 1162 by Count Ernst of Tonna. It ...

Reiffenstuel, Johann Georg

In religion A NACLETUS Theologian and canonist; b. at Kaltenbrunn (Tegernsee) 2 July, 1641; d. ...

Reims

ARCHDIOCESE OF REIMS (RHEMENSIS) The Archdiocese of Reims comprises the district of Reims in ...

Reims, Synods of

The first synod said to have been held at Reims by Archbishop Sonnatius between 624 and 630 ...

Reinmar of Hagenau

A German minnesinger of the twelfth century, surnamed in the manuscripts der Alte (the old) to ...

Reisach, Carl von

Born at Roth, Bavaria, 7 July, 1800; died in the Redemptorist monastery of Contamine, France, ...

Reisch, Gregor

Born at Balingen in Wurtemberg, about 1467; died at Freiburg, Baden, 9 May, 1525. In 1487 he ...

Relationship

(CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL) The theologians understand by relationship in general a certain ...

Relatives, Duties of

The general precept of charity obliging us to love our neighbour as ourselves is of course ...

Relativism

Any doctrine which denies, universally or in regard to some restricted sphere of being, the ...

Relics

The word relics comes from the Latin reliquiae (the counterpart of the Greek leipsana ) ...

Religion

I. Derivation, Analysis, and Definition. II. Subjective Religion. III. Objective ...

Religion, Virtue of

Of the three proposed derivations of the word "religion", that suggested by Lactantius and ...

Religions, Statistics of

I. DEFINITION This study concerns itself with religious bodies, the number of their members, and ...

Religious Life

I. GENERAL VIEW AND EVANGELICAL IDEA OF THE RELIGIOUS LIFE A. GENERAL VIEW We all have within us ...

Religious Profession

HISTORICAL VIEW Profession may be considered either as a declaration openly made, or as a state ...

Reliquaries

It would follow of necessity from the data given in the article RELICS that ...

Remesiana

A titular see in Dacia Mediterranea, suffragan of Sardica. Remesiana is mentioned by the ...

Remigius of Auxerre

A Benedictine monk, b. about the middle of the ninth century; d. 908. Remigius, or Remi, was a ...

Remigius, Saint

Apostle of the Franks, Archbishop of Reims, b. at Cerny or Laon, 437; d. at Reims, 13 January ...

Remiremont

Vosges, France, monastery and nunnery of the Rule of St. Benedict, founded by Sts. Romaricus ...

Remuzat, Ven. Anne-Madeleine

Born at Marseilles, 29 Nov., 1696; died 15 Feb., 1730. At nine years of age she asked her parents ...

Remy, Abbey of Saint

Founded at Reims before 590. Its early history is very obscure; at first a little chapel ...

Renaissance, The

The Renaissance may be considered in a general or a particular sense, as (1) the achievements of ...

Renaudot, Eusebius

An apologetical writer and Orientalist, b. at Paris, 22 July, 1648; d. there, 1 Sept., 1720. He ...

Renaudot, Théophraste

Born at Loudun, 1586; died at Paris, 25 October, 1653. Doctor of the medical faculty at ...

Reni, Guido

Italian painter, b. at Calvenzano near Bologna, 4 Nov., 1575; d. at Bologna, 18 Aug. 1642. At one ...

Rennes

(RHEDONENSIS) Rennes includes the Department of Ille et Vilaine. The Concordat of 1802 ...

Renty, Gaston Jean Baptiste de

Born 1611 at the castle of Beni, Diocese of Bayeux in Normandy ; died 24 April, 1649. The only ...

Renunciation

( Latin renuntiare ). A canonical term signifying the resignation of an ecclesiastical ...

Reordinations

I. STATE OF THE QUESTION The Oratorian Jean Morin , in the seventeenth century, and Cardinal ...

Reparation

Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, ...

Repington, Philip

( Also Repyngdon). Cardinal-priest of the title of SS. Nereus and Achilleus, Bishop of ...

Repose, Altar of

(Sometimes called less properly sepulchre or tomb, more frequently repository). The altar ...

Reputation (as Property)

It is certain that a man is indefeasibly the owner of what he has been able to produce by his ...

Requiem, Masses of

Masses of Requiem will be treated under the following heads: I. Origins; II. Formulary ; III. ...

Rerum Crerator Optime

The hymn for Matins of Wednesday in the Divine Office. It comprises four strophes of four ...

Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor

The daily hymn for None in the Roman Breviary, comprises (like the hymns for Terce and Sext ...

Rerum Novarum

The opening words and the title of the Encyclical issued by Leo XIII, 15 May, 1891, on the ...

Rescripts, Papal

( Latin re-scribere , "to write back") Rescripts are responses of the pope or a Sacred ...

Reservation

The restriction in certain cases by a superior of the jurisdiction ordinarily exercised by an ...

Reserved Cases

A term used for sins whose absolution is not within the power of every confessor, but is ...

Residence, Ecclesiastical

A remaining or abiding where one's duties lie or where one's occupation is properly carried on, ...

Respicius, Tryphon, and Nympha

Martyrs whose feast is observed in the Latin Church on 10 November. Tryphon is said to have ...

Respighi, Lorenzo

Born at Cortemaggiore, Province of Piacenza, 7 October, 1824; died at Rome, 10 December, 1889. He ...

Responsorium

Responsory, or Respond, a series of verses and responses, usually taken from Holy Scripture and ...

Restitution

Restitution has a special sense in moral theology. It signifies an act of commutative justice ...

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Resurrection is the rising again from the dead, the resumption of life. In this article, we shall ...

Resurrection, General

Resurrection is the rising again from the dead, the resumption of life. The Fourth Lateran ...

Rethel, Alfred

Born at Aachen, 1816; died at Düsseldorf, 1859. He combined in a brilliant and forcible ...

Retreat of the Sacred Heart, Congregation of

(DAMES DE LA RETRAITE) Originally founded in 1678 under the name of the Institute of Retreat, ...

Retreats

If we call a retreat a series of days passed in solitude and consecrated to practices of ...

Retz, Cardinal de

ARCHBISHOP OF PARIS Born at the Château of Montmirail, Oct., 1614; died in Paris, 24 ...

Reuben

(REUBEN.) A proper name which designates in the Bible : (1) a patriarch; (II) a tribe of ...

Reuchlin, Johannes

( Græcized , Capnion). Celebrated German humanist, b. at Pforzheim, Baden, 22 ...

Reumont, Alfred von

Statesman and historian, b. at Aachen, 15 August, 1808; d. there, 27 April, 1887. After finishing ...

Reusens, Edmond

Archeologist and historian, b. at Wijneghem (Antwerp), 25 April, 1831; d. at Louvain, 25 Dec., ...

Reuss

Name of the two smallest states of the German Confederation, which lie almost in the centre of ...

Revelation

I. MEANING OF REVELATION Revelation may be defined as the communication of some truth by God ...

Revelation, Book of

Apocalypse, from the verb apokalypto , to reveal, is the name given to the last book in the ...

Revelations, Private

There are two kinds of revelations: (1) universal revelations, which are contained in the Bible ...

Revocation

The act of recalling or annulling, the reversal of an act, the recalling of a grant, or the making ...

Revolution, English

James II, having reached the climax of his power after the successful suppression of Monmouth's ...

Revolution, French

The last thirty years have given us a new version of the history of the French Revolution, the ...

Rex Gloriose Martyrum

Rex Gloriose Martyrum, the hymn at Lauds in the Common of Martyrs (Commune plurimorum ...

Rex Sempiterne Cælitum

The Roman Breviary hymn for Matins of Sundays and weekdays during the Paschal Time (from ...

Rey, Anthony

An educator and Mexican War chaplain, born at Lyons, 19 March, 1807; died near Ceralvo, Mexico, ...

Reynolds, William

(RAINOLDS, RAYNOLDS, REGINALDUS) Born at Pinhorn near Exeter, about 1544; died at Antwerp, ...

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Rh 18

Rhætia

(RHÆTORUM). Prefecture Apostolic in Switzerland ; includes in general the district ...

Rhaphanæa

A titular see in Syria Secunda, suffragan of Apamea. Rhaphanæa is mentioned in ancient ...

Rheinberger, Joseph Gabriel

A composer and organist, born at Vaduz, in the Principality of Lichtenstein, Bavaria, 17 March, ...

Rhenish Palatinate

( German Rheinpfalz ). A former German electorate. It derives its name from the title of a ...

Rhesæna

A titular see in Osrhoene, suffragan of Edessa. Rhesæna (numerous variations of the name ...

Rhinocolura

A titular see in Augustamnica Prima, suffragan of Pelusium. Rhinocolura or Rhinocorura was a ...

Rhithymna

(RHETHYMNA) A titular see of Crete, suffragan of Gortyna, mentioned by Ptolemy, III, 15, ...

Rhizus

( Rizous .) A titular see of Pontus Polemoniacus suffragan of Neocæsarea, ...

Rho, Giacomo

Missionary, born at Milan, 1593; died at Peking 27 April, 1638. He was the son of a noble and ...

Rhode Island

The State of Rhode Island and xxyyyk.htm">Providence Plantations, one of the thirteen original ...

Rhodes

(RHODUS) A titular metropolitan of the Cyclades. It is an island opposite to Lycia and ...

Rhodes, Alexandre De

A missionary and author, born at Avignon, 15 March, 1591; died at Ispahan, Persia, 5 Nov., 1660. ...

Rhodesia

A British possession in South Africa, bounded on the north and north-west by the Congo Free ...

Rhodiopolis

A titular see of Lycia, suffragan of Myra, called Rhodia by Ptolemy (V, 3) and Stephanus ...

Rhodo

A Christian writer who flourished in the time of Commodus (180-92); he was a native of Asia ...

Rhosus

A titular see in Cilicia Secunda, suffragan to Anazarba. Rhosus or Rhossus was a seaport ...

Rhymed Bibles

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

Rhythmical Office

I. DESCRIPTION, DEVELOPMENT, AND DIVISION By rhythmical office is meant a liturgical horary ...

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Ri 66

Ribadeneira, Pedro de

(Or RIBADENEYRA and among Spaniards often RIVADENEIRA) Pedro De Ribadeneira was born at ...

Ribas, Andrés Pérez De

A pioneer missionary, historian of north-western Mexico; born at Cordova, Spain, 1576; died in ...

Ribe, Ancient See of, in Denmark (Jutland)

(RIPAE, RIPENSIS.) The diocese (29 deaneries, 278 parishes ) consisted of the modern ...

Ribeirao Preto

(DE RIBERAO PRETO) A suffragan see of the Archdiocese of São Paulo , Brazil, ...

Ribera, Jusepe de

Called also SPAGNOLETTO, L'ESPAGNOLET (the little Spaniard) Painter born at Jativa, 12 Jan., ...

Ricardus Anglicus

Ricardus Anglicus, Archdeacon of Bologna, was an English priest who was rector of the law ...

Riccardi, Nicholas

A theologian, writer and preacher; born at Genoa, 1585; died at Rome, 30 May, 1639. Physically ...

Ricci, Lorenzo

General of the Society of Jesus b. at Florence, 2 Aug., 1703; d. at the Castle of Sant' Angelo, ...

Ricci, Matteo

Founder of the Catholic missions of China, b. at Macerata in the Papal States, 6 Oct. 1552; ...

Riccioli, Giovanni Battista

Italian astronomer, b. at Ferrara 17 April, 1598; d. at Bologna 25 June, 1671. He entered the ...

Rice, Edmund Ignatius

Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (better known as "Irish ...

Rich, St. Edmund

Archbishop of Canterbury, England, born 20 November, c. 1180, at Abingdon, six miles from ...

Richard

A Friar minor and preacher, appearing in history between 1428 and 1431, whose origin and ...

Richard de Bury

Bishop and bibliophile, b. near Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, England, 24 Jan., 1286; d. at ...

Richard de la Vergne, François-Marie-Benjamin

Archbishop of Paris, born at Nantes, 1 March, 1819; died in Paris, 28 January, 1908. ...

Richard de Wyche, Saint

Bishop and confessor, b. about 1197 at Droitwich, Worcestershire, from which his surname is ...

Richard Fetherston, Blessed

Priest and martyr ; died at Smithfield, 30 July, 1540. He was chaplain to Catharine of Aragon ...

Richard I, King Of England

Richard I, born at Oxford, 6 Sept, 1157; died at Chaluz, France, 6 April, 1199; was known to ...

Richard of Cirencester

Chronicler, d. about 1400. He was the compiler of a chronicle from 447 to 1066, entitled "Speculum ...

Richard of Cornwall

(RICHARD RUFUS, RUYS, ROSSO, ROWSE). The dates of his birth and death are unknown, but he ...

Richard of Middletown

(A MEDIA VILLA). Flourished at the end of the thirteenth century, but the dates of his birth ...

Richard of St. Victor

Theologian, native of Scotland, but the date and place of his birth are unknown; d. 1173 and ...

Richard Thirkeld, Blessed

Martyr ; b. at Coniscliffe, Durham, England ; d. at York, 29 May, 1583. From Queen's College, ...

Richard Whiting, Blessed

Last Abbot of Glastonbury and martyr, parentage and date of birth unknown, executed 15 Nov., ...

Richard, Charles-Louis

Theologian and publicist; b. at Blainville-sur-l'Eau, in Lorraine, April, 1711; d. at Mons, ...

Richardson, Ven. William

( Alias Anderson.) Last martyr under Queen Elizabeth; b. according to Challoner at Vales in ...

Richelieu, Armand-Jean du Plessis, Duke de

Cardinal ; French statesman, b. in Paris, 5 September, 1585; d. there 4 December 1642. At first ...

Richmond, Diocese of

(RICHMONDENSIS.) Suffragan of Baltimore, established 11 July, 1820, comprises the State of ...

Ricoldo da Monte di Croce

(PENNINI.) Born at Florence about 1243; d. there 31 October, 1320. After studying in various ...

Riemenschneider, Tillmann

One of the most important of Frankish sculptors, b. at Osterode am Harz in or after 1460; d. at ...

Rienzi, Cola di

(i.e., NICOLA, son of Lorenzo) A popular tribune and extraordinary historical figure. His ...

Rieti

(REATINA). Diocese in Central Italy, immediately subject to the Holy See. The city is ...

Rievaulx, Abbey of

(RIEVALL.) Thurston, Archbishop of York, was very anxious to have a monastery of the newly ...

Riffel, Caspar

Historian, b. at Budesheim, Bingen, Germany, 19 Jan., 1807, d. at Mainz, 15 Dec., 1856. He ...

Rigby, John, Saint

English martyr ; b. about 1570 at Harrocks Hall, Eccleston, Lancashire; executed at St. Thomas ...

Rigby, Nicholas

Born 1800 at Walton near Preston, Lancashire; died at Ugthorpe, 7 September, 1886. At twelve years ...

Right

Right, as a substantive (my right, his right), designates the object of justice. When a person ...

Right of Exclusion

(Latin Jus Exclusivæ . The alleged competence of the more important Catholic ...

Right of Option

In canon law an option is a way of obtaining a benefice or a title, by the choice of the new ...

Right of Voluntary Association

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

Rimbert, Saint

Archbishop of Bremen - Hamburg, died at Bremen 11 June, 888. It is uncertain whether he was ...

Rimini

DIOCESE OF RIMINI (ARIMINUM). Suffragan of Ravenna. Rimini is situated near the coast between ...

Rimini, Council of

The second Formula of Sirmium (357) stated the doctrine of the Anomoeans, or extreme Arians. ...

Rimouski

DIOCESE OF RIMOUSKI (SANCTI GERMANI DE RIMOUSKI) Suffragan of Quebec, comprises the counties of ...

Ring of the Fisherman, The

The earliest mention of the Fisherman's ring worn by the popes is in a letter of Clement IV ...

Rings

Although the surviving ancient rings, proved by their devices, provenance, etc., to be of ...

Rinuccini, Giovanni Battista

Born at Rome, 1592; d. at Fermo, 1653; was the son of a Florentine patrician, his mother being a ...

Rio Negro

Prefecture Apostolic in Brazil, bounded on the south by a line running westwards from the ...

Rio, Alexis-François

French writer on art, b. on the Island of Arz, Department of Morbihan, 20 May, 1797; d. 17 June, ...

Riobamba

Diocese of (Bolivarensis), suffragan of Quito, Ecuador, erected by Pius IX, 5 January, 1863. ...

Rioja, Francisco de

A poet, born at Seville, 1583; died at Madrid, 1659. Rioja was a canon in the cathedral at ...

Ripalda, Juan Martínez de

Theologian, b. at Pamplona, Navarre, 1594; d. at Madrid, 26 April, 1648. He entered the Society ...

Ripatransone

(RIPANENSIS). Diocese in Ascoli Piceno, Central Italy. The city is situated on five hills, ...

Ripon, Marquess of

George Frederick Samuel Robinson, K.G., P.C., G.C.S.I., F.R.S., Earl de Grey, Earl of Ripon, ...

Risby, Richard

Born in the parish of St. Lawrence, Reading, 1489; executed at Tyburn, London, 20 April, 1534. ...

Rishanger, William

Chronicler, b. at Rishangles, Suffolk, about ú d. after 1312. He became a Benedictine at ...

Rishton, Edward

Born in Lancashire, 1550; died at Sainte-Ménehould, Lorraine, 29 June, 1585. He was ...

Rita of Cascia, Saint

Born at Rocca Porena in the Diocese of Spoleto , 1386; died at the Augustinian convent of ...

Rites

I. NAME AND DEFINITION Ritus in classical Latin in means primarily, the form and manner of any ...

Rites in the United States

Since immigration from the eastern portion of Europe and from Asia and Africa set in with ...

Ritschlianism

Ritschlianism is a peculiar conception of the nature and scope of Christianity, widely held in ...

Ritter, Joseph Ignatius

Historian, b. at Schweinitz, Silesia, 12 April, 1787; d. at Breslau, 5 Jan., 1857. He pursued his ...

Ritual

The Ritual ( Rituale Romanum ) is one of the official books of the Roman Rite. It contains all ...

Ritualists

The word "Ritualists" is the term now most commonly employed to denote that advanced section of ...

Rivington, Luke

Born in London, May, 1838; died in London, 30 May, 1899; fourth son of Francis Rivington, a ...

Rizal, José Mercado

Filipino hero, physician, poet, novelist, and sculptor ; b. at Calamba, Province of La Laguna, ...

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Ro 133

Robbers, Seven

(Septem Latrones), martyrs on the Island of Corcyra (Corfu) in the second century. Their ...

Robbia, Andrea della

Nephew, pupil, assistant, and sharer of Luca's secrets, b. at Florence, 1431; d. 1528. It is ...

Robbia, Lucia di Simone

Sculptor, b. at Florence, 1400; d. 1481. He is believed to have studied design with a goldsmith, ...

Robert Bellarmine, Saint

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

Robert Johnson, Blessed

Born in Shropshire, entered the German College, Rome, 1 October, 1571. Ordained priest at ...

Robert of Arbrissel

Itinerant preacher, founder of Fontevrault, b. c. 1047 at Arbrissel (now Arbressec) near ...

Robert of Courçon

(DE CURSONE, DE CURSIM, CURSUS, ETC.). Cardinal, born at Kedleston, England ; died at ...

Robert of Geneva

Antipope under the name of Clement VII, b. at Geneva, 1342; d. at Avignon, 16 Sept., 1394. He ...

Robert of Jumièges

Archbishop of Canterbury (1051-2). Robert Champart was a Norman monk of St. Ouen at Rouen ...

Robert of Luzarches

(LUS). Born at Luzarches near Pontoise towards the end of the twelfth century; is said to have ...

Robert of Melun

(DE MELDUNO; MELIDENSIS; MEIDUNUS). An English philosopher and theologian, b. in England ...

Robert of Molesme, Saint

Born about the year 1029, at Champagne, France, of noble parents who bore the names of Thierry ...

Robert of Newminster, Saint

Born in the district of Craven, Yorkshire, probably at the village of Gargrave; died 7 June, 1159. ...

Robert Pullus

(PULLEN, PULLAN, PULLY.) See also ROBERT PULLEN. Cardinal, English philosopher and ...

Robert, Saint

Founder of the Abbey of Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne, b. at Aurilac, Auvergne, about 1000; d. in ...

Roberts, Saint John

First Prior of St. Gregory's, Douai (now Downside Abbey ), b. 1575-6; martyred 10 ...

Robertson, James Burton

Historian, b. in London 15 Nov., 1800; d. at Dublin 14 Feb., 1877, son of Thomas Robertson, a ...

Robinson, Venerable Christopher

Born at Woodside, near Westward, Cumberland, date unknown; executed at Carlisle, 19 Aug., 1598. ...

Robinson, William Callyhan

Jurist and educator, b. 26 July, 1834, at Norwich, Conn.; d. 6 Nov., 1911, at Washington, D.C. ...

Rocaberti, Juan Tomás de

Theologian, b. of a noble family at Perelada, in Catalina, c. 1624; d. at Madrid 13 June, 1699. ...

Rocamadour

Communal chief town of the canton of Gramat, district of Gourdon, Department of Lot, in the ...

Rocca, Angelo

Founder of the Angelica Library at Rome, b. at Rocca, now Arecevia, near Ancone, 1545; d. at ...

Roch, Saint

Born at Montpellier towards 1295; died 1327. His father was governor of that city. At his birth ...

Rochambeau, Jean-Baptiste-Donatien

Marshal, b. at Vendôme, France, 1 July, 1725; d. at Thoré, 10 May, 1807. At the age ...

Roche, Alanus de la

( Sometimes DE LA ROCHE). Born about 1428; died at Zwolle in Holland, 8 September, 1475. ...

Rochester, Ancient See of

(ROFFA; ROFFENSIS). The oldest and smallest of all the suffragan sees of Canterbury, was ...

Rochester, Blessed John

Priest and martyr, born probably at Terling, Essex, England, about 1498; died at York, 11 May, ...

Rochester, Diocese of

This diocese, on its establishment by separation from the See of Buffalo, 24 January, 1868, ...

Rochet

An over-tunic usually made of fine white linen (cambric; fine cotton material is also allowed), ...

Rochette, Désiré Raoul

Usually known as Raoul-Rochette, a French archeologist, b. at St. Amand (Cher), 9 March, 1789; d. ...

Rock, Daniel

Antiquarian and ecclesiologist, b. at Liverpool, 31 August, 1799; d. at Kensington, London, 28 ...

Rockford, Diocese of

(ROCKFORDIENSIS). Created 23 September, 1908, comprises Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, ...

Rockhampton

Diocese in Queensland, Australia. In 1862 Father Duhig visited the infant settlement on the banks ...

Rococo Style

This style received its name in the nineteenth century from French émigrés , who ...

Rodez

(RUTHENAE) The Diocese of Rodez was united to the Diocese of Cahors by the Concordat of ...

Rodrigues Ferreira, Alexandre

A Brazilian natural scientist and explorer, b. at Bahia in 1756; d. at Lisbon in 1815. He ...

Rodriguez, Alonso

Born at Valladolid, Spain, 1526; died at Seville 21 February, 1616. When twenty years of age he ...

Rodriguez, Joao

(GIRAM, GIRAO, GIRON, ROIZ). Missionary and author, b. at Alcochete in the Diocese of Lisbon ...

Rodriguez, Saint Alphonsus

(Also Alonso). Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. ...

Roe, Bartholomew

(VENERABLE ALBAN). English Benedictine martyr, b. in Suffolk, 1583; executed at Tyburn, 21 ...

Roermond

(RUBAEMUNDENSIS). Diocese in Holland ; suffragan of Utrecht. It includes the Province of ...

Rogation Days

Days of prayer, and formerly also of fasting, instituted by the Church to appease God's anger ...

Roger Bacon

Philosopher, surnamed D OCTOR M IRABILIS , b. at Ilchester, Somersetshire, about 1214; d. at ...

Roger Cadwallador, Venerable

English martyr, b. at Stretton Sugwas, near Hereford, in 1568; executed at Leominster, 27 Aug., ...

Roger of Wendover

Benedictine monk, date of birth unknown; d. 1236, the first of the great chroniclers of St. ...

Roger, Bishop of Worcester

Died at Tours, 9 August, 1179. A younger son of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, he was educated ...

Roh, Peter

Born at Conthey (Gunthis) in the canton of Valais ( French Switzerland ), 14 August, 1811; d. at ...

Rohault de Fleury

A family of French architects and archaeologists of the nineteenth century, of which the most ...

Rohrbacher, Réné François

Ecclesiastical historian, b. at Langatte (Langd) in the present Diocese of Metz, 27 September, ...

Rojas y Zorrilla, Francisco de

Spanish dramatic poet, b. at Toledo, 4 Oct., 1607; d. 1680. Authentic information regarding the ...

Rokewode, John Gage

Born 13 Sept., 1786; died at Claughton Hall, Lancashire, 14 Oct., 1842. He was the fourth son of ...

Rolduc

(RODA DUCIS, also Roda, Closterroda or Hertogenrade). Located in S. E. Limburg, Netherlands. ...

Rolfus, Hermann

Catholic educationist, b. at Freiburg, 24 May, 1821; d. at Buhl, near Offenburg, 27 October, ...

Rolle de Hampole, Richard

Solitary and writer, b. at Thornton, Yorkshire, about 1300; d. at Hampole, 29 Sept., 1349. The ...

Rollin, Charles

Born in Paris, 1661; died there, 1741. The son of a cutler, intended to follow his father's ...

Rolls Series

A collection of historical materials of which the general scope is indicated by its official ...

Rolph, Thomas

Surgeon, b. 1800; d. at Portsmouth, 17 Feb., 1858. He was a younger son of Dr. Thomas Rolph and ...

Roman Catacombs

This subject will be treated under seven heads: I. Position; II. History; III. Inscriptions; IV. ...

Roman Catechism

This catechism differs from other summaries of Christian doctrine for the instruction of the ...

Roman Catholic

A qualification of the name Catholic commonly used in English-speaking countries by those ...

Roman Catholic Relief Bill

IN ENGLAND With the accession of Queen Elizabeth (1558) commenced the series of legislative ...

Roman Christian Cemeteries, Early

This article treats briefly of the individual catacomb cemeteries in the vicinity of Rome. For ...

Roman Colleges

This article treats of the various colleges in Rome which have been founded under ...

Roman Congregations

Certain departments have been organized by the Holy See at various times to assist it in the ...

Roman Curia

Strictly speaking, the ensemble of departments or ministries which assist the sovereign pontiff ...

Roman Processional

Strictly speaking it might be said that the Processional has no recognized place in the Roman ...

Roman Rite, The

( Ritus romanus ). The Roman Rite is the manner of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice, ...

Romanos Pontifices, Constitutio

The restoration by Pius IX, 29 Sept. 1850, by letters Apostolic "Universalis ecclesiæ" of ...

Romanos, Saint

Surnamed ho melodos and ho theorrhetor , poet of the sixth century. The only authority for ...

Romans, Epistle to the

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. The Roman Church and St. Paul; II. ...

Romanus, Pope

Of this pope very little is known with certainty, not even the date of his birth nor the exact ...

Romanus, Saints

(1) A Roman martyr Romanus is mentioned in the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 155) ...

Rome

The significance of Rome lies primarily in the fact that it is the city of the pope. The Bishop ...

Rome, University of

The University of Rome must be distinguished from the "Studium Generale apud Curiam", established ...

Romero, Juan

Missionary and Indian linguist, b. in the village of Machena, Andalusia, Spain, 1559; d. at ...

Romuald, Saint

Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027. St. Peter Damian, his ...

Romulus Augustulus

Deposed in the year 476, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire. His reign was purely ...

Ronan, Saint

There are twelve Irish saints bearing the name of Ronan commemorated in the "Martyrology of ...

Ronsard, Pierre de

French poet, b. 2 (or 11) Sept., 1524, at the Château de la Poissonniere, near ...

Rood

(Anglo-Saxon Rod, or Rode, "cross"), a term, often used to signify the True Cross itself, ...

Roothaan, Johann Philipp

Twenty-first General of the Society of Jesus , b. at Amsterdam, 23 November, 1785; d. at Rome, ...

Roper, William

Biographer of St. Thomas More, born 1496; died 4 January, 1578. Both his father and mother ...

Rorate Coeli

(Vulgate, text), the opening words of Isaiah 45:8 . The text is used frequently both at Mass and ...

Rosa, Salvatore

(Also spelled SALVATOR; otherwise known as RENNELLA, or ARENELLA, from the place of his birth). ...

Rosalia, Saint

Hermitess, greatly venerated at Palermo and in the whole of Sicily of which she in patroness. ...

Rosary, Breviary Hymns of the

The proper office granted by Leo XIII (5 August, 1888) to the feast contains four hymns ...

Rosary, Confraternity of the

In accordance with the conclusion of the article ROSARY no sufficient evidence is forthcoming to ...

Rosary, Feast of the Holy

Apart from the signal defeat of the Albigensian heretics at the battle of Muret in 1213 which ...

Rosary, Seraphic

( Or Seraphic Rosary.) A Rosary consisting of seven decades in commemoration of the seven ...

Rosary, The

Please see our How to Recite the Holy Rosary sheet in PDF format, and feel free to copy and ...

Rosate, Alberico de

(Or ROSCIATE). Jurist, date of birth unknown; died in 1354. He was bom in the village of ...

Roscelin

Roscelin, a monk of Compiègne, was teaching as early as 1087. He had contact with ...

Roscommon

Capital of County Roscommon, Ireland ; owes origin and name to a monastery founded by St. Coman ...

Rose of Lima, Saint

Virgin, patroness of America, born at Lima, Peru 20 April, 1586; died there 30 August, 1617. ...

Rose of Viterbo, Saint

Virgin, born at Viterbo, 1235; died 6 March, 1252. The chronology of her life must always remain ...

Rose Window

A circular window, with mullions and traceries generally radiating from the centre, and filled ...

Rosea

A titular see. The official catalogue of the Roman Curia mentioned formerly a titular see of ...

Roseau

(ROSENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of Port of Spain, Trinidad, B.W.I. The different islands of ...

Rosecrans, William Starke

William Born at Kingston, Ohio, U.S.A. 6 Sept., 1819; died near Redondo California, 11 March, ...

Roseline, Saint

(Rossolina.) Born at Château of Arcs in eastern Provence, 1263; d. 17 January, 1329. ...

Rosenau

( Hungarian ROZSNYÓ; Latin ROSNAVIENSIS). Diocese in Hungary, suffragan of Eger, ...

Rosh Hashanah

The first day of Tishri (October), the seventh month of the Hebrew year. Two trumpets are ...

Rosicrucians

The original appelation of the alleged members of the occult-cabalistic- theosophic "Rosicrucian ...

Roskilde, Ancient See of, in Denmark

(ROSCHILDIA, ROSKILDENSIS.) Suffragan to Hamburg, about 991-1104, to Lund, 1104-1536. The ...

Roskoványi, August

Bishop of Neutra in Hungary, doctor of philosophy and theology, b. at Szenna in the County ...

Rosmini and Rosminianism

Antonio Rosmini Serbati, philosopher, and founder of the Institute of Charity, born 24 March, ...

Rosminians

The Institute of Charity, or, officially, Societas a charitate nuncupata , is a religious ...

Ross

(ROSSENSIS). Diocese in Ireland. This see was founded by St. Fachtna, and the place-name ...

Ross, School of

The School of Ross &151; now called Ross-Carbery, but formerly Ross-Ailithir from the large ...

Rossano

(ROSSANENSIS). Archdiocese in Calabria, province of Cosenza, Southern Italy. The city is ...

Rosselino, Antonio di Matteo di Domenico

The youngest of five brothers, sculptors and stone cutters, family name Gamberelli (1427-78). He ...

Rosselino, Bernardo

(Properly BERNARDO DI MATTEO GAMBARELLI.) B. at Florence, 1409; d. 1464. Rosselino occupies ...

Rosselli, Cosimo

(LORENZO DI FILIPPO). Italian fresco painter, b. at Florence, 1439; d. there in 1507. The ...

Rossi, Bernardo de

(DE RUBEIS, GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BERNARDO MARIA). Theologian and historian; b. at Cividale del ...

Rossi, Giovanni Battista de

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

Rossi, Pellegrino

Publicist, diplomat, economist, and statesman, b. at Carrara, Italy, 13 July, 1787; assassinated ...

Rossini, Gioacchino Antonio

Born 29 February, 1792, at Pesaro in the Romagna; died 13 November, 1868, at Passy, near Paris. ...

Rostock, Sebastian von

Bishop of Breslau, b. at Grottkau, Silesia, 24 Aug. 1607; d. at Breslau, 9 June, 1671. He ...

Rostock, University of

Located in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, founded in the year 1419 through the united efforts of Dukes John ...

Roswitha

A celebrated nun -poetess of the tenth century, whose name has been given in various forms, ...

Rota, Sacra Romana

In the Constitution "Sapienti Consilio" (29 June, 1908), II, 2, Pins X re-established the Sacra ...

Roth, Heinrich

Missionary in India and Sanskrit scholar, b. of illustrious parentage at Augsburg, 18 December, ...

Rothe, David

Bishop of Ossory ( Ireland ), b. at Kilkenny in 1573, of a distinguished family ; d. 20 ...

Rottenburg

(ROTTENBURGENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of the ecclesiastical Province of the Upper Rhine. It ...

Rotuli

Rotuli, i.e. rolls — in which a long narrow strip of papyrus or parchment, written on one ...

Rouen, Archdiocese of

(ROTHOMAGENSIS) Revived by the Concordat of 1802 with the Sees of Bayeux, Evreux, and ...

Rouen, Synods of

The first synod is generally believed to have been held by Archbishop Saint-Ouen about 650. ...

Rouquette, Adrien

Born in Louisiana in 1813, of French parentage; died as a missionary among the Choctaw Indians ...

Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste

French poet, b. in Paris, 16 April 1670; d. at La Genette, near Brussels, 17 May, 1741. ...

Rovezzano, Benedetto da

Sculptor and architect, b. in 1490, either at Rovezzano, near Florence, or, according to some ...

Rowsham, Stephen

A native of Oxfordshire, entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1572. He took orders in the English ...

Royal Declaration, The

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

Royer-Collard, Pierre-Paul

Philosopher and French politician, b. at Sompuis (Marne), 21 June, 1763; d. at ...

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Ru 42

Ruadhan, Saint

One of the twelve "Apostles of Erin" ; died at the monastery of Lorrha, County Tipperary, ...

Ruben

(REUBEN.) A proper name which designates in the Bible : (1) a patriarch; (II) a tribe of ...

Rubens, Peter Paul

Eminent Flemish painter, b. at Siegen, Westphalia, 28 June, 1577; d. at Antwerp, 30 May, 1640. ...

Rubrics

I. IDEA Among the ancients, according to Columella, Vitruvius, and Pliny, the word rubrica , ...

Rubruck, William

(Also called William of Rubruck and less correctly Ruysbrock, Ruysbroek, and Rubruquis), ...

Rudolf of Fulda

Chronicler, d. at Fulda, 8 March, 862. In the monastery of Fulda Rudolf entered the ...

Rudolf of Habsburg

German king, b. 1 May 1218; d. at Speyer, 15 July, 1291. He was the son of Albert IV, the founder ...

Rudolf of Rüdesheim

Bishop of Breslau, b. at Rüdesheim on the Rhine, about 1402; d. at Breslau in Jan., 1482. ...

Rudolf von Ems

[Hohenems in Austria ]. A Middle High German epic poet of the thirteenth century. Almost ...

Rueckers, Family of

Famous organ and piano-forte builders of Antwerp. Hans Rueckers, the founder, lived in ...

Ruffini, Paolo

Physician and mathematician, b. at Valentano in the Duchy of Castro, 3 Sept., 1765; d. at Modena, ...

Rufford Abbey

A monastery of the Cistercian Order, situated on the left bank of the Rainworth Water, about ...

Rufina, Saints

The present Roman Martyrology records saints of this name on the following days: (1) On ...

Rufinus, Saint

The present Roman Martyrology records eleven saints named Rufinus: (1) On 28 February, a ...

Rufus, Saint

The present Roman Martyrology records ten saints of this name. Historical mention is made of ...

Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza, Juan de

Spanish dramatic poet, b. at Mexico City, about 1580; d. at Madrid, 4 August, 1639. He received ...

Ruiz de Montoya, Antonio

One of the most distinguished pioneers of the original Jesuit mission in Paraguay, and a ...

Ruiz de Montoya, Diego

Theologian, b. at Seville, 1562; d. there 15 March, 1632. He entered the Society of Jesus in ...

Rule of Faith, The

The word rule ( Latin regula , Gr. kanon ) means a standard by which something can be ...

Rule of St. Augustine

The title, Rule of Saint Augustine , has been applied to each of the following documents: ...

Rule of St. Benedict

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

Rumania

A kingdom in the Balkan Peninsula, situated between the Black Sea, the Danube, the Carpathian ...

Rumohr, Karl Friedrich

Art historian, b. at Dresden, 1785; d. there, 1843. He became a Catholic in 1804. He was ...

Rupe, Alanus de

( Sometimes DE LA ROCHE). Born about 1428; died at Zwolle in Holland, 8 September, 1475. ...

Rupert, Saint

(Alternative forms, Ruprecht, Hrodperht, Hrodpreht, Roudbertus, Rudbertus, Robert, Ruprecht). ...

Rusaddir

A titular see of Mauritania Tingitana. Rusaddir is a Phoenician settlement whose name ...

Rusicade

A titular see of Numidia. It is mentioned by Ptolemy (IV, 3), Mela (I, 33), Pliny (V, 22), ...

Ruspe

Titular see of Byzacena in Africa, mentioned only by Ptolemy (IV, 3) and the "Tabula" of ...

Russell, Charles

(BARON RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN). Born at Newry, Ireland, 10 November, 1832; died in London, 10 ...

Russell, Charles William

Born at Killough, Co. Down, 14 May, 1812; died at Dublin 26 Feb., 1880. He was descended from the ...

Russell, Richard

Bishop of Vizéu in Portugal, b. in Berkshire, 1630; d. at Vizéu, 15 Nov., 1693. He ...

Russia

GEOGRAPHY Russia ( Rossiiskaia Imperiia; Russkoe Gosudarstvo ) comprises the greater part of ...

Russia, The Religion of

A. The Origin of Russian Christianity There are two theories in regard to the early Christianity ...

Russian Language and Literature

The subject will be treated under the following heads, viz. RUSSIAN LANGUAGE; ANCIENT POPULAR ...

Rusticus of Narbonne, Saint

Born either at Marseilles or at Narbonnaise, Gaul; died 26 Oct., 461. According to biographers, ...

Ruth, Book of

One of the proto-canonical writings of the Old Testament, which derives its name from the heroine ...

Ruthenian Rite

There is, properly speaking, no separate and distinct rite for the Ruthenians, but inasmuch as ...

Ruthenians

(Ruthenian and Russian: Rusin , plural Rusini ) A Slavic people from Southern Russia, ...

Rutter, Henry

( vere BANISTER) Born 26 Feb., 1755; died 17 September, 1838, near Dodding Green, ...

Ruvo and Bitonto

(RUBENSIS ET BITUNTINENSIS) Diocese in the Province of Bari, Aquileia, Southern Italy. Ruvo, ...

Ruysbroeck, Blessed John

Surnamed the Admirable Doctor, and the Divine Doctor, undoubtedly the foremost of the Flemish ...

Ruysch, John

Astronomer, cartographer, and painter, born at Utrecht about 1460; died at Cologne, 1533. Little ...

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Ry 4

Ryan, Father Abram J.

The poet-priest of the South, born at Norfolk, Virginia, 15 August, 1839; died at Louisville, ...

Ryan, Patrick John

Sixth Bishop and second Archbishop of Philadelphia, b. At Thurles, County Tipperary, ...

Ryder, Henry Ignatius Dudley

English Oratorian priest and controversialist, b. 3 Jan., 1837; d. at Edgbaston, Birmingham, 7 ...

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