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John Scotus Eriugena

An Irish teacher, theologian, philosopher, and poet, who lived in the ninth century.

NAME

Eriugena's contemporaries invariably refer to him as Joannes Scottus or Joannes Scottigena. In the manuscripts of the tenth and subsequent centuries the forms Eriugena, Ierugena , and Erigena occur. Of these, the oldest and most acceptable, philologically, is Eriugena, which, as it was perhaps sometimes written Eriygena, was changed into Erigena . It means "a native of Ireland ". The form Ierugena is evidently an attempt to connect the first part of the name with the Greek word hieros , and means "a native of the Island of Saints"; the combination Joannes Scotus Erigena cannot be traced beyond the sixteenth century.

BIRTHPLACE

At one time the birthplace of Eriugena was a matter of dispute. Eriuven in Wales and Ayre in Scotland claimed the honour, and each found advocates. Nowadays, however, the claim of Ireland to be considered the birthplace of John is universally admitted. All the evidence points that way, and leads us to conclude that when his contemporaries tauntingly referred to his having come to France from Ireland they meant not only that he was educated in the Isle of Saints but also that Ireland was his birthplace. Whatever doubt there may have been about the meaning of Scotus, there can be none as to the signification of the surname Eriugena.

LIFE

What is known of the life of Eriugena is very soon told. About 847 he appeared in France at the court of Charles the Bald, was received with special favour by that prince, appointed head of the palace school, which seems to have had some kind of permanent location at Paris, and was commissioned by his royal patron to translate the works of Pseudo-Dionysius into Latin. This translation brought him into prominence in the world of letters and was the occasion of his entering into the theological controversies of the day, especially into those concerning predestination and the Eucharist. His knowledge of Greek is evident from his translations, and is also proved by the poems which he wrote. It is doubtful, on the other hand, whether he possessed the knowledge of Hebrew and other Oriental languages which is sometimes ascribed to him. In any case there is no evidence of his having travelled extensively in Greece and Asia Minor. After leaving Ireland he spent the rest of his days in France, probably at Paris and Laon. There was, as we know from the manuscripts, an important colony of Irish scholars at the latter place. The tradition that after the death of Charles the Bald he went to England at the invitation of Alfred the Great, that he taught a school at Malmesbury, and was there put to death by his pupils, has no support in contemporary documents and may well have arisen from some confusion of names on the part of later historians. It is probable that he died in France, but the date is unknown. From the evidence available it is impossible to determine whether he was a cleric or a layman, although it is difficult to deny that the general conditions of the time make it more than probable that he was a cleric and perhaps a monk.

WRITINGS

I. Translations of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius : "De Coelesti Hierarchia"; "De Ecclesiastica Hierarchia"; "De Divinis Nominibus"; "De Mystica Theologia"; "Epistolae"; translations of the "Ambigua" of St. Maximus. — 2. Commentaries: "Homolia in prologum S. Evangelii sec. Joannem", and a commentary on the Gospel of St. John, of which few fragments only have come down to us; commentaries on the "Celestial Hierarchy "and the "Ecclesiastical Hierarchy " of Pseudo-Dionysius ; glosses on the work of Martianus Capella (still in manuscript ), and on the theological opuscula of Boethius (Rand ed., Munich, 1906), with which is connected a brief "Life" of Boethius (Pieper ed., "Consolatio Philos.", Leipzig, 1871). — 3. Theological works: "Liber de Praedestinatione", and very probably a work on the Eucharist, though it is certain that the tract "De Corpore et Sanguine Domini", at one time believed to be Eriugena's, is the work od Paschasius Radbertus. — 4. Philosophical works: "De Divisione Naturae", his principal work, and a treatise, "De Egressu et Regressu Animae ad Deum", of which we possess only a few fragments. — 5. Poems: These are written partly in Latin and partly in Greek. Many of them are dedicated to Charles the Bald. The most complete edition of Eriugena's works is that of Dr. Floss, which is printed as Vol. CXXII of Migne's P.L. A new edition embodying the results of recent discoveries of manuscripts is often spoken of, and will doubtless be forthcoming before long.

DOCTRINES

Although the errors into which Eriugena fell both in theology and in philosophy were many and serious, there can be no doubt that he himself abhorred heresy, was disposed to treat the heretic with no small degree of harshness (as is evident from his strictures on Gotteschalk), and all through his life believed himself an unswervingly loyal son of the Church. Taking for granted the authenticity of the works ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagite , he considered that the doctrines he discovered in them were not only philosophically true, but also theologically acceptable, since they carried with them the authority of the distinguished Athenian convert of St. Paul. He did not for a moment suspect that in those writings he had to deal with a loosely articulated system of thought in which Christian teachings were mingled with the tenets of a subtle but profoundly anti-Christian pantheism. To this remark should be added another in order that we may fully understand Eriugena's attitude towards orthodoxy. He was accused by his contemporaries of leaning too much towards the Greeks. And, in fact, the Greek Fathers were his favourite authors, especially Gregory the Theologian, and Basil the Great. Of the Latins he prized Augustine most highly. The influence of these on the temperament of the venturesome Celt was towards freedom and not towards restraint in theological speculation. This freedom he reconciled with his respect for the teaching authority of the Church as he understood it. However, in the actual exercise of the freedom of speculation which he allowed himself, he fell into many errors which are incompatible with orthodox Christianity.

The " De Pradestinatione " seems to have been written after the translation of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius. Nevertheless there is in it only one allusion to the authority of the Greek Fathers and very little of the obtrusion of Greek words and phrases which so abound in the later works. It deals with the problem raised by Gotteschalk regarding the doctrine of predestination, and, more specifically, undertakes to prove that predestination is single, not double — in other words, that there is no predestination to sin and punishment but only to grace and eternal happiness. The authority of Augustine is used very extensively. In the philosophical setting of the problem, however — namely, the discussion of the true nature of evil — Eriugena appears to go back farther than St. Augustine and to hold the radical neo-Platonic view that evil is non-existent. He is thus compelled to go even farther than St. Augustine in rejecting the doctrine of a double predestination. That he exceeded the bounds of orthodoxy is the contention of Prudentius of Troyes and Florus of Lyons who answered the "Liber de Predestination" in works full of bitter personal attacks on Eriugena. Their views prevailed in the Councils of Valencia (855) and Langres (859), in which Eriugena's doctrine was condemned.

While the " De Corpore et Sanguine Domini " is not Eriugena's, though ascribed to him, there can be no doubt that in some work, now lost, on that subject he maintained doctrines at variance with the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation. From the fragment which has come down to us of his commentary on St. John we infer that he held the Eucharist to be merely a type or figure. At least he insists on the spiritual, to the exclusion, apparently, of the physical, "eating of the Flesh of the Son of Man ".

In the " De Divisione Naturae" , his most important and systematic work, Eriugena treats in the form of a dialogue the principal problems of philosophy and theology. The meaning of the title is evident from the opening sentences in which he outlines the plan of the work. "Nature", he says, "is divided into four species ": (1) "Nature which creates and is not created " — this is God, the Source and Principle of all things; (2) "Nature which is created and creates" — this is the world of primordial causes or ( Platonic ) ideas ; (3) "Nature which is created and does not create" — this is the world of phenomena, the world of contingent, sense-perceived things; (4) "Nature which neither creates nor is created " — this is God, the Term to which all things are returning.

(1) "Nature", then, is synonymous with reality, and also with God. For, whatever reality the world of ideas and the world of phenomena possess, is, in the truest and most literal sense, the reality of God Himself. "The being of all things is the over-being of God " ( esse omnium est superesse Divinitatis ) is a saying which he never tires of quoting from the works of Pseudo-Dionysius. So supremely perfect is the essence of the Divinity that God is incomprehensible not only to us but also to Himself. For if He knew Himself in any adequate sense He should place Himself in some category of thought, which would be to limit Himself. God is above all categories. When, therefore, we speak about Him we are safer in using the negative ( apophatike ) than the positive ( kataphatike ) mode of predication. That is, we are safer in predicating what He is not than in venturing to predicate what He is. If we have recourse to positive predication, we must use the prefix hyper and say God is hypersubstantia, i.e. more-than-substance, etc. Similarly, when we say that God is the "Creator" of all things we should understand that predicate in a sense altogether distinct from the meaning which we attach to the predicate "maker" or "producer" when applied to finite agents or causes. The "creation" of the world is in reality a theophania, or showing forth of the Essence of God in the things created. Just as He reveals Himself to the mind and the soul in higher intellectual and spiritual truth, so He reveals Himself to the senses in the created world around us. Creation is, therefore, a process of unfolding of the Divine Nature, and if we retain the word Creator in the sense of "one who makes things out of nothing", we must understand that God "makes" the world out of His own Essence, which, because of its incomprehensibility, may be said to be "nothing".

(2) Nature in the second sense, "Nature which creates and is created ", is the world of primordial causes, or ideas, which the Father "created" in the Son, and which in turn "create", that is determine the generic and specific natures of concrete visible things. These, says Eriugena, were called "prototypes", theia thelemata , and " ideas ", by the Greeks. Their function is that of exemplar and efficient causes. For since they are, though created, identical with God, and since their locus is the Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, they are operative causes and not merely static types. They are coeternal with the Word of God. From this, however, it is not necessary to infer, as some critics have done, that according to Eriugena the primordial causes are identical with the Word. As examples of primordial causes Eriugena enumerates goodness, wisdom, intuition (insight), understanding, virtue, greatness, power, etc. These are united in God, partly separate or scattered in the Word, and fully separate or scattered in the world of phenomena. For there is underlying all Eriugena's doctrine of the origin of things the image to which he often referred, namely, that of a circle, the radii of which are united at the centre. The centre is God, the radii at a point near the centre are the primordial causes, the radii at the circumference are phenomena.

(3) These phenomena are "Nature" in the third sense, "which is created and does not create". The stream of reality, setting out from the centre, God, passing through the ideas in the Word, passes next throngh all the genera suprema, media, and infima of logic, then enters the region of number and the realm of space and time, where the ideas become subject to multiplicity, change, imperfection, and decay. In this last stage they are no longer pure ideas but only the appearances of reality, that is phenomena. In the region of number the ideas become angels, pure incorporeal spirits. In the realm of space and time the ideas take on the burden of matter, which is the source of suffering, sickness, and sin. The material world, therefore, of our experience is composed of ideas clothed in matter — here Eriugena attempts a reconciliation of Platonism with Aristotelean notions. Man, too, is composed of idea and matter, soul and body. He is the culmination of the process of things from God, and with him, as we shall see, begins the process of return of all things to God. He is the image of the Trinity in so far as he unites in one soul being, wisdom, and love. In the state of innocence in which he was created, he was perfect in body as well as in soul, independent of bodily needs, and without differentiation of sex. The dependence of man's mind on the body and the subjection of the body to the world of sense, as well as the distinction of male and female in the human kind, are all the results of original sin. This downward tendency of the soul towards the conditions of animal existence has only one remedy, Divine grace. By means of this heavenly gift man is enabled to rise superior to the needs of the sensuous body, to place the demands of reason above those of bodily appetite, and from reason to ascend through contemplation to ideas, and thence by intuition to God Himself. The three faculties here alluded to as reason, contemplation, and intuition are designated by Eriugena as internal sense ( dianoia ), ratiocination ( logos ), and intellect ( nous ). These are the three degrees of mental perfection which man must attain if he is to free himself from the bondage into which he was cast by sin, and attain that union with God in which salvation consists.

(4) Not only man, however, but everything else in nature is destined to return to God. This universal resurrection of nature is the subject of the last portion of Eriugena's work, in which he treats of "Nature which neither creates nor is created ". This is God, the final Term, or Goal, of all existence. When Christ became man, He took on Himself body, soul, senses, and intellect, and when, ascending into Heaven, He took these with Him, not only the soul of man but his senses, his body, the animal and the vegetative natures, and even the elements were redeemed, and the final return of all things to God was begun. Now, as Heraclitus taught, the upward and the downward ways are the same. The return to God proceeds in the inverse order through all the steps which marked the downward course, or process of things from God. The elements become light, light becomes life, life becomes sense, sense becomes reason, reason becomes intellect, intellect becomes ideas in Christ, the Word of God, and through Christ returns to the oneness of God from which all the processes of nature began. This "incorporation" in Christ takes place by means of Divine grace in the Church, of which Christ is the invisible head. The doctrine of the final return of all things to God shows very clearly the influence of Origen. In general, the system of thought just outlined is a combination of neo-Platonic mysticism, emanationism, and pantheism which Eriugena strove in vain to reconcile with Aristotelean empiricism, Christian creationism, and theism. The result is a body of doctrines loosely articulated, in which the mystic and idealistic elements predominate, and in which there is much that is irreconcilable with Catholic dogma.

INFLUENCE

Eriugena's influence on the theological thought of his own and immediately subsequent generations was doubtless checked by the condemnations to which his doctrines of predestination and of the Eucharist were subjected in the Councils of Valencia (855), Langres (859), and Vercelli (1050). The general trend of his thought, so far as it was discernible at the time of his translations of Pseudo-Dionysius, was referred to with suspicion in a letter addressed by Pope Nicholas I to Charles the Bald in 859. It was not, however, until the beginning of the thirteenth century that the pantheism of the "De Divisione Naturae" was formally condemned. The Council of Paris (1225) coupled the condemnation of Eriugena's work with the previous condemnations (1210) of the doctrines of Amalric of Chartres and David of Dinant, and there can be no doubt that the pantheists of that time were using Eriugena's treatise. While the great Scholastic teachers, Abelard, Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas, and Albert the Great knew nothing, apparently, of Eriugena and his pantheism, certain groups of mystical theologians, even as early as the thirteenth century, were interested in his work and drew their doctrines from it. The Albigenses, too, sought inspiration from him. Later, the Mystics, especially Meister Eckhart, were influenced by him. And in recent times the great transcendental idealists, especially the Germans, recognize in him a kindred spirit and speak of him in the highest terms.

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Joachim (whose name means Yahweh prepares ), was the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If we ...

Joan of Arc, Saint

In French Jeanne d'Arc ; by her contemporaries commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid). ...

Joan, Popess

The fable about a female pope, who afterwards bore the name of Johanna (Joan), is first noticed ...

Joanna of Portugal, Blessed

Born at Lisbon, 16 February, 1452; died at Aveiro, 12 may, 1490; the daughter of Alfonso V, King ...

Joannes de Sacrobosco

(John Holywood), a monk of English origin, lived in the first half of the thirteenth century as ...

Job

One of the books of the Old Testament , and the chief personage in it. In this article it is ...

Jocelin

Cistercian monk and Bishop of Glasgow ; d. at Melrose Abbey in 1199. On 22 April, 1170, ...

Jocelin de Brakelond

An English chronicler, of the late twelfth century. He was the monk of Bury St. Edmund's ...

Jocelin of Wells

(Or JOSCELINE) Bishop of Bath and Wells (JOCELINUS THOTEMAN), d. 19 Nov., 1242. He was ...

Joel

The son of Phatuel, and second in the list of the twelve Minor Prophets. Nothing is known of his ...

Joest, Jan

(V AN K ALKAR ). Otherwise JAN JOOST VAN CALCKER. Dutch painter, b. at Calcker, or ...

Jogues, Saint Isaac

French missionary, born at Orléans, France, 10 January, 1607; martyred at Ossernenon, ...

John and Cyrus, Saints

Celebrated martyrs of the Coptic Church, surnamed thaumatourgoi anargyroi because they healed ...

John and Paul, Saints

Martyred at Rome on 26 June. The year of their martyrdom is uncertain according to their ...

John Baptist de la Salle, Saint

Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools , educational reformer, and ...

John Baptist de Rossi, Saint

(De Rubeis). Born at Voltaggio in the Diocese of Genoa, 22 February, 1698; died at Rome, 23 ...

John Beche, Blessed

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

John Berchmans, Saint

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

John Bosco, Saint

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

John Boste, Saint

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

John Britton, Venerable

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

John Buckley, Venerable

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

John Cantius, Saint

Born at Kenty, near Oswiecim, Diocese of Krakow, Poland, 1412 (or 1403); died at Krakow, 1473, ...

John Capistran, Saint

Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456. His father had ...

John Chrysostom, Saint

( Chrysostomos , "golden-mouthed" so called on account of his eloquence). Doctor of the ...

John Climacus, Saint

Also surnamed SCHOLASTICUS, and THE SINAITA, b. doubtlessly in Syria, about 525; d. on Mount ...

John Colombini, Blessed

Founder of the Congregation of Jesuati; b. at Siena, Upper Italy, about 1300; d. on the way to ...

John Cornelius and Companions, Venerable

John Cornelius (called also Mohun) was born of Irish parents at Bodmin, in Cornwall, on the ...

John Damascene, Saint

Born at Damascus, about 676; died some time between 754 and 787. The only extant life of the ...

John de Britto, Blessed

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

John Felton, Blessed

Martyr, date and place of birth unknown, was executed in St. Paul's Churchyard, London, 8 ...

John Fisher, Saint

Cardinal, Bishop of Rochester, and martyr ; born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 1459 ...

John Forest, Blessed

Born in 1471, presumably at Oxford, where his surname was then not unknown; suffered 22 May, ...

John Francis Regis, Saint

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

John Hambley, Venerable

English martyr (suffered 1587), born and educated in Cornwall, and converted by reading one ...

John I, Pope Saint

Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by ...

John II, Pope

(533-535). The date of the birth of this pope is not known. He was a Roman and the son of ...

John III, Pope

(561-574). A Roman surnamed Catelinus, d. 13 July, 574. He was of a distinguished family, ...

John Ingram, Venerable

English martyr, born at Stoke Edith, Herefordshire, in 1565; executed at Newcastle-on-Tyne, 26 ...

John IV, Pope

(640-642). A native of Dalmatia, and the son of the scholasticus (advocate) Venantius. The ...

John IX, Pope

(898-900). Not only is the date of John's birth unknown, but the date of his election as ...

John Joseph of the Cross, Saint

Born on the Island of Ischia, Southern Italy, 1654; d. 5 March, 1739. From his earliest years ...

John Larke, Blessed

English martyr ; died at Tyburn, 7 March, 1543-4. He was rector of St. Ethelburga's ...

John Malalas

A Monophysite Byzantine chronicler of the sixth century, born at Antioch where he spent most if ...

John Nelson, Blessed

English Jesuit martyr, b. at Skelton, four miles from York, in 1534; d. at Tyburn, 3 February, ...

John Nepomucene, Saint

Born at Nepomuk about 1340; died 20 March, 1393. The controversy concerning the identity of John ...

John of Antioch

There are four persons commonly known by this name. I John, Patriarch of Antioch ...

John of Avila, Blessed

Apostolic preacher of Andalusia and author, b. at Almodóvar del Campo, a small town in ...

John of Beverley, Saint

Bishop of Hexham and afterwards of York; b. at Harpham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire; d. at ...

John of Biclaro

(Johannes Biclariensis.) Chronicler, born in Portugal, probably about the middle of the sixth ...

John of Cornwall

(JOHANNES CORNUBIENSIS, JOHANNES DE SANCTO GERMANO). John of Cornwall lived about 1176. He was ...

John of Ephesus

(Also known as JOHN OF ASIA). The earliest, and a very famous, Syriac historian. He was born ...

John of Fécamp

(Also known as JEANNELIN on account of his diminutive stature). Ascetic writer, b. near Ravenna ...

John of Falkenberg

Author, b. at Falkenberg, Pomerania, Prussia, date unknown; d. about 1418 in Italy &151; ...

John of Fermo, Blessed

More often called JOHN OF LA VERNA, from his long sojourn on that holy mountain, b. at Fermo ...

John of Genoa

(Often called Balbi, or de Balbis.) Grammarian; born at Genoa, date unknown; died there ...

John of God, Saint

Born at Montemor o Novo, Portugal, 8 March, 1495, of devout Christian parents ; died at ...

John of Hauteville

Moralist and satirical poet of the twelfth century (flourished about 1184). Little is known of his ...

John of Janduno

An Averroistic philosopher, theologian, and political writer of the fourteenth century. John of ...

John of Montecorvino

A Franciscan and founder of the Catholic mission in China, b. at Montecorvino in Southern ...

John of Montesono

Theologian and controversialist, born at Monzón, Spain ; dates of birth and death ...

John of Nikiû

An Egyptian chronicler who flourished in the latter part of the seventh century. The little we ...

John of Paris

( Called also Quidort and de Soardis). Theologian and controversialist; born at Paris, ...

John of Parma, Blessed

Minister General of the Friars Minor (1247-1257), b. at Parma about 1209; d. at Camerino 19 ...

John of Ragusa

(Sometimes confounded with John of Segovia ). A Dominican theologian, president of the ...

John of Roquetaillade (de Rupescissa)

Franciscan alchemist, date of birth unknown; d. probably at Avignon, 1362. After pursuing the ...

John of Rupella

Franciscan theologian, b. at La Rochelle (Rupella), towards the end of the twelfth century; d. ...

John of Sahagun, Saint

Hermit, b. 1419, at Sahagún (or San Fagondez) in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain ; d. 11 ...

John of Saint Thomas

(Family name John Poinsot), theologian, born at Lisbon, 9 June, 1589; died at Fraga, Spain, 17 ...

John of Salisbury

(JOHANNES DE SARESBERIA, surnamed PARVUS). Born about 1115; died 1180; a distinguished ...

John of Segovia

A Spanish theologian, b. at Segovia towards the end of the fourteenth century; d. probably in ...

John of the Cross, Saint

Founder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology, b. at ...

John of Victring

(JOHANNES VICTORENSIS or DE VICTORIA). Chronicler, b. probably between 1270 and 1280; d. at ...

John of Winterthur

(Johannes Vitoduranus.) Historian, born about 1300 at Winterthur (Switzerland); died ...

John Parvus

Called in his day, JEHAN PETIT or LE PETIT. A French theologian and professor in the ...

John Payne, Blessed

Born in the Diocese of Peterborough ; died at Chelmsford, 2 April, 1582. He went to Douai in ...

John Rigby, Saint

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

John Roberts, Saint

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

John Rochester, Blessed

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

John Sarkander, Blessed

Martyr of the seal of confession, born at Skotschau in Austrian Silesia, 20 Dec., 1576; died at ...

John Scholasticus

( ho Scholastikos ; also called J OHN OF A NTIOCH ) Patriarch of Constantinople (J OHN ...

John Shert, Blessed

A native of Cheshire; took the degree of B.A. at Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1566. Successively ...

John Stone, Blessed

English martyr, executed at the Dane-John, Canterbury, probably in December, 1539, for denying ...

John Story, Blessed

( Or Storey.) Martyr ; born 1504; died at Tyburn, 1 June, 1571. He was educated at ...

John Talaia

Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria (481-482) at the time of the Monophysite troubles. He had ...

John the Almsgiver, Saint

(JOANNES ELEEMOSYNARIUS; JOANNES MISERICORS). Patriarch of Alexandria (606-16), b. at Amathus ...

John the Baptist, Saint

The principal sources of information concerning the life and ministry of St. John the Baptist are ...

John the Deacon

(J OHANNES D IACONUS ). Among the writers of the Middle Ages who bear this name, four ...

John the Evangelist, Saint

I. New Testament Accounts II. The Alleged Presbyter John III. The Later Accounts of John IV. Feasts ...

John the Faster

( ‘o nesteutés, jejunator ) Patriarch of Constantinople (John IV, 582-595), ...

John the Silent, Saint

(Hesychastes, Silentiarius). Bishop of Colonia, in Armenia, b. at Nicopolis, Armenia, 8 ...

John Twenge, Saint

Last English saint canonized, canon regular, Prior of St. Mary's, Bridlington, b. near the ...

John V, Pope

(685-686). A Syrian whose father was one Cyriacus; when he was born is not known; d. 2 ...

John VI, Pope

(701-705). A Greek, the date of whose birth is unknown; d. 11 January, 705. He ascended the ...

John VII, Pope

(705-707). The year of his birth is unknown; d. 18 October, 707. Few particulars of his life ...

John VIII, Pope

(Reigned 872-82) A Roman and the son of Gundus. He seems to have been born in the first ...

John X, Pope

Born at Tossignano, Romagna; enthroned, 914; died at Rome, 928. First a deacon, he became ...

John XI, Pope

Date of birth unknown, became pope in 931; d. 936. He was the son of Marozia by her first ...

John XII, Pope

Date of birth unknown; reigned 955-64. The younger Alberic, after the downfall of his mother, ...

John XIII, Pope

Date of birth unknown; enthroned on 1 Oct., 965; d. 6 Sept., 972. After the death of John XII ...

John XIV, Pope

Date of birth unknown; d. 984. After the death of Benedict VII, Bishop Peter Campanora of Pavia, ...

John XIX (XX), Pope

Enthroned in 1024; d. 1032. After the death of the last patricius of the House of Crescentius, ...

John XV (XVI), Pope

Enthroned 985; d. April, 996. After John XIV had been removed by force, the usurper, Boniface ...

John XVI (XVII)

Antipope 997-998; d. probably in 1013. After the death of John XV, Bruno, a relative of Otto ...

John XVII (XVIII), Pope

Date of birth unknown; d. 6 Nov., 1003. When Sylvester II died on 12 May, 1003, there was no ...

John XVIII (XIX), Pope

Successor of John XVII, consecrated Christmas, 1003; d. June, 1009. He was the son of a Roman ...

John XXI (XX), Pope

Born at Lisbon between 1210 and 1220; enthroned, 1276; died at Viterbo, 20 May, 1277. The son ...

John XXII, Pope

(JACQUES D'EUSE) Born at Cahors in 1249; enthroned, 5 September, 1316; died at Avignon, 4 ...

John XXIII

Antipope of the Pisan party (1400-15), b. about 1370; d. 22 November, 1419. Cardinal Baldassare ...

John, Epistles of

Three canonical books of the New Testament written by the Apostle St. John. The subject will ...

John, Gospel of

This subject will be considered under the following heads: I. Contents and Scheme of the ...

Johnson, Blessed Robert

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

Johnson, Blessed Thomas

Carthusian martyr, died in Newgate gaol, London, 20 September, 1537. On 18 May, 1537, the twenty ...

Johnson, Lionel Pigot

Born at Broadstairs on the Kentish coast, 15 Mar., 1867; died 4 Oct., 1902. He was the youngest ...

Johnston, Richard Malcolm

Educator, author, b. 8 March, 1822, at Powellton, Georgia, U.S.A.; d. at Baltimore, Maryland, 23 ...

Joinville, Jean, Sire de

Seneschal of Champagne, historian, b. in 1225; d. at Joinville, 1317. His family held an ...

Joliet, Louis

(Or JOLLIET). Louis Joliet, a discoverer and the son of a wagon-maker, was born at Quebec, ...

Joliette

(JOLIETTENSIS). Diocese created by Pius X , 27 January, 1904 by division of the Archdiocese ...

Jolly, Philipp Johann Gustav von

German physicist, born at Mannheim, 26 September, 1809; died at Munich, 24 December, 1884. His ...

Jonas

The fifth of the Minor Prophets. The name is usually taken to mean "dove", but in view of the ...

Jonas of Bobbio

(Or Jonas of Susa ) Monk and hagiographer, b. about the close of the sixth century at ...

Jonas of Orléans

Bishop and ecclesiastical writer, born in Aquitaine; died in 843 or 844. From 818, when he ...

Jonathan

(Hebrew, " Yahweh hath given", cf. Theodore; Septuagint 'Ionáthan .) Name of several ...

Jones, Inigo

A famous English architect, b. 15 July, 1573, in London ; d. 21 June, 1652, and was buried in ...

Jones, Venerable Edward

Priest and martyr, b. in the Diocese of St. Asaph, Wales, date unknown; d. in London, 6 May ...

Jordan, The

(In Hebrew Yâdên, from the root Yârâd, to descend). The difference ...

Jordanis

Historian, lived about the middle of the sixth century in the Eastern Roman Empire. His family ...

Jordanus of Giano

(DE JANO). Italian Minorite, b. at Giano in the Valley of Spoleto, c. 1195; d. after 1262. ...

Jornandes

Historian, lived about the middle of the sixth century in the Eastern Roman Empire. His family ...

Josaphat

( Hebrew for " Yahweh hath judged"; Septuagint 'Iosaphát ). Fourth King of Juda ...

Josaphat and Barlaam

The principal characters of a legend of Christian antiquity, which was a favourite subject of ...

Josaphat Kuncevyc, Saint

Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or -- according to ...

Josaphat, Valley of

(JEHOSHAPHAT). Mentioned in only one passage of the Bible ( Joel 3 -- Hebrew text, 4). In ...

Joseph

The eleventh son of Jacob, the firstborn of Rachel, and the immediate ancestor of the tribes ...

Joseph Calasanctius of the Mother of God, Pious Workers of Saint

Founded at Vienna, 24 November, 1889, by Father Anton Maria Schwartz for all works of charity, ...

Joseph Calasanctius, Saint

Called in religion "a Matre Dei", founder of the Piarists, b. 11 Sept., 1556, at the castle of ...

Joseph II

(1741-90). German Emperor (reigned 1765-90), of the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, son and ...

Joseph of Arimathea

All that is known for certain concerning him is derived from the canonical Gospels. He was born ...

Joseph of Cupertino, Saint

Mystic, born 17 June, 1603; died at Osimo 18 September, 1663; feast, 18 September. Joseph ...

Joseph of Exeter

(JOSEPHUS ISCANUS.) A twelfth-century Latin poet; b. at Exeter, England. About 1180 he went ...

Joseph of Issachar

A man of the tribe of Issachar, and the father of Igal who was one of the spies sent by Moses ...

Joseph of Leonessa, Saint

In the world named Eufranio Desiderio; born in 1556 at Leonessa in Umbria; died 4 February, ...

Joseph's Society for Colored Missions, Saint

This organization began its labours in 1871, when four young priests from Mill Hill were put in ...

Joseph's Society for Foreign Missions, Saint

(Mill Hill, London, N.W.) A society of priests and laymen whose object is to labour for ...

Joseph, Saint

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of Our Lord Jesus Christ . LIFE Sources ...

Joseph, Sisters of Saint

CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH Founded at Le Puy, in Velay, France, by the Rev. ...

Josephites

(Sons of St. Joseph) A congregation devoted to the Christian education of youth, founded in ...

Josephus, Flavius

Jewish historian, born A.D. 37, at Jerusalem ; died about 101. He belonged to a distinguished ...

Joshua

The name of eight persons in the Old Testament, and of one of the Sacred Books. ( ...

Josias

(J OSIAH – Hebrew for " Yahweh supports"; Septuagint 'Iosías ). A pious ...

Josue

The name of eight persons in the Old Testament, and of one of the Sacred Books. ( ...

Joubert, Joseph

French philosopher ; b. at Martignac (Dordogne), 7 May, 1754, d. at Villeneuve-le-Roi (Yonne), 4 ...

Jouffroy, Claude-François-Dorothée de

M ARQUIS d' A BBANS . Mechanician, b. at Abbans, near Besançon, 30 Sept., 1751; d. ...

Jouffroy, Jean de

French prelate and statesman; b. at Luxeuil (Franche-Comté) about 1412; d. at the priory ...

Jouin, Louis

Linguist, philosopher, author, b. at Berlin, 14 June, 1818, d. at New York, 10 June, 1899. He ...

Jouvancy, Joseph de

(JOSEPHUS JUVENCIUS). Poet, pedagogue, philologist, and historian, b. at Paris, 14 September, ...

Jouvenet, Jean

Surnamed T HE G REAT . French painter, b. at Rouen in 1644, d. at Paris, 5 April, 1717. ...

Jovellanos, Gaspar Melchor de

(Also written JOVE-LLANOS). Spanish statesman and man of letters, at Gijon, Asturias, 5 Jan., ...

Jovianus, Flavius Claudius

Roman Emperor, 363-4. After the death of Julian the Apostate (26 June, 363), the army making ...

Jovinianus

An opponent of Christian asceticism in the fourth century, condemned as a heretic (390). Our ...

Jovius, Paulus

(GIOVIO). Historian, b. at Como, Italy, 9 April, 1483, d. at Florence, 11 Dec., 1552. Having ...

Joyeuse, Henri, Duc de

Born in 1563 and not, as is mistakenly stated in the "Biographic Michaud ", in 1567; died at ...

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Ju 57

Juan Bautista de Toledo

An eminent Spanish sculptor and architect; b. at Madrid (date not known); d. there 19 May, ...

Jubilate Sunday

The third Sunday after Easter, being so named from the first word of the Introit at Mass ...

Jubilee, Holy Year of

The ultimate derivation of the word jubilee is disputed, but it is most probable that the ...

Jubilee, Year of (Hebrew)

According to the Pentateuchal legislation contained in Leviticus, a Jubilee year is the year that ...

Jubilees, Book of

( ta Iobelaia ). An apocryphal writing, so called from the fact that the narratives and ...

Juda

The name of one of the Patriarchs, the name of the tribe reputed to be descended from him, the ...

Judaism

At the present day, the term designates the religious communion which survived the destruction of ...

Judaizers

(From Greek Ioudaizo , to adopt Jewish customs -- Esther 8:17 ; Galatians 2:14 ). A ...

Judas Iscariot

The Apostle who betrayed his Divine Master . The name Judas ( Ioudas ) is the Greek form of ...

Judas Machabeus

Third son of the priest Mathathias who with his family was the centre and soul of the ...

Judde, Claude

French preacher and spiritual father; born at Rouen, about 20 December, 1661; died at Paris, ...

Jude, Epistle of Saint

The present subject will be treated under the following heads: I. The Author and the ...

Judea

Like the adjective Ioudaios , the noun Ioudaia comes from the Aramæan Iehûdai ...

Judge, Ecclesiastical

(J UDEX E CCLESIASTICUS ) An ecclesiastical person who possesses ecclesiastical ...

Judges, The Book of

The seventh book of the Old Testament , second of the Early Prophets of the Hebrew canon. I. ...

Judgment, Divine

This subject will be treated under two heads: I. Divine Judgment Subjectively and Objectively ...

Judgment, General

(Judicium Universale, Last Judgment). I. EXISTENCE OF THE GENERAL JUDGMENT 1 Few truths are ...

Judgment, Last

(Judicium Universale, Last Judgment). I. EXISTENCE OF THE GENERAL JUDGMENT 1 Few truths are ...

Judgment, Particular

A. Dogma of Particular Judgment The Catholic doctrine of the particular judgment is this: that ...

Judica Sunday

Name given to the fifth Sunday of Lent, and derived from the first words of the Introit of ...

Judith, Book of

HISTORY Nabuchodonosor, King of Nineveh, sends his general Holofernes to subdue the Jews. The ...

Julia Billiart, Saint

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

Julian and Basilissa, Saints

Husband and wife; died at Antioch or, more probably, at Antinoe, in the reign of Diocletian, ...

Julian of Eclanum

Born about 386; died in Sicily, 454; the most learned among the leaders of the Pelagian ...

Julian of Speyer

Often called J ULIANUS T EUTONICUS . A famous composer, poet, and historian of the ...

Julian the Apostate

(FLAVIUS CLAUDIUS JULIANUS). Roman emperor 361-63, b. at Constantinople in 331, d. 26 June, ...

Juliana Falconieri, Saint

Born in 1270; died 12 June, 1341. Juliana belonged to the noble Florentine family of Falconieri. ...

Juliana of Liège, Saint

Nun, b. at Retinnes, near Liège, Belgium, 1193; d. at Fosses, 5 April, 1258. At the age ...

Juliana of Norwich

English mystic of the fourteenth century, author or recipient of the vision contained in the book ...

Juliana, Saint

Suffered martyrdom during the Diocletian persecution. Both the Latin and Greek Churches mention ...

Julie Billiart, Saint

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

Juliopolis

Titular see in the province of Bithynia Secunda, suffragan of Nicaea. The city was founded under ...

Julitta and Quiricus

Martyred under Diocletian. The names of these two martyrs, who in the early Church enjoyed a ...

Julius Africanus

(c. 160-c. 240; the full name is Sextus Iulius Africanus, Greek Sextos Ioulios Aphrikanos ). ...

Julius I, Pope Saint

(337-352). The immediate successor of Pope Silvester, Arcus, ruled the Roman Church for ...

Julius II, Pope

(GIULIANO DELLA ROVERE). Born on 5 December, 1443, at Albissola near Savona; crowned on 28 ...

Julius III, Pope

(GIAMMARIA CIOCCHI DEL MONTE). Born at Rome, 10 September, 1487; died there, 23 March, 1555. ...

Jumièges, Abbey of

Jumièges, situated on the north bank of the Seine, between Duclair and Caudebec, in ...

Junípero Serra

Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, 24 November, 1713; died at Monterey, California, 28 August, ...

Jungmann, Bernard

A dogmatic theologian and ecclesiastical historian, born at Münster in Westphalia, 1 ...

Jungmann, Josef

Born 12 Nov., 1830, at Münster, Westphalia ; died at Innsbruck, 25 Nov., 1885. In 1850 he ...

Jurisdiction, Ecclesiastical

The right to guide and rule the Church of God. The subject is here treated under the following ...

Jus Spolii

(RIGHT OF SPOIL; also called JUS EXUVIARUM and RAPITE CAPITE) Jus Spolii, a claim, exercised in ...

Jussieu, De

Name of five French botanists. (1) ANTOINE DE JUSSIEU, physician and botanist, b. at Lyons, ...

Juste

The name conventionally applied to a family of Italian sculptors, whose real name was Betti, ...

Justice

Justice is here taken in its ordinary and proper sense to signify the most important of the ...

Justification

(Latin justificatio ; Greek dikaiosis .) A biblio-ecclesiastical term; which denotes the ...

Justin de Jacobis, Blessed

Vicar Apostolic of Abyssinia and titular Bishop of Nilopolis, h. at San Fele, Province of ...

Justin Martyr, Saint

Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100, converted to Christianity about ...

Justina and Cyprian, Saints

Christians of Antioch who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian at ...

Justinian I

Roman Emperor (527-65) Flavius Anicius Julianus Justinianus was born about 483 at Tauresium ...

Justiniani, Benedetto

(GIUSTINIANI). Theological and Biblical writer, born at Genoa, about the year 1550; died at ...

Justiniani, Nicholas

Date of birth unknown, became monk in the Benedictine monastery of San Niccoló del Lido ...

Justinianopolis

A titular see of Armenia Prima, suffragan of Sebaste. This see is better known in history ...

Justus, Saint

Fourth Archbishop of Canterbury ; died 627 (?). For the particulars of his life we are almost ...

Juvencus, C. Vettius Aquilinus

Christian Latin poet of the fourth century. Of his life we know only what St. Jerome tells us ...

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