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Jean de Charlier de Gerson

The surname being the name of his native place; b. in the hamlet of Gerson 14 December, 1363; d. at Lyons, 12 July, 1429. The hamlet of Gerson has disappeared, but it was then a dependency of the village of Barby not far from Bethel, in the Diocese of Reims, and now included in the department of Ardennes.

His father, Arnauld, and his mother, Elizabeth La Chardenière, were noted for their integrity and piety. They had twelve children, of whom Jean was the eldest. He attended the schools of Bethel and Reims and at the age of fourteen entered the famous Collège de Navarre at Paris, where he formed a life-long friendship with the rector, the illustrious Pierre d'Ailly of Compiègne. In 1381 Gerson obtained the degree of licentiate of arts under Maître Jean Loutrier; in 1388 he received that of Baccalarius Biblicus ; in 1390 he lectured on the "Sententiæ", and in 1392 became a licentiate of theology. He was raised to the doctorate of theology in 1394, being then thirty-one years of age (cf. Denifle, Chartul. Univers. Paris, III). Beffore receiving the doctorate he had written several works. In 1387 he preached before Pope Clement VII of Avignon with a view to calling forth the condemnation of Jean de Monteson, a Dominican, who had denied the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, and shortly afterwards he delivered a panegyric on St. Louis, King of France, thus making his debut in the oratorical career that was destined to become so brilliant.

Although Gerson had won the doctorate only a year before his former teacher, Pierre d'Ailly, was named Bishop of Puy (1395), Benedict XIII chose him to succeed d'Ailly in the important position of Chancellor of Notre-Dame and of the university (13 April). Thenceforth he was actively interested in the extirpation of the schism which, for seventeen years, had divided the Church into two hostile parties that were numerically almost equal. The friend of peace and union, he always expressed a sober and moderate opinion in regard to both the Pope of Rome and the Pope of Avignon, and on all occasions showed a strong repugnance to the violent proceedings extolled by certain members of the university (Noël Valois, III, 71, 180). Appointed dean of the church of Saint Donatien at Bruges, Gerson remained there four years (1397-1401). It was at this period that he wrote the treatise, strongly theological and sober in tone, entitled: "Sententia de mode se habendi tempore schismatis" (Schwab, Johannes Gerson, Professor der Theologie und Kanzler der Universität Paris, 97, 152). He had not voted to withdraw obedience from the Pope of Avignon, for whom, in the beginning, France had declared herself (1398). He was one of the first to show that Benedict should be considered neither a heretic nor a schismatic, and that it was in no wise proper to introduce, on this plea, an action against him (Opp. Gersonii, II, ed. 1706, passim ). Accordingly, he energetically demanded the restoration of obedience, that is to say, the cessation of that abnormal state that constituted a schism within a schism, but this conciliatory attitude, so conformable to his character, incurred much hatred. On 18 November, 1403, he was made curé of Saint-Jean-en-Grève at Paris, accepting the charge in addition to the office of chancellor; this favour was granted by Pope Benedict in recognition of Gerson's fidelity to him during his four years of enforced sojourn in his fortress at Avignon. The chancellor freely and openly rejoiced at the pontiff's release and the university selected him to congratulate Benedict at Marseilles. But this harmony was not to last. The university, again dissatisfied with Benedict, wished to renew the withdrawal of obedience that had so poorly succeeded the first time. D'Ailly and Gerson tried to oppose the movement both before and during the Council of Paris in 1406, and strove to urge upon their colleagues the necessity of more moderate proceedings. After long and animated discussion, they partially succeeded in obtaining that the withdrawal of obedience adopted by the members of the assembly was brought within certain limits (cf. L. Salembier, "Le grand schisme d'Occident", 221).

D'Ailly and Gerson also formed a part of the solemn embassy sent to Benedict in 1407 and tried to prevail upon the pope to resign the papacy by a formal Bull ; but the pontiff refused. Thereupon some of the delegates wished openly to break with him, but here again d'Ailly and Gerson caused more peaceable sentiments to triumph and laboured to retard the total rupture (L. Salembier, op. cit., 229). During the following year Gerson attended the Council of Reims and delivered the opening discourse. That same year, because of his efforts at reconciliation, d'Ailly aroused the indignation of the members of the university incensed against Benedict. The king espoused their quarrel and wished to have the bishop of Cambrai arrested; at this juncture Clémanges and Gerson, his ever- faithful pupils, wrote him touching letters of condolence [L. Salembier, "Petrus de Alliaco" (1887), 75; Opp. Gersonii, III, 429]. Gerson himself was soon to become acquainted with human vicissitudes and to be persecuted for another reason. On 23 November, 1407, the Duke of Orléans was assassinated in one of the streets of Paris by the cowardly hirelings of the Duke of Burgundy. With singular audacity, the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless (Jean sans Peur), assumed the responsibility of the deed, pleaded his own cause before King Charles VI and chose as his defending counsel, Jean Petit (8 March, 1408) who dared openly to profess the immoral theory of tyrannicide. The chancellor deemed it his duty to bring this doctrine before the Bishop of Paris and the professors of theology. The doctors first condemned seven, then nine of Jean Petit's propositions as erroneous and scandalous and these were thrown into the fire. Later, in the Council of Constance , Gerson again denounced the articles incriminated (June, 1415), and repeated the denunciation seven times within fifteen days. The Fathers passed sentence on this point (6 July), by condemning tyrannicide in a general way without, however, mentioning the name of the powerful Duke of Burgundy ; this half-measure satisfied neither Gerson nor the Armagnacs who were at the council. The chancellor addressed the assemblasge in the name of the King of France, 5 May, 1416, and eloquently protested against the too moderate and indefinite sentence aimed at John the Fearless ("Opp. Gersonii", II, 328; V, 353, 355, 362 sq.; Labbe and Mansi, XXVII, 728 sqq., Schwab, op. cit., 609). Gerson had attended neither the Council of Pisa (1409), nor the Council of Rome (1412-13), but he had highly approved of both. His part in the Council of Constance was, however, an important one. He arrived at Constance, 21 February, 1415, with a delegation from the University of Paris. It is not necessary to enter here into the details of the trial of John Hus (Schwab, op. cit., 540-609), of the condemnation of the Flagellants ("Opp. Gersonii", II, 658, 660), of Gerson's differences with the English, nor of his doctrinal strife (1418) with Matthew Grabon, that great enemy of new religious orders ("Opp. Gersonii", I, 467). Mention will be made later of his attitude towards the three popes who then disputed the tiara, and of the theories that he set forth in the council in order to bring about the suppression of the schism.

It was above all his struggles against John the Fearless that brought Gerson into unmerited disgrace. In Paris the Duke of Burgundy had before this provoked a riotous disturbance against him; his house had been plundered and he had only escaped assassination by taking refuge for two months up under the vaulted roofs of Notre-Dame. After the Council of Constance, whilst the pope, the emperor, and the fathers were returning with all due pomp to their respective countries (1418), Gerson learned that John the Fearless had sworn his destruction and that the "nation of Picardy" in the university had demanded that he be disclaimed, recalled, and punished atrociter ("Opp. Gersonii", V, 374; Denifle, "Chartul.", etc., IV, 300; Max Lenz, "Revue historique", IX, 470). To prevent his persecutor from having an opportunity to destroy him he left Constance, 15 May, 1418, and with André and Cresio, who had acted as his secretaries at the council, he took the road to exile. He retired to the Benedictine Abbey of Melk (Mölk) in Germany, the abbot of which he had known at Constance. The Archduke Frederick wished to gain him for the University of Vienna , and Gerson repaired thither but did not remain. Finally in November, 1419, the chancellor learned of the death of his sworn enemy, John the Fearless, who, by order of the Dauphin, had been slain on the bridge of the town of Montereau. Gerson at once set out for France but did not return to Pariis, which was torn by factions and was still in the hands of the Burgundians. He directed his steps towards Lyons, called thither by his brother who was prior of the Celestines and by the archbishop, Amédée de Talaru (Schwab, op. cit., 767 sqq.). Here he spent his last years in exercises of devotion and in performing his priestly functions. He also while at Lyons wrote various works, some of edification, some on mystical or pastoral theology, one especially being his well-known treatise: "De parvulis ad Christum trahendis". Combining example with precept, he loved to surround himself with little children in the church of Saint-Paul and delighted to teach them the elements of Christian doctrine. These ten years were the sweetest of his militant life, and the regrets of all good men followed him to the grave. Miracles were attributed to him and at least five martylrologies give him the title of Blessed. Over fifty particular councils and many ecclesiastical writers recommend to pastors "this great, pious and learned doctor, this ardent lover of souls, this incomparable director, this model of ministers of the Gospel". Statues have been raised to his memory at Paris and Lyons ; in the church of the Sorbonne his picture is the companion to that of Bossuet.

VIEWS AS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH: COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE

It is well known that what the theologians of the early part of the fourteenth century lacked most, was a fixed doctrine on what theologians today call the Traité de l'Eglise . Gallicanism was born of the false principles, or rather of the temporary expedients believed to be a necessity amid the unfortunate events of the Great Schism. Extenuating circumstances can be pleaded in Gerson's favour. He had been instructed by men who were none too stable, and had made a close study of William of Occam, the most evil genius of the fourteenth century. As we have seen, Gerson was generally more sensible and moderate in practice than in theory. Besides, it is now proved that several treatises, sometimes made the basis of an attack on his theological doctrine, were not his at all ("De modis uniendi; octo conclusiones quarum dogmatizatio utilis videtur ad exterminationem moderni schismatis; Sermo factus in die Ascensionis", 1409, etc.). In fact his Protestant or Gallican editors, von der Hardt, Richer, and Ellies-Dupin, have done his memory poor service by exaggerating or envenoming some of his propositions. It is but too true that in regard to the pope and the council, the chancellor maintained erroneous theories which were censurable and later condemned. In his opinion the sovereign pontiff is not the universal bishop possessing immediate power over all the faithful; his power is only subjective and executive ("Opp. Gersonii", II, 259, 279). Far from being infallible, he can even sometimes fall into heresy, in which event, if he still remain pope, the faithful are empowered to bind him, imprison him and even throw him into the sea (Ibid., 221; Noël Valois, IV, 84). Gerson's doctrine concerning the general council is no sounder. He admits the superiority of the Church and the œcumenical council over the pope, as he sees no other means of emerging from schism and returning to unity. With him temporary expedients become principles. It is what might be called ecclesiastical opportunism. Gerson is exclusively rational and practical, and the object of all his argumentation is the justification of the most extraordinary methods of procedure in order to attain the final result desired by him and by all Christendom. Hence, according to him, the sovereign pontiff is amenable to the council which may correct and even depose him ("Opp. Gersonii", II, 201).

Regarding the convocation and composition of this assembly he declares, with d'Ailly, that the first four œcumenical councils were not convened by the authority of the pope and that not only cardinals, but princes, and in fact any Christian, can convoke a council for the election of a single and universally acknowledged pope ("De auferibilitate papæ", in Opp. Gersonii, II, 209 sqq.). He also maintains that pastors may be summoned to such an assembly and may have a deliberate voice as well as bishops ("De potestate ecclesiastica", in ibid., II, 249). None of the faithful should be excluded (ibid., II, 205). In all of these propositions is seen, as it were, a reflection of the extreme theses of the revolutionary Franciscan, William of Occam. Moreover, Gerson's attitude in the Council of Constance was in conformity with his principles. With the delegates from the University of Paris , he demanded that all three popes immediately tender their resignation (Feb., 1415). A convinced partisan of the superiority of doctors over bishops, he insisted, like d'Ailly, that the doctors of canon and even of civil law should have a voice in the deliberations of the council. This was in consequence of his democratic tendencies (cf. Salembier, Le grand schisme, 212, 299). He exalted to excess the omnipotence of the general council and pursued Pope John XXIII with unflagging energy (Schwab, op. cit., 507; von der Hardt, II, 265). He voted for the four famous articles of Constance (March 1415) which are the code of Gallicanism and pave the way for all the schismatic decisions of the assembly of 1682. Besides, he bodily maintained that these revolutionary principles were dogmas and wanted them carved on the stone of all the churches (Opp. Gersonii, II, 275). However in 1416 he was obliged to admit with sadness that voices were still raised in denial of the superiority of the council over the popes. Gerson attributed this "condemnable" obstinancy to the necessity of sycophancy, calling it "a deadly poison with which the organism of the Church is impregnated to the very marrow" (Ibid, II, 247). It is because of these openly erroneous principles that Gerson, like d'Ailly, his master, passed for a precursor of the Protestant Reformation. It is also for this reason that Protestant writers, such as A. Jepp and Winklemann, in Germany, and de Bonnechose , in France, compared him to Wyclif and John Hus. What has gone before, however, proves that these comparisons do Gerson injustice.

GERSON'S MYSTICAL THEOLOGY AND ORATORY

Gerson's mystical theology has its own peculiar and original character ; it is that of an eminent and almost impeccable master. First of all he distinguishes it from scientific theology which is abstract and discursive. His mysticism in its essence is an experimental knowledge of God which, by love, one perceives in himself. If the inferior powers remain in darkness, the superior faculties, the intellect, and especially pure love, have the freer play, and therefore constitute a sublime state of transport which surpasses all theoretical learning. This theology does not require great scientific attainments, it is within the reach of the most simple. Moreover, through close union with God, it gives us perfect contentment of soul with the entire and definitive appeasement of our desires (cf. Schwab, op. cit., 325; Ellies- Dupin, "Opp. Gersonii", I, clv). Gerson further distinguishes a practical part in his mystical theology and lays down the conditions and means ( industriæ ) preparatory to contemplation. These industriæ are as follows: (1) to await the call of God ; (2) to know well one's own temperament; (3) to be heedful of one's vocation and one's state; (4) to aim constantly towards greater perfection; (5) to avoid as much as possible a multiplicity of occupations and, in any event, not to become absorbed in them; (6) to set aside all vain desire for learning, i.e. all idle curiosity; (7) to remain calm and practise patience; (8) to know the origin of the affections and passions ; (9) to choose the necessary time and place; (10) to avoid extremes, either of abstinence or excess, in sleeping and eating; (11) to indulge in thoughts that excite pious affections; (12) to banish from one's mind all images, which is preëminently modus simplificandi cor in meditationibus and producendi contemplationem . Gerson's many treatises are in Vol. III of his works. He was one of the first to recognize and proclaim the supernatural vocation of Joan of Arc. He laboured diligently to promote devotion to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph and even dedicated to this saint a poem of 4600 lines entitled "Josephina". He was not the author of the "Imitation of Jesus Christ ", and the reasons for this adverse opinion advanced by Rosweyde, Amort, Malou, Funk and Vacandard, seem convincing.

He was one of the most eminent orators of his time and preached frequently, either in French or Latin, before the university, at court, in the principal churches of the capital or in his parish of Saint-Jean-en-Grève. It was in this parish that he preached the most of his sermons in French; these discourses, sixty-four in number, have been specially studied by the Abbé Bournet, later Bishop of Rodez and cardinal. In plan these instructions are almost the same as modern sermons but Gerson's learning is often deficient in taste and judgment, and he makes sometimes too pompous a display of incongruous quotations. From the point of view of doctrine he treats, for the greater part, ethical subjects and inveighs against intemperance and the dissoluteness of morals. He labours mainly for reform within, frequently exhorts to penance, and threatens his flock with the judgments of God, but does not leave them without words of hope and consolation. His style is far from uniform and differs according to his hearers. Cold and accurate in the setting forth of dogma, he most frequently stirs the passions and resorts largely to allegory and word-painting; his language, although having all the piquancy, naïveté, and originality of the old French chronicles, is always dignified and becoming.

Gerson's works were published directly after the introduction of printing, first at Cologne in 1483 (4 vols. in fol., for details consult Schwab, op. cit. ad finem ). Both French editions, the one by Richer (Paris, 1635, 4 vols.), the other by Ellies-Dupin (Antwerp, or rather Amsterdam, 1703, 5 vols. in fol.) were prepared under the influence of Gallican ideas and with a view to religious polemics. They were hastily and confusedly compiled without any great care and contain serious defects. However, the one by Ellies-Dupin is fairly complete and the first four volumes embody over 400 of Gerson's treatises. The references to Gerson's works in this article are to this edition.

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The historical documents referring to Christ's life and work may be divided into three classes: ...

Jesus Christ, Genealogy of

It is granted on all sides that the Biblical genealogy of Christ implies a number of exegetical ...

Jesus Christ, Holy Name of

We give honour to the Name of Jesus, not because we believe that there is any intrinsic power ...

Jesus Christ, Knowledge of

" Knowledge of Jesus Christ," as used in this article, does not mean a summary of what we know ...

Jesus Christ, Origin of the Name of

In this article, we shall consider the two words which compose the Sacred Name. JESUS The word ...

Jesus Christ, Resurrection of

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

Jesus Mary, Religious of

The Congregation of the Religious of Jesus Mary was founded at Lyons, France, in October, 1818, by ...

Jesus, Daughters of

Founded at Kermaria, in the Diocese of Vannes , France, in 1834, for the care of the sick poor, ...

Jesus, The Society of

(Company of Jesus, Jesuits) See also DISTINGUISHED JESUITS , JESUIT APOLOGETIC, EARLY JESUIT ...

Jewish Calendar

Days From the remotest time to the present the Israelites have computed the day ( yôm ...

Jewish Tribe

( Phyle, tribus .) The earlier Hebrew term rendered in our English versions by the word ...

Jews (as a Religion)

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

Jews, History of the

( Yehúd`m; Ioudaismos ). Of the two terms, Jews and Judaism , the former denotes ...

Jezabel

( Septuagint, 'Iezabél, ). Wife of Achab, King of Israel. She was the daughter of ...

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Jo 163

Joachim of Flora

Cistercian abbot and mystic; b. at Celico, near Cosenza, Italy, c. 1132; d. at San Giovanni in ...

Joachim, Saint

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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