Skip to content

Gnosticism

The doctrine of salvation by knowledge. This definition, based on the etymology of the word ( gnosis "knowledge", gnostikos , "good at knowing"), is correct as far as it goes, but it gives only one, though perhaps the predominant, characteristic of Gnostic systems of thought. Whereas Judaism and Christianity, and almost all pagan systems, hold that the soul attains its proper end by obedience of mind and will to the Supreme Power, i.e. by faith and works, it is markedly peculiar to Gnosticism that it places the salvation of the soul merely in the possession of a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and of magic formulae indicative of that knowledge. Gnostics were "people who knew ", and their knowledge at once constituted them a superior class of beings, whose present and future status was essentially different from that of those who, for whatever reason, did not know. A more complete and historical definition of Gnosticism would be:

A collective name for a large number of greatly-varying and pantheistic -idealistic sects, which flourished from some time before the Christian Era down to the fifth century, and which, while borrowing the phraseology and some of the tenets of the chief religions of the day, and especially of Christianity, held matter to be a deterioration of spirit, and the whole universe a depravation of the Deity, and taught the ultimate end of all being to be the overcoming of the grossness of matter and the return to the Parent-Spirit, which return they held to be inaugurated and facilitated by the appearance of some God-sent Saviour.

However unsatisfactory this definition may be, the obscurity, multiplicity, and wild confusion of Gnostic systems will hardly allow of another. Many scholars, moreover, would hold that every attempt to give a generic description of Gnostic sects is labour lost.

ORIGIN

The beginnings of Gnosticism have long been a matter of controversy and are still largely a subject of research. The more these origins are studied, the farther they seem to recede in the past.

Whereas formerly Gnosticism was considered mostly a corruption of Christianity, it now seems clear that the first traces of Gnostic systems can be discerned some centuries before the Christian Era. Its Eastern origin was already maintained by Gieseler and Neander; F. Ch. Bauer (1831) and Lassen (1858) sought to prove its relation to the religions of India ; Lipsius (1860) pointed to Syria and Phoenicia as its home, and Hilgenfeld (1884) thought it was connected with later Mazdeism. Joel (1880), Weingarten (1881), Koffmane (1881), Anrich (1894), and Wobbermin (1896) sought to account for the rise of Gnosticism by the influence of Greek Platonic philosophy and the Greek mysteries, while Harnack described it as "acute Hellenization of Christianity ".

For the past twenty-five years, however, the trend of scholarship has steadily moved towards proving the pre-Christian Oriental origins of Gnosticism. At the Fifth Congress of Orientalists (Berlin, 1882) Kessler brought out the connection between Gnosis and the Babylonian religion. By this latter name, however, he meant not the original religion of Babylonia, but the syncretistic religion which arose after the conquest of Cyrus. The same idea is brought out in his "Mani" seven years later. In the same year F.W. Brandt published his "Mandiäische Religion". This Mandaean religion is so unmistakably a form of Gnosticism that it seems beyond doubt that Gnosticism existed independent of, and anterior to, Christianity.

In more recent years (1897) Wilhelm Anz pointed out the close similarity between Babylonian astrology and the Gnostic theories of the Hebdomad and Ogdoad. Though in many instances speculations on the Babylonian Astrallehre have gone beyond all sober scholarship, yet in this particular instance the inferences made by Anz seem sound and reliable. Researches in the same direction were continued and instituted on a wider scale by W. Bousset, in 1907, and led to carefully ascertained results. In 1898 the attempt was made by M. Friedländer to trace Gnosticism in pre-Christian Judaism. His opinion that the Rabbinic term Minnim designated not Christians, as was commonly believed, but Antinomian Gnostics, has not found universal acceptance. In fact, E. Schürer brought sufficient proof to show that Minnim is the exact Armaean dialectic equivalent for ethne . Nevertheless Friedländer's essay retains its value in tracing strong antinomian tendencies with Gnostic colouring on Jewish soil.

Not a few scholars have laboured to find the source of Gnostic theories on Hellenistic and, specifically, Alexandrian soil. In 1880 Joel sought to prove that the germ of all Gnostic theories was to be found in Plato. Though this may be dismissed as an exaggeration, some Greek influence on the birth, but especially on the growth, of Gnosticism cannot be denied. In Trismegistic literature, as pointed out by Reitzenstein (Poimandres, 1904), we find much that is strangely akin to Gnosticism. Its Egyptian origin was defended by E. Amélineau, in 1887, and illustrated by A. Dietrich, in 1891 (Abraxas Studien) and 1903 (Mithrasliturgie). The relation of Plotinus's philosophy to Gnosticism was brought out by C. Schmidt in 1901. That Alexandrian thought had some share at least in the development of Christian Gnosticism is clear from the fact that the bulk of Gnostic literature which we possess comes to us from Egyptian (Coptic) sources. That this share was not a predominant one is, however, acknowledged by O. Gruppe in his "Griechische Mythologie und Religionsgeschichte" (1902). It is true that the Greek mysteries, as G. Anrich pointed out in 1894, had much in common with esoteric Gnosticism; but there remains the further question, in how far these Greek mysteries, as they are known to us, were the genuine product of Greek thought, and not much rather due to the overpowering influence of Orientalism.

Although the origins of Gnosticism are still largely enveloped in obscurity, so much light has been shed on the problem by the combined labours of many scholars that it is possible to give the following tentative solution: Although Gnosticism may at first sight appear a mere thoughtless syncretism of well nigh all religious systems in antiquity, it has in reality one deep root-principle, which assimilated in every soil what is needed for its life and growth; this principle is philosophical and religious pessimism.

The Gnostics, it is true, borrowed their terminology almost entirely from existing religions, but they only used it to illustrate their great idea of the essential evil of this present existence and the duty to escape it by the help of magic spells and a superhuman Saviour. Whatever they borrowed, this pessimism they did not borrow -- not from Greek thought, which was a joyous acknowledgment of and homage to the beautiful and noble in this world, with a studied disregard of the element of sorrow; not from Egyptian thought, which did not allow its elaborate speculations on retribution and judgment in the netherworld to cast a gloom on this present existence, but considered the universe created or evolved under the presiding wisdom of Thoth; not from Iranian thought, which held to the absolute supremacy of Ahura Mazda and only allowed Ahriman a subordinate share in the creation, or rather counter-creation, of the world; not from Indian Brahminic thought, which was Pantheism pure and simple, or God dwelling in, nay identified with, the universe, rather than the Universe existing as the contradictory of God ; not, lastly, from Semitic thought, for Semitic religions were strangely reticent as to the fate of the soul after death, and saw all practical wisdom in the worship of Baal, or Marduk, or Assur, or Hadad, that they might live long on this earth.

This utter pessimism, bemoaning the existence of the whole universe as a corruption and a calamity, with a feverish craving to be freed from the body of this death and a mad hope that, if we only knew, we could by some mystic words undo the cursed spell of this existence -- this is the foundation of all Gnostic thought. It has the same parent-soil as Buddhism ; but Buddhism is ethical, it endeavours to obtain its end by the extinction of all desire; Gnosticism is pseudo-intellectual, and trusts exclusively to magical knowledge. Moreover, Gnosticism, placed in other historical surroundings, developed from the first on other lines than Buddhism.

When Cyrus entered Babylon in 539 B.C., two great worlds of thought met, and syncretism in religion, as far as we know it, began. Iranian thought began to mix with the ancient civilization of Babylon. The idea of the great struggle between evil and good, ever continuing in this universe, is the parent idea of Mazdeism, or Iranian dualism. This, and the imagined existence of numberless intermediate spirits, angels and devas, are the conviction which overcame the contentedness of Semitism.

On the other hand, the unshakable trust in astrology, the persuasion that the planetary system had a fatalistic influence on this world's affairs, stood its ground on the soil of Chaldea. The greatness of the Seven -- the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn -- the sacred Hebdomad, symbolized for millenniums by the staged towers of Babylonia, remained undiminished. They ceased, indeed, to be worshiped as deities, but they remained archontes and dynameis , rules and powers whose almost irresistible force was dreaded by man. Practically, they were changed from gods to devas, or evil spirits. The religions of the invaders and of the invaded effected a compromise: the astral faith of Babylon was true, but beyond the Hebodomad was the infinite light in the Ogdoad, and every human soul had to pass the adverse influence of the god or gods of the Hebdomad before it could ascend to the only good God beyond. This ascent of the soul through the planetary spheres to the heaven beyond (an idea not unknown even to ancient Babylonian speculations) began to be conceived as a struggle with adverse powers, and became the first and predominant idea in Gnosticism.

The second great component of Gnostic thought is magic, properly so called, i.e. the power ex opere operato of weird names, sounds, gestures, and actions, as also the mixture of elements to produce effects totally disproportionate to the cause. These magic formulae, which caused laughter and disgust to outsiders, are not a later and accidental corruption, but an essential part of Gnosticism, for they are found in all forms of Christian Gnosticism and likewise in Mandaeism. No Gnosis was essentially complete without the knowledge of the formulae, which, once pronounced, were the undoing of the higher hostile powers. Magic is the original sin of Gnosticism, nor is it difficult to guess whence it is inherited. To a certain extent it formed part of every pagan religion, especially the ancient mysteries, yet the thousands of magic tablets unearthed is Assyria and Babylonia show us where the rankest growth of magic was to be found. Moreover, the terms and names of earliest of Gnosticism bear an unmistakable similarity to Semitic sounds and words.

Gnosticism came early into contact with Judaism, and it betrays a knowledge of the Old Testament, if only to reject it or borrow a few names from it. Considering the strong, well-organized, and highly-cultured Jewish colonies in the Euphrates valley, this early contact with Judaism is perfectly natural. Perhaps the Gnostic idea of a Redeemer is not unconnected with Jewish Messianic hopes. But from the first the Gnostic conception of a Saviour is more superhuman than that of popular Judaism ; their Manda d'Haye , or Soter , is some immediate manifestation of the Deity, a Light-King, an Æon ( Aion ), and an emanation of the good God.

When Gnosticism came in touch with Christianity, which must have happened almost immediately on its appearance, Gnosticism threw herself with strange rapidity into Christian forms of thought, borrowed its nomenclature, acknowledged Jesus as Saviour of the world, simulated its sacraments, pretended to be an esoteric revelation of Christ and His Apostles, flooded the world with apocryphal Gospels, and Acts, and Apocalypses, to substantiate its claim. As Christianity grew within and without the Roman Empire, Gnosticism spread as a fungus at its root, and claimed to be the only true form of Christianity, unfit, indeed, for the vulgar crowd, but set apart for the gifted and the elect. So rank was its poisonous growth that there seemed danger of its stifling Christianity altogether, and the earliest Fathers devoted their energies to uprooting it. Though in reality the spirit of Gnosticism is utterly alien to that of Christianity, it then seemed to the unwary merely a modification or refinement thereof. When domiciled on Greek soil, Gnosticism, slightly changing its barbarous and Seminitic terminology and giving its " emanatons" and"syzygies" Greek names, sounded somewhat like neo-Platonism, thought it was strongly repudiated by Plotinus. In Egypt the national worship left its mark more on Gnostic practice than on its theories.

In dealing with the origins of Gnosticism, one might be tempted to mention Manichaeism, as a number of Gnostic ideas seem to be borrowed from Manichaeism, where they are obviously at home. This, however, would hardly be correct. Manichaeism, as historically connected with Mani, its founder, could not have arisen much earlier than A.D. 250, when Gnosticism was already in rapid decline. Manichaeism, however, in many of its elements dates back far beyond its commonly accepted founder; but then it is a parallel development with the Gnosis, rather than one of its sources. Sometimes Manichaeism is even classed as a form of Gnosticism and styled Parsee Gnosis, as distinguished from Syrian and Egyptian Gnosis. This classification, however, ignores the fact that the two systems, though they have the doctrine of the evil of matter in common, start from different principles, Manichaeism from dualism, while Gnosticism, as an idealistic Pantheism, proceeds from the conception of matter as a gradual deterioration of the Godhead.

DOCTRINES

Owing to the multiplicity and divergence of Gnostic theories, a detailed exposition in this article would be unsatisfactory and confusing and to acertain extent even misleading, since Gnosticism never possessed a nucleus of stable doctrine, or any sort of depositum fidei round which a number of varied developments and heresies or sects might be grouped; at most it had some leading ideas, which are more or less clearly traceable in different schools. Moreover, a fair idea of Gnostic doctrines can be obtained from the articles on leaders and phases of Gnostic thought (e.g. BASILIDES; VALENTINUS; MARCION; DOCETAE; DEMIURGE). We shall here only indicate some main phases of thought, which can be regarded as keys and which, though not fitting all systems, will unlock most of the mysteries of the Gnosis.

(a) Cosmogony

Gnosticism is thinly disguised Pantheism. In the beginning was the Depth; the Fulness of Being; the Not-Being God; the First Father, the Monad, the Man; the First Source, the unknown God ( Bythos pleroma, ouk on theos, propator, monas, anthropos, proarche, hagnostos theos ), or by whatever other name it might be called. This undefined infinite Something, though it might be addressed by the title of the Good God, was not a personal Being, but, like Tad of Brahma of the Hindus, the "Great Unknown" of modern thought. The Unknown God, however, was in the beginning pure spirituality; matter as yet was not.

This source of all being causes to emanate ( proballei ) from itself a number of pure spirit forces. In the different systems these emanations are differently named, classified, and described, but the emanation theory itself is common too all forms of Gnosticism. In the Basilidian Gnosis they are called sonships ( uiotetes ), in Valentinianism they form antithetic pairs or "syzygies" ( syzygoi ); Depth and Silence produce Mind and Truth ; these produce Reason and Life, these again Man and State ( ekklesia ). According to Marcus, they are numbers and sounds.

These are the primary roots of the Æons. With bewildering fertility hierarchies of Æons are thus produced, sometimes to the number of thirty. These Æons belong to the purely ideal, noumenal, intelligible, or supersensible world; they are immaterial, they are hypostatic ideas. Together with the source from which they emanate they form the pleroma .

The transition from the immaterial to the material, from the noumenal to the sensible, is brought about by a flaw, or a passion, or a sin, in one of the Æons. According to Basilides, it is a flaw in the last sonship; according to others it is the passion of the female Æon Sophia; according to others the sin of the Great Archon, or Æon-Creator, of the Universe.

The ultimate end of all Gnosis is metanoia , or repentance, the undoing of the sin of material existence and the return to the Pleroma.

(b) Sophia-Myth

In the greater number of Gnostic systems an important role is played by the Æon Wisdom -- Sophia or Achamoth. In some sense she seems to represent the supreme female principle, as for instance in the Ptolemaic system, in which the mother of the seven heavens is called Achamoth, in the Valentinian system, in which he ano Sophia , the Wisdom above, is distinguished from he kato Sophia , or Achamoth, the former being the female principle of the noumenal world, and in the Archotian system, where we find a "Lightsome Mother" ( he meter he photeine ), and in which beyond the heavens of the Archons is he meter ton panton and likewise in the Barbelognosis, where the female Barbelos is but the counterpart of the Unknown Father, which also occurs amongst the Ophites described by Irenaeus (Adv. Haeres., III, vii, 4).

Moreover, the Eucharistic prayer in the Acts of Thomas (ch. 1) seems addressed to this supreme female principle. W. Bousset's suggestion, that the Gnostic Sophia is nothing else than a disguise for the Dea Syra, the great goddess Istar, or Astarte, seems worthy of consideration. On the other hand, the Æon Sophia usually plays another role; she is he Prouneikos or "the Lustful One", once a virginal goddess, who by her fall from original purity is the cause of this sinful material world.

One of the earliest forms of this myth is found in Simonian Gnosis, in which Simon, the Great Power, finds Helena, who during ten years had been a prostitute in Tyre, but who is Simon's ennoia , or understanding, and whom his followers worshiped under the form of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

According to Valentinus's system, as described by Hippolytus (Book VI, xxv-xxvi), Sophia is the youngest of the twenty-eight æons. Observing the multitude of æons and the power of begetting them, she hurries back into the depth of the Father, and seeks to emulate him by producing offspring without conjugal intercourse, but only projects an abortion, a formless substance. Upon this she is cast out of Pleroma. According to the Valentinian system as described by Irenaeus (op. cit., I) and Tertullian (Adv. Valent., ix), Sophia conceives a passion for the First Father himself, or rather, under pretext of love she seeks to know him, the Unknowable, and to comprehend his greatness. She should have suffered the consequence of her audacity by ultimate dissolution into the immensity of the Father, but for the Boundary Spirit. According to the Pistis Sophia (ch. xxix) Sophia, daughter of Barbelos, originally dwelt in the highest, or thirteenth heaven, but she is seduced by the demon Authades by means of a ray of light, which she mistook as an emanation from the First Father. Authades thus enticed her into Chaos below the twelve Æons, where she was imprisoned by evil powers.

According to these ideas, matter is the fruit of the sin of Sophia; this, however, was but a Valentinian development; in the older speculations the existence of matter is tacitly presupposed as eternal with the Pleroma, and through her sin Sophia falls from the realm of light into Chaos or realm of darkness.

This original dualism, however, was overcome by the predominant spirit of Gnosticism, pantheistic emanationism. The Sophia myth is completely absent from the Basilidian and kindred systems. It is suggested, with great verisimilitude, that the Egyptian myth of Isis was the original source of the Gnostic "lower wisdom". In many systems this Kato Sophia is sharply distinguished from the Higher Wisdom mentioned above; as, for instance, in the magic formula for the dead mentioned by Irenaeus (op. cit., I, xxi, 5), in which the departed has to address the hostile archons thus: "I am a vessel more precious than the female who made you. If your mother ignores the source whence she is, I know myself, and I known whence I am and invoke the incorruptible Sophia, whois in the Father, the mother of your mother, who has neither father nor husband. A man-woman, born from a woman, has made you, not knowing her mother, but thinking herself alone. But I invoke her mother." This agrees with the system minutely described by Irenaeus (op. cit., I, iv-v), where Sophia Achamoth, or Lower Wisdom, the daughter of Higher Wisdom, becomes the mother of the Demiurge ; she being the Ogdoad, her son the Hebdomad, they form a counterpart of the heavenly Ogdoad in the Pleromata. This is evidently a clumsy attempt to fuse into one two systems radically different, the Basilidian and the Valentinian ; the ignorance of the Great Archon, which is the central idea of Basilides, is here transferred to Sophia, and the hybrid system ends in bewildering confusion.

(c) Soteriology

Gnostic salvation is not merely individual redemption of each human soul ; it is a cosmic process. It is the return of all things to what they were before the flaw in the sphere of the Æons brought matter into existence and imprisoned some part of the Divine Light into the evil Hyle ( Hyle ). This setting free of the light sparks is the process of salvation ; when all light shall have left Hyle, it will be burnt up, destroyed, or be a sort of everlasting hell for the Hylicoi.

In Basilidianism it is the Third Filiation that is captive in matter, and is gradually being saved, now that the knowledge of its existence has been brought to the first Archon and then to the Second Archon, to each by his respective Son; and the news has been spread through the Hebdomad by Jesus the son of Mary, who died to redeem the Third Filiation.

In Valentinianism the process is extraordinarily elaborate. When this world has been born from Sophia in consequence of her sin, Nous and Aletheia, two Æons, by command of the Father, produce two new Æons, Christ and the Holy Ghost ; these restore order in the Pleroma, and in consequence all Æons together produce a new Æon, Jesus Logos, Soter, or Christ, whom they offer to the Father. Christ, the Son of Nous and Aletheia, has pity on the abortive substance born of Sophia and gives it essence and form. Whereupon Sophia tries to rise again to the Father, but in vain. Now the Æon Jesus-Soter is sent as second Saviour, he unites himself to the man Jesus, the son of Mary, at his baptism, and becomes the Saviour of men. Man is a creature of the Demiurge, a compound of soul, body, and spirit. His salvation consists in the return of his pneuma or spirit to the Pleroma; or if he be only a Psychicist, not a full Gnostic, his soul ( psyche ) shall return to Achamoth. There is no resurrection of the body . (For further details and differences see VALENTINUS.)

In Marcionism, the most dualistic phase of Gnosticism, salvation consisted in the possession of the knowledge of the Good God and the rejection of the Demiurge. The Good God revealed himself in Jesus and appeared as man in Judea ; to know him, and to become entirely free from the yoke of the World-Creator or God of the Old Testament , is the end of all salvation.

The Gnostic Saviour, therefore, is entirely different from the Christian one. For the Gnostic Saviour does not save. Gnosticism lacks the idea of atonement. There is no sin to be atoned for, except ignorance be that sin. Nor does the Saviour in any sense benefit the human race by vicarious sufferings. Nor, finally, does he immediately and actively affect any individual human soul by the power of grace or draw it to God. He was a teacher, he once brought into the world the truth, which alone can save. As a flame sets naphtha on fire, so the Saviour's light ignites predisposed souls moving down the stream of time. Of a real Saviour who with love human and Divine seeks out sinners to save them, Gnosticism knows nothing.

The Gnostic Saviour has no human nature, he is an æon, not a man; he only seemed a man, as the three Angels who visited Abraham seemed to be men. (For a detailed exposition see DOCETAE.) The Æon Soter is brought into the strangest relation to Sophia: in some systems he is her brother, in others her son, in other again her spouse. He is sometimes identified with Christ, sometimes with Jesus; sometimes Christ and Jesus are the same æon, sometimes they are different; sometimes Christ and the Holy Ghost are identified. Gnosticism did its best to utilize the Christian concept of the Holy Ghost, but never quite succeeded. She made him the Horos, or Methorion Pneuma ( Horos, Metherion Pneuma ), the Boundary-Spirit, the Sweet Odour of the Second Filiation, a companion æon with Christos, etc., etc. In some systems he is entirely left out.

(d) Eschatology

It is the merit of recent scholarship to have proved that Gnostic eschatology, consisting in the soul's struggle with hostile archons in its attempt to reach the Pleroma, is simply the soul's ascent, in Babylonian astrology, through the realms of the seven planets to Anu.

Origen (Contra Celsum, VI, xxxi), referring to the Ophitic system, gives us the names of the seven archons as Jaldabaoth, Jao, Sabaoth, Adonaios, Astaphaios, Ailoaios, and Oraios, and tells us that Jaldabaoth is the planet Saturn. Astraphaios is beyond doubt the planet Venus, as there are gnostic gems with a female figure and the legend ASTAPHE , which name is also used in magic spells as the name of a goddess. In the Mandaean system Adonaios represents the Sun. Moreover, St. Irenæus tells us: "Sanctam Hebdomadem VII stellas, quas dictunt planetas, esse volunt." It is safe, therefore, to take the above seven Gnostic names as designating the seven stars, then considered planets,

  • Jaldabaoth (Child of Chaos? -- Saturn, called "the Lion-faced", leontoeides ) is the outermost, and therefore the chief ruler, and later on the Demiurge par excellence.
  • Jao ( Iao , perhaps from Jahu, Jahveh, but possibly also from the magic cry iao in the mysteries) is Jupiter.
  • Sabaoth (the Old-Testament title -- God of Hosts) was misunderstood; "of hosts" was thought a proper name, hence Jupiter Sabbas ( Jahve Sabaoth ) was Mars.
  • Astaphaios (taken from magic tablets) was Venus.
  • Adonaios (from the Hebrew term for "the Lord", used of God ; Adonis of the Syrians representing the Winter sun in the cosmic tragedy of Tammuz) was the Sun;
  • Ailoaios, or sometimes Ailoein (Elohim, God ), Mercury;
  • Oraios (Jaroah? or light?), the Moon.

In the hellenized form of Gnosticism either all or some of these names are replaced by personified vices. Authadia ( Authades ), or Audacity, is the obvious description of Jaldabaoth, the presumptuous Demiurge, who is lion-faced as the Archon Authadia. Of the Archons Kakia, Zelos, Phthonos, Errinnys, Epithymia, the last obviously represents Venus. The number seven is obtained by placing a proarchon or chief archon at the head. That these names are only a disguise for the Sancta Hebdomas is clear, for Sophia, the mother of them, retains the name of Ogdoas, Octonatio. Occasionally one meets with the Archon Esaldaios , which is evidently the El Shaddai of the Bible , and he is described as the Archon "number four" ( harithmo tetartos ) and must represent the Sun.

In the system of the Gnostics mentioned by Epiphanius we find, as the Seven Archons, Iao, Saklas, Seth, David, Eloiein, Elilaios, and Jaldabaoth (or no. 6 Jaldaboath, no. 7 Sabaoth). Of these, Saklas is the chief demon of Manichaeism ; Elilaios is probably connected with En-lil, the Bel of Nippur, the ancient god of Babylonia. In this, as in several other systems, the traces of the planetary seven have been obscured, but hardly in any have they become totally effaced. What tended most to obliterate the sevenfold distinction was the identification of the God of the Jews, the Lawgiver, with Jaldabaoth and his designation as World-creator, whereas formerly the seven planets together ruled the world. This confusion, however, was suggested by the very fact that at least five of the seven archons bore Old-Testament names for God -- El Shaddai, Adonai, Elohim, Jehovah, Sabaoth.

(e) Doctrine of the Primeval Man

The speculations on Primeval Man ( Protanthropos , Adam ) occupy a prominent place in several Gnostic systems.

According to Irenaeus (I, xxix, 3) the Æon Autogenes emits the true and perfect Anthrôpos, also called Adamas; he has a helpmate, "Perfect Knowledge", and receives an irresistible force, so that all things rest in him. Others say (Irenaeus, I, xxx) there is a blessed and incorruptible and endless light in the power of Bythos; this is the Father of all things who is invoked as the First Man, who, with his Ennœa, emits "the Son of Man", or Euteranthrôpos.

According to Valentinus, Adam was created in the name of Anthrôpos and overawes the demons by the fear of the pre-existent man ( tou proontos anthropou ). In the Valentinian syzygies and in the Marcosian system we meet in the fourth (originally the third) place Anthrôpos and Ecclesia. In the Pistis Sophia the Æon Jeu is called the First Man, he is the overseer of the Light, messenger of the First Precept, and constitutes the forces of the Heimarmene. In the Books of the Jeu this "great Man" is the King of the Light-treasure, he is enthroned above all things and is the goal of all souls. According to the Naassenes, the Protanthropos is the first element; the fundamental being before its differentiation into individuals. "The Son of Man" is the same being after it has been individualized into existing things and thus sunk into matter.

The Gnostic Anthrôpos, therefore, or Adamas , as it is sometimes called, is a cosmogonic element, pure mind as distinct from matter, mind conceived hypostatically as emanating from God and not yet darkened by contact with matter. This mind is considered as the reason of humanity, or humanity itself, as a personified idea, a category without corporeality, the human reason conceived as the World-Soul.

This speculation about the Anthrôpos is completely developed in Manichaeism, where, in fact, it is the basis of the whole system. God, in danger of the power of darkness, creates with the help of the Spirit, the five worlds, the twelve elements, and the Eternal Man, and makes him combat the darkness. But this Man is somehow overcome by evil and swallowed up by darkness. The present universe is in throes to deliver the captive Man from the powers of darkness. In the Clementine Homilies the cosmogonic Anthrôpos is strangely mixed up with the historical figure of the first man, Adam. Adam "was the true prophet, running through all ages, and hastening to rest"; "the Christ, who was from the beginning and is always, who was ever present to every generation in a hidden manner indeed, yet ever present". In fact Adam was, to use Modernist language, the Godhead immanent in the world and ever manifesting itself to the inner consciousness of the elect.

The same idea, somewhat modified, occurs in Hermetic literature, especially the "Poimandres". It is elaborated by Philo, makes an ingenious distinction between the human being created first "after God's image and likeness" and the historic figures of Adam and Eve created afterwards. Adam kat eikona is: "Idea, Genus, Character, belonging to the world, of Understanding, without body, neither male nor female ; he is the Beginning, the Name of God, the Logos, immortal, incorruptible" (De opif. mund., 134-148; De conf. ling.,146). These ideas in Talmudism, Philonism, Gnosticism, and Trismegistic literature, all come from once source, the late Mazdea development of the Gayomarthians, or worshipper of the Super-Man.

(f) The Barbelo

This Gnostic figure, appearing in a number of systems, the Nicolaites, the "Gnostics" of Epiphanius, the Sethians, the system of the "Evangelium Mariae" and that in Irenaeus, I, xxix, 2 sq., remains to a certain extent an enigma. The name barbelo, barbeloth, barthenos has not been explained with certainty. In any case she represents the supreme female principle, is in fact the highest Godhead in its female aspect. Barbelo has most of the functions of the ano Sophia as described above. So prominent was her place amongst some Gnostics that some schools were designated as Barbeliotae, Barbelo worshippers of Barbelognostics. She is probably none other than the Light-Maiden of the Pistis Sophia, the thygater tou photos or simply the Maiden, parthenos . In Epiphanius (Haer., xxvi, 1) and Philastrius (Haer., xxxiii) Parthenos (Barbelos) seems identical with Noria, whoplays a great role as wife either of Noah or of Seth. The suggestion, that Noria is "Maiden", parthenos , Istar, Athena, Wisdom, Sophia, or Archamoth, seems worthy of consideration.

RITES

We are not so well informed about the practical and ritual side of Gnosticism as we are about its doctrinal and theoretical side. However, St. Irenæus's account of the Marcosians, Hippolytus's account of the Elcesaites, the liturgical portions of the "Acta Thomae", some passages in the Pseudo-Clementines, and above all Coptic Gnostic and Mandaean literature gives us at least some insight into their liturgical practices.

(a) Baptism

All Gnostic sects possessed this rite in some way; in Mandaeism daily baptism is one of the great practices of the system. The formulae used by Christian Gnostics seem to have varied widely from that enjoyed by Christ. The Marcosians said: "In [ eis ] the name of the unknown Father of all, in [ eis ] the Truth, the Mother of all, in him, who came down on Jesus [ eis ton katelthonta eis Iesoun ]". The Elcesaites said: "In [ en ] the name of the great and highest God and in the name of his Son, the great King". In Irenaeus (I, xxi, 3) we find the formula: "In the name that was hidden from every divinity and lordship and truth, which [name] Jesus the Nazarene has put on in the regions of light" and several other formulae, which were sometimes pronounced in Hebrew or Aramaic. The Mandaeans said: "The name of the Life and the name of the Manda d'Haye is named over thee". In connection with Baptism the Sphragis was of great importance; in what the seal or sign consisted wherewith they were marked is not easy to say. There was also the tradition of a name either by utterance or by handing a tablet with some mystic word on it.

(b) Confirmation

The anointing of the candidate with chrism, or odoriferous ointment, is a Gnostic rite which overshadows the importance of baptism. In the "Acta Thomae", so some scholars maintain, it had completely replaced baptism, and was the sole sacrament of initiation. This however is not yet proven. The Marcosians went so far as to reject Christian baptism and to substitute a mixture of oil and water which they poured over the head of the candidate. By confirmation the Gnostics intended not so much to give the Holy Ghost as to seal the candidates against the attacks of the archons, or to drive them away by the sweet odour which is above all things ( tes uter ta hola euodias ). The balsam was somehow supposed to have flowed from the Tree of Life, and this tree was again mystically connected with the Cross; for the chrism is in the "Acta Thomae" called "the hidden mystery in which the Cross is shown to us".

(c) The Eucharist

It is remarkable that so little is known of the Gnostic substitute for the Eucharist. In a number of passages we read of the breaking of the bread, but in what this consisted is not easy to determine. The use of salt in this rite seems to have been important (Clem., Hom. xiv), for we read distinctly how St. Peter broke the bread of the Eucharist and "putting salt thereon, he gave first to the mother and then to us". There is furthermore a great likelihood, though no certainty, that the Eucharist referred to in the "Acta Thomae" was merely a breaking of bread without the use of the cup. This point is strongly controverted, but the contrary can hardly be proven. It is beyond doubt that the Gnostics often substituted water for the wine (Acta Thomae, Baptism of Mygdonia, ch. cxxi). What formula of consecration was used we do not know, but the bread was certainly signed with the Cross. It is to be noted that the Gnostics called the Eucharist by Christian sacrificial terms -- prosphora , "oblation", Thysia (II bk. of Jeû, 45). In the Coptic Books (Pistis Sophia, 142; II Jeû, 45-47) we find a long description of some apparently Eucharistic ceremonies carried out by Jesus Himself. In these fire and incense, two flasks, and also two cups, one with water, the other with wine, and branches of the vine are used. Christ crowns the Apostles with olive wreaths, begs Melchisedech to come and change wine into water for baptism, puts herbs in the Apostles' mouths and hands. Whether these actions in some sense reflect the ritual of Gnosticism, or are only imaginations of the author, cannot be decided. The Gnostics seem also to have used oil sacramentally for the healing of the sick, and even the dead were anointed by them to be rendered safe and invisible in their transit through the realms of the archons.

(d) The Nymphôn

They possessed a special Gnostic sacrament of the bridechamber ( nymphon ) in which, through some symbolical actions, their souls were wedded to their angels in the Pleroma. Details of its rites are not as yet known. Tertullian no doubt alluded to them in the words "Eleusinia fecerunt lenocinia".

(e) The Magic Vowels

An extraordinary prominence is given to the utterance of the vowels: alpha, epsilon, eta, iota, omicron, upsilon, omega . The Saviour and His disciples are supposed in the midst of their sentences to have broken out in an interminable gibberish of only vowels; magic spells have come down to us consisting of vowels by the fourscore; on amulets the seven vowels, repeated according to all sorts of artifices, form a very common inscription. Within the last few years these Gnostic vowels, so long a mystery, have been the object of careful study by Ruelle, Poirée, and Leclercq, and it may be considered proven that each vowel represents one of the seven planets, or archons; that the seven together represent the Universe, but without consonants they represent the Ideal and Infinite not yet imprisoned and limited by matter ; that they represent a musical scale, probably like the Gregorian 1 tone re-re, or d, e, f, g, a, b, c, and many a Gnostic sheet of vowels is in fact a sheet of music. But research on this subject has only just begun. Among the Gnostics the Ophites were particularly fond of representing their cosmogonic speculations by diagrams, circles within circles, squares, and parallel lines, and other mathematical figures combined, with names written within them. How far these sacred diagrams were used as symbols in their liturgy, we do not know.

SCHOOLS OF GNOSTICISM

Gnosticism possessed no central authority for either doctrine or discipline ; considered as a whole it had no organization similar to the vast organization of the Catholic Church. It was but a large conglomeration of sects, of which Marcionism alone attempted in some way to rival the constitution of the Church, and even Marcionism had no unity. No other classification of these sects is possible than that according to their main trend of thought. We can therefore distinguish: (a) Syrian or Semitic ; (b) Hellenistic or Alexandrian; (c) dualistic ; (d) antinomian Gnostics.

(a) The Syrian School

This school represents the oldest phase of Gnosticism, as Western Asia was the birthplace of the movement. Dositheus, Simon Magus, Menander, Cerinthus, Cerdo, Saturninus Justin, the Bardesanites, Sevrians, Ebionites, Encratites, Ophites, Naassenes, the Gnostics of the "Acts of Thomas", the Sethians, the Peratae, the Cainites may be said to belong to this school.

The more fantastic elements and elaborate genealogies and syzygies of æons of the later Gnosis are still absent in these systems. The terminology is some barbarous form of Semitic ; Egypt is the symbolic name for the soul's land of bondage.

The opposition between the good God and the World-Creator is not eternal

More Volume: G 539

Click/Touch the sub-volume below to view encyclopedia articles within the sub-volume.

7

Gédoyn, Nicolas

A French translator and literary critic; b. at Orléans, 17 June, 1667; d. 10 August, 1744, ...

Génebrard, Gilbert

A learned Benedictine exegete and Orientalist, b. 12 December, 1535, at Riom, in the department ...

Génicot, Edward

Moral theologian, b. at Antwerp, Belgium, 18 June, 1856; d. at Louvain, 21 February, 1900. After ...

Géramb, Baron Ferdinand de

In religion, Brother Mary Joseph; Abbot and procurator-general of La Trappe, came of a noble and ...

Gérando, Joseph-Marie de

A French statesman and writer, born at Lyons, 29 February, 1772; died at Paris, 10 November, ...

Gérard, Abbot of Brogne, Saint

Born at Staves in the county of Namur, towards the end of the ninth century; died at Brogne or ...

Géry, Saint

(Latin Gaugericus ). Bishop of Cambrai - Arras ; b. of Roman parents, Gaudentius and ...

× Close

1

Gómara, Francisco Lopez de

( Or GOMORA.) Born at Seville, Spain, in 1510; studied at the University of Alcalá, ...

× Close

4

Görres, Guido

Historian, publicist, and poet; b. at Coblenz on 28 May, 1805; d. at Munich on 14 July, 1852. He ...

Görres, Johann Joseph

Born at Coblenz, in the heart of the Rhine country, 25 January, 1776; died at Munich, 29 January, ...

Görz

( Italian GORIZIA; Slovene GORICA). Capital of the Austrian crown-land Görz and ...

Göttweig, Abbey of

(GOTTWEIH, GOTTVICUM, GOTTVICENSE). A Benedictine abbey situated on a hill of the same name, ...

× Close

3

Gügler, Joseph Heinrich Aloysius

Born at Udligerschwyl, near Lucerne, Switzerland, 25 August, 1782; died at Lucerne, 28 February, ...

Günther of Cologne

(also GUNTHAR) An archbishop of that city, died 8 July, 873. He belonged to a noble ...

Günther, Anton

Philosopher ; b. 17 Nov., 1783, at Lindenau, near Leitmeritz, Bohemia ; d. at Vienna, 24 ...

× Close

Ga 103

Gabala

A titular see of Syria Prima. Ten bishops of this city are known between 325 and 553, the ...

Gabbatha

The Aramaic appellation of a place in Jerusalem, designated also under the Greek name of ...

Gaboon

V ICARIATE A POSTOLIC OF G ABUN Formerly called the Vicariate Apostolic of the Two ...

Gabriel Possenti, Blessed

Passionist student; renowned for sanctity and miracles ; born at Assisi, 1 March, 1838; died ...

Gabriel Sionita

A learned Maronite, famous for his share in the publication of the Parisian polyglot of the ...

Gabriel the Archangel, Saint

"Fortitudo Dei", one of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible . Only four appearances of ...

Gabriel, Brothers of Saint

The Congregation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of St. Gabriel was originally founded ...

Gad

( , fortune, luck). A proper name which designates in the Bible , (I), a patriarch; (II), a ...

Gadara

A titular see of Palaestina Prima; there were two sees of this name, one in Palaestina Prima, ...

Gaddi, Agnolo, Giovanni, and Taddeo

Florentine artists, Taddeo being the father of Agnolo and Giovanni. The dates of their birth ...

Gaeta

ARCHDIOCESE OF GAETA (CAIETANA). Archdiocese in the province of Caserta in Campania (Southern ...

Gaetano, Saint

(GAETANO.) Founder of the Theatines, born October, 1480 at Vicenza in Venetian territory; ...

Gagarin, Ivan Sergejewitch

Gagarin was of the princely Russian family which traces its origin to the ancient rulers of ...

Gagliardi, Achille

Ascetic writer and spiritual director ; born at Padua, Italy, in 1537; died at Modena, 6 ...

Gahan, William

A priest and author; born 5 June, 1732, in the parish of St. Nicholas, Dublin ; died ...

Gaillard, Claude Ferdinand

A French engraver and painter ; b. at Paris, 7 Jan., 1834; d. there, 27 Jan., 1887. His early ...

Gal, Saint

Of the ninety-eight bishops who have occupied the see of Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne) the ...

Galantini, Ippolito, Blessed

Founder of the Congregation of Christian Doctrine of Florence; b. at Florence of obscure ...

Galatians, Epistle to the

GALATIA In the course of centuries, gallic tribes, related to those that invaded Italy and ...

Galatino, Pietro Colonna

Friar Minor, philosopher, theologian, Orientalist ; b. at Galatia (now Cajazzo) in Apulia; d. at ...

Galerius, Valerius Maximianus

Galerius, a native of Illyria, was made Caesar 1 March, 293, by Diocletian, whose daughter ...

Galien, Joseph

Dominican, professor of philosophy and theology at the University of Avignon, meteorologist, ...

Galilee

( Septuagint and New Testament Galilaia ). The native land of Jesus Christ, where He began ...

Galilei, Alessandro

An eminent Florentine architect ; born 1691; died 1737. Having attained some distinction, he ...

Galilei, Galileo

Generally called GALILEO. Born at Pisa, 15 February, 1564; died 8 January, 1642. His father, ...

Galitzin, Elizabeth

Princess, religious of the Sacred Heart ; born at St. Petersburg, 22 February, 1797; died in ...

Gall, Abbey of Saint

In Switzerland, Canton St. Gall, 30 miles southeast of Constance ; for many centuries one of ...

Gall, Saint

(GALLUS; in the most ancient manuscript he is called GALLO, GALLONUS, GALLUNUS, and sometimes ...

Galla

Vicariate Apostolic embracing the territory of the Galla or Oromo tribes in Abyssinia. In its ...

Galla, Saint

A Roman widow of the sixth century; feast, 5 October. According to St. Gregory the Great ...

Gallait, Louis

Flemish painter ; born at Tournai, 10 May, 1810; died in Brussels, 20 November, 1887. He ...

Galland, Antoine

French Orientalist and numismatist, b. at Rollot, near Montdidier, in Picardy, 1646, d. at ...

Gallandi, Andrea

Oratorian and patristic scholar, born at Venice, 7 December, 1709; died there 12 January, 1779, ...

Galle

DIOCESE OF GALLE (GALLENSIS). Diocese in Ceylon, created by Leo XIII 25 Aug., 1893, by ...

Gallego, Juan Nicasio

Priest and poet; born at Zamora, Spain, 14 December, 1777; died at Madrid, 9 January, 1853; ...

Galletti, Pietro Luigi

Benedictine, historian and archaeologist; b. at Rome in 1724; d. there, 13 December, 1790. He ...

Gallia Christiana

A documentary catalogue or list, with brief historical notices, of all the dioceses and ...

Gallican Rite, The

This subject will be treated under the following six heads: I. History and Origin; II. ...

Gallicanism

This term is used to designate a certain group of religious opinions for some time peculiar to the ...

Gallicanus, Saints

The following saints of this name are commemorated on 25 June: (1) St. Gallicanus Roman ...

Gallienus, Publius Licinius Egnatius

Roman emperor; b. about 218; d. at Milan, 4 March, 268; appointed regent by his father Valerian ...

Gallifet, Joseph de

Priest ; b. near Aix, France, 2 May 1663; d. at Lyons, 1 September, 1749. He entered the ...

Gallipoli

DIOCESE OF GALLIPOLI (GALLIPOLITANA). Diocese in the province of Lecce (Southern Italy ). ...

Gallitzin, Adele Amalie

(Or GOLYZIN). Princess; b. at Berlin, 28 Aug., 1748; d. at Angelmodde, near Münster, ...

Gallitzin, Demetrius Augustine

Prince, priest, and missionary, born at The Hague, Holland, 22 December, 1770; died at Loretto, ...

Galloway, Diocese of

(Gallovidiana). Situated in the southwest of Scotland. It comprises the Counties of Dumfries, ...

Galluppi, Pasquale

Philosopher, b. at Tropea, in Calabria, 2 April, 1770; d. at Naples, 13 Dec., 1846, where from ...

Gallwey, Peter

Born at Killarney, 13 Nov., 1820; d. in London, 23 Sept., 1906; one of the best-known London ...

Galtelli-Nuoro

(Galtellinensis-Norensis) Diocese in the province of Sassari (Sardinia), on a hill of the ...

Galura, Bernhard

Prince- Bishop of Brixen ; b. 21 August, 1764, at Herbolzheim, Bresigau; d. 17 May, 1856. After ...

Galvani, Luigi

Physician, b. at Bologna, Italy, 9 September, 1737; d. there, 4 December, 1798. It was his ...

Galveston

DIOCESE OF GALVESTON (GALVESTONIENSIS). The Diocese of Galveston was established in 1847 and ...

Galway and Kilmacduagh

DIOCESE OF GALWAY AND KILMACDUAGH (GALVIENSIS ET DUACENSIS). Diocese in Ireland ; an ...

Gama, Vasco da

The discover of the sea route to East Indies; born at Sines, Province of Alemtejo, Portugal, ...

Gamaliel

(Greek form of the Hebrew name meaning "reward of God "). The name designates in the New ...

Gamans, Jean

Born 8 July, 1606, at Ahrweiler (according to other sources at Neuenahr, about two miles from ...

Gambling

Gambling , or gaming , is the staking of money or other thing of value on the issue of a game ...

Gams, Pius Bonifacius

An ecclesiastical historian, b. at Mittelbuch, Würtemberg, 23 January, 1816; d. Munich, ...

Gandolphy, Peter

(Or Gandolphi.) Jesuit preacher; b. in London, 26 July, 1779; d. at East Sheen, Surrey, 9 ...

Gangra

A titular see in the province of Paphlagonia; in the native tongue the word signifies goat, and ...

Gansfort, John Wessel

(GANSFORT). A fifteenth-century Dutch theologian, born at Gröningen in 1420; died there ...

Gap

(VAPINCENSIS). Diocese ; suffragan of Aix, includes the department of the Hautes-Alpes. ...

García Moreno, Gabriel

Ecuadorean patriot and statesman; b. at Guayaquil, 24 December, 1821; assassinated at Quito, 6 ...

García, Anne

Better known as Venerable Anne of St. Bartholomew, Discalced Carmelite nun, companion of St. ...

Garcia, Saint Gonsalo

Born of a Portuguese father and a Canarese mother in Bassein, East India, about the year 1556 or ...

Garcilasso de la Vega

Spanish lyric poet; b. at Toledo, 6 Feb., 1503; d. at Nice, 14 Oct., 1536. A noble and a ...

Garcilasso de la Vega

Historian of Peru ; b. at Cuzco, Peru, 12 April, 1539; d. at Córdoba, Spain, c. 1617. The ...

Gardellini, Aloisio

Born at Rome, 4 Aug., 1759; died there, 8 Oct., 1829. He is famous chiefly for his collection of ...

Garesché, Julius Peter

Soldier; born 26 April, 1821, near Havana, Cuba; killed at the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, ...

Garet, Jean

Benedictine of the Congregation of Saint-Maur, born at Havre about 1627; died at ...

Gargara

A titular see in the province of Asia, suffragan of Ephesus. The city appears to have been ...

Garin, André

An Oblate missionary and parish priest, born 7 May, 1822, at Côte-Saint-André, ...

Garland

A wreath of flowers or evergreens formerly used in connection with baptismal, nuptial, and ...

Garland, John

An English poet and grammarian, who lived in the middle of the thirteenth century. He tells us ...

Garlick, Venerable Nicholas

Priest and martyr, born at Dinting, Derbyshire, c. 1555; died at Derby, 24 July, 1588. He ...

Garneau, François-Xavier

A French Canadian historian, b. at Quebec, 15 June, 1809, of François-Xavier Garneau and ...

Garnet, Henry

(Garnett.) English martyr, b. 1553-4; d. 1606, son of Brian Garnet, master of Nottingham ...

Garnet, Saint Thomas

Protomartyr of St. Omer and therefore of Stonyhurst College; b. at Southwark, c. 1575; executed ...

Garnier, Charles

Jesuit Missionary, born at Paris, 1606, of Jean G. and Anne de Garault; died 7 December, 1649. He ...

Garnier, Jean

Church historian, patristic scholar, and moral theologian ; b. at Paris, 11 Nov., 1612; d. at ...

Garnier, Julien

Jesuit missionary, born at Connerai, France, 6 January, 1642; d. in Quebec, 1730. He entered ...

Garrucci, Raffaele

A historian of Christian art, b. at Naples, 22 January, 1812; d. at Rome, 5 May, 1885. He ...

Garzon

(GARZONENSIS.) Suffragan diocese of Popayan in the Republic of Colombia . It comprises the ...

Gaspare del Bufalo, Blessed

Founder of the Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood (C.P.P.S.); b. at Rome on the feast of ...

Gaspe, Philippe-Aubert de

A French Canadian writer, b. at Quebec, 30 Oct., 1786, of a family ennobled by Louis XIV in ...

Gassendi, Pierre

(GASSENDY, GASSEND.) A French philosopher and scientist ; b. at Champtercier, a country ...

Gasser von Valhorn, Joseph

An Austrian sculptor, b. 22 Nov., 1816 at Prägraten, Tyrol; d. 28 Oct., 1900. He was first ...

Gassner, Johann Joseph

A celebrated exorcist ; b. 22 Aug., 1727, at Braz, Vorarlberg, Austria ; d. 4 April, 1779, at ...

Gaston, William

Jurist; b. at Newbern, North Carolina , U.S.A. 19 Sept., 1778: d. at Raleigh, North Carolina ...

Gatianus, Saint

Founder and bishop of Tours ; b. probably at Rome ; d. at Tours, 20 December, 301. He came ...

Gau, Franz Christian

Architect and archeologist, b. at Cologne, 15 June, 1790; d. at Paris, January, 1854. In 1809 he ...

Gaubil, Antoine

A French Jesuit and missionary to China, b. at Gaillac (Aveyron), 14 July, 1689; d. at Peking, ...

Gaudentius of Brescia

(GAUDENTIUS BRIXIENSIS or BONTEMPS.) A theologian of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins ; ...

Gaudentius, Saint

Bishop of Brescia from about 387 until about 410; he was the successor of the writer on ...

Gaudete Sunday

The third Sunday of Advent, so called from the first word of the Introit at Mass ( Gaudete ...

Gaudier, Antoine de

A writer on asectic theology ; b. at Château-Thierry, France, 7 January, 1572; d. at ...

Gaudiosus

Bishop of Tarazona (Turiasso), Spain ; died about 540. Our information concerning the life ...

Gaul, Christian

The Church of Gaul first appeared in history in connexion with the persecution at Lyons under ...

Gaultier, Aloisius-Edouard-Camille

Priest and schoolmaster; b. at Asti, Piedmont, about 1745, of French parents ; d. at Paris, 18 ...

Gaume, Jean-Joseph

French theologian and author, b. at Fuans (Franche-Comté) in 1802; d. in 1879. While ...

Gavantus, Bartolommeo

(GAVANTO) Liturgist, a member of the Barnabite Order ; b. at Monza, 1569; d. at Milan, 14 ...

Gaza

( Hebrew 'Azzah , "the strong") A titular see of Palaestina Prima, in the Patriarchate ...

Gazzaniga, Pietro Maria

A theologian, b. at Bergamo, Italy, 3 March, 1722; d. at Vicenza, 11 Dec., 1799. At a very ...

× Close

Ge 93

Gebhard (III) of Constance

Bishop of that city and strenuous defender of papal rights against imperial encroachments ...

Gebhart, Emile

A French professor and writer, b. 19 July, 1839, at Nancy ; d. 22 April, 1908, in Paris. He was ...

Gedeon

Gideon or Gedeon (Hebrew "hewer"), also called JEROBAAL ( Judges 6:32 ; 7:1 ; etc.), and ...

Gegenbauer, Josef Anton

An accomplished German historical and portrait painter, b. 6 March, 1800, at Wangen, ...

Geiler von Kayserberg, Johann

A celebrated German pulpit orator, b. at Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 16 March, 1445; d. at ...

Geissel, Johannes von

Cardinal, Archbishop of Cologne, b. 5 February, 1796, at Gimmeldingen, in the Palatinate; d. 8 ...

Gelasius I, Pope Saint

Died at Rome, 19 Nov., 496. Gelasius, as he himself states in his letter to the Emperor ...

Gelasius II, Pope

Born at Gaeta, year unknown; elected 24 Jan., 1118; died at Cluny, 29 Jan., 1119. No sooner had ...

Gelasius of Cyzicus

Ecclesiastical writer. He was the son of a priest of Cyzicus, and wrote in Bithynia, about 475, ...

Gemblours

(Gembloux, Gemblacum) A suppressed Benedictine monastery about nine miles north-west of ...

Genealogy (in the Bible)

The word genealogy occurs only twice in the New Testament : I Tim., i, 4, and Tit., iii, 9. ...

Genealogy of Christ

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

General Chapter

( Latin capitulum , a chapter). The daily assembling of a community for purposes of ...

General Judgment

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

Generation

( Latin Vulgate, generatio ). This word, of very varied meaning, corresponds to the two ...

Genesareth

( Gennesaret .) This is the name given to the Lake of Tiberias in Luke 5:1; called ...

Genesius

(1) Genesius (of Rome) A comedian at Rome, martyred under Diocletian in 286 or 303. Feast, 25 ...

Genevieve, Saint

Patroness of Paris, b. at Nanterre, c. 419 or 422; d. at Paris, 512. Her feast is kept on 3 ...

Genezareth, Land of

By this name is designated in Mark, vi, 53, a district of Palestine bordering on the Sea of ...

Genga, Girolamo

A painter, born at Urbino in 1476; died at the same place, 1551. This talented craftsman was ...

Gennadius I, Saint

Patriarch of Constantinople (458-471), has left scarcely any writings. Facundus (Defensio, II, ...

Gennadius II

Patriarch of Constantinople (1454-1456). His original name was George Scholarius ( Georgios ...

Gennadius of Marseilles

(GENNADIUS SCHOLASTICUS). A priest whose chief title to fame is his continuation of St. ...

Gennings, Edmund and John

The first, a martyr for the Catholic Faith, and the second, the restorer of the English province ...

Genoa

ARCHDIOCESE OF GENOA (JANUENSIS) Archdiocese in Liguria, Northern Italy. The city is situated ...

Gentile da Fabriano

Italian painter ; b. probably about 1378 in the District of the Marches; d. probably 1427. The ...

Gentiles

( Hebrew Gôyîm ; Greek ethne, ethnikoi , Hellenes ; Vulgate Gentes, Gentiles, ...

Gentili, Aloysius

Born 14 July, 1801, at Rome ; died 26 September, 1848, at Dublin. He was proficient in poetry, ...

Genuflexion

To genuflect [ Latin genu flectere , geniculare (post-classic), to bend the knee; Greek ...

Geoffrey of Clairvaux

A disciple of Bernard, was b. between the years 1115 and 1120, at Auxerre; d. some time after ...

Geoffrey of Dunstable

Also known as GEOFFREY OF GORHAM. Abbot of St. Alban's, d. at St. Alban's, 26 Feb., 1146. He ...

Geoffrey of Monmouth

(GAUFRIDUS ARTURUS, GALFRIDUS MONEMETENSIS, GALFFRAI or GRUFFYD AB ARTHUR). Bishop of St. ...

Geoffrey of Vendôme

(GOFFRIDUS ABBAS VINDOCINENSIS.) A cardinal, b. in the second half of the eleventh century of ...

Geography and the Church

The classic historians of geography, Alexander von Humboldt, Carl Ritter, and Oscar Peschel, never ...

Geography, Biblical

With the exception of the didactic literature, there is no book in the Bible which, to a greater ...

George Hamartolus

A monk at Constantinople under Michael III (842-867) and the author of a chronicle of some ...

George of Trebizond

A Greek scholar of the early Italian Renaissance ; b. in Crete (a Venetian possession from ...

George Pisides

(Or THE PISIDIAN). A Byzantine poet lived in the first half of the seventh century. From his ...

George the Bearded

(Also called THE RICH.) Duke of Saxony, b. at Dresden, 27 August, 1471; d. in the same city, ...

George, Orders of Saint

Knights of St. George appear at different historical periods and in different countries as ...

George, Saint

Martyr, patron of England, suffered at or near Lydda, also known as Diospolis, in Palestine, ...

Georgetown University

Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia , "is the oldest Catholic literary ...

Georgia

STATISTICS The area of Georgia is 59,475 sq. m., and it is the largest of the original thirteen ...

Georgius Syncellus

(Greek Georgios ho Sygkellos ). Died after 810; the author of one of the more important ...

Gerace

DIOCESE OF GERACE (HIERACENSIS). Diocese in the province of Reggio in Calabria (Southern Italy ...

Gerald, Saint

Bishop of Mayo, an English monk, date of birth unknown; died 13 March, 731; followed St. ...

Geraldton

DIOCESE OF GERALDTON (GERALDTONENSIS). Diocese in Australia, established in 1898, comprises ...

Gerard Majella, Saint

Born in Muro, about fifty miles south of Naples, in April, 1726; died 16 October, 1755; ...

Gerard of Cremona

A twelfth-century student of Arabic science and translator from Arabic into Latin; born at ...

Gerard, Archbishop of York

Date of birth unknown; died at Southwell, 21 May, 1108. He was a nephew of Walkelin, Bishop of ...

Gerard, Bishop of Toul, Saint

Born at Cologne, 935; died at Toul, 23 April, 994. Belonging to a wealthy and noble family, he ...

Gerard, John

Jesuit ; born 4 October, 1564; died 27 July, 1637. He is well known through his autobiography, a ...

Gerard, Richard

Confessor ; born about 1635; died 11 March, 1680 (O.S.). The Bromley branch of the Gerard ...

Gerard, Ven. Miles

Martyr ; born about 1550 at Wigan; executed at Rochester 13 (30?) April, 1590. Sprung perhaps ...

Gerardus Odonis

Also Geraldus Othonis , or Ottonis , a medieval theologian and Minister General of the ...

Gerasa

A titular see in the province of Arabia and the Patriarchate of Antioch. According to ...

Gerberon, Gabriel

A Benedictine of the Maurist Congregation ; b. at St-Calais, Department of Sarthe, France, 12 ...

Gerbet, Olympe-Phillipe

A French bishop and writer; b. at Poligny (Jura), 1798; d. at Perpignan (Pyrénées ...

Gerbillon, Jean-François

French missionary; born at Verdun, 4 June, 1654; died at Peking, China, 27 March, 1707. He ...

Gerdil, Hyacinthe Sigismond

Cardinal and theologian ; b. at Samoëns in Savoy, 20 June, 1718; d. at Rome, 12 August ...

Gerhard of Zütphen

(ZERBOLT OF ZUTPHEN) Born at Zütphen, 1367; died at Windesheim, 1398; a mystical writer ...

Gerhoh of Reichersberg

Provost of that place and Austin canon , one of the most distinguished theologians of Germany ...

Germain, Saint, Bishop of Auxerre

Bishop of Auxerre, born at Auxerre c. 380; died at Ravenna, 31 July, 448. He was the son of ...

Germain, Saint, Bishop of Paris

Bishop of Paris ; born near Autun, Saône-et-Loire, c. 496; died at Paris, 28 May, 576. ...

Germaine Cousin, Saint

Born in 1579 of humble parents at Pibrac, a village about ten miles from Toulouse ; died in ...

German Gardiner, Blessed

Last martyr under Henry VIII ; date of birth unknown; died at Tyburn, 7 March, 1544; ...

German Literature

I. FROM OLDEST PRE-CHRISTIAN PERIOD TO 800 A.D. There are no written monuments before the eighth ...

Germanicia

A titular see in the province of Euphratensis and the patriarchate of Antioch; incorrectly ...

Germanicopolis

A titular see in the province of Isauria, suffragan of Seleucia. The city took its name from ...

Germans in the United States

Germans, either by birth or descent, form a very important element in the population of the ...

Germanus I, Saint

Patriarch of Constantinople (715-30), b. at Constantinople towards the end of the reign of ...

Germany

I. BEFORE 1556 From their first appearance in the history of the world the Germans represented ...

Germany, Vicariate Apostolic of Northern

(VICARIATE APOSTOLIC OF THE NORTHERN MISSIONS) Its jurisdiction covers the Grand Duchies of ...

Germia

A titular see of Galatia Secunda, a suffragan of Pessinus ; mentioned by Hierocles in the ...

Gerona

DIOCESE OF GERONA (GERUNDENSIS) The Diocese of Geronia in Catalonia, Spain, suffragan of ...

Gerrha

A titular see in the province of Augustamnica Prima, suffragan of Pelusium in the Patriarchate ...

Gerson, Jean de Charlier de

The surname being the name of his native place; b. in the hamlet of Gerson 14 December, 1363; d. ...

Gertrude of Aldenberg, Blessed

Abbess of the Premonstratensian convent of Aldenberg, near Wetzlar, in the Diocese of Trier ; ...

Gertrude of Hackeborn

Cistercian Abbess of Helfta, near Eisleben; born near Halberstadt in 1232; died towards the end ...

Gertrude of Nivelles, Saint

Virgin, and Abbess of the Benedictine monastery of Nivelles; born in 626; died 17 March, 659. ...

Gertrude the Great, Saint

Benedictine and mystic writer; born in Germany, 6 Jan., 1256; died at Helfta, near Eisleben, ...

Gertrude van der Oosten, Venerable

Beguine ; born at Voorburch, Holland ; died at Delft, 6 Jan., 1358. She was born of peasant ...

Gervaise, Dom François Armand

Discalced Carmelite, b. at Paris, 1660; d. at Reclus, France, 1761. After completing his ...

Gervase of Canterbury

(GERVAS US DOROBORNENSIS) English chronicler, b. about 1141; d. in, or soon after, 1210. If ...

Gervase of Tilbury

(TILBERIENSIS) Medieval writer, b. probably at Tilbury, in the County of Essex, England, ...

Gervase, George

(Jervise.) Priest and martyr, born at Boscham, Suffolk, England, 1571; died at Tyburn, 11 ...

Gervasius and Protasius, Saints

Martyrs of Milan, probably in the second century, patrons of the city of Milan and of ...

Gesellenvereine

German Catholic societies for the religious, moral, and professional improvement of young men. ...

Gesta Dei per Francos

Gesta Dei per Francos is the title adopted by Guibert de Nogent (died about 1124) for his history ...

Gesta Romanorum

A medieval collection of anecdotes, to which moral reflections are attached. It was compiled ...

Gethsemane

Gethsemani (Hebrew gat , press, and semen , oil) is the place in which Jesus Christ ...

Gethsemane, Abbey of Our Lady of

An abbey of the Order of Reformed Cistercians, commonly called Trappists, established in ...

Gezireh

Gezireh (or Djezireh), seat of two Catholic residential sees, one Chaldean, the other Syrian. ...

× Close

Gf 1

Gfrörer, August Friedrich

German historian; b. at Calw, Würtemberg, 5 March, 1803; d. at Karlsbad, 6 July, 1861. ...

× Close

Gh 7

Ghardaia

Prefecture Apostolic in the French Sahara, separated in 1901 from the Vicariate Apostolic of ...

Ghent

DIOCESE OF GHENT (GANDENSIS or GANDAVENSIS). The Diocese of Ghent at present comprises the ...

Ghibellines and Guelphs

Names adopted by the two factions that kept Italy divided and devastated by civil war during the ...

Ghiberti, Lorenzo di Cione

Sculptor ; b. at Florence about 1381; d. there, December, 1455. He ushered in the early ...

Ghirlandajo

(D OMENICO DI T OMMASO B IGORDI ). A famous Florentine painter ; b. 1449; d. 11 Jan., ...

Ghislain, Saint

Confessor and anchorite in Belgium ; b. in the first half of the seventh century; d. at ...

Ghost Dance

The principal ceremonial rite of a peculiar Indian religion with originated about 1887 with ...

× Close

Gi 53

Giannone, Pietro

Italian historian, born 7 May, 1676, at Ischitella in the province of Capinata, Naples ; died ...

Gibail and Batrun

A Maronite residential see. Gibail is merely the modern name of Byblos a titular see of ...

Gibault, Pierre

Missionary, b. at Montreal, Canada, 1737; d. at New Madrid, about 1804; son of Pierre Gibault ...

Gibbons, John

Jesuit theologian and controversialist; b. 1544, at or near Wells, Somersetshire; died 16 Aug. or ...

Gibbons, Richard

Brother of Father John Gibbons, born at Winchester, 1550 or 1549; died at Douai, 23 June, 1632. ...

Giberti, Gian Matteo

Cardinal, and Bishop of Verona, the natural son of Francesco Giberti, a Genoese naval ...

Giberti, Jean-Pierre

Canonist; b. at Aix, Provence, in 1660; d. at Paris in 1736. He became a cleric at an early ...

Gibraltar

VICARIATE APOSTOLIC OF GIBRALTAR. Gibraltar is a rugged promontory in the province of ...

Gideon

Gideon or Gedeon (Hebrew "hewer"), also called JEROBAAL ( Judges 6:32 ; 7:1 ; etc.), and ...

Giffard, Bonaventure

Born at Wolverhampton, England, 1642; died at Hammersmith, Middlesex, 12 March, 1734; second son ...

Giffard, Godfrey

Bishop of Worcester, b. about 1235; d. 26 Jan., 1301. He was the son of Hugh Giffard of Boyton ...

Giffard, William

Second Norman Bishop of Winchester from 1100 to 1129. Little is known of his history anterior ...

Gifford, William

Archbishop of Reims ; b. in Hampshire, 1554; d. at Reims, 11 April, 1629. He was the son of ...

Gift of Miracles

The gift of miracles is one of those mentioned by St. Paul in his First Epistle to the ...

Gift, Supernatural

A supernatural gift may be defined as something conferred on nature that is above all the ...

Gil de Albornoz, Alvarez Carillo

A renowned cardinal, general, and statesman; b. about 1310 at Cuenca in New Castile ; d. 23 ...

Gil of Santarem, Blessed

A Portuguese Dominican : b. at Vaozela, diocese of Viseu, about 1185; d. at Santarem, 14 May, ...

Gilbert de la Porrée

(Gilbertus Porretanus) Bishop of Poitiers, philosopher, theologian and general scholar; b. ...

Gilbert Foliot

Bishop of London, b. early in the twelfth century of an Anglo-Norman family and connected ...

Gilbert Islands

Vicariate apostolic ; comprises the group of that name, besides the islands of Ellice and ...

Gilbert of Sempringham, Saint

Founder of the Order of Gilbertines , b. at Sempringham, on the border of the Lincolnshire fens, ...

Gilbert, Nicolas-Joseph-Laurent

Poet, b. at Fontenoy-le-Château, 1751; d. at Paris, 12 November, 1780. His parents were ...

Gilbert, Sir John Thomas

Irish archivist and historian, b. in Dublin, 23 January, 1829; d. there, 23 May, 1898. He was ...

Gilbertines, Order of

Founded by St. Gilbert, about the year 1130, at Sempringham, Gilbert's native place, where he was ...

Gildas, Saint

Surnamed the Wise; b. about 516; d. at Houat, Brittany, 570. Sometimes he is called "Badonicus" ...

Giles, Saint

(Latin Ægidius.) An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage ...

Gillespie, Eliza Maria

(In religion Mother Mary of St. Angela). Born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, 21 ...

Gillespie, Neal Henry

Brother of Eliza Maria Gillespie ; b. in Washington County, Pennsylvania, 19 January 1831; d. at ...

Gillis, James

Scottish bishop ; b. at Montreal, Canada, 7 April, 1802; d. at Edinburgh, 24 February 1864. He ...

Gilmore, Patrick Sarsfield

A musician, born at Ballygar Galway, Ireland, 25 Dec., 1829; died at St. Louis, 24 Sept., 1892; ...

Gindarus

A titular see of Syria Prima, in the Patriarchate of Antioch. Pliny (Hist. nat. V, 81) ...

Ginoulhiac, Jacques-Marie-Achille

A French bishop ; b. at Montpellier (department of Herault) 3 Dec., 1806; d. there 17 Nov., ...

Gioberti, Vincenzo

An Italian statesman and philosopher ; b. at Turin, 5 April, 1801; d. at Paris, 26 October, ...

Giocondo, Fra Giovanni

An Italian architect, antiquary, archaeologist, and classical scholar, b. in Verona, c. 1445; ...

Giordani, Tommasso

A composer, b. at Naples in 1738; d. at Dublin, Ireland, February 1806. The family came to ...

Giordano, Luca

Neapolitan painter ; b. at Naples, 1632; d. in the same place, 12 Jan., 1705. He was esteemed ...

Giorgione

(GIORGIO BARBARELLI, ZORZO DA CASTELFRANCO) Italian painter, b. at Castelfranco in or before ...

Giotto di Bondone

A Florentine painter, and founder of the Italian school of painting, b. most probably, in 1266 ...

Giovanelli, Ruggiero

Composer, b. at Velletri, near Rome, in 1560; d. at Rome, 7 January, 1625. In 1584 he was ...

Giovanni Dominici, Blessed

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

Giraldi, Giovanni Battista

(Surnamed CINTIO) Italian dramatist and novelist; b. at Ferrara, Italy, 1504; d. there, ...

Giraldi, Ubaldo

(UBALDUS A SANCTO CAJETANO). An Italian canonist; b. in 1692; d. in 1775. He was a member of ...

Giraldus Cambrensis

Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald de Barry) was a distinguished writer, historian, and ecclesiastic of ...

Girard, Jean-Baptiste

Known as Père Girard, a Swiss pedagogue, b. at Fribourg, 17 December, 1765; d. there, 6 ...

Girardon, François

A noted sculptor of the reign of Louis XIV, b. at Troyes, France, 1630; d. at Paris, 1715. The ...

Giraud de Borneil

A Provençal troubadour, b. about the middle of the twelfth century, at Excideuil in the ...

Girba

A titular see in the province of African Tripoli. It is an island, in ancient times called ...

Girgenti

DIOCESE OF GIRGENTI (AGRIGENTINA). Girgenti is the capital of a province in Sicily and is ...

Gisbert, Blaise

French rhetorician and critic; born at Cahors, 21 February, 1657; died at Montpellier, 21 ...

Giuliani, Veronica

Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Citt` di Castello, 9 July, 1727. ...

Giulio Romano

Properly GIULIO DEI GIANNUZZI, also known as GIULIO PIPPI. A famous architect and painter, the ...

Giuseppe Giusti

A poet and patriot ; b. 1809, at Monsumano near Pescia, Italy ; d. 31 March, 1850, at ...

Giuseppe Maria Tommasi, Blessed

A Cardinal, noted for his learning, humility, and zeal for reform; born at Licata, Sicily, of ...

× Close

Gl 19

Glaber, Raoul

Benedictine chronicler; b. in Burgundy before 1000; d. at Cluny about 1050. In early boyhood he ...

Glabrio, Manius Acilius

Consul at Rome during A.D. 91, with Trajan. He belonged to one of the noblest families of ...

Glagolitic

(Or G LAGOLITSA ; Slavonic glagol, a word; glagolati, to speak). An ancient alphabet ...

Glaire, Jean-Baptiste

Priest, hebraist, and Biblical scholar; b. at Bordeaux, 1 April, 1798; d. at Issy, near Paris, ...

Glanville, Ranulf de

Chief Justiciar of England ; b. at Stratford, Suffolk, England, date unknown; d. before Acre, ...

Glarean, Henry

(LORITI) The most distinguished of Swiss humanists, poet, philosopher, geographer, ...

Glasgow

I. ARCHDIOCESE OF GLASGOW (GLASGUENSIS) Archdiocese in the south-west of Scotland, comprising at ...

Glastonbury Abbey

[G LESTINGABURH; called also Y NISWITRIN (Isle of Glass) and A VALON (Isle of Apples)] ...

Glebe

Glebe ( Latin gleba ) originally signified, in common law , any farm, estate, or parcel of ...

Glendalough, School of

Glendalough (the Valley of the Two Lakes) is a picturesque and lonely glen in the heart of the ...

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

The great doxology ( hymnus angelicus ) in the Mass is a version of a very old Greek form". ...

Gloria, Laus et Honor

A hymn composed by St. Theodulph of Orléans in 810, in Latin elegiacs, of which the ...

Glory

This word has many shades of meaning which lexicographers are somewhat puzzled to differentiate ...

Glory Be

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

Glosses, Glossaries, Glossarists

(IN CANON LAW) A gloss (Gk. glossa , Lat. glossa , tongue, speech) is an interpretation ...

Glosses, Scriptural

I. ETYMOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL MEANINGS The modern English word gloss is derived directly from the ...

Glossolalia

(Glossolaly, glossolalia ). A supernatural gift of the class gratiae gratis datae , ...

Gloves, Episcopal

Liturgical gloves ( chirothecœ , called also at an earlier date manicœ , wanti ...

Gluttony

(From Lat. gluttire , to swallow, to gulp down), the excessive indulgence in food and drink. ...

× Close

Gn 2

Gnesen-Posen

Archdiocese in the Kingdom of Prussia. The archdiocese includes the Dioceses of Gnesen and ...

Gnosticism

The doctrine of salvation by knowledge. This definition, based on the etymology of the word ( ...

× Close

Go 89

Goa

(GOANENSIS.) Patriarchate of the East Indies, the chief see of the Portuguese dominions in the ...

Goajira, Vicariate Apostolic of

Goajira is the most northern portion of South America is a peninsula running into the Caribbean ...

Goar, Jacques

A Dominican and hellenist, b. at Paris, 1601, d. 23 September, 1653. He entered the convent of ...

Goar, Saint

An anchorite of Aquitaine; b. about 585; d. near Oberwesel (Germany), 6 July, 649. He came of a ...

Gobat, George

Moral theologian ; born at Charmoilles, in the Diocese of Basil, now in the Department of the ...

Gobban Saer

Regarded in traditional lore as the greatest Irish architect of the seventh century, and ...

Gobelinus, Person

(Persona.) Born in 1358; died 17 November, 1421. He was a Westphalian and was known as an ...

God

Etymology of the Word "God" Discusses the root-meaning of the name "God", which is derived from ...

God, Existence of

The topic will be treated as follows: I. As Known Through Natural ReasonA. The Problem Stated1. ...

God, Nature and Attributes of

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

God, Relation of the Universe to

1. Essential Dependence of the Universe on God (Creation and Conservation) In developing the ...

God, Three Persons of

This article is divided as follows: I. Dogma of the Trinity; II. Proof of the Doctrine from ...

Godard, Saint

(Also spelled GOTHARD, GODEHARD). Bishop of Hildesheim in Lower Saxony ; born about the ...

Godden, Thomas

(True name Tylden.) Born at Addington, Kent, 1624; died in London, 1 Dec., 1688. His father, ...

Godeau, Antoine

Bishop, poet and exegete ; b. at Dreux in the diocese of Chartres, 1605; d. at Vence, 21 ...

Godeberta, Saint

Born about the year 640, at Boves, a few leagues from Amiens, in France ; died about the ...

Godelina, Saint

(GODELINA.) Born at Hondeforte-lez-Boulogne, c. 1049; died at Ghistelles, 6 July, 1070. The ...

Godet des Marais, Paul

Bishop of Chartres, France ; b. at Talcy, near Blois, 1647; d. at Chartres, 1709. He studied ...

Godfrey Goodman

Born at Ruthin, Denbighshire, 28 February, 1582-3; died at Westminster, 19 January, 1656. He was ...

Godfrey of Bouillon

Duke of Lower Lorraine and first King of Jerusalem, son of Eustache II, Count of Boulogne, and ...

Godfrey of Fontaines

(GODEFRIDUS DE fontIBUS, DOCTOR VENERANDUS) A scholastic philosopher and theologian ; born ...

Godfrey of Viterbo

German writer of the twelfth century. Nothing is known as to the place or date of his birth, ...

Godinez

(GODINEZ). Mystical theologian, born at Waterford, Ireland, in 1591; died in Mexico, Dec. ...

Godric

The name of two Abbots of Croyland. Godric I (870-941) Godrick I was the successor of the Abbot ...

Goesport, John Wessel

(GANSFORT). A fifteenth-century Dutch theologian, born at Gröningen in 1420; died there ...

Goetz, Marie Josephine

Second superior-general of the Society of the Sacred Heart, daughter of Joseph Goetz of ...

Goffe, Stephen

(Or Gough) Oratorian; b. 1605; d. at Paris, Christmas Day, 1681. He was the son of Stephen ...

Goffine, Leonard

(Or G OFFINÉ ). Born at Cologne, or according to some, at Broich, 6 December, 1648; ...

Gog and Magog

Names, respectively, of a king and of his supposed kingdom, mentioned several times in chapters 38 ...

Golden Bull

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

Golden Calf

An object of worship among the Hebrews, mention of which occurs principally in Exodus 32 where ...

Golden Rose

A precious and sacred ornament made of pure gold by skilled artificers, which the popes have ...

Goldoni, Carlo

Dramatist; b. at Venice, 25 Feb., 1707; d. at Paris, 6 Jan., 1793. Goldoni is especially ...

Goldwell, Thomas

Bishop of St. Asaph, the last survivor of the ancient hierarchy of England ; b. probably at ...

Golgotha

The place of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. NAME Etymology and Use The word Calvary ( ...

Gomes De Amorim, Francisco

Portuguese poet, dramatist, and novelist; b. at Avelomar, near Oporto, 13 August, 1827; d. 4 ...

Gondulphus

(GUNDULFUS). The name of three saints, of whom one was Bishop of Tongres (Maestricht), the ...

Gonet, Jean Baptiste

Theologian, b. about 1616 at Beziers, in the province of Languedoc; d. there 24 Jan., 1681. From ...

Gonnelieu, Jérôme de

Theologian, ascetical writer, and preacher; born at Soissons, 8 Sept., 1640; died at Paris, 28 ...

González de Santalla, Thyrsus

Theologian and thirteenth general of the Society of Jesus, b. at Arganda, Spain, 18 January, ...

González, Zeferino

Dominican, cardinal, theologian, and philosopher, b. at Villoria in the Province and Diocese ...

Gonzaga, Ercole

(Hercules.) Cardinal ; b. at Mantua, 23 November, 1505; d. 2 March, 1563. He was the Son of ...

Gonzaga, Saint Aloysius

Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he was placed in ...

Gonzaga, Scipione

Cardinal ; b. at Mantua, 11 November, 1542; d. at San Martino, 11 January, 1593. He belonged to ...

Gonzalez, Saint Peter

Popularly known as St. Elmo, b. in 1190 at Astorga, Spain ; d. 15 April, 1246, at Tuy. He was ...

Gonzalo de Berceo

Spanish poet, active between 1220 and 1242. Born in the closing years on twelfth century, he ...

Good

"Good" is one of those primary ideas which cannot be strictly defined. In order to fix its ...

Good Faith

A phrase employed to designate the mental and moral state of honest, even if objectively ...

Good Friday

Definition and etymology Good Friday, called Feria VI in Parasceve in the Roman Missal, he ...

Good Hope, Cape of (Eastern)

The Eastern Vicariate of the Cape of Good Hope was established in 1847, when the Vicariate of the ...

Good Hope, Cape of (Western)

The Western vicariate and the Central prefecture, although different in name, are virtually one. ...

Good Samaritan, Sisters of the

A congregation of Tertiaries Regular of St. Benedict, established 2 February, 1857, at Sydney, ...

Good Shepherd, Our Lady of Charity of the

The aim of this institute is to provide a shelter for girls and women of dissolute habits, who ...

Good, Highest, The

"We always act with a view to some good. The good is the object which all pursue, and for the ...

Goodman, Ven. John

Priest and martyr ; born in the Diocese of Bangor, Wales, 1590; died 1642. He was educated at ...

Goossens, Pierre-Lambert

Cardinal, Archbishop of Mechlin (Belgium), b. at Perck, near Vilvorde, 18 July, 1827; d. at ...

Gordian

( Latin GORDIANUS.) There were three Roman emperors of this name, who reigned between A.D. ...

Gordianus and Epimachus, Saints

Martyrs, suffered under Julian the Apostate , 362, commemorated on 10 May. Gordianus was a judge ...

Gordon Riots

This agitation, so called from the head and spirit of the movement, Lord George Gordon, ...

Gordon, Andrew

A Benedictine monk, physicist ; b. 15 June, 1712, at Cofforach in Forfarshire, Scotland ; d. ...

Gordos

A titular see in the province of Lydia, suffragan of Sardis. The city is mentioned by Strabo, ...

Gorgonius, Saint

Martyr, suffered in 304 at Nicomedia during the persecution of Diocletian. Gorgonius held a high ...

Gorkum, The Martyrs of

The year 1572, Luther and Calvin had already wrested from the Church a great part of Europe. ...

Gortyna

A titular see, and in the Greek Church metropolitan see, of the Island of Crete. The city, ...

Goscelin

(Or GOTSELIN, according to the spelling in the earliest manuscripts of his works.) A ...

Gospel and Gospels

The word Gospel usually designates a written record of Christ's words and deeds. It is very ...

Gospel in the Liturgy

I. HISTORY From the very earliest times the public reading of parts of the Bible was an important ...

Gospel of Mark

The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Contents, Selection and Arrangement of ...

Goss, Alexander

Second Bishop of Liverpool ; born at Ormskirk, Lancashire, 5 July, 1814; died. at St. Edward's ...

Gossaert, Jan

Called M ABUSE from Maubeuge in Hainaut. Flemish painter ; b. about 1472; d. at Middelburg ...

Gosselin, Jean-Edmé-Auguste

Ecclesiastical author; b. at Rouen, France, 28 Sept., 1787; d. at Paris, 27 Nov., 1858. He ...

Gother, John

(Or JOHN GOTER) Priest and controversialist; b. at Southampton, date unknown; d. at sea on a ...

Gothic Architecture

The term Gothic was first used during the later Renaissance, and as a term of contempt. Says ...

Gottfried von Strasburg

One of the greatest of Middle High German epic poets. Of his life we know absolutely nothing; ...

Gotti, Vincent Louis

Cardinal and theologian, b. at Bologna, 5 Sept., 1664; d. in Rome, 18 Sept., 1742. He received ...

Gottschalk of Orbais

A medieval theologian ; b. about 800, d. after 866, probable 30 October, 868 (or 869), in the ...

Gottschalk, Saint

(GODESCALCUS). Martyr Prince of the Wends; d. at Lenzen on the Elbe, 7 June 1066. His feast ...

Goulburn

(Gulburnensis). One of the six suffragan sees of the ecclesiastical province of Sydney, ...

Gounod, Charles-François

One of the most distinguished French musicians and composers of the nineteenth century, b. in ...

Goupil, René

Jesuit missionary; born 1607, in Anjou; martyred in New York State, 23 September, 1642. Health ...

Gousset, Thomas-Marie-Joseph

French cardinal and theologian ; b. at Montigny-les-Charlieu, a village of ...

Government Authority

Civil Authority is the moral power of command, supported (when need be) by physical coercion, ...

Gower, John

Poet; born between 1327-1330, probably in Kent; died October, 1408. He was of gentle blood and ...

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco José de

Painter and etcher, b. in Fuendetodos, Aragon, Spain, 31 March, 1746; d. in Bordeaux, 16 ...

Goyaz, Diocese of

(Goyasiensis). Co-extensive with the state of the same name, one of the twenty states which, with ...

Gozo, Diocese of

The diocese of Gozo (Goulos-Gaudisiensis), comprises the Island of Gozo in the Mediterranean ...

Gozzi, Carlo

Italian author, born at Venice, 1720; died 1806. He spent in military service three years that ...

Gozzoli

(BENOZZO DI LESE DI SANDRO, surnamed GOZZOLI). Painter ; b. at Florence, 1420; d. at Pisa ...

Gozzolini, Saint Sylvester

Founder of the Sylvestrines, b. of the noble family of the Gozzolini at Osimo, 1177; d. 26 ...

× Close

Gr 107

Grässel, Lorenz

Coadjutor-elect of Baltimore ; born at Ruemannsfelden, Bavaria, 18 August, 1753; died at ...

Gröne, Valentin

A Catholic theologian, b. at Paderborn, 7 December, 1817; d. at Irmgarteichen, in the district ...

Grün, Anastasius

A pseudonym for Anton Alexander (Maria), Count von Auersperg, an Austrian poet; b. at Laibach in ...

Grace

Actual Grace Explains the concept of actual grace, which is defined in the article as "a ...

Grace at Meals

In Apostolic times St. Paul counsels the faithful: "Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever ...

Grace, Actual

Grace ( gratia, Charis ), in general, is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual creatures ...

Grace, Controversies on

These are concerned chiefly with the relation between grace and free will. How can the ...

Grace, Supernatural

Grace ( gratia, Charis ), in general, is a supernatural gift of God to intellectual ...

Grace, William Russell

Philanthropist and merchant, born at Cork, Ireland, 10 May, 1832; died at New York, 21 March, ...

Gradual

( Latin Graduale , from gradus , a step) Gradual, in English often called Grail, is the ...

Gradual Psalms

Fifteen psalms -- namely, Psalms 119-133 (in Hebrew 120-134) -- bear a Hebrew inscription which ...

Gradwell, Robert

Bishop; b. at Clifton-in-the-Fylde, Lancashire, 26 Jan., 1777; d. in London, 15 March, 1833; went ...

Graffiti

The term in common usage among archaeologists to designate a class of rude inscriptions scratched ...

Graham, Patrick

First Archbishop of St. Andrews and Metropolitan of Scotland, date of birth uncertain; d. ...

Grail, The Holy

The name of a legendary sacred vessel , variously identified with the chalice of the Eucharist ...

Gramont, Eugénie de

Religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart ; b. at Versailles, 17 September, 1788; d. at ...

Gran

( Hungarian ESZTERGOM; Latin STRIGONIUM, STRIGONIENSIS) Located in Hungary. From the ...

Granada

Archdiocese of Granada (Granatensis). Archdiocese in Spain, founded by St. Cecilius about ...

Granada, University of

The origin of this university is to be traced to the Arab school at Cordova, which, when the ...

Grancolas, Jean

Doctor of the Sorbonne, theologian, liturgist; b. near Chateaudun, about 1660; d. at Paris, 1 ...

Grand Rapids

(Grandormensis) Diocese created 12 May, 1882 out of the diocese of Detroit, and made to ...

Grande Chartreuse, La

The mother-house of the Carthusian Order lies in a high valley of the Alps of Dauphine, at an ...

Granderath, Theodor

Born 19 June, 1839, at Giesenkirchen, Rhine Province; died 19 March, 1902, at Valkenburg, ...

Grandidier, Philippe-André

Priest and historian, b. at Strasburg, Alsace, 9 Nov., 1752; d. at the Abbey of Luntzel ...

Grandmont, Abbey and Order of

Abbey and Order in the department of Hte-Vienne, France. The exact date of the foundation of the ...

Grant, Thomas

First Bishop of Southwark ; b. at Ligny-les-Aires, Arras, France, 25 Nov., 1816; d. at Rome, ...

Granvelle, Antoine Perrenot de

Known in history as CARDINAL DE GRANVELLE (GRANVELLA). Born at Ornans in Franche-Comté, ...

Gras, Venerable Louise de Marillac Le

Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul , born at Paris, 12 August, 1591, ...

Grasse, François-Joseph-Paul

Count and Marquess de Grasse-Tilly, lieutenant-general of the naval forces; b. near Toulon, 1723; ...

Grassis, Paris de

Master of ceremonies to Julius II and Leo X ; b. at Bologna, about 1470; d. at Rome, 10 June, ...

Gratian

Roman Emperor; son of Valentinian I; born at Sirmium, 359; died at Lyons, 383. Before he had ...

Gratian, Jerome

Spiritual director of St. Teresa and first Provincial of the Discalced Carmelites ; born at ...

Gratian, Johannes

(GRATIANUS). The little that is known concerning the author of the "Concordantia discordantium ...

Gratianopolis

A titular see in Caesarea Mauretania, Africa. This city does not figure in a list of the ...

Gratius, Ortwin

(VAN GRAES) Humanist ; b. 1475 at Holtwick, near Coesfeld, Westphalia ; d. at Cologne, 22 ...

Gratry, Auguste-Joseph-Alphonse

French priest and writer; b. at Lille, 30 March, 1805; d. at Montreux, Switzerland, 7 February, ...

Gratz, Peter Aloys

Schoolmaster and exegete, b. 17 Aug., 1769, at Mittelberg, Allgäu, Bavaria ; d. at ...

Gravier, Jacques

Jesuit missionary; born 1651 at Moulins, where he studied classics and philosophy under the ...

Gravina and Montepeloso

DIOCESE OF GRAVINA AND MONTEPELOSO (GRAVINENSIS ET MONTIS PELUSII). Gravina is a town in the ...

Gravina, Dominic

Theologian ; b. in Sicily, about 1573; d. in the Minerva, at Rome, 26 Aug., 1643. He entered the ...

Gravina, Giovanni Vincenzo

Italian jurist and littérateur of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; b. at ...

Graz, University of

The University of Graz, located in the capital of the Province of Steiermark, owes its ...

Great Falls

DIOCESE OF GREAT FALLS (GREATORMENSIS). Created by Pope Pius X, 18 May, 1904; comprises the ...

Greco, El

One of the most remarkable Spanish artists, b. in Crete, between 1545 and 1550; d. at Toledo, 7 ...

Greece

Greece will be treated in this article under the following heads: I. The Land and the People; II. ...

Greek Catholics in America

The Uniat churches of the Byzantine or Greek Rite were almost unknown to the United States ...

Greek Church

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. Explanation of Terms; II. The Greek ...

Greek Orthodox Church in America

The name Orthodox Church is generally used to distinguish those of the Greek Rite who are ...

Greek Rites

(1) Rite, Language, Religion These are three things that must always be distinguished. A rite is ...

Green Bay

(SINUS VIRIDIS) The Diocese of Green Bay — established 3 March, 1868, from the territory ...

Green, Hugh

Martyr ; born about 1584; martyred 19 August, 1642. His parents, who were Protestants, sent him ...

Green, Thomas Louis

Priest and controversialist; b. at Stourbridge, Worcestershire, 1799; d. at Newport, Shropshire, ...

Greenland

An island stretching from within the Arctic Circle south to about 59 degrees N. latitude, being ...

Gregorian Chant

The name is often taken as synonymous with plain chant, comprising not only the Church music of ...

Gregory Bæticus

Bishop of Elvira, in the province of Baetica, Spain, from which he derived his surname; d. ...

Gregory I, Pope Saint

Doctor of the Church ; born at Rome about 540; died 12 March 604. Gregory is certainly one of ...

Gregory II, Pope Saint

(Reigned 715-731). Perhaps the greatest of the great popes who occupied the chair of Peter ...

Gregory III, Pope Saint

(Reigned 731-741.) Pope St. Gregory III was the son of a Syrian named John. The date of his ...

Gregory IV, Pope

Elected near the end of 827; died January, 844. When Gregory was born is not known, but he was a ...

Gregory IX

(UGOLINO, Count of Segni). Born about 1145, at Anagni in the Campagna; died 22 August, 1241, ...

Gregory of Heimburg

Humanist and Statesman, b. at Würzburg in the beginning of the fifteenth century; d. at ...

Gregory of Nazianzus, Saint

Doctor of the Church, born at Arianzus, in Asia Minor, c. 325; died at the same place, 389. He ...

Gregory of Neocaesarea, Saint

Known at THAUMATURGUS, ( ho Thaumatourgos , the miracle-worker). Born at Neocæsarea in ...

Gregory of Nyssa, Saint

Date of birth unknown; died after 385 or 386. He belongs to the group known as the "Cappadocian ...

Gregory of Rimini, Saint

An Augustinian theologian ; born at Rimini, Italy, in the second half of the thirteenth ...

Gregory of Tours, Saint

Born in 538 or 539 at Arverni, the modern Clermont-Ferrand; died at Tours, 17 Nov., in 593 or ...

Gregory of Utrecht, Saint

Abbot; b. about 707 or 708; d. 775 or 780. Gregory was born of a noble family at Trier. His ...

Gregory of Valencia

Professor of the University of Ingolstadt , b. at Medina, Spain, March, 1550 (1540, 1551?); d. ...

Gregory the Illuminator

Born 257?; died 337?, surnamed the Illuminator (Lusavorich). Gregory the Illuminator is the ...

Gregory V, Pope

Born c. 970; died 4 February, 999. On the death of John XV the Romans sent a deputation to Otto ...

Gregory VI

On the death of Sergius IV in June, 1012, "a certain Gregory", opposed the election of ...

Gregory VI, Pope

(JOHN GRATIAN). Date of birth unknown; elected 1 May 1045; abdicated at Sutri, 20 December, ...

Gregory VII, Pope Saint

(HILDEBRAND). One of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men ...

Gregory VIII

Antipope. He was Mauritius Burdinus (Bordinho, Bourdin), who was placed upon the papal chair by ...

Gregory VIII, Pope

(ALBERTO DI MORRA). Born about the beginning of the twelfth century, at Benevento ; elected ...

Gregory X

Born 1210; died 10 January, 1276. The death of Pope Clement IV (29 November, 1268) left the ...

Gregory XI

(PIERRE ROGER DE BEAUFORT). Born in 1331, at the castle of Maumont in the Dioceses of Limoges ...

Gregory XII

(ANGELO CORRARIO, now CORRER). Legal pope during the Western Schism ; born at Venice, of a ...

Gregory XIII, Pope

(UGO BUONCOMPAGNI). Born at Bologna, 7 Jan., 1502; died at Rome, 10 April, 1585. He studied ...

Gregory XIV, Pope

(N ICCOLÒ S FONDRATI ). Born at Somma, near Milan, 11 Feb., 1535; died at Rome, 15 ...

Gregory XV, Pope

(ALESSANDRO LUDOVISI). Born at Bologna, 9 or 15 January, 1554; died at Rome, 8 July, 1623. ...

Gregory XVI, Pope

(MAURO, or BARTOLOMEO ALBERTO CAPPELLARI). Born at Belluno, then in the Venetian territory, 8 ...

Greifswald, University of

The oldest university of Prussia, founded in 1456. Even before this, Greifswald had, for a short ...

Greith, Karl Johann

Bishop and church historian, b. at Rapperswyl, Switzerland, 25 May, 1897; d. at St. Gall, 17 ...

Gremiale

A square or oblong cloth which the bishop, according to the "Cæremoniale" and ...

Grenoble

DIOCESE OF GRENOBLE (GRATIANOPOLITANA) Now comprises the Department of Isère and the Canton ...

Gresemund, Dietrich

German humanist ; b. in 1477, at Speyer ; d. 1512, at Mainz. His father, also named Dietrich, ...

Greslon, Adrien

French missionary; b. at Perigueux, in 1618; entered the Society of Jesus at Bordeaux, 5 ...

Gresset, Jean Baptiste

Born 29 August, 1709; died 16 June, 1777, at Amiens. Having finished his studies at the college ...

Gretser, Jacob

A celebrated Jesuit writer; b. at Markdorf in the Diocese of Constance in 1562; d. at ...

Greuze, Jean-Baptiste

French painter, b. at Tournus in Ardeche, 21 August, 1725; d. at Paris, 21 March, 1805. His ...

Grey Nuns

The Order of Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montreal, commonly ...

Grey Nuns of the Cross

A community founded in 1745 at Monteal by Madame d'Youville, known as the Grey Sisters, or Grey ...

Griffin, Gerald

A novelist, dramatist, lyricist; b. 12 December, 1803, at Limerick, Ireland ; d. at Cork, 12 ...

Griffin, Martin Ignatius Joseph

Journalist, historian, b. at Philadelphia, 23 Oct., 1842; d. there, 10 Nov., 1911. In early ...

Griffiths, Thomas

Born in London, 2 June, 1791; died 19 August, 1847; the first and only Vicar Apostolic of the ...

Grillparzer, Franz

An Austrian poet, b. at Vienna, 15 January, 1791, d. 21 January, 1872. After desultory ...

Grimaldi, Francesco Maria

Italian physicist, b. at Bologna, 2 April, 1618; d. in the same city, 28 Dec., 1663. He entered ...

Grimaldi, Giovanni Francesco

An eclectic painter of the Bolognese school ; b. at Bologna, 1606; d. at Rome, 1680. He was a ...

Grimmelshausen, Johann Jacob Christoffel von

The greatest German novelist of the seventeenth century. What we know of his life is largely ...

Groote, Gerard

( Or Geert De Groote; Gerhardus Magnus.) Founder of the "Brethren of the Common Life" , b. ...

Gropper, John

An eminent jurist and theologian, b. 24 Feb., 1503, at Soest, Westphalia ; d. at Rome, 13 March, ...

Grosseteste, Robert

Bishop of Lincoln and one of the most learned men of the Middle Ages ; b. about 1175; d. 9 ...

Grosseto

(Grossetana) Grosseto, suffragan diocese of Siena, has for its episcopal city the capital ...

Grosswardein

( Hungarian Nagy-Várad; Magno-Varadinensis) A diocese of the Latin Rite in ...

Grottaferrata, Abbey of

( Latin Crypta ferrata .) A Basilian monastery near Rome, sometimes said to occupy the site ...

Grueber, Johann

A German Jesuit missionary in China and noted explorer of the seventeenth century; b. at Linz, ...

× Close

Gu 49

Guéranger, Prosper Louis Pascal

Benedictine and polygraph; b. 4 April, 1805, at Sablé-sur-Sarthe; d. at Solesmes, 30 ...

Guérard, Robert

Born at Rouen, 1641; died at the monastery of Saint-Ouen, 2 January, 1715. For some time he ...

Guérin

(1) Eugénie de Guérin A French writer; b. at the château of La Cayla, in ...

Guérin, Anne-Thérèse

(In religion, Mother Theodore) Born at Etables (Côte du Nord), Brittany, France, 2 ...

Guadalajara

(Guadalaxara) Archdiocese in Mexico, separated from the Diocese of Michoacan by Paul III, 31 ...

Guadalupe, Shrine of

Guadalupe is strictly the name of a picture, but was extended to the church containing the ...

Guadeloupe

(Or Basse Terre; Guadalupensis; Imæ Telluris) Diocese in the West Indies, comprises the ...

Guadix, Diocese of

(GUADICENSIS) The Diocese of Guadix, in Spain, comprises the greater part of the Province of ...

Guaicuri Indians

(Pronounced Waikuri .) A group of small tribes, speaking dialectic forms of a common ...

Guamanga, Diocese of

( Or Guamanga). A Peruvian diocese, suffragan to Lima. The See of Guamanga was erected by ...

Guaraní Indians

(Pronounced Waraní .) One of the most important tribal groups of South America, ...

Guarantees, Law of

(LA LEGGE DELLE GUARENTIGIE) A name given to the law passed by the senate and chamber of the ...

Guarda, Diocese of

(EGITANIENSIS.) Province of Beira, Portugal. Near the episcopal city are the ruins of Idanha, ...

Guardi, Francesco

Venetian painter ; born at Venice, 1712; died in the same city, 1793. He was a pupil of ...

Guardian Angels

( See also FEAST OF THE GUARDIAN ANGELS .) That every individual soul has a guardian angel ...

Guardian Angels, Feast of

This feast, like many others, was local before it was placed in the Roman calendar. It was not ...

Guardianship, in Civil Jurisprudence

Guardianship is "the condition or fact of being a guardian; the office or position of guardian" ...

Guarini, Battista

An Italian poet, b. at Ferrara, 1538, d. at Venice, 7 Oct., 1612. His father, Francesco ...

Guarino da Verona

A humanist, b. 1370, at Verona, Italy ; d. 1460, at Ferrara. He studied Latin in the school ...

Guastalla, Diocese of

(GUASTELLENSIS). In the province of Reggio Emilia (Central Italy ) on the left bank of the Po ...

Guastallines

Luigia Torelli, Countess of Guastalla (b. about 1500; d. 29 Oct., 1559 or 1569), widowed for ...

Guatemala, Santiago de

(Sancti Jacobi majoris de Guatemala) Archdiocese conterminous with the Republic of Guatemala, ...

Guayaquil

A RCHDIOCESE OF G UAYAQUIL (G UAYAQUILENSIS ). Guayaquil, the capital of the Ecuadorian ...

Gubbio

Diocese of Eugubinensis, in the province of Perugia in Umbria (Central Italy ). The city ...

Gudenus, Moritz

A German convert to the Catholic faith from the Protestant ministry; b. 11 April, 1596, at ...

Gudula, Saint

(Latin, Guodila ). Born in Brabant, Belgium, of Witger and Amalberga, in the seventh ...

Guelphs and Ghibellines

Names adopted by the two factions that kept Italy divided and devastated by civil war during the ...

Guglielmini, Giovanni Battista

Scientist, b. at Bologna, 16 August, 1763; d. in the same city, l5 December, 1817. He is known as ...

Guiana

(Or Guayana .) Guiana was the name given to all that region of South America which extends ...

Guibert of Ravenna

An antipope, known as Clement III, 1080 (1084) to 1100; born at Parma about 1025; died at ...

Guicciardini, Francesco

An historian and statesman; born at Florence, 1483; died there, 23 May, 1540. His parents, Piero ...

Guido of Arezzo

(Guido Aretinus). A monk of the Order of St. Benedict, b. (according to Dom Morin in the ...

Guigues du Chastel

(Guigo de Castro). Fifth prior of the Grande Chartreuse, legislator of the Carthusian Order ...

Guijon, André

Bishop and orator; born in November, 1548, at Autun ; died in September, 1631. He was the son ...

Guilds

Guilds were voluntary associations for religious, social, and commercial purposes. These ...

Guiney, Patrick Robert

Second and eldest surviving son of James Roger Guiney and Judith Macrae; born at Parkstown, Co. ...

Guiscard, Robert

Duke of Apulia and Calabria, founder of the Norman state of the Two Sicilies; born about 1016; ...

Guise, House of

The House of Guise, a branch of the ducal family of Lorraine, played an important part in the ...

Guitmund

A Bishop of Aversa, a Benedictine monk, theologian, and opponent of Berengarius ; born at an ...

Gulf of St. Lawrence

Vicariate erected 12 September, 1905, and formed from the prefecture Apostolic of the same name ...

Gunpowder Plot, The

(Oath taken May, 1604, plot discovered November, 1605). Robert Catesby, the originator of the ...

Gunther, Blessed

A hermit in Bohemia in the eleventh century; b. about 955; d. at Hartmanitz, Bohemia, 9 ...

Gurk

(GURCENSIS) A prince-bishopric of Carinthia, suffragan to Salzburg, erected by Archbishop ...

Gury, Jean-Pierre

Moral theologian ; b. at Mailleroncourt, Haute-Saône, 23 January, 1801; d. at Merc ur, ...

Gusmão, Bartholomeu Lourenço de

Naturalist, and the first aeronaut; b. in 1685 at Santos in the province of São Paulo , ...

Gutenberg, Johann

(Henne Gänsfleisch zur Laden, commonly called Gutenberg). Inventor of printing; born about ...

Guthlac, Saint

Hermit; born about 673; died at Croyland, England, 11 April, 714. Our authority for the life ...

Guyon, Jeanne-Marie-Bouvier de La Motte-

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

Guzmán, Fernando Pérez de

Señor de Batres; Spanish historian and poet (1376-1458). He belonged to a family ...

× Close

Gy 1


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2016 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2016 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.