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Hell

This subject is treated under eight headings: (I) Name and Place of Hell; (II) Existence of Hell; (III) Eternity of Hell; (IV) Impenitence of the Damned; (V) Poena Damni; (VI) Poena Sensus; (VII) Accidental Pains of the Damned; (VIII) Characteristics of the Pains of Hell.

I. NAME AND PLACE OF HELL

The term hell is cognate to "hole" (cavern) and "hollow". It is a substantive formed from the Anglo-Saxon helan or behelian , "to hide". This verb has the same primitive as the Latin occulere and celare and the Greek kalyptein . Thus by derivation hell denotes a dark and hidden place. In ancient Norse mythology Hel is the ill-favoured goddess of the underworld. Only those who fall in battle can enter Valhalla; the rest go down to Hel in the underworld, not all, however, to the place of punishment of criminals.

Hell ( infernus ) in theological usage is a place of punishment after death. Theologians distinguish four meanings of the term hell :

  • hell in the strict sense, or the place of punishment for the damned, be they demons or men ;
  • the limbo of infants ( limbus parvulorum ), where those who die in original sin alone, and without personal mortal sin, are confined and undergo some kind of punishment;
  • the limbo of the Fathers ( limbus patrum ), in which the souls of the just who died before Christ awaited their admission to heaven ; for in the meantime heaven was closed against them in punishment for the sin of Adam;
  • purgatory, where the just, who die in venial sin or who still owe a debt of temporal punishment for sin, are cleansed by suffering before their admission to heaven.

The present article treats only of hell in the strict sense of the term.

The Latin infernus ( inferum, inferi ), the Greek Hades , and the Hebrew sheol correspond to the word hell . Infernus is derived from the root in ; hence it designates hell as a place within and below the earth. Haides , formed from the root fid , to see, and a privative, denotes an invisible, hidden, and dark place; thus it is similar to the term hell . The derivation of sheol is doubtful. It is generally supposed to come from the Hebrew root meaning, "to be sunk in, to be hollow"; accordingly it denotes a cave or a place under the earth. In the Old Testament ( Septuagint hades ; Vulgate infernus ) sheol is used quite in general to designate the kingdom of the dead, of the good ( Genesis 37:35 ) as well as of the bad ( Numbers 16:30 ); it means hell in the strict sense of the term, as well as the limbo of the Fathers. But, as the limbo of the Fathers ended at the time of Christ's Ascension, hades ( Vulgate infernus ) in the New Testament always designates the hell of the damned. Since Christ's Ascension the just no longer go down to the lower world, but they dwell in heaven ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ). However, in the New Testament the term Gehenna is used more frequently in preference to hades , as a name for the place of punishment of the damned. Gehenna is the Hebrew gê-hinnom ( Nehemiah 11:30 ), or the longer form gê-ben-hinnom ( Joshua 15:8 ), and gê-benê-hinnom ( 2 Kings 23:10 ) "valley of the sons of Hinnom". Hinnom seems to be the name of a person not otherwise known. The Valley of Hinnom is south of Jerusalem and is now called Wadi er-rababi. It was notorious as the scene, in earlier days, of the horrible worship of Moloch. For this reason it was defiled by Josias ( 2 Kings 23:10 ), cursed by Jeremias ( Jeremiah 7:31-33 ), and held in abomination by the Jews, who, accordingly, used the name of this valley to designate the abode of the damned (Targ. Jon., Gen., iii, 24; Henoch, c. xxvi). And Christ adopted this usage of the term. Besides Hades and Gehenna, we find in the New Testament many other names for the abode of the damned. It is called "lower hell" ( Vulgate tartarus ) ( 2 Peter 2:4 ), "abyss" ( Luke 8:31 and elsewhere), "place of torments" ( Luke 16:28 ), "pool of fire" ( Revelation 19:20 and elsewhere), "furnace of fire" ( Matthew 13:42, 50 ), "unquenchable fire" ( Matthew 3:12 , and elsewhere), "everlasting fire" ( Matthew 18:8 ; 25:41 ; Jude 7 ), "exterior darkness" ( Matthew 7:12 ; 22:13 ; 25:30 ), "mist" or "storm of darkness" ( 2 Peter 2:17 ; Jude 13 ). The state of the damned is called "destruction" ( apoleia , Phil., iii, 19, and elsewhere), "perdition" ( olethros , 1 Timothy 6:9 ), "eternal destruction" ( olethros aionios , 2 Thessalonians 1:9 ), "corruption" ( phthora , Galatians 6:8 ), "death" ( Romans 6:21 ), "second death" ( Revelation 2:11 and elsewhere).

Where is hell? Some were of opinion that hell is everywhere, that the damned are at liberty to roam about in the entire universe, but that they carry their punishment with them. The adherents of this doctrine were called Ubiquists, or Ubiquitarians; among them were, e.g., Johann Brenz, a Swabian, a Protestant theologian of the sixteenth century. However, that opinion is universally and deservedly rejected; for it is more in keeping with their state of punishment that the damned be limited in their movements and confined to a definite place. Moreover, if hell is a real fire, it cannot be everywhere, especially after the consummation of the world, when heaven and earth shall have been made anew. As to its locality all kinds of conjectures have been made; it has been suggested that hell is situated on some far island of the sea, or at the two poles of the earth; Swinden, an Englishman of the eighteenth century, fancied it was in the sun; some assigned it to the moon, others to Mars; others placed it beyond the confines of the universe [ Wiest, "Instit. theol.", VI (1789), 869]. The Bible seems to indicate that hell is within the earth, for it describes hell as an abyss to which the wicked descend. We even read of the earth opening and of the wicked sinking down into hell ( Numbers 16:31 sqq. ; Psalm 54:16 ; Isaiah 5:14 ; Ezekiel 26:20 ; Philippians 2:10 , etc.). Is this merely a metaphor to illustrate the state of separation from God ? Although God is omnipresent, He is said to dwell in heaven, because the light and grandeur of the stars and the firmament are the brightest manifestations of His infinite splendour. But the damned are utterly estranged from God ; hence their abode is said to be as remote as possible from his dwelling, far from heaven above and its light, and consequently hidden away in the dark abysses of the earth. However, no cogent reason has been advanced for accepting a metaphorical interpretation in preference to the most natural meaning of the words of Scripture. Hence theologians generally accept the opinion that hell is really within the earth. The Church has decided nothing on this subject; hence we may say hell is a definite place; but where it is, we do not know. St. Chrysostom reminds us: "We must not ask where hell is, but how we are to escape it" (In Rom., hom. xxxi, n. 5, in P.G., LX, 674). St. Augustine says: "It is my opinion that the nature of hell-fire and the location of hell are known to no man unless the Holy Ghost made it known to him by a special revelation ", (De Civ. Dei, XX, xvi, in P.L., XLI, 682). Elsewhere he expresses the opinion that hell is under the earth (Retract., II, xxiv, n. 2 in P.L., XXXII, 640). St. Gregory the Great wrote: "I do not dare to decide this question. Some thought hell is somewhere on earth; others believe it is under the earth" (Dial., IV, xlii, in P.L., LXXVII, 400; cf. Patuzzi, "De sede inferni", 1763; Gretser, "De subterraneis animarum receptaculis", 1595).

II. EXISTENCE OF HELL

There is a hell, i.e. all those who die in personal mortal sin, as enemies of God, and unworthy of eternal life, will be severely punished by God after death. On the nature of mortal sin, see SIN ; on the immediate beginning of punishment after death, see PARTICULAR JUDGMENT . As to the fate of those who die free from personal mortal sin, but in original sin, see LIMBO ( limbus parvulorum ).

The existence of hell is, of course, denied by all those who deny the existence of God or the immortality of the soul. Thus among the Jew the Sadducees, among the Gnostics, the Seleucians, and in our own time Materialists, Pantheists, etc., deny the existence of hell. But apart from these, if we abstract from the eternity of the pains of hell, the doctrine has never met any opposition worthy of mention.

The existence of hell is proved first of all from the Bible . Wherever Christ and the Apostles speak of hell they presuppose the knowledge of its existence ( Matthew 5:29 ; 8:12 ; 10:28 ; 13:42 ; 25:41, 46 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ; Revelation 21:8 , etc.). A very complete development of the Scriptural argument, especially in regard to the Old Testament , may be found in Atzberger's "Die christliche Eschatologie in den Stadien ihrer Offenbarung im Alten und Neuen Testament", Freiburg, 1890. Also the Fathers, from the very earliest times, are unanimous in teaching that the wicked will be punished after death. And in proof of their doctrine they appeal both to Scripture and to reason (cf. Ignatius, "Ad Eph.", v, 16; "Martyrium s. Polycarpi", ii, n, 3; xi, n.2; Justin, "Apol.", II, n. 8 in P.G., VI, 458; Athenagoras, "De resurr. mort.", c. xix, in P.G., VI, 1011; Irenaeus, "Adv. haer.", V, xxvii, n. 2 in P.G. VII, 1196; Tertullian, "Adv. Marc.", I, c. xxvi, in P.L., IV, 277). For citations from this patristic teaching see Atzberger, "Gesh. der christl. Eschatologie innerhalb der vornicanischen Zeit" (Freiburg, 1896); Petavius, "De Angelis", III, iv sqq.

The Church professes her faith in the Athanasian Creed : "They that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire" ( Denzinger, "Enchiridion", 10th ed., 1908, n.40). The Church has repeatedly defined this truth, e.g. in the profession of faith made in the Second Council of Lyons (Denx., n. 464) and in the Decree of Union in the Council of Florence (Denz., N. 693): "the souls of those who depart in mortal sin, or only in original sin, go down immediately into hell, to be visited, however, with unequal punishments" ( poenis disparibus ).

If we abstract from the eternity of its punishment, the existence of hell can be demonstrated even by the light of mere reason. In His sanctity and justice as well as in His wisdom, God must avenge the violation of the moral order in such wise as to preserve, at least in general, some proportion between the gravity of sin and the severity of punishment. But it is evident from experience that God does not always do this on earth; therefore He will inflict punishment after death. Moreover, if all men were fully convinced that the sinner need fear no kind of punishment after death, moral and social order would be seriously menaced. This, however, Divine wisdom cannot permit. Again, if there were no retribution beyond that which takes place before our eyes here on earth, we should have to consider God extremely indifferent to good and evil, and we could in no way account for His justice and holiness. Nor can it be said: the wicked will be punished, but not by any positive infliction: for either death will be the end of their existence, or, forfeiting the rich reward of the good, they will enjoy some lesser degree of happiness. These are arbitrary and vain subterfuges, unsupported by any sound reason ; positive punishment is the natural recompense of evil. Besides, due proportion between demerit and punishment would be rendered impossible by an indiscriminate annihilation of all the wicked. And finally, if men knew that their sins would not be followed by sufferings, the mere threat of annihilation at the moment of death, and still less the prospect of a somewhat lower degree of beatitude, would not suffice to deter them from sin.

Furthermore, reason easily understands that in the next life the just will be made happy as a reward of their virtue ( see HEAVEN ). But the punishment of evil is the natural counterpart of the reward of virtue. Hence, there will also be punishment for sin in the next life. Accordingly, we find among all nations the belief that evil-doers will be punished after death. This universal conviction of mankind is an additional proof for the existence of hell. For it is impossible that, in regard to the fundamental questions of their being and their destiny, all men should fall into the same error ; else the power of human reason would be essentially deficient, and the order of this world would be unduly wrapt in mystery ; this however, is repugnant both to nature and to the wisdom of the Creator. On the belief of all nations in the existence of hell cf. Lüken, "Die Traditionen des Menschengeschlechts" (2nd ed., Münster, 1869); Knabenbauer, "Das Zeugnis des Menschengeschlechts fur die Unsterblichkeit der Seele" (1878). The few men who, despite the morally universal conviction of the human race, deny the existence of hell, are mostly atheists and Epicureans. But if the view of such men in the fundamental question of our being could be the true one, apostasy would be the way to light, truth, and wisdom.

III. ETERNITY OF HELL

Many admit the existence of hell, but deny the eternity of its punishment. Conditionalists hold only a hypothetical immortality of the soul, and assert that after undergoing a certain amount of punishment, the souls of the wicked will be annihilated. Among the Gnostics the Valentinians held this doctrine, and later on also Arnobius, the Socinians, many Protestants both in the past and in our own times, especially of late (Edw. White, "Life in Christ", New York, 1877). The Universalists teach that in the end all the damned, at least all human souls, will attain beatitude ( apokatastasis ton panton , restitutio omnium , according to Origen ). This was a tenet of the Origenists and the Misericordes of whom St. Augustine speaks (De Civ. Dei, XXI, xviii, n. 1, in P.L., XLI, 732). There were individual adherents of this opinion in every century, e.g. Scotus Eriugena; in particular, many rationalistic Protestants of the last centuries defended this belief, e.g. in England, Farrar, "Eternal Hope" (five sermons preached in Westminster Abbey, London and New York, 1878). Among Catholics, Hirscher and Schell have recently expressed the opinion that those who do not die in the state of grace can still be converted after death if they are not too wicked and impenitent.

The Holy Bible is quite explicit in teaching the eternity of the pains of hell. The torments of the damned shall last forever and ever ( Revelation 14:11 ; 19:3 ; 20:10 ). They are everlasting just as are the joys of heaven ( Matthew 25:46 ). Of Judas Christ says: "it were better for him, if that man had not been born" ( Matthew 26:24 ). But this would not have been true if Judas was ever to be released from hell and admitted to eternal happiness . Again, God says of the damned: "Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched" ( Isaiah 66:24 ; Mark 9:43, 45, 47 ). The fire of hell is repeatedly called eternal and unquenchable. The wrath of God abideth on the damned ( John 3:36 ); they are vessels of Divine wrath ( Romans 9:22 ); they shall not possess the Kingdom of God ( 1 Corinthians 6:10 ; Galatians 5:21 ), etc. The objections adduced from Scripture against this doctrine are so meaningless that they are not worth while discussing in detail. The teaching of the fathers is not less clear and decisive (cf. Patavius, "De Angelis", III, viii). We merely call to mind the testimony of the martyrs who often declared that they were glad to suffer pain of brief duration in order to escape eternal torments; e.g. "Martyrium Polycarpi", c. ii (cf. Atzberger, "Geschichte", II, 612 sqq.). It is true that Origen fell into error on this point; but precisely for this error he was condemned by the Church (Canones adv. Origenem ex Justiniani libro adv. Origen., can. ix; Hardouin, III, 279 E; Denz., n. 211). In vain attempts were made to undermine the authority of these canons (cf. Dickamp, "Die origenistischen Streitigkeiten", Münster, 1899, 137). Besides even in Origen we find the orthodox teaching on the eternity of the pains of hell; for in his words the faithful Christian was again and again victorious over the doubting philosopher. Gregory of Nyssa seems to have favoured the errors of Origen ; many, however, believe that his statements can be shown to be in harmony with Catholic doctrine . But the suspicions that have been cast on some passages of Gregory of Nazianzus and Jerome are decidedly without justification (cf. Pesch, "Theologische Zeitfragen", 2nd series, 190 sqq.). The Church professes her faith in the eternity of the pains of hell in clear terms in the Athanasian Creed (Denz., nn. 40), in authentic doctrinal decisions (Denz, nn. 211, 410, 429, 807, 835, 915), and in countless passages of her liturgy ; she never prays for the damned. Hence, beyond the possibility of doubt, the Church expressly teaches the eternity of the pains of hell as a truth of faith which no one can deny or call in question without manifest heresy.

But what is the attitude of mere reason towards this doctrine ? Just as God must appoint some fixed term for the time of trial, after which the just will enter into the secure possession of a happiness that can never again be lost in all eternity, so it is likewise appropriate that after the expiration of that term the wicked will be cut off from all hope of conversion and happiness. For the malice of men cannot compel God to prolong the appointed time of probation and to grant them again and again, without end, the power of deciding their lot for eternity. Any obligation to act in this manner would be unworthy of God, because it would make Him dependent on the caprice of human malice, would rob His threats in great part of their efficacy, and would offer the amplest scope and the strongest incentive to human presumption. God has actually appointed the end of this present life, or the moment of death, as the term of man's probation. For in that moment there takes place in our life an essential and momentous change; from the state of union with the body the soul passes into a life apart. No other sharply defined instant of our life is of like importance. Hence we must conclude that death is the end of our probation; for it is meet that our trial should terminate at a moment of our existence so prominent and significant as to be easily perceived by every man. Accordingly, it is the belief of all people that eternal retribution is dealt out immediately after death. This conviction of mankind is an additional proof of our thesis.

Finally, the preservation of moral and social order would not be sufficiently provided for, if men knew that the time of trial were to be continued after death.

Many believe that reason cannot give any conclusive proof for the eternity of the pains of hell, but that it can merely show that this doctrine does not involve any contradiction. Since the Church has made no decision on this point, each one is entirely free to embrace this opinion. As is apparent, the author of this article does not hold it. We admit that God might have extended the time of trial beyond death; however, had He done so, He would have permitted man to know about it, and would have made corresponding provision for the maintenance of moral order in this life. We may further admit that it is not intrinsically impossible for God to annihilate the sinner after some definite amount of punishment; but this would be less in conformity with the nature of man's immortal soul ; and, secondly, we know of no fact that might give us any right to suppose God will act in such a manner.

The objection is made that there is no proportion between the brief moment of sin and an eternal punishment. But why not? We certainly admit a proportion between a momentary good deed and its eternal reward, not, it is true, a proportion of duration, but a proportion between the law and its appropriate sanction. Again, sin is an offence against the infinite authority of God, and the sinner is in some way aware of this, though but imperfectly. Accordingly there is in sin an approximation to infinite malice which deserves an eternal punishment. Finally, it must be remembered that, although the act of sinning is brief, the guilt of sin remains forever; for in the next life the sinner never turns away from his sin by a sincere conversion. It is further objected that the sole object of punishment must be to reform the evil-doer. This is not true. Besides punishments inflicted for correction, there are also punishments for the satisfaction of justice. But justice demands that whoever departs from the right way in his search for happiness shall not find his happiness, but lose it. The eternity of the pains of hell responds to this demand for justice. And, besides, the fear of hell does really deter many from sin ; and thus, in as far as it is threatened by God, eternal punishment also serves for the reform of morals. But if God threatens man with the pains of hell, He must also carry out His threat if man does not heed it by avoiding sin.

For solving other objections it should be noted:

  • God is not only infinitely good, He is infinitely wise, just, and holy.
  • No one is cast into hell unless he has fully and entirely deserved it.
  • The sinner perseveres forever in his evil disposition.
  • We must not consider the eternal punishment of hell as a series of separate of distinct terms of punishment, as if God were forever again and again pronouncing a new sentence and inflicting new penalties, and as if He could never satisfy His desire of vengeance. Hell is, especially in the eyes of God, one and indivisible in its entirety; it is but one sentence and one penalty. We may represent to ourselves a punishment of indescribable intensity as in a certain sense the equivalent of an eternal punishment; this may help us to see better how God permits the sinner to fall into hell -- how a man who sets at naught all Divine warnings, who fails to profit by all the patient forbearance God has shown him, and who in wanton disobedience is absolutely bent on rushing into eternal punishment, can be finally permitted by God's just indignation to fall into hell.
In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of I Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted. If this be true, how can the Church pray in the Offertory of the Mass for the dead: "Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu" etc.? Many think the Church uses these words to designate purgatory. They can be explained more readily, however, if we take into consideration the peculiar spirit of the Church's liturgy ; sometimes she refers her prayers not to the time at which they are said, but to the time for which they are said. Thus the offertory in question is referred to the moment when the soul is about to leave the body, although it is actually said some time after that moment; and as if he were actually at the death-beds of the faithful, the priest implores God to preserve their souls from hell. But whichever explanation be preferred, this much remains certain, that in saying that offertory the Church intends to implore only those graces which the soul is still capable of receiving, namely, the grace of a happy death or the release from purgatory.

IV. IMPENITENCE OF THE DAMNED

The damned are confirmed in evil ; every act of their will is evil and inspired by hatred of God. This is the common teaching of theology ; St. Thomas sets it forth in many passages. Nevertheless, some have held the opinion that, although the damned cannot perform any supernatural action, they are still able to perform, now and then, some naturally good deed; thus far the Church has not condemned this opinion. The author of this article maintains that the common teaching is the true one; for in hell the separation from the sanctifying power of Divine love is complete. Many assert that this inability to do good works is physical, and assign the withholding of all grace as its proximate cause; in doing so, they take the term grace in its widest meaning, i.e. every Divine co-operation both in natural and in supernatural good actions. The damned, then, can never choose between acting out of love of God and virtue, and acting out of hatred of God. Hatred is the only motive in their power; and they have no other choice than that of showing their hatred of God by one evil action in preference to another. The last and the real cause of their impenitence is the state of sin which they freely chose as their portion on earth and in which they passed, unconverted, into the next life and into that state of permanence ( status termini ) by nature due to rational creatures, and to an unchangeable attitude of mind. Quite in consonance with their final state, God grants them only such cooperation as corresponds to the attitude which they freely chose as their own in this life. Hence the damned can but hate God and work evil, whilst the just in heaven or in purgatory, being inspired solely by love of God, can but do good. Therefore, too, the works of the reprobate, in as far as they are inspired by hatred of God, are not formal, but only material sins, because they are performed without the liberty requisite for moral imputability. Formal sin the reprobate commits then only, when, from among several actions in his power, he deliberately chooses that which contains the greater malice. By such formal sins the damned do not incur any essential increase of punishment, because in that final state the very possibility and Divine permission of sin are in themselves a punishment; and, moreover, a sanction of the moral law would be quite meaningless.

From what has been said it follows that the hatred which the lost soul bears to God is voluntary in its cause only; and the cause is the deliberate sin which it committed on earth and by which it merited reprobation. It is also obvious that God is not responsible for the reprobate's material sins of hate, because by granting His co-operation in their sinful acts as well as by refusing them every incitement to good, He acts quite in accordance with the nature of their state. Therefore their sins are no more imputable to God than are the blasphemies of a man in the state of total intoxication, although they are not uttered without Divine assistance. The reprobate carries in himself the primary cause of impenitence; it is the guilt of sin which he committed on earth and with which he passed into eternity. The proximate cause of impenitence in hell is God's refusal of every grace and every impulse for good. It would not be intrinsically impossible for God to move the damned to repentance; yet such a course would be out of keeping with the state of final reprobation. The opinion that the Divine refusal of all grace and of every incitement to good is the proximate cause of impenitence, is upheld by many theologians, and in particular by Molina. Francisco Suárez considers it probable. Scotus and Vasquez hold similar views. Even the Fathers and St. Thomas may be understood in this sense. Thus St. Thomas teaches (De verit., Q. xxiv, a.10) that the chief cause of impenitence is Divine justice which refuses the damned every grace. Nevertheless many theologians, e.g. Francisco Suárez, defend the opinion that the damned are only morally incapable of good; they have the physical power, but the difficulties in their way are so great that they can never be surmounted. The damned can never divert their attention from their frightful torments, and at the same time they know that all hope is lost to them. Hence despair and hatred of God, their just Judge, is almost inevitable, and even the slightest good impulse becomes morally impossible. The Church has not decided this question. The present author prefers Molina's opinion.

But if the damned are impenitent, how can Scripture ( Wisdom 5 ) say they repent of their sin ? They deplore with the utmost intensity the punishment, but not the malice of sin ; to this they cling more tenaciously than ever. Had they an opportunity, they would commit the sin again, not indeed for the sake of its gratification, which they found illusive, but out of sheer hatred of God. They are ashamed of their folly which led them to seek happiness in sin, but not of the malice of sin itself (St. Thomas, Theol. comp., c. cxxv).

V. POENA DAMNI

The poena damni , or pain of loss, consists in the loss of the beatific vision and in so complete a separation of all the powers of the soul from God that it cannot find in Him even the least peace and rest. It is accompanied by the loss of all supernatural gifts, e.g. the loss of faith. The characters impressed by the sacraments alone remain to the greater confusion of the bearer. The pain of loss is not the mere absence of superior bliss, but it is also a most intense positive pain. The utter void of the soul made for the enjoyment of infinite truth and infinite goodness causes the reprobate immeasurable anguish. Their consciousness that God, on Whom they entirely depend, is their enemy forever is overwhelming. Their consciousness of having by their own deliberate folly forfeited the highest blessings for transitory and delusive pleasures humiliates and depresses them beyond measure. The desire for happiness inherent in their very nature, wholly unsatisfied and no longer able to find any compensation for the loss of God in delusive pleasure, renders them utterly miserable. Moreover, they are well aware that God is infinitely happy, and hence their hatred and their impotent desire to injure Him fills them with extreme bitterness. And the same is true with regard to their hatred of all the friends of God who enjoy the bliss of heaven. The pain of loss is the very core of eternal punishment. If the damned beheld God face to face, hell itself, notwithstanding its fire, would be a kind of heaven. Had they but some union with God even if not precisely the union of the beatific vision, hell would no longer be hell, but a kind of purgatory. And yet the pain of loss is but the natural consequence of that aversion from God which lies in the nature of every mortal sin.

VI. POENA SENSUS

The poena sensus , or pain of sense, consists in the torment of fire so frequently mentioned in the Holy Bible . According to the greater number of theologians the term fire denotes a material fire, and so a real fire. We hold to this teaching as absolutely true and correct. However, we must not forget two things: from Catharinus (d. 1553) to our times there have never been wanting theologians who interpret the Scriptural term fire metaphorically, as denoting an incorporeal fire; and secondly, thus far the Church has not censured their opinion. Some few of the Fathers also thought of a metaphorical explanation. Nevertheless, Scripture and tradition speak again and again of the fire of hell, and there is no sufficient reason for taking the term as a mere metaphor. It is urged: How can a material fire torment demons, or human souls before the resurrection of the body ? But, if our soul is so joined to the body as to be keenly sensitive to the pain of fire, why should the omnipotent God be unable to bind even pure spirits to some material substance in such a manner that they suffer a torment more or less similar to the pain of fire which the soul can feel on earth? The reply indicates, as far as possible, how we may form an idea of the pain of fire which the demons suffer. Theologians have elaborated various theories on this subject, which, however, we do not wish to detail here (cf. the very minute study by Franz Schmid, "Quaestiones selectae ex theol. dogm.", Paderborn, 1891, q. iii; also Guthberlet, "Die poena sensus" in "Katholik", II, 1901, 305 sqq., 385 sqq.).

It is quite superfluous to add that the nature of hell-fire is different from that of our ordinary fire; for instance, it continues to burn without the need of a continually renewed supply of fuel. How are we to form a conception of that fire in detail remains quite undetermined; we merely know that it is corporeal. The demons suffer the torment of fire, even when, by Divine permission, they leave the confines of hell and roam about on earth. In what manner this happens is uncertain. We may assume that they remain fettered inseparably to a portion of that fire.

The pain of sense is the natural consequence of that inordinate turning to creatures which is involved in every mortal sin. It is meet that whoever seeks forbidden pleasure should find pain in return. (Cf. Heuse, "Das Feuer der Hölle" in "Katholik", II, 1878, 225 sqq., 337 sqq., 486 sqq., 581 sqq.; "Etudes religieuses", L, 1890, II, 309, report of an answer of the Poenitentiaria, 30 April, 1890; Knabenbauer, "In Matth., xxv, 41".)

VII. ACCIDENTAL PAINS OF THE DAMNED

According to theologians the pain of loss and the pain of sense constitute the very essence of hell, the former being by far the most dreadful part of eternal punishment. But the damned also suffer various "accidental" punishments.

  • Just as the blessed in heaven are free from all pain, so, on the other hand, the damned never experience even the least real pleasure. In hell separation from the blissful influence of Divine love has reached its consummation.
  • The reprobate must live in the midst of the damned; and their outbursts of hatred or of reproach as they gloat over his sufferings, and their hideous presence, are an ever fresh source of torment.
  • The reunion of soul and body after the Resurrection will be a special punishment for the reprobate, although there will be no essential change in the pain of sense which they are already suffering.

As to the punishments visited upon the damned for their venial sins, cf. Francisco Suárez, "De peccatis", disp. vii, s. 4.

VIII. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PAINS OF HELL

(1) The pains of hell differ in degree according to demerit. This holds true not only of the pain of sense, but also of the pain of loss. A more intense hatred of God, a more vivid consciousness of utter abandonment by Divine goodness, a more restless craving to satisfy the natural desire for beatitude with things external to God, a more acute sense of shame and confusion at the folly of having sought happiness in earthly enjoyment -- all this implies as its correlation a more complete and more painful separation from God.

(2) The pains of hell are essentially immutable; there are no temporary intermissions or passing alleviations. A few Fathers and theologians, in particular the poet Prudentius, expressed the opinion that on stated days God grants the damned a certain respite, and that besides this the prayers of the faithful obtain for them other occasional intervals of rest. The Church has never condemned this opinion in express terms. But now theologians are justly unanimous in rejecting it. St. Thomas condemns it severely (In IV Sent., dist. xlv, Q. xxix, cl.1). [Cf. Merkle, "Die Sabbatruhe in der Hölle" in "Romische Quartalschrift" (1895), 489 sqq.; see also Prudentius.]

However, accidental changes in the pains of hell are not excluded. Thus it may be that the reprobate is sometimes more and sometimes less tormented by his surroundings. Especially after the last judgment there will be an accidental increase in punishment; for then the demons will never again be permitted to leave the confines of hell, but will be finally imprisoned for all eternity ; and the reprobate souls of men will be tormented by union with their hideous bodies.

(3) Hell is a state of the greatest and most complete misfortune, as is evident from all that has been said. The damned have no joy whatever, and it were better for them if they had not been born ( Matthew 26:24 ). Not long ago Mivart (The Nineteenth Century, Dec., 1892, Febr. and Apr., 1893) advocated the opinion that the pains of the damned would decrease with time and that in the end their lot would not be so extremely sad; that they would finally reach a certain kind of happiness and would prefer existence to annihilation; and although they would still continue to suffer a punishment symbolically described as a fire by the Bible , yet they would hate God no longer, and the most unfortunate among them be happier than many a pauper in this life. It is quite obvious that all this is opposed to Scripture and the teaching of the Church. The articles cited were condemned by the Congregation of the Index and the Holy Office on 14 and 19 July, 1893 (cf. "Civiltà Cattolia", I, 1893, 672).

More Volume: H 539

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Hédelin, François

Grammarian, poet, preacher, archeologist, philologist. Born at Paris, 4 August, 1604; died at ...

Hélinand

A celebrated medieval poet, chronicler, and ecclesiastical writer; born of Flemish parents ...

Hélyot, Pierre

(Usually known as HIPPOLYTE, his name in religion ) Born at Paris, in 1660; died there 5 ...

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1

Hôpital, Guillaume-François-Antoine de L'

Marquis de Sainte-Mesme and Comte d'Entremont, French mathematician; b. at Paris, 1661; d. at ...

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1

Höfler, Konstantin von

An historian; born at Memmingen, Bavaria, 26 March, 1811; died at Prague, 29 December, 1898. ...

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Hübner, Count Alexander

An Austrian statesman, born 26 Nov., 1811; died 30 July, 1892. He was educated at Vienna, and ...

Hüffer, Hermann

An historian and jurist; born 24 March, 1830, at Münster in Westphalia ; died at Bonn, 15 ...

Hülshoff, Annette Elisabeth von

(DROSTE-HÜLSHOFF) A poetess; born at Schloss Hülshoff near Münster in ...

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Ha 119

Haüy, René-Just

Mineralogist; b. at Saint-Just (Oise), 28 Feb., 1743; d. at Paris, 3 June, 1822. His father was a ...

Haüy, Valentin

Founder of the first school for the blind, and known under the endearing name of "Father and ...

Haarlem

DIOCESE OF HAARLEM (HARLEMENSIS). One of the suffragan sees of the Archdiocese of Utrecht ...

Habacuc

The eighth of the Minor Prophets, who probably flourished towards the end of the seventh century ...

Habakkuk

The eighth of the Minor Prophets, who probably flourished towards the end of the seventh century ...

Haberl, Francis Xavier

An historian of sacred music, editor, born at Oberellenbach, Lower Bavaria, 12 April, 1840; died ...

Habington, William

Poet and historian; born at Hindlip, Worcestershire, 1605; died 1654; son of Thomas Habington ...

Habit

Habit is an effect of repeated acts and an aptitude to reproduce them, and may be defined as "a ...

Habor River

[Hebrew habhor ; Septuagint 'A Bwr : 2 Kings 17:6 , 'A Biwr : 2 Kings 18:11 ; X aBwr : ...

Haceldama

Haceldama is the name given by the people to the potter's field, purchased with the price of the ...

Hadewych, Blessed

(HADEWIG, HEDWIG). Prioress of the Premonstratensian convent of Mehre (Meer), near ...

Hadrian

Martyr, died about the year 306. The Christians of Constantinople venerated the grave of this ...

Hadrian, Publius Ælius

Emperor of the Romans; born 24 January, A. D. 76 at Rome ; died 10 July, 138. He married his ...

Hadrumetum

(ADRUMETUM, also ADRUMETUS). A titular see of Byzacena. Hadrumetum was a Phoenician colony ...

Haeften, Benedict van

(Haeftenus). Benedictine writer, provost of the Monastery of Afflighem, Belgium ; born at ...

Hagen, Gottfried

Gottfried Hagen, town clerk of Cologne, and author of the Cologne "Reimchronik" (rhymed ...

Haggai

Name and personal life Aggeus, the tenth among the minor prophets of the Old Testament, is ...

Haggith

This is the ordinary form of the name in the English Bible ; it corresponds better to the ...

Hagiography

The name given to that branch of learning which has the saints and their worship for its object. ...

Hague, The

(French LA HAYE; Dutch 's GRAVENHAGE, "the Count's Park"; Latin HAGA COMITIS) Capital and ...

Hahn-Hahn, Ida

Countess, convert and authoress, born 22 June, 1805; died 12 January, 1880. She was descended ...

Haid, Herenaus

Catechist, born in the Diocese of Ratisbon , 16 February, 1784; died 7 January, 1873. His ...

Hail Holy Queen

The opening words (used as a title) of the most celebrated of the four Breviary anthems of the ...

Hail Mary

The Hail Mary (sometimes called the "Angelical salutation", sometimes, from the first words in its ...

Haimhausen, Karl von

(Corrupt form of Aymausen .) German missionary; b. at Munich, of a noble Bavarian family, ...

Hair (in Christian Antiquity)

The subject of this article is so extensive that there can be no attempt to describe the types of ...

Hairshirt

(Latin cilicium ; French cilice ). A garment of rough cloth made from goats' hair and ...

Haiti

( Spanish Santo Domingo, Hispaniola .) An island of the Greater Antilles. I. STATISTICS ...

Haito

(HATTO). Bishop of Basle; b. in 763, of a noble family of Swabia; d. 17 March, 836, in the ...

Hakodate

Situated between 138º and 157º E. long., and between 37º and 52º N. lat., ...

Hakon the Good

King of Norway, 935 (936) to 960 (961), youngest child of King Harold Fair Hair and Thora ...

Halicarnassus

A titular see of Caria, suffragan of Stauropolis. It was a colony from Trœzen in ...

Halifax

(HALIFAXIENSIS) This see takes its name from the city of Halifax which has been the seat of ...

Hallahan, Margaret

Foundress of the Dominican Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena (third order); b. in London, ...

Haller, Karl Ludwig von

A professor of constitutional law, b. 1 August, 1768, at Berne, d. 21 May, 1854, at Solothurn, ...

Hallerstein, August

(Or Hallerstein). Jesuit missionary in China, born in Germany, died in China, probably about ...

Halloween

[ The vigil of this feast is popularly called "Hallowe'en" or "Halloween".] Solemnity ...

Halloy, Jean-Baptiste-Julien D'Omalius

Belgian geologist, b. at Liège, Belgium, 16 February, 1783; d. at Brussels, 15 January, ...

Halma, Nicholas

French mathematician; born at Sedan, 31 December, 1755; died at Paris, 4 June, 1828. He was ...

Ham, Hamites

I. CHAM ( A.V. Ham). Son of Noah and progenitor of one of the three great races of men whose ...

Hamar, Ancient See of

(HAMARCOPIA; HAMARENSIS). Hamar in Norway, embraced Hedemarken and Christians Amt, and was ...

Hamatha

(AMATHA). A titular see of Syria Secunda, suffragan of Apamea. Hamath was the capital of a ...

Hambley, Ven. John

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

Hamburg

A city supposed to be identical with the Marionis of Ptolemy, was founded by a colony of fishermen ...

Hamilton, John

Archbishop of St. Andrews; b. 1511; d. at Stirling, 1571; a natural son of James, first Earl of ...

Hamilton, Ontario, Diocese of

(Hamiltonensis). Located in Ontario, Canada ; a suffragan of Toronto. It comprises the counties ...

Hammer-Purgstall, Joseph, Baron von

A distinguished Austrian Orientalist ; b. at Graz, 9 June, 1774; d. at Vienna, 23 November, ...

Hammurabi

( Ha-am-mu-ra-bi ) The sixth king of the first Babylonian dynasty; well known for over ...

Hamsted, Adrian

Founder of the sect of Adrianists; born at Dordrecht, 1524; died at Bruges, 1581. We know ...

Haneberg, Daniel Bonifacius von

A distinguished German prelate and Orientalist of the nineteenth century, b. At Tanne near ...

Hanover

The former Kingdom of Hanover has been a province of the Prussian monarchy since 20 September, ...

Hanse, Blessed Everald

Martyr ; b. in Northamptonshire; executed 31 July, 1581. He was educated at Cambridge, and was ...

Hansiz, Markus

Historian, b. at Volkermarkt, Carinthia, Austria, 25 April, 1683; d. at Vienna, 5 September, ...

Hanthaler, Chrysostomus

(JOHANNES ADAM.) A Cistercian, historical investigator and writer; b. at Marenbach, Austria, ...

Hanxleden, Johann Ernest

Jesuit missionary in the East Indies: b. at Ostercappeln, near Osnabrück, in Hanover, ...

Happiness

( French bonheur ; German Glück ; Latin felicitas ; Greek eutychia, eudaimonia ). ...

Haraldson, Saint Olaf

Martyr and King of Norway (1015-30), b. 995; d. 29 July, 1030. He was a son of King Harald ...

Harbor Grace

(Portus Gratiæ) Diocese in Newfoundland, erected in 1856. It comprises all the northern ...

Hardee, William J.

Soldier, convert, b. at Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. 1817, d. at Wytheville, Virginia, 6 Nov., ...

Hardey, Mary Aloysia

Of the Society of the Sacred Heart, who established all the convents of her order, up to the ...

Harding, St. Stephen

Confessor, the third Abbot of Cîteaux, was born at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, England, ...

Harding, Thomas

Controversialist; b. at Combe Martin, Devon, 1516 d. at Louvain, Sept., 1572. The registers of ...

Hardman, Mary Juliana

Known in religion as Sister Mary; b. 26 April, 1813; d. 24 March, 1884; was the daughter of John ...

Hardouin, Jean

Jesuit, and historian; b. at Quimper, Brittany, 23 Dec., 1646, son of a bookseller of that town; ...

Hardyng, John

An English chronicler; b. 1378; d. about 1460. He was of northern parentage and entered the ...

Hare Indians

A Déné tribe which shares with the Loucheux the distinction of being the ...

Harland, Henry

Novelist, b. of New England parentage, at St. Petersburg, 1 Mar., 1861; d. at San Remo, 20 Dec., ...

Harlay, Family of

An important family of parliamentarians and bishops, who deserve a place in religious ...

Harlez de Deulin, Charles-Joseph de

A Belgian Orientalist, domestic prelate, canon of the cathedral of Liège, member of the ...

Harmony

(Greek, harmonia ; Latin, harmonia ) A concord of sounds, several tones of different ...

Harney

(1) William Selby Harney Soldier, convert ; b. near Haysboro, Tennessee, U.S.A. 27 August, ...

Harold Bluetooth

(B LAATAND ) Born 911; died 1 November, 985 or 986. He was the son of King Gorm the Old of ...

Harold, Francis

Irish Franciscan and historical writer, d. at Rome, 18 March, 1685. He was for some time ...

Harpasa

A titular see of Caria, suffragan of Stauropolis. Nothing is known of the history of this ...

Harper, Thomas Morton

Priest, philosopher, theologian and preacher. Born in London 26 Sept., 1821, of Anglican ...

Harrington, Ven. William

English martyr ; b. 1566; d. 18 February, 1594. His father had entertained Campion at the ...

Harris, Joel Chandler

Folklorist, novelist, poet, journalist; born at Eatonton, Georgia, U.S.A. 1848; died at Atlanta, ...

Harrisburg

(Harrisburgensis.) Established 1868, comprises the Counties of Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, ...

Harrison, James

Priest and martyr ; b. in the Diocese of Lichfield, England, date unknown; d. at York, 22 ...

Harrison, William

Third and last archpriest of England, b. in Derbyshire in 1553; d. 11 May, 1621. He was ...

Harrowing of Hell

This is the Old English and Middle English term for the triumphant descent of Christ into hell ...

Hart, William

Born at Wells, 1558; suffered at York, 15 March, 1583. Elected Trappes Scholar at Lincoln ...

Hartford

Diocese of Hartford, established by Gregory XVI, 18 Sept., 1843. When erected it embraced the ...

Hartley, Ven. William

Martyr ; b. at Wyn, in Derbyshire, England, of a yeoman family about 1557; d. 5 October, 1588. ...

Hartmann von Aue

A Middle High German epic poet and minnesinger; died between 1210 and 1220. Little is known ...

Hartmann, Georg

Mechanician and physicist ; b. at Eckoltsheim, Bavaria, 9 Feb. 1489; d. at Nuremberg, 9 ...

Hasak, Vincenz

Historian, b. at Neustadt, near Friedland, Bohemia, 18 July, 1812; d. 1 September, 1889, as ...

Haschka, Lorenz Leopold

A poet-author of the Austrian national anthem; b. at Vienna, 1 Sept. 1749, d. there 3 Aug., ...

Haspinger, Johann Simon

A Tyrolese priest and patriot ; b. at Gries, Tyrol, 28 October, 1776; d. in the imperial palace ...

Hassard, John Rose Greene

An editor, historian; b. in New York, U.S.A. 4 September, 1836; d. in that city, 18 April, 1888. ...

Hasslacher, Peter

Preacher; b. at Coblenz, 14 August, 1810; d. at Paris, 5 July, 1876. He was one of that band of ...

Hatred

Hatred in general is a vehement aversion entertained by one person for another, or for ...

Hatto

Archbishop of Mainz ; b. of a noble Swabian family, c. 850; d. 15 May, 913. He was educated at ...

Hatton, Edward Anthony

Dominican, apologist ; b. in 1701; d. at Stourton Lodge, near Leeds, Yorkshire, 23 October, ...

Hauara

A titular see of Palestina Tertia, suffragan of Petra. Peutinger's map locates a place of ...

Haudriettes

A religious congregation founded in Paris early in the fourteenth century by Jeanne, wife of ...

Haughery, Margaret

Margaret Haughery, "the mother of the orphans ", as she was familiarly styled, b. in Cavan, ...

Hauréau, Jean-Barthélemy

Historian and publicist; b. at Paris, 1812; d. there, 1896. He was educated at the Louis le Grand ...

Hautecombe

(Altacomba, Altæcombæum) A Cistercian monastery near Aix-les-Bains in Savoy, ...

Hautefeuille, Jean de

French physicist, b. at Orléans, 20 March, 1647; d. there, 18 October, 1724. He was the ...

Hautefeuille, Jean de

French physicist, b. at Orléans, 20 March, 1647; d. there, 18 October, 1724. He was the ...

Hauteserre

(ALTESERRA). Antoine Dadin d'Hauteserre Born 1602, died 1682; a distinguished French historian ...

Hauzeur, Mathias

A Franciscan theologian, b. at Verviers, 1589; d. at Liège 12 November, 1676, for many ...

Havana

Diocese of Havana (San Cristóbal de la Habana) — Avanensis The city of Havana is ...

Havestadt, Bernhard

German Jesuit ; b. at Cologne, 27 February, 1714; died at Münster after 1778. He entered ...

Hawarden, Edward

(HARDEN). Theologian and controversialist, b. in Lancashire, England, 9 April, 1662; d. in ...

Hawes, Stephen

Poet; b. in Suffolk about 1474; d. about 1523. Very little is known of his life. He was educated ...

Hawker, Robert Stephen

Poet and antiquary; b. at Plymouth 3 December, 1803, d. there 15 August, 1875, son of Jacob ...

Hawkins, Sir Henry

Raised to the peerage as Lord Brampton, eminent English lawyer and Judge, b. at Hitchin, ...

Hay, Edmund and John

(1) Edmund Hay Jesuit, and envoy to Mary Queen of Scots, b. 1540?; d. at Rome, 4 Nov., 1591. he ...

Hay, George

Bishop and writer, b. at Edinburgh, 24 Aug., 1729; d. at Aquhorties, 18 Oct., 1811. His parents ...

Haydn, Franz Joseph

Born of staunch Catholic parents at Rohrau, Austria, 1 April, 1732; died at Gumpendorf, Vienna, ...

Haydn, Johann Michael

A younger brother of Franz Joseph Haydn ; born at Rohrau, Austria, 14 September, 1737; died at ...

Haydock, George Leo

Priest and Biblical scholar; b. 11 April, 1774, at Cottam, near Wood Plumpton, Lancashire; d. 29 ...

Haydock, Venerable George

English martyr ; born 1556; executed at Tyburn, 12 February, 1583-84. He was the youngest son of ...

Haymo

( Or Haimo). A Benedictine bishop of the ninth century; d. 26 March, 853. The exact date ...

Haymo of Faversham

English Franciscan and schoolman, b. at Faversham, Kent; d. at Anagni, Itlay, in 1243, according ...

Haynald, Lajos

Cardinal, Archbishop of Kalocsa-Bács in Hungary ; b. at Szécsény, 3 ...

Hazart, Cornelius

Controversialist, orator, and writer, b. 28 October, 1617, at Oudenarde in the Netherlands ; ...

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He 165

Healy, George Peter Alexander

An American portrait and historical painter, b. at Boston, 15 July, 1808; d. at Chicago, 14 June ...

Hearse, Tenebrae

The Tenebræ Hearse is the triangular candlestick used in the Tenebræ service. The ...

Heart of Jesus, Devotion to the

The treatment of this subject is divided into two parts: I. Doctrinal Explanations;II. Historical ...

Heart of Mary, Congregations of

I. Sisters of the Holy Heart of Mary Founded in 1842 at Nancy, by Mgr Menjaud, Bishop of ...

Heart of Mary, Devotion to the

As in the article on Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus , this subject will be considered ...

Heath, Ven. Henry

English Franciscan and martyr, son of John Heath; christened at St. John's, Peterborough, 16 ...

Heaven

This subject will be treated under seven headings: I. Name and Place of Heaven; II. Existence of ...

Hebrew Bible

As compared with the Latin Vulgate , the Hebrew Bible includes the entire Old Testament with ...

Hebrew Language and Literature

Hebrew was the language spoken by the ancient Israelites, and in which were composed nearly all ...

Hebrews, Epistle to the

This will be considered under eight headings: (I) Argument; (II) Doctrinal Contents; (III) ...

Hebrides, New

Vicariate Apostolic in Oceania; comprises the New Hebrides, with Banks and Torres, islands ...

Hebron

( hbrwn, chebrón ) An ancient royal city of Chanaan, famous in biblical history, ...

Hecker, Isaac Thomas

Missionary, author, founder of the Paulists ; b. in New York, 18 December, 1819; d. there, 22 ...

Hedonism

( hedoné, pleasure). The name given to the group of ethical systems that hold, with ...

Hedwig, Saint

Duchess of Silesia, b. about 1174, at the castle of Andechs ; d. at Trebnitz, 12 or 15 ...

Heeney, Cornelius

Merchant and philanthropist; b. in King's County, Ireland, 1754; d. at Brooklyn, U.S.A. 3 May, ...

Heereman von Zuydwyk, Freiherr von

(Clemens Aug. Ant.). Catholic statesman and writer on art, b. 26 Aug., 1832, at Surenburg near ...

Heeswijk

A village in the diocese of Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-Duc), Holland, in which the dispersed ...

Hefele, Karl Joseph von

Bishop of Rottenburg, b. at Unterkochen, Würtemberg, 15 March, 1809; d. at Rottenburg, 5 ...

Hegelianism

(1) Life and Writings of Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born at Stüttgart in 1770; ...

Hegesippus, Saint

(Roman Martyrology, 7 April). A writer of the second century, known to us almost exclusively ...

Hegesippus, The Pseudo-

A fourth-century translator of the "Jewish War" of Flavius Josephus. The name is based on an ...

Hegius, Alexander

Humanist ; b. probably in 1433, at Heeck (Westphalia); d. 7 December, 1498, at Deventer ...

Heidelberg, University of

Heidelberg, a city of 41,000 inhabitants, is situated in the Grand Duchy of Baden, on the left ...

Heiligenkreuz

(SANCTA CRUX). An existing Cistercian monastery in the Wienerwald, eight miles north-west of ...

Heilsbronn

(FONS SALUTIS). Formerly a Cistercian monastery in the Diocese of Eichstätt in Middle ...

Heilsbronn, Monk of

This name indicates the unknown author of some small mystical treatises, written about the ...

Heim, François Joseph

French historical painter, b. near Belfort, 1787, d. in Paris, 1865. This clever painter ...

Heinrich der Glïchezäre

( Glïchezäre , i.e. the hypocrite, in the sense of one who adopts a strange name or ...

Heinrich von Ahaus

(Hendrik van Ahuis) Founder of the Brethren of the Common Life in Germany, b. in 1371, the ...

Heinrich von Laufenberg

A German poet of the fifteenth century, d. at Strasburg in 1460; he was a priest in Freiburg ...

Heinrich von Meissen

Usually called "Frauenlob" (Woman's praise), a Middle High German lyric poet; b. at Meissen ...

Heinrich von Melk

German satirist of the twelfth century; of knightly birth and probably a lay brother in the ...

Heinrich von Veldeke

A medieval German poet of knightly rank; b. near Maastricht in the Netherlands about the ...

Heinz, Joseph

Swiss painter ; b. at Basle, 11 June, 1564; d. near Prague, Bohemia, October, 1609. He appears ...

Heis, Eduard

German astronomer, b. at Cologne, 18 February, 1806; d. at Münster, Westphalia, 30 June, ...

Heisterbach

(Vallis S. Petri). A former Cistercian monastery in the Siebengebirge near the little town ...

Helen of Sköfde, Saint

Martyr in the first half of the twelfth century. Her feast is celebrated 31 July. Her life ...

Helena (Montana)

(Helenensis) Erected from the Vicariate of Montana, 7 March, 1884. It comprises the western ...

Helena, Saint

The mother of Constantine the Great , born about the middle of the third century, possibly in ...

Helenopolis

A titular see of Bithynia Prima, suffragan of Prusa. On the southern side of the Sinus Astacenus ...

Heli

Heli the Judge and High Priest Heli (Heb. ELI, Gr. HELI) was both judge and high-priest, whose ...

Heliae, Paul

(POVL HELGESEN) A Carmelite, opponent of the Reformation in Denmark, born at Warberg (in the ...

Heliand, The

( German Heiland , Saviour) The oldest complete work of German literature . Matthias Flacius ...

Heliogabalus

(E LAGABAL ) The name adopted by Varius Avitus Bassianus, Roman emperor (218-222), born of ...

Hell

This subject is treated under eight headings: (I) Name and Place of Hell; (II) Existence of ...

Hell, Maximilian

(Höll). Astronomer, b. at Schemnitz in Hungary, 15 May, 1720; d. at Vienna, 14 April, ...

Hello, Ernest

French philosopher and essayist, b. at Lorient, Brittany, 4 Nov., 1828; d. at Kéroman, ...

Helmold

A historian, born in the first half of the twelfth century; died about 1177. He was a native of, ...

Helmont, Jan Baptista van

Born at Brussels, 1577; died near Vilvorde, 30 December, 1644. This scientist, distinguished in ...

Helpers of the Holy Souls, Society of the

( Auxiliatrices des Ames du Purgatoire ) A religious order of women founded in Paris, ...

Helpidius, Flavius Rusticius

The name of several Latin writers. It appears in the manuscript of Pomponius Mela and Julius ...

Hemmerlin, Felix

(MALLEOLUS) properly HEMERLI A provost at Solothurn, in Switzerland, born at Zurich, in 1388 ...

Henderson, Issac Austin

Born at Brooklyn, 1850; died in Rome, March, 1909. His family was of Scotch and Irish ...

Hendrick, Thomas Augustine

First American and the twenty-second Bishop of Cebú, Philippine Islands, b. at Penn Yan, ...

Hengler, Lawrence

Catholic priest and the inventor of the horizontal pendulum, b. at Reichenhofen, ...

Hennepin, Louis

One of the most famous explorers in the wilds of North America during the seventeenth century, b. ...

Henoch

(Greek Enoch ). The name of the son of Cain ( Genesis 4:17, 18 ), of a nephew of Abraham ...

Henoch, Book of

The antediluvian patriarch Henoch according to Genesis "walked with God and was seen no more, ...

Henoticon

The story of the Henoticon forms a chapter in that of the Monophysite heresy in the fifth and ...

Henríquez, Crisóstomo

A Cistercian religious of the Spanish Congregation; b. at Madrid, 1594; d. 23 December, 1632, ...

Henríquez, Enrique

Noted Jesuit theologian, b. at Oporto, 1536; d. at Tivoli, 28 January, 1608. At the age of ...

Henri de Saint-Ignace

A Carmelite theologian, b. in 1630, at Ath in Hainaut, Belgium ; d. in 1719 or 1720, near ...

Henrion, Mathieu-Richard-Auguste

Baron, French magistrate, historian, and journalist; b. at Metz, 19 June, 1805; d. at Aix, ...

Henry Abbot

Layman, martyred at York, 4 July, 1597, pronounced Venerable in 1886. His acts are thus related ...

Henry II

King of England, born 1133; died 6 July, 1189; was in his earlier life commonly known as Henry ...

Henry II, Saint

German King and Holy Roman Emperor, son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) and of the Burgundian ...

Henry III

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Conrad II; b. 1017; d. at Bodfeld, in the Harz Mountains, 5 ...

Henry IV

King of France and Navarre, son of Jeanne d'Albret and Antoine de Bourbon, b. 14 December, 1553, ...

Henry IV

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Henry III and Agnes of Poitou, b. at Goslar, 11 November, ...

Henry of Friemar

(DE VRIMARIA) German theologian ; b. at Friemar, a small town near Gotha in Thuringia, about ...

Henry of Ghent

(HENRICUS DE GANDAVO, known as the DOCTOR SOLEMNIS) A notable scholastic philosopher and ...

Henry of Herford

(Or HERWORDEN; HERVORDIA) Friar and chronicler; date of birth unknown; died at Minden, 9 Oct., ...

Henry of Huntingdon

Historian; b. probably near Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, between 1080 and 1085; d. 1155. Little is ...

Henry of Kalkar

(Egher). Carthusian writer, b. at Kalkar in the Duchy of Cleves in 1328; d. at Cologne, 20 ...

Henry of Langenstein

(Henry of Hesse the Elder.) Theologian and mathematician; b. about 1325 at the villa of ...

Henry of Nördlingen

A Bavarian secular priest, of the fourteenth century, date of death unknown; the spiritual ...

Henry of Rebdorf

Alleged author of an imperial and papal chronicle of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is ...

Henry of Segusio, Blessed

Usually called Hostiensis , an Italian canonist of the thirteenth century, born at Susa (in ...

Henry Suso, Blessed

(Also called Amandus , a name adopted in his writings). German mystic, born at Constance on ...

Henry the Navigator, Prince

Born 4 March, 1394; died 13 November, 1460; he was the fourth son of John I, King of Portugal, by ...

Henry V

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Henry IV ; b. in 1081; d. at Utrecht, 23 May, 1125. He ...

Henry VI

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Frederick Barbarossa and Beatrice of Burgundy ; b. in ...

Henry VIII

King of England, born 28 June, 1491; died 28 January, 1547. He was the second son and third ...

Henryson, Robert

Scottish poet, born probably 1420-1430; died about 1500. His birthplace, parentage, and place of ...

Henschen, Godfrey

(Or Henskens .) Jesuit, hagiographer ; b. at Venray (Limburg), 21 June, 1601; d. at ...

Hensel, Luise

Poetess and convert ; born at Linum, 30 March, 1798; died at Paderborn, 18 December, 1876. Her ...

Henten, John

Biblical exegete, born 1499 at Nalinnes Belgium ; died 10 Oct., 1566, at Louvain. When quite ...

Heortology

(From the Greek heorte , festival, and logos , knowledge, discourse) Heortology ...

Hephæstus

A titular see of Augustamnica Prima, mentioned by Hierocles (Synecd., 727, 9), by George of ...

Heptarchy

(A NGLO -S AXON H EPTARCHY ) By the term heptarchy is understood that complexus of ...

Heraclas

Bishop of Alexandria from 231 or 232; to 247 or 248. Of his earlier life Origen tells us, ...

Heraclea

A titular see of Thracia Prima. Heraclea is the name given about four centuries before the ...

Heraldry, Ecclesiastical

Ecclesiastical heraldry naturally divides itself into various branches, principally: the arms of ...

Herbart and Herbartianism

The widespread and increasing influence of Herbart and his disciples in the work of education ...

Herbert of Bosham

A biographer of St. Thomas Becket , dates of birth and death unknown. He was probably born in ...

Herbert of Derwentwater, Saint

(Hereberht). Date of birth unknown; d. 20 March, 687; an anchorite of the seventh century, ...

Herbert of Lea, Lady Elizabeth

Authoress, and philanthropist, b. in 1822; d. in London 30 Oct., 1911. Lady Herbert was the ...

Herbst, Johann Georg

Born at Rottweil, in Würtemberg, 13 January, 1787; died 31 July, 1836. His college course, ...

Herculano de Carvalho e Araujo, Alejandro

Born at Lisbon, 28 March, 1810; died near Santarem, 13 Sept., 1877. Because of his liberal ...

Herder

The name of a German firm of publishers and booksellers. Bartholomäus Herder Founder of the ...

Herdtrich, Christian Wolfgang

(According to Franco, Christianus Henriques ; Chinese, Ngen ). An Austrian Jesuit ...

Heredity

The offspring tends to resemble, sometimes with extraordinary closeness, the parents ; this is ...

Hereford, Ancient Diocese of

(HEREFORDENSIS) Located in England. Though the name of Putta, the exiled Bishop of ...

Hereswitha, Saint

(HAERESVID, HERESWYDE). Daughter of Hereric and Beorhtswith and sister of St. Hilda of Whitby. ...

Heresy

I. Connotation and DefinitionII. Distinctions III. Degrees of heresy IV. Gravity of the sin of ...

Hergenröther, Joseph

Church historian and canonist, first Cardinal-Prefect of the Vatican Archives, b. at ...

Heribert

(ARIBERT) Archbishop of Milan (1018-1045) An ambitious and warlike prince of the ...

Heribert, Saint

Archbishop of Cologne ; born at Worms, c. 970; died at Cologne, 16 March, 1021. His father was ...

Heriger of Lobbes

A medieval theologian and historian; born about 925; died 31 October, 1007. After studying at ...

Herincx, William

A theologian, born at Helmond, North Brabant, 1621; died 17 Aug., 1678. After receiving his ...

Hermann Contractus

(Herimanus Augiensis, Hermann von Reichenau ). Chronicler, mathematician, and poet; b. 18 ...

Hermann I

Landgrave of Thuringia (1190-1217), famous as a patron of medieval German poets. He was the ...

Hermann Joseph, Saint

Premonstratensian monk and mystic; b. at Cologne about 1150; d. at Hoven, 7 April, 1241. ...

Hermann of Altach

(Niederaltaich). A medieval historian; b. 1200 or 1201; d. 31 July, 1275. He received his ...

Hermann of Fritzlar

With this name are connected two works on mysticism written in German. The first, "Das ...

Hermann of Minden

Provincial of the German province of Dominicans ; b. at or near Minden on an unknown date ; d. ...

Hermann of Salza

Fourth Grand Master of the Teutonic Order , descendant of the noble Thuringian house of Salza; ...

Hermanos Penitentes, Los

(The Penitent Brothers), a society of flagellants existing among the Spanish of New Mexico and ...

Hermas

(First or second century), author of the book called "The Shepherd" ( Poimen , Pastor), a work ...

Hermas, Saint

Martyr The Roman Martyrology sets down for 18 August (XV Kal. Septembris) the feast of the ...

Hermeneutics

Derived from a Greek word connected with the name of the god Hermes, the reputed messenger and ...

Hermengild, Saint

Date of birth unknown; d. 13 April, 585. Leovigild, the Arian King of the Visigoths (569-86), ...

Hermes, George

Philosopher and theologian, b. at Dreierwalde near Theine (Westphalia), 22 April, 1775; d. at ...

Hermes, Saint

Martyr, Bishop of Salano (Spalato) in Dalmatia. Very little is known about him; in Romans ...

Hermite, Charles

Born at Dieuze, Lorraine, 24 December, 1822; d. at Paris, 14 January, 1901; one of the greatest ...

Hermits

( Eremites , "inhabitants of a desert ", from the Greek eremos ), also called anchorites, ...

Hermits of St. Augustine

(Generally called Augustinians and not to be confounded with the Augustinian Canons ). A ...

Hermon

[From the Hebrew meaning "sacred (mountain)"; Septuagint, Aermon ] A group of mountains ...

Hermopolis Magna

A titular see of Thebais Prima, suffragan of Antinoe, in Egypt. The native name was Khmounoun; ...

Hermopolis Parva

A titular see of Ægyptus Prima, suffragan of Alexandria. Its ancient name, Dimanhoru or ...

Herod

(Greek Herodes , from Heros .) Herod was the name of many rulers mentioned in the N.T. ...

Herodias

Herodias, daughter of Aristobulus -- son of Herod the Great and Mariamne -- was a descendant of ...

Heroic Act of Charity

A decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences dated 18 December, 1885, and confirmed the ...

Heroic Virtue

The notion of heroicity is derived from hero, originally a warrior, a demigod; hence it connotes a ...

Herp, Henry

(Or HARP, Latin CITHARŒDUS, or ERP as in the old manuscripts ) A fifteenth century ...

Herrad of Landsberg

(or LANDSPERG) A twelfth-century abbess, author of the "Hortus Deliciarum"; born about 1130, ...

Herregouts

There were three artists of the name of Herregouts, father, son, and grandson, of whom the chief ...

Herrera Barnuevo, Sebastiano de

A painter, architect, sculptor and etcher; born in Madrid, 1611 or 1619; died there, 1671; son ...

Herrera y Tordesillas, Antonio de

A Spanish historian; born at Cuellar, in the province of Segovia, in 1559; died at Madrid, 27 ...

Herrera, Fernando de

A Spanish lyric poet; born 1537; died 1597. The head of a school of lyric poets who gathered ...

Herrera, Francisco

(1) Francisco Herrera (el Viejo, the Elder) A Spanish painter, etcher, medallist, and architect; ...

Herrgott, Marquard

A Benedictine historian and diplomat; born at Freiburg in the Breisgau, 9 October, 1694; died ...

Hersfeld

An ancient imperial abbey of the Benedictine Order, situated at the confluence of the Geisa and ...

Hervás y Panduro, Lorenzo

Spanish Jesuit and famous philologist; b. at Horcajo, 1 May, 1735; d. at Rome, 24 August, 1809. ...

Hervetus, Gentian

French theologian and controversialist; b. at Olivet, near Orléans, in 1499; d. at ...

Hesebon

(A.V. HESHBON; Greek Esebon, Esbous ; Latin Esbus). A titular see of the province of ...

Hesse

(H ESSEN ). The name of a German tribe, and also a district in Germany extending along the ...

Hessels, Jean

A distinguished theologian of Louvain ; born 1522; died 1566. He had been teaching for eight ...

Hesychasm

(Greek hesychos , quiet). The story of the system of mysticism defended by the monks of ...

Hesychius of Alexandria

Grammarian and lexicographer; of uncertain date, but assigned by most authorities to the later ...

Hesychius of Jerusalem

Presbyter and exegete, probably of the fifth century. Nothing certain is known as to the dates ...

Hesychius of Sinai

A priest and monk of the Order of St. Basil in the Thorn-bush (Batos) monastery on Mt. ...

Hethites

(A.V. H ITTITES ) One of the many peoples of North-Western Asia, styled Hittim in the ...

Hettinger, Franz

A Catholic theologian ; born 13 January, 1819, at Aschaffenburg; died 26 January, 1890, at ...

Heude, Pierre

Missionary to China and zoologist; b. at Fougères in the Department of Ille-et-Vilaine, ...

Hewett, John

(Alias WELDON). English martyr ; son of William Hewett of York; date of birth unknown; ...

Hewit, Augustine Francis

Priest and second Superior General of the Institute of St. Paul the Apostle ; b. at Fairfield, ...

Hexaemeron

Hexaemeron signifies a term of six days, or, technically, the history of the six days' work of ...

Hexapla

The name given to Origen's edition of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Greek, the most colossal ...

Hexateuch

A name commonly used by the critics to designate the first six books of the Old Testament, i.e. ...

Hexham and Newcastle

Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle (Hagulstadensis et Novocastrensis). Hexham, in ...

Heynlin of Stein, Johann

(A LAPIDE) A theologian, born about 1425; died at Basle, 12 March, 1496. He was apparently of ...

Heywood, Jasper and John

(1) Jasper Heywood A poet and translator; born 1535 in London ; died 1598 at Naples. As a boy ...

Hezekiah

Ezechias (Hebrew = "The Lord strengtheneth"; Septuagint Ezekias ; in the cuneiform inscriptions ...

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Hi 47

Hibernians, Ancient Order of

This organization grew up gradually among the Catholics of Ireland owing to the dreadful ...

Hickey, Antony

A theologian, born in the Barony of Islands, Co. Clare, Ireland, in 1586; died in Rome, 26 ...

Hidalgo, Miguel

Born on the ranch of San Vicente in the district of Guanajuato, 8 May, 1753; executed at ...

Hierapolis

Titular Archdiocese, metropolis of the Province of Euphrates, in the Patriarchate of Antioch. ...

Hierapolis

A titular see of Phrygia Salutaris, suffragan of Synnada. It is usually called by its ...

Hierarchy

(Greek Hierarchia ; from hieros , sacred; archein , rule, command). This word has been ...

Hierarchy of the Early Church

The word hierarchy is used here to denote the three grades of bishop, priest, and deacon ( ...

Hierocæsarea

A titular see of Lydia, suffragan of Sardis. This town is mentioned by Ptolemy (VI, ii, 16). ...

Hieronymites

In the fourth century, certain Roman ladies, following St. Paula, embraced the religious life ...

Hierotheus

All attempts to establish as historical a personality corresponding to the Hierotheus who ...

Higden, Ranulf

(HYDON, HYGDEN, HIKEDEN.) Benedictine chronicler; died 1364. He was a west-country man, and ...

High Altar

(ALTARE SUMMUM or MAJUS.) The high altar is so called from the fact that it is the chief altar ...

High Priest, The

The high-priest in the Old Testament is called by various names: the priest ( Numbers 3:6 ); ...

Higher Criticism

Overview Biblical criticism in its fullest comprehension is the examination of the literary ...

Hilarion, Saint

Founder of anchoritic life in Palestine; born at Tabatha, south of Gaza, Palestine, about 291; ...

Hilarius of Sexten

(In the world, CHRISTIAN GATTERER.) Moral theologian ; born 1839, in the valley of Sexten in ...

Hilarius, Pope Saint

[ Also spelled HILARIUS] Elected 461; the date of his death is given as 28 Feb., 468. After ...

Hilarus, Pope Saint

[ Also spelled HILARIUS] Elected 461; the date of his death is given as 28 Feb., 468. After ...

Hilary of Arles, Saint

Archbishop, b. about 401; d. 5 May, 449. The exact place of his birth is not known. All that may ...

Hilary of Poitiers, Saint

Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century; died there 1 November, according ...

Hilda, Saint

Abbess, born 614; died 680. Practically speaking, all our knowledge of St. Hilda is derived from ...

Hildebert of Lavardin

Bishop of Le Mans, Archbishop of Tours, and celebrated medieval poet; b. about 1056, at the ...

Hildegard, Saint

Born at Böckelheim on the Nahe, 1098; died on the Rupertsberg near Bingen, 1179; feast 17 ...

Hildesheim

Diocese of Hildesheim (Hildesheimensis). An exempt see, comprising the Prussian province of ...

Hilduin, Abbot of St-Denis

He died 22 November, 840. He was a scion of a prominent Frankish family, hut the time and place ...

Hill, Ven. Richard

English Martyr, executed at Durham, 27 May, 1590. Very little is known of him and his ...

Hillel

A famous Jewish rabbi who lived about 70 B.C.-A.D. 10. Our only source of information concerning ...

Hilton, Walter

Augustinian mystic, d. 24 March, 1396. Little is known of his life, save that he was the head of a ...

Himeria

A titular see in the province of Osrhoene, suffragan of Edessa. The "Notitia" of Anastasius, ...

Himerius

(called also EUMERIUS and COMERIUS) An Archbishop of Tarragona in Spain, 385. He is the ...

Hincmar

An archbishop of Reims ; born in 806; died at Epernay on 21 December, 882. Descended from a ...

Hincmar

Bishop of Laon; died 879. In the beginning of 858 the younger Hincmar, a nephew on the mother's ...

Hinderer, Roman

(Chinese TE). A German missionary in China, born at Reiningen, near Mülhausen, date ...

Hinduism

Hinduism in its narrower sense, is the conglomeration of religious beliefs and practices ...

Hingston, Sir William Hales

Canadian physician and surgeon, b. at Hinchinbrook near Huntingdon, Quebec, June 29, 1829; d. at ...

Hippo Diarrhytus

(Or HIPPO ZARRHYTUS.) A titular see of Northern Africa, now called Bizerta, originally a ...

Hippo Regius

A titular see of Numidia, now a part of the residential see of Constantine. Hippo was a Tyrian ...

Hippolytus of Rome, Saint

Martyr, presbyter and antipope ; date of birth unknown; d. about 236. Until the publication ...

Hippolytus, Saints

Besides the presbyter, St. Hippolytus of Rome, others of the name are mentioned in the old ...

Hippos

Besides the presbyter, St. Hippolytus of Rome, others of the name are mentioned in the old ...

Hirena

A titular see of southern Tunis. Nothing is known of the city, the name of which may have been ...

Hirschau, Abbey of

A celebrated Benedictine monastery in Würtemberg, Diocese of Spires, about twenty-two ...

Hirscher, Johann Baptist von

Born 20 January, 1788, at Alt-Ergarten, Ravensburg; died 4 September, 1865. He studied at ...

Historical Criticism

Historical criticism is the art of distinguishing the true from the false concerning facts of ...

History, Ecclesiastical

I. NATURE AND OFFICE Ecclesiastical history is the scientific investigation and the methodical ...

Hittites

(A.V. H ITTITES ) One of the many peoples of North-Western Asia, styled Hittim in the ...

Hittorp, Melchior

A theologian and liturgical writer, born about 1525, at Cologne ; died there in 1584. On the ...

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Hl 1

Hladnik, Franz von Paula

Botanist and schoolmaster, b. 29 March, 1773, at Idria, Carniola, Austria ; d. 25 November, ...

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Ho 121

Hobart

(HOBARTENSIS) Hobart comprises Tasmania, Bruni Island, and the Cape Barren, Flinders, King, ...

Hodgson, Sydney

A lawman and martyr ; date and place of birth unknown; d. at Tyburn, 10 Dec., 1591. He was a ...

Hofer, Andreas

A patriot and soldier, born at St. Leonhard in Passeyrthale, Tyrol, 22 Nov., 1767; executed at ...

Hogan, John Baptist

Better known, on account of his long sojourn in France, as Abbé Hogan, born near Ennis in ...

Hohenbaum van der Meer, Moritz

A Benedictine historian; born at Spörl near Belgrade, 25 June, 1718; died at the monastery ...

Hohenburg

(ODILIENBERG; ALTITONA) A suppressed nunnery, situated on the Odilienberg, the most famous of ...

Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, Alexander Leopold

A titular Bishop of Sardica, famous for his many supposedly miraculous cures, born 17 August, ...

Holbein, Hans

(The Elder Holbein) A German painter ; b. at Augsburg about 1460; d. at Isenheim, Alsace, in ...

Holden, Henry

An English priest ; born 1596; died March, 1662. Henry Holden was the second son of Richard ...

Holiness

(A.S. hal , perfect, or whole). Sanctitas in the Vulgate of the New Testament is the ...

Holland, Ven. Thomas

An English martyr, b. 1600 at Sutton, Lancashire; martyred at Tyburn, 12 December, 1642. He ...

Hollanders in the United States

The Hollanders played by no means an insignificant part in the early history of the United ...

Holmes, John

Catholic educator and priest ; born at Windsor, Vermont, in 1799; died at Lorette, near ...

Holocaust

As suggested by its Greek origin ( holos "whole", and kaustos "burnt") the word designates an ...

Holstenius, Lucas

(HOLSTE). German philologist, b. at Hamburg, 1596; d. at Rome, 2 February, 1661. He studied ...

Holtei, Karl von

German novelist, poet, and dramatist; b. at Breslau, 24 January, 1798; d. in that city, 12 ...

Holy Agony, Archconfraternity of

An association for giving special honour to the mental sufferings of Christ during His Agony ...

Holy Alliance

The Emperor Francis I of Austria, King Frederick William III of Prussia, and the Tsar Alexander I ...

Holy Child Jesus, Society of the

The Society was founded in England in 1840 by Mrs. Cornelia Connelly, née Peacock, ...

Holy Childhood, Association of the

A children's association for the benefit of foreign missions. Twenty years after the foundation of ...

Holy Coat

(OF TRIER AND ARGENTEUIL). The possession of the seamless garment of Christ (Gr. chiton ...

Holy Communion

By Communion is meant the actual reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Ascetic writers ...

Holy Cross Abbey

The picturesque ruins of this monastery are situated on the right bank of the River Suir, about ...

Holy Cross, Congregation of

A body of priests and lay brothers constituted in the religious state by the simple vows of ...

Holy Cross, Sisters Marianites of

The congregation of the Sisters Marianites of Holy Cross was founded in 1841, in the parish of ...

Holy Cross, Sisters of the

(Mother House, St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception, Notre Dame, Indiana) As an offset to ...

Holy Faith, Sisters of the

Founded at Dublin, in 1857, by Margaret Aylward, under the direction of Rev. John Gowan, C.M., ...

Holy Family, Archconfraternity of the

This archconfraternity owes its origin to Henri Belletable, an officer in the Engineers' Corps, ...

Holy Family, Congregations of the

I. ASSOCIATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY Founded in 1820 by the Abbé Pierre Bienvenue Noailles (d. ...

Holy Ghost

I. SYNOPSIS OF THE DOGMA The doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the Holy Ghost forms ...

Holy Ghost, Orders of the

The Hospital of the Holy Ghost at Rome was the cradle of an order, which, beginning in the ...

Holy Ghost, Religious Congregations of the

I. THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY GHOST AND OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY This Congregation was ...

Holy Grail, The

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

Holy House of Loreto

(The Holy House of Loreto). Since the fifteenth century, and possibly even earlier, the "Holy ...

Holy Humility of Mary, Sisters of the

Founded at Dommartin-sous-Amance, France, in 1855, by John Joseph Begel (b. 5 April, 1817; d. 23 ...

Holy Infancy, Brothers of the

Founded in 1853 by the Right Rev. John Timon, the first Bishop of Buffalo. The special aim of ...

Holy Innocents

The children mentioned in St. Matthew 2:16-18 : Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise ...

Holy Name of Jesus

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

Holy Name, Feast of the

This feast is celebrated on the second Sunday after Epiphany (double of the second class). ...

Holy Name, Litany of the

An old and popular form of prayer in honour of the Name of Jesus. The author is not known. ...

Holy Name, Society of the

(Confraternity of the Most Holy Name of God and Jesus). An indulgenced confraternity in the ...

Holy Oils

(OLEA SACRA). Liturgical Benediction Oil is a product of great utility the symbolic ...

Holy Oils, Vessels for

In Christian antiquity there existed an important category of vessels used as receptacles for ...

Holy Orders

Order is the appropriate disposition of things equal and unequal, by giving each its proper place ...

Holy Saturday

In the primitive Church Holy Saturday was known as Great, or Grand, Saturday, Holy Saturday, the ...

Holy See

(From the Latin Sancta Sedes , Holy Chair). A term derived from the enthronement ...

Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre refers to the tomb in which the Body of Jesus Christ was laid after His death ...

Holy Sepulchre, Canonesses Regular of the

Concerning the foundation there is only a tradition connecting it with St. James the Apostle and ...

Holy Sepulchre, Fathers of the

(Guardians) The Fathers of the Holy Sepulchre are the six or seven Franciscan Fathers, who ...

Holy Sepulchre, Knights of the

Neither the name of a founder nor a date of foundation can be assigned to the so-called Order of ...

Holy Spirit

I. SYNOPSIS OF THE DOGMA The doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the Holy Ghost forms ...

Holy Stairs (Scala Sancta)

Consisting of twenty-eight white marble steps, at Rome, near the Lateran; according to tradition ...

Holy Synod

In its full form M OST H OLY D IRECTING S YNOD , the name of the council by which the ...

Holy Thursday

The feast of Maundy (or Holy) Thursday solemnly commemorates the institution of the Eucharist ...

Holy Water

The use of holy water in the earliest days of the Christian Era is attested by documents of ...

Holy Water Fonts

Vessels intended for the use of holy water are of very ancient origin, and archaeological ...

Holy Week

Holy Week is the week which precedes the great festival of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, and ...

Holy Year of Jubilee

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

Holyrood Abbey

Located in Edinburgh, Scotland ; founded in 1128 by King David I for the Canons Regular of ...

Holywell

A town in North Wales, situated on the declivity of a hill overlooking a picturesque valley, ...

Holywood, Christopher

( Latinized , A Sacrobosco.) Jesuit ; b. At Artane, Dublin, in 1559; d. 4 September, 1626. ...

Holywood, John

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

Holzhauser, Bartholomew

Parish priest, ecclesiastical writer, and founder of a religious community; born 24 Aug., ...

Homes

This term, when used in an eleemosynary sense, covers all institutions that afford the general ...

Homicide

( Latin homo , man; and caedere , to slay) Homicide signifies, in general, the killing of a ...

Homiletics

Homiletics is the science that treats of the composition and delivery of a sermon or other ...

Homiliarium

A collection of homilies, or familiar explanations of the Gospels (see HOMILY). From a very ...

Homily

The word homily is derived from the Greek word homilia (from homilein ), which means to ...

Homoousion

(Gr. homoousion - from homos , same, and ousia , essence ; Latin consubstantialem , of ...

Honduras

VICARIATE APOSTOLIC OF BRITISH HONDURAS. The territory of the vicariate is co-extensive with ...

Hong-Kong

The island of Hong-Kong was ceded by the Chinese Government to Great Britain in January, 1841, ...

Honoratus a Sancta Maria

A Discalced Carmelite ; born at Limoges, 4 July, 1651 ; died at Lille, 1729. Blaise Vauxelles ...

Honoratus, Saint

Archbishop of Arles; b. about 350; d. 6 (or, according to certain authors, 14 or 15) January, ...

Honorius I, Pope

Pope (625-12 October, 638), a Campanian, consecrated 27 October (Duchesne) or 3 November ...

Honorius II, Pope

(Lamberto Scannabecchi) Born of humble parents at Fagnano near Imola at an unknown date ; ...

Honorius III, Pope

(Cencio Savelli) Born at Rome, date of birth unknown; died at Rome, 18 March, 1227. For a ...

Honorius IV, Pope

(Giacomo Savelli) Born at Rome about 1210; died at Rome, 3 April, 1287. He belonged to the ...

Honorius of Autun

(HONORIUS AUGUSTODUNENSIS) A theologian, philosopher, and encyclopedic writer who lived in ...

Honorius, Flavius

Roman Emperor, d. 25 August, 423. When his father, the Emperor Theodosius, divided up the ...

Honorius, Saint

Archbishop of Canterbury, fifth in succession from St. Augustine, elected 627; consecrated at ...

Honour

Honour may be defined as the deferential recognition by word or sign of another's worth or ...

Hontheim, Johannes Nicolaus von

(FEBRONIUS) An auxiliary Bishop of Trier ; born at Trier, 27 January, 1701; died at ...

Hood

A flexible, conical, brimless head-dress, covering the entire head, except the face. It is either ...

Hoogstraten, Jacob van

(also HOCHSTRATEN) A theologian and controversialist, born about 1460, in Hoogstraeten, ...

Hooke, Luke Joseph

Born at Dublin in 1716; died at St. Cloud, Paris, 16 April, 1796, son of Nathaniel Hooke the ...

Hope

Hope, in its widest acceptation, is described as the desire of something together with the ...

Hope-Scott, James Robert

(Originally H OPE ) Parliamentary barrister, Q.C.; b. 15 July, 1812, at Great Marlow, ...

Hopi Indians

(From Hopita, "peaceful ones" their own name; also frequently known as Moki, or Moqui, an alien ...

Hopkins, Gerard Manley

Jesuit and poet, born at Stratford, near London, 28 July, 1844; died at Dublin, 8 June, 1889. ...

Hormisdas, Pope Saint

Date of birth unknown, elected to the Holy See, 514; d. at Rome, 6 August, 523. This able and ...

Horner, Nicholas

Layman and martyr, born at Grantley, Yorkshire, England, date of birth unknown; died at ...

Horns, Altar

On the Jewish altar there were four projections, one at each corner, which were called the horns ...

Hornyold, John Joseph

A titular Bishop of Phiomelia, Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, England ; born 19 ...

Hortulus Animæ

(L ITTLE G ARDEN OF THE S OUL ). A prayer book which both in its Latin and German ...

Hosanna

"And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of ...

Hosea

NAME AND COUNTRY Osee (Hôsheá‘– Salvation ), son of Beeri, was one of ...

Hosius of Cordova

The foremost Western champion of orthodoxy in the early anti-Arian struggle; born about 256; ...

Hosius, Stanislaus

(HOE, HOSZ) Cardinal and Prince- Bishop of Ermland ; born of German parents at Cracow, 5 ...

Hospice

( Latin hospitium , a guest house). During the early centuries of Christianity the hospice ...

Hospital Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus

These sisters are established in religion under the Rule of St. Augustine, the institute being ...

Hospitality

The Council of Trent in its twenty-fifth session, cap. viii, De Ref., enjoins "all who hold any ...

Hospitallers

During the Middle Ages, among the hospitals established throughout the West ( Maisons-Dieu ...

Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem

(Also known as K NIGHTS OF M ALTA ). The most important of all the military orders, both ...

Hospitals

(Latin hospes , a guest; hence hospitalis , hospitable; hospitium , a guest-house or ...

Hospitius, Saint

(Sospis) Recluse, b. according to tradition in Egypt, towards the beginning of the sixth ...

Hossche, Sidron de

( Latin HOSSCHIUS) Sidron de Hossche, poet and priest ; born at Mercken, West Flanders, in ...

Host

Archaeological and Historical Aspects The bread destined to receive Eucharistic Consecration is ...

Host, Johann

One of the seven Dominicans, who distinguished themselves in the struggle against Luther in ...

Hottentots

The Hottentot is one of three tribes of South Africa which may be divided — Bantus, ...

Houbigant, Charles François

Born in Paris, 1686; died there 31 October, 1783. He entered the Congregation of the Oratory in ...

Houdon, Jean-Antoine

Born at Versailles, 1741; died 16 July, 1828; the most distinguished sculptor of France ...

Houdry, Vincent

Preacher and writer on ascetics; b. 23 January, 1631, at Tours ; d. 21 March, 1729, at Paris. ...

Houghton, John, Blessed

Protomartyr of the persecution under Henry VIII, b. in Essex, 1487; d. at Tyburn, 4 May, 1535. ...

Houghton, William

(Variously called DE HOTUM, DE HOTHUM, DE HOZUM, BOTHUM, DE HONDEN, HEDDON, HEDDONEM, according as ...

Hours, Canonical

I. IDEA By canonical hour is understood all the fixed portion of the Divine Office which the ...

Hours, Liturgy of the

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

Hove, Peter van

Friar Minor, lector in theology and exegete ; b. at Rethy, in Campine (Belgium); d. at Antwerp, ...

Howard, Mary, of the Holy Cross

Poor Clare, born 28 December, 1653; died at Rouen, 21 Mary's 1735, daughter of Sir Robert Howard, ...

Howard, Philip Thomas

Dominican and cardinal, commonly called the "Cardinal of Norfolk"; born at Arundel House, ...

Howard, Philip, Venerable

Martyr, Earl of Arundel; born at Arundel House, London, 28 June 1557, died in the Tower of London, ...

Howard, Venerable William

Viscount Stafford, martyr ; born 30 November, 1614; beheaded Tower-Hill, 29 December, 1680. He ...

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Hr 1

Hroswitha

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

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Hu 61

Huánuco

(Huanucensis) Suffragan of Lima in Peru. The department of Huánuco contains an ...

Huajuápam de León

(Huajuapatamensis) Diocese in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, erected by Bull of Leo XIII , ...

Huaraz

Diocese of Huaraz (Huaraziensis) Suffragan of Lima. It comprises the entire department of ...

Huber, Alphons

An historian; born 14 October, 1834, at Fügen, Zillerthal (Tyrol); died 23 November, 1898, at ...

Hubert Walter

Archbishop of Canterbury (1193-1205); died 13 July, 1205; son of Hervey (Herveus) Walter and ...

Hubert, Jean-François

The ninth Bishop of Quebec, born at Quebec, 23 February, 1739; died 17 October, 1799; son of ...

Hubert, Saint

Confessor, thirty-first Bishop of Maastricht, first Bishop of Liège, and Apostle of ...

Hubert, Saint, Military Orders of

I. The highest order of Bavaria, founded in 1444 or 1445 by Gerhard V, Duke of Jülich, in ...

Huc, Evariste Régis

A French Lazarist missionary and traveller; born at Caylus (Tarn-et-Garonne), 1 June, 1813; died ...

Hucbald of St-Amand

(HUGBALDUS, UBALDUS, UCHUBALDUS) A Benedictine monk ; born in 840; died in 930 or 932. The ...

Huddleston, John

Monk of the Order of St. Benedict; b. at Farington Hall, Lancashire, 15 April, 1608; exact date ...

Hudson, Blessed James

(Also known as James Hudson). Martyr, born in or near York; having nearly all his life in that ...

Hueber, Fortunatus

A Franciscan historian and theologian, born at Neustadt on the Danube; died 12 Feb., 1706, at ...

Huelgas de Burgos

The royal monastery of Las Huelgas de Burgos was founded by Alfonso VIII at the instance of ...

Huesca

(OSCENSIS) Huesca embraces parts of the province of Huesca in north-eastern Spain, seven ...

Huet, Pierre-Daniel

A distinguished savant and celebrated French bishop ; born 8 February, 1630, at Caen (Normandy), ...

Hug, Johann Leonhard

A German Catholic exegete, b. at Constance, 1 June, 1765; d. at Freiburg im Br., 11 March, ...

Hugh Capet

King of France, founder of the Capetian dynasty, b. about the middle of the tenth century; d. ...

Hugh Faringdon, Blessed

( Vere COOK). English martyr ; b. probably at Faringdon, Berkshire, date unknown; d. at ...

Hugh of Digne

Friar Minor andascetical writer; b. at Digne, south-east France, date uncertain; d. at ...

Hugh of Flavigny

Benedictine monk and historian; b. about 1064, probably at Verdun (Lorraine); d. before the ...

Hugh of Fleury

(Called also HUGO A SANTA MARIA, from the name of the church of his native village). ...

Hugh of Lincoln, Saint

Born about the year 1135 at the castle of Avalon, near Pontcharra, in Burgundy ; died at London, ...

Hugh of Remiremont

Surnamed CANDIDUS or BLANCUS. Cardinal, born of a noble family, probably in Lorraine, died soon ...

Hugh of St-Cher

(Latin D E S ANCTO C ARO ; D E S ANCTO T HEODORICO ). A Dominican cardinal of the ...

Hugh of St. Victor

Medieval philosopher, theologian, and mystical writer; b. 1096, at the manor of Hartingham in ...

Hugh of Strasburg

Theologian, flourished during the latter half of the thirteenth century. The dates of his birth ...

Hugh the Great, Saint

Abbot of Cluny, born at Semur (Brionnais in the Diocese of Autun, 1024; died at Cluny, 28 ...

Hugh, Saint

(Called LITTLE SAINT HUGH OF LINCOLN.) St. Hugh was the son of a poor woman of Lincoln ...

Hughes, John

Fourth bishop and first Archbishop of New York, born at Annaloghan, Co. Tyrone, Ireland, 24 ...

Hugo, Charles-Hyacinthe

Born 20 Sept., 1667, at St. Mihiel (Department of Meuse, France ); died 2 August, 1739. He ...

Huguccio

(HUGH OF PISA) Italian canonist, b. at Pisa, date unknown; d. in 1210. He studied at ...

Huguenots

A name by which the French Protestants are often designated. Its etymology is uncertain. ...

Hulst, Maurice Le Sage d'Hauteroche d'

A prelate, writer, orator; born at Paris, 10 Oct., 1841; died there, 6 Nov., 1896. After a ...

Human Acts

Acts are termed human when they are proper to man as man; when, on the contrary, they are ...

Humanism

Humanism is the name given to the intellectual, literary, and scientific movement of the ...

Humbert of Romans

(DE ROMANIS). Fifth master general of the Dominican Order, b. at Romans in the Diocese of ...

Humeral Veil

This is the name given to a cloth of rectangular shape about 8 ft. long and 1 1/2 ft. wide. The ...

Humiliati

I. A penitential order dating back, according to some authorities, to the beginning of the ...

Humility

The word humility signifies lowliness or submissiveness an it is derived from the Latin ...

Humphrey Middlemore, Blessed

English Carthusian martyr, date of birth uncertain; d. at Tyburn, London, 19 June, 1535. His ...

Humphreys, Laurence

Layman and martyr, born in Hampshire, England, 1571; died at Winchester, 1591. Of Protestant ...

Hungarian Catholics in America

The Kingdom of Hungary (Magyarország) comprises within its borders several races or ...

Hungarian Literature

The language which has prevailed in Hungary for nearly a thousand years and is spoken at the ...

Hungary

GEOGRAPHY AND MATERIAL CONDITIONS The Kingdom of Hungary, or "Realm of the Crown of St. Stephen ...

Hunolt, Franz

The most popular German preacher of the early part of the eighteenth century, b. 31 March, 1691, ...

Hunt, Ven. Thurston

An English martyr (March, 1601), who belonged to the family seated at Carlton Hall, near ...

Hunter, Sylvester Joseph

English Jesuit priest and educator; b. at Bath, 13 Sept., 1829; d. at Stonyhurst, 20 June, 1896. ...

Hunting, Canons on

From early times, hunting, in one form or another has been forbidden to clerics. Thus, in the ...

Huntington, Jedediah Vincent

Clergyman, novelist; born 20 January, 1815, in New York City; died 10 March, 1862, at Pau, France. ...

Hunyady, János

(JOHN) Governor of Hungary, born about 1400; died 11 August, 1456; the heroic defender of the ...

Huron Indians

The main divisions of the subject are: I. THE HURONS BEFORE THEIR DISPERSION (1) Their Place in ...

Hurst, Richard

(Or HERST.) Layman and martyr, b. probably at Broughton, near Preston, Lancashire, England, ...

Hurtado, Caspar

A Spanish Jesuit and theologian, b. at Mondejar, New Castle, in 1575; d. at Alcalá, 5 ...

Hurter

(1) Friedrich Emmanuel Von Hurter Convert and historian, b. at Schaffhausen, 19 March, 1787; d. at ...

Hus, Jan

(Also spelled John ). Born at Husinetz in southern Bohemia, 1369; died at Constance 6 ...

Husenbeth, Frederick Charles

Born at Bristol, 30 May, 1796; died at Cossey, Norfolk, 31 October, 1872. The son of a Bristol ...

Hussey, Thomas

Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, b. at Ballybogan, Co. Meath, in 1746; d. at Tramore, Co. ...

Hussites

The followers of Jan Hus did not of themselves assume the name of Hussites. Like Hus, they ...

Hutton, Peter

Priest, b. at Holbeck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England, 29 June, 1811; d. at Ratcliffe, ...

Huysmans, Joris Karl

A French novelist; born in Paris, 5 February, 1848; died 12 May, 1907. He studied at the Lycee ...

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Hy 16

Hyacinth and Protus, Saints

Martyrs during the persecution of Valerian (257-9). The day of their annual commemoration is ...

Hyacinth, Saint

Dominican, called the Apostle of the North, son of Eustachius Konski of the noble family of ...

Hyacintha Mariscotti, Saint

A religious of the Third Order of St. Francis and foundress of the Sacconi; born 1585 of a noble ...

Hydatius of Lemica

( Also IDATIUS; LEMICA is more correctly LIMICA.) A chronicler and bishop, born at the end ...

Hyderabad-Deccan, Diocese of

Hyderabad, also called Bhagnagar, and Fakhunda Bunyad, capital of the Nizam's dominions, was ...

Hyginus, Pope Saint

Reigned about 138-142; succeeded Pope Telesphorus, who, according to Eusebius (Hist. eccl., IV, ...

Hylozoism

(Greek hyle , matter + zoe , life ) The doctrine according to which all matter ...

Hymn

A derivative of the Latin hymnus , which comes from the Greek hymnos , derived from hydein ...

Hymnody and Hymnology

Hymnody, taken from the Greek ( hymnodia ), means exactly " hymn song", but as the hymn-singer ...

Hypæpa

Titular see of Asia Minor, suffragan of Ephesus; it was a small town on the southern slope of ...

Hypnotism

(Greek hypnos , sleep) By Hypnotism , or Hypnosis , we understand here the nervous ...

Hypocrisy

(Greek hypo , under, and krinesthai , to contend — hence adequately "to answer" on the ...

Hypostatic Union

A theological term used with reference to the Incarnation to express the revealed truth ...

Hypsistarians

Hypsistarians or worshippers of the Hypsistos , i.e. of the "Most High" God ; a distinct ...

Hyrtl, Joseph

Austrian anatomist, b. at Eisenstadt in Hungary, December 7, 1810; d. 17 July, 1894, on his ...

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