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Félicité Robert de Lamennais

Born at Saint-Malo, 29 June, 1782; died at Paris, 27 February, 1854. His father, Pierre Robert de Lamennais (or La Mennais), was a respectable merchant of Saint-Malo, ennobled by Louis XVI at the request of the Estates of Brittany in acknowledgment of his patriotic devotion. Of the six children born of his marriage with Gratienne Lorin, the best-known are Jean-Marie and Félicité. The latter, though delicate and frail in physique, early exhibited an exuberant nature, a lively but indocile intelligence, a brilliant but highly impressionable imagination, and a will resolute to obstinacy and vehement to excess.

EDUCATION

At the age of five Lamennais lost his mother: his father, absorbed in business, was thus obliged to confide the education of Jean-Marie and Félicité to Robert des Saudrais, the brother-in-law of his wife, who had no children of his own. Jean-Marie and Félicité -- or Féli, as he was called in the family -- were taken to live with their uncle at La Chênaie, an estate not far from Saint-Malo, which Félicité was afterwards to make famous. At La Chênaie there was a well filled library in which works of piety and theological books were mingled with the ancient classics and the works of the eighteenth-century philosophers. Félicité was not very docile at his lessons, and, to punish him, M. des Saudrais would sometimes shut him up in the library. The child acquired a taste for the books he found around him, and read voraciously and indiscriminately all that came to his hands, good and bad. He even multiplied reasons for being shut up in the library, abandoned himself there to his favorite reading, and made such rapid progress that he was soon able to read the classical authors without difficulty. The Revolution was then at its height; the proscribed priests had been obliged to leave France, or to continue from hiding-places their sacred ministrations at the peril of their lives. The Lamennais household afforded an asylum to one such priest, Abbé Vielle, who sometimes said Mass at La Chênaie in the middle of the night. Félicité, who used to assist at the Divine services, derived from these early impressions a lasting and lively hatred of the Revolution. At the same time, his unwise reading, especially of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, seduced his ardent mind and prejudiced him against religion. These prejudices found vent in objections which moved his confessor to postpone indefinitely his First Communion.

His father at first intended Lamennais to join him in his business, but the youth obeyed without enthusiasm. Always ill-at-ease in the office, he visited it as little as possible, and gave to reading all the time he could steal from his regular occupation. While he thus succeeded in completing his literary education and acquiring foreign languages, these studies undertaken without teachers or guidance necessarily left gaps in his training, and made him liable to contract dangerous habits of intellectual intolerance. The passions, too, gained a certain mastery over him, drawing him into lapses which he says, not without some exaggeration, in a letter written in 1809 to his friend Brute de Rémur, the future Bishop of Vincennes in Indiana, "the most rigorous austerities, the severest penance would not suffice to expiate". The happy influence of his brother Jean-Marie, who had recently (1804) been ordained a priest, rescued him from this condition. Restored to Christian sentiments, he made his First Communion, and resolved to consecrate himself to the service of the Church. He withdrew to La Chênaie and there gave himself up under his brother's direction to ecclesiastical studies, briefly interrupted (January to July, 1806) to reestablish his threatened health by a sojourn at Paris.

The Church of France was then in a struggling and precarious condition, being deprived of material resources and served but poorly by a clergy either enfeebled by age or inadequately prepared to meet the intellectual demands of the time. The two brothers set themselves to labor as best they could for the relief of the Church. In the common task which they imposed on themselves with this aim, the part that fell to Félicité, as being the better suited to his tastes, was chiefly intellectual and literary. In fact the story of his life is almost entirely contained in his books and articles. The first result of the joint labors soon appeared in a book published in 1808 under the title "Réflexions sur l'état de l'Eglise en France pendant le dix-huitieme siecle et sur sa situation actuelle". The first idea of this work and the materials were due to Jean-Marie, but the actual writing was done almost exclusively by Félicité. After describing the evils under which the Church labored in France, the authors point out the causes and propose remedies, among others provincial councils, diocesan synods, retreats, ecclesiastical conferences, community life, and proper methods in recruiting the clergy. Many of these views were calculated to offend the imperial government; the book was suppressed by the police, and was not republished until after the fall of the Empire. Meanwhile, the two brothers had left La Chênaie for the College of St-Malo, in which they had been appointed professors. Félicité was to teach mathematics; for he had to earn a living now that his father, already financially injured by the wars of the Convention, saw his business ruined by the Continental Blockade, and was obliged to surrender all his property to his creditors. This ecclesiastical college having been closed by imperial authority, Félicité withdrew to La Chênaie, while his brother was called, as vicar-general, to Saint-Brieuc. There Félicité completed another work, in which also he had his brother's collaboration, and which was to have been printed and published at Paris in 1814. In opposition to Napoleon, who wished to transfer the right to the metropolitans, the two brothers vindicated the pope's exclusive claim to the canonical institution of bishops. This work marked the beginning of Lamennais' long struggle against Gallicanism. However, the fall of Napoleon, coming some months before the book appeared, made it no longer appropriate, and it thus obtained only a succès d' estime . Lamennais next published a violent article against the imperial university ; indeed, when Napoleon returned from Elba, the young writer, thinking himself insecure in France, went over to England, where he found a temporary asylum with M. Carron, a French priest who had established in London a school for the children of émigrés . On his return to France after the Hundred Days, Lamennais made M. Carron his confidant and took up his residence near him in Paris. Under the influence of this worthy priest and on the advice of M. Beysserre, a Sulpician, he decided, though not without strong repugnance and some sharp prickings of conscience, to take Holy orders, and was ordained a priest on 9 March, 1817.

STRUGGLE AGAINST INFIDELITY AND GALLICANISM

Towards the end of the same year appeared the first volume of the "Essai sur l'indifférence en matière de religion". From beginning to end the book was a vigorous attack on that indifference which appears (1) among those who, seeing in religion nothing but a political institution, think it a necessity only for the masses; (2) among those who admit the necessity of a religion for all men, but reject Revelation; (3) among those who recognize the necessity of a revealed religion, but think it permissible to deny all the truths which that religion teaches with the exception of certain fundamental articles. While open to some criticism in regard to the development of its ideas and the force of some of the arguments employed, the "Essai" brought to Catholic apologetics a new strength and brilliancy, and at once commanded public attention. Not content with a defensive attitude in the presence of incredulity, it attacks the enemy boldly, supported by all the resources of dialectic, invective, irony, and eloquence. The clergy and all educated Catholics thrilled with joy and hope, when this champion entered the lists armed as none since Bossuet, for it was indeed with Bossuet and Pascal that this priest, yesterday unknown, was now compared. In the pulpit of Notre-Dame of Paris Frayssinous hailed Lamennais as the greatest thinker since Malebranche. Meanwhile, editions of the "Essai" came rapidly from the press; 40,000 copies were sold within a few weeks, it was translated into many foreign languages, and its perusal effected in some places notable returns, in others brilliant conversions to Catholicism. Some of these converts, such as Mme de Lacan (afterwards, by her second marriage, the Baroness Cottu), Benoît d' Azy, Senfft-Pilsach, thenceforth carried on an uninterrupted epistolary correspondence with Lamennais. These letters, with others published since then or about to be published (addressed to such friends as Mlle Cornulier de Lucinière, de Vitrolles, Coriolis, Montalembert, Berryer, Marion, Vaurin, David Richard), add considerably to our knowledge of his writings, and are not the least interesting part of his works. With their aid we can witness the intimate workings from day to day of a mobile and impressionable mind ; in them we perceive an aspect of his character which so seldom appears in his other works his loving, kind, and tender disposition, lavish in devotion and of a timidity which sought a refuge in outspokenness.

Lamennais was now looked upon as the most eminent personality among the French clergy ; visitors flocked to see him; the press solicited his contributions. He promised his collaboration to "Le Conservateur", a royalist paper of the Extreme Right party, for which Chateaubriand and de Bonald were writing. Lamennais, however, cared much less for politics than for religion, and contributed to "Le Conservateur" only in defense of Catholic interests. For him it was not enough to discredit infidel philosophy : he meant to put something else in its place. He believed that the Cartesian rationalism which had recently attacked the foundations of Christian faith, and therefore necessarily of human society, could be combated by a system which should firmly re-establish both. To this object he devoted the second volume of the "Essai", published in 1820. The philosophic system which he expounded in this volume was based on a new theory of certitude. In the main, his theory is that certitude cannot be given by the individual reason ; it belongs only to the general reason, that is to the universal consent of mankind, the common sense; it is derived from the unanimous testimony of the human race. Certitude, therefore, is not created by evidence, but by the authority of mankind ; it is a matter of faith in the testimony of the human race, not the result of free enquiry. In the last chapters of the book this philosophic system supports an entirely new method of apologetics. There exists, says Lamennais, a true religion, and there exists but one, which is absolutely necessary to salvation and to social order. Only one criterion will enable us to discern the true religion from the false, and that criterion is the authority of testimony. The true religion, therefore, is that which can put forth on its own behalf the greatest number of witnesses. This is the case with the Christian, or rather the Catholic religion. It is in reality the true, the only religion which began with the world and perpetuates itself with it. The result of a primitive revelation, this unique religion has perfected itself in the course of ages without being essentially modified; Christians now believe all that the human race has believed, and the human race has always believed what Christians believe. The last two volumes of the "Essai" (1823) were devoted to this thesis. In these he attempts to prove, with the aid of history, that the chief dogmas of Christianity have been and are still, under various disguises, professed throughout the world. Naturally, these later volumes failed to secure the success which the first had attained.

The philosophic system of Lamennais, like his apologetics, called forth serious objections. It was pointed out that this philosophy and apologetics favored scepticism by denying the validity of individual reason. If the latter can furnish no certitude, how can we expect any from the general reason, which is but a synthesis of individual reasons? It was also a confusion of the natural and the supernatural orders, of philosophy and theology, to base both alike on the authority of the human race ; and, since according to him both alike are based on human testimony, religious faith was at once reduced to human faith. These criticisms and others irritated Lamennais without convincing him of his error ; he submitted his book to Rome and, in reply to his critics, wrote the "Défense de l'Essai" (1821). Rome confined its intervention to giving its imprimatur to an Italian translation of the "Défense de l'Essai". Lamennais himself soon visited the Holy See ; Leo XII received him very kindly and at one time even thought of making him a cardinal, despite his excitable character and exaggerated ideas. On his return to France, Lamennais showed a greater determination than ever to combat Gallicanism and irreligious Liberalism. On the occasion of a ministerial ordinance prescribing the teaching of the famous Declaration of 1682 (see GALLICANISM, VI, 384), he published his "Religion considérée dans ses rapports avec l'ordre civil et politique" (1825), in which he denounced Gallican and Liberal tendencies as the joint causes of the harm done to religion, and as equally fatal to society. Irritated by these attacks, a majority of the French bishops, who were moderate Gallicans, signed a protest against this pamphlet which accused them of leanings towards schism. Lamennais was also cited before the Tribunal of the Seine for attacking the king's government and the Four Articles of 1682 in their character of existing laws. Defended by his friend, the great advocate Berryer, he escaped with a fine of thirty francs. From this incident he conceived a lively hostility to the Bourbons, and was all the more energetic in maintaining ultramontane ideas against Frayssinous, Clausel de Montals, Bishop of Chartres, and other representatives of moderate Gallican principles.

On the other hand, he derived valuable assistance from a certain number of young men, ecclesiastics and laymen, who gradually formed a group of which he was the centre. Of these the best known are Gerbet, de Salinis, Lacordaire, Montalembert, Rohrbacher, Combalot, Maurice de Guérin, Charles de Sainte-Foy, Eugène and Léon Boré, de Hercé. With them Lamennais founded the "Congrégation de St. Pierre", a religious society whose distinctive duty was to defend the Church by the study of theological and other sciences, by propagating Roman doctrines, by teaching in colleges and seminaries, by giving missions and spiritual direction. Hardly had this congregation come into existence when Mgr. Dubois, Bishop of New York, appealed to it to supply teachers to the Catholic University which it was then proposed to found in that city. The Revolution of 1830 put an end to this project. The congregation at one time possessed three houses -- La Chênaie, Malestroit, and Paris -- but it lived only about four years. Obliged to reckon with the demands of the Liberals, whom the elections had returned to the Chamber of Deputies, the government of Charles X had revived (15 June, 1828) former legislative enactments against the religious congregations -- particularly against the Jesuits, eight of whose colleges were closed. Although ill-disposed towards the Jesuits on account of their lack of sympathy for his philosophic system, Lamennais took up their defense in a book published in 1829 under the title "Progrès de la Révolution et de la guerre contre l'Eglise". His attacks spared neither the king nor the bishops, whom he reproached with their Gallicanism and their concessions to the enemies of religion. Here, for the first time, Lamennais openly broke with monarchy, setting his highest hopes upon political liberty and equal rights. "An immense liberty", he said "is indispensable for the development of those truths which are to save the world." This was what he called "catholicizing liberalism ". The work met with enormous success. The bishops themselves protested almost unanimously against the Government's action. Not, however, that they approved of Lamennais' violent language; the Archbishop of Paris in a pastoral charge even condemned the work, and this drew from Lamennais two open letters in which the archbishop's Gallican ideas were unreservedly criticized.

When the Revolution broke out the next year (July, 1830), sweeping the Bourbons away and lifting the House of Orléans to the throne, Lamennais beheld without regret the departure of the one, and without enthusiasm the accession of the other dynasty. "Most people", he writes in his letters, "would prefer a republic frankly declared; I am of that number" Thenceforward he thought only of the defense of Catholicism against the triumphant party, who never forgave it the favor it had enjoyed from the fallen monarchy. While laboring to ward off the danger which menaced the Church, he hoped at the same time to ensure its social triumph by setting up its defense on the basis of equal rights, uniting its cause with that of public liberties. With this end in view he founded the journal "L'Avenir" (16 October, 1830) and his "General Agency for the Defense of Religious Liberty". With Lacordaire, Gerbet, Montalembert, and de Coux, he waged a grim battle in defense of Catholics against the hostility of the government, of Roman ideas against the Gallicanism of the clergy, and of his system of the "common sense of mankind " against rationalistic philosophy. The force of his blows, the boldness of his ideas, his outspoken sympathy for every people then in a state of revolt, provoked new accusations against him and gave rise to suspicion of his orthodoxy. To set himself right in the face of all this hostility, he suspended the publication of "L'Avenir" (15 November, 1831), and went to Rome to submit his cause to Gregory XVI. Though accompanied by Lacordaire and Montalembert, he did not find there the pronounced welcome of 1824. He waited a long time, but received no definite answer: then some days after his departure from Rome, appeared the Encyclical "Mirari vos" (15 August, 1832), in which the pope, without expressly designating him, condemned some of the ideas advanced in "L'Avenir" liberty of the press, liberty of conscience, revolt against princes, the need of regenerating Catholicism, etc. At the same time a letter from Cardinal Pacca informed Lamennais that the pope had been pained to see him discuss publicly questions which belonged to the authorities of the Church.

LAMENNAIS OUT OF THE CHURCH

Having forthwith declared that out of deference to the pope he would not resume the publication of "L'Avenir" Lamennais suppressed the "General Agency", went back to La Chênaie, and there apparently kept silence. In his heart, however, he cherished deep resentment, the echoes of which reached the outer world through his correspondence. Rome was stirred by this behavior, and demanded frank and full adhesion to the Encyclical "Mirari vos". After seeming to yield, Lamennais ended by refusing to submit without reserve or qualification. Little by little, he began by renouncing his ecclesiastical functions (December, 1833) and ended by abandoning all outward profession of Christianity. The amelioration of humanity, devotion to the welfare of the people and of popular liberties, dominated him more and more. In May, 1834, he published the "Paroles d'un croyant", through the apocalyptic diction of which resounds a violent cry of rage against the established social order: in it he denounces what he calls the conspiracy of kings and priests against the people. In this way he loudly declared his rupture with the Church, and set up the symbol of his new faith. Gregory XVI hastened to condemn in the Encyclical "Singulari nos" (15 July, 1834) this book, "small in size, but immense in perversity", and at the same time censured the philosophical system of Lamennais. One after another, all his friends abandoned him, and, as if to break finally with his own past, Lamennais wrote a volume on "Les Affaires de Rome", in which he set forth, very much in his own favor, his relations with Gregory XVI. After this he published only works inspired by his new democratic tendencies, repeating with no great show of originality the ideas of "Les Paroles d'un croyant", the whole foundation of which consisted of a few humanitarian commonplaces, relieved here and there with vague socialism. The Government having in 1835 caused the arrest of 121 revolutionaries in connection with certain disturbances, Lamennais consented to undertake the defense of his new friends before the Peers. Besides some articles in the "Revue des Deux Mondes", the "Revue du Progrès" and "Le Monde", he published a series of pamphlets, e.g. "Le Livre du peuple" (1839), "L'Esclavage moderne" (1839), "Discussions critiques" (1841), "Du passe et de l'avenir du peuple" (1841), "Amschaspands et Darvands" (1843). In these writings he expounds his views on the future of democracy or vents his rage against society and the public authorities. One of his works, "Le Pays et le Gouvernement" (1840) brought down on him a year's imprisonment, which he served in 1841.

Mention should here be made of his "Esquisse d'une philosophie", published from 1841 to 1846. It comprises a treatise on metaphysics in which God, man, and nature are studied by the light of reason only. Many of the opinions maintained in this book remind one that it was begun when its author was a Catholic, but there are many others which betray his later evolution; he denies in formal terms the fall of man, the Divinity of Christ, eternal punishment, and the supernatural order. The portions of the work devoted to æsthetics are among the finest that Lamennais ever wrote, while the general tone breathes a spirit of serenity and calm. To this epoch, too, belongs the translation of the Gospels, with anti-Christian notes and reflections. It was not the first work of piety that Lamennais had published. From 1809 he had devoted his moments of leisure to the translation of the "Spiritual Guide" of Louis de Blois. In 1824 he published a French version of the "Imitation of Christ" with notes and reflections, more widely read than any of his works. Then came the "Guide du premier âge", the "Journée du Chrétien", and a "Recueil de piété" (1828). To spread this pious literature he had become connected with a publishing house, the failure of which led to his financial ruin..

The Revolution of 1848 brought to Lamennais a renewal of hope and celebrity. He was elected a deputy for Paris in the Constituent and in the Legislative Assemblies. His plan of a constitution, however, met with no success, and thereafter he confined himself to silent participation in the sessions. He was not more fortunate in a newspaper, "Le Peuple constituant", in which he made common cause with the worst revolutionaries; its existence ended after four months, through failure to furnish its cautionnement . The coup d'état of 1851 put an end to the political career of Lamennais, who relapsed into misery and isolation. Numerous attempts were made to bring him back to religion and to repentance, but in vain. He died rejecting all religious ministration, and after requesting that his body "be carried to the cemetery, without being presented at any church".

However regrettable his end, it does not efface the memory of Lamennais' great services to the Church of France. When that Church lay bleeding from the blows inflicted on it by the Revolution, and intimidated by the insolent triumph of infidel philosophy, he consecrated to her relief, both absolute devotion and abilities of the highest order. He was the first apologist to compel the attention of unbelievers in the nineteenth century, and to force them to reckon with the Christian Faith. He was the first who dared to attack Gallicanism publicly in France, and prepared the way for its defeat, the crowning work of the Vatican Council. To him also belongs the honor of having inaugurated the struggle which was to issue in freedom of education ( liberté d'enseignement ). Despite his justly blamable excesses, we must trace to him that reconciliation between Catholicism on the one hand and popular liberty and the masses of the people on the other, upon which Leo XIII set the final seal of approbation. If a temper impatient of all restraint and a pride overconfident in its own conceits deprived him of the blessings which he was instrumental in securing for others, this is surely no reason why the beneficiaries should forget to whom they owe their happier condition.

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Faustinus and Jovita, Saints

Martyrs, members of a noble family of Brescia ; the elder brother, Faustinus, being a priest, ...

Faustus of Riez

Bishop of Riez ( Rhegium ) in Southern Gaul (Provence), the best known and most distinguished ...

Faversham Abbey

A former Benedictine monastery of the Cluniac Congregation situated in the County of Kent ...

Faye, Hervé-Auguste-Etienne-Albann

An astronomer, b. at Saint-Benoît-du-Sault (Indre, France ), Oct., 1814; d. at Paris, 4 ...

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Fe 62

Fear (from a Moral Standpoint)

(CONSIDERED FROM A MORAL STANDPOINT.) Fear is an unsettlement of soul consequent upon the ...

Fear (in Canon Law)

(IN CANON LAW.) A mental disturbance caused by the perception of instant or future danger. ...

Feast of Fools

A celebration marked by much license and buffoonery, which in many parts of Europe, and ...

Feasts, Ecclesiastical

( Latin Festum ; Greek heorte ). Feast Days, or Holy Days, are days which are celebrated in ...

Febronianism

The politico-ecclesiastical system outlined by Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim, Auxiliary Bishop of ...

Feckenham, John de

Last Abbot of Westminster, and confessor of the Faith ; b. in Feckenham Forest, ...

Feder, Johann Michael

A German theologian, b. 25 May, 1753, at Oellingen in Bavaria ; d. 26 July, 1824, at ...

Feilding, Rudolph William Basil

The eighth Earl of Denbigh, and ninth Earl of Desmond, b. 9 April, 1823; d. 1892. He was educated ...

Feilmoser, Andreas Benedict

A theologian and Biblical scholar, b. 8 April, 1777, at Hopfgarten, Tyrol; d. at Tübingen, ...

Felbiger, Johann Ignaz von

A German educational reformer, pedagogical writer, and canon regular of the Order of St. ...

Felician and Primus, Saints

Suffered martyrdom about 304 in the Diocletian persecution. The "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" ...

Felician Sisters, O.S.F.

Founded 21 November, 1855, at Warsaw, Poland, by Mother Mary Angela, under the direction of ...

Felicissimus

A deacon of Carthage who, in the middle of the third century, headed a short-lived but dangerous ...

Felicitas and Perpetua, Saints

Martyrs, suffered at Carthage, 7 March 203, together with three companions, Revocatus, Saturus, ...

Felicitas, Saint

MARTYR. The earliest list of the Roman feasts of martyrs, known as the "Depositio Martyrum" ...

Felix and Adauctus, Saints

Martyrs at Rome, 303, under Diocletian and Maximian. The Acts, first published in Ado's ...

Felix and Nabor, Saints

Martyrs during the persecution of Diocletian (303). The relics of these holy witnesses to the ...

Felix I, Pope Saint

Date of birth unknown; d. 274. Early in 269 he succeeded Saint Dionysius as head of the Roman ...

Felix II

Pope (more properly Antipope ), 355-358; d. 22 Nov., 365. In 355 Pope Liberius was ...

Felix III (II), Pope Saint

(Reigned 483-492). Born of a Roman senatorial family and said to have been an ancestor of ...

Felix IV (III), Pope Saint

(Reigned 526-530). On 18 May, 526, Pope John I died in prison at Ravenna, a victim of the ...

Felix of Cantalice, Saint

A Capuchin friar, b. at Cantalice, on the north-western border of the Abruzzi; d. at Rome, 18 ...

Felix of Nola, Saint

Born at Nola, near Naples, and lived in the third century. After his father's death he ...

Felix of Valois, Saint

Born in 1127; d. at Cerfroi, 4 November, 1212. He is commemorated 20 November. He was surnamed ...

Felix V

Regnal name of Amadeus of Savoy, Antipope (1440-1449). Born 4 December, 1383, died at ...

Feller, François-Xavier de

An author and apologist, b. at Brussels 18 August, 1735; d. at Ratisbon 22 May, 1802. He ...

Feneberg, Johann Michael Nathanael

Born in Oberdorf, Allgau, Bavaria, 9 Feb., 1751; died 12 Oct., 1812. He studied at Kaufbeuren and ...

Fenn, John

Born at Montacute near Wells in Somersetshire; d. 27 Dec., 1615. He was the eldest brother of Ven. ...

Ferber, Nicolaus

A Friar Minor and controversialist, born at Herborn, Germany, in 1485; died at Toulouse, 15 ...

Ferdinand II

Emperor, eldest son of Archduke Karl and the Bavarian Princess Maria, b. 1578; d. 15 February, ...

Ferdinand III, Saint

King of Leon and Castile, member of the Third Order of St. Francis, born in 1198 near ...

Ferdinand, Blessed

Prince of Portugal, b. in Portugal, 29 September, 1402; d. at Fez, in Morocco, 5 June, 1443. He ...

Ferdinando, Luigi, Count de Marsigli

Italian geographer and naturalist, b. at Bologna 10 July, 1658; d. at Bologna 1 Nov., 1730. He ...

Ferentino, Diocese of

(FERENTINUM) In the province of Rome, immediately subject to the Holy See. The town was in ...

Fergus, Saints

St. Fergus Cruithneach Died about 730, known in the Irish martyrologies as St. Fergus ...

Feria

( Latin for "free day"). A day on which the people, especially the slaves, were not obliged ...

Ferland, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine

A French Canadian historian, b. at Montreal, 25 December, 1805; d. at Quebec, 11 January, ...

Fermo, Archdiocese of

(FIRMANA). In the province of Ascoli Piceno (Central Italy ). The great antiquity of the ...

Fernández de Palencia, Diego

A Spanish conqueror and historian; b. at Palencia in the early part of the sixteenth century. ...

Fernández, Antonio

A Jesuit missionary; b. at Lisbon, c. 1569; d. at Goa, 12 November, 1642. About 1602 he was ...

Fernández, Juan

A Jesuit lay brother and missionary; b. at Cordova ; d. 12 June, 1567, in Japan. In a letter ...

Ferns

DIOCESE OF FERNS (FERNENSIS). Diocese in the province of Leinster ( Ireland ), suffragan of ...

Ferrara

A RCHDIOCESE OF F ERRARA (F ERRARIENSIS ). Archdiocese immediately subject to the Holy ...

Ferrari, Gaudenzio

An Italian painter and the greatest master of the Piedmontese School, b. at Valduggia, near ...

Ferraris, Lucius

An eighteenth-century canonist of the Franciscan Order. The exact dates of his birth and death ...

Ferre, Vicente

Theologian, b. at Valencia, Spain ; d. at Salamanca in 1682. He entered the Dominican Order ...

Ferreira, Antonio

A poet, important both for his lyric and his dramatic compositions, b. at Lisbon, Portugal, in ...

Ferrer, Rafael

A Spanish missionary and explorer; b. at Valencia, in 1570; d. at San José, Peru, in ...

Ferrer, Saint Vincent

Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 ...

Ferrières, Abbey of

Situated in the Diocese of Orléans , department of Loiret, and arrondissement of ...

Ferstel, Heinrich, Freiherr von

Architect; with Hansen and Schmidt, the creator of modern Vienna ; b. 7 July, 1828, at Vienna ; ...

Fesch, Joseph

Cardinal, b. at Ajaccio, Corsica, 3 January, 1763; d. at Rome, 13 May, 1839. He was the son of a ...

Fessler, Josef

Bishop of St. Polten in Austria and secretary of the Vatican Council ; b. 2 December, 1813, at ...

Fetherston, Blessed Richard

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

Feti, Domenico

An Italian painter ; born at Rome, 1589; died at Venice, 1624. He was a pupil of Cigoli ...

Fetishism

Fetishism means the religion of the fetish. The word fetish is derived through the Portuguese ...

Feuardent, François

A Franciscan, theologian, preacher of the Ligue, b. at Coutanees, Normandy, in 1539; d. at ...

Feuchtersleben, Baron Ernst von

An Austrian poet, philosopher, and physician; born at Vienna, 29 April, 1806; died 3 September, ...

Feudalism

Etymology This term is derived from the Old Aryan pe'ku , hence Sanskrit pacu , "cattle"; ...

Feuillants

The Cistercians who, about 1145, founded an abbey in a shady valley in the Diocese of Rieux ...

Feuillet, Louis

(FEUILLÉE) Geographer, b. at Mane near Forcalquier, France, in 1660; d. at Marseilles ...

Feyjóo y Montenegro, Benito Jerónimo

A celebrated Spanish writer, b. at Casdemiro, in the parish of Santa Maria de Molias, Galicia, ...

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Fi 52

Fiacc, Saint

(Lived about 415-520.) A poet, chief bishop of Leinster, and founder of two churches. His ...

Fiacre, Saint

Abbot, born in Ireland about the end of the sixth century; died 18 August, 670. Having been ...

Ficino, Marsilio

A philosopher, philologist, physician, b. at Florence, 19 Oct., 1433; d. at Correggio, 1 Oct, ...

Ficker, Julius

(More correctly Caspar von Ficker). Historian, b. at Paderborn, Germany, 30 April, 1826; d. at ...

Fideism

(Latin fides , faith). A philosophical term meaning a system of philosophy or an ...

Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Saint

Born in 1577, at Sigmaringen, Prussia, of which town his father Johannes Rey was burgomaster; ...

Fiesole

DIOCESE OF FIESOLE (FÆSULANA). Diocese in the province of Tuscany, suffragan of Florence. ...

Figueroa, Francisco de

A celebrated Spanish poet, surnamed "the Divine", b. at Alcalá de Henares, c. 1540, d. ...

Figueroa, Francisco García de la Rosa

Franciscan, b. in the latter part of the eighteenth century at Toluca, in the Archdiocese of ...

Fiji, Vicariate Apostolic of

Comprising the islands belonging to the Fiji Archipelago. This archipelago forms the central ...

Filby, Blessed William

Blessed William Filby Born in Oxfordshire between 1557 and 1560; suffered at Tyburn, 30 May, ...

Filelfo, Franscesco

A humanist, b. at Tolentino, 25 July, 1398; d. at Florence 31 July, 1481. He studied grammar, ...

Filial Church

(Latin filialis , from filia , daughter), a church to which is annexed the cure of souls , ...

Filicaja, Vincenzo da

Lyric poet; born at Florence, 30 December, 1642; died there 24 September, 1707. At Pisa he was ...

Filioque

Filioque is a theological formula of great dogmatic and historical importance. On the one ...

Fillastre, Guillaume

French cardinal, canonist, humanist, and geographer, b. 1348 at La Suze, Maine, France ; d. at ...

Filliucci, Vincenzo

Jesuit moralist; b. at Sienna, Italy, 1566; d. at Rome 5 April, 1622. Having entered the Society ...

Filliucius, Felix

(Or, as his name is more often found, in its Italian form, FIGLIUCCI). An Italian humanist, a ...

Final Perseverance

( Perseverantia finalis ). Final perseverance is the preservation of the state of grace till ...

Finan, Saint

Second Bishop of Lindisfarne ; died 9 February, 661. He was an Irish monk who had been ...

Finbarr, Saint

(Lochan, Barr). Bishop and patron of Cork, born near Bandon, about 550, died at Cloyne, 25 ...

Finch, Ven. John

A martyr, b. about 1548; d. 20 April, 1584. He was a yeoman of Eccleston, Lancashire, and a ...

Finglow, Ven. John

An English martyr ; b. at Barnby, near Howden, Yorkshire; executed at York, 8 August, 1586. He ...

Finland

Note: This article was taken from the 1909 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, and is presented ...

Finnian of Moville, Saint

Born about 495; died 589. Though not so celebrated as his namesake of Clonard, he was the ...

Finotti, Joseph M.

Born at Ferrara, Italy, 21 September, 1817; died at Central City, Colorado, 10 January, 1879. ...

Fintan, Saints

St. Fintan of Clonenagh A Leinster saint, b. about 524; d. 17 February, probably 594, or at least ...

Fioretti di San Francesco d'Assisi

Little Flowers of Francis of Assisi , the name given to a classic collection of popular legends ...

Fire, Liturgical Use of

Fire is one of the most expressive and most ancient of liturgical symbols. All the creeds of ...

Firmament

(Septuagint stereoma ; Vulgate, firmamentum ). The notion that the sky was a vast solid ...

Firmicus Maternus

Christian author of the fourth century; wrote a work "De errore profanarum religionum". Nothing ...

Firmilian

Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, died c. 269. He had among his contemporaries a reputation ...

First-Born

The word, though casually taken in Holy Writ in a metaphorical sense, is most generally used by ...

First-Fruits

The practice of consecrating first-fruits to the Deity is not a distinctly Jewish one (cf. ...

Fiscal Procurator

( Latin PROCURATOR FISCALIS). The duties of the fiscal procurator consist in preventing ...

Fischer, Antonius

Archbishop of Cologne and cardinal, b. at Julich, 30 May, 1840; d. at Neuenahr, 30 July, 1912. ...

Fish, Symbolism of the

Among the symbols employed by the primitive Christians, that of the fish ranks probably first in ...

Fisher, Philip

(An alias , real name THOMAS COPLEY) Missionary, b. in Madrid, 1595-6; d. in Maryland, U. ...

Fisherman, The Ring of the

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

Fitter, Daniel

Born in Worcestershire, England, 1628; died at St. Thomas' Priory, near Stafford, 6 Feb., 1700. ...

Fitton, James

Missionary, b. at Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. , 10 April, 1805; d. there, 15 Sept., 1881. His ...

Fitz-Simons, Thomas

American merchant, b. in Ireland, 1741; d. at Philadelphia, U.S.A. 26 Aug., 1811. There is no ...

Fitzalan, Henry

Twelfth Earl of Arundel, b. about 1511; d. in London, 24 Feb., 1580 (O.S. 1579). Son of William, ...

FitzGibbon, Catherine

(Catherine FitzGibbon.) Born in London, England, 12 May, 1823; died in New York, 14 August, ...

Fitzherbert, Anthony, Sir

Judge, b. in 1470; d. 27 May, 1538. He was the sixth son of Ralph Fitzherbert of Norbury, ...

Fitzherbert, Maria Anne

Wife of King George IV; b. 26 July, 1756 (place uncertain); d. at Brighton, England, 29 March, ...

Fitzherbert, Thomas

Born 1552, at Swynnerton, Staffs, England ; died 17 Aug., 1640, at Rome. His father having died ...

Fitzpatrick, William John

Historian, b. in Dublin, Ireland, 31 Aug., 1830; d. there 24 Dec., 1895. The son of a rich ...

Fitzralph, Richard

Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Dundalk, Ireland, about 1295; d. at Avignon, 16 Dec., 1360. He ...

Fitzsimon, Henry

(Fitz Simon). Jesuit, b. 1566 (or 1569), in Dublin, Ireland ; d. 29 Nov., 1643 (or 1645), ...

Fixlmillner, Placidus

Astronomer, b. at Achleuthen near Kremsmünster, Austria, in 1721; d. at Kremsmünster, ...

Fizeau, Armand-Hippolyte-Louis

Physicist, b. at Paris, 23 Sept., 1819; d. at Nanteuil, Seine-et-Marne, 18 Sept., 1896. His ...

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Fl 39

Fléchier, Esprit

Bishop; b. at Pernes, France, 1632; died at Montpellier, 1710; member of the Academy, and ...

Flórez, Enrique

Spanish theologian, archeologist, and historian; born at Valladolid, 14 February, 1701; died at ...

Flabellum

The flabellum, in liturgical use, is a fan made of leather, silk, parchment, or feathers ...

Flaccilla, Ælia

( Plakilla ) Empress, wife of Theodosius the Great , died c. A. D. 385 or 386. Like ...

Flagellants

A fanatical and heretical sect that flourished in the thirteenth and succeeding centuries, Their ...

Flagellation

The history of the whip, rod, and stick, as instruments of punishment and of voluntary penance, ...

Flaget, Benedict Joseph

First Bishop of Bardstown (subsequently of Louisville ), Kentucky, U.S.A. b. at Contournat, ...

Flanagan, Thomas Canon

Born in England in 1814, though Irish by descent; died at Kidderminster, 21 July, 1865. He was ...

Flanders

(Flemish VLAENDEREN; German FLANDEREN; French FLANDRE). Designated in the eighth century a ...

Flandrin, Jean-Hippolyte

French painter, b. at Lyons, 23 March, 1809; d. at Rome, 21 March, 1864. He came of a family of ...

Flathead Indians

A name used in both Americas, without special ethnologic significance, to designate tribes ...

Flathers, Ven. Mathew

( Alias Major). An English priest and martyr ; b. probably c. 1580 at Weston, Yorkshire, ...

Flavia Domitilla

A Christian Roman matron of the imperial family who lived towards the close of the first ...

Flavian, Saint

Bishop of Constantinople, date of birth unknown; d. at Hypæpa in Lydia, August, 449. ...

Flavias

A titular see of Cilicia Secunda. Nothing is known of its ancient name and history, except that ...

Flavigny, Abbey of

A Benedictine abbey in the Diocese of Dijon, the department of Côte-d'Or, and ...

Flaviopolis

A titular see in the province of Honorias. The city, formerly called Cratia, originally belonged ...

Flemael, Bertholet

(The name was also spelled FLEMALLE and FLAMAEL). Painter, b. at Liège, Flanders, in ...

Fleming, Patrick

Franciscan friar b. at Lagan, Couny Louth, Ireland, 17 April, 1599; d. 7 November, 1631. His ...

Fleming, Richard

(FLEMMING, FLEMMYNGE). Bishop of Lincoln and founder of Lincoln College, Oxford; b. of a ...

Fleming, Thomas

Archbishop of Dublin, son of the Baron of Slane, b. in 1593; d. in 1665. He studied at thy ...

Fletcher, John

A missionary and theologian, b. at Ormskirk, England, of an old Catholic family ; educated at ...

Flete, William

An Augustinian hermit friar, a contemporary and great friend of St. Catherine of Siena ; the ...

Fleuriot, Zénaide-Marie-Anne

A French novelist, b. at Saint-Brieuc, 12 September, 1829; d. at Paris, 18 December, 1890. She ...

Fleury, Abbey of

( More completely FLEURY-SAINT-BENOÎT) One of the oldest and most celebrated ...

Fleury, André-Hercule de

Born at Lodève, 26 June, 1653; died at Paris, 29 January, 1742. He was a ...

Flodoard

(Or FRODOARD) French historian and chronicler, b. at Epernay in 894; d. in 966. He was ...

Flood of Noah

Deluge is the name of a catastrophe fully described in Genesis 6:1 - 9:19 , and referred to in the ...

Floreffe, Abbey of

Pleasantly situated on the right bank of the Sambre, about seven miles southwest of Namur, ...

Florence

(Latin Florentia ; Italian Firenze ). ARCHDIOCESE OF FLORENCE (FLORENTINA). Located in ...

Florence of Worcester

English chronicler; all that is known of his personal history is that he was a monk of ...

Florence, Council of

The Seventeenth Ecumenical Council was, correctly speaking, the continuation of the Council of ...

Florentina, Saint

Virgin ; born towards the middle of the sixth century; died about 612. The family of St. ...

Florian, Jean-Pierre Claris, Chevalier de

Born at the château of Florian (Gard), 6 March, 1755; died at Sceaux, 13 September, 1794. An ...

Florians, The

(Floriacenses), an altogether independent order, and not, as some consider, a branch of the ...

Florida

The Peninsular or Everglade State, the most southern in the American Union and second largest east ...

Florilegia

Florilegia (Lat., florilegium, an anthology) are systematic collections of excerpts (more or ...

Florus

A deacon of Lyons, ecclesiastical writer in the first half of the ninth century. We have no ...

Floyd, John

English missionary, wrote under the names Flud, Daniel à Jesu, Hermannus Loemelius, George ...

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Fo 64

Fogaras

ARCHDIOCESE OF FOGARAS (FOGARASIENSIS). Archdiocese in Hungary, of the Greek-Rumanian Rite. It ...

Foggia

DIOCESE OF FOGGIA (FODIANA). Diocese in the province of the same name in Apulia (Southern ...

Foillan, Saint

( Irish FAELAN, FAOLAN, FOELAN, FOALAN.) Represented in iconography with a crown at his ...

Folengo, Teofilo

An Italian poet, better known by his pseudonyrn MERLIN COCCALO or COCAI; b. at Mantua in 1496; ...

Foley, Henry

Born at Astley in Worcestershire, England, 9 Aug., 1811; died at Manresa House, Roehampton, 19 ...

Foligno

DIOCESE OF FOLIGNO (FULGINATENSIS). Diocese in the province of Perugia, Italy, immediately ...

Foliot, Gilbert

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

Folkestone Abbey

Folkestone Abbey -- more correctly FOLKESTONE PRIORY -- is situated in the east division of ...

Fonseca Soares, Antonio da

(ANTONIO DAS CHAGAS). Friar Minor and ascetical writer; b. at Vidigueira, 25 June, 1631; d. at ...

Fonseca, José Ribeiro da

Friar Minor ; b. at Evora, 3 Dec., 1690; d. at Porto, 16 June, 1752. He was received into the ...

Fonseca, Pedro Da

A philosopher and theologian, born at Cortizada, Portugal, 1528; died at Lisbon, 4 Nov., 1599. ...

Fontana, Carlo

An architect and writer; b. at Bruciato, near Como, 1634; d. at Rome, 1714. There seems to be no ...

Fontana, Domenico

A Roman architect of the Late Renaissance, b. at Melide on the Lake of Lugano, 1543; d. at ...

Fontana, Felice

Italian naturalist and physiologist, b. at Pomarolo in the Tyrol, 15 April, 1730; d. at Florence, ...

Fontbonne, Jeanne

In religion Mother St. John, second foundress and superior-general of the Sisters of St. Joseph ...

Fonte-Avellana

A suppressed order of hermits, which takes its name from their first hermitage in the Apennines. ...

Fontenelle, Abbey of

(Or ABBEY OF SAINT WANDRILLE). A Benedictine monastery in Normandy ...

Fontevrault, Order and Abbey of

I. CHARACTER OF THE ORDER The monastery of Fontevrault was founded by Blessed Robert ...

Fonts, Holy Water

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

Fools, Feast of

A celebration marked by much license and buffoonery, which in many parts of Europe, and ...

Foppa, Ambrogio

Generally known as CARADOSS0. Italian goldsmith, sculptor, and die sinker, b. at Mondonico in ...

Forbes, John

Capuchin, b. 1570; d. 1606. His father, John, eighth Lord Forbes, being a Protestant, and his ...

Forbin-Janson, Comte de Charles-Auguste-Marie-Joseph

A Bishop of Nancy and Toul, founder of the Association of the Holy Childhood , born in Paris, ...

Forcellini, Egidio

Latin lexicographer, b. at Fener, near Treviso, Italy, 26 Aug., 1688; d. at Padua, 4 April, ...

Ford, Blessed Thomas

Born in Devonshire; died at Tyburn, 28 May, 1582. He incepted M.A. at Trinity College, Oxford, 14 ...

Fordham University

Fordham University developed out of Saint John's College, founded by Bishop Hughes upon the old ...

Foreman, Andrew

A Scottish prelate, of good border family ; b. at Hatton, near Berwick-on-Tweed; d. 1522. His ...

Forer, Laurenz

Controversialist, b. at Lucerne, 1580; d. at Ratisbon, 7 January, 1659. He entered the Society ...

Foresters, Catholic Orders of

I On 30 July, 1879, some members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Boston, Massachusetts, ...

Forgery, Forger

If we accept the definition usually given by canonists, forgery ( Latin falsum ) differs very ...

Forli

(FOROLIVIENSIS) Diocese in the province of Romagna (Central Italy ); suffragan of Ravenna. ...

Form

(Latin forma; Greek eidos, morphe, he kata ton logon ousia, to ti en einai : Aristotle) ...

Formby, Henry

Born 1816; died at Normanton Hall, Leicester, 12 March, 1884. His father, Henry Grenehalgh Formby, ...

Formosus, Pope

(891-896) The pontificate of this pope belongs to that era of strife for political supremacy ...

Formularies

(LIBRI FORMULARUM) Formularies are medieval collections of models for the execution of ...

Forrest, William

Priest and poet; dates of birth and death uncertain. Few personal details are known of him. He ...

Forster, Fobrenius

Prince-Abbot of St. Emmeram at Ratisbon, b. 30 Aug., 1709, at Königsfeld in Upper Bavaria ...

Forster, Thomas Ignatius Maria

Astronomer and naturalist, b. at London, 9 Nov., 1789; d. at Brussels, 2 Feb., 1860. His literary ...

Fort Augustus Abbey

St. Benedict's Abbey, at Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire, is at present the only monastery for ...

Fort Wayne

DIOCESE OF (WAYNE CASTRENSIS). The Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana, U.S.A. established in ...

Fortaleza, Diocese of

(FORTALEXIENSIS) The Diocese of Fortaleza is co-extensive with the State of Ceará in ...

Fortescue, Blessed Adrian

Knight of St. John, martyr, b. about 1476, executed 10 July, 1539. He belonged to the Salden ...

Fortitude

(1) Manliness is etymologically what is meant by the Latin word virtus and by the Greek andreia ...

Fortunato of Brescia

Morphologist and Minorite of the Reform of Lombardy ; b. at Brescia, 1701; d. at Madrid, ...

Fortunatus

Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus A Christian poet of the sixth century, b. ...

Forty Hours' Devotion

Also called Quarant' Ore or written in one word Quarantore , is a devotion in which continuous ...

Forty Martyrs

A party of soldiers who suffered a cruel death for their faith, near Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia, ...

Forum, Ecclesiastical

That the Church of Christ has judicial and coercive power is plain from the constitution given ...

Fossano

DIOCESE OF FOSSANO (FOSSANENSIS). Fossano is a town in the province of Cuneo, in Piedmont, ...

Fossombrone

DIOCESE OF FOSSOMBRONE (FOROSEMPRONIENSIS). Diocese in the province of Pesaro, Italy, a ...

Fossors

(Latin fossores , fossarii from fodere , to dig). Grave diggers in the Roman ...

Foster, John Gray

Soldier, convert, b. at Whitfield, New Hampshire, U.S.A. 27 May, 1823; d. at Nashua, New ...

Fothad, Saint

Surnamed NA CANOINE ("of the Canon"). A monk of Fahan-Mura, County Doneval, Ireland, at the ...

Fouard, Constant

An ecclesiastical writer b. at Elbeuf, near Rouen, 6 Aug. 1837; his early life was a ...

Foucault, Jean-Bertrand-Léon

A physicist and mechanician, b. at Paris, 19 Sept., 1819; d. there 11 Feb., 1868. He received ...

Foulque de Neuilly

A popular Crusade preacher, d. March, 1202. At the end of the twelfth century he was ...

Foundation

( Latin fundatio; German Stiftung ) An ecclesiastical foundation is the making over of ...

Foundling Asylums

Under this title are comprised all institutions which take charge of infants whose parents or ...

Fountains Abbey

A monastery of the Cistercian Order situated on the banks of the Skell about two and a half ...

Fouquet, Jehan

(Or J EAN F OUQUET ) French painter and miniaturist, b. at Tours, c. 1415; d. about 1480. ...

Four Crowned Martyrs

The old guidebooks to the tombs of the Roman martyrs make mention, in connection with the ...

Four Masters, Annals of the

The most extensive of all the compilations of the ancient annals of Ireland. They commence, ...

Fowler, John

Scholar and printer, b. at Bristol, England, 1537; d. at Namur, Flanders, 13 Feb., 1578-9. He ...

Foxe's Book of Martyrs

John Foxe was born at Boston in Lincolnshire, England, in 1516, and was educated at Magdalen ...

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Fr 82

Fréchette, Louis-Honoré

Born at Notre-Dame de Lévis, P.Q., Canada, 16 November, 1839; died 30 May, 1908. He ...

Fréjus

DIOCESE OF FRÉJUS (FORUM JULII). Suffragan of Aix ; comprises the whole department of ...

Fra Angelico

A famous painter of the Florentine school, born near Castello di Vicchio in the province of ...

Fractio Panis

(BREAKING OF BREAD.) The name given to a fresco in the so-called "Capella Greca" in the ...

France

The fifth in size (usually reckoned the fourth) of the great divisions of Europe. DESCRIPTIVE ...

Frances d'Amboise, Blessed

Duchess of Brittany, afterwards Carmelite nun, b. 1427; d. at Nantes, 4 Nov., 1485. The daughter ...

Frances of Rome, Saint

(Bussa di Leoni.) One of the greatest mystics of the fifteenth century; born at Rome, of a noble ...

Franceschini, Marc' Antonio

Italian painter ; b. at Bologna, 1648; d. there c. 1729; best known for the decorative works he ...

Franchi, Ausonio

The pseudonym of CRISTOFORO BONAVINO, philosopher ; b. 24 February, 1821, at Pegli, province of ...

Francia

(FRANCESCO RAIBOLINI) A famous Bolognese goldsmith, engraver, and artist, b. about 1450; d. in ...

Francis Borgia, Saint

(Spanish F RANCISCO DE B ORJA Y A RAGON ) Francis Borgia, born 28 October, 1510, was the ...

Francis Caracciolo, Saint

Co-founder with John Augustine Adorno of the Conregation of the Minor Clerks Regular ; b. in Villa ...

Francis de Geronimo, Saint

(Girolamo, Hieronymo). Born 17 December, 1642; died 11 May, 1716. His birthplace was ...

Francis de Sales, Saint

Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of the Universal Church ; born at Thorens, in the Duchy of Savoy, 21 ...

Francis I

King of France ; b. at Cognac, 12 September, 1494; d. at Rambouillet, 31 March, 1547. He was the ...

Francis Ingleby, Venerable

English martyr, born about 1551; suffered at York on Friday, 3 June, 1586 (old style). According ...

Francis of Assisi, Saint

Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 -- the exact year ...

Francis of Fabriano, Blessed

Priest of the Order of Friars Minor ; b. 2 Sept., 1251; d. 22 April, 1322. His birth and ...

Francis of Paula, Saint

Founder of the Order of Minims; b. in 1416, at Paula, in Calabria, Italy ; d. 2 April, 1507, at ...

Francis of Vittoria

A Spanish theologian ; b. about 1480, at Vittoria, province of Avila, in Old Castile ; d. 12 ...

Francis Regis Clet, Blessed

A Lazarist missionary in China ; b. 1748, martyred, 18 Feb., 1820. His father was a merchant ...

Francis Solanus, Saint

South American missionary of the Order of Friars Minor ; b. at Montilla, in the Diocese of ...

Francis Xavier, Saint

Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of ...

Francis, Rule of Saint

As known, St. Francis founded three orders and gave each of them a special rule. Here only the ...

Franciscan Crown

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

Franciscan Order

A term commonly used to designate the members of the various foundations of religious, whether men ...

Franck, Kasper

A theologian and controversialist; b. at Ortrand, Saxony, 2 Nov., 1543; d. at Ingolstadt, 12 ...

Franco, Giovanni Battista

(Frequently known as IL SEMOLIE) Italian historical painter and etcher, b. at Udine in ...

Frank, Michael Sigismund

Catholic artist and rediscoverer of the lost art of glass-painting; b. 1 June, 1770, at ...

Frankenberg

JOHANN HEINRICH, GRAF VON FRANKENBERG. Archbishop of Mechlin (Malines), Primate of ...

Frankfort, Council of

Convened in the summer of 794, by the grace of God, authority of the pope, and command of ...

Frankfort-on-the-Main

Frankfort-on-the-Main, formerly the scene of the election and coronation of the German emperors, ...

Franks, The

The Franks were a confederation formed in Western Germany of a certain number of ancient ...

Franzelin, Johann Baptist

Cardinal and theologian ; b. at Aldein, in the Tyrol, 15 April, 1816; d. at Rome, 11 Dec., ...

Frascati

DIOCESE OF FRASCATI (TUSCULANA). One of the six suburbicarian (i.e. neighbouring) dioceses ...

Frassen, Claude

A celebrated Scotist theologian and philosopher of the Order of Friars Minor ; b. near ...

Fraternal Correction

Fraternal correction is here taken to mean the admonishing of one's neighbor by a private ...

Fraticelli

(Or F RATRICELLI ) A name given to various heretical sects which appeared in the fourteenth ...

Fraud

In the common acceptation of the word, an act or course of deception deliberately practised with ...

Fraunhofer, Joseph von

Optician, b. at Straubing, Bavaria, 6 March, 1787; d. at Munich, 7 June, 1826. He was the tenth ...

Frayssinous, Denis de

1765-1841, Bishop of Hermopolis in partibus infidelium , is celebrated chiefly for his ...

Fredegarius

The name used since the sixteenth designate the supposed author of an anonymous historical ...

Fredegis of Tours

(Fridugisus or Fredegisus). A ninth-century monk, teacher, and writer. Fredegis was an ...

Frederick I (Barbarossa)

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Frederick of Swabia (d. 1147) and Judith, daughter of Henry ...

Frederick II

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Henry VI and Constance of Sicily; born 26 Dec., 1194; died ...

Fredoli, Berenger

Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati ; b. at Vérune, France, c. ú d. at Avignon, 11 June, ...

Free Church of Scotland

(Known since 1900 as the UNITED FREE CHURCH) An ecclesiastical organization in Scotland ...

Free Will

RELATION OF THE QUESTION TO DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY HISTORY Free Will in Ancient ...

Free-Thinkers

Those who, abandoning the religious truths and moral dictates of the Christian Revelation, and ...

Freeman, Ven. William

A priest and martyr, b. at Manthorp near York, c. 1558; d. at Warwick, 13 August, 1595. His ...

Freemasonry

The subject is treated under the following heads: I. Name and Definition;II. Origin and Early ...

Fregoso, Federigo

Cardinal ; b. at Genoa, about 1480; d. 22 July, 1541; belonged to the Fregosi, one of the four ...

Freiburg

City, archdiocese, and university in the Archduchy of Baden, Germany . THE CITY Freiburg in ...

Fremin, James

Jesuit missionary to the American Indians ; b. at Reims, 12 March, 1628; d. at Quebec, 2 July, ...

French Academy, The

The French Academy was founded by Cardinal de Richelieu in 1635. For several years a number of ...

French Catholics in the United States

The first Bishop of Burlington, the Right Reverend Louis de Goesbriand, in a letter dated 11 ...

French Concordat of 1801, The

This name is given to the convention of the 26th Messidor, year IX (July 16, 1802), whereby Pope ...

French Literature

Origin and Foundations of the French Language When the Romans became masters of Gaul, they imposed ...

French Revolution

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

French, Nicholas

Bishop of Ferns, Ireland, b. at Ballytory, Co. Wexford, in 1604, his parents being John ...

Freppel, Charles-Emile

Born at Ober-Ehnheim, Alsace, 1 June, 1827; died at Paris, 22 Dec., 1891. He was Bishop of ...

Frequent Communion

Without specifying how often the faithful should communicate, Christ simply bids us eat His Flesh ...

Fresnel, Augustin-Jean

Physicist; b. at Broglie near Bernay, Normandy, 10 May, 1788; d. at Ville d'Avray, near Paris, ...

Friar

[From Lat. frater , through O. Fr. fredre, frere, M. E. frere; It. frate (as prefix ...

Friars Minor, Order of

(Also known as FRANCISCANS.) This subject may be conveniently considered under the following ...

Fribourg, University of

From the sixteenth century, the foundation of a Catholic university in Switzerland had often ...

Fridelli, Xavier Ehrenbert

(Properly FRIEDEL.) Jesuit missioner and cartographer, b. at Linz, Austria, 11 March, 1673; ...

Frideswide, Saint

(FRIDESWIDA, FREDESWIDA, French FRÉVISSE, Old English FRIS). Virgin, patroness of ...

Fridolin, Saint

Missionary, founder of the Monastery of Säckingen, Baden (sixth century). In accordance with ...

Friedrich von Hausen

(HUSEN) Medieval German poet, one of the earliest of the minnesingers; date of birth ...

Friends of God

( German G OTTESFREUNDE ). An association of pious persons, both ecclesiastical and lay, ...

Friends, Society of

The official designation of an Anglo - American religious sect originally styling themselves ...

Frigolet, Abbey of

The monastery of St. Michael was founded, about 960, at Frigolet, by Conrad the Pacific, King ...

Fringes (in Scripture)

This word is used to denote a special kind of trimming, consisting of loose threads of wool, silk, ...

Fritz, Samuel

A Jesuit missionary of the eighteenth century noted for his exploration of the Amazon River and ...

Froissart, Jean

French historian and poet, b. at Valenciennes, about 1337, d. at sentence -->Chimay early ...

Fromentin, Eugène

French writer and artist; b. at La Rochelle, 24 October, 1820; d. at Saint-Maurice, near La ...

Frontal, Altar

The frontal ( antipendium, pallium altaris ) is an appendage which covers the entire front of ...

Frontenac, Louis de Baude

A governor of New France, b. at Paris, 1622; d. at Quebec, 28 Nov., 1698. His father was captain ...

Frowin, Blessed

Benedictine abbot, d. 11 March, 1178. Of the early life of Frowin nothing is known, save that he ...

Fructuosus of Braga, Saint

An Archbishop, d. 16 April, c. 665. He was the son of a Gothic general, and studied in Palencia. ...

Fructuosus of Tarragona, Saint

A bishop and martyr ; d. 21 January, 259. During the night of 16 January, he, together with ...

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Fuchs, Johann Nepomuk von

A chemist and mineralogist, b. at Mattenzell, near Bremberg, Lower Bavaria, 15 May, 1774; d. at ...

Fulbert of Chartres

Bishop, b. between 952 and 962; d. 10 April, 1028 or 1029. Mabillon and others think that he was ...

Fulcran, Saint

Bishop of Lodève; d. 13 February, 1006. According to the biography which Bernard Guidonis, ...

Fulda

DIOCESE OF FULDA (FULDENSIS). This diocese of the German Empire takes its name from the ...

Fulgentius Ferrandus

A canonist and theologian of the African Church in the first half of the sixth century. He was ...

Fulgentius, Saint

A Bishop of Ecija (Astigi), in Spain, at the beginning of the seventh century. Like his brothers ...

Fulgentius, Saint

(FABIUS CLAUDIUS GORDIANUS FULGENTIUS). Born 468, died 533. Bishop of Ruspe in the province ...

Fullerton, Lady Georgiana Charlotte

Novelist; born 23 September, 1812, in Staffordshire, died 19 January, 1885, at Bournemouth. She ...

Fullo, Peter

Intruding Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch ; d. 488. He received the Greek surname Gnapheus ...

Fumo, Bartolommeo

A theologian, b. at Villon near Piacenza ; d. 1545. At an early age he entered the Dominican ...

Funchal

(FUNCHALENSIS.) Diocese in the Madeira Islands. Both in neo-Latin and in Portuguese the name ...

Fundamental Articles

This term was employed by Protestant theologians to distinguish the essential parts of the ...

Funeral Dues

The canonical perquisites of a parish priest receivable on the occasion of the funeral of any of ...

Funeral Pall

A black cloth usually spread over the coffin while the obsequies are performed for a deceased ...

Funk, Franz Xaver von

Church historian, b. in the small market town of Abtsgemünd in Würtemberg, 12 October, ...

Furness Abbey

Situated in the north of Lancashire about five miles from the town of Ulverston. Originally a ...

Furni

A titular see in Proconsular Africa, where two towns of this name are known to have existed. One ...

Furniss, John

A well-known children's missioner, born near Sheffield, England, 19 June, 1809; at Clapham, ...

Fursey, Saint

An Abbot of Lagny, near Paris, d. 16 Jan., about 650. He was the son of Fintan, son of Finloga, ...

Fussola

A titular see in Numidia. It was a fortified town, inhabited for the most part by Donatists ...

Fust, John

( Or FAUST.) A partner of Gutenberg in promoting the art of printing, d. at Paris about ...

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