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(From mon , "my" and seigneur , ("elder" or "lord," like Latin senior )

A French honorific appellation, etymologically corresponding to the English "my lord," and the Italian monsignore . It is, after all, nothing but the French monsieur ; but, while the latter has become current as applied to every man who is in good society, Monseigneur has retained its honorific force. In ecclesiastical usage it is reserved for bishops and archbishops, and is chiefly employed when speaking or writing to them. It is used before the name (thus abridged: Msgr. Dupanloup). Formerly it was not prefixed to the title of dignity, but it is now, as "Mgr l'évêque N. . . ." The term Monseigneur is also used as the equivalent of the Italian Monsignore , and as the latter title is given to Roman prelates, some confusion results; in Italy, however, no inconvenience arises from this usage as in that country bishops have the title of Eccellenza , i.e., Excellency. In France, only the Archbishop of Reims, as legatus natus , has the title of Excellency (See M ONSIGNOR ).

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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