Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A French ecclesiastical historian , b. at Fréjus, 25 July, 1648; d. in the same city, 21 June, 1697. Several of his ancestors had occupied canonries in their native place, the history and traditions of which they had investigated and preserved. Joseph, feeling himself called to the priesthood, betook himself to Lyons, where he entered on the study of theology under the celebrated Jesuit Père Lachaise, afterwards confessor to Louis XIV. On being ordained, he returned to Provence, and was soon made canon of the Cathedral of Fréjus, notwithstanding his natural dislike for a position so ill according with his habits of retirement and study. His uncles, Pierre and Nicolas, had published a work on the former incumbents of the See of Fréjus ; and following in their footsteps, Joseph resolved to devote himself especially to the history of the Church in his native land, beginning with his own diocese. His first work appeared in 1680, "De inito ecclesiae Forojuliensis dissertatio chronologica, critica, profano-sacra". The learned but erring Pasquier Quesnel , once an Oratorian, was then at the height of his reputation, and was agitating France on the question of the real author of the "De vocatione gentium", the "Responsiones pro Augustino ad Capitula Gallorum" and the "Epistola ad Demetriadem" (P.L., LI, 647,158; LV, 162). In his opinion these had been written by St. Leo the Great. Against him Anthelmi now entered the field on behalf of the authorship of St. Prosper of Aquitaine . The contest was maintained with vigour by both parties, their letters being published in the "Journal des Savants", in 1689. Toward the close of the same year Anthelmi vindicated his position by the publication at Paris of his work "De veris operibus SS. Patrum Leonis et Prosperi". The opposition between Anthelmi and Quesnel burst cut anew in regard to the authorship of the Athanasian Creed . Quesnel thought it the work of Vigilius, Bishop of Thapsus, in Africa, who towards the end of the fifth century was driven from his see by Huneric, King of the Vandals, and taking refuge in Constantinople wrote against the Arians, Eutychians, and Nestorians, attributing his own works to St. Augustine and St. Athanasius . Anthelmi, on the contrary, inclined to the view of Pere Pithou, who attributed it to St. Vincent of Lérins ; and in 1693 he published his "Nova de symbolo Athanasiano disquisitio". In this work Anthelmi endeavoured to prove that the Creed cannot be the production of St. Athanasius , as it was composed not earlier than the fifth century; and that its author was a Gaul. St. Vincent was known to have had the intention of filling out at length a confession of faith in the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation ; this, taken in conjunction with the similarity of style and expression between the Athanasian Creed and the writings of St. Vincent, is the foundation of Anthelmi's argument. His brother, Charles, Bishop of Grasse, collected and published several other historical papers, the most notable of which was a pamphlet, =93On the Life and Death of St. Martin of Tours ". In 1694, Anthelmi was made vicar-general to the Bishop of Pamiers ; but his health, already impaired by a life of severe study and unremitting labour, could not stand the additional strain put upon it by his new duties, and he returned to his native city in a vain attempt to recuperate. Here he died in the forty-ninth year of his age.

More Encyclopedia

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.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

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

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:18-21
18 He went on to say, 'What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2016 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. ... Read More